20 Days, Day 4 - Favorite Wow Memory

This is my Day 2 post in Spellbound's 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge.

Let me tell you two good memories.
An early memory comes from my first day in the Outland. I was already level 62 when I arrived at the Hellfire Peninsula, so the mobs were giving me little trouble and I could immediately purchase flying. Instead of just knocking off quests, I wanted to explore a little. I flew past some mobs and dropped into empty spaces while looking around. I wasn't a miner at the time or I'd have been dropping on ore nodes, too. So I found a nice quiet spot to AFK and I was new enough to flying that I didn't think of hovering AFK. I returned and found myself dead. Huh. I must have missed something.

A bit later, I was fascinated, watching the ground reverberate. Cool, an earthquake? Isn't that neat? Why is my health dropping? Run Away! Too slow.

Huh. What's Fel Reaver? Good, nobody heard me scream like a little girl.

And so an hour later, I watched my son do pretty much the same thing, only this time I laughed at him from the superior position of knowing nobody saw me make the same mistake! I've since contrived ways to be watching over someone's shoulder as they walked off the edge of Dalaran and a few other deaths. Yeah, that's fun.

There is one other special memory, my first Raid. I was diligent about gearing as best I could and I was doing fairly well, I thought. So my Guild decided to run the weekly Raid for Razorscale and invited me along. They were deep into ICC, so we all knew I was being carried. I had a couple days between learning the weekly's target and our Raid session, so I did my best to learn the encounter and my role. Never having done Ulduar before, I didn't know how much else I needed and somehow didn't learn the Flame Leviathan very well. They relegated me to a role that I couldn't screw up too badly and suddenly Unbroken popped up and there were purple drops that were upgrades to only one person, me. My first earned epics!

Since my Vent was on toggle to speak, nobody heard my squeals.

On to Razorscale! Here my preparation went into effect. I think I did better on this than I expected. This fight isn't so complicated that I couldn't figure out what was going on. I never stood in the cone of dragon's breath. I burned down adds without aggro trouble. As the Boss health dropped, I got more excited.

And then A Quick Shave popped and I was dancing. I was loud enough I disturbed all my kids upstairs. I had dogs barking and dancing with me. A part of me knew I had been carried, but a big part of my pride was that I knew I had actually done my job.

And my whole family knew it. Meanwhile, the Guild was trying to pass me more loot while I was dancing. I had torn the headphones plug out and my microphone stopped working.

I had to buy a new one, but I did it with a smile.

20 Days, Day 3 - My First Day

This is my Day 2 post in Spellbound's 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge.

Burning Crusade was purchased by my older son in the After Chrismas Sales with his own Christmas money, a gift to himself. It was his game and he played it extensively over the holiday.

A month later, I got to try it out. Knowing I'd be competing with my kids for time on it, I could prepare myself. I read up on the game and sketched out a plan. In particular, I used Wowwiki as a resource. I'm not sure what else I found because there were a lot of sites that didn't mean anything to mean, but I desparately hoped I wasn't going to look like a nubcake. I had a chance to look over my son's shoulder and already knew there were a few things like liked and disliked. So, I had a plan. I had a cunning plan.

We all know how long plans last.

My first character was an Undead Warrior. The idea was her class was supposed to be simple. You hit things, right? She charged off down the hill, whacking things, resting and running back into town very often. With my preparation, despite the lack of experience in MMOs I zipped to level 10 quickly enough (maybe not as quick as you can these days, but quick enough) and found myself outside the Undercity and a chance to explore without worrying about angry things attacking me. I discovered I loved exploring cities in Wow. I spent hours visiting the back rooms of otherwise empty buildings. I talked to every NPC I could. I had so much fun just exploring, that my plan changed.

I knew where I planned to go after my Undercity visit, but in my preparation, I also knew where that Zeppelin I could see went. So soon I was visiting the Orc's capital and had a whole new city to explore.
There was another distracting thing going on. It was the Valentine's day holiday and soon I was doing these friendship bracelet quests or something. Despite all my preparation, I would need a new plan for tomorrow, should my son let me play.

Thus the pattern was set there were any number of things I found more interesting in Wow than just leveling to the cap. And my tendancy to be distracted by pursuit of Achievements could be detected even on my first day and prior to the invention of Achievements.

Another thing that could be seen from the first day was that I've only ever had female characters. I won't bother explaining why, because there isn't one reason but several. But the only male character I made was when I needed an particular racial rogue to be turned into a turkey. I just went too quickly through the initial screens and missed that selection.

20 Days, Day 2 - Why Blog?

This is my Day 2 post in Spellbound's 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge.

I orignally started a private blog for Martuska. It allowed me to experiment with blogging software and make private notes. I used it for things for planning equipment improvements for gearing her in preparation for entry Raiding. I also used it for notes on Achievement research and links to useful sites. It started to change into something else after time, especially as the notion of starting Kallixta entered my mind.

The initial form of Kallixta's Notes were inspired by Vidyala's fascinating experiment with Pugging Pally. By this time I had concluded that I wanted to start my experiment before Cataclysm and I needed a character that could tank and heal. That really meant a choice between Paladin and Druid and between Vidyala, Honors Code, Rhidach and Ophelie, they made it seem like an obvious choice. I've picked up more Paladin blogs to follow since, but those were the important ones at the time.

I knew that this time, the blog would be public, but I didn't have a plan for making the blog interesting. It seemed I could keep it as a diary, recording what I managed to do each session. My pattern of play already dictated infrequent play (compared to so many, it seems), so the pattern of Day X - DD/MM/YYYY posts were part of my planning. It was intended to be useful to me, trying to analyze what worked and what didn't.

After several months, a few things changed. Brewfest had me dust off Maruska for some holiday achievement hunting and I had a chance to re-evaluate my purpose. I knew the diary wasn't interesting to others and as Kalli gave me a chance to explore different corners, I now wanted her notes to explore different blogging styles. I made my first BA Shared Topic post and more opinion posts. I still wanted to make my blog something more interesting to others when Ringo Flinthammer inspired me to make an In Character post, which I was very pleased with. Seeing that at least one blog managed to stay in character often has me thinking of doing such more often.

20 Days, Day 1 - Introduction to Kalli

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge was started by Spellbound and defined in the post http://spellbound.nu/?p=829. Althought I was tempted when Mhorgrim started, it wasn't until a deluge of others did it that I succumbed.

Welcome to Kallixta's Notes. I am Kallixta, which is pronounced "Callista", but you can call me "Kalli".

I am also "Dang Fool", but Dang Fool does things outside of the World of Warcraft. Kalli is focused only on WoW. I'm not hiding the fact that behind this female dwarf is a old male, but it shouldn't be important and I'll rarely bother to mention it again.

Kallixta is as of this date a level 69 Dwarf Protection Paladin. She is my main and the vehicle I want to use to explore Azeroth, especially things I haven't done before. I have a level 85 Gnome Mage, named Martuska, who shows up on occasion, but primarily as my mount and pet collector and Achievement Whore. Aldonza is not an important character, but something between a bank alt and a role-play spear carrier.

Dang Fool turns 50 this year. My first computer games were Pong and Space Invaders. My first role playing games were Dungeons and Dragons and Empire of the Petal Throne back in 1976 or so. Around the same time I was learning to keypunch cards, I discovered ARPANET and have been connecting to friends with it ever since. I still work with computers in my career, but I don't have a Facebook account or Twitter. I am happy to spend more hours camping outdoors than playing on WoW.

I met my wife while playing D&D in college, so I don't need to explain some things to her. She was the one that bought our first Magic: The Gathering decks, which my son and I still play. She encouraged me to try MUDs in the 1990s (typically RP on tinyMud), which gave me great practice at writing. I have actually sold a couple short stories and been published. I've had to declare something like $80 income to the IRS!

My family lived in England for over a year. I work just a few miles north of the Canadian border.

My older son bought the Burning Crusade Collector's Edition and introduced me to the game. He has since moved on to other games and the account is really my daughter's, who continues to play. I played haphazardly for years until May 2010 when Martuska hit 80. Not long after, I decided I wanted to experience WoW as someone that could do more than only DPS, thus Kallixta was born.

BA Shared Topic: Favourite Race

Kallixta stared at her friend with the shock she was feeling showing as plainly as the sun in the sky. "Never. It just never occurred to me. Why would I? Have you ever wished to be of a different race?"

There was a stretched moment of quiet as Aldonza considered the turnabout. "I have, but never for long. It's just I overhead some others talking about it, which is why I brought it up." There followed another pause without either talking. Aldonza fiddled with her empty beer stein, prodding it with a finger to push it in circles, before she gathered the conversational reins again. "Some have real advantages over humans, you know. I feel life just flashing past and I'll not accomplish much in my time. So I dream about it sometimes."

"What advantage do you really think would be worth it?" the dwarven paladin asks with puzzlement.

"A longer lifespan? Seriously, Kalli. I'm past middle age, remember, while many in your family consider you immature." The human's eyes flash with a mix of emotions, but her fingers don't stop. The stein has drifted further from its origin, but she is ignoring it. "And many seem better equipped to fight. Azeroth is a dangerous place and these bones are feeling fragile. Not to mention I feel thin skinned next to you. Oops, there I go mentioning it. Doesn't that get under your... Stone Skin?" Human laughter echoes differently in an Ironforge tavern than it might elsewhere.

With a smile for her friend, Kallixta nods, accepting the joke and point. "Humans do seem frail and short-lived. You could dedicate yer life to a worthy goal and still not spend fifty years at it, eh? And yer a mite tall looking. You and those elven folk all look too stretched out in a Procrustean way."

Aldonza wrinkled her nose at the newly mentioned race. "Elves?"

"Not yer ideal?" Kallixta asks curiously.

A small shrug. "Is wasn't their height I was thinking about, but I'm already taller than you. No, I was thinking they just seem too sure of their beauty. They'd never understand others don't see their grace and want to be like them. Too sure of themselves."

A dwarven laugh erupts this time, sounding much more at home. Kallixta continues to chuckle as she makes her reply, "Methinks that's a charge more oft said of humans, girl. Center of the Universe, aren't they? Thought the Titans looked like themselves and all, at least until recently. In their own image, or something. So if it ain't the elves, then you'd want to be Draenei?"

Aldonza shakes her head as she raises her heads to make horns and then dangle tentacles beneath her chin. "Although to be fair, I suppose a Draenei girl finds it attractive. They do seem to know a few things."

Kallixta agrees, "I envy their attunement to the Light. Both Humans and Draenei seem more at home with being a Paladin. Oft they make it seem easy while I'm struggling. Probably my imagination."

Aldonza gives another laugh as she points her finger across the table, "There you go, measuring everything from one point. If you were magically changed into a Draenei or Human, you might also change what you do. Maybe you'd be a Shaman or something."

Kallixta's reaction is one of obvious shudders, not hidden. "I don't trust that Voodoo. It's a perversion of the elements, that is. And they're corrupting the dwarves with it."

"Kallixta, honey..." Aldonza chides, "You grew up with the Wildhammers. Didn't you see it there?"

A frown slowly passes through puzzlement before settling into a sigh. "It seemed quaint, at the time. They seem to be more careful about it. Since the Shattering, I don't find it quaint any more. Most unsettling. You gotta be careful, messing about with the Elements. Too capricious. No dedication."

Aldonza hides her exasperation over the repeated theme. Sometimes her friend is a bit too stubborn to see things needing a wider view. "Yes. I totally agree." Aldonza knows a thing or two about diplomacy too, and without having a father in the business, so to speak.

"So when we started this exercise, what were you thinking? That you wanted to be a Gnome?" Kallixta looks over at the human, looking for clues before she actually answers.

"No." Aldonza shakes her head firmly, "That's not what I was thinking. Too different from me, and I don't just mean things like mischief. They just don't know proper limits. They wiggle their way into all sorts of tiny crannies where they ain't welcome. Like Warlockery. I think they're a more dangerous ally than the Refugees."

"I don't get it. We went through all the good races of the Alliance. You weren't thinking of Horde, were you?"

A wry chuckle is her answer, "Not hardly. Nor some corruption, like the Worgen. It's too obvious to you, Kalli. Think, my friend. Where have I made my home?"

"Ironforge" is the quick response, not requiring Kallixta to actually think as suggested. When her mind catches up, she finally groans, "Ooh! Yer thinking you'd rather be a Dwarf. Yer smarter than I thought. Or was it just you've been seen too many good-looking Dwarven studs?"

A snort is her only answer.

Day Fifty Nine - 31 Mar 2011

Kallixta stays quiet, unfidgeting, as she stares at Brom Brewbaster , who avoids her eyes. She clears her throat, "No. My Mum isn't much of one for the cooking. I did learn to like hitting red-hot metal from her though."

Brom stays silent, shifting about to now look at his table. He looks like he might be considering cleaning it some. That would give him something else to do.

Kallixta concludes the cooking trainer isn't going to continue the chat, but she knows that her Dad would want her to continue to be polite. "I learned the most about cooking last Pilgrim's Bounty. It's amazing what you can learn at that time. Everybody seems to be in a right proper mood about food. All the cities were wanting to show off their specialties and the like. It was easy for a curious girl to improve her cooking skills and ever so many folks willing to teach. That's where I learned my cooking, so I did."

Brom makes some instinctual sounds that the paladin must assume are meant to be encouraging, yet he still avoids looking at the young dwarf lass. Maybe he's just embarrassed to have been caught without a shirt and looking like he slept the night under his table.

Kallixta decides she can wrap up the conversation, "So not having been given to think much about it, I haven't been improving and I thank you for your tutorial. I will take care with your family's recipes. I do appreciate your generosity. What was that, almost two dozen I'd never seen or heard before? Thanks. I especially appreciate the recipes for Rhino Dog, Roasted Worg and Shoveltusk Steak as I actually have accumulated the meat for those this day on my adventures about the Fjord. With your teaching, I feel myself something of a Chef de Partie!" Kallixta gives the older dwarf a salute as she's now happier with things on a more formal level. "Sorry I couldn't indulge in your offer. Aye?" She retreats, feeling much better that the uncomfortable moment has passed.