Friday, September 12, 2014

Pick a Tame, Any Tame

Every expansion that comes around there are always new tames for hunters to get and next expansion is no exception.  In warlords we will be getting 4 new families to choose from with the addition of riverbeasts, hydras, rylaks (BM only), and stags as well as a whole slew of new skins for existing families and even new designs for some of them.

Hunters are also lucky because with everyone talking about class quests and blizzard saying they are not going to do them or do them only extremely rarely, hunters do have a new class quest even if it does not appear in game as a class quest.  We will have a new spirit beast we can tame, Gara, which is not like the old style of camp it until your eyes bleed but a much better, in my opinion, design of a quest line to catch it.  Hello class quest.  I bet the support classes are feeling a little jealous now.

While each expansion brings us new pets, new skins and new adventures in taming there is a little something inside of all of us that always has that one dream tame.  The one we hope each and every expansion will be added to the new family list.

So what class of pet, or even what pet in particular, would you like to see added?

The answer to the question is a really easy one for me.  I want a pet bunny.  A cute little fluffy white hopping friend to run around with me everywhere I go.  But not just any cute little fluffy white hopping friend.  I want the darkmoon rabbit as my pet and I want him to have his ability, and the visuals that go with it, to remain his special ability when I tame him.

I want the rabbit of caerbannog as my pet.  Even if it is just some generic bunny I tame and not the darkmoon rabbit that is exactly what I would picture my dream tame as, the rabbit of caerbannog.

Lets face it folks, just like the knights in monty pythons holy grail who were scared for a moment when the unknown creature known as the black beast of aaarrrgggghhh who resides in the cave of caerbannog was described as a terrible monster with nasty big pointy teeth no longer feared it when they found out he was just a rabbit and they laughed off the story not fearing it thinking it was safe. Until the black beast killed them that is.  Now that is a cool pet and that is my dream tame.

Blizzard, I want my bunny.  I want my cute little fluffy white hopping friend with his nasty big pointy teeth.  Please.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Tanaan Entry Experience Should Be a Solo Scenario.

I have done the Tanaan entry experience a few times now and attempted to join in for the stress test on it last night but was unable to log in even after letting it sit and spin for over 15 minutes.  I know this is the beta and this is part of what is being tested and was expected that some of us would never even be able to get in to test it and even me sitting and spinning for 15 minutes probably helped them in some way with their test but that is beside the fact..  The Tanaan entry experience should be a solo scenario.  I said that before after I first did it and will say that again.  It just does not feel right with other people around.

Blizzard has all but abandoned the group scenarios for the coming expansion which is upsetting as they were fun and I liked the idea I could basically do them solo nearly from the get go.  It was always a matter of just getting two warm bodies to fill up space.  But blizzard decided they wanted to remove content instead of create content and so it is gone.  But why not use solo scenarios to their fullest intent in situations where they are most suited, like the Tanaan entry experience.

Scenarios were added to the game not only for their game play component but for their story delivery potential.  The three man group scenarios became more like mini dungeons that just did not need a dedicated healer or tank and could be spammed for valor or justice or even lower level gear but the solo scenarios, which we saw put to excellent use on the island of thunder were one time events, that allowed everyone to experience a part of the story, allowed them to do so at their own pace.

They worked well for many reasons one of which was that it allowed people to take as much time as they wanted and actually delve into the story if they wished to do so and not feel rushed because they were competing with other players for kills in the zone and worrying about the respawn timers holding them back from moving forward.  This kind of feeling would make many feel like they had to rush through it and as such they would miss the story.  It also worked as a challenge for some, even if not a large one.  Kind of like a right of passage.

I think the Tanaan experience, being something we will see once and only once per character, would be the perfect opportunity to use the solo scenario system for the reasons mentioned above.  It would work well as a story telling vehicle, it would allow people to move at their own pace and not feel rushed by the crowd, and it would be a better way to convey the whole concept of the expansion, that you personally are the hero, the commander, the one in charge of this expedition instead of it being you and thousands of other random no name heroes all doing the exact same thing at the exact same time.

For those that do not know I will give you a little run down of what the Tanaan introduction is all about, without giving away any spoilers that are not included in the whole basic plot of why we are there anyway.

When 6.0 comes out we will be fighting the iron horde at the foot of the dark portal and all throughout the blasted lands trying to push back their aggressive march on azeroth.  When warlords is released we will take it a step further.  A very, very, few select heroes have been asked to go on a possible suicide mission to close the gate from the other side.

They (you) never know if they are going to be able to make it back, this is why it is called a suicide mission.  You, as a hero of azeroth, a slayer of demons, kings, and world breakers, have gained a reputation as someone that the citizens of azeroth can count on in their darkest hour, their hour of need and as such you willingly accept the task of closing the gate from the other side in a possible no win situation.  Just like a true hero would.

Now here is where things really start to go out of whack story wise.  If there are thousands of people on the other side closing that gate you lose the immersion that blizzard is trying to build.  The one that this is a small strike force going in headed by you, the most prominent hero of azeroth.  The story does not hold water if there are thousands of people doing the exact same thing with you.

Lets even forget for a moment the nightmare that release days can tend to be with thousands of people in the same area trying to do the same quest.  The alliance clusterfuck of bombing the horde ship to start the mists expansion anyone?

There were hundreds of players all flying around the same ship trying to hit it and none could because everyone was trying to enter the zone at the same time.  Starting with a solo scenario makes sense for that reason and that reason alone, so it can possibly make a trickle effect of people entering the zone as they each finish the scenario at their own pace instead of everyone at once.  But like I said, even if that is a fantastic reason it should be a solo scenario, lets put that aside for now and get back to task, us moving into the dark portal.

Once on the other side of the dark portal we are tasked with closing it from their side.  We finish some quests, kill some people, rescue some others, and we close the dark portal.  Azeroth is safe from more iron horde invaders.  You, the hero of azeroth and your rag tag band of volunteers have done when you set out to do.  But your task is really not quite over yet.  There are still warlords left to defeat and if you do not kill them they will just attempt again.  So you have to stay here on this world until the task is complete.

So you set out to find yourself a place to set up base.  Along the way you meet some people, you are introduced to them as a hero of azeroth, the best azeroth has to offer, and that it is you and you only that can stop this iron horde aggression.  Everything up until this point, and everything for the entire expansion, is all about you.  You are the hero.  But with the way it is there is you and thousands of other people, it just does not feel right.

The game will need those other people of course, this is not a solo player game, but there is a perfect point in which they can come later, where you are all integrated, when you can all get together, which is shortly after the Tanaan entry experience is over.  When you finish with the whole experience, which should be solo scenario, you will be tasked with setting up your garrison, which will be a base were all of the horde or alliance, depending on what you play of course, will gather to strike out against the iron horde with you as commander of that base.

When you start to build your garrison, before it gets put up, an oddly whiskerless Khadgar opens a portal to call for reinforcements and people start coming through.  This is when you set up your garrison.

It is at that point you should start to see other people.  It is at that point that you have called in for reinforcements.  It is at that part it is no longer you in command of a small rag tag group of people but of an entire base, small as it might be at the start.  It is as that point other people now come into play because now it is time to bring the fight to the iron horde.  Now is when the solo scenario should end because now it makes sense that there are thousands of people around.

You see, even if we take away the fact that opening day will be a nightmare to begin with having everyone entering the world at the same time it still makes more sense for the lead in to be a solo scenario and not the standard throw everyone together entry into a new expansion.

The story says that it is you, and you alone, with your small group that goes through the dark portal to close it.  The story says it is you, and you alone, with your small group that sets up base on Draenor.  The story says that it is only after you, and you alone, with your small group, have closed the portal and made a base that the other, lesser if you will, heroes of azeroth come to join you.

The narrative of the expansion leaves absolutely no room for debate.  It is like it were a solo player game and you are the hero.  You personally.  For story telling purposes and to keep that narrative real and powerful like it should be, the entry experience should be a solo scenario.  Because, after all, you are supposed to be the hero that closes the portals and sets up a base.  Not you and thousands of other heroes all at the same time.  It is you, that later, calls those thousands of others to Draenor.

Is there still time for blizzard to fix their error?  Please say there is.  For purposes of not only great story telling but letting people flow into the world in smaller bunches after finishing the Taraan entrance, could you please change the entire entry experience into a solo scenario.  Like it should have been to begin with.

Solo scenarios were created to be interactive story telling vehicles and I have not seen, as of yet, any other point so far in this expansion were it could be used to better tell the story than the Tanaan entry experience.  What do you think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6.0 is Coming: What New Stuff We Are Getting

The last post was about what we are losing.  No matter how you look at it losing anything is always going to upset people in one way or another but getting new stuff is usually likely to be met with more excitement than losing stuff.  However I must admit I am pretty darn excited about hit and expertise going away.  Finally.  So lets get to it and look at all the cool new stuff to expect in 6.0, before the expansion even comes out.

Character Models

Yes, you will not need to wait for warlords to come out to see and play with the new character models.  Heck, you will not even need to own warlords or ever buy it to get the new character models.  That holds true for everything I will mention here.  These are changes to the game as a whole.  Everything in this post you will be getting even if you never buy warlords at all.

There are a great many of people that are really looking forward to the new character models and with good reason.  We have been the same old same old for 10 years almost and it was time for a make over.

Some people will love the change and some people will hate it.  Sure there are things about it I do not like such as the new male night elf running animation and there will most definitely be some people that do not like that their characters appearance has changed, even if for the better in some cases but over all I think most people will agree this was a needed update to the game even if they are not exactly satisfied with some of the changes.

For those that do not like the new models with such a deep passion it would ruin the game for them there will be an option to use old character models.  For that that do like it, have at it and enjoy.  Everyone will look sharper, that is for sure.

Prelaunch Event

Everyone looks forward to the prelaunch event and more so this time because it has been so long since we had a taste of new content.  Having done it on beta I can tell you there is not a hell of a lot to it unless they plan to add something else that we have not seen yet but it is still new content and it is still a welcome addition.

There of course are the prelaunch goodies to be had such as a title and pet associated with doing the event so even if is not exactly up to the standard some people were expecting, such as the wrath prelaunch, it is still better than the scenario we got for the mists prelaunch.

You will be given a quest to go to the blasted lands and you will fight back some iron horde throughout a few quests.  The standard kill, collect, interact stuff, and then you will return home and complete the quest line and get your rewards.

There will also be a level 90 version of upper blackrock spire which will award a limited time achievement as well that is part of the mini questing hub that we will be getting.

PvP Flagging Changes

I know a lot of people that are welcoming this change with open arms.  No longer will you ever be on the timeless island and killing rares and accidentally get flagged.  Those dirty rogues with their dirty tricks that like to stand on the dead rare stealthed and flagged hoping some poor unsuspecting sap will click on them and become a free honor kill.

With the changes you need to actually type /pvp to flag yourself which means even if you accidentally click on that dirty rogue while looting all you will do is tickle him maybe but you will not attack.  I have tested this on the beta and it does work.  I targeted a flagged character and actively attempted to do something to him.  Ran through every single ability I had and nothing went off.  I could not flag myself accidentally.

Like I said, I am sure there will be a lot of people that will welcome this change but if you are like me, who occasionally like to PvP, you will be making a macro to flag and unflag when you need to nice and quickly.

Quest Journal and Collection

In a long, very long, over due change quest items will no longer be added into your bags.  Sure there are some that might find there way in there because they were missed or they are needed for some other reason, but the vast majority of them will just be collected in a place you never even see.  For a low level player with tiny bag and even less bag space, this is a god send and a very welcome change.

As for as the quest journal goes it is now attached to the map.  When you open it you will see the map at the same time showing you were your objective is.  I am not really too keen on how it looks, sometimes I just want to see the quest and not the entire map, but it does look nice and is well integrated, I'll give it that.

More Void Storage

In more bag saving news there is the addition of a second tab in your void storage to keep those transmog addicts happy.  Well, and those not really transmog addicts that are just junk collectors like myself.  Having a second tab opens up a lot more space to fill up with gear which I know many people, myself included, will be eating up the second the patch lands.

Crafting Items Stacks

Nearly all crafting items and gathering items will have their stack size increased to 200.  Just in time for warlords when 200 of something is actually the same as 20 used to be, but that is another story all together.  For now it is a great change.

For those people, like myself, that like to keep a few stacks of things around in case I want to make something or a friend needs something for leveling, I will now have fewer stacks to manage.  No more having 10 bag slots wasted on 10 stacks of 20 frostweave cloth.  I will now have 1 stack of 200 frostweave cloth and I welcome that with open arms.  When it comes to changes I really want to hug this one.

I have not tested too deep on what stacks to 20 but I am actively looking forward to finding out.  I just hope they did not forget those weird items like elemental earth and such that used to only stack to 10.  An elf can dream.

Reagents Tab

For just a few gold you can open up a 98 slot bag in your personal bank that will allow you to put crafting items in there.  Herbs, ore, leather, cloth, you name it.  98 slots of heavenly goodness with stacks of 200.  Enjoy it now while you can and it seems like a lot of space.  Come next expansion you are going to blow through all 98 of those slots before you ever even hit 100 most likely as there are a ton of new crafting items we will need to be holding on to and we will need massive amounts of materials to make stuff.

Hey, you didn't think they gave us all this space just to be nice to us.  Nope, not at all, they gave us all this space because we are going to really need it and I for one am really glad for that.  It would have sucked at many levels of suck to have had to make the choice of where to store all of this stuff otherwise.  This new addition to out banking space is a fantastic addition.

Toy Box

In a change that I am sure everyone will love even if they are not a toy collector with cluttered bags like me is the addition of the toy box.  You will be able to click on items labeled as a toy and add it to your toy collection the same as you learn a pet.  Once in your toy collection it will be available to all your characters to use, with standard faction restrictions on certain things of course, and it will free up space.

So instead of having to save that particular toy you like on every one of your characters you can learn one and throw it away on all the others because all your characters will have it.  Some trinkets and even some toys removed from the game are also capable of being added which is nice.

I know I for one and really looking forward to this addition and will plan on going through all my characters to free up a great deal of space thanks to it.

Other Bag Changes

To finish up all this storage goodness that we will be getting in 6.0 are some other bag changes for the bags you carry around with you.

New item highlights.  Whenever you check your bag anything that is new to it since the last time you looked will be highlighted.  This is great for trying to find something that you just picked up because if you are anything like, well, a normal human being, you have probably went looking through your bags wondering where something you just picked up or won the roll for is.  Having it highlighted really helps.

Rarity notification.  All items will now have a border on them that is the color of the rarity of the item.  While my color blindness keeps me from noticing the difference from blue and purple items for those that can notice the difference this is a nice little change.

Sorting.  You will now be able to give all bags a designation on what you want in them.  If you want one bag to be the bag junk goes into, just check one bag off to be your junk back.  Make one for crafting items, one for gear, one for whatever you like.  There are a lot of different options to choose from.

Auction House Changes

There is no such thing a alliance and horde any more when it comes to buy and selling items.  The auction house of both factions are now connected.  For people on the short end of the server balance with high prices this will be a god send, for the goblins out there this will be a moment to step up your game as you compete with more competition.

For the people buying however, this will be a win / win situation.  As the goblins fight for auction house supremacy and there are not more people buying and selling there will be deals to be had from the discriminating buyer. 

I am so glad this is happening now because it will give a chance for the auction house battles to work their way out of everyone system instead of making the first weeks of warlords an up and down nightmare where you never know what is going to end up where.

Raid Changes

All raids, with the exception of LFR, are changing their names.  Flex is becoming known as normal.  Normal is becoming known as heroic.  Heroic is becoming known as Mythic.  Your gear will change tags as well.  This basically means all those normal mode raiders that always wanted heroic gear will now have it.

Also (note: not sure yet but it is this way on beta, not sure if it is the same on PTR)  normal and heroic (flex and normal) will both be flexible in format with a size change of 10 to 30 players instead of 10 to 25 players.  Mythic (was heroic) will now be one standard size which will be 20 players. 

Lockouts are also changing so that every raid difficulty level has its own lock out which means you can do LFR, normal, heroic and mythic in the same week if you choose to do so.

Group Finder

Although there is a group finder in the game already and many of us have been using it for a very long time to find world boss group and even flex, normal and heroic groups, the group finder is getting a face lift and becoming something more pronounced so people can find it.  You would be amazed if I told you how many people I had to explain there was already a group finder in game.  It was sort of hidden and now it will be up front and more noticeable for everyone.

You will be able to use it to find groups for anything from raid content all the way up to mythic (but mythic will not be cross server in warlords) and for PvP content like rated battlegrounds and arena.  You could even make and look for specific groups such as questing groups, frog farming on the timeless island groups and anything else your little heart desires.  Of course as it will be new it might take you some time to find a group for what you want to do if it is out of the ordinary, but the option is there at least.

I am sure there is more and if pointed out I will add it as I can.  If you are on the PTR have some fun testing things out so they work for us when it hits live in a month and if you would rather wait, get ready for all good stuff that is being added.  Maybe you can prepare by getting all your toys and crafting materials ready for their new homes in the toy box and reagents tab.

6.0 Is Coming: What is Going Away

No one can say for sure when the 6.0.2 patch will hit the live servers.  It could be two week or it could be six weeks but the smart money would be on four weeks.  Four weeks would allow us to have a month of playing around with the changes to get used to them in time for the next expansion which would come a month after that.  Being we have been told the pre patch would be out a month before the expansion it would lead most, myself included, to think the 6.0.2 patch will be live in one month.

So lets gets to the heart of the matter and let you know what is going away and what you have a month to get done if you want to.  Do it now or miss it.

What is Going Away:

Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge for SoO.

If you have not managed to snag yourself either of those achievements you have a month left to do so.  Not only are the achievements going away but the mount and titles* associated with them as well.   (*note: I've been informed the titles will still be attainable through the completion of the raid).

This also means that the wolf that comes along with the ahead of the curve achievement will be gone and the mount that drops from Garrosh in heroic when you get the cutting edge achievement will no longer be a 100% drop but like other last bosses before him it will still drop, just at a very low rate.

Siege Heirlooms

In flex, normal and heroic difficulty Garrosh has a chance of dropping an heirloom, or so I have heard because I have never personally received one on any difficulty, and those are going to be removed from the game as well.

Do not worry if you already have one, it will not be stripped from you.  But once the expansion comes out they will no longer drop.  However, once 6.0 comes out the drop rate for anyone that has never received one, like myself, will be 100%.  Thank F'N god I can finally get one.  So we will have one month to get as many as we can if we never had any luck previously because after that month is over we will never see them again.  I really hope that they change their stance on this.  I think leaving them in would be good for the game and give a reason to go back and do older content, but that is just my personal opinion of course, which oft times tends to differ from blizzards.

Brawlers Guild

Warlords will have all the same bosses that are currently in the brawlers guild but they will be buffed up to level 100 and everyone that has done them already will need to do them again.  I am sure there are a bunch of people out there curing blizzard right now with the thought they need to do hexos again.  I personally did not mind him but I hated Ahoo'ru.  We all have our bane.

All the achievements tied to doing the brawlers guild will be removed and become legacy achievements.  As well all your progresses with the brawlers guild will be reset.

Now, these changes are not (at least I do not believe) taking effect in 6.0, but the changes to gear will be taking effect and this might help people get past some issues they might have had with some bosses.  So if you want to say you did season 1 of the brawlers guild, get back in there and get it done.  Just in case it is removed when 6.0 comes, I would suggest you get all them done before that however.  Time is running short.

Challenge Modes

All challenge mode dungeons are being removed when 6.0.2 comes out.  The reason being is we are getting the skill changes and the stat changes in 6.0.2 and the challenge modes were not designed with those in mind.  So instead of wasting time to update the challenge modes they are just removing them and the achievements associated with them.

If you want your challenge mode title, challenge mode transmog, and challenge mode mount, you have only a month to get it done.  I know I would like to get it done myself.  Just never got around to getting a group to get anything better than silver sadly.  Good luck finishing it off.

Proving Grounds

Just like the challenge modes were not designed around the ability and stat changes the proving grounds was not.  So for that reason alone they are going to be removing them.  So if you want to get your golds get them now, if you want to test your luck at endless, do it now, if you want to take a shot at doing it wrong, do it wrong now.  In one month you will no longer be able to get these achievements.

However, like with the brawlers guild, there will be new achievements which are exactly the same as the present achievements.  They will just be for the new proving ground like they are for the new brawlers guild.  However, if you want to build up your legacy achievement count, if you are into that sort of thing, it is now or never for the original proving ground.

Reforging

Get ready to have to deal with one less thing you have to do for your gear once 6.0.2 drops and you get an upgrade.  Nothing really you have to do to get ready for this except maybe cry a little bit on the inside if you spent over 100K gold, like me, for a mount that could reforge only to have that mount be worthless and just a glorified, expensive, ugly mount with a funny jump while running animation.

Hit, Expertise, Parry and Dodge

All those stats are no more.  Why do I tell you this as if it means you need to do something about it?  Because hit, expertise, parry and dodge are going away, that is why.  When you are running your raids on your healer and a piece of gear with hit on it drops and no one needs it.  Take it.  When you are running your raids on your plate damage dealer and something with parry or dodge drops and no one needs it.  Take it.

The gear might seem useless now, but in a months time that hit or expertise or parry or dodge that was no them might very well end up being haste or critical strike or mastery.   So might as well hold on to it in your bags and maybe it will become an upgrade even if it is not an upgrade right now.

For me this is wonderful news.  I have never had any luck getting a healing helm or the tier helm on my priest but I do have one with hit on it for my shadow set.  Well guess what, come 6.0.2 that piece with hit will be my disc piece because it no longer has hit.  So do not just say, it has xxx on it, it is not for me.  If no one needs it, grab it and maybe it will be for you.

Your Stats

Yes, your stats are going away.  There is nothing you can really do to prepare yourself for that.  It is just going to happen and you are going to have to deal with it.  But maybe you can start to mentally prepare yourself to accept that this is what is going to happen.

To give you an idea what it will be like I will use my main as an example.  While there is still a lot of tuning to be done, so take this with a grain of salt, but it will give you an idea of the extent of how much your stats will change.

I am currently topping out around 400K on most fights in SoO in my current gear.  My current gear with the change to stats will have me topping out at roughly less than 5% of that number, as in under 20K.  Scary huh?  Well just to let you know, from my testing on beta, I am 100% capable of killing basically everything I have been killing in the same amount of time and with the same amount of ease.

It is just going to be a case of wrapping your mind around seeing smaller numbers.  Much much smaller numbers.  While I still kill things in the same amount of time it really sucks, to a huge amount, to see these tiny numbers popping up when I hit stuff.  It takes some time adjusting too and I can see a great many people having an issue with the stat squish.  A huge issue with the small numbers.

Hunter Alert: Spirit Boar

A unique skin for a boar will be going away with 6.0.2 and Bendak over at Eyes of the Beast gives you the how to on how to get this baby before we never get to see him again.

Warlock Alert:  Green Fire

While you will still be able to get green fire after 6.0.2 there will be an achievement added for doing it before 6.0 was released and a title that your warlock and any other warlocks you have will be able to use.  Once 6.0 is release you will no longer be able to get the achievement or the title and I must admit of the black harvest does sound like a cool title.  So go get it now.

For those that do not know how to start it go to the timeless island and start killing rares on your lock.   Heck, kill everything.  It can drop from anything but rares have a higher drop rate.  You can also buy the quest item from the auction house.  Once you get it, just follow the quests and get your green fire and when done, if you are color blind like me, you will say, I see no difference.  But at least I will have a new title.

Blackfantom Deeps, Razorfen Kraul & Upper Blackrock Spire

Make sure to check out which ever transmog sites you like to look at to see if there is any gear from these dungeons that you might miss.  Some of the old dungeons have some of the best looking gear and much of the gear you might have grown to love will never be seen again once these dungeons are done with their redesign.

Even if you do not need anything I would suggest going on a sight seeing tour and taking a look at what these dungeons were like in their original form because it is sure to change.  Not to mention getting the original achievements and of course the Jenkins title and the achievement associated with it before it is moved to legacy achievement status and no longer attainable.

Valor and Justice Points

To spend or not to spend, that is the question.  Yes, we will officially have absolutely no reason what so ever to run dungeons any longer.  While some people did it as a fun way to get some valor when they needed it or for alts for some quick content while getting a little valor or spamming it for some justice points so you could buy heirlooms or convert it to honor there will be no reason to ever run a dungeon again once you do not need gear from it.  And with timeless island gear, no one will ever need gear from these dungeons so expect them to be a virtual ghost town.

Sorry if I sound bitter about it but I think it is a horrible idea to remove the incentive people had to do content.  In truth the only time I have ever done a dungeon or scenario after I no longer needed the gear was for valor or to help and friend, but even at that I helped the friend on the character that could use the valor.  So removing the only reason to do them is as good as just removing the content itself.  I think this is a huge mistake on blizzards part.  But, this is not to complain about bad business practices, this is to warn you about what is going away.

With valor and justice points going away everything that you used to be able to buy with them you can now buy with gold.  Sadly for a great many people there really is not much left to buy but for the people that there are still things they need it is an awesome change.

If you are not a good gold makers and want heirlooms, spam dungeons now.  Buy every single heirloom for free basically, because it is just justice points, before you have to actually spend gold to buy them.  If you are willing and able, get every single heirloom now while you still can before being stuck having to spend your gold to get them.  However, if you are good at making gold, I guess buying them would be better than spamming the dungeons for you.

If you want a new set of heirlooms for an alt you feel like leveling in these last two months now is the time to make your decision.  Grind dungeons, while you still can, for justice to buy them or wait a month and just buy them with gold?  To spend or not to speak, that is the question.

Either way, I think it will take a lot of adjusting for many people like myself who always used valor as a way to inspire me to do content.  I did things because I wanted to cap.  Without valor, there is no need to do anything, so it will take a lot of getting adjusted to for me and maybe for you. I really do not even see the reason to even log in at all unless it is raid night if not for valor.  Big mistake removing it, huge mistake.  /rant

Abilities

Say goodbye to some of your CC, CC breakers, personal utility, and even some abilities you have become used to from the rarely used to the rotational staple.  Many classes and specs have been gutted having many abilities removed.  So do not be too surprised if you go looking for an ability you have had forever and it is no longer there.

This, like the stat squish, is going to take more mental adjustment than game play adjustment.  There really is no way to prepare for losing an ability you have had for as long as you can remember except to accept the fact that it is gone.

From playing on the beta I can tell you that you will often find yourself wishing you had something that was removed, like scatter shot, or hitting an ability that is no longer there, like me trying to hit kill shot as survival, but you will get used to it like it or not.

So far I am not very fond of the removal of situational things like scatter shot and still hate to see it gone but I have been able to adjust to no kill shot at survival or no serpent sting as beast mastery.  I still occasionally have instincts kick in and notice my sting is not up while in beast mastery and have to remember I do not have it.  It will take time to adjust too.

There is no real way to prepare other than to understand, or hope, that it will all be okay and get mentally prepared for possibly losing something you loved.

Movement

Blizzard has went the exact opposite way of what I would have liked to see it go.  I would have loved for more movement to be included in the game to make it move active, more reactive, and faster paced.  This would have included a lot of movement for all classes but blizzard has went the exact opposite way.

It will, of course, effect healers and casters the most as they realize many of the abilities that have always been instants and now have cast times.  Also many instant cast abilities ended up victims of the previous header and were just removed. While this is something you really need adjust to mentally, it is something you can prepare for a little bit.  In theory anyway.

Warlocks, stop using KJC and do not use fel flame.  Shamans, do not move while casting lightning.  It will help you adapt to not moving.  Healers, even more so those jumpy druid ones, try to stand still as often as you can.  All casters will be dealing with everything or nearly everything having a cast time and you can start getting used to that by nailing your feet to the ground.

To help in that effort, even if you have an instant, this is how you will handle it to get used to it.  When you cast the instant wait for the global cooldown to finish before you move and do not cast another spell until you stop moving.  Yes, it will greatly hurt your performance, but it will give you a good feel for what it will be like.  It will not be perfect, but it will get you into the land locked feeling you will have to live with for the entirety of the next expansion sadly.

I know there are other things I missed, I'll try and update if they pop into mind or someone mentions something I missed in the comments, but that is all for now.  Tomorrow I will post what is coming in 6.0 so you know what to look forward to on that end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mists: A Good Expansion for Hunters

For this post I would like to completely forget everything else the expansion has bought us from the good of pet battles to the bad of double gating and a 14 month content drought.  I want to just share my opinion on mists purely from the perspective of playing a hunter.  We were left with sub par numbers on occasion, no real raid utility, and issues here and there like all other classes in every expansion ever but it was part of the ups and down and over all it is my opinion that we as a class had a very good expansion.

Focus Finds its Grove

Focus was added for cataclysm and we got our first taste of it in the pre patch that ended wrath.  For many of us it was a game changer.  Some players quit playing hunters while others started to play one just for focus because they liked the resource.  For anyone that was already versed in the ways of the hunter however, like it or not, it was a complete change on how the class worked.

It was in mists however when we had the talents added which assisted with focus generation that focus began to really find its own way as a resource perfect for hunters.  Gone were the days of the change and comparisons between focus and mana.  Two years had past since its introduction and now we have been using focus for a while and even got some nifty new abilities to play with that adjusted the generation or management of it.

Thinking about all the resources in the game right now and the rapid fire constantly hitting abilities every second it is hard to remember the days before hunters had focus.  Even the most hardened mana defenders had to admit that focus really was working and it was working well.

Focus not only fit hunters in usage but it melded well with the easy to play hard to master mantra that has been said about hunters since the beginning of the game.  Focus allowed people anywhere from new players to top player to get something out of it. 

Where the new player could just use a spend and generate rotation they could do okay the skilled player could maximize by watching their focus and keeping it at the perfect level, watching cooldowns, timers, pooling, spending and lining up abilities to go from doing okay to doing fantastic and because of the hunters super fast paced rotation with a one second global cooldown and so many instant spells it made for a very complex balance for those new to class which left room for everyone to always get better and squeeze out some more damage.

Also with pet damage, auto shot damage, fast paced rapid abilities and the design of focus being a constant resource that lasts forever all the abilities were balanced around the fact that one mistake can not kill your numbers like it could with some other classes.  There is definitely a good and bad to that but over all it is good for everyone when one mistake doesn't kill you.  That has to amount to a plus.

Focus was not a bad resource to begin with when it was added in cataclysm but with some time to fine tune it and new abilities added to adjust it in mists, focus really took its place as the hunter resource in mists and what a great resource it is.  Hunters are the only class in the game to have it and with its build and spend design that leaves everything in the players power to manage it makes for an extremely good resource that other classes should be jealous of.

I Like the Way You Move

Hunters of years past were like any other caster (even if we are not casters) and were land locked for the most part but over the years they were allowed to move a little more and more each expansion.  Mists is when the final change clicked and hunters became a fully mobile ranged class and it was, is and always will be awesome.

We started the expansion doing the stance dance between fox to move and hawk for our big shots.  For the well versed player it was as simple as a matter of macros or quick fingers but even for the inexperienced player it left them options to move for everything.  As the expansion went on fox went away and there was no longer a need to play the stance dance, it was just pew pew on the run all the time.

Once again hunters not only carved their niche in the game but they owned it.  Fighting on the move was not only what hunters could do but it is what they did extremely well and that all came to pass in mists.

A Bad Design Says Goodbye

The dead zone was the bane of all hunters and even after they said they removed it, it was still there.  Anyone that had ever played and heard the click click click because they were too close to use ranged and too far to melee will tell you the dead zone never disappeared, it just became incredibly small.  While it is true that the super tiny dead zone of recent years was a hell of a lot better than the dead grand canyon that we seemed to have had in the past it was still a bad design and with the coming of mists we saw the leaving of the dead zone.

No longer would be hunters be told we can not shoot someone at point blank range.  Now if we wanted to pull back and arrow and place it to someones forehead while we stood face to face with them we could.  While this might be visually humorous to imagine with a bow it made perfect sense with a gun.  We should have always been able to hit someone no matter what range we were at.

Losing the dead zone in mists was a dream come true for many hunters, even more so ones like me that love to play by sound because I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, the dead zone still existed even though they had said it was gone because I often heard click click click because I happened to be in that exact too close and too far range at the same time.  Good riddance.

Say Hello to my Little Friend

Ever since wrath hunters have been lucky enough to get some love with a few rare tames they could catch out in the world.  As much as all of us hunters like to say we do not get any love we have to remember we get new pets, rare tames, challenge tames, etc every single expansion and that shows that there is a little love for us out there.  Mists was no different.  Not only with one full set of rare tames but with two.  Not to mention a whole slew of new beasts and skins out in the world that were not so rare at all but still there for the taming.

It started with the foot prints you would find in the world that you needed to follow with a flare.  It was not just one pet that you could tame following their foot steps but at least one in each zone.  And all with the added benefits that someone else could not kill it because they could not see it while passing over.  Only you could make it viable with the use of your flare ability and then keep it viable with a hunters mark so you could tame it.

There was a short water strider that could be found in the jade forest, a cat in the jade forest, a crane in the valley of the four winds, a turtle in krasarang wilds, a porcupine in kun-lai summit, a goat in kun-lai summit, a basilisk in townlong steppes, a tall water strider in the dread wastes and a quilen in the vale of eternal blossoms.  And the one in the vale could spawn in 4 different colors so if you were looking for a specific one you could end up hunting him for a while to get the one you want be it red, blue, purple or green.

Another pet, a purple silkworm, was added in 5.1 using the same tracking mechanic.  However you did not follow footprints like the other rare finds, this time around you need to follower partly eaten flowers.  They looked just like silkweed.  Unlike the foot prints where you could follow them (backwards at first oddly enough) to know which way the pets were headed the flowers the silkworm left behind did not point in a direction, so have fun finding him.  You could spend all day moving in the wrong direction if you pick the wrong way.  They stepped up the challenge this time.

So far between release and the first patch counting different colors, there were 13 new pets to be tamed for hunters.  Mists was showing a lot of hunter love for those hunters out there that like to collect pets but they were not done yet.  The silkworm would not end up being the biggest challenge we hunters would have as far as tames went this expansion.

With 5.2 came new spectral pets, porcupines at it may be.  There were three colors.  Red, green and blue and each had their own unique challenge to taming them sort of like the spiders and other beasts that gave hunters a challenge back in cataclysm's molten front.

The red porcupine, Degu in the wilds, had two abilities that could basically instantly kill you.  One if you were too far from him and one if you were too close to him meaning you had to tame him at the appropriate distance which could tend to be quite the task.  The green porcupine, Hutia in the jade forest, you needed to stay as far away from as possible and needed to interrupt.  The blue porcupine, Gumi in the summit, which was a super fast porcupine that you needed to keep from reaching you and it would take every trick in the book to make sure that happened.  Being this pet is on the side of a mountain however it made for a unique challenge.  How do you kite on the side of a mountain?  Very carefully.

Last but not least there was the timeless island and more tameable pets which, if you were going after a rare like gucci or great fury or emerald gander could being a challenge all of its own depending on your server and how quickly the rares died.

Say what you want about hunters not getting any love sometimes but it sure seems our tames have received a lot of love in mists.  Not only with all the new and unique skins that appeared but we had a whole flurry of rare and challenging tames this expansion and there is no denying this is hunter only content.  Yay us.

Did Fluffy Hurt You?

An extremely skilled hunter in PvP has always been a deadly thing.  Hunters are extremely hard to play in PvP because they have so many tools and being able to use them all at the right time and effectively is most definitely a skill very few players have.  Hunters have always been the hardest class to play at max level in PvP.  But this was not so at the beginning of mists.

At the start of mists even a hunter of suspect PvP skill could destroy anyone thanks to, in part, our insane button bloat.  With readiness to reset our cooldowns combined with a full power stampede you were effectively our own raid group.  Say what you will about it but there is no one in the game that does not like being over powered.  Even if you know it will never last we all love to feel strong like that once in a while and against an unsuspecting and/or unskilled player a hunter was immediately a god in PvP when mists was released.

On the backs of our one man raid team all with their unique buffs they cast when you called stampede you, alone, made for a formidable group.  With our own trueshot aura and 5 pet buffs like stats, attack speed, critical strike, mastery, and whichever else you wished, we were nearly raid buffed all by ourselves when we called stampede.  All that and our pets hit for a surprisingly high amount of damage and having all 5 out at the same time while blowing through the heart of our rotation and then hitting readiness and doing it all again meant that anyone that did not know how to protect themselves was dead.  Dead, dead and dead.  It was so much damage piled on in one short burst that you could kill the person three times over before they even had the chance to notice you had attacked them to begin with.

It did not last long and we all knew it wouldn't.  It was over powered.  So very over powered.  So deliciously over powered.  Sure a good player or a good team in team combat could easily counter it, but it was too over powered for the average player and the average player is where the vast majority of people are, that is why it is called average.  So it needed to to nerfed and it was, hard.

Either way, any time you can be that powerful you are going to remember that moment fondly and mists offers us that as a memory.  The memory of sneaking up on someone in camouflage and opening up a can of whoop ass on them before they ever could react.  It was great and it will be a great memory that mists allows us to have.

Big Game Hunter

I might not be hemet, and neither are you, but hunters hunt and who does not like the big game hunt.  There were rares all around the world in mists and with every patch they added more and all those rares had a name tag on them that said they belonged to me.  Hands off you filthy (add class that is not a hunter name here) that rare belongs to a hunter.

When leveling that first day I was ahead of the pack so I killed all the rares solo as I passed by while leveling.  It was extremely fun.  When the warbringers and warscouts were added I killed them solo as well, same with the isle of thunder rares and the timeless island rares.   No rare added in mists gave me trouble for long.

Hunters are the masters of open world content and mists offered a lot for us to do.  I do not care what everyone else thinks but when you see a silver dragon portrait around a mob that doesn't mean it is a rare that means it belongs to a hunter.  Do you know what that silver portrait reads?  It reads, "property of hunters".  While every other class in the game was posting in general looking for a group as a hunter you just walked up and killed because that is what we do.  No group required, we are our own group.

Others might think differently of it but whenever I see a rare in the world I think of it as it is content designed just for me.  Every time I kill a rare I say thank you blizzard.  When I am on alts I think can I do this, should I try, is there a friend around to help but when I am on a hunter all I see is a living breathing bag of loot with my name on it that will soon be dead and his bag of loot will be in my bag of spoils.

Nothing is more fun than big game hunting and nothing in more fun than doing it at gear level or lower than expected.  Soloing a warscout on my level 86 alt hunter was awesome, but it was a rare and I am a hunter so it belonged to me, what else would you expect.  That was challenging content designed just for me.  Just for hunters.  Just because we are that freaking awesome.  There was a lot of big game to be hunting and we got to hunt it before everyone else did and better than anyone else could.  Its good to be king.  King of open world content that is.

Play What You Want

While it will always remain true that the top end raiders will always play the best spec in the game even if that best spec is only 0.5% better than the other, the specs have remained balanced more than they had ever been before.  Marksmen might have been dead last for the entire expansion but in many cases it was not dead last by a huge margin like some classes need to deal with when talking about the difference between their specs.

Beast mastery remained the champion from the beginning to the end of the expansion giving way for survival occasionally at some gear levels and for some fights but even when it was top of the heap unless you were one of those world first raiders looking for that last bit of damage you really could play any spec you wanted.  Even marksman.  While marksman remained far behind beast mastery and survival it did not really fall far behind in terms of being capable of getting the content done.  Just lesser.

Due to some creative (not really) patching increasing hawks damage modifier hunters have always remained competitive even if not top of the heap which is something to be happy for to begin with in any expansion.  Adding to that the fact you can play the spec you wanted to for the most part made for an amazing expansion of choice for hunters even if for many of us we really never took advantage of it. 

I'll admit I spent the entire expansion being beast mastery or survival for raiding and marksmen for player vs player.  But that does not mean I could not have played beast mastery in player vs player and marksmen in raids.  I could have while not really hurting my teams chances to win and that is an option that does not come around all the time.  We should be glad we had it as well as we did when it comes to spec balance even if we could argue we all would have liked marksman to be a bit higher, because lets face it, we (or at least me) would have surely liked that.

That Gear is Not Junk

It was not until the announcement of warlords and the removal of reforging and introduction of versatility that I realized and fully appreciated how good hunters had it when it came to secondary stats in mists.  In the entire history of the game no single class or spec has ever had all their secondary stats so close together in effective value.

When thinking about the removal of reforging that reminds me how much that matters.  No longer will we be able to switch around secondary stats so having all stats near equally valued means all gear is good for us.  What we have will be what we have without reforging and we, unlike other classes, are not going to hurt as badly by that change.  Back to those days of that piece of gear is junk because it has xxx on it for all the other classes.  For hunters this expansion any piece of gear that was an item level upgrade was an actual upgrade.  All secondary stats were so very close together that it did not matter really.  It came down to which ever had the most stats was the best piece to have.  Sure another piece might be better, but not piece is really junk when your secondary stats are so close in value with each other.

Seeing versatility being added in warlords and getting it on gear in the beta is feeling like such a huge let down because it is a completely useless stat.  It made me look back on mists with rose tinted glasses already and it is not even gone yet.  We had it so well in mists.  No useless stats.  Even the worst stat for the spec we were in was not really all that bad.  We could basically put on any gear we get no matter what stats it has and do well because all stats worked well for us.  I am going to miss that more than I will miss anything else in mists because that is a balance, as I said, no spec had ever seen before and no spec will ever likely see again.  At least not while there is a worthless stat like versatility in the game.

Hunters had it good.  It is not like everyone had this luck.  Certain classes needed only things with mastery, only things with haste, only things with critical strike.  Certain classed need to reach this break point, that break point, or the other break point.  Hunters never had to worry about any of that, and that is how it should be.  We get gear, we put it on, we kill things.  Just like a hunter should.  Secondary stats helped us, sure, but what those stats were did not really matter because they were all useful for us.

It was nice to fine tune it for a few extra numbers to ring up on the hunter pew pew meter but over all it was not make or break because of how close the value of the secondary stats were.  You might not notice how good we had it in this department now but trust me when you are sitting on 8 pieces of gear with the completely worthless versatility stat on it and you look back at mists and think, I wish this was a good stat like it would have been in mists.  Bravo blizzard for creating the best stat balance you ever managed and thanks for giving that balance to hunters because we are so awesome we deserved it.  Sadly it will be missed.

End Note

It was not all roses, never is.  We had the button bloat issue, lots to get used to for many of us, we had the constant and excessive nerfs and reversals of stampede.  Other abilities nerfed or gutted in general.  Bestial wrath losing its terminator theme.  Falling behind, waiting for buffs, boring aspect buff that was supposed to fix it all, no raid utility, you name it.  We had our fair share of problems over the course of the expansion as well.  Don't get me wrong, it was not perfection for hunters, but it sure was good for hunters over all.  All those pets, rares and balance.  Yeah.  What is there not to like about that?  In the end mists was a good hunter expansion in my opinion.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts

- I started playing around with a troll hunter on the beta.

- I must say I like the troll redesign better than the night elf one.

- Of course I picked the one with the least disturbing nose.

- I created a fresh 90 there because I wanted to see how the gearing process would flow with lesser gear.

- I can say even with all 500 item level gear it was nice and smooth.

- I wonder how it will be coming straight from 90 with a 435 item level at best.

- I guess that is my next test.

- I'll have to find which character I have with the worst gear.

- Or I will bring over a character that can craft the 450 gear and get the 450 weapon from the scenario.

- I think that is the closest I can get to 435 other than leveling another character.

- But even at a 500 item level the questing flows smooth and is easy.

- And even better is that upgrades come from nearly every quest which always feels nice.

- Did some soloing on my hunter just to see what it would be like.

- Dragon soul is completely capable of being soloed.

- Didn't even break a sweat or need to worry about mechanics, I just blew things up.

- It was a bit too easy if you ask me.

- I do not think they put in the patch they were talking about for spine yet, but it was still easy to solo.

- It was the only fight there that you actually needed to do something and pay attention or you would go flying off but it was still very easy.

- I was surprised quite honestly.

- So I can add that on to my farm list for mounts now.

- I can't get past spine on live.

- But then again I have not tried in a long time but still do not think I can.

- Wanted to see if they put the skip option in for dreamwalker in ICC like they mentioned they would but the ship battle is bugged and I could not get past it.

- The other ship never lands next to you to fight it.

- Did some invasions in my garrison to test them out.

- After stopping by the out house to relieve myself.

- Achievement for doing that is still bugged.

- I find it funny after so many years without a bathroom we now have one and it gives us an achievement for using it.

- After all these years our characters must be ready to explode.

- I think the achievement should be for resisting using it.

- Because if our characters had any say they would go running into there in a heartbeat.

- I like when you sit in there you are looking out of the little moon symbol cut in the door.

- Makes me wonder what it would be like if someone walked by and peeked in.

- Hellllloooo.

- Get out of here.

- I do find it mildly humorous that the out house is outside of our garrison walls.

- Because who wants that in our garrison.

- The out house is literally outside.

- The primal invasion was the hardest of the three that were available to test and I only managed a bronze.

- The shadowmoon (I think that is what it was called) invasion was okay but slightly difficult and I managed a silver.

- The iron horde was the easiest one and I not only managed gold but I destroyed gold.

- You needed 700 victory points to get gold and I managed to get over 1300.

- It seems they have done some adjusting since I first tried them because there was this elite worm thing that one shot me even when I was no where close to in range of it last time and it did not do that this time.

- Also I managed gold on the shadowmoon one the last time I tried in lesser gear.

- For the record I have a 608 item level which is well below even normal dungeon gear.

- This means that these are being tuned for people that are not overly geared.

- Or even geared at all to begin with.

- I think that is a great idea, so people can use it as a method of gearing up.

- When I got the gold I managed to get a pair of 645 shoulders in the baggie.

- That was a huge upgrade.

- Not sure if there will always be some sort of gear, but having it as a possible option for alts is not bad.

- The 645 item level is still suspect however.

- It is between the two LFRs which are 640 and 650 which effectively makes it useless gear.

- They need to drop the LFR gear down to heroic dungeon level and then items like 645 will feel like something special.

- Even if it was an upgrade for me now it still felt like I won but I lost at the same time.

- When you are going to give people something for winning at least make it feel like something worth winning.

- In my opinion at least.

- And quite frankly, winning LFR level gear is like losing.

- The gear you get, if you get lucky enough to get something, should be at normal raid level, at the least.

- I was talking to friends about the LFR item level thing and my belief that LFR should drop gear equal to heroic dungeons.

- They said that would never work because they need to have a higher item level in LFR otherwise people will not do it.

- I said, that is exactly my point.

- Have LFR and dungeons drop the same item level and then let the players decide on which to do.

- If LFR is going to be higher than dungeon level, it should have tier gear and better trinkets.

- But being it does not have tier gear and better trinkets, it is not raiding and not raid gear, so it should be the same item level as dungeon gear.

- And if no one does LFR because they would rather do dungeons then blizzard can learn from that and remove LFR when no one is using it.

- He said, that is exactly why they won't do it.

- If they gave people the option of spamming dungeons to get gear or waiting once a week for LFR and they are both equal item level people would choose dungeons and blizzard would never want to admit their LFR failure by subjecting themselves to that comparison because dungeons would win if they were equal item level.

- I agreed with him, he most definitely did win that one.

- Blizzard will never admit that the LFR is a complete failure.

- But I still have the solution to the LFR problem.

- One I have been saying since they first introduced it and I am surprised that they still have not done it yet.

- Add moderators.

- The LFR is not the problem, never has been, the people in it are the problem.

- Have the LFRs monitored.

- Have slackers and AFKers have their loot stripped form them and kicked from the group.

- Have trolls banned from further using the LFR tool (for a limited time of 2 to 4 weeks for a first offense).

- Basically have someone handing out actual penalties to the people that make the gaming experience for those around them horrible.

- Once word gets out that you could run yourself up a ban for acting like a jackass in LFR people will stop acting like a jackass in LFR.

- It really is that simple.

- And if they do not stop, they will be banned and gone, and it is a win either way.

- That will fix LFR and then, and only then, would it be deserving of a higher item level than dungeons.

- But until that point, I don't think LFR deserves having gear at a higher item level then dungeons.

- Heck, if anything it should have a lower item level than dungeons.

- It is a lesser form of group play, so in theory, it should drop lesser gear.

- LFR dropping higher item level than a heroic dungeon would be like quest rewards being better than heroic raid gear.

- It is just wrong and should not happen.

- I would like to think I use the LFR for what it is intended for, in my case at least.

- I go there to practice and learn.

- Being I have been called in to heal heroics a lot lately I decided to play around with my stats a little on my disc priest.

- I changed to a haste build and queued up for all 4 SoOs to give it a try and to see how it worked.

- I set my mana threshold a slight bit higher than normal knowing that I would burn through mana a bit more with a haste build.

- I set it at 15000 when I usually go with less in my critical strike build.

- I put on a few pieces of gear I managed to snag including my first heroic piece, one I won off the third boss and my shadow helm with hit on it.

- I had no choice, even if I had forever been coming in on thok as the third healer and rolled every time I have never won the helm.

- Heck, I never won anything off thok and I had healed it as a third healer more than a few times.

- So my priest was still wearing a timeless island helm.

- I figured even a 553 with hit would be better than the timeless island helm.

- It got me over 560.

- Yes, I still have some crap pieces, but what do you expect from a character that only ever played fill in.

- And rarely at that.

- I did okay with the haste build and only really ran into mana issues in two situations.

- One was when I needed to use mass dispel a lot like on protectors.

- The other was when the fight went on really long like 8 people doing the last three klaxxi and it was taking forever.

- Otherwise it worked out okay for the most part.

- Still not sure if I like the haste build however.

- Might need a tiny bit more spirit for longer heroic fights.

- But that is why I was doing this in the LFR, to test it out and get a feel for it.

- Any disc priest want to chime in?

- I was pulling between 70K and 90K DPS and between 120K and 170K HPS while topping the healing done (but remember it was LFR so that does not matter as much), depending on the fight of course.

- I need a lot of work, I know.

- With a 560 item level I should easily have another 40K on both those numbers at worst.

- Good thing I am just a fill in healer.

- I am sure, like with everything, if I played it more often I would get better at it.

- Over all while I did not really like the haste build I will give it a try for one week in heroic and see how it goes.

- I am so going to miss reforging.

- Even more so as a healer.

- They seem to have slowed down travel speed on the beta.

- I guess they noticed that the world was too small like I mentioned.

- And no, I do not mean they actually slowed us down, they just made the 100% mount move slower.

- It still shows the same percentage speed, but it now takes a lot longer to get from point A to point B.

- It is just a matter of changing the global move speed on the continent.

- I mentioned it to a friend and he said he feels no difference.

- But he never did what I did, running back to the same spot over and over after a disconnect.

- When I felt like something was wrong I went to do that run again.

- It took twice as long as it did when I was running back over and over that one day.

- Remember how I said you could go from one end of a zone to the other in about a minute in some cases?

- Not so any longer.

- That is how blizzard is going to make the world feel bigger I guess.

- But for the zones that were bigger, like the horde and alliance starting zone and nagrand they now seem massive because of the slower speed.

- And it is even more telling on a flight path.

- It now feels like you are moving in slow motion when on a flight path.

- I can understand wanting us to feel the world is bigger when on foot and slowing down how fast we move on the ground but why did they need to make the flight paths slower also.

- I am going to guess that is a bug.

- How can you have slow flight paths and slow ground travel with the absence of flying.

- There needs to be some give and take and the give would be faster flight paths.

- Still a few wonky flight paths out there that I had to report.

- When will blizzard ever get direct paths right?

- Before I end this I have a few more garrison observations.

- If you have an alt, or alts, with enchanting than the enchanters study is completely useless.

- At least that I have noticed thus far.

- The enchanting study allows you to make enchants for your gear and to disenchant things.

- So if you have an enchanter to make the enchants for you then no need to worry about having one.

- And you will get enough enchanting materials otherwise just from your enchanters journeys.

- And the other thing I have come to the conclusion of is that the salvage yard is mandatory for alts.

- Why do I say that?

- Because you can get gear from follower missions.

- I got a couple of 615 pieces so far.

- Sure they are only normal mode dungeon level but for an alt you rarely play that is still free gear.

- And you can get 630 gear and higher.

- But to do so you need to have followers that can complete the missions for them.

- To get the higher item level gear you need to have higher item level followers.

- Your followers gear higher item level from getting upgrade items.

- You can get upgrade items from only two places I have noticed thus far.

- One is from missions and they are few and far between.

- The other is from opening salvage at the salvage yard, which seems to give you lots of them.

- As in a hell of a lot of them.

- I already got 2 complete 645 armor sets for my followers.

- That means when I get a 3rd up to 645 and their weapons up to 645 I can start doing missions to get my character 645 gear.

- Pretty darn awesome for an alt wouldn't you think?

- Getting gear in between the 2 starting LFRs while never leaving your garrison?

- You will want to get a lot of those upgrade items as fast as possible to get your alts gear.

- So to get your followers item levels up faster you need to have a salvage yard.

- Which means you will get better gear from missions faster if you increase your characters item level faster.

- So that means for alts that you do not do much with, if you want gear, you want a salvage yard.

- It is absolutely mandatory.

- And from looking at things, you might even consider it mandatory for mains as well.

- From the looks of it, if you get your followers to a mythic item level they can get you mythic items.

- So even for a main, while not a dependable way to gear, it might still be a good idea.

- But for an alt, the salvage yard is absolutely mandatory.

- Well, that is all for today.

- Have a great day.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Making a To Do List is Tops on My To Do List

I am usually a very organized person when it comes to everything in my life.  Everything has a place and everything has to be in its place.  You know the type of person I am sure.  So it makes sense that carries over into my gaming.

In a way it is why I like building games because they require a plan of attack.  I love those text based games where you build a base, an army, a fleet, whatever.  I usually play them until the beginner protection time ends and sometimes a little after.  I've also been known to spend a bit of cash on them if I am really enjoying the building up process.  That is what I enjoy the most as I said.  Once you build everything it just turns into a PvP sort of game and I have no interest in that.  I want to build stuff, not rip the stuff other people build down.

With that said I always have a plan, or usually have a plan as it might be.  This is what I am going to do, this is how I plan to do it, and this in the long term forecast on when I expect to finish it.  The problem is I have not had a plan for a while now.  I've been playing the last couple of months kind of aimlessly which is not my style.

I always liked valor and valor gear because it gave me something to build.  It filled the type of game I like to play.  I would build the gear of my player by collecting valor.  So it gave me an easy way to set up my to do list.  Max out this character, get some valor on that character, collect the last 200 on the other character I need to get that chest piece.  So forth and so on.  I loved loved loved valor and valor gear and not having any in game now has left me with nothing to do on my max level alts that I have no intention of raiding on.  Instead they just sit around in their crappy timeless island pieces and if they were lucky a celestial and ordos piece or two.  I've got no desire to log into them because there is nothing to build up on them.

I think it is also a reason I like reputations because that is like building something.  You are doing things and watching that reputation bar move up.  You are building your friendship with the faction.  Same goes for many other things in the game.

I loved recently working on another server and building up a crew of 11 new characters with their professions.  Some people might hate leveling but I love it.  It is building your character.  I level and do my professions at the same time because they are all part of the building process as well.  Not to mention I need to have all professions on that server so they all get built together in a group effort.  I dig that stuff.  But somehow, even if I love leveling, seeing that instant 90 looming there kind of makes me question doing it.  Sure I can still do it because I like to do it, but with that instant 90 option I am at battle with myself.  I love to build stuff, but I also hate to waste time.  If I can get to 90 for the cheap price of 60 dollar than it would really be a waste of time to manually level.  But I like to level so I am leveling but each time I log into the character, no matter how much I like to do it, I can't help but feel as if I am wasting my time doing it now.

So I am left with nothing to do now at max level because I don't want to run LFR any more and there is no valor gear and I am level with nothing to do because I can't level because it feels like a waste of time now and I refuse to pay 60 bucks to instantly level the character and then have another character sitting with nothing to do at 90 because there is no valor gear to get for it.

So my normal things at the top of my to do list are gone.  Gear up alts and level alts.

So now I am left with nothing to do even if I have a lot of things I would want to do.  I need to make myself a to do list.  The problem is that I am not feeling very motivated to do anything right now.  I think all the time I spend on the beta has effected me in ways I could have never expected.  I had already prepurchased the game so I will be playing warlords, but I am not all that happy with the possible future direction of the game with what I see on the beta.

It has all but killed my desire to do my standard stuff I do when I am bored like mount collecting and going after the DS mounts, mimrons head and onyxia's mount.  Maybe I could work on rebuilding my gold after I had a case of open pockets recently and spend a bunch putting me down to a little over 600K.  Seeing what garrisons are going to cost with as many characters as I have and the 10K price tag to switch building in the zones that might not be a bad idea.

I think for me to have any sort of fun I actually need to make a to do list.  It had always been I never needed to because there was always gearing alts and leveling alts to keep me busy and happy and I can not do either of them any more thanks to some changes to the game.  So perhaps for the first time ever I actually need to make a to do list.

So the first thing on my to do list is to make a to do list.

Do you have a to do list on what you want to finish off in the next two months?  Maybe I can steal some of your ideas for mine.