Flying in Stormwind

This week's BA Shared Topic is Initial Thoughts on Cataclysm

What I've been doing has pretty much been the same as other folks: levelling my level 80 towards 85 and/or levelling a newer toon through the changed Azeroth. There are a few things to note.

I almost squeeled with glee doing the dailies in Stormwind. I wanted a break from questing in Hyjal, so I ported into the Mage's Tower, stopped at the top of the spiral ramp and hopped on my mount. I flew over to Robby Flay to pick up King's Cider and hopped back on my mount. I floated across the canal to grab the fishing daily. Flying between apple trees was just plain fun! I got to see things so differently from above those roof tops. No winding run to get to what-her-name's pond for fishing, just up and over! The distances around SW are familiar but shorter compared to say Icecrown.

I'm still frustrated that I can't learn my Feathered Lure! I bought and paid for it and as far as I can tell, I meet the pre-requisites, but apparently it's bugged.

Another change I'm adjusting to is the new laptop. I shouldn't get too used to it since Syylia is taking it away with her soon, but I got the Identity add-on installed. It's just too convenient to use the nice fast new machine. Cataclysm is up and working on both of the other laptops, but I can't resist the shiny new thing. The problem is my fingers can't seem to find some of the keys. I'm spending far too much time in combat hunting for what should be natural. And I've never taken a screenshot because that key sequence is just wrong for the layout.

I'm glad I have the Find Fish ability. As a Mage, Enchanter/Tailor, I'm not tracking anything else and there hasn't been any competition over fishing pools in Hyjal. I'll grab those [Mountain Trout] at every opportunity. Sometimes it's a bit surreal, quietly fishing in a stream while Elemental Fire is raining down on the other side of the creek. There was one bugged pool in a cave. I kept getting flagged as "In Combat" and it wouldn't allow me to switch back to my fighting clothes.

Syylia experimented with Archaeology first and I only started with it last night. I wasn't ready to jump back into questing and thought it'd be a change of pace. My map showed two sites in Stranglethorn and two in Wetlands. I took the opportunity to pick up new flight paths in Wetlands while finding my first few Dwarven pieces. Cleaning out those two sites gave me a new node in southern Hillsbrad, so I grabbed those too. Instead of heading south, I decided I'd give Kalimdor a try. Supposedly, there's a chance for Tol'vir discoveries. My first two sites were in Felwood and Winterspring. My next two were both in Desolace. All four sites yielded Night Elf pieces and my skill is at 22. It'll be a slow grind, but it made for an interesting break.
All those unusable quest greens have already allowed me to start accumulating some disenchantment action. My skill is still a bit short of the old max 450, so I need to work on that sometime.

I've been selling ten [Netherweave Bags] for around 20g each every day this week. That's about all that's moving on the Auction House.

So how's your experience going?

The Portal Business

Martuska is a Mage, so I know I've been spoiled a bit. I've spent some time on non-Mages, but when Hallow's End needed me to zip around a continent to Inns to Trick or Treat for candy, it really underscored how handy teleport can be.

I watched poor Syylia as she had to move from flight path to flight path.

Yes, It's good to be a Mage.

Now the other bloggers rant or apologize for Blizzard, I sympathize and worry, but it bothers only a little. I worry just how painful it will be as I level my newer toons.

Still, I had a thought and was very pleased to see it echoed by Klepsacovic. Why couldn't there be a second hearthstone? It would still require some travel to see the sights, but having one set to your current exploration station and the other set to your preferred capital would be a significant improvement.

Another thought, and less fleshed out, would be Why not make it crafted? I could see Blacksmiths making the initial stone, like they do with Enchanter's Rods. Then an Enchanter is needed to wave their hands over it.

They could even make it multi-level. An Expert BS could craft a stone that only binds to an Azeroth capital city. For most folks, this would be satisfactory, too! A higher level stone binds to any Vanilla Inn while other stones work for Outland or Northrend.

It's a thought.

Start of Kallifornia

Like, totally cool vibes, folks.
So, like, despite arranging flowers at my family's herb shop in Ironforge, I knew I be looking for someting different and improve my karmic potential. When the Elemental Unrest raged thru the town and we had ta bunker down and hit back, I had a new inspiration. After talking ta an Earthen Ring shaman, I found my calling.

When I finished my Shaman Initiation, I be in Coldridge Valley. Tings werena as quiet as ta older folks in my family said they'd be. I had to do my part fighting back the Troggs. I had recently mastered throwing Lightning Bolts around like some hero of old.

I suppose Hero of Olde sounds better, but I willna be pandering to such labels. It be workin for ta Power Structures, which isna natural.

Teo Hammerstorm taught me a few more tings, so besides sending Lightning Bolt at a foe until they got close, I hit 'em with an Earth Shock and a Primal Strike. Having learnt what I could in Anvilmar, I wanted to see new tings. I was in Stormwind City for the Pilgrim's Bounty and now I be a much better cook den any in my family.

I returned to Dun Morogh and Kharanos, where Halbin Frosthammer be learning me many new tings about da elemental balance of tings, but I still be looking for when I need healing. Maybe someday soon, but I did my part fighting off a Dark Iron invasion which soon found me reportin to ta Council of Three Hammers. Falstad be reasonable, but I didna much trust Moira. Someting didna sound right. I know I should be helping Ironforge in Loch Modan, but instead found myself returning south to da human lands.

I be settled at the Golden Keg in the Dwarven district and be familiar with my way about the town. I be trained in First Aid, altho not quite an Expert yet. Since gold lust be bringing too much negativity, I willna be learning to Mine. Instead I couldn't leave sparklies too far away and enjoy Disenchanting tings to dust. I also want to speed the decomposition of dead creatures, returning them to basic elements as life intends, so I learnt Skinnin.

My most recent journey has led me to Westfall and the enlarged Sentinel Hill fort.

Day Thirty Six - 7 Nov 2010

Maraudon
I first deliberately selected Maraudon Purple. My action bar and macros need improvement as I'm positive I wasn't taking full advantage of the optimal rotation. A warrior DPS kept playing "Off Tank" and pulled or played threat games. It wasn't much fun, but I needed to concentrate on my own duties and let him play his own games. The run was fast, but confusing and nothing fun dropped. I did ding level 41.

I spent a bit of time rewriting macros and redoing the action bars. I had hopes it would be an improvement. This time I allowed RND to determine my dungeon, even if it meant orange or Zul'farak. Instead it returned me to Maraudon Purple. I knew better where to go, but this time I had an overeager and overpowered Rogue that wanted to lead. Things were still confusing although I was doing much better DPS. I wasn't doing any better at managing threat and lost one DPS when he pulled something away from me and I didn't notice until getting ready for the next pull and saw he was dead. The healer was just starting to rez him when I got to him. The rogue was heading on by himself, but survived his solo pull.

In our eagerness, we had passed the boss and needed to backtrack. As an encounter, it went the smoothest since I didn't need to worry much about AoE threat issues. Nothing dropped for me and even the blue bag was a Tumultuous Ring that didn't match my needs.

BA Shared Topic Idea: Home Sweet...

Aldonza was sweeping up dust and gravel from the latest earthquake in Ironforge when her old friend Kallixta came up. "Gave up trying to sleep. Got enough rest, I suppose. Way too long since I slept through the night. In fact, if an hour goes by one night without a quake, it'll wake me up!"

A dry, dusty cloud rose from the bin as Aldonza threw her sweepings away. She had to blink to clear her eyes again. "Very unsettling. No place feels safe anymore. It's even worse at home. You want your home to be a refuge and it isn't."

Kallixta's eyes were tracing a crack up the wall to where it would disappear somewhere towards the high ceiling. "Being human, you don't like all the rock o'er yer head?" She turned the statement into a question, although it was rhetorical.

"No, but you do, doncha?"

Surprisingly, Kallixta slowly shook her head. "I suppose it's undwarvenly. Maybe it's from where I grew."

Aldonza's expressive face showed her surprise, "Not here?"

With a gesture, Kallixta shepherded her friend back to their usual table in the Stonefire Tavern. She needed to sit for this and she wanted some food. Gwenna brought the order to the table as they settled down. "I've told you about Da and his travelling, eh?"

Giving a simple nod, Aldonza was afraid to say anything that might disrupt new information from her taciturn friend.

"It's why we were living at Aerie's peak when I was young. And the Wildhammers love having openings to the sky, fer the gryphons, you see? It's more on the mountain side than here, so it's a might easier to be out'a doors. And if yer a young lass fascinated by gryphons, you might spend more time watching the windriders. It all means I spent my most impressionable years on top of a mountain, not inside one." The paladin's eyes showed the distance of her thoughts. "I think the Wildhammers weren't as fussed about it, neither. They all'd been fighting underground against the Dark Irons, so Underground didn't mean safety to them and I suppose it stuck to me."

"And you miss the Hinterlands?" Aldonza gave Kallixta an indulgent smile.

Acknowledging the truth, Kallixta smiled and shrugged. "That the last place we were a family together. Mum was sent off to Redridge and Da went off fighting, dying at Hyjal, or near enough. Things just weren't the same."

"Things change all the time, Kalli," the human warned the dwarf. "And you can't go back."

"Oh I've been back. It wonderful to revisit Aerie Peak, but yer right in it ain't the same." With a stretch, Kallixta brought her arms out wide, then drew them back in, to pull her hair back. She adjusted how it was gathered at the back of her head. "And much change is fer the better, you know? Lordaeron is recovering some. It's been what, eight years? And the ghastly cauldron fields are lifting. I talked about impressionable years, but that's something else. I watched it happen. The Silver Hand was shattered by Arthas, but they still tried their best. Everything seemed in chaos, but I watched them stay true. And they rescued me and returned me here, but I weren't the same after that. I knew what I had to do. I had to do my part in protecting the places I called home. Places like here and Aerie Peak and the former plaguelands."

Aldonza sighed. "It's so different to me. My home outside Stormwind hasn't suffered like so many. We've had some bandit problems in Northshire, but no invasions or other catastrophe, thank the light."

The pair of friends smiled at each other, in common agreement. Kallixta summarized her feelings, "There's no place like home."

Day Thirty Five - 2 Nov 2010

Kallixta ran through some of the pre-Cata event quests, including infiltrating the doomsday cultists in Stormwind, stopping just short of level 42. The plan was then to run a dungeon to ding.

But the LFD rolled up Maraudon, which I wasn't ready for. I mentioned in party chat that I probably couldn't navigate it well, and somebody immediately dropped group. I was preparing to consult notes outside of the game (Hots and Dots has excellent dungeon advice), when chat turned negative.

I dropped group. I immediately felt selfish and wanted to apologize. I realized I should have at least said something else before leaving the group. Still, how much guilt is appropriate?

I've since consulted Hots and Dots excellent Maraudon Purple side guide and know it should be a fast run. It's just a single boss. If I'd had a chance to review the page... Oh well. Time moves on.

Day Thirty Four - 31 Oct 2010

Macros and Rotation
I had been so overwhelmed the last time I visited Kallixta, that it was easier to enjoy Martuska and let her seek Hallow's End achievements then spend the effort of getting Kallixta back up to speed. I finally tried it last night.

I knew the theory behind the new 3X rotation and found some useful macros at Maintankadin, so I hoped I could brush her off and get levelling again.

Something was wrong, but it wasn't until late that I discovered my real problem. I hadn't correctly specced! I selected Grand Crusader instead of Shield of the Righteous! Argh! I wouldn't fix that until after I'd jumped into the queue for a random dungeon. Most dungeons were SM, so what would the chances be that I'd end up in either Uldaman or Maraudon?

Uldaman
I could run us through the beginning easily enough. And my attempts at rotation put me way on top of the DPS recount. I wasn't losing threat. All good, except I had the suspicion that while I was overpowered, others weren't doing their job.

We got passed Baelog and had Revelosh in our sights when two folks dropped from the group, including whoever had the gem! We weren't going to be doing Ironaya. I got a nice bracer drop from Revelosh and one of the newly joined was a little gnome warrior that could really pack a punch. She knew the path better, so we let he lead a bit. She'd still let me tank the bosses, but proved she didn't need my help on trash. The rest of the run was wonderfully smooth. I didn't need to check my map and we were done in short time. I did discover how big a consumer of mana Consecration is. I'll be leaving that off unless I really need it!
Level 41
Somewhere underground I dinged, but didn't notice. All that rested XP zipped me along nicely, so as I looked at spending my talent point, I discovered the speccing error I had made before. I spent less than 2 gold and started over. That was the best money spent recently! I didn't try rewriting my "Nines" macro yet, but I think I'll enjoy a much better rotation when I return, which will be much sooner!

With the level bump, I could equip the Heavy Mithril Breastplate. I visited the Auction House and picked up a few Rugged Armor Kits cheap and pasted those on anything that qualified. I definately boosted my armor with these changes.

Day Thirty Three - 24 Oct 2010

Adjusting to 4.0.1
Everybody already knows what a big change this patch was. I had the difficulty that most attention on adapting was focussed upon level 80 characters, not folks halfway. I trained and specced something in the Protection Talent Tree. I tried putting my spells on my action bar, but discovered way too many, and I didn't understand the new ones.

I did buy Dual Talent, since it is so much cheaper. I'd love to explore healing and the Holy Tree, but that has different gearing and I'll need to train how to mash those buttons. This was an impulse purchase because of the price change and I needed to respec Protection anyway.

I wasn't going to count this day as "Real", because it was just a visit, but I did Trick or Treat, and gained a Sparkling Smile and Experience. Therefore it counts despite the short visit and being intimidated by the changes.

Razuvious - 27 Oct 2010

I'm still enjoying Martuska instead of Kallixta. I managed to select talent points for the Paladin and practice the new rotation with a dummy, but Hallow's End gave me the excuse to concentrate on Achievements with the Mage.

Martuska has been playing Treat or Treat since the holiday started and last night the Headless Horseman kill dropped the Hallowed Helm, allowing completion of Hallowed By Thy Name. My excuse is gone and I need to return to Kallixta soon.

Meanwhile, I got to join the weekly raid last night, Razuvious in Naxxramas. We were overpowered, even me despite never having entered Naxx before, and it was as straight-forward as anything I'd seen. It was difficult for me to see who was doing the mind-control. My job was just burning down the boss. I was a little surprised to see how much damage came my way and my Ice Barrier was quickly burned away, but the heals kept me up. The run went so quick, I wish I asked if we could complete the quarter, but I stayed quiet.

We followed the raid with a quick 5-man heroic guild run. The RNG sent us to Utgarde Pinnacle for my third visit. I knew better, but didn't get out of Skadi's whirlwind quick enough. I hestitated in blinking away and didn't do my share in earning the achievements that came my way: Lodi Dodi We Loves the Skadi and My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time.

The wealth of Justice Points meant a visit to Rueben and my second Tier 10 piece, legs this time. I remembered to enchant them and bought some gems (still concentrating on Hit Rating), but I forgot to enchant my new ring I got from the Headless Horseman earlier. I only noticed this morning and it has reminded me I need to send Syylia enchantments for all her new Iceborne gear.

BA Shared Topic Idea: The Way of the True Paladin

I have been thinking of what flavour items and achievements would make a character of your class truly a member of said class. For the Druid class I have come up with some (fairly obvious) things.

What about your class? Which items, titles, mounts, achievements exist in the World of Warcraft which a true master of the class would possess? How would you go about getting them today?

- Rakhman


Kallixta has not been a Paladin long, but she knows her dream and her idols.

Titles
One title fits with the Way of the True Paladin more than any other, Crusader. It shows that one is dedicated and has persevered to be a Champion for all members of the Alliance or Horde. While other classes can earn the title, Kallixta feels a Paladin should be expected to earn it.

It would also be appropriate for a Paladin to earn Kingslayer, ending the threat by the best known former Paladin.

Mount
Paladins have their own warhorse.  Why should they choose anything else? Well, there are mounts that will take a Paladin to where they are needed quicker or by air. It should still be battleworthy, something suitable for charging into the fray. It could be argued that a war mount earned in the battlegrounds, such as a
Black War Steed, or maybe the Armored Brown Bear of Dalaran is acceptable, but that would apply to any of the other war horses and none charge any quicker. To be faster, the Paladin would need a flying mount. The quintessential Alliance flying mount for a paladin would be any of the gryphon or swift gryphon mounts. The Armored Snowy Gryphon isn't any faster than the other swift gryphons.

Those are the practical answers, but are there mounts that represent something beyond the practical? A mount earned at the Argent Tournament speaks highly of a Paladin's past efforts, especially the Argent Charger or Argent Hippogryph.

Achievements
There are few achievements that appeal to Kallixta as essential to a Paladin's nature. One aspect that may not be part of every Paladin's experience, but is to Kallixta, is service to others. A Paladin must be useful to others, sacrificing something to improve life for the many. It is in keeping with this vision of Paladins that Kallixta expects to earn the Looking for More and other achievements in this chain. Grouping as the Tank or Healer with the LFD tool has always been part of her experience. I suppose that means the title "The Patient" belongs in the above Title paragraph. Conversely, the achievement associated with "The Crusader" title belongs here.

Conclusion
Your mileage may vary. Batteries not included. No animals were harmed in the making of this post, except some in Azeroth and Outland while working on Pest Control, of course. Any resemblance to a true paladin, either living or undead, is purely coincidental.

Adjusting to 4.0.1 - 12 Oct 2010

Only half of the Add-ons were available, but I was yearning to experiment and start the adjustments, at least with Martuska.

Mana Obscura supplied a reasonable guide for the first night. The talent tree as designed by Blizzard means the theorycrafters aren't ready to declare a single perfect talent. Instead I could relay on my own judgement! I'm frost and I concentrated on Single Target DPS. I'll need to redo, but it's not horrible.

I fixed my action bars and reviewed my macros and then I wanted to test it out. I grabbed the Tournament Dailies and tested the new build on some bad guys. Up until yesterday Recount was telling me I was getting between 1300 and 1500 DPS. Recount was now showing occasional bursts over 3000!? I was burning mobs too quick to see if they were hitting much harder. The new Poweraura looks are distracting, but I don't expect that to last.

I even burned Chillmaw very quick. I had an issue equiping the correct lance, but eventually I got the Commanders and turned in 4 quests and it was time to visit a city.

I trained Mastery and Wizardy, confirmed my equipment and enchants was still in order. I found I need to either load Auctionator or avoid the AH for a bit. Thus I'm not touching my Glyphs today. I found how cheap it is to reforged any spirit. I next tested myself on the Dummies and confirmed that while the numbers were spikey, I was often doing over 3000 DPS.

Thus it came that I decided to try a random non-heroic. Wow! Insta-queue as DPS? Uh oh, I got an unfamiliar loading screen! Pit of Saron? Well, everybody else was still adjusting right? I'm sure I wouldn't be the poorest. We had somebody d/c every other minute for a bit, but it was never the tank or healer. I stuck just behind the tank and felt I was doing my part. Two bosses went down quick. We'd been stable for a bit and then the healer d/c'd. The paladin tank decided to try tackling trash and he managed fine until the healer returned. We had some nasty lag, but everybody was feeling pretty good. I was very happy to be doing this well and comforted by my recount numbers that I was doing my job. My AoE DPS on trash was nothing exciting though. And a few minutes later, Pit of Saron was complete!

I had not won much and missed on my greed on the cloak. The healer commiserated on my loss and the tank and healer invited me to continue. The insta-queue next dropped us in the Forge of Souls. At least I had a better idea of what I was doing. When I found myself standing in Bronjahm's Soulstorm, I blinked into the center, happily. Another few minutes and the Devourer went down. I still missed winning anything, but I'd been on long enough and stopped there for the night.

After some shopping with my new justice points weighing in my pocket, I was convinced to buy a T10 piece, since it wasn't that much more than a T9 piece. I got the shoulders as being a cheaper piece that was a significant upgrade. I grabbed a gem, but further research hints I should swap. I need to push towards hitcap a bit more.

The guild moved their raid on the weekly to tonight and they seem willing to let me come. It's Razorscale and I'm not quite geared for Ulduar. I don't want to be carried, but I spent time today understanding the tactics, just in case.

BA Shared Topic Idea: What's in a Name?

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)?

When I need a name, I prefer to use a real world, if slightly ethnic, name. My daughter has a real world friend from Hungary. Martuska is the Hungarian version of Martha. When I was staring at the blank name box, I needed some inspiration, so I pushed "Random". I didn't expect to use the result, but I wanted an idea. I don't know what letters it gave me, but it looked like Calista, which was the name of a character in a story I'd recently read. That name was taken, but after poking about for variations, I arrived at Kallixta.

It just so happens that for my first Bank Mule, I used Rocinante, the name of Don Quijote's horse. To continue the theme, the Bank Alt, also female, became Quijota. A subsequent Bank Alt is named Aldonza. This theme looks premeditated, so I'll claim that.

Sidestep for Brewfest

Kallixta is about leveling, not achievements. She is about exploring different things. I already have one character that has been collecting mounts, pets and  achievements, especially holidays. So when Brewfest 2010 started, I started playing Martuska for all those lovely Brewfest Achievements. When I discovered the advantages of daily visiting Corin, however, something else happened. Not only was I grinding Brewfest Tokens, but I was picking up 2 Emblems of Frost a day, and unlike LarĂ­sa, I was smiling.

The thing about this Emblem giveaway, it enticed me to relearn Martuska and enjoy her. I got her to level 80, but she stopped being fun. So while visiting her daily, I also spent some brain sweat figuring out how to upgrade her. I skill leveled her Tailoring and made myself Ebonweave Robes and Gloves and a Hat of Wintry Doom. I spent some Stone Keeper Shards before they disappear. Her Gear Number at Wowhead went from 1469 last month to 1802 now. I improved her Hit Rating to something respectable, at least for Heroic 5-mans. In fact, wow-heroes thinks she's ready of Naxx and OS.

Last night Martuska officially joined Saga and with 2 guild mates, we joined the random queue and ended up doing Heroic AN. I spent way too much time trying to target the desired mob and of course was low on DPS, but I don't think I did horribly.

Now with patch 4.0.1 due soon, I'll probably continue exercising Martuska until after I adjust to those changes.

Day Thirty Two - 19 Sept 2010

I jumped into the queue and was pulled into the Armory immediately. There was an annoying rogue that would pull and otherwise go,go,go but it was never too large and although I had to work to grab threat back, but it all meant the run went quicker. I wanted to get it over with and we did! Herod's Shoulders dropped yet again. Time for a different SM instance.

To finish the Into the Light quest, I ran the Library instance. This group was much better and we zipped through with happiness. Boom, done.

I spent the next bit of time finishing some quests in Desolace, turning up Combatant Claymore, which was an improvement to the old hammer. When I finally got to Southshore, that quest turn in allowed me to ding 40!

My next step was to Ironforge for the Harvest Festival. I flew back to Southshore and started the hike to  Uthor's Tomb. The run to Aerie's Peak was easy enough. There I met fellow guildmember and fellow Dwarf Paladin, Harkalst. He had a special Level 40 Present for me, the full collection of Heavy Mithril armor, which provided me an immediate upgrade. We made a quick dash up the plague mist trail to the back entrance to Uther's Tomb. It made for an interesting role play opportunity, including action with his squire! When I returned to Ironforge to finish the journey, I got my 250th Quest! The day allowed me to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I wish I could have played Sunday, too.

Leveling Scheduling

I plotted out my current rate of increasing level against time and projected a few points using my current pace. It shows I could reach max level on my Vanilla Wow account by the end of next month.

You can see my leveling bumps tend to occur on weekends. I need to continue averaging just more than 3 levels per week to follow the fast pace. Two levels on one weekend morning are easy, but that consumes the Rested XP bonus. Reaching that third level relies on something more. That something extra was quality quest XP from Dungeoning, which happened a couple times, but isn't reliable. Uldaman has too many pre-instance quests that need lots of travel. Still, it's a goal.

I'm going to mention that I don't expect to upgrade to Burning Crusade quickly. I want to experience life as a level 60 for a bit of time. I doubt I can do any level 60 raiding, but I do want to re-run dungeons to complete my Lightforge set and upgrade the Soulforge pieces. I want to also build my PvP gear, but that might be tough at the bottom of a tier. I guess that means staying in Alterac Valley for some time.

Those are my current thoughts. Have you ever delayed adding your expansion?

Day Thirty One - 16 Sept 2010

Now that Kallixta has actually earned Scarlet Monastery, did I want to re-run just to complete the quest? Without a better plan, I thought I'd give it a try. The undead in Desolace fall much quicker at level 38 than at 33! Especially as I was now taking full advantage of Exorcism. With a few more quests in that zone, I had my level 39 before heading to Southshore and the SM quest.

Without a preference, I selected the 3 SM instances on LFD and jumped in the queue. Bam: Cathedral. I found out the others had been in the queue for around an hour. Everyone want the XP, so we worked through all the mobs possible. We lost a DPS just after opening doors to the cathedral itself, a pet chased a runner and suddenly we had 3 more patrols added to a fight. By the time we had run back from the graveyard, the DPS had reconnected. Being more careful, we cleared the cathedral floor and were just flushing out the corner rooms when we lost the healer. There was no warning and we weren't sure what to do. The druid agreed to try to keep an eye on healing while we waited. The rooms provided easy fights without too much worry. A healer joined just in time for the miniboss. I don't know what opens the door to the miniboss's cell, but that was a very easy fight. We provided a summary of the final battle to at least one party member that didn't know the script and the battle was so smooth, I'll never worry about it again.

I won a Nice Mace if I dual spec to Holy next level and I won a great Tanking Shield. The experience was so nice, I think I will return to the Armory and Library to improve my tanking weapon with the quest reward.

Day Thirty - 12 Sept 2010

I managed to take some decent screenshots! I'm certain I can improve, but that I managed these was a small victory.

I participated in Operation Gnomeregan as much as a thirty-something can. I really enjoyed it. It was fun, funny and simple. It was simply enjoyable.
Kallixta Roars!
I roared. I cheered. I did my part.
Kallixta Cheers!

I was energized and dinged level 37 quickly. Fast money and XP was wonderful! I ran around Dustwallow Marsh, completing up a few easy quests, and exploring to completion my first zone in Kalimdor. I also had been accumulating the cards for the Mages Deck. This yielded Darkmoon Pendant which would have been great a week ago, before a satchel dropped a better necklace. Without difficulty, I dinged level 38.

I went to my trainer and felt ready for the SM Cathedral. But just before I selected it, I decided to try a random first. Where did the Random LFD send me? Cathedral!
Another one bites the dust!
I didn't win anything great from the run, except from the satchel itself, with a Monkey's Ring and I immediately equipped. Shifting into a quieter mode, I did some fishing outside Stormgarde Keep in Arathi until my skill was something over 200 and I had sufficient Mithril Head Trout to level my cooking to artisan level as well.

Day Twenty Nine - 6 Sept 2010

Kallixta run through Scarlet Monastery - Armory again, determined to reach level 36. I love how simple and straight forward the dungeon is, reminding me strongly of how Northrend Dungeons operate, straight through to one boss. Despite needing, I missed the Scarlet Leggings.

With the new level, I hurried to my trainer. Actually, since the Paladin trainer is inside the Stormwind Cathedral and the Cathedral is often the home to RP, I've made it a habit that as I'm entering the Cathedral, I toggle my walk/run key and saunter through the Cathedral to my trainer. I also strolled across to the First Aid trainer. I'd been neglecting it a little and had the silk to spare.

When the Artisan in First Aid popped, I got a few gz from my guild and one humorous groan about Tailors weeping. Having been a tailor before, I knew exactly how that felt. I had happy to discover I reached Mageweave Bandages and could sell my spare Silk back for a profit.

It still being early on a holiday, I decided to run a random. I had time if the LFD tool gave me something horribly long or difficult, but it gave me yet another Armory run. I was very pleased. I apparently greeded and won Herod's Shoulders again. I had forgotten I'd already won it and couldn't wear it yet. The Satchel gave me a Ring with stats that just aren't good enough to replace what I'm already using. Oh well.

And I still failed to get a good snapshot!

Day Twenty Eight - 5 Sept 2010

Kallixta worked through her accumulated resources to level her skill in Blacksmithing and Mining. In particular, she pushed past level 200, allowing her to train as Artisan. With the new threshold, she grabbed a bunch of new recipes and created a few Steel Plate Helm, which will hopefully sell for a profit. Kallixta can't wear one herself until level 40.

Since the SM Library was so short and sweet now, hardly taking half an hour, I decided I'd try SM Armory. If anything, it was even easier than the library! Before tackling Herod, I checked that my party knew the script. I didn't even need to worry about the whirlwind much and those non-elites died very, very quick.

I won Dog Training Gloves on greed. I usually pass on things like that, but without thinking too much about it, selected greed and won. With much more deliberation, I hit need after Herod fell and won Herod's Shoulders. I was surprised to discover I'll need to wait before equipping them, too.

Activity for 5 Sep

I'm still horrible at grabbing a screen image when an achievement pops up. Instead I decided to wait for the smoke to clear and got this:

Day Twenty Seven - 4 Sept 2010

The Darkmoon Faire is one of those things I've never explored, despite it being around for years. I had done some research and knew this weekend was my opportunity to experiment. Aldonza had been buying pieces on the cheap for over a month now, things like small furry paws and vibrant plumes. So Saturday morning found Kallixta gathering up her materials and running to Goldshire. There were some surprises as I turned in items for tickets. At least one tier closed early, opening another tier for an extra turn in. Luckily I had far more vibrant plumes than I needed (and planned to sell for a profit now that this week means they're in demand).

So now I'm sitting at 2575/3000 Neutral with the Darkmoon Faire, but still less than 100 tickets. Grinding for reputation or tickets doesn't seem like much fun. The most obvious thing to follow up on would be cards for decks. One in particular appeals to me, the Mages Deck and the Darkmoon Pendant it yields. I'll just shop the Auction House for a bit. If I get stuck, then I'll ask around for an Inscriptionist and provide the materials.

Later in the afternoon, I decided I was ready to tackle a dungeon and selected random. I got the Scarlet Monastery Library. I was nervous about runners and holding aggro. The group was very good and when I hit "share" on the book quest, I was surprised how many didn't have it! They were appreciative and someone else knew exactly where we needed to go. I guess I was a bit cautious in my pulls, but received encouragement for it. I spent time reading every book we passed for the Well Read achievement.

Arcanist Doan fell soon enough.

The satchel provided a necklace with an uninspiring bonus. Turning in the quest gave me level 35, and then I decided to queue up again. I deliberately selected Library this time and had a rare bad pug. When the queue pops, I start typing a Welcome message in the party chat. I often have it ready before everybody zones in. It's usually "Welcome! Let's take a moment to buff and let me know when you're ready". I don't want to sound dictatorial, but it also reminds folks why I'm not running after the first mob. Not this time. I hadn't buffed ANYBODY yet when someone had already dashed into the hall and started combat.

I carefully said something about waiting for the healer to mana up before moving on. I had handled large pulls in the prior run, but I also knew runners meant adds would arrive while Consecration was on cool down, yet the DPS were demanding "BIGGER PULLZ" in lawl speak. After they pulled deliberately again, I had enough. "Then you can tank. Goodbye." And I left the party.

I felt bad about leaving the healer, but there was no way I'd enjoy finishing that pug. It wasn't worthwhile. I refuse to feel guilty. I requeued soon enough and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I experimented with bigger and bigger pulls while checking with the party if that was okay. The communication was supportive and I was happy with the result.

With the bad taste diluted after that, I felt I could end the night in good conscience.

I worry about the state of Azeroth Library Science though

Day Twenty Six - 3 Sept 2010

I knew I had to deal with some of those little frustrations right off, and I did. None were difficult and soon I was ready to try Razerfen Downs. I pushed the LFD and we were off. Well, it popped up in two seconds, but the healer declined. The second time in the queue took over 7 minutes.

I had a couple DPS that kept pulling before the priest and I were ready. The Mage would die from the mob, but the warlock managed fine. I would also lose threat to them quickly and asked for a wait to allow me to build threat. After I asked, they did fine.

I accidentally rang the gong before we were ready, but we managed fine. We even 4 manned it as the mage went AFK. We couldn't kick him while there was a loot roll.

Things moved on okay until trying the escort quest. Somebody started the thing before everybody got the quest and it wouldn't allow us to share once he started running, and boy did he run back! We did fine until the final wave with the boss. I got silenced and never managed to reacquire aggro. Somehow we all lived, but it was the scariest fight of the instance.

The rest of the dungeon went better. They'd allow me to acquire the mobs and I didn't lose aggro very often. It all went quick and soon Razorfen Downs popped up.

I traveled to Ironforge before I realized I needed to return to the Stormwind Cathedral to turn in the RFD complete quest. i didn't need the necklace, but I'm very happy with the Vanquisher's Sword,

I went to Desolace for the SM quest chain, but discovered the intermediate chain was asking me to soloing undead that were 3 or 4 levels higher and the fights took way too long for my patience. It would be fine if I could find another to duo with, but that sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore. At least the run to southern Desolace allowed me to mine a bunch of iron and mithril.

I went to Refuge Point and spent 300 Honor for much better boots, I could afford the trinket. but I fear I'd never remember to use the thing.

I did a bit of skill leveling, smelting and smithing. I managed to score a bunch of inexpensive citrines which allowed for me to make some Green Iron Helms that I hope to actually profit on. I managed to dump a bunch more stuff to Aldonza.

Stupid Level 33

There's something strange about my current state. At level 33, the LFD tool offers 3/4 of Scarlet Monastery, yet the In the Name of the Light Quest requires level 34, so I would need to rekill any bosses accomplished on this level. It's a relic of the old instance grouping days and I'm happy there aren't more of these annoyances, but this one is a pain.

Gnomeregan is green and long and confusing, so I've little interest in returning. So that leaves Razerfen Downs. However, both RFD and SM Armory are red. I've noticed that when I run those, I tend to be the lowest level party member and those DPS are much more likely to pull threat. I'm much, much happier at yellow. Oh well.

So far, I've run all these instances available at level (that is, not soloing when my level is twice the appropriate level or something), but I'm not really trying to level with the LFD tool exclusively, like the Pugging Paladin. I want to run the dungeons with most if not all the quests, which means running about gathering them, which often leads to some PvE XP, and that's fine.

But some of these quests are very hard to gather. One of the RFK quests requires a run to Thalanaar in Feralas, but by the time I'm close to level appropriate for that, RFK has dropped off my LFD tool.

Before this rant starts repeating, I'll try to switch gears and talk about gearing.

While being methodical in running dungeons, I don't select them randomly very often. I've gotten lucky on my satchel drops and I'm not hurting for good gear. I've nothing against running things repeatedly for a purpose, but while levelling that conflicts with my interest in trying lots of different things. Therefore I expect I won't be running SM many, many times. Maybe I should because I think the Scarlet Crusade set looks really cool. Of course, everything looks better than my current metal bikini.

Day Twenty Five - 1 Sept 2010

It was a short, somewhat frustrating time last night. I ran through the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard again and with rested XP gained about 1/2 a level.

The frustrations came from several small things. I still haven't gotten ThreatPlates reconfigured correctly, so when I lost threat, it was harder to grab back than it should have been. I also haven't finished writing some macros, remapping some keys or fixing my camera settings.

I really need to include "/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",50)" somewhere. I mapped the camera toggle view, but I'm trying to improve my situational awareness and feel I'm learning too slow.

I was thinking of writing a "/target *RAREBOSS*" kind of macro. The final graveyard boss doesn't give me much loot compared to those rares. Have you got a better method for finding those rare bosses in the graveyard?

Day Twenty Four - 30 August 2010

I spent some time reconfiguring my addons on the laptop. Something wasn't right and I eventually fixed it, but it meant reloading Threat plates and I lost my prior settings. I'll need to fix that soon.

I flew down to Booty Bay and picked up some recipes for Aldonza, took the boat to Ratchet and headed south. I took the Great Lift down, ran to the Feralas flight path then back through the canyons to the Shimmering Flats. I did a bit of grinding on Turtles, Scorpions and Basilisk before I turned in quests. i was close, but not quite level 33. I headed over the hills to get the Gadgetzan flight path, flew back up to Ratchet, sailed to Booty Bay and by the time I'd turned in those quests, I'd dinged.

I queued for another run in Gnomeregan. Things went well until Emi Shortfuse did her thing. Suddenly  folks started running into the cave and killing the troggs there. I tried calling them back, assuring them they'd come to us, but they ended up abandoning unlooted corpses to escape before Emi brought down the house.

I failed to win Grubbis Paws and then the healer and the warlock left!

We three manned the trash until the dormitory. I washed the grime encrusted ring and a bunch of other grimy things, but we eventually gave up. I left the group to finish the ring quest chain. A couple reagent arrangements and a trip to Ironforge got me a new ring!

Day Twenty Three - 29 August 2010

I've discovered that taking screen shots isn't easy. At first. I just was forgetting. then I discovered that each of my computers uses a slightly different key sequence. I'd need to double check what I was doing, adding a delay and resulting in lousy shots. When I get the desktop stable, I'm sure it'll improve.

So I knew I had some comfortable time today. I could run a random LFD. If I got Stocks, at least it would be quick. I wanted to run any of the others. It gave me the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. We went straight to the final boss and nothing dropped for me:

I lost the greed roll on the Headguard
So that was nice and fast. The Tumultuous Necklace of the Bear dropped from the satchel of goodies. Just the enchantment I wanted!

With that done, I decided I'd like to select Razerfen Kraul. I had to wait a few minutes, but then we got going. Things were going smoothly. The first three bosses succumbed to our might. Overlord Ramtusk dropped just what I wanted: Tusken Helm!We moved on and were getting close to the next boss when my laptop went dark. It's a strange problem and only rebooting seemed to fix it.I'm sorry I left my group in the lurch like that, but I suppose they got another tank before too long. By this time I was just short of level 31 and I had my interest soured by the cranky laptop, so I took a break.

Later I got set up on the good laptop and got threat-plates and some other addons all set up. It was time to run Gnomeregan. The party was looking for XP and was perfectly happy to hunt down every boss. We shared quests and took off. I felt we did fine. The instance isn't easy to navigate through, but we found Grubbis easily enough and nobody got trapped in the explosions. We got to the room we knew had a boss, but couldn't spot him, "Vicious Fallout" just doesn't look like a boss, but we figured it out when the blue dagger popped up. Time to move on.

I didn't have problems with threat or runners, but I was burning through the mana. I had to drink twice and uses a mana potion twice to keep things going. After the third boss, we knew finding the fourth would be tricky, but one party member volunteered and led us down with some fancy jumping. No one misjumped and we got to the Crowd Pummeler. We knew exactly where to go next. Stopping just short of the final boss, his trash defenders line up in a very different way. These guys didn't look like they were wandering around, but instead were resting until released. One party member thought it looked scary and I agreed. They were rather intimidating, but fell quickly enough. Actually, so did Thermaplug. He dropped his shield and I won that. I also got the grime encrusted ring, but folks left before I could convince anyone to run back to the Sparklematic with me. Oh well, I can use another run.

I turned in my completed quests, including the one that gave me Dual Reinforced Leggings. I like upgrades, but I am not a fan of the metal bikini look. I cry!
The Metal Bikini
I realized two other quests required me to return to the part just outside of the Instance to finish (Techbot's brain and the Phial thing) They were surprisingly easy. Still, I will need to return inside to clean the ring.

I celebrated by running Arathi Basin twice, but Alliance still failed to win! Grumble, grumble.

All those quest turn ins and the PvP gave me the XP boost I needed to ding level 32. It was a busy day.

Day Twenty Two - 28 August 2010

I had a plan, really.

The plan was to run Arathi Basin on this Call to Arms weekend. And I did. Three games, all lost to the Horde. One game I only joined for the last 3 minutes or so. What I didn't anticipate was that I'd ding level 30 after the third one!

And I have diminished interest in being at the bottom of a bracket.

I considered how to spend some of my 800 honor points, but nothing struck me as critical, so I'll wait a bit.

I took the opportunity to do some travelling and pick up some more flight paths. I grabbed the green bang in Duskwood, the Rebel Camp and then switched to Theramore. I entered the Barrens and remembered that I had the shard from Wailing Caverns. So I rode to Ratchet and picked up that flight path, rode the boat to Booty Bay and grabbed that one. I remembered to pick up a few recipes and parrots for Aldonza to sell before riding the boat back to Ratchet and do the next step in the sharding quest chain. The final step required a flight to Darnassus, so first I rode through the Stonetalon Mountains and picked up the flight path at Stonetalon Peak. That's when I flew to Darnassus to turn in the final quest.

My travel through the Barrens provided an opportunity for a couple nice screen shots, one above the Crossroads and the other just a bit lower down that peak to the Shrine of the Fallen Warrior.
Above the Crossroads



Shrine of the Fallen Warrior
I had some trouble with the laptop and a few other distractions, so I hesitated running an instance. I knew something would pop up. Hopefully tomorrow!

Day Twenty One - 27 August 2010

I was Called To Arms to the Arathi Basin this weekend. Being level 29, it all seemed like destiny was demanding it. We won on the first try and the Honor just flooded in.

Not that I have plans on spending it immediately. I'll probably pick up another trinket as that second empty slot is burning a hole in my pocket... so to speak. Do other folks have this yearning to see slots filled? Leaving my tabard and shirt empty gives me an ache, although not one big enough to do anything about it.

Now with Vertiferrous Fluoride!

I also enjoy seeing all these blues! When I was levelling Martuska, I know I never had many. It might be a residual effect from running around at level 80 and trying to improve my gear score, but on Kallixta, overgearing is just funny. It tickles something.

So I had another empty slot, head, that I knew was there, but was attempting to ignore. After running AB, I decided to do something with all my accumulated cheap iron that Aldonza had been picking up at 25% normal price. I cranked out some green iron items to 170 and then went to buy whatever new recipes were on offer. Green Iron Helm? Well... let's just jump up and down. We will pretend I knew that was coming all along. Oh and those Green Iron bracers I was making to level Blacksmithing just happen to be an improvement?

So I stopped for a minute to do research, just in case I was missing something important. I also checked the Auction House for usable recipes. It just so happened that Shining Silver Breastplate was sitting there with less than 2 hours remaining and while its buyout price was over 10 gold, the bid was only 2. Fine, I'll put in a bid. Since I had jumped on Kallixta without giving Aldonza a peek at the Auction House, I decided I could check on smithing supplies. I grabbed some more cheap stone and iron bars and lesser moonstones. Because of my haphazard planning, I must have made 6 trips from the AH to the forge in the Dwarf Quarter. Is there a closer forge? When I returned to the AH, someone had bumped the price of the Breastplate, but it was down to less than 30 minutes now. With some patience, discrete purchasing and a final bid, I got the recipe for around 3 gold.

After spending all this gold, I felt a horrible spendthrift, but looking at my cash reserves, I realized that I was still doing fine. Aldonza has been making plenty of money plus while the leveling blacksmithing is costing money, it's nowhere near as expensive as expected. Those Golden Rods in particular provided some nice profit.

So while tonight only witnessed Arathi Basin runs, I did improved my wrist slot and got my first helm and I levelled my Blacksmithing to 180.

Day Twenty - 26 August 2010

My decision to title posts by day wasn't fully thought out, but I still like it. At the time I started, Kallixta was an idea and I had an experimental mindset. Now my mind has a much crisper philosophy around her and for all intents, she is my "Main". However, if I plan to only be online for less than an hour, I wouldn't log onto her. Instead I'd log into Aldonza and play with the Auction House. In theory, the time logged onto Kallixta would all be "active", not idle, but I'm not perfect. I've idled Kallixta more than once. Still, I hadn't logged onto her for a short half hour session until last night.

By intention, I logged in, travelled to the WSG Quartermaster, bought my cloak and equipped it, switched to my one-hander and logged off. I considered a quick run into a battleground, but I wasn't on the good laptop and I was tired.


I don't think I've mentioned before. The original main computer with WOW has problems and won't allow me to re-install. Therefore I can only play on either my son's nice laptop or my daughter's older laptop. I can't remap keys without negotiating with them. Martuska is on the original account. This was originally my son's account, but is now my daughter's and I've got my own Vanilla WOW account. I could still play Martuska, and I will on occasion, but only if my daughter isn't on. I also can only play when one of the laptops is free, at least until I can get WOW re-installed on the good desktop machine. Oh yes, there is another desktop that we use to run WOW on, but that has less memory. Still, if I get desperate, maybe...

Entering the 30-39 bracket

Razorfen Kraul
I was sketching out a plan for my next few sessions with Kallixta. On the list included upgrading her equipment, either through quests or dungeons. Despite already running RFK once, I noticed on Cassandri's Razorfen Kraul guide that I had missed optional bosses, quests, and loots. I'll need to go back.
  • There is a quest chain that starts at the Thousand Needles great lift and requires a run to Feralas, kill the final boss of RFK and yields a nice blue.
  • There is a quest from Ratchet, but it's probably not worth a special run for itself. I may want to go to Ratchet anyway, but not just for this quest.
  • There are a pair of quests that start inside the instance, but after the final boss. One is an escort quest back to the beginning. The other just requires a item return, but it's easy to overlook.
  • Possibly drops include a mail head piece (Tusken Helm), a necklace, a ring and bracers.
Leveling
Besides RFK, I'll be visiting Gnomer and its tasty rewards. I don't yet know if I want to repeat visits to these two dungeons or instead just level with quests until SM opens up to me. According to the strategy I've been following, I'll respec at level 30 to full protection.

PvP
My earlier visit to the AB Quartermaster got me thinking a bit deeper about how to spend some honor points. In particular, I think the Caretaker's Cloak might be a good investment since any such blue drop in an instance would have way too much competition. The Arathi Basin trinket would be good if I includes its usage in a macro. Otherwise I'll forget it too often, probably.

Day Nineteen - 25 August 2010

Playing without a Plan


I logged onto Kallixta without a plan. I hadn't thought past my previous plan, so having completed BFD and Stocks, I didn't know what to do.

Well, I had some ideas. I needed to finish up the Stockade Riots questline. I had turned in Thredd's Head, but still needed a couple of Clara's Fresh Apples for the next step. Having a mount at this level makes this whole business of dashing around (and outside of) Stormwind so much simpler. It's still a bit of a pain having to run up and down the halls of the keep. I remember the pain of soloing these two as a Mage and I'm so happy being a Paladin on occasions like this. It was also brought home just how long ago it was that I did this as Martuska. I'm sure it wasn't the King that gave me the final blue reward. Was it his son?

With the new ring


That was some easy XP and nice reward for a few minutes of running around. It sparked a memory of a prior plan to gathering quests for upcoming instances. In particular, there are several quests for Gnomeregan and at least one requires getting the first punch card prior to the instance itself. So, I have a fresh plan for the next few minutes!

The dash across western Dun Morogh by horse meant I could finish Explore Dun Morogh. Soloing my way through the first hall of Gnomer was simple and I got a Yellow Punch Card in no time at all.

Picking up the Achievement as a side effect reminded me of another minor plan. By doing all of these Dungeons and not quests, I hadn't been collecting flight paths. I had entered the Wetlands before to mine Incendite Ore, but never made the long trek to Menethil Harbor. By horse it wasn't that painful. I rode the boat to Theramore and picked up the green arrow there. I even waited for the boat to Northrend before remembering that Kallixta is on a Vanilla account and aborted that trip.

After another long ride, I made it to Refuge Point in Arathi Highlands for the flight path there. Seeing the Quartermaster made me check my Honor Point total and pencil in some PvP time onto my sketchy plan. Since I couldn't immediately buy a trinket to fill my last slot, I postponed any purchase at this time.

I next headed for Southshore and the small accumulation of discovery XP actually got me to ding 29!

With Southshore's flight path, I was uncertain of my next move. I wasn't ready for more riding to someplace else when I remembered the fishing pools just off the docks. I should explain that I enjoy fishing sometimes, but usually when I can multitask. I'll watch TV and listen for the splash. I'll fish on Kallixta, but it's very much a low priority thing. Still, there were Oily Blackmouth just waiting for me and the first to get pulled flashed the Old Gnome and the Sea achievement! I emptied three pools. I wasn't sure if I could find something else to do while waiting for them to respawn.

This is when I decided to queue for Arathi Basin. The recent visit to Refuge Point made it easy to just push the PvP button and jump in. I had done some research on AB and knew as a level 29, I wanted to visit now and before I moved brackets again.

I couldn't tell you much about the Alliance team, except there were at least 3 paladins and we all were happy to buff the others with their preference. As the gates opened, I found myself the first to the Lumber Mill flag by a small margin. I still don't know what I'm supposed to do when fighting a hunter and pet, but I became very good at finding someone less than 50% health and finishing them off! I need to improve my awareness of my allies and heal some of them. I wasn't particularly good at strategic awareness, but someone would spam the /BG with suggestions and I'd run off to the suggested location and help. We won an Arathi Basin Victory and I was middle of the board in most things, too low at healing and I did have one cap, so I felt pretty good.

I was back to Southshore and the fish hadn't respawned and I didn't want to wait anymore, so I hearthed back to Stormwind. I did the sell, mail, repair stuff and realized I had some tasty clam meat to cook. The Auction house didn't have any more obvious food to cook, but I did raise my cooking enough that I thought it useful to check with the cooking recipe vendor. I bought 4 recipes I didn't know and had Lunch Lady flash.

It was nice to have several small achievements to measure an evening without a plan!

Casual Comfort Zone

I am the epitome of a casual WOW player. I limit myself to a few hours a week. I should have a structured schedule and know when I can play and for how long, but that doesn't happen over the summer. With the kids in school, it might change. Still, I've only so many hours I want to devout to a game. I want to do well at it, but there is no way I can spend the time I'd like.

I've been playing since my older son brought home Burning Crusade. My wife knew I'd enjoy it. Hell, I knew I'd enjoy it, but I already had plenty of hobbies I enjoy. It took 2.5 years for me to level Martuska to 80 and I enjoyed it, but I only played inside a comfort zone. I'd push on occasion and that zone did grow, but I never pushed hard.

Things changed last December, which is when I made a concerted effort to finish leveling Martuska. I discovered the ease of LFD and Northrend Dungeons. And after making 80, I discovered there were a lot of areas I hadn't explored and didn't want to with her. Being a Frost Mage is great for PvE, but I'd need to respec to raid and I hated being a glass cannon in PvP. I wanted to expand my comfort zone and I made the decision to do it from the bottom instead of the top.

Thus I rolled up Kallixta. I already knew some things where inside my comfort zone: PvE Questing, RolePlay, Guild Chat and the Auction House. Kallixta has the purpose of deliberately pushing open my comfort zone to explore areas inside WOW that I'd previously avoided, especially PvP. To support my PvP interest, the overpowered Paladin seemed useful. The hybrid aspect also worked well with my recent enjoyment with the new LFD tool. I could queue as Tank or Healer or DPS as my interest bounced and the shorter times for Tank or Healer definitely appealed.

So, Kallixta has a much stronger purpose than Martuska ever did. I was more driven with her and determined I would explore more corners without fear.

And there is fear. I don't mind being a bit of a noob, but I hate not improving. I will study to ensure I have some idea of what I'm doing, but things need practice and I hate the embarrassment in that L2P period.

Martuska is an achievement whore, but Kallixta can't be. I'll go a little out of the way to pick up another 10 points for Kallixta, but she will never grind just to complete something. She'll never have a sparklepony.

I've also decided Kallixta will have a public blog. I've used a private blog before, partly as a personal diary and notepad and that practice can probably been seen in this one, but I'm also going to push my comfort zone by making this public. Although I know it will never be a high traffic site, I want it to be something more. I want it to have some usefulness. I want to be proud of it. It must be interesting.

Well, that was a rambling post. I doubt I'll do that often.

Day Eightteen - 21 August 2010

I've been worrying I'd level out of being able to LFD either BFD or Stockades, but I had remembered their level ranges wrong. I queued up and managed both.

I won no greed rolls in BFD. I managed to share some quests and found the dead quest giver. None of the bosses were difficult. It only got hairy because of runners attracting a few more adds, but never too many. So Blackfathom Deeps has been added to my achievements. After teleporting from the end to Darnassus, I turned in some quests and one gave me Arctic Buckler as a nice reward. It's my new shield, after having carried that ugly turtle shell since Wailing Caverns.

I next queued for Stocks, The prior instance made me aware that we didn't have much for crowd control, especially since so many prisoners want to run. We'd just turned the corner for the East Hallway and Kam Deepfury when the runners and adds got to be too much. The healer stopped paying attention to me and then dropped the group. We wiped and started the long run from the graveyard outside Stormwind. The new party members wanted XP, so while we didn't do the West Hallway, we did make sure to gather anyone we saw. We continued a bit after Stormwind Stockade popped up.

I managed to ding level 28, but two dungeons was enough for one night.

With my new Buckler

Day Seventeen - 16 August 2010

I want to overcome my worries over logging on for a couple hours on a week night. Too many lowbie dungeons take too much time that I'm afraid to push the Random Dungeon button without knowing I've a few hours of uninterrupted time.

After queuing for BFD for several minutes without seeing anyone else in the queue, I did it anyway, switching to random. Razorfen Kraul popped right away.

The healer was another Paladin that didn't talk or bless. I did all the initial buffs. We had a Drainei shaman, a gnome warrior and a warlock. The first encounter didn't go well. Instead of just two, runners gathered more and soon there were ten dead bodies, one of which was Kallixta. I don't think I received a single heal except for the health potion I drank. I whispered to the paladin, trying not to make a big deal of it. He still said nothing and didn't even rez me. It took the shaman to do that.

We continued to struggle with runners that wanted to gather more adds, but no fight got quite as hairy as the first one. And the healing paladin would only select need, so we kicked him after the first boss. We were doing fine with only four (and the shaman healing), and the new healer showed up sometime during the second boss! Welcome to the party.

We were enjoying ourselves after that, despite the difficulty in runners. If I tried to keep something back to hit runners, I'd lose aggro to the shaman! I passed on most stuff. I won a chest on a /roll, lost the Corpsemaker - Two-Hand Axe to the warrior, and maybe the shield Heart of Agamaggan, too. All I got was cloth, gray junk, my satchel and level 27. Oh, and An achievement

The satchel yielded Earthbound Handgrips of the Soldier

With a bit of time after the instance, I grabbed the Iron Ore Aldonza had picked up and leveled Mining to 154. One skillup short of Smelting Gold!

With the new Iron Bars and some plans picked up cheap, I produced 7 Green Iron items that might show some return. My Blacksmithing is now 163.

I really need to do BFD before it rolls off.

Day Sixteen - 14 Aug 2010

This was a 'Tying Up Loose Ends' day

Starting in Ironforge made it easy to do the Incendicite Quest and level my Mining to 137 while killing enough spiders to ding 26. This also gave me stacks of spider parts and silk. That should yield a few gold from the Auction House. The gooey legs helped level my cooking, too.

I managed to learn my new level 26 spells. I forget that step too often.

I knew I might not get to Black Fathom Deeps today.

I wanted to finish the level 20 Paladin quest. I already had the wood from Deadmines and the hammer from Shadow Fang Keep. Careful reading told me I didn't go inside an instance for the other two parts. I journeyed across Loch Modan (twice) to visit the Ogres of Mo'grosh Stronghold and found the ore. The final piece required a boat ride to Darkshore and a ride to just outside the instance. I noticed just how much there is after the swim and before the actual instance gate. While the gem dropped quickly, I also managed to gather the brain stems. Turning those quests in gave a nice XP hit. I now have a new 2 Handed weapon.


Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick


With my Mining improved, I also spent a bit of time leveling my Blacksmithing. I think the Golden Rods and stuff I made my actually give a profit! That won't happen again for a while.

Day Fifteen - 13 Aug 2010

I ran three dungeons today. First up was Shadowfang Keep, but I forgot to look for the paladin quest item. I didn't notice before already queuing up for Deadmines. That was an excellent group, working well except for the Warrior that needed on everything, even greens. We kicked him before the end and 4-manned Edward. We then went for Cookie and instead of passing, like I'd been doing, I greeded and won a blue cloth shirt?! I tried giving it away, but the others declined. I don't know why.

Kallixta turned in Edward's head for the blue Leg armor. I think this must have been when I dinged 25, but didn't notice.

I did a little Role play at the Stormwind Cathedral. Someone was running an afternoon prayer service. I got to chat with one person as we gathered and then we had a nice service. I only figured out how to log chat at the end. I was also slow to figure out this laptop's function key and how to make screen shots.

After a break Kallixta returned to Shadowfang Keep. I grabbed the "Jordan's Smithing Hammer" this time. No one complained with my speed, although I needed to stop for mana myself a few times. The healer called herself a noob and the mage agreed. My health was never in any danger, but the healer seemed very low on mana. I had to ask the mage for water and she seemed to only produce one at a time. She gave me a stack of 5 which didn't last long. I won a nice blue chest piece, a blue one hand sword and a blue two-handed axe, all upgrades.

My new chest and pants with the Arced War Axe over my shoulder

Day Fourteen - 10 Aug 2010

Kallixta got the Paladin quest going, dinged 24, grabbed her new spells and headed into Deadmines. The healer dropped at the start of the buzzsaw encounter. Somehow we survived without healing, but while waiting for a new healer, folks dropped. I had my wood pile, so fine. She's got what she needed.

I want to hit SFK next, but it was too late tonight. If DM is still on my LFD after that, I'll return to get VC's head. I did gather some of the next quests.

Notes on 20 Something Dungeons

Deadmines: Kallixta has already done this once and has the blues she want. The quest for VC's head will yield another blue: Legs.

SFK: There are blue 2-Hand weapon drops and only the Paladin quest.

BFD:
There is a 2-step "Corruption" chain quest, starting in Stormwind in the Park
Kallixta should be sure to get the two quests in the Craftsman Terrace.
There are plenty of blue mail and weapons in this instance.

Day Thirteen - 9 Aug 2010

I don't know when Kallixta hit level 23 as it was already that before logging in. Again the point went into Diving Strength.

I trammed up to Ironforge to get the start of the Level 20 Paladin quest. Part of its chain is running Deadmines, Shadowfang Keep and other dungeons, so I wanted to get started before they disappeared from LFD. It meant I spent time riding around for both this and a couple other quests, to Northshire Abbey and Redridge.

In chat, I talked about "commuting". It seemed odd returning to Ironforge. Kallixta appears to feel more at home in Elwynn Forest, although she was disgusted at the slovenly habits of human librarians. There were books left on the floor both in Stormwind Keep's library and at the Abbey. It mades it difficult to be [Well Read].

Next steps: visit Daphne in Westfall (and protect her from attack) and reattempt the traitor escort. There's another tram ride to Ironforge before being ready for a 2nd run of DM. There's also a quest to pick up in Auberdine before BFD.

Notes on Backstory

Kallixta was living in Aerie Peak with her father when the Third War broke out. Her father was a diplomat and merchant representing Ironforge among the Wildhammers at the time. As the war developed, he went off to Kalimdor in support of efforts there, before dying in the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Kallixta was old enough to be left behind with plans to return to Ironforge.

Kallixta's journey home included witnessing first hand the horrors of the plaguelands and the efforts by the remnants of the Silver Hand to fight the undead. She was impressed by those that, despite Arthas, continued to follow their purpose.

Kallixta subsequently travelled south to Stormwind to undergo paladin training.

Kallixta's mother is a Master Blacksmith and her work ethic influenced Kallixta's own. Undoubtedly her profession choices derive from her mother.

Notes on Traits

Here I makes some notes to myself about Kallixta's personality for Role Play potential.

Four Diamond Words: Methodical, Tenacious, Lawful, Civil

Kallixta despises those that are whimsical and impetuous. They lack follow through and have no purpose. Instead she thinks if everybody just developed a plan, things would work out so much better.

It isn't sufficient to have a plan, though. It's important not to be diverted. Kallixta will never give up, but stubbornly stick to a plan and see things to their end.

All must be devoted to the higher good and that's where laws define things. Kallixta does not believe the end justifies the means. Arthas's culling is the perfect example of how good intentions can result in evil.

As a diplomat's daughter, she knows that politeness can yield rewards. Kallixta can be chatty, but strives to be courteous, even when talking to one she despises. There may come a time when words fail, but until that point is reached, she'll keep a civil tongue.

Day Twelve - 7 Aug 2010

I applied to guild Saga. I was contacted while at the Auction House and introduced to their OOC channel. It was a funny and diverse group.

I ran two more Warsong Gulch runs. The first was a Call to Arms and with the win awarded 500 Honor Points! The second run was a loss. With my new HP and traveled to the vendor and bought the Trinket and Necklace.

I ended the night skilling up Blacksmithing to Expert and sLvl 148.

Day Eleven - 6 Aug 2010

Busy evening!

Although the travel time was long, Kallixta rode through Darkshore and Ashenvale (making some exploration discoveries on the way) to the Silverwing Outpost outside Warsong Gulch. Martuska had never had to find a PvP Vendor and I needed to lookup where the hell to go! She spent 100 Honor Points for the Protector's Band ring, but should have just run a couple games and bought the Trinket, especially as this was a "Call to Arms: Warsong Gulch" weekend, but felt uncomfortably low at 21 in the 20-29 range.

The queue for Wailing Caverns ran over 8 minutes even as Tank. It was an excellent group from my perspective. We had a rogue that knew the route and a warrior that made an effective off-tank. Kallixta never saw a health problem except for the first Boss pull when I didn't get to Lady Anaconda before she hit a squishy too much. The two squishies included one warlock and it's clear I don't understand how they work.

Kallixta got the blue tank shield from the neutral Turtle boss and then the Boots off one of the penultimate bosses. Somewhere along the way she dinged 22 and earned more than one level of XP. At least one other party member dinged, too. One squishy left after the last boss, but before the event. We had a perfectly fine substitute for the last piece.

Folks left, but Kallixta did some fishing in the cavern and caught about 5 Deviate Fish. The drop rate seemed like it was around 12% and they showed a value of over 1 gold each. We'll see how well they auction.

Hearthing back to Ironforge, she organized her loot, sending much to Aldonza. She equipped the new boots with a medium armor kit and swapped the shields. She then tackled the accumulated stone and ores to skill up Blacksmithing to 102. She really should make a couple more Silver Rods for enchanters before the next batch of items.

This comes from Wow Head.

Day Ten- 4 Aug 2010

Aldonza noticed that the Auction House pricing was much better suited to skilling up Blacksmithing. Kallixta got up to sLvl 87 on the items sent by Aldonza.

With the newest talent point, Kallixta finally invested in the Protection Tree!

Day Nine- 1 Aug 2010

I ran Deadmines.

The healer failed to notice my healing needs and let me die twice. I kept getting others that wanted to be tanks, not melee DPS. I did get Taskmaster Axe, Smite's Reaver and Cookie's Tenderizer.

I did some fishing in the canals of Stormwind and cooked up the results. This helped level my professions a bit. [Expert Fisherman], [Expert Cook].

I decided to drop Skinning for Blacksmithing, but Rough Stone was selling for 900% too much. It can wait.

Oh, and somewhere in Deadmines, I apparently hit level 21! I didn't notice until later.

Day Eight - 31 July 2010

I tried doing some pre-Deadmine quests. Running around on my new Charger and picking up [Tin Ore] made it easy to earn [Explore Westfall]. I don't think I ever went into the Gold Coast Quarry much before, at least not as a Miner!

I failed the Defias Traitor escort as solo. The Traitor took off after a runner and attracted too many adds.

Day Seven - 28 July 2010

So I started out with two more runs of Warsong Gulch. Allies won both. I managed to play offense, flag carrier support and wasn't awful, I don't think.

I remembered to hug for [Make Love, Not Warcraft], picked up my [100 Honorable Kills] and the second game went 3-0, earning [Warsong Gulch Perfection]!

After that, I hunted down a few more Defias to reach level 20. I learned my new spells and remapped my keys. I've only made one macro so far, the one for taunting. Oh, my mount triggered [Giddy Up]!

I feel I should manage DM or WC when I've time next.

Day Six - 27 July 2010

All I did were a few quests in Westfall and earned level 19.

I will wait for level 20 and Consecrate to tackle things like Deadmines and Wailing Caverns, but this is my best chance to twink for a bit in Warsong Gulch. I'll see if I can squeeze it some soon.

Day Five, continued

I did a bit more in Loch Modan. Skinned enough to reach Expert with Achievement. Turned in the wool quest in Ironforge, which let me hit the 100 Quest achievement. I then fished past 100 Fish.

I returned to RFC for the third time. This time we hit all three bosses. I didn't get much loot.

And for about 9s and an earring change, I earned [Shave and a Haircut].

Day Five - 24 July 2010

How better to spend a Saturday morning than in Ragefire Chasm?

Well first I did a few Bingle quests in Loch Modan until Level 17.

But my second trip into RFC went much better. I'd only lose Aggro when there were more than two mobs and folks weren't targeting the same one I was hitting. Still, I managed to pull them off quickly. The only death was somebody that fell into the lava.

Someone else 'needed' the Cape and then the Robe dropped. The party re triggered LFD and we returned with a DPS Shaman to replace a Warrior. Things went even smoother and the Cuffs dropped. We didn't go for the second boss this time.

The goodie bag opened with Earthbound Girdle of the Sorcerer. It's not perfect, but better than a poke in the eye.

I dinged Level 18 and trained Hand of Freedom. An excellent morning!

Meanwhile

When I return to Kallixta, it'll be to re-run RFC as a tank, which means no distractions. So I didn't have time on the weekend.

With such casual time, Aldonza has played some AH games, running up around 700g.

I reviewed Kaliban's Loot List for Ragefire Chasm and only the cloak is identified as a Paladin item.

Taragaman the Hungerer: Subterranean Cape (13): Back

Plenty of stuff at WC and DM are eligible though.

Day Four - 14 July 2010

I ran some Loch Modan quests until I dinged 16. After training my newest stuff, I used LFD to Tank Ragefire Chasm.

I'm a horrible tank. I forgot to switch from 2-H Mace to 1-H Sword and Shield. I changed my key mappings and wasn't familiar with the changes. I kept hitting heal instead of something else.

The party didn't say much, although the experienced Warrior did well, despite not being specced for it. We wiped twice when we aggro'd a second group of three and some of the new adds went beating on squishies.

The [Crystalline Cuffs] dropped and we got our achievement. Folks left before we could mount a serious attempt at Jergosh for the other blue.

Day Three - 13 July 2010

I worked late on Monday.

I put my talents into Deflection, which while in the Retribution tree, was recommended by (Honor's Code) .

I had notes to allow me to try out Warsong Gulch and maybe Ragefire Chasm. I first revisited the Auction House, buying a better Shield and found a few cheap Enchantments. Of course, they weren't free, but I didn't want to go overboard. I also bought enough linen to level First Aid to allow me to use Silk Bandages. I bought a stack of better healing potions, too.

Thus prepared, I visited WSG for the first time. I was in an excellent party for a noob. I hung around the Flag Room and played defense. When someone captured the Horde flag, I ran down the tunnel to meet him half way and escort him home. The game ended on time with just the one flag capture. I was very happy with the experience and jumped right back in.

From great to horrible that quick. The horde knew what they were doing while we had too many at the low end of the range. They walloped us in the flag room and even camped the graveyard for a while. The game ended when they got their third stolen flag home.

I noticed the XP wasn't significant from just the two short games. I'll be back, but only when I'm closer to 19 than 11!

Meantime, I had some quests to complete in Loch Modan. Things went amazingly fast and I finished level 15 just by some quick grinding of Boars for XP and Skins. The bump on this road was when I tried Ol' Sooty, without realizing it. Pay Attention!

Now the LFD tool works, although I'll wait for Level 16 and Righteous Fury. I found myself picking up the Dead Mines quests, although I expected to wait a bit longer. No harm yet.