Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Sensual World


Every time I see someone else other than me use the word 'faff' there is, I will admit, a moment of unmitigated joy. Take Kamalia et Alia's post above that I woke up to this morning, which pretty much crystallises the concept of faffing into a Warcraft context. I should also mention Tome of the Ancient's post on that front, where it's clear she's grasped the concept of mucking about with a purpose to brilliant effect. It often takes someone else to distil the idea you have into something workable, and even though I can be found occasionally faffing at the beginning of an expansion, it is pretty much a journey's end kinda deal. There are so many other people who have embraced this lifestyle choice as well: I've mentioned it in passing during the Podcast but really not given these people a shout out and a thank you properly for displaying my FaffBanner9000 on their sites, and that's something I should really correct as a matter of some urgency.

Therefore here is the Master List, thus far, of people who have Embraced the Faff and stuck a banner on their site:

These are the ones I obviously know about, however if there are others and I've missed you, PLEASE let me know and I'll add you to the list. These people, and indeed anyone else who feels the desire to proclaim their allegiance to the Faffage will receive in the next few weeks the 'Official' #TEAMFAFF Seal of Approval, just as soon as I can get around to making it. I feel it's the least I can do to thank you guys for spreading the F-Word about the Blogsphere on behalf of everyone who celebrates the desire to faff about without worrying that there's a reward at the end of it.

If you wish to join the small but highly desirable band of individuals displaying said Banner of Awesome: here, have one to take away:

If you watch this space starting next month there will be some contests in which Faffing Shirts will be prizes. HO YUS. Until then, don't take things too seriously, relax, grab a hot cup of your favourite beverage and take a moment to work out what you need to do to prepare yourself for the Expansion. After all, that's the essence of faffing: there's no real timescale, there's no worries, and most importantly the game's not in charge. YOU ARE.

Go faff this weekend. You'll love it :D Have a Theme Tune to accompany you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Accidental Goldmaker
Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Part the First!

Right then, here's how this is going to work.

Every month, I farm a place. a LOT. I won't be doing it for the items that drop, I'll be doing it for something else... in this case, four more Skyshards. All the stuff I get spare's gotta go somewhere. That's where you guys come in. You suggest cool stuff to do with all this useless stuff that dropped that I wasn't farming for. I pass that onto the Community, everyone learns to make more money, ALL PROFIT. So, without further ado, let's get down to it.

Beautifully sparkly.

I took 3 Potions of Luck with me too, and fought my way into the Halls to use the Guo-Lai Cache Keys I'd collected. Needless to say, I saw a fair bit of Plundered Treasure killing the number of mobs I was. There's something very satisfying in destroying huge piles of mobs, you know. Proper farming and EVERYFINK.

Quite messy in the screen department too...

Right, so you can see I hit stuffs from time to time. The question then becomes, how much stuff did I pile up? I ran out of space several times and was forced to send stuff away to an alt, which amounted to 125 Windwool Cloth and 14 Green items. You'll see why I had to make some space.

Nice and neat :D

That's a pair of Epic shoulders as well in the bottom left:

Hope my Auctionator total's right for those... ^^

Needless to say, I know where those shoulders are going, but what about everything else? You want a Master List of what dropped...  well here it is:

  • Windwool Cloth (over 200) plus 3 Bolts
  • 17 green items (iLevel 416/429)
  • +10 plus of the three new Pandarian Cookery materials
  • 34 Ghost Iron Ore
  • 25 Black Trillium ore, 18 White Trillium ore
  • 40 Spirit Dust
  • 30 Exotic Leather

So, that's what you have to work with. Remember all of this is a bonus, or in this case a way of making up for another hour's work without seeing a Skyshard drop. Again. It's a cloth heavy haul but with a smattering of Pandaria base raw materials. If you were given this to sell at the biggest possible profit to yourself, what would you do? Feel free to answer at length in the Comments or send me an e-mail:

alternativegodmother (at) gmail (dot) com

And as I do this farm I'll use your ideas and see which makes the best monetary result.  As I know you'll want the advantage of knowing which server I'm on for this, you'll want to look up Shadowsong in the EU for your price comparisons. Don't say I don't give you nice things.

Oh, and cookies to everyone who decides to take part in this, remember you're helping not just me but the Community to become better gold farmers in their everyday lives.

Over to you :D

Alternative Chat :: Episode 14

Lawks a lordie, she's ACTUALLY on time this week. Was it worth it? Well, only you can decide this, and now you can with Episode 14 of Alternative Chat!

This week, I will be mostly chatting about:

  • Everybody's changing and I feel exactly the same.
  • Hunter pets don't make Nazgrim gain rage. THEY DON'T.
  • How @liopleurodonic REMAINS TOTALLY AWESOME.
  • My other podcast is over there ---->
  • The fact I will have more 90's than this time last week, AGAIN.
  • I like the models as they are. You don't have to change them. I get why.
  • Accidental Goldmaker IS GO :D

If you have any comments or thoughts on this week's Podcast, or you'd like to abuse me for not having a clue as to what the Hell I'm talking about, please send your mail to:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com




All systems go, we'll see you next week on the 31st!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Won't Get Fooled Again

The Joy of an Actual Goal.

It has often been stated around this Parish that a Plan [TM] is a very important thing. Having one may seem like too much organisation for a bunch of pixels, but actually it can be a distinctly liberating experience, and inspire you to other things. Hence yesterday afternoon when my Good Pet Battling compadre Lio began a wonderful guide to How to Biff up the Beasts of Fable, I had what has been one of many epiphanies this week. It doesn't matter how many answers there are to any question at any given time, you have to want to hear them first for the information to really stick. Yesterday afternoon I was presented with a solution to a problem that has plagued me since 5.3, but I'd never really been in a position to solve.

Now I have the inspiration to change this for good.

Pet Battling for me is the necessary sacrifice I made to continue playing. I'm only going to do it when it's able to help something else come to pass, and yesterday levelling my Druid was the means by which I took Dent and Frog up there to L25 each, before swapping to the Hunter to take down Nitun first hit. Now, there are those who might argue that rofflestomping something pretty much negates the joy and excitement that results from working hard, trying different strategies and beating that issue on your own... and to you I say the following:

This has been the Time Management Expansion, we've all accepted this and written the Guides. People pick their poison and decide to concentrate on the areas that interest them. I was only ever a collector of pets, if truth be told, the fighting ended up as just too much of a time sink when placed against the other things I wanted to do. I should have realised this a lot sooner than I did as well, but we all live and learn. That's why I've already provisioned one post a week on Garrisons: I know I'm going to be playing that part of the game, but it's only a part of a far larger whole, and as things stand I don't intend to invest heavily until I've had a chance to play the thing in Beta. See, you can learn from your mistakes.

I am already immensely grateful to Lio, because I know now that without her wisdom and hard work I won't be able to collect all the pets I want, but with her help I will not only get Achievements AND pets, but also I'll level alts to 90 whilst doing so and frankly, THAT IS PURE WIN. Therefore this morning you should spare a thought and extend thanks to anyone who takes the time and effort to write a Guide to ANYTHING: they are difficult, time-consuming and can often be soul-destroying to boot, but if the right one comes along and grabs you, it can completely change your outlook. It's like finding the form of exercise that suits you best, or the right brand of underwear that sits perfectly and never chafes, however vigorous your life becomes. I may jest, but you should NEVER mock a good guide to anything, especially something that you can't do.

There's also nothing wrong with fangirling your love either. Tell the person what a difference they made to your life. They'll love to hear it, trust me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This Week, I Will be Mostly :: Cough Cough


A second 90 this week on the back of my Shammy last week is looking increasingly likely :D

Actually, this week's been pretty good for me getting my arse in gear: I have a diary for the game, which is proving remarkably useful in reminding me to do stuff and making me feel guilty that I haven't. Pretty much everyone who is 85 now has some effort made on them to get them to 86, in one form or another. My Shammy did Part One of the Seige for the first time ever and came away with THREE upgrades, including the 540 Staff from the Sha, so will be be dps for the foreseeable future. I am even getting organised with farms and daily transmutes on a *gasp* actual daily basis. All in all, this is probably the best I've been with the whole family since at least before the start of Pandaria.

Then there's the Bucket List.

Still smiling this morning :D

I should thank everyone who's congratulated me on Twitter, getting the Glory of the Icecrown Raider has been pretty high on my priority list for some time, as I've only had Been Waiting a Long Time for This to complete it for the best part of two years. It proved to be a suitable challenge to two man this as well, forcing me to take off the Legendary cloak so we could complete it. As it ended up, I did the last 70% solo anyway, but I couldn't have done it without Mr Alt tanking everything else up to that point. This means all my ICC 10 Man Achievements are done: the next attainable mount via Meta is the 25 version from Ulduar. I'll be adding that to the list starting today.

I'll be dragging large numbers of alts to the Timeless Isle this week to follow each other around and pick up stuff. Farming will go into high gear to get ready for the Scribe getting to 90 and me making all the remaining glyphs I need to fashion everyone with a full set (they're not removing glyphs from Warlords, right?) Then I really ought to spend an evening with Mr Robot and sort out everyone's gear and reforges so they're doing the best they can when out farming... however, tomorrow is my first run for the Accidental Goldmaker, and to say I'm excited is a) an understatement and b) probably a bit sad, but you takes your moments when you can in these pre-Beta days...

Right: less typing, more actual work. LET'S GO.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Army of Me


I'd like a Gnome Hunter.

I've wanted one for a while, and I'll freely admit it's not based on any precedent anywhere. It's just because a) I like gnomes and b) I like hunters. I realise that from a design standpoint this might cause all sorts of issues, especially with pet scaling, and then there's part of me that would like to be able to ride my pet as a mount, hop off when I pull and never need a formal mount again. Yes, this is all highly impractical and not a little bit fanciful but hey, I'm allowed to fantasise once in a while, right?

Apple Cider Mage wrote a really interesting post on how fans are continually extending the Warcraft universe in ways we're never likely to see duplicated in game. I think it is absolutely vital this continues to happen, and that Blizzard are listening, even if these ideas may never make it to the client. The thing is with creativity, is that it fosters further thought processes that might not get explored if the game's designers have their mindsets focussed in a particular direction. There are always possibilities, after all, the chance that your random suggestion for something brilliant might start an avalanche. After all, as Wowhead pointed out over the weekend, an awful lot of real people have been forever immortalised in game for a multitude of reasons. However, just because you're not one of the lucky people namechecked doesn't mean your contribution isn't required, far from it. In fact, the ability to foster creativity in all it's various forms is one of the reasons why the Warcraft Community remains as robust as it undoubtedly is after almost a decade. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not stunned by the creativity around me, inspired by a bunch of pixels on a computer screen.

Absolutely bloody amazing. And SO MANY PEOPLE ARE THIS GOOD.

I will now indulge in a moment of history: I can remember as a teenager having to write an essay about why the Renaissance took place in Italy when it did. Quite apart from the Black Plague breaking down the traditional system of feudalism, I like to think as Blizzard as the equivalent of Florence in the 1400's: developers and creative game designers have the money to hire artisans and craftspeople to work with them. This in turn encourages competition among the online artists and thinkers that are subsequently inspired/playing their work. Art begins to flourish and new thoughts begin to emerge, sprouting from the traditional 'line' of lore in the game, there is a fruitful and fertile ground in which to plant and grow ideas and possibilities. In fact, this post was born as I read the tweet above and linked it to Apple's post and Perculia's guide. That's how this works, and I'm really rather glad that it does, especially on quiet news days.

As long as I remain inspired by the game, I'll be here every day, throwing out my random thoughts to anyone who's prepared to take the time to read them. Being part of this Community is the best thing that has ever happened creatively to me in my entire life: the inspiration it has provided for other ventures and to send me again in different directions has been frankly staggering. I'll also happily admit that's not just good things either, there have been difficult and challenging moments in all of this. They too have given me a strength and focus I didn't previously possess, the desire to rise above the setbacks and make something positive from the defeats has become a real motivator for everything I do. When you understand that anything can be a catalyst, not simply the positive, then there is nothing to stop you.

I love living in this Renaissance. Long may it continue.

Monday, January 20, 2014

To Build a Home :: Calling All the Heroes

Saved by the Mumper. Again.

I have to admit, I was worried.

After last week, I knew I'd exhausted everything we currently had on Garrisons. Only something spectacular was going to change that, so when I was informed on Saturday evening that Mumper was tweeting on the subject with some enthusiasm, I resolved to ensure I go out every weekend until the Beta hits to make sure you guys have a constant stream of new information. Yes, that's my commitment to YOU, and I have to say on the back of what I'm going to discuss this week, I'm probably more enthusiastic about this feature than I was when Warlords was announced. Anyway, we have stuff to discuss, and tweets to dissect!

Without further ado, let's look at a selection of the best tweets Mumper responded to on Saturday:

We left the subject (and Mumper's last tweet on it before Saturday) talking about how the Zone you build your Garrison will have an affect on what your Garrison can do. We now also know that WHAT you can build won't be affected by placement, but there will be a difference to the look of your home. That makes logical sense considering that the flora and fauna in each zone, I suppose.

This is a question I hoped someone would ask, and it also links in with this tweet:

These two are fairly significant. This move would mark a major diversion away from forcing people to be sociable and having to use portals in Capital cities, and would bring the focus for transportation back into the hands of the individual. For a long time Blizzard were very keen to make sure we'd deliberately interact with the rest of the populus with centres like Shattrath but the Garrison's very nature is solo play focussed, regardless of what means we may be given to 'show off' what we own and what we have. Therefore this makes a lot of sense, and having your hearthstone set here.... I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate you'll only be able to place your Garrison in a set starting position until you've explored an entire zone, OR you're at the level with your character that zone is pitched for. As is going to be come a stock phrase in weeks to come, we'll need a Beta for this one to confirm :P

Okay, there was a /fistpump for this response. I'm already considering the co-ordination possibilities here as well, although undoubtedly there will be people showing off all those lovely hard to get battle pets I'm thinking about all my crabs together, or perhaps the Cockroach Hall of Fame. Needless to say, if this is the line of thinking for collections, I heartily approve. In fact, I may have to start making my lists now :D There's also good news for those who wondered how exactly gathering professions would fit into this puzzle:

So, we have the confirmation that you gather stuff on your farm, apart from the raw materials required to actually build it:

And this is the confirmation that yes, you won't need herbalism to grow and gather herbs, ore or indeed leather as is currently the case with the Tillers Farm: I assume therefore we'll be working on the same basic principles, but perhaps without seeds and planting. I'd speculate you may have a Follower who'll go kill mobs for you and then bring them back to your Tannery to be skinned. I'd sincerely hope this is comparable with current daily Farm totals and you won't be able to make your fortune by logging in once a week and cleaning up. I'm suspecting this will require a measure of daily interaction as is the case currently in Halfhill. Still, it is a welcome edition to allow players to have a rolling value for their efforts over time.

Then we need to talk about storage:

If my Storehouse does link to void storage currently I'm utterly screwed, frankly (my god, it's full of guns) and I can only hope I'll get as much stuff out of my bags thanks to the Toybox feature. The fact things will be allowed to interact with established means of storage however is great news... now the question is, will that work across Servers? Will you be able to create stuff for a new character to use if you start fresh? How will the L1 Bankalt fit into this entire scheme of things? ARGH TOO MANY QUESTIONS NOT ENOUGH BETA CLIENT ^^

This one's also significant, because it supposes that one Garrison will not be enough for some, that there will be those already rubbing their hands together in glee and planning 11 per server, all co-ordinated, and all churning out masses of materials for transference and sale on the AH. yes, I can see the dawning of a mini Industrial Revolution for some, as farms become a distant memory and instead micro management takes over. It's only Sim City when it's all said and done, in that regard. There are at least early indicators that blueprints if learnt for one character may end up as Account-wide, that followers have large families and once you've proven a loyal and generous employer, they'll have the next four generations of their family happy to do your bidding. Or maybe the Goblins will clone everyone... who can tell. Needless to say I'd also ascribe to @Sivation's idea of when you move your Garrison there's a set of Pack Yaks that traverse the map, or maybe some Indiana Jones type music and a giant arrow moving from A to B. Either works for me :D

Finally we have the reminder that time is going to be a factor in all of this, and that some features might well have to wait. We will get monuments to celebrate achievements in PvP and PvE, but that purple, void-filled home away from home will probably have to wait, at least until a patch or possibly the NEXT Expansion, as clearly this would be a great way to hook everyone into the idea for the long haul. Suffice it to say, we've got a lot to think on from this frantic couple of hours of Tweeting on Saturday. Keep everything crossed it won't be long before we can finally get our hands on the work in progress...

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Caves. is there anything they can't level? :D

I should apologise for being late with my Blog post today, but I wanted to get a level on the Vanity Guild Druid and on a Sunday, that's no mean feat. All the Rares are farmed to within an inch of their reset timers and my normal levelling spots are normally taken, but today the caves in Kun Lai were wonderfully quiet. With the nature of my professions skills on the two alts I was utilising (skinning, herbalism, mining) these caves are a veritable goldmine, and especially for the Herbalist when a Golden Lotus spawns (15 minutes Lucky buff yields a fair few Plundered Treasure.) Plus, with both alts rocking Mist-Piercing Goggles in their bags... well, needless to say I have two bags PACKED with raw materials to distribute and sell once this post is done.

Two Toons and a Cave :D

This combination is surprisingly effective too, and I'm suddenly considering the merits of getting the second Hunter better geared so I can use her to drag other low level nublets around areas for financial gain. It helps that my Server a) is pretty quiet atm and b) I can pretty much recycle everything that I kill. If I had a Tailor I suspect I'd be better off with the Sprite Cave and the snow piles as my Cave Du Jour but looking at the leather spoils I have, not to mention the huge pile of Snow Lily that I picked up in the caves too. This exercise also maxxed my Druid's gathering skills so when I get to the Island I'll be able to capitalise on my time there making sure lots of stuff is picked up and made money with.

Druid not exactly interactive as yet.

I'm finding this a really interesting way to not simply level, but learn how to use two machines successfully. At present no-one's actually died either, but I am aware that the Hunter not only needs a respect as well as the gear, but could do with some more useful macros than she currently owns. This means, before I do another session of this, there's going to be some faffing on that front. Needless to say, two boxing as a plan seems to be working really rather well.

Now it's time to see how much I've picked up from the exercise...