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The Midsummer Festival draws to a close and, sadly, Anj didn’t manage to see Ahune die. A last-minute try was attempted and theoretically it should have gone well, I was in charge of killing the elemental adds while the rest of the group repeatedly hit the big rock guy until the Nuke Ahune window opened. I’m pretty sure I was doing my job well enough but the healer kept getting aggro and we died. A few times.

Ahune

Ahune, the Frost Lord, didn't bring a bottle.

Ah well, never mind. Both Anj and Alysha managed to honour or desecrate every available fire including the Horde cities while the other girls all got a nice dress out of it with matching shoulder pads, not to mention getting every last drop of value from those lovely buffs. The Festival Fire buff alone was almost always my second-highest damage output, it was very impressive! Life is harder now. No pretty tabard, but fun times a-plenty so it’s all good and who’s complainin’?

That and Wintersong has her first proper go at tanking! Went pretty well all points considered, even though level 46 in Uldaman is a little above the requirements. You’ve got to be gently eased into these things.

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I’d just finished the Bride of the Embalmer quest with Girlpants, the first time I’ve done it and had a use for the shield reward (at least until level 34 when I can use my super-pretty, auction-bought, Alysha-enchanted Trickster’s Protector of Intellect), go away to cook some food, walk out of the Town Hall when I return and see this:

Hurray! Midsummer Festival! I loved this last year, not only because it was my first official WoW holiday (not counting Children’s Week). The decorations, the fires, the maypoles, the damage and XP buffs (yummers)… It’s just a beautiful festival, and with a very Glastonbury feel to it, since I’m not going there this year (boo!) I’m happy enough to have this instead. I’ll just cake myself with mud, maybe.

While we’re in a screenshot mood, here’s what happens when you get a little too big for your level 70 boots when soloing Zul’Farrak for cloth and stuff and entertain the idea of not pulling the crowd of mobs that spawn at the base of the pyramid in easy-to-manage chunks:

Oops. Sorry, Sergeant Bly.

Alysha’s enchanting slouches onwards at level 236, and it turns out that soloing instances is tragically disappointing for collecting green items to turn to dust. Deadmines was a great start, but the ones I’ve tried after that, Gnomeregan, Scarlet Monastery and Zul’Farrak, have failed to yield any more than maybe three greens each, I got more than that on my Murloc Genocide mission around Southshore to level Girlpants’ and Winters’ cooking! In fact the only good things to come from instances are the few BoE blues for the shards from the bosses and lots of cloth, praise Elune for tailoring!

So according to Wowhead, White Bandit Masks and Black Mageweave Headbands have impressive enough cloth:dust ratios for me to get the profession closer to 300. Next stop: A kill frenzy around Feralas before a return to Stormwind, bags bulging with Mageweave, and we’ll get cracking. Having seen the prices for levelling mats on the auction house, I’ve been refreshingly thrifty with my progress so far. Always good news. :D

How far is too far? I mean, when you find yourself using a buff duration as a hair dye timer, is that too far? But I was thinking about proposals for new colours of hair dye: Uncommon Green, Rare Blue, Epic Purple. I think it’s a good idea, I might send it in… To… Some people that do hair dyes. Legendary Orange! :D

After what must be months of thinking “Hmmm, should I?”, I finally coaxed Alysha into forgetting everything she knows about skinning (give her a skinning knife and she doesn’t even know how to hold it properly now, she just drops it. Bless) and take up enchanting. Of course, this wasn’t until I’d decided to give the job of enchanting to li’l level 27 Girlpants and realised how stupid it was to be using Alysha to run low level dungeons for stuff to turn into dust. The bind-on-pickup items were unnecessarily eschewed.

So Girlpants took up the mining again to support her Jewelcrafting (a profession that I’m really enjoying, truth be told, certainly enough to counterbalance the pain that is Mining), bought a load of raw copper and tin ore from the Auction House to get her old skill level back up and then went on to make the materials’ money back from home-made rings and necklaces. Jewelcrafting FTW. Meanwhile, Alysha is at Enchanting 124 and becoming something of a regular face around Deadmines. Seriously, Mr. Smite now yells “We’re under attack! Ge… Oh. It’s you. Should we just lie down then?”. Time to step it up to Gnomeregan, I think.

Caitlin, not having much fun with Subtlety, respecced to Combat and is becoming quite enjoyable again. The regular yardstick of how much health at fight start compared to health at fight finish is nothing to be sniffed at, even being able to do the Chasing A-Me escort quest which I’d pretty much given up on the idea of. Bake me a delicious pie of Blade Flurry and Adrenaline Rush!

Finally, when Anj got the Transmute: Primal Earth to Water recipe from the cute Sporeggar people, it pretty much put an end to looking out for Primal Might requests in the trade channel. Now that she’s discovered how to turn super-cheap Earth into Primal Life as well, anyone wanting anything doing for them can just forget it. Primal Earth can be bought for 2g 50s, Life and Water goes for around 25-30g, I feel pretty cheeky asking for anything more than 10g as tip for a transmute, do the math(s). I have alts that need putting through college! Unless a friend asks, my cooldown is busy, blame Transmutes Mastery if anything. At least that’s started paying for itself. :D

I

I’ve been showing Caitlin some loving attention again, taking her up to level 53 (/gasp) and am still a very rubbish rogue. I’ve looked into my solo fighting style, removing my dependence on Slice’n’Dice in favour of more instant damage-dealing abilities even though I’m still cutting it fine if I have to deal with more than one mob. I spent about 150g on an epic dagger that has a chance on hit to send a shadow bolt to the target which, while the proc-rate is impressive, isn’t super great but still a hell of a lot better than what I had. She’s an alt so I’m not sure if I can be bothered doing unboosted instances (not as melee, I’d rather do them as Girlpants in a healer role because I want to give that a go) and yet I’m still wearing a lot of early-40s gear. What’s more, the auction house is being no help at all!

Weird thing is, questing around Un’Goro Crater I can remember levelling Anj there back in the day and constantly being on Gank Lookout but now it’s player-desolate… Makes me wonder exactly what the percentage of level 70 players is on Talnivarr.

II

Even outside a guild, GroupCalendar has its uses for crafting cooldowns. Buckling down and getting to work on the Shadowcloth creation, Alysha now has a fancy 28-slot soul bag! It puts me in mind of the warlock we picked up this one time for Karazhan who was calling everyone a noob and yet still turned up for as raid with no Soul Shards at all. That’s just unprofessional.

III

There’s been other alt-work going on as well, including Girlpants (the level 24 shaman) and inviting people to her guild <Fight Like A Girl>. Boys and girls are welcome to join but the rule is you have to be a female character and people are warned that there’s a good chance they will be referred to as “she”. Boys are instructed to embrace and hug their feminine side, because she’s always there to help and, oh, by the way, feminism ftw. Caitlin and Alysha have moved there to keep the presence up, I’m all about the concept guilds.

Okay, so the running of a raiding guild failed miserably, this one is just for levelling! Ain’t much to organise there except get a bunch of people together and we all help each other out when we can. Piss-up + Brewery springs to mind. Okay, I’ll see how it goes.

IV

Top props to Kestrel’s Aerie for featuring my blog! Love and hugs are sent and, as a free extra, the cotton content of your sock drawer has been blessed remotely. Mwah!

(photograph by ygurvitz and shared under a Creative Commons license)

A mad dash for Shattered Sun Offensive reputation with Alysha for the Pendant of Acumen got me to thinking that Anj’s struggle to be invited to Aldor coffee mornings had gone on far too long, so an extended grind for marks became the top priority job of the morning. Now, I’ve had this mad superstition for some time that Aldor rep marks would drop a lot more frequently for a Scryer and vice-versa which… is probably rubbish, but it’s no good fighting it because it’s in my head and no matter how many of them I farmed with Anj I’d always have the suspicion that, had I done the same with Aly, I’d have collected more. Mad.

Either way, it’s kind of a moot point considering that I can farm though mobs a hell of a lot quicker and with greater mana efficiency with Aly anyway, so the first port of call was Illidari Point in Shadowmoon Valley. I can gather marks while giving the new Pendant a test-drive and see how it performs, yeah? Win-win. All was going well until an undead rogue started showing up and ganking me, only while I was in combat with mobs naturally, and there’s no point me doing a good half-hour test when I’m spending some of that time running from the graveyard. We’ll move on.

Death’s Door in Blade’s Edge offered some peace a quiet and, also, slightly better drop rates, so here’s Recount’s report on the frequency of the Arcane Bolt over the duration of one Fel Armor (which, in case you don’t know, is half an hour):

This works out as pretty much exactly a burst of free arcane damage every three minutes which is not bad, certainly better than nothing. And considering it replaced an ages-old quest reward pendant with lower stats, all in all a pretty happy upgrade. Yay.

The true prize however, with 55 Marks of Sargaras and 5 Fel Armaments (together with a further two Fel Arms from the auction house), Anj joined the exclusive club of the Exalted With Aldor and, with almost perfect symmetry, could wrap the Shattered Sun Offensive Pendant of Might around her neck with the sounds of much rejoicing. Having a ranged attack power assisted by Aspect of the Hawk of 1818 is enough to make a poor mob dizzy as it is, throw in the +200rap Aldor Proc and maybe even Skyguard Silver Cross as well and you’re looking at the business end of 2158rap, and from a Beast Mastery girl too! Marksmanship hunters, feel the delicious power…

Oh. OH! I can feel it.

I’m troubled by the enchant options for spell-casters that are given to carrying a staff. See, the Spellpower enchant appears, to all intents and purposes, like it’s just for the one-hand weapons while your two-hand options are sadly limited. My question is this: The Enchant Weapon: Spellpower doesn’t make any mention of how many hands you need to hold it, does it apply to both? Does this mean I have to settle for a single-handed weapon? Not that it’s anything more than a moot point because I’m never going to actually use it.

So with this in mind, I put myself in the LFG group for doing some Caverns of Time instances, just a little bit of reputation needed to buy that snazzy-looking Continuum Blade, ready to be paired off with the Star-Heart Lamp from Black Morass. Dressed for success, right? But no! Not even shown on the loot table in Cartographer for Morass, Bloodfire Greatstaff drops! It’s a little bit of +crit shaved off as compared to The Bringer of Death, but with greater stamina and intellect thrown in to make it a more than worthwhile trade-off. And, having not liked the look of Bringer ever since I bought it from the auction house (as much as it looks kinda warlocky), it wins like a million times. Loving it loving it loving it. Sod the Blade and Lamp!

Given that my main rep-grinding companion was a good friend from The Last Guild who was wanting the Hourglass, we then proceeded to run the instance a further x times (lost count) and sadly, he didn’t see the same joy as me. We went through a different tank and/or healer on each run and, being the only skinner on each occasion, I also managed to end the day with five stacks of Knothide Leather to throw at the auction masses.

Surely I can get a bunch of spell damage stapled to it, we casters aren’t known for dual-wielding and we’re not allowed to enchant the fancy off-hand… things. I got the mats all ready to go!

As has been said about a week ago, I’ve started plugging away at Alysha again. Being a Scryer and with very little playtime attention it’s not much of a surprise to learn that she’s just hit exalted with her chosen faction. Anj, being Aldor, has /played time for level 70 that far surpasses all the time spent between 1 and 69 and is still struggling to get through revered. That’s the dictionary definition of “imba” right there.

Okay, I’ll admit, any and all Arcane Tomes and Sunfury Signets that Anj came across on her many travels were posted straight across to Alysha but, honestly, I swear Anj could go from hated to exalted with Scryers within a few weeks. In return, for the quest rewards that give the choice, Alysha has been selecting the Aldor packages to help her night elf half-sister out a bit. That’s just basic manners.

So now Aly’s got some shiny Runic Spellthread stitched into her pants and a fancy trinket to replace the very old and awe-inspiringly useless (at least for a warlock) Power Infused Mushroom. Quite why I even equipped that in the first place is, frankly, mind-boggling. A nice boost to spell damage overall, particularly after a first warlock trip to Magister’s Terrace ended disastrously with several wipes between the penultimate boss and final mobs just before Kael’Thas. My weak DPS killed us all!

Next up, no slacking on the Quel’Danas dailies and, with hard work and dedication, that Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen will be mine! We will go to the ball!

Later edit: Okay, yeah, okay, yeah, the +10% reputation gain for humans takes some of the credit but still, seriously, if you’re scryer and have been for more than a month, what the hell is wrong with you? ;)

Like an interstellar blast I am back to save the universe.

Alysha’s been sitting around with not much to do recently, partially because of Anj dominating the limelight with her better gear and stuff, but mainly because I found the change to a Affliction/Destruction spec to be just plain boring. So now she’s back to being a walking study of Demonology (with the instant-cast Corruption from the first tier of Affliction and up to Shadowburn in Destruction), it’s time to dust down the robes and get out into the world. Shadowburn is a fun spell, although I’m wondering if it’s worth trading the points from Destruction for the unlikely chance of having drain spells interrupted and Nightfall. We’ll see.

Her gear is pretty good but, it has to be said, only pretty good, the three pieces of the tailoring epic Shadow’s Embrace set being the obvious stand-outs, certainly enough to hold her own in a heroic instance even if she’ll probably not be among the top two damage-dealers (scraping into the top three purely on account of the tank and healer’s other responsibilites). But pfffpht! to that, the first order of business is to frantically start raising enough money to buy an epic flying mount. Having a main that zips about at top speed and then going back to first gear is a pain, taking to the skies for the first time back with Alysha I honestly thought for a few seconds that I’d been Frost Shocked by a passing shaman. I was like, omg? You know?

The good news is that I don’t have to spend that much time doing the dailies (except perhaps for the Shattered Sun Offensive ones because I want the rep) because I have a long string of regular quests to get through and, to be honest, have been very profitable. I wonder how well the business is for gold sellers these days, seriously, just shy of 1000g in two days (not even two days that have seen the vast majority of my waking hours playing either). It’s crazy money, certainly cooking on nothing less than gas, at this rate I think I’ll be in the saddle of a speedy boid within the week. Quite literally: The Woot!

Black Morass with the usual suspects of Ghem, Powdor, Tumbler and Juels was, in a word, stressful, and yet we did it with nary even a wipe nor need for the Soulstone beyond comfortable insurance, which proves that we rock if nothing else does. Seriously, this little team of ours has powered through instances in our raggy-doll style that have been hugely problematic with other groups I’ve been in (just don’t mention Shadow Labyrinth, please). Talk and confusion over what we should do and who should do what were diffused before we “activated” the timer by me simply saying “Let’s just… do what we do”.

And we did, because, as previously stated, we rock. Medivh’s shield was barely scratched by the time he called the orcs through portal in a scene very reminiscent of that episode of Doctor Who with the Cybermen. More Karazhan keys for the guild, look at us, we’re making progress! Again!

Alysha’s tailoring was teetering suggestively at 374 a couple of hours before the instance and it was decided that the extra point was needed to make the robe that completes the set of Frozen Shadoweave boots and shoulders, along with my usual, self-imposed motherly responsibility to cook up some delicious, stat-boosting packed lunches for everyone. With the general neglect shown towards Alysha in the last few months there was a desperate need to get hold of some Shadowcloth by any means possible, mainly the auction house to be honest. I managed to get a total of four crafted using my own and an old friend’s cooldown and… the rest was bought. Along with the Primal Water. And some of the Netherweb Spider Silk. Eesh. Cherrytea’s carefully saved bank character revenue took a hell of a beating.

But I got the robe and, lo! It goes okay with the tabard! Hurray!

That place didn’t know what hit it.

Posing with Millhouse.

I expected troubles, but it was surprisingly trouble-free, with the exception of me taking Alysha and I was a little rusty. Oh well, we got the key fragment, the place got pwned.You’ll notice I’m the only one of the party not wearing the newly-designed tabard. Yeah, well, they just don’t go with the Imbued Netherweave Robe. Seriously. Looks like a disaster.

Cut this down to a long-story-short: Player asks for an alchemist in trade chat, I pipe up with help, he asks for an Earthstorm Diamond, I tell him that my “transmute thing” (it’s just easier to call it that) is on cooldown and I could do it for him in – oh – say 22hours, he says okay and offers the send me the mats plus 10g fee, I say hold on there Captn. McTrustypants, you don’t even know me, I could totally rip you off (I mean, I wouldn’t, not ever, but he doesn’t know that) , he says okay. A couple of hours later, in my postbox are all the things required to make an Earthstorm Diamond plus 10g in cash money. Blimey!

On a similar note, a guy I was doing Steamvaults with the other day asked if anyone did tailoring. “I have an alt that does!” I said, and without another word he traded me about seventy pieces of Netherweave Cloth. I thanked him for his kindness and, to make it worthwhile to him, asked if he wanted any 16-slot bags, to which he said he wanted two and I could keep the rest for myself. I made a note of his name and, straight after the instance, logged on to Alysha, crafted the bags and posted them to him – because, you know, I promised. I got a letter from him today telling me he was grateful and he also seemed genuinely surprised that I’d actually sent them.Sometimes I get the impression with WoW that a lot of people, given half the chance and zero consequences (like the ones that might occur in what we lovingly call “the real world”), would rob you blind of everything that isn’t screwed down, everything that is and the screws. I dunno, maybe I’m just overly paranoid, but either way it’s nice to Not Be That in my own dealings.

December 2017
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