Monthly Archives: January 2014

Visiting Whisperwind

About the same time as my post about possibly leaving Higher Authority, I had a little conversation with Matty about a guild called Reloaded. They’re on Whisperwind, they’re pretty good sized, she’s in the guild with one of her toons, and there’s this other blogger there too, whom I’ve been connected to via RealID for some time thanks to Blog Azeroth.

So, I thought I’d take a gander over there and see what I could see, and created Grianna, a dwarf mage. I spent an hour or so playing while Matty looked for someone who could get me in the guild, but no one with the right authority was available. The next time I logged in, I’d just missed Logtar, but another guild member was able to give me the guild invite. I played for a while and watched the conversation in guild. It was a lovely mixture of congratulations as various people earned achievements (as well as brief snippets about them, and even some gentle ribbing) and a real honest to goodness conversation about the weather (really, what else is there to talk about right now?) Everyone was friendly and decent, and used complete words and understandable sentence fragments. Even though I was soloing as I leveled, and not talking much, I felt connected. And that felt nice.

Last night, they were doing a Flex raid. Having not been able to connect with Logtar, I signed up for the raid on Grianna, knowing full well that I’d be playing Breige. But I wanted to let him know that I wanted to attend, and this was my best way of doing so at the time. Besides, it amused me to sign up for Seige of Orgrimmar on a level 17 toon.  Shortly before raid time, I dinged 20. That in itself says something about how much I was enjoying playing on Whisperwind. While I was busy leveling, someone put out a call for the Timeless Isle weekly stuffs, though chatting was a little quieter.

Once I connected with Logtar before raid, I switched over to Breige, and the invite was sent. Vent information was found, after something having to do with Bogota, Columbia (that wasn’t the vent info). We started in Wing 1 just to check out how our makeup was going to work, and it went smoothly, except for the trash right before the Sha of Pride, which sounded like a strategic error, and we were quickly dispatching the Sha.  So then we headed to the 3rd wing, and things were a little rough around the edges there.

In a way, since I’m looking at this guild as a possible good fit, it was nice to see how they handled the wipes. Adjustments were made, mechanics explained. Everyone sounded patient, and no one seemed particularly worried that we couldn’t do what we had set out for. Many successes were had and some gear was acquired. For my own part, I picked up two upgrades to Seige LFR gear, and two upgrades to 502 gear, included in those four pieces were two tier tokens, so now I have a two-piece set.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience, and am seriously considering Reloaded as a new home for at least Breige.

Ch-ch-ch-Changes

Don’t panic, my friends. I’m not planning to leave WoW.

I have been thinking, though, for some months, that I am not happy with my WoW situation. Pinning down exactly why I’m unhappy is a little trickier, so bear with my while I do some thinking out loud, as it were. Pardon the bullet points, they help me think, really, they do.

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

  • I’ve been running in the OLRG on either Gurdrid or Breige, depending on my tanking confidence. As much as I am encouraged by Matty and others in the OLRG, I do not want to be the weak link as the tank.  But I do have Breige, and I do love running with the Old Ladies in whatever role I take. After all, sometimes xp sponge is a worthwhile goal, is it not?
  • I recently completed my Jeweled Onyx Panther, which was a huge effort and time suck thanks to 6 fully working farms, four cooldowns I was managing, and trying to earn money on the side.
  • Scenarios/Heroic Dungeons for JP. I want to get a few heirloom sets completed, so when I do level new characters, I can take all the expensive items instead of the ones good for my class/spec. Not to mention XP boosts.
  • Not playing as much WoW.  I know I go in spurts, but this past week I logged in on Saturday for OLRG, and not again until last night for the guild raid.
  • Guild “raiding” We’re doing old school raids for pets, primarily.

Looking at this list, the only one that really requires me to be a part of Higher Authority is the guild raiding. And that’s not strictly a truth. I could continue running with the guild on those runs whether or not I’m actually there.

Why I Haven’t Been Logging In

I think I haven’t been logging in much for a few reasons:

  • Almost all the time when I log in, I’m the only one in the guild on… except on Wednesdays and occasional Saturdays.
  • I just did a huge push to complete a project. While satisfying, it usually takes me a couple of weeks to recharge, and figure out how to focus on the next thing.
  • My guildies, let’s face it, are not at all WoW knowledgable. This is a casual passtime for them, something they do when there’s not much else going on. They like seeing new content, but they aren’t going to come up with ideas for killing Kael’thas so we can try to get A’lar. They aren’t going to ask to see a raid I’ve not thought to take them to. They let me run the show, and come along for the ride.   While this is not a bad thing for them, it means I have to do all the work of coming up with places to go, ideas for trying to down a boss with an annoying mechanic, etc. Conversation about WoW is me telling them things. I rarely, if ever, hear of something from them that I didn’t know.
  • have been busy outside Azeroth, spending free time with my wife, who is now going to school full time on top of the full time job, so that free time is premium.

It would seem, then, that what I am missing in my Azerothian life is, as Tome so eloquently put it when talking about why she started her blog in her Twisted Nether Interview, “people to talk to about WoW”.

What I’d Like to Do

This is kinda important, because what I am doing and what I want to do are clearly not identical. So, let’s think about this, shall we?

  • Kill All the Things with other people I know! PuGging has its place, sure. There’s plenty of overgearing, but it’s almost like playing group content solo with 4 NPCs.
  • Maybe actually relearn tanking/healing.  A lot of my tanking lacks are made up for in the <2 minute boss fights in old raids, and I haven’t healed a dungeon since level 65 or something.
  • Flex Raiding. I’ve been a fairly successful LFR hunter so far, I just might be ready to move up to Flex. My schedule might even allow for a two-day normal raiding team. But only maybe.
  • Cool things that require all the professions to do without gold output.

And look at that list, lots of things that being in a more active guild would definitely encourage.  I can still do that last one on my own anywhere I want, but the rest of them? Definitely a worthy endeavor.

A Change of Scenery?

My dear wife, because she does this for me, asked me why I don’t consider transferring servers to somewhere that I know an active player or two. I could keep my ties to Higher Authority either by leaving an alt there, or via Battle Tag. I have 11 characters on Ysera, 10 of them in Higher Authority. It wouldn’t be a horrible difficulty to do the move, now, would it?  And so, I started to consider it.

The Pros

  • If I choose well, I can revitalize my WoW time, get to do some of those things on my wants list. Maybe finish the Legendary Cloak quest line.
  • I wouldn’t be the sole idea generator for Things To Do.
  • I wouldn’t have to screw around with the guild bank.
  • I wouldn’t log in to no one in the guild.
  • I might meet new cool people, just by being willing to type /g. That’s safe, right?
  • I wouldn’t be guild leader any more.

The Cons

  •  I wouldn’t be guild leader any more…
  • An outlay of $25-$150 in moving my level 90 toons. More if I want to take my complete dwarf collection with me.
  • Sonaira and Shoryl wouldn’t be on the same server any more
  • I might lose touch with my Higher Authority guildies, or even hurt their feelings if I leave

Yeah, ok. So the money thing, while a downside, doesn’t have to be in one chunk, and I can spare $25 periodically.  And I’ve lost touch with other players because they or I have moved on to enjoy playing the game more or stopped playing entirely (obviously, not me with the stopping)

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

There’s tons more to do in Mists of Pandaria than any expansion previous, especially for the casual player. The problem, though, isn’t what there is to do. It’s that I started playing WoW as a social game, and I would like to return it to that type of game for myself.

One of the other things Sona and I have discussed is that Higher Authority isn’t the guild in my head. The guild in my head is… well, it’s kinda the OLRG, to be honest. A group of people who don’t judge, but have fun. Who tackle things together, but also individually. Who are sometimes quiet, sometimes thoughtful, often funny, and above all, wonderful people to hang out with. That’s not an environment you can create without careful curation – and even then, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Higher Authority is a quiet place these days. We’ve got more players that haven’t been online in six months than we have toons that have (and consider… 6 working farms…) Higher Authority is not the place I want it to be, and it’s not a place that I can make better by myself.   My options seem to be to recruit all of my lovely friends to my guild, or move to where some of my lovely friends are.  The more I write, the more I think, the more it seems that it’s time to move on.

Now the question is: Where?

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Top 5 Mounts

This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic coming right on the heals of my recent mount acquisition seems too serendipitous to pass up (not to mention, I actually know about it for a change).  Dragonray asks us the following question:

So what are your top 5 mounts – or just the ones you go to all the time because you like the way they ride? What are the ones you really dislike and can never bring yourself to use – does it rub against your collecting nature (if you have one) to buy all the mounts even though you know you will never use them?

I’ll start with my top 5 favorite mounts that I own, in proper countdown fashion:

5. Sunwalker Kodo – I really enjoy showing off my Tauren pally mount. Tauren look silly on horses, so a more robust mount is defintely a must for the Sunwalkers. The only downside is that my Alliance paladins are stuck with the original horse.

4. Nether Rays – I love the look of all the rays, it doesn’t particularly matter what color they are. Also, I have a lovely memory of finishing the rep up during WoW’s 8th Anniversary, with the buff, and when getting my last Ray, also getting the Mountain O’ Mounts  achievement.

3. Silver Covenant Hippogryph – I love all of the Hippogryphs, but this white one is just gorgeous.

2. Phosphorescent Stone Drake – Does this beauty really need an explanation?

1. Currently the pride of my collection is the Jeweled Onyx Panther. I put a lot of work into gaining the reputation on my jewelcrafter, and creating all of the materials (and making bags to sell) while collecting the funds to make a second set of the panthers.

And now for the second part of the question: my least favorite mounts:

5. The Cloud Serpents are not enjoyable to ride. Because of the way they undulate, the bobbing up and down gets distracting. They’re also huge.

4. Ashes of A’lar / Fiery Warhorse not because I dislike either mount, per se, but because I cannot seem to win them! The RNG hates me! I’m actually pretty sure they’d be in my top 5 if I owned them.

3.  Protodrakes – I really dislike the wings on the protodrake model, even if I have been known to pursue acquisition of them from time to time….

2. Qiraji Resonating Crystals – The thing I dislike about these mounts is quite simply that they are only usable in AQ. And they drop ridiculously often. To the point where my tank carries around one of each just so she doesn’t have to roll on them!

1. Scorpid mounts. Scorpids are creepy. Scorpids big enough to ride are even creepier.

And for the final part of the question, no it doesn’t particularly bother me that I have mounts that I will never use. Some of them are reminders of friends and enjoyable times (like the human’s Charger). Others are reminders of long sought goals, like the Glory of the Hero Red Protodrake.

A Tale of Five Panthers

It all started out innocently enough, as these things often do. A new expansion. New mounts to be had. And then, I saw them. Panthers. Glistening panthers made of jewels. Shoryl had to have these for her collection. Not just one, oh no, but all five!  And so our story begins. Shoryl reached level 90 a bit later than I had anticipated, after both Gurdrid and Breige.

She set out immediately upon reaching that height to acquire the favor of the Cloud Serpent trainers, even though the Serpents themselves were old news, as it were. After a few days of toiling for them, she had the patterns in hand. She knew the key – the Orb of Mystery. She also knew the other things that would create the structure. The gems she would need to acquire, the ore that would need to be smelted and transformed. She called a meeting of key members of the guild: Gurdrid, who could collect and smelt the ores. Sveala, who could perform the transmutations required. Breige, who would lead the active acquisition of funds, and Oquae, who had a goldmine in her ability to make adventuring packs.  Even Muirri, who had stayed in Ironforge to do the Guild’s business, was asked to assist, selling those things of interest that were acquired.

SunstonePantherGurdrid set out at once, gathering a great deal of ore. When it wasn’t in need of smelting for Sveala, all of the ore went to Shoryl to be prospected for gems. So much raw material came in, it was impossible to count it all. She toiled relentlessly. Hundreds of crates of ore were sent to Shoryl, until she had acquired 40 of each type of gem: Wild Jade, Sun’s Radiance, Primordial Ruby, and River’s Heart.

SapphirePanther

All the while, Gurdrid smelted trillium when she could, and ghost iron whenever there wasn’t enough trillium. Sveala took these bars and transformed them into living steel. Had it all been created from ghost iron, the steel alone would have required 3,840 chunks of ore.  Even when the steel needed for the panthers was completed, bars were still sent her way to be transformed and sold. Orbs of Mystery are quite difficult to acquire, and thus are exceptionally expensive.

JadePanther

During this time, Breige showed great initiative in going out into the world to find rare things to sell and performing tasks for the peaceloving Pandaren as an adventurer for hire.

In doing so, she brought in necessary resources – especially by befriending the farming community of Halfhill, and in particular Farmer Yoon. He allowed her to grow amazing plants that could pull ore right from the ground, or catch the slightest tuft of wool from the air. With the sheep she acquired from befriending Chee Chee, there was always plenty of wool to be gathered.

Ore, of course, went to either Gurdrid to be smelted, or directly to Shoryl for prospecting.

RubyPanther

The wool went directly to Oquae, who also toiled for Farmer Yoon, planting the enchanting Songbells, and harvesting from them the curious motes of harmony. With these, and the wool, she created Imperial Silk at the nearby fields, and in turn, she made Royal Satchels, which fetch a high price at auction. The bags, and the occasional silkworm or moth, were sent to Muirri, who had an excellent working relationship with several auctioneers throughout Alliance territories.

Muirri, of course, sold the extra steel, the satchels, and any other interesting things the others could find. She kept careful watch over the funds acquired, and when there was enough, would send it to Shoryl.

Shoryl had found a goblin with a ready supply of the orbs of mystery, but he wouldn’t let them go lightly.  She was pleased, however, that he wasn’t aligned with the Horde, and was willing to do business with her, regardless of the high price he charged. Still, in a demand market, the sole supplier of an item is sure to have excellent profits. So she was stuck.

OnyxPantherThe trick to the Jeweled Onyx Panther, of course, wasn’t as simple as the others. It required that the jewelcrafter first create one of each of the previously crafted panthers, and then fuse them together artfully.  The resulting mount, however, is definitely a sight to see!

When all was said and done, Shoryl once again called together her team. She congratulated them all on the hard work they had done, and how selflessly they had given of their time and skill. Muirri provided the record of funds earned for the incredible number of 8 orbs required to get all five panthers, a total of  144,000 gold. In addition, Sveala created 32 bars of Living Steel, all of which came from ore smelted by Gurdrid. Shoryl herself provided the gems, though mostly through ore mined by Gurdrid or farmed by Breige.

After all that, the Grand Expedition Yak doesn’t seem so expensive, does it?