Wednesday 26 October 2011

Underwater Love

I love Vashj'ir - the concept of an underwater zone sounded awesome right from the start and it didn't disappoint, becoming one of the most beautiful landscapes in the game, in my opinion. The only downside to the place is that it takes so long to get through it - something that we may well be faced with again if the descriptions of the new zones in Mists of Pandaria end up being true.

Jellies on the edge of the Abyssal Depths.

Jellyfish ascension.

Reef outside Tranquil Wash.

The ruins of Vashj'ir.

There are plenty more images at R&R's Gallery Page.

All original images are 1920 by 1080px and are hosted on

Saturday 22 October 2011

Candy Bucket Update

How's your Hallow's End going?

Just for those people who are collecting candy while listening for announcements from Blizzcon, I've added Outland and Northrend lists and maps to the Candy Bucket post, as well as updating the maps for Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.

You can find all the Candy Bucket Locations here.

Did you find the lists and maps helpful? I'd appreciate any feedback!

Okay, you can go back to reading about Mists of Pandaria now ;)

Thursday 20 October 2011

Hallow's End 2011 - All the Candy Buckets

Hallow's End has arrived! Everyone is busy with battling the Headless Horseman and burning the Wickerman, and of course, collecting candy! But have you collected all the candy you can?

This year, Tricky Treat have been made currency. You can buy all the Hallow's End paraphernalia from the vendors outside the capital cities, including three two companion pets: Sinister Squashling, Little Wickerman and a Feline Familiar (incidentally, Sinister Squashlings also drop from candy buckets so don't buy it first!).
Edit: In fact, Little Wickerman is not a companion pet but a usable object that creates a wickerman that you can cook on. How sad!

Tricky Treats are obtained by doing the festival's quests, but if you're going to do the Hallowed Be Thy Name meta-achievement then the easiest way to collect the candy is by visiting the candy buckets scattered all over Azeroth.

Last year, I wrote two posts explaining a route for each of Alliance and Horde to visit the buckets.  This year, not only have some of the locations changed, but I noticed that for the Kalimdor (Horde / Alliance) and Eastern Kingdoms (Horde / Alliance) achievements, the Horde has way more locations to visit than the Alliance.

*EDIT FOR 2012* The achievements have been updated - Alliance and Horde now have an equal number of buckets to visit for the achievement. Also see below for Pandaria location map.

On closer inspection, I found that the Alliance have got off lightly with their achievements.  Not only are some of the shared buckets such as the one at Karnum's Glade not listed for Alliance, there are also many more buckets that are not part of the achievement - thirteen for Eastern Kingdoms and thirteen for Kalimdor. In fact, almost anywhere where there is an innkeeper, there's a candy bucket next to them.

Rather than creating another route for this year, I thought a series of maps showing both achievement and non-achievement buckets might make collection easier.

Characters over level 60 can just fly between locations but lower-level toons might still like to use my directions from last year to help them get around.

After preparing these maps and flying around to find all the extra buckets, I heard about the list of extra buckets someone has already helpfully put on the comments for the two Alliance achievements on Wowhead. I hope the maps are still useful!

Happy Trick or Treating!


Alliance (roughly north to south)
Darnassus, Craftsmen's Terrace
Teldrassil, Dolanaar
Exodar, Seat of the Naaru
Azuremyst Isle, Azure Watch
Bloodmyst Isle, Blood Watch
Darkshore, Lor'danel
Winterspring, Everlook
Felwood, Talonbranch Glade (62,27)
Felwood, Whisperwind Grove (44,30)
Mount Hyjal, Nordrassil
Mount Hyjal, Shrine of Aviana
Mount Hyjal, Grove of Aessina
Ashenvale, Astranaar
Stonetalon Mountains, Stonetalon Peak
Stonetalon Mountains, Thal'darah Overlook
Stonetalon Mountains, Farwatcher's Glen (31,61)
Stonetalon Mountains, Windshear Hold  (59,56)
Stonetalon Mountains, Northwatch Expedition Base Camp
Desolace, Nijel's Point
Desolace, Karnum's Glade (57,50)
Southern Barrens, Honor's Stand  (39,11)
Northern Barrens, Ratchet
Northwatch Hold, Southern Barrens (65,47)
Fort Triumph, Southern Barrens (49,68)
Dustwallow Marsh, Theramore Isle
Dustwallow Marsh, Mudsprocket
Feralas, Dreamer's Rest (51,18)
Feralas, Feathermoon Stronghold
Silithus, Cenarion Hold
Un'goro Crater, Marshal's Stand (55,62)
Tanaris, Gadgetzan
Tanaris, Bootlegger Outpost (55,60)
Uldum, Oasis of Vir'sar
Uldum, Ramkahen

Orgrimmar, Valley of Strength
Azshara, Bilgewater Harbour
Winterspring, Everlook
Mount Hyjal, Nordrassil
Mount Hyjal, Shrine of Aviana
Mount Hyjal, Grove of Aessina
Felwood, Whisperwind Grove
Ashenvale, Zoram'gar Outpost
Ashenvale, Hellscream's Watch
Ashenvale, Silverwind Refuge
Ashenvale, Splintertree Post
Durotar, Razor Hill
Northern Barrens, Nozzlepot's Outpost
Northern Barrens, Grol'dom Farm
Northern Barrens, Crossroads
Northern Barrens, Ratchet
Southern Barrens, Hunter's Hill
Stonetalon Mountains, Sun Rock Retreat
Stonetalon Mountains, Krom'gar Fortress
Desolace, Karnum's Glade
Desolace, Shadowprey Village
Thunder Bluff, Lower Rise
Mulgore, Bloodhoof Village
Southern Barrens, Desolation Hold
Dustwallow Marsh, Brackenwall Village
Dustwallow Marsh, Mudsprocket
Tanaris, Gadgetzan
Tanaris, Bootlegger Outpost
Un'goro Crater, Marshal's Stand
Uldum, Oasis of Vir'sar
Uldum, Ramkahen
Silithus, Cenarion Hold
Feralas, Camp Mojache
Feralas, Stonemaul Hold
Feralas, Camp Ataya

Eastern Kingdoms

Eastern Plaguelands, Light's Hope Chapel
Western Plaguelands, Chillwind Camp (43,84)
Hinterlands, Aerie Peak
Hinterlands, Stormfeather Outpost (66,44)
Wetlands, Swiftgear Station (25,24)
Wetlands, Greenwarden's Grove (60,42)
Wetlands, Menethil Harbour
Twilight Highlands, Thundermar
Twilight Highlands, Firebeard's Patrol
Twilight Highlands, Victor's Point
Twilight Highlands, Highbank
Loch Modan, Farstrider Lodge (83,63)
Loch Modan, Thelsamar
Ironforge, The Commons
Dun Morogh, Kharanos
Badlands, Fuselight (66,37)
Badlands, Dragon's Breath (21,56)
Searing Gorge, Iron Summit (39,66)
Stormwind, Trade District
Elwynn Forest, Goldshire
Redridge Mountains, Lakeshire
Swamp of Sorrows, The Harborage (29,33)
Swamp of Sorrows, Bogpaddle (72,13)
Duskwood, Darkshire
Westfall, Sentinel Hill
Blasted Lands, Nethergarde Keep (61,14)
Blasted Lands, Surwich (44,88)
(You could go through the Dark Portal and do the Outlands buckets now)
Northern Stranglethorn, Fort Livingston (53,67)
Cape of Stranglethorn, Booty Bay

Vashj'ir (Kelp'thar Forest), Deepmist Grotto
Vashj'ir (Shimmering Expanse), Silver Tide Hollow
Vashj'ir (Shimmering Expanse), Tranquil Wash
Vashj'ir (Abyssal Depths), Darkbeak Cove

Silvermoon City, The Royal Exchange
Silvermoon City, The Bazaar
Eversong Woods, Falconwing Square
Eversong Woods, Fairbreeze Village
Ghostlands, Tranquillien
Eastern Plaguelands, Light's Hope Chapel
Western Plaguelands, Andorhal
Tirisfal Glades, The Bulwark
Tirisfal Glades, Brill
Undercity, Trade Quarter
Silverpine Forest, Forsaken Rear Guard
Silverpine Forest, The Sepulchre
Hillsbrad Foothills, Tarren Mill
Hillsbrad Foothills, Eastpoint Tower
Hinterlands, Hiri'watha
Hinterlands, Revantusk Village
Arathi Highlands, Hammerfall
Twilight Highlands, Krazzworks
Twilight Highlands, Bloodgulch
Twilight Highlands, Dragonmaw Port (must be in the correct phase)
Twilight Highlands, Crushblow
Badlands, Fuselight
Badlands, New Kargath
Searing Gorge, Iron Summit
Swamp of Sorrows, Bogpaddle
Swamp of Sorrows, Stonard
Blasted Lands, Dreadmaul Hold
(You could go through the Dark Portal and do the Outlands buckets now)
Northern Stranglethorn, Grom'gol Base Camp
Cape of Stranglethorn, Hardwrench Hideaway
Cape of Stranglethorn, Booty Bay

Vashj'ir (Kelp'thar Forest), Deepmist Grotto
Vashj'ir (Shimmering Expanse), Silver Tide Hollow
Vashj'ir (Shimmering Expanse), Legion's Rest
Vashj'ir (Abyssal Depths), Tenebrous Cavern


Alliance (Starting at the Dark Portal and going around anti-clockwise)
Hellfire Peninsula, Honor Hold
Hellfire Peninsula, Temple of Telhamat
Netherstorm, Area 52
Netherstorm, The Stormspire
Blade's Edge Mountains, Evergrove (Ruuan Weald)
Blade's Edge Mountains, Toshley's Station (just west of Death's Door)
Blade's Edge Mountains, Sylvanaar
Zangarmarsh, Orebor Harborage
Zangarmarsh, Telredor
Zangarmarsh, Cenarion Refuge
Nagrand, Telaar
Shattrath City, Aldor Rise or Scryer's Tier (don't have to have allegiance to either)
Terokkar Forest, Allerian Stronghold
Shadowmoon Valley, Wildhammer Stronghold
Shadowmoon Valley, Altar of Sha'tar or Sanctum of the Stars

Horde (Starting at the Dark Portal and going around anti-clockwise)

Hellfire Peninsula, Thrallmar
Hellfire Peninsula, Falcon Watch
Netherstorm, Area 52
Netherstorm, The Stormspire
Blade's Edge Mountains, Evergrove (Ruuan Weald)
Blade's Edge Mountains, Mok'Nathal Village
Blade's Edge Mountains, Thunderlord Stronghold
Zangarmarsh, Zabra'jin
Zangarmarsh, Cenarion Refuge
Nagrand, Garadar
Shattrath City, Aldor Rise or Scryer's Tier
Terokkar Forest, Stonebreaker Hold
Shadowmoon Valley, Shadowmoon Village
Shadowmoon Valley, Altar of Sha'tar or Sanctum of the Stars


Borean Tundra, Valiance Keep
Borean Tundra, Unu'pe (78,49)
Borean Tundra, Fizzcrank Airstrip
Sholazar Basin, Nesingwary Base Camp
Dragonblight, Stars' Rest
Dragonblight, Moa'ki Harbor
Dragonblight, Wyrmrest Temple
Dragonblight, Winterguard Keep
Dalaran, The Legerdemain Lounge
Dalaran, Silver Enclave
Dalaran, The Underbelly
Storm Peaks, K3
Storm Peaks, Frosthold
Storm Peaks, Bouldercrag's Refuge
Zul'Drak, The Argent Stand
Zul'Drak, Zim'Torga
Grizzly Hills, Westfall Brigade
Grizzly Hills, Amberpine Lodge
Howling Fjord, Fort Wildervar
Howling Fjord, Valgarde
Howling Fjord, Kamagua
Howling Fjord, Westguard Keep

Borean Tundra, Warsong Hold
Borean Tundra, Unu'pe (78,49)
Borean Tundra, Taunka'le Village
Borean Tundra, Bor'gorok Outpost
Sholazar Basin, Nesingwary Base Camp
Dragonblight, Agmar's Hammer
Dragonblight, Moa'ki Harbor
Dragonblight, Wyrmrest Temple
Dragonblight, Venomspite
Dalaran, The Legerdemain Lounge
Dalaran, Sunreaver's Sanctuary
Dalaran, The Underbelly
Storm Peaks, K3
Storm Peaks, Bouldercrag's Refuge
Storm Peaks, Grommarsh Crash Site
Storm Peaks, Camp Tunka'lo
Zul'Drak, The Argent Stand
Zul'Drak, Zim'Torga
Grizzly Hills, Camp Onequah
Grizzly Hills, Conquest Hold
Howling Fjord, Camp Winterhoof
Howling Fjord, Vengeance Landing
Howling Fjord, New Agamand
Howling Fjord, Kamagua

New for 2012: Pandaria
You don't need the Pandaria buckets for the meta achievement, but there's a neat map created by heyoz and linked on (he also linked my original maps there and on /r/wow... thanks so much for crediting me :). I've listed the locations below. The co-ords were copied from the comments on the achievement on If you have the TomTom addon you can copy and paste these waypoints directly into your command line.

/way Vale of Eternal 35 78 Mistfall Village
/way Vale of Eternal 87 64 Shrine of Seven Stars (inside at innkeeper)
/way Townlong Steppes 71 58 Longying Outpost
/way Kun-Lai Summit 54 83 Westwind Rest
/way Kun-Lai Summit 62 29 Zouchin Village
/way Kun-Lai Summit 64 61 The Grummle Bazaar
/way Kun-Lai Summit 57 60 One Keg
/way Kun-Lai Summit 73 92 Binan Village
/way The Veiled Stair 55 72 Tavern in the Mists
/way The Jade Forest 42 23 Tian Monastery
/way The Jade Forest 56 24 Sri-La Village
/way The Jade Forest 46 44 Dawn's Blossom
/way The Jade Forest 55 63 Jade Temple Grounds
/way The Jade Forest 45 84 Paw'don Village
/way The Jade Forest 60 83 Pearlfin Village
/way The Jade Forest 48 35 Greenstone Village
/way Valley of the Four 84 20 Pang's Stead
/way Valley of the Four 20 56 Stoneplow
/way Krasarang Wilds 76 7 Zhu's Watch
/way Krasarang Wilds 51 77 Marista
/way Dread Wastes 56 32 Klaxxi-vess
/way Dread Wastes 55 71 Soggy's Gamble

/way Dread Wastes 55.93 32.27 Klaxxi-vess
/way Dread Wastes 55.21 71.20 Soggy's Gamble
/way Jade Forest 45.77 43.6 Dawn's Blossom
/way Jade Forest 48.09 34.62 Greenstone Village
/way Jade Forest 28 47.4 Grookin Hill
/way Jade Forest 28.45 13.27 Honeydew Village
/way Jade Forest 54.61 63.32 Jade Temple Grounds
/way Jade Forest 55.72 24.4 Sri-La Village
/way Jade Forest 41.68 23.14 Tian Monastery
/way Karasang Wilds 28.25 50.73 Dawnchaser Retreat
/way Karasang Wilds 51.42 77.25 Marista
/way Karasang Wilds 75.93 6.87 Zhu's Watch
/way Karasang Wilds 61.03 25.14 Thunder Cleft
/way Kun-Lai Summit 72.73 92.28 Binan Village
/way Kun-Lai Summit 62.77 80.50 Eastwind Rest
/way Kun-Lai Summit 64.21 61.28 The Grummle Bazaar
/way Kun-Lai Summit 57.45 59.94 One Keg
/way Kun-Lai Summit 62.33 29 Zouchin Village Approximation (Phase Issues, Acknowledged in Blue Post)
/way The Veiled Stair 55.09 72.25 Tavern in the Mists
/way Townlong Steppes 71.13 57.80 Longying Outpost
/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 35.15 77.75 Mistfall Village
/way Vale of Eternal Blossoms 61.98 16.26 Shrine of Two Moons (2nd Floor)
/way Valley of the Four Winds 83.64 20.14 Pang's Stead
/way Valley of the Four Winds 19.87 55.79 Stoneplow (Phase Issues, Acknowledged in Blue Post)

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Small Projects

Is your playtime limited? Are you a parent whose gaming time is precious? Or are you super busy at work and/or raiding and only have snatches of time to play other parts of the game?

My blogging colleague Gameldar used to write a blog called Wow in an Hour, in which he wrote about playing different aspects of the game when play time is limited. I, like Gameldar, have found recently that I've really had to think carefully about how I want to use the snatches of time I have available to play.

At the moment when I sit down to play for a short time, I have a number of small projects that I work on depending on what takes my fancy. There are plenty of things out there to fill up a little time!

The idea of Loremaster sounded so daunting back during Wrath, so I never ended up with one. These days it's a lot easier with addons like QuestHubber that help you to find quests you haven't done. Because I am a sucker for punishment, I decided that I should have both an Alliance and a Horde Loremaster, since the quests are different for many zones. I started a few weeks ago from the top down with Aoifen, starting with the Cataclysm zones since they are likely to take the longest. I finally finished up Vashj'ir yesterday - my goodness that place is beautiful, but it just goes on forever!

It may sound a bit ambitious but if I just do a few quests each time I log on, I'll get there eventually. Off to Northrend I go!

Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf wrote the other day about being the trials of levelling alts. The whole idea behind alts is to have a go at a different class to experience a different aspect of the game. There's no rush to maximum level - take your time, do a bit at a time. You'll never really forget how to play your main, it's like riding a bike, you just slip back into the groove!

I have a small stable of alts that I play when they take my fancy. My Horde Shadow Priest, Angelya, is just starting out in Northrend but since I'm planning making her my Horde Loremaster, it's taking a while to do zone achievements as I go. Leveling all the way to 85 then going back seems like cheating somehow, but it took me from level 65 to 70 to do Nagrand and I still don't have all the quests done for it. I really need to take off those heirlooms.

I have been trying to level baby paladins on various servers for a while now, but I'm determined to make headway into learning to tank again after hearing about a new site - Maps For Tanks. Not knowing where to go in some mid-range dungeons (Mauraudon, for example) was a major turn-off for tanking for me. The Maps For Tanks site looks so well-written I think I might just get somewhere with Eléanor.

My third alt on the current list was created for the Ironman challenge - the brainchild of Psynister and Vrykerion back in July. The idea behind the challenge is quite simple: challenge yourself by making the levelling process more difficult, since it's way too easy these days. No guild, no instances, no talents, no professions apart from first aid, no heirlooms or green or blue gear, only grey or white. I'll make a separate post about how I'm going with my Warlock, Emylia, but for now she's level 20 and starting to run into some trickier areas.

Hallow's End starts today - my favourite festival of the year! It's a great time to get your alts out and about trick-or-treating for some candy and a nice bit of experience. My candy bucket tour posts from last year (Horde/Alliance) won't be quite right any more, as some locations have changed hands or ceased to exist thanks to a certain ugly dragon, but I'll see if I can update them soon.

Edit: Now that high-level chars are able to fly between locations in the old world, it's pretty easy to get around to all the candy buckets. I recommend Wowhead's comprehensive guide to help you find them all. For low-level alts, my guides will still work, give or take a few locations in Kalimdor that have moved due to the Cataclysm. Happy bucket hunting!

Of course there are so many other things that can be done in a small portion of time - levelling professions, exploration, achievement hunting. Each of these projects can be done in pieces, whenever I find myself with some time to spare. I'm not expecting any of them to be completed very quickly but I'm enjoying each one of them in different ways.

Have you got a small project that you work on when time is limited?

What the...?

Thursday 13 October 2011

On WoW and I

Before I start let me assure you that this is not a farewell post. I haven't stopped playing WoW and I don't intend to stop blogging either, just yet.

The nature of my play has changed dramatically, though. I also came to the realisation that I haven't written anything of any substance on the blog for at least six months - I do apologise for that.

About a month ago, I nearly wrote a farewell post for the blog and actually cancelled my subscription for a couple of weeks, but it turned out all I needed was a change of pace and circumstances to get me interested in both again.

Allow me to explain.

Effin' About
The last time I wrote about guild things I was lamenting that I was never online at the same time as my new(ish) Alliance guildies of Eff the Ineffable. Before my Sproutling was born, I envisaged being online during the day a lot more. I figured I should look around for an American-time guild to play with so that I would have some guildies to do dungeons and perhaps even raid with. The Effers are a friendly bunch - in fact they're looking for healers at the moment for their raid team.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from him but Sproutling doesn't sleep during the day on any kind of schedule or for a predictable length of time. For the last six months I've had snatches of play time during the day but usually less than an hour and certainly not enough to commit to a group of any kind. I don't use the computer at all while he's awake - I feel that's a bit unfair to the little Sprout.

After about twelve weeks the Sproutling started to go to bed at a predictable time, so I was able to play in the evening more. At 4am server time, Azuremyst is pretty deserted - even the night owls like Rhii and Fizzy are offline by that time.

I began to consider going back to Oceania and finding another Aussie guild to play with, since my Horde guild on Nagrand was still deserted. Playing by yourself is all right for a little while (there's a whole 'nother post coming about that), but my Alliance druid, Aoifen, was getting very bored with pugging heroics, and the Molten Front dailies are just... so... boring...

I was burned out. I was lonely. I didn't log in for two weeks and allowed my account to lapse. I was very close to that closing-up-shop post.

What brought me back, in the end, was Transmogrification. I wanted to run old raid content and couldn't bear the thought of trying to pug it.

No Longer Vitare (it means to avoid, don'tcha know)
I've been meeting up with Lathere in real life for a while now since her Sapling and my Sprout are about the same age. She had a break from the game since her bub arrived and was just starting to get back into playing again, so, for the first time in my whole WoW career, I transferred a character to another server. Aoifen bid goodbye to Eff the Ineffable and moved to Barthilas to join Lathere, Cassandri and Velidra in Vitare.

It was awesome to actually have some green chatter going on, even if I hardly knew anyone! Since I moved over I've run tier 1, 4, 5 and 6 raids, finally seen all of Ulduar and even run through Throne of the Four Winds and Bastion of Twilight for the first time. We haven't convinced anyone to take us to Firelands yet but I hope that will happen after 4.3 arrives.

The end result in all this is that I've re-discovered what makes MMOs so awesome and that keeps me playing: Everything is more fun when you are doing it with other people.

So, I'm still playing. I still love the game - I still have things to explore and classes to level, achievements and raids to enjoy (even if they're not progression ones). The game is certainly not boring if you're willing and able to get out there and find your own fun.

On Blogging
R&R has really suffered in the last six months. Babies are exhausting - when I get to the computer I tend to want to play rather than write these days. The Mogging series was a product of that extremely bored phase where I couldn't face doing another daily.

I'm afraid it's likely to stay quiet for a little while longer, but I'll be trying to post every now and then and keep up with the Druid resources. Next year I'll be going back to work full time, which is where most of my inspiration was gathered before. I'm not sure how much time or energy I'll have for writing then, but we'll see.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all you readers for all your support over this year. I really do appreciate it! If you made it this far, you're a superstar :D


Tuesday 4 October 2011

15 Days of Screenshots: Inspiring Imagery

This post is part of a series for Saz's Through Your Interface screenshot challenge. 

Day 12: Inspiring Imagery

Show us something that inspires you within World of Warcraft.

Whitereach Post, Old Thousand Needles.

It probably comes as no surprise that images are a huge inspiration for me when it comes to writing. The image above, for example, inspired me to write a story about my shaman, Balindah.

Grizzlemaw, Grizzly Hills

Northrend is a wonderful place for big-landscape shots. It really feels like the zones were designed to be viewed from afar as well as up close, and that still inspires me to stop and take screenshots all the time while I'm there.


I wonder from time to time how life goes on in Azeroth's cities for normal citizens, especially during festival times. It's fun to wonder what our heroes get up to when they're not off fighting in wars or killing ten rats in far-flung places.

Full-size images are hosted at