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Archive for the ‘rwlrwlrwlrwl’ Category

I’m just not feeling the Renown grind this week. I look at the base zone WQs — what can I do for Anima? what can I do to complete Callings? — and I don’t feel like going out and doing them.

I want to go to Zereth Mortis. I want to explore and scout the place out for pretty locations for Mog photoshoots. I want to do the 9.2 Campaign. I want to get whatever the most easily-obtained coloration of the zone set is. I want to do whichever category of Cipher of the First Ones research it is that gives buffs for world activities, and whichever one opens up the Zereth Mortis puzzle minigames — I enjoyed the puzzle minigames in Legion and Battle for Azeroth — and ignore all the other categories.

But I haven’t yet gotten the breadcrumb quest to even start Zereth Mortis. I think it’s because I’m currently in Covenants for which I haven’t completed the 9.0 Campaigns and because I haven’t done the opening chapters of the 9.1 Campaign. I should go do the opening chapters of the 9.1 Campaign because I’m getting tired of being ground-bound; it would be nice to be able to fly again. And I just read on Wowhead that there’s been a hotfix that “Each of the four original Covenant campaign questlines now reward a total of 20 additional Renown.” So I should do the Kyrian Campaign with Kaelinda and the Necrolords Campaign with Kaelyla, because those are the Covenants that they aren’t maxxed out in Renown already with. Which is all scrambled up from my original plans, but at this point, eh, whatever….

The Zereth Mortis zone set reminds me of the Vulpera aesthetic, so I tried it out on Khariba, and sure enough, it looks super cute on her:

Choral set with Shadowmoon Cowl and Mok’Morokk’s Beat Stick

Why is it that the LFR coloration of raid sets always seems to be the green one?

They all have silly hats; the Warlock hat is thankfully not offensive anymore, but is rather the silliest of the lot. The Warlock shoulders, robe, and belt are the most interesting. The other two robes are handsome enough, I guess, but feel… plain, somehow. Still, if I can get Kaelinda and Kaelyla’s iLevels up enough, I might eventually go do Sepulcher of the First Ones LFR. Fortunately for me as a Mage, the Priest robe, Warlock shoulders, Warlock robe, and Warlock belt all have lookalike pieces– but the Mage robe does not have a lookalike piece.

~*~*~

Even though I don’t intend to do anything with her in the Shadowlands for a long time yet, I brought Karaelia out to Bastion for the sake of having a character of every armor class positioned to prep for 10.0 — and wherever Karaelia goes, her twin Kaohana goes, too. Both of them have activated Threads of Fate and pledged to the Kyrian.


Karaelia has been wearing her outfit since November of 2020, and Kaohana has been wearing her outfit since February of 2021! They are both rather anxious for some new clothes!

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Between the loss of reputation due to the reveals of Blizzard’s internal culture woes and the glowing reviews that the latest FFXIV expansion is receiving, WoW 10.0 needs to be spectacular.

Furthermore, three out of WoW’s past four expansions (including the current Shadowlands) have been, well, misses — expansions where I’ve said to myself, ” meh, I’ll wait to see what comes next…” To be sure, there have been things that I enjoyed more than I expected about Warlords of Draenor, Battle for Azeroth, and Shadowlands — but the overarching grand story plots certainly weren’t it.

And then there is this… and this… and I’m losing hope that WoW 10.0 will be something that I’ll be able to be really and truly excited about right from the initial announcement.

I’ll probably play it anyway just to say that I played WoW all the way to 10.0, but then I might drift away from Azeroth.

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Darn it if that Celestial Observer’s set that just got added to the cash shop isn’t pretty. It might even be just the thing to encourage Kerisa to get her feathery Boomkin bum back into Horrific Visions of Orgrimmar to get Ashjra’kamas upgraded to its final appearance — that set and that cape look like they’d go together quite beautifully. If the ghastly news about Blizzard’s internal culture hadn’t broken open over the summer, I’d have bought the Celestial Observer’s set and be showing off new Mogs with it in this post already. Now, though, it seems like a money grab and an attempt to distract (or something) from the increasingly bad PR, and I feel rather conflicted about giving Blizzard anything more than my sub.

The “Baby Murloc Satch-Shells” that have also just been released seem like an attempt to ride the coattails of the popularity of The Child from The Mandalorian. Apparently they’re tied to a 6-month sub, so I’ll be getting them by default. I’d rather have the Celestial Observer’s set by default.

Wowhead has some early datamining of the Mythic Progenitor Tier set models. The Mage set looks really bland to me; I think I might be more interested in collecting the lookalike items for the Priest and Warlock sets (from the LFR colorations, of course). The Warlock robe I think looks especially nifty with the ribboned panel with the design that goes across all the ribbons on the front of the skirt.

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My WoW playing lately has been driven or dominated by what Kaylriene has recently discussed as the time-wasting or “hamster wheel” aspects of the game. I’m still logging in almost every day, but I’m just doing Anima Conductor Treasures and my favorite super-easy WQs to get my 1K Anima each week. I’m marking time, making minimal increments of progression toward Transmogrification collecting goals (by the proxies of collecting Renown and Anima and Grateful Offerings) between the widely-spaced opportunities when I feel like I have enough time and attention to do a segment of story progression.

Transmogrification is where I get the most fun out of WoW, as you might guess from the persistence and prominence of “Sunday on the Promenade” as a feature of this blog. I love designing new outfits & looks for my characters. With each expansion and patch, I am most interested in finding out what nifty new things there will be to wear and what interesting new character customizations will be available. I catalog which items are both awesome looking and not overly difficult to acquire relative to the comfort zone of my playstyle, then focus my gameplay toward obtaining those items and making outfits with them.

Although I am so, so far behind on experiencing the current storylines, I’ve appreciated and agreed with posts about how the story of WoW is struggling in Shadowlands such this one by Kaylriene and this one by Redbeard.

I’ve found that I engage with the story of Azeroth most at what I think of as the “middle” level — the zone and Campaign storylines. The “little” side-quest storylines can be quite interesting, but I don’t make the effort to search out all of them. As for the “big” overall narrative, well… it lost me in Warlords of Draenor.

For me, the premise of Warlords of Draenor was just a little too reality-warping, even for a fantasy universe. By interacting with the Draenor of the other timeway in such drastic ways, we essentially pulled it out of its original timeway into our own timeway. Between that and the magnitude of the differences between Draenor and Outland, I am more comfortable thinking of Draenor as just another continent (that happens to be on another world) than as a version of the past of Outland. Then there was the “boys’ trip” kerfluffle, which was only tokenly addressed by the roles of Draka and Yrel — and was a clue to Blizzard’s now very public internal woes.

Legion had a good overall premise and narrative. I think that we could have gotten to the premise of “the Burning Legion comes roaring back to Azeroth and we have to make our Final Stand and Stop Them For Good This Time” by another route that didn’t involve timeway shenanigans and alt-Gul’dan.

Battle for Azeroth‘s main premise and Sylvanas and N’Zoth narratives lost me again. I also couldn’t ever quite get over the cognitive dissonance of having the Zandalari be our enemies in Kun-Lai Summit and Isle of Thunder, then our buddy-buddies in Dazar’alor with seemingly very few hard feelings — even with the handwaving that the Zandalari invaders in Pandaria were Zul loyalists whose activities were not officially sanctioned by King Rastakhan, and that Princess Talanji had concluded that the best folks to help her with the Blood Troll problem would be the ones who had thoroughly kicked the butts of that rogue group.

And then there’s Shadowlands, in which I will be more interested, when I finally get there, in how the 9.1 Campaign advances the smaller Covenant narratives than in what it discloses about the larger Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative. Because I don’t really care about it, I’ve let myself get spoiled about the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative while trying to stay only minimally spoiled about the advancement of the Covenant storylines.

In each of these expansions, because of my playstyle, I’ve felt like my character’s actions and interactions have mattered the most on the zone-leveling and Garrison/Order Hall/Suramar/Covenant Campaign storyline level. I feel like I could, if I so desired, write an in-character RP story about how my character(s) participated in and thought and felt about these events. The Battle for Azeroth War Campaign, however, was just a vehicle for showing me what was happening in the faction war because the events that happened weren’t things I was particularly enthused about having my characters actually be participants in doing (except for rescuing Baine from Sylvanas — Kamalia did help out with that!). I feel the same about the Torghast questchain and the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot stuff in Shadowlands — it’s a way to show me what is happening with the faction leaders, but it’s not really stuff that my characters would be personally involved in doing. I may be a Big Damn Hero, but I’m not that much of a Big Damn Hero.

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It is said that to not speak up in support of the oppressed is to tacitly assent to the oppression, so I suppose I had ought to say something about the recent news concerning Blizzard’s corporate culture and the experience of working for Blizzard. I didn’t read the lawsuit itself, but I’ve read most of the coverage from Wowhead and Blizzard Watch, the article about it in the New York Times, and various thoughtful posts by the small list of active bloggers I currently read. Like others, I am saddened and sickened, disgusted and disappointed that such acutely and chronically distressing things have happened at Blizzard — somehow I’d hoped that Blizzard would be better than that. I thought for a bit on whether I should cancel my sub, and stop playing World of Warcraft for awhile — I do have other games to play now, Horizon Zero Dawn where I still haven’t made it out of the starting area, and Bloons Monkey City which is mostly for my kids but in which I could get more involved if I wanted, and it might be fun to run through Portal again and see if I can get past that one level where I stalled out a decade ago… I decided to keep playing; I agree with the sentiments expressed by Gnomecore and Wrath of Kubla Khan about the value of continuing to support the “normal people” at the company — the 2500+ employees who signed on to the open letter rebuking their company leadership, the artists and animators and code writers, etc, who actually do the nitty gritty nuts and bolts work of making the game that I enjoy. Besides, at this time of year I always have to make myself take a break from playing WoW while I’m scrambling to get my courses prepared for the impending doom of the beginning of Fall semester, now only a month away. So for me to say that I was taking a break for ethical protest reasons seems like it would be kind of disingenuous.

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Well, damn.

I abandoned the Torghast questchain after rescuing Thrall; the Patch 9.1 trailer spoiled Anduin’s fate thoroughly enough that I felt like I didn’t need to do the last two steps of the questchain just for the sake of the lore.

The latest news from the Patch 9.1 PTR, via Wowhead, is that there’ll be a skip for the Torghast questline. Chapter 2 of the Covenant Campaign only requires doing the first three steps of the Torghast questline, but it’d be nice to be able to skip it and jump right into Chapter 3, where the real story of the Covenant Campaign begins. Not particularly surprisingly, however, being able to use the skip most likely will require one character on the account to have completed the whole thing.

This Wowhead post also revealed to me, though, that there was a whole ‘nother questchain that I’d been ignorant of. If you’ve completed the Torghast questchain, there’s another questchain that opens up after defeating Sire Denathrius in Castle Nathria. In Patch 9.1, it, too, can be skipped on alts once one character on the account has done it. Completion/skipping of this second questchain is, however, required to access the Patch 9.1 Campaign.

So I guess I’d better go attempt the Twisting Corridors after all — as three sessions of going just to Floor 6; many thanks to Gnomecore for pointing out that the quest to find three clues about Anduin’s location can be completed in this fashion.

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With doubled-up Callings to Maldraxxus this week, I finally made it back to the place — and it still grosses me out. I’m so glad that I don’t have to smell what my poor characters must be smelling!

~*~*~

They said that we wouldn’t need the Flight Whistle because we’d be spending most of our time in the zone associated with our Covenant choice and the Travel Network would make getting around that zone easier. I still miss the Flight Whistle, though. I think that statement from the devs (was it from Hazzikostas, even?) misunderstands what the Flight Whistle is really for. The Flight Whistle is for quickly and easily getting out of the depths of some WQ area once you’ve completed the quest requirements, so that you don’t have to fight your way back out to the road through all the respawns.

~*~*~

I am struggling with prioritizing all the things available to do.

Kaelinda has reached Renown 10 and has accepted the starter quest for Chapter 4 of the Venthyr campaign, but I keep deciding to do Callings and WQs instead. The “get 1000 Anima” weekly has not been exactly trivial for me. I spend a lot of time chasing Anima WQs at the expense of playing through the next Chapter of my Covenant campaign — and I’ve had weeks where I didn’t quite make it because I didn’t feel like playing enough to clear all the available Anima WQs in all four zones. Is it better to prioritize getting Anima, to fill up the Sanctum Reservoir and increase my Renown, or would it be better to prioritize getting through the Covenant campaign story?

Kaurinka has reached Renown 11, but she is stalled out near the beginning of Chapter 2 — the you must do Torghast Chapter — of the Night Fae campaign, even though she knows that she’ll be rescuing Baine and does want to do so. Torghast hasn’t been quite as awful as I’d feared it might be, but it hasn’t tickled the “this is so fun!” spot for me, either. Kaelinda, who is currently Fire, managed not to die at all on her first true run through a Layer 1 wing of Torghast, though she did go through most of a stack of Mana Buns. I will probably not return there any more often than storyline quests send me there, and I may only complete the full questchain from Bolvar on one character (most likely Kaelinda).

I’ve decided that I should just go to the Maw more or less first thing on Tuesday evenings and rescue souls, then get out of there — ideally before my Eye of the Jailer even gets to 1. That, at least, will be a reliable source of Renown, and I’ll steadily collect the souls needed to lend their labor to Sanctum upgrades. If I’m spending as little time in the Maw and Torghast as possible, and only running Torghast on Layer 1 difficulty, repping up with Ve’nari to get stuff from her isn’t a high priority.

I decided to activate the Anima Conductor before activating the Special Feature and both characters are currently channeling anima to the location that has a special treasure. Each of them makes sure to go get their special treasure each day. So far, the Greater Greedstone has proved to be a reliable source of Anima tokens, but the Large Lunarlight Pod has mostly yielded Conduits — often duplicates of Conduits I already have.

With Anima being so scarce, I’m trying to decide how to manage my Sanctum upgrades. I’ve got the first stage of both the Travel Network and the Anima Conductor. Now, do I save up to upgrade one or the other of those things, or do I activate the first stage of the Special Feature?
I have made a tactical decision to ignore the Command Table entirely. I’ve got too many things competing for my attention already (especially if I decide to activate the Special Feature before upgrading the Travel Network or Anima Conductor). Besides, I’d rather save that precious Anima to spend on other things, such as upgrading the other Sanctum features, upgrading Covenant armor pieces, or acquiring the other tints of the Covenant armor and backpieces (once I’ve unlocked them).

~*~*~

And then there’s the other three characters who are patiently waiting in the wings in Oribos for their turns to level and choose their Covenants. I’m half-inclined to do it — to level them and play each of them through the first chapter of their chosen Covenant campaign and get them settled into their Sanctums — even though doing so will delay the progress of Kaelinda and Kaurinka through their Covenant campaigns. I think I might be able to resist doing anything else with them beyond the “rescue 5 souls from the Maw” weekly (and maybe the special treasures from the first stage of the Anima Conductor) until I’ve completed the Venthyr and Night Fae campaigns — especially with the you must do Torghast barrier of Chapter 2 of the Covenant campaign.

~*~*~

And then there’s Horizon Zero Dawn waiting for me on Steam. I got through most of the first area and to level 4 in my first play session before I looked at the clock and realized that I really ought to go to bed. I need to finish up the last couple of side-quests in the first area before I turn in my current main storyline quest, which I think will move me out of that area into the next one — the challenge and rewards of side-quests are really only worth doing while I’m still at-level for the area. The gameworld is beautiful, and I was genuinely enjoying exploring around — and since I’m playing it on Story mode, of course, the combat hasn’t been overly challenging (yet). I want to play more — if only I can resist auto-pilot logging into WoW to do dailies after my schoolwork is done each evening (Spring semester classes begin on Monday!).

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So I got the Sanity Cloak with my Alliance Mage yesterday night — sweet Earthmother, that is a long questline! — and she got Echoes of Ny’alotha when she did today’s Emissary quest.
When I did today’s Emissary quest with my Horde characters, they didn’t get any Echoes of Ny’alotha. Seems that the account-wide unlock is bugged and is faction-specific instead… or maybe the account-wide unlock is bugged and I’ll have to get the Sanity Cloak with everyone whom I want to be getting Echoes of Ny’alotha for picking up one or two more Rank 3 Essences? Thunder and botheration!

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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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Before Alunaria’s Happy Thoughts Experiment officially begins tomorrow, I need to take a moment to whine about something that’s been annoying me.

Ever since Patch 8.1, I have been getting relentlessly spammed by the error message “Lost connection to the voice chat service.” It happens on average about every 15 seconds, and sometimes 3 – 12 copies of the error message pop up all at once. My activity log is so filled with this error message that I can hardly find anything else in it.

I had voice chat disabled using Parental Controls; I re-enabled it; that didn’t fix the problem.

I tried turning “Optimize Network for Speed” off; that didn’t seem to help.

When I look at “Voice Chat” in my Systems menu, it tells me that my microphone and output devices are “invalid” — probably because I have neither a microphone nor headphones connected to my computer.

I’ve submitted two bug reports about it.

I sure hope that what ever is causing this gets teased out and fixed soon, because it’s really driving me nuts!

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