Monday, December 28, 2009

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

(or How The Kal'uak Spend Winter's Veil)

I got a Christmas Present in my mail today! Jaedia of the Lazy Sniper was my Kris Kringle from the Blog Azeroth post exchange this year. You can check out the other posts on the exchange by visiting this thread and following the links in the comments. She was right thinking that I have a strange obsession with the Kalu'ak. Thanks Jaedia! What a great gift!

The Kal'uak of Southern Northrend spend a lot of their time fishing, at least they did before the Lich King became prominently active in Northrend. These days they spend most of their time attempting to set the balance of nature right, and fight back the Kvaldir from their homes by the Frozen Sea. However, despite the hardships of the year, they do keep up Winter Veil traditions.

While not ever really seeing him, aside from tales, they do believe that Greatfather Winter casts his wintery veil across Northrend over the winter period. It is thought that Greatfather Winter is an emissary of the titans, come to Azeroth to bring comfort and snow at this time of year, though again, this is just a tale. Rather than worshipping him, they will gather around on Winters Veil Eve, to a huge banquet between each individual tribe. With masses of food, this is the one time of year they will eat anything other than fish. They even get a little merry. They tell such stories, tales of legend, over the fires and candlelight.

The idea that they eat foods other than fish at Winters Veil is mostly to wave goodbye to Greatfather Winter as he passes by the continent of Northrend, and to thank him for a good fishing year, in the hope that he will grant them once again the ability to catch good food over the harsh cold year.

With morale quite low in the Tuskarr people at this time, keeping up their almost family-like traditions keeps a small sense of normality within their communities. It is the one time of year they can get together and forget about the hardships they have had to forego, and may have to worry about in the coming year. As such, they welcome in the New Year in the hope that it will bring better things.

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free Apps Abound!

If you are looking for some hand held fun for your iPhone or iPod Touch this holiday season, pop into the app store! There are loads of free goodies to be had in there this season! I popped open my App Miner application, and found several fun games that are sure to make anyone from kids to fumbly old people like me happy. Here are some of the ones I have found, but don't just take my word for it. Look for yourself, and if you find something fun, tell me in the comments!
  • Dark Harvest - Made by Red Rocket Games, this game is a match three game where you shoot colored blobs at a floating cloud of more blobs to make matches, without the cloud getting too heavy. Every level you clear, you grow a new evil vegetable for your army. This is a lot of fun, and slightly challenging. Other titles free from Red Rocket this season include Little Runner, MEVO and the Grooveriders, and Mr. Hand. I have tried MEVO and love it. Try the others as the whim takes you, they're sure to please someone!
  • Cornhole All Stars - Though the title is off putting, the game is really cute. It's a bean bag toss game (corn being a corn bag, hole being the target) that uses the accelerometer, making it as if you were to toss your device. You get to choose your all star and play against the computer or others. I had fun with this, I hope you do too!
  • Pig Rush - This is a cute and deceptively easy game. Tap high to make Pig jump high, tap low to make a low jump. Every level you pass, Pig runs faster, and therein lies the challenge. It is hard to keep up with Pig! Good for giggles, or to keep a kid in the backseat out of trouble for a bit.
  • X Invasion - I haven't downloaded this one to try yet, but the images presented make me want to let my boys try it out. This game is a flight simulator and shoot em up, killing aliens over San Francisco.
  • Panoramic Blackjack - Cards, anyone? This looks like a great game, and has all the options of a live game, and a Learn to Play mode. This could be good to use as practice before your next casino trip.
I didn't start this article in time to pimp the site, and I'm so sorry I missed out! Every day prior to today, there was a free game available, listed prominently on their site. There is still time, however, to enter the Plushed character contest. Drawing for the prize is on the 29th.

Alright, then, to your app stores and find the morsels I've missed! Have a pleasant Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Surprise Box Of Fun!

Those of us that collect UDE points (you know who you are), will be interested to know they have a new item to spend our hard earned points on. This!

I am 2 UDE points cards away from this box of surprises, and cannot wait to get one. Cross your fingers for me? I don't want the Path of Cenarius or another Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuit kicking around in my already overfull bags. I want a pet!

Update! Hubby had to grab a few things at the store and brought me my points. In between dicing onions and chopping cilantro I turned in the cards and ordered my box. In between setting the condiments on the table and shredding the taco meat I logged in Delgada and sat her on the end of the dock in Ratchet to wait for the boat. In between tacos, I managed to hit the boat, walk to Landro, and turn in my code.

I sat there for a good 30 seconds, hoping the random number generator was feeling like doing me a favor. It rewarded me with something I didn't have...

Yep, that right there is a stack of flowery footprints. Path of Cenarius is a cool toy that lasts 5 minutes, and you get 50 of them. I really wish I had got a pet. I really only want the kite! Maybe next time...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cards Go Here.

Send me a card, and I'll edit it in!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alliance Racial Abilities Do Matter!

As promised, though a bit late, here I am to say that the Alliance have overpowered racials and should be nerfed! Well, not really. Where Horde racial abilities certainly seem have a PvP angle on them, most people seem to think that Alliance racial abilities are directed more to the PvE game.

Let's start with the quintessential Alliance race, the Human. I, personally, have a hard time playing this race, because I am human, and this is not a big escape for me. However, for those that do, they enjoy racial abilities such as Diplomacy, specialization in maces and swords, increased spirit, and a get out of fear free card. Diplomacy itself is the reason many level a human, for the reputation increase. Dwarves have a heftier mace specialization, so if you love maces, I would roll a dwarf. For those that PvP, Every Man For Himself is a great skill to have, equivalent to Will of the Forsaken. The Human Spirit is a great buff for warlocks, priests, and mages of certain talent specialties. So, if you want to play as yourself, roll a human.

Dwarves have some interesting abilities. Some would argue that their treasure finding ability is all but useless in Northrend, where there are no hidden chests of goodies. I argue that they are able to find Everfrost Shards more quickly than the rest of us, speeding up the Sons of Hodir reputation grind. Stoneform is a nice ability, useful in both PvE and PvP for removing bleed, poison, and disease effects. Gun specializaion is great for dwarven hunters, who should never be caught with a bow or crossbow, it just wouldn't be proper! Finally, a passive resistance to frost is nice in this expansion of frost tossing monsters.

Gnomes are interesting creatures. This is another race I have troubles playing, mostly because I picture them as large footballs, and I feel the need to punt them. For those fond of PvP, their escape artist skill gets them out of traps and snares. Gnome casters have the benefit of their head being larger than their body, giving them a 5% bonus to intellect. Gnomish engineers get a skill boost to their engineering, which helps them get to their epic goggle patterns faster. Last expansion, gnomes must have been pretty happy about their passive resistance to arcane magic. The Kirin Tor have a handle on most arcane users these days, but there are still a few rogue mages out there.

Night elves, to me, have the worst racial abilities in the game. Only rogues and druids benefit from elusiveness, at least until they allow mages to return to Teldrassil. Shadowmeld is similar to ice block for it's threat reduction abilities, in that when it is cancelled, your threat is at the same level as when you cast it. It is a save, but a temporary one at best. Let's not forget that with both spells you can't move, one because you are a block of ice (duh!) and the other because it breaks when you move. Quickness is a good trait for PvP and PvE, and probably the strongest of the Night Elves traits. This is a great skill for the evasive rogue and the tank who needs a bit more dodge. Wisp spirit is nice if you die a lot, but let's be realistic. We don't want to die, so at best it is just a consolation prize. And finally, passive nature resistance is nice. Maybe it will be useful during the Cataclysm expansion.

Finally, we come to the Draenei. This race has a few wonderful racials, great for PvE and PvP. Gift of the Naaru is a fabulous racial, making it possible for non healers to help out during fights, or save themselves while soloing. Heroic Presence most Alliance players count on when grouping, allowing them to stack less hit rating in favor of beefing up other stats. They also have a passive shadow resistance skill, which is helpful in this land of the undead. Finally, a bonus to gem cutting skill is helpful to those draenei who chose that profession.

I know this is no news for those who have altitis as badly as i do, but I'm sure some will find this helpful as they consider which race to convert to, or even which new character to start up while in wait for Cataclysm. I welcome comments. Tell me if I missed a good use for one of these skills!

WoW Year In Review

This post is in response to a weekly topic on Blog Azeroth. I think I finished this just under the wire for the 21st deadline. Huzzah! Oh, and this was started at Bible of Dreams, another blog featuring shadow priests you should check out!

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I stuck with an Alliance character and leveled it to 80. It was a wonderful experience, and if I didn't have a home on Smolderthorn, Shadowsong would be the server where I would hang my hat. The Illuminati Order guild and the other people I met on that server have all been so friendly and helpful. I really wish I could spend more time with them!

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

Of all the areas introduced with the latest expansion, my most favorite new place would have to be the pit you fall through to get to the last boss in Azjol Nerub. One day, in a guild group, I plan to have a mage cast slow fall on me so I can get some good pictures as I fall. It is so beautiful! I also am in love with all the Kalu'ak areas. Windsocks, walrus people, fish lanterns, swimming turtle transports, and the predominant fishing theme makes me want to move into one of their vacant burrows and live with them.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

I am already getting my wish on this one. A few weeks ago, my wish would have been to have people to run things with. Now, I have so many people to run things with, I may never run out!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Delgada hit 75 pets. Shawndra hit 80, then hit 50 pets. My biggest achievement will be when I pull Shawndra out and hit the tank button on the random dungeon finder. I plan on doing that in the next few days. Reckoning battle group Horde, you have been warned!

What was your biggest failure?

Playing way too much without really accomplishing anything. Before 3.3, a lot of my time could have been used finishing old world quests, but instead I was busy running laps in Dalaran. I am hoping with the change to the dungeon system Delgada will find the time in between to run a few quests, get some reputations to exalted, and earn some money while doing it.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Every silly change that effected one of my jillion alts. Every pet that was made. Everything?

What do you wish you’d done less of?

No matter how many laps I ran around Dalaran, Delgada will never be more skinny than she already is. I think I covered this already :)

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I read so many blogs and listen to so many podcasts, it would be hard to narrow it down to one of each. Instead, I will list several of my favorites, leaving out the obvious ones that need no introduction from little ol' me.


For The Horde Radio - A (mostly) Horde centric podcast, Auntie Ed and her group of players put out a show about once a month. Most of this is done in character, which I really like. Auntie Ed also spins some tunes in between bits such as one from an undead warlock evicted from his apartment by a smoothie store and mail read with a Horde friendly dwarf. As I write this I am listening to their Holiday special, which deserves more attention than I am giving it. Might I add, I wish Shawndra had as sexy a voice as Auntie Ed!

Warcraft Outsiders - Michelle and John have come back, and the cast is better than ever! Michelle being the pro, with John being the ultra casual player, they play well off each other, and now they have a guest in the third chair every night. I don't just list this show because they had me as a guest, or because I am part of their guild. This really is a fun show!

HearthCast - Rewt and Freckleface are entertaining and informative. They seem to have found a good niche, talking about World of Warcraft for the casual and new player.

Epic Shardz! - Who could not fall in love with Zebgora and Tamori after listening to them? Beside the fact that they play trolls (what's not to love there?) they are really around my level of game play, talking about pets and kids playing (Tam's daughter Bloodpaw plays), Facebook games, holidays and achievements, with a lot of real life stuff thrown in.

Inside Azeroth - Steve and David, formerly of the Grind, join Katerina, formerly of Epic Dolls, to share their news, views, and happenings in Azeroth.


Misery - Merlot has her finger on where to find any information about shadow priests, and some interesting and fun commentary.

A Darkened Soul - Chuckenorris also is a great repository of Shadow Priest knowledge. This cheat sheet is so helpful for all shadow priests.

Righteous Orbs - I'm not even going to spoil this one for you. Go over there and read.

I read a zillion other blogs, and am in the process of updating my feed reader. If you have some suggestions, comment below! Blogs give me something to smile about between breakfast and lunch at work.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

I don't think I have learned anything valuable this year, but I have a small lesson or two for my readers to pass on to others.

1) If one plays a female, consider that they might actually be one until they break it to you. I bite my tongue most of the time when someone says, "Thanks, bro!" or "Let's wait for him to catch up.", or even, "Hey man, I'm dying, throw me a heal!" But sometimes I cannot help but snark back,"Anytime, sister!" or "It's ok, I'll join you girls in a minute. I just need a mana break." or just "I'll heal you, if you call me sweetie..". It's one thing if I rolled a male character. I expect to be taken for a guy then. Guys should be prepared to be mistaken when they roll female characters, too. (Sorry, guy in my girlfriends guild who I snarked at. You were just the final straw of my day. I can't promise to be better, but at least you know I am a girl now.)

2) If you are in a group with someone that is under performing, in your opinion, be kind. Not everyone is as uber as you. If you are familiar with their class enough to help, make some kind suggestions. If they blow you off, no skin off your nose, but if they don't, you may have just made their day by being helpful. They may have been hearing that they are bad but not have known where to look or what to do to improve.

I'm supposed to tag 5 people to do this. I'm going to cop out and allow anyone that reads me and writes a blog or feels like starting one to join in!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Change Of Pace

Hubby has a friend who apparently loves him more than I do, because he bought Fallen Earth for him. Because of a free trial on their site, I was able to hop in with him and check it out for myself.

My laptop is not the ideal machine to run this game. Character creation was made frustrating because of my sub par machine(though you could spend a good hour or more creating, there are so many items to tweak), but the game itself runs fine once the tutorial is over. Above is Shawndra in a world decimated by a horrible virus called Shiva (fitting name). She is a clone who was fortunate to be cloned for the last time, only to find out that she is dying, and needs to find some alpha clones to fill in the gaps of her dna structure. But, she is not strong enough, or skilled enough yet. In the tutorial you are a level 30, but upon your next cloning you are level one, and have to get up to level five before you can withstand the rough and tumble land beyond your chosen starter town to find these alpha clones. So, you resign yourself to cooking and making things, picking plants and scavenging debris and dead bodies.

So far it is an interesting enough game. I am tired of having to kill rats and chickens (watch out for those prairie chickens, they are badass!), or rather, I am tired of them mortally wounding me and waking up in the cloning center. It seems the smart way to level up is to pick and scavenge and craft, then spend your ap points where you wish, even if it is combat and not crafting. I am just not good at the shooter type game where I have to do more than face my foe, but actually make sure it is in my sights as well. Hubby was laughing under his breath and he told me to not be so rough on my new mouse. I know it wasn't the mouse's fault that I was performing so poorly. Something had to take the blame though.

More on this later. I just finished a 2 hour long trial, and I am intrigued, but not committed yet. I decided I needed a WoW break (meaning I went off to go play some WoW. No dragging me away just yet!) :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Dungeons And The 19 Twink.

Today, partly to test out the blocked experience bar on my rogue, and partly to see if the 15-25 crowd were as nubbly as the 80 heroic crowd I was having no pleasure with tonight, Rowena queued for the random instance. Rewards were to be a handful of copper and a random useful item. Rowena ended up in the Deadmines, working on the second boss.

The under 25 bracket people I started with were a warrior tank, a priest healer, a hunter, and a warlock. The damage dealers seemed to know what they were doing, even if the pets were being unruly. The tank was holding aggro well, but I think I stepped on his ego a coupe of times, stealing the threat away and taking care of adds that strayed. The run was rather uneventful, until we hit Greenskin. Somehow, the hunter pet ran past a bunch of mobs andbrought Greenskin, his two pirate buddies, and 3 more, with parrots. I was able to help clear two, and got Greenskin to about 20%, but evasion was on cooldown. We wiped, everyone came back ,and we tried again. This time, less adds, before we got the second of the four adds down, the tank died. The hunter helped with the last add, then I was on Greenskin again. Somewhere before that Greenskin and a parrot bugged at the base of a ramp, giving me time to bandage. It was a close fight, but I got him down, with only 5% health to spare. I think that was the last straw for the warrior, as he never came back. We ended up pulling a paladin in to finish the last boss, and Rowena got her achievement for Deadmines. Here in the picture you can see what else she got.

If you click you can see my badly drawn commentary. I am now off to submit a ticket for my twink friends out there so that I am one of the few that earn experience after experience is turned off, or at least get some kind of answer. The belt is yummier than what I had, though, and Rowena has a few more experience points she can trade if that is the way it has to be.

Since posting this, a ticket has been opened, which is sitting unanswered. I just submitted a post here about it. Hopefully I'll get an answer to this question soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs gave me the most wonderful present of a topic to write about for Christmas, and I thought I would unwrap it and write about it early. If you haven't been following, pop on over and start reading. Tam and Chas' posts are always good for a grin and some "yeah, that's me" moments. So, here is my gift from Tam:

"...if your characters (or you can just do Shawndra if you prefer, since she seems to be occupying your time and attention at the moment) were going to retire from the adventuring life, where would they settle down, and what would they be doing instead?"

Shawndra fell in love with Nagrand the minute she set foot in it. The fishing is plentiful. The grasslands are lush and green, and the herds of clefthoof and talbuk offer a good living, giving up their skins and meats. Living in Nagrand, after the toughening Shawndra experienced fighting the minions of the Lich King, would be the easy life. If the orcs of Garadar wouldn't put her up, there were one or two abandoned camps or outposts she remembered that would do fine. Just give her a pole, a fire with a kettle, a rude shelter, and she'd bring her knife and live well and happily.

Delgada would not retire easily. If she came to the point when that was all that was left to do, I imagine she would bank all but the necessities, find a corner of the world she hadn't explored thoroughly and continue working. If forced to retire, she would probably find a shallow grave and hand the one responsible the shovel. Sitting idly fishing or twiddling is just not her style. She did enough of that after a lovely piece of scourged toast with honey.

Halinka is rather young and the idea of retiring really hadn't been thought about until now. Halinka loves to read and would happily watch the world go by from the window of any number of places, so long as there was a room with a view. I'm sure Minya would like to see her retire. At least she is no longer hanging out in the Exodar waiting for Halinka's findings. Stormwind is much healthier!

I don't see Dinnaeh (formerly Esoterique) retiring. I do, however, imagine her being the tragic victim of casting fire spells in her sleep. She should probably see someone about that...

That's all I have right now. I looked back at some of my roleplay posts to see who had back stories, and it turns out I have many, but the main characters are listed above.

Now, for the second part of this gift. This is the part I give to you! Comment below if you would like a present of a topic to write about for your blog. I will respond with your very own topic, chosen with your blog's personality in mind. As stated in Tam's post, this is a gift, with no strings. Use it, don't use it, regift it, use it to paper your parakeet's cage, it is your choice!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Horde Racial Abilities ARE Important.

I have been toying with the idea of a shorter, pointier eared version of Delgada for some time now. If I really wanted to, the money would make itself available. But I can't imagine playing a priest without Will of the Forsaken. I can't have people dying while I'm running, afraid for my life and the well being of my robes. To me, arcane torrent and a 2% resist to all schools of magic isn't a good enough trade. Guess I'll just have to keep an Orb of the Sindorei handy.

Hubby and I were talking about racial abilities on the way to my step kids week day house. I cannot imagine my beast mastery hunter as anything but an orc. They just make more sense, with the racial bonus to pet damage and the attack power buff from Blood Fury. My hubby is all for a marksman hunter Troll, as well. Why? Their berserking ability grants 10-30% additional haste rating and the 1% critical strike bonus when using a bow fit perfectly.

I hear that the minute they made race changes available, a lot of pvp loving players changed to Undead. I can't blame them, really. Smarter and more resistant to shadow, a trinket-less get out of sleep, charm or fear ability, and let's not forget the ability to dine on the dead bodies of our kills! What better choice for pvp is there? And, for those time you have nowhere else to hide, underwater breathing is awesome. Yes, random pug in one of my random lowbie dungeons, undead can drown. Stay underwater longer and find out!

I haven't mentioned the Tauren, and only briefly mentioned the Blood Elves. The Tauren are very common as tanking classes for their 5% increased base health. War Stomp, their racial ability, is a nice way to stop the damage mid fight for a bandage, or enough time for the healer to catch up when they are behind. I have one Tauren character who is a shaman. She's a great little gal, but I haven't found clothing that looks good on her since AQ40, so she sits unused. Blood Elves have Arcane Torrent, which replenishes a small amount of mana (energy, runic power) and silences casters that are close by. I can see this being very helpful for a rogue, death knight, or a paladin, since they are up close to their intended victim(as long as they aren't players). It just doesn't seem as helpful for a caster, who would have to run up, cast, and run back for it to be used to full effect. I have a blood elf paladin in her mid twenties. I don't expect her to get much older, because I keep killing off my elves for something different. I get to a point with them and want to shoot myself in the head. Maybe they're just to uppity and perfect looking for me.

Well, I think I have demonstrated well how Horde racials are important. Tune in later this week as I pick apart Alliance racial abilities and traits. There may be a test later. You have been warned!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Looking For Group!

This has been my habit all week. Right after I get home, I log into WoW, ignore my husband(he told me to put that in there. He is partially right), check my bank character, then log in Delgada and start running instances. I always select damage and healing, but so far I have been chosen as dps only once. This is not altogether a bad thing. Delgada has resigned herself to being a healer and shadow only in secret. All the groups, save a pug on her own server, were a breeze, free smites thrown at bosses and mobs instead of becoming free flash heals. The pug on her server? I don't know, but that death knight took so much damage, I couldn't keep him up. Sorry, Mr. I have strange letters in my name, but there is something wrong there. I don't know what it is, but he needs someone in better gear than Delgada healing him in ToC heroic.

Last night she traveled to the Argent Tournament grounds and bought gloves and shoulders. I didn't even know they had gear vendors there. Her gear is coming up. I expect her gear level to climb rapidly, now that I am enjoying this random dungeon queue. I got to run the same heroic a couple of times in a row last night, even though it said I was locked. All I have to say is, sweet!

Today, I tried it on my bank character, Rowena. She hit one dungeon, but didn't receive the reward. I think it was because she got pulled in after the first two bosses. So I switched to Anselma and ran one of my least favorite instances, Blackfathom Deeps. She finished it, even after kicking a paladin who kept pulling when the tank (who was supposed to be me but ended up being a warrior) wasn't ready and wiped us in the murloc cave. Anselma got a Tumultuous Cloak of the Moon in her goody bag. Building a healing set is good!

I then logged in to Maura, my 70 rogue, to see what I would get as a prize, joining up with my buddy's 70 hunter. It took forever, about 4 quests worth, before we got a group. Utgarde Keep was difficult. I had to go before we finished, so I turned the keys over to my hubby (what a great guy), and he finished it out for me. As I left, I heard him grumbling "Ation bars all wrong, everything's all wrong", grumble grumble. Sorry! I guess she got a couple of badges for her efforts, along with some gold and a tonne of experience. So, it would seem the ability to run Wrath of the Lich King dungeons is the cut off for getting goody bags. I logged in Gwenna later that night just to see what the reward was for running a Burning Crusade instance. A goody bag, 6 gold and change, and about 1200 experience points. Today I will log her in and see how long it takes for her to get a group.

My research finds that, in the high teens and twenties, a tank and a dps (seperately) were able to get a group during the morning hours within 10 minutes. Two grouped dps in their early seventies took about 20 minutes during off peak hours. I haven't tried the 80 characters off peak yet, but I imagine the demand would be enough to get a group within 5 minutes for healer or tank, 10 for dps. I don't have anyone in the middle area between 25 and 60. Until I do, I have no answers for how available instances are through there. I am toying with the idea of only instancing with my paladin from here on out, so by the end of January I may have some answers.

I love this new tool and I cannot say it enough! I have grouped with all sorts of interesting people. I'm looking forward to my time in the queue today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3.3 .... WOW!

The little things. They are what keep me coming back for more in this game. Logging in to find a core hound pup in the mailbox was great! Remembering that Breanni was supposed to have a few new pets to buy, I ran to the pet shop and picked up a new snake and kitty. They'll have to make a 100 pet achievement soon, with all the pets they keep coming up with. I made sure to give them all play time, running a lap or more of Dalaran looking for the last three books for the Schools of Arcane Magic achievement.

Core pup in tow, I decided to try out the new looking for group tool. I made allowances for patch day newness by not getting angry over glitches that I knew would be fixed soon. Other than a 15 minutes of disgrace at having to leave an instance group that noone got summoned into, the grouping was rather smooth. Delgada was chosen to dps the first instance, then heal the second. The second was everyone's favorite instance, the Oculus. One of the group said," They didn't hit this with a (nerf) bat, they hit it with a sledgehammer." No truer words were spoken. The first boss was a pushover, the mage boss in the center died without me noticing any of his signature frosty floor patches. The end boss was very forgiving of movement impaired people, or I was just getting better at getting out of the way when the boss threw out his bubbles of pain. Loot was rolled on, mstly to be disenchanted, and that was all I did in LFG that night. I really enjoy the new system. I'm not sure if everyone is on their best behaviour, or if I am just getting very lucky. those two runs were the most fun I have had in a while.

After the LFG fun, I ran regular ToC with some friends, and that was a blast and a half. Graham, my favorite pally tank ever (he reads this, I know, so I can say stuff like that. I'm sure he's not modest or anything. He's probably saying, "That's right, I am that good." to himself as he reads this. Makes up for how bad he rogues. -.^ ) tanked, I healed, and his two roomies (Hi Mar! Hi Ben!) were the reason for the group. Each walked away with three pretty purples last night, despite our lack of luck in getting leather or plate wearing dps to join our foursome. It was fun running ToC with people who were new to the instance, learning how to joust right there instead of through the tournament quests. I highly recommend it!

Tonight, kinda figuring I wouldn't get much play time in, I logged into Bladefist and my poor, neglected mage, Dinnaeh. She picked up her mail and set off to turn in some completed quests. She joined the heroic instance queue and waited. I thought for sure that being dps, it would be the same old thing, too many damage dealers and not enough tanks and healers. Dinnaeh had a group in less than five minutes. First instance she hit was Utgarde Pinnacle. She had never been there, so she picked up the instance quests, set out a table, threw intellect on the mostly melee group, and was second to last on the dps meter. Noone said anything (perhaps all their mods were still broken?Mine weren't, though they need organizing), and the run went smoothly in spite of my ineptitude (or lack of gear). I got three achievements in there, finished two quests, and ended up back in Zul'drak where I started. You know that fight with the guy on the dragon in Utgarde Pinnacle? Nerfed. I don't think that dragon breathed frost on the floor even once, and this was heroic! I'm all for making things accessible, but this was way too easy. This is where I have to say, why not just have people walk through an instance portal and give them a random iLevel 200 item, rare or epic, that is useful to the class. The instances I ran the last two days, with the exception of ToC, are close to doing that already.

I am mostly happy with what I have seen of 3.3. I haven't messed around with Delgada's shadow glyphs or spec yet, but she did pick up a mace that replaced both her damage and healing weapons. I enchanted it with Black Magic, so the mace has haste and now has a proc for more haste. I'll probably stick with the way she is for now, because if she starts running as many random instances as I know she plans, she'll be replacing gear pretty quickly.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Crunch Time!

I am a little late jumping on the bandwagon to lend my "voice" to the Hearts, Hands, and Voices campaign to raise money for Child's Play charity. To the right of this post you will see the Hearts, Hands and Voices logo. Click on it and it will take you right to the main page for the campaign. Click on the donate button, and give! Child's Play is an excellent charity that buys gaming systems and games for hospitals, helping invalid children to play.

Since this is really the last week, I wanted to chip in an incentive to those that read my blog to donate. Comment below this post to enter a drawing to get a handmade t-shirt with the faction logo of your choice (Horde or Alliance). Pictured below is my first shirt, with the Alliance logo (the picture really doesn't do it justice). The winner will get their choice of shirt color and size, sent to them with my thanks for donating. All I ask is that the chosen winner (or two or three, depending on interest) forward a receipt for their donation. Feel free to black out private information.

Here are my kids modeling different designs (for the Horde!) and colors (lighting is not my strong suit, thhat alliance shirt looks so cool in person!).

Even if this doesn't appeal to you, please, take the time and give. Every dollar helps put happiness in the hands of a sick child. I know I am glad I gave.