Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

What’s your game?
comment 2 Written by on April 7, 2008 – 7:06 am

Raiding. PVE. PVP. Instances. Crafting. Roleplay.

There’s a lot to do in this World of Warcraft, and everyone has their own little niche. Some people pick one character, leveling to 60 or 70, working through content and reputation, focused entirely on that one character and/or class. Some love to PVP, thriving on the adrenaline rush – Others have five alts by the time one reaches max level, enjoying many different classes (on different factions even) and the leveling grind more than the max level content – or in supplement to it.

character2For as much time as I spend raiding, I am, admittedly, an alt-lover. I rolled my first alt (my gnome mage, Berylla) when Angoleth was about level 35, and Annalira when she was in her late 50′s. Right now I have three characters at level 70, two in their 50′s, two in their 30′s, and *counts on fingers* four in their 20′s (some on servers other than Feathermoon, obviously). But when I think about it, I’ve never felt like I have that many characters.

Recently, Bellwether questioned how people leveled alts and managed to keep their steam going long enough to level them, and Jezrael talked about the nostalgia we all get sometimes for being low level – when everything was new and different and exciting.

For me – that’s why I play alts. If I’m feeling down, I look over my character list and remember that Brietta’s accent is really fun to type (especially after a beer), that no matter what happens I can cut loose while playing her, and that she’d have a bang up time doing a certain set of quests in Dustwallow or going to Scarlet Monastery.

I remember how playing Aelflaed always turns into funny mishaps, even if her accident-prone personality was created before she ever had all those … incidents … in Gnomeregan. There’s something refreshing about going back to a character that’s “lower level” and letting them discover the world as it unfolds and seeing how morladimthey’ll react to quests, instances, and happenings in Azeroth.

Even if I’ve done the quests in Duskwood at least 10 times already, my paladin has never done them before – and even if she knew that all wasn’t right with that part of the world, she’d certainly never come face to face with anything like Mor’ladim – or had to wrap her mind around his fall and redemption. (This is particularly true with my newest little alt, who is Horde – an undead mage – because I’ve never leveled a horde character past about level 35. Everything after that really will be new territory!)

Aside from the renewal I get from leveling, there’s a certain magic about the very beginning starting areas for me. My favorite time with a character is levels 1-20, because there is an uncertainty about the character – who they will be, what they will become, what they like and dislike, how they talk and act. Sometimes I may have created a personality for them before I started playing, but even then, the magic never happens until you’ve played them a little bit. When you’re walking around in Tirisfal Glades or Dun Morogh, even just the short walk from Deathknell to Brill seems impossibly long, and the world is impossibly big and full of wonder. Going back to Azuremyst Island with Annorah (even though her character goes back many hundreds of years before the Exodar crash) still brings back a feeling of newness and adventure.

For some characters, that excitement manages to last until very high levels – sometimes even level 70. For others, it fades by level 15, and I say goodbye to them in hopes that the next little “create” button will be more successful. And I always manage to have a backlog of character kernels, ready to spring into life at any given time. Or at least, at any time I manage to have an open character slot somewhere!

Alts are, to me, a renewing aspect of the game. If I’m feeling tired or worn down by a rough night raiding, there’s usually a cheerful little dwarf rogue, an accident prone paladin, an aggro-happy mage or an awkward, stuttering druid to cheer me up.

What’s your game?

I Am Not Prepared. Yet.
comment 3 Written by on April 6, 2008 – 9:46 am

Totally Raids, Inc is currently sitting square in Tier5 content. We’re working on Vashj, and then will move our tails into TK, kill Al’ar without having him bug out at 8% like he did the last time, and set our sights on Kael’thas. But friends of TRI are doing more – much more. And it seems that one of their raids which has Hyjal on clear and is working on Bloodboil in Black Temple has just lost a healer. Permanently.

Unfortunately, they raid on Fridays and Mondays – and TRI also raids on Fridays. So I can’t really apply for the full time spot. And, well, usually Mondays aren’t the best nights for raids either. But this Monday is. And so, I have signed up to sub. And at 5:30 server time on Monday, barring them finding a permanent replacement, I will be joining up with this group of players and getting a crash course in Tier 6.

Eep!

I am, as it were, not prepared! I’ve never seen any of the fights! Help! What do I do?

Well. I do a few things.

notebook2 by woodsy *

  1. I get myself a little notebook, and set my browser to www.bosskillers.com and www.wowwiki.com and start paging through the boss fights, making loose little notes in my notebook. These notes are things like “don’t stand in the fire” and major boss mechanics, as well as totem ideas for specific occurrences – I have no idea what group I’ll be in, so this is more about me having some idea what to expect. I also check out a few YouTube videos if I can find one or two from a healer’s perspective.
  2. I go to their guild website, and see if they have a strategies discussion board or section. This way I can see what *they* are used to doing with each fight, now that I have some idea of how each one generally progresses. This will let me know if they’ve had particular trouble with a certain type of adds, or a mechanic that’s usually wiping out the rogues, or whatnot – things that, as a healer, I should be prepared for.
  3. I bug people that have been through it before. In this case, I’ve bothered Matticus, as well as a few other TRI members that have seen Tier6 content before. I want to know what it’s like in the trenches, little gimmicks that I can use to make things easier, etc.
  4. I go back to my notebook and those boss killing strategies and set up a little page or section for each of the bosses I may end up seeing. In this case – all 5 Hyjal bosses and the first 4 of TK, as I don’t know how much of the instances that they cleared on Friday. This way I don’t have to alt-tab out (which often crashes my game right now…grumble) during the raid, and will hopefully not require too much in the way of explanation from someone at the beginning of the fight.

archimonde *

So, at this point, am I prepared? Well, not really. I still have to make sure I have WAY MORE potions, flasks, mana oil, food, and all of those important raid consumables than I can ever imagine needing – because I do not want to run out and have to scrounge for them like a noob. And, at this point, I have to go respec Annorah back to restoration, since I got a little “fun time” last night and went elemental for Totally WTF Karazhan again (2:42 full clear, no wipes).

And at that point, I will be as prepared as I know how to be. Will I still make mistakes – probably. I’ll be learning fights that these guys have on farm. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to be dead weight when I get there. Having subs in the raid can be frustrating because they can really slow you down, so I’m doing everything I can to have some knowledge of what’s going on and what I’ll need to do to be successful.

Because hey – you never know – I might get invited back!

*images courtesy of woodsy and www.wowwiki.com

Meet me in Outer Space
comment 9 Written by on April 5, 2008 – 8:55 am

I’ve always played Wow with the original, in game sound. I’ve never run iTunes while playing because up until very recently, my computer would not run WoW and iTunes and Vent simultaneously, and because I play a great deal “by ear” – which is to say that I weave steady shots by listening for the auto shot sound, and I know when things are hitting by the sound they make, etc. But yesterday, as I decided that 3 rounds of daily quests was a good idea (what was I thinking?) I thought maybe I’d give it a try and see if I like grinding with some music that had a bit more beat to it than the generic Hellfire soundtrack.

So I hop on my slowpoke stupid gryphon, turn off in game music, alt-tab out, open up iTunes, put it on random, tab back into the game, and there on my screen is one of those incredible Outland skies. And “Stellar” turns up as the first song in the playlist.

Meet me in outer space…

outlandsky

I thought it was cool.

Of course the next song that came up was “Count Bubba” from Swingin’ for the Fences by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. Oh well.

I’m not sure if I’m sold on this whole “listen to other music in game” thing – certainly not for raids, I’d get too distracted, and its too hard for me to pick out the “game noises” from the background music. But for farming/dailies, it was fun – and it certainly helped with the monotony of doing the same 15 quests on three characters in a row.

So anyway, I’m curious – am I the only one that is perfectly happy listening to the in-game soundtrack? Do you guys have specific things you listen to when you play different characters or tasks?

Roleplaying Resources
comment 6 Written by on April 4, 2008 – 7:36 am

drinkAs many of you have probably noticed, my warcraft experience includes both raiding and roleplay content. I’m as much of a lore-geek as I am about aspects of theorycrafting, and I love all the various interesting characters that my Annas get to interact with on a daily basis.

But not everyone has the advantage that I do – several friends that are walking lore dictionaries, and many resources through guilds and the realm forum for roleplaying and lore help. And contrary to what you may have seen here earlier… there’s a LOT more to roleplay than just the stereotypical “cyber” references…

So here begins a series of posts covering roleplaying basics and “hints”. To get you started on the “other side” of World of Warcraft, here are a few really awesome resources that you might find helpful as you start to explore the mind and experiences of your characters:

library

www.wowwiki.com

Wowwiki does a lot of things. Boss strategies? check. Classes and races? check. But they also have some really awesome lore information – and when I’ve got a question about something lore-related, this is almost always the first place I check.

vashjThe only “trouble” with WoWwiki is the fact that you can really quickly get overloaded with info – it’s so easy to just keep clicking through, opening new tabs/windows, and sinking hours of time into learning about a particular lore tidbit. Sometimes this isn’t really trouble at all, especially if you’re looking to get a “bigger picture” feel for a character or a zone or an instance. But if you’re just getting started and don’t know what questions to even ask, it can be a bit daunting.

If you find yourself in that situation, I’d recommend two things.

  • First, don’t look for character lore right off the bat – think of something you’re interested in (for example: Who the heck is Vashj and why does she have such bad hair?) and go digging around when you have some free time. Let the curiosity lead you through the site, and just go exploring.
  • Second – Go take a look at the next link in this list – Dramatis Personae!

Dramatis Personae

Dramatis Personae is an association of roleplayers that also keeps up an awesome “beginning” set of lore and roleplay guidelines for creating a character. If you’ve never looked at lore other than the intro cutscenes in warcraft and what bits you pick up from reading quest text… (You do read quest text right? If you don’t, you should!), DP is the place to start. Start with their intro to roleplay and then browse through their character creation pages. You’ll get a good taste of the lore without getting so overloaded you throw your hands over your head and give up.

Once you get a little more familiar with your character, you also need to take a look at their Character Diamond paradigm. This is useful to both a newly formed character and as a way to “dig deeper” into a character you’ve had around for awhile. I’ll cover character creation at a later date, so until then, keep this kind of thing in mind if you decide to roll a new character.

RP Archives

A nifty little site dedicated to roleplay (not just in Warcraft), RP Archives is an archive of links to articles from WoW Insider and other sources on role play basics, including how to pick a server, and the 10 Commandments of Roleplaying.

Hand of Valor

Another great website, this one has a whole set of “RP Classes” starting with the very basics – RP Survival Guide. Though not updated particularly frequently, this resource is another great place to gather information and hopefully pique your curiosity about roleplay in World of Warcraft.

**For actual character creation tips and tricks, I point you to That Damn RPer’s series Roleplay 101 – her first post is about Character Building. Good stuff!

character1character2

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

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