Category Archives: Holidays

Tidbits & A Melted Ice Stone

This week has been a very busy week for WoW players. Monday, June 21, marked the first day of the Midsummer Fire Festival in-game Holiday. We didn’t get to expereince that very long as the servers went down the next day for maintenance. I don’t know if it was revealed early or ended up being a happy surprise, but that day, 3.3.5 went live!

So now we are faced with a lot of new things to experience for the next couple of weeks and that is pretty exciting!

3.3.5

While the full patch notes can always be found here, there are some highlights to note for this patch! Note: This is not an exhaustive copy or report of the patch notes.

The Ruby Sanctum

The newest wing of the Wyrmrest Temple raid isntances has been opened. The first portal, Obsidian Sanctum, was available with the release of Wrath of the Lich King and allowed for the killing of Sartharion. This lore heavy raid instance faces the torment of Halion the Twilight Destroyer:

For ages the red dragonflight and its noble matriarch, Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, have dedicated themselves to preserving all life on Azeroth. Recently, the very heart of this virtuous dragonflight has come under threat.

An eerie silence has settled over the Ruby Sanctum, the red dragonflight’s sacred lair within the Chamber of the Aspects. This troubling development has led to fears that the sanctum, home to Azeroth’s largest clutch of red dragon eggs, has been breached by an unknown, sinister force. If these claims are true and immediate action is not taken, the benevolent red dragonflight might be crippled forever.

Real ID

This feature willl allow for cross server and faction communitcation between mutually agreed upon Real ID friends. It will allow access to see first and last names, email addresses, and all characters on the Battle.net account. I have already discussed that I will not be using this feature as some others have said as well.

General

  • The functionality of the Vote Kick feature in the Dungeon Finder will now behave differently according to a player’s history with the system. Players using the Dungeon Finder who rarely vote to kick players from a group, or rarely abandon groups before a dungeon is complete, will find that the Vote Kick option will have no cooldown. For players who frequently abandon groups or vote to kick other players, the Vote Kick option will be kept on a cooldown. This functionality will adjust itself as a player’s behavior while using the Dungeon Finder changes.
  • I think that the changes made to the vote-to-kick option is great. It incorporates the player, acknowleding through system use that they are a person and that they do have behavior patterns. I am not a frequent user of the option, I have only initiated one vote ever, which could be one too many but the level of douche-baggery was reaching an all time high. All the same, perhaps the benefit of no-cooldown will encourage players to use the option appropriately rather than haphazardly because someone is going too slow or being to nice.

    User-Interface

    • Chat Frame
      • Players can now right-click on any chat type (Whisper, Trade, General, Party, Raid, etc.) and choose to move conversation types into separate windows. This will move that chat type to a separate tab in the Chat frame which can be undocked and moved anywhere on the screen.
        • Using the Move to Whisper Window option on a Whisper will place the conversation with that player in a separate tab.
        • Any time a conversation with another player is put into its own tab, the tab will glow when a new message is received.
      • Hovering over the Chat Frame and using the mouse wheel will allow players to scroll through chat text.
      • Players can select Classic Mode under Interface Options to keep the Chat Frame functionality closer to what it was prior to patch 3.3.5.
      • The Simple Chat User Interface option has been removed.

    This should help you from losing any whispers while hanging around in trade chat. I don’t know about you but that happens to me often! So this overall, while it may be worded to sound complicated should be helpful overall.

    Known Issues

    As with any patch, Blizzard has issued a blue post listing known bugs and problems that have developed with the release of 3.3.5. While the list is large, here is the tidbits that directly effect most game play for end-game raiders and dungeon runners:

  • Pit of Saron – Scourgelord Tyrannus can remount Rimefang during the encounter.
  • The last remaining player in a random instance group can miss out on Random Dungeon loot
  • Icecrown Citadel – Kinetic Bombs will occasionally spawn outside of the encounter area.
  • Players from different servers can’t trade dungeon items necessary to progress through the dungeon.
  • Ambassador Hellmaw is invisible while affected by Banish.
  • Frostwing Whelp’s will aggro players who stand next to the wall on the upper ledge of The Frost Queen’s Lair.
  • The Twilight Orbs periodically disappear during Phase 2 of the Halion encounter.
  • Halion has an incorrect attachment point for Hunter’s Mark.
  • The Fire Festival!

    As a Phoenix lover, I really enjoy this holiday. In all of its flame celebrating glory, I just feel all Phoenixy and it is awesome! This is not a guide to the festival, which may or may not make its way out of my brain onto this blog, rather an encompassing look at the holiday.

    This holiday includes a lot of different aspects. It has its PVP oriented achievemet, King of the Fire Festival, where you have to infiltrate the opposing faction’s cities to steal their flames. It requires a lot of traveling to extinguish the flames of Kalimdor & Eastern Kingdoms; while you’re at it, desecrate the Alliance/Horde flames along the way for that achievement too!

    There has been some debate over the changes done the the holiday boss, Ahune the Ice Lord. In previous years, he has dropped the pet Scrorching; this year, with his Level 80 make-over, he has taken to dropping a “chip off the old block”!

    Along the way, you will want to acquire a smokin’ hot outfit and take up juggling as a new form of entertainment!

    With that said, I wish you the best in any of the ventures you decide to take part in with the new expereinces and sincerely hope that you enjoy them.

    Keep a mop handy, that is a big Ice Stone!

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    Filed under Holidays, Patches & X-Packs

    For the Children!

    Yes, it is that time of year again when Children’s Week has finally rolled around. This holiday stirs up a lot of emotions for a lot of people. From adopted children to the PVP haters, this holiday has something in store to kick up the heat for everyone. This post turned out to be a mini-guide to the School of Hard Knocks, while I am not sure how that happened, I still encourage you to check out Wowhead’s full out guide to the holiday as well!

    Reflecting back on the Brewfest changes a couple patches ago, you know when they removed Strange Brew from the meta, makes me wonder why exactly they haven’t removed School of Hard Knocks from this meta. I don’t intend to rant or rave about as there is enough of that already, but I still dislike this intently.

    This achievement is not for the feint hearted or for those who never intended to PVP. This achievement not only forces you to enter battlegrounds but requires you to be tactical. Unlike the Merrymaker achievement, With a Little Helper from my Friends, you have to perform actual duties and roles in the battleground. For some, myself included, this is a great difficulty because these objectives are things that I usually have trouble with in general, let alone my achievement depending on it.

    Return a Fallen Flag in Warsong Gulch

    This doesn’t seem difficult in any sense, but even in a normal bg week you have 3-4 defenders around an EFC (enemy flag carrier), all clicking their hearts out to get that flag return. It is possible, to see some altruism in the flag returns when no other enemies are around to share the returns for this achievement, but this opportunity may be far and few in between.

    If you are having difficulty with this achievement and are looking to make an offensive move check the map for typical EFC locations.

    Typical EFC Locations

    While waiting for one flag to drop, flag carriers tend to hide on the roof of their respective bases, but be careful, they usually have defense (either a healer or DPS). Some flag carriers feel they are invincible and run around mid-field in combat, showing off their illustrious battle-harden skills. Mid-field is also a good place for a 360 look on where the flag carrier is if they just picked up. Listen and utilize /bg chat to talk to your teammates about where the EFC is and the party surrounding them.

    Assault a Flag in Arathi Basin

    This is not too difficult. Capping the farm for the Horde/stables for the Alliance is relatively easy with no competition other than your fellow allies trying to get cap credit. If you see a plain gray flag, it has yet to be assaulted and is free game. If the flag has a gray, enemy logo, it has been assaulted and you must either defend (which doesn’t count for this achievement) or wait to assault it once they have claimed it.

    If your PVP skills aren’t what they “should” be, you’re riding solo, or in general want to avoid confrontation, up your view distance to see the enemies at any given base. This will help you decided whether that flag is a viable target or if you should ride out to another base. An important fact to note, when capping a flag, the channel is interruptable and the person who tagged it first will gain the credit. However, just because someone is going for the credit, don’t bail out, they may get interrupted, leaving you with a completed objective!

    Capture the Flag in Eye of the Storm

    This is also a relatively easy achievement. Eye of the Storm is kind of a mesh up between WSG/AB. You have the concept of capturing the flag from mid-field but you must also assaultthe bases and hold the forts for resource points. However, to cap the base you must just be present, there is no base assaulting flag thing. Fights at mid-field for the flag go 2 ways. There is no one there or EVERYONE is there it seems. By turning your view distance up you can monitor the population to know the appropriate and easiest moment to grab the flag.

    Flag at mount in mid-field**

    When carrying the flag as a paladin, don’t bubble! You will drop it. Don’t mount. Rogues can sprint, mages can blink, druids can cat (maybe even travel form?), etc. Once you have the flag cross/back-track the bridge and bee-line for the base. All you have to do is run over the flag mount and get the credit. On a side note, Eye of the Storm is my favorite!

    Assault a tower in Alterac Valley

    Places to Assault

    Warning: Your hair may experience a bald spot as you pull it out in frustration.

    A small tip, as I am not skilled in much of this battleground (most of my expereince entails simply keeping people alive while following them around), is this: you may want to do this with a companion so that one can take the NPC aggro, while the other assaults the flag for credit. I don’t have much in the way to offer about strategy here other than “Ride out, young fighter! Ride as fast as you can to the Stonehearth Bunker with your companion!” That is in a nutshell how I, alongside my boyfriend, got this objective 4 times.

    Once all of these objectives are complete, the achievement will finally be earned and well deserved!

    There are five other achievements that you will need to work on for the meta but they are fun and lively! No farming and only one instance required! If this is your first Children’s Week, please note that you will not be getting Veteran Nanny any time soon but it is not part of the meta either!

    There are three orphans you have the chance to take care of for the reward of three different mini-pets, an orc/human in Azeroth, Blood Elf/Draeni in Outlands, and Wolvar/Oracle in Northrend! Classic and fun, babysitting Baby Salandria is AMAZING. In an RP glory, she is a baby Tar and that is just awesome.

    So go out and enjoy the holiday, drown your PVP sorrows, and have a baby! But remember this holiday is a short one and is over (conveniently) on Mother’s Day!

    **Image found on thottbot but is self hosted.

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    Filed under Achievements, Holidays

    An Egg-Hunt Wrap-UP

    Today was the last day of the extraordinary blogging egg hunt! I was able to send in my list of found eggs just in the nick of time Angelya posted the winners: Congrats to Rades & Poneria. I would have loved to win but alas I got tripped up and failed to find 3 eggs: Stories of WoW, Light in the Nether, and Pugging Pally. Like I said, I enjoyed placing my egg up on the site but alas, it is gone now. In addition to removing the egg, I have revealed the new theme and settings that I have been working on. I am pretty content with the new layout and really enjoy the look. I hope my site-readers do too!

    In light of failing at the egg hunt, let me share a positive note: I earned the achievement [Three Car Garage (10 Man)] and got my T10 chest piece today!

    I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Noblegarden and if you’re a mage, I hope you come across the [Tome of Polymorph Rabbit]!

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    Filed under Blogging, Holidays

    Noblegarden Egg Hunt

    We here at A Healadin’s Tear…okay just me…are taking part in Angelya’s (over at Revive & Rejuvenate) Noblegarden Egg Hunt! Somewhere around this site you will find an egg. No, I won’t show you what it looks like, that gives you an advantage. I am not savvy with HTML, graphics, or anything of the like but I did have fun getting this ready! I will put it up at Midnight EST; at that point, it is officially Easter Noblegarden.

    Be sure to check out: How to Hunt Eggs if you haven’t already and check back on Sunday!

    Be sure to keep a check on her site for full list of over 40 blog sites that are participating and remember to have fun! You get awesome prizes if you win but in the end it is a fun and exciting way to check out new blogs!

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    Filed under Blogging, Holidays

    Love is NOT in the Air

    The month of February is chocked full of holiday events. It is the only month in-game that is 75% holiday celebration. But you can feel free to scratch that celebration part. Now, in my heart of hearts, February is a month of mourning.

    One of my favorite things to do in game with my boyfriend is holiday events. We had our violet proto drakes as soon as Brewfest rolled around in 2009. Even before achievements existed it was just something we did together. Kissing revelers under mistletoe, stealing fire from the alliance that didn’t burn through our backpacks, having a baby orc that picks his nose follow us around, and even try to gussy up and kiss abominations in Undercity…you know, normal, every-day stuff.

    So we roll around and do every holiday the way it is supposed to be done and have a blast doing it. As achievements change and they want you to stay intrigued they also start to add holidays and change the way some are done. I give props to the new holiday Pilgrim’s Bounty; it was a blast and made a difficult profession simple to level. I also have no problem with the way they changed Noble Garden, making it last a couple weeks instead of 1 day of nothing.

    However…

    I detest what they have done with Love is in the Air (February 7 – February 20). The thing that I dislike about WoW the most is farming. I don’t have the patience to do it. I buy mats, I horde what I do mine/skin/etc. That may even be part of why I like holidays so much, it breaks up the monotony of the same-thing-day-after-day feeling. But what have they done? They have gone and made Love is in the Air a farming expedition. I don’t want to whine, rant, and rave but I do want to know why. What was so wrong about the way it was done? Sure, it left your achievements to chance but it encouraged you to do what you were supposed to…kiss the guards! Once an hour, every hour.

    But let us take a look at one achievement that was drastically changed and analyze what it means now: [Charming]. Previously, the achievement was called [Heartmender] and required you to mend the broken hearts of 20 people. Given that you can no longer kiss the guards to become heartbroken, the achievement no longer exists. The new object of the achievement is to create 12 Lovely Charm Bracelets. After getting everything you need to do the quest (Lovely Charm Collector’s Kit)you have to go about Azeroth, killing things that would grant you experience/honor (new rule: it also has to be a lootable kill). It takes 10 Lovely Charms to make a bracelet, so you have to have a told of 120 charms and they are not 100% drops. When the event started, there was an exploit that allowed players to kill dwarves in Ulduar with siege vehicles and receive around 400 charms in 30 minutes, that was quickly hot-fixed. As those mobs are not lootable, the instilled the new rule stated above.

    That left me in a very bad place; all my friends had done the Ulduar trick…even my boyfriend did it while I was asleep. So I was stuck, on my mage, trying to find a place with quick respawns, still would grant experience, and had a mass number of mobs. I flew all over Azeroth for an hour trying the Inventor’s Library in Storm Peaks (Mobs were to spread out and slow to spawn), I tried killing wolvar in Sholazar Basin (they didn’t drop anything), and before I knew about the hot-fix I even earned the achievement [Dwarfageddon (25 Player)] in Ulduar! I finally settled (and in a very bad mood) outside Wyrmrest Temple killing revenants; even there, the achievement took around two hours.

    I was not in a very good mood after that; it is even more of a damper that they have added this new boss into my favorite low level dungeon and I haven’t heard of a single mount drop. This spectacular mount that looks awesome (should you love the color pink like I do) is apparently very elusive.

    This boss also drops a pet that is similar to the Disgusting Oozling. You can also find yourself with a new epic iLvl226 necklace for any class and spec.

    Most of the other achievements, if not all, have remained the same. However, everything is no longer soulbound, and because of that, it has driven the market into a frenzy. Love Rockets on Durotan for 10g each! 10 Rose pedals on Shadow Council for 45g! Buttermilk Delights for over 50g on a “good” day! The economy doesn’t know what it is going on! I hate to say it but Love is in the Air has been turned into Valentine’s Day…just another consumer driven must-have-celebration.

    The end of that rant brings me to the fact that February shares not only Love is in the Air but also Lunar Festival (February 14 – March 6). I am glad to say that this holiday seems to remain 100% the same. Aside from hating the holiday in general, you still do the same quests, kill the same boss, spend the same amount of time fussing over the Elders and traveling around Azeroth. Some people love this holiday, not sure why as I can’t stand it, but with nothing changing, I don’t have to do it on Tarinae! If you haven’t got the chance to start your work on it, and hope that you can make a continuation from last year…you should brace yourself for the fact that achievement progress has been erased. Everyone I know that was close to being finished has to restart the whole process and we haven’t been able to find an explanation on why. But I wish you the best of luck. Wowhead has merged all the elder’s locations onto a single map here on their Lunar Festival Guide. I think you will find it most helpful!

    When all is said and done, I am still “the Love Fool” on all my characters (well, I’m still working on my hunter) and will probably get one more to “Elder” status because that is just what I do. But I think my voice matters, my opinion counts for something…maybe. It is important to note here, that throughout all of Love is in the Air, I still had the most fun with the Secret Admirer Project…it is a shame you missed it if you did.

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    Filed under General Warcraft, Holidays