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I was looking forward to finding out what the Trial of Style cosmetic rewards would be, so that I’d know if this event would really be something I’d want to put a lot of time & effort into.

Well, the rewards have been previewed… and they’re not particularly exciting to me.


Trial of Style reward preview images from Wowhead

I don’t really like that cloth set at all; I like the bottom half of the leather set but not the top half; there are other low-level mail sets I like better anyway; I do like this plate set, though.

Furthermore, they are all appearances that are obtainable in other ways… and I’ve already collected as much of those sets as I’m interested in acquiring.

I guess I can see where the devs are going with that; I suspect that they want the Trial of Style to be a thing folks do more for the fun of doing it and the Twitter/blog bragging rights of winning it than for the tangible rewards, and they also don’t want folks to complain about feeling obligated to do it because the cosmetic rewards are too desirable.

Still, I think it would be more interesting if the rewards were at least new & unique colorations of these armor models. For the cloth set, perhaps pale pink where it is teal, pale gold instead of silver for the metallic areas, and emerald green for the jewels? There already exists a blue version of the pants for the leather set, but no other items in that coloration, so a full set of a blue version of this leather gear would be nice. I’d go for that mail gear in blue, too, whether it was blue & silver or blue & gold. For the plate set, a black & red Blood Knight version might be appropriate.

The shirt reward for actually winning the competition appears to be a darker version of the Gilnean Adventurer’s Shirt. It’s something that would be nice to have… but not “must have” to the level of strenuously trying to get it.

Still, I’ll probably try out the Trial of Style at least once or twice just to see how it goes. (Then again, I still haven’t gotten around to going Timewalking, even though in principle I think it’s a great feature…)

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Not being all that keen on being a Stormwind Guard or an Orgrimmar Grunt for a day, I was going to give this micro-holiday a pass until I read that the transformation worked for guards in all of the major cities.

It’s part of my Warrior’s RP story that she spent several years serving first as a Bluffwatcher,

then as one of Cairne’s Honor Guards.

So on this day of acknowledging the service of the city guards, it was natural that she’d want to return to Thunder Bluff and assist the Bluffwatchers.

I was surprised that the first City Attacker that appeared after I got the guard transformation was a male Troll in Dragonstalker gear.

Why would a Horde person be attacking a Horde city? I had expected the City Attackers to be enemy NPC races such as centaurs, harpies, troggs, naga, or mogu.

Soon, I saw that there was a group of transformed players standing around near the inn, and that City Attackers were rapidly spawning near them.

I joined the group and fought until I reached the commendation for 50 kills… but by then I was already getting kind of bored of the activity.

I observed that all of the City Attackers were player races wearing T2 armor. As well as the male Troll Hunter, I saw a female Undead Priest, a female Human Mage, a female Draenei Shaman, a female Tauren Druid, a male Blood Elf Paladin, a male Orc Warrior, a male Goblin Rogue, a male Tauren Death Knight, and a Gnome Warlock that I didn’t get a close enough look at to determine if it was male or female. After I’d thought on it for awhile, I concluded that this choice of appearances for the City Attackers was meant to emulate fighting off a PvP raid on the city — though it still seemed very strange to me that my Horde city should have Horde attackers. I think it would have made more sense for there to have been two groups of City Attackers — a Horde group that would only spawn in Alliance cities, and an Alliance group that would only spawn in Horde cities.

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A few of my characters — the Priest, the Druid, the Paladin — are already at the point where they need to run dungeons before they can progress any further in their Order Hall campaigns — and I know the others will get there eventually. This has had two stalling-out effects. One, I feel the need to complete the storylines of the appropriate zones so that I can maximize each dungeon run by also being able to grab the Pillar of Creation found therein. Two, I’m intimidated by reports I’ve seen in Blizzard Watch’s “The Queue” column of people being kicked from leveling Normal-mode dungeons for low DPS — and I have quite a bit of trepidation about healing with the Priest and the Paladin because they struggled through their Holy Artifact acquisition scenarios.

Between that and the baby, I have more or less entirely set aside any notion of making progress in Legion content (for the time being) in favor of filling out the holes in my Appearances collection.

This doesn’t mean I’m trying to collect everything I don’t have yet — I don’t like a lot of the appearances I don’t have (or even all of the ones I do). What it does mean is that I’ve gone through all the subcategories of the Appearances tab and made a list of items I don’t have yet that I do like and have been working on acquiring them; thus far, I’ve been focusing down the Plate armor list. I’ve been running old raids and dungeons rather obsessively for the past month or two, to the extent that I’m starting to feel like I might be in danger of burning myself out on it. I might go back to leveling as a break from the Mog farming!

I’m pleased that the holiday party clothes will become Moggable during the appropriate weeks. I guess I need to go through my party clothes collections and get that stuff out of my Banks and into my Appearances tab. I’ll have to check if the party clothes appearances are account-wide or armor-type limited or individual — if Kamalia has a pink Lunar Festival dress, will everyone be able to use it, or just Kam and Ketura (the mail wearers), or just Kam? Account-wide would be best, of course, but armor-type limited would be better than individual because it would mean less characters who’ll have to start doing holiday stuff again.

I am intrigued by the “Trial of Style” Mog competition scenario coming in the next patch. I applaud the developers for trying to come up with something interactive and fun involving Transmogrification. Two minutes isn’t all that long to create a new outfit, though! Unless I already have a new outfit in mind, I can spend 30 – 45 minutes sitting in front of the Warpweaver trying to assemble a new kit. Given that Wowhead has already datamined the “Trial of Style” themes, though, I can definitely see myself planning a set of outfits (one of each armor type) for each theme ahead of time.

The other thing in Patch 7.2.5 that sounds nifty to me is the Moonkin Festival! I’ve ignored the micro-holidays so far, but I’ll definitely have to make time to take my Druid to this one!

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great wings of fire!

When Ziggie Sparks first showed up at the Darkmoon Faire offering the Firebird’s Challenge, I tried it a few times and then gave up, frustrated, because I couldn’t even manage to get the 15 rings to complete the quest in one try.

How long has it been since that was a new addition to the Faire, anyway? For however long that is, I have been enviously watching folks using the Blazing Wings — and trying, in a sour-grapesian way, to convince myself that I didn’t really want them anyway.

Some weeks ago, I decided that I needed the Blazing Wings as the finishing touch for a Transmogrification kit.

So when the Faire came around again this week, I determined that I would buy a stack of Darkmoon game tokens and keep trying the Firebird’s Challenge until I got the Brood of Alysrazor achievement. On a whim, I chose to do it with my Demon Hunter. This proved to be a fortuitous choice, because when she failed to find a new ring in time and lost the flight buff, she could just unfurl her demon wings and Glide safely back down to the ground — rather than plummeting to her death, as Kamalia had done.
(A Mage or a Priest would also be good alts to use to work on this achievement, for similar reasons — Slow Fall and Levitate, respectively.)

On Kiralaira’s first time off the ground, she didn’t do any better than Kamalia had. The next time, I spent a few moments just looking around to see where the rings were before I started trying to fly through them — so I didn’t get it that time, either. That was a token well spent, though, because now I could plan my route a little bit farther in advance. On about her third try, I not only got through the 15 rings needed for the quest, I got through 25 and got the Ringmaster achievement before I couldn’t find the next one in time. This was very encouraging!

After doing other things elsewhere in Azeroth for most of the week, I returned to the Faire this afternoon, determined to get those wings. I used the map linked in the top comment on the Brood of Alysrazor achievement page on Wowhead to help plan my route. On about the fourth try, I got it!

Using Glide while the Blazing Wings are active gives double wings!

I guess I just needed the right motivation — i.e., a very specific Mog idea for which I wanted to use the Blazing Wings — though it’s not one that’s likely to appear on the Sunday Mog Show anytime soon because at least one of the other pieces for it requires level 110, and I’m not sure when I’ll get the specific character for whom I want to make this outfit leveled.

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With only three characters remaining, I decided to push them all through the Falling Star questline — get that mini-progression goal wrapped up — before having them continue on to level 102 and acquiring the rest of their Artifact weapons.

As I’ve taken more and more characters through the Battle of the Exodar, I’ve begun to imagine that what really happened was something like this: (more…)

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Although I had considered retiring my Draenei Mage, Kaprikka, at the Lamplighter Inn in Embaari Village, at the end of Warlords I ultimately decided to pull her back to the Exodar.

Ever since I played through the Battle for the Exodar scenario at the beginning of the Light’s Heart questline for the first time with Kamalia — knowing that Kaprikka was there when those terrible things happened there — I can’t bear to log in with Kaprikka. It would feel utterly wrong to be in an Exodar that is calm, peaceful, undisturbed, still filled with the soothing chiming of O’ros, still led by a Velen who is suppressing the ancient brokenness of his heart.

A few days ago, Mr Rossi wrote about the trauma experienced by major lore figures and how the in-game and external lore sources deal with it inconsistently. Something the Battle for the Exodar has made me stop and think about is the trauma experienced by the “little guys”, the ordinary folk of Azeroth. Every time I play through that scenario with another character, I can’t help but think, what was Kaprikka’s experience with this event — the experience of an ordinary Draenei citizen?

Some of the things the Terrified Draenei Citizens say when you rescue them — especially the things the children say —

— show that the devs put at least a little bit of thought into how this event would affect the ordinary people of the city. But that’s also another thing that makes it hard to think about logging into an unchanged, unaffected Exodar, with a Velen who is still a pillar of the Light.

When I played through the scenario again last night with my Blood Elf Mage, Kaelinda, it was even more harrowing than it has been for my other characters. I imagined Kaelinda remembering her visit there, in Human disguise, shortly before the Cataclysm, and being even more deeply horrified than my other characters by the fel destruction taking place. I imagined her searching for the face of her friend, Kaprikka, among the crowd when she first arrived at Velen’s bubble in the Vault of Light and becoming increasingly desperate as she didn’t find Kaprikka while looking for Terrified Exodar Citizens to rescue. I imagined that she caught a glimpse of Kaprikka running to safety after she had finished collapsing the Legion portals, but that she couldn’t stay because Velen took off toward the Seat of the Naaru. And even though what I actually did in-game was use Khadgar’s Beacon to teleport back to New Dalaran as soon as the scenario was over, if I were to write this event up as an RP story, Kaelinda would go back to the Vault of Light to talk to Kaprikka before she returned to New Dalaran.

For Draenei who have been around as long as Velen — or who are first- or second-generation children of the exodus — the attack of the Legion on the Exodar on Azeroth is probably just “oh no, not this again…” For Kaprikka, though, who is only 200 – 250 years old — born on Draenor, in Farahlon — this is only the second time that she has experienced this kind of thing… and if she’s honest with herself, in only a decade, she hasn’t completely recovered from the events that turned Draenor into Outland. And because she was in Farahlon, away from the worst of the rampage of the Orcs, the Legion’s attack on the Exodar on Azeroth is a more traumatic experience for her than Kael’thas’ Blood Elves’ attack on the Exodar that led to its flight to Azeroth.

“We were supposed to be safe here!”

“No, child, the Draenei are not ‘safe’ from the Eredar anywhere. The difference with this world is that here is where we stop running. Here is where make our final stand.”

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One day when Suramar was the faction-of-the-day, Kamalia opened up the prize box and out fell an orange ring.

Sephuz’s Secret is not a particularly exciting Legendary for Kamalia’s preferred playstyle, but it was still a significant ilevel upgrade over the rings she had been wearing, so she put it on.

Another day, she was doing one of the murloc world quests on the northern coast of Highmountain and happened upon a Flotsam kill in-progress. So she hopped in, because the gold reward for the associated world quest was good, and lo and behold, a Hidden appearance for the Doomhammer fell out.

Although I like the default appearance of the Doomhammer just fine and hadn’t been planning to actively seek out the Hidden appearance, now that I’ve got it, I’ll have to make a Troll-themed kit around the Warmace of Shirvallah appearance one of these days. Now, did I remember to save Kam’s Throne of Thunder gear long enough to get it loaded into my Appearances tab, or am I going to have to re-collect it…?

~*~*~

So, that news from Blizzcon X

I’m glad that there will be another chapter of the Order Hall Campaigns in Patch 7.2 — though it does mean that I will now have twice as much to do to achieve my grand expansion goal of completing the Order Hall Campaigns for all twelve Classes. I do hope, however, that having completed Improving on History will not be a prerequisite for being able to participate in the Patch 7.2 “Armies of the Legionfall” storyline. I can probably convince BTH to run Kamalia through the necessary Mythics for that questline, but I probably won’t be able to convince him to run all twelve of my characters through those Mythics.

Regarding those class-specific mounts from the Patch 7.2 Order Hall Campaign continuation —
The Rogue raven, Priest owl-sphinx, and Paladin armored war-steed v2.0 are awesome.
The Mage flying disc is pretty much what I guessed that the Mage mount might be before I even looked at the gallery. It’s plenty awesome, though, and I’ll definitely be using it once I get it.
The Monk glowy tiger is kinda nifty. I love the details of the kegs and teakettles hanging from the back of the saddle.
The Druid Warden-owl looks kinda goofy in that shot. Maybe it looks more awesome from other angles? As long as I’ll be able to choose whether to use Stormcrow form or Warden-owl form, I’ll be happy with it.
Is that Warrior mount essentially a red version of the blue Skyscreamer mount from Throne of Thunder? If so, yeah, that’s cool and I want it.
Meh on the Shaman, Hunter, Warlock, Demon Hunter, and Death Knight mounts, though. I doubt I’ll be using those.

I’m also intrigued by the idea of solo challenges to unlock new Artifact appearances. I just hope they’re not quite as frustrating as the Thunder Forge and Blessing of the Celestials scenarios from the Mists Legendary Cape questline were.

And Flying is coming in Patch 7.2, is it?
During the past week or two, Kamalia reached Revered with the Valarjar and the Wardens, completing Broken Isles Diplomat. Now the only piece of Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part One I have yet to complete is Good Suramaritan. But Loremaster of Legion is an account-wide achievement, so if I’ve completed the four leveling zones with Kam and then do Suramar with Kaelinda, I should still get the meta-achievement complete, ja?
And then I guess I’ll do the bits and pieces of Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part Two with whomever is able and has the most interest in doing those bits and pieces.

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