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.)
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.
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!
I wanted to take a moment to make a few comments before Mists releases on Tuesday (squee!!!), my busy weekend, and, y’know, stuffs.
Of Lists and Goals
I’ve posted as I’ve completed my goals before, but this time, it’s to say that I may not make my final goal. That was to get Mining to 525 (or at least 500) on Kerridwen, having switched alchemy over to Sveala. She’s gotten to 450, but the busy-ness of the weekend makes me unsure whether I’ll get those last points. Mining in current content on a toon I don’t much care to play is kinda hard. The combined zones don’t help matters, either. So we’ll see. It is, after all, only 50 points.
I’m pretty proud of myself, though. I got two toons maxed, and four professions to at least 500…
Laid Back Dungeons
I plan to continue the LBD runs on Wednesdays. This Wednesday ( Sept 26) I’m hoping that more people on will mean a shot at finishing up my Glory of the Hero achievement. Of course, it does require a certain water elemental to show his ugly mug. I’d like at least a threesome for trying to use a bronze drake mount – even at 85 (87?) the drakes just can’t withstand the barrage as well as I’d like. Call me cautious. But, if there’s only two of us, we’ll totally try anyhow.
Once that’s done, we may start doing Cata heroics for those interested. It’ll all depend on who’s there and what we’d like to do/get. Gurdrid has some clothes to get from a few Cata normals, as well – though I’m hoping once I hit 90 I’ll be able to solo those. 🙂
A New-ish Blog
Tyledres went and created a blog, pinged back to me here, and I totally missed it. I found it when I looked back at my logs, but I was a little bit surprised! Anyway, go check out Frost and Claws. I’m glad we’ve been here to support her challenging herself to stop worrying and start doing… Now I just need to figure out blogger’s comment system so I can comment already!
(Also, now I’ll have a clue which toon she’s on, so I can actually properly name them in the LBD runs!)
Since I play Alliance almost exclusively, I decided to go with the Chopper. Since it’s a lovely batch of blues and yellows, I wanted to pull that into my gear. To mix things up a little bit, I didn’t want to go with black accents, so I went with brown instead. I did originally design this on a human female, but ended up with leather, and Kerridwen wanted it for when she gets her bike (come Mists), so I did the finalization on my lovely Night Elf druid.
So, blues and yellows. Well, nothing says biker to me more than a nice sturdy pair of jeans, and goggles. So those were some obvious starting places for me. I definitely wanted some buckles on the gear, to go with those lovely packs on the bike.
This picture didn’t manage to make it to the judges, for which I am sad. I might have a had a slightly better showing. But, who knows for sure.
Kerridwen is wearing:
So, on one of the blogs I read (and now I can’t find it!), someone mentioned trying to play a bit differently than the “typical” mindset of hurry-up-and-level so you can get to where the game begins. And, if you’ve been following me on twitter, (or been reading my comments) you know that I’ve been racing two of my guildmates to level 85.
I want to give you a little bit of the history of my playstyle, so you can see that this is actually some pretty serious outside-the-box playing for me. Like many other bloggers, I’m an altoholic. I have four level 85 toons:
- Shoryl, who is cohort to Sonaira, and my face for Azeroth.
- Breige, a hunter, who I thought I might like to spend time dungeoning with, but who ultimately I find too fiddly to learn to play. She is my bank/AH toon.
- Kerridwen, my druid, who was my first toon to level through the new 1-60 zones. She got each of the Loremaster achievements in order (Kalimdor, EK, Outland, Northrend, then Cata) and stayed in the areas to complete them before moving on to the next. Because she overleveled most of the content, I failed to learn to play her well. I was intending for her to be my solo achievement hound. But now she sits, does her transmute when I can remember to do it, and farms herbs when I need them for Sruith’s inscription.
- Taoiseach, my first max level toon, Shoryl mark I, and now a blood elf. She’s intended for me to see the Horde content. Someday she might actually get to it.
I have a full stable of lower level toons I actually intend to play.
- Oquae has my Zhevra. She was supposed to be my next max level character… before Breige and Kerridwen… For that matter, before the move to Ysera. She’s the only toon besides Taoiseach that made the move.
- Margueryn is my baby warlock. I was inspired to start a new lock by Poneira of Fel Concentration. I plan to level her when I want to level again after this big push I’ve been on with Gurdrid, using Pon’s advice. (I also plan to level her on the TV, so Sonaira can watch while she’s doing other things)
- Sruith is a part of the dwarven dungeon crawl – there’s a great out-of-the-box levelling method!
- Sveala is a shaman I was working on leveling for the purpose of giving our guild healer, Suthine, a break. But she’s rather stalled at level 50, due to other projects.
- Vijin is one of many attempts at a horde toon – one that may never make it, but we’ll see.
- Gurdrid. My third paladin. Who is in a race to level 85 with her two guild mates.
As you can see, I generally created my toons to fill specific needs of either the guild or my playstyle. I didn’t create Gurdrid to race Jack and Yaw to 85, it sort of ended up happening. I created Gurdrid because I love me my pallies; and Shoryl is tied to Sonaira, because we’ve learned if we play them separately much, we don’t connect well. I decided to spec her prot so I could dungeon some… you see, I’m impatient, so I don’t do dungeons on my dpsers unless I can team up with a healer or tank.
So I started playing my baby paladin on December 19 (based on when she got her Collector’s Edition feats of strength). Less than two months later, I’m going to have a level 85 prot paladin. This is the fastest I have ever gotten a toon to max level, even when that was what I was going for on Taoiseach in her Shoryl days. I’ll admit that part of it is because I’ve already got two toons with the Loremaster title (Shoryl got EK and Kalimdor before the Sundering; and Kerridwen has the new version of the achievement)
I’ve even been contemplating taking Gurdrid on a path towards Raid Finder; which would get me back into raiding at all for the first time since BC. But, I’m still undecided about that part. Gurdrid will be my new achievement chaser – particularly since a few achievements (namely the pet and mount achievements) will likely be easier with a tank that PuGs. I also intend to use Gurdrid to help guildies get in dungeons for either power leveling or just to have fun getting some gear. While I encourage people to take the time to do dungeons with at level groups, sometimes that doesn’t fit into their playstyle for various reasons. And I like blowing up low level dungeons anyway. 🙂
How do you play outside the box; or even outside your box?
Last week, I finished the Loremaster achievement on Kerridwen. I originally created this toon to see the new 1-60 content for Cataclysm, and leveled her from 1-61 on Kalimdor, completing the Loremaster of Kalimdor achievement in the process. Then I went to the Eastern Kingdoms, and did the same. After that, I got all 6 of her professions up to 300 before heading out to Outland. Thanks to herbalism and archaeology, she was level 67 when she arrived in Hellfire Peninsula. I used the same methodology for tackling Outland (leaving at level 79), before moving to Northrend, and did the same there, though I exited Northrend at a mere level of 83.
Since I just finished Loremaster of Cataclysm, and with it Loremaster, my plan of attack ought to be to get her professions up, right? Well, her herbalism has been at 525 since before she even left Northrend, and I decided to switch from skinning to alchemy (since I don’t have an alchemist in my Alliance stable) which means a do-over of the whole thing. But I’m psychologically done with that model. I want my professions to be done, so I can go work on shiny achievements.
Is it because I didn’t really have a plan for when I finished Loremaster? Or maybe the fact that I finished the last three Cata zones in less than a week? It might be those things, or it might be that I just want something that feels like it’s moving along. Working on professions is kinda slow, more so if you don’t want to spend money on the materials to complete them more quickly. And archaeology, while fun in the moments that you get to create an artifact, is bloody boring in between times.
In any other gaming environment, changing characters means starting the game over. In MMOs, you get lots of opportunities to assist your new characters: BoA gear to level faster, the ability to provide your other characters with money, items, or raw materials.
Lots of people complain about “having to” do this or that thing on their alts. I think that’s a whole lot of hooey. You don’t have to do anything on your alts. If you want to do something on your alt, like, say, raid, then certain things are expected of you, yes. But one presumes that very few people have the time in a week to devote to raiding with more than one toon at a time. And those few people choose to raid on more than one toon. I don’t have sympathy for people who say you have to do anything on your alt.
Having alts does not have to mean that you pursue the same content on all of your alts. Let’s take a look at all of my toons.
There’s Shoryl. I’ll call her my main for this exercise, because she sees a significant portion of my dedicated play time. I make decisions about what I’m going to do with her for long-term goals, and I pursue those goals. She has some milestone achievements, like Loremaster of Kalimdor, Easter Kingdoms, Outland and Cataclysm. I’m still pursuing Northrend, but I also have other goals for her. I’m spending a lot of time on Outland reputation achievements right now, and just recently got Leading the Cavalry.
There’s Breige. She’s an 85 hunter, and I enjoyed solo leveling her, but I’m not a very good hunter player – I don’t understand half of what she can do, I don’t understand 2/3 of what her pets ought to be able to do either. She’s got maxed skinning and leatherworking, and is honored with the guild, to provide my little tiny guild with those two professions for Working as a Team. Right now, she’s my auction house toon because I don’t have any particular goals for her.
There’s Taoiseach. You’ve heard the stories about Taoi and Shoryl. Taoiseach has a few achievements under her belt that Shoryl may never attain. I play her when Sonaira isn’t available, as Sona and Shoryl are a pair and only occasionally pursue separate activities (usually revolving around profession dailies). Taoiseach doesn’t see much play time, but she’s an alchemist and is currently my cash cow with her truegold transmute.
There’s Kerridwen. Kerridwen is level 67. She already has Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. I rolled her to run through the brand new 1-60 stuff. She’s also got skinning and herbalism over 300, has just reached 300 with cooking skill, and is working on 300 skill in fishing. Next up? 300 skill with archaeology. I’m guessing she’ll be near 70 before setting foot in Outlands, but that is where she will go next. She’s not about playing hard content. She’s about seeing the game. Maybe not “as it was designed to be played” but seeing it, and taking the time to savor it. She’s also a solo toon.
There’s Sveala. Sveala is my third attempt at a shaman, and she’s leveling primarily using the dungeon finder. She’s a healer, which is helping her queue times. I’m working on her to eventually give our guild’s only other healer a chance to bring his warrior out to play once in a while.
No, I realize none of my toons are particularly uber. Back in the day Taoiseach (then Shoryl) was somewhere in the middle of the pack of raiders, which was a smaller group of people than it is today. I got burned out. I would be 100 times more burned out if I had to spend all of my time getting all of those toons up to level 85 post-haste, then get them geared in the current gearing system and then also try to find time to raid with them.
Yes, I get why people don’t want to do that with all of their toons. But they don’t have to. Because it’s a game. Not a job.