Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween

Nothing WoW related here today, just an epic video. If you’ve never actually watched the Thriller video in it’s entirety, or simply haven’t seen it in years, you should take 14 minutes to do so now. It keeps going even after the credits start rolling. It’s a truly big deal.

Finally, No More Dark Soil For Me

As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent the past several weeks absolutely obsessed with farming dark soil. But I am happy to report that is no longer going to be a massive time suck for me as I am now best friends with the 10 Tiller farmers who I’ve been spending all my time sucking up to. I had been worried about whether or not I would be able to break my dark soil habit once I no longer needed it, but was relieved to discover that while I can still see the random piles of dirt, they are no longer lootable for me. Thank. The. Gods. Now I will have more time to queue for heroics and work on some of the more important reputation grinds which will actually give me gear and other useful things. Not that I’m mouthing the Tiller reputation, because farming is fun and I love my animals and other things I received. But those things aren’t going to advance my game and that is my main goal for this expansion. Which reminds me, I still need to write a bucket list post for what I want to accomplish in Mists.

Anywho, hooray for best friends!

The One Where … Hold On, Time To Circle The Heartland

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I want to do differently this expansion is try and stay as current as (casually) possible with content. This means actually memorizing dungeons and heroics by repeatedly running them and even getting a look at raids when I get the chance. Since I leveled to 90 fairly quickly and started doing the Golden Lotus dailies pretty steadily the first several days afterwards, you’d think I’d be well on my way to making some progress towards this goal. You would be wrong. Instead, I spend hours a day like this:

Why? Because about 2 weeks ago, after doing my Golden Lotus dailies and planting my 4 crops, I was flying around gathering herbs to sell and discovered Dark Soil. My life has not been the same since. Hello, my name is Elfi and I am addicted to Dark Soil. I don’t know what it is about these random, EVIL piles of dirt that allowed them to dig their way right into the mostly tiny spot of OCD I possess, but they arrived there quickly and entrenched themselves firmly. I simply cannot NOT look for them. Some nights I find several dozen, some nights I only find a few. Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. Okay, you can ignore that last sentence. I was just having some FUN.

Yes, they are useful in helping me increase my friendships with some of the Tiller members so it’s not like it’s a total waste of time to search for Dark Soil. If you find one and manage to loot it before another player finds it and loots it (I was so excited the first night I found 2 or 3 spawns in a matter of minutes, I paused next to one and whispered one of my friends to share the news of my good fortune. The 10 seconds it took me to type the sentence was just enough time for another player to land beside my dirt pile and grab the loot for himself. Sad face.) then you get a gift which you can present to one of the Tiller members to gain friendship with them. There are achievements for gaining Best Friend status with any one member and an achievement for gaining Best Friend status with all 10 members. Once you become Best Friends, there are rewards to be had. For an excellent guide to the Tillers Farming in general, as well as more information about gaining friendships with these 10 members, their locations, and subsequent rewards, I recommend using the Tillers Farming guide from El’s Extreme Anglin’. The stuff related to Dark Soil gifts is located a little over halfway down the page under the header Tillers Friendship. I’m nearly to Good Friend with 5 of them just from giving them the gifts I have been finding. Once I get those 5 convinced to be my Best Friend, I will start giving gifts to the other five.

My concern is, once I have all 10 members convinced that I’m their Best Friend will I be able to give up looking for Dark Soil? The gifts you loot are soulbound, so they cannot be traded or sold. And if I don’t need to turn them in to anyone any longer then there’s no point in getting them. But there is something so satisfying to me about finding these stupid dirt piles. I can’t explain it. They don’t appear on your mini-map (though a gathering add-on will continue to show you where you have found one before so you can see the general areas to search), they don’t sparkle or make themselves noticeable in any way. They just randomly appear; under buildings, next to rocks, in the shadow of giant carrots. I guess it’s the thrill of the hunt. I imagine it’s probably the same sort of way hunters feel about deer season. You have to be alert, carefully scanning your surroundings, watching other hunters in the area to make sure you find the elusive prey before they do. Strike quickly (druid flight-form looting ftw), get your loot and move on in search of the next one. It’s a game within a game within a game to me. I love it. I hate that I love it. I am sort of hoping after all 10 members are at Best Friend status some sort of phasing takes place so I no longer even see Dark Soil spawn. Then maybe I’ll get back to the business of seeing all the content.

For reference, here’s a picture of the evil:

The One Where I’m Overwhelmed And Sorta Loving It

My entire WoW career, I’ve been behind. I started playing during Burning Crusades and since I was a complete noob and leveled as a resto druid (I didn’t know any better), I only reached level 70 about a week or two before Wrath dropped. I was lucky enough to get completely carried through Karazhan by the guild I was in at the time because they had the place on farm status. So I did get to see Kara when it was mostly current and I did get the Vampiric Batling pet that dropped from Prince Tenris during the Scourge event. But I don’t consider that as meaning I raided Kara. Far from it. I also didn’t run many dungeons as there was no LFD tool and I was too shy and polite to bother my raiding guildies by asking for help and/or dungeon runs. Since I’m not a big alt’er, I am still very unfamiliar with most low-level dungeons. I don’t have any of them memorized, layout wise or boss wise. I would estimate I haven’t been through any one of them more than 10 times total, not counting The Stockades which I run above level as a way of farming wool when necessary. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are still some out there I have never even ran yet.

I don’t remember exactly when I finally reached level 80 in Wrath, but I can assure you it was not super fast. The guild pretty much had Naxx on farm mode before I started dipping my toes into the place and even though I did get to run it enough with them that I mostly had it memorized, I certainly didn’t feel as though I was helping with progression at all. I was just someone who was available to go sometimes. I only saw the first 3 bosses of Ulduar (until during Cata when myself and 6 others revisited and completed the place) and the first 3 of Icecrown Citadel (never have finished this place) and I know for a fact there are some dungeons I’ve never completed in Northrend.

When Cata launched I was determined to be better at keeping up. It didn’t happen. Between Cata heroics starting out so damn difficult that I lost my will to heal and the fallout of a major guild breakup and my unhappiness with the situation, I didn’t do jack shit in Cata. I eventually switched guilds after debating it for months but the new guild was in the process of becoming divided so I sorta let myself just fade into the background there. I definitely haven’t been in every dungeon from this expansion and I only got to see the first 2 Firelands bosses once.

Cut to playing Star Wars: The Old Republic since pre-launch in a full-time raiding guild. My first ever experience as a weekly, serious raider. Guess what? I love raiding. I’m still raiding in SWTOR with the same guild I started the game with, though I suck at committing to weekend raiding consistently through summer.

During my time in SWTOR, I never left WoW completely. I chose to delete all my real ID friends (all 4 of them) and roll a horde toon on a random server just as an escape because even though I don’t have any personal issues with anyone I’ve been involved with in-game, I also wasn’t in a great place. Does that make sense? I didn’t play much at all for a good 6 month period, but I couldn’t give it up completely. Over the past few months my addiction to WoW finally started to increase once again and just a few weeks before Mists was released I started playing my old Alliance toons and joining new guilds and getting excited about the game like I used to be. This time, this expansion, I am going to get it right. I’m going to do all the content, see all the sights, and thanks to Battletag grouping and LFR, I hope to even see the raids while they’re current.

I power-leveled Elfindale to 90 in 5 days. That was huge for me. Then I took a few days off because my ass and legs were very pissed at me for forcing them to stay in an office chair for so long. Once I logged back in to begin my dailies and start concentrating on endgame, I got lost in a sea of Farmville, Pokemon, and unlimited dailies in numerous zones. I am completely overwhelmed. I know that the Golden Lotus dailies are important for gearing up for raiding but I’m not actually a part of a raiding team, so do I need to rush into that? The Cloud Serpent dailies will get me a cool mount. Fishing dailies would be something I would enjoy and fishing can make me money. Leveling up cooking and growing food seems like fun and a good money maker and important to raiding so maybe I should start there? I am so unsure of where to begin. There are just too many things. I am actually way more interested in pet battles than I ever thought I’d be, so I want to spend some time in that area too.

So here I am, starting an expansion with dreams of being a “real” WoW player for once and already I’m just flitting around aimlessly and not making good use of my time. I have got to figure out how to change that part of me. Transferring servers, playing SWTOR as my main game for a long time, surrounding myself with some different people in WoW and the fact that the expansion seems to be a really great one have all combined to make me a very happy player. But if I can’t find a direction for myself I’m really afraid I’ll end up back in the same routine and I really don’t want to do that. I want to enjoy Mists and all that it has to offer. I want this to be my time to shine.

Are any of you feeling overwhelmed with all there is to do? How are you deciding what to prioritize?

Ding! Level 90

Yeah, I know… a lot of people have hit level 90 already. And those that haven’t have legitimate reasons for not doing so, such as lack of play time or purposely concentrating on other things in-game. But this is huge for me because I’m the world’s slowest leveler. I’m very impressed with myself for setting a reasonable goal and achieving it. Honestly, with my style of derp play derp it was quite a feat. Between getting distracted by shiny things, composing screenshots, tabbing out to Wowhead because I was lost, wandering away from the keyboard several times an hour because sitting there makes me restless, etc., etc., I didn’t know if I would get it done before the weekend was over. I set my goal time for 11:30pm on Sunday evening because that’s when I leave the house for my Monday morning (12:00am) shift at work. When the magic moment finally happened at 10:00pm, I was so relieved. Now I can finally worry about my professions and reputations and start doing dailies. I may even try out the whole pet battle thing I used to think I had no interest in.

In fact, when the expansion was first announced I was fairly certain I had no interest in any of it. Fortunately, I did decide to check out the beta back in the spring and that piqued my curiosity enough that I began to get a bit excited about things. Combine that with a good 7 or so months of practically total immersion into SWTOR and by the time August rolled around with 5.0 coming soon and the expansion itself right around the corner, I began working myself into a frenzy. The old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ was certainly true in this instance because once I began logging into WoW more regularly again, I found myself really wanting to be there all the time. My experience with Mists has been fantastic. The zones are beautiful, the changes in professions are brilliant, there are new mounts, new pets, new dungeons. Some of the things I thought were silly a year ago when I was reading about them are actually not so damn silly at all. I do tend to agree with people who complain about the linear questing being redundant when leveling up alts, but enjoying those quests on my main was amazing. And she’s really the only one I have an emotional attachment to at this point. When I do finally take an alt to 90, it just means I don’t have to bother reading the quest text because I’ve already done so. And I won’t get turned around and lost as much as I did the first time through. Maybe.

I’ve been reading so many great blog posts about everyone’s impressions of Mists and I realize I’m days behind and have nothing new to add. I’m okay with that considering I retired from blogging back in May. Luckily, when I wrote my last post I was smart enough to leave myself a loophole. The Favre factor. And since it’s football season Mists of Pandaria has finally arrived, I’m feeling the lure of the WordPress dashboard more and more. Yep, there may be a return to activity around here. For one thing, I need to compile a bucket list within the next 2 weeks or so of things I want to accomplish and set myself some date ranges for getting them completed. I have not done that with any of the previous expansions and I always end up sad about what I missed out on or didn’t bother finishing. And there’s just so much new, cool stuff going on now. Not to mention so many new screenshot opportunities.

Okay, let’s make it official… just like Brett Favre, I have changed my mind about retirement. I’m back in the game as a blogger. Don’t expect me to start out at a full run, I’ve got to stretch my muscles and slowly get back into shape. But I do believe I have just made a return to the game.

In the meantime, here’s a small sampling of screenshots you’ve likely already seen.