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Archive for the ‘Covenants’ Category

It’s been about two months since I finally got started on Korthia.
Today, I finished collecting the Korthia questing versions of all of the 9.1 Covenant sets.
I’m about halfway through Revered with Death’s Advance.
I have 14K Stygia, which is enough to buy both of the Death’s Advance Venthyr sets as soon as I ding Exalted… but I also want the Death’s Advance Night Fae set. I am dreading having to just flat out grind the remaining 4K Stygia for it.

The worst part of Shadowlands, for me, has been the punishing Stygia mechanics. Even with completely ignoring Ve’nari as I did, Stygia is so agonizingly slow to get, and you need so much of it for the Death’s Advance Cosmetic sets, and you lose so much of it when you die in the Maw that it is very, very, very discouraging. Before Patch 9.1, you got 20 Stygia every time a soul entered the Soulkeeper while doing Return Lost Souls, so you could get 400 Stygia per week and that felt like a decent reward for the time invested doing the quest. Then Patch 9.1 removed that, and although I understand why the introduction of the repeatable version of the Return Lost Souls caused the devs to make that change, I still haven’t forgiven them for doing it.

At the time that I first went to Korthia, I wrote, “I think I’ll go do the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns for Night Fae and Necrolords with Kaelinda — putting Chapters 5-9 of Korthia on hold until I do — so that I can do each of the Covenant story-advancing chapters of Korthia as a member of the appropriate Covenant”. Then I spent the past two months feeling completely psychologically blocked about playing through the 9.0 Necrolords and Night Fae Campaigns again. It took being halfway through Revered and realizing that if I wanted to get any Death’s Advance reputation from doing the rest of the Korthia Campaign, then I needed to start working on it for me to finally push past the block. I did Chapters 3 & 4 of Necrolords, then swapped Covenants and did Chapter 3 of Night Fae yesterday night. Now if I can just keep going…

So, I’ve still got to do the Korthia and Zereth Mortis story Campaigns. I’d like to get a few pieces (definitely belt & robe, perhaps also cloak pants and boots?) of the Sepulcher of the First ones set via items purchased with Sandworn Relics and upgraded using the Creation Catalyst. I have 54K Anima left of Kyrian Cosmetics to acquire. I’ve also got to finish the 9.0 Night Fae Campaign with my Druid (she’s stalled out at the beginning of Chapter 5).
Of course, my current state of lagging has arisen almost entirely from my own play decisions, which have in turn been influenced by the circumstances of my out-of-Azeroth life. I’ve learned from the last several expansions, though, that I’ll need to stay in Shadowlands until these goals are Done, because if I leave, I won’t come back later to complete them.

But then, it might not be so bad to already have the first round of catch-up mechanics in place by the time I finally get to the Dragon Isles 😛

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I picked up the last item I wanted from the Soulbreaker’s Burnished Vestments set last week. I don’t have the full set, but I do have all the pieces I most wanted for Mogging mix-and-match. So now I am Done with Venthyr Travel Network Broken Mirrors. Hooray!
I only need two more pieces from the Night Fae Korthia set and two more pieces from the Necrolords Korthia set. In other words, I only need a Cosmetics quest to show up one more time for each of those Covenants, because with both Kaelinda and Kaelyla on the job, I can get two pieces each time one of those quests is available.
Kaelinda and Kaelyla paid back earlier gifts of Anima from Kaurinka to help them finish upgrading Covenant Sanctum features, thus allowing Kaurinka to get her Queen’s Conservatory fully upgraded to Tier 5 and to purchase the Queen’s Conservatory recolor of the Oakheart set. Now I just need to push Kaurinka through the rest of the 9.0 Night Fae Campaign…

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After a couple of hours (cumulative) of fiddling around with my UI and Talents, here’s what I’ve settled on for now. This might last for all of Dragonflight, or it might last only until next week. Click on the scaled images to see the full-size images.

Elemental Shaman

Balance Druid

Whenever Kaurinka manages to move on from Ardenweald, she’ll rearrange her talents to grab the Talent version of Convoke the Spirits. As long as she’s still there, however, the original Covenant version will be superior.

Fire Mage

Frost Mage

Arcane Mage

I’m happy to see Radiant Spark in the Mage Talent trees, but I would rather have had Mirrors of Torment in there, too, instead of Shifting Power.

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I reached Revered with the Ember Court this past week. This allowed me to purchase the Cosmetic set pieces I was most interested in, the shoulders and belt. I ran a full Kyrian guest list for that Court and they were all Elated with the party I threw for them. And whaddayaknow, Sika’s tribute chest contained the RNG-dependent item that I’d most particularly wanted from the Ember Court, Tranquil’s Censer, the most golden version of the Bastion bell off-hand.
So… after I get the slate of Ember Court upgrade quests that popped up with Revered cleared from my quest log, and get the guest list RSVPs and the party planning selections for my next Court finalized, I’ll… stop doing the Ember Court.
At least for the time being.
Well… Mostly.
I’ll still want to do an Ember Court at least once during each Holiday, to see Theotar’s take on Azeroth’s celebrations 😀
The Ember Court is fun, and I love the lavishing of detail that went into it. It’s also rather a lot of stuff to do. When I have Ember Court quests active in my log, I somehow don’t dare to Covenant Twist for Korthia because I don’t want to risk having my progress on those quests get reset.
There are things I might like to get from the Ember Court at Exalted, such as the Mantle of Court Blades. I might also like to eventually get my favorite guests to be my Best Friends so they can be my penpals after I leave the Shadowlands. But I can come back to the Ember Court to work on achieving those things when I am finished with Korthia and have moved on to Zereth Mortis….

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Yep, well, despite otherwise completely ignoring the Command Table, I went ahead and upgraded Kaelinda’s Venthyr Command Table to Tier 2 to get the second extra Anima token from World Quests:

As she’s my primary Anima collector — and is starting to really rake the stuff in when I spend an evening in Korthia — I felt like it would be worth the investment for her. I do still have a laundry list of Cosmetics to get from the Kyrian one of these days…
I might do it for Kaelyla at Heart of the Forest. I probably won’t do it for Kaurinka; I’m just not playing enough with her for it to be worth the setback toward finishing her Queen’s Conservatory. And I definitely won’t do it for Kamalia; she hasn’t even upgraded her Anima Conductor to Tier 2 yet.

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I (Kaelinda) won’t want to do Covenant Twisting every day — maybe only one or two days out of the week. When I do, I’ll want to start and end the day as Venthyr.
Broken Mirrors and the Ember Court deplete Infused Rubies pretty quickly, so I’ll want to stay Venthyr whenever there is a Revendreth Calling.
Swapping Covenants resets your Soulbind to the first one, so I’ll have to be sure to change my Soulbind to Theotar before doing the Ember Court. I’d better check that all of the first Soulbinds + Theotar have appropriate Conduits for whatever spec I happen to be playing at the moment, too.
When I do Maw Assaults, I’ll generally want to be whichever Covenant is running the Assault, so I can take the portal to the Assault location from the Covenant Sanctum. However, I’m not sure that I’ll actually do any more Assaults before I get the Archivist’s Codex up enough to get the thing that reduces Stygia loss from dying in the Maw. I had 14K Stygia, enough to get both of the Venthyr sets as soon as I get to Exalted with Death’s Advance, but then I died twice while doing an Assault, in places where it was not convenient to try to get back and pick up the Stygia I’d dropped, and now I’m down to 9K Stygia 😦
Since she wasn’t doing anything else, I sent Kalaneia to be a scout in Keeper’s Respite. She can’t actually see which Covenant has the Korthia Armor quest(s) for the day — it seems that a character has to have completed Korthia Chapter 4 to see that — but she can find out which two Covenants have the Dailies for the day. That way, I can have Kaelinda already in one of those two Covenants when she heads out to Korthia for the evening.
I’m not fond of the Necrolords Anima Conductor Treasure or World Quest, so I’ll only swap to Necrolords when I’m working on their 9.0 Campaign or when they have the active Assault or the Korthia Armor quest for the day.
I’ve been so busy in Korthia that I haven’t gotten back to Zereth Mortis quite yet, despite the two quests to continue Chapter 2 nagging at me at the top of my quest log.

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Kaelyla got her Queen’s Conservatory fully upgraded to Tier 5. As the only activities she is doing that generate Spirits for the Conservatory are Fair Exchange for a Soul and Return Lost Souls (which gives 1x Greater Spirit at Conservatory levels 1-3 and 2x Greater Spirit at Conservatory levels 4 & 5), she decided to take the skip through the first three Chapters of Korthia so that she can ride and not have to worry about the Eye of the Jailer while she’s doing her weekly Maw run. Then I did the skip with Kamalia and Kaurinka, too.
And then Kaelyla got the Spirit Tender’s Bulb! Hooray! Now I just need to get the Queen’s Conservatory recolors of the cloth and leather 9.0 Night Fae sets, and then I’ll be all done with it.
I completed Chapter 4 of Korthia with Kaelinda and am reveling in being able to fly!
I am still undecided about continuing the Korthia storyline with both Mages in tandem or having Kaelinda backtrack through the Necrolords and Night Fae before continuing Korthia solo.
Now that Kaelinda and Kaelyla both have the Special Features for their home Covenants at Tier 3 or higher, I’ve been contemplating upgrading the Mission Tables in their home Covenants to Tier 2 for another Anima token from WQs. Would it really be worth the setback to saving for Cosmetics, though?
It occurred to me that I now that I’ve got flying, I ought to try, after Kaelyla had done her Night Fae special stuff for the day, swapping her over to Venthyr to go search out Broken Mirrors. So I did it, and O Hey! I could do the Anima Conductor Treasure and World Quest for both covenants! I’m sure other people discovered this as soon as Patch 9.2 made Covenant-swapping so easy to do… So then Kaelinda went and hopped from Venthyr to Kyrian to Night Fae and back. Then I tried round-robining through the Covenants until I discovered which one had a Korthia Cosmetic piece available. Although as a Mage, hopping back and forth between Korthia and Oribos is trivially easy to do, it was rather tedious.
Speaking of Korthia, its ambiance is a little better than the rest of the Maw, but I’m still not a great fan. Zereth Mortis, though! Those rich, saturated greens are so refreshing after the fetid haze of Maldraxxus, the gloom of Revendreth, the twilight and decay of Ardenweald, and the washed-out brightness of Bastion.
But doing All The Things with even just two characters is becoming rather exhausting. In Dragonflight, I’ll level Kaelyla to keep my Alliance Main caught up, and to experience any differences between the Horde and Alliance, um, experiences that might exist, but I won’t try to do all the endgame stuff with her… except perhaps the Black Dragonflight, so Kaelinda can pledge to Wrathion and Kaelyla can pledge to Sabellian to get the Cosmetics from both of the rivals.

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This weekend, I finally managed to get Kaelinda through the introduction to Korthia. I’d been wondering how far into Korthia I’d have to get before the Zereth Mortis breadcrumb popped up; it appeared just before the end of the second chapter. So after completing Chapter 3 of Korthia, I went and did Chapter 1 and about half of Chapter 2 of Zereth Mortis.
Upon brushing up on Shadowlands flying requirements, I found that I only need to do one more chapter of Korthia to unlock 9.0 leveling zones flying. Thus, I think I’ll probably go do Chapter 4 of Korthia before I head back to Zereth Mortis, because it’s about time I got off the ground in the Shadowlands.
And then… and then… one moment, I think I’ll go do the opening sequences for Korthia and Zereth Mortis all over again with Kaelyla, so that I can get the Korthia and Zereth Mortis cosmetics twice as fast. And the next, I think I’ll go do the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns for Night Fae and Necrolords with Kaelinda — putting Chapters 5-9 of Korthia on hold until I do — so that I can do each of the Covenant story-advancing chapters of Korthia as a member of the appropriate Covenant, but also only have to try to get one character per week through Korthia and Zereth Mortis activities.

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When you’ve finished picking up Arkelios’ foci, which path do you take back up? The safer, but longer, path over the bridge (marked in green) — or the shorter, but more dangerous, path up the root (marked in red)?
I usually take the root — but I’ve learned that I have to be on a fairly small mount to be able to judge the turns correctly. Even the Wildseed Cradle is a little too wide — I almost always fall off the root when I try to use that mount!

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Meanwhile, in Shadowlands

For awhile, I had all four of my mains in the Night Fae doing the Queen’s Conservatory. Kaurinka recently got hers upgraded to Tier 4. The others waited until they’d gotten their Conservatories upgraded to Tier 2 before beginning to nurture Spirits so that they could use 2x Wildseed Root Grain for every Spirit. Collectively, we’ve gotten the pets multiple times and a few of the other things, but we’re still trying for the Spirit Tender’s Bulb. Kaurinka has restored all of the Spirits she collected before she began actively doing the Conservatory and is only getting new ones from Fair Exchange for a Soul and an occasional Return Lost Souls, so she doesn’t have any active wildseeds right now. Kaelyla and Kamalia both have collections of Spirits that they are actively nurturing, but they’ll run out in another week or two. Kaelinda hadn’t even done the Conservatory Tier 1 activation yet when she was in the Night Fae before, so after she got it going, she only had a few Spirits to nurture. I only really need one Mage to upgrade the Conservatory to Tier 5; while Kaelyla is working on that (recently upgraded to Tier 3), Kaelinda began using the Anima she collected to buy the Renown version of the Faewoven set. Kamalia also began using her Anima to buy the Renown version of the Runewarden’s set; she decided the autumn/fire orange of the Renown version of the set was more interesting to her than the green of the Conservatory version of the set. But having four active characters was exhausting, and having all of them in the same Covenant was, quite honestly, boring. Kaurinka and Kamalia are therefore currently resting; I’m only checking in with Kamalia to turn over wildseeds.

After Kaelinda had restored all of the Spirits she’d gathered (she had only gotten 4/9 of the Night Fae Renown pieces, but she can come back for the rest later — or Kaelyla can get them), she went back to the Venthyr and began doing the Ember Court. And my goodness, the Ember Court is a lot of work!

Kaelinda and Kaelyla are in what I have been thinking of as “Anima Vacuum” mode — trying to get as much Anima each night as I can with both characters — though I don’t do all the available Anima WQs, just the ones I feel the most like doing.

I’m also attempting to get ready for Fall Semester, which will be beginning all too soon. It didn’t take long to get my GE courses ready to go for Fall semester. It’s taken me awhile to get mental traction on reworking my Organic Chemistry course, for which I am doing a substantial overhaul, though. OChem will continue to occupy a lot of time and attention as the semester progresses because I’ll be working on updating my day-to-day course materials as I go along.

With all of this, I’ve been routinely staying up until about 2 am — which isn’t good for my physical or mental health…

~*~*~

I sorely need a new computer to play WoW. My current laptop has a 256 GB harddrive which is somehow almost completely full, to the point that every night it complains about being out of memory and sometimes I can’t take screenshots or the game crashes. I’ve also been getting an annoying lua error which keeps resetting all the UI tutorial banners on some of my characters. I’m getting tired of turning them off every time I log in. I definitely need a new computer before Dragonflight — and before I do Korthia, Zereth Mortis, or the 9.2.5 Blood Elf questline, so that I can take lots of story screenshots that I will probably never look at again! 😛

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