Working Mom of Three, History Buff, Writer, World of Warcraft Addict. . .My Comments on My Crazy Life.

Razor Hill, Durotar

A young scarlet drake was perched high on a bluff above the small orcish settlement. He watched the comings and goings of the townsfolk with interest. “There goes a young Orc monk, oh, and there’s an Orc with an imp trailing behind. . .”

“Shush, Allerostraz,” His companion chuckled, “You talk too much, just like Krasus!” She removed her heavy plate gloves in order to rub the drake’s long neck more gently.

“Did he talk too much? I barely remember him. Now, my mother, I know, is good at making speeches.” Al’s eyes sparkled with mischief as he cleared his throat and recited with his most feminine, regal voice, “You are Azeroth’s true guardians, and the future of this world is in your hands. For the dawning of the Age of Mortals…has begun.”

In spite of herself, Commander Rezina Sunfire laughed aloud. “You’re right, Al, you sound just like her.” The memory of the day Alexstrasza, the Dragon Queen had said that to their assembled group had been nothing short of spectacular. It was the day Rezina and her comrades had killed Deathwing. She could still remember the stench of Deathwing’s tainted blood,hear the shouts of the soldiers for heals, and see her dear friends around her, trying to inflict the most damage possible to end the evil dragon’s plans. She loved her brothers and sisters in arms. She protected them as best she could, by keeping Deathwing distracted as they attacked him. Everyone had been there it seemed when Deathwing was finally slain. Well, almost everyone. . .

“Rezzie, I see Rosie, Bullshield, the Fae Sisters, Lutheran, Ally. . . They must have arrived together.” Al flexed his wings and looked at the Paladin sadly. “Kheylar is not with them.”

“What about Lady Naughtia and Master Khamel?”

“No, I haven’t seen them either.”

“Hummm. . . ” Rezina replaced her gauntlets and mounted the red drake. “Be ready for anything.” She told him.

“Ah! The motto of the Sin’dorei!” Allerostraz took flight and quickly glided down to the entrance of the Razor Hill Inn.

Rezina kept her fingers on the pommel of her mace as she entered the inn. These were dangerous times, and one could barely trust even dear friends these days. Not too long ago, a high ranking sister of the Blood Knights had been murdered by the Warcheif’s lackeys for speaking out against him in this very inn. The wooden structure had been hastily rebuilt–the loss of a leader to the Sin’dorei Forces was not so easily fixed.

Today, there were greetings, hugs, and smiles on the faces of all the inn patrons. One in particular surprised Rezina simply with his presence. Damn that drake–he had not mentioned he was with the rest of the party!

“Traverse.”

Her ex-husband nodded and offered her a pint of ale. He had arrived early and purchased her a drink, as was his custom. She considered declining the drink–but decided that Nostrademus’s rescue was more important than her considerable pride. She thanked him and took the pint.

After the initial greetings were received, Traverse stood up to address the assembled group. “Time is of the essence. Does anyone know where our hostess is this evening?”

The young goblin Fanci Fae rose from the table she shared with her sister Lilly and spoke. “If Nos were here, he would simply wave his hands and create a portal for all of us using arcane magic. I may not have that ability, but I can take us to where we need to go.” With that said, Fanci began to channel a dark, monstrous device. The Fel-portal opened up, ready to send the party to wherever Naughtia was. One by one, each person stepped through the portal as Rezina guarded the young warlock. Only when everyone else was safely through, and they were assured no one would follow, Rezina and Fanci stepped through. Fanci closed the portal behind her.

They found themselves in a small cave lit with numerous torches. Lady Naughtia was seated on a rock, surrounded by her demonic minions. She was unusually dressed in a black workshirt and dark silk slacks. Is was an odd site indeed to see the vain blood elf dressed in anything but the finest attire.

Naughtia met each of their gazes steadily. “Thank you for coming. I know that we have not always shared the most pleasant of company,” she stared at the Tauren couple in the back of the crowd, “but one thing we all share is our love and respect for my brother, Nostrademus. He was captured by Kor’kron guards and taken prisoner for speaking negatively against the Warchief and Regent Lord Lor’themar Theron.

Rezina was offended by the thought of someone speaking out against her own beloved leader. Lord Theron had led the Sin’dorei through the rebuilding of their beautiful capital of Silvermoon and the subsequent wars with the Burning Legion, the Lich King, and Deathwing. Why would Nos speak out against him? Surely that was a lie from the Kor’krons to slander him! She said as much, “Nostrademus would not speak against the Regent Lord! He may complain about the way we’re governed, surely, but not to the point that he has earned execution!”

Naughtia chuckled, her eyes lowering into slits. “Yet another silly girl my bother has fooled. He has wanted nothing more than to become the rules of the Sin’dorei all of our lives! Silly fools, do you not know? Nostrademus hungers for power and glory. He was only biding his time. I have no doubt that he said these things.”

The Tauren Serath spoke up. “Then perhaps he deserves his fate?”

Everyone collectively gasped. The troll priestess Allyangel was the first to regain her speech. “My brother, no one deserves the suffering that Garrosh will inflict upon Nos. I have seen what he and his Blackrock Orcs are capable of doing. I have treated the ones who they only maimed or beat within inches of their own lives, My own leader,Vol’jin, was attacked and left for dead! There is true evil in the heart of our ‘Warchief’ that we must fight against!”

Naughtia looked at each one of them in turn. “Paladin, Death Knight, you two will lead the raid.” She said to Rezina and Lilly Fae. “Taurens, Ally, can you give us your blessings and your heals?” Ally readily agreed. Rosie gave a swift nod to Serath, who then affirmed to Naughtia.

To the rest of the assembled group, Naughtia said, “We are a team out of balance. We have a warrior, another Paladin, and two practicers of fel magic. This will be difficult, and we are missing two important people. But, we dare not fail. If we do, my brother and your leader, will die.”

Dungeons of Doom, beneath Orgrimmar

He heard struggling in the darkness. Those sons of whores had captured another traitor. Nostrademus tugged at the arcane bindings specially made to hold powerful mages such as he held fast. He kept testing them; because once he found the slightest weakness in his prison he’d be casting firebolts up each Kor’kron’s behind. He promised himself that he would not stop until he burned down Hellscream’s throne.

The sounds were getting louder. Nos could tell that there was a small crowd of guards administering to their capture. He supposed the new prisoners were either Trolls or Alliance. Blood Elves normally pretended to go along with the Warchief’s insane plans. Lord Regent Theron would continue this course until an easier solution presented itself.

He expected to hear the group pass by his cell, but they stopped. He felt a tingle of fear as he realized they could throw any sort of monster in with him, and he was helpless to defend himself. Because he was blindfolded he could not even see an attack coming. The enchanted bindings that held him to his cot also dulled his senses, so using even the simplest spell was out of the question.

A woman gasped. He knew that voice! His parched throat bleated out her name, “Kheylar?”

“Nos, my love! What have they done–OOF!”

“Silence traitor!” Nos knew that voice too. That was Garrosh Hellscream.

“Well, well, well, Garrosh, not only do you have one of the most powerful wizards of the Sunreavers, but his favorite paramour as well. You’re giving me both to experiment on, correct?”
Nostrademus held his breath. That voice belonged to none other than Lady Sylvanas.

Kheylar then spoke up. “Milady, I will be happy to join your Dark Rangers by passing from the living by your command. I only ask that you spare Nostrademus. He has done nothing but misspoke while drinking in a bar. . . “

The sound of a slap was inescapable. Kheylar whimpered. “Surely you’re joking, Kheylar.” The Dark Lady chuckled. “You attempted to murder Loyal Guards of the Horde AND break a prisoner free from this very prison. My Dark Rangers are the elite of the elite. I have no room for traitors or foolish girls who think with their lady parts instead of their brains!”

Kheylar wailed. Her dream, since she was a little girl, had been to serve Lady Sylvanas. Now, that dream was gone and Kheylar’s heroine had LAUGHED at her! Nos longed to get Kheylar away from Orgrimmar, to hold her close in his arms, kiss her lips, and tell her that she was better off alive and serving Silvermoon City. He could not move from his bindings to be any comfort to her.

Hellscream growled maliciously. “it’s up to that simpering Theron to decide the woman’s fate. He hadn’t arrived yet. As for him, you will conduct the experiment now.”

“With her observing? That may sully the results if she is ever a test subject.” Sylvanas informed him.

“Do not question me, bitch! We need to test out the formula on elves and since we have no Nigh Elf scum in our prison at the moment, their distant cousins will have to suffice.”

Nos did not see Lady Sylvanas’s reaction. He only heard her say “Master Khamel, you may begin.”

Kheylar cursed their former brother-in-arms. He ignored her and simply said, “Commander, it’s a pleasure to see you again. Guards, remove his clothing, please.” And then the torture began.

Halfhill, Valley of the Four Winds

Serath awoke to the sounds of the chickens carrying on. He pricked his ears slightly in order to discover the source of their distress. Was it a worg, a hawk, or some other animal hunting for breakfast? He heard the pounding of two little hooves on the hard ground and a little voice giggling. The old bull huffed and nudged his mate. “It’s your turn, Rosie.”

“Mmuph” Rosie snorted and pulled the windwool blanket over her face.

“C’mon, I did it yesterday.”

“You levitated the chickens” Rosie whined. “I can’t do that.”

Serath snorted at her. Scratching lazily, Rosie got out of bed and walked to the doorway of their small farmhouse. Sure enough, their young calf Hayden was chasing the chickens through the cleared pasture. Almost lazily, Rosie cast entangling roots at the feet of her young son. “Awww, Mom!!!!” Hayden protested, pulling in vain at the roots.

“I told you if you didn’t leave those chickens alone, they wouldn’t lay eggs! You have been warned!”

The young Tauren watched disappointedly as his prey scattered. When they were safely away, his mother released him. The boy bounded up the steps, chewing on a handful of berries. He met his mother in the doorway, gazed at her with emerald eyes that matched her own, and said, “I’m going to be a Druid like you when I grow up, and tie your feet up with roots!”

Rosie laughed and rubbed her son’s scruffy brown mane. “If that’s how Mu’shu wills it, then it will be.”

Hayden grinned and continued.”But I don’t want to be a boring old tree and stand back out of the action! I want to be a brave and fight! I want to turn into a lion or a bear! That’s the coolest thing you can do, mom.”

Serath chuckled from the bedroom. “I’m partial to the kitty cat form myself, Rose.”

Rosie took a few berries from Hayden and threw them playfully at her husband. “Hayden, go outside and water the sheep, please?”

As the young one left the doorway, Serath entered the front room,dressed and still laughing. “You gotta admit, I love the way the kitty purrs,” he said, sweeping her into his arms.

“Yes, but little pitchers have big ears, you know?”
“He really does. Sure you didn’t breed with a mule by mistake?” Serath teased.

“Nope, couldn’t tell, it was dark and I was pretty drunk.” Rosie teased back.

“You really were hammered on our wedding night. I should have told Rezina to take that Kunglagoosh back to Dalaran with her. . .”

Hayden burst through the door to interrupt. “Dad! Mom! There is an elven lady out here asking to speak to Bullshield!”

Serath and Rosie exchanged puzzled looks. Bullshield was Serath’s nickname. He’d earned it in battle fighting the Fire Lord Ragnaros. There was no healer more determined to protect his comrades during battle than Serath, even in extreme cases when his own life was in jeopardy.

“Hayden,” Rosie asked, “Is the lady wearing armor?” Hayden shook his head no, and Rosie snorted in disgust. “That warlock ” she muttered under her breath.

“I will speak to Naughtia. You just stay in here and sharpen your claws or whatever.” Serath sighed. He did not fully understand his mate ‘s hatred for Naughtia, but obviously the two had feuded long before he’d met either of them.

He found the warlock beside the front gate, regally outfitted and astride a black horse. Today her ebony locks were hanging lose. Serath could instantly see the resemblance to his old friend Nostrademus. Sometimes he forgot that jovial, wise Nos and cold, diabolical Naughtia were related. Serath would be civil to the sister of his dear comrade, but that was as far as his hospitality would go.

“Hail Lady Naughtia! What brings you to Pandaria on this glorious morning? How fares Master Khamel?”

“Dead and brittle,”Naughtia replied.

“Ah! Good. He’s been dead and brittle for as long as I’ve known him, ” Serath chuckled to himself. As a priest of the light, he had no love for warlocks. Undead warlock masters were even worse.

“I have no time for pleasentries, Tauren. My brother is in danger. He needs all of his compatriots to go to Orgrimmar at once.”

Serath blinked. Nos in trouble? Surely she was joking. ” I have never met a more capable man,Milady. I am sure he does not need. . .”

“He does! He’s being executed tomorrow!” Naughtia blurted out, color rising into her pallid cheeks. “He is being held by Garrosh and the Kor’kron Guard.”

“Where is his lady?”

Naughtia’s beautiful lips pursed in distaste. “Which one are you referring to, Tauren? My brother has as many concubines as the sky has stars.”

“The ranger, Kheylar?”

“She has abandoned him.”

Serath frowned. He did not think that was possible. In his mind’s eye he could see the lovely huntress, dressed in dark armor, cloaked hood, deadly accurate bow and deep love of the outdoors that rivaled only his own beloved’s. Kheylar was loyal even when that loyalty was not earned. She blindly idolized Sylvanas Windrunner even after the Ranger-General had been murdered by Arthas and turned into a Banshee. To this day Lady Sylvanas ruled the undead people of Loraedon. She had renamed them “Foresaken” and renamed the city, “The Undercity.” Serath had traveled the entire world, but had never met a more distasteful leader or seen a fouler city. He did not understand why an intelligent person like Kheylar would have stayed so true to her former Ranger-General. A woman with this type of devotion would certainly stay true to her commander and lover.

“Something’s truly wrong , Milady.” Serath said quietly.

A cry of, “She lies!” came from the open farmhouse window.

Rosie had transformed into a bear and rushed towards the front gate. She would have attacked Naughtia if Serath had not cast a magical shield around the blood elf and her charger. He watched, half amused, as she bounced off, roared, and then resumed her natural form.

Naughtia, nonplussed, tossed her hair and sneered at the couple. “I can assure you, Tauren, that the shield was not necessary. I can easily defend myself from that entree on two legs.”

Rosie snorted toward the blood elf. “My love was just trying to keep the peace. I know that peace is something a Demon-lover like you cares nothing about; but he is a man of the light and loves all, including wretched demon-lovers.”

Something that Rosie said struck a nerve in Naughtia. The blood elf stared cooly at Rosie, her fingers twitching as she squeezed her horse’s reigns. “I am here for my brother. He will be executed at sunrise tomorrow in Orgimmar. If you have any faithfulness, any love for him. . .” Naughtia’s eyes blazed hotly as she glared into Rosie’s face.” you will help him. The choice is yours. If you decide to help him, meet me at Razor Hill in four hours.” She turned, said something in a fel-language to the steed, and galloped away.

Undercity,Tiristfal Glades

“Apothecary Hendrikson? You summoned me?”

Hendrikson waved a bony hand towards Khamel. “Enter, enter. Make sure to close the door behind you. We have urgent business from the Dark Lady to discuss.”

The ancient sorcerer did as he was bid. He was a loyal servant of the Foresaken Queen–and if she had business for him to complete, he would make it so. Even, he supposed, if it meant working with a hack like Hendrikson. The only thing Hendrikson was good for was licking Lady Sylvanas’s lovely boots. He could create run-of-the-mill potions and elixirs: For really destructive concoctions, there was no better alchemist in the Lady’s Service than Khamel.

“You understand our mission?” Hendrikson asked, barely looking up from the workbench.

“Aye. Is this really the most pressing threat? With the trolls and the Alliance massing to raid Orgrimmar. . . “

“The Dark Lady and Regeant Lord Theron believe that it is.” Hendrikson ground herbs to add to the potion he was creating. “Ours is not to question why. . . “

“I am well aware of the responsibility that we share to our Dark Lady and our treaties with Silvermoon.” Khamel snapped. “You need more Purple Lotus for that.”

Hendrikson looked at the vial in his rotten grasp and chuckled. ” And so you a right, Master Khamel. The Dark Lady has chosen her lead alchemist wisely.”

Khamel did not reply–there was no need. With a wave of his hand his ebonweave robes were transformed into more mundane work clothes. He then shuffled to a nearby cauldron and began concocting the poison his Queen desired.

The Cleft of Shadows, below the Horde Capital of Orgimmar

“Beylanna, stealth,” Kheylar whispered to her loyal white tiger. As soon as the feline was out of sight, the Ranger pulled her cloak over her head and melded with the shadows.

Somewhere in this vicinity,The Kor’kron Guards had built a new dungeon to hold the enemies of their warcheif, Garrosh Hellscream. Kheylar hated Garrosh. He had placed the entire Horde, especially her own people, the Blood Elves, at risk for his own selfish desires. He had demanded they search Pandaria for relics of power, no matter how many of them died. Her own beloved Mage,Nostrademus, had spoken out to anyone who would listen that following the Warchief blindly was foolish. Unfortunately, he had said this too loud within earshot of a goblin loyal to the Warchief; or still least his coins. The goblin had turned Nostrademus over to the Kor’krons as if he was some petty thief, simply for a small bag of gold.

The rumor was that the entrance to the new dungeon was in a hut that had once housed a mushroom vendor’s shop. Kheylar crept near it, staying low on a rock outcropping that overlooked the entrance. She had sat on this perch for the past two days, watching the comings and goings of the store’s “Patrons.” These patrons wore the black and gold armor of the Kor’kron Guard most of the time. Who knew they were such fans of mushrooms?

Two lowly Orc peasants, dressed as shop-keepers, guarded the entrance to the hut. “They want you to believe they are not Kor’krons, but I’ll bet if I shoot one between the eyes, the other one will suddenly produce a big sword and start fighting,” Kheylar whispered to her companion.

Beylanna growled ferociously. “I’ll take that to mean you agree, ” Kheylar replied, pulling an arrow from her quiver. Rangers were highly trained to attack with speed and silence. Kheylar always thanked the light for her skills. Someday, when she was ready to pass on from the world of the living, her skills would earn her a place of honor serving as one of Lady Sylvanas’s elite Dark Rangers. She just wasn’t ready to die today.

Beylanna growled again. “I know, ‘Lanna, don’t get anxious, ” Kheylar chided the cat. She pulled back her bow and started to rise to her feet. Someone grabbed her cloak! Startled she whipped around to see the dark, laughing face of a female Kor’kron. Behind her, Beylanna lie in a pool of blood, her neck sliced open.

“Don’t move, traitor bitch, or you’ll join your kitty!” The Orc growled. She held a glowing blade in one hand and Kheylar’s cloak-tail in the other. To her comrades, she called, “Jek, Rollish! Fire up the grill! We’re having tiger steaks tonight!”

Kheylar’s heart was filled with sorrow as she was lead away. Her faithful cat was a hero. She deserved so much better than to fill the bellies of these scum! She wondered what fate was about to befall her–and would she see her beloved Nos before she was killed?

From the Desk of Rezina. . .

From the Desk of Rezina. . .

An Open Letter to Blizzard Regarding Connected Realms:

I am a long time player/subscriber of World of Warcraft.  I have been playing since November, 2008, which makes me a “Wrath Baby” by online definition.  I love World of Warcraft.  It is my favorite game, my favorite online community, and a great source of relaxation and enjoyment for me.  I wanted to get that out of the way so that you would understand that as a consumer of your product, I feel my opinions about the future development of said product is worthy and should be considered. 

Recently I came across more information regarding the exciting ” Connected Realms” feature.  I was happy to see that you had come out with some concrete information on such a game changing feature.  I had, in fact, asked for more information on the forums in this post just last weekend in this ignored post. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9572527994   I am not taking it personally, because I did notice that many, many posters on the forums had the same standard questions.   I am sure that there are so many that you cannot keep them all addressed.  I did see, however, that the same types of questions keep popping up.

~”Which servers will be linked?”

~”Will my _______ server be joined to _________ server?”

~”Will I finally be able to mail my heirlooms across realms?”

~”Will we be able to merge guilds?”

~”Will I be able to send mail to someone on a connected realm?”

These questions should have been addressed with some definite answers in the recent press release.  Instead, we received an ambiguous update where we learned that:

1) Virtual Realms are now being officially called “Connected Realms”

2) Players will have a pound sign (#) if they are on a connected realm, as opposed to an asterisk (*) from a CRZ, LFR, or battleground.

3) This action is being taken in response to tie together lower populated servers so that they do not lose their server “identity” but can join guilds and use a merged auction house. (I don’t agree with the part about losing server identity, but more on that in a moment.)

4) It will use the same technology as the Cross-Realm Zones, but you really haven’t figured out the particulars, and it will happen sometime AFTER Patch 5.4 drops.

This type of corporate speak is great for insurance companies, oil barons, lawyers, and politicians.  When it comes to an important feature in a community-driven game, a game that is not only purchased but then subscribed to on a monthly basis, then the consumers deserve to have some answers to their questions.  “We don’t know yet” is pretty disrespectful. 

I’ve worked in the corporate world before.  I know how  project management proceeds.  When a project is in the development stages, then it is kept confidential so that expectations and confusion are not allowed to foster.  This is especially important when it will take a long time to develop–or, it will affect a great number of consumers whom are asked to pay for these changes.  If someone leaks the behind-the-scenes information, it is only with the blessing of management and only when most of the final decisions have been made.  Blizzard, it does not seem that you follow this fundamental project development rule.  Things are “leaked” all the time, the players get excited, start questioning or expecting the final product, and then are disappointed when it does not meet those expectations or does not come to fruition at all. 

Blizzard, do I really have to remind you about the promised “Dance Studio?” How about updated character models?  We were promised those at the last Blizzcon two years ago.  New models were coming with Mists of Pandaria!  Yay!  I deleted a troll druid in anticipation of having updated features similar to The Sims 3. Rift, Guild Wars 2, and most other PC games on the market. I wanted sliders to make her prettier and more original, since there’s only one female troll face that anyone uses.  That was the type of technology that we in the community hoped for.  I still notice just as much anticipation/discussion about the new models today as there was when this was announced two years ago.  Nowadays, however,  there’s a cynical tone to these discussions, because players are starting to think that they will never see the updated models. 

Instead, we got CROSS REALM ZONES and TRANSMOGIFICATION!  (Caps added to echo the excitement and fanfare these features were given).

Transmogging has been a hit in many ways.  We are able to wear that armor we slaved for grinding through Molten Core.  My mage regularly wears her ICC gear with the same pride that she wore it with three years ago when she earned it.  Others have used the old content to challenge their soloing abilities.  We routinely go into raids and dungeons that, without the chance that those desired shoulders might drop, we would not have bothered.  Transmog has even started side industries for some people as they sell the low-level pieces on the auction house.  Yes, this feature has been a wildly popular success.

Cross-Realm Zones have not been as universally popular.  Blizzard, you had a nice idea–help low-level servers by joining them with other servers so that they will seem less empty.  People can make new friends and work together to take on challenging content.  In truth, the technology has been buggy, and communities have been altered permanently.  I have only had negative impacts on my game play due to the cross-realm zone feature.

Prior to Mists of Pandaria, I left a server (Turaloyn-US) because I was tired of immature, inappropriate talk in chat.  The trolls had taken it over, and I cringed every time I entered a city or a busy starting zone.  I found solace in peacefully leveling my toons in quiet areas.  The only chat I saw was from people I CHOSE to speak with–my guildies.  As my guild fell apart from people leaving the game, I felt more alone.  The only people on the server seemed to be the “Trade Chat Trolls.”  I left the server to them and found a community I enjoyed on Wyrmrest Accord-US.  I spent a great amount of money (over $100–on top of my $15 monthly subscription fee!) to move my toons to Wyrmrest.  I joined a guild of supportive, mature people.  Trade chat was more witty, and informative, as we talked about (shock!) LORE.  Then, Cross Realm Zones dropped in Patch 5.0.4.  Wyrmrest Accord, a heavily populated Role Playing Server, was then linked with other role playing servers such as Sisters of Elune, Cenarian Circle, and the most infamous (and highly populated) RP server, Moon Guard.  Blizzard, this move seems to show a complete lack of understanding of the servers’ communities as well as a departure from the whole purpose of linking servers together.

  • While Wyrmrest Accord’s population was a more mature, more role playing focused community, Moon Guard’s is completely opposite.  It’s infamy encourages game play that other server populations usually discourage and report. 
  • The smaller realms have been swallowed up by two large behemoths.
  • If Cross-Realms was truly meant to link low populations together, why would the two highest populated RP Severs be linked?

The community was forever changed.  People who had no desire to play on Moon Guard were now forced to play with Moon Guard cross-realm.  Slowly, RP all but disappeared on Wyrmrest.  Griefing and trolling are now more common occurrences. 

My guild fell apart and I was left alone.  Friends were playing Alliance Toons on Nordrassil-US and invited me to join them.  Since I can no longer afford the high cost of transferring toons, I rolled new ones.  I found out that CRZ realms had made an impact on little Nordrassil as well.  Nordrassil is linked with more servers than I can keep track of.  The starting areas in particular are overcrowded.  I have never had to wait my turn to complete a quest, or had to fight for murlock kills in Westfall before.  I gave up questing at about level 20 and started soloing dungeons.

Blizzard, something that would be good for you to do is to invest in community managers who spend time playing on different realms and can give you advice on the nature of the communities.  When you blend two or more very different communities, then a new community is born.  This can be less painful if the “parent” communities are similar.  When you take two very different personalities and force them together, there will be conflict and animosity.  Can you really afford more animosity, Blizzard, with subscription numbers down?

One more suggestion I would like to make is to please be upfront with which realms are being joined.  There is STILL, a year later, no definitive list of the realms joined together by cross-realm zones.  It is safe to assume, with the limited knowledge that we have about Connected Realms, that they will draw from the CRZs.  In theory, Nordrassil will be connected to Korialztraz, Norgannon, Nessingwary, etc.  It would be nice to know that for sure prior to the permanent connection.  People will roll toons on the soon-to-be connected realms if their own eleven slots are full.  Then, they can join their guild, etc when the feature is released.  It will even help with heirlooms–if, in fact, we will finally be able to send heirlooms cross-server. 

Connected Realms are a good idea and a move towards one universal WoW community.  There have been and will be growing pains while this happens.  The challenge for you, Blizzard, is to make sure that the growing pains we suffer are easily managed by band aids and aspirin–not something so malignant that we cut the game completely off.

  

Rezina Jr

Hello there gentle readers!  (Okay, if you don’t blog for a long time, you probably don’t have any readers, but I digress).  I am alive and doing okay. . . Hubby’s been very sick, and I no longer work.  I’m his full-time caretaker.  He’s on bed rest, which means that there are periods of high activity when I take care of him, and then periods where I have nothing to do.  So, I have started playing WoW hot and heavy again.  I went back to Nordrassill, started leveling a new Paladin (creatively named “Rezina Jr Ha!) and have been having a great time solo leveling in dungeons.

I have a philosophy when it comes to leveling JR:  (Apologies to George RR Martin)

1) We do not quest!  (well, except for dungeon quests and Pet Battle Dailies.)

2) We take what is ours with fire and blood! (Kill everything in the dungeon and take all the loot for myself to sell on the AH)

3) We always pay our (debts) dues.  (Doing all the dungeons as they turn green on the “Dungeon Finder.”

It’s worked rather well and JR has leveled rather quickly.  She’s went from 20-something to 45 in just a few weeks.  I am enjoying leveling her and getting to take my time going through these old dungeons, learning the mechanics with a fresh mind, etc. 

And then I read this on one of my favorite WoW Fansites, Wow Insider:

http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/08/01/player-packs-entire-wow-account-with-level-85-characters/

This guy leveled 50 alts in about 2 years time.  He’s now working on getting them to 90–but he did the grind from 0-85 for 50 alts in just 2 years!  He has a wife, a job, a life outside of WoW.  I am impressed!!!

I love playing alts, creating new ones, coming up with names and personalities and back-stories for them.  But, could I level 50 of them?  That might be impossible for me, even now that I don’t have a job.  Most of my alts are around level 30-40.  I just don’t have that much focus. 

So, how about you?  Could you do it?  Or, are you ADD when it comes to your alts, too?

 

World of Warcraft is in the doldrums.  Or, as many folks call it, the “Pre-expansion Period.”  We’ve been told by the good folks at Blizzard not to expect any new content for Cataclysm.  The Mists of Pandaria Beta is a happening place right now with cool new toys brought in weekly.  I have seen the wonders of AoE Looting and the new “Fairy Wings” (my term) style of effect for Rezzie’s <a href://Avenging Wrath.  I know that in MoP, Rosie will become a glorious white stag who looks a lot like Harry Potter’s Patronus, and will be able to carry Hubby or any other friend around on her back.  My hunter, Kheylar, will make a fortune creating glyphs for everyone when the game debuts sometime in the next few months.  Plus, she will have the added ability to release a “Murder of Crows” at her enemies as an AoE attack.  As an additional damage boost for boss fights, Kheylar will be able to send out all five of her pet-friends at the boss in an attack called “Stampede.”  Yes, MoP will be fun and different.  It’s just not out yet.  And we’re all bored to death with killing Deathwing now. 

I have been reading the articles on WoW Insider about roleplaying written by the wonderful Anne Stickney.  I always thought that roleplaying was something that only perverts and teenagers did on the Moon Guard Server.  Well, what I have learned is that roleplaying is something that an entire community does together.  You create a character, a back-story for that character, and then you interact with the world around you in character.  If you, for example, are playing a priest, you might go around talking about the light and blessing people when you throw a heal.  If you play a warrior, you might play him or her as an idealist, or someone who is mad at the world, or basically just somebody who wants to hit stuff. 

One of the other basic requirements for roleplaying is to understand a little about the lore of WoW.  Lore is the made up history, society norms, culture, jargon, etc. of a fantasy “world.”  Think about Star Trek.  Star Trek has its own universe made up of the aliens, Starfleet regulations, planets, and history of their reality.  To understand Star Trek, you have to get at least a little bit of their terminology.  While you watch Star Trek, you understand what Captain Kirk means when he says things like, “Beam Me Up” or “Warp Factor 1.”   If Picard goes over to a little computer panel in the wall and says, “Tea—Earl Gray—Hot” you know that he’s talking to a device called a “Replicator” and the cup of tea will instantly materialize for him.  I had to actually put the water on to boil, wait 5 minutes for the tea to steep, and then mix in the Splenda and pour it myself.  Oh, to live in the 24th Century!

I have rolled toons on roleplaying servers in the past because I have always found the communities to be more mature and helpful for the most part.  They have lower populations than regular servers, so they are peaceful out questing.  I’ve even had a few roleplaying interactions with some folks in towns and thought it was fun.  So, I wanted to go off and give it a real try.

I have created Nykka (pronounced with a long-e sound).  She is a poor goblin rogue, going off to create her own fortune and adventure through the world.  Like most goblins, she loves money.  But, the Cataclysm has left her penniless and broken.  Desperate and starving, she’ll do almost anything to rebuild her fortune.  She’s learned how to hunt animals for their skins to create her own gear, how to pickpocket unsuspecting enemies, and how to use her wits to keep her safe.

She’s completely different from the type of toon I usually play in WoW.  She’s not a caster, nor is she pious and good.  She’s bad.  She’s a thief—a petty criminal.  I have gone to another realm with her so that I can enjoy the challenge of building her up without help.  Hubby’s not going to be there to help quest or support her.  I don’t have any other toons on the realm that will send her gold or make her useful bags, potions, or glyphs.  Nykka is truly on her own, starting from nothing. 

I am so excited to get her out of the goblin starting area where she can interact with others that I can’t see straight.  I want to see how Nykka’s story plays out.  Who knows?  I might drop her the same way I’ve dropped every other rogue I’ve tried to level.  I might get to town and find no roleplaying guilds are recruiting and that people do not want to play with a total stranger.  But, I am excited about the journey—the first time I’ve been really excited and felt creative about something in a few weeks.  That means something to me.  It’s just a stupid video game, yes, but I like that stupid video game and the adventure it lets me go on.

There’s just not enough time.
There is so many things that I want to accomplish, both in real life and in game. I want to travel. I want to do historical research and finish my two articles I started. I want to finish all the books that I have started writing. I want to clean my house from top to bottom. I want to finish my college education. Okay, that takes money along with time, and I have neither.
I have unfinished projects like that in the game too, but they’re called “alts.” Last night I blew the dust off of my Paladin, Rezina. I had been looking at her achievements on the Armory and discovered to my dismay that my oldest character was only one zone away from the “World Explorer” achievement. So, she and I went swimming in Vashj’ir. I even did the first few quests in the zone so that I could get the seahorse mount and make the time go a little quicker. Playing her was like having a conversation with an old friend. It was comfortable and fun, but I didn’t quite understand her as well as I used to.
After I got the achievement, I took her back home to Orgrimmar and thought about taking her to a dungeon. She’s dual-specced for tanking and healing. Her best gear is her healing set, but I feel more comfortable tanking with her. As I thought more about it, I realized that playing her would mean hours of studying to learn the rotations, and running dungeons over and over for valor points to get both gear sets to where they need to be. In other words, it would take time, which is too valuable a commodity to invest.
I have this goal in the back of my mind, you see. I’d like to have ten toons, all maxed leveled, maxed professions, and geared well. So, if I wanted to, say, take out druid and heal, or take out Rezzie for tanking, or take out my hunter Kheylar and just shoot bad guys, well, I could do it.
Many people do that. Most of them are either college kids, housewives, or retired older folks. Or, they have been playing World of Warcraft since it came out in 2006. They understand the class mechanics and rotations of all ten toons. They invest the time because that’s something that they have.
I have many “baby alts” that are sitting at low levels. I started them because I wanted to try that specific class/race combination. I have enjoyed playing them and hope that someday I can get back to them. My favorite is Toshina, my goblin priest. She’s level 31, and nothing but a ball of green sass and energy. I adore their movement animations. They walk with a bounce in their steps and their ears wiggle. They hop around, looking as if casting is such hard work for their little bodies. But, they get the job done. After all, “Time is money, friend! I got mouths to feed!” (I love it when they say that!)
So little time, so many things I’d like to do with my time. Too many alts to master and play. Common sense tells me that I need to pick two or three toons and focus mainly on them. I’ve learned the hard way that I am not good playing my druid and may never be. Paladins have such complicated mechanics, I don’t know if I will ever master playing Rezina again, and I am afraid to try. So, I will continue to dabble with my babies until I find that one that I am good at and is fun for me. After all, WoW is a game to entertain me in my leisure time—not an all encompassing activity. I have one of those already, and that’s being a mommy.

I have been suffering from indecision regarding which toon is my “main” and who I want to invest the most time and effort in.  Well, that’s not exactly true:  For the past few weeks, most of my free time and effort has been devoted to Kheylar, my Blood Elf Hunter.  I have leveled her to 70 and started working on some old “Burning Crusade” end game content.  Don’t laugh.  I had skipped all of that stuff and went straight to Northrend at level 68 with all of my other toons.  Since I didn’t start playing World of Warcraft until Wrath came out, I never really experienced Shadowmoon Valley, Netherstorm, or the numerous dailies for Shattered Sun rep.  All this has been a pleasant change of pace for me, and with Kheylar’s “Bind on Account” gear the lost XP hasn’t bothered me much.

So that leaves my three level 85s sitting idle.  My druid, Redrosie, had fair gear from the Raid Finder and valor points.  Her heals are still not up to “elite” status, so I’m only invited to the first few bosses when my guild does the Dragon Soul Raid.  Our raid leader keeps recruiting and auditioning new healers to take what used to be my place.  He hasn’t had much luck, though.  They either don’t like being rotated out, they don’t want to do their homework and know the fights, or they aren’t as great a healer as they have portrayed themselves to be.  So, my raid night routine lately has been:

  • Log on at least a quarter till 7pm, because that’s when the first invites go out
  • Do the first two/three bosses in Dragon Soul, have a great time with my guldies
  • Leave group, log off Rosie, and log onto Kheylar
  • Play Kheylar and listen to the Raid’s progress (or lack thereof) with this’ week’s new healer through Hubby’s vent on speakers.

I do not think that if I continued working on my healing skills, I’d ever be invited to be a full-time member of the raid group.  And, I am not sure that I want to be.  I know that our Raid Leader is not on a personal vendetta against me.  The group seems to like me as a whole and miss me when I’m not there.  I am invited to every dungeon, LFR, and “Transmog” run that we do.  Tonight, for example, we are running Ulduar for the achievement, and I will be healing.  No, I don’t think I am unwelcome.  I just think that my raid leader lost confidence in my ability to deliver expert heals in the top-notch dungeons.  This has frustrated me as well, and after four months of trying to get better HPS, I think I’ve given up.  As much as I love Rosie, there comes a time when your best is just not “the best” with something, and you have to look at other options.

            Which brings me to my other two 85s, Rezina the Paladin and Naughtia the Warlock?  Rezina was my first toon.  She’s been parked for the better part of a year after she reached 85s.  Tanking the Heroic Dungeons was hard for me to master, and so I gave up on her to devote my time to “growing up” Rosie.  Lately, I respecced and geared her for healing, to see if I could be more effective on her than I am on Rosie.  Paladin healing is very different from the AoE and massive heal-over-time affects that Druids use.  Reading about the art of Pally Healing on forums and blogs is helpful but by no means the best way to learn how to do it.  Random groups are not patient with a “noob” healer, and the only know two Holy Pallies to ask for help.  One is my Raid Leader.  I can just see it now, “Hey, I just took my old tank that was collecting moth balls, and respecced her to heal. . .I know you think I suck healing with my Druid, but maybe you can give me some pointers on how to not suck on the Pally?  That way, I can come to more raids, and maybe roll against you for gear?”  Yeah, I don’t think he’d really welcome that.  My other Holly Pally buddy is on another server, and is a (gasp) Alliance!  Yeah, as much as I’d love to run with her and get her to teach me the ropes, this whole Alliance/Horde War thing won’t let me. 

            That just leaves Naughtia.  Naughtia is my tailor and enchanter.  I leveled her to make money.  She is geared just enough to run heroics, but her DPS is bad.  I’m a little ashamed to take her out, actually.  So, she stands in her pretty white robes (A warlock wearing priestly-looking robes, thank you Transmogging!) and she sews bags for the auction house, and disenchants greens for the materials, and she looks pretty.  That’s about all she’s good for.  

            So, I play “BC” content on a hunter that could do much more, and I have three level 85s going to waste.  It seems strange, I know, but I’m actually enjoying playing the hunter.  I think that as long as I devote my time splitting between several different classes, I will continue to be a mediocre player.  I am becoming a “jack of all trades and master of none.”  I am learning Kheylar gradually.  I will keep practicing my rotation, running dungeons to see how to work with a group, and keep questing.  I would like to see her earn the “Shattered Sun” achievements and title.  There’s no real use for that anymore—it’s just something that I haven’t done in the game yet. 

            I’ll keep you posted on how things go with Kheylar as she grows, and how things go with Rosie and Rezina, too.  I know me.  I know that I will get bored with Kheylar soon and want to, say, take Rosie out to get the highest item level gear possible on her; or take Rezzie out on a dungeon binge with some guildies and decide I like healing with her.  That’s just not this week.  This week has been all about low-stress fun with my hunter.  I’ll try to stick to those three main ones for now.

            But then again, there is my baby-priest, Toshina. . . I sure do like playing a Shadow Priest with her. 

            To be continued. . .

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