Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Ata'mal Crystals

I'm considering commissioning a picture showing the Ata'mal Crystals. For now, I made this overview for myself.

The crystal was given to the eredar people by the naaru so long ago, that noone remembered it even 25 000 years ago. When the naaru saved the eredar from the Burning Legion, it shattered into seven crystals, one for each colour in the rainbow.

The crystals, especially Leafshadow, Heart of Fury and Spirit's Song, played a big role in Rise of the Horde, and also in some of the questlines in Outland in Burning Crusade (which I plan to do over again sometime soonish). Most of them seem to be lost in our timeline, but a recent questline for Harrison Jones got me thinking about them again. I wonder where they are in the alternate timeline?


Monday, April 27, 2015

One - The Crash

Year 26 - Entry 1

What happened? Everything hurts.

She opens her eyes and looks up at an unfamiliar starry sky, framed by a broken ceiling. Carefully, she tries to move her limbs, to check if she’s alright. Fingers, arms… The motion whirls up dust and makes her cough. She gasps, tears bursting from her eyes. Her ribs hurts terribly! She breathes shallowy, convincing her lungs that there is no need to cough. She tries adjusting her legs. Waves of pain shoot from her right knee, and she presses her eyelids shut, drums the pavement with her palm, and tries to not pass out again. The pain diminishes a little, and she becomes aware of a familiar sound. There’s water running very close; probably a small stream. Her left leg, although sore, seems fine. She turns her head gently from side to side. She feels dizzy, and her head is pounding.

She slowly rolls over so that she’s resting on the left side of her body, and takes a look at her surroundings. The entrance of the room, with the arched doorway, is intact, but the door is missing. Most of the rest of the walls are missing, with only pillars left. Some of the room is located in a small shallow pond, and beyond that she can see the top of a small waterfall. Beyond the waterfall there are rocks and tall green trees strecthing towards the skies. Still in this position, she slowly crawls towards the pond. When she is within reach, she places her hand in the water. It feels cool. She uses her hand as a cup, and lifts a small amount of water to her face. The water has no smell at all, so she carefully take a small sip. It tastes like normal water, and she continues to drink until her thirst is slated.

They had finally been able to flee the shattered remains of Draenor, Outland. Velen had led the few remaining draenei in a raid on the Exodar, which was one of four naaru vessels located in Netherstorm. Or Farahlon, as some still called it. They had to reclaim it from the blood elves, and there had been a fierce battle. She had tried to help as best as she could, but her elder sister had led her into an empty room and told her to hide. Kneeling behind some boxes, she had felt that they had started to move, but she could still hear combat sounds outside of the room. After a while, the noises seemed to move away from where she was, and eventually she couldn’t hear it at all. She had just decided to come out of hiding, when suddenly the entire ship had started shaking. The exodar seemed to be dropping, then it was hurled forwards, before it started to spin out of control. She had tried her best to find something to hold on to, the fear grasping a hold of her, clenching her heart, slowing her thoughts, and tightening her muscles. She heard terrified screams, and then loud noices, as the ship had grazed something. She had no idea how long she had been holding on to the nearest object, it could be 5 minutes or 5 hours, before the big final crash that had destroyed this room completely. She was knocked into the oposite wall by the violent movement, and had passed out. How on argus was she still alive?

She pushes the thoughts and the fear away, but can’t stop the tears. She falls to sleep, completely worn out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

An attempt to make a draenei timeline

I've been reading Rise of the Horde again. It's a very sad and infuriating book. And at the end, when I think there is no more that can shock me, there's a small scene that happens when the orcs open the Dark Portal that just breaks my heart. I also feel sad for the orcs in a way. Not for the bloodthirsty warmongering brutal idiots, but for the proud and caring people, that lived in harmony with nature. The first chapters show how good life could have been for them, and then they just fuck it all up.

My reasoning for reading Rise of the Horde over again, was that I wanted to get a better grasp on the hard facts. When did this and that happen, how many were they, and so on.

For example:

  • Less than 1 000 draenei escaped from Argus. 
  • About 25 000 years later they crash on Draenor, and they were then about an even number with the orcs, or slightly less. Without it really stating how many orcs there were on Draenor either. Velen states in Rise of the Horde that since the draenei are very long-lived, they don't have children very often. So I really don't know how much they've increased their numbers in those 25 000 years. Neither do I know how limiting Genedar/Oshu'gun was on space. 1000+X=Y draenei.
  • The orcs killed more than 80 % of them. 20 % of Y=Z.
  • About 70 years after the orc-attacks started, the draenei crash on Azeroth, with unknown losses.
  • With WoD's time-/planet-/reality-jump, we're back only 35 years in time, and by that time in our history the draenei had already suffered major losses. However, alternate timeline Draenor seems to be holding up much better. So the combined number of draenei between the two realities seems to be approximately Y+Z.
  • However, if we leave beautiful Draenor, and close the portal behind us, we're again down to Z

I've seen people argue for this being the case; we go there, we save the day, we go home again, we close the door. Well, I hope this isn't how it will turn out. My characters have undoubtedly had a hard time going back, but after spending a year or two on a Draenor that is whole again, see their culture, temples and cities "restored", meeting people they have lost in our timeline, and perhaps even getting new friends... I can't really tell them that this is something they will have to leave behind.

Here's the timeline I made, with a lot of help from Wowpedia.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kinlai - Becoming a Monk

"Perhaps you could pick up a trade instead? Artificing or mining? You're strong, I'm sure you could do very well." Kore, the relatively patient warrior trainer, tried to provide Kinlai with some advice regarding her future.
Kinlai, wearing a sad but decisive expression, would have nothing of it. "I'm a fighter! It's the only thing I'm good at. I'm not interested in anything else. It's where I belong." Kinlai pleaded with him. "If I could just get one more chance, I'll..."
"NO!" Kore stopped himself from shouting. "Kinlai... You're strong and you're quick. Yes, you are a good fighter. But if you want to train with my warriors, you need to follow my rules. And as this is the third time we are having this conversation, I can't give you any more chances. It's not happening." He tried to ignore the devastated look on her face, and continued: "It's not that I think you are breaking rules on purpose of course. Perhaps your instincts take you over when you are in combat? All I know is that you're not following the fight style that I've taught you, and none of my other students want to train with you anymore. You are literally kicking the elekk turd out of them!" He paused. "Perhaps Keilnei will let you train with the hunters again?" But Keilnei would never allow that to happen, and they both knew it.

Kinlai left, sighing heavily and dragging her hooves after her. Initially heading for her own quarters, she suddenly changed her mind and started moving towards the training room instead. She picked up a training sword from the rack and swiftly attacked one of the training dummies. Left swing, right swing, overhead, stab, stab. She felt the adrenaline rush through her, and finished the training dummy off with a deadly side kick. The dummy's head broke off, flew through the air, and smashed hard in the wall on the other side of the room. Surprised she stood there and looked at it for several seconds. She then threw the sword after it in anger, before running off.

Upset as she was, she never noticed the creature that had been watching her with interest from the hall. The draenei people had seen much on their long travels through the universe, but this creature, some kind of bear woman, still caused some curiousity and more or less well hidden stares from those nearby.

What's your story?


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kinlai and the Celestials - Art by SleepingFox

I've been following the artist SleepingFox for a couple of years. She's done art for Matty, Navimie, Puffs, and several more of the people I follow, read and interact with. A few weeks ago, she announced on Twitter and DeviantArt that she was opening for commissions. I immediately sat down and composed a looong mail, describing my wishes for Kinlai.

My monk Kinlai, in fighting stance, surrounded by the Celestials.
Niuzao, the Black Ox, representing the fortitude of the Brewmaster.
Xuen, the White Tiger, representing the strength of the Windwalker.
Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent, and Chi-Ji, the Red Crane, representing the wisdom and hope of the Mistweaver.

Kinlai is wearing the Mists of Pandaria challenge mode gear, with some modifications. I wanted to use a recolour that was previewed on MMO Champion which was never available to players. (But should have been!) I wanted to use the The Ultimate Monk Staff. And finally, I wanted to use the type of belt that we receive when we go through our belt graduation at Peak of Serenity. My first visit there was what made me fall completely in love with this class.

The artwork is done, and it's completely gorgeous.

Kinlai, surrounded by Xuen, Chi-Ji, Yu'lon and Niuzao

Please visit SleepingFox's DeviantArt for more of her art. She has more chibis, but also other stunning art.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Next week

Patch 6.1 is due to arrive in five days. Apparently it "contains nothing". If vaccuum could be shaped into a patch this would be it. ;) Despite this, I found some things I'm gonna do when it launches, and decided to make it into a list, because that's what people like me like to do.

Additions that will provide me with additional stuff to do beyond "managing" are highlighted.

Heirloom Tab: Not much to do here, just gonna log through my alts and make sure everything gets added.

New daily Garrison visitors which offers one of these:
  • Dungeon-quest
  • Raid-quest
  • Bounty-quest
  • Relic-quest (Completing a relic mission unlocks it as a potential mission for your followers. Completing all 6 relic missions will unlock Harrison Jones as a follower!)
  • Profession-hand-in

    Dwarven Bunker: Daily follower-upgrade token for Iron Scraps.

    Traveling Pet Battle visitors!

    Garrison world bosses

    Garrison Music Box: I already have an addon that lets me play the music I want in my garrison, but I'm gonna be collecting stuff for the Music Box anyway. Because it seems like fun.

    Garrison Followers: I'm gonna start upgrading my followers to 675. And the absolute best part: I'm gonna recruit Vindicator Onaala and Apprentice Artificer Andren as my followers, even though I chose Rangari Chel when I did Friend of the Exarchs. :-D

    Prepared for new item level

    Darkmoon Faire: Gonna head over and check out the new stuff!

    Raiding with Leashes III: I will be chasing battle pets in Black Temple, Hyjal Summit, and Sunwell Plateau until I get my little K'ute. I am slighly annoyed that it can't battle, but I still want it. I still have several characters that need transmog gear from those places, so that fits nicely. In addition I will use the free "insta-level 25"-stone on one of my level 1 battle pets. And I might help my partner finally opening up his menagerie.

    S.E.L.F.I.E Camera: I don't get selfies. I think it's stupid, vain and show-offy. I don't plan to integrate twitter in-game either. BUT I'm gonna get myself this camera and the filters, and I'm gonna chase down the Field Phothographer-achievement. Because I think it will be fun. ;)

    Apexis Crystal-dailies: I might jump on the option of doing other Apexis Crystal-dailies instead of those that are offered. Either for the currency (pets and mounts), achievements or reputation.

    What A Strange, Interdimensional Trip It's Been: I like achievements, so I will try to remember to bring Pepe with me when I go on my weekly slaughter.

    Alchemy: Start transmuting Savage Blood.
    Inscription: Learn the five "new" glyph recipes. (Glyph of Cleanse, Glyph of Flying Fists, Glyph of Purification, Glyph of Purify Spirit and Glyph of the Solstice)
    Cooking: Recipes for 125 stats.

    Add Piccolo of the Flaming Fire and Ruther's Harness to my Toybox.

    (Need to do on alt rogue sometime in the future: Griftah dingy coins-grind.)

      I'm not sure it's actually lighter than all other patches that we've had before. But I'd still like some daily quests for reputations, more Garrison Campaign (returing in 6.2) or repeatable 3people scenarios. The amount of time my poor character is AFK in my lovely garrison...


      Tuesday, February 3, 2015

      [Weak Aura] Windwalker Priority Rotation

      Update 5-FEB-2015: Placed Rising Sun Kick much higher in priority, as it should be used on cooldown. Also blocked Blackout Kick if Fists of Fury is off cooldown.

      As a Windwalker, I started this expansion doing quite good DPS. But after some nerfs the last couple of months, I've started feeling powerless. This is not a happy place to be, so in addition to complaining about it, I figured I'd better improve my rotation. After all, I never was overpowered when we were supposed to be just that, and if there's one place I hate to be, it's at the bottom.

      I know I've been slacking with Fists of Fury, I've been using Rising Sun Kick a bit more than we're supposed to (last expansion we used it on cooldown, but things have changed), I Jab when I shouldn't, etc. There's much movement in fights now, and knowing the rotation by heart would definitely have been best, but I'm kind of stuck in my old MOP-ways still. So I decided to make a Windwalker Priority Rotation-aura, to get some practice in. I set it up using Icy Veins Windwalker Guide and Calligraphy's Windwalker Monk Guide on Wowhead.


      This Weak Aura is for single-target fights. The aura doesn't know if the boss is about to use an ability where she ports away, knocks us back or shields herself, or if there are nuke phases that cooldowns should be saved for. Good understanding and knowing of the fights and the rotation will without a doubt beat this aura any day. I'm working on setting up an additional aura with an overview over procs and expected procs, but I have so far not figured out how to handle the two stacks of Mark of the Frostwolf (since I have it on both weapons).

      The aura does not include:

      • AOE-rotation (Storm, Earth, and Fire, Spinning Crane Kick, Rushing Jade Wind)
      • DPS-potions. I prepot, and then use a potion together with Tigereye Brew later in the fight.
      • Hurricane Strike
      • Zen Sphere
      • Chi Burst

      The Aura

      The priority order is gathered in a Dynamic Group, with unusable abilities hidden.

      1. Touch of Death, if it's off cooldown and available.
      2. Tiger Palm to keep Tiger Power-buff up.
      3. Rising Sun Kick to keep debuff up.
      4. Tigereye Brew if more than 10 stacks and if at least one proc is up (Mark of the Frostwolf, Tiger Strikes, legendary ring-proc, Heroism, my trinket proc.) Add own procs under Trigger-Trigger 3. There's definitely room for improvement here, for example make sure to wait until there's at least two or three procs active, time it with heroism, etc.
      5. Xuen, if Tigereye Brew is active.
      6. Energizing Brew, if Serenity isn't active and if energy is below 50.
      7. Tiger Palm, if Tiger Power is less than 6 seconds.
      8. Fists of Fury, if Serenity and Energizing Brew is not active.
      9. Rising Sun Kick
      10. Combo Breakers; Chi Explosion, Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm.
      11. Serenity, if Energizing Brew is not active, if chi is 3 or more, and if energy is below 50.
      12. Expel Harm, if off cooldown, if player is below 95 % health, if chi is 2 or less and if there's enough energy to use it.
      13. Chi Brew, if 2 stacks, if energy is below 90, and if chi is 2 or less.
      14. Chi Brew, if usable, if energy is below 50, and if chi is 2 or less.
      15. Jab, if enough energy, and if chi is 2 or less.
      16. Chi Explosion, if 3 or more chi.
      17. Chi Wave, unless Serenity or Energizing Brew is active.
      18. Blackout Kick, if usable.
      19. Jab. At this point we will be energy-starved and have no chi whatsoever. The Jab-icon will tease and taunt us, and we will keep spamming Jab with desperacy, until we finally get enough energy back to get one off.

      Aura Strings

      Energy Bar (this is Sunnier's weak aura, I just moved it and changed the colour)

      Windwalker Chi Bar (this is also built on Sunnier's aura, I just added one extra chi for us windwalkers)

      Additional Free Tip

      I also want to recommend an addon called Angry Boss Reminders. It allows for manually saving which talents and glyphs we want to have active for each and every boss; when we enter the boss room, a reminder pops up on the screen if we have wrong talents active.


      Saturday, January 17, 2015

      Character model tweaks

      Feedback has been given on the new character models, and the first tweaks have appeared on the PTR. I think it's evident that art team has taken steps to make the new models more "true to the original soul of the characters", which I'm happy about. The eyes are finally back to white! And she seems to have fallen face first into the makeup pouch... :p I'm not going to say more now, just leaving this comparison here.


      Tuesday, December 23, 2014

      Opinion: All opinions should matter, but who knows best in the end?

      Following the highly successful launch of Warlords of Draenor, with both vocal praise and the subscriber numbers to back it up, the last couple of weeks have seen a bit of a turn in moods, at least in the official forums and on WoW Insider. People are saying that there isn't much to do at level 100, options are removed from the game, and it's all about the garrisons now.

      Although I don't agree with the tone that many use when they voice their opinions, I have for some weeks had similar concerned thoughts. A bit too early in this expansion's run, I've already completed things that I would normally not start with until much later in the expansion run. Things like [Draenor Angler], [Grand Treasure Hunter], and already having tamed rare versions of every single battle pet that exists on Draenor.

      I think this issue is coming up now because of a combination of the following:

      • Some of us have played for a damned long time now! I've played 7 years, others have played 10 years. Even people that started playing in Cataclysm have played for 4 years. The chance is big that we have used previous lulls to achieve most of the old stuff that we wanted to achieve. For me, an example is [What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been], which I completed FIVE YEARS ago. I still do some World Event-stuff, but only to collect the new collectibles added. 
      • Some of us want to, and are able to, use a huge amount of time on our hobbies. Is it even realistically possible to make a game so filled with content that we never run out of stuff to do, even if we spend all free time trying?
      • "Mandatory" and handheld content have been partially removed. Noone has to level their professions, there are no Valor Points to cap from dungeons and raids, there are no reputations required for head enchants or epic gear, there are few daily quests.

      It's tempting to blame the "lack of content" on players that complained about too many dailies, or the ones that complained that scenarios made healers and tanks redundant. But I can't be mad at anyone else telling Blizzard how they want things! It's their absolute right to do so. In fact, as players and customers, it's all we can do; give our feedback. It's up to the developers to analyze the feedback, and then choose what actions to take because of it.

      Let me show you how I spend my time in WoW:


      My WoW-week starts on Wednesday. Oh my, how I love Wednesdays! Everything is reset and fresh. Mmmm. :)
      1. With my resent new obsession with collecting female draenei followers (I have 7 of 25 so far), the week's highpoint for me is actually visiting my inn to see if I'm able to recruit a new one. This is the first thing I do when I log on for the day, heart pounding, looking through my fingers. Alas, in these five weeks with an inn, I have received exactly zero draenei followers. Not that I'm upset or anything. :-/
      2. Raid reset is also a thing of course. :) Our raid team raids for three hours, three times a week. So that is nine hours summed up, and has perhaps already exceeded the amount of time that other people have to spend on a "silly hobby". We are now 6/7 normal and 1/7 heroic by the way, and I've really enjoyed Highmaul so far! I'm very happy about the flexible group size, and I'm almost feeling relieved that mythic will be out of the question for us.
      3. The third big thing is the [Garrison Campaign], which I love. I've done six chapters of it so far, and the small questlines have been a good mix of fun and lore so far. I hope they will keep adding small questlines now and then. I've seen some complaints about the staggering of this content, but for me it's all good.
      4. Tarlna the Ageless or Drov the Ruiner.
      5. Raid Finder. I've been doing raid finder in addition to heroic and normal raids. I've enjoyed them a lot so far. The queues have been short, there's been no wiping, yelling, swearing and shaming. Just some relaxed killing of bosses with other friendly players. I will probably only be doing them as long as I still need upgrades, as I don't want to exhaust my stay in there.
      6. Invasion for gold, silver and bronze bag once a week. I was suprised to find that I didn't enjoy the invasions more than I do. After all, they are kind of similar to the 3people scenarios we had in MOP. Anyway, after getting my weekly bag, I ignore them until next week (unless someone needs my help of course).
      All summed up I reckon it's about 12 hours of gameplay in my weekly activities.

      Watching... Waiting... Plotting...


      My daily routine is pretty much my garrison-routine.
      1. Mission Table. Complete all missions, look through the new ones, start interesting ones first, then as many as I can after that.
      2. Pet Battle. Every day I do the pet battle challenge available in my garrison, which gives me a bag that contains enough pet battle currency to let me upgrade one pet to rare every other day, and sometimes it contains a pet, Absolutely love how the way they have continued the pet battles in WoW. They're still a small side feature, and luckily there is no new level cap.(Phew!)
      3. Open all the Salvage Boxes in my Salvage Yard.
      4. Collecting and starting new work orders in my Dwarven Bunker, Trading Post, Enchanter's Study, Herb Garden and Mine. Collecting all herbs and ores in the Garden and Mine.
      5. Swing by the inn and pick up the two available dungeon quests (which I then proceed to ignore until I have to abandon them later in the week to clear space in the quest log).
      6. Some days I pick up the fishing daily, go over to the bank in my Storehouse, withdraw 10 Enormous fish, gut them, and hand in the quest.
      7. Use my daily Inscription- and Alchemy-cooldowns.
      8. Pick up the daily Apexis-quest, ask if anyone in guild wants to do it, and go do it.
      9. Mission Table again.
      10. Scout for Blingtron.
      All summed up this would be (less than) 1 hour every day, and thus 7 hours every week. Combined with my weekly activities, we're now looking at around 19 hours of weekly gameplay, which is no small amount to spend on a hobby! (Except for those of us that have more time that we want to spend on that hobby.)

      I have started using the new character model.
      Trying to get used to them now, so that I can rage when they get changed again. ;)
      I'm kidding! I actually love this face. I'm just a bit slow when it comes to vital changes like this...

      What I could be doing, but I'm not

      • Dungeons. I enjoyed the first 3 weeks of doing 2-3 dungeons every day. They are really good dungeons. The thing is I don't like doing dungeons well enough to do them without a good reason. They're kind of a stress factor to me. So when I don't need any gear from them, I don't need the extra garrison resources, and they don't give me Valor Points, I end up not doing them at all.
      • Challenge Modes. Too much work for too low gear. The weapon transmogs are "meh" compared to MOP-transmog sets.
      • PVP and Ashran. I don't have the interest, patience, temper or bagspace to do PVP. Right now anyway.
      • If I had chosen other buildings in the garrison, I could have had more stuff to do. Like quests for the Stables, chopping down trees for the Lumber Mill, trapping animals for the Barn, and so on. I will probably check the other buildings out eventually, but right now I'm very happy with the buildings I have, and how they work together for my goals to get my garrison draentastic! (What?! It's a word!) My buildings are Barracks, Dwarven Bunker, Inn, Trading Post, Storehouse, Enchanter's Study and Salvage Yard.
      • Camp for rare spawns that drop mounts. I wasted a whole freaking day camping for Poundfist. I will not be doing that again any time soon.
      • Reputation Grinds. I actually have done this a little bit though. I got revered with Sha'tari Defense the first week of WOD, purely to be able to get Vindicator Heluun in my ranks. The grind consisted of me and four others AOEing orcs in Talador. Thousands upon thousands of orcs. Yay, fun. :p I don't think the goblin reputation seems that bad, with hand-ins of tokens that drop from rares. I have no idea whatsoever what requires to get Arakkoa-rep. And the two others I will gain rep with slowly over time, as I do the daily Apexis Crystal-quests.
      • Alts. I don't want an alt garrison factory. Until I figure out how to handle the alts, I'm keeping most of them in Pandaria.

      So what is it that I want exactly?

      I want a reason to do dungeons, and I want some 3people scenarios.

      I want more daily quests. I miss them sorely! Reinstating the daily quest cap would probably be a good idea, as people can't seem to limit themselves.

      If I can't get more daily quests, I want to be able to choose 2-3 Apexis Crystal daily areas, and to be able to choose from the whole pool instead of from just the two.

      I want the reputations to have some daily quests. Grinding is not fun for me at all!

      I want the choice to share one garrison on all my characters. And I want the choice to have separate garrisons as it is now, for those that want it.

      I want the fish to only have one size.

      I miss the Ironpaw Token-system! Where are the Ironhoof Tokens?

      LFR is perfect now, please don't touch it. Don't implement extra rewards, don't make it harder, just leave it as it is.


      Warlords of Draenor is really good, and the fact that people want more of it can absolutely be viewed as a good thing. But in the end, what is more "dangerous" to the game, people saying they have too much stuff to do, or people saying they don't have anything to do? All opinions should matter, but the ones that are screaming loudest at any given moment might not necessarily be the majority, or the ones that knows what is best for the game. Including me of course. :)


      Friday, December 19, 2014

      A Silly Little Post

      I was overdoing it a bit with the alts in Mists of Pandaria, so I wanted to take it slow from start this time around. Mostly meaning not running 17 garrisons simultaneously. However, things have been getting a bit too quiet the last weeks, in addition to me wanting to see the quests for the second time, so I feel like I'm ready to level a second character now. In a way, leveling followers have kind of felt like leveling new alts, without being clueless about their rotations.

      I can't decide on who though. So I thought I would check who has earned it. If this was about being fair, who would get leveled? I'm gonna start off with disqualifying any "second paladins, fourth hunters and sixth monks", let's keep it simple. ;-)

      So who was leveled to max in the previous expansion, and in what order?

      Burning Crusade - Level 70

      1. Laeleiweyn, Beast Master Hunter. Main. It took me four months leveling my first character from 1 to 70. Much exploration and noobness happened. :)
      2. Nordlys, Elemental Shaman. Wanted to try healing, went with ranged DPS instead.
      3. Ohmy, Protection Paladin. Wanted to be a tank, ended up tanking mobs in the wold by myself...
      4. Thealy, Shadow Priest. Wanted to be a healer. Would have been 3rd to 70, but stayed as a ghost in Scarlet Monastery for four months after being accused of being "the worst healer ever". Inflicting damage as shadow proved to be much fun, and this was when I found out I liked DOT-specs.

      Wrath of the Lich King - Level 80
      1. Thealy, Shadow Priest. Main first part of the expansion. Last to 70, first to 80! Raided with her the first two tiers in Wrath.
      2. Laeleiweyn, Beast Master/Survival/Marksmanship Survival Hunter... Main last part of the expansion. Took over as the character that I raided with. Tried all specs over the course of the expansion. Survival became a big favorite.
      3. Nordlys, Restoration/Enhancement Shaman. Alt-raids.
      4. Ohmy, Protection Paladin. Alt-raids.
      5. Vesla, Affliction Warlock. DOTs!
      6. Silja, Protection Warrior. Alt-raids.

      Cataclysm - Level 85
      1. Laeleiweyn, Survival Hunter. Main. Only raider entire expansion. I was very main-oriented, and didn't level third alt until 1,5 year after launch!
      2. Silja, Protection Warrior. Last to 80, early to 85. :)
      3. Thealy, Shadow Priest.
      4. Ohmy, Protecion Paladin.
      5. Lilliel, Balance Druid. (Was my free level 80 from some kind of promotion.)
      6. Nordlys, Enhancement Shaman.
      7. Vesla, Affliction Warlock.
      8. Salay, Blood Death Knight.
      9. Mikya, Fire Mage.

      Mists of Pandaria - Level 90
      1. Kinlai, Windwalker/Brewmaster Monk. Main. After a whole lot of internal struggle became my new main. Noone was more suprised than me.
      2. Laeleiweyn, Beast Mastery Hunter. I felt hunters got so many, too many, new buttons with MOP. The pruning shows that this was a mistake obviously, although I'm not entirely sure I agree with all the pruning.
      3. Salay, Blood Death Knight. Late 85, early 90!
      4. Mikya, Fire Mage. Late 85, early 90! (Been a recurring thing, seems I like them best shortly after I leveled them.)
      5. Thealy, Shadow Priest.
      6. Nordlys, Enhancement Shaman.
      7. Ohmy, Protection Paladin.
      8. Lilliel, Feral (Cat) Druid.
      9. Vesla, Affliction Warlock.
      10. Silja, Protection Warrior.
      11. Thesilae, Combat Rogue.

      Warlords of Draenor - Level 100
      1. Kinlai, Windwalker/Brewmaster Monk.
      2. Who will be next? :)

      /Played, in descending order
      1. Hunter
      2. Monk
      3. Priest
      4. Shaman
      5. Paladin
      6. (Second hunter)
      7. Warlock
      8. Death Knight
      9. Warrior
      10. Mage
      11. Druid
      12. Rogue

      Let's get rid of some competition... Who do I not feel like leveling right now?
      • Warlock
      • Death Knight
      • Mage
      • Druid
      • Rogue

      Now, if they had implemented draenei warlocks, druids or rogues tomorrow, the choice would have been easy; I would have started one of those. I started to like my rogue when I grinded for the dices, and with inspiration like Mishka and Rangari Erdanii, I have already made a name for my future draenei rogue. But right now I want to level a draenei character, for "roleplaying in my head"-purposes.

      Remaining candidates, including thoughts or goals for the expansion:
      • Hunter.
        I want Gara, and I want the cool helm that Rangari Kaalya is wearing.
        She has kind of earned it, with being the old main...
      • Priest.
        Shadow is fun, but clothies are squishy. Shares one profession with the monk.
      • Shaman.
        Also want the helm that the hunter wants.
      • Paladin.
        Yrel!!! And the focus is on paladins in this expansion. Has never been among the first to hit max level. Want to be Retribution this time around.
        Has the same professions as the monk.
      • Warrior.
        I want to try out gladiator stance at level 100. Least played character of those in this list, has perhaps deserved some play time?

      So, what's the verdict? I still can't decide... Well, at least I narrowed it down to five possible ones.

      Have you been leveling alts yet? How did you decide?


      Update 21-DEC (two days later): I have started leveling my hunter Laeleiweyn, and I'm enjoying slowly questing through Shadowmoon Valley again. :)

      Update 10-MAY (4,5 months later): Lae stopped at level 95, and I still have only one level 100! Can it really be that I beat the alt-habit?

      Saturday, December 13, 2014

      New Recruits

      It was late at night in Shadowmoon Valley. Kinlai was enjoying a Draenic Pale Ale at the Lunarfall Inn in the garrison. Her garrison actually, but... "Details!" She could hear Chel and Kaalya behind her, eagerly discussing arrow mechanics, with Miall as an interested listener. Heluun and Illona were sitting at a table at the other side of the room. Heluun seemed to be telling a story, and Illona was wearing a somewhat skeptical expression on her face. The door to the inn opened, and she turned to see Tuulani and Scout Valdez entering and moving towards the bar. As they came closer, Tuulani sent her a big smile and waved, before proceeding to the barkeeper. Valdez, on the other hand, came over to her.


      Kinlai greeted him, and nodded to the chair next to her. She was curious. Valdez never bothered her this late at night unless there was an immediate threat lurking around the garrison walls. He seemed to be taking his time, so that didn't seem to be the case this time.

      "Commander, I have news from Gorgrond."

      Gorgrond... The most untamed landscape she had seen in all of Draenor. They had traveled through parts of Gorgrond a month back. Both her garrison forces and the local rangari had suffered severe losses to the wilds. Those that had survived had eventually found a big iron horde base in the northwest of Gorgrond, which they were systematically working on weakening. The only good thing that had come out of that expedition was Kaalya. Gorgrond was bad news.

      "What about Gorgrond?"

      Valdez leaned closer and lowered his voice.

      "I heard you have been having trouble finding new recruits."

      Kinlai saw a sudden movement in the corner of her eye. She turned, and could see Lysa Sterion watching them from a nearby table. Kinlai emptied her beer.

      "Let's finish this conversation somewhere a bit less crowded." 

      She got up, and lead the way towards the door. Once outside, she started heading for the town hall. She again mulled over the recruiting-problem in her head, and didn't notice that Valdez was struggling to keep up in a dignified matter. Lysa was her main recruiter in the garrison. And although she had brought in a few new people, she had not been able to deliver any of the local expertise that Kinlai had wanted, nor the numbers that they needed.

      As they arrived at the town hall, they met Romuul, who was about to leave. He smiled, and politely held the door for them as they entered.

      "Good evening, Commander. Scout Valdez."

      They made their way to the command room and sat down in a couple of chairs that were placed in front of the big fireplace. Valdez cut straight to the case.

      "We've finally been able to make contact with the other branch of rangari in Gorgrond. They are located to the northeast of the land. They need our help up there. In return I think we could get some really powerful allies to our mission, so it is my recommendation that we send a team."
      "There are two names that have been popping up a lot; one "Pitfighter" Vaandaam, which seems to be a monk."
      "A monk, really? That is interesting. The monks from our timeline all got trained by the pandaren... I would very much like to meet this Vaandaam."
      "And the other is a draenei..."

      He paused, and got a pondering expression.

      "Of course it's a draenei if it's one of the rangari. What's the name?"
      "A draenei... rogue."

      A draenei rogue? Kinlai felt overjoyous for a second.

      "A rogue? Is it... Is Mishka here on Draenor?"

      There were several SI:7-agents in the garrison already, among them Amber Kearnen that she had also worked together with in Pandaria. She had been under the impression that Mishka was on another mission back on Azeroth, but now she was here!
      But Valdez shook his head.

      "It's not Mishka."

      Kinlai felt a rush of disappointment.

      "This one is called Rangari Erdanii, and is supposedly somewhat of a "master of stealth and assassination". Which says quite a bit I imagine, all the rangari seem to be very skilled."
      "You've done great, Valdez, going to Gorgrond is the right thing to do. Not only do we need more recruits. But I want to help the local draenei and the rangari as much as we can. We just need to be more careful about it this time around... "
      "Should I make arrangements for Lysa Sterion and her team to travel to Gorgrond then?"

      Gorgrond... With nature itself trying to eat you alive, with the plant beings and the plant zombies, the gronn and the iron horde. Lysa Sterion wouldn't survive 5 minutes.

      "No, I'll take this mission myself."

      She suddenly felt eager, and got up from her chair.

      "Actually, I will travel there tonight!"
      "Commander, please wait! There's the raid to Highmaul tomorrow. And I need a couple of days for preparations. Let's say... Wednesday."

      Wednesday. So far away.

      "Alright, make it so. Good night, Valdez."

      She headed to the armory to see if they had spare weapons and armor suitable for these new rangari recruits. She found a couple of daggers and fist weapons that were in good shape.

      "Bring on Wednesday!"

      (What is this about?)

      Sunday, November 23, 2014

      NPCs in Draenor: Isel (and Caregiver Felaani)

      Depending on how far you have come in questing through Draenor, this post may contain spoilers. Stop reading if you don't want spoilers.

      Early on when questing in Nagrand (Draenor), there is a questchain that involves Telaar. Vindicator Mo'mor gives the quest The Others;

      There are yet a few survivors. I saw them pile onto Arbiter Khan during the fighting. 

      More importantly, I can hear little Isel's sobs. She's nearby. I hope her mother is still alive. 

      Your dwarf friend, Hansel, came in to try to rescue us. He thought he could take the Warsong on his own. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to him.

      Rescue Arbiter Khan, Caregiver Felaani & Isel, and Hansel Heavyhands.

      Caregiver Felaani and Isel are found in the inn. They are safe, but Felaani is cowering in fear, standing in front of Isel to protect her. When saved they make a run for it, and can later be found in the player's outpost. Caregiver Felaani becomes the outpost's innkeeper, and Isel plays relatively safe around the inn. She gets a bit bored, she runs around for a bit, and then she gets nagged by her protective mother, who /yells: "ISEL!!!" :-) They also show up in the player's garrison.

      At Kinlai's Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley (Draenor)

      I thought Isel's name was familiar, so I decided to "wowhead it", and found that the innkeeper in Telaar in Nagrand (Outland) is... Innkeeper Isel! In our timeline, that little girl is grown up, she's running an inn with the Kurenai, she's one of few people that sells Tigule and Foror's Strawberry Ice Cream, and she's wearing her mother's old dress!

      Kinlai finds the grown up Isel in Telaar (Outland), but plays it cool...

      My mind is blown! I mean, I love Draenor so much! All the draenei story, art, NPCs, personalities, lore. Shadowmoon Valley and Talador were just amazing to play through as a draenei enthusiast. There's so much story, so much depth, so much beauty, so much sadness and laughter and feelings, all over Draenor. I made a post about Draenei Settlements in Outland exactly one year ago, where I was hoping to find again some of the old villages when we finally arrived on Draenor. And then they do THIS! They add this one tiny seemingly insignificant NPC, that just shows me how thorough they have been when they made this expansion. And that all the feelings I get when I play through, are because of the feelings and care that the creators of the game put into it when they made it. I am amazed. And so happy. :)


      Sunday, October 12, 2014

      Should I stay or should I go? [Addons]

      Sorry about the dramatic title, aka click-bait (sorry, not sorry). :p I'm doing a much needed addon purge, and had the selfish idea that I'll use this list as my backup. If I wonder which addon I had before that I really miss, I can just check here. :)

      Are there more like me out there with addon-problems by the way? I spent 2 hours a couple of months ago trying to find which one addon caused me to lag completely out everytime I entered combat (it was Honor Status btw). And when I had them all disabled I noticed my new shiny FPS... I knew I would have to take action soon.

      Ackis Recipe ListGone
      Addon Control PanelGone
      AtlasLoot EnhancedUndecided
      Battle Pet - Quality NotifierUndecided
      Battle Pet BreedIDUndecided
      Capping Battleground TargetsUndecided
      DBM (++)Keeping
      EPGP (DKP reloaded)Keeping
      FriendsShare ResurrectionKeeping
      JSHB 4Undecided
      MogIt (++)Keeping
      PetJournal EnhancedUndecided
      Power AurasKeeping
      Reagent RestockerKeeping
      Shadowed Unit FramesKeeping
      Storm, Earth, and FireKeeping
      Titan PanelKeeping
      WeakAuras 2Keeping

      There you go, 78 (?) addons, of which most are being kept... /sigh

      Thursday, September 11, 2014

      Feedback on the new female draenei model

      Yesterday I posted all the comparisons without comments. Time to do some commenting! A copy of this will also be posted on the official forum, please go there if you have any additional constructive feedback. Sadly I don't think the developers read the European forums... :-/

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      Fairly long, thorough, mostly subjective and randomly objective feedback on the new female draenei models.

      I have compared the 12 skin colors, 10 faces, 11 hair styles, 7 hair colors and 7 horn styles that are available in character creation for non-death knight female draenei characters. I will also comment on one of the hair styles that are only available from the barber shop (the high pony tail). For screenshots from old and new character creation, see: Female Draenei Character Creation

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      First of all I want to say that I appreciate the artistic work that has been done when creating the new models. I would have absolutely loved to have them implemented as additional looks that I could choose from for my new alts. But as they are here to replace the looks that I and many others love, that is how I will judge them. There is a standard already set by the old models that the new ones need to at least reach, and preferably exceed, before I will hook "Show New Character Models" in the graphics settings.

      I know the art team has worked hard to preserve the feel and soul of our characters. But perception is tricky and highly subjective. Where I perceive someone as "shy", someone else would perceive them as "grumpy", and so on. I think we can all agree that there has indeed been change to the models, but how we view those different changes are also highly subjective! For instance I love the new defined muscles on my monk, they make so much sense to me (with all the running and fighting that she does, I mean). But I wouldn't be surprised at all if there is someone else out there that doesn't like them. Actually, I would be surprised if there proves to be noone that doesn't like them.

      I'm also aware that I'm a bit late to the party, as I haven't been in the beta. I downloaded PTR yesterday, and that was my first experience with the new looks hands-on. There are other threads on the subject, but I don't have access to write on the beta forum.

      With that said, on to the feedback from me.

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      My characters have white beautiful glowy eyes, and as far as I know they've had these eyes since I started playing 7 years ago. However, in the "Warlords of Draenor Announcement Trailer" I noticed that the two featured draenei had blue eyes, much like the draenei death knights have now. Then Artcraft: Daughter of Argus was released and the eyes were still blue, although more toned down compared to the trailer. On PTR/beta they are SUPER-BLUE, almost green. I can only assume they're still not done, so consider this my plea to keep them white like they have been for all these years! Much like the night elf eyes are on PTR/beta.


      Draenei have fangs. Where are they? :)


      With higher definition and more polygons, I wonder why the markings on the forehead are almost less prominent and detailed on the new models than what they are on the old ones?


      On live the shiny sigil-effect across the forehead lasts for the entire duration of Gift of the Naaru, but on PTR it appears when cast, and then disappears straight away. I'm aware that the duration of Gift of the Naaru has been lowered to 5 seconds, but the effect disappears much sooner than that even (1-2 seconds).


      My opinion: I love them!

      THE RUN

      The run has changed. I can't really put my finger on it, but it seems her steps has no weight to them any longer. And there's also something going on with the arms.


      Most (19!) of the emotes seem perfectably fine to me: /applaud, /beg, /bow, /chicken, /cry, /eat, /kiss, /kneel, /laugh, /point, /roar, /salute, /sleep, /talk, /cheer, /flee, /no, /nod and /train.

      Though she does seem to have (too) many teeth in some of the emotes.

      /dance: There's two facial expressions during one particular part of the dance routine that look very odd to me. We have here a draenei, a noble stoic being from Argus who is somewhere around 200-10.000 years old. I don't really think her face bends that way. I know there's /chicken and /train too for sillyness, but still.

      /flex: First part seems fine, I'm on the fence about the teethy grin in the second part.

      /rude: Not sure about this one.

      /wave: That smile... Too wide and too fake.


      The only skin color I use on my draenei characters is skin color 5, so this is the one I feel strongest about.

      Skin Color 3, 4, 8, 10 and 12 seem to be very similar on live and PTR.

      Skin Color 1: The new one seems more blue.
      Skin Color 2: The new one seems more blue here too. The old one seems more green.
      Skin Color 5: The new one is much paler, and the purple has more red in it than the old one.
      Skin Color 6: The new one is paler/whiter.
      Skin Color 7: The new one is paler.
      Skin Color 9: The new one seems paler.
      Skin Color 11: The new one is more blue, the old one is more green.


      As I have so many draenei characters, I have nicknames for most of the faces relating to how they look to me. Face 3, 7 and 8 have been my favorites for a good while now. My first character back in 2007 was a Face 7, while my current cute main is a Face 8.

      What they have tried to do with the faces must have been really difficult. Where the only real difference before was lip shape, eyebrow shape and shading, they have now tried to add features where there were none, like different noses and face shapes. At the same time they've tried to keep the eyebrow shape from the originals, so that we can recognize them.

      Face 1: The vacant round face.
      Face 2: The dark lip face.
      Face 3: The strict freckle face.
      Face 4: The sad and strict face.
      Face 5: The really really sad face.
      Face 6: The angry face.
      Face 7: The smooth porcelain angel face.
      Face 8: The cute happy face. :D
      Face 9: The eyelid face (the eyelids look pink when skin color 5 is selected).
      Face 10: The angry face with smaller eyes.

      I feel like all the familiar faces are gone, and the draenei beauty has faded a bit. Face 7 and Face 8 are so different that I don't even... My favorite among the new ones is Face 9, which wasn't even in my top 5 before. And I don't really feel like applying that same face to my 20+ draenei characters.


      I would love some new hair styles to choose from! Perhaps choose from some of the goblin ones? :-) And for those hair styles that changed; I would love to keep both the old and the new look.

      The new hair looks a bit more like actual hair now I think, but I have yet to check if it flows and moves like promised.

      Hair Style 1: "Straight". Separated in the middle, slick. Not that slick anymore, and has a lock that misbehaves.
      Hair Style 2: "Flipped": Separated on the side. Now covers more of the eye it falls down over, and has a single lock that misbehaves.
      Hair Style 3: "Cute". Two ponytails and bangs. Seems very true to the original. Position of ponytails may be a tad lower.
      Hair Style 4: "Feathered". Pretty true to original, but seems to not flow in same direction any longer.
      Hair Style 5: "Buns". Looks unchanged to me.
      Hair Style 6: "Jeweled Band". Headband with curls. Looks unchanged to me.
      Hair Style 7: "Bangs". Shoulderlong hair with bangs. Looks both very familiar but changed at the same time, but can't put my finger on what is different.
      Hair Style 8: "Elegant". Tidy do that has changed a bit. Now has bangs falling down over forehead.
      Hair Style 9: "Bounce". Casual bob with bangs. Looks unchanged to me.
      Hair Style 10: "Nape". Short with bangs. The bangs used to be fuller on the sides.
      Hair Style 11: "Sassy". Spiky. Seems very similar, only thing is direction of hair could be corrected a bit.
      "High" tail from barber shop: The bangs start way lower on the new one than the old, and the ponytail isn't as perky as it is now. I do like this new look, but I would like to keep the old one too.


      I have no comments on the hair colors, they all seem fine to me. Listing them anyway if others want to comment.

      Hair Color 1: Brown
      Hair Color 2: Purple
      Hair Color 3: Yellow
      Hair Color 4: White
      Hair Color 5: Black
      Hair Color 6: Green
      Hair Color 7: Blue


      For the longest time I chose the smallest horns, but when I make new alts now I try to embrace the horns and go for big and powerful ones. :)

      The new horns are a bit different from the old ones, in that they seem to come out of the head, while with the old ones the head seemed to be bigger/broader where the horns started.

      Horn Style 1: "Sweeping". Laid back, points backwards.
      Horn Style 2: "Curled". Round, points downwards
      Horn Style 3: "Arced". Bigger, points downwards.
      Horn Style 4: "High". Talbuk, points upwards. The new ones seem less pointy and more broad.
      Horn Style 5: "Spread". Big, points sideways. The new ones seem leaner.
      Horn Style 6: "Grand". Bull, points sideways/upwards.
      Horn Style 7: "Short". Small, points upwards.

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      I recognize and appreciate the amount of work and effort that has been done by the art team! I'm not trying to insult their work.

      I want to keep the white eyes we have now.
      I think the run still needs work.
      I don't think the new faces match the old ones good enough.
      I want the dark purple skin color to stay as it is; darker and with less red in it than what it is on the PTR.
      I don't want facial expressions that are too silly.

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014

      Female Draenei Character Creation Comparison

      Comparisons without comments. Click on a picture for slideshow.

      Skin Color


      The zoom is different on live/PTR, so sadly old/new are in different zoom.

      I was going to use the same face for the remaining pictures, but sadly I misunderstood which were the same ones when I took the screenshots. The rest of the pictures will use Face 8 for old model and Face 9 for new model.

      Hair Style

      Hair Color

      Horn Style