Once you’ve completed the Broken Shore scenario, might I suggest a trip to Karazhan. What you see floating above it is totally worth it! Join me for a journey around New Dalaran.
This is a series I’ve been wanting to write for a while now – a special tribute to all the gnomes who have touched our lives in Azeroth. Today I’ll be starting out with one of my favourite stories of a wonderful father: Windle Sparkshine.
Windle Sparkshine, father of Kinndy Sparkshine can be found in Dalaran. Kinndy was a bright and promising mage who was apprenticing under Jaina Proudmoore at the time. During the cataclysmic bombing of Theramore, Kinndy along with many others lost their lives to the evil of Garrosh Hellscream. Windle now walks the streets of Dalaran and lights the lamps of the city every night at 9pm in memory of his beloved daughter.
Windle also sells a lighter that you can use to light any other lamps and torches in Dalaran. It has the touching flavour text: “Shine one!”
The Sparkshines’ full story can be found in the book by Christie Golden, “Tides of War”. Their story always gets me, and it’s stories like these that keep me coming back to Azeroth.
As a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of Kinndy, in Legion, Windle’s lights show an image of a laughing and cheerful Kinndy as he goes around and lights the lamps.
Chest: Lesser Wizard’s Robe
Shoulders: Elder’s Mantle
Feet: Replica Magister’s Boots
Gloves: Exiled Dabbler’s Gloves (or the sneaky no-glove look as I call it)
Head: Regal Wizard Hat
Waist: Wastewalker’s Sash (Windle has a custom tailor because I couldn’t find an exact match – but this one comes pretty close. There are many others that look nice like Serenity Belt and Gossamer Belt)
Cloak: Mantle of Gnomeregan (His custom tailor strikes again… so I just went with the Mantle of Gnomeregan – hard to go wrong with it)
Tabard: Tabard of the Kirin Tor
I have been fairly vocal and blunt in my criticism of Warlords of Draenor, and Blizzard’s general decisions in this expansion. Decisions that caused me to leave the game for a while.
With a new expansion on the horizon, time for a change from all that doom and gloom. So without further ado, here’s my expansion wishlist – what would bring me back to Azeroth:
– Lore as the driving reason for game decisions. Story is important and rather than fight it, work with it. It really does make for a better world. I don’t particularly care if we fly or don’t fly at the end of the day – but I want a good lore reason whichever way it goes.
– A solid story. No more dodgy time-traveling, no more gaping plot holes that need to be hastily filled. All I want for Christmas is a well-told, engaging story.
– No more orcs. I’m really tired of orcs – there’s a plethora of stuff going on but the spotlight seems to be on orcish politics and Thrall’s life. And I just don’t care about it anymore. How about a Gnomish coup to oust Mekkatorque – we clearly need a better leader to retake Gnomeregan. What about the night elves? The goblins? The Tauren?
– A retaken and cleaned up Gnomeregan city for gnomes. I thought we’d be getting this in Cataclysm honestly so this one’s overdue for me. No, that cess infested irradiated patch of land we got does not count.
– A female leader…lead. I’d like to see any of them in action – especially Tyrande. She holds a special spot for my druid since I first started playing and I’d love to see play a major role in the upcoming story.
– More class options for Gnomes. Gnomes have the lowest number of playable classes for our race. We could really use hunters or shamans or even paladins (since we’re already priests). Any of those would do – more options are good.
– Lots of dungeons. One of my favourite parts in Wrath was seeing dungeons tied to storylines in each zone and having so many of them to do.
– Interesting Professions. Not trivialising gathering professions would be a start. But in general the stale formula of “craft this cd for x number of days and you have a shiny” didn’t make the professions feel terribly unique. They just didn’t grab me this time around.
– Class quests. I really miss them. First time I rolled a shaman I loved having to talk to the elementals and learn about each of the four elements before getting my totems. It was all about the journey, all about exploring a new class.
– The RNG nature of Stats on gear. Playing with luck is fun but too much of something is bad. It wasn’t fun to roll for stats – it was annoying and frustrating.
– Featuring a gnome in a cinematic. One of the reasons I love FFXIV is that they take my favourite race and treat it equally with all the other races. It appears in trailers, there are important lore figures representing it, and said lore figures are actually doing important things in the game. It’s time to take a page.
I’m looking forward to the 6th to see if anything on this list makes it to the announcement. I’m not quite sure what to expect but for the love of the Light, I hope it doesn’t involve any more orcs.
It’s a been around three months since I started raiding hordeside and that’s around enough time for me to consider bringing up my army of alts there. (I am still a gnome at heart ofcourse, and I always poke my raid team about going back to the alliance but hey, that’s not what this post is about.)
I’ve rolled numerous horde alts in the past – often inspired by the Warcraft cinematics I watched. In fact my very first horde toon, an undead warlock, was inspired by the badass murloc-burning guy you see up there. I’m the sort of the player who likes to relate a little bit to my characters – even if they’re only being rolled for something like profession purposes. And so I was quite surprised that when I tried to roll my alts this time around, I found myself somehow unable to play a majority of the horde races. What had changed?
This is a question I have asked myself over and over again over the last week. As a gnome, as a night elf – why do we fight? Why should I trouble myself with the Horde’s war on Garrosh? He’s not my warchief. What can inspire me to run through the gates of Orgrimmar on behalf of my faction?
I’ve thought about the story in all sorts of ways, looked at the flaws in Blizzard’s storytelling, and tried to explain to myself why the wrath of the Alliance has come to equal what seems to be nothing more than apathy. They are content to sit idle over Southshore, Andorhol and Theramore, so why shouldn’t I.
And then, I saw Windle Sparkshine in Dalaran.
Here was a gnome, with his stately white beard, who walked the streets of Dalaran every night at 9 to light up the magical city.
“His daughter Kinndy was Jaina Proudmoore’s apprentice. She died in the Theramore explosion, and in remembrance Windle lit the lamps with an image of his daughter.” — Tides of War
We are nearing the one year anniversary of Theramore, and in the midst of faction-balances and storytelling issues – it’s very easy to forget the little things. Today, Windle reminded me of them.
Theramore was awful and enraging to everyone. As an Alliance player, I felt immense anger and grief; as a Horde shaman, I was enraged that this was committed in the Horde’s name by the Warchief.
A father lost his beloved daughter, a wife lost her husband, an army lost their commander – and many more whom we don’t know.
When Hellscream’s end draws close, I will make a short trip to Dalaran, to a grieving father. He may not recognise this gnome in a blood elf mechanical suit at the moment, but it’s alright. He will know that when he lights up Dalaran for his daughter, there are those fighting for her and all the others who lost their lives in Hellscream’s madness.
Why do we fight? As an Alliance, I fight in the name of friends I lost to Garrosh Hellscream’s bloodthirst. And as a Horde, I fight to regain my honour.
Confession time. That screenie is actually my adorable priest many many moons ago. Before there was transmog, before there was battletag, and before there was Garrosh…I was horde. It’s finally time for that update.
This expansion has yet to be kind to me as far as raiding is concerned. I found a lovely guild at the beginning of the expansion but sadly the raiding team didn’t work out, and right now I’m back to the hunt for a good group of folks to raid with. I took the chance to revisit what I want out of raiding and what kind of schedule I’d like to be on. Turns out, I don’t like evening raids as much as I thought. So I’ve decided to change my raiding schedule to be weekend mornings.
As I was writing my post on the recruitment forums, I realised that there were quite a few check boxes I wanted filled: Light schedule, weekend mornings, solid leadership, semi-hardcore environment etc. And even if they check all those boxes, they need to want a discipline priest! So here’s the best part: I found a guild who checked all those boxes and could use a discipline priest. Egads. And that’s not all – the most interesting part is that they’re horde.
The prospect of returning to the horde side is a really interesting development that I didn’t necessarily expect while searching for a raid group. And so here I am wondering, is it time for me to embrace the horde in me?
I’m a little late for first impressions but this is a good thing. I’ve been playing far too much to have time to sit down and gather my thoughts on the expansion – and who would’ve thought I’d be having this much fun! It’s really what sums up this expansion in the best way for me. It’s just plain fun, and that’s something that was sorely missed in the last two years.
Here I am, grinning like a kid in a candy store, while I play a game I’ve begun to love again.