Different Things

Have you thought I’ll be writing this post about Kil’Jaeden?… No!

Well, I’ll be writing about Kil’Jaeden tomorrow because I’m eager to step in the fourth wing tonight.

I’m actually having many important things these days going on in my life, and if you want a small insight, you’re welcome to read on, otherwise the post is not about WoW, but rather IRL stuff which occupies my mind.

First thing first, me and my wife, both being 34 years old, 7 years together and 2 of these years married, have finally made a decision to have our own (not rented) place. We’re having all our minds busy with choosing a flat and acquiring a bank loan throughout all the past month, and now it seems to finally come to an end. If the bank would affirm our chosen place, we’re likely to move in the new place within a pair of months. It’s kinda a big thing, and an important one – the other day all my thoughts are occupied with all the real estate business. I really hate all these law and financial things, I really do :) But it appeared to be a new and interesting experience. Yet I’m looking forward when the place would be ours, and I would forget about it.

Second, my band – which is a huge part of my life – has released a new single today. That would be our 9th release so far.

For those who missed the “About” section of my blog: the band is not what I do for a living, it’s a hobby, but the band is what I am. I’m one of the main composers, I come up with concepts and ideas, I write all the lyrics, and it’s basically a big part of my life, filled with studios, rehearsals, composing, gigs and festivals.

The concept in whole tells scary stories (pretty dark, even if humor is involved) about a nordic village populated by magical creatures (witches, dwarfs, elemental imps, swamp monsters etc.) who play very dirty tricks and destroy human villages and cities. Every album is conceptual and tells about new type of creatures.

On the next album it’s gonna be chthonic monstrous beasts, which sleep for centuries, and now a matriarch of the village, Mother of All Witches, climbs a mountain to perform a shamanic ritual and awake them. That’s the single’s story, and the music is epic folk metal, to my perception it happened to be quite beautiful and atmospheric this time.

So, you’re welcome to check the single out if you want an insight of what I do apart from WoW :) Stream listening and free downloading is available at the link:

https://svartby.bandcamp.com/album/under-frusna-stj-rnor-2017

Svartby-Under-Frusna-Stjarnor

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Real Neat Blog Award

real-neat-blog-award.jpg

I’ve been nomineed by Repgrind and Kamalia et Alia for the Real Neat Blog Award :)

Step 1: Thank you!

Step 2: Answering questions from them – that comes further.

Step 3: Nominee some blogs and ask some questions. I’m gonna skip it I think, as the blogs I read have already participated in the event. So, on to the questions.

Repgrind

1. Do you have a favorite mount or type of mount? (horses, dragons, mechs, etc)

Well, mount favorites come and go in waves. But I always tend to like smaller mounts which fit in doors and windows, and with good dynamics. My Gnomes are in favor of Dun Morogh rams and Pandaren Tillers goats now, Anibell the Human Paladin rides the paladin steed, Night Elves ride their racial sabertooths, and Goblins prefer their crafted rocket. As for flying mounts, it’s hyppogryphs, all the same rockets, gryphons and wyverns. I hunt for mounts, and I’m almost at 250 mark, but I’d never ride my Ashes of A’lar.

2. Do your characters have individual personalities?

Yes! And it’s a shame I didn’t work out a proper background for each of them yet. I could tell my main Micromantica is one of the best Jaina’s pupils who will be on her side whatever happens. She’s an explorer and adventurer, and collects all the lore she can get. She couldn’t sit in one place, and since Theramore was destroyed, she doesn’t have a peaceful haven.

I’ve written a small novel (in Russian) about my Goblin toons – the three sisters. Hexen the Rogue and Lizgun the Hunter are a pair of rascals which hunt for others’ treasures. Disguise, fraud, and everything. They try not to kill unless they have to defend themselves. Lizgun is more straightforward and rough type, Hexen is cheerful and easily plays a lady of high society if needed.

They try not to involve their third twin – Schlitzchen – in their sometimes dangerous adventures. Schlitzchen is a calm and spiritual type, a shaman. She vaguely guesses what the other two do for a living, but the less you know the better you sleep.

3. Transmog, yay or nay?

Yay! Since Draenor which had awful sets. Now it’s the only thing I spend my money for. I like to invent different outfits, and all my toons have several. I’m also hunting for transmog in older dungeons and raids.

I’ve updated my previous post about specs, so you could look at my current transmog sets here.

4. Do you have pets?

I’m a cat person :)

both

5. What is more important to you, a good storyline or plenty of endgame activities?

I guess both. Well, storyline is more important. When there’s nothing to do at the end of expansion, I would gladly replay storylines while leveling alts.

6. How did you get started in blogging?

The only good reason for starting blogging is that you have some thoughts you couldn’t hold within yourself anymore. It happened so that I’m blogging about WoW as a major hobby.

7. What kind of car do you drive?

I don’t. It’s just many extra expenses and troubles about cars – taxes, insurance, gas, parking, washing, the car itself – so I don’t wanna even start with it. A megalopolis like St.Petersburg has an excellent public transport system, so I’m using it with pleasure. It takes me a total of 25 minutes to get to work – 15 of them I spend in subway reading. Malls and grocery stores are 4 minutes walk from my place. At parties and weekends you often have a drink, so you will use public transport anyways. Considering all this, I don’t see any use in owning a car – or even learn to drive or get a driver’s license.

Kamalia et alia

1. What locations in WoW have the best background music?

Yrel’s theme – Malach, Varian’s death theme, Nightsong (Ashenvale Horde/Alliance battles, Ysera’s death), Way of the Monk (upon arrival to Temple of White Tiger), Sholazar Basin, Darnassus, Gnomeregan themes. They all give me SHIVERS!

2. Are there any ways in which WoW (or other games) has influenced or inspired things you do in your pay-the-bills career?

No. My work is what I do for money, my games are what I do to rest from work. I had some thoughts of if I could get a job which involves something about games. Then I thought: no. Games will become the job then, so they’ll be less fun :0)

3. Which calculator format do you prefer — TI (enter numbers and operations as you would write them on paper) or HP (reverse Polish)?

I had to google about reverse Polish :) So definitely the answer is: TI.

4. What was the most memorable book that you read/movie that you watched last year? What made it so memorable?

Movies:

  • Obviously Warcraft – it was much anticipated, and it didn’t disappoint me.
  • Mad Max – aside from the overall awesomeness, it seems like they’ve carefully edited out every stereotyped dialogue that could have been in the script. No pattern phrases at all!
  • Ghostbusters – it’s a perfect and a very funny reboot with great cast, and much respect paid to the original movies.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – yet another Burton’s masterpiece, and a very nice book adaptation.
  • Trolls – it’s hilarious.

Books:

I read a lot, but I would name a book by a Russian blogger and psychologist – Tanya Tank “Beware, I’m with You”. The book is about narcissism personality disorder, how dangerous these people are, how to recognize and avoid their destructive influence. It really turned my world upside down – showed me that I’ve met lots of these guys and girls in my life. And should I’ve read the book back then, it would have saved me much nerves and trouble. Well, better late than never. Now I’m fully armed.

5. If you could take six months off from your current job and go back to college for a semester and study anything you wanted, what class(es) would you take?

Languages – speech practice. I’d like to be a fluent speaker in as many as I could.

6. Give me a recipe for something that you like to make for dinner when you don’t have much time or energy for cooking.

It’s a fun question :) My wife has all our meals planned for the week. And she won’t let me in the kitchen so that I don’t occasionally eat some vital ingredient :) I think my cooking skills are somewhat shrinking for no use.

Well, if I sometimes have to get some food myself, I would go for pelmeni dumplings (boil them 10 minutes in the water, eat) or cheese sandwich and kefir :)

7. My current favorite chocolate bar is Chocolove’s “Holiday” bar, which is 55% cacao chocolate with pecans, currants, dried cherries, walnuts, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, and candied ginger — every square is a different delight! What’s your favorite sweet treat of the moment?

A bagel dipped in honey and oat cookies :)

Love is in the Air?..

There hasn’t been any posting from me for a while, and none should be expected too soon as well.

The past week was wholly devoted to my trip through Greece and Italy – 6 cities in total. It was a perfect weather – no rain, +10-14oC – in other words, ideal for walking and sightseeing. I hate heat, and I don’t understand any beach vacation (booooooring), so Mediterranean trip was planned in February on purpose.

Obviously I didn’t play any WoW because that’s not what you do while traveling. Though it seems that my rest from WoW appears to last longer than I thought. Upon my arrival home I’ve discovered my home internet not working – which tech support has diagnosed as something to do with cables. And the internet guys have such a busy schedule that they’ll be able to fix it only on Saturday.

So, I’m effectively missing the Love Rocket trying time. I’ve pretty much slacked any holiday mount farm last year, and in 2017 I thought I’ll renew hardworking Hallows End, Brewfest and Love is in the Air bosses. Well, not earlier than Saturday night.

Meanwhile I’ve blown off the dust from my Warcraft 3: RoC & TFT cds – and it’s time to walk through the campaigns again. It’s very cool to relive the events of the Third War with all the immense lore baggage and terrain knowledge that came after via playing WoW. Seeing the familiar places, foes, weapons, heroes and all. Making discoveries – for example, when Thrall and Cairne want to get to the prophet (Medivh) in Stonetalon mountains, they must deliver the “heart” (gem) to a statue of an elven priestess Azsune!

You get to meet many Legion lords too during the campaign. Now that they reappear in Azeroth, it’s cool to see what they did during the last invasion – for example, Aneteron or Mephistroth dreadlords.

It’s also cool to look at units from WoW perspective. For example, it’s a whole new look at orc shamans or night elf bear druids, and it adds much depth to the RTS routines. It considers buildings too: during your WoW journeys you’ve been inside each and every of them. Knowing how many floors and ladders are there in a construction your peons just built is so immersing!

Finally, I’ve played Warcraft 3 in Russian only before. Localization was perfect: a very good translation and an amazing voice cast with lots of famous and character fitting actors.

Now I’ve installed an English version, and it’s like playing a whole new game. Actors from WoW match those from W3, and it’s an extra link to the present events for me.

When life gives you lemons… buy some good cognac and consume both :)

P.S. : Suramar IRL – the Greek island of Santorini – one of my destinations.

Suramar Weekend & Malfunction

suramar

The weekend was quite productive with my Suramar questing. I’ve figured out a few tips for alts, as usual:

  • The very first priority while on Good Suramaritan is collecting mana
  • You must have this buff from Valtrois all the time on you
  • Try and get all the mana crystals on the way – but only if it doesn’t mean engaging in a hundred mob fight
  • Once you have at least 200-250 mana, go and open the next ley line feed – Leyline Bling achievement is your first priority which you must complete asap
  • Main questlines require you to submit 800, then 1200 mana, so if you don’t want to be grinding in waste, you better collect it before you come across these quests. don’t let these pools stall you, so that’s why you need Leyline Bling
  • You also spend mana feeding the nightfallen npc and probably withered scenario
  • Once you’ve done Leyline Bling and start questing, mana will flow fast and secure

Once you’re on a roll with your alt, rep flows very fast despite the small amounts of quest rep. Anibell, my paladin, started on Saturday with 2500 rep and ended up at 9500 by late afternoon. Well, you just do things in Suramar, and it happens.

As long as I have all my alts to complete their Suramar questline, it’s vital not to fall into grind. I take my pace: for example, one toon completes a chunk of plot, and the other does another questline. You don’t want to be doing one and the same pieces for every toon one after another the same day. I take at least a day or two for things to settle. Shortcuts and best ways to complete questlines remain, but the quests seem comparatively fresh.

In other words: take you time.

jeeves

That’s Jeeves. He has a hobby of racing with my other cat, and his shortcut to the windowsill is through my computer mouse area.

Knowing that, I don’t allow any drinks in tall opened vessels near my laptop. Exceptions happen though.

I had a beer from a bottle on Sunday night, and Jeeves was racing by. Beer went over the keyboard, and then whenever I type anything, my laptop adds 666 after every symbol I type. Sometimes it starts printing 666666 by itself.

Long story short, it’s two computer-less days for me, and a $64-worth whole keyboard replacement in service center. With a single swish of the tail :)

I love the dude.

Leveling Almost Done

I know I’ve been absent recently, and it was for two good reasons.

Reason one, the last week I spent on tour with my band Svartby through Czech and Poland. The tour was awesome although tiresome, as every journey. It is interesting how every trip to another city or country is a test on my gaming addiction. When I’m at home, WoW is one of my major leisure activities, and it’s always interesting for me to check if I miss the game on my travelling or not, because under no circumstances I take my laptop with me. Yet another test passed: I was glad to return to the game of course, I was glad to run through Azeroth again on my return. But during the trip itself I was quite busy and happy with new impressions and activities, so I didn’t even remember about the game the other day.

Reason two, is that my current gameplay before and after vacation is a long leveling journey for my team of twelve toons. I’m glad to report that leveling business comes to an end now. Let’s see how my chart has filled since before and then talk about it a bit (the picture is clickable):

list

So, leveling. The big ‘+’ under the zone name means Loremaster, the one beside means Explorer, and the third one is the corresponding Pillar of Creation which requires to complete a dungeon (except Val’sharah). With 120 levels to go for 12 toons in whole, I have done 110.

As you can see, I have each zone to be completed for the last time now. And it’s gonna be a slow ride. Once again I will be reading all the quests like for the first time. I will be saying goodbye to storylines – it was a productive, interesting and compelling journey.

Meanwhile I’m having new goals now upon reaching 110 with my toons.

  1. Artifact Knowledge – I know now that it’s one of the most important things to spend garrison resources at. You must always have an order running. The range between artifact power acquired by Micromantica (AK level 10) and for example Hexen (AK level 5) is frightening. I may want to collect as much Knowledge as possible before even starting to properly do Suramar questlines.
  2. Opening Suramar for World Quests – yes, all the toons need the first two or three questlines to open world questing. World quests are fun, different, fast and very rewarding. So that’s top priority to get my toons busy.
  3. Class Order Hall Campaigns. Also top priority. Not only it gives a nice boost on resources, ilvl, and all, but it’s also a very different lore storyline for every toon.

My main, Micromantica, is still far away from completing Suramar questline. Being at 3000/21000 rep, she got two quests to Suramar dungeons which are Mythic-only, LFG-unavailable ones. This could really, really be a problem. Are they obligatory for Loremaster? Because this bothers me in huge scales.

I’ve completed LFR Emerald Nightmare with her, and I can’t say I was quite moved by the story. I don’t feel like I wanted to fight the bosses in the first place. It’s not my job. It’s a local and very class-specific problem. My druid – yes, she could add this to her duties. And probably it’s also because these ‘out there’ locations seem like they’re not real anyways, just an alternate versions of real locations, and OMG we’ve been fed up with that.

I have many posts planned about Artifact Weapons, leveling zones and everything. Leveling comes to an end for me, and with new routines I’m gonna sum up this experience.

P.S. Not so grindy about the Halloween horse this year. Just an occasional run or two during the day :)

Halloween Album For You!

As you know, it’s a game blog, and I’m writing only WoW posts, very rarely mentioning anything else. But certain important events in my life are worth posting here.

So, I’ve been busy with my band for 11 years by now. It’s not my job that I’m doing for living, a hobby, but a very serious one. I’m playing keyboards, composing lion’s share of music and writing all the lyrics.

My interest to fantasy worlds which led me into playing Warcraft games and finally World of Warcraft must have been reflected in my band’s concept, and truly so, it does. We sing about wild forest magical creatures which lay waste upon human towns and cities. But, rather than exploiting any epic/mythical fantasy setting, we’re tended to halloweenish, witchy themes – like dark, scary fairy-tales where villains always win :)

And so, today we have finally released our 4th full-length album –

SwampMyNeighbour

We put all the songs at our Bandcamp where stream listening is free – here’s your link: http://svartby.bandcamp.com/album/swamp-my-neighbour-2015

Hope you enjoy it – and Happy Halloween!

Epic Ring – IRL Quest

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Well, it is one of the few posts I devote to IRL cause it’s kinda important. 

I’ve completed the Epic Ring quest chain IRL and got this achievement officially mentioned in my ID. My wedding happened on Friday 13 (March 2015) – last week, and we chose the date on purpose cause it is so cool :)

Me and Elena have been living together as a family for 5 years by now, renting a flat together, bringing up our 2 cats. So the wedding itself didn’t change much in our everyday lives, but:

  • We got Epic Rings to wear (silver + black opals)!
  • The Government is now officially aware of our relations and officially approved them (which makes few things a bit easier here in Russia)
  • Our families and friends participated in a beautiful ceremony
  • And now I can refer to Elena as “my wife” which describes our relations best! (Cause “girlfriend” sounds like you’ve met at a club yesterday).

Unlike many gaming families I come across in my guilds and different blogs, she doesn’t play WoW or any game at all. But she totally supports my interest and the time that I devote to World of Warcraft. The only thing you need to do for harmonic relations is: find balance between your gaming (any other hobby) and your personal life. And of course support and understand your life partner’s interests as well.

Here’s a toast: to mutual understanding and respect!

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