Low level dailies, part 3

You might want to read Part 1 and Part 2

When last I updated news of my test subject, Aldonza was level 34 and I'd found a comfortable groove popping between capitals, running the cooking and fishing dailies and making gold from the Auction House. My time on WoW can be haphazard. I was only visiting Aldonza a couple times each week, typically, but she was making steady progress.

Regular progress yielded some achievements just due to their accumulative nature:
Y'all know that there have been a couple holidays and these had an impact on Aldonza's journey. In particular, as many folks know Pilgrim's Bounty is an excellent time to level up one's cooking skill. It's also easy for a Mage with Teleports to run the dailies between the capitals.
With 4.3 out, the new Darkmoon Faire has some quests perfect for my experiment, profession quests that yield some easy XP and cheaply raise my professions. Of course, beyond Aldonza's miserly ways, her cooking got high enough that new avenues for revenue generation has her reaching for the top. All those Cooking Dailies mean a clutch of Cooking Awards asking to be turned into profit. Crates yielded some meat that both levelled her skill and became something to sell. The Baked Tender Turtle was a big surprise seller whereas I already knew how to profit from Chocolate Cookies.
And now Aldonza has reached level 42, which is an answer to life, the universe and profit from Mage Portals!

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Thankslinking!

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic this week, Thanksgiving Event 2001, was suggested by Amerence.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a blogging life
That started with Pink Pigtail Inn,
A haven from all strife.

The Inn was a friendly, blogging spot.
Larísa, bright and gay.
As I learned how this blogging worked
I returned most every day (returned most every day).

My roaming started fast and wide
Many bloggers were soon found
If I wasn't scared off by the Greedy Goblin
I soon was quite Spellbound (Soon was quite spellbound).

A Pugging Pally showed to me
How leveling could be fun!
A Giant Spoon gave added weight,
My new class search was done (My new class search was done).

My blog set ground on the shore of this uncharted blog-a-verse.
With Windsoar,
Kurn's Corner, too.
The Flinthammer (and his wife),
A Bubble lover And many more to quote!

This love comes from Kallixta's Notes!

Achievements, What?, I don't even... 1 Nov 2011

Kallixta has been running Molten Front dailies enough to have unlocked both Shadow Wardens and Druids and will start unlocking the Vendors next. She'll log in, fly around Mount Hyjal while keeping an eye out for Mankrik, the last she needs to wave at, before she "breaks on through to the other side".

Despite trying a few times, she hasn't managed to get the top spidery view achievement either. One time she was on the right path when she got caught in a tug of war between two spiders and dying. Bah. At times like that I remind myself that Kallixta isn't the achievment whore, despite Martuska never having visited the Molten Front.

Speaking of Achievements...
Kallixta did Tricks and Treats for the Creepy Crate. I should have had Martuska do it. I don't know now why I didn't.

Mentally I've told myself and told myself that Kallixta isn't pursuing achievements. And then I see things like that.

Days One Hundred and Something - 20-29 Oct 2011

The Diary Theme doesn't work well any more. It was fine when I logged in for a couple hours, two times a week, but it fails when I log in for 30 minutes at a time for seven out of ten days. It also worked when I was only following one character, but fails as I'm spending time on more than three. I still enjoy the blogging, but expect some changes in format soon.

A couple other important things that are demanding change to the blog. Kallixta has reached level 85 and it's been over a year. The Diary served its purpose. It got me comfortable with writing and supported my goal. Martuska took 3 years to reach maximum level, but Kallixta only 1. I've managed to post something every month and some months, a lot!

Kallixta has still been dithering over her equipment and trying to transition to a new and different life in the end game. She has gotten comfortable running the dailies at the Molten Front. She has revisited Faction Vendors for potential upgrades or for a second copy to be reforged differently. Here are some of her recent purchases:
 I enjoyed visiting the Headless Horseman multiple times, all but once as a tank. One time I went as Retadin, just to measure myself against others. By Hallow's End, I managed to pick up
I love "/use 1" It's my Tanking Helm of choice.

Day One Hundred and Twelve - 18 Oct 2011

Hallow's End and Gearing a Retadin

I logged on with expectations of a quick run of dailies and an Auction House visit, but was surprised to discover Hallow's End had started.

I immediately joined the queue for the Headless Horse, selecting DPS for the first time. I knew I was unlikely to fail. I just needed to do decent damage and not get myself killed. I made certain I knew where my "Oh Shit" Lay on Hands button was.

It was ridiculously easy. I actually topped the DPS Recount! I knew it wasn't about meters, but I took this as validation that I did indeed know something about what I was doing. Since I had a '/target Head of' macro, I was quick enough at switching. Seeing others selecting Need on the loot, I felt no guilt in doing the same. Kallixta won the Seal of the Petrified Pumpkin, perfect for my new spec! Three achievements popped from this encounter:
While quickly running through the Molten Front dailies, another interesting achievement popped:
From my prior use of Wow JuJu's repcalc, I knew it was coming soon and that there were some excellent rewards.

Gearing

This brings me to the delayed discussion of Kallixta's newest gear set. The first thing I did was review my existing equipment. A few pieces of my Tanking set could be reused. I also found a couple recent Brewfest rewards
 Since some were Blacksmith made items, I actually recrafted a couple pieces to allow separate Reforging to occur. I also made a new Ebonsteel Belt Buckle. Some of these have since been replaced:
Second, Kallixta visited faction vendors to pick up some reputation rewards, including the recently unlocked. I also decided to get two copies of some things to allow different reforgings:
Next, I looked in the Auction House. Although the ring and trinket purchase was modest, I did decide the expensive purple weapon was worthwhile:
That leaves the shoulder quest reward that I can't upgrade!
However, I could craft Redsteel Shoulders as something different. I also needed to purchase a few more Bold Inferno Rubies, some different enchants, added my recently acquired Lesser inscription of Jagged Stone

The end result is although it's a new Spec, I'm now better geared than I was with either of my other, longer standing Specs! Kallixta will also need to visit the Headless Horseman and get his Horrific Helm!

Day One Hundred and Eleven - 15 Oct 2011

Into Deepholm

First, Kallixta ran through her dailies as a Retribution Paladin for the first time. It was a little uncomfortable, but it also isn't difficult. After her work on the Molten Front and Uldum, she was ready for something else. She wasn't ready to jump into a dungeon, so what could she do?

Having depleted some funds to buy her new gear, she made some effort to rebuild her funds. One reliable action was to sell Belt Buckles, but another idea was to convert Aldonza's accumulated cooking awards into Cocoa Beans and post a hundred cookies.

While on the Auction House, she realized there was some cloth going cheap. In short order she quickly popped:
Kallixta needed her tool bars and macros updated and her bags cleared. Besides updating her bandages to Heavy Embersilk, she built up her stock of some other goodies, including a stack of Highland Spring Water.
I had reached the point where I wanted to do something else with Kallixta, but wasn't comfortable with her new spec.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and journey to Deepholm

I followed Ding 85 as a guide, which was helpful for efficiency purposes. It ensured I gathered the right set of quests at a hub. There was only one quest it had me ignore. I didn't bother finding out why. The process definitely helped me get more comfortable with the Retribution priorities and cool downs. I needed to rearrange things a couple things and made a couple new macro, but the whole experience was much more enjoyable than it had been on Martuska.

She had been making excellent progress when I noticed she had made Honored with the Earthen Ring. According to my notes, there were useful rewards for that, but I hadn't a clue where the vendor was. A quick check showed I'd need to explore Vashj'r, but it was doable. It sounded like a nice break from Deepholm for a little while. It involved a lot of slow swimming and keeping an eye on my breath bar (since I didn't have my Sea Legs!), but Kallixta knows her way around the zone's flight paths now.

With the end in sight, Kallixta finished Deep into Deepholm and did some Therazane dailies. She finished Honored with Therazane and should break to Revered in another day or so. I find the RepCalc at Wowjuju to be incredibly useful. It showed what was in reach and just how long the Ramakahen grind is without championing.

I would use the next few days to research my complete gearing needs, especially seeing what reputation rewards were close.

Day One Hundred and Seven to Ten - 7-11 Oct 2011

Retribution Spec

Three days and three returns to Mount Hyjal and Molten Front dailies. I remembered to wave a few times, picking up "Chromie" and "Hemet Nessingwary" on the Have... Have We Met?  achievement. Three days adding to the Marks total and little else to say. Oh, one thing: 200 Daily Quests Complete.

It was on the fourth day that something different happened. I had mentally reconciled that I wasn't going to be running a healer anytime soon. I knew it wasn't going to happen, but I also wasn't making any progress as a Tank, really. When I saw my guildies heading off together for another dungeon run, it struck me that I could go with them as a DPS.

So I dropped my Holy spec and started building a Retribution spec. There was a lot of anguish, but I wasn't selling off my Holy gear, just crowding my bank with yet another set of gear.
I also did research. I'm using a couple sites for education:
So I spent the rest of the evening reviewing my equipment and spending some gold. I'll review my complete gear in a subsequent post.

Now that Kallixta has the Spec, Glyphs and Gear and I've installed an addon to help, I went to the target dummies and was very disappointed. I was barely breaking 6k. That didn't sound like a lot. Luckily I had helpful guildies that helped me understand a few things. After maybe an hour, I had managed to break 10k. Now that's still not very impressive to me, but for one night, I concluded I was on the right track.

The whole change meant Kallixta had new things she needed to test out on the weekend.

Day One Hundred and Six - 5 Oct 2011

Here was Kallixta's first evening logging in already at Level 85. She immediately headed off to the Molten Front to get her dailies done. After that, she was trying to think of her next priority. Should she head to Uldum and do the Ramakahen dailies?

Someone in the Guild asked if anybody wanted to do Coren Direbrew. Holy Socks! Wasn't that over already? Oh, I see. It's the last night. Well, sure. Kallixta switched over to Holy and joined the party, offering her healing services. She had done this before a bunch of times and this time it was with guildmates. If she was doing something wrong, they'd let her know, right?

Coren went down extremely quick and then something funny happened. We qualified as a Guild Run Dungeon Challenge, 1 of 7 for the week. Really? That was a dungeon challenge? We could see the extra guild experience and gold. Huh. And we never had a qualifying guild run on Coren before? Let's try another!

Soon we had done 5 runs against Coren, but the last one somehow didn't pop a Dungeon Challenge 5 of 7, why not? If we weren't all level 85, would that disqualify us? Funny how having someone weaker would mean we weren't as well rewarded.

We kept rotating guild alts, allowing folks to pick up their daily keg, but Kallixta kept returning as healer and noone else was interested, but then things took a turn downhill. On the final run, the tank suddenly was taking huge damage and Kallixta couldn't keep up. I got flustered and wasn't finding the right keys in my panic. I looked for, but couldn't find the Lay on Hands I wanted. I couldn't find my cool downs. Divine Lights weren't keeping up!

And then the tank died! Kallixta and another party member were heavily damaged. I quickly put Beacon on the new tank volunteer and tried my best, but I was still all off-kilter. And I was too focussed on the new tank and saw Kallixta's heal go down more. We were going to wipe on Coren!

Kallixta died and rathered quickly, I thought, managed to re-entry the dungeon. Amazingly I had kept the second tank alive long enough for the remaining party members to take out Coren before a complete wipe. But my confidence was shattered. I knew I hadn't handled things well. Others were willing to take some blame, but I knew I hadn't done all I could. I knew a few correct uses of my cool downs wouldn't have allowed the tank to die. I logged off the night in shame.

Day One Hundred and Five - 2 Oct 2011

Level 85!

Kallixta started the evening with about half a level to go to 85. She had already done the quest leading from the King and Prince in Stormwind, but hadn't hopped on the plane to Twilight Highlands, so that was the first step. Martuska's experience was still fresh enough that when the immediate battle on the arrival boat drew too many mobs, I knew to swim to shore so as to handle them one at a time. Determined now that the end was in sight, Kallixta did what was necessary. She experienced much more of the zone than Martuska had, with almost half of the zone's quests done when IT happened. I considered continuing on a bit, but I knew Kallixta should immediately head to Hyjal for the Firelands Invasion start.


Kallixta wrapped up her business with the Wildhammers, a third of the way from Friendly to Honored, and took off to Stormwind. She had a few items awaiting this point, such as her purples won from Coren Direbrew that required level 85 before equiping. It did not take long before she was off to Hyjal and the Sanctuary of Malorne.

The beginning quests were little trouble. The first sign of difficulty was zoning into the Molten Front and immediately finding myself in battle with a Obsidian Slaglord. Wasn't the quest name Through the Gates of Hell a big enough hint? Apparently not because I dithered in panic and died quicker than I thought possible. Maybe a fresh 85 isn't ready? After a bit of research, I tried again and had little trouble. Soon enough I was back in my stride and romping around, doing my dailies and happy with my performance.

Once Kallixta found her rhythm, she completed her first day of dailies and unlocked Zen'Vorka. She bought 2 purples for the Protection spec and 1 for Holy.

Returning to Mount Hyjal, Kallixta flew back to where Thrall and the Elemental Bonds quest chain was waiting. I did my research before starting this quest, or so I thought. However, I discovered dying during any of the boss battles zeroed out any accumulated points and requiring me to start over. I had difficulties where my rotation gathered too many mobs plus a big elite. I finally became extra careful on using things with an AoE component and got back on track. When the wedding finally got going, I had a happy face and was pleased with a new purple cloak for my Healing spec. I had been trying to concentrate on equipment for Holy. After updating, Kallixta's Item Level Average was 338 for her Holy spec and about the same for Protection. Her Amory lists her as having 343 in her bags. That's quite a difference!

This ended an extremely productive night, having finally brought my little paladin to maximum level and playing in current end-game content. Obviously there's more to do, but I'm happy to sit back and reflect on this accomplishment.

BA Shared Topic: Best Grind

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic this week, Best Grind, was suggested by me:
Normally the words "Best" and "Grind" are not found this close together and there are plenty of grinds to hate. However, I'm interested in the flip side:
Was there something that required sustained and prolonged effort that you found interesting or rewarding? Was there something that was not just a chore to work on?

I was talking to a friend about how things were different in the old days which inspired this topic:

The Story

It occurred near the Westfall Lighthouse. Although at the time Burning Crusade was out, there hadn't been much for changes to Gnome Mages of about level 19 adventuring in Westfall compared to Vanilla days.
Martuska had finished turning in some quests at what passed for a "Quest Hub" at the Lighthouse. Consulting her notes about next quests, she was frustrated. She would need to run all the way to Lakeshire for new quests and some of those quests were to run all the way back to Westfall. Quests were designed to make an adventurer travel all over Azeroth.

Although she was approaching the right level for the Deadmines, she hadn't done the preparatory quests yet. Dungeon quests weren't something you could just pick up after zoning in. Dungeons weren't something you could just push a button to join a queue. Battlegrounds weren't someplace you could simply queue to gain experience.

But Martuska's notes suggested "just grind the crabs on the beach for your next level". These crabs had yellow name plates. They weren't automatically hostile and each death gave some nice experience, especially since Martuska did have some "Rested XP" bonus to work on. She needed a bit of awareness so she didn't use her Frost Nova to lock one crab in place but trigger another crab's hostility, too. She learned how to blink away, cast an instant or fire her wand while strifing away. It was all useful skill development even as she gathered up the experience to make a few more nearby quests turn from grey to yellow.

And after picking up the next level, she also discovered they dropped a lot of meat. Martuska had stacks and stacks of meat and claws. Her bags were actually close to full with more stuff than she needed to raise her cooking skill. So the logical thing was to post it on the Auction House.

Now Martuska had been selling surplus stuff on the Auction House before, but this was a bit different. The claws and meat returned huge amounts of gold. MArtuska had never felt this rich before. She had more gold than she knew what to do with and was happy to struggle with such a problem.

It gave her a whole different perspective on grinding. She had been killing these Shore Crawlers for the experience, not farming them for their meat. It wasn't the last time she deliberately sought combat with mobs for their experience to avoid questing. Martuska was a Frost Mage and some time later she discovered how to gather Mosshide Gnolls in the wetlands, Frost Nova, Blink, Blizzard, Blizzard, Cone of Cold and collect the rewards. She levelled by AoE Grinding instead of running back and forth across the Wetlands. And it should be pointed out that although in her mid twenties by this time, there was no mount to speed the journey and no convenient flight points. It was a long jog to Menethil Harbor and back.

I really enjoyed the old style level grinding. It was optional. It wasn't like it was the only method to unlock the desired vendor. There were no rewards but the drops by the mobs and it was something I barely noticed was missing until there was a discussion about just how different some things were.

Professions

That was the story that inspired the Shared Topic, but as I was thinking about it, I realized there were a few other grinds I enjoyed. Grinding my fishing skill never bothered me. That was not true of most professions. I detested that most crafted gear created for raising skill was just junk. Recently Aldonza became a scribe and I discovered that leveling Inscription was the opposite of expensive. She actually was making a profit from about everything she made. I enjoyed the first bit so much that even though she was supposed to be a bank mule, I actually worked to raise her to level 30 to unlock the next round of skills.

Reputation

Martuska was in her high fifties, but she knew she wanted to squeeze more from Azeroth before heading into the Outland and found herself in Winterspring. Through the normal course of leveling, she found herself honored with the Timbermaw Hold and had unlocked the Wisdom of the Timbermaw  belt pattern for her Tailoring skill. She found that exciting and with some research, realized there was another Tailoring recipe at revered. So she spent some time grinding for beads and feathers and before long earned her reverence.
By this point Martuska could no longer ignore the pull to the Outland and didn't return to complete the reputation grind until well into the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Martuska didn't grind any other Vanilla reputations because the Burning Crusade was just too attractive. The reputation grind in Outland was never much fun. It wasn't until the Argent Tournament that she found an enjoyable grind again.

By the time Martuska was working the dailies at the Argent Tournament, most people had moved deeper into WotLK content. It wasn't totally empty. It was still easy enough to find others to bring down Chillmaw or joust before the citadel. The pace also worked well for her at the time. She could log on, run her dailies, and be ready to run off to other things. It was much more enjoyable than grinding out those badges from dungeon runs. It must to pointed out that the vanity rewards were a huge draw for her.

Now that Kallixta is running Molten Front dailies for her marks, there is a similar enjoyment. It's easy enough to watch the count accumulate from just a few minutes a day. The grind for reputation with Ramakahen is much slower with only two dailies. She was also thrilled that the same day she hit level 85, she could run through the Molten Front Invasion quest line and unlock some nice purples!

Meanwhile, the Cataclysm reputation grinds continue and are not as attractive. Sigh.

Day One Hundred and Four - 1 Oct 2011

My enjoyment with Kallixta running the Coren Direbrew event inspired me to finish levelling her and get on with it! I have stopped for vacation most of the way through Uldum and so I picked up where I had left off.

Actually, while I ran the Brewfest Dungeon about every day over the last week, I also ran the Plucky Thieves daily. I'd log on, queue for Coren until I deemed myself done then ran the daily. I left Kallixta zoned in Uldum or maybe I'd hearth back to Stormwind, do the Auction House or whatever, then portal back to Uldum.

But this day I looked at the Uldum quests I had and figured out where to pick up (around Schnottz's Landing) and away I went. I still was surprised at the frequency with which cinematics would pop up. I had far less trouble with quests as a Protection Paladin than I did as a squishy Mage. I could just wade in swinging. I spent some time dithering over quest rewards, but there were really few that were upgrades. According to the Activity Log, there were three Superior items while any greens were quickly selected for their trash resale value. I didn't bother including any of the new blues into my item sets while questing. I just accumulated them for decision making later.


One of my guildmates was excited, only three bubbles away from level 85. I started the day with only a couple bubbles total, but was pleased with the speed I picked up experience. When I finished the zone, I headed back to Stormwind, knowing I'd be heading for the Twilight Highlands and I was over half-way to Max Level!

Day Ninety Nine to One Hundred Three - 21-30 Sep 2011

Something really fascinating happened over these days. I know it messes up my Centennial, but there wasn't anything special to differentiate between these days exactly. I only played a few minutes each morning, running the Coren Direbrew dungeon group. I'd log on, run at least one and maybe a few more if nothing interesting dropped, and I've had a few interesting things drop:
I ran at least one other day in there without winning a greed roll. Besides my Justice Points and some gold, I found Great Brewfest Kodo in my Keg one day, which added to the achievements and feats of strength this holiday:
Now about the fascinating bit. I ran Holy and queued as the Healer.

Now I've run dungeons as the Healer, but never a random. It was always with friends teaching me what to do. This time my inexperience was inflicted on unsuspecting randoms, but the Coren Direbrew event was perfect for learning. It's short. If I was horrible, folks weren't going to be around long. It gave me a simple environment to experiment with known issues.

I loved it. If anything, I'd have been happy queuing up far more often, just for the experience. However, after running a few times I wanted a break to think and research changes for next time. What did I learn? I learned what I needed to cast before the pull: Beacon on the Tank and either Blessing of Might or Kings, depending if a Druid was in the party. I learned that I could ignore adds on myself. I was plate and rarely did I need to cast a heal on myself. I learned that if I was messing up and letting the tank drop too low, a quick Lay on Hands fixed that. I really didn't need to worry about saving any of my cooldowns.

Another thing learned was my healbot set up. I was switching between our main computer and the laptop, and would forget to change my settings. I found DBM could pop a warning thing right on top of my healbot frame and intercept my mouse clicks! I was casting, but the tanks health kept dropping!

Finally, I concluded the exercise wasn't a great test of my use of cooldowns, but it was better than nothing. If the tank was well geared, I had plenty of time to cast my judgements and even holy wrath or a crusader strike or two, although my DPS was always miniscule. However, I've become comfortable with my role as a healer.

I hope this means I'll be running LFD again soon. The big reason I haven't has been confidence that I'll have an hour or more uninterrupted, which just hasn't been the case. Now the family schedule has settled down, maybe that will change.

Day Ninety Eight - 17 Sep 2011

I've slowly started finding time to try and level Kallixta, even if it was a short amount of time. So I had her answer the Hero's Call for Twilight Highlands. Kallixta ran around Stormwind with her buddy, Prince Anduin, and saved civilization, or at least Stormwind, from a explosive end. Her reward was the Truthbreaker Shield

Kallixta stopped before boarding the flight to Twilight Highlands. She needs to finish up in Uldum first.
One discovery from the research in equipment and upgrades was that Kallixta can do the initial Molten Front quests for some excellent upgrades. I only discovered this after making some of those purchases.

Oh well. It's only gold.

Day Ninety Seven - 15 Sep 2011

Aldonza has been earning loads of gold at the Auction House (see more about Aldonza's gold lust) and she passed on much of the excess gold to Kallixta. Certainly she could find something to spend it on? Kallixta has been upgrading her equipment in preparation for the End Game. What's the fun in accumulating 100,000g if you never spend any of it? First, some items Kallixta could upgrade via Blacksmithing for both her Holy and Tank specs (plus adding sockets to her bracers and gloves and things like Ebonsteel Belt Buckle):
Second, Kallixta had made some progress on reputations that provided rewards worthwhile upgrading from either Guardians of Hyjal and Ramakahen:
Next, I found several items that were major upgrades for Kallixta on teh Auction House. Since there wasn't a rush, Aldonza could shop carefully. For the more expensive items, she could bid instead of buy-out and save a few hundred. In all, she paid just over 5000 gold for these:
That leaves a few quest rewards that I haven't upgraded, including one obsolete trinket!:
The results are that her Tank Spec Equipment Item Level averages 326 while Holy lags to 320. Moving these upgrades into place and shifting things around a bit for specs, I managed an achievement:
That's right. I hadn't managed a blue in all slots above 187 item level until now. Some of those Cataclysm greens where way too attractive.

Day Ninety Six - 14 Sep 2011

Kallixta's guild has recently talked about running Old World Raids during the week. Wednesday night saw someone ask, "Anyone up for Black Temple?" Kallixta joined in.

Now Martuska has actually run the Black Temple once, so this wasn't very new ground, but it was a wonderful opportunity to work with my guild mates and prepare for more old raids in the future. I also remember from our run of Ahn'Qiraj that Kallixta was unlikely to be needed as a tank or healer, but she doesn't have a Retribution spec. She ran as a tank and occasionally pulled a few mobs off the "real tank", but I felt like I contributed more.

We only had five, so this wasn't going to be a Guild Run. We had three paladins and two hunters, but at level 84, Kallixta was the lowest level and little in the run was a challenge. Well, little meaning only one spot was a challenge, the Den of Mortal Delights. It wasn't any boss. We just didn't take those scantily dressed ladies seriously enough and suddenly our entire party was charmed. We gathered way too many of the mind-controlling lasses and laughed at ourselves, helplessly watching our health wither. The hunters managed to feign death and one Mass Resurrection later, we had our chance to retry the encounter. This time we were careful to gather in small groups and we puzzled over why we had any trouble!

We took Illidan down quickly and before he changed form, and two of us got our Black Temple achievement. Ironically, Got My Mind On My Money  popped, despite my mind being elsewhere.

Our group was happy with the result and someone asked if we wanted to try Gruul's Lair. I was willing and we even managed to recruit another guild mate to join. I had done zero preparation, but in the few minutes granted to bio-breaks and for repairs and junk selling, I read enough to know we would have even less trouble.

We spent way more time on trying to decide on a kill order than needed. We joked the proper kill order should just be "Them before Us" and leave it at that. the sub-bosses died quickly and Gruul soon joined them. Again Kallixta was not the only one to gain Gruul's Lair. Someone else thought this was the last raid they needed for Outland Raider, but when it didn't pop for them, realized there must be another. The group decided this was sufficient for a mid-week run and stopped there.

While it was wonderfully fun to accomplish and I got to bond with my guild mates, it wasn't a real opportunity to learn anything about future raiding. Nothing was sufficiently challenging enough to provoke us to real effort beyond "don't aggro the entire room of mind-controlling mobs". It did give me confidence that raiding with these folk will be enjoyable.

BA Shared Topic: WoW Music Playlist

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic  this week was suggested by Saga of Spellbound:

The WoW in-game music is awesome, but there are times (at least for me) when I’m listening to my own music instead. Are there any specific songs that you connect with WoW? Whether it’s tied to your own characters in some way or simply because it reminds you of WoW. Please share!
Most frequently, I'm not listening to music while playing WoW. When I do, it's using my "Instrumental" playlist. This playlist is huge with over two hundred songs, so I won't list them all. Instead I've sampled a few to show the variety and eclectic nature of the thing. While obviously most music are instrumentals (because I don't like being distracted by lyrics), the exceptions prove the rule. I also happen to have things from Polish (Jacek Kaczmarski) to Japanese (Yuki Kajiura) as the lyrics still don't distract me.

I'm older than alot of WoW players. The playlist is a bit heavy on 1970s rock, but when looking at the variety allow me to select a few. These are ordered by year of first release. You might be surprised at how modern oldies can sound or think "Oh, I've heard that before". Enjoy!
  • Rumble, by Link Wray (1958)

  • Apache, Jorgen Ingmann (1961)
  • Green Onions, Booker T & the MGs (1962)
  • Point Panic, The Surfaris (1963)

  • Zorba the Greek, Herb Alpert and the Tiajuana Brass (1965)

  • Shine on you Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd (1975)
  • Buck's Boogie, Blue Öyster Cult (1975)
  • In the Lap of the Gods, Alan Parson Project (1978)
  • Tramontane, Foreigner (1978)
  • Woodpecker from Mars, Faith No More (1989)
  • Lugubrious Whing Whang, Squirrel Nut Zippers (1995)
  • Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E flat Minor, Yngwie J. Malmsteen (1998)
  • In Memory of You, Yuki Kajiura (2001)
  • Hanuman, Rodrigo y Gabriela (2009)

I hope you enjoy these!

Day Ninety Five - 11 Sep 2011

Kallixta enjoyed revisited Blackrock Depths so much, and that long list of dungeons yet to be achieved was attracting her attention. I'm not sure how it was sorted, but Zul'Farrak was at the top of the list. It was the old dungeon I probably enjoyed the most on Martuska. There really wasn't a need to revisit on Kallixta, but I knew I could run through it quickly for a Sunday evening.

And it did go quickly. I discovered how small Kallixta aggro circle was and could avoid large numbers of mobs on horseback and ride to bosses in little time. I got a bit bored at the main pyramid event and ran around gathering up a huge crowd to take down quickly. I belatedly discovered there were spawn points that I was missing and a large number had gone up the steps and were working over the NPCs on my side. Luckily I discovered the oversight before any died. Soon the achievement dinged and I realized that Kallixta didn't have the hammer to ring Godzilla's gong. Actually that hammer might not be required any more, but I'd accomplished my night's mission and picked up a lovely item for future RP potential: Bad Mojo Mask.

Low level dailies, part 2

You might want to read Part 1

Updating for the last few weeks, Aldonza has continued with the experiment and will probably ding 35 in a week, at which point she'll be training new professional skills. It seems that first I'll point out a few interesting discoveries.

Aldonza had been limiting herself mostly to Ironforge with occasional visits to Stormwind. Compiling her few achievements, which included the reminder that she can teleport, I had her shift her operations around:
It only took a week to complete the new reason for basing in Stormwind. Along the way, two more achievements mark her progress. It was time to shift to Darnassus. I found the mailbox outside the Auction House extremely convenient, but the bank not so much.

I also discovered that more than the other two capitals, Darnassus is infested with critters! Serious, the number of frogs, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and the like is significant. I ensured Frost Nova and Arcane Explosion were handy and I add a dozen or so critter kills each trip to the bank and several more going to and from the daily quest givers. This activity has resulted in moving the needle on or 10 points. Critter Kill Squad to 2%. Only about 50 months more! That's... 4 years at this rate?

The hazards of random dailies meant the last cooking quest dropped first but that clam quest didn't show up for another week!
Aldonza also hit level 34 about the same time, so Artisan Inscription is coming. To explain a bit of my excitement, just with Auction House games Aldonza has earned around 150,000g. Casually picking up 1000g a day is easy and I'll pick up considerably more on occasion.

If only skill are making money in an MMO translated to real life!

One other interesting thing popped up:

All done by one character, Aldonza. What will be the next thing to happen for the Sages of Tabasco?!

Day Ninety Four - 10 Sep 2011

Actually, there were a few more days of Kallixta playing "Whack a Plucker" for Ramakahen reputation, but nothing else until she got to missing life in a capital. She had been stuck in Uldum with her hearthstone set to Gadgetzhan when I finally decided to make a change. Aldonza has been enjoying Darnassus for a long time and both were perfectly happy with Ironforge, but Kallixta was going to need regular access back to Uldum, so that meant Stormwind.

After briefly settling in, and with Transmogrification potential in mind, Kallixta flew to western Darkshire for a short quest chain that yielded the Shield of Darkshire, which with Imperial Plate makes a character look like a Stormwind Guard. That's one of my RP plans for the future and it was easy enough to grab now.

Reviewing old sets, I was reminded that Kallixta was missing many Dark Iron Blacksmithing patterns. This was the reason for venturing into Blackrock Mountain. I missed out on Vanilla, joining just after Burning Crusade launched, and have been inside only a few times, such as chasing down an Elder at Lunar Festival time. This time I had four purposes:
In the back of my mind was laying the ground work for solo Molten Core runs for Sulfuras, but that wasn't for this weekend.

I used a wowhead guide to find my way around the huge BRD instance, which I found wonderfully confusing! There has been nothing like it since. It's huge. It has multiple paths, puzzles, goals and a mid-instance bar. It has atmosphere and useful shortcuts. I know the Mole machine teleport wasn't original, but a useful thing for keeping something like this from being too annoying.

The guide was excellent for finding the Core Fragment, but not so great at explaining the Grim Guzzler, which thus allowed me to solve some of the puzzle on how to exit by myself.

I mismanaged my exit and fell to the Black Anvil, necessitating the death of two more bosses before getting back on track, but I did pick up a cool Monocle I'd otherwise have missed. I picked up sufficient vendor trash with all those BOE greens that I returned to the Grim Guzzler just to clear my bags a bit.

I also had my daughter's boyfriend looking over my shoulder a few times, but mostly to help me peek inside Molten Core itself. He was the one that explained what I was doing wrong with the Core Hound packs! While inside, I tested the difficulty of soloing Lucifron. As might be expected, a level 84 Paladin can solo him easily enough. The trick is killing those damn Core Hound packs all together. I have no experience with managing my outgoing damage.

Back tracking a little, I returned to finish off Dagran Thaurissan.

Huh. While Kallixta is Revered on some reputations, this was the first faction she actually earned Exalted with! Martuska doesn't have this yet and she's my achievement whore. Kallixta needed this to buy some of the recipes. There isn't much for a Tailor.

I had a moment to reflect on Achievements. Martuska has already accumulated many, especially some Feats that Kallixta could never accomplish and she already has a huge number of pets, mounts, tabards and holiday things that I have no interest in repeating for Kallixta. However, Kallixta is already more complete on dungeons. If I'm serious about using Kallixta to explore things I missed with Martuska, I shouldn't mind the split in achievements, but there's an ache seeing Blackrock Depths and other dungeons on Kallixta and not on Martuska. How do I get over that?

Day Ninety One to Ninety Three - 14-16 Aug 2011

I did some more review of equipment, this time for her Protection spec, and found Kallixta's reputation with the Guardians of Hyjal was sufficient to provide a few upgrades:
I had also found a Relic upgrade on the Auction House:
Kallixta has been running the Pluckers daily to raise her Ramakahen reputation. Log on, whack the moles, and turn in. I had her hearthstone set to Gadgetzhan, but I realize that's a mistake. I should stay in Stormwind, take the portal to Uldum and hearth back. I don't know why I didn't.

Shared Topic: War-Crafts


The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic this week was suggested by Essence of Gamer Girl Confessions: World of War-Crafts

I started wondering, how many people are into making WoW-like things in real life? Not just food, though food could count too. But how many people create pottery inspired by WoW? Or wigs, or costumes inspired by WoW? Or even knit or sew things relating to WoW? Or are you a fan artist with pen and paper or pastels or clay? How about Machinmas? Comics? Stories?

I must confess I have stuff that fits into this category, but little ready so show.

  • The family has often dressed up in costumes imitating computer game characters, but none happen to be from WoW. For example, my older boy got me to sew a long black duster for Hallowe'en last year so he could be the Merchant from the Resident Evil franchise. This is the dude that started the family playing Warcraft before moving on to other things, like StarCraft, himself.

  • The family loves to rewrite popular songs to parody them into other subjects. I tried modifying a Billy Joel song that listed many things Azeroth. It really wasn't bad, but we never saved the lyrics and I have no intention of posting what little I remember.

  • The family does have all of Ember Isolte's WoW Parody songs on iPod, perfectly suitable for road trips. My younger son was singing "Ninja Raiders" on his way to school just yesterday.

  • My daughter's boyfriend has raided as a Hunter. He probably would appreciate my reference to her dog as a Blighthound, but he knows better than to laugh.
  • My kids bought me a plush Griffon, but I haven't made something myself. Well, I have sewn stuffed animals before and many could be matched to things found in, say, the Borean Tundra. The "Buffy Rat" in our foyer wears a small crucifix necklace and I've thought it looks like it could be from Gilneas.
The fact is, we are a geeky family and warcraft is only part of all the geekiness in our house.

BA Shared Topic: One vs Many? (Solo vs Party Questing)


The topic this week at Blog Azeroth was suggested by Martha of  Perish Twice: One vs Many? (Solo vs Party Questing)
While there are some quests that specifically call for grouping, most don't... but do you group anyway? How many of you pick up a friend or guildie to quest with and how many grind the lonely roads alone?
I before I could post an entry that really didn't add much to what others already said, I concentrated my few thoughts that weren't distracted by the upcoming holiday weekend and had a thought that I hadn't seen others consider.
Yes, yes. Questing and leveling has been changed so much that the old Group Quests can all be soloed and the LFD and PVP tools have conditioned folks to quickly level to get somewhere else. It's easy to understand a hesitancy to inviting an unknown character to complete some quests together.
I've tried raising a character with my son, questing together, but it was too easy for one of us to play one session without the other and suddenly the level difference made things too difficult to continue. The current levelling speed only makes this worse!

Leveling has become a solo experience while things like Raids are not. A 5-man dungeon is obviously a group, yet many pugs are accomplished without any social interaction. Where is there room in today's WoW for a real party experience?

I think the answer Blizzard gives us is in Guilds. At least in my guild, folks don't group up to do quests, but we have been know to form a group with a specific goal. One particularly memorable event was when someone wanted to hunt a Whale Shark and excitedly convinced a bunch of us to try.
It strongly reminded me of a fight versus Stitches in Darkshire in the old days, complete with squeals of terror. Granted the reward was only an Achievement, not a loot drop or token towards completing a legendary, but it was something special.

Another Guild activity was when one of us wanted to solo Black Fathoms Deep for the achievement and asked if anybody else wanted to join. There was no requirement for others as they were perfectly capable of soloing the old content, but it was an excuse to do something together. A really neat part was how it gave me fodder for subsequent Role Play.

These activities obviously don't fit the old "Group Quest" paradigm nor questing at all, really, but they did give an old fashioned feel that reminded me of how we'd group for a dungeon in the "old days" and one veteran would help others ensure they were picking up the right quests before joining together at the gathering stone.

Now THAT image in my brain has prompted some real nostalgic thinking.

Day Ninety - 7 Aug 2011

Finally I got to spend a significant time on Kallixta again, so off she went to Uldum. It had been long enough since Martuska ran the zone that I really was surprised at the number of cinematics. The pace was fast yet fun. I enjoyed the zone much more than the first time and more than Mount Hyjal. The atmosphere is just more fun for me. I was pleased with the significant number of quest rewards that were good for Holy Paladins, but many weren't real improvements. I did grab the Eye of the Stars.

Kallixta dinged 84!

There's one quest where one reward gave a choice and Kallixta selected the increased Ramakahen reputation. This meant she could visit Blacksmith Abasi and pick up the honored rewards: Shroud of the Dead, Ammunae's Blessing, Drystone Greaves. This was so nice!

I know that the Midfletcher's Talisman is my weakest link, but Talisman of Sinister Order is just a few more Uldum quests away.

Kallixta stopped at 62/105 of the Uldum quests, which means there's plenty more to do, however what I'm hoping is to earn her final level by some dungeons. Unfortunately this will have to occur after family vacations and other distractions for the next couple weeks.

Day Eighty Nine - 4 August 2011

While reviewing Kallixta's equipment, I discovered a couple slots I could improve. Kallixta crafted and equipped a Lifeforce Hammer. I also made a trip back to Mount Hyjal and picked up the Cloak of the Dryads.

Day Eighty Eight - 27 July 2011

It was my birthday and I got to spend some midweek time on Kallixta. I dinged level 83, which was the point. I had been close for a while and ran a few fishing and cooking dailies in Stormwind for a while. Right after this happened, I ended up spending a long time upgrading things. I could craft many Stormforge pieces myself. Looking at my equipment now, EIGHT of my items say "Stormforged"!

I had been hestating to jump on the boat to Vashj'r for some reason and knew that now at 83, I could head for Uldum.

Day Eighty Seven - 26 July 2011

Kallixta spent time raising her Archeaology. I was surprised at how much XP this earned, but also surprised at how SLOW it is to level. While she could fly very quickly and many of the sites were close, watching the skill level climb is painful.

In a surprise, I spotted this on the Auction House and quickly snatched it up: Fetish of the Fiery Sands. It was a huge improvement over the Venture Co. Libram of Most Holy Deeds I had picked up in Northrend.

Day Eighty Six - 14 July 2011

A guildmate was wearing a wonderful outfit and inspired me to looking for something myself. Of course, looking at their eyepatch made me want one of my own and I discovered how easy it was. I had no trouble soloing Stockades and ran it three times. The silver was trivial and the greens were sent off to be D/E'd, but the blues I picked up included 2 Wicked Daggers and a Rifle Commander's Eyepatch. I tucked away the eyepatch for future Role-play.

It was also interesting to see the changes in the Stockades with Cataclysm. Have you revisited since the change?

Low level dailies experiment

Back in early March, I decided I wanted raise my bank mule to level 20 so that I could develop a couple professions to Expert and make a bit more gold. I often find myself with a few minutes sufficient to craft items and play the auction house, but not enough time to run a dungeon. Also, if a distraction arises, I don't fear to leave my character as I would if she were mid-adventuring. This means I've more time to play the Auction House Game than other aspects of WoW.
From Aldonza's Activity Log:
  • Earned the achievement Giddy Up! for 10 points. 5/7/2011
  • Earned the achievement Level 20 for 10 points. 5/7/2011
  • Earned the achievement Cooking Award for 10 points.  5/7/2011
Yes, even on the day I dinged Level 20 and grabbed the Riding skill, she did a cooking daily quest.
So, subtracting days we can see Aldonza managed 5 dailies in the next week. It was likely six because I almost always did both Fishing and Cooking. Well, I always at least checked the daily, but some of those quests might take a bit longer than others and I'd skip. It wasn't important to me at the time.
I was more diligent about doing Minor Inscription Research every day and adding to my possible Glyphs and max'ed my skill in one week. I wanted to make gold, so I raised my skill inexpensively and that meant slow and steady, not ASAP. But I continued the occasional Cooking and Fishing daily.
Aldonza wasn't trying for any particular achievements at this point. They just dropped as she did enough of these dailies in the normal course of life. The hat was in the fishing reward sack as was the journal that granted fish tracking. Around this time Aldonza dinged level 21 and I noticed just how much XP those dailies were granting. So I started being a bit more diligent at doing them. My schedule also meant it was easier for me to perform them in the mornings before heading to work. That meant the next achievement to pop shouldn't be a surprise:
This regular pursuit of two dailies showed results:

I belatedly realized that I could improve this rate. Kallixta didn't have access to heirlooms while levelling, but she was high enough now to pass something over to Aldonza of the guild "Sages of Tabasco".
I would still occasionally forget to switch from my fishing outfit to the heirlooms for the XP bonus when turning in the quest. In this case, style was more important than a few XP. If Aldonza is fishing, she's damn well going to wear her fishing hat, not some ugly Mask!

Continuing with this pattern had regular consequences:
This fishing pole requires skill level 300, which won't happen until after Aldonza trains as Artisan at level 35.
So, Fishing finally max'ed, but only from the skill granted by the quest and the required fishing the quests asks for. The cooking dailies don't get this secondary side effect. No skill bump from Spice Bread! So cooking lags behind. Note that she's actually earning gold in cooking without purchasing any new recipes. With the accumulated Cooking Awards, she purchased Imported Supplies and sent the Cocoa Beans to Kallixta, who made the Chocolate Cookies, posted stacks on the Auction House and mentioned on /trade how You'll Feel Right As Rain.

That is nice extra income. Aldonza is not a philanthropist.

Aldonza had been avoiding the I Need to Cask a Favor until she learned the trick of switching to walk speed to negotiate the steps and doorway at the end. The achievement reminded me that Aldonza can Teleport easily enough to any capital as needed, so expect the other similar achievements to fall soon.

Life as a Bank Alt at the various capitals has its differences. The mailbox in Darnassus and Stormwind is a bit more convenient than in Ironforge, but the combination of Auction House, Mailbox and Guild Bank is best in Ironforge. And I'm happy to avoid Stormwind. Aldonza likes being a Stormwind ex-pat. Another big advantage of Ironforge is its Limited Supply Recipe circuit as I learned from The Consortium. It's a great Gold/minute rate for a low level character.

By the way, the dailies have a Reputation consequence, too. Besides the capital city reputations, Aldonza is also earning tiny amounts of Guild Reputation, about 3 points each quest! Bank Guilds like mine typically stay level 1 for a long time. With Aldonza slowly leveling, some Guild XP is coming in and Sages of Tabasco is about halfway to level 2. Guild Achievements are also slow in coming, but because of her business, the first to actually pop is likely The Pen is Mightier, which is at 65% already.

Seeing other bloggers experiment with alts, such as Eccentria Jones's Mad Murray, inspired me to post this story now. I'll provide an update after Aldonza dings 35 and trains up her profession to the next stage.

Ba Shared Topic: Identity

The Shared Topic this week at Blog Azeroth was suggested by Akabeko:

How does your character define themself? What part of their identity is most important to their personality and self-presentation?
In meatspace, we have so many affiliations, it’s anyone’s guess whether we consider ourselves a tuba player first, or a student, a Gators fan, a New Yorker, a mother, a nerd, a liberal. Our identities are comprised of so many different aspects of life that it’s hard to tell which parts different people will choose to define themselves.
In game, there are less game-related ways to identify.
You can identify as:

your class – your spec
your race – a particular subgroup (Mag’har, Wildhammer)
your faction – a faction other than Horde/Alliance

I confess to having read other posts while working on mine. Several had good additions to identity, including:
your look (From Hairstyles to Outfits)
your tabard
your title
Several posts demonstrated how a person's real-life identity influences their character's. What struck me most was how Warcraft is an escape for me, allowing me to wear a personality very different from IRL. I can be an Extrovert. I can be brave and charge into a fight. I can wear my heart on my sleeve in stark contrast to what I would do IRL. In fact, I *love* using in-game features to better let others know what my character is like.

At level 46 in Platemail
In Fel Iron Plate in Outland

Kallixta is a Paladin. Whether a Tank or Healer, she's still almost always in armor. She just isn't comfortable in casual wear. Instead when she is relaxing, I have outfits in white, grey or low-level greens that are still plate like armor. I recently started collecting the Soldier's set because despite being mail, it's still obviously something to fight in.

Kallixta frequently wears her Guild's Tabard, a proud statement of her identity that I didn't see many mention. The Guild reflects her choice of association. She's a member of a circle that RP together, fight in Dungeons together and try to Raid together.

That Kallixta is a dwarf was never her selection. It's something she doesn't think about. It just is. It influences her thinking, but her class is far more important to her identity. Her Alliance identity has waxed and waned at times, being more important in the Outland where zone PvP was something I enjoyed and less important in Northrend where in character she felt the threat of the Lich King overrode partisan faction feelings. I suspect such changes will occur again in future, especially as I hope to participate in more battlegrounds soon.

I'm going to mention Aldonza, as I often do. She was intended to be a bank alt and still is. However, Kallixta's RP storytelling has frequently used Aldonza as a device which as a side effect has inspired me to develop an identity beyond a mule. The personality that appeared in my mind explains why she spends her time at the auction house and the like. An original Bank Alt on a different server wore things that proclaimed her banker identity, but that just isn't Aldonza. She spends most of her time in Ironforge despite being a human. Being a human living in the dwarf capital resonates with my time as an American living in England. She's aware of her differences. She's evolving and I'm curious just what might become important to her.

I've rambled much longer than I expected!

BA Shared Topic: Making a WoW Cooking Recipe IRL

Could I have found a better way to demonstrate "I don't know what I'm talking about?" This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic was suggested by me: Making a WoW Cooking Recipe IRL

Have you ever attempted a WoW cooking recipe IRL? Have you found someone else's recipe and tried to follow it?


There have been folks that have used their own Unidentified Cooking Utensils to produced recipes and some have worked better than others. Share yours!


Or perhaps you can follow a recipe. but not create one and there is this fascinating recipe that you need created for you by someone with the right skills?


The reverse might also be a consideration: What IRL foods are missing in Azeroth?
Everybody that plays WoW probably knows there are parts of the game they don't participate in as much as someone else might. An obvious example being not all players will or can raid. Other corners of play include PvP and RP. This week's topic is Food, which everybody has at least some experience, if not in the manner discussed today.

Those already in this circle probably know more about it than me, but it was me that dared suggest the topic, and mine is the first post in the thread, so it's probably my responsibility to play introductions.

I was introduced to the topic first in the forums and was happy to discover Tauren Chef, which happens to sell a cookbook and will send you three recipes for free. They aren't bad, but I'm very happy to suggest you look at Edenvale's Gamer's Fridge. She has more options, a wider variety, and I haven't found one I dislike.

The inspiration for this topic was one evening after mixing up a few stacks of Chocolate Cookies to post on the Auction House. I was barking in /2 to sell these for the You'll Feel Right as Rain  achievement and realized my house was understocked. My boys had finished off the Oreos, so what should I do? I had already done some experiments and while thinking about more and researching it online, I decided I'd suggest it as a Shared Topic.

The easiest step into this for a newbie is to take normal food and give it an exotic name. My boys were perfectly happy to have Rhino Dogs, despite my not doing a darn thing different from when we'd had Hot Dogs two days before. (Oh, my spouse was out of town. Why do I mention that?) The family already has a perfectly Delicious Chocolate Cake recipe that I will not muck up.

Step Two is when you actually do something different, albeit not necessarily a big step. Mixing Orange Juice, some rum and whatever exotic fruit juice happens to be on sale at the grocery and calling it Kungaloosh works fine. I haven't made a Kungaloosh I didn't like yet.

Step Three is to really experiment and do something you haven't tried before. With my daughter is Korea, the whole family has started to experiment with Asian dishes. I've tried Unagi at a restaurant, but next month (when the daughter returns) I plan to try this recipe for Blackbelly Sushi. I'm serious. Eel is something that tastes WAY better than you expect. It's sweet and despite not using a Cooking Fire, the Eel actually is cooked.:

A package unagi eel is about a half-pound. Thaw if you got it frozen. Try to get it skinned already. It should peel easily though. Just broil it until the eel changes color. Repeat on the other side. Usually the eel is long, and for this we'll cut it into long, thin slices.

You'll want about 3 cups of rice. Look for a sumeshi recipe if you don't know have your own. You'll also want a small cucumber and about 6 sheets of nori. Now I realize I've given this is the wrong order:
  1. Cook 3 cups of sumeshi.
  2. Cook the unagi.
  3. Wash and chop the cucumber.
  4. Roll the sushi, using the unagi and cucumber as your fillings.
All this is actually easier than trying Roasted Quail!
  1. Serve with wasabi or other preferred flavorings.

Days Eighty Two to Eighty Five - 2-5 July 2011

I had a lot of free time available over the long holiday weekend and I was able to devote a substantial amount of time to Kallixta. Beyond this, I managed to spend a lot of time on Martuska, too. As my Achievement Whore, I managed to complete The Flame Warden, leaving only Children's Week for Strange Trip. I also managed to join my guild in bringing down the Whale Shark!

As for Kallixta, I spent some time just questing in Hyjal and dinging 82 while Beating Pterodactyls and picking up Plenty of Pets. I also did some ore farming and with only half hearted trying, picked up Explore Uldum and Deepholm. I did not neglect the Auction House games I've been working on and to better play, I completed leveling my blacksmithing skill, earning Working Around the Clock. Another money making opportunity was picking up the Chocolate Cookie recipe, which sells well with a bit of You'll Feel Right as Rain promotion. I helped at least three guildmates earn that achievement. Sous Chef has another of those accidental things.

The crowning event of the weekend was my finally running a Cataclysm dungeon as a Healer, Throne of the Tides! We were a bit overgeared and I didn't use my cooldowns much. No one was ever in real danger, I don't think. It was awesome! Still, despite my preparation and warning, my kids STILL tried to interrupt me! I don't think I've ever growled that loud.