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Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

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 work๐Ÿ˜›

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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… but I guess the devs had to leave some of the Plot for us to do after reaching level 110๐Ÿ˜› I guess the last one is probably in Suramar?

I was quite impressed by all of the stories and very much enjoyed playing through them. In Azsuna, Val’sharah, and Highmountain, we got the zone Loremaster achievement at about the same time that we obtained the Pillar, so I assumed that just doing the Pillar questline would get it. When we got the Pillar for Stormheim, though, we didn’t get the Loremaster achievement. Looking through all the Loremaster achievements, I saw that some of the side-quests we’d done in other zones had been part of the Loremaster for those zones, after all. I’m just missing one questline in Stormheim — that Forsaken questline at Dreadwake’s Landing. I’d been hoping it was a side-quest and thinking that if so, I’d send the Warlock to see what its story was; my Tauren in general really dislike working with the Forsaken and I, as the player, side with Gilneas in the Forsaken-vs-Worgen conflict. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll find out just what Sylvanas was up to in that one spooky part of the zone, and why Eyir in Halls of Valor thinks us little people can’t be trusted (I’ve seen it hinted that that’s Sylvanas’ fault) sooner rather than later.

So I should do that, and I really need to go to Suramar and start working on Nightfallen rep. I also have quite a bit of map exploration and several flight points yet to discover in the leveling zones. I assume that some of that will come with World Quests, though, as there are fairly large areas of some maps that the zone questing didn’t take us to.

And I should really go get my off-spec Artifacts, too, and I need to finish the Shaman Campaign and follow up on the Light’s Heart questline and work on my professions… not to mention starting to bring out alts and begin exploring their Artifact and Order Hall stories.

There is much to do! This is good!

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BTH and I are level 105 now. We’ve recovered the Pillars from Azsuna and Val’sharah. We haven’t completed all the quests or explored the entire map in either zone, however, so we’ll have to either do that tonight before we move on to Stormheim (or Highmountain) or come back later so that we can get Pathfinder.

The stories and the artwork in this expansion continue to awe me. Questing in a group when phasing is involved, however, seems to be as almost buggy as it has been ever since phasing was first introduced in Wrath. When there is a quest to rescue someone, the first person to click on the NPC gets to see their speech bubble or hear their audio. The other person doesn’t. I missed the entire grand finale fight of Val’sharah last night because I was too many seconds behind BTH in accepting the quest and getting onto the taxi; when I reached the fight area, I kept getting a “cannot zone in while an encounter is in progress” error message. Fortunately, I did get quest complete and see the cinematic when BTH finished the fight — and I’ll get to do the fight itself again (and again and again and again) when I go through the zone with alts.

BTH has collected the Feral and Balance Artifacts and has decided to level the rest of the way to 110 as Boomkin. I haven’t gotten my other two Artifacts yet, and I’ve not gotten very far with my Order Hall campaign, either. The problem is that those are solo play things, and I would rather play together. Working from home, BTH can do those solo play things while his work computer is crunching a code compilation or a data migration or suchlike.

I’ve only been doing the Order Hall Missions that reward Artifact Power gubbins. I guess I should start doing the ones that reward Follower XP, too, given that Gnomecore is reporting being held up in his Order Hall Campaign by his Followers not being high enough level to complete a required mission. Now that the Legion Companion app is live, though, at least I can keep up with Order Hall Missions while I’m at school!

I’m beginning to have a like-dislike relationship with my Order Hall. The Maelstrom is a thematically apropriate place for Shaman, and at first I thought it was pretty cool, and I like all the little details and NPCs and so forth… and yet the more time I spend there, the more I think that open cave must be damp and chilly and slippery from the ceaseless wind and sea spray, and I feel like all those NPCs who have to live there must be miserable. Then again, I always felt sorry for all my Frostwall Garrison staff standing around freezing their fingers and tails off in open buildings, too. Maybe I will like the Order Halls of some of the other Classes better?

Furthermore, I am struggling with the cognitive dissonance Syp has mentioned on a couple of occasions — how can I be the Chosen One, the Big Damn Hero, the Hero Of Ages, when there are all these other people around who have the same gear and are doing the same things? I felt more special when I was alone in my Garrison.

And how can I be the leader of my Class Order when my Big Name Lore Figure advisors are the ones who actually know everything? They are the ones who decide where other members of my class need to go take action, and like those lesser NPCs, I just go where they tell me to go and do what they tell me to do. It’s one of those curious roleplaying situations where the character can be assumed to know more about their situation and abilities than the player does… but it’s just making me feel like a puppet figurehead.

*sigh* This all sounds so discontented and unhappy with the expansion, when I am enjoying playing it, and I’m definitely looking forward to the zones I haven’t played, the unfurling of World Quests at level 110, the evolution of my Order Hall story — and doing it all again with alts! My Demon Hunter will need to play through certain parts of Azsuna at the minimum; my Druid will need to do Val’sharah as a matter of priority.

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Much like I did at the end of Mists, I want to pause for a moment to reflect on what my characters accomplished during Warlords. I leveled 15 16 characters to 100 — all 1112 (counting the Demon Hunter) classes as Horde, plus one Alliance Mage, plus Horde doubles of Death Knight, Shaman, and Monk. Almost as soon as I’d finished leveling them, however, I decided to Retire my Horde doubles.

Although the Garrison wasn’t nearly as customizable as we might have hoped, it still offered some latitude for expressing personal preferences to differentiate amongst my characters. Certain buildings were so useful, though, that the differences mostly came down to building the correct small building for each character’s individual crafting profession and occasional variations in medium and large building choices. For the sake of convenience, I kept their general Garrison layouts very similar.


Although there are no active Lumber Mills in my characters’ final Garrison choices, various characters did have Lumber Mills at one stage or another of their progression through the expansion.

Another important way to differentiate my characters’ Garrisons arrived with the Jukebox in Patch 6.1. When I went AFK for a few minutes, the tune playing in the background reminded me which character I was logged in with when I came back. Depending on how much they’d cared about capital city rep in previous expansions, some characters were also able to choose different guards. And then of course there were the Followers…

KAMALIA
Guards: Thunder Bluff
Jukebox: Thunder Bluff, Mulgore Plains
Ideal Garrison Staff: Yepa, Rizei, Tadi, Shappa, Lonan (Tauren Shaman); Leorajh, Geyah, Lokra, Kal’gor, Kaz (zone/quest Shaman); Utona, Unkala, Raitea, Fazerra, Kieu, Reena, Soozee, Moxy (inn recruit female Shaman)

KETURA
Guards: Sen’jin
Jukebox: Zul’Gurub Voodoo, the Zandalari
Ideal Garrison Staff: Fawne, Kwahu, Hara’len, Kaama (Tauren Hunters); Pleasure Bot 8000, Ziri’ak (Mechanicals); Rala, Mulverick, Rokash, Penny, Velonara, Nat, Harrison (zone/quest Hunters — Harrison may technically be a Rogue, but he carries a gun, so that makes him an honorary Hunter); Karga, Rumelda, Kew, Vala, Mychele, Mokuja, Abigail, Samantha, Coggeye (inn recruit female Hunters); Aesin (inn recruit male Blood Elf Hunter)

KATEWATHA
Guards: Huojin Pandaren/Shado-Pan
Jukebox: Way of the Monk, Song of Liu Lang
Ideal Garrison Staff: Yiska, Toega (Tauren Monks); Fen Tao, Bruto (zone/quest Monks); Lin, Kang, Ken-Ken, Ashyo, Xiao (inn recruit Pandaria Monk Buddies!); Su-Lai, Xue, Haomi, Nuan, Fo Sho, Xen, Len Shu (inn recruit Pandaren Monks); Tizare, Lara, Lucy, Yu’un, Favra (inn recruit female Monks); Velandros (inn recruit male Blood Elf Monk)

KREGGA
Guards: Ebon Blade
Jukebox: Mountains, Ghost
Ideal Garrison Staff: Kilga, Tipa, Kaasa, Tigar (Tauren Death Knights); Xuk, Ahm (Ghosts); Kaz, Bruto, Xuk, Cacklebone (Laughing Skull Orcs); Gibb, Abu’gar (zone/quest Death Knights); Vivianne, Ulna, Barov, Velonara (zone/quest Forsaken); Gie, Sylvie, Arachni, Morticia, Rike, Torwa, Nerwalla, Heyzzle (inn recruit female Death Knights)

KERISA
Jukebox: Magic
Ideal Garrison Staff: Ishaal, Kurekk, Rukaryx, Vayx (Arakkoa); Leorajh, Goldmane, Pallas (Saberon); Phylarch (Botani); Choluna (zone/quest Druid); Matoclaw, Genah, Kuma, Haumeja, Cadi, Tama, Goahn, Magrum, Tapa, Tholo, Atohi, Muaha, Humak, Iye (Tauren Druids); Jakala (inn recruit female Troll Druid)

KEIJA
Guards: Thunder Bluff
Jukebox: Mountains of Thunder
Ideal Garrison Staff: Kanuama, Karn, Gaho, Maska (Tauren Warriors); Olin, Morketh, Lantresor, Tormmok, Blook, Ahm (zone/quest Warriors); Geyah, Lokra, Kal’gor, Karg, Na’shra, Mulverick, Ka’la (Frostwolf Orcs); Bim’ini, Xuan, Motina, Gazra, Olivia, Allison, Eula, Rizza, Annix, Myra (inn recruit female Warriors)

KAELINDA
Guards: Silvermoon/Sunreavers
Jukebox: Silvermoon, Lament of the Highborne
Ideal Garrison Staff: Dawn, Chillbreeze, Vella, Taela, Marius (Blood Elf Mages); Krelas, Vivianne, Vargoth (zone/quest Mages); Kaz (because she’s a pyro); Tuulani (because Kaelinda likes the Draenei); Candice, Noel, Kral’girz, Shoka, Jukka, Awarri, Pele’zol, Kaz’hiki, Nuku’te (inn recruit female Mages); Tuan (inn recruit male Pandaren Mage)

KARAELIA
Guards: Silvermoon/Sunreavers
Jukebox: Argent Tournament
Ideal Garrison Staff: Layla, Ariia, Hannya, Faala, Naana, Skah, Sahale, Lusio, Tawa, Kaiel (Tauren Paladins); Tuulani (because of Liadrin at Auchindoun); Seleriel, Auriel, Besandran, Opheron, Artemisia, Salanar, Merhean, Zance, Tas’ril, Argonis, Lan’Veros (Blood Elf Paladins); Soulare (Human Paladin)

KAOHANA
Jukebox: Faerie Dragon
Ideal Garrison Staff: Enola, Yaalo, Ahote (Tauren Priests); Ulna, Tuulani (zone/quest Priests); Priscilla, Phaedra, Arienne, Hayli, Pikake, Takmoa, Marara, Vyse, Handel, Harley, Ruthia, Kenzi (inn recruit female Priests); Zuo (inn recruit male Pandaren Priest)

KALANEIA
Jukebox: Black Temple
Ideal Garrison Staff: Cheri, Soulblaze, Vera V, Nadia, Kerraleon (Blood Elf Warlocks); Aeda (zone/quest Warlock); Krelas, Vivianne, Kaz (because they’re pyros); Veka’kai, Natalie, Simone, Shade, Nethraza, Arga, Deena (inn recruit female Warlocks)

KELISANNA
Jukebox: Totems of the Grizzlemaw, Rescue the Warchief (Lost Isles)
Ideal Garrison Staff: Ariiya, Alia, Vivalia, Vaal’kelthos (Blood Elf Rogues); Ka’la, Dagg, Harrison, Kimzee (zone/quest Rogues); Kimzee, Penny, Felblast, Goodwell (zone/quest Goblins); Velonara (because poisons are a Rogue thing); Kablouie, Pinkee, Qwilla, Grelwaz, Zaelatha, Lai, Ella, Vera H (inn recruit female Rogues)

KAYLYNDA
Jukebox: Shalandis Isle, Cold Mountain
Ideal Garrison Staff: Serena, Vargoth, Millhouse (zone/quest Mages); Fiona, Rulkan (because they’re awesome); Chel, Erdanii, Kaalya, Tuulani, Onaala, Illona, Miall (zone/quest female Draenei); Rebecca, Becky, Araspeth, Tessa, Bloodrose, Scrapsy, Mysandra, Danaeris, Reina, Caerania, Seona, Alessia, Haana (inn recruit female Mages)

You would think that with this goal of making each character’s Garrison into a sort of proto-Order Hall for her Class in mind, I’d have made a list of which Followers each character specifically needed to recruit soon after the beginning of Warlords, but no, I didn’t do it until a couple of weeks before Patch 7.0. Thus, Kamalia was so focused on trying to recruit all the Tauren Followers that she often turned down Followers that she should have hired (ie Shamans that weren’t Tauren). Even if every character gets a Follower whom she actually wants to hire every week from now on, it will take me about four more months of visiting my Garrisons at least once a week just to recruit new Followers at the Inn to completely perfect my characters’ Garrison staffing.

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It was short and sweet. I was glad to see that it didn’t have a gear reward, because that meant I only had to run through it three times: with my Loremaster (Kamalia), my Alliance Main (Kaylynda), and my Main Horde Mage (Kaelinda).

I’ve seen some murmuring in the community that it was underwhelming. I think it was definitely necessary, though.

As players, we’ve known ever since the original Legion announcement that one of our goals in questing through the Broken Isles will be recovering the Pillars of Creation. But our characters didn’t know that yet, and this was a nice way to reveal that information to them.

Jaina’s replacement on the Council of Six is the obvious, natural choice.

When Kaylynda asked Kalec if he knew where Jaina had gone, he just shrugged and said, “Jaina is her own woman, and she hasn’t seen fit to contact me.”

After this questchain (both parts) and this encounter — which shows that to Khadgar, de Naal isn’t just a river in Uldum —

Kaylynda will be quite excited to discover that she gets to learn more about Alodi when she starts pursuing the Frost Mage Artifact! (She’s still going to get the Arcane Artifact, Aegwynn’s staff, first, though.)

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So, that Demon Hunter starting experience was really quite enjoyable.
There are a few places where you are offered a choice between two options, and although the only one that really seems to matter is whether to spec Havoc or Vengeance, I think it might be interesting to roll another Demon Hunter someday and take the other choices at all of those decision points, just to see how the follow-up dialogue is different.

Upon returning to the normal world, Kiralaira had a few things she wanted to do right away.

First, she needed to go punch Kael’thas in the face —

TWICE


— for being a traitor and selling out to the Burning Legion.

Then she went to ask Illidan if, um, given that she’s, um, apparently the “alpha” Illidari, she could, um, “borrow” the Warglaives of Azzinoth for, um, “safekeeping” while he is, um, “indisposed”?

(This would feel significantly less awkward if she had chosen [this guy] instead of [that guy] at a certain decision point in the starting experience.)

Illidan replied, no, not right now, ask me again next week.

Next, she went to Tanaan to take a selfie or two with Yrel.


I do hope it wasn’t one of your relatives who gave me these horns, dearie

After not having gone through the Tanaan Invasion experience for so long, it didn’t seem all that tiresome or tedious. I found myself just zipping right along, all the way through to the end, and even having fun doing it. Imagine that!

Then she went to Pandaria.

Wait, what?

I thought I was done with the Shado-Pan, I really did. After I got the Shado-Pan Helmet with my Human Mage, I remembered that I’d never gotten one with my Draenei Mage, either. So I took Kaprikka out to Townlong Steppes, but after a day or two… nope, didn’t want to do that, after all. She went back to camping Onyxia, and I added “don’t want to do any given rep grind with any given Class more than once” to my list of reasons for Retiring my secondary Tauren alts.


(Because a) I don’t like the Felstalker and b) the Shado-Pan rep mounts don’t require the rep to use, the red Shado-Pan Riding Tiger is already her mount of choice.)

But Kiralaira insisted that because she is a new and different Class, she needs a Shado-Pan Helmet (and Transmogrification kit) — and, furthermore, she wants to make a Shado-Pan Helmet kit that also uses the Shado-Pan Tabard — something I haven’t yet managed to do.
And because she is level 100 and Fel Rush and Eye Beam are fun and powerful, she might even actually do the Sra’Vess (mantid) Shado-Pan quests, which I ignored on all my other characters…

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I finally got the last of my characters through the Broken Shore event and their first Demon Invasion. Then I did a few more Demon Invasions with various characters until I’d completed the Transmogrification sets for each armor type. In the process, my Monk got that sweet looking polearm — the only one of the Invasions weapons that I was really truly interested in collecting for its appearance. I’m almost done with Invasions. My DK is still farming for the 2H axe and collecting Nethershards to get upgrade tokens for it so that she can use it for her off-spec during Legion*.

I also have yet to play through the Demon Hunter starting experience. I’d like to do that before August 30, though — in the lull between the big crowds from the early access and the big crowds from the actual launch. I think I’m just going to buy the Invasions warglaive for my Demon Hunter with some of Kamalia’s Nethershards so that I don’t have to worry about farming for the drop.

Anyhow, with Invasions no longer a top priority for my playtime, it was time to visit Dalaran in its temporary location over Karazhan. I did it with Kamalia. Then I did it with my Alliance Mage. (more…)

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