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Archive for the ‘rwlrwlrwlrwl’ Category

Well, the Q&A this morning answered my most burning question about Artifact weapons, which was “how are they going to manage dual specs?” I’m glad that I’ll be able to get the Artifact weapons for both of my specs. I didn’t want to have to choose whether my Paladin will be Prot or Holy for Legion. My Blood Elf Mage will be Fire for Felo’melorn, of course.

Early last week, shortly before the all the excitement about the new expansion, Kamalia completed her 100th naval mission and obtained the Captain’s Hat. Naturally, I set about to design a kit to go with it.

Captain’s Hat, Crusader’s Pauldrons, Felstalker Breastplate, Veteran’s Linked Girdle, Wasteland Ringmail Leggings, Talhide Lined-Gloves, Railwalker’s Ratcheted Boots, Steelforged Dagger (1-630), Wheel of the Lost Hope
Alas, the most perfect shield to go with this hat is Alliance-only!
And while I am willing to do there-and-back-again faction-switching shenanigans with my other characters, I won’t do that with Kamalia. sigh…
I guess I’ll just have to make do with the Sharptusk Shield, which kinda-sorta looks nautical — like a broken porthole cover, perhaps.

I’ve been saying that I won’t play the Shipyard with anyone but Kamalia, but this cosmetic hat… I just know that I’m going to want to get one for a character of each armor type, at least. I don’t have to play the Shipyard as seriously with my other characters as I have with Kam, though. I just have to complete 100 missions, I don’t have to succeed at them, so I can play my other characters’ Shipyards in ships-are-expendable mode, instead of in the min-max mode I’ve been playing it with Kam.

I don’t mind Demon Hunters being restricted to the elven races — Sin’dorei are my second-favorite race, after all — because even if all races could be Demon Hunters, I’m not sure I’d want to play a Tauren Demon Hunter. I think I could quite happily play a swashbuckling Tauren Combat Rogue, or a Tauren Frost/Fire Mage (as an outgrowth of Shamanism, similar to the way that Tauren Priests are an outgrowth of Druidism), but I don’t think I could be a Tauren Warlock or Demon Hunter. It would just feel too wrong (but then, I thought that about Death Knights, too, and now I have two of them). Nevertheless, that Demon Hunters will now be a player character thing instead of just an NPC thing is making me want to start running my Monk through Black Temple to swipe Illidan’s blindfold. She may not want to be a Demon Hunter, but she can play at looking like one.

Cursed Vision of Sargeras, Supple Shoulderguards (1-640), Raiment of Silent Stars, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Blazewing’s Furious Kilt, Gloves of the Blind Stalker, Terokk’s Shadowstaff
The most difficult piece of this kit to acquire will be the chestpiece — it requires Friendly reputation with the Shado-Pan Assault, and Kate is only at Neutral. I’ll need some buddies to help me clear the first LFR wing of Throne of Thunder to get the rep.

Having resigned myself to the idea that there probably won’t be any new race/class combinations in the next expansion, let alone Tauren Mages (given that the Grimtotem casters who used Mage spells in pre-Cataclysm days now use only Shaman or Druid spells), I thought that the next-best thing would be to level up my Gnome Mage and run her with the Orb of Deception active on cooldown. After acquiring an Orb of Deception, however, I found to my disappointment that instead of changing my Gnome to look like a Tauren wearing the same clothes as my Gnome, it generates a fixed disguise. Well, I thought, perhaps it might be fun to play with the Orb of Disguise concept by making a Transmogrification kit to make one of my leather-wearing characters look like an Orb-of-Disguised Gnome.

Big Voodoo Mask, Wild Growth Spaulders, Living Breastplate, Tracker’s Belt, Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt, Gauntlets of Southwind, Bright Yellow Shirt
Alas, the Living Breastplate pattern is no longer obtainable, and Kamalia doesn’t have it because I didn’t think I’d ever want to make it. The best substitute, I think, is probably the Thick Draenic Vest, which is the same style in a tan color that would coordinate reasonably well with the rest of the kit.

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wardrobe woes

Kamalia’s bags — a full set of Royal Satchels — became much closer to completely full than I was comfortable with after my first few days in Tanaan, until I converted all those Baleful tokens and vendored the extra pieces. One bag is stuffed with whatchamacallits and doodads and oojimies — some of which are favorite thingamabobs from past expansions and some of which are knicknacks from the 6.0 Garrison Campaign that I’ve never used again and which I dearly wish were Toys instead. I went to her bank recently to clear out some bag space by putting away the journals from the 6.1 Treasure Contracts, and doing so nigh well filled up the last remaining space in her bank — she only has a few open bank slots left. Her Void Storage — both tabs — is also rapidly approaching completely full. I sure hope that 7.0, whatever it turns out to be, does something significant about these inventory troubles. What I’m really hoping for, of course, is some sort of Diablo III-like Transmogrification interface, where any item you have soulbound gets added to your looks library and you no longer have to keep the actual item itself around.

Meanwhile, every time I look at my “Things my Characters Wear” pages lately, I’m bothered by outfit pictures that have the character too small, or are badly lighted, or are poses that are fun but obscure the outfit too much. I thought to myself, perhaps I should go through and make clean MogIt mockups to accompany every outfit. That would be a whale of a job, though.

I’ve posted 87 plate kits — 25 Paladin, 28 Warrior, and 34 Death Knight.
I’ve posted 84 mail kits — 48 Shaman and 26 Hunter.
I’ve posted 63 leather kits — 24 Druid, 28 Monk, and 11 Rogue.
I’ve posted 136 cloth kits — 39 Priest, 13 Warlock, and 84 Mage — 20 Human, 16 Sin’dorei, 14 Draenei, 7 Gnome, 4 each Kaldorei, Forsaken, Goblin, Orc, and Troll, 3 Worgen, and 2 each Dwarf and Pandaren.

(These numbers show that I leave my non-Tauren characters lying around in the same smelly kits for much longer than I do my Tauren characters — and of course my poor neglected minor Mages don’t get played enough to get any new clothes to make new kits with.)

So… maybe I’ll just do MogIt mockups for the outfits that have the worst pictures… or maybe I’ll just put those kits on again and go take some better pictures… if I can find the stuff in my inventory…

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I would love to have a cosmetic minor Glyph of the High Arakkoa that transforms my Druid’s Moonkin form into a graceful High Arakkoa like Dawnseeker Rukaryx. Glyph of the Flapping Owl should NOT be exclusive with Glyph of the High Arakkoa, unlike its current exclusivity with Glyph of Stars.

Ironically, the loss of flight makes a Druid more like the cursed, crippled Arakkoa we’ve known since Outland than like the soaring High Arakkoa of Draenor. As nifty as it is, Flap is a poor substitute for Flight Form… sigh

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These NPCs that I saw while doing the Garrison Campaign chapter in Shattrath really rub salt in the “no flying” wound. Oh, quest developers, why must you tease us this way?

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The semester having ended, I took a break from work during the first week of May to catch up on WoW. Specifically, I wanted to get my Tauren “one of each class” characters not just into their level 2 Garrisons, but also all the way through Frostfire Ridge. By the time I got to the last of those characters, I went into the system sound menu and turned the dialog slider all the way down to 0 so that I didn’t have to hear it anymore. I’d gotten so, so, so tired of Orcs. What is it that Taran Zhu says in the last of the Isle of Thunder scenarios? Ah, yes: “Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal.” That describes the escalation of the war between the Frostwolf clan and the Thunderlord clan pretty neatly, and after having played through Frostfire Ridge nine times*, I was utterly exhausted by Orcs and their bloodlust.

When I told BTH that I was so, so, so tired of Orcs, he responded, “Why are you still playing that game?”

BTH quit playing WoW himself several weeks ago; the raid time that had worked relatively well when we were in Atlantic Canada was not working very well now that we are in the Mountain West, and he wasn’t really enjoying Warlords raiding enough to want to look for another guild (possibly requiring a server transfer). He has always played WoW primarily to raid, so if he wasn’t going to be raiding, why play at all?

I… am not sure that I have a good answer to that question. Do I keep playing WoW just because I’ve gotten into the habit of using it to fill my idle time, and I don’t want to expend the effort to find something else, something better, to do with that time? That’s not a very satisfactory answer, even if it is an uncomfortably large fraction of it.

Being thus discomfited, I didn’t play much WoW for the next week. Instead, I read webcomics — catching up on ones I hadn’t read regularly for a few months and reading through the archives of a few ones I hadn’t read before — and reread the classic early detective novel The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins).

Why are you still playing that game?

Syrco has been looking for a reason to log in.

BBB, in his characteristic way, answers with the things that keep him going.

The Godmother asks her audience, “if you’re tired of/angry at the game, why are you still playing it?”, in various forms, constantly. She is also continually asking herself “why am I still playing this game?” and exploring the various forms that answer takes.

When I think about the things I have enjoyed about WoW in the past, and why I’m not doing those things now, I inevitably get tangled up in either the Garrison or the Faction Divide… or both.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed exploring the stories of the World of Warcraft. Now, I’m tired of Orc-centric Horde stories… but I still prefer to play as a Tauren or a Sin’dorei. I’ve played mostly Horde for long enough that when I do play Alliance, the anti-Horde prejudices in the Alliance-side stories alienate me. I enjoyed the Legendary storyline in Mists, but when I found out what was involved with getting Garona for my Garrison, I decided that maybe I’d rather not continue following the Warlords Legendary storyline. When I think about going out with a low-level alt or perhaps back with a high-level alt to play through past-expansion storylines that I haven’t yet seen, I get tripped up by wanting to run through all my Draenor-level alts’ Garrison chores first… and then by the time I’m done with that, my limited playtime is gone.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Transmogrification, but with the LFR gear being uninspiring and the normal/heroic mode gear being out-of-reach** because I don’t want to PuG with the Group Finder, I’ve been lacking in Transmogrification inspiration for this expansion. Some of the crafted gear looks really nice — though the upgraded appearances are, of course, nicer than the Stage 1 appearance. When I’m looking at making crafted gear for Transmogrification instead of just equipping, though, I start thinking about making whole sets, and then the upgrade costs — 150 of the daily CD material, plus 30 of Sorcerous whatever, plus 15 Savage Blood just to upgrade one piece once — start becoming overwhelming. Even with — especially with! — Work Orders, I feel like I’d be spending all of my playtime doing nothing but Gathering. I also can’t bring myself to go farm old raids just on speculation or to make money; my inventory space is crowded enough already that I have to have a specific item or items from a specific raid that I want, for a specific planned Transmogrification kit, that I’m farming for. Even when I do want a specific item for specific set that I’m thinking about, again, tending all my Garrisons usually takes up all my limited playtime.

Time to take a few pages from The Godmother’s playbook, I think.

Taking a bit of a break from the game and thinking through my current feelings about it (in the form of this Bearwall) has been a good start.

Next, I need to find my own motivation to do something other than just routinely tending my Garrisons. I should also find a reason to be doing the daily profession CDs that’s better than “just in case I want this stuff later”.

So — I should design some Transmogrification kits that use Warlords crafted items — but not full Warlords crafted sets — so that I have specific items that I want to craft. I should prioritize leveling my two Alchemists to 100 and getting their Garrisons to Level 3 so that they can get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader***. I should also prioritize Follower missions that reward Primal Spirits so that I can trade those for Savage Blood. The upcoming Patch 6.2 changes to increase the amount of materials, including Sorcerous whatevers, generated by the daily profession CDs will definitely help this plan!

I should shake off the OCD tendencies that have been shackling me to my Garrisons. When I know that what I really want to do on a given evening is farm an old raid for a Transmogrification item, or go Fishing, or do Archaeology, or do Pet Battles, or quest in Draenor with one of my high-level alts, or quest elsewhere with one of my low-level alts, I should allow myself to just leave my Garrisons untended for that evening.

And then maybe I’ll get back to playing this game because it’s fun instead of just because it’s habit.

~*~*~

*Eight Tauren characters plus the Blood Elf Warlock

**Yes, my Followers do bring me normal mode raid gear, but because it is randomly generated and not from the loot table of any specific boss (unless there is a correlation between the various Follower raid missions and the loot tables of specific bosses that I haven’t been paying attention to), it isn’t really a reliable way to collect pieces for Transmogrification. Plus, more often than not (in my experience) it turns out to be a non-visible item such as a ring, necklace, or trinket.

***Or, perhaps, get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader when he’s in the Garrison of one of my battlenet friends?

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BTH really enjoys Magic: The Gathering, but he’s never been able to get me into playing it. When Hearthstone first came out, therefore, I was intrigued by the concept of the game — something like MTG, but perhaps not so complex, or differently complex in ways that I would be able to understand more easily. I had (and still have) too many things I wanted to do in WoW to want put another game on my computer*, though — and the Hearthsteed was not an incentive because I think it looks creepy. If I had a tablet, I might have picked up Hearthstone when it came out for tablets… but I don’t. So I’d been looking forward to the game coming out for smartphones, and when it finally did, about two weeks ago, I got it.

I’ve played very casually so far, only one or two games a day and not every day. I just finished unlocking all the classes a day or two ago, and Mage is still the only class that I’ve leveled to 10. After I’d gotten through the initial tutorials and quests playing against The Innkeeper, my first several games in casual Play mode were very discouraging. I used Mage because I have the most class-specific cards for it, but I just got smashed and smashed and smashed. I’d feel like I was playing my cards well and doing okay in the early part of the game, but then I’d run out of cards in my hand and get utterly overwhelmed by the other player’s minions. Yet I would doggedly play the game out to the bitter end, because to me, conceding would be akin to flipping the table and stomping away in a huff.

I’m usually a good sport about losing when I feel like it’s been an even match and I could have won if I’d done one or two things differently, but I am not a very good sport about losing when I feel overwhelmed and powerless. Losing and losing and losing to swarms of enemy minions when I was out of good cards in my hand definitely made me feel a bit table-flippy! Eventually, I decided that I just didn’t understand how to play Mage. Thinking I’d try the same strategy that had been beating me, I used the Hunter deck instead. I’ve had more success with that; earlier today, I finally got to the three wins in Play mode required to earn the crossover reward pictured above.

Hearthstone will be good for amusement when I have to wait for short intervals or when I’m bored at relatives’ houses. I’ll probably continue to do Play mode as casual, though if there’s a particularly attractive card back, I might attempt the ranked ladder. I suppose that I’ll probably get all the classes leveled up to 10 eventually, just because I’m a collector personality type, and because I know that there are class-based challenges in the solo Adventures. I don’t intend to ever spend any real money on Hearthstone, though, so it’ll be a long time before I venture into Naxxramas or Blackrock Mountain. I don’t play enough to accumulate gold very quickly, and I should probably use my gold for card packs for awhile before I try the Adventures.

BTH has been quite amused by watching me play and talk about Hearthstone.

* WoW is the only game, other than the standard Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc, that come with the OS, that I currently have installed. For awhile, I had the Portal games, too.

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A couple of months ago, I was excited to learn that there would be a new vendor at the Darkmoon Faire selling RP-quality Gilnean garb. I, along with others, was disappointed to find out that purchasing the new clothing is gender-restricted — female characters can only buy the “Noblewoman’s” clothing, whereas male characters can only buy the “Nobleman’s” clothing.

When I saw the Transmorphic Tincture in the list of potions my Alchemist could learn from her Garrison Profession hut, I wondered if perhaps Chester could be fooled…

female-to-male Transmorphic Tincture

male-to-female Transmorphic Tincture

Yep, Chester can be fooled, alright.

I discovered, alas, that the coloration of the Nobleperson’s clothing is gender-specific.

Nobleman’s Coat & Pantaloons

Noblewoman’s Finery & Skirt

But what if that fancy black coat is what I want a female banker to be able to wear? Argh!

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