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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

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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My favorite part of “Love is in the Air” is that it gives me an excuse to wear some very silly outfits.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry


Pauldrons of the Wardancer, Bloodscale chestpiece & belt, Brutish pants gloves & boots, Pink Mageweave Shirt, Ironhew Cloak, Hammer of Destiny
I intended to just re-create the brown-and-pink outfit that I forgot to make for my secondary Warrior during Love is in the Air last year — but then I remembered that I had these shoulders in the bank, and I could not resist the silliness of using them to resemble the crown of sepals at the top of a strawberry…

Heartburn

Runic Plate Shoulders, Boulderfist Armor, Bloodscale Belt & Gauntlets, Legguards of the Shattered Hand, Bloodforged Sabatons, War Paint Cloak, Hammer of Destiny
What is this thing called “love”? And why does it hurt so much?
Some kind person tossed a Lovely Rose at me as I was coming out of the Warpweaver‘s shop. It was the perfect finishing touch for the outfit!

Hunting for Love

Ornate Pauldrons, Workforce Chestguard, Myrmidon’s Girdle, Pounding Leggings, Scarlet Gauntlets*, Brigade Boots, Night Elven Bow
I’d already collected the green and blue versions of this set — one of the most handsome low-level mail kits — so I figured, why not pick up the red one, too?
Try the Brigade or Merciless Gloves in place of the Scarlet Gauntlets.

Blacklight Battleguard

Katoom’s Mask, Resplendent Epaulets, Vestments of the Shifting Sands, Black Belt of Knowledge, Coven Britches, Exiled Dabbler’s Gloves, Junglestrider Sandals, Stylish Black Shirt, Swarming Sting-Staff
If I had been sensible, I would have farmed for the Staff of the Qiraji Prophets at the same time as I was farming for the robe. But I was not, and didn’t begin farming for the staff until after I obtained the robe. The Swarming-Sting Staff is a good stand-in until I get the Qiraji staff, though.

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Earlier this evening, JD Kenada & his Missus and I put on our Gaudy Winter Veil Sweaters and went caroling to some old bosses.

First, we burned up the Sunwell with some Alliance characters:

Next, we blew out the Four Winds with some Horde characters:

Thinking about what to do next, as the night was still young, I suggested that we try Dragon Soul for a chance at the Blazing Drake for Awake the Drakes. Everything fell right over until we got to Spine… and then we were the ones falling over! We wiped and wiped and wiped — making incremental progress each time — just like it was current content progression raiding. Eventually, though, we hit the wall of one wipe too many and called it a night. Ah well, maybe some other day.

Thanks for a fun evening, JD!

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Hallow’s End was good to the Underpowered Death Knight this year. She started out somewhere in the middle of 83. Between the dailies and trick-or-treat touring, this happened when she’d completed Northrend, Eastern Kingdoms, and most of Kalimdor —

She finished up Kalimdor, did the tour of Outland, and went under the sea —

Finishing up the Azerothian candy tour and dailies over the next few days got her halfway to 86.

Then it was time to go to Pandaria!


Hey, what’s that lout still doing hanging around here?!

Once she got on the ground, she ignored the rest of Jade Forest questing to look for candy buckets. I quickly discovered that if a Horde character who is still hostile to the Forest Hozen tries to run through hozen settlements that later become allied with the Horde (Camp Nooka Nooka and Grookin Hill) the hozen there will treat them as if they are Alliance — Elite guards will spawn and one-shot the hapless character with their bows, and they will be PvP-flagged when they rez. I did manage to get the Grookin Hill candy bucket, though!


Except that you won’t be here very much longer, now will you?

The candy buckets, exploration XP, and a couple of fortuitously-placed (that is to say, not very dangerous) Pandarian Archaeology digsites soon got the Underpowered Death Knight to level 86. I hadn’t been able to get the Eastwind Rest candy bucket because of the quest phasing, and while I could have tried to get a summon into the Vale for the two candy buckets there, I didn’t try very hard. Instead, I went back to Kalimdor and did some more Archaeology until she dinged 87. Then she could do the quests to open up Eastwind Rest and the Vale. Because I wanted to succeed at these quests fairly quickly, I didn’t bother using her usual weak weapon, but instead equipped her Greataxe of the Ebon Blade.


The Vrykul Drinking Horn enlarges my Tauren Female player character to approximately the size that I would expect a female Yaungol of the same scale as this male Yaungol to be.


Somewhat surprisingly, Ur-Bataar proved to be more difficult than Varian Wrynn the Spirit of Hatred! She died twice to Ur-Bataar and only succeeded the third time because a Night Elf Shadow Priest came along and joined the fight. In contrast, the Spirits of Anger, Violence, and Hatred in Xuen’s trials went down fairly easily — perhaps because I already know all their tricks and how to avoid them, whereas Ur-Bataar is simply a contest of raw power?

Now I am somewhat tempted to spend the next couple of weeks until Warlords pushing her through to become one last 90 before the level cap goes up…

Meanwhile, my ensemble of level 90 characters were taking their daily turns to whack the Headless Horseman. They collected almost enough Magic Brooms to completely outfit six Quidditch teams —

— just about as many Sinister Squashlings (I didn’t count those because I just threw them away), and a handful of helmets and swords… but no Horseman’s Reins. :(

Now that this holiday stuff is over and won’t be eating up all my playtime anymore, I’ll be able to go do that pre-launch world event quest chain in the Blasted Lands and run the new UBRS a few times. I should do it with Kamalia and Kaprikka — the two characters who I know for sure will be going to Draenor — even if I don’t manage to do it with anyone else.

Finally, here’s my other Death Knight’s annual Horseman’s Helmet outfit:

Grave Moss

The Horseman’s Horrific Hood, Crystalvein shoulders chestpiece & gloves, Field Plate Girdle, Antique Reinforced Legguards, Pyrelord Greaves, Gravestone War Axe*/Greataxe of Stonard
I thought about making black “Grim Reaper”-type outfit to go with this axe, but somehow that seemed excessively cliche. These greens look better with the glowing helmet, anyway.

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