The Sunday Night Ritual

So its already May and the year is passing by in a flash.  If you had asked me this time last year what I would be doing in WoW I would have answered without a moments hesitation that I would be raiding.  Perhaps not 4 nights a week but definitely 2-3… boy was I wrong!  So my subscription has been for the most part wasted in 2011 but I finally convinced Cass to start playing with me again and we have started a bit of a Sunday night ritual.  After my Sapling goes down to sleep, and we’ve eaten dinner, we hop on WoW and play together from 8pm – 10pm.

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What Happened to Westfall?

Deva steps in to handle the encroaching gnolls

Deva steps in to handle the encroaching gnolls

It’s worth spending time on interests that you can share with your loved ones. Something you can bond over. Lathere had been asking me (nagging me gently) for some time to play with her and I always seemed to have something else to do. We haven’t quite nutted out which night works best for us both. And we have no ambitions or significant goals to achieve.

But spending a few hours together sharing a fun experience can’t be bad. Otherwise we might just end up having nothing to talk about except Lathere’s little girl, Caitlin!

Of course, once I’d agreed to return to Azeroth together for a once-a-week play session our levels of interest and commitment in the game changed completely. By the end of an evening I’d out-leveled Lathere’s baby Paladin by 5 levels. And it was very hard to stop.

I logged in first. Read More »

Getting Out of the Habit was Easier than Getting Back In

How time as flown by since I last (a) logged into World of Warcraft and (b) logged onto Hots and Dots. Strangely enough the opposite to what I expected has occured: World of Warcraft feels much unchanged and the WoW blogging community seems like a strange new land.

I must confess that even though I haven’t been logging much, if any, game time, I almost always skim through my feed read and will read the WoW posts that catch my attention. So many of Lathere and my blogging contemporaries (er… cronies?) have gone silent. Instead it’s a new crop of writers who are catching my attention.

And the one thing that’s most definitely become clear in my mind is that bloggers are writing about the same topics and quandries and general grey areas that have existed in World of Warcraft play since day 1. It’s still relevant. And each new voice brings a new perspective and new circumstances to the same dilemmas.

I wish that I was writing this post in order to announce CASSANDRI RETURNS TO RAIDING. But it would be a lie. I’m not even really writing this to say that I’m coming back to be a casual player. I’m still sitting on the fence. Read More »


So this will be a pretty quick post – seeing my 9 week old cutie is still only cat napping and at the moment is sitting next to me in her baby bouncer wide awake refusing to get even remotely sleepy.

Now that Caitlin is getting a bit older I’m finding that I have a spare hour generally at some stage in the afternoon where I can log into WoW.  When I first realized this I was really quite excited I’ve missed having some “me” time and I’ve really missed my guild and friends online.  This excitement unfortunately didn’t last very long when I realised that:

  1. I have no idea how to play a resto druid anymore
  2. None of my online friends appear to play in the middle of the day
  3. My entire guild seems to have turned over since Cataclysm came out and I feel like a complete stranger

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My Adorable Real Life Sproutling

Introducing Caitlin Elisabeth

So the Hots & Dots blog has been very quiet of late!  For those of you who have been following us over the last few months, you would most likely know that I have been getting more and more heavily pregnant and my playtime slowed down this year considerably. On top of this, Cass posted about a week ago that our home town of Brisbane, Australia had been declared a Natural Disaster Zone leaving me without power and Cass’s place flooded out.  In amongst the Christmas and New Year festivities and flooding mayhem my beautiful baby girl decided to make an early entrance into the world!

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Keeping My Head Above Water

Not a WoW post today, sorry.


The Brisbane River. Photo taken by Dave Hunt, AAP.

Since Christmas I’ve been watching the news coverage as the northern half of Queensland floods. Keeva over at Tree Bark Jacket struggled to get by as major towns and highways were cut off by flooding near her home. I’ve logged into WoW a few times since Christmas checked up with my guildies living up north: they seem to have avoided the worst of it.

Never did I think my own city and my own home would flood. Welcome to Brisbane, Australia.

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Weak as a Kitten
and Questing in Mount Hyjal


One of my favourite Mount Hyjal quests. I don't think I'll ever get tired of Just How Stupid Are Ogres quests.

I am one of those people who reads quest text from beginning to end before I hit the Accept button. I don’t know when I became one of those people. I know I didn’t start out like that.

I’ve also noticed a disturbing new habit that I’ve developed since the release of Cataclysm: I talk back to NPCs. (The quest givers seem so surprised when you are able to complete a quest it’s insulting!)

I wanted to savor the new parts to the story as I leveled from 80 to 85. And I also really like to run dungeons – almost as a mental brake from reading questing – which probably explains how I can be level 83 and only now just completing the first questing zone: Mount Hyjal. Read More »

Cataclysm the Casual Way


Afraid to leave Nordrassil?

It appears everyone around me has been mad keen for the Cataclysm release. Guildies are trying to level to 85 as quickly as possible, workmates took time off for the launch, my other half was determined to get realm first herbalist (which he did by the way) and my brother is aiming to make as much cash as he possibly could off the auction house.

And then there is Cass and I. Cass didn’t even bother to get a copy of Cataclysm on launch day and I only got it because my other half picked it up and installed it for me on his lunch break. Read More »

Mastering the Shadow Priest
Before 85: DoTs and Haste

3 Dots Cassandri at Training Dummy

3 DoTs. Couldn't be easier, right?

Dusknoir, who has been playing his Shadow Priest to level 85, has given me lots of food for thought in his latest post. Frankly, since the game was patched with our Cataclysm talent trees and mastery I’ve been trying to play my Shadow Priest at level 80 the way that I’ve played her during Wrath of the Lich King.

Well it’s time to come to grips with the Cataclysm Shadow Priest play style. And we have nearly all the tools and time at our disposal to perfect our spell casting while we level up.

In Part 2 I’m going to help you (and me) come to grips with our Mastery: Shadow Orbs and Mind Blast. In this post I’m going to try and break you of six years of conditioning and teach you to recast your damage over time spells early. Read More »

The Lure of the Vanity Pet

Lil Ragnaros, Singing Sunflower, Moonkin Hatchling and Mr Grubb

Lil Ragnaros, Singing Sunflower, Moonkin Hatchling and Mr Grubb

I had pretty much decided to completely close the doors on WoW. I hadn’t logged in for over a month, strange pregnancy hormones have me thinking about babies and nurseries  pretty much every waking second of my day and I had no idea how far off the Cataclysm launch was let alone bothering to pre order a copy.

Yesterday this changed.

My new cubicle neighbor at work is a WoW player. I know this because I overheard him begging to have time off work for the Cataclysm launch (his boss has just started playing the game as well so he clearly felt quite comfortable telling her his reasons for wanting time off).  After chatting to him for a bit about his WoW history and healing priest, I was inspired to have a look at my reader and see if anything exciting had happened in Azeroth over the last 5 weeks.

And that’s when it happened. I discovered the Moonkin Hatchling had been released in the Blizzard store.  Read More »