Update: Quest All the Things

Ages ago, I set myself a task to earn Loremaster as I leveled a character. I’ve been curious about how the exercise would work out in terms of finishing content at which levels. In fact, I have been so curious about it that I determined to do it twice, with some differences to each character that is a part of what I’ve been calling Project QuATT.

Over the weekend, I hit the first big milestone on my undead hunter, Lythium. She is where the idea was started, although it wasn’t my intent when I rolled her up. If anything, I was only wanting to see Silverpine and Hillsbrad since I had heard so many good things about their Cataclysm revamps.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to get Loremaster as I went and a few levels into that, I was wondering what level I would be by the time I finished Silithus and the Blasted Lands.

Well, now I know.

This project has certainly grown and evolved along the way, so all my information is not as strictly accurate as I would like it to be. For instance, I was in my low 30’s by the time I began to track anything. Somewhere in Hillsbrad at the time, I backtracked and completed even those quests in the starting areas that don’t count towards Loremaster, wrapped up Ashenvale at level 33 with 55% of the XP bar filled and then completed Hillsbrad before going through the rest of all the Vanilla zones.

My humble tracking spreadsheet

 

To explain the above picture, the first set of parentheses in each zone is the level I was when I had the achievement pop up. The second set indicates the level I was at when I actually finished all the quests available to me in that zone.

On Lythium, I have purposefully kept her from getting much extra help in the XP gain department, other than the occasional bit of rested. This has been mostly a matter of being on a server where I don’t have any heirlooms, but I have also kept her out of guilds, since some guild perks contribute more XP. Aside from regular questing out in the world, she’s done a handful of cooking dailies and gathers herbs to support her scribing habit.

As I’ve gone along, I’ve tracked all manner of things, including time played from level to level and the amount of gold she has, as well as where her professions are sitting. I don’t think most of that would be of any interest to anyone else1 (it scarcely interests me), so I’m not including it here. But I will share it if anyone out there is a bigger dork than I am and really wants to know.

For the sake of comparison (and because it’s oddly soothing to do this project for reasons I can’t explain), I have started an Alliance hunter on my new home server of Moonrunner. Esyllt 2.0 is much further behind in terms of progression through zones, but she has all the advantages of heirlooms and guild perks as she goes. In fact, the only thing she doesn’t have is a gathering profession that will net her extra XP (she’s skinning/LW).

Got started tracking much sooner here

 

Still, at the completion of one zone less than what Lythium had in the 1-20 range, the XP gains have remained remarkably close. I suspect the gap will grow in Esyllt’s favor as she gets into zones that are shared more evenly between the two factions.

In case all of this isn’t insane enough, I’m slightly tempted to really try to max XP gains out on a third character, by starting them in Gilneas and rolling them through the starting zones everyone has access to. I’d also give this potential third character both mining and herbalism, not to mention the full heirlooms and guild perks.

Like I said, I find this project soothing. It’s possible that no one else can understand that, but hey. I have two people in my family who claim that mowing the lawn soothes them and I can’t begin to fathom that, so to each their own!

And in case you’ve ever wondered what level you might be at if you did every (non-dungeon) quest available to you as you leveled, now you have a rough idea! I’ll update again as I get through more expansions on Lythium and more zones on Esyllt.

Having written all this out, I cann’t help but think… You know, I really should have made an effort at some point to get the ‘Insane’ title. Obviously, I sort of am.

  1. Also, stuff like the /played isn’t accurate since I’ve done a fair bit of this at work and often left her idling somewhere while I went to make coffee or somesuch

Lagging out

Hey guys.

Have I complained yet about my recent job development? Have I even mentioned the job development? It… would not appear so, unless I have bitched briefly and idly on The Twittahs.

Well, I’m not surprised.1 I have been damn near catatonic ever since I (foolishly) told my boss that I wanted my coworker’s job and hours. He went part time, so it’s not like I just demanded these things out of the blue.

Damn. My whole narrative is shot.

Oh well. It’s all part of my imaginary charm.

The point is, I am now working a shift that starts at 7:30. After not starting work until 9:00 for over a year, I was not prepared for the violent upheaval the change would have on my life. And I was not prepared for how utterly demanding my job would become when I started having to cover both my new job and my old job all day, every day until whatever distant point in the future they get around to hiring another part time person to help cover the daylight hours.

All in all, I don’t think I’m prepared for anything other than my boss growing a set of horns, donning a blindfold and running around shouting, “You are not prepared!” a whole lot.2

I can totally see that happening. He kind of sucks.

Anyhow, what with work and the dragging sensation of sleep deprivation, my WoW playing time has all but evaporated lately. I’ve been averaging about 10 minutes per day during the week: just long enough to do farm dailies and think about how I really ought to run a random heroic or something. Those VP apparently won’t farm themselves and I’m only halfway towards Wrathion’s 6000 VP demand.

That guy also sucks.

As does WoW Santa, who refuses to cough up the Sha touched weapon already.

Ahem. Anyway.

Oh yes. My brain is lagging and so is my internet connection. It totally fucked me over last Sunday during the raid and though my ISP has claimed to have fixed the issue, they have not. Really, just no. I would call them, but honestly? I don’t do phones and so I need to make At take care of that.

Too bad he’s been gone all week. When he gets home tomorrow, I won’t greet him with anything other than a demand he call up and yell at those lying liars until they do get me back to an acceptable rate of play.

So yeah. Lagging out. It’s been the story of my life lately. How are you guys doing?

  1. But I’m quite sleepy
  2. Although, if he also ditches his shirt and runs around all bare-chested, I’ll cry. A lot.

One Word

I don’t know how many of you have heard of One Word. I’ve known about it for a few years now, but I haven’t ever bothered to try to fine one word that could sum up my whole intentions for a year. Well, this year, my One Word came easily.

Focus.

A direction. A center. A point of concentration. Directed attention.

Focus is the thing I want to bring to the areas of life where I want to achieve better things this year. With that in mind, I’ve made a mental list of those areas and ways to hone in on them. My health is easy: I need to get back on task with Weight Watchers and focusing on staying within my limitations. I need to refocus on making fitness and weight loss a priority.

Another big area I see is that I need to find focus for my writing. I’ve been telling myself for the past year or two that it didn’t matter what I was writing just so long as I was writing something. But this year, I want to break out of that mindset. It’s true that I have done a lot of writing, but all of it is incomplete. I need to focus not only on making writing a part of my daily life, but I need to focus on no more than one or two things at a time if I am ever going to finish any of them. I need to focus on finishing.

In gaming, I want to refocus my energy on my main outside of the standard “VP capping/stay abreast of major class changes and theorycrafting.” I want to focus on my skills as a mage and my own ability to react mentally and physically to mechanics, even if they are unexpected. This means I’ll be dipping my toes into more PVP, as it’s the best place I can think of to challenge myself with bettering my reflexes and thinking on my feet.

There are more personal areas to focus on as well. I want to give my social life more attention this year, whether it’s spending more time nurturing my long-distance relationships with old friends or time spent actively trying to forge new friendships with people who are local.

With anything I do, I would like to give it my full attention as I am doing it. I would like to take the time to do it well.

Do you have a One Word?

Minipost: Stealing from Rades

So I was out pet battling today and was in Moonglade trying to capture a Silky Moth when I saw something sparkling in the distance.

Sparkles may have been added to this shot.

Not being a gatherer of anything other than cloth on Alas, I decided to investigate.

And what did I see, but a bunch of fish out of water. Fish who think they are flying fish.

With love and apologies to Rades

 

This post is hella lame, especially as it is a blatant ripoff of a genuinely amusing post that made a much better go at story-telling. But I couldn’t resist. And, you know, imitation. Sincere flattery. All that.

Happy New Year, everyone! Don’t drive drunk unless it is on a Kodo. In Azeroth.

Dear Blizzard Santa

Dear Blizzard Santa,

I just wanted to write and “thank” you for the lovely animal carcass balls I received from you this year in Ironforge. I’ll be sure to have a good time pretending to play soccer in game, especially since I already pretend to play it with my nephews in real life. Well, I’m playing it just fine. Those two either haven’t figured out the no-hands rule or they’re in training to be goalies.

I digress.

The main thing I wanted to point out to you, Blizzard Santa, is that the only thing I actually asked for this year was a weapon upgrade. I’m not trying to be greedy, but that weapon is the only thing that stands between me and having a full complement of epics, the better to kill the bad guys with. It it also the only thing I need in order to make good use of the present Wrathion gave to me.

I feel as though I have been a fairly good girl this year, Blizzard Santa. I have done my dailies and won the admiration of every faction available to me in this new land of Pandaria. I keep up with my gemming and enchanting and do everything I can to be an asset to my guild. I even make flasks and feasts for my guild to use in raids and sometimes will drop a feast and then go ahead and eat from my own personal store of Mogu Fish Stew just so that I can say I am giving myself every possible edge.

In addition, I have been charitable with both my gold and my crafting materials and have given much to those who are more lazy less fortunate in their ability to get these things for themselves.

To go on for much longer would, I think, start to sound less like a case for my good behavior and more like bragging. But I have been good, Blizzard Santa, and I know Christmas is over, but I was hoping that you could find it in your heart, this Winter Veil Season, to arrange for a weapon for me. This will require some sort of New Year’s miracle intervention, but I believe you are able to make it happen.

Sincerely,

Alas the Beloved

quotable quotes

I quote WoW a lot. It seeps into my daily conversation and I often find myself using a line on a coworker or a family member who knows nothing about the game and invariably end up getting funny looks. Especially since, well… here are some of my favorites:

1. Come closer! Come closer and BURN!

2. Time for fun! (You’ll be sorry!) (Time for fun!)1

3. Your pathetic [whatever] betraaaaays you!

4. Run away little girl! Run away…

5. Alas SMASH! You die!

Am I alone in this? Do you guys quote WoW? Which lines are your favorites?2

 

  1. Anyone else remember the way that guy would glitch sometimes and just keep yelling his phrases back to back?
  2. And why are mine mostly violent?

post is unrelated

If I were smart and more patient, I’d probably do several smaller posts over a greater span of time rather than dish up another disjointed collection of the topics rattling around in my head. But patience has never been my strong suit.

And I like to pretend that randomness is an endearing quirk of mine.

I like to pretend a lot of things.

We won’t get into it now.

Since my last post

Self-indulgent QQ posts are useful, it seems. Admitting to you guys that I’ve been sucking somehow made the road to eventual pwning less daunting. I’ll be working intensively with Arcane this week and have already made decent amounts of progress in UI tweaking and action bar modifying. Throwing everything out and starting over isn’t something I like to do more than once or twice an expansion if I can help it, but apparently there is sometimes no use but to do so again and again until things feel right.

I’m nowhere near there, but I’m feeling like actual progress is being made. I’m seeing better results in stage one of spec testing than I did last time.

Also on the WoW front

After writing my last post, I had a really good chat with a guild mate last night and while a lot of it doesn’t need to be gone over here, she did confirm to me a thought I’ve been having lately. Like that I should get over myself and quit hiding out in semi-secrecy.

Okay, she didn’t put it quite like that. It doesn’t even matter how it was put. The point is, it’s been months and the batshit crazy people seem to have lost interest in me.

I bet no one cares, but my main’s name is Liosliath and I’m in Production Company on Moonrunner. (And now you can all armory me to lol at my half-assed attempt at mogging. I’m okay with it.)

I’d still like to change my name to Alas-something, but despite finding good Alas-based names for some of my alts, nothing has seemed quite right for my main. So it’s Liosliath until something better happens along and isn’t already taken. (If you have an idea, hit me with it. I will make you mana pudding.)

Also? My BattleTag is Alexx#1204. It’s entirely possible that I will accept friend requests from anyone deranged enough to send it my way.

Moving on is important and I’mma do it. Bluntly and randomly, as is my wont when I finally make up my mind about something.

A real life thing

Speaking of moving on. This morning, as I debated what to wear, I grabbed a pair of pants from my closet thinking I would try them on just to see how I was doing. I have several items like this in my closet that serve as goal posts on my path back to a healthy weight.

This particular pair of pants has been a major goal of mine ever since I started losing. If I could fit into them, I would be back to where I was before I started working in IT, got horribly depressed and started drinking way too much.

I don’t mind talking numbers for a minute, so let me explain that in the 2.5 years I worked that IT job, I went from a size 12 to a size 20 and most of that came within a span of only about 9 months. Talk about getting stretch marks without even getting a baby to show for it. The most I weighed in my life was when I quit that job and moved back home and I was tipping the scales at 210 pounds.

I’m still overweight, but dammit1, I made it back into those pants.

It’s a goddamn2 personal triumph. And I am proud of myself for having made it this far, which is good, because it’s been discouraging lately to see how far I still have to go.

But today, I see more clearly how far I have come. I see how I have undone that time of depression. I see how I have clawed myself at least partway out of the pit.

And maybe this post isn’t as unrelated as I initially supposed. Because everywhere I look, I see that hard work will eventually pay off. And being open isn’t that fucking3 hard.

  1. I don’t know why I’m swearing so much in this section.
  2. There I go again. I’m happy. Honest!
  3. It’s like a sickness with me.

and believe me I am still alive

I’m not doing much in the way of science, but I am still alive.

I’ve been in a weird place with WoW lately, in that I am playing and enjoying the hell out of the time I have spent playing, but I haven’t felt like I have anything to say about it. I’d normally talk about even my small achievements, like that my reputation grinds have been finished (just in time for a new one) and I even managed to snag the new “Beloved” title, which I am wearing like a boss all the time.

Alas, the Beloved. Oh yeah.

But I’m not feeling very beloved, truth be told. Not that I’m feeling hated or anything, but I do feel like an abject failure as I try week in and week out to improve my gear and my dps and end up short no matter what I do. I’ve read guides and tweaked my spec and talked shop with the other mage in my guild (who is kicking my ass while raid leading, humph!). I’ve spent time on dummies and out in the real world. I’ve put myself through my paces in LFR and scenarios – and in scenarios where I usually get to “tank” and dps at the same time because I always end up in a group with a priest who won’t heal anyone despite being Disc and a mage who is worse than I am by at least 10k dps.

While I’ve mentioned before that the New Guild is very good and I knew I would have to work hard to keep up, I am frustrated that all the hard work (and gold) I’ve put into my main doesn’t seem to be showing at all.

Although my GM insisted early on that I would be doing them a favor by being available to raid (me being better than a pug, more likely than not), I end each raid of each week feeling like I’m letting them down. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out I’m one of the weakest links. But worse than that, is that although I see the problem and do whatever I can think of to fix it, I’m not improving.

And I’ve never seriously thought that I could only do so well and no better, but now I am starting to wonder if this is as good a player as I will ever be. If it is, I would be the first to admit that it won’t be good enough for this guild. And that would leave me in a strange place because I like the people and I wouldn’t want to leave, but my raiding options would be shot all to hell if I stayed.

That might be looking too far down the road – especially as I haven’t actually talked to anyone about any of this – but I find myself seriously wondering if this is a situation that I can make work. I wonder if I can have a breakthrough in performance.

There’s another spec for me to try; I moved away from fire and gave frost a go over the past week. The other mage went arcane with superior results. I have a little hope that if arcane has become viable that it might be what I’ve been needing to see some improvement in my throughput. After all, I played it for the past three years. If I can regain some muscle memory in the next week or two, it might make a difference.

I’m not giving up yet. I don’t know what it would take to make me throw in the towel. But I have been having a hard time talking about WoW with this issue lingering in the back of my mind. I’ve put off talking about it because I kept hoping I would get better and I could talk about it in past tense. I was doing poorly but now I am doing better.

No such luck for me. I am doing poorly, but I hope to do better. And if I’m quiet in the coming weeks, it’s probably because I’m still trying to work things out. Or possibly because for the first time in forever my novel writing is coming easily and I’ve been able to sustain excitement and interest in fiction writing.

So that’s me. I’ll just keep on trying until I run out of cake (which, as a mage, is never).

things I carry with me, always

I was cleaning out my bags the other day, as is my wont to do every day because I cannot abide even virtual clutter, and I had to smirk at the things that have been perpetually in my first two bag slots since… Vanilla. The first is my hearthstone and the second is another stone:

Clearly, a hunter trinket

 

The only other things I’ve held onto that long are my hearthstone and the first gold I ever made (hey, I figure if I’ve never since been down below 1g that’s a legitimate statement).

What have you held onto the longest?

the disharmony of spirits of harmony

Welp. It looks like At and I are headed for divorce.

Okay, not really. I just figured if I could get away with wailing about my in-laws planning a visit as though it were the end of the world, I could probably also get away with sensationalist blogging. This is probably untrue, but it seemed like a good way to let you guys know that At and I are having a ridiculously overwrought1 discussion about the merits of Spirits of Harmony as a crafting item.

Our arguments break down like this:

At

1. They are soulboooound. Whyyyyy are they soulbound? If you want any good weapons crafted, you need to pay someone else to use theirs because you can’t traaaaade them.

2. More QQ I didn’t listen to.

3. It’s toooo haaaard!

4. And, I dunno. More QQ I didn’t listen to.

5. Killing things takes too long for those of us who aren’t ridiculously awesome mages.2

Alas

1. They are so easy to obtain! You can plant them in the ground! You can kill things that are easy to kill and get an average of one a day just by doing dailies!

2. They are not like Chaos Orbs from the last xpac, where you had to not only finish a heroic, but also hope that your 20% odds of winning actually netted you one of the damn things. Those were soulbound, too, for most of the xpac.

3. I’m always right.

4. I said in this household I’m always right. Which makes you wrong.

5. Quit talking and fetch me a glass of wine.

You Guys

So what do you guys think? Who is right about this?

[polldaddy poll=6690943]

  1. We’ve talked about this more this once. So, you know, clearly a hot topic!
  2. I may be paraphrasing. Slightly.