Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making Gold on the AH

No this isn't the post where I reveal my way to make tons of gold. Actually, my way insures that I always have enough for training and for upgrading my gear when I need to. I don't have "tons" but I do okay.

But I have been following a couple of guys as they play the AH in real time. One is trying to go from Rags to Riches and the other to 1000 gold without addons or extra characters. They are each starting off with a new character on a new server just to show how eas it is. They are both so easily going to make their goals. Honestly, making money in this game is pretty easy.

Here are a few of my tips.
1. Don't flood the market!
2. You don't need to undercut the market everytime. With herbs or cloth, for example, people will buy a bunch, either for leveling up first aid or alchemy or whatever. So if most of the stacks are at around 23s but a few are lower, maybe even much lower, go ahead a post yours closer to 23s. The someone is going to come along and buy all the lower priced, plus yours. Why cut your profit margin. If you can afford it, buy up the cheap stacks and repost them.
3. "Agility" leather gear. Or "of the monkey". And it seems that enough people know this because it is rare to see anything "of Agility" or "of the Monkey" that is reasonable anymore, let alone a bargin. But there is other nice +Agility geat out there that isn't called "of Agility" or "of the Monkey". If you know what to look for you can pick up some great deals.
4. Research what twinks want. Twinks will pay whatever. 100gold for a lvl 19 blue cloak (Sentry Cloak). 20gold or more for a pair of green gloves (Scouting Gloves of the Monkey with the right stats, although there are a couple of very sweet alternatives)

That's it for today.

I gotta go do laundry and clean off the desk. Tax time is coming up here. And that's the time that I look at rebalancing our investment portfolio. If you think playing the AH is fun, try it with real money.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Lost Hunter

So there I was the other evening in Auberdine with my Nelf Hunter, Warrstand. I was on my own that night with kids in bed and Dad working on a project (involving boxes in the garage).

I was checking the quest log and planning the night's foray, when a little box pops up inviting me to join a group. I decline. Then a whisper comes, begging for help. It was from a lvl 11 hunter standing there with a very hungry and unhappy nightsaber standing next to him.

"I need help. I don't know how to feed my pet."
I replied, "Do the Training quest."
"Go to the hunter trainer in Darnassus and turn in the quest."
"Show me."
/Roll Eyes.
But I remember what it's like to be completely clueless and lost.
So I invite him.
And we go back to Darnassus. I lead him to the hunter trainers. I gave him a small stack of fish to feed his cat. Then he tells me he has no money. So I give him a gold. Not that he needs it for this, since it's a quest turn in. But I remember being broke, too. He turns in his quest, thanks me profusely, and starts to leave. I whisper him: "Have you heard of Big Red Kitty." "Sort of." I think, "Sort of? How do you sort of hear about BRK?" I whisper back: "Go to and check out his lowbie hunter movies. They will really help you a lot."

He logged off a few minutes later. Maybe it was to go an actually watch the BRK hunter movies. I hope.

The Further Adventures of Otis and Aretha, Druids

Mom (Arethadruid) and Dad (Otisdruid) finally had an opportunity to return to Night Elf starting area of Shadowglen. We looked so good together in our matching purple hair and green shorts. Anyway, we checked our quest logs, and decided to go kill some spiders. Otis is getting much better at figuring out where he is and moving around. We actually split up to find mushrooms on our own. And he killed a spider by himself. Aretha showed him how to heal himself or someone else, but he seems to prefer zapping and hitting. Which is good, since I think he's going to want to go feral. We finished up the quests in Shadowglen. I suggested we stay a bit longer to practice basic skills, but Otis wanted to see what we next, so off we went to seek our fame and fortune and find Dolanaar.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Missed my play time last night

Kids were asleep. Husband was working on some project so I settled in to get in a few hours of leveling on my little Drenden tauren hunter, Nellesgirl. She was created by my niece about a year ago and sat around at level 4 until about a week ago. I can do a tauren from 1 to 25 in a day or two. Anyway, I was taking care of AH stuff and training, and then I heard a sound from downstairs —oiy oiy oiy waaa Waaa waaa. Hubby had put 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" in and was watching it WITHOUT ME!. Can't have that. So I shut down the computer. I think we got to bed around 3:30. But it's was worth it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh where, oh where has my Guild gone

We don't have very good luck with guilds. Granted we haven't been looking very hard since it is relatively easy to solo most everything except instances.

My best experience thus far has been on Dath'Remar with the Eagle Eye Warriors. I did Wailing Caverns with Cow, the GM, and Hillaj. Very nice guys and good players. Quite a contrast from a much earlier guild run of WC. That group spent all their time arguing about who was going to DE what loot. It took forever. And then came the taming of big snake for a pet. That took forever. Once we were finished, I /gquit.

The main thing that cause me to type /gquit, however, is the guild chat. I realize that it's mostly teenagers. Now they can be good players, I'm sure. I know my nephews are certainly very good. But I'm 40-something years old. I don't want to have a bunch of juvenile blather scrolling along in green at the corner of my screen. Plus, I have small children looking over my shoulder. The older one is a very good reader. In fact he taught himself to read at 22 months old, and is perfectly comfortable reading the Sunday New York Times or the latest issue of National Geographic. I do my best to make sure that what he reads is appropriate. And some of the stuff in some guild chats just isn't. /gquit

And then there is spelling. I'm not the world's greatest speller. I admit it. But I know that it's spelled "Corporal", not "Coperal". And it's "Sergeant", not "Sargent" unless you're talking about the painter. The "alternate" spellings just look wrong. But so far the bad spelling guild's chat isn't too bad. We'll see how they do on a trip to WC.

I had high hopes for Warrstand's guild on Drenden. A lot of chatting, but it seemed that it was mostly people being helpful to each other. A good range of levels, so there'd be people around I could group up with for instances. The bank was nice, and I even planned to donate a couple stack of leather in the next time in logged on. Then I logged on this morning to do just that, and I am guildless, sans guild. I sent a short polite note to the GM inquiring what happened. But whatever happened, to find oneself our of a guild without any warning or anything seems to indicate that the leadership of said guild needs to take a remedial course in management, or at the very least, review the rules of politeness. Saved the trouble of /gquit.

So if you happen to belong to a guild of helpful and mature folks who'd like a helpful and mature addition, let me know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hey Mikey, He Likes It!

Dad is liking it. He's liking it. Last night after the kids were finally asleep, he came upstairs with his laptop to play for a bit. Mom knows better. I knew that we are getting to the point where we can't just stop where we are after fifteen minutes. We're getting ready to go into the CAVE OF SPIDERS. If we stop in there, when we long back in, we're dead. So we're waiting until we have a bit more time. But the important thing is that he's wanting to play.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Realms Where We Roam

We started out in Fenris because the game assigned us there. But it was too crowded. We haven't been back since the beginning. Our highest character there is a lvl14 orc shaman.

Then we started a new gang on an Oceanic server, Dath'Remar. It's loads of fun playing with Aussies.

Then we discovered an Uncle and Cousins on Kilrogg, so we started a family there.

But my little guys kept wanting to start new characters. So we randomly picked Drenden next. The Drenden family tended to be mostly Alliance, while the other servers were where we'd play the Horde. When my niece came for a visit, though, she stared her Tauren Hunter, Nellesgirl, on Drenden. It was the only place we had room.

Kilrogg's population: a huge number of lvl 70s and a very even, but low distribution of everyone else. Mostly alts and friends and twinks of the 70s, I assume. I think the economy, at least on the horde side, reflects this. Anything leather with + agility below level 40 is very pricey, especially "of the Monkey." Mageroyal, Peacebloom, and linen cloth are dirt cheap.

After studying the Auction House for a few month last summer, I wanted to see how the economy worked on a lower population server. Enter our group on Velen. The last time I checked, and it has been a while, Velen had a lump of 70's but also a nice curve of 1-20s, which trailed off into the 30s and 40s. I'm sure it's changed now. But I did learn what I wanted to learn about different server economies and how much it depends on the distribution of levels.

If I can generalize, based on my own observation on four different servers: On a server with mostly 70s and a low but even distribution of everything else, prices for low and medium leather gear is very high. Imagine paying 2-3 gold for a level 7 green with +1 agility? And replacing it again in two levels? Savory Deviate Delight runs 15-18 gold a stack. On the other hand, the same piece of gear on the server where the bulk of players are under level 30 or over 60 is only going to be 10 or 15 silvers or less. And SDD is only 3-4 gold per stack.

On the other hand, low end raw materials such as copper ore, silverleaf, or light leather are less expensive on the former server and more on the latter. Which means that for someone just starting out, it is going to much easier to make money gathering and gear will be much less expensive and a low population server. But it will be take longer to save up a big wad of cash for the mount at 40. On the high population server, gathering is not going to be as lucrative, but leather greens with "of the monkey" or "of agility" will bring a pretty penny at the auction house. It is much easier to make a 100 gold on one of these servers, I find.

Next time, I'll post my surefire method for getting to the level 12-13 with a few gold in your pocket and a steady income. No grinding or gathering. You won't be rich, but you'll be able to afford all of your training, plus a decent weapon and a few reasonably priced greens.

And how to make decent money as a low level enchanter. No kidding.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

It is bitter cold here today. It's about 9 degrees, with a high of 15 expected. The windows are all frosted, and the rhododendrons in front of the porch have all rolled up their leaves against the cold. We all snuggled up on the bed this morning while my youngest recount the "Story of Martin Luther King" as taught to Kindergarteners in 2008. Then Dad made coffee and pancakes. After we get cleaned up from breakfast, there's nothing for it but to continue the adventures of two Druids. The best part of playing with Dad is how funny his character is. His toon says the funniest things for all to see.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blogs, Bloggers and Blogging

Visited an awesome blog today from the editor of Petopia. Everything anyone could ever want to know about pets, plus how to do a ghost run at low levels to tame that impossible pet. Way Cool.

Sadly, one of my favorites posted a GBCWoW. Someone is leaving. While I understand the reasons, I'm sad that so much great information is going away. I especially liked the tips on soloing instances while they are still green. Or even yellow.

My son has started his own blog. So for Something Complete Different, go check out what a second grader thinks about the game.

And My Hero, the Big Red Kitty Himself, stopped by to cheer me on with Chain Trapping.

Finally, I'd like to report that Hubby and I are now at level 3. He actually wanted to play a bit more after the kids were asleep. He's still figuring out how to move and shoot and attack and loot. But for one sweet moment, we were killing grelkins together, and had one caught between our "wraths". He seems to do best tanking. Whereas the hunter in me prefers to stay and range. I can see where this is going.

Dad had started his character!!!

Tonight we all piled onto the bed — Mom, Dad, the boys and two Mac laptops. We're on Drenden, a pair of Druids named Otisdruid and Arethadruid. I had forgotten how utterly confusing everything can be at first. While I was helping dad with figure out targetting and looting, our youngest would "jump" my character. But we got through our first quest together. Now it's storytime. We're reading the "Silver Chair" by C.S.Lewis. One of the best characters in all literature, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle.

I'm a happy Mom!

I'm back. Puddleglum, Scrubb and Pole are have set off to find Prince Rilian. The boys are asleep. Dad is feeding the critters and reading before bed. So I'll go play with one of my hunters.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chain Trapping ROCKS

I wish I had taken a screen shot. There I was in Redridge, killing gnolls. All yellow to me. I see a group of four. Why not?

First I hit the one furthest out with my BRK approved pullshot. He came running alone. Set the pig on him and he's down.

Drop a trap. Then target a melee gnoll in the group. Slap a heal on the pig and send it in with charge to build a aggro. Switch the pig to the caster in the group. Mark the caster and open up with Serpent sting, concussive, arcane, auto, and down. Meanwhile the third gnoll runs right into my trap. I move over and keep shooting. As soon as my nifty addon says I can drop a new trap, I do. Pig is now chewing on the first target. Everything is going like clockwork.

Suddenly, two more mobs spawn right on top of me. One runs right into my new trap. The other starts banging on me. Target it, and call in the pig who charges in to take it off me, while I finish up pig's other target in the camp as it waddles after the pig. Switch back to pig's new target for a serpent sting, and then start kiting the orginial frozen mob while throwing another heal at the pig. Drop another trap, and after that I don't know what happened.

But in the end there were six dead sparkling mobs, all yellow to me, all waiting to be looted. Me and my pig are still standing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Skining, Leatherworking and the Tauren

If you are a starting a Tauren, I highly recommend picking up skinning and leatherworking, at least at first, even though there's that "Cultivation" herbalism bonus.

Here's why:

Taurens get a choice of four classes, three of which wear leather, one mail
Orcs get five classes, 3 leather, 1 cloth (warlock), and one mail
Trolls 6 classes, 3 leather, 2 cloth, 1 mail,
Undead 5 classes: 1 leather, 1 mail and 3 cloth
Bloodelf, 6 classes: 1 mail, 2 leather, 3 cloth

Human: 6 classes, 2 mail, 1 leather, 3 cloth
Dwarf: 5 classes, 2 mail, 2 leather, 1 cloth
Night Elf: 5 classes, 1 mail, 3 leather, 1 cloth
Gnome 4 classes, 1 mail, 1 leather, 2 cloth
Draenei: 6 classes, 2 mail, 2 leather, 2 cloth

I haven't actually done much with the Draenei, so I'll leave them out.

So of all the possible combinations, Taurens have the highest percentage of leatherwearers. So it makes sense in terms of a world story line that there would be some incentives for Taurens to pick up skinning and leathercrafting.

Next consider the fact that the skinning and leatherworking trainers are right there in the very first place you come to as you leave the baby area — Bloodhoof Village. There's also a cooking trainer, but no herbalism trainer until you get to Thunder Bluff. Everyone else, expect Night Elves and Humans, has to travel to the main city to visit the skinning and leather trainers for the first time.

Many of the early quests for the Tauren involve killing animals. If you pick up skinning and leatherworking at level 5-6, you'll be making your own armor and armor kits almost immediately. Plus you'll have several stacks to put on the AH when you get to Thunder Bluff during your questing, rather than making a special trip.

And once in Thunder Bluff, run upstairs to the middle rise to pick up and turn in a skinning quest and a leatherworking quest. The leatherworking quest reward is a pattern for a 6 slot Kodo Skin bag. Wow. Bags at low levels make life so much easier. Even tailors can't make bags at this early. Kill kodos while running around Mulgore, make your own bags, then sell them when you can afford bigger bags. OR don't read the recipe. Instead buy your bags off the AH (3-5s for 6 slots), and keep the recipe in the bank. When you get to Booty Bay in the mid-20s for the Warsong supplies in Ashenvale, put the Kodo skin bag recipe on the neutral AH. This is a horde only recipe and it's a quest reward. You should be able to sell it for several gold.

Once you've done the recipe thing, you can drop leatherworking if you choose and switch to herbalism. With a +15 bonus, you won't lose much and should hit The Barrens at 50 or so, enough to gather mageroyal.

Other races:
Dwarves (or Dwarfs) also kill a lot of animals in Dun Morogh and Loch Moden. So skinning is a good choice for them, too. Humans get a lot of cooking quests in Westfall. Night Elves have a Skinning trainer along the road to the main city, but since they aren't killing as many skinnable beasts, they reach Darkshore with a lower level skinning, unless they want to spend some time grinding.

Any class and race will be fine. It's just there are these bonuses with Taurens. A couple of quests, a horde only recipe to use or sell, and the option to switch to herbalism and not lose much. If you do switch to herbalism, be sure to visit the herbalism trainer in Orgrimmar when you're there on other business to pick up an herb bag. None for sale in Thunder Bluff.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Westfall, Loch Modan, Darkshore, or The Barrens?

Nikabrik is at lvl 16, a dwarf hunter. He was in Loch Modan, but has hopped over to Westfall to get another level or two before finishing up the Loch Modan quests. And to get into Redridge. Unless someone asks him to group, I think we'll skip Deadmines for now.

Mrs Rosen, our lvl 21 human warlock, has a full quest log for Redridge and Duskwood, plus a few in the Wetlands. She's done everything in the Westfall and Loch Modan, except Deadmines.

Warrstand is at lvl 14 in Darkshore. We've only just started there.

But our fastest moving new character is Naattuu. She's flying along through the Barrens.

Ah, the Barrens.

As Horde, I typically get to the Barrens at about level 13 1/2 with 3-4 gold in my pocket, an adequate weapon and a mix of quest reward whites and cheap AH greens. Do the delivery to Orgrimmar or Thunder Bluff, run a quick errand down to Rachet, killing a few striders on the way, and ding — the character hits 14. While in Rachet, pick up more quests. There always plenty of quests at level or just below. I have yet to finish all the Barrens quests before they start going green on me. I could write my own Barrens guide. Maybe not the fastest, but certainly fun, easy, and efficient.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Newest Hunter

Our newest Hunter just hit 12 and is getting ready to leave Teldrassil. She a Night Elf, of course, but she actually not so new. My son started her almost a year ago, and gave her the unusually name of "Warrstand" with a double "rr". As we played her up to level two, he turned to me and said, "Oh Mommy, I've always wanted a character named Warrstand." Well, Warrstand is finally coming into her. And my son has started his own Warcraft blog, A Kid in the World of Warcraft. It's a bit different.

Warrstand is finally getting some attention because of MissusRosen, aka Mrs. R, our human warlock. She finally got to The Barrens and picked up her warlock quests. But passing through Darkshore were tons of quests. Her quest log is full, though, of Redridge and Duskwood quests. But a Night Elf could go and do these. Plus as a hunter, there's the option of taming a ghostsaber. And here's Warrstand just waiting around. So off we go. I expect to get some character up a few levels today since my youngest is sick and needs to sleep next to Mommy all day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Flying around Thunder Bluff?

Not something you see everyday

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hackett and I, by T. age 8

After I started off killing young boars, I got to the Hunter trainer, Jen'Shan, and learned how to track beast. I also got a quest for scorpids and some nasty imp-like creatures called Vile Familiars, which are out of the baby area near a big cave with scaled buffalolike creatures. I haven't done the quest yet, but the imps (colored blue) with purple eyes and shoot fire balls, are not at all like the imps of undead warlock which are purple with green eyes. And I'm not talking about water elementals.

By T. Age 8

Wailing Caverns

Naattuu had a good day. A very good day. She's joined a promising guild and ran Wailing Caverns with them.

We were checking on her mail before moving on to our level 41 hunter, when someone asked us if we wanted to WC. Well, Naattuu had just gotten all the quests there, and even finished up the outer ones on her own. It took a bit to get a group together. We had a level 19 shaman, a level 18 rogue, and then a level 48 Shaman joined us. It was a pretty good group, but I was especially impressed with the both of the shaman. The 48 Shaman by the name of "Cow" is GM of a small guild and invited us to join. Hillja, the other Shaman, and I did.

The run went as well as it ever has. We're all in the same guild now, so we could do this regularly. At the end the Hillja and Naattuu reset the instance to try Lady Anacondra again. Naattuu had gotten the new Serpent's Shoulders with +9 agility the first time through. He wanted the Belt of the Fang. So the two of us had a go at it. The pig tanked. Naattuu pulled. Hillja healed and off tanked. The pig died at the end, but I killed Lady A and the belt dropped. Hurray for us! Piece of cake.

Naattuu also got the Armor of the Fang and the Vemonstrike Bow. The Leggings of the Fang also dropped for Hill, who now sports the whole Fang set.

So new bow, dinged 20, and a promising new guild. Plus knocked off all the WC quests at the right level, including the escort one at the end.

Good times.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hunters and the EPIC journey.

Love my hunters.

Theothana is the lead hunter at 60 on Kilrogg. Beastmaster Tauren who works with cats. She's got King Bangalash from Stranglethorn, and a beautiful white Frostsaber Stalker from Winterspring. Why two cats? Cuz I love 'em both.

Danishu got some love today and is now at 41. She's also BM, a troll on Kilrogg. She finished up quests in the Alterac Mountains and Arathi HIghlands while leveling up a Mistvale Gorilla from Stranglethorn. The boys named him "CrazyWildApe". It's from a song they made up about King Kong. He's up to 36, but I don't think we'll keep him. Her other pets are a cool boar from Razorfen Kraul, and Washte Pawne, the lovely red windserpent from the southern barrens.

Naattuu is an orc hunter on Dath Remar, zipping along through the Barrens. She's a level 18, soon to hit 19. At 16 she made an epic journey. After checking on the progress of Big Red Kitty's new hunter, BRKTestBed I decided that she should trade in her old Durotar boar with Charge 1 and Gore 2, for a newer model with Charge 2. So I checked on Petopia. Nothing in the Horde lands until Razorfen Kraul.

But I want it NOW. More checking and I found the perfect piggy — in Westfall. Great Goretusk, with Charge 2 and Gore 3. Had to have it.

Decision made, I ran Naattuu down to Rachet and caught the boat to Booty Bay.

Naattu picks up the story: "While in BB, I grabbed the flight plan, then headed out into the jungle. My little Durotar pig was amazing. Anything that aggroed me, she'd attack and hold while I ran out of combat. She's almost always died, but sometimes I get out of range before she expired. The thing is though, that she'd last long enough for me to get to safety against mobs twenty levels and more above her. I died once in Duskwood while being attacked while I was reviving her. And once crossing into Westfall. I had been flagged PvP at some point in Duskwood, probably when I sent the pig to attack and distract a NPC (no idea who or what level) while I ran by. I was on the bridge into Westfall, again rezzing the pig, when an Alliance mage or something took me down in two shots. I waited for said character to go on his merry way before picking up my corpse. Then I scouted around for the Great Goretusk. I needed a 16, but they were all 17s. I stayed by the farms along the river. Finally I found what I was looking for. I said farewell to the brave and selfless Durotar boar, who had given his life for mine so many times. Then I tamed the lovely new boar. "

Naattuu and her new best friend have moved into Stonetalon after a trip to Wailing Caverns. This was my first trip to WC since 2.3 when they downgraded all the mobs outside the instances from elites. What a difference.

My last two Hunter are a Blood Elf called Pennishu on Kilrogg. She's waiting in Silvermoon at level 13, and a male dwarf on Drenden called Nikabrik. He's at level 12 and just made it to Thelsamar.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Alliance or Horde?

I’ve played a lot of “toons”, or “alts”, or what the boys call “Characters”. Most of them don’t get out of the starting areas. But a few do. Both Horde and Alliance.

For the Horde, I’ve probably taken at least twenty characters into the Barrens, two into the Ghostlands, and one undead warlock up to twenty just in Silverpine. She’s been sitting in the Undercity for at least six months now, waiting to move on into Hillsbrand.

For the Alliance, I’ve played a Human rogue into Westfall and a Human warlock up to 20. She’s been everywhere from Loch Moden to the Wetlands. I’m trying to figure out how to get her to the Barrens for her warlock quest. Do I run from Westfall through Duskwood and Stranglethorn to Booty Bay and take the boat to Rachet, or do I fly into Menethil and try that way? I know exactly where the guy is, too. I've run by him while doing quests in the Southern Barrens dozens of time. Heading south on the Southern Gold road, at the turn for Camp T, there is a ruined building on your left. Usually with some big old Thunderlizards wandering arounding. Turn off the road there heading east and a bit north. In the distance is a small clump of trees with a couple of tents. There he is. Now if I can only get to him.

Once, I got a Night Elf up to level 10 and then ran her all the way from Darnassus to Darkshore, Ashenvale, The Barrens to Rachet and on to Booty Bay. Only died once. I don’t even remember her name or class, though.

And I’ve got literally dozens of lowbies scattered through all the starting zones except Azuremyst. For some reason, the boys have no interest in the Draenei.

So for starting off, which is the easiest? Well, the real starting areas are all pretty easy. I do like Mulgore the best, and then Durotar. The Barrens is great for questing and grinding. There is always the chance for the recipe for Savory Deviate Delight to drop. And the Sentry Cloak has dropped twice for me there, too.

That said, I have real been enjoying Dun Morogh and Loch Moden.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Early Days

We started out playing Horde because the boys really liked Thrall in Warcraft III. Our first character was a female orc shaman on Fenris. We started her in Dec of 2006. My youngest named her Sampeaire (pronounced Sam-pee-AIR). We killed pigs for a while, when we could find them. It was really crowded. Eventually we got our first quest and killed more pigs.

Actually Mommy killed pigs while the boys cheered her on. When we got to the scorpids, the kids were a little scared. After all giant scorpions are much scarier than pigs. But then we figured out that they weren't much tougher than the pigs. Jim thought that the sticky ochre loot was hilarious. Tad was more interested in how the battles were going. Mom kept trying to figure out how to equip the little bits of gray armor that dropped.

Then came the vile familiars. We never died fighting them, but came close a few times. Tad still talks about the vile familiars. Eventually we got out of the starting zone, although we neglected to get our first totem and had to go back later for it. Our first discovery was that monsters in the "real world" hit much harder than in the starting zone. The first level 6 clattering scorpid almost killed us. Anyway we tottered along like that for a while, picking up quests, narrowly avoiding dying, killing things, exploring.

Sadly, the Fenris was really crowded then, and we'd have to wait and wait to play. So the boys and I started another character on the lowest population server we could find — Dath'Remar. We decided to start a Tauren Shaman. Tad named her Theothana. And things when much better this time. We knew how to equip stuff. We knew we should choose leather over cloth, although we didn't figure out about stats for a long time, but that's another story.

We got to Thunder Bluff and got completely lost. Today we love TB because it's so compact, and relatively uncrowded. We never get any lag there.

We made the long run to the crossroads. It took us forever to find Kranal Fiss. We ended up in Ashenvale the first time. But eventually we found him and started the quest chain to get our fire totem.

We ran our first instance, RFC, and picked need for everything, because "greed" is bad and "need" is good. Right? Tad was extremely excited as we went through RFC. Today when we run a instance, we almost always pick "pass".

We thought carefully about our talent points, read all the description thoughtfully, and then picked a few here and a few there.

We got all our totems.
We made a friend, an Aussie Tauren Druid.
We took up skinning and leatherworking.
We tried to spend no money, but to make everything.
We got up to level 36.

And then came the phone call.

I was finishing up some quests on my own while the boys were in school. I think in 1,000 Needles. The phone rings. I check the caller ID. Oh, it's my brother out in sunny California. So I answer it. And keep playing. Eventually I realize that I haven't been following what he's saying. So I apologize and explain that I've been playing a computer game called Warcraft. It's really fun, but kind of addicting.

My brother laughs. And laughs. And laughs. Then he tells me that while we've been talking, he's also been playing Warcraft. He and his boys (older than mine), have a level 50 something Tauren Shaman on Kilrogg.

Well I did the only sensible thing. I started a new character on Kilrogg. Another Tauren, this time a hunter. And I've never looked back. We called her Theothana, too.

Right away, my brother's character sent her a nice set of silk bags and a bit of cash. When our new hunter was ready, he ran her threw Wailing Caverns and all the good loot dropped for us on the first run, including the Vemonstrike bow and the Leggings of the Fang. I skinned up a bunch of perfect deviate scales and made a several deviate scale belts. These I gave to my brother. His boys wanted them to give to some twink friends. He also got ran Theothana through SFK and SM (Graveyard and Library).

So we kept going along. I discovered Thottbot and Allakhazam. I bought Joana's Horde levelling guide.

And then I discovered Big Red Kitty. Thank you, BRK, for finally showing me how to play a hunter. Theo repecced as BM. I'm going to do another post about playing a MM Hunter in the pre-BRK days.

Our Warcraft Family says "Welcome"

We are a World of Warcraft Family. The whole family plays, or will be playing soon. I'm a fortysomething mom with two boys, ages 8 (Tad) and 6 (Jim), and the main player in the family. Daddy has promised us that he will be joining us soon. It's his big Christmas present to Mom and the kids. But more on that later.

We mostly play solo, the boys and I, except when we bump into my brother and his boys. We recently ran their new hunter through SM. Playing solo as a group, or at least with a cheering section, gives the game an entirely different flavor.

As I said earlier, Mom is the main player.

But not the only one.

The boys LOVE starting new characters, especially hunters. At bedtime, instead of a story, sometimes they'll ask to "Start a new character." Tad starts mostly Horde, but Jim like starting Alliance, epecially girls. And they actually play them up to about level 3, when Mom takes over. Then it's bedtime. Of course, most of these alts never get out of the starting areas. We have low level characters on Kilrogg, Velen, Misha, Drenden, Fenris, and Caelestrasz.

Occasionally, though, Mom will keep playing a new character after the boys are asleep.

Our characters:
Today our main Theothana is at level 60. We have Burning Crusade installed on my husband's computer, but not on mine. My hard drive is really full. Eventually I'll load it up and get her to the Outlands. But for now she just grinding rep with various factions and making gold.
We have another BM hunter, Danishu. She just hit 40 and got her mount.
A female enhancement troll shaman (36), Sampeaire.
A female elemental Tauren shaman (26), Pamishu.

On Drenden:
A female human affliction warlock (20), Missusrosen.
There is also a Dwarf priest on Drenden who has left the starting zone as well as a pair of Dwarf mages. We'll see what happens with them.

Dath Remar:
A female orc BM Hunter (16), Naattuu on Dath Remar. Naattuu is zipping along by following BRK new hunter guide movies.

On Caelestrasz:
The original Theothana was transferred to Caelestrasz.

My fortysomething husband has promised to join the rest of us soon. He actually started a character a while back, a goofy looking troll hunter. The troll had a definite personality of his own. Since we will be adventuring together, I thought we might try a role playing server. He'll likely be a hunter, and I guess I'd be a priest, but we'll see. Stay tuned.

And if you bump in one of our characters, please say hi. Give a wave to the boys.