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Archive for the ‘Allied Races’ Category

One thing I’ve really appreciated about the “banding” paradigm for content from previous expansions that was introduced in Patch 7.3.5 is that it extended to Transmogrification — that one can now wear anything, including “endgame” items, from the highest level band that one has reached. That has made Mogging with the Minor Mages so much more enjoyable, even though most of them are still limited to Vanilla items.

I wonder how Transmogrification will be affected by the new leveling paradigm? Will characters in the 1-50 range now be able to wear anything from Vanilla through BfA? If so, then I might not need to do any leveling with the Minor Mages at all! Or will one only be able to wear stuff from expansions that one has actually visited? That would be okay, too — though it would become tedious, by the third or fourth alt, to have to cycle through all the expansions with Chromie just to unlock all the folios of the Wardrobe.

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One of the first things I thought of in connection with the description of the new leveling paradigm for content from previous expansions in Shadowlands was “Now I can level my Pandaren just in Pandaria!”

What other race-expansion combinations might be good thematic fits?
Night Elf or Nightborne in Legion? Yes, but if I’d ever really do it is perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Orc or Draenei in Warlords? Well, I’ve already got a Draenei stalled out at level 92 in Draenor, and I actually think it might be better to try to finish getting her through that content before the level squish.
Dwarf in Howling Fjord, Grizzly Hills, Storm Peaks, and Twilight Highlands? Hmm, hmm…
Troll in Stranglethorn Vale, Hinterlands, Zul Drak, and Kun Lai Summit? Yeah, yeah, I rather like that idea.
Undead in Lordaeron & Northrend? Well, yes, thematically it fits, but my Undead is not a supporter of Sylvanas’ agenda.
Worgen, Gnome, Goblin? *shrug*

So maybe in the end-of-Shadowlands lull — after I’ve completed the four Covenant Campaigns — I’ll level Kaoling. And maybe I’ll level Kikimaia, too — though a current feeling of interest in leveling a Troll could just be the influence of having been surrounded by Trolls for all of BfA, or it could be the influence of Classic because I’d rather be Troll than Undead to play a Horde Mage in Classic.

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Night Elves have such an elegance to them. Does having a high-level Night Elf Balance Druid — who uses Glyph of Stars — fulfil the desire to have a caster Night Elf, so I don’t need to level a Night Elf Mage?

Nightborne have the elegance of movement of Night Elves, and they have such a pretty tabard and I rather like their Heritage Armor… but I just don’t like their resting stance. It bugs me enough that I’m not sure that I could get into playing my Nightborne alt. The stance of Zandalari Trolls has the same relationship to the stance of Darkspear Trolls as the stance of Nightborne does to that of Night Elves, but the Zandalari Troll stance doesn’t bug me quite as much as the Nightborne stance. Somehow the placement of the feet of the Nightborne seems a little too awkwardly, uncomfortably wide to me. I had the oddest thought the other day — the stance of Nightborne men doesn’t bug me the way the stance of Nightborne women does, so what if I were to reroll my Nightborne Mage as a man — likely an Occuleth clone, ha! — to level for the Heritage Armor? (There isn’t any other race I’d preferentially play as a man rather than a woman…)

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“By the way,” said Kaelyla, “It’s fine that you want to send the Druid to Covenant with the Night Fae first — but you know that eventually you’ll want a Mage to Covenant with them, too, so you can have all four cloth Covenant Mog sets. That Mage should be me, because my aesthetic and the Ardenweald aesthetic are harmonious.”

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Now that we know what 9.0 will be, it’s time to think about my priorities for the remaining duration of Battle for Azeroth.

1) Kinevra needs to get to 120 and do the Alliance War Campaign while there will still be enough folks in BfA LFR for there to be reasonable queue times. This is a primary goal partly for seeing the Alliance side of the story and partly for being able to recruit the Kul Tirans and roll a gorgeous curvy ringlet-haired Kul Tiran Mage.

2) Kaelinda needs to get to 120 and get the Sin’dorei Heritage Armor.

3) Kerisa needs to get to 120 so that she can wear all of the Island Expeditions stuff I’ve collected off of the AH for her and to be in position to potentially be my first Horde character to level in 9.0 (because Balance Druids, with their self-heals, are more robust than Mages).

4) After reaching 120 and kitting themselves up in Benthic gear (they all already have full sets of tokens awaiting them), Kinevra, Kaelinda, and Kerisa need to go smack the Jadefire Masters and Opulence around until they cough up the Phoenixfire Staff and the crown, respectively. A lesser degree of LFR priority is collecting the Uldir and Eternal Palace LFR cloth sets.

5) Kamalia needs to get her Heart of Azeroth to level 70 (currently at 65) so she can see all of the dragon stories currently available, and then to whatever level is required for the additional bit(s) of dragon story that will be in 8.3.

6) Kinevra would like to collect the Darkshore Warfront set. Kerithian may not need to get to 120 if the Night Warrior customization option unlocks for her when Kinevra does the Darkshore Warfront introduction questline.

7) Void Elf, Highmountain Tauren, Kul Tiran, Vulpera, and maaaaybe Nightborne alts will eventually want to be leveled for their Heritage Armors, but this will remain a low priority, long game project. Between limited space remaining on my account and alt fatigue, I’ve decided that I will only create additional Allied Races characters if I like the Heritage Armor of that race well enough to want to level from scratch to get it.

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Well! It seems that Blizzard is anxious to clear the way for a 9.0 announcement at Blizzcon.

I pushed to Exalted with the Voldunai earlier in the expansion in hopes that the Vulpera would eventually become an Allied Race for the Horde — and now they are! I know what I’ll be doing the first time I have a good amount of time available to play after Patch 8.3 goes live! I like the Vulpera Heritage Armor, but given the slow progress of the Allied Races characters I already have, I doubt that my Vulpera Mage will get any farther from home than Orgrimmar.

My Goblin and Worgen Mages won’t be getting anywhere anytime soon, so I read the walkthroughs of their Heritage Armor questlines. The Worgen Heritage Armor design and questline almost make me want to boost my Worgen to 110 and start leveling her to 120.

I’m not reading through the information about storyline progression such as the Horde and Forsaken leadership decisions, Tyrande’s opinion on the conclusion of the War Campaign, and the dragonflights. I want to experience those stories fresh when I play them. Besides, there are a few lore things I need to do first — Kamalia’s gotten her Heart of Azeroth to 60 but still needs to do the red dragon questline (and then she needs to get it to 70 and do the blue dragon questline), and I still need to hop into LFR for the last wing of Eternal Palace so I can go do the 8.2.5 Wrathion questline.

I’m glad to see the Vale of Eternal Blossoms restored… even if it is only to come under another form of Old God darkness. I’ll probably play through the Titan Assault events in the Vale and in Uldum at least once, just to see what they’re all about. I doubt I’ll do any of the other N’zoth attack content due to lack of time and interest.

Battle for Azeroth continues to be mostly misses on the raid Transmogrification front for me. I like the Uldir sets. I want the crown from Opulence and the Int staff from Jadefire Masters from Dazar’alor — but the sets? Nope. The Eternal Palace sets have some nice colors and some interesting style ideas, but they aren’t “must have” for me. The Ny’alotha stuff is another great big pile of Nope.

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Way back in 2011, Millya of Manalicious* was doing 5-minute sketch portraits (batch 1, batch 2) for her friends, and I requested a portrait of Kaelinda**, thinking that I might use it for digital coloring practice…

Eight and a half years later, I’ve finally gotten around to doing that.

drawing by Stacey Landry; colors by me

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* I miss Manalicious and still regret that I didn’t ever commission a watercolor portrait of one of my characters, even though I wouldn’t actually be going to BlizzCon…

** because I’d already gotten a Millya portrait of Kamalia, which has been my Gravatar ever since

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Over at Blizzard Watch yesterday, Matt Rossi made an argument, one more time, that the Alliance should have High Elves as an Allied Race. It’s a popular idea, and for good reasons.

If the Alliance were to get High Elves as an Allied Race, the counterpart Allied Race for the Horde should be the Taunka.

Like the High Elves already being a long-time Allied Race of the Alliance, the Taunka are already an Allied Race of the Horde and have been ever since Wrath of the Lich King. We already have four types of playable Elves (and a few more types of non-playable elves) and three types of Human (four if you include the Forsaken), so a third type of Tauren shouldn’t be a problem, either. Mr Rossi discusses a compelling story hook for why High Elves could be involved in the concluding sequence of this expansion. The Taunka don’t have a story hook into this expansion, but if 9.0 is a Death-themed excursion to the Shadowlands, the Taunka, who live around the edges of the Lich King’s domain in the physical world, would have a vested interest in the thread of the 9.0 plot involving the schemes of Bolvar-the-Lich-King. And hey, both High Elves and Taunka would be Allied Races that could be allowed to be Death Knights!

If we were ever to get High Elves and Taunka as Allied Races, though, there really ought to be a new model for Taunka women, giving them the same facial structure as Taunka men, instead of leaving them as differently-scaled regular Tauren women like they are now. Just sayin’…

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Now that I’ve reached my primary Patch 8.2 goal of obtaining the Tauren Heritage Armor, what next?
Securing flying in Battle for Azeroth zones ought to be the next major goal, right?

I am currently about a quarter of the way from Honored to Revered with the Unshackled, and I’m about 2/3rds done with the “get 3000 XP for your Kelfin buddies” quest.

I prioritize my Kelfin buddy’s quests, because that’s the gate on the zone story questchain. I do those, plus whatever Mardivas puzzle chests are up, and whatever WQs I pass through on the way to my Kelfin buddy’s quests and the Mardivas puzzle chests. I don’t try to do all the WQs in the zone. Although I pick up the Requisition and Bounty quests, I mostly ignore them because even with the nerfs, I rarely manage to complete them “as I go along” while doing my higher priority objectives, and I don’t ever feel like running around the zone looking for those things after I’ve completed my higher priority objectives. I’ve picked up an Unshackled Contract, so I’ve been doing the Zandalar Emissaries again, too — if I feel like I have the time and energy.

I’ll figure out a Mechagon routine when I get there, which won’t be until after I’ve reached Revered in Nazjatar.

Besides various RL events and the uncomfortable realization that the beginning of Fall semester is only about 5 weeks away, so I really need to get back to work on getting my courses set up, I’m getting distracted again by other things I want to accomplish in Azeroth.

Now that I’ve got my (Kalimdor) Tauren Heritage Armor, part of me wants to abandon BfA content for awhile and just level my Highmountain Tauren Druid up to 110 so she can get her Highmountain Tauren Heritage Armor.

Thinking about that reminds me that I want to get Kaelinda up to 120 to get the Sin’dorei Heritage Armor. (There’s my Void Elf to be leveled, too, but she’s much lower priority because I am less interested in the Void Elf Heritage Armor.)

And what about Kaylynda and the whole Alliance side of the story — not to mention recruiting the Kul Tirans?

And then there’s my Tauren Druid, for whom I’ve been collecting a bunch of leather Island Expeditions stuff off of the AH, and my Night Elf Druid, who would like to give being dark-eyed a try…

…But, flying

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