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Stuff I’d like to accomplish in Azeroth (and associated worlds) during the next year. Getting this stuff done before the launch of Battle for Azeroth would be nice, too.

* Level Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock to 110

* Complete 7.0 Order Hall Campaigns for Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock

* Do enough of Broken Shore with each character to obtain their 9th Champion

* Complete the Good Suramaritan and Suramar Insurrection storylines with Kaelinda

* Do the Xe’ra’s Revisionist History Of Illidan questline with Kiralaira

* Go to Argus with Kiralaira

* Do the Deaths of Chromie scenario with Karaelia to earn the bronze version of the plate dragon head shoulders

* LFR Emerald Nightmare with Kerisa

* Get the Feather of the Moonspirit (owlcat) appearance for the Fangs of Ashamane

* Do the Blacksmithing questchain with Keija at least until she can craft the Demonsteel set

* Work on other Profession questchains as time & interest allow

* Continue Paragoning Highmountain with Kamalia and Suramar with Kaelinda until moose and flying carpet mounts have been obtained

* Kerisa needs to be Exalted with Dreamweavers. Keija needs to be Exalted with Valarjar. Karaelia & Kaohana want to be Exalted with Valarjar because Valarjar tabard is pretty and has colors suitable for “I wanna be SHINY!” Mogs. All Tauren will want to be Exalted with Highmountain.

* Level Kaylynda to 110 so I can create Void Elf and Nightborne Mages on my Mage realm

* Level mini-Kam to 110 so I can create Highmountain Tauren on my Secondary Tauren realm

* Pre-order Battle for Azeroth so that if Allied Races are made available to pre-orders in 8.0 (the way Demon Hunters were made available to Legion pre-orders in 7.0), I can start leveling my Void Elf and my first Highmountain Tauren right away.

This To-Do List brought to you by Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge #30.

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… I wanted to participate in the community.

About two and a half years after I began playing WoW, I was playing a lot with my Boomkin. I don’t remember anymore if I was still leveling her or if this was after BTH and I switched guilds and the new guild, having enough healers, wanted me as DPS on my Boomkin rather than as a healer on Kamalia. Anyhow, I wanted to get better at Boomkining, and that led me to Restokin. Reading Restokin led me to a number of other blogs (many of which are now long since in mothballs). Presently, I started wanting to make comments on the blogs I was reading. Eventually, I started wanting to talk about the game on my own platform. More specifically, I wanted to participate in a survey about healing by making an independent post about it rather than by leaving a lengthy comment on the blog that originated the survey.

Cataclysm was announced sometime around the time I began blogging, so a lot of posts in the first year were prompted by the upcoming changes to the world. One of the bloggers I read issued an “Exploration” challenge, for which I wrote a series of posts about the Shaman totem quests. Another issued an “Eleventh Hour” challenge to write a story about a specific zone with a specific plot element in the story; from that challenge came my first story about Kaelinda. I wrote other stories to work out acceptable backgrounds/character concepts for characters that I was initially uncomfortable with the idea of playing — Forsaken and Death Knights. I have continued to write stories to record and respond to quests and events within the game.

I’d also been quite active as a commenter and on the forums of Kirina’s Closet, an early RP clothes blog, so it was a natural transition from writing about RP clothes in that venue to writing about them on my own blog. Although this blog has pretty much always had a signifcant emphasis on pretty clothes, fashion began to dominate my content after Transmogrification debuted. I participated in a handful of Transmogrification contests or challenges in the first year after Transmogrification went live. I also started keeping a running documentation of my own characters’ Transmogrifications.

I’ve met a lot of people whom I like very much through the exchange of reading and commenting on blogs, and I definitely still value the participating-in-the-community aspect of blogging. Although I appreciate every comment I receive and am quite fond of all of you who comment regularly, I think that if I were always trying to write my blog for other people, I would have stopped blogging long ago. Indeed, I blog mostly for myself. I can’t really talk about this game in any depth or detail to anyone in my family except BTH (who got me into it in the first place) because they either disapprove (my Dad, my in-laws) or aren’t really interested/don’t care (everyone else). I don’t write a lot about what I do in Azeroth in my pen-and-paper journal, either — I mention it, but only briefly. This blog is my primary record of my experience with the game.

So I write about anything about the game that is occupying my mind. I comment on events (both in-game and meta-game), I set goals for my characters and track my success (or lack thereof) in accomplishing them, I respond to blogging prompts such as this one, I write stories (which usually languish unfinished in my drafts folder for a very long time before I finally post them), I draw pictures (which I haven’t done much of lately). While Transmogrification is probably the “bread and butter” content of my blog — especially in the past year since I started doing the Sunday Mog Show series — I strongly suspect that my interest in blogging would burn out and die if I tried to make this exclusively a Mog blog. I’d still want to write about other aspects of the game, but it would feel like too much work to try to maintain two distinct blogs that were both about WoW — and the blogging about Mogging itself would become a tedious chore instead of a fun diversion. “Variety is the spice of life,” and all that.

I also feel like blogging — both writing about my own activities and reading about others’ activities — has helped me sustain my interest in the game. Someday, though, my interest in WoW and in blogging about WoW will dwindle, and I will wander away and find something else to occupy myself with. I like to think that when I feel that starting to happen, I will download and archive in some form or another my favorite content from this blog — by which I mean all of the posts linked on the “Stories” page and all of the “Things my [Class] Wears” posts — so that later, I can look back fondly on the time that I spent with this game and the things that it inspired me to create.

~*~*~

This post brought to you by Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge #23:

Why do you blog about WoW?
Everyone who has created a blog has done so for a reason. For all of you WoW bloggers out there, what was that reason? Why did you choose to put fingers to keys to write about a computer game? What type of posts do you like to write? Does your blog have a theme to it, or do you just wing it and write whatever you want? We’d love to know!

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While I was trawling through my Photobucket library looking for pictures that I didn’t have on the hard drive of my current computer and that I really wanted to keep, I found these screenshot + lyrics images that I’d created for a couple of different blogging prompts in years gone by. I wanted an excuse to repost them all together in one post, so I suggested this topic for Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge:

What things in WoW always make you think of a particular piece of music? Show us a screenshot/s and share with us the music that it brings to mind.

I’ve had a special fondness for the following passage from Paradise Lost (Book II, lines 907-910) ever since my Physical Chemistry professor put it on an exam and asked us to write about how it describes the Second Law of Thermodynamics:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember P-Chem well enough to reproduce the explanation here (though I do still have the exam — it’s in my Honors portfolio).
It helped, too, that I’d already read Paradise Lost for the Honors literature class I took during my freshman year of college.

A love song to Miss Danna from her beau:

Wonderful World, Sam Cooke; my favorite recording is the one by Herman’s Hermits

The Horde in microcosm:

The Real Ambassador, Dave Brubeck & Louis Armstrong

One of the first really gorgeous WoW rainbow locations. Another is at the final falls of the Vir’naal river in Uldum.

The Rainbow Connection, Paul Williams & Kenneth Ascher, originally sung by Kermit in The Muppet Movie

I love these lines of relationship advice from the song “My White Knight” in my all-time favorite musical, The Music Man:
And I want him to be
More interested in me
Than he is in himself.
And more interested in us
Than in me!

Sadly, I had a much easier time thinking of counterexamples in Azeroth than I did examples of the intended sentiment, so I wasn’t able to come up with a good idea for a screenshot.
So here’s another of my favorite bits of the musical, instead:

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Z & Cinder want to know:

What’s in your bags and why?
Are you are hoarder of every scrap of material that comes across your path? Do you have the tidiest bags in Azeroth with nothing extraneous left to clutter your space? Let us take a peek inside and see your bags in all their glory!
No cheating or pre-organising allowed!

Following the lead of others who have posted on this topic so far, I’ll just show you my main’s bags.

Only two bags are really important in my organization scheme: the main Backpack (F12) and the far left bag (F8).

In the Backpack go consumables (food, flasks & potions, augment runes, etc), Artifact weapons, and any quest items that actually need to be clicked to use.

The F8 bag is usually tagged as my “Trade Goods” bag. I also keep in that bag anything that I don’t want to accidentally sell: hearthstones, shirts & tabards, Stormheim grappling gun, derelict Skyhorn kite (which I also put on my right action bar), fishing gear, miscellaneous odds and ends with sentimental value. In the lower right hand corner of Kamalia’s F8 bag here you see The Last Relic of Argus, which I carry around just in case I get stuck somewhere and would rather not just boringly hearthstone to get out of it. There’s a Mourning Glory above the fishing hat, and a Finkle’s Skinner next to it. At the top of the bag, next to the Garrison Hearthstone, is The Innkeeper’s Daughter — I would feel bad to leave her in my bank. Characters who have done the Badlands questline carry around Rhea’s Last Egg for similar reasons. If the F8 bag gets too full of miscellaneous stuff, I make the F9 bag be a Trade Goods bag in addition to or instead of the F8 bag.

I try to keep the F11 bag clear so that while I’m out questing or running old dungeons & raids or whatever, it can fill up with all the junk I pick up. Every now and then, while I’m out and about, I’ll stop and manually sort the contents of F11 into stuff I want to vendor and stuff I want to keep either for that character or to mail to another character. If I don’t have much junk yet, I’ll sort the F11 bag top-and-bottom — stuff I want to vendor on the top, stuff I want to keep on the bottom, or vice versa. If the F11 bag is getting full, I’ll move the stuff I want to keep over to the F10 bag or the F9 bag. Here we see that I have filled up the top of Kamalia’s F11 bag with recently-acquired gear that she needs to equip to replace the gear she is currently wearing.

At the top of the F10 bag, Kam has her Thunder Bluff Doublet and her Totem of the Earthen Ring, a keepsake of the removed pre-Cataclysm Shaman class quests. In the row below that, all of the War Harnesses from Highmountain Tribes reputation. Below that, some spare jewelry for swapping out her Legendary necklace or ring if she gets a better item for a different slot and some Agility trinkets for when she uses Enhancement spec. At the bottom, the ICC Shaman tier sets that she’s been farming. I know that I don’t have to physically keep the items anymore, so I’ll probably sell them once I finish collecting the sets. My other characters also have piles of gear that I’ve been farming from legacy content in their F9 and F10 bags.

Kamalia’s bags are unusually tidy right now because I’m not doing much with her and when I do go do something with her, I try to clean her bags out before I log out. My other characters’ bags are messier, full of more random stuff — but it would get quite tedious to show you all of them.

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The morning sun filtering through the curtains of the suite of rooms which she’d been given in the Hall of the Guardian awakened Kaelinda from a jumbled dream of Silvermoon before Arthas, Silvermoon after Arthas, the Dawnstrider estate in Eversong Woods, and a certain someone* waiting for her to come home again. Sighing, she slid out of bed, tidying the bedclothes with an unvocalized handflick cantrip that she had been doing for so much of her life that she did it now without even consciously thinking about it. After bathing, dressing, and eating a simple breakfast of fruit, nuts, and quark** that she kept stored in her rooms, she went downstairs to the morning meeting of the Council of Tirisgarde.

Kaelinda was not entirely comfortable with her role as the First Conjurer of the renewed Order of Tirisgarde. It had only been a few short years ago that the Magisters of Silvermoon had granted her the rank of Magistrix, after all, and she hadn’t yet taken on even one apprentice. Until the Council was able to determine the cause of and cure for Meryl Felstorm’s debilitating illness, however, she would have to take his place.

First, the Council received the daily petition from an Emissary from one of the peoples of the Broken Isles. Next, Archmage Melis reviewed the notices she’d received in the past day about errands that required the skills of the other Archmages of the Council. They usually ended up assigning those errands to Kalec, Ravandwyr, Esara, or Millhouse, while Kaelinda requested that Archmage Modera accompany her. Then the Council discussed with Grand Conjurer Mimic the training progress and needs of the Apprentices and Invokers. There were potential improvements to the Hall to be considered with Chronicler Elrianne, armor and talismans to be requisitioned with Minuette, and the Focusing Crystal to be charged by Conjurer Awlyn and her staff. When all of these tasks were done, Kaelinda met with Modera to review the notices about various errands or opportunities throughout the Broken Isles. They selected which errands they would do to fulfil the petition of the Emissary, then decided if they wanted to do any of the other errands, as well. The business of the Council frequently took up most of the morning.

Sometimes, Kaelinda went back to her rooms to take lunch by herself. Sometimes, she went to the Purple Parlor with other Mages from the Hall of the Guardian. Sometimes, she went to the Ledgerdemain Lounge with her Sin’dorei relatives. Occasionally, she went to the Filthy Animal with her Tauren friends. Despite the revolting name and the outrageous rumors about Chef Lon’gomba and Gnomes, the food there was really quite decent — provided you ordered something off of the establishment’s traditional menu. There were two new sections on the menu since Dalaran had moved to the Broken Isles: Pandarian cuisine and Broken Isles delicacies. Actually, the Pandarian cuisine was also decent, but anyone who dared to order something from the Broken Isles menu frequently got a badly burned mess.

After lunch, Kaelinda usually did one of two things. Either she and Edirah delved into the the vast library in the center of the Hall of the Guardian, hunting down more information about Felo’melorn, Aluneth, Ebonchill, and the Mages who’d wielded them, or she worked on sewing projects*** in her rooms. Today, she decided to embroider another section of the elaborate decorations on the Imbued Silkweave Robe she was making.

In the late afternoon or early evening, Kaelinda and Modera set out to fulfil the Emissary’s petition. When that task was completed, Kaelinda visited Shal’Aran and distributed Ancient Mana crystals to First Arcanist Thalyssra, Arcanist Valtrois, and Chief Telemancer Occuleth. Although she now understood, as she had not realized when she first met Runas the Shamed and the exiled Leyweaver, Lyndras, that the dependence of the Nightfallen on condensed forms of mana was because it was literally food to them — not quite the same thing as the subtle addiction of the Quel’dorei to the flow of mana from the Sunwell — chasing after Ancient Mana deposits while she was in Suramar still made her feel vaguely like she had become a mana-addict again by proxy. If she had the time and physical energy, she would ask Thalyssra what else she could do that day to help the Nightfallen. If not, she would retire to the Hall of the Guardian and spend the rest of the evening studying magic and practicing her spellwork+. It wouldn’t do, after all, to be outperformed by one of the other members of the Order of Tirisgarde the next time that Mimic requested that she participate in an exhibition duel for the benefit of the Apprentices…

~*~*~

* Until just recently, I wasn’t certain what Kaelinda’s romantic status was. She’s begun hinting to me that she’s got a special male friend who lives in Silvermoon City, though where that relationship falls on the scale of “outwardly platonic, but desperately wishing for more” to “married with children”, she hasn’t told me yet (I suspect that it’s more toward the UST end).

** A cultured, thickened and strained, slightly sweetened dairy product intermediate in texture between yogurt and cream cheese; a regional specialty of Eversong Woods.

*** I have more or less always imagined that the 5 – 10 seconds it takes to craft an item in-game only represents putting the final, finishing touches on it. All the real work of the crafting — the preparation of materials, the shaping and assembly of pieces, the meticulous labor of fine detail work — is something that the character occupies herself with when she’s not busy questing — that is to say, when I’m offline.

+ Although I, the player, almost never spend time with the training dummies, I imagine that my characters do practice their skills and train themselves in new techniques regularly. One can’t stay skilled enough to remain capable of being the leader second-in-command of one’s Class Order if one rests on one’s laurels, after all.

~*~*~

This story was brought to you by the challenge of the fortnight from Z & Cinder:

We want to read about a day in the life of your toon. This one is an opportunity to get as creative as you like. You can simply write about what you get up to in WoW each day. Or maybe you would write it like a diary entry from the point of view of your character, telling the story of their day to day life, going in to battle, fighting the Legion… it’s up to you!

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This fortnight’s topic from Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge is a perennial favorite of the altoholic:

Making a new character in WoW can be one of the most fun things to do; you get to pick a new appearance and maybe a new class and there’s the anticipation of going to see all the low leveling zones again.. but first you have to name your new toon.
How do you come up with character names?
Is there a particular naming convention you follow? Do you like your toon name to reflect on their class fantasy? Does their name set their personality for you? And most of all… do you ever get stuck just staring at that pick your name box???

My primary rule of naming my characters is that I name them as if they were real people.
Occasionally, I choose names that are deliberately punny, but the puns are relatively subtle.

My naming convention — all of my characters’ names begin with “K” and the names of characters who belong to the “one of each Class” set must also end with “a” — arose somewhat spontaneously. If I’m remembering the way things happened mostly correctly (and not as a tall tale), by coincidence, the names I chose for my first three or four characters all began with “K”, and it was after I noticed that I’d done that serendipitously that I decided to continue doing it deliberately.

I wrote about how I name my characters during the first year of this blog’s existence. The origins of most of my characters’ names are explained in that previous post, so I won’t go over them again in this one. The inspirations for those names came from the gamut of sources — and sometimes I did get stuck staring at the name box and hitting the “randomize” button until it generated something I thought I could change around a bit and live with.

A few of my characters’ names have shifted since they were originally created due to server transfers — Kjersti became Kjerstin, Karelia became Karaelia, Kiraleia the Blood Elf Paladin became Kyraleia the Dwarf Paladin.

When I changed the identity of my Human Mage to be an Alliance surrogate for my Blood Elf Mage (who sometimes wishes that she were still a High Elf), I gave her a new name that is essentially identical to my Blood Elf Mage’s name, just with a couple of the vowels shifted to “y”s: Kaelinda/Kaylynda.

I’ve created several new characters since I wrote that post nearly seven years ago, so I’ll tell you about how I came up with those characters’ names.

My Orc Shaman’s name was “Keshona”; when I created my Orc Mage and decided that the Mage was the Shaman’s mother, I named the mage “Kenosha”, a rearrangement of the consonants in the other name (and also a town in Wisconsin).

My Pandaren Mage is “Kaoling” because I wanted to name her “kaolin”, the word for the specific type of clay used to make Chinese porcelain, but that name was already taken.

I don’t remember exactly how I came up with “Khrissalys” for my Dwarf Mage, other than that I began with the “Kris” syllable and iterated the rest of the name until I was happy with the result, a combination of “Kris” and “Alice”. I like the way it sounds like “chrysalis”, too.

I renamed my Goblin Mage from “Kazuliza” to “Kermione” (a name I originally used for a Goblin Shaman) because I just couldn’t resist how perfect the portmanteau of “Kermit” and “Hermione” is for a Goblin Mage.

I still wanted to use “z” in a name, so then I ended up with “Kazithra”, a slightly sinister sounding name for a Grimtotem Shadow Priest. This character was originally a separate alt, but now exists as an alter-ego of my primary Priest.

At the same time that I created a secondary Tauren Priest alt, I also created a secondary Tauren Paladin alt. I named this character “Kishalla”; the “shall” syllable is inspired by the character Shallan in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I later recycled the “Kishalla” name for, ironically, an Affliction/Demonology alter-ego for my Warlock.

Kamalia’s parents’ names, “Kehontah” and “Kawneiha”, come from playing with syllables and trying to come up with something that fit the Native American pastiche tone of Tauren culture.

My secondary Shaman, commonly known as “mini-Kam”, is formally “Kamalita” — literally “little Kamalia”.

The Underpowered Death Knight’s name started out as “Kaumalea”, which is deliberately, but obscurely, punny: “kau” is like “cow”, and “mal” is the Latin for “bad/evil”, thus, “bad cow”. Later, I changed the final syllable to “leia” because I wanted a Tauren with that ending syllable. When I draw the Underpowered Death Knight, I coil the long braids hairstyle that she uses in-game up into Princess Leia’s iconic cinnamon buns.

My Monk, Katewatha, got her name because I wanted to have a Tauren whose name shortened to “Kate” and because I wanted to use the letter “w” in another Tauren name. Searching for syllables that sounded okay together, the second half of her name ended up being the same as the name of BTH’s male Tauren Warrior who was my Druid’s leveling companion through level 80 (then BTH decided he didn’t enjoy Warriors and abandoned that alt).

My secondary Monk began her life as “Koralyra” (“coral” as a rearrangement of “carol”, plus “lyra”), a name I had previously invented for a short-lived Dwarf alt and liked enough to use again. Late in Warlords, I changed her name to “Kaobeka”, an anagram of “Akabeko” of Red Cow Rise. I’d actually already been using the name “Kaobeka” for a secondary Warrior alt, but I decided to delete that alt when the news of how specs would work in Legion came out. Besides, I thought that it was more fitting to name a Monk after Akabeko the Druid than a Warrior. When I recently decided to start using that secondary Warrior’s appearance as an alter-ego for Kregga, I retconned her name to “Kaobeqa” so as not to be an exact name-duplicate of Kaobeka the Monk (also, I wanted to use “q” in a name).

My most recent new character, the Demon Hunter, was originally going to reuse the “Koralyra” name. That didn’t quite feel right for her when I put it into the name box, though, so I shifted “lyra” to the “laira” that was the ending of my long-ago Blood Elf Death Knight’s name. Then it seemed better to shift “Kora” to “Kira”, the beginning of my long-ago Blood Elf Paladin’s name. “Kiralaira” felt much better for her both because it flows in a more Sin’dorei sort of way and because it recalls my two earlier characters.

Looking over the names I’ve chosen, they tend to reflect more on the racial identity of my characters than on their class identity. If I’m naming my characters as real people that makes sense — their racial identity has been part of them since they were born and their parents named them, whereas their class identity came to them later in their life.

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The challenge of the fortnight from Z & Cinder is

Is there something you’ve seen in WoW, or a NPC conversation you’ve overheard or even just an odd placed bit of scenery that just makes you stop and wonder?

I was doing Archaeology in Azsuna the other day when I noticed something odd on the ground. It looked like a little piece of metal grating, folded in the middle. No identifying information came up when I moused over it, however. Then I got attacked by a patrolling owlcat. After I’d killed and skinned the beast, I looked around and saw that the funny little grating was gone.

As I continued to traverse the digsite, I observed that all the sitting and sleeping owlcats appeared to have an extra pair of wings — insect wings! — poking out from their flanks.


When a seated owlcat got up and started prowling, the insect wings stayed behind on the ground at the place where it had been sitting.

I realized that the funny grating I’d noticed earlier was one of these strange insect wings marking the spawn points of the owlcats.

I observed this phenomenon in the Farondale and Rhut’van Passage digsite areas of Azsuna. I haven’t looked yet to see if owlcats in other areas or zones are similarly affected.

I’m pretty sure I’d never seen — not just “not noticed”, but truly not seen — these extra wings before Patch 7.2. What’s going on here?

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