Hunting Something New

Tonight I’ve checked off another desire from the expansion… I’ve finally replaced the outfit my Hunter has sported from Cataclysm with something new to take into the Warlords era.

It may not be new, but it’s new to me.

OldandNew2

I mentioned on a blog post quite some time ago that I liked my Firelands outfit, but I’d love to gather together the black Scourgestalker pieces from Ulduar 10.

I just never did anything about it, because busy. So, so busy.

I’m really glad I did it though, you know? I’ve learned a lot along the way.

Along the way, I learned a lot of things about Ulduar while romping around in the playground of the Titans.

There is a big difference between soloing something and raiding with a team; time on site.

When you’re with a team, the focus is always on moving your ass as quickly as possible to the next fight, and once AT the fight, in killing the boss as quickly and cleanly as possible. It’s all about time management and efficiency. Nobody wants to be that one person that drags the whole team down.

When you’re by yourself, you have all the time you care to take to get screenshots, drive around, mess with different vehicles, poke your nose into all the nooks and crannies and generally be a pain in the ass to the Titans.

Take Flame Leviathan on ten player mode and the trash on the run up.

It is accurate to say the reason Ulduar wasn’t on my roflstomp list was the trash and Flame Leviathan. The few times I’d gone in solo, without any research, the trash took so long that once I got to FL I wasn’t all that interested in figuring out what’s what. Also, I’d always drive a tank, and when you kill the last defender in front of the gates, Flame Leviathan instantly breaks through, aggros on you, the energy barrier springs up trapping you in with him, and you either kill him RIGHT NOW when you’re already wounded or you die before you ever get started.

It’s annoying, and helped convince me to go do something else the few times I tried.

Well, if you bother to do a little light reading on WoWhead, you find out that Flame Leviathan with the towers crushed is easily soloable. Only problem is wading through a half hour of trash to bloody well GET there.

On ten player, if you talk to Brann first to activate easy mode, then get in a tank and set forth to crush all the trash and topple the towers, it’s a long slog to get to the big bad tank boss. It’s really the only hard part, staying awake while slowly crushing trash.

Ah, how nice it would be if your tank SPEED also scaled with your iLevel the way your health and DPS does.

Anyway, I always took a tank to kill trash and topple towers. In a group, that meant other people in turret, or trying to race to each tower and wave of trash.

Running it solo, I found out that when you’re in the driver seat of a tank, you can click on the turret position on the vehicle icon on your screen, and you will instantly move up there. You don’t have to leave the vehicle first!

My biggest annoyance had always been having to chase all them little dwarves in the tank to crush them under my treads. You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but those little legs can move!

Now I know I can drive the tank up to a tower, smash it, then pop into the turret and rocket the hell out of all the scurrying mobs. Saves time all around.

Bonus points, the turret rockets do MASSIVE damage to all the big wandering giants!

So once I learned that, I had an answer for getting killed by Flame Leviathan at the start of the fight, too. Just drive the tank to extreme range (outside the area the energy barrier springs up) and use the turret rockets to aggro and kill the last gate defenders! Boom, they die, Flame Leviathan breaks through the gate, and I can safely drive my tank away to reset.

Beartrap no go boom. The sheer novelty of it.

So, what else?

To solo Flame Leviathan on ten man mode, all you have to do is get in a Devastator (one of those catapult thingies), drive it just inside the gate area, then hop out and get in the other, drive up and park right next to the first. You get two in 10 man mode, and they have a purple barrle catapult mode that does massive damage to FL. You just start shooting Flame Leviathan with purple barrels from the first Devastator until you run out, then jump out of that Devastator, run over to the second one, hop in and finish him off.

My hunter is only flex geared, and I was able to destroy Flame Leviathan with only one Devastator before running out of purple goo to shoot, so the second one is really just a “I missed a few shots” backup. It’s really that easy.

Suddenly, a whole new world of soloing awesomeness was opened unto me. With the Flame Leviathan barrier become nothing more than tissue beneath my feet, there is a whole raid to wander around in like a lost cub looking for honey.

And all the bosses were easily soloed, right up until Thorim. But more on that in a bit.

I took my time wandering around, and I did no research at all on the bosses. Hard modes? Just do what feels good!

Like killing each of the Iron Council one at a time, and damn that little dwarf I left for last is a baddass little prick, grrr, THERE! Oh, there was an achieve for killing him last, okay.

Or Hodir. You kill him without ever stopping and you’ll get an achievement for not getting all frosty, JUST like when killing the last boss in the Nexus. Plus kill him quick enough and there is bonus loot. Who doesn’t like bonus loot?

The most fun was getting to Mimiron and hitting that gorgeous, big honking red button. OMG that red button, who can resist it’s siren song, it’s sensuous allure. I want to do bad things with that button.

I learned three very, very important things soloing Mimiron after getting up close and dirty with his button.

First, self-healing abilities are awesome. Instead of Iron Hawk, going with Spirit Bond for the constant self-healing is overpowered and makes a huge difference.

Second, you have to spread your DPS on phase four across all three units so they die within 10 seconds of each other. Somehow, over the years I’d forgotten that fact.

Third… don’t kill the little fire extinguisher bot dudes. They’re just trying to help in their little halon way. If you DO go kill-crazy and shoot them as fast as they appear… well, don’t bitch about all the fire covering the floor, it’s your own damn fault.

On the subject of Mimiron… the tram! Oh my, that tram! I’d never actually taken the tram before, I’d just teleported straight to Mimiron’s launching point. That was a place to explore all on it’s own. So cool!

So much of Ulduar is just… well, neat. And pretty.

Thorim is the only real pain in the ass, because while a SKILLED Hunter can apparently solo Thorim, I found it to be too damn tricky to run back and forth from arena to tunnel trash and back, trying to keep from resetting the attack and dying to a ball of bloated boom boom lightning. Also I’m too lazy to buy or make speed pots, apparently.

The thing with him is, someone has to stay in the main arena room while someone else opens the gate and runs the tunnel gauntlet to get up there behind Thorim and push him over the edge. Kinda hard to do that solo. It can be done! Just tricky. That whole skill thing.

So if you really need to kill Thorim, the General and Yogg-Saron in Ulduar, you’re gonna want a buddy. I’ve been really lucky in having friends come join me for that last bit while I was in there, so it was easy to finish it up.

Me, I really needed to kill Yogg each time. I wanted his pants!

Last night, we killed Yogg, I stole his pants and I put them on immediately. They may have been dripping in green ooze, a bit smelly and tinged with crazy evil, but darling they look FABULOUS.

I can see making Ulduar a regular thing. Just gonna need to find a friend so we can always kill Yogg. I’m sure he’s got other goodies we can wear (after wiping away the goo).

I’ve wanted to complete that Hunter set for transmog a long time now, and there is something about it that feels perfectly balanced to me. The Firelands set makes a dramatic statement, but the shoulders are very narrow compared to my big bear belly. I look at it, and I look… fat. Which is a totally acceptable look for a bear, really!

The Scourgestalker set, on the other hand, has imposing shoulders that make the whole thing very… solid. Those padded shoulders, they have such a slimming effect, don’t you think?

Omg I rediscovered 80s fashion! First padded shoulders, what next, a power tie? Big bow for the hair?

Plus, that eyepatch looks really sweet with it, it comes from a quest chain in Blades Edge Mountains, and of course the Wolfslayer’s Sniper Rifle adds authority.

Now I have the hardest decision of all to make.

What pet can I tame that will look awesome with this set? I can’t run around with a big flame-red Devilsaur! That’s like wearing white leather after Noblegarden, it’s just not done.

I suggested finding a big black wolf, and my son said I couldn’t do that. The wolf would keep eyeing my rifle, and feeling sad.

What pet can I find to accessorize with my new black metal armor?

Oh geez, and even worse, I have to figure out new ground and flying mounts to color coordinate!

I need swatches. Someone get me swatches, this is serious!

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The Look of Determination – Hunter Transmog

Thanks to some serious help from the transmog experts in Elitist Jerks mumble chat Tuesday night, I discovered and obtained the final capstone on my Horde Hunter set.

I knew I needed that something, that piece of flair to touch the set off nicely, and I found it in the Vengeful Gladiator’s Longbow for 750 honor.

I am extremely happy with this look, the overall appearance really says ‘serious hunter’ to me.

Ebonsoul the Hunter

If you’re interested in putting together this same set, some of the pieces can be a pain to get and require patience and Auction House stalking, but it’s absolutely NOT gated by raid difficulty. All of these can be obtained from nothing more strenuous than running Heroics to get Justice Points to convert into Honor Points to buy the bow.

The set consists of;

Head – Stylin’ Adventure Hat – BOE hat crafted from a bind on pickup Leatherworking pattern.
Shoulders – Black Dragonscale Shoulders – BOE shoulders crafted from a bind on equip Leatherworking pattern.
Chest – Steel Breatplate (for the silver torc look around the neck and the lack of arm art) – BOE chest crafted from a trainer-purchased Blacksmithing recipe.
Shirt – Stylish Black Shirt – BOE shirt only purchasable from Lisbeth Schneider in Stormwind, which means you need to do some Neutral AH dancing to get it Horde side.
Undercity Tabard
Gloves – Ebonhold Gauntlets – BOE world drop, Auction House bait. Whelpscale Gauntlets (both faction quest reward) and Savage Gladiator Grips (BOP BRD drop) are alternatives.
Belt – Ebonhold Girdle – BOE world drop, Auction House bait. Devolved Drake Girdle (Alliance quest reward) is a lookalike alternative.
Pants – Ebonhold Leggings – BOE world drop, Auction House bait. Savage Gladiator Leggings (BOP BRD drop) and Sunstrider LEggings (Horde quest reward) are alternatives.
Feet – Ebonhold Boots – BOE world drop, Auction House bait. Savage Gladiator Greaves (BOP BRD drop) are an alternative.
Weapon – Vengeful Gladiator’s Longbow – purchased with 750 Honor Points from Kezzik the Striker in Netherstorm, either faction, you can earn 1500 JP from Heroic boss kills and convert to Honor to purchase at 500 JP to 250 Honor conversion. At the moment you get 100 Justice Points per heroic boss kill, and I got enough from just four heroic runs in one night.

I do love this set. I wonder, would it look as good on a human?

No matter how determined, every Hunter has someone to rely on to watch their back.

Watch My Back

Experienced, Bored, Dangerous?

Pop quiz, hotshot.

So, what happens when you’ve been playing a video game for a very, very long time and you’re bored?

What do you do?

What DO you do?

Experience and boredom. A dangerous combination.

What I’m doing is combining race swapping with race/class specific quest items to mess with people and pay tribute to my best friend Manny, all at the same time.

See, here’s the thing.

I like lightsabers. Back in the day, there were lightsabers in World of Warcraft, and I had a character with one (lost long ago on a server far, far away), but I don’t any longer.

I also like Warriors as alts.

I have one at level 85 (or 86, or something), a Worgen. Kinda okay, but the look of a Worgen Warrior isn’t stirring my interest, plus, no lightsabers.

When Cataclysm came around, a lot of stuff changed. One of them was the lightsaber. They’re pretty darn rare nowadays. Used to be super rare world drops, might still be, not really the point.

There IS still a 100% guaranteed way to get a lightsaber in the game.

Roll a Gnome Warrior.

The Gnome Warrior starts in the revamped Gnomeregan area, and the level THREE quest Arts of the Warrior gives you a Very Light Sabre. With stats! Totally transmoggable.

But I don’t like playing Gnomes. I wanted to make a female Night Elf warrior like my bud Manny used to play.

Also, the Very Light Sabre is a two handed weapon. I wanted to wield it in one hand, like a, dare I say it? A lightsaber. I could go Arms and two hand it, but I wanted to have it in one hand. Kinda the point, bored and messing with stuff, don’t be typical.

Ah!

But what if, WHAT IF we were to start a Gnome Warrior, get the Very Light Sabre, race change to a Night Elf, level up to 38 and then switch to Fury for Titan’s Grip?

And what if I had two heirloom Bloodied Arcanite Reaper two-handed axes to equip?

And what if I were to transmog them both to look like the Very Light Sabre two-handed sword? Something you can do now, you know.

Why, if I were to do that, it might look something very much like this; Warrior transformed

That is what my Warrior looked like in Eastern Plaguelands, when I was wearing the cultist disguise for the quest to blow up the cauldron, with my main hand weapon enchanted with Crusader, and no enchant on my off hand.

Note how wispy the unenchanted Very Light Sabre looks in that pic.

Looking at the picture, it occurred to me, I hadn’t even begun to plumb the depths of this rabbit hole.

The Very Light Sabre, when unenchanted, looks ephemeral. Not very saber-y at all. The glow associated with Crusader bulked up the apparent ‘blade’ pretty nice, but applied a strong white tint.

So, what would happen if I started messing with different colored weapon enchants? The blade itself is a glow, and weapon enchants appear on your transmog so I’d be applying a glow overlaid on a glow.

Ah, what fun. What fun.

You might get something like this;

Crusader and Elemental Force

Which is what you get with Crusader in your main hand and Elemental Force on your off hand.

Elemental Force? But isn’t that a higher level enchant? Why, yes it is, enchants scale with weapon level now so you can use ANY ENCHANT YOU’D LIKE irregardless of former ilevel restrictions. Use a MoP enchant on your weapon, by all means, the effects scale down… but the enchant stays the same. 🙂

So, interesting. A little red added to the blue, doesn’t bulk up the forward half of the blade at all, but interesting effect.

How about going all in on the red?

Twin Greater Savagery - red

Let’s try one of the more vibrant reds in the game, twin Greater Savagery.

That’s pretty cool, but you clearly see that the wispy end of the Very Light Sabre doesn’t get converted by the weapon enchant. In this case, I tried it in combat and it looked REALLY cool, but what would happen if we overlaid a solid blue enchant on the wispy blue Very Light Sabre?

Maybe something like this?

Twin Windsong - blue

If you compare that shot of twin Windsongs with the earliest shot of an unenchanted Very Light Sabre, you’ll see the Windsong has bulked up the wispy blade graphic, making them look like true lightsabers.

Here’s another view, not very good I know, Hellfire Peninsula has a bad filter;

Twin Windsong - blue posed

See, now this is the kind of trouble you get into when you know about weapon enchant colors, unique items from racial and class quests, tricks to transmogs, class mechanics and how easy it is to grind Justice Points to grab some heirlooms.

And there is still farther I can take this, I haven’t even farmed up the JP to upgrade all my Heirlooms to be good from 80 to 85 yet!

One of the great things to look forward to is, I get to start browsing for brown cloth items to try and make a Jedi Robe appearance, and I get to really scour the plate drop lists for transmog gear to farm that would look good on a Night Elf dual wielding lightsabers…

Way back, the first few months I played WoW with my friend Manny, he had two characters he loved, the male Dwarf Hunter (and his cat), and his female Night Elf Warrior.

Manny hasn’t played in many a year, but having made this character and bopping around with her, it takes me all the way back.

Good times. Good times.

How much better when I’m running down the streets of Stormwind, and someone stops me and asks me where the HECK I got the swords from?!?

So.

What do YOU do with your dangerous knowledge when it’s the wee hours of the morning and you’re feeling bored?

Some Things Defy Description

This ain’t one of those things.

I’ve mentioned briefly that my son loves his Worgen Warlock, Wooffie.

Perhaps I should say that he loves the appearance and the idea of Wooffie. Wooffie looks amazing. Big old evil Worgen Warlock.

I’ve been playing Wooffie a lot, lately.

What can I tell you? I loved my Warlock so much that once I’d taken her as far as I could possibly go, I wanted more Warlock goodness. So, I stole his and leveled and now I’m gearing.

The big shock to me is how much difference Haste makes to fun. Nothing says fun quite like massive loads of haste in your Incinerate casts. Flipping from my Warlock to my sons and back again in combat drives me to consider throwing all weighting models out the window in favor of stacking haste. Screw DPS results, I want to click buttons faster.

But I digress.

If someone ever writes the story of my life and where it went so laughably wrong, they should call it “But I Digress”.

Who am I kidding. It would be called Bearwall. And now that I consider it, that shall be the name of my next fantasy novel. Make it so.

So, Wooffie, Worgen and Warlocks.

He has two transmogs he loves, the Voidheart and the Corrupter Tier set from SSC. They mostly come out of SSC. Mostly.

I like that red set too, which is why I sport it exclusively on my own Warlock. But Wooffie has taken it a step beyond, and then some.

As I’ve been gearing, the Cub logs in to check it out, test things and see how he plays. One of his favorite things is to mount up and see what the red Fire and Brimstone effect does to various mounts.

The other thing he does is test what the items he’s getting look like un-transmogged.

Imagine my surprise when I log in and see that he has removed the transmog on a couple of pieces of new gear, leaving an appearance that blew me away.

My friends, I present to you the new Playable Race for World of Warcraft, the Sha-touched.

Livingthedream1

Livingthedream2

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He removed the transmog from the Tier 14 Sha-Skin Regalia normal helm and LFR gloves, and left all the rest of his set alone. With the beastly Worgen stance, he looks like some Sha-touched creature dressed like a Warlock, as if some spell into the nether went horribly wrong.

God, I love this look. I don’t even know if swapping for the normal gloves or the LFR helm would improve it, somehow the reddish helm with the blue gloves just work, even though they’re from different difficulty sets.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this helm, but it has living effects, the jaws open and close, breath comes out, twitches. It’s just like having a different head on your body.

This is the kind of thing that makes me finally look at transmog as something other than a way to have your character wear a full set as Blizzard intended.

I have to ask, what kinds of mixed sets do you have that you love? Is there a special blend of mountain-grown Warlock stuffs that you just adore? Is there something that works better for your race than anything else?

Oh, and by the way… here are a few pics of his favorite Fire and Brimstone mounts.

First, the Heart of the Aspects.

FNBheartoftheaspects

And then, because Alex wanted to make sure you knew that if you were riding the Heart of the Aspects underwater it turned into a sea serpent;

FNBheartoftheaspects-swimming

Then the Sandstone Drake… or, as Alex put it, the Bloodstone Drake;

FNBsandstonedrake

And finally…. the one Alex was most adamant I take a screenshot of. The Abyssal Seahorse. Blood in the Water? Yikes!

FNBabyssalseahorse

Beartrap the Big Game Hunter

My pet battling enthusiam has brought me to the edge. I got my Safari Hat, and also took down all of the official Master Pet Tamers, including Grand Master Aki.

I have a sad related to this.

I am a Pandarian Hunter, and I do not like any of the mail sets that are out there right now.

I am a Hunter, and not just any Hunter, a Bear Hunter.

No, not a beer hunter, a bear hunter.

I keep browsing mail armor sets in the hopes I’ll find something that grabs me.

The flame set from Firelands was good as a human, but as a panda, I find I’ve got too much surface area to be attractive while on fire.

Plus, you know, the smell of burning fur. Ugh.

In looking over the mail sets out there, the one thing I keep running up against is that none of them say “I go out there and hunt things that would hunt me back.”

There aren’t any camouflage outfits, no gillie suits, nothing of a muted pattern that has any real style.

On the more romantic side of things, we don’t have any archer-style robin hood outfits, or anything I could see a Dungeons & Dragons style ranger wearing.

Instead, Hunter sets seem to say “I went out, killed something, then hollowed out its skull and wear it like a hat. I’m very emotionally balanced.”

Is that what WoW Hunters are? Beings who go out, kill something, then take the carcass and make clothes out of it?

As one style of armor, sure, it’s something that touches on the old D&D idea of being a hunting dragonslayer, going out to seek out materials resistant to dragonflame in order to survive hunting other dragons. Dragons don’t hurt themselves with their own flame, so we’ll make a set of armor out of dragonscales. It’s reasonable, it makes sense.

But for everything? As a concept it’s gone way too far.

What I want is a set that I can wear that feels like I am a Hunter prepared to go out into the wild actually hunting things. Like, on a safari.

Cue the Safari Hat.

Have you seen the Safari Hat? If you defeat 40 Master Pet Tamers, you get the Safari Hat mailed to all of your characters.

It is not transmoggable, not now. It confers 10% bonus to leveling XP for your battle pets.

As soon as I saw it, I loved it.

Beartrapsafaritime

The Safari Hat is exactly what I want as a Hunter to inspire the set I wear. I am, and play as in my role-playing heart, an old-fashioned Big Game Hunter eternally out there on safari, exploring the wildest places in the world for the new, the amazing, the challenging.

Can you imagine it? I can.

I can picture my Pandarian Hunter, with the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan, wearing the Safari Hat and a safari set of armor looking like a set of linens with a ‘vest of many ammo pouches’, seated on the back of one of the new honking huge Triceratops mounts.

That is how I want to roll.

I want to be a bear, wearing safari threads almost like I mauled a human hunter and stole his stuff. With a massive rifle… riding a dinosaur.

If that doesn’t say TOTAL BADASS, I don’t know what does.

You can keep your freaking laser beams.

I’d like to add, and this is a key thing to consider, I don’t want to be a bear hunter that looks like he killed a human, and then made armor out of the human to wear. Just the safari clothes are fine, aaaight?

EARLY MORNING PICTURE EDIT:

Found a couple of pictures of exactly what I’m talking about, the Van Pelt look from jumanji, who even has a big ass cape/cloak and the honking big gun. Even his whiskers are panda-like!

600px-jumanjiusas

VanPelt3

Shiny Happy Slithering Serpent Chopper!

My son got a drop in Outlands while running with Cassie and I in SSC, where we were just trying to get him neat looking stuffs, the Pauldrons of the Argent Sentinel. The shoulders look very cool, so he transmogged them and has used their appearance ever since.

One day he saw me on WoW Model Viewer, and I showed him how I could load his character from the Armory and play around with different looks.

He asked me if the shoulders he had were part of a set.

Well, shoot. I think so. You’d think they would be, they’re pretty sharp looking, right?

Not so simple.

What I found was that technically they are a recolor of a recolor of a Paladin shoulder armor from a Tier set, but they weren’t really part of a full recolor “set”.

I had faith, however, that if I scoured the Model Viewer long enough I would find a complete matching set in theme and color.

So I have, and I’d be delighted to share it with you, because I think it looks very… dignified. It seems to me to be the equivalent of Full Dress Uniform for military plate. I can envision a Plate Warrior or Paladin using one set of armor on the front lines, spiky and brutal and efficient, and then having this set of armor as Full Mess Dress. Your Dress Grays, as it were, for The Field Army Ball.

The set consists of the following pieces, all from Outlands. If you pay close attention, you might, I say MIGHT, detect a pattern;

Head: Brighthelm of Justice – Drops from easily reachable boss Hydross the Unstable in SSC (Serpentshrine Cavern)
Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Argent Sentinel – Drops from boss Morogrim Tidewalker in SSC
Back: Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape – Purchasable from Justice Points from the legacy vendors in Dalaran
Chest: Glowing Breastplate of Truth – Drops from the Lurker Below in SSC. Best have your Fishing skill up there for this one.
Gloves: Glorious Gauntlets of Crestfall – Drops from boss Lady Vashj in SSC.
Waist: Girdle of Hope – A drop from boss Azgalor, in the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid.
Leggings: Pyrium Legplates of Purified Evil – A strange one for this set. Crafted by an iLevel 397 Blacksmith with a Dragon Soul pattern.
Boots: Blue’s Greaves of the Righteous Guardian – purchased from the Justice vendor in Shattrath
Weapon: Two Handed Axe, Honed Voidaxe – You might have trouble here. This is a quest reward for completing the Ring of Blood in Nagrand. If you already did it, and got rid of your reard or chose something different, that’s gonna hurt. This is a rockin’ axe look.

So, if by chance you happen to be part of a three or four person team that would all like to take your geared up level 85s (or, with MoP, level 90s) and farm some interesting gear, why, this is a fine set.

Almost like a team of two adults and a few gaming youngsters, huh? Go figure. 🙂

Happy hunting through the underbelly of slithering serpents for the gear!

 

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?

When I posted a while back on the joys of mogging my leveling Mage, Mahdia left a comment asking what the items were I had used for mogging her look.

I’ve been busy, but I havn’t forgotten.

Just like I still need a “player’s choice” section added to the sidebar, a list of favorite books, and some screenshots and blog posts about what the Easter Bunny got for Alex (and it’s not what you think. It’s far, far, FAR more awesome), I know I need to answer.

So much to do, so much to post. Time, time, ask me for anything but TIME! /endnapoleanrant

As a refresher, here was the pic of my Mage, Unbearable;

Unbearable is sporting an outfit that I intended to wear when I created the character, an outfit to wear for most of me leveling time.

I chose her appearance during creation knowing she would be wearing that outfit. Yes, I’m silly, sue me.

The foundation of the outfit is the most expensive part; the Black Velvet Robes.

On my server, the robes frequently appear on the Auction House at 500 gold or so. I saw them and picked them up for the Mage before she was created, because I wanted to wear them fairly soon. There was an alternative; The Silver-Thread Robe, coupled with the Stylish Black Shirt (as mentioned in the Wowhead article on the Black Velvet Robes). I didn’t feel like fishing, and I had the gold, so I went with the Velvet option.

To go with the robes, I chose slightly different items than I saw commonly recommended.

For shoulders, I chose Vital Shoulders. The colors aren’t quite perfect, as they would be with the Flameseer Mantle (a drop in Uldaman), Batwing Mantle (a drop from a rare mob in Razorfen Kraal) or Darkcloth Shoulders (a reward for turning in the Swords Deck at the Darkmoon Faire). The best benefit for the Vital Shoulders is that I could equip them without having to solo instances, but I can replace them once I’m higher level with a more perfect match. Vitals are readily available on the Auction House. 🙂

I also wanted a touch of color so it wasn’t unrelievedly black and grey, so I chose for a belt the Durable Belt (of Fiery Wrath), which has a simple look with a gold belt buckle. Another item that is easily found on the Auction House.

To accessorize and pull together the outfit, I chose gloves that would vanish up the sleeves with a color that matches the grey of the sleeves with just a touch of gold trim for the belt, the crafted Black Mageweave Gloves.

My favorite touch is the staff, because it brings elegance with it’s straight lines and glowing purple gems; the Magician Staff (of whatever). For something so nice, it’s a surprise how easy it is to find on the Auction House.

So, for a lower-level character that can’t solo things, I’ve been very pleased with how nice an outfit you can put together. It may not be fancy Tier, or a complete set of something, but it looks good just the same.

Mahdia, I hope that helps, and thanks for asking! Have a great weekend.

Mise en place makes mogging my leveling joie de vivre

With the addition of transmogrification, the ability to change the appearance of your equipped gear without affecting it’s gameplay stats, the World of Warcraft has seen the rise of many new mogging-related resources.

Dawn Moore wrote a good compendium on WoW Insider of transmogrification resources.

From databases to addons to blogs devoted to mogging, transmogrification has clearly taken WoW by storm.

There have even been contests going on amongst bloggers I follow, where some beautiful outfits are shown off, following themes and individual stylistic choices to show how talented fashion artists can create sets out of disparate pieces that look better than some items that were intended to be sets in the first place.

This post ain’t about all of that. Not really. For one thing, I’m not that talented. I go to the masters when I want true art.

I love how much this one feature has added to the fun of World of Warcraft for so many people, myself included. I’ve enjoyed designing a ‘dream outfit’ for a favorite established character, and then going and running content in search of specific items. It has added a lot replayability to the game for me.

But I am also the kind of person that envisions that one wonderful set, seeks out those items, and then once they are acquired… well, that one is done. Next!

Except for my Priest, all of my other level 85 characters are actually done. I love their look. I’m good. My Priest isn’t, because of course for my Priest I still want the one set I always wanted since I created her; the Tier 5 set from Serpentshrine Cavern and the Eye, along with the angel-on-a-stick staff from Black Temple. Since I don’t have an old-school raid group in my back pocket, I’ll just have to wait for pug groups to form, or wait until 90 and solo them with Cassie, whichever comes first. This is what comes of not raiding in BC, right?

What I did want to talk about was my favorite feature of transmogrification; setting and maintaining a personality while leveling.

I love the fact that the way transmogrification works is you acquire a piece of gear that provides the look, and as long as you own that gear (and are high enough level to equip it), you can apply that appearance to any upgrades you ever get. Your gear changes and evolves and grows more powerful, but your character (if you so choose) looks the same.

You can even pick out and acquire item sets you love that are equippable at different character levels, so that once you are high enough level, you could change your overall appearance to something that represents a major change in your characters Role Playing life.

As an example, you could have a set that is quite dark (even emo) in tone to show how depressed or crushed by rage your character was when first setting out on the road to vengeance, and then change that up over the levels to show character growth as you slowly develop a more positive, selfless attitude.

Or you could go the other way, with a bright and cheery start, gradually changing in tone as you descend into cynicism and inner darkness. I won’t judge.

You could even have a Mage who goes all flame colors for Fire spec, and Blue colors for frost, and pretend you’re a DC Comics superhero that has to color coordiante their costume with their powers. It’s a rule, you know.

All you have to do is set the scene once. Get that one set that you can equip early enough to use as the foundation of your appearance. Hide hat and cloak appearances, get chest/legs, shoulders, gloves, belt and boots and you’re good to go. Oh yeah… and that perfect weapon (or range of them for the different types).

From that time on, as you level, your character can maintain an appearance that over time adds some consistency to how you think of her.

I love that. You don’t HAVE to spend all your time constantly looking for new gear for mogging, you can get one outfit early that you dig, and go with it.

Over time, it seeps into your imagined personality for the character.

Let’s look at my Mage alt (created in honor of Gnomeaggedon) as an example.

My Mage has a fairly simple outfit. I intentionally chose race and appearance with the outfit in mind, intending to go with a stark color scheme, minimalist pattern, and clean lines with just a touch of color and style here and there to show that her heart wasn’t completely closed off to beauty, but that she was very focused and even resentful of distractions and ‘unnecessary frippery’.

She’s meant to give the impression of being stern, even harsh, but to still have just enough softness of appearance to indicate she would be willing to pause in the pursuit of her own important personal goals to aid others who have gotten themselves into trouble.

She may scorn the poor planning and lack of common sense that caused other people to get themselves into trouble and need help, but she will act out of consideration for the innocents who had no choice in being born to such idiots, innocents who shouldn’t be made to suffer for the stupidity of others.

Of course, as soon as this piece of business is taken care of, I’m returning to my own pursuits. Next time, use your head, fool. Don’t plant your damn beans next to the active volcano whose magma is alive with cranky elementals. And if you do, harvest them your own damn self, don’t send your kids in to do it for you, or I’ll come back and show you what a terminal case of indigestion is really like. You thought your chili gave you burning pains? You are NOT prepared! Are we clear?

This is my favorite thing that mogging has brought to the game. The option to choose an appearance early on with just a little prep work, and allow that prep work to feed my perception of the character as I level for 60 or even 70 more levels.

The only thing that could be even better would be a ‘master mog option’ of tweaking the color palette of a single item during transmog, so that if you have a model you dearly love, you could then change it’s color just a little (or a lot) to better match the other items in your set.

Who knows? They may add something like that someday. With the way things are going, I never would have dreamed we’d see some of the features we’ve gotten so far.

My only sadness is the knowledge that, so long as Blizzard maintains a stated desire to keep people wandering around in capitol cities so they artificially seem active, vital meeting places thronging with crowds, we’re never going to see guild housing, where a guild could have their own customizable meeting place, a place where their trophy kills could be mounted on walls, and RP meetings could be held.

Considering the brilliance of websites and their artist/owners devoted to mogging, I’d love to see “This Old Guild House” as a blog.

Ah well. What do you want for nuthin; a rubbbbbbber biscuit?

Oh, and the title of the post is in honor of our traveling Navi. Have fun in all those British places with fancy French accents!

I Got the Transmogging Blues

I’d like you to say hello to my Rogue.

I am obviously biased, but I happen to think my Rogue looks incredibly badass wearing full Darkmantle gear, especially considering how suddenly rare that look is thanks to Blizzards rather draconian class quest slaughter, and insanely high priced replica Darkmoon gear.

But the awesome look is part of the problem.

When you look that good, a crappy looking weapon stands out like a zombie in the nursery.

The dagger isn’t an issue, I’m not sure I’ve even seen a bad dagger design.

The fist weapon though… blech.

I searched around, found a really nice fist weapon design I thought would look great with the Darkmantle set, the Nexus-Claw.

Nexus-Claw, part of a set of claws released in Burning Crusade that mirrored an awesome but hard-to-get set from Zul’Gurub, is eminently easy to obtain. You simply fly out to Netherstorm in Outlands, visit the exotic weapons dealer at the Consortium area of the Stormspire, and buy them. You don’t even need rep. He only has one of each of the claws at a time (the other one is the Void-Talon), but wait for a day or two, they should return. It’s not like Netherstorm is a hub of activity anymore.

I went out and bought them, and thought myself something of a smarty-pants for getting great looking items without effort. You know, because Darkmantle was so freaking easy to get.

When I went to transmog my main hand weapon, though, the Perforator, I encountered a teeny, weenie little problem.

They are indeed both Fist Weapons.

The problem lies in the fact that the Perforator is a one-hand weapon, and thus can be used in either hand. The Nexus-Claw and Void-Talons are hand specific, main hand and off hand respectively. Or the other way around, whatever.

What I have found is that I can’t transmog my one hand Fist Weapon with the hand specific Fist Weapons.

Son of a bitch.

Do you know how many great looking Fist Weapons there are in the game? And of those, do you know how many old school ones are hand specific?

Just… crap.

In retrospect I understand what the deal is. The one hand Fist Weapons display bilateral symmetry. Most of the hand-specific Fist Weapons do not. Pop the appearance of an Off Hand claw on a Main Hand weapon, and you’ll likely be holding the blade or something, while the handle is waving in the breeze.

I guess if I had given it any thought, I’d have thought that the appearance would mirror over if on an opposite hand.

Clearly, I was wrong. Damnit.

Fine. Be that way.

I’ll just have to go to Badlands and do The Day That Deathwing Came quest to get Theldurin’s Fist.

So there, nyah.

Mogging Screenies!

I was reading a post by the WoW Noob today, and I liked her screenshots of what choices she’d made so much that I wanted to post my own current stylish fashinista statements too.

Whereas she’s going with truly custom, non-set looks, I kinda went the other way. Yes, it was less imaginative, but I like the looks I’m sporting. 🙂

First, my Druid. I love the look of my Druid, I really do.

I love the Sporeggar tabard, hair and gear color blending. Plus, shrooms! Considering I like to try to make everyone’s life a little more surreal, I think a mushroom makes for a great icon.

Next, my Hunter.

Yes, I am proud of having almost gotten 100% of the Firelands tier. I’m just missing the shoulders, and the ones I’m sporting actually blend in pretty well. And I am enjoying an embarrassment of riches, having both the staff AND the bow from Dragon Soul LFR. I’m not sorry.

After that must come the infamous Arms Warrior, sporting the very latest in OMG WTF is THAT?

I did subtle on my Druid, I did raiding on my Hunter, but for my Warrior I went for making a bold, offensive eye-searing statement.

And that statement is, “This dude is color blind.”

Finally, my Paladin.

My Paladin is still leveling, but withe very upgrade I’ve had since early 70s I dutifully go and mog it. I may not be able to sport the full Field Marshall PVP set, but this still achieves the look and feel I was hoping for. Plus, this character actually looks the way I feel. Old and cranky. 🙂

If you have screenshots of your own looks, by all means, shoot me a link in the comments to whatever site hosts them, or blog post you made with them. I’d love to see what you actually wear around Azeroth!

If you’re doing SW:TOR instead of WoW these days, you’re not left out… if you’ve got a screenshot of your favorite character looking badass, link that too!