Monday, August 31, 2009

Report of the Day, or "I WILL Rename You"

So I'm leveling my mining, since a while back I decided Inscription is for suckers (a.k.a. My Husband's Best Friend, who basically is our server's glyphs market). And I love mining. It's like going back to a particularly fun starting zone and doing quests you loved when you first got the game, whereas Inscription was like grinding out an area you didn't know and didn't like.

So while I'm patrolling Hinterlands like a lunatic on my quest for mithril, I've been buffing all the lowbies I run across. I don't pay much attention to them, just pop my health and spirit on them and run off again. Half of them are afk when I do it. S'cool.

After my first run, I smelt a bunch of mithril in the horde town and follow a 46 rogue up to the top of the hill to begin my circuit again. I'm trying to chase him down to buff him because I'm like that. I don't like to let lowbies get away.

So I look at his name, and it's something silly but not clever, whatever, and then I look at the guild name.

Yeah, he didn't get buffed. I passed him at the top with a mental sniff and he stopped, probably to look at me because that's what lowbies do when a max level runs by. I found a quiet spot to stop, tabbed out, armoried his guild, and reported it.

Guild name? "Sapped Girls Dont Say No"

That's actually terrifying to me as a woman. Who in their right mind would use that as a guild name? Sure, it's "clever" in that it combines a real world situation with sapping (cuz nobody's thought of that before), except that it's not funny. It's horrifying. And, frankly, I'm doing those poor morons a favor by getting their guild name changed, since no respectable human being (who noticed) would play with someone with that tag. Disreputable ones, sure. Ninjas, totally. But, I would hope, no one I associate with would touch them with a ten foot pole.

Just . . . ugh. *shudder* That's all.

Slew of Pets, or "What Do We Get THIS Time?"

  • Lil' K.T. - pictured
  • Core Hound Pup
  • Gryphon Hatchling - pictured
  • Wind Rider Cub - pictured
  • Zipao Tiger - pictured
  • Pandaren Monk - pictured
  • Tuskarr Kite - from TCG loot code
  • Spectral Tiger Cub - from TCG loot code - pictured
  • Onyxian Whelpling - log in during WoW's 5 yr anniversary - pictured
  • Plump Turkey - reward for Pilgrim achievement
The above was blatantly stolen from other sources. A friend suggested the pandaren might be this year's special Christmas gift. I think it'll be the 100 pet achievement reward. But we'll see.

The wind rider cub doesn't have a skin yet. ^_^; Uh...

Also, that little crystal over some of their heads is just a weapon in the background and not part of the pet.

I think they're all pretty spiffy. My GL is already saving up for the spectral cub. I like the pandaren and gryphon, and even the Onyxian welp has a certain mental-defect-ish lovability.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Raptor Pets, or "Yes I'm Slow And Ineffectual"

So I only really post pet guides when I need them myself. You can forgive me for that, right?

First, does not know if the changes to the game world in Cataclysm will remove any pets that drop off of mobs.

Second, husband says that he doesn't think the mobs will change even if the territory does. He assumes their levels will be all that changes.

Third, I've decided that yay or nay, this is as good a time as any to top off my pet collections.

Raptor Pet Locations

Listed in order of north to south geographically starting in Kalimdor and working over to Eastern Kingdoms and Northrend.
  1. Takk the Leaper - Northeastern Barrens - 100% Drop (5-8 hour respawn timer)
  2. Wailing Caverns Raptors - Instance is Southwest of Crossroads in The Barrens - 1% Drop
  3. Dart - Northern Dustwallow Marsh - 100% Drop (5-8 hour respawn timer)
  4. Ravasaur Matriarch - Southeastern Un'goro - 100% Drop (5-8 hour respawn timer)
  5. Zul'Gurub Raptors - Instance is in Northeastern Stranglethorn Vale - 1% Drop
  6. Razormaw Matriarch - Northeastern Wetlands - 100% Drop (5-8 hour respawn timer)
  7. Gundrak Raptors - Northeastern Part of Zul'Drak section of Northrend - 1% Drop
  8. Breanni - Dalaran Pet Shop - 50g

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Raffle Wins, or "How Come Teh Men Get Teh Goods?"

2 of my guildies (the older gentlemen) just got Spectral Tigers in a Blizzcon raffle.

2 more (the younger gentlemen) got the Ethereal Pet.


The only gal in the group got some measly Pet Biscuits, but at least she got something.

I'm excited our guild will have such nice items in it -- or, you know, money in the winner's pockets. >_> I hope they use them or trade them for gold or something, because it'd be nice to have one tiger in the guild.

Q&A Highlights, or "Dance Studios and Race Changes, Wut?"

Dance Studios
10:24AM Question about dance studios.

Chilton: We're actively working on it, the animation team is working hard at it. They've made several dances already, and want many more before they put it out.

Chris Robinson added to it: It's going to be killer, when we release it it will be worth it.
This is the kind of thing I care about. :D Woohoo!

10:41AM Any further visual character customization on the way?

Chilton answers: This problem has gotten worse over time now that more and more people can experience endgame content, so they want to address. They aren't sure how, but they want to hit it soon.
Race Changes
10:32AM Why do you think the Horde/Alliance faction changes are less game breaking than race changes?

Chilton says they WILL be doing race changes, further down the road. BlizzCon exclusive!
I knew it was just a matter of time!!! Squeeee! Totally changing my draenei mage into a worgen. :D I'd planned human, but you can make a worgen look human except in combat, and the worgen women are CUTE, so score. ^_^

Druid Forms
10:47AM Will Troll and Worgen Druids be getting unique feral forms? Chris Robinson hops on with a very clear "yes."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blizzcon Costume Contest, or "Sharp Teeth Rule"

Tons of great costumes. A few tips I'd have to offer, though:
  • Wear makeup. It makes you look less shiny in the lights and keeps the stage from washing you out. Male or female, a little foundation and blush never hurt anyone. Just match your coloring and blend thoroughly.
  • Do your hair. Hair is actually part of your costume, believe it or not.
  • Wear a costume that goes with your body type. You expect certain physiques for certain races, and mixing and matching doesn't work as well as you might think.
  • Consider your stage presence. While not crucial, there's "drifting gracefully" and then there's the guy who walked across like it was his mom's kitchen.
  • Watch where you hold your props. One contestant covered her costume with her shield by holding it between her and the audience the entire time.
  • Spit out your gum. No elaboration needed.
While all the best costumes had great construction and detail and design, the winner was pure art. Not just the details and construction, but the acting that went into it. The winner was the costume.

Some of the costume people were attractive, some weren't, but at the end of the contest, you admired the people who made costumes that went with their look as a person and didn't try to be super-sexy if they weren't -- thinking in particular of the two older women who went orc and dwarf (they ruled) and a plus-sized person who filled out a moonkin outfit admirably.

I also admired the ones with really great tailoring. Some of the sexy female costumes didn't look sexy because the tailoring was off (one attractive woman looked very saggy because her chestpiece sagged), whereas the tailored ones made you go "That's great."

Felicia Love, or "None For Me"

My guildie got a photo with Felicia Day. His comment? "Felicia Day said she liked my outfit."

He's sooo lucky!

He got photos with pretty much every hot girl at BlizzCon. He has this really friendly, casual way about him that girls flock to (I described my guildies yesterday and he's the "good-looking friendly emo guy with piercings and star wrist tats").

He kind of fits in as one of the girls, though he's not effeminate. He's just the exact opposite of sleazy. He dueled character dress collections with me in BC and we tied. XD I also have a RL shot of him in our apartment in a tee that says "Yes, they're real." Though I think he intended to wear it under another shirt, it's still awesome that he owns it.

I'll see if he'll let me post the Felicia photo. Our other friend (the "very curvy short woman") might have a clearer shot, as she promised hundreds of pictures to make the rest of us jealous. I'm wondering if all of my guildies didn't get a shot with Felicia, if they were together. If so, I'll see who'll let me post. :)

Earthshattering, or "Blizzcon Opening Ceremony and Cataclysm Panel"

Um... all the speculation about Cataclysm has been right on the mark.

Pretty much.

News sites will cover everything in a lot more detail than I'll be able to muster enthusiasm for. :) But these are some overview points if you just don't care to read a blow-by-blow article.

The Cataclysm Panel

Guild Advancement System
They teased us with this and then said "Oh, another panel will go into more depth on this." But it's basically that your dailies, raids, PVP, etc can level your guild from 1 to 20 and you get guild talents usable for things like mass rez, cheaper repair costs, and less damage to gear when you wipe in a raid. It sounds very useful.

Guild currency interests me very much, gained from guild experience, usable for things like guild novelty items and heirloom gear (items which do not transfer out of the guild even if the buyer leaves).

Underwater mounts will be "normal flying speed."

Flying mounts can go everywhere. Woo.

The two new races will have racial mounts. You didn't think about that, did you? :D The goblins definitely have spiky cars and this blog found a drawing of a worgen on what looks like a giant wild boar.

Secondary profession that lets you make discoveries of artifacts and do research and you use the artifacts for Paths of the Titans, which is the new system instead of a bunch more talents and talent points.

We'll get 5 new talent points and then be able to pick a path that gives you abilities, bonuses, and isn't limited by class (so a priest and rogue can go on the same path).

Then they said something about Mastery and got technical and I zoned out. Almost every other blog will salivate over these, so I'm not gonna worry about them.

7 new.

"Every" classic zone will be revamped. (Desolace is a new vacation spot, it seems. Barrens, too.)

Phases, so zones physically change as to where you are on their quest line. I started zoning out during the talk of places I didn't care about, so I'm sure someone else will have all the details you want. I noticed old towns will be consumed in flames or built up.

"The Alliance finally lost Southshore."
"Nobody was defending it."

Subterranean and ocean areas.

"All this time, the world map has been wrong -- there's not a coastline south of Tanaris -- there's a zone!"

The Cataclysm itself is basically like this: Deathwing (crazy leader of the black dragonflight, Onyxia's daddy) has been trapped under the earth. He pops out, causing volcanoes and sunderings and floods to happen. Then, inevitably, druids will run around and try to band-aid everything (the druid part is just speculation, but you know they will, that's all they do).

Worgen were summoned by Arugal, then the area humans got a "curse" that turned them into worgen and apparently the race is trying to figure out why they are worgen. So we don't know, but neither do they. "Are they from somewhere or somewhen?" You can totally choose if you want to look like worgen or human out of combat, but you have to look worgen in combat. So it's pretty werewolfy.

Goblins are a Bilgewater Cartel from the islands, are tech inclined, etc.

They totally confirmed my theory that these races went alliance/horde like they did because Alliance needed something fuzzy and horde needed something short. He said something like "Alliance needed a monstrous race" and "Horde will need some comedy relief." *smug*

My brother said elsewhere: "I'm excited and stuff, but it makes no sense to see even more races introduced with the level cap going all the way to 85. Whatamigonnado, reroll? And, of course, the answer to that is YES... yes I am... but I'm not happy about it."

This is why I want paid race changes (with a super-long cooldown to prevent arena abuse). This is the main motivation for my wanting it. It is sooooo pointless to have to reroll when a new race comes out (or race/class combos), and you lose everything you've worked so hard for because something else is cooler than what you have. It is not a joke to work your achievements up at endgame, lemme tell you, but having to do it a second time just seems insulting.

Rated Battlegrounds
Earn the same type of gear as arenas. Return of honor titles.

Thrilled about this. I love battlegrounds, hate arenas.

Best Part of Panel
Someone in the crowd yelled "New dances!" I'm glad someone is keeping the passion of novelty and character customization alive within their hearing. :)

Worst Part of Panel
Our live stream kept cutting out to "Buffer." We missed whole bits and husband can't watch the tourney game he wanted to see. Nor are they live streaming The Guild, which was what I wanted to see the most. Fail, streamers. Fail.

You may have noticed I changed this post's title. I do that sometimes. Don't worry about it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trolls and Blizzcon, or "I Cry Too Easy"

I hate trolls.

No, not you, Vol'jin. The other kind.

The kind that keeps being mean until they make you cry. Then they drink your tears because it makes them stronger.

See, I posted my thoughts on a WoW Insider thread about how Blizz should revamp PVP for their NextGen MMO and how my suggested changes would solve my particular problem. Specifically, that I hate PVP servers but must play on one to be with my friends and how I would like to not have to choose between friends and gameplay in their next game.

It degenerated pretty fast into "STOP DESTROYING OUR PVP!!!!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glory of the Hero, or "15:30 Min Occulus Run To Finish"

No time to talk, as I'm "supposed" to be in Violet Hold right now (pro, huh?), but wanted to post the screenshot. :D

The achievement took this long simply because I'm lazy and didn't push to finish earlier.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Your Own NPC, or "Another Fun Creative Game"

We've seen people who contribute to the community sometimes get nods in game from Blizz. If you had the honor of your own NPC, which character would you want it to be and what would they do?

I think if Blizz decided my poor lil ravings deserved something, and they didn't want it to be a phoenix mount (*grumble*), I'd want them to make Dustfire an NPC in a sexy dress who gives out a bunch of really bitchy dailies.

Birdfall wouldn't be quite as fun as an NPC (she's too serious) but might appreciate being set up as one of those "just for ambiance" NPCs -- like stuck in an eternal loop of trying to talk her drunk sister off a table or cleaning her knives in a dark corner. Either way, she'd want to be somewhere people didn't frequent often, like a useless corner of Darnassus or the inn of Menethil Harbor, because unlike Dustfire, Birdfall hates attention.

What about your characters?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Onyxia Stuff, or "Lions and Tigers and Dragons, Oh My!"

Pet info: Log in during November for the 5-year anniversary celebration. Get Onyxia Brood Whelpling pet. (WarcraftPets guesses Nov 22nd.)

Mount info: You can ride Onyxia's babies. Yeah. That's right. She drops broodlings that look like her, and you can fly around on them and make them cry with stories about how you pwned their mom.

For those of you who care about raids and lore and dragons and stuff, the info is from an announcement that Onyxia's old raid will get endgame 10- and 25-man versions with same gear models on drops but level 80 stats.
She has lurked in her lair and done battle with the many brave adventurers who travelled to that familiar location over the years. Now, in honor of the World of Warcraft 5-year anniversary, the dreaded brood mother Onyxia is being revamped to make a return to the forefront of Azeroth, as part of our big plans for the upcoming 3.2.2 content patch.

This permanent update to Onyxia will convert the dungeon into 10- and 25-player modes. We will be adding new items to Onyxia’s loot table that have the same model as some of the classic loot from this dungeon, like Tier 2 helms, with stats updated to match the current level of content. There will be a special new item too: a normal drake-sized 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself called an Onyxia Broodling. We will also be updating the encounter mechanics to be more fitting for modern raiding, but we can guarantee players will get to experience the frightening horror of deep breaths once again.

Then for a limited time, after the 5-year anniversary event officially begins in November, anybody who logs in will receive an Onyxia Brood Whelpling pet.

We’re very excited to bring this classic encounter back to provide a fun new experience for both new and veteran players. Further details will be available in the near future, and we will be setting up the Public Test Realms soon to help test out this fight along with all the new content we have planned for the patch. Keep an eye on the forums for updates!
Thanks to my guild leader for the heads up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crocolisks in the City, or "LF Pets, Please"

For those of you out of the know, the old Shattrath fishing daily (from Old Man Barlow) cycled between 4 quests, one of which could drop Baby Crocolisk pets.

These are only only only available from the quest "Crocolisks in the City," where you go to Stormwind or Orgrimmar and fish until you get a baby crockolisk and go turn it in. The other 3 dailies will not drop pets.

Warcraftpets has notified us that the pet drop rate for these suckers has been upped to about 50%!! It used to be, like, .00005% or something (exaggerating? maybe). This is a great time to dig in your heels and finish off your fishing pet collection.

I've started a thread in my guild forums where we let each other know when the quest is up on our server and suggest you do the same if you have fellow pet collectors around. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Philosophy Change, or "The Customer Is Always Right"

Okay, so customers are not always right. But if you look over recent changes in the game, things like the new druid skins and pending faction transfers, things that don't change core gameplay and aren't "essential" by any means, you might agree that Blizzard has changed its focus away from the purity of the game and into focusing on the customer.

It seems to me, now that we're getting all this stuff, nothing of the game has changed except that it's an overall more pleasant place to be. Yes, class specs and utility and dailies and quests -- they get their regular tweaks, and plenty of folk pick over whether those changes are good or bad.

But the heart of the game, the pure core that so many, even the game's programmers, seemed bent on protecting no matter what -- I think they had it wrong. Not that the game didn't have a core, or that it wasn't important, but what that core was. Refusing to allow transfers from PVE to PVP servers, for example -- things like that maintained a certain purity and control over what the player had the right to do, what the player had earned, and what the game was all about. It defined WoW as something restrictive and elite. The programmers had tailored the game's rules (and features) to reflect their viewpoint of what the game should be. (Something not unlike a hardcore raid guild.)

Lately, the game has become more about fun, options, and just out-and-out enjoying yourself. The hardcores still have their hardcore pursuits (whether you think they've been dumbed down or not), but the moderates and casuals are finally getting some love.

I think the programmers have started to see the game's core as the people instead of the game. So now they give us things we can enjoy just for the sake of enjoyment, and they've made the players the most important thing. And when they do that, no matter what type of playstyle you have, you win.

Please don't argue about what in the game needs to be fixed or how Group A getting what they want means Group B gets shafted. My argument is that Blizzard's focus has changed from narrow to broad and that my game enjoyment has improved because of it. I'll also go as far as saying "No, this change has not and will not destroy WoW." Alarmists are always 100% wrong. This includes me when I get alarmed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bank System, or "Setting Up Your Alts for Cross-Faction Sales"

You will need 1 trustworthy friend to do this with you (or a second account) and 3 character slots free for banks (most people already have one set up). If you don't have either, you may want to stick to more ordinary ways of using the Neutral AH.

Bank 1: Horde
Get a level 1 to a city. Orc or Troll are easiest, as you just exit the starting area and head north.

Bank 2: Alliance
Humans are easy to get to Stormwind. Just head out and go west until you hit the road going north.

Bank 3: Neutral
It is easier to set up a HORDE than an ALLIANCE in Booty Bay. A troll or orc can simply exit their level 1 starting area, head south to the ocean, and swim west to Ratchet with maybe 1 or 2 deaths. From Ratchet, you take the boat.

For Alliance, your best bet is if you have an unused Death Knight. If you don't, get ready for corpse-hopping. You can run south from Stormwind to Booty Bay but the mobs are very high level and aggro the moment you rez. A longer but less death-shrouded route is from Teldrassil to Ashenvale and then through The Barrens to Ratchet. And Ratchet has the right boat.

Bank 4: Friendly Neutral
Since you CANNOT buy your own auctions, you CANNOT set up a second neutral AH character on the same account and trade items to yourself. You must have a second account or a friend willing to help out. If you and a friend trade through the Neutral AH regularly for your money-making schemes, you can benefit each other by having a Neutral AH character on opposite sides.

So this bank character is a friend of yours (or a second account) on HORDE or ALLIANCE while yours is on the other faction. You trade back and forth with this person.

Bank Guild
Do this for both sides, but particularly the side you share with a friend, as guild banks are the fastest and cheapest way to trade items back and forth.

Get a charter in the city. (Ask a guard where the Guild Master is.)

Badger your main faction friends to make level 1's in the nearby starting zone. Go slap your charter on their faces to make them sign.

Stay in the starting zone and, to fill in the rest of the charter, whisper anyone without a guild tag "Would you like to make 50s by signing a guild charter? It's a bank guild, so there's no expectation for you to stay after creation."

If they say yes: group with them, find them, offer the charter to sign, , pay them, thank them, remind them that "Joining a guild or signing another charter will remove your signature from this charter, so please refrain from doing so until this guild forms," drop group.

Repeat until you have 9 signatures. Turn it in at the Guild Master. Thank everyone one last time, then kick them all.

Trade What?
I'm finding a sad lack of Argent Tournament pets on my Neutral AH. I plan to export them to the enemy auction houses, starting with a Sen'jin Fetish I farmed on Dusty, in order to buy up Alliance Argent Tourney pets for resale (and personal use).

My friend recommended comparing prices on high-end items like:
  • Book of Glyph Master
  • Titanium Ore
  • Arctic Fur
  • Epic Gems
  • Frost Lotus
Make Money to Make Money
You have to be dedicated to making cash on both sides or you won't make any money. To buy the things you want from your non-main side, that auction character needs capital. To get capital, you must send that character valuable things and care about its auctioning process.

Remember, both sides must make money to continue making money. If one side runs out, the trading and thus cash flow stops.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pang of Sad, or "Your Priorities are Not My Priorities"

To some people, the novelty aspects of the game are more important than the gameplay aspects. This is because we have different priorities.

A commenter on a recent Pink Pigtail Inn post said:
The dance studio, and flying vehicles in Winterspring are the two things people bring up when they want to point out Blizzard never delivers on their promises. For me, they aren't game breaking features, and it doesn't really bother me that they got pushed back, or eliminated. Personally, I think people that feel 'let down' by blizzard are getting too emotionally invested in minor matters. If they deleted your favorite class one day, I would understand, but if they revamp your talent tree for the sake of game balance or don't release your pet feature in time, it ought not be a source of stress or forum spamming.
It rubbed me the wrong way not because he's wrong -- people do panic over nitpicky things, and a dance studio isn't as game-changing as an entire class -- but I just don't like this attitude. This "It doesn't bother me, so it shouldn't bother you" way people have of approaching the things they don't consider important.

My husband tries to maximize the potential of his characters through hard work. The gameplay itself, the challenge and potential for success, are his lures and his interest. His priorities lead him to arenas, raids, and tons of research into the technical (numerical) aspects of improvement.

I try to make my characters look as cute as possible. I care about customizing them, making them individuals in the WoW community. This leads to tons of research into what mounts/pets/clothes look best and how to get them, which in turn leads to raids, heroics, battlegrounds, and dailies as needed.

I asked my husband how upset he'd be if they nerfed something he liked about his class: "Fairly upset." I then asked how upset he was about them not implementing dance studios: "Um... Meh."

It's the exact opposite for me.

We're not the kind of people who whine and complain and throw fits about stuff we don't like, but just as I wouldn't tell my husband he doesn't have a right to be upset about a class change, he would never consider my pangs of sadness over the lack of dance studios less important than how he feels about his interests.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bank Alt Wut?, or "PVP Faction Restriction Removed"


As we've already discussed, we’re in the process of developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. To prepare for this new service, we've removed the restriction that prevents players from creating both Horde and Alliance characters on a PvP realm. For more information on our Faction Change service, please visit the following link.

Thanks, mmo-champion.

I can bank alt now. And maybe convince someone to FARM ME ALLIANCE PETS!!

But not transfer Birdfall, because she likes her PVE server just fine.

Argent Tournament Part 4, or "Champion Continued"

<--- Part 3: Champion

Sunreaver/Silver Covenant Dailies
Opened By Reaching Exalted

Northrend Orphans, or "Frenzyheart & Oracle Love"

You know the drill. I have my walkthrough, everyone else has theirs.

2010 Update - This questline, which has not reappeared for people who did it last year, is being fixed and will be available sometime this week.


Orphan Matron is in front of the southern bank (map) in Dalaran. Pick either Oracle or Wolvar. You can only get one this year.

Summon your orphan, pick up the 3 quests.

  • Center of Grizzly Hills: Grizzlemaw (map).
  • Northwestern edge of Borean Tundra: Winterfin Retreat (map).
  • Eastern part of Dragonblight: Bronze Dragonshrine (map).
  • Center of Grizzly Hills: Grizzlemaw (map).
  • Eastern part of Dragonblight: Bronze Dragonshrine (map).
  • Southern part of Dragonblight: Snowfall Glade (map).
Summon orphan. Turn in, pick up.

  • Center of Dragonblight: Wyrmrest Temple (map).
  • Southern part of Sholazar Basin: Waygate (map) in the south.
  • Western part of the square in Dalaran: Wonderworks (map). Buy a small paper zepplin. Throw it to your orphan.
  • Center of Dragonblight: Wyrmrest Temple (map).
  • Western edge of Sholazar Basin: Nesingwary's Camp (map).
  • Western part of the square in Dalaran: Wonderworks (map). Buy a small paper zepplin. Throw it to your orphan.
Turn in, pick up.

Go turn it in at the Orphan Matron in Dalaran, get a copy of the orphan you just escorted. Win.

The Theft Part 3, or "Persuade"

<---- Part 1: Gone
<----Part 2: Recruit

* By reading this, you agree not to laugh at my lame attempt at a last name or harangue me too badly on errors of lore. Warcraft is property of Blizzard Entertainment. This story is an original fan work and any similarity to other works is accidental because I've never read any Warcraft fiction, either official or fan-made. Details of lore gained from All the World's a Stage guides along with Wowwiki. *


Dustfire Solspinner
The Theft

Dustfire led Manasseh through the lantern-lit streets and down darker and darker paths. The night had a warm, balmy feel to it, pleasant after the broiling heat of the day, but she still wore a thick dark cloak clasped at one shoulder.

Under the cloak, she’d dressed to kill.

In her bank vault were her finest silks, her most expensive gems, even a headpiece that had set her back a sack of gold and a month’s worth of flirting.

She had visited that vault just before twilight and donned every item of power: enchanted gems weighed down fingers, wrists, ears, and throat; her gown had been cut from ensorcelled fabric woven on a mana loom by blind monks and mute nuns; a simple golden headpiece held a charming ruby set to dangle just so in the middle of her forehead. Most of these items had been given to her as gifts over the years from rich lovers or craftsmen she’d either charmed or conned. Even the cloak had been imbued with power.

The sorcerers on the streets melted away before them, and even those who could not sense power chose to let them pass unmolested. She had no illusions that it was because Manasseh stayed close at her right, his smile unsettling because it contained no malice, his fingers clicking through his repertoire of curses. He cheerfully tossed a few at rats as they scurried away and his pet, Luudom, burrowed into corners after them.

“I invited a friend,” he murmured as they stopped in front of the dark, unmarked shop that was her goal. He smiled and patted his thigh bone for the fel hound to stop rooting through trash and join them. “He’s been following us.”

Dustfire sighed. Now she had two morons to watch. “Fine.”

She pushed into the shop, not bothering to look back to find Manasseh’s friend. If she hadn’t noticed him, he could not be seen.

There was only one person who knew of her lexicon. Only one person she’d spoken to before she could tuck it safely into her bank vault. It was impossible that she’d been robbed so soon after buying it by coincidence.


The undead behind the desk looked up from a ledger as she entered, a monocle over one eye, the other dangling halfway down his face. He picked his bad eye up and pointed it at her. “Dustfire.” His voice came out warm, and his slack jaw moved into a grimace that she recognized as his smile.

He pointed his eye at Manasseh, entering behind her, and stopped smiling. Turning his eyes back to her, he asked, “And to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

“I missed you,” she murmured, swaying to his desk and trailing her fingers along it. “And I have a problem.”

He glanced toward Manasseh, who had found a centipede and seemed engrossed in watching it crawl along his fingers, and then at Luudom in the floor, sticking his sharp-toothed muzzle into nooks and crannies.

“Anything for my favorite customer.” He remained wary.

She slid her hip onto his desk and leaned in. “Someone robbed me.” She trailed a smooth red nail down the front of his tunic. “They took my lexicon.” She hooked her finger in the neckline of his tunic and gripped it. She stopped smiling, pulled him closer, and murmured, “They took my phoenix.”

She’d always wondered if undead could sweat. It looked like he wanted to.

“I, uh. Well. Damn.” His good eye shifted one way and then the other. “That’s lousy.”

She smiled again and made her voice soft and inviting. “It’s not half as bad as what I’m going to do to you if you don’t tell me who it was.”

He released a single, nervous laugh and she ignored the foul wave of his breath. “Why do you think I’d know?”

She kept smiling, confident in her warmth and softness. She saw him sway toward her, an unconscious reaction. “Manasseh,” she said without turning, her voice taking on dreamy properties. “Hurt him.”

Manasseh approached, putting the centipede between his teeth. Luudom followed, all teeth, and wagged his tail.

“Nothing fatal,” she warned, holding the now-struggling shopkeeper by the front of his tunic. She had some difficulty keeping him, but anger gave her strength.

“I’ll hold him.”

She turned to a grinning tauren, his shoulders massive in the small space, and stared. “Yes, you will.”

“Hi, Equil,” said Manasseh.

“Hey.” He got around the back of the desk and took Durell easily from her hold, pinning his arms back to give Manasseh full range.

Why do all tauren have to smell like wet dog? she mused, then focused on the shopkeeper. If she didn’t stay alert, Manasseh would get carried away and she’d never get her answers.

“Now,” she said a few minutes later, when the screaming started to annoy her, “who did you tell about my lexicon?”


She glared at Manasseh. “When I speak, it means you stop.”

He picked a centipede leg out of his teeth. “You should have said so.”

His tauren friend just looked bored, though it was hard to tell on his heavy bovine features.

“Now.” She smiled and turned back to Durell, who moaned and shook his head. “We can be friends, or we can be enemies.”

Durell stared at his monocle on the desk. It had fallen off sometime during the torture. “I don’t know his name.” He gasped to breathe. “But I know where he’ll be.”

Once she had her information, she took Manasseh to the back to check the storage areas for any of her lost goods. She found her jewels and three lost tomes and returned to wave them under Durell’s nose. “These are mine,” she murmured.

“I . . . I didn’t know that. I didn’t know he’d rob you.”

She smiled and stroked the side of his face. “Of course you didn’t.”

“I didn’t.”

“I know. And for that, I’m going to let you live. All I ask is that you contact me if someone brings you any more of my things. Yes?”

He nodded eagerly. “Yes.”

“Because my friends really want to kill you. And they’d be just as happy to do it later as now.”

The tauren flexed his muscles and Durell winced. “I understand.”

“That’s my boy.” She turned to Manasseh. “Wreck his shop.”

He grinned and produced a handful of fel fire, but Dustfire stopped him with a hand to his shoulder.

Not starting with Durell. You there, take him outside and release him. We can come back and kill him if we need to.”

The tauren sighed. “This is the most boring fight I’ve ever been to.”

“Don’t worry.” She settled more firmly on Durell’s desk as Manasseh set the shop ablaze behind her. She picked up the monocle, wiped it off with a clean handkerchief, and tried it on. “We’ll have a massacre next.”


Part 4: Catacombs ---->

Monday, August 3, 2009

NextGen, or "Working As Intended"

I started thinking the other day that when Blizzard comes out with their next generation MMO, some 10 or 20 years from now, I'll try and keep my WoW account as long as possible but still pick up a subscription to the next game.

Everyone of my acquaintance agrees it will be better than WoW simply because Blizzard has learned a lot from WoW. This made me wonder: what lessons has Blizzard learned that they might improve upon? So I came up with my own little list.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daily Valiant Cheat, or "Keep the Money Rolling"

It's not actually a cheat. But it's smart.

The Argent Tournament valiant and champion quests award the best money for time spent because you can do most of them at the exact same time -- a 2-for-1 deal.

The valiant quests stop when you hit Champion for all your factions.


If you don't hit champion for the final faction, you can keep doing your valiant dailies indefinitely.


I got my 25 valiant seals yesterday and turned them in to my Ironforge guy. He gave me the followup to defeat a champion to become a Champion of Ironforge!

Except I didn't do the followup and logged out instead to see if I could still do their dailies.

I logged in this morning and, lo, the Ironforge valiants have my daily quests ready and waiting.

*little dance*

Unfortunately, this isn't an option if you've already Championed out your factions, but if you have another character who wants to Champion stuff, you can remember this trick for them. At least until Blizz changes it.