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bye-bye, birdies

Well, Kamalia finally reached Exalted with the Order of the Awakened tonight and built “The Awakener” for her fleet.

She’s not quite finished with Tanaan yet, though; she still needs Tooth & Claw to come up about five more times before she can get the Savage Cub. But when that’s done, she’ll at last be able to laze about doing Archaeology and running Iron Docks every now and then to collect a few more copies of the Iron Horde shoulder token for the cosmetic armor sets, while I turn the majority of my attention to getting my alts leveled…

Not “Back to School” in theme — just in time of year.

Captain’s Ringmail

Captain’s Hat, Crusader’s Pauldrons, Felstalker Breastplate, Veteran’s Ringmail Girdle, Wasteland Ringmail Leggings, Talhide Lined-Gloves, Railwalker’s Ratcheted Boots, Steelforged Dagger (1-630), Sharptusk Shield
Alas, the most perfect shield to go with this hat is an Alliance-specific quest reward!
And while I am willing to do there-and-back-again faction-switching shenanigans with my other characters, I won’t do that with Kamalia. sigh…
I guess I’ll just have to make do with this Draenor shield, which looks vaguely nautical — kinda-sorta like a broken porthole cover.
Savage Blood required: 0

Pyresinger


Jewel of the Firelord, Mantle of Closed Doors (N), Funeral Pyre Vestment, Sash of Mortal Desire (10), Riding Gloves* + Glowing Magical Bracelets, Kurkenstoks, Funeral Pyre
I originally imagnined this kit as an RP outfit for my Tauren Priest. As it happened, however, I was able collect all the items with my Human Mage more quickly, thanks to a series of Alliance-side Firelands runs by the OLRG.

Somehow, I always seem to end up changing several characters’ Transmogrification kits at about the same time. The rest of the current batch of new kits are behind the cut — Continue Reading »

That Big Bear Butt fellow sure knows how to have fun in WoW — and he always seems to have the most fun when he’s making his own fun. Most recently, he’s discovered a way to use the Custom Group finder to juggle multiple alts into the same raid group/lockout without needing a second person. What a terrific idea! I knew immediately just who to try it with.

Last week, I decided to take my level 94 Fury Warrior into 10N Firelands to see if she could snag the Spaulders of Manifold Eyes off of Beth’tilac for that awesome regal crimson kit that Silverblade designed for my Savage Blood mog event. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily she smashed stuff. My Disc Priest, who is also level 94, has been wanting the Mantle of Closed Doors from Baleroc pretty much forever… but I wasn’t sure she could smash Cataclysm raids with quite the same ease as my Warrior. After I read about BBB’s clever shimmy this afternoon, I decided to clear up to Baleroc with my Warrior, bring my Priest in to do Baleroc, and then go back to my Warrior for Majordomo and Rags. It worked like a charm! It did take my Priest two tries to kill Baleroc — and then, to my great delight, the Mantle of Closed Doors dropped! My streak of good luck continued; when my Warrior got to Rags, he dropped Sulfuras, the Extinguished Hand for her!

Thanks for the tip, Bear!

Several months into Warlords, I’ve finally gotten around to updating my Characters page with new portraits showing how my characters look with the new models!

The SELFIE camera proved useful for getting good facial close-up screencaps to use for this project, as I’d hoped it would. Most of the Tauren expressions are pretty silly, but there are one or two that are cute if you catch them at just the right moment. Alas, that cute, flirty expression turned into a rather… dazed expression when I reduced the new portraits to the 100 x 100 size I use for my Characters page. I still think it’s better than the serious DMV mug shot expression, though. You can’t see the color of their eyes at the small size, either. I should remember to use the camera more often when I’m bopping around the world and when I’m doing Transmogrification photo shoots… and maybe get around to making those individual Character Profile posts/pages with all their favorite mounts and titles and jukebox tracks and suchlike, and links to artwork and stories featuring that particular character.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to update my blog banner. When I last updated it, near the end of Mists, I displayed my One-of-Each-Class set of alts, because I was so pleased with myself for having finally accomplished the goal, which I’d had since I first started playing this game, of getting a character of every class to the level cap.

I won’t be doing that again, though, because I just don’t have the time any more to play classes whose fantasy doesn’t really interest me. I probably won’t play a Demon Hunter much farther than just getting through their starting zone experience, and I’m currently thinking that I may not level the Rogue or the Warlock at all in Legion. Furthermore, making the row of icons along the bottom of the banner small enough to add another one for the Demon Hunter would have made them so small that they’d barely have been readable. Instead, I’ve displayed the alts that I actually intend to play going forward into Legion. I’ve reorganized the listing priority on the Characters page in a similar fashion.

It’s funny how my interest in particular alts comes and goes. I thought I was done with my Human Mage at the end of Mists. Then I decided that if I couldn’t have a High Elf Mage, a Human Mage would be the next-best thing, and so I renamed my Human Mage and made her look as much like my Blood Elf Mage as I could. I wasn’t quite satisfied with that, though. I kept iterating her appearance until I was happy with it, and it turns out that what I really wanted my Human Mage to be is as close to an avatar of my RL self as I could manage (oddly enough, the new model face that I ultimately chose as the one that seemed the closest to just right is one that I probably wouldn’t have chosen in the old model version). As I updated my Characters page, I considered putting my Human Mage’s race down as “High Elf”, signifying that even though the model she uses is Human, RP-wise she is really a Quel’dorei, but that just didn’t feel quite right anymore because I’ve gotten to a happy place with that character as a Human. If by some miracle the Alliance were to get playable High Elves, I’d most likely just create a new character instead of race-changing my Human Mage. I might still faction-change my Blood Elf Mage, though, and create (and perhaps even boost) that new character as a Blood Elf Mage, because I think I’d still want a Blood Elf Mage, as well as a High Elf Mage…

I did, however, put down RP-inspired race descriptions for some of my Tauren characters, indicating customization options (such as Grimtotem war paint) that I would take if they were available. I already knew which characters were of the Taunka and Yaungol sub-races; with Legion introducing a new Taurenoid sub-race, I looked through my other characters to decide which one to retcon as a Highmountain Tauren. I chose my secondary Druid, whose RP description already establishes her as having features that aren’t actually available in the current character customization options. Perhaps curly coat is a trait that was unique to the tribes that lived in the Highmountain region of Pangaea-Kalimdor, or, like the moose horns or the characteristics that distinguish Taunka and Yaungol from Shu’halo, a trait that developed among them after the Sundering split them off from the rest of the Tauren lineages.

In Casually Odd’s sidebar, I saw a link to a post by Misdirections entitled “What will you be doing for the rest of WoD?” I’d already been beginning to think along similar lines — what things do I want to accomplish in Warlords content before we return to Azeroth and find it under siege by the Burning Legion*?

Kamalia

I still have a couple of things to finish up in Tanaan. I need to get Exalted with the Order of the Awakened to get the Awakener blueprint, and I need to collect 1500 Blackfang Claws to get the Savage Cub pet. I’m about two-thirds of the way to the former and about halfway to the latter. Lately, though, I’ve only been bothering to go to Tanaan when Wowhead tells me that the Tooth and Claw daily is up, so that I can work on both goals at once.

I want the Order of the Awakened blueprint for the rare Shipyard missions that reward the Heirloom rings. These missions all require a Carrier and a Destroyer. They also require five counters but, like all Shipyard missions, take two ships. The Arakkoa-crewed Destroyer functions as a Carrier as well as a Destroyer, and I’m hoping that will allow me to get to 100% mission success chance by an appropriate choice of companion ship. I will continue to play the Shipyard with Kamalia until I’ve gotten all three of the Heirloom rings.

When Kamalia has finished the Order of the Awakened rep grind, I’ll be able to take down her Trading Post and rebuild the Inn, to continue trying to recruit as many of the Tauren followers as I can. I’ll probably keep the Lumber Mill until I’m finished with the Shipyard, and then I’ll rebuild the Barn, to work on making all those Savage Blood Transmogrification kits I designed.

When the Flying in Draenor patch goes live, Kamalia will finish up Draenor Archaeology. Then she will be pretty much done with Draenor.

et alia

My alts are slowly making their way toward level 100, but with Fall Semester starting on Wednesday, I won’t be making any effort to get all of my currently active 90-something alts to level 100 before the Burning Legion arrives. The Hunter is level 99, with much of that XP coming from pet battle dailies. The Monk is level 98, with much of her XP coming from the Practice Makes Perfect daily at the Peak of Serenity. Only two alts — my darling Mages — have actually done any Draenor content outside of Frostfire Ridge/Shadowmoon Valley. The rest have been slowly but steadily gaining XP from herbing, mining, and follower missions within their Garrisons.

While I’m focusing on getting Kamalia to level 110 and through the initial offerings of max-level content in Legion, my alts will almost certainly be lingering in their Garrisons on Draenor, just as they lingered at Sunsong Ranch for the first few months of Warlords. I’ll have them build Inns and assemble RP-themed collections of followers, just as I’ve daydreamed about doing with them throughout this expansion. The Druid will complete the storyline achievement for each zone** to be sure that she’ll trigger the Garrison Campaign so that she can eventually get Choluna to be one of her followers. The Hunter will build the Stables and do the mount taming & training questlines — I’m not particularly interested in the mounts themselves, as I lost interest in the mount collecting achievements long ago and the Warlords mount offerings have not impressed me, but I want her to have the “Stable Master” title. The Warrior will go to Tanaan just long enough to fetch the lookalike of Admiral Taylor’s Greatsword. The Druid will go to Tanaan to get the technique for the Gylph of Ascendance. Unless they decide that they want to use the Frostwolf Grunt/Karabor Councilor costume toy, the rest of them will probably ignore Tanaan and the Shipyard entirely.

* Just as Anne Stickney has predicted all throughout Warlords that we would!
** With most of my alts, I’ll be picking and choosing which questlines and outposts I want in each zone based on which followers I want them to get.

Blizzard showed the Fire and Frost Mage Artifact weapons in the Legion announcement presentation, but not the Arcane one. I wonder if the Arcane one has something to do with Jaina leaving Dalaran in a huff? If the Arcane one does end up being associated with Jaina, then my Human Mage will definitely have to be main-spec Arcane for Legion. My Blood Elf Mage will be main-spec Fire in Legion for the Sunstrider dynasty sword, Felo’melorn, of course. Either or both of them could pick up the Frost staff with their off-spec.

Where will the Mage Class Hall be? Dalaran seems like an obvious location… perhaps up in the Purple Parlor? Or maybe in a refurbished/newly constructed tower at the edge of Dalaran Crater? What other locations might be reasonable possibilties for the Mage Class Hall?

Regarding the rivalry between Mages and Warlocks, I come down pretty firmly on the side of Mages. The fantasy of the Mage appeals to me; the fantasy of the Warlock is repulsive to me. The tease that the Warlock Class Hall will be on some cinder of a Legion-conquered world has me contemplating retiring my Warlock completely. The only Warlock spec I can bring myself to play is Destruction, and that by thinking of it as a Corrupt Fire Mage. Admittedly, being burned to death is horrible whether it’s a Fire Mage or a Destro Lock doing it, but at least when it’s a Fire Mage, the magic is not itself being fueled by the utter extinguishing of a soul. Still, when I’m playing my Fire Mages, there are two Destro Lock spells that I often find myself wishing that they had — Rain of Fire instead of Flamestrike, and the flinging a sheet of fire effect of Incinerate as the spell effect for Inferno Blast.

Well, the Q&A this morning answered my most burning question about Artifact weapons, which was “how are they going to manage dual specs?” I’m glad that I’ll be able to get the Artifact weapons for both of my specs. I didn’t want to have to choose whether my Paladin will be Prot or Holy for Legion. My Blood Elf Mage will be Fire for Felo’melorn, of course.

Early last week, shortly before the all the excitement about the new expansion, Kamalia completed her 100th naval mission and obtained the Captain’s Hat. Naturally, I set about to design a kit to go with it.

Captain’s Hat, Crusader’s Pauldrons, Felstalker Breastplate, Veteran’s Linked Girdle, Wasteland Ringmail Leggings, Talhide Lined-Gloves, Railwalker’s Ratcheted Boots, Steelforged Dagger (1-630), Wheel of the Lost Hope
Alas, the most perfect shield to go with this hat is Alliance-only!
And while I am willing to do there-and-back-again faction-switching shenanigans with my other characters, I won’t do that with Kamalia. sigh…
I guess I’ll just have to make do with the Sharptusk Shield, which kinda-sorta looks nautical — like a broken porthole cover, perhaps.

I’ve been saying that I won’t play the Shipyard with anyone but Kamalia, but this cosmetic hat… I just know that I’m going to want to get one for a character of each armor type, at least. I don’t have to play the Shipyard as seriously with my other characters as I have with Kam, though. I just have to complete 100 missions, I don’t have to succeed at them, so I can play my other characters’ Shipyards in ships-are-expendable mode, instead of in the min-max mode I’ve been playing it with Kam.

I don’t mind Demon Hunters being restricted to the elven races — Sin’dorei are my second-favorite race, after all — because even if all races could be Demon Hunters, I’m not sure I’d want to play a Tauren Demon Hunter. I think I could quite happily play a swashbuckling Tauren Combat Rogue, or a Tauren Frost/Fire Mage (as an outgrowth of Shamanism, similar to the way that Tauren Priests are an outgrowth of Druidism), but I don’t think I could be a Tauren Warlock or Demon Hunter. It would just feel too wrong (but then, I thought that about Death Knights, too, and now I have two of them). Nevertheless, that Demon Hunters will now be a player character thing instead of just an NPC thing is making me want to start running my Monk through Black Temple to swipe Illidan’s blindfold. She may not want to be a Demon Hunter, but she can play at looking like one.

Cursed Vision of Sargeras, Supple Shoulderguards (1-640), Raiment of Silent Stars, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt, Gloves of the Blind Stalker, Terokk’s Shadowstaff
The most difficult piece of this kit to acquire will be the chestpiece — it requires Friendly reputation with the Shado-Pan Assault, and Kate is only at Neutral. I’ll need some buddies to help me clear the first LFR wing of Throne of Thunder to get the rep.

Having resigned myself to the idea that there probably won’t be any new race/class combinations in the next expansion, let alone Tauren Mages (given that the Grimtotem casters who used Mage spells in pre-Cataclysm days now use only Shaman or Druid spells), I thought that the next-best thing would be to level up my Gnome Mage and run her with the Orb of Deception active on cooldown. After acquiring an Orb of Deception, however, I found to my disappointment that instead of changing my Gnome to look like a Tauren wearing the same clothes as my Gnome, it generates a fixed disguise. Well, I thought, perhaps it might be fun to play with the Orb of Disguise concept by making a Transmogrification kit to make one of my leather-wearing characters look like an Orb-of-Disguised Gnome.

Big Voodoo Mask, Wild Growth Spaulders, Living Breastplate, Tracker’s Belt, Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt, Gauntlets of Southwind, Bright Yellow Shirt
Alas, the Living Breastplate pattern is no longer obtainable, and Kamalia doesn’t have it because I didn’t think I’d ever want to make it. The best substitute, I think, is probably the Thick Draenic Vest, which is the same style in a tan color that would coordinate reasonably well with the rest of the kit.

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