Friday, 30 April 2010

Getting muddled (or a post in points)

I'm still suffering from residual confusion after last night, so whilst I fully intend to let Pilf write her stuff... at some point... you're going to have to put up with me debriefing myself a little more first.

Point the First: Ok, the idea was a little off the wall, I knew this as did the Other Half. We had agreed how we would get Pilf and Afaon to meet - the whole gift thing, and what the follow on would be - they would cross paths in Silvermoon, but beyond that we hadn't planned anything. I was more resistant to not planning than the Other Half was - truth be told I suspect that he would have liked more discussion and more planning as he's more of a thinker than I am, I tend to charge into stuff and then worry about how to actually _do_ it at the point where I'm all caught up in it anyway. But what I really didn't want was to over-think it, and seeing as how it's not how 'we' would act but how 'they' would behave, there didn't seem to be a great deal of point in over-analysis.

Point the Second: It was a lot harder than you'd think. The Other Half and I did our 'date' period, we now live together and have done for 2 years. And we all know the drill when you start living together - after the initial rush of 'wheee we have unlimited access to each other' has worn off - she discovers that not only does he break wind regularly and odouriferous-ly he does it in bed; he discovers that the matching underwear is consigned to the 'occasional use only' drawer, and don't even think that you get to decide what constitutes a 'special occasion', to use random examples. But actually, on that point I have a question... To all the ladies out there (and maybe to the gentlemen, I would hate to put people into boxes!) why do we give men the impression that scratchy lace underwear is something that we regularly wear, nay, enjoy wearing? Who really enjoys wearing underwear that is deliberately made to cut into your bottom? Do we know anyone who really-truly-honestly and routinely wears stockings or holdups? We have no-one to blame but ourselves, I suggest, that when for years to come our chap buys us this type of kit for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and Valentines, where upon we are offended. I only know one person who actually wears matching underwear (the comfy cotton 'matching' but beyond the usual 'bra is black so I guess knickers should also be black' type 'matching', you understand, not sexeh lace 'you are on a promise tonight baybee' 'matching') and it's very much her dirty little secret that she wails about when she has imbibed one to many: Someone tell meeeeee - why do I have a 1950s housewife inside me battling to get out??? (Yes, I know WoW blog - not the place for gender politics, especially from a woman who plays a blood elf female as her main.) Ahem. Where was I before we took a paddle in the TMI river? Oh yes, the oddness of having to not know the person you live with. But it's not really the Other Half that Pilf is interacting with, it's Afaon, and neither I nor she knows much about him. So we have to let them find their own way.

Point the Third: I know who Pilf is, how she thinks, how she feels, how she reacts. The Other Half knows as much as the rest of the people who read this blog and not much more than that. I on the other hand don't even have that much information about Afaon aside from the Other Half's view of the initial thang. The Other Half would be the first to admit that Afaon is just growing into 'himself' having always been a meat shield and not much more up until now. So the Other Half is at, I would suggest, a slight disadvantage already. When you now add 'our' personalities to this, and anyone who has ever been in gchat, vent or both, will probably agree that I might be fractionally more talkative and extrovert than he is, it all gets interesting. Because Pilf ain't like me is she? Pilf's not the let it all hang out - default spec is wench persona that I am (on the interwebz). So Pilf and Afaon's relationship isn't going to mirror 'our' relationship from the get-go. Which is good and just how it should be, but if you take two shy, repressed and introverted people and put them in a room together... well it isn't likely to be all crackling electricity and charged looks is it? Then add all the pressures of being Sin'dorei, and Pilf's hang-ups and Afaon's issues to the pot as well. Is it starting to seem complicated yet?

Point the Fourth: I know no-one is making me/him/us do this but I/we want to. I have no desire, zip, nix, nada to get Pilf romancing with someone random on the server. None at all, and I assume that the Other Half would find it incredibly difficult if I did, because damn straight, if the shoe was on the other foot, I would be chucking my toys out of the pram (and other equally mixed metaphors as well). Yes, it's pixels, but we all know that behind those pixels lurk imaginary friends people. Nor do I have any interest in getting into cyberlols ERP. Again, not judging, but not for me. And certainly not for Pilf. Also, it is fantastic muse material. Obviously I haven't written Pilf's view of this as yet, but I have a fair idea of how it's going to go. And I adore writing 'her' posts, almost to the point where I worry that Moar Alts is getting a bit fractured, veering as it does between my random inanity and 'her' RP posts. Oh to have the energy and time to maintain two blogs /sigh. Maybe one day. So yes, we'll carry on with this and see what happens. Neither the Other Half or I have any idea what the end point will be - we haz no planz. But y'know, it's another facet to my gaming and that's all for the good!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

In which I discover how much blood elves value their personal space.

The Other Half and I decided that we would let Pilf and Afaon meet tonight. So we sat on our keyboards, with our headphones on and music playing (so we couldn't 'cheat' and talk to each other) and let the Fates take their course. Despite my choice of music being suitably atmospheric (Ella Fitzgerald, Otis Redding and the like) I had the wobbles. Remember that first date feeling? Where you don't always know that much about the other person, you don't know if it'll be an utter disaster and the butterfiles are turning somersaults in your tummy? Well, ok it wasn't that bad (I do have some grasp of reality) but it was still decidedly odd. Talking in /say is still odd to me, coming from a PvE server where it's something that only... well I don't even know if the newbies even talk in say, and in the cities it's just the trolls (no not those sort of trolls, not the bluey/greeny ones!) and spammers who use it. So we moved from Silvermoon fairly quickly (not confident enough to be RPing in /say in a city as yet it seems!) to go walk in the woods.

Pilf striding off ahead: Don't even think about invading my space...

So we walk some more and at some point she got brave and extended her hand and Afaon took it...

Ok, this maybe before she was at the hand holding stage: See this area *extends arms* this is my space. See this area *gestures* this is your space.

They have a discussion about which road to take (hmm, nothing deep there, no subtext at all I would add) and eventually (!) decide to go to the beach. So they meander slowly down to the beach (dang it's quite a walk as well) and ignore the level 5 ether fiends that come over, hit Afaon and go 'damn you paladins and your retribution aura' *shrivel and die* as best they can. Eventually they reach the beach.

Can you feel the passion: Ok, we're here, now what??

They make some small talk, well Pilf makes some small talk 'Isn't the sea beautiful?' style thing. Afaon's response: 'Not as beautiful as you'

Still with the personal space thang: Yeah just 'cos we're on the beach bad boy, don't you be thinking you're seeing any action tonight!

Eventually they sat down and got talking. Pilf tried to be her usual standoffish self but a little bit of warmth did eventually seep through. Despite her protestations about her family's reaction if they knew where she was she did lighten up fractionally.

See this they're nearly touching: Yeah get creative with those camera angles and we can make believe that we aren't actually two repressed, shy Sin'dorei after all...

She did get her Cinderella complex on though and had to be back to the City before night fell. However, despite the stammering, bashfulness and the personal space issues they have agreed to meet again. Pilf will probably be along tomorrow to run you through events as she saw them. There may be less focus on personal space (but more soul searching).

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Epic quests are epic.

Having gotten both trinkets I toodled off to the Eastern Plaguelands to do my priest quest - with far too much confidence, for heaven's sake, this was a level 60 quest and I'm ten levels above that. How hard can it be? Eris explains the quest... yes, come along, I know this. I've been to YouTube thank you, it's easy mode. And WowHead says the same... But screenies to explain anyhows:

Ok yes, I know. Save 50 peasants before 15 die - how hard could it possibly be? Like the first aid triage thing - it's just a case of getting your eye in etc etc. ZOMGWFTBBQ fucking hard is how hard. The first attempt I viewed as a learning curve *cough*. The second and third attempts were frustrating as helpful, random abominations and screechers and all the other shit that runs round the Plaguelands decided that Pilf looked tasty and munchable. Then I had a tantrum and decided to watch Waterloo Road with the Youngest. Because oh yes, should you fail the quest a few things happen:

1) My mate Eris tells the entire zone that you failed to save them in /yell. Just what you want when you are frustrated and failing - the whole zone to know. Fortunately the whole zone consisted of single figures but thanks for that regardless Blizzard [sarc] /bow.

2) Eris, bless her cotton socks, then despawns for about 15 minutes so you can grind your teeth and beat yourself up some more.

Oh and the 'severe punishment' mentioned in the quest text is this dude. The Cleaner. He's immune to melee and spell damage dontcha know.

This is what happens if your thought process is along the lines of this (most profanity removed for your pleasure):

1) How the fuckety-fuck am I going OOM in both shadow and holy specs?

2) I know the Other Half has a shaman...

3) Let's get the shama over here to chuck some totems up.

4) Oops bad plan. Tantrum some more.

I then did attempts five, six and seven. And watched inane tv whilst I waited for Eris to respawn. On attempt eight (Waterloo Road had now finished - yay) I'd got to the 'fuck it, one more attempt and then I'm going to bed to punch pillows' state. And, of course, I did it.

I know that I've been banging on about this recently but fuck vanilla WoW must have been hard! Like srsbznz. I was going OOM with about, ah I don't know, 8.5-9k mana. Plus Wrath potions, shadowfiend, mana regen elixirs and belfie racials. But then I can't down-rank my renews, which I guess you could do (hey, I remember down-ranking!) That said, you have to actually be able to play, y'know the kind of thing: have spatial awareness, move around, cast on the run, prioritise. None of which are my strong points.... And it got my 'oh fuck I'm shite' thing going again, all of a sudden I was back in Ulduar being miserable. Going shadow may just be the best thing I've done thus far.

But I have a shiny stave - look up - see stave that is shiny. And god-damn it if it wasn't all worth it. I'm damn proud of myself (and very thankful to all those who helped, whether it was in MC last night or via supportive comments in gchat - I hugely appreciate it!) because I didn't give in, throw my hands in the air and let the Other Half do it, which is my usual reaction to Wow stuff that I don't get! I really wanted Pilf to have this, and I wanted it to be me that got it for her - I love the Other Half dearly, but not enough to let him play Pilf - she's all mine. And exceptionally happy tonight too!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

My goodness - he's big!!

Ignore my interface please...

Woot - big-assed dead dude.

In case the above weren't hints enough - I killed Ragnaros tonight! For someone like me, a TBC gal, this is a big deal. Honestly, I never thought I'd see him killed. Kaorin, Random and the Other Half are hero(ine)s. My specialty was aggroing everything...

Bah, incoherent post is incoherent....

That place is stunning. And as if I had ever needed a reason to respect 40-mans.... it just confirmed what I thought. Having found 25-mans a struggle in the main, the effort and cohesion Molten Core must have required... I'm kind of not getting the words across. Maybe:

/cast Boggle
/cast Awe
/cast Respect

Yeah, that should do it. And thank the Fates - my quest item dropped as well. Plus I have a bag full of epic whatnots - some of which I need to sell and some of which, no doubt, will make it into Pilf's wardrobe. Incoherent post is still incoherent. I hope that the joy and wonder of tonight comes across.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Two letters... and a gift.

[Disclaimer: I make no apologies for the fact that this particular post (and probably a few others to come) is about the Other Half and myself exploring RP between our characters in Azeroth. But it is just RP - it's not ERP! This is about whether we can 'collaborate' on something RP related in-game and keep it 'separate' from RL, if that makes any sense. The Other Half will probably be writing from the other side, as it were, on his blog.]

Today I received the most extraordinary letter in the mail. It came from a paladin by the name of Afaon, who states that he has fought alongside my cousin Naofa, on various Crusades. I am delighted, charmed and appalled in equal measures! My cousin should know better, should be more of a gentleman, than to be bandying my name around with his comrades. Reputation is everything with the Sin'dorei, I shudder to think of his companions knowing who I am; goodness knows that any respectable gentleman would not think highly of a woman who was discussed in this manner. But I know my cousin and I cannot believe that he would discuss me in a derogatory way, more likely that he has confided to his close friends, to his mentor, if the letter be believed, that he has concerns for me. I am trying to recall whether I have passed Afaon in Silvermoon. He seems fairly certain that this has happened - and on more than one occasion! I confess that I do see Naofa in the company of his comrades in the City occasionally, but I have never gone and spoken with him or introduced myself to his companions - I would never be that forward! And gossip circles Silvermoon at the speed of wildfire, the last thing I would want to do would be to cause Naofa's family any reason to tighten the reins they hold over me or give them any indication that my freedom should be curtailed!

The letter contained, and I can barely believe this, an enchanted broom, such as those that sweep away the dust motes in the City! Where he would obtain such a thing I have no idea! It is utterly delightful, such a thoughtful gift, which makes me convinced that Naofa must have talked about me in some detail; how else would Afaon know the pain my homesickness causes me, my longing to be back in the City, walking in the Woods, paddling off the coast? I fear that he would think less of me for this weakness, but then I realise that he must, in some way, understand it to have obtained this charming gift for me. Of course, I assume that all paladins are like Naofa, the thrill of the Crusades staves off any homesickness they may feel, or more likely, their 'world' is not receptive to such tendencies. I ventured back to the City after receiving this gift and took it out of my bag - it behaved exactly like all the other brooms, save that wherever I went it followed me. I feel a childlike awe every time I see it!

Of course I was then in a terrible quandary - how should I respond? Without a mother to guide me, and not wanting to alert the wider family I feel hopelessly out of my depth! To not respond would be unforgivably rude. Nor would I want this to reflect badly on Naofa - a member of his family shunning such a gesture from his mentor could be very difficult for him and adversely affect his prospects so I decided I should reply. I found writing a response very troublesome, determined as I was to strike the right balance between correctness and, dare I say it, encouragement. I know that I have resolved not to get myself entangled with anyone but I felt it would be appropriate to pen a note carrying my thanks and my wish that next time he happened upon me, he would introduce himself. Is this terribly forward? I feel that it is (and I can imagine the wider family's reaction if they ever found out - I would be 'escorted' back to the Cloisters post-haste) but what alternative did I have? And, though I hate to admit it, I am becoming weary of seeing the world revel around me whilst I carry on my independent way.

Whenever I visit the City I see couples in the Inns, watch the drinking, the flirting, the hot-headed arguments, mainly with a cynical view but occasionally with something resembling jealousy. To have someone feel so much for you that their hand flies to their sword at any perceived slight, real or imagined must be a wondrous (occasionally tiresome) thing. Oh, I know Naofa would defend my honour to the hilt, but he would do this for family loyalty, not for more complex reasons. Not that one would wish for a man who found any excuse to drink and duel, but occasionally always being the witness, never the participant induces melancholy.

I have therefore written to him, thanking him for the wonderful gift, and asking that he would allow me the opportunity to express my gratitude in person. I have no idea when I will be able to do this, as I know from Naofa that the life of a paladin is an unpredictable one but feel that the Fates will eventually align and allow me to thank him. I am already at a disadvantage - I am unable to repay this gift, so the least I can do, I convince myself, is to have manners, remember my kin and try to find some gracious words to express myself.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The day Lady RNG decided I deserved cookies.

So as I don't really know where to start with writing about today I'll start with the obvious. You may recall that I'm determined to farm Magister's Terrace for the Phoenix pet. Fortunately the Other Half was amenable to this suggestion so we go off to see if we could duo (the Other Half might say: solo) it. We could - yay, but no pet. Then the Other Half suggested that we should try to do it on Heroic. Fortunately some lovely guildies took pity upon me us him and came along (thank you Issy, Gerrard and Randomara). I got some lovely shinies from Kael, but was cross that he had yet again failed to drop my pet. So engrossed in this fact was I, that I failed to notice that actually he had dropped something even better. It wasn't until I was trying to work out what mount they were talking about in party chat, and assuming that it was the uber-omg-if-I-got-this-I-would-cry-for-days one that drops in The Eye, I realised that the white hawkstrider had dropped. Which I then won the roll on. Big, big squee!! I've also gone from Neutral to Honoured with the Shattered Sun Offensive in less than a day /flex. I did make him run it again with me on Normal but still no pet. Ah well. Isn't that *just* the right mount for Pilf??

I then took myself off to WoWHead as my current headpiece offends me. Yes, I know that I can deselect 'show helm' in the Options Menu but I have Outfitter set to pop me out of my DPS gear and into my city outfit automatically when I enter a city. And I like my Magister's Hood and want it on display but can't be arsed to go in and out of the Options Menu, so as a result I have my idiotic helm on display all the time. It's a blue turban with a red feather sticking out right above my eyes. I don't think I'm being overly picky here when I don't want to see it... WoWHead told me that there was a gorgeous shiny one in The Arcatraz so the Other Half agrees that, why yes, he would love nothing better than to take me to yet more instances so we toodle off. As we get there the Other Half's brow furrows in confusion... and he realises that somehow he has never done this instance to completion. Hmm. That's not a good sign. At the end of Burning Crusade our little party of five farmed the instances - like you did 'cos what else was there to do? And we couldn't even pick up raid level gear with emblems, oh no, we just got bog standard emblems, none of this higher item level stuff *grumbles*. This was intriguing, he always tanked, why no completion...? We realised that we had in fact gone there a few times, as it was part of the Kara key chain but then we got to the last boss and remembered why we never bothered when it was the daily. Because it's bastard fucking annoying that's why. So natch my helm wouldn't drop because that would be too easy, right? But then it did. Seriously. I also got amazing shoulders with glowing balls on them. F.U.N.K.Y in extremis, oh yes.

All of which makes me sad that there are so many places we never see. Yes, I know I've grumbled about this before. But it wasn't until we went to do MagT on Heroic that people realised they couldn't as they hadn't done it on Normal yet. Another reason why we should run old content said Randomara and I couldn't agree more. I'm totally considering suggesting making a set night 'revisit old content' night, in fact I might toodle off to the forum now and stick something up...

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Grand Tour - Nagrand/Zangermarsh

I find myself in a quandry of sorts. I have spent some time in Outlands now, and would hope that my assistance has been helpful. I left the Penninsula as quickly as I could; this I readily admit. I found myself sent to Zangermarsh, a peculiar place, and full of trolls. Whilst I continue to find it distressing to offer my skills to trolls they were gracious (as far as they are able to be) and generous with payment for my assistance. Such an odd place though, huge mushrooms stretch far into the sky, the land itself is riddled with small rivulets and islands and every corner teems with naga or giants. From Zangermarsh I travelled to Nagrand.

Nagrand is beautiful. Lush and fertile, cut through with sparkling rivers and lakes, it is a soothing balm for eyes which have recently been assaulted by harsh red sand, or have been peering through the unending gloom of the marshes. Here the sun shines brightly and the nights are clear, stars spread out like a scattering of diamonds on a velvet cloth. There is more than a touch of magic in this place; there are islands floating high in the air, some with waterfalls cascading down, and I must confess I have sought sanctuary and peace upon them on more than one occasion.I have been advised, though, that whilst I still grow in skill, I am sufficiently advanced that I should journey to the frozen wastes of Northrend. I am naturally flattered by this, I feel in a short space of time I have come far, but I am unwilling unhappy to travel yet further from my home. There is much more to be done in Outlands, this is my justification to myself, but am I being selfish? Should I not go where I am bid without question?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cuddly stuff (kinda)

Anna’s Friday ficklet-thingy asked a good question about pets and mounts. Kam has already written a stunning post to answer the question. Being still quite new to the whole RP thang my post will not be as long (or, I suspect, as beautifully written) as I really only have Pilf’s viewpoint to write from.

I think I have already mentioned that whilst I have nothing agin shiny ponies (I bought the Other Half one as an early birthday prezzie) I won’t be getting one. I run two WoW accounts; my original account and my new account. Pilf and Kyr are on the new(er) account, my original priest, Shadrynne and my belfadin, Kythes, are on my original account. So to start with, I would have to ‘choose’ between accounts, and therefore between characters.

Whilst I love Shad a great deal, and have very fond memories of her, as well as achievements that I will never get on Pilf (random examples are ftw, obviously), she has a bucketload of mounts already and doesn’t need anymore. She has little RP value to me, which I’ve given up trying to do anything about. She was created and played mainly for PvE end game and that was the function she fulfilled, prior to her semi-retirement. She also has a shiny green dragon of awesomeness that I lurve. Kythes, bless her, hardly ever gets played (she started life as a human paladin called Raynebowe due to an long standing joke with an old friend, apropos of me having, ahem, care-bear tendencies…) Melee pew isn’t something I enjoy and the world is over run, it seems with paladin healers (and I was never much good at healing as a paladin). She does the occasional lap of the Storm Peaks to mine, and cuts gems but basically, that’s all. And she certainly can do that without a sparkly horsie. There’s also Millis on this account, my sulky gnome warlock, who I could see riding it, but as she’s sulking and on permanent (it seems) retirement, it would be an exercise in pointlessness. .

So my newer account has Pilf and Kyr on it, from an RP perspective anyway. No matter how much I stretch my brain I cannot fathom a set of circumstances in which Pilf would have access to such a mount (but seriously, props to people who can work this into their character’s story), nor would she ride one - she’s barely got over the novelty of being able to fly on a beast she can recognise – but the thought of her riding something that looks like it has been woven from stars …! Along the same vein, I desperately want….long for… and adore Hogs. But Pilf would rather walk until she wore out her shoes, until her feet blistered, shredded and then bled, than get onto a contraption like that. Kyr, on the other hand, I could definitely see riding one – so I’m pinning my hopes upon him!! I don’t want Pilf to ‘never’ have a mount aside from her wind-rider, but it really is important to me that what happens to her is ‘appropriate’ and works for her. I struggle madly with the fact that her hearth is set to Dalaran – when she has never been to Northrend, but I excuse it on the basis that sometimes, convenience for me has to come before what’s ‘right’ for her, but mounts etc does not fit this category. What I actually want for her, because it would fit so well, is the snowy gryphon, but bah to faction specific mounts.

I haven’t given much thought to pets, at least RP specific ones. I was (and still am) amazingly flattered to have received the bear cub as the result of one of the competitions in SAN’s fishing extravaganza and she does have a few pets, it seems. But again, pets for me, have hostorically been something to vaguely rotate through when bored in instances, then things that actually have *meaning*. The one 'pet' I do think Pilf would adore though is the Broom to remind her of home. The issue is that I can't ever see her doing AT stuff, especially not jousting, and without jousting 40 seals might take some time. So I have two options, as I see it. Firstly Shad just gets one and sends it to her - boooooooooring right? Secondly, she is sent one from an admirer *pointed look at the Other Half and (vain?) hope that he gets why this would be A Good Thing*. (And, no, it's not because I hate jousting. How can I hate it when I don't do it?!) I guess if I could work it somehow she'd like the firefly but I remember the grind to get it on Shad... Maybe the mana wyrmling because of home, but she has the various dragonhawk hatchlings and they don't seen to do much for her. I'm now losing myself in the WoWHead pet page.... And this has to be one of the coolest pets ever. I nearly killed a guildie when I saw he had it. Anyway - tangents are bad. So here's my carefully constructed wish list (but achievable, i.e. nothing that's BoA or from Cons I've never been/will never go to. for Pilf's (RP) pet collection, in no particular order:

Enchanted Broom - to stave off homesickness.
Captured Firefly - for the 'Still Flying' flavour text. Yes, I know it's a reference to a series I've never seen but it's also quite Pilf...
Mana Wyrmling - for shininess and belfness.
Captured Flame - because who wouldn't want to pretend they had a dead night elf enslaved to them? Because it's slightly ethereal and very Pilf in an undefinable way.
Kirin Tor Familiar - for those days when she kinda wants to open a can of whoop-ass and pretend to be a warlock (also known as PMS...?) On a side note, I'm not sure if this is achievable for me as I don't have the patience (or time) to sit in one spot for hours waiting for a random bloody spawn.
Mojo - whilst she waits for her Prince to appear.
Scorched Stone - mini flaming elemental is good. But shitty drop rates are shitty.
Piglet - because she does have a soft side.
Yeti - see above comment.
Phoenix Hatchling - if I have to explain this then everything I have written about Pilf was pointless and I'm going to go and cry.

The last one is the most important. Hmm, joint first with the broom anyway. And, when she is high enough, she will be running MagT until it drops!

Monday, 19 April 2010

One can be fun.

At present I'm playing, what for me, is a different game. My first character (my warlock, who has been through more race and sex changes than anyone, frankly, should ever have to endure and is currently a sulky, never-played female gnome on my old 'home' server) is the only character I have ever basically played solo. Pretty much all my other characters have been levelled to 80 in tandem with the Other Half's 'matching' characters (as a point of preference, I hasten to add, not because I had to, lest anyone think the Other Half is some scary, over-controlling sort, I'm not usually... brave enough to play on my own, sad as that sounds...!) Whilst Pilf fitted this description up to the mid 50s, I have been solo playing with her a great deal since then. And, wow, it's an odd feeling.

I guess in part this has been a result of being on an RP realm. I have mentioned, in previous posts, how much I had wanted to roll a character on an RP realm, but had been put off due to nasty stereotypes of RP folk and my terror of inadvertently offending said RPers. But what can I say? These RP sorts are a friendly bunch, it turns out, and the way Pilf has developed suits solo play in many ways. Sure, the Other Half and I still play together, in groups or when, ahem, I want to remind myself of the Zangermarsh instances but can't bear the thought of PuGing them, but I'm levelling her solo in the main, and have been since I hit Outlands. It is, of course, completely different solo. Previously I had some big, plate wearing meat shield between me and the mobs. Now there's just me. The days of zerg, zerg, zerg are past, certainly but I'm discovering that I actually can withstand a suprising amount of damage and not die. Ok, I'm too high to be doing Zangermarsh in a meaningful way, the mobs are, at best, only 3 levels below me, but does it *really* matter? I've pretty much finished the entire zone (yay!) and am getting ready to move onto Nagrand. I've realised, sadly, that I won't be able to hit 80 in Outlands, and at some point I will have to make the jump to Northrend, but dammit, I'm going to get as far along as I can before venturing off there.

Solo play also allows me to get further under Pilf's skin, which I find very hard to do in a group; probably why I'll never be able to RP her effectively in instances. As I bumble around questing I try to think like she would, to experience the world through her eyes, for the first time (not through my jaded lenses, for the 5th time.) And that adds additional depth to my gaming, I have to say. I never had much issue with HFP, she hated it (not unsurprisingly) and couldn't wait to leave there. I couldn't fathom how she'd handle Zangermarsh (many trolls!) but, as you may get from that fact that I/we are still there, she has enjoyed it. I worry about taking her to Nagrand as I have a feeling she'll see the floating islands, stock up on food and water and refuse to come down. And of course, if I was prepared to really RP her, to demonstrate complete commitment, I suppose I would let her. In a way, I feel quite sad that I 'can't' let her, it would be her idea of nirvana but I enjoy playing her way too much.

But back to this solo lark, it's good fun isn't it? It also occurs to me that in many people's view, I've been playing back-asswards for far too long. I think it might be why I have created Kyr; the Other Half doesn't really have anything of that level (as far as I know) so he may well be my second solo character. But come Cata, and goblins (squee!) we'll be back together, levelling as we always have done. And in the meantime, the Other Half gets some quality interrupted game play on his (many) toons. And I get to consider whether I can start to entwine Pilf and Afaon somehow (yes, in that way), in a way that won't make it yukky for those around us... or whether Pilf is better remaining solo in all things.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Because talent deserves recognition

I present you with the real Pilf. Many thanks to Dristanel. I still don't have enough words to express how much I adore this artwork.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Random blatherings.

I'm one of those people who really doesn't want to know about expansions before they hit. When Wrath was on it's way my household was interesting, divided as it was into the Other Half who wanted to know every detail about every new area and race, and as much incidental info as he could lay his hands on, and me who's view was 'lalalalalalalalala' *covers ears and eyes*. Now with Cata on it's way we're living through the same thing again. I agree with Jaedia (who, I must also advise you, has a wonderful blog full of shiny things - so go read now! Additionally, Kaorin, as well as being a wonderful priest full of healing awesomeness (except if you're a fail DK from TRoF) has an excellent sense of style. I'm sure she also has a blog of awesomeness but I can't find it...This is what happens, people, when you say I can name names on my blog!) in that most of the stuff about Cata I don't want to know. Especially as so much if the Old World is going to change. I want it to all be shiny and new (as far as that is possible).

I do confess to having read the class changes, but that's a different kettle of fish. Knowing what's going to happen to your class is not the same as knowing about new races and new areas. And I want to have gotten my QQ out the way as soon as possible. And, y'know, I decided that a lot of the changes really only matter if you're either PvPing or raiding. And since I'm doing neither, and it'll probably all change anyways (anyone else remember that priests were going to get Power Word: Barrier in Wrath, but oh, wait, it was too OP so we didn't, but now we will. Uh-huh... Hey we now have ponies (as promised by Ghostcrawler) though, so who knows!) and my ranty-pants still don't fit, I'm not bothering. But please, give priests shadow form earlier, kktnxbai.

But new areas I want to remain mysterious, hidden and full of wonder until I take my baby goblin (no, I will not be rolling a werewolf, sorry, worgen) and start exploring them. This makes surfing the WoW-web interesting to say the least. Especially as my home page is set to (I know this is deeply geeky, no need to point it out) and in my half awake state first thing in the morning, when the caffeine hasn't quite kicked in, I often get half way through an article before my brain wakes up and says 'noooooooo!' Fortunately I have a brain like a battered sieve so I usually forget.

This post had a point I'm sure, but it seems to have gotten lost. And as I have a raging eye infection (yay...) and am not technically supposed to be on the comp at all (did you know that you blink less frequently when you stare at a VDU which ain't that great for your eyes? Or do you think the Doc at A&E secretly plays Alliance and somehow divined that I play Horde and was just being mean? And I know it's going to be a fab weekend, weather-wise here and that I could be out in the sunshine but I'm massively photosensitive at present as well. And really, Jackie O shades and a huge sun hat really isn't a good look on me) I'm going to bugger off now and do... something else. Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Noblegarden Redux

Kyr's worries had been justified. Sure enough, after the exam and his individual interview with the magus, he had been told that he would indeed be specialising in fire, a 'pyro' as the other students damningly referred to the specialty as. Most of the students had been right about their path; gut instinct often being a useful measure of a situation. Some had protested, some had even dared to argue with the magus, but all to no avail. Kyr had chosen not to waste his breath and accept the inevitable. He consoled himself in part by the hope that as he advanced and became more experienced, he could take up frost as a second speciality at a later date, and in the meantime, well he did get on quite well with some of the frost students and everyone liked to discuss their knowledge, brag about it, really, if one was being truthful. Kyr planned to spend as much time as he could studying the students and seeing if he could pick up any useful tips along the way...

Unfortunately for Kyr, the magus had decided that the mid-spring festival, Noblegarden, would provide an excellent proving ground for the young trainees. Historically this had been useful to the magus, as well as a certain level of talent, and willingness to buckle down and study, the trainee mages needed to accept that sometimes rewards came via the ability to consistently apply ones self to a repetitive chore. Spells and incantations could be learnt by nearly anyone really, anyone who could read and mutter lines of text again and again until it imprinted itself on their memory but the ability to really stick at something was even more vital. Every year the magus weeded out the students who were unwilling or unable to undertake a menial task via the Noblegarden Festival. He gathered the students together at the beginning of the week long celebration and advised them of their task.

"Every year," the magus began, "we celebrate this festival, and the masses cram their mouths with chocolate with little or no regard for symbolism, for the cycle of life it represents; of birth, death and re-birth. In years passed you will have been one of these people; eating chocolate, maybe wearing special robes or suits give to you by your doting parents. This year will be different." The magus paused and surveyed the group of students looking at him. Every year he assumed that one of his students would know what was coming, that someone would have slipped up and passed on one of the 'mysteries' to prospective trainees. It had yet to happen, and this gave him a huge amount of satisfaction. Though he will never again have the youth of his trainees, never again have a firm, strong body, never again have joints that rarely ached, never again have vision that was all but perfect, he still had the fear and respect of all the students he had ever taught. Even the unsucessful ones held their tongues and passed nothing on.

The magus nodded in satisfaction and continued. "You have always taken part in the egg hunts willingly, I assume? Greed being a very motivating factor." He again surveyed the students, nodding anxiously before him. "This year you will again hunt eggs, but this year you will have to find something other then chocolate. A few eggs, very few eggs will contain a magical tome that you will need to learn a spell, when you are sufficiently advanced in your lessons. These eggs look exactly the same as the eggs that will provide you with chocolate and can be traded for clothing. The tome is only visible to students of the magical arts, so any notions you may have about cajoling or enlisting younger siblings or friends, or paying for the services of those in need of the gold," the magus paused and his brow knitted as he glanced briefly in the direction of the clique the students referred to as the 'golden few', the students of the affluent families whose magical abilities could be traced back generations (explaining both their riches and their influence), "will ultimately be pointless. And consider yourself lucky that I give you this warning. Mages should have integrity and I should not need to advise you of this fact, but I do because you will have to work hard enough. Additional hindrance will not help you. You have exactly a week, one week from today you will each be standing before me with your own tome. If you do not have this tome, you are not required to be here, I will find you individually and speak with you. Finally you should note that I will not be interested in seeing any of you until the time I have stated. If you choose to spend sixteen hours today searching and are rewarded you effectively have a 'week off', however I would assume that you will find constructive ways to occupy your time, and I would suggest that you continue to study. Equally if you choose to search for an hour a day, the same applies. You have recently undertaken one exam. I would not assume, if I were you, that this will be the last one you take." The magus smiled, causing the students to look at each other in consternation and suprise. "Enjoy Noblegarden my apprentices, and happy hunting."


Excited blogger is excited.

For those of you who don't read this hmm, well you should, because not only is the blog full of awesomeness the writer is a stunningly talented artiste to boot. And a few days ago the offer of commissions was made. Even though there's a few oceans between us, thanks to the wonder of money transfer through the ether, I was able to arrange and commission for Pilfkin to be immortalised as art for ever. I'm deliberately not putting in exclamation marks because damn it, it if the entire post wouldn't just be full of them.

And not only is the artiste incredibly talented, they have managed to totally understand, from my serious description fail and a few screen shots exactly what I wanted, sample quote: I find it hard to describe her, I just know what she feels like when I play her. Because, let's face it, you have to be pretty awesome to get what I mean from that, and yes, of course I provided a bit more info than that but even so. Awesomeness regardless. And this morning, in my inbox was the mock-up of the sketch and I know it's early but I'm am so excited, even though my caffeine levels are stopping me from bouncing all over the room... well I'm bouncing in my chair.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

That reputation? Sometimes it is deserved.

Because however bad the PuG fail may be, it's all blog fodder, right?

So in our battle group there is a certain realm that makes everyone despair (and I have no idea if this is standard - but I would be intrigued if this the situation in all battle groups?) In a straw poll recently (i.e. asking on g chat) one person said that had PuG'd with someone from that realm and they hadn't been 'too awful'. That was the most positive comment. I had yet to have had any experience with this realm (urgh, ugly syntax is ugly), which I will call TRoF (The Realm of Fail) mainly because I avoid healing PuGs like most people avoid standing on top of high buildings during thunderstorms. But happily the Other Half tanks and there's a lovely priest in the guild who heals out of preference, leaving me to practice my deeps (and whinge about my lack of AoE). So the three of us decided to go PuG-festing because, hey when the tank, healer and one DPS know each other how bad can the other two DPS be...?

We get a hunter and the seemingly obligatory DK. Well, ok this is Outlands at mid-60s and actually, in the main, I have gotten over my irrational hatred of DKs. But I digress. Actually, I don't, because just when you convince yourself that it is not reasonable to hate an entire class based on the actions of a few (asshats), and remind yourself (often) that you know people who play DKs well and are all round good sorts, it is painful to have your nearly forgotten prejudice come back and slap you repeatedly round the face until irrational hatred comes screaming out of it's (nailed and padlocked) box going 'Wheeeeeee! Remember me??? Well here I am again.... wheeeee!' Now not letting the tank pull is high up on my 'How to be a Asshat in PuGs' list. It's at joint Number One (along with chain pulling and not realising that your healer cannot heal with no mana, for fucks sake what is wrong with you, oh yes please blame me when the group wiped because you couldn't wait 25 fucking seconds for me to have a fucking drink what the fuckety-fuck is wrong with you, you fucking jerk *breathe*) And yes, Death Grip has its place and yes, it is useful, for running mobs, for casters, for incidental aggro and actually the Other Half is grateful when it's used like this. When it is used because you Mr dps DK from TRoF feel that despite not being the tank, you have the right to decide when to pull it is a giant pain in the fucking arse. The Other Half asked him not to pull. His response was 'tank faster'. The healer warned him that if he continued to pull she would not heal him because, say it with me, he is not the tank. Now here's where I get cross. I go to vote kick. It tells me 'players cannot be vote kicked during or shortly after combat'. WTF??? So even more incentive to be an asshat and chain pull then... because if you stay out of combat for too long you'll get booted? Really - how does this help? Eventually, the Other Half, the healer (who is lovely and I adore and I'm only not writing her name because I'm never sure if people mind being name checked), me and even the hunter had had enough and we let him die. Pause. (Natch, he demands resses...) I hit the vote kick button - I'll be the bad guy, I don't care at this point (though I assume that other might have been as well), and it tells me that he cannot be kicked for another 8 minutes. What????? Now I might be going mad but I'm 99.99% sure that in 3.3 the timer for the vote kick was removed. Either we got a bug, my memory is screwed up or they didn't implement this, again, if anyone knows please share, because it's annoying me. The DK from TRoF continues to demand resses. We all continue to take no notice and carry on (the vote kick timer is saying 8 minutes before I can kick...) We take the first boss down and continue clearing trash. The DK continues to demand resses, seriously, this would be the point at which you release and run... Eventually he releases and gets to his corpse, let's flow with a delightful stream of Italian and leaves the party. We get a nice rogue in immediately, who's words upon entering the group are 'thank god, no-one's from TRoF' (I promise you, I'm not inventing this) and we carry on and clear the instance. And because I can understand most, but not all of the insults I present you with:

I love the fact that there is an Italian version of 'nab'.

If I could be bothered I would Google the words I can't understand but I think it's enough that I got 'bastard' 'whore' 'piece(s?) of shit' and 'nab' (actually I assume nabbi di merda is 'nab shit'?) This from someone who presumably felt he had behaved in a civilised manner and that somehow, the other 4 people in the group were in the wrong /le sigh.

I also wish that I didn't need to adhere to my personal rule of not naming and shaming because on occasions it's fucking well warranted. And this is one of these occasions. But it's thin end of the wedge territory, I know... so I blur all names in screenshots (thereby protecting the innocent and the guilty) but it makes me grind my teeth which does nothing for my pressing headache. And apologies for the rant. But I do feel better for it!

[EDIT] Further apologies for the unusually high level of profanity, which I usually try to avoid but this time I couldn't help it.

Monday, 12 April 2010

To Outlands.

My travels broaden still further and have finally led me to Outlands - beyond the Dark Portal. The immediate area, Hellfire Peninsula, is an unimaginably awful and aptly named place - baked by the unceasing suns, a desert of red rock and sand, full of hostile creatures and the shattered remains of the Burning Legion. The main township, Thrallmar, as one might surmise, is full of orcs, with trolls, tauren and forsaken, and even the occasional goblin (on the lookout as ever, for business opportunities) too.

Fortunately I met Martik Tor'seldori there also, who assured me that the sin'dorei had an outpost in the same area. Falcon Watch is unmissable, a shining example of civilisation, its gold clad tower rising into the skies: proof that even in the midst of savagery and hostile terrain, my people can create beautiful architecture. I have offered my assistance naturally, and they have been able to find me duties to undertake. Duties which, I hasten to add, are hard to bear when coming from other races, but when requested by my own people are an honour. I may still be relatively young and inexperienced, but I am able to do my part for the betterment of my race! I understand that not far away is the capital city, Shattrath, where The Scryers have made their home, soon I will travel there...

One thing has made Outland bearable thus far. In the midst of Thrallmar I discovered a stable of winged beasts and was astounded to learn that they were both trained and docile! I am ashamed to say that I was overtaken by my emotions; the desire to be free, to be able to take to the air on a whim, fought with my normal frugal instinct and won. Before I had time to think this decision over, I handed over many gold coins to a troll who taught me the rudiments of 'flying' and then even more gold to a tauren who chose a suitable wind rider, as these beasts are known, for me. I know that this was a ridiculous unjustifiable expense but I believe that the ecstasy of swooping through the air will be something I shall never grow weary of. The freedom, the ability to rise high into the sky, to see the land stretching out below me, the settlements insignificant, the people in them even more so, fills me with a feeling I struggle to describe. The enormity of the freedom granted to me fills me with gratitude so strong I have spent much time brushing away tears (some of which I try to tell myself are caused by the wind stinging my eyes) trusting my wind rider to hover, until such time as my vision clears and I am reliably able to pick up the reins again and steer her in the direction of my choosing.

My time in Hellfire is now nearing an end. I have been asked to hasten to Swamprat Post, an outpost of trolls, and to offer my assistance there. As I have been asked by my kin I will go there, but I have so enjoyed being with my own people that I do not relish being in the company of trolls once more.

{I realise that much of this sounds familiar, I was less than happy with my original Outlands post.}

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Because wherever I am, they find me

If someone was on a wind-up I'd love to know who it was...!
Alternatively there are people out there who take Snottydin *way* too seriously.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Kyr - a brief introduction.

Kyr sighed deeply and looked at the pristine sheet of parchment in front of him. He gripped his pen hard, hard enough to turn his knuckles white and started to write. Within a few minutes the parchment was covered in writing and Kyr's fingertips were stained black from the ink. He wrote with great speed, almost fury, paying little attention to presentation and, if previous efforts were anything to go by, even less attention to accuracy.

Kyr had been so proud the day that his parents had woken him early and announced that today he would meet with the scryer. Finally, after years of seeing his brothers and sisters march off with his parents, and come back later that day, brimming with joy, secure in the knowledge that they now had a path to follow, it was his turn. Whilst Kyr's parents weren't wealthy they had provided well for the education of each of their children. Kyr's father ran a tavern in an outlying village, and his mother, whilst declining to work behind the bar, had always kept the place clean and welcoming, and was happy to cook food for hungry clientele. Barmaids of a variety of races had made the bar more popular than it might have been, everyone knows that the first duty of a barmaid is to smile and be interested in the mundane lives of the customers and whilst having many points of note, the blood elves are not renown for either their tolerance and interest in the other races of the Horde, or for their interest in the petty flotsam and jetsam of peoples lives. Growing up int he tavern though, had ensured that all the children were used to being surrounded by the Horde as a whole, not just by their noble blood elf kin. (Kyr, as a result, could swear fluently in both Troll and Orcish, and was able to mutter unpleasant sounding curses in Gutterspeak...)

Kyr had risen quickly, dressed as he was bid and left the house with his parents. He didn't even know where the scryer lived. As they walked further into the Woods, and the path turned into a track and then into nothingness he began to worry. What happened if he (for the scryer must be a man, to have visions such as he had!) was unable to see a future for Kyr? Would that mean that he alone amongst his siblings had no affinity? That he would have to work in the tavern with his parents for the rest of his life? His thoughts were interrupted by his father pointing up a small hill, "You need to go up there alone my son. She'll know who you are and what you are here for." Kyr started - his father had said "she". So the scryer was a woman? His was expected to trundle off up the hill and what? She would magically appear before him? How would she know who he was? However he voiced none of these thoughts and after hugging his mother briefly, and being clapped on the back by his father, he began the ascent to the top of the hill. When the incline levelled into flatness he realised he was at the top, but there was no-one to be seen. He turned a slow circle, but saw nothing and no-one. As he stood there, feeling slightly foolish, wondering what he should tell his parents a melodious voice came from behind him.

"You must be Kyrlarian, please sit and relax." Swinging round he saw a nondescript woman, clad in a plain robe. Her hair was a dull shade of brown, she had no notable features whatsoever. She gestured for him to sit, and not knowing what else to do, he did as he was bid. The scryer knelt down in front of him and took his hand in her small, grubby one. From a pocket in her robe she produced something similar to a small hand mirror, but with the glass painted in matt black.

"Please," she said smiling, "just relax, this won't hurt at all and will take but a moment." She held Kyr's hand lightly and stared into the mirror for a few moments.

"Right," she said, standing up and dusting off her robe, "All done. Go to your anxious parents and tell them to unearth the robes they have stashed away in a red trunk somewhere. They'll know what to do."

Kyr frowned. "Hang on, I thought you were supposed to tell me my destiny, my affinity! All you've done is held my hand for a few seconds and looked into that... that thing. And now you won't tell me anything? You send me back down to my parents with a riddle?"

"Your parents will know exactly what I mean," the scryer replied, "and I do not make a habit of repeating myself." The air seem to shake for a moment, and the scryer vanished.

Kyr walked down the hill, kicking stones, roots, plants, anything that was in range, as he went. What was wrong with her? Was it too much to know what was in his future? And what on earth was he meant to tell his parents? Surely when his brothers and sisters has visited her then had known exactly what fate held for them. Or had they? They hadn't really discussed the scryer though, because he had though 'she' would be a 'he'... and they hadn't told him what was said either. But robes? What did that mean? Actually it could be a good sign, after all two of his brothers had gone off to their training wearing robes and ok, in fairness the family didn't see much of them anymore because their minions tended to make the tavern's customers uneasy and of course there was the slight 'issue' of having demonic taint but still they were warlocks. Maybe that was it. Wow, that would be spectacular... Of course, his sister had worn robes as well and she'd been called to Cloisters for instruction with the priestess... That would be less spectacular. But his brothers who had been called by the Light had been paladins! But paladins wouldn't wear robes would they...? Kyr was lost in thought and didn't realise, until he heard his parents calling excitedly, that he had almost reached the bottom of the hill. He ran the last few paces and threw himself into their waiting arms.

"Well?" his father said, "Do you have a message for us then my son?"

Kyr nodded, "I'm to tell you to unearth the robes you have stashed away in a red trunk. Does that make sense?"

There was a stunned silence. "In a red trunk," asked his father, "are you sure?".

"I'm hardly likely to make it up am I Father?" asked Kyr. "I didn't know what she was talking about and anyway she wasn't exactly what I was expecting; the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax really, and...Mother why are you crying???"

Kyr's mother shook her head and walked over to him, throwing her arms around him she sobbed "I'm so proud. We haven't had a magus in the family since your great-uncle passed over, I can't believe it."

"A magus?" echoed Kyr, "as in a mage, a magician you mean? That's what she meant by the robes thing?"

"Indeed," boomed his father, "we must get back home and get you packed. I will need to make some enquiries and find a suitable magus for you to learn from. And son, this is a great opportunity for you. Make us proud."

Unfortunately, Kyr was not thrilled and honoured like his parents had expected. Kyr did not view his potential, his destiny, his affinity with anything that could even charitably described as 'positive'. Rather than being a warlock, a paladin or even a hunter like his favourite siblings; learning on the go, travelling, getting into battles, coming home with tales of daring and bravery, he was stuck indoors, surrounded by tomes, having to write and memorise spells and incantations. To make the whole business worse there were virtually a classful of students apprenticed to the magus, presumably this was how he ensured his robes were of the highest quality and covered with golden embroidery - Kyr had heard his parents discussing, with low, anxious voices, the 'donations' expected by the magus and if the amount his parents were giving was similar to the other ten or eleven students the old boy must be swimming in gold. Not that it did anything for his temper or his apparent belief that all students were untrustworthy imbeciles.

To add further insult to injury, Kyr knew that soon each apprentice would be called and the magus would instruct them which school of magic they would focus on. These schools, he knew via gossip and students who's entire family had been magi, for as far back at they could remember, were quite defining. Although all students were trained in all schools of magic and when (if!) they had proven themselves sufficiently in their primary school, they were allowed to study further in another school, the primary school they were instructed in had a certain hierarchy associated with it, and no amount of exhortation by the magus that "all schools are equally powerful and dependent not on ability but innate traits" changed the fact that everyone wanted to specialise in frost magic. There were students (whom Kyr actively disliked) who breezed through this assessment happily, secure in the knowledge that they would be nothing other than frost as their family had been... for generations... etc (yawn). Then there were the offbeat ones who knew that they would be focusing on the arcane magics. Whilst most of the students mocked them for this, they merely smiled quietly to themselves and held the eye of anyone who made fun of them for fractionally too long, until the jester decided to find easier sport elsewhere. Then there were the fire specialists - the 'pyros' as the students referred to them as. Kyr had more than a suspicion that this was where he would end up. Whilst in theory, and in rationale, this should have been a school with a certain respect; after all, would you really mock someone who can shoot flames from the tips of his fingers, the reality was the the pyros were a rag-tag bunch, lacking both the style of the frost trainees and the devil-may-care, 'come and have a go if you think you'll win' attitude of the arcane bunch who were looked down upon by all the students.

Kyr threw down his pen in disgust. It was a bloody forgone conclusion, he knew it. No matter what he did, how well he wrote, how many questions he answered correctly, how much insight he displayed, he was going to be a pyro. Kyr was utterly pissed off.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

I only have one comment to make re priest changes

Because I don't want to wear my ranty-pants until they fit better. But I am going to take great exception to one word. Can you pick it out from the quote below?

Heal (available at level 16): While priests already have a spell called Heal, the existing version becomes obsolete at higher levels, which is something we intend to change in Cataclysm. Introduced at a low level, the "new" Heal spell will functionally work much like a down-ranked Greater Heal did in the past, adding more granularity to your direct-healing arsenal. If you need to heal someone a moderate amount and efficiency is an issue (making Flash Heal the incorrect spell for the job), then Heal is what you want to use. Heal is intended to be the priest's go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). We will be following a similar philosophy with all the healing classes.

Now ladies and jellyspoons, which word makes no sense whatsoever? That would be granularity. I give you an explanatory quote (with example) from Wiki:

is the extent to which a system is broken down into small parts, either the system itself or its description or observation. It is the "extent to which a larger entity is subdivided". For example, a yard broken into inches has finer granularity than a yard broken into feet". Ok yeah.... whatever. Surely there are better words to describe this?

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Shallow? Why yes I am!

~Hugs go to Issy - who know me well enough already (!!) to realise that the beginning of this post was basically already written and was just waiting for the screen shots~

When all else fails and I really can't be bothered to do anything remotely constructive I go to WowHead. I cannot tell you how much I love this site at the moment. The 3D viewer is hours and hours worth of time sink - plus it's cheaper than being at the AH with my finger hovering over the 'buy' button. It tells me for example, that I am going to spend the next few weeks (months?)that I am doing to run Scholomance one more time for a shiny (it dropped - squeeeeeeee!) because my current mission is to get Pilf a Magistrix set of clothes. This does not mean that I need the entire set oh no, because fortunately I want to look like the Belf Magisters in Silvermoon (and I nearly do - look at the screenie!! That's Pilf!!) with, eventually, the addition of this (yay for more jousting?) and that's not what the Magister's Regalia looks like (too much purple to start with). And the base robe is tailored (and BoP I'm glad I picked up tailoring as I could see myself ditching my professions to enable Pilf to wear it).

But back to WowHead. It's building me a nice list of stuff I want to have in my bank, just in case the right occasion occurs... starting with four versions of one robe. All of which AH for upwards of 400g folks. There is the zomg-gief-now shininess or it's blue cousin from AQ - yeah go on, laugh... but who doesn't want the option to be Princess Leia sometimes? There is of course the other option but they're yellow and would clash with my hair... Though I could always dye my hair again I guess *ponders* (Pilf has dyed hair her to lessen her resemblance to her hated mother, in case you were curious) Actually, a confession on that line - when Shad wasn't Shad, back when she was Pilf the First, I had a real thing about my hair. Way back when (before Dual Spec *gasp*) I used to spec and respec depending on what was needed. Now respec used to top out at 50g a pop, but if you were Pilf the First you had to have different hair to go with your spec. So when she was healing she had long flowing straight hair and when she was evil shadow Pilf she had spikey hair (and bigger horns, this was also when she was a Dreanei) and my hairdresser bill got to be... well it was ridiculous and was in the hundreds of gold (I think hair change at 80 is 11g a pop?) Let's leave it at that for now.

I think we have established that yes, I'm shallow as a puddle, yes I'm so vain I have hidden shallows not hidden depths, but really, I have never managed to play a character for long that I don't like looking at. Let's start with the Alliance. Humans? Hated them - the men were steriody and scary and the woman just looked... off in some slightly undefinable way (and the Macarena dance thing /gah) Draenei's I have always loved. Yes, even the scarily large male versions. Gnome females - fine (as long as you are choosy about robes or can find an undershirt with umm... uplift...) gnome males, nooooooo, can't handle them at all. Dwarves are fab - I don't need to expand on this do I? Night elves - well we all know how much of a pointy-ear thing I have going on right? Then tell me - why are male night elves so unpleasant to behold? The first time I saw the Other Half's Nelf druid I nearly fell out of love with him. Seriously - why would you play such an ugly character - mind you the Other Half is the polar opposite of me - while I like to have my characters as attractive as possible, he (I swear) makes his as unattractive as possible. And, yes I'm sure there is room for amateur psychology there but I won't appreciate it if you open up that Pandora's box... Night elf females, yeah I do get it. Apologies to all the feminists out there but I do. And the dance I also get. I know that you're not supposed to want to be able to dance like the only thing missing is a pole, but darn it if it isn't fun sometimes.

The Horde. I think I've covered Belfs. We know how much I adore them (other than the mounts. C'mon Blizz, make a gorgeous race and then as a practical joke give them ridiculous mounts and not fix it before shipping, much??) I like Trolls, believe it or not; I think the male Troll dance owns everything. I do have two requests though - could the men not stand a little straighter, and please, for the love of all things, stop squatting! The Forsaken I also think are pretty good. They hit my goth buttons - what can I say. Mind you, we were having a discussion a few nights ago where someone commented that in the Chinese version of WoW they don't have bone joints sticking out. This I feel, would be a plus. Orcs I also like as well. They have that badass thang going on. I've never seen a dopey looking Orc. Not that I'd point it out if I had mind you! Which leaves us with Tauren. Hmm, I upset people in guild a while ago when I said that I just cannot bring myself to play one. It's the scratching. It really bothers me. Tauren warriors and DK are awesomesauce though. My PvP nightmare is that I go into a battleground and what's standing in front of my is row after row of huge Taurens wearing plate.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying (yet again) that it's so lovely to be playing somewhere where I can actually justify pretty clothes! And that I want an RP event soon so I can generally show off Pilf's lovely new stuff...!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


When RL is kicking your ass so damn hard you feel like you'll never sit down comfortably again, there's always your virtual life. Not that I'm going to bore you with RL shit because for me there is a huge gaping chasm between RL and WoW life. And I like it that way.

So reasons to like my virtual life:

It's totally under my control.
I have no ties in Azeroth. Oh don't get me wrong, I'm (quite) sure that if I never reappeared on AD again, someone would eventually say "I wonder what happened to Pilf...?" (or they'd ask the Other Half a similar question) but basically, I have no responsibility. In previous guilds, where I have held officer rank, it was kind of a pre-requisite that you posted in the AFK thread if you weren't going to be available at your 'usual' time (read: Every.Damn.Night) and I guess understandably so, this is, after all, part and parcel of officer-dom in a big guild. Along side this sits not raiding; I do not have an 'obligation' to log on at a given time, stay 'til a given time and try to make that specified time period as interruption free as possible. Not that I had an issue with this when I was raiding, my view is that barring major unexpected RL stuff cropping up, if you sign up to raid for a three hour slot, you raid for that period. I was driven nucking futs like the Fun Dictator when people declined to show up on time because they needed to get repaired, flasked, fed, gemmed, enchanted or when they preferred to fly round Icecrown mining and "we never start on time anyways so just summon me when everyone else is there" gaaaaah *head go splody*. But I like it the way it is now.

I like the fact that I can be as (anti)social as I choose.
Kind of linked to the above. If I don't want to game for the next hour/tonight/tomorrow/the next day, I simply won't. I don't need to feel guilty because I won't be letting anyone down. If I want to game but not be sociable I play an unguilded alt. If I want to game and be sociable then guild chat is usually full of natter. If I'm somewhere in between I can log onto a guilded alt, but if I don't feel hugely talkative it's unlikely people are going to mind. If I want to concentrate only on being sociable then I can park my tushie on a bench in Silvermoon, natter on guild chat and/or on vent and watch the world RP around me. There's something important in this for me - I have felt previously, that I needed to be 'on' all the time I was logged on, along the lines of; put your best face on and be you, you're Pilf, be up and chatty and witty and flirty and if you don't want to be like that then we'll assume that we have offended you/you're pissed at us etc. And yes, part of this is how you choose to portray yourself on line, I realise this, but equally everyone has days where they aren't the life and soul of the party and surely this should, very occasionally, be accepted? And I'm not talking bitch-fest here, only that basically you could accept the fact that I want to fly round the Basin picking flowers, no I don't want to come and heal you through [insert heroic name here], no it's not you, no everything is ok - I just want some me time, which, if pushed far enough, eventually turns me into omgwouldyoualljustfuckoffandleavemealoneplease! Then you might get bitch-fest. But not usually...

That I have stuff I would kill for in RL in game.
Do I even need to make the list of talents that I would like to have in RL here? I'm sure that tons of people before me have, but just to please myself I give you (with a priestly flavour) the rush hour cure. And who hasn't, on more than one occasion, wished they could round up their colleagues, pick one to target and then really go for it? Or just get your boss to focus on someone else for a change? Having a crap week and needing to cheer your collegues up? Make everyone feel better (for a short time but hey, something is better than nothing). Want the office creep to vanish - try this or this (now I have visions of nonsense bollox reports fluttering all over the office.) Need a pick up when coffee ain't cutting it - better than Pro Plus, I feel. And as for food: cupcakes. Now tell me that you don't need a plate of them in your life regularly.

That there are so many options.
I can fish. I can pick herbs. I can quest. I can instance. I can fly round admiring the scenery. I can sit on a variety of beaches. I can perch on mountains. I can choose between marshland, jungles, forests, woods, deserts, cities, villages and towns. I can go somewhere hot or somewhere covered in snow. I can cook. I can buy clothes, hell, I can make clothes. I can spend ages putting together just the right outfit and working out where to get hold of the bits that I want. I can go and do stuff every day for gold, or I can open a can of whoop-ass on unsuspecting mobs, just because I'm in the mood for some mindless carnage.

I love this world, this game, this alternative (to) reality. I love it even more when RL is sucky, so to Blizz, the developers, my guildies, the RPers on my server, my in-game friends past and present and of course, to Pilf I say thank you. Without this outlet I might be (quietly) going (even more) insane.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Lady RNG

Can kiss my... *ahem*
Can suck my... *ahem*
Got that over and done with.
You may now breathe again.

That rant was brought to you courtsey of Noblegarden, in case you've been living under an ooze somewhere in Un'Goro. However it was the one title I was going to get for Pilf as the others would have involved PvP and there is no way that 'we' would have done that. I couldn't even bamboozle the Other Half into doing it for me, as I just couldn't see Pilf PvPing. Ever. So I spent way too many hours yesterday, clicking eggs, and dealing with my inner nerdrage in extremis. All your eggs in Falconwing Square are belonging to me. Ok? But finally she found a willing troll (thanks Kinie) and got the last bit of the Turn Every Female Around You Into a Sex Object achievement and now she is the Noble. Pilfkin the Noble. Has a nice ring to it doesn't it? (And yes, I fail at the Armoury in regards to poses etc. It's on my To Do List.) Fortunately enough, there isn't too much RNG involved - yes I had to get the right clothes which I did manage, and, even more fortunately, the dress isn't part of the meta achievement. Because if it was the Other Half might have left home, after I'd hit 400+ eggs and not had it drop. Eventually I went and bought it.

However I appear to have decided that I haven't been punished enough. For a multitude of reasons I have rolled a belf mage. Sorry, a male belf mage. Mainly so I can coo at the screen and stroke it a lot (still talking about the screen here folks) and get all staticky but then the Other Half pointed out that, if nothing else, I need to get 100 eggs which I can hand in for Bunny Lols so here I am again, in Falconwing Square, trying not to nerdrage. On the plus side, it isn't that bad. I tend to stand on the strip of grass behind Selyin (the weapon vendor) and zip back and forth among the five or six spawn points. The belf mage will be the subject of numerous forthcoming posts I'm sure, I suspect some of which will be me trying to get my head round RPing a male character (waitwut?) especially one who is so darn pretty. But enough of my warped tendencies... I hope everyone is having a fantastic Noblegarden with lots of choccy, both in Azeroth and outside it!