Category Archives: Elford the (former) Executive

Equal Amounts of Stubbornness and Desperation

Since Elford had reached exalted status with Stormwind and had become a free man, he decided to go back to his old profession – business. Last time he had been to Booty Bay, he could tell his void had been filled, everyone only had errands for him, no one offered him back into the inner circles. The business was tough, everyone wanted to rise above the rest and Elford had lost his old position as an executive, so he had to be clever about building up a new network of partners. However, this was not as easy as he thought it would be.

What happened next was purely driven by equal amounts of stubbornness and desperation. He needed to get back on track!

Duskwood was close nearby so he traveled there to try and make connections to potential business partners.

Even though Elford thought gnomes would help gnomes, they couldn’t offer him anything.

Trying to network with humans was often overly bureaucratic and it was difficult getting further than the front desk.

Even his old friend Carl Goodup, who was working at the Darkmoon Faire as a balloon salesman, only had old grudges from when Elford had invested in a few highrise buildings right around Carl’s small house.

There was no way Carl would forgive that old blunder.

He even went to Goldshire to see if anyone sane was in town.

Even thought his personal story made for excellent entertainment, these people spent more time drinking and fooling around than talking serious business.

He then figured he could travel across the Great Sea to Gadgetzan. This was initially a good idea, but even though Stormwind might have forgiven his hiccup of trading with Bilgewater, Gadgetzan hadn’t.

Here he was the laughing stock, an example of everything you shouldn’t do, and yet Elford knew none of these people had high ethics about cross faction trading, to them it was all a matter of not getting caught.

He did everything he could to help out in Tanaris, but maybe what he really needed to was to wait for some other goon to mess up and become the new comedy gag of the month.

And so he knew what his next move would be…

- From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

The WoW Ironman Challenge – Level 40 Status

I know the surge of the Ironman Challenge has not been new and exciting for a long time, yet I am still happily playing my ironman character Elford. He’s a side project really, sometimes I get bored of him, sometimes I log in and thoroughly enjoy playing him, sometimes I just don’t have much time to play WoW, so he doesn’t move forward very fast.

On Difficulty

Elford has reached level 40, however the secret is that it happened months ago and that I am far behind portraying his story.

He is currently lvl 49, but I am holding off with lvl 50 until I have caught up here.

When reading the status post at lvl 30, I sound like I am not intending to level him much further and that I don’t see him going into Outland.

But these 10 levels changed a lot. While getting out of Stranglethorn and into the thirties, the difficulty somehow went down into comfortable – not easy, but comfortably difficult. I still go to zones 6-8 levels below Elford’s level, mobs are green, so that is fine. The only issues I may have is evaluating how hard a quest-boss or rare elite will be. They vary a lot in strength, but I have not had issues to the degree of Chief Gaulus (in STV) and Grand Magus Doane (in Redridge) again.

When Elford ran into Hagg Taurenbane, a rare in Southern Barrens, I had to try my luck. It’s the thing with rares, you just have to try. Both Taurenbane and Elford were the same level, but his hp was 3 times higher – facts that made me expect certain death.

To my surprise, I managed to get him! I was so proud and so was Elford.

Of course if you read on Wowhead, you’ll learn that lots of people solo him at 23.

Elford has since killed several rare elites, so difficulty is now scaling better, he will surely go to Outland, although I suspect he might have to be lvl 65 or so to tackle it.

On Sub-Goals

Because I didn’t see Elford going far, I had made the sub-goal of reaching exalted with Stormwind, which was also tied into Elford’s storyline.

Finding a good sub-goal that has a shorter horizon than lvl 85 worked well to keep my motivation going, especially when fx lvl 40 is no longer a milestone the way it used to be. Now you don’t get any fancy new spells, you don’t get riding at that level anymore (’cause you got that at 20 instead), nothing happens! Level 50 does promise me the spell Mirrior Image, which both Elford (and especially I) will be looking forward to. But that’s why reaching exalted with Stormwind was really nice timing.

However, it also posed a challenge in the narrative. Why would Elford keep leveling as a mage, now that the initial reason no longer exists? He will need to have along thought about what he wants for the future and where his life is heading. Finding a new sub-goal would also be a good idea.

- Next episode: Equal Amounts of Stubbornness and Desperation
– From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

“Somebody Likes Me”

Moving on to Dustwallow March, Elford wasn’t sure he could handle yet another area like Duskwood, that most of all felt like starring in a horror movie, but for Stormwind to recognize Elford’s hard work, he needed to be where the right people were watching.

Even the Mudsprocket residents were watching …or was Elford being checked out?

Apparently checking up on crazy local hermits was something Theramore cared about, in fact Elford often found himself doing simple tasks that didn’t seem that important to the overall cause.

But soon, that didn’t matter.

He was talking to Morgan Stern, the local chef at the Theramore Inn, about helping out with his bug-ingredients, but Stern also mentioned, besides the not so heroic errands he wanted Elford to do, that he had heard that people were impressed with him.

…that somebody liked him.

Reports of Elford’s work had reached the Stormwind headquarters.

When Lisbeth Schneider had pulled him to court for selling her unique Stylish Black Shirts to the Horde, he was amongst other things sentenced to community service, and now he had done his time. He had restored his lost reputation with Stormwind, he was now exalted and a free man.

This also meant a few opportunities opened up to him, and he traveled back to Stormwind with the next boat that undocked Theramore.

In Stormwind he was now allowed to buy the mount of a gentleman – a horse. Without much inspection, he bought a brown one. He didn’t know much about horses but the breeder spoke well of this one. It was to be the symbol of his latest achievement and Elford thought he had made a fine purchase.

He added his new companion to his collection of portrait picture frames, this horse was definitely worth bragging about.

-

- Next episode: The WoW Ironman Challenge – Level 40 Status
- From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

Did They Knit and Paint Watercolors too?

Stranglethorn had been hard on Elford, and aiding Southern Barrens was not much different. He had tasted the fires of Deathwing and Sleeping conditions compared to Fort Livingston were only slightly better.

How could these people call themselves Innkeepers? He promised himself that he would leave this area as soon as possible.

Not far from Northwatch Hold Elford spotted a mangled body on the ground. The tabard made it clear the man came from Northwatch.

Nope, he had no loot.

Instead Elford found a cargo manifest describing sundries needed on the front.

Normally he wouldn’t go out of his way to investigate such an incident unless he would gain something himself, but this was an obvious opportunity to get more of his lost reputation with Stormwind back, if he could prove extra helpful to the forces stationed in Southern Barrens.

Bloody trails lead through what looked to be a primitive gate. Judging from the impaled skulls and voodoo wind chyme, this looked like a troll dwelling.

He decided to follow the blood trails, hoping to find a lead to where the supplies had gone, but the further he went forward, the weirder it got.

Not far within the den, a bloody decapitated tauren head was dangling.

Another mobile? What was this?

Elford had heard about some trolls tribes practicing cannibalism and voodoo. Was this going to be his first fight against black magic?

He went further in and all he could see were raptors – terrortooth raptors with feathers and beads on them.

No trolls around, not even inside the small shallow huts.

Elford had never seen anything like this before. How developed was the terrortooth raptor culture?  Did they knit and paint watercolors too?

Or did trolls have something to do with this?

Elford remembered a rumor he had heard once about how troll rogues would tie feathers and beads on raptors to prove how sneaky they were.

It was the best explanation Elford knew of, and maybe these mass graves around the raptor den were the result of all the troll rogues, who failed their rites of passage.

Elford hurried to bring the supplies back and his efforts were recorded. He didn’t mention any details about the puzzling location he had just visited, other than a bit of bragging about having killed all the raptors in sight with ease. And it was true, Elford had become a lot stronger in his magic abilities since his time in Duskwood and Westfall.

Maybe he could become a great mage some day.

Next episode: “Somebody Likes Me”
From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

Ironyca has Never Stood in the Fire, But Someone Else has!

I’ve been deceiving you all…

Ironyca has never stood in the fire.

But someone else (un?)fortunately has!

Unsuspectingly, Elford witnessed the sky turning fiery red while doing the dutiful deeds of the Alliance in Southern Barrens.

Swiftly his little bottom was swept from underneath him and he died in the flames of Deathwing.

Elford could now officially say that Deathwing had claimed a life of his.

He was getting good at this “dying”. Both in the sense it happened to him rather often, but he was also becoming more fearless, didn’t let the spirit realm whispering drive him mad, took the penalty like an ironman, although some would argue he wasn’t as hardcore as he’d like to think.

After having rushed back to his mortal remains, he realized that the Northwatch Recons were about to be surrounded by flames too.

He tried to warn them.

Maybe it was because he was a spirit, maybe it was because he was only as tall as grass – but the soldiers died one after another.

Elford had yet not realized how this would be of his actual benefit until he resurrected.

Piled in a mass grave, the scorched soldiers lay sparkling with their pockets full of coins. Elford had learned by now that the dead were fair game for looting. But what about his own faction, the very people whom a minute ago had worked to protect him?

Under the watchful gaze of a tauren Desolation Grunt, Elford picked a guilty handful of Recon earnings. At least the tauren didn’t get his hands on the money, nor did anyone else though, Elford kept it all.

Puffed and satisfied he traveled back to the Lion’s Pride Inn in Goldshire. Wefhellt, the mage trainer, had reminded him to come visit once in a while, both to maintain his mage training, but also to deliver saucy rumours.

This evening, however, Wefhellt was not as excited to see him as usual. Elford sensed it was best to leave the room and seek accommodation elsewhere.

- Next episode: Did They Knit and Paint Watercolors too?
- From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

Did Elford Sense a Tinge of Irony?

There were two reasons for Elford’s premature departure from Stranglethorn Vale.

First of all, the accommodation just became very rural. It was admittedly jungle standards so his expectations were not as high. However, when he arrived late at Fort Livingston, conditions went from bad to worse. Was this?…


Yes, this was the inn, run by the man himself: Livingston Marshal <Innkeeper>. This tent had nothing inside other than a barrel and a few boxes.

Calling it an “inn” was more than a stretch and so was calling this camp a “fort”, it was more like a campsite surrounded by a fence. Someone was obviously suffering from great delusions…

The other problem was that he quickly found himself in the exact situation he wanted to avoid when starting over from scratch – running lousy errands for pirates in Booty Bay.

It was hard to not squirm at the awkwardness of the situation while MacKinley was giving him the order:

“There’s three phases to debt collecting: asking nicely, asking forcefully, and something I like to call “Phase Three”.

Unfortunately, collecting during Phase Three is something that this old dog can’t do any more. That’s why I employ so many cronies, stooges, mooks, goons, and noble adventurers like yourself!” 

Did Elford sense a tinge of irony? He wasn’t sure, but it was unlikely that MacKinley would think highly of someone like him, posh and snooty compared to the rugged pirates around here. Regardless, he collected the debt and decided to leave by boat at dawn and continue on to Northwatch Hold, a military post that had the bonus quality of being a real fort!

- Next episode: Ironyca has Never Stood in the Fire, But Someone Else has!
- From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

Thank God Elford Didn’t Suffer From That!…

Elford decided to travel to the nearby area Stranglethorn Vale, after having completed his tasks in Duskwood. He was at first happy to leave this sinister place, only to be faced with the savage force of the jungle.

If Grand Magus Doane had been difficult, Elford had seen nothing yet.

He started off his adventure at the Rebel Camp, a group of former Kurzen explorers sent here from Stormwind on an expedition. The leader Colonel Conrad Kurzen had then been under the influence of corruption, which had led these rebels to defect. Now they wanted Elford to find information about what was going on at the Kurzen compound.

It was here Elford struggled and was advised to find safer grounds.

It was good advice. However, stubbornness prevailed.

He eventually found the prison records for several members of the Kurzen Expedition and upon reading them, he knew he was dealing with some tough brutes.

130 years of incarceration for going mad? Even Conrad Kurzen himself had been killed, his misdeed being weakness. Thank god Elford didn’t suffer from that!….

The rebels at the Rebel Camp was surprised to learn about the Colonel’s gruesome death and ordered Elford to stop the Kurzen legacy by killing the four highest ranking members all residing within a cave at the North of the compound.

Not taking the hunter’s advise before was a bad decision. The cave was deep and the leaders spread throughout it. Performing this reversed execution was hard.

Killing the first three went okay, it took a lot of blinking, a magical act Elford was very proud of – good for party tricks. The fourth guy Chief Gaulus made Elford unnerved. Having an empty dog house with no sight of a dog can’t be normal…

Then again, the mushrooms might explain that.

Chief Gaulus standing in the background enjoying the sight of a flat and very dead gnome.

Gaulus was for some ungodly reason much stronger than the others. His lightning shield ability was fierce and would almost cut Elford’s health in half.

Thankfully he wasn’t flung from towers but instead killed in a few blows where after he returned to bug Gaulus again, like a flea bouncing back.

Eventually he decided yet again to wait with this killing order until he had gained more jungle experience.

When time came, it took considerable magical strength and planning to finally bring this lunatic down. The toughest encounter yet.

Next episode: Did Elford Sense a Tinge of Irony?
From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge