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Archive for the ‘Shadowlands’ Category

…is the Spectacles, of course!


Several years ago, I drew Kamalia wearing glasses.

None of This Nonsense, Please



Dazzling Spectacles, Black Velvet Robes, Shadow Council Boots, Tower of Theramore
Patricia C Wrede is my favorite author; The Enchanted Forest Chronicles are my favorite of her works; Morwen is my favorite character in that series. I was thirteen or fourteen when I first met Morwen, and I wanted to be like her when I grew up (spoiler alert: I’m not as much like her as I thought I wanted to be). When I was first venturing onto the internet over twenty years ago, I used “Morwen” as my screenname. So somehow it was no surprise that my primary Mage character ended up with an appearance very much like Morwen’s description. The Dazzling Spectacles are what I needed to finally complete that look!

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This weekend, I finished leveling Kaelyla. By the time she’d seen the vision of Ysera’s death and done the next two quests, she was 98% through level 59. At that point, I took her to Oribos and activated Threads of Fate. After completing next couple of quests to talk to Lady Moonberry, she was so close to dinging that I just went and did a little gathering to push it over instead of working on the “Aiding Ardenweald” fill-the-bar quest. I got her through Chapter 1 of the Night Fae campaign; now she’s gathering Renown, Souls, and Anima and waiting for Patch 9.1 to arrive so that she can not have to go to Torghast.

One reason I chose the Night Fae for Kaelyla — or Kaelyla for the Night Fae — is because of the aesthetic similarities I saw between the Void Elves and Ardenweald. I created her “Full of Stars” outfit (#37) to highlight those aesthetic harmonies —

— and specifically to coordinate with the animacone backpack that is an on-quest visual effect for the quest “Tending to Wildseeds” at the Tranquil Pools adjacent to Tirna Vaal.

There are a number of other nifty on-quest visual effects during the Ardenweald main storyline, so I ended up taking many, many screenshots of this outfit. I’ve put the ones from “Tending to Wildseeds” in the outfit listing on the appropriate “Things My Void Elf Mage Wears” page. To keep that page from getting overcrowded, I’ve gathered the rest of my favorite pictures of this outfit in this gallery — click through the cut to see them all!
(more…)

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I decided I might as well get it over with, so off Kaelinda went to Torghast. I did the first 6 floors of the Twisting Corridors three times in a row, then watched 20 minutes of cinematics and conversations between the faction leaders in Oribos, and now I’ll be ready to skip into the Patch 9.1 Campaign. With the content of these questlines being rather significant lore moments, not to mention required to unlock the next stage of the story, I was expecting their completion to be signposted by Achievements and was rather disappointed that they weren’t.
The cinematics were really very good, and I’m glad now that I’ve seen them for myself, so that I know the whole story — not just the key bits that were summarized in the beginning of the Patch 9.1 trailer cinematic.
~*~*~
So now that I’ve done this, I’m thinking maybe I want to hold off on doing Covenant campaigns with Kaelyla and Keliora and Kalaneia until Patch 9.1 drops and they can all skip Chapter 2. Kaurinka has already done Chapter 2 of the Night Fae campaign and is getting kind of tired of waiting to get started on the rest of it, so I’m thinking I’ll abandon my plan of running Kaurinka and Kaelyla through it in parallel and just get going with Kaurinka. If I can get Kaurinka through the Night Fae campaign and get the other three up to level 60 before Patch 9.1 arrives, that’ll be good enough. I’ll still want to do the other three 9.0 Covenant campaigns before I get into the 9.1 campaign itself, though.

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Kaelinda finished acquiring the Renown recolor of her Covenant armor set this week. She doesn’t want any more of the Venthyr Anima collectibles, so she’s Done. She doesn’t need to clear the map of all the Anima WQs she’s willing to do anymore. She can rest and relax and be satisfied with 1000 Anima per week — half of it just from rescuing 20 souls from the Maw — until I’ve finished the other three Covenant campaigns and am ready to start playing the Ember Court.
I’ve been farming Anima so intensively with her for the past however many weeks that it’s being a bit hard to resist wanting to take her out to clear those Anima WQs, though…

Meanwhile, I’d given Kaurinka the task of acquiring all of the Night Fae backpieces that are available from various vendors. There are seven in all: one from the Wild Hunt, two from Marasmius, two from Renown, and two from the Court of Night. I’ve been slowly ramping up her Anima farming, and she’s now got five of the seven; she just needs the two from the Court of Night. When she’s got those, she’ll start saving up the 25K Anima to get the Winterborn recolor of her Covenant armor set from the Court of Night; the Renown recolor is my least favorite version of that set, whereas the Winterborn recolor might be my most favorite. I’d also eventually like to get the Renown recolors of the staff and harp, but perhaps Kaelyla can work on acquiring those. Anyhow, now that Kaelinda is Done, Kaurinka will have first dibs on going out to do WQs each day, and her Anima farming will go faster.

Well, I guess Kaelinda can’t completely take a break. She’ll want to keep running the Blood From Stone wing of Castle Nathria LFR until either the Stone Generals themselves or the Great Vault cough up the robe version of the chestpiece. And she does still have to go to Torghast a few more times to get through the questchains that will be required to unlock the Patch 9.1 content. At least once she’s done that, the rest of the crew will be able to skip that stuff!

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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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I first heard the word “sklonklish” in a movie starring teenage Shirley Temple that my family watched when my sisters and I were teenagers. It became part of my family’s lexicon immediately because it perfectly describes that feeling of being vaguely irritated and out-of-sorts with the world. It’s sort of like ennui, only with a bit more of a disgruntled edge.

~*~*~

Kaelinda and Kaurinka have each finally finished reinforcing the fourth stream for their Anima Conductor; since I don’t intend to upgrade the Anima Conductor to stage 3, I am now Done with it, which is something of a relief. With my remaining three characters, I’m thinking that I’ll just do stage 1 of the Anima Conductor and just reinforce the stream to the Treasure, since that’s the activity that I have done the most consistently with the first two.
The Travel Network is likely to be the only Sanctum feature that all five characters will fully upgrade.

Kaelinda reached Exalted with Bastion last week. She kept grinding away at Maldraxxus, trying to do one or two WQs in Maldraxxus each day. This week’s WQ rep buff, plus a string of Maldraxxus Callings, allowed me to finally finish that off, too. Phew! I intensely dislike Maldraxxus as an environment, so now I can mostly ignore Maldraxxus with everyone except Kalaneia (my designated Necrolords character)*.

I have also been actively farming Anima with Kaelinda. I don’t try to clear the map of Anima-rewarding WQs, but I’ll often do as many of the available ones as I find tolerable to do. She has gotten both of the Venthyr Renown backpieces and has been spending Anima as fast as she gets enough of it on acquiring the rest of the Renown recolor of the Venthyr Covenant armor set, after which she will be Done with Covenant collectibles (at least until Patch 9.1). She needs 11000 more Anima to accomplish this goal.

I’ve been pushing hard to finish these reputation and collection goals because I’m wanting to just be Done with Kaelinda — to be able to put her/the Venthyr on the bench for awhile** and move on to the campaigns of the other three Covenants. I intend to do Night Fae first, then Kyrian, then Necrolords.

Since the news from the Patch 9.1 PTR is that the Korthia extension of the Covenant campaigns brings them all together right from the beginning, making them all essentially the same except with variations in the window dressing, I’m thinking that I want to get all of the 9.0 Covenant campaigns completed before I jump into the new Patch 9.1 content — even if that means that Patch 9.1 will have been out for quite some time before I finally get there.

Anyhow, the result of pushing rep and Anima with Kaelinda so hard recently is that I am feeling a bit burned out and can barely bring myself to do much of anything with Kaurinka (even though there is a lot more Night Fae stuff that I want than Venthyr stuff). As I’ve mentioned before, though, part of that feeling of burnout is spillover from RL right now. It’s the penultimate week of the semester, and I am feeling greater than usual end-of-semester weariness.

~*~*~

* Well, Keliora has to complete the House of Constructs storyline in Maldraxxus before she turns on Threads of Fate because saving Kyrians. But after that, Kalaneia will be the only person who has to be in Maldraxxus.

** I do want to play the Ember Court (and the Queen’s Conservatory) before Shadowlands ends, though. I’ve learned that if I don’t do an activity while the expansion it debuted in is current, I’m not going to come back to do it later (e.g., Deaths of Chromie). I can worry about gathering Anima for those upgrades, however, when I’m ready to actually do that content.

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Yesterday, Wowhead reported a hotfix that gives increased Anima income for having activated all four of the Sanctum Features, then another increase when they’re all upgraded to stage 2, and final increase when they’re all upgraded to stage 3. The first level, at least, seemed worth spending a couple thousand Anima on before I purchase any more Anima cosmetics, so Kaelinda and Kaurinka have both invested in the first stages of the Command Table and the Ember Court/Queen’s Conservatory. Having done so, I will henceforth continue to ignore the Command Table completely, and the Ember Court/Queen’s Conservatory until I’m ready to sink the time into them that they apparently demand.

This also changes my plans for my remaining three characters. I’d been planning to activate stage 1 of the Anima Conductor, then to activate and fully upgrade the Travel Network, then to upgrade the Anima Conductor to stage 2. Now, I’ll be spending their first 4000 Anima on activating all four of the Sanctum Features. After that, I’ll probably continue with the original plan.

Kaelinda and Kaurinka both already had fully upgraded Travel Networks and stage 2 Anima Conductors. The investment of 2000 Anima (4000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the first achievement definitely felt worth it. The investment of 10000 Anima (20000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the Command Table and Special Feature to stage 2 doesn’t seem like it will really be worth it, considering the small increment of the Anima income, but I’ll probably do it anyway. The investment of 30000 Anima (40000 Anima for my remaining characters) to get the Anima Conductor, Command Table, and Special Feature all to stage 3 definitely will not be worth the additional small increment to Anima income, particularly since I have no interest in the Command Table at all, no interest in the actual benefits of the third stage of the Anima Conductor, and my interest in the Special Feature varies by Covenant (yes for Ember Court and Queen’s Conservatory, maybe for Path of Ascension, nope for Stitchyard).

In other Shadowlands progression…

I got another couple of chapters of Ardenweald done with Kaelyla and she is now about 30% through level 58. She’s getting really bored of her current outfit, but she needs to keep wearing it until she’s all the way through the Ardenweald main storyline because Ardenweald has multiple nifty on-quest visual effects that this outfit was specifically created to coordinate with. I already have an outfit idea in mind for proceeding into the first chapter of Revendreth…

I decided to stop trying to push Bastion and Maldraxxus rep with both Kaelinda and Kaurinka and just focus it down with Kaelinda. I’m almost done with Bastion and am about halfway through Revered with Maldraxxus.

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I’ve been doing quite a bit of dungeon running recently, mostly Spires of Ascension and Plaguefall because those have been the Oribos dungeons of the week and for “Defend Bastion/Maldraxxus” Callings. Having gotten to Exalted with Court of Harvesters with Kaelinda and with Wild Hunt with Kaurinka, I’m now pushing Ascended and Undying Army rep so that I can get the Gilded Prowler mount and have the Undying Army tabard in my tabard wardrobe for Kalaneia to wear with her Necrolords armor.

I’ve been seeing a lot of Shaman healers, which is making me miss healing with Kamalia. I used to be a devotee of Grid + Clique, but I haven’t installed any addons whatsoever since I began playing WoW on a new computer about a year ago. What addon(s) are considered the best for healing these days?

Seeing Tauren of other classes in other roles is making me miss my Tauren. I’ve been thinking about how my Shaman would be Night Fae and my Death Knight would be Necrolords and my Warrior and my Highmountain Tauren Druid would be Venthyr and my Hunter and Paladin and Priest and Monk would be Kyrian, so that I could get all of the Covenant armor sets that I find acceptably attractive. I’d only get the Campaign and Renown recolors of the armor sets with these characters — going after the other variations would be too much work.

Most of these characters haven’t yet leveled through Zandalar, though, and there isn’t yet a skip for the introductory Maw experience of Shadowlands. So for now, I will just have to sigh wistfully, and focus on getting my Eversong Elves through the Covenant Campaigns and into their Campaign & Renown armor sets, and hope that an intro skip gets patched in sometime down the road, and plan to bring all my Tauren through the Shadowlands during the end-of-expac lull.

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nonsense and nonesuch

As usual, Wowhead’s April Fool mockups are much more entertaining (to me) than Blizzard’s own mock patch notes. The great thing about Wowhead’s stuff is that it always looks so plausible, even the parts of it that are deliberately silly (like the Pepe battles in this year’s edition).

Kaelinda and Kaurinka have now gotten the second stage of the Anima Conductor and are plinking along at reinforcing the third and fourth Anima stream locations. Having another choice on the map for what to do to gather Anima or complete “do 3 World Quests” (when it’s in that Covenant’s zone) is nice, but I haven’t yet chosen to do the Anima Conductor World Quest over my tried-and-true favorites. The Anima Conductor dailies, well, they just seem very grindy — “go find/kill 15-30 of such-and-such creature” or “go clicky 7-12 of such-and-such environmental object” — and like they’d require running all over the zone to find enough things to reach completion. I’ll continue to plink Anima into them until both streams are reinforced, though, so that they’ll be available if I want to put more effort into actually doing them later.

A very large part of my lack of motivation to actually go do the Anima Conductor World and Daily Quests, however, is just my current RL circumstances. School has gotten very busy with various faculty responsibilities in addition to my usual teaching-related tasks. I still log on every day to pick up the Calling (whether or not I actually go out and do it), collect the Anima Conductor Treasure, and see if there are any 3-4×35 Anima token WQs up that I actually enjoy doing, but doing any more things…? Not right now. Maybe later.

Another time-consuming in-game activity that I’ve decided to put off until Later is the Ember Court and the Queen’s Conservatory. I’ll activate those and get them going after I’ve accomplished my primary expansion goal of playing through all four of the 9.0 Covenant storylines. I’ll at least activate and check out the Path of Ascension, though I’ve heard that it is kind of ridiculously challenging. I’m not at all interested in the Stitchyard, and don’t plan to activate it even just for the sake of having all of the Covenant Special Features activated.

So for now, after I’ve gotten the third and fourth locations for the Anima Conductor permanently reinforced, I think I’ll start picking up Covenant cosmetics — the 3500 Anima backpieces, to begin with, then the Renown recolor of the Covenant armor set.

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This weekend, I finally got myself into Castle Nathria LFR. I did Leeching Depths and Blood from Stone on Saturday night, then Reliquary of Opulence and Audience with Arrogance on Sunday night.

Those are some pretty hectic, crazy fights even on LFR! I can’t even imagine how much crazier Artificer Xy’mox and Sire Denathrius must be on Heroic or Mythic! Doing these fights made me miss raid healing with Kamalia a little bit. Not enough to go through the introductory Maw experience again, though, or to add one more character to my leveling, etc queue… at least not until a skip for that intro experience gets patched in… and not until I’ve completed my primary expansion objective of playing through all four of the Covenant stories.

I held onto the quest from defeating Sire Denathrius until today, so that I could turn it in after reset and get Kaelinda’s 1K Anima quest for the week done in one fell swoop.

Having done a full Castle Nathria clear also meant that I could loot the Great Vault today!
These were my choices:

I took the trinket, because it was an upgrade and I already have an ilevel 194 weapon.

Although I’ve said previously that I’d probably only do Castle Nathria LFR once, I’d like to go do the Reliquary of Opulence at least one more time. I failed the Dance Intermission because I didn’t recognize what I was supposed to be looking for to find my place — for some reason, I was looking for ordinary raid markers to pop up, or something — so I’d like to give it another try and do it right this time. I’ll also be running Blood from Stone again, likely for some weeks to come; I’ve decided that I want to have the robe version of the chestpiece, which drops from the Stone Legion Generals, for the sake of having something from every raid set (or its PVP recolor) — though maybe it will be my Warlock who wears it, not my Mage! And hey, that’ll give me more chances at Great Vault loot, too!

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