Friday, November 21, 2014

One Week Into Warlords...

  This place is beautiful. Overall I am having a really good time. I am however feeling a little overwhelmed at times. Logging in each morning to deal with garrisons on 16(at this point in time) characters can be taxing. I'm already kind of tired of seeing that mine. I will probably figure out some sort of system, but right now I feel like I need to do everything!

  One week in and I have 1 level 100. A level 94, 8 more at 92 and 6 still at 91. And another 20whatever that haven't made it through the Jungle. And today begins the Anniversary event. My level 100, my main if you will, still hasn't really done any quests in Nagrand and has an ilvl of 601. And you need 615 to get into the Molten Core LFR. Oh I will probably hit that with crafted gear and rare drops/quest upgrades and maybe some pvp gear. But do I really want to attempt the LFR? Still not sure yet.

  So what have I managed to accomplish in one week outside of leveling?

  • PROFESSIONS: Aside from mining, they aren't really going anywhere. A few points here and there, but nowhere near 700. Fishing and cooking(as a byproduct of fishing) are high 600s, but regular professions, forget it. I can't wait for Darkmoon Faire. 
  • BATTLE PETS: Yep, went out and gathered up all the battle pets available for that achievement. Frostwolf Ghostpup was my 2nd archaeology find. Crafted the Elekk Plushie and Lifelike Mechanical Frostboar. And I have most of the pets found out and about from rares and treasures. And hit that 600 mark on the last captured battle pet to get that achievement for the Stormwing. Doing good in this catagory. And can I say, that level 2 of the menagerie with all your little fave pets running around the garrison makes me smile to no end!
  • MOUNTS: I chickened out and bought Garn Nighthowl off the auction house. It wasn't too expensive though, I've definitely spent waaaay more on other mounts. Working on the Garrison Stables mounts, looking forward to those. Have not managed to find any of the rare drops yet. Ain't got time for camping, haven't been lucky to be right place right time.
  • GARRISONS: Got the achievement for level 3 mines easily. Halfway to herb garden achievement, pretty close on lumberyard. The rest are going to take a very long time. 
  • ANYTHING ELSE? I pretty much haven't seen any place other than Draenor for the first week. And I found out that 12 hours a day really is my limit to playing. I used to stop around 5pm to make dinner, watch tv with family. Now I play 5am to 5pm and hit a wall, even if I'm not spending loads of time on dinners(lots of pre-made meals still available). And lots of server maintenance(like today) helps with getting up and getting other things done around the house! So I'm not complaining. 

  Overall impressions? I love the quests, I won't get sick of that while leveling many characters. The random upgrades are really exciting, though frustrating when it comes on from a rare that drops something you can't use. The garrisons are fun though still overwhelming, but I'll figure that out eventually. The landscape is beautiful, though Gorgrond still scares the hell out of me. Lack of flying? Not too bad, though I sure wouldn't mind having it in Spire of Arak, that place is confusing! 

  One other note, I have yet to set my hearthstone on any character in the Ashran cities. I just can't bring myself to do it and I don't really know why yet. Maybe it's a protest because of the adjacent pvp zone. I'd just rather go back to the shrine or Orgrimmar/Stormwind than spend any more time than necessary in those new towns. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Yes, Illidan, I will be prepared!

  As we wait to join the masses headed into the 'new' Dark Portal, we should take the time to make sure we are ready. Really ready. I mean prepared in-game, in body, in spirit, in mind. In refrigerator. What garrison buildings will I make? What will I drink to keep me awake? What snacks won't stain my keyboard? So I made checklists...

In Game

  • Bags: Made sure I had the biggest possible without breaking the bank. That means "free" bags from Onyxia(22 slot), Mannoroth(20), Forge of Souls 1st boss(20 or 22), Grummie Pack(24). And cleaning them out. Get rid of Timeless Isle buff things, old food(still had Northrend food on a few characters!)  And being consistent among characters-hearthstone always in same place, etc. Opening up a good 70 or so bag spaces means less time spent using vendor or bank. Done.
  • Banks: Clean out as much as possible in bank, make use of reagent bank and void storage. Not all my characters have loads of bank space, but with the toy box and extra void storage, it is certainly better than it was!
  • Action Bars: Consistency is the key. Making sure things are set just the way I want them, favorite mounts chosen, any macros set, similar spells on the same keybind, etc. The great spell purge made room on the bars for things like toys and more mounts/pets!
  • Glyphs: Many glyphs changed in patch 6.0.2. Make sure you have all the ones you want and have them installed. Some glyphs even changed to be "exclusive" with others(such as no 'Glyph of Mend Pet' and 'Glyph of Mending' at the same time). Time to find new ones to use. My 4 scribes(1 for each of my main realms I use) were able to use the new research method to learn all those hard to find glyphs(Unbound Elemental for example) and made glyphs for all of my alts. 
  • Transmog set: I know this seems trivial, but gotta look good while crushing the Iron Horde. Oh and I still need to go buy that yak for transmog on the go!
  • Buffs: On the last day of Hallows End, I made sure all of my characters got the bonfire buff that last 2 hours( Unburdened for Alliance/Grim Visage for Horde) for a 10%experience boost, as well as the Darkmoon Faire xp buff available this week. I'm not really sure how much these will increase the leveling in the first couple of hours but any little bit helps I suppose. 

Preparing my mind

  Everything should be just right when you plan to play for extended periods of time. The Dark Portal will open(or however we get there) for me at 2am. That means going to bed early, setting the alarm, and attempting to wake up and be ready at that time. Not to mention I will have to take the kiddo to school at 7am. Preparing my mind means making sure that I can be in the right state of mind for the first few days. As I write this, it is T-minus 12 days until launch. I won't be playing much in the next 12 days. Some pet battles with lower level alts and that's about it. For someone with 44 level 90s, I probably don't get 'burnt out' like others do. But I do get that need to get away when I spend too much time in-game. And with the amount of game time incoming, I want to clear my mind before launch day.

  This also means preparing my work zone. In the next week and a half, I will do lots of cleaning. All laundry possible(so nobody asks for ANYTHING while I'm trying to play!), completely cleaning off and disinfecting my desk, and then making sure the kiddo and hubby prepare their work zones! Any yard work or house work or anything that might need to be done, I'll be doing it double this week just to be sure I'm not interrupted.
Preparing my body

   One of the best things you can do on a gaming binge is to attempt to snack healthy and take the time to get UP from the desk and move around. I'm not really the healthiest eater, but I'm making a checklist for groceries with better choices and easy make-ahead meals for at least a week.

  • Drinks: Gatorade, water(flavored), some soda(but not excessive), ice coffee drink things(I'm not a huge coffee drinker), frozen smoothies. I don't do energy drinks, but if that's your choice what can I say?
  • Healthier snacks: pre-packaged apple slices w/caramel, carrot sticks w/ranch, granola/power bars, popcorn, hard boiled eggs, nuts like peanuts or almonds. And gum.
  • Easy and make-ahead meals: Sure, there will be hot pockets and frozen pizzas, but I also intend to pre-cook some of ground pork, keilbasa and chicken; maybe do a slow cooker pulled pork shoulder; get tortillas and whole grain bread; and my all-time go-to mac&cheese. 
  I am lucky in that my hubby and kiddo also play, so we will all be in this together. Kiddo of course has to go to school during the week. And hubby works nights so he won't even be home when the launch happens.

  Another habit I have is to browse the internet when on flight paths. And constantly checking Twitter. Those will be put on hold of course, though I might just keep one Twitter page open just for updates and to keep track of notices from BlizzardCS. During flight paths: GET UP AND MOVE! I've never been one to update this blog daily, but I will try to keep anyone who still reads this at least once a week(Tuesdays during maintenance?) how things are going with my many, many alts.

Last but not least

  I will be spending the time I am not playing these next 12 days doing research. I was in beta, but things changed so much from day to day. I will research garrisons, new stats, rares, toys, minipets, and more. And then make write what I need to know in a notebook so I don't have to alt-tab out to Wowhead all the time. And then make more cheatsheets for hubby so he doesn't ask me every 5 minutes "what extra stat do hunters need again?".

  And hopefully then I will be prepared for Warlords of Draenor on November 13, 2014!