A Letter

Dear World of Warcraft,

It’s been over a month since I had to cancel my subscription to you. However, in the past few days, I’ve come to an interesting revelation. Do you want to know what it is?

I can’t do it.

I tried. I genuinely tried. And it worked for a little while, but the longer I tried, the more I realized it wasn’t the same. Of course, then Blizzard put out the 5.4 trailer, and it hit me just how much I really missed the game.

It isn’t that I didn’t have other games to play. The problem, though, is that they aren’t you. They don’t capture my attention quite the same way. You are the one I love, totally and completely, and despite the amount of free-to-play games out there on the market, they don’t really compare to you.

So I’m coming back, Azeroth. Are you ready for me?


P.S.: Let’s try getting this blog back the way it should be, shall we?

Decisions, Decisions

Today, ladies and gentlemen, it is with a heavy heart that I must confess something to all of you. This hasn’t been an easy decision for me to make, but, unfortunately, it’s one that has to happen. No, this isn’t as serious of a decision as, say, closing down this blog. That’s just not going to happen. I love gaming and talking about it when I can too much to do something like that. However, your intrepid author is going to have cease coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

It isn’t a problem with the game, it’s mechanics, or the content that I never saw. I want to get that out of the way right now. The game was entertaining, and my guildies are all fantastic. However, I’ve hit a point where I’m just not having fun with it any more. I’ve seriously been coming up with ways to avoid the game because of that. It isn’t anything that anybody’s done, mind; it’s just that I’m not having the fun with it that I thought I would.

Not only that, but finances are a little limited for me right now. In the real world, I work a part-time job that currently does not give me a lot in the way of hours and I consider myself lucky that I get the shifts that I do at all. I’m looking for a second job right now (or at least something better), but until that happens, I’m limited in my funding and can only maintain one game subscription at a time. I figure that subscription should belong to a game I still actively enjoy.

So, as of today, I cancelled my SWTOR subscription. Perhaps I might pick it up again in the future, but, for right now, that’s just not in the cards.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Now, normally, you guys know I don’t do this sort of thing. I tend to leave all MMO-related news for the various MMO news sites. After all, I’ve always felt that they could do better than I could when it came to reporting said news to the world at large. However, today, Blizzard has released some interesting new information about Mists of Pandaria. The news that interested me the most, at least at first, was how the female pandaren were going to look. After the mess that turned into the female worgen model, I really was worried about how our lady pandas were going to look. And then today, when I went to check out Blizzard’s blog, I was rewarded with this:

Image © Blizzard Entertainment

LOOK AT HER. No, really, just look at her. She looks so happy and properly curvy and not a stick! I was hopeful that the model would be a bit rounder, myself, but considering the lack of bulkier women in this game, I’m happy with it as it stands. Currently, there are only three races that boast a thicker-looking female model: dwarves, orcs, and tauren. Everyone else seems to be more along the lines of a stick-figure model that you’d tend to see in everyday fashion magazines. To add another race to that tiny, tiny list makes me so ridiculously happy. You guys honestly have no idea. I hear that you can choose to be a red panda, as well, and, if you do, you get a tail. While there are screenshots of a female red panda floating around the internet, there are no shots of this mysterious tail, so I don’t know how accurate that is in the long run.

But there’s more! Today was not just about showing us all female pandas! Oh, no, there was much more to today than that. Not only is the Mists of Pandaria website updated with a whole bunch of new information and new screenshots, but today, the NDA on the press tour was finally lifted! You can read the longer version of what everybody discovered at the press tour over at MMO-Champion or check out WoW Insider’s Mists of Pandaria tag, but for those of you who only have a short amount of time, I can tell you that it looks like we have fun things coming, including an additional character slot and… Farmville, if that’s your thing. Don’t believe me? Check it out!

  • The final patch of Mists of Pandaria will be the Siege of Orgrimmar! Both factions lay siege to the city to bring Garrosh down and end his reign of Warchief.
  • The new LFR loot system will allow everyone to roll individually. The highest few rolls will win an item from the boss. Upon winning a roll, if the boss has an item that you can use, you will win it. If not, you will get some amount of gold. It will only be in LFR to begin with, but can be added to other parts of the game later.
  • An 11th character slot has been added.
  • AoE Looting has been added.
  • There will not be an item squish in Mist of Pandaria.
  • No new race models are ready to be added yet.
  • There will be nine level 90 heroics for players as well as three raids with 14 raid bosses and three difficulties. There will be an additional two world bosses.
  • Scenarios will take place at level 90, in an instance, and reward reputation and Valor points. They don’t need a healer, tank, and DPS, just DPS is fine. Each will take 10 to 30 minutes to complete and five or more will be available for launch.
  • In Challenge Modes, the vast majority of players will most likely earn a bronze medal even if they are a relatively unskilled player. After a player earns all the medals at the Bronze level, they will be rewarded with an achievement and title. Completing all of the Silver medals will earn a set of spectacular gear for transmogrification, and completing all of the gold will earn a unique epic flying mount. Challenge modes will be available for the six new dungeons at launch.
  • Cloud Serpents are the Pandaren’s mount of choice. You can raise your own by doing 20 days of daily quests.
  • The Tillers faction will let you run your own farm! The farmer’s market will provide daily quest to improve your farm every day, you will be able to clear plots of land and plant things like cooking ingredients, herbalism nodes, gifts for NPCs to build your reputation… etc.
  • Warlocks got the most class changes in MoP, along with new pets.
  • There will be more mounts and less color swaps for different rewards.
  • They are adding armor to creatures to give them varied appearances, something other than just simple color changes.
  • There are now seven zones, up from five. This was done to add more content to the game and give players a less linear progression path so that leveling for a second or third time isn’t the exact same.
  • There will be one new arena and two new battlegrounds at launch.
  • PvP pet battles are going to be fun and causal, only tracking the number of wins and not the number of losses. When fighting another player, you cannot see the other players name or communicate with them.
  • Currently, every race except Goblin and Worgen can learn the ways of the monk.
  • The pre-Mists of Pandaria Patch will be roughly two weeks before launch and bring simple rewards. It might involve a scenario with Theramore and the Alliance vs Horde theme. Chen Stormstout might also come to the local cities and get players excited about what is coming.

From the look of things, it seems like Blizzard’s trying to bring us back to the days of Vanilla WoW. There’s no Big Bad to fight, which pleases me. The idea of fighting Deathwing seemed much more impressive than the overall story really was. With MoP, there’s just pure conflict between the Alliance and the Horde, and I love the idea of it.

So am I looking forward to the new expansion? Well, if everything I’m reading about it holds true, then yes. Yes, I am. At the very least, I’ll be rolling a wonderful lady pandaren and she will be bouncy and adorable. :D

Explanations (or Why Me?)

On July 22nd, when I went to go mess with the Pen and Shield website, I discovered there was a problem. I had no idea what had happened; however, I was unable to create new posts/pages or even edit existing ones. Further experimentation revealed that, somehow, Pen and Shield’s database got corrupted, and any attempts we’ve made over the past few weeks in an effort to correct this problem have failed miserably. Sadly, folks, I honestly have no idea what happened. As far as I’m aware, it was nothing that I did, but I don’t know for sure. For all I know, the goblins and the gnomes got loose again, had a field day in the database, and tried to put things back together when they were done only to fail miserably as everything is completely borked. However, everything seems to be working as intended now, so I’m still “moving back in”, so to speak, but we are most definitely back!

Unfortunately, the experimentation we did resulted in me losing two years worth of posts. Anybody might be upset about this if it happened to them. I was for a bit, too, but then I realized it was a good thing. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the majority of the posts that were there in the first place, and the few posts that I was proud of could use a significant amount of tweaking.

For that matter, I realized I had lost focus somewhere along the way and Pen and Shield had just fallen by the wayside while I was at a loss as to what I should be blogging about. Pen and Shield has always been, first and foremost, a home for roleplaying for me. This is what I play for. I am not a raider (though I have done it in the past). I am not a hardcore PvPer (extremely casual girl here). I am a roleplayer. For me, it’s all about the characters, and I haven’t really focused enough on them. So you can expect a lot more character focus from me, as well as a lot more screenshots and the occasional meme.

However, while I have your attention, I’d like to make an announcement: Pen and Shield is expanding! That’s right, we’re not just a World of Warcraft blog anymore. WoW is my first love, and shall always be a good chunk of my focus as a result, but since my time will be split between both WoW, Star Wars: The Old Republic when it finally comes out (I’m all preordered and everything; I’m so excited), and Lord of the Rings Online (occasionally), it makes more sense to me to be expanding my focus rather than attempting to maintain five or six different blogs at once.

So, we’re back and I hope I didn’t alarm anybody by my sudden disappearance.