gaming, Player perspective, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Hunters, Warcraft Writing

Trekking with Calador

My night elf hunter Calador in mid-shoot.

A while back I did a world quest on my druid, Daxien, that required him to shoot a bow. Believe it or not, that was the first time I’d really seen how a male night elf shoots a bow. Sure, I’ve seen lots of male night elves as both allies and enemies, but I never really watched them shoot. However, the moment I saw Daxien shoot, I fell in love with the action and decided I needed to make a male night elf hunter.

More awesome arrow nocking action.

I promptly went into one of my realms and created my new night elf hunter. I’d had female night elf hunters before (now deleted) but never a male. I went with a randomized name from the game, Calador, and while he started out with white hair, I eventually changed it to green because it suited him better.

I haven’t leveled a hunter from level one in a rather long time. I have my void elf hunter Valressa, but she started at level 20. So I felt it was going to be fun relearning the hunter spec from the ground up. As I’m a bit too familiar with the night elf starter area, I decided to take Cal to Elwynn Forest and do the quests around there for a while.

As a night elf, Calador started out with a white striped tiger as his pet. I have four cats in real life, so I was quite fine with him having a cat. After a while of playing him though, I decided I’d tame a bear in Elwynn woods for a pet. I always name my hunter pets, and after taming the brown bear, I decided that the name Tiberius suited him.

If you don’t know, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise. Yes, I’m a Star Trek lover as well as a Warcraft lover. I love all sorts of nerdy/geeky things actually.

As soon as I told my oldest daughter my bear’s name, she said I had to name my next pointy eared pet Nimoy, after Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed Spock in the original Star Trek show and movies. I said that I would of course and went out and tamed a moonstalker to name Nimoy. It was then that I decided that for the first time ever, my hunter pet names were going to follow a theme. A Star Trek theme. A theme where no hunter of mine had gone before…

Calador with Tiberius and Nimoy.
Calador sleeping soundly with his pet protectors.

No sooner had I posted a screenshot of Calador standing with Tiberius the bear and Nimoy the moonstalker on Twitter than a fellow Warcraft player suggested I get the large crab with the knife and name him Sulu. I knew nothing about crab pets and certainly not that any had knives, but I did some research on the subject and agreed that I would. In Star Trek, Sulu is a fencer, so of course the knife made sense.

The next day I hopped on Sriset long enough to go to Suramar and kill Pinchshank, the evil death crab who drops the Crab Shank weapon/toy that all crab hunter pets can use. Pinchshank dropped the weapon and I hopped on Calador to go hunting for a crab pet.

Sriset facing off against Pinchshank and his huge knife.
Sriset’s Hati wolves taking down the armed crab.

As Sulu wears yellow in Star Trek, I looked through the crab pets on Petopia.com for one that was yellow and low enough for then level 18 Cal to tame. The crab listed as yellow was too high level for Cal, so instead I chose the bronze crab with its mix of yellow and green. Plus, Cal was already in Westfall, so it just meant a trip to the north shore to tame one.

Cal had no trouble taming the bronze crab and I promptly named it Sulu and equipped it with the Crab Shank. I’d never had a crab pet before, and I didn’t realize they were tanks! They’re very clicky when they walk but the new crab models are quite adorable so I’m happy having Sulu. There’s just something extra cool about a knife-wielding crab.

Calador and Sulu wielding the crab shank.
That spider shouldn’t have messed with Sulu!

As I love taming pets on my hunters, my Star Trek theme for their names will continue on Calador. There’s plenty of names to choose from and I’m sure my animal menagerie will be quite unique as it engages on more voyages through Azeroth…

gaming, Pandaria, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft Books, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Fanfiction, Warcraft Writing

Warcraft Fanfiction – Excerpt 1

As promised, here is an excerpt from the first chapter of my World of Warcraft fanfiction. It’s the first 900+ words of a 1700+ word chapter. I’ll post more if I receive indications that people want to read more. I welcome all feedback and suggestions. Enjoy and thank you for reading!

Salxi and Zilik

Chapter One

Tired of Silence

            Glimmers of stars interrupted the dark night sky high above the lush tree canopy of the Jade Forest in Pandaria. In this area called Forest Heart, a stream burbled lazily through the rolling hills, dotted with waterfalls, and spanned in the deeper sections by elegant arched bridges. A cottage rumored to belong to a jade witch stood tucked in darkness to the north as jade felines prowled among the tress while smaller, more harmless animals kept their distance.

It was on the southern bank of the stream, between a waterfall and a bridge, that Salxi, a blood elf warlock, had camped for the night. The witch rumors would keep others away and she had no reason to fear such a minor foe. Absently twirling her fingers through the black tresses of her pony tail, the blood elf woman sat cross-legged on the ground by her campfire reading her personal journal. Such a sitting position would have been challenging in the robes many warlocks wore, but Salxi preferred pants and shirts for easier movement and less drafts on her legs.

The flickering flames of the fire provided ample light for Salxi to read the personal journal that she’d titled “Sal’s Journal of Light.” The journal contained images and descriptions of everything important to her. Within the journal she kept pictures of her family members, her homeland, and anything else that reminded her of the light and good in the world. As a warlock, Salxi existed in a constant battle to control the dark fel magic she wielded and prevent it from overwhelming her. The journal of images, stories, and her personal reflections kept her grounded in the world of light and helped counter the effects of using fel magic.

            Standing guard nearby in shadows barely touched by the firelight was Salxi’s felguard, Zilikshok. She had only started summoning him a few weeks ago as a change from her voidwalker demon, Thulnuz. Thulnuz was highly effective at doing damage and keeping enemies away from her so she could focus on ranged attacks, but he didn’t have much personality. Not that Zilikshok, or Zilik as she’d started thinking of him, had much personality either. But he looked more humanoid than the hovering, pulsating mass of void magic that was Thulnuz.

Generally speaking, demon minions weren’t supposed to display unique personalities or be sociable with their non-demon masters. Nonetheless, Salxi had spent many years of her life with demon minions and she liked to think that all warlock minions had personalities that could be interesting if they ever revealed them.

            Much to the blood elf’s pleasure, Zilik had proven himself to be just as useful as Thulnuz. Salxi liked some of the attack moves that were unique to felguards, but he seemed to have less personality than her voidwalker. Something she hadn’t thought possible. He would occasionally say things that she imagined all demons said such as calling her a “lesser being” and telling her she wasn’t strong enough to control him. She hoped that was just how demon minions were “programmed” to behave during the processes evil used to increase their demonic numbers. Still, she couldn’t help but take such words personally at times.

All of the demons that warlocks summoned looked the same from warlock to warlock, although imps varied in color sometimes. But all demon minions had their own names that warlocks learned from the first summoning. That fact often made Salxi wonder if they had unique personalities to go along with those names. She’d never truly seen anything unique about her minions compared to the minions of other warlocks, but there was something more there, she was certain of it.

            Realizing that her musings about demon names and personalities had distracted her from reading her book, Salxi blinked her fel green eyes to refocus them on the page before her. She was looking at a page showing a drawing of her older sister, Solunai. Solunai was a paladin and as opposite from Salxi as a sister could get. Solunai, or Sol as her family called her, embodied all that was good and light, while Salxi worked with dark magic and rarely had the noblest of purposes.

With her auburn hair always up in a bun and her sword and shield at the ready, Sol would never do anything to go against her duty. On the other hand, Salxi with her jet-black hair, dark clothing, and fel magic, would do whatever it took to win a fight. Although their nicknames of Sol and Sal were similar, Salxi doubted she and her oldest sister would ever see eye-to-eye.

If not for their fun-loving oldest sister, Sriset, Salxi was certain she and Sol would have been at odds far more than they were. Fortunately, their hunter sister Sri and her tendency to get lost physically, verbally, and mentally had always kept the mood light among the three sisters.

            Salxi smiled slightly as she thought about her older sisters and then abruptly closed the book with a sigh. She hadn’t seen any of her siblings in quite some time as they were all questing on different continents for different reasons. With her ability to summon and control demons, Salxi never quested alone, but that didn’t prevent loneliness.

Although never the most social blood elf, she did enjoy being among other living beings. As long as they weren’t always ordering her around like General Nazgrim had been of late. She was extremely relieved to be free of the general for a while. He had assigned her the task of exploring the areas outside of Grookin Outpost where the Horde had allied themselves with the monkey-like hozen natives. If Salxi had her way, she’d never return to that outpost to endure more growled orders from the power-hungry orc general.

***      

DISCLAIMER: All the characters appearing in World of Warcraft are copyright of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc, parent company Activision Blizzard. No infringement of these copyrights is intended and is not authorized by the copyright holder. All original characters are the property of Sriset Syaine.

gaming, Pandaria, Player perspective, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft Books, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Fanfiction, Warcraft Writing

A Timed Quest…Of Sorts

The clock in Stormwind City

As anyone who plays World of Warcraft knows, timed quests can be an interesting challenge. Personally, I’m pretty bad at them as I feel too pressured, get stressed, become frazzled, and inevitably mess something up.

Regardless, I’ve created a timed quest of sorts for myself that isn’t nearly as frazzling as anything Warcraft has ever thrown my way. My timed quest is to finish editing the first chapter of my World of Warcraft fanfiction and post it on this blog on Monday, May, 6, 2019. As I write this, that date is approaching fast.

There are a few reasons why I made this deadline for myself. The first one being that that date is my father’s birthday. He would’ve turned 78 this year, but he passed away in 2009. He was one of the biggest supporter of my writing and he was always encouraging me to try to get my fantasy writing published.

I did send my writing to publishing companies a couple times, but the generic rejection letters deflated my hopes rather quickly. Even so, I think my dad would appreciate me posting my fanfiction writing on his birthday.

Another reason for giving myself this deadline is simply to motivate myself to finish the editing and put the fanfiction I’ve been talking about out there for others to read. My first chapter is rather long, so it might just be an excerpt of the chapter, but there is much more to post after that first installment.

My World of Warcraft fanfiction starts out with the story of my blood elf warlock named Salxi and her adventures in Pandaria. From there it expands into many more characters, all based on my various toons in the game. I daresay being able to actually go into Azeroth for research is extremely helpful!

Salxi and her crew of demons.

So be watching this blog come Monday, May 6, 2019 and you’ll find an excerpt of the first chapter of my World of Warcraft fanfiction. I still don’t have a name for it, so perhaps I’ll brainstorm on that this weekend. Wouldn’t want to rush things… 😉

gaming, Player perspective, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Writing

When in Doubt, Create a New Toon

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My latest death knight astride her mount.

Yesterday I played my blood elf hunter, Sriset, for a while working on reaching exalted with the last few factions she needed. However, I find that tedious after a while so once I finished the emissary quests for the day I was looking for something different to do.

As I’m an altoholic with all 50 slots filled on my account, I obviously enjoy making new toons. I couldn’t do that yesterday though until I deleted a couple toons. That was easy enough to do because I had a couple toons on a realm and no longer remembered why.

In fact, I had a night elf warrior I hadn’t played in so long that when I logged in she was parked where Auberdine used to be. I was very confused at first as to why she wasn’t in an inn and then went, oh my!

The other toon on that server was a draenei death knight because when I start on a new realm I usually start with a DK so I can make some gold somewhat quickly. After checking the toons over though, I concluded they didn’t have enough money or items worth saving, so I deleted them.

With two slots now open, I chose a new server I haven’t played on before and made, you guessed it, a death knight. Specifically a female blood elf death knight. I already have such a toon at 112 on a different server, but one can never have too many elves, in my opinion. 😉

My belf DK stole a tiny horse for her future mount.

I had a lot of fun running her through the DK starter quests, even though I’ve done them more times than I can count. I think that’s because Wrath of the Lich King was the expansion that came out when I started playing. I started by playing Burning Crusade, but Wrath will always be my marker for when I started playing World of Warcraft.

With my heirloom armor on, my belf DK reached 60 shortly before finishing the starter area. But as the server was new to me and not compatible with any other servers I’m on, I needed to get her some funds for flying. Such occasions make me very happy that WoW tokens now exist. I don’t buy them very often, but they certainly come in handy!

After buying my token and putting it up for auction, I headed to Razor Hill for some Noblegarden fun on my DK. The area was busy of course, but there were still plenty of eggs to be had. I even found a nice little spot where three eggs spawned.

Noblegarden eggs
Egg under table and egg in box.

WoWScrnShot_042719_191708~2.jpg
Egg behind the bags too!

I stood there and collected the eggs and no one else even came near me. I would’ve happily let them take the eggs if they wanted, but I had no competition last night.

After that, I took my DK to Outland and parked her at the inn at Thrallmar. It’ll take her a little over a week to get full rest experience, but I certainly have numerous toons to play in the interim. Or I may be a rebel and play her without experience. But knowing me, probably not. 😉

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft rogues, Warcraft Videos, Warcraft Writing

Don’t Let the Dance Die – A Tribute to Warcraft Rogues

Syaine in mid Roll the Bones.

Yes, it’s another video from your truly! I actually posted the original rogue music video three months ago, but I didn’t publicize it much because while I loved it, the quality of the video wasn’t the best. The same holds true for the other videos I did prior to using Bandicam to record my World of Warcraft game play. Chances are, I’ll redo those two eventually as well.

Although my video quality will always be limited by the capabilities of my laptop, I think this remastered rogue video looks better overall. I shot all new game footage for it and even switched the specs and outfits on my rogues a few times to mix things up and keep it interesting.

Rogues are definitely one of my favorite World of Warcraft classes because they can sneak around enemies rather than having to fight everything. I know that their stealth capabilities and underhanded attacks are why a lot of people don’t like rogues, but that doesn’t make me like them less. They’re just a lot of fun to play and I believe any sort of game should always be fun.

My nightborne rogue breaking off some ice for her drink.

The song is for my rogue video is called Don’t Let The Dance Die by Mad Modishi featuring Dayon and as soon as I heard the words “You’re a murderer” I knew it was the perfect song for rogues. Plus it has a great beat and lends itself well to all the unique and agile moves that rogues possess, including their dance moves. 😉

So here’s my new video featuring rogues in all their sneaky glory. I hope you enjoy it!

gaming, Player perspective, Questing, Warcraft, Warcraft achievements, Warcraft characters, Warcraft Hunters, Warcraft rogues, Warcraft Writing

Mounts as Motivation

When Blizzard first talked about the World of Warcraft achievement Two Sides to Every Tale where a player could earn two new mounts, I was intrigued. I thought it was cool that they were rewarding players (like myself) for playing both factions through the war campaigns and story lines. I also liked the idea of having a horse mount for Horde and wolf mount for Alliance.

With the help of my oldest daughter, I got my Horde main, Sriset, through the war campaign and story lines without much issue. However, my Alliance main, Syaine, was another story.

On my night elf rogue, Syaine, I’d become stuck on the quest called The Treasury Heist. I couldn’t get past the section where I had to run the gauntlet with all the traps combined in one horrible section. I tried it several times when it was first released, but after dying all those times, I decided to give up.

But then recently I started thinking that I really wanted those mounts from Two Sides to Every Tale and I decided to try the seemingly impossible quest again. I told myself I’d give it one more go and see if I could do it.

Well, it took me three more tries of running the gauntlet in one night but I finally made it!

After that, the rest of the Alliance war campaign was easy. Time consuming, but easy.

Along with the Alliance war campaign, I also had to complete The Pride of Kul Tiras achievement. I’d stopped working toward it when I hit the first dungeon quest, but after surviving the gauntlet, doing random groups for dungeons didn’t seem as intimidating anymore.

It took me a couple days, but yesterday morning I finally completed the last step with A Nation United. I was so happy to have the achievement notification flash up on my screen along with the notification of the Ironclad Frostclaw mount added to my collection!

Once I got past the horrible gauntlet segment of that one quest, grinding for the rest of the required achievements for the mounts was actually fun. It was nice doing something that felt important on Syaine again, as I’d grown tired of warfronts, daily quests, and rep grinding. Now that I’ve got my mounts, I’ll go back to playing lower level alts until the next interesting part of Battle for Azeroth comes out.

gaming, Player perspective, Warcraft, Warcraft characters, Warcraft death knights, Warcraft Writing

New Death Knight, New Surprises

Come on, Arthas, smile for the camera!

Last night I decided to create a new death knight character. On the Horde side, I already have a 110 plus female blood elf death knight, but I’ve yet to manage to level an Alliance death knight very far.

In the past I’ve made female draenei death knights and male night elf death knights, but I lost interest with all of them eventually. So it seemed apparent that I needed to create one in a setup I already enjoyed.

To that end, the death knight I created last night was a female night elf, just like my rogue, Syaine. Not sure why I didn’t think of doing so before, I guess the mood just had to strike.

While I was customizing my new DK, I was surprised that I could get the Night Warrior eyes on her. That made the appearance choices even more extensive than usual for me.

My new nelf DK, Zyve.

While I was customizing my character I received a message from my oldest daughter playing in her room down the hall. She asked if I wanted company in the DK starter zone. I always enjoy playing with my daughter and we hadn’t done a starter zone together yet, so it sounded like fun.

Once I was done creating my night elf DK I entered the game and accepted the first quest. My daughter’s character was already there which surprised me. I later learned that she’d made her night elf DK a while ago and had just never started playing it. It seemed like the timing was right for both of us!

My night elf and my daughter’s night elf receiving orders from Arthas.

We quested through the starter area for a while before calling it a night and we communicated via shouting to each other through the hallway because it was faster than typing in party chat. We had a lot of fun wreaking mayhem as death knights together.

I’ve done the DK starter area more times than I can remember and it’s definitely easier than it was when Wrath of The Lich King first came out, but it feels like one of the more immersive starter areas.

My daughter and I finished up the starter area tonight and I’m glad we did it together. I took lots of screenshots and video to remember the experience by and there’s a sampling at the end of this post. Hopefully the memories I made with my daughter will motivate me to get this Alliance DK to max level. Time will tell!