Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

TRANSMOGRIFICATION WARDROBE!!! This is huge. I’ll only have to farm something once. Stuff that my Alliance characters have picked up can be worn by my Horde characters, and vice versa (not sure if faction specific quest rewards will be faction restricted, though). Hopefully, stuff that various characters have picked up that is no longer available in-game (such as Alanna’s Embrace and the Bloodmail Legguards) will be available in the Wardrobe to all characters of the appropriate armor class, too.

Thoughts on the systems panel (Blizzard Watch and Wowhead transcripts):

Once the Wowhead community has figured out which quests need to be done to unlock which specific Artifact weapon appearances, I will probably do just the ones that unlock the Artifact appearances that I like best.

I’m not surprised that there will be a “Death Gate”-like teleport to the Class Hall; I would have been more astonished if there wasn’t such an ability.

The new Professions system sounds like it could be quite engaging, if the concept that they discussed gets implemented well. It sounds like an extension of the quests to get the blueprints for the Professions huts in Warlords, which I quite enjoyed.

As for the secondary professions, I’m curious to see how the Archaeology journey and the “what strange Fishing story will I have to tell after today?” concepts will play out. It’s fun to see Nomi all grown up, but I almost didn’t recognize him in the screenshot without his fancy brocade coat. As for First Aid… Kamalia is the only one of my characters who levels First Aid anymore, and she does it just to have all the professions capped. It’ll be quite the thing if they can manage to actually make it more interesting.

Oh, wait, is that a spectral moose mount in that screenshot? TELL ME HOW TO GET IT! (I hope it doesn’t involve PvP…)

Thoughts on the Q&A panel (Blizzard Watch and Wowhead transcripts):
I’m intrigued to see how meeting Alleria and Turalyon will ‘change the way we think about WoW’ (to paraphrase the paraphrases in the transcripts.

It would be lovely to be able to play as a Taunka or a Yaungol or a Highmountain Tauren, and I’m glad they’re thinking about it, but I won’t be truly excited about it until we see it on the PTR.

Ditto for things like tri-spec and updates to move the Old World story forward from Cataclysm

So Karazhan will be relevant for Legion? Hmm, that could be interesting. I hope that the mutterings aobut Kara as a 5-man wouldn’t erase the original 10-man raid version from existence, because that would be incredibly sad.

Ha! I thought that the most likely place for Wrathion to show up in Legion would be Highmountain, given that the Lair of the Earthwarder is there.

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By the time Brewfest ended, the Darkmoon Faire was in session. Once again, Thaddeus Paleo scowled at the Underpowered Death Knight, saying, “Your Archaeology skill has stagnated. Come back when you have begun to improve your skill again and are finding more interesting fragments.” Professor Paleo had been telling her that she needed to improve her skill for… could it really have been so many months? Had he been saying that ever since the Vanguard went through the reddened Dark Portal?… OH. Although she could survey digsites anywhere in Pandaria, Pandaria no longer contained the most dangerous known regions. Those places were now on the other side of the Dark Portal, on Draenor.

Ah, and in talking with other Cloud Serpent novices, she’d learned that Jenova Longeye occasionally asked them to search for artifacts that might relate to the history of that Order. It would be good to be able to improve her surveying skill while performing that task.

The Underpowered Death Knight supposed that perhaps she should pay a visit to Frostwall Garrison just to learn where to find an Archaeology trainer on Draenor, and maybe to do a little bit of digging herself in the country roundabout — there were always new tricks to be learned when surveying a completely new location.

She followed the directions that had been enclosed in Kamalia’s letter.

Frostwall, with its rocky terrain, swirling wind and snow, and steaming, volcano-heated cave, stirred in the Underpowered Death Knight’s mind a faint nostalgic longing for her youth, traveling the mountains between the Howling Fjord and the Grizzly Hills and camping by the hot springs.

Lady Sena cracks me up. I haven’t been able to find her in the level 2 or level 3 Garrison, though… I wonder where she and Mr Pleeb go?

The Underpowered Death Knight dinged 96 during Brewfest, so she could, in theory, have opened up the Mine, Fishing Shack, and Herb Garden and, after collecting enough resources, upgraded them all to level 2. I chose to leave her Garrison at Level 1. Thus, without the big book o’ blueprints rewarded from the quest to upgrade the Town Hall to level 2, her only available large building is the Barracks, and her only available small building will be the Salvage Yard — when she reaches an appropriate level to do the quest chain that rewards that blueprint. I’m not going to do much with her Followers, so she just has the Fab Five team of the ones that are the first and easiest to recruit — Olin, Vivianne, Fen Tao, Ka’la, and Ulna.

After reporting at Frostwall, the Underpowered Death Knight travelled to Warspear on the contested island of Ashran in search of an Archaeology trainer. When she inquired about training, however, the woman just shrugged at her.

“I ain’t got nothin’ to teach ya, toots. If ya wanna learn more, ya gotta just get out there and dig. And don’t let those Reliquary goons get in the way of a good find.”

So the Underpowered Death Knight went to dig at some ogre ruins near the outskirts of Shattrath (she got quite distracted for some time exploring the great city and marvelling at its extent and beauty), and to her great surprise, her very first surveying efforts uncovered a brittle cartography journal. The document was written in a language she did not recognize, but the diagrams, illustrating techniques for such things as laying out and recording a digsite and preserving and cataloging artifacts, were clear enough to understand.

But when the Underpowered Death Knight returned to the Faire, Professor Paleo still didn’t want any more fossil fragments. It seemed that he hadn’t wanted fragments from anyone except newly-trained Archaeologists since about midsummer. Why, no-one understood.

She was glad, though, that she had gone to Frostwall. Doing so had allowed her to prove her strength against some of Draenor’s creatures, and she had been strong enough… mostly… if she was careful about choosing what to fight. Nevertheless, she thought it best to finish what she had started in Pandaria before spending much more time on Draenor.

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Kamalia and the others who had worked with the Shado-Pan previously must have made a good impression, because the pandaren guardians readily accepted and even welcomed the Underpowered Death Knight’s appeal to be allowed to assist them for a time.

She got to know Fei-Li and Snow Blossom quite well as she helped them thwart the objectives of the mogu still plotting on Shan’ze Dao. She went with Chao the Voice, Lao-Chin the Iron Belly, and Protector Yi when the unruly yaungol at Fire Camp Gai-Cho needed subduing. Like her Dawnstrider friends, though, she politely declined missions to deal with the mantid on Sra’Vess.

The Underpowered Death Knight never felt like she’d even begun to understand the “Shadow Dance” of which Snow Blossom so often spoke, yet, after some months, the Shado-Pan honored her with one of their signature hats.

She stayed on at the Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes for another fortnight or so simply because she wasn’t sure where to go or what to do next. She considered again if she might be strong enough to return to Draenor. By some magic, just as she was pondering this question, she received a letter from Kamalia.

She was probably strong enough now that she could go to Frostwall Garrison, but she wasn’t sure that she’d really have anything she could do there. Archaeology, perhaps, maybe with a little fishing on the side? Or would that be fishing, with a little archaeology on the side? As she hadn’t taken any primary professions, she felt that gathering herbs and ore at Frostwall would be… cheating, somehow. And this thing she had heard about gathering followers to help staff Frostwall… was she not herself a Follower, in a sense, of Kamalia? It didn’t seem right for her to have followers collecting things for her, and it didn’t seem at all fair that actions of her followers could bring her experience…

The Underpowered Death Knight read the letter again. It did not specify a time by which she must come to Frostwall.

There was still a lot that she could do in Pandaria. She could look for the Lorewalkers’ scrolls. She could help the Golden Lotus with cleanup in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. She could learn more about the August Celestials. She could even go into the Dread Wastes and see if the lesser members of the temporarily truce-making faction of the mantid, the Klaxxi, still wanted outside assistance in the wake of the total party kill of their Paragons during the Siege of Orgrimmar. But one pandaren group stood out from all the rest — as she had worked with Fei-Li and Snow Blossom to free the wild cloud serpents of Shan’ze Dao, she’d been intrigued by their mentions of an order of cloud serpent riders in the Jade Forest. Yes, that was where she should go next, to the Arboretum to see how those cloud serpent eggs and hatchlings she’d helped to rescue were faring.

While she was at the Arboretum, however, the checkered flags suddenly made her aware of a certain crispness in the breeze. Perhaps she should take a couple of weeks off to go ram racing as a warm-up for cloud serpent racing…

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There was something different about the world this morning.

At first, Kerisa couldn’t quite put her finger on just what it was. The sky was the same overcast grey as every other day, with snowflakes floating lazily down into the drifts against which the Garrison staff waged constant war. But the breeze felt fresher somehow, and as she looked up at the sky again, a rylak matriarch and her brood swooped over the Garrison, screaming at each other.

A group of large creatures flying

There were many small flying creatures on Draenor, birds and insects and such, but it seemed that only the strongest individuals of the larger winged creatures could actually fly. In Nagrand, the great windrocs hovered only a few feet above the grass instead of soaring above the trees. The Frostwolf Orcs celebrated those who could successfully tame and ride a flight-capable rylak. Likewise, the Laughing Skull Orcs occasionally managed to tame and ride flight-capable ravagers. Kerisa had heard that in Shadowmoon Valley, the Draenei had tamed fey dragons, which were unusual in that almost all of them could fly.

As the forces from Azeroth had settled in, their wyverns and gryphons had only been able to make short flights from outpost to outpost. Even that was exhausting for the beasts. People who kept stables of personal flying mounts had been sorely distressed by the inability of those creatures to make more than pathetic fluttering hops.

Ever since she had come to Draenor, Kerisa had been quite unable to shift into Stormcrow form. Every time she’d tried it, she’d found herself inexorably shifting into Stag form instead. She’d eventually concluded that there was some enchantment on the land that prevented most large creatures from flying — an ancient warding of the Gorian/Highmaul ogre empire, perhaps, or maybe a working of the High Arakkoa, jealously guarding the skies for themselves.

The sky… the sky did not feel so heavy today. Though she knew not how it could have been done, could the enchantment have been lifted? Or just… worn off? As soon as she had the thought, she began experimentally shifting into Stormcrow form — and instead of feeling her intentions thrust aside, her limbs involuntarily slimming toward delicate hooves and her horns stretching into a great crown of antlers, she felt her fur transforming into long, elegant feathers and her muzzle reshaping into a sharp, curved beak.

Crowing triumphantly, Kerisa spread her wings and flew.

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Several months into Warlords, I’ve finally gotten around to updating my Characters page with new portraits showing how my characters look with the new models!

The SELFIE camera proved useful for getting good facial close-up screencaps to use for this project, as I’d hoped it would. Most of the Tauren expressions are pretty silly, but there are one or two that are cute if you catch them at just the right moment. Alas, that cute, flirty expression turned into a rather… dazed expression when I reduced the new portraits to the 100 x 100 size I use for my Characters page. I still think it’s better than the serious DMV mug shot expression, though. You can’t see the color of their eyes at the small size, either. I should remember to use the camera more often when I’m bopping around the world and when I’m doing Transmogrification photo shoots… and maybe get around to making those individual Character Profile posts/pages with all their favorite mounts and titles and jukebox tracks and suchlike, and links to artwork and stories featuring that particular character.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to update my blog banner. When I last updated it, near the end of Mists, I displayed my One-of-Each-Class set of alts, because I was so pleased with myself for having finally accomplished the goal, which I’d had since I first started playing this game, of getting a character of every class to the level cap.

I won’t be doing that again, though, because I just don’t have the time any more to play classes whose fantasy doesn’t really interest me. I probably won’t play a Demon Hunter much farther than just getting through their starting zone experience, and I’m currently thinking that I may not level the Rogue or the Warlock at all in Legion. Furthermore, making the row of icons along the bottom of the banner small enough to add another one for the Demon Hunter would have made them so small that they’d barely have been readable. Instead, I’ve displayed the alts that I actually intend to play going forward into Legion. I’ve reorganized the listing priority on the Characters page in a similar fashion.

It’s funny how my interest in particular alts comes and goes. I thought I was done with my Human Mage at the end of Mists. Then I decided that if I couldn’t have a High Elf Mage, a Human Mage would be the next-best thing, and so I renamed my Human Mage and made her look as much like my Blood Elf Mage as I could. I wasn’t quite satisfied with that, though. I kept iterating her appearance until I was happy with it, and it turns out that what I really wanted my Human Mage to be is as close to an avatar of my RL self as I could manage (oddly enough, the new model face that I ultimately chose as the one that seemed the closest to just right is one that I probably wouldn’t have chosen in the old model version). As I updated my Characters page, I considered putting my Human Mage’s race down as “High Elf”, signifying that even though the model she uses is Human, RP-wise she is really a Quel’dorei, but that just didn’t feel quite right anymore because I’ve gotten to a happy place with that character as a Human. If by some miracle the Alliance were to get playable High Elves, I’d most likely just create a new character instead of race-changing my Human Mage. I might still faction-change my Blood Elf Mage, though, and create (and perhaps even boost) that new character as a Blood Elf Mage, because I think I’d still want a Blood Elf Mage, as well as a High Elf Mage…

I did, however, put down RP-inspired race descriptions for some of my Tauren characters, indicating customization options (such as Grimtotem war paint) that I would take if they were available. I already knew which characters were of the Taunka and Yaungol sub-races; with Legion introducing a new Taurenoid sub-race, I looked through my other characters to decide which one to retcon as a Highmountain Tauren. I chose my secondary Druid, whose RP description already establishes her as having features that aren’t actually available in the current character customization options. Perhaps curly coat is a trait that was unique to the tribes that lived in the Highmountain region of Pangaea-Kalimdor, or, like the moose horns or the characteristics that distinguish Taunka and Yaungol from Shu’halo, a trait that developed among them after the Sundering split them off from the rest of the Tauren lineages.

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The Underpowered Death Knight was well-satisfied with her efforts in the Valley of the Four Winds.

She’d helped Mr Yoon revitalize his grandfather’s property and prove his worth to the Tillers. She’d helped him get together with Gina Mudclaw, too.

Helping out Farmer Yoon had led to helping each of the Tillers, and she’d slowly gained the respect and friendship of all of them* — even the arrogant Haohan Mudclaw.

Most recently, she’d helped Fish Fellreed find the legendary Old Man Thistle’s treasure.

Coming back to Pandaria after her defeat and discharge during the assault on the Dark Portal in Tanaan Jungle had been a crushing lesson in humility. The Underpowered Death Knight had thought, when she joined the invasion force, that she had grown strong enough that the creatures of Pandaria would no longer provide a suitable challenge, but when she had started helping Mr Yoon try to get into the Tillers’ good graces, the virmen infesting the Mudclaw farms had overcome her. Toiling in the farms every day had slowly strengthened her, though, and now those virmen — and even the big hozen ravagers up on the Skyrange — were easily defeated.

The Underpowered Death Knight considered. Was she strong enough yet to rejoin the battle on Draenor? Perhaps not. Maybe it was time for her to seek the favor of the Shado-Pan…

* Making her only the second of my characters, after Kamalia, to have completed this achievement. Most of them just got the furniture, the mailbox, and the straw hat. A few got one additional upgrade, such as the orange tree or the kitty.

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Something about the abandoned docks where the Hungry Riverbeast came ashore felt hauntingly familiar.

As Kamalia turned around and caught sight of the road leading away from the far side of the docks, the memories returned in a terrifying, overwhelming rush…

The bodies were gone, of course.

In this climate, in this jungle, after so many months, it was inevitable.

But as Kamalia and Draka fought their way up the road, Kamalia spied fluttering scraps of bright cloth snagged in the briars, and Azerothian pauldrons, helmets, and weapons half-buried in the mud.

Her heart ached again for the cost of war, for the valiant members of the Vanguard, Horde and Alliance alike, and for the rescued Frostwolves and draenei who had fallen in that final, panicked, headlong rush toward the (relative) safety of the boats.

Kamalia knew that Tanaan Jungle corresponded to the Hellfire Peninsula region of Outland. Studying the map, she knew that Vol’mar was in the same location, relative to the Dark Portal and Hellfire Citadel, as Thrallmar. But just as with Shadowmoon Valley, this land was so rich and full and overgrown with life that she could not make the terrain align in her mind. Really, this Draenor was so different from the Draenor that had become Outland (especially in the relative homeland locations of the orcish clans), that it was astonishing that it had spawned a collection of Warlords with the same names, and a Durotan and a Draka, at all.


Gameplay-wise, I’m enjoying this patch. With Vivianne at her side, Kamalia has been able to handle just about everything she’s encountered… except for the demons at the Throne of Kil’jaeden and the saberon in Fangri’la. I’ll have to be diligent about getting myself into Saberstalker rep groups for Rumble in the Jungle at the beginning of each week if I want to get this rep done at any kind of reasonable speed. The Vol’mar rep doesn’t seem like it will be too bad to do. The Arakkoa rep will be a bit harder; I’ve actually been deliberately ignoring treasures that I see so that I will still have treasures to collect for the treasure-finding/rare-killing daily for as long as possible.

I’m enjoying the Shipyard and Naval Missions (so far). I think it’s a nifty iteration on the original followers & missions mechanics of the Garrison. I like the gameplay depth of being able to customize my ships for specific missions by changing their equipment. I’ve found about half of the equipment blueprints I need; I still need to keep my eyes peeled for the rares that drop the remaining blueprints and brave the first wing of Hellfire Citadel LFR for the Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer blueprint. Swapping out equipment is slowly draining my cache of Garrison Resources, though, so I suppose I ought to start using my Trading Post (as long as I have it up anyway for rep purposes) to generate resources.

At this point, I am thinking that I will take only three of my alts to Tanaan: Kerisa the Druid, who is my Scribe, to get the Glyph of Ascendance technique from the rare who drops it; Keija the Warrior, to get the Forgotten Champion’s Blade; and Kaylynda the Alliance Mage.

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