Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Level 120 #3 Done and the Warfront Shuffle

I managed to hit 120 on my third toon last Friday morning.  During Legion, it was mid-October before I had my third toon to max level, so this is pretty on pace with that.  This one came in more than 6 1/2 hours faster than the previous Horde toon, so that's probably a good approximation for the time savings if you don't putter around and read all the quest text, etc.

So now I'm working on running all three toons through the daily emissaries.  I want to see the full War Campaign on the alliance toon, and my plan is always to run the emissaries on somewhere around 5 Horde toons.

So far, gearing up via world quests has been working out just fine.  I managed to get world quests weapon rewards on both hunters, and I've had pretty decent lucks with World Bosses.

I probably shouldn't have used the phrase Warfront Shuffle in the title of this post, because it probably gives the impression I'm talking about some kind of gold-making plan.  I'm just referring to the weird weekly back and forth cycle of the Warfront and the different types of awards available at each stage.

I've found the world bosses to be pretty rewarding and a few of the quests to be definitely worth running.  By the time my main got around to doing Warfronts, the gear upgrades from every run weren't necessarily worth doing it too many times.  I think that math may work differently for my alliance hunter once the cycle comes back around.

The regular quest to kill 20X mobs that rewards an equipment cache has also been really worthwhile.

I haven't gotten anything interesting off any of the rares at this point, but I haven't really done any aggressive farming of them either.

Up next in the leveling cycle is my death knight.  I'm going to at least start trying to level him as frost, but I usually end up switching to blood at some point.  We'll see if I can hold out as frost the whole way this time.

Cheers,

Joar




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Level 120 #2 done - First Alliance Toon to Max Level

I managed to finish getting my alliance hunter to max level yesterday.  His total played time was 18 hours, which was about 2 1/2 hours faster than my warlock.  Because the alliance zones were all new to me, I was still basically reading all the quest text, so I was surprised it was that much faster.

I played Beast Mastery the entire way.  Interestingly enough, even though it appears to be one of the strongest specs at end game right now, it didn't feel as strong to me while leveling as Marksmanship does. 

The other thing that I realized as I've been working Joar through the various end game content is that I'm really going to want to see the War Campaign alliance side as well, which means I'll be doing the WQ rep grind on this alliance toon as well.  Not really what I planned, but I suppose that's fine.  I'm guessing I'll be mostly through it before I get to that point with the fifth Horde toon anyway.

My Horde hunter is sitting at level 118 and working his way through Nazmir.  That's an interesting zone for me this expansion because it combines some of my favorite questlines with some of my least favorite of the expansion.

One thing that has also become clear is that once the eventual leveling nerfs hit later on, it will very likely be possible to go completely from 110-120 entirely in a single zone.  For me, that will be AWESOME!  because it means I'll be able to rotate the crew among 6 different leveling plans.

Also tried the Warfront on Joar.  It's a fun and interesting thing.  I'm looking forward trying it on the alliance side as soon as the Horde loses it again.  It's at least a good way to get a few decent gear upgrades for new 120's which will be a nice way to get them started and make world quests a little bit easier.

So the plan till this time next week is keep working through emissaries and stuff on the two max level toons, give the first wing of LFR a try and continue to leverage Warfronts as they're live for gear upgrades on new max level toons.  We'll try to get the Horde hunter to 120 and get him in the WQ groove and then start on leveling the death knight.

Still not sure if the plan is going to be Frost or Blood for the DK, but we'll have to see what Frost's survivability feels like.

Cheers,

Joar




Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Leveling Alliance

I'm now most of the way through two zones as Alliance, having finished Drustvar and being through all but one main storyline segment of Tirisgarde.  Like the Horde-side, I find the alliance zones to be really well done from a content and story-line standpoint.  The entire zone seems to hold together very well in a single coherent narrative that works really well.   I feel like there are a LOT more side quests on the alliance side than there are Horde side, but that is probably just a matter of perception and not actual reality.

My alliance hunter is sitting at 117 and my Horde hunter is at 113.  It'll probably be next week before I finish them both up.

Gearing up and running world quests and emissaries continues to go well for Joar.  I'm not Revered with anyone yet, but there's not really a hurry.  I unlocked another section of the War Campaign that I really enjoyed the story on.  For this particular section, it actually really helped if you had read Christie Golden's book, Before the Storm.  I really don't want to put the work in, but I feel like I should probably run the War Campaign on at least one character alliance side as well.  

I've been doing Island Expeditions to try to unlock the next piece of War Campaign research.  I'm looking forward to all of the Arathi Highland stuff unlocking for Horde next week.  Made a bit more progress on the profession front as well.

Beyond all of that, it's been mostly hanging out at the cash register at the Krusty Krab.


Yes, I'm wearing a Loremaster tabard.  Don't judge me.  I worked a long time for that.

That's a pre-Cataclysm Loremaster tabard...

Cheers,

Joar


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

First Level 120 Done. Alliance Character Underway

I managed to get my main to 120 a week ago today.  In general, I've found the leveling process in Battle for Azeroth so far to be totally enjoyable.  The stories are engaging and the zones are well thought out.  There are plenty of side quests to add flavor and keep things interesting and also provide the opportunity to mix up the leveling paths a bit.

My total time to 120 for Joar, who is almost always my first toon out of the gate, was 20 hours and 27 minutes.  Note that for my first toon, I'm always reading all the quest text, and exploring and so it is never an attempt at a fast pace to max level.  That being said, this was my fastest time for the first toon leveling since I've been tracking it, which started with Cataclysm.  My previous shortest had actually been Warlords of Draenor which clocked in at 24 hours and 30 minutes.  The longest was actually Cataclysm which I started with my paladin on and took a whopping 35 hours (which may explain why I've never started with the paladin again!)

I've managed to unlock world quests, finish up the Quest and Explorer achievement for both zones and am grinding out daily emissaries to keep unlocking portions of the War Campaign and the remaining Pathfinder achievements.  Gearing up has been relatively slow, just like it always is at the start of an expansion.  I'm geared enough for heroics now, so that should help, although I'm only doing one or two a day.

I wish there were more...or any, really...weapons available from world quests because that would definitely help my gearing process.

For my second toon, I decided to break with tradition and go with one of my alliance toons, so my Night Elf Hunter has started the journey through Drustvar.  I want to maintain some momentum on the Horde side so I think what I'm going to do is finish one zone on the Alliance hunter, then do one on the Horde hunter...etc etc until all three are done.

My plan will continue to be to focus on gearing and world quests on the main 5 Horde toons - warlock hunter, death knight, paladin and druid.

I've also started working on professions on Joar, although not making much progress there.  I've gotten a few points out of the way in both enchanting and tailoring, although I have a long ways to go on both.  It looks like there are a decent number of recipes locked behind reputation, so that'll hold those up a bit.

Cheers,

Joar


Friday, August 10, 2018

Preparing for Battle for Azeroth - Altoholic Edition

So the Joar army is preparing to embark on the Battle for Azeroth next week (didn't we just battle for Azeroth?)  and preparations are under way.  It looks like I will finish up one short on the paragon mount grind, having gotten only 2 of the 3 Army of the Light mounts, but all the rest.  I consider that a raving success!

So here are the steps that I've taken as part of my preparation:


  • Re-sort character screens into planned leveling order (see previous blog post for planned order)
  • Clear quest logs (it feels odd deleting all the Legion profession quests, but I really don't need them)
  • Clean out bags - legendaries to void storage, artifacts to bank, everything else either sell or bank - basically all my Legion cloth I'm selling now but ore and herbs I'm banking for sale later on.  Enchanting mats are getting sold now.
  • Bandages are a thing of the past, so we won't be stocking up on those.  I also usually wait to buy food until the new zones because you can usually get better food in the new areas.
  • Record current /played time for each character to use for tracking time to level 110-120 (this is kind of interesting in that I have some that are as little as 10 hours for new demon hunters that were leveling only, to some that are over 100 days.
  • Record starting current gold level on each server / faction (okay, this is a weird thing that I do where I like to track how much gold I make on each expansion - totally not something that normal people would need to bother with). 
  • The first five toons that I will level are already fully gemmed and enchanted as a matter of normal course.  Everyone else will wait for new enchants and gems.
  • Get everyone to Dalaran.
Once the expansion launches, I'll actually log in to every single toon to get their rested xp building as well so they've got full bars once I start, for everyone but toon #1!

So that's it for preparation.

Legion seems to have been a decent leveling success.  I managed to get 5 more toons all the way from start to max level bringing me to a grand total of 33.  I've continued the practice of the last few expansions of having a core set of 5 toons that ran most of the current content.  And from there, we'll see what Battle for Azeroth brings! 

Cheers!

Joar


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thoughts on 8.0 and the War of the Thorns

Even though it's already been out for almost a week, I really haven't had much play time on 8.0 and War of the Thorns so far.  I've redone the talents on the 5 characters that I play the most and have done some general world questing on them.  I also have done the War of the Thorns quest line so far on both a Horde toon and an Alliance toons.

So first the overall structure and class thoughts.  For me, my three primary classes are warlock, hunter, death knight, paladin and druid.  All of those still feel fine from a play style to me.  Affliction feels a little wonky, but not as bad as it seemed on the Alpha and Beta.  That being said, I'm still debating switching Joar to Destruction for the start of BfA.  On the alliance side, I've been playing Demonology lock, and that's been a lot of fun.  No clue how it would play in a raid setting, but it's fine for my normal questing stuff.

Death Knight and Paladin don't seem to have changed at all.  My balance druid feels a little different without the ability to drop a giant moon on someone and I seem to be much slower at generating Astral Power, but overall, he still functions fine.

On the story so far, a lot of good stuff has been written about some folks' level of discomfort with what Sylvanas is doing and the new direction of the Horde.  I'll caveat this that I have not read the current Christie Golden intro book, so I don't necessarily know all of the background for the story.  In some ways, it doesn't feel wildly different from the Horde under Garrosh.  Sylvanas has always demonstrated a willingness to take things just a little bit too far and clearly operates with the interests of the Forsaken ahead of those of the Horde as a whole.

One of the pieces that I do like is being back to feeling more like a foot soldier doing my part rather than the Epic Grandmaster Savior of the Universe.   That is a welcome change.

I'm anxious to see the rest of the quest line play out. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to decide if there's any real value in gearing up some of my "further down the list" max level alts - take level 110 #24 for example.  I'm guessing by the time I start leveling them in BfA, that heirlooms for leveling will likely be unlocked, so gearing them up now could turn out to be pointless.  But, it's also something to do that isn't leveling toon #34 or grinding out paragon chests.  So maybe it should just still be a thing.

Cheers! 

Joar

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Leveling Plans for Battle for Azeroth

So I'm working on a new leveling order for Battle for Azeroth, this time based purely on how much I enjoy playing the class, rather than trying to get any particular professions on their way to whatever the new cap is.

So here is the list that I have worked out so far:

Warlock
Hunter
DK
Paladin
Druid (these 5 will be the main ones that I focus on for world quests, emissaries, world bosses, LFR, etc)

then..

Monk
Demon Hunter
Mage
Warrior
Rogue
Priest
Shaman

Now the trick is that I will likely start inserting an alliance character or two in the progression after the initial 5 are done, but those will most likely follow the same order.

Those initial five also give me every profession except engineering and inscription, so I think that actually works okay.

Cheers,

Joar


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ding! Level 110 #33. Lightforged Draenei Paladin

So I managed to hit 110 on the first of my allied race toons yesterday.

Blizzard hasn't done a particularly good job of explaining how to complete the quest that pops up to obtain the Heritage Armor set.  There's really no clue given as to how to get to the place that it instructs you to go, and if you try to get there the "normal" way, which requires a fair amount of effort, the NPC that you need isn't there.

So that was a bit frustrating, but a quick bit of research on Wowhead quickly showed the way.  But that really shouldn't be necessary.

In any case, I look cool.


My total played time to 110 was 2 days and 14 hours.  That's a bit longer than it used to take to level to 110 from scratch, but not as bad as I was expecting it might be given how long the slog from 20-60 felt.

Planning to work on the other three allied races next, but haven't decided if I want to push them one at a time, or do them a bit together. 

Cheers,

Joar


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Incoming 9 Year Blogoversary!

The 9 year anniversary of starting this blog is this Saturday.  Of course, I'll be at a swim meet all weekend with the Joarlings, so not able to actually post something then.  So I'm doing it now, while maintenance is ongoing.

When I started this blog 9 years ago, the idea, which at time seemed crazy, was to see if I could level a character of each class to max level (which at the time was 80!)  At the point that I started this journey, I only had two max level characters, and one of those was a death knight.  Also at the time, 8 days of /played time was a reasonable amount of time to get to max level (versus 2-3 now).

 It was almost 2 years before I actually hit that goal.  I managed to get every class except for warrior to max level before the Wrath of the Lich King ended, but that still left warrior to complete fully through Cataclysm.  So on May 26, 2011, I actually ended up getting there.

Of course, the next idea that occurred to me thereafter was "wouldn't it be cool to have a toon from each class from EACH FACTION?"  Yeah.  That seems brilliant.  I got a little distracted by both Rift and SWTOR in between, so it was almost a year in between before I started working on a few alliance toons before Mist of Pandaria came out.  I only managed to get 2 alliance characters to max level before the release of Mist of Pandaria, which also added a new class, so raised the total required for each faction from 10 to 11. 

It was August of 2013 before I managed to get all 11 Horde classes to max level in MOP.  I was also delayed a little bit in MOP with leveling my alliance toons because I thought it would be fun to have all 11 toons kill Garrosh in LFR, which is also something that I accomplished over the course of 2013.

I didn't end up getting there before the end of MOP.  Wildstar provided an additional distraction and I also got into pet battling during this time. 

Now Warlords of Draenor.  That was a different story.  Not much distraction during good old WoD.  And a much faster leveling pace!

The first 11 toons went a bit faster in Warlords of Draenor, and I had them all knocked out by July (and that was with grinding out stuff for the legendary ring on 3 different characters).  About 5 years after completing the first goal, I finally got there on the second, having my 23rd max level character, consisting of one of each class of each faction, plus one extra warlock (you can never have too many warlocks) on May 23, 2016.  Almost 5 years to the day after finishing the first 10.

I continued to level through the rest of Draenor and finished that expansion with a total of 26 level 100 toons. 

Through Legion, we added one more class, and I've continued to work on the third set, bringing my total as of today to 32 max level toons.  I expect to finish one more well before Battle for Azeroth launches, and I guess we'll wait and see what leveling opportunities are presented by the pre-expansion launch event to see if I can make any progress on the last 3 on the third server.

As you can imagine, with 32 max level toons, there is a decent amount of preparation needed before the new expansion including cleaning out bags, banks and quest logs.  I'll be putting together a separate blog post in late July / early August laying out my pre-expansion preparation process.

Cheers!

Joar




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Time to Buckle Down

So it looks like the pre-expansion patch is going to be hitting in early July, which means it's time to buckle down and see how many additional toons I can get to 110 before that point, and then maybe see if whatever events go with that provide any benefits that might let me get a few more down the road before BfA launches.

I've been making decent progress on the leveling front and a little bit on the paragon farming front.  I got the Dreamweaver paragon mount since my last update, so that leaves me with just three to go - Valarjar, Farondis and one last Army of the Light.  Of course, with Army of the Light emissaries only coming around every 3 weeks lately, the likelihood of that happening any time soon is really low.

So, I'm not sure the Dreamweaver mount is the most warlocky mount I've ever been on.  Seems like more of a Blood Elf mage mount.  Just sayin'  Would probably look pretty good for a Nightborne priest too now that I look at it.  Not shadow of course.



I've been leveling all four of my allied race toons, with 3 of them just making progress until they run out of rested xp, and then going back to working on the main one that I'm focusing on.  I may stop that until the pre-patch comes out and just focus on getting the paladin to 110.  Currently the paladin is sitting at level 81 and working his way through Pandaria and the remaining characters are all sitting around level 35.

Other than cleaning up quest logs and a little bit of bag clean-up, everyone is basically more or less ready to go for Battle for Azeroth anyway.

Cheers, Joar

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Leveling and Paragon Farming

So not much going on lately other than leveling and farming for paragon mounts.  I did manage to get one more of the Army of the Light paragon mounts (so one more to go!) and also got the Nightfallen mount, so I'm down to just four still to obtain.  Gotta say, I really like the Nightfallen mount, and it's a good way for all you non-tailors to finally get a flying carpet!

That leaves me with one more Army of the Light, Farondis, Dreamweaver and Valarjar still to go.  We'll see how many I get before Battle for Azeroth.  At that point, I'll probably be too tired from all the battling to worry about farming for mounts.

I've been leveling one of my allied race toons along with a third demon hunter basically at the same time.  The demon hunter is at level 105 and just finished Aszuna.  The lightforged spacegoat paladin is starting on Western Plaguelands and is in the low 40's.  Probably going to have this guy go to Northrend instead of Outland just like the last guy, but then will have the one after that do the Outland route.  The 0-60 portion of the revised leveling doesn't feel quite as good as the 60-90 patch with the redo, but it's still not terrible.

Not much else going on unfortunately.  I'm still playing regularly, and it frightens me a bit that I could potentially enter Battle for Azeroth with 36 or so max level characters.

Cheers,

Joar


Level 120 #3 Done and the Warfront Shuffle

I managed to hit 120 on my third toon last Friday morning.  During Legion, it was mid-October before I had my third toon to max level, so th...