How I Finally Got My Archaeology Groove On

oh hey look who followed me home! wonder how that happened...

I first tried out Archaeology on my druid, right after the expansion hit. Despite the nice little hits of experience every time she surveyed, I quickly grew antsy about completing the new content. And left her Archaeology hovering in the low 100s.

I tried out archaeology again on my undead shadow priest, using it to pass time between dungeon queues. But the PUGs for my horde battlegroup were uniformly horrible, so that didn’t last long either. I think she may have just barely hit 100.

Fast forward to my gnome mage hitting 83, and my not being enthusiastic about pushing a 4th character through all the Cataclysm content again so soon. Dutifully, I headed over to the archaeology trainer, then set out on my flight path to my first dig site. And this time, it stuck. I spent hours zooming from place to place on my mage, herbing as I went. Racking up the experience. I got my first rare pretty quickly– the Fossilized Hatchling. At which point I started to get the crazy gleam in my eye– oh yes, Vial of the Sands, one day, I could have you!

And the rest, as they say, was history. I kept at the archaeology, and hit 525 with it not too long after the mage hit 85. Almost all of it just from surveying dig sites.

And no, I don’t have the Vial of the Sands yet. But I know if anyone can extract that from the Uldum sands, it’s my lucky little mage.

Thank You, Deathwing, for my Gnome Shadow Priest

It’s been several years since the destruction wrought by Deathwing shattered Azeroth. Yet it seems like only a few days ago. How have you coped? What has struck you most in your heart?

I knew that after all the transformation we’d seen take place in Azeroth as a result of Deathwing’s fury that I too needed to undergo transformation, to show the world my true self. And thus, I went under the knife for my recustomization, and became the adorable shadow priest gnome that I always had lurking inside of my sexy blue shell.

gnome shadow priest snakedriver on her mechanostrider in shadowform

After I made my leap of faith, I made sure to visit my racial leader, the High Tinker himself, and to receive his blessing.

this gnome shadow priest lady carries the High Tinker seal of approval

I hope you too have found your post-shattering “whoohoo!” moment and your inner (gnome) peace as well.

xo Snakedriver

My Week in WoW

Last week’s WoW time was somewhat curtailed by the livestream of Blizzcon taking up most of my attention (and it rocked to share thoughts and reactions to the panels real-time via twitter; not as good as being there but still pretty darn fun.). But I made up for it this week:

  • My Alliance warlock, seen here watching the circling bats at Telredor, dinged 66 today. I am a terribly slow leveler, so her progress over the past 2 weeks has been phenomenal.
  • My bank alt gave in and bought her 4th guild bank slot. Now, I have to do a sweep and make sure I am not hanging on to much in the way of pre-Cata Azeroth quest items. Somehow I don’t think I am going to need those red, green, yellow and blue Un’Goro crystals again…
  • The purchase of the slot was due in part to the mass creation of Jewelcrafting items for the lock as she moves towards 450 JC (she’s presently at 328 jewelcrafting.)
  • I’ve not managed to obtain the Headless Horseman’s Mount on my Horde Shadow Priest, despite her daily attempt at it. This is fair and all, since my 3 Alliance ladies got it, mind you. I am also awash in hallowed helms and sinsiter squashlings on some toons. WTB BOA hoiday pets!
  • I didn’t follow-up on trying to attain my goal of guesting on a podcast, but I did do some audience-sitting for a few post-Blizzcon podcast recordings.
  • I was thoroughly charmed by the Blood Elf Druid song,  (from the Plants vs. Zombies composer who brought us the new sunflower pet’s voice.)

Blogs You Should Read

Although it wasn’t an incredibly busy week around the blogosphere, there were some good reads:

  • Twisted Faith wrote a post that debunks the offhand Blizzcon comment that so riled me up: “Shadow priests have been known to be bursty” (hint: no we haven’t and no we’re not.)
  • Cynwise posted a A Pre-Cataclysm Warlock Guide, but hurry as this manual will self-destruct in 5 weeks.
  • Twitter was abuzz with Blizzcon pickup lines, and Tastes Like Battle Chicken compiled some of her favorites.
  • This is a bit more than a week old but it’s so handy I had to share it: Windsoar’s list of buffs and debuffs by class.

 

Slowly But Surely Leveling my Warlock

warlock uncovers the secret of the moonkin's origin in Winterspring

The first time I logged in and played my then level 43 warlock after the patch,  My blueberry died. A couple of times. And then I died three times in short succession. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t died three times in getting to that level. And thus, I nerd raged.

And then I logged off in a huff.

But as this character is intended to be my Alliance jewelcrafter (my former Alliance shaman who is a maxed out JC now resides as a troll shaman on another server), I took a dee breath and went back to her this past week. And this time, things just clicked.

  • I love having an extra bag open to collect things instead of being crammed full of soul shards.
  • My demons’ names are now operating as intended so they stop startling me.
  • The blueberry has stopped dying and now adequately protects me as intended.
  • I never get low on health or mana, except after we get dismounted when running through Zeth’Gor, but even then we both live and /cackle at those silly orcs who tried to stop us.
  • I love having shard-free soulstones and healthstones.

There are a few differences I am still getting used to though:

  • What am I supposed to do with those 3 soul shards staying charged up on my portrait all the time? So far not really ever using them.
  • I am not loving having a 30min cooldown for applying a 15 min soulstone. Now I keep a stone handy and soulstone myself only if I think I am in danger of death.

Somehow, yesterday, I plowed through from 55 to 60. The motivator of having flying to visit all the candy buckets of Outlands spurred me on. And once the servers are up, I’ll be back at it. Gotta get to 65 to train up the jewelcrafting after all! That leaves a month to get her to 75 which is the required minimum level, I think, for learning the Cataclysm recipes. That part is the longshot in all this. I’ll be back at work on November 1 which means significantly less playtime. And Northrend questing always takes me forever and a day — I have quest fatigue from running seven 80s through them all.

But I am hopeful that she will be the little warlock who could. Wish me luck!

Two Months Until Cataclysm — So Now What?

image from farm5.static.flickr.com

It’s nice to finally have a release date in hand so I can start figuring out what I want to — and have time to — accomplish in game before the world changes. December 7 gives me two full months before I have to start thinking about leveling my primary toons and their professions and the alts’ professions…

I’m sure that having a concrete date two months away is going to make some folks angsty. After all, if you don’t have an army of alts and killed the Lich King months ago and have already been feeling like you were stuck in a holding pattern, I can see how it would seem like way too long to wait. Had I not rediscovered the joys of playing my Alliance characters, I would likely be in the cursing the release date under my breath camp.

But luckily for me, I have plenty to do and to look forward to between now and then:

  • Level warlock to 80 (she’s only 40 now)
  • Level warlock’s JC
  • Level a new shaman and their corresponding profession(s)
  • Farm rare pets
  • Obtain remaining old world cooking recipes
  • Work on fishing up the elusive mister pinchy and the turtle mount
  • Complete world explorer for the druid
  • Hallow’s End fun and festivities
  • Pilgrim’s Bounty (a.k.a. the cooking leveling holiday)
  • Find more places like the Horizon Scout that I always meant to get around to seeing and go there

So, now that we have a date in hand, what’s your plan of attack?

Following Our Individual Paths in WoW

While fishing this weekend on my mage, aiming to get her skill to 450 (which she accomplished), I had plenty of time to think.

I fished up a penny with Private Marcus Jonathan’s wish upon it:

“I wish to grow a glorious, bushy mustache someday.”

I read that coin, then cast my line into the fountain.

What would my wish be, I thought to myself, that I would toss into that little wishy well?

I suppose, this lady’s wish would be that she hopes to fight for the liberation of Gnomeregan someday.

I stopped to ponder what my other characters’ wishes might be. Candy would wish for 150 vanity pets. And Anexxia would wish that tailors could make custom-dyed voodoo doll vanity pets. And my undead mage would wish she could make a flying potion, and enchant a broom with it…

At first blush, it may seem that they have wishes all over the place. But on closer look, they actually reflect what I like to spend my time in game. I love to collect the virtual pets and bring them out at every opportunity. And it’s truly leveling my professions and collecting all the patterns that motivates my leveling a new toon. And after all that is said and done, it’s the raiding that keeps me interested in my main.

What’s interesting to me is that these things that keep me interested in the game and coming back for more are just but one tiny sliver of the things that keep folks engaged in the World of Warcraft. Some love to level alts. And others love to PvP. And then there are all the creative RPers. And all of us have found our very own happy place within the same game.

How crazy (and awesome) is that? That one game would appeal to so many of us from such varied backgrounds, across the U.S. — and the planet for that matter. And that we can each choose to play the game and focus on those aspects that truly speak to us.

I think it’s pretty fabulous. How about you?

Friday Five: Five Reasons I’m Glad I Server Transferred My Alliance Toons

About two months ago, I impetuously gave myself an early birthday present and transferred my favorite Alliance toons off the server of their inception (where I’d started playing WoW 4 1/2 years ago), and to a server where some of my favorite twitter/blog WoW peeps live. After two months in their new home, I give you, 5 reasons I know this was the right move:

  1. I have fun even while on my bank alt, thank to the chit chat in the /twitter channel.
  2. Did I mention the super robust economy yet? I’m not a real hardcore banker, but I do like to have a comfortable cushion of cash, especially heading into an expansion. Fcusing on a few small items, including my inscription, I’ve managed to squirrel away a little bit of cash, and pay for all sorts of must-purchases.
  3. My boomkin got to see the inside of ICC and ToC. Those were two items not on any of my bucket lists because on the old server, that just wasn’t going to happen.
  4. A new home enabled me to finally get the gnome mage to 80. The tumbleweeds rolling through the prior server/guild’s chat channels didn’t inspire me to play for very long. I really do enjoy the social aspects of this game. Good conversation can keep me on for longer than I’ve intended, while lack of any conversation, or worse yet, conversation at the junior high school level, can chase me offline pretty quickly.
  5. I absolutely adore my night elf druid, with her 100 vanity pets, and her motorcycle, and her old skool titles, and her silly barrel roll jumps. And I really missed playing her. Getting to log her on and have something to do is absolutely priceless.

Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Roll an Opposite Faction Alt Today

I was not the one that made Jaina cry

  1. Your Icecrown Citadel raid and 5-man content, and the Wrathgate chain, have some distinct differences depending upon what side you’re playing for.
  2. Each starting zone has its own unique flavor, and causes you to look through that zone with a whole new lense.
  3. Cataclysm is going to bring significant changes to much of the old world content, so if you don’t do it now, you may never have the opportunity to see many of the places/do many of the quests that tell the old stories of the scourge.
  4. The other side has better candy.
  5. You just might make some new friends who will help your future worgen/goblin alt steamroll through leveling post-Cataclysm.

P.S. I didn’t make Jaina cry. She was crying when I got there! You have no proof of these foul accusations!

Friday Five: 5 Boomkin Good Things

  1. If you stack 2 boomkin together for Saurfang, you can do synchronized dancing and jumping that just may leave folks wondering if they’re seeing double. Mwahahaha. May also lead them to become hypnotized.
  2. Blizz announced that mastery 5% bonuses are contingent upon every piece of your armor being your appropriate proficiency. This means they are now accountable for ensuring boomkins actually have a BiS leather piece for every slot. Huzzah!
  3. Despite my long work hours, I’ve been able to fill in and kill some bosses here and there in ICC. That’s 100% more Icecrown action than I thought this lady would ever have.
  4. I’m slowly narrowing in on getting the boomkin her PUG pug puppy. This is in large part why she has finally gotten rid of all her T7 Naxx 10 gear. I am still stuck with an ilvl 200 badge trinket, but I can live with it.
  5. Not a lot is more gratifying than going into a crowded skinnable pack, popping starfall+barkskin then slapping down a hurricane. Boomkin AOE is even more awesome than my beloved mind sear. For serious.

Happy Friday! And safe travels.

Mission Accomplished: Gnome Mage Dings 80!

With a lot of help from friends and guildies who patiently helped Fyn and I grind out XP and phat lewts in regular dungeons all day today, my wee gnome mage, who languished at 72 for the better part of a year and a half, hit 80 today. I am so proud. She will now be both ready and able to assist with the Gnomer liberation in a few months. Huzzah!

P.S. did you know penguins can fly? I had no idea:

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