February 25, 2012

Weeks 6 & 7: The Fortnight Of Busy Times

Ok, I know, this is the second time I've run two weeks together. Taking over for my boss while she's on maternity leave before cover for my job has been organised means I've had a lot less time for blogging stuff. At nearly two months in to this challenge, I've not got nearly as far as I thought I would have done. There's a blood elf hunter and an undead mage that have a lot to answer for! My desire to make new alts hasn't diminished since I made the bucket list and they've probably stolen about 10 hours between them.

Despite that I've still made some really good progress and I'm so close to another level 85 alt that I can taste it. So to update, in the last couple of weeks:
  • Aralosseien broke 8k achievement points!
  • Morríghan went from 82 to 84
  • Shiden went from 50 to 56
  • Wildlight went from 28 to 30
  • Swiftfeather went from 6 to 8
  • Sugarstorm went from 7 to 8
  • Skinning is up from 338 to 357
  • Leatherworking is up from 246 to 265

We ran Ulduar as a guild last night when we'd finished clearing Dragon Soul and Ara picked up 260 a/p from that alone! I've never seen further than the first 3 or so bosses and I was blown away by the scale and beauty of that raid instance. It's so refreshing to be in different rooms/environments for different bosses - I really hope that Mists brings us some large-scale epic raid instances along those lines. I didn't manage to pick up any mogging gear (everything that dropped was perfect for my absent paladin, QQ) but I had an absolute whale of a time and I'm only 3 achievements away from Glory of the Ulduar Raider and a Rusted Proto-Drake. Oh, and I picked up my Starcaller title :)
Speaking of proto-drakes, a couple of guildies were kind enough to come along for Abuse the Ooze so I finally picked up my Red-Proto Drake to round off the evening in style.

Morríghan has been running some more normal dungeons and has done the quests for all of them except Throne of Tides - seriously, you can't do the quests without completing the entire zone? - and level 85 is so very close now. Her rested bonus should run right the way up to that so I'll be begging a couple of dungeon boosts and questing the rest of the way through Uldum until I get there. Frost DPS is becoming a lot of fun but I still panic quite a bit in dungeons!

Shiden has got a lot of levelling love in the last fortnight and is really close to level 57 now. Elemental shamaning is SO MUCH FUN. The great thing about levelling post-transmogrification is not missing out on awesome-looking gear and that's making questing for the rewards even more fun than it was. For example, I'd normally sigh when the reward was a helm, shoulders, cloak or chest because I'm using heirlooms I can't replace, but now I can save the good-looking pieces for a reason! I've been trying to level leatherworking as I go but I just don't skin enough leather to do so :( it's a massive problem, really. What's the point of having low-level gear recipes that I can't make for myself? Luckily I should be able to use it for crafting rogue and hunter gear once I've got Shiden to 85 and can farm whatever leathers I would need to max it, but I still get really grumpy about this.

I pushed Wildlight up to 30 so that I could grab my dual-spec and then promptly couldn't decide which one I wanted. I guess if I don't plan on healing anything it doesn't matter yet though. Getting Shadowform was awesome and she feels like a proper shadowpriest now rather than a lowbie priest alt so I think she's about to get some serious playtime in.

Lastly, I was hoping to get all my sub-10 alts up to 10 and choose their specs but it hasn't happened just yet. One more week and they'll all be proper characters, I promise!

    February 15, 2012

    Meme the Sixth

    Navimie over at The Daily Frostwolf has tagged me for Gnomeageddon's Meme the Sixth challenge. This caused an odd mix of "yay!" and "oh god subfolders I don't have those it's all one giant folder of images ordered only by date". Let's not panic though! I just cheated instead.

    The Rules.

    - Go into your image folder
    - Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
    - Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couldn’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
    - Challenge six new bloggers.
    - Link to them.

    I figured instead that I would pick the sixth row of thumbnails, sixth along and show you that instead!

    This is my fledgling warlock, Nefarna, as she finds Lieutenant Walden dead at the start of the Gilneas starting zone. I loved the crows, the bleak surroundings and the general feeling of doom - everything that could go right seems to go wrong and this is just the beginning.

    It's going to be hard to find 6 more bloggers to tag, but here's my best attempt!
    If any of you are already tagged, I'm sorry! :D

    February 13, 2012

    Week 5: Everything Happened At Once

    I am not lying when I say the last week has been absolutely full of happenings! I logged on last Tuesday to find an Orc Death Knight and finish Love is in the Air, finally snagging one in Dalaran after a guildie spotted one and summoned me (he was trying to taunt Alliance by staying just inside the Horde area, but I got LoS from a rooftop). That triggered the holiday achievement and then the whole What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been meta achievement! FINALLY. A whole year later and I have my Violet Proto-Drake, free Master Riding and a bit of a break when the holidays roll around again!

    That wasn't the end of my day though - we'd scheduled an extra raid night to get Madness down as we were so close...Discombobulated downed Madness (10-man normal) last Tuesday after a lot of hard work from more than the 10 people in the group that evening. Hitting 8/8 normal mode was a fantastic feeling (we one-shotted it yesterday evening too, for a true farm kill). To top it all off, Maw of the Dragonlord dropped - twice! - and I was lucky enough to pick one of those up too. What a week!

    After all that excitement it was hard to think about the bucket list but I rolled up my sleeves and this is what I got done:
    • Morríghan is level 82
    • Nefarna is level 13
    • Skinning is now 338
    • Leatherworking is now 246
    • Inscription is 176
    • Engineering is now 140
    • Aralosseien has 7815 a/p
    My pocket tank and other guildies were kind enough to run me through some normal Cataclysm dungeons, once I'd bought a couple of items to boost my ilvl (because of my heirloom head and cloak). I felt a bit bad cheating my way into them but after I discovered I was keeping up with other at-level DPSers I figured it was fine. Morríghan has gone from ilvl 188 to ilvl 245 in the last week - thanks mostly to crafted Redsteel armor - so she's genuinely qualified for two normals and can pull her weight in the other two. Huzzah! The chunks of exp I'm getting (with rested bonus) for these are far more appealing than questing alone so I'll be running dungeons here and there until I hit 85.

    We finished running the worgen through their starting zone so Nefarna is waiting in Darnassus at level 13, soon to be sent to Darkshore. I've run that zone twice already though, and I have two other night elf characters waiting in the wings so I might get her summoned somewhere new like Redridge Mountains and see those quests now they've been revamped. I've gone for Destruction as my spec because I like the idea of raining fiery doom down on my enemies later on (I have no idea if this is efficient for levelling or not)!

    The Darkmoon Faire took up a whole evening - ferrying all the professioned alts there to do the monthly quests takes time! With +5 to professions they're silly to miss though.

    Finally, Ara got a buttload of a/p this week. We ran through 10-man normal ICC on Friday, as we were lacking some crucial people for a Madness kill. Our fantastic guildies who were raiding back in the day ran us through every achievement they could and we almost got them all! Getting LST and killing Deathwing didn't hurt, either. I'm hoping to write my LST thoughts up at some point soon :)

    So, I'm not sure what to work on this week! The dungeon-only resolution for Morríghan puts her out of the running, so it comes down to shaman vs. low-level alts. I might just see what takes my fancy as I go.

    What have you been up to this last week in Azeroth?

    February 05, 2012

    Week 4: Lunar Lunacy

    I've not got a lot of Bucket List progress under my belt this week because I had Lunar Festival to finish up. The good news is that it's done, so only one part of Love is in the Air to go and I'll get my Violet Proto-Drake!

    What's changed:
    • Morríghan went from 80 to 81, finally!
    • Wildlight went from 26 to 28 with a little boosting, also getting Enchanting to 225
    • Luíseach finally maxed out Blacksmithing!
    • Aralosseien got to 7495 achievement points
    I actually finished level 80 by mining ore for raid gear gems. I don't really enjoy questing on Morríghan but she's darn efficient with a sword and it could be a lot worse.

    Wildlight is stuck at 225 Enchanting now (until she hits level 35) so I'll probably send Morríghan off to mine some low-level ores and work on Engineering until it's at 225 as well.

    The Darkmoon Faire is an absolute lifesaver if you're levelling professions. You can do the profession quests once per month and you get 5 skillups for very little effort. At the higher levels of professions, you're saving a lot of materials to do it this way (it would have taken 60 Elementium Bars otherwise to finish Blacksmithing) so all my professioned alts will be visiting the fair sometime next week.

    Not a big week, and finding the five Horde race/class combos I need for Fistful of Love will take up some more time, but hopefully I can crack on with the levelling once that's finished!

    February 04, 2012

    It's OK To Love Plate Dresses

    Some people dislike the idea of plate dresses. That's fine for them, but what about those of us who prefer a dress silhouette for our characters? I won't lie - there aren't a lot of options but I've rounded them up below for your delectation. Also, Warriors and Death Knights rejoice! There is the potential for you to aspire to our elegance and style. I know this is the news you've been waiting for while you clunk around in your plate trousers.

    As an aside, this is mostly a paladin issue - we are the only plate-wearing class with some skirted tier sets. I do wonder if this is because we have a healing spec and healing is perceived as 'what girls like to do' but that's rampant speculation and I'm not qualified to figure that one out. Gender, dress and perception is one hell of a minefield, y'know. If one of you is more of the arts-educated, thinking persuasion feel free to ponder on this and let me know!

    Immolation Battleplate/Breastplate/Chestguard

    The chest piece of the paladin Tier 12 armor. This is the only chest slot model that comes with a skirt attached! Items for each spec are named differently but are completely identical in appearance.

    All pieces are from Firelands or other sources of the same item level.

    Head: token from Ragnaros / Casque of Flame from Baleroc
    Shoulders: token from Majordomo Staghelm / Spaulders of Manifold Eyes from Beth'tilac
    Chest: 2200 JPs (SW/Org vendor) / Clutch of the Firemother from Alysrazor
    Gloves: 1650 JPs (SW/Org vendor) / drop from Occu'thar, Baradin Hold / Grips of the Raging Giant from Rhyolith / Holy Flame Gauntlets from Blacksmithing 
    Belt: Belt of the Seven Seals from Avengers of Hyjal (at Honored)
    Feet: Emberforged Elementium Boots from Blacksmithing / Treads of the Penitent Man from Majordomo Staghelm
    Legs/Bracers: can't be seen

    Tier set is paladin only, off-set pieces could be obtained by any plate-wearing class.

    I really love this set and fully plan to drag my guild into Firelands at some point to get me the head and shoulders!

    Valorous Aegis Greaves/Legguards/Legplates (paladin only)

    The leg piece of the paladin Tier 8 armor. Items for each spec are named differently but are completely identical in appearance.

    Head: token from VX-001, Ulduar
    Shoulders: token from Thorim, Ulduar
    Chest: token from Yogg-Saron, Ulduar
    Gloves: token from Freya, Ulduar / drop from Emalon, Vault of Archavon
    Legs: token from Hodir, Ulduar / drop from Emalon, Vault of Archavon
    Tokens should be taken to plate merchants in Dalaran.

    Here are a couple (of many) options for the other slots:
    Belt: Blinding Girdle of Truth for 1650 VPs / Girdle of Valorous Deeds from Aeonus, Black Morass
    Feet: Silver Sabatons of Fury for 1650 VPs
    Bracers: can't be seen

    The good news is that you can get the legs from two different places, so if you wanted to build a mogging set around them you don't have to be raiding Ulduar. The older tier sets are a pain to acquire because every slot was token-bought but don't give up! Speak to your friends and guildmates - this tier had some good gear for all classes and more of them might be willing than you think. There are two recolors of this set but they have legs rather than a skirt, which is a shame.

    Judgement Legplates (paladin only)

    The leg piece of the paladin Tier 2 armor.

    Head: drop from Nefarian, Blackwing Lair / drop from Onyxia, Onyxia's Lair (level 80 version)
    Shoulders: drop from Chromaggus, Blackwing Lair
    Chest: drop from Nefarian, Blackwing Lair
    Bracers: drop from Razorgore, Blackwing Lair
    Gloves: drop from Flamegor/Ebonroc/Firemaw, Blackwing Lair
    Belt: drop from Vaelastrasz, Blackwing Lair
    Legs: drop from Ragnaros, Molten Core
    Feet: drop from Broodlord Lashlayer, Blackwing Lair

    This is one of the most popular paladin sets in the game and is easy to farm nowadays. As well as being very intricate, every piece of armor contributes to the look so you'll need all 8 pieces to nail it.

    Cassock of the Loyal (Judgement Recolor, any plate-wearing class)

    This is the leg piece of the Judgement Recolor, a dungeon set obtained at level 68-70 in Burning Crusade dungeons.

    Head: Mask of Penance from Mekgineer Steamrigger, The Steamvault
    Shoulders: Justice Bearer's Pauldrons from Omor, heroic Hellfire Ramparts
    Chest: Breastplate of Many Graces from Grandmaster Vorpil, Shadow Labyrinth
    Bracers: Virtue Bearer's Vambraces from Broggok, heroic Blood Furnace
    Gloves: Life Bearer's Gauntlets from Nazan & Vazruden, heroic Hellfire Ramparts
    Belt: Girdle of Many Blessings from Rokmar, heroic Slave Pens
    Legs: Cassock of the Loyal from Hungarfen, heroic Underbog
    Feet: Boots of the Watchful Heart from Captain Skarloc, heroic Escape from Durnholde Keep

    A popular recolor of a popular tier set! Easily farmable nowadays. As with the Judgement Armor, you'll need all 8 pieces to complete the look.

    Lightsworn Greaves/Legguards/Legplates

    The leg piece of the paladin Tier 10 (lower) armor. Items for each spec are named differently but are completely identical in appearance.

    Head: 1100 JPs (Dalaran/Argent Tournament vendors)
    Shoulders: 695 JPs (Dalaran/Argent Tournament vendors) / Emerald Saint's Spaulders from Cache of the Dreamwalker, ICC
    Chest: 1100 JPs (Dalaran/Argent Tournament vendors) / Chestplate of Septic Stitches from Professor Putricide, ICC
    Gloves: 695 JPs (Dalaran/Argent Tournament vendors) / Festergut's Gaseous Gloves from Festergut, ICC
    Legs: 1100 JPs (Dalaran/Argent Tournament vendors) / Corrupted Silverplate Leggings from Lord Marrowgar, ICC
    Waist: Tightening Waistband from Blood Queen Lana'thel, ICC / Surrogate Belt from Halion, Ruby Sanctum
    Feet: Ancient Skeletal Boots from Lord Marrowgar, ICC / Foreshadow Steps from Halion, Ruby Sanctum
    Bracers: can't be seen

    Tier set is paladin only, off-set pieces could be obtained by any plate-wearing class.

    I was really excited about being able to pick this set up (head and shoulders included!) for Justice Points. There are loads of belt models that would blend in with this set and any dark boots would look fine.

    Acherus Knight's Legplates (Death Knights only)

    The leg piece of the Death Knight starter gear.

    The full set can only be bought by Death Knights as it's sold by Quartermaster Ozorg in Acherus. It would be easy to change any of the slots to jazz this up a bit - plate with grey colour schemes isn't rare at all.

    Well, that's it - all the dress silhouette avenues you could explore. I know that I'll be farming Justice Points for the Lightsworn set and picking up one or both of the Judgement sets. What about you? Are you a fan of plate dresses or do you skip over them in favour of legs (or do you not care in the slightest as long as it looks good)? I'd love to hear your thoughts.