29 February 2012

A Study in Silvermoon: Wayfarer's Rest

I was gonna post all of my Silvermoon City pictures in one post, and then I realized there were over 100 of them and that would be just cruel. So instead you get bite-sized installments, hidden behind a cut. Enjoy! 

26 February 2012

Dollhouse: Sweeping Spires, Hidden Horrors

Silvermoon City is one of those devastatingly beautiful locations that always begs me to screenshot it. It's probably becase it reminds me of the peculiar light quality I like so much in autumn. I took a very long photowalk around a few weekends ago to explore.

Approaching from the road, you'll first see the westernmost wall of the city created by the gray expanse of the Dead Scar. The flight master is located outside the city walls, along with the leatherworking and skinning trainers. (I've always wondered if this is a comment on what blood elves think of those messy professions.) The city's gleaming towers peek through the surrounding trees, with The Shepherd's Gate waiting to greet you.

You enter the Walk of Elders at a curve in its course, giving a very open, expansive impression of a city riddled with tiny alleys. Close by, weary travelers will find the first of the two inns, The Wayfarer's Rest. Across from that is a curious array of benches - the rest area allows a view of both sides of the Walk of Elders. There are pipes in easy reach of the plush benches, and filmy curtains obscure those relaxing from prying eyes. Looking up from the entrance to the city, you'll see multiple stories giving the illusion of a greater population, although they are inaccessible to the public.

Entering the Inn, players will find a room upstairs that would be suitable for rent, assuming you don't mind the lack of doors. The Inn offers a second entrance to the Bazaar, which holds an auction house, bank, armorers, and a tailor's. There are no extraneous rooms, no empty workshops or houses to explore. Behind the crowd of rabblerousers is a deliciously enticing door, but it isn't labeled and does not open.

There is one hidden thing that always creeps me out; below the tailor's, in a lavish basement room, you'll find a squad of captive leper gnomes laboring over mana looms. They are kept on track by a succubus, and you can see the fruits of their labor in the gold and jewels piled on the central desk.

Returning to the Walk of Elders, the eastern portion is much wider and open, although the many profession carts give the impression of clutter. The guild registrar is here, along with the Level 85 Elite Tauren Chieftains in permanent concert-mode. A perpetually under construction...platform is taking up a random alcove that gives access to the Hall of Respite in the Royal Exchange.

You can also follow the Walk of Elders around and pass through a more impressive gate to reach the Royal Exchange. This courtyard houses the city's second Inn, bank, and auction house, and not much else. The Inn does allow passage to Murder Row, which has the potential to be heart-stoppingly awesome but falls short. Although it is home to the rogue/warlock headquarters, the windows visible above street level are shuttered and inaccessible.

I was saving the Court of the Sun for last, but there's basically nothing there. The inscription and jewelcrafting trainers are there, likely stuffed in the last two free alcoves in the city. The court itself has extra rooms, but all have a purpose and occupants.

Last is Farstrider's Square, which houses the mining and smelting crew, target dummies, and the hunter and paladin trainers. There's not one room to spare! Under the pally chamber you'll find the creepy prison of the entity formerly known as M'uru.

In terms of atmosphere, Silvermoon City blows it out of the park. This ostensibly serene, peaceful city is full of cramped, dark alleyways and dangerous hidden dungeons. Even the perfectly normal locations are obscured behind gauzy, deceptively decorative curtains. This city knows how to handle "subtly sinister." It fails in the dollhouse department, though. Players can visit and interact with the NPCs, but there's no space in the city for them. The last empty house was filled by the archaeology trainers, and the remaining inn rooms are no place for privacy! It's a pipe dream, but I'd love (well, after flying in the city), for a few of the second story windows to actually open into rooms. A workshop here, a bedroom there. Let players insinuate themselves into the city, too!

A Study in Silvermoon picture series:
Wayfarer's Rest
The Bazaar
Walk of Elders, The Royal Exchange
Murder Row, Farstrider's Square
Court of the Sun

23 February 2012

WoW Groove

Don't be alarmed; this isn't an I'm quitting post! Quite the opposite, actually! Lately, with extremely decreased time for gaming, coupled with a struggling raid roster and lessened drive towards solo pursuits, I've been wondering if I'm heading into my final days in Azeroth. Of course, I've got the year sub and beta entry, so it's not like the end is that soon. At times, my desire to keep the blog interesting and current was the big (only) motivator to log in and come up with...something.

Before I really got my shit together and decided that I wanted to cook for myself and exercise more - both of which require skipping out on Monday and Wednesday raids - I was on WoW all the time. I would come home and throw my bag on a chair and get right into Azeroth for dailies and whatever grind I was working on, followed by the raid. Even after the raid I would stay on until finally admitting it was past my bedtime and grudgingly logging out.

When I think about it now, what I did to create my new habits was go cold turkey. In order to convince myself that meatspace pursuits were as important as WoW ones, I began to keep a meatspace todo list as meticulously as I did my achievement goals. On nights I wanted to go to the gym, I didn't let myself log in before or after I went out, to ensure I wouldn't get sucked into a raid or stay up late. That meant that eventually I was only able to log in on Thursday and the weekends, and even those frequently got filled up with other pursuits.

Weirdly, the less and less I played, the less I wanted to play. I would log in and raid on Thursday, and afterwards I wouldn't be able to think of anything to do! I thought I was getting burned out, but I think it means that I've kicked the habit. Well, you can't really do that, but I have replaced the habit with other, better ones! The elusive balance that I've been looking for is revealing itself to me. I realized this on the first night of LiitA, when I finished a Lunar Festival goal, did my Darkmoon dailies, and raided before I logged off to do other things. It was extremely satisfying, really fun, and it wasn't hard at all to think, "I'm done, time to quit."

I think I'm ready to reintegrate short WoW tasks back into my daily todo list, alongside dishwashing and weightlifting. And when I don't have time, I won't log in and I won't regret it! I got my mojo back!!

20 February 2012

Six of Six

Gasp! I've been tagged by Aralossien, Karegina, Saxsy, AND Glowberry for the Six Meme set in motion by Gnomeaggedon. The rules are simple: 
  • Go into your image folder. 
  • Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image. 
  • Publish the image! 
  • Challenge six new bloggers. 
  • Link to them.
WoW > Screenshots > Maurene
This is my grumpy warlock in her fancy Outlands getup. Check out those blindingly white thighs! Whatever, she's (un)dead, she doesn't care. Like a honey badger.

My Pictures > man and wife
I like making gifs, so I often take screenshot sequences of stuff I'm watching to destroy it later. Here's one from The Princess Bride. Say "man and wife! Man and wife!"

Nikon Transfer > artsy fartsy > flickr
Many moons ago I tried to have a flickr, so I spent a little while pulling images I particularly liked out of my cesspool of photographs. Here's one that I took at a botanical garden in...Tokyo, I think? I'm pretty sure it was taken when my parents were visiting, and I met them in Tokyo. So, probably there.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
gifs > Alex "tableflip"
You guys know how I feel about gifs, so I thought I'd share the 6th from my gif folder. Even better, this is one I made myself!!

But now I have to choose people, oh noooo! Hopefully I won't get anyone who's already been tapped!

17 February 2012

[Shared Topic] Love Interest

This week's Blog Azeroth shared topic is from Effraeti of Effraeti's RP, who, inspired by Valentine's Day, wants to know:
Who is your main character's love interest? Are they involved with someone, do they pine for someone? 
Many bloggers lately have been discussing playing with IRL couples who raid together. How would this transfer to the characters they play? Why would their characters slay dragons together?
What an interesting topic! To be honest, although I don't RP in game with my characters, since I like to write about them, or at least make up little stories about them as I quest, I sometimes think as far about their character to figure out their sexuality. Other times, it sneaks up on me with a random character, like my night elf priest, who one day up and fell head over heels with the flight master in Lakeshire. (I think it's her snappy flight master goggles; never mind that many other ally flight masters have the same getup.)

Some bears marry other bears. Deal with it!
This also ties in nicely with another topic I've been wanting to rant about explore but haven't had cause to, and that is the idea of who should and shouldn't be paired up. Typically this is from a fan's perspective on a book or show, but since I often think like a fan it influences my writing decisions as well. After reading or watching story after story in which two characters experience a lot of difficult things together, but only start a romantic relationship if they are opposite genders, I've gotten fed up! Why do the male and female main characters have to fall in love with each other, but the two male leads just become Super Bros? What an irritatingly predictable trope! So, for a lot of reasons (I'm a contrary person, I want more diversity in my media, I like friendship stories, hot boys kissing is hot) I've gotten to the point where I intentionally want to pair same-sex characters, but make opposite-sex characters Best Buds With Absolutely No Sexual Tension, Seriously Not Even A Little.

Of course, as a fan, this can annoy the author. "My characters aren't gay, ffs! They are just great friends!" Alternatively, "These characters are soulmates! No one and nothing could ever come between them!" Meanwhile, I cackle maniacally and drown myself in fanfic that disagrees. From that perspective, I'm completely okay with the idea of someone reading some other sexuality or pairing in my writing. Take the leatherworkers, for example. Since they are a male tauren and a female orc, my first inclination was that they should be bffs and nothing more. After all, I have some extremely satisfying friendships in my life, and I think they represent a deep and abiding form of love. However! I understand that in many cases (and sometimes mine, when I read a story), the friendship isn't satisfying enough, which is why we invent a sexual or romantic relationship between the characters.

Okay, that concludes my rant. By now you are like "oh my god did I seriously just wade through two whole paragraphs of frothing fangirl drivel?" You did! But now I will tell you about my other characters, promise!

Akabeko, my oldest character, has given me some interesting romantic ideas that I basically abandoned in her story. It just wasn't interesting! My first guild's GL was a tauren male called Akatosh, and we used to joke that our characters would have two children named Bekotosh and Toshabeko. Humorous, sure, and even led me to think about the complications of having a baby but continuing to adventure (raised by a grandmother? abandoned as an orphan?). Then I realized that I couldn't be bothered with that much drama, and briefly considered tying her to my previous manfriend's tauren druid. Even that wasn't interesting enough! I mean, Akabeko kills dragons on a regular basis, is exalted with nearly every faction she has ever come in contact with, and has strong ties to her guildies. She doesn't exactly need a romantic relationship to have an exciting life!

Next up is Sprinkie, the goblin who miraculously escaped the destruction of Kezan. At first I thought she might be asexual, since so much of her time is dedicated to making gold and killing stuff. Then she ran into Baron Revilgaz, and that cutie in Fuselight by the Sea... and I realized that she's just a horndog with no time for relationships. Like James Bond!

The last character of any note is probably my pally Iharu. I assume that blood elves are pretty openly sexual people, which would include her. I randomly paired her with previous manfriend's female pally, which is the closest I've ever gotten to making game behavior reflect my real life relationship, but since we aren't together anymore I don't know what I'll decide for Iharu.

As you can see, romantic relationships don't play too big of a part in my characters' stories. Although I'm a huge fan of reading romance (and experiencing it, I guess), I don't much care to write about it when it comes to characters I've created. I wonder why that is? Maybe if the world were more restricted, or I had an RP partner, or played two accounts, I would be more inclined to play matchmaker with my toons. What about you? What romantic entanglements do your characters have?

14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying their ultra pink day of love in whatever capacity you chose! I spent the better part of Sunday with a friend baking up a storm. (We decided against the more typical Japanese method of "melt chocolate, reform it into other still-chocolate shapes, plus sprinkles" for valentine production.) She made caramel thumbprint cookies and a so-so Martha Stewart version of thin mints, and I made the Lunar Festival Pies created by The Gamer's Fridge! Even better is there were minimal oven-related casualties!

bonus caramel coconut cookies
and pseudo thin mints!
If you're looking for something sweet to eat, I highly recommend whipping up a batch of the Lunar Festival Pies. They are super easy to make, bake really quickly, and the frosting recipe is the PERFECT amount for the cookies, so you don't have any pesky leftovers! And they are delicious!!

11 February 2012

Goblin Journal: Red and Black

I've only got a few minutes before my charter flight to the Badlands takes off. A cross country rocket trip - it's been so long! Nothing like the constant threat of unpredictable hardware malfunction to keep you young (at heart). Oh, they're telling me to strap in, Journal! Looks like Sprinkie's blasting off again!


Fuselight-by-the-Sea. It's no Booty Bay, but it is close. It's just a tiny village of modest workshops and their not-so-modest owners. Everywhere you look, there's a new type of engine crashing and burning, or a mechanical assistant going rogue and trying to kill everybody. There's even a flock of exploding sheep wandering around the outskirts! It feels like college all over again. For now, they've got me in the spare bedroom at a father-son's workshop. The son keeps giving me eyes. Wait, someone just knocked.


Had a bit of a late night - you know how it goes, Journal. Hehehe. Anyway, they put me on the road to Fuselight proper to see about earning some coin. As much as I'd like to stay and take in the smoky salt air, I'm a goblin on a mission! Leaving the coast makes a big difference, though. One moment you're seeing green  grass and moist dirt, and the next you're driving through dry, brown boulders and breathing dust!

At first, the goblins in Fuselight had a distinct deficit of things to do. I killed some nearby ogres - who, by the by, are totally gross and tall and walk around in dirty loincloths and their skin is like leather and ugh!! Why do I know this? I had to root around their pockets for spare parts! Not worth it!

It was a thankless task, but it did earn me some credit with the goblins. They entrusted me with a package that needs to be delivered to an associate in Leth'lor Ravine. Anything beats being on the goat control squad here.


Roughing it again, Journal. Although it's nice to be away from people for the time being. I delivered the package. Of course, they neglected to tell me that the ravine is FULL OF BLACK DRAGONS. I mean, dragons of any color give me the heebie jeebies, but black? The same as Deathwing, Destroyer of Kezan and Everything Else?! I was way underpaid for that little courier service,  but I had to finish the job when I realized it would take longer to backtrack.

So I find this red-headed goblin, cute, but really serious. She seemed a little strange, but hey, so am I, I thought. She wanted me to run around collecting not only dragon eggs, but the bodies of the little whelplings flitting around the nest! I know, I know. Why did I agree to that? I sure didn't want to, and the pay was only so-so, but I felt compelled. Like maybe I wasn't entirely in control.

Well, I did it. Pissed off a fair few dragons, too. Mostly managed to escape intact. My tunic got pretty singed, though. As if that weren't enough, she tells me she needs another kind of egg. From where? Well, this black dragon broodmother she's got conveniently immobilized and hidden against the cliff. Easy peasy, if you like beating up on things already beaten.

But the big thing, the reason I'm glad to be alone, is because after I brought back the eggs and whelps, this red-headed chick shows me her true form. Hint: not goblin. No, Rhea is actually Rheastrasza, the oversized, scaly envoy of Alextrasza, leader of the Red Dragonflight.

"I'm not evil," she says. "I'm just trying to save the black dragonflight," she says. For someone trying to come off as trustworthy, she sure talks like a swindler, and I would know! Now I'm camping in a secluded hollow in the desert, surrounded by my closest friends: two types of black dragon eggs and a stinking pile of whelpling corpses. They're not conversationalists, Journal.


Rhea's cargo was to be delivered to a Dr. Blam High Hyer. Dr. Blam. I was expecting another goblin, but he turned out to be a gnome. Great, I thought, 60% chance of failure.

Dr. Blam - if you can believe this - speaks Orcish. He's probably better than me! What a boon, not having to trot out my horrible Common. He said he had been expecting the delivery after Rhea took him into her confidence. That made her a little more credible to me.

While the Doctor was running his tests, he sent me off on errands. Good thing he's one of those rich, eccentric types! Odd requests, big rewards.

I killed some troggs that were threatening his workshop (hovel?), then met up with some of those archaeologist blood elves - the Reliquary or somesuch. They made me investigate some old Titan architecture. I ended up solving some ancient puzzles. I'm pretty good when it comes to puzzles - what is auctioning if not working out how people's minds work and manipulating them into buying stuff from you? Anyway, I ended up with some thingamajig to take back to Dr. Blam.


I'm in New Kargath now (word on the, uh, sun-baked path is that old Kargath was destroyed by Deathwing). Rhea's here - she took the egg. I should back up: Dr. B used the titan device to somehow purify one of the dragon eggs. Purify a black dragon egg! This could be the future of the black dragonflight!!

So, Rhea's taken it for safekeeping. She says she's got some other odd jobs for me - mostly cleaning up the black dragons in the Badlands. There are a few soldiers who survived Deathwing's original attack who are keen to accompany me, so it should go pretty quick.


I don't know what to say. I shouldn't have doubted her. She was so brave...

Rhea's dead.

I was in the desert for a week or two, cleaning up ogres and black dragons alike with my brute squad. I got back to Kargath, expecting to collect a big fat bag of coins and book it, but there was a note, too. Sealed for my eyes only.

Rhea had been holed up in a nearby cave incubating the purified egg. She summoned me to her, but it seems that word got out. I arrived just as Deathwing himself came to see what she was planning. I could only hide and watch as he incinerated not only Rhea, but the hope of the black dragonflight as well.

Dr. Blam had also been summoned, but he came after Deathwing had made a molten crater out of Rhea's hiding place. He told me...everything, including what Rhea left behind. I am now the carrier of her last egg. (It's also not much of a conversationalist.)

This is my personal journal, but should it fall into the wrong hands

I can't write about my final thoughts on the matter.

Hope is not lost.

09 February 2012

Twisted Nether Blogcast!

Hey! Remember how I was interviewed on the Twisted Nether Blogcast? Well you can listen to it right here! (The title, so much lulz.) I won't be, because I hate the sound of my own voice, so let me know how it goes! :D

08 February 2012

The Leatherworkers [Tier 2]

The orc slid back onto her stool and reached for her fresh drink. The tauren was already working on his. "Where were we?" she asked into her tankard.

"How you went from delicate quilter to the shrewdest gatherer I've ever met." He pantomimed a gentle sewing motion, then changed it into violently bludgeoning something. The orc could easily imagine any number of somethings.

She belched, patted her chest, and took another sip. "Right, well, just as the fashionable gear was changing, I was ready for physical therapy to get my legs back into working order. I spent my mornings relearning to stand, then hobbled over to the shop to work. The good thing about the job was that I could make comfortable padding for my crutches out of scraps."

The tauren hummed in amusement. It was hard to imagine the orc next to him as even remotely incapacitated. Even though he knew her extremely well after working closely with her for so long, this was still an aspect about her he couldn't quite comprehend. In ill weather, in dangerous situations, and even in pain, she didn't seek comfort. He was always trying to be stronger, just to measure up.

"At first, it was very slow going," the orc continued, unaware of her companions brew-fueled ruminations. "The therapy was so exhausting that I had to sit afterwards, so I was at first tasked with sewing layers of those eternal enchanted leaves on to the robe. At least I had seniority over newer apprentices, so I didn't have to go back to fitting the base armor. Or worse, embroidery." They both grimaced. "That gear was covered in crescent-shaped embroidery, which had to be done at twilight, or just before dawn, or the spelled thread would...react. One of the newbies lost a knuckle from his little finger!"

"Yikes!" the tauren said sympathetically. "I never had to do much needlework," he confided. "I was too clumsy, and my technique was messy, and they usually set me to tanning hides instead."

"Ugh, my least favorite activity."

"Agreed. But when did you become a gatherer?"

The orc laughed. "Hold your kodos; I'm getting there. I got to a point where I could stand and move around for a while, so they moved me on to other work. The gear at the time had these huge antlers and even bigger claws. I would have loved to be on the team that went hunting those beasts. But for me, they set me to...polishing. I polished antlers as wide as my arms and claws as big around as my fists!" She closed her hand for reference, and the tauren looked impressed.

"Those must have been fierce hunts indeed! But you didn't go hunting for them, right? When did you join the hunting team?"

She snorted. "Here I am telling you my life story, and all you care about is how I got my current job? Talk about a one-track mind!"

The tauren looked apologetic. "No, it's not that I don't care about the rest! But you told me when we first met that you were a warrior, and then you became a gatherer for leatherworking materials. So far you've only told me about limping around and sewing leaves to hide!"

"Well, it's a long story!" the orc huffed out irritably.

05 February 2012

Love is in the Air: Some just call it friendship

Going out for Valentine's Day? Or will you be staying in for Singles' Awareness Day? The good news is that WoW's take on the western day of love is filled with a sinister undertone to make even the most cynical of us enjoy it! Love is in the Air runs from February 5th to the 20th and features quests, a daily boss, and a host of saccharine pink festivities!

Lots of websites detailing the history of Valentine's Day cite three possible origins for the holiday. One is that the Roman emperor outlawed marriage among young men in order to produce better soldiers, and St. Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret. Another is that he was imprisoned and fell in love with his jailor's daughter, sending her a final note signed "From Your Valentine." The final origin states that Valentine helped Christians escape harsh treatment in Roman prisons. Wikipedia rejects all of these as legends, stating that St. Valentine was merely one of two priests martyred and honored on the same day, February 14. Add on that the suggestion that the holiday was created to appropriate the spring festival of Lupercalia, and you've got plenty of options!

Regardless of the origin, folks in Great Britain decided it would be a great idea to exchange tokens or gifts with friends and lovers in the mid 18th century. Players can do just that in game once daily for each of their faction leaders. Of course, these are gruesome Lovely Charm Bracelets made out of Lovely Charms collected from level-appropriate monsters, so it still retains that good old Warcraft feel. Keep in mind that  if you are on the Darkmoon 250 Grisly Tokens collection quests, you will not loot the charms until you have finished looting the tokens. [At level 85, head to Icecrown and farm the packs of Converted Heroes!]

In the 1840s, factory-made cards helped to reinvent the holiday, making card-exchanging easier and more prevalent. The US upped the ante with all kinds of gift-giving on the holiday in the 1950s, and in the 1980s the diamond industry began to encourage gifts of jewelry. Fun facts: In the US, 190 million cards are sent each year. If you include the classroom exchanges done in elementary schools, the number increases to 1 billion, and teachers become the main recipient of Valentine's cards. Sweet deal! If you want to see some really great Valentine's Day cards, I highly recommend checking out the vintage valentines section of the wikipedia article.

Other countries that play WoW have their own approaches to Valentine's Day. Although it is acknowledged in China, the main romantic holiday takes place during the Qixi Festival. I described the romantic legend behind that holiday in this post. Korea and Taiwan have two romantic holidays: Valentine's Day on February 14th, followed by White Day on March 14th. In Korea, women give chocolate to the men in their life on Valentine's Day, and receive non-chocolate sweets from those men on White Day. It is reversed in Taiwan. Humorously, Korea also has Black Day on April 14th, for those sad souls who gave and received nothing on the two preceding holidays. They celebrate (mourn?) their lack of love life with dark clothing and a meal of black noodles.

WoW's approach to this holiday is...very different. Although Azeroth's citizens find themselves in a haze of affection for their friends and lovers, players soon find out that it is maliciously created! The Crown Chemical Company is working on a chemical plague weapon to infect all of Azeroth, and is testing it in the form of perfume on citydwellers! The player is sent on a series of quests to gather information, track down Snivel Rustrocket, and finally strike at the heart of the Company, Apothecary Hummel and his two lackeys in Shadowfang Keep. Players can also kill level-appropriate Crown associates and destroy their chemical weapons daily. Oddly enough, the Crown Chemical Co. offers its own daily: giving free samples of their perfume, cologne, or chocolates. Sure, I'll pass out your free chocolate samples! Good luck with that chemical weapon to infect all life on Azeroth!

I don't begrudge you doing all your dailies, though. You need to collect your Love Tokens so you can buy sweet stuff! From the Crown Chemical Company! They've got a host of buff perfumes and colognes (don't worry, you can buy either!), heart candies, rose petals (nothing is more romantic than being showered in dismembered plant matter), a lovely rose, Love Rockets, Silver Shafted Arrows to play Cupid with your fellow Azerothians, a Romantic Picnic Basket, a Box of Chocolates (obligatory Forrest Gump reference), the Love Fool, fancy suits and dresses, and your very own Peddlefeet!

The companion pet Peddlefeet, while intensely creepy, is a reference to the chubby son of Venus, Cupid. His magical arrows make all those struck by them fall in love. Oddly enough, when you shoot your own Silver-Shafted Arrows, you just make Peddlefeet follow around another player. That's not very romantic at all.

The Love Fool is similarly unsettling. It looks like a target dummy, and you will need to buy a few of these to take around the world and /pity. Go ahead and listen to The Cardigans' Love Fool while I tell you about the 1984 play Fools for Love. It's about the relationship drama between two high school sweethearts Eddie and May. Throughout their affair a character known as the Old Man periodically comments. In the end, you find out that he is their father and bounced back and forth between their mothers. So. Yeah.

Ok let's talk about the other sweet loot! The daily boss has a chance to drop a Toxic Wasteling, which is more exciting than the Disgusting Oozeling in that it eats critters! Plus, you have a very, very, very low chance of getting the Big Love Rocket, which increases your chances of getting laid by one thousand percent! Haha, just kidding. It hasn't worked for my guildie, at any rate. New in 2012 is the Swift Lovebird, purchasable for 270 Love Tokens from the Lovely Merchant.

Does anyone truly like Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, or do you just buy them for the quips? The idea came from an older snack known as "cockles" which were crumbly little candies that had a paper motto inside. Sort of like sugar fortune cookies! When a method was discovered to transfer dye from cloth to candy, the paper was abandoned in favor of printing the motto directly on the sugar. The present day conversation heart was invented in 1902.

Last, but not least, I want to mention a tangentially related item known as a "vinegar valentine." Like it sounds, it's a valentine card that comes with an unflattering caricature and insulting poem rather than sweet nothings. I love snark, so this is right up my alley. If you're looking for something mushier, check out the original form of the "Roses are red" poem from Gammer Gurton's Garland!

This holiday has 16 achievements (and one bonus Feat of Strength for the love rocket) for a total of 160 points. The meta achievement awards the title The Love Fool and counts towards What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been. You can check out guides to the holiday quests and achievements on Wow Insider and Wowhead here!

02 February 2012

Twisted Nether Blogcast!

Hi friends! Are you members of Blog Azeroth? Do you listen to their Twisted Nether Blogcast, hosted by the charming Fimlys and Hydra? I do, and you should! The purpose of the show is to showcase WoW bloggers in an interview and broadcast game news! Mysteriously, they have invited me to appear on the next show! You can join us during the recording and make snide comments or ask questions! The excitement goes down on Saturday, February 4th at 8PM PST [UTC-8] (that's Sunday, Feb 5th at 1PM JST [UTC+9]). You can figure out just wtf that time is for you at this helpful website! I'm looking forward to seeing you there!