The Dark Paladin (transmog)

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The Dark Knight – or more to the point, the Dark Paladin – was an idea that sprang up inside my head after the latest update to Shuannas backstory.

She’s not exactly your typical paladin. Well, maybe she is – but anyway, I felt all gold and glitter wasn’t her. Someone who’s about to go on a genocidal killing spree of untainted orcs, once Warlords of Draenor goes live, isn’t exactly the kind of role model the young paladin trainees need.

She’s growing dark, you know. I thought it fitting to give her a new armor.

Head: Helmet of the Steadfast Champion (JP vendor, Shattrath)

Chest: Thick Obsidian Breastplate (Blacksmithing)

Legs: Sentinel’s Plate Legguards (HP vendor, Ashenvale)

Belt: Chromite Girdle (World drop)

Gloves: Masterwork Spiritguard Gauntlets (Blacksmithing)

Shoulders: Revenant Shoulders (World drop)

Weapon: Blackfury (Blacksmithing)

The headpiece wasn’t much of a trouble to find, neither was the legs. Since I don’t usually PvP – at least not on Shuanna – I was a bit suprised to find I had just about enough honor points for the legs.

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The chestpiece was by far the most complicated piece of gear. Farming the mats – 18 Large Obsidian Shards and 40 Small Obsidian Shards – required a number of visits to Ahn Qiraj on several characters with mining. I don’t think those obsidian statues like me much anymore …

The weapon was not as complicated, only it did take some extra effort. Since I’m a compulsive hoarder of “junk” I got lucky; I had all the dark iron needed and then some. The only drawback, of course, is that dark iron ore can only be smelted in Blackrock Depths – and 1 bar requires 8 ore. The weapon took 12 bars in total, plus some other mats (arcanite). It can only be made at the black anvil, also in BrD. My memory might be good – it’s also very short. So once I stood there by the black anvil I realised I had forgotten half the mats … wich meant another 5 minute trip.

But in the end I was rather pleased with how the dark paladin turned out. One can’t go around in Judgement all the time.

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Wrong gauntlets, but I made a ton of Horde

angry just standing there

so I’m letting it slide.

The Great Vest Quest

“You’re not going out dressed like that!”
“Oh but Siii-iis! Vassa does it!”
“Vassa is crazy, you know that.”
“What about Zavvie then!? She’s li–“
“Do Not Speak Of the Dead One!”

Cahanna listened to Shuanna bickering with the youngling, Zavessa, for quite some time. Eventually she got out her armchair by the fireplace, sauntered out into the hallway and said – in that plain, fact-of-the-matter voice she knew would drive her point home:

“Jade armor, Shu. Now let her get our water.”
“But … ” Shuanna sighed. “Fine then. Ooh we should never have left the Exodar!”
“There’s Nothing wrong with my vest!” Zavessa snorted. “All of the family clothies wear it proudly!”
“It’s … hardly … “

Cahanna chuckled. As she went back into the library she said over her shoulder:
“Jade, Shu. Jade.”

– – – – –

There is an item in the WoW database that eluded me for quite some time. There is a vest that all my clothies – from Cahanna “the evil schoolgirl” mage to Vassannah “the Desperate” priest – wears from time to time. It’s the Buccaneer’s Vest.

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Cahanna, doing what she does best – killing Old Gods with a single shot. Well, five.

The vest has never been that hard to find for me. Whenever I “needed” it on a clothie I just sent Zavannah chilling through the Stockades. Two runs, maybe three, was usually all it took. I was under the impression the vest dropped like snow in Storm Peaks – in abundance.

That was not the case.

With a measly 0.8% drop rate I must have been immensly lucky in my runs through Stormwinds troubled penal system. The RNG finally caught up with me when it was time for Zavessa to become slightly more well dressed than the loom she was wearing.

Her career as an adventurer has gone off with a flying start. Once she understood how to board a ship, she set sail for Stormwind. From there on she worked her way through various “contracts for interested parties”, exploring mines, weeding out kobolds – finding copper. She’s a smart lass, she qwuickly picked up on whatever advice her older sister, Savenna, could give her on Engineering.

“Copper. Can’t go wrong with copper!”

So, a combination of uneventful dungeon runs and mining brought her all the way to Stranglethorn. In Booty Bay, a friendly mage enlisted her in the Argent Crusade. As it happened she was in dire need of iron at the time – so off to Androhal she went. A mining mercenery priest …

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She did have some misgivings about the paradise of undeath, but a few Shadow Word: Pain took care of most oppositon. Eventually she ventured into the dread place. Eastern Plaguelands. by now she was full of bravado.

“I’m invincible! Take this you foul ghul!”
“Ghoul.”
“What?”
“I’m a ghoul. Not a ghul. Dimwit priestess … ”
“Yeah? You know the word! I say Pain – you scr… oh, ouch! Ooouw!”

(It didn’t happen like that.)

There are certain people in the world who really don’t like the Holy Rollers. Even if they wear Black Mageweave. Zavessa – so close to salvation and security, just a few more yards to the ever vigil tower guards of Plaguewood Tower, succumbed. Oh man, she really took a beating. A gargoyle scared her silent. A Plaguehound nibbled at her ankles. A bat frightened her so bad she had to run … into five other bats. And a Dark Cultist. All in all they really did a job on her. They didn’t care about the loot; smashing a priest to pieces was enough fun.

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Zavessa spent the rest of her career as a mercenary crusader chasing down iron and mithril – and doing her duty in places like Dire Maul, Razorfen Kraul and Stratholme. On the road to level 40 she even got a diploma – she’s now a certified Gnomish Engineer!

(Don’t tell Mother; Mother Annaeh still thinks Zavessa is studying! Most of the correspondence go through Vassannah and she makes absolutely sure the ancient draenei matriarch don’t know what the Exodar Sisters are really up to. It’s … a bit Wodehouse, to be honest.)

But the vest eluded her. The vest eluded her sisters as well. 45 runs later through the Stockades over three days on DK’s and shamans and warlocks and the desperate priest Vassie – I was still without a vest.

What the frack!?

Enter a friendly gnome warlock. Who, by sheer luck, just as I emerged from the murky depths of the troubled prison on Savenna the Shaman, put out an ad in Trade Chat, selling the “buccaneer set”. A few shispers and some haggling later I finlly did have the vest. The rest of the pirate costume was a mere bonus. I won’t tell you what I paid for it. Let’s just say it’s … about 4 hours worth of ghost iron mining. It was well worth the gold. Yes, the end of the epic quest wasn’t that interesting. “Västgötaklimax”, as we like to call it here in Sweden. Still, you know: Zavessa need to be properly dressed (properly is relative, ok!).

So! Taking a cue from her older sister Vassannah, sneaking a peek at her even older sister Cahanna, exchanging advice on gloves with her adopted sister Sharenne … and finally getting caught by the Elder, Shuanna, trying to sneak out dressed like a pirate down on her luck – She did get to fetch some water.

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Well, well, well, Zavva …

If you happen across her on EU Saurfang, give a holler. PReferably a nicer one than what the generic leveling monk from Outland did, while I traipsed through Chillwind Camp in Black Mageweave:
“U look liek a hore!”

Outland sucks*.

– – – – –
*: I’m sure there’s tons of great people on EU Outland. I just haven’t met any of them yet. So, sorry y’all!

A draenei in red and gold

Several months ago Cahanna was prancing around the fountain in Stormwinds Trade District. It was very late. Cahanna and her stalwart companions – a retribution paladin and a worgen death knight, who later succumbed to a peculiar disease in wich he was “racially changed” to a gnome – had been on adventures. In fact, I think they had managed to get Cahanna impaled. In Gundrak.

(It was one of those “let’s mop up old achies”-runs.)

So, there I – Cahanna – was. jumping around the fountain, the typical behaviour of a WoW gamers toon when “the Maker” is almost falling asleep and there’s not much left to do but to skip. Jump. Prance. Camouflage ones self as a blood elf. Or an iron dwarf. Or a furbolg (I usually take a bath in the fountain whenever I use the transformation rod).

Then.

SHE walked by.

I don’t recall her name. It was a draenei shaman. She walked. Wich was also one of those late night specials; whenever people are done with raids or whatnot they tend to do the silly stuff. Such as walking around. no one in a right mind would walk, unless you have plenty of time just to chill.

Whoever you are: YOU are responsible for the inspiration of the look of Savenna below. Back then I had neither the gear nor the addons. Much less a shaman. I just knew, when you walked by, that I had to have that shield. By sheer luck you, whoever you are or were, also had a helmet showing. It is indeed a rare occurance that a transmog set blend perfectly together with a headpiece.

I couldn’t forget the look for many days. Somehow it got implanted in my mind. The shield – a piece of gear that, then, was unobtainable for me. You walked by before patch 5… whatever – the one where old raids no longer required a raid group. The one where some mechanics were nerfed.

As I said, I didn’t use any addons (except Altoholic). A guildie tipped me off about Atlasloot. I was very relucant installing a new addon at first btu I went ahead. So, just figuring out how the damned thing worked I clicked here and there. I ended up in “raids”, vanilla raids. Blackwing Lair, to be exact.

There was the shield.

Oh, how I longed for it. Alas! The pesky first boss ripped my shaman Creannah – in questing greens – a new one. I never made it past the first boss. Until …

Savenna is a second incarnation of Creannah (who, for reasons no one talks about, “opened an inn” … well allright: I needed her spot in the rooster for a blood elf priest!). Shamans have undergone some changes – changes that just sat just right with me. The MoP shaman is just perfect for someone like me. Yes, I’m getting old. Reflexes slows down. I prefer ranged classes with just enough buttons to do the job in a dungeon or raid; that way I can keep my distance, assess the situation – and strike. I’m quite positive that the vrykul berserk in Utgarde would sneer at it; he do state, after all, “Don’t assess the situation, just jump into the fray!”.

Zavannah the Death Knight usually ends up in a horisontal position when she jumps into the fray. I’ve spent more time dead than doing DPS with her. At least in LFR. Not so with Savenna. There’s a certain charm to a massive lava bolt, you know. Chain Lightning feels like … like the emperor, in Star Wars. Toying with poor Anakin Darth Vader while Luke Skywalker does what a melee usually do: complain about his health.

It took me a long time to find the equivalent of whatever the shaman was wearing when she walked by my mage Cahanna. A long time indeed. It’s been a quest, of sorts. Finding that “epic” armor. With the aid of AtlasLoot and Wowhead I finally found the last piece of the puzzle. The helm. A quest reward from a questline in Shadowmoon Valley rewards you with the exact same model as the helm from Grull’s Lair. I was late to the party there – I didn’t know that, until … well. Today, actually.

Whoever you are or were, anonymous shaman that walked by a late night in Stormwind while a mage camouflaged as a furblog took a bath in the fountain … I salute you. You showed the world – well, me at least – just what we can do with transmogrification. The possibilites are near endless.

Savenna is happy.

Tomorrow she will probably dress in something else, but today – she is happy.

A draenei in red and gold.

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The transmogs used:

Head – Stalker’s Helmet of Second Sight, http://www.wowhead.com/item=31106, quest reward.

Shoulders: Fiery Chain Shoulders, http://www.wowhead.com/item=16988, craftable

Chest: Energized Chestplate, http://www.wowhead.com/item=18312, boss drop

Belt: Engraved Girdle, http://www.wowhead.com/item=10233, drop

Legs: Radiant Leggings, http://www.wowhead.com/item=12420, craftable

Boots: Radiant Boots, http://www.wowhead.com/item=12419, craftable

Wespon: Perdition’s Blade, http://www.wowhead.com/search?q=Perdition%27s+Blade, boss drop

Shield: Red Dragonscale Protector, http://www.wowhead.com/item=19348, boss drop

Transmog strategy and tactics

“Really, Sha?” Zavannah shook her head. “You actually gonna wear that? Or let me rephrase: Did you forget to pick up your robe from the dry cleaners again?”

Sharenne scoffed. She looked down on her clothes. From her vantagepoint there was absolutely nothing wrong with her ‘adventure outfit’. Pandaria could be hot as Molten Core and wet enough to drown a Kraken. Heavy robes was impractical in a climate such as that. Especially armor of the kind the Alliance insisted on; triple layers of heavy duty cotton, woven cloth armor upgrades and the occasional gemstone (not to mention smoking shoulders and uncomortable hoods).

“There’s nothing wrong with these clothes,” she said. “They’re perfectly safe, sane and I guess consensual. So, there. Besides, maybe you should take a look at yourself. What’s that – a bikini made from ghost iron?”
“It’s iron!”
“It’s still skimpy, miss I’m Not Dead Yet.”
“It’s practical!”
“So’s mine.”
“But that’s … ” Zavannah sighed. “It’s underwear!”
“Well well well, look who’s talking.”

Zavannah opened her mouth to protest but fell silent. She was almost about to admit Sharenne was right when a thought struck her:
“This isn’t ‘sexy wear’. This is a mind trick. Strategy! Tactics!”
“So’s this,” Sharenne said – and struck a pose.

*****

World of Warcraft is in it’s essence ever since patch 4.3 a dress-up game. Much like the Sims you earn gold to buy new clothes and spend even more gold on shiny bling (that’s epic gems for you). In fact, I’d go as far as propose that World of Warcraft is akin to paper dolls.

Now that I’ve effectively newtered every single (male?) gamer who thought it was all about stats and progression raiding, let’s get on with the topic at hand: Clothes, ladies and gentlemen (and that goblin over there)!

By chance I happened upon a must read-blog for anyone who’s A) in love with one or more draenei, or B) likes the wonderful art of transmogrification. Pretty Fly For A Draenei is a virtual goldmine of the most amazing transmogs. This is one of those moments I wish I hadn’t deleted a slew of old screenshots. It’s also a moment where I’m distracted from my actual work by a whole legion of draenei – most of them in really nice clothes. I guess that’s the downside of working from home; my discipline is at times somewhat lacking.

Anyway. Looking through the screenshots I have left following my clean-up mania I’m struck by how there’s more than discipline that’s lacking. Armor, for instance. There could be a long post about objectifying and the male gaze here, but I won’t go there. Not this time anyway. While I am a feminist, I’m not always a good feminist. Case in point: I like my skimpy armor. So, there.

Over time the bank and void storage has filled up with tons of items. Transmog revitalised the game in a way I, at least, didn’t think was possible. Before 4.3 we had to accept either a serious lack of stats – or go with the warsaw pact black-and-brown that’s the prevalent color scheme from Wrath of the Lich King up to and incluing Cataclysm. Mists of Pandaria came with a lot of color, wich was nice. Surely you know all this so I’m not going further with the ‘haute couture’-analysis.

There’s a glaring lack of armor in most of my draeneis armor. I pretend it’s by their own free will. The “Maker” has nothing to do with it. Ahem. Still, there’s a certain sense of Doom Is Coming Your Way when the big Bad Boss looks up from his paperwork just in time for the arrival of five stalwart heroes. Then one of them steps up … in a bikini. “Oh, this won’t take long” I bet the Big Bad Boss thinks. “She’s virtually naked!”

that’s the mind trick, you see. Take a look at any boss and there’s a lot of pent-up testosterone there. not to mention an often glaring lack of mindfulness of Current Topics. Ol’ Rag (or someone else) sees nothing but “breasts” (much like the poor sap in Coupling).

About that time Zavannah unleash her powers … probably with a snicker. “Never knew what hit him”.

(I’ve been yelled at by a tank once when I got involved in a complicated transmog debate and tactical analysis of the skimpy outfit; the other DPS was almost as fond of underwear in metal a I. We sort of … held up the run through I believe it was Grim Batol. Nice one, that other DPS. The tank was just like most tanks are; Grumpy. It’s possible the tank had seen discussion such as this before; after all – the tank was wearing the Saltstone Set … )

These are just but a few of the multitude of fashion statements I’ve made over the years. Sorted in no particular order but starting with the piéce de resistance: Creannah, aka “the Dark Shaman”. To be honest I’m a bit proud of this outfit (just a tad, I don’t want the Sha of Pride to come sniffing, we all know what happens then).

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Shoulders: Spored Tendril Spaulders

Chest: Dark Iron Mail

Legs: Ebonhold Leggings

Gauntlets: Ebonhold Gauntlets

Belt: I can’t for the life of me remember the name! Something something belt something.

I actually built this set from skintone and up. The belt was a nice touch, I think. I’m not overly fond of Wrath of the Lich King gear but the spaulders really made the whole thing. It’s a Cataclysm-screenshot so teh dagger is … something from Dragon Soul, I think. Or something. It’s a dagger, allright? It’s made for poking people with!

skimpy

(Don’t mention this image for Shuanna. She still don’t know it exists. You don’t want me to develop a speach impediment now, do you? She’s pretty good with her mace and, well, getting maced by a paladin hurts. A lot.)

I was once lucky enough, way before 4.3 came around, to own the (almost) complete Jade Plate Set. This was … I think around 2008, just a few months after I started playing World of Warcraft. Back then before transmog green items were still real cheap on the Auction House. As long as stats didn’t matter complete sets could be found for less than 100 gold. As far as I remember there was a lot of stamina and spirit once I had equipped it. I never ran dungeons back then. I solo-played. Stats like strength etc wasn’t that important to me. Look was important however. I died. A lot. With this set. But it was so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. That spider ate me, by the way.

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Shoulders: Laughing Skull Shoulders*

Chest: Bucaneer’s Vest

Legs: Cournith Waterstrider’s Silken Finery

Sharenne isn’t a draenei but since Blizzard in their stupidity has decided that draenei can’t be warlocks I had to adopt a human. Grrrr. Still, she’s pretty fly for a ‘naturalized draenei’ (she’s adopted, allright?). I ran almost every zone from Jade Forrest to Dread Wastes with this look. There was quite a fewe raised eyebrows; I didn’t even know Mantids had eyebrows!

*: the Laughing Skull Shoulders are one of the really rare shoulder models that don’t look like a 24-wheeler with a skyscraper with spikes and fire. It’s almost not noticeable … wich is why I love them. For any mage, priest or warlock who don’t like big shoulders they’re an absolute must – just like the Aurora Mantle (a clean, white and almost invisible shoulder model).

Sharenne would probably feel right at home with this:

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Alas, it’s not a warlock. It’s Cahanna, a mage who sometimes … joins the dark side. Notice the hot poker. On rare occasions a cloak can actually be pretty nifty.

Shoulders: Sorry, can’t remember. I think it’s something from old Scholomance.

Chest/Robe: Black Velvet Robes

Head: Aurora Cowl

The sword … Can’t remember, possibly a quest reward from (old?) Scholomance, but not sure. The Red Hot Poker is (was?) a drop from the inquisitor mini boss in normal Scarlet Monastery (I think).

This is one of the rare moments when Cannie actually looks demure. Speaking of wich, I ran around Black Temple with a few guildies once dressed in ‘lingerie’ … (Screen from an earlier moment in Searing Gorge).

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Shoulders: Aurora Mantle

Chest: Polychromatic Visionwrap

Legs: Pants of the Naaru

Headpiece (eyepatch) belt, bracers and gloves – those I can’t really remember. (It’s been awhile since I could actually play due to a sick computer so I’m relying on memory alone.)

While in Black Temple, typical friendly banter ensued. I’m the in-house confirmed transmog addict after all. Once we were back in Stormwind Cahanna had an epiphany. Well, actually I just wanted to show that blasted Death Knight, the banter leader, that I could be well behaved too!

She dug deep in her wardobe and ended up looking pretty bad-ass – but very moral. Almost too moral. Except the inherent “By hale Magefire be purged!” zealotry … uhm … Yeah. Sometimes even Cataclysm wear has its place.

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Those occasions are rare ones. Cahanna might be a good enough mage, she relies a lot on her draenei looks in order to survive. There she is, happily traipsing along some long forgotten path in Kun Lai and a Mad Yangol shows up. The war cry is cut short. The bovine brain can’t think of anything but … yeah, you guessed it. Evil schoolgirls.

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While the cruel confused cow blinks away the images of “Yangol Centerfold Weekly” (if there is such a magazine) Cahanna slips away.

Ever since they nerfed Arcane, she’s the Rincewind of Azeroth. I just can’t get the hang of Frost. Blurgh, as the water elemental said.

In fact, the mage nerf in Mists of Pandaria was the only reason I rolled a Death Knight. Once I’d lived through the harrowing experience of the more than cruel starter zone I found that Death Knights … was a lot of fun! sometimes you obviously has to be “dead” in order to live. Strange. Zavannah became my new main in almost record time. Not only that, she’s also the one I identify with the most (even though I’m very much alive). There’s a certain misantrophy in a Death Knight that’s just impossible to resist. As a bonus she’s a one-draenei army; She’s survived the most impossible things!

She’s a terror in an armored bikini.

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Shoulders: Unknown (blame it on a slight memory lapse)

Chest: Warrior’s Embrace

Legs: Cenarion Thicket Legplates

Gloves: Unknown (blame it on a slight memory lapse)

And for the slightly colder climate, the “wicked witch of the West” version.

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I’m not too fond of the Acherus starter gear but the cassock (or skirt) is sort of a favourite.

There you have it. An assortment of fashion statements. It’s hard to grow tired of transmog so for once the “GG Blizz” actually means something positive. All we need now is an expanded Void Storage.

then I’ll go really crazy.

*****
The healer, a priest, fully decked in cloth armor so thick she could hardly stand up straight, gave Zavannah an incredulous look. A raised eyebrow, a slight smirk. It was clear there was more than just Zavannah armor at stake: Light versus Darkness and all that. Politics rarely mix with mercenary outfits.

“Not much to wear there,” the priest said and chuckled. “You sure you won’t catch a cold, hon’?”
“I’m frost specced,” Zavannah said. “Immune.”

Ten seconds later the tank dropped his sword. As the group made a hasty retreat (“a negative advance”, as the tank called it) they blamed Zavannah. She stopped dead in her track, turned around towards the incoming minions of evil …

And slaughtered them.