Like riding a bike, apparently.

Except I never really got off the bike. Yesterday Kate, myself and David, our friend who just got to lvl 80 on his Warlock were playing around in WoW. On Sen'jin. I know, everybody thought we were through with that server, but not yet. I thought I wouldn't be on my Night Elf Death Knight until the Argent Tournament started up. We actually had fun.

Our first order of business was to get David some better gear. BC epics is what he's still using, and they're good quality stuff. So first we went through the Culling of Stratholme, got him an upgrade and also got him a Bronze Drake mount.

Then, on the way to the next one, Heroic Azjol-Nerub, Kate stopped in Dalaran to turn in the cooking daily quest, when suddenly she squeaked very loudly (it was a joyful squeak) and started freaking out. When asked what it was about, she just said "You'll see soon!"
We didn't have long to wait, she soon linked us a recipe she'd been looking for for a long time, the recipe for Delicious Chocolate cake, which she'd been wanting for her Chef title, she's only 8 or 9 recipes away from that, and she'd nearly given up on it.

Afterwards, however, Azjol-Nerub was disappointing. We had problems with the healing, and I'm well-geared enough and skilled enough for that not to cause a problem, at least until the last boss. There are these monsters that come in to reinforce the boss spray poisons everywhere. I recommended the Druid remove the poisons, which he can do, because David and Kate died to the poisons during the fight, but he insisted that the poisons weren't the problem, but that it was the DPS.

3 times we tried and failed. For the fourth try he said "I hate to be that guy but I g2g" (got to go for all those playing at home). So we picked up a priest to replace him, one that we knew but had only hit 80 recently. First time we did the boss, we took him down. Poor, stupid druid.

Remember, folks, changing tactics when they're failing consistently is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. The only people who're afraid to try new things are idiots and fools.

He's no Loque'nahak

But he'll do.

Before anyone asks, "Wait, I thought you were leveling a Blood Elf"--yes, I was. This is my old hunter, my very first character, the one I went Survival with and melee'd because I had no idea how to kite. The one who lost her very first pet because I was too stupid to do the second part of the Hunter quest and couldn't feed him. The one who got put on the shelf at level 46 when I started up my Shaman, and sat there until earlier this week when I dusted her off to run through Ragefire Chasm farming linen cloth.

Clearly she's come a long way since then, and I am having fun.

Now, as for the gorilla in the picture...

After hitting 56 tonight in BRD and "rescuing" the stupid princess, I had all the gear I needed out of there and never wanted to see a Dark Iron dwarf again. Un'goro seemed like a good spot--plenty of quests, lots of mobs to skin, and the pretty green was a nice change from red and black. I picked up the gorilla quests first--my first time into the cave, I noticed a named mob on my tracking and nearly panicked. I knew there was a rare white gorilla that spawned in the back of the cave (I remembered from when BRK posted about his), I knew it had a name that started with a "U"...

/target U'cha

Nope. Just a regular old mob, probably for a quest. I picked up the last few pelts I needed and headed out, trying not to feel too disappointed. I mean, it took BRK over 5 hours...any less for me would be silly. That's actually what I told myself to feel better. I'd been so excited, too.

I wandered around for awhile doing a couple other quests--gathering scales from the pterrordax and diemetradons, picking up every green crystal I could find, attempting to singlehandedly wipe out the entire tar beast population. Eventually I got back to the Tauren, turned in my gorilla pelts, and noticed he had another quest for me, to kill the named gorilla I had seen earlier. I already knew the rarespawn wasn't going to be there, so no stress, but I could use some more rugged leather so I picked up the quest and headed back.

About halfway to U'cha I checked my tracking to make sure I was heading the right way.

U'cha, Uhk'loc...

Wait, that can't be right. That has to be the rarespawn.

/tar Uhk'loc


(I don't seem to have a Brain, just a cuteness/awesome detector. It was squealing away like crazy and babbling something about nice pets, though, which I am willing to accept in lieu of actual conversation so long as it doesn't turn on me.)

Bad news, though--he was right next to the big U'cha guy and a couple of other apes. Even with me a few levels higher I wasn't sure if I'd be able to take out the others first, or pull him alone for long enough to tame him. I was ready to try, though, and also recruited Jon's paladin as backup in case I needed a stun. It's a long flight from Orgrimmar to Un'goro, though, so I decided I would try on my own and feign death if I had to.

I cleared up until I could see into the room--there were a few gorillas on the left, U'ch on a big rock in front of me, and Uhk'loc was wanding in a circle. I backed up a bit, abandoned my raptor, dropped a trap, and rummaged through my spellbook for Tame Beast. I waited until he was rigt in front of me, crossed my fingers, and clicked.

Nothing happened.

Apparently I was too far away. Okay, scoot closer to the trap, try again--none of the other gorillas came with him, thank goodness, but now he was right on top of me and there was no way my trap would last for the whole cast time. I hoped he wasn't one of those difficult creatures that would interrupt the taming spell as the last second...

That's funny, he was glowing, and getting smaller at the same time. I hope that doesn't mean he's gonna--Oh. I tamed him. He's mine now.


I sat there for about a minute just looking at him before I remembered that I was, in fact, on a quest, and it might be a good idea to finish it up before flaking out and running off to post a screenshot. (I did.) I'm thinking I'll call him Snow.


Subtlety's finer points.

"Are you logging on to your warrior?" Kate asks me as I log off of my Death Knight.
"I'm thinking about it," I replied, "but I remember promises of ice cream, and snuggles."
"Oh, I'll get the ice cream," Kate says. I hear her rummaging around in the kitchen. "It looks like there's only Hunters looking to join a group for BRD, so I totally don't want you to think this is a bribe."

Somewhat confused, I remain silent.
"Think what's a bribe?" I ask.
"Well, I really really want that ammo pouch and the leggings from BRD, but I don't want you to think that I'm getting you the ice cream as a bribe," Kate says.

We laugh, and laugh, and laugh.
When she brings the ice cream in to me, it's the vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with green sugar, a Peep perched up on the top of it and jelly beans scattered on it.

I look at the ice cream, then look at her. "You're very good at bribery," I say.

Fail Gank.

Life on a PVP server is difficult. The reason is that when you're still leveling up somebody who's much higher level than you can come along and just rip through you like a bull through a wet kleenex. This is just the way things are, and people have different ways of coping with it.

First there's the suicidals. These ones just hold still and hope it'll be over quickly. It usually is. I consider these types to be fatalistic, weak-willed and pessimistic.

Second there's the escapists. These ones do their best to run away, sometimes successfully and done well, other times they mess it up, but with varying levels of success. This type is hopeful and positive, but not confident.

Third, the fighters. This type is where I classify myself, and I shall soon explain why with a story as well. These ones will try to kill the other one, fighting back with everything they have. Once again, varying levels of success, depending on level difference, numbers and skill. These ones are aggressive, positive and confident.

Now the story. I've got a level 53 warrior, Sazhur is her name. I was doing a quest in the Blasted Lands, fighting various Shadowsworn cultists, when suddenly a gigantic gorilla slams into me from behind, and bullets start pounding against my armor. I turn around and see a level 62 night elf hunter using me for target practice, as his gorilla plays bongos on my skull. Thinking fast, I charge up into him. Take away a Hunter's range, and they don't have much else. A few other Shadowsworn ran toward me, but the Hunter dropped an explosive trap, and the explosion from it made the cultists focus on him instead of me. After a few Shield Slams and one well-timed Revenge, I manage to kill the hunter with a sliver of health and 2 angry cultists still alive. I then proceeded to execute a tactical withdrawal.

Now, excerpts from the combat log.




Now, a few things that our little friend Jaystand could have done differently. First, Disengage. It's a cheap, easy way to get distance that Hunters get at about level 20. Second, he shouldn't have tried to drop a trap, especially Explosive; that only made the cultists focus on him, not myself, and did minimal damage. Thirdly for heaven's sake, he didn't even try to kite me, he used Wing Clip once, but in a rather perfunctory manner without any follow-up to try to get further away.


Matching pets and mounts for RP purposes

I almost always have a story behind my pets and mounts--Izsera's hippogryph mount, for instance, is one that she raised herself (not only does she have the minipet, but when I did the quest to rescue an egg from Feralas it was perfect quality). Her gryphon has a similar story, since she would have had to be crazy to just hand the eggs over to a Draenei with no notion of how to take care of animals. And for the longest time she had a Ghost Saber and a Spotted Frostsaber that were (of course) one and the same. Now with Ireta, although I'm going to have to shuffle things around to make it work story-wise, I'm planning to pick up the worg pup minipet, she has an unarmored black wolf as her current pet which will be switched for an armored one at 59, and I will be grinding out BGs so she can learn to ride her wolf (that is, pick up the pvp mount).

The following list-o'-links is something I've been thinking about writing up for a while, and is probably incomplete, but here are some of the other pet+mount combinations that ought to work well. Links are all to Petopia, Warcraft Mounts, and WarcraftPets (all of which I spend more time at than I should...I swear I'll get back to leveling in a--oooooh pretty!)

Horde-only sets:

Worg Pup (black phase) -> Black Worg/Warhound -> Black War Wolf
(The brown phase matches the Brown Wolf but there is no tamable wolf that color.)
Frostwolf -> Frostwolf Howler (Eye color changes.)
Dark Grey Wolf -> Dire Wolf
Grey Wolf -> Swift Timber Wolf (Not an exact match, but colors are close. Eye color changes.)
Green Raptor -> Emerald Raptor (Not an exact match, but close. Eye color changes.)
Pink Raptor -> Violet Raptor (Not an exact match, but close. Eye color does not change.)

Anyone can pick up the Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling and tame a Dragonhawk to match, but it looks like only Horde will be able to complete the collection with the Red Dragonhawk mount (Alliance players get a blue one, which is available as a minipet but not a Hunter pet).

Alliance-only sets:

Frostsaber Pride Watcher -> Winterspring Frostsaber
Nightsaber -> Striped Nightsaber (The Black Tabby Cat is tricky for Alliance to get, but might be a good minipet match.)
Striped Frostsaber -> Striped Frostsaber (The Silver Tabby Cat might be a good minipet match, though the eyes are a different color.)
Frostsaber -> Swift Frostsaber (The White Kitten might be a good minipet match, though the eyes are a different color.)
Snow Leopard/Ghost Saber -> Spotted Frostsaber

Neutral sets:

Black Bear -> Big Battle Bear (Horde and Alliance Black War Bears aren't really a good fit but could also work with a little imagination. They could also kind of work with a Grey Bear.)
Brown Bear -> Armored Brown Bear, Horde or Alliance
Baby Blizzard Bear -> White Bear -> White Polar Bear
Tiger -> Swift Zulian Tiger
Nether Ray Fry -> Purple Nether Ray -> Purple Riding Nether Ray
Green Nether Ray -> Green Riding Nether Ray
Red Nether Ray -> Red Riding Nether Ray
Blue Nether Ray -> Blue Riding Nether Ray

I don't *think* I've missed anything, but if I have please do let me know. :)

thoughts on shopping/cooking for two people

Shopping for two people seems to be a lot harder than shopping for one or four or six. I can't just buy one thing, because Jon does have to eat too, but I can't go with the bulk options either because the two of us can't eat that much before it spoils. I've always thought that its a good idea to go with whatever has the lowest unit price but that's not really a good idea. When we moved in here I bought a huge bag of potatoes, made food with potatoes in it a few times, and then went a couple weeks at a time ignoring the potatoes completely. This was a mistake, because the next time I reached into the bag I pulled out what appeared to be a miniature pineapple. I've had similar incidents with big bags of salad and cartons of eggs. I'm still not sure if we should have tried to eat potatoes or salad every night until they were gone, but my new solution is simply to buy less--even with the slightly higher prices, it'll be better in the long run since we won't be wasting so much. (I hope!)

I'm also working on cooking meals from scratch more often, since "easy" meals have the same problem of being designed for either one person or a large group--I love Hamburger Helper, but the box says four servings and generally if we cook it, we eat it all. It feels a little silly and wasteful to me, so I'm trying to cut back on boxed food and put the "leftovers" away first when I do make it. I'm a lot less likely to bother with seconds if I have to pull them out of the fridge and microwave them, and it makes lunches a lot easier.

On the topic of cooking, I stumbled across this site a while back and have just started getting into it. It makes everything seem super easy, without making me feel like a complete failure for not knowing all of this totally obvious stuff. (No, I did not even know how to bake a potato before watching the video. Sad, isn't it?)

The plan for tonight is baked potatoes and salad, with brownies left over from last night. Mmmm.


Time for a new pet?

No, this isn't about the new spirit beast or Aotona becoming tameable. It's actually about my new Blood Elf Hunter, so if that doesn't interest you I won't mind if you ignore the rest of this post and go drool over the pretty new pets in the links above. (In fact I'm gonna go do that myself when I'm done here.)

Like Jon said, we've re-rolled Horde. We're back on Dragonmaw, the PvP server where I started out--I do have a 70 Shaman, but I enjoy Hunter much more, so I've been leveling a little Blood Elf named Ireta. At the suggestion of one of Fogol's guildies I ran over to Bloodmyst Isle and tamed her a Ravager, one of the pretty green ones. (The Ravager's name is MyHat--rather than explaining why this is funny I shall simply direct you here.)

I hit level 30 yesterday and got my red hawkstrider, so I think I'm doing pretty well. The Ravager's weakness as a Cunning type pet is really starting to show, though, and so I'm looking into alternatives. The only Tenacity pet I really like (besides the Hydra) is the Warp Stalker, and I'm nowhere near high level enough for that, so Ferocity is what I'm going to need to go for. I think the white tiger from STV might be a good match, even though I'm not fond of cats, but he's level 43 so I've got a while before I can tame him.

My favorite Ferocity pet is the blighthound, but that's pretty high level too. Stats-wise though, a wolf is a wolf... I've been planning on taming one of the riding wolves from Hellfire Ramparts, and later go for the PvP mount. I am considering looking for an unarmored wolf with similar coloration so that when I tame the higher level wolf I can just say that specialty armor I was getting made has arrived. ;) The worgs in Silverpine seem like they might be a good match, and it'll be a good chance for me to see if I like the furry wolves as much as the shorthaired ones.

I'm still totally not sure what I want, though, so any suggestions would be nice. :)


Factions, Guilds and Helping Hands

Weeeeellllllllllllll okay. My perspective on the situation involving Malygos and the guild officer is a little bit different than Kate's. We talked it over with another officer in the guild, and discovered a few interesting facts. First of all, it was a pickup group, not a guild run. Sort of.

It was begun by an ex-guildy who'd been kicked out of the guild for running pickup groups at the same time that guild raids were scheduled to be, and told us he didn't care if he was kicked out because of it. So he was. The guild had been having trouble with Malygos, so they decided to ask this ex-guildy for help. He agreed, and then they proceeded to fill out the group with mostly people in our guild, which is when Kate was asked on her Hunter to DPS. The ex-guildy who was running the raid wanted to fill it up fast and get going, so the officer who whispered her was in a rush. Apparently a terrible rush, because he forgot to mention a few things.

The things he should have mentioned: 1)It was a PUG, not an official guild run. 2)He was not necessarily in control of invites.
Had he mentioned these two little facts, it would've resulted in Kate not feeling like he was putting down her DPS and saying, effectively, "I don't care if you know Marksman and Beast Mastery, you're still not good DPS."

So they ended up downing Malygos, which is great. Unfortunately, the guild lost a Hunter because of it. Our guild's problem is not tanks, our tanking is fine. Our problem isn't healers, our healers are wonderful. Our guild's problem is DPS. The DPS gets killed in the most simple of fights; they cross Charges on Thaddius, they die consistently (like, every time) on Heigan's Safety Dance, they crowd up on Zeliek and get fried, etc. etc. Not to mention most of them have trouble pulling over 2K DPS on fights where they do manage to survive.

My perspective on what happened is that it was a great opportunity for our officers to show to the guild and to the ex-member that was helping us on the raid two things: 1) that people in the guild come first, and 2) we are in control when we run raids. Now let me explain. If the officers in the raid had explained to the ex-guildy, "she's re-speccing Marks, we're going to give her a few minutes," there would've been two possible outcomes.
1) the ex-member would've gotten impatient and left the group, which to my mind was not a negative outcome at all, as there are undoubtedly other people on the server we could've asked for help with Malygos.
2) he would've acquiesced to wait for Kate, which would not have resulted in the guild losing a Hunter.

But instead, the officers were afraid to lose the ex-member's help. I know the one officer that Kate spoke with probably didn't consult with the rest of the officers in the guild as to how he should ask her to come along, the guy was a jerk for talking to her that way. But the real problem is that we showed the ex-member that to us, progression is more important than the guild members. Which I find strange, since they've been tolerating sub-par DPS without much effort to force them to improve and allowing people to consistently make the same mistakes on boss battles that get them killed without much effort to correct them.

A strange situation to be sure. So, yeah, in the aftermath of all of that, we re-rolled Horde on a server with an old friend of ours who's kept in touch with us.


Promised Fogol I'd post this...

I think he's in there somewhere....


Mood: Grumpy

Got hit on by a gnome while I was running around on my lowbie druid in Ashenvale. Told him "no" about thirty different ways, stealthed, and still couldn't get rid of him. Told him I was a hairy, overweight man in real life. His response: "Wat?"

Logged on to Izzy to try and get some stuff done. Got my 50 pet achievement along with Stinker the skunk. Jon has a black cat on his DK so I'll finally get to try that out. The excitement was marred somewhat by a level 20 druid in grey armor asking me to give her gold to buy a twink weapon, and then following me around asking questions like where I got my white hawkstrider.

I did find a group for the Heroic daily, eventually--right as we were about to pull the first boss, though, a guild officer whispered me and wasted about five minutes of everyone's time. I say wasted, because the conversation went something like this:

Him: Are you still BM?
Me: Yes, why?
Him: We need more ranged DPS for Maly.
Him: But we only want good DPS.
Me: I do good DPS.
Him: Yeah, but your pet is worthless in phase 2. Could you respec SV?
Me: I don't have the gear for SV but I could switch to MM pretty easily, just need a few minutes to set up my action bars for it.
Him: /waffles
Me: So do you need me or not? My group is about to pull the first boss in H UK so I need to know now.
Him: Nah, we need good DPS.


And woo, looks like this is our 100th post. Yay? /confetti

edit: It appears that now they've brought in a former guild member to fill out the raid--one who was gkicked for skipping guild runs so he could pug.


Gaaaaah! Too much!

So as I was pondering what subject I should write about today, my mind was rather overwhelmed with the little things that could be mentioned. I'll have to post more frequently so I don't forget something fun and interesting.

My current work schedule's thrown off my WoW life, being unable to play w/the usual group of guys n gals on Sen'jin has made me sad. So I've been resorting to a lot of PVP. It was kinda cute, late one evening as I was in Alterac Valley Kate came over and curled up around me; she and I talked for a bit, then she fell asleep there on the beanbag chair using me as the pillow.

Recently I've been doing a lot of PVP in Wintergrasp, particularly. Let me offer my ideas as to what constitutes a good strategy.

1) Offensive strategy. Even if the horde pour all their resources into defending one point, if that's the weakest point that most people are bunched up at, it's still profitable to rush there. Spending 15 mins attacking the untouched walls on the east side when the west has nearly broken through to the center of the fortress is a waste of time.

2) Defensive strategy. Unless there's only 5-6 horde in the zone, you will not be able to defend until the battle-timer runs out. You need to send out some people to attack the towers; not only does this give you a buff to damage, but when the towers are gone, we win. Trying to "hold them off" is a strategy for failure.

Always remember, if you make the game about anything other than winning, you're gonna lose. Those WSG (the Capture the Flag Battleground) fights where people get into the mindset of "ZOMG JUST GET OUR FLAG BACK" are the ones that are lost.

Recently when I was playing racquetball with my father I pointed out that sometimes we get so focused on just one part of the game that we forget what the overarching goal is. I had hit some hard shots, and I suggested that instead of just trying to return the hard shots, remembering the point of the game, namely to score. His shots became more difficult when he started focusing on that and he got a couple good ones on me that I wasn't able to return.

Well, that's all for now, I'll post again soon if I remember something interesting or something interesting happens.