Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pet Battles, PvP and Other Ways to Keep Things Fresh

So I've been starting to go back and look at pet battles again.  I'm at the stage of the current expansion where I start looking around at other things to keep me interested and engaged while waiting for the pre-patch on the next expansion (which is likely at least 4 months away at this point).

What has me interested in pet battles again is that I've been doing daily world quests and emissaries on 5 or 6 different toons, and there are always a few pet battle world quests out there that are relatively fast way to knock out a world quest for that zone.

When pet battles first came out in Pandaria, I originally didn't do anything with it, but then during the year-long bore-fest of Siege of Orgrimmar, I decided to dive in and get as many achievements as possible.  So I gathered all the wild pets, beat all the trainers, defeated all the Beasts of Fable and got through the Celestial Tournament. 

Then when Draenor came out, I sort of forgot about it again and haven't done much with it since.  I didn't even get far enough along to unlock the level 3 pet menagerie in my garrison.

So I'm thinking about going back and trying to get caught up on Draenor, Legion and Battle for Azeroth pet battle achievements.  I've collected almost nothing in terms of wild pets from any of those expansions, so getting that alone may take a fair amount of time.  In any case, it's a way for me to stay engaged in that content lull between expansions.  Particularly if I'm just not in the mood to level a 43rd toon to 120.

The other thing that I've done periodically when these lulls occur is PvP.  I'm less likely to go that route this time because I did a ton of old school AV during the anniversary event and really got my fill during that process.  

I am almost done with the mage - he's just started on the Battle for Azeroth zones, venturing in Drustvar at level 111.



Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Blapril 2020 - New Bonuses

I was a bit surprised yesterday as I was running through the various emissary world quests on my Big Five toons when I was awarded with 3,000 rep for one of my hand-ins.  Had no idea this was coming, but it's another really nice buff on top of the experience buff.  I seem to remember calling for it a few weeks ago, so it's nice that someone is listening somewhere.

The rep buff does quite a few different things for people.  First, for folks that don't yet have either Legion or BfA pathfinder / flying or some of the allied races unlocked, it's a nice way to make both of those processes a lot easier.  So cheers for that.

For folks like me that just enjoy doing things on alts, if I want to add a sixth or seventh character to the Big Five, it makes it easier to get those folks to exalted.  Why get those folks to exalted?  For me, doing the emissaries each day is a great way to make gold.  A few of the emissaries award 2,000 gold right off the bat, the mats that I collect while doing them usually sell for a nice amount and the paragon chests that you get every 10,000 rep once exalted generally seem to award around 3,000 - 6,000 gold each.  And now, with the new rep bonuses, you can count on getting paragon chests every 3 emissaries or so.

I'm continuing to work on leveling Abbert in between doing Uldum and Pandaria assaults and the emissaries each day.  He just hit level 91, so is heading to Draenor.  He'll accumulate some garrison resources and then head off to Gorgond until about level 102.

Later in the week, I'll talk about some of my favorite story lines, quest lines and other content creaters from WoW and other games.



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Leveling and Gearing - A Regular Joar Update

Having covered the suggested Blapril topic for the week, I thought it would be good time for a regular update on the activity of the Joar empire.

I'm back to running the Big Five through world quests and emissaries every day - Warlock, Hunter, DK, Paladin and Druid.  I've been thinking about adding the demon hunter to that mix, but that feels like a bit much. 

I also continue to do the regular weekly cadence of Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossom assaults and the related delays.  Because I'm not doing the dailies in each zone every day, I'm still a ways off from hitting exalted with both of those factions.  I'm revered with both at this point and about 30% of the way to exalted.

Out of the Big Five, the druid is the last toon that I need to still do the new Wrathion 8.3 quest line on to get the legendary cloak, so I will spend an hour or so knocking that out when I get the time.

I've also been continuing to level Abbert when I have the chance.  He got as far as he wanted to in Mt. Hyjal before moving on to Jade Forest and is now sitting at level 88.  Consistent with my strategy recently, I'll wait until 92 to moving to Draenor, take the short-cut through Timeless Isle and then sit him while Garrison resources build up so I can buy 3 or so xp potions and head directly for Gorgrond.

As there's been plenty else to keep me occupied, I'm likely not going to get anyone besides Abbert to 120 while the xp bonus is live, but that's completely fine.  It's not like having 44 versus 42 max level toons is going to make or break things at this point anyway.  Plus, if it's just Abbert, that'll give me 8 more to try the new leveling experience in Shadowlands with.

That's about it for now. 



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Blapril 2020 - Where My Journey Began

I've been leveling yet another character, and this time picked to go the Hellfire Peninsula / Zangarmash route instead of the Borean Tundra / Dragonblight route.  It was interesting, just in the sense that I hadn't done it for a while, but it's definitely not the best route to go at that point.  The quests still suffer from running around a bit too much.  And definitely more issues with mob scarcity and drop rates.

Beautiful place though.  Although I always find it weird that as soon as your cross over into Zangarmash, both the moons and the beautiful sky disappear and everything becomes gray.  Sort of like driving into Ohio.

It just dawned on me as I was looking around that I don't really save old screenshots.  That makes me kind of sad now, because I've been playing for a long time, and it would be kind of nice to have a visual record of some of those old adventures.  I just realized that you used to be able to tell when you started playing by going back through your account transaction history on Battle.net, but it looks like they're only saving 10 years worth of data there now, so no way to tell exactly now.  I'm pretty sure I've got it called out in an old blog post somewhere, but I'm not ready to go back and search for that.

I actually had been playing for almost two years before I even started blogging.  My oldest son and I started playing sometime in the early part of the Burning Crusade expansion.  Over the course of Burning Crusade, I only managed to get one character to max level, undead warlock Joar, who is still my main.  I did manage to raid Karazhan, and set foot in Black Temple once, but that was about it.  I spent a lot of time farming stuff in Burning Crusade to try to get decent enough gear to let me raid and go into heroics with my guild. 

Even then, it was a bit of a catch 22, because the gear that you needed to get into heroics was crafted with recipes than only dropped in heroics.  And you had to do this whole giant attunement questline just to get into Karazhan.  I honestly don't even remember what was involved with that, just that it took forever.

By the time I started writing this blog, during the Wrath of the Lich King, I had managed to get a second character to max level - a death knight.  He's still one of the "Big Five" characters that I play the most.  If you go back and read that second post ever that lays out the goal of getting a character of each class to level 80, I was estimating the average /played time to get to 80 for each character at right around 8 days.  Now it takes less than 2 days to get to 120.  That should give everyone a pretty good idea for how much they've streamlined things.

Later in the week, I'll actually provide a current update on what the various members of the Joar empire are up to at the moment.



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Blapril 2020 - Topic Brainstorming - Joar Style

I've covered this a little bit before in earlier posts discussing how I got started and what I primarily talk about and topics that I've selected just to keep things going.

For me, that's leveling.  That is the activity that tend to do most in game.  I do stay up with current content on my main, Joar the Undead Warlock, and usually a few other toons.  But for me that mostly consists of doing the regular current grindy content (dailies, world quests, whatever it is at the time) and staying up with LFR since that's been an option.

For you, if you're getting started with blogging, that can be talking about the aspects of the game that you are currently enjoying.  Whether that's raiding, PvP, gold making, role playing, fishing, mount collecting, pet battles, whatever.  The best advice I can give on having a blog that you will find personally fulfilling, is to talk about the things that are important to you.

Even with that focus on what's important to you, it does leave a lot of room for ancillary topics and I've covered a lot of them.  I've talked about professions, about raiding and dungeon strategies.  I've reviewed beta stage content and new patches.  I've even spent time providing some analysis of Blizzard's financial reports and earnings releases back when it was possible to glean a reasonable amount of data on World of Warcraft from those.  I've provided ideas and suggestions for future changes.  I've even talked a decent amount about PvP and about gold making.

Having a primary focus doesn't eliminate the ability to talk about other ancillary areas of interest.  Those just help to add some richness and diversity to your overall theme.

This is actually an exciting time to be starting to blog about World of Warcraft.  We have alpha / closed beta invitations for the next expansion going out soon and as we're winding down on Battle for Azeroth, it's a good chance to do some reflection, critique and make constructive suggestions on what can be improved next time.

In the next post this week, I plan to lay out a few of the topics that I plan to cover during Blapril 2020 and also provide an update on what I'm doing now with the Joar army (hint, I'm leveling again).



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Blapril 2020 - Blogging - Keeping it Going

I mentioned in my last blog post that I've been writing a World of Warcraft blog for almost 11 years now.  It hasn't all been completely consistent.  There have been years where I've been fairly productive (although I've never come anywhere close to once a day) and years where it's been pretty slim.  I think in general, I've tried to generally get pretty close to every two weeks, but even there, I haven't always quite made it.

My absolute high was 2010, my first full year of blogging, where I had 77 posts.  The last 3 years have been lows for me and I was at 22-23 post per year for 2017-19.

One of things that I noticed in my blogging history in the past is that at times, when I was getting a little bored with a content lull on World of Warcraft, I'd explore other games and write about those.  So there are definitely some posts in those earlier years about things like RIFT, SWTOR, Wildstar and Diablo 3.  The first post about another game was in September 2011 where I spent some time on RIFT.  And January 2012 I started messing with SWTOR.  The year 2014 was heavy on both Diablo and Wildstar. 

Recently I've backed off on trying other MMO's (honestly there hasn't been a new release for PC that has really intrigued me since Wildstar), so when the content gets slow, now so does the posting.

A lot of my blog has been about leveling progress and strategies, but there have been a lot of other topics that I've covered, including leveling professions, easy gearing of alts and there was a brief period of time during MOP when I got into pet battling.  It's mostly a way for me to talk about what I'm doing and why.  It also became a way of documenting my frustration with drops on things like the Headless Horseman mount. 

So this will be post 428 on my Warcraft blog, which is something I'm fairly proud of.  Part of the reason I like participating in Blaugust / Blapril is because, personally, I've gotten a lot out of blogging and really hope to encourage others to do the same.



Dawntrail Progress

Since last week's update, I finished the MSQ for Dawntrail and have unlocked all of the expert dungeons so I can start running expert ro...