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I’m not exactly sure of the month that I first created Wintersong so whether it is her birthday (or thereabouts) or not I couldn’t really say. The earliest post that mentions her was 16th January where she was skipping up to level 30 after a long period of inactivity so, who knows, it could well be. But I digress…

Anzu was respectably pwned on the second attempt and Swift Flight Form is in the bag. Yay! All in all, life has been good to Winters recently. I can only thank the person that, a few days ago, put Staff of Natural Fury on the auction house for 700g. Having seen it a few times before in the closer to the region of 1300g, it was either very charitable or amazingly misjudged on their part but, again, thanks all the same. You could hear the “YOINK!” from Booty Bay.

Finally getting to exalted with the Cenarion Expedition via a heroic Steamvaults run yesterday bagged the mean-looking Earthwarden, and the badges gained from that same run went towards a Ring of Unyielding Force. Then today, a pleasantly surprising drop of Tree-Mender’s Belt in the heroic Hellfire Ramparts replaced Manimal’s Cinch, bidding a fond adieu to the last of my green-quality tanking items.

Throw in the Midnight Legguards from more heroic adventures in Slave Pens, crafted Primalstrike Vest and Empty Mug of Direbrew from the Brewfest event boss, and her Cat Form wardrobe hasn’t done too badly either.

All that’s missing is the cake but, since Brewfest is on, booze will make an ideal substitute. Staggering around instances while smashed off her Bear Form face for the reduction of target level is not only fun but remarkably rewarding.

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.

Every Alliance fire has been saluted, every Horde fire has been stamped on, flames stolen from four cities… That’s the Festival in the bag for Anj. Throw in earnings of over 500g, a pretty Crown of the Fire Festival to go with the dress and a Brazier of Dancing Flames as a stylish booty-shakin’ companion. Now to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labour, the warmth of the fires and that gorgeous bunting that gets attached to almost every vertical surface.

Dancing flames!

Incidentally, taking the city flames if you’re a night elf hunter: All you’re going to need is Feign Death and Shadowmeld. Mount up and ride into the city as bold as you like. Miss! Dodge! Parry! Should you get dazed and dismounted, hit the FD, wait for the grunts to go back to their posts and come out of that straight into the ‘Meld until the cooldown is up and go again. I went very early in the morning and Orgrimmar was still expected to be problematic but the troubles never came. Turns out there was a big Horde raid going on in Ironforge at the time. That will have taken care of a bunch of players who, as we all know, are notoriously unfooled by amateur dramatics. More fool them, I say!

While we’re being honest, as for the “in the bag” statement, well… There’s still fires at Brill, Booty Bay and Area 52 to do, oh and the Frost Lord because I like having tabards even though the choice is cruel! Red or blue? Blue or red? … OMG! No time for dancin’!

Blizzard’s efforts to ease the one to sixty levelling stretch without making it ludicrously easy have been admirable, and the current Midsummer Fire Festival offers a great bonus opportunity to boost up a few levels. Just with regular questing the (level * 10) damage buffs, +3% critical strike and +10% XP gain help you kill mobs a little quicker and gets you more of a reward for doing it.

Also, touring the worlds honouring your own fires while extinguishing the opposing faction’s is surprisingly rewarding. Caitlin’s shifted up to level 60, she’s on a brief hiatus now to fill up that rest time ready for Hellfire Peninsula and beyond, while Winters is sitting pretty at 40, waiting for the chance to get into a dungeon and try out tanking. There’s no real XP to gain for Anj but fire-work around Outland and Eastern Kingdoms, starting in Blasted Lands and heading steadily North, netted a keen 225g plus more than enough Burning Blossoms to get her a beautiful new dress. The Lunar Festival Dress is all very well, but you can’t expect a girl to wind down outside of battle gear with only one alternative wardrobe option. That’s just being silly.

Wintersong saw something amazing:

Outside WoW: RIP George.

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.

Welcome returns for my first official WoW holiday, children’s week! My second for Alliance, first for Horde and first for Shattrath City. Gaze upon ye picture of a beautiful reunion in wonder:

Dornaa catches up on old times with her brother Jheel. Aaaw! Don’t it make your heart wanna melt through your skin?

August 2017
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