Posted by: Tessy | April 3, 2011

The End

The time has not yet come for me to say goodbye to the game, but it has come for me to say goodbye to this blog. I no longer have anything to say and I might as well stop pretending that maybe I will.

When I was a kid I read a collection of short stories written by Isaac Asimov about a demon called Azazel. The stories all detailed how Azazel, all two inches of him (he was a very small demon), helped someone or other to achieve something they really thought they wanted, but it invariably turned out that they did not really want it at all.

I remember in particular this story about a writer who was exasperated about all the time he had to spend waiting on things – buses, waiters, whatever. He was very aggravated and very vocal every time he had to roam the bus stop for a bus, the restaurant until a table became available and so on. He figured he could use all that time for something constructive instead, he could use it for writing! After all, writing was what he did for a living and if he could spend twice as much time writing he would be very happy inded.

Enter Azazel, who granted him the favor of never having to wait for anything ever again. When the writer gets near a bus stop nowadays, a bus just pulls up at it. When he enters a diner, he doesn’t even have time to hang his coat before a waiter has shown him a table and he has a menu in his hand. He now has all the time in the world to write.

But he doesn’t write. He can’t write. Not a word has he put on paper since Azazel did his trick. Turns out all that time spent waiting was not just spent waiting and looking out for buses and trying to find waiters, it was also spent working up inspiration. Inspiration which then poured out when the writer had time to sit down and actually write. Without that time getting worked up he simply does not have anything to write about anymore. It’s just a big meh.

When I play WoW nowadays I am often reminded of this story. I think I know exactly how that writer felt. All the bumps in the roads have been smoothed out and all  the detours have been made unnecessary. All the random elements of chance and luck and discovery have been removed or made superfluous.

I remember starting out in Nortshire Abbey as a rogue a long time ago. I read all the quest texts, I found my way around and then out into the huge Elwynn Forest. I ambled along into Goldshire and happened upon some women in a house who taught me skinning and leatherworking. I did the Elwynn quests, trying to find the quest items and NPCs from the sometimes very scant information provided.

I remember running Karazhan over and over with my warlock to get her the shiny staff of Infinite Mystery which only ever dropped if a) there was another caster in the run who didn’t have the staff  and invariably rolled higher than me or b) I was running with my priest or druid. But I finally got it after about a gazillion tries and I had a smile on my face for a week.

I remember taking up jewelcrafting with my priest and collecting designs – getting the odd lucky drop myself, having fun scouting the AH for bargains, getting designs as gifts from friends who’d had a lucky drop.

All those things are gone now, replaced by grinds of various kinds. I don’t need to think or to work out on my own how to get from A to B, I just follow the huge railroad tracks from the exclamation mark to the zone marked on the map to the glittery sparkle things and then back to the question mark. I don’t need to get a lucky drop from a dungeon boss because they will drop enough marks for me so I can buy me whatever I want. I don’t need to fly all around the world and track down hermits to buy cooking recipes from because if I just keep picking apples in Stormwind or give sugar rushes to orphans I will eventually get all cooking recipes there is.

I’m not saying the game has become too easy – I just think it has becomea bit too smooth. There is a lot of new areas, new quests, new pets, new toys but I don’t feel the thrill and joy and excitement of discovery anymore. I feel like a tame goose wandering my safe pen and hearing the wild geese honking as they fly past above me.

Saying this makes me feel a bit like that kid who exasperates her parents by opening all shiny presents she gets  for Christmas, admiring them for a bit and then promptly forgets about them and starts playing with the wrapping and boxes because those boxes makes her able to use her imagination and have a spaceship instead of a pink pony. And next day the box can be a transmogrifier.


The end of the road is coming nearer for me. I still raid, although I am not nearly as good as I could have been had my heart been really into it. I still play my various girls although not anywhere near as much as I used to.

I have played WoW for five years now and leaving it is actually rather hard to do. The game has been part of my life for so long and even thinking of cutting all ties with it is rather heartbreaking. I am not a very outgoing and social person even at the best of days  so this hanging out with people online suits me rather perfectly, but I am not much into Facebook or such places, or any other games, so if I don’t have WoW as a way to chat with friends and the occasional stranger will I be all alone? Not that I chat much to start with, but still. There is a difference between being quiet in other people’s company and being quiet while all alone.

It was over two years ago that I first realised that WoW would not go on forever, that there was a life after WoW. When I wrote that post, I figured I would be gone rather soon-ish, but here I am, two years down the road and still going on. This time, however, I really don’t see myself hanging on for much longer.

Like Syl and Larísa, I don’t want to just leave abruptly. My girls have been with me for such a long time and have develeoped personalities of their own – I think I owe it to them to leave them at their favourite places with their favourite belongings.

Tessy the rogue, my first, my preciouss, will of course be in Elwynn Forest. She’ll be wearing supple leather, washed clean of all blood and gore and her daggers tucked away, all her pilfered books with her so she can sit by a tree and read and occasionally she’ll stroll over to her friends over by the lake to sit by the fire and share a drink.

Joaquime the durid, she’ll be in her flight form up in the soaring sky islands of Nagrand where she used to sit for long nights talking about life, the universe and everything with a dear friend.

Paynne the warlock will be wearing her enchanted Gold Bloodrobe which she made a long time ago as a levelling warlock and her trusted Felguard will be close by her side.

Larue da shammy will probably be going back to her homelands of Azuremyst Island, wearing her full Icecrown regalia with pride.

Jools will be wearing her lovely robes of Heavenly Purpose, make a fire outside the gates of Stormwind and sit down there. That’s where she said goodbye to her friends on Vashj when she left for Aerie Peak and that’s where she’ll say goodbye to Aerie Peak as well.

Cuddling the hunter will bring her beloved pink tallstrider Blingbling to the quay in Menethil Harbour where they will sit waiting for that ship to come and bring them to new adventures.

Daissy the warrior will wear her Phantom Blades, made for her by my husband, and she’ll go to Winterspring where she spent so many levels working hard for that pretty lavender tiger mount.

Funny, how it can be so bittersweet and pretty painful to decide where your pixelated alter egos will go to rest. I try to take heart in a quote from Dr Seuss:  “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

And I wish you all goodbye.

Posted by: Tessy | February 17, 2011

Pet Parade

First a bit of a whinge, like Tam would say. Or maybe he wouldn’t. Anyways, WoW has lost a bit of its lustre to me. It no longer shines as brightly as it used to be and is not on my top five list of favourite pastimes. It’s on my top ten still but much closer to 10 than to 5, so to speak. Not that I make lists a lot.

Maybe it is temporary or maybe it is the beginning of the end. I don’t know. I used to play every day and now I play mostly on the two weekdays I raid (that is of course if the son, IT engineer to be, has not attemped to improve our home network and accidentally disabled my internet access) and the odd day in between. Somehow I find other things to do with my free time. Read books. Actually go to the gym. My personal hygiene has improved and flies no longer buzz around me. Design pretty dresses and sew them. Spend long evenings at the dinner table and talk to the kids. Incidentally, one of these last sentences was a joke.

Somehow I have despite this WoW ennui managed to level not only Tessy Bear, my raiding durid for fite, to 85 and hesitantly, self-consciously and inexpertly tank a whole lot of raid bosses with her but I have also managed to level my hunter Cuddling to 85.

Cuddling is another one of my mostly solo playing questing doing odd things for fun toons. I defied the Sundering and the havoc wrought upon talent trees and abilities and kept playing her like I used to. Information overload made me go oh so dreadfully tired every time the thought of maybe checking out some blogs or guides for the New and Improved way of playing. Serpent Sting, Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, they worked well enough for my father’s fathers and they will work well enough for me! I liked playing the way I did and it worked for me when I levelled.

Being a lazy-ass conservative hunter did not stop me from picking up some new pets though. Like some durid is for fite, some hunter is for collecting pets.

Thus I hereby proudly present to you, Cuddling’s Pet Parade!

First and Most Beloved Pet, the Pink Flamingo

I have written about BlingBling before. She was the first pet Cuddling tamed once she got the ability and she had to run all the way from Azuremyst Isle to Durotar to tame her. She was also the only pet for Cuddling until way up in her fifties.

I remember looking through old screenshots last year and coming upon some I had taken just after I had tamed BlingBling and taken her back to Azuremyst to continue my questing there. Being used to my high-lvl pet’s size I remember being surprised at how small she was at lvl 10. Towering over my draenei hunter at lvl 80, she had barely reached to her waist at lvl 10, she was so cute, so tiny, so loveable. Those screenshots are gone now, wiped along with every other screenshot I had after a severe laptop crash and thinking about them makes me sad and happy at the same time. Silly, eh? Still, I am glad I looked through that folder when I did and remember those shots.

I went back to Durotar today to get a screenshot with my lvl 85 BlingBling next to the lvl 7 Mazzranache, but to my big surprise they were just about the same size now. I know for sure that my pet grew in size as she levelled, so I guess the Sundering has brought about some changes in pet sizing as well. And to my even bigger surprise and great delight, Mazzranache was no longer roaming the prairies of Durotar on her own, she had a flock of toddlers following her!

Awww aren’t they cute?! Called Jazzranache, Hazzranache, Razzranache and little Spazzranache. Note how Mazz herself has grown and is now equal in size to BlingBling standing next to Cuddling.

The White Bat

Cuddling found the rare pinkish-white bat Rezzan the Needler in Tirisfal Glades and she named her Tinkerbelle. I have always liked bat pets since my husbands first hunter, a belf long abandoned, got himself a pretty red bat called Kalle. I especially like their graceful gliding approach to the unknowing prey, death on silent wings.

Like BlingBling, Tinkerbelle was a very small bat to start with, almost small enough to fit into a bag Paris Hilton-style, but she too has grown and is now big enough to flap her wings in dah face of anyone! Try stuffing her into a bag now (if you dare).


Since I liked BlingBling so much, I thought I would like having another tallstrider as a pet and I found the blue-green Clutchmother roaming the woods of Darkshore and renamed her LittleBlue after a TV show I watched when I was a kid where this elephant managed to break a fountain pen in his bath and the ink dyed him all blue. Elephant, bird, same same.

Sadly, this pet has not seen much daylight since I tamed her and sits in the stable most of the time. I feel a bit bad for that but somehow I can’t bring myself to abandon her. Is it weird feeling a tinge of guilt for not letting a pixel pet out enough?


Cuddling’s first not-rare petwas a sporebat from Zangarmarsh. I liked their languid unhurried floating, their shedding of light motes around them, the garish but yet soft luminescent colours. They look fairie-like to me, somehow not really here with us, in our reality.

I named mine Glitter. My durid has the sporebat companion from Sporeggar rep which is absolutely adorable, and I wish I could work up the determination to grind rep with Cuddling as well. And to get her the Mulgore mini-Blingbling from Argent Crusade as well.

Burning Bright

I tamed another rare in Sholazar Basin, a beautiful orange tiger called Shango which I called Tyger, of William Blake fame. Tyger has long sabre tooths and looks like the ZG tiger. I wish I could tame him enough so he would let me ride him.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Foxy foxy

The foxes brought in in Cataclysm are so lovely and I found a pretty blue.grey rare specimen called Ashtail in the highlands of Loch Modan. After tamed he became Fiona, the playful fox.

I noted an ability that none of my other pets had, called Play, which puts my fox in a playful state, ie she dances like the shaman ghost wolf! And she gets the adorable buff “When you are the best of friends…” when dancing!

Oh, and did I mention she can dance?

Tamed but not named Bear

After having discovered Fiona’s playfulness I searched for other playful pets and I found the white bear Mangeclaw in Dun Morogh. This bear does not play per se, but he does take the opportunity to Rest whenever I let him.

This bear is the only one of my pets still without a name. I wanted to call him Snowball but the silly game wouldn’t let me and I have yet not found a name that suits him so he goes by Bear still.

As I write this I notice how I have genderised my pets. Although I can’t really lift their tails and check their gender, I have a pretty clear idea of whether I tamed a male or female beast and whether my pet is female or male. Sometimes the gender before and after the taming match, but sometime it doesn’t. Shango was very male and so is Tyger. Bear was male when I met him and is still male, and will be a bear secure in his masculinity even if I name him Snowball or some variety thereof. Rezzan the Needler was male but turned into the female Tinkerbelle. Glitter is actually neither, it is outworldy and our gender conventions apparently don’t apply to it. BlingBling is female and so is LittleBlue, even if her elephant namesake was a boy.


Pet of Awesome or How to keep a 40-year old amused in 1 easy step:

Cuddling has another pet that wasn’t a rare originally, a seagull that she tamed in Thousand Needles because she wasn’t of high enough level to go to Tol Barad and tame one of the gulls there. This pet is the most awesomest of pets ever because he can do a Trick!

Granted, it not a very difficult trick but it is still a trick – he does a loop!

He flies up and around and comes back again. I could not get a good screenie of him doing this and I couldn’t be bothered to try to fraps it and put it on YouTube (I fear my poor laptop will disintegrate if I install yet another program on it and it is slow enough as it is. And I am lazy) so you will just have to take my word for it.

Click Trick. Smile.

Click Trick. Giggle.

Click Trick. Laugh out loud.

Click Trick. Love this bird!

Rinse and repeat.

No, really, I kid you not. I can stand around in Stormwind or IF and watch my seagull do his loop trick over and over again.

What I named him? Well, there is really only one name for a seagull that can fly on his back, isn’t there? Jonathan.

Posted by: Tessy | January 7, 2011

Fire In The Sky

When I got me the Stood in Fire achievement it was a bit of a doh-experience. I was on a taxi bird destined for Burning Steppes and apparently Deathwing had been there before me and flamed the entire landing site. The silly bird just flew me into the burning inferno and I never got to see Deathwing at all.

Don’t land there! Seriously! I mean it!

Anyways, as I was out digging for long-lost artifacts some nights ago in Uldum the sky suddenly turned all red above me, like a really pretty sunset and as I looked around I saw the huge evil dragon flying above me, spewing fire.

It was really cool and I followed him around at a safe distance watching him set fire to Uldum, both the lush green parts with an abundance of combustible materials and also the barren stone ruins in the sand, which was rather interesting. Means his fire probably is at least 1500°C for the sand to start melting. Way too hot for comfortable digging anyway, so since my dig site was flamed I had to to elsewhere!

Ah well, I was on the lookout for fossils anyway, not Tol’Vir…

Posted by: Tessy | January 6, 2011

First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified

Once upon a time I was a tank. Now I am a tank again.

I used to be a good tank. Not amazingly awesome but decent enough. I think I can be a good tank again.

I loved tanking back then, and I really wanted to tank again after some years of healing, first on my priest and then on my shammy.

Still, I was terrified when I entered my first dungeon to tank it.

It’s funny how you can want to do something and yet be so badly scared of it at the same time. I think had I not had those fond memories of tanking back in Kara and ZA the thought of tanking in Cataclysm would never have entered my mind. I am not much of a dungeon runner but I have run enough to see how much pressure there is on the tank nowadays to perform good, to keep aggro, to know what to do, to not mess up.

Even in these guild runs of mine I was dreadfully nervous at first. My guildies, most of which are way more avid dungeon runners than I am, had to help out with markings and explanations since I was a total newb and new to them all. I had run one or two as cat dps when levelling but dps is for me like riding shotgun in a car, you never really pay attention to where you are going, you just tag along and look dreamily out the window. Or bleed the mobs, as it were.

Tanking a dungeon by looking dreamily out the window is not a good idea.

Anyway, I survived my first tanking runs, as did my guildies, and my confidence grew and it keeps growing. Not being a leader type at all I still feel a bit odd being in charge, but I no longer ask which mob to break out of cc first, I tell! I break the occasional sheep, I play mob ping-pong with my heavy hitting guildies, I sometimes run flailingly around trying to gather up loose mobs, I have not yet re-learned how to kite properly but generally I seem to do ok – so far noone has asked me to go back to healing which I take as a good sign.

So, despite still being a bit nervous about the whole tanking thing the fun of it far outweighs any bad parts and I think I will stop feeling nervous and get back on track soon.

I have even tanked my first raid boss! Argaloth down in Baradin Hold went down yesterday in a sneak raid start and I am looking forward to seeing the other big badasses real soon!

(How many times have I said tank in these few paragraphs? Tank tank tank tank…)

If this does not break the camel’s back I don’t know what will…

Posted by: Tessy | November 25, 2010

Tessy Bear

What toon will you level first in Cataclysm? Are you a dedicated one-mainer or an altoholic?

My first toon was my precious rogue Tessy. She was the first to ding 60 back in the old days, and she was followed by my druid Joaquime who also turned 60 before TBC.

I had a few more toons up and coming by the time the Dark Portal was opened but Joaquime was the one who went through first. She was also the first to ding 70, closely followed by the rogue.

My rogue turned out to be a no raiding toon. She was the one I brought out for solo play, for ambling along, for stopping and smelling the flowers.

At the end of TBC I had six lvl 70 chars, in addition to Tessy and Joaquime I had levelled a warlock, a priest, a shaman and a warrior. Ze warlock, Paynne, was actually the first to venture into Northrend but dah resto shammy overtook her as she (dah shammy) duo’d her way up through the cold dungeons with a warrior friend.

Now, at the end of WotLK I have five lvl 80 girls, my shammy who have seen all the end-game content of this expansion, my priest, druid and warlock who have seen a bit of it and my baby hunter who has grown into a big girl but whose main joy in life is to run around with her lovely pets. My rogue is still my relax toon although I have no idea how to play her efficiently these days and thus she is sitting at lvl 76.

So which toon should experience Cataclysm first?

I have been leaning a bit towards my durid, I have fondly remembered her tanking days in Karazhan, Zul’Aman and even Naxxramas – tanking with her face! – , but I also remember all the fun times I’ve had with my shaman and my priest and my warlock so I was a bit undecided.

Not anymore.

As I logged in tonight on my furry druid I was greeted in gchat with a “hello Tessy bear” from a sweet guildie of mine. And so it was settled. Tessy bear it is!

I have read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books when I was a kid but I had never heard of the Noddy books, in which Noddy, a little wooden boy who lives in his own little House-for-One in Toyland, has a best friend called Tessie Bear. Although I can’t identify with everything she does (like bake muffins and live in a pink house), I can live with being a kind and clever teddy bear.

Bring it on!

Posted by: Tessy | November 17, 2010

Never As Good As The First Time

Joaquime’s quest for Loremastery continues and as she went back to her homelands of Teldrassil to reminisce and help rid the lush forest of the last traces of evil she encountered a rare spawn indeed, she met a new player.

I was down in the mazelike Ban’ethil Barrow Den doing the Sleeping Druid and The Relics of Wakening. The former required a lot of running around in the maze to loot the four items needed from four different boxes and the latter required the furbolg shamans to be killed so I could get my paws on a Shaman Voodo Charm.

As the furbolg were around level 8 or so killing them went rather fast, but then I saw a level 11 (I think) druid down in the den, presumably doing the same quests so I backed off to let him have some mobs of his own and not leave him stranded in a wake of dead unlootable mobs.

I ran around a bit more whacking shaman and then I ran into the druid again. I generally tend to want to quest alone so I can go afk whenever I want, but for some reason, perhaps because like I said in my last post the Loremastering has made me remember why I play this game and what I find fun in it, so I sat down next to the druid and said “Hello”.

He whispered me back Hey, and I asked if he wanted to team up for the Sleeping Druid, and he said he’d done it but said he’d come with me if I helped him find the Rune of Nesting for the other quest. I had just looted it so I told him I thought I knew where to find it. Of course I got lost in the maze again and we ran around for a fair bit before we found ourselves back where we started or thereabouts. I had looted myself the Voodo Charm I needed during our search and got the follow-up quest, and lo and behold, we found the chest with the Rune of Nesting too!

“Pretty sure I have been in here 20 times already”, my newfound companion told me. I knew exactly what he meant, maddening 3D-maze with the totally worthless and definitely not 3D minimap.

“Off to kill the Rageclaw dude” I said, and to my surprise the druid said that since I’d helped him he’d come too, not that I needed his help (his words). So we ran back and after some kills he asked me why I got to one hit kill things. I didn’t understand what he meant so I asked, but at the same time he said “Never mind, I just saw what level you are” and “I hadn’t looked, thought you were about the same as me and wondered why everything dies the second you hit it.”

I told him they died as soon as I hit them because I was imba. (On a tangential note, does anyone even use the word imba anymore? Can’t remember having heard it in a long time.) Also told him that we looked the same in cat form, and he quickly jumped on the fact that he hadn’t seen me out of cat form to blame for his not noticing the level difference. So of course I shifted out -tadaa! – to my nelf form dressed in my ragtag yet oddly color-matched collection of lvl 80 epics and my cool-looking Wraith Spear with the dripping red Massacre enchant.

So he said I looked like I kicked arse! Yeah! Bring it on! I kick arse!

We exited the furbolg maze from hell and I said it was nice meeting someone to talk to, that most people nowadays just run past. Could have been talking about myself there. “Well I’m happy to talk, that’s what I do best” was his reply and as I didn’t want to let go of this new-found talkative gamer I asked if he wanted company for something else, but right as I clicked enter I got an attack of paranoia and hastily added “more quests I mean”. Phew, what if it was a 10-year old girl I was talking to and her parents saw strangers offering her company for “something else”.

But he (she?) didn’t seem to react, just said he needed to hand the quests in, and since I needed to do the same I just replied “Me too – race you!”. And race we did across the green forest floor. And I won! Well, I had the benefits of 2 points in Feral Swiftness and Dash, which my fellow cat would not get for quite some levels yet. But, as I told him, got to have something for having levelled 80 levels, right?

Anyways, as we picked up the follow-up quest he asked me why I was doing these quests at my level and I answered Loremaster of Kalimdor and added “Saying goodbye to the old world”. Huh? my cat friend replied. “It won’t be the same when Cataclysm comes”, I said and got “This game is so confusing” back.

And then it dawned on me. This was a new player. Not a new toon but someone new to the game. The chattyness, the politeness, the making jokes, the willingness to stay and help even though he had got what he was after, the unfamiliarity with several parts of the game, including thinking I looked kick-arse in my tier 7 dress. Also, he said yes when I asked if the cat was his first toon.

“Cool! Not gonna spoil it for you then” and when he asked “What’s there to spoil” I replied “It is never as good as the first time”.

And it isn’t, is it? It might be different and even better in some ways the second (or third or fourth or nth) time around, but it is never as good as that first time.

Silly, but finding this new player felt a bit like finding a precious gem in a pile of earth. A bit envious of what’s in store for him (or her, could not make out if it was a male or female behind the cat), a bit happy for him (or her) to find out all the fun things in the game on his own and not being told what to do, and a bit happy for myself, for actually stopping to play and have fun with someone I’d just met!

We finished the follow-up quest and then I ran off to help a guildie in Shadow Labyrinth but not before me and my cat friend added each other to our respective friends list.

I hope we will meet up again.

Posted by: Tessy | November 15, 2010

Passing Time

It’s less than a month until Cataclysm hits us and the serious playing have been put on hold. No more raiding with the guild until we all are level 85.

It is a quiet time, a time for tidying up and finish those missions… quests… things… you have been thinking of but never have found the time or energy to do before.

Some people are running Zul’Gurub, hoping for those rare mounts to drop. I remember the first time I saw the raptor mount in Stormwind and I was flabbergasted. Horde! was my first thought, followed by In SW? And noone attacks? (this was on the pvp server where I started playing), and then I realised it was actually a human sitting on it. My son, way more versed in the ways of WoW, informed me that it was a rare mount that dropped from a boss in Zul’Gurub. I long thought that raptor was the coolest mount ever, but the novelty of it has worn out by now. The other mount that drops in there, the Zulian tiger, is one of the most beautiful mounts in the game in my eyes though.

Others are mopping up those last unfinished achievements, professions, dungeons, raids and the general random achievements like the friendly critters and book-reading ones.

Me, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Shintar from Priest With A Cause and go Loremastering. I have always enjoyed questing in WoW and I was actually under the illusion that I had done most of the quests available in Azeroth, at least in the classic part of the game.

Well, I was wrong. Very wrong.

Looking at my girls of level 60+ none of them were even close to finish neither Eastern Kingdom or Kalimdor which both require 700 quests done.

The most I had on any toon in either continent was about 470 quests done, and that was usually accompanied by around 200 quests done on the other side of the sea. The most avid questers had been Tessy the human rogue, my firsst, my preciousss who had 467/700 in EK and 339/700 in Kalimdor and Larue dah shammy who had the Ambassador title and thus had done a lot of quests for home towns rep and sat on 368 and 491 respectively.

In the end I decided to go with my durid who had about 350 quests done in either place, almost finished Outland and with about 120 quests left to do in Icecrown and Storm Peaks since she is by far the easiest toon to play with when it comes to questing.

The first couple of hundred quests in Eastern Kingdom were rather easy and went fast. Being a night elf, Joaq had started out on Teldrassil so she had a lot of lowbie zones questing to do in EK. Elwynn forest, Redridge, Dun Morogh and Loch Modan, those places were teeming with yellow exclamation marks and the mobs were small and easily avoided or killed.

Ha, this is gonna go fast, I thought. Wrong again.

Once she headed out of the lowbie zones she discovered that the abundance of quests had dried up quite a bit. Westfall, Duskwood, STV, she had obviously been there before because there were only the occasional yellow dot brightening up her map. That the low level quest tracking function sometimes turned itself off after a relog did not help either.

But this far come I had discovered that this achievement was not like the others I have done. The Loremaster, at least in the old world, had turned out to be a trip down nostalgia lane with a vengeance and somehow the amount of quests done per minute was not important anymore. What had become important was the remembering of how much fun I have had playing this game.

Dashing in to kill Marez Cowl and Otto and Falconcrest in Stromgarde, thinking of how hard it had been when my warlock and my husband’s warrior had been there a long long time ago for those same quests. Those mobs were elite then and really difficult to kill. We died several times trying to off Falconcrest and his bodyguard, and the first time we actually did kill them the silly man had run way into a wall when feared by me and he died there from the dots, unlootable! Contacted a GM who refused to help us, he probably didn’t even listen to what had happened but told us to go kill him again (Falconcrest, not the GM). And we did.

Slaughtering ogres in Alterac Mountains, with flashbacks of how carefully they had been pulled one by one back in the days when they still were elite.

Doing BRD to actually finish off those quests that I somehow never did (most actually!) when I was in my level fifties and TBC wasn’t even on the horizon and still being awed by the size of that place. Fondly remembering how many times I’ve been there. I can even think back of that frustrating 6-hour run for the Onyxia attunement when we twice tried to help Marshal Windsor out of his jail and twice failed. And at that time at our levels clearing all the mobs in the prison rings took a couple of hours. I was actually crying when he died that second time.

Remembering how my rogue looted the Ghostshroud from the chest of the Seven minibosses and wore it way into Outland. One of the few helmets I have actually liked and displayed. Going back there at level 70 with my priest and a warrior friend of mine to clear the place. We killed the Emperor and giggled as we posed on his throne afterwards.

Small things like being delighted that there suddenly was a Draenei giving a new quest in the Southshore Inn when the Dark Portal had been opened.

Killing a zillion oozes in Wetlands for Sida’s bag, thinking of how it was during that quest I met what turned out to be my first ever in-game friend whom I played with for a long time, wondering what he is doing nowadays.

And the list goes on and on…

My druid has finished Eastern Kingdoms and I am really glad I decided to embark upon this journey in the wee hours before the world is changed forever. It is a really good way to see the old places again and to remember why I play this game.

Now she’s off to Kalimdor!

Posted by: Tessy | November 7, 2010

And Yet Another Year Has Passed

It was not long ago I wrote this post celebrating my second blogging anniversary, but as evidenced by the date on it it was a whole year ago. Another year has passed, a year of gaming and friendship and frustrations, of grinding and triumphs and of just passing time.

I haven’t spent as much time in Azeroth this last year as I used to, due both to medical reasons and a declining interest in the game itself – many of what used to be my favourite activities have turned too grindy in WotLK and are simply not as fun anymore. This reflects upon the number of posts I put out, if I play less I write less. My first year I published 90 posts, the second year 74 posts and this third year I have only managed to finish and publish 43 posts. (Note I don’t say write, I have a lot of forgotten and unfinished posts sitting in my archives.) Still, it is a total of more than 200 posts.

The most popular posts are still Vareesa’s Copper Coin followed by Why Are There No Gnome Druids? Which reminds me, I never got around to finish my series on the Dalaran fountain coins…

Anyways, my most serious playing this last year have been on my shammy. It was little over a year ago I moved her over to Stormrage to join Adrenaline, 25-man raid guild extraordinaire but just a few weeks ago I moved her back to Aerie Peak and Kingdom of Rust, 10-man raid guild extraordinaire where many of my toons have been casual members.

I have dearly loved my time in Adrenaline, I got to see the whole of Ulduar including Algalon, I got to experience the coordinated chaos that is 25-man raiding, I got to be a part of the wonderful group effort that ended in the forging of two legendary weapons, I got to see the Lich King dead, I got to be a part of another wonderful group effort, that of getting all active raiders their achievements for the 10-man ICC skeleton dragon mount, and I got to make friends with a whole lot of wonderful people.

Moving back was not an easy decision to make and I miss them. (Btw, if anyone is interested in doing 25-man raids in Cataclysm with an amazing, helpful, fun and professional guild go check them out! You will not be disappointed.)

But in the end I found it too hard to play seriously on two different servers so move back I did, and I got to be a small part of a wonderful group effort in Kingdom of Rust too, the first time I raided with them we did the two achievement needed for the last guildies to get their ICC skelly mounts, Heroic Professor Putricide and Sindragosa’s All You Can Eat. And incidentally, the Sindy achievement was the last I needed too so there were three happy raiders standing on that dead dragon afterwards.

This compartmentalizing people on different servers is one of the things I find most annoying in WoW. Friendship is rather dependent on actually doing things together, and not being able to play together will make many friendships wane. I can roll a new toon on Stormrage and drop by and say hi to my favourite furball and the rest of the crew and try to top my friendly pink-haired gnome’s raid snacks (she often eats cinnamon rolls her daughter makes for her! I love cinnamon rolls!), but with 70-80 levels difference I really won’t be able to play with them.

Also, some friends of mine from my first server moved over to Argent Dawn and I have been thinking of rolling a toon there to visit, but when will I find the time to play her? I don’t want to level another toon, I want to play with my friends. Besides, I already have a Horde toon in Single Abstract Noun on AD that I hardly ever play due to time restraints, and when I do he is so much lower than most of the guild that I might just as well just play solo.

Anyway, whine ends here.

I moved back and it was a bit like coming home, like having been away on a trip around the world and finally getting back home, throwing off your dusty worn travellers’ outfit and snuggling into your comfy old pajamas by the fireplace. I have gone through some rough times with the people in Kingdom of Rust, and many lovely times as well, and I really look forward to go levelling and dungeoning with them again.

Soon Cataclysm will come, already events are in motion that cannot be undone, and everyone is waiting for that fiery chasm to open, for that ripping apart of the world. I know I will keep playing in Cataclysm, I am actually looking forward to it, but I wonder how much I will blog about it.

Maybe I will have a 4th blog anniversary next year, maybe not. Only time will tell.

Posted by: Tessy | October 24, 2010

This Wasn't In The Patch Notes!

Or maybe it was, I must confess I didn’t read them all that thorougly. Or at all, even …

Anyways, apart from ushering in a whole lot of bugs, the new patch also introduced some new cool things and a major un-cool thing.

Among the cool things is the ability to track more than one thing at a time!

I am on and off doing the Loremaster achievements on my durid and when I clicked the magnifying glass on the minimap I noticed checkboxes that hadn’t been there before. She can now track both herbs AND low level quests – happy durid!

Another cool thing is the new character animation on the character selection screen – my girls are no longer standing restlessly but every so often they erupt into action.

The durid is throwing of a Wrath, the priest is popping a Renew, the hunter is taking aim, the warrior, the paladin and the rogue are visciously attacking some unseen melee enemy, ze warlock is cursing something, the DK and ze shammy are shouting and the mage is throwing of a fire spell. Haven’t gotten around to see if the animations are the same on my Horde chars.

There was also some new stuff that wasn’t cool but merely curious, like the fact that the CD on epic gem transmutes is down to 7 hours and 12 minutes. I wonder who came up with this seemingly random number, and why.

Another curiosity is that I keep discovering things I am pretty sure I already knew – such as the Military Ward in IF.

And finally, the major un-coolest of news was the fact that the proto-dragons and skelly dragons from ICC no longer are 310% speed mounts by default.

If you are one slacking shaman (ie one who never got around to procure herself any of the gaudily colored drakes available) and who never got lucky with the Frenzyheart’s egg and thus didn’t get her skelly dragon until after the patch you will now find yourself to be one slacking shaman with a slow-arsed mount!

But then again, she’s not in a rush anywhere, she can take the scenic route 🙂

Posted by: Tessy | September 15, 2010

Voices In The Night

Once, at the end of TBC, me and my husband and a few other guildies on Aerie Peak were invited to join a Mount Hyjal raid with the hard core guild that one of my guildies was part of. The raid leader (who also was the guild leader I think) was a woman. She had a pleasant voice with a British accent, and she led the raid calling people Miss This and Mr That. It sounded polite and friendly and not stiff at all, instead it had a hint of fun and laughter in it.

I spent the entire raid giggling at and poking my husband to do his thing (keel!) at the appropriate times because he spent the entire raid listening to the raid leader’s voice and forgetting what he was supposed to do. Or maybe listening is the wrong word, perhaps I should call it swooning over her voice, since he apparently got all lost listening to it. She has a very nice voice, was his somewhat weak comment when I giggled at him.

But I didn’t complain too much (although I did poke fun at him about it sometimes even afterwards), because I knew the feeling. I used to get all lost hearing a guildie from my very first guild talk on Vent.

You know that expression bedroom eyes? Well, this guildie of mine had a bedroom voice. A sultry baritone that was sort of like the voice equivalent of Lord Gribeau, “exuding an easy air of undistilled, excitingly dangerous lasciviousness”. It could be rather distracting to listen to him while raiding, because I didn’t really pay any attention to what he was actually saying.

In that same guild, there was another guildie who used to swoon all over me, saying I had the sexiest voice ever. I found that highly dubious (still do) and slightly disturbing, especially since I once got a whisper from another raid member telling me I sounded very young, and when I replied that he shouldn’t believe everything he heard, he asked “You are a boy, right?”. Ehrm, no.

In my current raid guild there is a woman with the happiest voice I have ever heard. She always sounds like she is on the verge of laughing, even when she is scolding people she sounds happy. Hearing her always cheer me up and her happiness (whether it is real or just in my imagination) is contagious.

Sometimes I wonder what these people and everyone else you meet as voices in the cyber space are like in RL? When you have nothing to base your opinion on but an incorporeal voice, how far off will your image of this person be? Will the impressions created by the voice fade out, figuratively speaking, or will they last?

I am not sure they will last, because one interesting thing about voices on Vent is how they change when you switch languages.

Most of the time when you raid you speak English. Accented English, sure, but still English. Your own national accent does not carry over into English and it is really hard to determine which end of the country a fellow Swede comes from when you only speak English.

But when you switch to Swedish, your own dialect gets to roam free and you will be in for some surprises. I have a pretty distinct dialect, coming from the southern part of Sweden, a dialect that is often used in commercials to portray stupid people, a dialect that some people find slow and ugly. (I don’t, I love this southern dialect of mine! And we are not stupid!)

Sometimes you don’t even recognize your guildies’ voices when they start speaking Swedish after having spoken English exclusively for many months, and the only reason you know it’s your guildie is because you are the only two people in the Vent chat channel.

And you know what, about my guildie with the bedroom voice, it only worked when he was speaking English. When we quested together just the two of us and he spoke Norwegian most of the magic was gone. Did the yodely qualities of the Norwegian language overwrite the lasciviousness?

So, is English the ultimate language of passion and happiness or is it just that speaking English allows us to look past the prejudices and preconceived notions that pops up when we hear our different national dialects?

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