Day Fifty-Eight - 27 March 2011

First I must confess how much I HATE the helm I earned in Nagrand. I loved my Underworld Helm. It didn't match my Fel Iron Plate, like the Jade Warrior Pauldrons, but it made me smile. Then in Nagrand, I got the Clefthoof Helm. It had better stats and I tell myself that look is not more important to me than function, right? But damn if I didn't feel a twinge ever time I saw how UGLY that helmet was. I really was hoping to get a better helmet soon.

Kallixta and the Ugly Helmet

Anyway, Kallixta spent part of Sunday finishing up some quests in Nagrand and earning a bunch of nice blues that I barely bothered to look at. I had the bag space and didn't need to sell right away nor was my gear a problem that I needed to upgrade. So I postponed making any decisions. I got my Ding 68 and decided I would immediately leave Outland and run for Northrend.

Well, I hopped on the flight path to the Dark Portal, minimized and stepped away from the computer. A few hours later, I followed up. I finally remembered I wanted some screen shots. The first one I made was me, on my griffon, in front of the Dark Portal saying goodbye to Outland. Sounds like a good idea, right? Except I didn't take into account all the changes on the screen. I have a much bigger screen on the new computer and I happened to have things zoomed out to see the whole portal better. And the result is you can't see Kallixta! Well, I sorta can, but seriously?

Can you spot the Paladin?

Next, I clear out my bags and select what loot to keep. I decide not to break the Fel Iron Plate set. Nothing was a clear upgrade and damnit I LIKE how Kallixta looks. She's got a new shield  and cool sword and I remembered to use my blacksmithing to add sockets and gem a few things. However, nobody is bothering to make simple Outland gems. Obviously I don't really need them and will upgrade these things soon with, hopefully, new Northrend items, but there's a bit of me that wants to plug something in my new slots. It took a while to find something useful that wasn't too expensive. Seriously, it took a LOT LONGER to find anything. Finally I found somebody had put up some Champion's Huge Citrine for just over 1g each and I grabbed them. What have others done? It's not like I have a Jewelcrafting alt on this server. I suppose I might have bought a raw gem and begged a guildie to make something useful, but I didn't bother. These will do.

So since I was at the Auction House, grabbing gems, I also looked at BOE Helmets. That's right, I spent 5g on a helmet that isn't much of an upgrade, but that doesn't annoy me to look at. I'm certain my impatience will be rewarded appropriately. If I could wait two more levels, I could make my own Cobalt Helm! I don't have a jewelcrafter, but Martuska is an enchanter, so it was no trouble sending a chest enchantment, but the weapon enchant she makes is Fiery, and I make too much profit to waste one on myself! After all that, here is how Kallixta now looks at level 68

I'd like to mention a few changes I've noticed since Wrath first opened and Martuska journeyed her way north. First on arriving at Howling Fjord, the flight path already has Dalaran. I didn't have to buy a port or explore anything. I just hopped on the griffon and flew. Do y'all remember the difficulties at first?

Next thing is on arriving at the Dalaran landing, I bought my Cold Weather Flying for 500g and Flight Master's License for another 250g. I'd only recently upgraded from Burning Crusade, remember. When I realized I was getting close to needing WOTLK, I found it cheaper to purchase both Wrath and Cata for $68 and be done with it. Consequently, I only needed to spend 750g compared to all the agony of prior purchases. Martuska (on my kids' account) had purchased Tome of Cold Weather Flight a year ago to make things easier on that account. At least she had a good discount with Kirin Tor before spending all that money.

A third change, sitting on Krasus' Landing is Jean Pierre Poulain, waiting to give you a free ride to the Argent Tournament. So I took it. There is nothing available for a level 68, but I no longer need to struggle my way there, as I did on Martuska. In fact, once there I realized I should just fly back to Valgarde and pick up some flight paths on the way. And mine some Cobalt should I spot some.

I first flew to Dalaran, quickly picking up Explore Crystalsong Forest before remembering Kallixta isn't about achievement completion, and so I tried to stay practical. I grabbed a few FPs in Dragonblight, Amberpine Lodge in Grizzly Hills, and Westguard Keep before getting back into the business of quests.

While I didn't earned much XP in this session, I certainly had fun looking around my new home. I even remembered to re-hearth while in Valgarde.

Day Fifty Seven - 26 Mar 2011

Kallixta is impatient with Outland. She's already looking forward to carrying the fight to Northrend and Outland feels like a forgotten backwater in the war Azeroth is fighting against its enemies. Nagrand is like a safari vacation and she'll return home with some nice trophies, but trophies themselves aren't important to her.

Before she can leave Outland, there was one profession that had been neglected that shouldn't. She can get fishing caught up anywhere, but her cooking was only 305 and it needed attention before leaving. One side effect of all that work for Hemet was a stack of Clefthoof and Talbuk meats. It turns out that just cooking what she'd already accumulated continued offering skillups, although things turned green before she was done. Still, now her cooking is 355 and she's ready to try  Northern Cooking.

There were plenty of quests available in Nagrand as mentioned before when Kallixta needed to drop some Zangarmarsh and Hellfire quests to make room, but she carefully worked her way through. She wasn't necessarily the most efficient, but nothing in Nagrand was really that far away. One by one the quest hubs went silent and the rewards started turning blue. Taken individually, those rewards all looked good, but it was easy to postponed a decision about swapping something in and breaking up her Fel Iron Plate set. She had her head down and her goal was in sight, knocking off quests and rescuing Corki.

Kallixta was bumped off before finishing level 68 as my boys had scheduled Starcraft time on the computer Saturday night. But I'd scheduled more time for myself on Sunday.

Day Fifty Six - 20 March 2011

I sat down with Kallixta on Sunday morning with a plan, and like all best laid plans, things went agley mighty quick! I flew to Telaar in Nagrand, but only half the quests I expected to available. Slowly it dawned on my that I was still unfriendly with Kurenai! I had some ground work to lay and it needed to be done back in Zangarmarsh.

I returned to do a bit of questing around Orebor Harbor. It didn't take as long as I feared, although I was getting interrupted by "family aggro". I made Neutral with the Kurenai and broke off for a bit.

Before I could restart my questing, I did my Auction House clean up. The rare recipes I'd picked up were selling, as were the accumulated enchanting rods. I did a bit of judicious purchasing to keep those coming when I found an excellent deal on Cobalt Ore. It was incredible and I bought all I could and forwarded it to Kallixta.

So, of course, the next thing I did was level my professions on My Pretty Paladin. Smelting 303 Cobalt Ores took a bit of time, but I did some multi-tasking. Mining is at 375, the highest I can get without flying to Northrend and start my mining there.

Next I zipped through a bunch of blacksmithing recipes with Cobalt requirements: Boots, Shields, Legplates, Gauntlets, Shuriken, Axes. At level 395, the guide I was following suggested Brilliant Saronite Belt as economical plus they can be disenchanted for Dream Shards. Thus reminded, I confirmed that all my recent product would be better disenchanted than sold on the Auction House. So I emptied my groaning bags into Martuska's direction.

By the way, Kallixta stopped at BS level 405, where the next step requires lots of Saronite and more. I decided all that can wait until I get to Northrend, too. It really shouldn't be long and then I can make my own Eternal Belt Buckles! I will also be able to make Titanium Rods about then, too.

A few hops on alts later and it was Sunday evening and I could get back into leveling Kallixta again. One thing I noticed in this day was a bunch of stupid deaths. I got to thinking of myself as very tough and able to survive most anything, but it was still possible to get myself killed. I was trying to follow the stupid bounce from the trampoline to the egg nest quest when I clicked the levitation buff off and missed the nest. Doh! I also hunted down the King Antelope after handily dispatching the Queen Bantha and Gutripper, but I failed to notice how I aggro'ed the entire herd of antelope plus a few wandering elementals.

One interesting thing is I completely filled my Quest Log with Nagrand quests. It didn't take long to tidy, but it has been a while since I did that and usually because I was doing too many dailies. To better clear my log, I decided I'd just finish off those safari quests and I did. This meant a few new pieces of equipment, including finally an upgrade to the miner's helmet I've enjoyed since arriving in Hellfire. This thing does NOT go nicely with my Fel Iron Plate set, but at least it isn't totally stupid. I got a bit confused over the rewards for the final piece in the Hills Like White Elekk achievement as they all seem too similar. I finally selected Harold's Rejuvenating Broach, but I don't know if it matters.

There is real irony is earning Got My Mind On My Money when I really hadn't been expecting it. I was minding my gold from the Auction House and from Questing, but I hadn't given looting much thought!

I didn't finish to level 67 last night, but I'm not really too far away and I won't have blacksmithing distractions next time.

Day Fifty Five - 13 March 2011

This was another short visit on Kallixta. We spent the weekend spending money, including a new dishwasher which took three visits to the hardware store before I got in hooked up correctly. Another big purchase was a new computer. As a reminder of our situation, see Martuska, Laptops and Foolish Love

The new computer has great visuals and we made sure I could play WoW on it, but I still only one of three common users. This meant I only got online Sunday night and couldn't stay as long as I wanted.
I made another visit to Hellfire to fight for the PvP fortifications and pick up a few more Marks. I now had sufficient marks to buy something interesting. Despite having recently gotten my first relic, Libram of Wracking, I concluded that the best thing to purchase was Totem of Impact, in theory for my Healing spec. I've been giving serious consideration to exploring the spec sometime soon and that seemed to be at least something different to buy. With my happiness over the Fel Iron Plate and the frequency of other quest green rewards getting sold, I think it shouldn't be too difficult for me to build up my Holy Paladin gear.

Another thing I tried was AoE Grinding. This is something I'd done as a Frost Mage leveling years ago, and I have the tools. A quick check implied the Ancesteral Grounds in Nagrand would be a suitable location to experiment. Sure enough, I had little trouble handling 5 or 6 spectral orcs, as long as I spent my Holy Power on Word of Glory. My health dips a lot more than under my usual pattern, but never a worry. While all those dying mobs had Rested XP bonus, I didn't feel like I was necessarily leveling quicker nor was the loot all that great.

My not very scientific conclusion was to return to my questing guide, but when I see opportunities for a bigger AoE pull, to go for it. I'm just not going out of my way and only grinding that way.

Has somebody done the math on the difference?

Having good returns on my rare recipe posts at the Auction House (and reminders from Mhorgrim, thanks!), I decided to push my professions, yet again. My Bank Alt had been grabbing good deals on the Ore needed and I've gotten Blacksmithing to 351, opening up Cobalt and a few other fun things. The cloth purchased also saw me making bandages and First Aid is now 339.  Only my fishing is behind now and I don't see that improving anytime soon.

Day Fifty Four - 10 March 2011

Usually when I have a very limited time to get on WoW, it's spent doing a bit of Auction House. I thought this night would be a chance to see what I could do with Kallixta. I still have difficulty balancing my race to top-level with a desire to see different things on the way.

So what would I do with a few minutes on Kallixta? Well, I had stopped abruptly last time and there were a few things I wished I had completed but hadn't. Level 65, for example! I was close enough to taste, so it shouldn't take long. I had also been farming ore nodes to level my mining and blacksmithing, so another circuit around Zangarmarsh made some sense.

I had once had a plan to work on my BC reputations, but I've had second thoughts. The rewards aren't needed for leveling and they're too grindy otherwise. So despite a desire for that lichen shield, it's more like a distraction. There are more important things to see on this journey. The grind for exalteds belongs with my achievement-seeking character.

After logging in, I noticed I had one quest 6/8 completed and 5 minutes later I was ready to turn it in. Sadly, that wasn't sufficient to ding, but I spotted a Fel Iron node on my mini-map and after taking my pick axe to it, I saw while not increasing my Mining skill, I still got XP for it. So I felt like another round of ore node farming would probably be appropriate. Sure enough, after a few more nodes I got my level and some ore to work on my Blacksmithing. I happened to be in southern Zangarmarsh, so it seemed like a good time to visit Shattrath.

I had accumulated a lot of junk in my bags, so I sold a bunch of stuff, mailed some things to my bank alt, and found the BS Trainer. I did some smelting and then concentrated on my Blacksmith leveling. I completed my complete Fel Iron Plate set and managed to level BS to 335. I'll need to pick up the Adamantite Cleaver plans next. I've been making a bit of profit from the rare recipes I've been picking up in Outland, including things sold in Telredor.

I should fold up my tabard to better display my complete Fel Iron set with the Jade shoulders. She looks spiffy!

All 5 pieces of Fel Iron Plate

Day Fifty Three - 27 Feb 2011

Having used all my Rested XP, this was supposed to be a simple day. I'd do a bit more ore farming and maybe level my Blacksmithing a bit. I also had some idea of raising my Sporeggar reputation. I really want Petrified Lichen Guard, which only requires Honored. I'm doing fairly well and would have finished that, but I got a better offer.
Another Guildie in Outland asked if anybody wanted to try Heroic Ramparts with him, and I quickly volunteered. I had been thinking of trying normal Ramparts and was prepared to tank that. The new plan meant buying the key, but it was one of the few Outland Heroics that don't require level 70. Soon a Guildie was ready to run us through. I again felt some guilt. Shouldn't I be earning this myself? But I shoved that twinge down and took advantage of his generousity. I discovered I don't know how to play a supportive DPS. I knew enough to take Righteous Defense off, but there was little I could do to help otherwise. I'm sure my DPs was a tiny fraction of the total flying around. A surprise Fear had be pull a patrol and they quickly overwhelmed me, but that was the only death. I felt like it was my fault, but there really wasn't much I could do.

The entire dungeon went quickly enough and not only did I earn Hellfire Ramparts and Heroic: Hellfire Ramparts, but the three of us together meant we got Heroic: Hellfire Ramparts Guild Run, which was kinda cool.

I managed to win Truncheon of Five Hells, which I can't use until I level to 70, but the quest for killing the boss rewarded me with Jade Warrior Pauldrons, which I could immediately put to use.

So with everything that happened Friday  and Saturday, this just felt like a wonderful weekend for my Warcraft. Any one of these three days would have been cool. I'm glad I remembered to snap a screenshot.

Day Fifty Two - 26 Feb 2011

I had a good day, mostly free to play WoW. Kallixta had accumulated sufficient rested XP to allow me to race through level 63 and 64. It gave me renewed hope to get my paladin to end-game content soon. With the prior day's Burning Crusade run, I am looking forward to that day.

The leveling was mostly accomplished by finishing the quests in Hellfire Peninsula, including completion of To Hellfire and Back and moving on to Zangarmarsh.

With the remembered plan to have Kallixta poke into corners I'd neglected before, I wanted to gather enough Marks of Honor Hold to purchase some reward for myself. I'd been managing to grab PvP forts when noone else was fighting for them. I was completing my second when a Horde Death Knight decided to contest my presence. I surprised myself with my quick victory. I wasn't particularly prepared, so I'm guessing it's a tribute to the survivability of paladins more than anything else. As another surprise, the victory was the last piece I needed for That Takes Class. My battleground visits at lower level had accomplished all I could, but there are no low level Death Knights.

That Death Knight wasn't the only time a Hordie contested the Forts this weekend. One level 85 warlock had been deliberately camping the forts and sitting in place. I had ignored him, doing my other work hoping he'd get bored, but enough other Alliance players were falling to him and asking for help, that I reluctantly did something. I asked my guildies, as casually as I could, if anyone was bored and wanted to visit the Outlands. My guildmates are so responsive that I feel guilty asking for such a favor, despite knowing they probably don't think of it as a big deal. It was a short time later that I watched the first guildie arrive and route the Hordie. Another Guild member showed up soon after. I think the other level 60 something Alliance players where most impressed.

By the way, what do y'all think about the Honor Hold Marks? Is it worthwhile to earn a few? What should they be spent on? I can't remember my original plan, but I suspect it was for the Relic and I've since earned Libram of Wracking. I suppose now the slot in most need is a trinket, meaning Mark of Vindication. However, if I keep earning 3 or 4 levels a weekend, I'll be in Northrend too soon to matter.
Having finished Hellfire and before I really jumped into Zangarmarsh, I took the opportunity to farm some ore nodes and fly around Outland, picking up Explore Hellfire Peninsula, Explore Zangarmarsh, Explore Nagrand and leveling my Mining over 360.