Sunday, November 11, 2012

About Me & this Space

My shaman, Elepheagle, main character since the Burning Crusade.

Hello there. My name is Ross.

As you've gathered, World of Warcraft is one of my hobbies.

So is writing. Granted, it has paid for a couple of meals over the years---literally, just a couple---but I will continue to do it for enjoyment. As long as my mind remains healthy, I'll write. The same goes for music. As long as my hands and fingers allow me to play, I will be a musician, pay or no pay. Even if the servers go dark, I'll always be a Blizzard fan.

My journey into WoW was strange. I'd never played an MMO, opting instead for console games. While I was in college I'd often drop by my cousins' place to visit, get high and play music. They were really into Everquest at the time. Without fail, one of them would be online whenever I'd come over. I didn't understand the allure at the time. Sitting on the couch stoned for an hour, playing Super-Bust-a-Move 2 on the PS2 was good enough for me (any pothead who's played knows exactly what I'm talking about).

Shortly after the release of Vanilla WoW, a band mate of mine picked up a copy and invited me over to check it out. After forty-five minutes with a stout, grey-bearded dwarf, I found myself with a level 5 hunter and a thirst for more. Fast forward one year and I'm in a game store with my brother. In one hand he holds a copy of Guild Wars; in the other, World of Warcraft. He asks what I think and I say, "definitely WoW." He notes the subscription fee and I say, "Trust me." I had no idea what I was talking about, though I haven't left WoW to see if I made the right choice.

That was quite a few years ago. While I do play other games on occasion, this is the one I enjoy the most, and where I devote most of my gaming time.

I figure now is as good a time as ever to blend some of my hobbies.

What you'll find here

"A World of Warcraft blog that can't make up its mind." 

While my musings here tend to cover a broad base of subjects, there are couple of regular topics I try to post on regularly. A little bit about those, in case you're drawn to a particular topic:

WoW Weekly: Self-absorbed looks into what I've been enjoying lately in-game. Often has to do with mount collecting or achievement hunting.

Chasing the Gold Cap: This was a bi-weekly feature I began in December/January in response to a community blogging exercise. The early CtGC posts chronicle my attempt and subsequent failure to hit the gold cap by the end of April 2013. I'm still making gold---albeit casually---and share observations from time to time. 

Spending the Gold Cap: A semi-regular feature that chronicles the spending of the money I earned in Chasing the Gold Cap, mainly on Unclaimed Black Market Auction Containers.

Bashes with Wolves: This is where I write about enhancement shamanism. I wouldn't go so far to say that I'm an expert enhancement shaman. But I am an experienced one.

Guides: Occasionally I'll put together a guide on how to do something in-game. Please check them out in in the right-hand column.

Completionist Leanings: I like collecting and finishing all the things! And I know I'm not the only one. This topic focuses on tips and tricks to get things done.

The Feckless Leader Story: This "story" is in draft form right now, and am not sure when it will see light. Essentially it's the story of my experience joining a raiding guild in the midst of WotLK, eventually taking the helm of the raid and the guild, and having things fall apart in the midst of MoP and the result of it.  

Join me on Twitter

Occasionally, I contribute to the technology blog Tech Void. MyMorningCigarette is where I've archived much of my creative non-fiction and poetry (non-wow-related), and is infrequently updated.


  1. I found your little space on the internet whilst looking for pet battle info and now having read through all your previous postings I can say that I like your style. It's nice to come across another 'grown up' player who doesnt take WOW too seriously and still plays for LOLs plus Shamans FTW- it's just a shame you defected from the Horde, you lose cool points for that dude!

    More pet battle info though please, I only started battling 5 days ago and would be interested on your set up etc as playing against actual people without being able to talk about why they did this or that is frustrating.

    Lok'tar ogar

  2. Hey Michelle-

    So you DID read my history here. :) You'll be pleased to know, then, that I've recanted my traitorous ways and have returned Horde-side. Costly, but it had to be done.

    Is there anything specific you'd like to know about pet battles? From your comment it seems you're already starting some PvP? If you don't have a team of level 25 pets, I would recommend leveling a squad and then start focusing on PvP...but that's just me. Having max level pets of course will grant you access to the daily tamers, associated rewards, etc., and it will also be much easier to level up new pets.

    As far as interesting pets/cool setups go, I often rely on She's a cool, former hardcore WoW player who's really created a niche with her pet battle tips. I have more of the "Ok, let's get you some pets to 25" where she's zeros in on specific pets, team builds and strats.

    I've currently been running with a Giant Bone Spider, Gryphon Hatchling and Oasis Moth as one team and a Phoenix Hatchling, Clockwork Gnome and a third I switch between an Amethyst Spiderling and Zandalari Kneebiter. What I've learned above all: speed is key. You want fast pets. There are some good pet battle addons that will help you determine the "quality" of the pet you have captured. I can elaborate on that if you like.

    If you have specific questions, let me know! Also, feel free to add me on battle ID (Elepheagle#1877).

  3. Ahhh very good news to hear, I gotta say I find the other side a little to clean and shiny for my liking, welcome back to the Horde.

    I've had a few PvP battles and had a few wins but I only have 3 pets at 25 (only just dinged them yesterday) but I had noticed the speed being key factor thing. I have my moonkin hatchling (bestest pet ever), singing sunflower (PvZ FTW) and phoenix hatchling (just cute). So I think leveling up some more is very much needed, although I only have 100 ish pets in total so I need to get my pokeball (pokecrate?) out and catch some good ones. I've just come back from a WoW break so am behind on everything 'new', think I need to do a pet want list and get cracking.

    A like your old server my current one is dead and the guild that I was in has disintegrated whilst I've been away and my friends that play all moved over to the light and shiny side like you traitorously did (I stubbornly refused to) and they are now taking a WoW break, so I havent got anyone to shoot the breeze with about PBs. Cant decide whether I can be bothered to spend the money to move to another server or not, wish Blizz would just sort it out and merge the low pop dying ones.

    But anyway will have a proper look through that site later on tonight when I have some free time (tis afternoon here across the pond) - oh does EU/US battle ID work? Guess I'll find out later when I stalk.........I mean bombard you with stupid questions, or not as the case may be.

    Anyhow thank you for creating your helpful and amusing space in the Interwebs and for getting back to me, may your day be filled with the sound of your auctions selling and gold filling up the mailbox - reminds me of when BC came out and they'd be non stop nake female belfs dancing on the mailbox for gold tips......or was that just my server?

  4. I agree with your sentiment on the Alliance. Too squeaky clean!

    Blizz WILL be merging servers come 5.4 (late summer); well, they're adding "virtual servers," which will virtually combine several servers into one, complete with shared auction houses, raid capabilities, even guilds.

    Also very sadly just learned that does not work cross US-EU. Which sucks hugely; I've met many awesome people from across the pond who enjoy this game, and Twitter especially.

    Glad you've enjoyed the reads here, and most importantly, thank you for letting me know...I always appreciate hearing from people in this space!

  5. Oh interesting to know, and it explains the half price transfers offer they had a few weeks ago, trying to make a few bucks before they give it away for free. But still good news as trying to turn a profit on the AH here is a total no no atm.

    And yes we'll all totally amazing over here in the country that rains lots, so it does indeed suck that we cant converse via the medium of WoW. But who are we to ask why they made it that way, laziness or fear that we shall unite rise against them maybe?

    And of course you appreciate being told you're cool and write cool stuff - who doesnt? But sadly I'm not in the Tweeting world and I shall refrain from cluttering up your blog with my waffling. So you shall be saved from further ramblings and questions and I'll say au revoir - plus I'm getting sick of having to prove that I'm not a robot with the word verification thing, it's like all the typos I've ever written are ganging up against me to trick me with fake words!

  6. Perhaps one day the overlords will allow the US and the EU to commingle. One can hope.

    See you around maybe. :)

  7. Indeed we can but hope or if you feel the sudden urge to take me under your Onyxian Drake wing and guide me in the ways of kicking ass and taking names in the pet battling world then feel free to ping me one of those old fashioned electronic mails - the details of which should be found within the Blogger profile thingy which I never use.

    Either way, stay cool over there in the land of BlizzCon and other awesomesauce stuff like that. And stop being lazy and blog moar!