20 days of…; Day 7 – What’s My Name Again?

Cramming In Strudel is named so for 2 reasons: firstly, I was a mage main when I started this blog and secondly, because of the time constraints I faced and still face as a new(ish – mini druid is 18 months old now!) parent who is also into gaming.

I wanted a name that wasn’t overly class specific and I also didn’t want to go with anything that was related to my role. I was already pretty interested in healing by that point but I didn’t know the first thing about it.

I suppose it’s been months since my druid actually ate a mana strudel, but cramming in cake sounds like this blog is about something else entirely. She does, however, try and consume as much mana food between over eager tank pulls as possible.

20 days of…; Day 6 – My Desk

My desk is usually kind of a mess, everything pushed back and moved around out of the reach of a grabbing child. It is the place of many things including:

Sewing kit and various crafting materials

An old advent calendar (now probably out of date)

My computer and various PC related items

Boxed PC games, cds and dvds

WoW items such as the game boxes (we have 3 copies of wrath), my loot trading cards, old wow calendars

Normally a ton of junk like bottles, paperwork and cups

Lots of bits of paper with old wow related things on, like gems, enchants and crafting materials

Mini druid is forever playing with the handle on my chair making it much lower than it should be.

I can’t take a picture of it because it’s such a mess right now!

20 days of…; Day 5 – Favourite Items In Game

I wrote last year in June about my 10 favourite items in game that I own but I’ll add some more new ones to that list!

Orb Of The Sindorei – My love for belfs is widely known. I use this almost every time it’s off cooldown and can be often found using it in killshots etc

Tyrande’s Favourite Doll – I worked my ass off for this so I have a love/hate relationship with it

Steamy romance novels – always fun to send to guildmates

Ashkandi – I ended up with the original on my mage, she can’t even use it but I like to look at it and giggle. It’s so large >>

Alty Things; More Race Changes

Since Naora is gearing up reasonably well (9/12 on 25 man, 11th for 25 progression on server, two pieces of tier), I can afford to give my alts some love. The last time I blogged about them I had 1 85, an 84, an 82, 4 80s, a 75 and a level 16. Some weeks later I’m now in possession of 6 85s, 2 82’s , a 31, a 10 and a brand new level 1 hunter.

I hit 85 on my mage and quested to about halfway through TH for the guild achievement (ungrateful gits didn’t say much). I’m a bit stuck on her tailoring at 500,  despite the cloth gathering buff. My other alts hardly pick up any in comparison. Managed to max herbalism by the time I finished Deepholm. She’s gathering dust until I can decide which alt I really want to play at max. Also for some reason, she didn’t pick up a cloak to replace the heirloom one. Cloak pain like ICC all over again.

I had done a bit more on my pally and got out of Hyjal, pushed past Deepholm and into Uldum. Levelling as prot feels clunky and I imagine it would be worse were I not levelling with Celin on his BM hunter. Mining maxed (no surprises there) but blacksmithing ignored as I’ve only just hit 450 with it. I then switched to ret and hit 85 in Uldum.

I think I needed more enchanting  mats and I had begun doing the JC daily everyday so I took my priest to Vashj’ir. She blasted through the whole zone, cleared Deepholm in about 2 sessions of play and hit 85 in TH, helping dwarves (skipped Uldum, really don’t want 2 chars in the same zone – keep getting confused on pally because I did the quests on priest the day before and suchlike) I am actually very tempted to go holy at 85 because I like healing, but I haven’t healed on a priest for years. JC and enchanting maxed just these last few days which took a lot of gold and time.

I swapped my gnome for a worgen warlock because I wanted a max level worgen. It was quite strange as I didn’t change her name but I was always bit iffy about having a gnome character to begin with. She made fast progress and ended up 85 in TH as affliction (having swapped from demo at about 83)

I dusted off my DK and sent him to Hyjal. Specced frost as it was meant to be the easiest and died about 8 times in the starting part before going back to unholy. He was always, always unholy, even when it was a viable tanking spec in Wrath. I loved the idea of being an anti-paladin, spreading disease with an undead pet at my side. I think it was to add some variety to my overall alliance experience, as they are by no means the good guys, but they are the less dark and primal overall. I also decided that I could bear the male night elf model no more, so he is now a she, with electric pink hair. I was always disappointed that my male dk couldn’t have pink hair.

I specced my shaman elemental for the first time ever and sent her to Vashj’ir with Celin’s mage. Having a (fire) blast with her so far.

I also finally got out of the dreaded Northrend on my rogue. The last 5 or so levels were so completely boring and then I struggled at the start of Hyjal because I had only heirlooms and crappy blues.

The stacking guild perks plus heirlooms and rested means my baby worgen gets a level a week  just from cooking and fishing every day. I’ve spent so much time looking for spell before realising that she doesn’t get it for many levels (MOW, faeire fire etc) but she really is a machine when it comes to feral dps. I have duel specced her resto as I can’t seem to get away from healing.

For some reason I decided I don’t have enough herbalists and rolled a new lock, a dwarf this time, Camillenoire (another Clive Barker/Tortured Soul reference) I got her in the guild and although it’s weird without heirlooms, it’s not going too badly. Only died once when I took on too many troggs. I also felt like I needed an ally hunter, so Celin has rolled a draenei warrior and I have a draenei hunter, although they haven’t even been out of the starting zone.

I think I’m compelled to make more alts because I have levelled the others so fast. I expected that realistically I would perhaps have another alt at 85 by now, not 5 of them. I still can’t decide which one to play when I’m not playing Naora. I took both my priest and worgen through some normals (HOO and LCOT) but neither of them felt amazingly fun. I also had an argument with a priest healer over a staff in HOO, which left me feeling iffy about pugs again.

I’m enjoying healing and the challenges of Cata raiding (having worse gear than the other healers to boot). We’ve had a switch about with one of the paladins going shaman (we had 4 holy paladins) but I still remain the only resto druid. Last night was our first 25 man Atramedes kill, which sees us move up by one whole place on the server rank. We are also on a par with the 10 man (killed Atra on 10 man the night before!) and have been working on Cho’gall.

The only place I’m experiencing anything like burnout is in fact through playing the AH. Since the price for ore on my realm has plummeted, the competition is stiff in the gem and enchant market. The endless posting, reposting and undercutting is a never ending job some days so I’ve had to withdraw temporarily until some markets pick up again. I’m still making a good profit on flipping cheap blues and epics and the companion pet market is strong in anticipation of the new achievements in 4.2.

Finally, on a last amusing note, WE BROKE MAGMAW.

On the jumpy head phase, he went backwards instead of towards the raid, meaning no one could get near him. In the screenshot everyone is just stood around, like err, what now? Would have been a new record kill but for that 😛

20 days of…; Day 4 – Best WoW Memory

I think it’s impossible for me to pick one as I’ve had so many great times in game but these are the ones that stuck out most in my mind;

Running around SW on my mage and pointing out to my dad that the other chars running around “were all real people playing the game” I was so overexcited I think, having mostly played single player games, to see the world filled with other people. It seemed so alive.

Rolling belfs for the first time with 2 people from my old guild and making stupid jokes about wearing all grey items (she was paladin, who I got to level 17 before I deleted)

When Naora was a tiny level 11, a 70 friend from my old guild (who since quit) had taken me through some quests and we were hanging out late at night in Darnassus. He had done some arenas and went afk, but left autorun on. I could see his health dropping and then he was dead. He had run under a bridge and drowned in his full pvp gear.

Horrible old UI, a bad memory!

When the Isle Of Quel’Danas vendors first appeared and it was this new and exciting area. Dozens of people stacking on the vendor so you couldn’t see them. Loved it there.

Quel'Danas vendors - first day

Sitting on TS the evening of the Wrath launch playing my new dk and everyone talking (and moaning about the server queues)

Sitting on TS the night Cata went live. Logged outside SW to find I couldn’t get back in (although that’s probably not a good memory, lol)

Anytime I kill a new boss or make progress with my guild. Been there for years now and I couldn’t imagine raiding with any other group of people.

Naora’s Guide To The Stormwind Cooking And Fishing Dailies

A little while ago I wrote about race changes and added on a bit about making the levelling grind easier. Part of that was to do the daily cooking and fishing offered in one of the major cities (SW or Org) as they provide a nice xp/guild rep/faction rep boost.

As I’m doing them 9 times a day on my alliance characters (which is 18 normal dailies plus another JC and Inscription daily on 2 alts) I have written a little guide based on my own experiences.

Cooking

SW’s cooking dailies are given by Robby Flay who is located just to the left of the Stockades, near the Inscription trainer. He offers 5 dailies, with a different one each day (although it’s not uncommon to get the same one again or to not see one for a few days or even a week) The achievement for completing all 5 is Let’s Do Lunch. The rewards are cooking awards and skill points, and the amount varies from quest to quest.

All cooking quests can be accepted at level 10, and give an excellent boost to lower levels, especially if you are guilded and have rank 2 of Fast Track (requires level 6) and have heirlooms.

Orphans Like Cookies Too! – Rewards 1 award and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Location: Multiple spawn points. Cooking trainers and general good vendors. Mage Quarter, Trade District, Old Town, Dwarven District inns.
  • Class Advantages: Shamans for running faster indoors with ghost wolf, druids with cat form increased movement speed. Any class that can gain a temporary movement buff. Worgens have darkflight as well.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Vendors. At every spawning point for the sugar there is a vendor of either cooking supplies or general goods. They will stock between 1-2 sugars for 10s each and rotate through (e.g if one vendor does not have them in the merchant window, you can be sure they are on another vendor) The best way is to check a vendor before seeing if there is any sugar at the spawning points and repeat before moving on.
  • Pushed For Time?: Camp a spawn point or vendor. With the changes in the last patch, the sugar spawns faster but in multiple locations (eg upstairs and downstairs in Inns, all around the general goods store) It requires a quick eye and quicker clicking as you can be sure others are doing the same thing. Best time of day to do this quest is the early or mid morning.
  • My Preferred Route: Accept quest, check Candy vendor near quest giver. Check general store floor and vendor. If no success after those 2 vendors, head to Old Town and check the cooking supplies vendor and the basement level. Return to general store and check vendor. Check Candy vendor again. Repeat until you have all the sugars you want. Hand in.
  • Super Important Info!: You can have more than 4 sugars at any one time! You can continue to buy from the vendors (although I don’t know the limit, the sugar stacks in 20s) and they do not disappear on handing the quest in! This way you can cut down on time spent the next time the quest comes up.

Sugar spawn points (red) and my route (orange lines)

The King’s Cider – Rewards 1 award and 2 skill ups

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 3/5*
  • Location: Underneath apple trees on the pathways of SW. Trees in all areas except Trade District.
  • Class Advantages: Druids, as you don’t have to dismount from flight form/travel form. Herbalists can track the apples on their minimap!
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Either camp a tree (quite boring) or keep moving between a few trees in a small radius.
  • Pushed For Time?: No real way to speed this up apart from camping trees near the quest giver and that’s a popular plan! Chars with ground mounts may have the advantage as by the time you get there they are likely to have respawned. Less popular areas seem to be the furthest away; Old Town and Dwarvern District. Again, it’s easier to do it early or mid morning.
  • My Preferred Route: Take quest. Go to Cathedral Square and search the tree at the top left and middle left. Go out to the canal and head up and round to the bridge over to Dwarven District – all the canals have at least one tree. Turn left in the Dwarven District and check the tree on the right (it’s a good one with normally 3 spawns) Head out the way you came and travel down along the canal into Old Town. Check the tree at the top of Old Town entrance and at the bottom by the Champion’s Hall. Go out to the left and follow the canal back up to Dwarven, retracing your route back through to the quest giver.

Some apple tree points (red) and my route (orange)

* I confess to skipping this one most times it comes up or limiting it to character who need the xp. I find it annoying and way too many ninjas.

A Fisherman’s Feast – Rewards 1 award and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Type Of Quest: Collection of 5 Gigantic Catfish from barrels of fish or fishing them from the SW canal
  • Difficulty: 2/5 or 1/5 depending on fishing skill
  • Location: Fish barrels spawn near any of the npcs Stormwind Fisherman, who tend to hang around on the little wooden piers or stone steps.
  • Class Advantages: Druids as you don’t have to dismount to loot. Again, herbalists can track the barrels (makes no sense!)
  • Most Efficient Strategy: A combination of camping a barrel spawn point and fishing from the canal between respawns. Low level fishers (below about 75) are going to take longer due to the amount of junk fished up.
  • Pushed For Time?: Collect all the barrels from flying around. Both the Dwarven District and Old Town have 2 spawn points either side of the keep. Not very time saving for ground mounted characters.
  • My Preferred Route: For flying I would head straight over to Dwarven and Old Town and check the 4 spawn points. Then head left, behind the keep and check the pier just before the Cata portal area. Head back going via the Cathedral Square/ SW Lake area piers and to quest giver. The barrel at the fishing quest giver is often over camped so avoid it. Otherwise if you are fishing the catfish you can fish anywhere along the canals but not the lake or the Valley of Heroes.
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Some barrel spawn points (red) and my route (orange)

Feeling Crabby? – Rewards 2 awards and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 3/5 if only for time taken and irritating camera view from the water not being quite deep enough **
  • Location: Throughout Stormwind canals
  • Class Advantages: Druids for aquatic form. Locks and Shamans for underwater breathing.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Find a quiet area and camp a length of canal and hope you dissuade any other people from your patch. Recommend using the Swim Speed Potion from the fishing daily reward bag.
  • Pushed For Time?: Camp an area close to the quest giver (stretch of water in front or behind the Stockades)
  • My Preferred Route: Fly (or ride or run) to the furthest canal area you can. I particularly like the stretch of water just before Stormwind Lake.

** Again I do skip this one often, apart from on my druids when it’s stupidly easy.

Penny’s Pumpkin Pancakes – Rewards 1 award and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 1/5
  • Location: The field behind Olivia’s Pond, out the back of the Dwarven District.
  • Class Advantages: Druids to loot whilst mounted in form, any class or race with a speed boost.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Pick a side of the field without another player in it and head vertically. The respawn rare is fast enough to come back on yourself.
  • Pushed For Time?: This is the quickest daily of them all – rejoice!
  • My Preferred Route: As per the most efficient strategy – stay away from other players and move in a straight line.
  • Super Important Info!: If you have an alt with a ground mount, it’s fair way to go across SW and back. My tip is to have your HS set to the Trade District and simply HS back from the pumpkin field.

Fishing

SW’s fishing dailies are given by Catherine Leland who is located on the pier in front of the Stockades, just outside the back of the Trade District. She offers 5 dailies and the achievement for completing all 5 is Fish or Cut Bait. The rewards are a Bag of Shiny Things and skill points, and the amount of points varies from quest to quest. The bag mostly contains junk, Swim Speed and Water Breathing potions, occasional items such as Strand Crawler, Fishing Hat and the recipe for Captain Rumsey’s Lager. Also very rarely (I have yet to see one), they will drop the rare fishing poles which you could get from the Dalaran dailies.

All fishing quests can be accepted at level 10.

Where items can be found or fished including crabs and catfish (cooking)

Hitting A Walleye – Rewards 1 bag and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 2/5 (for distance travelled and for low level fishing skilled characters)
  • Location: Stormwind Lake, behind the Cathedral Square, next to the Dwarven District.
  • Class Advantages: None, unless you feel like walking on water or levitating in the middle of the lake.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: On lower fishing skilled characters use lures to speed up the process. Find an area away from others so you can hear your bobber go!
  • Pushed For Time?: Not much you can do to speed this one up.
  • My Preferred Spot: Fishing at the edge of the pier by the Cathedral square or the bank at the back, looking back at SW.

Thunder Falls – Rewards 1 bag and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10. The mobs near the fishing area are level 9 bandits so level 10-15s might have to kill them all before they can fish in peace!
  • Difficulty: 2/5 (for distance travelled)
  • Location: Thunder Falls, which is outside of SW, on the right hand side
  • Class Advantages: None
  • Most Efficient Strategy: The hardest part can be finding a spot not occupied by someone else and getting confused over bobbers. You can go just beyond the cottage at the back where it’s quieter.
  • Pushed For Time?: Kill the bandits around you as they will still aggro an 85 and interrupt your casting. You can also HS back if you have set your HS to SW.
  • My Preferred Spot: In front of the little cottage, on a small hill.

Big Gulp – Rewards 1 bag and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: Either 1/5 or 3/5 depending on RNG
  • Location: The Valley Of Heroes, the main entrance to SW
  • Class Advantages: None
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Make sure you have enough bag space for when you receive the Royal Monkfish as you need to open the fish and you can lose the locket and get junk instead by not opening it first time. You cannot have more than one loot containing fish at a time so open it as soon as you get it.
  • Pushed For Time?: Thankfully, Blizz upped the catch rate of the Monkfish and slightly decreased the chance of it containing the locket. Most characters get it within 4-5 casts and an unlucky few go through 3 or more Monkfish.
  • My Preferred Spot: Right in front of the construction crew ^^

Diggin’ For Worms – Rewards 1 bag and 2 skill ups

  • Min Level To Complete: 10
  • Difficulty: 2/5 (for distance and forgetting to use worm sometimes)
  • Location: Olivia’s Pond, out the back of the Dwarven District
  • Class Advantages: Herbalists can track the worm mounds on their minimap.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Finding a worm can be the worst part as the ones that spawn next to the pond are often grabbed quickly. The also spawn on the small piece of land to the right and by the trees on the back right. use the worm one you loot it as there’s nothing worse than fishing for 5 minutes and cursing at the RNG before realising it’s still in your bags.
  • Pushed For Time?: Use HS to return to a part of SW closer to the quest giver
  • My Preferred Spot: Facing towards the Dwarven District

Rock Lobster – Rewards 1 bag and 1 skill up

  • Min Level To Complete: 10, but very difficult until 75+
  • Difficulty: 4/5*** (location, mob and being underwater for long time)
  • Location: SW Harbour, near the docked boats
  • Class Advantages: Druids for aquatic form. Any class that can drop combat to avoid the mob. Pet classes to deal with the mob whilst looting.
  • Most Efficient Strategy: Stick to one alcove and camp those boxes. The mob is easily dealt with at 85 but still hits hard up til about level 80. Any low levels will have to move fast or hope some higher levels are about. The water is murky so staying low both allows you to see the quest items and avoid the mob.
  • Pushed For Time?: Use the Swim Speed Potion on top of the buff given by the quest giver. Do the quest during quiet times prevents ages wasted swimming round due to slow respawns.
  • My Preferred Route: Normally the area with the wooden ramp, swimming and grabbing the ones on the outer edges.

*** Yeah I skip this too. I almost never do it unless I realise I need it for the achievement >>

Other Dailies

Jewelcrafting – 1 Jewelcrafting token, xp/rep

5 JC dailies are available with 3 cut this amount of gem quest, one item collection quest and one cover people in stardust quest.

Inscription – Forged Documents – Bag of Gold (about 9-25g per bag – random)

An item you can make daily that rewards a skill point up to about 520 and some gold. No xp/rep but nice little way of skilling up. Available from inscription level 500.

20 days of…; Day 3 – First Day Playing WoW

Whoops. Bit late updating this due to a bunch of RL issues.

I had been having a rubbish few days before picking up WoW; a failed relationship, a temping job that I didn’t enjoy and my cat had been run over and died. I desperately needed a distraction.

My parents had taken me out into town and I bought both original WoW (£9) and TBC (£14) from 2 different stores. I read the manual before but didn’t look on any websites so I was still fairly clueless. I picked a random server (Dragonblight) and rolled a nelf rogue which I then got to level 5 before being texted by my friend’s girlfriend to say I was on the wrong server. I remember being confused because the closest I had ever come to an MMO or even a RPG was the Everquest spin off on the PS2; Champions Of Norrath, in which I was a dark elf shadownight, and you had things like save points and you couldn’t just wander off and do what you wanted. I think I had a problem adjusting to WoW’s combat system. It was less button mashing than I was used to! I did understand talent trees but didn’t get that you could put points in different trees and not suffer a penalty in some way.

The next day I talked to my workfriends and they advised me to roll a mage (!) and so Aya was started on Aggramar. I can remember going to Stormwind for the first time and being amazed that these were all real people. I also found it hilarious that one of my friends was a 70 gnome rogue, as in RL he was a tall laddish guy.

I logged my rogue in as she still exists! She was in the graveyard of Dolanaar, wearing half cloth gear with the red icon showing (57% durability) and has 2 cooking points. So I obviously understood professions but not how to repair. I think I must have started every fight by throwing things as it was keybound to my 2 space on the action bar. I fel nostalgic so she is logged out in the inn, repaired, with 10 combat pets learnt and a sparkle pony in her bags.

I feel like I have come a very long way since then!

My first ever WoW character - a rogue!