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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 knightsoftwistedfate@gmail.com 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 battle.net 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 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.

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