Hey, what a surprise, I’m behind on posting responses to our blog challenges! That is so unlike me! 😉 Clearly I have a lot of catching up to do, and rather than starting at where I last left off, I’m just going to go in any darn order that pleases me.

So, Topic 23 asked why I blog about WoW.

I’ve been writing in blogs/journals since I was 11 years old. I got given a diary from a friend of mine at the time, and sporadically wrote in it when I felt I had something “important” to say. When we got our first computer, one of the first websites I came across was Open Diary, and over the years maintained at least, sometimes multiple, journals on there. I made some really wonderful online friends there, some of whom I’m still friends with today. Eventually I got a LiveJournal account, but it didn’t really gel with me at all. It was “too cool” for me, and so I found myself moving back to good old pen and book.

When I moved to England, funnily enough, I didn’t write a lot, even though I was having a lot of adventures at the time. Instead, I took a lot of photographs, which in some ways replaced my words for awhile. One thing that did happen while I was over there, was that I found myself doing more creative writing, working on a story idea that has been floating around in my head since my last year of uni.

Coming back to Australia, I had a whirlwind of study and moving interstate and finding work in Melbourne and settling in here, and I didn’t write much. And then I met Thor, and, because we were on opposite side of the country, all of time was spent talking with him, and I didn’t need a journal. And then he moved in with me, and introduced me to World of Warcraft. And well, we all know how that turned out!

It doesn’t matter how long I stop writing for, I always come back to it. I love it. It’s what I studied at uni, and it’s what I always seem to fall back on. So when you ask why I write about WoW, it’s because I can’t help but write for starters. And secondly, it’s because so much of my life is about WoW. I spend a lot of time playing the game, and interacting with the people I have met through and because of it. I write about WoW because there is so much to write about, because there are so many stories to share, because I still just need to get words out of me.

One of the questions that seems to pop-up alongside why you write about WoW, is who you think reads about WoW. Who is your audience? And this is probably the part that will be a bit weird, but my audience is me. If you look at my past and see how I have written, it’s always been for me. For my blog, it has to be for me. Because if it’s not, I stop being truthful. I start censoring myself, worrying I’ll offend someone who might be reading. And I don’t like that. I don’t like the dishonesty.

So as rude as it sounds, I’m not bothered if people don’t like my blog, or if they don’t like what I write about or how I write it or what I have to say. This is my little corner of the internet to use my words how I want to. And if people like that, if people enjoy what I have to say and want to come back to read more, that is so immensely flattering and kind, and such a wonderful bonus to this whole thing. I appreciate each and every person who comes to my blog and reads it or likes it or comments on it- it’s a beautiful feeling! But it’s not the driver for this blog. The driver is me, and will continue to be me, and my adventures with WoW.

🙂

PS: For anyone who is looking for new/more WoW blogs to read, check out our Bloggers page on the Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge website. It’s a list of anyone who has ever participated in the challenge. You might find someone new to enjoy reading!

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each fortnight there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love collecting transmog pieces. It’s such a fun side part of the game for me, and gives me a great excuse to go do old raids and dungeons every now and again. I think also I really enjoy just playing dress ups. My actual body is not great for dress ups (nor can I afford all the pretty things I’d wear anyway!) so I use my toons instead 🙂

The trouble for me with transmog, though, is that I change mine all the time. Sometimes mid-fight. *shrug* Can’t be helped. So showing them all here would just be impossible. Instead, I’m just going to show you a couple of my recent favourites.

Retribution paladin – summer skies

This set is just so beautiful and blue and full of light that it always reminds me of a clear blue summer sky. It’s the transmog I’m most proud of, and is a transmog that has not been changed because I just like it so darn much. I finished off my paladin campaign just last week so that I could get the blue version of Ashbringer, because I thought it suited best.

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It’s made up of bits and pieces from Throne of Thunder, a bit of the MoP challenge set, and some earlier bits and pieces. She got her Tabard of the Lightbringer so she can be as bright as the sun if she wants. On her Ashbringer Artifact weapon, she’s using the skin Greatsword of the Righteous, in blue, and I pair this with her mount, Astral Cloud Serpent.

Cinderlily – farmer arcane mage

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I made this set when I got my Arcane mage hidden artifact appearance. I mean really, how could you not? Of course she needs to have a little lamb as her pet that follows her around the place. 🙂

The many mogs of Cinderstorm

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With Cinderstorm being my main, I’m on her all the time, so she changes outfits a lot. I’m trying really hard to stop doing that so much, and getting this mythic Nighthold set has really helped that. She has the artifact Fist of Ra-den appearance called Earthspeaker, and she’s using it in red, so she’s just a great big ball of fire – just how I like it! 😀 She uses the Cindermane Charger mount to get around – the fires are a perfect match, and it looks so awesome.

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For restoration, she’s currently using the purple raid finder version of this set, but without a helm. Her weapon is her artifact, Sharas’dal, with the Scepter of the Deep skin, in purple. She rides around on her Long-Forgotten Hippogryph (because the Void Talon doesn’t want to play with her!).

Most of the time on my shaman I’ll just have her in mostly pre-made sets, because I just like those best. But other times I’ll experiment a bit, like with this set:

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This one is like a dark storm to me – all black and windy and lightning and stuff. I love it.

I also have this one for Enhance:

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But I’ll be giving this transmog to my little gnome hunter once she’s at 110 and can actually use the pieces 🙂

Anyway, that really is just a handful of my favourite transmogs at the moment. Like I said, I swap a lot, and given I’ve got so many alts, I’d be here for days just trying to get pics of them all. 🙂

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This topic was put up to help get some great positive posts out there, to remind people why the love WoW. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

I really struggled with this topic, which is why it’s late! I thought long and hard about which areas in WoW reminded me of home….

Could I see my current home in the docks of Stormwind?

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Or could my childhood home on the beach by the mountains be found in the far northern parts of the Jade Forest?

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Was the small country town where I was born be found in Westfall?

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Or my temporary home in England, could that be found in the outskirts of Gilneas?

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The truth is, there is nowhere in Azeroth that reminds me of my home. And that’s just how I like it. For me, WoW is an escape. It’s somewhere that I can go to get away from the real world, to explore different worlds and different lives. And I am incredibly glad that none of those little worlds in WoW reminds me home. I would hate to imagine my home being destroyed by demons. And I would hate my Azeroth world to be overrun by “real-life” troubles. So for me, nowhere in WoW reminds me of my home, and that’s just how I like it.

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This topic was put up to help get some great positive posts out there, to remind people why the love WoW. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

It’s funny, I’ve put off writing this post for awhile. Not because I don’t have anything to love about WoW, but because there is so much to love and I’m finding it difficult to pin down only a few things to talk about. Like Ann, I just love it all and could go on for days. But I won’t! I’ve chosen a few things to talk about, but this by no means is everything I love. Hands down one of the biggest things is obviously the people I have had a chance to meet through WoW. And the characters and the story will keep me coming back for years to come. But I want to talk about some of a couple of other reasons. 🙂

The music

The music in WoW constantly breaks my heart with its beauty. I went looking for a favourite piece to share with you guys for this post, and here I am crying my eyes out just listening to it already! (I know, I’m a sap!)

Some of my favourite memories from WoW are because of the music. I loved all of the music in Mists of Pandaria, but the moment that stood out for me randomly happened the day after the Vale of Eternal Blossoms had been destroyed (good one Garrosh!!). I was kinda just afk-ing in the zone, just looking around at all the beauty we had had a part in destroying and feeling really awful about it. And then the music came in… the music had changed. When the Vale was pure and alive, the music was sweeping and beautiful and generally what you expect from such a stunning zone. When it got destroyed, the music changed. It still had similar themes, but they were sad and quiet, like a wounded song bird. I cried, I truly did. It was just a small thing, but it was the final straw for me. I felt so terrible about what had been done there – it was destroyed in so many ways.

More recently… well, we’ve had quite a lot of heartache already in Legion, haven’t we? So of course the music is just going to rub salt in the wounds of our already breaking hearts. The first time I knew the music was going to kill me in Legion was in the Broken Shore was of course during the Legion cinematic trailer.  But the real clincher for me came in the Broken Shore cinematic…

It just… oh man, it just gets right in there. It starts out well enough, all dramatic and action-y while everyone is fighting, but it starts to change as everything goes downhill, getting more and more tense. That moment when Varian realises he’s not going to get on that ship to freedom, and music softens as Varian asks Genn to give his son the letter… and then it sweeps up into this huge damn heroic moment as Varian lets go, and falls to battle to the death. It’s heroic as fuck, there’s no other way to describe it. But then, he defeats the demon, and the music stops, and in that tiny breath of silence we have hope, a tiny feather of hope that maybe, just maybe, he might survive, even as we hear the motors of the ship flying away. And then the demons come, and he’s a hero again, fighting until his very last breath until we’re at the feet of Gul’dan, and he’s saying that Varian has died for nothing, but we know otherwise, and Varian shouts “For the Alliance!” and the music confirms it – he’s a hero until his dying breath. And god that music, the way it works at that moment… my heart feels like Varian does as he shatters into a million pieces. #cries

We get to hear bits and pieces of those themes throughout Legion as we run around the world and to the raids and experience the important quests and what not, and every time my heart twinges.

I mentioned the original Legion cinematic earlier – re-watching that again to write about this music I realised that the other music I wanted to write about was actually featured very briefly in that! The other big music moment I had in Legion happened quite by accident again, and it made me cry as well (I’m sensing a theme here…) Obviously the death of Varian has hit me pretty hard, so I have a soft spot for this.

It happened shortly before Legion launched, and I was flying in Stormwind from the Keep to the Mage area where the Demon Hunters were hanging around at the time. Those who know Stormwind well will realise that in doing so, I flew right over the memorial to Varian, Lion’s Rest. I stopped to look and pay my respects. And then this happened:

I don’t know what it is about this piece, but it pulls on all the heartstrings. (And those darn lyrics don’t help, either!) It seems a beautiful farewell for a fallen warrior. ❤

Anyway, as you can tell, I have a thing for the music. It’s always so fitting, and really helps me feel so immersed in the game. One of my favourite parts of any new expansion or zone is hearing the new music that comes along with it. If you haven’t done so, I recommend turning the music on in game while you’re running around doing your World Quests and what not.

It’s beautiful

I mean, come on…

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Shadowmoon valley.

Shadowmoon valley.

Being a hero

This is a big one for me. One of the questions that Leeta asks her guests on Behind the Avatar is whether or not they play male or female characters, and why that is. When I first read that question it got me thinking about why I always play female characters. Of course part of it is that I’m female, so I want to play someone like me (hence a chubby pandaren suits me just nicely!) But it’s become more than that.

For me, in my real life, I feel like a lot of it is out of my control. I feel like I’m not good enough, and I feel like I’m not talented or useful in any way (hello anxiety and self doubt!). But in WoW I am so much more than that. I am strong. I’m (somewhat) intelligent (why did I have to set Gul’dan free again at the start of WoD?!?!). I am a hero. A hero! I get to wield strong weapons and use the elements to hurt or heal, and I love that. And despite it not being real (I promise I’m not throwing buckets of water on people in real life in an attempt to heal them!!!) I have found that as a result of me being a hero in WoW, I have more confidence to try things in real life. I feel empowered, and sometimes I even feel strong. And that to me will always bring me back. That and to me, there is no better sound in the world than the quest completed sound!!

 

So those are some of the slightly different reasons why I keep coming back to WoW. To be honest, I’ll probably end up doing posts about my thoughts on the other reasons as well, but for now, this is it. 🙂

What are your reasons for coming back to WoW time and time again? Why do you love it? Leave a comment below, or join the blog challenge!

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Z and Cinder have been WoW friends (and real friends!) for quite a few years now, and have both been blogging for even longer than that. Earlier in 2016 Z challenged Cinder to write about a shared topic – Favourite Legion NPC. And a tradition was born. Each fortnight a topic would be chosen and we would both write about it.

Now, the challenge is open to everyone! We want to help encourage people to blog about what they love, and at the same time, help you find other blogs that you might like to read. Visit zandcindersblogchallenge.wordpress.com

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week our topic was suggested by contributor TheBMatt, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

I doubt this will come as a surprise to anyone who follows my blog or twitter! I actually have 2 races that really bug me that I’m going to cover in this post. Keep in mind though, this is from the generalised perception of these 2 races. There are always going to be outliers and characters of these races that this doesn’t apply to.

And obviously first and foremost, the race I absolutely passionately hate without exception are the demons. DUH! That’s a no brainer, so we won’t go there for this.

Orcs

I know, I know. Like, I know. But I just don’t like them. Over the years I have managed to look past the way they look (I really like what Blizz did with the model updates) but I just can’t get past their aggression and warmongering. Everything is a fight, everything is a challenge. They would rather draw blood without question than analyse a situation first. It’s a bit like the stereotype in action movies – shoot first, as questions later. I really hate it. They’re angry all the time and pick fights for shits and giggles. It’s just not for me. And having them so prominent for so much of the game… did my head in. (Yes I KNOW this is all “orcs vs. humans” and that’s just how it is.

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He just looks so grumpy!

I get frustrated by Orcs as well that they would rather fight than make a home. Yes, initially it was all about them being displaced and trying to find a home. But that was a long time ago now. And rather than trying to do something with what they already have, they go be shitty and stab people instead. Which is why their whole aesthetic just bugs me – everything looks temporary. The buildings look rushed and like they were built for quick dismantling (which they are), but even their clothes… and the attitude. They are cranky and aggressive and unstable, and it makes me feel the same way when I’m in zones surrounded by orcs.

Goblins

There are a lot of things that I admire about Goblins – their resourcefulness is exceptional. But it comes at a cost. It sounds so petty, but the thing that drives me up the wall about Goblins is just how dirty their areas are. They are all smoky and oily and greasy and argh. I feel like I need a shower whenever I’m around them.

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Seriously?! Who on AZEROTH go swimming in that filth?! It’s just not sanitary!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love how creative and ingenious goblins are. But why does it always have to be all smoky? I cringe at the damage their creations cause the Azeroth environment!

The other issue I have is how money hungry they are. Which again, isn’t necessarily something bad, but it annoys me. All the swindling and undercutting and sneaky-ness. If one more goblin makes a “I’ve got the best deals in town” remark, I might lose it.

 

Ok so I’m stopping this here, because this whole post just makes me sound like the giant goodie-two-shoes square that I am lol. (My boyfriend has pointed out that I don’t like races with green skin… how awkward! I disagree, though – Kermit is AWESOME!)

The thing that I like about the fact that I don’t like these races, is that it’s a lot more reflective of the world, and actually helps with immersion. There are people in real life that I don’t like for various reasons. But we all find a way to exist on this planet together, the same way we interact with the races we don’t necessarily like in WoW. It’s all part of existing. 🙂

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ok ok, maybe Goblins aren’t toooooo bad… 😉

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

I think this is one of the trickiest topics we’ve had for this challenge. I had to stop myself from reading other peoples’ posts about the zones they would design because I didn’t want to get discouraged (we have some AMAZING contributors to this challenge!!!) but also I didn’t want it to impact what I had in my head.

Oh how I wish I was an artist!! I can visualise this so well in my head, but my words just aren’t going to do it justice. I’ve made do by finding other bits and pieces of images – I hope you get the idea!

So for me, when it comes to designing my zone, I had to think about what I liked most about existing zones in WoW. This is what I came up with:

  • There is a reason for us to be there (i.e. it fits in with the story of the the game)
  • There is loads of lore and story to reveal
  • There is a reason to go back
  • The zone grows and evolves as we journey through it (think Suramar and Shal’Aran)
  • They have AMAZING music
  • They look beautiful
  • There are lots of awesome rewards

One of the newer things I love most of all has been Suramar and Shal’Aran, and the way that zone has opened up for us as we progress through the story. I love the tree growing each day, and I love that the environment changed based on where we are through the story.

With all of those things in mind, this is what I have come up with.

The Cracked Eye of Aman’Thul

One of the storylines that has always fascinated me is that of the Infinite Dragonflight, and I’ve been curious about how they’ll come back into the main story. My thoughts were that, given Kairozdormu’s involvement in getting Garrosh to alternate Draenor and leading us to bring back another Gul’dan, I feel like we’re due for another visit from the Bronze/Infinite Dragonflight to keep their plans on track. Having a read through Anne Stickney’s Know Your Lore post about the infinite dragonflight, and given we’ve now got the Eye of Aman’Thul, perhaps it’s coming sooner rather than later.

The story

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The Pillars of Creation around the Eye of Aman’Thul

Thanks to recent battles in the Nighthold, we currently have in our possession the Eye of Aman’Thul. The Eye of Aman’Thul was used to create the Nightwell in Suramar, and has some wobbly wobbly timey wimey stuff going on with it, too. Aman’Thul was the titan that gave Nozdormu the responsibility of taking care of guarding the “one true timeline” (not sure if he’s been doing such a good job of that…) As we know, Nozdormu saw his death, was corrupted and at some point in time turns into Murozond. This change hasn’t happened yet – where we are in time, Murozond has not yet been created, and Nozdormu is still around somewhere.

It seems to me that the Eye of Aman’Thul would be a very attractive item for both the Infinite Dragonflight and Nozdormu to have. Nozdormu himself could see this as a way for the Bronze Dragonflight to regain their ability to move freely through the timeways, and may also be a way for him to stop becoming Murozond. The Infinite Dragonflight would want to stop that from happening, and would seek to claim the Eye to control – if Nozdormu were to succeed, time would be rewritten and the Infinite Dragonflight would not exist.

So I see a bit of a battle over the Eye. Someone will come to claim it, and try to take it away from Azeroth, with others giving chase. They make it away from Azeroth to one of the nearby moons where the conflict takes place, during which the Eye is damaged and cracked. The explosion could also trap Nozdormu in time at the core of the Eye, leaving us to fend off the Infinite Dragonflight, find a way to release Nozdormu before he turns into Murozond, and seal the Eye of Aman’Thul before it explodes all time and energy.

The zone

The main base of this zone would be somewhere on the outer edge of the damage. The base itself would probably be relatively barren, but would have a very faint glow of golden and silver light from the Eye’s core. It would be a base of operations rather than a full city or hub.

"Shattered Moon" by Andrew Glazebrook, from http://glazy.blogspot.com.au/2006/04/shattered-moon.html

“Shattered Moon” by Andrew Glazebrook, from http://glazy.blogspot.com.au/2006/04/shattered-moon.html

The rest of the zone itself is quite fragmented – we’re only getting little pockets of places here and there where the leaking tendrils of power and time from the Eye stretch out and reach the pieces of the shattered moon. Each fragment is quite small (this isn’t a whole expansion I’m thinking of here, just one broken zone, although I suppose it could easily be expanded.)

Imagine something similar to this video, but with the central point being much larger and not moving around (only the little tendrils moving), the tendrils are all gold and silver, and just to the outer edge of the Shattered Moon picture above.

Where the tendrils from the Eye reach a fragment, the fragment reacts and shows what it would have been before it became a piece of a barren moon. Essentially all of the fragments would be the same world, but they would be at different points in its lifecycle. And because they are bathed in time and power, they will live and die for different durations of time. The fragments closest to the core of the Eye are the most affected, with their areas fluctuating through the lifecycle very quickly, trapped in a fast loop of growing and dying. The creatures on these fragments are very strong, thanks to the power of the Eye. Fragments that are further away are slower to age, and their enemies less strong – this is where we start.

Maybe because I’ve been watching too much Dr Who lately, but I imagine everything quite gold and silver, with the time energies casting their light over each of the fragments.

I am an absolute sucker for beautiful forests and mountains with lakes, so this is what I imagine the moon would have been in its prime:

"Secret of the Golden Forest" by Mugwort designs. Available from http://www.mugwortdesigns.com

“Secret of the Golden Forest” by Mugwort designs. Available from http://www.mugwortdesigns.com

All fragments, therefore, are variations of this, fluctuating on the full lifecycle of the birth and “death” of a planet. These cycles would happen over and over again, so there would be versions of the fragment that are still gold, but dead, and others that are brand new life growing from the barren fragment.

The creatures would be more than likely your usual forest type animals – bears and deer and birds and what not, but they would be affected by the energies around them, giving some of them strange powers, and others slight deformities. And of course the Infinite Dragonflight would be everywhere, trying to corrupt the world around them and stop players from saving Nozdormu.

I also like the idea of some fragments holding memories – this could be a neat way to have scenarios or dungeons etc., but can also help bring more lore into the zone. These memories could be used to put the pieces together to help find a way to defeat the Infinite Dragonflight and save Nozdormu. Or it could show us some of the events from when the Titans were around, and may show us a way to stop the Eye of Aman’Thul from collapsing completely.

One of the other big factors for this zone is that, because it’s a shattered world and we need to move from fragment to fragment, this would need to be a flying required zone.

The quests

  • An initial quest would need to be done to develop a barrier for players so that they themselves are not directly affected by the time energies of the Eye (so that we don’t just walk into a zone and die within a few moments). This would be a short quest chain. (or maybe we have a natural protection from the energies thanks to our “Gaze of Aman’Thul” buff we get for getting all of the pillars of creation together.)
  • I would also love a series of quests to give players access to flying within a couple of weeks. When we first arrive, we don’t know how to handle the time waves, so flying through them to get to the fragments is dangerous (and deadly!) We will rely on a series of portals to help us get around the fragments initially. But we don’t want to do this forever – we want to train our flying mounts to be able to manage flying around the area safely, so with the help of some Bronze Dragonflight members, they will train us to avoid the tendrils from the Eye to get us from fragment to fragment. This might unlock similar to the way we raised our little Cloud Serpent mounts back in Mists of Pandaria, but at the end of it, you get to unlock flying for yourself in a short period of time.
  • I see this has a maximum level type zone that would unlock in the same way that the Isle of Thunder unlocked – with different areas/fragments being made available over time as we get stronger. Quests would be different all the time because different parts of the zone are being unlocked, but also because the fragments will be in different stages of their lifecycle, so it always feels like there are lots of different quests and you aren’t doing the same ones all the time.
  • It goes without saying that there would need to be a blue box quest somewhere…

The overall goal of the zone is to get strong enough to unlock world fragments that are closer to the core. When we eventually get to the core to Nozdormu, there could be a raid where we either save him, defeat him, or save him but have events unfold as they currently exist and he turns in the Moruzond anyway.

The rewards

There would be your usual recipes and gear and what not. I personally would really love to see some transmog rewards.

Related to the flying quest line – once players have unlocked flying for their own mounts, there could be a follow up series of quests and challenges that will unlock a new unique mount for you.

And of course there would need to be a mount reward from the game. This would hands down have to be an Infinite Dragon of our own. Not the new time walking one, but one that looks like the original infinite dragons, like Epoch Hunter.

Epoch Hunter image by Florixia, downloaded from wowhead at http://www.wowhead.com/npc=18096/epoch-hunter#screenshots:id=270572

Epoch Hunter image by Florixia, downloaded from wowhead at http://www.wowhead.com/npc=18096/epoch-hunter#screenshots:id=270572

 

So there we have it. What do you think?

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic is “How do you explain gaming/raiding to your non-gamer friends and family?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

Argh life has a really annoying way of getting in the way of things, doesn’t it? It’s been a stupid busy week. So stupid, in fact, that I’m a whole week late with this blog challenge. Epic fails!

So, world quests. I personally love world quests. The main reason being that I just love being able to choose to do the quests that give me the rewards I want. If I want artifact power, I know exactly where to go and which quests to do to get that artifact power. Same for gold or missions that give me crafting mats or Blood of Sargeras. Add to that the fact that there’s legendary chance from the daily emissary quests (which I have had happen to me!) and they become even more appealing.

I also really enjoy being able to go back to zones that I enjoyed whilst levelling up, and continuing the story there a bit. Or even better – I go where a world quest is, and find that there’s actually a series of side quests that I never did while I was levelling! (See this post about my favourite quest!)

It’s fantastic! So in general I’m a really happy person when it comes to world quests.

As for my favourites, well I just love the funny and quirky ones. A lot of them seem to be for fishing… hehe There’s the one where you ride around on rocket boots spearing fish…

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I got one!!

…and then there’s this one I got to do for the first time the other day, where we fish up our catch by bombing them right out of the water! It’s utterly ridiculous, but I love it.

 

And as much as they drive me completely up the wall, I actually really love the Kirin Tor world quests. I love puzzles! (Although the Barrels of Fun isn’t really so fun for me. And I refuse to use the add-on because I’m stubborn!!) I really love the bubble ones, especially this one in Stormheim. Everything is so pretty way up high!

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I feel like I’m in LotR…

Believe it or not, I’ve also been doing the pvp world quests. The mount and pet are very good motivators, as is the gear! Even though I don’t really need the gear, it’s another transmog set 😀 So I try to do them as often as I can. And they’re actually not too bad at all. Levelling up my pvp talents feels really rewarding the way they’ve done it.

So those are my favourite world quests – what are yours?

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic is “How do you explain gaming/raiding to your non-gamer friends and family?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

This is such an interesting topic for me, especially at the moment with all the personal changes I have going on. One of the questions I have in my head at the moment is whether not to mention all of the extra-curricular stuff I do that’s based around gaming (podcasts, blogging etc) when applying for jobs. Despite gaming being immensely popular in Australia (check out this report) there is still a stigma associated with being a gamer. So when I meet new people and they ask what I do in my spare time or what my hobbies are, I find myself doing a mental scan to judge just how much I reveal.

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This stereotype is hard to shake

I feel as though there are multiple layers of explanation when it comes to my gaming habits. How well I know the person, how likely I am to speak with them about this, or how “tolerant” this person is are all factors that determine how much I open up about my gaming experience. Because I game a lot. Like, a lot. If it were sports or even church, people wouldn’t bat an eye, but because it’s computer games, all sorts of assumptions are made and stereotypes drawn upon.

So I have a tiered approach to how I discuss gaming with other people. I should say upfront that I don’t lie about my gaming. I am quite open and honest about it to anyone who asks. What does change, though, is how I talk about my gaming, and how much/how often.

Level 1 – Noob

This level is for multiple categories, and probably has the largest audience. I use this level for meeting people for the first time to give an indicator of what level I’ll talk about gaming with them in the future. It’s also the level that is for people who are critical of gamers. Like I said, I don’t (and won’t) lie about my gaming, and I suppose in some ways I deliberately talk about it (even if just a little bit!) to be defiant of these people. Many work colleagues fall into this category, and a lot of family as well.

At this level, when people ask what I do for fun, or what I did on the weekend, I’ll say “oh you know – the usual hanging out, chores, a few computer games, the usual”. Sometimes people will ask for more information, like what games I like to play. This may bump people into Level 2 and into further conversation.

But there are times when you can see by the way they ask “what games do you play” that they thoroughly approve, and so I’ll just respond with a very casual “oh you know, a bit of this and that. I like games with stories that are fun.” and leave it at that. Most conversations will stop there. Some will progress to level 2. Some, on the other hand, will jump all the way up to level 5. And that’s where the fun is 🙂

Level 2 – Casual

This is for the people who don’t cringe when I say I play computer games. On Mondays they’ll ask “did you play any games over the weekend?” and we can have a casual conversation about how much fun I may have had doing something, or how excited I am about a new expansion or patch. This is where I like most work colleagues to sit, as it’s the level of politeness that I would give to any other person who had an interest that I might not be knowledgeable about, or that I might not care about. It’s recognition that two people have different interests, and that’s ok! We can all still chat together just fine.

Level 3 – Experienced

These are the people I will admit to taking a week off work for a new expansion. They are the people who ask questions about why I like playing games, and what it is that makes me keep going back. I try to find ways of making things related to them. Sport, of course, can be a good analogy, especially when it comes to talking about Blizzcon. (“You watch the Olympics? Same deal, but with computer games!”) It’s also a good way to explain guilds and raiding especially.

But there’s the other side of gaming that I prefer talking about, and that’s the levelling and exploring. And people in this category do ask about it. The best analogy that I’ve been able to come up with is to say that playing WoW is like getting to live your favourite book or movie. You get to create a character just the way you want them to be, then take them on adventures in this wonderfully creative, interesting world. You will battle enemies, you will explore magnificent landscapes – you can even fish or pick flowers! This analogy works really well with a lot of people who are on the creative side, because they can picture it so easily. It’s also a good seller, with a lot of people wanting to try it themselves.

Level 4 – Hardcore

This is reserved for people who actually play games as well. These are your fellow gamers, your bretheren – the people who understand you. They don’t have to play WoW or even a game that I play myself, they just play something as often as I do. These are the people you can openly say “check out this mount I just got!” or “we finished the raid tier last night!” and they’ll not only get it, but they’ll celebrate with you.

I will admit, sometimes I drag people from Level 3 into here because I just get so excited about something, and the poor dears have been kind and asked how things are in game and well… you all know I can talk a lot! So I’ll explain the raid nights and how awesome it has been to kill a mythic boss and get awesome loot to make me stronger, and they’ll smile and nod and cheer, which is great. And then I’ll let them settle back into level 3 and I’ll calm down and stop bombarding them. 😀

I love knowing people in this level. I love being able to talk about gaming with other people and getting their perspective. It can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding.

Level 5 – I have a point to prove

This is a special level, dedicated to people who go out of their way to be dismissive and rude about gaming. I don’t get to this level very often, because for the most part if people don’t care about gaming, they’ll just move on, and that’s great. But sometimes there will be people who will just be plain rude, talking about how gaming is a waste of time and money etc. And I won’t let that lie. I find myself speaking up, and honestly, being a bit of a bitch. I don’t have a lot of patience for intolerance.

A lot of the time it’s as simple as speaking up when someone starts dismissing gamers. I’ve overheard conversations between colleagues about how playing computer games is “stupid and such a waste of time”, and I’ve popped my head up and said “you think I’m stupid?”. Sometimes it changes people’s minds. When people think gamers they tend to (incorrectly) assume they’re all teenage boys or the South Park stereotype. So when I stick my head up and admit to being a gamer, it challenges their perspective.

When people talk about the anti-social nature of gaming, I respond with “I played and talked with more than 30 people on the weekend, by text and voice chat. And that’s just the people I know – there were hundreds of other people playing in the world around me as well. How is that anti-social?” I have a group of friends and community of like-minded people who number in the hundreds, if not thousands. I’ve even had something I worked hard on appear on the front page of the website of a multi-billion dollar company. I talk to people from all walks of life, from all over the world. And best of all, it makes me damn happy.

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Look at all the people!!

When people talk about gaming being a waste of money, I like to say “How much do you spend on going out to the pub each weekend again?” Pretty sure I spend a lot less money than you do for a lot more enjoyment.

I also like to challenge the perception that gaming is just hitting things, with facts like “I coordinated 30 people from all around the country/world via voice chat to make them achieve a common goal.”

In the end…

When it comes down to it, we’re all just people in this crazy world, and we all like different things. I would rather be as honest as I can about what I enjoy in the hopes of connecting with another person. We don’t all have to like the same thing, but it’s easy to get along and find a common ground somewhere.

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic is “If you couldn’t play your main anymore, what class would you be?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

Every time there are class changes, there is always a class that feels more put out by them than any other. That’s not to say that their frustrations aren’t valid, it just tends to be how things play out. The latest class to be feeling the class change pinch are hunters, with a LOT of hunters out there extremely frustrated, and some already dropping their class that they’ve played for years in favour of something less “broken”.

It’s a sad time for anyone who feels their class has moved beyond something they can connect with, and I feel for anyone who has to go through it. For me personally, I don’t think I’d stop playing my shaman at all. It’s too much who I am. But you never know what could happen. I think if I had to change my main it would be a really sad day.

First things first – to heal or not to heal?

For those who don’t know, I main restoration shaman and play either spec as off spec (though focus more on elemental these days). I am assuming that whatever changes make me consider changing class are so substantial that I couldn’t play any of the other specs either, and that shamans are completely off the table.

I think the first question I’d have to ask myself if I wasn’t able to play a shaman anymore, would be whether or not I wanted to remain a healer. And I don’t know the answer to that question. I really love healing. A LOT. But I think a lot of that comes down to how well I gel with the restoration shaman class. The only other healing class I have enjoyed so much has been holy paladin. However the Legion changes to holy paladin have really changed that. I miss holy power and Holy Radiance as a spell. So I don’t think I could play holy paladin again for healing spec unless things changed back.

I’ve never been able to get on board with priest healing or druid healing. Which leaves monk heals. I have played a monk healer, and did quite well with it at the time. However I feel monk heals have changed style far too often. I’d be terrified they’d be getting changed yet again. So I don’t think monk would be it for me either.

Unless a new healer class is brought in (PLEASE?!) it looks like I’d probably not heal on another class.

To tank or not to tank?

I’ve not seriously tanked before, so this is a tricky question to answer, but still worthwhile to think about. I have tanked very casually as a Death Knight, and have a tendency to level my monk on a tank spec as well. But otherwise, that’s it.

I think tanking is a high pressure role to play. Don’t get me wrong – healers are high pressure too, but there are fewer tanks, and mistakes are pretty obvious. I think it would probably get a bit boring at times, too… maybe?

I do like the idea of having a tanking off spec available, so I’m going to say maybe to this for now.

Ranged or melee?

This used to be an easy question to answer – always ranged. I’m terrible at melee. I hate having to chase after bosses and it always feels so crowded. But then I played warrior during the Legion invasions, and it was a LOT of fun. And I levelled my paladin entirely as Retribution and I actually really enjoyed it. So in theory a melee class may not be off the cards.

Raiding?

I think this is the bigger question of all, that would impact my choice. Whether or not I’m raiding with this new class would determine whether or not I play a class that I could excel at, or whether I just choose a class because I think it would be fun to play. My biggest difficulty is that I’m not actually great at any class (including my shaman). I try, but it doesn’t seem to matter how hard I do try, it’s never usually enough.

With that in mind, if I were to raid with a new class, I would need to make sure I enjoyed it as well, for those days when I just flat out suck. I’m also not a huge fan of having to min-max all dps specs, which tends to be what happens when raiding with pure dps classes.

The final result?

You know, this is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Shamans just really click with me, so trying to choose a new class is really tough. I was hoping that laying out my thought process above would help make the decision easier, but it kinda really hasn’t…. lol

Ok, I think… I think if I had to change, it would be to either…

Druid

or

Mage

Druid because it gives me the option of any playstyle – tank, healer, melee or ranged. And they have some of the most BEAUTIFUL transmog in the game! I’m quite fond of my druid, I just need to be better at playing her. I play her as Balance, and I enjoy it a lot.

And mage would be another option, too. I always find myself falling back onto playing my mage. She was my first ever toon, so I’m quite attached to her. I find that I usually manage to find a spec that sits well with me eventually each expansion, so I think she’d be a viable choice, too.

Ok, well that ended up being a lot more difficult than anticipated! What about you? If you had to change your class, what would you change it to?

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