Monday, 25 June 2018

How I spent Legion

Since I haven't updated this blog at all during Legion, I thought I'd make a round up post about what has happened to me in this expansion - WoW wise.

I returned to the game from a long break when the Legion pre-patch came out. I enjoyed playing after a good while. Legion hit, and I leveled up to 110 together with my partner, which was unusual, as I have previously always quested alone, as that's the way I prefer it. I get to read all the quests and take my time to think about what's actually going on and even stop to RP with myself if I so desire. Does anyone else do that, by the way? Luckily my partner was okay with me taking my time to read the quests properly, but still I found myself a little distracted and often not sure about why we were doing what we were doing.

Raiding was never a part of my plans for Legion. I considered myself a retired raider. Well, I ended up raiding anyway. We left the guild we had been in since mid-Warlords and after some bouncing around, we found a really nice guild whose progression speed was great and there was actually no one in the team that annoyed me. I very much enjoyed my time raiding in the guild, but unfortunately it was short lived, as the raid leader quit the game shortly after we joined.

He had, however, found another guild of similar values and progression for the whole raid team to join. I joined, but the raid team was too big for my taste. In addition, they raided three times a week four hours at a time, which was not something I was willing to commit to. My maximum was twice a week three hours at a time. My partner and I did, however, form a mythic+ group with some old guildmates and ran mythic dungeons for a good while, which was fun, too.

Eventually I took a break, which ended up lasting over a year.

That break ended about a month ago, when I resubscribed to the game for half a year and purchased Battle for Azeroth soon after.

I had a lot to do, so I got started with the Broken Shore. Once I was finished with the Broken Shore storyline, I headed to Argus. Every now and then I got around to finishing up some old stuff as well as leveling my professions etc.

I created a new demon hunter, Renwyn, as it had been over a year since I had done the demon hunter starting quests and I had no memory of them. I didn't feel particularly inspired about my first demon hunter, either. I geared up Renwyn pretty fast, and soon after I made another new alt, a nightborne mage called Andaryn. I've leveled her super fast. She sits at level 101 as we speak, higher up when this post sees the light of day. I've also made the decision to finish my Loremaster achievements while leveling some new alts. It makes the leveling experience a lot more interesting, as I can pick a few fitting zones for each alt to quest through.

I have no idea what my plans are for Battle for Azeroth, but I will take it as it comes and just try to enjoy myself.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Meet my level 2 feral druid

Something strange had happened to an alt unplayed for over a year during my break from the game. Everything was normal when I created the character and stretched the xp up to level 2, but since then, she's become a level 2 character of the feral spec and no abilities what so ever - other than racials and auto attack. I'm naturally unable to change the specialisation, as the feature doesn't become available until level 10. Normally, these days, you start as a balance druid with the Wrath ability.

For now, I've just settled with the strangeness that has taken place and skipped opening a ticket about it. I've no plans to level this character for now, anyway, and it's something a bit unusual, like a souvenir of sorts.

Has anything of this manner happened to you?

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Loving You Sunday Morning

I haven't got the slightest clue why this was unpublished. It wasn't even the final version, but I was sure I had already published this on the blog... Luckily I found the finished version on my backup drive. Oh yeah, I found my blog again, after three years. Three years seems to be the thing for me and this blog.

Heavy plate armour slamming against the paving made a mighty clang - one that was sure to wake up anyone who still slept in the purple, floating city of Dalaran. Raleigh had stepped into a couple of mage-made portals before, but since then his knowledge of the nether travels had indubitably rusted. Despite the rocky start, he got up, and after wiping his armour for any hints of dust, he made his way to A Hero's Welcome.

The tavern was still sleepy at the early hour. Nevertheless, its warm atmosphere had always been dear to Raleigh Croft - something that continued to face him with open arms - with a hero's welcome. Another warm welcome awaited him behind the shiny, freshly wiped counter. A young waitress turned to look at the still somewhat groggy paladin.
”Good morning, sir!” The waitress yelled joyfully. Her voice was of very high pitch, nearly child-like.
”A very fine morning to you as well, my fair lady,” the man said with a soft tone in his voice and a warm smile on his face, reaching all the way up to the corners of his eyes.
”How may I serve you today?” She chuckled with curved lips.
Raleigh had always been rather fond of her. It wasn't merely the extraordinarily voluptuous coffee that kept bringing him to the tavern over and over.
”I would take great pleasure in a cup or two of your special coffee. That, of course, should you have time for such trivial matters so early in the morning.”
The fair-haired, long-eared waitress began to conjure the drink with haste. Her graceful figure danced to the spell as her long fingers brushed through the air in peculiar motions. It almost appeared as if she was indulging the paladin in some sort of special treatment, but alas, it was probably just Raleigh's wishful thinking.

She slowly handed over a cup of coffee to him, following the mug with her gaze and thus ensuring the white ceramic mug would get keep its white colouring. As a sign of thankfulness, Raleigh leaned forward to bow at the waitress; yet the gesture came out rather clumsy as he spilled a sip-worth of coffee to the tavern floor. The half-elven waitress giggled at him, then made a minuscule roundish motion with her hand, one that wasn't visible to Raleigh as her hands were hidden beneath the counter.

As Raleigh climbed up the stairs leading to the balcony, he stopped at a mirror for a short moment. Within the golden lining stood a man with green eyes and red hair that didn't quite reach his shoulders. His nose and cheekbones were covered by freckles that could be spotted all over his face, but in greatly smaller amounts. The wrinkles around his eyes spoke of worries, which the emerald twinkle however seemed to not care about. His lips curved on a minor smile as he turned away from the mirror and continued to walk up the stairs.

. . .

A pair of glasses rested lazily on the bridge of his nose. Rough hands held a book, allowing the emerald eyes to devour it word by word. The book's red-ish cover was mildly stained – it had indubitably been soaked in drops of coffee more than once in its lifetime. But Sunday morning doesn't care about a stained book. It doesn't care about the dirt on your boots, nor is it bothered by ghosts of the past. Sunday morning knows no fear of loneliness or death. It laughs at the face of evil like an impertinent child. If a soul has no Sunday morning, it becomes an orphan.

Flipping the page, Raleigh allowed his hand to slide ever so slightly too far, nudging the coffee cup a tad too violently.
”Son of a...”
His cursing was interrupted by surprise, as the coffee didn't spill out of the cup. He playfully flipped the cup around. The coffee stuck to the bottom of the mug, refusing to leave it under any circumstances he could provide. Those mages really knew how to twist the laws of nature. Raleigh chuckled to himself as he resumed to read his book.

. . .

”Would you like more coffee, sir?” A chirpy voice appeared next to him, its host holding a warm can above his coffee mug.
Raleigh raised his gaze from the inky words, already smiling at the request.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Story of Vlad: Chapter VI, Familiar Faces

Chapter I, The Assault
Chapter II, He who resists
Chapter III, Rotten to the core
Chapter IV, The Resurrection
Chapter V, The Return to New Avalon

Jesus fuck. I finished it. It's only been three years since I last wrote a word about Vlad.

Amid the mist, a figure formed against the grey canvas at a slow pace. Its features became more accurate, its outline sharper as it moved closer, eventually contouring an image of a hooded woman. Her dark brown gown was wrapped loosely around her, hiding a curvy figure. Her face was partially covered by a scarf, yet leaving her green eyes, thick, dark eyebrows and a part of her forehead exposed to the humid air.

Despite the years and the shattering, the place was still tormented by the plague of undeath, holding the restless souls as prisoners in the cursed ghost town. The woman peered around as she walked as if looking for something, yet knowing where she would find it. The look in her eyes became more focused as she walked up to a small house. It lay in ruins: the chimney had collapsed through the roof, flames had coloured most of the wooden parts black years ago. She walked around it, dragging her hand along its scorched walls, until she suddenly stopped on the southeastern side of the little house. Next to the wall rested a mound; the final reminder of the nightmare, a waygate to the past. The woman crouched and peered at it. The unkempt barrow grew weed, which was an unusual sight in the long deserted township. While it showed no signs of tending, it emanated something comforting. The woman's face softened and her eyes got damp, finally allowing a teardrop to descend along her cheek.

A dried bough cracked under the pressure of a heavy boot. It startled the woman and caused her to cast a rapid gaze over her shoulder. A dark figure approached her slowly and calmly, stopping a few feet away from her. She pulled down the scarf that covered her mouth, stood up tardily and turned towards the figure that seemingly awaited her response to its presence. As the black saronite plate gave away his former alignment with ease, she spoke coldly, but with caution.
- I'm not sure how your kind has the backbone to step on these grounds anymore. I think it would be wise of you to turn around and walk away.
The figure gave the woman an echoing, nearly instant reply.
- Hello, Birgitta.
Her face was pale, her eyes wide open as she stared straight at the masculine figure. She followed him with her shocked gaze as he walked to her side. His sorrowful eyes descended upon the barrow - the barrow that so faithfully contained the remains of what was once the dearest thing to him. And as it succumbed to the chill of the grave, a part of him was buried as well.
- I thought... I... thought... you died, Birgitta stuttered.
- I did die, he murmured between his rotting teeth, granting Birgitta a grim glare. The woman swallowed, quickly realising the clumsiness of her remark. - Just if the light-forsaken bastards had left it there.
- They reanimated you into a monster... Where you behind th--, Birgitta took an abrupt breath, as if she had forgotten to breathe. - Did you kill Isa?!
Vladan narrowed his eyes visibly, still looking at the grave. He grabbed onto the hilt of his runeblade and pierced the ground with it, which caused Birgitta to gasp and take a step back in fear. Vladan turned towards her, still holding on to the tip of the hilt.
- How dare you even consider that?
- Since you still have your life, it must've cost that of others!
The words seemed to strike Vladan somehow. He pulled the sword out of the soil and peered at the glowing blade, turning the edge towards himself and away again.
- I should have ended it myself long ago, but I was afraid. Too cowardly to take my own life! he yelled and seemed increasingly riled for a moment. - I fear what awaits me, Birgitta, as foolish as I am to believe those holy rollers when they speak of the purgatory.
Birgitta remained silent, merely examining him, the expression on her face becoming less judgmental by the second.
- I must be in a dream, she whispered in disbelief.
- This, Vladan began, - This is as real as it gets. I've run away from it long enough. My life cost that of many, and most of all, that of my wife and my daughter. I'm ready for what comes.
As teardrops slowly descended along Birgitta's cheeks, a feeling he thought long forgotten awakened somewhere deep inside. A faint glimmer of clemency. Compassion.
- Vladan..., Birgitta's voice turned into a fragile shade of what it was just a moment ago, as if she had suddenly become scared of him. She slowly turned towards him, her mahogany hair covering most of her face. - I'm sorry.

- Birgitta? a yell reached the two from a distance.
- I'll be right there, honey! she replied fast, shamelessly disguising her voice chirpier.
Although she seemed doubtful for a short moment, Birgitta hastily scrabbled inside the neckline of her gown. She pulled out a small locket that appearead golden. It was attached to a tarnished necklace of different material, perhaps copper. She handed - no - threw it over to Vladan, expressing slight disgust at the thought of touching him.
Vladan, taken by surprise, caught the locket and gently embraced it against his palm. Upon raising his eyes from his hand, Birgitta had left. She walked hastily towards a horse carriage in the mist ahead. Vladan lowered his leer back to the small locket in his hand. Secured by the tiniest of locks, it snapped open with ease, revealing a daguerreotype of a girl no older than 15 years of age.

Her hair was dark brown, her eyebrows strong and her gaze steadfast. Her face carried familiar features, very familiar indeed. His eyes. Her nose. Definitely her bone structure, apart from the girl's jaw. His jaw.
- It couldn't be..., Vladan whispered.
Distant echos reached Vladan, who remained silent and frozen still at the grave.
- Is everything okay? Was that someone you knew?
- Just a familiar face from the past, that's all.

Find your way, my brave darklands' son
Wizards, kings, elves and trolls
Thank you, angels
I am now reborn
(Rhapsody of Fire - Son of Pain)

Friday, 20 February 2015

New UI

What do you think? I'm not quite sure what I think. It's certainly tidier than the old one. I've begun to record raids again and I noticed how crappy my UI looked on the videos, so I had to do something about it.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Connecting - You have been disconnected from the server

This was definitely the least smooth launch I've ever had, simply because I wasn't even able to log on. After finishing my daily errands, I logged on at about 11 pm my time, two hours prior to launch. At lauch I lagged like mad, just like everyone else, got stuck on a loading screen, was teleported to Shrine, had no portals, flew to the Stormwind portal in Paw'don, was stuck on a loading screen and got disconnected. After that I spent about an hour trying to log on to no avail, while the friends I was on Skype were managed to get a good amount of quests done in Draenor. So not everyone had a rough launch. I'm perfectly fine with lagging in game at launch, it's just a part of it... But it was a little disappointing I didn't get to experience so much of that rush this time, the madness of trying to tag mobs before anyone else's finger could tap their key. Or being stuck in a huge swarm of helicopters, like in Pandaria, which seemed like a very smooth launch at first.

I'm not complaining, though. So far Warlords of Draenor seems like a very good expansion, and the questing was made perfect. No question about that - from me anyway. I love that you don't spend ages questing in the same place in an area, but do a couple of quests here and then move there. It is the perfect style of questing for me, and I love it, as well as the "events." I am not level 100 yet, although I stayed up for over 24 hours on the day of the launch. Or maybe that is why, since my leveling efficiency wasn't very high a few hours into the expansion.

Well, what kind of a launch did you have? Have you been present at any other WoW launch?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Well, well, well - look who we have here

I did the inevitable. I took a break from WoW. My last blog update, and the only blog update of 2014, until this one of course, was in January; but no, that's not when I started my break. That's perhaps when I should have started my break. Should I have had my break then, things might be quite different from now. But no, I did the worst thing I could do - went mysteriously inactive for a time too long, and announced my break to what was left of my guild sometime during the summer. Kinsey was on a break, Lanfranco was on a break and not even certain if he'd play in Warlords of Draenor or not. I made the decision to put down the mantle of the Hex Machine for the time of my break, and made a trusted guildy the guild master. But that didn't work out, and the guild remained rather inactive until my return in the midst of this month. I made my return the night before the Warlords patch went live. The following day, there I was again, on World of Warcraft, alongside my good friends and co-guild masters Lanfranco and Kinsey, feeling excited about the game after so long. Lanfranco's face looked bloody awesome.

I returned to be a part of no raid team. I returned burdened with feelings of sadness, guilt and regret - feelings I'll probably never be able to shake off completely. I returned to a dying guild - yes, it is about time I admit Menagerie is a dying guild. Our Menagerie. The least I can do is lay the guild to rest honorably, just once I can gather my bones together to be the guild master I should have been all along. It's not impossible that Menagerie would one day rise to raid again, but for now I don't possess the motivation, energy or time to do it. And, I secretly admit that I'd like to be just a regular raider for a while. Imagine me saying that! I, who once said I could never imagine not being a guild master anymore. But now, as I've been that for over three years now, I could swear I'd never take that position again. It is an exhausting job, and I truly give my respects to anyone who can do that actively for years.

Finally - after four years and over 200 attempts.
 To be honest, I made a terrible guild master in the first place. I am too proud and too stubborn for a position like that. And too kind, as well. I never really understood why anyone would like to be in a guild with Nicasia as the holder of the highest rank. Must have been because of Kinsey and Frank. I enjoy being very hard on myself emotionally, and carrying the weight of a guild on my shoulders just isn't a good addition to that.

But yet, to have been the guild master of Menagerie is one of the greatest honors I have received in my life, and an experience I have learnt much from. Each and every member of the guild, current and past, has my heartfelt thanks for being a part of that crazy ride. Menagerie achieved a lot, not only in the way of raiding. While guilds are known have lived longer than that, not many do in the end. And not many mean as much to their founders as my guild does to me. No other guild will ever be referred to as my guild, for there is no guild I can feel as proud of as I do of my Menagerie.