If you’re Alliance, you’ve met Taelia, agent of Kul Tiras, Fury warrior par excellence, and giver of some of the best stinkeye I’ve ever seen in-game.
There is a big spoiler near the end of the main arc in this the initial stage of the expansion, so I won’t ruin it if you prefer to stay … unruined. Turn thy virgin eyes aside, and come back after you find out … well, you’ll know.
They gone? Man, what a pain. But here we are.
Anyway, as you may at this point know, Taelia’s full name is Taelia Fordragon, daughter of Bolvar Fordragon, who was last seen atop the Frozen Throne in Northrend.
Blizzwatch has already had a shot at what that means for purposes of her upcoming lore – i.e. she thinks daddy’s dead, nobody’s told her, this can only end in tears, that sort of thing.
But from the moment I saw her and Anduin Wrynn in the room together, I knew: this has to happen.
Yes, I know that Flynn’s carrying a torch for her.
I also get that Flynn is the Jack Sparrow in the Jack Sparrow / Elizabeth / Whelp sammich, and I think that Anduin is the Whelp in this case.
Yes, Blizz does tend to borrow from others and embellish, why do you ask.
- Anduin’s gonna need a queen.
- A Fordragon would be a fabulous choice.
- It would unite Lorderon and Stormwind once and for all, with a side of Kul Tiras.
- He’s a priest, she’s a warrior (maybe she can spec change to tank).
- Moira would be just wrong. Shadow and Holy? G’wan.
You see where I’m headed here?
Now, it’s possible, with the whole Bolvar the Lich King thingy going on, that Taelia will Go Dark at some point.
I figure we have a 50/50 chance of that, and a 50/50 chance of Anduin going dark. And I just can’t really get into the whole king-going-dark-for-the-dozenth-time thing again, so it’s possible that, if Jaina doesn’t grow a mustache to twirl, that Taelia will be taken from us, go rogue and go after Daddy Dearest or something weird like that. The sort of thing that happens every other day in Warcraft.
But I hope not. We’re running out of good lore characters, and we need some interesting ones to take their place. But I’m worried because Taelia’s model is just basically a player character model with little to know real upgrades, making it appear that she’s not going to last the expansion out.
I have shipped Anduin Wrynn and Taelia Fordagon, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Thanks for attending my TED talk.
If you’re not up with the latest happenings of the past hours (i.e. the commencement of War of the Thorns Pt. 2 and the animated Sylvanas Warbringers story) and care deeply about spoilers, close this tab now and come back when you’re caught up. There will be no further coddling.
I want to say first of all a few words about some peoples’ reactions.
One rotten development of this is that a lot of people have been harassing Christie Golden and others associated with the writing of this game, the shorts, and related media. I don’t care if you don’t like the direction a character is taking, harassment is out of line. It’s one thing to analyze the story without mercy, to call shit out, and express even disgust with the proceedings. Fine. Be as dramatic as you want about a video game.
(I don’t care how many years of your life you’ve “invested” in it. That just makes you look bad when you couch it in those terms. Stop making a fool of yourself).
But personal abuse of any sort is way beyond the pale. Take it down or get the Bitch Slap of the Apocalypse for your troubles. That’s my personal promise.
Back to the story.
We’ve known for a year that Teldrassil would burn. We’ve known that likely Sylvanas would be the burner, and that Azerite might in some way figure into all of this.
Blizzard assured us that Sylvanas wasn’t going full on evil, saying the world was “gray, not black and white”, or words to that effect.
Aaaand Sylvanas then turned full on evil. She burned that tree down for spite’s sake.
I don’t want to hear how she was better off not fighting a Resistance so it was a good tactical move. She had full on planned to capture until Delaryn Summermoon sassed her, telling her she would never defeat hope. And Sylvanas, morally grey Warchief of the Horde, who until then had other plans, ordered the tree burned. AND forced Delaryn to watch it. Deliberately, sadistically.
This is not me RPing angry Alliance, this is me saying that the character they depicted shows all the signs of a sadistic, evil creature not too far removed from Garrosh Hellscream himself. Cruel, capricious, and, from what I can see, just plain greedy. She’s missing a moustache to twirl, but so is Elon Musk.
And that’s a problem for Horde players that have been “we’re not evil” for all these years. Granted, this is the same Horde that Pearl Harbor’d Theramore and Scourged Gilneas, but otherwise a peaceful, pastoral group of people that were just trying to get by, farm grain, murder elves, same as everyone else.
The Horde now have a maniac in charge again, and I think this time it’s breaking them. I have seen a LOT of people revolting. (I’ve seen some revolting people too, which we’ll speak of in a moment). They are not happy and they are making themselves known.
In a way it’s kinda comforting to know that some people, when confronted with what their nation has become, will not, in actuality, go along with it. It feels like maybe we’ve learned something from the Nazis after all. Refrains of “Not our Warchief” reflect the real-world cries of “Not our President”. In a way, I wonder if Blizz isn’t making some sort of statement here.
Sliding back into the story … it’s hard to take it all in. I have two Kaldorei toons, both noob’d on Teldrassil back when getting to Stormwind was a harrowing journey through high-level dangers. I have a lot of memories associated with Darkshore, Teldrassil, Auberdine, and points beyond. A big chunk of my WoW history is literally up in flames now. Others are taking it even harder. Some people are tremendously attached to their gentle elvenfolk and feel as betrayed as the Hordies that can’t cope with their murderer-in-chief.
Right now the Kaldorei and Gilneans are camped out in Stormwind Harbor (seriously, Anduin, can we get some housing here?) and presumably they will be in search of new digs after all of this settles. Though, personally, I think, after they fill in that nasty basement, Lorderon would make a fine new home for our displaced friends. And maybe they’ll team up and take back Gilneas as well – that’s a huge waste of a beautiful city otherwise.
Maybe once the Sindorei disavow the Horde and join the Alliance, they will reunite with their sylvan relatives, we can fire up the jets, and Kaz Modan can fly off to Mars like a rocket ship.
Hey, you never know. Haven’t you read ElfQuest?
Mrs Grimm noticed on her hordie that the zep to Undercity was missing, and there was just a portal there now. On a hunch, I sped my way to Stormwind harbor, to see what there was to see of the boat to Teldrassil. Yep, it was gone, too.
I kindly /tell’d the person waiting for the boat to take the portal behind the ballista , and as I did so, I heard a ship’s bell, and this happened.
Those two guards and their prisoner just appeared out of nowhere, and are headed off to the stockades.
Aside from where’s-the-boat, the other pressing question is why are Alliance troopers toting obviously Human prisoners from Teldrassil?
While waiting for the login issues to clear up, I noticed something a little odd. It involves Genn Greymane.
In the opening cinematic, Old Wolf is in his canine form during the battle; counseling Anduin, getting beat up, getting major healz, that sort of thing. We get a few good close ups of ol’ snaggle-puss, and then I noticed it.
See it? I circle’d and arrow’d it in case you miss it.
Old Wolf has tusk jewelry, like an Orc might have.
So what happens to it when he changes back to human form? His big goofy duster coat stays the same. What about the jewelry? (and noting a lot in his hairy earlobes, too).
And he’s what, around 100 years old now? Pretty spry, isn’t he?
I’m telling you, there’s something a bit OFF about Genn Greymane.
Today, WoWHead released a guide to changes that will take place in each class in the BfA pre-path on July 17. Not all guides are created equal, and by that I mean that the rest of the guide owners are probably PISSED at Bendak, who pretty much overachieved on all levels for the BM Hunter guide.
The Disco Priest guide is a little less thorough. I’m not hating – Bendak sets a high bar to clear on any occasion. That aside, I feel like a little bit of fleshing out is in order.
Light’s Wrath is gone, of course (I actually approve of this as it means we’ll get more choices on weapons and stuff), and with it are its abilities. That means that our massive healing nuke is gone.
The other biggest change you will notice is that the Global Cooldown now applies to a number of spells. What this means is that you won’t be able to cast a spell on Global Cooldown until the Global Cooldown cools down. This is not true for all spells, so pay attention to the spell descriptions.
Another significant change is that only three spells will lay down Atonement now. We also lost one spell (Plea) that applied it instantly.
Before this expansion, my favorite rotation was more or less this:
- PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again, to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all 11.
- Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Penance and Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
- PW: Shield where it was needed, mindful of its cooldown.
It was a pretty simple rotation, but it got me through LFR fairly well.
The new rotation will be changed due to changes in the various spells used.
- PW: Radiance is relatively unchanged. It is one of our Atonement spreaders.
- Evangelism is relatively unchanged.
- PW: Shield doesn’t have the limitations we had before; it is now our defacto spam. It applies Atonement to whatever it shields. In effect, Rapture got baked right in.
- Shadow Mend is relatively unchanged. It also applies Atonement.
- Penance is relatively unchanged, however, is now generally better spent as a direct heal than Atonement healing. Unfortunately, it does not spread Atonement when used directly.
- SW: Pain (or Purge the Wicked) is relatively unchanged, and I think that Penance still spreads it when used for damage. This of course will also increase your Atonement healing.
- Smite is still Smite, with its damage component and its shield component.
- Halo is unchanged, and is still an optional damage / heal AE spell.
- Holy Nova is now also a Disco spell, giving us a ‘native’ AE spell that relieves us of having to choose Halo over something more interesting. It also applies to Atonement healing, but only the FIRST target struck does so – additional targets struck by Holy Nova do not provide Atonement healing. I think this is rather shabby.
- Rapture now increases the duration of all bubbles by around 7 or so seconds. In my opinion, this improves it massively.
So basically it boils down to:
- PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again,
to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all
- Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
- PW: Shield where it is needed. Cooldown isn’t so relevant now, so anywhere you see a need, drop it. Use Rapture on CD to extend that.
- Save Penance for big heals unless fairly certain that it won’t be needed for that, in which case share the love via Atonement.
You may notice that Shadow Mend isn’t top of the list. I tend to only use it in emergencies. The long cast time and odd pain/pleasure dynamic makes it far less than a winner to me.
As before, Spell Power is the primary component of all of our spells. Only PW: Shield varies on that, in that it also improves on Versatility. I’m pretty sure Crit will feature in a lot of the calculations, but those are your two main stats of interest.
As has been the case for ever, my main concern is in how clumsy healing can be. It requires a lot of direct or mouseover targeting, which means one hand mousing while the other is keying the commands required. During high-movement fights, healers are at a huge disadvantage when compared to others. PW: Radiance was a good step in the right direction in this regard, giving us a way to propagate Atonement without making it about as clumsy as an elephant on a high wire.
However, it appears that Blizz did not expand on that theme, and instead moved us away from that mode of operation. I mean, I’m kinda glad that we’re moving more towards bubblePriest mode, but it does require a lot of mousing around to get the shields distributed around, which is dependent on a lot of things, not the least the clumsiness of the wielder
I am also bitterly disappointed that yet again, Disco priests don’t have the Frisbee. I mean, what is Disco without the Disc? In my mind, I see the Frisbee as method #4 for spreading around our Atonement Goodness.
But overall, this looks like a very viable spec going into the new expansion. As always, it will require a bit of play time to learn for sure where we stand.
Oh, and also? New expansion, new mog. While I loved the look of the silver haltertop and skirt I affected in Legion, it had a couple of real issues.
- It was a skirt, making running problematic. Remember, sometimes it isn’t whether you’re faster than the monster. But it matters if you’re faster than at least one other person in your party. As Flora and Illume have proven before, nothing beats a good pair of jeans for adventuring.
- No pocketses, precious. What is this, anyway?
Five weeks from now, the new expansion will drop, and that means that somewhere in between now and then, we will be getting the “pre-patch”, which will introduce the new expansion and stuff. More importantly, it will introduce the new game systems to all and sundry, whether you buy the expansion or not.
During Legion, I’ve been keeping afloat partially on sales of glyphs, but also some other stuff. This expansion hasn’t been great for Scribes, so I’ve supplemented with enchantments as well, but the upshot is that on the strength of glyphs alone I can play the game entirely on in-game currency. With additions, I can buy other things in the Blizz shop such as time for my sweetie if she’s in the mood to play. But it hasn’t been raining cash. You gotta hustle.
- Legion glyphs are the main money makers, to a limited extent.
- Older glyphs sell fine, but don’t bring in much cash compared to the cost to make them.
- Vantus runes and other sops that Blizz tossed to Scribes were worthless. I fire-sale’d all but Antorus a while back and it looks like I’m going to eat them anyway.
- One herb was by far the best for this business model – Dreamleaf, which also generated Nightmare Pods, which yielded great quantities of Sallow pigment. The Argus herb, on the other hand, was worthless for Scribes.
Overall, fairly lackluster. I think that applies to most professions, though.
On to new things.
New expansion, new inks
- Crimson Pigment –> Crimson Ink
- Ultramarine Pigment –> Ultramarine Ink
- Viridescent Pigment –> Viridescent Ink – returning once again to a “rare” ink for certain items, such as Darkmoon cards, codices, Vantus runes, off-hands, etc.
- All inks now require the use of Distilled Water. All BfA inks thus have an additional 2s 50c tax.
- Viridescent Ink also requires Acacia powder, an additional 2s 50c tax on that ink.
Yields, what herb gives what, and in what quantities, is not yet known.
New expansion, new herbs
- Akunda’s Bite (Vol’dun)
- Anchor Weed – appears to pop in all zones
- Riverbud (Drustvar, Zuldazar, Tiragarde Sound) – found along rivers
- Sea Stalk (Tiragarde Sound) – found along coastlines
- Siren’s Pollen – found in trees in swampy areas. In a way similar to Foxflower, picking one can create a swarm of them to pick up.
- Star Blossom – found on the sides of buildings in Kul’Tiras and Zandalar.
- Winter’s Kiss – found in snowy areas (Drustvar)
It should be noted that the locational information is far from accurate at this time. Also, there are three levels for each herb for gathering, so similar to Legion in how it works this time.
There will also be three tiers to milling, and mass milling will become available for all herbs.
Very few new glyphs have been added. In many ways this seems a lot like Cataclysm where we got one whole new glyph to use the pigments on – essentially, any pigments you grind will probably be exchanged for older inks or pigments at the ink trader, so find out who that is and go there.
The exceptions are, of course, the ones listed here. These are all Druid glyphs.
- The Dolphin – requires Revered with Tortollan Seekers
- The Humble Flyer – appears to be a discovery from Grumpy Grimble in Tiragarde Sound. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s what I got.
- The Tideskipper – drop from Corrupted Tideskipper in Stormsong Valley
There don’t appear to be any research-oriented tasks associated with this expansion.
A few glyphs have also been dropped, no doubt due to class changes. In total, we end up with fewer glyphs than we had in Legion.
- The Blood Wraith (DK)
- The Bullseye (Hunter)
- The Skullseye (Hunter)
- The Unholy Wraith (DK)
- The Wraith Walker (DK)
My advice on these is to hang on to them until after the pre-patch.
In my experience, dead glyphs are transformed into something like Charred Glyphs which are usually worth 50s. Dump them now, and get 1s. It’s worth waiting to see. Of course, if you can dump them for more than 50s now, go for it.
I’ve seen one – Uldir – and that’s it. I’m not sure if we’re going to see more or not, but right now it looks like they’re attuned per-raid, not per-boss. If the latter, I don’t think it’s worth the bother. If the former, it MIGHT be. Start slow.
Other Wealth-Enhancing Features
Inscription has picked up a plethora of things that may or may not be of value in the days to come. Test each carefully.
- Codices – As before, we can make a Codex of the Clear Mind kind of thing that will allow you to change your talents outside of rest areas. This does require the rare ink.
- Contracts – A contract is with a specific faction, and while it is in effect you gain reputation with that faction, similar to how tabards worked in Burning Crusade. I do like this mechanic, and also suspect this will be a small but steady income stream. I assume only one can be in effect at a time.
- Scrolls – Scrolls are back as “War Scrolls” that can buff an individual or group. The odd thing is the wording of the description indicates that, say, an Intellect scroll affects all team members, not just the int-using ones. I suspect only one can be in effect. So this is very confusing. They’re not too costly to make, but they may have a limiting factor that makes them unpopular.
- Ink Wells – This allows your champions to bring back ink from missions. This isn’t really a money maker unless you sell it on the AH to other Scribes – which might be the case because the darned thing requires some mats that drop from mythic bosses only. The mats are BoP, but the Ink Well is not.
Conclusions, such as they are
We may see 8.0.x this Tuesday, or three weeks from now (I can’t believe they’d cut it any closer). Now is the time to prepare, because once the patch drops, in my experience, you run out of options to keep things operating. For example, the ink trader usually stops accepting the previous expansion’s inks or pigments (i.e. Roseate and Sallow) and instead requires the new expansion’s stuff (Crimson and Ultramarine Inks or Pigments). At which point you will have to go flower picking all over the place to keep making glyphs.
The good news is that glyphs that sell now will probably continue to sell. The bad news is that the ones that aren’t selling will still probably not sell.
Hope you did well this time around, it looks like more of the same, alas.
Oh hai! The good news is that I’m still around. That is also the bad news. I just haven’t had a lot to talk about since the BfA announcement – that goes a while back, I know, but there ya have it. What was that, BlizzCon?
I’ve started a number of posts, but ran out of gas before I got them up to our usual low standards of publishability. I haz opinions, but really haven’t felt like any of them were worth your time.
I’ve even gotten in on the Alpha – hard to say who hasn’t – though I haven’t actually done anything with it. Matters of theorycrafting and so forth seem to be beyond my grasp – I’ve barely figured out how to properly use the Best in Bags tool at AMR. That’s assuming I am, of course. AMR agrees with my own calculations enough to earn extra side-eye.
So anyway, watching all the news about BfA and our new
Associated Allied races has me wondering about future installments on this already popular feature. We all know about the Zandalari Trolls, some sort of Orcs from Outland (?), Dark Iron Dwards, and Big Chin Humans from Jaina’s Home Island. What else might they be cooking up? Here are some ideas!
I think that we’ve all seen this one coming from a mile away. The only thing holding them back has been the rather insensitive-to-lepers name, but now that we’re in the second year of the Trump administration, sensitivity is for the birds! Bring on the possibly radioactive Gnomes!
Probably still won’t end up in the next cinematic, though.
Similar to the Big Chin Humans, but these folk trace their roots back to when the Curse of Flesh was first weakening the races of Northrend. Smart folks, these relatives of the Vrykul got out of there before it got too bad, and also stayed hidden for thousands of years before revealing themselves. They’re cool like that.
Racial Bonus: they use regular sized humans for shoulder gear. Cool.
Somewhat related to the Really High Elves, these folks only appear in Winter, spending the rest of the year in communes in Northern Kalimdor.
Obviously if seasonal Associated Races don’t work out, this will be the only ones we ever see.
Nocturnal by nature, Nasty Orcses have a racial bonus when fighting stupid hobbitses. Precious.
Limited to Warriors and Paladins. Obviously.
A somewhat embarrassing chapter in The Lich King’s campaign in Lorderon; these are the people who’s relatives gave up on them before they were actually dead. Arthas took them into the Scourge and never heard the end of it.
Made for some awkward war councils, too.
“I remember you. You told them I was dead!”
“Didn’t turn out so well, for me, either.”
“If you think that makes it okay, let me tell you …”
“People, can we focus on the counterattack from Alterac?”
An offshoot of the Highmountain Tauren, these folks really rock.
Probably hinting at the eventual introduction of the Bard class. You know how Blizz is.
I’m guessing this offshoot of the Pandaran race will line up directly opposed to the Gitauren. This might even be the basis for the conflict in the expansion that introduces the Bard class. I’m calling it now – “World of Warcraft: Battle of the Bands”.
There’s no sound reason, lore-wise, for this to ever happen. Therefore it will happen.
You get a Furbolg, and you get a Furbolg …
The perfect cross-over from Erfworld, these highly avaricious and clever subterranean creatures will replace the mobile auction house. Their native resource, Juice, will replace Mana / Energy / Rage / etc for all supported classes.
Six years ago today we found a little ball of fur wandering across the parking lot of our apartment complex. We took her in, and she took over.
We call her The Cat that Lived because the vet we took her to diagnosed her with FIP, which is fatal and untreatable. We promised her all the scritches she could want and as happy a life as we could give her in her final weeks. And then she went and kept on living. Six years later, she’s still going strong, sassy as they come and full of opinions. We named her Jaina because she was a survivor (this was just after Tides of War came out). It appears we chose wisely.
A few things have changed in the last year. We lost one of her compatriots, an old Maine Coon Cat named Pogo, who passed in her sleep not too long ago. She was especially dear to Mrs Grimm, who took it hard, as can be expected. Floof Kitty was a real sweetie. She never bothered the other kitties, just asked for laps about eight times a day, and we gave them whenever she asked (‘asked’).
Morgan, aka ‘Tater’, has grown in to a very substantial kitty, and not much of it is flab. Her probable dad was a big feller, and she appears to be taking after him. She’s probably twice Jaina’s size now, which makes for an amusing sight when Jaina goes after her and she goes running for her life.
Sometimes she’s looking for payback.
Zoey, the sixteen pound black cat (aka ‘Cannonball’), has started realizing that she’s the biggest cat in the house aside from Petey (a very large floof cat of some sort), and has started going after Jaina from time to time. Sometimes she gets a snoot full of Jaina claws, and sometimes Jaina goes running (and hissing, and growling). Still, Jaina’s holding her own, even if she is the smallest cat in the house.
It’s pretty odd considering that the two used to be the best of pals.
Jaina has developed a taste for laps. Not from me, but from mommy. She will get comfy and just vegetate for hours. It’s very sweet.
She still has the shape and demeanor of a little bear, but I’ve also noticed something about here that I wasn’t able to put my finger on. She always seemed, well, kind of pensive and downcast. Eventually I realized that she has especially bushy eyebrows, and that makes her eyes appear to be looking down unless you are looking at her straight on.
She still has her favorite toy or teddy bear, whatever you call it – a shoestring. When she wants someone to come admire her, she’ll grab the string and drag it around while singing. Scritch her on top of the head and she’s happy as can be.
She has also taken to herding me off to bed. She’ll jump up on the desk next to my mouse pad. Eventually she’ll edge close enough to where she’s sitting ON the mouse. If I try to move it then, I lose an appendage. As soon as I get up, she jumps into my chair and settles in for a nap. No, we’re not pwned or anything.
Moving forward, we hope to see more antics and amusements from this little kitty. Maybe this year she’ll start asking for cuddles from me. One can hope!