The 2012 – Halfpoint On The Horizon

Raise your hand if you forgot about this little challenge.  I’m betting you might have, unless you are among the participants… even then.  All kidding aside, the end of June does mark the halfway point of the challenge.  Now, admittedly, I waved the white flag in April when it looked like I was retiring.  Despite the fact I stuck around, I still haven’t taken the cause back up.  Reason being I have way too much going on to focus on banging off levels on toons.  Not to say there aren’t still Faces of the Amateur that are getting bigger every day…I’m just not keeping tabs on the total anymore.  If by some fluke I get there in the end, well it will be from coincidence rather than effort.

The others, however, are experiencing a wide range of effort and success.  For starters, Chuck from Lord of Assets is much like myself.  The difference is, his white flag is still being tied together.  He hasn’t started waving it yet.  Time will tell whether he burns it, or hoists it high alongside mine.

Karegina of Ysera’s Daughter, formerly Reluctant Raider, remains in great shape.  Heck, she could wait until Mists and take a Monk to level 37 and it’s mission accomplished.  That’s right, she’s at 1975.  She told me May slowed her down (and a visit to her blog explains part of ther eason), but getting her final class to 85, a Death Knight, helped.

Kamalia is hoping to get “mini-Kam” to 85 before the month is up.  That will put her over 1500 levels.  How the remaining five hundred (roughly) come has varied options and the impression I get from her is that it will depend on when Mists releases.  As she puts it at the halfway point, “This isn’t to say that I’m giving up on the Challenge, however, just that I won’t be too fussed if I don’t actually make it to 2012 levels by the end of the year.”

Cheetah Dave (Killthryn to the laid back raiding folks) sits at 1100 levels now, leaving about 900 to go.  He’s been the most active among those of us that started out a bit behind the 8-ball.  He’s analyzed his progress pretty thoroughly, pointing out he needs 129 levels a month to make the mark…but that he’s averaged half that so far, so he’ll have to step up if he wants to succeed.  Also, he’s become achievement hungry on Killthryn and that has taken up some of his time that would be dedicated to levelling, as has getting in some quality dungeon time with his son (and real life time with his band).

Towachi of Heal-Alt-Delete I haven’t heard too much from.  Real life kept her away from Azeroth for most of May and even now in June I don’t see her too much.  I don’t foresee her coming back after such a hiatus with nothing in mind but levelling.  Still, I won’t put the red line through her until she tells me otherwise.

I’m always impressed to see Glyph of Jai on a new alt, as she tends to level her toons pretty quickly.  She was in great shape when the challenge started and while I didn’t receive a levels update from her, I have complete faith that if she has interest in finishing the challenge that she’ll succeed easily.

Erinys over at Harpy’s Nest was rolling along pretty good through the first few months.  I think a few other items drew in her attention and her progress slowed as well.  I would hazard that just like Glyph of Jai, she’ll knock off the challenge pretty easily if she still has the desire to do so.

Nevernude fell off the blogsphere almost as quickly as I found him…or he found me, actually.  It’s disappointing to some extent.  I thought him to be another player who found a unique way to make the game a challenge for himself.  I wanted to see it play out fully.  He’s the only other participant at this stage that I’m going to cross off with the red line of defeat.

Finally, Effy is probably the most active at keeping her readers updated with her progress.  Diablo 3 completely curtailed any progress she might have had (I didn’t look too closely…might’ve gotten 2012 levels in D3 itself…heh), and a look at her most recent update suggests she lost a few levels again as she preps her account for Mists of Pandaria.  Still, 422 levels over the rest of the year could easily be achieved.  She’s a feisty bit of determination when bitten by the right bug.  It’s just a matter of whether the 2012 bug is alive or flew too close to the zapper.

So there you have it.  The group is still as diverse as it was when the Challenge started back on the first day of the year.  If you’re just stumbling upon this and think “oh, I could’ve done that!” please know that it’s never too late to join up.  Sink or swim, it really is the more the merrier.  As we reach the halfway point, though, we’re at 8 of 10 remaining, with a couple more on the outskirts…but just as many are still in a great position to complete the challenge.

What Is, Was, And Never Will Be

Welcome to another collection of thoughts by yours truly on this Tuesday morning.  As is often the case a few topics of discussion could probably warrant their own post but it’s important to hit them while they’re fresh and relevant.

  • The 2012. Well, unfortunately for me that goal has most assuredly gone by the wayside.  I had plans to put a really good dent in it, too.  I do still plan to track the progress of everyone else, though.  So if you’re participating, rest assured I will still be following with vested interest.
  • Myth.  My guild on Blade’s Edge.  Towachi and Reluctant Raider are a blast, as is the rest of the crew.  I had a good chat with the Guild Leader one day and flat out told him how much I enjoyed the guild as it reminded me of Claws of Nature and what I wanted it to be.  Unfortunately, I never got to the point of really contributing and being a part of things.
  • Twitterland Raiding. Also something I never got to participate in.  Obviously not the same type of situation as Myth, but still I had really looked forward to getting involved.
  • Killing Arthas. I may still try to knock this off, but I’ve not fought the Lich King.  Ever.  I’d certainly like to do it before my time us up this month.
  • Mog Madness. The final round has here.  It’s been an experience, that’s for sure.  Almost entirely positive and despite hopes that we wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings along the way I think we failed.  Still quite happy with it.
  • The Prize. I’m still not telling you what it is.
  • Walking Away.  Despite the people I will miss, I’ve still made the right decision at this time.

I was going to add this in as a note along with the rest.  However, that wouldn’t be right at all.  I’m happy with where I’m at, but Saturday’s post was actually pretty tough to write.  I also managed to finally get online Sunday night and that meant informing some of the news, while facing others for the first time since sharing the decision -and at least one person asked…Mrs. Amateur found out the same way the rest of you did.  Speaking of the rest of you…

Obviously I didn’t write Saturday’s post or share it for attention.  I wrote it because that’s what we do.  I don’t private post, what you see is what you get.  So I wasn’t looking for a spotlight or for anything from anyone in sharing it.  But that doesn’t mean for one second I’m not thankful for everything you all said.  The supportive responses were overwhelming, and all the comments telling me how happy you were that I’m continuing to blog…I know I joked with Effy that I’m not modest at all but the truth is I’m a pretty humble guy and that was quite an amazing feeling.  Whether I realized it or not, it’s also something I think I needed.  It was like icing on my cake-like decision.  Or something.  I suck at metaphors like that.  Seriously, though, thank you all so much.

One final note.  Mrs. Amateur got into selling tea recently.  It’s like Avon, but tea (Steeped Tea is the company).  I just want to go on record and say it’s really good.  She gave me a cup about a week ago that was pure “l33t.”  After Eight.  Seriously, tasted just like the chocoloate.  Smelled amazing…mmm.  Anyway, I don’t have advertising space because I’m a crappy salesperson.  But I support a good thing when it’s good and I didn’t share that so you’d go out and buy it from her (I mean, you’re welcome to).  I just wanted to go on record at some point just saying how awesome the stuff is.

Enjoy your day.

2012: A Fifth Of The Way

Here we are mid-March and that means’ were at about 75 days in the 2012 challenge.  Not quite a fifth of the way there, but we’re getting there.  Personally, I’m nowhere close to where I thought I would be at this point.  In fact, I haven’t dinged a character in 10-14 days.  As such, I haven’t even broken a thousand levels (as I honestly figured I would have done by this point). Part of that is attributed to real life getting busy, and also my WoW time has been very much blog related.  That doesn’t meant the blog is starting to feel like work, more that I’m using the little bit of time I’m logged in to obtain screenshots, information, etc regarding posts.

Since January 30th I’ve managed a mere 62 levels.  When you factor in that in about a 14 hour span one weekend I picked up over 20, that really shows you the time I’ve not been able to put into the challenge.  42.8 % is starting to look a bit more daunting at this stage as I would’ve liked to have been over the 50% mark.  Still, in the “grand” scheme of things, you want to be over 1006 levels by June 30th to be on track.  But, the more levels you can get now, the easier it can (in theory) get over the rest of the year.  So, how is everyone else doing?

  • Towachi at heal-alt-delete is a busy raider bee and is closing in on 300 now as she sits at 283 for 14.1%
  • Chuck at Lord of Assets is in the same boat as myself in terms of time invested, as he is up to 381 levels or 18.9%.
  • Cheetah Dave sits at 975 levels now, or 48.4% (bugger keeps just inches ahead of me).
  • Kamalia continues to roll on, now at 1446 levels or 71.9%.
  • Kuroma is at 1492, or 74.1%, and is to the point where she’s starting counting down the number of levels left to go.
  • Effraeti continues to roll along as well at 1525(!) levels for 75.8%
  • Harpy’s Nest and Team Sproutling continue to roll along as well, sitting at 1575 levels (!!!) or 78.2 %.
  • Reluctant Raider looks to be in position to hit the mark first though, at 1861 levels to this point.  That’s good for 92.5 % or just 151 levels to go!
Saintvache was miles above the rest in leveling.

For me, Saintvache was easily the biggest booster to my levels.  He was at 20 on January 30th.  As I say, in a weekend span I got him to 40 and was just amazed at how easy it was.  He now sits at 64 and I really really like Paladin tanking.  As I only have one Paladin (and need two of each class for the challenge), I see another Protadin coming at some point because honestly, it’s easy levels.  The only other toons that really did anything were Oddfodder (6 levels) and Schadde (5 levels).  Otherwise it was a level here or there, though I remember at one point trying to get each toon a level (save for max level characters obviously).

One way I did that was doing the Love Is In The Air dailies and quests with various characters just for the added xp.  I don’t know for sure if it was faster or not, but it seemed relatively easy to log in, spray people, collect xp, log and repeat.  So with that in mind, I asked the other 2012’ers how they approached the World Events and if they used them to help level.  The general consensus was neglected toons sometimes got some xp this way, but for the most part things like Love Is In The Air slowed the process for everyone.  Some have main characters they need to do the event for, others wanted achievements, and some were after pets/profit.   So it seems people do spend their time with the World Events, but not for the purpose of gaining levels (in general).

Speaking of which, perhaps I can actually get a level or two now that I have some time…

This Tastes Like Rambling


Server downtime and busy periods before and after kept me from putting the finishing touches on part two of my racial transmogrification series.  Also, one of the outfit ideas I had no intention of doing until a mask inspired me.  I think I have a couple more to tweak and then we’re good to go.  You can definitely expect it tomorrow.

I haven’t said much regarding the 2012, but you can expect an update on that in the next couple of weeks.  I can’t speak for other people but my progress seems to be “on again, off again.”  Around President’s Day (Family Day here in Canada) I cranked off 20 levels in less than two days on a character and thought I was going to have a huge boost…I think I’ve gotten a total of 4-5 levels across the board since.  Disheartening, but not discouraging.

It’s funny, you know?  The simplest thing can have a Butterfly Effect.  The most playful comment was made on another blog, and their response triggered an idea in my head that’s now moving forward and we both look forward to sharing it with you (and including you in it!).  You’ll have to wait a bit for the details though… /wink

I’m not sure whether to wish for things in my blog or not.  I like to muse about some of the WoW stuff I’d like to eventually acquire, but at no point am I outright asking for it.  Still, the last time I did, fellow bloggers came through on both.  I mentioned wanting the AMPM cups but living in Canada didn’t give me a whole lot to work with.  Then guildmate and fellow blogger Reluctant Raider tagged me with the news she could pick up a set of four if I was still interested.  That came after I had lamented in the same post about the Heart of the Aspects mount.  Within minutes of posting that, The Godmother hooked me up as she got the US version by mistake.  A formal thank you again to both of you!

Having said that, I am going to toss out a branch here.  Among other things I’m looking for in relation to World of Warcraft are the art books that came with the Collector’s Edition in the original game and The Burning Crusade.  We have the two most recent expansions but I would like to have all four.  I’m not looking to pay a hefty price for either (which, hey, based on popularity I have no problem with people asking for it), but I do always keep an eye open.  If you have connections, hit me up and we can talk price in private.

The Godmother’s Azerothian Soundtrack challenge comes to a close tomorrow and I’ve made it clear I got in on that action real quick (and have lamented my issues with shortening my list, heh).  With the contest closing, I’ll be posting that playlist in the coming days, likely on the weekend.

E-mail!  The Amateur got even more sophisticated with a personal e-mail address.  You can now send all love and hatemail and “you’re crazy” comments to  Looking forward to hearing from you.

2012 Thoughts

When you start something like the 2012 Challenge, you never really know how it will go.  As I said when I started it, I thought of one or two people in my guild that would be interested and was pleased when they signed up.  Other than that, I had no idea.  I really didn’t.  So I’m pleasantly surprised that we’re now up to ten participants, the most recent being Nevernude (who happens to be working on his own little challenge).  I’ve also seen a number of people discussing it and considering it.

I’m even surprised by some of the sites talking about it.  I thought other bloggers would mention it and share discussion and a few laughs, but I didn’t expect social groups or message boards to be doing it as well.  At least not this early.  It’s only the second weekend of February so we have a long way to go.  Also, it’s entirely word of mouth as I haven’t advertised the challenge on any of the communities I frequent -though I did consider it.

On my own efforts, I’ve had a few things come up that have slowed my progress.  I had a goal of 100-150 levels this month and if I had to guess, I’m not going to do that well unless I roll a few lowbies (which I’d rather save for the moments where I feel overwhelmed by the challenge, which I don’t at this point).  In terms of my required inventory:

  • Racially I’ve got everything covered except for Gnome and Blood Elf.  Still haven’t rolled one of either.
  • Class wise I have two of everything, save a second Mage and a second Warlock.

I have ideas for more characters, I just haven’t gotten around to creating them just yet.  Of course, the biggest stumbling block is a name.  Also, considering another Goblin and possibly a Worgen (or a Hunter with a Worg for a pet…it’s just something important to me) but I’m cringing at doing the start zones just the same.  If anything, I’ll wait until I’ve landed a BoA or two on a server before I start levelling them.  If I decide on a name, I’ll just place holder it until said heirlooms are available to speed up the process.

I’m also considering doing 2012 in 2012 runs once a week in an effort to gain levels together, at least on US servers.  Much as I’d like to have the EU as well, c’est la vie.  Now if we had enough for a group on both sides, that would certainly be a bonus.  But, I should get around to asking my peers if it’s something they’d like to do before I start planning anything.  I don’t even know if there’s a time during the week where we would all be available.

As you can see, roughly six weeks in this challenge is still enjoyable for me and I hope it is for everyone else that’s taking part.  I can’t speak for the others, but I find myself falling in love with some characters that I never would have created if not for this challenge.  With more expected, who knows how many digital friends I’ll be running around Azeroth when all is said and done.  Will I complete my own challenge?  Time will tell on that one.

Tales From The 2012: A Month In

It was four weeks ago I started the 2012 challenge.  At that time, I thought of one or two people who might take part but I certainly didn’t think there would be eight of us already!  Before I get to the others, let’s take a look at how I’ve progressed since the last update as I’ve tacked on a couple here and there.

  • Liouxpold is now 81 and closing in on 82
  • Carrera has hit 62 as she heals her way through levels.
  • Mortevache is the only DK I’ve given any time to and he’s now 62.
  • Levache hit 33.
  • Saintvache is starting to show me why Paladin tanking is enjoyable.  He’s now level 20.

Those are the main ones I’ve given time to, though I finally created a second priest -a Troll named Schadde.  Pretty obvious if you know your German.  In total, I’m now up to 799 levels.  As I look, that’s almost 30 levels in two weeks.  Not too bad.  I spent some time doing PvP and that yielded mixed results but no doubt slowed what could have been faster xp gain.  That puts me at 39.7% though.  I’m in good shape, no doubt due to the levels I had before the challenge, but I’d like to “step it up” so to speak.  How’s everyone else doing?

  • Effraeti updated her efforts in her post yesterday.  1448 of 2012, for 71.9%
  • Kuroma got another toon almost to 85 and now sits at 1436, or 71.3%
  • Cheetah Dave cranked out several new toons and 100 levels this month to sit at 883 of 2012.  He’s almost halfway now at 43.9%
  • Kamalia got her first Alliance toon to 40 (a Mage) and a new alt to 42 as she now sits at 1378 or 68.5%
  • Lyla at Harpy’s Nest focused on half a dozen toons and is now up to 1445, 71.8%.
  • Hadleigh of Heal-Alt-Delete posted her progress early this morning, and despite deleting a lvl 5 Mage is up to 276.  13.7% is decent progress for a raider such as herself.  I also give a nod to her Human Warlock Macabrelle.  I like it.
  • Reluctant Raider has been plague-a-fied and is exempt from math related activities at this time.  Doctor’s note and all.  Get better!
  • NEW! we have a new inmate today, as Chuckem from over at Lord of Assets has answered the call (or voices).  As he puts it, he’s a bit behind the 8-ball as he deleted some toons last week.  But, he’s still at 336, or 16.7% of the way!

One Week In

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

As we sit now ten days into the new year, I’ve come to realize many people actually have made resolutions in-game.  Some refer to them as WoWalutions.  Around here, of course, we refer to it as “The 2o12 Challenge.”  That was the resolution I made to kick off this new year, and I was pleasantly surprised when other people signed up to join me.

The latest inmate participant is Erinys from Harpy’s Nest.  She joins myself and Kamalia in the bloggers department, while fellow guildies Kuroma and Cheetah Dave round out what is now a fab five.  So how is everyone doing thus far?

-I had a non-leveling week as it were, but still put in 20 fresh ones.  Half that came from a new Troll Priest.  I sit at 775, or 38.5%.

-Dave put me to shame, banging off 41 levels this week and putting him over 800 in the process.  At 822 he’s at 40.9% and swearing at me for giving even his bank alts a few levels.

Kamalia rolled a Night Elf Rogue and Draenei Paladin, getting each to level 10.  Those twenty levels put her to 1315, or 65.4%.

-Kuroma had a busy week and only had the time for 4 levels, but she’s at 1398 so there’s no worry for her.  That’s 69.4% so much like Kamalia, she’s in fine shape.

Erinys signs up this week with 1418 levels to her credit, or 70.5%.  She’s the first to have less than 600 to go, which amounts to less than 2 levels a day for the rest of the year.  I won’t lie…kinda jealous.

So there you have it.  We’re all at different stages and all putting in varying amounts as we go.  For me, it’s turned into a lot of fun and I hope it stays that way.  I haven’t change my play style too much as I don’t want the challenge to lose that “oh so fresh feeling.”

If you’re still on the fence about the idea, it’s never too late to sign up.  Just click on the link and then drop me a line.  We’ve always got room for more!

(edit: and then there were six!  Welcome to Heal-Alt-Delete)