Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Story So Far - Art by SleepingFox

This is the story so far in pictures. What I played, what I enjoyed the most, and how things changed. It's weird to me that I have people in my guild that know me as a monk only, and are now scratching their heads wondering what this sudden change to hunter is about. And others that know me as a priest, because that's what I played (for 6 months) when I met them 7 years ago. :)

Lae is still Lae, even though her appearance changed a bit. She started with blue skin and black hair, then she put her hair in a ponytail, the skin turned purple and the hair turned white. Then her hair became brown, the skin colour a lighter purple, and her horns evolved into the big majestic kind. But she's still Lae. Cute, but deadly. And total badass.

I can't wait to get these beautiful art pieces printed and placed on the wall in my little nerd cave room!

SleepingFox is on DeviantArt and Twitter.

Burning Crusade

Lae and Ratchet
It starts off with Lae and Ratchet, an Infected Nightstalker Runt from Azuremyst Isle. I was new to the game, and Ratchet was my very first tame at level 10. I knew I wanted a cat, because I love cats, and I found him right outside of Exodar in Azuremyst Isle and named him after my real-life cat (which in turn is named after Ratchet of Ratchet & Clank). I was a bit worried about him being "infected" though, as ideally I would like a healthy pet. ;) So that's the cute little story depicted; me being a noob and worrying about the health of my newly tamed friend.
After 4 months of playing quite a lot I finally became level 70, and worked my butt off in battlegrounds for the Gladiator PVP-gear she's wearing. She's also wearing Shattered Sun Offensive-tabard, as that event was the first one I fully took part of from the start with my server's fellow level 70s.
I played Beast Mastery in Burning Crusade.

Wrath of the Lich King

Lae and Wata
In Wrath I fell in love with my hunter over again, after having played a shadow priest for the first two raid patches. Loque'nahak (I named him Wata) is a favorite to many hunters, and he has been mine for a very long time as well. I spent so many hours flying around in Sholazar Basin, heart jumping every time NPC-scan alerted me of rares. :) For this reason it was important to me that this art piece showed "the tame". Lae is wearing tier 10; as that was my favorite set from that expansion, Argent Crusader's Tabard; after all the hours I spent up at the Argent Tournament, and Avalanche from Ulduar; one of my favorite bows in the game still.
I mostly played Survival in Wrath, but fiddled a bit with both Marksmanship and Beast Mastery as well.


Lae and Skarr
The Tier 11 murloc set IS Cataclysm for me, and Skarr from Molten Front is The Cataclysm Pet as well, so here they are, in a fierce Bestial Wrath! A big thing for me that expansion, and well-documented here on the blog, was that I changed one of her professions into Engineering (The Best Profession), so of course she had to wear the Engineering goggles. :)
I played Survival when raiding in Cataclysm, and Beast Mastery in PvP.

Mists of Pandaria

Kinlai and the Celestials
I've covered this earlier artwork by SleepingFox in another post.

Warlords of Draenor

Lae and Ronja
Warlords of Draenor is taking a bit of heat these days, and I will admit to having said a few words myself as well as taking the longest break I've ever taken from WoW. But I will always love it because of all the draenei lore we got to experience, all the draenei NPCs we got to meet, and all that draenei everyday life that we got to take part in! After a long break last year, I logged on, started leveling my hunter, and fell in love with her for the third time. :) The "quest" for Gara really touched me, and I named her Ronja after my dog in real life. This is a depiction of Lae trying to cheer up the oh so sad Ronja. I think there is hope though; with time and with lots of love and affection she will eventually become a happy wolf again. ;) This was The Draenei Expansion, so Lae had to have the most draeneic bow I've ever seen!
I played Beast Mastery in the last half of Warlords of Draenor, and mostly did PvP. I cleared the first two raids as Brewmaster Monk before I took my break.


Lae, Ronja and Hati
Legion is here, and though I'm not happy with all the changes it brought, I do love being a Beast Master again, and I love running around with two pets! I think the questline for Titanstrike could have been done differently; a more emotional story would have suited us better I think. But while they try to define our class fantasy, it's our imagination that does the most important job, and I'm on board with Hati! And look how happy Gara is now, not only did she get saved by the most fantastic hunter ever, she got a new buddy as well. :)

After having placed the order with SleepingFox, I've been running around with double Mana Sabers and loving it, so I may have to try to commission more art in the future...

Lae, Katniss and Hati

Bonus - Legendary Hunter

Lae, Wata and Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury
This was my initial choice for the Cataclysm art, but I became very strict with myself about the weapons belonging to the expansion they released in. And since Thori'dal is from Sunwell Plateau in Burning Crusade, it didn't fit in! But it's also the most beautiful weapon in the game, and the only legendary bow, so I felt it deserved to be a part of the collection. In all fairness, I think Rhok'delar belongs here too, but this is going to be a neverending project if I keep thinking like that... Just take it!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hunter auto-targeting is back! Please take it away.

I've spent all my time since the pre-patch launched cleaning up thousands of BOEs, so today was my first day trying out group content since then. I jumped into a timewalking dungeon, and was happily DPSing until a few pulls in. The final mob of the group we had pulled was dying as I hit Cobra Shot, which is instant now, and my character automatically targeted a mob in the next group and fired that Cobra Shot to them instead! I don't really like being that hunter that pulls extra mobs, so I became startled and a bit nervous. I was thinking "this doesn't feel right, is this how it always has been?" trying my best to remember. Then it happened again a few pulls later, although luckily for me, the mob I was auto-targeting wasn't in line of sight, so I quickly de-selected them. "Something is NOT right!"

I turned to Twitter, and found more hunters that had found this issue, and then I found this old post at WHU about the removal of auto-targeting for hunters in patch 4.1. And now I remember the change! And how much I liked it. And that it boosted my confidence a bit in dungeons, not longer that worried to do something stupid...

I don't know why auto-targeting is back. It could be because Survival is now a melee spec. Auto-targeting is awsome if you're a melee player! But if you're a ranged player with auto-attacks (autoshot) and only instant abilities and a pet on "Assist" it's pretty bad!

Yes, I can put my pet on "Defensive", and I guess I could try to always have my back to the next group or max range to the group we're fighting, but these are not always viable solutions.

There was a reason auto-targeting was removed for hunters back in Cataclysm, so please remove it for BM and MM again! I want to keep doing my reliable tab-targeting.


Edit: I've tested a bit, standing 30 yards away from the testing dummy in Stormshield.

Abilities and macros that trigger auto-targeting:

  • A Murder of Crows
  • Barrage
  • Dire Beast
  • /startattack

Abilities that don't trigger auto-targeting:

  • Bestial Wrath
  • Chimaera Shot
  • Cobra Shot
  • Concussive Shot
  • Counter Shot
  • Dire Frenzy
  • Intimidation
  • Kill Command
  • Multi-Shot
  • Stampede (although they run in front of you, mowing down everything, so don't use it when you're trying not to pull mobs that are close)
  • Wyvern Sting

Macro to prevent auto-targeting:

/cast [@target, exists] A Murder of Crows

(insert Barrage or Dire Beast instead of A Murder of Crows for those respective abilities)

I'm happy with this fix now. I'm gonna be using /startattack with Multi-Shot, and /cast [@target, exists] on the three listed problem-abilities. Hope you all are able to sort out stuff like you want to too, whether you like to autoselect targets or not. :)


I'm playing Beast Mastery again, and my plan is to have Lae as my main in Legion. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Beast Mastery pruning

The last six months I've spent my time in WoW as a hunter again. Or actually, five-six hunters. I have five level 100 beast master hunters running around with a Gara of their own now. ;) As a blogger I seem to have lost my way a bit, in that I don't have much interest in making "happy posts" at the moment, and it's not until I get a negative reaction to something that I need to air it. So today's post is about the state of the Beast Mastery-hunters in the alpha, although I have no access to this alpha myself. As soon as I hit "post" on the forum, I realized I had forgotten to plead for Misdirect-glyph, but I will try to add it in later. This is what I posted:

Like many others I've been following the class changes in the alpha here on the forum and on Wowhead and MMO Champion. Since I'm not in the alpha myself, I'm not able to post in the testing forums, and it's strongly suggested that we "try it before we comment". I'm also not a theorycrafter, more a "feelcrafter" looking for fun! And I'm finding it impossible to keep my mouth shut any longer; the same issues with our beloved spec have been brought up again and again in the alpha-forum without being addressed, and now some developers have stated that the specs are mostly done, and only tuning is left. So am I already too late?

I’ve played this draenei hunter for 9 years now. She was my first character, and my main for the biggest part of those years. (I mained a monk in MOP and the first year of WOD.)

There were two big reasons I started to play a hunter back when:
1) The pet. I was entirely new to the game and the MMO-genre, and it felt safer to have a companion with me. That, and I love animals.
2) Aspect of the Cheetah. Since it took a long time to get to the level at where I could learn to ride back then (which was level 40), I was given the advice to take a hunter or a druid for the increased run speed.

Over the years I've gained several more reasons to why I appreciate this class so much; I love being the ranger with a longbow and shooting arrows on the move.

I've been through a lot with this hunter. I remember the pet happiness system, ammo, quivers, stutter-stepping between autoshots (autoshot wouldn't go off if you were moving), serpent/scorpid/viper sting, mana and actually having armor with intellect and mp5 (mana per 5 secs), volley, the MM armor pen-stacking days, old talent trees, etc. There's been so many changes over the years, and I'm happy to say that most have been good! I think the change to our resource system from mana to focus is my favorite change of them all.

I understand the reasoning behind “the prune”. After recently having leveled yet another hunter, this time as SV, I could clearly see how similar BM and SV are. And yes, even too similar. What stuck out to me the most, was how incredibly much I missed Kill Shot as SV! Other than that I've always enjoyed Explosive Shot, but all in all I could see that the two specs' development over the years had made them so alike that there is really no longer room for both of them. (I'm sure this goes for MM as well, but I haven't played that spec since ICC.)

For every hunter out there you will have a different view or opinion on everything. While I loved the change that gave us focus, someone else hated it. And while I think Hati seems like a cool idea, someone else will hate him. I hope that with the different improvements he gets with every alpha build, he will truely be a great companion in the end. While I think the artifact-gun is a bad idea that provides me with a forced class fantasy where I would have preferred to use my own imagination, others love it!
Me mentioning I have played a hunter for 9 years doesn't really mean anything. There's always someone else that played longer than me, and neither of our opinions are more important than the opinion of the girl or boy that has played a hunter for 1 year. Sifting through all these different opinions can't be easy.


Summary so far: I've played hunter for a long time, I'm not scared of change, I understand that pruning needs to happen, and I realize that there's a vast sea of differing feedback.


I sure stayed calm for a good while. But that stops now. I FEEL SO FRUSTRATED!

Beast Master hunters list of pruning:

We lose the 30 % increased movement speed that we had in common with shamans and druids, while they both keep theirs.
We lose our traps, while Survival keeps them.
We lose our Kill Shot. Monks also lose their execute, while warriors and shadow priests keep theirs.
Camouflage. SV and MM keep it.
Tranquilizing Shot. Druids lose Soothe too, Shamans keep Purge.
Arcane Shot. MM keeps the name. Cobra Shot is the new Arcane Shot for BM.
Cobra Shot AKA our entire playstyle rotation-wise! Now we do Kill Command + other stuff that has a CD, and weave Arcane Shot and Cobra Shot in, depending on if we need Focus or want to get rid of it. Then at boss <20 a="" and="" around.="" be="" bit="" br="" cd="" changes="" cobra="" either="" get="" hit="" it="" kill="" new="" on="" or="" our="" rotation="" shot.="" shot="" stuff="" then="" to="" use="" wait="" we="" will=""> All hunters and shamans lose many of the < lvl 40 transmog sets we’ve had available to us since the transmog system was introduced in Cataclysm. I feel it’s fair that the platewearers get access to these sets, but I hate that they’re being taken away from us.

Why do this spec need to lose so much!?! Why the movement speed, the traps, Kill Shot, Tranq Shot, Arcane Shot, OUR ENTIRE VERY AWSOME CURRENT ROTATION and a whole bunch of transmog??! Is it really necessary? What are we supposed to be happy about keeping, our pets? Do we keep anything at all that another class looses, or were BM-hunters just so awsome and loved by everyone that they needed to lose it all?

What bugs me the most by far is the rotation. We've already lost Hunter's Mark and Serpent Sting, and now with Cobra Shot being reworked and Kill Shot being removed, our rotation is changing into something completely different all together. I trust Blizzard initially, but when one of the class designers state that Focus isn’t working as it “should” currently, and then I see the comparisons to rogues and feral druids in the alpha-thread, I feel like a non-hunter has decided that rogue/feral druid is the golden standard, and that hunter play needs to change from what current hunters like into something that a feral druid or rogue would like. And then my trust diminishes! How am I supposed to feel about this, when my two least favorite classes are rogue and druid? How can the way that focus has worked for 5,5 years suddenly be wrong?

I want to quote someone on the US forum: "The feel of the hunter (Cata-WoD) is you're always doing an action, with the recent incarnation feeling very Diablo-esque where you are always building or spending your resource. Marksman has retained this design but BM hasn't for some reason and it needs it back."

PLEASE don't be done with BM, please read the feedback on the alpha-forum that so many hunters have worked hard for to provide, and please take it to heart!

I’m not sure what to do if this truly becomes new-BM. Should I try to get used to this new spec? Or will I have to reluctantly go MM and stable my dear Spirit Beasts, just so I can get a good rotation and a bow-artifact? Or should I change my class again, and try to not become so invested and involved this time around?


Build 21655 (the newest one): http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20743794497
Build 21570: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20743654415
Build 21531: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20743404341
Build 21466: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20743164174
Build 21414: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20742916582
Build 21287: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20742814730
Build 21249: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20742625219
Build 21232: http://us.battle.net/wow/en-us/forum/topic/20742734803

All hunter changes from WoD to Legion: http://www.wowhead.com/guides/classes/legion/hunter


How do you feel about these changes? Do you like the idea of Hati, like me? Would you prefer if BM got a bow and a quiver like MM, like me? Do you think I really need to try it out before complaining? Let me know. :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Unfamiliar thoughts on raiding (yes, I'm still alive)

Together with most of my guild I stopped playing WoW for a while, back in June. We had done one raid in Hellfire Citadel I think, in which we cleared 5 bosses. People were going away for the summer holiday, and we had all started to feel incredibly "meh!" about both WoW and raiding, so we kind of avoided making plans as to when we would start up the raids again. My partner and I got a puppy during the summer, and we stepped up our previous hiking habits by about 1000 %. The puppy, the four cats, TV shows and other video games (especially Life Is Strange and Dreamfall Chapters) ensured that I didn't miss WoW at all really. I did log on one or two times per week for followers and follower missions though.

About one month ago I decided to finally go ahead and tame Gara for Lae, and name her Ronja, after my real-life puppy. :) Lae was still 96, Kinlai was my only level 100, and I decided that I would level her. And after that I found out that I should keep progressing with her, now for gear. I started having a blast again! With Tanaan Jungle, legendary quest-line, heroic dungeons and raid finder. As I was getting close to as well-geared as I could get without raiding, Valor made a re-appearance, so I kept doing dungeons, and actually started doing the easier raid finder wings over again to accumulate points.

Eventually I started thinking
"I miss raiding... I mean, I don't miss organizing them, or the damned struggle with keeping enough people in the raid team. And I don't miss having set evenings of the week occupied by raids. But I miss playing with my friends; working together against the evil on Azeroth/ Outland/ Draenor!"
And then there was the moose-announcement...
"Defeat Archimonde on heroic or mythic to get this awsome moose-mount!"
I need that moose! I really need it. Norway is like the land of moose! I need it.

Last night I was invited by Class to join her guild's alt run in heroic Hellfire Citadel. We killed the first six bosses without any problems, and I got a shiny new trinket. :) My DPS wasn't awsome (I'm a stubborn Beast Master at item level 703, and I refuse to take Barrage too), but it wasn't terrible either, so that was good. And I didn't do any really bad mistakes either. (Ok, I got caught in Blitz one time (Deterrence!), and I triggered a Hand on trash before Kormrok, but it wasn't too bad.)
After 2 hours I was completely exhausted, and had to step out. And I was thinking; "wow, these fights last for SO long!", and "imagine doing the same bosses one or two times per week, every week, since June...", and now I'm not sure what to think of my future "career" in raiding.

Perhaps organized raiding isn't for me anymore? Could I be happy and satisfied without it? Could progress in dungeons and raid finder be enough for me? Would I be happy about getting that moose through a free or paid boost? Or should I write it off? Why does it bother me so much that I'm not a Raider? And what does these standards I set for myself really mean?

Another thing I think about these days: "Who is my main now? And who will my main be?"

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.