Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge Topic 40: Getting to know you.

Cinder and I have opened up our shared blog topic challenge for everyone to join in on. The more the merrier!

This fortnight it’s all about getting to know the blogger (or their main toon) behind the screen.

There’s a list of questions, it’s a bit daunting how long it is but let’s dive in and see what there is.

1. How do you drink your tea?  I’m a massive fan of Earl Grey and I usually have it with no milk or no sugar so the flavour pops. But if I’m really feeling like a comfort drink, I’ll make a really stong cup  with sugar and milk.

2. Favourite Dessert? I love all desserts but if I have to pick one, Tiramisu.

3. Favourite Season and Why?  Autumn. The chill has come into the air making it perfect snuggle weather with woolly blankets and cosy scarves. Leaves are falling from the trees and windy days are amazing.

4. What cheers you up?  Videos of animals being silly. I  have a good friend that I send cute animal pics/vids to if he’s having a down day and he does the same for me. Never underestimate the power of cute baby animals.

5. Dogs or Cats?  In all my time, I’ve only ever owned one dog and multiple cats so I guess it’s cats all the way. My life is currently supervised by two gorgeous moggies. They take it in turns to fight over a spot on my lap when I’m playing WoW,  never mind how much of an inconvenience it is to me. The loser generally sits just to the side of my desk shooting dirty looks in my direction.

6. Dream Holiday?  I’ve always wanted to go on a week, or longer, horse riding trek, preferably somewhere mountainous.

7. How many kids do you want? I have 2 and that’s pretty perfect for me.

8. Favourite weather?  Sunny day, but not hot, around 22 deg with  mostly blue skies but a tiny bit of white wispy clouds in the sky is perfect.

9. Last Meal?  An amazing burger with chips. I’d make it my life mission try all the burgers I can. The last one I had was a macadamia, zucchini and brie burger. I’m not a vegetarian but it was amazing.

10. 24 hours anywhere, any year? I want to know how and why Stonehenge was actually built; 24 hours during construction should   answer my questions.

11. Ghostly adventures? Hmm I’d  go to a big castle and pretend it was mine… sort of like what I do in WoW with Stromgarde Keep

12. Family ancestry?  My family originally comes from Scotland and it’s somewhere I intend to go and visit but haven’t got there yet.

13. What scares you? Elevators… fun fact, my new job is on the 9th floor of a building  and I regularly have to go to offices in other buildings on the 20th and 24th floors.. facing my fears every day should make me a better person,  right??

14. What are you most grateful for? Working in the city I’m surrounded by extremes..  Stores selling the most overpriced luxuries and at the same time I see people sleeping on the streets. I’m so grateful I’m in a position to be able to afford to pay rent and bills and food with enough to spare for luxuries like wow.

15. Dream Job?  One that pays lots of money that I could do from home. More seriously though, I don’t know what would be my dream job because I havent found it yet.

16. Aliens, yes or no? Resounding yes. The universe is too large and too unexplored to believe  that life couldn’t have evolved somewhere else. As to them being little green humanoids that have mastered interstellar travel already, that I don’t know.

17. Favorite Sport. Sportsball? Eww no. If I’m going to watch sport it’d be something like ice skating.

18. How do you relax after a long day. Video games and Netflix. 2 monitors mean I can do both at once and sometimes with wine. Perfect night!

19. If you could meet anyone? Hmm I don’t know, there’s many people I’d like to meet but I’ve always wanted to be able to go back in time and find all the people who made new discoveries in cooking techniques. How did someone work out to separate the yolk and white in eggs and then beat the egg whites until they turned all stiff for meringues?

20. If you had to be a teacher, what would you teach? Medieval English history.

21. Describe your perfect day. Breakfast of waffles at my favourite cafe, slow walk home through the walking trails catching Pokemon and then uninterrupted WoW until bedtime.

22. Describe yourself in one sentence.  I try to be kind but sometimes I’m too impulsive and impatient for my own good.

23. Who makes you laugh the most.  Animals being derpy like this gorgeous baby magpie.

24. What superpower. Time travel.

25. Favourite animal.  Horses, meerkats and magpies, how can you choose just one?

Biggest accomplishment? Something I’m  happy about, as weird as it sounds, is learning to really enjoy living alone. I used to hate being on my own but I’ve come to actually like it. I get to choose all the things I want, downside is I also have to do all the boring house chores but I get to choose when I do it 🙂

Pics!! Mara started this bit with his pic and it was so great to see the blogger behind the screen so a few others of us decided to do so too.

This is me..

 

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BFA – Alliance levelling

Zee’s journey to 120 was pretty fractured because Talarial hitting 120 first meant  she had all the playtime running dgns and doing world quests for rep most nights leaving little time to level but Zee finally got there.

While the Alliance story was quite enjoyable, overall it certainly didn’t have the impact on me that the Horde side did and felt almost underwhelming in comparison.

On Horde side the events were on a global scale with threats of Old Gods and sneaky dangerous deals on the side with powerful forces. The final cut scene for Horde had me on the edge of my seat impatient for the patches to roll out so I could see the effect that the events would have on the world. In contrast the  Alliance side flet like it wss very small scale and localised.. There were references to Azshara and her interference which could have been presented as a major event but it seemed to just be brushed over and was quite subtle.

Onto the actual levelling though. I started with Tiragarde Sound as I figured it would be a good  place to start helping the people of Kul Tiras and gain their trust for the Alliance.  I kept warmode off because there was way too many Horde running around doing their world quests by the time I started questing. Between being very rested and the extra exp for picking flowers along the way, I was levelling way faster than my priest anyway.

I went to Drustvar next, solely because I love the  dark witchy zone and I didn’t want to hit 120 during it and interrupt the levelling questing flow. This zone was amazingly good and pretty dark for a WoW zone.

Witches popping around the place were the stereotypical old hags mostly.

But I really loved the Wicker constructs.  I was overjoyed to find I could assemble a wicker pup of my very own.

Abby Lewis is one creepy little human. She genuinely seemed worried for her cat’s wellbeing until she sacrificed him for a nasty tea party.

I also found this really cool portrait in Drustvar. If you stay and look at it long enough, a skull appears under the face, and then vanishes again. Things like that being added into WoW are really quite cool.

Around the 117 mark the scaling started to take effect and in  feral I was getting my butt kicked. I found it faster to go into tank spec around this level. A neat trick I found that lasted right up to 120 was to attack a mob a level 110-112 had started on as it seemed to stay scaled to their level not mine.

I went to Stormsong last, and reached 120 on the second story chapter. This zone was the most fragmented for me because I did take a break to go farm world quests for a few nights after hitting 120 and then came back to levelling once I’d done enough quests to get better gear. I was pretty unimpressed with the Brendam village quest hub where the Horde attacks. Horde had nothing in their quest line to suggest we invaded Ally lands and its feels like an artificial “lets keep the Alliance hating the Horde” interjection than actually really necessary to the story line.

Stormsong was a mix of folksy helpful neighbour quests, collect the wood, gather the flour and eat the cookies!

And right at the end a teaser that Azshara is out and about meddling with the sailors and fleet of the Kul Tiran.

Overall, while I enjoyed levelling Alliance to see the story, it really didn’t leave the impression on me that the Horde side did. The zones are gorgeous with the little houses and farming hamlets in the hills but I don’t feel that’s enough to make up for the relatively bland narrative.

Looking in from both sides, it feels like two completely different world views is at play. Horde are facing threats that are going to rock Azeroth to her very core and Alliance are milking goats and shearing sheep.

I went onto finish the final scenario to find and reunite Jaina with her mother. I’m glad she wasnt fully forgotten about because after coming to Boralus and the inital scenario with her she’s pretty much not mentioned again. Out of sight out of mind I guess.

I’m sounding incredibly negative about the whole Alliance side I know, and the Jaina ending didn’t do much to change my mind. It was touching and well done seeing Jaina finally face  her demons and her mother forgive her, but come on, this is the woman that’s touted as one of the strongest mages in history. It feels lacking to relegate her to the role of poor damsel that needs rescuing. I would personally have like to see us rescue her earlier and get her out and kicking butt with us similar to how Princess Talanji plays a large role for the Horde.

All up though, the Alliance lands are gorgeous and the questing was fun. I’m glad I could see both sides and now its time to wait for the next patch to bring out more story!

Tucker’s Toys in Boralus

Tucker’s Toys in Boralus is a tiny little gem of a toy store with 2 little details that make it a great place to visit and explore.

The first reason is on the top floor where a little Clockwork Rocket Bot is wandering around. If you bring out your pet Rocket Bot, you can spark a Bot war.

Most of the time, the shop Rocket Bot won the fight, but a few times both Bots knocked themselves out at the same time.

The second reason is to watch a really cute scene play out. I noticed a Kul Tiran lady come in and load up her arms with a couple of soft toys and head out of the shop.  

I decided to walk with her for a bit to see where she was taking her new toys, though I was fully expecting her to probably despawn not too far from the shop.

I was really surprised when instead of vanishing, she entered a house and climbed the stairs to the next level.

Walking over to the bed, she paused by the edge, and then really quickly her arms emptied…

And the toys appeared on the bed!

This was a really fun to watch play out and it’s sparked my curiosity about the other citizens of Boralus. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any other NPCs that are out and about with a purpose.

Cranky Chickens of Stormsong Valley

I was out questing for the citizens of Stormsong Valley last night and I accidentally managed to click on one of the Cranky Chickens in the farmyard.

They’re called cranky for a good reason, after the chicken flew across the yard, she squawked and roused the entire flock against me in revenge.

That is one flock of Cranky Chickens all right.

Stromgarde rebuilt

I was directed to head up to Arathi Highlands last night to go help out our forces. Once there, I was sent by a little goblin to go scout a few places, but to be honest I wasn’t paying him much attention at all as I was completely captivated by a rebuilt Stromgarde.

I’ve read Before the Storm which has a few major parts take place in the area and noticed all the pets and toys in my journal that come from Arathi, so I knew that it would become a major hub of this expansion but I still wasn’t prepared for the scale of the rebuild.

Before

After

I spent a long time on my Blood Elf exploring around the place. The aggro radius on the guards and civilians was very low so I could get quite close. Not sure if that was intended as Blizz knew there’d be lots of curious Horde tourists or just luck, but it meant I could poke around quite well.

 

I was really pleased to see the one guard that I got a bit too close to, was decked out in the traditional red of Stromgarde rather than Stormwind colours.

However, I wasn’t quite expecting the mixed feelings I had about the rebuild. Arathi is one of my favourite zones and Stromgarde is so imposing and beautiful even in ruins  that I’ve longed to see it rebuilt.  But  it actually happening with very little in-game participation feels like the history has just been wiped over.

When I was reading Before the Storm where there is a great deal of interaction with the Keep and surrounding area, the first reference to Stromgarde is when Stormwind forces stroll in to a fully functional intact fortress.There’s no mention of the ruins it is in game; broken down and filled with Syndicate members and enemies and no mention it was rebuilt, it was just there intact again.

I was sort of hoping there might be some in-game reference to Stormwind forces heading up and rebuilding, not just log into a fully re-built keep in place. I am coming from a Horde perspective so maybe I’m overlooking some Alliance quests, but I checked with a couple of Ally friends and they didn’t mention any quests or references to Stromgarde being rebuilt in game? On Horde side, apart from a few mission table quests that reference the zone in their title, there was nothing about the new Horde encampment right out the front either.

It really feels like so much of the lore/story is placed outside the game into books or not referenced at all before the world is changed without comment or a nod to what needed to happen to get to where we are now.

I’m thinking Zidormi will have to be placed in the area, or the people trying to farm Syndicate rep for the Insane title are going to have a difficult time.

Even with my mixed feelings, i am really looking forward to taking my ally toon up there for a really good look around without the risk of cranky guards.

Kermit and Miss Piggy

Well actually it’s Kremit and Miggy but we know who it really is meant to be.

I was out doing world quests last night when Hip called me down to Nazmir to come see the rainbow he had found. When you click the guitar next to Kremit, it triggers the rainbow to show. I spent a ridiculous amount of time clicking the guitar each time the rainbow faded to bring it back.

I don’t like the muppets in general but I do really like Kermit and Miss Piggy. I have a Kermit the Frog t-shirt that gets worn to death and I had the cutest Miss Piggy doll when I was little, I wonder what happened to that?

I’m guessing this is a reference to Kermit’s “Rainbow Connection” song.

I didn’t have my map open at the time to pull out the coordinates but if you fly into Gloom Hollow and run south you should be able to come across them.

Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge Topic 37: First Impressions of BFA in pictures

Cinder and I have opened up our shared blog topic challenge for everyone to join in on. The more the merrier! To celebrate exploring a brand new expansion our topic this time is to share the screenshots we’ve taken in BFA so far. We said 5, but to be honest sticking to just 5 is near impossible, so I’ve gone over a bit a lot.

I’ve been playing as both Horde and Alliance and both zones are just so gorgeous. I think I’ve got a small bias towards the scenery and zones in Kul Tiras over Zandalar, but pretty much every step I take no matter what zone I’m in is just simply gorgeous and picture worthy.

Zuldazar is a gorgeous ancient golden city full of tropical rainforest and waterfalls. I adore waterfalls in real life, so this city just feels like a tropical haven.

Deserted beaches in Nazmir are beautiful and spooky.

Moving from the tropics of Zandalar up into Kul Tiras makes me feel like I should be transmogging into winter clothes.

Next to waterfalls, rainbows are one of my favourite natural phenomena and Tiragarde Sound gives me both.

The skies are simply stunning in every zone.

This was the cutest reference to come across.

The details are so well done, the spoons in a little house in a fishing village are fish-shaped!

I’ve collected Honey Bee battle pets and I’ve seen Hunters with Bee pets, I’m really hoping there’s a Bee mount hiding somewhere in this expansion too.

This expansion really brings the children into the scene.

This was a gorgeous tea party to stumble across near the maze in Boralus. The human girl is holding an adorable patient cat in her arms.     

Even ducking underwater gives some gorgeous views.

This is one very beautiful expansion. There’s a lot of exploring yet to be done and I can already see my screenshot folder filling up after only a fortnight.

 

Cathedral of the Eternal Night Achievements

Cathedral of the Eternal Night  is the new dungeon that came out with Patch 7.2 today and you can’t queue or walk into it until you  have unlocked the Broken Shore world quests and completed all 4 world quests that were initially up and then you get a quest to go in and kill the last boss.

After raid tonight a few of us decided to go in and complete the 3 achievements that are in there on mythic difficulty. There were no guides on wowhead so we had to work out the achievements ourselves. It was a really fun run as we ended up taking Naz and I, and we both decided to stay in resto spec, Impurityx and Rix as bear tanks, and Overpowered came on his DK. It actually worked out really well having Naz and I both healing because we had to drag the fights out while we worked out the achs and having 5 people with brez’s was just awesome.

The first achievement is Boom Bloom, where you have to defeat Agronox after fulminating 4 budding flowers in the Cathedral of Eternal Night on Mythic difficulty. We worked out there were small budding blooms around the room and when we were targeted by the fulminating lashers, we had to run on the budd and let the lasher detonate on you. It was actually a crap ton of damage that the explosions put out. We messed it up the first time and just had the lasher detonate on the actual flowers that were around. Luckily we could run out after we finished the other 2 and reset it for another try.

The second achievement was the most fun and it was a Steamy Romance Saga. The ach here is to defeat Thrashbite the Scornful after all party members have read the entire Steamy Romance saga. There were 4 bookcases around the bosses room and he randomly chooses a person to charge. That person needs to hide behind the bookcase so the bosses charge destroys the bookcase and one of the 4 novels needed to be read will fall to the ground. They’re numbered 1 to 4 and every party member has to all read them in order to get the totally tantalized buff and then you can kill the boss.

The last achievement was to defeat Mephistroth, the end boss, after blocking 20 Shadow Blasts with the Aegis of Aggramar on Mythic difficulty.  Rix took the shield here and intercepted 20 of the shadow balls the boss threw out from random places around the room.  

Because we ran through it so quickly with the main aim of being in there to work out the achievements, I really didn’t take any time to look around the dungeon. I can’t wait to go back in there and just sightsee because from what I did see, it looked really awesome.

The Tangerine Traveler

I was in Dalaran over the weekend when Hip asked me had I found Pepe yet as he has come across him earlier that day. I hadn’t had any luck with spotting him yet,  so Hip popped up to Dalaran to show me where Pepe had been for him and as he was running past the pet shop Pepe was casually sitting on the bench out the front.

Hip pulled me into a group because we were apparently in different versions of Dalaran and there he was! My very own Steampunk Pepe.

pepe-2

pepe

I’m a huge fan of Steampunk so this Pepe is far and away my favourite one of all the different dress ups that he can appear in.

Funnily enough as we were making our way to the flightpath, there he was again! I can’t believe I haven’t seen him before just to see him twice in a few minutes.

pepe-1

Have you had any luck finding Steampunk Pepe yet?

 

Going up?

All my toons usually get the Going Down achievement fairly early into their lifetime. Generally as a result of me falling off something by mistake.

So I absoutely love that Z picked up the Going Up achievement just to even it out.

going-up

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the tower inside, you can hop onto a ledge and make your way outside to some gorgeous views.

nashals-watch

stormhiem-hills wowscrnshot_091016_180912