Archive for the ‘Dragonflight’ Category

As the story of Dragonflight advanced — and I had fallen behind because I hadn’t yet completed all the stories unlocked by the four launch faction Renown tracks — I increasingly wanted to just be done with Shadowlands — to not have my unfinished business in that expansion still nagging at me.

So, I’ve spent the past several weeks pushing hard to get through the things I hadn’t done in the Shadowlands yet. I did the 9.0 Kyrian Campaign a second time with Kaelyla to get the silver and blue version of the vesper staff. I finished the 9.0 Necrolords Campaign with Kaelinda — looking back on Shadowlands, I really should have just done all four 9.0 Campaigns with her to begin with. With that done, I was at last ready to finish the Korthia Campaign. I liked the Covenant chapters of the Korthia Campaign. It seemed like each Covenant got a meaningful advancement to their story, particularly the Kyrian.

Of course, while I was doing each of the Covenant-storyline-advancing chapters of the Korthia Campagin as a member of the relevant Covenant, having finished that Covenant’s 9.0 Campaign, so I could get the Covenant-specific extra bits of story, I also needed the appropriate Eversong Elf Mage persona, and an appropriate outfit for each chapter:

Bwonsamdi’s Watcher

Crown of the Seducer (LFR), Mantle of the Skyterror (LFR), Osteowings of the Necrolords, Divine Fury Raiment (LFR), Master Builder’s Shirt, Prime Conjurer’s Gloves, Prime Conjurer’s Cinch, Prime Conjurer’s Slippers, Staff of Earned Tranquility
I never thought I’d use the shoulders and robe from the Battle of Dazar’alor set — which I picked up while trying for the Crown of the Seducer — but whaddayaknow, they work really well with the Renown coloration of the Necrolords pieces.
The Crown of Autumnal Flora would coordinate nicely with the staff, but Mistcaller hadn’t coughed it up yet.

Although Bwonsamdi appears in the Ardenweald storyline, his aesthetics are rather more Maldraxxus. The use of Necrolords pieces in this ensemble made it fitting attire for Kateleina while finishing up the 9.0 Necrolords Campaign and doing the 9.1 Necrolords chapter as a Necrolord.
I liked how this chapter tied up some loose ends related to Kel’Thuzad and gave Thrall and Draka a chance to get to know each other.

Red is for Revendreth

Crown of Eternal Memorial, Soulbreaker’s Ebony Mantle, Burnished Crypt Keeper’s Mantle, Lovely Red Dress, Redeemed Inquisitor’s Handwraps, Vibrant Wildercloth Slacks, Sinful Inquisitor’s Slippers, Crypt Watcher’s Spire
After Kateleina finished the 9.1 Necrolords chapter, Kaelinda could do the 9.1 Venthyr chapter as Venthyr.
I liked how this chapter finally completed the crown of the medallions (a very obvious loose thread from the 9.0 Venthyr Campaign), gave Vashj and Kael’thas a chance to compare afterlives, and opened up a story thread for a future expansion (where have the Dreadlords taken Denathrius and will we see him as a boss again?).

Twilight Courtier

Night Courtier’s Regalia with Fae Revel Masque, Night Courtier’s Pack, Vestments of the Twilight Grove, and Meadow Guardian’s Staff
After Kaelinda finished the 9.1 Venthyr chapter, white-haired Khrysanthemina took up the baton to do the 9.1 Night Fae chapter as Night Fae.
I definitely appreciated how this chapter brought in some excursions to and interactions with the other Covenants, something which was lacking in their 9.0 story. I also liked how it gave a small measure of closure for Tyrande and the Kaldorei (a story which was further followed up in the Zereth Mortis and 10.0 Campaigns) and revealed new information about the relationship between the Winter Queen and Elune. Are the Winter Queen and Elune each others’ only sisters because they are from the diametrically-opposed forces of Death and Life, or do they also have sisters from each of the other cosmic forces? Is Eonar their sister from Order, Xal’atath their sister from the Void, and do they have sisters from the Light and from Fel/Chaos that we have yet to meet?

Selfless Seeker

Vestments of the Selfless with Crown of the Righteous, Selfless Sigil of the Archon, and Selfless Watcher’s Spire
After Khrysanthemina finished the 9.1 Night Fae chapter, Kaelyra took the opportunity to do the 9.1 Kyrian chapter as Kyrian.
I liked how this chapter finally brought the Kyrian who had been stranded in Maldraxxus home, gave souls assigned to Bastion the choice to keep or cleanse their memories, and clarified the nature of the Soulbinding relationship. I was intrigued that Apolon has a platonic, sibling Soulbind relationship with Artemede — and a romantic relationship with Kynthia.

When Kaelinda left the Shadowlands to move on to the Dragon Isles, she was halfway through Revered with Death’s Advance, with enough Stygia banked to get the Death’s Advance colorations for two out of the five Covenant 9.1 sets. I pushed that reputation to Exalted. I was dreading grinding the Stygia to get the Death’s Advance colorations for the rest of the Covenant 9.1 sets — until I discovered that, duh, farming Stygia from Maw star mobs was a piece of cake at level 70, with ilevel 402 gear.

With the goal of getting at least one piece of the Sepulcher of the First Ones Mage Tier set, I’d done the first four chapters of the Zereth Mortis Campaign so as to unlock the Creation Catalyst. After I finished the Korthia Campaign, I decided that I really ought to get the Shadowlands fixed up with a new Arbiter and Sylvanas sentenced to the Maw to retrieve all the souls who had improperly been sent there, so I finished up the Zereth Mortis Campaign (and all of its follow-up quests), too. I’m glad that I took the time to experience those stories for myself. I did the Zereth Mortis weekly & dailies until I had enough Sandworn Relics to get the purple Choral chestpiece from Rafiq and then upgrade it to the LFR version of the Sepulcher of the First Ones Mage Tier chestpiece using the Creation Catalyst. Along the way, I also managed to finish up Unlocking the Secrets. So when I was almost done with Zereth Mortis anyway, I finally got flying for the zone. Ah, well, that’ll make getting around there for Mog photoshoots easier to do 😀

I’d had Kaelyla hearthed at Root-Home trying to convince Mistcaller to just give me the Crown of Autumnal Flora already; yesterday, I got it!

I always hearthed or teleported out of the dungeon immediately after defeating Mistcaller — I didn’t continue on to Tred’ova — so I don’t have a count of how many tries it took me. At least a couple of months of doing it just once a day on Heroic (sometimes twice, with both Kaelyla and Kaelinda), I think.

Today, I finished the Stygia grind and got the last Death’s Advance Covenant 9.1 set. I also got the Anima-Siphoning Sword (its lavender color will be so perfect for Arcane Mage outfits!) after about two weeks of camping The Engulfer.

And now, at last, I am DONE with Shadowlands.

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The Korthia Campaign has multiple references to the Dreadlords being Up To Something and having some greater plan or objective that they are working toward. Sargeras being imprisoned with Illidan as his jailer doesn’t seem to have slowed them down at all! They successfully stole Remornia/Denathrius right out of the Dawnkeep. Although part of the Dreadlords’ schemes had them assisting the Jailer, that doesn’t mean that was all of their plan. Being demons, Mal’Ganis and Kintessa are hardly gone for good following their defeat in Sepulcher of the First Ones, and Remornia/Denathrius has not been recovered.

Meanwhile, in case you didn’t remember, Queen Azshara is out there intending to claim some form of power even greater than that of N’Zoth — or so she gloated when she scooted off when the Champions of Azeroth released her from Ny’alotha.

Currently, the Naga are making trouble in the Forbidden Reach and you can find a rather sinister lore book hinting at the return of Queen Azshara.

Now to put on my Tinfoil Hat:

What if… one component of the Dreadlords’ master plan involves getting Denathrius out of the slammer and married* to Queen Azshara so that together they can be the Ultimate Power Couple and reshape existence to their whims?


* Azshara will be no one’s consort, but with Sargeras on ice, perhaps she might deign to accept Denathrius as her consort?

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Now that I’ve gotten enough Renown with the first four Dragonflight factions to have all five colors unlocked for my Dragonriding drakes —

— I’m wishing that future patches would add ways to get a few more colors. Specifically, I’d like white (like the Albino Drake that was the reward for the very first Mount Collecting Achievement), purple, and pink.

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Kaelinda went to Zaralek Cavern last night.

For one thing, the Valdrakken weekly “get rep and do a Dragon Isles world activity” quest wanted me to go to the new zone of Zaralek Caverns and do the new activity of Sniffenseeking. I was rather expecting this, given that that quest wanted me to go to the new zone of Forbidden Reach and do the new activity of Zskera Vaults the first week that that area was available.

For another, when I went to pick up Professions weeklies, the Drakonid dude didn’t have a quest to steal clothing from Gnolls, and the Gnome dude didn’t have a quest to get scythid legs or tarantula legs. There was a new Niffen fellow there, but he didn’t have a Tailoring quest for me, either. But when I logged in with my Druid, who is a Scribe, the Drakonid dude did have a quest for her. So I figured that the Tailoring weekly must be from the Niffen fellow, which meant I’d probably have to go unlock the Niffen Renown track to be able to get it.

And I did want to get the new Dragonriding Glyphs. This was made quite easy to do by using the map of glyph locations on Wowhead to plan a route around the cavern and the close-up images and specific location directions/instructions on Blizzard Watch to find each individual glyph. I didn’t find any of the glyphs difficult to get to as I moved around the cavern counter-clockwise starting from Loamm.

I played through enough of the main questline to get the quest completion for the Valdrakken rep weekly. I’ll come back for the rest of it later — I want to get through the rest of the launch questlines before I activate Fyrakk assaults so that they don’t interfere with doing the launch questlines. I am going to have to do those Fyrakk assaults eventually, though, since they reward the Cloth gear set coloration that mimics Alexstrasza’s new look. I’ll also have to push Loamm Renown through to 16, eventually, for the Black Dragonflight-themed shoulders-cloak-tabard set.

The environment of Zaralek Cavern feels like a hybrid of Deepholm, Blackrock Mountain, and, oddly enough, Nazjatar. The colors and shapes of the plant life and crystal formations in the entrance passageway are what give me the Nazjatar vibes.

The Niffen confuse me. They talk about how they arrived in the cavern and had to establish friendly relations with the local Drogbar, but where did they come from? How old are they, and how long have they been there? The princess talks about her mom having established the settlement, and the princess’s (former?) BFF talks about digging adventures during early explorations of the cavern, so it doesn’t seem like they’ve been there very long. To me, the Niffen are giving off similar vibes to other small races such as Cataclysm‘s Lost Isles Pygmies or Mists‘s Grummles, created to fill a specific, narrow cultural function niche but without really solid worldbuilding of how they actually fit into the ecology of Azeroth’s spontaneously generated sapient species, and likely to be left behind & forgotten after the expansion that introduced them.

Overall, my initial reaction to Zaralek Cavern is …meh. In the past, I have often put alts that I didn’t intend to actually do the zone questing with through the entry sequence to a new zone just so they’d be able to go there for Mog photoshoots in the future. I didn’t do that with Mechagon or Korthia because those environments did not inspire me at all; Zaralek Cavern is falling into that bin as well.

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It’s nice this month that Children’s Week is early enough in the month that doing Holiday activities will actually be a significant contributor to collecting my Trading Post currency for the month, rather than being things I do after I’ve finished it off just for the fun of it.

I’ve already picked up the Wanderer’s Snowy Trappings and the pretty High Priestess’s Ceremonial Drape. The Lost Crown of the Arcane was an immediate must-have, too, seeing as how it is a recolor of one of my all-time favorite Mail Tier helms, the Crown of Flame from Firelands. I have the Magenta Cloud Serpent frozen from last month. I could get it this month if I choose not to get the Trial of Valor cloth set recolor or the Stormheim Vrykul leather set recolor. Knowing that stuff I’ve passed on will eventually come around again makes me feel less fretful about that decision.

As far as Children’s Week goes — I think I’ve done both the Classic and Cataclysm versions for both factions (because I seem to remember noticing the differences the first time I did the new versions); I’ve done the Burning Crusade quests for both factions; I’ve done both of the Wrath of the Lich King neutral options; but I was feeling burned out on Holidays during Battle for Azeroth and haven’t done the newest Children’s Week quests yet. So to do Children’s Week activities for the Trading Post, I guess I’ll start with the Zandalari and Kul Tiran orphans; to get the most out of that, I should go do them with characters who need XP, maybe my Druid and Human Mage. Then I think Kaelinda ought to go take Salandria to see her future self, and I haven’t quite decided which orphan to choose to round out the four for the Trading Post activity. My six characters who are doing the Wrath Dalaran fishing dailies in hopes of getting a Battered Jungle Hat have all chosen orphans to accompany them, to make the Trading Post activity for turning in dailies while accompanied by an orphan very easy to complete.

Here are my plans for Patch 10.1 tomorrow: BTH has an obligation on Tuesday nights, so while he’s out, I’ll log onto his account with his alt who is in my me-myself-and-I guild and invite my Void Elf Mage and my Dracthyr (who is Alliance to keep my Characters page more neatly organized :P) into the guild. I managed to finish up the lore questline in the Forbidden Reach (which I always want to call the Forgotten Reach, a name which is equally appropriate) in the past couple of weeks. I’ll probably do the first quests to go into Zaralek Cavern and fly around picking up all the new Dragonriding glyphs — and then I’ll set it aside for awhile. I’m still working on Dragonscale Expedition and Valdrakken Accord Renown and haven’t unlocked all of their 10.0 story content, and I think I’d like to complete that before I do the Zaralek Cavern lore questline.

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One of the overarching stories in Dragonflight is about the conflict between the protodrakes who chose to accept enhancement by the Titans and become Dragons and the protodrakes who rejected enhancement by the Titans. A stated goal of the Primalists is to remove the “stain” of the Titans’ work and legacy on Azeroth. The Primalists have made an uneasy alliance with the Qalashi to this end. The Qalashi are introduced as ancient enemies of the Dragons.
Putting all of this together, I find myself wondering: are the Iron Vrykul the Titans’ attempt to make an improved version of Azeroth’s spontaneously-generated Qalashi lifeform, in a similar way to how the Dragons are the Titans’ improvement/accelerated development of Azeroth’s spontaneously-generated Protodrake lifeform?

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My biggest burning unanswered lore question of Dragonflight: Was the Doomstone what Kurog Grimtotem used to rile up the elementals and free Raszageth from her prison, and if not, why not?
The Doomstone first appears as the MacGuffin of the Twilight Cultist plotline in Cataclysm Thousand Needles. During Legion, it is taken to the Maelstrom for safekeeping by the Farseers during the Broken Shore chapter of the Shaman Order Hall questline. During that questline, enemy agents use it to incite various elementals to dangerous levels of activity.
Having the Doomstone be involved with the rise of the Primalists and perhaps even the key to opening Froststone Vault to release Raszageth seems like a great story fit for that dangling thread.

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Kamalia did the patch 10.0.7 questline with Baine and Scout Tomul in the Ohn’ahran Plains last night.
One of the key themes of the questline is confronting and overcoming the hatred and mistrust that the Tauren of modern Kalimdor have for Centaur because of the post-Sundering generational warfare between Centaur and Tauren on that continent*.
I’ve thought — briefly — before about how Thunder Bluff having been established following the events of Warcraft III means that Kamalia would have spent most of her life prior to the beginning of World of Warcraft as a nomad. Until I was playing through this new questline, though, I didn’t have any sense that her nomadic experience would have involved constant fleeing from, fear of, and hatred of the Centaur.
Though the arrival of the Orcs saves the Tauren from extinction at the hooves of the Centaur in Warcraft III, I feel like what mentions of that history exist in World of Warcraft‘s quests in Mulgore, the Barrens, and even Desolace — in both Classic and Cataclysm** — don’t convey that aspect of Tauren history & culture very effectively at all. The Harpies, Gnolls, and Quillboar are presented as equally important threats as the Centaur. Nothing that I remember of my leveling experience suggested this degree of cultural trauma:

I feel like I might have felt differently about Kamalia’s interactions with the Centaur of the Ohn’ahran Plains when I first played through that zone if I had understood that the conflict between the Tauren and the Centaur in Kalimdor was that horrific.
*In contrast, Lasan Skyhorn, standing near the flight master in Maruukai, comments that Highmountain Tauren do not have this prejudice.
**Perhaps it’s time to play through those zones again, paying more careful attention to the quest text in both text panes and chat bubble dialogs, in Retail with Kazithra/Kaiuna and also in Classic

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starting out in 10.0.7

Well, I went and collected all the new Dragonriding Glyphs so I could get my drakes some brakes. Kamalia set her hearth to the Forbidden Reach. I’ll work on the Forbidden Reach questline some more another day.
I’m keenly interested in the new Tauren lore in the Ohn’ahran Plains, but I think I’ll wait a week or two to do the questchain so that my screenshots won’t be quite so cluttered up with other players 😛

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Ever since the current Recruit-A-Friend rewards were introduced, I’ve coveted the backpack and the outfit. Seeing the Renowned Explorer’s gear on NPCs throughout the Dragon Isles — notably Dragonscale Expedition characters, Bronze Dragonflight members in the Shifting Sands and Temporal Conflux (Andantenormu!), and my Possible-Primalist-Future-Self — has only made me want it more.
I’ve RAFed myself for the rewards before — the Emerald Hippogryph and the Swift Zhevra, to be specific — and every time the Swift Zhevra comes up in my ground mounts macro, I’m happy that I got it. But with the full Renowned Explorer’s kit requiring the recruited account(s) to pay for a total of 12 months of game time, I’d hadn’t quite been able to bring myself to RAF myself again just to get a spiffy new Mog.
Recently, new RAF rewards were announced, and to say they are Not My Style is an understatement.
Time was now Running Out to get the Renowned Explorer’s gear. So I bit the bullet and RAFed myself again, taking advantage of the modification to the RAF system to allow RAFing of dormant accounts to reactivate the two accounts I used to RAF myself previously. I put six months on each of those accounts, which gives me a total of twelve… and then I discovered that I wouldn’t just get all 12 months worth of rewards all at once. I’ll have to wait until August to get the last two rewards.
I just hope that when the new RAF rewards system goes live, accounts that began RAF under the current system will still receive the current rewards… Fingers crossed…
ETA (March 21): *phew!* Looks like I’ll still get the Renowned Explorer’s rewards for my current RAF setup… though I may want to add another month to both of those accounts just to be sure…

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