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Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ 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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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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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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