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Archive for the ‘Questing’ Category

One thing I’ve really appreciated about the “banding” paradigm for content from previous expansions that was introduced in Patch 7.3.5 is that it extended to Transmogrification — that one can now wear anything, including “endgame” items, from the highest level band that one has reached. That has made Mogging with the Minor Mages so much more enjoyable, even though most of them are still limited to Vanilla items.

I wonder how Transmogrification will be affected by the new leveling paradigm? Will characters in the 1-50 range now be able to wear anything from Vanilla through BfA? If so, then I might not need to do any leveling with the Minor Mages at all! Or will one only be able to wear stuff from expansions that one has actually visited? That would be okay, too — though it would become tedious, by the third or fourth alt, to have to cycle through all the expansions with Chromie just to unlock all the folios of the Wardrobe.

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One of the first things I thought of in connection with the description of the new leveling paradigm for content from previous expansions in Shadowlands was “Now I can level my Pandaren just in Pandaria!”

What other race-expansion combinations might be good thematic fits?
Night Elf or Nightborne in Legion? Yes, but if I’d ever really do it is perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Orc or Draenei in Warlords? Well, I’ve already got a Draenei stalled out at level 92 in Draenor, and I actually think it might be better to try to finish getting her through that content before the level squish.
Dwarf in Howling Fjord, Grizzly Hills, Storm Peaks, and Twilight Highlands? Hmm, hmm…
Troll in Stranglethorn Vale, Hinterlands, Zul Drak, and Kun Lai Summit? Yeah, yeah, I rather like that idea.
Undead in Lordaeron & Northrend? Well, yes, thematically it fits, but my Undead is not a supporter of Sylvanas’ agenda.
Worgen, Gnome, Goblin? *shrug*

So maybe in the end-of-Shadowlands lull — after I’ve completed the four Covenant Campaigns — I’ll level Kaoling. And maybe I’ll level Kikimaia, too — though a current feeling of interest in leveling a Troll could just be the influence of having been surrounded by Trolls for all of BfA, or it could be the influence of Classic because I’d rather be Troll than Undead to play a Horde Mage in Classic.

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Night Elves have such an elegance to them. Does having a high-level Night Elf Balance Druid — who uses Glyph of Stars — fulfil the desire to have a caster Night Elf, so I don’t need to level a Night Elf Mage?

Nightborne have the elegance of movement of Night Elves, and they have such a pretty tabard and I rather like their Heritage Armor… but I just don’t like their resting stance. It bugs me enough that I’m not sure that I could get into playing my Nightborne alt. The stance of Zandalari Trolls has the same relationship to the stance of Darkspear Trolls as the stance of Nightborne does to that of Night Elves, but the Zandalari Troll stance doesn’t bug me quite as much as the Nightborne stance. Somehow the placement of the feet of the Nightborne seems a little too awkwardly, uncomfortably wide to me. I had the oddest thought the other day — the stance of Nightborne men doesn’t bug me the way the stance of Nightborne women does, so what if I were to reroll my Nightborne Mage as a man — likely an Occuleth clone, ha! — to level for the Heritage Armor? (There isn’t any other race I’d preferentially play as a man rather than a woman…)

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Now that we know what 9.0 will be, it’s time to think about my priorities for the remaining duration of Battle for Azeroth.

1) Kinevra needs to get to 120 and do the Alliance War Campaign while there will still be enough folks in BfA LFR for there to be reasonable queue times. This is a primary goal partly for seeing the Alliance side of the story and partly for being able to recruit the Kul Tirans and roll a gorgeous curvy ringlet-haired Kul Tiran Mage.

2) Kaelinda needs to get to 120 and get the Sin’dorei Heritage Armor.

3) Kerisa needs to get to 120 so that she can wear all of the Island Expeditions stuff I’ve collected off of the AH for her and to be in position to potentially be my first Horde character to level in 9.0 (because Balance Druids, with their self-heals, are more robust than Mages).

4) After reaching 120 and kitting themselves up in Benthic gear (they all already have full sets of tokens awaiting them), Kinevra, Kaelinda, and Kerisa need to go smack the Jadefire Masters and Opulence around until they cough up the Phoenixfire Staff and the crown, respectively. A lesser degree of LFR priority is collecting the Uldir and Eternal Palace LFR cloth sets.

5) Kamalia needs to get her Heart of Azeroth to level 70 (currently at 65) so she can see all of the dragon stories currently available, and then to whatever level is required for the additional bit(s) of dragon story that will be in 8.3.

6) Kinevra would like to collect the Darkshore Warfront set. Kerithian may not need to get to 120 if the Night Warrior customization option unlocks for her when Kinevra does the Darkshore Warfront introduction questline.

7) Void Elf, Highmountain Tauren, Kul Tiran, Vulpera, and maaaaybe Nightborne alts will eventually want to be leveled for their Heritage Armors, but this will remain a low priority, long game project. Between limited space remaining on my account and alt fatigue, I’ve decided that I will only create additional Allied Races characters if I like the Heritage Armor of that race well enough to want to level from scratch to get it.

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Kinevra finally finished the Loremaster plotline of Tiragarde Sound. She’s left almost all of the side quests undone — the Roughriders, the Tortollans at Norwington Estate, the hunting lodge, the steam springs resort, the guard tower, the Explorer’s League camp, what else? My plan is to go through Drustvar and Stormsong Valley doing just the Loremaster questlines as well, ignoring anything that’s obviously a side quest. I’ll come back to the side quests if I haven’t reached 120 by the time I finish the Loremaster questlines.

With the War Campaign no longer being gated by 7th Legion rep, I think I’ll have Kinevra contract for the Proudmoore Admiralty first after she reaches 120 — the sooner to be able to recruit the Kul Tirans.

As much as I conceptually like playing a Mage, however, I die so much when I’m playing one of my Mages! My Balance Druids feel more robust…

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Even with a rapidly approaching deadline and ideas burning holes in my brain for things I needed to do to finish getting my classes organized, the 50% extra reputation from WQs from WQ Bonus Week was too good to pass up. I did my Mechagon quests every day last week, and by Reset Day, I was at 9970/12000. The end was in sight!

Having gotten so close, I wanted to just get BfA Pathfinder Part 2 over and done with. So I did less work than perhaps I could or should have for another day or two, and went and did it.

But will I stick around in Mechagon to grind out Galvanic Oscillators from the daily WQ to buy the upgraded Adventurer Augments or the Targeted Purification Protocols Essence? Not likely, at least not anytime soon. Now that I have flying, Kamalia is going to rest until Patch 8.2.5 brings the next chapters of the War Campaign and the Chamber of Heart storyline, and other characters will level.

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I got to Honored with Mechagon today. I got the jetpack blueprint yesterday — no more wasting half an hour camping for Rustfeather! Finding three rares to kill for today’s Mechagon WQ was much easier with the jetpack to zip about!

Mechagon wants to be fun. It is trying so hard to be fun. Sometimes I even catch myself geniuinely having fun while I’m running around there.

But it suffers from what Kaylriene calls “the Curse of the x.2 Patch”

In Coffee Cakes & Crits’ guild, they’ve “swap[ped] exalted with exhausted” when referring to maxing out reputation with a faction — especially the 8.2 factions.

In a recent edition of The Queue, Blizzard Watch columnist Liz Harper writes, “I’m tired too, though at this point I think I’d be tired if we were dealing with daily quests or with world quests. Sure, world quests have more variety and rotate more often, but they’re very much the same idea as a rotating set of daily quests. They’re a chore that you must do every day, and they feel like a chore, too…. Whether it’s daily quests or world quests, whenever I log on now I feel like I have to do dozens of quests in order to progress in the game. And then the same again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s not a game at this point: it’s a chore.”

There are days when I log in, look at what there is to be done in Mechagon, and just feel so immediately tired that I log right back off. That happened in Nazjatar, too.

It’s not all the game’s fault, though — it is now T minus two weeks to the start of Fall Semester, so although I have made rather good progress with my course prep so far this summer, I’m starting to get into I AM NOT PREPARED! anxiety mode. Getting ready for the first day & exam unit of my classes and making progress toward flying are competing for my mental bandwidth, and there are days when I really and truly just want to work.

So for now, I’m hoping that I’ll manage to reach Revered with Mechagon before Patch 8.2.5 drops.

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Because I wasn’t doing the Bounty and Requisition quests, after I completed “get 3K XP for your Kelfin/Ankoan buddies”, finishing the rest of the zone storyline/raid attunement didn’t get me to Revered with the Unshackled. It took me another two or three days to accomplish that. By the time I was done, though, I’d accumulated enough Benthic tokens from quest rewards and enough manapearls that before I left Nazjatar behind, I could send full sets of Benthic tokens to Kaelinda, Kaylynda, Kerisa, and Kerithian, and a set of Benthic tokens missing only the cloak to Karaelia.

Before I head out to Mechagon, though, I think I’ll take a detour to Tanaris to do “Whatever Happened to Grizzek Fizzwrench?” Not so much for the battle pet that is a mini-me of the BfA Pathfinder Part 2 reward mount, however, as for the lore tie-in to the Before the Storm novel and the in-game introduction to the characters of Grizzek Fizzwrench and Sapphronetta “Saffy” Flivvers.

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This week, I forsook trying to work on preparations for next semester during my kids’ midday naptime in favor of catching up with Azeroth.

I decided to see Talanji crowned first. That was a very well-done piece of story, though I do wonder how the word got out of Rastakhan’s bargain with Bwonsamdi. My inner thirteen year-old is totally shipping Talanji and Rokhan. My grown-up self scoffs at the idea of Talanji needing or wanting a consort or an heir anytime soon, and is pleased with how many women are in meaningful positions of power in Zandalar (and in Kul Tiras, from what I’ve seen of the Alliance story so far). It seems to me like Blizzard is trying to make up for the debacle following the initial announcement of Warlords of Draenor.

Intrigued by seeing the spirit of Vol’jin at the Golden Throne following Talanji’s ascension, I decided to do the Shadow Hunter questline next. I thought the revisiting of the events at the very beginning of Legion was nicely done. The visits with the Lich King and Eyir, and Bwonsamdi’s description of them as his rivals for the claiming of souls, and the hints that there are other rivals that we may not have yet met were great because they made the world of Azeroth feel more connected and coherent. Between those interactions and the unresolved ending of the storyline — we still don’t know what entity whispered to Vol’jin to make Sylvanas the next Warchief, or what entity sent his spirit back, or if those are the same entity or two different entities — I now understand better the speculations about 9.0 being the “death” expansion!

Then it was time to go help Baine save Derek Proudmoore from being brainwashed. I must admit, with my dislike of the Forsaken, it was very satisfying to beat up all those Forsaken mooks on Sylvanas’s big scary flagship! The cinematic was amazing, and I look foward to seeing it again from the Alliance side when I do that War Campaign with Kaylynda. But did we actually save Derek in time? I appreciated Boss Mida getting a cameo at Warsong Hold. I didn’t notice if I could talk to all the gathered leaders before the cutscene. I’ll have to try to remember to look for that when I do the War Campaign with Kaelinda/Kerisa. When I talked to them after the cutscene, only Gallywix and Geya’rah approved of Sylvanas’s actions.

Next, off to Nazjatar. Perhaps the most awesome aspect of Azshara’s power in using the Tidestone of Golganneth to open up Nazjatar is how it also instantly adapted all of those creatures to being air-breathing instead of water-breathing and to the sudden decompression of no longer being under the immense pressure of all that water… Chuckling at the Horde shipwreck being “The Hungry Riverbeast” — the name of the first ship constructed at the Warlords Garrison Shipyard. I’m glad to be working with Lor’themar again. I remember him being awesome in the Domination Offensive and Isle of Thunder storylines in Pandaria. Occuleth continues to be my favorite of the Nightfallen leadership trio. I like Neri Sharpfin, but I’d rather have Vulpera than Gilbins as an Allied Race to correspond to Goblins.

As soon as we get a portal back to Zandalar stabilized, look who should show up but Magni with some news about MOTHER and the Heart Chamber! How convenient! The Heart Chamber is looking much better now. Very crowded, though… I thought someone said they glimpsed Wrathion during this trip to Neltharion’s Lair? I must not have been looking around enough; I didn’t see the crafty young dragon. Anyhow, with the Heart of Azeroth upgraded, now we can return to Nazjatar.

I’m liking Nazjatar well enough so far, though I’m probably only going to keep pushing hard through it until I unlock the 8.2 War Campaign, which of course is followed up, for me, by the Tauren Heritage Armor questchain. After that, I’ll have to put WoW on the back burner again at least until I’ve finished getting OChem ready to go for Fall. At this point, I’m thinking that I’ll do the new zones & reputations in series, instead of trying to do them in parallel — stay in Nazjatar until I’ve reached Revered with The Unshackled before I go to Mechagon at all.

It feels good to be playing in the freshest current content again instead of lagging behind!

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