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Archive for the ‘Horde’ Category

Well, not everybody-everybody, but all my level 90+ characters who are currently on Draenor, at any rate. As I was going through my wardrobe pages the other day, it was clear that it had been far too long since I’d updated — several of the pages were still showing my end-of-Mists outfits, while the characters themselves were loafing around their Garrisons in sloppy, mismatched combinations of Frostfire Ridge quest reward gear and Tormented token gear that their followers had brought them. Even if nobody will see them in-game but me, it was high time for some new Transmogrification kits.

Scorched Earth


Pauldrons of the Deafening Gale, Warsong Wraps, Netherstrike Belt, Valorous Earthshatter Legguards (T7), Grips of Nature’s Wrath, Thunder Bluff Doublet, Gutgore Ripper, Viryx’s Indomitable Bulwark (H)
This High Arakkoa shield design is pretty cool, but I don’t know if I’ll keep it beyond the end of this expansion. So I figured I’d better make a kit with it for running around in Tanaan. The dagger was an obvious match, but Kamalia didn’t really have much else that was orange in her wardrobe. Poking around in MogIt, I found this combination of chestpiece and kilt, which is so nice that I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere else before… but where or when, I can’t recall. I had this kilt during Wrath, but I sold it at the end of the expansion to free up some bag space, so I had to re-collect it.

In order of seniority… (more…)

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The semester having ended, I took a break from work during the first week of May to catch up on WoW. Specifically, I wanted to get my Tauren “one of each class” characters not just into their level 2 Garrisons, but also all the way through Frostfire Ridge. By the time I got to the last of those characters, I went into the system sound menu and turned the dialog slider all the way down to 0 so that I didn’t have to hear it anymore. I’d gotten so, so, so tired of Orcs. What is it that Taran Zhu says in the last of the Isle of Thunder scenarios? Ah, yes: “Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal.” That describes the escalation of the war between the Frostwolf clan and the Thunderlord clan pretty neatly, and after having played through Frostfire Ridge nine times*, I was utterly exhausted by Orcs and their bloodlust.

When I told BTH that I was so, so, so tired of Orcs, he responded, “Why are you still playing that game?”

BTH quit playing WoW himself several weeks ago; the raid time that had worked relatively well when we were in Atlantic Canada was not working very well now that we are in the Mountain West, and he wasn’t really enjoying Warlords raiding enough to want to look for another guild (possibly requiring a server transfer). He has always played WoW primarily to raid, so if he wasn’t going to be raiding, why play at all?

I… am not sure that I have a good answer to that question. Do I keep playing WoW just because I’ve gotten into the habit of using it to fill my idle time, and I don’t want to expend the effort to find something else, something better, to do with that time? That’s not a very satisfactory answer, even if it is an uncomfortably large fraction of it.

Being thus discomfited, I didn’t play much WoW for the next week. Instead, I read webcomics — catching up on ones I hadn’t read regularly for a few months and reading through the archives of a few ones I hadn’t read before — and reread the classic early detective novel The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins).

Why are you still playing that game?

Syrco has been looking for a reason to log in.

BBB, in his characteristic way, answers with the things that keep him going.

The Godmother asks her audience, “if you’re tired of/angry at the game, why are you still playing it?”, in various forms, constantly. She is also continually asking herself “why am I still playing this game?” and exploring the various forms that answer takes.

When I think about the things I have enjoyed about WoW in the past, and why I’m not doing those things now, I inevitably get tangled up in either the Garrison or the Faction Divide… or both.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed exploring the stories of the World of Warcraft. Now, I’m tired of Orc-centric Horde stories… but I still prefer to play as a Tauren or a Sin’dorei. I’ve played mostly Horde for long enough that when I do play Alliance, the anti-Horde prejudices in the Alliance-side stories alienate me. I enjoyed the Legendary storyline in Mists, but when I found out what was involved with getting Garona for my Garrison, I decided that maybe I’d rather not continue following the Warlords Legendary storyline. When I think about going out with a low-level alt or perhaps back with a high-level alt to play through past-expansion storylines that I haven’t yet seen, I get tripped up by wanting to run through all my Draenor-level alts’ Garrison chores first… and then by the time I’m done with that, my limited playtime is gone.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Transmogrification, but with the LFR gear being uninspiring and the normal/heroic mode gear being out-of-reach** because I don’t want to PuG with the Group Finder, I’ve been lacking in Transmogrification inspiration for this expansion. Some of the crafted gear looks really nice — though the upgraded appearances are, of course, nicer than the Stage 1 appearance. When I’m looking at making crafted gear for Transmogrification instead of just equipping, though, I start thinking about making whole sets, and then the upgrade costs — 150 of the daily CD material, plus 30 of Sorcerous whatever, plus 15 Savage Blood just to upgrade one piece once — start becoming overwhelming. Even with — especially with! — Work Orders, I feel like I’d be spending all of my playtime doing nothing but Gathering. I also can’t bring myself to go farm old raids just on speculation or to make money; my inventory space is crowded enough already that I have to have a specific item or items from a specific raid that I want, for a specific planned Transmogrification kit, that I’m farming for. Even when I do want a specific item for specific set that I’m thinking about, again, tending all my Garrisons usually takes up all my limited playtime.

Time to take a few pages from The Godmother’s playbook, I think.

Taking a bit of a break from the game and thinking through my current feelings about it (in the form of this Bearwall) has been a good start.

Next, I need to find my own motivation to do something other than just routinely tending my Garrisons. I should also find a reason to be doing the daily profession CDs that’s better than “just in case I want this stuff later”.

So — I should design some Transmogrification kits that use Warlords crafted items — but not full Warlords crafted sets — so that I have specific items that I want to craft. I should prioritize leveling my two Alchemists to 100 and getting their Garrisons to Level 3 so that they can get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader***. I should also prioritize Follower missions that reward Primal Spirits so that I can trade those for Savage Blood. The upcoming Patch 6.2 changes to increase the amount of materials, including Sorcerous whatevers, generated by the daily profession CDs will definitely help this plan!

I should shake off the OCD tendencies that have been shackling me to my Garrisons. When I know that what I really want to do on a given evening is farm an old raid for a Transmogrification item, or go Fishing, or do Archaeology, or do Pet Battles, or quest in Draenor with one of my high-level alts, or quest elsewhere with one of my low-level alts, I should allow myself to just leave my Garrisons untended for that evening.

And then maybe I’ll get back to playing this game because it’s fun instead of just because it’s habit.

~*~*~

*Eight Tauren characters plus the Blood Elf Warlock

**Yes, my Followers do bring me normal mode raid gear, but because it is randomly generated and not from the loot table of any specific boss (unless there is a correlation between the various Follower raid missions and the loot tables of specific bosses that I haven’t been paying attention to), it isn’t really a reliable way to collect pieces for Transmogrification. Plus, more often than not (in my experience) it turns out to be a non-visible item such as a ring, necklace, or trinket.

***Or, perhaps, get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader when he’s in the Garrison of one of my battlenet friends?

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After I’d been taking an alt to battle Stone Cold Trixxy every day for awhile, I decided to station a couple of other alts at the two other satchel-giving Grand Master trainers I’ve unlocked so far, Lydia Accoste and Blood Knight Antari. Flying back to Shadowmoon Village one evening after having given the smackdown to Antari, I was suddenly struck by the similarity between Shadowmoon Village on Outland and Lunarfall Garrison on Draenor.

The two settlements are in corresponding locations on their respective zone maps.


With no flying and all those trees in the lush, living Shadowmoon Valley of Draenor, it’s a little harder to get a good aerial view of Lunarfall Garrison than to get an aerial view of Shadowmoon Village in Outland, but both settlements have very similar terraced terrain.


The view from Overlord Or’barokh’s command tower, looking down the hill to the main gate of the village gives me an eerie sense of deja vu to the view from Lunarfall Town Hall, looking down the hill to the main gate of the garrison.

***

***


The Lunarfall Barracks is in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Inn, and I have put my Lunarfall Barn in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Stables!

***

The terrain isn’t exactly the same, in the way that nothing about Draenor is exactly the same as Outland — but it’s close enough. Lunarfall Garrison and Shadowmoon Village are the same place.

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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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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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As we look forward to another year, here is one small and silly little thing that I wish would happen, one of these Patches, that would make me very very happy indeed:

I want more ringlets!

I love the ringlets of the Draenei “Jeweled Band” hairstyle.

I love the ringlets of the Goblin “Elegant” hairstyle.

I would love, love to see the Barbershop make these hairstyles available to more races.

Wouldn’t those long Dranei ringlets look just lovely on a Blood Elf, Human, or Night Elf?

And wouldn’t those fat Goblin curls look simply adorable on a Gnome, Dwarf, or Pandaren?

I’d love to see curly coat Tauren, too —

— but I realize that that’s far, far less likely to happen than getting ringlets for the more Human-like races.

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I’d decided that my Human Mage, Kinevra, was DONE. That she’d had her day, that I wasn’t going to take her to Draenor. So I didn’t do the pre-launch Blasted Lands questline with her.

Kinevra had, however, accumulated quite a few things that I dearly wished I had on my Blood Elf Mage instead — the Theramore Arcanist’s Hat from the pre-Mists Theramore scenario “event”, T13 robe & shoulders from playing with the OLRG, Burning Embers for the first step of the Tarecgosa quest chain — so I considered faction-transferring her over to be a Blood Elf. When I looked through her inventory, though, I found that she had some Alliance-specific items that I didn’t want to lose.

Then I thought about how my Blood Elf Mage has a serious case of faction envy and would Blink over to the Alliance just as fast as she could if High Elves ever became a playable race for the Alliance. Seeing the Alliance’s Mage Tower when I finally got to Ashran with my Draenei Mage last week, I knew that my Blood Elf Mage would want to have that structure, not the Horde’s Spirit Lodge, in her Garrison.

The character of Kinevra, the wide-eyed, freckle-faced teenager from Theramore with a hopeless crush on Anduin Wrynn, is DONE — but I decided that I’m not DONE with playing a Human Mage. With a change of name and face, my level 90 Human Mage is now Kaylynda, Kaelinda’s Alliance doppelganger/surrogate.
And she will be going to Draenor.

Mirror Magi


Lightning Infused Mantle, Robe of the Magi, Wizard’s Belt/High Councillor’s Sash, Cloudscorcher Handwraps, Cushy Cenarion Walkers/Slippers of Serenity, Staff of the Arcane Path/Staff of the Royal Wizard

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