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Archive for the ‘Artifact’ Category

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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Shaman, Restoration 31 August 2016

Demon Hunter, Havoc 9 September 2016

Shaman, Elemental 23 September 2016

Shaman, Enhancement 23 September 2016

Mage, Fire 8 October 2016

Mage, Arcane 15 October 2016

Mage, Frost 22 October 2016

Priest, Discipline 28 October 2016

Rogue, Outlaw 29 October 2016

Warlock, Destruction 12 November 2016

Monk, Brewmaster 23 November 2016

Death Knight, Frost 26 November 2016

Hunter, Survival 26 November 2016

Warrior, Arms 30 November 2016

Paladin, Protection 1 December 2016

Druid, Balance 2 December 2016

Hunter, Marksmanship 10 December 2016

It didn’t seem quite right to claim Thas’dorah as a Tauren; that bow rightfully belongs to the children of the Sunwell. So I used the Orb of the Sin’dorei before I picked it up. I guess my camera angle was bad right at the moment when I clicked on Thas’dorah, because this is the best screenshot I got of the triumphal moment.

Hunter, Beast Mastery 10 December 2016

Demon Hunter, Vengeance 10 December 2016

Monk, Windwalker 23 December 2016

Monk, Mistweaver 23 December 2016

Death Knight, Blood 29 December 2016

Death Knight, Unholy 29 December 2016

Rogue, Subtlety 30 December 2016

Rogue, Assassination 30 December 2016

Warlock, Affliction 6 January 2017

Warlock, Demonology 6 January 2017

Druid, Guardian 11 January 2017

Druid, Feral 11 January 2017

Druid, Restoration 11 January 2017

I didn’t get a very good screenshot of picking up G’Hanir because the camera swung around to be under the surface of the nearby pond… but I was feeling to lazy to do the whole scenario over again just to get a better screenshot of the triumphal moment.

Priest, Holy 14 January 2017

Priest, Shadow 14 January 2017

Warrior, Fury 15 January 2017

Warrior, Protection 15 January 2017

Paladin, Holy 16 January 2017

Paladin, Retribution 16 January 2017

~*~*~

The Artifact questlines that packed the most emotional punch (for me) were the Ashbringer, the Doomhammer, and Fu Zan.

Three Artifacts are found on Niskara: Holy Priest, Marksmanship Hunter, and Blood Death Knight. I wasn’t able to determine the “canonical” order in which these events occur.

Three Artifacts are found at Tyr’s Fall in Tirisfal Glades. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin.

Three Artifacts are found in the Tomb of Old Kings on Shield’s Rest island in Stormheim. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Protection Warrior, Protection Paladin, Beastmaster Hunter.

Three Artifacts are found in the Karazhan Catacombs. Because all three questlines end with killing the same boss, I’m not sure which order they would canonically go in, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say Balance Druid, Unholy Death Knight, Affliction Warlock.

Two Artifacts are recovered from Felsoul Hold in Suramar. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Havoc Demon Hunter or the Demonology Warlock.

Two Artifacts are recovered from Icecrown Citadel. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Frost Death Knight or the Fire Mage.

Two Artifacts are retrieved from the Nexus. I’m not sure which event happened first, the Arcane Mage or the Discipline Priest.

Two Artifacts are retrieved from the Broken Shore. To the best of my understanding the canonical order of events is as follows: Retribution Paladin, Vengeance Demon Hunter.

Two Artifacts are found in the Helmouth Shallows of Stormheim. These two events, Survival Hunter and Fury Warrior, seem to be quite independent of each other and might have occurred in either order.

The locations for the Frost Mage (a Legion place that wasn’t Niskara), Destruction Warlock, and Beast Master Hunter were unique, but the other questlines for those classes went to shared locations.

The Druid Artifact quests go to one shared location (for Balance) and to three places that no other class goes: Grizzly Hills, the Shattered Locus, and Nordrassil.

Only Shamans go to Vashj’ir, the Temple of the White Tiger, or Deepholm.

Only Monks go to the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Vortex Pinnacle, or the Terrace of Endless Spring.

Only Rogues go to the Temple of a Thousand Lights, Legion Citadel (it’s not on Niskara), and Stormwind.

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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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Baby still isn’t here yet — babies sometimes come late, and due dates are approximate and sometimes miscalculated — so it was the Druid’s turn to collect Light’s Heart, level up to 102 (by doing the first third of Val’sharah, in her case), and get the rest of her Artifact weapons.

I bumbled my way through the Guardian questline as a Bear. I took Resto Affinity in my Bear talents, but the added heals that gave me also popped me out of Bear form, and I didn’t have my caster form action bar set up very effectively. Still, I only died once, in the penultimate fight of the scenario.

I was in Bear form when I picked up the Artifact, so instead of seeing the heroic pose, I just saw my Bear form change from the regular version to the Artifact version.

I’ve done some Kitty-ing before, so I was a bit more comfortable doing the Feral questline as a Cat than I had been doing the Guardian questline as a Bear. I also took Resto Affinity in my Feral talents, but when I encountered the same issue of some of the added heals popping me out of Cat form, I was better able to re-organize my action bars on the fly. Kitty is fun! I have Feral Affinity in my Boomkin spec (the better to sneak around, my dears!), though, so I think I’ll wait until I can get the adorable owlkitty Hidden appearance for the Fangs of Ashamane before I do much more actual Feral Kitty-ing in Legion.

I was kind of surprised at where the final stage of this Artifact questline took me — it was not at all what I would have expected — but a nice taste/forshadowing of future perils! Again, I chose to pick up the Artifact while I was in Cat form, so I just saw the Cat form change from the regular version to the Artifact version.

Finally, I did the Restoration questline, taking Balance Affinity in my Resto talents. I failed the first stage of the questline the first time I tried it, but then I figured out that I really just needed to continually keep a HOT running on myself, apply all my HOTs before shifting into Boomkin to beat stuff up, and then shift back out of Boomkin and hit Wild Growth as soon as I was done beating stuff up to keep the Nightmare at bay.
In the final scenario, I didn’t do very well at keeping my party of fellow Druids — Guardian Hamuul, Feral Zen’tabra, and Balance Celestine, plus the former keeper of G’Hanir — completely topped off all the time, but I didn’t let anyone die, either.

I didn’t get a very good screenshot of picking up G’Hanir because the camera angle swung around crazily to be under the surface of the water — but I was feeling too lazy to do the whole scenario over again just to get a better screenshot of the triumphal moment.

I wondered if what had happened at Nordrassil during the G’Hanir questline — a gut punch almost as sickening as the destruction of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms — would be visible to everyone else in the world, the way the Peak of Serenity is changed for characters at or above level 101 due to the events of the Monk Order Hall establishment. So I took Kamalia to Nordrassil; it looked pretty much the same as always. Then I took Kerisa back to Nordrassil via the portal in Orgrimmar. It looked like it did in Cataclysm. Next, I tried going into the Dreamway and coming into Nordrassil through the Dreamway portal. For a moment, I was standing on the shore of the lake… and then I got pushed back out into the Dreamway. That gateway seems to be closed… for now. Perhaps a later chapter of the Druid Order Hall Campaign will reopen it and restore the place? In the meantime, nobody but the Resto Druids knows what happened there.

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