BA Shared Topic: Favorite Weapon, RP Style

The older dwarf concludes "No one ever saw the lass again, though soon thereafter we started hearin' the first tales o' tha Mournin' Marble. An' so, when ye 'ear talk about 'is heart o' stone ... he nae be speakin' poetically."

Kallixta shakes her head, like she knows she misheard something, but shaking doesn't put it into place. "The Moaning Marble, ye say?"

She is corrected, "Mourning..."

Kallixta considers this correction. After a few moments, she nods. "Huh."

When it comes time for Kallixta to share her story, she stands up straight. Full armor wasn't made for comfortable seating, so she needs a bit of stretching before she makes her way to stand on the Gazebo steps. The young dwarf lass also tugs her braid out from the back where it was tangled with her cloak. "I'll be telling ye aboot my two loves. I don't rightly know how, yet, but I'll just go ahead an tell ye aboot me first, lost love and then aboot my current love."

Things quiet down among the audience, which has been patient but it has also been a long evening and there are concerns that the stories are getting worse. Kallixta sighs briefly, then gathers herself, taking a deeper breadth.

"I was a young lass, still new to my trade and looking fer that first big adventure and a chance to demonstrate me resolve against the forces of evil. And it so happened I found the same in a place called the Deadmines. Now I don't reckon all here have heard of them. Maybe ye have. We didn't much hear aboot the Deadmines up north where I be from. Just happens, it does. It be so that the Deadmines happens to gather bandits every so often, and I'd done me part to clear out the current set. It took some effort and it just so happens that I first met him there. Ah...."

Kallixta pauses, with a distant look in her eyes. With a voice carrying her wonder, she continues "He had a straight spine, he did. And a beautiful profile. I loved his keen edge yet although he was oft stiff, he knew when to bend, too. From the first moment I touched him, I was in love. It be such that we were inseparable, we were. He went everywhere with me. I remember showing him to me Mum and she assured me me Dad would have approved. I think he woulda, too, indeed. But it wasn't to last. I found I could be unfaithful."

There are whispers in the audience full of confusion, "She could? Or he could?" The discussion distracts the paladin from her story and the faraway look fades from her eyes. The pause leaves Kallixta perplexed as to how to correct the bewilderment, but she determines to ignore it and continue her tale. "It happened at the Scarlet Monastery, it did. I was attracted to someone newer, larger. He seemed to be something more and I neglected me first love."

While Kallixta lets out a long, drawn-out sigh, one clear voice responds, "At least she's honest about it." The dwarf lass tries to keep herself honest and admits, "It was all me own fault, you see. Now it turns out, if you're nae giving proper due to where ye send yer attention, well in the Scarlet Monastery, an alarm can sound out and it seems like every soldier in the place comes running, you ken? I was distracted and by the time I returned to my first love, it was too late. He was lost."

Kallixta concludes, "I miss that sword."

There is renewed whispering in the audience as they confirm those last words. Some are astonished. Some amused. At least one says in a dry tone, "Ah, swords. A girl's best friend."

Kallixta is confuses by the audience response. It's almost as if they think that was the conclusion. Not knowing how best to transition to the next part of her story, she just blunders on, "It was not much time later that I was rewarded with a new sword, and it was a shock. There on the tang was my own father's mark! I've seen the work he's done, but this was a particularly excellent piece, and he's come to me in a roundabout way. I've oft missed him, seeing as I lost him when I was so young. It was of great comfort to have this piece of him come back to me."

There. Kallixta finishes with "Thus ends my tale of lost love and a new one, just starting off." She lets out a long, drawn-out sigh while stepping down towards her seat.

One friend calls out comfort, "Oh, don't you worry. There are plenty of swords in the sea!"

Kallixta response quickly, still feeling the pain, "But I really loved that sword."

Her friend isn't discouraged and continues in the only way she seems to know to comfort, "Plenty of daggers in the depths! Plenty of maces in the mountains! Plenty of staves in the swamp! Plenty of...uh. Well, you get the idea."
Excerpted from our Guild Storytelling event, lightly edited. Thanks to all for their bit!

Day Fifty One - 25 Feb 2011

With the Love is in the Air holiday passed and Martuska finishing her Fool for Love achievement, I was free to spend time with Kallixta. When last we dropped in on our intrepid heroine, she'd managed level 61 and was still in the middle of the Hellfire Peninsula. This would appear to be a good time to gather some more experience, right?

Except there was a Guild Event scheduled for Friday night. Stories of love and fools was supposed to be a chance for us to roleplay and storytell. It got postponed from the middle of the Valentine's holiday until now, which made for a fascinating coincidence.

It just happened that I had made my first proposal for a Shared Topic at BlogAzeroth, What is your favorite weapon, and it just happened to get scheduled for this week! Suddenly I needed a good post. Too bad there was no way to combine the two.

Or was there...?

The Guild Event went really well. It was held at the Gazebo behind the Stormwind Cathedral and the place worked wonderfully for this event. We had a few visitors join the audience and only one burdensome troll that we easily ignored. We got some nice compliments and publicity. It was everything we wanted out of the event.

But I'll post my story as a separate entry that will be linked to the Shared Topic. Instead I wanted to mention what else happened on Friday evening. I managed level 62? Okay, enough about me. What I'll remember from this night was all about the story telling.

BA Shared Topic: Favorite Weapon

This was the first time I ever proposed a shared topic: What is your favorite weapon? I'll be answering it twice. My subsequent version will be from a Tankadin point of view, which is where the question originated, but as I was also thinking about it from my Mage's perspective and that prompted this deeper question:

What is a Mage's real weapon?

Historically, it's a dagger. And WoW has spellblades of various sorts and the like, but how many of us have ever found ourselves slashing a boss with any edged weapon? In Fantasy Fiction, the great wizard wields a Very Manly Staff, usuallytwo handed, but again, if we're on melee auto-attack on a boss, we're doing it wrong.

No matter what the one-hand or two-hand weapon is that we've equipped, it isn't treated as a weapon, but another dump slot to shove the best bonus we can manage. And yet, some of these weapons are definitely cooler than others, but none managed to etch themselves into my mind as something I could call a favorite.

There is another slot, however. And this one has on occasion been an important weapon. I'm talking about the wand. There were plenty of times while leveling that I would finish a creature by switching to a few blasts from my wand. It did decent enough damage at the time and it also allowed my mana regeneration to start just a little bit sooner. Does that still happen? I'm not sure with all the recent changes in leveling that mages are encouraged to use this tactice. Any recent mages have an opinion?

Yeah, we probably still aren't using wands on a boss, but the fact is I have much better memories of seeing my character running around with a still glowing wand in her hand. In fact, I wish I knew just which wand that was. It glowed, not unlike Fiery Weapon!
I love Fiery Weapon, by the way. Not so much for my own weapon, but because as an enchanter, it was the earliest enchant that provided me with a profit! I spotted it on the Auction House and grabbed it and was soon building a comfortable collection of gold. This came at a time when I needed a source of funds, so I'll always have a solid appreciation for that enchantment.

But I digress. I had a wand that glowed. I think it also had a sparkle. It really did glow orange and left behind a little trail, like a dying sparkler being waved around on the Fourth of July. It also provided a pool of light circling around me on  a dungeon floor. That always reminded me of how in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign as a Dungeon Master, I'd forget which characters had darkvision or infravision and which needed a torch. There's probably an Order of the Stick cartoon that could include that as a punchline.

Do Night Elves see better in the dark than a Gnome? Doesn't matter, really. Well, unless there's a boss battle where the lights go out and suddenly those that have glowing weapons can see better than those without. That could be kinda cool.

Hm, another digression. I think I was going to talk about how a wizard's staff doesn't have any ranged attack animation. I guess the item would then consume three slots, filling the wand slot, too. I'm sure Blizzard could do it, but that seems wrong. Instead, if we aren't shooting bolts out of our wand, we'd better be shooting them from our hands.

Or our eyes! I'd love having Enchanted Engineering Goggles that had a pew pew lazer animation. That'd be worthwhile to grind some reputation to exalted.

Since I can't remember Martuska's favorite wand, I can at least tell you the weapon I remember the best. Because Mage's got a headstart on Kirin Tor reputation and I was delighting in the cooking and fishing dailies, Kirin Tor was the first Wotlk faction I got to Exalted. That meant that Flameheart Spell Scalpel was the first ilevel 200 item I picked up, well before I could actually equip it. And for whatever reason, it didn't get replaced until much later. Therefore I had was my weapon for an extremely long time. It was a happy thing. It was something I could be proud of having earned and it looked pretty decent. So it easily wins my vote as a favorite. It even provided me with a RP prompt once. I could casually mention, "Oh this? Just something I got from the Kirin Tor in appreciation of my service to Dalaran." Yeah, like no one else could do it. Ha!

Guild Friendship

I think I've been reading Gevlon too much and been too quick to measure everything. I was reminded of how much I'll pay for FUN! There are some intangibles that could be measured, but I won't. Doing a favor for a friend only cost me a small bit of time and when he did the reverse, I got paid back much more than my contribution. How much did it cost him? Some time, for sure, but he's also taught me and trained me, so when I end up in a Guild Run with him, I'll be a better player. I suppose he could measure the return in value, but I doubt he does. He just did a Guildie a favor and shrugs. But it really means a lot to me.

I had spent Sunday working through the Love Fool requirements, including a trip to Arathi Basin. I mentioned before I wanted to actually contribute and maybe finally manage an Arathi Basin Victory. The starting strategy while awaiting the gates to open suggested an early Blacksmith grab, which was fine with me. So I followed the few that went that direction. There was a short battle and suddenly we had it! In the lull that followed I dropped my fool, ran my pity macro and I Pitied The Fool was mine! Alliance still lost in the end. Still, I don't think I embarassed myself too badly. I did manage my share of HKs.

Now all that was left was to get the Red Roses. A fresh 85 fellow guildie also had a few bits left to finish. I made a couple level 1 Hordies for him to shower with rose petals, but I couldn't easily make the Orc Death Knight he needed to finish. Then we grouped up to run a dungeon. We got another guildie to join us to Grim Batol where we saw the Roses drop. I lost on the roll. We had a gogogo Hunter with us who would annoying as all heck, but we kept good practice of using crowd control even where we might not have needed it. We might have been a little slow, but we were methodical and made it to the final boss without too much trouble. First try on Erudax was a wipe though. I didn't get to the safe zone of the vortex quickly enough. The hunter dropped and we noticed despite instructions, he wasn't hitting the Faceless Guardian adds. We got another guildie to finish for us and this time I managed to find the right places and I did focus damage on the adds. With all the movement, I'm sure my DPS was lousy, but still, we completed Grim Batol.

My Guildie was willing to help me finish my run for the roses before returning to complete his holiday achievements and switched to an alt. I hadn't realized until then just who his alt was. Well, I knew, but wasn't really reminded until the switch. He was one of the tanks in the prior day's Black Temple run and when he joined a queue, there was zero wait for anything to pop! I thought healers were the critical link in Cata dungeons, but not on Sunday. While Grim Batol had been slow and methodical, we zipped through Lost City of Tol'Vir

A real blizzard moved in and while we didn't lose power, we did have a few flickers to the lights. Unfortunately, my laptop has ZERO battery support, so the least flicker meant I was rebooting. I'm glad my Guildie was patient with me and the pugs were patient, too. Then I realized part of that when one puggie asks "So what's such a well geared tank doing slumming in the normal dungeons?" He was there helping me, thank you, thank you! OMG, average equipped gear score of 351? I guess I can understand the PUGs patience better.

While he didn't need it, he reminded the Pug about teamwork, assigning CC duties and teaching us what we'll need to do. He often admitted he knew the heroic version of bosses and politely asked for information from others about differences. When items dropped, folks asked and received permission to need on off-spec items. It was a good experience all around.

After a Halls of Origination run, we were told that the roses don't drop from all cataclysm dungeons, but only Grim Batol and Stonecore. So we next went to Stonecore. We actually had a wipe on trash when we aggro'd three patrolling packs together, but that settled us down to take the dungeon seriously. My experience said everything else flowed pretty smoothly after that. Even when we had one other accidently pull, we were never in danger. It just was a little messy.

By this time, I was way late for getting to bed. I worried my friend wouldn't have the time to finish his own holiday, but he managed some how. Not only did I get my Red Roses and Fool For Love achievements, but a couple new dungeons and some good drops! Excellent!

Martuska, Laptops and Foolish Love

I've mentioned my family computer situation before in Communal Laptops. At that time, we had 3 laptops and 2 desktops. 5 computers? We didn't know how good we had it. Now I dream of 5 computers in the house. Luxury!

The newest laptop went with Syylia to Korea. My older boy's laptop died. It was only a couple years old, but a bad video card burned out the motherboard and the thing is totaled. The remaining laptop is ancient and decrepid, but it's the only thing running WOW right now! Actually, I could probably installed WOW on my older boy's desktop, but he needs that for his college classes and it's inconvenient. The other desktop is even older and needs a video card upgrade to run WOW. It ran fine before 4.0.1, but won't now.
Meanwhile, the hinge on the remaining laptop is broken and the battery won't hold a charge. It also has a hard drive with a loud and annoying whine, but it works. I haven't installed all the addons I had before, but (and this is the important part) it works.

Obviously I should just get a new laptop, but we've a few other expenses with higher priority. I can live with it. All this has resulted in my neglect in playing and I was resigning myself to failing to finish the Fool For Love holiday achievements on Martuska and thus flunking Strange Trip completely this year. I know Syylia was resigned to that. Mentally I knew it would happen, but then this weekend arrived and I had some time. Could I do it? Let's see what I had left... I only needed two achievements: Red, Red Rose and Pity the Fool. How hard can that be? That's one dungeon run and some dips into PvP, right?

Saturday morning I ran some quests and realized the critical path was collecting enough Love Tokens to purchase the Love Fools. Granted, if I ran short, I might be able to find someone else with one, but that's where I started. A few quick dailies and I had the Love Tokens to buy two and a half Love Fools. Good enough. I could finish it tomorrow. I went ahead and pitied my two purchased in Wintergrasp and Gurubashi Arena. Nobody was around for these, but that wouldn't be the case for Arathi Basin. I needed to check out my PvP set.

I only dabble in PvP. I've more experience with it on Kallixta, but I was doing this on my mage. I'm still horrible, but I wanted to contribute, not just join the BG, run my pity macro and get out and to do that, I wanted something other than my PVE gear. Luckily for me, Psynister and Cynwise recently wrote pieces on Planning for PvP. Cynwise's Gearing Strategy outline was perfectly applicable for any class and for my purposes, I only needed to look at step one "Get the crafted pieces made as soon as you can"
Well, I'm a tailor and I already had most of the Frostsavage Battlegear and could craft a few Fireweave/Emberfire pieces, too. One visit to the Auction House later and I had over 400 resilience without hurting my other stats too much. This should mean that I could NOT excuse excretable performance on my gear.

At this point it was Saturday evening and the guild was running a Black Temple raid. This would be a low pressure raid and something I missed during Burning Crusade as I hadn't gotten to level 50, nevermind a raid-worthy 70. I had one disconnect, which punted me back to the beginning and I had to navigate my way back to the group, but we managed to Kill Illidan without much trouble. The whole run reminded me of my real goal, getting Kallixta up and raiding. But this weekend was still keeping an eye on the short-term goal of making a fool of myself for love.

Day Fifty - 5 Feb 2011

There was one priority that competed against Kallixta's attention. Martuska needed to complete the Lunar Elder title before Syylia left with the good laptop. Only after that was done did I get to dust off Kallixta for what Psynister calls the Outland gear reset.

Level 61

I did manage a bunch of Hellfire questing and ding another level. There is a lot of boring travel back and forth between quest givers and the quest's target locations, but none of it was difficult. I did run into another leveler waiting for a miniboss to respawn, so I grouped with a Drainei mage. It was so strange to have that water elemental next to me while not on Martuska! Working as a pair helped tremendously on those Kill X worms quests, so we didn't need to compete. I wish I could continue the cooperation.

Skill Leveling

I knew I was going to upgrade some gear with crafted items, so I first did some skilling up on my smelting and blacksmiting. I also wanted to knock out a few more of the profitable items, like enchanting rods. This meant a quick trip to Shattrath, which really wasn't that long compared to many Northrend taxi rides.

Mining: 325
Blacksmithing: 316


I know there's still some good upgrades to come from Hellfire questing, but I'd replaced a bunch of old Azeroth equipment already and had the Fel Iron itching to be put to use. Kallixta is still wearing old world shoulders, cloak, bracers, boots, one ring and two trinkets. Oh, and my shield. The shield will get upgraded by the beautiful Sporeggar reward. One trinket will be upgraded by an upcoming quest. The boots might get replaced if I run Ramparts. I fixed the gloves and belt with my own craft results, two pieces of Fel Iron Plate. I crafted the boots to go with them, but need level 62 to wear. Just wearing these two pieces though provides another 15 to hit. I'm thinking I'll enjoy the green look much better with more of the items. In fact, there are many future items that could look nice with these.

From my Excel Spreadsheet

BA Shared Topic: Archaeology

Ringo Flinthammer asked about Archaeology:

What do you think of it? Did Blizzard release it half-baked? Are you happy with its current implementation? What else do you hope to have added to it in future patches?

At first, I was very happy. It reminded me of fishing and I'd enjoyed fishing. I didn't enjoy fishing as much as somethings, but there were plenty of times that was the pace of what I wanted to do. I'd find a pool and watch TV while listening for the sound indicating a fish had bitten.

Good enough. I'll pursue it more after leveling to 85 and poking around in dungeons. It's fine to have as a lower priority and I knew the pet and mount collector in me would return.

Syylia, my daughter, followed it much more doggedly. She once was an archaeology major, so maybe that was the appeal, but even she eventually tired enough to drop it to the back burner.

Only in the last week or so have I really returned to Archaeology and thank the little green apples the toon that is trying is a Mage! I pity those needing to fly long distances. There's far more idle time in moving to the next dig site than anticipated. The travel time is a required part that can't easily be ameliorated.

I suppose I'm looking at it wrong. I'm already level 85. What would it be like to level Archaeology as you level your toon? Well, that's funny because I have been leveling a toon, but without surveying et al. Why not?

Kallixta has been on a Vanilla WOW account. I only upgraded to Burning Crusade in the last few weeks as she approached 60 and Blizzard happened to drop the prices. She isn't crippled without Wotlk or Cata. Her purpose is to explore things I missed with Martuska and that included a lot of Vanilla. She couldn't explore Jewelcrafting yet? Horrors! I'd run a Draenei up through a few zones already. So you see what I've been missing? Yeah, Archaeology is about the only thing.

So I'm only seeing it like most old-timers, from the vantage of end-game. I think it'd be less boring to do it while leveling an alt. "I'm going to Redridge Mountains? Oh look..."

Unfortunately, I restarted Archaeology after news of the increase in common artifacts was out, but before the patch with its release. As a consequence, my bank now has a bunch of gray items waiting for 4.0.6. Of course, that's what a bank alt is for!

Overall, it does seem to be missing some depth. It isn't hard to believe it was part of something else that got dropped and they wanted to salvage something out of it. I have hopes that future patches can tweak some improvements into it.

  • For example, I could see tradeskill recipes as future drops. Why couldn't we rediscover an ancient dwarven beer recipe or nightelf tailoring or whatever?
  • I wasn't the only one disappointed that the reconstructed dress artifact wasn't something that could be worn. Why not? Couldn't these artifacts be something RPers would fight for?
  • I haven't forgotten how there used to be quests where a tradeskill was required or helpful, like Incendicite Ore. Seems like it wouldn't be difficult to have some quest that as a reward gave a keystone. Or yielded something extra with those fragments.
  • Another way Archaeology could have been integrated into other aspects in reputation. Why couldn't there be a Dwarf/Troll artifact that asked to be turned in to a quest/vendor that rewarded reputation? Blathers gasps at the site of your widget. "Of course! It's fragments of the legendary Holy Hand Granade of Antioch that Brother Maynard once carried." Wouldn't that give a nice tingle?
Anyway, these are some of the things that show how it was released "half-baked", but none of them are irreversable. I hope Blizzard can find the opportunity to squeeze a little something extra into the profession.

Day Forty Nine - 1 Feb 2011

Level 60

In a timely manner, Psynister published his next installment, Paladin Leveling, 50-69 Protection. I highly recommend his suggestions. I also greatly appreciate his explanations, which make understanding why certain talents are taken and how certain actions work together, etc. It's good stuff. Of course, I needed to review my macros, re-spec, and fix my action bars. I managed to do that while watching a movie with the family and listening to the blizzard outside. Finally I was ready to go.

It took more time to earn this level than the prior ones. The quest hubs required a bit more back and forth and I was without a flying mount. Knowing I'll want some Honor Hold marks, I've been keeping an eye open for chances to pick up one of the PvP targets. A group was picking them up and I needed one, so I joined and turned in my daily, earning my first marks, Insignia of the Alliance and Freedom of the Alliance.

I then worked on quests and eventually I dinged. I immediately went to train and buy my griffon. I felt this was a good place to stop.