Category: Alts

What’s Better than One Druid?

If you answered ‘two druids’, you’re half right!*

Anyone who’s troubled to look back to the beginning of this blog may have noticed that Dhakeilh is not actually the only character I had intended to feature here. Poor Aminyara, who really has been most shamefully neglected, was the victim of unfortunate circumstance; only a month or so after I actually started blogging properly, the regiment to which she belongs got put in indefinite hiatus due to real life issues with some of the other members. As she can’t level past where she is now and remain in the group, she has pretty much been on hold too, and I’ve been concentrating more on Dhak and various other baby alts.

Now that Cataclysm has dropped, however, I can finally do what I’ve been wanting to do for a while, that being start a second ‘main’ on an Oceanic server. In a BA shared topic back in October I got her name all picked out, but of course (being a worgen) she has perforce been waiting in the wings until now. Since I have finally given in to the inevitable and admitted that of all classes I much prefer druids, she is of course of the druidic persuasion. I’m quite excited about this – I’ve spent the last few months thinking ‘When I can finally make that new druid, I’ll…’

And here she is!

The yellow eyes are a particularly ferocious touch, of course.


Akhyataj, or Taj (as she almost immediately became) is intended to be my Alliance main for at least the duration of Cataclysm, and most likely longer. There are quite a few achievements that I’ve consciously ignored on Dhakeilh, although I love collecting them, with a view to creating a ‘real’ main character in an Oceanic time zone – things like mounts and pets that take a lot of grinding, and that sort of thing. She’s only level 20 at the moment, since I’ve been stomped by the Real Life boss this Christmas, but that will change…quickly, I hope. And, of course, there’s the all-important question of hair/druid form colour; I quite like black, but I haven’t really decided whether to settle on it yet or not. I suppose that’s what barber shops are for!

Then, of course, where there is Alliance there must be Horde (at least in my admittedly odd world view). Therefore, I would also like to introduce Andiyaba, who was not a part of my plan for Cataclysm, but who has settled herself into the collection of characters quite firmly already. Naturally, she is also a druid (what else?), but in a small departure from what I’ve done before, she will be resto rather than feral. Healing raises my blood pressure (just ask my poor, long-suffering guildies who get to listen to the complaints), but I haven’t yet tried it on a druid except in emergencies, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. So far I have yet to break myself of picking agility gear over intellect from quest rewards, though!

A druid in caster form is a new experience for me...


So there we have it, the ongoing projects that will hopefully last me for the foreseeable future (with, of course, plenty of other alts mixed in). I have a few ideas for writing projects based around the two of them, but that will largely depend on available time, and now is certainly not the moment to start anything new. In any case, just leveling two new druids should keep me out of mischief for a while…

Well, out of obvious mischief, anyway.

*Correct answer: More druids. Always, more druids.


Unsolicited Advice

Don’t you love it?

Maybe it’s something about being a fresh 80, which I’ll admit is written all over me even just to look at, but yesterday I attracted not one but two overly helpful citizens on my way to obtain my swift flight form. This, by the way, is a milestone, since achieving that much money has taken me quite a while; clearly I don’t spend enough time playing the auction house.

It must be admitted that taking unsolicited advice has never been my strong point. I prefer to ask for help when I want it and otherwise stand on my own feet, which has its good and bad points; it certainly led to my amusing demise yesterday in my first ever Trial of the Crusader run, when I got confused about where we were supposed to be standing and wandered over to the champions of the Horde…without bothering about any little details like, for instance, the tank or the healer.


Fortunately in that case my group were more entertained than annoyed, and I got a quick resurrection and we finished the rest without a hitch. I then toddled off to spend almost all my money on buying artisan riding and my swift flight form and a new gryphon (not that I don’t love my snowy one…and not that I need a new mount, you know, with the whole bird thing going on). It was when I hit Valiance Keep and the trainer that the fun began.

First up was a level 23 night elf, riding his first ever tiger, who wanted to know whether I knew how to fly. Upon being informed that yes, as a level 80 druid, I could in fact fly, he then wanted to know if I had a gryphon and if it could walk. (Because, you know, we buy gryphons for their l33t walking capabilities). Having enjoyed a demonstration of the ambulatory talents of a snowy gryphon, he stood and watched as I bought the flight skill and got the relevant achievement…and then congratulated me and suggested that I might want to get swift flight form or a faster mount, because the bird he’d seen me fly in as was slow.

Thank you for those wise words, my friend. What did you think I’m doing?


He took himself off back to Darkshore, running commentary all the way, and I headed up to the roof of the keep to get my random-mount-calling macro right so that it stopped insisting that I wanted to use a slower mount. On the way I met a level 70 whose very first words were…wait for it…’Why is your gs so low, lulz’.


OK, answering may have been feeding the trolls, but I did it anyway – along the lines of ‘fresh 80. And it’s your business because…?’ It turned out, however, that he had my best interests at heart all along; he wanted to tell me that to get into ICC runs I would need a higher gearscore and some achievements. I suppose he felt he was being helpful (or at least was labouring under the delusion that flying around Valiance Keep means someone has immediate plans to go to ICC), but I fail to see why a fresh 80 with a gearscore of 2.4k would be trying to get into ICC runs at all! The phrase ‘squashed like a gnat’ comes to mind.

One of my favourite sayings has always been ‘Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.’ The fact of this blog’s existence, of course, demonstrates that I don’t actually follow that wise counsel – but my two benefactors today have certainly proven to me that giving advice should only be undertaken if you’re absolutely sure of your ground, just in case there was any confusion on that score! Meanwhile, I shall continue to potter around on my own little agenda…and use the /ignore command freely.

How do you usually handle the unwanted but oh, so helpful suggestions you encounter? Any creative strategies beyond pretending they’re not there?


Getting your first 80 has to be a pretty momentous thing. At least, for me, I have to say I’m excited about it – even though pretty soon 80 will no longer be the level cap and Dhakeilh will once again be a candidate for leveling!  I even had the way I’d finally get there planned out, and I’m happy to say that a plan for once went exactly as intended.

At heart, I am basically someone who enjoys traditions and routines, so it made sense to go back to the first ‘grown up’ quest I ever did in WoW. It was not, of course, on my account; a friend in the US who I was visiting was attempting to convert me and, knowing me well, took his character to Dragonblight. Needless to say, I was abysmally bad at the quest, which was the one involving fighting the Azure Dragonflight at the temple, and I have a nasty feeling I may have created something of a repair bill for him – but the experience of flying a-dragonback, exactly as he planned, created a memory that stuck. I put off starting to play on my own for about a year after that, but the dragons can take the credit for putting out the initial bait – and so I went back to them as the very last quest to get me over the line to 80.

In a way, it was a little anticlimactic – no fanfare, just the completion of another daily quest. It is, however, quite satisfying in a quiet sort of way – and this even though I realise that this is only the very beginning of Dhakeilh’s adventures. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on Valiance Expedition reputation, so there will be no resting on laurels around here. Also, I need to go through and make a list of the gear I need from the normal dungeons, and begin the (from all I hear) endless cycle of replacing existing equipment with better. Fortunately, being a jewelcrafter, one aspect of that at least will be cheaper and easier.

A million things to do notwithstanding, though, reaching 80 is still a milestone – and I intend to enjoy it. I also expect to have nearly as much fun picking out a new character to level…but that’s a story for another time!

Getting Into her Skin

Like so many other players, as soon as Dhakeilh was level 55 I rolled a death knight on her server, just to see what it was like. Having played through and enjoyed the starting area (apart from that quest – ugh! I know it’s the coup de grace in a way, but still.), I ventured out into the real world and…ignored her for about four months in favour of leveling Dhakeilh. Which is good, in many ways, since a) I didn’t want to become a death knoob, and b) with my distractibility, not getting sidetracked by a shiny new character is quite the achievement. However, it does mean that I’ve had a level 59 death knight sitting around doing nothing for the last few months.

No, it's not a 'real' Brewfest mount - just the hops (/sniff). But I love it anyway!


I got her out today to do a few Brewfest dailies and also to start working through the Plaguelands quest lines. These are apparently going away in Cataclysm, which is good for the Plaguelands but bad for newbies like me who are insatiably curious and want to experience storylines before they vanish; therefore, I am working through them both on Dhakeilh and on this death knight, Nadezhda, who is a blood elf and will therefore get to experience them from the horde’s point of view. So far, it’s turning out fun, though I’ve only barely started with Nadezhda. It is of course a complete faceroll on Dhakeilh, with her upper 70s feral kitty damage…strangely satisfying after a week of coming last on the meters in instances!

Returning from the tangent…having resurrected the DK today, I started off by reading my favourite article about frost dps yet again, because I never remember what to do from one month to the next. The mechanics of the whole death knight thing, being a combination of DoTs and Hitting Things with an Sword, have so far eluded me; with most of my characters I can refresh my memory a bit and then fall into a rhythm, but with Nadezhda I seem to stare blankly at buttons and then just randomly hit whatever might look good. Somewhat scarily, that so far has been fairly effective – at least in the sense that the target’s health tends to drop and hers tends to stay relatively stable. It’s not a strategy I’d care to take into an instance, though, and I think that mental disconnection has really contributed to my total lack of desire to log her on.

Today, though, I’m hoping something has started to change. For a start, when I flew into Undercity on my way north, it actually felt like a natural place for her to be. For that sentence to make sense, it must be understood that Undercity does not rank high on my list of favourite places to spend time; undead things in general gross me out, and I tend to stay safely away from a city full of them. With my little reanimated blood elf, though, it feels like her natural habitat in a way that warm and robust Orgrimmar or arcanely dignified Silvermoon really don’t.

Then, of course, I got out to the Plaguelands. Now, an emotionally uplifting place they are not, but for a death knight who already has quite enough reason to be royally ticked off with Arthas, they are the perfect setting for her to practice her skills. Spreading diseases to ghouls and smiting skeletons seems to suit her, morbid creature that she is. Certainly I found her more engaging and smoother to play than I have in the past.

Maybe this will be a catalyst for me to keep playing her a little more often, anyhow. I hope so, since having a high level horde character on Terokkar would be helpful for a few reasons. Somehow I can’t seem to consistently play a character unless I can get into her head a bit, even though Terokkar is certainly not a RP server and I have no intention of roleplaying with Nadezhda. I seem to be getting a vibe of respect and sympathy for the Forsaken from her now, which worries me a little given their, er, ethical leanings!

Sometimes I think gaming would be simpler if my characters would hush up and do as they’re told…