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.

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