ZandCinder’s Blog Challenge #16

ZandCinder’s Blog Challenge #16

Which zone or area in WoW reminds you of home? 

I suppose if we are to answer this, we must first establish where “home” is – WoW home, RL home, spiritual home. Am I overthinking this?!

For us, home is in middle England. Google Shropshire, our home county.

shropshire

We are landlocked, we have a big river and a few smaller rivers, we are a farming community with lots of arable land, a few reaaaaally big hills and many old historic market towns (if you’re really interested, google Ironbridge, Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock, Market Drayton for examples). There’s a short rhyme Salopians like to quote:

“Shropshire born, Shropshire bred. Strong the arm, thick in the ‘ead!”

So you might not be surprised that I’ve always been drawn to Halfhill. I’ve written about it fairly extensively (here is the most popular post).

WoWScrnShot_042817_194127

I always loved the quests at Halfhill – especially the farm (I know lots didn’t like it, but I spent a lot of time hanging out in that little hut with my dog), the cooking and rep quests and the fishing in surrounding rivers.

WoWScrnShot_042817_194447I also think the lovely little community and market they have in Halfhill also reminds me a lot of home. When I visited to take pictures, I even had a wonder round to see what everyone had for sale and reacquaint myself with my old pals. Patted my yak and pig, dig up some weeds. Joy in the small things.

WoWScrnShot_042817_194255I could harp on for ages, but essentially, I just love this place and think because I feel at home in my hut with my animals and the little market to shop in, I have little inclination to live anywhere else. I would love it if they did something similar in future expansions (partly why I was so excited for garrisons, but they just didn’t cut it for me!), but perhaps just as a place for you, not saddled with tasks needed for Rep or mats. A flower garden with stables and a pet menagerie would be fantastic. Even better if I could enchant it like the Mage class hall in Dalaran, with floating books and magical broomsticks.

What a lovely topic, I look forward to the next!

Oh, by the way, I asked Mr B to contribute but after thinking about it for too long, he pulled a pained expression and pleaded to be let off this one. I can’t decide whether he’s just being lazy, or whether he has so many favourite places he just can’t decide /facepalm

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ZandCinder’s Blog Challenge #15

Why do you love WoW and what makes you keep coming back to it?

I’ve been trying to catch up with all the blogs I’ve missed out on and reconnect with what used to be – and I’m sure still is – a really lovely blogging community. I stumbled upon this gem en route… find it here.

I know I’ve come in a bit late to the game, but I hope you don’t mind me joining in with your challenge and this topic seems particularly apt.

Mr B: it’s simple really. The lore. The endless game play. Something for everyone. I’ve been playing so many years, as have others, that it’s testament to how much game play there is. I’ve been so impressed with this expansion so far, I can’t wait to really get stuck in.

Mrs B: I’m not sure if there’s just one or two reasons. For sure, there’s loads of lore and history, but that’s never really been my thing. It’s just so confusing. I know lots come back for the raiding and end content. This is something I enjoy but never have the time for… so it’s not that.

I think the reason I find myself craving WoW above other games I enjoy, is that I can do achievements, I can mog, I can raid, I can chat with friends, I can pet battle, I can solo content or play with friends, I can do nothing but admire the scenery if I like… so many things I enjoy all in a package you can’t find anywhere else. It’s so versatile that there’s always something you could be doing… of course, whether you want to or not is a different issue!

We are looking forward to the next topic!

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________________________________________________________________________________________

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: Characters and NPCs

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

Our Characters

No one could say that we don’t get invested in our own characters. Just taking a look at our blog and the blurb for our own toons, let alone all the other members of the community! I hope Sugar&Blood doesn’t mind me mentioning their blog here, as they have a perfect array of Draenei’s. Or there’s Ikralla who clearly loves the Pandaren! Not to mention, of course, the 100’s of days /played we all have, it’s not surprising that our characters were suggested as one of the reasons to keep coming back to Warcraft.

If you need a change, why not try what LeeAnn suggests? “No matter how many times you play or how many characters you have, there’s likely a combo you haven’t given a shot. Goblin priest with a fishing fetish? Dwarven chef who likes to freeze the baddies? Blood elf with a tanky vibe?”

I, for one, recommend trying the opposite faction, especially their opening story lines – I particularly enjoyed the Goblins. She never got further than level 20 (none of my Horde alts do!), but I loved the opening quests! If you’re a hardened altoholic, perhaps trying a new character might not be the best way to banish the boredom blues 😉

Role Playing

We have never dabbled in this particular hobby, but as it was suggested I wanted to include it. RP-ing seems to follow naturally from the identity and relationship we form with our online characters, so how about giving it a go?

@Eolien_WoW answered some of my nooby questions:  “It certainly is daunting but the most important thing you can do is to find a guild that interests your RP style and will be willing to help […] <click for link> is a great guides thread. Another here. Even though it’s on the Argent Dawn forum section, there are many useful guides for all RP.”

Other guides as suggested are:

NPCs

Blizzard have put many Easter Eggs in WoW (read more here), but I wanted to mention a couple of our favourites for you to go and visit:

  • Execution of Ji Firepaw (nominated by Navimie – she even as a video, go see!)
  • Haris Pilton – if you buy the bag she has available for an exorbitant amount of gold, you even get an achievement!
  • Slim <Shady Dealer>
  • Granny Smith <Fruit Vendor>
  • The adorable Lunk – if you haven’t done this quest line, you totally should.
  • Bambina, Flora and Thudder. Clearly a reference to Disney. I love that. A lot.
  • Elloric, husband of Twitter’s very own @GhemitHunts. We don’t know Ghemit that well, but we remember his raw pain sadly and we visit Elloric, who lives in one of my favourite places (above MSV in the library/archaeology place), often.
  • Finally, in-game memorials. We think it’s wonderful that Blizzard puts these into the game and to understand the context of each gives them the deserved respect. The video below is worth watching!

 

Contributors__________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Navimie
  • @Eolien_WoW via Twitter
  • Ikralla
  • LeeAnn

Community Project: Blizzard

Welcome to the third blog post in the “Warcraft Community’s Top Things To Do Before WoD” series! Today is a shorter, yet just as important post.

I was surprised that this topic was suggested so many times, but the more I think about it, the more logical it is. This topic is all about the people who bring World of Warcraft to life: Blizzard.

Blizzard-entertainment

For some of the Community, Blizzard is a mild irritant in the background. For others, the company and what it represents is much more important. I think the majority, ourselves included, only really consider them when there’s a problem or an issue that needs resolving. However, when you really think about it, if you invest a lot of time and money into a game, as we do, Blizzard plays a bigger role in your life than you would at first admit.

Some of the comments left for the Project were lovely:

“Blizzard has been making quality games since the olden days. I have been playing for a decade and don’t intend to stop any time soon. Blizzard continues to impress me.” (@CakeHasVitamins)

Blizzard have a pretty important job. We rely on them to look after our game, our money, our information and our enjoyment. We also rely on them to produce regular content (no comments please!!), to fix problems, to keep the servers running.  Some may say that that’s just their job, but we all know that for many, Warcraft isn’t ‘just’ a game.

csmeter

I quickly asked twitter whether they trusted Blizzard. I don’t want to be technical… I want a gut reaction. Do you trust Blizzard with your game and your money? Some were hesitant, others responded without hesitation.

Here’s a cross section (for some reason my pc won’t print screen twitter, sorry!):

  • @Casually_Casual: “I guess my answer is NO. I dont trust anyone to do the right 100% of the time when they exist to make money.$=Evil”
  • @Epic_Insanity: “I trust blizzard. Why? Because I trust a company built by gamers for gamers. They play the games they build. They are passionate about their work & their customers. Sure they may upset me, but I haven’t walked away after 10 yrs. nor them from me”
  • @Marathal: “Yes I do, as a company as large as they have grown in 10 years, I believe they do all they can to protect my information and provide me with entertainment”
  • @Pallimmanis: “Yes, because they haven’t done/said anything to make me NOT trust them.” (this one came a few times)
In fact, out of all the responses I had, only one said they didn’t. Perhaps this is testament to the company and their customer service. No, this post isn’t something to “do” before Warlords, but the community was so resoundingly enthusiastic about the developers, I had to include some of the positive comments!
What about you? Are you happy that we’ve included Blizzard to remind the community that we have approachable, friendly devs? Or are you not a fan?
Contributors__________________________________________________________________________________________
  • @CakeHasVitamins
  • The responders to this twitter thread.
  • Many others who are featured elsewhere in this project – go read the posts!