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Archive for the ‘Alts’ Category

Although it seems a little premature to call this a “Warlords bucket list” given that a) it’s been hinted that there will, in fact, be at least a Patch 6.3* and b) the next expansion hasn’t been announced yet, these are some things that I’d like to accomplish before school starts again in two months.

+ Spend a few evenings treasure hunting to get to 100 treasures found. I already have the maps for Frostfire and Shadowmoon, so I should gather all the low-hanging fruit out of those zones before getting the maps for the other zones.

+ Continue doing Apexis dailies until I have completed Securing Draenor. If the dailies that are up are both either one that I’ve already done or one that doesn’t contribute to the achievement (there are a few of those), I should buy a Scouting Missive and go do one that I haven’t already done that does contribute to the achievement.

+ Replace my Inn with a level 3 Trading Post for faster reputation gain with the three Tanaan Jungle factions.

+ If the new “Dowser” oil doubler trait will be available for recruiting from the Inn — I seem to recall reading that it would be, but that might have been a PTR thing that later got changed — recruit a Dowser next Tuesday before replacing the Inn.

+ Build Shipyard, rule the savage seas, profit.

+ Do dailies for all three of the Tanaan Jungle factions. I’ll want to get to revered with all of them for Draenor Pathfinder, of course. I’ll want to get to all the way to exalted with the Order of the Awakened for the super ship blueprint.

+ Level alts! Attempt to give priority to Kaylynda (Human Mage) to experience Alliance story.

+ Craft items for Savage Blood Transmogrification kits. This will require staying on top of profession CDs, work orders, and trapping for the Barn. The reduced costs for the upgrade items and the reduced Primal Spirits-to-Savage Blood exchange rate will greatly help this, as will the increased yield from personal profession CDs.

+ Find out how the new Ascendance minor glyph technique is obtained, get it with my Scribe, acquire one Felblight (should be pretty easy to do, Kamalia will probably be skinning heaps of beasties in the process of doing her rep dailies), and make it for Kamalia. I must confess that I don’t use Ascendance as much as perhaps I ought to because I can’t stand looking like one of those awful Cataclysm humanoid/elemental monstrosities.

+ Go digging for the Draenor archeology items that I haven’t found yet. I don’t care whether I get them as common or as pristine solves, just as long as between the common list and the pristine list I’ve found each item at least once.

+ After completing the Draenor artifact list, spend some time digging in Eastern Kingdoms** and use my crated Restored Artifacts for Tol’vir fragments. This is a lower priority objective.

+ If getting the costume toy for one faction does not automatically grant the corresponding costume toy for the other faction, get to revered with Hand of the Prophet with Kaylynda. This is a relatively low priority objective; on the one hand, having the faction costume be a toy means I only have to get it once (per faction?), but on the other hand, having the faction costume be a toy instead of an actual cosmetic gear set means I can’t mix-and-match with it for Transmogrification.

* fingers crossed for Farahlon, and hoping it will be more like the Isle of Thunder than the Timeless Isle
** I still haven’t gotten the rare Dwarf staff, the rare Troll 2H sword, and three of the Tol’vir rares

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So flying is coming to Draenor, after all, via a meta-Acheivement requiring the completion of various activities around Draenor that is more or less exactly what the folks whose opinions in the flying kerfluffle I have most agreed with have been suggesting all along could be the way for flying to be earned in Draenor. Hurrah!

So how will one earn one’s wings in Draenor?

Explore Draenor
I finally finished that up a week or so back, after having discovered that there were a few small spots in a couple of zones that I hadn’t managed to uncover yet.

Loremaster of Draenor
I did that while I was leveling. I haven’t done all the Bonus Objectives, though, and occasionally I stumble across a side-quest that I missed. I ought to go clean those up for easy Achievement points and delicious little bits of story.

Collect 100 Draenor treasures
Hmm. I’ve found 53 already. I’ve seen treasures that I haven’t bothered to figure out how to get to, or made a few pathetic attempts at the required jumping puzzle before giving up because I had other things I wanted to do that day. Time to go back and try those again.

Securing Draenor
Oh… I’d better start paying attention to Shadow Hunter Ukambe’s daily strategic assault recommendations, then. I’ve been an absolutely terrible “Commander” and ignored him so far.

Get Revered with all three of the new Tanaan Jungle factions
Well, I was going to have to do that anyway to get blueprints and and oil for my Shipyard.

And once I’ve done all this with Kamalia, Kerisa will be able to spread her wings and soar in Draenor’s savage skies!

~*~*~

Despite the snarkiness of the original version of this post, I really am quite pleased with the proposed implementation of flying in Draenor. I think it is just right: fully explore the content on the ground, and then you can take to the sky. Furthermore, this is the motivation that I’ve been needing to get out of my Garrison and experience some of the Draenor content that I have thus far ignored.

Treasures… yes, the treasures are fun, but I’ve felt overwhelmed by how many of them there are to find. Because there are so many, I am less inclined to pause whatever I am in the middle of doing when I see the purple glow to figure out how to get to it than I would be if the treasures were fewer and further in-between. On the other hand, because there are so many, I might be able to get up to 100 treasures found without having to become too thoroughly frustrated by the ones that are in places that are really difficult to get to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I would much, much rather do dailies for reputation than pure grinding. I did the Timbermaw grind with Kamalia; I’ve done Aldor/Scryer with various alts; I didn’t bother with the Emperor Shaohao rep on the Timeless Isle because it was a pure grind. I haven’t bothered with reputation — faction or bodyguard — in Warlords because I wasn’t interested enough in the rewards to want to grind, grind, grind for them. The only Warlords reputation I have at Exalted is the Arakkoa Outcasts, and that’s because of the rep tokens my followers brought me. I’m relieved that the new factions in Tanaan Jungle will have dailies, and I will be perfectly happy to gather that rep at the pace set by the dailies.

After having discovered fairly early on that the Apexis gear was visually identical to the gear I was getting from dungeons and follower missions, I decided that I didn’t need to collect Apexis crystals to buy items for Transmogrification. Because I wasn’t running LFR, I didn’t need the Apexis gear for its stats, either. Thus, I had no motivation to collect Apexis crystals, and the daily strategic assault quest seemed to me to be a very thin veneer on what was really just a grind. Even recognizing that the chapters of the Garrison Campaign (which I very much enjoyed) were taking me to the same locations as the strategic assault quests didn’t motivate me to go back to those places later when they were the Apexis dailies. But I’ll gladly “Secure Draenor” to make the skies safe enough to fly in. I might even bring along a bodyguard and start working on those reputations, too!

In Mists, I didn’t really get going with alt leveling until Patch 5.1 un-coupled the Shado-Pan and August Celestial reputations from having to get Revered with the Golden Lotus first. I’m having this feeling that with the “Draenor Pathfinder” acheivement bringing an account-wide flying unlock, Patch 6.2 might just be the point in this expansion where my alt leveling finally takes off (pun intended)!

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alt fatigue

Looking at my Characters page here on the blog, or flicking through the loading screens of my “minor” servers, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it would be to take and then process portrait pictures of the new model appearances of ALL of my characters… many of whom I haven’t properly “played” for two years or more.

Perhaps it’s time to just admit that really, I’m not going to play any of those alts again. It might be time to slash and burn — to vendor all their stuff and send the gold to characters I’m actually spending time with, and then — BAHLEETED! But maybe I should at least play them all up to level 55 before I delete them, so that if I do ever happen to want one of them back, I could restore them…? No, no, no, no. No. That way lies madness.

If I am still playing when the next expansion comes around, and said next expansion features new race(s) and/or a new class, what will I be more interested in playing? Almost certainly the new class. Oh, for sure I’d play the new race(s) at least through their starting zone(s). After seeing the new content of the new starting zones, though, I’d really be pretty much done with those characters, and then they’d stall out somewhere in the mid-twenties or mid-thirties, like most of my “one character of each race” set of alts seem to have done. And if I’m not going to play them anymore, I might as well delete them. Catch and release. A character of the new class, though, might have a halfway decent chance of making it all the way to the new level cap — I did, after all, manage to level my DK to 80 before Cataclysm launched, and I got not just one but TWO Monks to level 90 during Mists.

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I had enough things-wot-needed-to-be-dun that I couldn’t take Spring Break entirely off and just play WoW all day. Still, I had more evening time for the game than I’ve had for awhile — enough that I could think about doing something other than just managing my followers.

Monday: The Blood Elf trio used Kairoz’s SUPER SECRET Wormhole to get into their Garrisons. Kalaneia (Destruction Warlock) and Kelisanna (Subtlety Rogue) had a merry romp burninating and sneaky-stabbiting their way through the Garrison establishment quests, but poor Kaelinda (Arcane Mage) felt almost as fragile as the Underpowered Death Knight. Perhaps I am playing Arcane wrong and need different talents, glyphs, and rotation? Or maybe I ought to just switch to her secondary spec (which vacillates between Fire and Frost)?

Tuesday: I decided that it was time to get another pet up into the mid-level range so that Ketura (Hunter) could start taking it to her daily bout with Stone Cold Trixxy. Although it’s been some months since I did pet battles regularly, my notebook page about the pet trainers provided enough information that I could remember my favorite pets to use with each one without much difficulty. The pet that started at level 1 in a battle against Zunta at the beginning of the evening finished up at level 19 after battling Blood Knight Antari. When I spend time on pet battles, the Kalimdor and Outland pet trainer circuits make it relatively easy to get a pet up into the 15-20 level range… but getting a pet from 20 to 25 feels like a long hard slog. Part of that is because I haven’t really attempted to defeat any trainers past Blood Knight Antari. Part of that is because I don’t want to just grind wild pet battles for those last five levels. Lio sez that I can level a pet quickly in Draenor, but I’d need to have an Infinite Whelpling, Emerald Whelpling, Nether Faerie Dragon, Giant Bone Spider, Unborn Valkyr, Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, and Lil Bling already at level 25 to do it. I don’t have the Emerald Whelpling (and am not likely to just buy it off the AH), and I refuse to use spiders. I have the rest of the pets, but most of them aren’t anywhere close to level 25, so I guess I’d better start working on them…

Wednesday: More minions! cried Kalaneia I. Must. Have. MOAR MINIONZ! She burninated her way through Frostfire Ridge and rounded up all the followers found there. Did the Frostwolves and the Thunderlords have this kind of near-genocidal enmity before the Iron Horde, or before the Iron Wolf? (Speaking of the Iron Wolf, what an amazing set-piece the interior of Grom’gar is! It’s kind of sad that it only gets used for that one encounter, as epic as that encounter is. I wonder if any RP guilds use it as a meeting hall?) It seems to me that after having some of the clan captured and carried off to the Dark Portal, and the continual slaver raids by the ogres, and the war with the Thunderlords, the Frostwolf clan ought to be in tatters — barely holding themselves together physically and even more just barely holding themselves together psychologically. But then, I suppose that being more robust all around is one of the things that makes an Orc not a Human.

Thursday: I cleared out Kamalia’s lingering non-!, non-Legendary quests — two first-run Dungeon quests from the Inn that I didn’t complete before the hotfix that made it so you didn’t have to do all the Dungeon quests to get the level 3 Inn went through, taking the Mystery Notebook to Estelle Gendry in Undercity, fishing up some lunkers for Nat Pagle. Kam still has things to do — digging up the rest of the Draenor Archaeology relics, recruiting Harrison Jones, collecting more music rolls for her jukebox, the Field Photographer world tour — but it’s a relief to finally have taken care of those loose ends from her quest log.

Friday: Kaylynda (Human Fire Mage) declared that she was tired of twiddling her thumbs in her podunk Level 1 Garrison and that it was her turn for some playtime. Playstyle-wise, she had just about as little trouble and just about as much fun burninating through Shadowmoon Valley as Kalaneia’d had in Frostfire Ridge — so I guess it must indeed be the Arcane spec that’s Kaelinda’s problem. Story-wise, I’d heard that the Shadowmoon story was more powerful, more moving than the Frostfire story, and… wow, yeah, they were right. Yrel initally struck me as a bit, er, fluffheaded, but she began to mature rapidly over the course of the zone. I like her. I look forward to seeing how she continues to develop over the rest of the Alliance storyline. Alliance characters can get Dagg out of Frostfire for their Garrisons… I wish Horde characters could get Rulkan out of Shadowmoon for their Garrisons. Anyhow, now Kaylynda can twiddle her thumbs in the greater comfort of a Level 2 Garrison.

All in all, quite a successful week!

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This week being Spring Break, I decided it was time to buckle down and get the remainder of my One of Each Class set of characters into their Garrisons. On Saturday, I powered through Tanaan with the Hunter and the Warrior. Although I am so, so tired of Tanaan, I determined to grit my teeth and just get it over and done with the Rogue, the Warlock, and the Blood Elf Mage. I wished that there were some way to just skip the Tanaan intro sequence.

In a post that couldn’t have been more conveniently timed, Anne Stickney just shared her discovery of a hidden backdoor access to Draenor. It’s not exactly a “shortcut”, but it definitely doesn’t require running circles around the Dark Portal!

Personally, I think this must be how Kairoz got Garrosh to Draenor.

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Kamalia has quite a few things lingering on her “to do” list. There’s those two Inn dungeon quests (the initial version) that she never got around to doing because the hotfix that made it so you don’t have to do all the Inn dungeon quests to get the level 3 Inn went through before she did them. There’s the Legendary quest to vanquish the end boss of Highmaul and pinch his toe-ring or whatever… and I doubt that I’ll get into LFR to do that until summer. And oh yeah, the Abrogator gubbins. I’ve gotten about 30 of those so far, from Garrison missions and random procs in my work order boxes. There’s Nat Pagle’s quest to fish up a lunker in each Draenor zone, which I haven’t done because I’m dithering over whether or not I actually want Nat as a follower in Kam’s Garrison (I do want him in the Hunter’s Garrison, eventually).

To that list, I’ve now added the Garrison music box quest. I’m not sure when I’ll do it, though. At first, I thought I’d try to do it this weekend. This weekend is still Lunar Festival, however, and I haven’t had time to do the Lunar Festival World Tour with the Underpowered Death Knight yet — and the Underpowered Death Knight is counting on all that holiday XP to get her a significant fraction of the way from her current level of 89 to 90.

Harrison Jones didn’t show up in Kam’s Garrison. Is he one of the RNG visitors and he might show up tomorrow, or the next day, or is he not deigning to visit me yet because I don’t have my Archaeology to 700 yet?

After I logged in and out with all my alts to load my heirlooms into the spiffy new Heirloom tab, I found that I have 41 of the 71 possible heirloom items — more than enough to qualify for the Chauffeured Chopper. I still don’t dig the Chauffeured Chopper enough to use it with my baby alts.

I’m not familiar enough with most of the new models to be able to notice how many of them (or which ones) recieved tweaks from the versions that came out with the pre-launch patch. I did immediately notice, however, that my Human Mage is less top-heavy, less busty, today than she was yesterday — and that’s a good thing! Her face looks better, too — though her monocle is now displaying really wierdly. It barely looks like it’s there at all — it just makes her eye look funny. My Draenei Mage looks more like her original self than the first version of the updated Draenei model did. And if I’m not mistaken, the Tauren female run got some adjustments; the first version of the new model run looked a lot like the Worgen female run to me, and while I appreciated that it made my girls look more fleet, it still felt wrong. Today, they look like they’re planting their hooves more solidly, feeling sure-footed like the original run without feeling quite as ponderous as the original run.

The new Blood Elf model suits the Warlock very well. The Rogue looks good, too. The Mage will take the most getting used to simply because I’m the most familiar with her — but her new look isn’t terrible or anything. It’s acceptable; she still looks thoughtful and sweet-tempered (for a Blood Elf). Except, of course, when she’s doing that tilted-head sneer. I used to like the tilted-head pose because I thought it looked contemplative. No more, alas. The sneer works for the Warlock and the Rogue, though!

Now that the updated models for the Blood Elves are finally done, I guess it’s time that I start working on updating my woefully out-of-date Characters page. Making all those character portraits on the current version of the page was a lot of work, though, and I did it last summer while I had less RL stuff to do. I’m not quite sure how I’ll fit that work in now. I think I’ll procrastinate it just a little bit longer — it’s always been difficult to get really good close-ups of my characters’ faces in-game (I used MogIt to get the close-ups for my current set of portraits) and I think the SELFIE camera might be just what I’m wanting for that. So now I have to wait for the two photography missions to show up in one or another of my Garrisons…

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I’m having a real hard time getting my brain in gear to work today — it must be Thursday (never could get the hang of Thursdays) — so I’m going to write a blog post instead. I saw on Alt:ernative this morning a link to a post about “Maintenance Gaming”.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been doing ever since Kam got to level 100, and it’s pretty much what I will be doing probably until the end of the semester. Classes began on Monday, and because of the way I’ve restructured my courses, I’ve got a lot more work to do. Last semester, I was able to go home for lunch most days of the week, so I’d do the “maintenance” stuff of tending farms/garrisons over my lunch break and then I could “play” — run LFR, do dailies, level alts, whatever — in the evening. This semester, however, I’ll be spending my evening playtime hours on the maintenance stuff at least until I get my prep schedule enough under control that I can start going home for lunch again. The maintenance stuff is really about all I have enough energy for, anyway. Even doing my Garrison Campaign weeklies, which I enjoy, is getting pushed off until the weekends when I’ll have not only more time but also more energy to invest in doing them.

Having to spend more time on work and less time on play also means that blog posts might be few and far between for awhile (though I’ll probably try to put another post up pretty soon, so that I don’t leave this somewhat depressing ramble as the top post for too very long).

In additon to the whole “less time and energy for play” issue, I haven’t taken Kam into Highmaul LFR yet, despite having heard that it’s dead easy, because I’m too scroogey* to want to pay for gems and enchants on the AH when I have alts that have those professions. Problem is, the alts that have those professions are still in Pandaria working on my Bag Operation to get all** of my Bloodhoof-Duskwood characters equipped with Royal Satchels in their main inventories. Turns out, I didn’t spend enough time on “maintenance gaming” during late Mists — if I had kept all my farms running all the time, the Bag Operation would be well over and done by now.

Poor Kaprikka. She’s been stuck in maintenance mode for so long that she’s accumulated over 7k resources… and after she reaches the 10k resource cap, it might be a long time before I log in with her again. Although I pushed and pushed to get Kaprikka to level 90 in late Mists so that I could play through the new Draenei lore as a Draenei in Warlords, rushing so fast with dungeons and such that I skipped large swaths of already-existing Alliance lore in Outland, Northrend, and the Cataclysm zones, recently I’ve been thinking that I should focus on/commit to just one Alliance alt… and I’ve decided that I would rather “be” Kaylynda, the red-headed Human Mage, when I do Alliance things at level 100. Alas, poor Kaprikka… perhaps you can commiserate about the fickleness of your overmind with Tome’s Lokkan?

* Speaking of being scroogey, several weeks ago, I was on an alt when I got a random whisper asking for help. When I asked what I could help with, the person begged for several hundred gold to help them purchase the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. I declined, because I always decline gold begging, but I softened the blow by telling them that I myself am saving for the Grand Expedition Yak. Which is true… sort-of. I would like to have my owm personal pocket-Transmogrifier someday… I’m just not saving up for it in a very fast or very focused sort of way.

** Well, all of my alts above level 50, at any rate. I recently decided that, for my sanity’s sake, the alts under level 50 would only get one Royal Satchel apiece, in place of the gathering professions bag I might have gotten them in previous expansions.

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