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Friday, 29 March 2013

Pictures from my Holiday!

As you may have seen I've been away this week. I went to Newquay (in Cornwall) for a few days with the boyfriend and a couple of uni friends. We managed to get a really good deal via a Sun Holiday (the Sun is a UK newspaper that does short breaks from £9.50 per person) staying in a caravan a few miles outside of Newquay. Whilst it was only a short stay we managed to do quite a bit - we visitied a Healey's cider farm, walked into Newquay via the estuary and spent a day at Newquay Zoo.

We took quite a few pictures throughout with the majority of mine being from the zoo. It probably comes as no surprise, given the number of screenshots I take in-game, that I like to take pictures. Having said this I don't own a decent camera and so I took my pictures using my phone - but I think they came out quite well. Anyway, the point of this blog is to give a quick update and share some of my pictures with you.

African Lions
Philippines: Warty Pigs & Spotted Deer
Carpathian Lynx
Pygmy Goats
Red Panda
Brazilian Tapir
Scarlet Macaw
Poison Dart Frog
Humboldt Penguins
Oriental Garden
Meerkats &Mongoose
Male Fossa
Squirrel Monkeys
Sulawesi Crested Black Macaques
Crowned Lemur
Waterfalls in the Tropical House

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I'm on holiday!

Just a quick blog to say that I'm now on holiday in Newquay (Cornwall, which is south-west England - so I havent travelled far!).
I had intended to tweet/blog this week but it turns out that the free WiFi isn't exactly free and is pretty crappy (low signal strength etc).
So, I will probably tweet some pics here & there (no promises) but I'll hopefully be back blogging on Friday.
Have a good week!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

WoW Insiders asks: Why Do I Still Play WoW? & How Do You Pay to Play?

A couple of days ago WoW Insider asked via Twitter: Why do you still play WoW?

I thought this was an interesting question and have been thinking about my reasons for playing ever since. Now I haven't been playing for that long, in fact it wasn't that long that I celebrated my first year playing. So, I suppose the game is still reasonably fresh to me. For long-term players the game can become stale with the expansions being the only major changes and I understand why players take a break (or even quit) if said expansion isn't to their liking.

Anyway, I'm meant to be writing about me and not other players.

I've always played computer games and WoW filled a niche for me. I play a variety of games from god-games (Sims, Black & White, Theme Hospital, Zoo Tycoon etc.) to adventure and Sci-Fi (I own a lot of Star Wars games and am a big fan of the Lego games!). Anyway, WoW involves adventure, questing and fantasy - all of which I love.

In addition, WoW incorporates a social element. It's not just a case of inviting your friends over to play on a console - it's different. I get that consoles do now allow you to socialise but I'm a little old school when it comes to consoles and don't play any online. I've met some awesome people via playing WoW - not to mention those I've met subsequently via blogging - and I want to maintain contact with these people and the awesome community. They're my virtual friends and it doesn't matter where you live, what you do etc.

And finally - it's like an addiction. I have quite an addictive personality and I'm a creature of habit and routine. So it's not surprising that I got hooked. Yes I go though days where I don't want to log in so I don't. But most of the time I want to play. I want to do something, to complete this, to finish that. It has become part of my life and it fits in just perfectly!

I guess in conclusion I play WoW because I enjoy it on many levels! Perhaps it is just because I'm still such a newbie but I think that I will be playing for a while yet. Truth be told I'm not sure if I'd ever be able to properly quit (like forever).

Today, WoW Insiders Breakfast Topic by Elizabeth Harper asks How do you pay to play?

Tonight I am a little sad it has to be said. I thought my game time ran out on the 25th. However, when I went to log in I found that it had ran out today *cries*.

Normally I pay a month at a time as I'm never sure how busy I'll be and if I'll have the time to play enough to warrant paying. Most of the time I have plenty of spare time. Recently, however, I've been rather busy at work and outside of work meaning my in-game time has suffered. I don't feel like I've paid for nothing but I do wish I'd had chance to play more.

So why don't I just buy another months subscription and be done with it? Well I'm going on holiday on Monday for 5 days then it's Easter weekend meaning I probably won't have a chance to play until early April. I'm reluctant to buy game time when I'll potentially not play for 7-10days.

Having said that I really want to be playing right now and dreading a long free weekend (the first in a long time) without it. I wonder if I'll last until Monday or not...

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battling: Day 8

Day 8: What is the stupidest thing(s) you have ever done in a pet battle?
Well, here it is, Day 8 - the day where you all get to hear about two (out of numerous) blonde moments in-game that relate to Pet Battles. Having said that, it's safe to say that most of my less-impressive moments and thoughts normally relate to other aspects of the game.
Who needs a team of three pets?
I hope that I'm not the only person who commits this school-boy error. Going into a pet battle with pets below full health or even a pet (sometimes multiple) dead. I have done this countless times. It's manageable if your pets are just missing a little health or you're taking on a lower level opponent. But when it comes to top-end pets and tamers it's a bit of an issue. Needless to say I now check most of the time before starting a battle.
Mechanicals do 50% extra damage to Elementals, right?
Wrong! Now this happened very recently - within the last couple of weeks. I had decided that it was time to face Major Payne again and I was going to beat him! Now, Mr and Mrs WoW had given me a helpful hint - an elemental, mechanical and aquatic is a great team for kicking the Majors derriere. I'd made sure I had a level 25 of each and headed to face my opponent. I decided to ask the boyf for some advice - he defeated Major Payne a while back and had very little issue. Major Payne has a beast, mechanical and elemental pet so I was working out which pet I ideally wanted to battle against each of his (with the help of the pet journal).
So, there I am talking my stategy through with the boyf...
The mechanical passive *hovers over symbol in pet journal* does 50% extra damage to elementals - so I want my mechanical to take on the ele. Elemental passive does 50% extra damage to aquatic. Well Payne doesn't have an aquatic *frowns*. Aquatic does 50% extra damage to flying... Hmm and this team works!?!
Now, my boyfriend put me straight about where I was going wrong! In case you haven't picked up on it I was reading the "damage taken increased by 50%" as "damaged dealt increased by 50%". It really was a facepalm moment. And then... it all made sense - elemental pet vs Paynes mechanical, aquatic pet vs Paynes elemental and mechanical vs Paynes beast.

I like to think this was a one-off but I honestly have no idea how many times I may have based my team on this wrong information. I certainly won't be doing it again though.

Monday, 18 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battles: Day 7

Day 7: Do you use mods? If you could only have one pet mod, what would it be and why?
I'm not much of an add-on person - I find that in most cases they add extra confussion and distraction. My poor little brain can't cope with the chaos that multple flashing add-ons results in. This doesn't mean that I don't use any add-ons. For my add-ons I use Curse, just so you know.
When MoP first went live I was so excited that I could actually pet battle. But, after a while I was starting to get foregetful of what pets I had captured and their quality. I found myself in a situation where I would be battling a wild pet and capture it thinking I didn't have it yet to find I did and now had a duplicate - which was fine if it was rare quality but that wasn't often.
Showing pet 'Quality'
As a result I decided to get an add-on that would tell me about what pets I had in my journal. I ended up going with Battle Pet - Quality Notifier. It tells you the quality of the pets you're battling, if you already own one of this pet or not and if the quality is an upgrade. All-in-all very handy.
The second, and final, pet battle related add-on that I use is Pet Tracker. My boyfriend got me into using this add-on to track which dailies I had done and which I hadn't. Aside from this it has a multitude of other uses such as showing the location(s) of pets you don't yet have.
Some examples of the pet locations displayed on the map.
If I had to only have one of these two it would definately be the first - Battle Pet Quality Notifier. I think it's more beneficial to me in-game whereas if I want to know where a specific pet spawns I could just use the internet.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

My 100th Blog!

Here it is, my 100th blog post!

My blog's been going for just under 5 months now and I think 100 blogs is pretty good going. I've fluctuated from blogging multiple times a day to once every couple depending on spare time and whats happening in-game and this has worked well for me.

I'm a little unsure about what I should include in this special post. Whilst it's not a blogiversary - which is somewhat like a birthday and a big event which I really hope I reach atleast one of - it is a similar (if smaller) milestone.

I guess I will talk a little about what blogging has done for me...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battles: Day 6

Day 6: What pets have you got in your favourite team(s)?

As you may know, creating Battle Pet Theme Teams is a little hobby of mine! So far I've only created a few but there will be more! If you haven't seen my Theme Teams already or want to check them out again you can find them by clicking the 'Theme Team' label *looks right*.

Anyway, what pets do I actually use in my everyday team(s)?

Generally I tend to use my Cinder Kitten (aka Xsinthis), Jungle Grub (Georgiee) and my Malayan Quillrat (Quilly). I have a small army of level 25 pets, which includes atleast one of most pet family, which I use intermittently to give my 'core' team a bit of a boost when fighting particluarly hard opponents.

For example, if I'm intending to capture a pet I will use my Terrible Turnip - it's just a no brainer! And if I predict a particluarly hard/long battle ahead I tend to put my Strand Crab (Sandy) for the healing.

I realise this post isn't very long or in-depth but I've now been writing it for over 2 hours - I've been very distracted by YouTube and video's of the dance and costume contests at BlizzCon. So, to make up for it here's the videos for both 2011 contests. Enjoy!


Friday, 15 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battles: Day 5

Day 5: What pet do you want more than any other pet? What would you do to get it?

I currently have 417 unique pets in my collection (which you can view here) out of the 560 pets that are available (I think). So yeah I'm not doing amazingly but I'm not doing too bad.

But which pet do I really, really want? Well I can think of several so I'm going to do a run down of the top 5 (in no particular order)...

Pictures from warcraftpets.

I just think these guys are awesome. I really like the Sea Pony and worked hard to get it. Then when I saw the puffer I just wanted it! I've been quite lazy and never got around to purchasing one - they're trading card loot you see.

The Panda Cub came with the World of Warcraft Collectors Edition and is incredibly cute. However, as much as I like this pet I don't think I'd ever be prepared to pay the price for the Collector's Edition. Plus, there are now new panda pets in game... Panda's with tails :)

The Golden Pig is another promotional pet to celebrate Chinese new year and so I'll never be able to get one. I guess if it were available for caging in-game I would consider paying for it.

These pets are purchaseable from the Blizzard store and come as part of purchasing the plush cuddly toys. I love how they look and the toys! If I had to choose just one it would be the Wind Rider Cub for two reasons - 1) I prefer it and 2) there's now a gryphon hatchling in-game (Wildhammer Gryphon Hatchling).

Now, I only saw this pet in the pet journal as I was skimming through to jog my mind about pets that I really want. I think it's new (I'm fairly sure I'd have noticed it before now!). It drops from an elite, G'nathus, who can be found in Townlong Steppes. I know where I'm going in a minute...

Thursday, 14 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battles: Day 4 (Major Payne's Demise)

It's been a while since I've done an installment of the 10 Days of Pet Battles - been very busy in real life and I wanted to wait until I had accomplished something before making this post!

Day 4: What was the most epic pet battle/capture you ever had?

I clearly remember the day I captured my own Minfernal and it was truly epic! However, I blogged about that at the time (full story here) so thought I'd talk about something else.

The Enemy!!
Major Payne!

Now I'm sure we've all read about Major Payne and the frustrations he has caused many a pet-battler. And I'm no exception. I honestly gave up counting the number of times he absolutely destroyed my various pet battle teams. It got to the point that I actually gave up and forgot all about completing Taming Northrend.

Team Payne!!
Recently, several months after giving up, my desire to defeat the Major has been re-awoken. In part by this series of questions. Also, Mr and Mrs WoW (well one of them atleast) defeated the Major quite recently and gave me a helpful hint - elemental, aquatic and mechanical. So, I set about leveling my half-leveled mechanical those last few levels.

Earlier this evening I decided it was time to take Major Payne on. I was hoping that defeating him would make for a good answer to today's question.

Well, I defeated him using a Tiny Harvester (level 25, uncommon), Strand Crab (level 25, rare) and Cinder Kitten (level 25, rare) - "Team Payne". I was most worried about his cuddly-looking killing machine of a polar bear but it seems my harvester dealt with him pretty well. I just about managed to get a repair in time so that when he died and was brought back to life the heal bumped him up to a reasonable amount of health. After that it was fairly easy.

So, this battle wasn't exactly the most epic but it was quite an achievement for me and finally means I can move on to the other 'defeat the tamers' quests.

Monday, 11 March 2013


Over the past few day's I've taken a few screenshots that I thought I'd share with you.

On Thursday evening I managed to tame myself a Direhorn (full story here). It wasn't until I did some questing over the weekend that I accidently discovered their Reflective Armor Plating. I've recently (partially) switched back to BM-spec (which was my original spec before I changed to Survival) but now that I've got Portent I thought I'd re-do my action bars and give it a go.

Anyway, my BM-spec bars are a bit of a state. So, there I am killing some badies when I click on the Reflective Armor Plating. It looks brilliant! It's also quite a handy ability. I noticed on Wowhead that there was only a few screenshots of Direhorns and none of the plating so I submitted my own (my first screenshot submission!). It got approved *woop* and is now there for everyone to see.

Screenshot that I put on Wowhead.
Skip forward to Saturday night. I was doing my Order of the Cloud Serpent dailies when I remembered about the new Anglers NPC Salty El (of El's Extreme Anglin'). I headed up to Sri-La Village and found her. Whilst there I did some fishing in the pools and managed to get a fair few Jade Lungfish.

It also got quite a shock! I was happily fishing away when Krakkanon spawned right in front of me. The combination of sudden appearance and Silver Dragons "I see you" gave me quite a fright (if I'm being honest).

This is how close Krakkanon was!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Mothers Day Special on Mounts & Pet Combo's

Today is Mothering Sunday or Mothers Day here in the UK (atleast) so a massive happy mummys day to all you WoW playing mums!

It got me thinking about the animal mothers and their children within Azeroth. By this I mean - there is a number of mounts in-game which have a matching/similar looking companion pet, presumably their child. So, I went through my collection and found some examples...






Thanks to the boyf for brain-storming with me and for allowing me to use his much greater collection of mounts/pets to get some combinations. I'm sure there's a lot more combinations that we didn't think of and/or couldn't show due to lack of the mount and/or pet in either of our collections. For example, I have the Emerald Proto-Whelp and he has the Green Proto-Drake but neither of us have both.
I'd love to hear of any other combinations that you can think of / create yourself (screenshots welcome).

Saturday, 9 March 2013

10 Days of Pet Battles: Day 3

It's been a while since I posted as part of Navimie's 10 Days of Pet Battles - I've been spending to much time getting eaten by dino's!

Day 3: Who is your favourite pet? If you could bring it out into the real world, tell me what you imagine you would be doing.

When I met Navi back in January she asked me about my favourite pet and it seems that it's one of her top questions to ask those she Navispams. Back then I told her that Xsinthis, my cinder kitten, was certainly one of my favourite pets. I received Xsinthis from Eric Dekker (author of the Golden Crusade) as part of Blog Azeroths Furtive Father Winter and you can read my post about my gift here.

I love the animations of the cinder kitten and it's also a good pet for battling. Just incase you don't have a cinder kitten of your own and haven't seen the animations here's a video I found on youtube:

Aside from Xsinthis I'm also a big fan of my Moonkin Hatchling(s) which the boyf got for me. The hatchling can be purchased from the Blizzard store but it's a bit of a bargain as you get two different skins - one for Alliance and one for Horde.

As for the second part of the question - if I had my own cinder kitten I'd envision it playing about in a field of long grass, chasing birds etc. If the Moonkin Hatchling was real I'd love to walk down the street with it fluttering along beside me (again, they have cool animations).