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The latest challenge from Z & Cinder is a list of questions to answer out-of-character if you’re comfortable enough to talk about your real life, or in-character if you’d rather not talk about your real life. It’s a long-ish list (26 questions), so they’ve said that you don’t have to answer them all if you don’t feel so inclined — so I’m going to cherry-pick the ones that have easy answers 😉

1. How do you drink your tea?
I’m a Latter-day Saint. I don’t drink tea.
Well, I don’t drink black tea or green tea. Herbal teas, though, I like when I’m not feeling well in the winter. I drink more hot cocoa than herbal tea, though; from about October to March, I go through great volumes of hot cocoa. I make my own hot cocoa mix using a recipe developed by my mother.
I tend to drink hot cocoa and herbal tea tepid — not much warmer than room temperature — because I set the mug on a corner of my desk where I won’t accidentally knock it over and then get absorbed in work (or blogging) and forget about it for awhile. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually prefer my cocoa tepid because I can taste the chocolate flavors better that way. When it’s hot, I mostly just taste the sugar.

3. Favorite season
Spring or autumn, especially those lovely few weeks on the cusp each way when I can regulate the temperature of my house without needing either the furnace or the air conditioner simply by opening and closing the windows. I love all kinds of spring flowers — crocuses, daffodils, tulips, lilacs, irises — but I am also rather fond of my roses and California poppies that bloom and bloom and bloom all summer long.

5. Dogs or cats?

7. How many kids do you want?
I used to say “no less than four, no more than six, in other words, five” — but now that I’ve spent the first ten years of my marriage wrestling with infertility, I’ll be happy just to get to three by adoption.

12. What is your family ancestry?
English, Scots, Swedish, and Norwegian

13. What scares you?
Student evaluations. I always put off reading them for as long as I possibly can on the excuse that I can’t ever afford to lose a day of productivity to being in a state of emotional turbulence over the negative things my students have said about me.

14. What are you most grateful for?
My family. I have awesome parents. I have good relationships with my siblings. I have a wonderful husband and a darling child.

15. Dream job?
I’ve got it! I teach at a small two-year college where teaching is my only responsibility — no expectation whatsoever that I will do research. It is exactly the kind of job that I imagined and told my mentors and peers was my career goal to get myself through the long difficult years of graduate school.

16. Do you believe in aliens?
There’s a bit in one of the Narnia books where Aslan tells Lucy that there are many people’s stories in the world, but he can only tell her about her own. There’s a bit in Latter-day Saint scripture where God tells Moses, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose… But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”

17. Favorite sport?
Quidditch? Nah… even if I were a Wizard instead of a Muggle, I’d probably not pay any more attention to Quidditch than I do to Muggle sports.

20. If you could be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
I am a teacher, and I teach CHEMISTRY!

24. What superpower would you choose?
teleportation and telekinesis

25. Favorite animal?
I am quite fond of horses, but realistically, I will never be a “horse person”.
I adore guinea pigs, and I look forward to when my son will be old enough that we can get guinea pigs “for the kid(s)” as an excuse to get them for me.

26. Biggest accomplishment?
Getting my PhD, I guess. I still marvel sometimes that I didn’t get kicked out of my program for being an underperforming student and that my thesis committee let me get away with a doctorate even though my research project only produced one paper that wasn’t published until some months after I finished my dissertation.

27. Do you dare to show a real-life picture of yourself?
I suppose I dare. This is cropped from a picture of BTH and myself taken a few years ago — that’s his shoulder in the bottom left corner — and is rather more glamorous than I usually look.

~*~*~

As long as I’m answering survey questions about myself IRL, I ought to answer these questions that Alunaria gave me for the latest round of the Liebsters couple months ago…

1. Which World of Warcraft quote is your favorite?
I like to use this on my students after an especially bad exam:

2. If you could bring back one NPC in World of Warcraft, which one would it be, and why?
I can’t think of anyone in particular that I’d like to bring back from the dead. I guess I’d like to find out where Wrathion disappeared off to during Legion and what will happen when he meets Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, aka Ebyssian.

3. What is your favorite thing about the blog of the person who nominated you for the Liebster Award?
Alunaria always takes such beautifully framed screenshots with such wonderful character expressions!

4. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in World of Warcraft?
I think I might be in the middle of it right now… This semester is being utterly exhausting, and while I want to finish my Legion solo-play goals, I’m also feeling more and more behind the Battle for Azeroth curve. I’m wishing now that I’d gotten all my alts to level 110 and through their Order Hall Campaigns much earlier, instead of waiting until the 11th hour to do those things, so that now they’d be further progressed on their Legion rep grinds.
In-game, the Lightning Forge and Chi-Ji’s Challenge scenarios for getting the Legendary cape during Mists.

5. If you could give someone 5 million gold in the game, who would it be, and why?
You mean, if I could ask the Devs to give someone 5M gold? Because I sure don’t have that much moolah myself. Uhm… probably BTH, because maybe I could convince him to re-sub to WoW and come run dungeons and old raids with me occasionally if he could perpetually fund it with the WoW Token instead of with our bank account.

6. Which one of your own blog posts is your favorite, and why?
Oh, gosh, I can’t possibly choose. Everything on my Stories page, and everything on my Drawings page, and everything on my Transmogrification page….

7. If you could bring one World of Warcraft creature into the real world, which creature would you pick?
Kodos! Or maybe faerie dragons.

8. If your World of Warcraft-friends had to describe you with 3 words, which words, do you think, would they choose?
Altoholic Tauren Transmogrification

9. What is the best advice someone has ever given you in World of Warcraft?
Play what pleases you.

10. What is your ideal way for World of Warcraft to end?
A lasting peace between the factions is finally achieved, removing the “War” from “Warcraft”.

11. If you could change one thing in the game, what would you choose – and why?
More hairstyle sharing between races — and more new hairstyles for everybody!
On the one hand, I get that a unique set of hairstyles is part of the appeal of playing a character of a different race.
On the other hand, there are so many hairstyles that are unique to one race, or only shared by a few races, that I would love to be able to use on characters of the races I play the most.
Right now, I really really want to use the long-braid-pulled-over-the-shoulder style that Night Elves, Dwarves, and Blood Elves have on my Human because of how Jaina is wearing her hair that way in Battle for Azeroth.

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After a bit of a hiatus, Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge is back in action with a timely pair of topics:

Part 1 – What were your top 3 moments in Legion?
Part 2 – What are you most looking forward to about Battle for Azeroth?

Part 1
Legion had so many great moments. The storytelling in Legion is wonderful, from the Artifact acquisition quests to the leveling zones to the profession quest chains to the Order Hall Campaigns to Suramar to Argus.
I always love that moment in Highmountain when Ebonhorn turns into Ebyssian and Mayla is all “WHAT???!!! THE WHOLE TIME???!!!” I also really got a kick out of the part of the Suramar Insurrection campaign in which you go to do some leyline stuff in Azsuna and Valtrois and Stellagosa spend the whole time sniping at each other about who has the more superior knowledge and mastery of arcane magic. And I enjoyed the wand practice, rune drawing, and fantastic beasts quests at Nar’thalas Academy so much that Kaelinda often goes to do the WQ versions of them just for fun.
As for cinematics, the first three that come to mind are Greymane stopping Sylvanas from enslaving Eyir, Elune embracing Ysera (for all that that scene is heartbreaking), and Illidan eye-lasering Xe’ra to bits.

Part 2
Jaina’s story, hands down.
Rolling a new Kul Tiran lady Mage. Their body type looks awesome, and so do their hairstyles.
Sprawling, complex capital cities full of small worldbuilding details in nooks and crannies.
Island Expeditions have tons of cool Mog stuff (hello Druid of the Flame gear!) so I’d like to give them a try.

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The Allied Races are the hot new thing in Azeroth right now, so naturally Z & Cinder want to know what we’re doing with them.

Are you playing any of the new allied races?

I haven’t purchased Battle for Azeroth yet, so no — not yet.

I’ve still got quite a lot of Legion content that I want to do that I don’t want to get distracted from doing by leveling shiny new alts — and I’ve still got quite a lot to do just to fulfil the requirements to recruit the Allied Races and create Allied Race characters on the realms where I want to create them, too.

Of course I will be making some Highmountain Tauren: a Skyhorn Druid with green markings who will level from the ground up to earn the Heritage Armor; a Bloodtotem Warrior with red markings who might level from the ground up or might end up being the recipient of my level 110 Boost so that I can just play her in Zandalar already; and I plan to race-change my secondary Shaman from a Mulgore Tauren to a Rivermane Highmountain Tauren with blue markings.

I will create a Void Elf Mage, because I’ve been wanting to play an Alliance High Elf forever and this is probably as close as we’ll ever get to that. I intend to have my Void Elf become my Alliance main, but because she will level from the ground up to earn the Heritage Armor, it will be some time before she is able to fully displace Kaylynda.

As for the other Allied Races… maybe, maybe not.

Over the decade that I have played WoW, and the almost eight years that I have blogged about it, I have gone through several cycles of creating characters because I had a neat idea about an appearance-race-class-story combination, then not having time or desire to actually play those characters, and eventually pruning them when I looked at my roster and felt overwhelmed by the number of characters that I was not playing and didn’t have time to play. I call this phenomenon “alt fatigue”.

The Allied Races announcement at BlizzCon simultaneously filled me with excitement about playing Highmountain Tauren and a wave of alt fatigue at the idea of creating five other new characters just to continue having a “one of each race” collection of characters. That feeling of alt fatigue was intensified by the part of that initial announcement that said that the six Allied Races that had just barely been announced were merely the first, and there would be more Allied Races to come in the future.

I just don’t think I have it in me anymore to try to keep up with having “one of each race”. It’s time to be more choosy, and only create new characters if I’m really, truly excited about playing them. So maybe I’ll roll a Nightborne Mage… or maybe not. I’ve been saying that I’ll need to have the Elf Family Reunion in my character roster, but maybe I don’t really “need” that. Maybe I’ll roll a Zandalari Troll Elemental Shaman named for a Hawai’ian volcano… or maybe not. The chances of me rolling a Lightforged Draenei or a Dark Iron Dwarf are rather low. If the Vulpera get made into an Allied Race, I’ll probably roll one because they’re super cute. If Sethrak or Ogres get made into an Allied Race, probably not. And so on and so forth.

Z & Cinder also ask:

If you could choose the next allied race, what would it be?

Taunka.

They’ve already been an allied race of the Horde for years and years, but aside from a Taunka Shaman or two showing up in Cataclysm and the Taunka couple who are the questgivers for the Horde Garrison Stables, they’ve largely been ignored.

If Taunka were made into an Allied Race, though, I’d really like to see them get a new model for the women that gives the women the same bison-like facial structure as the men:

If Taunka were made into an Allied Race and the women continued to look like Mulgore Tauren, only taller, I might just roll a male Taunka character instead of a female one.

If the Taunka were made into an Allied Race for the Horde, then the most equivalent Northrend race for the Alliance would probably be the Frost Dwarves. The Alliance would more likely get Vrykul, though, given that folks have been pining for that ever since Wrath.

And after the Taunka, the Yaungol.
Of course, one would think that it would make the most sense for the Yaungol to go to the Horde with the rest of their racial cousins. If the devs decided to make up an excuse for the Yaungol to go Alliance because they wanted to give some other Pandarian race (such as the Saurok, perhaps) to the Horde, however, then I’d be cool with playing an Alliance Yaungol.

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This fortnight, Z & Cinder want to know

What is your favourite mount, and why?
Do you have one mount in game that is your absolute favourite? Or are there are few you swap between? Or does each of your characters have a different favourite mount?

I wrote on the same topic four years ago for another series of blogging prompts. Let’s see what’s changed — or not — since then…

Each of my characters has a certain subset of mounts that she prefers, so each has her own custom mount macros to summon them. I use the Favorites feature of the mounts tab to curate the subset of mounts that may appear at my Garrison Stables or be summoned by Aludane Whitecloud when I fly from Dalaran.

All of my characters have the Grand Expedition Yak on their action bars for anytime-anywhere Transmogrification. Most of my 100+ characters also have the Azure Water Strider on their action bars for easy access to water walking — even Kamalia and Kregga, who have class abilities that provide that skill. I keep these mounts at the bottom of my right action bars, with my regular mount macros at the top of my right action bars.

Kamalia has four mount macros.
She loves kodos and has all of the available kodo mounts except the recent elite PVP Vicious War Kodo.
Sometimes, however, kodos seem too big and awkward, and she wants a mount with a smaller profile. Her macro of smaller ground mounts summons the Swift Zhevra, White or Tan or Silver Riding Talbuk, Swift Brewfest Ram, White or Brown or Black Riding Goat, Blue Shado-Pan Riding Tiger, Spirit of Eche’ro, Llothien Prowler, or the Leatherworker-only Dustmane Direwolf.
Her flying mounts are divided into dragons and smaller creatures.
Her favorite dragons are the Albino, Bronze, Red, Black, and Blue classic drakes; the Azure and Veridian Netherwing drakes; the Golden, Onyx, Jade, and Azure Cloud Serpents; and the Enchanted Fey Dragon.
Her smaller flying mounts of choice are the Argent, Cenarion, Flameward, and Emerald Hippogryphs; the Tawny Windrider and Grand Wyvern; the Red Flying Cloud; the basic and Jade Pandaren Kites; the Mystic Runesaber; and the Luminous Starseeker.

Kaelinda keeps the Mystic Runesaber separately on her bars for whenever she is in Suramar. When I finish the Insurrection campaign and get the Arcanist’s Manasaber, I will make a macro that will summon either manasaber mount — and when I purchase Battle for Azeroth and do the scenario to finish unlocking the Nightborne Allied Race, I will add the Nightborne Manasaber to Kaelinda’s manasaber mount macro.
Kaelinda also loves her chocobos hawkstriders. Her ground mount macro is all the colorful hawkstriders (Blue, Purple, Red, Silvermoon, Swift Green, Swift Pink, Swift Purple, and Swift White), plus the Creeping Carpet and the Llothien Prowler.
Kaelinda’s flying mount macro consists of the flying carpets (basic, Magnificent, and Frosty) that she can make and use because she is a Tailor, plus the Ashes of Al’ar, Red Flying Cloud, Celestial Steed (about which I wrote a lengthy story), Winged Guardian, Enchanted Fey Dragon, and Luminous Starseeker.
Someday, perhaps, she will have the Archmage’s Prismatic Disc.

Kiralaira doesn’t like the special Illidari Felsaber mount, so she uses the Red Shado-Pan Riding Tiger instead.
When she needs to fly, she uses the Red Flying Cloud or one of the Netherwing Drakes.

Ketura thinks kodos are too big and ungainly. She would much rather have a sleek, brightly colored raptor. Her favorite raptors are her Venomhide Ravasaur that she raised from the egg; the Fossilized Raptor; and the Darkspear, Swift Blue, Swift Olive, Swift Orange, Swift Purple, Black War, Emerald, Turquoise, and Violet raptors. Her ground mount macro also summons the Crimson Primal Direhorn. Because she is an engineer, she keeps the Mechano-Hog available separately on her bars.
I recently started farming ZG for the Armored Razzashi Raptor, but it may be a long time yet before it drops for me.
As an engineer, her preferred flying mounts are the ones she’s built herself: the Flying Machine, Turbo-Charged Flying Machine, and Geosynchronous World Spinner.

Kelisanna used to favor the Black Hawkstrider almost exclusively. When Kaelinda obtained the Llothien Prowler last fall, however, Keli decided that that a sly fox also suited her, so now she has a macro that will summon either mount. After she took up Engineering, she wanted to ride mechanical mounts, too, so she has a separate ground mount macro that calls forth the Mechano-Hog, Goblin Trike, or Goblin Turbo-Trike.
For flying, she prefers the Red Flying Cloud or the Geosynchronous World Spinner, which she keeps separately on her bars.
Someday, perhaps, she will have the Shadowblade’s Omen.

Kalaneia has enough sense of propriety and respect for her people’s allies that she has one macro for her demon steeds (Felsteed and Dreadsteed for now; may someday include the Netherlord’s Wrathsteeds) and one for other mounts that she uses in places like Thunder Bluff (Black, Swift Red, and Sunreaver Hawkstriders; Raven Lord; Flametalon of Alysrazor; Swift Forest Strider).
When flying, she likes mounts that evoke the colors of casting a Shadow Bolt — Green Wind Rider, Dark Phoenix, Twilight Drake, and Corrupted Dreadwing — and also the Dread Raven and Sunreaver Dragonhawk.

Kaohana is also a Tailor, so she has a macro just for the Flying Carpets. She is fond of the heavenly colors of blue and white.
Her ground mounts are the White Kodo, Great White Kodo, Swift Springstrider, White Riding Goat, White Riding Talbuk, White Polar Bear, Golden Riding Crane, Swift White Hawkstrider, Blue Hawkstrider, and Blue Shado-Pan Riding Tiger.
Her flying mounts are the Albino Drake, Argent Hippogryph, Ashes of Al’ar, Blue Wind Rider, Celestial Steed, Red Flying Cloud, Winged Guardian, Azure Cloud Serpent, Enchanted Fey Dragon, Blue Drake, and Sapphire Panther.

Karaelia loves her Sunwalker Kodos, of course, but her time at the Argent Tournament also gave her a great fondness for horses (Argent Charger, Argent Warhorse, Swift Zhevra, Celestial Steed; may someday include the Highlord’s Golden Charger).
In flight, she prefers mounts that evoke divine light: the Ashes of Al’ar, Celestial Steed, Winged Guardian, Golden Cloud Serpent, and Argent Hippogryph, plus the Sapphire Panther that, as a Jewelcrafter, she made herself.

Keija has very simple, uncomplicated preferences. The only ground mount she uses regularly is the Black War Kodo.
When she wants to fly long distances, she uses the Red, Bronze, Black, Blue, or Albino Drake.
When she needs a smaller flying mount for more precise landings, she uses the Tawny Wind Rider or Grand Wyvern.

Kregga does the Black Knight thing and rides lots of black mounts — but it also amuses her to be a Black Knight on a White Horse and use lots of white mounts, too.
Her ground mounts are the Acherus Deathcharger, Black War Kodo, Black War Raptor, Black Riding Goat, Black Hawkstrider, Regal Riding Crane, Great White Kodo, White Skeletal Warhorse, White Riding Talbuk, Swift White Hawkstrider, and the ghostly Spirit of Eche’ro.
Her flying mounts are the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade, Onyx Netherwing Drake, Onyx Cloud Serpent, Black Drake, Onyxian Drake, Albino Drake, and the frosty Blue Wind Rider.

Katewatha is fascinated by all things Pandaren.
Her ground mounts are the Green and Great Green Dragon Turtles, Blonde and Grey Riding Yaks, and Blue Shado-Pan Riding Tiger.
Her flying mounts are the Red Flying Cloud; basic and Jade Pandaren Kites; and Jade, Onyx, Azure, and Golden Cloud Serpents.
Someday, perhaps, she will have Ban-Lu, the Grandmaster’s Companion.

Kerisa doesn’t use mounts much because Travel Form is more fun.
When she does use a ground mount, she uses the originally-Druid-exclusive Raven Lord or its upgraded appearance, the Dread Raven.
On the rare occasions that she needs to be on a flying mount instead of in Stormcrow form, she uses the Cenarion War Hippogryph.

Kaumaleia‘s preferred mounts coordinate with her own white-and-blue color scheme: the Cobalt Riding Talbuk, the Blue Wind Rider, or the Cobalt Netherwing Drake.

Kaylynda loves horses. She is so excited to see the horse models getting an upgrade in Battle for Azeroth and hopes to compete in the Norwington Estate horse show.
On land, she travels on the Brown Horse, Chestnut Mare, Black Stallion, Swift Zhevra, Quel’dorei Steed, Celestial Steed, Argent Warhorse, or Spectral Steed — or the Golden King.
I haven’t separated her flying mounts into large (Albino, Bronze, Red, Blue, Black, and Twilight Drakes; and Enchanted Fey Dragon) and small (Golden, Ebon, Armored Snowy, and Grand Gryphons; Silver Covenant Hippogryph; Mystic Runesaber; and Luminous Starseeker) yet.

My Void Elf Mage will use her racial mount, plus the Winterspring Frostsaber, Swift Moonsaber, Dark Phoenix, Twilight Drake, Purple and Violet Netherwing Drakes, and Voidtalon of the Dark Star.

My Nightborne Mage will use her racial mount, plus the Mystic Runesaber, Arcanist’s Manasaber, and Leywoven Flying Carpet (if the darn thing ever drops for Kaelinda, that is).

Each of the Minor Mages used to have a mount macro that collected my favorite colors of her racial mounts, but the Horde gals lost their mount macros when I server transferred them a few weeks ago, and I haven’t bothered to re-create them yet. For each of them, I’ve just pulled out my most favorite color of her racial mount onto her action bar… except for Kivrinne; I just don’t like the skeletal horses, so her mount of choice is now the Swift Zhevra.

I would like to have the Green Drake, but while most of Dragon Soul is a pushover by now, the one time I tried to solo Spine of Deathwing, I got so frustrated by how the mechanics are actually made more difficult by OP DPS that I decided it wasn’t worth it to put myself through all that nonsense just for a tiny tiny chance that the Blazing Drake might drop from Madness of Deathwing. I wish that the final drake for the Awake the Drakes achievement was Experiment 12-B from Ultraxion instead of the Blazing Drake… sigh…

I would like to have the pink hippogryph, and I’ve seen an Ephemeral Crystal a few times, but I’ve never been in the right sort of mood to drop what I was doing to go looking in every single itty bitty nook and cranny in Azsuna trying to find the rest of them before time runs out. I’m discouraged by the blog entries I’ve read from people who’ve gotten it because they’ve all reported needing help from other folks to find enough of the crystals within the time limit. Now that I have flying, I guess I should give the Ephemeral Crystal treasure hunt a try… but if I don’t succeed on the first attempt, I might not ever try it again.

~*~*~

Thanks for this topic, Z & Cinder! I’ve been wanting to write a blog post like this for quite a while 😀

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Stuff I’d like to accomplish in Azeroth (and associated worlds) during the next year. Getting this stuff done before the launch of Battle for Azeroth would be nice, too.

* Level Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock to 110

* Complete 7.0 Order Hall Campaigns for Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock

* Do enough of Broken Shore with each character to obtain their 9th Champion

* Complete the Good Suramaritan and Suramar Insurrection storylines with Kaelinda

* Do the Xe’ra’s Revisionist History Of Illidan questline with Kiralaira

* Go to Argus with Kiralaira

* Do the Deaths of Chromie scenario with Karaelia to earn the bronze version of the plate dragon head shoulders

* LFR Emerald Nightmare with Kerisa

* Get the Feather of the Moonspirit (owlcat) appearance for the Fangs of Ashamane

* Do the Blacksmithing questchain with Keija at least until she can craft the Demonsteel set

* Work on other Profession questchains as time & interest allow

* Continue Paragoning Highmountain with Kamalia and Suramar with Kaelinda until moose and flying carpet mounts have been obtained

* Kerisa needs to be Exalted with Dreamweavers. Keija needs to be Exalted with Valarjar. Karaelia & Kaohana want to be Exalted with Valarjar because Valarjar tabard is pretty and has colors suitable for “I wanna be SHINY!” Mogs. All Tauren will want to be Exalted with Highmountain.

* Level Kaylynda to 110 so I can create Void Elf and Nightborne Mages on my Mage realm

* Level mini-Kam to 110 so I can create Highmountain Tauren on my Secondary Tauren realm

* Pre-order Battle for Azeroth so that if Allied Races are made available to pre-orders in 8.0 (the way Demon Hunters were made available to Legion pre-orders in 7.0), I can start leveling my Void Elf and my first Highmountain Tauren right away.

This To-Do List brought to you by Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge #30.

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… I wanted to participate in the community.

About two and a half years after I began playing WoW, I was playing a lot with my Boomkin. I don’t remember anymore if I was still leveling her or if this was after BTH and I switched guilds and the new guild, having enough healers, wanted me as DPS on my Boomkin rather than as a healer on Kamalia. Anyhow, I wanted to get better at Boomkining, and that led me to Restokin. Reading Restokin led me to a number of other blogs (many of which are now long since in mothballs). Presently, I started wanting to make comments on the blogs I was reading. Eventually, I started wanting to talk about the game on my own platform. More specifically, I wanted to participate in a survey about healing by making an independent post about it rather than by leaving a lengthy comment on the blog that originated the survey.

Cataclysm was announced sometime around the time I began blogging, so a lot of posts in the first year were prompted by the upcoming changes to the world. One of the bloggers I read issued an “Exploration” challenge, for which I wrote a series of posts about the Shaman totem quests. Another issued an “Eleventh Hour” challenge to write a story about a specific zone with a specific plot element in the story; from that challenge came my first story about Kaelinda. I wrote other stories to work out acceptable backgrounds/character concepts for characters that I was initially uncomfortable with the idea of playing — Forsaken and Death Knights. I have continued to write stories to record and respond to quests and events within the game.

I’d also been quite active as a commenter and on the forums of Kirina’s Closet, an early RP clothes blog, so it was a natural transition from writing about RP clothes in that venue to writing about them on my own blog. Although this blog has pretty much always had a signifcant emphasis on pretty clothes, fashion began to dominate my content after Transmogrification debuted. I participated in a handful of Transmogrification contests or challenges in the first year after Transmogrification went live. I also started keeping a running documentation of my own characters’ Transmogrifications.

I’ve met a lot of people whom I like very much through the exchange of reading and commenting on blogs, and I definitely still value the participating-in-the-community aspect of blogging. Although I appreciate every comment I receive and am quite fond of all of you who comment regularly, I think that if I were always trying to write my blog for other people, I would have stopped blogging long ago. Indeed, I blog mostly for myself. I can’t really talk about this game in any depth or detail to anyone in my family except BTH (who got me into it in the first place) because they either disapprove (my Dad, my in-laws) or aren’t really interested/don’t care (everyone else). I don’t write a lot about what I do in Azeroth in my pen-and-paper journal, either — I mention it, but only briefly. This blog is my primary record of my experience with the game.

So I write about anything about the game that is occupying my mind. I comment on events (both in-game and meta-game), I set goals for my characters and track my success (or lack thereof) in accomplishing them, I respond to blogging prompts such as this one, I write stories (which usually languish unfinished in my drafts folder for a very long time before I finally post them), I draw pictures (which I haven’t done much of lately). While Transmogrification is probably the “bread and butter” content of my blog — especially in the past year since I started doing the Sunday Mog Show series — I strongly suspect that my interest in blogging would burn out and die if I tried to make this exclusively a Mog blog. I’d still want to write about other aspects of the game, but it would feel like too much work to try to maintain two distinct blogs that were both about WoW — and the blogging about Mogging itself would become a tedious chore instead of a fun diversion. “Variety is the spice of life,” and all that.

I also feel like blogging — both writing about my own activities and reading about others’ activities — has helped me sustain my interest in the game. Someday, though, my interest in WoW and in blogging about WoW will dwindle, and I will wander away and find something else to occupy myself with. I like to think that when I feel that starting to happen, I will download and archive in some form or another my favorite content from this blog — by which I mean all of the posts linked on the “Stories” page and all of the “Things my [Class] Wears” posts — so that later, I can look back fondly on the time that I spent with this game and the things that it inspired me to create.

~*~*~

This post brought to you by Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge #23:

Why do you blog about WoW?
Everyone who has created a blog has done so for a reason. For all of you WoW bloggers out there, what was that reason? Why did you choose to put fingers to keys to write about a computer game? What type of posts do you like to write? Does your blog have a theme to it, or do you just wing it and write whatever you want? We’d love to know!

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While I was trawling through my Photobucket library looking for pictures that I didn’t have on the hard drive of my current computer and that I really wanted to keep, I found these screenshot + lyrics images that I’d created for a couple of different blogging prompts in years gone by. I wanted an excuse to repost them all together in one post, so I suggested this topic for Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge:

What things in WoW always make you think of a particular piece of music? Show us a screenshot/s and share with us the music that it brings to mind.

I’ve had a special fondness for the following passage from Paradise Lost (Book II, lines 907-910) ever since my Physical Chemistry professor put it on an exam and asked us to write about how it describes the Second Law of Thermodynamics:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember P-Chem well enough to reproduce the explanation here (though I do still have the exam — it’s in my Honors portfolio).
It helped, too, that I’d already read Paradise Lost for the Honors literature class I took during my freshman year of college.

A love song to Miss Danna from her beau:

Wonderful World, Sam Cooke; my favorite recording is the one by Herman’s Hermits

The Horde in microcosm:

The Real Ambassador, Dave Brubeck & Louis Armstrong

One of the first really gorgeous WoW rainbow locations. Another is at the final falls of the Vir’naal river in Uldum.

The Rainbow Connection, Paul Williams & Kenneth Ascher, originally sung by Kermit in The Muppet Movie

I love these lines of relationship advice from the song “My White Knight” in my all-time favorite musical, The Music Man:
And I want him to be
More interested in me
Than he is in himself.
And more interested in us
Than in me!

Sadly, I had a much easier time thinking of counterexamples in Azeroth than I did examples of the intended sentiment, so I wasn’t able to come up with a good idea for a screenshot.
So here’s another of my favorite bits of the musical, instead:

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