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Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

I haven’t been subscribing to Blizzard Watch at all (and I only recently subbed up to Patreon for From Draenor With Love) but I was recently reminded that BW subscribers at a certain level will get a coloring book. I kind of want the Blizzard Watch coloring book. I’m not sure that I’m willing to pay $25/month ($300/year) — more than I’m paying for World of Warcraft itself! — for it, though. If the coloring book reward was in the $10/month tier (approximately the same as the game itself), maybe I’d feel a little better about subscribing at the coloring book level.
ETA: So, I bit. I *have* been considering subbing to BW ever since they launched, I just hadn’t gotten around to doing it. I signed up at the $25 level, and after I get my Noxychu coloring book and a few months have gone by (maybe enough to have donated $100 total), I’ll drop down to one of the lower pledge levels… if I remember.

Today I gave my organic chemistry class an exam. The exam is in two parts, an in-class part and a testing center part. Before class started, I was telling my students that even though I can’t grade the testing center part until Monday (because they have through Saturday night to take it), I might grade the in-class part tonight because my husband is out of town on business, so I wouldn’t have anything better to do except playing computer games or reading a book. They asked, “what computer games?” When I told them, World of Warcraft, a handful responded, “oh, I play/have played that game!” Then, when they hadn’t managed to complete the in-class part by the end of the class period, I decided to let them take it home over the weekend, so I don’t have any exams to grade tonight, after all.
It would probably not be a very good idea, from a professional standpoint, though, to tell them “I’m Kamalia on Bloodhoof, Horde-side; let’s run some dungeons sometime.”

I will be happier if Legion doesn’t come out in June than if it does. This past week, I found out that I’ve been accepted to both of the summer organic chemistry pedagogy workshops that I applied to attend — one in the first week of June, the other in the third week of June. For me, I think it would be best if Legion comes out right at the end of July, when I’ll have a week or so off between the end of the summer term chemistry course (which I will be teaching, and will need subs for the two weeks in June when I’ll be gone) and the beginning of fall semester in mid-August.

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I’ve collected Breyer model horses on and off ever since I was a kid. For about a decade, I’ve wanted some proper display shelving for my collection. I got some GNEDBY CD towers from IKEA for my 1:32 scale horses last summer, but I still wanted a bookcase with glass doors for my 1:9 and 1:12 scale horses. Now that we’re living in a house that we own, I decided that it was time to get one. On Wednesday evening, I went to IKEA and picked up a BILLY bookcase and the matching OXBERG doors. I assembled it that night, then spent Thursday evening filling it up.

You might wonder why the lowest nine shelves of 1:32 scale horses seem to all be the same sculpture. It’s one of my favorite sculptures in that scale because it’s a non-standard pose and has a great sense of motion. I collected as many of the original (factory) finish variations of that sculpture as I could while I was in my most recent intensive model horse collecting phase (about a decade ago). At that time, Breyer was producing a “paint your own horse” kit that featured this sculpture. I bought two or three dozen of those kits and painted up them up to represent all the horse colors and patterns that I knew about. I painted several of them in fanciful colors, too.
While I was in my horse-painting phase, I also painted several other 1:32 scale sculptures. I have more little horses than actually fit in these shelves, however, so when it came time to choose who got to go on display and who went in the toybox, the ones I’d painted myself tended to get priority for the shelves. On the larger scales, I painted the bright chestnut 1:12 scale horse on the right of the top shelf of the big bookcase as a portrait model of Secretariat, and I had a lot of fun with the 1:9 scale zebra foal in the bottom shelf of the big bookcase.

There are a handful of sculptures in Breyer’s current 1:9 scale line that I’d like to add to my collection. I don’t know where I’d put them, though, because I don’t want to consign any of the horses currently on display to to the toybox!

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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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Because it is still summer and therefore I can, and because I knew I would be too distracted to focus on working on the items on my to-do list anyway even if I did go to my office on campus, I stayed home this morning to follow the Blizzard Watch and Wowhead liveblogs of the big expansion announcement. (more…)

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Casually Odd’s post about feeling that Warlords content is ephemeral prompted me to think about whether there was anything in Draenor that I might find myself frequently returning to do.

As much as gaining rep from pure grinding bores me, I’ve had a few characters for whom Aldor/Scryer rep was important enough for RP reasons, crafting recipes, or clothing items that I ground it out anyway. I also return to Outland frequently to run those old dungeons and raids for Transmogrification stuff.

I have put several characters through the Argent Tournament, whether by stalling them out to do it instead of moving on into the Cataclysm content right when they reach level 80ish, or by coming back to it later when they have reached whatever the current expansion’s level cap happens to be. My Paladin, who pushed through to get the Crusader title on her own merits, has recently begun returning to Icecrown to collect seals so that when she reaches level 100 and gets her level 3 Garrison and Jukebox, she’ll be able to buy the Argent Tournament track for it right away.

Although I was very glad to be done with the Molten Front by the time Kamalia finally got her Flaming Hippogryph, I have since come back to it with a few other characters who wanted something from Damek Bloombeard for Transmogrification purposes. I’ve even enjoyed it more than I did the first time around, because it’s less crowded and also because I’m no longer on a PvP server!

I still have a couple of characters hanging out in Pandaria — the Underpowered Death Knight, merrily working for the Tillers and soon to be moving up to Townlong Steppes to work for the Shado Pan, and my secondary Monk, who has been dutifully toiling away at Sunsong Ranch growing Windshear Cactus and Songbells to make Royal Satchels. One of these days, I intend to take my Human Mage back to Pandaria to do the Lion’s Landing questline and the Kirin Tor Offensive on the Isle of Thunder. I got her to level 90 late enough that I didn’t get her a Shado Pan hat, so she should do that someday, too. I’m likely to take other characters to the Isle of Thunder to farm Honor from the PvP version of the dailies, as I’ve heard that those mostly involve disrupting the activities of opposite faction NPCs and don’t actually require combat with other players. I’m not likely to go back to the Timeless Isle, though, unless I want to take Transmogrification screenshots there, use the backdoor to Draenor, or get one of the weapons from the Timeless Coin vendor.

In Draenor, I’m beginning to feel like the hourglass is running out on actually accomplishing anything with alts. Kamalia is still my only level 100 character; somehow the time I think I might like to spend in a dedicated questing & leveling session with this or that alt always seems to get frittered away in doing everyone’s Garrison chores. I’ve had all these lovely daydreams about how I want my alts to staff their Garrisons with various RP-themed collections of followers and get specific RP-themed tracks for their Jukeboxes… but if the next expansion has come out before I get any of them to level 100, will I actually want to spend the time lingering at level 100 to do all that with them?

For me, the big draw to come back to previous content again and again is Transmogrification. I come back for armor, weapons, and occasionally tabards. I can see myself using my Garrison hearthstone to pop in and out of my alts’ Garrisons to level followers and run the missions that award character 615/630/645 armor tokens. I can see myself hunting down the Draenor rares & treasures that drop armor or weapons, but not the ones that drop toys or pets or other such bric-a-brac. I can even see myself taking an alt to Tanaan for that purpose — though I don’t plan to play the Shipyard with anyone but Kam. I’ll probably send my secondary Monk out to Draenor eventually, and park her in her Garrison with a Barn, a Tailoring Emporium, and a Tannery to churn out Hexweave Bags. But somehow I don’t see myself coming back to Draenor again and again and again (after I’ve moved past it level-wise), the way I’ve done with the Argent Tournament and the Molten Front and will probably do with some of the Pandaria content (though it’s still a bit early to tell for that).

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The illustration for the new “Lock and Load” card in the upcoming Grand Tournament expansion for Hearthstone (the sixth one in the Blizzard Watch gallery after the opening “Coldarra Drake”) sure looks like a Gnome dual-wielding pistols to me.

Gnomes can’t currently be Hunters, nor can Hunters dual-wield pistols. Is this a hint about something we can expect to see in World of Warcraft‘s next expansion? Or is it merely Rule Of Cool flavor art just for Hearthstone?

I wish it were the former, but it’s probably the latter. sigh

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If you were thinking about putting together an outfit (or outfits!) for the Savage Blood Transmogrification Challenge that I set forth a little while ago, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet, there’s still time to get your mogging mojo on and send me your stuff!

This is not a contest, with prizes and such, just a challenge — a prompt — for a fashion show similar to These Boots were Made for Mogging.

If you’d like to participate, the guidelines are as follows:

* There must be at least one Warlords crafted item in your kit. It doesn’t have to be upgraded; the stage 1 items are perfectly acceptable.

* Because these are kits for Transmogrification, not for equipping, the three-item-equipped limit does not apply. To limit the expense of crafting and upgrading, however, there can be no more than five Warlords crafted items in your kit.

* If you want to include Warlords raid gear in your kit, LFR gear is preferred. I’m looking for inspiration for kits to wear myself, and I haven’t raided at any higher level than LFR since late Cataclysm.

* If you’ve already made a Transmogrification kit or kits using Warlords crafted items, feel free to send me the screenshots of your character wearing that kit! Already-made kits are exempt from the “LFR raid gear preferred” guideline.

* Ideas designed in MogIt (or similar programs) are both expected and welcome.

* Please include an item list with your image. In your item list, specify which upgrade stage/ilevel of the crafted item(s) you used.

* All armor types are allowed.

* Images should be .jpg or .png format.

* You can contribute as many ideas as you can imagine!

* Send your contributions to kamalia_et_alia@yahoo.com on or before WEDNESDAY June 3. I’ll post the fashion show at the end of this week.

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