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So, Warlords is in alpha and has some real patch 6.0 notes (not to be confused with the highly entertaining April Fool’s Day fake patch 6.0 notes). Not quite as exciting as being in beta, as far as the general public is concerned, but it is some welcome, good news. I wonder if getting the worst of the bugs worked out of the spiffy new file format is what’s delayed things for so long?

Alts still needing to reach 90
Warlock (currently 62)
Rogue (currently 46)
Pet Battling Monk (currently 82 87)
Draenei Mage (currently 73 80)
Male Tauren Warrior (currently 22) to 60+, will then be boosted to 90

Like mini-Kam, the Pet Battling Monk will not actually go to Pandaria until after she dings 90. Upon reaching level 86, Koralyra decided she needed an off-spec. Just to be different from my other Monk, she decided that she wanted to try out Brewmaster for soloing old content. I don’t have any more intention of ever doing group content with her Brewmaster spec than I do of tanking with my DK’s Blood spec.

Kaprikka just dinged 80 today!

The Male Tauren Warrior has been delayed by my dithering over which zone I want him to quest in next — I’m having a hard time deciding between Stonetalon Mountains, which I still have not done since the Shattering, and Stranglethorn Vale, which has a few quest reward weapons that I know I want for him.

Other Objectives
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR for Paladin, Priest, Pet Battling Monk
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu (9/20), and Mantid (1/8) archaeology museums
Fish for Flying Tiger Gourami, Alpha Spinefish, Mimic Octopus with Kamalia until she becomes Best Friends with Nat Pagle (currently Pal)
Farm Skyshards and capture Alani (7/10)
Queue for Scenarios I have not yet seen (A Little Patience, Battle on the High Seas)
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Level enough pets of each family to be able to obtain the Tamer title and the safari hat and do the Celestial Tournament.
Level Male Tauren Warrior’s Engineering at least high enough to specialize as Gnomish and acquire necessary recipes & mats for specialization quest before using free boost to 90

Realistically speaking, most of these goals will probably have to wait until my leveling and LFRing objectives are mostly complete.

The Paladin got Qon’s Flaming Scimitar this week, so she’s finally done with Throne of Thunder. She still needs her T16 shoulders and the Ancient Mogu Tower Shield from Siege of Orgrimmar. The Priest is getting itchy to start LFRing for the things she wants.

The Pet Battling Monk didn’t do much pet battling between levels 80 and 86, but now she’s started running the Kalimdor & Outland trainer circuit again and will ride it all the way to 90. Several pets have gained several levels, but I’m still not quite ready to take on the Northrend trainers yet. Most of the Outland trainers continue to give me plenty of trouble; I only feel like I can confidently carry a pet in my Nicki Tinytech and Morulu teams. The Pet Battling Monk has delegated the Northrend trainers to the Underpowered Death Knight, who will have the task of beating up Dragonbone Hatchlings (a tip from Nightwill — thanks!) to grind out those last levels from 18ish to 25 for the pets I’ve flagged for Northrend trainer teams. Even looking just at the pets I’d starred as Favorites, I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of pets in my journal. I pruned my Favorites list ruthlessly, selecting exactly ten pets from each family to level. If I want to pick up some of the culled pets again later, I’ll know which pets were previously on the Favorites list by looking for the ones that have names.

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.

liebenstraum

Whenever a new varation on the “answer N questions and then tag N other bloggers to do the same” meme goes around, I always get a little giddy with anticipation wondering who is going to tag me.

This particular variation on the theme is called the “Liebster Awards”, and it works like so:

1) Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award badge
2) Answer the eleven questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
3) Provide eleven miscellaneous facts about yourself
4) Nominate eleven blogs of relatively small readership that you think deserve to be better-known
5) Notify the bloggers that you’ve nominated them
6) Compile eleven questions for your nominees to answer

Step One
The lovely Amerence gave me the tip of the hat. Thank you, darling!

Step Two

1) When did you start blogging; What it’s all about and why?
I’ve been writing here at Kamalia et alia since March 2010, when I wanted to participate in a healing survey that was going around the blogs I was reading at the time. Prior to that, I’d been participating in the Harry Potter fandom and writing about my RL (mis)adventures using LiveJournal since 2001 or 2002. My poor LJ, it’s been so abandoned and neglected since I started this WoW blog and began using Facebook to keep up with my closest HP-fandom friends.
To me, blogging is partly a way for me to record the things I’ve enjoyed about the game and partly a way for me to share my love of the game with others. It’s also been a great way to make new friends, given that I am kind of shy and don’t tend to make friends or even just talk to new people IRL unless the other person approaches me. I have often, over the past decade or so, felt like I have more friends online than “in-person”.

2) Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!
Ever since Cataclysm, my default answer to the “favorite screenshot” question has been this picture from when I was out exploring the newly-Shattered world, enjoying finally being able to FLY IN AZEROTH!, and got stuck on a tree branch that wasn’t just an ordinary tree branch…

3) Favorite city in WoW to hang out in and why?
Thunder Bluff, of course! It’s relatively quiet and peaceful. If I’m going to be tabbed out or AFK for awhile, I will often log into a character who is in Thunder Bluff because I find the Thunder Bluff music to be calm and relaxing, so I don’t mind listening to it looping.

4) Do you play other games besides WoW? Do you use any console besides your PC?
When it comes to computer games, I just play World of Warcraft. We don’t own a console, or even a TV. I’m very fond of table games such as Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, etc.

5) What’s your favorite Transmog gear?
There are so many sets I adore, but I’m particularly fond of the Shaman T4 “Cyclone” set because not only is it a very, very stylish set, Karazhan was also my very first raiding experience, and I was fortunate to be in a friendly guild for it.

6) How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you play them all equally?
Hmm, let’s see… eleven on Bloodhoof, eleven on Winterhoof, eleven on Argent Dawn, and four on Thunderhorn makes thirty-seven. I’m usually only actively playing — leveling or doing dailies/farming/LFR at max level — three to five of them at any given time, and my Tauren get the bulk of my attention.

7) What’s your current achievement score? What’s your most favorite one and why?
I currently have 12600 Achievement Points. The two that are the most meaningful to me are having completed Loremaster before Cataclysm and, more recently, having completed The Black Prince, Chapter V and obtained my Legendary cloak.

8) What was your most memorable experience since you started playing WoW?
I don’t really remember my first Wailing Caverns run itself, but I do remember the nightmare-loop I was stuck in after I went to sleep that night, dreaming about being lost in the Wailing Caverns!

9) How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too.
Kamalia has a critter kill count of 9721. I’ve always felt a little guilty about accidentally killing critters with AoE.

10) What is the first word that comes to mind when you think about WoW and why?
“Wonderful” sums up the World of Warcraft in one word pretty neatly, because I love the art of the game and because there are so many great things to explore and do within the game world.

11) Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon! It’s the new expansion everyone is talking about! What are your expectations?
I expect a breathtaking new world to explore, filled with interesting characters to meet and fascinating stories to experience that will encompass a wide range of emotions. I will play through the Horde storyline first, leveling Kamalia to 100 in tandem with BTH. I plan to play through the Alliance storyline next, before I level any Horde alts, because, like Matthew Rossi, I’m feeling rather bored of orcs and their turmoils and am more excited about discovering what the Draenei were like when they were a flourishing civilization. I expect to spend a lot of time managing my Garrison.

Step Three
* When I was very little, I was a strawberry blonde. As I got older, my hair got darker; it was never the true bright shiny new copper penny color, it was more like the color of an old dull penny. Now my hair only looks reddish in just the right sort of sunlight, and I wonder if it is the color called “auburn” or not.
* During my teens and early twenties, I collected every color of Crayola crayons that I could find. Crayola hasn’t produced any new or interesting crayon colors for several years, though.
* Shortly after I first started this blog, BTH got transferred to Halifax, Nova Scotia for work. We lived there for a year and a half, then returned to the Twin Cities. About a year and a half later, BTH got transferred to the Halifax project again, and we will probably have been here in Nova Scotia for another year and a half before he gets assigned to a different project.
* I had a great temerity about fresh hot peppers and only ever used the canned green chiles from Old El Paso until my Mom gave me a Mexican cookbook for Christmas this past year. Now I enjoy using poblano, jalapeno or serrano, fresno, ancho, and chipotle peppers — but I am still timid about the really super hot peppers!
* I enjoy baking and would much rather bake my own bread than have to buy it. I take pride in doing the mixing and kneading by hand. When I do buy bread, I prefer to buy it from a small, local-business bakery.
* My Mom used to think she was descended from Priscilla Mullins, who came over on the Mayflower. Now, she’s not so sure if that ancestry has been correctly traced. We do know for certain, however, that we are descended from Joseph Knight, Sr., who, with his family, was one of the most staunch friends and supporters of Joseph Smith, Jr., during the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
* I’ve really enjoyed judging Dragonray’s Mog the World in 80 Days competition. I usually give 8.5/10 as my top score, but I have given a couple of 9.0s and even a 10! My favorite sets are the ones that effectively use both the colors and the motifs of the chosen flag while still being an oufit that I feel like I would be able to wear without having to explain that my outfit was inspired by the flag of a certain country and, more importantly, being an outfit that I would enjoy wearing myself!
* This winter, I’ve become addicted to Tim Hortons hot chocolate. I drink at least one cup a day, usually two and sometimes even three, and I go through about a cannister a week.
* Although the official timeline on pages 28 – 31 of the World of Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide allocates only one year apiece to the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions, it’s never made sense to me that all the war campaigns and especially all the buildings and construction that happened in each expansion could really be done in just one year of time. My headcanon is that the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions took as much time in Azeroth as we spent playing those expansions in “real time”.
* Despite what I said before about the $60 cost being prohibitive, I am really quite tempted to just boost my nine sub-level-60 Mages up to 90. It would be quite the heap of cash if I boosted them all at once, but if I boost them one at a time, as each one reaches level 60…
* I love a good bad pun, especially when I’ve managed to come up with it myself, so here are some lobsters that I painted in June 2011.

Step Four
(in no particular order)
Manalicious
Martha
Parallel Context
Plenty of Paladins
That Was an Accident!
The Pixel Lives of Lorelei/Zazzy Mogs
Mog’s Addiction
Ironyca Stood in the Fire
Jaedia’s Menagerie
Awaiting the Muse
Azerothian Life
Pretty Fly for a Draenei
Red Cow Rise (Akabeko, I miss you!)

Step Five
Oh, dear, I guess this means I have to go make comments on all these blogs, don’t I? Perhaps I’ll just leave comments for the folks that don’t stop by here regularly, and leave it up to the folks who do stop by regularly to decide whether or not they want to play along.

Step Six
1) Tell me about a game or games — video or table or both! — that you are really enjoying right now.
2) What classes, races, or roles do you find yourself most drawn to in RPGs, whether in D&D, a single-player video game, or an MMO?
3) When you make your first character in a new game, do you try to make a character that is in some way an avatar of your RL self, or do you make someone entirely different?
4) Describe a typical session of playing your current favorite video/computer game.
5) What was the very first computer/video game you ever played? How old were you?
6) Do you have more than one blog? If so, what is/are your other blog(s) about? (Blog names/links not necessary, and you don’t have to include personal/family/work-related blogs unless you really want to.)
7) Name three non-WoW/game-related websites that you visit frequently.
8) What was/is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?
9) Cake or Pie? What is your favorite flavor of your preferred dessert?
10) What toppings do you like on a pizza? on an ice-cream sundae?
11) What is your favorite writing instrument?

First, the outfits I’m currently using for my Paladin’s Holy and Protection sets, respectively.

Pretty Pally Princess

Circle’s Stalwart Helmet, Pauldrons of the Touched, Chestguard of Bitter Charms, Legguards of the Apostle, Bloodscale belt gloves & boots, Shroud of Akali, Scimitar of Seven Stars (LFR), Aegis of the Vindicator
I’d been farming Plague Quarter of Naxx-25 for the Girdle of Unity. These DK starting zone recolor items also drop in Plague Quarter, and I happened to pick them up along the way. Looking at their powder blue color, I was reminded of a recent OLRG conversation concerning the suitability of baby blue and pink for Warlock attire — and then I just had to make this kit!

High Chief’s Justice

Justice Bearer’s Pauldrons, High Chief’s Armor & Legguards, Bog Walker’s Belt, Life Bearer’s Gauntlets + Junior Technician 3rd Grade Bracers, Fen Strider’s Footguards, Shadowvine Cloak of Infusion, Rich Purple Silk Shirt, Encapsulated Essence of Immerseus (LFR), Adamantine Kite Shield
I farmed the purple Judgment shoulders & gloves specifically to make this kit, and they will probably be the only pieces of that set that I collect. Someday, I’d like to acquire the original red/gold/black Judgment shoulders & gloves, too — but I don’t think I’ll ever collect the entirety of either set.

Next, a few more relatively recent purple kits… Continue Reading »

This morning, Matthew Rossi over at WoW Inisder wonders,

…would you, if you could, make a copy of one of your characters on the other faction to play with friends of said faction?

I have often, frequently, wished that I could just make an Alliance duplicate of Kamalia, exactly as she was right at the moment, to play with my blue team friends. Now that I have a choice of races, she’d be a Dwarf. How much would I be willing to pay for it? Probably $50 – $75.

chopsticks

The Paladin was in LFR last night and I happened to pull up her character sheet — probably to flip to the currency tab and double-check her count of Warforged Seals — while she was eating some buff food. To my surprise, she had chopsticks in her weapon hand!

I didn’t recall having seen that ever before. A bit later, it occurred to me that the buff food she’d been eating had been a bowl of soup from one of the Noodle Carts. So I did a couple of experiments. I tried a regular Pandaren buff food (Swirling Mist Soup) and a Great Pandaren Banquet. When I looked at my character’s eating animation while she was eating those foods, it was just the standard animation with a loaf of bread, and her character sheet looked normal. When I tried another bowl of Deluxe Noodle Soup, however, then the eating animation used chopsticks and the chopsticks showed up on the character sheet for the duration of the food consumption.

Nam Ironpaw should sell some chopsticks! They could cost, say, 25 Ironpaw tokens and require one to have completed “Master of the Ways”. It would be great if the chopsticks were moggable, of course, but given that the skillet, the rolling pin, and the trophy fish aren’t, I wouldn’t really expect them to be. I’d still love to have them as a vanity/RP item!

leveling potpourri

A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, courtesy of Dragonray, who wonders:

What sort of method do you use for levelling multiple alts? Do you follow the same quest chains each time, do you avoid a certain quest section, do you only dungeon, etc?

I typically level with a mixture of questing, gathering, and LFD.

Since Heirlooms debuted, most of my characters have used them. I’ve gotten used to the pace of leveling using Heirlooms, to the extent that leveling without them now feels agonizingly slow. Kaumalea the Underpowered Death Knight doesn’t use Heirlooms, of course, and I’ve decided that Kehontah the Male Tauren Warrior will not use Heirlooms to help him reach level 60, prior to being boosted to 90, either. He’s also not going to do LFD, not even SFK at level 20 for the weapon (a rite of passage for all my other alts). He’ll be finding joy in the journey and perhaps even contributing to the Godmother’s “Those We Leave Behind” project.

To keep myself from getting bored with the leveling process, I try to do something a little different with each alt — or at least, between one alt that I spend a lot of time with and the next alt that I spend a lot of time with. I try to choose zones and questlines that feature the race of my character or a faction that relates to the class of my character. I use LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones or quests I want to do.

When I get to Outland, I cherry-pick the questlines that give good-looking clothes or weapons for Transmogrification. This means I end up doing a different set of zones and quests depending upon the armor class of the character.

Going through Northrend as Horde, I usually do some of the Taunka village questlines, then burn through the rest of those levels in LFD. Ever since Kamalia experienced the Wrathgate, I’ve avoided the Forsaken outposts and their quests like, well, the plague (pun intended). I tried to do some of the Alliance side quests in Northrend with Kinevra, but she was in such a hurry to get to 85 that what she did went by in a blur. Now, Kaprikka is in a hurry-hurry to get to 90, so I probably won’t see much of non-LFD Northrend with her, either. One of my other Alliance alts will have to be the one to take it slow through the Alliance story in Northrend — and I would like to play all the way through Storm Peaks again sometime.

I do have a fairly set path for the Cataclysm levels. I play through Mount Hyjal until I’ve completed Aessina’s Miracle, so that if the character ever wants to get something from the Molten Front, they can jump right in. Then I go to Vashj’ir and follow the quest chain until I get to Silver Tide Hollow and open up the Earthen Ring quartermaster. I go to Deepholm just long enough to get to level 83, and I usually follow the Stonehearth questline rather than the skyship questline. Then I go to Uldum and play through the Ramkahen questline. Sometimes I finish it, other times I go to Twilight Highlands as soon as I reach level 84. I’ll do enough of Twilight Highlands to get the portal open. After that, I may continue questing in Twilight Highlands, go back to Uldum, or just gather and LFD my way to 85.

The only things a character must do in Pandaria are get the Grummlepack and open the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Mages don’t even have to do the latter; they can just wait until they get to level 90 and learn the teleport. I usually do the Tian Monastery in Jade Forest, getting started at Sunsong Ranch, and the Lorewalker Cho/Zouchin Province questline in Kun-Lai Summit (at least until the trolls have been defeated). I’ve only done the Dread Wastes with a few characters; the others have all tried to avoid it.

I’m fond of Archaeology as a speed-leveling tool when I’m really in a hurry to level and don’t have any zones or questlines that I’m particularly interested in playing through. Archaeology provides consistently good XP, plus a little gold on the side, and it’s a good way to occupy myself while I’m sitting in an LFD queue (especially as DPS). Archaeology gets much easier after level 60, when one can fly. Many digsites have very uneven terrain or large obstacles created by ruined structures, and it’s faster and simpler to hop on one’s flying mount and go over an obstacle than to go around on the ground. The digsites at Auchindoun are particularly terrible; the relics can spawn both inside and outside the ring, and trying to navigate around that place on the ground while searching for relics would be a nightmare! I am not excited about trying to do Archaeology on Draenor if it remains a no-fly environment for the whole expansion!

I’m also fond of dailies as a leveling tool, though they are definitely not a speed-leveling method! I’ll often do the Thunder Bluff fishing and cooking dailies with whichever alt is currently at the top of my leveling queue. I particularly like to do dailies from past expansions with a character who is not yet at the level cap of the current expansion, so that they can get XP as well as whatever reward I’m interested in. I’ve put many characters through their paces at the Argent Tournament. The latest, Kinevra, eventually said enough is enough and refused to do any more jousting — I haven’t done the jousting in the Court of Bones for ages, only the arena jousting on the Tournament grounds, but it seems that I’ve finally gotten thoroughly sick of that. Kaelinda got a couple of levels between 85 and 90 from the Molten Front — good enough XP that Kinevra is contemplating going to Tol Barad after she’s finished at the Argent Tournament (still a long way off). After Warlords launches, I will probably get post-90 levels for at least some of my characters from the various Pandaria dailies.

The Kalimdor Pet Battle Trainer circuit sped the Pet Battling Monk quite handily through her first 70 levels. I’ve liked Pet Battling enough to occasionally vist Pet Trainers with other alts, if they’ve been convenient to wherever the character was questing, or to do a wild pet battle here and there. In the future, I might do Pet Battling as an alternative to gathering and LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones/quests a given character wants to do.

So that’s how I level, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, never exactly the same way for any two characters.

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