30 November 2011

Furtive Father Winter Event!

Hello Blogosphere! This year I would like to host a Furtive Father Winter gift exchange. It is open to anyone with an email address, a blog, and some winter cheer. Because the holiday season can be quite hectic, the concept is simple:

  1. Between now and December 15th, please email me using the comment form in my sidebar, OR leave a comment on this post or the Blog Azeroth thread to state your interest to participate. (You can also try twitter but it doesn't always alert me -_-)
  2. On December 16th, I will pair up participants and contact everyone with the name and email address of their gift recipient.
  3. Gift givers should then learn about their recipient and create a [holiday-themed] post using prose, poetry, music, graphic art, screenshots, or anything else of their choosing. There is no quantity requirement; just make something you might like to receive as a gift!
  4. Between December 20th and 31st, please deliver your post to its recipient, and publish your gift on your blog! Be sure to give credit to the gift-giver so we can appreciate your creativity!

Please try to send accessible files, for instance .zip instead of .rar, and MS Office documents compatible with 2000/XP rather than 2007 only.

Feel free to nab the lazy graphic I cobbled together and spread the word! Happy Winter Veil!

Gift posts are being posted! Thank you to everyone for participating!
AmerenceAmerence Love WoW - from red cow rise
LialaDisciplinary Action - from The Golden Crusade
KamaliaKamalia et Alia - from Disciplinary Action
WindsoarJaded Alt - from Effraeti's RP
DraccusA Druid's Doodling - from Flinthammer Hall
NavimieThe Daily Frostwolf - from Heroically Random
Cymre - Bubbles of Mischief - from Fel Concentration
BeruthielFalling Leaves and Wings - from The Bossy Pally
OphelieThe Bossy Pally - from Raiding After Dark
Akabekored cow rise - from Dwarven Battle Medic
MiaChronicles of Mia - from Bubbles of Mischief
EffraetiEffraeti's RP - from Bravetank
AnslymBag Overflow - from The Daily Frostwolf
GladlyThe Ready Check - from Children of Wrath
PoneriaFel Concentration - from Altaholic Warcraft
Thespius - Healer by Nature - from AmerPriest
RenaissanceMan - Children of Wrath - from The Reluctant Raider
Morrighan - Caer Morrighan - from The Ready Check
Xsinthis - The Golden Crusade - from Kamalia et Alia
Saif - Raiding After Dark - from Chronicles of Mia
Angelya - Revive and Rejuvenate - from Falling Leaves and Wings
Karegina - The Reluctant Raider - from A Druid's Doodling
Oestrus - The Stories of O - from Resto is Epic
Dreamy - Drunkard's Regalia - from Jaded Alt
Rilandune - Heroically Random - from The Stories of O
Bravetank - Bravetank - from Bag Overflow
Ringo Flinthammer - Flinthammer Hall - from Caer Morrighan
Fannon - Dwarven Battle Medic - from Healer By Nature
Katarnas - Resto Is Epic - from Revive and Rejuvenate
Nightwill - Info about WoW from the Altaholic - from Drunkard's Regalia

27 November 2011

IntPiPoMo: Red Leaves!

My final installment for IntPiPoMo 2011 is a series of photos from a recent trip to the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto. I had actually never walked it, and hadn't even been to Ginkakuji which marks the end of the path, so it was a new experience to boot! This is the time of year when the leaves go red and momiji are particularly vibrant. Sunny days and bright colors in nature always make me feel overwhelmed with...I don't know, inspiration? Creativity? Joy? I find myself wanting to inhale all the color and fill my lungs with it, or drink it into my eyes and let it drip through my whole body. Consequently, I end up with all these awkward, shapeless photos of directionless color if I'm not extremely conscientious of what I'm doing. Hopefully these pictures can give you some idea of the riotous color explosion.

Nearly 20 pictures, so I've hidden them behind a cut. As always, best viewed on the website using Blogger's lightbox.

25 November 2011

IntPiPoMo: Night Elf Deco

Today for IntPiPoMo I have an offering of various night elf trinkets from Darkshore and Teldrassil. Best viewed on the site using the Blogger lightbox.


23 November 2011

Give thanks!

Amerence of Amerence Love WoW has come up with a wonderful event for this year's Pilgrim's Bounty. She's encouraging bloggers to give thanks, be it with a picture, story, or short note, to their fellow bloggers during the week of November 19th. Giving has its own rewards, as well, because a team of judges will pick the top three posts and distribute some wonderful prizes! Get all the important details here at her site; there's still time to participate!

I sort of dread calling people out by name, because inevitably someone will be left out and I'll feel terrible, so just assume that if you are on the list at the right or have ever commented on my blog, YOU ARE APPRECIATED AND LOVED. That having been said!

Thank you to Windsoar and Ophelie and Amerence for working so hard on Blog Azeroth and its community. Thank you to Beru and Fimlys and Hydra for your work on Twisted Nether, promoting and supporting the blogosphere. Thank you to Kamalia and Jamin and Draccus and Navi, whose comments I tuck away close to my heart. Thank you to the folks at Flavor Text Lore, to Rades, and to Saz for bringing me good stories. Thank you to my DURID FRIENDS Khizzara, Jasyla, Icedragon, FeralTree, Glowberry, Solitudeone, ElfiJar, Lisanna, Angelya, Syrco, Lara, Arielle, Reesi, Tzufit, Keeva, Keredria, and Juvenate, for massaging your grey matter so I don't have to. Thank you to Edenvale, even if you always make me hungry at work! Thank you to the lads and lasses of All Things Azeroth, The Instance, and Girls Gone WoW, for making me laugh and keeping me up to date on news. Telさんにもありがとうございます!日本語でおもしろいWOWのブログを読んで、勉強になっています!

A Very Beko Thanksgiving and bonus materials behind the cut!

20 November 2011

Pilgrim's Bounty: Share Plentiful Food

I know you guys have been thinking "Ok, we already had a harvest festival, and then another harvest festival, but when are we gonna have a harvest festival?" Fear not, for Pilgrim's Bounty is here! "It's time to reflect on your journeys and good fortune, share plentiful food, and stories with friends." This holiday is obviously based on the USian Thanksgiving holiday, leaving out most of the juicy historical bits in order to emphasize EATING.

The in-game holiday itself is very straightforward. Get together, reflect, eat. The original concept of "thanks-giving" was similarly nebulous, and New England colonists frequently celebrated with religious ceremonies and feasting after a successful harvest, a military victory, or an end of a drought. In fact, Thanksgiving did not become an official, set holiday until declared so by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Before then, Presidents Washington, Adams, and Madison, along with many governors, had declared days of thanks-giving at different points throughout the year. President Roosevelt caused trouble in 1939 when he declared the fourth Thursday, rather than the last Thursday of November, Thanksgiving. In light of The Great Depression, he had been advised to make the holiday earlier in order to extend the Christmas shopping season. (At the time, it was inappropriate to advertise Xmas-related things before Thanksgiving. What I wouldn't give for that same sensibility now...) Half of the nation agreed to this change, the other half did not, and some states simply took both Thursdays as holidays. Good choice!

Azeroth skips over the history behind the holiday, avoiding messy explanations of religious persecution, fleeing to a new and potentially inhospitable land, making friends with the locals, and having a 3 day food extravaganza (the kids' version!). The only remnant of the Plymouth Pilgrim story is in the attire you can get as daily quest rewards: Pilgrim's Hat, Pilgrim's Dress, Pilgrim's Attire, Pilgrim's Boots, and incongruously, Pilgrim's Robe. Some fun facts about pilgrims: The word pilgrim describes a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. William Bradford used the term first in 1620, intentionally calling to mind the religious associations. It was not used again until he was quoted by historians 50 years later, and again in 1793 at a Forefather's observance, and finally by Daniel Webster in 1820 in his Plymouth bicentennial address, when the term stuck. Despite the fact that images of pilgrims today feature harsh black and white clothing accented with dapper gold buckles, pilgrims dressed themselves in all colors that could be found in natural dye. They used simple laces in their clothing, as buckles were expensive. The so-called pilgrim fashion was based on what was popular in England at the time!

Blizzard has also removed other staples of the holiday, namely parades and sporting events, in favor of more amusing pursuits. Players are first directed to enjoy 5 helpings of every dish at the feast, earning them the Spirit of Sharing buff. There's an achievement for politely passing the food, but there's also one for chucking it at your dinner guests! If you get really hungry, you can even visit the opposing faction's feast tables to partake. Be sure to throw on your best pilgrim duds to get another achievement! While your at it, pack a couple one-time use Turkey Shooters to nab any rogues you happen across. "You tweachewous miscweant!"

Thanksgiving is a huge travel weekend, when people trek across the nation to be with family and friends on the holiday. You'll be traveling in game as well, but not so you can relax at your destination! The in-game quest chain and resulting dailies keep players going round and round their capital cities, cooking up Spice Bread Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Chutney, Candied Sweet Potatoes, and Slow-Roasted Turkeys, which you can learn from a Bountiful Cookbook. All of these foods are native to the Americas, along with other staples like sweet corn and squash. This holiday is the absolute best way to level your cooking from 1-350, so long as you have coin to buy the seasonal mats and the patience to visit every capital city each day. In that regard, it is very similar to the real-world holiday. Being the cook for Thanksgiving is brutal! After preparing your dishes, you can use a Bountiful Basket to combine them into a Bountiful Feast. Modern-day cornucopias are depicted as wicker baskets, but the original cornucopia is a horn, broken off from either a goat or a river god. They are closely associated with the harvest and Thanksgiving - do you still have yours from Harvest Festival?

Naturally, there is a cooking achievement. Of course, you'll have to gather your mats, some of which cannot be purchased from vendors! Wild Turkeys roam the forests of Elwynn and Tirisfal, waiting to be mercilessly slaughtered for our tables. If you're quick enough, you can even achieve Turkey Triumph and become The Turkinator. In post Civil-War New England, celebrants used to hold shooting matches aiming for - you guessed it - turkeys. I feel so authentic! Did you know that since the mid-20th century, the National Turkey Federation presents the president with 1 live and 2 dressed turkeys on Thanksgiving? A tradition since 1989, the president has officially pardoned the turkey, allowing it to live out its remaining years on a quiet farm. I always preferred ham anyway.

This holiday is NOT REQUIRED for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been! However, you can get a sweet title and self-sacrificing minipet, should you complete the 10 associated achievements, earning 100 points. You can find WoW Insider's guide here and Wowhead's compilation here. A good guide for using this holiday to level cooking can be found here. If you're feeling snacky, head over to The Gamer's Fridge and cook up something nice for yourself!

18 November 2011

Shared Topic: Bring back some changes

Perhaps you are all clenching your fists, thinking "Oh Light don't let her get into the tree form shit again!" I promise that this whole post is not about that but Mia from Chronicles of Mia is asking about game changes that she would bring back, can you really expect me to leave out TREE FORM?? But I've already written loads about it and not much more needs to be said. Simply know that it will forever be a gushing wound marring my gamer heart.

Ok, dead horse = beaten, moving on. Speaking of horses, since worgen get some and get to keep their humorous feral cavorting, why not bring back plainsrunning? I never played when that was a thing, but wouldn't it be cool for tauren to just take off on their own two hooves? It would probably make the kodo-haters happy, too.

Next, class quests! Flipping class quests! For spells or mounts or sweet loot. I don't care, I want them back. They distinguish your class from others and create camaraderie among players. Make them involved (note that I didn't say difficult, expensive, or even long) enough and players will look back on them fondly for years. I know WoW is trying to be a game where you aren't required to do much of anything, but come on, class freaking quests! Make the quests easily found, well-explained, and completable solo and I think you can reasonably make them a requirement to obtain...something.

The recent companion pet changes (have they even gone live yet?) where holiday pets lose their summoning reagent, but are limited to their holiday season? That's crap! Don't send my pets away! How about taking away the reagent AND letting me summon them any old time? And while you're at it, I want that Macabre Marionette all year round.

17 November 2011

White Ribbon

[trigger warning on links for discussion of rape, violent assault, self-harm]

Having finally caught up with my feedreader, I discovered some sad news. A very charming and clever gold blogger has experienced severe trauma and is in need of some comfort. Please take a moment to give her some support, and consider donating to the White Ribbon Campaign, an organization that focuses on encouraging men and boys to stop violence against women.

Of course it wouldn't be the real world without a heaping dose of rape culture, so there is an unhappy individual calling her a liar. You should definitely read the takedown of shitty ideas like that on Flavor Text Lore and Apple Cider Mage. I'm so frustrated by the whole thing that all I can manage is fuck you very much, you don't get to tell assault victims how they should or would act like you know better. The appropriate response to this is "I'm here for you, what can I do to help?"

Blog Azeroth: Thanks Giving 2011

Amerence of Amerence Love WoW has come up with a wonderful event for this year's Pilgrim's Bounty. She's encouraging bloggers to give thanks, be it with a picture, story, or short note, to their fellow bloggers during the week of November 19th - 26th. Giving has its own rewards, as well, because a team of judges will pick the top three posts and distribute some wonderful prizes! Get all the important details here at her site; there's still time to participate!

15 November 2011

IntPiPoMo: Goblin Deco

Due to a death in the family I will be sticking to screenshot spam for a few posts. Today is an assortment of details from the goblin starting zone. As usual, best viewed on the site with the Blogger lightbox.


13 November 2011

IntPiPoMo: Dalaran Stained Glass

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? I'm not, but I can rest easy knowing that I do so much writing regularly at work that the tight deadline is an unnecessary motivator for me. Angelya of R&R has come up with a parallel challenge involving 50 screenshots posted over the month of November and has charmingly called it International Picture Posting Month. This dovetails nicely with a few picspam posts I was cooking up, so please enjoy!

Stained glass in Dalaran (1-20)
Putting most behind a cut; best viewed on the original site to take advantage of blogger's lightbox feature!

09 November 2011


Choice is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it leads to me not being able to do anything! As indecisive as I am, sometimes limited options make it easier to choose, especially when nothing in particular appeals to me. Before I played WoW, I honestly used to make lists of things I could do to try to help me choose. Drawing? Reading? Playing some other game? Then, when I started playing WoW, it was leveling? Heroic? Rep grind?

None of my current grinds on Aka are particularly appealing to me at the moment, but when it comes to alts I seem to have lost my steam. Holidays, and their gold-or-XP-rich dailies, are the only thing that makes me think, "Gah! I have to do this on all my alts!"

During Hallow's End I realized - I don't actually like some of my alts, so why do I care if they get XP? Furthermore, if I get XP on alts that I like, won't I cut my leveling short? Being a completionist is dangerous - I want all the achieves on Aka, and if I don't get them on my alts, the least I could do is get them holiday freebie XP, right? Wrong! What am I even thinking?? If I do holiday dailies, I'm missing out on at-level quests, and I'm not even using the character's spells to do it!

One of the reasons I enjoyed my pally so much when leveling was that I was actively questing with her. During those holidays I didn't mind the dailies because I immediately went back to questing afterwards. Now that she's max level, I don't play her for more than profession leveling and easy gold from select dailies.

Time constraints have limited my current alt-playing ability, so gaining levels via holiday dailies is just shooting myself in the foot! If I blow through the leveling experience, soon I'll hit max level and stop playing that toon. I don't want to do that! I want to enjoy the journey to 85. I just have to ignore the burning desire to do all the things.

06 November 2011

Pokemon Center Tokyo

You may wonder how many WoW players are legitimately excited about the recently announced minipet battling system.
I am one such player.
 Behind the cut are pictures from my trip to the Pokemon Center in Tokyo.

Next: Pokemon Center Osaka

03 November 2011

Goblin Journal: With the Forsaken

I found an opportunity for quick coin in the Western Plaguelands. I can't say I'm quick to be getting back to those forsaken zombies, but a mage in Booty Bay assured me I could make plenty while keeping the plaguelands free of the actual bad kind of zombies. So that's how I found myself in Andorhal, a forsaken outpost set on retaking the rest of the town.

It wasn't the best gig I've ever had; the scourge looks too much like the forsaken for my comfort. I did their quests as quick as I could, mostly under the order of Koltira Deathweaver. Maybe it's hypocritical, but at least he looks like a blood elf, even if he's gone a bit sour. There was another forsaken woman giving me orders, but her strangeness explained itself quickly enough when she turned out to be Lady Sylvanas in disguise. And let me tell you - she was not happy with Koltira. I was there when he confronted his rival Thassarian, and then when Sylvanas dragged him to Undercity in punishment. Frankly, nothing I want to look too closely into.

Luckily, I was able to get a new assignment working with the Cenarion Circle trying to heal the plagued earth. My first surprise was encountering worgen! You'd think I'd be used to enormous bipedal animals, but the worgen come off as much more ferocious than the tauren. Still, their coin is as good as any other. They set me up with an apprentice druid - a troll prone to accidents. I did most of the work while he followed me around, getting into trouble with his own spells. What are they teaching young druids these days?

I did take a liking to Zen'kiki, as unlikely as that seems. His antics, if not helpful, were at least enough  for a laugh while I did the quests for both of us. In the end, the druids decided he might be better at healing, since his offensive skills were lackluster at best. I took him to rustle up some plagued wildlife and he did a stellar job returning them to their healthy state. At least he found some way to make a living!

After cleaning up the leftover scourge cauldrons and getting Zen'kiki sorted out, I was sent to meet the Argent Crusade in Hearthglen. The story with the town, as I'm told, is that it was once taken by the Scarlet Crusade, but now the Argent Crusade is using it as a training ground for new recruits. They wanted to recruit me, that's for sure, but having spent more time with both the Crusade and the Cenarion folks, I still think that my interest lies with the Earthen Ring.

The Argent Crusade owes me pretty big, however, seeing as I ferreted out a traitor in their midst. After discovering some mysterious transactions and questioning some persons of interest in the camp, I pinpointed the traitor and was rewarded by Tirion Fordring himself! Now there's a man worth his weight in gold, and he shows it by wearing it as armor! They sent me on my happy way to seek my fortune in the Eastern Plaguelands.