I Did it All For… Alchemy?

Caesandra-TK-Celestial Steed

One run of Botanica (and a couple extra levels) and I could be a Master of Potions.

Leveling isn’t really my thing. Alts aren’t really my thing. So it’s no surprise that leveling a new alt takes me, well, a really really long time.

Lathere stopped playing when Pixii (Lathere’s Warlock) and my Mage were just coming into the Burning Crusade dungeons around level 60. Like Pugging Pally – Pixii and Caesandra don’t quest. We do instances and that’s it!

I was quite happy to leave Caesandra sitting around level 60. At level 55 I had set her hearth to Cenarion Hold in Silithus. That’s where I go to farm Essence of Air and traveling there is the most annoying part. Then it occurred to me that Caesandra had maxed out her Herbalism skill (300) and picking Mountain Silversage while I farmed Essence of Air wasn’t earning me points. I traveled to Outlands, flew to Honor Hold, and visited both the Herbalism and Alchemy trainers. A few vials later and I had reached 300 Alchemy too.

Great! Now I was well and truly ready for Outlands. To celebrate I did a lap – on my level 60 flying mount – around Hellfire Peninsula. And stopped to pick some Felweed. And some Dreaming GloryRead More »

Taking Control of Trade Chat

There's so much wrong with Trade Chat it's hard to know where to start.

Trade Chat has deteriorated over the last several months.

At peak hour it’s so full of six-liner PuG advertisements that it’s near impossible to read guild chat: the green text flies past so fast. And the more crowded the channel gets, the more players repeat their own macros over and over again just to try and get some exposure and screen time.

Of all the chat channels, [Trade] is the only one that is broadcast to all the major cities. If you’re standing in Dalaran, and decide to put together a 10 man group for Icecrown Citadel, what’s the best way to advertise and find additional group members?

The answer is not the Raid Finder. It’s Trade chat.

Read More »

Shadow Lessons from the Professor

ICC Professor Putricide Laboratory - Cassandri back in 2009

See those skeletons all over the ground? Yeah.

I just finished watching the latest episode of Big Crits. They’re so happy that they’re now 8/12 Heroic ICC.

Ha. Ha ha ha ha.

Well the first eight or nine Heroic modes in (25 man) Icecrown Citadel go down pretty easy. I’m sure the Big Crits guild will get Lady Deathwhisper next without too much trouble. But then they’re probably going to hit their heads against the wall also known as: Heroic Professor Putricide.

Having suffered about 2-3 months of wiping on Heroic Putricide we earned our first Heroic kill just this week. Compare that to the time it took us to get the nine heroic modes before that: less than 1 month. The ICC buff was at 15% when we killed Lady Deathwhisper and it was 25% on our first Heroic Professor Putricide kill.

I’m not sure that I’m qualified to offer tips and tricks for other Shadow Priests out there attempting this fight. But surely I’ve devoted such a large amount of game time to dying on this fight and I can share some hard-earned wisdom.  Read More »

A Belated 1 Year Blogiversay Post

5 Hours Learning Curve.... 4 Hours Play Time!

Hots & Dots had its 1 Year Blogiversay on the 5th June 2010 so this post is a tad overdue, but I only managed to snaffle the above photo from Kiki’s Facebook yesterday. Cass and I celebrated this auspicious date in what I thought was a very appropriate manner; the 2 of us plus 4 other guildies met up in our hometown Brisbane and played the official World of Warcraft board game! Read More »

Choreography and Hard Modes

WoW disco dancing

I feel like dancing! Yeah!

On Tuesday (maintenance!) and Friday nights I attend a dance aerobics class called BodyJam. If you’ve never heard about it before, it’s the brainchild of this guy from New Zealand. Every few months they release a new dance routine. Instructors around the world learn it, and turn around and teach it in their classes. We all learn and dance the same routine to the same music.

So Tuesday nights and Friday nights I tend not to think much about gaming. Well, that was until the latest routine was released and I found myself surrounded by 40 odd people awkwardly performing the male Human World of Warcraft dance.

[youtube qJt-vzUS4XM /dance BodyJam style]

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Raid Leading and Cues

Inside Icecrown Citadel with Varian and Tirion

7pm. Everyone's here. So what are we waiting for?

I don’t actually know what Raid Leading is. If I had to I think I would define it as:

Raid Leading: The silence that preceeds a ready check. When nothing is said on vent or in guild or raid chat.

Well, nothing is said that is related to the actual raid or game. I usually like to fill this silence with daydreams and commentary on my dinner, or even more likely, my plans for desert. But I’m pretty sure that in that silence your Raid Leader is frantically organizing players to change into their off spec, assigning tanks and checking that the healing team are prepared.

Others have defined Raid Leading as: more than just doing a quick boss strategy explanation. This definition seems to me to be extremely misleading. Yes, explaining the strategy is an important part of leading a PuG raid, or a very casual guild that has as many new raiders as regulars, but in a guild raid there really isn’t any need to go over the strategy or fight tactics at all. Read More »

Dressing Down

Wearing Priest Tier 8 outside Icecrown Citadel

What's the opposite of being in the right time at the right place? This.

There’s a chance, a small chance, that I might be able to sneak my way into a 10 man Ulduar group bent on earning both their Rusted Protodrakes and the title, Herald of the Titans. I’m so excited!

Herald of the Titans is awarded when a group successfully kills Algalon, but only if they’re wearing 10 man gear. Fortunately Blizzard isn’t too picky about what constitutes 10 man gear and just put a restriction on the item level. Getting to Algalon in the first place requires you to complete all the hard modes: Flame Leviathan+4, Heartbreaker, Steelbreaker, Thorim+Sif, Hodir speed kill, Firefighter, Freya+3, General V without vapor and Yogg-1. All those 10 man hard modes award item level 226 gear. The same item level on normal mode 25 man Tier 8 gear.

I was asked: “What Ulduar gear do you still have?” Read More »

State of Mind

Warsong Gulch Battleground Portal

Cassandri roars with bestial vigor!

I’ve been slaughtered by Horde in the most deserted parts of Azeroth. I got killed many times while working on Loremaster. I think I rage quit when I ran around one of those giant red hills in the Badlands looking for a certain type of creature only to find… a level 80 Undead Warlock. The Badlands must be the most deserted territory in the game. Deserted, except for me, and some Warlock determined to kill me.

Unfortunately I don’t see one-on-one PVP as some kind of honorable challenge. I see it as a waste of time. Upon being attacked – I’m almost never the aggressor – I can’t help but think “why did you hurt me?!”. My neighbors are strangers to me, but if one of them walked up to me and slapped me on the sidewalk outside my gate I think I’d feel about the same.

My state of mind while I’m playing World of Warcraft is just not suited to PVP. Call me a care-bear, a pacifist or a big fluffy marshmallow.

The strange thing is, if I’m particularly pissed off (I’m thinking back to an incident when I had been desperate to tag mobs for a Sons of Hodir quest early in the expansion) and a member of the Horde gives me a second look (or, in this case, drops a couple totems nearby) … I tend to play aggressively.

And I also tend to win. Read More »

Going Casual & Other Stuff

Orphans outside Stormwind Cathedral

And you thought Children's Week had an end date.

Well it’s been awhile, over a month in fact since I last posted. It’s strange the longer it goes without writing, the harder it has been to start again. I haven’t quit playing or anything though RL has been incredibly demanding taking up all my time of late and I’m sorry in advance that this post is going to cover some of that stuff too.

So firstly, I started a new job which was incredibly exciting because my old job was stressful, miserable and no matter what you did you never felt that it was enough.  I’m still at the same company but in a position now that lets me be a little bit more creative and actually fix issues.  My first task was to set up an internal WordPress blog so, yes definitely much more fun!

A week after I started in my brand new position I found out I was pregnant, which while exciting happened much faster than expected and made me feel a tad guilty considering I had only just stepped into a new role. At least it explained why I was nearly falling asleep at my desk every afternoon. Read More »

I Think I Love the Dungeon Finder

Coldarra and the Dungeon Queue

I had to dig this picture out of my archives - damn extended maintenance!

Like many raiders I stopped throwing myself into the Dungeon Finder to complete my Random Northrend Heroic several months ago. If it wasn’t the day that I realised that I didn’t need Emblems of Frost anymore it was the day after. Probably that same day.

I have a new reason to re-queue the daily heroic using the Dungeon Finder now (but that’s the topic for another post). And two of my friends have just returned to the game and are now playing brand new level 80 characters: a Mage and a Hunter. Queuing up together seems like a good idea.

But this doesn’t even feel like the same Dungeon Finder that I remember. Is it settling down? Is this what it’s going to be like forever after?

Read More »