Another year in Azeroth

In 2018 we ended Legion and entered Battle for Azeroth. I’d rather fight demons than Alliance, to be honest; my hero complex isn’t thriving in these “morally grey” (read: morally despicable) areas the Horde currently is lurking in at the moment.

There is hope though. Right, Zappy…?

Anyway. Here’s a selection of the highlights 2018 in pictures:

January 14th

Hero of Shattrath

It takes a lot of Dreadfang Venom Sacks to get past the initial reputation levels for Aldor after being exalted with the Scryers. A lot, I tell you. Like, over a thousand. Even with reputation buffs.

January 22nd

Killed the whale shark.

Got the achievement “From Hell’s Heart I Stab at Thee” which has the following explanation:

Defeat the Whale Shark in Vashj’ir (despite or perhaps because of the fact that he drops no loot).

Of course I defeated him because of the fact that he drops no loot. And to get the achievement.

February 7th

Snogged.

Love is in the Air-festival makes even the coldest (and deadest) of hearts go wild and romantic, as you can see.

February 23rd

Thunderfury obtained

I got the last quest item to create Thunderfury, a legendary from a questchain that starts with half a handle that drops in the Molten Core-instance. It’s a very rare drop. You also need a whole bunch of rare materials.

You also need to fight a boss. I was not prepared for that. Not that it was a hard fight, but the gigantonormous npc that appeared scared me, ahem.

Mars 23rd

Note to self.

To avoid absurd amounts of reloggings when trying to remember which of my alts need what items and how many, I picked up the habit to write myself letters on the subject.

So, from one levelling toon:

I need bags
gimme

…to my tailor toon:

bloody nagging
here you are

April 25th

Leyfeather Hippogryph

“I’ve never seen you that angry before”, one of my guildmates wrote when I apologized for my temper tantrums in /party the night before. Granted, I usually keep it civil in game chats, but when we were doing the Glory of the Legion Hero achievement, and were struggling with Who’s Afraid of the Dark?, then I’m embarrassed to admit that I, uhm, kind of lost it.

Funny, how much easier it is to not fall into that trap when I’m on voice chat. I guess that hearing your friends’ voices makes them one bit more human.

I mean. I know they’re humans. Just… brains are weird when it comes to internet communication, right.

Either way, we got the achievement and our precious purple horsebirds!

April 30th

Three orphans.

During Children’s Week, I had the orphan Salandria with me on various adventures. Since my main is a paladin, and the class hall in Legion is located in Eastern Plaguelands even “physically” in the lack of better word, it means that when I have chosen Pamela Redpath as my zone buff from Fiona’s Caravan, she’s there as well.

While the story of Pamela Redpath, presented in a quest chain, is one of the saddest and heart-breaking stories in this game, the story of Uuna (companion pet) is also grim, gut wrenching and outright horrible. But also very sweet.

Now, you can’t have both orphan and companion up at the same time, but I was quick as a viper on the screenshot key and got them all in one shot before one of them despawned.

May 1st

Violet Proto-Drake

Together with Salandria, I got the last achievements for What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. Purple drake, wohoo!

May 10th

Drowning my sorrows.

Given how much alcohol my toons gulp down in roleplay, it’s weird that I haven’t got this achievement earlier. Not that we use ingame drinks for RP usually. But still.

My next mission is to try all the drinks on all the dive bars in Zandalar and Kul Tiras.

Some day.

May 11th

Field Medic

The First Aid profession was removed before Battle of Azeroth was released, thus this summer meant last chance to get the achievement Field Medic. It requires quest items dropped from various mobs, and I kid you not when I say I had the same quest item drop 8 times in 2 hours while the one that I needed only dropped 7 times. For other players. And it’s soulbound.

May 14th

Venomhide Ravasaur/Winterspring Frostsaber

I had, like, 3 or so teeth on my night elf druid for the Alliance equivalence of this quests that means collecting baby teeth for a month to get a mount. So I kinda ditched that and did it on my Horde miner instead, while also mining Thorium for Arcane Crystals (that you need for Arcanite).

Finally got the ravasaur. And as a bonus, the Alliance only frostsaber. Neat.

May 31st

Gurubashi Arena Grand Master

That’s 12 slots free in my bank. Well. 11, since I got a trinket that is of course too low level to be of any use but that I’ll still save because, you know, it’s the Arena Grand Master trinket.

June 11th

Truthguard flail.

Of all the Mage Tower challenges, there are several painted as the hardest, less as the easiest. Either way, with some help from online guides, some amount of luck, and a whole zep load with attempts that slowly increased my skills, I finally completed the protection paladin one so I could unlock the beauuutiful flail artifact skin.

Now to get all those rated battlegrounds to unlock the red look. lol. as if.

Marcus the paladin

Just outside Thunder Totem, there’s a hut. In that hut, you can catch the paladin Marcus, who’s featuring in a good amount of the Steamy Romance Novels, after an intimate act with two Tauren. He leaves when you arrive, but you can loot the little chest. The novel telling of this particular adventure is called “Got Milk?” and is a not that uncommon drop on the Broken Isles.

June 25th

Long Lost Hippogryph

Even if there’s a neat addon to show the locations of the crystals you need to find to get this mount, you still need to be the first player to collect them all once they spawned. This day, it was my turn.

It’s a very pink hippogryph.

Love you, Borean Frog!

While on one of my occasional pet catching sprees, I remembered to /love the Borean Frog so I could get To All The Squirrels I’ve Loved Before achievement.

July 13th

Hydraxian Waterlords

The Hydraxian Waterlords is a faction that you get nothing whatsoever from any longer, except for this achievement. Oh, and it counts for the exalted-counting achievements.

August 15th

Dolly and Dot

Dolly and Dots are my best friends… There’s absolutely nothing in this performance that I do not love.

September 13th

Insane in the Membrane

Pity I didn’t know about this achievement from start, or I would have got the Bloodsail Buccaneer reputation up before starting on the Steamwheedle Cartel ones. Because doing it the other way around takes a looong time. Especially if you want to regain all the lost rep with Steamwheedle again…

On the upside, all this rep farm by killing got me a bunch of previously unobtained transmogs, including Teebu’s Blazing Longsword that is a seriously rare weapon. It also made me level a rogue to 70+. Who’d have thunk.

October 20th

Stormbreaker

Every now and then I go to Pandaria and farm materials and/or transmogs, and this fall I also completed the last achis for the Stormbreaker title. Took its sweet time, but it’s a cool title.

December 13th

Fathom Dweller

And the winner in the cathegory “Silliest Mount” is – Fathom Dweller! To get it, you need to unlock a world quest boss, and you do that by finding a bunch of orbs all around the Broken Isles. Then you have to wait, patiently, week after week, until the world quest icon on the map says that the boss will drop the mount. I had the pet drop up for ages before this eventually popped up.

I admit it’s a fancy looking squid though.

December 21st

Hivemind

A couple of days after the hivemind of the WoW nerds had solved the Hivemind mount puzzle, some friends and I headed out to get it. We used some addons, but it still requires teamwork and patience and timing, and I’m so happy we made it!

December 28th

Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent

On one of these Pandaria farming sprees, I looted the last two Skyshards, that you need to break the shield of the cloud serpent Alani that circles Valley of the Eternal Blossom. I brought four guildmates, because apparently a group of 5 people can all get the mount as long as everyone gets a hit in on it or something.

We tried it but only one mount dropped. So disappointing. Well, less disappointing for me; I got the mount.

Now I looted two more shards the other day, so perhaps I can share for real some time in the future.

I say that a lot, don’t I. “Some time.” “At some point.”

For the Future Horde!

Anyway. In the near future, a new year will start. I hope it will bring even more WoW joy than this one, and that me, Zappy and Saurfang can set the Horde back on the right path again.

Happy new year!

Sin’dorei heritage armor? Hmmm. It lacks something. Sec, just let me… there. Lor’themar my man, fixed it for you.
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Chef’s Choice for Winter Veil

It’s Winter Veil, and that means food. Lots of food. I’ve enjoyed myself trying to find the Azerothian equivalents for some traditional Swedish Christmas/Yule* food, and here’s the result.

Apple’s in the mouth of the boar, ready for Winter Veil galore!

Granted, I haven’t found a counterpart for every Swedish yule dish. Still found quite a few Azeroth recipes that might work decently for some of it!

I’ve made notes on what expansion each recipe belongs in:
Classic/Vanilla = C
The Burning Crusade = TBC
Wrath of the Lich King = WotLK
Cataclysm = Cata
Mists of Pandaria = MoP
Warlords of Draenor = WoD
Legion = L
Battle for Azeroth = BfA

A Swede’s julbord in Azeroth

Julskinka/christmas ham – baked in the oven, coated in a mix of egg, mustard and breadcrumbs, decorated with cloves, this is the most common dish on the “julbord” (“christmas table”).

Blackrock Ham (WoD) – made of Raw Boar Meat from boars in Frostfire Ridge, Spires of Arak and Tanaan Jungles. I imagine this being baked in the Blast Furnace in Blackrock Foundry. Just add seasoning.

Sill/pickled herring – raw pieces of herring, pickled with various seasonings like onions, mustard, allspice and an infinite amount of other more or less weird ingredients. Kids tend to hate it, adults tend to love it, I cannot eat it (yes I tried ew, raw fish).

Pickled Fangtooth (WotLK) – made of Fangtooth Herring from the chilly waters of Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills. Now, the only vinegar in this game is the Aged Balsamic Vinegar, and the vinegar used in Swedish “sill” is the clear, distilled kind. But hey, it’s Winter Veil, let’s go wild.

Ål/eel – In some parts of Sweden, people eat smoked eel at Christmas. It’s nearly extinct here though, and thus redlisted by WWF,  but apparently people fish, sell, and/or eat it anyway. As if there’s not enough food on the julbord anyway, right.

Pickled Eel (WoD) – made of Abyssal Gulper Eel Flesh, found in abyssal gulper eels (naturally), found in Spires of Arak and your garrison, and Crescent Saberfish that you’ll get whether you like it or not when fishing on Draenor.
Flesh. In Azeroth, no eel is near extinction; they’re actually an infinite resource. Like, you know, everything else in this game. Anyway, couldn’t find a smoked eel recipe so you’ll have to do with this sill-crossover.

Korv/sausages – back in the days, you’d find as many kinds sausages on the julbord as there were rocks in your crop field. Or something. Most common nowadays is the prinskorv/prince sausage that looks like, and in all fairness taste like, small hot dogs. Cut the ends in four, and they get a funny and festive shape when you fry them!

Blood Sausage (C) – made of Bear Meat from bears in all the starting zones and lower level zones. See Smoked Bear Meat further down for more information.

Clefthoof Sausages (WoD) – made of Raw Clefthoof Meat from the mighty clefthooves of Frostfire Ridge, Gorgrond and Nagrand, Draenor. Be sure to hunt down a wild one, and not one who’s having lunch break from some caravan or construction work.

Ravager Dog (TBC) – made of Ravager Flesh from ravaging ravage-prone animals in Hellfire Peninsula, Terokkar Forest and Shadowmoon Valley, Outlands. For the adventurous gourmet. And when I say ‘adventorous’ I mean outright crazy, I mean who would want to risk their life hunting down something called “ravager” only to make a sausage anyway??

Rhino Dogs (WotLK) – made of Rhino Meat from – you’ll never guess what (spoiler: rhinos. Bonus info: rhinos in Borean Tundra, Sholazar Basin and The Storm Peaks, Northrend).

Revbensspjäll/spare ribs – maybe not on exactly every julbord in this country, but I remember that it occurred sometimes when I was a kid. And since I can’t find anything remotedly similiar to Janssons Frestelse (a horrible creation made of grated potatoes, cream, onions and anchovy that you either is brainwashed to love, or righteously hate), I figured that the ribs get to replace it.

Beer Basted Boar Ribs (C) – made of Crag Boar Rib from puny pigs in puny Alliance starting and low level zones. Be careful not to bast your own ribs, so to speak, with all that beer. Also be careful not to to cook your equally beer basted friend’s ribs, if this merry beer basting goes out of hands.

Spiced Rib Roast (L) – made of Big Gamy Ribs from bears all over Broken Isles, and Dalapeño Pepper, sold by our beloved yet hopeless cooking assistant Nomi. You may want to prepare this dish on your own rather than relying on Nomi to do it for you; it tastes better unburnt.

Sovel/cold meat dishes – this can be anything from meatballs to smoked meat really. It’s basically something that isn’t veggies, potatoes, sauce or other things traditionally not considered being main part of a dish. We modern people know that a chickpeas totally can be the main part of a dish, but in the late 19th century and early 20th, when all our ancient christmas traditions that we cling to today were formed, only meat counted as ‘real food’.

Smoked Bear Meat (C) – made of Bear Meat. Now, I haven’t tried bear meat (yet), but apparently the taste varies depending on if the bear in question ate mostly blueberries, or had a moose calf snack at some point – the more animalistic food, the stronger the gamy** taste. So, if you want your smoked bear meat easy on the tongue, go for the non-hostile (yellow) bears I guess?

Smoked Salmon (WotLK) – made of Glacial Salmon, fished in the southward zones of Northrend. I won’t have smoked salmon this year either because reasons, but there will be cold, boiled salmon and that is pretty good too.

Kål/cabbage – take any cabbage, prepare it until it looks grey-brown and smells bad, and you’re done. Or, just put some very lightly heated brussel sprouts there. Or raw, grated cabbage with some slices of orange and carrot. Delicious. Anyway, the in-game cookbook is rather heavy on the meat, and the lack of cabbage recipes are disturbing.

Banquet of the Brew (MoP) – made of 100 Year Soy Sauce, Green Cabbages and Witch Berries, everything harvested or bought at Halfhill Market, Valley of the Four Winds, Pandaria. Let’s assume the witch berries are, like, lingonberries. Yes. Let’s go with lingonberries.

Ris á la Malta/risalamande – rice porridge mixed with cream and orange juice kinda sorta?? idk, never was a fan, haven’t even tried it except for once in my childhood I guess. Anyway, apparently it’s supposed to be rice-with-almonds, as the original French word suggests, but since the whole thing seems to have taken the Danish route into Sweden, the word got completely slaughtered on the way (as is custom with anything spoken in Danish) and the Swedes were all “oh from Malta you say, neat”.

Rice Pudding (MoP) – made of Rice and Yak Milk, bought from vendors in Vale of Eternal Blossoms or Valley of the Four Winds, Pandaria. I always wondered if the Horde uses clefthooves for their milk too, but I only seen the Ice Cold Milk at vendors. Whatever. The yak milk would be much fattier, and thus better suited for rice pudding anyway.

Vörtbröd/wort bread – some loaf it (sorry, it had to be done), some love it, some put raisins in it, some don’t.

Spice Bread (C) – made by Simple Flour and Mild Spices, sold by way fewer cooking vendors that you’d think… No idea what these Mild Spices contain, but I hereby declare it’s wort and some other traditional wort bread spices. There.

Mumma/PBL*** – this is made by mixing things like porter, beer or julmust (a Swedish holiday brew that the big red cola company never manages to beat salewise during Christmas, kek), sockerdricka (which is, like, soda that tastes of sugar because it’s mainly carbonated water and, well, sugar, hence the name – socker=sugar, dricka=drink) and perhaps some hard liquor. I never tried it, weirdly enough. I know my uncle makes it.

Darkbrew Lager – made by Skin of Dwarven Stout and Jug of Badlands Bourbon, sold by some of the vendors that sell alcoholic drinks. I know bourbon is whiskey and not porter. I’m also pretty sure no Azerothian knows what mumma is so they can compare.

Julkaffe/christmas coffee – Swedes need their coffee, okay. We don’t need as much as our neighbors the Finns, but we still need bucketloads of it.

Starfire Espresso (Cata) – made by the finest of Cocoa Beans (like, cocoa? wtf), sold by cooking vendors in the big cities, brewed with love (or raw fury) and preferably water that hasn’t already been used to wash anything.

The Winter Veil Chef outfit

While preparing the feast, of course my cooking orc wears a Chef’s Hat (a toy), an Apron (tabard; moggable on other tabards), a Frying Pan and a Rolling Pin (non of these can be mogged on weapons, sadly).

Blood and thunder, Pierre, I’m trying to cook here…!

Aaand ready to devour! Now he put on his cringe-worthy Red Winter Hat (it’s sooo tiiight), and uses the gold-plated, XL-sized cutlery.

No need for ‘home-made’ dumpling, there’s a Winter Veil feast you silly grumpling…

Head: Winter Hat
Shoulders: Hidden
Back: Hidden
Chest: Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater
Wrists:
Hands: Fists of Phalanx (you want tightly fit gloves, so the sleeves of the sweater covers them)
Waist: Guardian’s Plate Belt
Legs: Inferno Tempered Leggings
Feet: Winter Boots
Main Hand: Lionsight Omensword
Off Hand: Kolkar Polearm

Happy Winter Veil!


* The Swedish word for christmas is “jul” or as you English speakers say, Yule. It’s an old word that noone really knows what it means any longer, but it probably has to do with festivities and/or drinking alcohol (which, in all honesty, usually is the same thing up here). Before christianity, we celebrated the winter solstice, that the pigs were ready to be slaughtered and eaten, and other heathen pleasures around this time of the year.

**I’m still disappointed every year when I see there’s a “Game Fair” near my childhood home…

***Probably Beer Right

Pilgrim’s Bounty – rep hunty

Pilgrim’s Bounty. The in-game equivalent to the real world’s Thanksgiving. Which in some aspects is a rather tasteless holiday, given the history of Europeans, North America and native Americans, but which also is about being grateful for a good harvest and so on, so there’s that.

Pilgrim’s Bounty is about food, more or less. Every year when I curse and swear over the stupid bustling back and forth between Undercity, Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff (portal Org-TB pls), I also get strong urges to cook turkey or at least chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and gravy, to eat with… I don’t know, blackcurrant jelly I suppose since that’s what I got in my fridge.

And every year, I don’t cook that. Oh well.

I didn’t feel like creating a Pilgrim’s Bounty mog and I wasn’t supposed to do it either but, uh, as I was scurrying around levelling cooking and doing all the holiday dailies on my lower level warrior alt, it… kind of happened anyway. So, here it is. Or, here they are, because I made two.

Oh and since it’s also World of Warcraft’s 14th Anniversary, I used the Bronze-Tinted Sunglasses for the head. Shiny.

The “Settler”

A bringer of death and decay (hint: the Death Knight recolor items) disguised in a simple pilgrim’s attire (he’s even worse at this than Ivanhoe) pretending the scythe is for harvest. Sneaky.

Head: Bronze-Tinted Sunglasses
Shoulders: Focusing Energy Epaulets
Back: Hidden
Chest: Pilgrim’s Dress
Wrists: –
Hands: Web Cocoon Grips
Waist: Magroth’s Meditative Cincture
Legs: –
Feet: Pilgrim’s Boots
Main hand: Telaari Polearm

The Cultural Appropriator

The Good Elf™ in tauren robes, paying respect by eating all the food. Touching.

Head: Bronze-Tinted Sunglasses
Shoulders: Hidden
Back: Hidden
Chest: Pilgrim’s Robe
Wrists: Jessera’s Fungus Lined Bracers
Hands: Maltendis’ Handguards
Waist: Brightplate Girdle
Legs: –
Feet: Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes
Main hand: Skyfire Hawk-Bow

Note: The 10% reputation buff you get from eating 5 stacks of all the 5 foods at the feast tables outside each city stacks with the 14% reputation and experience buff that the WoW anniversary buff gives you! I tell you, on the last day of Pilgrim’s Bounty. Oh well.

Bootleg Horseman

Hallow’s End is here! If you’re levelling and/or farming reputation, remember to go to Stormwind or Undercity (the pre-Blight version) and get the 2 hour experience and reputation buff. 10% extra of both – if you have rep tokens from Legion or so left, this is the time to use them.

I slacked so hard last year’s Hallow’s End, so I’m horribly behind when it comes to pet and toy collecting. I had the Feline Familiar, but since then, two more cats have been introduced: Widget the Departed, and Cursed Birman. There’s also a mini-version of Naxxramas, called Naxxy (who named this, the kids in the orphanage?).

Feline Familiar

Each pet costs 150 Tricky Treats, the edible currency you get from the Candy Buckets that you find in the inns all over Azeroth and Outland, from a few dailies outside Undercity and Stormwind respectively, and from the Headless Horseman dungeon.

It… takes a while. Or, I guess that a couple of hours farm to get the currency needed for one pet isn’t quite as bad as the daily efforts spread out on a whole week you need to get some of the more extraordinary stuff from Darkmoon Faire… And even if the candy buckets are lootable only once, you can do it all over again on an alt, and that pet will be yours in no time. Or, well. Another couple of hours.

But still. The drudgery. So boring after the first zigzagging tour across the surface of Azeroth… At least I can re-watch The Walking Dead meanwhile.

NOTE: There’s a great Hallow’s End mount called Magic Broom. It lets you mount up instantly even when walking, even when falling (yes, even when falling; save your bubbles, get your Going Down?-achievement!). Now, do not use your precious Tricky Treats to buy the Magic Broom from vendors. Firstly, it drops on occasion from the Headless Horseman dungeon, and since you can do that dungeon from level 20 and it’s not even hard, you will get it sooner or later. Secondly, it will disappear after Hallow’s End ended, Put those treats on a nice cat instead. Like Widget the Departed.

Widget the Departed

The Bootleg Horseman transmog, or: Need more black plate

Oh oh of course I had to try and smack a Headless Horseman transmog together. Damnit, that’s HARD. See, the Headless Horseman uses a completely black version of the Jade plate set. If you’re like me, whose default wardrobe is black, and always wanted to dress up your World of Warcraft toon in similar color scheme, you know it’s hard.

Unless you’re a Death Knight, I guess. But my main is a paladin. Heck, even warriors don’t have a completely black version of the Jade plate set. And whatever black items paladins get, they either mismatch when it comes to other stuff like shape, glossiness, or most commonly, shades of black (yes, there are different shades of black, trust me).

So, it had to be a Bootleg Horseman. The only authentical items are the helmet and the sword, which both drops from the Headless Horseman dungeon. The shoulder design doesn’t even exist in plate. Here’s the result:

Headless Tankman

Head: The Horseman’s Horrific Helmet
Shoulders: Balanced Pauldrons
Back: Quillstitch Greatcloak (there’s no completely black cloak either, sigh)
Chest: Bloodsoaked Heart Protector
Shirt: 
Tabard: None/Hidden
Wrists: 
Hands: Darkrune Gauntlets (why’s it that Darkrune plates only have hands and chest? And that the chest has an open back??)
Waist: Enchanged Adamantite Belt
Legs: Direwing Legguards
Feet: Vicious Ornate Pyrium Boots
Main hand: The Horseman’s Sinister Slicer
Off hand: Grom’gol Buckler (The Headless Horseman doesn’t have a shield, but I need one)
Two-hand: Dark Espadon, enchant illusion: Mark of Bleeding Hollow, (The Headless Horseman is fine with only one single one-hand sword; I need a two-hand in retri or I can’t even cut up a pumpkin)

HeaDPS Horseman

You can get a pumpkin helmet from that dungeon as well, which is moggable on all headpieces during Hallow’s End. Combined with an otherwise green outfit (shoulders are Bog Pauldrons, kind of look like vegetables too, right?) and a scythe skin for your weapon, that’ll work as a more colorful and cute Hallow’s End costume, as seen on the orc below.

Do you know the pumpkin orc, the pumpkin orc, the pumpkin orc…

PS. Check the Wowhead-guide to find out where to get the quests and candy buckets and so on, it’s great.

Malpertinger

We did Antorus Mythic today and I got the quest to deliver some crystallized messages from Illidan to Malfurion* and Tyrande and… how did I not see this before?

Paladin: Hey, Malph. Look. Malfurion: What? Paladin: This look familiar to you? Malfurion: … Paladin: I mean… Malfurion: Shut up. Paladin: Like, those antlers. And the wings. Malfurion: And don’t tell Tyrande.

*Yes, I accidentally spelled it “Malph”, with a P, as in Wolpertinger. This only proves my case further.