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Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category


BTH really enjoys Magic: The Gathering, but he’s never been able to get me into playing it. When Hearthstone first came out, therefore, I was intrigued by the concept of the game — something like MTG, but perhaps not so complex, or differently complex in ways that I would be able to understand more easily. I had (and still have) too many things I wanted to do in WoW to want put another game on my computer*, though — and the Hearthsteed was not an incentive because I think it looks creepy. If I had a tablet, I might have picked up Hearthstone when it came out for tablets… but I don’t. So I’d been looking forward to the game coming out for smartphones, and when it finally did, about two weeks ago, I got it.

I’ve played very casually so far, only one or two games a day and not every day. I just finished unlocking all the classes a day or two ago, and Mage is still the only class that I’ve leveled to 10. After I’d gotten through the initial tutorials and quests playing against The Innkeeper, my first several games in casual Play mode were very discouraging. I used Mage because I have the most class-specific cards for it, but I just got smashed and smashed and smashed. I’d feel like I was playing my cards well and doing okay in the early part of the game, but then I’d run out of cards in my hand and get utterly overwhelmed by the other player’s minions. Yet I would doggedly play the game out to the bitter end, because to me, conceding would be akin to flipping the table and stomping away in a huff.

I’m usually a good sport about losing when I feel like it’s been an even match and I could have won if I’d done one or two things differently, but I am not a very good sport about losing when I feel overwhelmed and powerless. Losing and losing and losing to swarms of enemy minions when I was out of good cards in my hand definitely made me feel a bit table-flippy! Eventually, I decided that I just didn’t understand how to play Mage. Thinking I’d try the same strategy that had been beating me, I used the Hunter deck instead. I’ve had more success with that; earlier today, I finally got to the three wins in Play mode required to earn the crossover reward pictured above.

Hearthstone will be good for amusement when I have to wait for short intervals or when I’m bored at relatives’ houses. I’ll probably continue to do Play mode as casual, though if there’s a particularly attractive card back, I might attempt the ranked ladder. I suppose that I’ll probably get all the classes leveled up to 10 eventually, just because I’m a collector personality type, and because I know that there are class-based challenges in the solo Adventures. I don’t intend to ever spend any real money on Hearthstone, though, so it’ll be a long time before I venture into Naxxramas or Blackrock Mountain. I don’t play enough to accumulate gold very quickly, and I should probably use my gold for card packs for awhile before I try the Adventures.

BTH has been quite amused by watching me play and talk about Hearthstone.

* WoW is the only game, other than the standard Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc, that come with the OS, that I currently have installed. For awhile, I had the Portal games, too.

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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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I’m having a real hard time getting my brain in gear to work today — it must be Thursday (never could get the hang of Thursdays) — so I’m going to write a blog post instead. I saw on Alt:ernative this morning a link to a post about “Maintenance Gaming”.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been doing ever since Kam got to level 100, and it’s pretty much what I will be doing probably until the end of the semester. Classes began on Monday, and because of the way I’ve restructured my courses, I’ve got a lot more work to do. Last semester, I was able to go home for lunch most days of the week, so I’d do the “maintenance” stuff of tending farms/garrisons over my lunch break and then I could “play” — run LFR, do dailies, level alts, whatever — in the evening. This semester, however, I’ll be spending my evening playtime hours on the maintenance stuff at least until I get my prep schedule enough under control that I can start going home for lunch again. The maintenance stuff is really about all I have enough energy for, anyway. Even doing my Garrison Campaign weeklies, which I enjoy, is getting pushed off until the weekends when I’ll have not only more time but also more energy to invest in doing them.

Having to spend more time on work and less time on play also means that blog posts might be few and far between for awhile (though I’ll probably try to put another post up pretty soon, so that I don’t leave this somewhat depressing ramble as the top post for too very long).

In additon to the whole “less time and energy for play” issue, I haven’t taken Kam into Highmaul LFR yet, despite having heard that it’s dead easy, because I’m too scroogey* to want to pay for gems and enchants on the AH when I have alts that have those professions. Problem is, the alts that have those professions are still in Pandaria working on my Bag Operation to get all** of my Bloodhoof-Duskwood characters equipped with Royal Satchels in their main inventories. Turns out, I didn’t spend enough time on “maintenance gaming” during late Mists — if I had kept all my farms running all the time, the Bag Operation would be well over and done by now.

Poor Kaprikka. She’s been stuck in maintenance mode for so long that she’s accumulated over 7k resources… and after she reaches the 10k resource cap, it might be a long time before I log in with her again. Although I pushed and pushed to get Kaprikka to level 90 in late Mists so that I could play through the new Draenei lore as a Draenei in Warlords, rushing so fast with dungeons and such that I skipped large swaths of already-existing Alliance lore in Outland, Northrend, and the Cataclysm zones, recently I’ve been thinking that I should focus on/commit to just one Alliance alt… and I’ve decided that I would rather “be” Kaylynda, the red-headed Human Mage, when I do Alliance things at level 100. Alas, poor Kaprikka… perhaps you can commiserate about the fickleness of your overmind with Tome’s Lokkan?

* Speaking of being scroogey, several weeks ago, I was on an alt when I got a random whisper asking for help. When I asked what I could help with, the person begged for several hundred gold to help them purchase the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. I declined, because I always decline gold begging, but I softened the blow by telling them that I myself am saving for the Grand Expedition Yak. Which is true… sort-of. I would like to have my owm personal pocket-Transmogrifier someday… I’m just not saving up for it in a very fast or very focused sort of way.

** Well, all of my alts above level 50, at any rate. I recently decided that, for my sanity’s sake, the alts under level 50 would only get one Royal Satchel apiece, in place of the gathering professions bag I might have gotten them in previous expansions.

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The introduction of the Rangari and, even more importantly, the presence of a bonafide Draenei Rogue in the Alliance followers list —

— has Draenei enthusiasts hoping for playable Draenei Rogues in the next expansion.
I’m inclined to agree that it’s a distinct possibility!

If we’re going to let the Draenei with their clip-cloppy hooves be Rogues, Tauren should get to be Rogues, too!

Prior to Cataclysm, I thought there was pretty decent support for Tauren eventually becoming Mages — I distinctly remember seeing Grimtotem casters in Stonetalon Mountains and other Grimtotem areas using Fireball. Sadly, since Cataclysm, Grimtotem casters only use Shaman or Druid spells (I checked their abilities on Wowhead).
Some of the Crazed Mages in Blackrock Caverns are Tauren, though…

Gnomes still need a mail-wearing class. Hunters could certainly be a good fit — and now that we have Goblin Shamans with their mechanized totems and bargains with the elements, why not Gnome Shamans, too?

Cataclysm introduced this fellow in Kirthaven:

Mists introduced Andrea Toyas and her dancers, who hang out in the Shrine of Seven Stars and sometimes grace the Halfhill Market:

Warlords has introdued these two lovely Draenei ladies:

One of them is in the inn at Embaarii Village, and the other is in the Mess Hall in Stormshield. There may be more of these Draenei harpists in other Alliance locations in Draenor — I haven’t explored far enough yet as Alliance to find out.

Could this be laying the way for a Bard/Minstrel class? Or will musicians continue to be exclusively NPCs?
I would totally re-roll my Night Elf Mage as a Minstrel, given that her backstory is that she’s a musician.

~*~*~

On a somewhat related note, I would not at all be surprised if the Legendary follower that we get for jumping through Khadgar’s hoops in Patch 6.1 turns out to be Cordana Felsong.

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Alas, no maintenance on Tuesday this week, so I wasn’t able to change my Gorgrond outpost and recruit Penny and Kaz. Maybe next week…

As Kamalia’s followers have begun to purple out, she’s accumulated four pairs who have the same combination of abilities. I’ve deactivated one follower from each of those pairs and reactivated some less-experienced followers, with the goal of eventually getting all of Kamalia’s followers up to purple and seeing how many different combinations I can get. There are 36 different combinations of two of the nine abilities (counting A,B and B,A as the same combination), but I’m not sure that all of them are “allowed” — is it even possible for the same follower to have both the “tank-like” Wild Aggression and the “healer-like” Group Damage?

Kamalia upgraded her Inn to level 3 yesterday. She has enough of a resources reserve that after my current batch of work orders at the Lumber Mill completes, I can tear down the Lumber Mill and re-build the Barn, at last. I’ll miss rambling across the landscape for timber, though. On my other characters, I find herbing and mining to be rather relaxing, and logging fills the same psychological niche.

I currently have five Garrisons — one at level 3, one at level 2, and three at level 1 — and another character halfway through Tanaan. My level 2 garrison has only the mine open (I haven’t yet quested enough with that alt to unlock the herb garden) and my level 3 garrison has the mine & herb garden at only level 1 (Kam’s professions are not primarily dependent upon those materials, and I don’t feel like upgrading them just for the achievement points). Even so, tending my five garrisons feels like it takes as much time as the nine farms I’m still running in Pandaria! When I get enough alts in Draenor, by the time I finish tending the last alt’s garrison, it’ll be time to start all over again by collecting the spoils from the short missions in the first character’s garrison!

At this point, it’s looking like my standard garrison layout, at least as far as the small plots are concerned, will be level 2 Crafting Profession Hut, level 3 Salvage Yard, and level 1 Storehouse. Most of my garrisons will probably have the Inn as one of their medium plots and keep the Barracks as one of their large plots because followers.

I used to think that I played for the story/lore, but if I play for the story, then why haven’t I finished playing through Stonetalon Mountains (among other 1-60 zones) to see the “new” (Cataclysm) story there? If I play for the story, then why is my Draenei not level 100 yet? If I play for the story, then why is my Dwarf Shaman not level 100 yet? I enjoy the stories, but they’re obviously not what drives my play.

I suppose one reason I haven’t gotten my Draenei to level 100 yet is that now that I have both my Draenei and Human Mages set up at Lunarfall, I can’t decide which one I’d rather play. Do I play the Draenei because it somehow feels more “right” to experience all this new Draenei lore first as a Draenei*? Or do I play the Human because I’d really rather be playing Alliance as a High Elf?

I knew that Khadgar — dear darling obnoxious interfering power-hungry Khadgar — was bound to send me into LFR for the legendary questline eventually… and now that I’ve gotten to that point, I’m not feeling very motivated to do it. More precisely, I’m not feeling very motivated to a) do the research on what talents, glyphs, gems, enchants, consumables, etc I ought to be using to be properly prepared for raiding and then b) go out and get all those things.

I still haven’t done the Molten Core LFR, either. Though I don’t care the slightest for the mount and pet, I would like to have the hat. I kept telling myself that I’d do it as a treat to myself after classes were over, and classes are over… but I’ve been on campus all week anyway prepping for next semester.

* Feeling like I ought to be a character of a given race to play through storylines that prominently feature that race is not a problem I have Horde-side because I’m so used to being Kam/Tauren when I’m Horde.

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My original blog banner featuring a portrait of Kamalia (in a pre-Transmogrification RP-wear costume) by Vidyala has served me long and well, but for some time now I’ve been thinking I wanted something more indicative of the “et alia”. Inspired by the Godmother‘s header featuring all her alts, I put together this banner:

I have this dream of drawing portraits for all my characters so that I can show how the way I imagine them differs from the limitations of the in-game models. For now, however, this will have to do.
I’ll continue to use Vidyala’s lovely portrait as my Gravatar.

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all together now!

Today the long-awaited connection of my primary server occurred! Now I can have my eleven “one of each class” set of characters all on the same server and also have my secondary Tauren characters in that same guild by putting them on the partner server, so that everyone is able to freely pool and share resources with each other.

Well, except for Papa Kehontah and Mama Kawneiha and the Underpowered Death Knight, who are off in their own little guild on the partner server because yes, I do need two guild banks so that I can have one for crafting mats and other useful stuff and one for RP clothes and Transmogrification hoarding.

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