Very funny.

Okay, who’s  big idea was it to put the giant snow globe right in front of the entrance to the Warlock’s hellish domain?

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I detect Ratsel’s fine handiwork, here.  I know those mages.  Always planning some sort of mischief together.

We’ll see who’s laughing when we feast on their souls.

It’s the Fifth Annual Finding Jaina Day

Five years ago we came across a little ball of fluff in the parking lot of our apartment. Walked right in front of the car as we were heading to work.   There’s no way we were leaving that little thing in the parking lot to get run over, so we took her home.

Jaina 2011-12-28

Jaina on Day One (more or less)

The Missus washed her up and we fed her and gave her a place to sleep. By the 2nd day she’d learned to climb up the side of the bed and sleep in the divot between our pillows.

Jaina 2011-12-29

I haz Sunbeam (Jaina on Day 2 or so)

We took her in to the vets because we had a free checkup exam coupon and they told us that she had FIP and wouldn’t last six weeks.  We took her home and determined that her last days on Earth would be good ones.

Five years later, she’s still ticking, and pretty much running the place.  Later vet visits did not support that diagnosis, as one might guess by now.

Jaina 2016-12-12

You weren’t using this chair, were you? (Jaina, Dec 2016)

I don’t have any good pics of her in profile, but in shape and temperament she resembles a little bear, thus we call her Bearcat.

Her compatriots have changed a little since last year. Fortunately, we didn’t lose any kitties. But we picked up a couple.

Morgan 2015-08-27

Wacha doin, daddy? (Morgan, circa Nov 2015)

This little thing is no longer a little thing. We picked her up last year and gave her to the step-daughter. Unfortunately, this little kitten, named Morgan, was too energetic for her other kitty, an older cat that wasn’t in the mood to play. So we took her back in. She’s now quite a bit larger and a little hellion, but at least she’s not climbing up my back any more.

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Butterscotch and Morgan, 2016

Butterscotch (pictured here with Morgan), or more properly known as Professor Jiggly Butterscotch, First of his Name, was the cat that guarded our apartment, fighting off cats twice his size for first shot at the magical food bowl we put out for him each day. We snagged him when we moved, and he’s adapted quite well to being a house cat. Still made of bricks and capable of tanking the entire neighborhood if he needs to, he’s secretly a very loving kitty that sometimes finds himself not sure how to deal with little Morgan, who is not much younger than he.

BTW, his name was inspired by this internet find (which I believe I got from Rades on Twitter), as he resembled the original quite a bit when he was younger.

Prof Jiggly

Professor Jiggly Meme

That MWAHAHAHA face kills me every time.

In other Jaina news, she’s learned that she kinda likes being a lap kitty, but only on her terms. You don’t pick up the little bear. The little bear gets in your lap and you can then love upon her if you wish. If not, she’ll take a nap anyway.

Her fur is still kitten-soft at five years, further enhancing the theory that she’s got quite a bit of Berman in her.

She’s still adept at stealing my chair when she wants it (as seen above), and will let loose with blood curdling growlies if you pick her up to relocate her. As mentioned in a previous installment, that growlie made a trained veterinarian technician NOPE right the hell outta there.

So that’s the lay of the land for the Cat That Lived. Stay tuned next year for more information on the life of a cat that shouldn’t be alive, according to one vet. I’ve never been more happy to see someone proven wrong.

Jaina 2016-11-23

Jaina, Dec 2016, inquiring as to the location of the noms.

Ponderables

Does anyone wanna tell me why this felguard has smilies on his kneecaps? Last time I saw that thing, it was some dude got drunk during Rush Week and his “bros” painted smilies on his kneecaps with a sharpie.

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File under “unexpectedly cheerful”. Is the Legion all about the smilies? Or is this some elaborate Frat hazing event?  Not saying the bro isn’t strong in WoW. FratBros even moreso. But I thought we were moving in a different direction. My bad.

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.

Be Prepared; that’s the Prepfoot Marching Song

Highmountain is full of flight points that are extremely convenient for some world quests, but which are not entirely clear on how to get to them. In many cases, there are no bread crumbs leading you there or anything like this.

And while there are no end of YouTube vids showing you how to get to them, I’m sick of YT/Twitch echo chamber celebs that aren’t really part of our tribe trying to cash in – it’s like clickbait, 2010’s style.

I digress. Sorry. Video/Twitch “celebrities” just bug the hell outta me.

01 Highmountain MapAnyway, to the far east of Highmountain is a lonely enclave that is inhabited by an odd bunch of Taurens called the Prepfoot Tribe.  These guys are preparing for the return of Deathwing – regardless of repeatedly being told that he came, we kicked his ass, and they totally survived it.  By “prepare”, I mean they’re preparing by stockpiling stuff and wearing waterproof helms. They don’t offer any quests or rep, but they do have a flight point that is convenient to a number of world quests on the coast.  But, since there are no quests or any other involvement with the rest of the world, it’s up to you to discover the way to get there.

02 Starting Pointr

First of all, go to the Skyhorn flight point. This is your starting point.  From there, take the path to the south until you see a branch to the left –  this will take you to The Sepulcher of the Sky. Depending on where you are in your Highmountain questing, the Kolbolds there may or may not be hostile to you.

03 sepulchur of the sky

Directly across from where you enter the area, there’s a grassy drop off. Go over to that, that’s the start of the path to the Prepfoots … er, Prefeet?

04 Start of Path

Run down to the path and follow it off to the right …

05 Follow the Path

Looks like you’re going to fall off, but you won’t. Eventually you come to a switchback.

06 Switchback

Make a u-ey back the other way and follow the path. At one point the path looks like it’s blocked, but it isn’t.

07 Rough but navigable

From there on out, it’s a more or less straight shot.  Despite the rain.

08 Easy Peasy from here on out

And  for your cork board, here’s the full path marked out on the map.

09 prepfoot path route

Once you get the flight point, you can go due north from there and find a steep path down to the sea, where a Kirin Tor puzzle World Quest pops occasionally, and if you continue north you will find some Highmountain WQs as well.

Okay, fine. You want a youtube? I’ll give you a youtube.

https://youtu.be/gkrheaWuShU?t=8s

Awkward

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So, apparently when you go to do the Exodar scenario, in the final battle with Rakeesh, two of your class hall peeps show up.  In this case it was an Orc warlock and a demon.

awkward

Sometimes doing the right thing involves very strange bedfellows.

Three Weeks a Fire Mage

Illume Header

Frost was okay, but nowhere near the big hits I was used to on Draenor, so I decided to do something decidedly boring.  That’s right, I swapped to Fire. Like, apparently, every other bloody mage in the entire game.

The problem with Fire for me was that I had gotten Ebonchill pretty far down the ol’ upgrade tree, then swapped out to Felo’melorn; running around with a child’s dinky in an adult’s body, as it were. At 110, you’re expected to be toting a 110-level weapon and gear to match.

So I held on to Ebonchill for those moments when I needed to swap out, but concentrated on Fire whenever I could. After all, practice, practice, practice.

As one might expect, survivability is not a thing with Fire mages. We’re not really designed for that.  But Felo’melorn does have some tools for us, such as a thing that causes Blink or Shimmer to heal you for a little bit. So your rotation often consists of taking a quick blip right after Dragon’s Breath.  And sometimes that brings more to the party.

The next piece of the puzzle was getting Belo’vir’s Final Stand from an Emissary loot box (Highmountain, if you must know, but WoWHead isn’t telling how many times it comes from what).  I’ve often been a critic of people blaming gear for their lack of <your thing here>, but I am here to tell you now that that robe made a world of difference in my damage output and survivability.

So I guess, for great differences, you do see some significant effects. Shut mah mouth.

Of course, changing specs calls for a new transmog. All those blue tones just don’t go with my flaming balls of doom, after all.  So I borrowed from the past.  Long time ago, Jasra made the Robe of Power(1) to wear – that was before she found something more sensible for her line of work – and it was available, so I grabbed it. And then I reached for the Mantle of Three Terrors and … hey, where is it?  It’s not in the box!

Okay, so  you know that there is a thing that any armor appearance you may have had in the past is available to you and your entire account provided they can wear it.  So Jasra’s robe was available to me, but anything class-specific wasn’t. The Mantle of Three Terrors, however, is not class bound, and Flora once had it.  We even have pictures.  Hell, she blogged about it. With pictures.

Let’s be clear – there has never been a more perfect shoulder piece for a fire mage. Two large dragon heads with little flames flickering in their maws and eyes, flanked by two more little dragon heads each. Fierce. And unique, too. There’s only one of these in existence, nothing that looks like them drops from anything else in the worlds.

So when I pinged Blizzard customer support, I was expecting a “wow, not sure how that happened, we’re restored it to your account”. What I got was “our records do not show that you ever had it, have a nice day.”

Thanks a lot, @BlizzardCS.

So what’s a mage to do?  Grind, that’s what.  When possible, I’ve been hitting The Black Morass to try to get Chrono Lord Deja to drop the things.  First note here: the drop rate on WoWHead is deceptive. I suspect it is for the Heroic version of the instance, which you cannot repeat more than once a day. You can reset the instance all you want, but it won’t actually reset. So you have to run it on Normal, and you get only so many tries if you’re efficient at it (nine to ten, generally).  Long story short (too late!), it took forty tries, but I got the damned thing. (that’s 2.5% for those keeping score)

Illume Fire MogStill not happy with the sword mog, but it’ll do for now – most sword models are so elaborate and fussy that they get caught on … well, everything. Brandishing the thing about during casting is an invite to any number of mishaps if you don’t manage it properly, and, let’s be honest here, bladecraft is not normally high up on a mage’s training regimen.

At any rate, let this be a warning to you – not all things you won in BC might have made the trip to the future with you. You might wanna check now and try to get @BlizzardCS to help out if you can figure a way to make that happen. Too late for me, at this point, but if I can help somebody fend off a last minute panic, so much the better.

At this point, fire magely speaking, I’m pretty satisfied with the spec, though I haven’t tested it in an instance or anything.  The DPS is pretty impressive compared to the frost spec with better weapon, though, so I’m hopeful.

An interesting thing about Felo’melorn is that I’ve been getting accosted by NPCs, only Sin’dorei so far, asking to look at the weapon. Once they do, you get +50 artifact power, which is helpful.  I wonder how many other NPCs there are wanting a gander at the blade? And I wonder how many there are out there interested in other class’ weapons? Ebonchill never got this sort of attention. Then again, this is an important part of Sin’dorei lore.  However that plays out, it’s a nice touch.


1 Hipster mode: remember what a gigantic pain in the ass it was to get that pattern and the mats to make it?  WELL I DO.

Things I’ve Learned since Taking Over the Warlocks

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Being the head of our order has taught me many things.

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First of all, we like green. A lot.

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But when it comes to flames, we’re not choosy. Orange is fine. Yellow is fine. Red is fine. Basically, if it’s flame, we’re copacetic.

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We’re also very fond of ostentatious displays of power.

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And, for whatever reason, we’re very fond of candles, clustered, in odd random places around the landscape.

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Did I mention we liked candles? Oh, yeah, got that covered. Also big ugly books. Always a crowd pleaser in a room full of warlocks.

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Did I mention we like green?  We do! A lot!

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And we’re also frugal. Never spend money on a training dummy when you can use a spare demon instead. Demons are the ultimate renewable resource. Kill one, and it’ll come back later, only angrier.


I also learned that whoever designed the Warlock Order Hall was not a warlock. Multilevel, burning, smelly, and hard to navigate. Must have been designed by demons and liberated by warlocks.

Well, at least it isn’t that multilevel maze of twisty passages that the Mages have. Guess we got that going for us.

Yes, THAT Menethil

jas-port-110It never ceases to amaze me at how much it bugs me that people lump Disco and Holy together in the same bag. Even “professional” bloggers have that problem.

I can only assume that that’s a viewpoint that originated back in WotLK when Disco was viewed as the poor girl’s healing spec that people rolled so they didn’t die while questing, or something stupid like that.

I mean, look at our spell book and something should jump out at you. Are you looking at it? Did the thing jump out at you? No? Let me help: we have more spells in common with Shadow than Holy. Ain’t that a hoot?  Sure, it’s a close thing, and you have to ignore the talents for it to really jump out, but even Disco talents bias towards Shadow more than Holy, slightly.

I’m not drawing any conclusions from that other than the misguided practice of lumping Holy and Discipline should stop and go home. NOW.  I mean, we don’t even heal things the same way, any more.

Our shared workspace, the Netherlight Temple, is pretty nice, though, and so far it’s proven to be the most efficient of the order halls I’ve seen. One big room, everything’s in easy walking distance, no smegging multi-level mazes to negotiate or hellish terraces to ride around on your hellsteed, just a nice big work area arranged sensibly.

And while Shadow, Holy, and Discipline may be three completely different sorts of people, we can all agree to that and work together harmoniously – even if Disco doesn’t get its special room off to the side like the others do. C’este la vie, as Grimm is known to say – must be Dwarvish for “balls” or something.

Unlike the Hunters that Grimm was talking about, we priests seem to have a pretty good cross section of the leading lights (or shadows) of the priestly ways.

Moira

Being this tall makes it hard to take good pics of people that short. Sorry, Moira.

I was delighted and surprised to see that Moira, queen of the Dark Iron (it says that right on the tin!) was lending a hand in a leadership position. I am somewhat surprised she isn’t keeping a closer eye on her kin back in Ironforge, but maybe her pop inspired her to do more than sit on her stony throne.  I wonder who she got to babysit little Dagran? I see another kid with parent issues if she keeps this up. Why is it so hard to be a mother and a queen and a practitioner of the dark arts, for crying out loud?  Did anyone give Varian crap for that? I think not.

Callia

The missing heir. Also, does this camera make my boobs look big?

But before I met Moira, I met this lady, who was last seen married off to the Lord of the Black Dragonflight, though that was fortunately never consummated or even formalized, since “Daval Prestor” conveniently disappeared shortly after the battle of Grim Batol.  We’re still not sure where she’s been hanging out since then, but fortunately she avoided her father’s fate.

And yes, when you are introduced for the first time, she looks at you and sighs, “Yes, THAT Menethil” before giving you the rundown of the Disco priest amenities of Netherlight Temple. It occurs to me that that sigh might also be because she probably ran the show before this upstart Elf came along and shook things up.  But she turns around pretty quick and gets quite enthusiastic about our work. She’s been a stout ally and I’m glad she’s with us.  Sorry about that kingdom, though.  That’s gotta suck.

Somebody I Used to Know

Really not sure how many famous Hunters there are out there, but I can count the ones I know on  one hand.  There’s Sylvanas, who now works for the opposition party, there’s her sister Alleria, missing in action, there’s Rexxar, who we’ve met recently on Draenor, there’s Flintlocke, who’s more associated with the engineering arm of the world these days.  I’m sure there are others, but when reading the annals of our history, it’s those priests and paladins and mages that hog all the glory, apparently.

You might say the Lodge of the Hidden Path was well-named.

That being said, we’re tasked with filling our ranks with famous members of our chosen profession, which means a Hunter Road Trip or two.

rexxar-selfie

Well, Rexxar wasn’t actually that far away.  Just over the hill from the Lodge, in fact.  I’m not saying that he was being obvious or anything, but if your goal is to go Native and live off the land, camping out in you’re parent’s back yard is hardly “roughing it”.  I’m sure the Lodge just nodded and smiled so as to humor him.

hilaire-selfie

Hilaire, on the other hand, is one of those outright obscure cases that really did get a bit off the beaten path. I guess someone thinks she’s famous, but that someone is probably from The Broken Isles.  Not much about her ever made it down Dun Morough way.

I can’t say I am surprised. You really can’t hold a high standard up to an organization that is putting me in charge of things.  It has the tangy scent of desperation about it.