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Archive for the ‘Artifact’ Category

This Side Up

By a combination of ignoring Archaeology for most of the first couple of months of the expansion and picking and choosing which of the most recent Archaeology quests to do, I completed “This Side Up” by acquiring the Spirit of Eche’ro.

In the process, I also managed to complete my collection of Pristine versions of the five common Highmountain Tauren objects.

Kamalia has now obtained the eight easy Artifact appearances.
default, Pillar of Creation, Light’s Heart, level 103 Class Campaign chapter

Complete Class Campaign, 35 Artifact traits, 25 Artifact Knowledge, This Side Up

I think I remember reading somewhere that because so many of the Rare items from Archaology are account-bound, the devs decided to make the Artifact appearance unlock for completing “This Side Up” account-wide, too. That’ll be very nice for my alts if it’s true!

Will I ever finish the rest of the Broken Isles Archaeology quests? Yeah, I’ll probably do the ones that I’ve skipped the next time they come around. With how easily I’ve managed to complete the set of Highmountain Tauren Pristines, I’ll probably be able to get all of the Highborne and Demonic Pristines, too — though I might not work quite so diligently at it.

But will I ever go back and finish collecting the Draenor Pristines, or the Pandaria Pristines? That’s doubtful. I think it would have to be the end-of-expansion doldrums, I’d need to be done with all the stuff I want to do in the Broken Isles with all of my alts, and I’d have to have finished fishing up all the coins in the Legion Dalaran fountain before I got bored enough to do that.

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With today’s Kirin Tor Emissary quest, Kamalia reached Exalted with the last of the 7.0 reputations and got enough Artifact Power to put the 35th trait into Doomhammer. She now has 35 traits in all three of her Artifact weapons. I would like to be celebrating that I’m done with her Artifact weapons… except that come patch 7.2, I won’t be.

/headdesk

This is a great system for people who have an OTP relationship with their Main. For me, though, spending all my playtime with Kam farming Artifact Power is a rabbit hole that I’ve already spent too long falling down. If I want to accomplish my goal of playing all twelve of the Order Hall Campaign stories, I need to be able to let Kam rest.

So, I won’t be doing any more AP farming to put any further ranks into the Paragon traits of Kam’s Artifacts, and I will try to resist the lure of new content when Patch 7.2 comes out to focus on completing the 7.0 and 7.1.5 content first.

At Artifact Knowledge 25, it’s really only the last 5-ish traits that really take awhile to get. Kamalia can quickly boost each alt to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as she reaches level 110. Reaching Artifact Knowledge 25 is necessary to get the lore stories about all the Artifacts. Getting AK ranks past 25 will certainly speed my alts along the way to getting all of their Artifacts (or at least the ones for the specs I actually play with them) to 35, though, so I’ll probably end up doing it.

When I’ve gotten my alts’ Artifacts up to 35 traits, then I can think about doing the questlines to open up the Empowered traits. I must admit that I would like to do each of the seven Empowerment questlines at least once, just to see what they’re about.

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Kamalia hasn’t progressed any farther in the Suramar storyline than completing “Nightfallen but not Forgotten“, activating all of the leyline feeds to Shal’aran, and doing a few random side-quest chapters of “Good Suramaritan“. Nonetheless, through always choosing Suramar when I turn in a Kirin Tor Emissary quest and through doing Suramar Emissary quests when they are available, Kamalia dinged Exalted with the Nightfallen when she turned in today’s Suramar Emissary quest.

The Artifact Power she received in the process was enough to get the 34th trait in the Fist of Ra-den, too. Just one more trait in the Fist of Ra-den, and then I can start filling out the Doomhammer. Seeing how fast filling up Kam’s off-spec Artifact has gone since she reached Artifact Power 25 has made the prospect of filling up Artifacts for my alts much less daunting. The most important factor in that, of course, is that, my alts won’t have the same long hard slog up to Artifact Knowledge 25 that Kam had. Kam can just spend 11000 Order Hall Resources to boost them all up to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as they hit level 110, after which it won’t take long for them to get to Artifact Knowledge 25 — and then they can just blast through filling out their Artifact weapons. I like that!

Getting Exalted with the Nightfallen also means that Kamalia has managed to earn her entire Order Hall set. Even though I don’t much like the set as a whole (though the pants, gloves, and boots have some mix-and-match potential), I figured I ought to wear it, just for a little bit (meaning, I might Mog it over with a black and purple kit to go with the Nightfallen tabard as soon as tomorrow :P), because I might not manage to get the entire Order Hall set with any of my other characters.

Raiment of the Farseer

Raiment of the Farseer with Blue Workman’s Shirt, Theldurin’s Fist, and Shield of the Barrens

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At last, the final two of the thirty-six Class & Specialization specific Artifact Weapons are mine.

The Holy Paladin quest took me once again to Tyr’s Fall in the Whispering Forest of Tirisfal Glades. With the big bad of the other two questlines not there at all and a different big bad for this questline, it is clear that the sequence of events there was Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin. So what were the secret Paladins doing while the Arms Warriors and Shadow Priests were poking around there? Going to Dalaran to get help, I guess.

I’m pretty rusty with Paladin healing, and that combined with the changes to the class mechanics meant that my party wiped on our first attempt at the final boss. I might have to re-evaluate my talent choices for that spec before I try to take it into a dungeon.

As expected, the Retribution Paladin quest went back to the Broken Shore.

I won’t spoil what happens, other than to say that it appears to me that even though I collected the Paladin Artifacts in the order Protection, Holy, Retribution, the canonical order in which the Highlord acquired the Artifacts seems to have been Ashbringer first, then the other two. The Ashbringer questline segues most directly into the post-acquisition-of-first-Artifact event at the Order Hall, and the Highlord going to get the Ashbringer first would give the Battlelord time to be first to Shield’s Rest and the Battlelord and the High Priest time to have their own adventures at Tyr’s Fall before the Highlord gets there.

I do still have to acquire the Underlight Angler before my Artifact collection will be 100% complete, but I’ve got a lot of fishing left to do to get it, and spending my playtime doing nothing but fishing is usually an activity I reserve for when I want to play WoW on Sunday.

Now that I’ve completed this Alt Progression goal, the next two Alt Progression objectives are to complete a zone and get its Pillar of Creation and to level to 103 and complete the chapter of the Order Hall Campaign that opens up at that level. Because they’ve all already done the Falling Star questline, doing these two things will complete unlocking all the tints for the default appearances of the Artifact Weapons.

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During the second half of December, when we were trying to be prepared for the possibility that baby might come early, I hustled to get all my alts through getting their first Artifact weapon.

Now that baby is definitely late*, I’m hustling to get all my alts through getting the rest of their Artifact weapons.

My Warrior was Fury during Mists and Warlords because of Titan’s Grip, and I was comfortable with the spec. Then, on Mr Rossi’s advice, I chose to go Arms first for Legion. Now that I’ve gotten comfortable with Arms, switching back to Fury was an adjustment and I didn’t feel like I quite managed to get the hang of it during the course of the Fury Artifact questline. I felt very squishy.

It was quite surprising when I ended up in the Helmouth Shallows for the Survival Hunter questline, but it wasn’t surprising at all that I had to go there for the Fury Warrior… where else would you go to steal weapons back from Helya?

The Protection questline took me, as expected, back to Shield’s Rest island, to the only unexplored wing of the tomb complex where the Protection Paladin and Beastmaster Hunter had also gone. The text in the Paladin quest said that a Warrior had already been there; when I got there with my Warrior, the runes on the Paladin door were active and glowing. When I got there with my Hunter, the runes on the Paladin door weren’t active. From this, I surmise that the canonical order of the plundering of the Tomb of the Old Kings was Warrior, Paladin, Hunter.

I’ve only played Prot with a Warrior at low levels before, so there was a bit of a learning curve to it, especially figuring out what my active mitigation abilities were and how to use them appropriately. Nonetheless, it was rather fun, and it felt different from the Prot Paladin fight in ways that felt appropriate for being a Warrior. I still think I’ll run Halls of Valor to get the Aegis of Aggramar as Arms DPS, though 😛

Now that Warrior is done, I just have Paladin left. I get the day off tomorrow, so I’ll be burning through those last two** Artifact questlines tomorrow morning***.

* Even if the due date we were originally given had been a week off, he’s half a week overdue by now… the pins-and-needles are intense, and I’ve been bobbing in and out of being a nervous wreck all week.

** Getting the other two Paladin weapons will formally complete the set of serious Class-based Artifacts; I will still need to get the silly Underlight Angler for Kam and a duplicate Artifact (Aluneth) for my Alliance Mage.

*** We’re hoping and praying that our birth-mother will take our facilitator’s advice and go to the doctor to get induced tomorrow, and that we’ll be on our way to pick up baby by tomorrow evening.

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After everyone had collected the Falling Star, it was my Priest’s turn to go get her other Artifacts.

The Holy quest took me once again to Niskara, though it started at the other end of the zone than the Marks Hunter and Blood Death Knight quests did. I haven’t been able to figure out what order these three questlines might have canonically occurred in, because even though they all went to or through the same central area of the zone, I didn’t notice in any of the questlines any obvious evidence of the events of the other two.

After failing the first boss fight of the scenario due to trying to do it without the aid of my addons, I set up Clique for my Holy spec and then it was smooth sailing. I had been worried that I would get errors due to having a Disc spell and a Holy spell on the same clickbind; fortunately, that didn’t seem to be happening.

The most surprising thing to me about the Holy questline was having the Demon Hunter Jace show up (to be the melee DPS for the party; we also rescued a Troll Mage to be the ranged DPS). It did make for some interesting banter between the party members, though!

After Alonsus Faol initially presented to Kaohana the three Artifact weapon choices, she made an agreement with Kazithra that the older woman would be the one to collect the Shadow Artifact.

Grimtotem Shadowtwister

Mantle of the Tribunal, Highborne Padded Armor, Ranger’s Sash, Colorful Kilt, Vonica’s Gauntlets, Staff of the Four Golden Coins/Tarnished Gutgore Ripper + Aboriginal Rod
This outfit for the ex-Grimtotem Shadow Priest Kazithra is inspired by that of the Grimtotem Geomancers, who are wearing the same chestpiece with the leather Mystic Sarong.
The Aboriginal Rod is one of a small selection of off-hand items that look like staves, thus allowing a caster to emulate Gandalf’s sword/dagger + staff combat mode.

The Shadow Priest quest went to Tyr’s Fall, the same place where the Arms Warrior quest went. My best guess is that canonically the Warrior was there first. When the Warrior goes there, the big boss appears to be dead, then wakes up when the Warrior tries to take Strom’kar and has to be beaten down, and is then executed with Strom’kar. And then the body just lies there, and doesn’t despawn or anything. When the Priest goes there, the big boss is not just already dead, it doesn’t even make a peep when the Priest stabs it with Xal’atah to drain its essence — it just dissolves into void and disappears.

I still don’t think that “Tauren” and “Shadow Priest” go together very well.

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Meanwhile, Kamalia got the Achievement for getting the 34th Artifact trait in Sharas’dal on January 2. She completed her Artifact Research and got the corresponding Achievement a day or two later. By concentrating on World Quests that awarded Artifact Power oojimies and completing Emissary caches, she’d gotten the 35th trait in Sharas’dal by January 6th. If I hadn’t put 15 traits each into the Fist of Ra-den and the Doomhammer, I’d have been able to finish Sharas’dal a little bit sooner, but eh, whatever.

With my “main spec” Artifact completed, it was time to figure out how to play Elemental in this expansion. I’m sure I’m not playing the spec “optimally”, as there are cooldowns I know I’m forgetting to use, but as long as all I’m doing with it is World Quests, that doesn’t really matter. With Artifact Research completed, a Champion Mission that brought back an Artifact Power item plus the bonus item zoomed the Fist of Ra-den from 15 to 21 in moments. By now, I’m up to 30 traits in the Fist of Ra-den and feeling like completing that Artifact is an achievable goal, even with the upcoming (hopefully very very soon!) much anticipated dramatic decrease in my time and energy for playing this game.

My play habit of late has been that if I don’t have very much time or energy for the game, I log on with Kamalia, set my world map to just show Artifact Power World Quests, and run around doing as many or as few of those quests as I feel like. After I’ve finished vacuuming up all the available Artifact Power quests (that I feel like doing), then I take another look at what Emissaries are up. If I feel like doing a few more quests to get the big Artifact Power boost from completing an Emissary Cache, I turn back on all the other types of World Quests and choose the ones that are the easiest or most fun.

If I have more time or energy for the game, then I’ll play with the next alt on the list for Artifact acquisition. I only have three left to go — Priest, Warrior, and Paladin — but they are all at less than 30% from 101 to 102, so getting the rest of their Artifacts will probably require at least two play sessions apiece — one for the leveling and one for the Artifact-getting.

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