Is that a Sha in Your Pocket…?

Are you TALKING TO ME!?!? Gnome shadow priest with scary Sha helm

…My gnomey shadow priest’s looking more than a little Sha-touched these days. Between her strangely frightening visage, as you can see above, and the Shafiend that keeps following her around, even on her farm (see below), she’s gotten a little bit more evil as the season has worn on.

I completely blame/credit LFR. While it certainly can never take the place of the feeling of exhileration that comes from being part of a successful collaborative raid team that’s kicking booty, it has been a great way to keep a toe in raiding on my favorite class, despite not having a schedule that could accommodate regular raiding with a guild.

I’m crossing my fingers, however, that we’ll be able to do some 10-mans with Friend or Foe soon. I had the pleasure of finally completing Terrace of Endless Spring last night, thanks to two FoF tanks (/waves at Manglehaft), and can tell it would be a great experience to casually raid with those folks.

I haven’t made much progress on the alts, other than getting the shaman to 90 a few weeks ago. I mean to be leveling my boomkin, but I mostly want to play my shadow priest. No, my Alliance shadow priest. Not, you-know-who. She’s still hoveringaround at 85, trying to figure out if there’s anyone left to play with on Bronzebeard…

me and my Shafiend

I Have a Confession to Make…

Nothing like a team meeting to bring out some confessions...

I have a confession to make: I’ve been running around Pandaria, listening in on your deepest secrets. No — really. You see, in the midst of my inscription research one day, I made a glyph of confession. And I couldn’t resist the temptation of learning it myself instead of just making a few and selling them for profit.

The first player I targeted and cast the spell of confession upon told me: “I go into dungeons not to make Azeroth a better place, but just for loot.”

Just as I’d expected! My fellow adventurers weren’t really in it just for the thrill of adventure. I KNEW IT!

Inspired to learn more secrets, I targeted more adventurers standing around int he tavern. That mage in the flashy dress nursing a beer? They said: “I really wasn’t prepared. Who knew?”

Ha! You probably mooched a ton of fish feasts off those of us who *were* prepared, missy!

That other shadow priest though, they were the one I really wanted to find out more about. Casually, I shifted out of shadow form for a moment and stopped to talk to the bartender. Then, when I was sure they weren’t paying any attention to little gnomey me, I cast the spell and learned: “I have stood in the fire.”

Woah. Really? You just..stood there? For shame! You could have at least dispersed! Bah!

I stood there pondering this for a moment, when out of nowhere I saw myself saying “I never use the lightwell.”

Quickly glancing around, I looked for that sneaky shadowpriest. And sure enough, he was targeting me. Beaten at my own game by a fellow shadow priest! Oh, the humanity!

This post inspired by the most recent Blog Azeroth Shared Topic.

Friday Five: Five Ways to Make the Most of the Start of the Expansion

Snakedriver, leader of the Pandaria Shadow Fan Brigade!

Many months and blog posts ago, I was in the habit of doing pretty regular Friday Fives…posts with 5 common factors or thoughts pertaining to my adventures in the World of Warcraft. I’m bringing back that tradition today, with five ways to make the most of the start of the expansion.

  1. Finish every zone of new content. Now, this doesn’t have to be on one character mind you. Because presumably you are interested in hitting 90 and having your heroic ilvl gear and unlocking dailies and the like, and probably don’t want to hit 90 while still in the Wilds. I’m personally trying to pick different zones to complete on the characters I am leveling right now fro some variety.
  2. Don’t feel obligated to do all the dailies. Just because your profession has a daily doesn’t mean you have to bankrupt yourself every day to do it. Ditto for the level 90 dailies. Yes, you want perks from the various factions. But you shouldn’t take 40 dailies and then bemoan the grind of dailies. Show some restraint! Focus on the faction that is most important to your end game goals and set a reasonable/tolerable number of dailies to keep moving towards your goals.
  3. Stop and queue for the leveling dungeons as you go. Not only is it more fun to learn the boss mechanics at the regular mode level, you can earn yourself some shiny ilvl 435 and ilvl 450 gear, to get you closer to the heroics ilvl requirement. I’m only level 88 and have ilvl 420 so far as a result of my dungeon queuing. And as a bonus, these dungeons have quests with some solid XP, and gear rewards that will make your leveling that much less painful.
  4. …But queue for dungeons with your guildies and your Battletag friends in tow. Yes, it’s easy to just hop into LFD solo, but chances are you know plenty of other folks who want to get in on that as well. So why not use that as an opportunity to get to know one of your guildies or one of your Battletag friends a little better? It’s a lot more fun trying out a new dungeon with a buddy at your side.
  5. Give yourself permission to try something new. I’ve seen a number of folks who poo-poo’d the Battle Pets minigame as “Pokewow” who have come clean with their new obsession with pet battles. But they wouldn’t have known how much fun they had with it if they hadn’t given it a try. Give yourself permission to try out a new spec, or a new profession, or a new aspect of game play. You just might find something that you love doing in game.

What are *your* tips for making the most of the start of the expansion? Share ’em in the comments!

P.S. Comments are screened and TypePad doesn’t seem to notify submitters of that but rest assured I receive them and approve them.

My First Week with Mists of Pandaria…and I’m Loving it!

weeeee! tiny shadow gnome on incredibly huge Jade Dragon...

I know it’s not officially been a week since launch, but frankly I’m having such a great time with the expansion I felt compelled to write about it now versus waiting another couple of days.

Jumping right in, despite having attained a few levels in the BETA, on my horde shadow priest, since the Jade Forest intro quest was bugged for me at that time, I didn’t quest there at all. Which means all the content has felt fresh as a daisy which is exactly how you want to start of on a new leveling path.

I’ve been splitting my time between my elemental shaman on one server and my shadow priest on another server. I realize this is not maximum efficient usage of my limited game time, but it’s been nice to get to spend time in both guilds and playing two characters I’m really enjoying.

I was not sure how WoW questing was going to stack up after having been such a fan of the immersive storytelling in SWTOR. I’ve been enjoying having the quest chains be broken up here and there with some immersive storytelling, and cu scenes, even though I can’t make any choices or have a direct impact on the story. It’s still a step in the right direction and is a nice change from the old school wall of text quests.

A few things I love:

  • Watching peeps in guild chat, every few hours, earlier in the week, type out: “Socks! Noooooo!”
  • The pretty clothes for my cloth-wearers, and the nice looking mail for my shaman. Gone are the days of looking terrible, unless you are equipping the tailoring gear I am making…
  • Even as DPS getting in to LFD in a reasonable amount of time. Or perhaps I am just having enough fun out and about questing that I don’t notice the wait that much.
  • Professions have been moderately expensive to level but not impossible. I have enchanting, inscription and jewelcrafting maxed, with tailoring and alchemy up-and-coming.

A few things that are bugging me:

  • I need a toy chest for all the toys and trinkets that do things like summon a raccoon friend! They’re taking up all my bag space!
  • I want my farm to grow things faster! I have many things to grow for my Pandaren Cooking. Can’t I buy some EZ-Grow mulch from the goblins? No?
  • I made the tailoring set for my poor neglected horde shadow priest and she looks absolutely ridiculous. WTB a dress please!
  • Every LFD run I have done has had at least 1 incident of the boss lockout. It’s never resulted in the group not completing the boss so far mind you. But people need to keep up with the group and not ninja AFK! ;p
  • I think I may need to purchase a new bank slot for the banker to hold on to all the cooking materials. I’ve cleared one tab for it, but I just don’t think that will be enough…

What about you? How’s your first week of the expansion going so far?

Too Many Pets?!?!?

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So far, it’s been pretty smooth sailing for me with the Mists of Pandaria launch. The ship quest line worked fine, as did questing w/Wrenz cross-server (since we both want to play our shadow priets atm.) Only one small issue cropped up for me last night, right after receiving Mr Fishy, a new companion pet. I went to learn him and was faced with the most horrible text I have ever seen:

Can’t add companion to your account.
You have too many pets.

WTF?!?!?!?

510 pets is too many pets? But I don’t see any duplicate pets I can cage and sell or give away. What is going on here?

Determined to figure this out, I went to the pet battle trainer to see if she could help. I learned pet battling and accepted her quest then opened my journal again. Still not seeing how man of each pet. So, I picked one I knew I had too many of, the blue dragonhawk, and searched for it. Sure enough, I got a list (by searching dragonhawk) that showed every individual occurrence of dragonhawk in my pet hournal.

I started right clicking on and choosing “put in cage” for each of the duplicates, to clean up my pet journal. The good news is since these are pets that are sold individually, they are able to be caged and sold (well, if anyone wants them.) Many other pets require that you set them free to get rid of your duplicates

And here is the happy ending to my story, my new friend, Mr Fishy!:

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It’s the Little Things That Charm Me So…

Can she keep this forsaken firefighter rig forever please?

No, I don’t just mean the gnomes. Tho clearly, I have been charmed by the gnomes.

I’m talking about the small details that make some of the Cataclysm lowbie quests give you a grin. Like this Forsaken firefighting backpack apparatus. It’s so functional and yet so stylish! I didn’t want to turn in my quest and give it up, but I also wanted to progress through the Ironforge airport story, so in the end I did surrender it. Alas, I do not hitnk this one will be ready for Hallow’s End and trying to get a similar Forsaken gas tank of her very own. But perhaps she’ll go for one of the blue water tanks that @Rades wrote about obtaining.

For the record, this little gnome is a shadow priest. I plan to level her through some of the Cataclysm content I haven’t run an alt through yet, aling with a heavy side of LFD. What’s truly fun though is looking at every piece of gear she gets as a drop and thinking “Transmog y/n/murloc?” Good times.

What is a little thing that’s recently charmed YOU in Azeroth?

Guild Wars 2 Headstart Hiccups

As comes to a surprise to no one, I’ve spent the better part of the last 3 days playing in the Guild Wars 2 Headstart. Above you can see my Asura Elementalist, who is only level 15. This is due not to my lacking game time or playing too many other alts. Rather, it’s a direct result of some of the hiccups the game has had since Friday night’s soft launch to prepurchasers such as myself.

I was online and ready to go at 9 PT on Friday when ArenaNet brought up the servers, which impressed the heck out of me. Earlier in the week we’d heard servers might be up as early as then but I don’t think anyone was expecting them to be ready to go at exactly that hour. Over Vent, I was hearing issues from a number of players regarding login troubles and guild invites not being received (or being received but they could not see themselves in the guild roster. I was happy to not have any of those issues, and to snag most of the names I wanted on my home server.

My intention had been to play until midnight with Wrenz, but the grouping/phase/overflow issues we started having almost immediately, including one that kept Wrenz from being able to move his Asura out of the initial instanced quest, and coupled with game crashing lag in the overflow KO’d that plan. Instead I set up my alts, put a few small items upĀ  in the trading post and logged out after about an hour, planning to get in some serious crafting and exploring time over the weekend. At this point, I was just super happy that we got our characters rolled on our server before it filled up, which happened by about 9:40.

When I logged back in on Saturday morning, I was disappointed to find that we’d ended up with a playing experience that had reverted to the issues we’d had in the first BETA weekend, rather than the smooth playing that had set the tone for the last two BETA weekend events. Specific issues that kept cropping up include:

  • Mail not reaching its recipient. Happening both if the player was online and mail was sent from the contacts window or from typing in the person’s name in the mail window.
  • Trading post not available. This led to full bank and bags and my scavenging a vast number of items I would have otherwise sold on the trading post, such as blue quality gear and weapons. It also put me at a bit of an impasse with my professions, since at one point everything needed vials of blood, which I would have purchased on the trading post. Luckily for me, last night twitter came to the rescue in the form of one of my tweeps sending me a stack of blood (thanks Scott!)
  • Join in not working. This is supposed to allow you to get into the same phase/server as your party member. But I kept having it not work, or worse yet– not show up as an option. This meant Wrenz and I, although in the same guild and on the same server and playing in the same Asura lands often could not actually play togther (or see each other in the game world tho our little dots were right next to each other on the mini map.
  • Game not sure what character I was playing. By this I mean to other players, and to my guild roster, last night, it thought I was on my level 8 Norn ranger, in Hobrek. Over the weekend it kept thinking I was on a level 2. Not only did this prevent folks from thinking I was available to play with in the area I was in, it was on these occasions that I was not able to be grouped up with. Similarly, the game kept thinking Wrenz was on his level 2 human, instead of his Asura, which is quite likely one of the causes of our grouping bugs.
  • Buggy overflow server. By midday Saturday it started to feel like there was more than overflow for the Asura starting lands on our server, since I could be in overflow playing with Wrenz, walk a few yards away then POOF! No longer be able to see him in game and vice versa without either of us having gotten a message that we’d been moved, and no ability to Join in to get back in the same phase.
  • Gathering tools gone missing. Perhaps one of the oddest bugs was last night logging in to find my elementalist was unable to gather wood due to not having any tools equipped. Having just bought her a stack of lumber axes the night before, and still having plenty mining picks, I was unsure as to what had happened with the 88+ she logged out with. I went and bought more and moved on, but it was a bit of a pain since it cost time to go to a vendor, as well as cash to travel there, the latter being in much shorter than usual supply due to the lack of the trading post.

After we got past the debilitating lag of the first night, the game was beautiful and playable…in a solo fashion. But not so much from a crafting perspective. And certainly not from the perspective of wanting to experience the first blush of this new MMO with my SO. I am bummed for the folks who got swept up in GW2 fever that prepurchased and had not had the chance to play one of the flawless BETA weekends. I’ve seen a number of them having already thrown up their hands and gone back to SWTOR/WoW/TSW.

Inevitably, one of you is starting to formulate your reply, along the lines of “haven’t you ever been in a launch noob. you have too high of expectations.” Well let me save you the trouble of typing that (it won’t be unscreened if you do): I had the pleasure of playing in SWTOR’s headstart this past Winter and it had absolutely none of these issues. Other than Windows barfing on my Mac keyboard a bit, it was every bit as smooth as I could have hoped.

This weekend’s GW2 headstart, on the other hand, was pretty frustrating, and was more akin to some of the game breaking WoW patches and expansions (hello Burning Crusade and HFP lag of doom and rolling restarts!) of many years past. I am hoping that GW2 gets over these small hurdles quickly. The Guild Wars fans who have been waiting years for this game will put up with these issues as minor annoyances, but those who are new to the franchise might not.

Overall, I still have high hopes for this game. My Asura elementalist is adorable and I am enjoying my Norn ranger. Once I am able to fully take advantage of the trading post and get my economy mini game going, I know I’ll be back on track to being the raving fan I expected to be. See you in game…

PS as always comments are screened. Rest assured constructive comments will be unscreened as soon as possible.

I’m a Boomkin Biker Babe, Don’t ‘ya Know It!

Badass Boomkin Biker babe

In perhaps one of my most significant BETA findings to date, I’ve discovered that my boomkin is now able to ride her mounts whilst in Boomkin form!

That’s right — your eyes are not deceiving you.

And it’s not limited to ground mounts either. Here I am on my Headless Horseman’s Mount:

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And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

xo Anexxia

Why Hello There, Shadow Priesty Lady…

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I wasn’t expecting to be posting a screenshot of my shadow priest exploring in the new Pandaren lands. But here we are. All thanks to my twitter buddies Psynister, who was helping me think of a way in, and Krizhek (tytyty!)who was so kind as to give me a BETA key.

Welcome back, Anexxia, I really missed you.

And stay tuned to hear about all the shadow priest changes, pet battles, Pandaren Cooking and more.

xoxo

My Recent Adventures in Guild Wars 2

Wrenz and I exploring scenic vistas in Guild Wars 2

I’ve spent this past weekend doing some additional exploration of the beautiful world of Guild Wars 2. This was my third and final BETA weekend participation. Now I just have to sit and wait impatiently for the game to launch next month. Very impatiently. I’m still enjoying SWTOR, but I’ve become charmed by GW2 and want to spend some time exploring all its new places.

I was excited that they gave us the ability to play Asura this time, as I had been looking forward to play the adorable wee creatures. I am, after all, a huge fan of the gnomes in World of Warcraft. The other big addition to this BETA weekend was the addition of the scenic vistas, most of which are accessible via platform jumping or scaling up vine-wrapped architectural supports.

I am not terribly good at figuring out the datacrons in odd places in SWTOR, but so far, I have been able to get to all the scenic vistas I’ve spotted on my map in GW2. Granted, I’ve not gotten past level 13 due to all my race and class jumping around so perhaps they ratchet the difficulties up a few notches as you get to higher levels. In addition to a small amount of XP, accessing a vista rewards you with a cutscene that is a sweeping view of the area your character can see from their vantage point.

Charr mesmer

My first weekend of playing I spent the bulk of my time on the Charr Mesmer you see above. Although fundamentally I don’t think Mesmer is the right class for me (as weapon swapping and dodging out of the way of damage is not something that comes naturally to me), I am a big fan of the beautiful Charr and will definitely be playing at least one of them through to the end of their story.

I recall being a little frustrated while playing the first two weekends with the difficulty in keeping my professions leveled up in synch with my character’s level. This was due in part to not having had much luck selling items in the auction house. This weekend on the other hand, I was able to offload many items in the auction house, and thus could afford to purchase the supplies I needed to level up artifice and tailoring on one character to 25 skill. While this didn’t quite mean that I was keeping up with my ability to make gear at my own level, I did still craft a piece or two for myself to wear, so overall I’m good with its progress. Additionally, it seems as though the quest rewards have possibly gone up a little bit. I am just not finding myself as cash strapped as I did in the earlier BETA weekends. And that is a very good thing!

Gw023

I briefly played around with a Sylvari Ranger and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed a ranger class for a change. I can’t say that I’ve had the best luck in the past with them, but in the name of trying out all my ranged options, I had rolled one this weekend. I like that GW2 makes it easier to manage your pet’s health — when they need healing they limp up to you so you can take care of them — no searching through a monster-infested bog to see where Mr. Whiskers expired!

I’m not sure I can say that the Sylvari grew on me (no pun intended.) It was nivec that Wrenz and I chose different options on character creation, so we were able to see two of the forms the character story can go depending upon some of the alignments chosen. But overall the plant people are just not sucking me in to their story. Perhaps they just take a little bit longer to charm you than the Asura and Charr.

Rather than starting a new blog to capture my Guild Wars 2 adventures, I think I’ll just work them in here. And once the World of Warcraft Mists od Pandaria expansion launches and I pop into that for a while, you’ll see that here as well. Hope to see you in game!

P.S. leave me your GW2 player name so I can add you to my friends list!