Thursday, 30 August 2012

Day 01 - Introduce Yourself

I figured I could kick-start my baby blog by accepting Saga’s 20 Days of WoW blogging challenge.

When WoW came out 8 years ago (Yikes, has it really been that long…?) and my college roommate asked me to play it with him, I never expected it to have such a profound effect on my “real life.” It was just a game, after all. Who knew that I would meet some of the coolest people ever on “just a game” and that they would become some of my closest friends.

I played with my roommate on the Mannoroth server for some time. It was a pvp realm and that was what I was about in those days. I mean, my Tauren warrior made Grand Marshal and that was pretty hardcore back in the day. She is gone now, though, unfortunately. Yes, I had to sell my beloved first character and the account she was on because I needed money for rent and junk. (Clearly my priorities were all wrong but I was only a kid then. Don’t judge me.)

When I decided to start over again, I didn’t want to roll on another pvp server. I was so burnt out from that. Two friends that I met on a gaming forum (you crazy kids know who you are) had their characters on an RP realm – that apparently did close to non-existent RP – so I decided to go there. The first character I ever made was my elven hunter, Aldyth, and she would be my main for the majority of the Molten Core content when I joined Empyrean and eventually Afterlight. However, when Afterlight started doing Blackwing Lair, the raid leaders realized that we needed more healers, or more specifically, we needed cleanse-bots for Chromaggus. Enter Rhulain, my newly-level 60 paladin who was still rocking dungeon blues. I went from wearing Luminary Kilt from BRD straight to Judgement Legplates. Don’t laugh; I healed my butt off in raids with that stupid leather skirt. And I was good at it.

Rhulain was powerful, independent, invincible (when pally bubble was up…), and could kick some serious undead ass while looking good doing it. Rhulain was not the kind of woman who would take crap from anyone, not even Nefarian. She’d Hammer of Wrath his face in with her Lok'amir then walk away from his corpse with a casual flip of her luxurious raven hair over her Judgement Spaulders.

Though she had many traits that I could only wish I possessed at the time, she also took on some of my own characteristics. I was never a girly-girl and that became obvious to my guildies. A fellow paladin friend once told me long ago, “You’re not a girl, just a really cool dude with odd parts.” The more I played Rhulain, the better I became at being a paladin. I honestly felt that I had the respect of my peers in the guild and their friendship. I began to have more confidence in myself, not only as a player and a leader, but also as a person outside of the game.

WoW provided me with a place where I could be me, a place where I could share my geekitude with those of like mind. I could talk about game-related things without drawing weird looks or fear of judgement. I had a friend in the guild that was a fellow bibliophile, loved everything Joss Whedon, and actually knew who Joel Grey was. I met yet another friend who shared my passion for writing. I even met my husband in this game and even now that we are no longer 2000 miles apart, we still play together.

Because of Rhulain, I found myself and I have an identity. I am a geek, a nerd, and proud of it. I am a quintessential Asian girl in that I get straight-As and want to be a doctor someday (unless I actually make a career out of writing, of course). According to the media, I weigh more than I should but whatever; at least I get to eat a rib-eye and not feel bad about it afterwards. I have weird compulsions like needing everything to be straight or even and needing clothes to be folded a certain way. I love to cook and bake, especially for my husband who is always so appreciative and tells me everything I make is delicious. My idea of a successful shopping trip is finding an anticipated book, the right color floss for my cross-stitch project, or a designer pair of shoes for only $13. I do my makeup to indulge my theatrical side and as an outlet for artistic expression. I have been called weird, abnormal, bitchy, and too sarcastic/sardonic for my own good. But I am me.

I am Rhulain and she is Cindy.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Magus Tirith's Regalia (cloth)

I just recently completed this set for my mage, which is the green and purple recolor of the Flirtation Regalia. This was a fairly easy set to gather since they are quests rewards from Thousand Needles and the mobs are low 40's. It did, however, require some time investment. The only difficult part of it for me (and I'm sure most of you will not even have to worry about this) is that to get the shoulders, I needed to turn in a quest to a Gadgetzan NPC. I was hated with the goblins because I farmed out Bloodsail rep for the Bloodsail Admiral title. So in order to cash in my quest, I had to turn in roughly 3600 pieces (not stacks, thank the Light) of mageweave just to hit neutral. But otherwise, a fairly easy set to obtain with a high-level toon!

Note: In order to unlock these quest lines, you must complete a long line of quests that begins with The Grimtotem are Coming. The quests must be completed in order so be sure not to skip anything.

I headed to Thousand Needles for Hands of the ChosenBlood Waders, Send-Off Belt, and Magus Tirith's Robes.  The quest lines for these rewards begin with the following quests:

Gloves - Grimtotem Chiefs: Isha Gloomaxe
Boots - Darkcloud Grimtotem
Belt -  Eminent Domain
Robes - Haunted

Tanaris has Oasis Mantle and Southsea Hood (although I don't think I will show the helm).

Shoulders - Blood to Thrive
Hood - Dead Man's Chest

There wasn't much point to getting the pants since they don't show under the robes anyway. Besides, the quest was out in Badlands, which is quite the detour from where all of the other pieces drop. Bracers don't show also but you can get Evil Dolly's Cuffs from the quest With a Little Help..., which is also part of the long quest chain in Thousand Needles.

I would also like to point out that during this long quest chain I also acquired pieces of the original Regalia set and other recolors for the set.

Original Flirtation Regalia

suspicious slippers
belt of false promises
bouyant shoulderpads
speedbarge leggings
twizzlefixxit's vest (replacement for the robe)

Fire-Gizzard Regalia (red and tan)
mantle of invocation

Glassweb Regalia (aqua and brown)
hood of disgrace
prideling down leggings

And here is what Xera the mage looks like with her Flirtation Regalia recolor! I added the Soulkeeper staff, as the green flame goes nicely with the set.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Personal WoW Story

Blog Azeroth's Shared Topic for the previous week was posed by Effraeti: How has WoW changed your life?

My post came late as I wasn’t even sure how to begin, or if I should even begin. There are some who know my story though very few know the full truth. The chapters of my real life have become interwoven into the chapters of my WoW life. This is a very personal story and I would appreciate it if any comments made are kept respectful. Fair warning, this will be a long post.


I started playing this game shortly after release as an escape from the abusive relationship I had managed to get myself into. Azeroth was a wonderful place, as I could be surrounded by other players and be somewhat social while still remaining anonymous. Bruises, both physical and emotional, are much easier to hide behind a computer monitor. I did not want to be one of those women who were unable to just leave an abusive relationship, but it proved to be much harder than people assume. I was never allowed to actually socialize in real life without him there, so WoW became my “second life” of sorts. Perhaps it was unhealthy for me to essentially live in an online gaming world, but to me, it was the only place where I could be my (old) self and just be happy and carefree. It was my personal space, my refuge, my fortress. Sadly, it was not to remain so.

He eventually picked up a copy of the game for himself. He caught me chatting with a guy one time and got ridiculously jealous. The guy was spamming trade chat, looking for a smith to craft him a rod for enchanting. I was merely offering to make it for him. My reward was a verbal assault, an almost- backhand, and the invasion of the one refuge I had from the madness that was my life. So he started playing the game, just so he could keep an eye on me. He would follow me to every dungeon group I joined, I couldn’t quest with anyone else in the game unless he approved, and I could not join any guilds without him tagging along and shoving it down everyone’s throat that I was with him. I was mortified and utterly embarrassed. But at the time, I didn’t know what to do. 

It was a blessing when he faction-changed to Horde after a few years. At least he couldn’t stalk me in the game anymore and I had my privacy again. But the abuse continued and I began to realize that my friends were all retreating from my life, since they did not feel comfortable around him. It was during this time that I was bold enough to tell him I wanted out. I was surprised and very suspicious when he so readily agreed. Still, I didn’t question it, as it finally gave me the freedom I wanted but was previously too craven to demand. At this time I began to date a guy who was a friend of mine from my guild. I had been interested in him from the beginning but was still in that horrible relationship and he had a girlfriend at that time anyway. But when I found out he was single again, I put myself out there and let him know I was interested in furthering our relationship. The next few months that followed were just wonderful. Unfortunately, our relationship ended rather badly and I was crushed. But I bear no resentment and though we haven’t spoken to each other in years, I still wish him all the best in life. It just wasn’t meant to be. It took me over two years to get over him but I was able to move on.

At this point I had completely given up on myself and my life. My plans for my future had been ruined in the abusive relationship, put back on track with the new relationship, and then detoured again when he broke up with me. I didn’t even know how to begin a new life. My best friend and I were not speaking much at this time, as she was busy with her studies in graduate school in another city. I had kept much of my life a secret from her anyway, to hide my shame. I couldn’t expect her to help me when she didn’t even know what was going on. My old friends that distanced themselves from me during the abusive relationship hadn’t surfaced yet so my only solace was the friends that I met in the game.

I poured out all of my thoughts and feelings mainly to three people – a priestess, a druid, and a warlock. The priestess had experienced her share of grief from past relationships and it was comforting to talk to someone who truly understood what it was like for me and knew exactly what I needed to hear. It was from her that I learned how to pick myself up, from her that I found the encouragement to return to school and continue to pursue my waylaid dreams. The druid is one of the most practical, matter-of-fact people I have ever met. He was the one I heard the harsher truths from and though some might find his brutal honesty off-putting, I welcomed it. I needed structure in my life to get me back on track and he provided it. The warlock was a combination of harsh truths and gentle sympathy. He was there always when I needed to talk and never once judged me for anything. He offered advice from his out-of-the-box perspective and he always had a relatable and appropriate story to emphasize his points. It really helped me to know that he was speaking from experience, which made his advice all the more valuable.

Fast-forwarding a little bit, I soon ran into an old gaming buddy of mine that hadn’t played in years. I actually had his account and returned it to him when he mentioned he wanted to play again. He was on the Deathwing server with some real-life friends at first, but eventually came back to Silver Hand with his best friend in tow, who also eventually became my friend. We played together every now and then, some years back. But now I would bug him with a whisper each time I saw him on. He and his friend joined my raiding guild. It was around this time that I began to realize that I was slowly beginning to develop some real feelings for my gaming friend. I tried to suppress them as much as I could since the last relationship I had that stemmed from WoW ended so badly. I lost a good friend the first time I tried it and I didn’t fancy potentially losing another. But the feelings kept nagging at me and they became very hard to ignore. 

One day, as our conversation became quiet when he was tanking heroic Halls of Lightning for me (yuck, right?) I broke the silence by telling him the beginning of one of my favorite Ron White jokes. “So yesterday I was sitting in a bean bag chair, naked, and eating Cheetos…” I said to him, and left it at that. I didn’t know it at the time but this statement had a profound effect on him. He would later discuss with his best friend what I meant by this. Was I coming onto him? Was I just trying to be funny? I had no idea he didn’t know much about Ron White, you see. But his misinterpretation of that joke became the nudge he needed to admit that he had feelings for me, too. It didn’t really sink in for either of us, though, until he was gone for 10 days on a family vacation to Mexico. He actually logged on in the hopes of finding me online, just so he could say goodbye. When he was down there, we communicated only through Facebook messages but it made me smile, knowing that he put up with Facebook’s crappy mobile site on his iPod Touch just so he could talk to me. 

When he came back from vacation, it seemed like everything moved in a blur. Christmas was coming and he surprised me by asking for my address so that he could send me a present. During the celebration with his family, he received a scratch-off lottery ticket and mistakenly thought he had won a prize. When his family asked him what he would have done with the money if he had won, he casually said that there was “someone down in Florida he wanted to see.” He did not win the prize money but he came down to Florida to see the person he wanted to see, anyway. That was the happiest week of my life then, and it was his, too. After that, I would see the happiest 2.5 years of my life to date. We got married five months ago and I couldn’t be happier. 

My best friend finally graduated from law school and moved back to our hometown so we were able to spend some time together before I moved to Canada. And though only one of my good friends from college eventually connected with me again (and I’m happy that you did, bro!) I’m okay with that since I’ve always been about quality over quantity anyway. Incidentally, WoW has also helped in said good friend and I being able to keep in touch since I’ve moved to Canada. We might not be able to hang out like we used to but we can at least mess up some monsters on WoW.
My life is finally starting to get back on track and though I am still not quite where I want to be, I am making excellent progress.

The friends that I’ve made on WoW are still with me and I will always treasure their friendship and their help during the darkest periods of my life. As silly as it might sound, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t silently thank the developers at Blizzard for creating this game. Without it I never would have found such wonderful friends and keep in-touch with real-life friends that live far away now. And most importantly of all, I never would have met my husband, who has become my life.

Friday, 17 August 2012

My kingdom for some boots!

I really don't understand why Blizzard has entire armor sets in game...but have no matching boots for them. This is especially odd considering the transmogging craze they started since introducing the option to players to change the look of their armor. I got it in my head to start collecting the Justicar Armor recolor for my paladin. I just turned in the legs and shoulders last night, squeed about how awesome the recolor is since there isn't much darker armor for paladins, then realized there were no boots available at the vendor. I look them up on Wowhead and, of course, in bold red letters "This item is no longer available within the game."

Really, Blizzard? Really...?

How can the entire set be available except the boots?? What exactly is the point of just removing one piece of the set but leaving the rest in the game?

There have been other sets I've come across that were missing matching boots. But sadly, this asinine trend doesn't stop at boots. I began to look up  mats for Glacial Robe for my mage. It wasn't until I searched for Glacial Mantle that I realized this item was no longer available in the game, either. The Revenant armor would look amazing on my Draenei paladin (with a purple Illidari tabard, of course) but the shoulders that are supposed to match the set actually are a completely different color.


There are a number of sets in the game that either have shoulders as part of the set but the shoulders don't match the armor's color. Or there are just no shoulders at all. I was lucky on my rogue to find Demonic Runed Spaulders since the Cadaverous Garb that I spent months farming do not have matching shoulders. Not quite so lucky on the Death Knight; I have yet to find decent shoulders to match the Deathbone Guardian set. It is a shame that the shoulders worn by Alexi Barov do not seem to exist for players in the game.


Monday, 13 August 2012

Firelands like a boss.

I wasn't lucky (or perhaps unlucky?) enough to hit up Firelands when it was more relevant but I joined a cross-server raid for it today. The raid was competent and actually not fail, which is the norm in LFR (see my previous rant post) so it was a nice change. Raid lead was cool, and even though we had to wipe and redo some bosses because of a few failed achievement attempts, he never got all madbro about anything. Will definitely be doing that again!

*zeldapose* Achievements!!

Fail players and LFR = Looking For Rage.

I actually hate saying "back in my day..." but truly, sometimes it just needs to be said. Coming from a player who remembers what it was like to not have epic ground mount speed until 60, how it took up to level 40 before I ever even saw 2g, and when DPS were asked to wait for 5 sunders from a warrior tank (which was the only viable tank in those days) before touching a boss, I despise people who complain about how "hard" the game is.

The game is handed to you on a silver platter. If you spent less than 6 months leveling from 1-60 with regular gameplay, you do not have the right to complain. If you didn't spend 13 hours in one Alterac Valley match, stop your bitching. If you never had to sit in an actual LFG channel asking people on your own server to group with you for dungeons, stfu about your 30-minute DPS queue.

Oh, need gold to buy epic flight? Why don't you go do about 5 quests, that should get you enough. What was that? This is your first toon and you don't know how to quest very well? I guess you'll have to learn like the rest of us did, then. What do you mean, why do you need to learn? If you have to ask me why, then you should end your subscription right now. (This was an actual conversation I had with someone in-game.)

Last night, I was in Vortex Pinnacle and the priest who was healing died right after Asaad's first Supremacy of the Storm because he stood outside of the grounding field like a fail. He says to me, "I guess that's what aggro gets me." I replied with, "You have to stand in the triangle. It wasn't aggro." To that, he replied with, "Yes, it was." Are you stupid or something? I had the highest threat, as a level 85 tank in a normal dungeon, followed by my husband who was second in threat on his level 82 hunter doing 12k dps. Even the awful Arms warrior doing 7k at 84 and the ridiculous Combat-daggers rogue doing 5k dps at 84 were above the priest on threat. But instead of holding himself accountable for his stupidity, he blames me for letting him get aggro. Yea. Right.

Earlier this week I was in a Raid Finder run where the Blood DK tank was dual-wield tanking. Even back in the early DK days, dual-wield tanking was never viable. All the more it shouldn't be done on this expansion. This guy was a real piece of work. Granted, he was very-well geared with heroic-level DS items (so not sure why he was in raid finder in the first place) and was easy to heal, his attitude was terrible. He kept trying to kick out a ret paladin because "his dps is shit" when the guy was in the top 3 on damage done. He only disliked the paladin because the paladin called him out on dual-wield tanking. Resolve of Undying dropped. Neither of the tanks needed it, so it would have been up for grabs to those of us rolling for offspec. The ret paladin rolled and as soon as he did, the DK rolled on it out of spite. Since he didn't need it, he promptly disenchanted it. I was angry since I could have used it and I would have won it. Next, Gurthalak drops and of course the ret paladin rolled on it. Again, the DK saw him roll so he rolled on it and he won that also. And again, in spite since he had the heroic version of the sword, he disenchanted it. What a dickhead. I can't wait until the loot mechanics for LFR change in MoP.

As if that weren't bad enough, there was a resto druid in that raid that was doing less healing than that Blood DK. Thinking that he could roll on caster dps items, he switched to Balance for Madness without telling the raid. Healers were going crazy trying to figure out why the raid couldn't be kept alive during the last few platforms. I look at the healing meters and see that the druid was pitiful. So I hover over him and notice that his spec is Balance now. I tell the raid, he gets booted. We get a new healer who actually performs the role he queued up as and we win. Seriously, how difficult was that?

Gone are the days when the game was difficult enough to deter most idiots. But now everything is spoon-fed to new players and it only fuels their unrealistic thoughts that they actually are good players. Granted that there were a lot of things about vanilla WoW that didn't like, I still wish that more players of old still played to at least dilute the pool of morons that have surfaced in recent years.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Greetings and transmog lewts.

The first post on a new blog is always daunting for me. I never know what to say beyond the usual "Hi, hello" so I'll just cut to the chase. I needed a space to post my fanfiction stories, transmog adventures, and ridiculous LFR experiences. Too many of my Facebook friends leave "WTF" comments and "You're such a nerd" every time I post anything WoW-related and I'm just sick of them slapping the gamer stigmas on me. But here, I can post whatever I want and the majority of readers will likely be WoW players anyway.

So let me begin...

My most completed transmog set so far is on my priest. She is wearing the replica Vestments of the Virtuous that can be obtained from the Darkmoon Faire. For anyone interested in picking up the replica set, the belt from this set is identical to A'dal's Gift. It will save you from having to grind the 55 faire tickets if you haven't already completed the quest line in Netherstorm that begins with Warp-Raider Nesaad. I really wish I hadn't vendored my Light's Justice since I think it will go so nicely with this set. I might go farm it out if I have the time/patience; we'll see. Hammer of the Penitent will do for now but I don't like how it has the same exact glow of Prophet's Scepter. I need a staff to use with this set just in case I find a good epic staff. Ironstaff of Regeneration is a clean, simple one. Staff of Divine Infusion is nice also, even though it has no yellow tones whatsoever. The stark whiteness of it might actually be a nice break from the pale yellow of the gear.

VoilĂ !