World of Warcraft – Choosing Covenants for All the Wrong Reasons

I am the first to admit, I probably play World of Warcraft wrong. The gear grind doesn’t excite me, so I’m not constantly chasing more and more difficult experiences. I do enjoy the stories the game tells, but it’s not my primary motivation either.

For me, it’s the fiddly bits of WoW that really do it for me. Professions, pet battles, and achievements are the main things that keep me coming back over and over, and since the introduction of the WoW token and the ability to pay for game time with in game gold, I’ve learned to really appreciate time spent just farming.

With everything I’ve read about Shadowlands, this expansion feels like it was build for the folks who, like me, really enjoy the fiddly bits.

I will admit, I did glance at one of the many guides out there that advise players on how to choose a covenant based on combat abilities and soul binds (which I admit I still don’t *really* get), before deciding that there were far more important considerations for me. Clearly, I want to spread my alts out, to allow access to the greatest amount of silly cosmetic stuff, and with unique armor sets being one of the silly cosmetic things available, I wanted to make sure I took armor class and fashion into account.

Kyrian – The Iron-Willed

While leveling, there was a lot of green text about the cult-like ways of the Kyrian, but I still maintain that they’re just manifesting some serious Capricorn energy. Strong willed determination and discipline rule the day, but I’d be lying if I did say a big part of the allure is the adorable Owlkin stewards. My main pledged herself to the Kyrian, mostly because she’s going to look badass in their transmog set.

Because this is the covenant I’ve chosen on my main, it’s likely where I’ll be spending the most time, and I’m intrigued by Path of Ascenion (the minigame associated with this covenant). I love the aesthetic of the sanctum, and the pets and mounts are pretty compelling too.

Oh, and at least the shaman ability (Vesper Totem) seems pretty damn useful so far, but that’s incidental.

Necrolord – The Ferocious

There is zero doubt in my mind that both my Death Knight and my Demon Hunter would feel right at home hanging in Maldraxxus with the Necrolords. My mage I’m less sure about, but she ended up here more or less by default after figuring out who else belonged where.

This is probably the least appealing covenant to me, overall, but Jiggles, the jellycat is a fantastic looking pet model, and I want to see all the stories and unlock access to the maximum amount of cosmetic rewards I realistically can.

Night Fae – The Harmonious

So far, Ardenweald seems to have it all. Probably the best zone story of Shadowlands, some really beautiful mounts, and some excellent transmog option. I’m super excited to have a garden again via The Queen’s Conservatory, and it just felt thematically right for all three characters who I intend to pledge here.

Also, the Soulshape ability is fantastic, although I’m sort of dreading the time suck of trying to unlock them all. I’m fairly sure I’m going to feel the need to try to unlock them all regardless.

Venthyr – The Haughty

Full disclosure – I kind of hate the Revendreth zone, but there’s a lot that comes with this covenant that I do like. The Door of Shadows signature ability seems like it could be ridiculously useful, and I am intrigued by the Ember Court game.

However, I desperately want the transmog for my Void Elf Warlock, and even if everything else about the entire covenant was unappealing, I’d at least have her pledge solely for fashion.

Obviously, there’s no way I’ll be able to keep up with 12 characters spread across all four covenants long-term, and due to armor class restrictions, I won’t be able to get all the transmogs without creating additional characters. However, I know I do better with a plan than just trying to figure it out as I go along, so this is my Big Picture Covenant plan, in which I make the decision for every class without even really taking into account the class specific abilities for each covenant.

This is very much on-brand for me.

World of Warcraft – Goals (Not Quite) Met

I admit, the single thing that got me most interested in coming back to World of Warcraft for Shadowlands came in the pre-patch – the level squish. I’ve always been a bit of an altoholic; I would have a main for each expansion, but I would always level my shaman, even when I decided to focus on a different class for awhile. Then, during even the smallest content drought, I’d start working on more characters.

I probably had the highest number of max level characters during Cataclysm. Across both factions and three servers, I think I had 9 max level characters. Since then, I’ve never even come close to that again, and in Battle for Azeroth, I managed an all time low of 3 level-capped characters.

With the level squish, I realized I had a great opportunity to remedy that, and – after completely ignoring my active WoW subscription for the better part of a month after leveling my warlock – I decided to see if I could get one character of each class to level 50 before the start of Shadowlands.

I didn’t quite make it, but I got a lot further on the project than I honestly expected to. When Shadowlands went live last night, I had 10 max level characters on my main server, with only my monk and rogue left. I probably could have finished at least the monk, but I spent a bit of time in the pre-patch event on my druid, in order to get my hands on the leather set.

This extra push will make it a lot easier to cover all my bases during Shadowlands, making sure I have access to all the professions, and spreading my characters out between the four covenants for maximum cosmetic rewards. I know my goal was overly ambitious, and I was actually quite pleased that I managed to get as close as I did.

World of Warcraft – Preparing for the Pre-Patch

After what feels like waiting an eternity (or longer, it was probably longer) for the pre-Shadowlands patch, it’s now less than a week away. I have World of Warcraft installed on the new PC, complete with the addon folder I remembered to copy over. I am so ready for this.

I still have yet to pre-order Shadowlands, but I have no intention of spending more on it than the base edition, so I don’t have to think about what to do with a boost, because it doesn’t come with one. Besides which, I still have some manner of boost collecting dust, so I’m not really a huge fan of them in the first place.

I decided to pop onto my loading screen and try to make some sense of characters to prioritize my leveling. Please forgive the Inactive tag on most of my characters – I don’t plan on actually resubbing until patch day.

I only have three characters sitting at 120 – which might be the worst I’ve done with leveling in any expansion since Burning Crusade, when I first started playing and had exactly one max level character.

I have pretty much decided to be 100% done with Battle for Azeroth, which means other than cleaning out bags and banks, and possibly dabbling in the pre-expansion event, these ladies are done until after Shadowlands release.

After that is two pairs of characters, currently stuck in their respective expansions, who will be less than 10 levels from cap once the squish drops. I might work on the priest and paladin (two characters who I have had level capped every expansion between Pandaria and Battle for Azeroth), but I’m likely to let the Demon Hunter and Warrior continue to languish.

My warlock will plummet to level 21 post-squish, but she is probably the character who I will dedicate myself to leveling first. I don’t think I’ve had an end-game warlock since Cataclysm, and I’ve missed it (even though I don’t tend to spend much time with DPS only characters).

As evidenced by the fact that three out of four of my rolled but mostly unplayed characters are pure DPS classes. The hunter has the best chance of getting out of lowbie limbo – I have enjoyed playing hunters in the past, but it’s been a long time and a lot of changes, so I’m not going to commit too heavily.

That’s the full roster of characters (bank alt notwithstanding) I have on my main server, and honestly, I can’t even start to think about cross-faction or alternate server characters at this point.

Depending on how quick leveling goes, I would like to commit to having the warlock, paladin, and priest ready to start Shadowlands content. If it’s all super-fast, and I’m still having fun with it, hunter will be next, and then I can hem and haw over the merits of the remaining lowbies versus the almost theres. It will be weird to be playing just about everything except a shaman for a yet undetermined period of time, but since I have played very little in the last 18 months, playing at all is going to feel pretty weird to start out.

Achieved It! – Pathfinder Part 2

After a lot of complaining, and an absurd amount of character death considering it was all open world content, I have finally managed to finish up Pathfinder Part 2.

I’m sure a lot of this would have been less annoying if I did the content when it was fresh, but of course, with Impressive Influence on, it also would have taken twice as long. My pre-8.2 gear didn’t do me any favors – each and every trash mob seemed to hit like a boss, and if I pulled an elite without the assistance of other random players in the area or my earth elemental, I was running back to my body.

In fact, just as this achievement popped, I was frantically running away from a herd of mechanospiders with just a sliver of health remaining. This was not an uncommon occurrence.

Note the lovely red tinge indicating I was very very close to a corpse run.

I still have 13 days remaning of my 30 day subscription, and I will likely go back and see if I can scrounge up some extra gold before my sub runs out.

For now, though, I’m not going to think about naga or mechagnomes for a couple of days.

Pathfinder Part Two – Halfway There

I acknowledge it probably would have been smarter to work on both reputations concurrently, but Nazjatar has been seriously painful, and once I’d get through a day’s work there, my desire to do anything else was completely evaporated.

I definitely skipped some dailies and world quests, though. There’s a few places on the map I still haven’t figured out how to get to, despite the game having decided that I explored the whole zone. In fact, there’s still a regular old questline I didn’t finish. I did also manage to do a couple of emissary quests, which are worth a ridiculous amount of rep, over the six days.

All in all, not to shabby, but I most definitely have no intention of returning to Nazjatar until I’ve unlocked flying. I expect Rustbolt will take a few more days, but I still anticipating being done about halfway through my month long subscription.

The Pathfinder Rep Grind – What a Day’s Progress Looks Like

If I’m being really honest, I’m having a harder time with the patch 8.2 content than I anticipated. Sure, I knew there’d be a gear gap if I tried to skip over Nazjatar and Mechagon entirely, but I didn’t expect it to feel quite so bad doing the next logical content step from where I left off. For the time being, I’m going to blame it on my severely underleveled Heart of Azeroth, because otherwise, it means I just forgot how to play, and I’m not quite ready to admit to that just yet.

Anyway, Impressive Influence is completely amazing for what I’m trying to get done, even if I spend way too much time lost and die a lot.

When I logged in on Tuesday, my Battle for Azeroth reps looked like this. Not even halfway through neutral with Waveblade Ankoan, and no Rustbolt Resistance to be seen.

But 24 hours later, it looked like this – very nearly Honored with Waveblade Ankoan, and I managed to start on Mechagon and get almost to Friendly without a single daily or world quest done.

Overall, I’m pleased with the rate at which I’m progressing (even if I did manage to complete an emissary in there so most days won’t look nearly that good). Completing this before the end of the buff is more than reasonable, and may even leave me with some time left over on my token to pursue something else. Now I just need to figure out what something else might be.

So Very Far Behind – Working on Patch 8.2 in World of Warcraft

I reactiaved my World of Warcraft subscription this morning, with the intent of just dabbling around with some world quests to finish off the first part of Pathfinder before having to go check out the new (to me) zones of Nazjatar and Mechagon. But instead, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise.

While it’s a bit taken off my plate to realize I was done with the early Battle for Azeroth reps, it meant there was no easing myself back into it. I went straight to Nazjatar, because even with double rep, this is going to be a lot to get done in a few weeks.

Notice the complete lack of Rustbolt Resistance on my reputation tab? That’s because I haven’t even been there yet!

I did open up Nazjatar trying to get geared up for an emergency anniversary mount run a few months ago, but here’s the thing. Even though questing in Nazjatar drops gear roughly equivalent to what I’m wearing, I’m feeling really out of my depth here. This morning, I mostly ran around picking up flight paths, doing the few world quests I stumbled into, and feeling very overwhelmed. I got a couple of dailies done, but I was starting to feel as if I was spending more time healing myself than anything else. Those mobs hit hard, and I’m still waiting for my muscle memory to get warmed up again.

Hopefully, it’ll come back to me sooner rather than later, and I won’t squander my token and a month’s worth of Impressive Influence chasing battle pets or conveniently forgetting to log in.

Coming Soon to World of Warcraft – Double Reputation (Legion & Battle for Azeroth)

With level squish coming to Shadowlands, I admit I wasn’t overly impressed with World of Warcraft doing a month-long double experience event. However, the event they are starting on Monday, April 20th, is much more appealing to me as someone who was unsubscribed for a large chunk of Battle for Azeroth.

Impressive Influence will grant 100% bonus experience with the factions of Legion and Battle from Azeroth (although it does exclude the two newest factions, Rajani and Uldum Accord). This is a great buff if, like me, you haven’t finished up your Battle for Azeroth or Legion Pathfinder achievements, or even if you’re the type inclined to farm up a bunch of paragon rewards.

Be aware, however, that reputation requirements for Allied Races are going away with Shadowlands, so unless you really want to level another character now (and why would you with the much more compact leveling experience on the way?), these rep grinds won’t be necessary.

ETA: Blizzard has also announced that they will be keeping Winds of Wisdom – the experience buff – live until Shadowlands pre-patch for players of Battle for Azeroth.

Always Running Late

For someone who is meticulous about being timely IRL, I still can procrastinate for the Olympics. I feel like this post has a sort of an Inception-style thing going on for it, because it’s a short story about waiting until the absolutely last minute, and also, it’s written and posted more than a week after I intended to.

Sorry about that, folks.

It seems like it’s been forever since the information about the 15th Anniversary event in WoW came out, and I was pretty sure I was going to reactivate my WoW sub in November to take advantage of it.

Then, I saw that the event was going to be a long one, running all the way through January 7th, so there was no rush. And rush I absolutely did not. Before I knew it, November had disappeared, and then it was December and I was stuck in bed sick for over a week, and then it was the holidays, and that token just never got spent.

At the beginning of January, I again claimed I was going to get my act together and go get that Deathwing mount. Finally, on Sunday, January 5th, a mere 48ish hours before the even was over, I reactiavted my account.

And after approximately 10 months off, I had to remember how to play (thank goodness for muscle memory), scrounge up 10 item levels, and actually get through all three LFR events. Easy peasy.

Having missed at least a couple of patches, making up that iLvl was far easier than I could have hoped. One random world quest for a trinket, and several quick upgrades while opening up Najatar (not to mention the hella boost to my necklace), and I hit 380.

All in all, it was easier than I anticipated all around. Monday evening, my husband and I started queuing up for the LFRs (I know, I know!!!) – Outlands was flawless, Northrend was … less flawless (stupid dance, stupid defile, stupid old person memory for mechanics), and we only had one wipe on Cho’Gall in the Cataclysm content. The whole shebang, including figuring out how the heck one gets to The Caverns of Time these days, took about two and a half hours.

So, let’s say that this mount took approximately 5 hours of effort, and about two months of procrastination.

As it stands now, I have not logged back into WoW since then – I still have 20 days remaining on my sub – and yet, I’m still thinking about going back for real for Shadowlands.

Sometimes, Procrastination Pays Off

I have had the itch to go back to World of Warcraft for a bit now, but I’ve been procrastinating on actually re-activating my sub. Sure, I could let you all in on some of my MMO neuroses by listing off a bunch of reasons, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there was one that was stronger than the rest.

See, when I re-upgraded to Windows 10 a couple of months ago, one of the things I forgot to back up was my World of Warcraft addons folder. I have always run a ridiculous amount of addons, and I had some deep dread about having to figure out my UI from scratch.

Well, a couple of weeks before the big upgrade, I thought that my harddrive was starting to go, so I had bought a replacement and cloned it. However, once I fiddled around with all the cords in there, all of the hard disk ridiculousness seemed to resolve itself, so I’m thinking it was a loose cord or something, and I promptly put the whole thing out of my mind.

Well, some oddball glitch caused my computer to boot from the wrong drive last night, and after a few very panicky moments trying to figure out what exactly had happened, I realized that this was a blessing in disguise. My addons folder was on the cloned drive, and I could simply copy it to the drive I am actually using!

After a little more fiddling, and safe removal and storage of the backup drive so that I could avoid any more odd rebooting shenanigans, I have all of my addons back, and updated, and well, I guess I’ll be dabbling in some World of Warcraft this weekend.