Vanilla vs. Classic Warcraft

 

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I hope you enjoy the little slide show of my druid’s transitions over the years!

In retail, I have played all classes and am most experienced with druids. My least played classes are monk and warrior; I’m not sure I’ve leveled either beyond 40ish so maybe they don’t count.

Classic felt like an opportunity to try something different. I was of the mindset that the difference would be playing a non-druid class as my main. But the closer we get to next week’s launch date, the more focused my intentions become.

Playing a non-druid would have been for the sake of doing something different, which doesn’t necessarily equate to enjoyment. I had a frost mage in mind, this lovely lady in fact.

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I really want to play her and I eventually will. I simply can’t ignore my love for—and familiarity with—the druid class. Plus, Mama Druid NOT playing a druid?!?!

While my main class won’t be different than Vanilla, what will be different is the ability to “correct” mistakes with years of experience. Here are a few differences in Classic:

  • My kids are young adults (one is married!) and living their own lives, in their own homes.
  • I’m unemployed and currently have a lot of time on my hands. Am I spending it wisely? That’s for my future self to determine.
  • Horde will be my primary faction. I have all my Horde characters planned and haven’t even thought about Alliance characters.
  • My druid will decisively be an herbalist/alchemist and NOT dabble in leatherworking before foolishly taking up enchanting for the sake of alts.
  • Each character will be self-sufficient with their professions and NOT rely on other characters for materials. Boy, what a mess I’ve never sorted on retail.
  • I’m starting out with an organized guild and NOT trying a bunch of guilds, quitting all the ones that condone rape talk, until I find a good fit. This will also be a welcome change from playing solo for many years. Looking for a guild? Check out us “old timers“—Horde on Pagle and Alliance on Mankrik.
  • I’m playing on a PC and NOT this bad boy:

Needless to say, I’m getting pretty excited! If you intend to play Classic, what are your plans?

P.S. There’s an unplanned Part 2!

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All the Shirts

Today is Free T-Shirt Day in Azeroth! This seems like a new event to me, but as I’m not consistently playing WoW I could have missed it. Thankfully I saw wrathofkublakhan of Coffee Cakes and Crits post about it and did not miss this one!

If you haven’t done it yet, checkout this overview in a comment on the Wowhead entry for the event.

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I haven’t played WoW in months, but I will login to add more shirts to my collection! I logged in with my mage for quick travel to the vendors that are selling free shirts. Their shirts are shown below in the red outline.

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The shirt vendors show up as a star on your map when in the zone, but only if that part of your map is revealed.

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I collected 22 new shirts; 15 from the shirt cannon guy and 7 from the vendors. I think Selis’ Silk Shirt looks great with my fire mage’s outfit!

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Name Day in Warcraft Classic

My three names are reserved!

This is my Tauren Druid, Aubari—same as my main on retail. I discovered her name down a rabbit hole some time ago. I got the meaning—she who restores dynamic balance through adjusting emphasis—from random Internet searching (i.e., I can’t recall how I came across that page!).

As described on the page, the meaning represents how we change the outer world by adjusting the one within; a very powerful perception shift that can improve many things in your life (and seemed like a good fit for me and my druid).

Aubari character screen

My Troll Shaman is Qila. Her name is Greenlandic and it means “she, who is asking the spirits.” Appropriate for a shaman, don’t you think?

Qila character screen

I love the male Troll animation for shooting bows so made this guy my hunter. His name is Tuskadero and he’ll tame pink pets and name each one Pinky for the name combo:

Pinky
<Tuskadero’s Pet>

Tuskadero character screen

I hope everyone got the names they wanted!

Name Your Character: Orcs and Trolls

In a few short days—on Monday, August 12 at 3:00 pm PT (6:00 ET)—World of Warcraft players can create up to three characters per account in WoW Classic. It’s an opportunity to reserve names for three of your Classic characters: one main and two bank alts, amirite?

With decades of gaming behind us, many players have established go-to names for their characters in any game. The best opportunity to secure those names is when a game is new, which will be the case with WoW Classic. However, the more creative and rare your names are, the easier it is to use them at any point in a game’s life span.

My post on naming the prolific Elven races breaks down the method to my madness in coming up with unique names for my characters—check it out if you haven’t already. The methods described there serve as a foundation for my “name your character” posts.

Before We Begin

If you share my love of language, I highly recommend watching the Tolkien movie. While I don’t know how true it is, the movie is simply lovely. It helped me better understand my fascination with language when Tolkien discussed with his professor how language is the lifeblood of a culture. You can learn a lot about a people from the words they use to describe their way of living. I clearly missed my calling in linguistic anthropology!

One More Thing to Get Out of the Way

Aside from nostalgia and hoping for a reemergence of the player community prior to the introduction of cross realm technology, I’m playing WoW Classic because I want to return to an Azeroth where Vol’jin is alive and well. His death haunts me to this day and—this just occurred to me—could have played a part in my waning desire to play. I wanted him to be Warchief forever. Killing off a well-loved character in a living breathing virtual world will make that world a sadder place.

I miss you, man.

Ok then, my goodness, let’s get on with the purpose of this post.

Tolkien’s Black Speech

My inspiration for naming Orcs and Trolls came from learning that the Black Speech invented by Tolkien is similar to Hurrian. There aren’t many online resources or dictionaries for Black Speech as Tolkien didn’t care for it as much as the Elven tongues he created. And there aren’t many Hurrian resources or dictionaries either, likely because it’s considered to be extinct.

I use languages similar to Hurrian—Hittite, Akkadian, and Urdu—to create names for my Orcs and Trolls. I also use Greenlandic and Yoruba.

Dictionaries

Keyword searches.

Lexicons

Read through these lists or ctrl+F your way around using keywords.

Name Generators

I’m not a fan of name generators as I prefer to know what the name means. That said, the two linked here produce results that feel authentic to me.

Gods, Goddesses, Mythological Characters

If you don’t have time for diving deep into rabbit holes, finding a name from a culture’s pantheons and mythologies can be quicker and educational. These links are all to Wikipedia pages with name lists—super easy to ctrl+F for keywords.

Godchecker.com is a great site to add to your reference materials.

A little side note about Yoruba. I haven’t used it as much because, at this point, I have a healthy list of go-to names. I fell in love with it a few years ago when I first heard the French-Cuban twin sister duo Ibeyi in an interview on the radio. Ibeyi is the Orisha of divine twins.

If you never get a chance to see their amazing live performance, take a moment and enjoy them here and now. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Naming Conventions

For thorough character naming research, don’t forget to check the naming conventions for your character’s race and/or language. You might find a gem of a name like I did for my Troll Balance Druid in WoW: Zen’Nattari. Zennattari means “it is the new moon” in Hittite and Zen is a Zandali prefix for druids. At the time of this post, I have the only character in the WoW Armory with that name. I suppose a few more won’t hurt!

While naming conventions can be exclusive to the IP—like the gra/gro prefix for Orsimer surnames in Elder Scrolls—you can certainly mix and match between games and lore as you please.

You can use the naming conventions to further customize a name for your Orc or Troll. It seems to me that the Orc languages in both ESO and WoW frequently use the letter g while the letter z is used more frequently in the Troll’s Zandali language.

For example, let’s say you are creating a shaman. Performing a keyword search for lightning in the Akkadian dictionary gives us a good result:

ṣaraḫu (2) [Sky → Astronomy → Stars]  to light up , to flare up / to ignite quickly and suddenly (after having died down) ; Š : (demon) to make lightning flash , to make a firebrand flash

  • Orc shaman: Garahu
  • Troll shaman: Zarahu

Checking the WoW Armory for these names shows very few results for all three—Sarahu has 0 results. It’s a good bet that these names could be rare and unique in other games.

In Closing

I hope this is helpful. If not, hit me up in the comments or on Twitter. I just might have the name you are looking for in one of my many lists or spreadsheets. Or give me some keywords and I can give you a few options!

—–

I realized as I was putting this post together that this series could benefit from a better-organized presentation. In fact, a one-stop page of links to resources may be useful. I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

More importantly, I hope you don’t mind the diversions of the movie trailer and tiny desk concert. They are part of how I experience language and culture, how it all connects for me and comes together as part of humanity. Art is its own language of expression and communication rooted in culture and human experience.

So. See you in WoW Classic?

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.

How Neat!

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While posting my daily photos this week, I saw a few posts in my reader about something that is Real Neat. In catching up on what this was all about today, I discovered that I had been nominated by Marathal over at Deez Words. Wow! Thank you Marathal.

So what the heck does this mean? It means you get to learn more about the bloggers you follow! If nominated, you:

  • Thank and link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer their seven questions.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and create 7 new questions for them to answer.

The most interesting thing I’ve learned about my blogging peers is some of us have been gaming a long time (Atari, Commodore 64), and they may be closer to my age than I would have thought! I always feel as though I’m older than everyone else.

Seven Answers for Marathal

1. In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, are you prepared?

No. I should probably befriend a few people who work at a morgue.

2. Have you ever had someone you never would have thought would ever read your blog, mention something you wrote?

I’ll say no. My memory is terrible and I’d like to think I would remember that!

3. Of course I have to ask. Alliance or Horde, but also, One Main? or Army of Alt’s.

Both, with a slight preference for Horde. Armies are organized, so I’ll call my failed attempts at building an army of alts my ragtag band of misfits.

4. Have you ever had the opportunity to attend Blizzcon, or some other large gaming convention.

Does a local comic con count? I went once, primarily to see Gigi Edgely who played Chiana on Farscape, one of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows. The line was long and I was short on time (aka introvert excuses), so I didn’t get a chance to embarrass myself. I saw her head! Wil Wheaton was there too. I saw his head as well!

5. Do you think Warcraft will ever end, and how do you see them ending it.

I think it will, but private servers may carry on. I have no thoughts about how it will end for everyone. I can’t even say how it will end for me. Overall, I play and care less.

6. What in all the years you have played games, has been your favorite to play.

Morrowind, Baldur’s Gate, and Arcanum hold that special nostalgic place in my heart. I think Vanilla WoW does too, and Pandaria – I loved Pandaria.

I’m really enjoying ESO right now, especially with the recently released housing feature and upcoming Morrowind expansion. I’m certain I would love Skyrim, but I don’t have time to spare for another game. I still need to play Oblivion! Maybe when I’m retired.

7. And a final one. Should Tauren be allowed to play Rogue’s. 😉

No. That was easy!

Mama Druid Nominates You

Please Answer These Seven Questions

  1. What is your favorite dish to make (baking, cooking, etc.)?
  2. Which companion pet from any game would you want as your own pet? If not a pet from a game, which mythological creature?
  3. Why do you blog?
  4. If you could travel to a place in a game (replicated on earth), where would you go?
  5. Outside of gaming, what project are you working on personally and/or professionally?
  6. What is the first (most important/urgent) undone thing on your bucket list?
  7. What’s your sign?

Coming up with the questions was the hardest part! Please everyone, feel free to answer any of them in the comments. It’s fun to learn more about each other.

Thank you for the nomination Marathal.

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!