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On March 9, 2010, I made my first post as a WoW blogger.

Wrath of the Lich King was winding down and Cataclysm was on the horizon; that first post mentions plans I was making in anticipation of the coming changes of Cataclysm.

I had a few long-term WoW goals back then, and, over the past decade, I’ve accomplished them. I raided (in LFR) with a healer of every healing class during Mists. I got a Horde character of each of the existing classes to the level cap in Mists, Warlords, and Legion. I pushed an Alliance character to the level cap at the end of Cataclysm so that I could play the Alliance side of the pre-Mists events at Theramore; that character continues to be the only Alliance character that I actively play.

The introduction of LFR and Transmogrification in late Cataclysm revolutionized my WoW game. The upgrade of Transmogrification with the Appearances collections in late Warlords changed it further. The “Things my [Class] Wears” and “Sunday on the Promenade” series of posts have become this blog’s core content.

Once upon a time, I thought that when this big milestone occasion arrived, I’d put together something elaborate and special. Real Life has gotten in the way of that, however.

I landed my dream job; BTH and I bought a house and adopted two children. My blogiversary is now greatly overshadowed by its proximity to my older child’s birthday. The past couple of academic years have been rather rough and I’m running on the edge of burnout in my job — and that general exhaustion has propagated a feeling of being on the edge of burnout in keeping up with the “Sunday on the Promenade” series here on the blog, as well. So this small post of simple acknowledgement will have to do.

Here’s to TEN YEARS!

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Way back in 2011, Millya of Manalicious* was doing 5-minute sketch portraits (batch 1, batch 2) for her friends, and I requested a portrait of Kaelinda**, thinking that I might use it for digital coloring practice…

Eight and a half years later, I’ve finally gotten around to doing that.

drawing by Stacey Landry; colors by me

~*~*~

* I miss Manalicious and still regret that I didn’t ever commission a watercolor portrait of one of my characters, even though I wouldn’t actually be going to BlizzCon…

** because I’d already gotten a Millya portrait of Kamalia, which has been my Gravatar ever since

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Over at Blizzard Watch yesterday, Matt Rossi made an argument, one more time, that the Alliance should have High Elves as an Allied Race. It’s a popular idea, and for good reasons.

If the Alliance were to get High Elves as an Allied Race, the counterpart Allied Race for the Horde should be the Taunka.

Like the High Elves already being a long-time Allied Race of the Alliance, the Taunka are already an Allied Race of the Horde and have been ever since Wrath of the Lich King. We already have four types of playable Elves (and a few more types of non-playable elves) and three types of Human (four if you include the Forsaken), so a third type of Tauren shouldn’t be a problem, either. Mr Rossi discusses a compelling story hook for why High Elves could be involved in the concluding sequence of this expansion. The Taunka don’t have a story hook into this expansion, but if 9.0 is a Death-themed excursion to the Shadowlands, the Taunka, who live around the edges of the Lich King’s domain in the physical world, would have a vested interest in the thread of the 9.0 plot involving the schemes of Bolvar-the-Lich-King. And hey, both High Elves and Taunka would be Allied Races that could be allowed to be Death Knights!

If we were ever to get High Elves and Taunka as Allied Races, though, there really ought to be a new model for Taunka women, giving them the same facial structure as Taunka men, instead of leaving them as differently-scaled regular Tauren women like they are now. Just sayin’…

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I got to Honored with Mechagon today. I got the jetpack blueprint yesterday — no more wasting half an hour camping for Rustfeather! Finding three rares to kill for today’s Mechagon WQ was much easier with the jetpack to zip about!

Mechagon wants to be fun. It is trying so hard to be fun. Sometimes I even catch myself geniuinely having fun while I’m running around there.

But it suffers from what Kaylriene calls “the Curse of the x.2 Patch”

In Coffee Cakes & Crits’ guild, they’ve “swap[ped] exalted with exhausted” when referring to maxing out reputation with a faction — especially the 8.2 factions.

In a recent edition of The Queue, Blizzard Watch columnist Liz Harper writes, “I’m tired too, though at this point I think I’d be tired if we were dealing with daily quests or with world quests. Sure, world quests have more variety and rotate more often, but they’re very much the same idea as a rotating set of daily quests. They’re a chore that you must do every day, and they feel like a chore, too…. Whether it’s daily quests or world quests, whenever I log on now I feel like I have to do dozens of quests in order to progress in the game. And then the same again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s not a game at this point: it’s a chore.”

There are days when I log in, look at what there is to be done in Mechagon, and just feel so immediately tired that I log right back off. That happened in Nazjatar, too.

It’s not all the game’s fault, though — it is now T minus two weeks to the start of Fall Semester, so although I have made rather good progress with my course prep so far this summer, I’m starting to get into I AM NOT PREPARED! anxiety mode. Getting ready for the first day & exam unit of my classes and making progress toward flying are competing for my mental bandwidth, and there are days when I really and truly just want to work.

So for now, I’m hoping that I’ll manage to reach Revered with Mechagon before Patch 8.2.5 drops.

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Crown of Good Fortune, Deep Earth Shoulderwraps (N), Expensive Tunic, Darkwood Sentinel’s Cinch, Shado-Pan Reliquary Kilt (LFR), Twisted Wraithtalon Gloves, Hot Spring Sandals, Springrain Staff

I don’t know what you do and don’t have in your Wardrobe, Alunaria dear — I don’t have half of these items myself — but perhaps this will give you someplace to start?

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Netherstorm Eyepatch, Pozzik’s Vest, Coarse Leather Waistguard, Bluegill Breeches*, Nimble Leather Gloves, Prospector’s Boots, Thunderstrike

Alunaria is so sweet! She gave everyone who participated in her “Happy Thoughts” project over the holidays a Cap’n Crackers!
In consequence of this unexpected and generous gift, Kerithian is my first Alliance character to break level 110. She did some of the Druid Order Hall Campaign and some questing in Val’sharah to get to level 111 so that she could wear the Kul Tiras belt that I wanted to use for this outfit.

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The latest challenge from Z & Cinder is a list of questions to answer out-of-character if you’re comfortable enough to talk about your real life, or in-character if you’d rather not talk about your real life. It’s a long-ish list (26 questions), so they’ve said that you don’t have to answer them all if you don’t feel so inclined — so I’m going to cherry-pick the ones that have easy answers 😉

1. How do you drink your tea?
I’m a Latter-day Saint. I don’t drink tea.
Well, I don’t drink black tea or green tea. Herbal teas, though, I like when I’m not feeling well in the winter. I drink more hot cocoa than herbal tea, though; from about October to March, I go through great volumes of hot cocoa. I make my own hot cocoa mix using a recipe developed by my mother.
I tend to drink hot cocoa and herbal tea tepid — not much warmer than room temperature — because I set the mug on a corner of my desk where I won’t accidentally knock it over and then get absorbed in work (or blogging) and forget about it for awhile. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually prefer my cocoa tepid because I can taste the chocolate flavors better that way. When it’s hot, I mostly just taste the sugar.

3. Favorite season
Spring or autumn, especially those lovely few weeks on the cusp each way when I can regulate the temperature of my house without needing either the furnace or the air conditioner simply by opening and closing the windows. I love all kinds of spring flowers — crocuses, daffodils, tulips, lilacs, irises — but I am also rather fond of my roses and California poppies that bloom and bloom and bloom all summer long.

5. Dogs or cats?

7. How many kids do you want?
I used to say “no less than four, no more than six, in other words, five” — but now that I’ve spent the first ten years of my marriage wrestling with infertility, I’ll be happy just to get to three by adoption.

12. What is your family ancestry?
English, Scots, Swedish, and Norwegian

13. What scares you?
Student evaluations. I always put off reading them for as long as I possibly can on the excuse that I can’t ever afford to lose a day of productivity to being in a state of emotional turbulence over the negative things my students have said about me.

14. What are you most grateful for?
My family. I have awesome parents. I have good relationships with my siblings. I have a wonderful husband and a darling child.

15. Dream job?
I’ve got it! I teach at a small two-year college where teaching is my only responsibility — no expectation whatsoever that I will do research. It is exactly the kind of job that I imagined and told my mentors and peers was my career goal to get myself through the long difficult years of graduate school.

16. Do you believe in aliens?
There’s a bit in one of the Narnia books where Aslan tells Lucy that there are many people’s stories in the world, but he can only tell her about her own. There’s a bit in Latter-day Saint scripture where God tells Moses, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose… But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”

17. Favorite sport?
Quidditch? Nah… even if I were a Wizard instead of a Muggle, I’d probably not pay any more attention to Quidditch than I do to Muggle sports.

20. If you could be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
I am a teacher, and I teach CHEMISTRY!

24. What superpower would you choose?
teleportation and telekinesis

25. Favorite animal?
I am quite fond of horses, but realistically, I will never be a “horse person”.
I adore guinea pigs, and I look forward to when my son will be old enough that we can get guinea pigs “for the kid(s)” as an excuse to get them for me.

26. Biggest accomplishment?
Getting my PhD, I guess. I still marvel sometimes that I didn’t get kicked out of my program for being an underperforming student and that my thesis committee let me get away with a doctorate even though my research project only produced one paper that wasn’t published until some months after I finished my dissertation.

27. Do you dare to show a real-life picture of yourself?
I suppose I dare. This is cropped from a picture of BTH and myself taken a few years ago — that’s his shoulder in the bottom left corner — and is rather more glamorous than I usually look.

~*~*~

As long as I’m answering survey questions about myself IRL, I ought to answer these questions that Alunaria gave me for the latest round of the Liebsters couple months ago…

1. Which World of Warcraft quote is your favorite?
I like to use this on my students after an especially bad exam:

2. If you could bring back one NPC in World of Warcraft, which one would it be, and why?
I can’t think of anyone in particular that I’d like to bring back from the dead. I guess I’d like to find out where Wrathion disappeared off to during Legion and what will happen when he meets Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, aka Ebyssian.

3. What is your favorite thing about the blog of the person who nominated you for the Liebster Award?
Alunaria always takes such beautifully framed screenshots with such wonderful character expressions!

4. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in World of Warcraft?
I think I might be in the middle of it right now… This semester is being utterly exhausting, and while I want to finish my Legion solo-play goals, I’m also feeling more and more behind the Battle for Azeroth curve. I’m wishing now that I’d gotten all my alts to level 110 and through their Order Hall Campaigns much earlier, instead of waiting until the 11th hour to do those things, so that now they’d be further progressed on their Legion rep grinds.
In-game, the Lightning Forge and Chi-Ji’s Challenge scenarios for getting the Legendary cape during Mists.

5. If you could give someone 5 million gold in the game, who would it be, and why?
You mean, if I could ask the Devs to give someone 5M gold? Because I sure don’t have that much moolah myself. Uhm… probably BTH, because maybe I could convince him to re-sub to WoW and come run dungeons and old raids with me occasionally if he could perpetually fund it with the WoW Token instead of with our bank account.

6. Which one of your own blog posts is your favorite, and why?
Oh, gosh, I can’t possibly choose. Everything on my Stories page, and everything on my Drawings page, and everything on my Transmogrification page….

7. If you could bring one World of Warcraft creature into the real world, which creature would you pick?
Kodos! Or maybe faerie dragons.

8. If your World of Warcraft-friends had to describe you with 3 words, which words, do you think, would they choose?
Altoholic Tauren Transmogrification

9. What is the best advice someone has ever given you in World of Warcraft?
Play what pleases you.

10. What is your ideal way for World of Warcraft to end?
A lasting peace between the factions is finally achieved, removing the “War” from “Warcraft”.

11. If you could change one thing in the game, what would you choose – and why?
More hairstyle sharing between races — and more new hairstyles for everybody!
On the one hand, I get that a unique set of hairstyles is part of the appeal of playing a character of a different race.
On the other hand, there are so many hairstyles that are unique to one race, or only shared by a few races, that I would love to be able to use on characters of the races I play the most.
Right now, I really really want to use the long-braid-pulled-over-the-shoulder style that Night Elves, Dwarves, and Blood Elves have on my Human because of how Jaina is wearing her hair that way in Battle for Azeroth.

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