Monday, 25 June 2012

Introducing The Real Me, A Message & A Plea

I don't often talk about my life on here - this is a WoW blog after all but shit just got really real here at Casa Nev & I need to make some changes so here goes. If you don't want to read all the blubby stuff inbetween, there's a TL:DR bit at the bottom ok? :P Settle down, this could take a while :)

May I Introduce Helen

First off, I want to introduce the real me - not Nev, Lyss, ArtyAllsorts or Gala98, me - Helen Shorey. I've always kept the various parts of my internet life separate so as not to bore photographers with WoW stuff & vice versa but now I want to pull all of you together, you'll see why in a little while.

I'm eclectic - I write 3 blogs or more (actually, I've lost track!) as well as a few guest posts here & there (not all WoW), I have my Squidoo friends, my Etsy friends, my Microstock friends & of course, all my lovely fellow WoW addicts. All of you know me by the name I chose for that 'category' of my life online but I can only make one page for this so I need to come out of the closet at last. I'm me, just Helen, a girl with lots of interests & lots of curiosity about all sorts of stuff.

The Story

So long story shortened a fair bit - I found a lump in my breast about 3 weeks ago. Not a huge one but still much bigger than I ever expected to find. My Mum & grandma both had breast cancer so I've been very careful about checking regularly. Just 2 months ago, there was nothing to be found, now, it feels about 2inches long.

I've had the usual tests & got my results earlier this week - it is definitely cancer but the bad news was that it is a type 3 (for my American friends, not stage 3, that's different again!), which as far as I understand so far, that means fast growing with the potential to be aggressive. I had a week of waiting for results & I felt that I had accepted the cancer part & I knew from experience that it would require surgery to remove said lump. I was ok with that - it's just a bit of fatty flesh after all.

I wasn't prepared at all for the Doctor's  decision though - due to the speed & aggressiveness, they want to make sure & play safe by taking the whole breast - that shocked me to the core & I almost howled there & then. I've calmed down a lot in just 2 or 3 days - now I only howl occasionally :)

So now I'm waiting for a date for my surgery & then about 8 weeks after that, I will probably start chemotherapy. The full treatment plan will be decided after my operation - whilst they are in there, they will check my lymph nodes to see if its started to spread - if it has, then the treatment plan will change but for now, it's op & chemo.

The Plea

So why am I telling the whole world about this? Because one idea that hit me the day of the tests & being told even then that he was pretty certain it was cancer, was to do something positive. I have long hair & it is very thick & chemotherapy will most likely rob me of it for a while. I decided I wasn't going to just let that happen, it's my hair, I'll decide where it goes! So I am going to donate my ponytail to a charity that makes wigs for children suffering with cancer & hair loss.

OK, so that still doesn't really involve you guys does it? Well, here's the other bit - I want your money! I'd like you all to 'sponsor' me to cut it off - I've created a page on JustGiving where you can help me raise money for a fantastic support charity - Breast Cancer Care. I will admit, reading the information there scared me shitless at first but it gave me enough knowledge to take in what the Specialist told me this week without asking what every little bit meant.

You can donate easily via Paypal as much or as little as you wish. Any UK donations will also qualify for Gift Aid - a tax break for charities - just tick the box on the site to make sure the Inland Revenue refunds the tax bit to the charity.

I'm going to be tweeting, Facebooking & blogging about this for a while to come - I'd like to ask you to spread my message & help me raise this cash. Retweeting, FB liking or even just a link somewhere to my charity page would all help. As an online community, our power to do some good is amazing - we stretch across the world like a spiderweb, all of us just reaching a few others outside our circle.

I have some good support around me, Mum of course, is being wonderful even though it must bring back all her own memories. Dad is head chauffeur & dealing with official stuff with me & my long time best friend & sister in law is her usual no-nonsense kick butt self. But online I have some very special people too & I'd like to publicly thank Scott, Rob & Michelle for all their loving support from the first horrible day. I'm not sure that I would be this positive already without them - I love you guys, thank you <3

I can beat this thing & with your help, we can help these charities to help others to beat it too.

The Message

Yes, I'm still talking! I have one more important thing to say & this is probably more important than asking for your cash.

LADIES - check yourself! Every month, just have a good feel around. Next time you visit your Doc, ask them to show you how to do it properly & get used to doing it yourself. Learn what feels normal for you & if something changes - DON'T HANG AROUND, GET IT CHECKED please :) Mine appeared in under 8 wks, you may not have time to faff around - just go get it checked.

GENTS - not only can you check your girls' boobies under the name of fun :P but you should check yourselves too - guys do have some breast tissue there even if you don't have moobs. Guys can get breast cancer too so same thing applies - check yourself & get any changes checked out.


I am Helen, I just got breast cancer & I want your money for charity! (There - see, I can do short sentences sometimes!!! lol)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Vendor Herb Supplies for Making Starter Gold in WoW

Herbs in Boots
So I've mentioned before about buying some herbs from various vendors to sell on the Auction House for starter cash but whilst I was farming recently, I stumbled over Vi'el in Winterspring & found that he sells Gromsblood. I was there for a little while so I managed to raid his limited supply 3 times & ended up with 8 Gromsblood. When I went to the Auction House with them, they were listed at around 15 gold each!

That got me thinking about what other herbs might be available from vendors so I spent a little while on Wowhead having a look & decided to summarise them here. As I expected, there aren't many higher level herbs available from vendors but the ones that are available are usually expensive on the Auction House so may be worth picking up if you're in the relevant areas.

Starter Cash - Alliance

Stormwind, Maria Lumere, Alchemy Supplies, Mage Quarter
The Exodar, Altaa, Alchemy Supplies, Vaults of Lights
- sells peacebloom, silverleaf, earthroot, mageroyal, bruiseweed, wild steelbloom, kingsblood and liferoot (40 copper to 1silver 20copper)

Stormwind, Bernard Gump, Florist, outer edge of Trade District, Old Town side
Elwynn Forest to Redridge, Antonio Perelli, travelling salesman
Wetlands, Kixxle, by a cart at junction of main road & the road to Dun Modr in the North
 - sells earthroot, mageroyal, bruiseweed, wild steelbloom, kingsblood and liferoot (80 copper to 3silver)

Starter Cash - Horde

Silvermoon City, Melaris, Alchemy Supplies, nr Court of the Sun
- sells peacebloom, silverleaf, earthroot, mageroyal, bruiseweed, wild steelbloom, kingsblood & liferoot (40 copper to 1 silver 20 copper)

Northern Barrens, Hula'mahi, The Crossroads
Ghostlands, Rathis Tomber, near Tranquillien
Tirisfal Glades, Selina Weston, Brill
- sells peacebloom, silverleaf, earthroot, mageroyal, bruiseweed (40 copper to 1 silver )

Higher Level Areas

Winterspring, Vi'el, Exotic Goods, Frostwhisper Gorge - sells Gromsblood 10silver

Netherstorm, Dealer Sadaqat, Stormspire
Isle of Quel'Danas, Mar'nah
- sells icecap, felweed, dreaming glory, netherbloom & mana thistle (10-60 silvers)

My New Server Start Up Process

When I start on a new server, I usually level a banker alt to level 5 before running them to Stormwind (my bankers are nearly always human!). On average, my alt leaves Northshire with around 9 silvers & I run her straight to Maria Lumere, the alchemy supplies girl in the Mage Quarter. Watching my pennies, I buy whatever herbs she has available, making sure I still have 1 silver left for each type of herb I buy so the Auction House listing fee is covered. So if I can get 3 types of herb from her, I must keep back at least 3 silvers to be able to list them!

Then I go and create my new character that I'm going to play & level her for a while. Once she has done a little questing, she will start to pick up linen & other bits that I can sell - I post them to my bank alt & often add a little cash too - after all, she doesn't have anything left until those initial auctions sell.

Depending on what time of day I am playing, I will often log in & out of both alts quite a bit at first - getting the questing going & sending stuff across to sell then logging banker to get all these goodies listed. This way, I also see when the initial herbs sell & pick up that extra cash quickly.Then it's back to the alchemy supplies & off to the florist to pick up whatever herbs I can & get them listed too.

Rinse & repeat until you have a nice little stash of gold then I hit the cooking recipes guy in Stormwind Old Town - approx 1 gold will get you about 10 recipes - all of which sell for anywhere between 2 - 30 gold each although they don't sell as quickly as they used to.

So there you go, an easy & fairly painless way to get those first dribbles of cash into your pockets on a new character. To my more experienced readers - Is this what you do or do you have another method of getting that initial cash?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Project Shoofly - Update 16th June

It's been a bit of a weird, hellish week but I did manage to put another 5 levels on my baby priest - she's growing up now though - level 35! Woo hoo! I have been asking myself why I chose a priest to level for this. Although the questing is more straightforward than it used to be, it still feels very slow - I think it's the lack of heirlooms, the seemingly long cast times & of course, I'm horde now so I get lost more often!

Being Horde though, I knew about the battered leather set that they could buy from the vendor in Silvermoon - so in the absence of any pretty dresses, my little warrior banker went for the sexy red leather! Not a transmog, she is only level 5 but nice for running around town anyway.

As for the Auction House - well you can see from the screenshot, I broke through the 1000 gold mark to almost 1600 gold now. I had a lucky drop of Silver-thread Boots which boosted my total almost 200 gold - probably should have gone higher but the Auction House seems very quiet these days The Dalaran Wizard's Robe also helped boost my total but that's been hanging around for weeks. Nice little boost but not really something to try for when leveling.

I also made a boo-boo by listing my Goldthorn so cheaply - I have some listed at the moment for around 10 gold each - selling at 2 gold something was guaranteed income as someone snatched a bargain almost as soon as I listed them.

I've managed to keep my herbing & skinning almost at the correct level for my questing area - I'm in The Hinterlands area right now - did I mention I hate those darned troll ruins - up & down, one or two quests at a time then kill all way back up to do the next couple of quests then back down again, rinse, repeat, try not to scream in frustration too loudly & not even a blue quality quest reward at the end of it all - arrgghhh!

Anyway, not sure how far I'm going to get with this for a while. Real life sucks big time at the moment, stealing not only playtime but inclination to play, even when I have the time. It is one of my easier little projects though so I hope I can keep going. Stay tuned to find out if I do :P

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Project Shoofly - Update

So it's been a few weeks since I logged my baby horde priest for the Project Shoofly stuff - between my holiday & recovering/getting back to normal, I haven't really had the inclination to play much. I have been popping in at random to post the few bits that haven't sold yet so I thought I'd just pop an update post here for now.

As of Friday evening, 8th June, Shoofly officially hit 1000 gold - just stuff picked up, looted or purchased whilst out levelling. The whole idea behind this project, is to try to think like a novice goldmaker - selling everything I pick up & maybe any vendor recipes that I come across. I thought it would be interesting to see just how much gold one can pick up/make whilst just levelling.

This represents almost the last few pieces my project banker had left to sell - I think there is one Lynx Steak recipe & one Dalaran Wizard's Robe left to sell & then I must get back to leveling.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

What To Look Out For When Levelling a New Alt

It always surprises me how quickly Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival rolls around. This month the topic fits in very nicely with my two ongoing subjects - Project Shoofly (levelling like a newbie gold maker) & my farming series. So June's topic is:
What Are Some Things You Recommend Players Look Out For While Leveling A New Character In WoW?

This is actually quite a wide ranging subject & my answer depends very much on what type of player is leveling the new character. I won't go into the very basics for a really new player or even touch on stuff for a very experienced gold-making one. I'm aiming this post at the mid-range player - someone who has a few characters already, has a few professions underway (maybe maxed) & knows what kind of things they may come across whilst leveling.

Profession Bottlenecks

Talking of professions - there's your first hint of what to watch out for. Remember when you settled down to level 30 or 40 points on your professions one evening because you had everything you needed? Yup, me too & then there's that one recipe/pattern that you missed & you are one 'gidget' short but when you go to the Auction House, there are no 'gidgets' for sale or they are at really stupid high prices but you buy it anyway because it's just one bit & you're on a roll & want to keep those skill points rising?

Yup - those are some of the items to watch out for whilst leveling - most notable ones for me are :-
  • Hides of all types for leatherwork or blacksmith, especially heavy hide & rugged hide
  • Certain herbs are reknowned for being difficult - think goldthorn, briarthorn or netherbloom for example  
  • Certain ores like gold ore, truesilver ore or of course, the ever expensive khorium ore
  • Gems - golden draenite is always in demand but don't forget citrine, jade & large opals too
  • For tailors, I think wool is often the cloth that I find hardest to accumulate until much higher levels when frostweave & embersilk just seem to take forever to gather
  • Ghost Dye is used in several tailoring recipes & uses Ghost Mushrooms - I've never had problems selling either the dye or the mushrooms for decent gold although technically it's not a bottleneck for leveling your tailoring. 
Money Making Crafted Items

These tend to be rare or 'blue' quality items that crafters can make. The materials are often wide ranging & may require some farming or Auction House watching. I've covered a few of these types of items in the past :-
Regular High Value Drops & Finds

Some items that drop off mobs or you find whilst out questing just maintain their value in general. Every server is different though so do check your own Auction House for prices and volumes.

  • Embersilk Cloth - used by tailors in huge amounts when leveling
  • Frostweave Cloth - ditto!
  • Cobalt Ore - used by blacksmiths in large quantities for leveling & a pain to farm, check the price of Cobalt Bars too before you list on Auction House
  • Pearls - Small Lustrous, Iridescent & Golden pearls all have a regularly high price on my server
  • Gromsblood - this surprised me recently & I'm still testing the market but worth a look
So there you go - some of the stuff I look for when leveling a new alt but to be honest, I only vendor grey items, almost everything else goes to my banker or one of my crafting alts for later use. I'm a self-medicated packrat in game which means I can powerlevel 50 points on a profession without spending a copper sometimes :)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The WoW Factor Comes To EU Servers

My only mogged girlie - still needs work tho
You may have noticed a distinct lack of mogging (transmogrification) related posts on my blog but that doesn't mean I haven't been interested. Oh no! I have a bank full of bits I've kept because they look good & just maybe I will get around to using them & I also have materials to make some crafted pieces for my girls. I also follow many of the top moggers on Twitter. But somehow I've just never found the time & energy to go looking for that perfect outfit for each of my girls.

So when I saw a tweet asking Keelhaul (The Mogfather) if there were any EU shows planned, I just dived in and offered 100k gold for prize money. After all, I have all this gold & I'm not spending it on anything so why not? Besides it will be fun!

So the time has finally arrived & the first WowFactor show will be appearing on my server - Chamber of Aspects EU Alliance side, at Stormwind Cathedral 9-11pm (CEST so 8-10pm UK time)on Friday 8th June. You can read more about it on the WoW Forums here but it's time to get your gladrags on & party like it's 1999 again!

If you want some last minute inspiration for an outfit, have a look at Wow Roleplay Gear - a site I found last year before transmog was even live but they have gone from strength to strength since then!

I'd like to give a big thank you to Keelhaul from DEAzeroth for getting so fired up on this & inspiring so many others too. Farli over at The Overcut, Elvine over at Elvinemod & Argo of Epic Penny Pouch also deserve big shout outs as does Jim from PowerWord:Gold for all his support of the mogging movement!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Turning Linen Cloth into Gold

Girls Gone Shopping?
Linen cloth turned up on my Project Shoofly server at 3 - 5 silvers a piece! I just couldn't resist so I logged my other banker on that server (I have a normal, everyday banker for this kind of thing & my project banker, just to keep things seperate) & bought all the super cheap linen. I ran my little level 5 over to the enchanting trainer, made my copper rod then ran to the tailoring trainer. By the time I had converted the linen into bolts of linen, I had enough skill points to learn the Brown Linen Pants pattern. For just 2 bolts of linen & one coarse thread or about 15silvers, I then disenchanted them & got 3 Strange Dust.

Now of course, being the good goldmaker that I am, I didn't just make 1 pair of pants - oh no! I made 40, using up 8 stacks of Linen Cloth in the process. I ended up with 68 Strange Dust & 11 Lesser Magic Essences, most of which I promptly listed on the Auction House for good prices.

I listed some of the Strange Dust as 3 stacks of 10 initially - at around 3g50 per item, I guessed smaller stack size might be more affordable if a buyer was watching their gold. When I logged in earlier today, all 3 stacks of 10 had sold, netting me a nice 99 gold. I'm averaging the cost at 1 gold per stack of Linen Cloth used so with 8 gold spent, I made profit already on just 30 Strange Dusts & I still had 38 dusts to sell.

Next I checked the Auction House again - no Strange Dust to be found so I listed my remaining 38 & wandered off while my banker made another 60 pairs of Brown Linen Pants. Total haul from disenchanting this time was 100 Strange Dust & 11 Lesser Magic Essence. I have been lucky to get into a level 25 guild though so the Bountiful Bags perk is helping here too.

I just checked again & another 20 Strange Dust have sold at 3g50s each as well as 5 of the Lesser Magic Essences so after AH fees, that's another 72 gold profit. I checked the Linen Cloth price too out of curiosity - not only do I have competition for Strange Dust now, the price of Linen Cloth is now over 1 gold a piece & only 2 stacks available.

Overall I spent around 20 gold on Linen Cloth & coarse thread. In the process of converting the Linen to gold, I also leveled my enchanting to 67 & my tailoring to 75 - not bad for a level 5 alt :)


Linen cloth & coarse thread cost to make 100 Brown Linen Pants - 20 gold
Strange Dust produced from disenchanting Pants - 168
Lesser Magic Essences produced by disenchanting - 20
Strange Dust already sold 50 = 165 gold
Lesser Magic Essence already sold 5 = 6 gold

Profit so far = 151 gold
118 Strange Dust still to sell
15 Lesser Magic Essence still to sell

Now obviously this isn't going to be a huge market & I would hazard a guess that it won't be a regular one either but keeping an eye on Linen Cloth & Strange Dust prices & jumping in when the prices are low, should give a nice little boost, especially as your lowbie bank alt can do it in town.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Darkmoon Faire - Fishing Junkboxes

Gone Fishing - pre-Cata, Stormwind harbour

As you may know if you've been reading a while, I haven't been playing WoW all that much since Christmas so I've only done the Darkmoon Faire stuff maybe once or twice since it all changed. Last month, I decided to go & do some of the silly game quests - I am a pet & mount collector after all & I need those available from Darkmoon Faire.

While I was swimming back from the stupid cannon shot landing circle, I had a fishing node pop on my mini map. Ever the keen fisherwoman, I equipped my Kalu'ak Fishing Pole & dropped a few casts into the Shipwreck Debris pool. Not thinking anything of it, I went back to the silly games. But something was stirring at the back of my mind - hadn't I read something somewhere about DMF fishing? Oh well, I'll look later I thought to myself.

Off I went, googling merrily (yeah right! anyone that knows me, knows that I do not think like Google does - finding anything takes me ages!) & came across a couple of blogposts by Wolfgangcat & VilesAuctions.

Vile specifically talks about it as an Embersilk farming method & my tailor needs Embersilk cloth so off I went, water walking potions in bags & spent a quiet hour or so, racing other fishermen up & down the coast of the Darkmoon Faire Island. Apart from the goodies in the boxes, there is also the chance to fish up the Sea Pony pet or even, just maybe the Sea Turtle mount. Luckily I'm an insomniac so I outlasted them into the wee small hours of the morning & ended up with the island to myself.

Here's my haul
9 x Rumsey Rum Black Label
20 x Obsidium Ore
184 x Embersilk Cloth
14 x Heavy Savage Leather
23 x Elementium Ore
5 x Heartblossom
5 x Volatile Fire
3 x Volatile Earth
4 x Azshara's Veil
4 x Stormvine
5 x Twilight Jasmine
12 x Cinderbloom
2 x Elixir of Deep Earth
45 x Darkmoon Firewater
2 x Elixir of the Cobra
4 x Potion of the Tol'Vir
2 x Mythical Healing Potion
3 x Pyrite Ore

Now I did start counting how many junkboxes I picked up but I lost track a little. My best guess after the fact was around 45 boxes. I sent the potions & elixirs to my banker for selling but the ores, volatiles & herbs all went to appropriate crafting alts. Nine stacks of Embersilk Cloth was a nice result though - my tailor made short work of that lot but I ran out of enthusiasm & didn't go back for more.

Next month, if the Embersilk market is still good, I will possibly go fish with one of my other alts & use this method to not only gather plenty of Embersilk but also to level my fishing skill. I find having those skill points clicking up are a good incentive to keep going.