Hidden Artifact Appearances

With the news that artifact transmogs will become class-specific, instead of spec-specific, I decided that I’d fill out my collection a smidge. I decided that I’d go after the hidden artifact appearances. I’d had a few across the classes, but the collection was far from complete. It all started when I learned what the Corrupted Ashbringer ret-pally appearance looked like. That was what started the avalanche.

WoWhead’s guide on the hidden appearances was an awesome aid. Everything was laid out nicely and in sufficient detail. A couple of places it could have used a “this item has a respawn timer, be patient” note. For the most part though, it was great.

This week, I did it. I got the last of the 36 base spec appearances. The other 3 tints for 30 Legion dungeons, 200 World Quests, and 1000 PVP kills is not complete, but it’s close. Prior starting this endeavor, there were only 4 classes on which I had not found at least 1 hidden appearance (Demonhunter, Mage, Priest, and Warrior) prior to BfA’s launch. Meaning that on the other 8 classes, I’d already unlocked (or was very close to unlocking) the Legion dungeon, World Quest, and PVP tints. Between the base hidden appearances, the dungeon tints, world quest tints, and PVP tints, there are a grand total of 144 appearances. I’m only missing 11 of them.

Here’s my list of remaining appearances.

ClassDngn TintWQ TintPVP Tint
Demonhunter0/303/2000/1000
Mage1/30149/200obtained
Priest13/3054/2003/1000
Warrior5/304/2000/1000

I’m not in a rush to finish these. Though, they will be finished quick enough. The dungeons are the only real commitment because they have to specifically be Legion dungeons. The world quests and PVP will just happen as I’m normally playing on those toons. Maw of Souls is the quickest Legion dungeon to spam. Most of my toons can clear it in under 5 minutes. So that’s the one I use to fill in my dungeon count. To avoid burnout in the dungeons when I decide I’m going to dungeon spam, I queue for battlegrounds to break up the tedium and to also eat up time to keep me from hitting my 10 instances per hour limit.

Time Killers

Random thoughts that bring up songs is always a big amusement for me. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. With that said, I give you Time Killer (aka what is an MMORPG after all) by And One.

As the expansion is coming to a close, I’m finding myself being less interested in finishing up 8.3 items and more into mindless amusement of random time killing mechanisms.

What do I want to finish up on 8.3? Or at least, think about possibly finishing up or not. Or maybe, I just put this on my Shadowlands lull list. Who knows?

  • Do enough heroic visions on my DK to get the corrupted mementos mount. I’m over the half-way mark. I could probably just make it a weekly routine at this point. At reset, buy as many vessels as I can with the 2 currencies and run Horrific Visions until I’m out. Then do assaults and World Quests as I want to farm currency.
  • Get my druid to Exalted with the 8.3 reputations (he’s my reputation mule, so it’s strange to me that this late into the expansion there are reps that he’s not exalted with yet).
  • Finish up the remainder of the 7 day Bumbles achievement. I honestly can’t recall if I’m at day 2 or 3.
  • Pick a toon and do the month-long 8.3 bug mount acquisition.
  • Farm an alpaca or 2.
  • Do the Pterradax quest line on my Shaman. I did the Bee mount quest on the allie side, so it’s only fitting that I get the Pterradax too.
  • Farm some more gold so I can purchase the remaining faction mounts.

What have I actually been doing instead of the above?

  • Working on acquiring the hidden artifact appearances. I’ve got 30 of the 36 spec base-appearances. I will say that the disparity on acquisition of some appearances is appalling. For the hunter, you can simply buy 2 of the appearance. For others, you have to pray to RNGeesus and attain exalted reps. Or, you have to jump through ridiculous hoops and then pray to RNGeesus. I will get them all, and I will hate Blizzard a little more because of it. Regarding the Dungeon/WQ/PVP tints, I’ve got a smattering of them across many classes.
  • Fight club… er… I mean Brawler’s Guild. I got to rank 8 and did the amusing murder mystery quest line. At current gear levels, many of the Brawler’s Guild fights can be cheesed. However, even cheesing it, there’s some fights that are a major pain in the butt. Mechanics matter even at iLvl 465 with 145 corruption.
  • Random transmog runs. Molten Core and Black Wing Lair sets on a couple of classes to name a few.
  • Playing Fall Guys and Animal Crossings. After completing Carrion, I wanted another easily playable time waster to saddle up next to Animal Crossings. Fall Guys is great. Plus, it is freaking adorable (and infuriating too, but endearingly so).

Honestly, I had grander ideas for this post. I just am having a hard time putting much effort into writing about WoW or gaming in general. Between the pandemic curtailing most of the activities I enjoy in my off-time and my state (as well as the neighboring states) being on fire and making the air-quality hazardous, it’s just really hard to get excited.

Of Covenants and Ripcords

When this expansion was first announced I thought I would have fun figuring out what covenants I wanted to put my toons in. At first, I thought that covenants fit thematically with class. In my mind… Druids, Monks, and Shamans are obviously Night Fae. Mages and Paladins are obviously Kyrian. Then, it all fell apart after that.

So what did I do? I put together a spreadsheet and listed the classes, specs, and which covenants I thought they would best be represented in. My apologies for not using MS Paint (the superior presentation application, but I’m not Dratnos. I have to work within my skill sets). Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments if you think I might want to reconsider a spec’s associated covenant. I am looking forward to that kind of input.

where-in my brain vomits ideas on covenants for classes/specs…..

Trial of Style Laughs

The other night I took place in the Trial of Style for the first time EVER since it’s inception. It was a lot of fun and I got to see a lot of both amazing and trolling mogs. One of the themes was “Ready for Battle.” I submit to you my gnome rogue (who normally is running around nekkid) wearing green rags and dual wielding the Stinkrot Smasher. Obviously, I was trolling with this mog. It made enough folks laugh that I got 2nd place with it.

Over 2 nights, I was able to get all the mogs for each armor type. Currently there are 3 sets for all 4 armor types. Seasons 1, 2, and 4 were the only seasons that gave armor ensembles. The other seasons gave a shirt and in-contest consumable vanity items. I was also able to win 1st place on a few toons to be able to buy the Fashionable Undershirt. It is similar to Precious’ Ribbon, in that when you wear it you have a cosmetic buff (“Fashionable” for the Trial of Style shirt and “Best in Show” for the shirt from Precious).

Smile Transmogrification

I’m not going to lie here. I’m more than a little excited with the artifact transmog news going around. The spec limitation is gone.

If you’re a BM hunter that wants to use Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners (MM artifact) as your weapon mog, you’ll be able to in the pre-patch (9.0). If you’re a shaman that loves the Doomhammer (or even its off-hands), but doesn’t play enhancement, you’ll be able to use them.

I logged into the 9.0 PTR and tested the limitations. While I didn’t get screenshots of the hunter situation, I can confirm that BM hunters can chose Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners in your “Bows” section of the transmog interface. However, you cannot find it in the “Legion Artifact” section unless you’re in MM spec. While the “Legion Artifact” section still allows you to use artifacts of your current spec regardless of weapon type equipped, the actual weapon types (Bows, Polearms, Swords, etc.) follow the same rules we’re all used to. Every artifact main-hand and off-hand item has been added to its proper category (as well as still being in the Legion Artifacts section).

To really put this to the test, I hopped onto my shaman (restoration) that has a staff equipped. In the transmog interface, the only options I could find are the 2-hand Axes, 2-hand Maces, Staves, and Legion Artifacts. In order to use a 1-hand Mace and Shield transmog on top of a staff, I had to choose Legion Artifact and pick an appearance of Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides (restoration artfiact). You cannot use the elemental fist/shield artifact combo nor the enhancement dual-mace artifact combo on top of a 2-hand weapon.

Restoration shaman with a staff can only use a mace/shield mog if they choose the restoration artifact. Otherwise, 2-hand transmogs are the only option. Here I’m using Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides (restoration artifact) on a staff.

When I equipped a fist weapon and a shield, the main-hand options changed to 1-hand Axes, 1-hand Maces, Fist Weapons, and Legion Artifacts. The off-hand option was only Shields.

If you select Legion Artifact, the only options available are the different tints of Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides. The elemental fist/shield artifact combo and the enhancement dual-mace artifact combo were not available.

If you select 1-hand Maces, you can select enhancement’s Doomhammer or Fury of the Stonemother (Doomhammer’s magma off-hand mace). If you select Fist Weapon, you case select elemental’s Fist of Ra-den. For the shield, The Highkeeper’s Ward (Fist of Ra-den’s shield) is an option. Meaning, if you equip the correct weapons/off-hands, you can use the enhancement and/or elemental artifacts as restoration.

Restoration shaman can use the 1-hand main-hand and shield mogs from enhancement and elemental only if they equip a 1-hand weapon and a shield. Here I’m using Fury of the Stonemother and The Highkeeper’s Ward on a fist weapon and a shield.

This combination of magma mace and firey shield is something that I’ve wanted to be able to use on my Ele/Resto shaman since I learned of them during WoD. The happiness is very real and immense. No transmog is needed to show the smile I’m sporting.

Carrion Review

Last night I finished the play through of Carrion. It was a great diversion from WoW and Animal Crossings: New Horizons.

The story is pretty minimal. You’re a blob. You learn how you came to be. You kill the scientists that have made you suffer and kill the security guards that try to kill you.

Learning to play is pretty straight-forward too. When you start a new game, it walks you through basic movement and slowly introduces you to your abilities. One of the mechanics of this game that I absolutely loved was how your total health and abilities change based on your mutation level (size) and what content you have completed. Everything is additive.

If you’re great at memorizing HUGE maps, you’ll complete the game in a couple of hours. If not, well, it depends on how lucky you are at stumbling across the correct way and/or how stubborn you are about not looking up the zone maps online. The maps at Gameplay Tips are nicely detailed. Click on a map and you get a nice high-res map made from screen grabs. There’s a LOT of maps to remember. This means you either need to start sketching your own from the moment you start playing, or just use someone else’s work that was published for your benefit. There’s no in-game map. There is an in-game scoreboard, so you can tell what zones you should revisit. Just pull out your handy map and head to whatever zones you haven’t completely destroyed.

All said and done, I really loved the game. It’s pacing, its story (or lack thereof), its controls, its pixilated gore, and its twist of an ending. It’s solidly a 5 of 5.

Faceless Fun

I’m not sure how I feel about the new WordPress editor. There’s some limitations to it that I don’t like. Whether these are true limitations, or I just haven’t found the editor option yet, are still to be seen. If I’m not able to directly tweak the HTML on my posts, I’m going to be a very sad panda. I don’t like how WP renders the HTML for some items (note: sometime during my revisions I found the code editor, but I’m still unsure about this new interface overall because some tweaks are not possible with my current understanding of it). Regardless though, let’s get on with the newest news (some of which is a bit stale since it’s 2 weeks old).

Recently, I watched Markiplier do a bit of a play through of Carrion by Phobia Game Studio and I was absolutely fascinated and engrossed (or was that just grossed-out?). I think WoW’s 8.3 patch has me completely enthralled with anything that resembles tentacled-old-god-looking blobs, because I simply had to have and play this game.

It’s an interesting horror-game. It’s got your mindless killings and it’s got a surprise twist to it with a story that slowly unfolds as the blob makes its way to full-sentience. I won’t give away any spoilers, because 1. I’m not 100% certain I know the ending of the story and 2. I’m still playing it and learning. I’m having a blast with it.

In WoW news, I’ve done it! I’ve beaten 8.3! I finally got the Mad World achievement. I still need to farm a boatload of Corrupted Mementos so that I can buy the Wicked Swarmer mount. However, I can choose to do that at my own pace without worry about the pre-patch pulling the rug out from under me (still have to get the Alliance Bumbles pet, Horde Pterodax mount, Uldum bug mount, and Friendly Alpaca mount too). I’ve also purchased me and my honey the Mighty Caravan Brutasaur, giving us the Conspicuous Consumption Feat of Strength achievement. Yes, 10 million gold. It was a slog to build up. I NEVER want to do that again. EVER!

At the beginning of August, I did a 5-mask solo of Orgrimmar on my decently geared (iLvl 466, Twilight Devastation rank 3, Severe rank 2) Orc Deathknight. It was my first 5-mask completion ever, giving me The Most Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar and Symphony of Masks achievements. It also gave me a new set of 470 gloves with Racing Pulse rank 3.

The next week, I just couldn’t pull off a 5-mask solo of Stormwind. If I was smart, I would have done a 4-mask run so that I could get my free core and a piece of iLvl 465 gear. I was just so frantic and frustrated, that I blew through all my Vessels with nothing to show for it. However, I was able to get into a partied 5-mask run on my Night Elf Druid, which gave me Through the Depths of Visions and the Black Serpent of N’Zoth mount.

This week, I did it. I soloed a 5-mask run in Stormwind on my decently geared (iLvl 467, Twilight Devastation rank 3, Severe rank 2, Racing Pulse rank 3) Orc Deathknight. I used all 3 orbs and my cheat death (I had a LOT of bad RNG on the Shaw fight), but it’s over. Finally! I have my The Most Horrific Vision of Stormwind and Mad World achievements and my nifty the Faceless One title (which I think I’ll use on my shadow priests, or any transmogs that fully obscure the face).

I’ve been comfortable running 4-mask visions since the middle of May, but that 5th mask is just BRUTAL! If you’re doing multi-mask runs, but not a 5-mask leave either Faceless Mask of the Long Night (reduces your maximum sanity to 65% of normal) or Faceless Mask of the Daredevil (increases sanity losses from creatures by 125%) off. In other words, NEVER combine those 2 masks unless you’re doing a 5-mask run. When doing a 4-mask run, I’d always leave daredevil off. When doing 3-mask or lower, I’d always leave daredevil and long night off. Once you hit cloak level 15 and get your Titan Research Panel filled out, 2/3/4-mask runs should be very doable.

Here’s my Unholy Deathknight setup for Visions:

  • Talents:
    – All Will Serve (extra pet dps helps a lot for movement-heavy fights)
    – Ebon Fever (gives your pestilence a bit of burst)
    – Asphyxiate (an extra interrupt for non-boss casters)
    – Soul Reaper (quick extra runes for burst)
    – Wraith Walk (speed is good)
    – Epidemic (round up lots of non-elites and use them as bombs on elites)
    – Unholy Frenzy (mini-Bloodlust… kinda… sorta… )
  • Azerite Essences:
    – Vision of Perfection [major, rank 3] (randomly spawns more pets)
    – Essence of the Focusing Iris [rank 3] (haste)
    – Memory of Lucid Dreams [rank 3] (reduced spell cost, heals, and vers)
    – Breath of the Dying [rank 3] (+10 corruption resist, damage/heal proc)
  • Azerite Traits:
    – Magus of the Dead (1, Helm)
    – Festermight (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Helchains (1, Shoulder)
    – Elemental Whirl (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Last Surprise (1, Helm)
    – Heed My Call (1, Helm)
    – Vampiric Speed (1, Helm)
    – Bulwark of the Masses (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Retaliatory Fury (1, Chest)
  • Enchants:
    – Weapon: Rune of the Fallen Crusader
    – Rings: Accord of Versatility
    – Gems: 3 Versatile Dark Opal
    note: I PVP a lot, so versatility is good to stack for Unholy… also great stat for Blood tanking. You might want to go with Critical Strike if you don’t PVP and don’t use some of the same gear for tanking.
  • Trinkets:
    Awakened Alchemist Stone [iLvl 455] (I will use Abyssal Healing potions from time to time in my runs. This makes them really pack a punch. Plus it’s more Versatility.)
    Writhing Segment of Drest’agath [iLvl 445] (A dps trinket that helps in both single target and multi-target scenarios.)