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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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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Kaelinda accompanied Karaelia to the Isle of Quel’Danas. “I should very much like to see this prismatic blade fully restored,” she explained, “and it might help your case with Ranger General Brightwing if a Sin’dorei on pilgrimage is with you. It has been some time since I last visited the Sunwell, since its renewal.”

As they approached the entrance to the Sunwell complex, a warden warned them, “Only those who have the Ranger General’s approval may enter the Sunwell Plateau.”

Kaelinda sighed. “This is the most sacred place known to the Sin’dorei, but it had been long enough since we regained control of the Sunwell that the guard had been relaxed and it had become much easier for pilgrims to gain entrance. Then Garrosh happened, and the guard here got more stringent again to protect against him trying to use the Sunwell for nasty purposes. Did you know that Regent-Lord Theron was thinking about opening talks with Stormwind for the Sin’dorei to rejoin the Alliance? Then there was that terrible incident with the Divine Bell in Darnassus, and the Purge of Dalaran, and now the guard here is tighter than it has ever been except for right after we reclaimed this place.”

Ranger General Brightwing scowled at them. “You would raise the hopes of our people with tales of Quel’Delar? Without proof of the truth of your claims, I see no reason to take you at your word.”

Karaelia unbuckled the scabbarded sword and handed it to him. He examined the hilt, and his demeanor changed.

“Oh, so you are the one with whom Myralion Sunblaze has been working. Well, then. And Magistrix Dawnstrider, I apologize, I did not recognize you at first. Still, I must verify that you are not trying to hoax our people with a cunningly crafted replica.”

“These have been trying times, of late,” Kaelinda acknowledged.

“I know of a way that we can test this sword,” said the Ranger General. “If you know the blade’s history –” he paused, looking at them in a significant sort of way, and they both nodded. Satisfied, he continued, “then you will recall that it was last wielded by Thalorien Dawnseeker in the defense of the Sunwell against the Scourge. He fell in what is now the Dead Scar, buying time for his regiment to make their own preparations. You will find his remains at the southern end of the Dead Scar on this isle. Visit them, and if his spirit gives you its blessing, I will allow you to enter the Sunwell with this blade.”

~*~*~

Karaelia looked out over the blackened, bone-carpeted Dead Scar and wondered how she would find one man’s remains among the debris. Perhaps the sword would give her an indication of when she had found its former master?

She was glad for Kaelinda’s company. The mage quickly prepared a small seeking spell that would search for armor items bearing the sigils of the Dawnseeker family. She sent it out across the Dead Scar, where it zipped back and forth, hovering here and there for a moment or two. At last it hovered in the same spot for several seconds, then exploded in a spray of firework-like sparks.

As Karaelia and Kaelinda approached the spot, both the sword and the armor-clad skeleton lying there began to glow. A ghostly regiment of high elves appeared. Their commander addressed them.

“We must defend the Sunwell from the enemy at all costs. I am ordering you to withdraw to the Sunwell proper to help prepare the defenses. I will make my stand here and buy you as much time as I am able. Use it well and make our prince proud. It has been a great honor to fight beside you in defense of our land and people.”

The ghostly regiment turned and walked northward toward the Sunwell. The commander faced southward, readying himself — and then he noticed Karaelia and Kaelinda.

“You! Strangers!” he said, “You are not my soldiers. Will you stay and stand with me to face the enemy?” When they nodded, he faced southward again and shouted, “Listen well, Scourge defilers! None of you will reach the Sunwell so long as I stand!”

A death knight on a deathcharger approached, proclaiming, “You will fall as your lands and city have before you. My lord will win a great victory here, and none will remember your name!”

Waves of Scourge assaulted the high elf commander, but with Karaelia and Kaelinda’s assistance, they were all destroyed. The ghost turned to them. “I… I wasn’t meant to survive this attack. Why has this happened? Why have you come here?”

His gaze fell upon the hilt of Quel’Delar. “It’s the sword!” he exclaimed, “Quel’Delar! You possess it!”

Astonishment filling his voice, he continued, “I don’t know how, but the blade has chosen you to be its new wielder. Take it with my blessing, and wield it against the Scourge as I once did.” He knelt before Karaelia, then vanished. The glow surrounding the sword and the armored skeleton rapidly faded away.

~*~*~

“You truly do carry Quel’Delar,” said Ranger General Brightwing, when they related to him what had occurred in the Dead Scar. “This is a great day for all of Quel’Thalas and the Sin’dorei. You have my leave to enter the Sunwell and finish the sword’s restoration. The children of Silvermoon have dreamt of this day for years.”

A warden escorted them into the Sunwell Plateau complex, leading them on a separate path from the one the rest of the pilgrims were taking. They soon reached the Sunwell itself.

At the edge of the Sunwell, a group of pilgrims was listening to Lady Liadrin. Karaelia and Kaelinda sat down to listen, too. The pilgrims nearest to them scooted away, instinctively shying from the evil radiated by the saronite in the blade of Quel’Delar.

“My brothers and sisters,” the Blood Knight Matriarch said, “words cannot describe what I felt upon seeing the Sunwell rekindled. In that moment, the Light revealed to me the truth of the terrible things I had done. Our people had walked a dark path, and mine was among the darkest of all.

It is a strength that we Sin’dorei all share. It is a strength we will need to free ourselves of the addiction ravaging our people. It will be the most difficult battle we have ever faced, but our resolve and the power of the Sunwell will sustain us until we have been restored to our greatness.”

The group of pilgrims applauded, then dispersed. Lady Liadrin withdrew from the edge of the Sunwell, following her own challenge to resist renewed addiction, and sat down on a bench. She closed her eyes and appeared to be meditating.

Karaelia knelt at the edge of the Sunwell and carefully immersed Quel’Delar in it. A shower of light burst forth, sparkling and crackling. A gasp, followed by the “ooh” and “ahh” of a crowd at a Midsummer Fire Festival fireworks show, arose from the pilgrims. The blade began to shine with a pure, clean radiance. It almost seemed to be singing with joy.

As Karaelia reached for the hilt, she could no longer feel the sticky sensation of saronite’s evil pulling on her soul. At the same time, the hilt seemed to be pushing her away with little arcs and pulses of light. Karaelia looked around, saw Lady Liadrin, and understood.

Thalorien Dawnseeker had told her that Quel’Delar chose its own wielders. It had chosen her to bring it here, but now that it was restored and purified, it was not hers to continue to bear.

She knelt before Lady Liadrin. “My Lady,” she began, unsure of quite how to say what she meant.

“Yes, young one?” Lady Liadrin opened her eyes, and Karaelia watched her expression change to awe as she looked over Karaelia’s head and saw Quel’Delar glowing in the Sunwell.

“My Lady Liadrin,” Karaelia began again, and now she knew what she should say, “here is Quel’Delar, the prismatic blade gifted by the dragonflights to your people so long ago and lost in the Scourge attack on the Sunwell. I know not why it chose me and my family and friends to recover it, but now that it is restored, there is only one person who has the right to wield it: you. You, the champion of the Light for the Sin’dorei.”

Lady Liadrin rose to her feet, placing a slightly shaking hand on Karaelia’s shoulder. “Am I truly laying my eyes on the weapon of Thalorien Dawnseeker?” she said, in a slightly breathless voice. “This is a wondrous day for all Sin’dorei. Our people, sin’dorei and quel’dorei alike, have dreamt of this for years. Quel’Delar rises again, as the Sin’dorei rise again and again from the ashes of defeat and betrayal!” Liadrin’s voice strengthened as she spoke, and now as she proclaimed these triumphant words, she stepped past Karaelia to the edge of the Sunwell, reached out, and Quel’Delar leapt into her hand. Liadrin held the prismatic blade high above her head, and the cheering of the elves echoed off of the faraway ceiling of the room.

Lady Liadrin lowered Quel’Delar. Wordlessly, Karaelia handed her its scabbard. As she sheathed the blade and buckled it to her side, Liadrin turned to look at Karaelia directly. “Thank you, Tauren — no, I know you, I have seen you working with my Knights. Karaelia. Thank you, Karaelia, for doing this great service for my people. You have done us, and yourself, a great honor. Light — or how do your people say it? An’she? An’she be with you.”

~*~*~

“So,” said Keija, when Karaelia returned to the farmhouse at Halfhill, “where is that sword we made from that battered old hilt that Kam gave you? I thought you went to the Sunwell to cleanse the taint of saronite from it. What happened? Did you drop it all the way in and lose it at the bottom, or something?”

“No,” Karaelia replied quietly, shaking her head. “I didn’t lose it. I gave it to Lady Liadrin. That sword… it choses its own masters, and once I took it there, and cleansed it, my part in its story was done. It was never really meant for me.”

Around the common room of the house, her sisters’ heads nodded. Kamalia looked up from her leatherworking and smiled at Karaelia. “I knew there was a reason why I felt like I ought to give that hilt to you. Well done, little sister, well done.”

~*~*~

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