Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Third Server Underway. Level 120 #25 is Done

So I'm mostly back to leveling.  I gave up on the Unshackled Paragon mount after 7 unsuccessful attempts.  I'm splitting time between classic and retail, because I feel like I'm going to run out of toons on the retail side long before the new expansion comes out.  Unless there's some kind of grindy obnoxious new content as part of the new patch.

I managed to hit level 120 on my first character on my third server today.  Destruction warlock.  It's probably my least favorite warlock spec to level this expansion, but even with that, it was still totally fine.  I've got a survival hunter that I'm leveling with a friend that's about halfway through, sitting at level 115.  I've also started my third demon hunter through the process, but he's still fairly early on.

I may shift back to alliance for the fourth toon on this server and do another frost DK. 

Happened upon the mysterious flying fish of Zuldazar today while finishing up the warlock. 

All of it's buddies were clearly down below in the river, so I sort of felt bad for this guy.  Must be kind of lonely just hanging out there in mid air.



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Almost Done with Alliance Toons

I'm very close to being done with leveling a toon of each class on the alliance side as well.  Character number 24 is sitting at level 118, definitely in the home stretch.  I'm using the same approach with this one that I did with my Horde shaman, taking the Azerite gear for Head, Shoulders and Chest instead of using heirlooms in those spots. 

I'm not sure if it's improving the leveling speed in the slightest (for the shaman, it felt like it didn't), but the extra survivability definitely makes me enjoy the process more, so I'll sacrifice the time.

It's been a while since my last update, but I did manage to get three more characters to max level.  Enhancement shaman, Dear God Whatever Will Keep Me Alive Rogue (had issues picking a spec there if you can't) and A Little Bit Of Everything Mage.  As I mentioned earlier, the mage I leveled with a friend.  There was a lot of time waiting as a result, so the leveling time there wasn't great.  Frankly, the leveling time for two of the three wasn't great:

Shaman - 10 hours, 25 minutes (3rd fastest so far)
Rogue - 12 hours, 32 minutes (interestingly, identical to the Horde shaman)
Mage - 12 hours, 5 minutes

The priest has felt pretty good through the leveling process, so I'll be interested to see what his numbers end up at.

Also, I've still been grinding out Unshackled rep for Paragon chests in the hopes of getting the mount to drop.  I'm 0/4 so far, and slightly more than half way to number 5.  It's getting a bit frustrating, but I'm planning to continue with it for now.

I also did the stuff needed to unlock the rep grind for the bee mount, although I likely won't take that on until I get the Unshackled mount.

After the priest, it'll be on to my third server, where as usual, I'll be starting with a warlock.  This one will be leveled as Destruction, just because I haven't done that yet.  After that, it'll be a survival hunter.



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Update on Alliance Leveling

So my alliance warrior managed to hit 120 about 2 days after my last blog post.  His time from 110 - 120 was about 40 minutes slower than the previous character that I had leveled with flying, but I was using a slightly different leveling path.

For the next group of four alliance toons that I have left, I've been using a slightly different tactic.  First, I've been rotating between the four, particularly once I use up rested XP.  My enhancement shaman seemed to run out fairly quickly, so I had him parked for a while.  I did manage to get to 119 on him today before running out of rested XP again.

My mage I've been leveling with a friend.  Can't really seem to decide on the spec that I like.  I'm leveling with a paladin tank, so good AOE is key, and right now the honors on that seem to be split between Fire and Frost.  Seem to be sticking with Frost lately.  The mage is currently sitting at level 116. 

After I ran out of rested XP on the enhancement shaman, I started my alliance rogue.  So far, with heirlooms, rogue has been my least favorite.  I've died A LOT while leveling.  There are a few basic quests that I struggled to get done.  Not even the WANTED: XXX (you may need help with this) kind of quests, but just some of the basics.  Very frustrating.  I've been switching back and forth between specs trying to find something that felt right, but I haven't found anything that seemed particularly comfortable.  Outlaw felt fine the first time through, but it ends up feeling significantly underpowered in heirlooms.  In any case, the rogue is now sitting at level 117.

I've also started the priest, but have only gotten him as far as Boralus, so no real progress, but if I run out of rested XP on the rogue as well, I'll spend some time on the priest.  I doesn't seem like there's a viable leveling alternative other than shadow, so I will likely stick with that.

In the meantime, I've had no luck on my first two paragon caches for Unshackled, but I'm keeping at it.  And I have at least gotten enough manapearl thinys to outfit all 20 of my 120's in full benthic gear.

On the classic side, my warlock is at level 15 and getting ready to head from Silverpine to the Barrens, where he will begin pondering the eternal question, don't all Zhevra's have hooves?



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Returning to the Unshackled

I decided to go back and keep doing quests in Nazjatar every day to try to get some paragon caches with a chance for the Snapdragon mount.  So we'll see how long that holds my interest.

Meanwhile, leveling on the Fury Warrior is coming along well.  My play time has been fairly limited lately, so it's somewhat slow going.  But he's working his way through Drustvar and is sitting at level 114.  I finally decided that doing the Nazmir foothold first at lower levels made more sense, and it definitely seemed to work out that way. 

Alliance shaman will be up next and I'll be doing him as Enhancement since I haven't done that yet.

I've also been doing full LFR runs every week because I'm trying to grab one of the trinkets.  So far no luck though.



Friday, August 16, 2019

Remaining Alliance Characters

So I've already pushed my alliance warrior to level 113.  I've been playing mostly as Fury, which has been fine, although I'm not sure I enjoy it as much as Arms for leveling.

I'm looking at the remaining roster of alliance characters and trying to figure out what order I'd like to level them in.  After the warrior, I have mage, shaman, rogue and priest left.  I leveled my Horde shaman as elemental, so I will likely do this one as enhancement.  I did the Horde mage as frost, so may try arcane for this one.  Rogue will likely stay Outlaw and Priest will almost definitely be shadow (unless I do something crazy and try to level the priest as a dungeon healer)

I may do the shaman next, next then mage, then priest then rogue, but haven't decided for sure.

In other news, Joar finally hit exalted with Rustbolt Resistance.  I then went and looked at the price of the mount you can buy at exalted.  Oh hell no.

Trying to decide if I want to keep running Unshackled and Mechagon stuff for Paragon rewards, but I'm thinking not.

That's about all I have in updates for now.  I still need to run my alliance hunter through the latest updates to the war campaign, so may work on that when I get the chance.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ding. Level 120 #19 is done. First Since Unlocking Flying

So I finished my #19th toon on their journey from 110 to 120 yesterday.  The latest was my alliance demon hunter, who I also leveled as Havoc.  I continue to find the tank specs to just be too slow for leveling this xpac.  This was the first character leveled since unlocking flying.  The result seemed to be around a 20% reduction in leveling time.  I've got quite a few more to get through (as you can tell from the main page of this blog) and then a bunch more allied race toons to finish up before I even think of adding fresh characters starting from level one.  This one came in under 9 hours and I was average right around 11 hours with heirlooms but before flying.  Note that, as usual, I'm not trying for any leveling speed records with these - just a nice leisurely pace that usually includes some herbing and mining along the way.

Next up will be my alliance fury warrior.  I've been using him to mind the auction house so far this expansion, so those duties will have to be switched to the just completed demon hunter.

I'm thinking I might be trying a few level 1's in WoW classic before it comes to further expanding my character count in regular WoW.  Ah, the good old days when 6 days /played to level 60 was a really fast leveling time!  Fortunately, I still have my old hard copy of Joana's guide, so I'll be using that to help.  An actual printed out leveling guide instead of an addon.  That'll be fun!

I've reserved my first three toons on the server where my main guild will be playing.  Given that I play a wide variety of characters named some version of Joar, there's always a name I can use available.  Fortunately, the base Joar was still available on this server, so I snapped it up!



Thursday, August 8, 2019

Favorite Classes and Specs In Battle for Azeroth So Far

So I had some interesting conversations in game yesterday around what my favorite classes and specs have been so far in Battle for Azeroth.  So let me start with a couple of key points.  I have two characters at this point that I consider my mains.  The "main" main (is that a thing), is Joar, my Horde Warlock.  He's been mostly played as Affliction this time, as we was in Legion, but I've bounced around a bit to Demonology and Destruction as well.  My "other" main is Joareesa, an Alliance Hunter.  I've primarily been playing her as Beast Mastery, but have flipped over to Marksmanship occasionally.  Joar has always been my "main" main since Day 2 (see early blog posts for an explanation of that), and the alliance character has just been the last couple of expansions since it seemed to make sense to play both factions.  Neither has anything to do with those necessarily being my favorite classes or specs at the time.

I am however going to leave both warlock and hunter off the list because they tend to be what I play first, and I've always enjoyed pet classes, so tend to enjoy those the most.

Second key point is that these are just from the perspective of leveling.  I've basically tried nothing other than my warlock for raiding this expansion, and frankly the warlock has been fairly mediocre.

I'm also not supremely confident about individual position within the list.  In general, top half of the list are the ones that I liked best and bottom half of the list are ones that I liked least, but the relative order within those halves aren't necessarily super precise.

Retribution Paladin - good rotation, good utility with lots of interrupts and stuns, good survivability
Balance Druid - rotation feels much smoother than it used to and also really strong utility and survivability.
Havoc Demon Hunter - really strong damage, lots of good utility and feels a lot more durable than in Legion.
Arms Warrior - I'll be honest, I haven't tried Fury yet.  But I really enjoyed leveling as Arms.  This one has also traditionally been in the bottom half of my list for a long time, so this is a pretty huge move.
Elemental Shaman - at least for me, this is an even bigger move.  The past two expansions, I would have ranked this one absolutely dead last.  But this one fees really strong to me this time.  Best interrupt in the game, good damage reduction, really strong damage and create synergy with the elementals.
Outlaw Rogue - this is also a big change for me because this would have also been close to the bottom in the past.  This feels a lot more like the Combat Rogue of old, which I always loved for leveling.
Frost DK - It was fine.  I've always enjoyed DK's, but this one felt underpowered to me this time and not quite as fun.
Windwalker Monk - like the frost DK, this one was also fine, but just felt underpowered relative to the others.
Shadow Priest - this one is also a big change for me, because for at least the last 3 expansions, this one would have been very close to the top of my list.  It just felt less inspiring this time.
Frost Mage - so let me start off by saying that this is absolutely not because I main a warlock.  I've actually always enjoyed mages as well.  In Legion, I would have probably had Fire Mage much higher on the list.  Survivability just felt terrible this time, and the glass cannon wasn't enough of a cannon to compensate.

So that's my list.  But just to be clear, I love all these classes.  That's part of the reason I'm such an altoholic and why I don't really focus on multiple characters particularly (by the end of this expansion, I will likely have 3 different toons of each class leveled to 120).

Let me also add some quick commentary on tank specs.  I've traditionally done that for at least one toon of all the relevant classes.  In BfA so far, the tank specs have just felt too underpowered to be great at leveling, particularly for higher level mobs with additional ads and quick respawns.



Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Profession Updates in the Joar Empire

I've been really slow at leveling my professions this expansion, particularly since there doesn't seem to be any major benefit.  Legion was much the same way.  The completionist in me will eventually get them all to 175, but I'm in no hurry.  There's plenty of time to do that late in the expansion when the prices for everything drops significantly.

Here is where I currently sit with all the professions.

I finished cooking, mostly to get all of the new cooking materials out of my bags.  I haven't even started archaeology yet, which should be somewhat obvious since it's not even on the list.  Everything else is ticking along at a decent pace.  I knock out the Darkmoon Faire profession quests every month and then will craft a few things when I have materials available.  Joar will make enchants to sell and my jewelcrafter will sell gems.

Once I get to the higher levels on some of these crafts, I think it's going to get a bit annoying since for a few of them, it appears I'll need to do some PvP to purchase recipes.  I don't necessarily mind PvP, but it seems odd to have profession progression effectively gated behind it.



Monday, August 5, 2019

Latest Status on 8.2 and a Joar Family Wedding

I have had very limited playing time for the past month or so.  Between the Fourth of July holidays and then championship season for swim meets (during which meets, the Joarlings have done quite well!) I've been lucky to get in a day or two per week over the last month or so.

I did manage to get rep with both the Unshackled and Mechagon to the point where I've unlocked flying.  That also brought me to the point that I'm starting to level characters from 110-120 again.  The alliance demon hunter is up next and he's sitting at level 112.  (Actually, he might be a she...might need to check that).  Might be able to knock him out this week in which case I'll have some data about how much of a difference flying is making on leveling speed from 110-120.

I've continued to work on the Unshackled and Mechagon dailies to try to get both of those to exalted.  I also finished construction on the mechanical spider mount, so I've two of those now.  A rusty one, and a shinier one for when I'm taking Mrs. Joar out on the town.

So the other big news isn't entirely game related, but it's been something that's been mentioned in these pages regularly over the last 10 years (oh, apparently I missed my 10 year anniversary of blogging which was a month and a half ago!).  My oldest son, who was mentioned in my third ever post on this blog back in June of 2009, got engaged last month.  The little kid that I started playing this game to help stay in touch with almost twelve years ago is getting ready to start a family of his own.  Hopefully a family of two for a little while - not sure I'm ready to be Grandpa Joar yet!  Kind of boggles the mind.  And he's still doing a fair amount of progression raiding, although that has slowed down a little bit now that he's got a full time job.

Tomorrow's #Blaugust2019 Blog Post will be about the Darkmoon Faire. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Thoughts on 8.2 so far

Since 8.2 came out, I've been diligently grinding out the rep during the days that I have play time available.  That tends to be 3-4 days a week during a busy summer, give or take.  While quite a few people already have flying unlocked, I'm about halfway to revered with the Unshackled folks and about 1/3 of the way there on with the Rustbolt crew.  I'm guessing I'll have flying unlocked sometime next week.

So here are my thoughts so far.

  • Nazjatar sucks.  It's difficult to get around in, the mobs hit like trucks and a significant number of the daily quests, at least in my opinion, are just terrible.  Having to run around a difficult to navigate zone looking for the same random spawn starfish, seaweed, flotsam, whatever that 1,000 other people are looking for and seemed to have been placed right in the middle of areas with large numbers of mobs are less than fun.  Also, after so many years, we still can't come up with anything more compelling than "Go Kill 15 of Mob X"?   However, I'm guessing I'll enjoy it a lot more once I have flying unlocked and can get around easier.
  • Good things on Nazjatar - the zone is beautiful, I like the bodyguard daily quests and leveling system and some of the side quests (Mardivas, and the various rune and ley line puzzles) are really fun and well done.
  • I like Mechagon a lot at this point.  It would be even more interesting if I was an engineer, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit nonetheless.  Even without an emissary quest or the volume of world quests, the pace of gaining rep seems to be just fine.  I've gotten some neat mount rewards out of the zone so far which are unique and that I really like.

Love this guy.  Seems kind of like something you had to pay 1 million gold for in Legion, so even better that it was a free drop.

Still need to pick a pretty color for this guy, but love the mount.

  • The rares in both zones seem really well done and have good, meaningful rewards
  • There is definitely an incentive here to get back into pet battling because it grants a large amount of rep in some cases, so that's been interesting as I've tried to resurrect a team that hasn't really been used since MoP.
  • Also, rep rewards from fishing.  Yes please!
So I think overall I'd give it good reviews.  The things that I'm really enjoying slightly outweigh the things that are pissing me off.  And as gated rep grinds go, it's not the worst they've ever done.\

I've finally gotten to the point where I'm finishing my rep grinds on Nazjatar and Mechagon with some time left over to continuing leveling my allied race toons.  I got the Void Elf Monk to 110.  He's the third allied race toon to make it to that point.  The Highmountain Tauren Warrior has moved up to around 82.  Everyone else is basically right where they were from the last update.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

More Grinding to Do For Flying

So this expansion's version of Tanaan Jungle / Argus will be releasing next week along with the requisite rep grind required to unlock flying.  So my time of gradually leveling up allied race toons and my various 110's will be drying up, at least until I get through the rep grinds and the new raid.

So I've continued to make really good progress.  My Horde shaman, who I am still leveling as Elemental, is sitting at level 117 and working his way through Zuldazar.  Will likely finish him up before the patch drops next week.

Here is where we stand with the rest of the allied race crew:

Void Elf Monk:  90 ->  99
Highmountain Tauren Warrior:  68 -> 80
Mag'har Orc Hunter:  48 -> 58
Dark Iron Dwarf Warlock:  50 -> 59
Zandalari Troll Druid:  53 -> 69
Kul Tiran Shaman:  49 -> 61

I'm enjoying all of them so far.  Once I get flying unlocked and the rest of the 110's leveled up (which will be 16 more to go), then I can finish these guys up.  Maybe one at a time at that point instead of a little bit at a time.

That's it for now.



Third Server Underway. Level 120 #25 is Done

So I'm mostly back to leveling.  I gave up on the Unshackled Paragon mount after 7 unsuccessful attempts.  I'm splitting time betwee...