29 March 2011

Coming and Going: The Cycle

We've gone through this cycle of progression more times than I can remember at the moment, and it still saddens me a bit. You've got this great little blog stuck in your reader because you really like reading it all the time. And then one day or night, whooosshh!  It's gone. Sometimes you can see the little signs of it's coming, sometimes you don't think it'll ever happen. But it does. You realize that you should accept this change, since change is inevitable anyway, but it don't ever make it any easier to see the loss or the feelings that come with it.

I haven't been around long enough, to have known some of the communities long time respected bloggers whose names I've heard spoken of reverently many times over. In my time though, I have experienced the feelings of "loss" more times than I would have cared to. This time around though, I see the community pulling together over the more recents departures of well-known bloggers. If you haven't already, make sure to stop by these encouraging posts, and get involved!

Manalicious :Others endings are not my endings
dwarven battle medic: The Death of WoW and the Circle of Life

@ Larisa, Thanks for all the wonderful posts. I wish you well in all that you do.

28 March 2011


I take time to enjoy a healthy smile or LOL every now and then. Besides all the great warcraft blogs floating around the blogosphere, there is a wealth of warcraft comics. This is from The Daily Blink website. Pop on over for a visit, enjoy the humor and art!

from The Daily Blink
Khrox finally managed to tame his first exotic pet last week.

The first exotic pet!

Would have been nice, but was a quest kill.

Hey, if you happen to be a BM hunter, let us know about your exotic tames!

13 March 2011

Screenies-or-another compulsive hoarding attraction

Screenies: On the brink of 'Hoarder Compulsion'

Hellfire Skies

Every so often one of my counter-parts will find themselves at a sudden stand still in mid-run or flight, just to take a few moments to enjoy or dive into the awe and splendor of the view before them. For a (ahem..../clears throat) slightly older player, Blizzards' artwork and graphics are amazing. Or perhaps another appropriate term would be "awesomesauce." Such as the above view one first encounters in Outland. I've just loved this since the first day of BC, and every time I'm there, I see it in a different light.

"Count" Ungula
I've collected a few screen-shots over time. Mostly things for memory sake, some little personal project like comparing dps numbers in battlegrounds, etc., etc. Although, I've noticed lately I've been recording something of a history. Re: Khrox's rare pet taming collection efforts. There's also a small collection of Sol's "rare" status kills. And then there's his occasional companion pet or mount he adopted. Little things really, but a noticeable trend none-the-less. Like when Sol first started collecting the Tourney heirlooms for the alt kids. Some of it looked awesome enough on them that they screamed "Screenshot!"

So I've come to the realization that I am teetering on the brink of becoming an official "Hoarder." To such an extent that I even research new possibilities for various collections and avidly read about other players experiences. Sometimes, I even to find myself sub-consiously watching/camping or searching for some elusive beast or pet, while traveling through quest lines. And I must admit that with the availability of Azeroth flight now, bouncing all over the world is so much easier.

Just what sparked this realization of being a "closet hoarder?" Surely it was a culmination of several things. But I would really have to tag Saz (World of Saz), for prompting this post. Her most recent and in-depth 5-part series on mini-pets, "Hoarders: Azeroth Edition", is likened to a virtual gold mine for me. Yes, another compulsion to add to my growing list. I'm compulsive about quest story-lines (the lore of it all), odd companion pets that do little more than look cute and adorable, somewhat un-usual mounts, rare pets, rare kills, alts, and those little personal accomplishments in game, achievements. Am I obsessing over this? Well, perhaps not too far from it :)

So really now. What's your little hidden "compulsive hoarder within" up to these days? I think that most everyone probably has at least one thing they hoard in game, even if it's reaching that astounding gold cap. Admit it. You've got something. It's okay. This 'ol Night Elf will pat you on the back and offer comfort.

10 March 2011

Zangarmarsh residents go Tourist Friendly!

Khrox has actually leveled quite fast. Eight zones worth of quests, and already in Outland. Seems like only yesterday he was but a twinkle in someones' thoughts.

Today's screenie though, is all about the tourist friendly Umbrafen Eels, who've decided to make themselves available for those odd "photo, please" adventurers. Enjoy.

Umbrafen Eels go tourist friendly!
Khrox'a rare pet photo collection album is just getting under way, but he's promised to update it soon. If you'd like visit from time to time here's the picasa web url:

Spiteflayer from Blasted Lands

06 March 2011

Sol's Issues...or..."Coming Out?"

Issues with Sol

I haven't logged Sol into the game for something like two weeks now. It's highly unusual for Sol to miss a day in Azeroth, much less two weeks, and he's obviously been lurking around jabbing at me for answers. It's just as obvious to me, that I don't have any solid answers. Just a few nagging thoughts, and some noted simularities within the posts of some other bloggers lately.

As you would rightfully guess, within my rather large wow blog reading lists, there are some which I "always" read. This does not take away from the quality of the rest of the blogs since they are also in the reader for what they are, and feed those interests for me. /cast Diplomacy[Rank :)]

Background stuff: Sol has been around for some time now, probably getting close to five years now. My first to cap out at levels and professions, many achievements. My go anywhere (almost), do or try to do anything with reasonable expectations of success. I don't feel tired or burned out with Sol. I think the issue rests more with some realizations of feeling limited in what he can and seemingly cannot do, compared to what I would love for him to do. You see, Sol wants to be a PvE raider, at least 10-man level. Not for the glory, bragging rights or epic loots etc. This is all about personal accomplishment within the game, and rl self.

Recently, I silently shared some sad and tearful moments with Larisa at the PPI. Without getting into details, Larisa's posts concerned some game and guild situations of late which have affected her in real life as well. Although I would not foolishly claim to understand her personal feelings, I do and can see within her posts some things which seem simular and applicable to myself. Larisa speaks freely about a learning curve she's experiencing in raids with her guild.

Sol has yet to reach raid level, but I have to wonder if this isn't possibly one of the reasons why he's not there yet. I've come to the realization that in-game, I simply just have to "do it", to learn it. All the reading of strats, theorycrafts and video watching just don't stick with me. Dump or drag me into the dungeon finder or instance. I may not do well, but I'll live through it doing considerable damage, and hopefully be better at it a second time. And let's face facts, the majority of groups require that you "Know The Fight", or else. Me, well, I don't know it until I do it.

I have to consider some of the other thoughts and issues floating around the blogosphere as well. Those which concern real life age and game preformance hit home a bit. I recently read about a blogger/player in his 40's something who spoke about age diminishing reflexes compared to the lightning quickness of much younger players. Once again, the simularities show their face to me. Real life age and game play are not new subjects. They've been floating around for some time in the blogosphere, popping to the forefront every now and then. And this is obviously an issue I personally deal with, or attempt to deal with.

These are real life fears/thoughts I have when considering to click on the dungeon finder tool. Firstly, will I be able to preform well enough for the group's expectations? Will I avoid getting the group wiped? Will I live through it? Well, chances of me, a ranged caster, living through it are fairly good. I am generally well out of the way and can always shadowmeld if necessary. All the rest though is up for grabs. But it's that 'all the rest' which concerns me more than living through it. Bottom line: Is my real life age, diminishing reflexes, muscle memory, holding me back from accomplishing goals in game?

In some sort of summation, I would have to agree with Larisa's learning curve description and the age issues other bloggers have spoke of as contributing factors concerning my own game play. I would also have to factor in the *personalities and attitudes of other players towards "somewhat older" players. Will Sol see the accomplishment of becoming a viable raider? I really don't know at this point.

How do you view older players in the game? Is it with some sort of respect/understanding, pompous indignation or somewhere in the middle?

BTW: I am Solitudeone. I am 60 something, and still playing World of Warcraft with passion.

05 March 2011

Khrox, the BeastMaster!

Khrox, the Beast Master

I'm going to take a few moments here to talk about Khrox. Why, you wonder? He's just another alt from a long history of alts. Well, there is a slight differance. Khrox is a Dwarf Hunter, specced into beast mastery. Simply because I have this undeniable urge to collect rare and exotic pets, his sole reason for existance. The plan is just as simple. Tame a rare, exotic or unusual pet from every zone he quests in. And he is throughly questing his way through each zone in his leveling chain. In this manner, each zone is fully explored, and the required number of quests for loremaster are completed in unison. Not to mention that running all those quests provides ample time to come across those rare spawns.

Khrox is just as layed back in nature. He likes keeping life basic. Explore, quest, hunt, skin, fish and cook. And let us not forget the after dinner ale or brew as we lay back and star gaze. He spends his evenings by the campfire cooking up a fresh kill or catch, sharing stories of the days adventures with his bear, Popcorn. Questing has been good to him. Already at a tender middle age of 50, and with the Easter Kingdoms at his fingertips. He has made a sufficient amount of gold along the way just by selling off all the cloth he steals from his kills, along with the occassional level appropriate and useful BoE weapons. With skinning as his only profession (primary), he has quite the stockpile of various leathers in the bank.

We'll get on with the collection of rare pets thus far in another minute or two, maybe three. Khrox has shared some stories about Popcorn though that are, "rather interesting," one could say. (have you ever known Dwarves not tell stories?)

Life with Popcorn began at age 1. Just a wee bit of a cub he was, barely tall enough to reach my knee. As we made our way through Dun Morogh and Loch Modan, he grew quickly in both size and strength. His rather strange behavior began about the time we were departing from the homeland for the Loch. Every so often after a kill, Popcorn would crazy run off after some small creature or bug. It was kinda cute in the beginning. I figured that he was just fired up from the kill and got anixous for the next. By the time we entered the Wetlands though, his little crazy-ness began to cross the border into being slightly insane. He'd run off some 40, 50 yards or so just to kill off a marsh bug, and return with a couple of baddies he aggro'd long the way.

We made our way through those Arathi Highlands, into the Hinterlands, on to the Plaguelands and rocketed down to the Badlands. All the while, Popcorn kept straying off further and further for some insane senseless kill, and bringing back more creatures or baddies each time. I remember, in the Eastern Plaguelands we had to go through this cave with some rather over-grown spiders, stepping on all their newly hatched young in the process. Now, two and three of those crazy spiders, no problem. Then that insane bear of mine decides to clear out all the spider babies, in several tunnels! He came back with 7 of the meanest, largest, pissed off spiders to show for his galavanting. I put up one heck of a fight that day, took down four of them before there was no place else to go. It was a bitter death I tell ya'. Bitter I say, cause that insane bear lived through it!

Well then, there's no hope for Popcorn. He's completely insane and un-manageable now. And nearly twice as tall, wide and long as me. But what a brute. We can jump into the middle of a twilight or dark iron camp and clear out 7 to 10 of 'em now, no problems. As for his wacky jaunts, well, I just sit back, sip a brew and watch for his return. Take aim and fire one off on the first thing close enough to hit. With luck, ol' Popcorn will turn on his heels and stop the pack before it gets to me now.

Okay, enough rambling on. The only thing about taming those rare, unusual or exotic beasts that popped into my head was finding a way to keep a history of them. The answer I came up with seemed simple enough, at least for now. I am Khrox, beast master. So I keep the tamed beasts original name, and just add Rox to the end spelling. Such as:

Nix, a rare wasp from Loch Modan. Now called NixRox. Kind of a shame creatures shrink once tamed, but I suppose it's for the good of the overall plan of things. Nix was rather large and colorful.

From the Wetlands came a package deal. The Razormaw Matriarch. Now called RazormawRox. I also looted through her nest and came up with one of her hatchlings for a companion. The three of us looked quite merry skipping through the rest of the Wetlands.

The Hinterlands brung to the family Gammerita, a giant quest turtle. Well, someone else's quest turtle. Those tree-huggin Night Elfs I think. She is now known as GammeritaRox. I may return to the Hinters some time just to see if 'ol Cliff Jumper' is still around.

Rocket ride to Fuselight by the sea, Badlands. When I first started the Badlands adventures out of Fuselight, I bumped into this amazing rare white buzzard called Zericotl. Beautiful, I say. No questions or second thoughts. Just jumped right in and started beating him down to tameable size. Popped tame beast. Nothing. Hit it again, nothing. A little concerned now, this buzzard was hitting pretty hard. Once more, tame beast. Finally noticed the little red letters across the top of the screen: "...too high a level for you to tame...". Oops! Death was imminate at that point. I was a young 45, Zericotl was a 48 rare elite. To add insult to injury/death, was some bright orange text in the chat box, and I quote:

"Zaricotl seems to feel much better now that it has eaten the remains of Khrox."

Needless to say, when I later became 48, Zaricotl became ZaricotiRox. Right then and there. And yes, I got my i's and l's fingers mixed up at the time.

Searing Gorge: Here we finally found Rekk'tilac, a rather overgrown lava spider. Nothing really special about this spawn, and for the next three levels after taming, he ate constantly. So he sits on-call patiently while Popcorn again adventures forth.

On the agenda, a couple of zones still un-decided, although quested: *Western Plaguelands: ??, *Eastern Plaguelands: ??, and the *Burning Steppes: ?? Questing these areas began to require much more focus on the mobs, and there were no obvious rares sighted while doing so. I'll have to research for possibilities and back track a bit for them. Khroz, now 53, is currently in the Swamp of Sorrows with the Blasted Lands following.

That about sums up this wall of text and Khroxs' adventures thus far. Now, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who rolled a hunter just for the sake of collecting rare pets. Or for that matter, any other class rolled for some obscure reason. Care to share your secret indulgence here? It's okay. Really. Enjoy the screenies.

Popcorn-the Insane Bear

Originally called Zericotl

Have fun, we'll see 'ya next time around!