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Archive for the ‘Draenei’ Category

click on the images to see the full-size versions of these pictures

I began this project last summer, as a follow-up to my rather crudely-assembled racial height and build comparison.

At the time, however, the sexism-in-WoW discussion was going around again, and I felt that it would be rather gauche to post what is undeniably an objectified image: I have reduced my models to shapes to be studied.

I’d been meaning to complete it anyway, but somehow BTH always seemed to already be using the tablet to work on his comic whenever I wanted to work on it :P

With all the wonderful new model previews being released, I figured I’d better finish this up quick, even though some of the subtleties of the stances and the shapes will soon be out-of-date.

I had been thinking I’d do a further follow-up of close-up studies of the front and profile shapes of the faces, because I feel like I still don’t have a really good grasp on how to make some of the races different from my standard way of drawing human people. I’d like to do a companion set of “beach bums of Azeroth”, too, because I feel that I understand the male shapes even less than the female shapes. Maybe I should wait on that until all the new models come out in 6.0, though.

Speaking of the new models, I’ve liked all the ones we’ve seen glimpses of so far, and I look forward to seeing the Night Elf, the Troll, and especially the Tauren. The new female Orc makes me wish I hadn’t deleted my level 35 Orc Enhancement Shaman. I do hope the shaved head texturing makes it into the final model.

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Kaprikka was actually almost all the way from level 62 to level 63 when I started playing with her on Monday, having done some Hellfire Peninsula quests a few months ago to get some items for a new outfit. The Lunar Festival didn’t end until one o’clock in the afternoon, realm-time, so she spent the morning flying around paying her respects to the Elders. Then she did some pet battling.

It seems to me that the Eastern Kingdoms/Alliance pet trainers make a less logical, convenient circuit than the Kalimdor/Horde pet trainers (and that’s a topic for another post). By the time she had succeeded in narrowly defeating Blood Knight Antari, Kaprikka was about level 65, and she had decided that she didn’t need to do all the pet trainers ever again — just the Outland ones.

Now it was time to do some quests. I love that Outland (and Northrend, too) still has the old-style questing model where every hub has a good half-dozen quests available and one can choose to do as many or as few of those chains as one pleases. With heirlooms and other forms of XP bonuses making leveling super-quick, each character can pick and choose exactly and only the questlines that provide the quest rewards she wants to use or the story she wants to experience. I rather enjoy the Outland portion of a character’s leveling journey for this reason, and I would be sad if Outland questing was re-worked to the more “streamlined”, linear Cataclysm style. With Kaprikka, I specifically wanted to explore the Draenei storyline in Outland through the Alliance-specific Draenei quest hubs: Temple of Telhamat, Telredor, Orebor Harborage, Telaar. I’ve played through the neutral (Sha’tar or Aldor) Draenei quest hubs with other characters, so Kaprikka will probably not spend much time with them. Another Alliance character — the Dwarf Shaman, perhaps — can play through the Alliance-specific quest hubs in Outland that were built and populated by the other Alliance races. The quest objectives are, of course, largely identical to the quests at the corresponding Horde hubs, but the motivations are very different!

While she was doing quests for the Temple of Telhamat, Kaprikka also cleared the four digsites she had in Hellfire Peninsula. Moving on to Telredor, she began queueing up for LFD. I decided to run each Outland dungeon once, for the quest rewards, so I queued for them specifically, a few at a time, de-selecting each dungeon from the list after it had come up. When I logged off on Monday night after having finished the quests at Telredor and picked up the first set of quests at Orebor Harborage, Kaprikka was almost to level 69.

On Tuesday, my level 90 characters were grumpy about their farms and profession CDs having been neglected on Monday. Then, the Paladin wanted to go to Isle of Thunder before LFR. Surviving wasn’t a problem, in her Prot spec, but killing all the things took for-evar. So Kaprikka got to rest.

Between questing and dungeon running, Kaprikka dinged 70 on Wednesday night before even making it to Telaar. She’s going to stay in Outland, for the time being. She still has all of the Telaar quests to do, plus a few quest chains in other zones for specific quest reward items. I also want her to keep digging in Outland until she has found all ten of the Draenei archaeology relics. She will, however, move on to regular random-queue LFD — and therefore Northrend dungeons — after she has completed one run of each Outland dungeon.

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a determined draenei

Kaprikka the Draenei Mage has been sitting in Shattrath at level 60-ish ever since her campaign to be able to participate in Outland Childrens’ Week in 2012 (two years already? where does the time go?). Seeing the Sunwell on the OLRG’s destination list for next Saturday, she persuaded the Pet Battling Monk to take a rest and let her do the pet battling, LFD, archaeology, and miscellaneous questing this week, instead. I may even push her through to (and probably past) level 80, running LFD until she’s collected 1000 justice points to trade for 500 honor points to buy these pants and make an outfit that’s at least partially based on a set that Effy designed for her nearly two years ago.

I’m definitely considering purchasing an additional boost to 90 for Kaprikka so that she can go to Draenor without having to slog through Northrend, Cataclysm, and Pandaria.

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In anticipation of all the new Draenei lore coming our way in Warlords of Draenor, Samaramon is holding a transmogrification contest to create an outfit using the Tabard of the Hand. This unique tabard is awarded only to Draenei characters at the completion of the Bloodmyst Isle storyline, when they are acclaimed as revered heroes of the Hand of Argus. In my usual manner, I’ve put together a kit for each armor type.

Hand of Destiny



Feline Mantle, Robe of the Dragon Slayer, Cincture of Woven Reeds, Scholar’s Gloves, Staff of the Royal Wizard
This outfit contains only items that a Draenei Mage could reasonably expect to be able to obtain by about the same time that she completes the Bloodmyst Isle storyline and receives the Tabard of the Hand, thus allowing her to make a complete, reasonably well-coordinated outfit to wear with her new tabard almost immediately.

Hand of Grace

Yalia’s Cowl, Spiritmend Shoulders, Royal Gown, Cannonfire Cord, Soulcloth Gloves, Apostle of Argus
I chose these shoulders because they match the soft, greyish colours of the tabard so nicely. To wear this kit without the tabard, try the Arcane Pads or Arachnidian Pauldrons.
The belt shown here can only be obtained by Priests. Good options for Mages include Bridenbrad’s Sash, the Primal Mooncloth Belt, or the Azure Silk Belt.

Hand of Dedication

Flamefly Spaulders, Queen Conch Chestguard, Red Belt of Unspoken Warning, Nice Shorts, Conch-Inlaid Gauntlets, Inscribed Leather Boots, Cranedancer’s Staff
This outfit could also be worn “barefoot” by using the Mosshide Boots.

Hand of Pursuit

Rift Stalker Mantle, Formidable chestguard & leggings, Giantstalker’s Belt, Sundered gloves & boots, Arugoo’s Crossbow of Destruction
To convert this outfit for a Shaman, use the Cyclone (T4) shoulders, the Jazeraint belt, and the Spell Axe/Battleaxe of the Farseer.

Hand of Justice

Golem Helmet, Shoulderguards of the Bold, Chestplate of the Great Aspects, Greatbelt of Living Waters (LFR), Legplates of the Bold, Templar Gauntlets, Replica Boots of Heroism, Fist of Argus, Azure-Shield of Coldarra
The T16 LFR belt shown above can only be obtained by Paladins who have chosen Holy for their loot spec. Warriors will want to use the Lurker’s Girdle for this outfit.

The excitement of my friends whose favorite race is the Draenei is rather contagious. I have caught myself contemplating the notion that perhaps I should not use my complementary boost to 90 on either the Warlock or the Rogue, but rather should give it to my Draenei Mage.

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I’ve often wondered what Outland looked like when it was a whole world — what the Black Temple looked like before it was Black, what Farahlon was like before it became Netherstorm, what Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley were like before they were blasted. The screenshots of a lush, vibrant Shadowmoon Valley and the glowing, jewel-like Temple of Karabor do not disappoint! The geography of Old Draenor aligns suitably well with Outland as we know it, though I’m still a little skeptical about Zangarmarsh having been a Mediterranean-like sea. It is a reasonable ecological transformation… only on a geologic timescale, rather than the human timescale there is between one Warcraft game and the next. If those massive mushrooms were originally underwater, they would have evolved to be supported by the water pressure, and thus they should have utterly collapsed when the water drained. Were the sporeloks really originally an underwater species? If so, how did they evade extinction following the ecological catastrophe? I suppose it all must have been a consequence of the same fel energy that transformed Draenei into Broken.

I wonder how the time-travel thing is going to work out for Draenei characters. Even the youngest of Draenei player characters will have been born on Draenor, for the Draenei have simply not been on Azeroth long enough for children born there grow up enough to leave home and go adventuring. A Draenei traveling to Draenor-of-the-Past could very well encounter her or himself. What would you do, when confronted with your doppelganger, someone who both is and is not you?

From a lore/story perspective, I initially had a quite a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of Warlords of Draenor. I struggled to understand how an expansion focused on preventing the history of Draenor from changing could possibly conclude with any sort of heroic, triumphant, positive outcome. As Effraeti plaintively asked,

If we go back, are we just supposed to watch Draenor work through its intended history? Do we have to see Shattrath fall? Do we have to watch the genocide of the Draenei? Do we have to witness the creation of the Broken Ones? Do we have to stand aside as the Orcs destroy Draenor all over again?

I’ve been reading a lot of Diana Wynne Jones lately. One of her favourite themes is parallel worlds. Warlords of Draenor made more sense to me if I thought of it as side-slipping into a parallel timeline, a parallel version of Old Draenor. Such a side-slip convolution has happened more than once already in Azeroth’s timeline, after all — when Krasus sent Rhonin, et al., back to the War of the Ancients, and when Nozdormu brought a small group of adventurers into the End Time of another Azeroth sacrificed to save ours.

And, indeed, now that we know a little more about the expansion, that seems to be exactly what is going on. Garrosh goes back in time with the help of an as-yet-unidentified accomplice and unites the orc clans into the Iron Horde, thus splitting off a parallel version of Old Draenor that will now continue down a divergent pantleg of the trousers of time (to borrow a metaphor from Terry Pratchett). Our goal is to help that Draenor achieve a better, brighter future than that of the Draenor of our own timeline.

Time to put on our tinfoil hats crinkle crinkle and consider what else this twisting of timelines might mean.

I haven’t seen any of the Visions of Time myself yet, but apparently they hint that Kairoz or even Nozdormu himself might be involved in something shady having to do with Garrosh’s fate at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Suppose that Nozdormu is Garrosh’s accomplice, and goes off into that parallel timeline. Why might he do that?

Because knows how his life will end. As I already mentioned, at the end of Cataclysm, Nozdormu brought a group of adventurers forward in time to the achingly bleak and desolate End Time to defeat Murozond and release the binding that was preventing him from going backward in time to retrieve the Dragon Soul. By obtaining the Dragon Soul and using its power to defeat Deathwing, the Aspects and the mortal races of Azeroth together prevented Azeroth from falling to that awful fate. But if Azeroth was saved from the End Time, how were we able to visit it?

Because it wasn’t our Azeroth that died. It was/is/will be the Azeroth of the parallel timeline in which Garrosh redirects the orcish clans of Draenor and is thwarted from using them to invade Azeroth by our actions. (From what I’ve read, the Iron Horde isn’t intended to invade the Azeroth of that timeline, anyway — it is intended to come forward in time to crush and conquer the Azeroth that Garrosh just came from, our Azeroth.) The Bronze Dragonflight knows that an Azeroth never invaded by the orcs would not be strengthened by the orcs-versus-humans conflicts.

The Burning Legion could still attack that Azeroth using the Scourge as a tool, with some other being from some other unfortunate world as the first Lich King instead of Ner’zhul. When Deathwing rises from Deepholm in that timeline, the Aspects and mortal races could be too beleagured by the Scourge to effectively stop him from wasting the world. On that Azeroth, in the timeline where Draenor remains a whole and living world, the Aspects will fail in their charge and the Old Gods will succeed in bringing to pass their End Time.

Nozdormu knows that he must fall into shadow, become Murozond, create the Infinte Dragonflight. He knows that an Azeroth must die for our Azeroth to live. And so he chooses to aid Garrosh, because it is only by splitting the timelines that his future and what is now our past (the defeat of Deathwing) can come to pass.

The Draenor of “our” timeline must die so that “our” Azeroth can live. The Draenor of the parallel timeline must live so that the Azeroth of the parallel timeline can die… and “our” Azeroth can live.

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Although imagining, drawing, and posting the picture in my last entry was indeed an effective way of coping with an anticipated bout of depression, it wasn’t the blues that have kept me from posting again more recently — it’s been the busies. Between the flurry of end-of-the-semester responsibilities and packing my apartment to move back to Nova Scotia at the beginning of June, I’ve been rather worn-out. I can’t just leave that sad picture hanging as my most recent post any longer, though. I drew this picture in 2009 when the first STAR TREK reboot movie came out. I haven’t seen the sequel yet — though I very much would like to!


Female Draenei: “Don’t you think the Federation would just love our technology?”
Male Draenei: “Well, yes… but the uniforms are ridiculous!”

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Kamalia’s Guide to the Barbershop (bonus edition)

Okay, so, height and build aren’t exactly things that you can change at all, let alone at the barbershop. They are, however, appearance-related. I put together this scale comparison of the various World of Warcraft player-character races for my own reference. Although it’s kind of rough around the edges, I thought others might find it useful, too.
Click on the small picture to see a larger version.

The Alliance races were all compared to a normal-sized NPC human. The Horde races were all compared to a normal-sized NPC blood elf. I used a comparison between a tauren and a normal-sized, neutral night elf (a Moonglade NPC) to make sure that the two factions were correctly scaled relative to each other.

Also, I finally managed to update the rest of the Azeroth Beautician’s Manual of Feminine Style to include pandaren color and style information.

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Over about a year and a half, from September 2010 to May 2012, I drew a series of pictures depicting Azerothian sapient species dressed in the sorts of clothing that one might see in a contemporary congregation of Sunday church-goers.


Well, okay, perhaps this sort of dress might only be seen on a teenager during Prom season.


The unmodified artwork for “The Speedbarge Summer Soiree” fits into this meme, too.


This dress might only be seen during a town’s “celebrate our pioneer heritage!” week.


While I was in graduate school, one of my male friends found this outfit at a thrift store and delighted in wearing it to church periodically ever afterward.
I wonder if he still wears it sometimes?


Another dress most likely to be seen on a teenager around Prom season.
The blue shirt + yellow tie combination was very fashionable when I was in my late teens and early twenties.


I drew the lineart for this picture directly in ink and the figures turned out so badly proportioned that I needed to draw a background to rationalize them.

Then, with Humans, Dwarves, and Forsaken remaining, I ran out of steam.

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A couple of pictures that I drew around the beginning of Cataclysm.


The clothes these shaman are wearing are modeled after the apparel of the Shaman trainers in each of the starting zones. Once, each of the women in this picture was a character on my roster. Aside from Kamalia, only the dwarf and the orc remain — and the orc’s existence is somewhat tenuous.


Hey, look, it’s the curly-haired tauren! The night elf used to be on my roster, too, but, like most of the shamans, she didn’t survive the pruning I did last summer.

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For the fourth and final round of Transmogrification Survivor, JD issued the following challenge to the two remaining contestants:

… you no doubt want a fair opportunity to “shake your little tush on the catwalk,” [so] it only seems right that all restrictions are off in terms of requirement. You must still create an end-game transmog, but the design is completely freestyle. Create an outfit based on whatever you like.

Having deliberately exempted myself from being one of those two lucky contestants, and with such a wide-open-ended prompt to work with, I at first wasn’t sure if I would actually do anything to “play along” with this round. But as I thought about what I might do, that phrase, “shake your little tush on the catwalk”, popped an idea into my head that I just had to explore. Using a Draenei — (in)famous for their “waggle” — as my model, I wanted to create an outfit that would be at home on a Fashion Week magazine spread.

In this ensemble from Modiste Kamalia, touches of green perk up the timeless combination of tan, black, and red.

Black and red shot-silk stockings shimmer under a camel-colored suede micro-miniskirt with matching vest. The softness of the suede is contrasted with the shiny patent leather of the belt and knee-high stiletto boots and elbow-length gloves with maroon cuffs. A sheer crimson and gold scarf wrapped once around the neck and pinned at the shoulder with showy, yet elegant antique brooches leaving the ends to flutter down the back completes the look.


Hood of Focused Energy, Shoulderpads of Knowledge’s Pursuit, Journeyman’s Vest, Ritual Belt, Jade Dust Leggings, Lava Burn Gloves + Bracers of the Energetic Elemental, Saltarello Shoes, Cape of the Fire Salamander, Fang of Vashj, Umbrella of Chi-Ji/Inscribed Red Fan

Zazzy and Freyana produced two truly exciting Transmogrification kits! I had a terrible time deciding which was my favorite, and, because the two outfits were presented to the panel of non-Surviving participants anonymously, I didn’t know who’d created which one until JD posted the winner of the grand prize!

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