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Yeah, yeah, I know, Mists is so two expansions ago. Nonetheless, the Golden Lotus Tabard is one of my favorites not just from Pandaria, but from all the available tabards.

Serene Lotus

Crown of the Fire Festival, Replica Virtuous shoulders robe & belt, Exiled Dabbler’s Gloves, Drape of the Twins, Golden Lotus tabard
This is the blindingly obvious outfit for a cloth-wearer to use with this tabard.

Glowing Lotus

Lawbringer Armor with Sunsoul Helm, Dawnsteel Shoulders, Drape of the Twins, The Willbreaker, Don Carlos’ Drifting Shield, and Golden Lotus tabard
This kit is exceedingly class specific — but the idea for it is one of the main reasons why I farmed up the Lawbringer Armor. It’s just taken me forever to get around to actually making the outfit…
This shield appeared in Cataclysm, but its design has always seemed quite Oriental Pandarian to me.

Vision Lotus

Crusader’s Pauldrons, Dreamwalker Armor, Triumphant Girdle, Emberweave Leggings, Ornate Gauntlets & Greaves, Cloak of Tranquil Clouds, Mace of Serenity, Talador Spellbarrier, Golden Lotus tabard
Although it would have been very easy to make this kit all golden, it needed some silver in it to harmonize with the white of the tabard.

Zen Lotus

Whisper Jerkin, Vine Waistband, Bluegill Breeches*, Runesworn Grips, Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes, Cloak of Tranquil Clouds, Golden Saronite Dragon, Golden Lotus tabard
It took a couple of weeks of planting Enigma Seeds and harvesting & replanting anything that wasn’t a Golden Lotus to get a garden completely full of them.

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Kamalia’s forays into Suramar were scattered and disorganized, and I felt like I’d done a few things out of order. When Kaelinda reached level 110, I resolved to go through Suramar with her much more carefully and methodically.

I tackled the introductory questlines one or two in a sitting. First, meeting Thalyssra and discovering what Kel’danath had been up to with the Withered. Next, meeting Occuleth and Valtrois. Finally, going into the city to meet the Lunastres and bringing the arcan’dor seed to Shal’aran.

I liked Occuleth the best of the three lead Nightfallen characters when I finally got around to meeting him with Kamalia. After doing the introduction to Suramar again with Kaelinda, I still like Occuleth the best. He’s such a hoopy frood. I really enjoyed the puzzle-game feeling of his workshop — figuring out where all the teleporters go and which sites are connected — and the amazing views of the zone and the city from each of his cliffside terraces.

The next step, before going too much deeper into Suramar City, was to activate all the leyline feeds.

Now, what should I do next?
I see exclamation points on my map for Jandvik, Tel’Anor, Moon Guard, Irongrove Retreat, and Felsoul Hold, so I can probably just go do those side-quest areas without waiting/needing to get breadcrumbs for them from Thalyssra. But I also know that there are two other quests in Felsoul Hold and one quest near Crimson Thicket that aren’t showing up on the map… maybe I should wait to get breadcrumbs for those from Thalyssra?
Or should I focus on doing the main storyline in the City, and leave the side-quest areas for later?
I should at least go do Jandvik so that those vrykul will be friendly the next time I have to run through their town on my way to Occuleth’s undersea survey.

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Blingtron 5K finally coughed up the last encoded message after I-don’t-know how many duplicates (I didn’t save them). Now my Engineer can move on to leveling her Legion engineering and learn how to make Blingtron 6K.

Meanwhile, the mog farming continues. I am managing to cross items and raids/dungeons to be run off my list. I am starting to get kind of tired of doing nothing but mog farming, though.

Thus, I have been thinking about taking Kamalia down to the Broken Shore and starting to work on gaining Legionfall reputation, so that I can have flying as soon as my Mage gets through Suramar, and also so that I can see what’s up with getting Magatha Grimtotem as a Shaman Order Hall champion. Despite — or perhaps because of — Magatha’s betrayal of Cairne and attack on Bloodhoof Village and Thunder Bluff, Kamalia would prefer to have Magatha and the Doomstone close to hand so that she can keep an eye on them — she was very unsettled by Kaohana’s report of events in Thousand Needles immediately following the Shattering and has remained uneasy not knowing where Magatha and the Doomstone are.

I have also been thinking about just going out and doing Troll Archaeology until I get that blasted Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds. I have a Mog idea, maybe two, that I’d like to use it for. I guess it would be more productive to do Broken Isles/Draenor/Pandaria Archaeology and turn in crated artifacts for Troll fragments instead, though, so that I could work on my Pristines collections at the same time.

And I have been thinking that I ought to go through all my alts and work on their Professions until they reach the (first) point at which they have to go run a dungeon or two. Then I will be able to get the most efficient use out of the dungeon running I will have to do for their Order Hall campaigns.

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Just in time for the Flying-in-Draenor patch to hit the PTR, I’ve completed the requisite achievement*. I attained revered status with the Order of the Awakened this evening, and I became revered with Vol’jin’s Headhunters and the Saberstalkers last night. I was pleased to observe, when I learned the Frostwolf costume toy, that I also automatically learned the Karabor costume toy — but the costume still requires Revered with the appropriate faction to use, so I’ll have to take Kaylynda to Tanaan, after all.

Knowing that Tanaan was an iteration on the Timeless Isle model, I felt a certain amount of trepidation about it. I found the Timeless Isle pretty thoroughly boring, so I only went there when I felt like I absolutely had to. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how fun I’ve found Tanaan to be; the quests that give direction, but still choice, to what content to do each day make a huge difference in my enjoyment of the zone. Using the Group Finder to join groups for Rumble in the Jungle or Throne of Kil’jaeden as a healer has also scratched the itch to do group healing again that I’d been feeling.

In other Patch 6.2 progress, my Shipyard is at 19/25 Treasure missions completed toward the stage 3 upgrade. I plan to continue playing the Shipyard until I have each of the three Heirloom rings, the cosmetic hat, and BMAH access in my Garrison. After that, I probably won’t continue actively running my fleet. I want to rebuild my Inn, eventually, to keep working on my projects of a) getting a follower with each two-ability combo** and b) collecting as many of the Tauren followers as I can.


Meanwhile, Vivianne became my Wingman on Tuesday night. Although I thought the Bodyguard concept was a pretty nifty iteration upon the Shado-Pan Companion concept, I’d ignored them for most of the expansion. Partly this was because I kept forgetting to actually assign a bodyguard to work in the Barracks; I wouldn’t think that maybe I should do that until I’d already sent all my followers — including the ones who are bodyguards — out on missions. I finally started remembering to bring a bodyguard when I started working on Securing Draenor after the Draenor Pathfinder meta-achievement was announced. Having Vivianne along has been immensely helpful in Tanaan; without her, Kamalia feels almost as weak as the Underpowered Death Knight. I think Tanaan must have been tuned with the expectation that players would have their bodyguards along.

Then I needed to decide if I wanted to continue with Vivianne, or start working with one of the other bodyguards. Although I still have things I want to do in Tanaan — the last chapter of the Garrison Campaign (the Cipher of Damnation), getting to Exalted with the Order of the Awakened for the fancy ship blueprint, collecting enough claws for the Savage Cub pet — I probably won’t be spending as much time in Tanaan anymore. I’ll want to do the main oil daily, the arakkoa daily, and the garrison resources daily, but I might not bother with making sure that I complete all the other dailies each and every day anymore (I wasn’t always doing that, anyway). So another bodyguard’s rep will go slower than Viv’s did. I decided to go with Tormmok — Ishaal is one of my scavengers and thus too valuable to spare from missions while my Shipyard is guzzling all my Garrison Resouces, I’ve heard that Aeda dies a lot because she is an aggro hog, and I think I’d rather have potent DPS than the small heals from Leorajh.

I wonder, though, what will happen to our bodyguards when we move on from Draenor? Will we get to bring any of them — particularly ones that we’ve raised to Wingman status — to our base for the next expansion, whatever that iteration of the Garrison concept turns out to be? Will they be able to come with us as adventuring companions for the next expansion? That’s kind of a cool thought, but I don’t think it would really happen. Tuning leveling content with the expectation of a Wingman bodyguard would be very alt-unfriendly. Anyhow, it’s not in Blizzard’s general expansion philosophy for WoW to make players have to complete anything more than getting raw leveling XP out of last expansion’s content before they can proceed into a new expansion’s content. They’ll want new players to be able to move straight on from dinging level 100 into the level 100-110 questing content. Still, I think it might be fun to have our Wingman bodyguards show up in our new base, like Dog did, and to maybe have one of them them be the person that appears when a quest spawns an assistant, instead of the default NPC (characters who don’t have Warlords bodyguards would still get the default assistant NPC).

* I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Blizz has been monitoring the progress of playerbase completion of the achievement to decide when to put out that patch.

** I still have four or five holes there, and while I have followers whose abilities I could reroll to fill some of them, there are one or two that I will need to recruit for.

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After a week in Tanaan Jungle, I’ve managed to reach Honored with all three factions. The Vol’jin’s Headhunters rep comes the fastest and easiest, and I’ll probably get them all the way to Exalted just by the default of always running the oil daily. I’m not sure which of the other two will end up being the slowest. I only plan to do Saberstalker rep through the Rumble in the Jungle weekly and the Tooth and Claw daily — whenever it happens to pop up. How quickly I’ll get through Order of the Awakened is a convoluted function of how quickly I deplete the treasures on the map and many rares I stumble across each day.

I’ve been playing the Shipyard very conservatively, only sending ships out if I can get the mission success chance to 100% by replacing equipment. This means, however, that I’ve been running through Garrison Resources like water. Yesterday, I took BBB’s advice and replaced my Barn with a Lumber Mill to generate more resources (though I have kept my Lumber Mill at level 2 because I don’t want the creepy Botani on my Garrison staff). I haven’t been picky about crews thus far. I do like the halved mission time from the Sin’dorei crew and the doubled XP from the Tauren crew, but I haven’t gotten a single piece of salvaged equipment from missions run with a Troll crew. I have a couple of Expert Captain missions available right now, so I suppose I should send a destroyer and a submarine out to be scuttled so that I can have a chance at getting the ones with Murloc crews. I should probably try for more Forsaken and Pandaren crews, too.

I’ve managed to collect all of the dropped ship equipment blueprints — even the Ghostly Spyglass! I jumped into LFR last night to get the Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizers; when I zoned in, the group was at Iron Reaver, so I got my blueprint and then made like a scrub and left. Oddly, I would have been more inclined to stay all the way through to the end if I’d zoned in at or before the first boss. Camping Captain Ironbead and hunting all the other rares and having to dip into LFR has been a hassle with one character — it’ll be a nuisance to do it with many characters. I probably won’t play the Shipyard extensively with anyone other than Kamalia… so why am I collecting oil with my other characters’ followers? Probably because it feels more rewarding to have my followers out collecting something that might be useful than to have them sitting idle.

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Over my lunch break yesterday, Kamalia hearthed back to Sunsong Ranch for the last time to make a final round of her favorite Pandarian fishing holes. The Garrison hearth was invaluable for allowing me to easily travel back and forth between Pandaria and Draenor while I worked on finishing up this rep grind. With this goal completed, I can now set Kamalia’s Astral Recall to wherever she happens to be on Draenor.

I didn’t manage to finish my Pandarian Archaeology museum — but going back to Pandaria to do that will have to wait until Warlords gets into its late expansion doldrums.

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Kinevra has always had a mind of her own. A few months ago, I sent her to the Argent Tournament to complete my collection of Tournament mounts. While she was working on that task, her own end-of-the-OLRG-evening portal roulette sent her to Tol Barad a couple of times… and she started thinking that maybe she wanted the Spectral Steed, too. So when she finished up at the Tournament, off she went to Tol Barad.

I was still on a PvP server during most of Cataclysm, and with Tol Barad being a designated PvP zone, I just said NO to doing the dailies there. I never even set foot on Tol Barad except for a few times when my guild was raiding Baradin Hold and I was summoned to the meeting stone.

But Kinevra thought, hey, it’s an expansion later, and I’m on a PvE server, so I want to at least check it out.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that doing the dailies didn’t auto-flag me for PvP. I’d kind of expected that it would. After a few days of doing the dailies at the base camp, I decided to go to the battleground side during a time when the Alliance controlled it and check out the dailies there. I’d thought I might be auto-flagged for PvP just by going over there, or by doing the quests there, but again, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t.

An expansion later, on a PvE server, Tol Barad ain’t so bad.

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