Thursday, March 31, 2016

Led by the Tides

And the tides have turned toward Lord of the Rings Online ...

O noes!

Three weeks ago, just after I began posting here again, I thought it would be nice to add my old blog from Lord of the Rings Online. I had created the website to have information about the various festivals, cosmetics items and other merry pursuits in LoTRO.
    Our kin, Phoenix Reborn, on the Imladris server, were a variety of people who had met while beta testing free to play. Our mother kin was and still is in existence, Rising Phoenix. A number of our members were very familiar with the general aspects of gaming, but not all were familiar with LoTRO's music system, festival events, deeds and titles. When asked if they would like to accompany us to a festival event, they would ask, "Why? What is in it for us?. Being all about those merry pursuits, myself and a few others of like mind, would begin to explain all the fun that was to be had.
     This happened often enough that I decided to make a guide for kin members that they could peruse at their leisure, to entice them to join us. The result was South of Bree, which is basically now retired. My activities in the kin and the website came to a screeching halt when the second of two horrid graphics cards in a horrid computer whose maker's name begins with D exploded. All my attempts to resurrect the computer were unsuccessful. No more pc, I went to mac.
    I found, to my delight, a few years ago that LoTRO made a mac version. I was ready to return to LoTRO, even got back into the game. I was very happy to return to Middle Earth. Then ... changing winds, changing tides. A gaming friend I hadn't heard from in years asked me to return to World of Warcraft with him. We had played WoW in vanilla, and on and off over the years had played a few other games together. I had sworn off WoW, but the offer to spend time with a friend was more than I could refuse, and I got swept away by WoW. I'm not proud of it, but as many other gamers know, when the Winds of Change rise, we must follow.

So, it was my wanting of a few screenshots from Lord of the Rings online to put on my recently resurrected blog that led me back to LoTRO. I couldn't find my screenshots folder and still haven't, for that matter. More urgent action has been required to save my Middle Earth! Somehow, I missed the notifications that LoTRO was going to shut down a large number of realms, mine being one of them. The migration had started months ago.
    I had always intended to get back to LoTRO. I just wanted to finish what I had started in WoW, which was to complete as much of my pet collection as possible and to level one of each class on the Horde side to at least 85. That whole journey with RAF (Recruit A Friend) is another whole adventure which I completed just last month. Details of that time period were going to be posted here. I may still post some of that.
    All right, then - what was I speaking of? Oh, yes, the need to save Middle Earth!
    For the past three weeks, WoW has been on hold and I've been working every day on trying to save, transfer and put into order my little band of merry travelers from LoTRO. As an archivist of precious things, in game and out, I had massive amounts of preciousness to find places for ... and I'm still striving toward that. I have done enough that I could take time to post this and I hope to return to tell of both my new adventures in Lord of the Rings Online, as well as to document my recent achievements in pet collecting on World of Warcraft.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

You.Will.Die! My WoW Challenge

I did it. I signed up for WoW Challenges Ironman the night before last. I registered Tyhara, a night elf hunter on the Ironman Challenge board after getting her to level 10.

Yesterday I played Tyhara to level 15 in the night elf starter zone. All had been going well. Like a good little elf, I vendored all the trash and put what I could on the Auction House. I don't use the Auction House much, but I always promise myself that one of these days I'll get around to putting the bags full of "auctionable items" on my many many alts up for sale. That has not happened until this challenge. (Perhaps I'll finally get around to on my other characters, as the bankfulls of "treasures" is reaching hoarder status.)

There are lots of owls in Teldrassil, which means lots of small eggs. I made groups of five eggs and posted them for a very modest sum and took a break. When I got back to the game, all the eggs had sold, leaving me a tidy little pot of gold. According to the Ironman terms, I could use the Auction House to provide me with the funds to buy the modest items that I use - grey or white gear and weapons, white food with no buffs and bags, and bags, if and when I could afford them. I had looked on the Auction House earlier and the bag prices were way beyond my means. I decided to look again and was fortunate to find netherweave bags at the lowest I'd seen them in years! Rejoice!

With a new bow, a few white gear upgrades and at level 15, I decided that it was time to venture forth to make my way in the world. I took the ship to Stormwind and then headed to Westfall. Everything there went well, killing murlocs all along the coast, most of the mobs being 2 to 4 levels below me. I even spotted Old Murkeye way ahead of time, who was the one level 15, trying to appear normal admidst the level 12 to 14 mobs congregated on the beach.

After that, I went inland looking for good hunting. There used to be gnolls in the southern fields and I wanted to investigate that situation.

For the last two years, I've played only Horde, after a two year break. That is four years and two missed expansions - Cataclysm in 2010 and Mists of Pandaria in 2012.

As I passed by the Deadmines on my way to the gnolls, I was apalled by the state of Moonbrook. Time had not served her well. The village seemed deserted and was watched over by a military encampment. Homeless wanderers were everywhere.

I made a wide berth around the town, after having been met by several ne'er do wells, most likely looking to rob me of the little I possessed. Moonbrook Thugs! Modern thugs, none of the old outlaws with their cloth kerchiefs. I had to take a second look before allaying them, for being thugs they all looked quite dapper, most of them sporting a variety of knock-offs of very expensive shades and stylish all black clothing. What has Azeroth come to?

I proceeded onward, and there indeed were the gnolls, chumming up with each other around their little campfires. I knew from my previous experiences to be very cautious around them. They really had the buddy system going on and always have had. One wrong pull and what seemed like a whole village would descend upon you. The numbers of gnolls had greatly decreased since the last time I'd passed through Westfall - which has been years. Attacking them seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

I decided that I'd take a look at the Hushed Bank, the Darkshire river shores, because battling animals - wolves and spiders mostly - seemed like a much safer choice than the quarrelsome gnolls bent around their meager campfires. I called my cat Luna to my side, jumped into the river and headed toward the shores of the Hushed Bank - and this is where Tyhara's story ends ...

I was greeted by a bear, who just happened to be very fierce and very eager to have me for a meal. I sent my pet after him and began to swim - swim! swim! swim away! I fled the bear's attack, but was swimming too close to shore and caught the interest of another bear immediately. I tried to make it to the banks of Elwyn Forest, but with my already lowered health, it only took a few hits and Tyhara was dead.

Fear not my friends, for the challenge is not yet over. Tyhara is listed among the honoured dead Ironman challengers, but she'll continue on as a humble scout. Iarann (a Gaelic word for iron) has taken up the challenge, and with Tyhara's experiences and guidance, she hopes to live quite long into the future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Get Your Grind On: An Invitation from WoW Rare Spawns

"Are you a veteran WoW player who is tired of garrison chores?"
"Raiding got ya down?"
"Leveling alts just not holding your interest right now?"

My answer to all three questions was an emphatic Yes!

These three questions were asked by Euphyly of WoW Rare Spawns in a recent post "Bored? Check out the WoW Ironman Challenge(s)!" 

In preparation to return to the game after a maintenance, I read a few posts from WoW blogs that I've enjoyed in the past, and even added a few more to my favourites on this blog page.

One of the blogs that I've recently become acquainted with is WoW Rare Spawns. In looking up Poseidus last week, the rare sea horse mount, I found a post by Euphyly, the author of WoW Rare Spawns. How have I never seen her blog before? It is wonderful! Many well written, informative and very interesting posts, with a colourful and appealing interface. I guess I haven't seen her before because I haven't been too interested in finding rares, not like I used to.

To briefly sum up her post - there are WoW challenges, serious WoW challenges - the WoW Ironman Challenge, the WoW Pacifist Challenge and the WoW Bloodthirsty Challenge. All the terms and conditions of these challenges are defined and monitored when one signs up for the challenge on their WoW Challenges website.

You may have already heard of the Pacifist Challenge, as it has been discussed and featured in various places on the web for at least a few years now. The main requirement is, of course, that you cannot do any damage ever. Secondly, you must remain alive throughout. If you die, you start over. There are other requirements which are are discussed on WoW Rare Spawns blog and WoW Challenges website.

I've always found solace ingame from those tasks that others many find boring, though I know that there are many others like me who love the grind and love to farm materials. There are also times when I love to mindlessly kill things over and over and OVER! Here is a grind with quite a different twist. I just may take up one of these challenges.

The Love Rocket is Dead, Long Live the Love Rocket

For the past 2 years that I've been back in WoW, it has seemed like catch up all the way. I haven't gotten back into raiding, as I am not happy with lfr. I loved raiding with my guild back in the day and lfr is just too random and often unsatifying or downright awful. Now, I have lost track of all my old guild mates, and have not been drawn to joining another guild.

I re-prioritized my game goals, and dedicated myself to pet collecting, while slowly transferring my few high level characters to my current server, and then leveling them all. No raiding, no push for achievements, no mount collecting or anything else ... just battle pets and character improvement. Now I have 731 pets and 5 level 100 characters on my main server and I have become weary from the grind. I have to say though, I love grinding and I love farming, or I would not have lasted this long.

Oh, and one must not forget the holidays! Pets and holiday rewards - Merriment's Domain!

This brings me back around to yesterday's post - "Where's My Lucky (Lovely) Charms" - Lovely Charms and Love is in the Air - and yet again NO Love Rocket. Questioning myself - why am I still playing this game? One of the reasons was to keep on participating in the holiday quests, for surely after 11 1/2 years of WoW, this year had to be the year that I got that Love Rocket.

Would my continuance in playing be dependant upon that one mount? Would my bitterness about the evilness and cruelty of rng cause me to rage quit?

After expressing my disappoint in trade chat about not getting the Love Rocket, and having been witness to a lengthy sermon on how Rare was Rare, did I know what Rare meant, and did I realize that if everyone had gotten that mount that it would no longer BE Rare ... the dogma of WoW, oh my word! I decided to yet again shift my priorities. I have come to this conclusion - the Love Rocket is dead to me, long live the Love Rocket!

WoW RNG will rarely be kind, and that is that. I have faced the facts.

Whatever is my heart's desire, if I can't obtain it through a reasonable effort, then I'll buy it or a satisfactory replacement with gold or forget about it and move on.

It's not right to fool with the Almighty RNG - Rare is Rare, bro! (and let's explain the seeming sexist use of "bro" - there are no sisters who play WoW, only GIRLS - Guys In Real Life).

All in good fun, my friends, all in good fun.