Lucky Doo is better than Lucky Don’t

I had been trying for years to get the Reigns of the Headless Horseman (basically since I first learned it was something I could farm each year). It took me running a random alt on a whim to earn me the elusive mount.

Enter BfA and the world boss Dunegorger Kraulok, which has a chance to drop the beloved alpaca mount Mollie. Throughout the entirety of BfA, I would run all of my max-level toons out to Vol’dun and try for the mount and would never see it.

Since Shadowlands launched, I’d missed a lot of weeks because I was focused on leveling and gearing. When I finally got around to trying it again, there weren’t very many people farming the world boss when I would get near it. As a result, I couldn’t pull off solo kills unless I was a max-level tank, healer, or pet-dps class.

This past week, I threw my usual suspects at him and noticed he was a very busy guy. There were lots of people around smacking him in hopes of the mount. I decided I’d trek my squishy max-level toons out there to poke at him. One of the times I was out there, I saw someone die during the fight. I was on a toon that could non-combat resurrect others, so I was a good player and saved them a corpse run. When I rezzed them I noticed they were not max-level, but somewhere in the mid-50s. That’s when I remembered the level 60 requirement was self-imposed. I can bring anyone level 50+ out there and give it a go.

I hopped on my Light-forged Draenai Paladin, that I had originally leveled solely for the heritage armor, but had found myself leveling recently because I will eventually force myself to learn to heal as a paladin. He was level 56-ish and in tank spec. When I flew out there, the mob had just spawned and some clothies were just itching to start attacking him, so I started smacking him. I figured I’m a tank and 6-ish levels above the relevant level for him, so I should be fine. I was very wrong. I was dipping really low and tossing all the heals I could muster on myself and thinking there was a corpse run in the cards for me. Next thing I know, I see these big green wings appear in front of me and I lose aggro to a Necrolord Vengeance Demon Hunter. I was okay with that. At that point I just focused damage on the boss and helped to keep the adds centered around me, my temporary new dh friend, my Rain of Fire aoe friend, and my Blizzard aoe friend. When the boss goes down, I find a Slightly Damp Pile of Fur in my loot window.

Baaros and Mollie

I think this is a sign that I should spend a bit more time on my lesser played toons.

Final Fantasy’s True Endgame … player housing

I finally decided to get off my lazy bum and go out and become a real adult. No more staying at questionable inns, I’ve got my own address. I feel like I should link The Jefferson’s theme song due to how big a deal player housing is.

Topmast Subdivision in Mist … my home.

I know that The Maelstrom gets a lot of hate from folks because “ew filthy derelict pirates.” Meh, I ride motorcycles. I’m used to society giving me the side eye, and I don’t care. I just click with the La Noscea zones and the grand company. I like that my GC leader is calm, cool, collected, and diplomatic; but if you cross her, or her allies, she’ll put a bullet between your eyes faster than you can blink. Also, the color red is my kryptonite. The choice for apartments was easy; I went to Mist. I love the beach and docks there.

Me and Kitty enjoying a little bit of the nighttime ocean vibes.
virtual tour of my squarespace …..

Mad Luck, Catnip, and the interim copium dosage

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I figured I’d finally add a little more to it, then button it up and toss it onto the InterVoid.

I never expect to see the holiday boss mounts drop for me, but the Headless Horseman finally handed over The Horseman’s Reins.

It was a bit of a shock to say the least. On the first day of running the dungeon, I saw a Mage get the mount in one of my groups. I pretty much figured this was going to be the closest I get this year. I’d been running random content and swapped to a server I keep lesser played toons on and realized my instance lock was up and I had a couple tanks on this server that could run it. I hopped on my Void Elf DK (that I leveled solely for the heritage armor) and queued up as a tank. This was his first time ever seeing the Headless Horseman, but I’ve got a couple DKs and their setups are all identical. Only thing this one doesn’t have is the big covenant button to press. We finish the run, he gets his Bring Me The Head of… Oh Wait achievement and I open my box and expect to leave group and log out. Imagine my surprise when I see a horse head icon flash real quick in the auto-loot window. Someone in the group whispers to me “Congrats! Just know that I might hate you a little bit over this. ;-)” and then /cheers me. Open my bags, and there it is. It is officially over, my search is done. Fate chose when I’d claim the reward. AH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Of course I had to put on a pumpkin head and take a pic in front of the clock tower. I will still queue up as a tank or healer each year to help folks out, because I know the DPS queue sucks. However, now I don’t have to think of it as a “farming” activity, it’s a charity event.

Spoiler warning, adorbs kittehs ahead…..

Alt-friendly-ish (aka the wait for 9.1.5’s REAL alt-friendly changes)

I’ve leveled several toons through Shadowlands to level 60. With the exception of a Monk and a Warrior, I had at least 1 of every class at level 60 and renown 40 before 9.1 landed on us. I’ve done the Necrolord campaign 4 times, Night Fae 3 times, Kyrian 3 times, and Venthyr 3 times. They had made some adjustments to the alt-friendliness of 9.0 and because of that, I didn’t find it difficult to get them caught up. Gearing is easy enough to get yourself LFR ready right when you ding 60 (provided you’re willing to buy/make some crafted gear).

Wherein I spew my thoughts on the 9.0/9.1 leveling process and dream of 9.1.5…..

Goto Mogs

Nothing of substance, just an updated look for Aestalas. I find that there are a couple of looks for some of my toons that just stick and I use for what seems like forever. I have similar favorites for my nearly-naked gnome rogue and my tauren shaman (who, coincidently, is also nearly-naked). I really like the duster look afforded by the first tier of Shadowlands leather gear. As a motorcyclist, I would wear this.

HeadOnyx Glare-Reducers
ShouldersExaminer’s Monnions
ChestMiasma-Lacquered Jerkin (LFR version)
HandsAviana’s Grips
WaistHeedless Pugilist’s Harness (LFR version)
LegsVolatile Sadestitch Legguards (LFR version)
FeetSpiked Irontoe Slippers
WeaponRanseur of Hatred

Mide and Dayan (FF XIV)

Still a better love story than Twilight!

Yes, Twilight is a wonderful work. Lots of emotion. But HOLY HELLS! I have felt more emotion from this post-Heavansward story arc than I did from my own divorces. I know I have some serious mental issues to deal with, but the writing of these stories is beyond compare. If you love the story-telling in MMORPGs, you have to play Final Fantasy XIV. Yes, I’m a WoW shill, but damn if YoshiP and his team aren’t the better story tellers. I think I feel more of a human connection with the FFXIV team than I do with Blizzard, and I’ve only been playing FFXIV for about 2-ish months and I’ve been playing WoW for well over a decade.

I still rewatch the 2021 Final Fantasy fan fest closing session often (aka I’ve watch it at least a half dozen+ times… and I don’t think I can think of a single BlizzCon event that I’ve watched more than twice). YoshiP and Soken get me choked up in ways I cannot explain. That level of connection. That level of willingness to bare themselves in front of a global stage because of the friendship they feel for each other and that sense of devotion they have to their fans. It gets me rather misty-eyed. Every! Single! Time! I want more of this visceral feeling in the games I play. I want WoW to make me feel pride / sorrow / concern / regret for the characters I get invested in. I want to feel an emotional connection with Ion and Lore and Dave and Jen. While I’m hopeful there will be some positive changes at Blizzard with everything that is happening, I think it’s going to be a long while before I feel an emotional connection to them.

Ysera feels

There are stories in WoW that will elicit a welling up of feelings. A smile here, a tear there, a “WHAT THE ACTUAL F#@%?!?!” too. However, there aren’t many in the game that get me choked up. The Vanilla questline in the Badlands regarding Rheastrasza’s clutch and the Legion questline in Val’Sharah regarding Ysera both got me quite choked up. I think I just have a soft spot for dragons. Even now, knowing what I know in Shadowlands, I still get misty-eyed.

In FF, I’m finding that the story telling is so much more immersive that I feel attachment to the characters. I have visceral responses to them. For example, I really want to junk-punch Gerolt (relic weapon smith) repeatedly because he’s an asshole. Also, Geva (leatherworker’s guild master) needs to have a chihuahua bite her ankles because she’s so rude. I get those Ysera feelings quite often.

I’ve finished the MSQ and wrap up quests for Heavensward and am through the bulk of the Stormblood quests. The story writers have done a top notch job. There are so many points in the story that make me feel proud for these characters, or sadness. Someone said to me that “A Realm Reborn” was a rollercoaster of emotions. If that is the case, then Heavensward is the Do-Dodonpa (fastest rollercoaster in the world that has been shut down because of injuries involving broken bones).

Even the profession quest lines are great. I’ve completed the Fishing and Alchemy quests through to the end of Stormblood and I highly recommend them both. The alchemy brings some MSQ characters to the forefront and tells some really heartwarming and tear-jerking stories. Fishing is whimsical/comical at times and endearing at others. I’ve even done the ocean fishing repeatedly (not just for the mount, but because it’s a great source of XP). I’m having so much fun with crafting and gathering professions that there have been days that I spent the entire play session doing nothing but crafting and gathering.

Listening to players… and communicating with them?!?!?!?!?!

Crikey! I must be dreaming. In a recent blue post, it would appear that Blizzard has finally decided to #PullTheRipcord. Also, this recent uptick in blue posts is glorious. I wonder if the firings/step-downs have cleared roadblocks to allow the blue posts to flow, or if the blue posts are flowing as a means to try and distract from the firings/step-downs. I really hope it’s the former, because I love the communication. I would like to believe that Blizz said “Hey, Yoshi (the big kahuna at Final Fantasy XIV, if you aren’t familiar with the name) talks to his player base and communicates about changes and technical difficulties regularly and players love him for it. Maybe we should try to be more like Yoshi.” I want to believe that Blizz wants to be like Yoshi. The reality is that it is probably a little of both.

The first change that has me cheering is “When playing alternate characters, if you have already completed a given Covenant’s campaign on a different character, you will be able to immediately earn the Renown and third soulbind unlock without needing to replay the full narrative arc.” I’ve done every campaign 3+ times. I have more alts I want to mess with and this is a HUGE quality of alt-life improvement. I just want to earn renown on alts and have the unlocks happening at the proper renown level without going through the story again.

The second change that has me wanting to finally engage with the system is “Conduit Energy is being removed – Conduits will be freely swappable without restriction.” My main is a druid and I enjoy dps and healing as well as PVE and PVP. Covenant energy effectively told me, set these and never look at them again. Try and find a happy medium that doesn’t completely suck. Notice I didn’t say “happy medium that is good enough for all content.” The build that can be used for all content sucks to varying degrees in all content. I do believe that I’m going to pay attention to what’s sitting in my soul forge.

Now, if we can get a skip for The Maw intro, the transition to player friendly will be complete. This blue post has made my day.

Post Publish Edit:

  • According to this post, the Maw Intro will be skippable.
  • Legendary recipes will have a 100% drop chance in dungeons for all difficulty levels. I am very excited for 9.1.5.
  • World of Warcraft posted this on Twitter. There will be a legendary recycler. Meaning those leggos you put in the bank (because you needed to recraft them on a different slot) can be scrapped to recoup some of the crafting costs.

Ooooh Shiney!

I feel like an ADHD squirrel running between a trove of acorns and treasure chest of sparkling baubles. I’m still very interested in Azeroth, but I’ve spent a bit of time logged out (since the #ActiBlizzWalkout Mass Logout). In the interim, I’ve been spending time in Eorzia experiencing FF XIV and getting use to the differences. I’ve been keeping up with what’s happening in WoW’s story, even though I was not experiencing it in-game. This means I’ve been getting a little antsy to spend some time there. My attention keeps flip-flopping like a politician between WoW and FF XIV.

(Knuhkles in a maw themed leather set)

I decided to screw around in the Shadowlands again for a little bit and finished leveling my Vulpera Monk. He was at level 58.8-ish so it was no big deal to ding him over with all of his rested XP. I’ve been having fun with him getting back into Mistweaver healing. A big part of his leveling was spamming dungeons as a healer through threads of fate. I made sure to fill the bars on the covenants and save them to turn in after 9.1 landed on us. Once I hit 60, I still had a little ways to fill the Ardenweald bar, so just ran a couple rares, bonus objectives, and world quests.

By the time I was told to speak to Bolvar, I was already renown 15. He geared up quickly by grabbing iLevel 200 crafted gear, 163 iLevel greens, a 230 unique-equipped crafted item, and random BoE purples that weren’t too expensive. He’s at iLevel 196. There are plans to run the Sanctum LFR on him, because I’ve wanted to raid heal on him for a while now. That will be at a later point when I can set aside a chunk of time for it. I opted to skip the Torghast and Korthia intro quests. I did my Korthia fill-the-bar quest, killed the world bosses and did some callings. He’s sitting at renown 30 and hasn’t started on his Covenant campaign (partly because I’m hoping 9.1.5 will have a covenant campaign skip since I’ve done all 4 campaigns 2 to 3 times already on other alts, but also because I don’t give a shit about soul binds and conduits on an alt that I’m just having a little fun with at the moment).

(Elena, the overworked)

Also, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided I needed to add to my Final Fantasy list of things to do. I unlocked every job. EVERY! JOB! That’s 4 tanks, 3 healers, 4 melee dps, 3 ranged dps, 4 caster dps, 3 gatherers, and 8 crafters and did a couple quests as each. I’m not saying I’m proficient with all of those jobs. Hell, I’m still a mediocre Paladin main. I do plan on having a dps job that I’m decent with. Leaning towards either Machinist or Summoner. Eventually I’ll mess with healing too. The gathering and crafting jobs are an absolute treat in the game. The story line for Alchemist (levels 1 to 50) was divine. I’m only now starting the HW Alchemy quests and they are keeping my interests piqued. Fishing is also a hoot-and-a-holler. The Lalafels that run the fishing guild (levels 1 to 50) in Limsa are very much a mom-and-pop business couple in southeast Florida. The transition to Ishgarde for the the HW quests has a huge Nat Pagle feel to it.

Job levels:

  • Paladin (main) – 65
  • Fish – 60
  • Alch – 57
  • Mine and Bot – mid-30s
  • Weave and Gold – mid-20s
  • Carp, BS, Armor, LW, and Cook – shy of 10

I am also enjoying how the glamour/dyes function works in game. I have a “gentlewoman” plate I use for Alchemy (don’t ask why I thought alchemy needs prim and proper clothing, just accept that is what I did). I have a Fishing plate for fishing. A hippy set (composed of a couple peaceloving items) for mining and botany. My other professions are left to whatever the items look like when I equip them.

(All work and no play makes Elena a grumpy girl)

I also have a plate for visiting raves. My partner and I have been watching twitch streams of dance parties and it’s a bit of fun to get a peak into random houses. The decorating ideas, the costuming, and music that we enjoy. It’s, quite simply, great amusement.