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Archive for the ‘Tauren (Highmountain)’ Category

There is among the tauren of Kalimdor a tribe named “Highmountain”, perhaps in distant memory of Huln and his kin. Along with the Bloodhoof, the Ragetotem, and the Grimtotem, the Highmountain are renowned as warriors who led out against and bore the brunt of the constant attacks from centaurs, harpies, quilboars, and gnolls. The most well-known members of this tribe are Jerrik, Melgromm, and Trag.

When, following Eitrigg, the warriors of the Horde assaulted the Broken Shore, not all of them were snatched away by Odyn’s Val’kyr. Among those left behind, fallen, was Kaiopeqa of the Highmountain tribe.

~*~*~

After raising General Nazgrim as the first of the new Four Horsemen, The Deathlord wondered if the Lich King had given her this power just to fulfil his ends… or if she could perhaps use it for her own, as well. For all of the tolerance and kindness that had been shown her by The Farseer and others, the friendships she had managed to forge — and despite having managed to locate and regroup several of the Grimtotem Ningha during her time at Frostwall Garrison* — she still felt lonely, somehow. Now, the burdens of being Deathlord weighed heavily upon her, and she desired an apprentice. Knowing of the warriors’ catastrophe from her friend The Battlelord, The Deathlord sent one of Dread Commander Thalanor’s aerial patrols to do some reconnaissance of the area and bring her back a test subject — preferably a tauren female, if they could find one. They brought her Kaiopeqa.

The Deathlord raised the Blades of the Fallen Prince over the corpse of the young tauren warrior and Kaiopeqa arose into undeath filled with horror and hatred and unholy bloodthirst.

The Deathlord promptly assigned her to collect the Maw of the Damned and Apocalypse. When her new apprentice had departed on these errands, The Deathlord heard the Lich King’s hoarse whisper in her mind: Very well, I shall let you have this one indulgence. But no more. This power is mine, to be used for my purposes and mine alone. You will use it only as I command.
The Deathlord replied: You are indulgent, my liege. I know how you allowed me to obtain these blades. I know how you permitted The Archmage to take Felo’melorn. I am satisfied.

The Deathlord watched and waited, patiently, as Kaiopeqa went through the same sequence of emotions as she herself had after being released from the Lich King’s grasp at Light’s Hope Chapel all those years ago. Horror and hatred sank into despair and depression. From those emerged, in time, a desperate need to control the sadism that had been inextricably imbued into the soul by the process of being raised as a Death Knight by channeling it into useful service to society**. When Kaiopeqa reached that stage, The Deathlord assigned Kaiopeqa and her tribesman Trag to respond to Archmage Khadgar’s request for heroes to aid the tauren of Highmountain.

The two Highmountain returned from Highmountain filled with more questions than answers concerning the origin of their tribe. More significantly, the experience had given Kaiopeqa a form of… not exactly peace… but consolation, perhaps.

“When I was in Tanaan Jungle”, Kaiopeqa told The Deathlord, “I saw the Eredar, and I saw the Draenei, and I felt sorry for what the Eredar had allowed themselves to become. It is better to be this and be able to continue to fight against the Legion, than to lie idle in the Earthmother’s Embrace and be unable to prevent all of our people from becoming like the Feltotem.”

~*~*~

* Aurochs Grimbane, Kaasa Blighthoof, Kilga Mourningsong, Tigar Frosthoof, and Tipa Rimehorn — all of them had taken new surnames that renounced their Grimtotem origins and embraced their identities as Knights of the Ebon Blade.
And then there was that taunka woman, Kaumaleia — though she hardly counted, either as a fellow Death Knight or as a friend. Kaumaleia had somehow managed to shake off almost all of the qualities of being a Death Knight except the unfortunate condition of being undead — and she managed to ignore even that most of the time, too. Kregga suspected that Kaumaleia had been one of the ice-shaman of her people before her death and raising, and that the similarity of that magic to the way in which a Death Knight wielded frost was what had allowed her to elude most of the corruption from the Lich King. Or perhaps the Lich King had never truly gotten ahold of Kaumaleia because she was so remarkably silly… Kregga could barely tolerate her.

** Death Knights love Dailies because those tasks give them ample opportunities to cause the suffering and death they require to quell their own pain.

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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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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?

~*~*~

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.

~*~*~

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…

~*~*~

* 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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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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