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Never thought I’d be up for the painful battleground grind again after going through it with Anj but the Merciless Gladiator’s Dragonhide Spaulders are enough to change a few minds. Swoon at the beautiful woody texture with animated sprouting flowers, they say “I am an ambassador of nature, mess with me and I’ll chew your face off”.

And that’s not to mention a pretty neat upgrade for all my outfits, replacing Mantle of Perenolde across the board and removing the need to continue doing Sethekk Halls for the Shoulderpads of Assasination (recommended by my druid tank “Prepped For Heroics” shopping list despite clearly being rogue gear).

Hard work in Arathi Basin pays off (no leeching here), in fact I’ve been employing a new technique with the help of Prowl, instead of hacking and slashing in vain at the first target that comes close, I’ve been taking my time a little more, sizing up the competition, targeting the healer and only then revealing myself as a ball of fur, claws and teeth. It’s amazing how few people I’ve seen do it, only today I was watching four people battering the hell out of an indestructible rogue before finding a cheeky priest hiding behind a rock.

I could be using roughly this same idea to help Anj’s poor results in PvP with the help of Shadowmeld. At least if the healer starts spamming self-heals, they’re not doing it to the rest of their team. That’s my obvious tip for the day anyway.

Woot! Here’s an event I honestly never thought would come, Caitlin becomes my third character to reach level 58 and enjoy the crazy money and gear rewards that Outland has to offer.

First order of business was a mad dash to Shattrath to pick up the flightpath, a job made a hell of a lot easier by having a two-woman advance scout party already well-acquainted with the place and knowing the route from anywhere to anywhere else like the back of their hands, then three quests for Honor Hold to get a new top (replacing – omg – Pratt’s Handcrafted Tunic! That was from a Feralas quest, the better part of eighteen levels old!) and two new daggers.

And then… Back to Azeroth to tidy up a few left over quests there and get my level up to 60. It’s just going to make life a lot easier, and little less interrupted by death…

III. Idiot.

We loves our portal from Shattrath to Quel’Danas, and we’re more than happy to pitch in and collect the mana cells to keep it. And so, touching down in Bashir Landing, the random killing of Ethereals began. Now, either the drop rates for this (and, while we’re at it, the Sunfury Attack Plans) had seen some kind of nerf shortly after the launch or I just got really lucky the first few days, I was patient at first. But after the better part of fifteen minutes spent on what was tantamount to genocide, no phasing device was dropping. Was I going mad? Was I in the right place? Seriously, I checked. On a whim I checked my quest log.

D’oh.

In my hyperactive willingness to help out, I’d completely forgotten to pick up the quest. The Sunfury elves on my next dailies port of call gladly felt the full brunt of my huffy attitude.

II. Second.

In no small thanks to the countless runs of normal Botanica to get my Beast Lord Cuirass, a PUG heroic run today popped my reputation with the Sha’tar up to exalted. Yeep! That’s two ticked off, it looks like the next one to see a glorious full bar will be Cenarion Expedition. Of the instance itself, mental note to myself: Pulling aggro to trap a mob from a paladin tank in love with Consecration is nigh impossible. The number of blue square-marked mobs that I killed whilst just trying to get them to show me some attention was… Well, it was a silly number.

I. First

My first Badge of Justice gear! Goodbye Cloak of Malice, hello Blood Knight War Cloak! Mmm, yummy. Some have remarked that it’s not the coolest-looking cloak in the world but here’s a trick I’ve employed since level 5 or something: In your interface options, find “Show Cloak” and uncheck it. They all look pretty stupid if you ask me (doubly so on the Draenei, where the tail gives it that oh-so-attractive Dilbert curl), and completely impractical. Did no-one see The Incredibles?

With the savings approaching 4500g, a relief package of 750g was sent from bank-chick supreme Cherrytea to get the process moving a bit. It’s these little bursts of emergency pocket money that make having a bank character such a nice idea. Behold:

Now, with my “Amount Of Money Spent In One Day” record not so much broken as shattered into a fine powder, I can safely say that it was totally worth it. Just herb-farming alone has seen a productivity-boost more than three-fold! As for the flying mount dailies, they’re definitely faster even though by the time I’ve moved from one target to another, the cooldown on whatever bombs I’m using is still chugging away. But watch me laugh like a maniac as I zip between the three Skyguard Prisoner spawn points and locate him with zero fuss!

Also: Magister’s Terrace again. Kael’Thas dropped Hauberk of the War Bringer. Joot, yay me. Have you seen my flying mount though? Look! The accessories match my hair colour!

Yes, it was exactly a year ago that a friend decided to dive back into WoW with the expansion and, upon hearing that I was currently enjoying Dungeon Siege 2, handed me his guest pass and advised I give it a go.

I never looked back, except… Okay, perhaps this technically classes as ‘looking back’, but I digress. I now stride around the world with a keen, assured confidence and actually know about things to do with the lore, a far cry from that first night when I was lead to Stormwind only to ask why my picture was flashing and I had “zzz” where my level number should be, hilariously under the impression that I’d done something wrong and broken it. Aah, the times spent only logging off after laying down on a bed in an inn, convinced that it would maximise my rest time, the crazy amount of food I wasted spam-feeding my pet until the green smiley face icon came back, and that first rogue that had no idea what green items were choosing instead to use white, vendor-bought weapons.

I thought it might be fun, in a scary way, to make a note of “the scores on the doors”. Damn that /played command. The figures for Anj, Alysha and Cherrytea are going inaccurate by a small smidgeon given that a whole day has passed since I decided to add this bit and they’ve seen varying degrees of attention in that time, but you get the general idea.

Anj (hunter 70): 48days, 20hours, 36minutes, 29seconds

Alysha (warlock 70): 37days, 3hours, 19minutes, 44seconds

Caitlin (rogue 52): 9days, 16 hours, 35minutes, 51seconds

Wintersong (druid 35): 3days, 22hours, 2minutes, 25seconds

Girlpants (shaman 24): 2days, 5minutes, 57seconds

Cherrytea (paladin 1): 1day, 20hours, 18minutes, 28seconds.

Add all that together and… On second thoughts, don’t. Some boxes are best left unopened.

(cake photograph by PinkCakeBox and shared under a Creative Commons license).
August 2017
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