A Brand New You!

With Warlords of Draenor getting ever nearer, I decided to hop on the bandwagon of many a WoW blogger: viewing their characters in their new models.

For many of my girls, this was like them getting dolled up for a night out: looking much better than they usually try to be, but still recognizable as them. Others… well, let’s just say it’s more akin to getting plastic surgery done while I was out XD.

First up, here’s my main, Deathdaisy:

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Iron Man: Oh Hillsbrad, my Hillsbrad (3/9)

It’s official: I have now raised an Iron Man to 1/3 of the current maximum levels. Hurrah!

Iron Man 30

You know, for all my love for both Tauren and Trolls, I… just have no love for the Barrens. I cannot stand leveling there. I’m not sure what it is, but both zones just bore me. Also, I’ve died several times doing Counterattack! , so I figured it probably wasn’t a good idea to bring a character who isn’t allowed to die out there. :)

And somehow, for how much I just dislike the Barrens, I adore Hillsbrad – which is weird, since a lot of people hate it post-Cata. Reasons for said hatred include:

  • Diseased bears with spider eggs growing on them
  • The general horrors of the Sludge Fields (full info on it here)
  • The destruction of Southshore
  • The general Forsaken-overtaking of the zone

among others, of course. Me? I love this zone, partly because it’s kind of disturbing. That’s the same reason why I like questing in Silithus: I hate any bugs in real life, but the big ones in game are fun to slaughter. There are a few things about this zone that I want to point out to everyone, and point you towards Hillsbrad for adventuring.

  1. Welcome to the Machine – Aside from being an awesome Pink Floyd reference, this quest is one of the best Blizzard has put in. You get to be the quest giver and dispense quests to various player “stereotypes”: Dumass, the unskilled new player; Orkus, the well-geared, end-content player who’s coming back to see the changes that the Cataclysm brought; and Johnny Awesome, the alt leveling with the aid of heirlooms and the sparkle pony Celestial Steed. The characters are hilarious, and the best part is, the person you got the quest from to dispense quests then sends you to clean up after them. A day in the life of a hero in Azeroth.
  2. Just. The text for this quest. The quest text, the progress text, the item flavour text, the turn in text, one of the rewards, everything. Perfection.
  3. Heroes of the Horde!  – Just… what a quest. What started out as helping a truly moronic orc not drown turned into one of the most emotional quests in the level 1-60 range. You truly are a hero of the Horde. RIP Kingslayer Orkus of <Red Like My Rage>. He also shows up riding Kasha when your character is dead, which is a very touching detail. You hit the nail on the head with this one, Blizz.
  4. And, for everyone who’s against the Forsaken’s efforts in Hillsbrad, there’s this one for you: Matters of Loyalty. Drek’Thar himself, blind and in a wheelchair, coming out to berate your character for their misdeeds, and finishing it with “Yes… I have done terrible things, but nothing could ever be as terrible as lending aid to the Forsaken.” Honestly everything that I’ve ever wanted from the Frostwolf’s resident shaman and elder.

Aside from all this, Hillsbrad is a beautiful zone, and has some incredible quests in it. I urge everyone to give it a second chance: you may just enjoy it in the end.

-Katherine

10 years, 10 questions

A few days ago, the Godmother posted a series of 10 question for WoW’s 10th anniversary. I did my best to answer them, though I may have forgotten some details along the journey.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

I started WoW when I was quite young. My dad played the original Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo games, and also gamed with his friends in EverQuest. Once WoW came out, they all started to switch over and continue their adventures in Azeroth. My dad caved, and we got the game in January of 2005. My dad has since lost his love for the game, claiming it’s “too easy” (as so many naysayers do), but I still adore it.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

The first character I ever played was Goldenblade, a female human warrior. My dad told me and my sister that we couldn’t play the same race or class, so we would experience different things – we also watched each other play, so we got the story for both anyways. If she hadn’t picked first, I would have been a Night Elf druid, believe me. Goldenblade was my main through Vanilla and BC, but was deleted coming up to Lich King. My main is now Deathdaisy, an Unholy Night Elf Death Knight. Surprisingly, I only really started playing druids in Cata, even though they are easily my favourite class.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

For the most part, I show no faction bias. When I first started playing, my dad and all his friends played Alliance, so my main was also Alliance. We had a second server (remember queue times?) for our Horde characters, which is where I made my first druid. Since then, I have played fairly equally between the factions. Unfortunately, I feel as if I can never have true Horde pride like many do – not after what happened in Cataclysm. Darkshore, Ashenvale, Azshara, Felwood, Stonetalon – I can’t stand Blizzard destroying Night Elven culture and people like this. I also loathe Garrosh, which doesn’t help much. So, I’m neutral with a slight lean to the blue & gold. :)

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

There have been many memorable moments for me. The thing is, I don’t raid, or PvP, or do dungeons at level. Most people’s “big moments” were probably along those lines. Mine? I have three that instantly come to mind:

  • Finally getting Thunderfury on my Death Knight;
  • Running Karazhan (solo) for the first time; and
  • the Savior of Stoneplow questline/cinematic.

These were things that made the game amazing for me: the challenges, the stories, the settings, the personal ambitions and experiences.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I am, first and foremost, a casual player. It breaks my heart when people say we “ruin the game”. So we play a little differently than you, so we find our joy and excitement somewhere else – so what? I will always adore the lore of the game, exploration, pets (both collecting and battles), mount collecting, rep farming, and dungeon running when you’re 30 levels higher than the bosses. To put it simply: I am casual, and I love it!

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

It depends on the character: my druids are usually hanging around Moonglade (one of the many reasons I love druids), my NE priest is usually in the Temple of the Moon, my Troll druid has recently fallen in love with the Filthy Animal in Dalaran, and my DK has spent more time in Molten Core than is healthy for anyone, living or otherwise. However, the one place I know I will always return to is Zangarmarsh. I cannot get over the beauty of the zone, and I absolutely love both the Cenarion Expedition and Sporregar.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Hoo, boy – here we go:

  • Deathdaisy: 49 days, 4 hours, 38 minutes, 12 seconds
  • Kethysa: 3 days, 20 hours, 12 minutes, 7 seconds
  • Zanjun: 3 days, 19 hours, 42 minutes, 24 seconds
  • Aleer: 1 day, 14 hours, 29 minutes, 11 seconds
  • Isabelledobs: 1 day, 23 hours, 0 minutes, 28 seconds
  • Moragolden: 0 days, 17 hours, 20 minutes, 4 seconds
  • Cielbright: 0 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes, 21 seconds
  • Meie: 0 days, 18 hours, 20 minutes, 17 seconds
  • Tivaan: 0 days, 1 hour, 0 minutes, 14 seconds
  • Lannea: 0 days, 0 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds
  • Katheri: 0 days, 0 hours, 14 minutes, 27 seconds
  • For a grand Total of: 68 days, 4 hours, 10 minutes, 35 seconds

That isn’t even counting the alts that I’ve played, leveled to 20, and deleted (believe me, there were a lot of them). And no, it isn’t continuous. I mean, I’ve never unsubbed, but there’s just been points where real life just gets in the way…sometimes for months at a time. My playing can be kind of sporadic, but I have an incredibly busy schedule, and WoW isn’t something you can really do in 15 minute chunks. Well, not much, anyway. ;)

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Absolutely! When I first started playing, I was really young, so I didn’t care, and when I went through WotLK for the first time with Deathdaisy, I was just trying so hard to get to max before Cata hit so I could do Operation: Gnomeregan. While I’ve been leveling my druids, I’ve been taking things slower, reading quest text and flavour text, and having more fun with the questing process. There are also some great references, jokes, and tearjerkers in the text.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Oh, god – there will always be this one that stands out. Before Lich King came out, I had a level 16 mage who was buying pets off the auction house (using alts’ money, of course) and holding on to them for my Death Knight. Early on in the game, the Hyacinth Macaw could be bought from the same vendor as the other three. However, between launch and Lich King, it was removed and made a zone drop in STV. I bought all four parrots off the auction house, but couldn’t remember which was which. Stupid me didn’t look it up online, no of course not – I went and learned one of them. The Hyacinth Macaw. The only pet in game that is epic quality – and for good reason. It is a really freakin’ low drop, and I had to go farm it once WotLK hit. As soon as I saw those blue feathers I felt like smacking myself. So, a word to the wise: always look something up online before doing something dumb, OK?

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? 

Well, I have alienated people because of my love of Blizzard games, that’s for sure (well, person). However, World of Warcraft has also gotten me to be more serious about my artwork, my character designs (planning, that is), and my writing. My story on here, Rise, Legendary? First time I’ve ever published anything that I’ve written. It’s also the first fanfiction that I’ve written, and the first original piece that I’ve written since 6th grade (I have written stuff since then, but all of it was rewritten and reworked stuff from earlier). WoW has also introduced me to many new novels and comics that I completely adore – I’ve read Lord of the Clans maybe 5 times now? I adore Christie Golden’s writing, and I am with the rest of the playerbase with hating Knaak’s.

Well, there’s ten years of WoW from me! I hope you’ve all enjoyed the trip as much as I have, and I hope all of you continue to love this amazing game.

-Katherine

Iron Man: You Don’t Know Fear… (2/9)

…until you’ve quested in Ghostlands and you aren’t allowed to die. For you see, there are not one, not two, not three, but four elite quest mobs throughout the zone. Kel’Gash the Wicked is an easy kill, but the other three. Whoo, boy.

Luzran aka You Don't Know Fear Until       Luzran and Knucklerot

For those of you who haven’t quested in Ghostlands, Knucklerot and Luzran are level 21 elite abominations: Luzran wanders up and down the Dead Scar, while Knucklerot travels on the road from Windrunner Village to the Howling Ziggurat. They also do buttloads of damage, and as you can see, their paths can cross. Leveling in there as a level 17 druid was terrifying – I even ended up Hearthstoning out of each ziggurat out of fear. There is also a rare spawn, Dr. Whitherlimb, who can spawn in either the Bleeding or Howling Ziggurats, or in a number of locations in Deathholme. I jumped about a foot in the air when SilverDragon went off outside the Ziggurat (paranoia from abominations is the worst XD)

As if they weren’t enough, there is still another elite quest mob: Dar’Khan Drathir. A traitorous blood (high?) elf, located in the city of Deathholme. Also a level 21 elite, he takes a lot of damage before he really gets hurt. He also deals a lot of damage, and has a fear that can send you right into as many as 4 groups of hostile mobs. Thankfully, I cleared out two of them, and he didn’t fear me into the others.

While fighting Dar’Khan, I realized something that I took for granted on my main druids: Natural Insight. This is a passive ability gained at level 10 for Balance and Restoration druids, which increases your mana pool by 400%. I tend to go in cat form for questing, so I didn’t really notice it, but wow. I soloed Dar’Khan in cat and only went out to heal myself, and I ended up running out of mana – from about 8 or 9 casts of Rejuvenation. That’s crazy!

By the way, I soloed Kel’Gash at level 20, Knucklerot and Luzran at 21, and Dar’Khan at 22. Which, of course, is the point of this post:

My dear, sweet, precious Mora has now passed her second milestone: level 20! Hoping to get her to 90 before Warlords, but we’ll see how things go.

-Katherine

Rise, Legendary!

Rise, Legendary!

Sighing, I finally give in and, gracelessly plopping down to the ground, pull off my boots. This miserable fool would pay for all that he put me through. I stand again, relishing the soft sand between my toes for only a moment. I trudge on, ignoring the hissing and shrieking of the nearby Hive’Ashi, and keep my eyes on the horizon – on the Crystal Vale. This fresh torment started several weeks ago…

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My home away from home…in WoW

2 weeks ago (wow, I’m falling behind), Syrco Owl posted an interesting question:

I’ve played WoW for many years now and I’ve spent a lot of time running and flying around exploring the different zones and areas in the game. Most of the zones are very unique and nothing like anything I’ve ever seen in real life, but some of them reminds me of where I’m from and they feel like home. (…)Now, tell me: What in WoW reminds you of your home?

As soon as I saw this question, I knew I had to make a post about it. The only problem is, Canada is a very diverse country, and you could drive for 30 minutes and you wouldn’t recognize the scenery. So, I thought about doing my home province. But, while Saskatchewan’s stereotype is that it’s “wheat fields and flat”, it’s actually more diverse than that. Yes, there are fields, but there are also forests and marshes and sand dunes and the Canadian Shield and giant lakes up north. So I took a step back and thought, The question is what reminds me of my home. So, here’s my home! Continue reading

Iron Man: A Challenger Approaches! (1/9)

Yes, I decided to enter a challenger into the Iron Man Challenge.

Several levels ago, but she's still pretty much the same.

Several levels ago, but she’s still pretty much the same.

Meet Mora Goldenearth, younger sister of Aleer Goldenearth (one of my “four druids”, who I will be posting about later). When I created Mora, she was just going to be another druid for me to level. I had already heard about the Iron Man Challenge, of course, but I hadn’t really seriously thought about making a Challenger. Just a few weeks ago, once the school year finished, I was able to get back into actually putting some time into playing WoW. I then decided to make Mora my Iron Man. Thankfully, she was only level 5, and hadn’t broken any of the rules yet. Just this morning, I got her up to her first big milestone – Level 10.

10 down, 80 to go.

10 down, 80 to go.

Wow that’s a cluttered screenshot I will be making milestone posts every 10 levels, and will do brief recaps of any important or exciting news that happens with my Iron Man throughout the leveling process. Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good track record of keeping my characters from dying.

That is more than 3 deaths per level - even more so, as she is a DK.

That is more than 3 deaths per level – even more so, as she is a DK.

But, we shall see. Wish me luck!

-Katherine