30 November 2010

Still Alive

I've got a terrible cold so I'll just leave you with an image that sums up what I've been doing in WoW since the patch...

26 November 2010

A Visit from Neltharion

A Visit from Neltharion / The Night Before Cata

`Twas the night before Cata, and all through the zone,
Not a raider suspected a threat to their home.
The armor was piled, taking up space,
In hopes that new Justice points soon would replace.

The mounts were relaxing in their nether-stables,
Waiting for summons are soon as we`re able.
And I on my druid, and Izzy on her pally,
Had just settled in for a last raid of MC.

When out of the maelstrom arose such a wave,
We hearthed from the raid to something quite grave.
Away to the Barrens I flew on a flight path,
Was too late to see naught but the aftermath.

The moon on the land torn asunder by fire, 
Gave the impression of watching a funeral pyre.
When, what to my shocked eyes should arise,
But an enormous black dragon, terror of the skies.

Looking worse for the wear, with elementium siding,
I knew in a moment that it must be Deathwing. 
Hotter than Hellfire he shouted his rage,
And he clawed, and roared, declared the end of an age:

"Now Barrens! now, Darkshore! now, Stormwind`s Cathedral!
On houses, on lakes, on all Azeroth`s people!
From the peak of the mount, to the bottom of the sea,
Now burn it all, burn it up, burn before me!"

As old paper that crackles when placed in a flame,
The world was consumed in the Destroyer`s name.
From the depths of the world, the earth he disturbed,
With a heart full of rage, our towns he interred.

And then, from the mesas, I heard a great crash,
As Thousand Needles was consumed with a splash.
As I drew in myself and called for the Earthmother,
Deathwing returned, and I turned tail for cover.

 He was dressed all in plate, from his tail to his horn,
And his scales were all lava and rock in new form.
Reinforced metal he had stuck to his back,
And he looked like a weapon prepared to attack.

His eyes - how they burned! while sinking a ship,
His claws were like scythes, his tail like a whip.
His metal-made chin was comically wide,
Though no one was eager to venture inside.

In ferocious glee he bared his clenched teeth,
And the smoke encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a cruel face and a fierce sneering grin
That doubled when he roared and clawed at King Wrynn.

He was enormous and black, the king of his flight,
And I cowered when I saw him, unable to fight.
A gleam in his eye and a tilt of his head
Terrified me, and filled me with dread.

He roared with his hate and went straight for destruction,
And toppled our cities in fiery combustion.
And laughing aloud at those in death throes,
Surveying his work, over the flames he rose.

He spread out his wings, breathed flame in the sky,
And then flew away in search of more crime.
But I heard him exclaim of the pain he would bring:
"And all will burn beneath the shadow of my wings!" 

25 November 2010

Cataclysm events

Waiting to enter Stormwind

Searching Orgrimmar citizens

How did he get past the scanners?!

The hidden ritual

"Helping" with the ritual

Thrall takes council in Nagrand

In Maraudon

Garrosh post-battle

Cairne post-battle

Water elementals in Thunderbluff

Cairne defends our city

23 November 2010


Going to Zul'Gurub

Hakkar says hello
Sadly, I never raided Zul`Gurub at level. It was old news by the time I zoomed past 60 on my way to 70. When achievements went live I went in for the first time to get credit for killing Hakkar, and since then it`s been on my pug short list for rep gains. After I remade my dual spec to solobear, it was on my farm list for mount and rep items. I saved all my Shen`dralar librams to exchange for rep, which saved a lot of time, and then I was able to mail my rep items to guildies and coast to exalted on my mount runs.

Raptor, please!
Check out my dinos

I often wonder what level 60 raids felt like, since I can only compare them to what little I saw of BC and everything I know in Wrath. Mysteries I will never know about ZG: What did it feel like to kill Hakkar for the first time? Did those packs of trolls that constantly stun you pose a major threat? Did anyone actually farm up mats for a Shen`dralar arcanum in order to exchange it at NPC for a resist arcanum? Was it a pain in the ass to only have 3 days to work on progression before reset? Did the rare mounts cause huge raid drama?

Thanks, Bloodlord
For a few months I didn`t bother to run it; it was a pain to find a raid group, I had other reps to farm, I could always start running it after I was finished with X Y and Z. Then, it got a countdown and I began to farm every reset if I had time. I know of people who have farmed it nearly every reset for years and seen nothing drop, and guildies who have run it a scant few times and walked away with raptors. Like with the ZA bear and what will soon be all the Wrath raid mounts, I`m sad to think that I`ll not get any of them, but resigned to that likely fate (unless there's some appropriate place for them, right Blizz? :D). It made me less passionate about running it at every opportunity, but I tried to get in there when I had a chance. It`s a quick run, especially now that Zulian Mudskunks and Lures aren`t selling and I no longer need to fish.

Red sky

It`s a gorgeous dungeon and the bosses are so cool! Although unfortunate that I couldn`t experience it as current content, I`m glad I`ve seen it enough times to know what it was like as a raid. I walk away from it with an achievement, an exalted reputation, an interesting set of gear, a cute raptor pet, and fun memories.

Haruspex garb and my sweet staff

Haruspex garb and a sweet mace/offhand

Soloing Thekal

Final red sky

21 November 2010


I've been leveling some lowbies lately and every time an earthquake happens I wonder how it would change the questing experience...


Exhausted after investigating the Grimtotem camp, Littleclover had carefully picked her way up the mossy rocks to a small clearing overlooking the camp. She'd huddled down to rest while keeping a close eye on the Sprite Darters held captive in the central pen. It wasn't long before one of the druids picked up the night elf's scent and came sniffing up to the clearing. Littleclover jumped at the terrifying growl behind her, too late to avoid the massive paw that sent her flying nearly down the slope. She turned, trying to flip to her feet as the bear barreled down on her.

The ground suddenly bucked, knocking the priest down and causing the bear to overshoot her charge and land precariously on the precipice of the slope. The ground rumbled again, and the bear to being to slip. She hooked a claw in Littleclover's robe, making her tumble over the edge as well. They slipped down over damp grass and mossy rocks, neither of which were particularly forgiving. The ground trembled with aftershocks and made the pair's rapid descent even more painful. At first the druid had tried to continue to attack Littleclover, but her snarls now sounded less like animosity towards the priest and more like grunts of pain.

A final buck sent them both flying the last few feet to the bottom of the incline - an unfortunately large boulder. The bear landed heavily a split second before Littleclover, who landed on top of her with a sickening crunch. Shot with adrenaline, Littleclover scrambled frantically away from the still form. The druid made no move to stand. Littleclover sank back into the grass, nursing an aching head and likely broken wrist, along with other nameless aches. "Earthquakes!"

18 November 2010

Digital Download

People all over are weighing in on what they think of the ability to download Cataclysm in advance after buying a digital copy. I, for one, am so, so happy about the digital download! After hearing about it, I tried to buy it as soon as I got home. Fortunately, since it`s done through battle.net and not the Blizzard store, I was able to without having to:

1) Skype my mother
2) Have her log in to my account from the US
3) buy stuff with my credit card

Obviously I trust my mother, but I`m pretty sure that`s the exact opposite type of internet security practice Blizz tries to promote.

Some are lamenting the future of actual game stores - a physical location that you can hop, skip, and jump over to in order to buy a real game disk, resplendent in its sturdy cardboard box with embossed letters and gold foil. From the box comes treasures even more glorious - a game guide smelling of new paper that no one bothers to read and loses ASAP, several sheets of adverts for other products or games that you will likely throw away, and the CD itself, labeled lovingly with some sweet art for the game. I`m poking fun at this, but actually I do get pretty excited about new games and the opening of said packages. However, when you live in the middle of nowhere, or worse, in a country where trying to go to battle.net opens the Korean-language website, priorities change. (As an aside, it`s criminal that the battle.net websites have options to change the language, but the options are not written in the target language. I can`t read Korean! Therefore, I cannot read the Korean that helpfully states "Click here for English version!")


Without the digital download, options were bleak. I`d have to find someone willing to buy the game for me. Maybe a friend placing her own preorder, or Mom on her next trip to Walmart. To pay them back, I`d likely have to get them to make paypal accounts so I could transfer money from my US account to them. Then, assuming they could acquire a game for me, they`d have to ship it (something I`d also want to pay for). I`d have to wait for shipping, probably even get a ride to the post office to collect my package. Then, likely a week or two after release, I would bring Cata home and start up the installation.

That sucks! Granted, it doesn`t suck nearly as much as not being able to afford the game, or not having time to play, or any other reason why you want to but cannot play. Still, without this option I would be a very blue cow! It`s true that I will miss the semi-excitement of standing in line shooting the shit with my BFF (we chose the lesser used Gamestop during Wrath for a shorter line, but I`m told the one in the big shopping center had a way better atmosphere), but the benefit of having Cata available at 5PM Tuesday - right as I get home! - is too good to beat!

14 November 2010

The Scepter of the Shifting Sands

I`ve been working on the quest chain for The Scepter of the Shifting Sands for months and months now, but I finally convinced 4 suckers guildies to get back into Blackwing Lair with me to scrounge up some Elementium Ingots. (new name!) I got 3 from a friend, bought 5 from the AH for 600-800g each, and 4 more dropped last night. I`ll be saving the extras for a friend working on her legendary.

Having stepped up my achievement-hunting this past year, I am eternally grateful that I rolled a druid as my main toon. Getting a bear offspec has been immensely helpful in soloing all those obscure old-world bosses and raids. It`s the only reason I was able to get from Hated to Neutral with Brood of Nozdormu, that`s for sure! I spent a few hours farming the first 4 mobs in AQ40, got all of the silithid mounts, and slammed out that rep!

Nearly all of the world grinding I did alone (mostly traveling around and killing various elite mobs for drops), but I did manage to get help with BWL for the Head of the Broodlord Lashslayer, red shard, and Chapter VI of Draconic for Dummies. I also had to venture into (level 80) Onyxia`s Lair and Molten Core for more chapters of Draconic for Dummies, and also get some goggles from mobs in MC. Fortunately, MC only requires 2 people and I have a few guildies interested in legendary weapons... The green shard I got when helping our RL complete his own scepter quest a few months ago.

While working on this quest chain, I snuck into Stormwind Library, trekked out to the (typically) unreachable island off the coast of Tanaris, learned an epic cooking recipe, spent a lot of time admiring the gorgeous old world raids (AQ droooool), spent a lot of gold, and in general had lots of fun. Sadly enough, the final quest was a little...disappointing. For one, I can only equip the dagger rewards and the sword looked much cooler. For two, you get the final reward and...what? That`s it. No announcement, no emote, no achievement of any kind. They are adding a Feat of Strength in 4.0.3, but it`s kind of amazing that they have an achievement for catching 50 fish and didn`t think to put something in for this quest chain from the start. People are also asking for a title to be added to other who complete this chain. Blizzard responded with the following:

There was a title for this as a reward: Scarab Lord. We have absolutely no plans to add another title for people that did the quest after the wall came down and we have no plans to make the bug mounts - other than the Scarab Lord mount - work outside of AQ. 

I guess I`m not too put out by that, but I think it would be a great idea to add a title - a different title than Scarab Lord, of course. That one is special and the original earner should be unique, but completing the quest chain after this event, at 60 or even at 80, is a huge time (and sometimes gold!!) commitment. Hell, I got a title for finishing holiday achievements, killing Booty Bay Bruisers, and doing all of the heroics in Wrath. It seems disingenuous to suggest that somehow this quest was not worth it compared to the original achiever, when things that are much less strenuous are worth titles.

It was hard, time-consuming, lonely work. The end was very bittersweet; I was alone in Silithus late at night, with hardly anyone even online in guild. I went out to the gong but was unable to actually ring it. The questgiver gave me my epic weapon reward, and I awkwardly milled around, trying to soak in the feeling of completing an incredible questline. It certainly is an achievement, one I`m glad will be recognized soon.

11 November 2010

You have been promoted to...

I was recently promoted in guild from raider rank to long-term member. It`s been a little more than six months since I joined Cadence. Let`s take a walk down memory lane...

My previous guild on Nagrand had enough issues to fill its own series of angsty posts. I remember even after I had first transferred and was asking for vanity guild sigs on wow_ladies that I griped about the guild atmosphere. The ladies that signed my charter went so far as to wish me luck with my asshat guildies, and even ladies that didn`t sign left advice for me in the comments. That should have been a warning sign, but I was lonely and in love with the idea of raiding 25s and getting the ~*best loot*~.

In the last month, maybe more, before the guild imploded I was so unhappy in game. I logged on immediately before raid, listened reluctantly to vent, glared stonily at raid chat, and raged in whispers to friends about the contents therein. It was hostile and frequently upsetting, but I couldn`t just quit and lost my opportunity at phat lewts!! I began talking with a wow_lady who responded to second plaintive guild-seeking post.

She helped me so much - although she did mention her own guild she mostly talked about the 25s guild her former guildie had gone to. Similar raiding schedule, slightly less asshats. She even put me in touch with said former guildie to get my own info. The more I talked, the more I realized that although I do love having the best gear, 25s are not as intimate and fun as 10s, and raiding 4 nights a week keeps me from my second love, achievements.

Finally, I asked to have a look at her guild Cadence. They let me listen to their weekly raid so I could gauge the atmosphere. At this point my biggest fear was never finding a guild at my preferred level of progression that didn`t require sitting through hours of misogynistic "jokes". And yet here they were - respectful, funny (like actually funny), knocking on the LK`s door in exclusively 10s gear and dabbling in HMs. I was sold!

Since joining Cadence my WoW outlook has greatly improved. The atmosphere is similar to my very first guild, but it`s actually better now because raids are scheduled and organized, and I never feel guilted into going. There are epic pun wars, and lately we have been expressing ourselves in haiku. People aren`t mean to each other and comments don`t stray into homophobia or misogyny. Even better, some in guild share my love of achievements, and we run old world raids for fun and profit! My only gripe is that the Ulduar drake runs are on Tuesday nights, when I have Japanese class!

So, thank you, Cadence, for getting me to the Lich King, giving my pally advice, sending me herbs for Darkmoon Faire rep, telling me jokes, laughing at mine, running Molten Core in silly gear, and giving manfriend a place to park his toons. I look forward to more of the same for a long time!

10 November 2010

I`m officially going Insane

You guys you guys!! After a long, tense silence there has finally been a Blizzard response to The Insane breaking in Cataclysm:
It's a question you've been asking us for a little while now. And, based on all the posts, emails, petitions, and letters we received following the announcement that the Insane in the Membrane achievement would no longer be in available in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we started to wonder if maybe we had gone a bit loco.

So, we went back to the drawing board. After carefully reviewing all the feedback and discussing the matter amongst ourselves, we're now happy to report that we will be making the following changes to the Feat of Strength:

  • Exalted reputation with Shen'dralar will no longer be required. As this is the only reputation that will be unobtainable in Cataclysm, we've simply decided to remove it as a requirement.

    For those who already earned Exalted reputation with this faction, don't worry -- we haven't forgotten about your accomplishments. In a future patch, we'll be adding in a separate Feat of Strength to recognize your deep love of Dire Maul.

  • Bloodsail Buccaneer faction reputation will remain in-game. Also, to ensure that this change does not negatively affect Cataclysm quest progression in Stranglethorn Vale, Booty Bay Bruisers will now provide reputation up through Exalted.
This will ensure that players will still be able to attain Insane in the Membrane and "The Insane" title in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Please note, however, that these changes will not take effect until The Shattering in patch 4.0.3a -- excluding the separate "Exalted with Shen'dralar" feat, which will be introduced in a future, but currently-undetermined patch.

And, of course, those who are already Insane in the Membrane will retain their title and current Feat of Strength. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
 I can definitely live with these changes! Ideally, they could have left the Shen`dralar questgiver with his quest (since I`ve seen in multiple places that he is still physically present in DM...) but maybe the turn-in items are also being broken? At any rate, I mostly don`t care because I already finished that bit, and for my efforts I will get a compensatory FoS. That the rest of it can still be accomplished sets me at ease, and I no longer feel bad working on my ally Loremaster instead of my rogue. Even if I will miss the Pilgrim`s Bounty rep buff.

Some have mentioned that removing Shen`dralar cheapens this FoS (making it less Insane, if you will) Well, maybe there is less to grind now, and those who finished Shen`dralar have likely spent a lot more gold and time on those stupid quest items, but at least they get bragging rights? Hopefully the compromise with the separate FoS will make up for it.

The bit about being able to (easily) grind Bloodsail up to Exalted is regretfully piquing my interest. I previously looked up the requirements for Exalted Bloodsail and wrote it off. Now, however, you will be able to grind easily accessible, quickly spawning groups of mobs... I`m trying really, really hard to convince myself to let it go, like all those raid achieves I`ll likely never finish. But still! An incomplete reputation! I`ll just have to hide it in my inactive tab and try not to think about it! After all, I`ll have The Insane anyway :D

08 November 2010

Checking on Ravenholdt in Beta

Well, I have updates on my last two posts...both involve tooling around in the beta but I`ll warn you of spoilers.

Ravenholdt in Cata (beta)

The goal of my exploration was to check on the fate of Ravenholdt. Astute readers will know that an exalted reputation with Ravenholdt is required for the Insane title. Assuming that Blizz doesn`t actively strive to make the Insane unachievable, if Ravenholdt and DMF survive in Cata and can still award rep, then I should be all set to finish up my title even after Cata launch. So, I copied over a premade level 85 rogue which I proceeded to spec as haphazardly as possible. (As a fun aside, although the premade was an orc male, the stress test recustomization feature resulted in a snarky lady goblin! :3) First, I flew out to Ravenholdt Manor to confirm its continued existence. I almost flew past it because of the map redesign. Flying past Tarren Mill reminded me to keep an eye out, and I even noticed some scratchy markings on the map that indicate the secret path leading to the manor!

Since the questgiver was there asking for junkboxes, I then headed to LBRS to see about acquiring some (my Insane buddy swears by this location). A quick turn through and I had 5 Heavy Junkboxes to hand in. I managed to get back to the manor and hand in the quest. Lo and behold, I got my 75 rep with Ravenholdt!

Beta surprise! [spoilers]

For starters, the Alterac and Hillsbrad maps have been combined. Frankly, it makes a lot more sense now, especially since the border between the two has always been a little awkward. The maps in general have gotten clearner - for instance, there used to be a mysterious green patch on the western end of Tirisfal Glades that always intrigued me. Apparently it`s just supposed to be more mountains, so now the enticing green area has been replaced with wholly uninteresting mountains. Curiosity averted!

I zoned in to Orgrimmar and had to get to Undercity to check out all the exciting new stuff...and still found myself traveling by zeppelin! I had long hoped that major cities might offer faction-related portals for easy access, but the only thing I could find was a portal to Tol Barad. At least UC and Silvermoon have an insta-portal, and the zep ride from Org to UC isn`t so bad (although waiting for the zep to appear is!), but I hope they put something more expedient between Org and Thunderbluff. I love TB and would want to base myself out there if possible, but the flight to Org is already quite long and the zep ride is a joke!

Flying from Flame Crest to UC was really shocking. Although I haven`t played ally for very long, I really enjoy the atmosphere of a lot of their zones. I flew first through the Badlands, which were impressively scorched and razed, but mostly impressive since I`ve never particularly liked them. Loch Modan, however... The dam is burst! The loch is dry!! Even the critters themselves are new and varied. And since I flew from south to north, I started with the dry loch, had to check the map to see where I was, and then flew over the pieces of the shattered dam. This was pretty heartwrenching (;~;), but flying through the Wetlands made me feel a little better when I saw that the Greenwarden had acquired a following! He used to be all alone in the middle of the Wetlands, but now he has a little quest hub to keep him company :)

After arriving in UC, before I logged out I flew around the city. You can fly in the city, so I ended up flying out via the flight path I came in. I got a creepy mental image of players hovering in the darkness above the bank like oversized bats. *shudder* Outside, the ruins of the entire city were accessible to my flying mount. There`s a lot more to the upper level than the broken courtyard we are accustomed to seeing, and it`s fantastically eerie. As I was flying around, however, I noticed some glowing green machines in a back courtyard that looked suspiciously like plague spreaders...

05 November 2010

[BA shared topic] Home Sweet Home

Sionel of Eight Paws provided this week's shared topic at blogazeroth.com:
What does 'home' mean in your book? Do you have a particular home in Azeroth - a place you feel you belong, that you know like the back of your hand, or that you feel more comfortable in than anywhere else? Would this be different for different characters or different factions, or is there just a place that really resonates with you? Do you think Cataclysm will prompt you to find new and different turf, or will you be heading back there first thing to see what might have changed? If it is destroyed, how do you think that will affect your experience of the game, or your characters' lives? Or do you think the whole idea of having a home doesn't even really apply to a game?
I was too late to participate in the "Names" topic although it really interested me, but I am looking forward to this! I often find myself thinking about RP characteristics of my decidedly PVE toons, so most of them have some sort of "home". For instance, Akabeko is from Mulgore, and when I (rarely) find myself riding through the plains on her I always get a little introspective. After we defeated LK for the first time, I wrote up a little blurb about her returning to her tribe and feeling really grown up and a little advanced compared to her people meandering about the plains. It didn't really have a conclusion so I never posted it, but thinking about that type of homecoming reminded me of how I felt every time I studied abroad and returned home with stories that my listeners could only try to imagine.

Despite having a strong contrast to this home, I rarely travel there in game. When it comes to in-game reflections of my imagined RP conditions, it's not actually practical for me to act them out. For instance, maybe Akabeko is a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I won't carry around meat and fish for buff food. Similarly, even if she loves to visit Taunka camps whilst in Northrend in order to feel at home (and hang around with those Taunka dudes - yowza!) I don't actually fly out to any of them.

In contrast, I have developed a strange habit on my lowbie ally priest that involves finding a bed in an inn or house and /sleeping when I log out. I can't really explain why I feel compelled to do it, considering her story basically amounts to "a nelf from Teldrassil who travels around helping people and has a fondness for white companion pets". Still, when it comes to her, I always try to find a place for her to eat dinner, sleep, and log off. I find it a little strange that it's so important to me for her to find a "home" for each night even when I don't have any particular location associated with her home.

I think it's probably partially affected by the fact that she still has to visit capital cities in order to train and trade. As an active leveling character I still feel very cognizant of her personality and development and therefore want to do something RPish with her, and since she's the last toon I play at night I'm also always sleepy when I log off. Plus, alliance cities in particular feel like real cities. Ironforge is basically 50% unoccupied houses (I try to stay at a different one every time I go!), and you can even find some in Darnassus or Stormwind. On the other hand, hordeside I only feel that way about Silvermoon. (My belf pally has an apartment there. Don't judge >_>;;;)

With regards to changes from the Cataclysm, I don't think I will feel a particular loss of "home" for any of my characters, although I think the Mulgore wall will probably bother me a touch. Nostalgia for well-loved zones and shock at physical changes of places I know well, like Orgrimmar, will definitely weigh on me, but I hope that it won't go so far as to leave my characters feeling homeless.

04 November 2010


I definitely feel like I am slipping and sliding (somewhat unwillingly) down the slope that leads to the Cataclysm. Don't get me wrong; I am excited for all the new content, classes, spells, and ~achievements~ that the expansion will bring. Still, unlike Keeva, I find myself not quite yet ready to face the sundering, because dammit, I still have some achievements to wrap up! I definitely admire her nonchalance towards bucket lists, but as you can see I love them enough to have a whole page devoted to them! Also, I really really love making lists.

During Hallow's End I was allllll over the Invocation of the Wickerman, and even got my Consortium to exalted and Timbermaw to revered (only about 100 feathers left and I'm ready for exalted, too!). But Aka, you may ask, why the hell weren't you farming stuff for The Insane? In fact, shouldn't you be doing that right now, and also every hour of every day until Cataclysm?

I'm in a bind, you guys! Here's what Blizz has to say about Insane in the Membrane:

Just for clarity, Insane in the Membrane will not be removed in Cataclysm. We can only confirm this one for you, but since it's undoubtedly one of the most brain-melting achievements, we thought it nice to let you know that you don't have to rush to have this done before the expansion. ;) [11.16.2009]

Insane in the Membrane is a feat of strength, not an achievement. Feats are things that you can't be guaranteed to complete, which is why they're feats and not achievements. Most of them are actually now impossible to complete, and this feat will join a long list of "you had to be there" moments in WoW time. 
The feat isn't being removed of course, those who have it will retain it, however; some of the requirements are, so it will no longer be able to be completed by anyone who has not already done so. 
It's possible that in some very specific situations where someone has completed the reputations which are being removed, but not others that will still be in the game, that it can still be completed. But it's something we're waiting for clarity on, and will let you know as soon as we do. [10.25.2010]

Murrrr. Well, ok I can see their logic. Feats aren't necessary, and getting them or not doesn't even affect your achievement point count so all you are missing out on is bragging rights. I'm banking on that last paragraph being what saves me - the only two factions I have left are supposedly unchanged in Cataclysm, and I'm hoping that even if I can't finish them up until after launch I'll still get credit for doing the whole ordeal. Then again, I could always have my heart broken like when Wrath launched and I didn't get credit for Champion of the Naaru, despite doing everything for it.

Fun story - my friend who got me to roll horde on her server had that title, which was the first title I had ever seen on a toon, and I was duly impressed. I remember her helping me kill mobs in Mulgore (I was a pretty pathetic noob) and thinking to myself "One day I hope I can have that title, too." Then I started the long series of events that leads to it, and even got a questing buddy to work on it together. When we went to turn in our final quest, he got the title and I got diddlysquat. This was right after the achievement patch, and I ticketed a GM explaining how I had done everything right beside my friend who got credit and wtf didn't I? Too bad, so sad, is basically what they responded, and I'm not ready to be smacked down again if The Insane is completely unachievable for folks in my position.

So the point is that I'm already prematurely mourning the loss of this awesome title, although I get the feeling that I'll probably finish out my last two reps simply out of spite. Having come to this gloomy conclusion, I'm now turning my attentions to my ally priest, who come hell or high water will finish up Azeroth loremaster before Cata. I'm already more than halfway done (which is why I would feel simply awful abandoning it and starting again from scratch afterwards), so my plan is to do 30ish quests a night after I've finished my random questing and old world raids on other toons.

Cata Events [spoilers for quests]

I enjoyed the short and sweet series of quests that kicked off this week's events. I've heard a few people comment that the quests seem anticlimactic, and I certainly agree with that sentiment when it comes to the final quest, which is basically "BTW Garrosh you may want to know something bad is happening. FYI. Ok, bye." However, the quests up to that were equal parts epic and charming, what with uncovering the doomsday plot and deactivating a ton of dangerous elemental bombs being hidden in Orgrimmar. You get to see Cho'gall, which felt very foreboding. You also get to wear a sandwich board and proclaim the end of the world for all of the nonbelievers to point and laugh, which was strangely cute. On maxed toons the quests reward a fair amount of gold, and on lowbies they are worth at least half a level of XP!

Aside from the immediately identifiable quests, there is also a Feat of Strength floating around that involves destroying one of each of the four types of elemental rifts. They spawn all over the world, although each element tends to stick to certain zones. If you destroy a rift spawning elementals in your level range, you will be eligible to pick up a very simple daily from a Mysterious Item that is left behind by the rift. The big problem here is that the rifts spawn once an hour on as-yet unpredictable times. I got my first two whilst farting around in vent with a guildie and simply waiting at known spawn points, and the second two the next day actively hunting them. Although it is nice to have that extra daily gold or XP, it's a pain in the ass to have to hang around a spawn point hoping that the spawn time is soon, so after finishing the achievement and quest once, I can't really be bothered.

On the way back from the quests out in Durotar I came across this fine specimen dancing in the midst of several heated duels. I see that the cataclysm is making people do more than join doomsday cults!