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Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

Alas, no maintenance on Tuesday this week, so I wasn’t able to change my Gorgrond outpost and recruit Penny and Kaz. Maybe next week…

As Kamalia’s followers have begun to purple out, she’s accumulated four pairs who have the same combination of abilities. I’ve deactivated one follower from each of those pairs and reactivated some less-experienced followers, with the goal of eventually getting all of Kamalia’s followers up to purple and seeing how many different combinations I can get. There are 36 different combinations of two of the nine abilities (counting A,B and B,A as the same combination), but I’m not sure that all of them are “allowed” — is it even possible for the same follower to have both the “tank-like” Wild Aggression and the “healer-like” Group Damage?

Kamalia upgraded her Inn to level 3 yesterday. She has enough of a resources reserve that after my current batch of work orders at the Lumber Mill completes, I can tear down the Lumber Mill and re-build the Barn, at last. I’ll miss rambling across the landscape for timber, though. On my other characters, I find herbing and mining to be rather relaxing, and logging fills the same psychological niche.

I currently have five Garrisons — one at level 3, one at level 2, and three at level 1 — and another character halfway through Tanaan. My level 2 garrison has only the mine open (I haven’t yet quested enough with that alt to unlock the herb garden) and my level 3 garrison has the mine & herb garden at only level 1 (Kam’s professions are not primarily dependent upon those materials, and I don’t feel like upgrading them just for the achievement points). Even so, tending my five garrisons feels like it takes as much time as the nine farms I’m still running in Pandaria! When I get enough alts in Draenor, by the time I finish tending the last alt’s garrison, it’ll be time to start all over again by collecting the spoils from the short missions in the first character’s garrison!

At this point, it’s looking like my standard garrison layout, at least as far as the small plots are concerned, will be level 2 Crafting Profession Hut, level 3 Salvage Yard, and level 1 Storehouse. Most of my garrisons will probably have the Inn as one of their medium plots and keep the Barracks as one of their large plots because followers.

I used to think that I played for the story/lore, but if I play for the story, then why haven’t I finished playing through Stonetalon Mountains (among other 1-60 zones) to see the “new” (Cataclysm) story there? If I play for the story, then why is my Draenei not level 100 yet? If I play for the story, then why is my Dwarf Shaman not level 100 yet? I enjoy the stories, but they’re obviously not what drives my play.

I suppose one reason I haven’t gotten my Draenei to level 100 yet is that now that I have both my Draenei and Human Mages set up at Lunarfall, I can’t decide which one I’d rather play. Do I play the Draenei because it somehow feels more “right” to experience all this new Draenei lore first as a Draenei*? Or do I play the Human because I’d really rather be playing Alliance as a High Elf?

I knew that Khadgar — dear darling obnoxious interfering power-hungry Khadgar — was bound to send me into LFR for the legendary questline eventually… and now that I’ve gotten to that point, I’m not feeling very motivated to do it. More precisely, I’m not feeling very motivated to a) do the research on what talents, glyphs, gems, enchants, consumables, etc I ought to be using to be properly prepared for raiding and then b) go out and get all those things.

I still haven’t done the Molten Core LFR, either. Though I don’t care the slightest for the mount and pet, I would like to have the hat. I kept telling myself that I’d do it as a treat to myself after classes were over, and classes are over… but I’ve been on campus all week anyway prepping for next semester.

* Feeling like I ought to be a character of a given race to play through storylines that prominently feature that race is not a problem I have Horde-side because I’m so used to being Kam/Tauren when I’m Horde.

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a farewell to Sunsong Ranch

Before turning Sunsong Ranch back over to Farmer Yoon — who will have to learn how to divide his time between the Tillers Council and his own property just like Haohan Mudclaw, Mung-Mung, and Farmer Fung do — Kamalia planted a “one of everything” garden.

Kerisa planted tree saplings to help the Vale of Eternal Blossoms re-forestation effort.

Kaprikka the botanist carefully tended all the varieties of Pandarian herbs.

Katewatha honored all the different threads of monasticism in Pandaria by filling her garden with golden lotuses.

Kaohana will leave her garden filled with the songbells she’s been growing for months, a quiet reflection on Pandaria’s lessons about the necessity of balance between light and shadow.

Kregga’s farm has been abandoned for so long that it is full of stubborn weeds.

And the rest of them will just leave the fields lying fallow, waiting for Farmer Yoon to reclaim.

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It had only been in the past few years that Tauren Druids had begun to feel Ysera — no, not Ysera, for the Great Dragons had spent their Aspect powers defeating Deathwing — the Emerald Dream itself calling them to walk its green shadows. Having no millennia-long tradition of Dreaming in specially-constructed Barrow Dens, as the Kaldorei Druids did, Tauren Druids who heard the call of the Dream tended to simply shift into bear form and find a snug den before entering the long slumber.

Standing at the mouth of the small cave in the mountains high above Mulgore’s golden plains, watching the gently-snoring gray bear curled into its furthest corner, Kamalia had never felt so lonely.

Kamalia and her closest-age cousin, Ronada, had been inseparable companions since childhood. They had traveled and explored the whole world — and the other world of Outland — together, growing in power and skill side-by-side. Karazhan, Zul’Aman, Serpentshrine Cavern, Naxxramas, Ulduar, the Trial of the Crusaders, the Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Descent, the Throne of the Four Winds, the Firelands… all of these dangers to Azerzoth, they had faced together, with Ronada tanking and Kamalia healing.

That year in Northrend when the guild needed a moonkin more than another healer, so Kamalia’s sister Kerisa had raided Icecrown Citadel with Ronada instead, began the cousins’ slow drift apart. During the Cataclysm, Kamalia became so weary of the demands of constant raiding that she quit shortly after the defeat of Ultraxion and the reclamation of Wyrmrest Temple and the Dragonblight. Ronada, however, continued on to help bring down Deathwing. When Pandaria had been discovered, Kamalia and Ronada traveled together again to explore the new continent… at least until Ronada began raiding the Mogu and Mantid strongholds, and Kamalia declined to participate.

Though she no longer spent most of her time with Ronada, Kamalia hadn’t been alone. Her sisters, some Tauren friends, and her Sin’dorei friends had all eventually come to Pandaria, and they saw each other frequently. She’d also made many new friends among the Pandaren, especially in Halfhill and the surrounding farming communities.

After the Siege of Orgrimmar had dragged on for six months, Ronada, too, had wearied of raiding. The Emerald Dream was calling her. Kamalia had not felt sad or lonely when she had come to see Ronada safely off into the Dream half a year ago, but now…

When the Warchief’s Heralds had brought the news of the bizarre change in color of the Dark Portal and the invasion of a new, strangely-equipped sort of Orc, Kamalia had not gone immediately to the battlefront. She had come here, hoping to be able to rouse Ronada from the Dream, so that they could once more fight together. Kamalia had not begged or pleaded for Ronada to come back, merely told her cousin of her own excitement and anticipation. For a few moments, she had thought that Ronada might be waking. But then the bear settled back down into what seemed to be an even deeper sleep.

Sighing, Kamalia turned from the cave and began attuning her Astral Recall. Whatever strange new world now lay on the other side of the altered Dark Portal, she would be exploring it on her own.

~*~*~

In the spring, BTH decided to take a break from WoW. His guild had defeated Garrosh on normal mode a few times and was banging its head against the heroic modes — and after it had attritted enough people that even forming a 10s group became difficult, BTH decided he needed some time off from raiding, too. Plus, Elder Scrolls Online was coming out, and he’d really enjoyed Skyrim. He’s spent the past six months or so playing ESO and a variety of non-MMO games. Since D&D 5e came out a few weeks ago, he’s really been getting back into D&D.
Now, with Warlords just around the corner, BTH is not sure he even wants to come back to WoW. His guild hasn’t changed their raiding times, and the raiding times that worked well when we were in Atlantic Canada don’t work well now that we’re in the Mountain West. The guild has also decided to server transfer, and he doesn’t really want to server transfer his character. So he’d have to look for a new guild if he wanted to raid — and if he’s going to play WoW, he wants to do real (not-LFR) raiding. He’s not much interested in all the stuff that I still enjoy doing in Azeroth.
Which leaves me looking at playing through a new expansion entirely on my own for the first time… another indicator that Warlords has a fairly high probability of being my last expansion of playing WoW.

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Last autumn, Laeleiweyn of World of Lae hosted a series of Alt Appreciation weeks to “celebrate all the classes!” For Monk Week, I designed a set of Transmogrification outfits intended to display a Monk’s devotion to the Way of a particular August Celestial. Because my first Monk’s inventory was already overflowing, I set the Pet-Battling Monk the goal of collecting the necessary items to actually create all of those Transmogrification kits in-game.

Xuen’s Strength


Red Crane Crown (LFR), Mantle of the White Tiger, Polar Vest, Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity, Righteous Leggings, Ghostwalker Gloves, Replica Darkmantle Boots, Inscribed Tiger Staff
Of course I had to use the Mantle of the White Tiger in a set for Xuen. Then the Polar Vest was the only really good choice for the chestpiece — nothing else looks quite right with those shoulders. From there, the outfit could very easily have become all blue. I chose these pants and gloves to keep the overall appearance lighter and more evocative of Xuen’s coloration.

Chi-Ji’s Hope


Moonkin Headdress, Barbaric Shoulders, Plainshawk Vest, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Cabalist Leggings, Fingers of the Loneliest Monk, Mosshide Boots/Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes, Inscribed Crane Staff
Cranes are celebrated for the elegance of their long legs, whether standing or in flight. This outfit celebrates the elegance of a Monk’s legs during a Spinning Crane Kick by leaving them beautifully bare. If you don’t have invisiboots, the tall black Prospector’s Boots are the next best option.

Yu’lon’s Wisdom


Serpentskin Helm, Contender’s Leather Shoulders, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Ferine Leggings, Jangdor’s Handcrafted Gloves, Swampwalker Boots, Liuyang’s Lovely Longstaff
These brilliantly-colored leather leggings are a common sight on low-level Rogues, Druids, and Monks because they drop from a dungeon and have great stats. Making a decent Transmogrification kit with them, however, requires much higher character levels. The matching boots can be worn at low levels, but are a rare drop. There are no matching gloves. The reddish tones in these crafted shoulders harmonize perfectly with the reddish tones of the leather straps on the pants.
The Inscribed Serpent Staff would also be a good weapon to use with this set.

Niuzao’s Fortitude


Netherstorm Eyepatch, Riplash Pauldrons, Wicked Leather Armor & Gauntlets, Supreme Sash, Bandit Pants, Coal Miner Boots, Beakless Polearm
I wanted to use only Pandarian staves and each of the four Monk class quest reward belts in this Transmogrification project, but the Niuzao outfit didn’t cooperate very well. None of the staves from Pandaria seemed quite right for the Black Ox, whereas Abracadaver from ICC was perfect. I ended up using the Beakless Polearm instead, though, because I didn’t feel like farming ICC and this polearm not only looks awesomely badass, it also matches the one carried by my favorite Shado-Pan companion, Chao the Voice. Once I’d chosen a weapon, none of the Monk class quest belts looked as good with the overall design of the kit as this old-world green belt.
This would be a great Biker kit to use with a choppa!

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War Crimes

Well, I finally got around to reading War Crimes. I didn’t go get it right away when it first came out in early May because I knew I’d want to read it right away, and I’d decided I’d rather save it to be a book to read on the airplane to France at the end of the month. When I went to the bookstore a few days before we left, however, there weren’t any copies in stock — and I didn’t have the time to wait for one to be shipped in from another location (I bought the latest Brandon Sanderson tome, Words of Radiance, instead). I looked in the airport bookstores for it, but didn’t find it. When we got back to Canada last week, I decided to look for it at the public library first — I’m contemplating culling my personal library when I unpack it from storage after our upcoming move, and as much as I have enjoyed the WoW books that I’ve read, they aren’t among the books that I love too much to give away, so why buy a book that I know I’m just going to discard soon? But the library didn’t have it at all, not even at another branch from which I could have requested it. So I tried the bookstore again, and got the only copy they had in stock.

War Crimes was a good, solid read. I have one major quibble with the writing itself — the continual shouting of “With respect, I protest!” got annoying rather quickly. I thought that surely neither Tyrande nor Baine should really have to shout to be heard so very often, and I probably would have been less annoyed if they had always “interrupted” instead. That aside, I enjoyed seeing a fiercer side of Tyrande — with only a minimal appearance from Malfurion — and a softer side of Sylvanas. I wondered/hoped for a time if we might see the effects of the side-plot with Sylvanas reflected in the game somehow; the way that plot wrapped up, we probably won’t see any effect on Sylvanas in-game, but it would still be nice to see the final effects for her co-conspirator appear in the game. I love, love the way Golden writes Baine and Anduin. I was glad to see Jaina finally beginning to heal properly. And Wrathion, oh Wrathion, you are such a brat!

I liked the use of the Vision of Time device to show events from the past. I didn’t really understand why Tyrande chose to show the Vision of the Hour of Twilight at the end of Thrall Go’el’s testimony, though, until I read Anne Stickney’s commentary on the book (part 1, part 2). That Vision showed the August Celestial jury what Thrall really did in choosing to move on from Warchief to World Shaman; it absolves Thrall of the choices made by Garrosh by showing that the world would have been even worse off had Go’el not done as he did. I had been expecting Baine to call a witness that would allow him to show the “Honor, Krom’gar, never forsake it!” moment from Stonetalon Mountains in a Vision and was surprised that it was not shown. I suppose, though, that that moment would actually have detrimented Baine’s case, showing how Garrosh had changed from better to worse, when Baine was arguing that Garrosh could still change from worse to better. Most of the Visions/witnesses and their testimonies were familiar to me, but I did not recognize the one about magnataur being used in a battle in Ashenvale. I don’t remember that from playing through post-Shattering Ashenvale as Horde. Is that event something that only Alliance players see as they quest through Ashenvale, or is it something that happens in a short story or in one of the novels I haven’t read yet (Stormrage or Wolfheart)?

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The preview of the new female Night Elf model released this week has inspired me to post this story, which I wrote primarily during summer and autumn of 2011.

~*~*~

I don’t remember the glory of Zin’Azshari or the decadence of the Highborne.

I don’t remember the War of the Ancients or the Sundering of the world.

My mother once told me that there were more kaldorei children born in the fifty years immediately following Illidan Stormrage’s creation of the second Well of Eternity and the planting of Nordrassil by the Aspects than there were in the previous — or following — five hundred.

Scorned, derided, and shunned by the kaldorei, the remaining Highborne kept to themselves, but we occasionally saw them walking around the very outskirts of Constellas, where we lived. As a child and a youth, I was intensely fascinated by their pale, solemn, haughty countenances and their richly-decorated, yet increasingly threadbare apparel. My parents grew tired of my continual pestering to know more about them. After my father’s patience finally broke and he shouted at me — “Arcane magics destroyed our world! They are forbidden for a reason! Do not seek after them any more!” — I stopped asking about the Highborne… but when I had come of age, my parents could not prevent me from associating with them.
(more…)

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

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