Monthly Archives: October 2012

Intention and Reality

Before Mists came out, I laid out a plan for what I thought I wanted to do. I knew that this plan was what I “thought” I wanted to do, even though I’m sure I spoke in concretes. I based my thoughts on nearly 8 years of experience and, I’ll admit it, some regrets.

The first thing I wanted to do, though, was make sure that Shoryl and Sonaira got as much play time as Sonaira wanted (with the exception of when Gurdrid hit level 89. That last level is always a drive for me. It’s just too exciting!)  Neither Sona nor I expected that we’d spend the entire first day of the expansion on Sona and Shoryl. We both thought Sona would want to do something other than sit in her computer chair and play WoW all day. It’s just the way she’s wired. We both accept that; and we make appropriate accomodations for it. (After all, I have two paladins)   I think I’ve continued to cover that. We’ve learned that Sona and Shoryl are going to RP their way through Pandaria.

To that end, as best as I could, I have remained unspoiled. I didn’t read quests much on Gurdrid. I ignored the comments the NPCs made in my chat window.  I couldn’t miss the themes, but I could skip the details, and I did.

Second on my list was to get Gurdrid to 90 as fast as I could; and get her into heroics. My theory was that if I could get into heroics quickly, I could learn them while people still had patience, and have a chance at having some confidence tanking them. Well, when I finally got a f ull set of Pandaria tanking gear, I queued for a normal (at around level 86); and I had a mediocre-to-poor experience. So, not so much with people having patience. I haven’t set foot in a dungeon since. The asshattery outside in the world has made me think it’s just not worth it to do anything with strangers.

After that,  I was going to work on getting my other toons leveled, so that I could have a complete set of professions at max level and start cashing in.  That hasn’t worked out quite as planned, either. Breige and Kerridwen are trundling along out in the Jade Forest, skinning, herbing and mining – with the fruits of Kerridwen’s labor going to Sveala, and Breige working on her own leatherworking. But they’re sort of held back by me not wanting to spoil Shoryl and Sonaira’s trip. So they are only questing as far as Sona and Shoryl.  Since they’ve got professions that require killing things and/or that give them experience on their own, they are doing some grinding. But grinding is a slow way to level.

Instead of my best-intended plans, what I’m doing is pretty straight-forward:

Shoryl comes out to play when we have a chunk of time for Sona and Shoryl (we had about an hour one day, and got three quests done because we wanted to thoroughly explore Tian Monestary). They did finish Jade Forest last night, and have moved on to the Valley of Four Winds. They’re really really sorry, and hopefully Yu’lon understands why we came back, and killing Mogu is a little bit of atonement.

Gurdrid is hanging out doing dailies. She’ll happily tank for anyone on her friends list (Shoryl#1300 is my battletag), but going it all alone is not going to happen for a while at least. Her order of business has been: Tillers, Order of the Cloud Serpent, Anglers. She’ll look at the others soon, but for now, she’s enjoying these. She just made it to exalted with the Tillers, but she has no best friends yet.

Pet Battles! I didn’t really expect to want to do these; but, you know, I had to try them out. Sometime in the first day I took a look at them and got hooked. I started out trying to find rares of each pet, and now I’m content to only find rares of the interesting ones. (Last night I picked up my rare Tiny Twister just before bed. I think I shall name him Andrew.) I have my first level 10 pet; and I’m finding that pet battling goes nicely with archaeology – even though I frequently can’t fight where I dig. It keeps me flying myself around.  I still find pet battling a diversion from regular WoW activities, rather than an activity to sit down and pursue. But eventually, I’ll need a Minfernal or various other hard to acquire pets for the achievements, and I’ll spend more time on it.  But until then, I’m just going to blithely wander about fighting where I want to, and hunting rares only for the cutest of pets.

And on a final note, since it’s Wednesday, I do plan to do LBDs tonight. I’m one achievement away from my Red protodrake, so a trip into Violet Hold will definitely happen – but then we’ll either look at other protodrake achievements for other people; or we’ll head into Cata dungeons to see what we can start getting there.

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LBD Apology

For those of you who may have been hoping to hit up some LBD goodness last night, I must apologize.  I needed an evening away from WoW, and my life plopped last night in my lap as a perfect opportunity to do some hot tubbing with my dearest, and then we bought some music thanks to a $25 iTunes gift card I got from a work contest (obviously, we didn’t buy it all. After all, some of that is, um….)

Next week looks good for getting back into the runs, so here’s hoping it stays that way.

An Order To Become Friends

When a knock came at the door of our guild house, those few of us sitting in the common area were unsettled. Who would bother us at such an hour? Certainly not an applicant. Something else must be afoot. Shoryl answered, her sword hidden from view behind the door. I slunk low under the table, prepared to pounce. Sonaira seemed to be polishing her shield. It was not something she did except after battle.

A page in the livery of the House of Wrynn stood outside, “Is this the Guild House of Higher Authority?” he asked. Shoryl nodded, and opened the door wider. I lay down under the table as the boy came inside. He brought a scroll out of his coat, “This is a call for all those able bodied and of 85 seasons to come to the castle. More information is in the missive. Shoryl, Sonaira, and Gurdrid, King Wrynn has asked to speak with you personally!”

He wanted to speak with the paladins. Not just the human ones, but all three of the paladins who made up our upper ranks. I yawned loudly, startling the boy a little. Shoryl said, “We’ll wake Gurdrid and we’ll be along to the keep as soon as we are able.”    The page nodded, and ducked out into the night, likely to summon more heroes.

I padded out from the table and changed back to my elfish form. Shoryl looked at me and said, “Go and get Gurdrid, if you would.” Sonaira was already putting on her armor, and Shoryl had taken the polishing cloth down from its shelf above her family’s ceremonial armor.   “And when you’re done, get yourself ready, too, Kerridwen.”

“Who’ll stay here to keep things…” I began to ask. I didn’t really want to go adventuring. Being a druid was harder than many thought. I hated battle. The senseless death.  The smells of blood and fire. Shoryl just stared at me, “all right.” I responded glumly as I climbed the stairs to get the sleeping dwarf. Hopefully they would get whisked off in a hurry to do whatever the King’s bidding was, and I could take my time following after. There were plenty of things I could do from Stormwind that would assist them!

As the three paladins left the guild house, Shoryl shot a look over her shoulder, “Wake or find the others. Give them the page’s message!” It was a momentary diversion, finding everyone could be challenging, as the members of the guild were spread all across Azeroth, and a few were on Draenor as well.

~~~

It had been 10 days since Sonaira, Shoryl and Gurdrid had left for what seemed to be a new continent. They’d sent mail, saying they were on an important mission. Gurdrid was faring very well in the new land. I had been rallying the others, always coming back to the guild house to take care of whatever general business there was, trying to get out of following along.  And then a page came late in the evening with a missive for me from King Wrynn.  I was to go to Pandaria. I was to find his son. Why me? Had Gurdrid and the others failed – certainly they’d been looking for the King’s own son? Had something awful happened to Anduin, and Varian wanted a little known druid from a tiny guild to blame it on?

Unfortunately, I had sworn my allegience to the Alliance, and as a daughter of Elune I had to answer the specific summons. I could no longer pretend to support from home.   And so I reported to the air ship, and began my tour of duty. 

The flight to the uncharted continent was uneventful until the last moments, when we discovered Horde gunships and a base of operations. The orders went out, and I found myself on one of those flying contraptions, bombing the Horde. A brand new continent to explore, and all we could do was blow up our age old enemies?   When the order came in to fall back to the airship, I was more than happy – but then the ground assault was started. I would have taken to my own wings then, but the air currents were different. I wasn’t sure I could actually fly. So I took a parachute and went over the edge.  The warring continued in the same old manner as it had for generations, until Operative Rell was overcome by some strange force.

Moments later, a huge serpentine dragon carrying a native of the land arrive. The native admonished us for bringing our negative emotions with us, and I saw their manifestation all around. I fought my way to the nearby village, where I began to learn of the tranquility that ought to be in this place. A tranquility that I longed for.  At that moment, I vowed to do whatever I could to change the course of what we were doing to this land.  

For the moment, though, trying to stop the Horde was the best I could do. They’d stolen cubs of the locals away, and so I agreed to a mission to stop them. That mission went well, except the stupid flying contraption got shot down on my way out, leaving me – a druid who should be perfectly capable of flying on her own – floating to ground in another parachute! The indignity! 

I spoke quietly that evening with some of the locals, learning how to pick their herbs correctly, as well as discern their ores from the normal rocks of the land. And I learned of their great dynasties. I longed to explore this new land. But I had a duty, and this duty I must fulfill.

The following day was spent looking for Admiral Taylor, and when I did find him, I learned of the Hozen and the Jinyu. The Hozen are monkey-men, and attacked us on sight. The Jinyu a more tranquil race of fish-men, whom we were able to help to some degree. Once Admiral Taylor was found, we went about befriending the Jinyu. While I was helping them re-acquire familial artifacts from the hozen, Rell and his team of operatives went scouting.  When they came back, Rell was near dead, but they’d found Amber, another operative. They explained what had happened; and Rell gave me an order that, even though he was a fellow Night Elf, I had to refuse: Befriend the Jinyu on behalf of the Alliance. 

It wasn’t so much that he asked me to befriend them, for I would certainly help them in their struggles. But arming them, preparing them for a war with the hozen – with the Horde – I wanted no part of. Had Rell not learnt from his own taint on the docks? The Sha would destroy this place if we continued to make war. No, I would have no part of that… and so I disappeared into the wilderness.

Stopping to Smell the Apple Blossoms

This past weekend, Gurdrid finished her headlong run to 90. It was as enjoyable as were the high points of her headlong run to 85. It took me around 12 days to do.   Clearly, she did not spend a whole lot of time smelling apple blossoms, though she did quite a bit of removing the iron problem from the farmland in the Valley of Four Winds. I’m sure the farmers are quite pleased by that, though the iron does seem to crop up again and again, just like the particularly bad weeds.

At launch, however, I wasn’t on Gurdrid. I was on Shoryl. And by her side was her dearest Sonaira. We went through the trouble that was figuring out the stupidity of not being able to see to aim to destroy boats, and in each little hamlet of safety we came to, we stopped. We talked to everyone. We explored every nook and cranny. We probably drank quite a lot of beer with the locals.  We looked out across the land over the bridges, from the verandas of buildings, from atop cliffs.

We did some more of that yesterday. We might have gotten a grand total of 10 quests done in our hour or so of play. But that’s because we stopped and looked at art in the arboretum, and played with baby cloud serpents, and visited the mining community of Green…someplace; who seem to have an infestation of tricksters. I’m sure at some point they’ll ask us to help with that problem, but maybe they don’t yet trust these very skinny (though very strong) women, who still ride on the roads and aren’t as boisterous as those who came before.

We made it up to Tian Monestary, but are currently sort of lost. I’m sure we’ll sort it out. In the meantime we’ve visited several trainers, and discovered a lovely inn that has a bath!  Can you believe it? We had to go to an entirely new continent to be able to clean up in something other than a lake on the outskirts of town?

Shoryl is totally retiring here.  Seriously.

 

Kerridwen has been leveling via a combination of mining, herbalism and archaeology. She got the Spear of Xuen as her second or third artifact; which  significantly changed her chances against the beasties she’s run across in the Jade Forest. She also heard about the Tillers from Gurdrid, and headed right over there to start up her farm. She happens to be quite the cook, and is enjoying learning all the nifty things from the various masters in the market there; as well as saving up to feed people!

What’s It Like at 90?

Gurdrid got to level 90 last night, at about 11:00. I stayed up late to finish the last 15% of her level, so I went to bed with a nice little achievement under my belt.  This morning, I set out to discover what dailies I could do – I’m doing a lot of dailies today, not for any particular “need this” reason, but because I thought it was a good day to see what all is out there to do. So I spent some time with the Tillers, and the Order of the Cloud Serpent, and the Lore Keepers.  In the middle of my visit with the Anglers, the servers went through a rolling restart, so I haven’t finished those, but so far so good.  Part of the reason I wanted to do this, I liken to going to a buffet for the first time. Get a little bit of everything and see what you like! I’m sure I’ll have days where I want to daily all day long. Today is only sort of one of them.

Flying is nice. I really liked not being able to fly as we first traveled through Pandaria. It’s kinda nice to know that, for the most part, your mobs aren’t going to be landed on as you run across the turf doing a quest. After a couple of days, of course, there was more and more of that possibility, but it is still refreshing that the majority of us don’t have to worry much about it.

I also had a goofy thing happen while I was tooling around on Kerridwen. Her mounts got bugged in a very striking way. Here’s a couple of pics I took of the problem.

My Bronze Drake seems a bit Dull

Who knew there was a fourth color of Griffon?