Archive for the ‘Legendary’ Category

After finally completing the 6K Valor Point step of the Legendary questline a week and a half or so ago, the PvP stage that I had been dreading was delightfully easy. It only took two tries at each battleground to get into a victorious Horde warparty. I went in as a healer and attached myself to whomever had one of the orbs (in Kotmogu) or to whichever DPS was closest (in Silvershard), and though I did sometimes suffer from Healers Have To Die syndrome, it wasn’t too bad. Then BTH and I duoed General Twinbraid. That battle must have taken us at least 30 minutes because I used Bloodlust three times! After we missed an interrupt on the call for adds early in the fight and I died and had to ankh, I did most of the fight at less than half mana. Thank the Earthmother for Telluric Currents! The first ten minutes or so of the fight felt pretty epic, but after that, it got pretty boring.

With these tasks accomplished, I was finally ready to venture into Throne of Thunder LFR. I’ve only felt up to doing one wing in any given evening, and I don’t want to do LFR too late in the raiding week, so I only got the first two wings done last week. This week, I started with the third wing, and last night, I did the fourth and final wing.

I’ve gotten one of Wrathion’s T15 MacGuffins from each wing that I’ve run. I’ve also gotten a bracers upgrade that I am using, a chestpiece upgrade that I’m not using (not ready to break my T14 4-pc set bonus quite yet), and three lovely weapons that might get rotated through my Elemental set — between the Breath of the Black Prince and the Eye of the Black Prince, my Sha-touched weapon will be superior for my Resto set for a long time to come.

As much as I agonized over “what am I going to do about raiding in Mists?!” in the waning months of Cataclysm, I have not regretted my decision to not do regular, guild-based, normal-mode raiding in the current expansion. I’ve been grateful that LFR allows me to get a taste of the current raid environments, encounters, and atmospheres, but I haven’t really missed normal-mode raiding.

Until last night, when I did Pinnacle of Storms in LFR.

Defeating Lei Shen only took two attempts. Afterward, the group just dispersed, and seeing Lei Shen lying there, abandoned, made me feel sad, somehow. I found myself missing the whoops and cheers of triumph and the jostling around as the group arranged itself for a kill shot that would inevitably have followed a hard-fought, hard-won normal-mode guild first kill of a boss. The Twin Consorts and Lei Shen fights were crazy and fun — and yes, even somewhat difficult — on LFR-mode… but they didn’t feel epic like my memories of normal-mode penultimate and final boss fights. I found myself missing that normal-mode challenge, the need to wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe to be able to master the mechanics and the proper timing of raid cooldowns. I already knew that LFR is the “poor relations” of raiding, and I have accepted that — but somehow these two encounters really drove that home for me.

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As she handed the last of the re-stolen vegetables to Farmer Yoon, Kamalia felt a sudden burning sensation on her forehead. It flared intensely for a second or two, then faded away.

Puzzled, she rubbed at the spot.
“Are you okay?” Farmer Yoon asked. “Your eyes turned red there for a moment. Come, sit down.”
He prodded her up the stairs, into the house, and onto a chair, then bustled around making up some ginseng tea while Kamalia tried to figure out what had just happened.
As he handed her the steaming mug, Farmer Yoon’s gaze fell on Kamalia’s mace. He frowned at the deep black gem glimmering on the pommel, and, shuddering slightly, hurried back outside.
Then Kamalia remembered. Only a few days after the Black Prince had given her that gem, she had visited him again with the news of the arrival of the Horde and Alliance warfleets on the shores of the Krasarang Wilds. He had received it with a rather childish degree of glee — but then again, she supposed, he was still very much a child, especially as dragons age — and challenged her to prove to him that the Horde was worthy to be the ultimate victor in the ongoing strife with the Alliance. Then he had done something entirely unexpected

Without warning, Wrathion sliced his thumb and pressed it against her forehead. His blood burned to the touch, but rapidly disappeared into her skin.

“There!”, he said, “My eye is upon you, shaman. I am watching.

The Pandaren, like the Horde, value the concept of “Valor.” There are many ways to prove yourself valorous on this continent, from daily tasks to the defeat of heroic enemies within their lair. I will let you choose your own course.

Prove your bravery to me!”

That had been nearly three months ago. Much had happened in the interim. Blood and oil soaked the sands of once-pristine beaches in Krasarang Wilds. Pressured by Warchief Hellscream, the Sin’dorei had helped him obtain a dangerous ancient mogu artifact — costing the Sunreavers their neutrality — and the Horde’s foothold in Dalaran — in the process. The young Prince of the Alliance, at once wise and brave and very foolish, had destroyed the Divine Bell. It had collapsed on top of him. Kamalia did not know his fate, but she hoped that he had survived, somehow. At this worst of all possible times, the Shado-Pan reported that the ancient mogu hero, the legendary Thunder King, who had been stolen away and resurrected by the Zandalari trolls at about the same time as the Horde and Alliance first arrived on Pandaria, would soon return to his full, terrible strength. While the Warchief continued to press the battle with the Alliance in Krasarang, the displaced and utterly outraged Sunreavers took this matter into their own hands, hoping to show the Shado-Pan that at least some of the Horde were interested in honorably helping. Kamalia had helped them secure an outpost on the island where the Thunder King’s stronghold was located. She’d spent most of the last month there, fighting trolls and mogu and mogu and trolls and occasionally some saurok and more trolls and more mogu, until finally the way to the gates of the palace itself was cleared. She had carefully stayed out of the sniping between the Sunreavers and the Kirin Tor, who were leading the Alliance’s effort to aid the Shado-Pan. She had a handful of keys to the palace treasure room that she hadn’t yet mustered up the… greed to use. And yet.. and yet… after all of that, it was completing a simple task of service, one that Kamalia had done many times before and would probably do many times again, that had apparently been the final “proof of bravery” that Wrathion wanted.

Kamalia carefully placed the empty mug with the rest of Farmer Yoon’s dirty crockery, and, smiling, went out into the garden to tell him that everything was just fine.

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Only a few days after my last update on Kamalia’s progress (or lack thereof), I finally defeated the last challenger at the Cradle of Chi-Ji.

Poor Ellia Ravenmane! I felt rather bad about having inadvertently played the part of recurring villain in her personal tragedy. I wish there could have been some way to truly save her.

During my first three weeks of running Wrathion’s Valor Point hamster wheel, I chose which faction(s) to do dailies for based on which one(s) I was furthest behind with. By this method, I got them to all be even with each other.

Yesterday, Kamalia had a very busy day indeed:

Now I can sail across Pandaria’s skies in true Pandaren style!

Yesterday’s questing put me just over the 4K Valor Points mark. Those last 2K Valor Points will come rather slowly, I fear. I’m only at 8/12 plot points of the Landfall storyline, so I still have several days of Dominance Offensive quests to do before I’ll be ready to start on the 5.2 isle o’ dailies. But I will have less motivation to do dailies for factions other than the Dominance Offensive now that I’ve finally gotten to Exalted with all the 5.0 factions. I stopped running heroics after I got Exalted with the Huojin Pandaren and the Bilgewater Cartel. I stopped running LFR after I got all the things I wanted from T14 — though I suppose I will start running T15 LFR as soon as it becomes available (will that be next week, or will LFR be delayed by a week from the opening of normal raids, as it has been in the past?).

My desire to do anything at all that rewards Valor Points is also being sapped by the amount of afternoon, evening, and weekend time that I now find myself spending on lecture prep. Some days, I can only muster enough energy for WoW to tend my gardens and scan the AH for the items on my Transmogrification shopping list. I love my job, though, and I am still so thrilled to have this opportunity to be doing exactly what I kept telling everyone I wanted to do with my career during my years of graduate school — Wrathion, you can go jump in a lake!

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At first, I thought that perhaps I hadn’t gotten any Tauren alts to 90 yet because I wanted my Human Mage to be my second character to 90 so that I could score Dynamic Duo and Double Agent simultaneously. So I took Kinevra to Pandaria and found that I didn’t particularly want to play with her, after all. She’s back in Stormwind with early Paw’don Glade quests in her log.

After I’d thought about it a bit more, it occurred to me that BTH and I were making good enough time with our Monks (relatively speaking) that perhaps I’d subconsciously decided that I wanted my Monk to be my second character to 90. Once I’d consciously acknowledged that, however, I began to feel like maybe I was holding back some of my other high-level characters unfairly.

Perhaps what it really comes down to is this: I don’t feel the need to be out-and-about in Pandaria with alts because Kamalia, my main, still has so much to be doing out-and-about in Pandaria.

I confess that after I reached Revered with the August Celestials and the Shado-Pan, the only faction I continued to regularly do dailies for was the August Celestials — and even then, it was almost exclusively when it was Cradle of Chi-ji. Even so, I’ve reached Exalted with the August Celestials without finishing the Cradle of Chi-ji storyline, so I’m still visiting Sage Lotusbloom to see which AC wants my company today. Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought the August Celestials Grand Commendation, after all.

Also contrary to what I said previously, I did continue to run LFR after obtaining my Sha-touched gem. I still wanted the shield that Gara’jal drops, so I queued only for Guardians of Mogushan by myself each week until he finally coughed it up for me last week. I’d kind of like to make a Transmogrification kit to go with that shield, but mini-Kam is the one who has most of the pieces I think I’d want to use in it… sigh.

Wrathion’s quest for 6000 valor points gave Kamalia the stomp on the tail she needed to start doing dailies for the Shado-Pan, the Golden Lotus, and the Klaxxi again. After completing my Dominance Offensive dailies, and if the AC dailies weren’t Cradle of Chi-ji, I’ll go do one or two of the others, depending on my mood. On a couple of very ambitious feeling days, I’ve even done all three! By the time I’ve earned those 6000 valor points, I think I’ll probably have managed to finally reach Exalted with the Shado-Pan, the Golden Lotus, and the Klaxxi, too.

After three weeks of diligently capping out Kamalia’s valor points, though, last week I just didn’t feel like it. My semester (which began in the first week of February) was finally kicking into full gear. My upper division biochemistry lab class students had turned in their first lab report for me to grade. My general chemistry lab class had had its first meeting. And I had to prepare, give, and grade the first quiz of the semester for my general chemistry lecture course (a literally last-minute addition to my teaching contracts — the department chair decided to split the class and give the new second lecture section to me on the Friday before the Monday when classes began). So, I didn’t. I did play WoW, and I did do some dailies and some dungeons and get some valor points, but I didn’t expend any effort at all toward trying to cap my valor points. I suspect that this week will be much the same.

I reached Revered with the Dominance Offensive last week. Although I’ve purchased Grand Commendations for all the other factions, I decided not to buy the Grand Commendation for the Dominance Offensive just yet. I will wait until I’m Revered with Wrathion, too, before I do that. I’m about halfway through the Landfall storyline, having completed six of its twelve sub-achievements. Ideally, I’d like to reach Revered with Wrathion at about the same time that I finish the plot; I definitely don’t want to be coming back to Domination Point to grind Wrathion rep after I’ve completed the story. But any alts that I may decide to take through the Dominance Offensive/Operation:Shieldwall stuff? Yeah, I’ll want them to be able to do it at double speed.

And even when I do get to Exalted with the Klaxxi, the Golden Lotus, the Shado-Pan, and the Dominance Offensive, well, by then Patch 5.2 will be well underway and there will be a whole new faction and a whole new isle o’ dailies to keep Kamalia busy.

Most tellingly, though, when I haven’t been playing with Kamalia, the alts I’ve been spending the most time with have been, well, not in Pandaria.

My Paladin tanked LBRS from level 57 to level 60 without seeing the Plate of the Shaman King drop even once; while she wasn’t dungeoneering, she was running around doing Pet Battles. After I’d defeated all the Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdom trainers (minus the ones in Cataclysm zones, of course) and gotten my lead team of Kiamore the Brilliant Kaliri, Ariel the Pandaren Air Spirit, and Navie Chan the Pandaren Monk up to level 20, however, my enthusiasm for pet battling petered out. Partly this was because I wasn’t ready to take my Paladin to Outland yet. But mostly, I think, it was because the upcoming changes to pet battling on the PTR sounded like they’d be worth waiting for.

It’s my DPS Warrior who’s really been getting the love. After reaching level 68, she hung around in Netherstorm for another few levels callously slaughtering blood elves until the Scryers at last agreed that yes, they liked her, they really really liked her, and allowed her to buy their tabard. She’d decided that she wanted it for a Transmogrification kit, which I shall have to get together and display sometime soon. She’s now in Northrend, doing all the Kalu’ak questlines — I needed a change from my usual Northrend questing sequence, it had been awhile since I’d done anything for the tuskarr, and I remembered that I liked their quests. By the time my Warrior finishes helping out the Kalu’ak, she ought to be level 77 and ready to become an Argent Aspirant. I’ve done a few pet battles with her, too — enough to get my lead pets all up to level 21. Perhaps while my Warrior is goofing around with oversized toothpicks in Icecrown, my Paladin will go to Outland and start working down that “Master Pet Trainers To Beat” list again.

And then there’s my Tanking Warrior, who wants to get to level 40 and be able to wear Plate, finally… and my Priest, who wants to get to level 60 so she can start tagging along on LBR runs to AQ to collect scarabs and Brood of Nozdormu rep and other bug junk so that someday she can get the Vestments of the Oracle… and my Feral Druid, who wants to level because making new Transmogrification kits for my Monk is spinning off other ideas for leather sets that I think would be better for a Druid, and….

Oh, and speaking of AQ and scarabs and Brood of Nozdormu rep and other bug junk, I don’t generally care much for bugs, but the two bugs I got this past week are pretty cool indeed.

I was happy to give one of Navimie’s Imperial Silkworms a good home.

Not one but two Red Qiraji Resonating Crystals dropped in LBR. I got the first one by default because Repgrind and Helke both had one already, and the second one went very sadly unused.

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Three and a half months ago, Kamalia met with Wrathion for the first time.

(My screenshots of this event are datestamped 1 October.)

Last week, I finished collecting Sigils of Power and Wisdom. This week, I obtained the Sha of Fear’s dark heart.

I already had the appropriate sha-touched weapon for my specialization, and now I have the gem to go with it. I have four pieces of Tier 14 for my Resto set. My overall ilevel is 482 — sufficient to get into LFR for the first wing of the Palace of the Thunder King. I am, therefore, DONE with LFR for this tier. (Well, with Kamalia, at least. Kregga’s been making noises about wanting that gorgeous starry sword from Elegon.)

Now I guess it’s time to go see what the Dominance Offensive is all about.

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With patch 5.2 and a whole new quest hub and faction already on the horizon, I am starting to feel very, very behind.

I have only myself to blame, of course, for being horribly delinquent about doing my dailies. Just this week, I finally managed to reach Revered with the Shado-Pan and the August Celestials. Now I can start working on getting all those out-of-the-box factions to Exalted, one at a time. I haven’t decided which one to start with, except that it won’t be August Celestials — while I’m working on the other factions, I’ll check that one whenever I feel like doing dailies and do it only if it’s Cradle of Chi-Ji, so that I can finish the Ellia Ravenmane storyline before I get Exalted with the faction.

I haven’t even started the Dominance Offensive yet.

When patch 5.1 came, I listened and watched a little as BTH played through the opening quests of the new faction, I ran the two Dominance Offensive-related scenarios, and I wasn’t sure that Kamalia could aid the advance of Garrosh’s war machine. Besides which, at that time, Kamalia had gotten to Honored with Wrathion, but she had collected only a few Sigils. I thought that it would probably still be quite a while until she finished the first phase of Wrathion’s plan, and it seemed to me that it didn’t make much sense for her to start doing the Dominance Offensive stuff until she could move on to the second phase of Wrathion’s plan.

So when Kamalia received the summons to help claim a beachhead in Krasarang Wilds, she “went native” and quietly ignored it, thinking,
The Pandaren welcomed us. Despite the destruction we wreaked upon their lands in the Jade Forest specifically and throughout Pandaria generally by releasing the Sha, they allowed us to enter their most sacred place — the Vale of Eternal Blossoms — with them. And you, Warchief, still want to bring your war to this place? To fight for a land that is not, and never will be yours? You are as bad as the mogu, and I do not want any part of it.

BTH, however, seemed to be really enjoying the new faction. BTH, who only ground rep with the “serious” factions and then only to Revered so he could get the gear — BTH, who takes a textbook “ignore the lore, what do I have to kill?” approach to his quest log — BTH continued doing the Dominance Offensive all the way to Exalted because he’d gotten so wrapped up in the story that he wanted to see it all. That is even more compelling to me than Anne Stickney’s glowing review. So I began leveling my Death Knight with the intention that she could take part in the Dominance Offensive storyline, but she hasn’t even gotten to level 87 yet.

In the intervening weeks, Kamalia has managed to collect 8 Sigils of Wisdom and 7 Sigils of Power and obtain the appropriate Sha-touched socketed weapon for her specialization from LFR. So in another month or so, when she has finished collecting Sigils and done a final LFR of Terrace of Endless Spring to get her Sha-touched jewel, then perhaps I will start doing the Dominance Offensive with her.

Or maybe she won’t, if I manage to get Kregga to level 90 before Kamalia finishes up Wrathion’s War part I.

And hmmm, now that Winter Veil is over, Kinevra needs to stop moping around and hop on the boat to Pandaria, so she can get to level 90 and do Operation:Shieldwall.

But then, I suppose I accepted that I’d probably be behind the curve the whole expansion when I made the decision to only raid LFR and to play whatever I felt like doing in the moment.

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Last night, after ten or eleven weeks of dedicated effort in the Firelands, my guild at last completed Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest. Congratulations to Sheepin!

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AMG Shadowmourne!!!

Congratulations to my guild’s top DK, who finally got his Shadowmourne tonight!

yes, the character is female, but the player is male, therefore, “he” 😉

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My guild’s principal Holy Priest wields Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. When he has to miss a raid, all wipes get blamed on lack of “The Mace”.

Three people in my guild have made Shadow’s Edge, and our top DK already has half of the Shadowfrost Shards he needs to convert it into Shadowmourne.

Now those are some pretty nifty weapons, but if you’re looking for something really, truly legendary to amaze all your banking buddies, you should get your hands on one of these beauties….

Kobold Mining Shovel This two-handed mace drops off Kobold Tunnelers at the Fargodeep Mine in Elwynn Forest. It requires level 3 to equip. There are five other items that share this model, should you desire a more powerful spade for those really tough weeds.

Rusted Pitchfork This polearm drops in the Scarlet Enclave, the phased DK starting zone. It has no level requirement to equip.

Farmer’s Broom This staff drops from Tirisfal Farmhands at Soliden’s Farm in Tirisfal Glades. It requires level 3 to equip.

My number one favorite weapon in the game:

Cookie’s Tenderizer This one-handed mace drops off “Captain” Cookie in normal mode (low-level) Deadmines. It requires level 15 to equip.

I love that we can get a rolling pin to bash stuff over the head with. It’s a must-have accessory for any RP cooking outfit, of course, but with +3 strength and +2 stamina, it’s actually a decent weapon for its level range.

The Cataclysm brought us this lovely addition to our supply of household weaponry:

Spider Splatter Mace This one-handed mace is rewarded from an easy, faction-neutral two-step quest chain in Western Plaguelands that is available at level 35 without having to do anything else in the zone.

Characters of classes that can dual-wield AND use maces (Rogue, Death Knight, Fury Warrior, or Enhancement Shaman) can do fun things like this:

Oh, if only Fury Warriors could use Titan’s Grip to dual-wield with polearms and staves — wouldn’t DWing a shovel and a pitchfork, or a shovel and a broom, or a pitchfork and a broom, be totally OP?

This post was updated in March 2011 to reflect changes and additions in Cataclysm.

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