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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.

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Horde come to attack the king of Ironforge, Horde are sent swiftly away again with a flea in their ear.

Horde come to attack the king of Ironforge, Horde are sent swiftly away again with a flea in their ear. Yay the WorldDefense channel.

Anj becomes a heroine of the Netherwing and chooses Onyxien, partly based on colour, mainly based on name.

Anj becomes a heroine of the Netherwing and chooses Onyxien as her personal mount, partly based on colour, mainly based on name. She's skittish like that.

…It only took the two Nethermine quests to top the reputation bar up, thanks in no small part to finding four Netherdrake Eggs just sitting around in plain view of anybody, bold as brass. The Eggs have been like that consistently I’ve found, one day you can’t find one for love nor money, the next you’re practically tripping over them.

There was also a total “omgomgomg!” moment with the rep completion but I won’t put spoilers here, even though you can go to Wowhead and be spoiled inside of five seconds.

Talnivarr’s progress on Sunwell Isle has moved up to taking the armoury, with three more daily quests to enjoy. Bomb some ships, kill some blood elves and collect some ore from chests, it’s all pretty easy but, given that it’s a PvP server, the real challenge comes from doing them while not dying thanks to the Horde that seem to hang around all day, every day, (seriously, I’ve taken names and there’s about three that are ever-present) and go for the undignified easy kill while their target is in combat with something else. So brave! So heroic!

So imagine my glee when, during the Sunfury Battle Plans daily, I came across a blood elf paladin with a name I recognised. “Why, that’s the hoity-toity bitch that killed me this morning while I had two other mobs to deal with! Why, I appear to be getting a steady shot ready!”.

It was a long battle, hunter vs. paladin always is, but vengeance was mine, bwa-ha-ha. And at least I waited until she was done fighting other mobs. See, that’s how it’s done! Now take your ill-gotten honour points and shove off, emaciated paladin lady. The sight of her regaining her body, mounting up and flying away from the area, with nary even a return attack was such sweet joy. Aaw, bless.

Standard disclaimer: Any Horde players reading this, of course I’m not so naive as to think that the Sunwell Isle cheap kills are limited to Horde. Alliance has it’s very own stock of PvP-useless weasels.

As for Shattered Sun Offensive reputation, I’m around 25% away from exalted. And then I can have a look at that attack power upgrade for my Alchemist’s Stone. I’m not sure though, 108 attack power is very tempting but at the cost of +15 to all stats when the only one I don’t really use is Strength? Hmm. I’ll have plenty of time to think about that in the time it’s going to take for me to get the two Nether Vortexes I need to make it.

Vortexes? Is that right? It… It doesn’t look right.

(picture by Netream and shared under a Creative Commons license)

For a little while over the weekend there, as happens every so often, I got sick of being killed by completely underhand methods by Horde players (and, Horde people, I’m not even going to begin to suggest that Alliance don’t do this too). In a sense it could be considered bad form to complain about being killed when on a PvP server – it happens, you just have to deal with it – but there’s ways and means, people!

Is any fight ever truly fair in WoW? Certain classes have advantages over other classes, gear becomes an important factor when a hardened raider with numerous runs of Gruul’s Lair under her belt comes face-to-face with a fresh level 70, all excited and full of vigour at the new world of opportunity laid out before them, it’s always going to be pretty hard to see the top of the food chain. These are part of the PvP realm life, they’re never going to stop and any amount of protesting here isn’t going to help at all.

Regardless of level, gear, skill or latency however, I have noticed that the kills where the opposing player knows for a fact contain little to no chance of retaliation rank probably the highest in frequency, as if landing at a neutral town flightmaster with <AFK> above your head actually stands for A Free Kill, and don’t even get me started at the people who I swear earn hundreds of honour points per day just by hanging around a meeting stone.

General kills while going about my day are acceptable, whether I win or lose although it’s more lose than win. Maybe the psychology from the other players is one of “Hey, we’re sharing this area and I can’t guarantee that you’re not going to kill me so, to stop that from happening, I’m going to kill you first”. It’s the great lesson that Bush and Blair gave us. Strike first and clumsily answer any questions about morality or legality in a press conference later, maybe. Yeah, right on.

And so, every now and then, I go a little psycho and do exactly that which I hate happening to me, but to be honest it never lasts. I attacked and neatly kited a warrior to death in Nagrand, scooping up a keen 20 honour points for my minimal troubles. Almost the same situation with a shaman but came off a little less successful. Yeah, I’m not that great at PvP, but the feeling I get from being ambushed and being the one left alive is far greater than the same result coming from my first move, and to make the first move and still lose well… That’s just disheartening. To look at it in a positive light, at least these kills are giving me the chance to sharpen up my skills, get better and win a few. Here is the possible core of my problem, while levelling I saw invitations to duel as an annoyance rather than basic training.

That said, this morning I saw a level 62 blood elf priest frantically running away from an elite naga in Zangarmarsh. He was at about 5% health and, as has happened to me, I could have finished it so easily. There would have been honour in the kill as far as the game is concerned (granted, not much, but see how it all stacks up) what about my own sense of honour? Would it make me feel better about myself in any way? Would I strut away with that inflated self-worth and the swagger of the “Hey! Check me out, I’m imba!”? Nope. Instead, after he’d healed himself to full health I waved at him and, in the rudimentary way of communicating though simple emotes, pointed to the mob he was attempting to kill and let him take the first shot, then helped him with the kill. He thanked me, I curtsied, went on my merry way and, care-bear that I am, felt pretty good about it.

And you know what? With the little pinch of “R” I put in with my “P” it’s all part of my heavily-self-based character. Anj doesn’t like the war we’re in so much but it’s n unfortunate necessity, all this petty squabbling between the two factions is wasted energy when we both share a common enemy outside of each other. Yeah, she’s Azeroth’s Martin Luther-King. She has a dream! She’s been to the mountain-top!

A little note of thanks, while I’m on the subject, to the forsaken player last week who, when I beat him to the Skyguard Prisoner in Skettis, rather than killing me during a solo fight with three mobs, helped clear the way. He didn’t even get too mad when clicking on him to pass on a /thanks accidentally right-clicked and fired an autoshot before I had chance to hurriedly stab the escape key about twenty times to stop it before dispensing a /sorry and then the /thanks. Another memorable Horde care-bear was back in the early 60’s, having accepted an escort quest in Firewing Point that I was way out of my depth for, helped clear a path to the exit, hearthed and I never saw him again.

It don’t harm to be nice every once in a while, but I still need to work on those PvP skills because nice equals okay, doormat equals nope.

(photograph by swanksalot and shared under a Creative Commons license).

Two factors can spoil the otherwise reasonably fun diversion for money and honour that is the daily PvP quests. These two factors, as they were today, are being Alliance and being told to win Warsong Gulch. There’s something very sulky-looking about a sitting male night elf and it’s not surprising to find that the WsG battlemaster in Shattrath City has adopted this stance, the poor guy loves his forest (and, hey, short-sighted, wood-wasting horde aside, who doesn’t?) and his side always fails to properly defend it. So he sits and he sulks.

Anywho, among the four matches that were played before the Alliance win, I managed to pass the seven-kay lifetime kills mark. Joot! Milestone!

7,000 Lifetime Honourable Kills. Check it.

Later, I was invited to a reputation run through the Steam Vaults by a fellow guildie, the very same guildie, mind, that not more than a few days previously had implied, nay, accused, during a chat about Karazhan-suitable gear, me of being at the bottom of the damage meters the last time I’d run the instance with him. Now, I can’t remember for sure and don’t have any screenshots but I found it highly doubtful unless the other DPS members had the kind of raid gear on that made such a meagre instance beneath them to the point of hilarity. Would I accept the invite? Damn right I would, I have my pride.

Steam Vaults, damage meters.

We did two runs in total, the first (on the left), way ahead, can you see? For the second run it became a little more of a challenge, having had one member leave and taken on a hunter to fill the gap. This started out a fluctuating neck and neck, with me falling behind a little when, during a spat with the first boss I proved myself to be a massive plum by… falling off the bridge, perhaps not causing the resulting wipe outright (after all, the elemental that I had seriously miffed off left the rest of the group to find me in the water below, by no means a short journey) but certainly not helping matters much.

And then, on the way back to our position, hunter #2 gave me an Elixir of Major Agility and, my friend, you just lost yourself the top of the damage charts. Let that be a lesson to people.

Guild plans have been in place since the beginning of the week to do Arcatraz tomorrow night. Should be interesting to see how (if) that turns out.

I’ve noticed a bizarre thing with playing a Horde character. As Alliance, if I see a lower level Horde running around, nine times out of ten I’ll leave them alone and let them go about their day. You’ve got to pity them, really. Bad enough being Horde then they have to contend with people randomly shooting at them when they’re trying to get stuff done. It’s almost cruel. Carebear? Yup.

Playing the Horde character though, my mood changes from compassion to “For fu… KILL!” when faced with the opposing faction. I happened across a Draenei Shaman today, level 31 and me just a mere level 28. Now, first of all, I have nothing against the Draenei. They’re kind, warm, open-minded and above all decent people, with beautiful accents. And then there’s me (in this body), the bloody Blood Elf. Vain, narcissistic, selfish and, without a shadow of a doubt, a total bitch. Can you imagine what Shattrath city would be like if it was a Blood Elf capital city? All the Alliance forces and refugees would be camped out in the middle of the forest, that’s what it would be like. Draenei. Are. Decent. People.

And yet I fired, kited her around a bit and eventually won. Honour points for me, a heartfelt apology for the Draenei, and went back on my way. I’ll do my bit in battlegrounds for whatever faction I’m playing, but the last time I was in Arathi Basin as Horde, Alliance won and I was all like “Yay Alliance!”. Honestly, I was happy with the result.

Alliance 4 Life, you see. I just can’t be held responsible for things I do while my brain is clouded with Horde doctrine in world PvP. I still feel sorry for that poor Shaman.

Anj atop her new RamTaking a brief hiatus from the PvP battlegrounds, I have missed the joy of spending honour points and marks for shiny new items. So with stacks of medals in my bank and no chance of them going anywhere, I splashed out and got myself a brand new mount. The Black War Cat had a nice ring to it, but being Night Elf I have an epic cat mount anyway. My warlock has her flame’n’hooves epic horsie and there’s no equine beast that’s ever going to top that, which only leaves the Black War Ram. Thankfully I think they look pretty cool.

No Black War Ellek though. Booo! I’d love one of those. Maybe I should rep-grind in the Draenei start area, compare notes with my Blood Elf experiences while doing it.

As for Shattrath, post-patch? No real difference.

December 2017
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