Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Completed Seven Class Order Hall Campaigns

So I managed to complete my seventh class order hall campaign this morning.  They've all been pretty interesting as content goes, and I'm not sure that I could pick one that I've liked more than others.  But it's been pretty interesting working through all of them.

I wasn't a big fan of having to grind out the various dungeons on the demon hunter campaign (as I understand it, that also happens in the mage campaign, which I haven't done yet).  My main issue there is I never really did decide if I preferred playing as tank or dps.  I was questing mostly as tank, so I wasn't doing real well as dps in those dungeons.

My monk is still sitting at level 103, so I've got a ways to go at this point before I'm in a position to start doing much on his order hall campaign.  The windwalker monk has been fun so far, but I'm not in a huge hurry to finish leveling him.  I don't particularly see that as a class that I'm likely to do much beyond finishing the order hall campaign, much like the demon hunter.

I also managed to fill out the 35th trait on my weapon on the warlock, and I'm getting close to a full weapon on the hunter.  Rather than continuing to fill up the warlock destruction artifact, I decided to switch over and start putting points into the affliction weapon.  So we'll see how that goes.

Beyond that, with Nighthold opening today, the quest to upgrade your legendary is out, so it's important to grab that before you open any emissary chests, because the quest items can drop from those chests.

At some point, I also need to go back and work on the leatherworking and alchemy profession quests as well.



Friday, January 6, 2017

The Long-Term Patient Approach to Generating Artifact Power For Alts

So I'm going to write up the approach that has been working well for me in terms of generating significant amounts of artifact power for alts with what seems to be a minimum of effort.  While I'm putting this out there, I also fully acknowledge that this approach will definitely be impacted by the release of Patch 7.1.5, which is right around the corner, although in general, the changes in that patch may actually make this method slightly easier to execute on.

So here's what I do:

Once you hit level 110, don't do much of anything other than the regular artifact knowledge research every couple of days.  You can certainly finish up the class order hall campaign if you want to, although there are also benefits to waiting on that.

The one thing that I do make sure to do is the Nighfallen emissary quests every time that they come up.  You can do Kirin Tor emissary quests as well, but frankly those have gotten to be enough of a pain in the butt, that I can certainly understand passing on them.  Note that without unlocking most of the Suramar story line, it'll likely take you more than one day to do the Nightfallen emissary quest because of the limitations on the world quests available.  The good news is that means it'll be a bare minimum of time each day.

The rest of the process starts once your artifact knowledge gets to something over 20 which takes a little over 3 months at current rates, but will become significant faster once 7.1.5 drops and you have the ability to "buy" alts up to artifact knowledge 20 instantly.

At that point, go out and do the the full Suramar story line.  If you did the full 3 month wait approach, while doing the regular Nightfallen emissary quests, you should have enough rep with Nightfallen to knock out the entire thing.  If not, it's going to take you quite a bit longer.  At level 25 of Artifact Knowledge, the Suramar story line is going to earn you enough artifact power to fill all 35 traits on your weapon.  And it's a hell of a good story in the process.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Year In Review

So when 2015 came to a close I had just finished leveling my 19th character to max level in Warlords of Draenor.  I ended that expansion with a total of 27.  I'm a little surprised that it was only 8 more from the beginning of the year until Warlords end, but that's probably mostly an indication of how much time I was spending on garrison gold making over that period of time.

I also spent a little bit of time on other games as Warlords wounds down, dabbling again in Rift and in SWTOR as I looked for things to do.

I also started publishing more detailed analysis of Blizzard's regular earnings releases and public filings, both on my blog, and in a couple of instances on the Starting Zone podcast, both of which have been fairly well received.  While I intend to continue with that exercise, it's somewhat complicated by the fact that, as Blizzard has continued to grow and expand, they now disclose almost nothing in their regular filings about World of Warcraft specifically as it just isn't that material to their overall business anymore.

I've been somewhat re-energized with the launch of Legion and the new World Quest and Artifact Power regime and am back to being fully dedicated to Warcraft.  This is somewhat balanced by the demands of real life, which have served to somewhat reduce my available play time.  Even with that, I managed to level 7 toons to max level within the first four months of the expansion, and three of those will likely cap both artifact knowledge and their artifact traits within the first week or two of the New Year.  As usual with this game for alts, if you're willing to play a little bit of the waiting game, you can very quickly catch up your alts with a few tricks.

My plans for 2017 are to continue to level my toons until I get all 12 of each class finished and through their class order hall campaigns.  If I stick to the current pace, that should take me to the end of March or so.

It will be interesting to see when the XP nerfs hit this time around.  The unlock of flying will certainly make that an easier process (assuming it is account-wide again), but the real benefit from a leveling standpoint comes from the gross XP nerf and the ability to boost heirlooms to work until 110.  No world yet on when either of those are coming, but rest assured, you'll hear about it here with new expected leveling times, when that happens.  Interestingly enough, in Warlords, it was only 3 months between launch and when level 100 heirlooms were made available, so we're already past that point.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Working on Toon #7

So I managed to get my demon hunter to level 110 within a day or two of my last blog post.  While I really enjoyed it at first, the novelty wore off throughout the leveling process, and so I haven't been actively working on world quests on that particular toon.

I have been progressing his order hall quest chain a little bit, so I'll eventually have to cave and knock out the 20 world quest piece of that, but until then, he's spending a lot of time on the bench.

I've been enjoying the ret paladin in the world quest process a lot more than I enjoyed him while leveling, which seems odd, but the character just feels a lot better once he has some gear and artifact power.

My priest has also started down the leveling road and is sitting at level 105.  I'm leveling him as shadow.  I started out as disc, and while I was basically invincible, stuff wasn't dying particularly quickly, and rotation itself wasn't that much fun, so I switched.

I also went through a little exercise and finished the process of getting my first artifact weapon and unlocking the order halls on the last groups of toons that will be leveled.  That means windwalker monk, elemental shaman (which I may switch to enhance at 102...we'll see), subtlety rogue (I've never played sub, so figured why not, plus...he was combat before, and I didn't have a second dagger).  fire mage and fury warrior.

Of that group, the rogue quest line was by far my favorite, and the elemental shaman line was without a doubt my least favorite so far.  The elemental shaman artifact weapon quest basically wasn't something I could complete until another player came along and we were both hitting the boss at the same time.  #I'mNotLeet

So now that I've seen all the order halls, I'm not sure I have an absolute favorite.  I'm not a huge fan of the warlock one, which is kind of sad, since that's my main.  I also don't particularly like the death knight one since there's basically nothing at all new about it.  Priest, paladin and warrior are probably some of my favorites, just visually.

So that's the update for this week.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Five Order Hall Campaigns Complete

So I finished my fourth and fifth order hall campaigns yesterday, finishing them up on both the druid and the paladin.

I'm still not particularly enjoying either of those toons this time around, although I've been debating gearing them enough to get into LFR and just try healing on both of them in raid instances to the extent that I want to play them.

For World Quests, not so much.

Both campaigns were pretty good with really interesting endings.  The stories on both were some of the more compelling so far.  The paladin one seems to have a little bit of cross over with the priest one (which I haven't done yet).

Making good progress on the Demon Hunter. He just finished up Stormheim as his second zone and getting ready to start on Highmountain.  He's at level 106.  I've also been working on professions a bit more.  Joar is basically done with all the stuff he needs for tailoring and enchanting (although not maxed on either yet).  The DK is making good progress on blacksmithing and working through all the stuff on alchemy.

My druid is my leatherworker, and there are a ton of quests to do for that one, so that may take some time.  Paladin is making good progress on jewelcrafting.  The only professions that I don't have a start on at this point is inscription and engineering, and both those toons are pretty far down on the leveling list.

Priest will be next after the demon hunter is done.  I'm going to make him a stylish set of 815 gear and then level him as Disc just for fun.


Monday, November 21, 2016

The Angst of What To Do With Alts

This time, more than any other expansion, I find myself torn about what to do with all of my various alts.  I hit 110 last week on my druid, my 5th max level character of this expansion.  Rather than the normal excitement, I find myself confused about what to do next.

In previous expansions, I might start running dungeons and possibly even work on getting a particular character into LFR, but my play schedule doesn't really work for running multiple characters through LFR multiple times, so I'm pretty much doing the raid tourism on my main and that's it.

The other characters I'm contenting myself with regular world quests and emissary boxes.   Normally on my druid, I would heal.  It's what I've done with that toon since Wrath.  So I'm sitting there with a Resto artifact weapon and bags full of tokens that I can use to quickly power that weapon up.  And they are sitting there.

Because powering up my resto artifact is pretty much useless for getting world quests done.  And that's what is creating the angst and the uncertainty on both my druid and my paladin.  Because the artifact weapon that I would rather have powered up for world quests is not necessarily the same one that I'd want powered up for raiding if I chose to do it.

I should probably just content myself with the fact that any raid content that I'm going to see is going to be on either the warlock or hunter and just power up world quest machines on the other toons.  But it's causing me a lot of angst.

Next up for me is the demon hunter.  I'm leveling him as vengeance, because I've generally enjoyed tanking specs while leveling this expansion, and at least so far, the demon hunter is no different.

After that, it's going to be the priest, and then the monk.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fourth Level 110 Done, and Two Legendaries!

So I managed to finish up the paladin last week, and never really did decide throughout the entire process if I liked leveling as ret or prot better.  I kept switching back and forth right up until the bitter end.  For some reason, the paladin didn't feel as good leveling this expansion as it has for me in the past.  Your mileage may vary however.

His total played time to 110 was just about an hour longer than the hunter, and clocked in a 17 hours and 51 minutes.  While it was nice having world quests immediately unlock, I don't actually plan to do them on the paladin at this point.  I may change my mind later, but at least for now, he's going to sit on the bench.

The druid is up next, and I'm leveling this guy as a boomkin.  I went with the druid over the priest because this guy is my skinner and leatherworker, while my priest has the exact same profession set as my hunter.

I've also managed to accumulate two separate legendaries since my last post, one for the warlock and one on the hunter.  Both came out of emissary boxes.

I'm getting really really close to being done with the rep grind for Nightfallen on my main.  He's currently sitting around 18,000/21,000.  I'm looking forward to having that done and unlocking the new 7.1 quest chains for Nightfallen.  Once all of that is done, I might start doing the grind on my death knight as well.  Haven't really decided.

So that's it for this week's update.