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 …

In which we turn 4
comment 5 Written by on February 14, 2012 – 10:51 am

So I am a bad blogger, and missed my bloggiversary (which was a little over a week ago, on Feb 4, as best I can tell). I’ve been very busy getting ready to start a new job (OMG YAY), and it just completely slipped my mind.

Which is sad, because this little corner of the internet has been such a staple of my video gaming for the last four years that I’m not sure really how to measure the effect.

I am a better raider for writing guides, a better roleplayer for writing guides and ficlets, a better writer in general for all the posts I’ve written. This blog got me a job with the Azeroth Advisor (which is sadly no longer in effect, but that’s OK, it was very very fun while it lasted) and has made me a number of friends – the kind of friends who bridge the gap between “internet friend” and “real life friend”.

Right now, though, I’m not sure what the eventual direction of Too Many Annas will be. It’s a time of transition for me (new job, changing game, expansion soon, Diablo III, Star Wars), and that’s always been when I’ve had trouble figuring out what to write about.

I’m not playing Star Wars much anymore – there are a number of factors at play there, but the short version is that I’m finding it hard to connect to the world and to feel sucked in by the quests. When I log in and play, it’s fun enough, but I don’t have any burning drive to log in and find out what’s next. I am playing WoW quite a bit, from leveling Annie Mae, Annalira (which is probably a post, my priest is back to her oldest name, with a new haircut and a new spec), and Annata… and possibly Annylais too. I’ve been fishing and cooking, working on Angoleth’s gear.

There’s still a lot to do in WoW, and a lot of people I really like to do things with, I’m just not sure what to write about it. It feels like so much of that has already been done, if only because I’ve been doing this for four years!

So I figured now’s as good a time as any to ask YOU GUYS what you think. You’re the ones doing the reading and commenting, so I’d love your input.

What kind of posts do you like best? What would you like to see more of? Is there anything you’d like me to revisit or start doing again?

Let me know in comments or via email (toomanyannas at gmail) – I promise to read all of them, and I’ll do my best to incorporate what you guys like into the future of this space.

The Second Time Around
comment 2 Written by on January 31, 2012 – 7:37 am

I am, officially, strange. Not that this is news to any of you, but I was reminded of it again this week while playing Ana’leth and Annata.

I like content better the second time I complete it. When I’m new to a zone, I don’t know what to expect, and I tend to miss a lot of stuff for being either overcareful or surprised by things all the time. When I get to someplace a second time, I have an idea how it’s going to go, and I can sit back and enjoy the game a lot more.

This is true in whatever game, it seems. WoW, Diablo, SWTOR, Torchlight. It’s not that I like to know exactly how everything is going to go…

Wait actually? That’s kinda it.

I like to know in advance how things are going to go. It gives me more time to react to them in character, among other things. I’m also a lot less likely to get lost or turned around. And I learn which quests are going to make me want to pull my hair out too, so I can skip them. It goes faster, but with more time to take breaks and think about character interaction.

In short, I like re-doing old content a lot more than I like running dungeons for gear at max level. Not surprising when you consider the stable of alts I keep around.

Unfortunately I’ve not hit the enjoyment mark with Cataclysm content, though. I’ve been having a lot of fun with Annata in Outland, and I’m looking forward to Northrend, but I still can’t seem to get Aely!Priest and Annie Mae out of Hyjal. At least with rested XP it’s a bit faster. Perhaps I need some deadlines or goals or something!

Either way though, it means I have to remember not to make my mind up too much about new content until I’ve done it at least twice. I always feel disgruntled when I’m stuck on stuff or things seem really slow because it’s the first time I’m doing them, regardless of the game. I truly HATED Outland the first time I went through it (for both content and social reasons, I was getting whispers to heal things every 15 minutes, even when I was not actually in Outland). Now some of my favorite zones in the game are there (Zangarmarsh, Nagrand).

So even though I’m not feeling particularly sucked into and immersed in Star Wars, I’m not making my mind up yet. I need to run it at least twice before I decide. Now I just have to remember to log in, instead of doing more on my WoW alts…

Heads I Win…
comment Comments Off Written by on January 30, 2012 – 7:28 am

On Wednesday, Annata prepared.

Clothing was casually purchased in Goldshire, a few herbs in Westfall. She used the extra time to make sure various poisons were ready as well, not that she thought she’d need them, but you could never be too careful.

She read and reread the notes she’d taken:

“Twenty years old, human male, short red hair, average height, solid build. Tanner Circle, sunset”

When it came near to sunset, she put together the first disguise and went to see about buying bread in Tanner Circle.

The woman who left her apartment was easily in her late 60’s, hair mostly grey, tied back in a kerchief. She was plump in the middle and wearing well mended clothing, laugh lines crinkling around her eyes and mouth. She carried a basket in one arm, with another on her back, as she walked the streets.

Arriving at Tanner Circle just before six, she found the bread merchant busily sorting through loaves. It was probably an hour before sunset, and the square bustled with people going to and from homes and jobs, purchasing food for that night’s dinner. The pub on the far corner was picking up a fair crowd as well.

She winked at the baker. “Hullo dear, what’s best for an old Nana today?”

He didn’t notice. “The sourdough, though I still have a few baguettes.”

“I’ll take two sourdough loaves then, of course, and one of those baguettes. Figure if there’s a few left, I might as well enjoy the treat!” Handing over a few coins, she wrapped up the two loaves and tucked them in the basket on her back, before tearing off a chunk of the baguette. It was slightly stale.

It took a bit of time to locate Trias’ little cheese cart and a fruit cart as well, and she allowed herself to get sucked in by the herb seller, ending up with a large handful of fresh sage and thyme. Using the knives hidden under her ample belly would have made eating the cheese a lot easier, but that was, of course, too obvious. Instead she opted for breaking off a hunk, finding a few old crates to sit on, and settling in to watch.

Her target showed up just as the clock struck six-thirty, coming in from the eastern side of the square.  He had two others with him, both with the odd, strung out look so common to those addicted to lotus, but the red haired man seemed well aware of his surroundings.

All three of them went to the bar, but her target left shortly after, leaving Annata sitting in the deepening dark.

She left the tiny lantern in her basket, thankful for the gas lamps lining the street, and watched him as he continued straight up Dryden as far as she could see without moving. A similar looking man passed through the open plaza a few moments later, heading towards Landen, but she couldn’t be sure it was the right one or not.

The two friends finally left the little pub around eight and walked down Bulwarks Street towards the canals.

The little old woman on the crates lit her lantern and walked home.

*****

On subsequent days, Annata took advantage of her preparation.

On Thursday a college student in the magical arts was seen in Tanner Circle, idly practicing something that didn’t look to be going well, his robes ill fitting and magic-blasted. On Friday, a pregnant woman stopped by the flower cart just after six o’clock. On Saturday it rained, and so she sat in the bar and talked with the barkeeper. On Sunday, an old soldier with a pronounced limp went there to buy herbs.

Each disguise kept her mind busy as she created characters in her head.

The student was book smart but had no common sense and drank too many shots at the bar, or so it seemed. The pregnant woman’s feet turned out and she leaned backward in a sort of uneasy walk that suggested she really didn’t need to be walking all the way to the square, but damn if she didn’t want flowers. The old soldier really needed painkillers, and didn’t anyone have any help for an old woman with a rotted out hip?

She started to piece together the story of the man she was following.

The student tripped and fell in front of a group of men at the bar, who laughed at him wildly for drinking too much. Her target saw the fall and left the bar. The pregnant woman was advised not to take the bruiseweed flowers, for fear they might start her labor early. The target was nearby, but said nothing. The old soldier’s plea for a stronger painkiller was obviously overheard, but earned her only a sidelong glance from a woman in the crowd – the target wasn’t anywhere nearby that she had seen.

Each day she saw a little more of the red haired man.

The barkeep referred to him as Augie or Oggy or Oogie or something of that nature. He wasn’t ever alone, though sometimes he followed behind one or two others and sometimes he had company actually with him. He never left via the south end of the Circle, always heading North or West, usually down Dryden or Bulwarks, and often he made two or three passes through.

And so, by Monday, she was ready to tail him properly.

*****

Of course, it rained. Thick, heavy drops threatened to run down the back of her boots, soaking the hood of her cloak and deadening the sounds of the usually vibrant square. It was already dark when the clock rang six and her target came into view, this time tailing a thin looking man with glasses and a tweedy jacket.

Don’t you look ever the accountant…

She stepped into the shadows to watch them cross the square, the usual six o’clock crowd thinned out by the perpetually dismal dripping. Out of nowhere, two teenagers came bolting through the streets, shouting. The first cleared the square without incident, but his friend – or enemy, it wasn’t clear – careened directly into the little money-peddling lotus dealer that Augie was trailing, sending both of them sprawling into the street.

Annata froze.

Augie lept.

In a matter of seconds the teenager found himself on his back in the rain, staring up into the face of a man who looked, for all extents and purposes, murderous. Augie knelt down next to him, and, but for the arm planted squarely in the young man’s chest, appeared to be trying to help. He waited until the seedy man was safely into the bar.

The young man struggled. “Let me up!”

“You gotta problem?”

“What? Let me go!”

“Not until you tell me what’s your problem. Don’t make me ask again.” He pushed harder, his hand inching up towards the man’s throat.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was an accident! I swear! I slipped and… and…”

Annata stepped in. “Are you alright? Do I need to call a medic?”

Instantly Augie stepped back. “I think he’ll be alright. He just needs to… be. more. careful.” The last three words dripped venom. With a snort, he turned and walked toward the pub.

Bastard.

The young man scrambled to his feet with her assistance. “Are you going to be alright?”

“Yeah I’m fine. What the hell?”

“Don’t worry about it, he’s an asshole. Just be careful where you’re running. Old Town ain’t as safe as she used to be.”

“You sound like my mum. Thanks lady.” After giving her a withering look, he trotted back the way he came.

She caught a glimpse of Augie leaving the square, headed up Sorefoot.

Now, let’s see where you really go all these evenings…

She tailed him up Sorefoot, past Thane’s boots and the Silver Shield, and into the Canal district. Then across the bridge, and around the Dwarven district, back to Old Town. He looped around that way several times, and slowly edging his way towards the harbor, finally sidling into another little pub – a wooden dolphin sign proclaiming it as The Flipper – and Annata paused, ducking behind some crates that smelled of rancid shellfish.

The rain doubled its efforts, thunder crackling overhead.

Time to wait.

The People of RaidFinder
comment 3 Written by on January 27, 2012 – 9:09 am

Having done a few RaidFinder groups, I’m starting to notice patterns. Sadly, they’re not really GOOD patterns. For whatever reason, the players who show up, do their jobs, get loot and go on their merry way don’t seem to stick out in LFR. On the other hand, the ones that DO stick out tend to be… memorable.

And so I present to you, the people of Raid Finder:

  • Guys I’m SO baked – drunk, high, stoned, exhausted, or otherwise generally mentally incapacitated. Probably still trying to main tank too.
  • Walking Taunt Button – taunts everything off the tank. Even if they’re not the main tank. Sometimes even if they’re just DPS. Probably has “taunt” macro’d to every other button.
  • Hypercompetitive DPS – often meter spamming. Sometimes abrasive to other DPS. Possibly Tarquin.
  • DPS Farmers (whatever that means)
  • Bad Directions – no matter how you do it, it’s wrong. His way is better. Shouts directions repeatedly in /yell or /RA, but isn’t the raid leader. Annoying if ignored, wipe-creating if only half the raid is paying attention.
  • Not Paying Attention – Wait, we got loot? Which boss are we at now? Where are you guys going?
  • I Have An Interrupt Macro, would you like to see it? – I use it every time I interrupt this trash mob! And the boss!
  • Get Loot + Go - rolls on something, wins, drops group. Sometimes doesn’t even win loot.
  • Worst Name Contest - so far the list includes Tittenkits, ElusiveTacos, ShavedTaters and SpasticColon

I’m SURE you guys can come up with some more…

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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