Hallow’s End and Achievement Hunting

Since the last post I have been having a whale of a time, mostly due to Hallow’s End but also just because I got around to collecting up some old raid achievements. I’ve been using SimpleArmory to easily illustrate what achievements I’m missing and it’s fantastic for inspiring me. Those empty boxes just need filling…

So in pictorial form, the first excitement was simply running the Hallow’s End boss. I’d forgotten how great broomsticks are as a mount, particularly for archaeology which SimpleArmory managed to convince me to do due to a whole glut of missing achievements.015-BroomstickNext up I did some Trick or Treating, after a small amount of time being confused. It’s been changed for a long time, but I had a sudden brain fade and could only remember trick or treating by speaking to innkeepers and none of them wanted to know. Eventually I realised that’s what the Pumpkins are all about, and off I went. Mainly collecting Tricky Treats for the two newly added pets. This happened:

016-Spider TesAs fun as it is being a spider, it does make it a bit difficult to travel.

I set off to do some old raids with my partner in crime (and mortgage payments), and we took on Deathwing! He wasn’t too pleased to see me.

017-Deathwing TesI’d forgotten everything about Dragon Soul, well my memory in general of Cataclysm raids and dungeons is awful, but the bit about the actual dragon soul specifically, where everyone acts like they’re in Captain Planet. It was refreshing to feel like I was seeing new content, even if it was really old. Marlin discovered you can wear the dragon soul on your face. Attractive.

018-Marlen Dragon SoulSince I mentioned Captain Planet, here’s their powers combined:

019-DeathwingIn between all this raid achievement running I took some time to run the Headless Horseman event, mainly because someone I know had been lucky enough to get the Headless Horseman’s Reins from a gift box in Goldshire and I was jealous. And here we have it, 7 years after I first started trying, I’ve finally got what I think is one of the coolest mounts in the whole game. Absolutely made my month.

020--Headless Horseman's Reins AchievNext up was a run through Blackwing Descent hoovering up yet more achievements, where during a fight with Maloriak I obtained an amazing title:

021-Grant Tes A TitleThis made me laugh a lot more than it probably should have done, and I had to take a picture as I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t be permanent (I was correct).

022-Tes, Slayer of Stupid MinionsYou can also see me modelling my Firelands related transmog. I don’t tend to collect specific transmog sets, but I do like to mix it up when I’ve picked up new pretty things :-)

I got so many achievements I couldn’t possibly pick them all out, but I did finish Ulduar:

023-Secrets of Ulduar AchievI’d actually finished up with running old raids at that point but a guildie wanted some help with a quest chain in ICC, so I dived in near the end. Again, I’d completely forgotten pretty much everything about the Lich King encounter, particularly the bit where you end up in a cave (??), but also the bit where Arthas acts as a maypole:

024-Lich King MaypoleAnd then of course, the achievement for killing him. It feels good to complete all this stuff I’d previously left hanging.

025-Light Of Dawn AchievSo basically it’s been a brilliant few days, and I’m loving all the old friends of mine who are coming back online. Achievements wise I’ve realised I’d like to get the Double Agent achievement, and also I’ve remembered that I’ve never managed to level a rogue… so I’ve rolled a little undead rogue and we’ll see where I go with her. I haven’t forgotten Islington of course!

The Iron Incursion

Patch 6.0.2 hit and added a load of new stuff to do in game, which is pretty exciting but also requires some thought. I keep finding myself logged in going “what do I want to do now??”.

So I’ve come back to this blog as it was intended, I’ve got a list of stuff I want to get done and I shall post it here and report back :)

First things first, I have managed to get some stuff done since the patch. I cleared some space in my bank and my bags by adding ‘toys’ to the Toy Box, which earned me:

012-Toying Arounc Achiev

The picture amused me because the one toy I couldn’t add to the toy box was my little green ragdoll. Ah well.

Then I went and completed the pre-patch quests, which got me a new pet (an Iron Starlette, d’aww) and another achievement:

013-The Iron Incursion Achiev

Importantly, I also had to come to terms with Tesandra’s new face and hair. In the end I found I couldn’t really, and I had to get her a hair cut and changed the colour back to red from blonde. She’d been blonde a while but it was time for a change…

014-Tesandra's New LookI think it’s going to take a bit of getting used to, same for how to heal now a lot of my instant cast spells have cast times. Feels very weird not to be able to Prayer of Mending people while running about.

But anyway that’s a topic for another day, here are the things I want/need to get done before the actual expansion is released.

  • Complete the pre-patch quest line and events DONE
  • Run UBRS
  • Run SoO on Normal+ for the 100% Garrosh heirloom drop
  • Do enough Hallows End to collect enough tokens for the new pets (and maybe a Lich King Costume??)
  • Sort out my bank/void storage so there’s space for crafting materials
  • Sort out the guild’s bank ready for the new expansion items
  • Work out what old raids I should be running for a chance at mounts/pets
  • Plan my garrisons strategy ready for levelling in WoD

Lots of stuff, some more interesting than others! Lets get started :)

 

Level 20

I logged off to eat tea and watch some telly, and I found that I couldn’t stay away. I knew I wasn’t far away from level 20, and that’s a massive milestone – the ability to use a mount was just too tempting. So I logged back in and joined a dungeon queue which popped pretty much instantly. Wailing Caverns here I come.

Very shortly after:

048-Level 20 AchievementA real achievement that is, though of course when I were a lass you had to reach level 40 before you could ride, and you were allowed through the dark portal before you could ride quickly. /moan

049-MutanusI always liked this encounter, but the instance itself can be tricky. Either you know the way or you don’t, there is no guessing. Without some prior knowledge the route it guides you is so backward. thankfully this group was a good one, if completely silent. No one said a thing to me the whole way around. Also the Warrior tank wasn’t tanking, instead the Paladin was. But I think he was in tank spec too. One instance with no tank, the other with two. Figures.

050-Wailing Caverns Achievement

I got my achievement, complete with murloc head even though murlocs really play very little part in the whole dungeon. There are more raptors and annoying druids who sleep you, but I suppose that’s harder to fit into an icon.

051-Giddy Up AchievementHurray, riding skill is now mine :D I actually got confused, I visited the riding trainer and skilled up, and then spoke to the mount vendor who had 4 mechanostriders to sell me … before I remembered I already own all the mechanostriders a gnome could ever want, and actually I just unlocked all my usual mounts. So I chose what I thought would be a grand ride for a newly of-age gnome.

052-MountedLooks pretty sweet I think. Oh and in the excitement I forgot to say that I managed to get rid of my pirate costume. Back to the normality of wearing a dress, a nice blue one, with a matching invisible ring – my first. Talking of loot too, from the final WC boss I got an interesting item.

053-Glowing ShardA glowing shard with no purpose, or sale price. I remember this, it used to start a long quest chain, but seemingly the quest is no more. I had it as an open quest in a log on one of my characters for pretty much their entire journey to max level, and never bothered completing it. I suppose now I can’t. Strange it’s still in game though… It’s amazing to think what digital archaeology you could do in WoW now, 10 years is a damn long time.

And on that note, I really am logging off for the night. Bye!

 

Ragefire Chasm and Brewfest

Hello again, it’s been a while. I’ve been mad busy at work, then builders took over my house and blocked the access to my computer. Travesty.

I decided I’d dive back into Islington, so to speak. I’d got distracted by Tesandra a bit in the last few posts which, whilst understandable (she is awesome), isn’t fair on the poor gnome. She’ll get all the attention come WoD anyway.

I wanted to continue my ‘run every dungeon once’ campaign, so I joined a queue for everything but Deadmines. It means I miss out on the goodie bag, but they’re rarely worthwhile. While queueing I found a Blingtron who gave me some trash to sell for 8g. Not bad for my lowbie.

041-Blingtron

Not long later I was dragged into Ragefire Chasm, which I always forget as an instance. We zoned in and instantly the tank left. Thankfully at this low level it barely matters, so us 4 brave souls continued onward without one.

042-Adarogg

(I still haven’t turned off WeakAuras!!!) It was quite a good fun run, and I got some loot. Unfortunately while it’s good loot, it means I’ve had to let go of my really bright shining wand and swap it for a dull looking staff. Ah well, for posterity, here is my achievement…

043-Ragefire Chasm AchievementAnd here is my new look… I’m doubly disappointed that one of the items I won was a beautiful looking black and gold robe, but it’s worse than my pirate onesie so it’s had to remain in my bag. Very sad.

044-New LookAfter the dungeon I got spat back out into Ironforge, at which point I noticed a Dwarven Commoner with a quest… Brewfest!! Now I remember Brewfest on Tesandra from when it came in-game. I remember getting drunk so I could see the wolpertingers and pink elephants, and learning how to ram race. It was one of my favourite festivals, but once you’ve done it well.. there’s not a lot to bring you back. As it happens I don’t think I’ve bothered going there since I completed ‘Long Strange Trip’ in 2009, so what better time!

It was certainly good for achievement hunting:

046-Down With The Dark IronAnd of course who can pass up a bit of ram riding, though once you’ve learned the ‘trick’ it makes it all a bit easy. This is me sacrificing speed (avoiding apples) for the sake of a good picture.

047-Ram RidingAnd to round off the success, it brought up another milestone:

045-100 QuestsA nice place to leave the blog for the day :)

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