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farewell, WoW Insider

I, too, am saddened that WoW Insider is having to close up shop. Although I didn’t participate in the WoW Insider community, as a reader, I love what the site does.

Where will I go, now, for my daily dose of The Queue?
Will Anne start writing at her old blog again, so I can still enjoy her dazzling knowledge of lore and especially her Tinfoil Hat theories?
Will Rossi start writing on his personal blog more, and will I be able to get a weekly dose of Dinosaurs Are Awesome there, now, too?
What about the WoW Archivist column? Will there be somewhere else, somewhere new, that takes thematic explorations into how World of Warcraft has developed over its history?
I’ll miss Alex — or is it one of the Adams? — writing occasionally about his “day job” with the Minnesota Opera, because I’m rather fond of the Twin Cities, and it was fun to connect his mentions of his work at the opera with what I’d hear about the opera while listening to Minnesota Public Radio.
I’ll miss the way WoW Insider breaks the news up into easily understandable, easily linkable single-topic posts that help me to figure out the features of a new patch or expansion that I’m most excited about. Wowhead is great and getting better all the time, but it just doesn’t fill the same news-digesting role that WoW Insider does.
I’ll miss their commentary, their editorials and opinions, on the news. When WoW Insider said something, I usually agreed, and I hoped that because they were a big site with an apparently good relationship with Blizzard, that Blizz would actually pay attention.

Plus, I seriously doubt that my “Things my characters are wearing with their Shado-Pan Helmets” would be continuing to be my number one source of hits each week if WoW Insider hadn’t linked it shortly after I originally published it. I am continually grateful to them for that moment in the limelight.

I suppose I’ll have to keep an eye out for whatever comes to pass on February third…

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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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Earlier this evening, JD Kenada & his Missus and I put on our Gaudy Winter Veil Sweaters and went caroling to some old bosses.

First, we burned up the Sunwell with some Alliance characters:

Next, we blew out the Four Winds with some Horde characters:

Thinking about what to do next, as the night was still young, I suggested that we try Dragon Soul for a chance at the Blazing Drake for Awake the Drakes. Everything fell right over until we got to Spine… and then we were the ones falling over! We wiped and wiped and wiped — making incremental progress each time — just like it was current content progression raiding. Eventually, though, we hit the wall of one wipe too many and called it a night. Ah well, maybe some other day.

Thanks for a fun evening, JD!

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The premise of Dragonray’s Draenor Dress-Up is pretty simple:

In honour of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor xpac and the changes we will be going through, I have decided it would be cool to do a comp based on only Burning Crusade gear. Heading back to Outland as we know it now before it (and our future) changes forever is a fair reason to remember all the lovely outfits we had for the very first expansion of this game!

Draenor Expedition Kit

Junior Technician 3rd Grade Goggles, Mantle of Magical Might, Goldweave Tunic, Archmage Belt & Pants, Soulcloth Gloves, Marshfang Boots, Tattered Cape of Antonidas, Staff of Twin Worlds, Lavender Mageweave Shirt

See all the awesome entries here!

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This morning’s Breakfast Topic over at WoW Insider asks:

Have you planned out your Garrison yet?… Will you just pick whatever buildings sound fun, or are you researching your options beforehand?

So far, my Garrison plan has been as follows:
1) Build the Small buildings that correspond to the character’s primary professions, build the Inn for more Followers, build the Barn to get the best crafted gear.
2) Level enough alts to have each Garrison building permanently installed in at least one character’s Garrison.
3) Fun and Profit!

The Priest, Mage, Druid, Monk, Hunter, and Paladin will need the Salvage Yard because I like the creation screen armor for those classes; other characters might build a Salvage Yard primarily for the benefit of their Followers. I’m sure I’ll make some of my Garrison choices for RP reasons — the Warrior (or possibly the Rogue), for example, will be the one to build a Gladiator’s Sanctum, and what Mage would really go without a Mage Tower in her Garrison?

I want to play a hybrid of the Professions game and the Followers game with my Garrisons, so I may build professions buildings first, until I get my character’s professions maxed out and all the special recipes learned & crafted, then tear them down to build the buildings that will buff my Followers.

For my own convenient reference later, the Godmother’s suggested Garrison build posts:
Five “default” builds
Gathering-focused
RTS/Missions & Followers

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Last autumn, Laeleiweyn of World of Lae hosted a series of Alt Appreciation weeks to “celebrate all the classes!” For Monk Week, I designed a set of Transmogrification outfits intended to display a Monk’s devotion to the Way of a particular August Celestial. Because my first Monk’s inventory was already overflowing, I set the Pet-Battling Monk the goal of collecting the necessary items to actually create all of those Transmogrification kits in-game.

Xuen’s Strength


Red Crane Crown (LFR), Mantle of the White Tiger, Polar Vest, Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity, Righteous Leggings, Ghostwalker Gloves, Replica Darkmantle Boots, Inscribed Tiger Staff
Of course I had to use the Mantle of the White Tiger in a set for Xuen. Then the Polar Vest was the only really good choice for the chestpiece — nothing else looks quite right with those shoulders. From there, the outfit could very easily have become all blue. I chose these pants and gloves to keep the overall appearance lighter and more evocative of Xuen’s coloration.

Chi-Ji’s Hope


Moonkin Headdress, Barbaric Shoulders, Plainshawk Vest, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Cabalist Leggings, Fingers of the Loneliest Monk, Mosshide Boots/Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes, Inscribed Crane Staff
Cranes are celebrated for the elegance of their long legs, whether standing or in flight. This outfit celebrates the elegance of a Monk’s legs during a Spinning Crane Kick by leaving them beautifully bare. If you don’t have invisiboots, the tall black Prospector’s Boots are the next best option.

Yu’lon’s Wisdom


Serpentskin Helm, Contender’s Leather Shoulders, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Ferine Leggings, Jangdor’s Handcrafted Gloves, Swampwalker Boots, Liuyang’s Lovely Longstaff
These brilliantly-colored leather leggings are a common sight on low-level Rogues, Druids, and Monks because they drop from a dungeon and have great stats. Making a decent Transmogrification kit with them, however, requires much higher character levels. The matching boots can be worn at low levels, but are a rare drop. There are no matching gloves. The reddish tones in these crafted shoulders harmonize perfectly with the reddish tones of the leather straps on the pants.
The Inscribed Serpent Staff would also be a good weapon to use with this set.

Niuzao’s Fortitude


Netherstorm Eyepatch, Riplash Pauldrons, Wicked Leather Armor & Gauntlets, Supreme Sash, Bandit Pants, Coal Miner Boots, Beakless Polearm
I wanted to use only Pandarian staves and each of the four Monk class quest reward belts in this Transmogrification project, but the Niuzao outfit didn’t cooperate very well. None of the staves from Pandaria seemed quite right for the Black Ox, whereas Abracadaver from ICC was perfect. I ended up using the Beakless Polearm instead, though, because I didn’t feel like farming ICC and this polearm not only looks awesomely badass, it also matches the one carried by my favorite Shado-Pan companion, Chao the Voice. Once I’d chosen a weapon, none of the Monk class quest belts looked as good with the overall design of the kit as this old-world green belt.
This would be a great Biker kit to use with a choppa!

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Looks like we have An Agenda for the next several months:

Malygos and Deathwing (and I guess Ony and Sarth, too, though they’re pretty easy to solo these days) with side-trips to Firelands to beat up Fandral Smellyfeet to see if he’s ready to give Momo her staff yet.

Personally, I’m still missing the Azure, Onyxian, and Blazing Drakes. Thankfully, the Sandstone Drake has been replaced with the Purple Netherwing Drake, so I don’t have to grind Archaeology with one of my Alchemists, after all — phew!

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