I really, truly, thought… That this would come at earliest tomorrow. When I completed all my Mechagon dailies and quests today I was sitting with roughly 1,400 rep to go before revered. This was inline with expectations and I wouldn’t have given it another thought. Unlike Nazjatar I quite like Mechagon. It is very reminiscent of the Isles of Quel’Danas where I very first encountered the concept of the modern-day daily and rep grind.

Well… Apart from Mechagon, perhaps it isn’t so ‘modern day’ any more with World Quests by and large replacing them.

But in any case; as I was saying — I wouldn’t have given it another thought. But just on a whim I went and checked out Pascal’s robot to see what I might craft. There I noted a ‘Rustbolt Gramophone‘ option. I had the mats for it. And it started a quest? Perhaps that way lay more reputation!

Spoiler: It did.

500 rep normally, but with the double rep buff running right now until the 18th — 1,000 glorious rep.

Although for a moment — this was almost more frustrating than just staying where I was. I had no dailies left. I’d already slaughtered most of the rares on the island. What on earth could I do?

Waiting for tomorrow — a moment before, completely reasonable and expected — seemed an intolerable outcome. This close, there had to be something. I had the Rustbolt Contract buff still on; could I do world quests elsewhere for the remaining rep? I didn’t even have to run the math on that to decide it was a bad idea though. At 20 rep a WQ (10 normally) I was looking at 20+ WQ’s to hit it that way. (22 if we want to be precise, I had 1,420 rep to go before the gramophone.)

In light of the prospect of 20-odd WQs, tomorrow really wasn’t such a bad outcome after all.

As I was closing the map though — I noted the legendary pet battle. I had been steadfastly ignoring these. My pet roster is not deep. I have some level 25s, sure. I’ve even done the odd legendary pet battle in the past. Some of them with ease, some… well… I guess it’s enough to reiterate I had been steadfastly ignoring these as even an option.

But I knew doing the daily WQ pet battle would net me 170 rep for the initial success (2x bonus, giving 150 for the battle + 20 for the contract) and a further 150 rep for the first time kill quest hand-in. 320 rep of the remaining 420 needed. 100 to go. Five world quests with the contract. Five was something I could tolerate.

Turns out though — didn’t even need to do ’em. On my way over, I saw some alliance heading into a cave where I knew a rare spawn was — but it was a full group rare that I hadn’t been able to solo. I jumped in, healed the group, threw in some kitty-weaving DPS and laughed my way to an addition 150 rep.

If I could beat the pet battle — flight was mine today.

Since you’ve already seen the top image by now — I’ll cut to the chase. It took me a few tries and I had to rework my pet composition a little (I eventually took in a Val’kyr and 2x Anubisath Idol’s) — but I did it. It was against the legendary version of Sputtertube. The main thing to watch for in this fight was that on his 2nd turn and every 6th turn thereafter, he would spray acid in what was often a killing blow (~1.1k dmg).

Once I started counting that out and timing the Idol’s shield for that move — he was a cinch.

And so… Yes! I can fly once more!

But Wait — There’s More!

I told myself earlier that I wasn’t going to go ahead and buy Shadowlands until I’d finished unlocking Pathfinder Part 1 & 2. Just as a sort of… check that I was actually somewhat committed to this after all.

That axe was actually a caster weapon (I know!) from Firelands — but it’s still a fantastic transmog.

You know- as committed to a game as I get, at least.

Hellooooo. Finished now. So I went and bought the super-nerd Epic Edition. Given it includes 30 days of gametime, there was really no need to consider the middle tier. It was either this one or basic.

I probably could’ve lived without the mount and pet — but the level boost? I love those with expansions.

So over on the right there is my freshly boosted 120 Warrior.

I am amazed at how different the skill set looks now compared to when I last really gave Warrior a try. So many abilities no longer require any range to use. And I’m of very mixed minds on this. I understand entirely why they did it — it will smooth out the gameplay for a prot warrior significantly — especially for the off-tanking warrior.

But… I was also of a mind that OT rage generation was an issue they had largely already solved. Long ago. So it seemed a bit of a needless oversimplification of the kit.

Having said that… There are still a *lot* of buttons to manage. My usual binds are going to be hard pressed to keep up.

But I’m also terrified of actually jumping back into the tanking-saddle. So I’m no doubt going to ease myself into it and run as fury for a dungeon or two (or ten), play closer attention to the tanks and then jump in. Hopefully with something a little better than the starter set of 390 greens you are provided as a boosted character, too.

No doubt there will be more on this in the future.

For now I shall leave you with this — a screenshot of how I was ‘flying’ around Mechagon earlier in the day. It was really rather deflating. My poor catform is being hauled around by the scruff of its neck by the anti-gravity device. … Still… It was even so a wonderous taste of what was to come.

Shameful. Glad this is at an end.