Like everyone else I know, I’m loving this expansion. Also like everyone else I know, I’m addicted to my garrison. I want to do crystal dailies and heroics every day, but with all the garrison chores and missions and alts that need garrisons, I haven’t done them as regularly as I should have. But I haven’t ignored them completely either and I do have my ilvl up to a decent 623. Partially due to the fact that on Sunday my buddy More invited me and Grace to help him with a garrison invasion and not only did we get “Silver Defender” (yes, the screenshot shows Bronze but we got both) but I somehow got an epic 645 staff in my loot. Amazing. I’ve still got quite a few pieces around the 605 – 610 ish range, such as bracers and belt and chest which need to be upgraded. And that’s a bummer because what I’d really like to upgrade are my boots. They’re ilvl 630 which is okay for now but damn my toes are cold and I’m afraid they may not be too protected. Also, my new pet Nightshade Sproutling is freaking adorable.


I always take a lot of screenshots, but I had to laugh at myself when I went through my folder and realized how much I was obsessed with the sky and moon those first few days.













These are cut scenes from the beginning of leveling.

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First of all, let me just say if you are reading this post through a feed reader or email, etc, you should really take a quick minute to hop over to my blog directly and check out my new updated look. The background & header have been changed to reflect the Warlords era and the theme color has changed to match them. It looks fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Now, down to business. We’re more than halfway through the month and I’ve only posted 5 pictures for IntPiPoMo when the goal is 50. I’m such a slacker. But honestly, I’m too damn busy playing the game to bother writing blog posts and also, I wanted to give everyone a little bit of time to see things so that none of my screenshots were spoilers. Which is why I’m going to start off a bit generic here and show you screenshots of an NPC conversation that is not relevant to gameplay or storyline. This is simply something I stumbled across while wandering around; one of those auto conversations between non-essential NPCs that gets repeated on a loop. Luckily as I was running by them on a way to complete a quest, the word spider caught my eye and I stopped to take a look. What I found was hilarious.







Blogging has not been something I’ve had a lot of time to do this past year, so when I saw a reminder on Twitter that IntPiPoMo had started I was torn. On one hand, it’s something I’ve participated in for several years now and something I enjoy doing. On the other hand, I already struggle to make the time to blog, I’ve played less than normal this year, and I have taken less screenshots than normal in game. After thinking about it a few minutes, I realized I couldn’t let it pass me by without joining the fun. Especially since in less than 2 weeks there will be screenshots from a new expansion to share!

I know I won’t be posting every day, but I will get my 50 screenshots in this month (and I usually do more) so let’s get things started with an introduction to IntPiPoMo for anyone who isn’t familiar with the event. It stands for International Picture Posting Month and was created as an equivalent of the very popular National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). IntPiPoMo isn’t specific to WoW blogs or themes, it can be any photo or image from any activity you love or game you play. You can learn more about how the WoW bloggers got started & sign up to participate by visiting Admiring Azeroth’s post “IntPiPoMo Is Back”.

I’ll start off with a few fun things that happened for me from early this year:
I revisited archaeology and finally got the Vial of the Sands

While doing so much digging, I managed to also find the bug mount

I had a little fun under the sea

Business Time celebrated their 5th anniversary & held an ugly transmog contest. This won me 5th place. You can’t even imagine the other winners. Lol.

I got my legendary cloak (first ever legendary for me)

Okay, that’s all I have time for now. More to come later this week.

After taking most of the summer away from video games (simply because there are way too many outdoor activities which draw my attention – ie. barbecues most importantly) I realized only a few short weeks ago that when patch 6.0.2 drops players are no longer able to get the achievement and mount that comes with getting a Garrosh kill on Normal mode. I assumed that would happen in November when the expansion actually goes live. I didn’t even think about the pre-expac patch. Now that it was almost too late, I realized I really wanted to try and get it accomplished.

I’m not going to make this a long post and talk about all the different groups and attempts that I’ve been involved in the past 2 weeks. Basically, my guildies immediately offered to help but the majority of the raiding team was still afk and taking a break before the next tier comes out and they go back to the hard work of full time raiding again. Combine that with the fact that I felt like I was imposing for even asking them in the first place and the fact that I’m a terrible organizer who scheduled things way too late in the evening without paying any attention to the fact most of them were in EST time zone and that really didn’t work out too well.

Next, a couple of co-workers who play said they might be able to find a group to help me get it because they pug on their server all the time. This is the first lesson I learned: Cross Realm raiding is a thing now! I am terrible at reading patch notes and keeping up with changes in the game, so I had no idea. The messaged me a few days later that they had found someone with a lock at Garrosh so I quickly joined and then promptly waited the next hour or so trying to find a few more people to join us. And again the next day. And again the next day. Then we lost our Garrosh lock and started over with help from some of their guildies who had been raiding earlier in the year but had just returned from their own summer hiatus. We had to pug 3 dps, but we cleared 4 bosses on Tuesday, 4 more on Wednesday and progress was being made. Here’s the second lesson I learned: I’m not the worst player in the history of players. I don’t know why I have no confidence in myself as a player. I’m totally afraid of doing something stupid but there’s no reason to be. I also learned that even though my dps isn’t at the top of the charts I do have good raid awareness (as long as the fight’s been explained and I know what to watch for) and I’m not one of the ones who’s going to die first by standing in shit.

Sidenote: I used to be that person who would sometimes die by standing in shit and never did understand it because on my screen I wouldn’t see myself standing in shit. Then over the summer I bought a new processor and a new video card and I truly believe I now see shit faster than I used to and I hop out of shit pretty quickly these days.

Then on Thursday I got some news that affected the amount of time I would be able to be online over the weekend. I had some family business to attend to out of town back and forth over several days. So my coworkers became more determined to get me the kill. We had managed to get up to Thok over the past week, but now that time was limited, they went out and found someone with a lock at Garrosh and we went for it. Again, it was a pugged group. We needed bodies and weren’t getting volunteers with huge ilvls, but we took what we could get. We wiped on Garrosh over 15 times Thursday night. In total, in 2 weeks, I was now up to 24 wipes on him. We tried our little hearts out but we just couldn’t make it happen. The fact that we did clear to Thok and I wasn’t carried by a raid team does mean something to me. I feel like I earned those bosses. I feel good about them.

Vidyala had told me about a guild who was offering to run people through before the patch and I did put my name down there, but since I was already saved up to Thok this week and since they are planning on doing the run tonight and I have to go back out of town in an hour for visitation tonight and a funeral tomorrow, it didn’t work out for me. I had another guild offer to run me through on the Horde side tonight, but again I won’t be home tonight and while I do have a level 90 horde toon, she’s never even been to the Timeless Isle so that’d be quite a carry. Lol. But these things lead to the fourth lesson I’ve learned… I keep playing this game because of people like this. People who are willing to spend their evenings dragging me towards an achievement I haven’t truly earned even though they’ve already earned it and don’t need to be in there spending their time and energy doing it again. My guildies, my friends from work, my twitter friends, new friends I’ve made while pugging these past 2 weeks – this is the beauty of the game. This is why I can never truly leave.

So to recap, these are the lessons I’ve learned in my last minute chase for Ahead of the Curve:
1. Cross Realm raiding is a thing now! If I’m interested in doing more than flex during the expansion, I can. And I can do it in my free time with other people who aren’t quite committed to full time raiding but do want to accomplish these things the same way I do.

2. I’m not the worst player in the history of players. I’m too hard on myself and I worry about what others think of me more than I worry about doing the things I want to do. I’ve got to relax and not be afraid of trying new things. There are lots of in-game goals I am interested in but never even bother trying. That’s going to change.

3. I may not top the charts on dps, but I have really good raid awareness and that’s important. High dps doesn’t mean much if that person dies to fire on the ground 4 minutes in. Slow and steady and still alive can be a good thing.

4. I play this game because of friendship and amazing people. To expand on this, I am going to be paying more attention to people I get grouped with and strike up more conversations with people I meet. I need to expand my list of bnet friends and immerse myself into the community while actually in the game, not just while on Twitter.

While I am sad I didn’t get the achievement, I am not upset about it. I am fully aware I waited way too late to decide to try for it. I am so grateful to everyone who did join me and helped me and those who offered help I wasn’t able to take. I am upset there’s been a death in my family, because I will miss my Aunt and it was quite a shock, but I’m certainly not upset that something has taken away time I might have used to finish this up. I am getting ready to head down to my parent’s house and will not be back until Wednesday but I can’t wait to see what the patch has in store for us and I can’t wait to get started on the next big thing I decide to do in game.

Whew. So happy this OCD chapter of my life is done. The elusive Ironfur Steelhorn is finally dead. No more slot machine fucking yaks. Now, I can get back to circling the valley for herbs and ore. Ooooh, or maybe finally login to the Beta. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

 Ironfur Steelhorn

There will be no pictures of slot machines doing naughty things to yaks in this post or vice versa, so if that’s why you clicked this link please know I’ve wasted your time.

My last post here is dated 5/26/14 and it was all about Wildstar. Until tonight, the last time I logged into WoW was just a few days after that post. So it has been roughly 6 weeks since I last spent 2 or 3 hours riding around in a circle on the Timeless Isle and watching for the Ironfur Steelhorn yak to appear. Because that’s all I had been doing in WoW for quite some time. That fucking yak is the last rare I need to complete the Timeless Champion achievement and HAS been the last rare I’ve needed for a long time. I had slowly gotten obsessed.

It started innocently enough. I’d login to Elfi, harvest & replant my garden, fly out to the Isle and spend 30ish minutes killing shit and gathering coins. Then I’d either do some LFR with Elfi or I’d switch over to one of my alts and do some stuff. A few months back I realized I was close to finishing the legendary cloak quest line & I stopped spending time on alts and spent most of my time logged into Elfi on the Timeless Isle waiting for the LFR queue. I had always been on the lookout for the Ironfur Steelhorn, but at this point I started hunting him more seriously. I’d use the windfeather buff and run circles around the Celestial Court killing all the yaks, even the babies. By the time I finally did get my cloak & didn’t have to do any of that anymore, I had become addicted to the hunt.

I’m a gambler. Not in general; I don’t flip coins with friends to see who pays for dinner or take a chance on getting through stop lights that have been yellow for a few seconds. I mean I love me a fucking slot machine. Or anything fairly close to a slot machine – like those games at the fair where you drop a quarter in and hope it pushes more quarters off the edge for you. My eyes glaze over and I become irrational. It’s not that I go insane and start betting large amounts of money; I totally prefer penny slots because if you go to the casino with $100 you can play longer on penny slots. It’s amount of time played that’s my issue. I can’t quit playing. I don’t want to quit playing. I have gone on a spontaneous trip to the casino at like 11pm on a Friday night after working all day and will sit there blankly staring at a slot machine until 6am. There’s no way I could have stayed up that long doing anything else.

Lucky for me, I don’t live in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. The closest casinos to me are about an hour away, located on Indian land in Oklahoma. Not something I can just pop by on my way home from work. Also lucky for me, I love spending money. Which means I probably put more money into slot machines every couple of months than most people would, but also means when I set myself a limit of how much I’m going to spend I usually only hit the ATM once for an extra $80. 😛 [edited to clarify: I love spending money on all sorts of silly toys and games and trips and food, so I know better than to waste all of my extra income on the slots]

Restraint. I almost haz it.

Okay, do you see the connection here between the yak and the slot machine story? After I finished the legendary questline and didn’t need to queue LFR to get specific drops I started spending 4 or 5 hours a night doing nothing more than riding that same circle and killing those same yaks, even the babies. I quit gardening, I quit doing dailies, I quit logging into my alts. Never saw the bitch once – not even it’s corpse.

Queue recent 6 week(ish) absence from WoW. Tonight I had some extra time and was excited to be able to login to Elfi and spend some time in this game I love so much. Hey guess what? I’ve done nothing other than hunt the yak. Right back into the same pattern EXCEPT TONIGHT SOMETHING DIFFERENT HAPPENED as you can see by the below image.

twiter feed

Obviously that’s from my Twitter feed so you read bottom to top. You know the drill. Yep, that totally happened. In minutes. But did it make me want to rage quit? Nope. At this point, the Ironfur Steelhorn is like a slot machine to me. I might as well start calling it my Brokeback Mountain because I can’t fucking quit it. Just like when I’m playing the slots I can’t help but think the next push of the button may be the big one. The next yak I see may be the one I need. The next $0.40 bet I make may win me $500. The next loop I make around the Celestial Court may put me face to face with him.

That’s what WoW has been reduced to for me. I can’t imagine doing anything else in game until this achievement is complete.