It’s mid-October, and you know what that means – it’s time for the annual Gnome Run! This year was the 8th run, and the turnout this time was absolutely phenomenal. Last year they had almost 3000 gnomes race, and raised $5,500. THIS year, oh my goodness. According to organiser Dravvie, there were over 7,000 (yes SEVEN THOUSAND) gnomes in the race today, and they have raised $14,000 at the time of writing this (and that number keeps going up. It was $13,000 when I first started writing this post lol!!). The goal was $4,000. It’s incredible.

This year, as many of you will know, the Gnome Run was added as a micro-holiday to the game. the Blizzard team set up a race track for all of the gnomes to follow, so you knew where you were going. A lot of people were concerned that Blizzard were “taking over” the Gnome Run when it was added as a microholiday to WoW. However, Dravvie wrote an amazing article for Wowhead that talks about how amazing Blizz were in asking for her ok before adding it to the game. The article also talks about the history of the event, and how it has grown over the years.

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There were gnomes EVERYWHERE. We had banners to run through so we knew where to go, blockades stopping us from going off track, REFRESHMENT TABLES and loads of NPC gnomes cheering us along the whole way. It was so brilliant the way it was set up. I hope that Dravvie and the team love what Blizzard did to bring the race into the game.

For me, I ran into some lovely twitter friends…

Once again this year, I did the run with the gorgeous Ms Miggi, but would you believe it? I didn’t manage to get a good pic of the two of us together! So bummed. Though we do both look pretty determined in this pic…

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Running with Miggi! (@MsMiggi)

The run itself is always loads of fun. It was incredibly helpful having the gates to pass through, because I’m always so good at getting lost. We only got disconnected once, and that was zoning into Stormwind after getting off the tram. The servers held up brilliantly well. They’re just amazing.

Once we made it to Booty Bay we did try to make a heart, as is tradition. Our shard didn’t do too badly, until a naughty person dropped one of those toys that turns everyone into Moonkins… so that was a little disappointing. But truthfully, it wasn’t as bad as last year, so I think that’s good 🙂

As is also tradition, once the race was done, we jumped on a boat to head over to Orgimmar to /lick the warchief. I’ve never made it all the way into the Throne room. I think the furthest I had gotten was to inside the gates of Org before I’d get horrifically killed. This year, though, I was successful! Well, kinda… you see, stupid Cinder didn’t /lick Saurfang… she /kiss him instead. Awkward! She was immediately killed for her insubordination. But it was worth it.

So by the time I finished writing this, the total donation amount is currently sitting at over $14,600. It’s astonishing and wonderful.

Well done to Dravvie and her band of helpers for putting on yet another amazing Gnome Run. And well done to the Warcraft community for making it another amazing year.

See you next year!

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We did it! After all the dramas we have gone through as a team over the past couple of months; after losing so many players and recruiting and trialling others, we are finally at a point where, not only have we defeated all the mythic bosses we had killed before, but we have now got down a new boss! Mistress Sassz’ine is DOWN!

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Mythic Sassypants (Sassz’ine)

This fight is of the most RNG-heavy, mechanics-intensive fights I think I’ve ever done. It is one of those fights that, even after having done it hundreds of times, you still kinda feel like you don’t really know what’s going on. It is absolute CHAOS. And I freaking loved it!

For our team, we went with 5 healers, but as a result, were told that we also needed to dps as much as possible in order to beat the enrage timer. Because of this, and the fact that this fight has SO much movement in it, I swapped my gear and talents around a little to what I would normally do.

For my legendaries I used Uncertain Reminder. Aside from having some really juicy stats on it, it extends the duration of hero by 75%. That extra time of hero, combined with our restoration artifact trait Sense of Urgency, AND the fact that hero is popped at a time when there is bucket loads of damage going out, means that it’s a really useful legendary to have. So this one was a no brainer.

The second legendary I had been thinking a fair bit about. In the end, once it was confirmed that we needed to be pushing out more dps, the decision was easy. I went with Soul of the Farseer. Again, it has some great stats on it. But the reason I went with this legendary was the fact that it let me run Echo of the Elements AND Cloudburst at the same time, meaning I could cast a lot more on the move (extra Riptides and Healing Stream Totems) and be able to cast more Lava Bursts. I was glad I went with it in the end, because towards the end when I wasn’t dpsing so much, I was able to drop out some more instant heals as I was fleeing for my life from some hungry octopus thing.

For talents, I had Torrent, Graceful Spirit (this is a no brainer – being able to cast on the move more often is essential in this fight), Lightning Surge Totem (which I didn’t use at all), Ancestral Guidance (to beef up my Cloudburst Totems), Ancestral Vigor, Cloudburst Totem AND Echo of the Elements, and lastly Wellspring.

Wellspring was a last minute change. Normally on this line I’ll take High Tide, but swapped over to Wellspring because it just felt stronger here. It was great for topping up loads of people after each Hydra shot. And it looks cool. 😀

My heals overall were pretty crap, but a lot of that is just due to pushing out damage wherever we could, and the sheer amount of movement there is in this fight. The movement also meant that I couldn’t drop healing rain very often at all, and that usually heals for a pretty decent amount.

None the less, we did it. Mythic Mistress Sassypants is sassy no more. Next up… Maiden of Vigilance.

I’m currently in the middle of a different post, but I saw that the Blizzcon2017 schedule was released today and just had to squee about it for awhile! Seriously, the hype is oh so real.

Blizzcon schedule now live

Blizzcon schedule now live

Blizzcon this year looks AMAZING. There are so many panels that I’m planning to watch, that I don’t know if there will be enough hours in the day.

One of the more notable differences to the schedule this year is the inclusion of an extra stage. This means more panels, which equals one happy Blizzfan! The addition of this extra area has meant that some of the panels that Virtual Ticket attendees haven’t been able to see in the past, are now on stage and being recorded for us. The stages also have new names to show the focus each area has.

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Blizzcon 2017 stages and their names

The stage I’m so excited to see is the Heroic stage. The panels on this stage are everything I could have wanted to see, and more. Panels on this stage alone include:

  • LoreCraft- the art of storytelling which is all about the writing side of Blizzard games (and area that I am just so passionate about!)
  • SoundCraft – and interactive Blizzard sound demonstration which has is described as being a live demo of how some of the in-game sounds are made!!
  • Exploring the Wide World of Blizzard Careers – because who doesn’t want to work for Blizzard!
  • Stay Awhile and Listen – this has the following description: Everyone at BlizzCon has their own unique story to share about how Blizzard has impacted their lives. Hear from four different storytellers as they narrate their touching, funny, and memorable experiences live. AMAZING! I can already tell I’m going to end up in tears watching that.

The stage also has a bunch of art-related panels, and some coding and programming panels, too, which will be so great for anyone who is wanting to move into that area.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!! the Epic stage is described as the Community stage, and it too has some excellent panels listed, including an Author Showcase, LIVE recordings of The Instance and AllCraft (I’m with Rho- had no idea this existed…and me personally, I wouldn’t be calling this a podcast…but should still be interesting non-the-less), a panel with Geek & Sundry (ZOMG), a panel called Living Blizzard – Pursuing Your Passion (which, for someone like me, sounds amazing and will probably make me cry)… there’s also two panels about getting into cosplay.

Already, this is more hours of visuals than I’ll have time to watch, and we’re not even talking about the main events here!!!! In the announcement of the schedule, Blizz mentioned that the Opening Ceremony, which is usually held on the main stage, will actually be presented across the multiple stages. This sounds brilliant, especially for physical attendees- not everyone can fit into the main stage to watch it. This way, they will have a bit of live action at whatever stage they end up sitting at. And as a Virtual Ticket holder, we just get a darn awesome view of everything 😀

Clearly I’m more than a little excited about it all. More excited than I have been in past years, actually, mostly due to the additional stages and all the creative panels. It’s right down my ally in terms of things I’m really interested in. I’m extremely grateful I’m not the only person who enjoys this stuff, and even more grateful that Blizzard recognises this and does some presentations for us. I’m expecting an announcement about the closing act in a few weeks’ time. Here’s hoping it’s someone fun! The one thing I did notice was that the cosplay competition wasn’t listed anywhere. I’m wondering if it’s the panel currently titled as Community Night, or maybe I’m just blind.

Anyway,  if you want to check out the schedule for yourself, and start flagging the panels you want to see, go check it all out at https://blizzcon.com/en-us/schedule#fri-nov-3.

What are you most looking forward to checking out at Blizzcon??

Oh my goodness what a month this has been! Back at the end of August when I finally made the decision to move my blog to somewhere more permanent, I had no idea how long it would be until my blog was safely in place and available to post to. I expected a weekend of setting up and getting comfy before I would be able to post… but a month passed in a flash.

It’s been, well, pretty stupid to say the least. Firstly, work has gotten really busy. As many of you know I started a new job a few months back now, and about a month ago things really picked up in pace. I finally got my own project to work on, which has had me working later and completely flat out while I’m at the office, so doing sneaky blog work during my lunch break was impossible.

And then the move itself. The plan was to move over to wordpress.org. I had spent ages researching different hosting options, found the template I wanted to use and was all set. But I hit roadblock after roadblock; posts wouldn’t export properly nor would they import properly over to the new server, the template seemed to cause problem after problem… nothing seemed to work the way it was supposed to, and not matter what I did, I couldn’t get things right. It was all just a complete and utter nightmare. So much so that I even considered just forgetting it all and closing my blog. But I really missed writing in here, so that wasn’t really an option.

In the end I didn’t go anywhere. I set myself up on a paid plan at wordpress.com and just rebuilt here. Yes, it’s more expensive, but I know it works, and I have loads more storage space (which was one of the big reasons I needed to move in the first place).

But I tell you what, what horrible timing this all turned out to be! The past month in WoW has been AMAZING! Argus is absolutely everything I could have hoped for and more. I’m having so much fun running around there doing all the quests, experiencing some amazing lore and those cinematics!! SO AWESOME!! And then there was the lucid nightmare, and our raid team is back up and running and even this weekend alone has been eventful. And my poor blog challenge with Z has been awfully neglected while I try and get all of this blog stuff sorted out. Just terrible timing for it all.

BUT! I’m here again, and more excited than ever to be playing WoW and SO glad I have a place to share all my adventures again.

I hope you guys like the new layout! Something a little different 🙂 The front page was interesting to put together. I’ve also added some new pages, including a better looking Raiding Gallery, and a brand new Art Featuring Cinder page…which is kinda self explanatory.

I’m going to try and play catch up a bit and get some posts together about bits and pieces that have happened over the past month, as well as get up to speed on Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge and get some new topics posted. In the meantime, keep well!

xo

Hello! I’m Cinder. It looks like you’ve stumbled across my little corner of the internet. Here you’ll find my adventures in gaming, particularly World of Warcraft. Check out my blog to read about what I’ve been up to lately. Want to know more about me? You can find that right…. here. 🙂

Hey guys just a quick heads up. I’m making some changes to my website over the coming days/weeks, so things might look a bit weird around here… hopefully I shouldn’t break anything!! But don’t freak out if I do, or if things look strange or broken or whatever. I’ll get it right at some point!

I’ll let you know when I’m back up and running properly. In the meantime, if you’re looking for other WoW blogs to read, go check out Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge (#ShamelessSelf-Plug)

See you laters!

xo

 

This week one of the most anticipated micro-holidays finally rolled around- the Trial of Style. A micro-holiday all about transmog!!! It really is a lot of fun. It does help to go in prepared, so I thought I’d give those who haven’t had a go yet a quick run down of what to expect, and some tips to help you along.

How does it work?

The Trial of Style is a very short scenario with a random group of 6 players, during which everyone plays dress-ups and we vote on who wore it best.

To get started, go visit your friendly transmog vendor in a capital city (the transmog vendor on the Grand Expedition Yak does not seem to know about this event… poor fella). Choose the option to queue for the scenario and wait a couple of minutes.

You’ll be teleported to one of the rooms in Magisters’ Terrace. A timer will immediately start counting down while the hosts introduce the event. At the end of their introduction, they will announce the theme for the competition. Once you know the theme, you have 2 minutes to create a transmog to suit it.

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Transmog vendors and barber chairs can be found to the left and right of where you zone in. (Changing your appearance doesn’t cost anything in this event, so don’t worry about going broke!) Everyone is dressed in smocks so you can’t see what other people are creating in advance.

Once the two minutes are up, it’s a round-robin of fashion, as you go up in pairs to show off your creation. Those who are not in stage vote on who they think matched the theme best. In the end, three winners are announced and brought up on stage (although everyone gets some form of prize for being there).

Here are some pics of some of my placements (forgot to get any for my paladin!)

The rewards from the event are tokens that can be used to purchase transmog sets for your armor type, so one each for cloth, leather, mail and plate. There’s also a shirt that you can purchase if you manage to win one of the scenarios. If you don’t manage to place in your scenarios, don’t worry- it only takes 4 attempts to get enough to buy one of the sets. Note: you can only purchase a set that you can actually wear. For example if you are a mage, you can only buy the cloth set. You cannot buy a different set type for an alt.

Tips

There are a couple of things that might be handy to know in advance of going into this.

  • One of the themes is called “Tabard Time”. Make sure you have a tabard available in your bags so that you can use it as part of this theme, otherwise you’ll be a bit stranded (though not all hope is lost. My druid got 3rd place in the Tabard theme without having a tabard, because others did have one either!)
  • Remember you can transmog your weapons, but only to matching weapon types i.e. one-handed swords can only be transmogged to other one-handed swords/axes/maces etc (depending on what your class can wield)
  • If you want to transmog to a different weapon, grab yourself a very cheap weapon from the AH to keep in your bags. That way you can quickly equip in the scenario to give you more transmog options.
  • Toys can be used! I used the “Stolen Breath” to make my breath all frosty to help finish off my “Winter Wear” transmog set, and I think it worked nicely. I never got to do a theme that would have made my Blazing Wings useful… maybe next time 🙂
  • If you are so inclined, you can pre-plan your transmogs, making it a lot less stressful. The wowhead guide for the event has a full list of all of the possible themes you can get. Create and save some sets in advance to help take some of the pressure off.

My biggest tip, though, is to just have fun! I had some really amazing groups that were such a laugh. There was one group in particular who was really chatty which was nice, and they all had bloody awesome transmogs! It was so hard to choose who to vote for! It’s also a great way to get some transmog ideas. 🙂

I was pretty happy with out how I went in the end. My shaman got third, second then first for the 3 that she did. My paladin got a third and a second. My mage got a second and a first place. My druid had the hardest time because I have so little leather gear, but she managed to get a third place in one of hers, which was nice.

Good luck to anyone entering it! It’s still going for a couple more days yet, so you’ve got a little time, but don’t leave it too late!

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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~*~*~*~*~ Potential spoilers ahead.~*~*~*~*~

EDIT: adding more pics of little things like this as I find them. See them at the bottom of the post. 

This latest reset has seen a few new things appear in game. For those who have not yet killed Kil’Jaeden on Normal or higher difficulty, the skies would have been empty for them. Until today. Today, Kil’Jaeden became available in LFR difficulty, and to coincide with that, Argus appear in the skies for everyone to see. And the world has responded.

Today when I logged in, I noticed the Doomsayers were back.

They are handing out their pamphlets again (though not sure if the achievement is still available). They seem a lot more smarmy than usual, too.

But then I noticed other things. On Krasus’ Landing there were clumps of NPCs hanging around Kirin’Tor guardians, demanding answers.

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There were clumps of draenei huddled together…

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Investigations were being held on the edge of the platform, and Kirin’Tor Guardians were on high alert patrolling the outskirts of the city.

I wandered into the main areas of the city, and there are draenei everywhere. (That dude walking around with the book- I wish Cinderstorm could do that!!)

The citizens of the city are afraid, and as a leader, they are coming to me for answers. Which right now, I don’t have.

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We know we are headed to Argus soon… Very soon, judging by what’s happening in game right now. But other than that, I don’t really know what’s going on. And I LOVE it. It’s been really great not looking at PTR patch notes- for the most part I don’t know much at all about what’s going to happen when we get to Argus.

It’s fun speculating what will happen, knowing I’m probably completely wrong. One of the things that I found really interesting about the Draenei NPCs is some of the wording they have been using. One said to me “By the Light’s blessing, our path begins anew.” And it made me stop and think…

I was reminded of the scenario in the Exodar with Prophet Velen and Rakeesh and all that unfolded there, with us ultimately destroying Velen’s son. At the end, Velen announces he is done, and he is going home. Home, being Argus. And I just couldn’t help but wonder… did Velen know what Illidan was up to? Did he help Illidan?

It’s interesting times, for sure! For me, I love this part, where the whole world around me is responding to things that are happening in game. It really adds to the immersion. Their sense of doom and fear is driving me to keep fighting. We’ve all come too far to just roll over and let the Legion win. I can’t wait to see Argus!!

 

EDIT 1: So I just went to the Alliance bank in Dalaran and came across two goblins, Pixxy and Shnivel, emptying out their loot from the bank…
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Well, I find myself here once again where the team I’m raiding with has crumbled. We had been losing a few people here and there over the past couple of months for a whole bunch of different reasons. I’m not sure what happened, but this last week something snapped, and we were done. Through a combination of real life issues and people wanting a change, we dropped enough to not have enough people on the team to raid anymore.

It’s not a new story, and it’s not a story that we’ll never hear again. This is what happens. And even though I’ve been here so many times before, it doesn’t get any easier. Before raid on Wednesday we all logged on and had a chat about what everyone’s plans were. There was talk of server transfers to try and rebuild the team on a more populated server (and then further discussion about what the server might be); there were talks of staying put and pushing through it; there were talks of finding other teams, of going our separate ways… and of disbanding entirely. In the end, some people decided to move on, which in turn made other people also decide to move on to other teams rather than waiting for the numbers to come back up again.

There were no hard feelings towards the people who decided to leave for other teams. I totally understand it. Things weren’t perfect, and some people had really good reasons to go, but it still makes me sad. *shrug* It is what it is, and I truly hope everyone is happy wherever they end up.

In the meantime, there are 10-13 of us who have decided to stay and try and rebuild, rather than moving the guild to another server. Our team is 5/9 mythic… past the halfway mark of Tomb of Sargeras… so hopefully we will be able to attract some good players in time to get mythic Kil’Jaeden down. (Shameless plug! Here’s our recruit thread on the forums.)

For now, I’m just feeling sad. I know it’s (hopefully?) not my fault, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling like rubbish. Being in a guild and raid team like this always feels like a second family. We all spend so much time together, and we argue and celebrate wins… so it just feels weird everyone not being together any more. But like I said, it is what it is, and it will probably happen again. In the meantime, I’m holding out hope we find some more awesome players so we can get back to killing internet pixels. 🙂

 

 

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