Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

My First Day In Legion

Having decided at the eleventh hour that all of my active alts needed to have a Demon Commander’s Cloak, I was doing a Demon Invasion with my Paladin, collecting a few more Nethershards to buy one for her. At about 12:46 local time — my local time is one hour ahead of Irvine time — I suddenly noticed that the little mobs around the big demon I was fighting were giving +2XP when they died! And I had an XP bar back! Just like that, quietly and without fuss or fanfare, WoW ticked over into Legion.

My Paladin had already done the first part of the Dalaran-over-Karazhan questline. When I logged in with my last couple of alts who hadn’t, they got the quest pushed to them again. I imagine, therefore, that if I’d been playing with an alt who hadn’t done the Dalaran-over-Karazhan questline when Legion officially went live, I might have gotten the quest popping up in my face again right then wherever I was.

I didn’t go to Dalaran. I continued going through my alts and doing some bag cleanup and pulling them back to Frostwall to wait until their turn to go to the Broken Isles.

And when I was done with that, I went to bed.

I had been considering wearing my Dalaran University T-shirt to school today, but I decided that even with a coordinating cardigan, it wasn’t quite professional enough. I wore black trousers and a light green shirt instead. Somewhat surprisingly, I wasn’t nearly as distracted at school today, wishing that I was at home playing WoW, as I had thought I might be. My classes went well, and I managed to get a more or less usual amount of prep-work-for-tomorrow done in between them, too.

BTH did decide to come back to WoW for Legion, at least for the leveling and early dungeon-running part of the game, so while he marvelled over all the the things that had changed and got his action bars set up and did the Broken Shore scenario, I dinked around with alts doing dailies in legacy content. Then I realized that if he was going to be a Bear, I needed to get my Resto spec sorted out…

Finally we were ready. We watched Dalaran get BLINKED. We began our Artifact scenarios — and then the doorbell rang, and it was my brother. We knew he was coming to visit us this week, but we weren’t expecting him until tomorrow.

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I haven’t listened to the Legion lead-in audiodrama that came out this week, but something in one of the BW posts about it made me wonder just what happened to Cordana Felsong, and why she’s going to be a dungeon boss in Legion. So I hopped over to Wowpedia to read up on her. Because Cordana is so closely associated with Khadgar, the article also provided a nice synopsis of the Legendary Ring questline.

Reading about what “the Commander” did made me feel even more like my characters are not really qualified to be the heads of their class Orders in Legion.

I only progressed in the Ring questline far enough to discover the fate of Kairoz in the Time-Lost Glade. Most of the things that “the Commander” is supposed to have done, I didn’t do.

I didn’t LFR during Warlords, not even running through them once in “tourist mode”. I made a choice not to bother with it at the beginning of the expansion, and I stuck with that decision. The only time I set foot in LFR this whole expansion was to get the Shipyard equipment blueprint for the Gyro-whatsit that drops from the Fel Reaver. On a Real Life basis, I don’t regret not raiding.

Sitting in my Garrison running Follower missions and doing profession CDs and farming old raids for Mog gear, though, I wasn’t “the Commander”, the great Hero of three worlds (counting Outland and Draenor separately)… I was more like the 2nd Lieutenant in charge of Logistics, or something.

And so I feel like my characters don’t quite deserve the accolades with which they will be greeted and treated as they undertake the Artifact questlines in Legion.

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First off, a couple more kits that don’t quite fit into any of my big Projects:


Mantle of Autumn, Sentinel Breastplate & Girdle, Earthsoul Britches, Ranger Gloves + Vendetta Bindings, Bonechewer Shredboots, Heavenly Breeze, Quicksilver Blade, Razorcrystal Blade
When this sword fell out of a Salvage Yard box, I almost immediately wanted to pair it with this lovely Cataclysm-era cloak. I’d been wanting to use this cloak in a kit for some time, but there didn’t seem much to pair it with beyond the obvious similarly-colored Replica Vestments of the Virtuous or Lawbringer Armor. The Razorcrystal Blade is an agility sword, so I decided that my Rogue should get it because it would actually be useful to her. She also happened to have this nicely matching dagger, and these coordinating bracers. The shoulders from the BC recolor of Druid T1 were a pretty natural choice. What surprised me, though, was that I also wanted the pants from that set to bring in more of the light green from the cloak.

Misty Morning

Heroes’ Crown of Faith, Rebirth Spaulders, Fireflash Robes, Repurposed Twilight Girdle, Exiled Dabbler’s Gloves, Splintering Greatstaff
I discovered the core concept of this kit, the shoulders + robe combination, when I was designing an outfit to go with the Warlords-crafted mace & off-hand book as part of the original Savage Blood Fashion Parade. When I got around to actually making the kit though, I decided to use this staff instead of the Warlords-crafted weapons.


BTH and I went to see the Warcraft movie about a week ago. The only screen in our area that it was playing on was the drive-in at a town about 15 miles away. It’s a great flick for that format. It was marvelous to see Azeroth expanded from abbreviated-for-gameplay set pieces into a lush, full-scale world. I was surprised by how much I liked young, awkward, not-completely-self-confident Khadgar in the movie. I haven’t liked Khadgar in Warlords; he comes off as over-confident and arrogant to me. Like Matthew Rossi and Navimie, I rather liked the changes to the story and even prefer the movie continuity version of the story to the original game version. I did wonder, though, if someone watching the movie without having played the game would have been able to make sense of everything that was going on.

After watching Gul’dan in the movie, I don’t think I want green fire for my Warlock anymore. Maybe I’ll still do the quest chain, though, because I know there’s an option at the end to not embrace the fel power and keep using regular old orange fire. I would then continue to play my Warlock as, well, pretty much just an alternate variety of Fire Mage (with a demon to tank for her).

With the arrival of Legion now only two months away, I upgraded my account yesterday. I haven’t used the Boost yet; I’m not sure when I will. I’m starting to feel like I’m in a holding pattern of sorts with my various alts and their Garrisons, just waiting for the pre-patch when everything will change…

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One of the benefits of a) being the auxilary income in my household and b) teaching on a 9-month contract at a small, rural, two-year college is that after my Spring semester grades are in, my time is more or less my own until Fall semester begins. Of course, I have a heap of work to do to get ready for Fall semester — and this year I should try to get as much of that done during May as I can, because I volunteered to teach the summer term chemistry class, which runs during June and July. I’ll also be out of town for half of June attending a couple of organic chemistry teaching workshops (very excited about those; I have a colleague covering the class for the weeks I’ll be gone).

After taking most of last week off, I intended to start digging into my summer tasks this week. By Tuesday afternoon, however, it was abundantly apparent that with the other looming deadline of Legion launching on August 30 (which will be a week after Fall semester begins), and the pre-patch likely to arrive in late July, I wasn’t going to be able to focus properly on my school work until I’d gotten my remaining characters leveled up to 100 and started on collecting followers from their Inns and the new character selection screen sets from their Salvage Yards.

So I stayed home and played for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: Warrior

Wednesday: Although I played most of the day on this day, too, I spread my activity between multiple characters and didn’t manage to ding anyone. It did set me up to get two characters dinged on the same day later in the week, though.

Thursday: Blood Elf Mage

Friday morning: Enhancement Shaman

Mini-Kam was one of my last alts to come to Draenor, and after getting to the point in the Frostfire Ridge storyline where it splits and you can choose whether to go north with Ga’nar or south with Lokra first, I just couldn’t bear to do anymore of it. I’d already been thinking about leveling an alt primarily through Bonus Objectives, so she became the one to do it. I did only the minimum amount of questing required to get to the Outpost building activation in each zone, then got the rest of her XP from Bonus Objectives and treasure and silver dragon hunting. I also used an Elixir of the Rapid Mind (though not in the optimally recommended way) to get almost a whole level (98 to 99) out of the Outpost establishment chapter in Nagrand.

Friday night: Paladin

Saturday: Priest

The Warlock and the Rogue, however, will just have to wait for another time.

Despite my post title, it wasn’t exactly an “assembly line” approach. Though most of these characters did a lot of the same things, no two of them did exactly the same combination of quests and treasure hunting. Playing through the Auchindoun storyline in Talador, the first parts of the arakkoa storyline, and various areas of Nagrand multiple times during the past fortnight has me wanting to go play through the corresponding areas in Outland again. Good thing I already have a character right there, hmm? The Feral Druid will still be getting Boosted eventually, though.

And yes, I absolutely cheated expedited my way through all of this with flying. The first time I go through new content, with Kamalia, I’m perfectly happy to do everything the slow way, the “real” way, on the ground. But with alts? Especially the later ones? I want to be able to pick and choose from the available content and get through it quickly.

Now I have only two weeks left to get as much school work done as I can before the summer term begins. After how hard I’ve played this week, though, maybe I’ll be burned out enough on WoW that I’ll actually be able to focus on updating syllabi and lab manuals and purchasing equipment and supplies..?

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The other day I found myself wanting to sit down and color something. This prompted me to start reorganizing the downstairs bedroom that we have designated the arts-and-crafts room from a storage space into a somewhat more usable working space. In the process, I retrieved my WoW doodle books, and as I flipped through them, I found a handful of drawings that I’ve never posted. When I then looked at my Gallery page here on the blog, I discovered that my art posting has really slowed down over the past year and a half since I started teaching full-time. The last time I posted art was about ten months ago, for Childrens Week last year!

My college has Spring Break this week, so in between doing my taxes and grading that pile of organic chemistry lab reports that’s been getting higher and deeper all semester, I think I’ll catch up on my art posting, too. I’d like to get through all of my backlog of unposted art, so I might be making multiple posts per day.

To start things off, here’s a real blast from the past. One of the very first fully finished WoW art pieces I ever created was this joke comparing high school and game class stereotypes. I guess it wasn’t as funny as I thought it was, though, because it didn’t make the cut when I submitted it to the official WoW site comics. When I first began this blog, one of the first pieces of art I ever posted was the drawings for this piece — which, at the time, I thought I had lost. I recovered the finished file some time ago, then got busy and forgot that I had it until I was looking through my folder of ready-to-post art on my computer just now.

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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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