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winters_newoutfitFinally putting her leatherworking skills to use for personal reasons, a little bit of farming followed by a run to the auction house to spend just over 850g on leather and Eternal Air to make the vast majority of the Eviscerator’s collection. This was the choice: Which is the most fun, farming for hours to slowly gather a huge stack of Heavy Borean Leather or, OR! Blowing a large chunk of money on buying them from others and recouping the money from fun and interesting quests? Of course it’s the latter.

Of course, the old quandary of Defence over Resilience resurfaced, given that the items stack plenty of agility with The PvP Stat in order to stay uncrittable whilst keeping the Dodge rating in check and not bothering with any sort of mucking around in the realms of Parry and Block.

It’s her first major change of outfit since arriving in Northrend, with the exception of some fringe accessories, thanks to small-improvement drops being eschewed in favour of the set bonus of the Merciless Gladiator Outland set and, of course, those gorgeous shoulderpads. The replacements are perilously close to bordering on chunky ugliness, although the rest makes up for it. One guild member’s first reaction was “Woah! Cleavage!” and he got a /slap. ;)

So, there you go, bad points, the shouldergear. Good points, with a minor change of rings, necklace and trinkets, it’s a snazzy all-in-one soloing, tanking and PvP outfit. A test run in normal Utgarde Pinnacle proved to be a crit-free crazy amount of DPS and threat, topping the DPS meters for the first time ever! Now to try heroics, maybe after spending a bit more money on some enchants, perhaps.

Anj would like to confess to her most shameful achievement, nothing to do with recently dashing around low-level regions to boost home city repuatations (for fun, because that’s what achievements can be if you want them to! If they’re a burden, hey, you don’t have to do them!), more like… (ahem)… My Sack is “Gigantique”. Well, you see, now listen, no, just hear me out for a sec… After the bag drop from Obsidian Sanctum, there was only a small number of extra slots needed to have BaudBag display a neat and tidy four rows of 20 slots (not including quiver, mind you).

So with no desire to need the creation of a whole new row, Anj has reached her bagspace cap. Yeah, okay, not since Wintersong of the Shattered Sun has so much money been spent on so little. I am weak. :(

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Time for Bullet News(tm)!

  • Winters hit level 80 gathering bits of firewood in Zul’Drak. She is reported as saying: “They put up quite a fight!”
  • Anj has boosted her gear supported by Winterstar’s leatherworking habit. Razorstrike Breastplate, Eaglebane Bracers and Dragonstompers together with Belt of Tasselled Lanterns gemmed for +16 hit rating from the auction house and she might start doing a little better in the next heroic.
  • It still hurts Anj a little that Kurzel’s Rage, a ring she still needs to get from a pretty simple quest in Drak’tharon Keep, trumps Violet Signet of the Master Assassin with ludicrous ease. Badge gear can come and go but, dammit, she had to run Karazhan to exalted for that ring!
  • Although not started yet, the name for Next Hunter has been chosen. She is Bluesonja because she’s Draenic and… blue. But, you know, way better than the film
  • OMG! Getting the link for Red Sonja and I find out that “they” are remaking Red Sonja! Oh this I have to see. /gasp! I predict a train-wreck, as much as recent Hollywood output has made that statement like going to a road and predicting cars.
  • This might even need a rethink on the whole ‘Bluesonja’ idea. I mean, these things need chronological distance…
  • Dammit Hollywood, why must you ruin everything?!

Pew pew!

The most recent ding put Winterstar equal with Anj on mighty level seventy-eight and with lots of my friends already on eighty, does this bother me? Not a jot. I mean, first of all, I’m pretty happy with how long The Levelling of Anj and Winters Together has lasted – seriously, I expected one to take over the other at some point and remain sufficiently more interesting to keep the gap growing but, hey, I’ve shown an uncharacteristic amount of discipline.

Anyway, the new expansion isn’t even two months old yet, between now and the next expansion I don’t think time is going to be an issue, going at a moderate to brisk pace and enjoying the levelling process in the meantime is hardly going to break the bank. Winters has only just begun questing in Sholazar Basin and that’s the furthest either of the sisters have travelled so far, having been diligently working through the quests in Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills.

Of course, the benefits of having level eighty friends is the ease at which I can get invites to the level cap instances which you wouldn’t think is that big a deal but there’s far too many people obsessed with keeping everything easy-mode and afraid of anything even remotely challenging, you’re either over-geared or not invited. Psh. Kids. Just because they ain’t a God Mode. This is my theory and I’m sticking with it. :p

Anj has taken part in The Culling of Stratholme and also Utgarde Pinnacle, the first of which continued her unbroken experience of having no useful hunter drops, at least until Trophy Gatherer dropped in the latter. We all know how excited Anj gets about shiny new bows, despite the fact that the selling of her old pointy stick launcher has left a -20 Hit Cap deficit. Well at least it’s a round number, one has to expect stat fluctuations while gearing up. It’s par for the course!

Notable also was the Gilded Ringmail Hauberk quest reward from Junk In My Trunk which replaced Scaled Drakeskin Chestguard, the first of Anj’s two hundred-badge items from Outland to be put to pasture.

Onwards, quite literally, HO!

During the Ampitheater of Anguish event in Zul’Drak, the planets align for Winters.

xp_equinox

For those unfamiliar with Fubar: ExperienceFu, that’s 77.8% left to go for level 77, with a comfortably snug 77.8% of rest time remaining. Doesn’t this sort of numerology summon demons?

No decent rewards for the likes of a feral druid in Lich King’s effective The Ring Of Blood 2: Blood Harder, other than XP and the helpful feeling in aiding a group that was asking for a tank for ages in the LFG.

Answering a Too Cute cry for help elsewhere in Zul’Drak filled that gap with Staff of the Sorrowful Chieftan many days earlier. And it seems like just months ago that Winters finally managed to feel the delicious power of that wonderful Staff of Beasts. Oh, wait, it was just months ago.

Anj, on the other hand, swung by the Ampitheater pretty much as soon as hitting seventy-five and asks you to remark on the fine craftsmanship of her Icier Barbed Spear, and that it remains shiny and uncontaminated by blood.

Anj hit seventy-five mere metres into Drak’Tharon Keep, had to wait the whole instance to get her delicious new powerrrs but, on the plus side, managed to finally pop the talent point for Aimed Shot and equip that Mighty Alchemist’s Stone that’s been hanging around in the bagspace for about three levels now.

Dalaran was explored for a bit, eyes wide with wonder, before exiting avec Skyguard Drape via the sewer outlet to the land below. Because for “Red Mist” Anj, harpoon-surfing just wasn’t enough.

Whirlwind adventures aside, it was time to get back to the pencilled-in plan of One Level Anj, One Level Winters, and move my poor, lagging druid up from seventy-two and finally putting Borean Tundra to bed in the process. The “Nothing Boring About Borean” achievement was gained even though, to be honest, the zone started to get a bit, well, boring.

Well, okay, patchy in its look to the point of schizophrenia, although there were some good quests in there it is hard not to compare it unfavourably to Howling Fjord. I’m just sayin’. On to Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills, the latter of which not only reminds of a park close to where I live, but is also most notable for Doing Your Duty, perhaps her most grim adventure so far.

However, I’ve been thinking of doing something recently that seems to come at some point to all staunchly proud hunters while being completely misunderstood by the other (lesser) classes. It’s time to… Roll another hunter! *Fanfare!* There are reasons for this, these being:

  • I want a Draenei one.
  • I’m not leaving Beast Mastery for Anj (love it too much, for serious, have done since level ten), and want to try out the Survival or Marksmanship trees.
  • I want to have a character that begins at level one with a completely fresh achievements sheet, just to see how it goes.
  • There are no plans to muster up the motivation needed to continue levelling my rogue so she remains on The Old Realm keeping her engineering with her. I need a new engineer.
  • I suppose it’s possible to have too many hunters but, honestly, has anyone ever found that limit? ;)

And also, perhaps the one that will most determine exactly how long it will be until this project actually begins:

  • Heirloom items! Kitted out to the nines from square one onwards! Woo!

I just need ideas for her name, so if you have any suggestions I’ll be happy to be the judge of them.

I should add that simple ground-rule that the name should be a pretty standalone affair, no references to race, class, spec, professions, role or level, nor should it use any šþêçïäl characters to get around the name already being taken, thereby annoying the hell out of anyone who wants to whisper or invite me.

Well, it’s just amazing. That’s all.

This post has been restarted about three times and on each occasion threatened to run into several PageDowns listing the minutiae of every tiny point of awesome. Anj stepped of the boat in the Fjord and was almost immediately thrown into an ongoing siege of overdosed testosterone not entirely unlike a pub rioting after the news that Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts have gone acoustic. Winterstar’s Outland reputation preceded her on arrival in Borean Tundra and was graciously allowed to skip the recruitment queue and has since been hip-deep in bits of dead Scourge.

I think a little more time is needed before I can feel comfortable with casually mentioning the details of exactly why everything is so great, but here’s a few things:

Utgarde Keep is dirty and violent, The Nexus is floaty and ethereal (although this one is highest on my list to do again since the first time I was a little too tipsy to really notice the details), but Azjol-Nerub is by turns staggeringly beautiful and downright terrifying. For serious. Enjoy the jump-off though, wiping on the last boss has a silver lining.

Hunters will want to have a /hug ready when they visit their trainer at seventy-one. And that’s just level seventy-one! *giddy*!

There’s whisperings amongst the denizens of Sporeggar about a trip to Northrend to sort out, with violence if necessary, the issue of Just “Who Is The Cutest Faction Around Here Anyway?” with The Kalu’ak. Aaaw! Look at the bless ’ems with their plummy British accents! ^.^

The quest Flight of the Wintergarde Defender seems to have a reputation of being stupid and totally annoying but, for the record, I loved it. I recommend you look out for it and draw your own conclusions. It’s in Dragonblight, by the way.

Anj’s bow and Winters’ staff were replaced within three quests. Haste and armour penetration are becoming popular stats by the looks of it. The dirty, battle-hardened look of the gear as compared to the clean and shiny Outland stuff is shaping up very well indeed.

I think that should do it. Fow now. Happy hunting! :)

Two places to start in Northrend, and two hardcore women to level. This creates the question, who starts where? Only a /roll can decide!

Being the eldest, Anj gets the roll. Odd number is Borean Tundra, even is Howling Fjord. I know pretty much nothing about the details of these zones in my near-perfect ignorance of the content of the expansion. Okay, so here goes…

Anj rolls 46.

Howling Fjord it is for Anj, Winterstar gets the Tundra. So as far as I know, at bedtime on Wednesday, Anj needs to be positioned at Menethil Harbour before log-out, while Winters gets the easier job of just being at the Stormwind docks.

I’m going to try and level them both simultaneously, although the thing I want to do first of all, before anything else, is get a group together for the first instance. Winters can tank, although there’s Ghem the Draenai Warrior in my little friend group who is going to want to do some tanking too, ideal for when Anj wants a crack at the instance whip.

Oh. My. Goddesses. This is so exciting!

*glee*

Add-ons not working, everything disabled, world server going down every so often, ooh, hey, that’s a pretty new loading screen, what about the harbour, the talents trees, the achievement points, the…

Never mind all that, get me to the barbers!

Dabbling with the Hairband style for Anj on the left there, not sure if that’s going to stay or not (to be honest, I adore the Tomboy style), although the dark blue colour has been planned for months now. Winters has her official family facial markings at long last!

Yay! Now… About that “oh my goddess, my add-ons are askew!” thing…

Happy Patch Day!

Wintersong of Talnivarr became Winterstar of Bloodhoof, torn through the dimensional rift from a PvP to a PvE realm. Life, quoth Winters, is pretty peachy, and first impressions of the realm actually appear to be more mature (even in the Trade Channel!). This is, obviously, keeping in mind that this is still an online game and John Gabriel’s theory has tentacles that extend everywhere!

A warm, civilised exchange of greetings ‘twixt a Horde party and ours at the Coilfang Reservoir meeting stone was such sweet joy, the first Alterac Valley I joined looked to be one of the proper, old-school long ones and Horde had started the air-strikes (hopefully not just a lucky one-off) and, what’s this? K’iru’s Song of Victory as a permanent buff on Quel’Danas? I have literally never seen that before!

Postcard to Anj: “Having a great time, everyone is so nice. Wish you were here, seriously, WISH you were here. Get over here!”.

Over at Aspect of the Hare, Pike has been showin’ off her messy bank contents with the gauntlet thrown down for others to do the same. Given my inate fondness for looking at people’s bookcases, CD collections or work areas, anything that says more about the personality of the owner than a mere “What are you doing in my house? I’m going to call the police,” could ever do, I’m hardly going to pass-up the opportunity to join in.

It’s been “organised” recently but still, being a feral druid with a number of different costumes, a lot of items are kept long after the usual Vendor Time on the grounds of “just in case”. The top two rows are just that, including a bunch of Idols (none of which so far have proved more useful than Idol of the Wild from level 61), and some fancy dress items like witchy hats for Hallow’s End and the bottom half of that foxy Balance outfit from Zul’Farrak as a reminder to one day go back and get the top half.

Further down, one item of Merciless Gladiator set stored so as not to break the set-bonus of the Dragonhide Battlegear, potions, leathers – nothing truly amazing there – then the trinkets. Couple of healing ones on the left, DPS and random on the right. Carrot on a Stick, I kicked myself that I threw that out with Anj so that reason alone keeps it here for Winters.

Righteous Weapon Coating, I’ve sold many more of these than I have kept but, even so, if I go to Magister’s Terrace any day soon you can guarantee that I’ll forget to take them. Next up is some Primal Mights, stored for the last piece of the Primal Intent set, a few overstocks of her favourite foods and materials awaiting some more Heavy Knothide for Anj’s 24-slot Quiver (finally coming soon).

Row eight, a Harvest Festival item that creates food, non-combat pets (Blue Dragonhawk Hatchling is the current companion du jour) followed by a few misc items and tabards (only guild and Competitor’s, the Cenarion one goes so well with the tanking outfit so stays in the carry-on luggage), a few collectibles and then the staves! Every feral attack power staff that Winters has carried and since upgraded since arriving in Outland is here and, if I keep nothing else, I intend to keep hold of these. So far: Ursol’s Claw, Staff of Beasts, Dreamer’s Dragonstaff and Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber.

A few more collectibles (old school, gusp!), the unsurprising battleground marks (see the six Warsong Gulch ones? Yep, that’s the lifetime collection so far), drums and saving the final row for a bit more clothing and my beloved, fluctuating Badge of Justice stack followed by Brewfest Tokens.

Up next… Anj. And you thought this one was a mess…

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.

Inbetween doing a circus-standard, mad balancing act with defence, dodge and stamina for Winters’ tanking wardrobe recently I finally found the time and motivation to get Rebirth and Innervate bound to focus macros. Yep, I’m lazy. But here’s the thing, when testing the Rebirth out I was told I was lacking any Flintweed Seed. Flintweed Seed? WTH?! Turns out that from first getting the ability to level 70, I’ve only ever been using Rank 1.

/target self

/bonk

The only thing that saves this from being the level of Ultimate Epic Fail is perhaps the fact that, as a tank, I’ve only had the cause to use the ability about five times my entire life. Definitely no more than ten, and most of them being outside instances “just because it was there and hardly ever got used”. Two occasions spring to mind though:

  1. In Sethekk Halls. Mega-healer Bupu died on the last boss and since we were all safely behind a pillar getting ready for the AoE, I had the chance to bring her back to life. I cast, she returned and within half a second was instantly killed by the AoE. Yeah, it was quite funny, in a way.
  2. In Shattered Halls. Again, the last boss and Bupu was cruelly relieved of the ability to stand up. I had a full health bar, a quick Barksin, Rebirth and back to bear form was entirely possible. Once again Bups returned to her mortal coil and was killed halfway through her first self-heal by Bladefist’s annoying rushy-about trick. Not quite as funny this time.

Both occasions granted us an extra fifteen seconds of that natty Angel thing that priests do, so we still came out on top. Not a complete loss but even so… I should be ashamed.

We also tried a heroic! Underbog was the daily and it has been said that it’s the easiest heroic, so we packed our bags and traipsed over there. Three things were noted:

  1. I could probably use a bit more dodge.
  2. Bupu could probably give her +healing a mini-boost
  3. Can we please have a mage that isn’t a total psycho with a whole-party deathwish? Seriously, wariness of mages have taken over hunters in my LFG grumbles. Damn mages. We got through it but, hoy, it was exausting. Why do I get the feeling that I’ve typed this before, verbatim?

New additions to the Tank Wardrobe since then include Thoriumweave Cloak (enchanted for extra dodginess) and, surprisingly pleasing, Alexandrite Ring of Eluding from some random trash in Arcatraz. +19 on both dodge and agility makes it a pretty neat find, and was some consolation for Elementium Band of the Sentry not dropping again.

Now coming up to just shy of 22,000 armour, 13,000 health and 33% dodge, maybe it’s time to try out that heroic again.

Hunterin’, love it. Been doing some Karazhan with Anj again recently and it’s still fun. In short, pretty much as far as raid DPS goes, I wouldn’t want to be anything but my hunter. The joy of trapping, the knowing wink to the healer as an escaped mob turns away and misdirects back to the tank, the tautness of the bow-string and that sound, that beautiful sound, as an arrow launches from it at breakneck speed. Feels like heaven. And the light details I’ve heard of what is coming up for hunters in Lich King is nothing short of pant-sweatingly exciting!

That said, I think it’s time Wintersong was officially promoted to the rank of “Other Main”. The tanking is lots of fun and means I get to be a bossy-boots which, it hardly needs saying, is all good. Winters, step up here and get your insignia and Certificate of Mainery. Even though you can never exist in the world at the same time as your sister, you should know that Anj is very proud.

*rapturous applause*.

And so, to reflect this, you might notice a slight change in the blog subtitle. It has a nice ring to it, I think.

From that confusing first drop (a memorable “Eh? What’s this?!” moment in Western Plaguelands) to the most recent, the Darkmoon cards have built up a reputation with me as being nice to sell… Eventually. Somehow more of a drag than a bonus. But having had one of the Lunacy Deck turn up in Mechanar the other day, after a little research decided, you know what? I’m going to go for this.

It seems to result in a pretty nice soloing and, let’s be honest, tanking trinket, even if only for the stamina. Since I’m moving on to gain aggro on the next target at about 10% health, it’s unlikely to proc while tanking unless a Lacerate tick gets in there last. Defence is fine on my current tanking outfit, but I still need that stamina and armour before I can go waltzing into heroics and even, dare I say it, raids. Cripes.

Anj has had the Skyguard Silver Cross for a while, which has a similar Chance on Kill operation, but on top of the +51 Stamina I have to say the surprise element for the resulting buffs is altogether too tempting for someone like me to ignore:

Delusional: +70 attack power
Dementia: Every 5 seconds either gives you +5% or -5% damage/healing.
Kleptomania: +35 agility
Manic: +35 haste (spell, melee and ranged)
Martyr Complex: +35 stamina
Meglomania: +41 damage/healing
Narcissism: +35 intellect
Paranoia: +35 spell/melee/ranged crit strike rating
Sociopath: +35 strength

So far with (mainly) cheap purchases from AH (a couple of … less cheap ones), I only have the Eight of Lunacy left to get my hands on. So here’s looking forward to 2009 when I finally complete the set, again trying to use reverse psychology to ensure it’s available on the AH for 20g when I next log on. Fingers crossed!

(picture from Somerslea and shared under a Creative Commons License)

Additionata, 6th September 2008: Eight of Lunacy turned up on the Auction House for 40g. It was snapped up in a heartbeat and now Winters is waiting for the Carnies to set up the Faire in Elwynn Forest. Yeep!

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.

December 2017
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