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Update of recent happenings: Having scouted around Eastern Plaguelands to stock up on Dreamfoil, I decided to take Anj for a ride up to the Ghostlands, primarily to get the flight-path from Zul’Aman. Our guild is nowhere near ZA stage yet but, you know, while I’m in the area. But then OUTRAGE occurred! I could have, if I so wished, flown from Zul’Aman back to Stormwind! Or indeed any other Eastern Kingdoms flight path that I knew of! Great for Alliance (which it is) but I had thought that the depressing lack of flight options for Blood Elves in that area were probably due to the fact that there’s a loading screen betwixt Eastern Plaguelands and Ghostlands but, no! Alliance can go where they like, Horde have to take a massive detour. Quite glad I’m mainly Alliance and just a tourist Horde but then, having said that, I still like to think I’m all about the fairness.

While I was up there, my mind whooshed back to the days of questing in the area with Tori and reminded myself of that group of vain Blood Elves that gave me a quest to go and kill a camp of night elves. Well, let’s see how much they like a visit from an epic-geared, level 70 night elf then. They didn’t too much. After that, there was a party to crash in Eversong Woods, and the chance to feel all evil while multi-shotting sections of the party while the remaining revellers drank, laughed, chatted amongst each other and didn’t even so much as bat an eyelid!

On the Horde side, a skull-level Alliance warrior in raid-looking gear spent about two hours hanging around Nesingwary Jr’s camp killing everyone that came close and generally being a total pain. I got my own back, in a way, when searching for Bhag’thera and found a same-level Alliance warlock had only just, by a split second, beaten me to him. Well, the trouble I had getting there and thoughts of mucking about with waiting for respawns, I was left with no option but to kill the warlock and then “bag” the panther for myself, quickly accepting an invite from another blood elf with the same quest while doing it. Evil cackle. Normally, killing the opposing faction while they’re in the middle of a fight with something else is on my “lame kills” list and wouldn’t do it, but I was all cross from the Nesingwary troubles so, morally, I win. Almost.

On a side note, interestingly, the Firefox spell-checker suggests “Hemingway” as an alternative to “Nesingwary”. How very thoughtful of them to help with the cultural references.

Tori is level 38 now, money for the mount is made and safe in the hands of the bank character, there’s only the small problem of one and a half bars of Darkspear Troll reputation to go. I saw the Violet Raptor mount and it so-o-o-o must be mine.

Anj’s collection of Beast Lord Armor pieces has grown to include the leggings, thanks to a reasonably quick reputation-run through the Steam Vaults with a fellow guildie. Another Hunter came along but he had previously been so kind as to get better gear anyway so he wasn’t interested in competing on the roll. All mine! Only the chest and gloves remain and, since I’ve had a set-piece drop on each of the three recent instance visits I just know it’s going to be another million runs before any other part of the set drops.

I heard somewhere (may have been Epic Dolls) about people’s superstitions while playing WoW and the idea struck me as being silly almost straight away, but do you see what I did up there? Openly, in text, with my fingers, suggesting a huge number of instance runs in a vain attempt to reverse-psychology the whole universe into making it untrue. I also confidently expect all my bank character’s post to be expired auctions because, if I do that, it’ll be successful sales all the way. So I was silly to think the idea of WoW superstitions are silly. I think it’s super silly to think that bad things will happen if I walk underneath ladders, but do I do it? No, sir. I’ve also never said “Candyman” five times to a mirror. I’m not crazy.

Tori, 29Also, just a bit of dabbling with Tori who has, for probably the first time since the Initiate gear at level 1, managed to cobble together a collection of coordinating clothes. Dervish Boots with a keen agility enchantment dropped from some mob or another leaving only my Tranquillen quest reward Ghostclaw Leggings to ruin the forest green theme I had going. I quick look to the auction house with my new-found Horde riches and there they were, Dervish Leggings (also agility-boosted) for a mere 1g 99s. Sold to the very hungry-looking girl down the front!

Good days and bad days, today was a good day. Maybe it’s all karma, since I helped one of my guild officers with the final part of the Nesingwary quest line in Nagrand and he got his super new gun, after a few days of unsuccessfully trying to get the Coilfang Needler from the second Slave Pens boss. While he went to have his dinner, I quickly gathered mats and got another guild member to craft him a Knothide Shot Pouch to keep his bullets in. Maybe it was karma, or maybe that’s just the superstitions again. OMG, just go around the ladders please!

Setting up a bank character should probably be rule #1 for profiteering in WoW, everything that was there before it, just shift it all down one. Not only is it so much easier to get to a postbox than it is to hearthstone or fly to a capital to sell items, but keeping all the money made in the possession of the bank character as an emergency pocket money fund allows you to see just exactly how effective your business ventures have been.

Just checked my Horde bank character today, selling items found in the field by Tori at a mere level 28, through a mix of good ol’ fashioned killing and her (still) pretty low level mining and skining skills, so we’re not talking about anything super high-level here and all-in-all it came to a cool 30g, give or take a few silver. 10g of that came from a single Iridescent Pearl and a stack of Wool Cloth which is crazy spendin’ on someone’s part but I’m a-no complainin’.

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.

Levelling a Hunter, have you forgotten how fun it is?

Apparently I had. With a little dabblin’ here and there, I’ve shifted Tori up to level 27, having moved out from the safe territory of the start areas and out to Hillsbrad. Things that have happened are:

Thing the First: I tamed another pet, this time a boar (on the advice of BRK for its impressive tanking skills) and not just any old boar, heavens no. When I last looked at Tori for any decent length of time, it was around September last year and I made it my hungover Sunday project to travel to Darkshore and bag me a cute Ghost Saber. It’s a pretty hard one to get at level 21 for an Alliance player, for Horde it’s like a mini badge of honour. So for the boar, I decided that a trip to Lakeshire was on the cards for a fresh, shiny Bellygrub. Surprisingly little resistance was met along the way on both occasions, having tamed one and named it “Bellygrub” before preferring the name “NotoriousPIG” forcing me to go all the way back the next day, ready to tame. So yay! Two Alliance pets.

Thing the Second: Been deeply miffed at the being unable to fly from Tarren Mill to Grom’Gol, what’s that all about? Not only is Silvermoon pretty much cut-off from the rest of the world (no wonder it’s quiet around there, the enchanted sweeping brushes carry on regardlessly but there’s NOTHING TO SWEEP) but I have to fly to The Undercity, and then get a zeppelin which is no mean feat considering that Undercity does my face in like a four-dimensional Sudoku, with its tiers and segments and rivers of sick. And I thought The Exodar was hard to navigate. Come back, all is forgiven.

Clearly The Undercity is something I just need to get used to, have to keep remembering that Ironforge confused me at first and keep cursing my poor sense of direction. Other than that it’s a beautifully designed city, and flying in isn’t so bad because the route the bats take through the sewers take is really cool, not entirely unlike flying into Ironforge but plenty more adventurous. Yep, I can see that every little textured block in the Forsaken’s home patch was placed with love and pride.

Thing the Younger, daughter of Thing II and known to her friends as “Ting”: I’ve made a decent amount of money from the skinning and mining! With no high level alts on the server to send a relief package in the post, I still think I’ll be equipped with mount come level 40. Just have to get my rep up with the trolls, those Blood Elf mounts just look stupid. Me and my Alliance buddies always have a pretty good laugh when we see them strutting around. See: Bernie Clifton.

    And… there. I think that’s it. Nice to see that Horde has its fair share of pure idiots like Alliance. I was led to believe (by some) that Horde attracted the more mature players while all the while thinking that Horde was a magnet to the scrotey 13 year old boys who like to think they’re badasses. I think the latter is becoming increasingly more true.

    So I’ve had Tori, my worryingly-emaciated Blood Elf Hunter, hanging around on the Dunemaul realm for some time now and today I got a hankering to feel that most joyous of tasks: Levelling a hunter! I am sure that during their teenage years in the Hunter wing of Azeroth University, the students spend their time practising archery, hanging out with their cute pets and generally being told not to worry ’bout a thing (baby).

    For example, the quest text for Wanted: Knucklerot and Luzran suggests three players at about level 21 to get the job done safely. I didn’t even notice that the huge bag of elite bones wandering up and down the Dead Scar was part of a quest until after I’d decided that I just flat out wanted to kill him. Luzran fell, looking like a proper berk having just been thoroughly beaten up by a tiny girl who doesn’t even eat enough food. That done, I went in search of Knucklerot and he fell in much the same way. Job done, give me my prize and I’ll be on my way, Horde people.

    And so I started thinking about how easy Hunters have it, being able to go one on one with same level elites and emerge victorious. Of course it’s not a certainty, I’ve seen with my own eyes Hunters that charge in where angels fear to tread and end up dead in a puddle, this is why the term “huntard” exists. But with great power comes great responsibilty and, yes, Hunter levelling is easy but that ease becomes a wet, heavy albatross around our collective necks when battleground time comes up.

    The way I see it, it works like this: Hunters are easy to level, PvE is seen to take no real skill (even though it does, if done right) and therefore, your average untankable, untauntable, Real Life(TM) player in a battleground seems to automatically see us as a free kill. So therefore it is safe to say that the gap between an average and a great Hunter is wa-a-a-ay wider than any other class. I’m not saying I fully bridge that gap yet but I’m happy to admit I’m definitely (probably?) into the higher half of the scale.

    This was made so clear to me yesterday when I was boosting a couple of guild members through Zul’Farrak and the hunter was treating his class like some kind of warrior! And it bugged me on so many levels that I wanted to shout “No no no no stop getting Hunters wrong! The skill is staying well out of arm’s reach!”. He’s currently being schooled and being told in no uncertain terms that the fancy new fist weapon he got from the instance is mainly there to look good (which, granted, it does) and not be used quite so often, even though it has a Chance On Hit bonus rather than tasty, tasty +stats making it pretty much pure Rogue-fodder.

    So take pride in your Hunter status! Don’t listen to the people that assume you’re a “huntard” straight off the bat! Just, you know, whatever you do, don’t be one.

    In the meantime, my dislike of Blood Elves isn’t getting in the way of my enjoyment of going through the levels again only, this time with different quests, different towns and different routes through the game. I’ll just keep stuffing food down her mouth and hope she puts a little bit of weight on.

    August 2017
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