2017 Bucket List Update 1

This weekend I worked on cleaning out my second account so I can cancel the subscription before the monthly payment is due. I’m deleting all the characters so I am not tempted to resubscribe. This includes the only level 110 on all my accounts; a demon hunter.

The hard part right now is “use what I have” as my characters are all over the place and some I no longer connect with. I had to remind myself of the bucket list I created last month because I started considering spending real money on character transfers and appearance/name changes on my main account. I will add a rule to not transfer or change any characters until after they have their first artifact.

I think, more than anything, this bucket list will serve as a focused guide so I don’t go off the rails and make things messier than they are.

Before I created the bucket list, one character on my main account had an artifact and now four have one.

Remaining characters are below, and for some reason the Armory isn’t displaying Kaeleigh’s or Nahualli’s transmog. I don’t have a Monk or Warrior. I planned to create them on Alliance, but I may create them on Horde. I really want an Orc Warrior!

I have spent more time playing ESO than WoW this past month. I’m enjoying the recent homestead release and am very excited about the upcoming Morrowind expansion. Zahra my “celestial druid” is level 30 now, but I’m also leveling a master crafter at the same time. Grusha gra-Tukmek is her name and she’s a level 23 Wood Orc Nightblade. Say hello!

I found that creating a back story for Zahra makes me feel more connected to her. She recently experienced an unfortunate incident where she was caught stealing and couldn’t flee from her attacker. Well, to be fair, an NPC defending their property. I panicked and made Zahra kill them. She got an achievement for being a murderer! I felt horrible and wished I could go back to a save to prevent this experience from becoming part of her history. I should have let them kill Zahra. It would have been more true to her character and personality; the one I created! Now she’s a murderer.

Maybe she should leave thieving to Grusha.

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2017 Bucket List

Z and Cinder’s blog challenge this week – my first one! – is your 2017 bucket list of things you want to accomplish in the game(s) you play. I didn’t make much progress in the games I play during 2016. I think my bucket list for 2017 is simple enough to be achievable.

2017 in ESO

In Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), Zahra the “celestial” druid is level 27 right now; she was level 12 in September 2015.

  • I simply want to level one character to 50 in this game!

2017 in WoW

In World of Warcraft (WoW), I currently have two active accounts and a single level 110 between them. That level 110 is a Demon Hunter; she’s not on my main account and not one of my pre-Legion characters! Between not being able to decide which account to play and a very busy work schedule leaving me with little free time for gaming, or feeling so exhausted I couldn’t muster the brain power to make virtual decisions about what to do in a virtual world, getting any character to 110 in 2016 was an accomplishment.

I’d like to revisit some long-held, unaccomplished goals. Choosing one account will help, and that will be my main account. These goals help facilitate something of an account cleanup.

  • Level one of each class to get their first artifact.
    • My main account has three 100s, three in the 90s, two in the 80s, and one 60. It does not have a demon hunter, monk, or warrior.
    • I have my work cut out for me.
  • Use what I have.
    • What gets me in trouble is after declaring to level one of each class,  I then add “one of each race” too. Oh, and then each server needs to have characters with all professions, and they all need to have freckles and red hair! In 2017, the madness ends!
  • Learn as many recipes on characters who craft gear, and focus on one character for each profession regardless faction or server.
    • Professions on my main account are all over the place. I have several dual crafters and it has never worked out for me. I want each crafter to have the complementary gathering profession, so this means dropping a few advanced professions and leveling a gathering profession.
    • One thing I will never change: my main character, THE Mama Druid, will never drop enchanting. I didn’t know what I was doing in Vanilla and for some reason I dropped her leatherworking for enchanting. It was the biggest pain to level back then. She definitely has a few enchantments earned from rep grinds and some that may be hard to get or are no longer available. Her other profession is herbalism, which I love as a druid.
    • I’ll need to figure out who should be my leatherworker as two of them might have patterns that are no longer available. One might have to hang on to it for just that reason.

I think the first thing to do is sort out professions as my characters can benefit from leveling them in their garrisons while I work on other things.

Lower priority goals that may not be achievable:

  • Get flying in Legion.
  • Get the “Insane in the Membrane” title (need Ravenholdt and Goblin rep).
  • Get “the Beloved” title (48/60).
  • Get all Tournament mounts and pets.

The last three I’ve started and stopped over the years. It would be nice to put the nail in all their coffins. I hate grinding rep.

Wish me luck!

When Logic Prevails

Focus. Good God Woman, FOCUS!

I quit what I was doing in WoW this morning to write this post because I suddenly realized that what I was doing was not focused and I should quickly commit something to virtual paper for a realignment.

This is what I was doing:

Let’s ignore what I should be doing in #RL for now and start with a quick update of my current gaming situation.

I’m only playing WoW right now. I miss ESO. I love the Elder Scrolls world, ESO is a wonderful game and it seems to be getting better. I simply can no longer play it on my 2009 iMac. I miss SWTOR as well. I setup Bootcamp in order to play it, but it’s just become inconvenient to manage. Additionally, when I play ESO and SWTOR, I play alone and playing with people has become more important to me.

In WoW, I’m starting over on a new server—not a new account because that did not work—and joined a guild for players age 25+ so I can play with people and participate in a forgiving and understanding environment for older players. After nearly 12 years, aren’t we all older players now?

Today, I found myself cheating again. I caught it because I questioned what I was doing with my time. It could save time in the long run, but will I be where I want to when Legion drops? Probably not. How about the pre-patch? Yikes! That’s coming up fast.

So let’s break this down.

Logic: Where do you want to be when Legion drops?
Me: I want my new druid on the new server to be level 100.

Logic: How best to achieve that?
Me: Level her with heirlooms via dungeons.

Logic: Why aren’t you doing that?
Me: I wanted to level her without heirlooms via quests to experience Cata content I haven’t experienced and to add more quest gear to the upcoming wardrobe.

Logic: Let it go.
Me: But it hurts!

Logic: Let it go.
Me: But I want more cloth gear for the upcoming wardrobe and need to level a tailor and their tailoring. I could do that on my level 54 warlock on the old server, which would also help accomplish a secondary “starting over” goal of playing classes I haven’t played. And I could also stuff her banks and bags with crafting materials to jump start professions for new characters on the new server and spend #RL gold to transfer her to the new server.

Logic: …

Well, there you have it folks! It can’t get any simpler than that.

I also have to consider time. I won’t have much of it in August and none of it through the first half of September due to a very busy work schedule which includes a trip to Washington DC.

It’s always refreshing when logic prevails.

Beta Spoiler: Trying Out Classes, Deciding What to Do in Legion

Playing beta has got me excited for Legion. I haven’t done much as I’d like to keep the element of surprise and awe intact when Legion launches. But so far, it’s fun! I’m trying each class to help me decide what I’ll do, and a few things are made quite clear:

  • There’s not much of a need to play multiple characters of the same class
  • Same as above, but for gear types: cloth, leather, etc.

I’m not sure if it’s a goal Blizzard has communicated, but with garrisons and flying in Warlords and now class halls and the new wardrobe in Legion, it seems as though they may be actively designing the game for players to focus on fewer characters. I suppose you could refer back to the introduction of Achievements as a beginning for this direction, if it is in fact a direction at all.

Or, it could just be me and my changed perspective. I feel like there’s a lot more work involved to get multiple characters to the max level. I leveled one character to 100. Then I used my free Legion boost on a level 92 so I could get one last profession to 600 for the guild achievement so my solitary guild could have access to the heirloom legs. I already had all but one of the heirloom legs.

That’s my gaming life. Woo! Go me!

Beta is far more exciting. It’s new, and shiny!

The first beta class I leveled to get their artifact weapon was a dwarf elemental shaman. I wasn’t prepared for the… I have no idea what it’s called, mini movie clip? Whatever that is that happens when your character gets their weapon. After the shaman, I was prepared and captured a few screenshots.

Hunter with Titanstrike & Hati

Gnome hunter gets Titanstrike, and Hati. Gnome hunter is new to the class and forgot to unholster her gun.

Demon Hunter with Aldrachi Warblades

Demon Hunter with Aldrachi Warblades

Druid with Scythe of Elune

Druid with Scythe of Elune

Rogue with Kingslayers

Rogue with Kingslayers

Warrior with Warswords of Valor

Warrior with Warswords of Valor

The three leather wearers are sharing similar looks (pieces from the scouting garb set) using the new Wardrobe feature. I hadn’t yet mogged the druid’s new legs… who started out as a Troll, by the way. A nifty feature in the beta is the ability to switch race and faction, making it easy to try out all the race/class combos.

At this point I’m planning to do something I’ve wanted to for a long while—play a caster troll druid. The druid class hall cemented that choice. Is it ever glorious! A close second is rogue, 99% due to their class hall. And she will be a Blood Elf because another thing I’ve wanted is a Blood Elf rogue, 99% due to their stealth animation.

I enjoyed playing the other classes—especially hunter, I always enjoy hunters—but I need to prioritize and have yet to play a death knight, mage, monk, paladin, priest, and warlock. Maybe Legion will be about doing things I’ve been wanting to do for some time.

I already started leveling my troll druid. The only heirlooms she’s using are the pieces without XP gains. I don’t want her to quickly out-level content. I’m leveling her by questing, primarily to finally experience zones changed by the Cataclysm and to pick up moggable quest reward gear.

I’m also in a guild (with more people than me, myself, and I) for the first time since Cataclysm. The Elder Council is an Alliance and Horde guild for players 35 and older. The majority of players are 40-59. It’s on a three-server virtual realm; with Legion, you could virtually have 36 characters on one server! So maybe I’ll finally create that stable of hunters, one for each race!

Pshaw! Yeah, right. In my dreams, or when I’m retired.

I’ve got to focus first, on that troll druid. Which is challenging because I’m still trying to get as much gold as I can on my two 100s. For what, I don’t know yet. Perhaps for upgrading heirlooms to 100. And then I get sidetracked by completing that one achievement that’s 99% finished… because squirrel.

 

But that focus… I’m amazed and inspired by Kamalia and her et alia. Her life is busy, yet her organized approach to doing what she wants actually works. Maybe THAT’S something I’ll try in legion.

Focus!

On Starting Over

I’ve held onto this idea that unsubscribing my main, 11-year old account and starting a shiny brand new account would be fun and awesome. A blank slate! No pets, mounts, toys, heirlooms, or achievements. My super shiny new characters would have absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back.

Such a great idea!

I finally tried it. I unsubbed my main account and had about half a month of playing time left. I created a new account. First name: Mama. Last name: Druid. Brand new identity. Yes! This is going to be awesome.

This was during the Thanksgiving holiday sale so I went ahead and upgraded to Warlords, which included a level 90 boost. Hmmm… I’ll ignore that. My son and daughter-in-law (DIL) started playing, each a pet class (frost mage and warlock) so I decided to play another pet class – hunter – because how awesome we’ll all be together. And we were all trolls – ya mon! Without heirlooms, leveling is still pretty quick, especially once you hit 15 and can start using LFG.

Apparently tweaking my lower level alts is now ingrained in me. That, and curiosity got the best of me. I boosted a level one Undead hunter to 90, primarily to try it out on a new account and to run through dungeons to get better gear for my original character who really didn’t need it anyhow.

The level 90 boost is pretty cool. I didn’t know a tutorial had been added to the Warlords starting area in Tanaan for boosted 90s. But, as a boosted 90, you can’t skip it (I tried via the secret entrance to Draenor) because you start without your spells and have to progress through the starting area to get them. Well, you can skip it but I don’t know if there’s another way to get your spells.

A few days pass and it occurs to me I can now create a Death Knight (DK)!  I’m slowly catching up to my son and DIL, but I’ll be closer if I create a DK. Oh, and ummm… if I transferred gold from my main account I could buy a few heirlooms for the DK. So I did that. I got really close to them; 65 to their 67s!

At some point in here I decide I should see what boosting a level 100 is like. So I do that. I boost a level one Tauren druid – a feral druid just like the Mama Druid, my solitary 100 on the main account – and experience the joy of insta-level 3 garrison… which has a menagerie. But I don’t have any level 25 pets on the new account. But I know who does.

See where I’m going with this? Can you smell the fail in the air at this point?

Back to the main account, which conveniently has an insta-25 stone for any pet. I transfer all tradeable pets, the stone, and more gold… rationalizing that transferring seed monies and (all?) the pets is ok. Why, I do not know. It made sense to me at the moment!

This doesn’t last long. My shiny new account is now tainted with the stain of my true colors. I’m addicted to the convenience of having all the things… not that my main account has much, but time is money, friends!! And clearly I can’t maintain boundaries and self-imposed limitations. I mean, really, why should I when I have an 11-year old account?

New account unsubbed. Resubbed to main account.

Crazy lady with her crazy ideas has been subdued and locked away.

“The dark times will pass.”
—Random Blood Elf NPC

Update: Warcraft, ESO, and Me

I have a habit of posting declarations I fully mean to commit to but never do. And then I put off posting because I’m no longer doing the thing I declared in a recent post.

I’m not meeting the expectations I have of myself as a wannabe blogger. It’s probably time to stop making those declarations, drop those expectations, and just post stuff. There’s so many things I could post! But all the ideas get clogged up in my “thoughtstream,” which becomes a soupy lake and the wonderful ideas get all murky and stuck and don’t go anywhere.

So, I’ll just let it be and post stuff.

Warcraft Update

I resubbed to WoW after a 7-month break. I have been enjoying myself playing the Mama Druid. I’m not sure how I leveled her to 100 as there is so much incomplete content to do. All zones except for Shadowmoon Valley are incomplete. I think I just focused on garrison building with a little questing on the side.

So now I’m using the Draenor Pathfinder as my activity guide. While I understand it’s a way for the devs to ensure all players experience the leveling content, it’s super annoying. It’d be nice if there were perks for accounts that have been playing since Vanilla. We’ve been through so much, just give us permanent flying dagnabbit! Newer players would understand, right?

Most days I only have time to maintain my garrison and do the daily assault, and maybe one of the Tanaan daily assaults. It will be some time before Mama can stretch her feathers and let the Draenor winds guide her above the treetops. Hopefully before the next expansion.

The other day I followed my Tiny Snowman in my garrison. I was surprised to see him out and about (isn’t he afraid of melting?) and was even more surprised by his behavior. At each stop he made, he would pause and then quickly tip his hat. What a fun surprise! I’m curious to see if any other pets do anything interesting while exploring the garrison.

WoWScrnShot_110815_221456

ESO Update

I haven’t played ESO for more than a month now. I love that game, but really have a hard time focusing on one character. I’m getting to the point of letting go of my character ideas and just leveling my highest level (an Imperial Templar in her early 40s) simply to finish experiencing the story part of the game.

Personal Update

Empty Nest

By Virginia State Parks staff (WE Empty Nest Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

This year has been interesting for me with a definite theme of self discovery/understanding. I think I put myself on hold while working and raising our kids. Now that they are out of the house I guess my focus and energy is now available for myself. It’s really weird and feels very awkward.

For me, the empty nest syndrome is not one of feeling sad because my children are gone. I am so very happy for them and have really enjoyed getting to know them as adults. Neither of us were saddened by the inevitable. After all, the whole point of raising a child is to prepare them for leaving and beginning their own lives. For me, the empty nest syndrome is one of “well, what now?” While preparing my kids to start their own lives, I had forgotten to prepare myself for what I would do once they left. Maybe there’s a different “syndrome” for this, but it took me by surprise and I suppose I’m now beginning to recover (my youngest is a junior in college) and attempting to refocus.

I have been putting more energy into work, making it matter more than ever before. But I’m not sure that’s the solution. I think I’ll just continue down this path of discovering my empty nester self and see where it takes me.

Settling in for the long haul…

Wandering Isle Ocean View

Musings of an Unsubbed Barely Gamer

The last of my monthly subscriptions ended last week. I didn’t initiate it, but I didn’t correct it. The credit card I setup for monthly Elder Scrolls Online payments was discontinued by the bank and the charge didn’t go through. I didn’t set it up on the new card. And with that, I am completely free to play. I haven’t touched Star Wars: The Old Republic in months; I logged in maybe twice in the past year and didn’t stay long. I cancelled WoW in March 2015. Since then, I have logged in a few times to play the trial version.

I enjoy playing each of these games. The benefits a subscription provides with each either no longer appeals to me or does not apply to me now. WoW is the only one that appeals to me as it’s the only way you can play a character beyond level 20. The other two, ESO and SWTOR – well, I have played each since they launched and have yet to play a character to the max level. That says much more for SWTOR because it’s been around longer than ESO. I’m not sure what it says about ESO.

Thinking about why this has happened, I’m not sure there’s a singular reason. In all three games, I no longer have friends or family that play. There never were many friends or family anyhow, and I used to happily play alone. Perhaps the excitement of exploring a new world has worn off? The same gaming elements persist in all three:

  • level by questing, different story/same methods
    • go get x of y, kill x of y, talk to him/her, sabotage this/that… it has to be done, how else would you level, how else can game designers tell the stories?
  • all the grinding, for crafting/profession materials, for reputation to get things or access to things
    • and apparently in WoW, to receive the hard-earned and high cost previously paid for flying – WTF? Did they forget what vanilla players had to go through, especially druids for flight form? Aren’t there flying creatures in Draenor? How does Pepe get around in the garrison?
  • game designers setting things up to force you to do things they want you to (e.g., state of flying in WoW)
  • play a dps spec to level and then learn how to heal at max level – why is this still a thing?
    • to be fair, I think WoW may be the worst culprit – both SWTOR & ESO provide dps options while leveling in a healer spec

From game to game, and after so many years, it blurs together and the excitement of a new world begins to wear off sooner than before. It’s all a game of carrot and stick masked in pretty pixels.

Playing video games has increasingly become a smaller part of my life. Maybe I’ve finally become too old for it, or the adventure of real life has won me over.

I’m not sure it’s important that there is a reason. It just is what it is. I don’t play as much. I don’t see a reason to subscribe, at this time. I am currently playing a free WoW account with the thought that I may upgrade it and subscribe. I do like to experience the expansions. But I might experience the next one on a new account. Afterall, WoW is not the same game I started playing nearly 11 years ago. I’m not the same person. My old account is bloated and the way I played it is no longer compatible with who I am now.

Now, I am slowing down, as the Pandaren say, and enjoying the views.

Wandering Isle Ocean View

Wandering Isle Ocean View

And having some fun playing a new class: Monk.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

We’ll see where this goes.