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Archive for the ‘Tauren’ Category

Several months into Warlords, I’ve finally gotten around to updating my Characters page with new portraits showing how my characters look with the new models!

The SELFIE camera proved useful for getting good facial close-up screencaps to use for this project, as I’d hoped it would. Most of the Tauren expressions are pretty silly, but there are one or two that are cute if you catch them at just the right moment. Alas, that cute, flirty expression turned into a rather… dazed expression when I reduced the new portraits to the 100 x 100 size I use for my Characters page. I still think it’s better than the serious DMV mug shot expression, though. You can’t see the color of their eyes at the small size, either. I should remember to use the camera more often when I’m bopping around the world and when I’m doing Transmogrification photo shoots… and maybe get around to making those individual Character Profile posts/pages with all their favorite mounts and titles and jukebox tracks and suchlike, and links to artwork and stories featuring that particular character.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to update my blog banner. When I last updated it, near the end of Mists, I displayed my One-of-Each-Class set of alts, because I was so pleased with myself for having finally accomplished the goal, which I’d had since I first started playing this game, of getting a character of every class to the level cap.

I won’t be doing that again, though, because I just don’t have the time any more to play classes whose fantasy doesn’t really interest me. I probably won’t play a Demon Hunter much farther than just getting through their starting zone experience, and I’m currently thinking that I may not level the Rogue or the Warlock at all in Legion. Furthermore, making the row of icons along the bottom of the banner small enough to add another one for the Demon Hunter would have made them so small that they’d barely have been readable. Instead, I’ve displayed the alts that I actually intend to play going forward into Legion. I’ve reorganized the listing priority on the Characters page in a similar fashion.

It’s funny how my interest in particular alts comes and goes. I thought I was done with my Human Mage at the end of Mists. Then I decided that if I couldn’t have a High Elf Mage, a Human Mage would be the next-best thing, and so I renamed my Human Mage and made her look as much like my Blood Elf Mage as I could. I wasn’t quite satisfied with that, though. I kept iterating her appearance until I was happy with it, and it turns out that what I really wanted my Human Mage to be is as close to an avatar of my RL self as I could manage (oddly enough, the new model face that I ultimately chose as the one that seemed the closest to just right is one that I probably wouldn’t have chosen in the old model version). As I updated my Characters page, I considered putting my Human Mage’s race down as “High Elf”, signifying that even though the model she uses is Human, RP-wise she is really a Quel’dorei, but that just didn’t feel quite right anymore because I’ve gotten to a happy place with that character as a Human. If by some miracle the Alliance were to get playable High Elves, I’d most likely just create a new character instead of race-changing my Human Mage. I might still faction-change my Blood Elf Mage, though, and create (and perhaps even boost) that new character as a Blood Elf Mage, because I think I’d still want a Blood Elf Mage, as well as a High Elf Mage…

I did, however, put down RP-inspired race descriptions for some of my Tauren characters, indicating customization options (such as Grimtotem war paint) that I would take if they were available. I already knew which characters were of the Taunka and Yaungol sub-races; with Legion introducing a new Taurenoid sub-race, I looked through my other characters to decide which one to retcon as a Highmountain Tauren. I chose my secondary Druid, whose RP description already establishes her as having features that aren’t actually available in the current character customization options. Perhaps curly coat is a trait that was unique to the tribes that lived in the Highmountain region of Pangaea-Kalimdor, or, like the moose horns or the characteristics that distinguish Taunka and Yaungol from Shu’halo, a trait that developed among them after the Sundering split them off from the rest of the Tauren lineages.

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Well, the Q&A this morning answered my most burning question about Artifact weapons, which was “how are they going to manage dual specs?” I’m glad that I’ll be able to get the Artifact weapons for both of my specs. I didn’t want to have to choose whether my Paladin will be Prot or Holy for Legion. My Blood Elf Mage will be Fire for Felo’melorn, of course.

Early last week, shortly before the all the excitement about the new expansion, Kamalia completed her 100th naval mission and obtained the Captain’s Hat. Naturally, I set about to design a kit to go with it.

Captain’s Hat, Crusader’s Pauldrons, Felstalker Breastplate, Veteran’s Linked Girdle, Wasteland Ringmail Leggings, Talhide Lined-Gloves, Railwalker’s Ratcheted Boots, Steelforged Dagger (1-630), Wheel of the Lost Hope
Alas, the most perfect shield to go with this hat is Alliance-only!
And while I am willing to do there-and-back-again faction-switching shenanigans with my other characters, I won’t do that with Kamalia. sigh…
I guess I’ll just have to make do with the Sharptusk Shield, which kinda-sorta looks nautical — like a broken porthole cover, perhaps.

I’ve been saying that I won’t play the Shipyard with anyone but Kamalia, but this cosmetic hat… I just know that I’m going to want to get one for a character of each armor type, at least. I don’t have to play the Shipyard as seriously with my other characters as I have with Kam, though. I just have to complete 100 missions, I don’t have to succeed at them, so I can play my other characters’ Shipyards in ships-are-expendable mode, instead of in the min-max mode I’ve been playing it with Kam.

I don’t mind Demon Hunters being restricted to the elven races — Sin’dorei are my second-favorite race, after all — because even if all races could be Demon Hunters, I’m not sure I’d want to play a Tauren Demon Hunter. I think I could quite happily play a swashbuckling Tauren Combat Rogue, or a Tauren Frost/Fire Mage (as an outgrowth of Shamanism, similar to the way that Tauren Priests are an outgrowth of Druidism), but I don’t think I could be a Tauren Warlock or Demon Hunter. It would just feel too wrong (but then, I thought that about Death Knights, too, and now I have two of them). Nevertheless, that Demon Hunters will now be a player character thing instead of just an NPC thing is making me want to start running my Monk through Black Temple to swipe Illidan’s blindfold. She may not want to be a Demon Hunter, but she can play at looking like one.

Cursed Vision of Sargeras, Supple Shoulderguards (1-640), Raiment of Silent Stars, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt, Gloves of the Blind Stalker, Terokk’s Shadowstaff
The most difficult piece of this kit to acquire will be the chestpiece — it requires Friendly reputation with the Shado-Pan Assault, and Kate is only at Neutral. I’ll need some buddies to help me clear the first LFR wing of Throne of Thunder to get the rep.

Having resigned myself to the idea that there probably won’t be any new race/class combinations in the next expansion, let alone Tauren Mages (given that the Grimtotem casters who used Mage spells in pre-Cataclysm days now use only Shaman or Druid spells), I thought that the next-best thing would be to level up my Gnome Mage and run her with the Orb of Deception active on cooldown. After acquiring an Orb of Deception, however, I found to my disappointment that instead of changing my Gnome to look like a Tauren wearing the same clothes as my Gnome, it generates a fixed disguise. Well, I thought, perhaps it might be fun to play with the Orb of Disguise concept by making a Transmogrification kit to make one of my leather-wearing characters look like an Orb-of-Disguised Gnome.

Big Voodoo Mask, Wild Growth Spaulders, Living Breastplate, Tracker’s Belt, Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt, Gauntlets of Southwind, Bright Yellow Shirt
Alas, the Living Breastplate pattern is no longer obtainable, and Kamalia doesn’t have it because I didn’t think I’d ever want to make it. The best substitute, I think, is probably the Thick Draenic Vest, which is the same style in a tan color that would coordinate reasonably well with the rest of the kit.

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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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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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I am delighted with the new Female Tauren model, especially her face! The new mouth and bangs are huge improvements over the old ones, and the new eyes and ears are nice, too. I look forward to seeing reports and screenshots of the new model in action when it gets implemented on the beta servers.
I am cautiously optimistic about whether I will like what the upgrade does to my girls. The new face is such an enormous improvement over the old one that I really, really want to like my characters’ new looks — though I’m sure it will take me a few weeks to get use to them!

Meanwhile, folks are beginning to predict a September release date for Warlords. Even though I haven’t planned out my syllabi yet, I’m sure that if the new expansion does release in September, it’s bound to be on the same weekend that I will have given an exam in one or another of the classes I will be teaching, and so I will be stuck doing this and this instead of actually being able to play…

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BTH and I flew back to Canada on Wednesday, only to find that our home internet had gone out. It took us until this afternoon to get it back online.

Among the many museums I visited while in Paris, I became particularly interested in going to the musee du quai Branly when I saw signs advertising that they had a temporary exhibition about the Plains Indians. I visited the wonderful Palais de la decouverte earlier that morning (it opens an hour before the Branly) and my camera’s memory card filled up just before I went in, so I was glad, when I finally got to the Branly, that I’d remembered to bring a sketchbook and some colored pencils.

This dress is based on a Lakota/Cherokee woman’s dress from around 1825, and the baby carrier is based on one made by the Dakota around 1840.

When I went into the museum’s permanent collection, these masks from Vanuatu, which apparently represent ogres of the local mythology, immediately reminded me of WoW’s Trolls:

The main body of the mask is a red clay, with designs painted in black. One mask stood out because it had a round face instead of an elongated one and bright blue paint instead of black. My sketches don’t adequately convey the strong dimensionality of the noses, eyebrows, and lips.

Our travels in Germany took us to Wurtzburg. Walking over the Alte Mainbrucke immediately reminded me of the bridge into Stormwind.


click on the images to visit the sites from which I borrowed them

Our last stop was in Freiberg, where we spent the weekend visiting with BTH’s parents, who have been there for the past 18 months as missionaries specifically called to serve in the Freiberg Temple. Senior couple missionaries have fewer restrictions on their activities than the young proselyting missionaries do, so on Monday (their day off), they took us to see the Terra Mineralia museum housed in one wing of the Freiberg schloss. The many huge crystal formations showcased in the collection — especially the amethysts — reminded me of the Draenei. They are also reminiscent of the areas of Outland where netherdrakes are found.

These aren’t quite the same thing as Syrco’s wonderful “What in WoW reminds you of your home?” prompt, though, so I shall have to address it properly sometime.

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BTH and I are in Switzerland now. There are not words for how utterly gorgeous it is; every way you turn to look there are mountains rising up steep and high and green and rocky, or lakes shimmering the most wonderful shades of turquoise, with towns crammed into the spaces between. We are staying in a B&B in a little town north of Luzern, in central Switzerland. On our way there, we stopped at the Chateau de Chillon —

–this is the most postcard-worthy of the pictures I took there. The herds of cows everywhere actually started in south-eastern France, as we drove through the Charolais region, which is famous for its white cattle. We have seen white cows and brown cows and red cows and black cows and red-and-white cows and black-and-white cows. We have driven through many tunnels — the longest one was 9.25 km. I saw a herd of cows grazing on the greensward just above the entrance to one tunnel. The weather has been sporadically showery and sunny, giving us moments like yesterday evening when we were driving at just the right angle relative to the sun to see a double rainbow!

Presently, the angle of the road changed just enough for us to be able to see both sides of the arc of the rainbow at once! That was simply magical!
This afternoon, we visited Altdorf in the canton of Uri. Some of BTH’s ancestors lived there, as well as this guy whom you may have heard of named William Tell.

The symbol of Uri has been a bull’s head for hundreds of years. The town hall at Altdorf has a display of Uri war banners from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Modern Uri flags have the bull’s head in either black or red on the golden ground:

Perhaps this explains part of BTH’s love for Tauren (that I soon came to share)?

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