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Archive for the ‘Covenants’ Category

The implications of unrestricted Covenant swapping once at least one alt has reached Renown 80, combined with RL factors that are pushing me toward focusing on fewer alts, and how very far behind the content consumption curve I am, are leading me to contemplate some rather dramatic changes to my plans for which characters will do what for the remainder of Shadowlands.

Specifically, I am thinking about proceeding through the rest of the expansion with only Kaelinda and Kaelyla, and setting aside all other alts until the end-of-expansion doldrums (though I’ll still bring Kamalia through to the Heart of the Forest).

Kaelinda is at Renown 68 and could get to Renown 80 soon enough if I start doing Return Lost Souls and/or Callings again in addition to Replenish the Reservoir. Kaelyla is at Renown 62 and could also reach Renown 80 fairly soon if I put more effort into obtaining Renown.

Kaelinda is Venthyr, and from having done the Venthyr Campaign, I know that it intersects with/shares a climactic cinematic with the Necrolords Campaign. Kaelyla is Night Fae, and I’ve been spoiled enough to know that the Night Fae Campaign intersects with/shares a climactic cinematic with the Kyrian Campaign.

Kaelinda is Exalted with all of the 9.0 leveling zone factions. The Undying Army have cosmetic backpieces available for Exalted+Necrolords; the Ascended do not have any cosmetics for Exalted+Kyrian.

So, my thoughts are running thusly —
1) Get both Kaelinda and Kaelyla to Renown 80
2) Do Night Fae Campaign with Kaelyla
3a) Covenant swap Kaelinda to Necrolords and do Necrolords Campaign, perhaps as Kaelydia or as a yet-to-be-discovered new Alter Ego
3b) Covenant swap Kaelyla to Kyrian and do Kyrian Campaign as a new Alter Ego who is a never-left-the-Alliance High Elf, using one of the new natural hair color customization options for Void Elves that are coming in Patch 9.1.5
4) Covenant swap Kaelinda and Kaelyla back to their “home” Covenants
5) Do Korthia Campaign with both Kaelinda and Kaelyla
6a) Collect Venthyr and Night Fae sets from Korthia dailies
6b) Get to Exalted with Death’s Advance with both Kaelinda and Kaelyla and obtain the Venthyr and Night Fae sets from that source
7) Covenant swap Kaelinda and Kaelyla to their secondary Covenants
8a) Collect Necrolords and Kyrian sets from Korthia dailies and Death’s Advance
8b) Obtain any 9.0 Necrolords and Kyrian cosmetic items that I am interested in acquiring
9) Covenant swap Kaelinda and Kaelyla back to their home Covenants
10a) Do Ember Court and Broken Mirrors with Kaelinda until shoulders of the associated Venthyr Campaign set recolors have been obtained
10b) Do Queen’s Conservatory with Kaelyla until the associated recolor of the Night Fae Campaign set and the pink/purple version of the moths backpiece have been obtained
11) Round-robin Kaelinda and Kaelyla through the Covenants they haven’t been in yet so as to get access to all Covenant cosmetics
12) Return Kaelinda and Kaelyla to their home Covenants
13) Repeat this process as necessary to collect all Covenant cosmetics from 9.2, etc, until the end of the expansion

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Like my four year-old who is so excited for Halloween, I “can’t wait” for Patch 9.1.5 because I’m so excited to be able to bring Kamalia to the Shadowlands without having to go through that introductory Maw experience one more time. As I’ve played with my Mages, Druid, Priest, and Warlock, I’ve found myself missing slinging Flame Shocks and Lava Bursts and Chain Lightnings and Earthquakes as an Elemental Shaman. I also just miss being Kamalia because she’s my oldest and “flagship” character.

With Kamalia in the Shadowlands, I’ll have three of the four armor classes there. That makes it tempting to also bring out my Paladin, Karelia. Then I’d want to bring my Tauren Priest, Kaohana, so that I’ll have all four armor classes as Tauren, and because the twins don’t like to be separated. But I know that that’s more alts than I can really manage, so I am telling myself quite firmly that I am only going to advance Kamalia.

I plan to matriculate Kamalia with the Night Fae and then slowly level her with my favorite no or minimal combat World Quests. After Kamalia has acquired all of the Night Fae stuff I’d like her to have, I’ll covenant swap her to the Kyrian to get their gorgeous set — at least the Campaign coloration; I may or may not also go for the Renown coloration — then swap back to the Night Fae.

In thinking about what kind of Covenant hopping I might want to do with my other characters, I began to think about which characters I might want to bring ahead to 10.0. Which characters will need to cycle through all the Covenants so that they’ll have access to all the things to Mog with in the future? Over the past few expansions (Shadowlands included), I’ve figured out that I can handle about four active characters at a time. The four characters I want to keep actively playing for as long as I keep playing WoW are Kamalia, Kerisa, Kaelinda, and Kaelyla. Kamalia only wants Night Fae and Kyrian stuff, and Kerisa only wants Night Fae stuff. It’s just the Mages who really want stuff from all four of the Covenants. So, after Kaelinda has reached 80 Renown and unlocked unlimited Covenant hopping, and after I’ve completed all of the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns with the designated characters, I’ll want Kaelinda and Kaelyla to each take turns with all of the Covenants. I’m imagining having them work together to collect the sets from the Korthia daily quests…

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Come Patch 9.1.5, the Maw Intro will be skippable at last! Time and time again I’ve thought about bringing Kamalia and Karaelia into the Shadowlands so that I’d have a character of each armor class there, but just couldn’t stomach doing the Maw Intro again.
Once one character has completed a 9.0 Covenant campaign, alts who join the same Covenant will be able to skip to the end! I intend to have Kamalia join the Night Fae and Karaelia join the Kyrian immediately upon arriving in Oribos using Threads of Fate. When they eventually reach level 60, it’ll be great to not have to run them through the Campaign storylines before I can get to the business of Mog collecting.
Covenant swapping will be easy to do once a certain Renown threshold has been reached, and all unlocked Covenant rewards will always be accessible regardless of current Covenant affiliation! This means that once Kamalia has acquired her Night Fae set(s) and reached the required Renown level, she can hop over to the Kyrian and get their set(s), then hop back to the Night Fae, and be able to use all of those awesome appearances!
Even if I don’t do anything with Kamalia and Karaelia in the Shadowlands until much later in the lifecycle of the expansion, I’ll still be happy to have them settled in with their intended Covenants.
~*~*~
I’m also pretty spiffed about the new customizations for Void Elves. We’ve got warm silver, platinum blonde, honey blonde, red-gold, and cherry red as “natural” hair colors for Void Elves. I suspect that a new Alter Ego for Kaelyla will show up who will have “natural” skin tone and hair color — a proper Alliance High Elf!

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This weekend, I finished leveling Kaelyla. By the time she’d seen the vision of Ysera’s death and done the next two quests, she was 98% through level 59. At that point, I took her to Oribos and activated Threads of Fate. After completing next couple of quests to talk to Lady Moonberry, she was so close to dinging that I just went and did a little gathering to push it over instead of working on the “Aiding Ardenweald” fill-the-bar quest. I got her through Chapter 1 of the Night Fae campaign; now she’s gathering Renown, Souls, and Anima and waiting for Patch 9.1 to arrive so that she can not have to go to Torghast.

One reason I chose the Night Fae for Kaelyla — or Kaelyla for the Night Fae — is because of the aesthetic similarities I saw between the Void Elves and Ardenweald. I created her “Full of Stars” outfit (#37) to highlight those aesthetic harmonies —

— and specifically to coordinate with the animacone backpack that is an on-quest visual effect for the quest “Tending to Wildseeds” at the Tranquil Pools adjacent to Tirna Vaal.

There are a number of other nifty on-quest visual effects during the Ardenweald main storyline, so I ended up taking many, many screenshots of this outfit. I’ve put the ones from “Tending to Wildseeds” in the outfit listing on the appropriate “Things My Void Elf Mage Wears” page. To keep that page from getting overcrowded, I’ve gathered the rest of my favorite pictures of this outfit in this gallery — click through the cut to see them all!
(more…)

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I decided I might as well get it over with, so off Kaelinda went to Torghast. I did the first 6 floors of the Twisting Corridors three times in a row, then watched 20 minutes of cinematics and conversations between the faction leaders in Oribos, and now I’ll be ready to skip into the Patch 9.1 Campaign. With the content of these questlines being rather significant lore moments, not to mention required to unlock the next stage of the story, I was expecting their completion to be signposted by Achievements and was rather disappointed that they weren’t.
The cinematics were really very good, and I’m glad now that I’ve seen them for myself, so that I know the whole story — not just the key bits that were summarized in the beginning of the Patch 9.1 trailer cinematic.
~*~*~
So now that I’ve done this, I’m thinking maybe I want to hold off on doing Covenant campaigns with Kaelyla and Keliora and Kalaneia until Patch 9.1 drops and they can all skip Chapter 2. Kaurinka has already done Chapter 2 of the Night Fae campaign and is getting kind of tired of waiting to get started on the rest of it, so I’m thinking I’ll abandon my plan of running Kaurinka and Kaelyla through it in parallel and just get going with Kaurinka. If I can get Kaurinka through the Night Fae campaign and get the other three up to level 60 before Patch 9.1 arrives, that’ll be good enough. I’ll still want to do the other three 9.0 Covenant campaigns before I get into the 9.1 campaign itself, though.

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Kaelinda finished acquiring the Renown recolor of her Covenant armor set this week. She doesn’t want any more of the Venthyr Anima collectibles, so she’s Done. She doesn’t need to clear the map of all the Anima WQs she’s willing to do anymore. She can rest and relax and be satisfied with 1000 Anima per week — half of it just from rescuing 20 souls from the Maw — until I’ve finished the other three Covenant campaigns and am ready to start playing the Ember Court.
I’ve been farming Anima so intensively with her for the past however many weeks that it’s being a bit hard to resist wanting to take her out to clear those Anima WQs, though…

Meanwhile, I’d given Kaurinka the task of acquiring all of the Night Fae backpieces that are available from various vendors. There are seven in all: one from the Wild Hunt, two from Marasmius, two from Renown, and two from the Court of Night. I’ve been slowly ramping up her Anima farming, and she’s now got five of the seven; she just needs the two from the Court of Night. When she’s got those, she’ll start saving up the 25K Anima to get the Winterborn recolor of her Covenant armor set from the Court of Night; the Renown recolor is my least favorite version of that set, whereas the Winterborn recolor might be my most favorite. I’d also eventually like to get the Renown recolors of the staff and harp, but perhaps Kaelyla can work on acquiring those. Anyhow, now that Kaelinda is Done, Kaurinka will have first dibs on going out to do WQs each day, and her Anima farming will go faster.

Well, I guess Kaelinda can’t completely take a break. She’ll want to keep running the Blood From Stone wing of Castle Nathria LFR until either the Stone Generals themselves or the Great Vault cough up the robe version of the chestpiece. And she does still have to go to Torghast a few more times to get through the questchains that will be required to unlock the Patch 9.1 content. At least once she’s done that, the rest of the crew will be able to skip that stuff!

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I first heard the word “sklonklish” in a movie starring teenage Shirley Temple that my family watched when my sisters and I were teenagers. It became part of my family’s lexicon immediately because it perfectly describes that feeling of being vaguely irritated and out-of-sorts with the world. It’s sort of like ennui, only with a bit more of a disgruntled edge.

~*~*~

Kaelinda and Kaurinka have each finally finished reinforcing the fourth stream for their Anima Conductor; since I don’t intend to upgrade the Anima Conductor to stage 3, I am now Done with it, which is something of a relief. With my remaining three characters, I’m thinking that I’ll just do stage 1 of the Anima Conductor and just reinforce the stream to the Treasure, since that’s the activity that I have done the most consistently with the first two.
The Travel Network is likely to be the only Sanctum feature that all five characters will fully upgrade.

Kaelinda reached Exalted with Bastion last week. She kept grinding away at Maldraxxus, trying to do one or two WQs in Maldraxxus each day. This week’s WQ rep buff, plus a string of Maldraxxus Callings, allowed me to finally finish that off, too. Phew! I intensely dislike Maldraxxus as an environment, so now I can mostly ignore Maldraxxus with everyone except Kalaneia (my designated Necrolords character)*.

I have also been actively farming Anima with Kaelinda. I don’t try to clear the map of Anima-rewarding WQs, but I’ll often do as many of the available ones as I find tolerable to do. She has gotten both of the Venthyr Renown backpieces and has been spending Anima as fast as she gets enough of it on acquiring the rest of the Renown recolor of the Venthyr Covenant armor set, after which she will be Done with Covenant collectibles (at least until Patch 9.1). She needs 11000 more Anima to accomplish this goal.

I’ve been pushing hard to finish these reputation and collection goals because I’m wanting to just be Done with Kaelinda — to be able to put her/the Venthyr on the bench for awhile** and move on to the campaigns of the other three Covenants. I intend to do Night Fae first, then Kyrian, then Necrolords.

Since the news from the Patch 9.1 PTR is that the Korthia extension of the Covenant campaigns brings them all together right from the beginning, making them all essentially the same except with variations in the window dressing, I’m thinking that I want to get all of the 9.0 Covenant campaigns completed before I jump into the new Patch 9.1 content — even if that means that Patch 9.1 will have been out for quite some time before I finally get there.

Anyhow, the result of pushing rep and Anima with Kaelinda so hard recently is that I am feeling a bit burned out and can barely bring myself to do much of anything with Kaurinka (even though there is a lot more Night Fae stuff that I want than Venthyr stuff). As I’ve mentioned before, though, part of that feeling of burnout is spillover from RL right now. It’s the penultimate week of the semester, and I am feeling greater than usual end-of-semester weariness.

~*~*~

* Well, Keliora has to complete the House of Constructs storyline in Maldraxxus before she turns on Threads of Fate because saving Kyrians. But after that, Kalaneia will be the only person who has to be in Maldraxxus.

** I do want to play the Ember Court (and the Queen’s Conservatory) before Shadowlands ends, though. I’ve learned that if I don’t do an activity while the expansion it debuted in is current, I’m not going to come back to do it later (e.g., Deaths of Chromie). I can worry about gathering Anima for those upgrades, however, when I’m ready to actually do that content.

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Yesterday, Wowhead reported a hotfix that gives increased Anima income for having activated all four of the Sanctum Features, then another increase when they’re all upgraded to stage 2, and final increase when they’re all upgraded to stage 3. The first level, at least, seemed worth spending a couple thousand Anima on before I purchase any more Anima cosmetics, so Kaelinda and Kaurinka have both invested in the first stages of the Command Table and the Ember Court/Queen’s Conservatory. Having done so, I will henceforth continue to ignore the Command Table completely, and the Ember Court/Queen’s Conservatory until I’m ready to sink the time into them that they apparently demand.

This also changes my plans for my remaining three characters. I’d been planning to activate stage 1 of the Anima Conductor, then to activate and fully upgrade the Travel Network, then to upgrade the Anima Conductor to stage 2. Now, I’ll be spending their first 4000 Anima on activating all four of the Sanctum Features. After that, I’ll probably continue with the original plan.

Kaelinda and Kaurinka both already had fully upgraded Travel Networks and stage 2 Anima Conductors. The investment of 2000 Anima (4000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the first achievement definitely felt worth it. The investment of 10000 Anima (20000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the Command Table and Special Feature to stage 2 doesn’t seem like it will really be worth it, considering the small increment of the Anima income, but I’ll probably do it anyway. The investment of 30000 Anima (40000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the Anima Conductor, Command Table, and Special Feature all to stage 3 definitely will not be worth the additional small increment to Anima income, particularly since I have no interest in the Command Table at all, no interest in the actual benefits of the third stage of the Anima Conductor, and my interest in the Special Feature varies by Covenant (yes for Ember Court and Queen’s Conservatory, maybe for Path of Ascension, nope for Stitchyard).

In other Shadowlands progression…

I got another couple of chapters of Ardenweald done with Kaelyla and she is now about 30% through level 58. She’s getting really bored of her current outfit, but she needs to keep wearing it until she’s all the way through the Ardenweald main storyline because Ardenweald has multiple nifty on-quest visual effects that this outfit was specifically created to coordinate with. I already have an outfit idea in mind for proceeding into the first chapter of Revendreth…

I decided to stop trying to push Bastion and Maldraxxus rep with both Kaelinda and Kaurinka and just focus it down with Kaelinda. I’m almost done with Bastion and am about halfway through Revered with Maldraxxus.

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I’ve been doing quite a bit of dungeon running recently, mostly Spires of Ascension and Plaguefall because those have been the Oribos dungeons of the week and for “Defend Bastion/Maldraxxus” Callings. Having gotten to Exalted with Court of Harvesters with Kaelinda and with Wild Hunt with Kaurinka, I’m now pushing Ascended and Undying Army rep so that I can get the Gilded Prowler mount and have the Undying Army tabard in my tabard wardrobe for Kalaneia to wear with her Necrolords armor.

I’ve been seeing a lot of Shaman healers, which is making me miss healing with Kamalia. I used to be a devotee of Grid + Clique, but I haven’t installed any addons whatsoever since I began playing WoW on a new computer about a year ago. What addon(s) are considered the best for healing these days?

Seeing Tauren of other classes in other roles is making me miss my Tauren. I’ve been thinking about how my Shaman would be Night Fae and my Death Knight would be Necrolords and my Warrior and my Highmountain Tauren Druid would be Venthyr and my Hunter and Paladin and Priest and Monk would be Kyrian, so that I could get all of the Covenant armor sets that I find acceptably attractive. I’d only get the Campaign and Renown recolors of the armor sets with these characters — going after the other variations would be too much work.

Most of these characters haven’t yet leveled through Zandalar, though, and there isn’t yet a skip for the introductory Maw experience of Shadowlands. So for now, I will just have to sigh wistfully, and focus on getting my Eversong Elves through the Covenant Campaigns and into their Campaign & Renown armor sets, and hope that an intro skip gets patched in sometime down the road, and plan to bring all my Tauren through the Shadowlands during the end-of-expac lull.

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nonsense and nonesuch

As usual, Wowhead’s April Fool mockups are much more entertaining (to me) than Blizzard’s own mock patch notes. The great thing about Wowhead’s stuff is that it always looks so plausible, even the parts of it that are deliberately silly (like the Pepe battles in this year’s edition).

Kaelinda and Kaurinka have now gotten the second stage of the Anima Conductor and are plinking along at reinforcing the third and fourth Anima stream locations. Having another choice on the map for what to do to gather Anima or complete “do 3 World Quests” (when it’s in that Covenant’s zone) is nice, but I haven’t yet chosen to do the Anima Conductor World Quest over my tried-and-true favorites. The Anima Conductor dailies, well, they just seem very grindy — “go find/kill 15-30 of such-and-such creature” or “go clicky 7-12 of such-and-such environmental object” — and like they’d require running all over the zone to find enough things to reach completion. I’ll continue to plink Anima into them until both streams are reinforced, though, so that they’ll be available if I want to put more effort into actually doing them later.

A very large part of my lack of motivation to actually go do the Anima Conductor World and Daily Quests, however, is just my current RL circumstances. School has gotten very busy with various faculty responsibilities in addition to my usual teaching-related tasks. I still log on every day to pick up the Calling (whether or not I actually go out and do it), collect the Anima Conductor Treasure, and see if there are any 3-4×35 Anima token WQs up that I actually enjoy doing, but doing any more things…? Not right now. Maybe later.

Another time-consuming in-game activity that I’ve decided to put off until Later is the Ember Court and the Queen’s Conservatory. I’ll activate those and get them going after I’ve accomplished my primary expansion goal of playing through all four of the 9.0 Covenant storylines. I’ll at least activate and check out the Path of Ascension, though I’ve heard that it is kind of ridiculously challenging. I’m not at all interested in the Stitchyard, and don’t plan to activate it even just for the sake of having all of the Covenant Special Features activated.

So for now, after I’ve gotten the third and fourth locations for the Anima Conductor permanently reinforced, I think I’ll start picking up Covenant cosmetics — the 3500 Anima backpieces, to begin with, then the Renown recolor of the Covenant armor set.

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