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Archive for the ‘rwlrwlrwlrwl’ Category

I was looking forward to finding out what the Trial of Style cosmetic rewards would be, so that I’d know if this event would really be something I’d want to put a lot of time & effort into.

Well, the rewards have been previewed… and they’re not particularly exciting to me.


Trial of Style reward preview images from Wowhead

I don’t really like that cloth set at all; I like the bottom half of the leather set but not the top half; there are other low-level mail sets I like better anyway; I do like this plate set, though.

Furthermore, they are all appearances that are obtainable in other ways… and I’ve already collected as much of those sets as I’m interested in acquiring.

I guess I can see where the devs are going with that; I suspect that they want the Trial of Style to be a thing folks do more for the fun of doing it and the Twitter/blog bragging rights of winning it than for the tangible rewards, and they also don’t want folks to complain about feeling obligated to do it because the cosmetic rewards are too desirable.

Still, I think it would be more interesting if the rewards were at least new & unique colorations of these armor models. For the cloth set, perhaps pale pink where it is teal, pale gold instead of silver for the metallic areas, and emerald green for the jewels? There already exists a blue version of the pants for the leather set, but no other items in that coloration, so a full set of a blue version of this leather gear would be nice. I’d go for that mail gear in blue, too, whether it was blue & silver or blue & gold. For the plate set, a black & red Blood Knight version might be appropriate.

The shirt reward for actually winning the competition appears to be a darker version of the Gilnean Adventurer’s Shirt. It’s something that would be nice to have… but not “must have” to the level of strenuously trying to get it.

Still, I’ll probably try out the Trial of Style at least once or twice just to see how it goes. (Then again, I still haven’t gotten around to going Timewalking, even though in principle I think it’s a great feature…)

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Oh, I am so tired of Blackwing Lair. So tired of Razorgore and the eggs, so tired of the suppression room. But Nefarian hasn’t dropped my Priest’s robe yet, and Chromaggus hasn’t dropped my Rogue’s shoulders yet, and Broodlord hasn’t dropped my Paladin’s boots yet, and Vaelastrasz only drops his shield for people other than my three shield users. And so I keep coming back, every Tuesday, hoping that this week, the things I want will drop so that I won’t have to come back again next week.

I’m still working on getting a few bits and pieces from other tiers*, too, and trying to get a couple of raid drops that aren’t tier pieces. I’m almost finished with Outland dungeons — I just need one item from one Heroic. I’m starting to say to myself, as I look through my list of things that might be nice to have, “ehh, I don’t really need that” or “meh, I’ll farm that if and when I think of a mog idea that would actually use it”.

After all, I already have so many fun-looking items** that I could probably do another year or more of “Sunday on the Promenade” before I’ve used everything in my wardrobe*** at least once.

Although my choice to ignore the Patch 7.2 content in favor of focusing on filling the gaps in my wardrobe was deliberate and considered, by now, I’m starting to feel like I’m really falling behind. Seeing that this week’s Legionfall quest is to kill three Elites, I wonder if there will be enough people still doing Broken Shore stuff to help me with that when I finally manage to catch up. I basically haven’t done World Quests since Kamalia got to 36 traits in all of her Artifacts. I haven’t been running Order Hall missions. Most of my characters haven’t even been to their Order Halls for weeks, except to change the color of their Artifacts. So I’ve been taking the baby step to ease myself back into Legion content of starting to spend time fishing up the coins in the New Dalaran fountain.

Just as I’m wanting to start doing current content again, however, my 10-week-old baby has decided that he needs to be carried. Last week, I could just hold him in my off-hand arm while I read a book, typed, or ran through a legacy content dungeon or raid using my main hand. This week, I can’t get away with that anymore. Being moving by being in the swing isn’t good enough; after a few minutes, he will start yelling. Being held isn’t good enough; if I sit still for longer than a minute or two while holding him, he will start yelling. I either have to be walking around with him or, if I’m sitting down, actively playing with him instead of just passively holding him. This new behavior is even worse for my summer plans to revise lab manuals and restructure my online homework assignments than it is for my WoW-playing goals…

* Well, all the legacy content through Cataclysm, that is. I’ll wait until my characters are level 110 and wearing at least World Quest-level gear to attempt the Mists raids and Warlords dungeons.

** Some collected recently, some collected not-so-recently (but I still haven’t quite gotten around to actually using them)

*** All the items that I actually like, at any rate. I’m not going to try to use the stuff that I don’t particularly like!

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Kamalia finally got to 800 skill points in Leatherworking. And yep, she got the last 20 – 30 or so skill points from the Darkmoon Faire.

My other characters have been slowly advancing their professions via the Faire, too. Most of them are at 720 or 725 because I haven’t done much of the questlines yet.

Everyone was all excited about the potion of Inky Blackness last month, but I find myself wishing for something that would do just the opposite — give every place the brightness of a sunny blue sky day. Why would I want that? For taking Mog screenshots, of course! I want my Mog screenshots to have cool and thematically appropriate backgrounds, but sometimes the places that would be the most thematically appropriate have terrible lighting (Moonglade, Icecrown, Swamp of Sorrows, to name a few), or I can’t play in the evening until after my server has switched to nighttime lighting. Admittedly, “normal” nighttime lighting is not really all that dark, but it is still less than optimal for taking good Mog screenshots!

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With today’s Kirin Tor Emissary quest, Kamalia reached Exalted with the last of the 7.0 reputations and got enough Artifact Power to put the 35th trait into Doomhammer. She now has 35 traits in all three of her Artifact weapons. I would like to be celebrating that I’m done with her Artifact weapons… except that come patch 7.2, I won’t be.

/headdesk

This is a great system for people who have an OTP relationship with their Main. For me, though, spending all my playtime with Kam farming Artifact Power is a rabbit hole that I’ve already spent too long falling down. If I want to accomplish my goal of playing all twelve of the Order Hall Campaign stories, I need to be able to let Kam rest.

So, I won’t be doing any more AP farming to put any further ranks into the Paragon traits of Kam’s Artifacts, and I will try to resist the lure of new content when Patch 7.2 comes out to focus on completing the 7.0 and 7.1.5 content first.

At Artifact Knowledge 25, it’s really only the last 5-ish traits that really take awhile to get. Kamalia can quickly boost each alt to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as she reaches level 110. Reaching Artifact Knowledge 25 is necessary to get the lore stories about all the Artifacts. Getting AK ranks past 25 will certainly speed my alts along the way to getting all of their Artifacts (or at least the ones for the specs I actually play with them) to 35, though, so I’ll probably end up doing it.

When I’ve gotten my alts’ Artifacts up to 35 traits, then I can think about doing the questlines to open up the Empowered traits. I must admit that I would like to do each of the seven Empowerment questlines at least once, just to see what they’re about.

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After my Monk, my Death Knight was the next-closest to level 102. I ran her through the Falling Star questline, then took her back to Stormheim and poked at the brood of Nithogg and picked fjarnskaggl until she dinged.

Upon reaching level 102, Kregga raised my deleted secondary Warrior and outfitted her in a kit reflecting both Blood and Unholy aesthetics before sending her off to collect the Artifact weapons for those specs.

The Deathlord’s Understudy

Darksoul Shoulders, Boulderfist Armor, Darkcrest Belt, Runed Sketh’lon Legplates, Gloves of Gnomebliteration, Ramkahen Front Boots, Sky Darkener’s Shroud of Blood, Torn-Heart Axe of Battle

The quests for the other two Death Knight Artifacts both took me to places I had been before; the Blood questline went to Niskara (Marks Hunter), and the Unholy questline went to the Karazhan Catacombs (Balance Druid). Though they were still very similar, these questlines felt more distinct, more altered to fit the different classes, than the Arcane Mage and Discipline Priest questlines did.

I had a hard time with Blood; I died multiple times and had to spend a lot of time eating between pulls. Although I’d equipped the 740 2H weapon from the Order Hall vendor, I’d forgotten to Runeforge it… (the existence of that weapon, however, makes me feel like I wasted my time farming for and then completely upgrading to 725 the 2H weapon from the pre-launch Demon Invasions). So when I got to the final boss fight, I chickened out of doing it in Blood and swapped back to Frost. I still died and had to run back, but I think I probably did fare better in Frost, with my 6-rank Frost Artifact, than I would have in Blood with my un-Runeforged 2H weapon.

Before I went to do the Unholy questline, I took a moment to Runeforge the Order Hall weapon. I felt like it did make a difference for my survivability in doing the Unholy questline as Unholy. I did it sans ghoul, however, and I took all the passive talents that did things other than buff the ghoul — though I did take the one that turns the gargoyle into a val’kyr. I tried the final boss fight as Unholy first just so that I could call the Dark Arbiter. It was rather close, but I beat it in one try. The ending of that fight was quite unexpected. I wonder if my Artifact Knowledge research might reveal more about that little scene?

In the Blood questline, it bugged me that Baron Sliver and Minerva Ravensorrow kept calling Margrave Dhakar just “Margrave”, as if that was really his given name. Margrave is a title! They should have been calling him “the Margrave” or “Dhakar”. Calling him just “Margrave” is like calling Duke Lankral just “Duke”.

In the initial encounter with Revil Kost, the Unholy Death Knight has three dialog choices for each stage of the conversation — a trying-to-be-reasonable option, a sarcastic option, and a flat-out attack. I took the sarcastic options. The Balance Druid just had a nice friendly conversation to begin with, but I suspect that the Affliction Warlock will also have to persuade Revil Kost to work with them, likely with the same set of (or very very similar) dialog choices to the Unholy Death Knight.

I intended to put Kregga into an entirely new & different kit after turning her back into herself. I went to the Barbershop first, however, and she looked so good in this outfit — better than Kaobeka did — that I decided to keep it for awhile longer.


the above items, plus Helm of Infinte Visions and Warsword of the Ebon Blade

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As I mentioned in my previous post, Kamalia recently reached the point with her Leatherworking where she needs to buy the Rank 1 Dreadleather and Gravenscale patterns. These patterns are purchased with crafting mats, and some of the patterns cost enchanting dust or ore in addition to leather or scales. I suppose that I could just trade Blood of Sargeras for those things… but I’d rather use it as an excuse to bring my Enchanting alt and one of my Mining alts to the Broken Isles.

Kaohana’s bags were getting stuffed with Broken Isles greens that Kamalia had sent her, so she was needing to come to New Dalaran for profession training very soon anyway.

I’d read that the Discipline Priest Artifact questline was substantially similar to the Arcane Mage one, and I saw a Priest or two running around in the same areas when I was doing the Aluneth questline with Kaelinda. I’d thought, oh, well, maybe they just take place in the same area, but the quest givers and directions and motivations are different. Alas, no; the Light’s Wrath questline was, indeed, almost identical, with the only differences being based on the identity of the uncontrollable staff and its powers. I must confess that with Light’s Wrath being a Scarlet Crusade-created item, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have to Discipline my way through any of the Scarlet Crusade strongholds — like, say, Tyr’s Hand — to get it.

I’d also read that the Priest Order Hall is… underwhelming compared to some of the other class halls. I was trying not to be pre-biased by opinions from other players, but, yeah, Netherlight Temple does seem rather… plain… and… small… compared to, say, the Hall of the Guardian. It is much more sparsely decorated than the others, which is okay, I guess, for the austere aesthetic of many priestly orders, and it seems to have fewer notable NPCs — all of which make it seem like there will be less opportunities to be delighted by suddently noticing a detail that I’d overlooked before.

Of my Miners, I decided to bring my Rogue. Partly I chose her to follow my plan of bringing my alts to their Order Halls in inverse order of my longer-term interest in playing them. Partly I chose her because Stealth is a definite plus when one is a lowbie who just wants to run around mining. And partly I chose her because even though she is nominally my Gnomish Engineer, I haven’t really put a lot of effort into that crafting profession. She is, therefore, the least likely of my Miners to begrudge having to share the ore she collects with someone else.

Now the question is — how does Kelisanna resist getting corrupted by these blades in the same way that Dread Admiral Eliza was?

I’m also thinking that although I don’t plan to spend any time playing as Assassination, I might go get the Kingslayers when Kelisanna reaches level 102 just to see the little story about Garona.

Not having spent any time or effort on farming Ravenholdt rep with my Rogue, I am not particularly attached to the idea of Rogues Belong At Ravenholdt. In fact, I rather like the Hall of Shadows. It feels akin to the Thieves and Assassins’ Guilds of Ankh-Morpork.

Kamalia went to Azsuna first because I’d read that that was where all the early Profession quests were going to send you anyway.
Kiralaira went to Azsuna first because she wanted to check up on her Illidari.
Kaelinda went to Azsuna first because of her interest in ancient elvish language and magic.

Kaohana went to Stormheim first because of her fascination with the Val’kyr.
Kelisanna went to Stormheim first because as a Farstrider, she is my character with the greatest loyalty toward Sylvanas Windrunner.

I like most of Stormheim, with the vrykul and storm dragons and the Titan vaults and the grappling gun and whatnot, quite a lot. But, ugh, I dislike the opening sequence, with that ugly battle between the Forsaken and the Worgen, and the RAS and their chemical weapons — and I dislike even more being railroaded through it. I don’t like being Sylvanas’ toady any more than I liked being Garrosh’s toady. I won’t level my lowbies in the Forsaken zones; I won’t do the Forsaken questlines in Howling Fjord and the Dragonblight. So I did an experiment. I took my Demon Hunter, who had only been to Azsuna, and rode on her land mount all the way around the continent until I got to Stormheim. As I came down into Stormheim from Highmountain, I found a group of Kirin Tor mages… and they wanted to send me right back to Dalaran to talk to Nathanos Blightcaller. Blast! I’d been hoping that there was some way to skip that part of the zone, and just start at meeting with Havi at his hut in the Valley of Swords. *sigh*

Maybe what I’ll do is always select Stormheim first and push through the scenario and follow-up quests until I get the quest to meet with Havi — get all that nasty stuff out of the way ASAP, treating it, in RP terms, as purely a game mechanic and not something that anyone except Kelisanna actually participated in — and then go to the first zone that I actually want to do extensive questing in.

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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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