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Archive for the ‘Achievements’ Category


Now that the rest of Draenor is Secured, I can tackle Tanaan Jungle. Where did I put my mosquito netting and quinine tablets, again?

Among other reasons, I didn’t build my Shipyard and sail off to Tanaan Jungle last week because I was at my parents’ house — which always puts a crimp in my ability to play the game. As I’ve read about other folks’ adventures in the Jungle over the past few days, it occurred to me that the dailies there will probably take up most of the time I have or want to spend playing. It would make sense, therefore, to finish off the 6.0 Apexis quests before heading out to Tanaan. So today I picked up Scouting Missives for all the Apexis objectives I hadn’t done yet and went out to polish them off. I even remembered to assign a Bodyguard (Vivianne) to the Barracks and to ask her to come with me before I went out — usually I don’t think that maybe I ought to do that until it’s too late (because I’ve already sent all my available followers off on missions). In the process of completing the Apexis objectives, I managed to trigger Iron Horde and Shadowmoon Invasions — though I may not ever actually talk to my Sergeant and allow the invasions to happen…

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Although it seems a little premature to call this a “Warlords bucket list” given that a) it’s been hinted that there will, in fact, be at least a Patch 6.3* and b) the next expansion hasn’t been announced yet, these are some things that I’d like to accomplish before school starts again in two months.

+ Spend a few evenings treasure hunting to get to 100 treasures found. I already have the maps for Frostfire and Shadowmoon, so I should gather all the low-hanging fruit out of those zones before getting the maps for the other zones.

+ Continue doing Apexis dailies until I have completed Securing Draenor. If the dailies that are up are both either one that I’ve already done or one that doesn’t contribute to the achievement (there are a few of those), I should buy a Scouting Missive and go do one that I haven’t already done that does contribute to the achievement.

+ Replace my Inn with a level 3 Trading Post for faster reputation gain with the three Tanaan Jungle factions.

+ If the new “Dowser” oil doubler trait will be available for recruiting from the Inn — I seem to recall reading that it would be, but that might have been a PTR thing that later got changed — recruit a Dowser next Tuesday before replacing the Inn.

+ Build Shipyard, rule the savage seas, profit.

+ Do dailies for all three of the Tanaan Jungle factions. I’ll want to get to revered with all of them for Draenor Pathfinder, of course. I’ll want to get to all the way to exalted with the Order of the Awakened for the super ship blueprint.

+ Level alts! Attempt to give priority to Kaylynda (Human Mage) to experience Alliance story.

+ Craft items for Savage Blood Transmogrification kits. This will require staying on top of profession CDs, work orders, and trapping for the Barn. The reduced costs for the upgrade items and the reduced Primal Spirits-to-Savage Blood exchange rate will greatly help this, as will the increased yield from personal profession CDs.

+ Find out how the new Ascendance minor glyph technique is obtained, get it with my Scribe, acquire one Felblight (should be pretty easy to do, Kamalia will probably be skinning heaps of beasties in the process of doing her rep dailies), and make it for Kamalia. I must confess that I don’t use Ascendance as much as perhaps I ought to because I can’t stand looking like one of those awful Cataclysm humanoid/elemental monstrosities.

+ Go digging for the Draenor archeology items that I haven’t found yet. I don’t care whether I get them as common or as pristine solves, just as long as between the common list and the pristine list I’ve found each item at least once.

+ After completing the Draenor artifact list, spend some time digging in Eastern Kingdoms** and use my crated Restored Artifacts for Tol’vir fragments. This is a lower priority objective.

+ If getting the costume toy for one faction does not automatically grant the corresponding costume toy for the other faction, get to revered with Hand of the Prophet with Kaylynda. This is a relatively low priority objective; on the one hand, having the faction costume be a toy means I only have to get it once (per faction?), but on the other hand, having the faction costume be a toy instead of an actual cosmetic gear set means I can’t mix-and-match with it for Transmogrification.

* fingers crossed for Farahlon, and hoping it will be more like the Isle of Thunder than the Timeless Isle
** I still haven’t gotten the rare Dwarf staff, the rare Troll 2H sword, and three of the Tol’vir rares

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So flying is coming to Draenor, after all, via a meta-Acheivement requiring the completion of various activities around Draenor that is more or less exactly what the folks whose opinions in the flying kerfluffle I have most agreed with have been suggesting all along could be the way for flying to be earned in Draenor. Hurrah!

So how will one earn one’s wings in Draenor?

Explore Draenor
I finally finished that up a week or so back, after having discovered that there were a few small spots in a couple of zones that I hadn’t managed to uncover yet.

Loremaster of Draenor
I did that while I was leveling. I haven’t done all the Bonus Objectives, though, and occasionally I stumble across a side-quest that I missed. I ought to go clean those up for easy Achievement points and delicious little bits of story.

Collect 100 Draenor treasures
Hmm. I’ve found 53 already. I’ve seen treasures that I haven’t bothered to figure out how to get to, or made a few pathetic attempts at the required jumping puzzle before giving up because I had other things I wanted to do that day. Time to go back and try those again.

Securing Draenor
Oh… I’d better start paying attention to Shadow Hunter Ukambe’s daily strategic assault recommendations, then. I’ve been an absolutely terrible “Commander” and ignored him so far.

Get Revered with all three of the new Tanaan Jungle factions
Well, I was going to have to do that anyway to get blueprints and and oil for my Shipyard.

And once I’ve done all this with Kamalia, Kerisa will be able to spread her wings and soar in Draenor’s savage skies!

~*~*~

Despite the snarkiness of the original version of this post, I really am quite pleased with the proposed implementation of flying in Draenor. I think it is just right: fully explore the content on the ground, and then you can take to the sky. Furthermore, this is the motivation that I’ve been needing to get out of my Garrison and experience some of the Draenor content that I have thus far ignored.

Treasures… yes, the treasures are fun, but I’ve felt overwhelmed by how many of them there are to find. Because there are so many, I am less inclined to pause whatever I am in the middle of doing when I see the purple glow to figure out how to get to it than I would be if the treasures were fewer and further in-between. On the other hand, because there are so many, I might be able to get up to 100 treasures found without having to become too thoroughly frustrated by the ones that are in places that are really difficult to get to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I would much, much rather do dailies for reputation than pure grinding. I did the Timbermaw grind with Kamalia; I’ve done Aldor/Scryer with various alts; I didn’t bother with the Emperor Shaohao rep on the Timeless Isle because it was a pure grind. I haven’t bothered with reputation — faction or bodyguard — in Warlords because I wasn’t interested enough in the rewards to want to grind, grind, grind for them. The only Warlords reputation I have at Exalted is the Arakkoa Outcasts, and that’s because of the rep tokens my followers brought me. I’m relieved that the new factions in Tanaan Jungle will have dailies, and I will be perfectly happy to gather that rep at the pace set by the dailies.

After having discovered fairly early on that the Apexis gear was visually identical to the gear I was getting from dungeons and follower missions, I decided that I didn’t need to collect Apexis crystals to buy items for Transmogrification. Because I wasn’t running LFR, I didn’t need the Apexis gear for its stats, either. Thus, I had no motivation to collect Apexis crystals, and the daily strategic assault quest seemed to me to be a very thin veneer on what was really just a grind. Even recognizing that the chapters of the Garrison Campaign (which I very much enjoyed) were taking me to the same locations as the strategic assault quests didn’t motivate me to go back to those places later when they were the Apexis dailies. But I’ll gladly “Secure Draenor” to make the skies safe enough to fly in. I might even bring along a bodyguard and start working on those reputations, too!

In Mists, I didn’t really get going with alt leveling until Patch 5.1 un-coupled the Shado-Pan and August Celestial reputations from having to get Revered with the Golden Lotus first. I’m having this feeling that with the “Draenor Pathfinder” acheivement bringing an account-wide flying unlock, Patch 6.2 might just be the point in this expansion where my alt leveling finally takes off (pun intended)!

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Ever since Patch 6.1, I’ve been patiently biding my time, waiting for Harrison Jones to show up in my own garrison with his Treasure Contracts. Because I’ve been busy, I’ve ignored him when he’s had a contract I’ve already done, and I’ve been glad that the days when he’s been in my garrison with a contract I haven’t already done have mostly been Fridays or Saturdays. I’ve taken to watching Wowhead’s “Today in Draenor” sidebar to see what Treasure Contract quest is up. On Wednesday, I saw that the Treasure Contract of the day was the only one I hadn’t done yet, the very last one I needed to get Harrison as a follower. When I logged in, though, High Overlord Saurfang was in my Town Hall. So I did something I had never done before — I looked in the Group Finder for someone who did have Harrison Jones in their Town Hall, and joined the group, and went to a complete stranger’s Garrison.

At last, I have Harrison Jones to mentor all my new recruits!

Although the format of the Treasure Contract quest chains very quickly became predictable — find/kill Named NPC, read the journal, collect Item #1, collect Item #2, collect Item #3, assemble the Super Whatsit, find the secret cave, do the puzzle (and sometimes fight a miniboss) — I enjoyed them. I liked the little stories the journals told. I liked trying to figure out where in the zone the clues in the journals were leading me before looking at my map to see where there were Quest Objective areas lit up in blue. And I liked the little puzzles at the end of each quest chain. They were simple enough to fun instead of frustrating, but they weren’t so simple as to require absolutely no thought whatsoever. For casual solo player me, they were great content.

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BTH really enjoys Magic: The Gathering, but he’s never been able to get me into playing it. When Hearthstone first came out, therefore, I was intrigued by the concept of the game — something like MTG, but perhaps not so complex, or differently complex in ways that I would be able to understand more easily. I had (and still have) too many things I wanted to do in WoW to want put another game on my computer*, though — and the Hearthsteed was not an incentive because I think it looks creepy. If I had a tablet, I might have picked up Hearthstone when it came out for tablets… but I don’t. So I’d been looking forward to the game coming out for smartphones, and when it finally did, about two weeks ago, I got it.

I’ve played very casually so far, only one or two games a day and not every day. I just finished unlocking all the classes a day or two ago, and Mage is still the only class that I’ve leveled to 10. After I’d gotten through the initial tutorials and quests playing against The Innkeeper, my first several games in casual Play mode were very discouraging. I used Mage because I have the most class-specific cards for it, but I just got smashed and smashed and smashed. I’d feel like I was playing my cards well and doing okay in the early part of the game, but then I’d run out of cards in my hand and get utterly overwhelmed by the other player’s minions. Yet I would doggedly play the game out to the bitter end, because to me, conceding would be akin to flipping the table and stomping away in a huff.

I’m usually a good sport about losing when I feel like it’s been an even match and I could have won if I’d done one or two things differently, but I am not a very good sport about losing when I feel overwhelmed and powerless. Losing and losing and losing to swarms of enemy minions when I was out of good cards in my hand definitely made me feel a bit table-flippy! Eventually, I decided that I just didn’t understand how to play Mage. Thinking I’d try the same strategy that had been beating me, I used the Hunter deck instead. I’ve had more success with that; earlier today, I finally got to the three wins in Play mode required to earn the crossover reward pictured above.

Hearthstone will be good for amusement when I have to wait for short intervals or when I’m bored at relatives’ houses. I’ll probably continue to do Play mode as casual, though if there’s a particularly attractive card back, I might attempt the ranked ladder. I suppose that I’ll probably get all the classes leveled up to 10 eventually, just because I’m a collector personality type, and because I know that there are class-based challenges in the solo Adventures. I don’t intend to ever spend any real money on Hearthstone, though, so it’ll be a long time before I venture into Naxxramas or Blackrock Mountain. I don’t play enough to accumulate gold very quickly, and I should probably use my gold for card packs for awhile before I try the Adventures.

BTH has been quite amused by watching me play and talk about Hearthstone.

* WoW is the only game, other than the standard Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc, that come with the OS, that I currently have installed. For awhile, I had the Portal games, too.

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The Field Photographer achievement requires characters to visit the Maelstrom in Dragon Soul and the Frozen Throne in Icecrown Citadel. I’m sure there are folks out there who are skilled enough to solo their way to those places, but I sure am not!
We ought to hit up the Terrace of Endless Spring (and Blackwing Descent and Naxxramas), too, because I’ve heard that there are Music Rolls to be found in there…

What do you think? When might be a good time for it? I’ve got RL events on Saturday evenings for the next few weeks, but what about Friday the 27th?

Tauren selfies look so silly! Especially when I’m trying to get Pepe into the shot, too :P

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When I first started this blog, in 2010, I figured, based on the lifespan of my Harry Potter fanart site, that I’d probably write about World of Warcraft for about five years before I wandered off to do something else.

Well, here I am at the five-year point, and I don’t seem to be wandering off to do something else quite yet. I’ll probably keep writing this blog for as long as I’m playing World of Warcraft, however much longer that may be.

Since my last blogiversary, I achieved both of my long-term WoW goals: playing a character of every class to the level cap and raid-healing (in LFR, at least) with a character of every healing class. I also managed to get two Alliance characters to the level cap, though I don’t feel like I’ve really “played Alliance” because I rushed them so hard with dungeons and such that I skipped large swathes of the Alliance lore. That was in Mists, of course — almost four months into Warlords, Kamalia is still my only level 100 character. There are lots of things I’d like to do with other characters, though, if only I could convince myself that my Garrisons don’t really need to be tended every single day…

I’ve been terrible about achieving blogging goals I’ve set in past years — I’ve had unfinished stories about my Undead and Worgen Mages sitting in my drafts folder for over three years (though I did finally publish the one about the Night Elf Mage this year) and I’ve still not written about the Grimtotem in the post-Cataclysm world — so keeping up with my custom thus far of posting at least once a week is about as much of a blogging goal as I want to make.

In honor of this big blogiversary milestone, have some Recipe:Delicious Chocolate Cake:

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
This cake is so easy to make and so yummy that I have never wanted to buy chocolate cake in a mix since I tried this recipe.
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c boiling water
2 eggs
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 3/4 c AP flour
2 t vanilla
1 c milk
1 t salt
3/4 c cocoa
2 c sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

VARIATIONS:
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

German Chocolate Cake
This recipe comes from a family recipe book given to one of my sisters as a wedding present by the bishop of her singles ward.
Cake:

1 bar (4 oz) German sweet chocolate
1/2 c boiling water
1 c butter
2 c sugar
4 egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2 c sifted AP flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 or 3 deep 8 or 9 inch cake pans with waxed paper. Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together dries. Add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating well until smooth. Fold in egg whites. Pour into cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool.

Filling/topping:

1 c evaporated milk
1 c sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 c butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c coconut
1 c chopped pecans

Combine ingredients except coconut and pecans. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread. Makes 2 1/2 cups. Use to layer cake.

Mom’s Perfected Brownies
This is literally my mother’s perfected brownie recipe, not somebody else’s “Mom’s best recipe” from the internet somewhere.
3/4 c butter
6 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1/3 c brown sugar
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 c plus 1 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon, optional
(chocolate/other flavored chips and/or nuts are also good; use 1 c total of chunky mix-ins)

Line a 9 x 12 baking dish with foil or parchment, allowing the liner to overhang the short ends of the pan. Lightly grease the liner and any exposed areas of the pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan. Allow the melted mixture to cool to about room temperature, then stir in the sugars. Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, if using. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir in the chips/nuts, if using.

Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes.

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