Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Noblegarden Changes, or "Goodies For 3.1"

I'm gearing up my fishing skill and city reps on Dusty and Birdfall to get ready for the Argent Tourney and the turtle mount. But we haven't really talked about the changes to Noblegarden except in passing, and we're now getting screenshots about all the new things from it.

And they all look awesome.

I've mentioned elsewhere that Noblegarden will be a week instead of a day. I also mentioned that it will be pushed back for 3.1 instead of being on Easter so that they can get the new version out this year. You may also know from my other post that it's being added to the Purple Proto Drake achievement.

Here's a few things I've seen about eggs for this year:
  • Eggs will be around the level 5 towns only. (blue)
  • Eggs will always be up, "even if many people are farming them. If you haven't found them, it isn't a matter of spawning... it's a matter of you not finding them." (blue)
  • Eggs will not be in the same places they used to be, so old maps are useless.
But forget all that boring detail junk and let's get to what we really care about -- the cute stuff!

You buy items with chocolates, which come from eggs.

You can get the pet (Spring Rabbit's Foot) from either the vendor or a drop from the eggs (currently skinned like the old Snowshoe Rabbit, falls in love with other Spring Rabbits and spawns babies, according to Warcraftpets).

I'm presuming the dress and tux will drop from eggs also, since there's an achievement to get a dress from an egg (not required to complete holiday meta), but you can still buy them from the vendor if you're not psychotic and insist on egging it up like me.

What I'm excited about more than anything is the Spring Circlet -- it's BUNNY EARS!!! They look straight/symmetrical for men and one is slightly flopped for women. Squee!

Spring Flowers look straightforward -- just a holdable bouquet that puts rabbit ears on people On Use.

Spring Robes are a pleasant pale set of robes that plant a flower On Use.

Noblegarden Egg lets you place a single Brightly Colored Egg (1 hour cooldown). 3 day duration.

Blossoming Branch puts a rabbit costume on a targeted party member.

Spring Robes, Spring Circlet, Spring Flowers

Last but not least, the available title? The Noble.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Contest, or "Who Wants to Win a Sandbox Tiger?"

Contest Open from March 27 - April 10

Set the toy down, hop on, and watch your character
wobble back and forth, arms in the air, for a great time!

How to Enter


Email will be deactivated after the contest ends.

In your entry, describe how you would Role-Play your character.
  • You must include your character name (weird letters and all), server, and whether you are EU or US.
  • You may choose to describe one or more character, but additional characters will not earn extra entries into the raffle.
  • There is no minimum or maximum word count, but I think it's safe to say one sentence doesn't qualify as "honest effort" (see disqualifications section below).
  • Any entrant who makes the effort will be included in the raffle except where noted otherwise.
  • Tips for what you might cover in your entry: clothing choices, mount and pet choices, personality, history, quirks, appearance, interacting with others. These are not required, they are only suggestions to get you started.
  • Please feel free to include a copy of your entry in the comments if you want others to see it, but to join the raffle you must email your entry to the above address.
  • Each entrant should make an honest attempt to meet the required criteria. I reserve the right to disqualify entries that fail.
  • I will not disqualify anyone for having a less than perfect entry -- writing skill and personal creativity will not be judged or penalized. If you make an effort, you'll get in the raffle whether or not your entry is the best.
  • My guild and family may enter for fun and giggles but their names will not be submitted to the final drawing for the prize.
Raffle & Notification

I will draw a name out of a hat. Literally.

The winner will receive an email notification with the Sandbox Tiger code as well as an announcement post here. The card itself will not change hands, just the code.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WoW Tattoos, or "What Would You Do?"

I found a WoW Tattoos blog called Warcraft-Ink. Hasn't been updated in a year, but it got me thinking.

A tattoo is a big commitment. If you were forced to get a Warcraft tattoo, and you could choose among any art (or request your own), what would you get and where would you put it?

I'd probably do something with Dustfire and the phoenix mount, or with Dustfire and Birdfall fighting. Maybe both. It would be nice to incorporate the characters and their mounts, but that might be too busy. I'm a big fan of clean lines and simplicity.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sea Turtle, or "PHOTOS IN!! SO CUTE!!"

I'm sooo excited! I thought they'd make it a silly red color ("coral" the color is pinkish-orange), but it's just like the TCG turtle. :D Which I LOVE! This makes up for Blizzard not giving me a sleepy panda pet.

I maaay have screeched in husband's ear when I saw it, something he's not particularly fond of. >_> Sorry husband!

MMO-Champion says:
Turtles All the Way Down - Fish up a Sea Turtle mount from any fishing pool in Northrend. (Video, this is recorded in WALKING speed, the running speed is 60% just like any lvl 40 mount, swimming speed is 133%)
All the comments on the video say "Why aren't you showing it swimming?" I want to shake them. Who CARES about swimming?! It's CUTE!

^ Only thing that matters.

[edit] Husband thinks I shouldn't get too attached to this skin just in case, since it is the PTR.
I agree and will try not to be too disappointed if they change it to something not-as-cute. In the meantime, enjoy more turtle fun.

World PVP, or "More Reasons It's Bad and Inconvenient"

So one of my guildmates starts asking for help in guild chat, saying these two druids won't let him quest and he can kill one but not both and he doesn't want to stealth (rogue) and find somewhere peaceful until they leave because he wants to get them back or something.

I'm busy opening up the Sons of Hodir chain, and my policy for world PVP is "If you can get away, do. If you can't, ask for help." I never help when someone just hankers to PVP, because that's a want and not a need and I know exactly what happens to shadow priests.

I like to pretend Zuluhed is a Normal server where PVP isn't possible and everyone leaves each other alone. To promote this sense of well-being, I keep my distance from Alliance, check their every turn, shuffle, and target for hostility, and run away like a little girl if I think they're going to mess with me.

Which brings me to the point of this post: Why am I here writing instead of in the game finishing that long, fun Hodir quest chain?

Well, imagine my surprise when I tumbled out of the tunnel into Brunnhildar and saw my rogue guildmate and my brother-in-law-in-law hovering in the air around a couple of Alliance.

Yes, my rogue guildmate decided to fight back in my quest hub. And like all good Zuluhed Alliance, they brought more and more friends until it was 7 vs 3 (apparently my BILIL could have taken any two of them, but not 7 at a time). I told them in guild chat, like a mother shaking her finger, "You ought to know by now: they're like murlocs, you can't pull just one," but they actually enjoy world PVP and didn't mind the odds. Psychos.

I told the guild while questing, since the first seven or so quests can be done outside the hub away from the battle, "I'm trying to pretend that I don't share a guild tag with the people they're fighting." My husband's best friend said "You need a 'I'm just an honorary guild member' emote." I said I needed a "Let's be friends!" emote.

But now I'm a little stuck and have to wait for the area to clear. This pretty much means tomorrow, since people do their dailies at night and the traffic will only get worse.

I guess it's a good development. My mouse wrist has been hurting because all of my hobbies are computer based and it could use a little recuperative time. And there's always dinner to take care of. Nom nom, food. *drool*

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sell Your Sprite Darter, or "Money-Making Opportunity In 3.1"

[edit] New info, they changed it to BOP with a high drop rate.

This post is now void.

Once 3.1 hits, Sprite Darter Hatchlings will be farmable from Sprite Darters in Feralas -- I presume that both sides can farm them, but Alliance have their own quest to get one, so farming will be more of a Horde activity (Alliance will join in for the sales opportunities, I'm sure).

On a PVP server, expect the area to be camped by Alliance. Because Alliance are like that.

Depending on how aggressive you are, if you get in and farm this pet when 3.1 first hits, you can sell it for astronomical amounts of gold. To anyone farming this in the first week, I recommend you SELL and do not keep this pet. I also recommend bringing a friend with AOE or quick range (so you can tag more darters at a time), make targeting macros, and make sure you log out in the right spot the night before. If you bring a friend, agree to split the profit.

Over time, the price for these will go down toward Whelpling range, which is why you need to be in the first wave to make the most money. I wouldn't be surprised if the first 5 Sprite Darters listed on Neutral AH and Horde AH net close to 20,000g on high pop servers. No one on Horde has this pet, so the demand is high and the supply, so far, has been nonexistent -- the most perfect recipe for profit you will ever find.

You'll have a lot of people competing with you (or killing you), which is why I suggest you only try this if you're aggressive and willing to fight a little dirty to get the mobs tagged.

To be honest, I don't think farming Darters is a good idea unless you have the ability to stay at it, screw people over, and get lucky in the first few days (I'd take one look at the crowd and hearth dejectedly). You also want to get your Darters up on the AH fastfastfast because once supply starts growing, prices will drop.

For BUYERS -- do not bid on the first wave of Darters. Wait a few months. You will save thousands of gold if you're patient because prices will stay high (though not as high as first-week sales) until the most obsessive Horde collectors are done buying.

For your entertainment, when 3.1 comes out, I'll run out to the Darter area on Zuluhed (low pop PVP) and Moon Guard (high pop Normal RP) and take screenshots so you can see the insanity.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Generalize Me, or "The Casual/Hardcore Feud"

We have established that jackasses and morons exist. This post is not about them. For the sake of this post, I will only refer to reasonable, humane human beings.

I've avoided this topic for a long time because I didn't feel qualified to talk about it, but I've been thinking about it long enough and this WoW Insider post got me around to it. The title comes from my comment on that post:
As someone who is moderate and even occasionally casual, generalizations of, well, me made by hardcore players always seem to rankle.
  • Casual players are all stupid and/or noobish.
  • Hardcore players are all mean.
  • Moderate players secretly want to be hardcore but lack the skill.
My old friend Andrew used to get mad every time I generalized something. He said "You can't generalize things, everything is different and unique. People, situations, you can't reduce these to a single summary and still be correct. You have to choose, Beth. It's either the easy answer or the right one."

Since then, I've chosen to be right. It's so much more satisfying.

My Definitions
  • Casual: A casual player is someone who is satisfied by relaxing in the game their own way and on their own time.
  • Moderate: A moderate player is someone who wants to taste different aspects of the game in more depth but does not need to be the very best.
  • Hardcore: A hardcore player wants to excel at whichever aspect of the game he or she is most passionate about.
You will note that I left these definitions open-ended as to what these players enjoy doing. This is because every player is different and enjoys different aspects of the game in different degrees. Most players have more than one area of interest.

Hardcore: In-Depth

While the traditional definition of hardcore means super-raider or Gladiator (or both), I humbly submit that a player can be equally hardcore at pet collecting or making money. Most people assume that hardcore must mean everything endgame, but the true definition lies in the individual's intentions -- hardcore is a state of mind, not a list of achievements.

Hardcore implies the desire to not just succeed but succeed beyond others. It is competitive. It has the unfortunate side-effect of attracting people with superiority complexes, true. But we're not talking about them. We're talking about people who enjoy a good old-fashioned win after putting out massive effort.

Hardcore players play hard and put a lot of their time, energy, and resources into one or two big projects -- and their best high is a major win, whether it's a realm first kill, a Gladiator title, or just having the most gold or the nicest mounts. The point of being hardcore is to work hard and be the best.

The downside to this is that hardcore players often don't understand why anyone would settle for less than hardcore. The most dismissive hardcores do think everyone else is just settling and assume that people are moderate and casual because they can't compete at the highest levels. This isn't necessarily because hardcores are too arrogant to see the truth as much as because they really don't understand why anyone would play a game and not want to "beat" it.

Hardcores can be hard on the other two types because moderate and casual attitudes frustrate and confuse them. It's really as simple as that.

Examples of Hardcores: Ensidia (raiding), H O N (arenas), Breanni (pets), El (fishing), Mania (hunter pets* & mounts).

*edited, changed from "hunters," see comments for details

Moderate: In-Depth

A large number of people cannot be hardcore. Period. Either they don't enjoy competition, don't have enough time (parents), or just don't care. Moderates often see "beating the game" as participating in every aspect of it and getting the best and most wide-spread experience for their monthly payment. Moderates are most likely to be interested in accumulating Achievements as proof of their varied interests, and while they would like the more impossible achievements that hardcores enjoy, they accept their own limitations (whether those limitations are time, temperament, preference, or skill).

The best way I can describe the difference between moderate and hardcore: A moderate would sit on a hill all day with binoculars to study a gorilla society. A hardcore would put on a gorilla suit and live among them.

Some moderates view the hardcore focus on only one aspect of the game as a misuse of time and resources. The majority of moderates prefer spreading their interests for the most enriching experience. They will acquire all the necessary tools to do the things they want (gear, knowledge, currency), but their chief concern is competence rather than competition.

Because of this, moderates tend to know details about a lot of different things and are great resources if you have a question. Though hardcore players delve very deeply into their favorite aspect of the game, moderates are capable of being a hardcore's equal in theory and strategy if a certain aspect of the game interests them. The main difference would be that moderates don't play that one aspect as hard or as often and a hardcore player has more personal experience to draw from.

Examples of Moderates: Most players fall into this category and definitely most WoW bloggers. I'm moderate because I keep updated with the frivolous, cosmetic side of the game, but I'm not "hardcore" about achieving everything myself. Husband likes to dabble in everything and knows a lot about gameplay, specs, and the technical side of things. You'll note that we both have gaps in our knowledge -- this is normal for moderates, who gravitate toward their favorite areas and roll across them like duct tape, picking up information and experience in a more haphazard way than hardcores.

Casual: In-Depth

Casuals play to relax. They see no need to try anything they aren't interested in, and they consider themselves lucky to enjoy the game without hassle or pressure.

The purpose of the game for casuals is not to beat it but to utilize it to relieve the stress of their everyday lives. While casuals tend to be the least educated (about the game) as a group, this is not because they cannot learn, it's just because their goals in the game have little to do with knowing in minutiae what everything around them means. Because of the simplicity of their goals, they have no need to learn all the technicals. They enjoy the game with a simplicity and purity that they feel hardcore players should envy, because obviously hardcore players are far too stressed out.

A friendship between a casual and moderate is best, often resulting in a nurturing environment where the moderate teaches things to the casual and the casual enjoys the mellow company. Though casual players are more likely to be social players, they just as often play alone or with a real life friend or two.

Meetings between casual and hardcore players rarely go well, as their philosophies in the game are so very different. Casuals care about the quality of their play but don't seek the intensive self-training hardcores insist upon. This is why moderates are a good influence, insofar as encouraging casuals to learn about the game beyond their immediate interests, while placating frustrated hardcores when a casual does something ignorant in a group.

Again, ignorance does not mean stupidity and not every casual is ignorant (emphasis: I'm working on the theory that casuals don't know much because they don't need to know much, but casuals can be just as informed as anyone). Ignorance just means lack of knowledge (often due to lack of interest or lack of resources). The downside of playing as a casual is that they often get associated with "noobs," who by definition are players who are ignorant and refuse to learn and improve, while the average casual is perfectly willing to learn if someone wishes to tutor them.

Casuals tend to care about manners and other people and see hardcore tactics as rude and offensive, which gets casuals labeled "Carebears." I've never considered being a "Carebear" as a bad thing, though it's intended to be an insult and implies that the player is foolishly concerned with feelings over skill. The key to the insult is "foolishly." Many hardcores consider skill to be the mark of a good player, while casuals judge most people based on personality. These differences stem from their different goals -- hardcores want skill and casuals want politeness, both for the same reason: to enjoy the game the way they want.

Examples of Casuals: Young children tend toward casual play, as do adults with severe time restrictions. New players tend to be more casual, and you can find casuals more often among people who haven't reached endgame. Real casuals (not just moderates with a casual lean) don't blog that I know of or poke their heads into the community too much, so they don't have the best representation.


All three groups care about being respected, they just hold different values. There is no reason casuals and hardcores should be at each other's throats when their only real difference is how they choose to play the game. A casual who has never instanced isn't intentionally wiping your group -- just give them friendly, patient tips and they'll learn. A hardcore who reaches for triumph isn't devaluing others -- congratulate him for his wins and commiserate with him on his losses.


All three types have their share of bad-tempered morons who refuse to change. It is unfair and untrue to say one group has all of the idiots. Casuals tend to have more Noobs who want things just given to them; hardcores have more Pompous Jackasses who think they know everything and taunt others for mistakes or failure or having fewer status items; and moderates get all the Asinine Posers who play too much to be casual and know too little to be hardcore but still have an inflated ego for doing nothing of value.

We all have people in our style of play that we wish would go away, and it's unfair to base your assumptions of a group on the worst example you can find. We need to reach out to each other with the knowledge that we're not all the lowest common denominator and treat each other with respect.


It's entirely possible for people with different interests and levels of play to coexist peacefully as friends. It's even beneficial. I've been fortunate enough to play with all sorts of friends in IVV, and I've seen patient helpfulness exercised on all sides.

While WoW might never be the frolicking valley of Carebears I'd like, it can still be a place where we recognize each other with mutual respect and then mutually ignore and /lol at the morons we have to deal with on a daily basis.

Despite our differences, we can get along.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

100 Mount Collecting, or "Is Blizzard Just Encouraging Ninjas?"

Out of the mounts currently in the game, ~70 are buyable (with appropriate rep and/or currency) and 23 can be farmed from raids, instances, dailies, and holidays. 7 can be "achieved."

This does not include the mounts available from professions or class mounts.

3.1 brings us 4 new event mounts, 3 new horde mounts, 1 new flying mount, 1 fishing mount, and 2 achievement mounts to replace the 2 we're losing.

What does this mean for you, the player? Do you have to suddenly take up tailoring or engineering or even fishing to make your numbers?

Well, that's up to you.

I believe that Blizzard will increase the number of mounts available over time to make the 100 mount achievement more attainable without having to farm mounts that drop maybe once a year (1 try a week, 2% drop rate, 1 drop in 50, 52 weeks in a year).

The current problem isn't that there aren't enough mounts, because I expect more to arrive over time, just like they found a way to put in more pets with the Argent Tournament. The problem is that, right now, the people most favored to reach the 100 Mount Achievement are the unscrupulous.

Think about it. The best way to get this achievement for now is to cheat others. It will take forever to see one of the raid/instance mounts drop, even longer to see it and win the roll. The only way to guarantee your success and minimize your grinding time is to ninja the mount from everyone else.

Blizzard has created an environment around mounts where stealing is the most economical and sensible use of time management. People who hate fishing force themselves to fish, people who always made fun of holidays get involved. And people in instances maneuver themselves into the best possible position as Master Looter, sometimes as a sneaky ninja, sometimes with the more upfront "You can have anything except the mount if it drops."

Instead of mounts rewarding the people who have long loved tailoring, engineering, fishing, raiding, or holidays, the aficionados are imposed upon by others who hate being there, who are greedy and selfish and perfectly willing to complain to anyone who will listen, and who only talk about getting what they want.

The solution to all of this is not to make the farmable mounts easier to get. I'm against removing things forever, not against difficulty. The solution is that we need more easy mounts. Soon. The driving force here seems to be the achievement -- an achievement that is utterly impossible right now without winning multiple mounts from group activities. People need to be able to reach this achievement through nice, clean solo activities (yes, this includes professions) so that they rely less on group farming.

People enamored of this achievement, of collecting mounts, will get as many mounts as they can eventually. But I truly believe that having the achievement rely on rare drop mounts (as it does now) is a huge mistake and can only encourage people to act badly.

My solution is allowing the collectors enough choices so they can more-or-less solo the achievement. This way, the rare raid and instance drops are a bonus -- as Blizzard intended them to be.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Battle for Undercity, or "Devolving A Great Scene Into My Own Agenda"

Coralshell Turtle, or "Would You Like Some Fries With That Whine?"

I'm making a prediction:

Once 3.1 goes live, I expect people who hate fishing but collect mounts to start in on the official forums and annoy all the fishermen.

So, to save us all a little time and trouble, go read my post about the holiday whiners, cover the word "holiday" with your thumb and imagine it says "fishing." Then cover the word "proto-drake" and put in "turtle."

That should do it.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, we don't have a photo yet, but the basic information is -- you can fish up a rare turtle mount in Northrend pools in 3.1. This mount works on land and in water. Rulezors.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tempted, or "Normal Server People Should Know Better"

I'm questing on Birdfall (started again yesterday because Alliance swarmed Zuluhed and I couldn't finish up Dusty). Moon Guard is a normal RP server, no auto-PVP, and it's really relaxing when I'm sick of Alliance jerks.

So I'm questing this morning and I see this orc warrior, 1 level lower than me.

His name is yellow.

This means he's flagged for PVP.

I pass him once.


I stealth and start to wonder if he's afk.

And the whole time, my fingers itch toward my attacks.

I could take him out so easy, my mind croons. Think of the satisfaction. The pwnage.

No, I tell my mind. I came here to get away from that!

I watch him as I kill orcs for talismans. I'm in agony. He's half health.

He finally begins to move, attacks a mob that may have been on him. I was too busy fantasizing about his dead body to notice.

Another mob joins the fray, casting fireballs from a distance. His health is going down quickly.

My mind cries Go go go! And the rest of me joins in. Finish him!

I watch, desperately cheering the mobs, praying they wipe that PVP flag from him by the time he rezzes.

He dies.

I let out a satisfied sigh as if I killed him myself.

I sit back. The temptation is dead on the ground.


Oracles & Frenzyheart, or "Who Wants Green Slime? I'll Take a Proto-Drake"

I've been running around trying to figure out how to start with the Oracles or Frenzyheart.

This is what you do:

Kill Pitch.

Get the quest [Playing Along].

Do all the Frenzyheart quests. The chain will lead you to the Oracles. Do all their quests.

At the end of the chain, you get to kill this elite (need 2 or 3 people). Once he's dead, he releases an Oracle (Jaloot) and Frenzyheart (Zepik). Kill the one you don't want, keep alive the one you want to pledge your allegiance to. You'll get Honored with whomever you choose, and it's easy to change again later.

Oracle or Frenzyheart?

Most people already know this, but I'll go over it for people who don't ravage all the fresh news on Warcraftpets. :D

This is said with the understanding that you can change from one to the other pretty easily: go Oracle.

[Mysterious Egg] (buyable at Revered with Oracles) has a 7 day timer to turn into [Cracked Egg], which can hatch into one of 4 (tradable/sellable) pets or a super-rare BOP green proto drake flying mount. I also prefer the Oracles as people over the Frenzyheart. It's like the Frenzyheart are the cynical hardcore gamers and the Oracles are the casual carebears. ^_^ And you know which I'm partial to.

I'd keep doing that until you get all 5 items, then go Frenzyheart (unless you're wearing Oracle gear, which would become unusable) for their [Disgusting Jar] (buyable at Revered), which has a 7 day timer for [Ripe Disgusting Jar], which might drop [Frenzyheart Brew], which turns you into a Frenzyheart for 5 minutes (not a consumable, just an item).

I'd probably switch back after getting the Brew to keep farming pets for my friends, but any and all switching is up to you.

If you care about gear and stats more than pets and mounts (in which case, I'm confused why you find my blog interesting), feel free to check the Frenzyheart vs Oracle quartermasters for the gear they offer. I only care about cute things, so that's how I'm advising.

Oh, yeah, and I'm gonna ding 80 on Dustfire after finishing the elite off and pledging myself to the Oracles. Perfect timing. :) Just waiting on husband to wake up so he can help. I could ask someone else, but I'd really like him to be there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Healer Macro, or "I Bet They Didn't Teach This In Priest School"

Step 1: Log in.

Step 2: Hit macro:
  • /dnd Only heal for guildies. Go read my WoW blog, birdfall.blogspot.com
Step 3: Get whispers anyway.

Prohibited Advertising

This category includes advertisement of:
  • Any non-beneficial, non-WoW related businesses, organizations, or websites
If a player is found to have been advertising, he/she may:
  • Be given a warning

I think I'm safe. It's WoW-related, I don't make money off it, and I don't spam it. And if I get a warning, I can stop.

Mount Farming, or "Are You Honored with Lower City?"

Three times now, we've been pulling a group together to get the Raven Lord or White Hawkstrider and the same thing has gone wrong -- someone in the group isn't able to enter the instance.

For Magister's Terrace, this is not a huge issue. The requirement is the regular mode quest chain, which can be wiped out quickly by any group able to handle heroic mode -- it just means you run normal mode once (find the spy, click the orb, get Kael's head).

The Raven Lord in Sethekk Halls -- one of the nicest mounts in the game -- requires a druid with epic flying to summon the required boss, which seems steep enough (I've offered to summon for anyone in my guild if they have a proper group, with the added bonus of my passing if it drops). But people often forget that everyone in the group needs Honored with Lower City as well. When you only need a reliable tank or healer, this requirement is disastrous. Even in BC days, people skipped Terrokar Forest and ignored Lower City. Now, even with all the DK tanks, it's impossible to find one with the required reputation.

The best way to remedy this horrible mess is by being a tank or healer -- if you're lucky, the druid you bring will spec for the other role (my Plum does heals). But if the only people going for this are dps, you will get royally screwed. Often.

There was only one tank online this morning when two rogues and I were set to do Sethekk, and we forgot to ask about his rep. And, of course, it was too low. One of the rogues suggested a Shadow Labs run, but I bowed out since I'm trying to hit 80 on Dusty today (so I can do heroics with family tomorrow and because everyone wants a healer these days). While I'm fully willing to interrupt my regularly scheduled playtime to summon Anzu and pass on the mount for a guildmate, I'm not quite masochistic enough to help farm rep.

I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, these are the only mounts you have to "attune" to farm anymore. Nice mounts, though, and worth the effort if you can find a regular tank and heals.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kirin Tor Familiar, or "Camping Bibliomania"

The Kirin Tor Familiar is a pet. This pet.

How to Get It

You are looking for books marked "The Schools of Arcane Magic." They all have that in the name and then a volume name:
  • Introduction
  • Conjuration
  • Enchantment
  • Necromancy
  • Abjuration
  • Divination
  • Illusion
  • Transmutation
WHEN Are These Books?

When you click on the book, it will remain for 3 minutes (so you don't have to fight with someone else over it unless there's a long line). Then it will disappear and stay gone until it respawns roughly 3-4 hours later.

WHERE Are These Books?

They share spawn points with useless books but each book is restricted to only one location (so once you have it, you can move to a different spot). The useless books appear more often than the one you need.

Click on the images to see a full size screenshot. I tried to include reference details so you don't get turned around.

Introduction: Across the street from Krasus Landing. Entering from the street, not the square, you'll see Archmage Celindra (she's facing the entrance and thus you) and the shiny blue triangle portal. Look at the bookcase on your right and the book will be on the floor in front of it.

Conjuration: Violet Citadel. Enter, turn north, the one on the left.

Enchantment: Threads of Fate (across from Violet Citadel). Enter, go upstairs, exit to balcony, turn right. On a crate.

Necromancy: Go upstairs in the Legerdermain Lounge, enter the room to your left and look on the bookshelf.

Abjuration: Across from (and a little south of) Violet Hold is Dalaran Visitor Center. Enter, turn right, look at the floor by the table between the two bookshelves.

Divination: Violet Citadel. Go upstairs, turn left. It will be on the floor between the bookcases.

Illusion: Enter under the arch of Violet Hold and turn left. Find Archmage Timear and look at the crates beyond him. It's on the left one.

Transmutation: Enter the Legerdermain Lounge, look at the bookshelf near the western door.

And here's a map with all of the book spawn points.

I Got Them All, What Now?

Once you have the achievement, you get a book that portals you up to the guy who gives you the pet. You just have to talk to him and it appears in your bags (so make sure you have a slot).

You cannot get the pet without the achievement, even if a warlock ports you up to the guy. A friend had fun climbing walls to him (or something), but he did it for a screenshot, not for the pet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Theft Part 2, or "Recruit"

<---- Part 1: Gone

I have this and the next part, still working on the conclusion.

* 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

“Have you ever slept with an undead?” Dustfire asked Tylana over a goblet of spiced wine, giving her shoulders a delicate shudder. “He let me have the lexicon for half market price, and I know part of that is because it was stolen, but for sun’s sake I paid for it. His skin was loose, it actually slid around when I touched it, and the dangling eyeball really helped the mood, I assure you.” She tossed her hair back over her shoulder and glared at the far wall, hands clenched around her goblet. A tauren in the way looked confused and quickly shuffled to his table. “Somebody is going to pay.”

Tylana looked at Kizmet, a delicate blonde they kept around out of pity, who set her cup down as if she’d lost her appetite, ran her pink nails over it, and grimaced. “You actually . . . did it . . . with one of them?”

Dustfire pressed her lips together. “Don’t tell Nevari. I’d never hear the end of it.” She shifted in her chair and allowed herself a smile. “Though, to be honest, I bet she’d be jealous. She has a thing for bags of bones.”

“Kinky,” said Tylana.

“Disgusting,” said Dustfire. “At least I saved money off of the deal. She’d do it for fun.”

“Was it really worth the money?” asked Kizmet. Her face had flushed bright red and she hadn’t looked away from her drink.

“I saved twenty-five thousand,” said Dustfire.

“Worth it,” laughed Tylana. A human man at a nearby table watched her chest as she laughed. She had admirable curves and a come-hither mouth. Normally, Dustfire would hate her, but they got along too well.

Dustfire nodded at Tylana, the shared bond of pragmatists.

Kizmet raised her eyes and Dustfire mentally sighed at her. If she wasn’t going to be more active in the conversation, why did they sit with her? Honestly, was it too much to ask that she at least be interesting?

She leaned back in her chair and ran her fingers over her abdomen, taking a moment to stretch. The man who’d stared at Tylana glanced her way and smugness uncurled in her stomach. “I’m going to have to start healing again,” she said, toying with the embroidery at her neckline. Tylana noticed and subtly surveyed the room, turning back with a knowing glance when she found the man staring at them. “You know how I loathe it. But there’s no money in dark magic these days.” She pushed red hair behind one long ear and her earring tinkled. “Speaking of dark magic, have either of you seen Manasseh lately?”

“He was in here last night, with my sister,” Kizmet said.

“Ugh,” said Tylana, shaking her glossy dark hair out and drawing the man’s gaze her way. Dustfire suppressed annoyance. She always did that! “Those two are so creepy. It’s unnatural.”

“They’re not really together,” said Kizmet, always eager to defend her sister. In a quieter voice, she added, “Though I do think it would be sweet, fearlessly crossing racial boundaries for love.”

Dustfire wrinkled her nose. “Have you been hanging out with the white robes behind our backs again?”

Tylana laughed. “Of course she has. She’s a priest, isn’t she? You can’t get away from white robes at the cathedrals. They swarm.”

“They’re nice people,” murmured Kizmet.

“Speak of the devil,” said Tylana.

They turned toward the door as a blank-faced elven woman entered the bar. She carried a tall, plain priest’s staff and wore a simple silver coronet on her blonde hair. Following protectively behind her, an orc in plate scanned the room and frowned when he caught sight of their table.

Dustfire raised her goblet to her lips and murmured low enough for just her friends: “Just like murlocs, always traveling in packs.”

Tylana chortled and rested her elbow on the table and chin in her hand. Kizmet stiffened in her chair.

The priestess made her graceful way toward them, her bulldog of an overarmored orc following close behind. “Priestess Kizmet,” she greeted. Her voice was light and ethereal, her expression detached from the dim ordinariness of the room.

Kizmet stood and performed an awkward curtsey. “Priestess Hoenu.”

“We missed you at prayers this morning.”

“Yes,” she said, a panicked look entering her eye. “I . . . I . . . My friend was robbed!”

Dustfire sent Kizmet a sly glance. The robbery had happened well after prayer service.

“Oh?” said Hoenu, sympathy invading her aura of distance. She turned to Dustfire and Tylana. “I’m so sorry.”

“Thank you,” said Dustfire, tilting her head coquettishly and offering a smile that she hoped would make the priggish Hoenu uncomfortable. She’d found years ago that any sign of sexuality would fluster a proper holy priestess. Her teachers had despaired of her, especially after she’d corrupted her third priest, and her parents had finally sent her to train in the ways of the shadow. She knew enough of healing to get a moderately well-paying job, but she frankly preferred (and had more skill in) the black arts. They were so much more fun.

Hoenu didn’t seem to notice anything amiss, bade them good day, and wandered toward a table and a smiling barmaid.

Once they’d gone, Dustfire handed Kizmet her goblet, vexed that Hoenu had ignored her. “Buy me more wine. I’ve had a horrible day.”

Kizmet picked the goblet up and hesitated. “The bartender scares me.”

Dustfire just stared at her until she hung her head and left. “Honestly,” she said to Tylana. “It’s like she doesn’t want me to feel better. And what’s so frightening about the bartender? He’s just a death knight.”

“He’s undead. It’s unsanitary for them to even be near food,” said Tylana.

Dustfire considered. “No,” she decided, “I can’t let you talk like that. Even if you have an excellent point, you should never say anything to offend the person who handles your drinks. You don’t know what they might put in it.”

The two women shared a look and turned as one to watch Kizmet with the bartender.

Some drunk jostled Dustfire’s chair and she craned her neck to glare at him.

“Sssorry,” he hissed, barely glancing at her. He’d almost passed their table when the bar owner, Velandrea, grabbed him by his tunic. She was sturdy by blood elf standards, which meant well-defined muscle along her slender body, a wide stance, and a no-nonsense expression.

She held out a hand. “Her purse.”

He glowered and handed Dustfire’s remaining pocket-money to the woman.

Dustfire stood so fast her chair fell backward and lunged, too enraged to even remember she had spells. “I’ll kill you!

“No killing in my bar,” Velandrea said, grabbing Dustfire and holding her with her free arm, the one with the money.

“Did someone mention killing?” a familiar voice asked from the entrance. Light spilled in and cut off as the door closed. “Can I watch?”

“You can help!” Dustfire snarled, scratching ineffectively toward the thief, who’d skipped nimbly out of reach and left Velandrea alone to hold Dustfire. Her feet didn’t touch the floor anymore. She gave a good, hard wriggle and received a bruised rib for the effort.

“Oh good!” said Manasseh, coming forward and following her gaze to the thief. They sized each other up, the thief wary, Manasseh cheerful. “Can Luudy help?” A plump red beast trotted up and rubbed its spiky head under Manasseh’s hand.

“No one’s killing anyone,” said Velandrea.

Manasseh looked at her and frowned, muttering sullenly under his breath. “I could kill you.”

“Just go over there and sit down.”

Dustfire allowed Velandrea to set her on her feet, annoyed that she stayed between her and her prey.

“Here’s your pouch. No harm done, now sit down.” Dustfire immediately opened it and counted the coins. Velandrea turned her head. “You. Brainiac. Get your bony butt out of here before I call the guards.”

He slouched off, the expression on his face unreadable. Dustfire memorized him, his clothes, the way he moved, the hissing way he spoke. If she ever saw him again . . .

Her hands flexed with the desire to hex.

Visibly disappointed at the lack of violence, Manasseh wandered toward the bar. Dustfire turned on her heel and followed him.

“You want to do me a favor,” she said, sliding onto a bar stool beside him.

The bartender slid Manasseh a mug that smoked. He looked into it. “Not that I remember.” He tilted his head. “But I don’t remember well. Do I want to do you a favor?” He asked it to his mug.

“Yes,” she told him. Crazy moron. But this crazy moron was the most powerful spellcaster she knew, so she tamped down her annoyance and plastered a smile on her face.

“That’s interesting,” he murmured, sipping at his mug. “I thought I didn’t. Hm.” A moment more, and he smiled. “What favor do I want to do for you?”

She smiled. “You want to help me find out who stole my things.”

He frowned. “I don’t know why I’d want to do that.”

She touched the back of his gloved hand. “Then you want to help me kill them. It will be a game. Your . . . pet . . . can even help.” She looked at the fanged red beast curled on the floor by Manasseh’s feet and grimaced. She hated fel hounds. All teeth, no brains.

He perked up. “When?”



Part 3: Persuade ---->

Druid Living, or "Kagrra's Take On Player Housing"

Although I blogged about it last year, The Druid Team's Kagrra went into detail with screenshots of what, where, when, and how Blizzard can integrate player housing. I found that post through WoW Insider because I've been reading them semi-regularly again.

I found his Utilities section very interesting, though he stuck to reusing items already in the game and didn't suggest anything "outside the box." Which is solid reporting in its own way -- it's practical and more likely to come true than random "You could do this or this or this and wouldn't this be cool?"

The only problem I have with his suggested setup is that other people can't see your house unless you invite them and I really wanted to live right by my sister-in-law and look through my window into hers -- and even put my pet in a window and my favorite mount stabled outside (I can't stop loving the idea of your pets/mounts sitting on display). So I think I might still prefer the of idea instanced towns instead of instanced individual houses. Or perhaps just being able to have a choice between the two.

I also disagree with not allowing NPC's -- he says it's too much like slavery, but there's always the option of servants. It's all about a proper Title Tag. (And Dusty LOVES having people to bully around.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Moar Pet News, or "Why They Gotta Make My Posts Useless?"

So I linked to Warcraftpets in my recent fishing poles post, but I'd only skimmed the news. Tonight, after a very productive RL day writing stuff that might actually make me money, I took a closer look and saw some great changes for 3.1:
  • CLUCK! for a Westfall chicken is now available to horde (used to be the chicken would turn hostile even if you managed to get the feed through a neutral AH), making this post pointless.
  • Sprite Darters in Feralas may now drop a Sprite Darter Egg (formerly an alliance only quest pet). This forces me to go back and add "stay in Feralas and farm a Sprite Darter!" to the horde section of this post.
  • Emerald Whelplings now fall off of Adolescent Whelps instead of just Dreaming Whelps in southwestern Swamp of Sorrows.
Argent Tournament News: Alongside the dumb-looking kids Dustfire is looking forward to abusing, if you champion a city you can buy from their vendor (tabard, pet, mount, etc). Warcraftpets.com says the pets are not currently BOP, which means cross-faction selling and sharing.

Let's hope and pray they keep it that way. With the CLUCK! and Sprite Darter changes, I think they might. They seem to be trying to provide enough pets for everyone to reach the collection achievements without pulling out a RL wallet. I predicted new pets when my friends bemoaned how few pets there were when the fawn took 100 instead of 75 pets -- I told them that if there were not enough pets, Blizzard had to add more to make the achievement viable! And here we are.

One thing you want to hope for (if you enjoy looking nice as much as I do) is that they'll keep upping the ante for mount and pet collections -- because that means a wider variety of mounts and pets to obtain and choose from.

One thing I'm not thrilled about with the mount collecting is that it makes people greedier for mounts they don't actually want, particularly rare-drop mounts from raids and instances. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to difficult-to-obtain mounts -- if you just want to collect it but not use it as your main mount, pass to someone who will get the proper milage out of it.

For example, there are some really nice kids in our guild (14-16 range), but they've been bitten by the mount collecting bug. It makes them desperately want things they don't particularly like and won't use -- like the Azure Drake from Malygos. One of them said in guild chat the other day during a raid he hadn't been rostered into, "I'm going to be so mad if the drake drops off Malygos" and proceeded to say he wanted the Twilight Drake more. I mentioned that if he wanted the twilight one more, he should probably pass on the azure if it dropped even if he was there, and he agreed (though reluctantly). He's a good kid, just caught up in this unpleasant collecting frenzy.

To me, the fun of mounts is using them, not having them (plus, it's SO expensive). And if you aren't going to use something rare, you should pass it to someone who will. Like rolling on a Warglaive on your rogue when you're about to switch your main to priest. It just doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Contest Soon, or "Cute Loot 4 U"

This is just an announcement that I'll be having a contest with a (minor) TCG loot card within the next week or two. I've already bought the card, you don't get to know what it is yet, but you will when the contest post comes out. :)

Haven't decided on how you can enter, which is the first delay, and haven't received the loot card in the mail yet, which is the second.

I do have a few preliminary details worked out:

1) The winner will be drawn from a hat if they meet the to-be-decided entry criteria -- I won't choose based on quality of entries, just on whether my criteria is met. Otherwise, it'll be completely random.

2) My family and guild are not allowed to enter. Like family members in the McDonald's monopoly game, they can't join the fun because I don't want to even seem like I rigged the contest if one of them won. Also, if I wanted this raffle to go to my guild, I would have done it there and not here on my blog. So, sorry my snuggly ones, but I know you understand. <3

Monday, March 9, 2009

Purple Proto Drake, or "Where Did All the Love Go?"

I've noticed in my guild chat and in forums and even on WoW Insider posts that everyone is complaining about the holiday achievements.

I felt elation when I heard about the changes for Noblegarden, when I heard it was being added to the requirements for What a Long Strange Trip. I was thrilled because I enjoy Noblegarden and didn't want to be stuck with one day to savor it. But I'm surrounded by people going, "Oh, holy crap, I can't believe there's more to do now."

What is that?! Seriously. I LOVE holidays, I adore them. They make me feel like I'm a level 12 starting fresh in the big new world again, no worries and easy experience. I get nostalgic when these events pop up, and I throw myself into them with dedication and joy, feelings I want to share with others so I post here every year with all the details I can find.

But so many people are too busy trying to get yet another notch in their mount collection to enjoy themselves. People are running around with the same bad attitudes so many use for loot -- "Have to get the shiny thing at the end of the grind, nothing else matters."

And it's upsetting to realize that over half the people around me during these holidays consider it a grind. There's no affection for the holiday itself, no pleasure in the quirks, no patience to sit back and enjoy yourself and maybe not even finish this year.

I'm 60 on Birdfall, the character I chose to get this achievement as her main focus (this achievement is her entire purpose right now). She is completely unable to fulfill all the requirements of the holidays until she's high enough to kill the bosses or farm the mounts. I might very well have to wait until 2011 to get my reward.

And I'm not complaining.

So why is everyone else?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Fishing Dailies, or "These Poles Are So RP!!!"

There are new fishing poles gonna be available from the new Northrend fishing dailies in 3.1 and they are SO Role-Playing awesome. El's Anglin' has all the news but I am particularly enamored of the shiny Jeweled pole -- or, should I say, Dusty is enamored of it. Big thanks to El for the photos, the rest of which you can see here. I think Birdfall would enjoy the "Twig" pole. (These are +30 like the Kalu'ak pole but don't let you breathe underwater.)

Now, this changes a few things in my plans to get the awesomest fishing equipment outside the weekly tournament -- if fishing dailies are like the cooking dailies, you can get all the little extras by doing the new ones --

-- except for the crockolisk pets. So I'll still be going back and doing that one, but there's no need to do the others once 3.1 comes out unless you just want to have an extra shot a day at something rare, like the hat.

While there are new fishing pets available (and apparantly the Argent Tournament gets you a child pet to bully around), we're going to skip right over those since there's something else awesome and RP about the fishing.

NEW BOBBERS. The bobber is NOT the thing you apply to your pole to increase your fishing skill -- that's a LURE. The bobber is the white cork with red and blue feathers that you click on when you catch a fish. You can presumably replace your cork bobber with one of the novelty ones in that link.

They are all incredibly adorable, and I don't know which one Dusty wants with her shiny jeweled pole (which she will farm and get). I'm thinking black kitty head for Dusty and murloc head for Birdfall.