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Archive for the ‘Shaman’ Category

Kamalia hasn’t progressed any farther in the Suramar storyline than completing “Nightfallen but not Forgotten“, activating all of the leyline feeds to Shal’aran, and doing a few random side-quest chapters of “Good Suramaritan“. Nonetheless, through always choosing Suramar when I turn in a Kirin Tor Emissary quest and through doing Suramar Emissary quests when they are available, Kamalia dinged Exalted with the Nightfallen when she turned in today’s Suramar Emissary quest.

The Artifact Power she received in the process was enough to get the 34th trait in the Fist of Ra-den, too. Just one more trait in the Fist of Ra-den, and then I can start filling out the Doomhammer. Seeing how fast filling up Kam’s off-spec Artifact has gone since she reached Artifact Power 25 has made the prospect of filling up Artifacts for my alts much less daunting. The most important factor in that, of course, is that, my alts won’t have the same long hard slog up to Artifact Knowledge 25 that Kam had. Kam can just spend 11000 Order Hall Resources to boost them all up to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as they hit level 110, after which it won’t take long for them to get to Artifact Knowledge 25 — and then they can just blast through filling out their Artifact weapons. I like that!

Getting Exalted with the Nightfallen also means that Kamalia has managed to earn her entire Order Hall set. Even though I don’t much like the set as a whole (though the pants, gloves, and boots have some mix-and-match potential), I figured I ought to wear it, just for a little bit (meaning, I might Mog it over with a black and purple kit to go with the Nightfallen tabard as soon as tomorrow :P), because I might not manage to get the entire Order Hall set with any of my other characters.

Raiment of the Farseer

Raiment of the Farseer with Blue Workman’s Shirt, Theldurin’s Fist, and Shield of the Barrens

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I finally finished Kamalia’s Order Hall Campaign on Thursday night. I could kind of predict where it was going by the time I picked up the third set of Champions, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed the story, and by the time I finished the campaign, I was feeling quite a bit more comfortable with the Farseer role.

Tonight (Friday), therefore, I went and collected Kamalia’s other two Artifacts. I pulled my Demon Invasions mace and Salvage Yard shield out of the bank so that I could do the Elemental quest chain as Elemental. Then I did much of the Enhancement quest chain as Elemental, too, only switching to Enhancement about halfway through. Then I had to spend several minutes selecting talents and setting up my bars, as I hadn’t tinkered with that spec at all yet — and I had to equip my Finkle’s Skinner in my off-hand so that I could have two melee weapons to make some of my abilities work 😛

I enjoyed both of the stories. I had been thinking that it was wierd and backwards for Shaman to get their fist weapon from Xuen in Pandaria while Monks get theirs from the Tol’vir. The story of Highkeeper Ra as told by Xuen made the Shaman fist weapon make more sense — but I still need to level my Monk and see how their fist weapon story plays out before I will be fully satisfied on that account. The Enhancement story made me feel even more fond of Stormcaller Mylra — and I’m glad to see Thrall experiencing some consequences from the way he dealt with Garrosh. That ending cinematic from Warlords!Nagrand bothered me so much that I skipped it entirely on the two or three other occasions that I actually completed the storyline of that zone.

I’d been stockpiling small Artifact Power items to pour into my Elemental Artifact as soon as I got it. A few large AP items from doing some world quests later, I had my Elemental Artifact up to level 12. I’ll leave it there for now. Small AP items can go into my Enhancement weapon, while large AP items need to go into my Resto weapon until it is fully powered (it is currently level 15).

I’ve found that for all of the Shaman Artifacts, I like either the basic appearance or the first upgraded appearance (from finishing the Order Hall campaign), in the first color, the best. Maybe later in the expansion I will want to mog over them because I will have some shibby keen idea for a mail Transmogrification kit — but for now, I’m quite happy to use them just the way they are.

Despite my sense that the Heart of Azeroth would be perpetually damp and chilly and slippery and rimed with salt, I’ve come rather like the place, and I almost always leave Kamalia logged out there.

The Shaman experience all around gets a big Bravo, Blizzard! from me.

~*~*~

Now I’d like to get started on the Order Hall journey of another character — perhaps my Demon Hunter, because she’s already gone to the Broken Isles, acquired her first Artifact, and established her Order Hall? or maybe my Blood Elf Mage or my Druid, because I love to play them? — but Kamalia still has much to do. I need to do Leatherworking and Archaeology so that I can get the white and spectral moose mounts. I need to do Fishing so that I can eventually figure out how to get the Artifact Fishing Pole (hey Blizzard, can you please make fishing poles moggable to other fishing poles?). I’ve just been doing enough world quests to keep my Emissary quests cleaned out, and I think I’ll keep managing world quests in that way until I’ve reached Revered with all the factions for Pathfinder. I need to follow up with Khadgar about Light’s Heart. I haven’t been very diligent about collecting Order Resources, and I’ve been prioritizing Artifact Knowledge over the Order Hall upgrades — and I’ve still got a long way to go on both of those tech trees.

And then there’s Suramar… the zone is breathakingly gorgeous and I’ve been delighted by all the little details in Suramar City itself and some of the quests that I’ve done so far in the zone have been tremendously fun and amusing — I just haven’t gotten very far into it. Now that I’ve finished my Order Hall campaign and gotten my other Artifact weapons, I ought to be able to focus on Suramar.

I read on WoWhead today that the final quest for the Good Suramaritan achievement requires going into the Emerald Nightmare to kill Xavius. I didn’t LFR in Warlords due to burnout and no tier in LFR and being able to get raid gear from Garrison follower missions and lack of interest in the story aspect of those raids… but I’d been thinking I might want to LFR again in Legion. Work is keeping me busy enough, though, that LFRing is going to have to be a play activity that I sacrifice, so I probably won’t visit the Emerald Nightmare until I get to the point in the Suramar questline where I have to do so.

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Last night, we picked up where we’d left off in Azsuna. My favorite part of Azsuna, so far, has been the Nar’thalas Academy. The whole place was just delightful, with all kinds of fun quests and details. When we got to the point in the questline where we’d have to go into the Eye of Azshara dungeon to obtain the Pillar of Creation, we just hopped right through the portal — just the two of us.

We didn’t look at the dungeon journal at all, just tried to figure out the boss mechanics on our own. It was challenging, but really quite fun, and the only boss that actually wiped us was Serpentrix. We had to try that one three times before we got the mechanics completely worked out. That dungeon sure has a lot of different ground effect mechanics! During the final boss fight, I commented that this was acutally easier with only two people than it would have been with five, because I didn’t have to worry so much about ranging or the ground effects quite so much. BTH said, “Wait, waht? This is a 5 man dungeon? I thought it was a 3-man scenario!” Which is entirely logical, really, considering that the big end-of-zone events in the past two expansions have been scenarios. Then he said that when we have to go to dungeons to get the Pillars at the ends of all the other zones, we can use LFD and get ourselves some DPS so it doesn’t take so long 😛

It was pretty awesome, though, to duo the place at-level. Guardian Druid + Resto Shaman FTW! This was the kind of play that I’d missed while BTH was away from the game.

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When I got home from work yesterday evening, BTH had completed his Guardian Artifact quest. He’d rolled a Demon Hunter and was halfway through the starting zone. He finished the Demon Hunter starting zone while I did my Resto Shaman Artifact quest.

I rather liked Vashj’ir back in the day, so I enjoyed going back under the sea for the Artifact quests. Most of the other players I saw while I was there, though, were level 102 or higher — obviously there for their second (or third) Artifact. I enjoyed the questline itself, too.

After I’d gotten my Artifact, we decided to start questing in Azsuna because I’d read that it was a good place to go for Professions. We got through two of the five chapters in the zone storyline and had lots of fun detouring from our quest path to chase after stars. We managed to get to level 101 before we got tired and sleepy and decided to call it a night (at about our usual bedtime).

I’m definitely going to need to play through Azsuna with my Demon Hunter, because Illidari. I wonder though, does the choice between [this guy] or [that guy] that one makes in the Demon Hunter starting zone affect whether other characters on the same realm see [this guy] or [that guy] at the Illidari foothold in Azsuna? I chose [this guy] with my Demon Hunter and Kamalia saw [this guy] as the leader of the Illidari — but if I’d chosen [that guy] would I have seen him instead? Maybe I should go roll up a Night Elf Demon Hunter on Kaylynda’s realm before I take Kaylynda to the Broken Isles, to test it out…

I’m liking what I’ve seen so far of the Followers & Mission structure in the Order Hall — I like how it iterates on both the original Garrison design and the Shipyard design. I also definitely appreciate that there’s much less of all that to keep track of!

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As we look forward to another year, here is one small and silly little thing that I wish would happen, one of these Patches, that would make me very very happy indeed:

I want more ringlets!

I love the ringlets of the Draenei “Jeweled Band” hairstyle.

I love the ringlets of the Goblin “Elegant” hairstyle.

I would love, love to see the Barbershop make these hairstyles available to more races.

Wouldn’t those long Dranei ringlets look just lovely on a Blood Elf, Human, or Night Elf?

And wouldn’t those fat Goblin curls look simply adorable on a Gnome, Dwarf, or Pandaren?

I’d love to see curly coat Tauren, too —

— but I realize that that’s far, far less likely to happen than getting ringlets for the more Human-like races.

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Along with leveling a character of each class to the current level cap, one of my long-time WoW goals has been to raid-heal with each of the healing classes. Mists LFR has been an absolutely Golden Age for me in that regard. I have a healer of each class who has completed at least Terrace of Endless Spring from T14, all of Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar through the Sha of Pride.

As proof that I have indeed completed my Mists expansion goal of healing in LFR with each of the healing classes — and before Patch 6.0 wreaks havoc on my action bars and addons, too! — I now present a couture collection featuring that most charming of Siege of Orgrimmar healer loot drops, the Purehearted Cricket Cage.

Waterfall Cricket

Greenweave Mantle, Waterfall Robe, Councillor’s Sash, Replica Virtuous Gloves, Rejuvenating Scepter, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This Kun-Lai Summit quest reward robe matches the tailored Windwool set, which has a tunic chestpiece instead of a robe.

Hoodoo Cricket

Self-Reflecting Mask, Runetotem’s Mantle of Conquest, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Hurricane Belt, Cenarion Gloves, Miniature Winter Veil Tree, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This outfit is based on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. Kerisa already had the shoulders, chestpiece, and kilt of Zazzy’s kit — though as a Druid, she of course could not use the same belt.

Fire-Charm Cricket

Fire-Charm Mantle, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Serene Yellow Belt, Grips of Slicing Electricity, Ethereum Phase Blade, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Veridian Cloak
A variation on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. As a Monk, Koralyra could get the chestpiece, belt, and kilt easily — but she’d have had to farm for the lookalike T9 Druid shoulders, as Zazzy had. Fortunately, the glow of the T15-LFR Monk shoulders matches the Jinxed Hoodoo items just as nicely as the crystals on the T9-Horde Druid shoulders do!

Suncrown Cricket

Bog Pauldrons, Suncrown Hauberk, Myrmidon’s Girdle, Cenarion Reservist’s Legguards*/Green Iron Leggings, Green Iron Gauntlets, Tsunami Boots, Light’s Justice, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon
So, yeah, I decided to get the Legendary Cloak for Kamalia’s DPS spec. Hopefully, it’ll make at least the first few levels of 90 to 100 a little easier, considering that I don’t (and won’t) have a Garrosh Heirloom weapon.

Jade Cricket

Jade set with Acid-Etched Pauldrons, Qon’s Flaming Scimitar, and Purehearted Cricket Cage
I put up with the Jade set being platekini because I love its unique coloration so much. I’d be much happier if it looked on my female character the way it looks on male characters, though!

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I’ll admit, I’m not that great of a healer, and really, I probably never was. Kamalia scraped through Proving Grounds Silver by the skin of her teeth and still hasn’t gone back for Gold (let alone Endless/Proven!).

I made the Paladin get her own Proving Grounds Silver — it took several attempts — before I started taking her to LFR. I plan to do the same with the Priest, the Druid, and the Monk before I take them to LFR. This is not a new objective, sparked by the news that a Proving Grounds Silver will be required to random-queue for Heroic Dungeons in Warlords; rather, it is something I have planned to do with my healers ever since the Proving Grounds first came out and Ghostcrawler commented that in the future (i.e., next expansion) a Proving Grounds Silver might be required to queue for LFR.

Because Shaman have so few instant-cast heals — only Riptide and Nature’s Swiftness + [heal] when I first began raiding — I learned to be a turret. I never properly learned how to use Spiritwalker’s Grace; I’m always forgetting about it and realizing only later, “oh, that bit of the fight would have been a good time to use SWG”. I don’t always remember, the next time I do the fight, to use SWG at that particular point, either.

With my Paladin, running LFR, I forget to use Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and especially “Raidwall”, because I never can remember what the real name of that spell is. But I have learned to use my instant-cast heals on the move, tossing out Holy Shocks, Eternal Flames, and Lights of Dawn as I run out of the fire. When Patch 6.0 comes, I will have to unlearn that behavior.

Blizz is backtracking on the “smart heals”; I seem to remember that when they were first introduced they bounced randomly, and only later were changed to prefer the most-damaged player within range. The notion that ground effect and other AOE type heals should be most mana-effective when two or more players are within them, well, isn’t that how it should have been working all along? Even if I was not very good at actually choosing my targeting/placement? So, whatever. Maybe I’ll actually learn to be a better healer again in Warlords after the decay I’ve suffered since quitting regular guild-based raiding and becoming an LFR Tourist-and-Transmog raider.

To me, it seems like the most difficult part of the healing changes will be getting the DPS mindset to accept that it’s OKAY to be at less than 100% health some or even most of the time and not be continually whining for heals and blaming the healers for every wipe.

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