Liebster Awards 2015

It’s that time of year when the blogging challenges come back around, which is great as it gets us back in the habit of writing.

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You can see last years answers here.

This year, we were kindly nominated by Zeirah at A is for Azeroth. We have also received a nomination from Syrco... I’ll try and get round to it, but I’m sorry in advance if I don’t manage <3

Rules

Answer 11 questions from the person that nominated you, share 11 facts about yourself and make 11 questions for 5 other bloggers to answer.

11 Questions from Zeirah

1. What makes you smile?

IRL: watching the baby move under my skin (I know, soppy alert). Oh and chocolate. In game: fishing in really pretty places currently makes me really happy – I spent most of my gaming time yesterday at the Sunset Shore. Lovely! 

My wife. Had to say that :p

2. Where do you see yourself in 50 years?

With the UK’s retirement age creeping up – probably still at work. I’d like to say we would both be in a camper van touring Europe though, that’s the dream.

Much the same. Wife, kids, grandkids, retired. Ok, maybe not retired.

3. Is there one class in wow you haven’t been able to really gel with?

Yes, a rogue. That and a warrior are the only classes I haven’t yet got at level 90. I was going to use the boost on it, but it seems a waste as I wouldn’t really play either. I have a geared twink rogue at 70, and I twinked purely because I couldn’t imagine levelling it any more….

Not really, I’m a serial altoholic and I play them all. However, I have only ever had one max level druid (compared to 3 or 4 of the other classes), so if I had to pick, I’d say Druid.

 

4. What is your biggest problem/challenge when it comes to blogging?

Time. Getting home from work, doing the housework, having tea, doing my prep work for the next day (I’m a teacher)…. I just can’t motivate to write a post too. 

Finding interesting stuff to write about. I don’t think people would be interested in what I have to say!

5. What is your dream career?

I love teaching, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I suppose the dream would be to specialise…. I teach music at the moment, I’d like to branch out into special needs and music therapy, but that’s not looking likely.

Professional video game player. Hell yeah.

6. What is the one thing in wow you love doing the most?

Achieving a goal. For example, max level professions or Loremaster. I set myself a goal then spend the next few weeks obsessing. Currently, I’m doing the 100 enormous fish for the level 3 fishing shack and the 150 pet battles.

I’m not really playing at the moment. If I had to choose though, I’d say PvPing. It’s something I always come back to.

7. What is your favourite book?

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah. It’s a teen book but beautiful.

The Eragon series and the Game of Thrones series. If you haven’t read them… BE ASHAMED!

8. if you could choose the next playable race, what would it be?

I don’t know enough about Lore to answer this, but Naga sound cool.

Tuskarr! Walruses that you can play? Awesome!

9. What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?

Chocolate! I especially like Belgian Seashells. 

I had a veal steak on our honeymoon in Paris. Oh my god. It was gorgeous. Moar please.

10. Who is your favourite wow character?

NPC or…? Out of my own, Louloutte. Even though Blizzard seem to have forgotten the cannon and gone OTT on the glass, I still love her even though I die constantly. Not sure about NPCs… Nomi was pretty cute. Lorewalker Cho also told some pretty cool stories.

Onyxia. I liked fighting her human form, the quest line to fight her was pretty awesome.

11. What do you think the next expansion should be about?

Lore knowledge holds me back here, sorry. I’m open to anything, but no more ogres please!

GNOMES! Ha, no seriously, the Burning Legion. I like the idea of lots of demons. And fire. 

11 facts about us

  1. We are British.
  2. We met in a club called Pussycats. Yeah, we don’t usually share that.
  3. We have a guinea pig called Ernie who growls like a dog
  4. We love Formula 1! Would love to go to Silverstone one day, but tickets are soooo expensive. Maybe for our 50th anniversary or something ;) Go Hamilton!
  5. The thing we argue most about as a couple is probably our accents. I have a Queens accent, Mr B has a northern one. I think he sounds like a pleb, he thinks I’m anally posh. Pff, I’m right of course.
  6. In WoW, just like IRL, I am a habitual saver. Mr B is a spender. He keeps telling me it’s only pretend money, but I like to see the cash mount up!
  7. He calls me a Gnome to my face. The cowbag… I’m not that small!
  8. We both love music! I teach it and Mr B appreciates it…. tunelessly. I think our child will grow up with a massively eclectic taste, we will listen to literally anything.
  9. We also both love the Romans and have been known to do a 2 hour diversion off our route to go and visit ruins or a museum. Fascinating period of history.
  10. Many of our holidays consist of getting to a base (a large town or city), then visiting as many small towns and villages around there that we can. We don’t have a plan, we drive in a direction, see what there is and do it. Our last holiday, we ended up at a mini model village at the seaside. It was brill.
  11. We love to collect art, especially local art which means something to us. We have recently been given a painting of the church where we got married. One of our favourites is a painting/print of where we got engaged. We also have a limited edition copy of a rare photograph. I hope they will be our children’s heirlooms one day.

Nominate others

We would like to nominate ThibasteHeallarious and wowstorylines.

Your questions are:

  1. How old were you when you played your first video game?
  2. Did you ever play an N64? If so, what was your favourite game?
  3. Would you rather play a Gnome or a Goblin? Why?
  4. If you had to choose between only ever doing PvE or PvP, which would you pick and why?
  5. What’s been your favourite raid or instance in WoW?
  6. If you could live in Azeroth, where would you choose?
  7. If you had to marry an NPC, which would it be and why?
  8. What set up do you use to game? Any tips for others interested in upgrading their pc?
  9. Have you ever met any gaming pals that you met online?
  10. Do you enjoy watching/visiting Blizzcon? Why/why not?
  11. Would you let your children play WoW? At what age? Why/why not?

Have fun guys!

A Triumphant(ish) Return

We can only apologise for the long period of time without a post. I will explain a little and perhaps you’ll understand why :)

About the time that we finished with the Community Project, we found out that we were expecting a baby.

Baby 20+4

Baby, 20+4

This was a long-awaited culmination of a year of ‘trying’ (I’ll leave out those details!) and we are over the moon. We have decided to keep the sex a surprise, and Baby is due 5th May 2015.

At the time, I was working full-time, being sick multiple times a day and I had never been so exhausted in my life. I have never been a good sleeper (gaming til 2am, up for work at 7am!), but I was sleeping non-stop and the blog – and Warcraft – suffered.

This was all around Sept-Nov and once we announced at the 12 week point, we were in the process of moving from our tiny city flat to a house in the country, about an hour from the old flat. We now have a garden, room for a nursery and a *lovely* hour commute to work. However, a much better life for baby and closer to my Mum, which is much better for us. Of course, with the extra 2 hours on our day and a new house to decorate, our gaming never picked up. We decided to cancel our WoW subscriptions for the time being.

Only recently, now we have finished decorating and have some spare time at the weekends, have we both been able to pick up where we left off. For Mr B, the pull of Warcraft and Draenor is lessening, mainly because he’s only ever been an alt-man, and there’s only so much garrison you can do. He’s currently addicted to Destiny on the PS3.

As for myself, I am around 33 weeks now, finishing work in a couple of weeks for maternity leave and have picked Warcraft back up. It’s taken ages to really understand the end game content – I had got to level 100 on my main before stopping, but no further. I have been casually gearing up, working on getting the garrison buildings established and working on professions. It’s all been a big learning curve, but I’ve definitely got the WoW bug again.

I hope this goes some way to explain our absence, and I hope you can forgive us. Posts will be much less regular, but now we are gaming again, we will start to share our adventures once more.

For now though, Happy Gaming and see you soon!

Community Project: All The Other Things!

Welcome to the final blog post in the “Warcraft Community’s Top Things To Do Before WoD” series!

This final post is an amalgamation of lots of other things that have been suggested that didn’t easily fit into a category.

Accessibility

“Something for everyone”

This received a staggering amount of votes compared to the rest of the subject in the category. If you think about it, WoW is one of the few MMO’s that offer such a massive range of things to do: from raiding and PvP to transmog and pet battles. You only have to glance at this project for a short selection of what we all enjoy. If this doesn’t keep you coming back, I don’t know what will.

Comics and Fan Fiction

We had to put this here as we are massive fans of the “Dark Legacy Comic series. Below are lists of some worthwhile things to read:

  • TEH GLADIATORS – Mr B has been reading this for YEARS and enjoys it a lot
  • LFG Comic – ditto as above
  • Trolling Azeroth. I’m going to put this person here as they produce some funny comics, albeit, not too regularly. Check them out!
  • War Crimes by Christie Golden has been recommended a lot but we still haven’t got round to reading it.

Lore

So many people suggested the Lore as one of the most important parts of the game. The story, experiencing the world from their characters point of view and the war are all mentioned. We are both very nooby about Warcraft lore, although we do enjoy reading it. We thoroughly enjoyed the short lore mini, “Lords of War” shown at the Cinematic Release:

Heallarious has also added a couple of other videos AND some books to read, see those here.

Finally, a few recommendations have been suggested which I’ll add below.

  • Lore for Noobs
  • Know Your Lore, WoWInsider
  • Nobbel87
  • Some of Aleveria’s favourite quest lines:  Fallen Hero in Icecrown, The Lady’s Necklace, Battle of Darrowshire, and Rhea’s Last Egg

As AXA says: “READ THE QUEST TEXT!”

Machinima

I literally had no idea what this was til @XimVewDew suggested it. Apparently “making [Warcraft] videos is the best ever!”… and apparently it’s a huge thing.

Mr B recommends “Blind”, telling the tale of  “a blood elf rogue trying to kill Onyxia in her human form in Stormwind”. I won’t say anymore, just watch it :p

Music

Neither of us has particularly sat and listened to huge amounts of the Warcraft soundtrack, which is rather embarrassing as I am a music teacher!! @ofgnomeregan has recommended the soundtrack below, specifically Track 9.

I think the best thing to do is get a compilation up on YouTube and discover the music for yourself. We have a lovely CD of various famous game music, which appeals to us nerds!

Professions / Farming

This is probably a very sensible thing to be doing pre-Warlords as there’s so much to farm: mounts, gold, materials for professions etc. If you have lots of alts and not all professions… WHY NOT?? They can make you a nice bit of cash too. See the Gold and Auction House post for more on that though.

@laplante_ent and @bunji05 both mentioned farming stuff for other people, which is really kind. It’s also a great way to help guildies, especially if they are gearing up and you can’t sell those old pieces of 496 gear.

My favourite professions are probably Archaeology (along with Twenty20 and others!) because of the pets and mounts (and achievements!) you can earn. I also like fishing for the same reason, and the fish do sell especially if you fish at the beginning of an expansion.

Transmogrification

“This is what makes my characters look DAMN GOOD!(Ikralla) If you haven’t tried it yet, please do. Many love running the old raids for the perfect piece of mog kit!

World Design

What can I say? Isn’t the World of Warcraft beautiful and amazing? Loads of us post screenshots like they’re going out of fashion and there are loads of blog events which celebrate just this.

We all have our favourite places to hang out: Halfhill, Jade Forest, Nagrand, Zangermarsh… the list is almost endless. The sheer diversity – from mountains to valleys, from snow to desert, what more could you ask for? If you don’t have the Explorers achievement and title yet, go and do it. The world is outstanding.

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Contributors________________________________________________________________________________________

Community Project: Raiding and PvP

Welcome to the ninth blog post in the “Warcraft Community’s Top Things To Do Before WoD” series!

Raiding

This was a very popular topic of suggestions, from casual raiding, to Heroic progression and gear farming. I’ll add any quotes I don’t use next to their owners at the foot of the page – please do scroll down and check them out.

If you haven’t geared up yet, this is really the easiest and most perfect time to do it. With the Timeless Isle, valour and rep buffs and the upgrade system, it’s pretty easy. The best thing is? You don’t have to go into LFR to get to a pretty good gear level! Yay!

For those who have geared up and are wanting to raid but can’t find a group, I’d recommend trying Twitter first (we might be able to put you in touch with someone if you’re desperate!). If not, Open Raid. Open Raid is a site where you can register to the raid you’d like to complete (old or new) and the group is formed online. This obviously increases your immediate player base.

Remember, if you’re a causal player like ourselves, flex raiding is probably ideal for you. Don’t feel pressured into comitting time each week to wipe 38455389 times on Thok if you don’t want to. With cross-realm raiding in place, this has become very flexible indeed.

Challenge Modes

I’ve mentioned this before here. I know it’s not exactly “raiding”, but it certainly requires the same skills and you do get some excellent rewards (mounts, gold, transmog gear). I’d recommend trying these if you’ve exhausted SoO (I know I have!!).

Old Content

This was also a popular suggestion. Old content (upto Firelands) can be solo’d pretty easily now. You can 3 man Firelands without too much trouble too if you have some gear, so we would really recommend working your way through the achievements (MOUNTS!) and experiencing the raids if you haven’t before. Or if you want some pretty axes from ICC. Or the legendaries from Black Temple. Or the pets from SSC.  Lots of stuff to choose from!

Fancy a bit of fun? Check out our Naked Raids at Molton Core / Black Temple.

Two little red kittins having a play fight

IRL druids playing IRL PvP. If only it was this cute in WoW!

PvP

This wasn’t as popular as I thought it would be, but Mr WoW loves it so much it’d be horror if I didn’t!! Here’s his advice:

It’s hard at first, as it’s a completely different skill set (although some may disagree). The best thing I can advise is to PRACTICE. The more the better. Keep your temper, and remember it’s not PvE – you die a LOT. You can buy beginner gear off the auction house, covert justice or just spam random battlegrounds until you get enough honour – it accumulates quickly.”

Also – remember the PvP mounts! If there’s ever motivation needed, it’s for those bad-boys!

As @XimVewDew sums up: “owning people’s faces <3″.

There are lots of PvP guides out there if you’re hesitant. I have a full PvP set (non-conquest because I can’t arena) but honestly, I do more damage in my PvE set so I just smash people looking fabulous. If you’re still worried, I’d recommend going with a pal, because repeatedly dying can get very boring when you’re alone!

I’m currently doing a “How To Survive PvP” series, so check back soon for that if you’re interested.

Contributors_________________________________________________________________________________________

  • @XimVewDew
  • @laplante_ent: [I’d recommend] casual raiding (which is hard to find with most being hard core & openly hostile to anyone that maybe isn’t as “good” as they should be)
  • Velgana: (Old Raids) “There is always someone out there who is looking to get that certain tier set or even that one perfect piece to complete their transmog. Not to mention some of the really awesome mounts that have a chance to drop.”
  • @Boomy_CTR“Why I play: soloing content. I solo everything, trying Firelands right now.”
  • @Mementh“raiding!! Helping friends gear up!”
  • Matt : (Raiding) “Fighting bosses and interacting with wonderful people is fun!
  • Heallarious: “I know this isn’t really any special, but without raiding, I wouldn’t still be playing this game. Overcoming challenges together with your guildies is one of the best things there is gaming wise, standing out progress wise just makes my special snowflake glow!” [He wrote about his favourite raid too – go read it! ;) )
  • DrHannah: (Old content runs) “ I love going back to old raids/dungeons at max level to try to solo/duo them. I’ve managed to duo everything up to Lich King raid, and hoping that will be more manageable once I hit 100.”

 

 

 

How To Survive: Alterac Valley

I am NOT a PvP-er.

If you’re like me and don’t PvP, it’s a bit daunting going into a BG and having no idea what to do, where to go or what the objective is. This week it’s Alterac Valley, so I thought I would blog:

Alterac Valley for Alliance in 5 VERY simple steps

  1. Follow the group. Pack mentality works every time. There are 40 players in this BG and the majority will head straight for the end objective which is…
  2. Kill the boss. You start at the top, “Drek’Thar” the boss is at the bottom. With 103m health and 4 buffs, he’s quite a dude. By doing other stuff, these disappear making him much less menacing. In order to do this, you first need to…
  3. Capture the towers. After the initial mad rush out of the Ally base, breakout groups will go and ‘cap the towers’ en route to Drek. The main ones are Iceblood Tower, Tower Point and the Frostwolf Towers (by the boss). In order to do this, you kill the boss inside. Each tower is on a timer, giving the opposing faction time to defend and recapture. Once the timer is out, the buff on Drek wears off. Of course sometimes there might be nasty Horde lurking inside…
  4. Pewpew. Whether this is killing the Horde who may try to defend, or killing the mini bosses in the towers, or the NPCs who lurk around.
  5. Wait around. For Ally, this is *usually* a faceroll. I usually go and kill the mini boss in the Iceblood Tower, then wait at the boss, killing any hordes who might try to defend. EZ.

Visual Aid

My highly professional picture for you below.

You’re the blue. Horde towers and bosses are in red. Kill the red and any Horde you pass on the way.

Aviary Photo_130525946916012802

See, who said PvP was complicated?!

Community Project: Quests

Welcome to the eighth blog post in the “Warcraft Community’s Top Things To Do Before WoD” series!

If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t have included this topic, but many people have suggested it: “The simple grinding with a reward (either a level up or a quest reward), and sometimes you meet new friends =) Even though I’ve done it countless of times and I know many quests already by heart, it doesn’t bore me.” (Haenlic)

I’m not the greatest fan of levelling (says she with 10 level 90’s), but here we go anyway with some fun quest suggestions!

Lorelei has even written a whole chapter about her favourite quests! Read them here.

Level an alt

Some people *cough* not us *cough* are altoholics and clearly enjoy trying new characters/race combinations. It sounds obvious, but if you haven’t tried the opposite faction or a certain class or even another server, this is the time to try. Instead of questing, try levelling through PvP or dungeons. Little changes to your routine can be invigorating. Promise.

The Insane Title

Exactly what it says on the tin… you’ve got to be insane to try it. However, the rewards are great if you dare. I haven’t yet started it, but you can get lots of info here. You can’t possibly complain about having nothing to do if you haven’t yet completed this… I suppose.

The Quest for Green Fire

I’ve tried this sooooo many times on my Warlock. I’ve come to the conclusion that my skill and gear level is lacking and it’ll have to wait until I become more patient, or one of them improves. However, the effect is really cool and it’s really worth perseverance. If you haven’t got a Warlock and fancy the challenge, perhaps this is a good candidate for your level 90 boost.

I won’t regurgitate the Internet, as all the info you need can be found here. I can recommend a YouTube guide by Sparkuggz which is below.

If you have tried this and need some encouragement to continue, we have a couple of friends who managed to complete it below 500 ilvl.

Yeah, the first thing I thought was “HAX!” too :p

Loremaster

I did this, bane of my life, but if you’re an achievement hunter or lore enthusiast, this is right up your street. YES, it’s a time grind, but it’s not the worst I can think of and you get a nice title. Gogogo!

Brawler’s Guild Special Bosses

I love the Brawler’s Guild, it’s not a secret. In itself, there’s no questing however, certain quest lines and boss kills in Pandaria grant you access to a quest in the Brawler’s Guild which award you gold and a special vanity item… and ultimately a meta achievement for killing them all. They range in level and skill, but they’re really fun and worth seeking out if you’ve already finished with the ranks.

Try Grandpa Grumplefloot to start, he’s awesome.

The Day Deathwing Came

@Schmonzh from Twitter suggested this and we agree – it’s a really fun quest. If you’ve levelled through Badlands you’ll know it well: several NPCs tell you their account of the day Deathwing came and you relive the story through them. It is fantastically silly, but punching him in the face is fab.

Nomi

nomi

Old picture, but just as cute ^^

This adorable creature is part of the Halfhill daily and rep quests. Once you’ve finished To Be A Master, you can buy the Cooking School Bell with 100 tokens and the daily quests unlock. I’ve written about the process in a bit more detail here.  Not only do you feel wise when you impart your knowledge upon your apprentice, but you also get free stuff and it’s REALLY easy.

In fact, I’m just going to put the whole of the Halfhill quests and experience here. I love the place. You can read more about my enchantment with the area here.

Other

I loved this answer by Lexicon of Power:

“Bonus: the sound that plays when I accept and complete quests

This brings me back to the first day I played WoW, and still gets me every time. It makes me think of hunting and learning and ADVENTURE! And adventuring is what it’s all about.”

Twitter

Click here for all of the suggestions submitted via Twitter. There’s some excellent quest lines to pursue!

Contributors____________________________________________________________________________________________

Community Project: Mini-Games

Welcome to the seventh blog post in the “Warcraft Community’s Top Things To Do Before WoD” series!

This is one of the most fun of the blog posts we’ll be doing. Mainly because I love mini-games… but every adult has an inner child I think ^^

Pet Battles

I KNOW everyone has their own opinions of these beauties, but I’m going to put them in because I love them. And lots of people suggested them. But primarily because I love them. Not gonna lie.

If you’re truly bored and you’ve never tried pet battles, this is the place for you. It’s not like Pokémon, I promise. Ok, a tiny bit, but it’s worth it. There are lots of achievements up for grabs, from PvE to PvP, collecting, battling and completing goals. If that isn’t tempting, how about all the cute pets you can have? Or how about completing the Celestial Tournament? I’ve recently completed this and I have to say, although it’s really frustrating, the adrenaline when you finally complete it is a-may-zing.

There are many many people who write about pet battles and I couldn’t possibly mention them all. However, I will link a couple of guides to get you started:

  • WoWhead. This is a pretty conclusive guide to the whole tournament, including the set-ups for all teams and alternative pets. It doesn’t always use store bought pets either which is good. The comments are also really helpful from other players and their experiences. I recently found a comment buried deep down and it worked perfectly after over an hour of trying different combinations of pets.
  • WoWWiki has a clear description of strengths/weaknesses near the bottom of the page.
  • Liopleurodon. I love her and her blog. Very helpful, very approachable. Highly recommended (even if I don’t really understand the technical talk!). Lots of in-depth strategies and guides here.
  • Matt (aka Heallarious) is a pretty cool guy and has helped me a lot with pet battles. He’s also a contributor to this project so if you’re looking for a basic, workable guide, this is for you.
  • Warcraft Pets. Some good information here on pets and where to obtain them.

Singing Sunflower

This is a fun little mini-game called Peacebloom vs Ghouls based up in Hillsbrad which is similar to the Plants vs Zombies game. You work your way through the levels and if you’re successful you get a very cute little battle pet, the Singing Sunflower. I actually found it quite tricky to get the hang of, and it took about an hour to obtain my little pet. Worth doing, for sure… and really fun too!

Hearthstone

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Hearthstone is the new card game from Blizzard. It definitely deserves a mention here, although it isn’t technically World of Warcraft, it is based upon the game.

Neither of us are Hearthstone impresarios – we have done enough to get the shiny Hearthsteed mount, but that’s all. Here are a few tips we can give you. Google will probably be just as helpful :p

  1. Remember, it’s just a game. Definitely not worth throwing your pc out the window for
  2. RNG sucks
  3. The more you play, the better you get. Even if you loose every game like us.
  4. Watch other people play (via Twitch etc) as this does help your understanding
  5. For the mount, you must win 3 games. All we did was go full offensive: used a beginner shaman deck; used as many minions as possible in the deck, put as many minions/totems down as possible to overwhelm the other player, then full nuke. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked like a charm.

Sentinal and Warden’s Games

This isn’t technically a mini-game I suppose, but I always enjoy them, so I couldn’t miss it out. Part way through the quest line, you’re lead underground to explore the area and have to complete the games above. If you haven’t quested in Badlands, I recommend passing through to complete this quest chain as they’re really fun.

The Skyrace

It’s amazing, but I’ve written about it before for the project so I won’t repeat myself… click here to read.

Shadow Hopper

This is again related to the Order of the Cloud Serpent’s rep grind. When the daily called “Catch!” is up, speak to the quest giver to be given a ball to play catch with your little serpentling. Catch it 25 times for the achievement.

yourhatchling

It’s a pretty simple game, truth be told, but can be tricky because of the mobs and scenery in the vicinity. It appears the quest is still bugged however, so your tries are cumulative – if you drop it, start again and it should count towards the 25. Whether they will fix this remains to be seen. Anyway, it’s a fun achievement!

Argent Tournament

Ugh I can’t believe I’m putting this here, as I’m not a fan, however if you like a mindless grind with lots of reward, this is for you. The whole thing awards plenty of mounts and it’s not hard. The mini-game itself is a jousting tournament between yourself and Champions of other factions. It’s pretty fun the first few times. 4 months later, perhaps not so much. Needless-to-say, only one suggestion by @Ngakma for the Tournament, BUT if you want pretty mounts and pets I encourage you to go play being a Knight.

There are probably many more, please feel free to add them in the comments below. Definitely give them a go if you haven’t already!

Contributors_____________________________________________________________________________________