I Feel Pretty

I didn’t use to care about how gear looked really (other than the fact I often looked quite silly in whatever I was wearing, regardless of my race, class, or gender). The old joke of dressing in outland greens seems apropos now, but back when I started playing I didn’t know what anyone was talking about, I was only lv15 afterall. I started playing the game in September of 2008, so I didn’t get to experience much of the BC-era at all. I didn’t even have a single character at 60 when Wrath of the Lich King came out 3 months later, despite having Refer-A-Friend triple-XP bonus and a ridiculous amount of hours invested in playing. It could be because I had made 8 alts, all of whom were level 50+. It could be that because I was a new player, I was going slowly and enjoying my new gameplay experience. It could be that I was inexperienced in the ways of the world (of Warcraft) and didn’t know how to power-level. It could be because I started playing the game to spend some “quality time” with my brother and father who also played (and had been playing for a year or more after 6 years of them playing EverQuest, which I never got into). But now I understand. Now I have Azerothian-friends with multiple accounts linked with Refer-a-Friend, 20% XP heirloom bonuses and Alterac Valley XP grinding to power-level from 1 to 80 in the span of 96 real life hours; people who don’t even need Quest Helper or Carbonite anymore because they’ve memorized their power-leveling circuit. I hate leveling now, but I’m getting off topic, back to clothes…

I don’t know when it happened exactly. It might have been the first time <Big Bad Pauldrons> dropped in Zul’Farak for me, or the way the <Imperial Plate Shoulders> looked on my Orc Warrior, or maybe it was the <Blood-Tempered Spaulders> (noticing a shoulder theme here, you should be, hmmm?) and the <Skullcage of Eternal Terror> welcoming me to the great Northrend recolor-fest; but I prefer to give credit to my all-time favorite item, the <Vestments of the Shifting Sands>. What started out as a “lets see if we can do it” excursion into the Ruins of Ahn’Quiraj became the origin the greatest dress-shopping expedition in female blood elf history (well, my history anyway). I adore this cloth chest armor even though I am a devout plate class and clothie-hater. The design, the color, it all works perfectly with my selfishly-attractive fantasy body. It may “work” for female humans, there may be statues of Night Elves wearing it in Dire Maul, but it was made for me and anyone who thinks otherwise won’t get to watch me dance provocatively in Dalaran wearing it and my <Mag’hari Ritualist’s Horns> and <Je’Tze’s Bell>

There is also my (and apparently every other Paladin who has ever lived) love affair with the 8piece Judgement Set. Tier 2 Paladin-only armor from Onyxia’s Lair, Molten Core, and Blackwing Lair. Sadly, Onyxia’s Lair has been revamped into a lv80 raid so I can no longer solo it, but I was able to pick up the level60 Helm early on in my many farm runs so now I’m just waiting for the 245 version for my tank set. Molten Core I still have some trouble with soloing, I must just be bad. Unfortunately, Blizzard has not seen fit to buff me into immortality (though I’m close) and thus I cannot solo Blackwing Lair. I have never cleared the whole instance, and I have only even been inside it once or twice. We downed a few bosses in a pug once, no Judgement regalia dropped, I was a sad panda.

From that unexected and profound drop off the first boss of AQ20 I have since launched a crusade that persists to this day to find the most interesting, beautiful and (whenever possible) provocative clothes I can find for my beloved female Blood Elf Paladin. I’ve assembled quite a collection with almost 40 bank slots devoted to Soundbound items that have no other purpose than vanity. This, of course, does not take into acount the dozens more bank slots devoted to soundbound items for their sake of being unique and/or irreplacable… and don’t even get me started on offspec gear, block-set gear, encounter-tailored items, trinkets, rings, GAH!!! It has actually reached the point where I don’t think anything exists in the game anymore that I want which I don’t already have. I’m not sure if that disappoints me or not. It certainly does get a little discouraging on the occasional trips to the AH to see if any cloth chest pieces are pretty and finding only 0-flesh-bearing drab Northrend items or items which I already have. Certainly I’m jealous of some older Warlock and Rogue tier/pvp gear which I’ll never get to wear that I think looks super-awesome-and-cool but I guess that’s the price of getting to be the only class that gets to wear Paladin T2 🙂

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