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Archive for the ‘Story/RP/Lore’ Category


I finally finished the 9.0 Kyrian Campaign last night.

Bodhi Rana said he thought it was the best, and it was really good. I liked the check-in with Azeroth in which we find out that sure enough, the Scourge are running rampant now that the Helm of Domination is broken. I liked the reciprocal chapter with Maldraxxus. I liked the visits to Revendreth and Ardenweald. I was glad to be in ZM BOE catch-up gear for the trip to the Maw — that would have been so much harder in 9.0! I felt like it dealt with Uther in an okay way. Why Helya was involved, though — from her first appearances in the 9.0 Maw Intro scenario and the Bastion leveling story — seemed kind of shoehorned in (Helya’s gotta be in the Shadowlands somewhere, where are we gonna put her?). Although the Forsworn still have a point, and I still don’t want to be Kyrian, the Kyrian have grown on me over the course of the expansion. Mikanikos is still my favorite.

Overall, I rank my enjoyment of the 9.0 Campaigns as Venthyr = Kyrian > Netherlords > Night Fae. I wouldn’t have thought, at the beginning of the expansion, that Night Fae would come in last, but so it is. The Kyrian have reciprocal chapters with the Netherlords and visit Revendreth and Ardenweald. The Venthyr have recpirocal chapters with the Necrolords and visit Bastion. The Netherlords have reciprocal chapters with both the Kyrian and the Venthyr. The Venthyr and the Netherlords don’t go to Ardenweald. The Night Fae… do their own thing. They don’t make connections with the other realms. Looking back on it, the Night Warrior, Drust, and Bwonsamdi stories feel awkwardly braided together. The story has multiple downer moments, where we try to save an NPC and fail. And there are two trips to the Maw, one of which includes a trip to Torghast… I am not looking forward to replaying that with Kaurinka and Kamalia, though I will have to because I want the Campaign coloration of the Night Fae leather and mail sets.

I would say, On to Korthia and Zereth Mortis!, but now that I’ve reached the “stopping point” of having completed the 9.0 Campaigns, I’ve got to start spending my after-bedtime hours getting my Fall classes prepped. I felt like my Organic Chemistry lecture course needed a refresh, so I’ve switched textbooks, and my lab manual for my Organic Chemistry lab course is a few years overdue for an update.

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By the time I was able to log in yesterday night, I’d decided to save doing the new Blood Elf-exclusive questline until after I’ve finished the Kyrian Campaign, so that Kaelinda can be herself and so that my screenshots won’t be all cluttered up with other players. Instead, Kamalia went to see what was up with Calia Menethil and Lordaeron. It felt good to have Kamalia take the lead on a world-story-advancing questline again. The questline was consistent with current WoW storytelling, with a fairly shallow story and a rather silly big showpiece moment leading to “yay we won!”.

Lillian Voss is probably my favorite Forsaken character. I was pleased to see, when we went to find Lillian Voss in Brill, that she had Amalia Stone and Derek Proudmoore with her. I appreciated that continuity with the BfA story, even though those two characters didn’t do anything in the remainder of the questline. With Calia and Derek we see a Menethil-Proudmoore alliance… just not the one those families originally imagined. But what, then, of Calia’s secretly-wedded husband and infant daughter who were killed by the Scourge — a part of her backstory described in the Before the Storm novel, but never referenced in-game? **sigh**

The part in Maldraxxus seemed like it was made with the expectation that everyone doing it would already have flying (which I don’t). I managed not to die while kodo-charging through perilous terrain to get to the NPCs we needed to consult, but I was sure glad that as a Shaman, I’d be able to Reincarnate if I did. It also helped that I use the Comfortable Rider’s Barding as my standard mount equipment. Protection against daze-and-dismount while riding through hostile territory is much more valuable to me than water walking!

The surprise of the new “Dark Ranger” customization for Blood, Void, and Night Elves (Delaryn Summermoon is also present at Brill) is a fun little thing, good on the devs for sneaking that past the PTR. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the new skin tone and the red eyes are linked, rather than separate options — if you choose the skin tone, you also get the red eyes; if you choose the red eyes, you also get the skin tone; you can’t have purple skin and red eyes or the new skin tone and silver eyes.

As a Mage, I see the “Dark Ranger” customization as a way to finally make the perfect San’layn cosplay with the 25H ICC Mage Tier set:

(though upon checking, the Darkfallen NPCs in the Blood wing of ICC have blue DK/Domination-magic eyes, not blood red eyes)

Or, with the shortest ear length option, the perfect Venthyr cosplay:
All My Sins II


Sinful Inquisitor’s Vestments with Sinfall Venthyr Hood & Slippers, Soulbreaker’s Ebony Mantle, Silver-Thread Sash, Kael’s Dark Sinstone Chain, and Damnation
A variation on an outfit I originally made for my Warlock (#78).

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Or at least that’s what I’ve been trying to tell myself.
If I can just get through that last 9.0 Covenant Campaign (Kyrian), I can move on to the 9.1 and 9.2 story content.
Maybe I’ll even grind out my Progenitor Mage Tier set from Sandworn Relics and Cosmic Flux on Zereth Mortis first and then go back for the stuff I want from Korthia. And then, with Anima much more abundantly available from Korthia and Zereth Mortis than from the launch zones (or so I’ve been told), return to my 9.0 Renown Vendors shopping list, the Ember Court, and the Queen’s Conservatory as things to do during the wait for Dragonflight.
But when I feel like I’ve only got a little bit of time to play, it’s so easy to get distracted by just doing my favorite World Quests for Anima.

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A story in screenshots. See also Kaprikka and Dornaa’s marvelous adventure
~*~*~




(more…)

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I finished the 9.0 Necrolords Campaign last night. Doing this in ilevel 229 Zereth Mortis BOE gear from the AH sure made it easier than it would have been at the beginning of the expansion. There’s some value to being behind the curve 😛
When I was in the Necrolords with my Horde Mage, I upgraded the Travel Network all the way and concluded that it was useless for World Questing. I hadn’t managed to do any of the Campaign, however.
When I joined the Necrolords with my Alliance Mage, I originally thought I’d just ignore all Sanctum upgrades. I was determined to do the Campaign with this character, though. After I did Chapter 3 of the Campaign and got the first quest to start Chapter 4, I realized that the place I’d need to go to start Chapter 4 was right where the portal was for the first stage of the Travel Network. Hmmm…. Maybe it would be a good idea to do the Travel Network, even if I didn’t do anything else with this Sanctum…. So I put continuing with the Campaign on hold until I’d gotten the Travel Network completely upgraded. The Necrolords Travel Network locations are somewhat more relevant to the Campaign storyline than the Travel Network of the Venthyr or Night Fae; I have yet to do the Kyrian (whose Travel Network I find to be the most useful for World Questing).
The chapters about Bastion and the defeat of the House of Constructs were fantastic. I really appreciated the follow-up to the leveling story. The part with Alexandros at Agthia’s Repose, well, it answers some questions about why certain souls get sent to certain realms — and raises others.
The chapter in the House of Rituals was silly fun, and I totally wasn’t expecting the platforming vehicle quest — which frustrated me a fair few times before I finished it.
It was also fun to see the chapters that overlapped with the Venthyr Campaign from the other perspective.
Overall, I enjoyed this Campaign — and this Covenant — quite a bit more than I initially expected to. I still really dislike the aesthetic of Maldraxxus and the Netherlords, though, so now that I’ve finished the Campaign — and also my Necrolords Renown Vendor shopping list (which wasn’t very long) — I kind of want to leave and never come back. Except for my favorite WQs in the zone — Abombing Run, Mixing A Mess, Just Winging It, Drawing Out the Poison, the sneaking one in the House of the Chosen that I can’t remember the name of right now, and Amateur Night — and the Necrolords follow-up chapter in the 9.1 Campaign — and maybe collecting the Necrolords Korthia WQ set, I guess.

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I knew how Kaelydia had come to be golden-eyed — see the flavor text descriptions for Blood Elf Mage outfits 62 – 64 & 60 — but I didn’t know much else about her. I was wondering what her relationship status might be when she said, “Oh, I’m married. To a Draenei.”

~*~*~


We were both members of the Army of the Shattered Sun, and occasionally had assignments together. We became moderately well acquainted with each other, but not enough that I would necessarily have called us “friends”. After the restoration of the Sunwell, I stayed at Quel’Danas while he went to Icecrown with the Argent Crusade. Following the defeat of the Lich King, he returned to Quel’Danas. By that time, the number of long-term members of the Army of the Shattered Sun had gotten much smaller, and so we encountered and worked with each other much more frequently than before. Over the years, we gradually became friends, then better friends, until eventually we were quite close.

When Lady Liadrin went with Archmage Khadgar to the other Draenor, we both chose to go with her. We spent most of our time with Lady Liadrin’s forces at Auchindoun in Talador. Occasionally, he took me to see places in Shadowmoon Valley that corresponded to the places he had known on “our” Draenor, to show me what they had been like before our Draenor became Outland.

On one such outing, I dared to ask a question that had been consuming me with curiosity for some time. I’d observed that Draenei wore different colors of gems in their tail rings, which sometimes changed. More to the point, I wondered what the green gems that he’d begun wearing in his tail rings some time ago signified.

“Ah,” he answered, rather shyly and awkwardly, “the colors are a signal between Draenei about our interest in romantic relationships. The green means that I am not currently seeking a relationship because I am already… seeing someone. And the pattern…” he became even more shy and awkward, “means that there is some… complexity.”

I was surprised. We had known each other well enough for long enough that we had shared a great deal of our pasts with each other. I knew about the wives and children he had lost to the Burning Legion, most recently when the Orcs went on their rampage on Outland. He knew about my two failed marriages.

My first marriage hadn’t quite been Arranged, but it had certainly been Set Up. As a young woman, I had been deeply immersed in my studies and had no marital prospects to speak of. I wasn’t bothered by this; my older brother had married well and would handle the family futures quite competently. The young man was a younger son of his family; when began courting me, I knew at once that it was because my parents and his sought a financial alliance. We got along amiably enough, so I agreed to the match. After three successive pregnancies ended in early miscarriages, however, he sued to be released from the marriage. Because it had been a political marriage, the legal jousting required to disentangle the conjoined business affairs without completely ruining either family took so long that my husband had fathered two children with another woman by the time everything was resolved. Once our divorce was final, he married her as promptly as he could.

(To their credit, my parents learned from this debacle and did not attempt to manipulate the marital prospects of my younger brother, Ianestin. Although I do not know her well, I approve of the young woman who has captured his attention — though neither he nor she seems willing yet to admit to the depth of their mutual affection and desire.)

After the destruction of the Sunwell, I followed Prince Kael’thas to Outland. During that journey, I fell madly in love with a certain man in the group.

He was as infatuated with me as I was with him, and infatuation rapidly progressed to a marriage proposal. Our wedding was a great celebration for the whole group; Prince Kael’thas himself showered it with praise as a sign of the new hope the Sin’dorei had before us in Outland. When we were together, fireworks flew.

But the whole thing was a mistake. For all the things we found fascinating about each other, there were as many or more that we disagreed upon, especially as Prince Kael’thas’s choices became more and more extreme. My second husband was staunchly loyal to Prince Kael’thas, whereas I began to be persuaded by Seer Voren’thal. When Seer Voren’thal began to talk, quietly, of defecting to Shattrath City, I divorced my second husband.

After that, I had been embittered and not at all interested in anything other than friendship for a very, very long time.

But my dear Draenei friend had said nothing of any recent romantic attachments.

“Are you willing to tell me about it?” I asked.

He twisted his fingers together. “I am not interested in a relationship with another Draenei,” he said slowly, “because I am too much in love with you.”

“Well, then,” I said, “let me uncomplicate things for you.” And I reached up and kissed him.

When we returned to the Sunsworn camp in Talador, we went straight to Lady Liadrin and asked her to marry us. She gave us a Look that said I was wondering how long it would take you two to figure that out and then asked simply, “Which rite?”

We’d discussed this thoroughly on the journey back to the camp, and we answered, “Both of them.”

That evening, when the appropriate ceremonial preparations had been made and the required number of witnesses had been gathered from among our friends, we were wed: first with Soulbinder Tuulani conducting the Draenei ceremony, then with Lady Liadrin conducting the Sin’dorei ceremony.

This time, the celebrations and feelings of hope were genuine.

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A questline to make the Forever Lovely Rose Moggable year-round, like the Lunar Festival flower crowns. And yes, a questline please, not grind-a-bajillion-Lovely-Charms-to-buy-it-from-the-vendors. Maybe something like finding where Rhonin’s soul ended up in the Shadowlands so that he and Vereesa can have one last bittersweet meeting…?

Edit: Or Dezco and Leza and their baby! Dezco is already hanging around the outer circle of Oribos asking passersby to tell him if they see Leza in their journeys through the Shadowlands.

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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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Like the bloggers I read, I was not particularly impressed or excited by the Patch 9.2 preview announcement.

The realms of Death should be otherworldly, and the existing zones of Shadowlands are suitably otherworldly while still retaining some familiarity (at least the leveling zones are)… but Zereth Mortis is waaaay out there in strangeness. Pretty, yes, but also uncomfortably wierd.

Although I feel engaged enough by the Covenants and their stories, the grand story of this expansion lost me a long time ago. Thus, I’m not feeling motivated to explore Zereth Mortis for the story progression because it’s leaving the Covenants behind (or so it seems from what we know so far).

In another set of RL circumstances, I might be excited by the return of class-specific Tier sets and by the sets that were previewed. I am very checked-out of raiding right now, though. Even with a sort-of goal of having either the shoulders or the chestpiece of at least one of the recolors of every Mage Tier set (including PvP recolors, for Black Temple and most of the Legion sets, yay for being able to get Marks of Honor from PvE content during that expansion!), after I finally got the chestpiece for the Castle Nathria set back in late June/early July, I haven’t managed to drag myself into Sanctum of Domination LFR to get the chestpiece for that set.

And with no new non-raid PvE Mog stuff to chase after — except maybe a questing/zone drop set which might show up from datamining/testing by Wowhead folks on the PTR? — I just am not feeling a great need to be ready to go running off to Zereth Mortis as soon as it becomes available.

I dunno, maybe the puzzle aspect of the Cipher of the First Ones will be an intriguing enough game to play? If I don’t let myself get spoilt by the datamining, etc, from the PTR?

I think the most interesting thing to come out of the Patch 9.2 news is the idea that the end of the Shadowlands story “closes a book” on the overall story of Warcraft/Azeroth. This makes me quite curious to find out how 10.0 will change what we know about Warcraft/Azeroth to “open a new book”, so to speak, of its story.

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For all that she detested the physical environment of Maldraxxus, by the time she had completed the restoration of the Blade of the Primus and opened the door to the Seat of the Primus, Kalaneia knew that the Necrolords were the Covenant where she belonged.
Also, WTB cosmetic Blade of the Primus that can be Mogged over any and all weapon types.

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