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Know Your Lore: Never to rise again {WoW}

Apr 4th 2012 6:44PM Good article, and I wish it could be all tied together to make sense like this. I've basically given up trying to make sense of the contradictory and vague lore surrounding the Lich King.

The Rise of the Lich King book, the "once a shaman" comment, the Yogg brain room vision, the Mathias questline, Tirion destroying the heart, Uther's ghost's message, the "must always be a Lich King" clause, Jaina's post-Halls of Reflection realization that there is nothing left of the man she loved (yet he kept her necklace...), the last-minute interaction between Arthas and Terenas, Bolvar's voice change... It's just a giant mess of conflicting messages.

I tried and tried to make sense of it at the time but finally came to the conclusion that it was a case of too many writers trying to put in their own perspectives. I would thrilled if there was some coherent plan behind it all, though.

Spiritual Guidance: First hands-on look at the Mists of Pandaria shadow priest {WoW}

Apr 4th 2012 5:35PM Figures, my shadow priest alt JUST hit 85 last night and I've been enjoying the playstyle a lot. Of course they have to change everything now. /facepalm

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite pet? {WoW}

Apr 4th 2012 5:32PM My main has Murky out 90% of the time. I wanted him SO badly when I first saw him online, but there was no way I could go to Blizzcon '05 to get him. I pooled the money I got from my grandmother and other relatives for Christmas and got a code for him off eBay. It was over $120 then but I was so in love with that murloc that I just had to have it. I know now the codes sell for thousands of dollars, so I was lucky, but it still seemed like a ridiculous amount to pay for a little virtual fish creature.
I've never regretted it, though. Murky has been my sidekick throughout my greatest adventures in WoW, his little webbed feet slapping along behind me for all these years.

The few times I don't have Murky out on my main, I usually have Li'l Deathwing (it's nice to have a flying pet following me when I fly around doing Archaeology) or a pet that matches the instance/holiday/location I'm in (i.e. get out a red whelpling for questing around the Vermillion Debout, Onyxian whelpling for Onyxia's Lair, Squashling for Headless Horseman, etc.) But mostly it's just me and Murky against the great big world (of Warcraft). ;)

At first I could only have him on one character, my main, but then sometime in Wrath they made his egg account-bound, so I mailed him around to all nine of my alts on my home server. I actually don't bring him out on my alts too often, though. He's my main's sidekick, and that's special.

As for my alts, some of them have particular pets who are their signature companion, too. My warlock has a Dark Whelpling for RP-related reasons, my rogue has a Sprite Darter, etc. Other alts cycle through all sorts of random pets when the mood strikes me.

Of monks, mains, and the ability to change {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2012 9:32PM I have never changed my main. Skarlette was my first character, and she's the one with all the mounts, pets, tabards, achievements, rep and experiences. She delved the depths of Molten Core, squished bugs at the AQ gate opening, stormed the Dark Portal, melted Icecrown glacier, and braved the chaos of Cataclysm. I can't imagine having any other avatar in the game world.

What changes for me is my "main alt." My mage is always the main, and I have a ton of lesser alts, but in any expansion I usually have one alt who gets more attention than any of the others. In classic WoW it was a rogue, in TBC it was a warlock, in WotLK it was a DK (and a paladin, actually), and in Cataclysm it's been a priest (and a hunter, somewhat.)

Basically, I am a mage at heart and even as the class evolves and changes I still always find something to love about it. As other classes change, though, my enthusiasm for playing them can wax and wane significantly. So I can understand how someone can switch mains. If I hadn't been lucky enough to hit on my favorite class on a first try, I'd probably do that, too.

Breakfast Topic: WoW Mad Libs {WoW}

Apr 1st 2012 12:05AM Laughed myself silly. I hope this becomes a regular feature, hopefully with a word list above a cut and story below so we can do it ourselves without being spoiled.

I LOVE Mad Libs!

World of Warcraft Mega Bloks season 1 revealed {WoW}

Mar 31st 2012 2:02PM MUST...HAVE...DEATHWING...TOY!!!! AND ARTHAS!! OMG!!!

*ahem* Right, I'm an adult. I should be mature and not... er... OMG SQUEE DEATHWING FIGURE!!!

100,000 beta invites on their way for Annual Pass subscribers {WoW}

Mar 30th 2012 1:41AM Got my MoP beta invite! WOOHOO! Now if only I didn't work the next five days in a row, and if only it would let me connect to the beta server... *bites nails*

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Vendor filters make sorting items easier {WoW}

Mar 29th 2012 11:49PM Wow, I was just browsing for JP/VP gear last night and wishing there was a feature like this. I'm psychic!

The Queue: I need to read more {WoW}

Mar 28th 2012 2:03PM As has been mentioned many times, G.R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books (the basis for HBO's Game of Thrones) is an amazing series and one of my favorites. I wrote in a reply to a previous comment about my great love for the work of Brandon Sanderson, and he would be my top recommendation for anyone looking for awesome fantasy.

A few I haven't seen mentioned as much:

If you're looking for good Sci-Fi you can't go wrong with Arthur C. Clarke. Rendezvous with Rama is good, as is Childhood's End and the 2001 series.

For somewhat younger readers (ages 10-16, approx.) I recommend the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, especially the first few that were published. They do get repetitive after awhile if you try to read them all, but the first three (Redwall, Mossflower and Mattimeo) hold up very well when re-read as an adult. Each volume in the series is pretty much stand-alone. No humans, just talking animals, but it's not all cutesy-cutesey.

Also in the young adult range, but also very good, is John Christopher's Tripods trilogy, starting with The White Mountains. It's basically an alternate universe where the aliens in The War of the Worlds remembered to get their vaccinations before they invaded earth, and win. All three books are quite short, so it's a quick read, but it's a fun series.

It's been over a decade since I read David Eddings' series, the Belgariad (and its sequel, the Mallorean), but I remember them fondly. Formulaic in parts, yes, but also snarky and funny, and epic in scope, and with some really memorable characters. I also liked the Eddings other old series, the Tamuli (which also has a sequel series, the Elenium, if my memory serves), which is similar in tone to the Belgariad/Mallorean so it may seem a bit repetitive if you read them too close together, but is still quite entertaining.

Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to what is probably my favorite book of all time: Richard Adams' Watership Down. I've heard it described as "Homer's Odyssey with rabbits" but that only scrapes the surface. It's an epic heroes' journey about the destruction of one's homeland and the struggle to find or found a new one. Yes, the characters are rabbits, but they aren't anthropomorphic. They hop, run, tunnel, graze and fight (yes, fight) just like wild rabbits. It's a tale about leadership, destiny, dystopia, friendship, survival, community and venturing into the complete unknown.

The Queue: I need to read more {WoW}

Mar 28th 2012 1:43PM I was about to write the very same recommendation. The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. Great characters (both male and female ones), a really unique magical system, tons of mysteries, and some trope-shattering plot twists that will give you mental whiplash (in a good way). I cannot recommend that series highly enough! His standalone novels are great, too.