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Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

After collecting all of the Artifact weapons, my next goals were to recover a Pillar of Creation and to do the Order Hall Campaign chapter that opens up at level 103.

I’m grateful that the devs put at least one of the Pillars of Creation outside the end-of-zone dungeon… but it still took awhile to decide to run Val’sharah a dozen times.

My Druid went through Val’sharah with the sound on and watching all the cutscenes completely, of course. Most of the rest of them, however, did it with the sound off — I got tired of listening to Malfurion and Tyrande wail at each other pretty quickly — and skipping the cutscenes. Nevertheless, most, if not all of them have screenshots of the moment where Tyrande asks “Have you ever loved as I have?” because it has given me something to think about for their RP backstories.

By about the third time, I’d figured out which areas were entirely side-quests. By the fourth or fifth time, I’d figured out which bonus objectives were easily completed in the course of doing the main quest in the area, and which ones I should just skip in the interest of getting to the end as soon as possible. By the sixth time, I’d streamlined my route through each area. By the seventh time, it occurred to me that the repeated appearances and taunting of the Shade of Xavius throughout the zone were very much like the repeated appearances and taunting of the Lich King throughout leveling in Northrend. By the eighth time, I was asking myself why the Druids, etc, in the zone hadn’t already noticed the creeping corruption of the Nightmare.

I came to the conclusion that what the player is supposed to experience — especially if they do the three Archdruids in the order Elothir, Koda, Thaon, which I think must be the intended order — is the sudden eruption of the Nightmare from out of Shaladrassil — the thoroughly corrupted areas having been overcome as swiftly as Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The player comes to the Grove of Cenarius for the first time just as the Nightmare is beginning to spill forth from underneath Shaladrassil. As the player goes deeper and deeper into Val’sharah, the Nightmare has had longer to take over, but it still hasn’t been very long — a matter of hours or days at the most — before the player arrives on the scene. With the help of the player, the NPCs halt the Nightmare at its leading edge, preventing the places that were only relatively lightly touched by the Nightmare from becoming any more corrupted.

One of these days I’ll have to run my Druid through Emerald Nightmare LFR and find out what happens next.

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At last, the final two of the thirty-six Class & Specialization specific Artifact Weapons are mine.

The Holy Paladin quest took me once again to Tyr’s Fall in the Whispering Forest of Tirisfal Glades. With the big bad of the other two questlines not there at all and a different big bad for this questline, it is clear that the sequence of events there was Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin. So what were the secret Paladins doing while the Arms Warriors and Shadow Priests were poking around there? Going to Dalaran to get help, I guess.

I’m pretty rusty with Paladin healing, and that combined with the changes to the class mechanics meant that my party wiped on our first attempt at the final boss. I might have to re-evaluate my talent choices for that spec before I try to take it into a dungeon.

As expected, the Retribution Paladin quest went back to the Broken Shore.

I won’t spoil what happens, other than to say that it appears to me that even though I collected the Paladin Artifacts in the order Protection, Holy, Retribution, the canonical order in which the Highlord acquired the Artifacts seems to have been Ashbringer first, then the other two. The Ashbringer questline segues most directly into the post-acquisition-of-first-Artifact event at the Order Hall, and the Highlord going to get the Ashbringer first would give the Battlelord time to be first to Shield’s Rest and the Battlelord and the High Priest time to have their own adventures at Tyr’s Fall before the Highlord gets there.

I do still have to acquire the Underlight Angler before my Artifact collection will be 100% complete, but I’ve got a lot of fishing left to do to get it, and spending my playtime doing nothing but fishing is usually an activity I reserve for when I want to play WoW on Sunday.

Now that I’ve completed this Alt Progression goal, the next two Alt Progression objectives are to complete a zone and get its Pillar of Creation and to level to 103 and complete the chapter of the Order Hall Campaign that opens up at that level. Because they’ve all already done the Falling Star questline, doing these two things will complete unlocking all the tints for the default appearances of the Artifact Weapons.

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After everyone had collected the Falling Star, it was my Priest’s turn to go get her other Artifacts.

The Holy quest took me once again to Niskara, though it started at the other end of the zone than the Marks Hunter and Blood Death Knight quests did. I haven’t been able to figure out what order these three questlines might have canonically occurred in, because even though they all went to or through the same central area of the zone, I didn’t notice in any of the questlines any obvious evidence of the events of the other two.

After failing the first boss fight of the scenario due to trying to do it without the aid of my addons, I set up Clique for my Holy spec and then it was smooth sailing. I had been worried that I would get errors due to having a Disc spell and a Holy spell on the same clickbind; fortunately, that didn’t seem to be happening.

The most surprising thing to me about the Holy questline was having the Demon Hunter Jace show up (to be the melee DPS for the party; we also rescued a Troll Mage to be the ranged DPS). It did make for some interesting banter between the party members, though!

After Alonsus Faol initially presented to Kaohana the three Artifact weapon choices, she made an agreement with Kazithra that the older woman would be the one to collect the Shadow Artifact.

Grimtotem Shadowtwister

Mantle of the Tribunal, Highborne Padded Armor, Ranger’s Sash, Colorful Kilt, Vonica’s Gauntlets, Staff of the Four Golden Coins/Tarnished Gutgore Ripper + Aboriginal Rod
This outfit for the ex-Grimtotem Shadow Priest Kazithra is inspired by that of the Grimtotem Geomancers, who are wearing the same chestpiece with the leather Mystic Sarong.
The Aboriginal Rod is one of a small selection of off-hand items that look like staves, thus allowing a caster to emulate Gandalf’s sword/dagger + staff combat mode.

The Shadow Priest quest went to Tyr’s Fall, the same place where the Arms Warrior quest went. My best guess is that canonically the Warrior was there first. When the Warrior goes there, the big boss appears to be dead, then wakes up when the Warrior tries to take Strom’kar and has to be beaten down, and is then executed with Strom’kar. And then the body just lies there, and doesn’t despawn or anything. When the Priest goes there, the big boss is not just already dead, it doesn’t even make a peep when the Priest stabs it with Xal’atah to drain its essence — it just dissolves into void and disappears.

I still don’t think that “Tauren” and “Shadow Priest” go together very well.

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With only three characters remaining, I decided to push them all through the Falling Star questline — get that mini-progression goal wrapped up — before having them continue on to level 102 and acquiring the rest of their Artifact weapons.

As I’ve taken more and more characters through the Battle of the Exodar, I’ve begun to imagine that what really happened was something like this: (more…)

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Baby hasn’t come yet, so I figured I might as well run another alt through the acquisition of Light’s Heart and the remaining Artifacts for her class. The Warlock was next up on the list.


I haven’t observed NPC reactions to Light’s Heart in any of the other Order Halls, but this one seemed entirely necessary and appropriate! It gave me a chuckle.

When Kalaneia reached level 102, Calydus suggested that she retrieve the other two Arifacts that he had found information about — the ones that she had rejected originally as being unsuitable for her favored school of magic. She still wasn’t interested in using those Artifacts herself, but she conceded that it would be the responsible thing to do to get them out of the hands of their current owners and into the custody of the Council of the Black Harvest. She decided that obtaining the other two Artifacts would be a good test for Kishalla.

The girl had shown up shortly after the conquest of Dreadscar Rift, claiming to be an apprentice of Shinfel Blightsworn and demanding that the hunt for her mistress must be pursued without delay.

“You will serve me now,” Kalaneia had told Kishalla, though she didn’t really want or feel like she needed an apprentice, “and you will bide your time until Rittsyn’s minions have managed to become competent enough to find us a lead on Shinfel.”

The Netherlord’s Tag-Along

Faded Spirit-Wrencher Shoulders, Ariya’s Auspicious Robe, Gem-Inlaid Velvet Cinch, Amaranthine Handwraps, any dark slippers, Chillwind Staff
I didn’t have anything specific in mind for the outfit of Kalaneia’s alter-ego, but I did have a specific appearance that I wanted — the smaller hoop earrings instead of the larger ones and the burgundy hair color in the “shy” cut. I didn’t originally intend to change the face, but I flipped through the options anyway and discovered that whereas I’d thought I already had the darkest lip color for Kalaneia, there was actually a face with a darker shade of red. So I picked that one.
Then I made an outfit to complement the appearance I’d chosen.

As I had guessed would happen when I did the Unholy Death Knight Artifact, the Affliction Warlock had the same conversation with Revil Kost. This time, I chose the trying-to-be-reasonable dialog options, and the final reply that Kost gave me was appropriately different than the final reply my Death Knight had gotten after choosing the sarcastic dialog options.

During this week, I also played through Val’sharah again, and I realized that the Karazhan Catacombs and the Black Rook Hold dungeons (where we rescue Maiev and a Demon Hunter) are the same map. The Black Rook Hold dungeons aren’t full of all the random cool knick-knacks that the Kharazhan Catacombs contain, though!

The Demonology questline started with a fun little scavenger hunt in Dalaran. I tried to guess where each of the items would be before I looked for the dot on my minimap, and I was right about all of them.

I rather expected Archmage Celindra to try to interfere with the ritual to locate Thal’kiel, so I was a little disappointed when she didn’t even seem to notice it happening.

I did both of these questlines in Destro spec.

Now I’ve completed “Arsenal of Power” for 8 classes, with Warrior, Druid, Priest, and Paladin remaining.

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My Rogue was next.


The Subtelty questline raises a few intriguing questions, chiefly about our prime informant, Val’zuun — what’s his story? why is he helping us? what does his presence in Dalaran say about the security of the city?


I’d hope to learn a little more about Garona in the Assassination questline, so I was a bit disappointed there. Overall, though, I found the Assassination questline to be the most interesting of the three.
Being Horde in Alliance territory, even with the phasing so that there were only hostile NPCs present, no hostile players, made it feel quite tense. All the sneaking around a foreign city swarming with guards reminded me of what little I’ve personally experienced — and what I’ve read many complaints about — in Suramar City. I kept getting caught by the detail that the guards who could see through stealth didn’t have detection limit circles around them, the way I’ve gotten used to seeing in most relatively recent content. I’d get revealed, and if Vanish wasn’t up, I was toast.
Before Garona and I got to the city, there was that town in an Alliance lowbie zone that, from what I remember of playing through that zone long long ago in pre-Cataclysm days, seems to have been horribly betrayed by those who were once its protectors. The presence of Winter Veil decorations made it feel particularly creepy. What is the fallout from what happened there? It seems like more people than just the Rogues should eventually know about it — but this is another situation where even though high-level players really ought to see the town changed, the town won’t change, because of how integral it is to the lowbie leveling experience.
Also, where was that one Priest NPC who is in the same zone for other classes’ Artifact questlines when all this was going down? Shouldn’t he have been there, in the town, stopping that, rather than elsewhere in the zone, fretting about something else? Or did he not arrive in the zone until after the events in the town were over?

I did both of these questlines as Outlaw; I didn’t particularly feel like setting up action bars and choosing talents. I’ll probably eventually set up at least one of the other specs, though, for when I want to do Rogue Mogs that use daggers.

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After my Monk, my Death Knight was the next-closest to level 102. I ran her through the Falling Star questline, then took her back to Stormheim and poked at the brood of Nithogg and picked fjarnskaggl until she dinged.

Upon reaching level 102, Kregga raised my deleted secondary Warrior and outfitted her in a kit reflecting both Blood and Unholy aesthetics before sending her off to collect the Artifact weapons for those specs.

The Deathlord’s Understudy

Darksoul Shoulders, Boulderfist Armor, Darkcrest Belt, Runed Sketh’lon Legplates, Gloves of Gnomebliteration, Ramkahen Front Boots, Sky Darkener’s Shroud of Blood, Torn-Heart Axe of Battle

The quests for the other two Death Knight Artifacts both took me to places I had been before; the Blood questline went to Niskara (Marks Hunter), and the Unholy questline went to the Karazhan Catacombs (Balance Druid). Though they were still very similar, these questlines felt more distinct, more altered to fit the different classes, than the Arcane Mage and Discipline Priest questlines did.

I had a hard time with Blood; I died multiple times and had to spend a lot of time eating between pulls. Although I’d equipped the 740 2H weapon from the Order Hall vendor, I’d forgotten to Runeforge it… (the existence of that weapon, however, makes me feel like I wasted my time farming for and then completely upgrading to 725 the 2H weapon from the pre-launch Demon Invasions). So when I got to the final boss fight, I chickened out of doing it in Blood and swapped back to Frost. I still died and had to run back, but I think I probably did fare better in Frost, with my 6-rank Frost Artifact, than I would have in Blood with my un-Runeforged 2H weapon.

Before I went to do the Unholy questline, I took a moment to Runeforge the Order Hall weapon. I felt like it did make a difference for my survivability in doing the Unholy questline as Unholy. I did it sans ghoul, however, and I took all the passive talents that did things other than buff the ghoul — though I did take the one that turns the gargoyle into a val’kyr. I tried the final boss fight as Unholy first just so that I could call the Dark Arbiter. It was rather close, but I beat it in one try. The ending of that fight was quite unexpected. I wonder if my Artifact Knowledge research might reveal more about that little scene?

In the Blood questline, it bugged me that Baron Sliver and Minerva Ravensorrow kept calling Margrave Dhakar just “Margrave”, as if that was really his given name. Margrave is a title! They should have been calling him “the Margrave” or “Dhakar”. Calling him just “Margrave” is like calling Duke Lankral just “Duke”.

In the initial encounter with Revil Kost, the Unholy Death Knight has three dialog choices for each stage of the conversation — a trying-to-be-reasonable option, a sarcastic option, and a flat-out attack. I took the sarcastic options. The Balance Druid just had a nice friendly conversation to begin with, but I suspect that the Affliction Warlock will also have to persuade Revil Kost to work with them, likely with the same set of (or very very similar) dialog choices to the Unholy Death Knight.

I intended to put Kregga into an entirely new & different kit after turning her back into herself. I went to the Barbershop first, however, and she looked so good in this outfit — better than Kaobeka did — that I decided to keep it for awhile longer.


the above items, plus Helm of Infinte Visions and Warsword of the Ebon Blade

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