Sunday, August 29, 2010


During a normal week (I have no idea what that looks like during the summer months) I spend an average of 15 to 20 hours doing Wow related things. This means playing the game it self, writing on this blog, perusing the web, reading sites, hanging out on vent talking to others, etc. Some of those things can even be accomplished at the same time.  Now the summer months are always more difficult due to the minions being home, and if the choice is Wow or them, Wow always looses.

For the past month my family has been involved in something that has required over 15 hours a week of our time guessed it, the first thing to get ejected was the Wow time. I thought I could get at least a LITTLE filler in to tide me over but it has been so bad that some times I can barely find the time to check my e-mail once a week. One of our officers even called to check on use to double check we were still alive. (We warned them before hand it might get this bad and to plan accordingly.)

This imposed exile has been difficult. My fingers are twitchy. My mind is overflowing with things I want to write about and I miss my on line companions, but just can't justify taking the time from the other things I NEED to get accomplished in the next few weeks. As much as my children are crying about school starting up again I am awaiting it with baited breath. So no I have not left Wow, no I have not giving up blogging, but yes I am the mother of four boys drowning under the prep work needed in getting them ready along with some other issues we have been dealing with all along. (Like finishing that major Kitchen and Bath renovation we have been in the middle of for a year.)

For those of you who have written me e-mails regrading blog suggestions, comments, etc I will attempt to get back to all of you soon and have not forgotten you! Thank you all again and please be patient. For many this is a slump time filled with other games and other interests. For me it is a time of mayhem I am attempting to organize.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blame Paladins

The topic for this weeks Blog Azeroth was "How do you think NPC's view/treat your Class?" The following comes out of some role play that came out of that along with some other situations.  Many Thanks to Anea of Obeying the Muse for the original idea.
"I was only trying to help." Syyiand whined, even in humanoid form he sounded like a pile of leaves rustling in the wind as he shuffled along in Therigwin's long strided wake. "How was I suppose to know?"

"Sy, your a healer! Surely at some point one of your trainers mentioned that alcohol is a depressant." Therigwin retorted in exasperation.

"Well, yeah, but the last time I saw you and Amalt get inebriated you attacked the Violet Hold in nothing but your Winterveil suits....I thought maybe it was different for humans than elves." The druid explained anxiously.

Therigwin rubbed the back of his neck and flushed, never breaking stride. The truth was he had been so plastered after last years Winterveil party he hasn't been able to see straight and most of his memories of that that night were VERY fuzzy. It didn't help that people kept referring to things he and his friends had supposedly done while in their drunken state either.

Rounding the corner the two came to a abrupt stop at the sight before them. Daraia sat at a large round table in the corner, weapons of various types laid out before her, a mug cradled in her lap. Her feet were up on the table, hair coming lose from its usual confining bun. A disapproving frown marred her face as she examined the axe in her hands through glazed eyes.

"Light, Sy just how much did you GIVE her?"  Moving cautiously, Therigwin approached the table. "Hello Sweetheart, I understand you haven't been having a very good day."  The sound of thundering footsteps had him turning back towards Syyiand to discover the arrival of the rest of the officers. Kikiloo and Schaikera quickly pushed past Syyiand to come flank him.

"When we saw you and Sy going by so quickly we followed." Kiki remarked as way of explanation.

"So do you know what day it is today?" Daraia slurred suddenly. "My birthing day. *hic* While cleaning my axe this morning I noticed something." Lurching forward she tossed the axe in her hand at the far wall embedding the blade. She had obviously been using it as a target for quite a while as weapons and holes doted the surface. Hands now free she proceeded to push the loose locks of hair out of her face revealing silver streaks at her temples. "SEE!"

"OH!" A chorus seemed to have risen from the women beside Therigwin.

Bewildered Therigwin turned from one woman to another, before remarking, "But Honey, I went completely gray after the incident at the Wrathgate and I am younger than you, why..." Suddenly his knees buckled beneath him as pain shot from his head down. A pair of fists had connected with his skull. Kikiloo being a priest and wearing cloth hadn't done much damage but Schaikera was a Holy Paladin and plate-mail HURT.

"NOT helping." The ladies chorused again.

By the time his eyes had stopped watering Syyiand and Amalt had assisting him into a chair.

"When we saw them attack we figured we had better come even the odds" Amalt explained eying the three women with some intrepidation. "What exactly is going on?" He questioned quietly out of the side of his mouth.

"I'm going soft and getting sloppy." Daraia declared, tipping her chair back once more to place her booted feet on the table top. She then proceeding to swing the now empty mug in the air. "They all say never trust a rogue but it is really Paladins that are the deceitful ones."  Pausing briefly she turned to pat Schaikera on the shoulder in sympathy. "Sorry Kera, but it is true. When I first started out I could never go into a shop or even walk down a street without someone watching me, expecting the worst." Brows furrowed she considered that truth for a moment. "Its funny, I've never minded being referred to as spy or even an assassin, but to this day I can't stand to be called a thief...." Shrugging she continued. "Anyway, every thing was about planning, picking the fights, setting up the kills, PATIENCE. But now look at me, I have more titles, mounts, pets and money than I know what to do with. I'm a bloody AMBASSADOR with more races than I once knew existed. Even people I have never MET seem to know who I am. Battles are fought now by just wading in and start swinging, the finesse is gone. seems WRONG. I LIKED obscurity. I LOVED the shadows...and now everything is bathed in light....and it is all the Paladins fault."

"How is this because of Paladins?" Amalt asked offended. Then wagging his finger he continued. "And lets be honest here Daraia you ARE a thief. How many people do you know that complain because the Lich King didn't have pockets you could pick? You'd riffle though everyone's pockets if you could, you have sticky fingers. Goblin's check their purses whenever you saunter by." Slamming down onto a bench Amalt crossed his arms and glowered.

"Think back to when we first started out Amalt. Our jobs were almost always on behalf of Paladins." Daraia shot back, feet slamming to the floor. "You goody two shoes are ALWAYS up to your visors in everything going on and usually some how the ones footing the bill to get someone else to fix whatever problems happen to come along." Arms waving she continued."It is all an insidious plot to get us to become respectable and how SI:7 hasn't caught on to it yet I don't know." Jumping up from her chair Daraia began circling the table, each revolution picking up a weapon to send it spinning off towards her previous target wall. " It use to be there were tons of rogues, we were everywhere! Now we're an endangered species. Instead what do you trip over every time you turn around? Paladins! And when one of you goes to the bad? How well do you all handle that? Hmmm? Got to sweep THAT under the rug as quickly as possible. Zelek, Rivendale, Arthas...." Daraia continued to pace and lecture, her voice slowly growing in strength despite an occasional hiccup or slur. "Then look what you lot all did to poor Darian and the Death knights..."

"This is why Daraia doesn't drink Sy" Therigwin muttered, tenderly testing the lump on his head from Schaikera. "She is blunt enough when she is sober, but give her even a little bit of alcohol and it is as if all the filters shut off." Syyiand just nodded his head, by this time a tad dizzy from watching Daraia's laps around the table.

"Rogues today are so CLUELESS." Daraia continued, launching into another subject. "I had one today who couldn't tell the difference between Killing spree and Pick Pocket. Granted it was a gnome but still. She tried to tell me that she just got so frustrated because she couldn't reach the Val'kyr that she became enraged and lost her temper...What does she think she is a Warrior in LEATHER?!?!? Most of the young ones have no idea how to pick a lock, they just don't see the need. It makes me feel ancient."  Sighing Daraia came to an abrupt halt, leaning against the wall forlornly. "We use to proudly declare how we all did it from behind..."

After this pronouncement Amalt started sputtering with laughter, Kikiloo, covered her mouth to muffle her giggles and Schaikera's ears turned red. Syyiand just looked confused.

Gingerly Therigwin eased out of his chair to carefully approach Daraia. "Love, you have had a little to much to drink. Maybe it would be a good idea to go get some rest."

"I don't drink, I don't use mana so what is the point? I just wanted some Thistle Tea." Daraia moaned, rubbing her temples she looked up with bleary eyes. "It has been so long since I have had any you know? I knew it wouldn't be the pick me it up it use to be I just thought one cup of it would be nice. But something was off...maybe my Swiftthistle was to old?"

"It's my fault Dar, you seemed down so I thought if I added a little Caraway Burnwine it would help you to feel better." Syyiand interrupted, wringing his hands. "Honest, I was only trying to help!"

"The world trembles when you say that phrase Sy, for surely disaster follows your best intentions." Daraia intoned, weaving unsteadily as she push away from the wall. "Last time I felt like this I woke up married to Therigwin...." Pitching forward, she passed out, Therigwin catching her before she hit the floor.

"Oh come on!" Amalt protested, "It was just getting interesting!"

Therigwin glared at his fellow paladin, while tenderly gathered his wife up.  "Come on Love, lets get you to bed and hopefully when you wake up you won't remember any of this." A soft snore was her only response.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Know Your Rogue Lore: Plunderbeard

Few people become famous for being little more than a cold corpse but the rogue we are going to discuss today managed to do just that. When the Alliance first set foot in Northrend the result was many of them ended up dead. Somehow they found enough time to dig a crypt and create a mausoleum. (Dwarves are industrious builders after all and FIRM believers that the dead belong encased in rock underground thank you very much.) Of course this was all before our favorite human prince picked up his new toy and decided to make a major career change. When the Alliance arrived for the SECOND time in Northrend, this time in pursuit of that same prince who had landed there before, they were unaware of the previous burial ground. So they happily build a large fortress only to have scourge start popping up in the basement. This of course caused issues for the new residents.

Plunderbeard was a member of the 7th Legion. Originally formed as the Alliance portion of the combined Might of Kalimdor forces during the Ahn'Qiraj War effort. They were made up of veterans who fought beside Lady Proudmoore and Warchief Thrall at Mount Hyjal.  The 7th Legion is believed to be one of the oldest and most elite fighting forces in the Alliance military. It's members are ALL veterans of numerous campaigns. As these men and women have worked together for YEARS, they know and trust each other. They have experience in numerous hostile environments in both Azeroth AND Outland fulfilling their duties. Now they have been called to the icy ridges of Northrend to take down the Lich King. So they don't scare easily, but having scourge over head as well as popping up out of the ground gets old quickly, even for them.

What else do we know about Plunderbeard? This particular dwarf rogue was sent to figure out exactly what is going on beneath Wintergarde Keep, the 7th's new home in Northrend. Specifically, how are the scourge maneuvering between the crypts and the mausoleum? In addition to this he finds out who is running things, what its weakness are and how to take him out. Unfortunately he while he managed to gather all this information he failed to survive long enough to report. His superior, a man by the name of Ambro Cash sends individuals looking for him pretty much anticipating the worst. Knowing what we do about the 7th Legion I can understand his attitude, but still I love Ambro's faith in Plunderbeard. He knows that even if the dwarf died while preforming his job he WILL have the information he needs SOMEWHERE on him or near by.

Plunderbeard's body is located in a deceptive tunnel connecting the mausoleum to the crypts located beneath Wintergarde Keep in Dragonsblight. If you push your way past all the hanging roots and you can easily traverse from one end to the other. His body faces in the direction of the mobs you need to find his missing journal pages on. Unlike other dwaven writers of note Pluderbeard's work manages to stay fairly close together with some individuals managing to locate all four of the missing pages of the journal on a single mob.

This is all part of the "Wrathgate" chain for the Alliance. It is shortly after you find Plunderbeard and use the information he gathered that you first meet up with Bolvar Fordragon, in Northrend. In fact Bolvar will come rushing in to save your butt at the end of this particular chain. If you happened to have done the Jail Break chain back in Vanilla, he will even express delight at seeing you still alive and kicking. Sadly the same can not be said for poor Plunderbeard, but his legacy lives on in those Alliance who carry on his mission, delivering his reconnaissance and fighting in his stead.  While for the Alliance he is but a small part of an epic chain but don't over look the large contribution he and his colleagues have made and will continue to make as the years pass.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Feat of Strength: Avast Ye, Admiral!

Avast Ye, Admiral is one of the better known Feats of Strength though it is sometimes called "Bloodsail Buccaneers". One of the nice things about it is that it DOESN'T require you to get all the way to exalted with the faction. The other is that you actually get quite a bit of fun "Role Play" or "Costume" gear out of it. The largest PROBLEM is that it is VERY easy to lose reputation with the faction and this prohibits you from using numerous flight paths which can become troublesome. Now come Cataclysm this hardship will not be as much of an issue.

The only way to GAIN reputation is to kill Booty Bay Faction members but you get the greatest return by killing the Booty Bay Bruisers, all other members will only net you 5 rep each where the Bruisers grant you 25. While you can solo grind, the quickest way to do this is achievement is to get a group together by spamming trade. What I like to do is get a group, inform them to focus on the Bruisers and try to leave the quest givers, Auction house, flight masters and Inn Keepers alone if they want to remain a part of the raid group and get easy rep. I will then announce in General that a raid is going to be farming Bloodsail Rep for the next few hours. While people may not like it I have found it greatly reduces the harsh feelings and general discontent that can happen as a result of this type of thing. Especially if you get some idiots that insist on killing inn keepers, flight masters and quest givers just to be jerks. Remove them from the group and suddenly the rules seem more reasonable when they are no longer able to find any mobs.

By doing this you can obtain the achievement in a matter of hours rather than WEEKS of solo grinding with out all the harsh feelings. Once you reach just over Neutral with the Bloodsail Pretty Boy Duncan will send you to Fleet Master Firallon to pick up a bag full of goodies. This includes a Shirt, Belt, Pants, and Boots. Just a little more grinding will get you to Friendly and the real quest that gives the achievement its name. Avast Ye, Admiral. Now for this you WILL want to announce you are going to be doing the quest because it REQUIRES you to kill quest givers, which annoys lowbies. Kill the Baron and his right hand Tauren and you get yourself a Title and a fancy hat.

Now if you are NOT planning on working on the Insane in the Membrane Achievement and would like to make use of all those convenient Goblin flight paths there IS a way you can quickly get back all that goblin reputation you lost with out losing your new title, though you WILL lose your hard won Bloodsail reputation.

Just outside Bootbay on a nearby hill is the Bloodsail Traitor. He has a quest for you called "Traitor to the Bloodsail" which has you turn in two stacks of Silk cloth and 4 Red dye to deceive the Baron into thinking you have been killing Bloodsail pirates. Another option is to head over to Rachet and speak with Mupsi Shacklefridd, she has a similar quest called "Mending Old Wounds" which only requires two stacks of linen cloth and 4 empty vials. Many prefer this since it is often cheaper and easier to farm. The other options are Rumsen Fizzlebrack in Tanaris with "War at Sea" who wants Mageweave cloth and Strong Flux. As well as Bronn Fitzwrench in Winterspring who is after Runecloth and Coal with "Making Amends". Each of these deal with the specific factions of the zone they are located in. And will take about 168 linen and 336 empty vials, 84 silk and 168 Red Dye, 42 Mageweave and Strong Flux, and 22 Runecloth and 44 Coal to get you back to Neutral with the Steamwheedle Cartel. Or 34 turn ins for each faction if you do them equally.  Just check the cost and  ease of farming for you then calculate accordingly.

The other option is to head over to Dire Maul North and do Free Knot which grants 350 reputation for ALL of the Steamwheedle Factions EQUALLY without hurting your Bloodsail reputation. I could usually do five clears an hour before I had to sit around and wait due to the "to many instances" debuff. If you focus only on the guards you have a high chance of getting a key almost every run. Take the time to do some full clears and you may also pick up some other goodies like Librams or Pristine Black Diamonds which can be sold to those crazy people going after the Insane in the Membrane achievement.

Good luck to all you future Admirals!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rogues in Starcraft

When Starcraft 2 came out I really didn't care, but both the plate wearer in the family and our oldest were VERY excited. Since we only purchased one copy, this meant that our son could play while the Dad was at work, relinquishing control when Dad got home. However the REST of us have been thoroughly enjoying all the cut scenes and cinematics. If what they have displayed in Starcraft 2 is any indication of what we can expect in World of Warcraft Cataclysm we are in for a treat.

One of the funnest things I have read in regards to Starcraft 2 has been the response of some of the "older" players. This game has been around for over 11 years, these poor individuals gleefully purchased the game, attempted to install it on the systems they have played Starcraft on for years only to have their pc's sputter and spit it back out.

Another comment I hear a lot is: "Just forget about writing games and make full length feature FILMS!" After the success of Avatar we know it can be done and Blizzard's story telling abilities are SOOOOO much better. Several of the cut scenes are not only emotionally griping but action packed. The talent they have managed to gather in their studios is amazing, no matter how spoiled and jaded we have become over the years.

Now while I am not into strategy games, there is one class type within the Starcraft Universe I really like. The Ghosts. They are the "Rogues" of Starcraft. Since this is "Sci-Fi they are Psychically as well as Physically gifted. The major villain of Starcraft 2 is a former Ghost by the name of Sarah Kerrigan who was abandoned to, then altered by the Zerg, the Alien race attempting to annihilate everyone else. She is now called the "Queen of Blades" (How can you NOT love that name as a Rogue?) There was also talk of a single shooter game based on the class that was shelved before production which featured a Ghost by the name of Nova.

*The rest contains spoilers of Starcraft 2 Read at your own Risk*

Starcraft 2 introduces the next level in the Ghost genealogy, the Specters. These are Ghosts who were exposed to a pisonic enhancing gas called terrazine.  Nova has been lead to believe that they are homicidal maniacs. Eventually you must decide who you will support, the Ghosts or the Specters. There is no wrong answer, make your decision based on what is best for your strategy though it will effect how Jim Reynor is portrayed in the game. Justice seeker or Vengeful  hero. The Specters are lead by a man named Gabriel Toss, who describes his pyschic abilities as "Voodoo".

All that as an intro to this cut scene. If you side with Nova and complete this mission this is the cut scene you see at the end. It is just the thing to make my roguish heart happy...even if I am not much into strategy games.

Oh, if you didn't catch it, the poor guy screaming in the back ground is Jim's friend Tychus, the one running around in the blue armor. Toss picked up the wrong VooDoo doll.