Category Archives: Stop me before I mog again

Ground Hog Day

Been several weeks on the fire mage spec, and so far I am liking it. The new mitigation tools built into the spec make it a lot less likely that I’ll die just for being the center of attention, and the new flame shield is, well hawt.

I have not been pleased with the transmog, though. The Robe of Power is pretty sharp, but better worn in a disco than tramping around in the muck. And while the Mantle of Three Terrors is, in fact, super-appropriate to the spec, it also makes me look like a hunchback.  I have a problem with shoulders, all the way back to the second Scourge invasion – those shoulders and that head piece that dropped off the scourge bosses make me look like a bullet, or a torpedo, not a human mage with feelings. Feelings and wants and needs. A mage who …

… er, where was I? Oh, yes! Transmog! Fire mage transmog!

So, I got out my blue jeans from the frost outfit, some black-ish boots (nothing as good as mail wearers can get, but hey), and searched around for some more appropriate upper attire. First off was a nice shirt, the Corsair’s Overshirt, which drops off of of “Captain” Cookie in Deadmines (boy, was he surprised!).  And while I absolutely love my Junior Technician 3rd Grade Goggles, the new spec had me looking for something a little more interesting. Fortunately, there’s the Circle of Flame, and it drops from Ambassador Flamelash. This guy, in Blackrock Depths.

Flamelash Selfie

He’s not exactly super cooperative.

Panel 1

It’s a low drop rate. We had several engagements. Flamelash went through the five stages of grief.

denial

anger

bargaining

depression

And finally …

acceptance

At which point he just chucked all his stuff into the foyer, packed his bags, and went off to The Firelands for a vacation.  Which is what he should have done to begin with, right?

That was the last of the shopping trip, however, so now I feel a lot better about myself and my chances of not getting annoying swamp stains all over that white robe’s hem.

Screenshot 2017-02-18 14.29.20.png

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It Kinda Grows on Ya

I’m not usually into the later expansions’ gear models, but, like Jasra, I’ve found something in the modern mix that has tickled my fancy a little bit. Namely, the Coif of Unstable Discharge.

Grimm's Helm

Doesn’t show in this image, of course, but the arcing lightning kinda fits in with the whole Beastmaster motif, with Titanstrike and Hati in tow.

Note that the rest of my current transmog is a mess. It’s a cross between my classic blue and the new hotness. I’ll figure something out eventually.  It really doesn’t deserve the name “transmog” at the moment.

It’s hard to beat Engineering goggles for style and functionality, but we may have found a winner, though.

Madness … takes its toll (exact change only, please)

[…] our credo: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. ‘We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.” Not just pretty words.

— Morticia Addams

At this time, the upcoming (in Legion) resource for Shadow priests is labelled “Insanity”, which has made role-playing and mogging for my Shadow spec a lot easier.

For the longest time, I’ve had issues locking on to “the fantasy of” my class. Since they, too, seemingly wielded Shadow magic, I often looked to Warlocks as a handle to hold on to, however unrelated in origin they might be (Shadow Priests, for example, predate Warlocks on Azeroth. But they’re a lot easier to get a handle on from an RP perspective.).

But the new resource flipped some switches and caused the class to sprout all sorts of handles. So now, at least mog-wise, I have a bit of a role model.

Basically, I’m going for this.

One of the highlights of Morticia’s outfit is the low-cut slinky dress. To that end, the Warlock Arena Season 11 piece, (by way of Cynwise), would have been perfect. Unfortunately, it can only be purchased by Warlocks, much less worn by or used as mog fodder by. So back to square one.

The good news is that I did find the Thistlefur Robe via MogIt, and it is pretty much everything I want it to be.  For the head piece, I’ve elected Circlet of Transcendence, and for my stat stick, Terestian’s Stranglestaff (There’s a similar looking quest reward in Vash’jir, but who has time for that nonsense?).  That leaves the shoulder piece.

I was dearly hoping for some sort of raven-feather pauldrons, but to date all I’ve found are Druid (leather) pieces. There are a few spikey variants but I really don’t feel this addresses the Shadow idiom properly. Raven feathers would be ideal, given the one or two raven-oriented spells we have, but something tentacle-y would work as well. Until I find something more appropriate, though, I guess I’ll go with the Pauldrons of Transcendence piece, if for no other reason than it goes with the head piece and we all know Onyxia was a little wobbly in the attic. Her dad certainly was affiliated with the Old Gods, so it’s fitting.

Anyway, her’s the projected trajectory for the two selves of Jasra at the moment.


The RP-breaking part of WoW in this situation is dual-spec. Jasra the Disco priest inhabits the same body as Jasra the Mad. While many will agree that anyone that volunteers for healer duties is absolutely insane, that doesn’t really work well in this particular RP dichotomy. Well, that’s on me, I suppose, especially when you realize that even being able to swap specs at all is kind of RP-breaking.

So I should probably shut up and go back to grinding Apexis dailies.

Return of the Dawn of the Revenge of the Cash Shop

So, as posted on the EU community website, Cosmetic helms are now for sale in the cash shop Blizzard Store. And if you’re into gaudy, they’re not bad.

First of all: 15 US dollars ((That’s 12 Euro on this date.)) is not a microtransaction. I don’t care what your favorite omnibus WoW website says, I don’t care what your favorite MMO forum site says.  The cost of a month’s game time is not a microtransaction. So don’t call it that, and we’ll get along fine. ((We are straying dangerously into pet peeve territory, yes?))

Next item: will it affect the game at all?  I can’t really see how, other than consuming precious frame rate.  Seriously, what would a 25-man raid look like with these on everyone?  Will a new Alliance battleground strat involve wearing these and lagging the Horde out?  Considering that it’s gotten zero beta time, these are actually kinda relevant questions. But I’m SURE they’ve gotten EXTENSIVE testing in-house ((Kaff kaff /points at Theramore)).

Item the third: when will this hit the US?  Days? Hours? Before this post goes up ((Looks like: "no".))?  Update:  I found out at 2 PM (two hours after publish) that they’re now available in the US.

Item the fourth: what next?  Will we see matching robes, shoulders, cloaks? And sidebar: will the WoW punditry also insist on calling those other items "microtransactions" if they cost 15 bucks ((My money is on "yes".))?

The big one: how long until we see pay-to-win items?  And does this indeed signal the final death rattle of WoW ((I’m out of sarcasm tags, so use your "imagination".))?

that escalated quickly

Oops, sorry, accidentally plugged in to a forum.

The personal one: I’d almost buy the Firelord helm for Flora if she was into gaudy baubles. But in general none of this stuff speaks to my nature.  I seriously doubt that they’ll ever introduce a mog set that says "I work for a living" rather than "I’d like to think that I raid stuff you can’t even imagine."

The thoughtful one: It’s not just this stuff.  So much WoW raiding tier and its predecessor gear looks so hideous to me.  It’s covered with horns, and glitter, and flanges, and glitter, and orbs, and glitter, and ropey things, and glitter, and then they add glitter. SOME of the old vanilla tier stuff is okay ((Though that Rogue helm that looks like a respirator mask is just stupid.)) but for the most part, Blizz is in love with its art department, and its art department all apparently majored in "Ming the Merciless’ Court Trappings".

You thought I was joking

But the thing is, they wouldn’t keep getting more ridiculous with every tier if it weren’t for the users wanting, or at least encouraging it. Those of us that want a more functional approach to awesomeness are not as vocal or as profitable.

I am very much of the opinion that awesomeness is not a function of frills and special effects.  The most iconic weapons are often very much, shall we say, to the point.

Anduril, Flame of the West

Rather than …

I blame Cloud

Maybe Ming wasn’t at fault after all. 🙂

If you can’t please everyone, the best you can do is give them choices, and that’s where mogging came in in the first place. You may recall my own mogging preferences are somewhat more functional than what my armor actually looks like ((I mean, if I was wearing my tier gear, you wouldn’t be able to see my head, even with the helm hidden!)). And there are others that go the other way – well, I can certainly see the attraction of some Ulduar and Icecrown gear.

The Cheap One: What I would love to see with this sort of throwaway mog fodder is for it to (also) be sold for in-game currency of some sort, especially near the end of an expansion when people have piles of tokens and nothing to blow them on.  It would be a great JP dump, or Greater Tokens, or Halfhill Tokens, or what have you.

An even better approach would be to (a) make the items purchasable for a new special token type, (b) make it so you could buy that token in the cash shop (e.g.Neverwinter Zen), and (3) then also make that token purchasable for varying amounts of other in-game tokens, such as JP, Darkmoon tokens, etc.  That way, if one particular faction grind was "your thang", then you could, oh, I dunno, enjoy yourself while playing a game.

Because here’s the bottom line for me: they could make the perfect Hunter garb of all time available, and I’d not buy it for cash, not ever. I’m paying that much a month already.  I’m not even sure I’d pay for it if it was F2P.   Virtual items are pretty much gone as soon as you stop playing the game.  Game time, for all its ephemeral nature, gives you a month’s worth of enjoyment, whereas a hat isn’t even usable unless you pay more money.

But I might grind for it.

The Final One: The Godmother over at Alt:ernative had an interesting thought (or a dozen) about the cash shop ((She’s on a roll, folks.)), one which was the sale of armor dyes.  I do want armor dyes.  I especially want one like the one in Diablo III that makes your shoulder pieces go away. But I categorically do not want them to be part of the cash shop.  Special colors? Possible.  In general?  Not.  It might be close to a deal-breaker for me, a last sign of cynical money-grubbing from a company that swore up and down that Activision wouldn’t do that to it.  I can only swallow so much hypocrisy, and that would probably mark the high water ((Well, it looks like water from a distance.)) line.

Doing so would also eliminate one of the potential fun elements in-game: making of dyes.  I personally think this would be a great product for Scribes to make ((I know, I know, just throw more money at them.)) since they already have all sorts of dyes in the bank.  I think it would be great if they managed to exploit ALL of the herbs from Peacebloom to Golden Lotus to make different armor dyes.  They could just keep adding different shades of dye as new herbs came into being.  Heck, Ghost Mushrooms would be perfect for making armor invisible! ((If they do this, seriously, I want a quarter for every game they sell.))

I kind of doubt that will happen, though. I could be wrong, but they seem to be pushing down hard on the crafting game, and it’s starting to look like there is either a paradigm shift about to happen, or they’re starting to dismantle crafting as an mainstream part of the game. Certainly, it has problems.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.  At least the potential cash mounts will give us more people to admire as they preen on the bank steps and RP walk around Stormwind.

swaggah

Or something.

Rock out with your Lock out

Grimmtooth Actual’s first best love is Grimmtooth the hunter, no doubt about it, but one could argue that the Hunter is so second-nature at this point that it’s more like a Stay-cation than a true diversion. Grimmtooth’s existence at the moment is all about getting things done, from the scrupulous attention to gardening to the grueling slog of dailies.

Warlock’s what comes out when we want to play.  I’m not a raiding main, Jasra is, so I’m free to indulge myself as I see fit.  I’m not even level 90 yet.  And with Grimm and Jas sucking up all the CPU they can, I rarely get to come out and play, so I make the most of it.

I’ve got myself a good adventuring outfit, for example. Black velvet robes are good for shaking down the locals in Stormwind, displaying a decadant sense of evil that the rubes truly appreciate. But they tend to snag on everything. Denim and forest leathers are a lot more appropriate for stomping around in the wild.

Flora's Mog

Also, I have horns from time to time.  While I like the look, it was hell on hats until I figured out to punch a couple of holes in the right place.

Horns

But that does bring me to the part of this expansion that I dislike the most about the Demonology spec.  Demonform has gone from a hefty buff to DPS to being a whole second spell rotation to learn. It plays hell with my rhythm, let me tell you.

But outside of that, Big D is a blast.  I cut through mobs like a hot knife through butter. I use Hefty Voidwalker to gather them up and just beat them to the ground. Even Grimm can’t AoE that well. I don’t even use most of my rotation because the mobs die too fast.

There’s this green fire thing coming up, I’ve heard, once I hit 90.  I have some nice prezzys from Jas to wear when I hit that level, too, so it looks like I’ll end this turn at the wheel on a high note for sure, since I’m 89.25 now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Damn, it’s good to be a Warlock.

Addenum:

Been out front of Stormwind lately?

Stormwind gates are fixed

Yep, been patched right up!

Well almost

Well, almost.  The minimap still shows the glowing embers for the gate towers, though, as you can see, they’re just fine now.

Glad to see my tax money going into something other than blowing panda bears up.

An Act of Mog

When Navi came over to say hi, I was working on my transmog "set", if "set" it be. I had replaced the shoulder pieces, but the rest of my outfit was all Tier-thirteeny. It wasn’t pretty, but I did appreciate having the ability to look to the right and left once again. Those T13 shoulders should really come with mirrors or something.

My snark on the T13 shoulders is indicative of what I think about Hunter armor appearance in general.   I don’t even GET the concept of mail-wearing Hunters. Forest leathers are a much more appropriate outfit for us outdoorsy types, but game mechanics (i.e. Mail Specialization) require mail, and you can’t mog mail to look like leather. It might confuse the PvPers ((Onoz!)).

Well, a couple of weeks after Navi’s visit, after much Lore-mastering, I’ve assembled what is almost the final product ((Ignore the staff. I forgot to unholster the thing before snapping. And staves are irrelevant to Hunters after Tuesday.)).

Mog-front

Deadly Bio-optic Killshades are crafted ((Engineering pride, yo!)). Tablet-Bearer’s Pauldrons, Far-a-day Mesh, Fastfuse Gloves, and Bael’dun Chain Leggings all seem to come from a coherent set. I would have loved for this "set" to come in a jade-green theme ((WTB armor dyes.)), as that would seem more natural for Hunters. But the overall theme here is simplicity of design. No fiddly bits, curly-cues, flying buttresses, flashing lights, glaring eyeballs, or other ridiculous crap ((Sorry, Blizz, I know your artists have feelings. But a certain segment of your players can’t get past the complete and utter impracticality, garishness, busy-ness, and plain old ugly that some of the sets out there represent, and Hunter gear especially. We’ll talk when they start making armor they’d be willing to wear on a bus on the way to work. Meanwhile I submit that a recolor of old armor sets is not art, it is what we should be doing with armor dyes, and a potential for payroll reductions, if you ask me.)).

Paxton’s Belt and the Talonrend Stompers contrast the blue-silver theme for a couple of reasons. First of all, belts and boots are generally made of leather. Second of all, even though they’re mail, they look like nice, sensible leather accessories.  Third of all, although there are boots that match the armor, I’d run the risk of looking like this:

Blue Power Ranger

Um, no thanks.

The final piece is the gun.

Mog-side

The Tribute Gun was my second choice. My first choice was the Flawless Arcanite Rifle, which has a scope as part of the model ((How odd that they’d have two different models otherwise.)).  The Arcanite rifle is also an engineering crafted item, but the schematic only drops from one particular mob, and apparently nobody’s seen that drop since they were downgraded about ten levels in Cata.

I asked a kind GM about this – Trelladon, who also offered conciliatory waffles – if it had been dropped from the game, and s/he indicated that there is a bug report in about this very thing, so at the moment there just isn’t any clear idea in Customer Support if the schematic is supposed to drop or not. 

Well, once the black market is live, maybe one or the other will drop.  But for now, this will have to do.

The main thing that drew me was the feathers.  I know it’s silly, but that’s such a Wildhammer-ish thing.

So there you go. My look, going into MoP, unless they come out with something new in MoP that I like the looks of better ((Figure the odds. Oh, look, moar fiddley bits!)).