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Archive for the ‘Questing’ Category

I know that I need to do stuff in Suramar for the flying meta achievement. Lots of stuff in Suramar — so far, I’ve barely completed the first two parts of Nightfallen But Not Forgotten and I’ve only done two or three parts of Good Suramaritan.

It’s a gorgeous zone. I especially love the Moon Guard and Tel’anor areas, and I was delighted by the Vashj’ir-like underwater scenery of Azuregale Bay when I went there for a World Quest the other day. It’s superb worldbuilding on the part of the Blizzard art team that the global map is aligned in such a way that it looks like the most elfy parts of Vashj’ir just broke right off of the most elfy parts of the Broken Isles.

And yet I’ve been choosing to do other things — usually World Quests in other zones. Last night, Archaeology was up in Highmountain, so I went to do my first digging in the Broken Isles there. Archaeology is different this expansion. Instead of four sites distributed randomly across the map that sit there until you clear them, all the sites are in the same zone for a few days… and then it changes and all the sites are in a different zone for a few days. When you clear a digsite, the next one pops up somewhere else in the same zone. So if you want a specific type of digsite, you wait until that zone comes up in the rotation and then dig like crazy for a couple of days — and if you don’t want a specific type of digsite, you just have to wait a couple of days for that zone to rotate away. I kind of like that! It would be great if the devs retroactively applied that tech to the other continents, too, so that you wouldn’t have to dig all those boring Night Elf sites when you’ve found all the Night Elf stuff already and what you really want to dig is Tol’vir sites😛

I’d been sitting on the the Tauren Tanning leatherworking quest for awhile, so I did that while I was in Highmountain last night, too. I’ve quite liked the quests for my Professions so far. I like getting the Rank 1 patterns as quest rewards, and the little stories along the way are fun. I’ve gotten to the point with the patterns for leather gear that the quest to go to the Underbelly to get some Rank 2 patterns has popped up (not quite there yet with the patterns for mail gear). Thanks, but no thanks; I’ll pass on subjecting myself to PvP. Because I am primarily interested in the appearance of crafted gear (for Transmogrification) rather than its stats (for combat), I’m just fine with spending the piles of mats to make the Rank 1 version of the patterns. I also don’t think I’ll be pursuing the Obliterum Forge questline, for the same reasons.

Anyhow, so, just why is it that I’ve been avoiding Suramar?

Perhaps my aversion to Suramar comes from feeling even squishier than the Underpowered Death Knight when I’m there. I did finally remember to assign Stormcaller Mylra (because she’s the Most Best) as a bodyguard, equipped with a Fruitful Bauble, and that has made doing World Quests much easier — so maybe I won’t feel quite so squishy the next time I am in Suramar. Remembering to use Stonehide Leather Barding helps, too (note to self: make a stack or two of this and bung it in the guild bank for alts to use).

Perhaps it’s because I’m dreading getting to the point in the Suramar questline where I’ll have start doing the Withered Training scenario. From what I’ve read about it and listening to BTH running through it, it sounds like I will probably find it to be rather obnoxious and un-fun.

Perhaps I’m just avoiding Suramar because I can — because there are plenty of other things to do, and I’m reveling in my agency to play however I want to play.

I can’t keep ignoring Suramar forever, though. I’ve finally advanced my two primary Professions, Skinning and Leatherworking, to the point where the trainers and the questlines are in Suramar — so I might as well work on the main Suramar questline and do the Professions stuff when the main questline brings me to the requisite areas of the zone naturally.

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… but I guess the devs had to leave some of the Plot for us to do after reaching level 110😛 I guess the last one is probably in Suramar?

I was quite impressed by all of the stories and very much enjoyed playing through them. In Azsuna, Val’sharah, and Highmountain, we got the zone Loremaster achievement at about the same time that we obtained the Pillar, so I assumed that just doing the Pillar questline would get it. When we got the Pillar for Stormheim, though, we didn’t get the Loremaster achievement. Looking through all the Loremaster achievements, I saw that some of the side-quests we’d done in other zones had been part of the Loremaster for those zones, after all. I’m just missing one questline in Stormheim — that Forsaken questline at Dreadwake’s Landing. I’d been hoping it was a side-quest and thinking that if so, I’d send the Warlock to see what its story was; my Tauren in general really dislike working with the Forsaken and I, as the player, side with Gilneas in the Forsaken-vs-Worgen conflict. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll find out just what Sylvanas was up to in that one spooky part of the zone, and why Eyir in Halls of Valor thinks us little people can’t be trusted (I’ve seen it hinted that that’s Sylvanas’ fault) sooner rather than later.

So I should do that, and I really need to go to Suramar and start working on Nightfallen rep. I also have quite a bit of map exploration and several flight points yet to discover in the leveling zones. I assume that some of that will come with World Quests, though, as there are fairly large areas of some maps that the zone questing didn’t take us to.

And I should really go get my off-spec Artifacts, too, and I need to finish the Shaman Campaign and follow up on the Light’s Heart questline and work on my professions… not to mention starting to bring out alts and begin exploring their Artifact and Order Hall stories.

There is much to do! This is good!

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Oh! I dinged!

Tonight, BTH and I went to finish off the main story questline of Highmountain. We have the quest for Nesingwary’s camp, but knowing that it is completely a side-chain, we chose to ignore it (for now) in favor of pursuing the Pillar. When we got to the dungeon at the end, we managed to duo it up to the third boss, which was too much of a DPS check. So we hopped into the LFG queue, and, being a Tank+Healer combo, immediately got a group. We had to re-start the dungeon, but it was still faster than trying to duo the rest of it would have been.

I started the evening at maybe 75% from 108 to 109. When I went to turn in the Pillar at Aegwynn’s Gallery, this happened:

I hadn’t been paying attention to my XP bar very much, so I was totally surprised and a bit startled. I only managed to not be too caught off guard to get screenshots because I was already poised to screencap the little RP event that I knew would happen when I turned in the Pillar.

Then of course I got bombarded with new quests. I accepted them up, but doing them will have to wait. It’s bedtime. Khadgar can chill out (he’s good at that, right?).

We still have to do Stormheim, to get the Pillar and to get friendly with the zone faction for World Quest unlocking purposes, so that will be our top priority for the next day or two.

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Yesterday (Thursday) evening, BTH and I went out and played through a lot more of Highmountain. We haven’t quite finished the zone yet, though; nor have we yet recovered the Pillar to be found there. I am loving this zone and its quests ridiculously much. Kamalia is now level 108.

After we got to a good stopping point in Highmountain, BTH went to turn in an Alchemy quest at Dalaran and dinged 110. He promptly found himself absolutely deluged with things to do and has since been madly scrambling about trying to figure out how to prioritize it all. He’s plunged into Suramar questing without me, which is fine by me, really. There will still be plenty of things we can do there together when I finally ding 110.

Tonight (Friday), BTH had his RL D&D group, so I was left to play by myself. I did some Shaman Order Hall quest stuff with Kamalia, including running Eye of Aszhara again. I was right — the final boss of that dungeon was more of a pain with five people to keep track of instead of only two!

Then I took my Demon Hunter out to get her Artifact weapon and establish her Order Hall. She died two or three times in the early parts of the scenario, but by the time I got to the final boss, I’d figured out how to use all of my abilities more effectively and I didn’t die to him.

The Havoc Artifact acquisition was really rather fun. I wasn’t planning to get the Vengeance Artifact weapon, but now I’m thinking maybe I will just for the lore of it.

I was surprised by how awesome it felt to go back to Marduum for the Order Hall (even though I can’t actually go outside the Order Hall into the zone itself), and by how affectionate I felt toward my long-lost Shivarra, Coilskar Naga, and especially Ashtounge Broken minions😛 Even though the faction sells nothing that my Demon Hunter wants, she just might have to run Black Temple enough to get Exalted with those Ashtongue Broken for the RP of it (though she might get there by default by the time she manages to get both of the Warglaives of Azzinoth).

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BTH and I are level 105 now. We’ve recovered the Pillars from Azsuna and Val’sharah. We haven’t completed all the quests or explored the entire map in either zone, however, so we’ll have to either do that tonight before we move on to Stormheim (or Highmountain) or come back later so that we can get Pathfinder.

The stories and the artwork in this expansion continue to awe me. Questing in a group when phasing is involved, however, seems to be as almost buggy as it has been ever since phasing was first introduced in Wrath. When there is a quest to rescue someone, the first person to click on the NPC gets to see their speech bubble or hear their audio. The other person doesn’t. I missed the entire grand finale fight of Val’sharah last night because I was too many seconds behind BTH in accepting the quest and getting onto the taxi; when I reached the fight area, I kept getting a “cannot zone in while an encounter is in progress” error message. Fortunately, I did get quest complete and see the cinematic when BTH finished the fight — and I’ll get to do the fight itself again (and again and again and again) when I go through the zone with alts.

BTH has collected the Feral and Balance Artifacts and has decided to level the rest of the way to 110 as Boomkin. I haven’t gotten my other two Artifacts yet, and I’ve not gotten very far with my Order Hall campaign, either. The problem is that those are solo play things, and I would rather play together. Working from home, BTH can do those solo play things while his work computer is crunching a code compilation or a data migration or suchlike.

I’ve only been doing the Order Hall Missions that reward Artifact Power gubbins. I guess I should start doing the ones that reward Follower XP, too, given that Gnomecore is reporting being held up in his Order Hall Campaign by his Followers not being high enough level to complete a required mission. Now that the Legion Companion app is live, though, at least I can keep up with Order Hall Missions while I’m at school!

I’m beginning to have a like-dislike relationship with my Order Hall. The Maelstrom is a thematically apropriate place for Shaman, and at first I thought it was pretty cool, and I like all the little details and NPCs and so forth… and yet the more time I spend there, the more I think that open cave must be damp and chilly and slippery from the ceaseless wind and sea spray, and I feel like all those NPCs who have to live there must be miserable. Then again, I always felt sorry for all my Frostwall Garrison staff standing around freezing their fingers and tails off in open buildings, too. Maybe I will like the Order Halls of some of the other Classes better?

Furthermore, I am struggling with the cognitive dissonance Syp has mentioned on a couple of occasions — how can I be the Chosen One, the Big Damn Hero, the Hero Of Ages, when there are all these other people around who have the same gear and are doing the same things? I felt more special when I was alone in my Garrison.

And how can I be the leader of my Class Order when my Big Name Lore Figure advisors are the ones who actually know everything? They are the ones who decide where other members of my class need to go take action, and like those lesser NPCs, I just go where they tell me to go and do what they tell me to do. It’s one of those curious roleplaying situations where the character can be assumed to know more about their situation and abilities than the player does… but it’s just making me feel like a puppet figurehead.

*sigh* This all sounds so discontented and unhappy with the expansion, when I am enjoying playing it, and I’m definitely looking forward to the zones I haven’t played, the unfurling of World Quests at level 110, the evolution of my Order Hall story — and doing it all again with alts! My Demon Hunter will need to play through certain parts of Azsuna at the minimum; my Druid will need to do Val’sharah as a matter of priority.

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Last night, we picked up where we’d left off in Azsuna. My favorite part of Azsuna, so far, has been the Nar’thalas Academy. The whole place was just delightful, with all kinds of fun quests and details. When we got to the point in the questline where we’d have to go into the Eye of Azshara dungeon to obtain the Pillar of Creation, we just hopped right through the portal — just the two of us.

We didn’t look at the dungeon journal at all, just tried to figure out the boss mechanics on our own. It was challenging, but really quite fun, and the only boss that actually wiped us was Serpentrix. We had to try that one three times before we got the mechanics completely worked out. That dungeon sure has a lot of different ground effect mechanics! During the final boss fight, I commented that this was acutally easier with only two people than it would have been with five, because I didn’t have to worry so much about ranging or the ground effects quite so much. BTH said, “Wait, waht? This is a 5 man dungeon? I thought it was a 3-man scenario!” Which is entirely logical, really, considering that the big end-of-zone events in the past two expansions have been scenarios. Then he said that when we have to go to dungeons to get the Pillars at the ends of all the other zones, we can use LFD and get ourselves some DPS so it doesn’t take so long😛

It was pretty awesome, though, to duo the place at-level. Guardian Druid + Resto Shaman FTW! This was the kind of play that I’d missed while BTH was away from the game.

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When I got home from work yesterday evening, BTH had completed his Guardian Artifact quest. He’d rolled a Demon Hunter and was halfway through the starting zone. He finished the Demon Hunter starting zone while I did my Resto Shaman Artifact quest.

I rather liked Vashj’ir back in the day, so I enjoyed going back under the sea for the Artifact quests. Most of the other players I saw while I was there, though, were level 102 or higher — obviously there for their second (or third) Artifact. I enjoyed the questline itself, too.

After I’d gotten my Artifact, we decided to start questing in Azsuna because I’d read that it was a good place to go for Professions. We got through two of the five chapters in the zone storyline and had lots of fun detouring from our quest path to chase after stars. We managed to get to level 101 before we got tired and sleepy and decided to call it a night (at about our usual bedtime).

I’m definitely going to need to play through Azsuna with my Demon Hunter, because Illidari. I wonder though, does the choice between [this guy] or [that guy] that one makes in the Demon Hunter starting zone affect whether other characters on the same realm see [this guy] or [that guy] at the Illidari foothold in Azsuna? I chose [this guy] with my Demon Hunter and Kamalia saw [this guy] as the leader of the Illidari — but if I’d chosen [that guy] would I have seen him instead? Maybe I should go roll up a Night Elf Demon Hunter on Kaylynda’s realm before I take Kaylynda to the Broken Isles, to test it out…

I’m liking what I’ve seen so far of the Followers & Mission structure in the Order Hall — I like how it iterates on both the original Garrison design and the Shipyard design. I also definitely appreciate that there’s much less of all that to keep track of!

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