farewell, WoW Insider

I, too, am saddened that WoW Insider is having to close up shop. Although I didn’t participate in the WoW Insider community, as a reader, I love what the site does.

Where will I go, now, for my daily dose of The Queue?
Will Anne start writing at her old blog again, so I can still enjoy her dazzling knowledge of lore and especially her Tinfoil Hat theories?
Will Rossi start writing on his personal blog more, and will I be able to get a weekly dose of Dinosaurs Are Awesome there, now, too?
What about the WoW Archivist column? Will there be somewhere else, somewhere new, that takes thematic explorations into how World of Warcraft has developed over its history?
I’ll miss Alex — or is it one of the Adams? — writing occasionally about his “day job” with the Minnesota Opera, because I’m rather fond of the Twin Cities, and it was fun to connect his mentions of his work at the opera with what I’d hear about the opera while listening to Minnesota Public Radio.
I’ll miss the way WoW Insider breaks the news up into easily understandable, easily linkable single-topic posts that help me to figure out the features of a new patch or expansion that I’m most excited about. Wowhead is great and getting better all the time, but it just doesn’t fill the same news-digesting role that WoW Insider does.
I’ll miss their commentary, their editorials and opinions, on the news. When WoW Insider said something, I usually agreed, and I hoped that because they were a big site with an apparently good relationship with Blizzard, that Blizz would actually pay attention.

Plus, I seriously doubt that my “Things my characters are wearing with their Shado-Pan Helmets” would be continuing to be my number one source of hits each week if WoW Insider hadn’t linked it shortly after I originally published it. I am continually grateful to them for that moment in the limelight.

I suppose I’ll have to keep an eye out for whatever comes to pass on February third…

Garrison Milestones

My job is keeping me pretty busy and I haven’t had nearly as much time to play as when I was un- or part-time employed. I love my job, though — it really is the “dream job” that I told everyone I wanted while I was in graduate school — so I don’t mind the reduction in my playtime too badly. Even with my limited playtime, the Garrison has kept the little rewards and accomplishments coming in.

Tuesday last week — the 13th — my eighth follower recruit from the Inn came with an extra special surprise!

Too bad the acheivement didn’t come with the eponymous title as a reward, though.

Kaprikka hit the resource cap —

— but I’ve continued to log in with her because her handful of followers are not all purple yet (a combination of not prioritizing high XP missions enough and failing high XP missions that were over 90% success chance). I’ll also probably keep checking her Mission Table for things like the “Relic of Rukhmar” and “Errand for the SPS” missions to help rep grinding for my other characters.

I’ve completed all the inland catches for Draenor Angler. I guess it’s time for me to take a trip to the coast to fish up a heap of Enormous Sea Scorpions. Then I’ll be able to do the quest chain to bring Nat Pagle to my Garrison — though I’ve heard that he’s kind of obnoxious and a little bit creepy. It might be worth having him around just so that Rak’jin will stop trying to tell me all about this dude who’s already my Best Friend, though…

After having a couple of weeks (not consecutive) where I got two Garrison Campaign missions, this week brought the final episode a little earlier than I might otherwise have expected.

This mission also awarded a follower upgrade item:

I’d use it on Choluna, but my Choluna came with “Fast Learner” as her trait, and it seems a shame to “waste” that by insta-purpleing her. I think I’ll save it for Penny Clobberbottom or Kaz the Shrieker — I have yet to swap my outpost in Gorgrond and obtain the service of those two ladies — or perhaps for a future Inn recruit.
I’m also not sure which follower should get Azuka’s polearm. It would be highly appropriate for Lantresor, except that he’d think he ought to have earned it for himself, rather than have it gifted to him. It would be great for Na’shra, except that she’d think she ought to have forged it herself. Olin, maybe? No, his default totem-log is too cool a weapon to change. Perhaps one of my belfadins from the Inn, then? I’ll have to think on this for awhile more.

I have really enjoyed the Garrison Campaign weekly missions. They’ve been great for my low time-availability and single player content preference. I’ve liked being part of a continually unfolding story; it’s kept me engaged in the world of Draenor and the game as a whole. I am very grateful that I’ve experienced almost none of the bugginess with the Garrison Campaign that’s been reported!

Now, looking forward to Patch 6.1, I’m sure I’ll be requesting your help with some of those Bounty missions so that I can collect all the pieces for my Garrison Jukebox…

Approximately 18 months ago — in August 2013 — I suggested that Sunsong Ranch could use a jukebox, saying:

I suppose it’s probably too late to get a jukebox for Sunsong Ranch… but if Blizz iterates upon the personal farm/house concept in the next expansion, something like this could easily be part of the package. It could be the reward for becoming Best Friends with one of the farming NPCs. Engineers could make it with some ridonkulous amount of high level materials. It could even be an item in the in-game store. However it is obtained/implemented, I would love to be able to choose my favorite World of Warcraft music to play inside my characters’ personal space.

Either the person(s) at Blizzard whose job it is to keep tabs on the WoW blogosphere thought this was an interesting enough idea to pass along, or (more likely) someone who is less internet-agoraphobic than I am suggested a similar idea on the official forums and got a lot of “yes, yes, please do this!” support, because here we are in the next expansion, with the Garrison as the iteration of the Farm concept, and lo and behold, in Patch 6.1, the Garrison will get a jukebox.

If someone at Blizzard does read my little blog — THANK YOU! I’m so excited for Patch 6.1 to come so I can build my Garrison boombox and fill it up with tunes! XD

Hey, the Pet-Battling Brewmaster Monk said to the Hunter, taming beasties is kind of your schtick, isn’t it? If anyone has the Menagerie open in their Garrison, it ought to be you! And don’t you want to earn the “Tamer” title for yourself?

The Hunter demurred that she isn’t really all that much of a “Tamer”, having declined to participate in most of the special taming challenges offered to Hunters in the Cataclysm zones and Pandaria because she wasn’t interested in acquiring either the abilities or the appearance of most of the pets so tamed.

Nevertheless, as a Goblin Engineer, it’s been easy enough for the Hunter to pop up to Winterspring to engage Stone Cold Trixxy after tending her Farm.

Perhaps I shall spread some of my lower-level alts about amongst the Kalimdor & Eastern Kingdoms pet tamers to work, when I have time (ha, ha) and inclination, on training some more of my crowd of level 1 pets up into the mid-range. I still don’t have much interest in doing most of the specialty fights such as the Darkmoon Faire, Pandarian Spirit Tamers, and Beasts of Fable — or even the Menagerie daily pet battles — but it might be nice, eventually, to at least take on all the “continental” groups of tamers… and maybe even do the Celestial Tournament someday.

I’m having a real hard time getting my brain in gear to work today — it must be Thursday (never could get the hang of Thursdays) — so I’m going to write a blog post instead. I saw on Alt:ernative this morning a link to a post about “Maintenance Gaming”.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have been doing ever since Kam got to level 100, and it’s pretty much what I will be doing probably until the end of the semester. Classes began on Monday, and because of the way I’ve restructured my courses, I’ve got a lot more work to do. Last semester, I was able to go home for lunch most days of the week, so I’d do the “maintenance” stuff of tending farms/garrisons over my lunch break and then I could “play” — run LFR, do dailies, level alts, whatever — in the evening. This semester, however, I’ll be spending my evening playtime hours on the maintenance stuff at least until I get my prep schedule enough under control that I can start going home for lunch again. The maintenance stuff is really about all I have enough energy for, anyway. Even doing my Garrison Campaign weeklies, which I enjoy, is getting pushed off until the weekends when I’ll have not only more time but also more energy to invest in doing them.

Having to spend more time on work and less time on play also means that blog posts might be few and far between for awhile (though I’ll probably try to put another post up pretty soon, so that I don’t leave this somewhat depressing ramble as the top post for too very long).

In additon to the whole “less time and energy for play” issue, I haven’t taken Kam into Highmaul LFR yet, despite having heard that it’s dead easy, because I’m too scroogey* to want to pay for gems and enchants on the AH when I have alts that have those professions. Problem is, the alts that have those professions are still in Pandaria working on my Bag Operation to get all** of my Bloodhoof-Duskwood characters equipped with Royal Satchels in their main inventories. Turns out, I didn’t spend enough time on “maintenance gaming” during late Mists — if I had kept all my farms running all the time, the Bag Operation would be well over and done by now.

Poor Kaprikka. She’s been stuck in maintenance mode for so long that she’s accumulated over 7k resources… and after she reaches the 10k resource cap, it might be a long time before I log in with her again. Although I pushed and pushed to get Kaprikka to level 90 in late Mists so that I could play through the new Draenei lore as a Draenei in Warlords, rushing so fast with dungeons and such that I skipped large swaths of already-existing Alliance lore in Outland, Northrend, and the Cataclysm zones, recently I’ve been thinking that I should focus on/commit to just one Alliance alt… and I’ve decided that I would rather “be” Kaylynda, the red-headed Human Mage, when I do Alliance things at level 100. Alas, poor Kaprikka… perhaps you can commiserate about the fickleness of your overmind with Tome’s Lokkan?

* Speaking of being scroogey, several weeks ago, I was on an alt when I got a random whisper asking for help. When I asked what I could help with, the person begged for several hundred gold to help them purchase the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. I declined, because I always decline gold begging, but I softened the blow by telling them that I myself am saving for the Grand Expedition Yak. Which is true… sort-of. I would like to have my owm personal pocket-Transmogrifier someday… I’m just not saving up for it in a very fast or very focused sort of way.

** Well, all of my alts above level 50, at any rate. I recently decided that, for my sanity’s sake, the alts under level 50 would only get one Royal Satchel apiece, in place of the gathering professions bag I might have gotten them in previous expansions.

fooling Chester

A couple of months ago, I was excited to learn that there would be a new vendor at the Darkmoon Faire selling RP-quality Gilnean garb. I, along with others, was disappointed to find out that purchasing the new clothing is gender-restricted — female characters can only buy the “Noblewoman’s” clothing, whereas male characters can only buy the “Nobleman’s” clothing.

When I saw the Transmorphic Tincture in the list of potions my Alchemist could learn from her Garrison Profession hut, I wondered if perhaps Chester could be fooled…

female-to-male Transmorphic Tincture

male-to-female Transmorphic Tincture

Yep, Chester can be fooled, alright.

I discovered, alas, that the coloration of the Nobleperson’s clothing is gender-specific.

Nobleman’s Coat & Pantaloons

Noblewoman’s Finery & Skirt

But what if that fancy black coat is what I want a female banker to be able to wear? Argh!

With the WoW’s Tenth Anniversary event about to expire, I finally got around to doing 40-player Molten Core LFR. I got lucky with a group that managed to get through with a minimum of hassle and annoyance.

Naturally, that firey new hat also meant I needed a firey new Transmogrification kit to go with it — my first proper mix-and-match kit of the new expansion.

Molten Destruction

Crown of Destruction, Erupting Volcanic Mantle & Handwraps, Sha’tari Deadeye Vest, Stormleather Sash, Molten Earth Kilt, War Mace of Unrequited Love, Streamtalker Shield
If Baron Geddon had been kind enough to drop the Earthfury Epaulets on my way in for my mog kit photoshoot with Ragnaros 1.0, I’d have swapped out the T12 shoulders for the T1s. Alas, he didn’t, and I doubt that I’ll bother to continue farming for them.


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