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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

/unignore In-Game Holidays

After the Underpowered Death Knight finally dinged 100 during Pilgrim’s Bounty last year, I decided that it was time to take a break from the in-game holidays. Of course, I did need to do a little bit of the Draenor Winter Veil stuff — just enough to get decorations for Kamalia’s Garrison and to stash away a set of decoration boxes for the Alliance Mage to use when she finally reached level 100. Since then, however, I’ve been quite successful at ignoring the in-game holidays.

Yesterday, though, it occurred to me that it would be appropriate to observe Pirates’ Day by taking the Rogue out to get the Outlaw Artifact. Alas, real life interfered in the form of a pile of GenChem exams that needed to be graded*. By the time I got the exam scores totalled and recorded, it was late and I had a nasty headache. I did take the Rogue to Booty Bay to get Petey, emergency pirate disguises, and the book of pirate insults, but getting her Artifact will have to wait for another time.

Today, Brewfest begins. A few years back, Kamalia joined the Brew of the Month club just to finish up the Brewfest meta-achievement so that my Monks could use the Brewmaster title. I’m getting tired of having my mailbox cluttered up with brews, so this year, she needs to do Brewfest so that she can obtain the Angry Letter and leave the Brew of the Month club.

Then when Hallow’s End comes, the Death Knight will want to do one day of the Draenor Hallow’s End quests so that she can leave her Garrison permanently decorated with glowing pumpkins. She’s still giving the Alliance Mage crusty looks for taking the pumpkin box that I had originally saved for her.

With new crafted Winter Veil clothes in the offing, I need to think about getting one or the other of my Tailors out to the Broken Isles and leveling up her skill before that holiday rolls around.

And the Underpowered Death Knight has been hinting that as long as she’s still going to be featured with a portrait on my Characters page, because of her special coloration and all, she wants to be leveled just to 101 — just enough to pull her above the crowd of my other Retired alts who don’t get their portraits on my Characters page anymore — which means doing fishing & cooking dailies in Thunder Bluff and making the rounds of the holidays….

* I make a point of getting exams graded and returned as quickly as possible, and my students definitely appreciate it. Lab reports, however, are another story…

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Just in time for those patriotic summer holidays, a set of red white and blue Transmogrification kits!

Captain Azeroth

Fleet Commander’s Hat, After Hours Pauldrons, Protectorate Assassin’s Tunic, Burning Blade Devotee’s Cinch, X-52 Pilot’s Leggings, Bandit gloves & boots, Zorbin’s Mega-Chopper
Given the origins of most of these items, however, perhaps this kit should be called “Captain Outland“.

ZAP!

Helm of Affinity, Ornate Pauldrons, Outrunner’s Chestguard Gloves & Slippers, Scarlet Belt*, Tranquillien Scale Leggings, Ironhide Bracers, Wildfire Windcloak, Shocking Claws
I collected a heap of red and blue mail items, hoping to get something usable out of the mess. When I added in these silver-white items, I got just the right balance of the three colors for a superhero-worthy knockout combo.

Imperial Eagle

Imbued Plate set with Alabaster Plate Pauldrons, Thorium Belt, and Spiked Battle Axe
This is a kit I’ve had in mind for the Underpowered Death Knight for a long time because it works particularly well with her coloring.
I thought that Old Stratholme in the Caverns of Time might be a good location to take screenshots with this kit. I’d forgotten that it applies an Alliance disguise to Horde characters — luckily, the illusion that the Underpowered Death Knight got was perfect for this kit.

Miss Starshine

Starfire Tiara*, Ternary Mantle, Blue Linen Vest, Astralaan Belt, Crimson Silk Pantaloons, Rotting Handwraps + Sage’s Bracers, Buccaneer’s Boots, White Swashbuckler’s Shirt, Wand of Arcane Potency, Regal Star
This hat, alas, is no longer available, having disappeared when Warlord Zaela took over Upper Blackrock Spire. Perhaps it might show up on the Black Market Auction House eventually? I didn’t spend all that time farming for it before Warlords launched to not ever use it, though, and stars are always in style for summer celebrations.

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ignoring the holidays

After diligently soaking up all the holiday XP she could during the past three years, the Underpowered Death Knight was very glad to take a break from the holidays this year!

In fact, it was so nice to not have to dedicate playtime to getting holiday XP with the Underpowered Death Knight that I decided to just ignore the in-game holidays entirely this year. At various times during the Lunar Festival, the Rogue, the Warlock, and the Feral Druid petitioned to do the world tour of paying honor to all the Elders. As the end of the holiday drew nearer, the Feral Druid became particularly insistent that y’know, she would really like to get to Draenor before the end of the expansion, so this XP would really be a nice boost to her current journey through Outland. But I resisted them all and succeeded in not doing anything for the first holiday of the year.

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Upon becoming my fifth character to reach level 100, Kaylynda promptly traveled back to her Garrison to upgrade her Town Hall and celebrate!

Kaylynda’s level 100 To Do list (not in any particular order of priority):
*get Jukebox, collect additional tunes
*find Archmage Vargoth’s stuff
* wait for Oralius to show up at the Inn to get the quest for the Whispering Crystal, then do Silver Proving Grounds so that she can go to UBRS for the Whispering Crystal and Millhouse Manastorm
* do Apexis dailies that are in Ogre areas to collect Waystones until she can upgrade her Mage Tower to level 3
* go back to Nagrand to finish up Yrel’s story and find out what’s up with Vindicator Nobundo
* putter around in Tanaan until Revered with Lion’s Watch
* go back to Pandaria and do Lion’s Landing and the Isle of Thunder

Next up in the leveling queue to get to 100 will most likely be either Kaelinda the Blood Elf Mage (currently level 95) or Kerisa the Druid (currently level 97).

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Winter Veil is here, and once again, Kamalia’s Garrison is more decorated for the season than my IRL house is.

It was a pleasant surprise that my Garrison had a minimal level Winter Veil decor already when I logged in yesterday, even before I went to do any of the holiday dailies.

I enjoy Christmas and like to decorate it, and ordinarily, I’d have started putting up decorations on December first. This year, though, BTH and I bought a house in October. We’ve been waiting on some renovation work to move in, which has been hindered by BTH having to travel for his job for a couple of weeks recently. In the meantime, we’ve been carrying carloads of stuff over to the house, and the things that have already been moved included my boxes of Christmas decorations. So I haven’t got any Christmas decorations put up at the house we’ve been renting. We’re hoping to officially move next Monday, though that may or may not actually happen. Maybe I can get some Christmas decorations & our little artificial tree put up on the 23rd or on Christmas Eve… Next year, I hope to finally be able to get a real Christmas tree.

In addition to moving and the normal holiday season family activities, one of BTH’s sisters is getting married this Saturday. So we will be pretty busy! Because Real Life is so hectic this year, I’m not quite sure how much time I’ll have to play the holiday quests over the next week or so. Thus, yesterday I used the Merry Supplies from all three of my characters with level 3 Garrisons to decorate Kamalia’s Garrison with the Ball of Tangled Lights, Imported Trees, and Old Box of Decorations. I didn’t get the Winter Wondervolt, but I did promote my Winter’s Helpers and Tiny Snowman to Favorite status in my pet journal for the season, so that they can spawn from the Menagerie. I might be able to add decorations to my other characters’ Garrisons later; for now, I wanted to make sure that Kam would get all the decorations she wanted. I should try to send a set of decorations to Kaylynda the Human Mage… Winter Veil is one of the times of year when I like being Horde the least, because the Horde Winter Veil trees are so ugly…

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After Hallow’s End, the Underpowered Death Knight finished up getting Exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpents. Her last day of those dailies just happened to be a Sky Race day…

I hadn’t managed to accomplish this with any of the other alts with whom I’d done this rep grind. I suppose I’d finally had enough practice with the Sky Race to figure out where to take shortcuts in the course… or maybe I just got lucky.

Now level 98, the Underpowered Death Knight returned to Draenor and set about doing the Pinchwhistle questline to acquire the plans for a Salvage Yard. She died so much that she was getting increasingly rez-timered, until I worked out a strategy of calling up an Army of the Dead on every pull. This meant waiting out the 10 minute CD on that spell between each pull aloft, hovering on a flying mount — thank goodness for Draenor Pathfinder!

Having at-level questing actually be difficult/challenging is kind of the point of being “Underpowered”, but having that much downtime wasn’t much fun.
Next, she did a little bit of archaeology and some treasure hunting, looking in places where I vaguely remembered having found treasures with Kamalia.

She paid a visit to Khadgar, too, just to clear that first step of the Legendary questline from her log, and to her great surprise, this popped up:

A little while later, the Underpowered Death Knight was somewhere in Frostfire Ridge, up above the Bloodmaul ogre stronghold, when she found a strange portal. When she tried to enter it, she was repelled with a message that she had to choose a class specialization before entering that scenario — and then the portal disappeared. She shrugged her shoulders and moved on.
When I logged in the next day, she had a letter from Khadgar:

So that‘s what that strange portal was. Well, how about that! I certainly hadn’t had any plans to go looking for that, and it was sheer dumb luck that I stumbled across it.

The Underpowered Death Knight wears the title “the Patient”, but by this point, she was not-quite-halfway through level 99 and I was starting to get rather impatient to just get to level 100 already. But now I had a dilemma. The XP yields from dailies in Pandaria and even quests in lower-level zones in Draenor had gotten quite small, but the mob strength and density in higher-level zones in Draenor are large enough that I knew I would have a difficult time getting anything done there. While I was pondering what to do, Pilgrim’s Bounty began. In past years, I’ve just done the initial round of Pilgrim’s Bounty quests and not bothered with repeating them. This year, though, being so close to the level cap… I did just enough of the first few quests in Spires of Arak and Nagrand for the XP gains from doing the Pilgrim’s Bounty dailies to get the Underpowered Death Knight to that final DING!.

The Underpowered Death Knight started out as a playstyle experiment: sometimes I feel bad for the mobs that I just mow down with most of my characters, thinking about how the experience of the mobs, even though they are in theory of equivalent level, is like my experience in PvP — un-fun because I feel helpless against my foes. So I thought it would be a nice change of pace sometimes to play with a character who has to choose her battles carefully and pull tactically, a character for whom one battle with an equal-level foe could potentially go to either combatant… but if adds come along, then she’s toast. And so the Underpowered Death Knight didn’t actually do that much at-level questing, or even that much below-level questing. She turned into an alternative leveler, gaining much of her XP from the holidays — especially the Tour-the-World holidays of Lunar Festival, Midsummer Fire Festival, and Hallow’s End — so that she could get overleveled enough to easily do the quests that she wanted to do for Mog gear rewards… which kind of felt like it was defeating the point of having her be “Underpowered”. I think this playstyle experiment has run its course, and the result is that I don’t really like being “underpowered” and I’m really rather tired of touring the world during the holidays.

The Underpowered Death Knight is “underpowered” because she has no specialization, no talents, and no glyphs other than a couple of entirely cosmetic minors and because she wears the lowest level plate armor that will still let her Mog. With Legion being so heavily focused around class specializations, what with the Artifact weapons and all, I’m not sure what she could even do in Legion content.

So I think that having reached level 100 makes a good stopping point at which to retire the Underpowered Death Knight.

She’ll still be around, from time to time, because I have a handful of Transmogrification kit ideas for her that I haven’t used yet. After all, my other main reason for creating the Underpowered Death Knight was to have a blue-and-white (and occasionally green) Tauren.

Previously: the Underpowered Death Knight visits Frostwall

Next: the Underpowered Death Knight takes the bank

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Decorated with dozens of glowing carved pumpkin lanterns — imported at great expense from Azeroth — the Garrison looked very cheery.

Kamalia’s Garrison is more decorated than my IRL house this year. This is about as far as I go with Hallowe’en decorations at home —

— and I didn’t even get that much done this year. Although I thought about pulling my few decorations out from time to time during the month, I never quite managed to get around to actually doing it.

I’m not much of a Hallowe’en person; I prefer the “autumn celebration” aspects of the holiday to the “facing our fears of death and mutilation” aspects. I like the dressing up part, too — though cosplay allows one to do that all year round, if one so desires.

I’ve done the Draenor/Garrison Hallow’s End dailies three times. Once to get the “Ghostly Glow” package for Kamalia’s Garrison, once to get a Seer’s Invitation, and once to get a second Ghostly Glow package to send to my DK for her Garrison. I sent the Seer’s Invitation to my Druid (she’s fascinated by the Arakkoa), but when she used it in her Level 2 Garrison, nothing happened. So my DK will hang onto the pumpkin package until she reaches level 100 and can upgrade her Garrison to level 3.

I will be doing the Winter Veil Draenor/Garrison dailies more often, though, because I want almost all of those decoration packages and may want to send some to alts, too.

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