Of Manatees and Quests for Keys

It turns out that while the quests are still in the game, as of a very recent patch you can just buy Aquatic Form from your friendly neighborhood Druid trainer. It’s actually a rather nice ability – the speed boost you get while swimming is significant. It’s also nice that you don’t have to run a difficult quest chain for every single alternate form.

In the past, I have seldom posted WoW screenshots because I wasn’t using XFire very much when playing it, and the old installation saved screenshots in a folder that, as far as I could tell, didn’t exist. Thus only a very few WoW screenshots ever appeared on this blog. The new install saves them perfectly, however, and I can also use XFire to take snaps. So expect to see more. But not today.

I also spend some time with Vaktor, starting with the collection quests in the Blasted Lands. The drop rate on these is pretty dismal, even though the spawn rate on the critters themselves is okay, if a bit spread out over a chunk of the zone. After grinding almost three-quarters of a level and dinging 51, I threw up my hands, turned in what I could, and headed to Ironforge, where I cleaned out my bags and sold the extra drops.

Jame’s Guide had me doing an interesting short chain that started with killing a named Thunder Lizard in the Blasted Lands. This granted a quest that I turned in in Ironforge and had me running back and forth between there an Loch Modan a few times. At the end, I got a key which unlocks a gate in the northeast of Searing Gorge, beyond which is a tunnel leading to Loch Modan. I don’t know how useful this is, since the flight point in that zone is a very short trip to or from Ironforge, but it’s pretty neat from an exploration standpoint.

At any rate, I finished up at 51.54, which is ahead of where I thought I’d get going into the session. I am now a bit over 2.5 levels above the progress target, and am gaining an average of just about a level every day that I play. I did skip one day (this past Sunday, when we played our Druids,) and on another day I gained just under half a level, which is under goal for the session. But otherwise progress has been very solid. Of the major leveling targets in WoW, a couple of them are now within spitting distance.

I did upgrade to Wrath, if I haven’t already mentioned that, and even took the boat up to Northrend to have a peek. In this case, I upgraded electronically, rather than taking the trouble to buy a box. It was actually cheaper, since I didn’t pay sales tax on it, and this way I avoid the extra clutter and the dead tree another box would have caused. We’ll do the same to Mrs. Ardwulf’s account whenever we upgrade her.

I used to be real fussy about getting boxes for everything, keeping them all nice and crisp and displaying them on a shelf. Not so much anymore. I think it’s probably Steam’s fault – the convenience of electronic purchase and delivery outweighs my desire to be a preening peacock, and it was Steam that convinced me of that. I can’t really see Best Buy being my main source for PC games anymore.

I also am starting to feel better as of today. Last night I slept like a stone.

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