Archive for Aeliel tells stories

Memories of Scholomance

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by Aeliel

I could make my way through Scholomance with my eyes closed.

That’s not hyperbole, by the way. A couple days ago, I pointed out the existence of Alanna’s Embrace to a guildie who loves pink, and she dutifully trotted off to farm it… except she’d never really been in Scholomance. She killed Rattlegore, then announced, “I’m lost.” I was locked outside by the instance timer at that point, so I couldn’t walk into her instance and help her out that way, but I successfully described the place to her (in enough detail that I could tell her to, for instance, which doors were wrought iron and which were wood) and got her to Ras Frostwhisper.

I spent a lot of time in Scholomance.

Back in Vanilla, before I started raiding, Scholomance was (together with Stratholme and Upper Blackrock Spire) the only endgame available to me. So I ran the place over, and over, and over, and over, trying to collect a full Wildheart set. (Not to mention a full Shadowcraft set, which I had to fight rogues tooth and nail for.)

I knew the place like the back of my hand by that point, even then – the route of every patrol, which mob had which abilities (and which pulls were most likely to wipe a group if mishandled), the optimal path to clear through the instance in the shortest time and still hit every boss, how to pull Rattlegore’s room without getting the boss prematurely and so on.

I even went to the trouble of getting a key to the place, which required a fair amount of time and effort, requiring a trek all over the world (from the Plaguelands to Gadgetzan to Un’goro and back) – not to mention 15 gold plus materials, which at the time was a fairly sizeable sum. I was sick and tired of waiting around at the instance entrance while the raid leader found somebody with the key who was willing to unlock the door (for a fee, of course), found a rogue with high enough lockpicking, or got somebody to jump off the top of the building and kill themselves close enough to the door that they could resurrect on the other side. So I figured I’d just get the key and put together my own damn groups.

And oh, yes, back then you raided Scholomance. Clearing it with a 5-man and getting your quests done was something you did only if you were a very good player with a very good group – clearing it for loot, well, people went the easy way and got a raid group together. Can’t really blame them, considering how many hazards there were in the place, although quests gave nice rewards both in terms of actual equipment and in terms of lore items. (Such as the Spectral Essence, which allowed you to see ghosts in Caer Darrow outside the instance, and which I deleted because of bag space and forgot to re-get yesterday – augh. Oh, well, nothing I can do about that now.)

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And one thing I missed commenting on…

Posted in Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , on October 25, 2011 by Aeliel

…about the pet battles thing.

Well, two things really.

Most pets will become tradable

I have no illusions that this will work with pets that cost real money – such as anything BoA from the Blizzard Store, or pets from the various CEs. They did say most pets. But this might mean, for instance, that I might actually be able to buy a Toxic Wasteling – a pet that I want quite badly, but that’s eluded me so far – just off the Auction House, from somebody who was lucky enough to get multiples or who just doesn’t like the pet. And if I don’t find one on the AH…

Account wide pets

…I can just farm the event with my army of alts (I have eight characters eligible for holiday bosses as of right now – I’ll probably have more when that particular event hits), increasing my chances of getting lucky.

Also… and the one thing that will make me really happy if this system gets put in place, and really sad if it doesn’t work out… I’ll be able to rescue my Hippogryph Hatchling from obscurity and non-use.

You see, back in vanilla, before even server transfers existed (never mind faction transfers), I rerolled briefly on a different server, to a tauren druid, to try out my luck at raiding on that server. I think the whole endeavor lasted maybe half a year, if that? Then server transfers came out, I was missing alliance and my original character pretty badly, so I went back to her for the Burning Crusade and onwards and the tauren was left unplayed. (Although I did make some attempts at leveling her – but she’s still level 66, on a server I don’t play on anymore.)

While I was playing the tauren, though, the WoW TCG came out. And I bought a few packs out of curiosity. And I actually found a Thunderhead Hippogryph loot card.

I very seriously considered giving the pet to Aeliel. (“It’ll fit better, she’s a night elf, and what if I go back to playing her and regret not having the pet?”). I wish I had. Instead I gave it to the tauren, and now, well, I don’t really have it. It’s the only pet I have on an alt that I don’t have on my main.  I don’t play that character, and even if I did play her, it would make no difference. I want that pet on my main.

(Yes, I know the Cenarion Hatchling from the Blizzard Store looks identical. It still wouldn’t be the same.)

On playing what you love and loving what you play

Posted in Alts, Druid, Miscellanea with tags , , on October 23, 2011 by Aeliel

Yes, I know. Long time no post. I’ve just… well, felt like I didn’t have much to say. I’ve been playing the game, I’ve been poking around on the PTR (the new instances are quite fun), I’ve been building transmogrification outfits for each of my characters so I have them all ready to go when 4.3 hits, I’ve joined a guild (although it’s a bit of a fail guild, but nobody’s perfect) and killed Ragnaros… I’ve just not been posting about it.

I was reading Vidyala’s post about returning to her mage, and Cynwise’s post about losing the desire to play the warlock class.

Not for the first time, I feel that when I started playing this game? I got damn lucky.

I started playing World of Warcraft at the end of April 2005, on the urging of an online friend who said the game was fun and I should try it. I knew nothing about the lore, nothing about the factions, nothing about – well – anything. My friend played a night elf hunter, so it was decided I would roll a night elf as well, so I could catch up to his level and we could play together.

What class, though? Reading through the manual didn’t help me with the decision. My friend suggested that a rogue might be fun for me. I wasn’t sure, but I figured hey, I can always create a different character afterwards if I don’t like this one.

So I launched the game. Ooh, cinematic! Pretty! Oh hey, that dwarf looks nifty… and ooh, a night elf. Pretty. Wait… what is she…

Really?  Screw a rogue, I want one of those.

Cue frantic rifling through the game manual. Druids can shapeshift. Okay, a druid it is, then.

I changed the character’s appearance until I liked the way she looked, told my friend my character name, and pressed “Enter World.”

“I thought you were going to play a rogue?” said my friend.

“I changed my mind.”

I wasn’t a terribly good druid – at least not for the times. “Druids heal,” everybody said. I didn’t want to. I wanted to be a cat. I wanted to be a bear. I argued with friends, I argued with my guild, I argued with anybody who would listen. I knew I could be a good tank if they’d just let me try.

(It didn’t help that some of the warrior tanks in my guild displayed spectacular amounts of cluelessness when it came to tanking and how it worked. I still remember this one time we were trying to kill one of the green dragon bosses in Duskwood – I think it was Ysondre, but I’m not sure – and the tanks died shortly after the last transition phase. A good portion of the raid got nommed, and then, due to healing aggro, the dragon went right for me. I switched to bear form, repositioned her, and what was left alive of the raid killed her. The main tank of the guild commented, later, that the reason I could do that and not somebody else was “she taunted first.” Showing complete ignorance of not only the way healing aggro works, but also of the way taunts work. Which you’d think he’d know, as a tank.)

When Burning Crusade was released and druids could actually tank, I was overjoyed. The very first thing I did on release night was take my feral gear and go tank Hellfire Ramparts. I’ve been tanking ever since.

It’s now many, many years later. I have a lot of alts – two hunters, a warlock, a priest, a warrior and a paladin at 85, a death knight at 84 and climbing and a mage at 80 who’ll be leveled once I’m done with the death knight. The only classes I don’t yet have are shaman and rogue (which is funny considering how close I was to rolling one when I started playing).

The druid I created the first day I launched the game? She’s still my main character.

Sometimes I don’t play her for ages, either because I’m stuck (no raiding guild and no way to progress further without one, for instance – that happens sometimes) or simply because I’d like a change of pace. But she’s still my main, and she’s the character I love the most. I’ve tried switching mains – it didn’t go well, at all. I missed my druid. Even when I rerolled on a new server at the tail end of vanilla, when server transfers didn’t exist – I created a hunter, figuring I would enjoy the change. Yeah, no. I got that hunter to level 10 and promptly left her there and created another druid.

She’s remained a feral tank pretty much since – well, saying “since the start” would be a lie, because I had to (ugh) heal in vanilla, but since the very first day of Burning Crusade. I’ve switched to healing once or twice – mainly during Wrath, because the guild wanted one extra healer for one boss fight and I had a healing set collected – and hated every second of it. These days I just don’t collect caster gear. Problem solved. My second spec is feral DPS – it’s fun, but ultimately it’s my offspec for a reason. I gear it as an afterthought.

I’m a feral druid. I tank. It’s what I do — and I don’t think that’ll ever change.

Installing WoW on a clunky old laptop: a comedy.

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , on January 7, 2011 by Aeliel

So I’m visiting my family for a few days. This means I’m in a different country, with no access to my usual computer.

What I do have is a clunky old laptop. This laptop has been with me for a long while, and used to run the game better than my normal computer – back in vanilla / TBC times. Yes, it’s that old.

The last patch I installed on it was the Trial of the Crusader patch of yore. But I figured, hey, maybe it’ll run Cataclysm! I won’t be able to use any addons, and I’ll have to play on minimum settings, but I can like, level a baby alt or something.

The first time I tried updating to the current version of WoW was back in October, when I also went to visit my family for a short while. “I’ll just start the downloader overnight, and when I wake up it’ll be downloaded” I thought. So I started the downloader, and woke up to a message stating, in no uncertain terms, “lolnospace”. (Except it used longer words, but that was the gist of it.)

/sigh

/find patch mirror

/download patch to a different drive

/start the updater

Quoth the updater, “lolnospace”.

At this point I had just a few days left before going back home, so I chalked it up to a learning experience and stopped there.

But this time – this time I was prepared. This time I had the Cataclysm DVD. Continue reading

Stories that take you by surprise

Posted in Alts, Roleplaying with tags , , on December 11, 2010 by Aeliel

I’m a storyteller by nature. All my characters have personalities and backstories – some more detailed, some less. Sometimes, they take me by surprise, jumping out at me when I least expect it.

My death knight originated on a roleplay server, although I transferred her off it not long after she hit 80. She used to be a warrior, before dying; she had a paladin sister, and the two were very attached to one another. The paladin thought the death knight was, well, dead; the death knight had a vague idea of where the paladin was, but never sought her out (because of reasons that should be quite obvious, especially considering they’re Draenei).

I was originally planning to create the paladin on the roleplay server and have her run into the death knight by chance, but that plan got scrapped. And so, the paladin eventually got created as part of a recruit-a-friend pair and levelled with Alieth from 1 to 80. I had her vague backstory – the one I’d decided on when I created the death knight – in mind as I created her, but I didn’t really pay it that much attention. I thought – I’m off the roleplay server, when exactly is this backstory going to matter?

The paladin is on my main account, since I did RAF to get the rocket for my main character. The death knight used to be on my main account, but got moved to my second account when I moved her from the roleplay server.

The last time I’d thought of either of their stories was when the death knight finally got her Kingslayer and Ashen Verdict titles, both of which I’d wanted for her for a very long time (because of patently obvious backstory reasons).

Just before the launch of Cataclysm, I transfered my paladin to the server my main character is currently on (something which I’ll have to do with all my other characters who are left on my old server, too, but it’ll take a while). This entailed gathering some gold I’d earned on the server, as well as materials I’d collected or left there, and stuffing them in the paladin’s bags.

The death knight had some items I wanted to move, so I launched a second copy of the game, logged her in and ran her to the paladin.

And both characters were suddenly very prominent in my mind – and they just froze, staring at each other.

It was the first time they’d actually been face to face in the game world.

The “chance” meeting on the roleplay server would’ve been, in reality, carefully planned, down to every character interaction. This one wasn’t planned at all: it took me by surprise as much as the characters, since the characters’ story was the furthest thing from my mind at the time.

I may have to actually write down the entire story of the meeting.