Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Parting Ways with the Caravan

My Paladin Pals
My Paladin Pals

This is going to be my last WoW post for now. I’ve had to think long and hard about whether to continue at a full price subscription come the end of this month or not, and for reasons I’ll talk about later, I’ve decided I’m going to have to put the game on hold.

But I didn’t want this post to be all about saying goodbye! I wanted to detail some of the progress I made on my Monk, who is now level 48.

Part of the Caravan

I traveled to the Eastern Plaguelands, which were aesthetically not pleasing one bit. I know that was probably the the point of the zone, but I was really pushing to try to get through it due to the dull feeling of the area. The exceptions to this were the burned-out villages, that had a ghostly feel – and a ghost story as well! I did enjoy those parts. Even the wildlife in those places are strange and ghostly, which was a nice touch.

On the Caravan

Becoming a part of the caravan was what saved this zone for me. The very first person I met when entering the zone was a Worgen named Fiona. She sends you out hunting for her two Paladin companions, Gidwin and Tarenar, who were instantly recognizable as a nod towards Legoals and Gimli from the LotR movies.

I quested with this group. Did errands for this group. And when it was time to move on, they invited me to ride on their caravan. This set the scene for some really funny NPC dialogue between the characters, and I soon find myself happy to be a part of this little group. As we moved across the map, we picked up and helped other NPCs, until the story played out and the two Paladins (and myself) eventually became part of the Argent Crusade.

If not for these characters, I doubt this area would have been very memorable to me at all. But I had a lot of fun meeting them, and felt somewhat sad when I moved on to the next zone.

The Bad Lands

I was prompted to travel to the next area, the Bad Lands, via rocketship. This was at first glance, a desert location mixed up with goblins and their strange inventions. I was amused by the experience, including butting poor goats off the top of the hills near the towns. But what really caught my attention was a storyline that tangled me with dragons.

I didn’t expect the turn of events, and I do hope to find out how the story ends one day. Anything with dragons is of interest to me.



Parting Ways

As I said above, I’ve made the tough choice that I need to streamline my gaming a bit, including subs games. If WoW was any sort of F2P, I wouldn’t be putting it down. But as it stands, I have to make a choice between two sub games, and I’m loathe to put down FFXIV with all the time and effort I’ve stuck into it.

As it is, I’ve hardly picked up WoW this week because my gaming pals are super into 7D2D still. I’m also super interested in seeing where the new Starbound update is taking that game. Plus I have sooo many single player games that need my attention!

For those reasons, I can’t see myself subbing a second game at full price at this point. Also, I’ll be travelling soon, and just won’t have a lot of time to game. So, it’d be silly to re-up a sub when I’m not going to be around to play it.

Now, my impressions of WoW are pretty favorable. So I’m not throwing in the towel because I haven’t enjoyed my time or because I’m frustrated with the game. I do want to pick it up sometime again, maybe when things are a little less hectic for me. It also all depends on what happens with FFXIV in the upcoming year.

My one kinda-negative about WoW is that I’m acutely aware that I’m probably missing all sorts of important things in the story and lore simply because I know so little about the WoW world. I can enjoy the zone’s stories for what they are (props to the writers for this), but I bet I can’t see the detailed meaning of things.

My Monk at Level 48

This sort of thing is important to me, in so much as it’s just way too overwhelming to try and tackle. I’ve had plenty of folks put out the offer to fill in the blanks for me if I need it (thank you). And I suppose if I really wanted to put out the effort to discover 10 years worth of lore and game development, it’s possible. But, call me lazy, I’m not really looking to put that kind of investment in any game right now.

It would be like walking into Guild Wars 2 without playing Guild Wars 1 – so much is lost without that knowledge and experience. But that original experience took years of time to build up and being there to see it unfold.

I suppose that’s another reason why I passed on ESO, too. I don’t have a background in the Elder Scrolls universe and I feel quite lost in that world, as if I’m missing those important little things that I should really know.

Again, this isn’t WoW’s fault — you can’t fault a massive game like this for having expansive lore. That’s a good thing! I suppose you should blame me for being a little jaded, and unable to process this huge amount of lore. Maybe one day when I have more time to sit down with it, I can sort through it and it’ll make sense to me.

Until then, I’m content with my experiment to at least try out WoW. After playing 50 hours of the game, I can now say that I have some working knowledge of the early levels of the game, how the game feels, how it’s changed since vanilla, and the kinds of content the game provides. I was pleasantly surprised to see that artistically, the game has aged well. I enjoyed the writing, NPCs, pet battles, and think that Monk was an excellent choice for me to play.

If I ever get the itch to continue exploring this world, I’ll be back!

Posted in Gaming, WoW

WoW Screenshot of the Day: Motherhood in Azeroth

In Azeroth, this is how mothers do.

Meet Kelly Dumah, devoted mother and wife to Nathaniel Dumah. They live happily in Nathaniel’s family mill in the lovely, scenic Northridge (Western Plaguelands).

Picture credited to Wowhead.
Picture credited to Wowhead.

Yes, everything is idyllic… except for maybe those rabid foxes… gnolls… huge spiders… that sort of thing. Half the time, I couldn’t tell if Kelly was being passive-aggressive in her quest text. She tries to seem happy for her husband’s choice to take them out into the middle of war-torn nowhere, but on the other hand, she seems to think Nathaniel is lacking in better judgement. For some reason the quest text struck me funny, especially since I read most of it in a sarcastic light.

I’m happy for Nathaniel: he’s spent so long trying to return to Northridge, and now with the Scarlet Crusade out of the way, he can finally move back home. It’s just… even for such a seemingly-idyllic setting, it’s not really the best place to raise a family.

For example: along this valley’s edge, you will find rabid foxes searching for innocent prey. Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of one looking right at me.


Farther to the south, you will find Redpine gnolls… a new arrival to the area. You probably passed some on your way here. Nathaniel pretends like they’re not a problem, but I know better.


I have my doubts about those gnolls’ intentions. They haven’t attacked us yet, but their numbers are growing, and they seem to always have their weapons ready. I’m no military expert, but that seems a little aggressive to me.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed Kelly’s… interesting… mothering techniques. I laughed so hard when some comments joked it’s an epic new shield skin. XD

Also, note the rolling pin in hand. Right.


Posted in Gaming, WoW

Newcomer to Wow: Pirates and Undead

Tomb of Uther
Tomb of Uther

I entered the Cape of Strangelthorn at the upper end of the level bracket (level 34 for a level 30-35 area), and I was starting to feel a little bit of a slow-down in leveling progress due to it. I was there for the experience, however, so I stuck by the zone to see the story through. It started a bit slow until quests finally directed me to the town of Booty Bay.

In Booty Bay
In Booty Bay

I have a love-hate relationship with the place. I love the atmosphere of the pirate town, and I especially love the fact that there’s a bank, mailbox and auctioneer there. But navigating through the town, up and down the ramps, and through multi-tiered buildings to find quest givers and receivers cost me more time and frustration.

The questline led me to helping the pirates in Booty Bay and protecting the town from another faction of pirates, the Bloodsails. To do this, I was charged to infiltrate the Bloodsails and learn as much about their plans to attack the city as I could. The fun part was working my way up from a deck swabber to a captain of my own pirate ship (too bad I couldn’t keep it… I had some thoughts, though).

Despite my best efforts, the attack on Booty Bay still came. I was most impressed at how the town was transformed into a fiery invasion through WoW’s use of phased content. I’ve been seeing this phasing working throughout most the zones I’ve quested through, usually at key moments in battle. A peaceful town transforms into a location under siege, then smoothly transforms back, or sometimes into an after-war state, as quests progress.

Since I’ve never quested in a group, I’m not sure how the phasing content effects other people – such as grouped party members – but I never saw where the content said it was solo only. From time to time, I’d see someone else in the phased content, so I know it wasn’t a solo instance. Just interested in how this tech worked.

At the end of the zone, I had two different quests leading me to new locations: A hero’s call to the Southern Barrens and one provided by War-Mage Erallier to help with the Battle for Andorhal. I chose to take the portal to Andorhal, and was dropped in the middle of a war-torn city.

Enter the Western Plaguelands

The Western Plaguelands is under constant attack by the undead Scourge, with several groups of the living attempting to reclaim and heal the land. The city of Andorhal is at the center of this, and using the phasing content, I participated in several waves of attacks on the city during my questing there.

I also found myself caught up in an interesting conflict between the two Death Knights, Thassarian and Koltira Deathweaver. I didn’t know their background, but felt prompted to check out their story via the wiki, especially after witnessing a truce between them.


I was quickly “whispered” to by Thassarian to keep my mouth shut about what I saw. I thought it was really neat that an NPC acknowledged my presence and communicated in such a way.

Sure thing.
Sure thing.

There were a number of highlights in this zone that come to mind. I visited the tomb of Uther Lightbringer – I know Uther from the short time I played Warcraft 3 waaaay back in the day. I also took on a number of hilarious quests helping upstart druid Zen’Kiki find his place among the Cenarion Circle. I loved how he’d join up in my party and just do his own thing, including failed shapeshifting and killing himself with moonfire.

Other Stuff

While questing in the Western Plaguelands, I reached level 40, which gave me access to a skill for faster ground mounts. I bought that, and a new improved turtle mount, and am really enjoying the extra ground speed!

Also, I’m very grateful at this point that I took the advice to level both herbalism and mining on my first character. For a while, I had no idea how I’d make the money required for future riding skill upgrades. By selling materials I find as drops and from my gathering classes on the AH, I’ve been able to save up quite a bit of gold! My only grump is getting used to the AH, especially after getting used to the ease of the ArcheAge AH, which automatically tells you the current lowest price per unit of any item you want to sell.

I’ve already moved on to the Eastern Plaguelands, but I want to wait to blog that until I complete the zone. Last night, I reached level 46, so I’m moving right along now that I’m in zones that are a bit closer to my level.

New level 40 turtle mount!
Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Day 5



I’ve been a little slow in writing up this post because I’ve had a lot of other things vying for my time. While I did play pretty heavily over the weekend, reaching level 34, I haven’t had a lot of time for anything other than pet battles (thanks to the great new patches put out by 7D2D).

Duskwood: Progress

Saving the town from Stitches
Saving the town from Stitches

Duskwood was a pretty neat zone to quest through. I especially enjoyed learning about the Worgen, and all the dark, creepy scenery. Morgan Ladimore’s story was poignant to me – my monk currently carries his blade now that I’m trying out dual wielding. I’m not sure who Abercrombie thought he was fooling, or why my monk continued to bring him all the stuff he needed to complete his… project. I also enjoyed following the rather tragic storyline of  Tobias Mistmantle and his missing brother.

All pretty strong quest lines that kept me interested in this zone, along with the atmosphere.

Through the Northern Stranglethorn

Eventually, however, I moved beyond Duskwood into the Northern Stranglethorn. This was the first really quest-grindy zone I’ve encountered so far. I’m seeing a bit less of an overarching, hand-holding questline than I did back in earlier zones. Instead, I find the typical quest hubs littered with many “!”.

There were sooooo many “Hunt 20 tigers/raptors/panther” quests in this zone! And then after that, hunt 10 of them. And then 5 of them. And then the king of tigers/raptors/panthers. Okay. So these quests were “hidden” with the premise that you were supposed to be proving your worth to the hunters in Stranglethorn. But really. This was the first time I felt blah about a quest hub so far.

The one quest line that saved this zone for me was the raptor quests. Early on, I discovered a baby raptor who took a liking to my monk. The moment I saw her, I was like, “Can I keep her! I want that!” She followed me around, I cared for her, she assisted me in locating things for quests, and initiated new quests through her discoveries. Then, later in the zone, she was taken away from me by the troll antagonist.

My baby raptor!
My baby raptor!

This made me sad. My monk went through great lengths to try and rescue the little raptor, even using the bond between us to see through her eyes. The neat scenario in this zone was “raptor play” where you were able to control the baby raptor and assist her in an attempt to escape from the troll camp. Sadly, the attempt failed, and an NPC basically told me that there was nothing we could do to rescue her until more backup arrived and was organized to infiltrate the camp at a much later time.

That cut the questline right there for me, leaving me a little disgruntled. So I did some research and discovered this becomes a higher-level raid instance, and that you can earn the raptor as a mount within the raid. Part of me was disappointed – I wanted to keep the raptor. Another part thought it was neat, because within the time it takes to level up to attempt the raid, the raptor grows up to become a mount. A neat feeling of time passing.

I’ve read that monks can solo this raid eventually, so that’s a future goal for me. Get my little raptor back!

Enter the Cape of Stranglethorn & Random Thoughts

I moved beyond Northern Stranglethorn into Cape of Stranglethorn, where I last left my monk, and will pick up next. Leveling has slowed down for me a bit since I’ve almost outleveled the zones I’m working through at this point. My monk is level 34, and Cape of Stranglethorn is level 30-35.

This also allows me to breeze through most the quests without much trouble. Monk is incredibly powerful with the Touch of Death skill, to be honest. I haven’t met a boss enemy so far that I can’t automatically down in three hits, thanks to it.

I went with the Windwalker specialization to start with. Though I have another specialization I unlocked at level 30, I haven’t explored it yet. I’ll likely pick Brewmaster for that as I heard it’s an excellent solo tank.

The folks in WoW are an interesting bunch. So many times, I’ll be minding my own business when another player comes by, stops and takes the time to wave to me for no reason. Maybe they’re being friendly, or maybe they’re just happy to see another low level player in the low level zones. While these zones are not completely abandoned, they also aren’t super populated. Either way, it’s nice to have that acknowledgement, especially coming from other games where I rarely even get a wave from a guildie sometimes.

I’ve taken a short break from WoW this week, but I hope to get back into it soon and see what the new zone has to offer!

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Day 3 & 4

Assisting Shen-zin Su

I didn’t get a lot of time to play on Thanksgiving day, but on Black Friday, I was questing as much as I could. My monk is now level 26 – I did purchase the starter pack while it was on sale. I’m happy to finally have my first mount, and to be able to claim my little flame corgi pet!

Leaving Pandaria

Arriving in Stormwind

The end of the questline through the starting area in Pandaria was very impressive. It was interesting how they introduced the Horde and the Alliance to the player, and then provided a choice of which side to help out. I’ve never been big on playing the Horde, but they were the first I met, and were shown in a very honorable light (gotta love Taurens). In the end, though, I chose Alliance, simply because that’s what I remembered playing before.

So, I arrived in Stormwind, bested their king, and got lost in the huge city. My first annoyance with the game (I only have a few) is that I can’t find anything in the cities or towns. The NPCs aren’t marked on the map, and you have to do it oldskool – ask a guard where things are. I’ve ended up turning to Curse for add-ons to fix this, and though I downloaded Atlas and the Atlas town pack, it’s not working for me (noob mistakes, I’m sure). Not knowing where NPCs are is a major frustration and time-loss for me, so any help anyone can provide will be great! Update: Nevermind. Figured it out.

I picked up my first professions, too. I read that with the first character, going mining and herbalism was a good foundation. I also unlocked fishing and cooking, though I’m staying away from those as I know the moment I get into it, I’ll be dragged away from quests forever.

Enter Westfall

I felt a little lost once I was plopped down in the middle of Stormwind. My companions mysteriously vanished (I found them again later on a small island off to themselves), and all I  had to guide me was this “Call to Heroes” from the message board in the middle of the city. I followed that and ended up in the zone of Westfall.

I later discovered that every so often, once your character clears a certain level, you’ll get a new Call to Hero quest that leads you to the next level-appropriate zone. Once I figured that out, it was pretty clear what to do. I just had to reach that realization first.

I remember this Westfall chasm in particular from long ago.
I remember this Westfall chasm in particular from long ago.

I remember Westfall from back when I played in vanilla WoW. I remember trying to level through it and that it was pretty tough. I also remember that was the last zone I actually saw before I left the game. None of my characters made it past Westfall, so it was ironic that coming back to the game, that was the first place I picked up my journey with the Alliance.

Though the landscape and creatures are the same as I remember, they’ve definitely overhauled the questing in this area. It played out like a murder mystery where I had to assist Lieutenant Horatio Laine in discovering who killed a local farmer. The questlines became even more amusing when Laine started throwing out punch lines and putting on sunglasses like the CSI Miami “YEEEEEAH” memes. Completely unexpected, but set the stage for the kind of questing I’d be doing in this game. 🙂

So, I worked through all the Westfall quests and was pleased to see that while it led me up to a dungeon, it didn’t cut my quest line short with a forced group instance. Instead, it let me discover the place, which was a gentle prod to try it out if I wanted to. But the solo quest lines had a tidy ending, finishing up the story for the zone before I followed the hero’s call to the next zone.

Enter Redridge Mountains

My next call led me to the Redridge Mountains where I assisted the locals with a variety of issues. Like in the previous zone, the folks of Lakeshire are in over their heads… and what do they need? A band of heroes to save the day!

Team Bravo!
Team Bravo!

This zone threw me directly into an action hero movie, I swear. I became part of the Bravo team, who often accompanied me through missions, covert and not so covert. There were a lot of explosives, a quest where I killed over 200 orcs in a huge war tank in less than three minutes, and a dragon battle at the end. I mean… you can’t beat a quest named. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”


It was quirky, it was fun, it was totally unexpected. And I even felt something for my NPC companions as the story for this zone ended. Sacrifices were sadly made, but I still wear the bandanna of the Bravo team as I make my way on through the world.


Starting Duskwood

My next hero’s call lead me to the dark forest of Duskwood. I vaguely remember this area from long ago – I might have passed through here as a terrified low level noob for some reason or another. I have a history of running through zones as a low level and somehow coming out alive. 🙂

The quests here are interesting, and I like the undead-spooky vibe from the area. However, so far, it doesn’t seem quite as cohesive as the previous areas. Maybe I just haven’t hit the point where they all jell yet. It’s fine, though, as I’m still having fun exploring and checking out the new area.

Other Stuff

I can see that the art style in the older zones aren’t the same quality as the newer zones, but it hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I think the updated character models probably do a lot to help the situation – even if the landscape isn’t so new looking, character models can help you brush over this as long as they look fairly modern.

While I was in Duskwood, I saw a Worgen druid in cat form. This prompted me to check out the druid forms of the different races. I was really interested by the colors that the Troll animal forms have, so I decided to roll a Troll for that reason alone. I’ve never had much interest in playing on the Horde side, but from the few quests I did complete with the Trolls, they aren’t what I expected (in a good way). While I want to concentrate on my Panda first (I’d like to unlock Death Knight at 55, if I can make it there), I’m interested in exploring my Troll Druid eventually!

Turtle dragon mount and corgi pet - check!
Turtle dragon mount and corgi pet – check!
Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Luv in Unexpected RP



A few nights ago, I logged in to WoW for a really quick late-night bout. My goal was to finish off the level I was on – at the time, that was level 7 – and get a few quests finished up. Only, something different happened instead.

As I was minding my own business and turning in quests, another Panda bowed to me. I’d never seen him before, but being polite, I bowed in return. This apparently opened up the way for unexpected role play. He began chatting with me in character about the situation at hand (we needed to wake up the earth sprite, who was stubbornly asleep). At first, I froze up a little, because I’m just shy like that and didn’t expect to find RP in the intro areas. But then, I told myself – this is an RP server, this is what you signed on for. So I RPed back to him, feeling awkward, because my character isn’t exactly a fleshed-out character or anything.

At one point, I thought he was going his own way, so I wished him luck and continued with my quests. To my surprise, and slight dismay,  he began to follow me. I wasn’t sure how to take that at first – being a girl gamer, I’ve seen my share of rudeness. But he didn’t do or say anything crude, nor was he doing anything annoying, so when I returned to town for the turn-in and he began RPing about the quests we were on, I responded with RP once again.

Before I realized it, I had earned a RP travel companion. We spent about 30-40 mins working through quests and exploring together (though I could tell he knew where he was going, he let me lead and make my own pace). He was even patient when I stopped to listen to a local storyteller sharing lore with Panda children. In fact, he cheerfully RPed with the NPCs, and had me laughing quite a bit.

He probably says that to all the girls, but it was still pretty cute.
He probably says that to all the girls, but it was still pretty cute.

It was late for me, so I eventually had to tell him that I needed to “rest and meditate” once I arrived in the next village – RP for I needed to go to bed. He accepted this, but not before giving in to the casual flirty complement, hug, and declaration of his love for my character. It was actually cute as he stammered it, blushed and sped off over the hill as if totally embarrassed about his revelation. The whole thing was amusing and in good fun, I could tell, and a refreshing change from the toxicity I experienced in other games (AA, I’m looking at you).

Thank you, sir, for making me feel welcomed and offering me an unexpected RP experience on my second night in WoW.

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Trying WoW – First Impressions



Of all the MMOs I’ve dedicated time to over the years, WoW has not been one of them. Let me clarify: I did play Vanilla WoW right after launch for about a month. I don’t remember a whole lot other than I rolled a rogue, druid and hunter, and they were mostly all night elves. I remember fishing. A lot. I really enjoyed the fishing.

I don’t recall that I disliked the game. But I also don’t recall that I was swept away by it. That might be because I had just played EQ2 prior to trying WoW. In fact, I think I dropped my EQ2 sub to try WoW at my sister’s prodding. I don’t remember why I drifted away from both games in the end, but I did.

Here’s a secret: I’ve actually been proud that I am not a WoW player. I know that sounds silly. And it is. I mean, I don’t hold anything against WoW. It obviously must be doing something right to have so many subscribers. Maybe I just thought that set me apart from folks that seem to get caught up in WoW time and again.

I guess I always had it in my head that WoW wasn’t for me, despite me being an ultimate casual. When I think of WoW, I think of those crazy “More Dots” raiding groups. You know like…


However, I’ve been hearing so many good things about the new expansion, and that’s really impressive for a game of its age. After some time thinking about it, I decided to download the free trial, which now includes the MoP expansion, which was a big draw to me.

Go ahead. Point and laugh. I think the Pandas are cute, and that’s what I rolled. I also considered rolling a Worgen, but there was just a lot more Panda customization, and that drew me to my new monk. I might try a Worgen later because I like the idea of Worgen Death Knight.

WoW Noob Impressions

So, I’m pretty much a total noob to WoW. I’m not actually sure I should even try to play a brand new character from scratch at this point in the game’s development. But I figured, I might as well try the game and see what I think about it, to have that experience under my belt.

I rolled a Panda Monk, Aywren, on the Argent Dawn US server. I wanted an RP server, and AD was a name I remembered from back in the day.

First ever screenshot!

The first thing I noticed was that character customization, compared to other games, is quite low. I’m so used to detailed sliders and such. But that’s fine, as I still created a character that I like to look at.

The second thing I noticed was that the art style of the game has aged quite well! Starting in the Pandaria expansion, I found the visuals to be colorful, vibrant, and smooth. Much smoother than I thought it would be – then again, what I remember was running off a computer 10 years ago.

The Pandas are well animated, and moved fluidly. I don’t know about older zones, but these zones are very pleasing to my eye, and I like the way my character looks. The oriental atmosphere is strong in this zone, and I’ve been surprisingly delighted by the look and feel of everything.

The game holds your hand. A lot. At first, this was great. But I don’t need it to keep reminding me to press “M” for map and press “C” to view the item I just equipt. Overall, the learning curve is low, and I was able to jump into the game without a problem. Just wish the tutorial would teach you how to auto loot – I had to Google that.

The story and quest line has been low-stress so far. I like the NPCs, and I while the story isn’t taking my breath away, some of the quests have delighted me. The world feels much more alive than I remember, seeing NPCs wandering around, some even stopping to acknowledge you as you pass through. There’s a lot of voice acting, which I like. There’s also a lot of Blizzard-brand humor, which I find amusing.

It’s so cute!

Leveling is moving along at a fair pace. I played a few hours last night, and got to level 6 without trying very hard. Lots of equipment loot from quests is nice, and not a ton of quests throwing “!” in your face all over the place, which is good. Just a nice, streamlined momentum through the area. The quest giver even appears to move through the zone with you so that you don’t have to do the run back to turn in stuff.


I’m interested in what I’ve played so far, and will continue to level and quest through this zone. I have a feeling that I’ll be seeing level 20 sooner than I know what to do with. That’s where the free trial ends.

Interestingly enough, Blizzard has the base WoW game for sale for $4.99 until next Tuesday. I couldn’t have timed a sale better myself. If I still intend to play after this weekend, I’m totally ready to pick up the box and a month’s sub for $4.99 and see where it takes me.

I’ll keep the blog updated with my thoughts and progression!