Supply Lines and Support Staff

A follow up to my Consumables post, a tangent that is obvious, but still amazing to contemplate.

In my last post, I ran down a situation from a raider’s point of view.

Given a need to prepare Flasks to last 10 raiders for 4 hours, you need Crystal Vials, various common Pandarian herbs, and 40 Golden Lotus.

One level 90 player exalted with Tillers and with 16 garden slots can make 33 Golden Lotus each week, regardless of gathering or crafting professions.


First thought that comes to mind, of course, is what happens if you’ve got two level 90s with 16 garden slots?

66 Golden Lotus. Each week.


At the very end of Cataclysm, I know a lot of people had leveled so many characters to max level, they NEEDED the new character slot that came with Patch 5.0, just to be able to make a Monk.

Can you picture it?

Can you see, off in the distance, the players who will level all of their characters to max, park them in Halfhill, and grind the Tiller rep to exalted to unlock their farms?

All those players, toiling away every night on 8 – 10 characters, harvesting, planting, mailing.

All those characters, sporting titles like “Defender of a Shattered World”, or ‘Kingslayer”, relegated to farmbots.

I can see one of those level 90s, in farming hat and coveralls, leaning on their shovel, gazing off towards the Golden Falls, saying to Farmer Yoon, “You know, I killed the Lich King. I was there, the day that Deathwing died. I have fought an elder god, and I have faced the celestial titans themselves to save our world from destruction.”

And Farmer Yoon looking back, and saying “Ayup. I’m gonna head in and take a nap. Mind you pull those weeds now, or that Songbell won’t grow tomorrow. And make sure you water the crops afore you leave for the day.”

You can see it, can’t you?

I know you can. Maybe not you, and maybe not me… but they WILL be out there. Even now, they are working on their third, and wondering when the patch to speed up alt rep leveling goes live.

To truly picture the full potential horror… imagine those multi-boxers, with multiple accounts and 20 or more level 85s, all looking at their character lists and calculating just how many Golden Lotus or whatever other materials purchasable by Spirits of Harmony they could accumulate, if they only spent x amount of time farming on each and every one, each and every. single. day.

Icecrown Citadel: A Surprising Finale

Our merry little band went into ICC 25 person Sunday evening for the last official night of achievement runs. If a member had been fortunate enough to be able to go every week, then this would be the last run for the last achieve… before we do a makeup week, anyway.

As usual, we started a half hour early to pop off some Sartharion with all drakes up, and it started things off with a big surprise.

I was already at Wyrmrest Temple, and I began inviting to the raid group from within the sanctum, hovering just outside the portal to the raid instance.

As the invites went out, the airspace within the temple sanctum grew crowded with raid members.

Wait a minute…

Holy shit.


We formed a cross-server Alliance raid group, and while in the open world, as a member joined the group, they joined the real world environment we all shared.

The cross-server zones are active with patch 5.0.4, and one of the side effects is to allow cross-server raid groups to meet in the real world, not just in a raid instance!

You know what this meant?

We can use the summoning stones in a cross-server raid to summon people!

That was just… that blew me away.

Do you remember my one big complaint? That with the loss of “Have Group Will Travel”, cross-server raid groups like ours would be hosed, unless they put the summoning stone inside the instance?

Well, Blizzard went me one further, and let cross-server raid groups meet wherever the heck we want… as long as it ain’t in a capital city.

Any world zone that can be cross-server, is now effectively a shared zone for your raid.

Totally flabberghasted. Didn’t see that one coming!

At any rate, last Sunday a week ago we cleared all of ICC 25, up to the Dreamweaver, in preparation for tonight. A little over an hour later, and the Lich King lay dead (re-dead?) at our feet, and for many of us, the final achievement was finally won.

My thanks to all of those who came with us, who forged a group out of such wild, untamed creatures as us Hunters and Druids (with the token class here and there. We even had Thelandira on her Warlock last night!) and brought us to victory.

It was a long time in coming, but here they are, your Glorious Icecrown Raiders!

Once it was all over, someone had the brilliant idea of taking advantage of the new cross-server zone and raid thingie phenomena to go do a flying mount photo shoot outside the gates of Stormwind. Elwynn Forest was host to a lot of frozen chickens tonight!

Other players started getting in on it, which is fine, but we wanted just a few more with the team, so Laia, our long-suffering and masterful main tank (and Guardian Druid) found us a nice ledge just off to the side, and so there we perched… and I see someone managed to get a big frozen chicken butt in the picture. Sigh.


This marks the successful completion of the first ever BBB Cross-server Raid of Awesome People… or CRAP, for short.

This was so much fun, I think we’re going to keep doing these on Sunday evenings, for as long as folks are interested in showing up.

Next Sunday, we will be doing a one-shot, a blast into Ahn’Qiraj 40, to kill that bastard C’thun.

The week after, we will be doing a single makeup run of ICC 25 for a few of the achievements some folks are missing, such as Neck Deep in Vile.

Here is a new announcement for everyone!

If you have not been a part of this series of runs and would like to be involved in the future, simply send me a friend invite at my Battletag, BigBearButt#1737.

There is no obligation… but I do intend to do Ulduar 25 full achievement runs in the very near future, and after that and we’re all level 90, who knows? Do I see some Bastion of Twilight? Some Firelands?

Just not Heroic Spine. Dear god, no Heroic Spine.

Something old, something new, something not too tired, something quick to blow through?

Congratulations, my friends.

Tonight, we accomplished something that took effort, planning and persistence, and it really paid off. Thank you to everyone!

Hi ho, silver frozen chicken butt, and awaaaaay!

A Myriad of Amazing Gifts

Hey, I hear there was this patch thing?

Actually, the MMO Melting Pot keeps telling me that the only topic of discussion consuming the blogosphere is Guild Wars 2. I dunno, I guess I don’t read enough blogs. The whole time I was away, my feed was crammed with dozens of posts each day about the patch and World of Warcraft.

That’s not a knock, for as someone on Twitter said to me, “We’re too busy playing Guild Wars 2 to write about it. Now shhh, I’ve got hearts to fill.”

I don’t even know what that means, and I’m fine with that. Hooray! Multiple MMOs in the house, and they’re all good!

Whoopee! Now WoW will be peaceful and happy, with nobody in Trade talking about how bad the game is, right? They all left to have fun in GW2? Right?


We came back to town around midnight last Saturday, so we had, oh, the afternoon to install the patch and figure things out before the ICC achievement raid Sunday night.

Two out of three computers in our house patched and optimized and installed just fine. Can you guess who got the crash?

I started the process at midnight, went to bed, and when I got up 6 hours later, it was still stuck on Downloading Tools.

I made the big, terrifying life-draining decision – nuke the install from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

I went to and installed the client clean through direct download.

Holy shit, people. A single 20 gig download client, fast playable install, no bugs, no worries, and the damn thing runs clean and fresh like a dawn raid on the Keep on the Borderlands.

Crap, the Mists patch I downloaded for my previous install was bigger than the whole full client download. Yay and stuff, and life goes on!

Fortunately, you’ve all been in the game enjoying the patch for almost a week now, so I don’t have to worry about dropping any spoilers. I get to post a first impressions roundup guilt free!

This has been a patch full of many unexpected gifts.


First, the obvious. Account-wide shared mounts did NOT work as advertised. They were better.

I didn’t have anything excluded that I was told would be. PvP mounts from Honor Points, and the mammoth drop from the Wintergrasp PvP raid? All shared. Every single one.

The X-53 rocket mount? Shared. The Swift Zhevra? Shared. The Zhevra! I specifically saw a comment that the mounts from recruit-a-friend weren’t going to be shared, yet there they are.

Now that I have all the mounts to compare, I can say with some surprise that my all time favorite is the Brewfest Kodo. Happy time, and isn’t it nice that even though the only character I have that ever won it was on another server and hasn’t been played in a year and a half, all of my characters can now enjoy it?


The pets, I knew what was coming, but it was still fun showing Alex that he can rename pets. Also, he was finally able to get the Creepy Crate shared on ALL his characters.

One surprise for me was to see pet collecting trends revealed in pet quantity.

For example, Cassie has done the Jousting quest in Mount Hyjal on all her characters. Without exception, every single one has chosen the more attractive Blue Mini Jouster pet over the Gold vulture-looking Mini Jouster. Without exception.

Having something like 12 Blue Mini Jousters and not one Gold? That’s hilarious. Errr, I mean, ouch! Gonna have to do some dailies, dear! Just ten more days!

Love you!

Of course, I wish I could cage them already and hand some of my duplicates over to Alex, but give it time. On the flip side… if I can’t actually train pet battles yet, take it the fuck off my trainable skill list, mmkay?

On the other other hand (or tentacle, pseudopod, whatever), you can now buy the pet from the special Mountain Dew promotional event, PLUS the red and blue robot battle fuel, from Jepetto Joybuzz in Dalaran. I have the pet already, on a lot of characters… and it’s nice to know I can stop hoarding the 20 red and 20 blue fuel… on every character. Every. Character. You can just go in the store and buy it now. Go figure.

Hey, as long as we’re adding old stuff long gone from the game, how about adding the secret vampire boss (Prince Tenris Mirkblood) back to Karazhan this Halloween so people can have a shot at the guitar axe and Vampiric Batling? Go for the hat trick of awesomeness.

Me love you long time, Blizzard. LONG TIME.


This one… this one is a mixed bag of blessings.

Six digs per dig site? Twice as many artifacts for the same amount of travel time, right?

Feels a bit like too much time in one spot… because I have nothing but Night Elf dig sites in Kalimdor. Screw Night Elves, can I please get some Tolvir love? Grrr.

On the even less gifty side, please stop asking me if I’m really super sure honest and for true sure every single time I want to solve an Archy puzzle. Yes, I know I am at max skill, stop asking me if I want to go to a trainer first when there aren’t any upgrade trainers yet, you twit!

On the other hand, if I were to forgo the immediate gratification of knowing what I got… I could stack up fragments now for a series of future solves, for faster leveling. Right?

At least, I could if I had the ‘put off til tomorrow what I may be prevented from enjoying because of the car that hit me today’ gene.

Eat dessert FIRST. Geez, people, think about it. We could get hit by a meteor and join the dinosaurs tomorrow, I want to get that level NOW.

After all, when I die, Saint Peter will ask me what level I reached on my Druid, and if I have to say I didn’t fully complete my rare Archy solves in Cataclysm, TO HELL I GO!

Class Changes

Ahh, the big one.

I’ve been playing my Hunter in the ICC raid, so while I checked out my Guardian Druid first, I couldn’t linger. I had to be pr… no, screw that, I ain’t sayin’ it.

I had to be ready to rock.

So on to my Hunter I went for the real firsties.

Huntery Stuffs

Not reading about changes beforehand is a dual-edged sword. On the positive side, things are fresh and new and filled with wonder.

On the down side, I have to rely on having a brain to figure this shit out cold. Whoops! And I also need to find some alternatives to up sides, down sides, other hands and inner paws. Willing to buy a vocabulary, STAT!

For my Beastmaster Hunter, I had a good time choosing talents. Even the choosing was fun. They all sounded so… tasty.

I looked over my choices, and all I could think was, gee, they took all the neat toys the other two specs used to get, and let me cherry-pick whatever I wanted. And I get to keep MY special exotic pets! Are you shitting me?

I get a spell interrupt! Just, WTF is up with that!

Did I reforge into mixed Expertise and Hit? No, no I did not. It was ICC, I didn’t reforge shit. But I did choose my Talents, without guidance, based entirely on what sounded cool.

I specced a Hunter, and I liked it!

I chose Posthaste, because I use Disengage all the time as a fast positioning tool, and having a boost of run speed is all win in my book. I’m always positioning myself, like on the boat in Dragon Soul, to be ready to Disengage laterally out of a bad AoE. I used my Disengage A LOT on Festergut and Putricide, and damn, was it fun!

I took Silencing Shot, so no longer will I be looking stupid when it comes time to ask, “Who can interrupt the Queen?” The answer is now, “ME! BOOYAH!”

I took Aspect of the Iron Hawk, because, well, lazy. One less cooldown or GCD sounds pretty nice about now.

Thrill of the Hunt would almost sound like another lazy choice, except I had a hunch about that one. I mentally did the math on how a 30% proc chance from abilities that use Focus would translate into 3 super-fast cheap Multi-Shots, and snatched it fast. I’m a Beastmaster, I pop Kill Command and Arcane Shot all the dame time.

It paid off in spades in ICC. I was proccing those three extra cheap Multi-Shots and Arcane Shots constantly. Including off of Multi-Shot. At one point, Cassie whispered me to ask me what it was like to do over 40k DPS. I said I wouldn’t know, I didn’t have Recount installed. 🙂

And finally, I chose Blink Strike. Oh my. Oh, my my my.

It’s Sunday, I’m in love.

Instantly teleport my BM pet behind the target to do a big nasty CHOMP out of it’s butt?

Oh, hell yes.

Now, I haven’t tested it yet for variables. The tooltip for Blink Strike says the chomp is 600% normal damage. By normal, I can assume that means damage unaffected by current Bestial Wrath status.

But I’m willing to find out. For Science!

For the Glyphs, nothing really sexy, not like there was for Death Knights or Druids. Best I could come up with for fun was Marked for Death, so I automagically put Hunters mark on whatever I’m shooting at in the moment. That was nice, removed a /petattack macro with that one.

Still, the feel of the BM Hunter in the raid was unchanged. It felt exactly as BM did before the patch to play… ONLY BETTER! Enhanced! The way it should be, and with no minimum range!

I’m in danger of switching mains.

I kid, I kid.

Guardian Druid

I had a rocky first tank run on my Druid today in Heroic End Time. But that is for another story, and you have to start somewhere, right?

Oh, and it helps to have a healer who actually heals, instead of stays in DPS gear and shadow spec.

I knew it wasn’t going to go well, when I zoned in to Ruby, said “hi, I need a sec” because after the first pull I saw my Tidy Plates had me set to DPS mode so it was reversed on threat tells, and the healer pulled the boss for me while the addon pages were covering my screen.

Let’s just say that after he flat out told us he refused to heal me on Murozond because I was in kitty tier gear(!) and we booted him from the party in the first minute of the fight, we STILL managed to win it while 4-manning it, without a healer, with Alex and Cassie in the team, and an awesome Shadow Priest named Sutralas – Blade’s Edge, who I swear was still DPSing while throwing me heals, AND popping the Hourglass. Although everyone was handling the HG when they could.

Let’s also add that it’s nice to have a ton of defensive cooldowns and Heroism ready to go after every Hourglass activation, hmm? Still, we did win… with a healer that had the shittiest attitude I’ve seen in a while booted from the run before the first HG click. 🙂

Yes, I know he got his same chance at loot after being kicked, but it must have pissed him off to blame me for being in kitty gear and unhealable, and yet we didn’t wipe after booting him. We somehow managed without any healer at all. Burn? Perhaps a teeny bit, yes.

Idiot, I warned the group up front I needed a few seconds to adjust on the fly, it’s not like we had any trouble at all on the first two bosses. Despite having the healer pull for me. Grumble, grumble.

That Sutralas, what a nice person. And it was so funny and cute, they told me before we dropped group that I shouldn’t take the criticism from the healer seriously, I was a good tank! Very nice person, and it was so cool to see another player offering encouragement and kind words to someone who had just had to deal with… well, idjits.

Anyway, the Druid is a story all it’s own. Gonna need more time to fine tune things like button positioning.

Sure wish I had a Druid blog to write it up on, huh?


Death Knight

My Death Knight was the most unexpected gift, of all of the changes.

The last time I logged into my Death Knight pre-patch, I had about 40% XP left to go before dinging 85.

When I logged in this morning, I had exactly 1 XP left before dinging. ONE.

I just kinda looked at it, shook my head, assumed it was a typo, killed one trash mob and ding. WTF?

So from there, surprise! Guess, I have a new 85… that will sit until AFTER the expansion comes out to gear up. 🙂

In the meantime, my Druid is a max level Scribe, what goodies does the DK need?

Holy crap, you can get a Glyph to make your Army of the Dead summon a wide variety of random undead! Wait, let me check it out… and yes, yes they look SWEET! Oh no, they didn’t… a Glyph to stop the Army from TAUNTING?!?!

Okay, all straight DPS Death Knights, from now on if you group with me and I’m tanking, you BETTER have that fucking Glyph active when you pop Army or I boot your ass from the run. Be told.

OOH! And a Glyph to make my Unholy perma-pet look like a Leaper!


And then… the rush left me.

What to do now?

Oh, I know… let’s make an alt. We’ve got our eleventh character slot, fill that baby up!

But what to make…


Warlock?!? Can’t make a Monk, can’t make any Pandapeoples… so what about I make the one class I don’t have that a Panda can’t ever be?

This time… this time it’ll be different! You’ll see! This time I’ll make a Warlock, and take it right to the top! And it’ll be a Gnome!


And didn’t I hear the Succubus was supposed to be a guy if you had a female Warlock? Let’s try that out! So a female Gnome!

Yeah! Do it!

What was that definition of insanity? When you do the same thing over and over, and expect to get a different result?

And I have just the name! Blackrack! ‘Cause her heart is all black and evil, pumping behind her, well, that, you know… her rack.

Yeah, whatever, I’m running out of name ideas.  Bite me.

Shit, that reminds me, I have to try and reserve OldDirtyBear.  Yeah ODB yeah you know me!

So, a female Gnome Warlock.

I said bite me.

I started it up, I had my Heirlooms as usual… and you know what, this wasn’t so bad.

The DPS was pretty powerful, in fact.

And is the Imp actually HELPING? Wow, it almost feels like the Imp is putting out some damage, that’s fucking new.

Okay, ding level 10, let’s see, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS DEMONOLOGY ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

I don’t know what the hell they were smoking, but at level 10 as Demonology, I got Metamorphosis. And auto-attack is ranged chaos bolt thingies. And you get a resource that, like, refills as you KILL SHIT.

Alex looked over at what I was doing, and about had a cow right there.

So, I deleted my level 10 female Gnome Warlock (I said bite me, Gnomer) and we both made brand new Worgen Warlocks, or as Alex calls them, WWs.

Then he asked about my gear, so I showed him where to buy cloth heirlooms from the Guild Vendor, and that is when I tanked a heroic on my Druid to get him the JP he needed to buy the chest heirloom from the JP vendor.

He got Cloak, Helm and Chest. Not bad in one day. Off we went, blasting stuff together as WWs.

It’s crazy. Blueberry at level 8? Drain Life Drain Life Drain Life…

Alex loves Drain Life. He loves the idea that at level 15, he’ll be able to get an AoE Drain Life replacement.

At level 10, he became enamored of Metamorphosis, and can I just say, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never killed shit in the Worgen starter area that fast in my life.

We did encounter a small amount of confusion with terminology.

I had to inform Alex that it is not, in fact, entirely appropriate for a nine year old to be saying he enjoyed, sigh, “sucking that guy”.

No, rephrasing it to “sucking the life out of that guy” is not much better, thank you.

In fact, and this is a sort of testament to how sheltered the language in our house can be in certain ways, he was unaware that the term “suck” could have negative connotations… meanings other than those normally associated with Hoover vacuum cleaners.

I had to let him know that he is never to say that he sucks anything, or sucks AT anything, because suck can be slang for ‘loser’, and if he were to say that he, oh I dunno, “sucked a guy so hard last night”, well, the other kids may start laughing at him and saying he admitted he was a massive loser, and we all know where that heads. I break out the baseball bat and go visit other kids dads for a ‘chat’.

Or the police come to have a little chat with ME, and rightfully so.

Oh, the baseball bat? Don’t beat the kids, beat their parents, I always say. I believe in the trickle-down theory. Shit trickles downhill.

Yes, I avoided mentioning to him what else suck can be used to describe. I’m not stupid.

While I don’t think there is anything wrong with it from anyone of the appropriate age TO anyone of the appropriate age, regardless of gender so long as both are into it, call me a prude all you like, he’s nine. He can wait on that discussion for a bit while he enjoys his Pop Tarts, Phineas and Ferb, and Legos.

And yes, sigh, “sucking the life out of that dude”.

At least I had him reflexively saying “draining” instead of sucking by the end of the night.

We were both also level 14 and almost through the entire Worgen starter area. Still feels ridiculously overpowered, and some of the neatest class toys at low levels I have ever seen.

It makes me wonder. Is this what all the classes now feel like to start at 1st after the patch? Ridiculously overpowered, full of neat toys, lots of the ‘good stuff’ right up front?

I know that I’ve tried Warlocks many times before, and I’ve never seen anything this… well, neat in the game before at level 10.

It almost felt as cool as the first time I ever played the game, on my very first character, and I had to travel to Moonglade and approach the Great Bear Spirit to try and learn how to be a Bear.


I know, right?

Shit, I’m serious, I was wondering what I was going to do for fun until the expansion came out, but this is just amazing.

So… anyone else having unexpected good times?

Having Fun With Runs

We’ve continued to have fun on Sunday evenings with our 25 person ICC Glory of the Icebound Raider achievement runs.

One of the members of the run, Goose Igaly, took some video of our Lich King 25 (Normal) kill from a few weeks ago, and put it up on Youtube to some nice music.

You can find it on his Restoration Druid website!

The video is cool, not least because i didn’t have to make it, and it sure does look nice and smooth. Man, those folks look professional!

Man, we were good! Just like we knew what we were doing!

Now let’s look at… the rest of the story.

That run, we were going to kill Lich King 25 on Heroic mode. We lined up, talked over the strategy, set some markers down, and gave it a shot.

And another shot. And then another.

We got much better each time, but frankly, the final phase with Defile kept seeing us generating circles of black ooze that grew to cover the platform.

We kept beating our heads against that wall, and in the end we ran out of time and decided to blow him away in normal and come back to him in later days.

So of course, in Normal mode, it felt embarrassingly smooth and easy, right? As if to mock our efforts in heroic.

Regardless, we’re still having fun and making progress. And Orvillius has made some progress on his Shadowmourne, too! Always fun and excitement to be had for the asking.

What do you mean, Mists is almost out! Bullshit!

It can’t come out until we get our mounts!

Time! Time! Ask me for anything but time!

Can’t we delay the release just a few more weeks?

Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em

I’ve been gallivanting through a gallimaufry of gaming goals recently, but this Bear cannot get it in gear from group content alone.

There have to be soloing goals to grip me as well, y’know?

At this point in the expansion lull, what do you do? Just keep scouting Archaeology sites to get those last nine rares? Start farming zones for Black Kitty Cats?

I’ve frogflailed around for a focus and finally found a new goal to pursue; playing classes to 85 that I’ve never played before!

yeah, yeah, I know, stop me if you’ve heard this one. I say this same thing, what? Oh yeah, just every damn expansion at this point, that’s all.

I have to admit, I’m a naughty polyalterous player. I start ’em and dump ’em, over and over. Sometimes after making expensive bags and leveling crafting professions, too!

I’ve never played a Mage or a Warlock to max level, any max level

I did get a Warlock to level 52 once. Then I killed him.

It was a Warlock though, so, hey… he wasn’t destined for a happy, carefree existence anyway, right? That whole “impending doom, soul going to hell when I die” thing must be a real drag at parties.

You’d think, with all the pressure weighing them down, Warlocks in general would have a bad enough drinking problem to keep a bar in business all by themse – oh, wait. Right. Sorry.

I look at my alt record, and I feel like I should apologize or something.

The Warlock and Mage classes sound so cool in theory, but when the paws hit the dirt I’m either into something tearing and clawing, or I’m sending my furry minion in as my slaughtering surrogate.

Or, you know, I’m being all lazy and casting the occasional heal while reading the latest book by Stephen Hunter or Lee Child.
Hey! Don’t complain about the heals you’re not getting, I can dial this all the way down to zero.

My personal healing motto is, “Don’t be mad at the heals you don’t get, be grateful for the ones you do.”

I think LFR taught me that, but that’s a motto I would proudly carry into a pen and paper roleplaying D&D group anytime.

So, leveling new classes to 85, but one slot and two classes, which to level, which to level.

It’s not like there’s some kind of RIVALRY or something between Mages and Warlocks, right? No reason one should feel slighted if I pick the other?

No reason at all.

With a known release date for the expansion, my new soloing goal is to take my long lost, lonely and forlorn Mage and try to level that sucker all the way to max and do some LFR before Pandamonium reigns supreme across Azeroth.

Gotta change it up a little, though.

Every other time I’ve leveled a Mage, I’ve gone Frost.

This time, against all logic and in abandonment of pet pal principles, I’ve gone FIRE, baby.

As of last night, I’m at level 62 and, er, burning my way through the Hellfire Peninsula. Hey, they can’t all be winners. Or most. Or some.

Here is where I could really use your help.

I’m really enjoying Fire spec. I’m loving blowing up ALL the things. I like the old school Hunter feel of being able to kite by using Scorch on the run, Fire Blasting with the stun, and then on a Pyroblast! proc doing a spin jump shoot behind Blink on the dismount.

Now if only I could drop two chain traps. Oh, wait. Frost Nova. Sorry, forgot.

I’m enjoying Fire, I LOVE the ‘riding a lucky streak high roller’ feel that reminds me fondly of the early days of Enhancement Shaman leveling with Wirt’s Leg and twin Windfury procs.

But I’m so dreadfully tired of leveling in Outlands.

Please, PLEASE can someone recommend an unusual leveling path through Outlands to get to Northrend?

Normally I do Hellfire until I’m high enough level to hit Erebor in Zangarmarsh, do rep quests for the Broken in Erebor, then jump straight to Nagrand to the end of my Outlands time.

I’m afraid I’ve gone to the Nagrand well one too many time. I’m truly afraid that if I go just one more time, I’m going to crack.

Any ideas?

Knowing When To Say Enough is Enough

I had a post a few days ago, where I was talking about some of the achievements or small goals that I had wanted to do, but never tried, because I was afraid of the time or effort involved.

A reader named Errol left a comment that made a lot of sense to me.

He made the point that there were several things he really wanted, that he did put the effort into. The Baron mount from Stratholme, for example.

Day after day, week after week, for months, trying to get that mount.

He put the effort in, you can’t say he hasn’t tried. For years, he’s worked for it, and never seen it drop. He hasn’t been afraid of commitment.

At the same time, it is a mount he could potentially get as a lucky drop in a Satchel for tanking or healing a pug.

But he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t mind about others doing it that way, cheating themselves by taking a shortcut, but he wants to earn it his way, playing it the way it was made. It’s all about earning it the right way. For Errol, it’s gone beyond the mount, and now it’s all about earning something that will represent the dedication and the effort he put into it whenever he sees it in his spellbook.

This is the flip side of what my post was about.

I showed how I talked myself out of trying something, imagined a level of effort something would take and just talked myself out of ever even trying.

The lesson for me was, maybe it will be as hard as I think or have heard, but maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Maybe I’ll even find I LIKE what other people consider to be a mind numbing bore chore.

What Errol points out to us is that sometimes the random nature of drops means that maybe once you try, the grind will be far, far, FAR worse than you ever imagined.

Sometimes, you are that 9,999,999 try person that never gives up, but still doesn’t see the drop, the person that blows the bell curve like warm glass and stretches it like a taffy pull.

For me, at a time like that, if I find that it really was just as bad as I thought, or even worse… it goes on the far back burner. I won’t forget about it, but I tried for a bitm, confirmed my first impression, and now I’ll take a break and let luck have a little rest.

Like that Sewer Rat. I keep coming back to that little bastard, fish for a few days, and go back to something else.

Someday. *shakes fist* Someday!

The heart of my post, what I was really trying to say, was having all those goals can be just like having a cake mix and all the fixin’s in your cupboard.

You know that they’ll taste delicious if you make the mix, bake the cake, and cover it with frosting and little flakes of coconut.

But if you leave that box in the pantry and stare at it, that cake ain’t gonna make itself, and you’ll never wipe frosting off your chin.

You want it? Go bake it! Just go coco-nuts!

Time Lost Opportunities

I was reading a great post over at the Daily Frostwolf, the Druid edition. You might ask why it’s called the Druid edition when there aren’t a lot of Druid specific articles there lately.

Silly bear, you can tell it’s the Druid edition because of the attitude. Navi is most definitely a bear. Especially in the morning.

I kid, I kid, 🙂

Great post as usual, but I don’t have to tell you that, I’m sure you already read her wonderful blog.

Reading her post got me to thinking about a few things.

Navi mentioned wanting the Fox Kit pet, a pet in World of Warcraft that you can only acquire as a super-rare drop from killing Tol Barad Foxes. It has a reputation as being a purely random, brutally rare drop much like the old Green and Red Whelplings were before they were changed to zone drops and got even worse.

She wants the pet, she doesn’t have the pet. Her reaction to others who do have the pet? She is happy for them that they accomplished their goal, while at the same time feeling sad that she has yet to accomplish the impossible task.

I sympathize. I do! I felt exactly the same way.

The Fox Kit was one of several items or goals in World of Warcraft that I knew about, wished I could have or achieve, but didn’t pursue because I felt it was an impossible task.

I wanted it, but I did not try because it was too hard to achieve.

By hard, I’m talking about my preconceived assumptions as to how much of my time I would have to invest, and how repetitive and boring the task would be, before I would see success.

I made the worst mistake anyone can make. I let myself give up before I ever even tried.

There are other items just like this in game, too.

The Sea Pony pet, which you can get from fishing, but only by fishing off the shore of Darkmoon Island when the faire is available one week out of each month.

The Seagull pet, which you have to get by doing Tol Barad daily quests to earn commendation tokens and reputation.

The Pebble quest, which you can only get by doing the exact same daily quest ten times, requiring high enough rep with Therazane to unlock the daily quests, and the pure luck of seeing the quest even appear ten times.

The rare Tiny Shale Spider pet, requiring a convoluted progression to get, first getting a particular daily quest that gives you an explosive, then using the explosives to reach a difficult to access ledge, and then camping a rare spawn which, if you leave to go do anything, requires you to explode your way back up to the ledge to resume camping.

The Ghostcrawler spectral crab pet that is a rare spawn, and can turn invisible defeating tracking techniques, just for Beastmaster Hunters to seek out and tame.

Earning enough Darkmoon tokens to buy pets or mounts. Any pets or mounts.

The Glory comprehensive achievements that reward mounts for Northrend.

The Drake mounts from doing Sarth +3 in a group and winning the drop.

Archeology, completing enough rares to get mounts, pets, epic Bind on Account items, and the title Professor.

I can go on and on. Some of them I have done over the years, like acquiring the Higher Learning pet or fishing up a Magical Crawdad pet, but those others up above? None of them I had ever tried, simply because of the grind or the time.

You get the idea, right?

The thing is, just like with anything else, the bullshit trite answer is still true. If you never try, you will NEVER succeed.

It doesn’t matter what someone else says about how hard something it. It doesn’t matter how daunting the task seems to be.

You will never know just what you have inside of you, or how hard YOU will find it to be, until YOU try. And if you finally try, maybe it’s just as hard as you thought, maybe it’s easier or worse… but maybe you’ll find you actually LIKE doing that stuff other people said they hate.

I kinda like the Tol Barad daily quests. I also find Archeology kinda soothing, when listening to music.

That list I made up above?

I had decided that I didn’t have the time to do any of that shit, so I never made any attempt. I never went to Tol Barad, not ever unitl a month ago. Didn’t even know how to get there, always got summoned and then hearthed when doing the raid.

Never bothered to do Darkmoon Faire daily quests, or collect tokens, or fish off the beach.

I’d done Archeology a few times, but I’d stopped doing that because I was always on other characters when in long queues. As someone said in Guild chat the other day, wouldn’t it be AWESOME if your Archeology progress was shared amongst all of your characters, so it would be something you could do while waiting for queue on anyone?

That was then.

With a whole new expansion coming, a few months ago I started making a list of crap like this, and I may call it a bucket list but what it really is, is my list of shit I never even tried to do but always wanted.

I’ve started doing these things, and that Sea Pony? Cassie got it first, and then me, and then Alex. All the same night, didn’t take more than 200 casts for any of us.

Random is random, yes, but that was all three of us. I’ve fished for that Sewer Rat for hours upon hours without a nibble, and this was nothing like that. I assumed it was gonna be as bad as the Sewer Rat, so i didn’t even try, until I finally said “screw it” and gave it a shot.

I also gave the Sewer Rat another try for two nights… that rat can kiss my ass. 🙂

The Tiny Shale Spider seemed complicated so I never even investigated how, but after I actually went and, you know, TRIED, why it turned out fairly straightforward. Just had to keep checking on if the rare spawn was up at strange times.

The Lost in the Deeps Pebble quest? Alex and I are now both on 8 of 10 towards the achievement and pet. It just takes, you know, remembering to check each day, and patience. Lots of patience.

Darkmoon Faire? Hey, turns out the daily quests are fun, short, and cute to do with your kids. Plus, if you’re not in some blazing hurry and have some gold, you can buy almost every item that results in a quest directly from the Auction House, enough to damn near get one pet every month on one character. I found a great list on what the items are called and what tokens they result in at Wowpedia.

If you focus on doing it on two characters to split the pet collecting, it’s not so bad. I now have the Darkmoon Dancing Bear mount, and all but 2 of the pets spread across my characters. Alex even has the Tonk pet! Yes, he has a little tank following him around if he likes.

Sarth +3 in 10 person mode? Hey, turns out that you can do it with less than a full dungeon group in just a few minutes. Black Drake, why did we wait so long?

Fox Kit pet? Yes, I do have it. I have it by exploring Tol Barad, identifying every drop location, mapping out a route that let me do the whole thing, and then doing it while doing the dailies for the Seagull. By the time I had acquired enough tokens for the Seagull, I had a Fox Kit. Probably took about a week and a half total, but I got both of them, and that felt like a miracle.

And so on and so on. The Glory of the Northrend Dungeons? I’m almost done with them on Bigbearbutt, and about to get my Red Proto-Drake. I only have a scant handful left to do, and I could almost solo them, although I bet Cassie and Alex would like the Red Proto-Drake too, which is the only reason I haven’t finished.

It’s just amazing. I’m now a Professor, have every common Archeology solved, and am only missing 9 rares to be 100% complete on Archy. Maybe I’ll make it by Mists, maybe I won’t…

But at least I’ll have tried.

I appreciate Navi’s point about seeing someone else get something you want, and being happy for them and their accomplishments while at the same time feeling jealous, wishing it were me. Especially on something that is as much luck of the drop as skill or time invested.

How much worse, though, to see others accomplish things that you actually could have done, but you talked yourself out of ever even trying?

Right now, at the tail end of this expansion, I have been having a more fufilling time than any other, simply because I am, one by one, knocking down so many of those “I wish I could but I can’ts” and turning them into, “What the hell, let’s give a shot, whats the worse that can happen?”

It helps that there is less competition out there for rares. No question.

My Hunter? Yeah, damn straight. Ghostcrawler is my pet, hells yes. Took less than a week of camping the area and checking every night.

Funny isn’t it, how the most obvious advice, like “shut the hell up, I KNOW you can’t win if you don’t try, you sanctimonious prick”, still turns out to be true.

If I tell myself it would be too much of a pain in the ass to do something without even trying, just, what a waste. What a complete waste.

There is still time. If there are things you always wanted to do, but felt the same way as I did, there is still time. Get out there and try. A little research among the helpful comments of WoWhead, some reading on Wowpedia, and then try and put it into action.

That moment when I tamed Ghostcrawler? When Sartharion went down and my son won a Black Drake? When the Fox Kit was in my bags, or the Sea Pony in Alexes’?

That moment when I turned in my tokens, bought my Bear, and hit spacebar to make him dance around?

Those moments are freaking AWESOME.

Don’t miss out.

What, you’re too busy raiding? There is far too much going on in the game for you to find the time to try?

Well cool, I’ll give Blizzard a call, let them know they can postpone that MoP launch for a few more months.

The Boondoggle – Icecrown Citadel Raid Run update!

Here is your final update for the weekend on the raid group.

All members have been emailed, and a group of 25 has been formed from those who accepted the invitations.

If you were hoping to be involved and weren’t invited, be of good heart. If someone along the way cannot take part due to a change in fortunes, i will be going back through the comments to send new invites as openings happen.

As I said, I’ve sent out invites, received responses, we have a couple people who have agreed to help lead, and we’ve got a great mix of tanks, healers and DPS. It’s going to be a great time.

Now, what I’ve done is create a Yahoo Group for the event, sent out invitations, and I’ve got the group configured so you can conceal/hide your email address from other members to retain your privacy.

This should give us a forum for talking about what we’re gonna do, discuss the weapon and Invincible drops if necessary, put events on the calendar in advance, and have a way to keep everyone in touch without my going insane from managing twenty-five separate email conversations.

Our first scheduled raid night is one week from today, July 15th, so we’ve got plenty of time to prepare!

Go go Warcraft achievement runs!

Bucket List – Continued

Just to let everyone who is participating, or who hopes an opening will come up, know what’s going on…

I did send out emails to enough folks to fill a 25 person group from my address.

To date, I have four people who have not responded to my email… and three openings remaining.

So, I’m still waiting to see if any of those four respond, and if not, tomorrow I’ll be sending out up to three more invites.

I can tell you what HAS firmed up:

We’re going to be going on Sundays, once a week, for about two hours, definitely dione by 9 PM Central time.

We are NOT starting this Sunday July 8th. We will be starting next Sunday a week from the 8th.

We also have plenty of tanks, plenty of heals, and plenty of DPS. It’s already a great mix.

And we have a couple people who have offered to lend their expertise on the achieves and bosses. We’re looking good.

I’ll see you again for another update tomorrow!

Don’t Blink Or You’ll Miss it

Just wanted to say, you know this Sartharion thing where there are 3 drakes?

You know, in Obsidian Sanctum?

Well, I don’t know about 25 person mode, but in Normal 10, you can kill him with 4 level 85 people in LFR gear (or maybe a little better) very, very easily.

One Bear tank, one Enhancement Shaman, one Unholy Death Knight and one Arms Warrior equalled obliteration, plus the whole run is less than 15 minutes.

I think we didn’t need a tank, either. I think if I’d been there on my Hunter with a tanky pet, it would have been faster, and we might have been able to do it with only three of us.

Alex now has a Black Drake, and a 22 slot bag. That’s not bad for 15 minutes.

The one thing I was really surprised at, was that when Sartherion dies, all three drake adds vanish, regardless of whether they activated or not. So it’s a true boss zerg, dig in and destroy Sarth.

So you don’t even need to worry about the aftermath. Just burn Sarth. Bring strong DPS, no healers, a tank or a tank pet, kill the trash while leaving the drakes alone, then get in the middle, charge Sartharion and burn him down.

Took about 10 minutes, max.

I’m shocked. I really am.

The only reason I never thought to do it before was I assumed you only got a mount on 25 person mode. It wasn’t until Alex used Mogit to browse the mounts, and announced the Black Drake was one of his 5 favorites in the game, that I realized 10 person mode had one all it’s own.

Just FYI, so you can laugh your butts off, his other four favorites (that he doesn’t have) are; Dark Phoenix, X-51 Nether-Rocket Extreme, the Icebound Frostblood Vanquisher, and… the Phosphorescent Stone Drake.

He carefully wrote the names down on paper, and stapled them together to make a book. 🙂

Yeah… the what drake? Yeah, good luck finding Aeonaxx kid, here’s NPC Scan and a bag lunch. I packed it for you, aren’t I helpful? Have a fun summer vacation.

Now, back to answering emails about the ICC raid. You know, something achievable in our lifetime.

I don’t care whether you are a part of our upcoming Glory of the Icecrown Raider group or not. If you collect mounts or like dragons, and you haven’t done this yet, get three friends together and go do it! Don’t be afraid, don’t worry about what might happen.

If you weren’t going to do it anyway, then there ain’t no worries about ruining a lockout by messing up, right? And what else could you be worried about, a repair bill?

If you are, you don’t run LFR with the same people I do. If I walk away with less than 100g in repairs, I’m a happy camper.

Don’t forget, if the number of friends is hard to come by, you can use Battletags for cross-server groups. And when Mists comes out, your mounts get shared amongst your character. !

Just saying… we could all use some internet dragon time.