[OOC] Day One Impressions

I’m only level 104 and ready to be done with leveling. The zones and models are very nice (with the exception of my artifacts and braided-ass bear form), but the questing still suffers from the on-rails, Chosen One, no-choices that plagued WoD. There isn’t ever a single quest that gives you so much as a conversation option to say or do anything besides what is presented to you. Even if it only changed the story in minor ways, this would go a long way toward putting the “RP” back into MMORPG. One that particularly bothered me was in the aftermath of the Horde’s Broken Shore scenario. There wasn’t even an option to refuse what I was told to do — I’m sure my character isn’t the only one who might take exception with what was going on.

Running around on the ground sucks. Hunting for cave entrances sucks. Trying to find the one path that takes you where you want to go sucks. I’d hoped they figured this out by now, but it seems not.

I think one of my biggest barriers to enjoying Legion is the alt thing, that I’ve touched on before. Legion is extremely unfriendly to alts, due to the amount of grinding and repetition required. To even step into the new zones, you need to: do the Broken Shore scenario (I’ve heard that you can skip it on alts, but I don’t know if this is true. I didn’t have the option when I took my Horde mage, but this was prior to launch), do the Dalaran introduction quests, and then do your artifact scenario and set up your class hall. These vary in length depending on class. They do seem to have been properly scaled though, I (a very bad mage) was able to do mine with really awful gear. And then, if you want to do any dungeons, you need Friendly rep with each questing faction, which means you need to quest through every zone. On every alt. Then, on top of that, Blizzard thinks everyone enjoys running the same dungeons over and over and over (and over… and over…) so you get to do that, too. I hated Mythic dungeons in WoD, and only did them to complete the achievement, so I’m already feeling the dread close in at the prospect of being stuck in these awful dungeons for two years. I really haven’t enjoyed any dungeon since Wrath, and the WoD ones were especially awful for the most part. My other big thing is removal of player choice and agency, the game telling you how important you are at every turn. (Seriously, the next NPC who calls me Archdruid is getting punched.) It especially loses its impact when you’re in the class hall, surrounded by 50 other super important world-savers. They really are just re-skinned garrisons, too. Yeah, there’s other people there, but the mechanics are still the same, and are still un-fun. I can’t get rid of followers I don’t like, nor do they have any interaction outside of when you recruit them. Well, mine showed up once in a scenario to be useless and die. You must accept the weapon and weapon type you are given, which you must use for the duration of the expansion. Many spells and abilities were taken away, or made into talents.

Everyone else seems to like it right now, but everyone liked WoD at first, too. I guess we’ll see in a few months.

 

[OOC] The Last Day of WoD

I’m spending the last day of Warlords taking alts to the invasions for the easy XP. I’ve already managed to get all of the 90-somethings on my active account up to 100 that way in the past couple of weeks. Also working on getting the lowbie RP alts to 20 (the starter account cap) so they can at least ride and use the yak mount for transmog.

I am definitely not sad to see WoD go at all, it’s certainly the most unhappy I have been with WoW. The only reason I’m still here at all is the other people I play with, whether my two raid groups or my RP buddies. I do have some attachment to my character, too, it would be very hard to give him up after 10 1/2 years. I was cautiously hopeful for lots of neat Draenei lore and story possibilities, but none of them really ever happened, and the “alternate Draenor” concept made it messy and confusing for existing characters (especially Draenei), storywise.

Unfortunately I haven’t been very impressed with Legion either. So much so that I barely spent any time at all on the beta, because I just wasn’t interested enough to log in. Sure, the zones and models are pretty, and — very importantly — it’s not about orcs, but I am not sure if the core systems are a good idea. For one, I don’t like artifacts, at all. The class changes are overall a negative to me, many classes and specs I formerly enjoyed I can’t even stand at all now, and every single class I feel that I’m missing things I used before due to the prune. I am also really not happy about being forced into mythic dungeons. I didn’t enjoy them in WoD, I very much doubt I will enjoy them in Legion either. And while I don’t really dislike Demon Hunters, they are not something I was clamoring for and will be nothing more than another alt to run old raids with. Maybe if they’d had a ranged spec, but I’m not sure. I’m taking a “wait and see” approach, perhaps I’m wrong and I’ll totally love Legion but I kinda doubt it. I am certainly keeping my SWTOR account active, though.

I guess I will miss logging into free gold on my alts. I had hoped I could leave them parked in garrisons for two years, but it was not to be. I mean, they’ll still be in their garrisons, just they won’t be getting any money from it. At this point, because of the artifact nonsense, I have plans to level only one or two alts. (It was only one, but fire mage is tempting me!) Otherwise, my main Legion activity will probably be transmog farming with my stable of 100s. So pretty much what I’ve been doing all summer anyway.

[Story] Story a Week 34

[[ Prompt: A story about loneliness

I have two characters who are very lonely, and both are undead! Sora, the mage, and Stormpelt the worgen. I chose Stormy because she’s needed to help watch over Feathermoon while Ornasse is away. ]]

They had all forgotten about her.

Stormpelt had roamed the woods for a long time. How long exactly, she could not be sure. She did not have to sleep, so she could not count the days easily. In this dense forest, the seasons ran together — it never got very hot in the summer nor very cold in the winter. It was either wet, or not wet. She could not feel the cold, though she enjoyed laying out on a warm rock in the afternoons. Stormpelt could not remember how many times she had done that.

Sometimes she saw others, but not often. If she got too close to the town, she’d see the ones with the sharp things. Stormpelt didn’t like those, so she was careful to avoid them. There were others sometimes, the big ones that smelled bad, but she could not remember the last time she saw one of them. The most interesting were the small people, in their makeshift camps. Once Stormpelt came across one as she roamed, and she had to stay and investigate because she had never seen anything like it before. They had food hanging out, meat and fish and berries drying on racks, and though they looked delicious, Stormpelt had no need of them. She found a place to rest and waited for them to return. What she saw surprised her. They were covered in fur, and they smelled warm and alive. They chittered excitedly to each other, eating together around the fire. Stormpelt felt a stab of emotion — she wasn’t exactly sure what, at first. Remembering her own pack, guilt for what had happened since then, a desire to be among these small strangers. But if they were like any other living people, they would not want her there. They would snarl and show their weapons and shout at her. No matter how much they might be alike, there would always be that one difference between them.

She had almost been welcomed, by the leaf-person and his mate. He had saved Stormpelt in the fire place, tended to her burnt paws and brought her back to safety. Stormpelt could tell that they were still wary, but they had been kind to her. She remembered how they used to wash her and comb her hair. They had a tiny pup, and Stormpelt would help watch over him while he played. He must be a lot larger now. Stormpelt wasn’t sure she would recognize him now, but she would surely remember his scent. But she hadn’t seen them for a very long time, since they had arrived here in the forest. They lived in the town, safe inside the strong buildings, but Stormpelt was not allowed there. Had they forgotten about her? It was likely so. They had their own lives — real lives, not the strange version that Stormpelt had, somewhere in between alive and dead. She longed to see them again, not only to see that they were safe, but for that sense of belonging. It was the thing she most missed about her pack — aside from Frostmoon, of course.

At least she still had Grub Grub. He, at least, had never left her. She withdrew into the cool darkness of her den, curling around herself. Grub Grub liked the warmth of summer, he was more active and hungry, and searched her open paw for the berries she had brought him. Berries weren’t his favorite food, he preferred meat, but he hungrily ate them, all the same. Stormpelt had just laid her head down to rest when she heard the whisper of feathers outside her den. She perked her ears curiously.

“Worgen?” a voice called, and Stormpelt’s heart leapt. It was the leaf person. He hadn’t forgotten about her after all.

[Art] Old Kitty

Just a doodle while doing invasions ~

oldkitty

[Story] The Breach

The sentinels were arming.

At first, Ornasse tried to explain it away to their usual routine, but there was no mistaking the wary energy of the outpost. Armor was being repaired, weapons sharpened and polished, the great war-glaives inspected and tested. And then there had been the letter, requesting the aid of all experienced druids to report to Moonglade as soon as they were able. The words were chosen carefully, speaking only of a “rising threat” that was rumored to be present on both continents. Nowhere did the words “demon” or “Legion” appear, but they were foremost on his mind — and he’d already heard them whispered among the sentinels. He had been so young then, a lifetime ago, and the details were lost to time, but he remembered the feeling of fear and hopelessness. While he was reluctant to leave his quiet and comfortable life in Feathermoon behind, this was important. If he ignored the summons, those who went to fight in his place might die from their wounds. And what if everyone refused to go? Ornasse did not want to imagine the outcome, demons scorching their way across Kalimdor, leaving only smoking ruin behind.

He had expected Kelanori to protest more, perhaps insist that she stay behind with their son. But she had always had a very practical mind, it was one of things he most admired about her. Farahlor would be safe with Phaa, a draenei who lived in town and had always loved children. Ornasse did worry about a direct invasion; if all the sentinels left, the town would be vulnerable. It was a risk they would have to take, as it was impossible to bring the child along with them. And if anything should happen to either of them, at least he would be well cared for. There was Tathariel as well. He didn’t know if she’d received a letter or not. She was one of the new generation of female druids, barely a decade of experience. But he supposed the Circle could not afford to be picky at a time like this. Would Jaellynn permit her to go? He would have to care for their young child alone. Ornasse would have to go and visit them to be certain. Kelanori wanted him to speak to her brother, too. Terivanis was not much of a druid, but he had proven valuable at the Molten Front. He might have got a letter as well. He would be eager to prove himself; Kelanori was right about that.

As the sun dipped behind the verdant hills, Ornasse spread his wings and set out over the ancient forest. He wanted to see for himself if there were any demons in the area, what kind they might be, and how many. There had been small pockets from time to time, that was no cause for alarm. But the rumors spoke of vast structures rising out of the landscape, demons pouring out of them without end — in places where they’d never been seen before. He also wanted to find the worgen. Since they had come to Feathermoon, they had seen very little of her — she wasn’t comfortable in the town, nor were they welcoming of her. The forest surely reminded her of home. If Ornasse could find her, he would ask her to watch over Farahlor and the rest of the town, make sure that no demons got too close. He felt a little guilty in doing so; she was not a trained animal, after all, but he knew she would be eager to help. And she was already dead, so there wasn’t much risk to her.

His breath caught in his throat as he entered into a clearing; a green crystalline spire jutted up from the tangled growth below. The earth around it was charred and cracked, thin green smoke pouring from it. It was all true. They were here.

[Art] ToV Doodles

Over the summer I raided with my friend’s guild, since my own had stopped for the expansion. They were so nice and fun, I’m sad that I probably won’t be able to go with them again for a while because our raid nights are the same. Maybe a bit later in the expansion I will be able to!

Here’s two little quick drawings I did of the raid leader and one of the other healers!

tov_bubblestov_stoned

[Story] Story a Week 33

[[ Prompt: A story set 100 years in the future

I decided to do elves because, well, they live a long time. This story is about Fairsong Academy and Narise, who is currently a baby. ]]

Narise Fairsong walked down the empty hallways of the academy, making sure that every last little detail was in place. In a few short days, the new first-year students would be arriving and settling into their rooms. The hallways, now silent, would be buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm. The beginning of the term was always her favorite time of the year. Many students stayed over the summer; many of the scholarship students simply couldn’t afford to go on holidays, others wanted to get in the extra study time. Narise always scheduled some short trips to help them pass the time, trips to the library in Shattrath or Dalaran, day trips to elven ruins or the beach. Things to help the students feel more at home, but it had helped to bolster Fairsong Academy’s reputation as one of the finest schools in the region. She’d had to turn away some of the applicants because there simply weren’t enough rooms for them. The main building, which had stood for hundreds of years, had been carefully maintained and restored. It held the main lecture rooms, and the practice rooms for the older students. The instructors and staff had their rooms there, as well. On the grounds, several buildings had been added on, these were the residential buildings for the students, as well as the lounges and practice rooms.

It was Narise’s first autumn running the school on her own. For the past decade, she had assisted Hethurin with the supervision and instruction of the students, and Terellion with the book-keeping, hiring of staff, and correspondence. She was confident that she could do it all by herself, but grateful that she could ask them for help if things got too muddled. Malwen would be only a short flight away, too, working at the hospital in town with their cousin. Things would go well, she was certain of it, though she could feel butterflies in her stomach.

In the sun room, she found Renner at an easel, working at a painting. It didn’t look like much yet, but Narise could tell that it was still in its early stages, just abstract blocks of color. Renner didn’t seem nervous at all, and why would he? He had seen all of this before. When Hethurin had told her about him at first, she thought he was trying to tease her, but it had all been true. When she was old enough, she attended his lessons and learned about chronomancy first-hand. And while everyone else grew old and frail and tired, Renner always looked the same. Narise liked talking to him because he could show her things from the past, things she had been too young to remember, or just happy times that she wanted to see again. It was as if he took those vague memories and made them vivid again — a bit like the painting he was working at, only it took much less time. She remembered the time that an infernal fell through the roof and made a big hole, she remembered the time when the river flooded the grounds and there was a huge puddle for weeks, sitting in classes with all of the other children and passing notes between them. And of course all of the parties, her other favorite times of the year. Everyone was always so happy, and the grounds always looked so beautiful decorated for the seasons.

Soon all of the students would be here, the returning students anxiously studying for their final exams, the new students just learning the basic foundations of magic, the wide-eyed scholarship students grateful for the chance to be there at all. They would all become part of the school in their own way, and it a part of them. She was excited for it to begin.