I’ve shared with several of you over the past 48 hours, but I haven’t seen everyone online to share. Yesterday, Minnesota officially became the 12th state to legally recognize same-sex marriages.
That means that Sona and I are getting married on August 1st of this year. While we will not be having an in-game wedding (I’ve got things to plan outside Azeroth, and a mere 10 weeks to do it in); we will likely be having an in-game something to commemorate the event. I’ll certainly keep you all posted.
We completed two achievements this week, and both were quite a bit of a big deal. The first was That’s a Lot of Quest Text. It was completed with 6 active members, and essentially what we did was all went and worked on leveling alts – but not really together. Our biggest contributers at the end were Ramias and Petalrose, alts of Jackoby and Yawondergirl, respectively.
Muirri also put in some significant time questing, getting her to 85, and the second achievement for the week: A Class Act.
I certainly learned something from the excursions of the past couple of weeks, and that’s if I point my guild in a direction, they try and get it done! It feels good to have that kind of guild loyalty, to know that if I ask these people to do something, they will do it to the best of their ability.
Now I just need to figure out where to point them next. The easy answer, looking at our guild progress page, would be to knock out that last Northrend dungeon – but it’s Heroic Trial of the Champion, which, at least at 85, couldn’t be duo’ed by people with low-average jousting skills. I think I’d rather have a 5-man team for that one. Besides, having everyone there for that achievement would be very special, since I think every one of us worked on the achievement at some point.
The only other achievement we are within a stone’s throw of is A Daily Routine, which is likely what I’ll point the guild towards next. It should be fairly easy, most of us at least do one daily hub on the days we’re online.
I’m a bit of a list maker. I like to know what I need or want to do. This has become a bit more of a habit since I have started to have a bad memory for these things. Getting older sucks. But sometimes… lists, they are scary. Sometimes having it all written down makes it hard to see what to do next. Sometimes it’s too much.
Case in point. I just made a list of everything I would do in WoW every day if I had no other responsibilities. It looks like this:
- Inscription Research x2
- Living Steel Cooldown
- Silk Cooldown
- DE collected greens
- JC Research
- Argent Tournament Dailies
- Magnificence Cooldown
- Klaxxi Dailies
- August Celestial Dailies
- Farm Leather as needed
- Farm Herbs/Ore as needed for cooldowns
And none of that includes Wednesday night Guild Randomness, or Thursday night Dwarven Dungeon Crawls. To be fair, I raid on most Tuesdays and frequently on weekends, and I can usually get more than one in on those days. Since Blizz has not implemented bonus Valor for raids at this point, it doesn’t matter so much when I do them at all. For Scenarios and Dungeons, though, getting bonus Valor definitely has its advantages. So if I could, I’d do at least one of those each day.
But a whole lot of those things, you say, take only a few minutes. (And really, all those profession things – most people don’t have all those professions). And that’s very true, the list in and of itself isn’t that bad. But the length of the list is what is daunting.
And here’s another thing that intrigues me. How many other games that people play do they make lists for? Really, playing a game is about fun. So, to make myself feel better about my list, which looks a vaguely like work, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I do these things:
Inscription and JC Research: I don’t like paying for my glyphs and gems off the AH. Auction House purchases can keep you in the poor house, and I have things I’d like to purchase with my gold, like mounts! Also, the random process adds something to it: What will I learn today?
Silk and Magnificence Cooldowns: I find it fascinating to learn what I’ll discover, and also whether I get a silkworm. The items from the patterns have also been selling well.
Living Steel Cooldown: This is mostly for money, or, at the moment, for guildies. It’s also fun to see if I’m going to proc a second bar, though I have terrible luck with that when I’m trying to make it to do something with.
Farms: Gurdrid is currently farming motes, but will go back to farming for rep when she’s done making a couple of pieces of gear. Breige is strictly farming for rep right now. I find farming amusing and relaxing to do, so as an added method of getting things I want, it’s quite worthwhile.
Argent Tournament Dailies: This is literally a means to an end for me. I want the mounts from the Argent Tournament – some for the mounts themselves, but mostly because they’re an easy way for me to get to the next mount achievement, and the KITE!
The rest of Breige’s activities: Breige doesn’t strictly have to do the dailies. She could head over to the Isle of Thunder and jump in there. She’s got good enough gear to get into the next raid I haven’t seen yet, and really, the point of the gear is to get to the next raid for me, not the gear itself. But, I want the achievements that go with the dailies, so I’m doing the dailies.
Scenarios and dungeons are another thing that are a mix between fun and profit. I like doing them, and bonus valor and rep are always a plus. So I try to get them in on days that I want to do group content. I will always opt to do these with guildies first, given the choice. (And will often do many scenarios in a row with guildies, but only one or two with strangers)
Raiding is something I’ve missed for a long time. I haven’t raided since vanilla, and I wasn’t going to raid on a tank, so Gurdrid was out of the question. I decided on Breige to try and see if I’d like playing her because of Bear’s comments about his hunter, mostly. And I’m finding that I like ranged DPS more than I ever expected. Even more surprising is that having a pet doesn’t completely suck all the time. I have no idea whether I’m a good hunter or not, but I try, and I try to get better. And I like doing it.
Farming Leather, Ore, and Herbs as needed: This is really a support clause. If I want to do other things, I need these resources, and it’s generally cheaper to farm than it is to buy. So I opt for farming, mostly.
Auctions: I think this goes without saying. You make more money selling things on the AH than vendoring them, so Auctions it is.
Muirri: My little monk is closing in on 85 quickly. The monk playstyle isn’t one I would want to use as a main, but I am enjoying it. She’ll likely become my bank toon and hang out in Stormwind doing fishing and cooking dailies once she reaches 85 and nets the guild their achievement. But I almost always have one toon I’m actively questing on, for when endgame gets boring. It’s a great breakup of activities.
The nice thing that this list does, though, is reminds me why I do what I do. Why is important, particularly for the things that I don’t like doing in and of themselves (mostly, that’s the Argent Tournament dailies.)
Last night while I was busily running an LFR that was quickly falling apart, my guildies were busy trying to get enough ghost iron and/or trillium to provide to the alchemists for Living Steel – specifically to get Yawondergirl a couple of crafted gear upgrades.
And in the process, they completed Mighty Miners.
In that LFR, however, Breige ended up saving the day against the Sha of Fear. At 1% (probably less) health, there were 5 raid members still alive. Breige and 4 healers. I popped Sionnach’s taunt on and went to town, blowing every single unblown cooldown I had. I know I saw a couple of Smite/Holy shock type spells go off on the sha, and I did have to use Sionnach’s Heart of the Phoenix, but the Sha died, and we got our goody bags (for me, it turned out to be cash). It was amazing fun. I just need to figure out if there’s any way I can do a better job of getting Lei Shi while she’s hiding. As far as I can tell, as a hunter, it’s a crap shoot whether I put down my traps in the right place.
Some of my fellow bloggers have posted about the sha touched weapon (or weapons in general this expansion). In particular, hunters, and the utter lack of weapons available to us as upgrades from the blue 463 ilvl drops. I’ll admit I haven’t looked much into any other class than hunter, but I will say that across 5 LFRs, there are what feels like a dozen options to get a belt, but only two weapons, and an equally abysmal opportunity for rings and trinkets.
Can we have a little balance here, Blizz? I have but one waist. Yet two hands and two… ears? (I’m not sure what that empty slot image is supposed to represent.) Certainly, I have more need of options for trinkets and rings than I do for belts. Really now.
Breige got 5 belts running LFR over the last two resets (an average of nearly one per queue). And one trinket. No rings. To be fair, she did also get two tier pieces, and her sha touched weapon. I find it interesting that my first seven extra rolls all yielded cash. My 8th provided me with the weapon, and the 9th the trinket. And I’ve gotten several other new pieces of gear, even when I was only rolling for slots that were seriously lacking.
I’m at ilvl 476 already, but still need to gem, enchant, and balanced all the gear (And figured out which darned belt I actually want to use, I have three to choose from) again. Raiding is expensive. Especially since I don’t like listening to guns, so even if I mog nothing else, I gotsta be carrying a bow.
I also find it interesting that I have a total of 7 of the 20 required sigils to move on in the legendary quest line. I’m not particularly worked up about that, though, as it means I’ll have to PvP, and potentially get good at it. I’m sure the folks who PvP a whole lot aren’t all that excited about those raiders who are just after their legendary in the queues. Unless, of course, they’re on the opposing faction. Although, from what Navi says, winning a hair-raising battleground seems to be much more enjoyable than face-rolling the opponent. But again, I digress…
In a big way, I’m relieved that I got the weapon; but at the same time, I realize that I’m missing out on a certain amount of excitement that comes from finally getting something after weeks of attempting it without fruition. On the other hand, Attumen still owes me a pony, darn it.
And looking at my profile on the armory, I realize that the very first thing I’m going to do when I get home tonight is move my trinket to the other slot, so I can have myself not one but three achievements.
I haven’t paid a lot of attention to guild achievements lately. This is, in part, because it takes us a long time to get many of them done. Usually.
But I was just updating things today, and I have to make a shout out now to three of my guildies – Jackoby, Yawondergirl and Phinkbunny. They went and did all seven scenarios required for Scenario Roundup in one afternoon. Awesome!
There’s a few other things that we’ve been steadily working on, and I’m going to share them, because it’s just so cool that we’ve been getting somewhere. If you think we’re late to the party, well, that’s what a Tiny Guild gets you – slow, but interesting work.
A Class Act
We’ve been at 10/11 for a while. We didn’t get our priest prior to the achievement being changed, but that’s beside the point. Muirri is at level 82. And I think I’m just about to get the bug and push her to 85. Once she gets there, she may well become my bank toon. So we are really at 932/935 levels. Doesn’t that just put a fire under the leveller?
That’s a Lot of Quest Text
Last time I looked, we were at around 39,000, but now we’re over 49k. 10,000 quests in a couple of months (last update was in February, you see) Awesome. I know we have at least three toons being actively leveled right now via questing (the dwarves of the dungeon crawls don’t really count. Sure we do the quests when we have them, but we’re about dungeons, not questing).
A Daily Routine
Another achievement that got a shot in the arm – this is directly related, I believe, to people discovering what the different factions in Pandaria have to offer. Oh, and me hunting for Elder Charms and Valor.
Mighty Miners is a focus of mine right now. We’re at 96% and can literally get 4 guild miners on at the same time. So that’s what we’ll be doing on Wednesday night – in Azeroth, where mining yields stone as well as ore. If anyone has any suggestions of good places to go hunting (I’m thinking about Un’Goro, Winterspring, and Badlands for sure, but wouldn’t mind 2-3 other good mining locations quality of ore doesn’t matter. Density is what I’m looking for)
We’re at 7/9 here, missing only the August Celestials and Shado-Pan. Unfortunately, I think the folks who have these available are less interested in finishing them out (except, well, me, but I’m frequently a Rep Hound)
Running a Tiny Guild can be joyous. When you have a player who discovers something new, or when all of the guild members just hit on the same idea at once, and everyone comes together to accomplish a major achievement. These are especially poignant moments in a tiny guild because, by its very nature, everyone knows everyone else. Even if you never talk to the player, you still know a bit about them, just because there’s so little other guild traffic.
But it has its downside, too. Personalities have to mesh well –at least the players have to be able to deal with those personalities they conflict with well – or there will be drama. It’s much like the back seat of Mom & Dad’s car – do the kids play, or do they gripe and poke at one another? Luckily, we have a group of pretty laid-back players; so getting along with one another isn’t much of a problem in Higher Authority.
It does cause a completely different problem though. In a tiny guild, there’s almost always one person who has to come up with things to do. In the case of Higher Authority, that person is me. It’s really unsurprising that I became the guild leader when our previous GL’s account got hacked, and he didn’t want to bother to restart the guild. I play by far the most of any member of the guild. And I am guild-loyal to the point that toons I have scattered elsewhere get little, if any play time. I also tend to be the one who comes up with ideas for group content.
I started the Dwarven Dungeon Crawl (they’re level 60, and will be launching themselves into outland dungeons this week!); and when the Laid Back Dungeons took a turn toward the slow, I implemented Guild Randomness. These things have both gotten our crew playing more. Which is awesome. But if I’m not there… well, they just don’t happen without me.
Another thing that’s tough in a tiny guild is actually the ability of the players. You really can get any level of ability, from tanking priests or extreme hunters to people who have no idea what their abilities really do. We sort of have a tanking priest (she doesn’t tank dungeons. But she plays that priest like a tank, picked talents like a tank… you get the idea), but the most extreme hunter antics we have are the stupid things I do, not awe-inspiring tames or exteme soloing antics.
In Higher Authority, I am sometimes frightened to say that I am among the best informed and most skilled players. I don’t consider myself particularly skilled. I am an adequate tank when I know the fights well and can over gear them. I am an adequate hunter for LFR. I am not stellar at either of those roles, regardless of the level of the content. I read up, so that I am at least using logical glyphs and talents, and am gemmed and enchanted correctly. I know my stat priorities and I keep my DPS hit caps.
At another corner of the triangle is a player who was so badly burned when he played a tank in vanilla that he refuses to read strategy, and sometimes even refuses to follow directions in dungeons, joking all the way.
And then we have the players who don’t really know that there are outside resources for the game. They recently asked me how I knew something, and I told them I’d looked it up on WoWhead, which they’d never heard of.
I’m sure a lot of raiders are cringing right now, but it’s my tiny guild, and what we do have is genuine fun. We might not be able to discuss tactics for 4-manning Flame Leviathan, but we do get excited about being able to get black drakes and the genuine surprise of my guild mates at what I think of as simple things is endearing. And I bet I could talk them all into running Karazahn every single week until we all got Attumen’s horse.
Really, I promise, I’m not dead. I actually even waited until today to post (as opposed to yesterday, which seemed a bad day for that particular title.)
I’m up to 136 mounts owned, having collected the Netherwing Drakes. I’ve puttered around with more Argent Tournament, but haven’t gotten to 100 seals yet. Like most things, I tend to go for the most expensive item first, then the lesser items because it makes me feel like it goes faster the longer I do it.
Muirri is level 80. I did a headlong run last weekend to finish off that milestone, and headed her right over to Mt Hyjal after completing her level quest. That was the hardest one thus far. I didn’t play for long, though, so she’s sitting carefully on her two hour buff. I play her mostly on weekends.
Scenarios and LFR
Breige went on a scenario spree! I love scenarios. Short queue times, relatively relaxed environment. The bad apples seem to be few and far between, there, which pleases me. I picked up a few pieces of gear over a couple of evenings of scenarios, the first of which occurred because we had three on for a Wednesday night guild night.
This evening, Breige also ventured into LFR Mogu’Shan Vaults. My first LFR experience. Unfortunately, I got tossed into an already-started group, so missed out on the Stone Guard the first pass through. A second pass put me in at the start, so I was able to pick them up to finish the front half. I also picked up two pieces of gear. Not wanting to reforge and then potentially have to do it again later, I just waited to put on the new gear, and hopped into the back half of MSV.
Sadly, that didn’t go nearly as well as the front half. I got locked out of the Spirit Kings, though my pet didn’t, so I diligently pushed pet skill buttons while I stood outside the swirling mists. And.. I got pants! Yay, no more PvP Pants! On Elegon I fell the first time the floor disappeared. How embarrassing. But I wasn’t the only one. Other people complained about lag. I can’t claim that was my problem, I wasn’t trying to move, having not realized how the mechanic works. I didn’t use an extra roll on Elegon because I already have slightly better shoulders. I lived through Will, though. And got my Helm, but not my Bow. So we’ll see if I’m going to be in the bow or no bow school.
I certainly can’t complain about my first week through, though. 4 pieces of gear. 469 ilvl once I switched into the new gear. And, of course, Valor. But not enough of the really good reps to get something awesome. I did pick up the Operation: Shieldwall ring, though, which put me over the edge to 471, so if I really wanted to, I can now do Heart of Fear. I may do that this weekend if we end up having some time. Not sure, though.
Of course, now I have the pants for her planned mog. I guess that means I need to go bug Kael for a certain chestpiece, and figure out how to solo Chess so I can get the bow I plan to use.
Since we’ve been doing more as a guild, my guildies have been on more, which meant an evening of running scenarios, as I said, with Jackoby and Yawondergirl, as well as another evening with Phinkbunny. When Phink and I were running, we picked up Danea for a couple, which was fun! Also, while I was out of town (in Texas, which tried to kill me – not the people, the state) Jack, Yaw and Phink were all on on a Saturday for several hours running Scenaturday, and giving the guild the Scenario Roundup Achievement, and Scenaturday for themselves.
Coincidentally, we’re also now at 89/100 guild challenges. See, this is what it means to be a Tiny guild. We’re level 25, sure. But getting 3 people into a Scenario is easier than getting three of us into an instance! Also, we have a mere 785 Acheivement points. Why? Because cooking, fishing, and killing critters are the only count-related things we’ve really finished. See, most of us would rather be questing in some capacity than farming. And 100,000 ore is a whole lot, even if every single guild member has an active toon who mines.
After two weeks of running my Wednesday night “event” as a guild night, we’ve had a group of four both nights. It’s about the most difficult group to go, too. We’re not too keen on PuGGing Mists dungeons, since none of us really know the fights (I know, research time for me.) 3 would be Scenarios, 5 would be, well, a 5-man, and 6 would break up into two scenario groups, which would make Skype highly entertaining, I’m sure. More than six and we start looking at raids with a serious eye.
But, we had four. Our first night, we tried to do Cata heroics with a Ret Paladin turned healer more or less for the evening. That didn’t turn out too well, though that might have been because we were trying to do Blackrock Caverns.
Last night, I asked the innocent question, “Do you guys want to try and do 10-man Obsidian Sanctum, I don’t have the Black Drake yet.” I didn’t know if we could, to be honest. I only know that four mediocrely geared level 85s struggled with 25-man. There was discussion about whether anyone else could roll on the mount, to which I said, “of course! And we can come back next week, to get more.” So off we went. And boom. Dead dragon. Mount reins to be rolled on. Jackoby passed, but Yawondergirl and Phink both rolled as well as, you know, me. The one with 128 mounts. And I won! Woohoo. We took a picture of our first little success, with everyone on their “spiffyest” mount.
Once we’d done that, I asked the others if they had their Red Protodrakes yet. Jackoby and Yawondergirl haven’t even started the acheivement, and Phink still had several to get, so… off we went to Coldarra to start putting a dent in those acheivements. We came out of the Nexus with a full round of completes, except Chaos Theory, which we stuffed up by killing Anomalus before he opened a chaos rift. Oops! At 90, getting Intense Cold is actually pretty easy – at least with four people. Up to The Oculus to start in on those achievements. We opted against taking Green drakes for our first run through, and we even picked up Make it Count on our first run through even though we weren’t even trying. Phink did fall off his Bronze Drake, so he’ll have to do that one again, but Jack and Yaw both picked up the tick-marks for their red drake riding skillz.
Once we were done there, it was back to Dragonblight to do Azjol Nerub, netting us a full clear of achievements there, and Anh’kahet: The Old Kingdom. I stuffed up remembering Volunteer Work until after one volunteer had been killed, but otherwise, we got another complete set.
Since it was getting late, we finished off the night with a run to Violet Hold – the first of what I’m sure are many, and ticked off Defenseless as well as Xevozz and Moragg tick marks for Lockdown!
Of course, with all those frozen orbs piling up at my feet, I collected enough to get mount # 130, as well…
I have been a mount collector since they took up bag slots. To be fair, at that point, I didn’t “collect” easily acquired mounts like the faction mounts. Instead, I would have one favorite that I would purchase to show the world I had done whatever it was that needed doing. Then, thankfully, Blizzard gave us our mounts on a tab instead of in our bags. And I started collecting mounts in earnest. It didn’t matter to me how easy they were to acquire. They didn’t take up precious bag space, and so were worthwhile. The first mount that I ever pursued heavily was Rivendare’s deathcharger. It just felt right to have taken that mount as a trophy. It wasn’t until Sona and Shoryl were pursuing Argent Dawn rep that I acquired it. Sometime late in Wrath, I believe.
When I first started writing this blog, I gave Shoryl a bit more backstory. She’s from a long line of paladins on her father’s side and priests on her mothers. Her parents both urged her to go into the priesthood after her sister’s strange disappearance (transferring to the Horde). Her father has retired from his active role in the Argent Dawn and now runs a stable for both Paladins and teaching folks to ride. Shoryl keeps her vast selection of mounts in her father’s stable, allowing him to use them to amuse the children or teach others to ride flying mounts.
And she keeps adding to her collection. When I completed the Tushui rep, I immediately bought the twelve turtles available. And realized I was starting to get within spitting distance of 150 mounts, which would make me the proud owner of a jade kite. I covet the kites, and sometimes regret that I’m currently splitting my primary time with two toons, instead of one in Pandaria. But while the tank is fun to play, and a paladin; my hunter has been a blast to play (finally), and ranged DPS is easier for me in the new movement significant combat style of Pandaria. Add to that, Phinkbunny collected everything I needed for the Geosynchronus World Spinner except the mysterious orbs, I was bit by the mount collecting bug again.
At 125 mounts, I started looking for easy ways to pump my numbers. Three obvious things came immediately to mind:
- Purchasable mounts I haven’t picked up yet.
- Crafted Mounts I haven’t crafted yet. Almost all of my professoions are at 600 (waiting on Tailoring and probably First Aid)
- Argent Tournament.
There’s a reason why I haven’t picked up most of the purchasable mounts I don’t have. They’re expensive. Yeah, I know, except the Grand Expedition Yak, none of them beat the 54k I dropped on the World Spinner. But that wasn’t just about being able to get it, that was also about a guildy doing something sweet for me. Living Steel and Spirits of Harmony aren’t “cheap”, either.
There’s a few crafted mounts I haven’t either made or acquired. The jeweled panthers will be the hardest, since my jewelcrafter is not yet 90, so cannot yet get cloud serpent rep to get those patterns. But I’ve missed two of the tailoring patterns and one engineering schematic. Those should be easy to pull together, they don’t use Pandaria mats… Yeah, ok. the list of raw materials is, um. Extensive. Though not impossible to acquire. Then, of course, there’s also acquiring a raptor (Stupid RNG), an Ultramarine Qiraji Battle Tank, and Sandstone Drake from archaeology, and the Sea Turtle from fishing.
I’ve only got Shoryl up beyond the Valiant stage of the Argent Tournament, but I do have characters in four of the five races that I could pretty easily get up to split that work up some… and that’s 11 mounts (14, really, but I’ve already bought the Swift Grey Steed and Argent Hippogryph.)
And Kerridwen was already well into friendly with the Netherwing, making them ripe for the picking. Especially since she’s a dual gatherer, and so can save time by gathering both nethercite ore and nethercite dust while she’s out and about. I’ve learned that she generally has a full turn-in of one or the other by the time she’s done with the dailies.
So, let’s see… That’s 7 through professions that don’t require Mists materials; 12 from the Argent Tournament and 6 from the Netherwing. 25 mounts would, in fact, be enough!