Shovels and Shoveltusks

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I declared Thursday and Friday to be part of the weekend last week and decided to take myself four days off from the blog and one week off from the podcast.  I feel super chill going into what is likely going to be an exceedingly stressful week so I think it was probably a good call.  Apart of having to help my folks move some furniture yesterday, I mostly had a pretty chill thanksgiving.  Both Friday and Saturday my wife and I attempted to avoid the world, and the only shopping we really did was online apart from a mad dash out to Target around 9 pm on Friday.  At that point the store was largely sane and wasn’t that much different than a normal trip on any other night.  Throughout all of this I have found myself forsaking my normal checking of Pokemon Go in favor of the relatively newly released Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.  First off I have to admit I have never played an animal crossing game before so I didn’t have much of a cultural frame of reference going into this.  The experience instead reminds me a lot of a mix between the former web based casual MMO Glitch and some flavors of Stardew Valley.  Whatever you end up calling it the game is extremely charming and at this point I am level 16 and have a bunch of the animals at my campsite…  enough that the last three or four gave me a messaging saying there was no room.  Unfortunately I have no clue how you actually determine which ones are at your camp and which ones are not…  but for the moment I am rolling with it.

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I’ve also seemingly hit whatever the friend cap is because when I try and add anyone it says that combined between my friends list and the few outstanding requests I have run out of room.  I have no clue what this cap actually is…  I estimated 200 the other day but I am guessing in truth it is closer to 100.  The game is maybe bad at messaging some things but I am largely limping along without doing much in the way of research.  There is a quarry mini-game that requires you to get help from five of your friends, and I wish they messaged when my friends were needing help a little better.  For example if you look at the middle section of the above screenshot you will see a shovel icon out to the side of Kelsey’s name.  I wish there was a way to sort these to the top of the list because they are really the ones I am most interested in given I like helping other players, because you appear to get some sort of cut of their profits.  After that you attempt to guess which rocks have the most profitable stones…  gold nuggets seem to be the best.  I still very much feel like I don’t fully grasp a lot of things…  like how the hell to make large quantities of Bells that Animal Crossing currency.  Right now I have a 30,000 bells loan with the auto place and have never really gotten close to paying it off.  Thankfully they don’t seem to be sending anyone to break my kneecaps because of it though, and they still allowed me to customize my RV regardless of having the loan out.  I feel like maybe they don’t have the best business model.  Regardless if you have not been playing this you should probably check it out because it definitely seems to be addictive as hell given the wide variety of friends that seem to be playing it on a regular basis.

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I made a bunch of progress in Destiny 2 but I am likely going to wait until tomorrow to talk about that.  Instead I wanted to talk a bit about the other game I played over the break…  World of Warcraft.  I am still working on my tiny Orc Warrior that is getting less and less tiny as each week goes by.  At this point I have completed the Cataclysm content and am on the airship just about to start the invasion of Pandaria.  This is something I have never actually done on the horde side given my last several characters I leveled were abusing the shit out of the pre-legion launch invasions.  I’ve also not spent much time playing through Warlords of Draenor as a Horde character, so that should be interesting as well.  Similarly I have never seen Legion as the Horde…  all things I am interested in experiencing first hand.  The biggest shock for me is just how fast Cataclysm managed to go given that I started in on Vashj’ir Saturday night and dinged level 85 well before finishing the final section of it Sunday evening.  I realize that zone is in theory about the same size as two other zones combined…  but I did not expect to be getting quite that much experience from it.  Granted I am fully geared out in level 100 heirlooms (minus the rings because I don’t have the patience for that nonsense), but did not partake of any of the experience boosting options.  The mission of the day however is to try and figure out how to get a Pandaria flying book…  because I do not want to return to land based leveling if I can help it.

Panda Hero

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Yesterday I talked about my journey from bad engineer to not so bad engineer, but that was not at all the only thing I accomplished this weekend.  For some time I had been sitting at three achievements from completing my Glory of the Pandaria Hero meta achievement and obtaining the purty mount you see in the screenshot above.  I guess leading with a screenshot pretty much kills any suspense, but I am going to talk about this regardless.  I actually accomplished most of this during my periods of playing Pandaria back in the day, but for whatever reason I simply was not with the group when they completed Rattle No More, Seeds of Doubt, and I never messed with the super annoying Polyformic Acid Science.  What ultimately jogged my memory is that I wound up getting an enchanting quest requiring me to go gather up various components…  two of which were located in Scholomance and Stonecore which meant me going to the respective areas and soloing a dungeon.  It was during this process that I got one of the empty vials, and remembered how the whole Polyformic Acid thing worked.  As a result I managed to do five of the six kills needed for that achievement during a single 60 minute charge… before using the empty vial and removing it.  What I did not remember is that apparently when you remove and reapply a charge… it gives you a fresh 60 minute buff and not a partial buff based on what the previous timer was when you last stowed it.  From there the actual chore of doing the last two achievements was minimal because with level 110 gear things just sort of fall over.  However regardless I now have one more mount to add to my collection.  The thing is I am in similar places on most of the other “Dungeon Hero” achievements because for whatever reason I never really prioritized them.  I have never been the achievement hunter that Thalen or Rylacus was… but maybe it is time to start changing that.

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As far as last night went, I spent most of it working on questing Exeter my Draenei Tankadin.  I did not realize what a difference harvesting makes to the total amount of experience you can squeeze out of a zone.  Belghast had no harvesting skill, but instead a double crafting combo of engineer and enchanting.  As a result it took me all five zones to be able to reach 110, or at least a fraction of the last zone for me which was Highmountain.  On Exeter however I have done nothing but complete Azuna my first zone… and I am sitting at 104 and roughly half of the way to 105.  I’ve run zero dungeons, and the only real difference is that I am harvesting every ore node I happen across.  However at 900 xp or so a pop those nodes I guess add up, as does the fact that I have plenty of rested experience since I am only playing him a few times a week right now.  The push however is to get to 109 quickly so that I can have another character to start running the upcoming Coren Direbrew fight that comes with Brewfest…  that should start showing up after the downtime today.  Now however is the point at which I am going to ascend my soapbox.  One of the things that the Legion pre-event showed off is just how damned well the content scaling works, and how much more enjoyable an event can be when you allow players of all levels to complete it.  Direbrew has never really been a difficult fight and honestly most of the time you could complete it without a tank in previous years. It just feels odd that in an expansion driven by scaling of content, that they would not also update this event to use it.

As much as I am loving this expansion, there are a lot of things that still make me wonder.  For example Stormheim is this amazing zone…  so long as you completely ignore any factional crap that happens in it.  This is really the expansion of two stories happening at once…  a faction tale of red versus blue that feels grossly outdated, and deep and rich zone specific tales that feel fresh and new.  I realize they probably did not have time to do everything in this expansion and update Brewfest… so they instead simply bumped up the item levels a bit and moved on.  However I feel like at some point they really need to do an update pass on all of these seasonal fights to bring them in line with the newest tech.  Imagine how much cooler it would be if anyone in the game could participate on all of their characters.  Right now this event feels like it is setting an artificial deadline on when we should have been leveled by in order to keep from missing out.  Then there is the issue of the fact that I am pulling 840/850 items from World Quests and the face value of the Direbrew trinkets is only 810…  something that I am hoping can easily War and Titan forge up in level.  In any case I will be doing this event every day on Belghast, and attempting to get my nearest character up to the appropriate level range of 109 so that I can get multiple characters trying to farm goodies.  If nothing else I need to have more characters at the level cap since this does not appear to be something they are going to scale…  because I still am chasing that ever damned elusive Headless Horseman mount.

Game Changer

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In Another Castle

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Last night was my raid night in Final Fantasy XIV, but before hand my key focus was trying to get my Mage to 100.  I am not exactly sure what has lit a fire under me, but I am on this mission to have at least one server full with level 100 characters.  As you can see in the above image, I am actually extremely close to getting there.  Now granted I have the OTHER side of my linked server to start working on…  but Belgaoh my Monk remains the only sub-100 character I have on Argent Dawn.  The only problem there is he is SIGNIFICANTLY behind the curve sitting at only level 53 right now.  I keep thinking that if I can get on at the right time, and have at least one easy to get to invasion event I will be able to push him through to 60 so that he can fly, which is going to be the key to getting more events on him.  As of yesterday I thought I was nearing the end of the gear grind and even created a spreadsheet as an attempt to track progress in outfitting my characters in level 700 gear.  The take away from that process seemed like I was going to spend the next several days working on my leather wearers to catch them up in progression.

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Then this happened.  I opened I believe 34 chests that I had gathered up on the mage in leveling from 90 to 100, and out of those chests seven different items came up as warforged.  Apparently yesterday during the day at some point they patched in the ability for chests to spawn warforged gear, meaning that all of those characters I thought I had finished with really have only scratched the surface.  I still think however my core mission is to get all of my characters outfitted in at least 700 gear, and if some of them get more trips to the candy shop in the hopes of finding warforged… then that is fine too.  Ultimately I realize that all of this gear is going to be replaced within the first few minutes of questing in the Broken Isles.  However for the time being I think this is probably a brilliant idea.  The longer they can keep players actively participating in this event the better, because for the time being it is an amazing source of leveling and gear for everyone involved.  I somehow doubt I will be able to get my monk all of the way to 100 in the short time available without focusing ENTIRELY on the monk, but I am definitely going to ride the elevator for as long as I can.

End of Expansion

One of the things I am realizing is that I apparently love the end of expansions.  Cataclysm was the expansion that broke me and my desire to be playing World of Warcraft, causing me to fade away and go play other games.  However I remember clearly that towards the end of the expansion I came back and really enjoyed myself.  There was so much to be doing, and everyone had a great casual attitude about it all.  For me personally I knew that nothing I was doing really mattered in the grand scheme of things, because as soon as Pandaria was released every last piece of gear I gathered would be replaced with greens.  So in this low pressure environment I allowed myself to piddle around without purpose and had a complete blast.  Similarly I remember coming back at the end of Pandaria and having the same fun experience, running around aimlessly on the timeless isle and doing all the little things that were fun but served no major purpose.  Here I find myself once again in a similar pattern with Draenor, and I feel completely in my zone.  The problem is that I wish I knew how to bottle this feeling and keep it alive during the rest of the expansion.

I am not sure how to take the joy that I feel at the end of an expansion when I am unfettered by expectations and pressures…. and keep that alive during the rest of the game.  There is a switch that flips in my brain when an expansion launches that says “okay Bel, you need to be useful… go grind your face off”.  I wish I knew how to turn that switch off completely because I think that is the thing that keeps getting in my way when it comes to enjoying an MMO for the long haul.  I essentially burn myself out, over and over… game after game… by focusing on some lofty goal that I cannot accomplish without significant help from others.  I end up ignoring the goals that are entirely up to me to complete, and those are probably the things that I technically enjoy more.  I have had a blast alting my way to 100 over the last few weeks and bringing my own personal army up to snuff.  As I look towards Legion, and Starfall Prophecy and whatever the Final Fantasy XIV expansion ends up being… I need to figure out how to keep this magic from the end of an expansion alive every single day I play the game.

 

Rubber Band Thief

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A Game of Fetch

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This is Kenzie and she is a mess.  I am not sure how else to describe her, because she is unlike any other cat we have shared a home with.  She can be the biggest butt ever, and a bit of a bully to the other cats…  but she can also be the sweetest and most adorable animal you have ever seen.  She sort of vacillates between being an angel and a devil sometimes within the same moment.  She likes to help with the laundry… and as you can see here sometimes crawl under the upturned laundry basket.  She also gets super obsessive about certain things… for example I really like Red Velvet Muffins from QuikTrip…  and apparently so does she.  I can wrap up one of the muffin wrappers in several layers and she will go spelunking through the trash can in search of it.  When she finally gets it… it is not like she eats it but more certainly rips it to shreds.  Another similar obsession is twist ties and rubber bands.  We go to the cleaners fairly often and for whatever reason they like to rubber band together sets of wire hangers.  I am not sure exactly when it happened but Kenzie started stealing these rubber bands from the closet and running off with them.  In fact our living room and bedroom are filled with little caches of rubber bands that she mysteriously “loses” and can then summon up at pretty much any moment when she wants one.  I have a feeling if we ever moved out the couch there would be a sea of rubber bands and twist ties laying back there waiting to be rediscovered.

Over time this obsession started to morph and I am not completely sure when it started.  Instead of just playing with the rubber band she started returning back to wherever we were at and dropping it next to us.  When she first did this I decided to go ahead and toss it away again and see what she would do, and from there…  a new game was born.  We have a cat that plays fetch, in the truest sense of the word.  She will bring us something… and want us to toss it… and then she brings it back and we do this over and over until she gets tired of it.  When that happens one of two things will happen… either she will “lose it” and by lose I mean know exactly where it is at all times but decide to stop returning it.  Either that or she will just lay down beside me ON the object and want attention.  This second cessation of fetch generally means that she just wants a break and will resume fetch in a little bit when she starts nudging the object again.  So as a result the highlight of my evening was more or less spending an hour and some change playing fetch with Kenzie, quite possibly the longest running game yet.  It was extremely important because my wife was in the bedroom with the doors shut off attempting to bond with Luna, someone I have not really introduced you to yet.  As a result I am trying to be elsewhere so that both Kenzie and Allie have a stable and friendly source of attention, and as a result while I tired of the fetch thing about thirty minutes into it… and while my reaction time slowed significantly as I tried to level my Warlock…  I kept at it because I knew Kenzie needed someone constantly paying attention to her.

Pandaria Is Maddening

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As far as the gaming I was doing while playing fetch …  I continued to push my Dwarf Warlock up through the levels.  At this point I am sitting at 88 and somewhere in the Townlong Steppes quest chain.  I said that Pandaria was maddening and that is mostly because we are in this awkward transitional period of time… where you cannot actually purchase the flight book off the black market auction house.  That means you can level an alt and have it fly happily from level 60 until 85… then have this awkward block of 85-90 where you cannot fly, and pick up once again in the 90-100 content.  This is a prime example of one of my complaints with World of Warcraft content, in that often times they seem not to take into account the ramifications of changes.  Removing the Black Market Auction House until legion… also probably unintentionally blocked players from being able to purchase the level 85 book for flying.  The easy fix would have been to simply change the level you can purchase Pandaria Flight from the trainer in the Shrine to 85, and do away with the book.  However instead I am stuck in this limbo as I try to level a new army of alts to the current level cap of 100.  I realize that I could always purchase boosts to 100 and be done with it… but even though I am taking every shortcut possible, I still enjoy the act of leveling and questing.  The mob density in Pandaria just makes that whole process a bit of a slog.

The one thing I am super thankful of however is that while each individual zone is a fairly linear process… they have added quests that unlock zones rather than having to quest your way through one to get to the next.  That way when you ding a level you can check the Adventure Guide to get the quest to move on to the next area.  This admittedly really speeds up the leveling process, and while I once had this ideal path through Pandaria that mostly still works…  it is sped up by no longer needing to clear to a specific quest to unlock the next area.  My next big decision however is what to do when I ding 90, and if I want to spend the gold to upgrade my caster heirlooms from 90 to 100.  I am highly considering it given that I have two more cloth wearers that have yet to hit 100, so it is not like they won’t see a lot of use in the coming months.  Essentially where I am standing on the whole leveling game is that I have my Priest, Mage and Monk that will be sub 100 now that I am zeroing in on getting that Warlock up there.  At some point once I get some gear at level 100 I will probably take a lengthy break to finish farming up the remaining cloth that I need to push my tailoring up to a reasonable place for Legion.  As to why I am suddenly motivated to play all of these alts…  I guess in theory it is because I am constantly seeing new appearance items and creating a stable of appearance farmers for the various armor types.  Prior to the Warlock I did not really have a cloth wearer that I enjoyed playing… and as a result don’t have much in the way of cloth appearance gear.  After all… the true end game is looking awesome.

Priestcraft

Podcasting Weekend

This weekend was a little bit crazy in that I recorded podcasts both Saturday and Sunday.  In theory had things not fallen through I would have actually recorded a third one Friday.  Podcasting is one of those things that is both soothing and stressful at the same time.  I like having conversations and hitting the record button, but the follow up that results in editing what I just recorded…  that can be the stressful part.  I feel like Podcasting is very much a labor of love, that you either get or you don’t get.  I would be curious to find out how many avid podcasters are also avid listeners of talk radio in one form of another.  I personally have my car tuned to NPR pretty much 24/7 and donate each year during their big fund drive.  I see the shows that I record as a bit of a logical extension of that.

The strange thing about once you start podcasting… is that it seems like you could end up recording on someone’s show every single day if you really wanted to.  I’ve had to turn down several “gigs” because I felt like I was just spreading myself too thin.  In fact this is one of the things that I talked about last night when recording the Bel Folks Stuff podcast with Petter Mårtensson.  Ultimately I would love to be able to say yes to every single offer I got to co-host or guest host a new thing.  I am in love with the idea that I am in essence making radio on subjects that are important to me.  For the time being I am going to stick with weekly AggroChat, monthly Bel Folks Stuff and then guesting as the opportunities present themselves.  I don’t think I have the energy or bandwidth to ever try and add a third permanent or semi permanent show to the lineup.

Priestcraft

WoWScrnShot_011115_160152 My primary goal for this week was to be able to push my hunter Lodin to 100 and run LFR before the reset.  This was achieved Friday and I was able to knock out the LFR Saturday morning to some pretty phenomenal success as I wrote about in yesterdays blog post.  After completing that mission my goals shifted to a new target.  There are two classes that I never though I would have at high levels..  the first of which is the Mage and as such I used my Warlords free 90 to get one.  The second class however is the Priest, and when I came back to World of Warcraft at the tail end of Cataclysm… I had been gone long enough to qualify for a free level 80.  This character I decided to make my tailor, and during Pandaria I managed to get it to 85 where it pretty much sat as a tradeskill alt parked in the Dwarven quarter of Stormwind.  With the garrison system, currently the only craft that I do no have access to is tailoring, so I set my mind to fixing that.

As a result Saturday and Sunday I spent my time in game, apart from that doing my “Wizard Chores” working on my priest.  I started off leveling as Discipline, because the last time I played the game this felt like the “survival” option for leveling.  Things died relatively quickly and I didn’t spend all of my time healing myself back up after every fight.  Shadow for whatever reason had never actually worked for me.  Upon coming back however I found leveling as Discipline to be pure pain.  I managed to get from 85 to 87 before I finally said screw it and decided to give Shadow a try again.  Whatever changes and tweaks they have made, seem to have greatly improved shadows survival and I managed to knock out 87 through 88 in no time. So before I went to sleep last night, I had dinged 100 and equipped the set of Timeless Isle items that I had sitting in my bank.  It is shocking just how many of these tokens I still have laying around, more than enough for all of my alts.

Pandaria Frustrations

WoWScrnShot_011215_063211 The recent leveling excursions on both Lodin my hunter and Belglorian my priest have made me realize just how much I did not enjoy Pandaria as far as expansions go.  Mind you it is not worth $60 to me to be able to skip it, but I am definitely finding myself taking the shortest possible path to get there.  Right now my leveling process goes a little something like this.  I try and milk as much leveling time out of Jade Forrest as I can get, because overall I like that zone about the best of anything to offer in Pandaria.  My ultimate goal is to get to 87 through whatever means possible, and in theory most of the time I can hit that well before I leave Jade Forrest, worst case I have to do the quests leading up to Halfhill with Chen and LiLi to get there.  Upon dinging 87 I ignore whatever quest line I happen to be on and make a beeline for the Path of a Hundred Steps, and take the quests there that lead you into Kun Lai Summit.

From this point on I am only in a zone as long as is required to unlock the quest that takes me to the next zone.  So in Kun Lai I complete Binan village, Westwind Rest, Shado-Pan Fallback…  which then gives me access to Winter’s Blossom granted me the quest chain that starts Townlong Steppes.  In Townlong I don’t have an exact path really, I am essentially just waiting for the flight path to the Serpent Spine to open up as that grants access to the quest chain leading to the Dreadwastes.  Generally speaking this means I will need to complete Gao-Ran Battlefront and Rensai’s Watchpost quests in Townlong before moving into the Dreadwastes.  The goal of this path is to keep moving every time you can go into an area with quests for higher level mobs.  Higher level quests mean better gear, better experience and a shorter amount of time in that zone before moving on.  You have to essentially throw out all ideas of being a completionist with this method.

Granted this is something I only do to steamroll up alts to the level cap.  When I am working on my main or characters in general that I deeply care about…  I end up doing everything and prodding my way through zones.  At this point however I have leveled so many characters through Pandaria that I just want to rip the bandaid off as fast as possible and move on to quest content that I am not bored with yet.  In theory I will have to do Pandaria two more times on my alliance characters, and an unknown number of times on Horde characters if I actually get around to leveling some.  I am not sure what it was about Pandaria that made me dislike it, but I have similar feelings about the Cataclysm.  Draenor on the other hand has been awesome.  I can choose to be a completionist and move my way through the content more methodically, or I can jump every two levels to a new zone to maximize my experience gain.  There is no need to try and complete X number of hubs to unlock the hubs in the new zone.  I feel like Cataclysm and Pandaria were both failed experiments in “quest gating” content, and my hope is that Draenor will become the new norm for future expansions of being less particular about completing certain quests before moving on.

Goodbye Cataclysm

Feeling Human

This morning is the first day in a long while that I have felt pretty decent.  I went to bed around 9:30, but had to get right back up shortly after and deal with one of our ferrets.  Our “old man” had made a horrendous mess of himself and as a result we decided there was more there than could be cleaned up with wet wipes.  As a result we gave him an impromptu bath and then made sure to get some nutrients down him.  We really need to talk to the vet about him, because at this point I am not really sure how good of quality of life he is really having.  One of his two back legs just simply doesn’t work right most of the time.  He will be just fine one moment, and then the next he will be tripping all over himself.  Which is something we went through with his brother bandit when he got insulinoma… for which there really is no course of treatment in a ferret that old.

Even with the last minute excitement last night, I did still manage to make it to bed before 10 and slept through the entire night.  I woke up a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off this morning, so I got a wee bit of a head start on the day.  Right now I am feeling rather chipper, but I am sure that will be quelled as I actually get to work and see whatever stacked up yesterday while I was gone.  I am looking forward to feeling human again, so here is hoping it lasts.  Since I’ve gone over 48 hours without developing a fever, I am assuming that I am not contagious.  My wife went to work yesterday and came home completely drained, so I am figuring that will also be the case for me.  As a result I really don’t have much plans for doing anything when I get home but crashing.

Goodbye Cataclysm

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I really did not do much of any consequence last night.  It came time for our Monday night flex raid and I just was not capable of concentrating.  Instead I continued to piddle around on Belglorian my Discipline Priest.  I have decided that the thing I enjoy about Discipline is that they are kind of the “tanks” of cloth wearers.  So long as I keep my shield up on myself, I can survive damned near anything and eventually win the fight…. albeit extremely slowly.  The thing I did not realize however was just how much splash healing I was throwing around.  One of the early Pandaria quests involves reviving a bunch of pilots that crashed landed in amongst a bunch of orcs.  As I was working on killing the orcs I kept noticing that I was getting credit for reviving pilots.

I thought that maybe the quest was bugged and I was getting credit for another player reviving them in the vicinity.  As I got closer to one and started nuking away with smite I noticed that I kept healing the NPCs.  I am sure this will sound insane to most people but you have to understand… my priest was my free level 80 character I made when I accepted a scroll of resurrection.  I am the future of our game… a high level player with no real clues about how the class works.  Initially I had planned on leveling as shadow, but when a friend told me about the sheer survive of Discipline I made the switch without much effort put into researching the spec.  It was one of those things that just worked, and the gameplay seemed extremely simple.

The problem with being handed all of these tools is I have no clue what half of them do, especially the passives.  Sure I see pretty little icons proc at the top of my screen but I am far too busy killing things to actually hover over them and see what just happened.  Now I had the common sense to at least research spell rotation and things like that before sitting down and building my hotbars, you can guarantee that not every instant 90 will do the same.  Anyways enough of that old soap box, but I am the prime example of what happens when you hand someone a nearly fully leveled character.

Imperial Silk

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I will admit that I had no real plans to ever level a priest, and since I got a free level 80… I decided to make it a priest since that was the least likely for me to ever level.  One of the gaps that I decided to fill with this instant 80… was a Tailor.  So for while some time I was a level 80 priest sitting in Stormwind with capped out tailoring, and no real way to make the ever so spiffy imperial silk.  Sure I could have had someone summon me over to the Silken Fields, but that just seemed too cheesy even for me.  As a result I decided to level the priest so I could legitimately start making bags for my army of alts.  Funny thing is that somewhere along the way I actually started enjoying playing the class…  even though I am probably playing it wrong.  I like smiting things down while laughing off the damage I am taking with my shields.

Speaking of army of alts… I have to say having one of every crafting profession comes in really damned handy.  The moment I dinged 85… I went through a flurry of activity logging in and out various characters.  When I finished I had a complete set of Pandaria level armor, a new staff, and a new cloak… and as soon as I get to 87 I will make a new trinket.  I’ve decided to level up alchemy on this guy as well, so at some point I will feed him a bunch of herbs which should allow him to equip the alchemy trinket as well.  Mostly I am doing this so that I can have an elixir master as well as my transmute master.  I technically have a third alchemist, but I am not sure if it is worth having a potion master as well.  The only thing I can see myself making a lot of that might be worth it is Luck Potions.  Depending on how I feel tonight, I might farm up materials for a push through alchemy at all levels.