Archive for the ‘Alliance’ Category

So… how ’bout those Gnome Hunters, eh?

Even though I don’t play Gnomes, as a Transmogrification fanatic, this news makes me very happy for people who do play Gnomes. Ever since Cataclysm gave Humans and Undead a mail-wearing class with Hunters and Tauren a cloth-wearing class with Priests and Mists gave Draenei a leather-wearing class with Monks, Gnomes have remained the only race that doesn’t have access to all four armor types. I’ve thought that Gnomes should get Hunters for that reason alone for some time.

Thematically, I think the idea of a Marksmanship Hunter fits the Gnome mythos quite well. And wasn’t the Beastmaster Artifact weapon designed by Mimiron, the creator of the Gnomes? As technological whizzes, Gnome NPCs have been using guns of one kind or another for ages. It’s about time that player Gnomes can use them as a main weapon, too (Prot Warriors using a gun to pull doesn’t quite count).

Now the question is, if Gnomes are getting a new race/class combination in Legion, will any of the other races also get new race/class combinations? After Draenor introduced us to the Rangari, will Draenei get to be Rogues, or are “our” Draenei too lawful for that kind of nonsense? (edit: Actually, no, “our” Draenei are not too lawful. There’s been NPC precedent for Draenei Rogues since Outland, in the *ahem* outlaw Wyrmcult in Blade’s Edge Mountains.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that the presence of Tauren among the various pirate groups on Azeroth gives precedent for a Tauren Outlaw Rogue, and I could easily see Tauren as Mages as an outgrowth of Shamanism in a similar fashion to how Tauren as Priests & Paladins is an outgrowth of Druidism.

What do you think about Gnome Hunters, and what race/class combinations would you really love to play?

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holding myself back

Here we are in what are definitely the waning days* of Warlords, and I still have only one level 100 character.

I can’t even complain about it being a side-effect of all the evenings I spend working instead of playing due to my job, because I could have had at least two more characters at level 100 for quite some time — if I hadn’t been deliberately holding back on questing with them.
My primary Monk is at 53% through level 99 from diligently doing Practice Makes Perfect, augmented by herbing in her Garrison and character XP missions.
My Hunter is at 69% through level 99, with most of her XP having come from pet battling, mining in her Garrison, occasionally doing the Fishing Shack daily, and character XP missions.
Neither one of them has done any questing in Draenor beyond completing Frostfire Ridge.
I have held both of them back from doing the Pinchwhistle Gearworks/Salvage Yard quest chain partly because they won’t have a third small building spot until they get to level 100 anyway, partly because I thought it would be nifty to get them to level 100 mostly from dailies, and partly because I’d had the thought, since before Warlords launched, that maybe this time around I should let my Alliance Mage be my second character to 100.

Unfortunately, my Human Mage isn’t cooperating very well. She’s always had a mind of her own, and after I got the Underpowered Death Knight her Shado-Pan hat, she decided that she needed to go get hers — my Human Mage was my last character to reach level 90 before Warlords, and by that time I was so tired of the Pandaria reps that I only barely managed to push her through getting her Farm fully expanded. When she left Draenor to return to Pandaria, my Human Mage was halfway through Talador, having done everything but the Auchindoun and Shattrath questlines. She’s only been doing the Shan’ze Dao set of Shado-Pan dailies, though, so it’s going a bit slow. After she gets her Shado-Pan hat, I may or may not be able to convince her to come back to Talador instead of going off to do the Divine Bell questline and the Kirin Tor Assault on the Isle of Thunder. For whatever reason, she hasn’t been utterly charmed by Yrel — perhaps I’ve been inadvertently spoilt too much on events that will happen later in the Alliance storyline, thus diminishing my desire to pursue it just to see what happens next? Or maybe I have screenshot fatigue from trying to screencap everything because I know I’ll probably only go through the Alliance stuff once…

The Underpowered Death Knight is now at 74% through level 96 from working with the Serpent Riders. Since I took her to Frostwall, I’ve begun to contemplate letting her be my second level 100. Wouldn’t that be funny, my character who usually lags far behind the rest, being the second to the finish line? With Hallow’s End about to start, she will gain about a level over the next fortnight from doing the holiday dailies. Getting her that last couple of levels will then be as simple as flying around Draenor looking for the purple glow of treasures…

* Regarding the moose mount: I am sad that it won’t be widely available, but getting it is so far out of my reach that all I can do is shrug and say, hey, that’s $25 I can spend on Christmas presents, or joining 2YC3, or the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart series, or something, instead of at the Blizzard Store. I’ll just be over here hoping that a less-elaborately-outfitted, less-supernaturally-glowy version of the moose mount will be available through a rep grind in Val’sharah.

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Umlaut Paradots recently mentioned that he’s working on a project to create fel-tinged/Demon Hunter-themed kits for each of the four armor classes. It didn’t take long for that idea to worm its way around inside my brain until I decided to try my hand at it, too.

For cloth, if you look like a Warlock, you’re pretty much good. This particular kit started with these shoulders, a recolor of the Warlock T6 shoulders which had that nifty Metamorphosis-precursor stretching demon wings animation. I owe the robe+belt combo to Dragonray, I believe — either one of the outfits that she made for MoMar’s ROYGBV compeition or something that someone submitted for her Mog the World competition.

Shadowmoon Cowl/Mag’hari Ritualist’s Horns (Horde only), Hatefury Mantle, Elder’s Robe, Cord of Cacophonous Cawing (LFR), Black Mageweave Leggings, Anger-Spark Gloves, Greenweave Sandals, Shard of Azzinoth, Sundial of Eternal Dusk

This leather kit is more or less just the pseudo-Demon Hunter kit I recently designed for my Monk.

Cursed Vision of Sargeras, Supple Shoulderguards (1-640), Raiment of Silent Stars, Cord of Sha Savagery, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt, Gloves of the Blind Stalker, Sandstalker Ankle Guards, Shard of Azzinoth x2

In mail, I immediately knew that I wanted the kit to use these shoulders. Elves can’t be Shamans, but races who can should use Maimgor’s Bite with this kit.

Helmet of the Inner Sanctum, Wayfaring Shoulderguards (1-640), Moonhee’s Mean Vest, Lifecycle Waistguard (N), Conduit-Breaker Chain Leggings (H), Fel Iron Chain Gloves, Frostlink Greaves, Black Bow of the Betrayer

The plate kit started with this sword. The helm makes it a little silly, perhaps, but I just couldn’t resist the coordination between that glowing green grin and the glowing green sword…

The Horseman’s Horrific Hood, Pauldrons of the Broken Blade (LFR), Ghoul Commander’s Cuirass (H), Veteran’s Scaled Belt, Articulated Legplates (LFR), Doomplate Gauntlets, Chrono Boots, Apolyon, the Soul Render

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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.

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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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The illustration for the new “Lock and Load” card in the upcoming Grand Tournament expansion for Hearthstone (the sixth one in the Blizzard Watch gallery after the opening “Coldarra Drake”) sure looks like a Gnome dual-wielding pistols to me.

Gnomes can’t currently be Hunters, nor can Hunters dual-wield pistols. Is this a hint about something we can expect to see in World of Warcraft‘s next expansion? Or is it merely Rule Of Cool flavor art just for Hearthstone?

I wish it were the former, but it’s probably the latter. sigh

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Well, not everybody-everybody, but all my level 90+ characters who are currently on Draenor, at any rate. As I was going through my wardrobe pages the other day, it was clear that it had been far too long since I’d updated — several of the pages were still showing my end-of-Mists outfits, while the characters themselves were loafing around their Garrisons in sloppy, mismatched combinations of Frostfire Ridge quest reward gear and Tormented token gear that their followers had brought them. Even if nobody will see them in-game but me, it was high time for some new Transmogrification kits.

Scorched Earth

Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale, Warsong Wraps, Netherstrike Belt, Valorous Earthshatter Legguards (T7), Grips of Nature’s Wrath, Thunder Bluff Doublet, Gutgore Ripper, Viryx’s Indomitable Bulwark (H)
This High Arakkoa shield design is pretty cool, but I don’t know if I’ll keep it beyond the end of this expansion. So I figured I’d better make a kit with it for running around in Tanaan. The dagger was an obvious match, but Kamalia didn’t really have much else that was orange in her wardrobe. Poking around in MogIt, I found this combination of chestpiece and kilt, which is so nice that I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere else before… but where or when, I can’t recall. I had this kilt during Wrath, but I sold it at the end of the expansion to free up some bag space, so I had to re-collect it.

In order of seniority… (more…)

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