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Archive for the ‘Shadowlands’ Category

It’s been about two months since I finally got started on Korthia.
Today, I finished collecting the Korthia questing versions of all of the 9.1 Covenant sets.
I’m about halfway through Revered with Death’s Advance.
I have 14K Stygia, which is enough to buy both of the Death’s Advance Venthyr sets as soon as I ding Exalted… but I also want the Death’s Advance Night Fae set. I am dreading having to just flat out grind the remaining 4K Stygia for it.

The worst part of Shadowlands, for me, has been the punishing Stygia mechanics. Even with completely ignoring Ve’nari as I did, Stygia is so agonizingly slow to get, and you need so much of it for the Death’s Advance Cosmetic sets, and you lose so much of it when you die in the Maw that it is very, very, very discouraging. Before Patch 9.1, you got 20 Stygia every time a soul entered the Soulkeeper while doing Return Lost Souls, so you could get 400 Stygia per week and that felt like a decent reward for the time invested doing the quest. Then Patch 9.1 removed that, and although I understand why the introduction of the repeatable version of the Return Lost Souls caused the devs to make that change, I still haven’t forgiven them for doing it.

At the time that I first went to Korthia, I wrote, “I think I’ll go do the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns for Night Fae and Necrolords with Kaelinda — putting Chapters 5-9 of Korthia on hold until I do — so that I can do each of the Covenant story-advancing chapters of Korthia as a member of the appropriate Covenant”. Then I spent the past two months feeling completely psychologically blocked about playing through the 9.0 Necrolords and Night Fae Campaigns again. It took being halfway through Revered and realizing that if I wanted to get any Death’s Advance reputation from doing the rest of the Korthia Campaign, then I needed to start working on it for me to finally push past the block. I did Chapters 3 & 4 of Necrolords, then swapped Covenants and did Chapter 3 of Night Fae yesterday night. Now if I can just keep going…

So, I’ve still got to do the Korthia and Zereth Mortis story Campaigns. I’d like to get a few pieces (definitely belt & robe, perhaps also cloak pants and boots?) of the Sepulcher of the First ones set via items purchased with Sandworn Relics and upgraded using the Creation Catalyst. I have 54K Anima left of Kyrian Cosmetics to acquire. I’ve also got to finish the 9.0 Night Fae Campaign with my Druid (she’s stalled out at the beginning of Chapter 5).
Of course, my current state of lagging has arisen almost entirely from my own play decisions, which have in turn been influenced by the circumstances of my out-of-Azeroth life. I’ve learned from the last several expansions, though, that I’ll need to stay in Shadowlands until these goals are Done, because if I leave, I won’t come back later to complete them.

But then, it might not be so bad to already have the first round of catch-up mechanics in place by the time I finally get to the Dragon Isles 😛

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I picked up the last item I wanted from the Soulbreaker’s Burnished Vestments set last week. I don’t have the full set, but I do have all the pieces I most wanted for Mogging mix-and-match. So now I am Done with Venthyr Travel Network Broken Mirrors. Hooray!
I only need two more pieces from the Night Fae Korthia set and two more pieces from the Necrolords Korthia set. In other words, I only need a Cosmetics quest to show up one more time for each of those Covenants, because with both Kaelinda and Kaelyla on the job, I can get two pieces each time one of those quests is available.
Kaelinda and Kaelyla paid back earlier gifts of Anima from Kaurinka to help them finish upgrading Covenant Sanctum features, thus allowing Kaurinka to get her Queen’s Conservatory fully upgraded to Tier 5 and to purchase the Queen’s Conservatory recolor of the Oakheart set. Now I just need to push Kaurinka through the rest of the 9.0 Night Fae Campaign…

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I reached Revered with the Ember Court this past week. This allowed me to purchase the Cosmetic set pieces I was most interested in, the shoulders and belt. I ran a full Kyrian guest list for that Court and they were all Elated with the party I threw for them. And whaddayaknow, Sika’s tribute chest contained the RNG-dependent item that I’d most particularly wanted from the Ember Court, Tranquil’s Censer, the most golden version of the Bastion bell off-hand.
So… after I get the slate of Ember Court upgrade quests that popped up with Revered cleared from my quest log, and get the guest list RSVPs and the party planning selections for my next Court finalized, I’ll… stop doing the Ember Court.
At least for the time being.
Well… Mostly.
I’ll still want to do an Ember Court at least once during each Holiday, to see Theotar’s take on Azeroth’s celebrations 😀
The Ember Court is fun, and I love the lavishing of detail that went into it. It’s also rather a lot of stuff to do. When I have Ember Court quests active in my log, I somehow don’t dare to Covenant Twist for Korthia because I don’t want to risk having my progress on those quests get reset.
There are things I might like to get from the Ember Court at Exalted, such as the Mantle of Court Blades. I might also like to eventually get my favorite guests to be my Best Friends so they can be my penpals after I leave the Shadowlands. But I can come back to the Ember Court to work on achieving those things when I am finished with Korthia and have moved on to Zereth Mortis….

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I’d been thinking that Blizz had better give us a release date for Dragonflight sometime soon, but this date for the release date — November 28, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend — is somehow sooner than I’d thought it might be.

I’d already been thinking that I had so much I still wanted to do in Shadowlands that I probably wasn’t going to be heading out to the Dragon Isles on Day 1.

In 9.1 content, Kaelinda’s still got Chapters 4-9 of the Campaign to do, over 3/4ths of the Death’s Advance reputation grind, and Korthia dailies Mog collecting — both Venthyr sets, the Night Fae set, and the Kyrian set — but when it’s the Necrolords set, I’ll stay one of the other Covenants and take the Anima, Catalogued Research, or Death’s Advance reputation tokens instead.
As for 9.2 content, I’ve still barely begun it — and while I plan to ignore almost all of it except finishing the Campaign and getting the base pieces with Sandworn Relics to upgrade into Tier pieces, that’ll still be quite a bit to do.

Kaurinka and Kamalia still need to get through the Night Fae Campaign, too. And depending on how Zereth Mortis goes for Kaelinda, I still might want to try to take Kaurinka there, as well.

And the other day Kaurinka was suggesting that when she finishes in Shadowlands, instead of going on to Dragonflight, maybe she’d rather go back to Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to work on getting the second appearance upgrade for the Shroud of Resolve, so we can use that Mog appearance for reals, and not just temporarily from Wrathion’s box of fancy cloaks.

Last week, I was all excited about having finally started doing Venthyr Travel Network Broken Mirrors, and Covenant Twisting, and Korthia, and the Ember Court, and I was staying up way too late too many nights… This week, I’ve been wallopped by this awful cold and I’ve haven’t had the energy to do more than collect my Anima Conductor Treasure Chest to slowly replenish all the Infused Rubies that I spent rerolling the Guest List for my next Ember Court.

So, when everyone else is gleefully leaving the Shadowlands behind to ship out for the Dragon Isles, I’ll be waving goodbye to them from Oribos and then going on my way to Korthia or Zereth Morthis.

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Yep, well, despite otherwise completely ignoring the Command Table, I went ahead and upgraded Kaelinda’s Venthyr Command Table to Tier 2 to get the second extra Anima token from World Quests:

As she’s my primary Anima collector — and is starting to really rake the stuff in when I spend an evening in Korthia — I felt like it would be worth the investment for her. I do still have a laundry list of Cosmetics to get from the Kyrian one of these days…
I might do it for Kaelyla at Heart of the Forest. I probably won’t do it for Kaurinka; I’m just not playing enough with her for it to be worth the setback toward finishing her Queen’s Conservatory. And I definitely won’t do it for Kamalia; she hasn’t even upgraded her Anima Conductor to Tier 2 yet.

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I (Kaelinda) won’t want to do Covenant Twisting every day — maybe only one or two days out of the week. When I do, I’ll want to start and end the day as Venthyr.
Broken Mirrors and the Ember Court deplete Infused Rubies pretty quickly, so I’ll want to stay Venthyr whenever there is a Revendreth Calling.
Swapping Covenants resets your Soulbind to the first one, so I’ll have to be sure to change my Soulbind to Theotar before doing the Ember Court. I’d better check that all of the first Soulbinds + Theotar have appropriate Conduits for whatever spec I happen to be playing at the moment, too.
When I do Maw Assaults, I’ll generally want to be whichever Covenant is running the Assault, so I can take the portal to the Assault location from the Covenant Sanctum. However, I’m not sure that I’ll actually do any more Assaults before I get the Archivist’s Codex up enough to get the thing that reduces Stygia loss from dying in the Maw. I had 14K Stygia, enough to get both of the Venthyr sets as soon as I get to Exalted with Death’s Advance, but then I died twice while doing an Assault, in places where it was not convenient to try to get back and pick up the Stygia I’d dropped, and now I’m down to 9K Stygia 😦
Since she wasn’t doing anything else, I sent Kalaneia to be a scout in Keeper’s Respite. She can’t actually see which Covenant has the Korthia Armor quest(s) for the day — it seems that a character has to have completed Korthia Chapter 4 to see that — but she can find out which two Covenants have the Dailies for the day. That way, I can have Kaelinda already in one of those two Covenants when she heads out to Korthia for the evening.
I’m not fond of the Necrolords Anima Conductor Treasure or World Quest, so I’ll only swap to Necrolords when I’m working on their 9.0 Campaign or when they have the active Assault or the Korthia Armor quest for the day.
I’ve been so busy in Korthia that I haven’t gotten back to Zereth Mortis quite yet, despite the two quests to continue Chapter 2 nagging at me at the top of my quest log.

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Kaelyla got her Queen’s Conservatory fully upgraded to Tier 5. As the only activities she is doing that generate Spirits for the Conservatory are Fair Exchange for a Soul and Return Lost Souls (which gives 1x Greater Spirit at Conservatory levels 1-3 and 2x Greater Spirit at Conservatory levels 4 & 5), she decided to take the skip through the first three Chapters of Korthia so that she can ride and not have to worry about the Eye of the Jailer while she’s doing her weekly Maw run. Then I did the skip with Kamalia and Kaurinka, too.
And then Kaelyla got the Spirit Tender’s Bulb! Hooray! Now I just need to get the Queen’s Conservatory recolors of the cloth and leather 9.0 Night Fae sets, and then I’ll be all done with it.
I completed Chapter 4 of Korthia with Kaelinda and am reveling in being able to fly!
I am still undecided about continuing the Korthia storyline with both Mages in tandem or having Kaelinda backtrack through the Necrolords and Night Fae before continuing Korthia solo.
Now that Kaelinda and Kaelyla both have the Special Features for their home Covenants at Tier 3 or higher, I’ve been contemplating upgrading the Mission Tables in their home Covenants to Tier 2 for another Anima token from WQs. Would it really be worth the setback to saving for Cosmetics, though?
It occurred to me that I now that I’ve got flying, I ought to try, after Kaelyla had done her Night Fae special stuff for the day, swapping her over to Venthyr to go search out Broken Mirrors. So I did it, and O Hey! I could do the Anima Conductor Treasure and World Quest for both covenants! I’m sure other people discovered this as soon as Patch 9.2 made Covenant-swapping so easy to do… So then Kaelinda went and hopped from Venthyr to Kyrian to Night Fae and back. Then I tried round-robining through the Covenants until I discovered which one had a Korthia Cosmetic piece available. Although as a Mage, hopping back and forth between Korthia and Oribos is trivially easy to do, it was rather tedious.
Speaking of Korthia, its ambiance is a little better than the rest of the Maw, but I’m still not a great fan. Zereth Mortis, though! Those rich, saturated greens are so refreshing after the fetid haze of Maldraxxus, the gloom of Revendreth, the twilight and decay of Ardenweald, and the washed-out brightness of Bastion.
But doing All The Things with even just two characters is becoming rather exhausting. In Dragonflight, I’ll level Kaelyla to keep my Alliance Main caught up, and to experience any differences between the Horde and Alliance, um, experiences that might exist, but I won’t try to do all the endgame stuff with her… except perhaps the Black Dragonflight, so Kaelinda can pledge to Wrathion and Kaelyla can pledge to Sabellian to get the Cosmetics from both of the rivals.

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This weekend, I finally managed to get Kaelinda through the introduction to Korthia. I’d been wondering how far into Korthia I’d have to get before the Zereth Mortis breadcrumb popped up; it appeared just before the end of the second chapter. So after completing Chapter 3 of Korthia, I went and did Chapter 1 and about half of Chapter 2 of Zereth Mortis.
Upon brushing up on Shadowlands flying requirements, I found that I only need to do one more chapter of Korthia to unlock 9.0 leveling zones flying. Thus, I think I’ll probably go do Chapter 4 of Korthia before I head back to Zereth Mortis, because it’s about time I got off the ground in the Shadowlands.
And then… and then… one moment, I think I’ll go do the opening sequences for Korthia and Zereth Mortis all over again with Kaelyla, so that I can get the Korthia and Zereth Mortis cosmetics twice as fast. And the next, I think I’ll go do the 9.0 Covenant Campaigns for Night Fae and Necrolords with Kaelinda — putting Chapters 5-9 of Korthia on hold until I do — so that I can do each of the Covenant story-advancing chapters of Korthia as a member of the appropriate Covenant, but also only have to try to get one character per week through Korthia and Zereth Mortis activities.

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When you’ve finished picking up Arkelios’ foci, which path do you take back up? The safer, but longer, path over the bridge (marked in green) — or the shorter, but more dangerous, path up the root (marked in red)?
I usually take the root — but I’ve learned that I have to be on a fairly small mount to be able to judge the turns correctly. Even the Wildseed Cradle is a little too wide — I almost always fall off the root when I try to use that mount!

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Officially, Shadowlands began in Year 35 from the Opening of the Dark Portal, and Dragonflight begins in Year 40; with World of Warcraft having begun in Year 25, there are 15 years between the beginning of Classic and the beginning of Dragonflight. What does this mean for my characters?

Way back in 2018, Gnomecore asked, “How Old Are Your Toons?” At the time, I began a rundown of the ages of my characters that then sat in draft for a few years until I eventually deleted it. Now seems like a good time to revisit that storybuilding prompt.

Although I have previously headcanoned the first several expansions of WoW as being two years in duration, the Official Timeline has one year for most of them. I’ll use the Official Timeline for these age calculations.

A couple more assumptions, which may or may not be Canon: Tauren become adults in their culture at age 16 and generally live to 90-110. Eversong Elves become adults in their culture at age 100 and generally live 300-500 years, though rare individuals may live for 1000 – 3000 years.

~*~*~

The ages of my major Tauren characters can be determined from my Tauren Paladin and Priest, the twins Karaelia and Kaohana, who came of age at the beginning of Cataclysm. Thus, they are 16 years old in Year 28 and were born in Year 12. The twins were a surprise late pregnancy for their mother. Keija (Warrior) was 10, Ketura (Hunter) was 13, Kerisa (Druid) was 15, and Kamalia (Shaman) was 18 at the time.
In Year 25 when World of Warcraft begins, they were: Kamalia 31, Kerisa 28, Ketura 26, Keija 23, Karaelia & Kaohana 13.
Kerisa married in Year 28 at the end of Wrath of the Lich King and her daughter Kessina was born about a year later during Cataclysm; either late Year 29 or early Year 30. Her son was born during Legion, probably Year 33.
Keija didn’t begin actively adventuring herself until after the twins came of age. She married at age 25 (Year 27), but she and her husband chose to remain childless until around the end of Legion (Year 33); they had a son in late Year 34.
Kamalia finally got married in Year 33 at the age of 39*. She may or may not have succeeded in having a child by the time Dragonflight begins in Year 40, at which time she will be 46.
When Dragonflight begins, Kerisa will be 43, Ketura 41, Keija 38, and Karaelia & Kaohana 28.
My Tauren Death Knight, Kregga, came of age approximately during the events of Warcraft III, which puts her at about 18 or 19 in Year 25 and 33 or 34 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaumaleia, the Underpowered Death Knight, was about 25 in Year 27 at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, so she is 38 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
My Tauren Monk, Katewatha, was a young adult, perhaps 21 or 22, when the Pandaren came in Year 30; she will be 31 or 32 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kasheena, my Highmountain Tauren Druid, was a young adult of 19 or 20 when the Highmountain Tauren joined the Horde at the end of Legion (Year 33), so she will be 26 or 27 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaurinka, the identity of my Tauren Druid during Shadowlands, is in her mid-30s.
My Tauren Rogue will borrow the name Kazithra from Kregga’s mother, and she will be young, reckless, and insolent; perhaps only 17 or 18 at the end of Shadowlands and 20 or 21 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
My Tauren Mage, whose name I haven’t quite decided upon yet, wants to be middle-aged, I think, even older than Kamalia, maybe in her 50s or 60s at the beginning of Dragonflight.

~*~*~

I’ve always thought of Kaelinda as a young adult, approximately equivalent in societal function to a 21 – 25 year-old Human. In a story I wrote about a decade ago, she is raised from journeyman to Magistrix shortly before she goes to Outland — but the story is about her crafting a Sparkle Pony, which the story describes as being a construct pattern found in Ulduar — which places the story in mid-to-late Wrath of the Lich King or about Year 28. In a story I currently have in Draft, she is an apprentice at an Eversong Woods academy of magic at the time of Arthas’s rampage in Warcraft III, or about Year 24. So she would have been about 105 in Year 25 at the beginning of World of Warcraft and is about 120 at the beginning of Dragonflight.

Kaelinda’s best female friend, Kaelyla, is a few years older, perhaps 110 at the beginning of World of Warcraft and 125 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaelinda’s best male friend, Ianestin, is also in the 120 – 130 age range as of the beginning of Dragonflight.

Of the various Mage Alter-Ego characters, Kaelydia is around 175, and I don’t know any of the others — Khrysanthemina, Kaelyra, Kateleina — well enough yet to estimate their ages.

Kalaneia and Keliora are both significantly older than Kaelinda, having had their own young adult children at the the time of the destruction of Eversong Woods. Thus, they are somewhere in their mid-to-late 200s.

~*~*~

* Coincidentally, this makes Kamalia about the same age as me — I am 42 this year.

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