Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

I was thinking about the new rewards for Brewfest this year — I’ll be spending the Underpowered Death Knight’s tokens on the Stout Alemental and naming it “Yes No Peppers” or “More Corn” or something else of the sort in honor of Uncle Gao’s masterpiece — and it occurred to me that if there was a Brewfest Music Roll (ideally just the fun polka music, minus the drunken laughter and terrible jokes) on offer, I’d be doing ram-racing with Kamalia, too.

I wondered, why didn’t Blizzard do this? It would be a fun addition to the holiday. As I thought about it, I realized that most of the other holidays don’t have distinctive holiday music tracks. The only one I can think of is the ribbon pole dance music from Midsummer Fire Festival (I’d spend holiday tokens on that, too). Can you guys think of any other special holiday music?

If all the holidays had special music, then I’d say that it’s a huge missed opportunity that Blizz hasn’t added holiday music rolls for the Garrison jukebox to the holiday vendors. But if it’s just one or two, then I guess it wouldn’t make quite as much sense.

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Kamalia and the others who had worked with the Shado-Pan previously must have made a good impression, because the pandaren guardians readily accepted and even welcomed the Underpowered Death Knight’s appeal to be allowed to assist them for a time.

She got to know Fei-Li and Snow Blossom quite well as she helped them thwart the objectives of the mogu still plotting on Shan’ze Dao. She went with Chao the Voice, Lao-Chin the Iron Belly, and Protector Yi when the unruly yaungol at Fire Camp Gai-Cho needed subduing. Like her Dawnstrider friends, though, she politely declined missions to deal with the mantid on Sra’Vess.

The Underpowered Death Knight never felt like she’d even begun to understand the “Shadow Dance” of which Snow Blossom so often spoke, yet, after some months, the Shado-Pan honored her with one of their signature hats.

She stayed on at the Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes for another fortnight or so simply because she wasn’t sure where to go or what to do next. She considered again if she might be strong enough to return to Draenor. By some magic, just as she was pondering this question, she received a letter from Kamalia.

She was probably strong enough now that she could go to Frostwall Garrison, but she wasn’t sure that she’d really have anything she could do there. Archaeology, perhaps, maybe with a little fishing on the side? Or would that be fishing, with a little archaeology on the side? As she hadn’t taken any primary professions, she felt that gathering herbs and ore at Frostwall would be… cheating, somehow. And this thing she had heard about gathering followers to help staff Frostwall… was she not herself a Follower, in a sense, of Kamalia? It didn’t seem right for her to have followers collecting things for her, and it didn’t seem at all fair that actions of her followers could bring her experience…

The Underpowered Death Knight read the letter again. It did not specify a time by which she must come to Frostwall.

There was still a lot that she could do in Pandaria. She could look for the Lorewalkers’ scrolls. She could help the Golden Lotus with cleanup in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. She could learn more about the August Celestials. She could even go into the Dread Wastes and see if the lesser members of the temporarily truce-making faction of the mantid, the Klaxxi, still wanted outside assistance in the wake of the total party kill of their Paragons during the Siege of Orgrimmar. But one pandaren group stood out from all the rest — as she had worked with Fei-Li and Snow Blossom to free the wild cloud serpents of Shan’ze Dao, she’d been intrigued by their mentions of an order of cloud serpent riders in the Jade Forest. Yes, that was where she should go next, to the Arboretum to see how those cloud serpent eggs and hatchlings she’d helped to rescue were faring.

While she was at the Arboretum, however, the checkered flags suddenly made her aware of a certain crispness in the breeze. Perhaps she should take a couple of weeks off to go ram racing as a warm-up for cloud serpent racing…

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We Hear You

In the nearest metropolitan area to the small town where I now live, there is a car dealership chain which, for the past several years, has hung its hat on the slogan “We Hear You.” It’s the idea that unlike all those other car dealerships where the salesperson will talk your ear off trying to get you to buy a car that’s more luxurious and expensive than what you really want or need, at this dealership, the salesperson will listen carefully to everything you have to say about what you need and want in a car and then do their very best to select the car that most exactly fits your desires.

To me, the content of Patch 6.2.2 feels like Blizzard saying, “We Hear You.”

There’s the flying thing, of course, for which I am very grateful.

Then there’s the increased rewards for Timewalking. I’m a fan of the principle of Timewalking, but I just haven’t managed yet to actually get out and DO it when Timewalking is the Bonus Event of the week. Collecting Badges to add the Hourglass of Eternity and Ever-Shifting Mirror to my Toybox just might be the right carrot for me.

The thing that makes me the most excited and happy, though, is this:

Sure, there are those who say that with Legion glowering on the horizon, the Garrison is practically obsolete already and so it’s silly to patch in this stuff that we’ll only really get to use once. I agree that it would have been better if this stuff had come out right at the beginning of Warlords, or even with Patch 6.1. But I, for one, am sure glad that Blizzard paid attention to the fraction of the population who feel that being able to decorate their Garrisons for the holidays will make them feel a little more like a home. I’m delighted that I can look forward to putting out some pumpkins and spooky lanterns for Hallows End and some trees and wreaths and mistletoe and lights and stockings and presents for Winter Veil. I hope that a little later on, we’ll get paper lanterns for Lunar Festival and lacy hearts for Love is in the Air and maybe even painted eggs for Noblegarden, too, because I would be astounded if Legion launches before those holidays come around again.

The giddy anticipation of being able to decorate my Garrison for the holidays is almost enough to make me want to try to get all my active Garrisons to level 3 in time for Winter Veil… except that I’m enough of a realist to recognize that I simply don’t have that kind of time, nor will I really want to spend the time collecting holiday tokens to buy decoration kits on all of my characters. I should at least try to get my Alliance Mage up to level 100 by Hallow’s End, though, so I can have Garrisons of both factions all decked out for the holidays.

Thank you, Blizzard, for listening and for taking the time and effort to make our remaining time on Draenor, in our Garrisons, more pleasing and enjoyable.

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Hot and Cold

The first round of Patch 6.2 hotfixes went up before I even logged into the game yesterday, and after seeing that a quite a few of them involved crowd control — seriously, Blizzard, oughtn’t you to have learned by now that questgivers that bottleneck shiny new content require collision geometry and auto-dismounting auras? — I decided to wait a few days to let the initial rush die down a bit before doing the Shipyard/Tanaan Jungle entry questline.

Instead, I recruited a greasemonkey from my Inn (and got a lady Tauren on the first try!), then promptly tore the place down and spent the next three hours replacing it with a level 3 Trading Post to speed up my rep gains in Tanaan once I get there. While I waited for the peons to build and then upgrade my Trading Post, I did an Apexis daily, some Archaeology, and some treasure hunting. Between Shadowmoon Valley (which I cleared out a few days ago) and Frostfire Ridge (last night), I quite easily found enough treasures to reach 100. So now I just have to finish Securing Draenor and the Tanaan rep grinds to qualify for flying.

Meanwhile, it is Midsummer Fire Festival — time for the Underpowered Death Knight to don her platekini for her summer world tour.

It’s Summer and I Wanna be Hot Hawt Hot!

Jewel of the Firelord, Twilight-Heart Shoulderplates, Nether Protector’s Chest, Stalwart Girdle, Symbolic Legplates, Talonguard Gloves, Landfall Plate Boots, Amber Filigreed Shirt, Smoldering Gunship Strut
The turquoise accents on this shirt allow it to blend well with the blue of the chestpiece, and the gold filigree details against the orange background irresistibly remind me of the Midsummer Fire Festival banners.

Midsummer, with its clash of fire elementals and ice elementals, is also as good a time as any to show off this kit that I recently made for Kaelinda.

Ice Lance

Twilight Mantle, Grimfrost Arcanist Robe, Turquoise Sash*, Breezebinder Handwraps, Cushy Cenarion Walkers, Cloak of Cheerful Flowers, Formal White Shirt, Frostbitten Staff
Some of the Warlords robe styles have an odd issue where they show a band of boot color around the hem of the skirt. The boots that match this robe style are more like really tattered socks — they leave the toes cold and don’t cover much of the ankle — and they show as a band of skin color on the robe. That looks really strange, but fortunately it’s pretty easy to find some boots that coordinate with the main color of the robe. If you haven’t got these Outland quest reward boots, the Royal Boots also work well.

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“Good morning, Miz Kaumaleia!”

“Good morning, Andi.” Kaumaleia waited to hear which of the Tillers the boy thought she ought to appease today.

“You know,” said Andi, “I’ve been thinking. I’ve got it pretty good living here with Uncle Yoon and all these great folks here in the Heartland. But there’s a lot of orphans here in Pandaria who don’t. Even without you outsiders and your silly war, there’ve always been the mantid and the yaungol and the saurok and the hozen… There’s an orphanage in Dawn’s Blossom, and you’ve been so nice about helping out around here that I think you should go see if you can help them out, too.”


Orphan Matron Mai-Lin scowled up at Kaumaleia. “I guess you’re not a yaungol — your face is all wrong.”

“No,” Kaumaleia agreed, “I am not a yaungol. I am a taunka from Northrend, as far to the north of the world as Pandaria is to the south.”

“Hmph,” said the Matron. “Well, it’s about time one of you outsiders took some responsibility for the consequences of your actions. The massacres at Pearlfin Village and Grookin Hill and the battle at Serpent’s Heart left a lot of young jinyu and hozen family-less and homeless.” She looked over her shoulder at the youngsters peeping curiously around the door- and windowframes of the orphanage building, and though her face softened, they all ducked.

Orphan Matron Mai-Lin considered for a moment, then walked into the building, motioning for Kaumaleia to stay outside. Through the windows, Kaumaleia could see monkey-like hozen and fish-like jinyu tussling in a way that strongly reminded her of the wolvar and gorloc children at the Dalaran orphanage. She watched as the children settled down in the Matron’s wake. The Matron selected one of the older-looking hozen, briefly spoke with him (or her? Kaumaleia had difficulty distinguishing the males from the females), and then brought the child outside.

“Bonzo is almost old enough that soon it will be time for him to leave the orphanage and decide what he wants to be in the world. Perhaps you can help him with this choice.”

Bonzo gazed up at Kaumaleia with complete awe for a few moments. Then he grinned and asked, “Can I ride on your shoulders?”

“Of course you may,” said Kaumaleia, dropping to one knee and holding out a hand for him to climb up.

Orphan Matron Mai-Lin smiled. “I think you two will get along just fine. Oh, and don’t mind the gloves. He’s a bit… pugnacious, but they’re all he’s got to remember his family by.”


When Kaumaleia asked Bonzo where he wanted to go and what he would like to see, he thought for a minute or two before replying.

“Didja hear about how Ken-Ken the hozen monk cured Zhu’s Watch of the super-sads?” he said at last, “He trained at Tian Monastery, up on the next big mountain to the north of Dawn’s Blossom. They’ll teach anybody — pandaren, hozen, slimy jinyu, even strangers like you! Maybe I could be a monk, too… Let’s go check it out!”

“Wow, I didn’t think being a monk would be so much work! But I’ll do the work if it means I get to eat all that great food!”


“Some hozen don’t get along very well with anyone. Some hozen get along great with everyone… well, everyone that’s not jinyu.” Bonzo paused for a moment and made a face. “Anyhow, some hozen get along so well with pandaren that they work with them on their farms. I heard that there’s a hozen in the Heartland who has his own farm! His name is Chee Chee, and he raises sheep! I wanna visit him and find out how he did it. Um, does it, I guess?”

“Lookit all those frikfraks decorating Chee Chee’s house! Toldja he was important. Are you gonna help him save his sheep from those Kunzen hozen? They sound like they’re the kind that don’t get along with anyone.”


“I know, I know!” Bonzo exclaimed, “I wanna be a pirate! The Matron doesn’t let us have parties at the orphanage very often, but pirates have fun parties all the time! There’s some hozen pirates that hang out at a place called Unga Ingoo. It’s one of the islands that surrounds the Nayeli Lagoon off the coast of Krasarang Wilds. Can we go to a pirate party?”

“That would have been a more fun beach party if those pirates weren’t so mean… Can I keep the Golden Banana?”


Bonzo looked pensive as they returned to Kaumaleia’s lodgings at the Lazy Turnip.

“You know that hozen tribes have two chiefs, right?” he said. “A hunting-chief and a legend-chief. My Mam-mam was the best legend-chief Grookin Hill ever had! I miss her stories. The Matron tries, but she doesn’t tell a story nearly as good. You know who might, though? The pandaren have a great legend-chief, Lorewalker Cho, who lives in the library at Mogu’shan Palace. I wonder what kind of stories he tells about hozen?”

“Hahaha! That was a great story! I will have lots of good stories to tell the others at the orphanage now!”

As they left the Seat of Knowledge, Bonzo jumped around Kaumaleia excitedly, tugging at the edges of her armor.
“I was gonna ask if we could go visit Emperor Rikktik’s Tomb, but then I thought of something even better! The Timeless Isle has come back, and the Monkey King is there! The Monkey King! From the legends! Oh, can we go see him, please-please-please?”

“I bet the Monkey King always talks in riddles like that because he is so wise. Emperor Shaohao was lucky to have a hozen for his greatest friend!”

Kaumaleia asked Bonzo what he would like for a treat before he went back to Dawn’s Blossom. The young hozen looked around, then began vigorously sniffing the air.

“Noodles!” he cried, bounding off toward Noodle-Maker Monmon’s cart. Kaumalea bought them both a bowl of Crazy Snake Noodles, and they sat at one of the nearby tables to eat them. Bonzo slurped his noodles enthusiastically.

“Oh yeah, these are real hozen noodles!” he cheered at Noodle-Maker Monmon, who responded with a fist-pump. “Noodlemonger Chin at Dawn’s Blossom tells you he makes the only noodles worth eating. His noodles are the best in town, for sure… but these are better!” He sobered for a moment. “They remind me of the ones my Pap-pap used to make… That’s it! I should learn how to cook! I’ll be the best noodle cook and the best storyteller of all the hozen in Pandaria. Yeah!”


inspired by Noxychu’s “Bad Example” artwork on Wowhead

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Kamalia has quite a few things lingering on her “to do” list. There’s those two Inn dungeon quests (the initial version) that she never got around to doing because the hotfix that made it so you don’t have to do all the Inn dungeon quests to get the level 3 Inn went through before she did them. There’s the Legendary quest to vanquish the end boss of Highmaul and pinch his toe-ring or whatever… and I doubt that I’ll get into LFR to do that until summer. And oh yeah, the Abrogator gubbins. I’ve gotten about 30 of those so far, from Garrison missions and random procs in my work order boxes. There’s Nat Pagle’s quest to fish up a lunker in each Draenor zone, which I haven’t done because I’m dithering over whether or not I actually want Nat as a follower in Kam’s Garrison (I do want him in the Hunter’s Garrison, eventually).

To that list, I’ve now added the Garrison music box quest. I’m not sure when I’ll do it, though. At first, I thought I’d try to do it this weekend. This weekend is still Lunar Festival, however, and I haven’t had time to do the Lunar Festival World Tour with the Underpowered Death Knight yet — and the Underpowered Death Knight is counting on all that holiday XP to get her a significant fraction of the way from her current level of 89 to 90.

Harrison Jones didn’t show up in Kam’s Garrison. Is he one of the RNG visitors and he might show up tomorrow, or the next day, or is he not deigning to visit me yet because I don’t have my Archaeology to 700 yet?

After I logged in and out with all my alts to load my heirlooms into the spiffy new Heirloom tab, I found that I have 41 of the 71 possible heirloom items — more than enough to qualify for the Chauffeured Chopper. I still don’t dig the Chauffeured Chopper enough to use it with my baby alts.

I’m not familiar enough with most of the new models to be able to notice how many of them (or which ones) recieved tweaks from the versions that came out with the pre-launch patch. I did immediately notice, however, that my Human Mage is less top-heavy, less busty, today than she was yesterday — and that’s a good thing! Her face looks better, too — though her monocle is now displaying really wierdly. It barely looks like it’s there at all — it just makes her eye look funny. My Draenei Mage looks more like her original self than the first version of the updated Draenei model did. And if I’m not mistaken, the Tauren female run got some adjustments; the first version of the new model run looked a lot like the Worgen female run to me, and while I appreciated that it made my girls look more fleet, it still felt wrong. Today, they look like they’re planting their hooves more solidly, feeling sure-footed like the original run without feeling quite as ponderous as the original run.

The new Blood Elf model suits the Warlock very well. The Rogue looks good, too. The Mage will take the most getting used to simply because I’m the most familiar with her — but her new look isn’t terrible or anything. It’s acceptable; she still looks thoughtful and sweet-tempered (for a Blood Elf). Except, of course, when she’s doing that tilted-head sneer. I used to like the tilted-head pose because I thought it looked contemplative. No more, alas. The sneer works for the Warlock and the Rogue, though!

Now that the updated models for the Blood Elves are finally done, I guess it’s time that I start working on updating my woefully out-of-date Characters page. Making all those character portraits on the current version of the page was a lot of work, though, and I did it last summer while I had less RL stuff to do. I’m not quite sure how I’ll fit that work in now. I think I’ll procrastinate it just a little bit longer — it’s always been difficult to get really good close-ups of my characters’ faces in-game (I used MogIt to get the close-ups for my current set of portraits) and I think the SELFIE camera might be just what I’m wanting for that. So now I have to wait for the two photography missions to show up in one or another of my Garrisons…

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latecomer to the pink party

I’d recently made a new Transmogrification kit for my Paladin and hadn’t yet posted it, so I thought perhaps I’d pass on dressing her up for Love is in the Air this year. She kept poking me, however, that she hadn’t spent all that time in Hyjal Summit last year farming for the Blood-Stained Pauldrons to not wear them during Pink Season this year.

The Power of Pink

Blood-Stained Pauldrons, Bloodscale chestpiece belt & gloves, Imperial Plate Leggings, Chromatic Boots, Nethervoid Cloak, Skettis Curved Blade, Aegis of the Vindicator

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