|Oh look, HE'S DEAD ^^|
It would not be an understatement to say that yesterday, all told, was one of my best days in Game for some time. However our story starts on Friday night, where I'd worked my list of required ownage down below double figures.
I managed over the course of the evening to wear down my requirement, in lieu of progression raiding, to one mob: Blackhoof. He roams a smallish path in the Valley of the Four Winds, attacking the wandering Mushan, but my rare spawn cache had never registered him since I began my journey, either dead or alive. He also seems to be on a longer spawn timer than any of the other mobs I've camped for, meaning that on Friday night I spent two and a half hours waiting for him until I was literally too tired to keep my eyes open.
I am not the kind of person who can simply hang in the air, waiting for a rare alarm to go off. I have to be doing something, and so I farmed: the yellow Mushan spawns, the birds, the occasional wolf. I was surprised when I checked my bags Saturday morning to see just how much I'd gathered: enough for six Ironpaw tokens from grocery bundles, leather to make 4 Magnificent Hides (200g a hit currenty on the AH) and Motes enough to make at least three Spirits of Harmony. This proves, were it needed, that anywhere in Pandaria is a good spot to make money assuming you're the only one doing it.
I logged Saturday morning with a free day ahead of me: our kids having a weekend at my Mum's house meant spending some time sorting out P's upgrade path with Valors, running Instances for points and generally mucking about. However, I'd always come back to the spawn spot, hoping I'd see him.
|Not a bad morning's work, all told...|
After three instance's worth of achievements and a trip to Townlong for my cloak upgrade I arrived back to have my alarm go off and to finally catch Blackhoof face down in the dirt. At least I'd seen him, knowing he existed was definitely a step in the right direction. Next up, after lunch and braving the Real World for shopping, I tried a Challenge Mode Dungeon. There's a story attached to this, but that will be for another day. For now, all you need to know is that today's destination was Scholomance:
|Damning, but inescapable.|
Challenge Modes, for want of a better description, are like 10 Mans on Steroids, NASTY ones that no number of apologies on talk shows will forgive. In the end we gave up trying to complete it and simply learnt where the problems were and how we would need to solve them. My husband found a sure-fire way to recognise the Real Jandice Barov when she goes all spinny and multiple, and we discovered that Gandling's fight really is an instance encounter all on it's own. Give that to 25 people and they'd wipe for WEEKS, especially in a space that restrictive. It's been a while since I've been totally impressed by a fight mechanic, but this one does it. Needless to say, I had no problem reminding people after two hours that there is no shame in giving up.
|Shocking Revelations at the Will of the Emperor. More at 11.|
LFR, for another week, has refused to grant me a weapon upgrade. Makes me wish that 10 mans were normalised like Challenge Modes and all my gear is a flat level regardless. No matter, as soon as I zoned back to the Valley, Blackhoof appeared. That's where we come in at the top, except that's not the end of the story.
After the Scholo failure, the same group informed me that they though a trip through the Temple of the Jade Serpent was doable, and that we could probably have a chance of a medal. We had a few hiccups, and had to change a member of personnel because of connection issues, but eventually we were off. It really was like doing a 10 man boss THE ENTIRE TIME, knowing one stupid slip up or standing in the wrong place would mean death, and if you died everyone else died and you'd stuff it up for everybody. I'm not a big fan of pressure like that, I have to say, but it makes me realise just how addictive these kind of things can be for others.
The Jade Serpent instance is probably the easiest of all the instances in terms of grasping mechanics, probably because it's the first of two you're presented with when levelling, and if you spend a lot of time doing instances 85-90 there are only four you get to choose from. Challenge Boss fights do not seem to diverge that much from the Normla/Heroic versions. Then the issue comes down to your team and execution. Needless to say: my Guild ROCKS.
|I never won a medal for ANYTHING :O|
This time places us, I am reliably informed, as Realm #32. I'm still in shock, even this morning, that I could do it a) without dying and b) see a). I suspect this will not be the last time I do a Challenge Mode, but I'll need to be awake when I do, that's for certain. After that I wandered around in a daze for a bit, before pulling myself together and heading for the Dread Wastes. I had one last thing to try and finish, and I had a feeling that I was going to be lucky. After all, this was one of THOSE days:
Weeks of hanging onto the quest finally netted me my last mob, the Amber Venomlancer. This means once I log later it'll be time to stick a new bunch of achievements into my Objectives window, and off we'll go again. However, I doubt I'll have a day as good as this for a while.
I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you as a result :D