Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy 6 Year Blog Anniversary To Me! (And Ding! Level 100 #11)

I managed to completely miss my 6 year blog anniversary, which was now over a month ago.  Shows you how much importance I assign to stuff like this.

I've managed to get quite a bit done in the last couple of weeks, though.  I finished up the Draenor Pathfinder achievement on my warlock.  So the Order of the Awakened is now officially dead to me.  Go get your own damn fel apexis crystal thingys.

I'm still doing the Apexis dailies just to try to accumulate enough for some mounts.  I also took a stroll through the new LFR wing, and got exactly 2 Tomes for both wings combined.  So much for the good drop rates that I was experiencing the first two weeks.

Also, with the announcement that this was the last raid of this expansion, I've decided there really isn't any point in finishing the legendary quest chain on more than one toon.  By the time I finish it on the one, I'll like be sick of HFC, and since it doesn't sound like it's going to unlock any special world bosses, or really be of any use at all other than as a "looky at what I've got" type thing, there doesn't feel like a lot of point.  But that will give me more time to continue to progress the alliance side of things.  Maybe have all 22 at max level by the end of this expansion.  Crazy talk

I also finished getting my rogue to level 100, and am now working diligently on getting his engineering maxed.  Engineering and Leatherworking are the last two professions that I need in order to have absolutely everything maxed.  I should be able to finish up leatherworking in the next day or so, but Engineering may take a bit more time.

In between all of that, I've also been working on leveling some more of the toons that are below 90 on the alliance side, working a bunch of folks through Outland.  The first of the Sub-90's are now officially heading for Northrend as well, so that was good news.

So it's been busy, but not particularly stressful.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Things I'd Like to See in 6.2.1 (or 6.2.2)

So I've almost finished getting my main to revered with all the relevant Tanaan Jungle factions to unlock flying.  I've got about 3 days left, but I'm not in any rush, so it may be a week or so until I finish.  I expect we won't see the patch that officially unlocks it until the end of the month anyway, so I don't think there is any particular hurry.

Finishing up my second week of LFR, both my warlock and hunter are at 4/33 Tomes, so we've been getting some consistency.  I've decided to wait to start working on it on my death knight to benefit from any drop buffs they might introduce later on.

I also took my druid into LFR to do a bit of healing, and that went really well, even on a Monday.  So far, Iron Reaver seems to be the biggest challenge in the opening wing, and that's really just a matter of not standing in bad, running out of the raid when you're supposed to, and not getting out of range of your healers.  People will learn.

So I was thinking a bit about things that I would like to see in later mini-patches, particularly from the perspective of an altoholic, and here are a few things I came up with (some of these are incredibly obvious).

  • Make all the Baleful tokens BoA - I'm fine with them not being that way at the moment, but later on in the cycle, it'll be incredibly helpful in gearing up alts to get ready for next expansion launch.
  • Allow the collection of Fel-Corrupted Apexis Shards even when not on the quest and in excess of the 10 that you need.  So you can save up for tomorrow.(**)  I hate you Order of the Awakened.  You're on my list next to the Sons of Hodir, Therazane and Emperor Shaohao.
  • Make the Shipyard equipment items available to all characters on an account after you get the drop on one.  Tanaan Jungle just isn't at all friendly to an undergeared clothie, so it's just not going to happen for a bunch of my characters.
That's my list.  It's not a long one.

I haven't been doing much on my rogue, although that may change.  I've said I was going to hold off on leveling him the rest of the way until flying gets unlocked, but I may not end up waiting that long.  I'd love to get a level 3 engineering building to make it easier to finish that profession.



**  From The Grump Elf Blog, one of the most beautiful idea I've ever seen for this!  Quoted below.

"For Fel-Corrupted Apexis Shards do this:

Turn auto loot off if you have it enabled. Now every time you kill something, rare included, you have to manually loot, but you will also never loot a fel corrupted apexis fragment off the body of the mob again. Leave it on the body. As soon as the body despawns the fragment gets mailed to you from our friendly neighborhood postmaster. When you are done for the day go to the mailbox, pull 10 out, turn in the quest. Everything left over is a head start for tomorrow. "

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The First Week of 6.2

So I'm looking back on the first week of 6.2, and I must say that overall I'm enjoying the new content quite a bit.  Blizzard seems to have found a good way to leverage some of the things they learned from Timeless Isle while really effectively encouraging people to group up to get things done.

In my first week, I managed to get my Saberstalkers rep to Revered, working with a couple of different groups over a few hours.  I also managed to get my Vol'jin rep to Honored and I'm making some progress with the Order of the Awakened folks.  They're clearly going to be the last to Revered.

So far I'm enjoying things in Tanaan Jungle.  You seem to have several different options for things to do on any given day and it provides a nice catch up mechanism for alts, although at the moment, I'm preoccupied enough with getting it done on my main, that I have tried running any alts through yet.  I'm not sure the content there would be as soloable with an undergeared alt, so there would be a lot more incentive to find a group in that case.  Or you'd be looking at a sad dead mage.

On Shipyards, so far so good.  I managed to upgrade mine to level 2 and am starting to work through the various legendary naval missions (or at least will be once the servers come back up).

I managed to blow through all the rares that I needed in Tanaan to get the various equipment blueprints in a fairly short period of time.  I still need to do the Whale Shark, but there seem to be plenty of groups for that these days (although I need to get that done before those dry up).

So all told, the current impressions are positive.  It is giving me plenty to do, and not something I'm quickly getting bored with.  I'm anxious to try the first LFR wing of Hellfire Citadel once it is out today and see how that feels.

I've also done a little bit more leveling on my rogue.  I'm anxious to get him to max level, because he's my last profession holder, and having level 3 profession buildings will make it a bit more efficient to knock that last one out.  So he's sitting at level 95 and working his way through Talador.



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Content! Faction Quest Hubs! And Now With More Boats!

So Patch 6.2 drops today in the U.S. and I'll be interested to see what the new faction quest hubs in Tanaan Jungle are like, as well as getting started on my shipyards.

I've sort of missed maxed level quest content this time around, so I'm anxious to try it out and see how they've learned from the various lessons of Mists of Pandaria.

I managed to finish up the non-Tanaan prerequisites for flying on my main, so I'll be pretty focused over the next couple of weeks on finishing up the rep grinds for that and also starting on the next stage of the legendary quest line on the three toons that I've been doing that on.

There seem to be quite a few new mounts available in this patch, so I may work on seeing if I can knock that stuff out as well.

Not much else in the way of updates this week.  I was away on vacation with the family last week, so no WoW was played at all.

The rogue is sitting at level 94 and parked in his garrison waiting for my main to award him flying to make the whole leveling process easier and faster (it'll be interesting to see how it impacts my leveling times!)

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Lot of Consistency in Leveling Speed

So I managed to hit 100 on my mage late last week, marking my 10th toon to get to max level in Warlords of Draenor.  The interesting thing is my last three toons leveled have all done it with full heirlooms and with full use of Garrison experience boost potions, and there has been an enormous amount of consistency in their leveling speed.

Here are the played times from 90 to 100 for the last three:

Priest:  12 hours, 9 minutes
Monk:  11 hours, 58 minutes
Mage:  12 hours, 7 minutes

So three characters with played times all within 11 minutes of each other.  That is some crazy consistency.  Now I will say that is at best a complete coincidence, especially given the amount of time that I spend just alt-tabbed out on the phone or doing something else while that character just sits there (these are in no way meant to represent record of fast leveling speeds given my play style)

But it still surprises me.  I only have one level 90 toon still to make the trek through the Tanaan Jungle starting area to be ready to go for the run to 100, and that is my alliance paladin.  And I may go ahead and knock that one out this week sometime.

Next up for me is my rogue.

I've also been going back and doing a little bit of work on the various alliance toons that are sub-90 for me, working both the alliance mage and the alliance rogue a bit through Hellfire Peninsula and a bit into Zangarmarsh for the mage.

So that's it for this week.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Outland Dungeons and Thoughts on Flight in Draenor

So after finishing up my monk to level 100, I started on my mage.  He's not sitting at level 64, having made quick work of Gorgrond.

I also went back and started working on a few of my alliance toons.  I picked up the alliance mage as well, who had just gotten started on Hellfire Peninsula in Outland.

I'm not sure what got tweaked or when, but there is now a significant difference in the amount of xp per hour to be obtained when running dungeons (which for me tended to run between 800k - 1.2 million per hour) and the xp from questing (which tended to be in the neighborhood of 400-500k per hour).

Part of this is with cross realm zones, there is a lot of competition for mobs in Outland, particularly named quest mobs, so you may spend a fair amount of time either waiting in line or searching for spawns.

The net result is that if you're planning to level through Outland, I'd highly recommend going the dungeon route as much as possible rather than questing.  Queues for me at least, were extremely short.

I did manage to get the alliance mage to level 65 and I may pick up the rogue next, who has also just gotten started on Outland.

So there has also been a lot of discussion in the community this week about Blizzard's announcement that there will definitely be no flying in Draenor.  I haven't weighed in on the discussion at all (other than a few of my normal smart-ass tweets) and I sort of feel bad for not having contributed at all to the discussion.

But try as I might to get excited about it, I just don't care.  Flying just isn't a part of what I feel like I need to do in Draenor.  There are no daily quest hubs that require a lot of moving around.  The Apexis dailies, to the extent that I even care about doing them at this point, all have easy flight point access, and with the introduction of the mine and herb garden, I no longer need to fly around farming nodes on anyone.

Frankly, if there is one area where I wish they had allowed flying, it's Timeless Isle, not Draenor, but only because I hated running all the way up to Ordos.

There seem to be a lot of people looking at this announcement and also the decline in subscriber numbers and pointing to it as an indication that Blizzard has lost touch with their player base.  And maybe they have.  Or maybe this is just a 10 year-old game, and there are more options than ever out there for video game entertainment for people.

As I've pointed out in blog posts in the past, this game is just a cash cow for Blizzard.  They're not looking for growth from this platform - they're just looking to generate as much cash as possible to finance the other areas where they do see growth.  Even if subscriber numbers dropped to 4-5 million, I still don't think that would concern them in the slightest.  It wouldn't even surprise me if they had those kinds of drops built into their financial models for Warcraft.

But I digress.  Back to the topic of flying.  As long as the game is entertaining me, I'll continue to play, and I won't give a crap about flying.  Honestly, I'm hoping I'm not even in Draenor that much longer, but if I am, it'll probably mostly be in my Garrisons.  And if I feel the need to fly to check out some of my pretty flying mounts, I'll go to Azeroth where I can still do it, or level some toons through Outland or Northrend or Cata zones, where I can still definitely do it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Top Ten Things I Still Love About Warcraft

In not so subtle tribute to Dave Letterman, thanks for so many years of laughs.  It's going to be as hard getting used to you being gone as it will be getting used to the fact that there actually is a "t" in Colbert.

Number 10.  Through all the expansions, hero classes and new additions, there is still no "Accountant" class, making it a decent escape from my everyday life.

Number 9.  I can play a game, with my son, even though he's 500 miles away.  How cool is that.

Number 8.  Chaos Bolt all the things.  Especially Gnomes.  But generally everything.

Number 7.  There is always some little nugget or something that I hadn't noticed before.  I nice little touch in an out of the way place.  Despite having leveled a ton of different toons at this point, no two times are the same and I can really add a ton of variety to my approach.

Number 6.  For the Horde!  I know it's probably no longer cool, but I still have a ton of faction pride. Unless I'm on an Alliance toon in which case, not really for the Horde...

Number 5.  Look, I'm a cat.  Look, I'm a bear.  Look, I'm a tree.  Look, I'm a owl thingy.  Sometimes you have to go play with your druid just because shapeshifting makes your kid giggle.

Number 4.  There are 6 elemental shaman in this LFR and we are chain lightning'ing the hell out of everything.  "crackle"

Number 3.  I've been in the same guild for like 6 years.  Some of my guildies are kinda weird.  Okay, most of them are kind of weird.  I don't get to spend as much time chatting with them anymore as I used to, but I still love the place.  A great group of people.

Number 2.  The Wrathgate.  That still gets to me.  Every time.

And the Number 1 Reason I Still Love Warcraft:  The character creation screen.  Even with so many alts, there are still permutations that I haven't tried, and approaches to leveling that I haven't done yet.  It still provides an almost endless variety of entertainment for me.  (Let's do a Blood-Elf Fury Warrior leveled purely through battlegrounds this time!)