Kinlai came to life 25 Sep 2012 at 0:01 am, which was the launch of Mists of Pandaria. She had already been rolling around in my head almost 2 months prior to this. As many of you are aware, I was quite the hunter enthusiast before we traveled to Pandaria, and I had absolutely no plans of changing mains. One day last summer I logged on to the Beta and created a premade level 80 draenei monk. I traveled to Peak of Serenity and watched the monks spar and do patterns. I tested out the different spells; Fists of Fury and Touch of Death. It reminded me of when I used to train martial arts myself. I loved to train that way, and it's something I miss a lot. There was even a belt graduation at Peak of Serenity as you progressed through the levels! And then there was Xuen, the beautiful celestial guardian. I could still have a cat with this class! I was hooked, and it was such an unexpected experience for me that I wrote a post about it, Belt Graduation.
There was a lot of dead time in the game at the time; we had cleared Dragon Soul on heroic, and I had finished almost all the raid achievements that I wanted with the help of Open Raid. I had a lot of spare time, and I spent that spare time on planning heirlooms and other things for my new monk. I looked at how quickly I could realistically level a monk, and was very disappointed with my finds. After all, this alt wasn't going to level until after my hunter was 90 and geared, but I would like to hit 89 before Brewfest, so that she could participate. I eventually put in some money and hard work, and recruited myself another account. I leveled two characters to 21, one character to 41 and one character to 80, so that I would be able to grant my new monk levels all the way up to 80 at launch. The leveling of the granters went pretty quickly, as they got 300 % XP when grouped up with a character on my main account that was just /following them around.
I put a lot of work in deciding which professions my new monk should have. Initially I was going for herbing and mining, for the XP gains, but after doing Recruit A Friend, that would only slow me down. There were five professions in the big "choose my profession"-finale, and the two I eventually decided on were actually picked from a roleplayerish point of view. Alchemy - brews - monk, yes. Inscription - scrolls with asian-like letters - asian culture - monk, yes!
Finally almost everything was decided upon, and a most detailed leveling plan was made 10 days before launch. How much XP to get before I started to grant levels, making sure the XP-bar would be almost full at level 80? I made level 1 test characters to kill moths to make sure I would get to 95 % on at level 1 before granting levels. I found macros for granting and accepting levels. I had bags, level 80 gear, herbs to level both Alchemy and Inscription, and a guild tabard ready to be shipped off, all that was needed now was for the expansion to launch! I'm gonna admit I went a bit overboard with this... But even all my existing characters were looking forward to their sister growing up and joining the fight against evil!
I say almost everything was decided on. I had decided on her looks a long time in advance. But I also wanted to find the right name for her. Finding a name is always difficult for me, but this time seemed even worse. I wanted to make a character with the name, both to reserve it, and also to set up all addons in advance, so that everything would look fine at launch. But it was impossible for me to decide on a name. I just couldn't come up with one that was good enough! I tried so hard... I made new alts with the right look and started from A, B, C, ..., X, Y, Z. Nothing! What a (relative) nightmare.
Launch day (night) arrived and everything worked out perfectly! I still couldn't decide on a name though. I made the monk, named her Kinzai, deleted her, and then made her over again, named her Kinlai, and was finally satisfied. The name is very much stolen from Kun-Lai Summit, the very place where I had realized 2 months earlier that this was a character I was gonna play a lot.
00:01 Kinlai comes to life.
|00:04 Level 10|
|00:05 Level 20|
|00:07 Level 30|
|00:07 Level 40|
|00:17 Level 50|
|00:17 Level 60|
|00:18 Level 70|
|00:18 Level 80|
|05:41 Level 85 - Time to sleep!|
I leveled both Lae and Kinlai after that first night. Both ineffectively, I should say. Kinlai became level 90 five days into launch. Lae was at that point level 87, and she dinged 90 three days after Kinlai. I tried gearing Lae so I would be ready to start raiding. But my heart wasn't in it at all... I just wanted to play Kinlai! Do dailies, scenarios, dungeons, exploring or whatever. I couldn't gear Lae cause I wanted to play Kinlai, and I couldn't gear Kinlai because I felt so guilty about playing her. I did the first months of raiding as a hunter, but I passed on most of the loot and wasn't happy. I didn't want to take gear away from our other hunter that actually wanted to be a hunter. After several months of this mess in my head, I caved in and made the switch. It broke my heart really, cause I had never intended to replace my dear Lae...
I wasn't feeling bad only for myself and my guild, but also for the hunter community. All those posts I linked earlier? Yeah, I didn't post them on this blog initially... I had made a new blog called Kihap! (means battlecry in Korean) where all my monk fantasies were let out. Some months later I imported them to this blog. It is my blog after all, and now also about monks.
Kinlai leveled from 80 to 90 as Windwalker, and she also raided as Windwalker until April. We lost a tank, while at the same time having melee DPS-ers on the bench cause fights were too unfriendly towards melee. I changed to Brewmaster, and have raided as a tank since. I like Brewmaster a lot! I like the spells, the mobility, the managing of cooldowns. If I had a real choice (both outcomes would be equally good for the raid team) I would probably play Windwalker though. I like maximizing DPS a lot. And also as the raid leader I feel like I have a better overview in fights as a DPS. But I will stay Brewmaster. As long as I can play Kinlai it's all good. :)
We've played a lot together this year, Kinlai and me. We've raided current raids, but she has also done quite a few old ones as well. She soloed Black Temple every week for a while, until she got both Warglaives. Unfortunately all glaives look kind of silly on monks, they're placed much higher on their back than what they would have been on other classes. Good thing legendaries can't be transmogged anyway... (I'm being ironic.) She has also done all the raids for "Raiding With Leashes" over and over. She still does Eye of Eternity and Molten Core now and then, for a mount I'm missing, and for Thunderfury. I wish there were new dailies to dig into in 5.4. I've been hanging out on Timeless Isle now and then. It's not the same as quests, but it's fun to kill rares, and nice to get some gear for my alts. It feels especially nice, and at the same time bad, to get gear for Lae. She's a proud one, not really the target for well-fair epics. ;)
Later this week I will post about Ninasan, my other level 90 Windwalker/Brewmaster, and Shunbi, my level 67 Mistweaver PVP/dungeoneer! (Me healing?!? And doing PVP?!? Noooo!?!)
Enjoy your monks! And follow your heart when you choose who/what to play! :)