Friday, April 29, 2016

Vanilla Server

If you haven't figured it out, a true Vanilla ain't ever gonna happen.
Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights. This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility – there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server. (source)
Blizzard is never going to allow someone else to run and modify their game. Allowing the Nostalrius servers to exist is allowing someone else to own and modify their property. "Here's this awesome book I wrote, I don't mind if you pretend you wrote it, add chapters, change character names.." right.. This Nostalrius crew could do fine and honor the original game premise, never modifying it from it's original roadmap, but they don't have to.

The real EQ Killer
If Blizzard let them continue, they could change the game to meet their clients' desires. Not like a certain expac? They could just not do it. Melee hunter, nope. Tanking warlocks? Sure why not. At this juncture, it's a completely different game. WoW 2.0 per se. Think about what EverQuest II did for the original EQ game. You change the game enough, people will leave for the better game.

Ok, if not about the IP, think about the security changes. Since Vanilla, Blizzard has been patching various exploits that have came up in the game. Blocking mods that give 'too much' power, PVP exploits, etc. By going back to official Vanilla code, you are asking to be exploited, hacked, and cheated. There is a reason for expansions and it's not always to give us new content. Fixing that gaping security hole that would have broken the 'old' game client is often high on the list. Why do you think they required us to switch to launching the game with the Battle.net client? Just to get exposure to all their games? Doubt it. It's more likely the same reason Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP. It was inherently buggy and full of security exploits.

Personally, (as I've stated before) I don't care to ever go back to Vanilla. All those 'talent points' to spend. The dreadfully long leveling process via questing. Absolutely no group finder other than hoping for a pst in trade chat. For those of you who do, sorry. It's ok to be nostalgic, but don't expect to go back in time. Warlords of Draenor already tried and look how that went.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Update

Like many, Spring fever has struck. You're at this time bidding time in Warlords, playing Warcraft Alpha, in the Overwatch Beta, or playing something else completely. Sadly, I haven't been invited to the Alpha or Beta, so that's out. My Alliance character has gone stagnant as the arena team has taken an informal break. So, what am I doing?

Erknea @ Malfurion-US
Well, the Hearthstone hero this tempted me to play one of my low level toons. I took my bank-toon (goblin hunter) and decked her out in a full hunter set. I then proceeded to level her up from 5 to 22. Easy. I was done in a couple hours. Totally played on her is 22hours, but she's my primary bank toon, so it's over inflated.

Hearthstone. With the possibility of a new hero, I started playing Hearthstone as well. I had previously built the "Trump Mage Deck" (which I now can't find because it's that old. I am having a lot of fun with this deck. With it I've managed to play casual ranked play and win up to rank 22 (yeah about 7 games) before I moved on. (I still haven't found the new hero??)

Agent 2

The Division. Co-workers enticed me into co-op play of The Division. I've started focusing on the Engineer build. This means that I specialize in setting up protective cover and also can throw out a gun turret. The cover helps us hide from the bad guys, and the turret is like a little imp, just firing out dps.

Division is interesting in that several clothing slots have a matching vanity slot. This outfit (pants, jacket, and hat) is based off vanity pickups from the game. These items don't appear to take up gear slots. They are interchangeable at any time throughout game play.

In addition, there is a deconstruct method. I mentioned something like this in my warcraft wishlist. While I can sell any piece back to a vendor, I can also tear it down for raw materials. At night, after everyone's logging off, I'll go back through my bags and mark items that I don't want. 'That old level 6 pair of knee pads and that level 9 shotgun" Then from the game menu, I hold down the 'deconstruct' option and ta-da, I have 3 pieces of fabric, gun parts and maybe some new tools. If I want, I can go over to the crafting table and create a piece of armor, or new gun that I desperately need.

Teddi (Bear)
Finally, I've gone back to leveling my monk. Teddi, never made it out of the panda starting area, so he needed a little work. During early Panderia, we had the annoying issue of having to mail heirloom gear to our alts. The starting area is lacking in mailboxes, so you have to level 'the old fashioned way'. Ugh. Happily now, I was able to simply 'create' all 9 pieces of heirloom gear from the menu. This meant that I was actually over-level on most of the end-game content (with no good way to skip it)!! A CATASTROPHE, RIGHT?!



What I hadn't realized, is that at level 20, you learn a new spell called "Zen Pilgrimage". This ports you to a training facility in Panderia. Here you can do a simple (especially when using heirloom gear), fight against a 'teacher'. After you complete this quest, you pickup a buff, Enlightenment. This grants ANOTHER 50% XP bonus on top of the heirloom gear (+50% xp). Teddi is using the same gear set as my druid did, but with the addition of the heirloom necklacestrength ring, and the void tendrils. For those slow on math, this means 100% bonus XP while the 1-2 hour buff is active. With a level appropriate dungeon and fast group, I can level 2 times in a single dungeon.



Yeah, 645 minutes total played to get from 5 to 48. My longest wait is usually for the DPS queue.. If I was brave, I'll queue Monk Tank and see how much quicker it will go. On the other hand, dual-wield hammers!!

Game play wise, Windwalker feels like feral druid. Melee dps, with a few heals thrown in. High mobility (roll, flying kick), top it off lots of instant attacks.

Update: Don't forget to enchant your heirlooms.

At 85, you can also include shoulder and leg enchants from Panda.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Comic: Demonology in Legion (complete)

I had plans to post an image every few days leading up to today, Easter Sunday, ending with my final punchline today. Vacation happened faster than I could anticipate and spent all day last Saturday packing instead of posting. So instead of episodic, this is the entire comic. You should be able to open the first one, then simply slide to the right to get the next panel of the comic.


The Summons

The Meeting

The Quest

The Legion

What??

The Agony

ZZIIIIPPPPP!!

The Solution

Oh, this doesn't look good.

The Love

This doesn't look good.

The Quote

Go forth malefic bunnies!

This comic was inspired by this quote posted November 10, 2015 by Blizzard. This blog post details changes coming to warlocks in Legion and how demonology has 'strayed' from it initial inception.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Comic: Demonology in Legion (Part 3)

The Quest 

Gran'dul has requested an audience with him. On the invite, he wanted only one item, a bunny. 

Why do you want a bunny? Are you hungry, sir? 

Scanned the image today instead of taking pictures with my phone's camera. Will redo images 1 & 2 for final post.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Comic: Demonology in Legion (Part 2)

Elkagorasa has been summoned to the Cleft of Shadows to talk with the warlock trainer Gran'dul. I included horns (Shouldn't all warlocks xmog into horns?) and minimized his equipped mantle.

The Meeting

This can't be good.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Comic: Demonology in Legion (Part 1)

Let me explain

Late last year, my daughter asked for one of the "stress relieving" coloring books. They were all the rage locally, sold everywhere including the grocery store. (Retailers, take note, if you sell coloring BOOKS, this is a great up-sell opportunity to also sell coloring PENS/MARKERS/PENCILS!!) I had fun coloring in her book, so decided to get one for myself. Sadly over the holidays, I could not find markers anywhere until late-January and didn't want to commandeer her glorious 100 color gel pen set..



With that, I finally purchased my own ZenDoodle Calming Swirls coloring book. Lots of intricate little dots, swirls, swooshes and patterns to color in. So far, I've colored about half of one page. It was then, that I realized that my color-blindness could be making this awesome pattern rather bland or ugly? "Oh that looks 'nice'"

One side effect of having a giant box of markers and paper on my desk is that I started doodling. "It's a lunch activity Mr. Boss". (he plays phone games, so it's ok).

This week, an inspiration hit me. I've been working on a this short 8-panel comic script. I'll post one entry every few days.

The Summons

Found this in my mailbox today.

(Goto Part 2)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ideas to Change Warcraft that Would Never Happen.

Blizzard loves to change this game with every expansion. We see it from those Legion Alpha reports all the time, about how this class will change and they're removing that ability or changing the way a certain mechanic works across all players. I'd like to throw out some ideas that I've had about changing Warcraft.


Inspiration Terraria

My son has been playing this game pretty much constantly since downloading it about 6 months ago. He's even forgoing his Christmas gift of Lego Dimensions for this pixelated 2D game. While the game concept is simple it does have some finer points that I think Warcraft could adopt.

Player housing

Here's the ultimate in player housing. You go out into the environment, gather materials (wood, rock, ore, mushrooms, etc.) come back and make into bricks to build your house. Once inside, if you put the right fixtures (bed, lighting, small end table), you get NPCs to show up and move into your house. If you want, you can create a farm and start growing something in your house. Sounds a lot like a garrison, but I think we could really improve this. Players could pick between NPCs that appear based on the furnishing and materials they place. 

Science the shite out of this. 

Crafting

Terraria is all about crafting. One of the biggest perks is the ability to craft your own gear. (Yes, I know you can in Warcraft too.). Some of the best gear in game is craftable in 'hardmode' (aka after you kill a certain boss), using ore that you have mined. This ore is only available after you have killed certain bosses. In Warcraft, you only get vanilla expac gear from crafting. (WoD even gave them all to you almost immediately up starting questing). Imagine that with each heroic dungeon boss, you could get a perk to upgrade your crafted gear, each Highmaul boss could drop the next level of crafted upgrade. This could remove the senseless killing of elite kodo in Nagrand for their blood. (I really should have a Nesingwary themed title from  all the blood I need for my 3 100s). It could even be used to retrofit the valor system that was reintroduced in 6.2.3. 

Gear + Cosmetic slots

Maybe with the upcoming transmog closet this will be pointless, but how about cosmetic gear slots. Similar to transmogrification, but it's an alternate gear slot. In addition, you can apply dye to each of the three slots. Like this helm's look, but want it black, go apply black dye. 

left side equipped, right side cosmetic (xmog view)

Inspiration: RL Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is the process of taking a chunk of metal, heating it up, and shaping it into something awesome. Now, blacksmith's don't need to work in only ore, they can often smelt metal items into other useful items. That piece of jewelry that you found years ago but don't like or doesn't fit? Blacksmith could reshape that into something of awe and beauty. 


I'd love to have a blacksmith that can take 300 kilograms of truesilver armor and shape and recreate it into mail armor for my hunter. My priest really needs a new necklace and has those two old rings and a BOE plate shoulder piece, melted them all down and shaped into something new. 

Acid Etching example (source)

Next, blacksmithing could then etching. Etching could focus the purpose of the piece towards classes, specs or even more simply role. Concept being, you can sell an item without etching as a vanity item. 

Inspiration: Indiana Jones movies

Another aspect missed is the unsocketing gems from items. I'd be absolutely more than happy to spend 5,000g on a DPS gem, if I knew it wouldn't be lost with my next upgrade. Unfortunately, with my mostly LFR level gear, I know a better, shinier upgrade is right around the corner. 

(he's looking for a gif of removing gem from statue)

I should be able to take my armor to a jewelcrafter and have all of the gems removed. (A noob can socket the gem, but a jeweler can't remove it?). Maybe removing the gems, destroys the object so it can't be used again. Maybe it can be passed to the blacksmith and melted down. Maybe passed to an enchanter and disenchanted down to dust??

Inspiration: Hunger Games

The PVP options for Warcraft haven't really changed in the last 10 years. There are the 3 basic concepts, protect the base, carry the flag/orb/ore cart and control the map. Sure, I am over simplifying the game, but you get the idea. I'd like to suggest a new random battleground (with stuff). Last orc standing (Player versus All or PVA).



Some conceptual ground rules.
  1. Instead of an entrance, each player is ported into a large arena. Possibly on pedestals?
  2. Deaths will limited. One death seems tough if you are focused on quickly. 5 deaths seems too much for this type of arena. Maybe only 3 then you are stuck as spectator (like in arenas)? 
  3. NPCs are there that will assist. Healers for DPS, DPS for healers. You may hire them to assist? 
  4. Diminishing returns quickly on hiding spells (camo, fade, etc.) No one will be last because they could hide.
  5. There will be a time-limit. 10 minutes for 50 people seem fair? I am thinking like the Brawl arena.
  6. Don't expect the arena to just sit there, it will include traps and weapons. Lets make these usable by the dead players. More people dead, the more traps that will become active. "Fireball Turret 2 Activated by Elkagorasa"
  7. Rewards based on performance. Most kills, most healing, least deaths, most kills by turret!. 

Inspiration: Most FPS games

When I am not playing Warcraft, I often will play a first person shooter, like Borderlands or Dying Light, etc. I really like playing these games co-op with friends. Seems a bit more 'realistic' that someone 'saving the world' would bring friends.

One of the nice aspect of playing with friends is looting to match your playstyle. If you happen to get a weapon that you can't use, you can easily share it with your friends. Borderlands even takes it a step further in that you have account-bound banks. You level out of a weapon, go drop it in the account bank and pick it up later on a lower level alt. Limits are this bank has only a few slots. So you can't store a weapon for every level you might want, but cheaper than mailing it and available for all your characters.

In BL2, Claptrap offers account bound storage.
Implied in that, is no item is 'soulbound' to only a single character. You play along and picking up an item for your Gunzerker, while playing as Zero. You can send it using the shared bank. Those tier pieces from old raids? Mail that tier token to your plate wearing alt. That legendary weapon you finished off last week, send it over to your alt that can actually use it at level.

Soulbound made sense at one time. Now that we have 10 years of old material we can explore, and 50 different slots for cross-realm alts, plus an heirloom closet providing across account sharing of some gear, why not make it possible to share across all my characters the efforts of my main. With the heirloom closet, xmog closet and BOA tokens, we don't need to it. Let's remove soulbinding, and turn void storage into account bound storage (across all characters).

Inspiration: American Civil War

Both of my school age children (13 and 9) are currently covering US History, more importantly the American Civil War (1861-1865). A time in our history when North was fighting the South, brother vs brother. The events leading up to the war (from what I've learned from 8th grade history) vary, but mostly due to financial and political reasons (slaves vs no-slaves). Taking that into considerations, can you say the political choices of Azeroth's leaders hasn't caused similar rifts? Why haven't we had a civil war? I'd love to see some changes to the 'factions'. 



Imagine if every class had the option of playing either side. If you went through the quest line, you could defect from your starting faction and join the other side. Undead were at one time humans, why can't they live together? Goblins and Gnomes both are heavily engineering centric, imagine the mayhem if they actually worked together? Tauren and draenei are both very stoic, noble races, I see them able to peaceably live together. I imagine the day where my son's tauren druid can run side-by-side with my night-elf druid through Hyjal. (on side note, my orc was running lfr archie last night. During which I was checking out the other warlocks, and one came back as 'draenei' at first glance, then refreshed to 'troll'). 

To Be Continued

There are a lot of little things that I think would be great to change about this game. Add-ons fix UI issues, so I hadn't bothered with those. Most of my changes would require fundamental changes to the game itself. Turning your void storage into account-wide storage would require allowing flexible storage across not only toons, but realms. (Whereas, the heirloom closet is fixed to only specific items, keeps the data stored simple [heirloom cloak #1 (Y/N)].) Allowing a Tauren to walk down the streets of Stormwind and not be tagged PVP would require major reprogramming of the NPC AI. It's possible that we could see a 'hunger games' (PVA) style arena, revamp Gurubashi Arena or Darkmoon Arena by adding a queue?

Other ideas:
  • Repair own gear - tailors/blacksmith/leatherworker
  • Obtain all in-game mounts. Get motorcycle from Ulduar, get taxi. 


What do you think? Love/Hate my list? Is there any fundamental changes to the game that you'd like to see? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Boosting the Alliance

You get standard edition?
Last Friday was payday, which meant, I pre-ordered Legion. It was a difficult decision because I really wanted to purchase the Deluxe edition and get the mount, but I stuck with the chipper chicken. The biggest perk of pre-ordering, personally, is the boost to 100. Friends/co-workers had been bugging me for quiet sometime to level up a toon so we could do 3s arenas. Being they're on a PVP realm, I thought this was a perfect way to not have to quest! :)


Erlenmeyer
flask

A few months ago, I started leveling a hunter. I figured this class would be an easy compliment to warlock DPS; ranged dps with a pet. What's not to love? Not to surprisingly, I loved the game play, now that I can shoot and run at the same time. Erlenmyer (yeah, misspelled) made it all the way to 27 using heirloom gear, plus any xp bonus available (wow token, dark moon fair, etc.). I was able to top the DPS meters when running those dungeons rather easily. Unfortunately, no amount of bonus XP was going to get me to 100 quickly. I still easily had 2-3 days worth of game play to get max level.

To the boost button! 

Instantly now Erl is a 100 beast master hunter. He's fully decked out in full ilevel 640 trailseeker mail gear. Garrison is already at level 3, and I have 3 buildings already built (storehouse level 2, leather working hut level 2 and garrison level 2). I have five 22 slot bags, 8 followers, 500g more and 500 garrison resources. My quest log has been cleared and now my only quests are to open Tannan jungle. No legendary quest. No proving grounds quest (which wouldn't really matter). Not even the starting quests for the Shadowmoon. With BOA Baleful tokens, I was able to send cross-realm eight tokens to my new hunter and quickly replace five of those items immediately (gloves, belt, legs, helm and shoulders).





First order, Timewalking! 

Here's a great opportunity to fill in those remaining slots! I'll queue up for a few dungeons and get some much needed 660 iLevel gear. Sadly, no timewalking the first 24-48 hours of boosting. "You need to be level 85 to run these dungeons". Really embarrassing considering it let me sit in queue for 20 minutes waiting, joined me to a random group, but wouldn't let me zone in. Instead, I decided to work on my legendary ring quests and start collecting PVP gear.

Proving grounds. 

Can you believe 1-shot bronze, 2 shot silver? A good portion, as I've found is all about the place, the place, the place, not the DPS. It took me two tries for silver because I hadn't researched what a hunter interrupt was. Hunters are quite a bit more moveable in their DPS and pet damage feels better than warlock.


This 8 minute long video includes the last fight of Bronze, then both my first and second attempts at Silver. I've edited it a little to speed up the failed attempt, and those dreadful moments where I've killed all the mobs and need to wait.

So, here's dilemma one. 

8 followers is not enough to seriously run the garrison. I can't really fight all the fights, so I pull up a guide on WowHead.com, 17 (Alliance) followers in 2 hours. Frustratingly, the first two followers require that you have done all the questing and opened up each of the phased zones. I can just see this happening with ALL the rest. I decided to come back to it a day later. Found just the first two followers are quest based and the rest you can simply encounter in the wild. I even braved horde territory on this pvp realm to pickup Dagg. Right in the middle of the horde starting area. I now have 21 followers and have to bench one!

Dilemma two. 

You gave me this fully built (level 3) garrison, but didn't give me the resources to complete my buildings. IIRC, when I hit 100 on my disc priest, I had enough resources stored up, that I could immediately build the 3 new plots (one small, medium and large) you get. So I've ran dungeons, did some of the Tanaan quests and now have enough resources, only to find out that I never needed them. Building all three shops required only 200 garrison resources. Sigh, they'll be done when I logon next time.

The Reason for Boosting is PVP.

Saturday night, I started running Ashran. This is my first real experience with this PVP zone, so it took some time to get used to it. IDC ran me around for about an hour, pointing out the basics. The primary requirement simply appears to be a good leader and responsive team.

yellow circle = mine entrance, red circle = event,
orange star = mini-boss (fight for you), blue is XR
  1. Start at the Crossroads (XR). This is where we typically wait for the next event. Buff up, sit in tents, etc. 
  2. There are 4 'events' that happen randomly. These will be announced zone wide. Watch chat for everyone saying meet at MQ, BR, AOA and ABG. (Form big X on map). These are the location acronyms for the locations. At each location you race against the other faction in some contest (elephant racing, protecting the wall, ghostbusting or rock hauling, By winning these events, your team will be rewarded a box of goodies, that can contain gear, and/or gold. 
  3. Each faction controls an end of the island. Horde to north, Alliance to the south. Right outside your base is a choke point, these are guarded by mini-bosses. Watch for VOL in chat. Killing the opposing teams boss grants both teams a buff (+health for defender and +artifacts for attacker).
  4. You can collect 'artifacts' from the dead. Artifacts are also lootable from you by the opposing team if you die. Back at your base, you can turn in your artifacts for honor points (1 fragment = 3 honor). 
  5. Quests. These reward both conquest points and sometimes gear. This gear is better (in some ways) than LFR gear, ilevel 700+ on those warmongering pieces. 
So far, just through a few hours in Ashran, I've managed to acquire 90% of a PVP set (still need one trinket, one ring and bracers). In fact, AMR is telling me five of these pieces are better than the i640 boost and i657/670 baleful gear that I own. 

PVE BiB
This got me thinking, can I use AMR to pick my PVP set? I found on Noxxic a good stat prioritization for PVP BM Hunters in 6.2.3. This is quite a bit different than the AMR PVE priorities
  • PVP: Multistrike >= Agility > Versatility > Crit > Mastery > Haste
  • PVE: Agi > Haste (19.28%) >= Mastery >= Multi >= Crit >= Versatility
Unfortunately, I am not seeing any consideration for set bonuses, and I do think the 4-piece bonus for diminishing returns on CC is useful. Therefore, I may have to do this on my own. 

Observations - Aesthetic

Horde Inn
As a long term horde player, I've never really appreciated the alliance aesthetic. The human buildings are complex and interesting. Horde is simple. For example, horde in is like a giant Mickey Mouse head. Stairs lead up into the 'chin'. The mission planning table and shipyard (@ level 3) would be his eyes in the center room; the garrison planning table right ear, and relic room left ear. Flight path would be on his left shoulder and garrison resources pickup on right shoulder.

Alliance Inn
Alliance Inn is like traveling into a little maze. You enter the foyer, wave hi to the garrison mission character (Jones, SI5), run down the hall, make a left, run passed the vendor, make right into dinning area, jump over table and then run up a short flight of stairs to the garrison table. My shipyard is still only beginning, but I don't see where that table would even fit. If this was my house, I'd open up one of the windows in back and be able to run around to my fishing pond with a short flight out to the shipyard. Top it off, the alliance flight master is down the stairs and across a courtyard, whereas the horde flight master is right outside the front door (left shoulder?).

Now, while this could be very nice for RP, I don't find it as fun when all I really wanted to do was send followers out on a mission. 

(been working on this way too long - Save - publishing). 

Overall it's been a fun endeavor. I am happy to be getting back into arenas. We tried a few last weekend, died quickly each time. They both had a few alts to attempt running through, so we got to see what 3 dps (rogue, shadow priest, bm hunter), and 2:1 (frost mage, bm hunter & restro druid) looked like. The second combo was a bit tough as they are still leveling up gear on these toons. I couldn't shuffle around yet with my only one 100. Maybe before Legion?? 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Iron Dwarfs, Medium Rare (not solo, but strategy)

Late Saturday night, I logged on to run Ulduar with my druid (level 100). I thought her combination of healing, and tank would make her a cinch for completing getting Glory to the Ulduar raider. Upon entering the raid zone, a guildie pinged me and asked if they (husband and wife) could help out. They both had the achievement and would be able to help. Sure!



(Start - Zone in, check raid, 10-man, zone out, change raid to 25-man, zone in, talk to Brann, realized need to talk to Norgannon before!?!, zone out, reset raid, try again)

While they got ready, I started the tank fight. On my warlock, this was easy. I was able to DPS down the tank and move on quickly. Some reason, in bear and cat, I could not do take down Leviathan for orbit-uary. I ended up having to bring in 3 of the tanks and quickly hop between them. I ran out of ammo on the second, but the DOT took him down before I could jump to the third.

Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare

OK, we had 3 people for this. Me as guardian druid, completely naked (which isn't as bad as running BELF priest naked), plus hunter and healer fully dressed.  My job, aggro the Dark Rune Guardians. Hunter did cleanup everything else in background. Healer, well, just healed.
 
I found that the druid's faerie fire did a reliable (mapped to mouse button 4 for raiding), repeatable amount of damage. About 15% of the bar would decrease with each push. I could bring down the guardians down to about 1/3 health, then stop and wait for dragon to drop. The major trick being to do damage to them after Razorscale lands. So I'd kick off one more FF before her big breath. OK, honest, this got me 1 or 2 each time, UNTIL SHE ENRAGED. At this time, her damage goes up and she took down 13 in one strike. Timing-wise, this was right after I remembered to damage them on the ground, so maybe related?

Rest of bosses

Kologarn (Disarmed) was my last achievement and it really helped having 3 people. We each took one body part, then swapped to body when our arm was done. Freya was painful with her heals, when solo, easy with 2 DPS. Mimiron was impossible solo because I couldn't do enough damage to the head when fully tank mode. We even split the work, I took down Iron Assembly while the hunter took down Ignis (skipped earlier), by starting fight at roughly the same time.

Bonus, achievements are shared, so despite not pushing the big-red-button on mimiron (with all three us there), Glory to Ulduar Raider was earned!
 
 
(btw, I don't like the druid tier gear as much as priest)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Don't Knock It; Valor is Power

VALOR IS POWER!

The outrage over 'Crystalized Fel for Valor' is palpable. Oh No! Casual players are now able to get a 790 ring! LFR players with MYTHIC LEVEL GEAR! Blizzard is making raiding pointless! They are catering to the casual! Unfortunately this attitude is self defeating and will only hurt players more over the next few months. Valor upgrades may be the only way players are able to participate.

Here are a two of the suggestions I've read.
  • You just need to do "all 8 mythic dungeons" (source) each week.
  • Just need to raid, it's 100% drop rate from Archimonde

1000 Valor is easy to get.

Sure, it's easy. I manage to get about 1000 valor each week on my priest while she is running the dungeon events and raiding for her legendary ring. At this time, she is averaging 685 level gear. All her valor points are going to fully maxing out the few 695 (empowered baleful) items and those world boss/shipyard to 715 items. I've spent 2500 valor in the last few weeks upgrading 5 different items.
LFR Hellfire Best In Slot Drops for Elkagorasa
My warlock, while a little better off gear-wise (i695), has a significantly harder time gathering 1000 valor. DPS queues are quiet a bit slower and for Mythic/LFR only his main hand/off hand can upgrade by replacing that timewalking staff. He's down to running Halls of Blood, kill Kazzak and hope for awesome drop from shipyard. 
Give you an idea what an ilevel 795 ring
looks like on 685 ilevel Priest.

Either way, spending 1250 (* 20) valor on a giant ring doesn't make sense. If I am truly going to run mythic dungeons, or normal raids, I need better gear all around, not a giant 795 ring, that doesn't match my 695 level chest piece.  

It's so easy, anyone can do it!? 

I belong to a guild, I am a social player, I know my spec(s), I do my research, I participate. Just by being a 'casual' player doesn't mean I am a noob. It doesn't mean that I am unaware, or unwilling to participate in raiding. I'd love to. (If you are raiding at 11PM PST and need a DPS/Healer/Tank pst me. ). (To me) Casual means family first. I have 3 kids (ages 13, 9 and 2). I help with homework, I run them to practice(s), I do the dishes, and run to the grocery store. If and when that is done and they are all tucked nicely into bed, THEN I get to play.
Crystallized Fel: 5 @ 89 Euros (or $97)

With that said, I do raid, but usually that's LFR due to the lack of dedicated players online at midnight - 1AM. I have managed about 4 times now to get into a normal raid and help out. All four days, we've never gotten to Archie. Last Sunday, we wiped 10-15 times on Mannoroth, the time before that, they were working on Xhul for all night. If not for LFR, I would have only seen the Archimonde fight on youtube.

What ARE you complaining about?

Do you have alts? Do you want to spend less than 20 weeks to upgrade your ring? Valor upgrades work for seasoned raiders as much as they do for casuals, like me. However you want to accomplish this, it's available to you to upgrade your mythic HFC raid gear from 735 to 745, or save and upgrade your ring by one level.  (Note: according to WowHead, you can even upgrade your Tome of Chaos!). I don't know about you, serious raider that you are, but I think 'free' gear upgrades are always a good thing.

Overall, this is the internet. The vocal minority are those complaining. There are probably (now) more casual gamers playing WoW than the serious, must raid 3 times a week crowd. According to WoWHead, only 22% (of the people using their add-on) have completed the 4th phase of the quest. Assuming everyone is using it, 1:5 people have the ring. I can imagine that an even smaller portion of people are playing enough to fully max out their ring in the next ~8 months.