The Continued Adventures of Tirrona

If all the recent posts about my Horde hunter's adventures made you think that I've completely given up on playing Alliance, let me assure you that this is not the case. As mentioned previously, I was holding off on playing the clones of my high-level characters since they were stuck with bad names after the transfer to Pyrewood, and I was hoping to reclaim their old names once Blizzard deleted all the inactive clones.

However, I eventually grew tired of having no information on what was happening in regards to that and being unable to tell whether anything had been done, so I went ahead this week and transferred all four clones to the era version of Nethergarde Keep. Two could reclaim their old names there, and the other two could at least get the variants of their names that I'd also chosen for them when taking the free server transfer in Classic BC, and I was ultimately happy enough with those. Now to learn a bit about the endgame scene on Alliance side...

In the meantime though, I've also still been playing my little night elf rogue Tirrona. She's both a herbalist and a miner, and unlike on Horde side the auction house is reasonably active, meaning that she's been doing quite well for herself financially just from me logging in every so often and putting up/re-listing some auctions.

In terms of play I did a second Deadmines run with her to finish off the last quest I had there (those damn miner's union cards...) and I've casually been running up and down Darkshore to finish up questing there before moving on to Ashenvale.

The other night I even had a fun little adventure when a level 20 paladin whispered me to ask whether I could help him out with killing some of the elites outside of Blackfathom Depths. I was literally on the opposite end of Darkshore but said that if he had a bit of time and didn't get lucky with a drop before then, I'd make my way down to help him out. So I did, and once I got there we got his Kor Gem after killing only three mobs or so.

I told him that I had a paladin of my own and remembered the epic quest for Verigan's Fist very well. When he mentioned going for the part in Shadowfang Keep next, I said that I had duoed that with another paladin back in the day (all the way back in 2020...) and that I'd be happy to help him out with that as well. So we set off towards the Wetlands, and I was happy to have an early excuse to pick up the flight points in Arathi and Hillsbrad, as well as the expert first aid book from Stromgarde.

Inside Shadowfang Keep, I enjoyed being able to use all my rogue's tools to maximum benefit, sapping enemies on multi-mob pulls and gouging them to give my pally friend a chance to heal up. We did really well and only had to run out to reset once. The first boss was pretty tough with his adds, but we managed due to the paladin blowing every single one of his cooldowns, including Lay on Hands. In the courtyard I led the way via expert pulls with my bow, and soon my paladin friend could loot his blacksmithing hammer too. The funny thing was that he then accidentally hit one of the horses and died from all of them aggroing on him, just as I was about to type: "Well, that went well!"

Still, he was really grateful, and I assured him that finding a group for Deadmines shouldn't be too hard. It was quite late in the evening by that point though, so I said my goodbyes, and the last thing I saw was that he was apparently a bit impatient and got a higher-level guildie of his to run him through the dungeon up to his quest item.

Either way it was a nice experience and made me want to play my rogue more just to have more small community interactions like this. I also once again joined a guild that threw me a random invite - it's not one of the bigger ones but a newly formed one called "Dusk". I don't know if it'll really do anything for me but at least being in it should protect me from more random guild invites for the time being. It also tickled me that I recognised the guild master's name as someone who had randomly waved at one of my Horde chars in Stranglethorn Vale. Later I found out that he'd previously also been on Hydraxian Waterlords like me, and I even found a screenshot among my older captures that showed him sitting next to my paladin. Classic era is a small world indeed.


Rhok'delar Again

A bit less than two years ago I wrote about my night elf hunter's acquisition of Rhok'delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers, the epic bow from the max-level hunter class quest that starts in Molten Core. I already had a weapon better than the bow at the time, but I still enjoyed facing off against the four elite demons you needed to kill as part of it as a test of my skills and to prove myself as a "real" hunter.

Much to my delight, the first time my tauren hunter on era did a full MC run with my new guild, Majordomo dropped the Ancient Petrified Leaf that starts the quest chain, and I won it. This time the bow would be an upgrade too! Still, I wasn't in any particular hurry as I didn't have the Mature Black Dragon Sinew from Onyxia yet, so I took it rather slowly.

Also, having a blog was definitely a godsend in this instance - while the overall experience of completing the quest chain had definitely been memorable last time, it's not as if I had committed every single piece of tactical advice in regards to the demons to memory. I was really grateful to past me for taking such detailed notes about what helped me achieve victory against each demon last time, making the whole endeavour significantly easier this time around, despite of my gear being a bit worse.

Artorius in Winterspring was my first target again, and things went pretty similarly to last time. I did die once when he managed to get his DoT on me, and had to reset a couple of times when things got hairy, but then I got him down quickly enough (and unlike last time, he didn't finish me off with his DoT either). I thought it was noticeable that I had a weaker weapon this time though as I had to kite him nearly all the way to Everlook. The most time-consuming thing was actually getting him to stop in a good place to start the fight - I initially got a bit confused about his pathing and actually wasted a lot of time clearing mobs in an area that ultimately wasn't actually relevant.

I didn't attempt any other demons that night, as I ended up assisting a guildie with some quests in Winterspring after depositing my demon head in the bank, so some time passed until I picked things up again. I think it was more than a week later when I found myself doing a few leftover quests in Silithus, and as I approached the south-western Twilight cultist camp, I thought to myself that I might as well have a go at challenging Nelson.

He had been by far the toughest opponent for me the first time around, killing me multiple times, but this time around things went much better and I didn't die once (just had to reset the fight a few times). More by sheer luck than any sort of planning I ended up encountering and stopping him very close to the Scarab Wall, and as it turned out the ruins in that area are far better suited to kiting the little bugs he summons than the ramp that I had tried to make work for me so desperately last time, based on what was apparently the recommended strategy.

Encouraged by my success, I hopped over to Un'goro to track down Simone there. Like last time, quite a few resets were required until I got the initial pull right, but aside from that she was once again not a tough fight. That said, my health got very low towards the end and I had to use a health potion, which I think was due to the fact that I had been slacking on my melee weapon skill this time around. As it was only around 280, I got a lot of dodges and parries, meaning I did a lot less damage to her and she more to me.

After that I had another break for a bit, with a small, related interlude: One day during my lunch break while working from home, the call went out to come online for Azuregos. Our five-manning adventures back on Hydraxian Waterlords not notwithstanding, I'd never actually killed Azuregos "properly" with a guild group, so I was happy to be in on the kill. I also won the Mature Blue Dragon Sinew, which can be used to redeem a quiver from the same set of quest givers that give the bow quest. On Tir I'd not gotten the quiver until much later, and not from killing Azuregos but from a random drop while farming elite dragonkin in Winterspring. It kinda tickled me that things went so differently this time.

Not much later I figured that I might as well lop off the last demon's head and I went to the Burning Steppes late at night to confront Franklin the Friendly aka Klinfran the Crazed. Here, too, my lack of weapon skill came back to bite me as he actually killed me once when several of my wing clips missed in a row, but it did not take long at all to re-try and get it right.

So now I've got my Ancient Rune Etched Stave, ready to be turned into a nice bow... but I'm unlikely to get it any time soon as I'm still not even attuned to Onyxia, meaning the sinew will likely remain a bottleneck for a while. Annoyingly, the Horde attunement chain features a step where you need to kill four elite dragons across the world, and basically nobody wants to do that unless they are on the quest themselves (understandably), and I haven't had any luck finding anyone else who is on that step right now. I also haven't quite reached the level of comfort or desperation to ask anyone outright to just help me out, even if it doesn't do anything for them, but I wouldn't be surprised if it came to that eventually. Still, I don't think I'm likely to get the crossbow from BWL in the meantime, seeing how it seems to be a rare-ish drop and somewhat in demand. Can't be lucky with everything!


On Trading and Farming

The state of the economy on my era cluster, specifically on Horde side, continues to both fascinate and vex me. Except for a handful of highly sought-after items, it's very hard to sell anything on the auction house, but I just have this urge to keep trying. (And I have noticed that the odds seem to be a bit better on weekends.)

It's really crystallised for me that I just see the auction house in a very different light compared to most players, who tend to view it either as an easy way of making money (sellers) or as a convenient way of having anything and everything they could potentially need delivered to their mailbox (buyers). It's not that I don't benefit from those things too, but they are not what matters.

I have this vague memory of my first days in WoW, levelling my night elf in Teldrassil alongside a more experienced friend, and him saying something like: "Don't vendor those light feathers, priests and mages need those for a spell." Somehow this instilled in me the notion that any drop that could be useful to somebody else is valuable and it should be my goal to get it to them. It made me view the auction house as a kind of community trading post where people share the bounty of rare materials that the game has bestowed upon them, and exchange items that aren't easily accessible from a vendor.

It's not really something I had to think about in a while because there just hasn't been any room for that kind of thinking in Classic, because there were too many people on each server that knew all too well what's valuable or not and tried to make money from it. I'd often loot an item that I thought would be useful to somebody, just to check the AH and find that there were already dozens of listings there, so that there wasn't much point in adding my own unless it was a trade good that was in demand in high volumes.

But in era, with only a few hundred of us per faction, things are different. I'll keep re-listing that Breath of Wind if it kills me, because eventually someone will need one for a greater resistance enchant on their cloak, I just know it, and I'll be their unsung hero for saving them from having to go out and farm air elementals.

Because that's what you have to do when the auction house doesn't yield any desirable results and you can't or don't want to rely on the generosity of your guild: You have to go farm it yourself. This isn't necessarily hard, depending on the level of the mobs that drop what you need, but it can be pretty time-consuming.

I mentioned in a previous post that I got a Barb of the Sand Reaver from AQ40 - since this is the best two-handed weapon for hunters outside of Naxx, I wanted to get it enchanted. A quick check for the required materials revealed a bunch of max-level enchanting materials and four Essence of Air. The enchanting materials are a bit of a tricky one - I do have my low-level mage to disenchant all kinds of stuff so I could get most of them myself, but Large Brilliant Shards are a bit hard to get solo, so I might have to lean on the guild for those.

Essence of Air was an obvious thing to farm myself though, and after a quick check on Wowhead I was reminded that those only drop from the air elementals in Silithus. So I spent a few nights camped out there, doing the rounds around the area. I generally think that these elementals are terribly unsatisfying mobs to farm, because most of the time they don't drop anything at all, not even vendor trash, but even so there was something very Zen about the whole thing. People need Essence of Air for their enchants. The only way to get it is to kill air elementals, because there isn't any being sold by other players. By doing this job, I was generating value. It felt strangely satisfying.

It all made me feel very philosophical really, about how we have this weird love-hate relationship with virtual worlds in that on the one hand, we want to use them as escapism into a simpler society, but on the other hand constantly strive to make them more like the real world that we're trying to escape from. That whole "everyone is moving to mega-servers" phenomenon is a perfect example of this, because on the one hand we want to pretend to live in a kind of medieval society, but on the other we want to have a virtual equivalent of Amazon where we can have access to thousands of consumer goods at any time with the mere push of a button.

I'm not saying I've had some huge revelation that having a barely functional auction house is somehow preferable to having a healthy economy, but dealing with the complete opposite extreme of what "regular" Classic has become does kind of highlight for me what has been lost along the way and I'm actually finding it kind of charming. It might well still be a while until I get that polearm enchanted... but when it happens, it will be something that I earned through actual gameplay and it will be all the more meaningful for it.


Musings on Shadowlands from a Casual Returner

I knew that it was a smart business decision by Blizzard to put Classic and retail on the same subscription when it was first announced, but I didn't think at the time that this was going to be very relevant to me (though I did comment in that linked post that I might "check out some of the new quest content while I'm subbed for Classic anyway").

What I didn't expect was that my husband had apparently secretly been pining for me to give retail another try, so when curiosity about the Shadowlands level squish and Chromie time got the better of me and got me to reinstall it, he pounced on the opportunity to play with me. We had done some levelling together during Mists of Pandaria many years ago, but I got bored after a few months, unsubscribed and concluded that the game just wasn't for me anymore.

But with Shadowlands... things have been different. I don't know if I would say that it's a better expansion than Mists of Pandaria, but the fact that I'm primarily subscribed for Classic has made it easier to drop in and out of retail without having to worry about justifying the subscription. This means that Shadowlands is the first retail expansion since Wrath of the Lich King that saw me subscribed and playing for its entirety (I'm assuming for now that I won't suddenly end up cancelling before Dragonflight).

This is kind of funny to me because it's also been my impression that community reception of Shadowlands hasn't been great, though I'm not sure how many people consider it "bad" exactly. For a long time there was this idea that WoW alternated between good and bad expansions, kind of like Star Trek movies and versions of Microsoft Windows. By that logic, Mists of Pandaria was good, Warlords of Draenor bad, Legion good, BfA bad, and Shadowlands was supposed to be good again but didn't live up to that expectation.

Do I think that Shadowlands was a good expansion then? Kind of, but I'm honestly not even sure what to compare it to. I used to feel bitter about retail because of everything it had turned into, but the creation of Classic largely neutralised those feelings, because now I can go back, and retail is just this "other version of WoW" that also exists and I'm okay with that. I treat it entirely differently, like a free-to-play game that I just dip in and out of, and so I don't have the same expectations and don't hold it to the same standards I would have had ten years ago. But then I also wonder: Does my opinion even matter? Saying that Shadowlands managed to clear the bar of ultra-low expectations set by a very casual returner isn't really saying very much, is it?

Regardless, I thought I'd jot down some of my final thoughts about Shadowlands, with the caveat that these are opinions coming from a very casual point of view, and I completely understand that more invested players have reasons to feel differently about some of these things.

First, let's talk about the world and zones. I do love my home of Bastion and its ethereal beauty, and I recently talked about how I think Zereth Mortis is very pretty, but all in all I've found Shadowlands a bit disappointing in terms of zone design. All the zones I didn't mention were "meh" at best for me, and I absolutely loathed the way verticality was done in Revendreth, even after unlocking flying. The fact that each zone was its own little "island" made the world feel kind of small, and having your home base in your covenant sanctum while having to go to Oribos for amenities and then still having to go to Stormwind for auctions felt unnecessarily inconvenient and awkward. Oribos as a hub city also never really grew on me. I appreciated that unlike in Boralus, everything was very clearly laid out, but I guess something about the whole city effectively being a giant indoor environment made it feel a bit oppressive.

I thought the theme of Shadowlands was very interesting to begin with, and I liked the way the levelling storyline introduced you to the different afterlives. I thought that had a lot of potential, and with so many important characters in lore that are already dead, there was a nearly endless supply of story threads to pick up and utilise if desired. Unfortunately Blizzard didn't really end up doing a lot of that. Instead we were mostly focused on the soap opera of Sylvanas and her victims, and the Jailer being the blandest of bland big bads, with the realm of death becoming just another generic backdrop for this.

I'm not mad about that, just a little disappointed, and I suspect that in terms of storytelling, Shadowlands will be relegated to a similar level as Warlords of Draenor, aka "that was an alternate timeline/dimension, we prefer not to think about it anymore". Honestly, they pretty much have to do that, because otherwise every future story death is going to be cheapened by a feeling of: "No worries, see you soon in the Shadowlands!" In hindsight, unravelling the mysteries of death in Azeroth so thoroughly may not have been the greatest idea from a lore point of view...

Covenants I really liked, and they are one of the systems where many of the criticisms levelled against them kind of made me roll my eyes. Did covenants have to be tied to abilities that affect player power? Probably not, but I don't think it was that big of a deal either. I was mostly annoyed by all the commentary about how covenants were bad because obviously nobody would choose RP flavour over maximising their output, so as someone who did exactly that with all of her characters, my opinion was mainly that the people who kept claiming that players like me don't exist can sod right off.

I also quite liked anima as a resource... at the beginning it was kind of annoyingly hard to come by, even if that fit with the theme of there being a drought, but I listened to the people who said that this was clearly a system that was meant to be used over the course of the whole expansion, and treating it as such worked really well for me, as it started out slowly and ramped up over time. In Zereth Mortis anima flows freely by now, and I kind of have it as a low-key goal to buy all the anima cosmetics for my main by the end of the expansion and then finish with a full reservoir.

Soulbinds and conduits were just unnecessarily complicated, made little sense lore-wise and I largely ignored them as a result, just setting some sort of default whenever they became available and then leaving it at that forever.

I liked Torghast because I never really cared about legendaries (and therefore never felt pressured into doing it for materials), plus it was a great duo activity for me and the husband. It was very fun to see how we'd get overpowered in different ways on each run as we ascended the tower, though regular runs tended to end too soon to let you really get the most out of it, meaning that Twisting Corridors was probably the best mode in terms of raw gameplay fun, while also giving almost zero rewards for some reason. I will say that most of the changes Blizzard made to Torghast throughout the expansion, such as adding a timer, were not improvements in my book and sidegrades at best. 

In terms of everyday activities, I was once again kind of confused by the criticisms I saw in some corners about there being nothing to do, that there were too few world quests and that they took too long. When an activity takes a couple of minutes at most and people already consider that too long, players' attention spans are even shorter than I feared. Personally I liked the variety and that there were a fair few that didn't necessarily require combat, and I was also quite content that there weren't a billion things to grind every day - which was definitely a criticism I had seen levelled against Battle of Azeroth.

Whatever the current solo power grind was for each patch usually kept me entertained for a few weeks at least - covenant callings, Korthia dailies, Zereth Mortis, but I'm at the point where I know that there is no point in doing these things longer than they are fun, because any power rewards will be totally obsoleted by the next patch anyway. Zereth Mortis has actually had surprising staying power for me as I maxed out the Cypher of the First Ones, bought all the toys and stuff from the Jiro vendor and still keep coming back for more because it's just so relaxing to fly circles around the zone.

As far as WoW's "core content", dungeons and raids go, I didn't do much of it. I mean, I did all the base expansion dungeons on normal and heroic, but those modes don't really "matter" for anything nowadays since it's all about Mythic+. I still need to check out Tazavesh one of these days... and in terms of raiding, I wrote about doing LFR for the first two raids and what an experience that was. The last raid is still on my bucket list. But beyond going once to see the sights, that content isn't really of interest to me at this point.

Reading all this back, I guess it sounds more mixed than positive, but the proof is in the pudding and fact is that I have continued to log in and play casually all throughout this expansion, sometimes even without my husband, which is the real litmus test for whether I'm enjoying myself or not.


Raiding in Classic Era

When I first started raiding in Classic, I quickly realised that I really liked the 40-man raid format, and unsurprisingly, it did not feel good when we downsized to 25-man for Burning Crusade. With that in mind, it's been enjoyable to get back into the bigger raiding format in era.

There basically seem to be two different approaches to raiding in Classic: the min-maxers who pump themselves up with every possible consumable and constantly try to improve their parses and clear times, and the "dad guilds". As far as the latter go, the name isn't really about having children or being male, but more about evoking the general vibes of middle-aged people who are mostly there just to hang out, tell bad jokes and might have to go AFK due to some real life disturbance at any point (which is obviously massively at odds with things like speed). Order of the Holy Fork was definitely the latter type of guild, and as far as I can tell it's the more prevalent mode of raiding on era in general. I've seen some signs that speed runners seem to exist somewhere, but I haven't seen any evidence of them on the EU PvE cluster at least.

With the generally purveying chill attitude and the small population, combined with the large number requirements to fill a raid, it's been very easy to get raid spots. (Conveniently, Warriors of Sunlight also seem to mostly raid on days when I don't have any clashes with my SWTOR ops team.) Here's my experience with each raid so far:


This is the one raid for which I've not seen a sign-up in guild yet. The other day someone asked about it and was told that they "don't want to open up that can of worms". Basically it's not a very popular destination and I guess I'm not surprised because I saw the same in OG Classic. With a couple of exceptions the loot is pretty crap, and it doesn't have the same sort of long-term appeal that ZG does with its head and leg enchants and rare mounts. I guess the class books are something that should allow it to retain some relevance in theory, but based on how quickly I was provided with the hunter books from the guild bank, there doesn't seem to be enough of an influx of new players at max level to create huge demand for these.


I've been to ZG twice and both times were very fun. I didn't get showered with loot in quite the same way as I did during my first ZG in OG Classic, but I did win several drops including the Heart of Hakkar (again). I was kind of impressed that we did the Edge of Madness and the fish boss both times, with no shortage of materials to summon them. (Wushoolay blessed me with a very cool-looking bow.) Guildies also helped me with taming a Son of Hakkar to learn the highest rank of lightning breath for my wind serpent.

More than anything else though, ZG just seems to be the perfect place for people to clown around and do silly things, which was very much my experience in Classic as well. During my first run we actually wiped two or three times on the way to Jin'do due to trash cock-ups and I just thought it was funny because I'd seen the exact same kind of thing happen so many times before (there's clearly just something about those voodoo trolls). At one point an enhancement shaman standing next to me got mind-controlled and insta-deleted me with a giant windfury proc, which I think led to what must have been my first comment on voice chat as I couldn't help giggling: "That was amazing!" And during the second ZG, we somehow ended up with nine druids in the group. It made me smile when we were up to the first boss and instead of pulling, people got distracted by all the druids going into bear form and dancing together. These are my kind of priorities.

Molten Core

I've been in two partial Molten Core runs, because it seems to be that place where the guild primarily only goes for Thunderfury bindings, or if there's some kind of issue on the night that prevents the raid from doing something harder. I did get my Tome of Tranquilizing Shot at least, remembering with some bemusement how much stress that had caused me in OG Classic. I also won two pieces of tier one, which is pretty decent for hunters. More importantly though, Garr actually dropped his Thunderfury binding during one of those runs, which made a certain warrior very happy (he still needs the Geddon binding though).


Haven't been yet as I'm not attuned and while I'm working on it, the Horde Ony attunement is even longer than the Alliance one. I'm also under the impression that the guild doesn't go very often... I've been in a couple of raids where someone suggested also doing "a quick Ony" and it was always shot down.

Blackwing Lair

I've only been to BWL once so far, since it took me a bit to sort out my attunement, and once again I scored some phat loot in the form of two pieces of tier two, which is best in slot for hunters until Naxx. It's really easy to come in as a newcomer and get lots of loot because many of the regulars have been doing this for so long that they don't need that much anymore. It actually makes me feel a bit bad and I usually hold off with rolling/bidding to see whether anyone else wants the loot, but if it's just going to get sharded otherwise anyway... actually, in BWL we had a couple of ranged weapons drop that are not at all great for hunters as far as I'm aware, and one member of the raid whispered me repeatedly and seemed to get almost annoyed with me for not bidding on them. As if I wasn't already hoovering up half the drops anyway... felt very strange. On a different note, I learned that the black dragon eyes needed for the Horde Ony attunment and which you're supposed to get in UBRS also drop in BWL, which is neat.


I've been to AQ40 three times now but only killed C'thun once. It's tough because AQ40 is where the difficulty starts to ramp up somewhat, to the point where having to underman the raid due to lack of sign-ups really hurts. I also remember this not being many people's favourite raid in OG Classic just because of how much of a slog the trash was and because most of the loot is only really useful for a select number of classes and specs. I didn't expect much of this one as a hunter, mostly just tagging along for fun and rep, and was shocked that I ended up with both the Silithid Claw and the Barb of the Sand Reaver in my last run, two really good melee weapons for hunters that we rarely saw during OG Classic and that were always in high demand.


The guild runs Naxx once a week on Sundays, and my understanding is that they have six bosses on farm (Spider Wing, Noth, Heigan and Razuvious) but have been lacking the time to really progress any further. My hunter's not currently attuned to Naxx, but it is a lower-tier goal of mine to get that done eventually. I did push her Argent Dawn rep from friendly to honoured already, but I'd like to be at least revered and have better gear before I even consider going there.

However, even then I'm honestly not sure about it. The guild's current Sunday slot clashes with SWTOR for me, but that aside, while I'll always remember clearing Naxx in Classic with a lot of fondness, it was definitely another step up in difficulty from AQ40, meaning it's harder to just hang out and have fun in there because you absolutely do need to do some prep in terms of consumables and have to really focus during all the boss fights. We'll see I guess.


Classic Era Housekeeping

Aside from "normal" play, there've been two housekeeping matters on my mind in regards to playing on Classic era: names and bag space.

As far as names are concerned, my Horde characters were created on Pyrewood Village at launch and could therefore keep their original names once I activated/cloned them on era, but my Alliance characters all had to be transferred from Hydraxian Waterlords... onto a server where tens of thousands of names are already taken, including all the ones I had originally chosen for them. I quickly tried out different variants for my transfers until I found something that was available, but I immediately ended up hating almost all of my choices, either for being too different or for being what I call "accent abominations". (Some people are perfectly happy to play as "Lüké Skywàlkër", but I'm not one of them.) To be honest, this has been one major reason I haven't really felt like playing my Alliance clones so far.

However, with the retiring of the cloning service, there was suddenly hope. You can't buy name changes in Classic, but you can effectively force a name change during a server transfer by creating an appropriately named alt on your destination server. And since era has connected multiple servers into clusters, you can move from one server within the cluster to another without really going anywhere. Or that's been my theory anyway; I haven't had a chance to test it. I do feel vaguely dirty even thinking about the idea since it'd essentially mean paying Blizzard a premium for being awkward (a character transfer costs more than twice as much as a name change in retail), but names are important to me, damn it!

Unfortunately though, even though it's been over a week since the official retirement date for the cloning service and the relevant support article was updated to state that "all clones that were not activated before July 26, 2022 have been deleted", this has not actually been the case. I know this because I had some inactive clones of my own left, and they are still there, making the current situation the worst of both worlds, with people being unable to use the cloning service, and era players still locked out of all those names taken up by inactive clones. Responses to inquiries on the forums have been unhelpful.

All I can keep doing is check on those inactive clones of my own every other day to see whether anything has changed. Because as soon as those tens of thousands of inactive clones are gone, maybe there'll be some hope for reclaiming some "good" names for my characters - the number of actually active era players is relatively low after all.

The other issue I've been wrangling with is bag space. It's nothing new that Classic is quite stingy in that regard, which is why "bank alts" have been a thing pretty much since forever. I'd so far resisted making any in Classic though, because with only ten character slots per server I wanted to actually use them on playable characters, not on some level one doomed to sit in town and shuffle mail around. I tried to be efficient with my storage to some degree, e.g. by sending all my cloth to my tailor, but that was as far as it went. This is also another reason I've always been an active auction house user - because I'd rather sell things to people who need them right now than hoard them for some unknown future requirement, while hoping that I'd be able to buy anything from other people in turn that I actually might end up needing later.

However, Classic era has finally broken me in that regard. My troll mage tailor is only up to small silk packs, which are quite small, and my high-level characters just don't have room for all those currencies and endgame materials that I definitely can't rely on finding on the auction house later. Plus, with all those servers in the cluster adding up to thirty character slots, I figured I could spare a couple, leading me to create not one but two bank alts, one for food and consumables and another for currencies and other miscellaneous valuables. I still couldn't resist playing them a little though and got them up to level six - plus I could see myself levelling them even higher as time goes on. I just can't create characters and not play them.

P.S.: I already mentioned it on my SWTOR blog, but I'm taking part in Blaugust again! Whether you're a blogger yourself or just a reader, there's something for everyone. Read all about the event here.