General

Ambermist in Azeroth (Guest Post)

Red is just not my color, but here I am anyway, one Battle Chicken in full Secret-Santa attire. Apple is safely tied up in my Santa sack (pipe down in there, would ya?!)—feisty one, she is!

When reading through Apple’s posts, one of the things I liked most is the care and thought she puts into her characters. Just one paragraph from “It is done” post made me feel like I had some insight into the mind of her paladin:

Not that she didn’t want him dead, of course, but it wasn’t necessarily a cause for celebration – it was something horrible that had to be done. Yes, Arthas had become evil, and done horribly bad things, and was beyond redemption, but… he was like her, once – a young Paladin who perhaps wasn’t quite ready for the responsibility thrust upon him, just trying to do his best in the face of horrible atrocities.

I’ve written Warcraft fanfiction and poetry, but I’ve never taken the time to get to know my own character. Apple’s got me thinking: who is Ambermist, anyway? How does her mind work through the many decisions she has made on Azeroth’s—and more foreign—shores? How does she feel about the things she has experienced: the gruesome and the touching?

I have to tell you, it was a lot harder than I thought. You would think after spending as much time with this character as I have over the past four years that I could talk about her easily, but getting to know her well enough to describe her to you has been an entirely new adventure, and I appreciate that this turned into an opportunity to meet Ambermist in a new way.

Let me tell you about my good friend and one of Azeroth’s heroes…

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She never even gave any other way of life a thought: Ambermist was destined to be a druid. It came naturally to her. Nature spoke to her even before she began to study druidism; she could hear the soft whisper of yearning coming from the seeds below the ground, eager to sprout and the cheerful song of a flower bursting into life.

Although their ways were different, she felt a great kinship with the priestesses, and the moments spent in the temple in the light of Elune were almost as peaceful as the ones spent seated in the wilderness, eyes closed and mind open.

The call to help Azeroth came early and often. Ambermist, encouraged by the nature from which she learns, lost much of the racial superiority often lingering in Night Elves, and actually finds great compassion and companionship in the races with which they are united under the Alliance banner. When the call came initially, she was ready and eager to aide, and has since answered every summon, showing up in the front lines attacking the enemy, and remaining behind to heal the wounded as they arrive.

That is not to say that she hasn’t had reservations. Flying into Icecrown sent chills through her body more violent than the cold carried in the wind. The chill in Icecrown was unnatural, and her hesitation to spend time in a place where nature had been grossly abused and silenced tripled upon entering the favored place of the Lich King.

If she hadn’t seen the terrible events of the Wrath Gate unfold before her eyes; if she hadn’t felt her heart break as Bolvar and Saurfang met their deaths, she may not have come. But the anger that welled inside of her as she felt Northrend calling out in pain and the deaths of a thousand heroes before her was enough to bring her face-to-face with the Lich King himself and to see him defeated…and replaced.

The battle against the Nightmare took much out of her. She felt uncomfortable about tapping into their beloved World Tree, but she trusted Staghelm. To discover that she had been so greatly misled had weighed on her for a long time, soothed only by the return of Malfurion, the leader she had hoped for all along.

And now this. She had felt Azeroth groaning and trembling already. The very roots of the grass and trees in her home of Teldrassil cried out the warning to her; the wind carried messages of fear and pain. When the Earthen Ring called for her and warned of an impending disaster, she was neither surprised nor complacent, jumping into action immediately.

Nothing could have prepared her for the emergence of Deathwing into Azeroth, and Ambermist’s heart sank at the disaster he wrought upon the land. She put her sadness and anger to work for her once again, asking nature to come to her aide as she pushes through this suddenly unfamiliar territory under the shadow of this aspect of death.

She will not rest until she has seen him fall or met her death at his hand—Azeroth will be retaken. The land itself demands it.

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Thank you for letting me hijack Azeroth Apple and get a glimpse into my character in a way I hadn’t before. I’ll now return Apple to you–you’ll find her under the tree; she’ll be the cute one with the bow!

It’s a little late for a proper Merry Christmas, so I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

–Ambermist the Battle Chicken (Tastes Like Battle Chicken)

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General · PvE

The New Adventures of Old Apple, Pt 2

So, clearly I fail at updating in a timely fashion, clearly. So! The state of the Apple, so far!

Computer

My shiny new computer is AMAZING! I can’t turn the graphics up TOO high without dropping down to 15ish fps, but that’s better even than on the old mac, so that’s good. I have the Good settings turned on, mostly, except for water effects and shadows, which I’m keeping at “low” and “fair”, respectively, and I get about 60fps most of the time. :) It’s very nice. So far, it seems like she’s going to work for me just fine.

Lisan (and the new zones)

Oh, my darling Paladin. Well, she hasn’t hit 85 yet, but she is 84. And, lo and behold, she’s actually acquired an offspec! Ret, of course, because I’d be shite at Prot. I’ve collected a little gear set that’s probably deeply shitty, but consists of plate stuff that has +str or +hit or other things when there wasn’t anything I could use for my Holy set. Her Holy set is also coming along – I managed to let go of her old boots finally, which I’d been holding on to for the minor speed increase. I’ve replaced most of her raiding gear, but not all of it – and her raiding set is going in the bank for posterity: “this is what I raided in back in the Wrath days”. ;) Once she hits 85, I’m going to go finish leveling her professions (I never did do that, oops) and Archaeology.

As far as the new zones go, I adored Vashj’ir and Hyjal – both had interesting storylines and quests that kept me interested, and I loved the look and feel of the zones. Then I went to Deepholm. And… eh. It’s not HORRIBLE, but it’s also not GREAT. It feels claustrophobic to me despite its expansiveness, and I honestly wasn’t having fun. So after I discovered Therazene (I think?) and getting my rep up to “Friendly” through the first quests, I said “fuck this noise” and hightailed it back to Stormwind. I did the quests with Anduin that lead up to Varian sending you to the Twilight Highlands, and then booked it over to Uldum. Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to do much there yet, but I’m already enjoying it more than I was enjoying Deepholm.

Alts (and more Alts)

Okay, breakdown by name, race, and class, and how they’re doing:

Chromatic (Gnome Priest) has actually been race changed. She is now Charité the Worgen Priest. And level 40. I’m not sure the race change is going to stick, though. I keep looking at her and going “eh, I’ll play her later” when I used to be really excited to play her as a Gnome. So. We’ll see.

Josephîne (Worgen Druid) has been temporarily abandoned in the name of levelling Lis, mostly.

Summer (Belf Hunter) has not been played in ages. Poor Summer.

Geneviéve (Worgen Warrior) is level 12 and in Darkshore. I’m actually having fun playing her so far. A warrior.

Twîzzle (Goblin Priest/Mage) I can’t decide which I want her to be, yet. On one server (ThoBro) she’s a lv 5 priest, and on another (E’T) she’s a lv 1 mage. I’ve been mostly busy playing Lis, to be perfectly honest, so I’ll probably come back to her once Lis is good to go. That said, isn’t Twizzle the greatest name for a Goblin?

I love the Worgen starting zone/quests, and I like what I’ve seen so far of the Goblin zone/quests. They’re both quite fun in VERY different ways.

In conclusion…

Cataclysm: IT’S AWESOME!

General

The New Adventures of Old Apple, Part 1

Or, more to the point, APPLE HAS A NEW LAPTOP! :D :D :D :D

She is a lovely Samsung QX with an Nvidia graphics card, and her name is Romana. Yes, I name my electronics, what of it? :P She’s currently downloading WoW and has about 6GB to go – I’m probably going to log on shortly with background downloading so I can adjust my settings – I’m starting entirely from scratch, so I have quite a bit to set up. :)

I should be back at some point later this evening with an update of what she’s running like. PLEASE be good, Romana, I’m counting on you!

PvE

“It is done.”

kingslayer
“This was for Gerk.”

As expected, while it was thrilling to get Arthas down before the patch, and to have my Kingslayer title, it was not half as thrilling as getting Starcaller. Part of this was probably because it was in a little guildie 10-man with a good chunk of alts, as opposed to the proper 25-man that I missed last week, but mostly I think it was, like I said last week, that Lisan herself, as a character, wasn’t quite so invested in the kill.

Not that she didn’t want him dead, of course, but it wasn’t necessarily a cause for celebration – it was something horrible that had to be done. Yes, Arthas had become evil, and done horribly bad things, and was beyond redemption, but… he was like her, once – a young Paladin who perhaps wasn’t quite ready for the responsibility thrust upon him, just trying to do his best in the face of horrible atrocities.

Alas, I was so taken aback by the fact that we’d actually gotten him to 10% (7%, actually, if you want to be technical) on the first try tonight that I forgot that I’d been planning to shout “For Gerk!” as we finished him off after the rez. :( Alas, the moment has passed, if I ever do it again it’ll feel silly and scripted.

I feel like writing a bit – maybe I’ll put up a little drabble in an hour or two, if I can find the words to start it. I know I don’t sound as enthused as I normally do about big stuff – many less exclamation points. :) But while I AM thrilled, it’s more… subdued. I really put a lot of myself into the stories I weave, even if I’m weaving them within the framework of someone else’s story. So my emotions about things tend to echo Lis’ in most situations, if it’s emotionally involved. And in this case, it’s… quiet satisfaction. She did what she set out to do, the world is safe(r), she’s avenged the deaths of many good people. That doesn’t mean she’s happy about it. That doesn’t make any of the pain less. /shrug

I am very pleased, however, and thank you to my guildies who came (and set this up) for… well, everything.

Now I’m going to go… do things. Totally important things. Like put my Starcaller title back on…

General · PvE

Preparing for Cataclysm (Apple style)

I know, I know, this post is a bit late considering Cata’s going to hit on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I will be at work, and on my lunch break will be checking both GameStop and Best Buy to see if they’ve sold out of Cataclysm. I feel like most of the WoW players in this area probably got the download, so I should be okay – my computer is just SO SLOW at downloads, it’s annoying.

SO! Here is how I am preparing for Cataclysm, and what I’m going to do once it hits.

1. This afternoon and tomorrow, I will focus on maxxing out Lisan’s herbalism and alchemy (which are at 225 and 151, respectively). This may or may not be a frustrating venture, as recipes aren’t always cheap, and I’m kind of poor, but that’s okay.

2. Tuesday after work, I will (hopefully) bring my boxed version of Cata home and… promptly not do a thing with it. I will log on Mattie, probably, and keep levelling her while everyone else prances around Gilneas, Kezhan and the Lost Isles, Hyjal, and Vashj’ir.

“Okay, wait,” you say, “but Apple, don’t you need to get Lis levelled to 85 as soon as possible?” Well, yes. But the thing is that with all the people piling into the levelling zones, Donna (my current laptop) just isn’t going to be able to handle it. I’d be getting 1-2 fps while trying to quest, and that would honestly be worse than starting later, because I’d be so FRUSTRATED that I wouldn’t want to play. So what I’m going to do is not level Lis at all until Romana (my new laptop) arrives and I’ve installed WoW and everything on her. By this point, two things will have happened, I think: 1) the vast majority of people who are dragging a toon to 85 before rolling Worgen or Goblin will have pulled ahead at least a bit, so there will be less competition for my quests, and 2) I will be so revved up to get STARTED that I will hopefully get some real momentum going and will be able to actually get levelled in a timely fashion.

3. Once I have Cata installed, I’m going to level. But I’m not going to blow through so quickly I don’t know what’s going on, because what’s the fun in that? I don’t care if it slows down my levelling a bit – I’m going to ENJOY the game I pay for. :)

Anyway, that’s my plan. It’s… not much of a plan. I’m not stocking up on things in game or out, I’m not getting ready to settle in for a marathon gaming session, I’m just getting ready to play the new parts, when I get the chance. :) I can’t wait!

PvE

Apotheosis LK25 – DOWN

Okay, before anyone congratulates me, I wasn’t in the raid last night. I have no kill shot or title, and that’s okay. I’m EPICALLY proud of my guildies for clearing ICC as a guild, and I was there for a lot of it. :) LK and Lana’thel are my only gaps in regular kills, I believe.

So first off, before I say anything else, GRATS TO APOTHEOSIS! You guys were great, even if I wasn’t there to see. ;)

In some ways, I don’t really mind not being there. Unlike the drive to down Algalon, and the Ulduar hard modes, I’ve never really had much invested in the idea of killing Arthas. Possibly because I never imagined myself getting into ICC at all until recently, and had already sort of decided that Lisan wasn’t there – she was holding the line outside, or healing the wounded that (I’m sure) were pouring out of the lower spire after the strike force moved on. There was no personal-lore reason for her to kill Arthas, and I’ve never really cared much about the Kingslayer title.

But then… there’s a part of me, a little part, that wants to finish things. This part is REALLY IRKED by the fact that I wasn’t there to down Lana’thel, and is now REALLY PISSED that I didn’t get to be there to down Arthas. And it bleeds over a little into the larger part of me that just wants to clear content with my guild, and I end up being cranky and sulky and jealous because I couldn’t make the raid and they got him down, and there are no more lockouts before Cata to try it on. And this really shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, but dammit I wanted to be there! And I felt bad last night wishing them luck when in the back of my mind I was DESPERATELY hoping they wouldn’t quite get it, so we could go in and knock him down tomorrow night, when I WILL be there.

Emotions are too complicated. /sulk

So, in short, I’m really proud of my guildies, and happy that they got LK down; but I’m also sulky and cranky that they got him down without me. So I think I’m just gonna avoid my Apotheosis toons tonight and level somewhere else instead, because when I get sulky and cranky, I sometimes end up being bitchy to people that I love for no reason, and I dun wanna do that. :(