Thursday, November 1, 2018

OMG! It's the End of the World!!!!



I can't watch many WoW youtube channels right now this expansion. Seems many vloggers are all click-baiting us into watching their same rehash regarding the end of WoW! I realize that I have a different perspective that these players. I only have a single toon at 120. I haven't run a normal/heroic/mythic raid (trying to get into a pug, but not completed). I come from a small guild that doesn't have enough regular players to fill a 5-man dungeon group.

Read the following in Orc voice and animate my head.
This is my reaction post, reacting to Bellular's reaction of Asmongold's reaction video where he reacts to a weeks old blue post for the PTR edition of the game.


Titanforging and warforging killed the fun!
 

Your Warforging gear spinner!
I like titanforging. I am happy for my guild member when he gets a +15 titanforged item in his mythic+ loot box. It means that we'll probably be able to push those keys a 'little bit higher'! It means my alts that are sitting back in the starting area, probably won't be ilevel 265 for 'too long' and can quickly catch up (maybe even be relevant). 4 world quests all rewarding a chest piece?? Run all 4 maybe one will drop a warforged or even titanforged item. In addition, the gear-spinner isn't something specific to me or you or even that crazy 10 year old with 30 alts. We ALL have a random 1:50,000  chance to get additional levels and stats on our gear. 
The reasoning behind the system is to create an atmosphere that you could always get a new upgrade, regardless of the activity you're doing. source
I do get that there is frustration when it doesn't happen. I've been teased numerous times about items being Me-Forged. "Oh! that 355 piece isn't good enough? I see it's not Elk-Forged!" It's was tough when every item my hunter had equipped at the end of Legion was either war or titan forged.

Azerite gear is broken! 

Let's think back
  • Legion legendaries were broken - random drops that randomly dropped from ANY content (including time walking dungeons). I had an alt who ended the expac with only two legendaries and one came from the Antorus quest chain due to some really bad RNG and limited end-game play.
  • Garrisons were broken - players could farm up mats without leaving their garrison. 
  • Reputations were broken - content that was rep gated behind reps that required reps to other factions (gold lotus anyone).
  • Reforging was broken - before armor was multi-stat'd (agility, strength, intellect) you either had to have 3 armor sets (for some hybrid classes) or could reforge some stats to make it more 'acceptable' for your class. 
  • Glyphs were broken
  • HIT was broken - If there was one stat to rule them all, it was HIT. If you for some reason, couldn't actually hit the target you were attacking, it felt bad. So instead, you stacked every piece of hit gear you could wear. 


What's broken with AZ gear? 

  1. Trying to do too much. Our Legion artifact and legendaries gave us a TON of nifty new skills and abilities. (Oh! those fond memories of the magical hamster bubble that my paladin first picked up! She wore that necklace through most the expansion! ) Now Blizzard is trying to appease players and allow us to keep many of these traits, abilities and HPS/DPS boosts on AZ gear. In addition, when they removed tier gear, players lost those 2-piece and 4-piece set bonuses. So now raiders have nothing really shiny to raid for other than ilevel increases. AZ gear is trying to be legendary, original and everything good and sweet. 
  2. Raining AZ Gear! There are LOTS of places to get AZ gear, but depending on the source, traits are inconsistent. Dungeons (i.e. normal -> mythic+ dungeon bosses), raids, world bosses all drop specific pieces. On the other hand, emissary boxes and weekly mythic+ loot chest reward a random piece from anywhere in the game. The issue is that several of the traits on gear are not favored at all. So even if you get an upgraded ilevel piece, those traits could be underpowered (based on sims) than an older, lower ilevel piece. 
  3. MOAR GEAR! aka the hybrid (tank/healer) tax. For example, if you play a monk and want a decent mistweaver and windwalker AND brewmaster gear set in BFA, you likely need 3 full sets of armor! OH MY! This is so WRATH! The BEST trait for mistweaver is very likely NOT the same BEST trait for windwalker. reforge or replace?
  4. Expectation - This is something that took me ages to 'learn'. One cannot expect to have the same standard of living as their parents currently do now. When my wife and I first married, we started shopping for a new house. We first started looking at houses in the best part of town, of equal size and quality as our parents. After a few weeks, we started to realize that we couldn't afford, didn't have the credit rating or even really need a house the same size as them (i.e. me = no kids vs my parents = 2 late-teen boys).

    With regards to AZ gear, we get a low-level piece and can activate all 3-4 tiers of it, but a new item drops and we can only activate a portion of those traits. On the other hand, that new piece of gear has 30% better stats (strength/agility/intellect & stamina). HONESTLY, how much of a HPS/DPS difference is having that well-balanced trait vs not having it? From my sims, I am seeing more increase by upgrading to the partially activated piece. As we progress in the game (aka growing up more), we'll be able to activate more traits and grow (slightly) stronger. Then the next tier of AZ gear will come out (i.e. 8.1) and we'll be back to only 1-2 traits activated.


ideas:
  • Vendor - the AZ gear vendor is nice. Scrap all AZ item that I can't use for hopes to higher level, better stat'd items. This reminds me of the withering essence vendor during the previous expansions. It worked out nicely at end game, but seems early to get this level of freedom now. 
  • or how about a gear slot machine - turn in that lousy az gear item, plus some gold for a new item. Thinking of the vending machines in Fortnight. 10g re-roll gear (matching ilevel) but slot total RNG, 100g re-roll gear specific slot, total rng stats/traits, 1000g specific item
  • Tier gear style traits - Balance or remove most traits. Looking at Legion Tier gear, we had 4 possible traits. Hypothetically Blizzard could remove all traits until we are back to only those few. Sorry if you are one of few that likes (AAA) when everyone else likes (BBB).
  •  balance traits so choice doesn't matter - Making them all do about the same means no matter how used it will work. Then it's simply a matter of choosing one cosmetic appearance over another.. This obesity turns me into a cow for five seconds!! 
  • allow traits per spec.. Each piece of gear can be three spec. Sort of like how my hunter can play survival, marksmanship and beast master. 
  • Bring back the obliterum forge. We have a dalaran hearthstone, we can port back, burn a hydrocell and some expulsom, to get five more levels on any non - AZ gear. Players in a lot of who play a lot of end game content will be able to upgrade to max per patch eventually.. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

WoW Idle Thoughts

At some point in the next patch, the Battle for Azeroth is going to change to the Battle for Azeroth. The faction war/race for claiming the lifeblood of the planet will flip into reviving the planet as we fight for its very existence. We'll use the power of friendship and cooperation, to hug the planet back to life.

Power of Friendship

I wanted to really like the warfronts. I had grand visions from Blizzcon 2017 slides. I imagined them like a PVE BG. Dynamic, interactive and always playable. Instead, I got frustration where I couldn't queue for them for a month (as Alliance) with no real way of knowing how long until I would participate.



When are ALL dungeons going to get a blue circle on the map? I shouldn't need to use an addon, or WoWhead to find an old dungeon when the same technology is available for later expac dungeons.

Speaking of dungeons, WOD Timewalking is now a thing. Since there were only 8 dungeons will all of them become part of the rotation? (all the rest only include 6).

What Mists of Pandaria raid would you like to see included as a TW raid? Mogu'shan Vaults? Throne of Thunder? Siege of Orgrimmar?

Need to finally give Uldir normal try. I've done practice mode first three bosses (aka lfr) twice now and feel good. No laser beams on the first boss.

Have been trying to level my crafting up as I go. Unfortunately, the recipe for recipe BOP mail boots (for example) requires 30 expulsom and 15 hydrocore. This will require a decent number of drops from dungeons. I think I have 3 hydrocore at the moment in my bags.

Pugs don't like me. BM Hunter, 347 ilevel and no one wanted me in their Mythic+2. Maybe Monday night is a dumb night for dps.

Pirate boat, that doesn't float but has a glow like Jaina's boat should explain everything. It rose from the deeps (hence the octopus on the front) and been enchanted to keep it up.


I pointed out 2 years ago, there are plenty of mounts that also should skim above the surface of the water, but don't. Why would Blizzard put one on the store for RL money all of the sudden? Nope, not going to happen, unless they want EA-itis. Personally, I was surprised they made the Blizzcon 2017 mount last year 2-rider. Now quit your whining, go get the rep to buy the water skeeter. Put that level 100 alt that you don't play anymore out there and do the fishing dailies.



I tried to tame Guarm in ToV the other night (solo). Sadly the two meta bosses need to be kept 35 apart. Hard to do that when my pet keeps aggroing everything. Frost trap? nope. Tar trap? nope. Simply kiting? Nope. Aggro off? Nope. Sigh. Maybe go try to tame the quest zone model.


I'd participate in more island invasions if I didn't need to go back to Boralus each time. Scenarios had their own queue back in Cata(?). I want that.

War resources seem so rare to get. I am always running less than 100. The Tortollan appear to be the only emissary that reward them. Maybe raids? Heroic dungeons?


Heritage armor, please make it not chop off my hair. The BELF model has the female hair cropped. I will likely xmog my helm if the armor removes her ponytail. The dwarf model better not shave his beard. The sample model looks good so far, but he looks (personally) ridiculous when his beard is gone.

Bee Xmog is coming along nicely. When I saw this (here), I got excited!  Then I realized it's probably for the taxi-stand in Stormguard.
Still waiting to be tempted by Blizzcon 2018 VT. Even better would be the chance to attend in person. Nor.Cal to Anaheim is about 400 miles away, but that's nothing compared to what others of you'll be traveling.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August Update - 120 i304

Questing

It's hard to believe that it's been already three weeks into this new expansion. During this time, I've managed to complete enough of the questing to open up world quests. I've gone back to finish the Drustvar quest chain to completion, having killed the end-boss. Now on to Stormsong and Tiragarde.

The contract is coming in fairly nicely. I've been running with the Order of Ember's contract (note they don't expire, so don't buy hundreds of them like I did). I get 10 rep with each and every world quest (i think only in kul tiras, not zandalar wq). So on some quests completion, I am getting three different reps (tortollan, storms watch and order of embers). At the moment, I am 85% of the way through honored to revered with the faction. This is after completing this zone, and two emissary boxes, plus running a contract since hitting 120. I'll probably change to a 7th Legion contract soon (after revered with OoE) as the 7th Legion rep gates other content.


Warmode
Like many suggested, I did run the first week and half in warmode. This was rather painless and didn't require that much world pvp. A nice perk for simply playing on a pvp shard. Last week, while questing in Stormsong though, I had to disable the option. Kul Tiras isn't that big of a pvp server. So there were small groups of horde roaming Kul Tiras zones just killing everyone, with no real alliance resistance to keep them at bay. Since then, I've turned off warmode on my hunter. It IS really nice to run the Crusaders of Azeroth world quests and not have to worry about fighting horde toons. 

I BEE crazy!

I've tamed myself a bee hunter pet. Named him Beehave. I've tamed a battle pet, named her Beelieve (per my daughter's suggestion). Last night, I spent about an hour at the xmog ethereal and started working on a yellow and black transmog. ( I am torn between these shoulders I picked up this morning and ones I had in my bags that have a yellow horn on them). This is still a work in progress. The horde troll attire does fit the golden them fairly well.

Bee Myself (Horde edition).


Plan for the coming week(s):

  1. Finish questing in the remaining 2 zones. 
  2. World quest/emissary boxes to keep increasing reputation.
  3. Increase gear score by 1 more point (to 305) so that I can start running random Heroic dungeons. 
    1. My guildie mentioned that we could 'walk-on' to a few heroic dungeons, but would need a full group. 
    2. Maybe a few more normal dungeons to replace these <300 trinkets?? 
    3. Normal Uldir should open on this coming Tuesday. I'd like to be at least 315 by then, hoping to get a lot better gear by then. 
      1. Icy-veins
      2. Wowhead
  4. Start all over again with my warlock on horde side. He's still parked in Orgrimmar waiting to explore any new zones.
Bee Happy


Monday, August 13, 2018

Off Topic - Roblox: Mining Simulator

When not playing video games with his friends, my son asks me to play games with him all the time. Since we don't have 2 blizzard accounts, we've been playing other games. Our latest is the Roblox: Mining Simulator.


Roblox is a sandbox platform that you can use to build other games on top of. Roblox and the games are typically free but have many in-game purchasable items. Mining Simulator is a simple mining type game where you're objective is to get rich. Easy. You start off with a simple pickaxe and a small 10-slot backpack. There is a patch of dirt where you can mine down in 3D, there is a shop who sells equipment and a vendor who auto buys all ore in your bags. As you run back and forth between the mine and the auto-sell vendor, you will accumulate gold. Use the gold to buy a better tool and larger bags.

Perks:


  • Hats - Hats range in quality (common -> rare -> legendary). When worn, they will give you perks that include mining speed, ore (resale) value, and mining power(?). You can wear 3 hats at a time. All my hats currently have ore value and mining speed perks. There are other perks but meh, why would one want to jump? 
  • Pets - Pets also range in quality. You can have one pet out at a time. I am currently running with a piece of toast, who gives similar perks to my hats (mining speed and ore value).
  • Explosives - using dynamite, nuke, c4 can clear a large area of ore. If you want to spend some money on this game, the nuke is an awesome purchase. For about $5 you get a permanent tool that sticks around between rebirths.
  • Teleporter - set a spawn point and you can re-appear here while leveling. Mine -> sell -> teleport -> repeat.
  • Rebirth - A rebirth resets all of your equipment back to start (low level pickaxe and 10-slot backpack) and wipes your account of remaining gold. Rebirths cost 10 million gold times the rebirth count. So your first rebirth will be 10million, then 20million, etc.. The advantage though is that your ore value increases by your rebirth #. I am up to rebirth 17 so my ore value is 1.7X the value at the start. 


Starting your career in mining simulator (MS)


  1. Grab the quest. The new questing system in MS will start you off with some basic quests. In some zones, these give some rather ridiculous rewards (100 rebirth tokens for example).
  2. Mine until you fill bags or complete the quest. My suggestion is to find a hole someone else started and drop to the bottom. Ore value is better the lower your drop, plus a higher likelihood of minerals. If the elite miner is running passed the gold ore, grab it. 
  3. Complete quests to get your first pet. Pets as I said give perks. (see codes below)
  4. Sell immediately upon filling bags. The game offers an instant teleport to the vendor upon filling your bags.
  5. Upgrade your bags faster than your tools. 
  6. Rebirth as soon as you hit the milestones. That 10g dirt will be so much more valuable as 11g or even 20g dirt. If you can wait to rebirth after a mine collapse and you've dug a deep starting whole. 
  7. Move to new zone asap. Even the dirt sells for more in candy land than in the starting zone. The zones are gated by your number of rebirths. 


Hacks


  • Codes - There are a number of codes that you can enter that will grant you in-game perks. Most notably gold, pets, and hats. Yes, you don't 'really' have to start out with that 10-slot backpack when you can get codes for 50,000 gold. You also don't have to start with a 'common' pet or bland hat, when you can equip an awesome legendary pet or 3 nicer hats! I search out this wiki page each time for a complete (and moderated) list. Noting that the bolded entries require you to have played the game for 5 days. 
  • RBux items, rebirth items - these items are permanent. If you purchase the nuke for RBux or the scythe purchased with rebirth-tokens, you keep these items after a rebirth. My favorite thing is to fall into the deepest pit, then throw my nuke into dense ore locations. Then I auto-sell and repeat until I have about 5000gold, then buy a bigger backpack, then again at 50,000, 1million and so on. 
  • Stock up on cosmetics - One of the other items that stick around after a rebirth are pet and hat crates. Right before a rebirth, I've been going to the store, buying up cosmetic items until I am just above my rebirth cost. I now have 600 'omega hat crates' and almost the same number of pets. Hats are awesome (visual effects, perks) but they are both slow to open and completely RNG. There's like a 3% chance of getting an awesome (legendary?) hat out of an omega hat crate. After opening up 100 crates, I've managed to get 3 decent hats to wear. :-|  My son's advice, buy eggs before rebirth, then sell them all after rebirth. Instant gold in your hand. 

The first 1 billion gold.

  1. Equip 3 hats, equip ore-value pet. (see codes above)
  2. Find someone who's dug a deep-deep tunnel, mine ore. Ore = 1 bag slot per block, sand/dirt = hundreds of bag slots. Yes, the pickaxe is slow, but still effective with most ore. 
  3. When your bag is full, use the "SELL" option to portal back up to the vendor. 
  4. Run back to the same deep tunnel and repeat until you have about 58,000 gold. Purchase the Military Pack for 57,750 netting 300 bag slots. 
  5. Use the pickaxe until you've purchased the 1.2 million "medium canister" (4000 slots). Now purchase the best tool the money can buy. 
  6. Don't purchase too many upgrades because, at 10 million, I suggest doing a rebirth. This will cause you to lose all your gold, bags and tools you've purchased. 
    1. purchase cosmetic upgrades, especially eggs with your extra gold
    2. do rebirth after mine collapse and you've dug your own deep tunnel
    3. sell as many eggs to jumpstart your next rebirth with a new bag.



Sporting my 3 sets of wings.

Don't forget:


  • Level/Evolve your pet - If you get a pet you like, find out what they need to evolve. This (so far I've only reached 5 of 10), involves collecting ## ore. Most ore is found around the 100-150 block level. Upgraded pets provided increased rewards. 
  • R$ and Rebirth token purchases are permanent. As you can see, I have the nuke and the teleporter. 
    • The nuke has a much longer range than the pickaxe so I'll mine all the ore in reach, then just start tossing out the nuke in high-density ore areas. 
    • The teleporter is great for shortening that sell/mine loop. Mine down until bags full, place teleporter, sell, teleport back and click 'move' to remove it. 
  • "To Surface" - Almost as useful as the teleporter as it will put you 10 steps outside the mine. Sell -> to surface -> find hole. "To Surface" also places you right next to the quest giver in the zone. Use it when you've completed a quest for quick rewards. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Warbringers

Battle for Azeroth is already looking to be a rather contentious expansion. Jaina, Sylvanas and even Queen Azshara are all getting videos to show a little of their backstories. These videos are intended to give their side of why they are involved in this 'battle'. I will give my thoughts on the videos (one still unreleased) and some background based on my experience. (Yes, this could mean spoilers if you haven't read Before the Storm (BtS) or seen Nobbel's summary here). With these videos, I liken these leader's actions to the seven deadly sins.






Jaina is wrath. 


She feels like the rest of the Alliance leaders are ignoring the recent deceit of the Horde. We saw this in her first outburst when Khadgar wanted to invite the Horde back to Dalaran. It's hinted at in BtS when she talks to Kalegos in that she's actively trying to deal 'things'.

Her video points to her supposedly naivete to the horde's brutish nature. Her father had warned her but she still ignored him. She raises her father's ship from the bottom of the ocean, then takes command of this ghost ship sailing it off to places unknown. We can only assume she plans to attack the Horde.



Jaina scares me. She has the will and the means to raise an army. Her wrath will very likely cause her to do something regretful. We can hope that Anduin's actions in Lorederon, or an expression of love from Kalecgo's will soften her rage.  (full "Daughter of the Sea" lyrics)
I heard, I heard, across a moonlit sea,
The old voice warning me,
"Beware, beware the Daughter of the Sea",
"Beware, beware..."...of me.

Some interesting references:



Sylvanas is envy. 

She was exposed to the powers of Azurite during the victory scene of the ABT raid. During the BtS, we learn that she has commissioned people to research azurite's abilities and potential for war. They make armor and a necklace, plus a few machines (as goblins and gnomes often do). They find azurite has healing possibilities including neutralizing poisons (when in raw liquid form) and healing wounds (when made into armor). [Note, liquid azurite is also eluded to by Gallywix be the primary ingredient in Kaja Cola. ] We never learn all of its abilities, but Sylvanas definitely has some ideas and plans.

She is faced with her own extinction. Undead are not immortal, but slowly rotting away. BtS presented us with a 'doctor' who repaired undead bodies that have been severely damaged (i.e. replacing blacksmith's arm with a new arm that will never get stronger). The only way she will continue to have people to rule over is if they continue to "make" more undead. In Legion, we see the quest chain where she attempts to enslave the Val'kyr leader. As we learned in the Undead starting zone, Sylvanas wants the Val'kyr to help(?) her raise more undead. This quest ends with Genn saying "...you took my son's future, and now: I've taken yours." In her eyes, the only means of keeping her undead is through azurite.

Nobbel presents the flashback as seen in Warcraft 3(?)

Sylvanas is desperately trying to save her people. Will this lead to Sylvanas turning into the next Garrosh? I don't think so. Garrosh was prideful. He didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing. We've seen that Sylvanas has some feelings for her undead (she did allow the Lorderon undead/human meetup). I believe that Sylvanas burnt the tree not out of malice, but strategically to end fighting the Alliance in Darkshore. Killing all hope of reclaiming the World Tree.




to be continued when Azshara is released. 


Azshara is vane.

What we know..
Queen Azshara - Beautiful, charismatic,
and persuasive in every way, she
controlled most of the Night Elf society.
  1. The former queen of night elves
  2. Used powerful magic to change/improve her appearance. Only those more powerful than her could see through the illusion. 
  3. As powerful as Sargeras, Kil'jaeden, and Archimonde
  4. Makes a minor appearance in Legion
  5. Considered herself a perfect mate for Sargeras
  6. Transformed into current form by old gods
  7. Worked with Sargeras to purge all imperfection from Azeroth.

OMG! It's the End of the World!!!!

I can't watch many WoW youtube channels right now this expansion. Seems many vloggers are all click-baiting us into watching their ...