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Archive for the ‘Achievements’ Category


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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ONE: Five of my eight characters who are in Garrisons have gotten cameras so far. Only the two Alliance Mages have been vain enough to snap some test self-portraits.

It seems that these cameras will, in fact, be satisfactory for acquiring the sort of close-up pictures I want for my Characters page. I’m still waiting for one of the characters who has already gotten a camera to get the follow-up mission that will upgrade the camera to an account-wide Toy…

TWO: I hadn’t originally intended to upgrade the Storehouse to level 2 because the Mobile Banking guild perk is generally sufficient for my guild bank access needs. Nevertheless, some weeks ago, Kamalia upgraded her Storehouse on a whim. I was delighted to meet the guild banker!

Aww, Yorn got to bring his wife out to Draenor, like Murne Greenhoof at the Tannery brought his wife Suniya with him!

Or maybe Ranea is Yorn’s sister, and Suniya is Murne’s mother — whatever, they are still obviously family. Charmed, I decided that I’d upgrade the Storehouse to level 2 on all my characters so that Yorn wouldn’t have to be lonely. Then Patch 6.1 came, and Ranea disappeared, replaced by a soulless goblin golden piggybank. It would have been nice if they’d let Ranea become one of the building-associated extra NPCs who wanders about the Garrison — like Suniya who appears when you build the Tannery or Jozzle the Neat who appears when you build the Scribe’s Quarters — but I didn’t see her. I was so sad about Ranea’s disappearance that I busted my Storehouse back down to level 1.

THREE: I recruited for a Treasure Hunter this week.

Treasure hunting and scavenging together is a powerful combo that I may never see again — but how could I not choose Ken-Ken?

FOUR: Harrison Jones finally showed up in my Garrison the other day. Turns out, I do have my Archaeology up to 700 already — it’s just that I haven’t yet done enough digging to find all the Draenor things. Anyhow, I was anxious to get his mission done, just in case it disappeared from my quest log the next day. Unfortunately, I had to grade homework first that evening — so I stayed up later than I normally do on a weeknight afterward to play through the mission. It was a nice little story, with a fun little puzzle at the end (though the hardest part of the puzzle was figuring out how to actually interact with the device). I look forward to the next time Dr Jones shows up.

FIVE: Kamalia achieved Exalted status with the Arakkoa Outcasts a few weeks ago, thanks to all the Relics of Rukhmar that the followers in my various Garrisons collected, but she didn’t get the achievement that granted the follower. I was puzzled at what I’d missed, but didn’t follow up to try to find out. When I flew into Akeeta’s Hovel at the border of Arak and Shadowmoon to do my mission from Harrison Jones, a quest popped up to go talk to Terokk. Oh. I hadn’t been to Arak since I got Exalted with the Arakkoa. So I visited Terokk, and he proclaimed me Talon Queen, and then I got the achievement and the new follower.

SIX: This expansion is really making me wish that BloodHigh Elves were a playable race for the Alliance. For one thing, I would much, MUCH rather have the Alliance architecture than the Horde architecture for my Blood Elf Mage’s Garrison. For another, just the thought of running twelve Garrisons — one of each class Horde-side, plus a token Alliance character — is exhausting enough that I’ve thought about just leaving my Blood Elves behind this expansion. I am too fond of my Blood Elf Mage to want to leave her behind, though, and the Rogue and the Warlock were surprisingly fun to play when I was leveling them through Pandaria. Because I’ve already got a level 91 Alliance Mage (or two), I’ve seriously contemplated taking the Rogue and the Warlock over to the Alliance side and playing the non-Tauren classes as Alliance from here on out. Eight Horde Garrisons and three Alliance Garrisons would be a little less exhausting than eleven Horde Garrisons just because of the greater variety. I like Kaelinda, Kelisanna, and Kalaneia just as they are, as Blood Elves, though, and don’t really want to turn them into Humans (or any of the other Alliance races, for that matter). It would really be so much nicer if High Elves were a playable race for the Alliance…

.ONE: People must have complained on the forums about the Tauren DK colors getting dulled with the new models, because since Patch 6.1, the Underpowered Death Knight’s braids have been brilliant sapphire blue again.

The other two DK colors look a little bit more intense/saturated now than they were in 6.0, but they’re not as close to the originals as the blue-and-white.

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For me, a new alt becomes “real” — that is, significantly less likely to be summarily deleted — when she reaches level 20 and can learn to ride. I’m not sure that I want to take that goalpost/milestone away from myself by acquiring a mount that I can use at level 1.

Perhaps, though, it’s just that I’m not really excited about a chauffeured Chopper.

If it were going to be a Chauffeured Hotrod

— then, yeah, I’d be looking for ways to increase my heirloom hoard as quickly as I could.

I think Blizzard missed a great opportunity here!

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Garrison Milestones

My job is keeping me pretty busy and I haven’t had nearly as much time to play as when I was un- or part-time employed. I love my job, though — it really is the “dream job” that I told everyone I wanted while I was in graduate school — so I don’t mind the reduction in my playtime too badly. Even with my limited playtime, the Garrison has kept the little rewards and accomplishments coming in.

Tuesday last week — the 13th — my eighth follower recruit from the Inn came with an extra special surprise!

Too bad the acheivement didn’t come with the eponymous title as a reward, though.

Kaprikka hit the resource cap —

— but I’ve continued to log in with her because her handful of followers are not all purple yet (a combination of not prioritizing high XP missions enough and failing high XP missions that were over 90% success chance). I’ll also probably keep checking her Mission Table for things like the “Relic of Rukhmar” and “Errand for the SPS” missions to help rep grinding for my other characters.

I’ve completed all the inland catches for Draenor Angler. I guess it’s time for me to take a trip to the coast to fish up a heap of Enormous Sea Scorpions. Then I’ll be able to do the quest chain to bring Nat Pagle to my Garrison — though I’ve heard that he’s kind of obnoxious and a little bit creepy. It might be worth having him around just so that Rak’jin will stop trying to tell me all about this dude who’s already my Best Friend, though…

After having a couple of weeks (not consecutive) where I got two Garrison Campaign missions, this week brought the final episode a little earlier than I might otherwise have expected.

This mission also awarded a follower upgrade item:

I’d use it on Choluna, but my Choluna came with “Fast Learner” as her trait, and it seems a shame to “waste” that by insta-purpleing her. I think I’ll save it for Penny Clobberbottom or Kaz the Shrieker — I have yet to swap my outpost in Gorgrond and obtain the service of those two ladies — or perhaps for a future Inn recruit.
I’m also not sure which follower should get Azuka’s polearm. It would be highly appropriate for Lantresor, except that he’d think he ought to have earned it for himself, rather than have it gifted to him. It would be great for Na’shra, except that she’d think she ought to have forged it herself. Olin, maybe? No, his default totem-log is too cool a weapon to change. Perhaps one of my belfadins from the Inn, then? I’ll have to think on this for awhile more.

I have really enjoyed the Garrison Campaign weekly missions. They’ve been great for my low time-availability and single player content preference. I’ve liked being part of a continually unfolding story; it’s kept me engaged in the world of Draenor and the game as a whole. I am very grateful that I’ve experienced almost none of the bugginess with the Garrison Campaign that’s been reported!

Now, looking forward to Patch 6.1, I’m sure I’ll be requesting your help with some of those Bounty missions so that I can collect all the pieces for my Garrison Jukebox…

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With the WoW’s Tenth Anniversary event about to expire, I finally got around to doing 40-player Molten Core LFR. I got lucky with a group that managed to get through with a minimum of hassle and annoyance.

Naturally, that firey new hat also meant I needed a firey new Transmogrification kit to go with it — my first proper mix-and-match kit of the new expansion.

Molten Destruction

Crown of Destruction, Erupting Volcanic Mantle & Handwraps, Sha’tari Deadeye Vest, Stormleather Sash, Molten Earth Kilt, War Mace of Unrequited Love, Streamtalker Shield
If Baron Geddon had been kind enough to drop the Earthfury Epaulets on my way in for my mog kit photoshoot with Ragnaros 1.0, I’d have swapped out the T12 shoulders for the T1s. Alas, he didn’t, and I doubt that I’ll bother to continue farming for them.

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the 99th ding


The XP bar filled up with blue quite quickly, it seemed, relative to leveling in Cataclysm and Mists. Kamalia dinged 100 last night, a week after launch, partway through Nagrand, and would have dinged earlier had I not had exams to grade during the first half of the week.

This ding felt kind of anticlimactic — oh, this is happening already? so soon? Perhaps it didn’t feel quite so exciting because I’d already had two followers — Lantresor and Tuulani, if I’m remembering correctly — ding 100 ahead of me. Or perhaps playing so many alts to 90 during Mists has made dinging max level less of a thrill in general.

In any case, I was and am more interested in finishing up the questing and finding out what happens at the end of Nagrand than in actually getting to level 100 itself.

Meanwhile, I ran Kaprikka through Tanaan on Sunday night; since then, she’s been sitting in her Garrison sending her crack team of Qiana, Bruma, and Daleera off on mission after mission. I didn’t even push Kaprikka through to the level 91 ding, and her three followers are already up to 93.

When Kamalia expanded her Garrison to Tier 2, I originally chose the Barn to support her Skinning & Leatherworking professions. I soon started feeling resource-starved, though, so on Monday, I took the Barn down and put up a Lumber Mill instead. Since then, I’ve been having fun — and getting myself into trouble by running too casually through too many mobs — chasing after Small Timber. I plan to keep the Lumber Mill up at least until I upgrade my Garrison to Level 3. I’ve also been prioritizing missions that award Garrison Resources when I send out my followers.

Now that Kamalia has dinged 100, I’ve pulled the handful of Horde 90s who aren’t still busy growing Windshear Cactus and Songbells back to Orgrimmar so that I can begin sending them through the Dark Portal to establish their Garrisons and start providing me with profession stuffs.

A day or two ago, Kamalia’s Garrison produced a tantalizing mission —

It wasn’t that hard to choose who to send —

— but choosing which follower should get the Dancing lessons will take a bit of thought!

Kaprikka’s Garrison produced another Town mission —

— but I kept on ignoring it, and presently it fell off the list.

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