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As I mentioned in my previous post, Kamalia recently reached the point with her Leatherworking where she needs to buy the Rank 1 Dreadleather and Gravenscale patterns. These patterns are purchased with crafting mats, and some of the patterns cost enchanting dust or ore in addition to leather or scales. I suppose that I could just trade Blood of Sargeras for those things… but I’d rather use it as an excuse to bring my Enchanting alt and one of my Mining alts to the Broken Isles.

Kaohana’s bags were getting stuffed with Broken Isles greens that Kamalia had sent her, so she was needing to come to New Dalaran for profession training very soon anyway.

I’d read that the Discipline Priest Artifact questline was substantially similar to the Arcane Mage one, and I saw a Priest or two running around in the same areas when I was doing the Aluneth questline with Kaelinda. I’d thought, oh, well, maybe they just take place in the same area, but the quest givers and directions and motivations are different. Alas, no; the Light’s Wrath questline was, indeed, almost identical, with the only differences being based on the identity of the uncontrollable staff and its powers. I must confess that with Light’s Wrath being a Scarlet Crusade-created item, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have to Discipline my way through any of the Scarlet Crusade strongholds — like, say, Tyr’s Hand — to get it.

I’d also read that the Priest Order Hall is… underwhelming compared to some of the other class halls. I was trying not to be pre-biased by opinions from other players, but, yeah, Netherlight Temple does seem rather… plain… and… small… compared to, say, the Hall of the Guardian. It is much more sparsely decorated than the others, which is okay, I guess, for the austere aesthetic of many priestly orders, and it seems to have fewer notable NPCs — all of which make it seem like there will be less opportunities to be delighted by suddently noticing a detail that I’d overlooked before.

Of my Miners, I decided to bring my Rogue. Partly I chose her to follow my plan of bringing my alts to their Order Halls in inverse order of my longer-term interest in playing them. Partly I chose her because Stealth is a definite plus when one is a lowbie who just wants to run around mining. And partly I chose her because even though she is nominally my Gnomish Engineer, I haven’t really put a lot of effort into that crafting profession. She is, therefore, the least likely of my Miners to begrudge having to share the ore she collects with someone else.

Now the question is — how does Kelisanna resist getting corrupted by these blades in the same way that Dread Admiral Eliza was?

I’m also thinking that although I don’t plan to spend any time playing as Assassination, I might go get the Kingslayers when Kelisanna reaches level 102 just to see the little story about Garona.

Not having spent any time or effort on farming Ravenholdt rep with my Rogue, I am not particularly attached to the idea of Rogues Belong At Ravenholdt. In fact, I rather like the Hall of Shadows. It feels akin to the Thieves and Assassins’ Guilds of Ankh-Morpork.

Kamalia went to Azsuna first because I’d read that that was where all the early Profession quests were going to send you anyway.
Kiralaira went to Azsuna first because she wanted to check up on her Illidari.
Kaelinda went to Azsuna first because of her interest in ancient elvish language and magic.

Kaohana went to Stormheim first because of her fascination with the Val’kyr.
Kelisanna went to Stormheim first because as a Farstrider, she is my character with the greatest loyalty toward Sylvanas Windrunner.

I like most of Stormheim, with the vrykul and storm dragons and the Titan vaults and the grappling gun and whatnot, quite a lot. But, ugh, I dislike the opening sequence, with that ugly battle between the Forsaken and the Worgen, and the RAS and their chemical weapons — and I dislike even more being railroaded through it. I don’t like being Sylvanas’ toady any more than I liked being Garrosh’s toady. I won’t level my lowbies in the Forsaken zones; I won’t do the Forsaken questlines in Howling Fjord and the Dragonblight. So I did an experiment. I took my Demon Hunter, who had only been to Azsuna, and rode on her land mount all the way around the continent until I got to Stormheim. As I came down into Stormheim from Highmountain, I found a group of Kirin Tor mages… and they wanted to send me right back to Dalaran to talk to Nathanos Blightcaller. Blast! I’d been hoping that there was some way to skip that part of the zone, and just start at meeting with Havi at his hut in the Valley of Swords. *sigh*

Maybe what I’ll do is always select Stormheim first and push through the scenario and follow-up quests until I get the quest to meet with Havi — get all that nasty stuff out of the way ASAP, treating it, in RP terms, as purely a game mechanic and not something that anyone except Kelisanna actually participated in — and then go to the first zone that I actually want to do extensive questing in.

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Kamalia is at Artifact Knowledge 10, with 23 traits in Sharas’dal and 15 traits each in the Fist of Ra-den and the Doomhammer. She has relics for all three slots of all of her Artifacts. I just got to the point with her Leatherworking where I need my Enchanting alt and one of my Mining alts to come out to the Broken Isles and start working on their professions to get the stuff that Kam will need to buy the rank 1 Dreadleather and Gravenscale patterns. She’s not quite to Revered with the Valarjar or the Wardens yet, and I’d like to get her to Exalted with Highmountain. There’s a dungeon loot piece of shoulder armor that I’d like to use for Transmogrification that I haven’t seen drop yet, so I should try to run a daily Heroic with her until I get it. And then I think I’ll be pretty much “done” with Kamalia — for RP personality reasons, I’ve decided to pursue the Suramar storyline with my Mage and the Xe’ra/History of Illidan questline with my Demon Hunter — and I’m starting to feel ready to be “done” with Kamalia so that I can start playing with my alts more.

After having seen all of the Shaman campaign and the opening scenes of the Mage and Demon Hunter campaigns, I’ve decided that my primary, overarching goal for Legion is to complete all of the Class Order Hall campaigns.

Before Legion launched, I had a plan for how I was going to manage my alts. I was going to bring them all out to the Broken Isles, get their first Artifact weapon, and establish their Order Halls, one by one, starting with the alts that I have the least overall interest in playing and ending with the alts that I thought I’d want to do a lot of Legion stuff with. After that, I would play with whichever character I felt the most like playing with in the moment.

Then in the early days of Legion, I read posts by folks who’d hurried to get all their alts through those initial stages and were feeling totally overwhelmed by all the lore of the Artifact storylines, too overwhelmed to process it all. I decided that maybe I’d better not try to rush all my alts to the Broken Isles, but rather space them out and let myself have time to savor each character’s unique stories.

A little later, it became apparent that just getting to the Broken Isles, getting that first Artifact weapon, and getting into the Order Hall wasn’t really going to be enough for me to feel like I could just let a character idle in her Order Hall — I would want to get each character to level 101 to get the first pair of Champions and open up the Order Hall missions. Gnomecore calls this “The Pawn Move”. I took my Demon Hunter out to the Broken Isles first of all my alts, and having her sitting in the Fel Hammer at level 100 felt… pointless. My Mage was already level 101 by the time I took her to the Broken Isles, and being able to do that Order Hall stuff immediately was more fun. I have a couple of other alts who have been doing old dailies and will probably reach 101 before I get them to the Broken Isles… but do I want to try to do that with all my alts? (Corollary question — are there any past expansion reps that I might want to work on with any of my alts?)

Now my Mage is level 103 and has the quest for the next stage of her Order Hall campaign. Steadily moving my alts through two levels at a time, to get to the next piece of their Order Hall campaign would be following Gnomecore’s Chessboard strategy.

What I’m trying to decide now is — do I want to do that? Or do I want to focus on one character at a time and try to do everything I want to do in Legion with that character before moving on to the next one?

If I’m only playing one character at a time, though, has Legion effectively broken my altoholism?

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Kaelinda dinged 102 last weekend — again from Fishing dailies — so when she returned to the Hall of the Guardian, Meryl sent her off to get the Arcane and Frost Artifacts.

I got the Arcane Artifact right away.

Going into the Nexus to get it made me wish I’d done the Dragonwrath quest chain. Maybe I will do it with Kaelinda, at some point, so that after Legion is over, Aluneth and Tarecgosa can argue with each other in her closet at night.

Then I got busy working on the Quel’Delar story and didn’t go get the Frost Artifact until today.

I find it interesting the way the surroundings of the Frost and Arcane Artifacts are reversals of each other. To get the Arcane Artifact, one goes into the frozen halls of the Nexus; to get the Frost Artifact, one needs to deal with various arcane wardings.

I like both the base and upgraded appearances of Felo’melorn and Aluneth. Ebonchill, not so much — though I like the upgraded appearance (and the red tints) a little better. My top two choices to mog over it are the Ethereum Life-Staff, which I already had, and the Apostle of Argus, which I didn’t. Luckily, it only took me two attempts at Hyjal Summit to acquire it. It’s not that Hyjal is hard, of course, just that the trash in the Horde encampment is so spread out that it’s really annoying to solo.

Meanwhile, Kamalia finally completed “Nightfallen but Not Forgotten”. Oculeth is my favorite of the Shal’dorei whom I’ve met so far. Kamalia also reached Revered with the Nightfallen and the Dreamweavers. That puts her at 4/6 for Broken Isles Diplomat. She just has the Valarjar and the Wardens left. I had been choosing the Nightfallen whenever Kirin Tor was the faction-of-the-day; now I’ll be choosing the Wardens — at least until I’m Revered with them, then I’ll probably go back to choosing the Nightfallen.

At this point, though, I’m debating whether or not to continue doing the Nightfallen storyline with Kamalia. I’m a lot more interested in following that complete storyline with Kaelinda. Kaelinda is more personally interested in the Highborne and their magic, and she actually wants her Order Hall shoulders for their appearance — unlike Kamalia, for whom her Order Hall shoulders would certainly be a stats upgrade, but she doesn’t particularly care for their appearance.

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I finally managed to find some time to put together some new profile pictures and update my Characters page to add my Demon Hunter. I made a new blog header banner, too, featuring all of the characters I currently log in with, think about, or blog about at least semi-regularly.

I’ve dressed them in their new character selection screen/Garrison Salvage Yard class sets and arranged them in the order of the expansion in which they could have first been created.

I’ve shown the Underpowered Death Knight in the crafted Heavy Mithril set that is her base gear set — that is, the lowest quality gear set that would still be Moggable. I suppose now that Warriors and Paladins start out in Plate and all those quest rewards that used to be Str Mail have now been converted to Plate, I could get the Underpowered Death Knight an even more tissue-paper-thin set of gear… but I don’t think it’s really worth the effort to do so. At level 100, the difference between level 40 gear and level 10 gear is insignificant.

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You know something I’m loving about Legion? That lots of the people whose commentary on WoW I like to read are just “lollygagging along” (as Amateur Azerothian puts it), taking their time, exploring and enjoying the world that the devs have created for us, and having immense amounts of fun doing it. Even the folks on my blogroll who are already level 110 didn’t just blitz to it. Perhaps we’re finally taking the advice of the Pandaren to heart.

Kamalia is now level 107 and BTH is 108. We duoed Darkheart Thicket last night. The trash seemed harder than the bosses, but I think that was again because there were only two of us. We wiped once on the trash because we overpulled. Some more people would have helped with the loads of interrupts and generally burning things down faster. The bosses, though… even though our Tank-n-Healer DPS was really slow, the evidence of two dungeons suggests that this expansion seems to just loooove ground effects, and keeping two people out of them was a lot easier than keeping five would have been. I was starting to get down to the bottom of my mana pool by the end of the boss fights, though.

I took some time to do the quest series in my Order Hall campaign that I’d been putting off and was rewarded with the achievement for completing the first chapter. That quest chain took me back to another beautiful Cataclysm location, the Vortex Pinnacle. I’m looking forward to finding out where the next stage of the Order Hall campagin will take me, once I’ve finished up the Follower missions that were spawned by completing the last stage.

I’m not feeling any great rush to get Kamalia to level 110 — though I’m hearing wonderful things about Suramar and World Quests — because I want to especially take my time questing through and thoroughly exploring Highmountain.

I’m getting keen to start leveling some alts and seeing their Artifact and Order Hall stories, though. It feels a little silly to admit this, but part of my desire to level alts comes from seeing all the rest of my characters flagged with “Requires at least one Champion” when I log into the Legion Companion app on my phone.

The Demon Hunter should get to Exalted with the Shado-Pan tomorrow. Then she’ll be ready to head out to the Broken Isles and beat up some demons with Marius and Tehd (those dudes, by the way, are hilarious).

The Mages, meanwhile, are bogged down in legacy content.

The Alliance Mage has been camping Heroic Trial of the Champion in Icecrown for the past couple of weeks, trying to get the Peacekeeper Blade for a couple of Mog ideas. I want to do at least one of those Mog ideas with a Horde character, so unfortunately just grabbing the Gnomeregan Bonechopper with spare Champion’s Seals won’t do the trick — I did that first, and my Horde characters who use 1H swords can’t even see it in their Appearances collection. My Horde characters can see the Peacekeeper Blade when they filter for uncollected appearances, but I’m unclear on whether they’d be able to loot the item from the dungeon — if I’m remembering correctly, only Alliance characters could obtain it when the dungeon was first released. Anyhow, if the darn thing would drop for her, then the Alliance Mage could go to New Dalaran, too.

The Horde Mage decided in the last few weeks of Warlords that she needs a Jeweled Fishing Pole before she goes to the Broken Isles. I don’t know what she’ll do with it, other than look fancy when she does the Darkmoon Faire fishing quest each month, but she insisted that she was tired of saying “I’ll come back for that later”. That thing has a low, low drop rate, however, so even though she’s been doing the Old Dalaran and Thunder Bluff fishing dailies as often as I rememeber to do them, she hasn’t yet gotten it. So it might be awhile before she goes to New Dalaran.

I’d been thinking that I’d take my one-spec characters to the Broken Isles before any of my multi-spec characters, but when the Horde Mage got a Bone Fishing Pole and didn’t want it, the Death Knight suddenly decided that she wanted one. So now she’s hanging out in Thunder Bluff (not having a super spiffy personal teleport-to-any-continent-in-the-world ability, she’s not bothering with the Old Dalaran fishing dailies) and is likely to be there for quite some time before she achieves her objective.

So who will be my third character out to the Broken Isles, after Kam and the Demon Hunter? The Rogue and the Warlock are the other characters on the one-spec list, but it’ll probably end up being the Druid. Watching BTH bop around in the Druid Order Hall is making me want to go do Druid stuff myself.

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BTH and I are level 105 now. We’ve recovered the Pillars from Azsuna and Val’sharah. We haven’t completed all the quests or explored the entire map in either zone, however, so we’ll have to either do that tonight before we move on to Stormheim (or Highmountain) or come back later so that we can get Pathfinder.

The stories and the artwork in this expansion continue to awe me. Questing in a group when phasing is involved, however, seems to be as almost buggy as it has been ever since phasing was first introduced in Wrath. When there is a quest to rescue someone, the first person to click on the NPC gets to see their speech bubble or hear their audio. The other person doesn’t. I missed the entire grand finale fight of Val’sharah last night because I was too many seconds behind BTH in accepting the quest and getting onto the taxi; when I reached the fight area, I kept getting a “cannot zone in while an encounter is in progress” error message. Fortunately, I did get quest complete and see the cinematic when BTH finished the fight — and I’ll get to do the fight itself again (and again and again and again) when I go through the zone with alts.

BTH has collected the Feral and Balance Artifacts and has decided to level the rest of the way to 110 as Boomkin. I haven’t gotten my other two Artifacts yet, and I’ve not gotten very far with my Order Hall campaign, either. The problem is that those are solo play things, and I would rather play together. Working from home, BTH can do those solo play things while his work computer is crunching a code compilation or a data migration or suchlike.

I’ve only been doing the Order Hall Missions that reward Artifact Power gubbins. I guess I should start doing the ones that reward Follower XP, too, given that Gnomecore is reporting being held up in his Order Hall Campaign by his Followers not being high enough level to complete a required mission. Now that the Legion Companion app is live, though, at least I can keep up with Order Hall Missions while I’m at school!

I’m beginning to have a like-dislike relationship with my Order Hall. The Maelstrom is a thematically apropriate place for Shaman, and at first I thought it was pretty cool, and I like all the little details and NPCs and so forth… and yet the more time I spend there, the more I think that open cave must be damp and chilly and slippery from the ceaseless wind and sea spray, and I feel like all those NPCs who have to live there must be miserable. Then again, I always felt sorry for all my Frostwall Garrison staff standing around freezing their fingers and tails off in open buildings, too. Maybe I will like the Order Halls of some of the other Classes better?

Furthermore, I am struggling with the cognitive dissonance Syp has mentioned on a couple of occasions — how can I be the Chosen One, the Big Damn Hero, the Hero Of Ages, when there are all these other people around who have the same gear and are doing the same things? I felt more special when I was alone in my Garrison.

And how can I be the leader of my Class Order when my Big Name Lore Figure advisors are the ones who actually know everything? They are the ones who decide where other members of my class need to go take action, and like those lesser NPCs, I just go where they tell me to go and do what they tell me to do. It’s one of those curious roleplaying situations where the character can be assumed to know more about their situation and abilities than the player does… but it’s just making me feel like a puppet figurehead.

*sigh* This all sounds so discontented and unhappy with the expansion, when I am enjoying playing it, and I’m definitely looking forward to the zones I haven’t played, the unfurling of World Quests at level 110, the evolution of my Order Hall story — and doing it all again with alts! My Demon Hunter will need to play through certain parts of Azsuna at the minimum; my Druid will need to do Val’sharah as a matter of priority.

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A day or two after the new Wardrobe system was released, Kaelinda got a message from one of her Mage friends, a Troll named Kikimaia who was living in Orgrimmar:

Hey Miz Kae, I thought you should know dat I been seein’ some strange folks standin’ around in Orgrimmar. Dey’re wearin’ placards and givin’ out pamphlets. Dis makes me uneasy, mon, becoz de last time I saw strange folks wit placards, it was right before de Cataclysm. What’s more worrisome is dat dese “Doomsayers” seem ta be inspirin’ some kinda suicide cult. I’m no Soothsayer, but I tink dere be dark days ahead.

The Demon Invasions may yet be a few weeks off, but the pre-expansion Event has already begun!

Apparently the Doomsayers hand out twelve different types of pamphlets and there’s a Feat of Strength for getting them all — hence the craziness. I’d like to get the Feat of Strength, but I don’t need it RIGHT NAO!!! I think I’ll just send an alt to camp out by one of the Doomsayers and log in at the beginning and end of each play session to pick up a pamphlet. I’m sure that if I’m patient and don’t forget about it, I’ll manage to collect all 12 pamphlets by the time the Legion comes.

When Kaelinda told the rest of the guild about the message, the Underpowered Death Knight volunteered to keep an eye on the Doomsayers. She is, after all, very good at being Patient…

Previously: the Underpowered Death Knight in Patch 7.0

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