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Archive for the ‘Alts’ Category

alt exhaustion

One of the questions in the Blizzard Watch Queue this morning was, “How many alts are you going to play in Legion?”

A few weeks ago, I would have answered, “sixteen — one of each class as Horde, plus my Alliance Mage, plus Horde doubles of Shaman, Monk, and Druid”.

After this month’s leveling extravaganza, I’m thinking that I don’t really want to try to manage any more than thirteen characters in Legion: one of each of the twelve classes as Horde, plus my Alliance Mage.

In the week between my big leveling spree and last weekend when I got the last two of the “one of each class” set leveled, I would sit at my computer desk looking at my Garrison progress chart and my other alt-tracking spreadsheets and just feel tired. Worn out. So tired of the zone opening questlines that everyone had to do to unlock their Outpost bonuses and followers. So tired of Pinchwhistle Point. So tired of busting Solog Roark out of the Iron Docks.

Back in the day, I rolled secondary characters of various classes either to experience the third specialization of the class without having to spend a lot of time and gold switching back and forth between specs or because I had more Transmogrification ideas for that class than one character’s inventory could handle — or both. Legion addresses both of those problems with making all specs always available and the Wardrobe. I’ve been saying that I’m going to carry forward my doubles of Shaman, Monk, and Druid because it would feel too wierd to play their designated specs with my primary characters of those classes… but then I as I looked at my Garrison worksheets and thought about doing the Order Hall stuff for the same class twice, I felt tired already. I thought, “you know what, it wouldn’t be all that wierd to play Kam as Enhancement, or Kate as Brewmaster*, or Kerisa as Feral.” I’m thinking, therefore, that I’m going to retire my secondary Shaman, Monk, and Druid** along with the Underpowered Death Knight — leave them at level 100, and you’ll see them occasionally when I have a Transmogrification kit idea that uses all pre-Legion gear for which I think one of them would be the best model.

Legion‘s focus on class-specific experiences will be both less exhausting and more exhausting for my altoholic self. Each character having a more unique, distinctive experience will be less exhausting in the sense of the content becoming tediously repetitive. Each character having a more unique, distinctive experience will be more exhausting because there will be so much more stuff that I’ll feel like I ought to do and want to do.

Sometimes I contemplate the idea that I’d probably get less tired of the content by the time I get through leveling all of the classes — and I do enjoy playing with the different playstyles of each class — if I gave myself more variety by playing only the classes that Tauren can be as Horde and all the classes that Tauren can’t be as Alliance. I have thought often enough about faction-changing the Rogue and the Warlock to know that if I did, they’d both become Humans — the Rogue because her blonde ponytail and freckles are more important to her being herself than being an Elf is, and the Warlock because of Cynwise and Cimmeria. I always end up thinking, though, about how I love my Blood Elf Mage too much to retire her, how Blood Elves have cooler stealth animations than Humans do, how Humans don’t have access to the right haircut for my Warlock***, and how I’d be bugged by not having all of my “one of each class” set on the same faction so they can all be in the same guild, and I don’t do it.

And how many alts will I really play in Legion? Kamalia will go first because she always goes first, and it really would feel wierd and wrong to let someone else go first. I’m not going to try to predict who will go next. It will be whomever I most want to play with in the moment. The others will follow along as I have time and interest. Maybe I’ll repeat the feat of getting a character of each class to the level cap for a third time, or maybe we’ll actually manage to either conceive or adopt (or both!) and I’ll drop off of the face of Azeroth for most of the expansion.

~*~*~

* In fact, at the moment, I am enjoying Brewmaster Monk so much more than Windwalker Monk that I’m considering doing the Brewmaster Artifact first.

** The secondary Druid will probably still get the Boost whenever I manage to finish playing her through Outland. I have her RP-flagged as a Highmountain Tauren, so she might also pick up the Feral Artifact and play through the Highmountain zone before she actually, completely, finally retires — but I’m going to try to allow myself to not be in any hurry to do any of those things.

*** What this really all boils down to is that my two favorite races in the game, Tauren and Blood Elves, both happen to be Horde. And with Demon Hunters coming on the scene, well… Night Elves are fun to draw, but I just can’t get into playing as one. I’d rather be a Sin’dorei Demon Hunter than a Kaldorei Demon Hunter.

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With only the Warlock and the Rogue remaining, I knew that I wouldn’t want to wait long to get them up to level 100. All the little boxes in my Warlords Garrison progress spreadsheet needed to get filled in.


With my Rogue, I used an Elixir of the Rapid Mind in the “recommended” way — I went through a few of the bonus objectives in Talador and most of the bonus objectives in Gorgrond and completed everything but one kill or object interaction. Then just before pulling the last kill of the last bonus objective area, I popped the Elixir and ran back through them all, hitting that last kill or interaction, to get lots of XP very very quickly.

I wanted to get all that leveling done this month, and I did. *whew!*

All of them are now busily collecting class gear sets from their salvage yards and acquiring relics for Harrison Jones and hiring follwers to fit a theme from the Inn and making as much money as they can from Treasure missions A few of my characters have additional things they’d like to do in Draenor. These are not necessarily objectives I intend to complete before Legion launches. I’d like to complete each character’s Warlords goals before she heads out to the Broken Shore, though.

KAMALIA: go fishing now and then to keep Alchemists stocked with Crescent Saberfish and to collect lunkers with which to eventually get the Sea Calf pet

Kerisa (Druid): Garrison Campaign so she can recruit Choluna; Tanaan Jungle for followers from factions there and for Ascendance minor glyph technique that drops from a rare there

Kaylynda (Alliance Mage): Sha’tari Defense rep grind so she can recruit Vindicator Heluun

Ketura (Hunter): mount training quests & mounted combat challenges for level 3 Stables and Stable Master title

Kregga (Death Knight): Laughing Skull Orc rep grind — the Skulls’ attitude toward death amuses her, and I think it might be fun to make a Mog for her with the blue version of the cosmetic helm

Kalaneia (Warlock): Steamwheedle Preservation Society rep grind and Patch 6.2 Garrison Campaign because Warlock followers

Kaelinda (Horde Mage): considering doing Tanaan Jungle and leveling up her Shipyard to 3 for a chance at HFC raid stuffs for Teh Moggingage

And a few of them have some past-expansion objectives, too…

Kaylynda: Kirin Tor Offensive rep on the Isle of Thunder for that pretty violet and white tabard

Kalaneia: Green Fire quest chain

Katewatha (Monk): Huojin Pandaren rep by farming old dungeons with tabard so she can get Pandaren Garrison guards

You’ll notice that these are all things that can be done solo. Partly this is because I didn’t really like any of the Warlords dungeons running them as a healer with Kamalia. Partly this is because of the Silver Proving Grounds barrier — not that I think I couldn’t do it, more that I don’t want to spend the time figuring out how to do it with every class. And part of it might be that maybe I burned myself out on doing group content with multiple alts when I was LFRing with all of my healers during Mists. Together, these factors have very effectively shut down my motivation to do Warlords group content.

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One of the benefits of a) being the auxilary income in my household and b) teaching on a 9-month contract at a small, rural, two-year college is that after my Spring semester grades are in, my time is more or less my own until Fall semester begins. Of course, I have a heap of work to do to get ready for Fall semester — and this year I should try to get as much of that done during May as I can, because I volunteered to teach the summer term chemistry class, which runs during June and July. I’ll also be out of town for half of June attending a couple of organic chemistry teaching workshops (very excited about those; I have a colleague covering the class for the weeks I’ll be gone).

After taking most of last week off, I intended to start digging into my summer tasks this week. By Tuesday afternoon, however, it was abundantly apparent that with the other looming deadline of Legion launching on August 30 (which will be a week after Fall semester begins), and the pre-patch likely to arrive in late July, I wasn’t going to be able to focus properly on my school work until I’d gotten my remaining characters leveled up to 100 and started on collecting followers from their Inns and the new character selection screen sets from their Salvage Yards.

So I stayed home and played for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: Warrior

Wednesday: Although I played most of the day on this day, too, I spread my activity between multiple characters and didn’t manage to ding anyone. It did set me up to get two characters dinged on the same day later in the week, though.

Thursday: Blood Elf Mage

Friday morning: Enhancement Shaman

Mini-Kam was one of my last alts to come to Draenor, and after getting to the point in the Frostfire Ridge storyline where it splits and you can choose whether to go north with Ga’nar or south with Lokra first, I just couldn’t bear to do anymore of it. I’d already been thinking about leveling an alt primarily through Bonus Objectives, so she became the one to do it. I did only the minimum amount of questing required to get to the Outpost building activation in each zone, then got the rest of her XP from Bonus Objectives and treasure and silver dragon hunting. I also used an Elixir of the Rapid Mind (though not in the optimally recommended way) to get almost a whole level (98 to 99) out of the Outpost establishment chapter in Nagrand.

Friday night: Paladin

Saturday: Priest

The Warlock and the Rogue, however, will just have to wait for another time.

Despite my post title, it wasn’t exactly an “assembly line” approach. Though most of these characters did a lot of the same things, no two of them did exactly the same combination of quests and treasure hunting. Playing through the Auchindoun storyline in Talador, the first parts of the arakkoa storyline, and various areas of Nagrand multiple times during the past fortnight has me wanting to go play through the corresponding areas in Outland again. Good thing I already have a character right there, hmm? The Feral Druid will still be getting Boosted eventually, though.

And yes, I absolutely cheated expedited my way through all of this with flying. The first time I go through new content, with Kamalia, I’m perfectly happy to do everything the slow way, the “real” way, on the ground. But with alts? Especially the later ones? I want to be able to pick and choose from the available content and get through it quickly.

Now I have only two weeks left to get as much school work done as I can before the summer term begins. After how hard I’ve played this week, though, maybe I’ll be burned out enough on WoW that I’ll actually be able to focus on updating syllabi and lab manuals and purchasing equipment and supplies..?

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Being a Death Knight, Kregga must admit to being undead. Being neither Human nor High Elf in origin, however, she has no particular loyalty or affinity for Sylvanas Windrunner. Nonetheless, it amuses me to think of populating her Garrison with Forsaken, Death Knights, and Ghosts.
So I took her out to gather up all the quest & zone followers who fit into those categories — including temporarily replacing her Trading Post with a Lumber Mill so she could get Alexi Barov. I did some other questing here and there along the way, not necessarily in linear zone order…

That makes seven level 100 characters.

I don’t think I should try to predict which of the remaining nine will be next to reach the level cap. They keep surprising me this expansion. It probably won’t be the one that I currently think looks the most likely.

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It. Is. Coming.

So, um, Wrathion… could you, would you possibly update that spiffy cloak you gave me so that it might actually be useful now, when your vision is finally coming true?

Hmm, so if Legion proper drops at the end of August, we can probably expect the pre-patch sometime around the end of July. That gives me three months to make significant progress on the following Warlords objectives:

* Finish leveling alts to 100
Balance Druid (98)
Frost Death Knight (97)
Paladin (96)
Warrior (96)
Warlock (96)
Blood Elf Mage (95)
Priest (95)
Rogue (94)
Enhancement Shaman (94)
Feral Druid (62; will probably get the boost when I pre-purchase Legion sometime in the next few weeks)

* Get to 150 Draenor Pet Battles for level 3 Menagerie — I got a slow start with pet battles (and pet charms) in this expansion. I ignored them entirely until Kura started coming to the Garrison in Patch 6.1, and then I only battled Kura if she was in one of my Garrisons. Things picked up after the Pet Battling Monk came out to Draenor a few months ago. She’s been training up pets against Ashlei (and occasionally Gargra) and should finish up that achievement in another couple of weeks.

* Do Silver Proving Grounds and UBRS with Alliance Mage because Millhouse Manastorm — I made myself go to Proving Grounds with this character this weekend, but it took me two tries to get past Bronze and I failed Silver on the third wave, so I’ll have to keep trying…

* Complete Savage Blood Transmogrification project. I have three Alchemists producing Savage Blood as fast as their Alchemy work orders and daily transmutes allow, but what I really need to do is keep my two level 3 Barns fully stocked with trapped elite wolves — I’ve recently discovered that having a Skinner staffing the Barn gives a much higher ratio of Savage Blood produced per number of elite beasts trapped!

* Go back to Nagrand with Alliance Mage to see the last part of Y’rel’s storyline and to see what’s up with Vindicator Nobundo’s strange feeling of being drawn to the Throne of the Elements — I just need to get out there and do it one of these weekends.

* Finish Stables taming quests and mounted combat challenges to get Stable Master title for the Hunter.

* Do Tanaan with the Balance Druid so that she can have all four of the Arakkoa Followers on her Garrison team.

* I guess I should try to do Tanaan with one of my Mages to see if I can get the Hellfire Citadel Mage tier-lookalike robes from the level 3 Shipyard, but who knows if I’ll actually get around to doing it… at least all the ship equipment blueprints are account-wide now, so I won’t have to worry about that.

Kamalia has too many Tauren Followers yet to recruit to be able to accomplish recruiting them all herself before Legion — she’ll probably be coming back to her Garrison from the Broken Isles once a week to check Akanja’s recruit list for weeks or months before that happens. But perhaps once I get more alts leveled up to 100, I might be able to collect all the Tauren Followers between the Garrisons of all my Tauren characters.

My grand imaginations of curating class or race-themed collections of Followers in my alts’ Garrisons may not get very far before Legion arrives. My alts will probably lag behind Kamalia in going to the Broken Isles for weeks or months, though, and while they’re waiting, they’ll just be sitting in their Garrisons, recruiting.

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When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

— A A Milne

So here it is my blogiversary again, time for me to take stock of what I have accomplished in WoW and in blogging in the past year.

Since the last one, I’ve actually managed to level up some alts. Kam was my only level 100 at this time last year; now I have six level 100 characters. I’m not quite sure who’ll be the seventh, though at the moment, I’m thinking it might be the Druid. She’s almost to level 98 from the relatively passive XP available through the Garrison, so whenever I manage to get her out to Spires of Arak to play through the Arakkoa storyline, it will probably get her almost all the way to level 100. Someone else might surprise me, though, like the way that the secondary Monk suddenly charged ahead to be the sixth.

Blogging-wise, I think I did manage to keep up with posting about once a week. As the time since my last post starts to get longer than about three days, I start thinking about what I might post next — though I often don’t manage to make whatever post I’m thinking about until the weekend. I’ve been working on a handful of Transmogrification projects that are being gated by failure of items to drop from the old raids I’ve been farming and by the rate at which I can accumulate Savage Bloods from collecting Primal Spirits and the transmutation efforts of two (now three) Alchemists (I have level 3 Barns in Kam’s Garrison and in my Hunter’s Garrison, but despite the fact that trapping Elite beasties is so much easier and more fun with my Hunter than it is with Kam, I still don’t go out to Nagrand to do trapping with either of them very often).

I think next year’s goals will the be same as last year’s: do whatever in WoW I most feel like doing in the moment and whatever I accomplish will be what I accomplish, and try to post at least once a week.

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So, the word from the Legion alpha is that the Beast Mastery Hunter Artifact questline is substantially similar to the Protection Warrior Artifact questline. The word I saw used was “mirror”. I’m guessing this means that they take place in the same zone(s) and feature essentially the same lore reveals/plotline. The Discipline Priest and Arcane Mage quests are apparently also “mirrors” of each other. I’m gonna hazard a guess that because the Affliction Warlock and Balance Druid Artifacts are both scythes hidden away under Karazhan, those Artifact questlines also mirror each other.

Anyhow, although the arrival of Legion is still some distance off and there’s a good chance that most of my alts won’t be ready even when it does get here, it’s been amusing me to think about which spec I want to choose as my primary (first Artifact choice) for each character.

Whether Kamalia levels as Resto or as Elemental depends on whether BTH comes back for Legion just to play the leveling part of the game with me. If he does, Kam will level as Resto. If he doesn’t, Kam will level as Elemental because I’m more fascinated by the description of the Elemental Artifact than by that of the Resto Artifact. It does puzzle me somewhat, though, that it’s the Ra-den fist weapon Artifact going to Elemental Shaman and the Tol’vir fist weapon Artifact going to Windwalker Monks, and not the other way around. Whichever spec she doesn’t pick first, she’ll do as her second Artifact. Kamalia will most likely quest in Highmountain first.
Mini-Kam will pick up the Doomhammer. I don’t know where she’ll go first.

My Hunter has been Beast Mastery for most of her life, but I’m thinking that I’ll level her as Survival for the Highmountain lore that accompanies the Eagle Spear. Then she’ll do Beast Mastery as soon as the option to pick up a second Artifact becomes available. Eventually, she’ll get around to doing Marksmanship, because dangitall if that Windrunner bow doesn’t look amazing, and also to try out the novelty of Hunting pet-less. She will probably quest in Highmountain first, too.

My Warrior is currently planning to be Arms first because Mr Rossi says the Arms Artifact questline is awesome and also because I think it’s the coolest looking of the Warrior Artifacts. She’ll do Fury next because Titan’s Grip, then Prot last. She’ll probably quest in Stormheim first.

My primary Druid is Balance first and Resto a distant second. My secondary Druid is Feral first and Guardian a distant second. My Druids will most likely quest in Val’sharah first.

My Blood Elf Mage will continue to be Fire for Felo’melorn. My Human Mage will go Arcane for Aluneth. One or the other (or both, perhaps) of them will eventually pick up Ebonchill. They will probably quest in Azsuna first.

My primary Monk will probably level as Mistweaver to get Shaohao’s staff, then get the Windwalker fist weapon. My secondary Monk will get the Monkey King’s staff, of course. I’m not sure where they’ll quest first.

I haven’t quite decided yet whether my Paladin will go Prot first or Holy first. She’ll do Ret, too, eventually, because sometimes I have Paladin mog ideas that want a 2H weapon. I haven’t figured out which zone she’ll quest in first.

I also haven’t quite decided whether my Priest will go Disc first or Holy first. She’s been Disc most of her life, and the Disc Artifact looks pretty cool — but so does the Holy one. She’ll probably quest in Stormheim first to learn more about the Val’kyr.

My Death Knight is Frost, and she’ll probably end up questing in Stormheim first.

My Warlock is Destruction, my Rogue is Outlaw, and my Demon Hunter will be Havoc, and they’ll most likely quest in Azsuna first.

Have you had any thoughts or begun to make any plans about what spec you want to level as and which zone you want to start leveling in?

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