Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

Just after Cataclysm came out I decided it was time to take a break from WoW. I had been playing since Vanilla and was just downright bored. After nearly two years away from the game I found myself curious about the new expansion. Pandas!? I mean, there are so many possibilities for Blizzard to turn into content, but I didn’t think it would be the Pandaren. Alas, it was, and I was finding myself itching to know more. I finally relented and bought the expansion and fired up my WoW account once again.

Some things hadn’t changed, others were incredibly different. For people who are coming back to the game, here are some things I learned either by accident or with the help of some friends that you might want to learn about too.

  1. Core Abilities Tab – This tab tells you about your most important spells, and when you should use them. Having been away for a while I found this tab to be awesome at refreshing my memory at how to play the various classes. You can find this under your profession/spell book page.
  2. What’s Changed Tab – There’s a tab that explains what recent changes have been made to your class. I’m one of those people that usually reads the patch notes in depth, but if I wanna get lazy about it I’m glad that this tab is there.
  3. Dungeon Journal – It’s like Atlas Loot, but also explains boss abilities, and information about a dungeon in addition to listing the possible loot. Extra bonus, it has filters to narrow down not only your class, but your spec, too! You can view this by pressing Shift+J.
  4. Pet/Mount Journal – There was a tab for this before, but now it’s got it’s own journal. In addition to simply being a place to access all your collections, it’s also the interface for pet battling. You can access this by pressing Shift+P.
  5. AOE Looting – This is one of those things I had to figure out. I was killing groups of mobs, but could only loot one. Gone are the days of looting every body, now it’s just one and done!
  6. Pet Battles – It’s like Pokemon, but in WoW! Remember all those vanity pets you collected up over the years? Now you get to battle other pets! You can even capture new pets in the wild. It even has a host of achievements to go along with it all.
  7. Daily Quests – Ok, daily quests aren’t new. In fact, they aren’t generally a favorite either, but the cap is now gone… and I have one friend who called this the “Expansion of Dailies” and I’d have to agree.
  8. Scenarios – It’s like a mini dungeon, but only requires 3 people, has a really short queue, and rewards you with gold and Valor points. These are great options for people who want to do something outside of the usual dungeon crawl.
  9. All the Usual Changes – All those things you expect to see in a new expansion such as new dungeons, gear, abilities, locations, profession changes, et all. I would love to list them all here, but that is something I’d like to expand upon more in another post.

For all that has changed, the game is still the same at heart. It’s a place to be social, have fun, and explore the lore that is Warcraft. I’m glad to be back and if you’re thinking about coming back, don’t forget about those Scrolls of Resurrection, if you qualify, you can automatically have a toon leveled to 80 for you. I’ll see you out in the World.

Welcome Isabella and Eisen

Well, we’re back from our visit to Milwaukee to pick out our newest family member. All that fuss about selecting a name and the kids did the most wonderful thing… they found a dog they liked right away, and knew her name almost as instantly. They settled on a female, which I am totally ok with, and they named her Isabella, or “Izzy” for short. Izzy is smaller than her brother, but her colors are beautiful and her fur is far softer than his. She likes to hop about, she mistakes Lillie for a sibling puppy, and she likes to snuggle up and be held. She’s my kind of dog for sure. Bonus… Garen seemed to really like her as well.

Eisen is Bill’s pup. Larger than Izzy, Eisen has a very square head. His fur is kinda course but his colors are even darker and prettier than Izzy’s. His paws are huge! He’ll be a big dog for sure. Eisen seems to be a bit afraid of heights so he doesn’t like to be picked up as much as his sister, but he does snuggle up to people’s feet like Izzy does. Both pups are doing great on the housebreaking… and they are rather playful. They pick on each other quite a bit, but all in all they’re really good dogs.

Taking the kids to pick the dogs out turned out to be a wonderful idea. Lillie ran right into the litter of 7 puppies, even with mom and daddy dog barking madly from their kennels. That day was the pups first day outside, and they got ran around like crazy thanks to Hayden and Lillie. Hayden was a bit more timid about simply diving into a pack of puppies, but he eventually came around, too.

Sadly, we had to leave Izzy with Bill and Eisen until after our planned trip to Disney World this summer. I didn’t have it in me to ask someone to watch such a young pup, and Bill’s brother Len was more than willing to take in both pups for that week. So until June we’ll have to settle for seeing her on the webcam… but at least she gets to spend a bit more time with her brother.

Here is a video of the kids meeting the dogs for the first time and some pics of selecting and then playing with our new family members… enjoy!

Hayden and Lillie playing with pups at the breeder’s
Lillie holding Izzy at the breeders
Izzy in the foreground and Eisen in the background at the breeder’s
Me and Izzy
Bill and Eisen
Izzy and Eisen (She’s got pink, he’s got blue)
Izzy chillin’ in the back yard
Eisen who’d recently finished chewing on my shoe.

Photobucket