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Archive for the ‘Kerisa/Kaurinka’ Category

As I’ve been bopping around in the Shadowlands with Kaelinda and Kaurinka, I’ve discovered that I have specific mounts that I prefer for each zone. In Ardenweald, of course I’m using the Wildseed Cradle. In Bastion, since I’m not anywhere close to being Exalted with The Ascended and being able to get the Gilded Prowler, I’m using the Winged Guardian. In Maldraxxus, I like my Gilded Ravasaur because I think it expresses primal might and apex power while also being pleasing to look at. In Revendreth, Kaelinda prefers her Creeping Carpet, while Kaurinka has chosen the Crimson Direhorn*, and Keliora and Kalaneia will use the Swift Red Hawkstrider. Kaelyla has chosen the Fossilzed Raptor for Maldraxxus and the Smoky Charger for Revendreth.

Have you chosen mounts to fit the ambiance of the Shadowlands zones, or are you just continuing to ride your old standbys?

~*~*~

A question in a recent Blizzard Watch Queue asked if the Queue writer of the day/Queue commenters were spending their Anima on Sanctum upgrades or Covenant Armor upgrades. The Queue writer answered that she’d been spending it on Covenant Armor upgrades, and hadn’t upgraded any of the Sanctum features to stage 2 yet. That sounds like a rather good idea, actually, since with my very slow, meandering playstyle, Covenant Armor upgrades will be the path of least resistance to improving my gear. Of course, that means I have to actually finish my Covenant campaigns and get all of my base Covenant Armor sets…. Kaelinda is still stalled out at the beginning of Chapter 4 of the Venthyr campaign. I finally managed to push Kaurinka through Chapter 2 of the Night Fae campaign, though. By now both of them have their Renown more or less high enough that they could get to Renown 22 and access the final chapter of their Covenant campaigns just by powering through all the other chapters — so perhaps I should prioritize/focus on that for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve noticed — as I’m sure everyone else has by now — that the Calling each day is the same the for all of the Covenants. Everybody gets “Fill the Bar in Ardenweald”, or “Do 3 World Quests in Maldraxxus”, or whatever. I’ve also noticed that Callings tend to “stack” — one day will be “Fill the Bar in Zone A” and the next day will be “Do 3 World Quests in Zone A”, or something similar. I’ll often do Callings in my Covenant zone — Revendreth for Kaelinda and Ardenweald for Kaurinka — immediately, but wait for Callings in other zones to stack before I go do them.

Kaelinda has been having an easier time of finishing the 1000 Anima weekly lately, it seems. She’s got her Anima Conductor channel to the special treasure permanently activated and has been doing the special enemy channel (SMASH BAD BAT!!) for about a week. Kaurinka just permanently activated her special treasure channel; I’m looking forward to activating the special enemy channel, since I’ve read that for Night Fae, it’s encore performances at the theatre.

Now that I’ve run the easymode version of a Torghast wing in which Baine is found for Chapter 2 of the Covenant campaign twice, I’m not worried about getting through it with any of the rest of my characters. I still think I’ll only pursue the full Torghast quest chain from Bolvar with one character, though. Kaelinda does want to rescue Jaina, at least — eventually. I think my difficulty with both Torghast and the Maw is that I find them to be… tedious.

Meanwhile, I’ve also gotten distracted by collecting the armor sets from World Quests not for their potential to improve my item level but rather for their appearances. Just as with the leveling gear, each zone has its own recolor of the World Quest/Dungeon gear. With Kaelinda, I’m trying to get all of them, but with Kaurinka, I’m only going to get the Ardenweald set.

~*~*~

* These are the mounts that Kaurinka uses when she’s not Prowling in Cat Form, that is. She tends to spend most of her ground travel time in Cat Form, unless she’s going a relatively long distance along a road.

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With doubled-up Callings to Maldraxxus this week, I finally made it back to the place — and it still grosses me out. I’m so glad that I don’t have to smell what my poor characters must be smelling!

~*~*~

They said that we wouldn’t need the Flight Whistle because we’d be spending most of our time in the zone associated with our Covenant choice and the Travel Network would make getting around that zone easier. I still miss the Flight Whistle, though. I think that statement from the devs (was it from Hazzikostas, even?) misunderstands what the Flight Whistle is really for. The Flight Whistle is for quickly and easily getting out of the depths of some WQ area once you’ve completed the quest requirements, so that you don’t have to fight your way back out to the road through all the respawns.

~*~*~

I am struggling with prioritizing all the things available to do.

Kaelinda has reached Renown 10 and has accepted the starter quest for Chapter 4 of the Venthyr campaign, but I keep deciding to do Callings and WQs instead. The “get 1000 Anima” weekly has not been exactly trivial for me. I spend a lot of time chasing Anima WQs at the expense of playing through the next Chapter of my Covenant campaign — and I’ve had weeks where I didn’t quite make it because I didn’t feel like playing enough to clear all the available Anima WQs in all four zones. Is it better to prioritize getting Anima, to fill up the Sanctum Reservoir and increase my Renown, or would it be better to prioritize getting through the Covenant campaign story?

Kaurinka has reached Renown 11, but she is stalled out near the beginning of Chapter 2 — the you must do Torghast Chapter — of the Night Fae campaign, even though she knows that she’ll be rescuing Baine and does want to do so. Torghast hasn’t been quite as awful as I’d feared it might be, but it hasn’t tickled the “this is so fun!” spot for me, either. Kaelinda, who is currently Fire, managed not to die at all on her first true run through a Layer 1 wing of Torghast, though she did go through most of a stack of Mana Buns. I will probably not return there any more often than storyline quests send me there, and I may only complete the full questchain from Bolvar on one character (most likely Kaelinda).

I’ve decided that I should just go to the Maw more or less first thing on Tuesday evenings and rescue souls, then get out of there — ideally before my Eye of the Jailer even gets to 1. That, at least, will be a reliable source of Renown, and I’ll steadily collect the souls needed to lend their labor to Sanctum upgrades. If I’m spending as little time in the Maw and Torghast as possible, and only running Torghast on Layer 1 difficulty, repping up with Ve’nari to get stuff from her isn’t a high priority.

I decided to activate the Anima Conductor before activating the Special Feature and both characters are currently channeling anima to the location that has a special treasure. Each of them makes sure to go get their special treasure each day. So far, the Greater Greedstone has proved to be a reliable source of Anima tokens, but the Large Lunarlight Pod has mostly yielded Conduits — often duplicates of Conduits I already have.

With Anima being so scarce, I’m trying to decide how to manage my Sanctum upgrades. I’ve got the first stage of both the Travel Network and the Anima Conductor. Now, do I save up to upgrade one or the other of those things, or do I activate the first stage of the Special Feature?
I have made a tactical decision to ignore the Command Table entirely. I’ve got too many things competing for my attention already (especially if I decide to activate the Special Feature before upgrading the Travel Network or Anima Conductor). Besides, I’d rather save that precious Anima to spend on other things, such as upgrading the other Sanctum features, upgrading Covenant armor pieces, or acquiring the other tints of the Covenant armor and backpieces (once I’ve unlocked them).

~*~*~

And then there’s the other three characters who are patiently waiting in the wings in Oribos for their turns to level and choose their Covenants. I’m half-inclined to do it — to level them and play each of them through the first chapter of their chosen Covenant campaign and get them settled into their Sanctums — even though doing so will delay the progress of Kaelinda and Kaurinka through their Covenant campaigns. I think I might be able to resist doing anything else with them beyond the “rescue 5 souls from the Maw” weekly (and maybe the special treasures from the first stage of the Anima Conductor) until I’ve completed the Venthyr and Night Fae campaigns — especially with the you must do Torghast barrier of Chapter 2 of the Covenant campaign.

~*~*~

And then there’s Horizon Zero Dawn waiting for me on Steam. I got through most of the first area and to level 4 in my first play session before I looked at the clock and realized that I really ought to go to bed. I need to finish up the last couple of side-quests in the first area before I turn in my current main storyline quest, which I think will move me out of that area into the next one — the challenge and rewards of side-quests are really only worth doing while I’m still at-level for the area. The gameworld is beautiful, and I was genuinely enjoying exploring around — and since I’m playing it on Story mode, of course, the combat hasn’t been overly challenging (yet). I want to play more — if only I can resist auto-pilot logging into WoW to do dailies after my schoolwork is done each evening (Spring semester classes begin on Monday!).

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Since reaching level 60 with Kaelinda and Kaurinka, I’ve spent a lot of time in Revendreth and Ardenweald, of course, and also Bastion.

For all of its grim ambiance, Revendreth has proved to be rather entertaining. The severity of the treatment received by the souls there and the seriousness of the Campaign to defeat Sire Denathrius is counterbalanced by the droll commentary of the Dredgers and the cheerful insanity of Duke Theotar. The WQs in the Redelav district, messing with those hoity toity Venthyr nobles, are particularly fun.

Ardenweald also is a pleasing blend of seriousness and whimsy, perfectly exemplified by Lady Moonberry’s WQ to rain sparkly destruction on the Drust at Tirna Noch. The introduction play in the first chapter of the Night Fae questline was just as hilarious as I’d heard that was — especially the audience reactions.

Kaurinka spent a lot of time in Bastion because she had “Aid Bastion” from Threads of Fate partially finished when she dinged 60. Although she would no longer get Renown from completing it, the gold reward was still worth getting. Bastion has seemed less fun than the other two zones, though perhaps I just haven’t yet seen — or have simply not done because I wasn’t interested in the offered reward — its more light-hearted WQs.

I haven’t done a thing in Maldraxxus. I think I’ve only gotten a Calling to go to Maldraxxus once, and I didn’t manage to get out there to do it before it expired. I suppose I’ll discover its hidden delights eventually.

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Kaelinda’s progress through the first chapter of the Venthyr Covenant campaign was slowed by searching out and doing a handful of side quests that she hadn’t discovered while leveling in Revendreth so as to finish up the Sojourner achievement for that zone. Eventually, I made my way through it and unlocked Threads of Fate for everyone else.

Except for Kaurinka, who was already most of the way through level 59 and chose Threads of Fate, they all chose to continue the story campaign. Kaurinka chose the Night Fae, then did “Aid Ardenweald” and part of “Aid Bastion” to get to level 60 and complete her initiation into the Night Fae. She has one more side quest left — the one that doesn’t unlock until a Covenant is chosen — to complete the Sojourner achievement for Ardenweald.

My opinion of Bastion and the Kyrian has gradually improved as I’ve visited the other zones. In Revendreth, too, the souls unburden themselves of the memories and experiences of their lives — though they do not completely forget who they were in life — and those who choose/are selected to become Venthyr take on new names and new forms, as the Kyrian do. I also understand now, which I didn’t quite at the beginning of my journey through the Shadowlands, that choosing a Covenant now doesn’t irrevokably bind my character’s soul to that realm & Covenant when she passes through the veil — the Arbiter (once we revive her, as I’m sure we’ll do by the end of the expansion) will still determine which realm is the most appropriate place for her. If I ever manage to get Kasheena up to level 50 and decide to bring her on to the Shadowlands, I’ll probably choose Kyrian with her. Having two Tauren Night Fae Druids would be rather redundant, don’t you think? I like the Kyrian leather set better than the Venthyr leather set, for a Tauren, at least (the Venthyr set would suit my Blood Elf Rogue or Demon Hunter quite nicely, though), and the Necrolords leather set is a flat NOPE.

In terms of progression through Covenant stories, I’m currently working on Venthyr, of course, and will probably continue to keep that Covenant in the lead. I’m next-most interested in Night Fae, then Kyrian, and Necrolords last. I am slow enough, and there is enough to do with each Covenant, that it might take me half of the expansion just to get through the 9.0 content! Looking at the sources for the four tints of the Covenant armor sets, it looks like I want to prioritize getting the Travel Network and the Special Feature up and running first, then the Anima Conductor to boost my Anima-gathering capability to supply the staggering amounts of Anima required to upgrade the other features and to purchase the various items of the armor sets. I might just ignore the Command Table/Adventures entirely, though.

Kaelinda is for the moment stalled out on the quest to go back into the Maw and ask Ve’nari for help getting into Torghast. I’ll likely do as little of both the Maw and Torghast as I can — basically just what the Covenant campaigns and Renown quests require of me. Other heroes of Azeroth can be the champion Maw Walkers, just as other heroes of Azeroth have been the ones to defeat the most challenging threats ever since we went to Draenor…

~*~*~

Meanwhile, Real Life is piling on distractions from Azeroth. I had an unusually light class schedule in Fall semester; for Spring, I have a much busier schedule of four lecture classes and two lab classes. Two of the lectures are the same course, but one section is MWFx50-mins and the other section is TThx75-mins, so they will require different preparation! I just had a birthday, and BTH gifted me Final Fantasy X and Horizon Zero Dawn on Steam. The last time I actively used Steam was while Portal 2 was the new hotness, so just getting my account reactivated is going to take some fuss and bother. BTH would like us to do parallel plays of FFX — we haven’t played a game together for a few years now — and I did enjoy watching him play HZD a couple of summers ago when a friend loaned BTH his PS4 while he was out of the country for the summer. Thus, my continuing progress through the Shadowlands is likely to be quite slow indeed.

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Kaurinka felt like she already knew Ardenweald. One winter when she was an adolescent, she had gotten pneumonia and nearly died. She remembered little of her illness, except that it had seemed that while her body lay delirious in her tribe’s longhouse, her spirit had wandered freely over the dark, snowy landscape around the camp. Out of the corners of her eyes, she’d caught glimpses of towering, sigil-scribed trees with swirling, starry canopies, and underneath them, smaller trees, or maybe bushes, laden with glowing blue globes — but when she turned to try to look at them straight on, she saw only the normal, familiar trees. What was that place?, she had wondered many times during all the years that had followed. And now, here she was. If I had managed to find that place, and walk between those trees, she realized, I would have died.

~*~*~

I felt much weaker in Ardenweald than I had in Bastion or Maldraxxus. Enemies were harder to kill and took off more of my health in the process. I was using Regrowth more-or-less rotationally just to stay alive, which makes me rather worried for the survivability of my other characters.

Although I did a couple of side quests in Bastion with both Kaelinda and Kaurinka, I ignored side quests entirely in Maldraxxus. I wanted to know the whole story of Ardenweald with Kaurinka, so she did all the side quests. In the process, I discovered that for each zone, there’s one Achievement for completing the main storyline of the zone and another Achievement for doing all of the side quests* — and that both Achievements are required for each zone to complete the Loremaster meta-Achievement. Unlike Legion and Battle for Azeroth, side quests are not optional for Loremaster**! Fortunately, Loremaster is an account-wide meta-Achievement, so I can continue with my original plan of having the character who will pledge to the Covenant of each zone do its side quests — Keliora will do all the side quests of Bastion, Kalaneia will do all the side quests of Maldraxxus, and Kaelinda will do all the side quests of Revendreth — while all the others just barrel through the main questline.

Between the Rest that I accumulated last week and doing all the side quests, Kaurinka was 58% through level 59 when she finished the main zone storyline. She’ll now slumber in Ardenweald until Kaelinda has activated Threads of Fate, then use Threads of Fate to select the Night Fae as her Covenant and level the remainder of the way to 60.

Lorewise, Ardenweald delivered on the themes of heartbreaking loss and sacrifice promised by its Afterlives short. (more…)

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I went through Maldraxxus quite slowly with Kaelinda; for various reasons, I averaged about one chapter in a sitting. Kaurinka burned through it in two sessions (maybe because it was the weekend?).

The second playthrough of the zone went a lot more quickly and smoothly than the first because I knew where to find the quest objectives, what I needed to do for some of the less obvious quest objectives, better ways to path through things. This is, of course, how it goes in every expansion. I found myself wondering, should I send someone else through Ardenweald first, so Kaurinka can have a smoother run? I quickly dismissed that thought — the most valuable part of the first playthrough is that the story is completely fresh and new and full of surprises, and I want to be learning the Ardenweald story fresh and new and full of surprises with Kaurinka.

To allow Kaurinka to Rest awhile before she continues her journey onward to Ardenweald, however, I’m going to spend the next few nights bringing Kalaneia, Keliora, and Kaelyla through the Maw to Oribos.

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Kaurinka’s journey through Bastion went faster than Kaelinda’s — I did fewer of the side quests, and I now knew that the main questline would only uncover two-thirds (or maybe only half?) of the map. Watching how slowly the map was being revealed the first time through made that journey feel slower than it really was, because I was thinking I’d have to do enough questing to reveal the whole thing. I can probably expect something similar in the other three zones.

Kaurinka also paid closer attention during the initial orientation, and she ultimately came through Bastion with a rather more favorable opinion of the Kyrian than Kaelinda did. Sophone and Mikanikos are still my favorites; I’m finding that I rather like Pelagos; and Kleia, though I still think she has an annoying holier-than-thou attitude, is growing on me. It occurred to me this afternoon that the vocal tone of many Kyrian NPCs, especially the higher-ranking ones, reminds me of the vocal tone that I shift into when I am trying very, very, very hard to not lose my temper with my three-year-old…

I briefly toyed with the idea of bringing Kalaneia, Keliora, and Kaelya (Kaylynda will stay behind until I’ve decided which Covenant will be the best fit for her) through the Maw and through Bastion before sending anyone through Maldraxxus — leveling all my alts in parallel rather than in series. Realistically speaking, however, that would just get me thoroughly burned out on Bastion. For now, Kaelinda and Kaurinka will keep playing leapfrog.

A neat thing that I discovered from playing through Bastion with two characters with different previous questing history is that a certain Legion NPC who dies heroically and traumatically and ends up in Bastion says different things to you depending on whether you completed their zone or not… (more…)

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Evening office hours cancelled for the whole week; check. All level 50 characters logged in to start accruing Rest; check.

By the time I got on, the Maw and Oribos were surprisingly quiet. There were other players around, but it wasn’t at all crowded. People on my friendslist were in Bastion or Maldraxxus.

Kaurinka went first; it would have felt wrong to not lead out with a Tauren — and also Boomkins are more robust than Mages. I stopped after opening up the gateway to Bastion. Then, because it hadn’t been crowded and buggy, I logged on with Kaelinda instead of going to play with Kasheena. I got Kaelinda to the Forlorn Respite in the Maw, but by then I was starting to feel rather sleepy, so even though that’s not a Rest area, I logged out anyway and went to bed.

I’d been thinking that I’d take all six of my Shadowlands crew through to Oribos, one or two each evening, to get their Hearthstones set and their professions trained, and then just let them hang out there until I was ready to actively quest with them. After playing through the introductory Maw questline one-and-third times, though, I might just focus on Kaurinka and Kaelinda for now and leave the rest behind until the devs put in an “I’ve heard this tale before. [skip the Maw questline and begin your journey in Oribos]” option when talking to Bolvar atop Icecrown Citadel.

The Maw is, of course, unsettling and creepy. I also found Oribos to be somewhat unsettling and creepy, though part of that came from the nervous attitudes of the Attendants, all upset by the silence of the Arbiter, the sudden appearance of living mortals in their city, and the influx of Brokers (whom I found to be rather creepy all on their own) coming in and setting up shop like they own the place.

I wondered, during the finale of the Maw questline… (spoilers, if you haven’t done this yourself yet) (more…)

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By Sunday night, I’d run my three Mages, my Warlock, and my Priest through the first week of the Shadowlands pre-launch events and gotten them a 115 weapon from Nathanos. I hadn’t done my Druid yet, but it was late, so I thought, oh, I’ll just do that on Monday night and be ready for the second week of the event to start on Tuesday. Then the second week started on Monday. So Kerisa — or rather, Kaurinka — ended up being the first character to complete the full quest chain and earn the “Death Rising” acheivement. I’m not sure how many of the other five I’ll do the second week stuff with. The final boss of the quest chain was a lot easier to take down than I expected, even for needing to be tuned to be doable as a solo fight. So I guess I’m feeling kind of a lackluster level of threat? Or are Boomkins just OP for this fight, and my Mages will survive on the thinnest of margins?

I’ve collected all of the cloth Argent Conscript’s set. It seemed like the former Azerite slots — helm, shoulders, and chestpiece — propagated most quickly to characters of both factions; other pieces seemed to propagate more quickly to characters of the same faction than to characters of the opposite faction.

I’d been wondering where the zombies were. I’m glad that they’re only going to be disrupting one week of gameplay. I guess I could have kept my Highmountain Tauren Druid down in the Caverns of Time for Trivia Quiz XP all last week, after all.

Time to retire to the safety of my Garrison to do pre-launch housekeeping stuff like cleaning out my bags and being in a “zzz” area to log in on launch day to start building up Well-Rested for questing.

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Shadowlands goes live in the evening on Monday 26 October!
What’s my school schedule like that week? Ah, good, I’ll be in the middle of a unit for all my classes — no Exams to be writing or grading. Could I get away with cancelling my 9:30 – 10:30 pm Zoom student help sessions that week?

These are the characters who will be going:


Archmage Kaelinda: Blood Elf Mage, Fire, Scryer/Venthyr
Firelord Kalaneia: Blood Elf Warlock, Destruction, Scryer/Necrolords
Crusader Keliora: Blood Elf Priest, Discipline, Aldor/Kyrian
Archmage Kaelyla: Void Elf Mage, Frost, Scryer/Night Fae


Archmage Kaylynda: Human Mage, Arcane, Scryer/undecided
Archdruid Kerisa: Tauren Druid, Balance, Aldor/Night Fae
Farseer Kamalia: Tauren Shaman, Elemental, Aldor/Night Fae
Highlord Karaelia: Tauren Paladin, Protection, Aldor/Kyrian

At the moment, I am planning on having Kerisa go first. It would feel odd to not lead out with a Tauren. From what little I know about the Night Fae Covenant story (having studiously avoided spoilers), Kerisa is the character who will be most personally invested in that story, so she should go through it first. Kaelinda will probably be next, then the rest of the Eversong Elves, and then Kaylynda — after I’ve seen enough of the Covenants with other characters to figure out which one would be the best fit for her. Kamalia and Karaelia will probably not travel to the Shadowlands until the latter half of the expansion, when I’ve done most of what I want to do with the other characters and have learned how to navigate the zones, questchains, and gameplay systems — and there are starting to be catch-up mechanics for alts in place!

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