Sunday, December 27, 2009

Of Screwed Schedule and Forgotten Alts

It's Christmas (or a few days after) - so "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" to everyone! Hope all you got what you've always wanted from Santa, be it that brand new toy or that brand new epic loot =)

As for me, though, Christmas is a mixed-up affair. I don't really know the technical aspect of it, but every time I log in from Christmas Eve until last Sunday Hydraxis was hit by an unexplainable lag, ranging from 1.5k up to 4k latency which made it almost impossible to do anything I planned. I could still manage most of the dailies, but jousting and most importantly randoms are out of the question. Last Sunday was a different matter - I have just finished the last of Aenur's dailies when I DC'ed and was unable to log in... got the message "Error retrieving character list" at the character selection.

Weird thing is - I can still log on to my alts in Durotan US and Nagrand EU and play them without any problem. So I figured, meh, I'll get those alts up to speed then.

Therefore, a summary of my mains will have to suffice - Aenur, while missing out on a whole weekend full of emblems, is now only 10 Champion's Seal away from her Argent mount. I hope to get that and start working on the Argent Hippogriff next (which costs a whopping 150 Seals!). Aelyra managed to squeeze in one random on Thursday evening - it's a mostly guild run, so they understand when I die during one hectic boss fight - and got enough Emblem of Triumph to get the Windrunner's Spaulders of Triumph, her first Tier gear. She's still 4k rep away from Exalted with Undercity, the last faction she need for Crusader. And Aerhandor is still slugging away at all that faction rep as usual.

Aergor will not be making it to Outland as scheduled due to the lag problem - I had hoped to do an intense leveling session last Saturday for him. Managed to get him only to level 55 currently. And I did a quick leveling with Aeyrin the Rogue, got a level out of her - she's now level 33.

Since the lag affected my play so much, I decided to hop over to Nagrand EU and load up my old Paladin main, Aerander. With the time I have available, I managed level him up a lot and do what I initially had hoped - getting him to Northrend. Granted, he's only level 68, but the few early Northrend quest gear rewards vastly outshone his old Outland gear and did bump his stats up good. Having been to Borean Tundra primarily as Horde before has spoilt me when I came here as Alliance - twice I made my way halfway to Warsong Hold before I realized I'm Alliance now =D

Too bad Aerander's Blacksmithing skills are still too low to let him capitalize on Northrend craftable armor and weapons. He's at 326/375, and the lowest item a Northrend Master Blacksmith offers for training is at 350. So reluctantly I trucked him back to Shadowmoon Valley in Outland to try and squeeze a couple level and more Blacksmithing skills out of him.

And as a side note, something crossed my mind when going over my adventurers last Friday - I discovered that I lack the drive to continue playing the Side Project, and that I have one too many Hunter and too few Paladins in my line-up. I may end up deleting the Side Project to make way for that Tauren Paladin come Cataclysm next year... but we'll see.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Yeah...


Now I can finally sleep at night in peace. =D

The darn thing doesn't come cheap though... the first group splintered, first when the tank bailed without a word, then when the other two DPS followed suit. Me and the healer re-queued (him as DPS this time) and got another group within a couple of minutes. The letdown?

A Hunter among the newcomers (o_o") I checked him out - he's sporting the True-Aim Long Rifle. Hmm... maybe he's a gun-user and won't roll on the bow, I thought.

The run went quite ok, and RNG was kind - Crypt Fiend Slayer dropped. I asked if I could roll Need on the bow...

...just as the other Hunter hit the Need button. The others were silent - either oblivious or they don't give a damn. I was breathless - if my Need roll fails, I'm going to have to face the possibility of re-running HoR again and again! But... I steel myself and press Need. And hope.

I won the roll. And the other Hunter drop group without a word.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Of Rotten Luck and Bad Drops

A slight rant is incoming. Are you prepared?

Yesterday evening, after finishing dinner and cuddling with my baby son, I fired up my PC and logged in to WoW for the daily dailies - and maybe a random or two. The dailies took longer than usual because I had to split my attention from the game to my boy who just couldn't bear to let me out of his sight =D

Anyways, by the time I finished all of Aenur's, Aelyra's and Aerhandor's dailies it's almost 10.00 p.m and according to schedule I only have another one and a half hour to go. Enough to squeeze in at least two randoms while doing a mining circuit around Icecrown, I was thinking. So I popped open the Dungeon Finder and registers Aenur for her first run - a random reg (for the pair of Emblem of Triumphs). In a few minutes, as she was mining a Saronite node - out pop the confirmation window. I press Enter Instance.

And watched in amusement as Hall of Reflection's loading screen came up.

The group assembled were professionals - all of them (except me) have done the place at least twice, and have nailed the encounters every time. Even so, I piped up in party chat saying I haven't done this fight, might die yadda yadda - but they said it was fine since it's the reg version. And then off we go. The fights were furious but under control: I noticed that no one had their health below 80% most of the time, the mobs are downed as per the tank's instructions (Priests first, then Mages, Mercenary and Footman last) and boss fights are a delightful event. Loot time - Ghoulslicer dropped, a nice 1h sword that I figured would be great on Aelyra... but I passed since she's far, far away. Little that I know the loot table is against me this evening.

And then, after a short skirmish with the bone commander guy we came up to see Arthas vs. Sylvanas in an amazing display of bladeworks. The tank spoke up - chase time: blast anything that has rotting flesh pronto.

And then onto the chase.

Boy, that was one fun pursuit episode - we were AoE-ing mobs right and left, Aenur was laying down Consecrates and DS-ing like crazy, flashes of flying ghouls passed before my eyes just to fall prey to our Mage's bolts of frost/fire/? and most of all, the Lich King in the background, slowly gaining ground. We made it pass the last barrier intact, got to see the short scripted event at the end, and Ding - I got the achievement, the emblems, and loot, and...

...What in the name of Darnassus - Crypt Fiend Slayer in my bag??

I took another look at the chat log - there. Apparently I won the Greed roll for the item (since there's no Hunter or enchanter in the group, everyone Greeded). I was stumped - I had planned to make Aelyra come and get the weapon this weekend ever since I learned about it... and Aenur got it on her FIRST run?? That bugger had an 18% drop rate according to Wowhead, for crying out loud. Why wouldn't Mourning Malice drop - that had a 24% drop rate! >_>

With that experience fresh on my mind, I logged off Aenur and switched over to Aelyra. Queued her up for PoS and hoped to be able to finish it so she can finally enter HoR and get that bow. With an awesome piece of luck, the group she was in decided to take on HoR after the PoS run for the extra emblem and loot. The HoR run went less smooth than Aenur's (we had one wipe due to a runaway Ghostly Mage who nuked the hell out of our healer) but eventually we got to the end of HoR intact.

And as far as loot goes - you know the saying, when you really want it, you won't get it? I can vouch for the truthfullness of that saying. No bow. I would definitely weep with frustration...

...if I hadn't, during the PoS run, won Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt from Ick.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day, eh?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Little Bit of Nostalgia

You may remember I mentioned something about being nostalgic in my previous post, right? You mean, you don't realize I mentioned it? But... I did ment- Oh well...


I was out adventuring with Aenur when it happened, and it all began with the simplest action... and that action turns out to be a reminder and ultimately a revival of my past adventure. The action? Mining a Small Thorium node in Un'Goro Crater. The consequence?

Read on for that bit of nostalgia.

My very first toon in WoW is a Human Paladin over in Nagrand EU. He's the toon I committed a lot of noobish mistakes on - failing to buff during fights, using the wrong equipment on, pursuing an unprofessional interest at the expense of other, more valuable objectives... you know, that kinda stuff.

At about that time, my former guild was recruiting - they were a social, friendly guild looking for a few good people to play with. I applied, and was accepted. Thus began my short (but life-shaping) journey with Chronicle. Tyoril, the Druid tank GM, is a respectable goofball - he'd organize instance run and rope a few guildies in, and then proceeded to have fun with all of them during the run. I still remember one of the few runs I had - this was Uldaman, and we were about to face Archadeus (I think that's his name, the last boss of that place). We finished discussing about strategy, and was about to pull when he somehow botched the initial assault... as a result, the entire group ran helter-skelter as Archadeus aggros each and every one of us and poor Tyoril was running after him trying to establish aggro. It wasn't a wipe however, and we managed to complete the run alive.

Chronicle didn't last long. It wasn't dissention or progression that broke it, it was RL. Tyoril was leaving for a long time in order to pursue his education, and was unwilling to make us wait for him, so he told us about his decision and let everyone leave. Despite that, I was reluctant to leave this guild that I've grown to love - and eventually, on his last day online Tyoril had to kick me out (he sends a mail just before doing it, informing me of what he's about to do).

At that time, my Paladin was about to step through the Dark Portal at level 59. Although I've several other alts, none of them was remotely near him in any aspect. So since Chronicle was 'disbanded', I took the step through the Portal alone. The experience I had on Outland at that time was different - being without companionship (no gchat, no friendly banter, etc) made it like I was actually alone in this world. After only 2 levels in Outland, I broke down and left.

(This was the time I found out about my current guild, Ten Ton Hammer on Hydraxis US. I've been on TTH official forum for almost 3 months then, and have received an unofficial invitation from Ztormy - who will be later known fondly as Guild Mom - to come over to the guild. After much deliberation, I made the switch... and until today I am glad I did.)

Fast forward a few years...

I have been on and off the Paladin, usually after a patch, to update his talent points (out of sentimentality reason) and checking out for old friends. Over the years he managed to gain another 3 levels, but his equipment, skills and professions are untouched. One of the most heart-breaking aspect of him (to me) is his low Blacksmithing skills, which is 288/375. The main reason I couldn't level that up is the insane price on Thorium during his leveling days and how overfarmed the metal is - you cannot spot a Thorium node without it being ninjaed one way or another.

Last Saturday, on Hydraxis, Aenur was wading through swamp and mud to get herself poisoned by Venomhide Ravasaurs when I notice a couple of yellow dots on my minimap. Turns out those were Thorium nodes - ignored, no less - and she mined them. My curiosity was aroused, and I made Aenur do one full circuit of Un'Goro. By the time she's done, I had 4 stacks of Thorium ore, a couple of Arcane Crystals and a lot of Dense Stone. Realization dawned.

I hopped back to Nagrand once all my mains had done their dailies - my Paladin was still there, parked at Telaar. I quickly took him back all the way to Un'Goro. Sure enough, the place is deserted except for one level 48 Night Elf Hunter. My Paladin went on a mining craze - in about one hour, he has 210 Thorium ores and bagfuls of other items. By carefully making some Imperial Plate items, he has managed to hit 305/375 that day. Elated, I took him on a leveling trip - by the time I had to leave, he's 80% to 66.

I wonder though, if I could take him to 80 - and then it would be a grand achievement on it's own... a tale of one adventure, lost and was found again, and made anew...

"This is my first Alliance toon to make it to 80, and he is also my very first toon."

Of Gains and Losses

Last week saw plenty of improvements on my mains - either gear-wise, achievement-wise or level-wise. The changes made by Blizzard over the year (since WotLK came out), culminating with Patch 3.3 only a few weeks ago, has got to be one of the best changes to happen to me and my toons.

However, behind all the elation and celebration of my toons during the weekend, something else happened that made me stop and look back - waaay back - at my first few baby steps in WoW. Specifically - my very first toon. I'll explain more on this after the usual updates.

Aenur - Has run more heroics and is now only one heroic away from netting the Northrend Heroic Dungeonmaster-thingie achievement. Her dedication to gearing up saw her trading more emblems for a pair of Tier gear - the Liadrin's Shoulderplates of Triumph and the Liadrin's Battleplate of Triumph. So, now she has 3/5 Tier 9 and got one of her set bonuses ^_^

And that's not all too - on one occasion, she got into regular PoS with a capable PuG and managed to snag Garfrost's Two-Ton Hammer to replace the Titansteel Destroyer she's been wielding since forever =P Also, in an amazing display of luck she finally managed to trade her one and only green item - Band of the Bloodletter - for the Band of Frosted Thorns from one of her heroic Nexus runs. Overall, this has improved her AP from 3900-ish to 4.3k (buffed). With further improvement in this week, I'm guessing she may hit 5k AP (buffed).

Also, out of sheer curiosity, I made her trek all the way back to Un'Goro to check out this new raptor mount some of my guildies was so keen about. I got her started on the daily and is now about 3/20 done. If this works, and the new mount is cool enough, I'm making Aelyra do it next.

Aelyra - Has finally hit Exalted with the Argent Crusade, and will soon be hitting Exalted with Thunder Bluff. One thing I've noticed is that her Leatherworking is still stuck at 446/450, and I will need to craft some purps to level that up and get a couple of final LW recipes off the trainers.

Aerhandor - Not much changes - he's still doggedly pursuing the Crusader title (not that he's ever going to use it). I have to say though, jousting with a Tauren toon and jousting with a Blood Elf toon is like heaven and earth: You get a big hairy lump of beef on a big leathery lump of kodo on your screen, and jousting pains will increase a hundredfold...

Aergor - Has been questing a bit, and is now level 55. I may have to amend his schedule since I'm a bit doubtful he'll make it to Outland on time. Honestly speaking, I wanted him to step through the Portal when he's level 60, not 58 - but at his current rate of leveling, I may have no choice but to go for it at 58. But we'll wait and see how things go.

As for the rest of the adventurers, no changes over the last week. This schedule thing is wonderful is keeping progress centered on select toons =P

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of Running Random Instances, PuGs and More Dailies

The world will never be the same again... at least it won't for me.

Why, you might ask. Well, the answer is simple.

I have been PuG-ging through Dungeon Finder this last weekend, and I'm finding to my great horror (and hidden delight) that I'm actually enjoying it.

Wait! Wait, lemme 'splain...

After finishing up on the dailies on Saturday, I decided to give the Dungeon Finder a spin, to check out this 'nifty little feature', as someone put it. I queued up Aenur for a random LK instance, and while waiting for a hit took her on a mining route. Pretty soon, the confirmation window came up, and I hit the Enter Dungeon button...

...and was transported to this place called Occulus. And there, my enjoyment with PuGs began.


Aenur - Had a blast running instances after instances, be them with PuG or on-the-spur guild runs. She netted a number of achievements for completing those runs (Occulus, Nexus, VH, Hall of Stone etc.) being unable to run them in the first place due to me hesitating to PuG it before. It was such a blast that before I even know it, it was 3.00 am in the morning and I had enough Emblem of Triumph to finally purchase Aenur her first tier piece - the Liadrin's Gauntlet of Triumph, and socketed it with a +20 Strength and +20 Crit rating gem (she's an accomplished Blacksmith ^_^ ). Based on what I see, she may end up doing one random LK instance per day after her dailies so she can get enough emblems to get the whole T9 set (I want the chestpiece next! Or the shoulder - they're cheaper!).

Aelyra - Had a blast running instances after instances, be them with... well, you know the drill. Although, she hasn't done as much instances as Aenur did, she did have one she can boast that the Pally can't - Aelyra's been to the Forge of Soul, completed it, and got Heartshiver out of it as a souvenir. Equipping it against her current weapon will lose her some +Hit, so I'm keeping it as an option for now... besides, the other guys were a Prot Pally, a DK, a Shaman and a Priest =P. However, I'm not making her do random instances for now since her rep grind is not even decently done - I may change my mind depending on day to day situation, though.

Aerhandor - Is now only one day of dailies away from Exalted with the Ebon Blade. I already started him on the Argent Tourney qualification quests - the one leading up to you choosing the faction you're Championing - and will make him follow Aelyra's footsteps once he got that rep faction maxed. He also won the guild roll for a Nimble Climber's Belt - I may have Aenur make him an Eternal Belt Buckle so he can jam a gem in that. And I'm hoping once I get him to Exalted I can get him the Darkheart Chestguard from the Ebon Blade quartermaster to replace his aging Eviscerator Chestguard.

Aerdread - Had the fortune to run one LK instance (actually being the second of my toon to use the Dungeon Finder feature, after Aenur). The difference between them is that while Aenur use the 'random' option, I had Aerdread choose a specific instance - one I planned to make him do a long time ago: The Culling of Stratholme. With luck, he joined a group of excellent PuG-gers who are actually looking to get emblems and not gears. With even greater luck, both the items I'm after dropped - the Spiked Metal Cilice off Salramm and the coveted Dreadlord's Blade from the final boss. So now he only need the upgrade for the chest, legs and gauntlets (I still need to make him grind rep get that shoulder from SoH).

Aergor - I leveled him to 52 and managed to get to Honored with the Timbermaw furbolgs. Then stopped and switched back to my mains for moar instance fun. I do feel pity for him though - my mains had my full attention once again thanks to Patch 3.3 and now he's been relegated as filler alt. I still need to get him to Outland, hopefully before January.

Aeyrin - Aenur has bought her the second piece of her Heirloom gear, the Stained Shadowcraft Tunic and I had my secondary bank alt Aezurin put a +3 All Stats on it. She looks a bit cuter now... and a lot more deadly if Aelyra would only finish her darn rep grind and start getting Champion's Seal to buy her the Heirloom sword and dagger!

Like I mentioned, it was quite an enjoyable experience I had this weekend. Yes, to be honest, I encountered a number of fail PuGs but they were so few you can count them on one hand (I actually had two fail PuGs out of nearly a dozen overall). One group wiped at wave 7 on reg CoS and promptly disbanded - because only me and the healer had ever been there before and the rest got lost inside the Caverns of Time - and the other group disbanded after a fatal 'accident' with the first boss of Occ.

I'm hoping to do at least one random heroic and one random LK instance (for a total of at least 5 Emblem of Triumph and 2 Emblem of Frost per day) to be able to afford Aenur, and later Aelyra, their Tier pieces. Here's to hoping this plan works.

P/S:- It's been decided that I'm running Aenur, Aelyra and Aerhandor daily for my schedule. All of them are more or less capable of fast grinds and even faster gear progression thanks to maxed out Blacksmithing, almost-maxed out Leatherworking, and strokes of luck with equipment upgrades. So there - 3 circuits on 3 toons in 3 hours every day. Bada-dum-tish!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Impression of 3.3, Part 1

It's kinda hard for me to put into words how Patch 3.3 has affected me - I don't PuG very much, my adventurers are not yet sufficiently geared for Icecrown instances, and the changes to the UI, although very useful, are merely cosmetic IMO. I can do without the flashing words telling me I'm entering/leaving combat, what buffs/debuffs I'm having and when it's faded and the amount of damage/healing I'm getting... although to a new player, this may all be informative information that he/she might want to know.

I've taken a little time to detach Aenur to Dalaran to take up the cookie trail quest to ICC - you know, the one that points you to the Forge of Souls to meet Dark Lady Sylvanas - and I toured the place a bit. The looks are cool and stuff, but I've not gotten the urge to whip up a group (never did =P ) and thrash the place. On the other hand, Grey, Krae and Dharr apparently has run the place over and over and they've managed to snag their own Quel'Delar in the process (lucky b*stards... I envy them =D ).

Honestly, the change that I'm very much liking is the reputation tweaks. Aerhandor have started again on the Ebon Blade - he's halfway through Revered now - and getting 325 rep per daily instead of the 250 rep is very helpful. The original schedule estimates that it would take him 5 days to get to Exalted, but with the new estimate it would shave a day off. That means I can move him to Tourney dailies slightly faster, and would make Aenur's attempt at Exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord and Sons of Hodir more bearable.

I'll leave my opinion on the patch on 'Pause' right now, since I have an entire weekend coming up where I can finally test the ICC instances and maybe try the Dungeon Finder feature.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Of a Hectic Weekend

Since this is my first weekend back in Azeroth, naturally I switched over to every single adventurer just so I can get a feel of where they were and where they're going later. Checking up on their professions, skills, talents, gears and so on. Apparently I was so engrossed in the "getting-the-feel" thing that a few levels popped up =D

So, here goes the weekly report:

Aenur - At last count, she has 34 Champion's Seal in her inventory. Another week and she'll be all set to buy the last Heirloom for the lowbie Rogue... then, I'm going to set her out to finally get that Argent Charger she so covets. Aside from doing the usual dailies though, I did not take her anywhere else - looks like she's glued to the Tournament.

Aelyra - I will spare the rep details, but in short the amount of grinding needed for her to get "Crusader" is hellish. She's halfway through TB now, and still need to acquire rep with two more cities (I think it was Org and UC). That's not all though - she's also halfway through Argent Crusade and still need the rep for The Sunreavers. The redeeming point? The dailies circuit she's doing now rewards rep for all those faction, and there's that gold, too.

On the weekends Iily started a run for some Heroics and I volunteered to bring Aelyra with them. Also with us is Tomori, Krae and Vev. We did Nexus (which was the daily) and then VH. Staff of Trickery dropped off Cyannie, and Krae wanted me to have it - but I surprised him when I refused (I DW'ed my Hunter out of preference). Vev took the staff for DE-ing. Both runs helps a lot with Argent Crusade's rep, but I wish there was another run so it can go much higher =(

Aerhandor - In a daring move that defies expectation, Aerhandor soloes Setthek Halls for the achievement, the Shadow Lab key, the Lower City rep (to Honored) and the Terokk's Legacy quest! Well... the only reason I pushed him to do all that is that so he can get the Heroic key to SH and finally attempt to get his Swift Flight Form done.

Then, elated by his achievement and his awesome Druid prowess, in a daring move that defies expectation Aerhandor soloes Hellfire Rampart for the achievement, Thrallmar rep (to Honored) and so that he can get the Heroic key to Hellfire Citadel.

Aside from that, he's been mining Adamantite ore for Aerdread for the whole of Sunday =P

Aerdread - In daring move that defies expectation, Aerdread soloes Setthek Hall... or at least soloes the place up until his demise at Darkweaver Syth's hands/paws/claws?/whatever. Lacking any manner of multiple mob handling (aside from DnD) his death at that arakkoa's minions was swift and painful. Learning his lesson, he went back quietly to Nagrand to contemplate his slow-growing hoofnails. And his slow-growing JC skills.

Aergor - After finishing Tanaris, Aergor flew to Felwood to establish some kind of diplomatic relationship with the Timbermaw furbolgs. He managed to get to Neutral, and to level 51, from sheer grinding. You go, Orc!

Aeyrin - Did some leveling with Aeyrin the Rogue in Stranglegank Vale. Managed to hit level 32. Managed to hit a brick wall, too - I'm parking her in UC until that Heirloom chest item comes through. >.<

One thing that bothered me - how come the Druid can muscle his way through SH without much pain, yet the (OP) DK is stuck during the first boss? Is it because of the gear? Hmm... this calls for an analytical post!

Stay tuned for the Druid versus DK analysis, coming soon to HDWT!

Note: I got the details, I got the general posting idea, but apparently I don't have the time to make the Druid vs DK post for the time being. I'm putting it on hold and maybe do it after Christmas, when there is a lot less demand on my time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State of BD

No, the title does not mean I own a state - it's about my current predicament over my adventurers.

At the moment, I'm having four level 80, one level 49, one level 31, one level 27 and two bank alts (at level 39 and level 10 respectively). Out of those toons, only three of them are actually active - the level 80 Hunter, level 80 Paladin and the level 49 Hunter. The rest are either in flux (which means I don't know what to do with them yet), or unable to adventure due to time limitation, or are permanently assigned in the case of the bank alts.

I've compiled a list of what I actually wanted for each of my toons, as well as fix a time period that I'll be playing for each day. Going over these things, I can actually visualize what I need to do and set a realistic objective over a certain period for achievements.

I'll go over the "Wanted" stuffs for my toons first:

Right now Aelyra's primary concern is to get the 'Crusader' title. Don't get me wrong, it's not really the title I'm after, but getting all those factions to Exalted and the chance to get Champion's Seal on a daily basis. I'm planning to have her collect enough Seals so she can purchase Heirlooms for my other alts and mounts that she'd like. Her secondary goal would be to finally corner and tame the elusive Spirit Beast Loque'nahak.

Aenur has two things on her head right now - the Argent Charger and the Red Drake. Unfortunately, since she's the only toon capable of grinding dailies for the Champion's Seal at this moment, she's stuck having to spend those Heirlooms on the other alts. Yeah, yeah, I know - "BD, you should buy that Charger first, then concentrate on your alts!". So sue me =P And to think that her rep with the Wyrmrest Accord is still somewhere around Honored... /shudder

So I gotta get Aelyra up there pronto and let Aenur run back to Dragonblight for more grinding...

When Aerhandor was a young Druid, he aspires to become well-known in the Cenarion's inner circle. To this end, he works hard to gain the Exalted status with the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition. He managed to achieve the former, but alas the latter proves slightly harder than he anticipated. Short of soloing some BC instances, there is nothing he can do to improve his standing with them. Also, for reasons that cannot be disclosed, he still has not managed to finish his Swift Flight Form quest, hesitating to initiate that encounter with the Raven Lord even though he is now a full-fledged level 80 Feral Druid. Alas...

Leveling Jewelcrafting. You know how hard it is, right? So stop bugging me about it =P

Aergor (Hunter) / Aeyrin (Rogue)
I'm planning to at least get one of them into Outland before Cataclysm hit - so far, it definitely looks like Aergor will manage that. He should be 51 by this weekend, and maybe with a bit of luck hit the Dark Portal just after Christmas. Aeyrin still has a long way to go, but at least she's making progress in Inscription and Alchemy, thanks to herbs mailed to her by Aergor. Anyway, I'm guessing it wouldn't be too hard for Aeyrin to catch up with the rest of the gang once she has the full set of Heirlooms on her (weapons, armor and trinkets).

What to do once they're 80 then, you might wonder? I honestly don't know yet... I'm weird that way. Or an uncurable altaholic.

The main reason for the Side-Project is not to actually have a Shadow Priest, but to have a high-level potential healer in my arsenal. Hence the "Side-Project" designation. As for tanking, Aenur already has Protection as her secondary spec, which leaves the healer side of things uncovered. I'm planning to level Aerdanil as Shadow all the way to 80, then get him Dual-Spec and procure a viable healing spec for him. Then I'm going to take the 'healer' out for some test runs and see how I like healing. I probably won't like it, but nothing wrong with giving it a shot, right?

The schedule:

After giving it some consideration, I decided that I have exactly three hours every week day to play - 8.30 p.m. until 11.30 p.m. Weekends are a different matter - I'm thinking of doing some Heroics/raiding only on them since I can't actually fix weekend play time in line with family demands... I'll play when I have the opportunity and time.

So that's it, three hours a day. Anything less and I won't have enough time to finish two circuit of dailies plus some leveling/questing/key activities, and anything more would impact my family time.

Now, the predicament.

With only three hours available daily, I will not be able to squeeze every toon into the schedule. At the very most, only four toons will make it. Two of them are vital - Aelyra and Aenur, my mains - but the rest is still open to debate. I wanted to level my lowbies just as much as I want my other high-end toons to finish their rep grinds. Even with the promise of better leveling experience coming in with Cataclysm, I still want another level 80 toon before the expac hits.

On the other hand, the expac is still some time in coming, and I may end up fulfilling everything I wrote on this post before the release date is announced (I sure do hope so). But realistically, I want to give 100% focus on the final selected toons. No more switching here and there in the middle of the week like previously.

So now I'm considering which of my other toons I should really focus on...