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Archive for the ‘Paladin’ Category

Along with leveling a character of each class to the current level cap, one of my long-time WoW goals has been to raid-heal with each of the healing classes. Mists LFR has been an absolutely Golden Age for me in that regard. I have a healer of each class who has completed at least Terrace of Endless Spring from T14, all of Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar through the Sha of Pride.

As proof that I have indeed completed my Mists expansion goal of healing in LFR with each of the healing classes — and before Patch 6.0 wreaks havoc on my action bars and addons, too! — I now present a couture collection featuring that most charming of Siege of Orgrimmar healer loot drops, the Purehearted Cricket Cage.

Waterfall Cricket

Greenweave Mantle, Waterfall Robe, Councillor’s Sash, Replica Virtuous Gloves, Rejuvenating Scepter, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This Kun-Lai Summit quest reward robe matches the tailored Windwool set, which has a tunic chestpiece instead of a robe.

Hoodoo Cricket

Self-Reflecting Mask, Runetotem’s Mantle of Conquest, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Hurricane Belt, Cenarion Gloves, Miniature Winter Veil Tree, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This outfit is based on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. Kerisa already had the shoulders, chestpiece, and kilt of Zazzy’s kit — though as a Druid, she of course could not use the same belt.

Fire-Charm Cricket

Fire-Charm Mantle, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Serene Yellow Belt, Grips of Slicing Electricity, Ethereum Phase Blade, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Veridian Cloak
A variation on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. As a Monk, Koralyra could get the chestpiece, belt, and kilt easily — but she’d have had to farm for the lookalike T9 Druid shoulders, as Zazzy had. Fortunately, the glow of the T15-LFR Monk shoulders matches the Jinxed Hoodoo items just as nicely as the crystals on the T9-Horde Druid shoulders do!

Suncrown Cricket

Bog Pauldrons, Suncrown Hauberk, Myrmidon’s Girdle, Cenarion Reservist’s Legguards*/Green Iron Leggings, Green Iron Gauntlets, Tsunami Boots, Light’s Justice, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon
So, yeah, I decided to get the Legendary Cloak for Kamalia’s DPS spec. Hopefully, it’ll make at least the first few levels of 90 to 100 a little easier, considering that I don’t (and won’t) have a Garrosh Heirloom weapon.

Jade Cricket

Jade set with Acid-Etched Pauldrons, Qon’s Flaming Scimitar, and Purehearted Cricket Cage
I put up with the Jade set being platekini because I love its unique coloration so much. I’d be much happier if it looked on my female character the way it looks on male characters, though!

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The April Fools 2014 Warlords 6.0 patch notes inlcuded the following:

HUNTERS — For safety, all Hunters must now wear bright orange vests at all times.

I chuckled, but didn’t think much more about it until WoW Insider’s “Around Azeroth” column featured a guild who’d taken that to heart — at their next raid, they made sure that all the Hunters were wearing orange shirts.
As super-stylish as it was, after a couple of months, Ketura had been feeling rather tired of her Ornate Dragonscale Transmogrification kit. Seeing this picture, an idea for a new Transmogrification kit sprang immediately to mind!

Orange Safety Vest

Replica Beastmaster’s Mantle & Belt, Engraved Breastplate & Gauntlets, Warmonger’s Leggings, Ravager’s Sandals, Amber Filigreed Shirt/Fine Cloth Shirt*, Spare Gunship Cannon
Although the outfit is more orange with the Amber Filigreed Shirt, I prefer the slightly more camouflaged look obtained with the Fine Cloth Shirt — a quest reward from pre-Cataclysm Loch Modan that Ketura obtained when a transporter malfunction turned her into a Dwarf for a couple of weeks a few years ago.

Here are a couple more orange-ish Transmogrification kits I’ve created recently: (more…)

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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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I’ll admit, I’m not that great of a healer, and really, I probably never was. Kamalia scraped through Proving Grounds Silver by the skin of her teeth and still hasn’t gone back for Gold (let alone Endless/Proven!).

I made the Paladin get her own Proving Grounds Silver — it took several attempts — before I started taking her to LFR. I plan to do the same with the Priest, the Druid, and the Monk before I take them to LFR. This is not a new objective, sparked by the news that a Proving Grounds Silver will be required to random-queue for Heroic Dungeons in Warlords; rather, it is something I have planned to do with my healers ever since the Proving Grounds first came out and Ghostcrawler commented that in the future (i.e., next expansion) a Proving Grounds Silver might be required to queue for LFR.

Because Shaman have so few instant-cast heals — only Riptide and Nature’s Swiftness + [heal] when I first began raiding — I learned to be a turret. I never properly learned how to use Spiritwalker’s Grace; I’m always forgetting about it and realizing only later, “oh, that bit of the fight would have been a good time to use SWG”. I don’t always remember, the next time I do the fight, to use SWG at that particular point, either.

With my Paladin, running LFR, I forget to use Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and especially “Raidwall”, because I never can remember what the real name of that spell is. But I have learned to use my instant-cast heals on the move, tossing out Holy Shocks, Eternal Flames, and Lights of Dawn as I run out of the fire. When Patch 6.0 comes, I will have to unlearn that behavior.

Blizz is backtracking on the “smart heals”; I seem to remember that when they were first introduced they bounced randomly, and only later were changed to prefer the most-damaged player within range. The notion that ground effect and other AOE type heals should be most mana-effective when two or more players are within them, well, isn’t that how it should have been working all along? Even if I was not very good at actually choosing my targeting/placement? So, whatever. Maybe I’ll actually learn to be a better healer again in Warlords after the decay I’ve suffered since quitting regular guild-based raiding and becoming an LFR Tourist-and-Transmog raider.

To me, it seems like the most difficult part of the healing changes will be getting the DPS mindset to accept that it’s OKAY to be at less than 100% health some or even most of the time and not be continually whining for heals and blaming the healers for every wipe.

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Shado-Pan Ninja (Monk)



Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Puncture-Binding Spaulder, Pozzik’s Vest, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Nice Shorts, Bard’s gloves & boots, Stylish Black Shirt, Monk’s Staff
This outfit is adapted from Draynee’s Black Ninja Monk kit.

Shado-Pan Domain Keeper (Monk/Druid)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Shizzle’s Muzzle Cover, Leather Tunic of Eminent Domain, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Honorary Combat Engineer’s Leather Trousers, Loramus’ Gloves, Prospector’s Boots, Spear of Xuen
The brick red and black colors of these Rogue T9-lookalike items awarded early in the Jade Forest questline just begged to be part of a Shado-Pan set. Due to the factional dimorphism of the T9 sets, this outfit is Horde-only. The Prospector’s chestpiece and leggings or the chestpiece and leggings from the same set as the shoulders & gloves could be used for a similar look.
Other leather-wearers might want to use the Burning Blade Devotee’s Cinch.

Shado-Pan Brewmaster (Monk)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Dark Warder’s Pauldrons, Vest of Welcome, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Sunroc Pants, Swashbuckler’s Gloves & Boots, Tremendous Tankard O’ Terror, Ced’s Crusher
Most of my characters are tee-totalers because, well, I am. Way back when acheivements were the new hotness, Kamalia picked up several of the Brewfest acheivements, but she hadn’t bothered to get Brew of the Month — and thus the “Brewmaster” title — because she knew she wouldn’t actually be interested tasting the brews of the month themselves.
That was before I had a Brewmaster Monk, however. This year, Koralyra wanted the “Brewmaster” title, and so it fell to Kamalia, who was only one achievement short, to get the meta for the whole family.
The keg-shaped maces are probably my favorite Mists 1H-Mace design.

Shado-Pan Smoke Knight (Monk)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Righteous shoulders pants & gloves, Scouting tunic & boots, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Aspirant’s Staff of Harmony
I originally designed this kit to go with the Ironpaw cooking accessories. Serendipitously, it also looks great with the Shado-Pan helmet!

Shado-Pan Spiritwalker (Shaman)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Pauldrons of Wild Magic, Salvager’s Hauberk, Bloodspattered Sash, Heroes’ Earthshatter Kilt (T7-10s), Seer’s Linked Gauntlets, Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun
Umlaut Paradots‘ mail contribution to These Boots Were Made For Mogging reminded me of the Salvager’s Hauberk. As I thought about what kind of set I might like to make using this chestpiece, it occurred to me that the stripe detail, especially in the back, is somewhat similar to the stripe detail on the Shado-Pan NPC uniforms. Kamalia already had plenty of dark blue in her wardrobe, but she did not have much red in her wardrobe before I created this outfit for her!

Shado-Pan Beastmaster (Hunter)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Ravager’s Mantle, Warmonger’s Chestpiece, Bloodspattered Sash, Bloodmail* Legguards gloves & boots, Cloak of Beasts, Master Builder’s Shirt, Bronze Blaster
This is something of an “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” kit. Although I only really wanted the Bloodmail Legguards, I’d collected all the rest of the set by the time the pants finally dropped. I decided to keep the whole set, “just in case”, and dumped it into Void Storage. Now I’m glad that I did!
I borrowed the combination of the Shado-Pan Helmet with the Warmonger’s chestpiece from WoW Roleplay Gear.

Shado-Pan Serpent Rider (Shaman/Hunter)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Ordon Legend-Keeper Spaulders & Greaves, Tunic of Masked Suffering, Ebonhold Girdle, Bloodmail Legguards*, Grotesque Handgrips, Big Black Mace, Bloodforged Guard, Sawbones Shirt*
Mini-Kam has been working (when I feel like it) on collecting Skyshards, but she still has a few yet to find before she can tame Milau’s momma.
The shirt just fills in the midriff and elbows; the red in the shoulders and underarms is in fact part of the chestpiece.
Suitable weapons for Hunters to use with this kit might be the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle or Heartstriker.

Shado-Pan Runeblade (Death Knight)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Blood-Soaked Saronite Plated Spaulders, Warlord’s/Warmaul chestpiece belt gloves & boots, Legguards of the Shattered Hand, Acherus Knight’s Shroud, Runed Soulblade
I didn’t want to just plop the Shado-Pan Helmet atop one of the black-and-red outfits I’d already made for Kregga — though it would certainly work well with either of them. The red-plum-blue tones of the Warlord’s/Warmaul set evoke the palette of the navy-and-brick-red version of the Shado-Pan NPC uniforms, and I’d been wanting to use those items in a DK set for some time. The DK shoulders added just the right amount of menace to the overall appearance.

Shado-Pan Lightbearer (Paladin)


Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Runic Plate Shoulders, Alabaster Breastplate, Thorium Belt, Greaves of the Martyr, Bloodforged Gauntlets, Lavawalker Greaves, Redpine Cloak, Firestorm Hackblade, Bloodforged Guard, Stylish Black Shirt
This outfit is adapted from a striking black, white, and red ensemble originally designed by Honeypants of Mogoholic.

Shado-Pan Bulwark (Paladin/Warrior)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Shoulderguards of Empty Memory, Glory of the Defender, Ogre Beater’s Belt, Legguards of the Fallen Crusader, Grips of Arcane Imprisonment, Deathseed Crushers, Rescuer’s Cloak, Stylish Black Shirt, Firestorm Hackblade, Shield of the Void
As long as Mists remains the current expansion, items containing both red and black will always immediately suggest that they be used in a Shado-Pan Helmet kit. Mists was already well enough along when I leveled my Paladin that I saved these Cataclysm quest reward items for future use in a Shado-Pan kit. Although her first Shado-Pan kit didn’t need them, they came in handy to coordinate with this chestpiece, which dropped while I was farming the Hyjal raid for something else.

Shado-Pan Blademaster (Warrior)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Expedition Mantle, The Exarch’s Protector, Darkcrest Belt, Legguards of the Shattered Hand, Inferno Tempered gloves & boots, Gilded Thorium Cloak, Red Martial Shirt, Sturdy Yaungol Spear
Keija tried really hard to talk me into letting her use Hellreaver for her Shado-Pan set, even though I think it’s just about as overused a weapon as Judgement is a gear set (especially since Demonology Warlocks got that glyph that lets their Felguards dual-wield the things). Then, as soon as she’d actually tested how it would look, she capitulated and agreed to use the spear that matches the NPC weapon. I’ll just have to come up with some other set for her to use Hellreaver with.

Shado-Pan Wildshaper (Druid)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Thunderheart Shoulder Pads, Robes of Summer Flame, Vicious Leather Belt, Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets, Tian Monastic Staff
I decided pretty much immediately that I wanted to use this robe for my Druid’s Shado-Pan kit. Figuring out all the rest of the pieces, though, took quite a bit of iteration.
I don’t remember if I was offered the +Agi staff as a reward option from that Tian Monastery quest or if I had to switch my loot spec to see it. Whatever happened, I thought that the +Agi staff would have better Transmogrification potential with the rest of my Druid’s wardrobe than any of the +Int options — and I’d surely get a better weapon from some other quest later. So I took it, and now I am quite glad that I did.

Shado-Pan Mystic (Priest)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Consortium Mantle, Amaranthine Robe, Silver-Thread Sash, Black Mageweave Gloves, Arakkoa Divining Rod, Inscribed Fan, Stylish Black Shirt
This outfit is largely inspired by the Shado-Pan Helmet set designed by WoW Roleplay Gear.

Shado-Pan Arcanist (Mage)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Nether Guards, Sparklight Robes, Girdle of Glowing Light, Black Mageweave Gloves, Unassuming Slippers, Rod of the Blazing Light
When I was originally designing this outfit in MogIt, I was struck by how well the T15-Normal Priest-lookalike Quet’zal’s Crackling Cord matched this robe. That item was well out of my solo-player reach, however, so I chose something else. Later, the rep requirements for many Shado-Pan Assault items were lowered, allowing me to gain the required reputation (Friendly) to buy the Valor Points version of the belt from a single clear of the first wing of Throne of Thunder LFR. Huzzah!

Shado-Pan Summoner (Warlock)

Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, Mantle of the Corruptor, Simple Blouse, Fire-Cord of the Magus, Coven Britches, Black Mageweave Gloves + Wraps of the San’layn, Oilfoot Slippers, Shadow Prowler’s Cloak, Matsuba’s Breadmaker
More decadent Warlocks may prefer to use the Cournith Waterstrider’s Silken Finery.

Shado-Pan Assassin (Rogue)

Replica Shado-Pan Helment, Shoulderpads of the Silvermoon Retainer, Scouting Tunic, Ruffian Belt*, Nightslayer Pants, Bandit Gloves, Defiler’s Lizardhide Boots, Black Swashbuckler’s Shirt, Amber Slicer of Klaxxi’ves, Wind Reaver’s Dagger of Quick Strikes
The shirt is an essential component of this outfit because it fills in a gap between the sleeves and the gloves.
The Bandit Belt would be a suitable replacement for the Ruffian Belt.
Why, yes, I did do Klaxxi rep with my Rogue just so that I could have both styles of Mantid trophy dagger to use in this kit.

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Laeleiweyn of World of Lae has kicked off a series of Alt Appreciation weeks to “celebrate all the classes!”

This week, it’s the Paladins‘ turn in the spotlight.

Early in 2007, my soon-to-be-fiance frequently described to me this computer game he liked to play. It sounded pretty fascinating. One evening, he showed me a bit of the gameplay. Watching BTH questing with his then-male Dwarf Paladin, Thurgar, in Terrokar Forest is my earliest memory of World of Warcraft.

Thurgar went on to be BTH’s first character to level 70 in Burning Crusade, but the poor Dwarf was soon abandoned in favor of his Tauren Druid when we began playing WoW together shortly after we got married that summer. A few years later, after Cataclysm went live, BTH realm-and-faction transferred Thurgar into a female Tauren, Haloma. Haloma zipped to level 85. She was a tank, of course, and BTH gleefully did all his dailies in Prot spec. Why bother with switching to Ret? He was having too much fun with Prot.

About that time, we joined the guild of which Rhidach was currently GM, and I began reading Righteous Defense.

Between Haloma and Rhidach, it sounded like Paladin tanking was pretty fun, and not too difficult to play decently.

I’d been pretty excited to roll a Tauren Paladin in Cataclysm. I always intended to have one of her specs be Holy, because I wanted to try out all the different healing classes. By the time I got around to actually beginning to play my Tauren Paladin, though, I’d done some Paladin healing already (leveling my Blood Elf Paladin to 60 in LFD) and I’d become quite intrigued with the notion of trying out tanking as a Paladin. At level 10, Karaelia’s first spec choice was Protection (she picked up Holy as her dual spec at level 30). If I was going to tank, I was going to do it from the ground up, so that I could learn how to do it as I went along.

And Paladin tanking was fun to do. Whenever I sat down to play Karaelia with the intention of doing some tanking, I always had to fight through several minutes of blogosphere-induced anxiety about other peoples’ bad behavior before I could hit the LFD queue button. Once I got into the first dungeon and through the first trash pull of remembering what all my buttons did, though, I usually had a grand time and would end up chain-queueing through three or four dungeons before I got tired.

I didn’t level Karaelia exclusively through LFD, though. I enjoy solo questing and had lists of quest rewards I wanted to obtain. Questing in Prot was fun, too — I began to understand BTH’s glee. After I got through the first 60 levels doing mostly LFD tanking, I had to make myself tank at least a few dungeons in each successive expansion’s content not because I was afraid of LFD’s denizens, but because I was having too much fun with the solo questing. I was particularly careful to spend some time tanking LFD while I was in Pandaria so that I could say that yes, I tanked all the way to 90.

Overall, I had positive experiences with tanking in LFD while I was leveling. I enjoyed throwing my Avenger’s Shield at a group of mobs and seeing all the nameplates go from red to green in Tidy Plates as I established control of the pull, I liked the challenges of keeping them that way, and my groups were generally either silent or good-natured. My first few dungeons of Cataclysm content were the worst experiences — I suddenly needed to learn how to use damage mitigation abilities in addition to threat-generating abilities, and I received the harshest comments of my entire tanking career to that point about my struggling performance. I ran some dungeons as Holy before I recovered enough to dare tanking again. Although I got frustrated in late Cataclysm and Mists with not being able to pull aggro from Hunter and Warlock pets and the occasional overanxious DPS, no-one was mean to me about it.

Since Karaelia reached level 90, however, I haven’t tanked any LFD — let alone LFR. The insecurities are more crippling at max level; I’ve seen how novice tanks — as in, “first time tanking this raid” — are abused in LFR. I’ve gotten hung up, too, on whether to use the Timeless armor tokens that Keija has been sending her for her Prot set or for her Holy set. I definitely want to do some LFR-level Paladin healing, but I also have this notion that I can’t really say “I have a tank” until I’ve tanked some max-level group content.

Despite my current hesitation to tank heroics or LFR, the Great Tanking Experiment was definitely a success. I had so much fun in low-level LFD with my Paladin tank that I decided that I wanted to try the other sword-and-board tank, the Warrior, too. The Warrior I already had, Keija, was already high enough level that I didn’t want to just jump into tanking with her; thus Keija went dual DPS and Kaobeka the Prot Warrior came into being.

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splendid septet

Karaelia the Paladin slipped into the Shrine of Two Moons with her ilevel 502 boots less than an hour before the server-shutdown curfew last night. If I’d been trying to level both Priest and Paladin, and if it hadn’t been Darkmoon Faire Carousel Buff Week, she might not have made it. Questing as a Prot Pally is fun — Karaelia had none of the survivability issues that I’ve had with other characters in Cataclysm and especially Pandaria questing content. Where other characters have had to be careful about where they run/ride because having two or more mooks on them at a time spelled death, Karaelia hurtled merrily along until she’d gathered up about half a dozen. The quest-chain minibosses that took other characters two or three wipes to defeat barely tickled her. Because Karaelia is my Great Tanking Experiment, I made sure to tank some dungeons every now and then, too. The first few Cataclysm dungeon runs were probably the most painful experiences of my whole tanking career, bad enough that I switched over to Holy for a few LFD queues. Then I gritted my teeth and went back to queueing as Prot, and the Pandaria dungeons weren’t so bad (thankfully, I never got Gate of the Setting Sun, which I would blacklist if LFD had that option). I now have seven out of the eleven classes at level 90 and eight total level 90 characters.

Now that Karaelia is at level 90, Kaohana the Priest will continue resting at level 80 until Karaelia has finished expanding her farm and has made significant progress on her rep grinds. Besides, it’s Mage Week, and Kaelinda the Blood Elf Mage has been complaining about not being the top Mage on my list for over a year now — ever since Kinevra the Human Mage burned to 85 to participate in the pre-Mists release of the Theramore scenario. If I can find time in between all the Patch 5.4 stuff I want to do, this week I’d like to level Kaelinda to 86 — just enough to be higher than Kinevra and be the First Mage again — and get her started on the Molten Front rep grind, with the ultimate goal of obtaining the Widow’s Clutches.

After tending my gardens and running Kregga the Death Knight through her weekly assault on Karazhan in search of Despair, I’ll probably take Keija the Warrior to explore the Timeless Isle and gather up some Mogu Runes of Fate. LFR for Siege of Orgrimmar won’t begin for another week, afer all, and despite using all her bonus rolls on the appropriate bosses every week, Keija has not yet won the belt, gloves, and pants of her Last Mogu set — hopefully the increased loot drop rates will swiftly remedy this! I feel like I ought to take both of my LFRing characters (Kamalia and Keija) to the Proving Grounds and earn at least the Bronze level certificates as soon as possible. Later in the week, Chef Katewatha, Master of the Ways, would like to set up her own noodle cart. Then there’s all those new crafting patterns to find, giving almost all of my 90s reasons to be out in the world again. Ah, Pandaria — so much to do, so little time! And yet, the pandaren are always telling us to “slow down”?

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