Once upon a time, the Hallowed Helm was introduced as a cloth item so that everyone could wear it. Nowadays, I think that it really ought to be upgraded to a Cosmetic item so that everyone can Mog it. Using a Weighted Jack-o’-Lantern gives the same effect, albeit only temporarily.


Jade Epaulets, Wildguard Breastplate & Leggings, Ghost-Forged Belt, Gloves of the Overwhelming Swarm, Boots of Avoidance, Slavemaster Axe
So I was assembling this kit for my secondary Warrior, until it occurred to me how nice it would look with the Underpowered Death Knight’s green coloration… Then Hallow’s End began, and this goofy Mog idea sealed the deal.


Sparkleshell Mantle, Brackwater Vest Leggings & Boots, Unyielding Waistband & Fists, Poison-Tipped Bone Spear
There weren’t really any nice green guns or bows that Kawneiha could use at her current level (58, and I didn’t feel like pushing her through to 63 to use the Fel Iron Musket just for this kit). Looking forward to Survival being a melee spec in Legion, however, this polearm worked. At higher levels, the Ranseur of Hatred or Kaleiki’s Lost Training Staff would be good Mog choices for a polearm for this kit.

Forest Gypsy

Keeper’s Mantle, Gypsy Tunic & Trousers, Deviate Scale Belt, Forest Leather Gloves & Boots, Sower’s Cloak*, Staff of the Green Circle
Kaiuna has so much green in her wardrobe that I’ve barely begun to explore all the possible permutations.


Greenweave Mantle Leggings Gloves & Cloak, Ivycloth Tunic, Willow Belt & Boots, Green Linen Bracers, Lesser Mystic Wand, Simple Branch
This off-hand is the same model as many low level wands, thus enabling a character to appear as if they are dual-wielding wands.

At Hallow’s End, I make my Death Knight a kit using the Horseman’s Helm.

2015: Evil Pumpkin King II

Horseman’s Horrific Helm, Crystalvein Pauldrons, Embossed Plate chestpiece & Leggings, Veteran’s Scaled Belt, Borderland Fortress Grips, Subservient Greatboots, Illskar’s Greatcloak, Apolyon, the Soul-Render
Whether Kregga plays Frost as DW-1H or as 2H has generally depended upon what weapon I want to use for her current Transmogrification kit. With Artifact weapons boxing Frost into the DW-1H niche for Legion, she’ll probably want to keep using a 2H weapon right up until the new expansion launches.
I’d originally contemplated farming up this sword for my Titan’s Grip Fury Warrior, but when I discovered how nicely it coordinated with this hat, well, then, my DK was the one who really had to have it.

2014: Grave Moss

The Horseman’s Horrific Hood, Crystalvein shoulders chestpiece & gloves, Field Plate Girdle, Antique Reinforced Legguards, Pyrelord Greaves, Gravestone War Axe*/Greataxe of Stonard
I thought about making black “Grim Reaper”-type outfit to go with this axe, but somehow that seemed excessively cliche. These greens look better with the glowing helmet, anyway.

2013: Ata’mal Spectre

Horseman’s Horrific Helm, Crystalvein Pauldrons, Chromite chestpiece & leggings, Symbolic belt gloves & boots, Sword of Nefarian’s Hand, Purple Trophy Tabard of the Illidari
This spooky ensemble combines ideas from two outfits I originally designed for the fourth round of Mog Madness.

2012: Evil Pumpkin King

Horseman’s Helm, Kraken shoulders, Embossed chest pants gloves & boots, Fel Iron Plate Belt, Green Workman’s Shirt, 2x Gurubashi Punisher
I watched the AH for the Embossed items all year so that I could make this set when Hallow’s End rolled around again.

holding myself back

Here we are in what are definitely the waning days* of Warlords, and I still have only one level 100 character.

I can’t even complain about it being a side-effect of all the evenings I spend working instead of playing due to my job, because I could have had at least two more characters at level 100 for quite some time — if I hadn’t been deliberately holding back on questing with them.
My primary Monk is at 53% through level 99 from diligently doing Practice Makes Perfect, augmented by herbing in her Garrison and character XP missions.
My Hunter is at 69% through level 99, with most of her XP having come from pet battling, mining in her Garrison, occasionally doing the Fishing Shack daily, and character XP missions.
Neither one of them has done any questing in Draenor beyond completing Frostfire Ridge.
I have held both of them back from doing the Pinchwhistle Gearworks/Salvage Yard quest chain partly because they won’t have a third small building spot until they get to level 100 anyway, partly because I thought it would be nifty to get them to level 100 mostly from dailies, and partly because I’d had the thought, since before Warlords launched, that maybe this time around I should let my Alliance Mage be my second character to 100.

Unfortunately, my Human Mage isn’t cooperating very well. She’s always had a mind of her own, and after I got the Underpowered Death Knight her Shado-Pan hat, she decided that she needed to go get hers — my Human Mage was my last character to reach level 90 before Warlords, and by that time I was so tired of the Pandaria reps that I only barely managed to push her through getting her Farm fully expanded. When she left Draenor to return to Pandaria, my Human Mage was halfway through Talador, having done everything but the Auchindoun and Shattrath questlines. She’s only been doing the Shan’ze Dao set of Shado-Pan dailies, though, so it’s going a bit slow. After she gets her Shado-Pan hat, I may or may not be able to convince her to come back to Talador instead of going off to do the Divine Bell questline and the Kirin Tor Assault on the Isle of Thunder. For whatever reason, she hasn’t been utterly charmed by Yrel — perhaps I’ve been inadvertently spoilt too much on events that will happen later in the Alliance storyline, thus diminishing my desire to pursue it just to see what happens next? Or maybe I have screenshot fatigue from trying to screencap everything because I know I’ll probably only go through the Alliance stuff once…

The Underpowered Death Knight is now at 74% through level 96 from working with the Serpent Riders. Since I took her to Frostwall, I’ve begun to contemplate letting her be my second level 100. Wouldn’t that be funny, my character who usually lags far behind the rest, being the second to the finish line? With Hallow’s End about to start, she will gain about a level over the next fortnight from doing the holiday dailies. Getting her that last couple of levels will then be as simple as flying around Draenor looking for the purple glow of treasures…

* Regarding the moose mount: I am sad that it won’t be widely available, but getting it is so far out of my reach that all I can do is shrug and say, hey, that’s $25 I can spend on Christmas presents, or joining 2YC3, or the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart series, or something, instead of at the Blizzard Store. I’ll just be over here hoping that a less-elaborately-outfitted, less-supernaturally-glowy version of the moose mount will be available through a rep grind in Val’sharah.

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.

Over at the Godmother’s flat, there’s been a discussion going about dungeon running do’s and don’ts that evolved into a bit of a debate about whether or not it is appropriate to expect folks to use flasks in Heroics. The Godmother sez:

If you respect other people, be the best you can regardless of the situation. Show your group that you aren’t just here to leech off their goodwill. Buy a flask, use it, and make others aspire to do their best.

which, in the context of the previous post’s assertion that proper dungeon etiquette is to

Come prepared with a flask and a food buff, and use them both.

is getting interpreted, rightly or wrongly, as you ought to be as prepared to run a Heroic as you would be to run a raid.

I actually mostly agree with the Godmother. I agree with the general notion that it’s inconsiderate of other players for one to arrive in a Heroic completely lacking in any kind of consumable-based buff (food, flasks/elixirs, augment runes, are there any others that I’m forgetting?). My memory for everyday things I did in WoW is even worse than my memory for everyday things I did IRL, but in previous expansions, I probably did have a flask or elixir buff running when I went to run Heroics, and even though I probably wouldn’t have had a food buff running from a personal stack of best-stat food, I probably would have gotten a lesser food buff from a friendly person having dropped a Feast at the entrance of the dungeon.

In this expansion, though, when I actually was running Heroics, back when I was doing all the first-time versions of the quests from the Inn, I often went into them with just one consumable-based buff running: Oralius’s Whispering Crystal. I discovered pretty quickly that the Whispering Crystal buff was mutually exclusive with a flask — if I tried to use a flask when I had the Whispering Crystal buff already running, I’d get the “a more powerful spell is already active” error message. I therefore considered using the Whispering Crystal to be equivalent to using a flask, even though as an all-stats buff, it didn’t buff my primary combat stat as much as a flask would. Sometimes I did use food, too — but only until I ran out of the stack I’d cooked up while leveling my Cooking skill. As a healer, making sure I had a stack of mana soup on hand was more important to me than having buff food. When I had Augment Runes in my bags, I usually forgot to use them. And when a fight was tough, I never felt like it was my stats that were the problem. It was my klutziness with movement mechanics that would cause me to lose a DPS or to have to panic-heal the tank — when my cast timing was too late because I was moving in the wrong direction relative to the other players, another 100 points or whatever of Int wouldn’t have helped me to save that DPS or to not scare that tank.

So I also agree with the sentiments of those who have responded to the Godmother saying that while as many consumable-based buffs as possible are necessary and desirable at the beginning of an expansion when everyone is newly-dinged, in crummy gear, and lacking mastery of the mechanics, by the time we get to this stage of an expansion, when gear levels and general knowledge of mechanics have improved, full consumable-based buffs of the best possible quality aren’t really necessary anymore to ensure the success of the group in an ordinary Heroic. For Mythic or Challenge modes, sure. But for an ordinary Heroic? Not so much. Any one of the consumable-based buffs — food OR flask/Whispering Crystal OR augment rune — will probably be sufficient.

I’m also feeling contrary about the Godmother’s assertion that one ought to have BOTH food and flask to be properly prepared for Heroics because that feeling that I ought to be socially responsible when I participate in group content, that I maybe ought to have some buff food as well as the Whispering Crystal, that I ought to actually equip into my healing kit all that shiny new stuff I’ve gotten from Tanaan and from the Hellfire Citadel raid chests that my followers have brought me… and then gem the pieces that have sockets, and enchant the pieces that can be enchanted… not to mention visiting the Mog guy so that my appearance isn’t a total mess… that feeling of social responsibility is one of the reasons why I’m playing WoW as a solo-player game these days. Even with Reforging gone and the number of gems and enchants reduced, getting “properly prepared” to participate in group content is SO MUCH WORK! Right now, I’m feeling entirely too lazy to actually do all that work, and so even though sometimes I think maybe I’d like to participate in group content again, my sense of social responsibility inhibits me. And so I go do things I can do as a not-min-maxed solo player instead.

You see, when I wasn’t LFRing and wasn’t running Heroics or anything, I began to wonder why I was stockpiling jewelcrafting and enchanting mats and flasks and Augment Runes and such, and eventually I sent all that stuff off to the AH. I like to be self-reliant when it comes to consumables, so rather than just buying all that stuff back from the AH, I’d prefer to have my alts craft it… which amounts to a lot of errand running between them. I realize that I’d really only have to spend about one evening every couple of weeks doing nothing but errand running with alts to make stuff for Kam to use while dungeon running… but I’d rather spend my playtime doing other sorts of things. The combination of limited playtime, laziness, and the YOU ARE NOT PREPARED sense of social responsibility has become a barrier to entry for me running Heroics (or Timewalking). Sometimes, I wish I could just ignore that feeling of social responsibility and just queue up and GO.

And what does the level 3 Storehouse have to do with it? Well, back in the day, I didn’t build my Storehouse all the way up to level 3 because I thought I didn’t really need to have a Mog guy right there in my Garrison. Ashran was only a portal (or a flight) away, and I’d heard that the Mog guy in the Storehouse was too fidgety. Well, then Blizz cured the Storehouse Mog guy’s itchy feet, but Ashran was still not that far away, right? Given my reluctance to actually equip any of my shiny new gear because then I’d have to go re-do my Mog, though, maybe Ashran is too far away for my current lazybones self. So maybe I’d better upgrade my Storehouse to level 3 after all, so that I can change my clothes in the comfort of my Garrison. Then having to re-do my Mog when I get a new piece of gear would be one less thing getting in the way of me participating in group content again.

Since finishing up with Tanaan and rebuilding her Inn, Kamalia has been much more selective about hiring new followers. Previously, she would hire the best of the three applicants every week, even if she wasn’t really all that thrilled with any of them. Now, though, if none of the new applicants truly fit her hiring criteria, she just doesn’t hire anyone new that week.

I’ve been recruiting alternately for Massive Strike and Magic Debuff, trying to get someone who has the possibility of having both abilities to fill the last hole in my “get a follower with every ability combination” matrix (I actually have three holes, but filling the other two is just a matter of playing the ability reroll slot machine with existing followers). If none of the applicants could have both abilities, and none of them were Tauren, I didn’t hire any of them. In the first week after rebuilding my Inn, I did get an applicant who could have both abilities… in fact, I think there might have been two that week, but they were all Human or Undead males that week and so I didn’t hire them. Then for a few weeks I didn’t get anyone who even could have both abilities — though I did hire the Tauren female Druid who showed up one of those weeks.

These are the applicants I got this week:

That made the third time that I’ve seen this Soulare fellow. Previously, I would have chosen the female Orc Shaman instead, but this time, I noticed that Soulare could fill that last hole in my ability combination matrix —

— so I hired him.

He probably won’t proc into Magic Debuff + Massive Strike right when he goes purple, though, so between Soulare and the other two, I’ll be going through a lot of reroll manuals to finish filling out my chart. Thus, I still have the Lumber Mill up, to keep up a supply of Garrison Resources for rerolling as well as for running the Shipyard until I’ve got all three Heirloom rings (I got one of them a week or so ago).

From now on, when I go to hire new followers at the Inn on Tuesdays, I will probably just cycle through the abilities, hoping to get more of the Tauren followers — I currently have 13 out of 48 (46 from the Inn, plus Olin and Choluna).

(P.S. If you want to visit Soulare in my Garrison just to get the toy, toss me a whisper and come right on over!)

I was thinking about the new rewards for Brewfest this year — I’ll be spending the Underpowered Death Knight’s tokens on the Stout Alemental and naming it “Yes No Peppers” or “More Corn” or something else of the sort in honor of Uncle Gao’s masterpiece — and it occurred to me that if there was a Brewfest Music Roll (ideally just the fun polka music, minus the drunken laughter and terrible jokes) on offer, I’d be doing ram-racing with Kamalia, too.

I wondered, why didn’t Blizzard do this? It would be a fun addition to the holiday. As I thought about it, I realized that most of the other holidays don’t have distinctive holiday music tracks. The only one I can think of is the ribbon pole dance music from Midsummer Fire Festival (I’d spend holiday tokens on that, too). Can you guys think of any other special holiday music?

If all the holidays had special music, then I’d say that it’s a huge missed opportunity that Blizz hasn’t added holiday music rolls for the Garrison jukebox to the holiday vendors. But if it’s just one or two, then I guess it wouldn’t make quite as much sense.


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