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Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

Shadowlands goes live in the evening on Monday 26 October!
What’s my school schedule like that week? Ah, good, I’ll be in the middle of a unit for all my classes — no Exams to be writing or grading. Could I get away with cancelling my 9:30 – 10:30 pm Zoom student help sessions that week?

These are the characters who will be going:


Archmage Kaelinda: Blood Elf Mage, Fire, Scryer/Venthyr
Firelord Kalaneia: Blood Elf Warlock, Destruction, Scryer/Necrolords
Crusader Keliora: Blood Elf Priest, Discipline, Aldor/Kyrian
Archmage Kaelyla: Void Elf Mage, Frost, Scryer/Night Fae


Archmage Kaylynda: Human Mage, Arcane, Scryer/undecided
Archdruid Kerisa: Tauren Druid, Balance, Aldor/Night Fae
Farseer Kamalia: Tauren Shaman, Elemental, Aldor/Night Fae
Highlord Karaelia: Tauren Paladin, Protection, Aldor/Kyrian

At the moment, I am planning on having Kerisa go first. It would feel odd to not lead out with a Tauren. From what little I know about the Night Fae Covenant story (having studiously avoided spoilers), Kerisa is the character who will be most personally invested in that story, so she should go through it first. Kaelinda will probably be next, then the rest of the Eversong Elves, and then Kaylynda — after I’ve seen enough of the Covenants with other characters to figure out which one would be the best fit for her. Kamalia and Karaelia will probably not travel to the Shadowlands until the latter half of the expansion, when I’ve done most of what I want to do with the other characters and have learned how to navigate the zones, questchains, and gameplay systems — and there are starting to be catch-up mechanics for alts in place!

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Three weeks later, I continue to have an incredibly difficult time disciplining myself to focus on schoolwork rather than noodling around in WoW.

I spent about a week and a half doggedly queuing for Kul Tiras dungeons until I got the robe and belt of both the green (Normal) and blue (Heroic) versions of the Kul Tiras cloth dungeon set.

I took Kinevra back to the Broken Isles to finish her Order Hall Campaign and earn the Archmage title.

I took Kaelinda back to Nazjatar and completed the Nazjatar Campaign mostly for RP reasons.

I took Kaelinda back to the Broken Isles and completed the Legionfall Campaign so that she could then get the Mage Class Mount — the Archmage’s Prismatic Disc is the only one of the Class Mounts that I’ve been really and truly envious of when I’ve seen other people riding it around.

Inspired by Gnomecore, I toyed with the notion of pushing Kaelinda through the Balance of Power questline. She already has the necessary Azsuna and Suramar quest progression and Azsuna, Stormheim, and Suramar reputation. I’m mildly interested in the Balance of Power appearance for Aluneth, but I don’t much care for the Balance of Power apperances for Felo’melorn or Ebonchill. So maybe I’ll come back to that sometime in Shadowlands.

While hanging out in the Hall of the Guardian, I saw a couple of other Mages wearing the cosmetic reward set for beating Deaths of Chromie and thought, O, I should go give that a try — and then I thought, nah, I don’t have that kind of time right now. That’s another thing that maybe I’ll come back to sometime in Shadowlands.

I’ve more or less given up on the idea of gathering any more stuff out of BfA LFR; I can’t afford to spend naptime or my nighttime hours idling in a 1-2 hour DPS LFR queue.

What I would still like to accomplish before the Shadowlands pre-patch arrives is A) get Kaelyla leveled and geared and ready to go and B) do some more Horrific Visions with Kerisa and get the second upgraded appearance for the Shroud of Resolve.

But for the next two or three weeks, I’ve really got to be disciplined and do schoolwork.

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Since reaching 120, Kinevra has done the Alliance side of things all out of order*. She did Mechagon first, so I could do the Mechagnome recruitment questline. Then Nazjatar, then the 8.0 War Campaign, then the Shroud of Resolve, then the 8.1 and 8.1.5 chapters of the War Campaign, then the second Siege of Orgrimmar and its small follow-up quests. I ended up doing the Pride of Kul Tiras storyline last — I’d heard that it was most excellent, perhaps the best story in all of Battle for Azeroth, so I suppose I was “saving the best for last” — and indeed it was as magnificent and moving as promised.

Having properly saved Jaina, I could finally recruit the Kul Tirans. At last, my roster is complete with a character of every race as Kayliddia the Kul Tiran Mage joins The Blue Team of my major characters.

Kayliddia’s parents were retainers on Lord Norwington’s estate. As a child, she showed promise as a magic-wielder, so when she reached the appropriate adolescent age to be apprenticed for a trade, Lord Norwington sponsored her training as a Tidesage. When her training was complete, she served as a Tidesage in Lord Norwington’s shipping fleet**. When the Horde raided Norwington Estate, one of her parents was killed, and the other parent and one of her younger siblings who was still at home were seriously injured. Kayliddia requested to be released from her service as a Tidesage to care for her wounded family members. When they had recovered, she further requested to be allowed to fight the Horde alongside Kul Tiras’ renewed allies, the Alliance***.

Before I did the Kul Tiran stories, I did the Heritage of the Sin’dorei questline with Kaelinda. I greatly enjoyed it and intend to write an RP story about it for her, like I did with Kamalia and the Heritage of the Shu’halo questline. First, however, I have to figure out where Kaelinda was and what she was doing when the Fall of Silvermoon originally happened.

With these major lore goals accomplished, all that’s left of my rest-of-BfA/pre-Shadowlands to-do list is mog farming and alt leveling:

* obtain the robe and belt of the Normal and Heroic versions of the Kul Tiras dungeon cloth set (the other pieces will be nice to have if I get them along the way)
* obtain the belt, gloves, and boots of the Uldir LFR cloth set (I already have the robe and shoulders)
* obtain the Phoenixfire Staff from the first wing of Dazar’alor LFR

* finish leveling Kaelyla to 120 and prep her for Shadowlands (rank 1 Shroud of Resolve, four rank 3 Essences, ilevel above 430)

* level Kasheena for Highmountain Tauren Heritage Armor

Although I want the Kul Tiran Heritage Armor very much and have all kinds of other Mogging that I want to do with Kayliddia (and I think I might want to take her to the Shadowlands, too), I plan to hold off on leveling her until Shadowlands so that I can do her leveling entirely in Kul Tiras and do all the quests and learn all the Kul Tiran lore that I skipped with Kinevra#.

* if I finish all these other things before the Shadowlands pre-launch events begin, do more Horrific Visions with Kerisa to get the second upgraded appearance of the Shroud of Resolve

The most significant thing to me about having completed my big Battle for Azeroth lore goals, though, is that hopefully now my brain will be able to shift out of “it’s summer and all I wanna do is play WoW” mode and into “Fall semester is coming up fast and it’s time to focus on getting my classes organized” mode.

~*~*~

* In-character, though, of course she would have done all these things in the proper chronological sequence.

** Or that of one of his business partners; it’s not clear if he would have a fleet of his own

*** Hmm… Kinevra, Kaelyla, and Kayliddia all have cause for strong grudges against the Horde, so I’m going to have to think about if/how they can still be able to work amicably with Kaelinda.

# Because the BfA Loremaster achievement is accountwide, Kamalia’s completion of the Zandalar storylines meant that Kinevra didn’t actually have to do everything in Kul Tiras. In fact, because she gained several levels during the WoW’s 15th Anniversary event from the trivia daily, she did little beyond the main storyline of Tiragarde Sound.

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All of this racially-charged unrest in the past week or so… I recognize that I am privileged. I am white, well-educated, and own my modest middle-class home outright (we paid off the mortgage about a year and a half ago). Neither I nor my husband have lost jobs or loved ones in the pandemic, and the disease has not come to our small, rural city — yet. But our adopted children are not white. Although they are of Pacific Islander rather than African descent, they are still brown-skinned. When my sons are grown, someone seeing them on the street will make assumptions about who they are that will probably not include adoption, white parents, and a comfortable middle-class childhood. And racism is a war that they — and I — are likely to begin fighting on a personal level as soon as they begin school.

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My college’s Spring Break is officially next week. Classes were cancelled this week, and I should have spent the time practicing with screencasting and web-conferencing software to get ready for taking my courses online after Spring Break. Spring Fever hit me hard in the middle of the week, though, and I spent an afternoon playing Kinevra through chapters 4 – 6 of the 8.0 Alliance War Campaign and doing the Tyrande’s Vengeance questline instead of working. While doing those things, I was sitting in LFR queue for the second wing of Dazar’alor — trying for the crown, of course. Since she reached level 120 a few weeks ago, Kinevra has also achieved Friendly with both Mechagon and Nazjatar to get the Rank 1 versions of those Essences. Kinevra’s ilevel and Heart level have both surpassed Kamalia’s.

Now with Blizzard implementing double XP gain for the next month, I’m sorely tempted to finish leveling Kerisa, Kaelinda, and Karaelia to 120 instead of doing schoolwork…

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On March 9, 2010, I made my first post as a WoW blogger.

Wrath of the Lich King was winding down and Cataclysm was on the horizon; that first post mentions plans I was making in anticipation of the coming changes of Cataclysm.

I had a few long-term WoW goals back then, and, over the past decade, I’ve accomplished them. I raided (in LFR) with a healer of every healing class during Mists. I got a Horde character of each of the existing classes to the level cap in Mists, Warlords, and Legion. I pushed an Alliance character to the level cap at the end of Cataclysm so that I could play the Alliance side of the pre-Mists events at Theramore; that character continues to be the only Alliance character that I actively play.

The introduction of LFR and Transmogrification in late Cataclysm revolutionized my WoW game. The upgrade of Transmogrification with the Appearances collections in late Warlords changed it further. The “Things my [Class] Wears” and “Sunday on the Promenade” series of posts have become this blog’s core content.

Once upon a time, I thought that when this big milestone occasion arrived, I’d put together something elaborate and special. Real Life has gotten in the way of that, however.

I landed my dream job; BTH and I bought a house and adopted two children. My blogiversary is now greatly overshadowed by its proximity to my older child’s birthday. The past couple of academic years have been rather rough and I’m running on the edge of burnout in my job — and that general exhaustion has propagated a feeling of being on the edge of burnout in keeping up with the “Sunday on the Promenade” series here on the blog, as well. So this small post of simple acknowledgement will have to do.

Here’s to TEN YEARS!

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checking in

Yeah, deciding last Sunday night after I finished up Mechagon to take this week off from WoW was definitely a good decision, because this week turned out to be a real doozy. I’m still behind enough on my grading that I’d better take this next week off from WoW, too… but then maybe things will lighten up a bit and I’ll be able to spend some time in the evenings leveling alts? My fancy Hearthstone collection will just have to go another year without Peddlefeet’s Lovely Hearthstone, though.

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As it turned out, I just wanted to be Done with Mechagon. I started picking up some of the other dailies on the island. I ended up doing “fill the bar” and passing on “kill three star mobs”, though I’d still do some of the other dailies on a “kill three star mobs” day. I finished the mechaspider mount questline, even though I don’t care for the mount and won’t use it, just for the rep that doing so would provide. A little bit of a boost from the Darkmoon Top Hat last night, and…

If I ever have the whim to do so after Kaylynda reaches 120, now I can go recruit the Mechagnomes.

~*~*~

Now that she’s finished Mechagon, Kamalia is officially in retirement. I’ll be doing the Patch 8.3 stuff with Kaylynda, or maybe Kaelinda, or maybe Kerisa. I know that I want to at least get the Orthographically Obnoxious Cloak to Rank 5 for the first appearance upgrade. That might be all I do of Patch 8.3 content, though.

This won’t actually be the first time that I’ll have let Kamalia sit out an endgame zone and done it with another character. At the end of Legion, I did Argus with Kiralaira (my Demon Hunter) because it felt more thematically appropriate to do so.

~*~*~

As I get other characters to 120, I plan to bring them out to Mechagon at least once. I like to have all areas of an expansion accessible for my “major” characters just in case I ever want to use some of the scenery in those areas as a backdrop for a Mog photoshoot.

~*~*~

I’m teaching four different lecture classes and two different lab classes this semester, and I’m feeling like I’m just barely keeping my head above water. So, now that I’ve finished this goal with Kamalia and I haven’t yet gotten any other characters to 120, I think perhaps I’d better take a bit of a break from WoW — at least for the rest of this week, maybe next week, too — but hopefully not as long as until the end of the semester.

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So I’m sitting here in my office on campus, late at night, working on the last couple of documents for my portfolio for my final tenure review, which is due on Friday.

The sound card in my school laptop, which is five years old, gave out during the spring, so I’d brought in one of my laptops from home to be able to show a video clip to one of my classes as part of my first day spiel. That other laptop happens to have WoW installed on it. So I’ve got that other laptop booted up, running WoW, with all of the sounds turned off except the music, and a character sitting in her Garrison, so that I can listen to a variety of WoW soundtrack pieces while I work without having to actually run about in the world.

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growly face


Between Bedtime for Frances and Bread and Jam for Frances in my childhood, the Redwall books in my tween and teenage years, Hogwarts’ Hufflepuff House in my young adulthood, and attending University of Wisconsin-Madison for my PhD, I have a certain fondness for badgers. This charming fellow is the wallpaper on my school laptop.

Lately, whenever I go to Pandaria, I can’t help noticing the similarity between Growly Badger’s growly grin and the snarl-grin of that imposing Mogu dude on the Pandaria loading screen…

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