Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

Back to my Roots (Plus a bit of help!)
comment 19 Written by on June 3, 2010 – 8:52 am

I got to log in last night for the first time in about 3 weeks. I popped on Aely, checked the mail, and made sure I was ready for the raid tonight. Puttered around on my other characters, did a quick AH scan with my banker… and realized I had no idea what to do. There weren’t many people about for RP – most everyone was out playing alts or doing other things – and I could barely remember that the Abyss Crystals I’d mailed myself were for an enchant on Aely’s new Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer (SQUEEEE!), let alone why I’d mailed my banker a pile of light leather.

So I did what I’ve always done when faced with such a situation. I went back to the beginning, to the character I started out with.

Angoleth got dusted off, I did some bag rearranging (I’d mailed my banker the light leather because I didn’t have the pattern for something Angoleth was going to make for Annata, my rogue. Go figure.), and I set out to get some XP on the hunter I’ve played since vanilla but who always seems to be my third or fourth string alt to make it through the new expansion.

As an aside – when I started Burning Crusade and when I started Wrath of the Lich King, the first character to go exploring on both continents was Angoleth, and yet, in both expansions, she’ll be the last of my level capped characters to hit 80, and in both cases I leveled a new character from scratch before she made it (Aely in BC, Annie Mae in WotLK).

Anyhow, I stopped by the stable master to figure out who I’d be dragging with me out to Howling Fjord to go do some Kalu’ak quests. I was faced with the following:

  • Russ, a brown bear
  • Talia, a black owl
  • Ishura, a red windserpent
  • Arsaelan, a white lion
  • And one empty stable slot

I’ve never really decided what would go in the last slot – whether I’d pick up a Spirit Beast (I’m particularly fond of both Arcturis and Skoll) or whether I’d grab a wolf to round out the pet list.

As I was thinking about it, I remembered – waaaaay back in the bad old days, when I was level 45 or so, I decided I wanted to tame a wolf pet. Angoleth’s last name means “wolfwalker” and part of her backstory involves an old wolf pet that she’d had at Hyjal. When I finally found the one I wanted, a rare wolf from Ashenvale, I tamed him and then spent weeks getting him caught up to my level. I was a noob, and didn’t know there were similarly skinned wolves in Ferelas at level 40 or so, so I tamed one that was level 21, back before ANY of the pet leveling changes had happened.

Leveling him took FOREVER, but that wolf eventually became my favorite pet. I raided Molten Core with him, and he made it partway through Outland.

Sadly, with only three stable slots at the time, he was released (I took him back to Ashenvale to let him go, I’m weird) for me to pick up Ishura and see if I couldn’t improve my DPS, since windserpents had a patch or two that they were the “flavor of the month” as DPS pets and wolves were cunning pets and couldn’t compete.

Back to last night, I figured why not try a wolf pet again.

I’d not had good luck leveling with the bear (unbelievably slow, I was always out of mana) or with the cat (really squishy, always losing aggro), so I figured it couldn’t hurt to tame a wolf in Northrend and see what happened.

What happened? I spent 4 hours leveling Angoleth, got about 3/4 of the way to level 72, and had more fun huntering than I’ve had in awhile. Mr. Wolf does nearly as much DPS as Angoleth in mana-conservation mode, but it didn’t feel slow, and I felt like I got a good rhythm going where stuff just died. I even got to do a little showing off, trapping and pulling things so that we could just plow through stuff and get all the Kalu’ak quests in Howling Fjord done in one night.

Here’s where you come in.

Obviously, I’m sticking with a wolf pet. Right now I have a black worg from Howling Fjord, but I’ve always been fond of the shaggy grey coyote-wolves from Azeroth. I’m torn between the two – I don’t really like how the black worg always has his mouth open, and how he always looks like he’s mostly starving… but he’s also level 71 and I don’t have to do any work to get him up to Angie’s level.

Should I keep the black worg, go find a grey wolf, or pick another wolf? (I’m not fond of the UBRS style worgs. I am also aware that the prairie wolves in Mulgore keep their yip yip bark! after you tame them, but Anaje has that wolf as her main pet, so I’d rather not have a duplicate.)

And the second question…

What do I name him? (This wolf is very much a Him. I asked. If I pick up a different wolf, it might be a Her though, so both male and female names are OK.)

Since I’m going to be playing Angie a bit, at least for now, I’d rather not run around with “Wolf”. It feels lazy.

Let me know of your ideas, and also if you have any characters that you always seem to “settle back into” even after periods away from the game.


Update (click to embiggen):


Ask Anna: Lore Characters in Backstory?
comment 11 Written by on June 2, 2010 – 8:48 am

I’m back! My computer is still running a little on the gimpy side – I’m short some bad RAM and will be hopefully replacing it soon, but the new power supply made all the other problems go away, so YAY. I’m quite sure I can play WoW again too, but raiding might be a little much – we’ll see.

Anslym, from Totem Tossing, sent me an email (during the whole computer fiasco) with a couple of really excellent Ask Anna questions. I’ll be tackling them this week, since I think the answers are useful for other people as well.

He writes:

Dear Anna,

In my What-up weekly post I was mentioning about writing some stories involving my characters.  A reader suggested that I visit your site and take a look around.  Once I read a few of your posts and some of your character back stories . . . I was hooked!  I thought I would ask you a few questions.

First, can I involve major lore characters?  An example would be if Tyrande Whisperwind could send me on a misson?

{redacted for later posts}

Excellent question, and one that comes up frequently. The major lore figures are big and important in the greater WoW storyline, so it’s only natural to want to include them in our own stories.

However, this is fraught with some roleplaying red flags, because it can be used as a reason to not develop your character, or to “force” your character’s importance on other players. In short, you can do it but you have to be really super careful about it.

If you just need your character to go on a mission for the Elvish army, create a “dummy” NPC  as your character’s commanding officer – He/She can have a bit of personality and maybe a few quirks, but you won’t have to add any more depth. It’s a fun way to create a little snippet character without having to develop him/her. That way, you still have the “Elven Army” story and key back story element without implying that your character is SO important and SO special that Tyrande herself would send your character on a SPECIAL MISSION.

Basically, it can be done, but it’s VERY hard to do it well without coming off like you’re trying to make your character sound special and important by “name dropping” in their backstory – and you can have the same effect with a non-lore NPC in most cases.

Another thing you could do to avoid this (and this relates to the creation of a stand-in NPC) is to relate your character to an event, rather than to a person. There were lots and lots and LOTS of elves that served in the War of the Shifting Sands and then again at Mount Hyjal.

Fitting your elven character into those stories is relatively easy, and easy for other people to believe. Then, with your stand-in NPC, you create a little bit of the structure of the elven army, without having to say your character was special enough to go on a secret mission personally ordered by the leader of the army. (You can kind of think of it this way: if your character was around and Tyrande had enough of a relationship to trust him/her with a secret mission, your character would probably get mentioned in the lore itself!)

Finally, if you still really want to have a major lore character interaction in your character’s backstory, make it an impersonal one.

The lore characters are Important People – think of them like celebrities or high ranking executives/officers/politicians. They can be really important to a lot of people that they barely know. While your character might really admire and respect a faction leader, their personal relationships are already pretty well set up in the established lore. So keep things impersonal, like the relationship you might have with a celebrity, or someone many ranks higher than you at work – they might (at most) know your character’s name, if you’ve done something spectacularly noteworthy in the past, but they’re not likely to be your character’s best friend or someone they’d trust explicitly, etc.

I hope that gives you some guidance on the subject!

If you guys have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in comments. I’ll get to the rest of your questions at another date; if I tried to answer them all at once, this would be a pretty confusing (and novel-length) post.

Good luck, and happy writing!


Computer Update
comment Comments Off on Computer Update Written by on May 28, 2010 – 9:38 am

It starts!


Sometimes not so much.

I’ll have a new power supply here early next week, but I’m going to try logging into WoW tonight. Memtest and some other scans turned up negative, and the fact that it’s occasionally just clicking itself off suggests that it’s a power supply in its death throes (or the CMOS battery, possibly – which is also easy to replace).  And if it turns out NOT to be the power supply, I’m sure we’ll figure out what’s wrong.

After two full weeks out of game, I’m actually really looking forward to tooling around on Annata and doing some RP. I suppose that tells me a lot about what my priorities are in game right now – leveling and RP, or both together! Depending on what’s going on tonight (and if I can keep my computer turned on), perhaps I can let Annata meet some of the Riders.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me through this – nothing like technical difficulties to throw a monkey wrench in things. I know it’s been really quiet around here lately, and I’m ready to get back into the swing of “normalcy”.



Magic Smoke, Go to the sky!
comment 5 Written by on May 25, 2010 – 9:01 pm

I got back from my whirlwind trip around Texas on Monday night, and before long I was happily logged in, enjoying some RP time and plotting blog posts for this week.

Unfortunately, it was not to last.

Sometime between last night when I logged out and this morning when I came in to check my email, the magic smoke escaped from my computer, and it will not turn on.

Well, that’s not technically true.

It turns on sometimes – but not always – long enough to start up the fans, but the monitor remains blank and it never loads the Motherboard/BIOS/Anything. We’re slowly trying to figure out what is wrong with it, and what part needs replacing (as of right now it’s likely either the Motherboard or the CPU… but it might be the power supply or RAM too). This has included the purchase of a multimeter, because we don’t have enough random spare parts to just plug random stuff in and see if it starts up. (SSH is not displeased with that purchase, as he’s dragged me over to look at multimeters every time we go to the electronics store. XD)

Anyhow, I’m out of game for awhile, most likely. We have to figure out what’s wrong, and then order a new part and wait for it to be delivered. My laptop SHOULD be functional tomorrow, so I’ll have online access, but that’s really kind of it, as Mr. Laptop does not possess the requisite mojo to run WoW. This, sadly, means fewer blog posts for a little while longer, but I’ll do my best to toss something up here when I can. SSH has my desktop in surgery right now, so here’s hoping we figure out (quickly) what’s wrong.

Grrr. It never rains but it pours, right?


Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the post title.

Descent and Ascent

September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – …

The Stink Eye, Part II: You remind me of the babe

August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm

An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!

It really …

Very First Impressions

November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am

So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …

A Girl and her Dog

November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …

Counting down to Warlords

November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm

What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …


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 …


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 …

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