I'll start out with meatspace activities, since that's what I've been doing exclusively for the past week! I was in Vietnam for 7 days, saw some very amazing things and took literally hundreds of pictures, and got a fantastic shorts tan. It's been ages since I wore shorts that went above the knee, so my pasty thighs were pretty surprised to be out in the sun again. We didn't make it to the beach, and instead opted for a long tour trip that resulted in a lot of good or interesting food. (A conversation with my friend on skype: "We had offal noodles for breakfast!" "Why were they so awful??" "No, it was offal! You know, like tripe, guts, the butt tubes!")
Now I'm back to work, and of course by work I mean sitting quietly at a desk for 8ish hours a day waiting for the spring semester to start. Which means I'm actually catching up on my feedreader, which had over 200 wow-posts alone. (Goddamn, you guys talk a lot! <3) Which brings me to my next point, which is OMFG Larisa left blogging and I missed it and uuuggghhh!!! Just like many of the other blogs I have enjoyed and lost (or discovered and realized they had already closed down. Heartbreak!!) it was a shock, and I had to once again remind myself that it's not the end of the world and the best thing to do is to wish them luck and give a brave smile. So at Vidyala's request, I would like to compile a list of blogs that are "new" to me and emphasize how lively and vibrant the WoW blogosphere still is. Many of them I find through BlogAzeroth's new writers forum, but still others I find through links and comments on other blogs. MMO Melting Pot is also a constant source of blogs, and even if I don't care to subscribe to the blog they link, it's still a great way to keep up with the "big" posts out there so I feel like I'm on top of blogging news. In no particular order, I present:
- World of Saz - a very friendly blogger who often shares touching stories about herself, giving insight into both her gameplay and personal life, and how she has dealt with and grown from both.
- Red Noob Diaries - what is up with druids and the color red? Hi-five, broseph!! This is an adorable catalogue of a noob's journey through Azeroth's community.
- Avocation WoW - she's currently having a naming crisis, so I don't know if this is the best title, but she is a paladin who loves talking about her gameplay, her personal experiences in the community, and news in the WoW world.
- Hello Tauren! - how cute is this name? Yaaay, taurens!!! She's certainly not new to blogging, but is to me. Not only does she talk about her general exploits in WoW, but she occasionally posts delicious recipes!
- The Asylum Wall - snarky, ranty fun! Hmm, I certainly don't want to suggest that this blog is only about angry rants, but I want to say that the quippy, sarcastic tone really appeals to me. Stormy brings said tone to his discussions about tanking and behavior in WoW.
- Tree Heals Go Woosh - a delightful combination of observations about different aspects of the game along with resto druid and healing tips. (Yay, druids!!) Tzufit always has fun screenshots, too!
- Elfi's World - a collection of great screenshots and general musings about the game. Elfi is relaxed, random, and entertaining.
- Blog of the Treant - yet more druidy goodness (I just can't get enough!) with plenty of talk about guilds, raiding, and general WoW fun.
I took down my blogroll in a frenzied attempt to figure out how to use google reader. (Help help, I am learning new technology!) I didn't understand why I couldn't just sort all of my followed sites into categories like blog, podcast, webcomic, etc. I realize now that the problem is the concept of "following", which requires me to have another list of all duplicate sites, except it denotes them as followed rather than the category I sorted them into. This isn't a huge problem since I have learned to ignore that list, but I'm wondering if I should stop "following" people when I subscribe to their feed just so I don't have to keep updating my followed list. Also I am using the extreme and wonderful fulltextrssfeed.com to read sites without having to go to their homepage, but I find that if I don't unsubscribe from the actual site, it defaults in my feedreader as a truncated post, and ignores the update from the full-text version. Any thoughts on the concept of publicly "following" a blogger? Can I just avoid that and continue to subscribe to feeds?
I am finally getting into the world of podcasts, which is exciting. I hadn't really looked into them before because I always heard them described as something you download to your ipod and listen to while in transit somewhere. This would be great for riding to work or to manfriend's, provided that I hooked my ipod up to the computer more than once a month for charging. But now I am using podcasts as background noise for farming, leveling, cleaning my house, and even in the rare event that I cook something! It makes dropping green onions and rice on the floor or slicing off bits of fingernail much more enjoyable. This week, I'd like to make a concerted effort to email each podcast with some comments about their show. It's mostly because I want to show support for the people on the show and the general format, and slightly because I totes want my blog promoted when they read the mail on the show. :B
The day before I left for Vietnam I had free from normal manfriend commitments, so I buckled down on my rogue and got to level 58. Since my plan was to farm lockboxes in the Burning Steppes, I finished my leveling there and got a happy Flamefly to follow me around in my stealthy adventures. Since then I have dedicated time every night to getting 60 boxes and mailing them off to Aka, and now I am halfway through revered with Ravenholdt!! On top of that I only have 20 major decks left for Darkmoon Faire, and the end to my Insane quest is finally in sight. More on that later, first some rogue hilarity:
I liked the description on the Combat spec when I hit level 10, so I leveled mostly by running up to mobs and stabbing and smacking them with my sword and hammer. Being heirloom-ed out, there was no real finesse required and I had a ton of fun. Now that I will be spending all of my time in stealth, I wanted to the movement speed bonus from Subtlety and respecced into that. Then I picked up my utility glyphs, namely Glyph of Pickpocket, and went out to investigate the Blackrock Stronghold. Have you quested there? There are ranks of 25 mob packs lined up outside, and the only reason an at-level player survives there is because they are in a disguise while visiting. If I wanted to pickpocket them, they had to be hostile, so stealth became pretty damn important. One thing I had not realized is that Pickpocket has a pretty good range - standing at the back of the pack close to the back line, I can pickpocket the very center mob, and everything else from there can be accessed easily. However, I first stupidly attempted to walk down each row, standing directly behind each mob in order to pickpocket them. That's...a terrible idea. The Worst Idea. Do Not Do This. Also, when a mob is patting or pacing, Sap as you run up and Pickpocket. Furthermore, you can pickpocket on the move! That way no pesky loot box comes up, you keep moving, and you get loot!
Now feeling more relaxed about my Insane grind, I've been poking around my other alts, and finally came up with a name for my Dwarf shaman so I could roll her. Meet the bronzed, busty Brandylash, Wildhammer adventurer! (Manfriend talked me out of BrandyWOWSHAMWOW and other ill-inspired names) I've also returned to my paladin and am tearing up Hyjal as ret, which taught me how to play by making all of my buttons light up. She even hit level 81 already! I also returned to my beloved mage and am doing gray quests in Azshara because goblins!! <333 On Aka I have been trying to keep up with Tol Barad dailies and the daily heroic, partially for the rewards themselves and partially because we are leveling our guild!! I hit exalted last week and got my dark phoenix hatchling...maybe one day we will work our way up to the mount. Nefarian attempts start this week :D