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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

During the second half of December, when we were trying to be prepared for the possibility that baby might come early, I hustled to get all my alts through getting their first Artifact weapon.

Now that baby is definitely late*, I’m hustling to get all my alts through getting the rest of their Artifact weapons.

My Warrior was Fury during Mists and Warlords because of Titan’s Grip, and I was comfortable with the spec. Then, on Mr Rossi’s advice, I chose to go Arms first for Legion. Now that I’ve gotten comfortable with Arms, switching back to Fury was an adjustment and I didn’t feel like I quite managed to get the hang of it during the course of the Fury Artifact questline. I felt very squishy.

It was quite surprising when I ended up in the Helmouth Shallows for the Survival Hunter questline, but it wasn’t surprising at all that I had to go there for the Fury Warrior… where else would you go to steal weapons back from Helya?

The Protection questline took me, as expected, back to Shield’s Rest island, to the only unexplored wing of the tomb complex where the Protection Paladin and Beastmaster Hunter had also gone. The text in the Paladin quest said that a Warrior had already been there; when I got there with my Warrior, the runes on the Paladin door were active and glowing. When I got there with my Hunter, the runes on the Paladin door weren’t active. From this, I surmise that the canonical order of the plundering of the Tomb of the Old Kings was Warrior, Paladin, Hunter.

I’ve only played Prot with a Warrior at low levels before, so there was a bit of a learning curve to it, especially figuring out what my active mitigation abilities were and how to use them appropriately. Nonetheless, it was rather fun, and it felt different from the Prot Paladin fight in ways that felt appropriate for being a Warrior. I still think I’ll run Halls of Valor to get the Aegis of Aggramar as Arms DPS, though 😛

Now that Warrior is done, I just have Paladin left. I get the day off tomorrow, so I’ll be burning through those last two** Artifact questlines tomorrow morning***.

* Even if the due date we were originally given had been a week off, he’s half a week overdue by now… the pins-and-needles are intense, and I’ve been bobbing in and out of being a nervous wreck all week.

** Getting the other two Paladin weapons will formally complete the set of serious Class-based Artifacts; I will still need to get the silly Underlight Angler for Kam and a duplicate Artifact (Aluneth) for my Alliance Mage.

*** We’re hoping and praying that our birth-mother will take our facilitator’s advice and go to the doctor to get induced tomorrow, and that we’ll be on our way to pick up baby by tomorrow evening.

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blog interruption imminent

After several years of infertility and a series of semi-successful medical treatments, including IVF — “semi-successful” in that the medications produced the desired effects, but I still didn’t get pregnant — we finally got our act together to submit adoption paperwork in late spring/early summer of last year. Early in autumn — a very short wait, from what I’ve heard of adoption processes — we were selected for placement.

Although having a baby will reshape our lives in ways that I’m sure I cannot even imagine right now, I’d still like to try to accomplish the following things during Legion:
in approximate order of priority
* Acquire all of the Artifacts, including the Fishing Pole
* Play the 7.0 Order Hall Campaign for each class
* Play the complete Suramar storyline (7.0 & 7.1) with Kaelinda (Horde Mage)
* Complete “This Side Up” with Kamalia so that everyone can get those Artifact appearances unlocked (so very very glad that the devs decided to make the Artifact appearance unlock account-wide!). I’ve skipped a few fortnights of Archaeology here and there, so it’ll be another couple of months before I can finish this.
* Craft the Tailoring and Blacksmithing armor sets, just once, to load them into my Appearances library
* Play the Light’s Heart/Xe’ra/History of Illidan storyline with Kiralaira (Demon Hunter), stopping at “get 80 oojimies from dungeons”

After I’ve completed the 7.0 & 7.1 content, if I manage to complete it, then I can think about playing the 7.2 Order Hall Campaigns and the solo challenges to unlock new Artifact appearances.

Everything else — filling out all the traits in all those Artifacts, getting Hidden Artifact appearances, farming dungeons and raids for Transmogrification shinies (as opposed to running them once or twice when the story content requires it), leveling all the other Professions — will be much lower priority. If those things never happen… *shrug* oh well.

The baby that we will be adopting is due any day now. So if I don’t make any new posts for weeks or months, well, that’s where I went.

This little WoW blog survived the major life change of beginning a full-time faculty position. I hope that it will survive the even greater major life change of becoming a parent.

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As a Thing To Do Together for his Christmas vacation days off from work on Friday and today, BTH carried me through the Return to Karazhan. On Friday, he ran me through the Mythics at the beginning of the attunement quest chain, and this evening he ran me through Mythic Karazhan itself.

We wiped at least once on every boss, but it wasn’t always due to my inexperience or just-barely-good-enough gear (I’m currently at 850-something). We wiped and wiped and wiped on Shade of Medivh because we had a DPS who couldn’t stand still when Flame Wreath was cast… eventually BTH kicked him. We wiped quite a few times on the final boss, too, because I am a total klutz with fights that have crazy movement requirements.

But eventually we succeeded — hurrah!

The first half of Mythic Karazhan is familiar enough to be comforting and different enough to be interesting. The second half of Mythic Karazhan, though — wow, that place is so trippy! The upside down parts, running on the ceiling… those twisty hallways… the distorted Gamesman’s Hall… I took a lot of screenshots, but not a lot with my UI turned off, just sightseeing. I did go back in after we finished it, though, to get some pictures of this stunning new chamber in the Library:

~*~*~

I noticed this a few days ago — the Mage Order Hall has Winter Veil decorations!

After I noticed that, I quickly cycled through my other characters’ Order Halls to see if any of the others also had Winter Veil decorations. But no, none of them did — not even the Rogue place, which is also in Dalaran.

Clearly, the devs love Mages best 😉

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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:

Buttercup

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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