Thursday, 29 November 2012

Unlearning My Playstyle - Part Two

So it's been an interesting week in game. I've been doing dungeons without keyboard turning or mouseclicking my spells (well, mostly not clicking!) & it's beginning to feel a little easier. I'm using my friends old keyboard though & it is horrible! I'm used to the basic Dell keyboard with some separation between the cursor keys, number pad & main keys. The keys on my own keyboard are also smaller at the surface than the base so the gaps between the keys feel bigger. This horrible keyboard has very flat keys, rather like a laptop keyboard but because I have long nails, I keep catching more than one at a time! Trying to run in a straight line when my nails keep catching the strafe keys is interesting to say the least! I'm sure it will all be much easier once I get back to my own well worn & familiar keyboard!

I've also bound 3 spells to my mousewheel which is a first for me. On my hunter, I have Scattershot on mousewheel forward, Disengage on mousewheel back & Kill Shot on mousewheel click. I only have a very basic Dell mouse so that will be about my limit on there but I do love having Disengage so easy to find - I always used to struggle to find it in my spell clicking days!

My next task is to convert all my alts to this kind of toolbar layout & mousewheel binds - I'm even thinking of uninstalling Bartender to stop me going back to my old ways! After I get used to this layout, it will be time to bind a few more keys & apparently I'm told that some macros will help too - for now though, I just need to get used to moving without the cursor keys. When I panic in a fight, I'm straight back to them, just to get me out of trouble quickly & I find I am looking at the keyboard way more than I used to. Hopefully it's just time & practise I need now.

Have you unlearned something in game like this? How did you re-train yourself, I'd love to know :)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Unlearning My Playstyle

I mentioned in my last post that I was hoping to visit a friend who doesn't mouseclick spells or keyboard turn & this weekend I finally made the trip! Playing on someone else's computer, with a strange mouse & keyboard and almost no addons is interesting to say the least & when we added in the whole 'don't use the mouse to click spells' thing, I almost lost it!

It turns out that in my previous attempts to unlearn my bad habits, I wasn't so far off a correct method - I just didn't give it long enough to feel normal. It really does feel absolutely cack handed way of playing but that's to be expected after 3 years of bad habits! To make matters even more interesting, I was persuaded (hah!) to try a dungeon within about 10 mins of the new set-up - bearing in mind that I've only just respecced to beast mastery & you can imagine how bad my DPS must have been! Oh yes, and my friend wouldn't let me download Recount as I didn't need to see the numbers that bad!

Well, I only died a few times - it didn't help that it was a dungeon I'd not been in yet so didn't know any of the boss fights. The thing I found hardest was moving - I could do my rotation pretty much ok (yeah a few hiccups here & there) but finding the WASD keys quickly enough whilst still trying to do some damage & get out of the crap on the floor was extremely frustrating. I also found my lower arm & wrist were feeling the new moves too so I didn't brave another dungeon straight away.

Not sure I'm going to have much option today though, my friend is already saying we should dungeon all day, get my Hunter to 90 at least - I think I may volunteer to do a full Sunday Roast dinner - that will keep me too busy for dungeons for a while at least! lol

Monday, 19 November 2012

Dungeons, Toolbars & Cooking

It's been a weird kind of week here at Casa Nev - I've been meaning to do so much but never actually got very far! I have managed to run about 6 dungeons though so my promise to myself for this expac is still intact!

I did most of those dungeons on my newly respecced Beast Mastery Hunter. I mentioned in my last post what a mess I made of that first dungeon but things have definitely improved although I'm still not quite sure if my DPS is up to standard. She dinged 88 late last night & could finally use the chest armor she picked up 2 dungeons earlier! I've moved my toolbars around a bit too - after reading the Godmother's post over at Alternative Chat, I realised I've been whinging about my DPS forever but never got to grips with actually making any decent changes.

I'm hoping to get a visit to one of my RL WoW friends who uses keybinds & doesn't click spells - maybe by actually seeing the hand positions & physically being shown how it works, I might finally get my head around the basics! I've had it explained to me multiple times in messages & on skype but it's one of those blind spots that we all have sometimes. I need to see it to work it out I think.

I have changed my toolbars around on my Paladin to reflect the Hunters too. Over time, I'll change all my toons to the same basic layout to improve consistency especially as I don't tend to have a main & just play which one I feel like playing.

This evening, I pulled my level 86 Warrior out & did a dungeon without any friends - Go Me! With the Pilgrims Bounty buff & the 8th Anniversary buff, I got some nice reputation towards my Tushui Pandaren rep so I can get access to those gorgeous turtle mounts. I was quite pleased with my DPS on some fights but as soon as I have to move around much, it all goes down the sink. I'm sure I'll get there eventually - just got to learn to 'play right' as one or two of my friends tell me! lol

I've also managed to finish another 2 of the Ways in Cooking, leaving me just 2 more to go so my farms are in full production for the veggies I need & hopefully I should finish those this week. I still have a few Best Friends to get though so no let up on the dailies there.

And that's about it for this week - the few times I've remembered to check Tol Barad, horde have been in control so no progress there & I don't think I even managed any pet battles either! Next week isn't looking any better but I'll just keep nibbling away at various bits - they all add up over time, don't they?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cloud Serpents, Dungeons & Reputations

Now that's how plate bikini's should look!
 A day later than originally planned, I finally managed to get the last 90 points to reach Exalted status with the order of the Cloud Serpents - yes, I was just 90 points short when I ran out of quests to do & it was so late, I just couldn't keep going to find another Onyx Egg. The next day, I was faffing about on my farm & an archaeology site wasn't too far away so I popped over the get the bits for the Cloud Serpent archaeology quest & hey presto! I am now the proud owner of all 3 colours of Cloud Serpent. Somehow though, I've missed something because I still can't actually do the Sky Race yet lol

Order of the Cloud Serpent - At last!
In amongst all my rep grinding, I've been persuaded to restart my US account so Thursday was spent respeccing my Marksman Hunter to Beast Mastery. I'd been struggling with focus regeneration & producing adequate DPS so having read up a bit on Icy Veins, I went ahead and respecced. I don't know that my DPS is that much better but it feels as if things have improved & I didn't feel like my leveling buddy was doing 99% of the work! We dinged 86 & I foolishly suggested we try a dungeon. I have promised myself that I am going to do dungeons this expansion so in we dived.

Well I won't say it was my most successful dungeon ever - I'd picked up a worm as my pet for the AoE ability but somewhere along the way of playing a Hunter, I never knew that my pets' Growl was turned on, even though it wasn't even on my toolbar! After a bit of help on Skype & desperately trying not to get lost & to actually do some DPS, I finally managed to get Growl turned off - much to the relief of the tank!

Once I stopped messing with my toolbars, I did manage to output some DPS although I still wasn't that happy with it. For once though, the RNG was on my side & I got 2 new pieces of armour which were massive upgrades for me. I know it's kinda silly but I felt bad taking them - my DPS had been so low, I didn't feel I deserved them but there were no other hunters or agility mail users in the group so of course, I did take them. Whoa! What a difference they made immediately - my DPS shot up by about 3k, putting me at least within range of the others.

First Pandaren Dungeon Done
I still have a lot of work to do to get her up to scratch but now that I've broken the ice on dungeons, I'm sure I'll be doing more soon. I still haven't braved a dungeon on my Paladin (90) or my DK (88). My Paladin feels really slow & cumbersome & really quite squishy so I have to try & work out what's wrong there. My DK is my freshly specced tank & to be honest, I really am shit scared about trying to tank a dungeon for the first time, let alone a dungeon I've never seen before! I'm thinking I should pop back into Frost spec & try some runs like that first & maybe my next post will be 'arrgghh dungeons!' or 'yay! dungeons' - who knows!

But in the meantime, I need to get one more reputation to Exalted to get my 40 Exalted Reps achievement - the closest to that is Baradin's Wardens so if I remember or stop faffing about long enough, I may try & get a few of those dailies done this weekend. The added bonus there of course, is that there are two mounts & a pet available so I just have to keep reminding myself - more mounts, more mounts!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Onyx Egg Hunting & Sky Races

Onyx Egg Hunting
Does a Cloud Serpent count as a dragon? I like to think so, so I've been working hard at raising my reputation with the Order of The Cloud Serpents. I made it to Revered level before I even found my first Onyx Egg & then in about 30 minutes I found 8 so I was a very happy bunny. This was Tuesday evening so last night I went back about 2am, thinking I wouldn't have much competition. That was good thinking but somehow I still only managed to find another 8 Onyx Eggs in almost 2 hours!

The best bit about hitting Revered was the chance to finally meet my very own Cloud Serpent & start the learning process quests - I raced through cloud circles & tried to keep up with the trainer as she showed me the racecourse. I love the style of these Cloud Serpents & although I've admired their look for a while now, I finally understand why so many players are still riding them - they are just so cool!
Sky Races - Learner Mode
So I need just 9 more Onyx Eggs tonight to reach Exalted or less if I actually do the dailies today! I got so wrapped up in egg-hunting that I forgot to do all the killing stuff as well! But I did manage to cobble together a mini map with egg positions on - this is just the largest of the islands, named as Windward Isle on the map.
Windward Isle - Onyx Egg Spawn Points
Hope it helps :)

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Monday, 5 November 2012

Archaeology, Achievements & Pet Battles!

Veridian Netherwing Drake
Yesterday was a great day for poodling around in game & I managed to cover quite a few things. First up was my farm - I love picking my Songbells even though I still haven't managed to get the leatherworking patterns on my Paladin. I'm really struggling to do any significant DPS & she's as squishy as a marshmallow so getting the Golden Lotus dailies done is pretty hard work. I'd leave them & do them on my DK (when she gets to 90) to open up the August Celestials & Shado-Pan faction dailies but my Paladin needs the gear & the patterns so I keep grinding away at them. I did eventually manage to kill Cracklefang on my own though so maybe she's not that bad after all - it's just me!

I'm doing the Order of the Cloud Serpent dailies too - somehow they don't seem as difficult but maybe that's because I really really want a Cloud Serpent! One of the dailies involves Archaeology so off I went to do some digging. I never maxed it in Cataclysm as I got sidetracked (as usual!) so when I saw skill points popping up on my screen everytime I dug, I was pretty pleased with that change. Each new digsite now gives about 6 skill up points as well as points for completing an artifact. I was so close to 600 points when I finished the Cloud Serpent daily that I carried on for a while & eventually maxed that out.
Songbell Harvest
In the process, I managed to find a Pristine item which sent me off to see Brann Bronzebeard in the Library with Lorewalker Cho. I still need to get my head around the crated artifacts thing but when I do, I'll probably talk about it in a post! Ooooh! I also got my Fossilized Raptor mount so that's 117 mounts now too.

There is also a fishing based daily & a cooking based daily available with the Order of the Cloud Serpents so fishing was my next distraction. I just sat in the Arboretum area & fished for a while. I picked up Redbelly Mandarins, Golden Carp & Jade Lungfish - all of which I need for leveling my cooking so that was a bonus. My fishing skill at this point was about 550. Back to Halfhill to do the Tillers dailies, I managed to get to Best friend status with Tina Mudclaw. After putting a few more points onto my cooking Way of the Pot, I'd just about had enough of dailies!

After lunch, I decided to level my DK a bit more - finally got her to level 88 but even though she has loads of rested XP still, it really felt slow. I guess I just need to keep going - she needs to start her Cloud Serpent dailies to get the Jewelcrafting mount recipes. I really want those mounts - yes, all of them! It's one of the driving forces of my gold-making to be honest - I love my mounts even though I tend to use the same few across all my characters!

After hitting 88, I kind of lost my drive for leveling so I switched to Pet Battles! I'm using my Priest for these as she's just sitting on her fat butt in Stormwind most of the time. Finally got 3 pets to level 10 but I'm up to 171 unique pets now too - I spent ages in The Hinterlands trying for various pets I didn't have but the one that seemed like it was going to be the hardest to get - the Jade Oozeling - dropped straight away. I also picked up 2 rare quality pets too so that gave me another achievement!

Achievements, Sunday 4th November
Then late last night it was back to aimlessly fishing! At 550 skill points, it was the last one I needed on my paladin to completely max all her professions. Around 2.30am, I finally got it maxed & picked up a Flying Tiger Gourami Fish too. That gave me a quest to go see Nat Pagle so that was a nice bit of bonus rep I wasn't expecting. I also stumbled over the Turtle Beach area where the Wanderer's Festival happens on a Sunday evening. Unfortunately I missed it this week as I was busy mooching around everywhere else but I've added it to my calendar so I shouldn't miss it next week!

So yeah, I had a busy & quite productive day yesterday although it wasn't very organised at all! Funnily enough, Matt over at Arllan's AH Game blog did a post this morning about getting organised & having a routine - I think I really need one of those too! You can see by this post, I'm all over the place & this wasn't an unusual day - I'm always like this!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Early Version To-Do List

she rides dragons blog

With so many new things to do in Mists of Pandaria, I get a little overwhelmed at times so I thought a nice fresh to-do list might help. Then it all got a bit out of hand as I looked at my achievements so far and realised there's a whole load of Cataclysm stuff still left undone not to mention a fair few Wrath ones too!

So here's the list so far, in some semblance of order although not necessarily in priority order! Priority number 1 is to get my six 85's to level 90 - one is done, two are on their way but the rest of the list is subject to whim, time & how I feel at any particular time!

  • Get 6 level 90's at least ( got a level 62 druid & a 54 warlock who might make it this expac too) & maybe a monk - see how I feel!
  • Do Pandaren dungeons, normal & heroic at least - not going to worry about the 'special' tests, just completing the dungeon list will do me for now :)
  • Get all professions to max level (almost done, just need to level Warlock to get Engineering up too)
  • Pet Battles! - All of the achieves are on my hit list - these will get nibbled at as & when I need a break from serious killing or when I'm sitting around just chatting on skype.
  • Festivals - finish off Winter's Veil, Lunar Festival & Children's Week to get the Long Strange Trip & mount.
  • Reputations - pretty much all the Pandaren ones, goes without saying really but I also need to finish almost all the Cataclysm ones too - there's a few mounts there I haven't got yet! I'm at 38 Exalted reps overall so I've got a fair way to go yet.
  • Argent Tournament - I only need to champion two more cities to get the whole thing finished - will probably nibble away at these as I tackle some of the other more general achievements in Northrend
  • Under the Exploration tab are the two Rare Hunting achieves - Bloody Rare for Outland (7/20 so far) & Frostbitten for Northrend (cuurently 8/23).
  • Under the general tab, there's all sorts of miscellaneous achievements to aim for - /love various creatures, eat & drink various things as well as cooking up all the various foods for some of the cooking achieves - these are the ones I nibble at too - I periodically remember to /love things whilst out and about or go on a cooking spree.

So that's the main list but there's also a lot of pre-Mists content I've not even seen yet - not a single Cataclysm raid was entered so that means Firelands & Dragon Soul - I'll probably leave those until much later when everyone is bored of Mists & old content is being run or perhaps try the Openraid website. I still haven't finished Icecrown Citadel or Ulduar either yet but my excuse there is that I am a late Wrath baby & wasn't good enough at the time! There's even a few of the Vanilla & Outland raids I haven't seen! Oh dear, I was slacking wasn't I?

Of course, the other thing I haven't mentioned in all this is gold-making - that happens every day & comes naturally to me - unfortunately I do tend to get a bit focused on the Auction House which is perhaps why I have so many Achievements still to do out in the world!

Additions suggested by some Twitter friends - 'Glorious' (kill every rare in Pandaria) & Insane in the Membrane - I probably will be if I manage to tick this list off but yup, Insane added too :P

image © Beverley & Pack used under Creative Commons licence

Friday, 2 November 2012

Reputations & Why I Grind Them

Reputations & Why I Grind Them
There are several reasons why I grind reputations at max level in World of Warcraft - for starters, it's something to aim for when I get bored in the Auction House but the most important driving force for me is usually the lure of another mount or pet!

There's also the obvious gold making potential of acquiring profession recipes ahead of as many other players as possible - the first supplier of those items can usually set the price (& often sky-high one too) but I've never been one to race through stuff so although I get the recipes, I'm usually behind the game on that one.

I did a post recently about what to do when I hit level 90 - looking at the various professions & where should I focus my gold making eyes but the main reason I did the research was to find out which mounts I could get my grubby little paws on through this expansion!

As soon as I dinged 90 after questing hard for about a week, I took a break from killing stuff & just flew around Pandaria. Not aimlessly though, oh no! I needed the Explore Pandaria achievement & whilst I was doing that, I also ticked off all the various scroll thingies that I had missed whilst leveling to work on my Lorewalkers reputation. There's a great set of comments on Wowhead to help you get all those scrolls especially if you have an add on that gives you co-ordinates. Yes, I know that's kind of cheating but hey, I got a long list of dailies to get through so a little time saved with co-ordinates is ok by me.

Here's my list so far
  • Lorewalkers - Flying Red Disc - done!
  • Order of the Cloud Serpent - Cloud Serpent, Cloud Serpent flying skill & access to Jewelcrafting mounts - started
  • Tillers - 3 x Goats - done!
  • Golden Lotus - 3 x Crane - started but struggling
  • Klaxxi - Amber Scorpion
  • Shado-Pan - 3 x Tigers
  • August Celestials - 2 x Cloud Serpent
  • Anglers - Azure Water Strider
So far, I've been doing dailies on my Paladin but it's very frustrating when I cannot keep her alive! I need to finish the Golden Lotus ones at least to get her Leatherworking recipes but my main focus now is my DK - get her to 90 & then blast through the other grinds!

I also need to go back & pick up all the Cataclysm mounts I can - once I get my DK a bit better geared, I've heard that I should be able to solo some of the Cataclysm dungeons so that should be a bit of an interesting departure for me! From hardly doing them at all to solo-ing them! I'm sure I'll have tales to tell here at least.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hello There!

As if one blog isn't enough, I've decided to start another! When I started Auction House Addict, I only intended to write about goldmaking but over the last  two years, there have been times when I wanted to write about all the other stuff in World of Warcraft but I didn't because AH Addict is a gold blog after all. I felt (rightly or wrongly) that my readers probably weren't that interested in my other misadventures in game or just how much time I spend faffing around & not achieving much at all.

Why Another Blog?
But recently the writing bug has taken a better hold on me & I find the self imposed limits frustrating sometimes. Like many folks, I have multiple personalities across the internet and until this summer, I kept them all apart - thinking my arty friends wouldn't be interested in WoW & vice versa. I don't know if I thought wrong but what the heck, I want to write about more than just gold making so this blog will be my space for that - my own little corner of random rambling, general waffling & faffing in Azeroth.

What's With The Name?
I love dragons, always have & being a fairly keen mount collector in game, I have quite a few of them. It also speaks to me of freedom & fantasy - freedom from one genre of writing, freedom of speaking out if needs be & enjoying the fantasy world that is World of Warcraft.

There's also the female element - we are a minority in game after all & as an older female, I do notice things that perhaps others think nothing of. I'm no outspoken feminist so don't expect any rants or anything but perhaps my view will be different enough to spark an intelligent discussion here & there.

Starting Point
Currently I have only 1 level 90 with 2 alts leveling from 85. I also have 3 other alts at 85 & several lowbies who have stalled in various places around Eastern Kingdoms. My first love is my Paladin but I've been struggling to play her effectively since the beginning of Cataclysm. She's been my achievement queen for so long, it's hard to break the habit of struggling through to get the achieves on her but now that achievements are account wide, my DK is rapidly gaining more of my attention. I re-specced her to Blood spec just last week & have fallen in love with my new found power & general ability to stay alive in situations where my Paladin died multiple times just 2 weeks earlier!

The Plan
So this time around, I actually have a vague plan of action for this expansion - I AM going to do dungeons & maybe even be brave enough to try some raiding too. There's achievements to obtain, mounts galore & oh, did I mention that I'm loving the new Pet Battle stuff? Yup - I have to get them all - just like Blizzard knew we would. I hate being predictable though so I'm determined to just enjoy this expac - no pressuring myself to obtain certain specific goals or beating myself up because I'm a rubbish Paladin.

I'm not even sure where this blog will go - I'm just going to go with the flow & hope you'll join me on my wanderings.