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Archive for the ‘Tauren’ Category

BTH and I flew back to Canada on Wednesday, only to find that our home internet had gone out. It took us until this afternoon to get it back online.

Among the many museums I visited while in Paris, I became particularly interested in going to the musee du quai Branly when I saw signs advertising that they had a temporary exhibition about the Plains Indians. I visited the wonderful Palais de la decouverte earlier that morning (it opens an hour before the Branly) and my camera’s memory card filled up just before I went in, so I was glad, when I finally got to the Branly, that I’d remembered to bring a sketchbook and some colored pencils.

This dress is based on a Lakota/Cherokee woman’s dress from around 1825, and the baby carrier is based on one made by the Dakota around 1840.

When I went into the museum’s permanent collection, these masks from Vanuatu, which apparently represent ogres of the local mythology, immediately reminded me of WoW’s Trolls:

The main body of the mask is a red clay, with designs painted in black. One mask stood out because it had a round face instead of an elongated one and bright blue paint instead of black. My sketches don’t adequately convey the strong dimensionality of the noses, eyebrows, and lips.

Our travels in Germany took us to Wurtzburg. Walking over the Alte Mainbrucke immediately reminded me of the bridge into Stormwind.


click on the images to visit the sites from which I borrowed them

Our last stop was in Freiberg, where we spent the weekend visiting with BTH’s parents, who have been there for the past 18 months as missionaries specifically called to serve in the Freiberg Temple. Senior couple missionaries have fewer restrictions on their activities than the young proselyting missionaries do, so on Monday (their day off), they took us to see the Terra Mineralia museum housed in one wing of the Freiberg schloss. The many huge crystal formations showcased in the collection — especially the amethysts — reminded me of the Draenei. They are also reminiscent of the areas of Outland where netherdrakes are found.

These aren’t quite the same thing as Syrco’s wonderful “What in WoW reminds you of your home?” prompt, though, so I shall have to address it properly sometime.

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BTH and I are in Switzerland now. There are not words for how utterly gorgeous it is; every way you turn to look there are mountains rising up steep and high and green and rocky, or lakes shimmering the most wonderful shades of turquoise, with towns crammed into the spaces between. We are staying in a B&B in a little town north of Luzern, in central Switzerland. On our way there, we stopped at the Chateau de Chillon –

–this is the most postcard-worthy of the pictures I took there. The herds of cows everywhere actually started in south-eastern France, as we drove through the Charolais region, which is famous for its white cattle. We have seen white cows and brown cows and red cows and black cows and red-and-white cows and black-and-white cows. We have driven through many tunnels — the longest one was 9.25 km. I saw a herd of cows grazing on the greensward just above the entrance to one tunnel. The weather has been sporadically showery and sunny, giving us moments like yesterday evening when we were driving at just the right angle relative to the sun to see a double rainbow!

Presently, the angle of the road changed just enough for us to be able to see both sides of the arc of the rainbow at once! That was simply magical!
This afternoon, we visited Altdorf in the canton of Uri. Some of BTH’s ancestors lived there, as well as this guy whom you may have heard of named William Tell.

The symbol of Uri has been a bull’s head for hundreds of years. The town hall at Altdorf has a display of Uri war banners from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Modern Uri flags have the bull’s head in either black or red on the golden ground:

Perhaps this explains part of BTH’s love for Tauren (that I soon came to share)?

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A few recent Transmogrification kits with which I am particularly well-pleased. Two of them use current tier items that I would not have even been able to think about using without the Mists LFR paradigm.

Shadra’s Burning Scroll

Burning Scroll Hood & Mantle (LFR), Hibernal Robe, Sorcerer’s Belt of Final Winter, Shimmering Gloves + Goldenvine Wraps, Ikeyen’s Boots, Formal White Shirt, Inscribed Serpent Staff
Dragonray’s ROYGBiV-Yellow outfit inspired Kaelinda to dive into Terrace of Endless Spring LFR. Luckily, it only took two weeks for her to win both the hat and the shoulders — and the belt. This kit would be very appropriate for a Troll!

Winged Triumph

Crown of Boastful Words, Mantle of Winged Triumph (LFR), Chestguard of Bitter Charms, Greatbelt of Living Waters, Legguards of the Apostle, Grips of the Fallen Council, Sabatons of the Humble, Cloak of Tranquil Clouds, Spellfire Longsword, Ancient Mogu Tower Shield (LFR)
This outfit is mostly comprised of pieces from another of my favorite tier sets from Mists LFR. Sadly, the sword that perfectly matches this shield, the LFR version of the Enchanted Shao-Tien Saber, is an Agility weapon and thus completely unobtainable by any spec of Paladin.

Soulspark

Cloudscorcher Cowl, Angkhal Amice, Soulcloth Vest, Wizard’s Belt, Manaspark Gloves, Cerulean Filigreed Doublet, Staff of the Redeemer
This hat looks best, I think, on white-haired Draenei and (naturally) Pandaren.
I was unexpectedly delighted by how nice this kit looked on a Goblin while running the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario — or maybe it was just that this kit looked great in that room?

As always, swing by my Fashion page to see if any other classes have also been recently updated.

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(for reference: The Underpowered Death Knight and the Orphans, Matron Kaumaleia)

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For the past several weeks, I’ve felt like Kaprikka, Koralyra, and Kinevra have been racing each other to get to 90, and that any one of them could potentially get there first.

Though I’ve drawn them all sprinting, Kaprikka is really the only one who’s sprinting, as she started the furthest behind. The other two have really just been jogging.

Koralyra tends to move in fits and starts; unless there’s a holiday going on, when I feel like doing the Pet Battle circuit, she gets XP, and when I don’t, she doesn’t. She’s currently about three-quarters of the way from 87 to 88.

Kinevra began the expansion at 85, of course, and has been slowly and steadily plugging away at various past-expansion daily hubs. She’s gotten a trickle of XP from running Firelands with the Old Ladies, too. This week, she finally reached level 87 and made a trip to Pandaria to get her Grummlepack. Because she was fully well-rested, that expedition got her about three-quarters of the way to 88.

Kaprikka dinged 80 on April 3rd and got to 85 about a week ago, on the 19th:

She then made a quick trip to Pandaria. After getting to the point where the portal from Paw’don Glade to Stormwind was open, she rode up to Dawn’s Blossom to buy some gear to let her queue for Pandaria dungeons. She’s been diligently fishing in the Dalaran fountain while waiting out her LFD queues. Friday night this week turned out to be a fine night for fishing indeed!

Now she’ll be able to use Bipsi’s Bobbing Berg just as soon as she can buy it! Yesterday, she went back to Pandaria and dinged 87 helping Ken-Ken save Zhu’s Watch. She then went up to Kun-Lai to get her Grummlepack; unlike Kinevra, she was already out of well-rested and only got forty-some-odd percent of the way to 88. Next, she rode down to the Incursion — I was pretty creeped out by suddenly having Lorekeeper Vaeldrin using Mind Vision on my character, versus a Horde character’s encounter with Chezin Dawnchaser at the side of the road — and by the time she reached the Sentinel Basecamp, she’d also dinged 88. Now that she’s pulled into the lead, Kaprikka will most likely be the winner.

Having played through the Dawnchaser storyline first, and multiple times, Sentinel Lyalia’s opinions of the Sunwalkers pain me. Not trusting the Horde is a Sentinel’s business, but the Sunwalkers — and especially the Dawnchasers! — sure don’t seem to me like they’re “the most militant branch of the tauren armies within the horde”! Not when Kor Bloodtusk vehemently complains about their pacifism! Either Lyalia is dreadfully misinformed, or I am — is there something that Sunwalkers, specifically, do somewhere in Kalimdor that I don’t know about yet because I haven’t played through most of those zones as Alliance?

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is it getting hot in here?

This episode of “why is there not a /swoon emote?” brought to you by the updated Male Tauren model.

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but… my *wings*…!

Apparently, the thing which most stood out to me from the 6.0 patch notes was “Avenging Wrath will now be Retribution-only”.

Despite the fact that I already have a Retribution Paladin, and that she is still nine levels short of getting Avenging Wrath herself because I haven’t played her in ages because the Ret playstyle didn’t really click with me, here I have rolled a second Tauren Paladin to be Ret and have wings…

And because that gave me two of every Tauren class except Priest, here is a second Tauren Priest.

And despite my long-held distaste of the notion of a Tauren Shadow Priest, and the shudder I continue to experience whenever I see a Tauren Priest in shadowform, I seem to have an even greater distaste for having two characters of the same race, class, and specializations — though mini-Kam started out as a Resto/Elemental clone of Kamalia, she has since changed her DPS spec to Enhancement in part to not be a clone anymore — and thus this new Priest is, indeed, Shadow. I have rationalized it with myself in the same way that I initially rationalized creating a Tauren Death Knight: she is Grimtotem, one of the fraction of the tribe who chose to forsake Magatha and swear allegiance to Baine at the end of The Shattering. If Blizz ever introduces Grimtotem warpaint as a customization option for Tauren characters, my DK will probably not take it — but this Shadow Priest will.

And then, before I even got this post to press, the WoW Insider interview with Celestalon and Zharym went up, and they said:

…feedback to [changing Avenging Wrath to Ret-only] was “I want my wings.” The [Guardian of Ancient Kings] angel is more recent, but the wings are more iconic and have been there forever. Not an announcement, but we’re currently strongly considering merging Divine Favor into Avenging Wrath, so Holy get wings, and when Prot pulls out the Guardian of Ancient Kings they might get their wings while it’s out.

So maybe I won’t have to be a Ret Paladin to have wings, after all. I think these two new characters will be sticking around anyway.

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Tauren, Taunka, Yaungol

What would a Taunka woman look like if she had the same facial structure as a Taunka man?
What does a Yaungol woman look like?

Perhaps something like this:

The Tauren is wearing the Lunar/Twilight/Raincaller set. The Taunka’s clothing is that worn by the guards at Camps Winterhoof and Oneqwah. The Yaungol’s outfit combines the clothing of Yaungol melee combatants with the chestpiece worn by Yaungol casters.

Figuring out the relative scale of the three races turned out to be trickier than I’d thought. I initially had the notion that Taunka were about a head taller than Tauren and Yaungol about a head taller than Taunka, as I’ve shown them in this picture — my initial sketches may make that more obvious.

Based on my extensive study of Taunka and Yaungol NPCs, however, it’s probably more accurate to say that the Taunka and Yaungol shown in my picture represent the low-to-middle range of a size distribution common to both subspecies.

Taunka men are pretty consistently head-and-shoulders taller than Tauren. My player character Tauren woman’s shoulder comes to the armpit of most Taunka men, or to the elbow of the larger size used for Chieftains and the male guards at some of the Taunka villages in Northrend. A few Taunka men, generally vendors, are a bit shorter, but still about a head taller than my character. The size of Taunka women varies quite widely. In Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and Grizzly Hills, some of the Taunka women are the same size as the men and some of them are only half-a-head taller than my character. Female Taunka NPCs who are very old or very young women, such as Greatmother Ankha and Nokoma Snowseer at Camp Winterhoof, tend to be about the same size as my character or even a little smaller. At Camp Tunka’lo in the Storm Peaks, however, all of the Taunka women are the same size as my character — I think the developers simply forgot to add the scaling factor!

The Yaungol invaders found in various locations around Kun-Lai Summit seem to be about the same size as the average male Taunka, with my player character Tauren woman’s shoulder coming to the armpit of a typical Yaungol melee combatant. The Yaungol casters found around Binan Village are somewhat smaller, perhaps only half-a-head taller than my character. The Yaungol at Deadtalker’s Plateau and Fire Camp Gai-Cho in Townlong Steppes are a bit larger; my character’s shoulder comes to the armpit of the smaller ones, to the elbow of the larger ones, and only to the waist of the “end bosses” of Master Snowdrift’s set of Shado-Pan dailies, Uruk and Cheng Bo. On the Timeless Isle, the Ordon Candlekeepers are about the same size as a Tauren player character, and Ordon Yaungol get continually larger as they get tougher going up the mountain, until one reaches Ordos, who is, of course, a Boss. On the extreme other end of the scale, the guards of the Bataari war banner located between Binan Village and the Chow Farmstead are very small indeed — smaller than my player character Tauren woman — so small that I think they must be mere youths, approximately equivalent in maturity to a twelve year-old human.

I always feel so bad about having to kill them all! And yet, it seems more merciful to do so. If you burn the banner after having only killed the pair you passed by on your way into the camp, the others yell “Ur-Bataar, Help!” and run around, panicked, until they run into the fire on the banner and catch fire and die anyway. This sad behavior reinforces my feeling that these wee little Yaungol are just children!

I can easily imagine this duty of guarding the war banner as one of the first martial opportunities a young Yaungol receives, a first step away from the chores of tending the camp and toward being a warrior who can help defend the tribe. If having enough strong healthy warriors is so important to Yaungol society and survival that even disputes of leadership are settled by non-lethal ritual combat (see “Dominance”), I cannot imagine Yaungol women being anything but warriors right alongside the men. I would guess that a Yaungol woman only rests from active warrior duties for the few weeks immediately before and after the birth of an infant, and that those who are too young for combat are mostly cared for by those who are too old or honorably disabled for combat.

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Thunder Bluff Warrior of the Insurrection

Vicious Pyrium Shoulders, any sleeveless chestpiece, Shattered Hand belt, Imperial Plate Leggings, Jade Tiger Gauntlets, Grim Sabatons, Thunder Bluff cloak & tabard, Ymiron’s Blade
The Thunder Bluff Warriors who are occupying Razor Hill during the Siege of Orgrimmar wear neither gloves nor boots. If you have invisiboots, such as Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes or Ancient Skeletal Boots, by all means use them! Keija does not yet have any invisiboots, not having obtained any either by raiding or by grinding the necessary Kor’kron supplies during patch 5.3, but the Grim Sabatons blend in with the pants well enough to produce almost the same effect.
The NPC belt is the same style as the golden-brown Shattered Hand or blue-grey Grimscale belt, but in a warm grey color that is not available to players. I chose to use the Shattered Hand belt because I felt like the warm tones harmonized better with the tabard & cloak. The Jade Tiger gloves contain both silvery tones to coordinate with the pants and golden tones to coordinate with the belt and tabard, making them the best choice of Keija’s readily-available gloves.
The NPCs carry Ymiron’s Blade + Saltstone Shield, a brighter recolor of the Angerfang/Splinterspear/Bladestaff Hammer that is not available to players, a unique and unobtainable 2H axe, or sometimes even the giant totem that every Tauren player character dearly wishes she or he could wield.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry


Wyrmslayer Spaulders, Bloodscale chestpiece & belt, Brutish pants gloves & boots, Dire Maul, Shield of Maraudon
Oh oh oh! Oh no! I totally forgot that I had wanted to make this outfit for my secondary Warrior for Love is in the Air this year until after the holiday had come and gone. Fortunately, I had some screenshots of the holiday decor from previous years that were suitable for compositing.

Tiller with Shovel





Straw Hat, Ramshorn-Inlaid Shoulders, Armored Chestpiece of Eminient Domain, Field Plate Girdle, Antique Reinforced Legguards, Crystalvein gloves, Subservient Greatboots, Green Lumberjack Shirt, Tillers Tabard, The Shoveler
This outfit owes a great debt to Freyana’s fantastic entry for the final round of The Amazing Transmog Survivor Contest.

Tiller with Shovel and Torch

Straw Hat, Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale, Kargal’s Breastplate, Marauder’s Belt, Togrik’s Legguards, Talhide Lined-Gloves & Boots, Wikket Wrap, Yellow Lumberjack Shirt, Shovel of Mercy, Grayson’s Torch
As it happened, it was more convenient for Kamalia to collect the low-level quest rewards than to watch for the identical Veteran’s armor to appear on the AH.
Fortunately, the Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale dropped for me on my first Trial of the Champions run. The first boss encounter is incredibly, exceedingly obnoxious to solo because the NPCs get to chain stunlock with no diminishing returns.
When I “Do the Right Thing” to get the shovel, I always rescue the humans and wish I could save the whole field of them. Poor things, they will need a lifetime of therapy to overcome the PTSD from that horrific experience.
Prior to Cataclysm, Captain Grayson offered his quests to Horde as well as Alliance, and I ran multiple characters up the coast from Grom’gol to his lighthouse in Westfall to get the torch. Nowadays, alas, though he remains neutral, Captain Grayson only offers his quests to Alliance characters. Horde characters should watch the AH for the Mistyreed Torch.

Tiller with Pitchfork

Straw Hat, Murkblood shoulders & chest, Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity, Expedition Pants, Silentleaf Gloves, Swift Cenarion Footwear, Blue Lumberjack Shirt, Nether Trident
At its core, this outfit is the same as my “Newsie” set. I’ve just switched out a few of the accessories.
Kate always wears one of her Monk class quest belts. Other characters should look for a relatively plain brown belt, such as the Belt of the Raptor.
One of the reasons why I picked this trident for Kate’s earlier Fisherman set is that it also makes a halfway-decent pitchfork for a Farmer set. The War Scythe or Grim Scythe would also be suitable weapons for a polearm-wielding class to use in a Farmer outfit.

Tiller with Staff

Straw Hat, Outlander’s Pauldrons, Blue Overalls, Willow Belt, Tangled Thread Gloves, Apprentice Boots, Red Lumberjack Shirt, Rosethorn Staff
I’ve seen several variations on the classic cloth “Farmer” look that use the Skein Woven Mantle. Indeed, I had one squirrelled away in my Transmogrification vault guild bank for Kaohana to use in a Farmer outfit. When I finally got around to making her one, however, I decided to do something a little different and use this set of shoulders that she already had soulbound, rather than adding yet another item to her overflowing wardrobe.
I thought about using a really plain “walking stick”-type staff model, such as Umbranse’s Staff, with this kit. The fancier Rosethorn Staff appealed to me more, though I’m not quite sure why it felt so appropriate for a Farmer. Warlock Farmers should of course use their Staff of the Left Hand Path/Staff of Justified Sins. WTB a Transmogrifiable Broom!

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click on the images to see the full-size versions of these pictures

I began this project last summer, as a follow-up to my rather crudely-assembled racial height and build comparison.

At the time, however, the sexism-in-WoW discussion was going around again, and I felt that it would be rather gauche to post what is undeniably an objectified image: I have reduced my models to shapes to be studied.

I’d been meaning to complete it anyway, but somehow BTH always seemed to already be using the tablet to work on his comic whenever I wanted to work on it :P

With all the wonderful new model previews being released, I figured I’d better finish this up quick, even though some of the subtleties of the stances and the shapes will soon be out-of-date.

I had been thinking I’d do a further follow-up of close-up studies of the front and profile shapes of the faces, because I feel like I still don’t have a really good grasp on how to make some of the races different from my standard way of drawing human people. I’d like to do a companion set of “beach bums of Azeroth”, too, because I feel that I understand the male shapes even less than the female shapes. Maybe I should wait on that until all the new models come out in 6.0, though.

Speaking of the new models, I’ve liked all the ones we’ve seen glimpses of so far, and I look forward to seeing the Night Elf, the Troll, and especially the Tauren. The new female Orc makes me wish I hadn’t deleted my level 35 Orc Enhancement Shaman. I do hope the shaved head texturing makes it into the final model.

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