Facelifts in Azeroth

I must admit, I might actually miss the old face design. I noticed a difference, when I was logging into my druid on the current version of the game. I saw her face on the character selection screen and thought, wow, bid difference methinks! I had been testing out the beta for a few days, trying to get used to the changes to Balance (the way it automatically changes eclipses and no more proxy starsurges is something to get used to), but today as I logged into Pandaria, I saw my mains current face and realized I was getting used to the new face that I saw on the character selection menu in the beta and I actually felt a pang of emotion. I guess you could say it was regret – I’ve played with this character for years and her face was gonna be changed forever in a few months when they roll out the updated models.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to take screenshots of both, sort of a before/after image for myself. I felt like making it when I saw the difference and felt like I’d want one. In fact, when they updated the art of the bear and cat forms and gave then unique coloring based on hair color, I had taken a screenshot of the cat form before the patch was released and compared my old cat form to the new one. I was glad I did at the time. I guess it’s my way of honoring the old art work and welcoming the new.

Now I did notice some news that was datamined recently, saying that you can change your character’s face in the game by visiting the barber in your capital city. This is good news, because the artwork is new and players had been playing the same faces on their characters for years in most cases (best guess). With this new feature allowed, this will give players a chance to see all the new artwork in the game and chose how to make their characters look right from the start of WoD.

Night Elf Face Art

It’s a tradition I do – when new artwork comes out, I take pictures to compare old with new, just to remember what was. Notice how much brighter the eyes are, and the smother hair/eyebrows.

It brings to mind of a feature in Skyrim, where they added a way to allow you to change your face by talking to a face sculptor in Riften, who charges an incredible fee of 1000 septims, which is the same price for a horse, but this allows you to alter your character’s face in the game. Of course, you cannot alter your character’s race or sex in this way, but still, it might be nice to get rid of that scar on your nose, or change you eye colors, or select different war paint.

I think it is nice that Blizzard is giving players the ability to change their character’s faces in game. With the artwork taking such a major change, I can imagine people are wondering what their characters will look like when they enter Draenor for the first time, and wondering what other options are there. This will give players the chance to see all the extra artwork without being forced to make a new character to do it, and it lets them change it on their main characters if they wish. I’ve played Owlaf since the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King (what a story that was), so I’ve grown used to the way my character looks, and int he beta, the most I’ve done was try out new colors and face paint (female night elves have face paint whereas the male night elves get beards instead). I’m thinking when the real thing is launched, Owlaf might race to the barbers and sit in the chair and see what options are available, what new look I might try.

So it seems this time around, when WoD is officially released, I won’t be charging through the dark portal to immediately begin the questing. Instead, I run for the barber’s for some odd reason. Silly me! Hehe.

Although if I have to be a bit of a critic, I guess I better point out one more thing I have to wait for, same for any and all moonkin druids. Blizz is updating the artwork for the characters at long last, and they’ve already updated the bear and cat forms, replaced the travel form (cheetah to stag, with a glyph option to use cheetah if you’re feeling nostalgic), and given the Worgen and Troll druids their own bear/cat/moonkin art. I think the next thing we druids are anticipating is an update to the moonkins artwork. If you notice they way they changed the glowing eyes on my night elf, you can definitely see that they might consider updating the moonkin art to reflect this aspect, not to mention bringing it up to date with the rest of the artwork. True, they did come up with new artwork int he talent tree “Incarnation: Aspect of Elune” but all this does (aside from increasing spell damage for a few seconds) is make it look as though your moonkin is wearing armor made of tree bark. While this is a cool look, it does nothing to the original skin of the moonkin, just adds armor on top of the moonkin for a few seconds.

You can see the original moonkin under that tree bark armor.

You can see the original moonkin under that tree bark armor.

Considering how the character models are being updated (and very nicely I must say), I think, and hope, that all moonkin druids are keeping their feathers crossed. We’d like to have our moonkin’s updated to look just as beautiful, and maybe more unique. For example the main difference in moonkins before the Cataclysm had the night elves moonkin with dark feathers and antlers while the tauren had brown feathers and bull horns. When Cataclysm came, it introduced Worgen who could be druids and it allowed Trolls to be druids. The Worgen and Troll moonkin forms, however, are nearly identical in every way with the Night Elf version with the exception of skin recoloring (especially noticeable in the troll as their moonkins have orange feathers). We might enjoy seeing more variation in their artwork, like maybe have a troll moonkin with bone earrings, or with voodoo trinkets and fetishes hanging around their necks, or maybe tusks coming out of the beaks? What about the Gilneans? The curse that left them as Worgen has seeped into their bear and cat forms, so maybe their moonkins can have more wolfish qualities, maybe fangs curving down from the beak, more menacing looking claws, maybe even alter the shape of their heads or beak to make it more wolf-shaped in some way. These are just ideas of course, but hopefully something might come from it.

No change to the Moonkin art yet, but keep yer feathers crossed!

No change to the Moonkin art yet, but keep yer feathers crossed!

In the meantime, we’ll definitely enjoy the new artwork for our main characters and our alts as we plunge into Draenor.

Owl’s Two Cents: WoD Garrison Limiting Professions?

In The Beginning…

…we start a new character. Let’s say you’re a Night Elf, then your starting zone is in a giant tree called Teldrassil. Lovely place really. Much better shading than the hot and sandy/rocky places of Dutorar where Orcs and Trolls begin questing. As you run through the trees dealing with mobs the quest givers tell you to deal with, you level up, and once you get to level 5 you get to begin training in professions. Huzzah! As a druid, I usually go with herbalism and alchemy. Why? Because druids can shapeshift into various animals for travel, and they do not revert to their true caster forms when they gather herbs off the ground – the only requirement if you’re in flight form for example is that you must be on the ground and not hovering in the air above the herb.

Uses of Druid Shapeshifting for herb gathering:

  • At level 16, druids automatically learn Travel Formwhich takes on the form of a stag and lets you run 40% faster, only usable outdoors. There is a glyph that lets you make your travel form appear as a cheetah (which was the original form since WoW was released – they changed the default to a stag when Mists of Pandaria was released). At level 16, this gives you a useful ability to run faster from point A to point B, and while in this form, even though you can’t cast spells (if you do you revert to caster form automatically) you can still gather herbs without automatically shifting back. In fact, your druid in stag (or cheetah) form will animate digging at the ground as you gather the herbs, and once you’ve collected it you can take off running again. Quick and easy.
  • Also learned at level 16 is the Aquatic Form, which allows you to swim faster underwater and allows underwater breathing (nice tip, if playing a druid and you have to go afk while underwater, make sure you’re in aquatic form so you don’t return to your game only to find that you’ve drowned.) With the aquatic form at your disposal, you can shift into what I call a demented walrus, or a deranged sea lion, and swim faster than normal, and in this way you can collect a few underwater herbs. Stranglekelp is the first you’ll find, but at level 80, if you quest in Vash’jir, you’ll find other herbs to collect, not to mention more beautiful scenery to swim about in. (and if you’re like me, you might despise looking like a demented walrus, so there is the glyph of the orca, that lets your aquatic form (or swim form as I call it) appear as an orca, which is much nicer looking.)
  • upon reaching level 58 as a druid, you automatically learn Flight Form (as of patch 5.0.4), and it is at that level that players can begin entering the Outlands as they quest up from 58-70. This is the fastest way to gather herbs, to simply fly around, land next to an herb, gather it, and fly away without losing your flight form. Other class types wouldhave to dismount to gather an herb and remount their flying (or running) steeds, which takes 1.5 seconds to do. Flight form druids, therefore, can gather herbs much faster.

So with those shapeshifting forms in mind, gathering herbs is a breeze, especially once you can fly. Of course if you can get a hold of the engineering-crafted mount, the Sky Golem, you can gather herbs while mounted, although the flight animation of this mechanical wonder can be a bit annoying, hence I prefer to gather herbs on my druid anyway.

With the druid’s ability to gather herbs while shapeshifted is a great bonus in my book, so I usually tend to learn herbalism at level 5 and level it up along with alchemy. Alchemy uses herbs to make potions, like for healing and mana restoration, as well as for temporarily boosting stats like your overall health or your strength or agility or intellect. It can also transmute metals into forms that are otherwise unobtainable, such as transmuting trillium into living steel, and it can be used to transmute lesser gemstones into more valuable ones. As such, an alchemist can be helpful to other players who are blacksmiths or jewelcrafters, as well as every player who needs a flask or a potion to enhance their gameplay.

At first, at level 5, you can pluck the Silverleaf from around trees and Peacebloom from ground as well as uproot the Earthroot right when you learn Herbalism, and with alchemy you can start brewing potions like the minor healing potion. So basically at the start of the game, once you reach level 5, you can start leveling up herbalism and alchemy right away. It’s something I love to do when I’m bored with questing or running around in dungeons.

Enter Warlords of Draenor (Beta)

I’ve been able to play a bit of Warlords of Draenor in it;s Beta stage. It can be pretty laggy because most of the time a lot of other players are online at the same time, so the server can be a bit overwhelmed. Then there are bugs and incomplete things out there. Sometimes I ride past some blue and white cubes on the ground and wonder what rock or shrub that will become in the future. But the one thing that irked me was the lack of training for my professions.

I copied my character Owlaf (my trusty Night Elf Druid, Balance) for the test realm, and began questing through the dark portal and fighting orcs galore. After a while I finally ended up in Shadowmoon valley and began building my garrison. Of course I started questing after I discovered that I could not train up my alchemy or herbalism skills, so there I was capped out at 600 skill points in both professions. Normally I’d stock up on my empty crystal vials and have an empty herbalism bag and train up so I can gain skill points in herbalism right fromt he get-go, but no. The Iron Horde is attacking! Fight back, the flower picking and potion brewing MUST WAIT! And I’m thinking, sheesh, I’m not the only one fighting these orcs am I? Fine, fine, I’ll blast them with lunar and solar energies. Fine… sheesh.

So eventually I got to my garrison and started building it up. No profession trainers or anything there yet. Jeez, where are they?! I love to level my professions, I mean I brake for herbs on principle, and I can imagine some people would love to go on a ore mining, creature killing/skinning craze from time to time, but herbs in shadowmoon valley seemed scarce. Either I wasn’t the only one gathering herbs consistently, or draenor is very poor when it comes to herb spawning locations. I mean if there’s only five locations that herbs can spawn in one zone, then I’d say nerf the amount of creatures available to skin, because there’s more mobs and animals out there than there are herbs. Jade Forest in Pandaria is a smorgasbord of herbs, while Shadowmoon Valley was like, “Herbs? What’s that?” … in my opinion anyway.

While questing around, the few herbs I found I collected, but the one downfall that I absolutely detested was that since I was unable to train up my herbalism, I was not gaining any skill increases for these herb pluckings. I mean sure, I was gathering the herbs, but not raising my skill at all. With each expansion, all trade skills got an increase that you trained and leveled to gain. In Draenor it seemed oblivious.

Then I found and completed a quest “Shadows Awaken” and the reward was a little box called “Gift of the Draenei”, and when I opened it, since I’m an alchemist, it gave me an item called Mysterious Flask, which began a quest of some sort. So I click it to activate it and I had to bring it to someone at my garrison. When I finally get round to it, the quest giver, and it leads through a quest chain where I eventually obtain two things. One is the garrison blueprint to let me build an alchemy lab at my garrison, and the other is, finally, A Treatise on the Alchemy of Draenor.

You know, I always thought “treatise” meant something like a treaty, like a signed paper to propose peace or something… turns out the word “treatise” means “a book, article, etc., that discusses a subject carefully and thoroughly.” Well, I guess my blog is either “A Treatise on the Ramblings of a Druid” or, “An Owl’s Two Cents” or perhaps, “My Rant on WoW’s Beta”… tkae your pick.

Anyway, I get this… treatise… and read it, and boom, my alchemy skill is increased to 700, finally allowing me to gain skill ups from 600 up to 700. Great! Wonderful… now where the hell do I learn recipes that can help level up this skill, eh? So far I can still transmute trillium bars into living steel bars. What do I do with these draenor herbs, mmm?!

So then I go to my garrison and get them to build my alchemy lab. Oh look, it’s gonna take a while for them to build it, and once it was done I could do daily work orders to get the things I’d need to craft certain items and learn new recipes. It all seemed rather tedious to me. I’d rather just go to the trainer in Stormwind or some other capital city and learn the skills/recipes there, then go out in the world to farm to my heart’s content.

But nooooooooo. I have to go 4 or five quests to open the garrison building and learn the draenor alchemy skill so I can get dailies to level it up and learn new recipes. It’s so limited and time consuming, which I despise at times.

As for the herbalism, I’ve trained in it on my beta character, but I can’t even remember how that happened. Probably after a quest or two that gave me a treatise on the skill itself perhaps. Why they are forcing us to learn our trade skills via questing, I don’t know, but I’m sure this will tick off those players who avoid questing as much as possible and would rather farm their way up to the maximum level.

Of course I’ll quest as much as the next person, but when I first started playing this beta expansion I wanted to sink my teeth into herbalism and alchemy, not kill dozens of orcs and build a garrison. I guess now I have to play backwards. I mean, when you start leveling in Pandaria, you COULD go to Sunsong Ranch and begin the tilling quests that gradually opens up the farm for you, but you’re stuck with only four mounds of soil to plant seeds in until you reach level 90. In Warlords of Draenor, they have you build up your garrison before you can focus on other things like your personal professions. The Sunsong Ranch provided the means to grow food ingredients for cooking, but the garrison is focusing on all the other professions as well, and you absolutely must unlock the garrison and build buildings in order to progress in any and all of your professions. With Sunsong, it was more of a bonus, a way to grow your own ingredients for your cooking skill, but there was a cooking trainer near the market place all ready to go and level your cooking from 1 to 525 in a pinch. As for the garrisons, you HAVE to quest and UNLOCK the trainers for your professions. It sorta sucks to me. I have no idea what Blizzard was thinking when they came up with this.

Final thoughts

So basically, in Warlords of Draenor, when it comes out, don’t rush to your profession trainers in Stormwind or Orgrimmar when you first log in, it’s pointless. Just quest and build up your little garrison and eventually you will get the blueprints to build your profession specific building and somehow learn the Draenic (Profession Name Here) along the way. No rush, it seems. I hate it because I’d like to level it up as soon as I log in, and as I ran around killing orcs I could be gathering herbs and leveling my herbalism in the process, but NO… you gather some herbs at first maybe, and eventually you learn the next level of herbalism, and you can’t do a think with those herbs, other than perhaps sell them on the Auction House, until you quest enough to learn some alchemy. To me, this seems very limiting. I don’t know how it will be for all the other professions, but I’m guessing it’s about the same: Quest for a while, get blueprints, build the profession garrison building of your profession specialization, THEN you get a quest or two and a vendor to buy your new recipes from…. what a headache. Imagine going through all this when the game is released this November. All those new players running around doing the same thing as you all at once? Oh, joy.



I tell ya, I loved how it was when Mists of Pandaria came out. You went to the trainer, trained up for the next level of alchemy and herbalism. For herbalism I could now go out into Jade Forest and start picking herbs left right and center, and with alchemy it gave me only two new potions I could make, but when I crafted those potions, I’d randomly learn a new recipe, and each of those new recipes also had the potential to learn new recipes when I crafted them. So with Mists and Alchemy, I was able to learn new recipes as I crafted potions and flasks, and I was leveling herbalism as I went. With Draenor, I feel like it’s going to be tiresome, slow, and extremely limited… since I only seem to find one herb a day in the wilderness and I am forced to buy new recipes instead of discovering them like I used to.


Yak Vendor in World of Warcraft

One of the two most commonly searched items I’ve found was the Yak Vendor in World of Warcraft. The other had to do with Anise’s Cabin in Skyrim. Considering where the vendor is, it’s no wonder people have a hard time trying to find him, so I decided to give a heads up for those who needed help.WoWScrnShot_060614_102237

For one thing, it’s no wonder we have a tough time tracking down this salesman… he’s a grummle, so he’s very short to begin with. His name is Uncle Bigpocket, and considering how much gold he asks for these mounts, he’d naturally need a big pocket to hold them all. Shame rogues cannot pickpocket friendly NPCs, or they’d be crazily rich.

One way to spot him to to use the target command, “/target Uncle Bigpocket” So juct use the command within the quotation marks, but don’t use the quotation marks – you’ll only confuse the game.

Another way is if you use coordinates. You can use an addon or two that allows you to see where you are on the X/Y axis of the game world. I use addons like Titan Panel and Sexy Map, and they both have a few features to enhance information you get from your game. For example you can select Sexy Map to display coordinates for you, or as with TitanPanel one of the things it can display is your location, which you can modify to show the name of the area you are in as well as the zone name if you wish, and more importantly the coordinates of where you currently are.

Based on this information, I have Uncle Bigpockets pinpointed at coordinates 65, 61.

WoWScrnShot_060614_104649Or let’s say you don’t use coordinates. Maybe it only gives you a headache, or you just want a visual guide of sorts. The quickest way to the Yak Vendor in WoW. No problem. Assuming you got all the flight paths in the game, take a flight (taxi) to a village called One Keg. The Grummle Bazaar is due east from there. If you look on your map, you’ll see that One Keg has map artwork of a Pandaren building, as well as a flight path symbol. Look to the right of that and you’ll see a similar house icon to the east of One Keg, though it has no flight path, but then it’s only a quick walk/run away from One Keg that it was probably hardly worth setting up a flight path there. Another way to find the Grummle Bazaar is to travel on the road going south from the Temple of the White Tiger.

Another tip to help you find it, if you’re a pet battle trainer like me, or playing a hunter character, then odds are you have the Stable icon appear on your minimap. The stable is an NPC who offers to store extra hunter pets so they can go tame other beasts for their combat uses, and it is also the NPC who can revive your companion pets for pet battles as well. The Icon is in the shape of horse shoe on your minimap. Now the Grummle Bazaar has no flight master, but it does have the stable master, so if you have that trackable on your minimap, then you’ll see where the stable master is on said minimap. The stable master at the Grummle Bazaar is named Herder Muskfree, and in the paddock behind him are the yaks, and Uncle Bigpockets.

… these grummles sure have weird names, but then I bet they think Owlaf is a weird name too!

WoWScrnShot_060614_102305So there you have it, the location of the Yak Vendor in Wow. Due east of One Keg (which has a flight path) so you can simply take a flight path taxi to one keg, then travel east to the Grummle Bazaar, or you can pinpoint his coordinates, which again is 65, 61.

As for the gold…. it costs 106,000 gold pieces to buy the grand expedition yak… I can’t help you get it, though I can suggest daily quests galore. I have yet to see an actual gold coin drop on the Timeless Isle, so I don’t recommend farming there if you’re after gold.

Children’s Week in WoW 2014: No News


Can you hear that? It’s the sound of crickets chirping.

It’s Children’s Week once again in World of Warcraft. This Massive Mulitplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) is online all the time, around the clock, all year round, and it has holidays for various occasions that mimic the real world holidays. This week, from April 28th till May 5th, it’s Children’s Week, which is most likely based on Japan’s holiday on May 5th, which is Children’s Day. The holiday lasts for one week in World of Warcaft however, which gives players plenty of time to get into the game and complete quests and achievements during the event, and it usually takes place during the first week of May. For the Japan Holiday, is is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month, and it is a day that is set aside to respect children’s personalities and celebrate their happiness, which I think is kind of cool and I wish there was a holiday for that here in the states. After all, we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents Day. My hope to you, my readers, is that you take the time to enjoy your time with your children and to celebrate their being in your lives, because they truly are the greatest gifts in life and very precious.

In World of Warcraft, the theme is that… well… war, I suppose. The idea is that warriors fought and died bravely on the field of battle, but unfortunately their children were left behind from the conflict. Or perhaps the children’s village or city was sacked by the enemy and their parents were just simple farmers who were killed. Either way, there are orphans in Azeroth, and this week is when you get to temporarily adopt an orphan and take them on a whirlwind tour of Azeroth and get them Ice Cream and fly a kite. The Alliance gets a human orphan, and the Horde gets an Orc orphan, which in a way I can see this as an homage to the original video games from Blizard, “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans” or something similar.


Dawn’s Blossom, the first place in Pandaria where you get to see Pandaren Cubs (not counting the Pandaren starting zone).

Now recently, they’ve been updating the artwork of the original races of Azeroth, giving them newer and better looking art. The game is almost 10 years old, so it could definitely use some polishing up to make it look nicer, but the orphans have never changed. We don’t see any Tauren calves or troll kids running about… or Night elf kids climbing trees or Dwarven children climbing the beer barrels outside the Thunderbrew Distillery. No Goblin kids that are afraid of water due to their home island sinking, or Worgen kids that change from human to wolf depending on the time of day. Forsaken… well, undead don’t have children… maybe they can have the Trick-or-Treat kids from Nightmare Before Christmas… Gnome kids would ask for the player’s help on completed a rube-goldberg device that automatically ties their shoes and stirs their chocolate milk.

Probably the most notable thing this year is the lack of new quests, particularly in the new world zone of Pandaria. Pandaria was shrouded in mist for thousands of years and was recently discovered and explored by the Horde and Alliance. During this period of history, the Sha corrupt the land and Garrosh Hellscream commit several terrible acts that, well… just weren’t nice. An insurrection occurs and Garrosh is removed from the Horde leadership, but there is no denying the fact that Pandaria has suffered from his hand and from the effects of the Sha.

So why then are there no Pandaren orphans? You expect me to believe that the death toll is zero? Did Pandaren warriors fight against Garrosh and die? Did the sha corrupt the land and send Pandaren farmers packing, or even kill these Pandaren? Did any cubs lose parents during this time of hardship in the land of mists?


The lair of the Jade Witch.

It seems not. There are still orphans in the Horde and Alliance, in the Outlands, and in Northrend, but it looks as if the only thing Pandaren Cubs should fear is the Jade Witch, a woman Pandaren who lives in the Jade forest and has a tendency to turn intruders into green statues. Players who complete the quest chain involving this will free the ones who were transformed into jade and all the cubs will return to their homes safe and sound. After this, the Jade Witch no longer appears in her hut, the kid statues are gone, but some jade panthers will still prowl the woods, the last remnants of the witch’s influence. And the Pandaren cubs live happily ever after.

So yeah, no Pandaren orphans, in spite of the sha infestation and Garrosh’s influence and attacks on the land. Seems that either the Celestials were truly watching over the Pandaren families, or the game developers couldn’t be buggered. After all, they are coming out with a new expansion soon, updating art and animations. No pressure. There’s always next year.

Meanwhile, this is another holiday I will be skipping out on. You can get pets as quest rewards for taking time to be with an orphan and show them the world, but I have them all. You can get achievements and earn a title “Matron/Patron”, and I already have that. No new things this year.

I saved a bunch of Pandaren cubs from the Jade Witch during the normal quest chain that can be done only once at any time of the year, as you’re playing in Pandaria, and my reward as a lot of fuzzy little smiles and a green raccoon trinket that I’ll never use. I wish that was a pet. Or maybe a new box kite.


Socks is the name of the raccoon that got turned into Jade during it’s adventures in the forest.

Jade Raccoon Trinket

The trinket summons Socks the Raccoon, but it doesn’t stay out permanently like other companion pets and you can only have it out when you use the trinket.

Another Owlaf Druid. Hoot Hoot!

It's an Owl!

It’s an Owl!

My favorite realm of Feathermoon has all 11 character slots filled, so when Feathermoon was merged with Scarlet Crusade, I was able to make more characters and have them in my guilds that are on Feathermoon. In a sense, the two realms are one. The only annoyance is having to exit the character menu to select the realms in question. If Blizzard Entertainment reads this, then my recommendation would be to come up with a way to display all characters on merged realms. Use an arrow to scroll through the list… or make them all minimized icons, and when you click on it to select it, it loads it’s basic information such as level, class/race, location, professions, and so on. Of course, it’s just an idea…

At any rate, I created a new druid on Scarlet Crusade, a Troll named Owlaf… Yes yes, I already have an Owlaf on Feathermoon, and now I have another one. When I type /played, it shows me that I’ve played a total of 3 days and 17 hours. That much play time and I’m at level 86. Woot!

So I pug into a couple of dungeons just to do the quests and hope for some blue items, and I still need to replace my shoulders, but while in Jade Temple, the warlock dies and goes AFK during the first fight. By the time we’re at the third boss area he still hasn’t said a word, let alone released and rezzed. The rest of us get into a little discussion as to what to do with him.

Why we kick people who go AFK... and how we come to that reasoning.

Why we kick people who go AFK… and how we come to that reasoning.

Even in a dungeon group with random, total strangers, they still refer to me as Owl. I love it. 🙂

Or at least they recognize the Owl part of my name, which is a nickname I enjoy using. With my comment in the instance channel, I was thinking of myself as a troll witch doctor, sort of. Yet because of my name, I was still thought of as an Owl. I was surprised.

Owl guess that this is the beginning of a lot of fun times… times of shrinking heads, playing with voodoo dolls, and pecking the eyes out of my enemies. Taz-dingo!

Low Level Mount – Sea Turtle FTW!

Meet my newest toon – Amaki. A female Troll hunter. Being at a low level I always like to come up with ideas on how to develop my toons in World of Warcraft early on. So for my hunter, I once again decided to go with mining and engineering. Now engineering was great for making bullets and arrows for ranged weapons, which was a must up until the end days of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, but then right as Cataclysm was being released, Blizzard did away with all ammunition, so now hunters never run out of ammo. Now I do admit it is nice not having to worry about restocking your supply of ammo or worrying about having the best ammo equipped, but I do miss being able to make my own ammo and working hard to get the best. The best arrows/bullets at the time were a reward for gaining reputation with the Ashen Verdict, and almost right after I got the recipe for that, they released the change that removed them from the game forever. FML.

Turtles all the way down!

Turtles all the way down!

But with engineering, you can still make weapons. Early on you can make sticks of dynamite that you can throw at a targeted location on the ground, and you can make scopes that you can attach to any gun, bow, or crossbow, and you can even create these ranged weapons as you level up. At end game, you can make the best scopes to attach to your weapons, and when you first hit max level, if you leveled your engineering up too, you can probably make a decent weapon to use until you can get a better one to drop in a raid or heroic dungeon. So as you can see, Engineering is an excellent choice for a hunter. Not to mention being able to make helmets that resemble goggles.

So as I was leveling the engineering and mining skills, I recalled that the Darkmoon Faire was open for the week, so I took a teleport from an NPC in Orgrimmar and headed on in to play the games and do quests for my professions. Then on a whim I decided to hunt and kill the Darkmoon crawlers that lurk in the waters around the island for their meat and claws so I could level my cooking skill. Sure, I could wait till I get to Pandaria and level my cooking in a pinch there, but I also like to cook as a level as well. Each to their own.

Now as I was swimming about and sniping level 10 crawlers, a thought occurred to me… These crabs were spread out in the water and I might eventually get all the way around the island, but I swim so slowly! Then I remembered the Sea Turtle.

The Sea Turtle is the only mount in the game that has to level requirement or skill requirement in order to ride it, even though the game will tell you otherwise. To get the idea, if you have a low level character, You can open your pet/mount window by holding down SHIFT and pressing P. When you do that, select the tab for the mounts you have on your account. Below level 20, and without training, they should all be grayed out. Even the Sea Turtle will be gray, and mousing over it, it will tell you “You do not meet the requirements for this mount.”

But in fact, the Sea Turtle CAN be used at ANY level. Normally I’d click and drag a mount icon to my action bars so I can click on there easily to mount up, but at a low level you can’t do that until you get the riding training. Yet there is a way. You can make a macro that lets you mount on your Sea Turtle, if you have one.

Open up the menu by pressing Escape, then click on the word “Macros”, and name whatever name you wish for your new macro, and in the edit box for the macro’s programming, just type the following:

/cast Sea Turtle

and that’s it! You can even leave the icon for this macro as a question mark, and it will automatically use the icon for the sea turtle itself if you did this correctly. Then you can move the button for the macro onto your action bar, then click and voila! You’re on your sea turtle!

The Macro Menu. I use an addon called Macro Toolkit, just fwi

The Macro Menu. I use an addon called Macro Toolkit, just fwi

Now as far as mount speed is concerned, the reason you CAN mount on this at a low level is because the sea turtle is the only mount in the game that moves at the default run speed on land, so your sea turtle won’t go faster than you can on foot. However, it is a fast swimmer. Normally when you swim, you move at 67% speed in the water. 100% speed is your run speed on land. On the sea turtle, your swimming speed is increased by 60%. That means on a Sea Turtle, you’ll be able to swim in the water at 108% speed. That’s faster than walking on land, and it’d way faster than swimming dog-paddle or froggy style.

And here’s a bonus: The guild perk for increasing mount speed applies to the Sea Turtle, but only on land – swim speed is not altered. So players who are not in a guild or are in a low level guild without the perk, their turtles would move at the same speed as walking on land – but for guilds who have the perk, the sea turtle will move at 110% on land. It may not seem much, but imagine to look on that player’s face when you pass him up on a turtle on the way to the quest giver!

when you're not moving, hit the Spacebar or type /mountspecial to see what your mount does. Horses rear up on their hind legs, wolves growl. The Sea Turtle goes into it's shell!

when you’re not moving, hit the Spacebar or type /mountspecial to see what your mount does. Horses rear up on their hind legs, wolves growl. The Sea Turtle goes into it’s shell!

Now the question you might be asking yourself is, where can I get this fabulous mount? Well, that’s the tough part. You’d have to fish it up, and be extremely lucky as well. You can fish this mount up from any pool of fish (not open water) in Northrend, Cataclysm zones, Pandaria, and from the Shipwreck Debris around Darkmoon Island. I got mine unexpectedly while fishing for Emperor Salmon just outside the Stormstout Brewery in the Valley of the Four Winds in Pandaria. I don’t remember if I was using bait or fishing gear at the time, but my jaw did drop when I got this mount.

From me to you, I wish you all the best of luck for this mount if you’re still fishin’ for it, my congratulations to those who got it, and my thanks for reading this blog. I hope you make use of this macro for your low level toons that have the sea turtle in your collection. 🙂

Speakinspell is BACK!

This is a popular addon that was originally created in 2008 for the MMORPG game of World of Warcraft. Speakinspell is a unique addon, complicated even, but once you get to know it it becomes easy to use and quite possibly your most favorite addon of all.

The Ins and Outs

The way it works is once you’ve downloaded it and put it in your addons folder, you start up the game and just start playing as normal. Speakinspell is already working for you by watching what spells you are doing and what interactions you make. You get repairs from a veondor, you could greet the vendor as you do so. You start attacking something and you shout a random battlecry. You get a resurrection from another player and thank them with a whispered message. The way Speakinspell works is that is watches what you do, and then you can create announcements for whenever you cast these spells or trigger these events. The best way to get started would probably be to start attacking a target dummy so that the addon will detect what spells you use.

Like for example, I’ll create a new one right now so you can see how to do it yourself. As a night elf druid, I just attacked a rare monster and used Solar Beam to interrupt it’s self heal. Then when the fight is over and I’m in a safe spot (30 feet straight up as best), I open my addon’s window. The list to the left are the various menus of the addon. Click on “Create New” to get started.

Now to find your speech easier, let’s say I’d like the event to trigger when I start casting the spell in particular. Under the filter options on the create new page you’ve got a drop menu that lets you select what type of events to chose from. Let’s select that one, the one called, “Spells, Abilities, and Items (start casting). Now the second drop menu will have all the spells you’ve ever started casting that Speakinspell is aware of. Of course, another way to find it is to type the spellname, or even just a few words from it, and then select the event you’re looking for. Select the spell you want, for purposes of this demonstration it’s going to be when I start casting: Solar Beam, and then hit the Create New button.

Now we’re at the menu to edit the speech in question. When you hit the create new button, it loads the even that takes you to it so you can edit it, but from here you can edit any speech you already have in your records. For now, look at this closely. The first part at the very top is the Search option, in case you want to look for a particular spell to edit. It features the same options as the create new menu, on this will search for spells you already have “created”. Below Search will be Select. This is where you select the particular spell, in this case Solar Beam.

Now the third option in this editing menu is of course called Edit. This is where you change the settings for the event in question. Under the How Often box, there’s a checkbox to disable the event in case you don’t want it to trigger anything at all but you want to keep the event around instead of deleting it forever. Below that is a red button for deleting the event, don’t press it unless you really really mean it! Then below that is another check box, labeled as “Show these options.” Click on that, and it’ll reveal all the things you can set to make the event trigger the way you want it, and for the How Often settings, it shows two sliders: Random Chance % and the Cooldown. For most of my spells I prefer to give it a somewhat low random chance, so let’s set that to 33%… and then give it a cooldown of about 200 seconds. You can either use the sliders to adjust it, or to be more precise, just type in the numbers it the little boxes. With a 33% chance to proc, this means the spell will trigger a message only once in a while, and with a 200 second cooldown, it will prevent a second message from proccing right away, so it will help reduce spam. One note: the only speech I’d give a 100% proc chance and a 0 second cooldown would be for resurrections, because if say you don’t have the mass rez ability and you’re the only person alive and you must rez folks one by one, do so, and each one will get their own rez message when you start casting it.

The next part under editing is called “Which Channel?” and this menu is where you set how your addon says it’s speeches and when, as in when you’re by yourself, or in a party, or a raid. I’m hoping we can implement when you’re in an instance someday as well because when you Que for an LFR or a random heroic dungeon, or even a scenario, the addon does not recognize you as being in a party or raid group and therefore will not announce speeches. So hopefully we can get this feature updated. For the meanwhile, I set all my speeches to /say so that it’ll announce it no matter what kind of group I’m in.

Then we come to the next menu called “What To Say?” and this is where the fun really begins! Now a useful note is that if you’re character’s race has two languages, then you can select whether to use the default language, the alternate language, or randomize it! This of course will not work on Humans, Worgen, or Orcs, because they only have one language they know, which is the default Common for the Alliance and Orcish for the Horde. But in my case I’m on my night elf, so my two languages of choice are Common and Darnassian, so what I can do it select it to use a random language. Now a new slider appears and this is the gauge that will determine how often to use Darnassian. It’s automatically set to 50%, but I’ll lower it to 10%. Now below that will be where we can create our speeches.

In Random Speech, there is a black box that contains the space you type your speech in. I type in a sentence like, “Look at the shiny light!” and click on the button that says Accept. This will save your newly typed or edited speech! Now a new black box appears below speech one, so I can make another… and another… as many as I want, up to 50 I think… but I won’t make that many! About 3 ideas occur to me, and I type in those 3 speeches and save them one by one.

Solar Beam's message proc, one of them anyway.  I activated chat bubbles so you can read it more easily, I hope!

Solar Beam’s message proc, one of them anyway. I activated chat bubbles so you can read it more easily, I hope!

Now I’m ready to test it out! Let’s go find something to kill… or if you don’t want to kill something, attack a target dummy. I’m out in the field however, so I’ll just attack stuff and cast my spell when I can.

Bingo! It works like a charm!

So with this guide I hope you can get into the addon and create speeches for your characters. I’ve come up with several of my own for shapeshifting and using items, even for some professions like mining and gathering herbs, and even archaeology! I have a few speeches where I ask if there are any peanuts when I talk to a flight master, and a few for when I talk to a vendor or quest giver. And not just for my druid either.

When It Almost Died…

Now the addon hasn’t been updated for two years, so you can imagine the changes that happened to the game that the addon did not keep up with. For instance the inclusion of Goblins for the Horde and Worgen for the Alliance, and the Pandaren for either side! Then the new class, the Monks, they have their own spells and abilities. How about setting a speech to apply the vulcan neck pinch when you successfully cast “Touch of Death” and your foe dies? I did! But it’s not in the default settings… yet.

RP Helpers Night Elf... Sweet Elune!

RP Helpers Night Elf… Sweet Elune!

You see, another setting for the addon is under the left menu called “Import”. Under here you can import speeches from your friends or guild mates or even from a targeted player who has Speakinspell. But another thing is that the addon comes with some default speeches and some extra speeches created by the original writers of the addon. As you can see in this screen shot, there is a drop menu here, and if you look closely, since I am on my Night Elf Druid, you see some default categories for Druid and RP Helper Night Elf. When you select those, you can chose from a list of events from talking to a vendor to casting class specific spells. For example there’s a built in setup for Entangling Roots where the druid will say something like, “Halt in your tracks!” You can import this speech, then edit its settings, and there ya go!

Unfortunately, the addon does not have any default speeches included for the Goblins, Worgen, Pandarens, or any monks at all. Again, the addon was out of date for two years, so if you wanted some lore-specific speeches, you had to make them yourself. An example would be when you’re playing on your goblin and you use someone’s repair bot in a raid, and your goblin suddenly says, “Time is money, Jeeves!” Or you’re entering combat while playing a worgen, you can create a battle cry that makes it yell, “By bite is far worse than my bark!” Or you’re on a Pandaren and you talk to a vendor, you can create a message event that says something like, “White Tiger watch over you!” (this last one would also be good for any monk players regardless of race). But you’d have to create these speeches yourself.

But then one day, Speakinspell was pretty much broken. The original makers of the addon hadn’t updated it for years for an unknown reason, and this left a lot of users disappointed. Looking at the project site, you can see that last updated release was December of 2012, and it was downloaded over ten thousand times. That’s a lot of users! So when the addon started to break and wasn’t being updated and repaired, this was when people started to despair. Was this a unique addon that was doomed to disappear from our lives? It was very unique, one a kind. No other addon out there provides a large source of random macros for every spell you cast or every event your trigger. Congratulating guild members, scoring a critical strike, faking death as a hunter, shadowmelding as a night elf, bezerking as a troll, when you log in. even custom events that you create yourself. No other addon out there does what this one can do, complete control over your own spell event announcements, as serious or as silly or as witty as you wish!

The Return of Speakinspell!

I'll rip the secrets from your flesh! Wait, do shas have flesh? They're elementals... hmmm!

I’ll rip the secrets from your flesh! Wait, do shas have flesh? They’re elementals… hmmm!

So when I started to feel down about it, I mentioned it to my friend, who’s a computer programmer, and he offered to fix it for me. When he did, he decided to contact the original authors of the addon and ask permission to take over the addon so he could keep it up to date. The original creator of Speakinspell was overjoyed, responding within 24 hours of contact, and in a few short days, my friend was learning how to addon was coded and started fixing errors. Then he uploaded it to the internet and now it’s being downloaded again.

It’s latest release, which included the fix for the arenas that Blizzard changed a while back, is online. Speakinspell version 5.4.02… and int he last two days since it went live, it’s been downloaded over 500 times! I can only imagine the users of this addon jumping for joy at the realization that the addon is being updated again.

Then I got to thinking, I came up with new ideas for some spells and events, and especially had to since there were still no defaults for Worgen or Goblins or Pandaren. And hey, a new class, Monks. I’d have to invent something for them too, and I did. So I got to thinking, maybe I could create my own default templates and have my friend who is now keeping Speakinspell alive for me could add them into the code so everyone who downloads it can import them! Now you saw me mention importing speeches for night elves and druids. Imagine if you downloaded a future version of the addon and saw that you could import random speeches for your Goblin! Or battlecries fit for a savage Worgen! Honorable greetings for a Pandaren. And battlecries for a Monk based on things like the Karate Kid, Bruce Lee, and so on? Oh man, we have a lot to invent here!

So maybe in the very near future, I’ll come up with some new speeches to add into Speakinspell’s default settings. I mean with the addition of patches and changes to the game some spells still work, but others were changed entirely and are no longer worth anything in the default settings, like the hunters Mongoose Bite, or the mages spell for ritual of refreshment. That mage table used to require other people clicking on the portal to assist the mage with summoning the mana strudel, and the speeches for that event is still in there, still advertising stale strudels. But even if you imported that from the default speeches for the mage, it still won’t trigger because the spell name and how it works has completely changed. Now the mage can cast the spell and in a few seconds the table is there! No help needed, no need to charge gold for reagents since they were removed, and now it serves mana buns (which I have taken to calling Cinnamon Rolls) instead of strudel.

What I ended up doing was casting the spell, then creating a new speech event for it, and then creating my own speeches for it. “Strudels! Cakes! Cinnamon Rolls! Get ’em while they’re hot! No cookies thought – that’s the warlock’s department!” “Step right up folks and get your Mana Meals! Strudels, cakes, and cinnamons rolls galore!” Now imagine if I could have my friend remove the old speech event and replace it with the new speech event, maybe copy and past the old mage summoning table speeches or update them to reflect on the fact that you get mana buns instead of mana strudel, and this way you can import the speeches for your mage summoning table and it would work. Otherwise, you could import the no longer usable spell event, create the new one, and copy and paste the spell speeches one by one. Tedious isn’t it? So if we can update this, it would be awesome! The same for warlock cookie jars! And hey, there are speeches for portals created by the mage for every city, but no new ones for a portal to the vale! How would you like that to be available in the mage default settings? I mean you make a portal to Undercity and call it a sewer, or a portal to Stormwind and ask why would the player want to go there since they see humans all the time in real life? How about a portal to the vale and ask the raid group to pick some flowers and kill a mogu? Or advertise a pandaren food or two and tell them to swing by a restaurant for take-out specials? Hmm! And Tol Barad is another portal with no speeches in the mage defaults too. Maybe a few speeches for that. “Quickly! We must get to Tol Barad and take over the prison complex before THEY do! GO!” Image that!

So some old default spells are obsolete, there are a few new abilities that the old classes have, we have one new class to create events for, and three new races that can use their own speech events from vendor chatter to combat nonsense. I plan to help bring the Speakinspell up to speed. Even now I’m preparing some speeches to be implemented into the code, and I’m hoping to also set up my own template. You might notice in the imports that there’s something called Dire Lemming’s speeches, like his hearth stones and rez macros? and Durema’s Crowd Control speeches? In the future, you might just see a new one to import – Owlaf’s Witty Druid Collection. This way, I can share my speeches for when a druid player shapeshifts into any animal form. Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Travel Form and Flight Form and Aquatic Form. “They call me Flipper! Flipper!” “Time to haul hoof!” “Let’s break the sound barrier!” It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and now I have a chance. But first, I think I’ll focus on the 3 races and new class first.

Bringing it up to speed. Or, as my druid would say as she shifts into swift flight form: “LUDICROUS SPEED! GOOOOOOOOO!”

Warp 9 Druid

My Hunter’s Insomnia Adventure

Yeah, it’s been a long time since I posted here. Sorry for the MIA, but you know how it is.

My hunter in World of Warcraft. She’s on the server Feathermoon, and is a worgen. For the Alliance! I woke up early this morning and logged onto my hunter for a bit. Her name is Escaflowne, named after the TV series of the same name. I tend to name her pets after certain characters in the series, like the corehound is Dilandau, the T-rex is Sherezade, one of my spirit cats is Nariya, and so on.

Well, for the last few months I’ve been using a transmog that was troll based. But while adventuring on the Timeless Isle last night, I happened upon a random blue item drop. It was “Ennadee’s Twirling Longbow.” Small looking and thin, I couldn’t help but realize that this bow matched the heroic pandaria mail gear with the gold and white. So I checked my void storage to see what I had and made a list via my mog-it addon. The only things I was missing was a pair of boots and a belt. I made it easier on myself and had my leatherworker spend two of her spirits of harmony to buy the pvp patterns I’d need and craft the two pieces of gear, and having plenty of scales I had no problem making these.

Then I thought about a cloak. One model that looked nice dropped from Glubtok in the Deadmines on heroic mode. I had no desire to go digging around in that place, so I looked for duplicates. It turned out the exact same model dropped from the second boss in Magister’s Terrace on normal mode. I figured I’d go run through there and see if I could get it to drop, and even if it didn’t I’d be getting reputation with the shattered sun offensive. First though I went through it on heroic to see if I could get the orb that turns you into a blood elf. No luck there, so I exit the dungeon and run through it a few more times on normal mode, but with no luck. When the game wouldn’t let me run it again (“You have entered too many instances” message), I hearthed back to the shrine to consider other models, sell my junk and blues, and repair a bit.

Finally I decided to try for the similar models that were rewarded from quests. One of which was in the Nexus. I consider the idea and decide to take a taxi out there. Sure enough it was the one quest that has you kill the last boss in the place, and we all know how big the nexus is. Good thing I’m a worgen engineering hunter. When I wasn’t fighting, I was aspect of the cheetah/darkflight/rocketboots. ZOOM!

So in the end I got the cloak I was looking for and I managed to get my transmog to look like is does now in these images. But before I went into the nexus to do that quest for the cloak, I decided to go into the Eye of Eternity and kill Malygos. I already had the blue drake, but I wanted to try for the azure. I got him down to 20% before he became unattackable and I had to kill the flying adds. Then once on a drake it was just a matter of staying out of static fields, pressing 3 to restore my health, 1 to put a few combo points on Malygos, and 2 to consume the combo points to apply a stacking DOT on him. The more you stack that, the faster his health goes down, trust me.

Well, once Malygos went down, I wasn’t thinking like this: “PleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedropPleasedrop…”

I just thought, “well another day, another pwn. let’s check the cache and see what I get to sell.”

I didn’t believe my eyes! Malygos dropped BOTH DRAKES! Blue and Azure at the same time! WOW! Shame I already knew the blue one and had no way to sell or trade it to anyone since it was soulbound and I ran the instance alone in the wee hours of the morning. So instead I had to delete the blue one, but I definitely kept the azure one. I’ve been hoping to get this one for a long time.

So after the malygos kill and putting the azure drake in my stables, bringing my mount count to 187, I went and got my cloak, hearthed home to store my items in the void storage and alter my transmog, and all done!

Ragnaros Heroic

Last night Owlaf went back into the Firelands with help from her guild and a couple of random players we pugged from the city. Personally I wouldn’t mind bringing my mage in there someday to try for some cool gear, and other times I wish I could trade off my legendary quest to my mage, but that’s not possible at all. In fact, I wish the current legendary quest applied to all characters. I mean, my mage is the one who’s furthest along on the quest, getting slowly closer to getting the cloak, but all my other alts are either on the first phase or the second phase, or stuck on the Change of Command quest. I’m just wondering why can’t Blizzard do this for the current legendary… have it account bound. Meaning my mage has unlocked the first three rewards from the legendary (the weapon gem, the socket, and the helmet gem), so why not let all my alts have access to all these rewards instead of having to grind on all of them separately? It’s very tedious and tiresome, and it’ll be out of date soon anyway, as soon as Blizzard comes out with another expansion and we all move on to level 95 and get a new legendary to work on….

Anyway, I digress. Poor Owlaf has been on this legendary quest ever since it came out, which was years ago, and she’s still on the last phase of the quest in question. She has to collect 250 smouldering essences off the killed bosses in the Firelands, and once that’s done she needs to kill Ragnaros and loot his heart from him. The heart part cannot be looted until I get all 250 of the essences first, and as of last night, Owlaf has 180 essences. Just 70 to go now!

The way it works is that when the boss dies, if someone is on the quest then the dead body will have a duff on it called smouldering. I then equip my staff and use it to channel a spell, which syphons the essences off the dead boss. The exact amount varies depending on the size of the raid and the difficulty.

Well, last night with this group we decided to do, we planned to do it on heroic so we could get more essences from the bosses for me. There was also another agenda for heroic: we had already beaten all the other bosses on heroic except for Alysrazor, and the only way to kill Ragnaros on heroic was to kill all the other bosses on heroic as well. Alysrazor gave us trouble in the past, but this time it was pwn or bust.

First we got down the fire spider boss, and I was able to syphon the essences off that boss. Then we downed lord Ryolith, and we even got an achievement for that one by simply dpsing his right foot only. With the damage we could do at level 90 and during patch 5.4, it was pretty quick. Normally we’d have to steer him onto volcanoes to weaken his armor. In this case, several of them spawned right under his feet, and our ultimate dps did the rest.

Then Ryolith died, and for some reason I could not syphon the essences. Odd, I thought to myself and mentioned it to the raid, and proceeded to open a ticket with Blizzard about it. I mean I’ve been working on this quest for two years, I’d like to get some progress, you know?

So then we moved on to Alysrazor, and we down her on heroic mode in flying colors! Then, lo and behold, while I’m just getting ready to syphon the essences off the boss, I see one of the stranger pugs, a mage, doing it. It turned out she was on the legendary quest too, and according to her, she only needed to kill ragnaros to get the heart and no longer needed the essences. And yet here she was, syphoning essences just for the hell of it. Needless to say I was furious. Since she syphoned the essences off the last two bosses it meant that I could not do the same, so in reality she was stealing my quest progress.

Leadership of the raid was then passed to me, and after a minute of chewing the mage out, I reported her for cheating, put her on ignore, and kicked her out of the raid. Good riddance.

All the same, I was still mad for the rest of the run. I even altered my ticket to alert blizzard to this foul play, but I doubt they’d do anything at all. The great and powerful GMs are no more. Now it’s the game developers who have all the power to change stuff in the game and you have to submit a suggestion or a bug report to them to get any real progress. GM’s are just customer service, which does NOTHING.

We considered kiting one particular boss for an achievement, but in the end we decided it’d be easier if we just did that on normal mode, and we killed the rest of the bosses on heroic to unlock and kill ragnaros on heroic. I’ll admit, we wiped a few times on Ragnaros, but it was mainly due to bad luck with the adds from the splitting blow. When one player had to leave we managed to get more guildies in, and it turned into a guild run at last. On that attempt was when we downed it, and our guild “LOWERCASE” got the guild achievement at last.

Special thanks to my friend and guildie Voldemort for this screenshot. Good game!

Special thanks to my friend and guildie Voldemort for this screenshot. Good game!

Then I remembered one other thing and double checked my personal achievements. Once confirmed, I nodded to myself and announced it to the rest of my friends: By killing Ragnaros on heroic mode, we have unlocked the title “Firelord” for our characters!

So now, Owlaf is “Firelord Owlaf.”

The downside is that I missed out on some of the smouldering essences from a couple of the bosses, but at least I made some more progress last night. 180/250 Smouldering Essences, then I can kill Ragnaros again and loot his burning heart from him and complete the quest at last.

Congratulations to LOWERCASE, level 25 alliance guild on Feathermoon, for downing Ragnaros on Heroic Mode in the Firelands. Also grats to the following players for coming and getting their “Firelord” titles and for helping me with the legendary quest: Warguz, Mommia, Akainakali, Mamasun, Voldemort, Yurameshi, Gankingpally, and Draynam. Good job everyone, it was an awesome run!

The Woes of Owlaf

Now that patch 5.4 is out there in World of Warcraft, we all get to run around like chickens with our heads cut off, killing mobs elite and rare left and right. None of my toons got the legendary cloak, and according to Blizzard Entertainment, this means I cannot kill the new world boss at all. Elitist jerks, how dare they.

Then out of curiosity, I decide to try and solo a warbringer. Yeah, you heard me. Those Zandalari Warbringers that were introduced in patch 5.3 as part of the troll invasion of Pandaria. Normally, it would take a group of five to take one on: A tank, a healer, and three DPS, but the more the merrier. I was soloing the thing today. The one I hate the most is the ones that cast fear.

Where's the referee? I seriously need the judges ruling on this!

Where’s the referee? I seriously need the judges ruling on this!

Now I don’t know about you, but I detest fears with a passion. I would think that it’s impossible to scare a druid in bear form. I mean, have you ever seen a grizzly bear running for it’s life? If anything, that troll ought to lie down and play dead and hope I go away. But no. Every so often I get feared and start running around out of control, sometimes right up to the vengeful spirit who’ll take a couple of deadly swipes at me. I’m careful though, using my abilities and cooldowns to stay alive. I can be a pretty good tank when I want to be.

Well, while fighting the Warbringer in Krasarang Wilds, naturally he’s on a small sandy island surrounded by water. Most of it is shallow enough to stand in, but then it gets deeper the farther away. When I get feared that far, to the point where I’m swimming away, the Warbringer follows me, cannot “swim” per say, and begins to evade my attacks and could very well reset. Well I make it back to shore and onto the sand, and the warbringer is with me all the while. I think to myself, Yes! I kept him from resetting! Sweet, he’s not evading anymore. Nice! and I continue to pwn.

A flat second later, while in combat and without him running back to his spawn location, he’s back to full health. I had him at 1%, and he resets so I have to fight him all over again… another ten minutes of fighting? You are kidding me Blizzard.

So when you get feared, and if you take a swim, odds are the mob will reset even if you get back to shore, which I think is crazy and just plain wrong. Ten minutes of fighting, I get it down to 1%, and it resets to full health? What’s the point of even trying?

I’d love to get all three mounts, seeing as how I have yet to even get one, but at this rate, it’s just insane.

Of course it would take me a long time to get these Warbringers down by myself. Well, I would tackle them with my friends, if they weren’t so busy running around on an island where time ceases to exist. I did encounter two lower level players the other day though, who were after the warbringers not only for the loot, but for the XP as well. The problem was as a healer and a dps, they couldn’t take on the warbringers and so only took on the scouts. I joined up with them and we could bring down the Warbringers within a few short minutes. Their dps was low, but it helped.

One of the warbringers dropped the mount and I was ecstatic at first and rolled Need. I lost the roll. The healer won it and learned it right away. I leave group, a little disappointed and fly away to do some archaeology. Halfway through a dig site, I get a curious feeling about the roll on the mount and type /loot. It brings up the loot window and I check on the box to see who rolled what on the mount. The healer rolled a 48… and so did I.

That pissed me off. I hated ties. To me, it didn’t show any sign whatsover of a tie breaking roll. It seemed to be that the game say two high rollers and merely rewarded the mount to one person at random. I was incensed. I would think that if there was a tie, the game would announce it and automatically reroll the tied players to help break it. Or if it didn’t reroll to break the tie, then it should have rewarded the loot to the players who tied, meaning both of us should have gotten a mount.

But nooooo.

Poor Owlaf the Night Elf Druid. Unlucky at loot rolls and drops. Far behind all those folks with the legendary cloaks. Nerfed beyond compare and reason. Always suffering from one disappointment after another.

Thank you World of Warcraft, thank you Blizzard Entertainment. I just love being angry, incensed, perturbed, furious, and otherwise upset about the evil random number generator god, who does not favor me at all.

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