Quick Rep Update

I’ve not had much time to play recently, something about a beer festival existing on my doorstep and some friends coming up to visit kept me away from the computer.

I did find time to venture back into Karazhan, I took on Attumen in the hope he’d drop me a pretty horse but he wasn’t very obliging. My giraffe helped greatly.

010-AttumenKilling him was basically all it took in order to ding me over to exalted, and then I continued until I’d maxed out the Exalted bar (obviously).

011-The Violet EyeSo all in all a very decent 30minutes spent in-game. Unfortunately it means I’ve now ticked off both of the ‘goals’ I’d sent myself, and I need to think of something else to do…. What a shame ;-)

Giraffes and Kara

Following on from yesterday’s successful Pet Battling, I decided to take my motley crew of pets to Southern Barrens in search of a giraffe. I found one pretty much instantly, and it was Uncommon too…

006-Giraffe

Hurrah!! This is something I’ve been meaning to do (and more importantly, wishing I had done) for the entirety of Mists. See, I knew creating this blog was a good idea :-)

Spurred on by my pet-catching success I decided I’d run Karazhan for a chance at some more pet drops. One thing I do tend to find interesting when looking back through old WoW screenshots is seeing how my UI changes, so here’s a rare shot of my whole screen – granted I don’t usually raid as shadow.

007-Karazhan

I do have quite a large screen, and I’ve made this image smaller, but you get the idea. And more importantly it shows the fact I was picking up Violet Eye rep. I’d completely forgotten that Kara included a rep grind, and more importantly that somehow I was over half way through Revered already. I picked it up as a challenge to complete the instance killing every single mob I could find.

This took me to some places that I’m not sure I’ve ever bothered visiting in Kara before, including (I think??) Medivh’s bedroom…

008-Medivh's Bed

Just a bit over the top.

I ploughed on, I completed the Chess event (ok so I actually recruited my other half to complete the chess event for me…), I killed everyone, including the Imp master bloke, and I was lucky enough to have a pet Menagerie Custodian drop from The Curator, which takes me a step nearer Raiding With Leashes 2. I reached the end of Kara, and checked my rep…

009-So Cruel

Gutted. Least that’s an easy achievement come Wednesday.

A good old fahioned rep grind

I logged onto Islington this morning and found I actually just fancied some mindless indescriminate slaughter. Rep grinds aren’t something I’ve cared about in a while, I think the last time I specifically remember mass killing mobs for rep was actually during BC, collecting beads from ogres in Nagrand so I could get a Talbuk (the colbalt war talbuk is still one of my favourite mounts ever).

With the help of WoWJuju I worked out that Cenarion Circle would be a good candidate, turns out you can just repeatedly kill Twilight Cultists for  12 rep each (if you’re a cheating human like me) and hand in stacks of 10 ‘Twilight Documents’ for 600. And if you wanted to fill your bags with masses of green quality twilight cultist fancy dress costumes then that’s also a bonus. I went from Honoured to Exalted in an hour or so, it also helps if you do some of the quests dotted about at the Cenarion camp.

Guardian of Cenarius

Tah dahhhh :) I’d already hit exalted with the related faction in Zangarmarsh ages ago, so it was nice to get an achievement. And that wasn’t the only reward I got!

Perfect for fancy dress...

Perfect for fancy dress…

Yes that’s right, the Twilight Cultists were kind enough to grant me their clothes. The three piece bonus is ‘an aura of evil’ which sounds amazing, only I don’t think it’d carry across to transmog properly. Plus I spent most of the grind in shadowform which is its own aura of evil anyway.

This achievement success boyed me on, and I decided to dip my toe into the Pet Battle waters. It’s something I was super excited for when MoP was announced, but I just never got into it. I think I got a bit OCD about it in the beginning and spent about 3 hours running round Elwynn capturing and re-capturing pets over and over again trying to get rare versions. It burned me out, and then I never really got any further. So, using this blog for its true purpose, I set myself a goal!! To capture a giraffe pet.

Anyone who knows me in real life will be aware that giraffes are something of a hobby of mine, in a joking way. It started as a silly nickname and has descended from that into giraffe print socks. I know that the giraffe calf pets in the barrens aren’t that high level, so it should be something I can actually aim for.

003-Growing UpSo yay, I managed to get a pet to level 10. I also defeated a number of pet tamers in the wild and got some weird pet related goodies, and a flawless mechanical battle-stone. I just can’t decide what to upgrade with it! Soon afterwards…

004-Master Pet Hunter

An achievement for capturing 100 pets in batte. Which… surprised me to be honest, I’d have never guess I’ve caught 100 pets. I suppose that’s what I get for capturing and re-capturing black sheep in Elwynn forest for hours (I still haven’t got a rare one).

Basically it was a successful day, and to celebrate I’ll add a not-very-flattering photo of Tesandra, and my latest new pet – one that was rare from the start!

005-Lofty Libram

My First Dungeon

There’s been too much going on for little Islington for me to screenshot everything, plus I’ve been *slightly* distracted by IEM Toronto (might blog about that later). It was a pretty important session though, in the life of a Gnome. Well, any wow character really. I got to spend my first talent points (fairly dull) and do my first dungeon!!

Lets start from the beginning though. I left Dun Morogh and entered the Valley of Kings. I’d forgotten about the guardians watching over the path.

032-Valley Of Kings

It’s nice to be away from the snow and ice for a bit. I killed some troggs for a while, and got a random green drop – Simple Robe of the Owl. I put it on, and liked the look!

033-New Robe

Does feel a bit like a smock, but red wins over white every time.

I found a position in the Trogg camp that I could see the neighbouring zone, and it reminded me of when I was first playing. I used to love the ‘sneak previews’ you got of places you hadn’t yet visited. I remember flying over never ending battles with dragons on the gryphon ride from Stormwind to Ironforge.  I always wanted to go there.

034-Wide World

I noticed that the Troggs are good at creating massive camp fires. I wish cooking granted me the ability to create something so spectacular, but I stood a bit too close.

035-On Fire

And then I turned 15! Dungeons, here I come. I joined the queue as a healer and it popped pretty much instantly. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised… I had been expecting Wailing Caverns though, I don’t know why. Instead I got dumped into Deadmines.

036-Deadmines

The more observant amongst you will notice the Weak Auras alerts floating next to my head for spells that I don’t possess. I forgot to turn WA off :-( Anyway a sneak preview into my raid healing world.

037-Deadmines

The group were pretty good, if not very talkative. And no one said anything about the fact I seemed to have all the luck with the rolls. The end result was I now have a completely different look, which I think is quite pirate like .. ignoring the glowing wand.

038-Dungeon RewardsAll in all, a great time was had. I loved running the dungeon, and I think I am going to try and run every dungeon at least once (for the quests), but I don’t want to level completely via LFD. Disc healing when you only have 2 healing spells is quite easy, and I spent most of my time DPSing. No mass deaths though, and I only got hit by a cannonball once.

 

 

Getting Excited about WoD

I’ve been getting increasingly excited about Warlords of Draenor this week, fuelled by watching gameplay videos and reading more about the changes that are coming. I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a bit about the things I’m looking forward to most (so far!). It’ll be interesting to reflect back on once the game has been released.

Firstly, I haven’t got a beta key. I suspect I might have done if circumstances hadn’t conspired against me, but my WoW sub lapsed during a period of house moving / bank account changing pain. It seemed like the first wave of keys went out to long-term players who had active subscriptions, and a number of people I know got one in that first tranche. Including my other half, the swine. I have looked over his shoulder a bit, but he’s far too obsessed with Hearthstone recently to want to devote time to playing a beta where all progress gets lost on release day.

I can actually understand that, my first beta key was for Wrath and I went a bit too far. I levelled two Death Knights, and I really enjoyed that style of starter area. At the time it felt completely new to me, being phased away from everyone else, following a specific storyline. I loved it. Then the release rolled round, and I went to create my Death Knight, and it was all so dull to do for the third time. I kind of spoiled it for myself I think, and I’ve been wary since then.

But anyway, WoD. Here are the top 5 things I am hoping for / looking forward to.

  1. Changes to Holy Priest healing, and hopefully feeling less of a charity case in raids compared to my Discipline brethren.
  2. Flexibly sized raiding as the norm. I’ve never had the opportunity to heal as part of a larger-than-10man raid group (ignoring raid finder here) so I’m hopeful about larger raid sizes.
  3. Garrisons. They intrigue me. I just hope I don’t come to find the whole concept as dull as I did with the Farms in Vot4W.
  4. New dungeons. I love running heroic dungeons, and MoP really didn’t provide that for me at max level. They were pathetically easy, and as soon as raiding started no one wanted to run them. I know Blizz were pushing for Scenarios to replace them, but they seem to be back tracking on that now – Scenarios appear to be more for story-telling. Fingers crossed heroics will get a reprieve.
  5. New professions, and new herbs and ore to explore and collect. I irrationally love herbing and mining. I find it therapeutic. We’ll see whether that’s still the case when I can no longer fly while doing it…

So yeah, lets see how this goes. I’m going to continue watching gameplay videos and planning out what I want to do first with professions and garrisons. In some respects the anticipation is almost better than the real thing :-)

 

 

Leaving Dun Morogh

I did quite a bit of sight-seeing during my last few quests in Dun Morogh. The first bit to be excited about was the opportunity to (legally) visit Ironforge Airport! I’d totally forgotten that was a change made in Cataclysm. I had visited it using a sort of jumping technique at some point in my past, but the fact it’s legitimately in-game now had passed me by. And I got to ride in a helicopter.

Helicopter!

Helicopter!

 

Next up I did a quest which involved visiting Ironforge for the first time, not one I’d done before. I had to imprison one of the Dark Iron dwarves and bring him to the leaders of Ironforge. I’d not noticed these suspicious looking characters before, but they were hiding in plain sight.

Not at all suspicious...

Not at all suspicious…

 

Moira was the lady who wanted him caught, but visiting the throne room I was more amused by the thrones. Sitting next to all that molten metal would *surely* be too hot. Especially for that small nondescript child in the crib.

022-Hot Seat

In the hot seat

 

I spotted a passage downwards which again I’d never noticed before. If I’m honest all I ever do in Ironforge is walk between the bank and the auction house. If there were a postbox nearer the auction house I wouldn’t even do that. I like the fact I’m finding new things.

023-Secret Passageway

Secret Passageway

 

Having followed the passage, I took some screenshots from below Ironforge. Again this is something I’d read about existing, a place people had found through sneaky means, but I’d not realised it’d been fully added in Cata. Anyway, it was pretty spectacular.

024-Underneath Ironforge

Ironforge Below

 

I also took some time to just look at Ironforge itself. It’s fairly ridiculous when you think about it. Ridiculous and brilliant at the same time. I dimly remember the first ever time I visited IF, and this scene was the bit that blew me away.

026-Ironforge

Anyway enough of Ironforge. I took a Gryphon ride back out, which gives you again quite a nice view over the outside of Ironforge. It reminded me of the first ever Gryphon ride I took, over Elwynn Forest on a human warlock. I was amazed that the flight paths took you over places were players were playing in real-time. It’s amazing how expectations change.

027-Gryphon

I had a few quests left to finish up, but mostly I was just admiring the scenery and finishing off some last bits of herbalism and skinning to level up next time I find a trainer. I came across a pack of Snow Leopard Cubs and their sleeping mum.

028-Snow Leopard Cubs

D’awwww

 

I found a guarded outpost full of explosives, and also what I choose to believe was a barrel of beer on wheels. I lined myself up ready for a drink (though all I really got was rained on)

029-Beer Truck

Beer delivery


Soon after I set off for the next zone… Loch Modan, via an impressive looking tunnel (which keeps shaking like an Earthquake…. no idea).

030-Leaving Dun Morogh

Next up, Loch Modan

 

And last of all, a picture of Islington age 13 and a bit. I swapped my robes again, got some proper gloves, and switched my staff for a dagger and a glowing blob on a stick. Yummy.

031-Level 13 Islington

 

The Road To Level 10

Since my last update, I took to the open road, leaving the Gnome starter area.

012-Cog Bridge

Me and my trusty Slow Worm (don’t ask). I’m not 100% sure why this cog gate exists but I like it.

En route I passed a Peacebloom, still not having found a profession trainer. You’ll be glad to know I *am* taller than a herb.

013-Peacebloom

Just.

I took some time to see the sights. Ironforge is quite pretty from here, though there’s not a great amount to see above ground.

014-Ironforge Pretty

I was sent to take care of some trolls, which saw combat with a gigantic proto-troll, with a penchant for purple face paint.

015-Gnome Vs Giant Troll

My reward for such a massive achievement was a new set of robes, a much more fetching shade of red… though you can’t tell since everything is tinged with ‘night time’ (blue filter).

016-New Togs

 

Much preferred to the boring starter-zone white. I saw a mage run past at one point wearing purple/blue and I was jealous.

They sent me to take on a yeti… whose lair was decorated with the bones of previous challengers. But I prevailed.

017-Ruh Roh

And shortly after I hit the milestone :D Level 10!

018-Level 10

Unfortunately this was swiftly followed by another milestone…

019-Death

Pride comes before a fall :-(

Still the most important thing now is I have chosen a spec, Discipline as I said from the start. Penance is pretty exciting coming from SW:Pain and Smite.

 

 

Day 2 – Morning in New Tinkertown

I hadn’t posted for a bit because I’ve been in Edinburgh for a holiday. I’m sure Islington coped without me, but now I am back :)

Logging in this morning the first thing I noticed is that it’s daylight. This shouldn’t really surprise me, but I’ve not noticed a difference between day and night properly for a long time. I don’t know if they’ve made it more noticeable again, or maybe it’s just more obvious in Tinkertown?

010-New Tinkertown By Day

I’ve now got three spells, Smite, SW:Pain and PW:Shield. Historically as a holy priest I’m not that great at using my shield. It’s never really been worth it (except when I’m questing on my own) but since I’m hoping for Islington to be Disc, I’ve created a proper mouseover keybinding for it.

Having reached level 5, and because I keep coming across herbs and ore, I’ve decided I’ll try to find a profession trainer. Gives me an excuse to explore Tinkertown. I’ve also discovered that when I’m in a low level area I’m much more inclined to care about capturing wild pets. Over and over again on the chance they turn out to be rare. This is slightly connected to the fact that little Marquis turned out to be so noisy I can’t bare to adventure with him (while wearing headphones). I did manage to find a rare Fluxfire Feline however, so noisy or no, he’s even more awesome.

Anyway turns out it’s quite hard to find a profession trainer in New Tinkertown. In the sense that I don’t think there is one. Sigh.

There is some good news though, I reached level 6 and managed to defeat Razlo Crushcog!! Onward to Dun Morogh, but here’s a final shot of little Islington in his new gear.

011-End of Tinkertown

Those gloves definitely won’t do much for him in the snow…

 

Configuring ArkInventory

Just to go off on a little bit of a tangent, I wanted to post about my configuration for ArkInventory – a bag addon I’ve used for a very long time, but only just recently started using properly.

A lot of people I’ve played with have used my config in the past, and I thought I’d post about the latest one so people can grab it if they want. There’s not an easy way of exporting a blank config, so I’ve tried my best to removed any left over crud from my characters. Apologies if anything’s sneaked through.

The config file is available here. It should be placed in your WoW directory, as follows:

WTF/Account/Account-Name/SavedVariables/ArkInventory.lua

What it gives you is a bag which automatically filters stuff into sections, and hides the sections if there’s nothing relevant in it.

Drop it in the right place, open WoW and log in. Open your bag, click the green bag icon top left and ‘Config’ in the drop down list. Choose ‘Profiles’, somewhere down the bottom on the left, and apply the ‘Rules Profile’ under ‘Existing Profiles’ as shown in this picture:

Ark Config

Then you’ll see the bag disappear in the background. When it re-appears it should look something like….

Full Bag

Here you can see my main’s bag. Some categories have names, others are pretty obvious. These are all little things you can tinker with. I have set up some custom categories, so I have one for ‘Fun’ things. You put Ark into edit mode (click the cog top right) and right click on the item, add a custom category and call it ‘Fun’. Then it’ll get filtered into the group with the others.

Some stuff is done using rules. The ‘Low’ category filters out any low level items which I may have picked up which aren’t for proper consideration to use.

Lastly is the dynamic spec organisation. If you use the Blizzard UI to organise your gear sets for specs, name one ‘Main Spec’ and the other ‘Off Spec’, and the bag will automatically update and group gear you’re not wearing into the appropriate sections. In the picture you can see my Off Spec gear.

That’s about it really. You can add your own rules, maybe this will give someone a starting point! I’ll probably need to update this for WoD but this’ll do for a starter.

Day 1 – Escape from Gnomeregen

Back when I first started playing and I was exploring for the first time, I knew nothing about add ons, and I didn’t really have any preferences about the UI. That’s definitely not the case now.

The first thing I’ve had to do upon logging in is get the UI working how I want it to, and thankfully due to profiles in most of the complicated add ons, it didn’t take very long. I use ElvUI, with a bit of customisation with kgpanels, bazooka to give me some ‘at a glance’ info, and ArkInventory with a very specific configuration for my bags. There are others, but this isn’t really meant to be a UI discussion blog.

One thing I have enjoyed so far is the limited number of spells I have. Well, when I say limited… I have one. Smite. My play style so far has been along the lines of Smite-Smite-Smite-Dead and it feels so clean :-) I know the skill in playing is knowing all your abilities and when to use them, but it’s nice for a change.

002-First Quest

Smite, smite, smite, smite….

I decided not to use any heirlooms for this so I’d get the chance to actually see whole quest lines. It also means I get to care about quest rewards! Really looking forward to seeing the back of these rags. I’ve also turned music on, because I remember it made a huge impact on me in the early days, I just find it disturbs my concentration when raiding so it’s usually turned off now. The Gnomeregen music could actually be a form of torture though, it’s going round and round inside my head.

I don’t remember the starter zones being quite so peaceful it has to be said. Everything’s yellow, waiting for me to pick the fight. But whatever, I don’t care because I just dinged for the first time :D

003-First Ding

HOORAH. First of many.

I got a bit distracted catching myself a companion – I’ve never really got into pet battles, but I do like pets. Some of you may be noticing a naming convention. Anyway, I’ve never seen a mechanical cat before so it was a nice surprise!

004-Marquis

Mrow

Also I really want a pair of this lady’s goggles. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but they have flashing lights along the top!

005-Goggles

The true meaning of bling

The next bit of the story amused me. Decontamination required me to trust my life to a bit of gnomish engineering, which promptly exploded with me inside.

006-Sanitron Malfunction

As if being irradiated wasn’t a bad enough start to your day

But then my wishes were answered, no more rags! The machine exploded and granted me a set of robes. I shall doubt gnomish engineering prowess no longer.

007-New Robes

Marquis isn’t interested in the slightest

I then scared the life out of myself with the pneumatic lift, actually read the quest and realised I could get a free teleport to the surface – I am free, and the guys on the surface are treating me like a bit of a hero. Fantastic.

My first steps outside the tunnels and I’m actually blown away by how pretty the world is. I should take time to just look around more often.

008-First Steps Outside

Clouds or the northern lights?

They sent me to meet the king – he looks just as mental as I imagined a Gnomish king to look. And we’re best buds now.

His goggles aren't as good as the other woman's

His goggles aren’t as good as the other woman’s

I have officially escaped Gnomeregen, so I’ll end this post here. I don’t expect that future posts will be anywhere near as detailed as this, but I’ve had fun :-)