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~*~*~
Something about the abandoned docks where the Hungry Riverbeast came ashore felt hauntingly familiar.


As Kamalia turned around and caught sight of the road leading away from the far side of the docks, the memories returned in a terrifying, overwhelming rush…


The bodies were gone, of course.


In this climate, in this jungle, after so many months, it was inevitable.


But as Kamalia and Draka fought their way up the road, Kamalia spied fluttering scraps of bright cloth snagged in the briars, and Azerothian pauldrons, helmets, and weapons half-buried in the mud.


Her heart ached again for the cost of war, for the valiant members of the Vanguard, Horde and Alliance alike, and for the rescued Frostwolves and draenei who had fallen in that final, panicked, headlong rush toward the (relative) safety of the boats.

Kamalia knew that Tanaan Jungle corresponded to the Hellfire Peninsula region of Outland. Studying the map, she knew that Vol’mar was in the same location, relative to the Dark Portal and Hellfire Citadel, as Thrallmar. But just as with Shadowmoon Valley, this land was so rich and full and overgrown with life that she could not make the terrain align in her mind. Really, this Draenor was so different from the Draenor that had become Outland (especially in the relative homeland locations of the orcish clans), that it was astonishing that it had spawned a collection of Warlords with the same names, and a Durotan and a Draka, at all.

~*~*~

Gameplay-wise, I’m enjoying this patch. With Vivianne at her side, Kamalia has been able to handle just about everything she’s encountered… except for the demons at the Throne of Kil’jaeden and the saberon in Fangri’la. I’ll have to be diligent about getting myself into Saberstalker rep groups for Rumble in the Jungle at the beginning of each week if I want to get this rep done at any kind of reasonable speed. The Vol’mar rep doesn’t seem like it will be too bad to do. The Arakkoa rep will be a bit harder; I’ve actually been deliberately ignoring treasures that I see so that I will still have treasures to collect for the treasure-finding/rare-killing daily for as long as possible.

I’m enjoying the Shipyard and Naval Missions (so far). I think it’s a nifty iteration on the original followers & missions mechanics of the Garrison. I like the gameplay depth of being able to customize my ships for specific missions by changing their equipment. I’ve found about half of the equipment blueprints I need; I still need to keep my eyes peeled for the rares that drop the remaining blueprints and brave the first wing of Hellfire Citadel LFR for the Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer blueprint. Swapping out equipment is slowly draining my cache of Garrison Resources, though, so I suppose I ought to start using my Trading Post (as long as I have it up anyway for rep purposes) to generate resources.

At this point, I am thinking that I will take only three of my alts to Tanaan: Kerisa the Druid, who is my Scribe, to get the Glyph of Ascendance technique from the rare who drops it; Keija the Warrior, to get the Forgotten Champion’s Blade; and Kaylynda the Alliance Mage.


Now that the rest of Draenor is Secured, I can tackle Tanaan Jungle. Where did I put my mosquito netting and quinine tablets, again?

Among other reasons, I didn’t build my Shipyard and sail off to Tanaan Jungle last week because I was at my parents’ house — which always puts a crimp in my ability to play the game. As I’ve read about other folks’ adventures in the Jungle over the past few days, it occurred to me that the dailies there will probably take up most of the time I have or want to spend playing. It would make sense, therefore, to finish off the 6.0 Apexis quests before heading out to Tanaan. So today I picked up Scouting Missives for all the Apexis objectives I hadn’t done yet and went out to polish them off. I even remembered to assign a Bodyguard (Vivianne) to the Barracks and to ask her to come with me before I went out — usually I don’t think that maybe I ought to do that until it’s too late (because I’ve already sent all my available followers off on missions). In the process of completing the Apexis objectives, I managed to trigger Iron Horde and Shadowmoon Invasions — though I may not ever actually talk to my Sergeant and allow the invasions to happen…

Hot and Cold

The first round of Patch 6.2 hotfixes went up before I even logged into the game yesterday, and after seeing that a quite a few of them involved crowd control — seriously, Blizzard, oughtn’t you to have learned by now that questgivers that bottleneck shiny new content require collision geometry and auto-dismounting auras? — I decided to wait a few days to let the initial rush die down a bit before doing the Shipyard/Tanaan Jungle entry questline.

Instead, I recruited a greasemonkey from my Inn (and got a lady Tauren on the first try!), then promptly tore the place down and spent the next three hours replacing it with a level 3 Trading Post to speed up my rep gains in Tanaan once I get there. While I waited for the peons to build and then upgrade my Trading Post, I did an Apexis daily, some Archaeology, and some treasure hunting. Between Shadowmoon Valley (which I cleared out a few days ago) and Frostfire Ridge (last night), I quite easily found enough treasures to reach 100. So now I just have to finish Securing Draenor and the Tanaan rep grinds to qualify for flying.

Meanwhile, it is Midsummer Fire Festival — time for the Underpowered Death Knight to don her platekini for her summer world tour.

It’s Summer and I Wanna be Hot Hawt Hot!

Jewel of the Firelord, Twilight-Heart Shoulderplates, Nether Protector’s Chest, Stalwart Girdle, Symbolic Legplates, Talonguard Gloves, Landfall Plate Boots, Amber Filigreed Shirt, Smoldering Gunship Strut
The turquoise accents on this shirt allow it to blend well with the blue of the chestpiece, and the gold filigree details against the orange background irresistibly remind me of the Midsummer Fire Festival banners.

Midsummer, with its clash of fire elementals and ice elementals, is also as good a time as any to show off this kit that I recently made for Kaelinda.

Ice Lance


Twilight Mantle, Grimfrost Arcanist Robe, Turquoise Sash*, Breezebinder Handwraps, Cushy Cenarion Walkers, Cloak of Cheerful Flowers, Formal White Shirt, Frostbitten Staff
Some of the Warlords robe styles have an odd issue where they show a band of boot color around the hem of the skirt. The boots that match this robe style are more like really tattered socks — they leave the toes cold and don’t cover much of the ankle — and they show as a band of skin color on the robe. That looks really strange, but fortunately it’s pretty easy to find some boots that coordinate with the main color of the robe. If you haven’t got these Outland quest reward boots, the Royal Boots also work well.

Although it seems a little premature to call this a “Warlords bucket list” given that a) it’s been hinted that there will, in fact, be at least a Patch 6.3* and b) the next expansion hasn’t been announced yet, these are some things that I’d like to accomplish before school starts again in two months.

+ Spend a few evenings treasure hunting to get to 100 treasures found. I already have the maps for Frostfire and Shadowmoon, so I should gather all the low-hanging fruit out of those zones before getting the maps for the other zones.

+ Continue doing Apexis dailies until I have completed Securing Draenor. If the dailies that are up are both either one that I’ve already done or one that doesn’t contribute to the achievement (there are a few of those), I should buy a Scouting Missive and go do one that I haven’t already done that does contribute to the achievement.

+ Replace my Inn with a level 3 Trading Post for faster reputation gain with the three Tanaan Jungle factions.

+ If the new “Dowser” oil doubler trait will be available for recruiting from the Inn — I seem to recall reading that it would be, but that might have been a PTR thing that later got changed — recruit a Dowser next Tuesday before replacing the Inn.

+ Build Shipyard, rule the savage seas, profit.

+ Do dailies for all three of the Tanaan Jungle factions. I’ll want to get to revered with all of them for Draenor Pathfinder, of course. I’ll want to get to all the way to exalted with the Order of the Awakened for the super ship blueprint.

+ Level alts! Attempt to give priority to Kaylynda (Human Mage) to experience Alliance story.

+ Craft items for Savage Blood Transmogrification kits. This will require staying on top of profession CDs, work orders, and trapping for the Barn. The reduced costs for the upgrade items and the reduced Primal Spirits-to-Savage Blood exchange rate will greatly help this, as will the increased yield from personal profession CDs.

+ Find out how the new Ascendance minor glyph technique is obtained, get it with my Scribe, acquire one Felblight (should be pretty easy to do, Kamalia will probably be skinning heaps of beasties in the process of doing her rep dailies), and make it for Kamalia. I must confess that I don’t use Ascendance as much as perhaps I ought to because I can’t stand looking like one of those awful Cataclysm humanoid/elemental monstrosities.

+ Go digging for the Draenor archeology items that I haven’t found yet. I don’t care whether I get them as common or as pristine solves, just as long as between the common list and the pristine list I’ve found each item at least once.

+ After completing the Draenor artifact list, spend some time digging in Eastern Kingdoms** and use my crated Restored Artifacts for Tol’vir fragments. This is a lower priority objective.

+ If getting the costume toy for one faction does not automatically grant the corresponding costume toy for the other faction, get to revered with Hand of the Prophet with Kaylynda. This is a relatively low priority objective; on the one hand, having the faction costume be a toy means I only have to get it once (per faction?), but on the other hand, having the faction costume be a toy instead of an actual cosmetic gear set means I can’t mix-and-match with it for Transmogrification.

* fingers crossed for Farahlon, and hoping it will be more like the Isle of Thunder than the Timeless Isle
** I still haven’t gotten the rare Dwarf staff, the rare Troll 2H sword, and three of the Tol’vir rares

At this point in Warlords, I’ve more or less given up on getting myself into LFR. Perhaps I burned myself out doing LFR with so many characters in Mists; whatever the reason, I just don’t feel like doing LFR. I don’t care about seeing the boss fights just to see them, and with LFR now in a separate loot tier, with loot that so far has not been attractive to me for Transmogrification, loot isn’t motivating me, either. I think I’m pretty squarely in the “Voracious Termite” playstyle camp, with Tome, by now.

Sometimes, though, I miss healing. I enjoy filling the green bars up. When I think about that, I wonder if I should run some LFR just to be able to play as a healer again. LFR, I think to myself, would probably be less stressful than running Heroics because I wouldn’t be the only healer there. I always get a bit traumatized at the beginning of a new expansion by how the dungeons are hard again. The last time I went to run a few Heroics, though, enough time had passed for gearing and dissemination of dungeon knowledge to begin making them easier. I shouldn’t be afraid of Heroics anymore.

Even so, there are some dungeon fights — and some dungeons in general — that I just loathe. Generally, they are the ones that involve lots of movement — the fire elemental boss with the magma balls in Slag Mines, Warlord Zaela, all of Grimrail Depot but especially the second boss with its terrible LOS issues. I guess the one in Slag Mines wasn’t so bad the last time I went there, and I suppose that I can suffer through Zaela with my Mages to get Millhouse for their Garrisons. Grimrail Depot, though? The fear that that might be the one that pops up is a big reason why I haven’t run a lot of Heroics this expansion. Then again, the rewards for queueing randomly aren’t really all that exciting, so I might as well just queue for specific dungeons (all the ones I actually like) when I want to play as a healer…

And the elitists who would look down their noses at me and call me a bad player, a lazy player, for choosing not to play the dungeons that I don’t like because they are more of a challenge than I think is fun, and scornfully scoff and sneer that I should suck it up and L2P? They can go fly a kite.

ETA: Or, you know, I could go do the group Apexis dailies. I just did one of those for the first time, signed up as a healer, and it scratched the itch.

So flying is coming to Draenor, after all, via a meta-Acheivement requiring the completion of various activities around Draenor that is more or less exactly what the folks whose opinions in the flying kerfluffle I have most agreed with have been suggesting all along could be the way for flying to be earned in Draenor. Hurrah!

So how will one earn one’s wings in Draenor?

Explore Draenor
I finally finished that up a week or so back, after having discovered that there were a few small spots in a couple of zones that I hadn’t managed to uncover yet.

Loremaster of Draenor
I did that while I was leveling. I haven’t done all the Bonus Objectives, though, and occasionally I stumble across a side-quest that I missed. I ought to go clean those up for easy Achievement points and delicious little bits of story.

Collect 100 Draenor treasures
Hmm. I’ve found 53 already. I’ve seen treasures that I haven’t bothered to figure out how to get to, or made a few pathetic attempts at the required jumping puzzle before giving up because I had other things I wanted to do that day. Time to go back and try those again.

Securing Draenor
Oh… I’d better start paying attention to Shadow Hunter Ukambe’s daily strategic assault recommendations, then. I’ve been an absolutely terrible “Commander” and ignored him so far.

Get Revered with all three of the new Tanaan Jungle factions
Well, I was going to have to do that anyway to get blueprints and and oil for my Shipyard.

And once I’ve done all this with Kamalia, Kerisa will be able to spread her wings and soar in Draenor’s savage skies!

~*~*~

Despite the snarkiness of the original version of this post, I really am quite pleased with the proposed implementation of flying in Draenor. I think it is just right: fully explore the content on the ground, and then you can take to the sky. Furthermore, this is the motivation that I’ve been needing to get out of my Garrison and experience some of the Draenor content that I have thus far ignored.

Treasures… yes, the treasures are fun, but I’ve felt overwhelmed by how many of them there are to find. Because there are so many, I am less inclined to pause whatever I am in the middle of doing when I see the purple glow to figure out how to get to it than I would be if the treasures were fewer and further in-between. On the other hand, because there are so many, I might be able to get up to 100 treasures found without having to become too thoroughly frustrated by the ones that are in places that are really difficult to get to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I would much, much rather do dailies for reputation than pure grinding. I did the Timbermaw grind with Kamalia; I’ve done Aldor/Scryer with various alts; I didn’t bother with the Emperor Shaohao rep on the Timeless Isle because it was a pure grind. I haven’t bothered with reputation — faction or bodyguard — in Warlords because I wasn’t interested enough in the rewards to want to grind, grind, grind for them. The only Warlords reputation I have at Exalted is the Arakkoa Outcasts, and that’s because of the rep tokens my followers brought me. I’m relieved that the new factions in Tanaan Jungle will have dailies, and I will be perfectly happy to gather that rep at the pace set by the dailies.

After having discovered fairly early on that the Apexis gear was visually identical to the gear I was getting from dungeons and follower missions, I decided that I didn’t need to collect Apexis crystals to buy items for Transmogrification. Because I wasn’t running LFR, I didn’t need the Apexis gear for its stats, either. Thus, I had no motivation to collect Apexis crystals, and the daily strategic assault quest seemed to me to be a very thin veneer on what was really just a grind. Even recognizing that the chapters of the Garrison Campaign (which I very much enjoyed) were taking me to the same locations as the strategic assault quests didn’t motivate me to go back to those places later when they were the Apexis dailies. But I’ll gladly “Secure Draenor” to make the skies safe enough to fly in. I might even bring along a bodyguard and start working on those reputations, too!

In Mists, I didn’t really get going with alt leveling until Patch 5.1 un-coupled the Shado-Pan and August Celestial reputations from having to get Revered with the Golden Lotus first. I’m having this feeling that with the “Draenor Pathfinder” acheivement bringing an account-wide flying unlock, Patch 6.2 might just be the point in this expansion where my alt leveling finally takes off (pun intended)!

Silverblade, who just recently started Mog-blogging at World of MogCraft and has set out to make lore-appropriate kits for male characters of each race/class combination in the game, contributed four breathtaking kits, one for each armor type:

For years, my favorite shoulders to use with the Black Velvet Robe and its sleeveless counterpart, the Silver-Thread Robe, have been the Duskhallow Mantle. I think Silverblade has given me a new favorite combination! I often ignore bracers with tall gloves like these, but perhaps I should think about using them more often — in this kit, the bracers are a really nice touch to pick up the glowing color from the shoulders.

Hexweave Mantle Belt & Gloves (3-670), Silver-Thread Robe, Mindthrust Bracers, Ameth’Aran Sandals, Formidable Cape, Life-Staff of the Web Lair
Savage Blood required: 90

A sleek and dangerous-looking kit. Somehow, I am suddenly craving a 70% cacao chocolate bar…

Supple Shoulderguards & Waistguard (2-655), Grizzly Jerkin, Primal Combatant’s Legguards (Horde), Loramus’ Gloves, Ogre-Hunter Boots, Primal Combatant’s Quickblade (Horde)
Savage Blood required: 30

The little blue accents on the gloves, boots, and bow pull this kit together in a simply wonderful way!

Wayfaring Shoulderguards Belt & Gloves (3-670), Beast Lord Cuirass & Leggings, Atoll Treaders, Royal Cloak of the Sunstriders, Arathar, the Eye of Flame (H)
Savage Blood required: 90

A very regal plate kit. Of all the kits using these shoulders I’ve ever seen, I think this one is the most impressive — it’s making me contemplate actually farming these shoulders for myself!

Spaulders of Manifold Eyes (N), Truesteel Breastplate & Greaves (2-655), Elder Tortoiseshell Girdle Gauntlets & Sabatons, Crimson Silk Cloak, Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Greatsword
Savage Blood required: 30

PlaidElf, who writes about Plenty of Paladins (and Monks, and Hunters), contributed these two gorgeous blue and gold kits:

The deep colors and rich textures in this plate kit are simply stunning!

Templar Crown, Truesteel Pauldrons Waistguard & Boots (3-670), Nova Binder Breastplate, Time-Lost Greaves, Windblade Talons (N), Powerful Burnished Cloak (1-640), Steelforged Greataxe (3-660)/Steelforged Saber (3-660) + Barricade of Eternity
Savage Blood required: 120

Is it just me, or is this Monk totally channeling Nozdormu? /fan

Trickster’s Headdress, Supple Shoulderguards & Waistguard (3-670), Sentinel Breastplate, Leggings of the Sly, Gloves of the Golden Protector (N), Bonechewer Shredboots, Nimble Hexweave Cloak (2-655), Marrowstrike
Savage Blood required: 75

Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf contributed this awesome kit. I love the tunic & kilt combination! I’ve got one of these kilts stashed away in the bank, but I either hadn’t figured out or can’t remember what tunic I want to wear with it. Navimie has solved that little problem for me very neatly ;)

Helm of the Blind Seer (H), Passive Resistor Spaulders (H), Supple Vest & Waistguard (2-655), Primal Gladiator’s Gloves, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt
Savage Blood required: 30

Be sure to go take a look at this amazing array of Hunter kits using all the stages of the Wayfaring Leggings by rhuanious and this glowy green Hunter kit using the 1-640 Wayfaring Shoulderguards by Euphyley!

I came up with this idea of a Transmogrification challenge event based on Warlords crafted items as much to motivate myself to design some kits using those items as anything else. I challenged myself to make an outfit to go with each of the Warlords crafted weapons and to make outfits that use at least one item from each of the upgrade stages of the Warlords crafted armor. Continue Reading »

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