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Archive for the ‘Alts’ Category

When I read yesterday’s dev update from Ion Hazzikostas, I was intrigued by the section about how they’d changed the alt experience. Because I’m choosing Covenant affiliations for my alts based on aesthetics and personality rather than on gameplay utility, the feedback about wanting to test out all of the Covenant active abilities with a different class before committting to a Covenant doesn’t matter so much to me. The feedback about story disjunction and dissonance, however, does. Looking at the description in the update post about the Threads of Fate choice to either experience the linear narrative again or join a Covenant and use alternative XP-gaining pathways, I wondered if it would be possible to choose the narrative, play through just enough of the narrative to experience the leveling zone story for a desired Covenant, and then go and join that Covenant. For example, could my Warlock choose the linear narrative, play through Bastion and Maldraxxus, then join the Necrolords and finish her leveling by the alternative pathways? Now that the feature is available to test on the beta realms, Wowhead is reporting that it will indeed be possible to do exactly that. Hooray! and Phew!

So here’s how I’m currently imagining my Shadowlands leveling unfolding: Kaelinda will go first, complete the main storyline narrative quests of all the zones, and join the Venthyr. Revendreth is last in the linear narrative, which is why she has to go first. Kaurinka will go second, quest through Bastion and Maldraxxus and Ardenweald, then join the Night Fae. Kalaneia will quest through Bastion and Maldraxxus, then join the Necrolords. Keliora will quest through Bastion, then join the Kyrian. Kaelyla may level through Bastion, Maldraxxus, and Ardenweald before joining the Night Fae — or she might choose to join the Night Fae immediately because maybe I will be sick and tired of Bastion by then! By the time I get to Kaylynda — let alone Kamalia or Karaelia or any other alts — I might just jump straight into a Covenant with the Threads of Fate.

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I looked through the banks of the alts I was considering dismissing, and remembered that Kaumaleia has another role, besides being a beautiful blue-and-white (and sometimes green) Tauren — she is the keeper of Bind on Account items, and I don’t have any other alts I’d rather shuffle all those items off to. She has her own “Things My Character Wears” pages, and she’s been a semi-major character for long enough that I chose to include her when I re-did my header banner at the beginning of Legion — and I’m feeling too lazy to go to the effort of re-doing that again. So Kaumaleia got to stay an independent alt.
But Kawneiha is now an Alter-Ego of Ketura, and Kaobeka is now an Alter-Ego of Katewatha. The other two Highmountain Tauren, Kamalita the Shaman and Kounaqiwa the Warrior, have simply been dismissed.

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Draka is my favorite character in Warlords. Sorry, Yrel, I play Horde much, much more than Alliance — so as cool as Yrel’s story is, I spent a lot more time with Draka. After watching the new Afterlives: Maldraxxus short, I like Draka even more.

After watching that story, I find myself re-considering the Necrolords as a possible Covenant for my Human Mage. When Shadowlands was first announced and I started thinking about which characters I’d want to assign to which Covenant, I thought I’d do four Mages and tentatively assigned my yet-to-be-created Kul Tiran Mage to Necrolords because Blood Elf would be Venthyr because “duh, Kael’thas” and Void Elf would be Night Fae because blue & purple aesthetics and Human would be Kyrian because Stormwind-like aesthetics. Then the Covenant set previews came out and all my Mages said “nope nope nope” to the Maldraxxus aesthetics, and my Warlock stepped in and said “Hey that fits my style and also I can do Necrolords because I know strong and fight. I did what it took to survive after the Sunwell fell, learning how to draw on fel sources to supply my need for mana, and I’m not ashamed of it.” I still had my Human Mage tentatively assigned to Kyrian, but then my Blood Elf Priest happened. So then I thought my Human Mage might choose Night Fae or Venthyr instead, but oh no, not Necrolords. The ethos of fighting to survive and protect that Draka conveys in the Afterlives short, however, would also appeal to Kinevra, who is a survivor of Theramore and has helped the Kaldorei in their efforts to reclaim Darkshore. And due to their Afterlives short, the Kyrians would seem less appealing to Kinevra because she is not the type who would be relieved to let go of their traumatic memory of the destruction of Theramore, but would rather say “I am my scars” about it.

I wonder how the remaining Aferlives shorts will change my perspectives on the Night Fae and the Venthyr…?

~*~*~

Meanwhile, it is the beginning of the semester, which is often a time when I experience insomnia fueled by a combination of anxiety and going into creative overdrive to try to distract myself from the anxiety. I had a bout of insomnia a few nights ago because I was thinking about my Characters roster — which, after the addition of Keliora, is now 48 alts and therefore almost completely full — and cataloging how their appearances will change with the new customizations coming in Shadowlands — oh yes, I will be one of those who will spend all of the first and possibly the second nights of the pre-patch at the Barbershop just updating my characters’ appearances — and I began thinking that it might be time to dismiss some of my minor alts and convert their appearances into Alter-Egos of major alts.
* Do I really need two female Tauren Hunters? Kawneiha could easily be an Alter-Ego appearance for Ketura and still represent Kamalia (and Ketura)’s mother.
* Do I really need two female Tauren Monks? Kaobeka’s name is an anagram tribute to Akabeko of Red Cow Rise (whom I still dearly miss, after all these years), but she could continue being that as an Alter-Ego appearance of Katewatha — and I haven’t used Kaobeka’s skills as a Professions mule for some years now.
* Do I really need two female Tauren Death Knights? It’s been quite awhile now since I decided that the “Underpowered Death Knight” playstyle experiment had run its course. And if I used the “Kaumaleia” appearance as an Alter-Ego for Kregga, I could still file her clothes as “Things the Underpowered Death Knight Wears” rather than beginning to mix them in with Kregga’s outfits…
* Do I really need two female Tauren Shamans? Even if I’ve race-changed one of them to be Highmountain Tauren? Maybe I don’t really need Highmountain Tauren alts for all their available armor classes. Maybe just Kasheena the Druid will do for having a Highmountain Tauren on my roster. As much as I thought I wanted that Heritage Armor, I’ve certainly been struggling to find interest in spending playtime on leveling her…
But it’s hard to let go of alts I’ve had on my roster for a long time, and so thinking about dismissing these alts — even if I kept their appearances as new Alter-Egos of other characters — was stressful and kept me awake.

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I was telling BTH about Shadowlands and how I was leveling a relatively new character (Kaelyla) to play in it. Talking to BTH about the characters I had been actively playing, I realized that while I enjoy my Boomkin and my Mages and my Destro-Lock, I missed my Elemental Shaman.

I recalled Kamalia from Thunder Bluff and sent her off to acquire her Shroud of Resolve.

I looked at the Covenant armor sets again and began to consider recalling Karaelia (Tauren Paladin) from the Sanctum of Light to get her Shroud of Resolve, too, because dangit if that Kyrian plate set doesn’t look pretty (though she’d wear it with alternate helm and shoulders).

Still, neither Kamalia nor Karaelia will be in the first group of characters to go to the Shadowlands — unless BTH decides to give Shadowlands a look and I bring Kam out to play with him.

Looking at the Kyrian sets again, I thought how Priestly the cloth set looks. I hadn’t yet used the level 120 Boost that came with purchasing Shadowlands (something I did shortly after Kaelyla dinged 120), partly because I couldn’t decide which existing character to give it to. I thought, I have a Blood Elf Mage and a Blood Elf Warlock, so why not have a Blood Elf Priest, too, to go Kyrian? Golden-eyed and golden-haired, of course…


So, um, yeah.
Four Eversong Elves for four Shadowlands Covenants.

Kaylynda will still go to the Shadowlands, but now she doesn’t have to choose Kyrian if she decides that she’d be a better fit with the Night Fae or the Venthyr…

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Three weeks later, I continue to have an incredibly difficult time disciplining myself to focus on schoolwork rather than noodling around in WoW.

I spent about a week and a half doggedly queuing for Kul Tiras dungeons until I got the robe and belt of both the green (Normal) and blue (Heroic) versions of the Kul Tiras cloth dungeon set.

I took Kinevra back to the Broken Isles to finish her Order Hall Campaign and earn the Archmage title.

I took Kaelinda back to Nazjatar and completed the Nazjatar Campaign mostly for RP reasons.

I took Kaelinda back to the Broken Isles and completed the Legionfall Campaign so that she could then get the Mage Class Mount — the Archmage’s Prismatic Disc is the only one of the Class Mounts that I’ve been really and truly envious of when I’ve seen other people riding it around.

Inspired by Gnomecore, I toyed with the notion of pushing Kaelinda through the Balance of Power questline. She already has the necessary Azsuna and Suramar quest progression and Azsuna, Stormheim, and Suramar reputation. I’m mildly interested in the Balance of Power appearance for Aluneth, but I don’t much care for the Balance of Power apperances for Felo’melorn or Ebonchill. So maybe I’ll come back to that sometime in Shadowlands.

While hanging out in the Hall of the Guardian, I saw a couple of other Mages wearing the cosmetic reward set for beating Deaths of Chromie and thought, O, I should go give that a try — and then I thought, nah, I don’t have that kind of time right now. That’s another thing that maybe I’ll come back to sometime in Shadowlands.

I’ve more or less given up on the idea of gathering any more stuff out of BfA LFR; I can’t afford to spend naptime or my nighttime hours idling in a 1-2 hour DPS LFR queue.

What I would still like to accomplish before the Shadowlands pre-patch arrives is A) get Kaelyla leveled and geared and ready to go and B) do some more Horrific Visions with Kerisa and get the second upgraded appearance for the Shroud of Resolve.

But for the next two or three weeks, I’ve really got to be disciplined and do schoolwork.

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As I’ve been planning for Shadowlands, focusing on a minimal set of characters, I have to keep fighting back the desire to do more, more, more!

If I did have unlimited time & attention span for WoW, though, it would be fun to…

Level more of my current 110+ alts to 120 and take them to Shadowlands with the following Covenant affiliations:
Kamalia* (Tauren Shaman) — Night Fae
Karaelia* (Tauren Paladin) — Kyrian
Kaohana (Tauren Priest) — Kyrian
Katewatha (Tauren Monk) — Kyrian
Ketura (Tauren Hunter) — Kyrian
Keija (Tauren Warrior) — Night Fae
Kregga (Tauren Death Knight) — Necrolords
Kelisanna (Blood Elf Rogue) — Venthyr
Kiralaira (Blood Elf Demon Hunter) — Venthyr
Kelynaera (Blood Elf Paladin) — Venthyr
Karolissa (Blood Elf Hunter) — Venthyr
Kerithian (Night Elf Druid) — Night Fae

* Kamalia and Karaelia are already leveled to 120, but will not be in the first group of characters I take to Shadowlands

~*~*~

There are certain races that when I see characters of those races out and about in the world, I think to myself, “dang, that character looks cool!” and it makes me want to level my Minor Mage of that race.

This occurs most frequently with:
Pandaren
Vulpera
Darkspear Troll
Night Elf
Goblin

And occasionally with:
Exodar Draenei
Lightforged Draenei
Nightborne
Worgen
Gnome

~*~*~

But I don’t have that kind of time or attention span, so I will have to content myself with admiring other players’ characters.

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Alas, it was wishful thinking that misread the notes about the Echoes of Ny’alotha update to mean that if one character on an account got a rank 1 Shroud of Resolve, all characters would then be able to resume collecting Echoes of Ny’alotha.

Kinevra, Kaelinda, Kalaneia, and Kerisa have now completed “Beginning the Descent” and obtained their rank 1 Shrouds of Resolve. Kinevra has all of her rank 3 Essences; the others can now continue to gather Echoes of Ny’alotha to get the one or two Essences they still need. At some point, I’ll need to run each of them through the rest of the 8.3 questline, so they can cleanse Corrupted items and to decide which of them will take on the task of running Horrific Visions to get the rank 5 appearance for the Shroud of Resolve.

Some other things I still want to do before the Shadowlands pre-launch events begin —
* 7.1 Alliance War Campaign
* Pride of Kul Tiras questline
* recruit Kul Tirans
* Heritage of the Sin’dorei questline
* go back to Broken Isles with Kinevra to finish Order Hall campaign & get Archmage title

~*~*~

Kamalia hadn’t quite finished getting the Mechagon stuff she needed to buy the rank 3 Purification Protocol when the Echoes of Ny’alotha changes came out a couple of weeks ago. She’s now finished that, so bye-bye Mechagon — for good this time!

Kamalia and Karaelia are now retired, more-or-less. Kam will still go out to do Emissaries when the reward is 2K gold, and she’ll send her minions on money missions, but that’s all. I haven’t gotten the Shroud of Resolve with either of them, and I’m not sure if I will.

~*~*~

I’ve been ticking off Mogging goals, too —
* Kinevra & Kaelinda got all that I wanted out of Eternal Palace LFR
* between them, the three cloth wearers collected the Normal Zuldazar cloth dungeon set
* Kerisa got the partial recolor of the Kul Tiras leather dungeon set that comes from reputations and Heroic Mechagon
* Kinevra farmed enough more Seafarers Doubloons to get the other two colors of the Tricorne Hat

Here’s the Mogging stuff I still want to do:
* clothies run Heroic Kul Tiras dungeons to collect that armor set
* clothies LFR Uldir to collect that set
* LFR first and second wings of Dazar’alor to get Phoenixfire Staff and crown from Opulence
* Kinevra farm Darkshore Warfront when it’s up to finish collecting Moonpriest set (just robes & gloves to go!) and get the Sentinel’s Branch staff

~*~*~

And then, of course, I’ll want to level Void Elf Mage, Highmountain Tauren Druid, and Kul Tiran Mage to 120 to get their Heritage Armors. Kaelyla (Void Elf) will also need to get her rank 1 Shroud of Resolve and rank 3 Essences so that she’ll be ready to go to Shadowlands, too; the others may or may not, depending on how much of the rest of my to-do list is still unfinished when they get to level 120.

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My Warlock dinged 120 over the weekend, bringing my count of characters at level 120 up to six. At this point, I think I’m more or less done with leveling high-level characters; I might still push my Night Elf Druid, who is level 114, to level 120, but all my other level 110+ characters will stay put. The remaining leveling I’ll need to do is bringing up the low-level Allied Races characters whom I want to both earn their Heritage Armor and go to Shadowlands.

With all these recent 120s needing Essences for their Hearts of Azeroth, I’ve put Kamalia back to work in Nazjatar, completing the Achievement to earn the Rank 3 Memory of Lucid Dreams, and in Mechagon, collecting the doodads to buy the Rank 3 Purifcation Protocol, so that my other characters can then buy those Essences with Echoes of Ny’alotha. The Nazjatar one will be done sooner; when I checked the Achievement, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was only four days of companion dailies away from completing it. The 8 Galvanic Oscillators and 20 SPARE crates will take longer, as I won’t necessarily do the Mechagon stuff every day.

But how much will it matter for the characters whom I take to Shadowlands to have a full set of four rank 3 Essences? How soon until we replace the Heart of Azeroth with a new necklace? Will the effects of Essences get deactivated somehow, or will they still be useful?

As for the Sanity Cloak, I should really just go do the questchain to get it with every character whom I intend to continue playing, if only to unlock the ability to purify Corrupted items. I’ve had WQ rewards proc Corrupted several times now, and though they’re often ilevel upgrades, I haven’t equipped them because I don’t have the Sanity Cloak yet — and also because I don’t want the Corrupted visual effects messing up my Sunday Mog Show photoshoots…

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Kinevra hit Exalted with 7th Legion and Proudmoore Admiralty this week, which prompted me to finally go finish the last two chapters of the 7.0 Alliance War Campaign. Then I could go recruit the Dark Iron Dwarves — because no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of recruiting all the Allied Races, I just couldn’t resist pairing up each of the Minor Mages with an Allied Race counterpart:


Kivrinne: Undead Mage, 46, Frost
Kymberlea: Worgen Mage, 32, Fire


Kaoling: Huojin Pandaren Mage, 31, Arcane
Koralyra: Tushui Pandaren Mage, 20, Frost


Keriluna: Night Elf Mage, 32, Arcane
Koralythria: Nightborne Mage, 20, Arcane


Kaprikka: Draenei Mage, 92, Arcane/Frost
Krystaliza: Lightforged Draenei Mage, 20, Arcane


Kelilla: Gnome Mage, 42, Frost
Katrinka: Mechagnome Mage, 20, Frost


Kermione: Goblin Mage, 33, Fire
Khariba: Vulpera Mage, 20, Fire


Kikimaia: Troll Mage, 36, Frost
Kilauea: Zandalari Troll Mage, 20, Fire


Kenosha: Orc Mage, 33, Fire
Keshona: Mag’har Orc Mage, 20, Fire


Khrissalys: Dwarf Mage, 30, Fire
Kronakka: Dark Iron Dwarf Mage, 20, Fire

I have yet to do the 7.1 Alliance War Campaign so that I can recruit the Kul Tirans, but my Kul Tiran Mage will go in with my major characters, like my Void Elf Mage did.

Now that I’ve done (almost) all of them, I think that the Highmountain Tauren, Zandalari Troll, and Dark Iron Dwarf recruitment questlines/scenarios were the most epic, and the Vulpera one was the most fun.

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As the new character customization options that will be available in Shadowlands have begun to stream out of the alpha datamining, a discussion question I’ve seen is, “Will you change your character’s appearance to use any of the new options?”

Well… No — but also Yes.

My characters’ appearances — face, skin tone, and hair color — are a foundational component of their identities. The other day, I was making a new outfit for my Blood Elf Mage, Kaelinda, and I considered changing her hair color to coordinate with the outfit by using the color I think of as “butter blonde” so seriously that I took her to the Barbershop and sat her in the chair and selected that color… and then I couldn’t quite go through with it. Kaelinda just wouldn’t feel like herself with a hair color other than “copper”; even the occasional switch to “red-gold” is a stretch.

When Patch 7.3.5 introduced the golden eyes as a new face customization for Blood Elves, I would very much have liked to give Kaelinda golden eyes, but her face wasn’t one of the three golden-eyed faces. Presently, it occurred to me that I could use one of the golden-eyed faces with a different hair color than Kaelinda’s signature look, and let that appearance represent a different person. Although I don’t change my toon’s name on Blizzard’s servers, when my Blood Elf Mage is customized to this alternate appearance, she also has a different name in my mind and when I talk about her on this blog. And so Kaelydia came into being.

Kaelydia: Blood Elf Mage, no favored spec

This was actually something I’d been doing since around the beginning of Legion.

Prior to Legion, I had a handful of alts who were duplicates of race & class combinations for the purpose of dabbling with the third specs of various classes. When Legion did away with spec restrictions, I deleted those alts. Then I discovered that I wanted those dismissed characters (to borrow a phrase from Gnomecore) to be the ones to use the Artifact weapons associated with the specs I had created them to try, and to wear outfits themed around those specs. That was when I thought, what if I just use the Barbershop to temporarily change the appearance of my existing character of that class to the appearance of the dismissed character?

Kaiuna, Kazithra, and Kaiopeqa — each of them originally a separate alt in her own right — now became alternate appearances — or “Alter-Egos” — of Kerisa, Kaohana, and Kregga.

Kaiuna: curly-coat Tauren Druid, Feral/Guardian

Kazithra: Grimtotem Tauren Priest, Shadow/Discipline

Kaiopeqa: Tauren WarriorDeath Knight, ProtectionBlood

Kaiopeqa also underwent a class change, which is explained in my short story “The Deathlord’s Understudy”

In terms of their personalties and stories (such as they have them), the “main” character and the “Alter-Ego” character remain independent entities. There isn’t suddenly some sort of wierd Jekyll/Hyde thing going on. It’s just that sometimes I want my Tauren Druid to be Kerisa, and sometimes I want her to be Kaiuna.

It didn’t take long for me to start thinking of new uses for this novel way to have more characters without having more alts.

Kishalla appeared next, when I decided that I wanted to collect all of the Legion Artifact weapons, but didn’t feel like the Affliction & Demonology Artifacts were things that Kalaneia would want to have.

Kishalla: Blood Elf Warlock, Affliction/Demonology

Then I had an idea for an outfit that also came with a very specific appearance for the character who would wear it, and Kimmellyn became an Alter-Ego for my Human Mage, Kaylynda.

Kimmellyn: Human Mage, no favored spec

Kimmellyn’s appearance had been chosen to be a younger version of a dismissed Priest alt named Kimorene. Unsurprisingly, Kimorene herself soon re-appeared as another Alter-Ego for Kaylynda.

Kimorene: Human PriestMage, no favored spec

Kaylynda herself is an Alter-Ego of sorts. During Warlords, I wished that my Blood Elf Mage could have the Allliance version of the Mage Tower building for her Garrison. Because I couldn’t do that, I instead changed my Human Mage to look more like my Blood Elf Mage — and, incidentally, more like my RL self — by giving her a different face and red hair. I formally changed the toon’s name to cement her new identity. But when we found out that the Alliance would be going to Kul Tiras in Battle for Azeroth, my original Human Mage, who had been a girl from Theramore and strongly loyal to Jaina Proudmoore, wanted to be the one to go to Kul Tiras. And so Kinevra returned as an Alter-Ego appearance for Kaylynda.

Kinevra: Human Mage, Frost/Arcane/Fire

After I made friends with Alunaria (whose blogging presence I dearly miss, and I hope that she & her family are doing okay in the current world crisis), I was inspired to create a Night Elf Druid, whom I named Kerithian, after the female elf character that my husband has created in different versions for several D&D games and video games.

Kerithian wasn’t my first Night Elf Druid; in fact, a Night Elf Druid had been one of my very earliest alts. Presently, I brought back that long, long ago-dismissed character as an Alter Ego for Kerithian — in part because I wanted that character to eventually take on the Night Warrior customization.

Kivrin: Night Elf Druid, Feral

So with new options for character customization coming in Shadowlands, I won’t be dismissing any of my current characters by permanently changing their appearances* — and thus, their identities — to something new… but I just might have some new Alter Egos make their debuts. In particular, I’m thinking that it is highly likely that either Kaelinda or Kalaneia will manifest a new Alter Ego who has one of the new heterochromatic eye colors and either the darkest or the next-darkest of the new skin tones that will become available to Blood Elves. Furthermore, we haven’t yet seen previews for new customizations for Tauren; it’s likely that one or more of my Tauren characters will spin off an Alter Ego to make use of the new customizations that I like the best.

*With the exception of eye color — I’m excited about eye color not being tied to face selection anymore, and I will probably spend a lot of time at the Barbershop selecting the perfect eye color for each of my characters after the new customizations go live

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