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Archive for the ‘Allied Races’ Category

There are Highmountain Tauren in Thunder Bluff!

I’d heard that the thing in the place was visible from as far away as Thunder Bluff, so I went there with Kamalia to see if she could see it without having done any Antorus LFR.

The answer to that question was “no”; I could not discern any such ominous object on the horizon. As I was hovering near the central totem tower making sure that I really couldn’t see anything unusual in the distance, I spotted something much more interesting nearby.

Looking around the city, I found a couple more!

Then, of course, I had to investigate further. Would there be Nightborne in Silvermoon? Void Elves in Stormwind? Lightforged Draenei in the Exodar?

I looked around Silvermoon with Kaelinda — no tall, arrogant blue elves with upturned long ears. I looked around Stormwind with Kaylynda — no short, pouty blue elves with funny glowing hair. I looked around the Exodar with Kaprikka — no strange gray Draenei with golden markings.

I didn’t see any Void Elves or Lightforged Draenei around the Stormwind Embassy when I visited it with Kaylynda, but when I visited the Orgrimmar Embassy with Kamalia, I saw several Highmountain Tauren there, as well as a few in the Valley of Wisdom. I didn’t see any Nightborne around the Orgrimmar Embassy, however.

The Underpowered Death Knight can also see the Highmountain Tauren in Thunder Bluff and in Orgrimmar. So can level 60 Mama Kawneiha. So can a level 1 character on that realm.

But my level 33 Goblin Mage, who logged on to check out how the construction of the Embassy had affected the Bilgewater Cartel NPCs in the area, didn’t see any Highmountain Tauren.

From these data, my current hypothesis is that to see Allied Race NPCs around the Embassy and in the ethnically related capital city, one must have a) completed the requirements to unlock that Allied Race and b) a level 110 character on either that realm or its connected realm.

If this hypothesis is correct, then I should start seeing Nightborne at the Orgrimmar Embassy on Kamalia’s realm when Kaelinda finishes the Suramar Insurrection storyline. I should start seeing the Horde Allied Races on my Mage realm once Kaylynda reaches level 110. And I should start seeing the Alliance Allied Races on my Mage realm after a) I go do Argus with somebody, anybody, and b) Kaylynda reaches level 110.

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For many years, I kept my Horde Minor Mages and my Alliance Minor Mages segregated onto two different realms. Over the past year or so since Legion raised the character limit per realm to twelve (to accommodate a One-of-each-Class roster, which I have on Kamalia’s realm), I’ve occasionally contemplated moving them all onto the same realm.
Earlier this week, I finally did it.

Amazingly, I didn’t even have to change any of my names!

The key factor in my decision to spend the real money for the character transfers was the knowledge that while the unlock for a particular Allied Race will be account-wide and apparently not faction-restricted*, creating an Allied Race alt will require a level 110 character on the desired realm. Whether or not I end up creating alts of the Lightforged Draenei, Zandalari Trolls, Dark Iron Dwarves, or any future Allied Races, I will definitely be creating new Mages of the Void Elves and Nightborne**. I looked at my Horde Minor Mages and realized that I didn’t want to have to level a third additional character*** to 110 just to be able to create my Nightborne Mage on that realm — that would be yet another distraction from getting the Twelve Classes leveled and through their Order Hall Campaigns and various other Legion end-game goals. It would be so much easier, I thought, to put all the Minor Mages on Kaylynda’s realm — leveling Kaylynda to 110 would then allow me to create both my Void Elf and my Nightborne on that realm. Of course, that would then be thirteen characters on that realm — but Battle for Azeroth will also be giving us six new character slots per realm (to accommodate all the really serious altoholics who will want to put alts of each of the Allied Races on their already full realms), so no problem.

So now I have my characters on four realms: Kamalia’s realm with the One-of-each-Class collection, Kaylynda’s realm with all the Minor Mages, the Underpowered Death Knight’s realm with my minor Tauren characters, and a non-Mage Alliance characters realm that just has my Dwarf Paladin and Shaman on it. Nice and tidy!

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* So I can go do Argus with my Blood Elf Demon Hunter and still unlock the Void Elves — yay!

** Although I’m not particularly wildly enamored of the Nightborne in and of themselves, I need to have the Elf Family Reunion 😛

*** The two “extra” characters I’m already working on leveling to 110 are Kaylynda, to be able to create a Void Elf on her realm, and mini-Kam, to be able to create Highmountain Tauren characters (and a Zandalari Troll Elemental Shaman) on her realm

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Looking over the latest details about Highmountain Tauren from the 7.3.5 PTR, I think I’m gonna need not just one, but three Highmountain Tauren characters. There are three tattoo/warpaint designs that can be in three colors, and the classes available to Highmountain Tauren cover three of the four armor types.

I’ve reserved the name “Kashina” for a Highmountain Tauren Druid. I decided that yes, those Highmountain Druid forms –particularly the Flight Form — are distinctive enough for me to want to have a Druid who uses them. I chose this name because the “ash” syllable recalls Ashamane and An’she — she will be primary spec Feral and secondary spec Balance with Glyph of Stars and Blessing of the Ancients — and because it’s like a softened form of “kachina“. Kashina will be a Skyhorn with green warpaint in the second design. She will probably have the fifth horn style, because I think that one is the most like the horn styles of the Druid forms. She will also probably have the carved pattern on her horns.

I’ve reserved the name “Kunaqiwa” for a Highmountain Tauren Warrior. This name has no special meaning; I flicked through the name randomizer until I found something I kind of liked, then played around with those syllables some more until I came up with something I liked better. Kunaqiwa will be a Bloodtotem with red warpaint in the first design. She will probably have the first horn style — the biggest, broadest, spikiest horns! Her horns will not be carved.

Rather than roll an entirely new character to be a mail-wearing Highmountain Tauren, I think I’ll just race-change mini-Kam. She’ll become a Rivermane with blue warpaint in the third design. She will probably have either the second or the third horn style — at the moment, I can’t decide which of those two small horn designs currently used by Highmountain Tauren women NPCs is the cutest — perhaps it will come down to which design shows the carved pattern option better. It might be prudent to wait on doing that race change until after I’ve already unlocked the Highmountain Tauren Heritage Armor by leveling Kashina or Kunaqiwa, though. Am I remembering correctly from the various Q&As and interviews that a character who has been race-changed to one of the Allied Races can still use the Heritage Armor for that race once a character of that race has earned it by leveling from 20 to 110?

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I’ve reserved the name “Kaelyla” for a Void Elf Mage. “Kaelyla” was my Blood Elf Mage’s original name at creation. I changed that character’s name to “Kaelinda” when my Warlock’s succubus appeared with the name “Aelyla” — I didn’t want my Mage to have a practically identical name to my Warlock’s demon! For whatever reason — perhaps it’s the dark emo vibe of the Void Elves in general, perhaps it’s that I never use my Warlock’s succubus anyway — I am less bothered about using that name for my Void Elf… and, in fact, think it’s a great choice for a character who will essentially be Kaelinda’s “dark twin”.

For awhile, I thought about giving my Void Elf the “Kaylynda” name that my Human Mage has had for the past few years while she’s been fulfilling the role of Kaelinda’s Alliance doppelganger. I would then have reverted my Human Mage to her original appearance and name, Kinevra. Although I sometimes miss wide-eyed, freckle-faced, ash-blonde Kinevra, I also rather like having my Human Mage being a red-headed avatar of myself. So for now, I think I’ll keep my Human Mage as Kaylynda and just use the Barbershop to alter-ego her appearance to Kinevra for the occasional Transmogrification or RP purpose. I’ve reserved “Kinevra” just in case, though.

I’ve reserved the name “Koralithria” for a Nightborne Mage.

I’m sure that I will eventually want to have alts of all the Allied Races, even if they exist entirely to satisfy my Collector personality by existing and just sit at level 20 – 40 like most of the Minor Mages.

Although the intent of the Minor Mages was to be a “one of each race” collection, most of the Allied Races are so similar to existing races that I feel like having a Mage of both the “normal” version of that race and the Allied sub-race would be redundant*. Highmountain Tauren can’t be Mages anyway, so I think perhaps I want my alts of all the other non-Elven Allied Races to be something other than Mages, too.

I’ve reserved the name “Kilaueia” for a Zandalari Troll Elemental Shaman — “Kilauea”, the exact name of the Hawai’ian volcano, was already taken.

I’ve reserved the name “Kharlotta” for a Dark Iron Dwarf; class TBD but leaning toward Hunter or Warrior.

I’ve reserved the name “Krystaliza” for a Lightforged Draenei; class TBD but leaning toward Paladin.

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Speaking of the Minor Mages… lately, whenever I see a player character of a race other than Blood Elf or Human in the Hall of the Guardian, I wish that my Minor Mage of that race was level 100+ and in the Hall of the Guardian, too — so that I could play high-level dress-up with her. Given that the buy-a-boost is only available through the in-game shop, it’s a good thing that I have it disabled. When the in-game shop was first introduced, I went into my account settings and used parental controls to disable it. I didn’t think I’d really be all that tempted to make impulse purchases of things like mounts or battle pets or even character customizations, but it seemed like a good idea anyway. And, for a long time, I wasn’t tempted by anything available from the in-game shop. But now… paying the kiddo’s nanny is eating up all of my paycheck, so I really don’t have the discretionary income to spend on boosting all of the Minor Mages…

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* Yes, I am aware that it is totally self-contradictory and inconsistent to be perfectly fine with having redundant classes amongst my Tauren & Highmountain Tauren characters, and yet still think it too redundant and boring to have both a Bronzebeard Dwarf Mage and a Dark Iron Dwarf Mage, a Darkspear Troll Mage and a Zandalari Troll Mage, an Exodar Draenei Mage and a Lightforged Draenei Mage — Void Elves and Blood Elves aren’t as redundant because they are on opposite factions. I guess I love Tauren more than I love Mages?

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So the Patch 7.3.5 PTR is up, and it has a bunch of stuff about the first four Allied Races in it — though the PTR welcome message advises that this is due to Battle for Azeroth being in active development, with a subtext that we should not be expecting the Allied Races to become available when 7.3.5 goes live.

I’ve looked at the stuff about the models, but I’ve steered clear of the stuff about the quests. If you don’t care to be spoilt even by chatter about the models, then don’t click through the cut to (more…)

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It’s obvious why I need a Highmountain Tauren, right?


image from Wowhead

The only question is, “What Class?” It seemed sensible to assume that they’ll have the four classes that Tauren had available in Classic WoW — Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Druid — which they will, plus Monk. A bit odd that they don’t have Priests or Paladins, though, considering that they obviously worship An’she more strongly than the Kalimdor Tauren do — but eh, whatever. I’m initially leaning toward Hunter or Shaman, but if it comes out in the beta that the Druids have unique shapeshift forms, I might want a Druid instead.

I wasn’t sure that I really needed alts of any of the other five Allied Races.

Earlier this week, though, Wowhead linked to an article from BlizzPlanet about updates to Stormwind & Orgrimmar in the Battle for Azeroth demo at Blizzcon. It was mildly spoilery, of course, and dealt with the introduction of the recruitment of the Allied Races. From what I read in the article, it seems like the Void Elves are probably the closest Blizz will ever get to letting us play Alliance High Elves… so, I’m going to need to roll one.


image from Wowhead

Hopefully, Void Elves will have at least one skin tone option that is pinkish instead of bluish or purplish or grayish, so that I can make my Void Elf Mage look as much like a normal High Elf as possible. Even though I didn’t use those options, I certainly appreciate that there are the options to make a Demon Hunter look almost completely normal, with no horns and no tattoos.

I quickly had the thought that maybe the Void Elf could become Kaelinda’s Alliance doppelganger, Kaylynda, and my Human Mage could go back to being ash-blonde, freckled Kinevra… It’s way too early to commit to making that change, though.

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With the next expansion announced, the clock is ticking on Legion. Time to stop frittering away my limited playtime on World Quests and rep gathering — I can come back and do that stuff later — and focus on getting alts leveled and through their Order Hall campaigns. I need to do that stuff while Legion is still current because of all the required dungeon runs… At the moment, the Demon Hunter needs to kill 15 dungeon bosses to finish what I think is probably the penultimate step of her 7.0 Order Hall campaign, and my Paladin has one dungeon quest and my Druid has four dungeon quests for Chapter 3 of their respective Order Hall campaigns. Queue times even for DPS have been about 30 – 45 minutes lately, so I think I can probably spare that much time a few nights a week to log on with an alt, hop in the LFD queue, and then go do some questing while I wait for the dungeon to pop.

Despite being significantly less excited about Battle for Azeroth than I have been about previous WoW expansions, I still can’t help thinking about what I might want to do when it launches.

BTH has been playing the heck out of Stellaris for the past few months, but lately, he’s been making noises about maybe re-subbing to WoW. I’ll believe it when it actually happens. If BTH does decide to play WoW again for awhile, then I’ll most likely play Battle for Azeroth on launch day (or the day after), and level Kamalia first.

If BTH decides not to play WoW again, then I don’t think I’ll play Battle for Azeroth on launch day unless I’ve managed to complete my level 110 Legion goals — finish Suramar with the Blood Elf Mage, do Broken Shore up through getting the additional Champion with everyone, do Argus with at least one character, do the Xe’ra questline with the Demon Hunter, do the Deaths of Chromie with the Paladin. If I haven’t completed my Legion goals by the time Battle for Azeroth launches, then I might not play the new expansion until I’ve finished the stuff I want to do in the current one.
I will also most likely play Kaylynda first, because I’m a lot more interested in finding out what’s going on with Jaina than going to schmooze with the Zandalari Trolls.
I’ll want to level Kamalia eventually, though, so that I can then roll and level a Highmountain Tauren.
I will probably dither about whether I want/need Mages of the other five Allied Races from now until I’ve unlocked them…

Will I want to level all my alts of all the other classes, though? Depends on how excited I get about the new armor & Mogging options as those details come out of the beta.

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Part of me is all a-squee with excitement at some of the new things that will happen in the game and the beauty of the new environments shown in the various screenshots. More of me, however, is feeling not particularly excited about the Battle for Azeroth (Blizzard Watch report; Wowhead report) — even less excited than I was about Warlords of Draenor following its initial announcement, truth be told.

Although I’d been a bit spoiled on what the new expansion was probably going to be about by having read the prologue chapter from the upcoming Christie Golden book that was posted on Wowhead earlier this week, I still had a sinking feeling of “oh no, not this faction crud again” when I read the beginnings of the new expansion announcement in the Blizzard Watch liveblog of the opening ceremonies.

I guess I can kind-of get behind the Horde making an effort to fully claim Kalimdor — though I do feel rather uncomfortable about displacing the Night Elves, who have held their lands in Kalimdor since antiquity. And I guess I can kind-of get behind the Alliance making an effort to reclaim their territory in northern Eastern Kingdoms — though what will happen to the Blood Elves in Eversong Woods? But the dissolution of the Order Hall-centered, faction-ignoring class-congeniality of Legion still makes me sad. Update from the Q&A: Blood Elves will retain Silvermoon and Draenei will retain the Exodar; there will be story quests in place to explain this.

I am much more interested in Kul Tiras than in Zandalar. I’m already sad that I will never, ever be able to use any of those gorgeous locations in Kul Tiras as a backdrop for a Transmogrification photoshoot with one of my Horde characters. Kaylynda the Human Mage will definitely have to get leveled to 110 now — and go see Anduin’s development in the Divine Bell questline from Mists, which I still haven’t yet managed to do — so that she can go explore Kul Tiras and meet Jaina’s mom. Doing so will still be last priority after leveling the twelve classes to 110 and finishing their 7.0 Order Hall questlines, however.

I’m guessing that Red Kalimdor and Blue Eastern Kingdoms will be phases for level 120 characters, so as not to require another vast overhaul of the low-level questing on those continents. I do like the idea of bracketed level scaling in low-level/early expansion content — it might even encourage me to go do some more questing with the Minor Mages, some of whom have zones that they would like to do for the storyline but have already outleveled.

The Island Expeditions sound like fun. Don’t know if I’ll bother to do Warfronts, though. Might depend on how important they are for getting endgame stuff as a casual player.

So, will the choice to PvP be automatic in, manually toggle to opt-out, or automatic out, manually toggle to opt-in? Hopefully the latter. Probably someone will ask that for the Q&A tomorrow and we’ll find out then.

The Allied Races just make me feel exhausted. I don’t think I have it in me anymore to want to roll six (or more…) new characters, even just to see their starting experiences (I might just let Wowhead & Blizzard Watch coverage of the beta spoil me on that) — let alone to level six (or more…) new characters all the way from 20 to 110 just to get Heritage Armor for Transmogrification. Besides, with the renewed, heavy faction emphasis, I doubt that the Heritage Armor appearances will be available cross-faction — my Tauren Warrior will probably not be able to use the Dark Iron Dwarf armor; my Tauren Paladin will probably not be able to use the Lightforged Draenei armor; my Blood Elves will probably not be able to use the Void Elf armor; my Alliance Mages will probably not be able to use the Nightborne armor. Update from the Q&A panel (Blizzard Watch report; Wowhead report): Heritage armor will be specific to that character, not account-wide, partially because they know folks would want to level Allied Races alts just to get the armor for Mogging, and they don’t want that to be a burden on Mog aficionados (my interpretation of the news site paraphrases of the questions & answers on this subject).

I’ll certainly still roll and level a Highmountain Tauren, though. She’ll be either a Hunter or a Shaman, because I have fewer mail-wearing characters than any other armor type (there are three cloth-wearing classes of which I have a double of Mages; three plate-wearing classes, of which I have a double of Death Knights; and four leather-wearing classes; but only two mail-wearing classes). If she’s a Shaman, she will probably completely replace mini-Kam (whom I RP-designated as a Highmountain Tauren around the time that Legion launched). If she’s a Hunter, I’ll probably keep mini-Kam around and revert her (mini-Kam) back to being a regular Kalimdor Tauren.

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