There are only 2 months left before Blizzard/World of Warcraft (WoW) releases the Legion expansion pack (expac).  While many subscribers left a few months after the release of Warlords of Draenor, there was a core group of gamers that stuck with World of Warcraft for social connections and RPG opportunities. World of Warcraft is our “relaxation” home. It’s that special time we have after the dinner dishes are washed and the kids are in bed. We can talk to our friends and family while we play and are right there at home if an emergency pops up or someone wakes from a nightmare.

That being said, there is a very special time in the expac release cycle when you can get a lot done relatively easily.  It’s the time loyal players finally feel like Blizzard cares about the fact they didn’t leave when the rest of the players got bored.  These are the golden days where you have time to play your alts, catch up on achievements and do everything you can to prepare yourself for new content.

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I was surprised at a comment someone made on a YouTube video regarding the cost to play the game (one of the actors used the word “extortion” in the video). In fact, the game can be played for free by purchasing a game-time token for in-game gold. The person in question was taken aback that I said you could get the gold in game to cover the token in a day, or a week if you didn’t want to spend all day doing it.  Not only do I think it could be done if you’re an extremely focused person, but I am going to share some information about what those of us who stayed the entire time were able to enjoy.

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First and foremost, the mission tables (both regular and shipyard) have special treasure opportunities if you have a Level 3 Lunarfall Inn/Shipyard in your garrison.  Once you have a Level 3 Inn, you’ll receive the Blingtron missions.

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The Inn also gives you the opportunity to determine your follower’s traits. As you can see Treasure Hunter is the golden ticket. While they may take a little longer to level up, you are ensured extra gold on any mission they participate in.  Once you make all your followers Treasure Hunters, it turns your Blingtron Missions into something very special (there is also an opportunity to purchase a re-roll token from your garrison quartermaster for those followers gained through quests, dungeons and raids).

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Blingtron + 3 Treasure Hunters = 4,000 Gold

No doubt, you’ve read about the Blingtron missions. Like everything else, however, it’s an RNG decision. Some weeks you might get them on multiple alts on multiple days, some weeks you won’t see them at all. There are similar missions in the shipyard table, usually worth 750 gold. While the shipyard table is a little harder to balance with crews who will double your treasure and crews that will give you free ship parts, it is still possible to make large amounts of money from ship missions. Just make sure you can afford the ship parts that will give you the highest eligible percentage chance to complete your gold missions.

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Not just for tanks and healers any more!

Another end-expac unused gem is Looking For Raid (LFR).  You may shirk away from ANYTHING that remotely resembles LFR, I know most serious raiders do. This is probably why the Savage Satchels are now giving out 500+ gold for doing a single LFR wing (trust me, you’ll earn every 500 of those gold pieces putting up with people).

On top of the 154 gold and variable valor seen above (75 Valor for High Maul and Blackrock Foundry raid wings, 150 Valor for HFC raid wings), the 500+ gold Savage Satchels are probably one of the MOST productive uses of your gold collecting time.  Yes, you’ll be dragged through each boss in out of control zerg style and you may want to throw something at a wall at some point, but if you are one of the people who prefer to earn their game time instead of paying out cash, this is a good way to do it. You not only get valor you can use to upgrade your main and your alt’s gear, but the percentage drop rate for tomes is higher in LFR if you’re still working on your legendary ring.

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How Many Can You Get? All 12 If The Timing Is Right.

You can do Savage Satchel raid wings MORE than one time per evening/week. The amount of gold to complete the wing is lower, but your 500+ satchel gold and all the other goodies a satchel holds (account bound baleful trinkets and runes) are still there. With 12 LFR raid wings available, you’ll make a conservative 7800 in gold alone for one complete run through raids if you can find satchels for each wing. If you have no need for the baleful tokens, you can convert them into gear and sell them to your garrison vendors. It only took my hunter one evening of play to run through all 12 one time (yes, I said hunter as in DPS).

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The yellow triangle indicates you’ve already run this raid wing for the week.

These are the types of opportunities you get at the end of an expac. While many other players moved on to another game after getting one character to level 100, the rest of us took advantage of the opportunities to make gold for the things we’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford. While I don’t have a millionaire’s gold balance (I can’t play as much as someone with a healthier physical constitution), I have been able to use my extra gold to buy some battle pets and help others in our raid group and my guild here and there.

Blizzard has already let us know the mission tables will be nerfed into oblivion to keep people from staying in their garrisons (don’t care – at the end of the day it’s my REAL home and that’s where I’ll be logging out). Who knows if satchels will even be offered in Legion?

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Your gathering alts are now useless.

Professions will be much harder to process. Craftable gear will require rep grinds. Gear upgrade reagents like the Blood of Sargeras will be Bind on Pickup (BoP), making your gathering alts useless as they won’t be able to trade what they’ve gathered with anyone. (I don’t have a Beta Key, but this is what I’ve been told – BTW if you have a Beta Key you don’t have time to use, please let me know! I’m dying to get into the Beta Server to start making notes and my contest luck has been about as bad as my Hearthstone RNG luck.)

Let’s enjoy these last days of Warlords of Draenor and the easy gold they offer while they are still here to be enjoyed. 🙂

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Home Sweet Home – My Alliance Garrison

It’s been over TWO years since I posted to this blog site.  While it was never my intention to become a daily/weekly/monthly blogger, I originally felt I could share tips regarding a game I loved.  Time passes quickly when you’re having fun though.

Upon looking back at earlier posts, the tips I provided as a “newbie” player made sense. Two years have gone by and I have fallen into “experienced” player mode; those people who’s vernacular is full of abbreviations the uninitiated wouldn’t understand.

I now have 12 level 100 Alliance characters.  11 of them are one of each class, the 12th being a resto/feral druid that gathers herbs and ore.  These are the characters I play on a daily basis.  I also have 12 Horde characters I rarely or never touch of which only six are level 100.

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My Horde Garrison

My Horde characters were created at a time when there were three of us exploring the game and wanted to know all the aspects of both factions. I never felt connected to my Horde characters, from their races to having to take an elevator to almost anywhere. Consequently, when the others in our group fell into their real-life obligations I stopped playing any of my Horde characters for the most part and kept to my Alliance heritage. That feels both good and right.

Now that we are two months away from the next expansion pack in the World of Warcraft (WoW) saga, I can look back over the best and worst parts of Warlords of Draenor.

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Daily Missions – MasterPlan Add-On

Draenor Was Alt-Friendly:  Warlords of Draenor was built around the garrison system. Each of your alts had their own garrison and their own daily missions. As you can see above, garrison mission rewards were anything from gold to honor to a plethora of helpful items to boost your garrison to top level, help you gather more mats to craft items or get free gear tokens. Some items were transferable, such as honor you could send to another alt if they had none (The Botani Stirr above).  As a PvE player, I used honor to buy a seal that gave me a free roll on loot in Hellfire Citadel raids – a great way to have another chance at raid gear.

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Daily on the left, shipyard on the right.

There were mission tables for both the Town Hall and your shipyard, which netted many FREE items. All you needed to do was run through both tables on every alt which could take as much as 3 minutes or 5 if you wanted to pick up extra garrison resources outside your town hall and do the daily mat creation for your profession.  If you REALLY wanted to make the most of your alts, each one had an herb garden and a mine in their garrison you could collect resources from daily if you had the time.  Extra herbs and ore could be transferred to whatever alt needed it on any given day and you didn’t have to contend with others over an ore or herb node.

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Tailoring Hut on the left, Enchanting Hut on the right, herb garden behind both between the trees.

Professions Were Quick and Easy To Do: If you know much about WoW, you know that each character or “alt” can only have two crafting professions. Unfortunately, the game has MANY craftables almost every character needs. Whether it’s enchants or gems (to add valuable stats), inscriptions (glyphs, staffs and trinkets), flasks or potions, armor (cloth, leather, mail or plate), bladed weapons or engineering marvels such as a Findle’s Loot-A-Rang you still need one character with each profession. This includes a rogue who can open all your locked boxes as blacksmiths were not allowed the pleasure in Warlords.

While I originally created one character of every class so I could learn how to play them (and as a healer know what they WEREN’T doing to mitigate damage), having enough characters to have one for each profession was a necessity.  You don’t want to have to pay for glyphs for each of your characters if you can just make them yourself.  In addition, if you are part of a team running a weekly raid group and want to support those raid members with less time to play having those extra professional resources is worth it’s weight in gold.

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Draenor Pathfinder – Finally, Flying For Everyone!

Once You Had Flying, ALL Your Alts Had Flying:  While the lack of flying in the beginning of Warlords was a highly debated subject, in the end (and WAY too late) Blizzard relented by creating an achievement-based flying mechanic.  This allowed Blizzard to make flying something you had to earn by showing you had at least once, learned all about the new zones (the reason they were against flying). Certain items that required exalted reputation, however, became very tedious to grind rep for. Without flying it would have been intolerable.  For those of us who played several alts, flying was a Godsend.

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Garrison – The Front Gate

Home Sweet Home: As you can tell by the picture at the very top of this blog post each character was given their own personal space in the game called a “garrison.” It was a quiet place to go home each time you played. It wasn’t filled with strangers acting like immature 13 year olds and you could invite anyone to your garrison you wanted, from your raid or party group to complete strangers looking for different garrison amenities through the Premade Group Finder.  You could receive a special forge buff from the Blacksmithing Hut that kept you from having to repair your armor (as long as you didn’t die) or take a mage portal from the Mage Tower to any of the main areas in Draenor.  Each garrison was customizable for each character and those of us who were lucky enough to have two World of Warcraft accounts could keep one open with a Salvage Yard, Bank and Auction House for all our the other alts to use.

I greatly enjoyed the Warlords expansion pack and was a bit sad to hear Legion was going to be released so soon.  I didn’t have time to get all of my Horde characters raised to 100 (we stopped leveling them together at around level 73), nor did I have time to work on achievements, pets or mounts once they announced the drop date on the new expansion. Some characters I used my Legion Pre-Purchase boosts on while a couple others purchased a Level 100 boost ($60) because I just couldn’t bear to finish leveling them and I needed their special services.

And For The Bad Things:  The only truly hideous thing I disagreed with in Warlords was Blizzard’s decision regarding flying.  Blizzard waited WAY too long to introduce flying in the area covered by the Warlords expansion pack.

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The views from flying were spectacular!

Once the huge drop in active subscriptions happened (otherwise known as kids with short attention spans), Blizzard should have introduced flying. This is the point when people who have loved what this MMO offers had an opportunity to raise up their main character and were starting on their alts.  They would already have all the requirements for the flying achievement from leveling up their main and be ready to get to work on their other characters.  The fact the conversation took SO long on Blizzard’s part (purists who never want ANY Blizzard expansion to have flying and the more realistic of us with multiple characters who love flying and need the mobility flying offers) made the day it was finally released a bit sour. We were very happy to be able to FINALLY get around, but the days spent walking everywhere we’d already been were incredibly time-consuming and a detriment to the game.  To Blizzard’s credit, the achievement route was the best option because it gave credit where credit was due.  It not only rewarded people for playing all the parts of the new expansion, but acknowledged that we cared enough about the game to stick with it and play additional characters.

There are so many other specific things I liked about Warlord’s gear, items and play. This blog post could go on for days were I to list them all.  I will end this entry by saying I will continue to end the day in my Warlord’s garrison as opposed to the “Inn” or “Class Hall” provided in Legion.  While you can be sure Blizzard will nerf the mission table mechanics once Legion is released, they can’t take my home away from me completely.  It will still be a place for friends to gather and a spot of quiet solace (as opposed to a Class Hall where you will ultimately be molested by 13 year old boys who’s parents thought a computer would do a better job raising them then they could, but that’s a blog entry for another day).   I will cherish these last two months of Warlords of Draenor as I also prepare our raid group for what to expect in Legion.


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When choosing a game, the amount of pleasure you will derive from it is usually equal to the research you put into your game selection.  World of Warcraft is a game with many aspects and has been molded to try and provide a jumping in point for almost everyone.

For those with a smaller attention span, they offer a character “boost” which will allow a new user to start with a level 90 character.  For a certain fee (a little pricey for most people, currently at $60) Blizzard will raise your character up to level 90 immediately, enabling you to partake in some of the more entertaining aspects that become available at level 90 (currently the highest level a character can obtain). At this time (pre-Warlords of Draenor release) a free boost is offered with a pre-order of the WoD software.

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For those of us who love the lore, collecting mounts and pets, the constant opportunity to upgrade our skills and gain achievements there is a wonderful experience waiting when you level up a character by yourself for the first time. Planning how to experience all the game offers can be easy and fun if you know the variables to look at.

All At Once or One At A Time

At this time, World of Warcraft (WoW) gives you an opportunity to create up to 11 characters per server.  This allows you to create one character of each class if you want to experience all the game has to offer or just one if you prefer to concentrate on a single character.

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There is a lot to be said in support of creating one of each character.  While the benefits of when and how to level your character set are a much more individual preference, having one of each character not only helps you understand whether success or failure of any task DOES have something to do with your own personal play, but in the case of a healer helps you understand another person’s health limitations in certain situations.

Which Character To Raise First

There are three different types of character play.  The first is the tank.  A good tank personality would be someone who is concerned about protecting other players from being damaged.  They tend to like being in charge and directing others. Being a tank is NOT about controlling others, but directing them much like a director of a major motion picture – you need to ensure everyone is there and ready to start the fight. Your job is to ensure the NPCs are beating on you, not the other players in the game.  You are their protector and their leader, not their owner.  Marines make good tanks since their main job is to storm the beach head. A good tank will also be able to assess the group of players with him in case they need to be broken up in groups.  They may also be responsible for calling out when to pop cool downs, which order raid bosses and trash should be killed and in some situations should be able to plainly tell others what to watch out for during a fight (yes it’s true – sometimes groups are made up of several new players who have no idea the dungeon journal in the game exists).

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The second type of character play is DPS or damage.  This character’s job is to deal damage in BIG quantities.  They should not be worried about taking damage, only how much damage they can contribute.  Their job is usually to ensure specific targets are killed as soon as possible and are usually geared to deal out the most damage possible.  You will often hear tanks reminding their damage cohorts to KILL THE ADDS as soon as possible. If your world is all about destruction and you cherish your peripheral vision, damage may be the character type for you.

The last type of character play is the healer.  These players are responsible for keeping people alive throughout the fight.  A healer personality would most closely resemble a mother or nurse who is concerned about everyone’s well being.  Healers have spells that not only help keep damage to a minimum, but restore a player’s health so they can continue their task.  Healers are best when they have played each class as this will allow them to understand why another player is taking so much damage.  Healers should have a thick skin though – they have to deal with all types of unbalanced and uneducated personality types blaming them for everything under the sun (another reason to have played one of every class). The last healer mantra to remember is “you can’t heal stupid.”  If a tank insists on running ahead and starting without his entire group present or a DPS refuses to be aware of corrupted pools that are eating through their health, you may simply have to let them die to manage your mana.  Sometimes tough love is required.

My own personal play style when I began (and still today) was partial to healers and preferred to focus on one specific character that would provide the greatest benefit for my other characters as they raised up in levels. During times when I felt like a change, I could always play any one of my other 10 characters until I was ready to go back to my main character.

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I chose to raise my Tailoring/Enchanting Discipline Priest first so all my characters would be able to benefit from the largest bags available (lots of room to store goodies in both your bank and what you carry around) and the financial ease of making my own enchantments.

In the Mists of Pandaria WoW expansion, enchanting your armor is one of the most important parts of making your level 90 character the best it can be. With a possible 14 slots of armor which can be enchanted to enhance your play, it can get very expensive at level 90 to buy the enchants off the auction house. At any given time, some of the enchantments can sell for over 1,000 gold coins, so it is best to save your gold by being able to create your own.

I did make the mistake of leveling my Druid (who is an alchemist) next, because I liked the idea of being able to fly as soon as I pressed the button to fly (mounts require a few seconds to load).  I also liked the idea of being able to go invisible and run anywhere riding mounts were not available.  Had I thought a little further about what I’d have to buy I may have chosen to level up my jewel crafter (monk) or my inscriptionist (shaman) next.

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Glyphs, which are made by an inscriptionist (along with shoulder enchantments) are an easier financial purchase and can often be found for a lower price (as opposed to the 500 gold coins you see now and then).  You can also only utilize 3 major glyphs and 3 minor glyphs at a time and the minor glyphs are technically not necessary.

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Jewels can also often be purchased as low as 30-50 gold, depending on their stats. While primal diamonds (the main jewel for your head armor) can get pricey, they usually only require getting replaced two or three times as you collect higher iLvL gear.

I chose to level my inscriptionist after my druid, then my leather worker.  While leather working provides a good group of additional DPS enchantments for armor, they can also create 36-slot mining and inscription bags (with the right reputation). It seemed logical to access glyphs before jewels as inscription also offers a nice off-hand for new 90 intellect users, but again this was a personal choice.

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How to level your characters based on their professions will be completely up to the type of game play you are interested in.  For example, someone who is very interested in PvP play (player versus player) may choose to place their Engineering profession higher up on the list to take advantage of a glider – often helpful in battle ground play when getting there first is important.  PvE (playing against non-player characters or NPCs) Engineers also have the advantage of providing services to raid groups such as mailboxes and armor repair bots normally unavailable in dungeon or raid situations. If you are one who loves to find out everything about a game, I recommend you create a character/profession plan which lays out which class and race will have which profession.  Some races get bonuses for specific professions that allow them to raise levels in that profession a little faster.

If you are entering the World of Warcraft by yourself take advantage of all the perks you can.  BEFORE you install the game on your computer or set up an account, be sure to get a link that gives you the opportunity to make triple experience and allows summoning under certain circumstances (you can request one by visiting our guild web site and enter your information under the recruitment tab).  Get a 60 day play time card to use when you create your account to keep superfluous trial accounts off your main log-in screen and visit to research professions and formulate a plan that allows you to utilize all the different facets of the game. has a way for you to look at all the default patterns any given profession provides as you raise it up.  These are all good things to do BEFORE you create your new World of Warcraft account.  We do offer tutoring services (hourly rate) if you are a person who is a more “hands on” learner and wants personal instruction. Otherwise, we are happy to help our guild members free of charge as time permits.

In my next blog I’ll be discussing how to create a strategy if your family or a group of friends wants to play World of Warcraft together.  I find World of Warcraft is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends that are physically too far away to socialize with.  There are so many different levels of game play that even the most timid of game players can find a place to shine. Hope to see you there! 🙂

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I haven’t posted to this blog in a VERY long time.  It’s not that I haven’t been playing World of Warcraft.  My ability to post was more related to a tinge of OCD or what some consider perfectionism.  I could edit a post 20 times before I’d consider it good enough to live on the web forever and some times posting seems more like a daunting task.  What’s changed in a year?

I have six natural level 90 characters now – 5 Alliance, 1 Horde and two unnatural level 90 characters (boosted).  By natural I mean I actually spent the time to level all these characters up the hard way.  My main character, Shavai, now has iLvL 547 gear instead of struggling with quest gear (and the top level of gear has gone up twice).  The guild master from my old guild quit the game to focus on other things in life, but very kindly helped me transition into my own guild.  Most notably, my son and his girlfriend are now both playing World of Warcraft with me.

Playing a game for over a year gives you an amazing perspective on the game and the people who play it.  World of Warcraft has so much to offer in play types and places to play, yet many people want quick and instant gratification. In a game so rich with things to do and places to go, finding those who really appreciate all the game’s aspects is a rare and joyous occasion.  We’ve had a few people join the guild with alts, but none who are regular players.

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Currently, I own two Level 25 guilds – one Alliance on the Dalaran server and one Horde on the Gnomeregan server. My hope is to make our guilds learning guilds.  I look forward to getting all my characters up to Level 90 so I can concentrate more on creating guild resources and do guild recruiting. Our goal with the learning guilds will be to provide tools and tips to everyone who wants to explore the depth of the game and more casual, less regimented opportunities to try and learn some of the harder aspects of the game such as raids.

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At the end of this year, Blizzard will release a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft called “Warlords of Draenor.”  If bootleg videos of people flying over unfinished lands is any indication, there will be plenty to explore in addition to being able to create your own town.

If you are new to the game and interested in trying it Blizzard offers a free trial. As someone who went the trial route and ended up playing the game I recommend just jumping in as the trial route creates two different accounts which can get confusing to newer users.  You can usually find the game software on sale.  I recommend buying a 60-Day play time card from your local Wal-Mart and getting a link to special perks which gives you an opportunity to get triple experience and a special “Summon” ability from the person who gave the link to you regardless of which class you are.  These perks only last for a couple of months though so it’s best to make use of them immediately.  You can request a special link to these perks by e-mailing with the e-mail address you’ll be using for your World of Warcraft account.  It’s important you have this link available for use before creating your account.

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Chances are upon creating your first character you’ll be bombarded by requests to join a guild.  Make sure you choose a Level 25 guild to take advantage of all the perks (a list of these is available on the home page of our Alliance guild web page).  Don’t worry about being stuck with any one guild.  You can leave at any time and switch to a guild that better suits your play needs.

You may want to find a guild that caters to newer users so you don’t suffer the wrath of players who treat new users with contempt.  Unfortunately, abuse of new players has become the staple of today’s barely raised children looking for a way to feel better about themselves at the expense of others.  There are plenty of mature users in the game.  You just have to find them.

Playing World of Warcraft can be a fun way to keep in touch with family who are no longer physically near you.  It can also be a good way to teach your child to be a responsible internet user instead of an internet abuser.  It’s a great way to focus on something else when dealing with daily pain management and a great way to relax if you have smaller children who go to bed early.  It allows you to socialize and achieve things all in the safety of your own home.

Now is a great time to get ready for the Warlords of Draenor expansion whether you are a new player or coming back to the game after a long period of inactivity.  Hope to see you there! 🙂


There are so many things you have to learn when you’re involved in a game that relies on other people.  I’ve been pretty much winging it on my own, with the exception of the dungeon runs I’ve done with my guild leader.  He’s a great guy who explains things to me and has the patience to put up with the horrible mis-steps my old computer frequently causes.  In one dungeon, I had the hideous luck to keep falling into molten lava on the way in because at the time I did not have a winged beast to fly over it (or to be more exact, wasn’t at a high enough level to use my winged beast for flight).  He’s also been great at helping me collect armor for my priest and bags with enough slots to actually carry and store things in.  He’s generously found both cloth and leather whenever I’ve asked (from what he has left over) and informed me those hard to find dusts and essences can be found by disenchanting the things I have to make to move my tailoring skill up.  I can say as men go he’s probably treated me better than most of the real men in my life.

Sooner or later though, you have to start stepping out on your own just to prove you are capable of learning things that may seem easy to others, but are weaving new neural pathways in a much older brain.  When I hit level 60 and was finally able to upgrade my riding ability to fly I was feeling pretty good.  While other quests had taken forever to get to some of the places via the road (often stopped by aggressive NPCs on the way to get where I was going), I now fly over their heads.  Quest lines are much easier to finish as I no longer have to follow the roads to where I want to go.  I simply take a direct line and drop down right in the middle of everything.  This is especially handy when you have to go some place on the other side of Horde territory.

Feeling good about my new found freedom I thought I would trip the light fantastic and take a stab at joining a group through the dungeon finder.  BAD IDEA.  I had THE WORST dungeon experience in my life!  I’ve read you should go in as a DPS (only there to cause damage) person if you don’t know how to run a dungeon, but if you get put into an experienced group it doesn’t hold true.  I indicated on the dungeon finder that I would not be using my priestly skills, mostly due to the age of my computer and the buffer lag I have to deal with due to an inadequate graphics card and low processor speed.

Unfortunately, if you get into a group of experienced players they are off and running before you even have time to start the quests in the dungeon.  Before I even found out who the tank in my group was, he was barking instructions and criticism my way.  I had no idea what he was talking about though, since it was clear the words coming out of his mouth were foreign to me.

I brought this to the WoW forums and was blessed with some great responses. While it took a couple of explanations to get all the information I needed, I found out that priests who wish to be both healers and damage creators need to sign up for dual specialization.  I suppose this is true for all the other classes as well.  Each class comes with three different types of skills or spells, dependent upon what they wish to do.  I chose the Discipline Priest specialty when I created my character (even though most guides said to create a Shadow Priest), because at the time I wanted an equal balance between healer and fighter.  Being a Holy Priest would have taken too long to level and being a Shadow Priest made me a damage character, not a healer. The whole time the leader of this dungeon group was screaming SHADOW, SHADOW, SHADOW at me, he wanted me to switch over to a Shadow Priest.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but later I found out how easy it is to go to your class trainer and request dual specialization (having two bright tabs on your specialization as shown above indicates you can switch back and forth between the two).  Something else I also found interesting was the other priest in the group was using his Shadow skills and was also being targeted by the NPCs run amok, while I as a Discipline Priest was being left alone by random aggressive NPCs.

You really can find any piece of information you need on the Wow forum.  I post all my inquiries to the Newbie area since I know so little about the game. I received links to some GREAT class guides, was helped by being given a list of spells people would expect me to use in a dungeon run, had the loot system explained to me in a way that made sense and was given insight on what experienced people DO expect.  One person replying told me that her dungeon experiences yielded a one in five rate of having a leader who flew like the wind trying to take the course at his own pace – lucky me!  Of course, there is always the other extreme, which was pointed out to me by another poster, where people go through the dungeon slowly as they consider it more of a social opportunity than a speed drill.

In between my last blog entry and this one, I also went to some pretty interesting quests.  The Un’Goro Crater quest line seemed to take FOREVER.  I was never so thankful to receive an increase in movement speed.  In addition, it seemed to have the highest amount of aggressive NPCs that were always in the way of getting from here to there.  It would have been much easier to get through that area with a flying mount.  By the time I was through with all the quests in that area, all I wanted to do was get out of it.

Then there was the exorcism of Colonel Jules.  I had been running quest lines that were pretty self explanatory for so long, I forgot about the ones where you just stand there and observe.  I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do when I got to this quest (buffer lag played a part in my confusion waiting for the NPC to speak), but I finally stood still for a while and realized the NPC I interacted with was beginning an exorcism complete with green goo and flying skulls.

The most ANNOYING quest came from Silithus on the continent of Kalimdor. This was the first time I was ever tricked into PvP play by a quest.  I’m sure I spent hours trying to figure out why, when I clicked on the geyser, I couldn’t get to the apparatus which sucked the geyser energy I was carrying out of me as the quest required.  After a lot of frustration and wasted time, I finally found a web page with comments about the quest.  It appeared that you must not only have your PvP indicator turned on when starting the quest (right click on your face in the upper left corner where it shows how many hit points you have left and you’ll see the Player vs. Player options), but you CANNOT ride any mount after interacting with the Silithyst Geyser; i.e. you better run fast to get to the machine that sucks the geyser energy back out of you.  Sometimes it was a VERY long run hoping no one would spot me.

Part of the quest was the Alliance/Horde challenge you see above.  I suppose you win some type of honor points if your faction gets to 200.  I never saw the score indicator get close to 200 on either side.  To move the numbers (and they reset every day I believe), you have to complete the geyser run.  There are several geysers in Silithus, but I found them to not respawn all that fast.  I think you do better going into Silithus as a group and trying to get as many as you can that way.

I had my second chance to go to the Darkmoon Faire this month.  The games were much easier to play this time having learned more about the user interface and my mouse.  The cannon game is still a bit iffy due to the age of my computer and poor graphics card.  The lag is horrible when I play, which doesn’t bode well for hitting a button when you get over a certain area in the ocean.  I still found myself distracted enough by trying to complete quests to not make it to the Faire every day to gather more tickets.  I suppose the special quests benefit people who are at their highest level already.

I am thrilled to be able to say I can now make my own 16 slot bags!  I made a bunch of them with the tons of Netherweave Cloth I had gathered from all the quests.  I’ve had the misfortune to be very far behind in Tailoring from the level I’m at.  Here’s a good tip for anyone winding up in the same situation.  If you are predominantly behind in Tailoring (i.e. the cloth you’re getting from kills is a few levels above what you can create), try to keep in mind that if you find a good area to farm cloth during your quests, spend some time there and get as many as you can while you’re at that level (and don’t think for a minute that having 140 pieces is enough – the higher you get, the more pieces it takes to make a bolt of cloth)!  I am finding that once I pass the player level of the area where certain cloth spawns, I can’t farm ANYTHING to save my soul!  I’m sure they put that stopgap in the game to keep people from making millions farming different types of cloth, but I would hope one day they would re-code the ability to pick up cloth based on your Tailoring level, NOT your player level.  The last seven levels of Tailoring were incredibly painful for me.  I was too big to farm any more runecloth, but I didn’t have enough to make items that would raise my level (grayed out items don’t raise your Tailoring level, green does sometimes, but not always).  The prices for cloth through the auction house (for those of us who were too impatient to wait until our non-tailoring characters got up to that cloth level) were HORRIBLE.  At a time when I should be saving up for flying lessons, I’m spending my gold on cloth I should have spent the time to farm.  Oh well, at least now I know.

If you’re having any problems as a newbie or have questions about things that aren’t working well for you, please visit the WoW forum.  The people there are full of all kinds of information.  You just have to be specific about what you want to know and they will happily share their experience and expertise.  It’s always been a positive experience for me. 🙂

I freely admit I’m a noob.  The universe seems to be testing my resolve When it comes to World of Warcraft.  These last two weeks have been the most mentally exhausting weeks since I started playing, which means I had one good week and then it all went down the toilet.  I was lucky in that Blizzard happily transferred my character from the trial program to the main server when I purchased the digital Battle Chest they offered for $9.99.  It left two WoW server log-ins though.  I kept hearing that the old trial server log-in would disappear in a week.  It never did, but I was too happy about being able to keep the character I had already leveled.

As I got to higher levels and started reading about where good places to find materials for my professions and leveling were, I noticed people talking about add-ons.  I thought they would be a wonderful addition.  WRONG.  I started with something simple like Atlas, TomTom and something that claimed to allow me to move any of the user interface windows on my screen where they were more effective for me.  None of the add-ons were as helpful as billed and in fact made my life more miserable with their incompatibility with the Blizzard UI. I finally gave up, took the add-ons off and removed the installer.

Several things happened at the same time I uninstalled the add-ons.  1) I finally got around to telling Blizzard I wanted to return my non-working authenticator…the same one that locked me out of my account for half a day while I waited for the west coast to wake up and go to work.  2) Someone at Blizzard looked at my Customer Support ticket and completely ignored what I said and instead of telling me how to return my authenticator which I carefully explained was my purpose for filling out the ticket, returned my digital upgrade for Mysts of Pandaria.  3) Doing so destroyed my account right after everyone on the west coast left work for the day, leaving me locked out of my account for another 12 hours.  I was livid (mostly because these last two weeks I’ve just been waking up when Blizzard employees are going to bed so that was my prime game time). 4) Right before this happened, I did a quest that went from Stormwind to Old Town and noticed my blue EXP bar had disappeared.

Let’s start with the last item first.  Here’s a note to people who are new to World of Warcraft.  Just because a web site, wiki or forum says a NPC is in one place, doesn’t mean that NPC will actually be there when you go to find him. My first example of this phenomenon was Morbent Fel, a NPC who the wiki showed a picture of in his bedroom.  Morbent has since relocated to under the crypt that is guarded by a HUGE bone animation (lots of hit points) with a million undead ready to have their way with you.  He’s also a bit of a badass now with his fancy clothes and spells.  The same is true for Behsten, the guy who gets your EXP bar put back into your user interface.

Blizzard didn’t just move Behsten from the Old Town warrior training area, they made him opaque so you couldn’t see him unless you looked very carefully.  I don’t know which spell controls fading out, but he’s chock full of it.  As you may or may not be able to see him in the picture above, he is located in the battle room to the right of the King’s (possible) throne room at Stormwind Keep, at the very farthest left-hand corner in front of that table.  You have to wait for him to show up and what you see in the picture above is as real as he gets.  If you right-click on him, he’ll offer to toggle your EXP bar, but keep in mind if he does toggle it OFF, you will no longer be chalking up EXP points.  I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m not even sure how mine got turned off as it appears you have to PAY Behsten to turn it off.  Inasmuch as I couldn’t even find the guy to get it fixed, I have no idea how mine got turned off.

Back to my Blizzard drama – once the Customer Service Representative turned off my Mysts of Pandaria digital upgrade, I could no longer log into the server.  I figured it’s easier to communicate with Blizzard through their e-mail type system, but it’s clear I need to give that idea up. How anyone could mistake the words “Mysts of Pandaria” for “authenticator” are so far beyond me, I can’t fathom what they were thinking.  Oh wait, I remember.  I had to buy my digital upgrade through, while the authenticator had to be ordered through the Blizzard store.  It created two different orders.  Clearly, the guy answering my request for information on how to return the authenticator back to Blizzard just clicked the first order they saw, leaving me with no way to get onto the server. Or they’re a sociopath who likes to screw with people for shits and giggles.

Having reached my limit for being shackled by the lack of Customer Service “open” hours, I pounced on my phone the minute 1:00PM ET hit my clock. Luckily I only had to wait a couple of minutes.  We discussed the merits of how to distinguish the words “Mysts of Pandaria” from “authenticator.”  He explained to me that my inability to connect to the game server was simply a happy coincidence with my Mysts of Pandaria being taken away and that add-ons were the root of all evil.  He very kindly put my digital upgrade back and gave me instructions for uninstalling ALL of my World of Warcraft software (all 20+ GBs of it) from my Windows 7 installation so I could start with a clean slate.  They consisted of this:

In order to remove World of Warcraft from your system, please follow the instructions below.

For Windows Users:

1) Go to the Start/Windows button, and click “Control Panel”
2) Look for “Uninstall a program” (Windows Vista/7) or “Add or Remove Programs” (Windows XP)
3) Right-Click on the World of Warcraft icon and select “Uninstall”

This will begin the uninstallation process.

If the game is not listed in the Add/Remove Programs, manually uninstall the game by deleting the folder directory where WoW was installed.

After uninstalling, there may be remaining game files on the system. Search the hard drive for any Warcraft related files and delete them, including Temporary folders and the Blizzard Entertainment folder from the Common Files folder. These folders will normally be located at:

C:\Documents and Settings\<YourName>\Local Settings\Temp

Select and Delete these folders if they exist.

C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft
C:\Program Files (x86)\World of Warcraft
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Blizzard Entertainment
C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft
C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Blizzard Entertainment\World of Warcraft\

To reinstall the game, please do the following:

1) Install from disc(s) or download the installer from (
Downloading the game client will install a more current version which may save you some patching time if your disc has an older version.

2) Patch to the latest version of the game.

After the game is re-installed, please make sure to not reinstall any custom UIs. Connect to the game servers and download the latest patches to test the game.

Unfortunately, I still had errors that were keeping me off the server (Error: BLZPTS00002 – We Could Not Connect to the Patch Service). Luckily, it was easy to find the solution here.  Apparently, even though I had rebooted my machine before trying to install the game again, some background program on my computer was still causing problems.  I followed the easy directions about closing background applications and was FINALLY reconnected to the server to download the game again.

The re-installation is what caused the picture at the top of this blog entry.  It was funny when I first installed the digital copy of the trial program I had the same thing happen at a much lower degree.  All the flowers and plants on the ground were that horrid void green.  Blizzard will install enough of the program so you can play immediately while it chugs away at uploading the rest to your computer.  I take it from the fact that my horse turned up all green that mounts are a low priority as well.

One of the other things that used to bother me whenever I tried to reload the UI by deleting the WTF, Interface and Add-On folders in the World of Warcraft sub-directory was when I tried to log back in, it asked me what server I wanted to log in to and what character I wanted to make.  I already had a new character, I thought it was supposed to reload itself.  Luckily this time, selecting the server I was already on (Dalaran) brought up both my characters.  I guess that’s the good thing about playing on the server.  No matter what happens to your PC, your character will almost always be there (unless someone has hacked your account and destroyed everything).  Even then, I think Blizzard keeps a back up.  While the guy from Customer Service was telling me about reloading the software to my computer, he also made my authenticator work.  I’m just afraid to start using it without Customer Service being open in case it doesn’t.

At one point, I put my tale of woe on the Blizzard forum.  Apparently I’m the only person who can have so many bad things happen.  I guess it takes a noob to make that many special things happen at once.

BTW, I’m very proud of the fact that I FINALLY have boots that cover all of my feet.  I’ve been getting new armor pieces, but I’m at the point where the attributes on the armor is really coming into play.  I had a cloak with +7 strength for a long time because I liked the extra strength.  I know priests aren’t supposed to need it, but I found it annoying not to have it.  I’ve slowly been weaning myself off the armor that has STR on it, but it hasn’t been easy since my intelligence and spirit are so high it seems negligible to swap out a couple intelligence for strength.

As a newbie to the world of graphic RPGs, I have so much to learn in so many different ways.  In the game, the instructions were very clear on how to get a ride to places far away.  In one of my earlier quests, it took me via gryphon to another city.  I learned the flight routes very easily from that quest.  Since I knew nothing about the game and started out without anyone to guide me on how to play, I picked up quests I didn’t know how to finish and they bugged me every day.

It might be my OCD tendencies.  I don’t like knowing there’s a quest out there I haven’t finished and two of the quests I managed to accept along different quest lines had no discernible way to get to them without going through a dungeon.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to do so.  I didn’t like the idea that I could get stuck in a dungeon group full of miscreants who just wanted to use foul language and be abusive.  Mind you, not ever having been in one with a group yet I don’t know that to be the norm, but based on the type of behavior you see on the general chat channels it did not inspire me to investigate going into a dungeon.

At level 38 now, having a bit more information and being told how low level the Gnomeregan dungeon was I figured it was time to set out and see if I could find Gnomeregan by myself.  I’ve seen maps of it and I was told it was west of Ironforge, but I could never find a map connecting the lines between Ironforge and Gnomeregan.  When you are in Ironforge, you get a map of Ironforge. Right-click on that map and you get a map with more areas in it, but few indicators of where towns are.  Now that I have been in WoW for a bit, I’ve figured out how to get mid-level maps showing an entire area (by finding the big continent map and clicking on the area labeled Dun Morogh or whatever area you are looking for – it’s like hovering over states on a United States map).

For those of you who may have worked so hard to level up your characters and not been to a dungeon with a group, I’ve taken several screen shots for you of what to expect.  I did forget to take a screen shot of the first level NPC Boss kill.  It’s a 20,000+ EXP  NPC and my nerves were a bit frazzled having died a couple times in the process of learning.  I will say my old CircleMUD skills came into play.  I was able to run all three levels of the dungeon by myself at level 38 (being a priest – you can probably do it at a lower level with a hardier class) through use of pulling the NPCs away from one another (since things die much quicker when you have a bunch of people beating on it and not so much by yourself).  One of the first things to know is how to get to a dungeon on foot.  Most people use the feature in the game (keybound to the letter “I”) that will put you in queue for a group to go run a dungeon with.  If you’ve forgotten to do a much lower level dungeon and you want to do it by yourself, you need to go by foot and look for the dungeon symbol (hot green above) to get inside.

Gnomeregan (and the Stormwind dungeon) is a little better prepared then some.  With Gnomeregan and Stormwind, you have the option of quiet rooms to rest and heal before you go back into the dungeon if you get killed.  My recent experience with the Shadowfang Keep dungeon was less friendly.  I saw no quiet rooms at the Keep and in fact, there is NO PLACE anywhere nearby where you won’t get mowed down instantly in which to get your armor repaired.  There is a small area at the base of Shadowfang Keep, but a mob with over 100K EXP roams there and if she catches you, it’s instant death.

Gnomeregan requires that you take an elevator down to the dungeon area. Upon exiting the elevator, you walk through a hall of machinery to the loading area/healing room.  You have the choice of either going straight into a practice area where you can work out the group dynamics with some smaller NPCs or turning left to head into the dungeon.  How do you distinguish where the dungeon is?  By the blue portal above.  When you step through that portal you’ll be greeted by a Quest Master (Murd Doc – linked through a quest in another non-dungeon area) and his friendly support team.  Once you accept his quest, you are ready to rock and roll.

The first dungeon level in Gnomeregan can only be reached by a parachute (which BTW, doesn’t always open – if it doesn’t you can plan on losing around 1,000+ Hit Points when you hit bottom).  Luckily there are parachute boxes on both level 1 and 2 in case you die and have to return.  Level 1 is full of oozing slime and baby Vicous Fallout roaming robots, but they are easy to pull and kill. A good level 38 priest can take Vicous Fallout himself out after killing all the roaming NPCs, but you need to be very focused on what you’re doing to ensure you are healing what was half my hit points every time my power shield faded out and needed to be recast.  Since this was such a low level dungeon I was a bit surprised that the item he dropped was better than the one I had.  The good thing about running the dungeon was I didn’t have to worry about sharing the armor and equipment drops.  It was sad there weren’t people to get the items I didn’t need (they immediately bind to you), but I sold them for a good amount of coin at the next vendor I visited.  When I finally killed Vicous Fallout, I was exhausted and completely forgot to get a screen shot of his carcass.  Having never killed a dungeon boss before, it was a relief when it was over.  There is a friendly NPC in a car almost halfway around level one who gives you the next quest for level 2.    The corridor behind him is where I pulled all the NPCs I killed to.

By the second level, I was a little more used to the killing frenzy.  There were the same requisite NPCs to kill, a little one bigger than the other and seemingly around 5,000 hit points.  Electrocutioner 6000 had more hit points to get rid of though.  In the end, Electrocutioner 6000 met his match.  Notice the white tipped staff on my back?  I got that from the first level NPC Boss.

When the third level came around it almost seemed impossible.  I won’t deny I died a couple of times from getting a little cocky with my second level success of pulling NPCs (i.e. I didn’t die on the second level).  I made sure when I parachuted down to this last level that I ran to the very outside of the area and made my way around the perimeter to the hall that took you to where the Boss NPC (Mekgineer Thermaplugg) was.  There was a helpful dwarven NPC with blue balls of electricity when I pulled the worker NPCs out to the perimeter of the main area to be killed (they all had “guardians”).  This level seemed to me to have the most aggressive NPC workers of the dungeon, which would make sense if it’s the last Boss NPC.  By the way, Mekgineer Thermaplugg had over 27,000 hit points and a bunch of little bombs to annoy you with some offensive spell while you were trying to kill him.

I want to make a note here for anyone who is going through the Gnomeregan dungeon…there is supposed to be a dormitory somewhere which contains a Sparklematic 5200 NPC.  The Sparklematic is supposed to process all the grimy encrusted things you received as you killed all the NPCs and turn some of them into pretty stones.  It is also supposed to be a quest, but I couldn’t find the “Dormitory” where the Sparklematic is supposed to live when I was outside in the “Loading Area.” I can only surmise he lives on one of the dungeon levels even though older instructions on the web says he is in the pre-dungeon area. I spent my time focused on killing the Boss NPCs and going to the next level as opposed to exploring so I suppose there could be a clean room on one of the dungeon levels, but I didn’t go looking for it.  Now I have a bunch of grimy encrusted items and have no idea how to get them transferred into gems at the moment.  If you figure it out, please feel free to leave a comment as I would love to figure out how to get them taken care of.

Also, in my travels through the non-dungeon areas of the Gnomeregan dungeon in search of the Sparklematic 5200, I came upon an area in the back of the practice zone with 5,000HP NPCs.  I don’t know if they lead to the major dungeon areas as I wasn’t really trying to run the dungeon again.  I was just looking for the “clean” area where people claimed the Sparklematic 5200 resided.  I don’t know if I couldn’t find him due to running the dungeon at such a high level instead of the level the dungeon was intended for, but Sparklematic 5200 was nowhere to be found.

If like me, you have hesitations about grouping with strangers wait until you feel more comfortable about it.  There are hundreds of discussions about dungeon runs on the internet, some include strategies.  Sooner or later you’ll wind up meeting people you want to run in a group with.  Dungeons are a great place to pick up good armor and challenge your strategy and gaming skills.  I liked Gnomeregan as a starter dungeon.  The graveyard is very easy to get to and it’s a quick trip to run outside and get armor repair before going back in (if you click on the guy near the transporter device at the elevator bay, he will automatically transport you up to the surface without waiting for an elevator).  I’ve read other people talking about how boring the Gnomeregan dungeon is, but I found it to be a good first dungeon to experience.  Just remember to make sure your hearthstone is in your bag (there is no other way out unless someone teleports you) and you stop at the Sparklematic 5200 before leaving the last dungeon level.

I thought I’d check out the Darkmoon Faire this month. After all, the portal for it was in my home town of Goldshire. I still have no idea no idea how to use the game interface most of the time, so after realizing a right click on the portal would get me there, I took a stroll through the Faire. I found the experience to be a mixed bag for me. (The exit portals are at the end of the pier; one for Alliance, one for Horde.)

If you’ve never been to the faire before, it consists of games to play, different things to eat or drink, some different pets and items you can purchase.  The better items have to be purchased with tickets, tickets that you win when you complete quests within (and sometimes outside of) the faire.  Most of the games (quests) can be played daily.

One of the down sides of not having gone to the fair before is how it works. Being unfamiliar with RPG games, I didn’t realize once I bought my sack of tokens I needed to right click on them until the coins landed in a box in my inventory bag.  I stood at the Whack A Gnoll game for a long time.  The lady kept throwing me out because I hadn’t taken the coins out of my bag (even though I clicked the “I’m Ready” button).  Clearly she knew they were in there.

Some of the games require you to click on the bullet, then the target before you shoot, some require you click on the target first and then click the bullet (Tonk).  You just have to figure out which game works which way. When you meet the requirements for the game (quest), the time will continue to run out at which point you can go back to the person who let you in and collect your ticket prize.  I found the Tonk game to be the easiest to play.

One of the problems I had with some of the games, such as the shooting gallery, was the buffer between the game and my computer was way off.  The guns always went off way after I clicked for the target and the target light had moved.  I noticed other people were hitting the target frequently.  I can only surmise that I just don’t understand how to use the game interface correctly (more aiming involved than just clicking the cursor where you want the bullet to go).

There were other equally frustrating buffer problems.  For example, you can get blown out of a cannon and hope to hit a target in the ocean, but the movement commands didn’t seem to start working on my computer until I was right on top of the target and by then my over compensation had already lodged itself in the buffer.  The swim back was obnoxious.  For some reason my avatar wouldn’t swim straight and moved VERY slowly.  Once you got back to the shore, you had to ride all the way back to the cannon.  The Human Cannonball quest won’t disappear from your list unless you abandon it or finish it.  I decided to abandon it as it seemed a rather unproductive use of my time.

The other problem I had with the faire were the unmarked places.  Most people who have played WoW for a while probably know what a PvP (Player vs Player) arena looks like.  I had no idea.  When I went up to investigate, I found myself in the ring wishing I hadn’t been so curious.  If you get TOO close and hit the wrong button, it throws you right in.  I don’t PvP specifically because anyone else in the game who’s been playing a while most likely has the BEST equipment.  I don’t know what the restrictions are for levels either, all I know is some really big dude popped into the ring and cut me down with one slash.

The only good thing I got out of the faire was a storage box with more storage space than the bags I currently buy to hold my things.  It only cost one ticket. The rest of the faire was pretty annoying, especially the girl next to the “Test Your Strength” machine.  To complete that quest you had to go kill 250 NPCs (ones your own size). I did it in one day, but I have no idea if that’s normal.  I received 10 free tickets for it.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything I wanted to use my 10 tickets with.  Whether my achievements roll into next month’s faire, I do not know. What I do know is there is an awesome staff I could use at the faire grounds, but it costs 160 tickets – far exceeding the 11 tickets I managed to come up with this week.

On Sunday WoW did an update to their software around 1:00PM. Nothing worked right the rest of the day.  There was constant lagging, and oh, did I mention hackers managed to get through the system while they were upgrading?  That’s right, if you look around YouTube, you’ll see the carnage. Blizzard had to shut down the servers until they could figure out how the German hackers got in and cut them off at the pass. Somehow, the hackers had created a level one character with the powers of a God – able to kill people with one slash of the sword.  There were a lot of dead players who weren’t looking for a battle.

Blizzard put their purchasable mounts on sale half price yesterday.  Instead of paying $25, they were $12.50.  I was getting tired of using the gryphons, so I thought if I bought this mount (Winged Guardian) it would solve my problems, after all it said you could use it at level 20.  I went into the game, received it into my in-game mailbox, right-clicked on it to get it into my mount area and hopped on.  I couldn’t get the darn thing to fly!  Apparently, if you buy a mount you only get to use the running part of it until you are level 60 (I believe) and can learn how to fly.  Disappointing to say the least, but it was a lesson learned.  For now I’ll keep using my horse for transportation because it makes me feel happy.

I finally leveled up to 35 so I could wear my pirate hat.  When I put it on, my hair style suddenly changed. Not sure why.  I also noticed when I just went in the game to get a print screen of my new equipment (new hat, staff, belt, gloves and boots that look more like toe-less socks), it said they were planning on doing more upgrades at 1:00PM (ET) today.  I just hope it doesn’t turn into the horrible mess it did last time.

WARNING: There are spoilers for the Morbent Fel Quest below.  If you don’t want to know where he is, don’t read any of the text between the red “SPOILERS” indicators.  I’ve been looking for Morbent Fel for three frickin’ days. Seriously. According to the map, he’s supposed to be in his house on Forlorn Rowe, but when you go there all that’s left is a hat I used in the previous quest. (NOTE: Some web sites claim he is still in his house surrounded by three bodyguards. Yes, the guards are still there, but Morbent Fel is not.)  After looking at several different resources online, I had even LESS of an idea where this guy was.  All the pictures I could find of him showed him in front of beds. The house had no beds.

The guild I joined was no help.  Someone offered to help me find him one day, but they wound up forgetting about me (life as a low level player) and then they logged off.  I asked a question on guild chat a few times during different periods when I was in the game and the one person that responded said they didn’t know anything about him.  Oddly enough a couple of hours later as I watched guild chat go flying by, I noticed a level 12 player talking about how thankful they were these other people in the guild let them tag along so they could learn.  Even though I’ve only been playing since Sunday (six days ago) I still have many, many questions.  No one in the guild ever asked me if I’d like to tag along.  Including the very nice person who recruited me.  This was a bad sign of things to come.

A couple of days ago I posted a question in the guild forum about deciding how to choose a guild.  I was told the reason people randomly ask players to join their guilds is because everything you do generates money for their guild and if they are not maxed out for quest experience points you contribute to that balance as well if you are doing quests.  In my case, not knowing anyone else who plays WoW I had to make a decision whether it was worth staying in a guild that was unhelpful as this one was beginning to seem or leave and wait until I was of more use to someone as a high level character.  I opted on the latter and left the guild I had just joined.

Had I known guild requests were all about what you could give the guild, I would never have joined one to begin with.  Sure, there are some benefits (extra spells, movement of character, discounts at stores), but they pretty much are offset by what your playing gives to the guild.  If you are new to the game, I recommend waiting until you are level 85 or higher to consider joining a guild unless it’s a group of friends from real life.  The WoW forums have one area specific to discussion about guilds – who’s looking for guild members, who’s looking for a guild.  You can look through the ads of people who are looking to add players to their guild and ask questions.  Some of the guilds are very competitive so if you’re not going to be playing WoW every hour of the day that you’re not at work, you might want to shy away from them (I read one notice that said if you weren’t producing up to quota, they’d kick you out). Also, be sure the guild you are interested in is on your server.  If not, you wind up having to pay $25 to get your character switched over.

Back to Morbent Fel. Since I’m a new graphic RPG player, I was very focused on following directions.  No matter how many times I stood on top of the quest indicator, Morbent Fel would not appear.  I kept reading the quest again and again.  It spoke of catacombs, but I had been in the catacombs (the part that wouldn’t end my life endlessly) and he was not there. Don’t get me wrong.  I’m really not afraid of dying. I do it with some regularity in places with a lot of aggressive NPCs (such as Raven Hill Cemetery in Duskwood where the Morbent Fel quest takes place). I had my special Morbent Fel buster (some object received in the quest line to take away his special mage powers) to use as soon as I found him.

[SPOILERS] The reason I couldn’t find Morbent Fel is because he’s located in a connecting catacomb that will kick your rear end!  At least at Level 27 being a human priest.  How did I finally find him, even though I had been in that catacomb in spirit form (after being killed, having not picked up my corpse yet) and not seen him there?  I started at the catacomb I could survive, went all the way to the end where the little tunnel is, went to the end of the tunnel and peered very carefully into the larger catacomb area.  Someone had gone through there already and killed the aggressive NPCs.  The bigger guys at their tables were staying still. Don’t get me wrong, there was still one aggressive big guy standing next to Morbent Fel who dispensed with my living body very quickly (with one hit – I must not have had my power shield on), but someone must have killed him while I was running back to get my corpse from the area.  All that was left standing once the body was retrieved and I was alive again was Morbent Fel.  I shielded up, used the Morbent Fel quest thingy that took away his power and went to town on him.  He wasn’t very hard to kill once there weren’t a bunch of other NPCs trying to kill me at the same time. He has about the same number of hit points the jerk who walks around Raven Hill Cemetery with a big sword ( Mor’Ladim) does.   Mor’Ladim loves to be part of a gang banger.  If two or three NPCs from Raven Hill gang up on you, Mor’Ladim senses it and comes running! [END SPOILERS]

I have to laugh about the whole armor thing in this game.  I’m not a big clothes person.  I buy my stuff from the Walmart and after wearing it a couple of years it falls apart and I have to go back to the Walmart and get new clothes.  I don’t care whether they’re stylish.  All I care about is whether I want to run screaming when I see myself in the mirror (not a ruffles person).

I think about that when I log into WoW every day.  I’m not the kind of person who believes in shoulder pads, but they are VERY good armor so I’ll keep these funky squares shooting off of my shoulders for now.  I waited a long time to find something to put on my shoulder area.  I still have head, neck and trinket spots to equip now.

I’m going to see if there are any WoW meetings in my area so I can find people that might be able to give me tips on the interface and controls and the like.  There’s so much about graphic RPGs I don’t know about, so I’ve got a lot of area to catch up on.  I haven’t done anything but quests this week and it seems like there are a lot of other things to do.

For now, I’m going to bask in the glow of completing the Morbent Fel quest.  It was bugging me for a LONG time and I couldn’t find ANY web sites through the search engines that actually had information about how to find the little brat.  I don’t know if I couldn’t find him while I was in spirit because he WAS a quest NPC or whether someone had just killed him before I died.  I just know I had looked at that exact location when I was in spirit, but he wasn’t there.  It was great finally completing that quest. Now if I could only complete the one where the prisoners of war are without dying a million times. LOL!

At the end of day three I wound up with the best present ever!  I was finally a high enough level to buy a horse.  I chose a pinto pony for my mount as the palomino horse was covered in some goofy-looking armor.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to not have to run everywhere.  What is even odder is the sense memory that comes flying back as I ride my horse in the game.

When I was in my 20s, I owned a horse.  I loved it dearly as it was the best horse ever.  Of course, this didn’t mean that he was a pedigree horse or held any championship records.  It just means we had this incredible bond.

“Red” was a rescue horse – not that I rescued, but the lady who leased and later sold him to me rescued.  He was a quarter horse mutt, a bit high for my height challenged 5′ 4″ body at somewhere a little over 16 hands.  The abuse he suffered before being rescued made him a bit spooky, but having worked at Camp Furman for a time in my youth (as well as years of summer horse camp there), I was OK with it.

When I needed him, he was solid as a rock. On one trail ride I had to walk him along a very small strip of land next to a very deep ditch in the woods where construction for a gas line was taking place (by ditch I mean a good 20-30 feet down).  Everyone else had dismounted, but getting back up on Red in the middle of the woods would have been problematic for me at the time.  He was a perfect gentleman until after he passed the ditch, at which point he spooked just a little to show me he could.  I think he was just messing with me.  Having “Dreamkeeper” (my WoW mount) in the game brings back all the good memories of my sweet Red horse.

Great memories aren’t the only positive thing about playing WoW (World of Warcraft).  It reminded me how good it felt to be able to work hard at something and achieve results.  I contracted CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) after an operation in 1995.  I’ve been on disability since 1996.  There have been periods of my life that were better than others since then, but I remember how physically disabling CFS was when it first manifested.  I played MUD at the time to keep my brain sharp as one of the bad things about the onset of CFS is feeling like you don’t have enough energy to move.  If you don’t exercise your mind when bad CFS episodes come on, you wind up asleep in bed all day.  Playing CircleMUD (this was back before graphics had evolved to what they are now) was a welcome relief from all the things I “couldn’t” do.

I am now a level 22 priest.  When I hit level 20, I went looking EVERYWHERE to buy a horse.  Apparently, while there are many stables in the game, there is only ONE place you can buy a horse these days (and I did it so fast, I didn’t remember the name of the city).  Unfortunately, I had to get help from someone by asking where to buy a mount through the general channel.  I found someone who was nice enough to give me a ride to the one stable I could purchase a horse at and they stayed with me until I was able to actually to get my character on top of it.

I purchased my bridle, did several things I’ll never remember (move horse from bag by clicking right mouse button, move into mount screen, etc., etc.), clicked the “Mount” button at the bottom of the horse screen and I was off! While trying to figure all this out, my new friend gave me a tip about putting an action bar off to the right side of my screen (BEST tip yet!!!).  I moved the horse into that screen and now whenever I want to mount or unmount, I just click the horse icon to the right. 🙂

I know it sounds strange, but while I’m riding Dreamkeeper the graphics in the game are good enough for me to relive what it was like cantering across a field on my Red horse.  It was the best feeling in the world!

The other advantage to the help I was given was joining a guild.  Yes, I finally found a guild situation that felt right.  The person who helped me was really nice and I liked that the guild had a positive name.  I don’t know much about guilds or how to use them, but there were some really cool advantages to being in one from the looks of the guild menu, so I’m very happy.  I’m too little to be of much help to them yet, but I hope it will help me get better gear when I start getting big enough to really take advantage of my armor in the upper levels – I’ll have people to help me fight the NPCs for it.

I also came upon my first quest that was too much for me to handle.  It had to do with prisoners, a character who assists me and really burly people (who I haven’t figured out how to not get killed from), so I decided to work on some quests from someplace else and go back to that area when I’m bigger.

I also bought some better equipment to wear through the auction house (priests can only wear cloth items).  The funny part about it is I have pantyline buldge now.  LOL!  You think I’m kidding? Take a gander.  For a moment it looked like there was some type of chastity belt underneath, but now it just looks like bikini underwear.

On my second day in the game, I was taken via quest into Stormwind where the Trade District is.  I was so lost it wasn’t funny.  I finally did what I used to do in CircleMUD – I drew my own map for the area to make up for my inability to remember anything consistently. Now I can find where all the shops are and if I get lost, I know how to get back to a less remote place in the city.  It’s not a complete or well-drawn map, just one that helps me get around.

I’m really starting to enjoy my gaming experience.  I was surprised how relaxing being in this RPG game is.  It also brings back some pretty fond memories I have of playing CircleMUD, not only with my son but other friends I made while playing.  They are friends I left behind long ago as my life changed, but they will always be wonderful memories.  It will be interesting to see if I make friends as easily as I did back then after I’ve been playing WoW a while.  I don’t expect to interact with other players much until I’m up there in levels and can be of use to others in the game, but that’s OK as it reflects my real life.  That’s the best part of gaming.  Even when you’re sick, you can still be productive.

June 2019
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Knights of Twisted Fate