Monthly Archives: July 2014
There are no spoilers here-in, even in Mattyland.
I’m certain everyone who has altitis does this in different ways. We know that the Godmother makes lists, while others try to keep a few key toons well geared, and play others when the mood strikes.
Personally, I find that toons languish unless they have specific goals. Goals also keep me engaged with the game. After I complete a big ones (like creating my set of 5 jeweled panthers), especially if they take the resources of several toons to accomplish, I often find my interest in the game languishes until I find a new goal to capture my attention.
Maintaining the stable is often the trickiest part, especially once they reach max level. Lately, I have been trying to organize resources in preparation for Warlords, and focusing on Breige and Gurdrid, my two raid-possible toons. For the first time in months, Breige Valor capped, but not until last night, so I didn’t bother to get on Gurdrid and struggle with getting valor for her, even though I know I really should have. Instead, I worked on getting my Skyshards.
I also keep a massive spreadsheet, with several tabs, titled “All Things WoW”. It has gear lists, mog lists, lists for leveling various professions (so I don’t have to refer to websites), charts of which parts of which tier sets which toons have. Lists of battle pets I don’t own and where to get them. Mount Lists. (Okay, one mount list, but you get the idea). There’s even a tab especially for the OLRG, even though it’s not filled in, for trying to organize where we go for achievements or pretty gear.
As the bucket lists start coming out, and rumors point to a late September release of Warlords, I’m beginning to feel the pressure. I’m considering my options for raiding in WoD. I can, of course, stick with Breige, but I feel like my current raiding environment would allow me to stretch my abilities a bit, and I’m seriously entertaining the idea of tanking in the next expansion. The drawback is perhaps a surprising one, though. We have two very good tanks, and they appear to love their role. Certainly I can backup tank, but then do I take Gurdrid Retribution – something I’m relatively comfortable with in the current atmosphere, or do I return to the paladin roots and go Holy. I was a pretty decent healer in Vanilla and BC, and if I remember that the toolkit is completely different, I can probably pick it back up with relative ease.
But then, there are other toons I could bring in. Sveala is already level 90, and I’ve puttered around with healing on her, so shaman healing has some interest. I’ve also been enjoying Sruith, when I take the opportunities to play her, and I’ve never even gotten a clothie to max level, much less healed as a priest. Those are probably the most realistic healing options should I choose to go that route.
The biggest reason why these decisions are so important is that if I want to switch to Sruith, in particular, she needs to get leveled, and I need to prioritize the move of the right characters, since I can only really comfortable apply one move per month.
But then there’s the “back burner” plan to get all of my toons to max level, level their professions, and build the self-sustaining machine of several garrisons. I’m certainly going to be plenty busy, and I think the order of things needs to be determined. I’m sure my list will seem tiringly detailed for some, but I like check marks, and so the list will happen. In spreadsheet form, because that’s the way I roll. You may see parts of my spreadsheet here from time to time. Or not. They are not generally all that pretty unless you’re inside my brain…
No, no, no, Harry Potter didn’t come join the Old Ladies. (Thank goodness, I don’t know what I would say to the boy who lived).
In an attempt to get Momokawa her staff, we went to Firelands again. Twice. Because Juju could also enjoy the staff. Fandral is still being selfish, and won’t let Matty play. We had our usual suspects, along with Merican and Helke’s brother. Fun was had, even if the second run was a little more sketchy, with none of us on our highly geared toons.
That being said, the first time around a bright orange ball was in the chest left behind at Ragnaros.
The Inn seems quite full today, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find a seat. Good ale might be a bit more difficult, as there is quite a large gathering of dwarves at the big table right in the middle of the room. One sees you come in, and smiles widely, gesturing for you to take up a spot at their table. “You like stories?” she asks, as the barmaid puts down two mugs, one in front of her, the other in front of you. You nod. Her smile gets wider, “Then drink with us, and hear our tales!”
Brave. Standing up for what you believe in. Standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Drawing attention to yourself so that others can cast their spells, aim and fire, stab from behind. Displaying a banner of courage for all to see – friend or foe. These are brave acts.
Bravery is not just displayed on the battlefield, though. Bravery can be saving another at great risk to yourself. It can be standing up to someone you disagree with. It can be venturing beyond the walls of Ironforge. It can be quiet. It can have nothing to do with combat. It can be personal.
I spend my time acting brave, but sometimes it really is an act. The act, however, makes the fact when it allows you to follow through. As I grow stronger, as my presence as a warrior grows, it becomes easier. Perhaps one day I will truly be brave.
I hear rumors of the orcs, who value bravery above almost all else, and I hear of their leader, cowering inside of his city, his own people turned against him. Power became more important than bravery. He clearly never understood quiet bravery.
Explorer. Brann Bronzebeard. One of the greatest explorers of our times. Ulduar. Uldum. Uldaman. Children of the Titans, of the earth. In Deepholm we met our cousins. A league of explorers travels all over Azeroth, across Draenor, into history.
Exploration is a part of who we are from the moment we open our eyes. While we might not experiment as much as our Gnomish neighbors, we do not hesitate to see what is beyond the horizon, to dig deep into volcanic mountains. To use that heat to warm our homes and hone our skill as smiths.
I spend my time wandering, seeing how dwarves outside of Ironforge live. Using my skill with magic to assist with problems large and small. Learning. Exploring.
As I watch and help Dwarves, Humans, Gnomes, and even the occasional Night Elf rebuild after the devastation of the Cataclysm, one thing is clear in the Eastern Kingdoms. All is not well in the Horde, and our leaders are trying to right a grievous wrong done by their leader.
Stubborn. If there’s one thing everyone believes about dwarves, it’s that we are stubborn to a fault. Stubbornness, however, is borne from our other, more tasteful traits – Loyalty, honor, tradition.
Being stubborn is about following through. Getting it done. Being there through thick and thin. Facing hardship head on. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but rarely will a dwarf not try. I know stubbornness is what brought about Moira’s rise to power, and also what keeps the Council both working and at odds with one another.
I spend the majority of my time out and about in the Dwarven realms, doing what I can to help others tough it out and make it through these trying times. When I am in Ironforge or Stormwind, I hear of the other kind of stubbornness. That born of arrogance and greed. The kind that makes you selfish.
As I watch the Horde turn on their leader, I can’t help but think back to the Cataclysm, and Moira’s return to Ironforge. Both struggles were born of stubbornness, yet the outcome is vastly different . Moira learned from her mistakes. Garrosh refuses to admit he makes any.
Tradition. Traditions teach us, they give us comfort. They bring us together. They give us commonality. Sometimes they give us purpose.
Tradition is not just handed down. We make our own traditions – toasting fallen comrades or greeting one another with words from a meaningful shared experience. These traditions are just as important as those our grandfathers taught their daughters who teach us.
I spend much of my time these days in Halfhill, where tradition is steeped in the pure waters from the Vale, and harvested from the earth. The rumors are that the waters are at risk. Endangered by a man who hides his ambition in the traditions of the Warrior Horde. By a man who has abused those traditions so completely that his own people turn away from him.
Other shamans pass through Halfhill, interested in this place for the exquisite cooking or magnificent plants that can be grown. Trolls, Tauren, even Orcs. They hide their traditions, fearing that outsiders will think they support the man who flaunts those traditions. They speak in hushed voices only with those they know. Passing messages, to be sure. Making new traditions.
Loyal. One thing you learn young in the Wildhammer clan, as a Doyle, is that we fly together. No Doyle, and no Doyle Gryphon are ever left behind. But things were changing in the Highlands. The Twilight Cult was getting more active. Out of Loyalty to my home, I was asked to leave it.
Loyalty is not just the oaths you make, but how you feel in your heart. Brawls broke out everywhere in Ironforge when I arrived, and all of them were about Loyalty. Loyalty to our leaders, both living and dead. Loyalty to our homes, to our traditions.
I spend my days in Ironforge, my truest loyalty stripped from me while I was away. But I am a Doyle, I will live as a Doyle and die as a Doyle. I hear tales from the heroes of Pandaria, of Garrosh and his misplaced loyalties.
In the high mountains of my homes, I imagine the gryphons flying free, untethered to dwarvish loyalty. And I hope they are happy.
This is the second in a 10-part series. Hero is the first part.
The Light teaches a great deal about honor. Dwarves as a whole consider themselves honorable. But honor is more than respect. It’s doing the right thing. It’s how you know you’re doing the right thing. In times like these, there is so much shadow it’s hard to see the Light, and we must look closely to find the honorable.
Honor is defined more by what you will not do, than what you will. At Stonard, not killing those who do not bear arms against us. At the Wrathgate, standing beside the Horde rather than fighting them. Letting Maev take the final blow against Illidan. And at Orgrimar, discerning between those who follow Garrosh, and those who would stop him – regardless of previous alliances.
I spend much of my time in quiet contemplation, speaking with Lorewalkers and Shado-Pan to understand what the Sha are and how best to heal the Vale. But my heart seethes at the wonton destruction caused by one man whose sense of honor has abandoned him.
This is a 10-part series. The Clan of Three Hammers: Hero, is the first installment.
Hero. I’ve been called that. I don’t think it’s true, until I reflect on what I’ve done. What I’m doing now, sitting in this shrine turned inn. It’s a strange time we live in, and stranger still the things I’ve seen.
A broken world where the plains remained largely untouched. Our own world torn asunder by the one who should be keeping it. A frozen continent overrun with undead, whose very thoughts are driven by a madman. A place where negative emotions are manifest.
Heroes are defined by their deeds. Heroes do what needs to be done, sacrificing themselves to the cause. Am I a hero because I stood in front of Illidan and walked away when he did not? Am I a hero because I’ve face Arthas? Am I a hero because I chased Deathwing to the Maelstrom, and there, ensured he did not return to the earth?
I spend a great deal of my time on the terrace, looking out across what was once one of the most beautiful places in Azeroth. The changes were caused by one man. Am I a hero because I believe he should be stopped?
Across the wasted pools of the Vale is the Temple of the Moon. There, those who would call me enemy make their temporary home. Those who were led by the man whose lust for power is so great he will stop at nothing. I imagine that across this field is another hunter. An orc, perhaps, or a troll. And she gazes across the devastation and her heart aches just as mine does.