Guten Brewfest!

Might as well rename this blog to “…and my mog!” because that’s apparently the main focus, but anyway! It’s Brewfest and it’s time for booze, throw empty mugs on Dark Iron guzzlers, and of course to dress up in Brewfest regalia!

This time, when I was drunk… refers to the daily Dark Iron Dwarf spanking quest, of course. Tapper Swindlekeg, in his bright purple-pink shirt: “What the scrap, this shirt ain’t Brewfest Brown…!”

I’m pretty sure I totally missed Brewfest last year, but this year I’m at least aiming for the Brewfest Keg Pony (not to mix up with the Brewfest Pony Keg). It’s 200 tokens, and even if it definitely is possible for me to farm enough tokens for the other toys and items I’m missing too, it’s… kind of boring.

The daily Coren Direbrew dungeon isn’t much of a bother, but that ram riding…? Eugh. Especially now that the reins don’t go into your inventory anymore, so instead of keybinding them you have to click on that icon in the middle, making movement so much clumsier.

This ram needs no whipping, it keeps up with me just fine.

Oh well. I like Brewfest anyway. Drinks and cheese and sausages and pretzels. It looks and sounds like it taste awesome. In reality, there’s few cheeses and sausages and pretzels and alcoholic drinks that I like, let alone in combination. Then again, there are a few… Hm. Hmm. HMMM.

The Brewfest transmog

I like the Brewfest Dress better than the Brewfest Regalia (and I don’t have the latter) so that’s a given. I could have gone without shoulder and helmet, but hey, I’m tanking in this outfit and a dress only protects so much, right. Also, these shoulderguards have a ram head on them.

A spiked tankard as a weapon, because of course, and a nicely decorated tray to carry said tankard on out of battle, and that will serve as a decent shield in battle. A faceguard, because I like to let my hair flow freely, and halfmasks look cool (and I can’t let the Direbrews make brawn out of it, can I).

Head: Faceguard of the Endless Watch
Shoulders: Shoulders of the Solemn Watch
Back: Hidden
Chest: Brewfest Dress
Shirt: The Boomshirt
Tabard: None/Hidden
Wrists: 
Hands: Heroes’ Redemption Handguards
Waist: Girdle of Gar’gol
Legs: 
Feet: Brewfest Slippers
Main hand: Tremendous Tankard O’Terror
Off hand: Ritualistic Shield

 

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These boobs are made for showing

I waited so long for this chestplate, and then Shadowhunter Ty’jin says it won’t do when dealing with pirates? You’re absolutely right, Ty’jin, you ain’t big on fashion at all.

Ty’jin, quest text: “I ain’t big on fashion, mon, but what ya be wearin’ won’t work. Put on a pirate disguise.” Paladin: “One does not simply put a pirate disguise on this rack.” Ty’jin: “Just put dem on, mon.” Paladin: “One shiver o’ ye timbers and I’ll gut you, Ty’jin.”

Zandadin* transmog

Head: Hidden
Shoulders: Ferocious Gladiator’s Scaled Shoulders
Back: Hidden
Chest: Nazmani Warplate Chestplate
Shirt: None/Hidden
Tabard: None/Hidden
Wrists: Sand-Smoothed Wristguards
Hands: Ferocious Gladiator’s Scaled Gauntlets
Waist: Ferocious Gladiator’s Scaled Girdle
Legs: Sand Trapper’s Legguards
Feet: Ferocious Gladiator’s Scaled Sabatons
Main hand: Merciless Gladiator’s Hacker
Off hand: Zulian Swirling Shield

*Zandalarian paladin, of course.

Happy Launch Day!

Battle for Azeroth is here! I got my Collector’s Edition yesterday, registered the key, then boosted my poor night elf druid to level 110 to rush through the War of Thorns-quest and the final battle at Undercity before the whole thing vanished at midnight. Why? Well, because I wanted to do it as a night elf druid, the race/class I once began my adventures in Azeroth as, and I had to let him fight for his home, right?

Now, I’m going to see why the fel my Nightborne and Highmountain allied races still aren’t unlocked despite me having completed the achievements, and then head off into the new zones.

I got to admit, shouting “For the Horde!” has never been as hard as it is right now. I really like Sylvanas as a character, I love the voice, I think she has a pretty interesting story, but whoah, is she on the wrong path or what.

So, for the War of Thorns quests, I used the Stone Guard’s Tabard since it’ts the one I got that resembles most of Saurfang’s own.

Now, after the horrible battle for Undercity, I mog one shoulder off to show my support for High Overlord Varok Saurfang. Some say take off the shoulders completely – I’m not, I want my stats. And, since Saurfang wears one single shoulderplate at the end of the Undercity battle, I go with that too – both shoulders off would look too weird for me, vain as I am.

No Honor No Pauldrons!
Shoulders For Saurfang!
FOR THE HOOORDE!!

Battle for Azeroth-mog

Of course I spent a good while creating a transmog for my protection paladin for the Battle for Azeroth-launch. I tried to make it resemble Saurfang’s armor, which isn’t that easy for a paladin; all the spiky and red stuff is mainly warrior-only, it seems. Or from the Legion raids that I haven’t done.

Anyway, this works.

Head: Hidden
Shoulders: Rakeesh’s Pauldron
Back: Hidden

Chest: Chestplate of the Steadfast
Shirt: None (but I’m wearing Precious’ Ribbon at the moment)
Tabard: Stone Guard’s Herald
Wrist: Eternium Rage-Shackles
Hands: Furious Deathgrips
Waist: Belt of Bloodied Scars
Legs: Jang-xi’s Devastating Legplates
Feet: Jasper Clawfeet
Main Hand: Warbringer
Off Hand: Cannonball-Dented Shield

Unicooorn!!

When it comes to achievement hunting, I’m not very hardcore. I see little point in wasting time on searching for the right location, or try figure out what a riddle mean, when so many people already have done that – and share their knowledge with others. So, as shamelessly as ever, I surfed on the humongous amounts of hours these pioneers spent on research and Wowhead-guides, and finally obtained the Lucid Nightmare with soul and sanity more or less intact. Dear researchers, I bow to you, with deepest respect and gratitude.

SPOILER ALERT: I’m mentioning places where parts of the riddles leads to, in case you are one of those hardcore achievement hunters who wants to figure out everything by yourself.

Unicooorn!!

That said, there are of course parts that you can’t just check up a guide on and then swoop through it like shoulderplates on male blood elves in fighting stance, right. Like the maze in the riddle solving chain that leads to the Lucid Nightmare mount.

Well, there are addons for it, that helps you keep track or something. I didn’t use those. Sometimes, even I want to actually achieve something on my own, other than showing great patience and ability to follow instructions.

When I was a kid, me and a couple of friends used to roleplay, some kind of freeform adventuring with our own basic roll system that was based solely on the one they use in the book A Map of Nowhere. The usual setting was a cave system with various treasures and puzzles like “put the red crystal in the red skull and the green crystal in the green skull, then the door opens” (does that sound familiar, Blizzard? Well DOES IT?!) and the occasional fight with various creatures. The game master (we all took turns) usually gave instructions like “the tunnel leads 2 cm up-right, then turns to the right for 3 cm, then it turns up left for 3 cm”. We got them right surprisingly often.

These a-maze-ing* map drawing skills were really put on test now that I went for the Endless Halls-part on my quest for the Lucid Nightmare. I got to say, I didn’t do too shabby. You see, the thing with that particular maze is that laws of geography don’t quite apply.

Some rooms overlap, even if they’re not part of the same “floor”, which means that you can leave a room by the eastern door, take two turns to the left in the following rooms, and still not end up in the room north of the starting room. You also end up at the opposite side of the map if you walk off the “edge” – you know, like in old videogames like Ice Climber and Mario Bros – which also complicates things a little. Just a LITTLE.

There’s also a room that teleports you to a random place, but I never noticed stepping into it. Now, I did lose track of where I was completely on occasion, either because I kept swapping directions in my head when marking doors on my own maps**, or because of previously mentioned overlapping rooms. But I never saw any swirly teleport animations. Granted, the evil teleportation room perhaps was cunning enough to get rid of those.

Eventually, I had completed all the tasks in the maze and got out. I admit, it was the most entertaining part in the whole chain of puzzle. I was reluctant to head into it from start because I had heard how people struggled with it, stuck for hours, screwed over by the teleporting tricks and so on. But I had a lot of fun! The brain-challenge kind of fun, really tricky and a tad bit frustrating, but only enough to make the satisfaction enjoyable once I made it.

I have a feeling we’re not in Kun-Lai anymore.

I think I’ll have to do this on my other toons too. Just for the fun of it. My brain apparently needs this.

After that, there was the actual pick-up step, which takes place in the crypts at Karazhan. I hate those crypts. In a fascinated, terrified and adored way. Like I love certain Lovecraft-stories or scary movies, despite the horror is almost too much for me to handle.

I had to swim through the room of The Upside-Down Sinners twice.

Twice.

*shudder*

Anyway, after wandering aimlessly around in the crypts (which is a worse maze than the Endless Halls if you ask me – I should have drawn a map while I was there…), I found the chest and collected my sweet, precious, beautiful Lucid Nightmare.

Given the location, this might be a build-it-yourself-kit unicorn…

Of course I had to slap together a fitting transmog for the occasion – purply and voidy.

Head: Casque of Foul Concentration
Shoulders: Shoulderguards of Centripetal Destruction
Back: Hidden cloak
Chest: Carver’s Bloodsplattered Chestpiece
Wrists: 
Hands: Throatrender Handguards
Waist: Scarlet Champion’s Belt
Legs: Weaponmaster’s Legplates
Feet: Ruthless Gladiator’s Warboots of Cruelty
Main hand: Gatecrasher
Off hand: Heart of the Clefthoof

Unicooorn!!

*I am NOT responsible for this pun, it’s a (great) board game from my childhood called The aMAZEing Labyrinth.

**Pro tip: When drawing the room you’re currently in, have your toon face north on the ingame minimap – saved me tons of effort once it occured to me I was, as per usual, making things the hard way without thinking.

Saltier than ever

I want the Salty title. You get it from completing a bunch of fishing achievements. One of them is to win the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza competition, which means you have to be among the 50 first in the world (!) to fish up a certain amount of a certain fish when the world quest pops up.

Which means, I have to compete. With other players. Other. Players. *shudder*

Now, luck is part of many achievements. It’s okay. I don’t really think having luck should be considered an achievement though. I think skills and patience should be rewarded, since that’s two things you can actually do something about. But, I can accept the luck factor when it comes to, say, item drops, because then there’s at least this thing called Probability involved. The longer you keep trying to get something with a certain drop chance, the more likely it is that you’ll get it, right.

However, when other players are part of the equation, Probability is no longer a valid factor (if you’re a math expert and have things to say about this, please do so after I got the Salty title). Skills are playing a big part of course, but those skills are suddenly tested against other players – some kind of fishing PvP, if you want – instead of the game mechanics. That means that there’s still a whole pile of luck involved, since players are real people with all the arbitrariness coming with that. And that’s the kind of luck that you can’t beat with patience.

This makes me extremely annoyed. Today, I tested my luck on the competition, honestly thinking I had a decent fishing pace, and the whole thing was over when I was at 23 or so quest fish only. I know, I know, practise practise practise, get that movement speed up, find better spots, git gud etc. Still. I can’t beat this luck with patience. And I can’t trust my skills to beat the luck.

This makes me salty.

So salty, in fact, they should just give me that title right away.

At least I fished up Mr. Pinchy today, which also was a luck-based achievement but with Probability intact. Hi Magical Crawdad.

Come, Josephine, in my flying zeppelin

The goal: One thousand Darkmoon Tickets.
The cost: A few years of my life because of frustration.
The reward: The Darkmoon Dirigible.

I did the dailies, I did the Grisly Trophy collecting, I did the horribly, terribly, superFRUSTRATING petbattles. And now I got it. Another mechanical mount that I’ll probably never use except on very special occasions but that I simply had to get because, you know, it’s a mechanical mount. And we are living in a mechanical world, and I am a mechanical boy.

Anyway.

The outfit:

Head: Fel-Proof Goggles
Shoulders: Pristine Lightforge Spaulders
Back: Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire
Chest: Lord Vyletongue’s Satyrblade
Wrists: Bracelets of Wrath
Hands: Emerald Gauntlets
Waist: Replica Lightforge Belt
Legs: Revenant Leggings
Feet: Gnomish Water Sinking Device
Main hand: Darkmoon Hammer

PS. The Dirigible goes very well together with the Darkmoon Zeppelin pet. That’s not the one Silas Darkmoon is flying on the picture though.

The illusion of “two empty hands”

“Anyone can build a fortune – I started with two empty hands, and look at me now” is something successful people say and that I, who isn’t exactly what you’d call an economical success, find deeply provoking. Jealousy? Why yes sure. I mean of course. But really, it’s mostly because of the utter lack of self awareness, the ridiculous ignorance on how life works.

Because, you see, noone truly starts with two empty hands. Not even those who started playing World of Warcraft at launch.

Or should I say, noone starts with two empty hands and survives. Because, you know, infants don’t last long after birth without other human beings helping them, right. And even in WoW Vanilla, you’d start with a shirt, pants, boots, weapon, a backpack and a few silver coins. Heck, you’d even find some food and drinks in that backpack.

But okay, everyone starts with the same amount of close-to-nothing in their almost-empty hands. Why does the expression still provoke me? Well, because if you let successful people tell their tale, you’ll sooner or later hear about that time their father-in-law lended them those fourty grand they needed to buy that garage, or how their friend put in some good words to their friend who happened to own a music studio, and so on.

Key word here: Someone put useful things in those empty hands. For free.

Now, of course you can rarely reach the green fields of economical independence without hard work (unless you are, say, a European royalty, or the child of some megarich celebrity/company owner/something like that). To quote a Swedish alpine skiing world champion of the 80’s, Ingemar Stenmark, when asked about how lucky he was: “I know nothing about luck. Only that the more I practise, the more luck I get.”

Here’s the thing about luck: to recieve it, you have to expose yourself to it. In other words, luck won’t get you Invincible as long as you stay in The Barrens.

And during Wrath of the Lich King, you’d need 24 friends and hours of hard work to even get to the luck exposing itself. And I bet you my three remaining wisdom teeth that you didn’t manage to farm those 24 friends all by yourself, starting with two empty hands.

I have plenty of time to play World of Warcraft. Logically, I would be economically independent ingame by now. I’m not. See, there’s a reason I have plenty of time, and that is because I’ve been unable to work for an income for a while. And if you want to make gold in World of Warcraft, you need to be able to put some real work into it.

I still earned quite some coin though. I’ve had at least one max level toon since Wrath of the Lich King, to do daily quests/world quests and garrison/class hall missions on, gather resources and craft items to sell. For all the gold and other currency that I got, I could buy heirlooms. Which means that any time I roll a new character, I may start off with that one set of shirt, pants, boots, backpack, silvers, food and drinks, like anyone else starting with a new character, but sooner than you can spell out “Val’sharah”, I’ll have better gear, more gold, and higher level than anyone who started to play this game for the first time.

With a max level toon, you can help your alts. Starting over with a new class means tiresome levelling, but it’s usually faster and easier than with your first toon. That levelcapped toon you put so many hours into before, they now practically generate their own gold, right. And the new toons can get other professions, their own garrisons, and generate even more gold.

Consequently, you’ll make more and more gold, for less and less work.

When lolling around on my max level toons, or perhaps a tinkered levelling toon, I have the opportunity to help other people. Low-levels who struggle with their quest-target, players who don’t know where to go next, paladins who don’t quite understand the difference between holy spec and retribution, and so on. They may have began with two empty hands, but then I, or some other equally generous person, swoosh by and drop some gifts in those hands before vanishing into the sunset. I can’t offer that much help in neither WoW nor real life, but I can still offer some. It might make a difference for the one recieving it.

Because, not everyone can “succeed”. We all have different abilities, different capacity. Some people can’t reach maxlevel even on one single toon. At least not without help. Or luck. And, as with luck, you usually have to reach out for it. That in itself requires effort – efforts that some people may not have the energy or the means to make. Which means they rely on other people’s good will to offer their help.

Many people get this. And still, so many of the successful people sit there in their 950+ gear that they got from buying boosts for the gold they bought with real money that they got from the funds their grandparents gave them on their first birthday, and say: “Anyone can build a fortune – I started with two empty hands, and look at me now”.