July 9, 2014

Blog Azeroth: What in WoW Reminds You of Home?

I couldn't wait to participate in this weeks Blog Azeroth Shared Topic. I saw it a few weeks back when Syrco Owl posted it to Twitter, and I got extremely excited about it! It's a really simply question:

"What in WoW reminds you of home?"

I live in the deep south - Louisiana to be precise. I'm really close to the coast and located in the middle of a ton of marshes. The first zone that came to mind was an area that I felt not only resembled the area I live in, but some of the quests reminded me of the history and folklore of the area. That zone was Dustwallow Marsh.

Marsh area reminded me of home instantly. It reminded me of going trawling with my Dad when I was younger. The fact that it's along the coast also makes me think of all the fishing jobs around here. Most younger men work on off-shore oil boats while a lot of the older men still make their living catching shrimp, crabs, and fish. Of course, if you look carefully enough in Dustwallow, you can find Nat Pagle fishing!

When you first enter Dustwallow, there is the broken down Shady Rest Inn. While you find out that the Inn suffered a fire to cover up it's past, it still reminded me of a place close to home. The place where I live is prone to getting hit with hurricanes. In 1893, there was a really bad one that hit the port town of Grand Isle and wiped a town called Cheniere completely off the map. I've seen pictures of the destruction it left, and what was left of the Herwig Hotel reminded me exactly of that little end sitting at the entrance.

Something more recently added to Dustwallow also made me think of that lost town of Cheniere; the destruction of Theremore. Some of the survivors from Cheniere left, but many stayed and tried to rebuild. One of those nearby towns they settled in is called Leville. Of course, they buried lost loved ones in the swampy ground. I was about 12 and headed to the beach when my parents pointed out the old graveyard. At the time, the water was coming up upon them. Now you can't even see them anymore. Water has taken them to the bottom of the sea. Hopefully the Theremore graveyard holds up a bit better than this one did.

There is a lady named Tabetha who used to gives the mage quests back in Vanilla and Burning Crusades. She always reminded me of the New Orleans Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. I have no idea why, but maybe it's because she was practicing magic and took on apprentices in such an out of the way little area in the swamp.

The quests that involve Swamp Eye Jarl and Mordant Grimsby remind me of tales of spirit possession and "zombies" that follow the voodoo culture. I also love the fact that their little hut is called Swamplight Manor. If you haven't done this quest line, I suggest doing so. It's one of my favorites in the zone!

Finally, this has nothing to do with the zone of Dustwallow Marsh, but I can't help but think of our yummy Cajun cuisine when I see certain WoW foods pop up. The cooking daily Crawfish Creole definitely makes my mouth water, and I can't help but get hungry when someone puts down a pot of Goblin Gumbo! It's the little things like that in WoW which I absolutely love because they remind me of who I am and where I came from. That is always something you should never forget!

July 5, 2014

The Sea Calf Lives!

"Come my children! We ride... to battle!"
The sea calf army is a go! Well, not yet, but at least in Warlords of Draenor. I started my crusade back in October of 2013 when I first set my eyes on little Allie on the Timeless Isle. It was in October of last year that I discovered this little cutie, and I began obsessing with wanting one as a mini pet.

I thought nothing more about it until around December when the Harpy's Nest blog decided to host a mini pet competition. Of course I decided to do my entry on the Sea Cows from the daily quest The Way To His Heart... in Northrend. I ended up winning the competition and was extremely grateful for it. About a month later, Jonathan LeCraft asked what new battle pets we would like to see. Of course I replied!

After this, things were pretty quiet on Twitter. I think I asked Jeremy Feasel and maybe one more dev, but I can't find anything about it if I did. However, I got no answer, so I left it alone. Since the Warlords of Draenor Beta was announced and in full effect, sites have been data mining and posting things left and right. I've was keeping up with pretty much every mini pets that was being added so far, but I  was not seeing my little sea calf. Finally I decided to ask again.

And then... Oh, my, gosh...

So collectors who have also been wanting a sea calf mini pet for a while, rejoice! We will be able to add this little cutie to our collections in Warlords of Draenor. I think it was determined that this one will be coming from fishing.

So I would like to throw out a million thanks to TheCrafticus for answering my requests on Twitter and doing something so simple for us mini pet collectors who really wanted one of these! This is definitely one little guy I will be happy to cross off my list! You've definitely made this Undead mage very, very happy!

June 26, 2014

Newman's Landing

A few weeks ago I got a message from a friend who plays WoW with us. He asked if I could do a post on Newman's Landing. I figured this would be the perfect time. Rather than just talking about this as an exploration post, I decided to make up a little story to go along with it. We're gonna be traveling by boat, so grab your pirate hats and let's get going!

I've heard tales of Newmans's Landing while passing through Booty Bay. One day my curiosity got the best of me, and I began asking around. Most of the people I talked to were afraid to talk about the place. I was beginning to think it didn't even really exist. There were rumors of illegal trading, and ghastly initiation rituals for "new men" joining the pirate ranks. I decided to scope things out myself.

I was able to borrow a ship, and I took to the seas. The place was really easy to find, but I was quite disappointed upon arrival. Things looked pretty run down, however, I did see goblins fishing off of the pier. High Admiral "Shelly" Jorrik sat there with two Booty Bay Bruisers who were drinking and laughing. I was shocked to have been greeted so graciously. I sat down with Admiral Shelly to see if I could get some more information about the place, and to see if any of the rumors were true.

Admiral Shelly opened us each a bottle of rum and began to explain to me that the house had been there for ages. It used to belong to a little fishing family. Once the Orcs invaded Azeroth, the family fell victim to them. The story goes that the savage Orcs killed them and tossed their bodies into the raging sea. It wasn't until many years later that some pirates stumbled upon the rundown house and slaughtered the remaining Orcs that had taken up residence there.

Pirates began to use the place for trading; rum, cloth, exotic foods, basically whatever they could get their hands on. Sometimes they would take new members of their crew here for an initiation process. The Admiral said the process usually involved getting tattooed and being thrown in the cold waters to swim back to shore. Definitely not some of the horror stories I heard down at the Bay.

"We may all be scum, but we still have some respect for each other. Since I left the Bloodsail Bucaneers, I decided to take of residence here. There is still some trading that goes on, but many things have quieted down since the Shattering," he said with his huge Goblin grin. "We like the tales people make up about us. Keeps us mysterious, dangerous, and feared throughout the land. There is no doubt in my mind though, one day the Pirates will rule these seas once again."

Before I left, we shared a meal of grilled Smallfish, and he offered me a rare pattern that he gets his hands on every so often. They offered me to stay the night, but I politely declined. I figure it was better I take off now than to wait until nightfall. I got on my boat and set my sales back to Booty Bay. With the wind in my hair, and the salty sea air blowing across my face, I could definitely see the appeal of traveling like this. I looked down at my map and smiled; I couldn't wait to be back on land. Yo ho, yo ho... a pirates life's not for me.

June 19, 2014

The Breath of Yu'lon - My Legendary Cloak

A few months ago, I was one of those people who thought they would never complete their legendary cloak quest. Rewind to last year - I always played WoW on a laptop, and finally mine decided it wasn't going to allow me to run LFR anymore. It would freeze, blue screen, then force me to have to restart. By the time I got back into the game I was usually kicked from the group. I couldn't even play the game with any graphics turned up to good anymore. That's when I decided to stop going after my cloak. Throne of Thunder was out and I had stopped after this part. I was pretty sad about it.

One of my first meetings with Wrathion
Since I've gotten my new desktop, my gaming experience has been nothing but amazing. My graphics are cranked up to ultra, and I can run LFR without any hiccups. So I decided to start backing working towards getting my cloak.

I figured since collecting the Sigils of Wisdom and Sigils of Power took forever, the Secrets of the Empire would take just as long. Surprisingly it didn't, and I was finished with that part of the quest in about a month. I also had the Trillium Bars made already since I was making Living Steel. Before I knew it, I was on to the next part.

Feeding Wrathion a balanced breakfast. /burp
I don't know if I was lucky, but it took me 3 weeks to collect my Titan Runestones. I think that's pretty normal for most people. Yesterday I was able to finish that part, complete Yu'lon's challenge, defeat the Celestials, and then finally was awarded with my Legendary cloak!

Yu'lon's challenge was easier than I expected, and I completed it first try. I was frost spec and aside from my class buffs and cooldowns, I used a food buff, Crystal of Insanity, Celestial Offering, and the 3 Pi'jiu Brews to help me. I also had some Healthstones left over from running LFR. Having those in case I got into a sticky situation was nice. I think as a ranged DPS, I had it a lot easier than others.

So after 9 months, it is done! I couldn't be happier and to celebrate, I transmogged to the same set that I was wearing when I first talked to Wrathion to take up the task of collecting this cloak! If you'd like to see all of my screenshots from I took while collecting my cloak, you can do so by clicking HERE.

June 13, 2014

Azeroth Community Troubles

I've always liked being part of different communities online, and I pretty much have been since I was into boy bands when I was 13 or so. I've been part of a toy and doll collecting community longer than I've been with the WoW community. The WoW community looks like a tea party compared to the other! It's because of the high prices that dolls can go for in the other community ($2000+), and the fact that people can get custom items made from certain designers. People get jealous of other things people have; they get mad at the price of items; they even get mad about the friends you have. I used to like participating in the forums and posting my pictures to Flickr, but I stopped once people began making pages to call out and say nasty things about other members. Thankfully I was never popular enough to get any negative attention, and the people I met there were really great.

Collecting toys and dolls shouldn't be so stressful!
When I first joined the WoW community, I saw it as a nice and friendly place where everyone seemed to get along. We all had WoW in common! I blogged since I started raiding in BC with no one to read it except for a few close friends. This was a great way to get my posts out there. I do this because I enjoy the game. While I've seen others participate in arguments and disagreements, I never really had any. Recently I had my first negative experience, and hopefully it's my last. I don't have many followers, and I'm really not that interesting, but somehow one of my opinions seemed to upset someone. I wish I would have been privately messaged to discuss it, but looking back I reacted that way because I felt attacked by this person who I never had any previous contact with. I was waiting for others to jump in against me, but thankfully it didn't happen. I felt bad, but since I like to keep a public profile, I blocked the person. Later on that day I received many tweets and some DMs saying not to worry about it because this seems to happen quiet often with that person.

Toxic communities aren't fun and negativity can make you sick.
I don't want to leave the WoW community, and I won't over something like this, but I won't stop posting my opinions either. I left that toy collecting community, and I check up on it often, but I feel like an outsider walking into a new place. I don't ever want it to be like that with WoW. Azeroth is my home, and just like any other video game I play, I play WoW to have fun. This is a hobby to me, not a job. I don't make money off of this blog, but I write here because I like the game, and I play the game because I enjoy all the wonderful people I've met through it. I have so many good memories here, and Velgana isn't done with exploring quite yet.

As with most of my venting posts, I will be disabling comments. Expect my blog to get back to normal next week since I had the death of my Grandpa and his funeral to deal with this week. I have a post on my Legendary cloak lined up along with an exploration post that a friend requested!