Oh the Irony!

I was noodling around in the game during my daughter’s nap a few days ago, and decided it was about time I completed my Explore Northrend achievement. So I headed on up to Icecrown and the Storm Peaks and flew around until this happened:

(Yes, I’ve still got that funny “fading” problem with my screenshots.)

When I returned to Dalaran I noticed that I had new mail, and when I looked in the nearest mailbox I found this:

Look at the title of this blog! Read about why I am a permanently lost Druid! And see why I rolled around laughing when I read this mail.

My friends already know who to ask for directions. And it’s not me!

It’s a pretty tabard though ๐Ÿ™‚

Lil Game Hunter

I’ve managed to have a few evenings to myself recently, and as I was fairly close to having the 75 non-combat pets required for the Lil Game Hunter achievement I thought I would get on and farm for a few of the rarer pets. I’ve been very lucky with drops, and not needed to spend more than a couple of evenings farming in any particular area for the drop. And I’ve managed to bag myself a Captured Firefly, a Crimson Whelpling, and the Disgusting Oozling. Yay! So that got me to 74 pets.

As I’m not a great farmer of rep, I’d never bothered with Sporeggar reputation. A guildie advised me that at 80 I ought to be able to stealth through the Underbog and collect Sanguine Hibiscus, and I was pleased to discover he was right! I could stealth through the ground floor of the Underbog, picking up any Hibiscus I saw, and usually got 5 or 6 each time. Stealth back out, reset the instance and start again. Five times per hour.

My guildies were a little surprised when this happened:

(I did say I’m not good at farming reputations, didn’t I? The 10 Exalted achievement was an unexpected bonus!)

Then, after hastily gathering the 30 glowcaps (why didn’t I pick these up whilst I was camping the firefly?!), this happened:

And my guildies understood why I had suddently felt the urge to work on an obscure reputation from the last expansion ๐Ÿ™‚

(Don’t know why the achievement is so faded in that screenshot, by the way, sometimes my UI mod just doesn’t capture the moment accurately. Must be lag or something /shrug)

And here’s my cute little fawn. I really love the way she bounds around after me ๐Ÿ™‚

I understand there are loads of new pets coming in with the 3.1 update and the Argent Tournament. I wonder if there’ll be a new achievement for 100 pets!

How do you balance WoW and parenthood?

I’ve just read Phaelia’s announcement over at Resto4Life that she is expecting her first child, and thus withdrawing from the blogging community.ย  It’s quite a shock, and she will be greatly missed. Her site has provided a fantastic resource to all Resto druids, with guides and advice aplenty. I’ve spent a lot of time over there, learning how to play my druid even better. I’m even the proud owner of two Resto4Life T-shirts ๐Ÿ™‚

Phae’s postย made me cast my mind back to Summer 2007, when I was expecting my first child, and my husband and I had no idea what was ahead of us. At the time we were playing WoW on the US servers, where we had a regular 10-man group working towards clearing Karazhan. All my husband and I knew was that once the baby was born, we’d probably lose out on our evenings for quite some time, and we didn’t know if we’d be able to raid again. So we warned our raiding partners to count us out of all plans after the baby arrived.

My memory is still quite fuzzy when it comes to our baby girl’s newborn days, but I do remember we shared to night-time duties for some time. I would go to be about 8pm, leaving my husband in charge as late as he could stay awake (usually 1 or 2am). He’d then come to bed, and whenever the baby next needed a feed would be when I would get up for the day. Thankfully our little one was pretty good at night sleeping from quite early on, and I could usually feed her at some hour in the morning (usually 4am ish), and get her back to bed for a few hours more sleep. I, of course, was then wide awake. Prime WoW playing time! I used this time to level my new EU druid all the way to 70.

My husband and I were both keen to get our evenings back as soon as possible. I wish I knew whether anything we did actually contributed to the way things are now, but we did manage to get a good strong bedtime routine in place from quite early on. I think by the time our baby girl was 6 months old we were inย  a position to play WoW in the evenings again, and potentially raid.

Fast forward to today, and our baby girl has blossomed into an active toddler. Thankfully she is still a great sleeper. She’s in bed about 6.30pm, and then my husband and I can eat our main meal and have the evening to ourselves. I try to get all my chores done during the day, where possible with baby girl “helping” me, as she loves being involved in the stuff that I do. This means that when evening rolls around, all the work is done, and I can relax. It’s important for all parents to get some “you” time, and for, that’s my WoW time.

I certainly play a lot less WoW than I used to. Those all-day all-night weekend sessions are most certainly a thing of the past. But on the plus side, I can still play more WoW than I expected to. The great thing about WoW is that there is plenty of content for solo play, so those times when I was online at ungodly times in the morning I could still feel that I was progressing in the game. And now we’re settled into a great routine I can attend my guild raids, and play in the evenings when other people are online.

So how do I balance WoW and parenthood? My first rule is that I never play WoW during the day in front of my daughter. I manage this pretty well, with the only exception so far being the “Love is in the Air” event where I did log on every hour to give a guard a love token. That doesn’t really count as “playing” in my book! I also have a rule that all my household chores must be finished before I log in in the evenings. Work first, then play, that’s the way it works. And finally, I am blessed to be in a reallyย understanding guild. Whilst I haven’t had to do it yet, I know there may be a time that I need to AFK during a raid or even leave to deal with a small person. My guild is made up of many parents, and I know all I would need to do is tell them I had to deal with my daughter, and there would be no hard feelings.

How do you balance WoW and parenthood?

Fool for Love

The “Love is in the Air” world event was active for just under a week, and I managed to complete all the required elements to gain my “the Love Fool” title on Sunday afternoon, one day before it all finished. I didn’t manage to get my Perma-Peddle pet, but I managed to get everything else (including four black dresses and four picnic baskets!).

My thoughts on this world event:

I managed to do all of it solo, apart from the Bouquet of Ebon Roses, which I managed to duo with my husband’s level 80 Warlock. I liked that there was nothing required that needed a full group, or more. I enjoy logging on and just noodling around on my own for a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

The PVP element was entirely achieveable, although I doubt people liked me joining an Arathi Basin fight, running for the Blacksmith, pitying my Fool and then AFK-ing out. I still don’t like that there is a mandatory PVP element to all these meta-achievements, and I think it breeds bad PVP behaviour, like mine.

Everything was very random – I spent the whole weekend logging in once every hour to see if I could get the items I needed. Thankfully I did (well, apart from the pet), but I’m sure there are frustrated people out there that didn’t.

It needed a lot of bag space, and I ended up with a whole load of leftover stuff. I did think about leaving it in the bank for next year, but last night I came to my senses and just deleted it all!

On the whole I enjoyed the event. Children’t Week next, and having had a peek ahead at the achievements for that I am not looking forward to it. It’ll be the PVP requirements that I don’t do, I’m sure.

An Achieving Night

Logged on last night with just two Elders to visit to complete all the requirements for my Elder title. And according to the most excellent DruidKitty guide to Elders, I was hopeful I could stealth my way to both of them. In the end a guildie came along to help show me the way (my ability to get lost is pretty well known in my guild now, and they try to look after me as best they can!). We managed to sneak our way to both the Utgarde Keep and the Nexus Elders, and I earnt my “Elder” title. Yay ๐Ÿ™‚

Following the “Merrymaker” disappointment, I’m trying not to get too obsessed with completing all the World Event achievements, but I do feel that the Lunar festival is a very druid-oriented festival, and I think it’s appropriate that I, as a druid, bear the Elder title. I also think it plays to our strengths, with a lot of the achievements being made a lot easier by our ability to sneak. I hate PvP, but will quite happily sneak in and out of the Horde capital cities when the need arises ๐Ÿ˜‰

By the time I’d finished, it was almost bedtime, so I thought I’d head down into the Dalaran sewers and waste one lure trying to fish for the rat pet down there. I’ve been levelling my fishing in the sewers – I find it helps to have another goal, as well as trying to the pet. I’ve lost track of how long I’ve spent down there, but I’ve managed to get my fishing up to 440 so far, so it’s been quite a while. Anyway, with only 48s left on my lure I was amazed to see the thing I’ve been chasing for so long – yes, my very own giant rat pet.

I went to bed a happy druid last night ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lunar Festival

Somehow I was caught by surprise by the Lunar festival this year. I logged into the game during my daughter’s nap yesterday afternoon, and was delighted to see the Elder in Dalaran. I checked over the achievements for this World event, and was even happier to see that I wouldn’t have to set foot into any Battlegrounds to get my “Elder” title. I would of course have to get in to all three Horde cities, but I’ve done that before. I love haveing cat form and the ability to prowl!

I wasn’t needed for the raid last night. The last few raid nights we’ve had enough people for two 10-man groups, but last night there weren’t quite enough, so only one group went. It was a bit galling when my husband was invited and I wasn’t, but my guild is really good at making sure everyone gets a fair shot at the content, and there were healers online who’d not been in Naxx as much as I have, so I was pleased that they got the chance to go.

So as I was at a bit of a loose end, I made a start on the Coins of Ancestry. I found a great list of all the Elders on WoWWiki, and decided to follow it through and see how far I could get. By the end of the evening I had completed the achievements for the Elders of Kalimdor, Elders of Eastern Kingdoms, and the Elders of the Horde. As a bonus I soloed my Strat key whilst I was in there as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I still need to get into a couple of old world dungeons (primarily Maraudon), and then make a start on the Northrend stuff.

At the moment I’m feeling more positive about this series of achievements than I did about the Winter Veil ones. I know some people will find getting into the opposite factions capital cities harder than the PvP objectives, so again, it won’t suit everyone, but I’m hopeful I can get to be “Elder Tiniane” ๐Ÿ™‚

Not a Merrymaker

The Feast of Winter Veil has been and gone, and despite an initial enthusiasm for aย  new title, I’ve ended up not completing all the achievements to call myself “Merrymaker”.

I did most of them, including shelling out the gold for an epic flying mount, having discovered that I needed one to complete the Ogrila achievement. However, it was the requirement for a PvP achievment that was the show stopper for me. I don’t like PvP. I forced myself into two Battlegrounds to get my “Spirit of Competition” pet. I ran two or three to complete my “The Hallowed” title. But 50 honor kills in a gnome costume? When being a gnome seems to make you the number one target to the opposition? And you lose the effect on death and either have to AFK out and twiddle your thumbs for 15 minutes before trying again, or have to complete the battleground without it counting towards your achievement at all. It’s a waste of my time. And it’s not fun. So I didn’t do it.

I also never got the Santa hat, so missed out on another achievement there. I’ve had no time to run any instances recently anyway, and I didn’t want to bug my Guild to run The Nexus for me to get the hat. I’d rather do stuff I can achieve on my own, without having to ask for help.

I also never dressed as a snowman and danced in Dalaran. But I do have my disguise kit, as does my husband, so I could get that one any time I wanted.

Renata on the World of Warcast podcast came up with a great idea. She suggested the seasonal achievements should grant the title if you gain a subset of the required achievements. So, if for example there are 15 achievements in total for Winter’s Veil, completing any 13 should give you the title. I think this is a great idea. It means if you really don’t want to PvP, or don’t satisfy the requirements for a couple of the achievements, you can still gain yourself the title. I’d really like to see that implemented, because it looks like Blizzard have put a PvP requirement in all the seasonal collections, and they don’t seem to get any easier.

Ding Dong Merrily on High!

I’ve been very quiet around here due to all my RL Christmas preparations. And when I have had a few minutes to myself I’ve been working on Northrend with my Druid.

I just wanted to announce that I have finally dinged to level 80 – yay!

I have completed all the quests in Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills. I am making a dent into the Scholazar Basin quests, but I have yet to do any of the quests in Zul’Drak, Icecrown and Storm Peaks. Yay, lots more content to unlock.

My druid has levelled from 70 to 80 in her usualy Resto spec, and exclusively grouping with my husband’s warlock. He is now only a couple of bubbles off 80, but once he has dinged we have agreed we will continue questing together for fun and cash ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t have a ding screenshot due to a fail on my UI mods, unfortunately ๐Ÿ™

Exploring Northrend

It’s now almost three weeks since Wrath launched, and I am still loving it. I am levelling exclusively with my husband’s Demonology Warlock, and we’re having a great time, trying to complete all the quests. Yes, ALL the quests ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re both now about halfway through level 75, and have finished both Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord. We’ve done a couple of quest-hubs in Dragonblight, but there are still huge chunks of unexplored map for us to discover. We’re just over halfway to 80, and it feels like there is so much content still ahead of us, which is great because we’ll be able to carry on questing for money when we hit 80.

We ran the Azjol-Nerub instance this week, and it was great! I really hope this is a sign of things to come – a very short instance that we completed within 30 minutes. Very little trash, just three bosses. Well, it’s more like three boss events. And when we finished the first run, our tank realised he hadn’t looted the quest item off the final boss, so we reset the instance and ran it again for him!

I really like this trend towards shorter instances. It means you don’t have to commit large amounts of time to a run, you can get some questing and an instance or two finished in an evening. It’s perfect for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully tonight we’ll make some good progress towards 76 ๐Ÿ™‚