Tales of Hynderia (or, Yoshi really likes Warlords)

So, uh… yeah. That kinda happened! Hello 2015, when did YOU happen?

Needless to say, I’ve been playing lots and lots of WoW, WAY more than since my last post. As of this writing, I have 4 lvl 100 characters: Yoshi, Phil, Kopii Yoshi and, as of a couple days ago, Hynderia.

Look at my awesome transmog!Hynderia's sexy cape and sword. Doesn't it look like RT!Excalibur?

Hynderia is a character from my ginormous OC pile I don’t bring out very often. Well, for one thing, she didn’t really exist before I started playing WoW. I came up with her as a replacement for Hikaru, my primary OC who normally takes on the melee DPS/tank role in MMOs (in addition to, you know, being the main character of the original stories she’s in)– however, because of the lore in WoW and gameplay limitations, it would have been impossible to roll Hikaru and retain her race and special abilities in any satisfactory capacity. WoW DOES have Black Dragons, and while they are (like just about every other fictional depiction) depicted as being evil, I could have worked around that. But there would have been no way to retain Hikaru’s hyper-regeneration, there is no such player-usable effect on a melee DPS character.

So, enter Hynderia. I think I made her right as the pre-patch before Cataclysm released (Kopii Yoshi also came about at this time), and I won’t deny that I had a little bit of Warrior envy after seeing my brother being all awesome and such. :) Hynderia began as Arms because, well, Gladiator Stance didn’t exist yet and I wasn’t anywhere near being comfortable with the idea of touching Protection. I didn’t really have a clear idea of what her story would be, just this vague inkling of being a “sassy, recklessly-curious but do-gooder sword-lady.” It wasn’t necessary to make her anything resembling Hikaru– in a practical sense, the only “standing in” Hynderia does is for the melee DPS/tank role. While levelling Hynderia, her background slowly came together, and my inspiration got a giant shot in the arm when my brother finally started to talk more about his characters; how Kiros is a high-ranking Alliance military commander, and how his own Draenei paladin Edira WOULD be a Vindicator if such a title was available to players.

Having, uh, recently watched a Tales of Vesperia Let’s Play, too, all of the above led me to draw some pretty interesting parallels. I know my brother hasn’t touched any Tales games so there’s no way he’d have done such a thing on purpose, but Edira reminds me a lot of Flynn in the sense that Edira is the full-throttle holy knight devoted to her mission and doing good, even though her methods favor working with authority rather than taking one’s own path. And, well, it’s kind of a respected Thing among Draenei to become Paladins, which Hynderia is very much NOT. If Edira = Flynn, then Hynderia would kinda be, like… a female Yuri Lowell. What if Hynderia WAS in the running to be a Vindicator-rank Paladin, but quit because of disagreements about practices and ideas? She wouldn’t have lost her basic combat training, just her Holy spell access (except for her Draenei racial, Gift of the Naaru). And, well, if the banter between me and my brother is any indication, Edira would probably pick at Hynderia a lot for bailing– not in an overly-mean way, but, like in ToV, a “you could still do good by coming back, you know” way. :P

Also I really didn’t give a lot of thought to transmogrification before, because at least for my casters it’s REALLY hard to come up with a good look (this is totally the opposite of City of Heroes, which Blizzard is somewhat attempting to emulate with letting you use equipment you own for reskinning), but with Hynderia I ended up jumping in head-first. As you can see in the screencaps, I went with something that’s resembling of the Maximillian set that Hikaru has, albeit with a distinct Draenei twist (specifically, in the shield). I was really happy to find a one-handed sword with a white blade and gold handle– extremely simple by most standards for awesome transmog, but it looks like Hikaru’s version of Excalibur. There’s still a couple pieces I need before I can call it done– specifically, the chest, legs and glove– but the Earthen Battlegear parts from Cataclysm will do for now.

Finally, the most important part… remember how I said Hynderia began as Arms? Well… in the Warlords of Draenor prepatch, Arms got tweaked to make it a little too awkward for me to play (and it was already pretty awkward, though that’s mostly me). I’d heard about Protection’s Gladiator Stance being very nice and performing better DPS-wise than Arms, albeit very single target-heavy… which I am okay with! Of course, I’d always been a huge fan of sword and shield with a DPS focus– after all, going way back to the original Ragnarok Online, Hikaru was a hybrid build that could do respectable DPS but also main tank very well– so I was very much interested in pursuing this on Hynderia. My own Paladin (Lesalia, the WoW iteration of my Star Dragon priest OC Leslie Due) was doing the “two-handed melee DPS” thing and much better than Hynderia was as Arms, so this change also eliminated the redundancy in that department.

Based on advice from this video and the Gladiator’s Resolve blog, Hynderia is now rocking the Gladiator Stance and it is SPEC-TAC-U-LAR. She’s not only doing more damage in general, and less squishy, and it’s, just… very Hikaru-like, I guess. It’s everything I wanted! Hopefully I don’t jinx myself and Blizzard ends up nerfing it, but… you know, even if they did? I’d still find a way to make it work. I just feel this is very appropriate for Hynderia to have, more than Arms. Bonus awesome: provided I carry a bunch of Tomes of the Clear Mind, if I ever get into a situation where I do have to tank, I wouldn’t really need to change a whole lot… just some talents and go into Defensive Stance (which thankfully has its own hotkey layout). I don’t need to carry a separate set of gear because the stats that are useful for tanks are (99%) just as useful in Gladiator Stance.

So… yes. That’s a lot of WoW talk. So much I’ll put everything else, including upcoming plans for this blog, in a separate post. Dioniss aca, doods.

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