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What was that I said about not making any more Allied Races alts unless I liked their Heritage Armor enough to level from scratch for it?

Well, I’m not all that keen on the Lightforged Draenei Heritage Armor — not for a Mage, at least — but I just haven’t been able to get the notion of having a Lightforged Draenei among the Minor Mages out of my head.

Meet Krystaliza.

I don’t know much about who she is, other than that she is a long-lost relative of Kaprikka. As far as Kaprikka was aware, all of her progenitors had perished in one Legion attack or another by the time the Draenei arrived on Draenor; her parents, too, were killed in the Orcish rampage. I’m not sure at quite what point in the 25000 years of the Draenei’s flight from Kil’jaeden that Xe’ra arrived and took those who wished to follow her off in the Xenedar, so I don’t know exactly how many generations back Krystaliza is a sister of one of Kaprikka’s ancestors — but for each of them to find that they do, in fact, have a blood relative still living was a delightful shock.

Part of my desire to have this character on my roster came from wanting to pair the Lightforged tabard with the Draenic Silk Robes, as seen above.

Part of it comes from a couple of occasions when I’ve made a white and gold outfit and wished that I had a blonde Lightforged Draenei to model it in the Dressing Room.

And part of it is that with the Orb of Deception, a Lightforged Draenei can become a Highmountain Tauren (or a Gnome can be a Mulgore Tauren), thereby allowing me to pretend — for five minutes at a time, at least — that I have Tauren Mages!


Come on, Blizzard! Some of the Crazed Mages in Blackrock Caverns are Tauren, and they’ve been in the game since Cataclysm! Because they use ice and fire magic already, I think that Tauren becoming Mages as a divergence from Shamanism could be just as valid as Tauren becoming Priests and Paladins as a divergence from Druidism.
But as much as I’d like this to happen, it’s not likely to happen. I’ll just go sit in the corner with the folks who really really want to play Gnome or Night Elf Paladins…

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A collection of Transmogrification Kits actually worn in-game by my Tauren & Highmountain Tauren Druids. Outfits are listed from most recent to least recent. Items that are no longer obtainable are marked with an asterisk (*).

71) Ancestral Ghostwalker

Ancestral Chieftain’s Headdress Mantle & Greatbelt, Boneshredder Jerkin & Britches, Ghostwalker Gloves & Boots, Darksnare Dagger
The white furs wanted to go together.

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One thing I’ve really appreciated about the “banding” paradigm for content from previous expansions that was introduced in Patch 7.3.5 is that it extended to Transmogrification — that one can now wear anything, including “endgame” items, from the highest level band that one has reached. That has made Mogging with the Minor Mages so much more enjoyable, even though most of them are still limited to Vanilla items.

I wonder how Transmogrification will be affected by the new leveling paradigm? Will characters in the 1-50 range now be able to wear anything from Vanilla through BfA? If so, then I might not need to do any leveling with the Minor Mages at all! Or will one only be able to wear stuff from expansions that one has actually visited? That would be okay, too — though it would become tedious, by the third or fourth alt, to have to cycle through all the expansions with Chromie just to unlock all the folios of the Wardrobe.

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One of the first things I thought of in connection with the description of the new leveling paradigm for content from previous expansions in Shadowlands was “Now I can level my Pandaren just in Pandaria!”

What other race-expansion combinations might be good thematic fits?
Night Elf or Nightborne in Legion? Yes, but if I’d ever really do it is perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Orc or Draenei in Warlords? Well, I’ve already got a Draenei stalled out at level 92 in Draenor, and I actually think it might be better to try to finish getting her through that content before the level squish.
Dwarf in Howling Fjord, Grizzly Hills, Storm Peaks, and Twilight Highlands? Hmm, hmm…
Troll in Stranglethorn Vale, Hinterlands, Zul Drak, and Kun Lai Summit? Yeah, yeah, I rather like that idea.
Undead in Lordaeron & Northrend? Well, yes, thematically it fits, but my Undead is not a supporter of Sylvanas’ agenda.
Worgen, Gnome, Goblin? *shrug*

So maybe in the end-of-Shadowlands lull — after I’ve completed the four Covenant Campaigns — I’ll level Kaoling. And maybe I’ll level Kikimaia, too — though a current feeling of interest in leveling a Troll could just be the influence of having been surrounded by Trolls for all of BfA, or it could be the influence of Classic because I’d rather be Troll than Undead to play a Horde Mage in Classic.

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Night Elves have such an elegance to them. Does having a high-level Night Elf Balance Druid — who uses Glyph of Stars — fulfil the desire to have a caster Night Elf, so I don’t need to level a Night Elf Mage?

Nightborne have the elegance of movement of Night Elves, and they have such a pretty tabard and I rather like their Heritage Armor… but I just don’t like their resting stance. It bugs me enough that I’m not sure that I could get into playing my Nightborne alt. The stance of Zandalari Trolls has the same relationship to the stance of Darkspear Trolls as the stance of Nightborne does to that of Night Elves, but the Zandalari Troll stance doesn’t bug me quite as much as the Nightborne stance. Somehow the placement of the feet of the Nightborne seems a little too awkwardly, uncomfortably wide to me. I had the oddest thought the other day — the stance of Nightborne men doesn’t bug me the way the stance of Nightborne women does, so what if I were to reroll my Nightborne Mage as a man — likely an Occuleth clone, ha! — to level for the Heritage Armor? (There isn’t any other race I’d preferentially play as a man rather than a woman…)

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Now that we know what 9.0 will be, it’s time to think about my priorities for the remaining duration of Battle for Azeroth.

1) Kinevra needs to get to 120 and do the Alliance War Campaign while there will still be enough folks in BfA LFR for there to be reasonable queue times. This is a primary goal partly for seeing the Alliance side of the story and partly for being able to recruit the Kul Tirans and roll a gorgeous curvy ringlet-haired Kul Tiran Mage.

2) Kaelinda needs to get to 120 and get the Sin’dorei Heritage Armor.

3) Kerisa needs to get to 120 so that she can wear all of the Island Expeditions stuff I’ve collected off of the AH for her and to be in position to potentially be my first Horde character to level in 9.0 (because Balance Druids, with their self-heals, are more robust than Mages).

4) After reaching 120 and kitting themselves up in Benthic gear (they all already have full sets of tokens awaiting them), Kinevra, Kaelinda, and Kerisa need to go smack the Jadefire Masters and Opulence around until they cough up the Phoenixfire Staff and the crown, respectively. A lesser degree of LFR priority is collecting the Uldir and Eternal Palace LFR cloth sets.

5) Kamalia needs to get her Heart of Azeroth to level 70 (currently at 65) so she can see all of the dragon stories currently available, and then to whatever level is required for the additional bit(s) of dragon story that will be in 8.3.

6) Kinevra would like to collect the Darkshore Warfront set. Kerithian may not need to get to 120 if the Night Warrior customization option unlocks for her when Kinevra does the Darkshore Warfront introduction questline.

7) Void Elf, Highmountain Tauren, Kul Tiran, Vulpera, and maaaaybe Nightborne alts will eventually want to be leveled for their Heritage Armors, but this will remain a low priority, long game project. Between limited space remaining on my account and alt fatigue, I’ve decided that I will only create additional Allied Races characters if I like the Heritage Armor of that race well enough to want to level from scratch to get it.

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A collection of Transmogrification Kits actually worn in-game by my Tauren Priest. Outfits are listed from most recent to least recent. Items that are no longer obtainable are marked with an asterisk (*).

84) Ancestral Soothsayer

Ancestral Chieftain’s Headdress & Greatbelt, Mantle of Volatile Ice, Windshaper Robe, Frostwolf Wind-Talker Gloves, Ancient Measuring Rod, Beastskull Vessel
Ordinarily, I like to get an outfit posted before I change to another one. Kaohana was so excited about this outfit idea — especially after she remembered that the Artifact-centered weapon restrictions from the Broken Isles no longer applied — that I let her get away with having two outfits in the same Sunday Mog Show… this time.

83) Chromie Cosplay

Bronze-Tinted Sunglasses, Light-Mantle of the Incarnate, Runecloth Robe, Black Mageweave Gloves, Willow Boots, Keepers of Time Tabard, Key to the Planes
With the Priest T4 shoulders and the torso part of the Priest T2 robe, Chromie is something of a High Priestess of Time.

82) Miss Muriel

Hat of the Third Sister, Deadly Gladiator’s Mooncloth Mantle, Fire-Gizzard Robes, Ritual Belt, Embersilk gloves & boots, Mag’hari Chieftain’s Staff
Kaohana said, make me an outfit with this hat. So I did. It was a good opportunity to use these Wrath PVP shoulders, too!

81) Ancestral Ritualist

Ancestral Chieftain’s Armor with Polychromatic Visionwrap*, Ritual Leggings, Acolyte’s Shirt, and Staff of Fiery Fate
Although there are several red tunics that look rather nice with the Tauren Heritage armor, I chose this no-longer-available item because it is a recolor of the same style that Tauren Priests start out wearing. I couldn’t quite find a skirt that I liked with both this chestpiece and the rest of the Heritage of the Shu’halo pieces. These shorts, however, work perfectly!

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Will I ever do more with any of these characters than enter the world and maybe manage to get through the 1-5 zone and out to their racial capital city? Realistically speaking, probably not. Nevertheless, the collector in me still wanted to have a complete set of Classic Classes.

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Way back in 2011, Millya of Manalicious* was doing 5-minute sketch portraits (batch 1, batch 2) for her friends, and I requested a portrait of Kaelinda**, thinking that I might use it for digital coloring practice…

Eight and a half years later, I’ve finally gotten around to doing that.

drawing by Stacey Landry; colors by me

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* I miss Manalicious and still regret that I didn’t ever commission a watercolor portrait of one of my characters, even though I wouldn’t actually be going to BlizzCon…

** because I’d already gotten a Millya portrait of Kamalia, which has been my Gravatar ever since

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