For now, Sylvanas…

"Thou shalt have three suits of Lincoln Green each year, and forty marks in pay."

“Thou shalt have three suits of Lincoln Green each year, and forty marks in pay.”

In days of old, I spent my time in pursuits of a more innocent nature: hunting beasts for meat and skins, working with leather, fishing, cooking, reading, honing my skills with a bow, and enjoying my life in peace.

Many of the most recent years have, however, been filled with war. War against the scourge, the sha, the Legion, the orcish Horde, the mantid, the mogu, the old gods. Restless ghosts and corrupted dragons and beasts and humans and trolls and elves, and seemingly every other humanoid or other such foes.

I am tired of war.

I came back from Draenor bored, exhausted, and disgusted. I shut down for a long while at my farm in the Valley of the Four Winds, numbing my thoughts and feelings with drink and contemplating retirement from… well, I’m not sure I should say.

The dwarves and pandaren seem to have no problem handling their brews.

I, on the other hand, am simply a moody, cynical drunk. After weeks at the farm – drowning in suds – I felt no less exhausted or downcast than I did the night I arrived, until one morning I awoke and decided to simply stop drinking.

My life changed immediately: my outlook improved, as did my energy level and my ability to rest and rejuvenate. I ate well and enjoyed the company of my pandaren friends. I shed the burdens of slow suicide and instead took flight, revisiting some of my favorite places on that wondrous continent. I put together a new suit of armor made with materials of the color of trees, and burnished and refurbished my bow. My sister Anacrusa joined me presently, and we hunted together with teeth and claws and arrows; feral nature and marksmanship in harmony. It was a time of revitalization and renewed confidence, and reminded me of my younger days, before the wars.

Then, several weeks ago, the Burning Legion returned.

We each received a summons from King Varian Wrynn, travelling with Alliance forces to The Broken Shore to face the Legion, only to be forcefully rejected by Gul’dan. We lost Tirion; we lost the King, along with untold numbers of Alliance soldiers. We worked in concert with the Horde until the very end, but we were overmatched. Ana, who maintains contact with druids all over Azeroth through the Cenarion Circle, learned from tauren and troll druids that the Horde also lost their leader, Vol’jin, and had at least as bad a time as we did.

Since our return, young Anduin Wrynn has ascended to the throne of Stormwind, and the druids report that Sylvanas Windrunner is now the Warchief of the Horde. The Kirin Tor moved Dalaran back to the Eastern Kingdoms temporarily, and we accompanied Archmage Khadgar to Kharazan, where he searched for any knowledge that might aid us against the Legion. The result of his efforts has Dalaran preparing to blink once more, this time to the Broken Isles. I have never been there.

Lady Jaina Proudmore cannot get past her grief and anger at the Horde, and has, to my knowledge, left the Kirin Tor. Dalaran will be whole again under Khadgar’s vision, with Horde rejoining Alliance in that vaunted floating city, but Jaina could not abide the Council’s vote to make it so, and excused herself from our efforts. I am hopeful that she will return to us in some capacity, for I am certain that Khadgar is correct: we need to stand together in our combined strength, in order to save the world.

If I haven’t been clear enough thus far in this journal entry, I am a man of peace. I believe that most in the Horde are good, and I wish that we didn’t seem to be constantly in a state of war with them.

Furthermore, while I was a “commander” and “general” in Draenor, I am also a footnote in history. I am an adventurer, unnamed in the history books. I come when called, if I choose. I am loyal, but I am loyal to honor. I am loyal to those dear to me. I am loyal to those I respect. I am loyal to the Alliance, but ultimately I am loyal to Azeroth, and to the sons and daughters of Elune and the Earth Mother. I believe this is pragmatic.

The Legion has begun attacking Azeroth. We have fought off demons outside Stormwind and Orgrimmar, Ironforge and Undercity, in Dalaran, and in other parts of the world. So far they have been vanquished, but only temporarily; they soon return again as if arriving for the first time.

We have fought valiantly, side by side with the Horde. They’ve fought under Gryan Stoutmantle and the Three Hammers; we’ve fought under Varok Saurfang and Prince Galliwix. We’ve even fought under Helcular in Tarren Mill.

Last night, I was in Tarren Mill. We fought off the Legion and cleaned up the entirety of Hillsbrad. In the process of doing so, I revisited the ruins of Southshore. I had to pause.

Where great things happen no more.

Where great things happen no more.

Until a few years ago, this was a port, a town with men, women and children who lived and grew and worked hard to have a life. It was the last remnant of old Lordaeron. Sylvanas Windrunner destroyed it.

I have seen Sylvanas on several occasions. For a banshee, she still looks like an elf. A dead, cold, reanimated elf, who gave herself over to revenge and calculated, brutal destructiveness and cruelty. Countless innocent people have suffered from her particularly heinous methods of war. She didn’t simply bring war on Southshore: she brought the plague upon it.

The above photo is all of the evidence necessary to say these things with certainty.

Take note, Genn Greymane. Take note, Lady Proudmoore…

In talking with greener members of the younger races in the Alliance recently, I’ve found some who have a particular fascination with Sylvanas. They find her attractive and mysterious, both “hot” and “cool,” as they say from time to time. Some of these young ones are Alliance soldiers.

I find her to be none of these things. She is a Ranger General, and I respect her skills and acumen. They are necessary, and should prove valuable to the efforts against the Legion in this desperate fight for the future of our world.

She is an ally in this war. I will fight in concert with her. I will do whatever I can to ensure we are victorious. However, I must strongly disabuse those who want to cozy up to her of their delusions.

Southshore. It lies in ruins, fouled by stench and ichor and vile green pools. Its families are deceased – or, worse, they have been raised in undeath. Which is not “cool,” though it is most certainly cold.

(This does not excuse certain actions of the Alliance, of course. The burning of Camp Taurajo comes to mind, for instance. I am still angry about that tragedy.)

Today I am back in Pandaria, where I keep my hearthstone. I expect to hear from Khadgar or the Alliance any day now. I will go where I am needed as I can. I will fight alongside our allies, including the warchief if necessary. For now, Sylvanas…

But I will not forget what one finds these days at the ruins of Southshore. I will not trust her or cater to her like a blithering fool.

For, if we are able to escape extinction at the hands of the Burning Legion, will we celebrate together, and then work to mend the world and our relationships, and build a better future?

No, we will collectively return to our petty wars at the cost of more innocent lives, and the decimation of our military strength against future threats to our existence.

And I want no part in that. Wrathion be damned.

-Mushan

***

(OOC: Plans have changed, and Mushan the Marksmanship Hunter will be my first toon in Legion! I hope you found this post mildly entertaining… thanks for reading, and have fun!)

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My alt and profession priorities for Legion

The Dream...

The Dream… (Anacrusa)

For the first time ever, I got into the beta for an expansion.

I spent virtually no time in it. Frankly, work pushed me about as close to my limit in June as it possibly could, and I could never justify jumping into beta during very limited play-time/energy when there were things to do in Live. So the invite was, sadly, basically wasted on me. Hopefully next time – if there is a next time – I will have more time to be a contributor, both here and in the beta.

Anyway, I said all of that to say this: I know very little about the upcoming expansion. I have read some, class-mechanic, stat, and gear-wise, but I got basically no experience on beta other than some time on a target dummy about a month or so ago.

That being said, here are my rough priority lists for Legion:

Primary

  • Feral druid leveled through Legion, in a Loremaster-y – as opposed to world-first-y – type fashion.
  • Once I finally hit 100: world quests, dungeons, PvP, and whatever the class hall requires, in order to have fun and possibly get geared for raiding.
  • Her professions on their way to being whatever they end up as in Legion.

Secondary

There are 5 other toons I want to bring into Legion, in relatively this order:

The frost mage...

The frost mage…

1. Frost Mage – if my druid is my melee toon (and possible healer) for competitive or instance play, the mage may be my ranged option. Fire is cool too, but I love frost from a greater conceptual standpoint, and so far I am enjoying playing him in the pre-patch.

(As a bonus, he is also my Tailor / Jewelcrafter, which I get some value out of…)

2a. Prot warrior – I really respect prot warriors and enjoy the challenge of playing mine. As frustrating as he is to play in certain situations, I love this toon, and I want him to get his sword and shield, and at least see how the spec plays in Legion. So far, he feels fairly powerful in Tanaan, given his relatively low gear level.

2b. Frost DK – because his weapons are reforged from the shards of Frostmourne! Do I get to talk to the new-and-improved Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon? I’ll find out soon enough (those who know, DON’T tell me!!)… Heck, that’s almost enough to make me take this toon into the Broken Isles FIRST.

(But I won’t. But it will happen sooner than later!)

2c. Mushan (hunter) – because he is my hunter, and because I still want to try to live my fantasy of the class in a casual sense, even if it means not prepping him for all the raiding stuff, etc. But his stock is sinking rapidly with respect to having a fun gameplay experience, in my observation thus far this patch.

3. Ret Paladin – …do I really have to say?

It’s Ashbringer!

This is, admittedly, a tertiary priority, because I really just want the artifact – I don’t know if I will really be able to give much time to her. But, since the expansion will apparently be at least 2 years in length, I have time to maybe do so.

Tertiary

Off-the-cuff thoughts:

– I am making a Demon Hunter, just to check it out.

– Can you believe I have not ever played a Pandaren toon yet?

– Can you believe I have not leveled a shaman to 100?

– Can you believe I have never leveled a Horde character to max level?

– Or a warlock, monk, or priest?

– . . .

Well, if I at any point thought that there was nothing left for me to do in-game, I was overlooking a lot. Now, it’s not like I’m retiring from my job and plan on spending the next several years immersing myself in everything WoW before the servers go down. But I would like to tackle a few of these, if not all. Here’s what I have in mind:

  1. As noted above, make a Demon Hunter (the easiest, obviously, to get to max level at this point).
  2. Level a Pandaren Monk. Alliance side.
  3. Level a Shaman (probably Dwarf, otherwise Tauren).
  4. Level a Tauren Druid if the sham is a Dwarf, otherwise Tauren Shaman).

*Side note: I still have both my level 90 and 100 boosts. I may use the 100 boost at some point if I get one of these toons to 90, because I like the leveling process – I’m just done with the WoD process. But the 90 boost I may never use. We’ll see.

Other

I was going to try to list some other things I have in mind, but really that stuff is so far off anyone’s radar right now that I won’t. The above list is enough to cover me for activity into the foreseeable future, especially if my future schedule ends up allowing me to do some raiding!

I’m not terribly interested in Professions this time around. Let me rephrase that: In Legion, I’m not going to go for broke on maxing out each and every profession to cover all of my bases. I’ll get Ana all done, and probably the mage, and the rest may or may not follow. My main focus is one to two toons, and I’m determined to leave a few of my 100s on the bench this time. That’s an idea that’s a direct rejection of the ‘jack of all trades’ meta-game in WoW. I need to focus on having fun. I already have a job. I worked 70 hours at it last week.

The Wrap

Three months ago, my plan for the Legion expansion period was to make a bunch of new toons and level them to 100 without taking them past Pandaria / to Draenor, because I do not really want to play WoD again for a long time, and wasn’t interested in working my WoW endgame ‘job’ again in Legion, in addition to my real job. Now, I’ve got plenty of potential fun on my plate along with some energy to direct toward it!

***

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. 


I join the growing chorus

Anacrusa stops by the Herb Garden of her garrison for a photo while preparing to leave AU Draenor for Azeroth, July 18th, 2016 [Photo by Mushan, Petty Mirror Images]

Anacrusa stops by the Herb Garden of her garrison for a photo while preparing to leave AU Draenor for Azeroth, the evening of July 18th, 2016. [Photo by Mushan, Petty Mirror Images]

There comes a point in the lives of certain bloggers – people like me, who name their blogs after their main characters in World of Warcraft – when you start to wonder what you’re going to do about the name of your blog.

As of right now, I have no concrete plans to change anything with respect to that. This is Mushan, Etc. I will very likely play Mushan, the toon, the hunter, in Legion. To some extent.

On the other hand, I will definitely play my druid, Anacrusa – last my main four expansions ago – in Legion.

***

The news

In an announcement that is months in the making, I’m writing today to tell you that, barring ‘Cataclysmic’ changes – to MM hunters, cat druids, or both – between now and Legion’s launch, Anacrusa will be my main at the start of Legion.

(I've even changed her back to being my main on the character screen!)

(I’ve even changed her back to being my main on the character screen!) *[yes I know, I haven’t used my boosts yet…]

Believe it or not, this is actually a positive thing!

Wait, what? (You scratch your head, puzzled…)

Well, it’s been a while, so let me briefly paint you a picture of the last few months.

WoD was not fun for me. This was caused by both real life circumstances – my work volume since mid-2014 has made it nearly impossible to participate in group content – and by… well, the expansion itself was not that much fun for me.

With Legion’s announcement, I felt minor pangs of anticipation, but the slow creep of development seemed to have finally bested me this time. By February, I was contemplating the heretofore unthinkable: that I would keep playing WoW for free (thanks, Tokens, for saving me $180/year!), but that I would deliberately not purchase an expansion for the first time in 10 years.

I was somewhere around… here:

“I don’t have time to play consistently, but at least I will still be able to get on from time to time to chat with the few friends I have left who still play the game. And I can revisit some of that nostalgic old content that I enjoy, delve a bit more into lore occasionally, and not worry about anything further…”

A not-insignificant subset of my reasons for potentially going this route included the fact that certain people that I am close to decided that I would love to hear about certain beloved lore characters who are going to die in Legion.

Yeah. I shut that faucet off quickly.

When I found out about who I found about about, it ruined my day, and I began to think it was time to admit to myself that Blizz has indeed jumped the shark, and that it was time for me to get out while I was ahead.

For several weeks, I ruminated on this premise.

***

The hunter

Survival as I know it is dead, and its memory is being partially forced into Marksmanship, and partially split off into a different hunter fantasy: the melee hunter. As such, Mushan – a long-time SV/MM hunter – doesn’t know whether he knows everything now, or, alternatively, nothing anymore (“Me forget how Survival, but me also learn some old Survival stuff as Marks?” . . ah, fuck it. ‘Gameplay trumps lore/fantasy,’ blah blah, but that shit – continuity – is important to me).

Subsequently – and I apologize, but I can’t articulate it like other hunter bloggers have – I feel sick about my hunter. What’s happening to the class in Legion doesn’t seem right. The way the class is being changed, I wasn’t going to be interested in taking Mushan into Legion, without roleplaying part of my own class fantasy away from what it is turning into and isolating myself from others in the game.* At least, that’s where my mind was headed.

*Apologies, I know that is vague. It’s hard to describe feelings sometimes, as well as the personal way that one plays this game. I spent enough time feeling like crap about my hunter that I’m trying not to dwell on the minutia.

***

The druid

And then, one Sunday, I happened to dig a bit into the Legion beta feral druid. And something amazing happened: for the first time in years, I felt a love for the feral spec that had long been elusive. Something long-dormant welled up in my chest, and sparked my mind, and it stayed there – and it’s still there: druid-related excitement that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I’ve been playing her for several weeks now, almost exclusively. She is now my highest (modestly) geared toon, and she’s starting to feel powerful like she used to in WotLK… back when she was last my main.

The cat druid doesn’t seem like it will be THE perfect spec – that’s not what I’m interested in. However, I’m thinking of it as a spec I will enjoy both for PvP and, possibly, if I have the opportunity to get back into raiding again this fall.

***

The wrap up

This was rambly, but what I’ve tried to say, in short, is that, if it hadn’t been for falling back in love with my druid, I might not have purchased Legion. As such, it’s a good thing that I’ve switched mains.

I’ve tried to cut a lot of the negative hunter stuff out of this post. Why? Well, the truth is that, unlike a couple of months ago, I am excited for Legion, and it starts with my druid. It continues with certain artifact weapon quests that the lore nerd in me is excited about (along with other nerdy lore stuff that I love), and culminates with the possibility that I might be able to begin raiding again in the fall if the stars, both IRL and in game, align. More on those things to come.

***

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc.