Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Memoriam Citizens of Orgrimmar

Found this in the Cleft of Shadow, just off the Drag(okay, actually my kiddo found it).

In this dark cleft, the true shadows of
madness and vengeance took hold, and
many faithful Orgrimmar citizens lost
their lives.

Let us never forget the lessons that
were learned in the siege of Orgrimmar.

Apart, we will fall. Together, we are

I've never done Siege of Orgrimmar, I've never even watched any videos of it, so I don't really know anything about it. But I thought this was a really nice tribute to those who were lost.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Impressions are Everything

Gonna talk about the first *barely* 24 hours of the patch. Disappointed in some things, very happy about others.

  • New Character Models-I wasn't real thrilled with them, I knew that pretty much going in. And though my computer handled beta just fine, I had massive lag during the first bit of logging in so I turned new models off. Maybe the lag was just server stress, or it could be me, but I like my old models for now.
  • Class Changes-I haven't played all 11 classes yet, and there are good and bad for the ones I have played. Druid:hate hate hate the travel form change, hate it. Really can't say that enough. And my glyph that made stealth faster is gone. Boo. Mage: So squishy, so so squishy, ugh. Rogue, Paladin, Death Knight: so far so good.  Haven't played the other classes yet.
  • Guild Levels Gone-Haven't really noticed. Is anything missing? Not sure yet.
  • Blasted Lands Quests- Fairly easy. I was only going to do once, because all is account wide. However I think they hotfixed in some gear rewards so a ring, necklace, cape and trinket that are for the most part better than all my characters are wearing(Ilvl 515), yeah, I'll take those. They only take about 20 minutes, plus the chance at finding a Bronze Whelpling pet(none yet). And the Iron Starlette pet comes in different breeds(if you know anything about pet battles), AND they are cage-able, which means after the quests are gone I will have 40 EXTRA to sell!
  • Stat Squish-Barely noticeable, really. That whole "lower level dungeons/raid will be a cakewalk" thing, so far for me, is AWESOME! I've only gone to Zul'Gurub to farm those two mounts, but what was taking me and the kid a real effort to kill those bosses, I can now kill alone in about 5 seconds! Incredible! Black Temple, you are next!
  • Toy Box- This is excellent of course, I think I'm over 80some toys right now, still trying to find them all(so many alts!). I see much typing of DELETE in my future when I really get to cleaning out bags. 
  • Reagent Bank-helpful some now, but holy cow it will come in handy when Warlords hits. 
  • Void Storage extra page-Not gonna lie, this has really come in handy for a couple of my characters! So much room!

 I haven't looked at the auction house, and so many add-ons are borked that it's going to take me awhile to adjust. And of course there are bugs and crashes. Not to mention BEING LIED TO ABOUT BEING ABLE TO FIGHT ORDOS WITHOUT A CLOAK. Whatever, I hear even the elite cloakies can't beat him right now. Nope, I don't NEED raid gear if I don't raid, but there is MORE in the world than raiding, like those War bosses that drop the mounts, the dinos that drop Primal Eggs-it would be nice to have better gear to fight those without having to raid. Celestials was a nice addition that I did for awhile, and got a few things, but whatever, I won't complain anymore about that(or try not to anyway).

Overall Grade so far: C+

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Transmog Tuesday: Dwarf Shaman

 Today's transmog outfit is on my Elemental Dwarf Shaman, another one of my very favorite outfits.

Stalker's Helm of Second Sight
Drakesfire Epaulets
Raiders Chestpiece
Ironforge Tabard
Raiders Gauntlets
Rotberry Waistband
Raiders Legguards
Engraved Boots
Dragonstrike Reborn(not actually transmogged, that's the weapon he is using)
Royal Treasury Couriers Shield

Much of this set is based on the Raiders/Marshcreeper sets, and there lots of alternatives to go with them-and requires a lot of patience waiting for the pieces to show up on the auction house. There are also a number of different options for shoulders, but I found these cheap on the auction house and like how the spikes work with the rest of the outfit.

 If you have any questions you can ask here or find me on Twitter!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Patch Tomorrow! What's in it for Soloers?

  Patch 6.0.2, the advance patch for Warlords of Draenor, arrives on our computers tomorrow, Tuesday the 14th. (I don't expect to play until Wednesday of course, isn't that typical?) So what is in it for soloers and altoholics? Quite a lot!

  • New Character Models-this change is purely subjective. I'm not wild about the changes and might revert mine to the old models for awhile. It might also be better for my computer to be on the old, lower pixel, models. I was in beta and honestly wasn't really thrilled with the new look or movements. But they might grow on me.
  • Class Changes- so many things here. As an altoholic, and as someone with at least 2 of each class at level 90(one each Horde and Alliance), it's going to take time to get used to all of the changed. There is a lot of ability pruning, which in some cases is a good thing. There is one change that really grinds my gears at this point-taking away my Druid cheetah form when I choose to use it! What that means it "travel form" is one button-aquatic, land and flight. So that means if I am in an area with flight enabled such as anywhere on Azeroth, I can't just run around in cheetah(I HATE stag form), can't run back and forth from mailbox to auction house, can't do archaeology in cheetah, can't just run around where ever I want in my beautiful, beloved little cheetah! My first main was a Druid, and I ran that little cheetah until nearly level 60 because I couldn't afford a mount way back then. I LOVE MY CHEETAH! DON'T TAKE IT AWAY! (sorry for the rant)
  • Guild Levels Gone- as a soloer, this one doesn't affect me as much, or it doesn't matter as much-and it's ultimately a good thing. Yes on my 4 main realms, 3 have personal guilds. One has managed to get to 25, the other two are at around 15. This change means all guilded characters get all of the benefits that level 25 guilds used to have. And all of my unguilded characters? The perks aren't worth it for me to attempt to find some place with strangers to hang around. 
  • Blasted Lands Quests- the new expansion event, sending us to the Dark Portal to fight off the Iron Horde invasion. Looks rather easy to do. At this point I am pretty sure that the achievement title, ...the Iron Vanguard, is account wide, so I won't have to do the quests 43 times! I hope that is the case. However, the mini pet that comes with it apparently comes in different breeds-and if you are into pet battles, that could mean doing the quests numerous times in order to get the "right ones". Plus, there is a Bronze Whelpling that drops from the mobs in the area, so I am expecting much farming in the weeks to come.
  • Stat Squish-this might be one that throws the casual player off if they haven't bothered to read anything at all in the last few months. On beta I barely noticed the number difference. BONUS thing here is there will be a new mechanic added to older raids/dungeons(lower than 85-?-)that will make them basically a steam roll for those at level 90 or higher. I really hope that means I can send all alts to Zul'Gurub to farm those mounts each day!
  • Stat Changes- reforging is gone. For someone who didn't raid, I never bothered with reforging, so I really don't care. The stats "hit, expertise, dodge and parry" are gone. Since I never bothered to do the whole min/max thing, these don't mean much. But this means the annoying part of mobs dodging you hits is gone! Excellent!
  • Auction House Merger- Horde and Alliance auction houses as one, dogs and cats living together. Not really sure how this will be. Glut of resources to compete with though more buyers. But no more sneaky selling things to your cross faction alts. Hoping for cross faction mail in the future. 
  • Justice and Valor Points gone- never gathered many of these, so just send me the money from all the valor I gained doing dailies in Pandaria!
  • Toy Box -might be biggest change of all! All those fun items taking up valuable bank and bag space moved to toy box! Account wide so ALL my characters can use the Orb of Deception or other fun things! I can't wait for this!
  • Reagent Bank -a whole other bank page JUST for reagents. Costs 100g, which is pittance. Auto-upload all mats to that page, goodbye inscription, engineering, mining bags. For characters without access to a personal guild bank, this is very helpful. Not to mention most mats changing from 20 per stack to 200 per stack. Oh yes.
  • Void Storage- a whole 'nother page for Void Storage. Hoarders and transmog collectors rejoice!

  So those are the main changes. There are other minor UI changes, such as adding a number to cooldowns(goodbye OmniCC), more info on Mount page plus a "favorite mount" option with button, quest log and map merger, change to some older dungeons-RFC, RFK and BFD, and all those nasty Kor'Kron guards are gone from Orgrimmar and Undercity. There are quite a few other changes to current raids and a new level 90 dungeon, but as a soloer those do not affect me.

  Now let's see how soon we actually get to play!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Solo Mount Farming While Waiting for 6.0

    One of the things I've been doing for the last however many months, in addition to leveling alts, is to farm mounts. At this moment, as I write this, I am at 198 mounts. Most are from reputations or grinds such as the Argent Tournament. Some require incredible luck out in the world(such as the Time Lost Proto Drake or Aeonaxx, neither of which I have).But I like the kind you farm on your own inside a dungeon or raid, without anyone else to compete against.

  I'm going to list all the ones that drop in those instances or raids, and whether or not I actually farm them(and how easy they are at lvl 90)

Vanilla Instance Mounts

  • Deathcharger Reins-Rivendare in Stratholme(lvl 51): easy though time consuming. I finally got this one after instance timers went up to 10 per hour and I could run more often. 
  • Resonating Crystals(4 colors)-trash in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj(lvl 60): easy, and if you kill all the trash just before the first boss, you will probably have 3 of them in the first few runs. The red one takes longer because it's a much rarer drop.
Burning Crusade Instance Mounts

  • Raven Lord-Anzu in heroic Sethekk Halls(lvl 70): easy, but it is only one run per day, so having many alts helps here. 
  • White Hawkstrider-Kael'thas in heroic Magisters' Terrace(lvl70): easy, but again, heroic, so many alts help here
  • Fiery Warhorse-Attumen in Karazhan, raid(lvl70): easy, boss is at very front of raid, but once per week, alts are the key
  • Ashes of Al'ar-Kael'thas in Tempest Keep, raid(lvl70): middle. Time consuming since you have to kill other bosses first, and KT adds are so annoying with stuns. I don't have this one and I rarely attempt it because it's so annoying.
Wrath of the Lich King Instance Mounts

  • Blue Proto Drake-Skadi in heroic Utgarde Pinnacle(lvl 80): easy, second boss in instance-but you can skip the first one; heroic means once per day, alts mean many more attempts.
  • Bronze Drake-Infinite Corrupter in heroic Culling of Stratholme(lvl 80): easy but time consuming, waiting for Arthas. This is 100% drop if you get to certain part of dungeon in a certain amount of time.
  • Grand Black War Mammoth-4 bosses in raid Vault of Archavon(lvl 80): middle. I could typically fight 2 or 3 of the bosses depending on character. The main issue here is your faction must control Wintergrasp to do the raid. I'm not much of a pvper, and it seemed like my faction rarely has WG. Finally got this one to drop this very morning!!
  • Azure Drake-Malygos in raid Eye of Eternity(10 or 25man)(lvl 80): easy. Once I figured out the right tactic, it seemed really easy. 
  • Blue Drake-Malygos in raid Eye of Eternity(10 or 25man)(lvl 80): easy, same as Azure. I got both mounts in one attempt each by two different alts. Not sure if it's a high drop rate or I got really lucky!
  • Black Drake-Sartharion in Obsidium Sanctum(10 man)(lvl 80): tough. It is a guaranteed drop if you kill Sartharion while leaving the three other main drakes alive. Didn't actually solo, duo'd with my kiddo.
  • Twilight Drake-Sartharium in Obsidium Sanctum(25 man)(lvl 80): tough. Another guaranteed drop with the 3 drakes up, finally trio'd TODAY with kiddo and hubby
  • Onyxian Drake-Onyxia in Onyxia's Lair raid(lvl 80): middle. Depends on the character, some classes were much easier than others. I was able to solo with about 15 or my characters a week; finally dropped for one of my Rogue's.
  • Mimiron's Head and Invincible-both are 25man lvl 80 raids, and I've yet to even set foot in them to attempt.
Cataclysm Instance Mounts
  • Drake of the North Wind-Altairus in Vortex Pinnacle(lvl 84): easy with rogue. Second boss in, on normal with Combat Rogue, these are really easy. Tip: if you don't get the drop you can jump off side and be teleported back to entrance, step out, reset and repeat. 
  • Vitreous Stone Drake-Slabhide in Stonecore(lvl 84): easy with rogue, same as above. Also with quick portal back to front. 
  • Zulian Panther and Razzashi Raptor-bosses in heroic Zul'Gurub(lvl 85): tough. I can't solo them, but I have started to duo them with my kiddo and out stealthy characters on the weekends. No luck here yet.
  • Pretty much every other mount from level 85 raids and anything else, I don't even bother with

  As I mentioned above, I'm currently at 198 mounts, with a Primal Egg due to hatch in 2 days. I finally figured out that I can farm the small dinosaurs on Isle of Giants with my hunter *and* the bones they drop are becoming non-bound with patch 6.0 so I can send the ones I gather with my hunter to my main druid who already had a large stack going.  I will have another post with the other sort of mounts that can be farmed while solo such as those that come from the Primal Egg.

Thanks for reading!

Updated to add:  Thanks to Joar for reminding me about the mount you get when you complete Zul'Aman in a certain time. Will need to read up on that and *hopefully* after tomorrow it will be much easier to complete!
Also, my Primal Egg turned into a green raptor-which I already had!! Nooooo!
And thanks to help from kiddo and hubby, we managed the hardest of the achievements for the Northrend Heroic Dungeon and added the Red Proto Drake to my mounts. Now I am stuck at 199!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Transmog Tuesday

This is my Moon Guard rogue. Transmog is:
Bloodfang Mask
Spaulders of Black Betrayal
Gladiator's Leather Tunic
Hellscream's Reach Tabard
Dog Training Gloves
Nightslayer Belt
Bloodfang Pants
Worn Running Boots
Gutgore Ripper x2 on daggers

If you have any questions, you can ask here or on Twitter!

Tip of the Day-Tol Barad tabard

  Looking for something to do while waiting for Warlords of Draenor? One of the items I've been spending the last few weeks acquiring is the Tol Barad tabard( Horde: , Alliance: . It is basically an extra hearth back to Orgrimmar/Stormwind. If you are placing your hearthstone at the Ashran capitals, you have a hearthstone for your garrison, there are times when you just need to get back to your faction's main city for whatever reason. Not all of my characters are in a guild, so hearthstones are on 30 minute cooldown and no option for the guild cloaks. So Tol Barad tabard it is.

 These tabards are available to Honored and cost 40 Tol Barad Commendations. If your faction has control of the lower island with the extra dailies, then you could get your tabard is as few as 4-5 days. And being level 90, the quests are easy to plow through and yet the mobs are green level and gathering ears for the Darkmoon strength quest is easy. Not to mention selling all embersilk cloth, and savage leather if you are a skinner, on the auction house.

  I know most people reading won't need this extra route to your faction capital, like I said, with 15 minute hearth, guild cloaks, etc. But in my opinion you can't go wrong having yet another way back when you need it. Plus the tabards are rather stylish with the Horde being mostly black with red trim and Horde symbol on the front, Alliance being a brown with eagle face on front.

Coming later...after maintenance...Transmog Tuesday!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Why I Still Solo World of Warcraft

  Today was going to be a post about collecting mounts as a soloist, but I'm having Comcast issues and can't seem to stay online for more than 30 minutes at a time. Playing WoW has been right out the window today. Which stinks for me really, because what else am I going to do with my time? Stare at Twitter waiting for new tweets to come through. Welcome to my world.

  So I thought I would talk about the reason why I still solo-and only solo-in WoW.  When I started this blog, there were a number of other blogs by people who soloed in WoW. And then LFG came to the game and it seems that the definition of "soloing" went out the window. In my opinion, if you are joining dungeon and raid groups, you are no longer "solo", even if you never converse with others you are still grouping with them. I have absolutely no want to ever group with other players in this game. Nothing personal, I'm sure there are some really nice players out there, I talk to a few through my blog here or on Twitter. But the thought of grouping in game sends me into a panic attack. And that's just the first reason.

       When you join a group, whether it is dungeon or raid, you are committing yourself for an undetermined set of time. You are agreeing to help the other 4/9/24whatever number of people to accomplish the task at hand. You will not suddenly bail out for no reason. But I can't do that. My kid comes first, and if she calls and says she needs me for whatever reason, I want to be able to drop what I'm doing and go. I've only got a few more years where this might happen because before long she just flat out won't need me anymore. I'm there for her no matter what and I refuse to bail on a group if something comes up, so I won't join any groups in the first place.

Bad Player
     For those reading who do LFR and LFG, I've read the stories-there's always the really awful players who do horrible dps, die all the time, etc. Nobody wants to be "that guy". I especially don't want to be "that guy/gal". But if I joined a group, I can guarantee with 100% certainty that I would be. Not interested in attempting to soar with eagles because I don't want to be the turkey.

Panic Attacks/Social Anxiety Disorder
   Is it a mental illness or just an excuse? I had a panic attack this weekend in a huge crowd at a high school function. They aren't fun. I can't control them. When someone I don't know talks to me or gets too close, I freak out. I prefer to use self-checkout lanes and if there aren't any, I probably seem rude because I don't make eye contact or answer questions in complete sentences. In the game, if someone whispers me out of the blue, I generally get really defensive, apologize profusely or just log out and play another character-and it doesn't even matter what the whisper was about! I've had people whisper telling me to go "straight to hell" because I helped kill a rare mob on Timeless Isle that this guy was "trying to tame", and people whisper me asking if I want to group up to farm for rep. I treat them both the same-panic, log out, move on. It's just how I am. The only people I talk to-not just on a daily basis, but EVER-are my husband and daughter. That's it! My mom lives out of town and I have no friends at all. That's my life, sitting at the computer, playing WoW or watching youtube.

There Is No Main, Only Alts
   As I mentioned the other day, I have 43 level 90s. I love the gratification of leveling up. Getting new gear does not excite me(unless it's transmog gear, my characters have to look good, even if they are just farming!). Plus I have this weird thing where I almost absolutely can not level a character that doesn't have rested xp. Must have blue line, no purple! So I level many characters at once. And when they hit max level, I don't care what their item level is, I move on to the next character to level. None of my characters got the legendary cloak, but I did manage enough reputations at exalted to get "the Beloved" title.

  So you see, I do love this game, there is plenty to do as a soloer, but I don't need anyone else to make my experience better. If it requires outside help, then it isn't something I need to have. Pet battles, farming transmog, farming mats, crafting for alts, farming old mounts and leveling alts-plenty to take up all my time in Azeroth and beyond.