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Kaprikka’s Daleera is a fast learner and dinged 100 before Kaprikka herself even managed to get as far as Embaari Village and her level 91 ding.

expanding my entourage

After finishing up the Nagrand storylines, this weekend BTH and I went on a “gotta catch ‘em all” flurry of rounding up the zone quest & exploration followers that we’d missed along the way. We couldn’t quite get them all; the NPC who drops the key to Goldmane the Skinner’s cage was bugged and not respawning, so we’ll probably have to wait until after the server reset/maintenance tomorrow morning to get him. We found Abu’gar himself while we were questing, but I admit that I cheated and looked up where to find his stuff — I just didn’t have the patience to go over the whole zone with a fine-toothed comb. I also cheated and looked up where to find Archmage Vargoth’s stuff. The exploring I did while going out to find the things was rather fun, but I do think it would have been more fun to just discover Vargoth’s stuff gradually in the process of doing the dailies for Apexis Crystals. I’ll have to be more patient and let my alts get him the real way.

Of course, acquiring all these new followers put me over my 20 active follower limit, so almost all of the new followers got benched as soon as they arrived in my Garrison. I have been prioritizing Patrol missions so that I can get to 50 Patrol missions completed for the achievement that awards the Level 3 Barracks plans.
ETA: Got the achievement, but where’s the blueprint? It didn’t show up right away on the blueprints vendor. I’m wondering if perhaps I have to upgrade my Town Hall to level 3 before I can upgrade any of my other buildings to level 3?

BTH’s Hunter has had all the luck with followers; he’s had several of them spontaneously upgrade to blue or purple on acquisition. One of his spontaneous upgrades to purple came with both Scavenging and an Epic Mount! I am so jealous! I, however, will have to recruit for Scavenging once I get my Garrison up to Level 3 and my Inn up and running and to Level 2. I also need to recruit for Leatherworking and possibly Skinning (depending on how Goldmane rolls when I get him), because I like the combat abilities of my current followers with those professions enough that I want them out doing missions instead of working in my profession buildings.

I had originally thought that for Kamalia, at least, I’d eventually want to get to a point where all 25 of her active followers were either Tauren or female. I think Leorajh and Talonpriest Ishaal are really cool, though, so she’ll probably end up with 23 Tauren or female followers, plus those two guys.

the 99th ding


The XP bar filled up with blue quite quickly, it seemed, relative to leveling in Cataclysm and Mists. Kamalia dinged 100 last night, a week after launch, partway through Nagrand, and would have dinged earlier had I not had exams to grade during the first half of the week.

This ding felt kind of anticlimactic — oh, this is happening already? so soon? Perhaps it didn’t feel quite so exciting because I’d already had two followers — Lantresor and Tuulani, if I’m remembering correctly — ding 100 ahead of me. Or perhaps playing so many alts to 90 during Mists has made dinging max level less of a thrill in general.

In any case, I was and am more interested in finishing up the questing and finding out what happens at the end of Nagrand than in actually getting to level 100 itself.

Meanwhile, I ran Kaprikka through Tanaan on Sunday night; since then, she’s been sitting in her Garrison sending her crack team of Qiana, Bruma, and Daleera off on mission after mission. I didn’t even push Kaprikka through to the level 91 ding, and her three followers are already up to 93.

When Kamalia expanded her Garrison to Tier 2, I originally chose the Barn to support her Skinning & Leatherworking professions. I soon started feeling resource-starved, though, so on Monday, I took the Barn down and put up a Lumber Mill instead. Since then, I’ve been having fun — and getting myself into trouble by running too casually through too many mobs — chasing after Small Timber. I plan to keep the Lumber Mill up at least until I upgrade my Garrison to Level 3. I’ve also been prioritizing missions that award Garrison Resources when I send out my followers.

Now that Kamalia has dinged 100, I’ve pulled the handful of Horde 90s who aren’t still busy growing Windshear Cactus and Songbells back to Orgrimmar so that I can begin sending them through the Dark Portal to establish their Garrisons and start providing me with profession stuffs.

A day or two ago, Kamalia’s Garrison produced a tantalizing mission –

It wasn’t that hard to choose who to send –

— but choosing which follower should get the Dancing lessons will take a bit of thought!

Kaprikka’s Garrison produced another Town mission –

— but I kept on ignoring it, and presently it fell off the list.


Over my lunch break yesterday, Kamalia hearthed back to Sunsong Ranch for the last time to make a final round of her favorite Pandarian fishing holes. The Garrison hearth was invaluable for allowing me to easily travel back and forth between Pandaria and Draenor while I worked on finishing up this rep grind. With this goal completed, I can now set Kamalia’s Astral Recall to wherever she happens to be on Draenor.

I didn’t manage to finish my Pandarian Archaeology museum — but going back to Pandaria to do that will have to wait until Warlords gets into its late expansion doldrums.

Friday night got us to level 92. Saturday, we finished up the Frostfire Ridge storylines (<3 Draka so much!) and headed into Gorgrond. There, we found such a bounty of bonus objectives that we were 94 in no time flat. Abandoning Gorgrond, we headed into Talador. In much the same way that the Dread Wastes feels like an amped-up version of the Ghostlands, Talador feels like an amped-up version of Eversong Woods. It’s got a very similar color palette and general terrain landscape, only with shiny crystal-studded art noveau blue and purple Draenei architecture instead of shiny crystal-studded art noveau red and gold Sin’dorei architecture. We cleaned out Talador pretty thoroughly, even getting all the bonus objectives, then headed into the Spires of Arak. We established our outpost there before calling it a day, having reached level 96 and already well on our way to 97.

It wasn’t until we established the outpost in Spires of Arak that I noticed that the main building of the outpost contained a Garrison Command Table. Huh. I went back to the other two outposts and found that their main buildings also contained Garrison Command Tables. So we could have just gone back to our outposts instead of hearthing back to our Garrisons themselves all day!

I am finding the missions and followers aspect of Garrisons quite compelling. My poor followers don’t get much chance to rest; as soon as one set of missions completes, I send them back out on another. I soon found myself wishing that Blizzard would make a Garrison Command Table app for smart phones, so that I can deploy my minions even when I’m not directly logged into the game!

The Garrison is already a much more appealing addition to the game for my personality type than Pet Battles were. I dabbled with Pet Battles as a mid-expansion umpteenth alt alternative leveling method, and they did work out quite well for that purpose. Once the Pet Battling Monk reached level 90, however, I stopped doing Pet Battles. I couldn’t even convince the Underpowered Death Knight to pick up the Pet Battling baton as a way for her to level. It didn’t help that my saved teams in the Pet Battle Teams addon seemed to get wiped every single time there was a patch/hotfixes. I’d decide to Pet Battle one day and have to re-organize my teams, then not think to Pet Battle again for another two or three weeks and come back to all my teams having been wiped again. That was really frustrating and discouraging. But still, if there were also an offline-mode Pet Battles app for smart phones, I might Pet Battle more often, too.

Dude, I love your mog!

BTH and I sat down to play together yesterday evening and only got a few quests into the Tanaan Jungle sequence before he lagged out and could neither properly log out nor do anything. My screen soon showed him as disconnected, whereas on his screen, he could still run all around — he just couldn’t interact with anything. While we were waiting for this situation to resolve, I looked around and noticed that a nearby NPC had the sort of funny name that I would normally associate with a player character. When I looked at the NPC, he had funny armor, too — it was a male Tauren Warrior named “Etubrute” decked out in the full Amani kit. So I had a look all around the steps of the Dark Portal, and everywhere I found pseudo-player character NPCs.

When I saw this guy, I just had to chuckle!

BTH did eventually get back into the game, and we were able to finish Tanaan, establish our Garrisons, take Bladespire Hold for the Frostwolves, and ding 91 before we logged off at about half-past midnight.

Here are all the pseudo-player NPCs I found in the battle at the Dark Portal: Continue Reading »

eleventh hour

At about the tenth hour — a week and a half or so ago — Kamalia decided that if she wasn’t going to be racing to 100 with Ronada, she might as well get to be Best Friends with Nat Pagle before she went to Draenor. She was still only just barely into Pal level at the time, so even with fishing the Paglefish diligently every day since then, she only just today became Good Friends with Nat.

At the eleventh hour — a few days ago — I decided that I really ought to run all my alts* through the pre-launch event quests for the trinket at the end. I played hard tonight getting them through, since I still had most of them left to do! As a result, I am pretty tired already, and I have school tomorrow, so I won’t be going to Draenor until tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, BTH finally finished up the single-player content that ESO launched with and decided that he would, in fact, come back to WoW for Warlords, after all. He got himself a 6-month subscription and transferred Ronada over to his guild’s new server. When we play together, it will be Kamalia and his Hunter.

*Except for the Male Tauren Warrior, whose job is to stay home and bank so that his daughters can go adventuring, and Kinevra, whom I have decided is done. If I play up another Alliance character to level 100 besides Kaprikka, it will be my Dwarf Shaman.

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