Oulu: The Warrior Draenei

My race change is complete yesterday :) Bons the Gnome is tired of all the Valar’jar bullshit they fed her, and she pleads for retirement.

Bons

Bons is settled now in Kharanos village. She wants to meet the New Year in her motherland. She missed inhaling the fresh mountain air, washing her face in the snow in the mornings. She longs to rediscover the pleasures of sitting by a fireplace after walking on the snow crust in chilly weather.

She will rekindle her old acquaintances and friendships within dwarf and gnome communities, and she’ll be more than happy to protect the snowy valleys of Dun Morogh from troggs, ice trolls and wolves – definitely more peaceful and pleasant activity than cursed Argus crags.

Now meet Oulu – my brand new warrior!

Oulu

Oulu is a fierce and impulsive fighter who came from alternate Draenor timeline to our Azeroth. She’s a seasoned warrior from Shadowmoon Valley, hardened in the battles against Botani expansion and skirmishes with the Iron Horde.

Oulu shares approach with the Rangari stalkers – preferring to clip the threat rather than avoid it, hide from it, run from it or negotiate with it. Although she’s not a Rangari herself, she’s recognized and praised among them as she participated in several of their raids and proved herself to be a fierce fighter.

She couldn’t live in peace with Draenor orcs, not after what they’ve done to the lands of Draenor, so she had some argument with Draenei exarchs at home and traveled to Ashran, then Stormwind to lend her battle axes to the Alliance service. Rumors are that our timeline would offer her lots of opportunities to fight the orcs and the Horde…

She came to Azeroth to seek not peace, but war, and now she’s ready to rush into Antorus with her new allies.

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Class Changes in BfA: Your Wishes?

There’s one more topic which is pretty vital, and this is class changes.

We already know that there’s gonna be tweaks to class rotations as several artifact perks would be blended into talents or baseline spells, we know that raid buffs will be back and stuff.

I’m not gonna discuss any raiding environment, partly because I’m an LFR seasoned player, and partly because many sites are focusing solely on endgame, hardcore calculations. I’ll be talking about open world.

So, the question is: are you currently happy with how your class feels itself in the open world via world quests and leveling? Are you happy with the pace that you fight the mobs? Do you feel squishy? Do you feel slow or underpowered? What would you like to change when you operate without groups and any backup? Would you remove certain abilities or add something? 

Here’s my list of required class fixes:

1. Fury Warriors and Enhancement Shaman are as squishy as an origami. For hell’s sake, they’re chain mail and plate armor toons! It merely must be fixed.

2. I hate global cooldowns. And some classes must have built-in haste bonus not to feel bored to the bone.

Notably it’s Rogues and Death Knights – there’s a haste threshold where I immediately become bored to the bone, waiting for global cooldowns. It has nothing to do with DPS – but it has everything with enjoying my gameplay.

3. Survival Hunters should tank, the fantasy of sharing blood & sweat with your pet should be maxed here.

4. Beast Mastery Hunters are ridiculous today, because out of 4-5 major abnilities there is only ONE shot. The other abilities are YELLING. So you yell at a boss, and it dies. Silly huh?

5. I hate Shadow Priest insanity system. Activating the void form feels like a waste of power in the field, but without it you’re picking on mobs forever. One option is increasing the power of major spells while making the insanity less nuking: that way it’s still gonna be useful in raid environment, but you won’t feel like you’re a baby in the field without it.

Also empowered Void Form should be the only option when my priest is violet/blue – when dealing insane damage. I never liked the void looks, and it was actually one of my reasons that I didn’t play a priest for a long time.

Also need AoE – have you tried picking one-shot dozens of mobs in older content one by one? Takes forever.

6. Discipline Priests are surely inventive, but very exhausting in group content. I like that I can heal myself in the field while dealing damage, but juggling healing and damaging in raids requires some insane concentration.

7. The Legion Warlock revamp requires applying the long-casted Unstable Afflictions in numbers. Remove the need to apply multiple Unstable Afflictions for Affliction Warlocks. I was fine at WoD!

8. Demonology Warlock fantasy of calling many demons by your side is fine… But you don’t see a single demon, because they are small, they have bleak and dark models, and they all hang out by your foes rather than you. So you don’t feel like leading a demon army. You feel like you press a button and nothing happens, the foe healthbar just drops by itself. Solution: make the demons brighter, and at least put the imps by your side!

9. Add more damage options to healing specs, leveling and world questing is super slow. They lack AoE at large, so there’s no way out in aggroing many mobs and self healing in the process – as you are picking them one by one! And 3-4 damage buttons are not enough: it’s simply boring to level with them.

10. Add a bit of damage to tank specs (except paladin, paladin feels awesome): we’re supposed to AoE mobs, but when you need to take them out one by one, it takes forever, exhausting you.

11. Make the open world rotations for all class of 5 buttons (saves, cooldowns, interrupts etc. not included) – some specs lack buttons for this ideal number, but some have too many. Work out synergy between these 5 major abilities to make the specs interesting to play and put a gap between a newbie and a seasoned class player.

12. Finally make players choose assigning pets of pet classes behind your left hand or right hand :) I don’t know about others, but I hate when someone hangs by my left hand – both IRL and in game. This is not a minor thing, because that’s my reason of dislike of pet classes. And opting for specs/talents which allow to dismiss a pet.

That’s quite a list :) What’s yours?

P.S. And I also want a healing mage spec :) It’s the easiest to implement among all other new spec ideas, and I’m talking Time-Walking. Bronze dragons teach mages to alter the course of time, so imagines the yellow-colored time magic! Clocks and clockwork effects, and sands of time, and everything. The range of spell options is really stunning here.

Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge: Class Fantasy, Yay or Nay?

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Tell us how you are finding the fantasy of the class and the world we live in. Has Blizzard nailed it on the head, or is it just leaving you cold and wanting to re-write the way your toon’s class is portrayed.

Legion encourages us to play every class in the game – which I do. My range of toons is exactly 12, one for each class, delivering every possible experience. So let me crawl one by one.

Legion has also presented a very distinctive view upon classes, so I would talk of how it played out in my case.

Warrior 

You could play any warrior type possible. Could it be the guys craving for PvP – especially arena type – a berserk? A decent good-hearted defender of his village/town from wild beasts and thugs? A knight in shining armor which forms the ranks of regular army? Name it.

Legion f*cked it all up imo. The vrykul business hit us as a truck, including a complete zone and its subzone, world quests, two dungeons and a raid. Not that Valhalla is bad for warriors, it just didn’t leave us any options but be a bloodthirsty, selfish berserk which cares about personal glory only and ready to die. Besides, the repetition sucked: all the same shit about valor all over and over.

My warrior Bons ranges from being a decorated Alliance soldier to a sort of a ravager type you find in highwayman hideouts in the forest (depending on transmog). Anyways, she cares much about her community – saving her local settlement, fighting for Gnomes, Alliance, Khaz Modan and Azeroth rather than waiting for dying in battle and getting a praise from some bearded Santa she never heard of.

Mage

Blizzard loves mages, so there’s little option it could have been failed. We got an Order Hall in Dalaran, heavily inflicted by arcane stuff. Not a total fan of arcane version of mages (Micromantica is an ice adept like her mentor, Jaina), I can’t help but acknowledge that this is perfect.

Paladin

Actually paladins have so little options when exploring their class fantasy, so no wonder it was done perfectly. We got an Order Hall in Eastern Kingdoms, where paladins were initially created, and in the most iconic place ever which even managed to repel even the Lich King himself – so holy it is (see Death Knight 55-60 starting questline).

The Order Hall is awesome, it’s basically a cathedral, which also serves as a training ground and base of operations. It’s a war camp, but also very serene and suitable for a prayer and divine moments. I can’t think of how could it be done any better.

Priest

Blizzard really did it well introducing some inter-dimensional temple of enormous size. It’s nice having enclaves both for Shadow and Light, although most of the space in the temple is not really used, so it doesn’t feel any cozy and at the same time doesn’t bring this feeling of being in a sacred place.

Also priests are bound to pray the naaru – as good as it could have been for draenei players, I don’t feel too much devotion to them from every other priest race. Moreover, my Gnome Aurinko uses the Light very practically – she’s simply a battle medic like all Gnomes.

Shaman 

What could have been cooler for a shaman than returning back to the Cataclysm times when Earthen Ring ruled out the whole business of elements?

The Maelstrom porch is rumbling with raw energies, and you really feel the power of elements. This is awesome.

Again, I don’t feel too enthralled by this all – but due to race choice only. Schlitzchen is a goblin, so her approach to the elements is very practical. She’s not your normal cash-by-all-means type of goblins, she got into the whole elements business as she saw Thrall mastering them when goblins fled from Kezan. So she saw the shaman path as a powerful thing to help and save her kin. But her good heart draws the line exactly here: balance the elements powers to protect herself and her people, but not to save the whole world. So the Earthen Ring to her is like: eh, whatever.

Druid

It’s very easy to nail the druid experience: throw in a lush location and wooden huts carved in trees – there, you have it. Still, Blizzard went even farther than that. We learned that Broken Isles was the initial Malfurion’s training grounds, we got ourselves a piece of Emerald Dream, an ability to travel the long forgotten portals (finally!), and there’s also a whole druidic location – Val’sharah – and with druid-specific storyline (Xavius).

Works perfectly for night elves and worgen (who also got a nod in Val’sharah with Brandensbrook village). Maybe not that perfect for trolls and tauren. Trolls are a jungle type. And my druid – Tauren Helu – is obviously a Sun druid, all about steppes and lush meadows of Mulgore. She’s not much into the thickets and groves. Although she doesn’t feel any bad in Val’sharah.

Hunter

I don’t know if you noticed, but hunter’s class lodge has exactly the same model as a Night Elven training building in Warcraft 3. So thanks for a nod to the past :)

Otherwise, it’s a nice spot. I like how Blizzard address every hunter’s aspect: beast pens, target practice grounds, different things for hunting. It’s always been a class of loners, trappers, pioneers, survivalists. They just needed a place to hang out – nothing to pompous, but very homely. I think it’s very good what they did to hunter fantasy here.

Yet again, if you’re roleplaying a rank archer/steamgunner/musketeer from Alliance or the Horde, it’s not your place to be. But I guess these players are few.

Rogue

Rogues, like Warriors, have big diversity in roleplay. You can be an assassin, a pickpocket, a spy, a ninja, or a pirate.

Despite what every rogue asked – a Ravenholdt manor for the class order hall – I think that Blizzard managed to create a class order hall very good. It fits every role you could possibly pick for yourself. Besides, they managed to deliver the Ravenholdt’s elitist, noble style too in order hall meeting room and give ravens as class mounts. They gave you assassin training grounds, black market corridors, a bar to discuss deals, a goblin managed treasury, a noble-manor type of dining room for negotiations… what else would you want?

What people who asked for a manor don’t understand is that EVERY rogue role is acting in shadows. But to act in shadows… there must be a proper “light” world nearby. Where would you train you skills – spying, pickpocketing, brawling, assassinating – surely not among your fellow rogues? So giving a shadow world as an upside of the major city is awesome. And we also have three access points to our hideout in the city. What pleases me most, one of them is cheese traders, the family with very dark bandit history ever since the earliest Stormwind leveling times.

The only bad thing about rogues was basically introducing a proper pirate spec in the expansion – and your pirate representative in the order hall is a damn annoying idiot admiral Tethys. Would prefer a Barbossa-type character of course.

Warlock 

Getting an outlandish world for an order hall is not so fun. I can’t come up with an alternative solution… I just don’t like being there with so many demons around – even if enslaved. I guess I’m just fed up with demons. Yes, nailed it and all, but not a place to have fun at.

Those candle clusters though.

Death Knight

Acherus is an obvious choice for Death Knights, it’s a perfect keep addresssing whatever spec you play. It’s a chill, cozy necropolis – harsh, brutal base of operations for undead warriors. Not many options to vary your class fantasy in the whole death knight business, but still there’s a gory altar for Blood vampiric knights, Ice quarter for lich-type cold-blooded warriors and corpse resurrection sickly ground for plague bearers, as well as forges and training grounds. I don’t know… It’s all good.

Monk

There were just two options to settle monks: either it be Kun Lai Summit or Wandering Isle. Both are viable, although Wandering Isle is of course more fun. It has villages, cool nature (Kun Lai is snow-covered mountainside), and it has this temple in the middle. It’s good to be back here and recycle the Pandaren starting zone.

Pandaria-heavy in every aspect, it’s easily fitting the only monk roleplay option. Whatever race you are playing, if you’re choosing a way of the monk, you’re a fan of dumplings, thick ropes, sakura blossoms and all the corresponding stuff.

Finally,

Demon Hunter

Blizzard went with an obvious decision as to stealing a battleship off Legion. I don’t like it at all. They’re nailing the class fantasy of course, but to my liking it lacks any lighter options than go around frowning and being tortured with demon inside. Basically you are settled in a demon base, surrounded by demons, and with no hope for the best. Not that it’s not fitting the demon hunter fantasy, but it’s very depressing.

Besides, they are all in awe with Illidan – which I’m not. Surely there could be at least some demon hunters who see him as a failure? Walking like that around, I feel kind of traitor :)

This is it for class fantasy for tonight!

Class Specs in Legion 7.2.5.

As I’m exploring the least played specs – due to investing the artifact power in them, it’s time to revise my thoughts and feelings about them.

Legion is encouraging me to try every spec which I do, so by the end of expansion I’m becoming a natural in each and every of them. I’m quite capable now of telling my likes and dislikes as my artifacts are fully – or almost fully developed by the moment. It’s time for revision.

Demon Hunter – Melaris the Night Elf

Havoc – the DPS spec is one of the best melee DPS due to its extreme mobility. I’m a whirlwind of blades, and it’s still awesome.

Vengeance is powerful and cool for tanking. I praise it for perfect self-heals, pro-active gameplay (no cooldown waiting), and very cool AoE damage and aggro.

Death Knight – Mindebad the Gnome

Frost – is yet my favorite DK spec. I like winter, I like how powerful it is, excellent against a single target and not bad for AoE.

Unholy – is a very strong spec, maybe even more powerful than Frost. But the gameplay feels slow, cooldowns are often there, there’s debuff tracking involved, and an ugly pet to guide. Not my piece of cake, not playing it whatever the numbers it delivers.

Blood – the slowest tanking spec of all. I like the vampiric fantasy of the spec very much, but imo it should be a hurricane, now it’s a very slow doom type. It just doesn’t fit.

Druid – Helu the Tauren

Balance – is still a mortar, but it’s feels more channeling now. Very powerful, very comprehensible, perfect for raids, although maybe not for the field.

Feral – vice versa. Perfect for the field gameplay to quickly slay all the mobs if you have enough Haste not to wait for cooldowns, but I’d prefer a caster in raids.

Restoration – a new and enjoyable healing spec for me. I like the HoTs rolling on, but I think that massive healing is not its strong side.

Guardian – with all the range of other druid specs, I’m rarely playing it, but it’s one of the easiest tanks. Nothing bad to say about it.

Hunter – Backston the Human

Marksmanship – once you learn the synergy between abilities, it becomes the most enjoyable spec to play. It benefits from pets, massive damage, ranged gameplay and what not. Excellent one, and once again my choice in every situation.

Survival – I haven’t played one much or even at all before Legion. Its fantasy nowadays is awesome, I can’t help repeating that. It’s definitely more dangerous to play than ranged specs, but it’s effective enough and has this trapper’s vibe. Haste is very drastic, or it just turns into pile of shit if there are cooldowns to wait for. Should be very swift.

Beast Mastery – is hell. Again, I’m not sure what has it been before, but it’s just awful in Legion. Naturally you don’t see your pets much, because they’re somewhere there in the fray of battle. You have ONE shooting ability in your single target rotation. You, a hunter with a gun, have ONE shooting ability. The rest of the time you’re YELLING. No kidding, three of your basic rotation abilities + artifact special trait are YELLING OUT LOUD. And you’re supposed to be immersed about that. Imagine you’re in raid, and what you do is just crying at the boss, then it dies. Besides, the spec was probably designed for kindergarten. I stood in raid and just pressed the abilities when they went off cooldown. It’s faceroll, there’s no depth, no nothing. You faceroll and shout at the bosses, and this is Beast Mastery. Very immersing (not).

Mage – Micromantica the Gnome

Frost – is the best spec, but to my liking, I have a soft spot for snow and ice magic. You need to be cool, let the ice flow through your palms and let it do the job. Every iteration in every expansion is enjoyable, albeit very different from its predecessor.

Fire – feels more devastating, and offers excellent bursts.

Arcane – I grew to enjoy it in general. Although I hate that mana runs out which slows you down for 5 seconds to replenish. Quite unnecessary. The spec is not convenient in the field, but excellent for AoE mobs in older raids.

Monk – Paitsu the Gnome

It had some changes from Pandaria and Draenor, although everything is pretty fine with it.

Brewmaster – tanking spec offers excellent AoE options, including aggro. The major mitigation mechanics of the delayed damage is perfect to ease up the job for healers. Yet it feels a bit slow and clumsy.

Mistweaver – is a brand new spec for me, and I like the clever mist spell as well as other healing options. Probably one of the most enjoyable healers for me with lots of opportunities.

Windwalker – is less enjoyable than before, with trademark stuns gone, although quite cool and powerful. Not so fast as expected from a martial fighter, although very much pleasurable to play.

Paladin – Anibell the Human

Protection – is one of the most solid tanking specs with excellent movement and aggro, sturdy, powerful, designed to stand on your ground. It’s so stout that I rarely even use the most powerful cooldowns – because basic rotation is normally quite enough.

Holy – is my least favorite healing spec of all. You have to be in close proximity to the healed players to be the most effective (based on mastery), so when the raid is spread wide, you just suck. And despite the strong single target heals, AoE is a problem for you, so whenever massive AoE damage, you struggle, and your fingers are steaming to keep up.

Retribution – has always been the easiest build – spend damage dealing spec. It has some abilities’ synergy to think about, but it’s not quite interesting to play nowadays.

Priest – Aurinko the Gnome

I’m quite new to the whole priesting business, as I started my first serious priest toon only a month prior to Legion.

Shadow – the new madness mechanics is nice. I did a trick in my latest raid run, juggling my panel a bit to make it more accessible, and carrying out DoTs a bit farther, now I’m a killer machine.

Holy – is the best healing spec in the game, period. Direct heals and HoTs, a range of spells for every situation and in their own niches.

Discipline – I guess it was mainly shields before. It was very nice to play (I believe I played a Disc priest once until level 40). Now it’s a frenzy! You have to think in two ways at once: thinking about delivering lots of damage and thinking about delivering heals. It’s the most pro-active spec in the whole game, and not only healing ones. I’m enjoying healing with it because it’s super fun, but I doubt it would compare in effectiveness with Holy – at least in my hands. Yet :) Maybe I need a lot more practice.

Rogue – Hexen the Goblin

Assassination – my love. Heavy hitting poisons and bleeds which continue to work their way in enemy’s veins even if you had to step away from him are precious. Nuff said.

Subtlety – I’ve never tried this spec before Legion, but it’s a killer. You dive in and out of the shadows, almost no DoTs (strange for a rogue, huh), but the strikes themselves are mighty. Literally two hits to slay a mob. I’m trembling at the sight of its power. Super effective, and a very enjoyable rotation.

Outlaw – is a spec with a face turned to people :) No hiding and sneaking, you step proud and start a saber slashing game. I’m not a fan of this pirate thing – well if I were, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Shaman – Schlitzchen the Goblin

Enhancement – is super squishy nowadays. This is why I’m not enjoying it, although it’s well fitting to questing, because mobs die fast enough. Seriously, mobs keep taking off health very quickly, and you have very few self-healing options now.

Elemental – is a mortar which is very enjoyable, fun… but slow. You have to collect enough firepower for the most powerful spells, and you can’t do that with common mobs. So you just plink them chip by chip, and it’s tedious. Killing 10 wossnames bores you to the bowels – NOT good for questing. When you have enough time – like fighting a raid boss – it suddenly shines.

Restoration – is my second favorite healing spec after Holy Priest. I’m enjoying the major Chain Heal for being a clever heal, and it’s quite spectacular too. Excellent AoE utility.

Warlock – Faerella the Goblin

Affliction – my favorite spec. The two new things in Legion are these: one of the DoTs now can and has to be implemented multiple times (the more of this DoT, the more the damage), two, mana is being depleted nowadays – which is just an extra nuisance lingering you. These are irritating in raids, but you kill everything in the open world super fast.

Destruction – is a mortar type thing which makes it hell in the open field. When you want to rush into a fray of battle, you start caaaaaaaaasting. Yikes :) Although it has no mana troubles, and thus perfect for raiding.

Demonology – I have as many issues as possible. It’s not complex to comprehend, but many of your spells are summoning packs of demons which deal damage. Fantasy-fitting approach, the only problem being: you don’t see any of those demons. They are dark, small, and even casting imps are summoned not beside you, but near your enemy. So you can’t tell them even in the field, save the raid environment. You keep clicking your ability buttons, and enemy health just drops – you don’t feel like you control anything. You’re just clicking buttons. This is awfully discouraging.

Warrior – Bons the Gnome

Protection has excellent saves, yet it feels very slow. I think I enjoyed the previous Draenor version more.

Arms is a heavy weapon swinging, everything’s ok with how it feels and spec fantasy. Although… not so powerful. That’s the rarest case when I want less frequent actions compensated by more powerful blows.

Fury is really furious, but very squishy – again. I don’t know how, but a warrior manages to get it all even in its plate armor. And I’m not quite happy with the ability range – one of the blows must be there in rotation yet it feels so out of place.

Generally every warrior spec is not fine for 100%, it’s a solid 70%.

So, this is my spec review for Legion 7.2.5.

New Specs!

For the second time in Legion the artifact system dictates me trying and playing the other specs than I normally like to play.

When you have a goal of driving every artifact to 52 traits, and you accidentally drop 21,8 million token into the already upgraded weapon… well, it sucks. So just in case I’m running, questing and exploring the pleasures of now-upgraded spec.

I think however good I’m becoming in playing an extra spec, sometimes I just don’t like to do this. Examples would be Beast Mastery for Backston, Demonology for Faerella or Unholy for Mindebad – outright boring. Mindebad is almost at 52 with her Unholy spec, and yet I didn’t grow to like it as much as I like Frost. So it’s 52, and I’m done with it.

Sometimes I switch specs due to their utility. Obviously tanking specs are a mere pleasure when engaging specifically fat very dangerous mobs during a world quest.

For warlocks it’s extremely awesome to quest in Affliction, because everything dies super fast, but I hate my mana depletion during raids, and a very slow Destruction is much more enjoyable for nuking bosses, although its mortar-type playing style is a torture in the field. It’s the same with shaman: Enhancement is very cool in the field, cause you rush into the fray, and in few quick blows everything’s dying, but Elemental is a preferable thing in raids to rain elements from afar and have a better sight of encounter.

Draenor introduced tanking specs to me, and in Legion I started healing. Actually every spec that can heal is my choice for Tomb of Sargeras today. It’s fun, relaxing, and very engaging. My paladin Anibell pulled off the Har’jatan encounter when our tank had 30 (!) stacks on himself. The other tank just died 5 seconds after he tried to tank any boss, I don’t know the reason. He was a warrior, he had a decent ilvl around 870 – quite enough for LFR. He just got one-shot – nothing a healer could do.

The most challenging spec is Discipline, and I tried it yesterday. It’s mind blowing by all means, but I think I’m starting to get the general idea. You have to place a heal on a friendly character, then start DPS-ing a boss very quickly to heal the friendly target, BUT if he’s dying, you have to switch to mighty direct healing spells. It’s outright insane :)

For a test, I ran Aqueducts to make it a bit challenging, but not so stressful as Tomb of Sargeras. Whew, it was fun. I want to learn the “how” at least. I like Holy very much, but Discipline has a potential in my case.

And when I’m done with healing artifacts, it’s gonna be time for tanking :) My goal with tanks is making it a fun and relaxing experience, not a run where I sweat and get tired :)

Anyways, exploring new specs is very fun! By the end of the Legion I’m gonna be decent in every 36 ways I guess.

Yet Another Race Swap

I did lots of race changes for my toons, and there’s always been one and only reason: I’ve stopped to like the vibe of a character’s moves.

The most outstanding example was swapping from a female Undead warrior: for no explainable reason she did flip-flop jumps during her rotation. Just imagine this: a sturdy warrior, a bony Undead, burdened with all the heavy plate armor, is jumping like a rabbit – even more than monks.

So, eventually I get tired of this, and it calls for a race change.

The current change was planned for Lizgun the Goblin Hunter.

lizgun

Generally I like the animations of how she shoots, but her running with a bow was a bit funny. It was cool how I forged a bazooka trooper of her during Draenor campaign, but in Legion it calls for a classic stalker thing, so a goblin doesn’t exactly match. And the last thing is: there’s a very ridiculous ‘pole dancer’ strike if I go for Survival spec. It just doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t look effective or powerful, and it exposes you to the enemy from all sides.

So, I did a test-drive of trial characters of different races. I was choosing between a Gnome, a Draenei and a Human females.

Draenei didn’t work at once. The girls are the most beautiful race in WoW, this is very true, but her shooting stances looked extremely clumsy. Draenei worked for my DK and Monk, but Hunter just didn’t fit.

Gnome was very cool. I just saw how she shoots, and it’s a proper steampunk / space marine. I’ve immediately imagined a front line with bunkers and trenches, or a war engulfed street. In this kind of setting I would go for a Gnome Hunter – Storm Trooper. Yet, in WoW we mostly deal with adventures in the wilds, so I wanted a classic explorer.

Then came Human. It worked at once, so Human it is. I’ve tried every spec, and the animations were perfect both with Survival and Marksmanship. She would fit both in towns and in the wilds. I was inspired by Grizzly Hills human community – if you remember the worgen curse questline there in Northrend. Just this trapper type.

Backston-Hunter2

As usual, I’ve spent one-and-a-half hour meditating about her name. The ones I’ve wanted were already taken, and even the inventive ones.

There’s a special benefit of giving a surname for nickname: yesterday it paid off.

Backston was my Human Warrior once:

WoWScrnShot_102314_094816

And I’ve came up with an idea: what if she and my new hunter were sisters? Now it makes sense:

  • Warrior sister: Julia Backston
  • Hunter sister: Katalina Backston

Julia has ended her campaign in Draenor, so my new hunter would use their family name now.

Backston

Backston-Hunter

Class Order Hall Followers 7.2.

Weekend was totally devoted to acquiring new Class Order Hall followers for my toons, and I’ve seen them for every class. It was a fun journey!

So, here are the impressions. I would grade the questlines in three groups: Awww, Eh and Meh.

The questlines are very similar: first you are sent to class-specific zone of Azeroth, then every class goes to Broken Shore to solve a tactical task. You get a quest companion / briefing NPC almost immediately, so it’s easy to guess who will be your new follower.

Let’s start with “Meh”

“Meh” Follower Questlines

1/ Warlock: the new follower is Kanrethad Ebonlocke, the former leader of the warlock circle. First we cope with cultists in Azsuna, and then you go to Brokens Shore’s most eastern corner to stop some demon resurrection or whatever. The follower is the least interesting, the questline is dull, and it’s grind, grind, grind. It even involves a grinding fill-the-bar quest which I could do simultaneously with a world quest. You know what? I could have completed THREE of these world quests while I did this campaign fill-the-bar grind.

2/ Warrior: warriors get one of the significant faction figures: Darius Crowley for Alliance players or Eitrigg for Horde players. It’s the worst questline as you never guess what should you do… Yes, you return to Helheim because you need to save Valar’jar from Helya’s realm.

Vikings – are – boring. We are doing one and the same thing with vikings through questing in Stormheim, world quests, warrior order hall campaign, a dungeon, and then a raid. All this pathetic speech about halls of valor and helya. We are not that stupid, we got it the first time, thank you. Please just fucking stop it. I’m not excited by any vrykul stuff, it’s boring by itself, and with every new lore piece there are only more iterations of one and the same shit, throughout the whole expansion. Their story just doesn’t evolve anywhere. At Broken Shore you liberate Horde or Alliance warriors at naga enclave, and raise vrykul from the sea to crush Legion portals. In two words, it’s awful.

I never want to see a single vrykul in my life ever again. Apparently I will at least have to “prove my valor” for a millionth time to get a class mount, and I’m already crying at the perspective. Look, even the guy himself is bored. Get a life, man! Azeroth is a place full of wonders.

Odyn

3/ Paladin: Your new follower is a no-name Nerus Moonfang, a Night Elf ghost. He sold the asses of his people to Legion, so we retrieve his relics in Val’sharah, and then we go to liberate the ghosts near the Broken Shore northern flight point. He didn’t seem any interesting to me, I don’t care if his redemption is successful, so the questline is just “Let it be”. To compensate, paladins may get a second follower: Maximillian of Northshire. Apparently I didn’t do his Un’Goro quests in my pally, so he wasn’t available for me yet. The guy is hilarious, so I definitely want to see the sequel of his story.

“Eh” Follower Questlines

4/ Mage: Aethas Sunreaver, the Horde leader in old Dalaran. He somehow rushes in the Order Hall and says: I’m with you now! Let’s forget how we helped Garrosh to try and destroy the world, and then you slaughtered us! My Micromantica is a close friend of Jaina, and she cannot greet Aethas with her hands open.

So, why couldn’t he at least be there from the very beginning of Legion invasion?

Anyways, we travel to Suramar and retrieve some what’s-its to strengthen Dalaran’s defense. A decent cause, and it wasn’t much boring.

Mages also get another follower: Alazakzaram, the trickster goblin in Dalaran who is also a mission table guy in our order hall. There’s a small and funny travel into his tophat:

Alazakzaram

I secretly hoped that our new follower could be Valtrois. Alas, did not happen.

5/ Rogue: Again it depends on the faction. You receive either Tess Greymane (Alliance follower), daughter of Genn and heir to the Gilneas throne or Lilian Voss (Horde follower), the famous Undead rogue you may know from Scholomance or Tirisfal Glades questline.

Your goal is diversion, so you travel to pirate enclave in Azsuna to steal some black powder, and then you go to Broken Shore to blow up a cave with some serious Legion leaders within.

I liked how the Broken Shore part was designed, but that pirate enclave is depressing, swarming with unnecessary mobs (flight and stealth doesn’t help much), and your briefing guy admiral Tethys is just an idiot. And not a hilarious idiot, but an annoying idiot type. This is why I’d say the Rogue experience is 50/50, so Eh.

6/ Shaman: one more questionable morale questline. You new follower is no less than Magatha Grimtotem who’s responsible for Cairne Bloodhoof’s treacherous death, and who attempted to claim Thunder Bluff to herself. In other words, Grimtotem tribe are evil Tauren. She rushes into our Order Hall, and guards won’t let her in. You go with her to Thousand Needles because Legion is an ultimate enemy, so we must help her. And then she tries to get some Pebble of Doom to herself – well, because she’s evil. We don’t let her, and we go to Broken Shore to stop the demons messing around with elements. Magatha accompanies us.

The whole questline seemed so unnatural. If we don’t trust her, why would we leave her to hang out in our Order Hall? And the Pebble of Doom was something not well explained or introduced, first it’s obtained as some loot like ‘old fingernail’, and then it’s an action button which nearly got me killed. I couldn’t care less. It’s very close to “Meh”, but it’s my favorite elements in action. And I also awarded bonus points for travel to Thousand Needles (could have been Deepholm or Firelands or Vashjir, so blessed be Blizzard).

7/ Hunter: Remember how you “bolstered our ranks” by “seeking out the withered” and suddenly there came a wandering elite rider from behind and killed you in seconds? This is Nighthuntress Syrenne, a new follower in Survival spec of hunters’ order hall.

First you find her injured riding manakitty in Crimson Thicket and cure it, then naturally you make friends with the rider herself. And you go together to Broken Shore to liberate many beasts from fel corruption. It’s a solid good questline, and in true hunter style. I felt affection to the follower, and I’m glad that shal’dorei joined us.

8/ Monk: Your follower is brewmaster Almai, a Pandaren girl. You return to Stormstout Brewery to save it from Legion invasion, and then a terrible treachery happens in your own order hall. It’s one of the two order halls that are attacked by Legion directly. When you clear the mess, you go to the central part of Broken Shore to prevent making poisonous fel alcohol.

You would never think, but the jovial monks tonight are engaged in one of the most grave questlines. There’s not a grain of fun in the questline, it’s very tragic and serious.

9/ Demon Hunter: the follower is Lady S’theno, the leader of your order hall naga. This lady just got bored of sitting on her tail in your order hall, so she wants some action. Trouble comes right to you: Mardum world and your own spaceship are suddenly attacked by Legion, so you fight with the demons right at your order hall and outside.

Mardum

Then you go to Broken Shore, to Tomb of Sargeras grounds to retrieve few mats for repairing your order hall and recover the defenses. The questline is pretty boring, but I liked how Lady S’theno openly despises you, Illidan, your order hall, your illidari, and claims that she’s on her own. She doesn’t obey, she cooperates. She acts because she believes this is right, not because illidari stuff and home are awesome. My Melaris the Demon Hunter has exactly the same thoughts, so I think we could be friends.

“Awww” Follower Questlines

10/ Priest: your follower would be Aelthalyste, a Priest trainer from the Undercity. Not faction specific, because my priest is a Gnome. The questline is awesome. You go to Highmountain swamps in the north to investigate the infestation and help find a cure for Aelthalyste’s apprentice. During the quests you need to use a wide range of priest’s special abilities. Then you go to Broken Shore island to dispatch some plague devices.

The questline is very fun, inventive and awesome, although I was very surprised to find a banshee as a priest follower :)

11/ Death Knight: will be followed by Minerva Ravensorrow, an Undead Death Knight. The goal is to retrieve an item from Pit of Saron – so that you’d be able to rez some dead dragons to your cause. And then you naturally go to Stormheim where you could find the dead dragons graveyard :) You rez some, and then there’s an ice breath bombardment as a climax rather than you common boss fight.

Mindebad_Four_Horsemen_Death_Knights

Minerva, despite being a Death Knight and an Undead, is a very cheerful person. I laughed so hard at her speeches and a comical voice :) So I was just glad she joined me :)

Minerva_Ravensorrow_follower

12/ Druid: the last, but not the least is Thisalee Crow. Druid of the Purr, Thisalee is a hyperactive and fierce Night Elf teenager. We go to Hyjal to cope with demons at Aviana’s sanctuary. Then we learn that Goldrinn, the big white wolf, is in depression because Varian died! So the wolf just slumbers in Moonglade, and demons want to corrupt him, or tickle him to death – either way, we are on errand to wake him. We do, and the most awesome follower Thisalee joins us =^+^=.

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Order Hall campaigns are cool and inventive. I like how they brought us to different corners of Azeroth, showed us that all the world is threated. I liked how Blizzard gave every class a new storyline, and eventually they all took part in striking Legion in Broken Shore: every class in his own area. So when you’ve seen all, you can see the whole picture how order halls work to defeat the Legion at every front.