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tick, tock

Ironically, all my nattering on about how much I dislike the Timeless Isle caused me to go spend some more time there yesterday evening. Writing about it reminded me that I had not yet done either the Timeless Isle or the Path of the Last Emperor with my most recently-dinged 90, Kaelinda — who reached that magic level three months ago. Furthermore, with Kaprikka closing in on level 85 and well on her way to 90, I needed to restock on cloth Timeless armor tokens.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in the process of applying for full-time academic jobs. Later this week, I have an interview for one of them! It’s just the first-round phone/Skype interview, and, from the number of timeslot options I was offered, it sounds like they’re considering eight, maybe ten, candidates — so no guarantees that I will actually get the job. Still, this small career progress is making the clock tick a little louder on getting my Warlock, Rogue, and Alliance (Draenei) character leveled to 90 not just before Warlords but also before my Real Life potentially becomes much busier. Time to buckle down and not let myself get distracted by things like brand new alts…

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This fortnight at the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic forum, Amerence says:

Let’s talk about “Time” in Timeless Isle — How much play time do you really spend time hanging out in this Island? What are the benefits despite those elite mobs ganking at you or, if you’re on a PvP server, for any faction tries to kill you? Or just Rare hunting? Is it really fun? Do you finish all the dailies by yourself or in a group?


these floating chests are probably my favorite thing about the Timeless Isle

One of Prinnie’s free-for-all Liebster questions was

Have you ever played a game so much your eyes glazed over? What game was it?

Well, the Timeless Isle glazes me over faster than just about anything else in the whole wide wonderful World of Warcraft. Running around mindlessly killing stuff just because it’s there or because it has aggroed onto me while waiting for a “rare” spawn or an event to appear bores me.

I don’t like the Timeless Isle because it makes me feel deeply inadequate. Some of my characters can handle the cranes, the yaks, the tigers, the turtles. I can’t do the big snakes. I haven’t really tried the crabs. The frogs and the elementals on the beach and in the cave get me more often than I get them. I can sometimes take on the littlest Yaungol. I don’t even try the big ones. The Timeless Isle exposes how poorly I play my characters… and because I have so very many characters with so very many other goals, I don’t want to spend the time and effort to learn how to play any one of them well enough to do well on the Timeless Isle. (I have not bothered with the Brawler’s Guild for the same reason.)

I will take a character who’s recently dinged 90 to the Timeless Isle once to do the introductory quests and to attempt to pick up armor tokens for any slots that weren’t filled by what I already had stashed away from previous characters’ trips to the Isle. I don’t try to get all the chests — just the easy ones I happen to wander past. (Kamalia herself only got the last chest for Treasure, Treasure Everywhere when BTH convinced me to go there with him as a last hurrah before he quit WoW to go play TESO until Warlords and he escorted me up to get the Blazing Chest. Despite Tome’s terrific tips, I am too much of a coward to try to get there by myself.) After that one trip, I generally don’t go to the Timeless Isle again until I’ve got another fresh 90.

I did spend a couple of hours on the Timeless Isle with my Paladin last week; I was out of ore, so she was flying around mining and when she got out to the eastern edge of the Jade Forest, I thought, “as long as I’m farming ore, I might as well pick up some Lesser Charms while I’m at it.” I felt really glazed over by the time I decided she had enough ore and could go home! Usually, though, I don’t even go to the Timeless Isle for Lesser Charms; I’d rather do dailies. Sure, doing dailies will take more time, but I will be less bored, and I will also get gold (instead of mostly useless Timeless Coins), miscellaneous useful items, and a much smaller repair bill!

I was quite grateful when, near the end of Cataclysm, BTH’s decision to change guilds for raiding reasons also moved us from the PvP server we’d initially rolled on (because his RL friends who were playing the game at the time were there) to a PvE server. In early Mists, seeing the high mixed-faction populations at all the rep-dailies areas — especially the Golden Lotus areas — made me even more grateful that I was no longer subject to ganking. The Timeless Isle has made me more grateful still! Even without taking the Censer of Eternal Agony into consideration, I would not want to go to the Timeless Isle ever, for any reason, if I were on a PvP server!

I am somewhat concerned about the extension of the Timeless Isle model to Warlords; if the level 100 non-raid content is too much in that vein, Warlords may be the expansion where Blizzard loses me. Hopefully Garrisons will prove engaging enough to retain my interest!

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Hearthstone graduated from beta yesterday with what seemed to me to be a relative lack of fanfare — perhaps it had already been scheduled to “go live” this week, but got overshadowed by the hullaballoo surrounding the unexpected opening of Warlords pre-orders and boosts to 90?

In honor of Hearthstone going live, I’ve made some edible Hearthstones!

I used Millya’s Unconjured Cinnamon Bun Frost Cookies recipe, with a few modifications. I used 1/2 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract instead of a full teaspoon of vanilla in the dough. I replaced the brown sugar in the filling with blue sugar crystal sprinkles, and I used finely chopped almonds instead of walnuts or pecans. I also left out the cinnamon and didn’t replace it with any other spice, though I considered using ginger or cardamom.

I suppose I’ll try Hearthstone eventually; for now, I have way too many things I want to do in WoW to allow myself to get distracted by another game — even if it’s from Blizzard and uses a lot of familiar concepts from WoW. The Hearthsteed mount is not, at this time, a lure; to me, it looks kind of wierd and freaky, and I’m content (for the moment) with my total mount count.

The Old Ladies may be thinking, “but Kam, didn’t you tell us on Saturday that you were giving up junk food, including cookies, for Lent?”. Well, yes, I did — I made an exception for these cookies because I’d been planning to do this for quite a while. I don’t literally observe Lent, anyway — Mormons celebrate Easter but don’t do the Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday/Lent/Good Friday thing. Although we have regular fast days on the first Sunday of every month, the concept of voluntarily abstaining from a luxury or indulgence of some kind for an extended period of time is still a good one. For some years now, my Mom and my sisters and (sometimes) I have chosen something to abstain from during Lent, using the Lenten season as a sort of way to supplement or reinvigorate our New Year’s Resolutions. One year, I chose just chocolate ice cream. During Lent, my ice cream consumtion as a whole — which was, at that point in my life, rather excessive — decreased, and afterward, I continued to be able to exercise more restraint. Hopefully, once these cookies are gone, I’ll still be able to resist junk food for the remaining time until Easter!

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Thunder Bluff Warrior of the Insurrection

Vicious Pyrium Shoulders, any sleeveless chestpiece, Shattered Hand belt, Imperial Plate Leggings, Jade Tiger Gauntlets, Grim Sabatons, Thunder Bluff cloak & tabard, Ymiron’s Blade
The Thunder Bluff Warriors who are occupying Razor Hill during the Siege of Orgrimmar wear neither gloves nor boots. If you have invisiboots, such as Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes or Ancient Skeletal Boots, by all means use them! Keija does not yet have any invisiboots, not having obtained any either by raiding or by grinding the necessary Kor’kron supplies during patch 5.3, but the Grim Sabatons blend in with the pants well enough to produce almost the same effect.
The NPC belt is the same style as the golden-brown Shattered Hand or blue-grey Grimscale belt, but in a warm grey color that is not available to players. I chose to use the Shattered Hand belt because I felt like the warm tones harmonized better with the tabard & cloak. The Jade Tiger gloves contain both silvery tones to coordinate with the pants and golden tones to coordinate with the belt and tabard, making them the best choice of Keija’s readily-available gloves.
The NPCs carry Ymiron’s Blade + Saltstone Shield, a brighter recolor of the Angerfang/Splinterspear/Bladestaff Hammer that is not available to players, a unique and unobtainable 2H axe, or sometimes even the giant totem that every Tauren player character dearly wishes she or he could wield.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry


Wyrmslayer Spaulders, Bloodscale chestpiece & belt, Brutish pants gloves & boots, Dire Maul, Shield of Maraudon
Oh oh oh! Oh no! I totally forgot that I had wanted to make this outfit for my secondary Warrior for Love is in the Air this year until after the holiday had come and gone. Fortunately, I had some screenshots of the holiday decor from previous years that were suitable for compositing.

Tiller with Shovel





Straw Hat, Ramshorn-Inlaid Shoulders, Armored Chestpiece of Eminient Domain, Field Plate Girdle, Antique Reinforced Legguards, Crystalvein gloves, Subservient Greatboots, Green Lumberjack Shirt, Tillers Tabard, The Shoveler
This outfit owes a great debt to Freyana’s fantastic entry for the final round of The Amazing Transmog Survivor Contest.

Tiller with Shovel and Torch

Straw Hat, Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale, Kargal’s Breastplate, Marauder’s Belt, Togrik’s Legguards, Talhide Lined-Gloves & Boots, Wikket Wrap, Yellow Lumberjack Shirt, Shovel of Mercy, Grayson’s Torch
As it happened, it was more convenient for Kamalia to collect the low-level quest rewards than to watch for the identical Veteran’s armor to appear on the AH.
Fortunately, the Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale dropped for me on my first Trial of the Champions run. The first boss encounter is incredibly, exceedingly obnoxious to solo because the NPCs get to chain stunlock with no diminishing returns.
When I “Do the Right Thing” to get the shovel, I always rescue the humans and wish I could save the whole field of them. Poor things, they will need a lifetime of therapy to overcome the PTSD from that horrific experience.
Prior to Cataclysm, Captain Grayson offered his quests to Horde as well as Alliance, and I ran multiple characters up the coast from Grom’gol to his lighthouse in Westfall to get the torch. Nowadays, alas, though he remains neutral, Captain Grayson only offers his quests to Alliance characters. Horde characters should watch the AH for the Mistyreed Torch.

Tiller with Pitchfork

Straw Hat, Murkblood shoulders & chest, Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity, Expedition Pants, Silentleaf Gloves, Swift Cenarion Footwear, Blue Lumberjack Shirt, Nether Trident
At its core, this outfit is the same as my “Newsie” set. I’ve just switched out a few of the accessories.
Kate always wears one of her Monk class quest belts. Other characters should look for a relatively plain brown belt, such as the Belt of the Raptor.
One of the reasons why I picked this trident for Kate’s earlier Fisherman set is that it also makes a halfway-decent pitchfork for a Farmer set. The War Scythe or Grim Scythe would also be suitable weapons for a polearm-wielding class to use in a Farmer outfit.

Tiller with Staff

Straw Hat, Outlander’s Pauldrons, Blue Overalls, Willow Belt, Tangled Thread Gloves, Apprentice Boots, Red Lumberjack Shirt, Rosethorn Staff
I’ve seen several variations on the classic cloth “Farmer” look that use the Skein Woven Mantle. Indeed, I had one squirrelled away in my Transmogrification vault guild bank for Kaohana to use in a Farmer outfit. When I finally got around to making her one, however, I decided to do something a little different and use this set of shoulders that she already had soulbound, rather than adding yet another item to her overflowing wardrobe.
I thought about using a really plain “walking stick”-type staff model, such as Umbranse’s Staff, with this kit. The fancier Rosethorn Staff appealed to me more, though I’m not quite sure why it felt so appropriate for a Farmer. Warlock Farmers should of course use their Staff of the Left Hand Path/Staff of Justified Sins. WTB a Transmogrifiable Broom!

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Well, here I am at the Argent Tournament yet again.

This week’s discussion of mount collecting reminded me that I am still missing some of the Argent Tournament mounts. I decided that I should just go get them, even if I’m not terribly excited about them, so that I can tick them off the list of relatively easy mounts to obtain and get my mount barn that much closer to qualifying for the Jade Pandaren Kite. My characters who have already maximized their ability to earn Champion’s Seals declined to take up this tedious chore, saying they had better things to do with their time. Thus, the task has fallen to Kinevra, my only Alliance character who is high enough level to participate in the Tournament.

At least she can still get XP from it. Furthermore, after the various outfits I’ve made with the Sunreaver tabard, it will be fun finally have a character with the beautiful Silver Covenant tabard.

Meanwhile, my golden, azure, jade, and onyx cloud serpents have been feeling like their clutch is incomplete without a crimson cloud serpent. Because I haven’t been doing any dungeon running with the sort of regular, coherent group that could work on heroic dungeon achievements, I’m not going to be getting the regular crimson cloud serpent. Someone was going to have to farm Mogu in the Vale for Skyshards to bring down Alani and get the thundering crimson cloud serpent. A bit surprisingly, mini-Kam decided that she wanted to be the one to do it. Even more surprisingly, beating up the Mogu with an Enhancement Shaman is more fun than doing it with any of other characters who’ve previously done Golden Lotus rep.

This also meant that mini-Kam was going to have to start working on some Pandarian faction reps, specifically Order of the Cloud Serpents and August Celestials.

I will probably start doing the Shado-Pan with her, too, when the August Celestial dailies are at Niuzao. And it’s tempting to do the Tillers, as well, so that I can grow cabbages for the Shado-Pan and striped melons for the August Celestials…

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The next time Kamalia came to the Seat of Knowledge, after having assisted in the defeat of Garrosh Hellscream, Lorewalker Cho trotted down from the dais to meet her, saying, “My friend, please meet me near the Big Blossom Mine in the center of the Vale. There is something I wish to show you there.”

This is a story about the lore event that unlocks following one’s first victory over Garrosh Hellscream. If you have not yet defeated Garrosh yourself, you may not want to continue reading it. Otherwise, (more…)

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If this is so, then why do neither Noodle Master Chin nor his assistant Noodlemonger Yol actually sell noodles?


And does Noodle Master Chin resent not having been invited to bring a noodle cart to the Celestial Court?







Noodle Master Chin must be a very balanced, harmonious pandaren indeed for Dawn’s Blossom to not have become overshadowed by a Sha of Sulking after the Timeless Isle reappeared.

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an oracular cow

Oracle of the Shifting Sands

Crown of Endless Knowledge, Replica Virtuous Mantle & Gloves, Vestments of the Oracle, Apothecary’s Waistband/Captain Sanders’ Sash, Earthmender’s Bracer of Shattering, Scarlet Filigreed Doublet, Invincible Stave
Each week since she reached level 90, Kaohana has been squishing bugs in Ahn’Qiraj — Prophet Skeram, the Bug Trio, Battleguard Sartura, Fankriss the Undying, and all the trash in between — hoping that Fankriss will drop the Robes of the Guardian Saint for her. Though Fankriss has dropped those robes at least three times for my Warrior while she was farming him for the Silithid Carapace Chestguard, my Priest has yet to see them.
Meanwhile, she’s been racking up the Brood of Nozdormu rep. This past week, she finally made it to Honored, and so, with a little help from Plaid Elf for the Twin Emperors and C’thun, I accomplished one of my longtime WoW goals: I acquired one of the insect-wing robes from Ahn’Qiraj. The red & gold Priest version is the only one available to Tauren; someday, I’d like to get the blue Mage version and the lovely purple Warlock version with my Blood Elves. I wish Blizzard would change the Brood of Nozdormu rep grind to start from Neutral instead of Hated!
The Scarlet Filigreed Doublet is just the right shade of red to blend with this robe and fill in that little gap between the sleeves and the bracers. The Red Linen Shirt is too light and orangey, and the Red Workman’s Shirt is too dark.
The Invincible Stave isn’t quite Benediction, but since the latter staff is no longer obtainable, it will have to do.

Darkmoon Oracle

Duskwoven Turban, Slime-Encrusted Pads, Willow Robe, High Councillor’s Sash, Soulcloth Gloves, Crescent Wand, Aboriginal Rod, Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire, Golden Filigreed Doublet
Kaohana wore this outfit during the December Darkmoon Faire, immediately prior to finishing her Shado-Pan rep grind.
The Aboriginal Rod is one of a few off-hand frill items that looks like a staff — the Highborne Star is another — thus allowing a caster to emulate Gandalf’s sword/dagger + staff style of magical combat.
The purple Mystical Headwrap might look even better with this outfit, but I have plans for another outfit for Kaohana that will use the green turban, and I don’t have any plans for outfits using the purple one.

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I’ve often wondered what Outland looked like when it was a whole world — what the Black Temple looked like before it was Black, what Farahlon was like before it became Netherstorm, what Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley were like before they were blasted. The screenshots of a lush, vibrant Shadowmoon Valley and the glowing, jewel-like Temple of Karabor do not disappoint! The geography of Old Draenor aligns suitably well with Outland as we know it, though I’m still a little skeptical about Zangarmarsh having been a Mediterranean-like sea. It is a reasonable ecological transformation… only on a geologic timescale, rather than the human timescale there is between one Warcraft game and the next. If those massive mushrooms were originally underwater, they would have evolved to be supported by the water pressure, and thus they should have utterly collapsed when the water drained. Were the sporeloks really originally an underwater species? If so, how did they evade extinction following the ecological catastrophe? I suppose it all must have been a consequence of the same fel energy that transformed Draenei into Broken.

I wonder how the time-travel thing is going to work out for Draenei characters. Even the youngest of Draenei player characters will have been born on Draenor, for the Draenei have simply not been on Azeroth long enough for children born there grow up enough to leave home and go adventuring. A Draenei traveling to Draenor-of-the-Past could very well encounter her or himself. What would you do, when confronted with your doppelganger, someone who both is and is not you?

From a lore/story perspective, I initially had a quite a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of Warlords of Draenor. I struggled to understand how an expansion focused on preventing the history of Draenor from changing could possibly conclude with any sort of heroic, triumphant, positive outcome. As Effraeti plaintively asked,

If we go back, are we just supposed to watch Draenor work through its intended history? Do we have to see Shattrath fall? Do we have to watch the genocide of the Draenei? Do we have to witness the creation of the Broken Ones? Do we have to stand aside as the Orcs destroy Draenor all over again?

I’ve been reading a lot of Diana Wynne Jones lately. One of her favourite themes is parallel worlds. Warlords of Draenor made more sense to me if I thought of it as side-slipping into a parallel timeline, a parallel version of Old Draenor. Such a side-slip convolution has happened more than once already in Azeroth’s timeline, after all — when Krasus sent Rhonin, et al., back to the War of the Ancients, and when Nozdormu brought a small group of adventurers into the End Time of another Azeroth sacrificed to save ours.

And, indeed, now that we know a little more about the expansion, that seems to be exactly what is going on. Garrosh goes back in time with the help of an as-yet-unidentified accomplice and unites the orc clans into the Iron Horde, thus splitting off a parallel version of Old Draenor that will now continue down a divergent pantleg of the trousers of time (to borrow a metaphor from Terry Pratchett). Our goal is to help that Draenor achieve a better, brighter future than that of the Draenor of our own timeline.

Time to put on our tinfoil hats crinkle crinkle and consider what else this twisting of timelines might mean.

I haven’t seen any of the Visions of Time myself yet, but apparently they hint that Kairoz or even Nozdormu himself might be involved in something shady having to do with Garrosh’s fate at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Suppose that Nozdormu is Garrosh’s accomplice, and goes off into that parallel timeline. Why might he do that?

Because knows how his life will end. As I already mentioned, at the end of Cataclysm, Nozdormu brought a group of adventurers forward in time to the achingly bleak and desolate End Time to defeat Murozond and release the binding that was preventing him from going backward in time to retrieve the Dragon Soul. By obtaining the Dragon Soul and using its power to defeat Deathwing, the Aspects and the mortal races of Azeroth together prevented Azeroth from falling to that awful fate. But if Azeroth was saved from the End Time, how were we able to visit it?

Because it wasn’t our Azeroth that died. It was/is/will be the Azeroth of the parallel timeline in which Garrosh redirects the orcish clans of Draenor and is thwarted from using them to invade Azeroth by our actions. (From what I’ve read, the Iron Horde isn’t intended to invade the Azeroth of that timeline, anyway — it is intended to come forward in time to crush and conquer the Azeroth that Garrosh just came from, our Azeroth.) The Bronze Dragonflight knows that an Azeroth never invaded by the orcs would not be strengthened by the orcs-versus-humans conflicts.

The Burning Legion could still attack that Azeroth using the Scourge as a tool, with some other being from some other unfortunate world as the first Lich King instead of Ner’zhul. When Deathwing rises from Deepholm in that timeline, the Aspects and mortal races could be too beleagured by the Scourge to effectively stop him from wasting the world. On that Azeroth, in the timeline where Draenor remains a whole and living world, the Aspects will fail in their charge and the Old Gods will succeed in bringing to pass their End Time.

Nozdormu knows that he must fall into shadow, become Murozond, create the Infinte Dragonflight. He knows that an Azeroth must die for our Azeroth to live. And so he chooses to aid Garrosh, because it is only by splitting the timelines that his future and what is now our past (the defeat of Deathwing) can come to pass.

The Draenor of “our” timeline must die so that “our” Azeroth can live. The Draenor of the parallel timeline must live so that the Azeroth of the parallel timeline can die… and “our” Azeroth can live.

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Tomorrow, Blizzcon begins, and I am looking forward to finding out What’s Next for World of Warcraft?

I would like to see a new class, to bring the current awkward eleven up to a nice round dozen. I’d like it to be a mail-wearing class, so that there will be the same number of classes for each armor type. It should be available to Gnomes, because Gnomes have no mail-wearing class and every other race has at least one class that can use each armor type. I confess that I’m not quite sure what such a class would be or do, though, because Shamans and Hunters between them have a good spread of roles. Perhaps some sort of mail-wearing tank?

I really hope that the next expansion doesn’t abandon dailies entirely. As unpopular as this opinion seems to be these days, I like doing dailies. Perhaps it is evidence of some great flaw in my character that I am happier when structure is provided to me than when I have to figure out how to structure my time myself (a big reason why I enjoyed TAing but didn’t do so well at research when I was in graduate school), but nonetheless, I like the structure that dailies provide.

I like dailies because they act as a convenient timing mechanism for professions farming. When my Jewelcrafter had only one primal diamond cut left to find and also needed the Sapphire Cub pattern to be my 20th Crazy Cat Lady kitty pet, I felt bored just thinking about spending hours grinding mogu in the Vale. Instead, I picked up the Golden Lotus dailies, and whatever mogu she encountered in the round-trip between the Setting Sun Garrison and the bottom of Guo-Lai Halls were enough dead mogu for one day. In this fashion, it took about a week to get the patterns I wanted — and she also got Exalted with the Golden Lotus. I did the same thing with my Monk to get the six 5.4 cooking recipes from the Vale. While I do sometimes choose to farm herbs, ore, and leather by just flying around looking for them for an hour or two, it feels like a more productive use of my time to simply pick up whatever materials I happen to come across while I’m in the process of doing dailies. I actually liked the Fatty Goat Steak cooking daily better before the droprate was buffed because Kamalia could get so much leather while doing it.

Dailies help me distribute my playtime among my multitude of high level alts. I run through my character selection screen, tending each character’s garden and doing dailies for any factions that character is currently interested in, then moving on to the next character. If my playtime is limited, I start with the character(s) whose faction progressions are currently my highest priority in-game goals.

Although I like the way dailies give me something concrete and discrete to do with each character’s playtime, Valor Points, in and of themselves, are not enough of a reward to keep me coming back to any given set of dailies/repeatable quests again and again and again. I didn’t do the Battlefield:Barrens weekly very often, and I haven’t bothered with the Timeless Isle weekly that awards 200 VP, either. The faction has to offer some kind of reward I want, whether it is a mount or an item of clothing or a title or even RP/story fulfilment. I haven’t come back to the Domination Offensive because there weren’t any sufficiently cool-for-Transmogrification items of gear and I haven’t felt like any of my other characters needed to play through the story for RP reasons (my Blood Elf Mage and Dwarf Shaman will probably do the 5.1 stuff eventually). I haven’t done Isle of Quel’danas dailies since Wrath launched because I haven’t had any characters who wanted the Shattered Sun tabard. After Kamalia had gotten her Flameward Hippogryph and Kerisa had played through the conclusion of the Leyara story for an RP desire to understand what had gone wrong with the Druids of the Flame, I didn’t come back to the Molten Front until recently. Kaelinda wants the ruby pink gloves sold by one of the three vendors that unlock late in the grind, and I find that I’m actually rather enjoying the Molten Front dailies this time around — a combination of the place being virtually empty of players, not being on a PvP server anymore, and being level 86+. I have only come back to the Isle of Thunder once a week or so, when I’ve wanted Lesser Charms or had a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen drop from Throne of Thunder trash in LFR. But I’ve run most of my characters through the Argent Tournament, and so far I’ve run most of my level 90s through the Shado-Pan dailies, too.

I do get tired of those dailies after awhile. I need a rest of a few weeks between when I’ve reached my Argent Tournament goals with one character and when I start doing it again with another character. I’d been bringing up a new character to 90 as soon as the previous one had acquired her Replica Shado-Pan Helment, but it’s been a few weeks since my Paladin got her Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, and I only just brought my Priest to Pandaria yesterday.

Even though I need a break from my favorite sets of dailies sometimes and there are certainly many factions whose dailies I am quite happy to leave behind, I fear that the next expansion will not hold my interest for very long if it eschews dailies completely in favor of Timeless Isle-like content.

For me, the replay value of the Timeless Isle has been rather limited. It’s fun enough the first time I bring a character there. After I complete the one-time quests and I’ve solved Rolo’s Riddle and all that is left is grinding for Timeless Coins, Epoch Stones, and armor tokens, I get bored. I’m not much interested in the pets, rare spawns, or vanity/toy items. I’d rather go to the Timeless Isle with another fresh character than visit multiple times with the same character. I am more satisfied by time spent on the Isle of Thunder running through the Sunreaver Onslaught’s daisy-chain of dailies than I am by time spent wandering around the Timeless Isle looking for things to do.

The Isle of Giants, which is even less structured, I’ve barely bothered with at all. I’ve taken Kam there a couple of times for Transmogrification photo-shoots. I’ve been there twice with my Hunter. The first time, I got my Tome of Dinomancy, tamed myself a Direhorn, and ran all over the island in the direhorn disguise just to see what was there (I liked how the scenery is like Zouchin Province with touches of the Lost Isles). The mounts and most of the pets available there didn’t interest me much, but I did come back a couple of weeks ago to try to farm the Direhorn Runt while BTH’s guild was fighting Garrosh — I wanted to be doing something I could drop quickly to go watch the cinematics if they defeated him. I got SO BORED. I bought a Direhorn Runt off the AH a day or two later.

BTH’s guild didn’t defeat Garrosh that night that I was on the Isle of Giants, but they did defeat Garrosh a few days later, on the Monday just before the last wing of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR opened. I watched the cinematics and quest events over his shoulder. I’d seen the name of the new warchief mentioned a couple of times already, but that wasn’t really much of a spoiler. Blizz has spent Mists building up just two of the other Horde leaders, so it was either this guy or that other guy. I still haven’t done more of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR than the Vale of Eternal Sorrows myself, though. I did finally finish up with Throne of Thunder by bringing Lei Shen’s black heart to Wrathion, but now I’m stuck on Chi-Ji’s challenge. After the way the NPCs have shown up in my raid frames for the Thunder Forge scenario and the Proving Grounds, it is very frustrating to me that Wrathion does NOT show up in my raid frames for Chi-Ji’s challenge. It makes the whole thing quite a bit more difficult. My third or fourth attempt was really good — I got quite close to completing it — and then I failed and failed and failed. Kam is still sulking and procrastinating tweaking her talents (and possibly glyphs) for further attempts… and I probably won’t do much more Siege of Orgrimmar LFR until she’s got her legendary cloak and Wrathion’s quest to kill Garrosh.

But that might take awhile, because I’d rather be leveling my Priest and my Blood Elf Mage and then, when they reach level 90, doing their dailies.

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