Friday, February 27, 2015

For Love and Hate of the Hot Fix

Warcraft is always evolving, adjusting, making changes as needed to try and keep thing working as intended.  Sometimes that means hot fixing a talent, a mechanic, an achievement, what have you.  This is all done with us, the players, in mind.

Sometimes you love a hot fix.  Say your raid group is having issues with a boss because it was harder than intended and suddenly they reduce the health of the adds, like what they did on horridon on 10 man which helped out many guilds.  It is one of those things where if you beat the fight already it doesn't matter to you, you are already past it and can pass it again easily but if you were one of those guilds stuck behind the wall it is a welcome fix that helps you move along.

That is what hot fixes are for.  To try to keep things moving along, to let players feel as if they are progressing.  After all we all need to keep moving forward or the game becomes stagnant and that is when people start to give up, lose interest, or just flat out quit.  Hot fixing is usually in the best interest of the game.

How we as players react to the hot fixes however is basically what our personal opinions are.  As with the example I gave above.  There were some people that did not like the fix to the horridon fight.  They called it a nerf.  The difference is a hot fix is to fix something that was harder or easier than intended and a nerf is just to make things easier over all.  The dragon soul or icecrown citadel  5% buff/debuff was a nerf, the scaling of adds on horridon in 10 man was a hot fix.  But that would not change the minds of some people who would think otherwise.

Bottom line is with each hot fix you will either love it or hate it.

I've been hating on most of the achievement hot fixes this expansion thus far personally.  I hate them because of when they came mostly, not because they happened.  I can understand why they happened, well, some of them at least.

So that all brings me to the hot fix that is coming that made me think to write about them.  There is going to be a hot fix coming for getting the Harrison Jones follower that I am hating on right now.  Why you might ask?  Glad you did because I was planning on telling you even if you didn't.

To get the follower you had needed to do the 6 new relic hunter quests that come to a garrison near you on a daily basis as well as do all the follower missions associated with them.  The fix is that you no longer need to do the missions, you only need to do the 6 quests to get him now.

While this means it will be easier and faster to get him for many it also means yesterday I wasted a ton of time and resources.  As you might know, I am not a fan of wasting my time.  That means, I hate this hot fix.  See, for me, I only hate hot fixes that make me feel as if I wasted my time.  Things that if I knew they were coming I would have done things differently.  That is why I hate this hot fix.  If I knew it was coming, even more so coming this quickly, I would have done things differently.

What I did was take advantage of the fact you could speed along the missions by buying something from the archeology vendor which would give you a relic hunter mission for 5 restored artifacts.  I used all my stashed restored artifacts for them.  I did not stop there either, I also went through my collection of characters on my server that had motes of harmony and spirits of harmony and sent them all to my hunter.  I had 16 characters on that server that had some, so needless to say I had a lot.

I then went to the shrine and at a rate of 3 spirits of harmony per restored artifact I spent every one I had to get a nice stash of restored artifacts.  I then went back and bought more things to start the missions.  In the end I spent a lot of time, all my spirits, sacrificed turning the crates in for tol'vir fragments which is what I had been doing to try to get the damn mount and pet that still elude me, all in an effort to speed up getting Harrison Jones as a follower.

It required a lot from me to try to get the follower, hopefully, by the 6th day when I do the 6th daily, baring no repeats.  And now I don't need to do the missions!!!

Can you see why I am pissed?  I can somewhat under stand hot fixing some achievements because they need it.  I was upset with the change to the draenor money one going down from 10,000 to 2,500 because I had already done the 10,000 version, but I can deal with it.  I was actually happy with the change to savage friends to only needing 1 exalted reputation instead of 3 because it made more sense even if I already had the 3 at exalted.  I even support the change to the engineer building only needing to test some of the toys and not all even if it does annoy me that they made that change the day after I finally had used all of them and got the achievement, but it was a needed one as I see it.

But this change?  It just came out.  What is it, 2 days old in the UK and 3 days old in the US.  Was it really needed to fix it that quickly?  It did not even have any time to see if it was indeed broken. 

In time everyone would have managed getting all the missions without even trying, the missions would come to them in their garrison.  If they really wanted it they could rush it the way I did.  It was not a hard achievement to get or a big deal to begin with.  You still needed to wait 6 days no matter what because you had to do the six dailies and in those six days you could have easily gotten enough restored artifacts, like I did, to get all the missions you needed if you wanted to speed it up.  Why change it?  There was no need for this, even more so that there was a way already built in game to speed it up and make it even easier than it already is.

That is really a hot fix I am feeling the hate for. 

Do you want to know which achievement I would love to see fixed and made easier like that?  The bigger bags one.  I spent so much time on 20+ characters on the timeless island.  I killed every rare there at least 100 times and most likely much more and the process is account wide and I still do not have that achievement.  Why don't they change that one to only needing 80% of the items collected?  That one makes sense to fix.  Harrison Jones does not.  Bigger bag was hard because it involves RNG, Harrison Jones is not because all it requires is time.  Yet they fix the one that doesn't need it and leave the one that does need it alone.   For the love and hate of hot fixes indeed.

Have there been any hot fixes you hated?

Have there been any hot fixes you loved?

How has blizzards hot fix crazy ways of this expansion been treating you?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What If: Blizzard Had Subscription Packs?

I was reading through some posts on the forums and got to the no flying post in which I love reading the debates.  It really is a circular argument that has been going on for a while, not much new has been added to it in ages, you either want flying back or you don't, simple as that.  So no one really said anything specific that made me think of this idea but none the less something popped into my mind that I think would be interesting to see what people would think about.

Lets say, for example, if blizzard offered different levels of their monthly subscription service and one of them included flying as a perk.  Would you be willing to pay for flying?

What we pay now would be called the silver package.  For our $15 a month we would get access to everything we currently have.

Now lets makes one package higher for $20 a month and one lower for $10 a month.  Not going to add a lot or remove a lot, just going to keep it super simple.

Gold: $20 a month

All current access we have in game.

Silver: $15 a month

Game as it currently is.

Bronze: $10 a month

No access to "top" end game experiences. (mythic and arena)
Full access to all else.

Now I am sure there could be more differences between the different levels of subscription and I can see a hell of a lot of the player base, most likely well over 80%, that would be happy with the lower $10 per month package as most players never step into mythic or arena.  But how many of us would be baited by the flying in draenor to pay $20 a month.

I know I would be willing to pay an extra $5 a month for the ability to fly.  Maybe not just that but with some other small bonuses too, like being able to get the "first dungeon" bonus twice per day or other little things like that.

So I have three questions for you, the reader.

1) As listed, would you upgrade, downgrade, or stay the same?

2) What would you need as a perk to get you to pay $5 a month more?

3) How much would you sacrifice to save $5 a month?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6.1 Impressions, Observations, Opinions and Gripes

6.1 was released and as I mentioned yesterday I had a lot of plans on what I would check out.  Sadly the most important thing to me I was not able to do.  Boo, bad form blizzard.

Profession Traders:

Don't know what it was like on your server but the only profession trader anyone on my server had was the fur trader.  Sure I know the idea now is to get people to make "friends" and if they do not have the particular visitor they want they can go to a friends garrison to get it.  My tailor did not have the fur trader which meant I needed to visit a friend.  Of my seven level 100 characters the only one to have the fur trader was my warrior.  How many warrior tailors are there out there?

Bad form blizzard, seriously bad form.  Sure random is random but how can no one on the entire server have the ore trader or the leather trader?  I was really looking forward to upgrading my ring and gun as soon as I logged on and was told by blizzard "sucks to be you".  Not a good feeling at all.

Personally I believe there should have been one trader that sold all items and it should have been in every garrison.  Being that did not happen, the least you could have done is not make it share a spawn with the raid quest giver, dungeon quest giver, relic hunter quest giver or world quest giver.  Every garrison should have had some vendor of some sort and they should have not all been the exact same one, fur vendor in my case.  Once again I must say, bad form blizzard, bad form.

If they were going to have the vendor appear in only some garrisons it should have sold all the patterns.  That is my opinion on the matter.


I got my BRF mission on my main after getting 2 characters to 660.  A few others in guild told me they had the same experience.  So it seems you need 2 of the appropriate item level to trigger it.  I can live with the change, not a huge one, but I think it would have been better if they left it at only needing one.

Two of my other characters however did not get a BRF mission at all.  Maybe I needed to raid to get it?  I did not need to raid to get the HM missions.  Sure if I wanted better gear on those alts from those missions raiding would be advisable but at least I still got those missions.  On two characters I got at least 2 followers to 660 I did not get a BRF mission at all.  Can we say bad form again?  Apparently it is either bugged or you need to raid to open them up.  Kind of defeats the purpose of having them to help my alts that are not raiding if I need to raid to get them doesn't it?

I should note for some that might not have noticed but you can over level garrison missions as well.  My three 660s on my main only had a 92% chance to complete the mission but when I upgraded them all to 670 they had a 100% chance.  So even if it advises 660, having higher does help.  This is certain as I saw it yesterday.

The work rush order missions appeared on a few of my characters.  Those are nice little additions.  For those that are wondering, if you are on the legendary quest line using the rush order can get you items toward its progression.  I will repeat, yes you can get legendary pieces from the rush orders.  I did.  Now that is good form blizzard.  Finally a plus one for you.

The archeology missions are a nice way to get some quick fragments, I like them.  My main did not get a selfie camera mission but two of my alts did.  So that is 2 out of 7 got the camera mission, so I guess it will not be a first day thing.  One character got a mission for savage blood, one got a mission for 20 primal spirits, one got a mission for a bag of spec specific augment runes, these are all new missions and a nice addition.  I am sure there are other good ones out there, can't wait to see them all.

Pets and Pet Battles:

I could have sworn I read somewhere they were making the pet battles easier?  Not like they needed to be as I personally have a team that can beat any trainer usually with little or no trouble, so I figured this would make them easier.  Boy oh boy was I wrong.

Pet battles have been made harder.  Since when does harder mean easier?  Maybe in blizzards bizarro world harder means easier.  I'll give just one example. 

The trainer in the vale was always a great one where you could level up a new pet, even from level 1.  Have your idol put up sand storm and your level one takes no damage.  Don't work that way now apparently.  No more leveling level one pets that way.  Thanks blizzard, that surely made pet battles easier.

I did not get to try any of the raids for new pets yet but I do have one new pet to report.  After buying the new cooking patterns I went and made myself over 300 of the multistrike food and finally managed to get the lil leftovers pet.  Woot woot, go me.

A free level 25 pet thanks to a stone?  I don't see how anyone would not like that.


Okay first things first.  Why is this not account wide blizzard?  Seriously I can leave this as the entire comment on this topic and it would say it all but you know me and I won't.  I am quite long winded that way.

I can see needing to go through the beginning quest on all characters to get it on your garrison, I am fine with that, but why are the scrolls not account wide?  Haven't you learned that things which could be considered collections are better off being account wide.  Pets, mounts, heirlooms, toys.

It would have been nice if they did not make the same mistake they made with the blue prints from the garrisons and make them a per character thing.  Guess they did not learn from that.  Even simple little collections like this would go over better, in my opinion, if they were account wide.

I really do not want to travel the world and waste my time on every single character to change the music in my garrison.  I will do it on one and I might even use it, but I am not going to waste my time on alts.  I will do the opening quest just to get the damn quest marker off my screen but the collecting scrolls can go screw itself.  I am not collecting this on every single character blizzard, and I should not have to.  Bad form blizzard, bad form.

I also wonder what is with blizzard and trying to promote PvP with things like this. The alliance need to basically go hug the banshee queen whereas the horde need to stand in front of tyrande and hope she is in a forgiving mood for their intrusion.

Does blizzard really think this is a good way to get people into PvP?  Sending them into an area where they are sure to be slaughtered just for something silly like a song to play in your garrison.  People doing this either want the song or are completion nuts like me that just want to have them all.  They do not want to get into PvP.  If anything I think this would leave a bad taste in someones mouth in terms of PvP having to go into enemy territory and get slaughtered for something like a song.  Seriously blizzard needs to stop adding PvP into things like this.  It has no place what so ever.


I cycled through my lowbie characters until I had enough for the 35 heirloom achievement and then stopped looking for them.  I am currently at 40 and I know I have many more once I get around to them.  I think most veteran players like myself will probably have no issue getting the 35 achievement.

Love the mount, it is funny having someone drive you around.  Sucks it does not scale with mount speed, really no use using it outside of that pre 20 level.  But still a fun little mount I guess.

Did you see the prices to upgrade that stuff?  I feel bad for the people that did not have most of it already.  Ouch.  I bet there will be more people that will be siding with me now saying they want the return of justice points.  It will cost someone a mini fortune to get all those things if they wanted them and never had any.  Hope you are good at making gold my friend.

Stacks and Numbers:

It was nice to see stack sizes increased greatly on many things like primal spirits.  That was a great update.  I do have one request however, how about making all warlords based crafting materials stack to 1000 as well.   It is needed, really really needed.  My mains bank is filled with herbs, my secondary alchemists bank is filled with herbs and my third is just starting to fill his.  And that is not even counting the stack or so every other character hangs on to in case it is the trading post material of the day.  Yes, stacks of all warlords based crafting materials being increased to 1000 would be most welcome.  You did it with some things, now do it right and do it with everything from warlords.

Have you noticed that now when you go to craft something it does not show your commodities listed like **/20 but 8.7K/20.  That is freaking awesome.  I love it.  Such a simple change and it really made my day to see that.  Little things matter and this one was a great change, one I did not even see mentioned.  Please do not tell me that I am the only person that notices things like this and the only person that loves the change as simple as it is.  Someone else out there has to be a weirdo like me.

Work Orders:

There was one major change to work orders.  A button to do all at once instead of hitting it over and over and that is a good change.  Nothing else to say there.  Or maybe there is.

You can now get missions that reward you rush orders to rush complete 5 orders.  You can also buy rush orders for garrison resources if you happen to have a fair deal of them.  This too is pretty nice if you happen to be flush with supplies.  Even more so knowing you can get some of the items needed for the legendary quest line through rushing, but still at the very low chance, so it is not really a reliable way to do so.  But it surely is something worth doing if you happen to get the rush orders for free from a mission.  Don't know if I would ever go so far as buying rush orders trying to move the legendary quest alone.  Unless of course I ended the week needing one.  Then I might.


What is this twitter you speak of?  Best thing I have to say about this is that I never even noticed it was added to the game and that is absolutely fantastic on every level.  Not only did I not notice it was added but at no point ever while playing did the game try to push me to activate it or even let me know it was there.  Nice move here blizzard, not shoving stuff like this down our throats.  I appreciate that a lot.

BRF LFR Wing 2:

While not actually a part of 6.1 as it is 6.0 content being time released slowly but being it came out at the same time 6.1 did I will comment on it here.

We are back to the days of LFR being a nightmare.  Sorry folks but blizzard learned nothing from HM wing 1 where everyone, including me, loved the LFR and was willing to do it because it was as it should be, face roll even with horrible players.  We are back to nightmare city.

The last boss should be receiving a nerf soon, very soon, I can sense it.  Actually I would not be surprised if they already nerfed it and being I did not check before writing this I had not noticed it.  We wiped and wiped and wiped.

I must admit our first wipe was my fault too.  I own up to my mistakes and I made one huge mistake.  But it was not just me, it was a few others as well.  When we all got grabbed I had myself positioned in a good place for maximum barrage coverage.   Just like a good hunter should right?  Well, not in LFR at least.  I hit barrage and broke out nearly everyone almost instantly and wiped half the raid.  Who knew the hands would shatter so quickly if you sneezed on them.  I apologize to everyone that I was in that raid with.  It was not my intention to kill you all.

We wiped because of that phase multiple times.  After the first time I behaved myself.  I knew I could break people out easy so I did not attack until his cast was almost done.  Sure I broke people out quickly, but we all still died because apparently this LFR is like all others and carried on the backs of healers and the healers could not keep us up taking the constant damage in the hands.  On well, determination fixed it.  That is the only reason we got it down.  Had to wait until determination was high enough for the healers to help us survive that phase.  The first time we made it through that phase with minimal losses we finished it.

Yeap, this needs to be nerfed, huge.  One decent geared player can wipe the group by breaking people out to quick and poor healers will ensure you need lots of stacks of determination before you can survive it.

Bag Space:

I must make a note of another issue I have with the additions.  So many more things to fill our bag space, really?  All the different mission things alone have to be worth 20 or so bag spaces if you happen to have them all.  Blizzard, thanks for all the space you gave us this expansion, but it is already all used, stop giving us more junk to take up space.  Please please please.  Or just give us more space again.


I have not had one yet so I will leave this just as a comment on it and to ask if anyone got platinum and how was it?  Did they increase spawn rate.  I sure hope they did.  Some are hard enough to get gold on sometimes with bad RNG for spawns.

I did a shadowmoon the other day to help a friend and we did not get gold.  I've been getting golds even with 2 weak players since the expansion came out.  What it seemed to be was we had bad RNG.  We had me and two other really strong players.  We were killing things the second they spawned.  The entire run we were all just standing there waiting for things to spawn.  Nothing lived more than 3 seconds when it spawned.  We only managed a 958.  We had killed everything offered to us.  It was 100% impossible to get gold.  We got unlucky with mobs not spawning, no big mobs to attack buildings, and no scared people.  Nothing, so we did not get 1000.

I sure as hell hope they major league increased the spawn rate of the mobs in these things and stuff like that does not happen.  If RNG can keep us from gold, how the hell could we ever make platinum.  Someone suggested to me, next time don't kill them so fast.  Makes sense, but isn't that the idea?  To kill them fast so you get more to kill?  I hope blizzard fixed problems like this otherwise platinum will be more about RNG and not about skill.  It will be "if" you get enough mobs to kill for it and sorry, but that is bad design.


For me the main "content" of this patch was the fact I would be able to upgrade two pieces of gear when it came out.  As I was not able to do so because of the horrible design of the profession vendors as far as I see it 6.1 was a complete failure.  If you can not upgrade your gear when the upgrades come out, seems like a failure to me.  My opinion only, I will get them in time and I don't really need them now with the content I am pushing, but it should not have been left up to RNG if I can upgrade or not.  I am so very not happy about that.  I am never very happy with anything that is about RNG, more so new stuff like this that many people like myself were looking forward too as the only thing that excited us with 6.1.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

6.1 Patch Day, What Do You Expect To Do?

While we are all aware that 6.1 is very light in terms of content, as in none, it is not without things to do at all.  There are a lot of updates to what is already in game.  While nothing new in terms of content it does still leave us with something to do.  Or if you are like me and thinking about it, a lot of somethings to do.

For me my plan of attack with the 6.1 patch is as follows.

First and foremost I need to handle my main, a hunter of course, and his one piece of crafted gear.  I will be upgrading that to the 4th level immediately.  I will also be finally making a weapon.  I kept saying "I'll wait for a drop" but after pugging any weapon boss I could get into and using all my coins on weapon bosses I still am stuck with a crap weapon. 

It made some, but not a ton of, sense to make myself the crafted gun but as I had a 655 since the week HM opened changing it to a 660 even with the right stats seemed like a small upgrade.  Even more so when I am sure my luck would not be that bad and I would get one that was better.  As it turns out, that never happened.  So now that I can make it 670 with the right stats it is a huge upgrade over the 655.  And think of it this way, worst case scenario is what always happens.  I make it and then I get a drop.  So if the drop is better I switch and if it is not I don't, simple as that.

So with those two gear issues out of the way I will be upgrading one of my followers to a 660 item level ASAP.  I will not send my followers immediately out on missions either after doing that.  My hopes are that I will trigger the BRF mission, as it should, having one level 660.  So I will do some other little things before I send away my followers on missions to see if I can bait the mission out.

I then plan on doing the LFRs.  As it turns out the two wings that are open are the two wings we do second and last.  We do the other wing first because, for us at least, they are easier bosses.  Still collecting runes so by running those LFRs if we only manage to down the three in the other wing this week on our one night I will still get the maximum stones I can with the exception of the last boss.

I also will be buying all the new cooking patterns and making lots and lots of food while I am waiting in queue most likely.  My main has every cooking recipe in the game and can't stop now.  I even have some removed from game like them kicking chimaron chops.  Even still have some made on an alt in their bank because I am sentimental silly that way and you can not even get the meat to make them any more. 

But this is for the new 125 stat food.  And as I knew what I would be needing for it, I've been fishing it up the needed fish like a made elf.  I have well over 2000 fish that need to be turned into multistrike food thank you very much.  And I bet I will still not get the darn pet from cooking.  Has anyone got it from cooking yet?  I must have cooked over 5000 things so far trying to get it and no luck, but that is another story all together.

While in LFR I will also do my apexis daily, something I really do not do daily any more as there is no need for apexis crystals any more.  Had been none for a very long time.  However I am doing it to trigger an invasion.  Have to try to start getting them again because there are platinum invasions and achievement associated with them to get now.  Admittedly the only rewards I want from them are the mount because the gear rewards are still blah.  Really, platinum should reward at least 670 gear and more like 680 gear now.  Why add such low gear rewards?  Blizzard makes no sense some times.  Do you honestly think that any group that will be capable of easily getting platinum would actually need a 660?  I think not.  Think next time blizzard.  Most people that can easily get platinum probably do not need 670 either.

I'll be surfing the trade chat trying to pick through the trolls, the political arguments, the racist rants, and the other brain rotting crap that it is filled with to look for raid boss garrison invasions.  Again, for achievement sake and because I dig that sort of stuff and want to do it.

Then I will move on to cycling thought other characters.  My shaman and my paladin will now be able to add another piece of crafted gear because shields are no longer counting toward the crafted three.  So I have to decide which ones to do.

I plan to log into all my lower level characters or any characters I might have some heirlooms on just to add them to the tab.  I will surely have more than the 35 needed for the achievement for the mount.  I had a full set for all classes, doubles and triples of most.  So 35 will in no way be an issue.

My rogue will start soloing BT again for the pets that now drop from it.  At least it gives me the motivation to get there as I still need the other warglaive.  Maybe I will get lucky while going there and kill two birds with one stone.  Get my drop and get my pets all at once.  I have always been a huge fan of doing things that have multiple purposes. 

As that seems to be the theme of going to these old raids to get the new pets then my priest will surely have to be the one doing mount hyjal.  She has been after a piece for transmog off the last boss since last expansion.  Ah, love it when I can do two things at once.  Try to get the piece I want and get pets means putting my time to best use.

As far as the pets go, yes I want them all and yes I want the achievement, but first things first.  People over pay, as in over pay insanely, for pets on my server when they are new.  I plan to sell every single pet I get.  I will even run the raids on multiple characters.  If things go as they had in the past and I have a little luck, I can see me making well over 500K over the next week just on pets.  Even more if I take some time to level them first.  Once the pets start to settle down in price, which will probably be after the weekend when everyone is soloing old content, I will keep one of each for myself.  If they are drops, as they are, they will come easy enough in time so I have no issue selling the early ones I get.  Also, I am in no rush.

Speaking of being in no rush.  I realized something I do absolutely love about 6.1 and it is going to sound weird.

There is no content in 6.1.

I hate it and I love it.

I have no new quest hubs that I feel I need to get done.  I have no new dungeons I want to venture into as soon as possible.  I have no new gear to grind.  No new quest lines to follow.  Nothing.  I have absolutely nothing but filler crap that I am in no rush to complete.  I kind of like that. 

I will get to all my heirlooms sooner or later as I log into those characters.  I will get all the pets some day.  I will get all the music rolls at some point, probably on a weekend when I am bored.  I will get the camera and take pictures of myself just for achievements sake.  I'll kill bosses with pepe on my head.  None of this is anything I would rush to do.  It is all junk content, filler content.  And right now I kind of like that nothing actually worth doing is being added.  Because if I feel like logging off right after I upgrade my gear on my main tonight, I can.  I won't feel like I am missing something, I won't feel like I am not trying my best, I won't feel like I am neglecting my main.  There is nothing I feel I need to do.  As weird as that sounds, I am kind of liking that right now thinking about it.

What are your 6.1 log in plans?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- Thanks to the Lunar Festival and the new toy added I was able to get the toymaster achievement for getting my 150th toy.

- You ever notice that last one when you are stuck on it always seems to take forever?

- I now get to be a clockwork gnome.

- It looks so cool.

- Was walking around on my rogue as a clockwork gnome in stealth.

- Ohhh, scary.

- That 250th mount is still eluding me.

- Not from lack of trying either.

- Been soloing some of the faster raids like throne of the four winds and DS on multiple characters.

- Among other things as well.

- When are they going to add an option to skip all the role play in DS, I think it takes longer listening to all that stuff than it does doing the raid.

- I swear doing the trash before ultraxion on my rogue is a challenge.

- Can't get those things down, or dead, fast enough with just throw.

- I always end up starting the fight with something like 5 or 6 dragons still up breathing their fire all over the place.

- But like any person that thinks out strategy for soloing things I figured a way around that problem.

- I only kill the dragons that are blowing fire where I am going to need to stand.

- So when the boss spawns I usually still have a bunch of the dragons up with fire all over the place except the place I am standing in.

- Hey, whatever works right?

- Maybe someone that does not suck as bad on a rogue as I do can point out some sort of ranged tool I might have to handle them.

- Because I don't know of any.

- Do you know how many throws it takes to down one of those on 25 man with my crap gear.

- I'll give you a hint.

- Too many.

- Did the world boss tour on my druid.

- Figured I could solo nalak and the celestial bosses back in mists on my druid, so maybe my druid would be able to solo some of the other world bosses now to try to get mounts.

- Sha was my first victim.

- Would you believe me if I told you I soloed sha?

- You would be right not too, he can't be truly soloed.

- I did solo him as in I was not in a group and I pulled him alone, but I was not the only one fighting him thanks to a very large bit of luck.

- I knew he could not be soloed because of the mind control, I just pulled him for fun.

- A hunter flying by saw that and joined me.

- The hunter and I seemingly traded off being mind controlled until he was around 50% when others started to join in.

- As soon as others started to join in he went down fast.

- So see what I mean about with luck.

- The luck was that he never mind controlled both of us at the same time, otherwise the fight would have been over.

- But for all purposes, I did "sort of" solo him.

- I pulled him alone, so that counts right?

- I did not ask for help, people just joined in because they saw me fighting it.

- But this is not a boss I think I can put as a sure thing each time I pass by on my mount collecting tour.

- Can't really be soloed unless you get lucky and someone else joins in.

- I then went to galleon.

- Yeah, super easy to solo that one now.

- Although, like sha, as soon as people noticed me fighting him they started to join in.

-But I am 100% sure I would have been able to solo that one.

- He did not even ruffle my fur any.

- His hits felt more like he was petting me.

- Nalak was next, same as galleon, would have been easy to solo but people joined in.

- Never made it to Oon, I stepped into ToT to see if I could solo that instead and then called it a day after.

- Trash was no problem, the first boss however was a different story.

- He was not hurting me, no, not at all.

- But I could just not do enough DPS.

- See, as a tank solo I would need to have killed him before he picked me up, which means I need a LOT more DPS.

- As soon as he picked me up to throw me there was no one on his aggro list and he despawned.

- Otherwise I am certain I would have been able to solo him.

- Going to have to go in there with my hunter and see if I can get him to grab my pet instead of me.

- A task I will try later.

- But I will not be able to solo that on my bear, absolutely not, unless they fix him despawning when he picks me up or I can figure out some sort of trick.

- Maybe I could use a toy of some sort, but as my druid is not an engineer and most toys do not work in a raid, I don't think I will be doing that on my bear any time soon.

- Toys, engineer goodies, and other things of the like are the only tricks I have in my bag of tricks.

- Some work will need to be done on this.

- Sure I could look it up and see if someone else figured it out, but where is the fun in that.

- I like to figure things out on my own and this was my first time trying to solo it, so I will get there in time.

- Wanted to try for the horridon mount.

- In all the time we were running that I only saw the mount drop once.

- Speaking of mount hunting, I was not alone.

- Every warbringer spawn point had at least 1 person standing there waiting for it, camping it.

- In front of every raid I went to there were a dozen or so people just standing there.

- Like all the people on mammoths outside of throne of the four winds that just came out and are selling off the junk.

- I do the same as soon as I get out.

- Love doing that on my druid.

- After I sell off everything I run my mammoth off the platform and start falling to my death.

- But I go bird and my poor vendors just keep falling.

- Probably cursing some words I should not repeat here as they see my fly away and they fall to their death.

- Isn't it way to early in the expansion for everyone to be out farming old stuff?

- Maybe this is a testament to the lack out outdoor content on draenor.

- Not like it comes as a surprise to this elf.

- I am one of those people farming old content instead of new stuff.

- I am also one of those people that said this would happen.

- So it amazes me even more that 6.1 does not contain some sort of content designed to keep us on draenor.

- I figured, at the very least, some sort of new quest hub with some dailies to keep us active and doing something on draenor would be added.

- But I am happy with having the free time to go mount farming.

- You know what would make me happier?

- Actually getting one of those mounts.

- It has been a while, I am due.

- I actually logged on to one of my leveling characters.

- I have basically all but given up on leveling more this expansion because I do not want to add any more to the hell that is the garrison grind.

- I have enough characters to cycle thought with garrisons as is.

- But I have been learning to behave myself lately.

- Not log on to garrisons every day.

- So maybe I could slowly work on getting a few more characters up without burning myself out.

- So I logged into my paladin with its forge and figured I would make myself some 640 gear to level with.

- I mean I had been collecting the materials all this time, might as well make me some leveling gear.

- It was then that another one of blizzard major errors started to get noticed.

- My paladin can not make the 640 gear with the forge until the forge is level 3.

- For a forge to be level 3 I need to be 100.

- Once I am 100, I no longer need crafted gear.

- Could use it?  Maybe, but need it?  No.

- You can get better than the 640 crafted gear from LFR, you could get close to the 640 gear from dungeons for free basically, you could get equal too or better gear from challenge modes and garrison invasions.

- You see what I am getting at here?

- For my paladin to get the maximum use of a forge, or any use at all really as a forge can not make upgrades for gear, it would need to make the 640 base gear for leveling at 91.

- But it can't, because you need to be 100 to make it.

- Why do you need to be level 100 to make gear for a level 91 with the forge?

- It is a serious question.

- I went on my blacksmith and made a head, hands and shield.

- When the patch comes out tuesday when the shield no longer count toward the crafted 3 I will put on the darkmoon trinket as my 3rd piece.

- I chose the head, hands, shield and trinket for a reason.

- Do you want to know why?

- Hell if I care, I am telling you anyway. ~wicked evil laugh~

- Follower missions only offer one 645 trinket and no helm or hands or shield.

- At least as far as I have ever seen.

- So as I do not intent to play much with this character if and when it hits 100, I might as well make the crafted pieces that would complement any gear I get from follower missions.

- And to do so, I made the slots I will not be getting from missions.

- Hey, it made sense to me and sounded like one hell of a well thought out approach.

- To me at least.

- Back to gearing it and making those items.

- I had a blacksmith.

- I had the extra materials.

- What if I were a solo character?

- What if I were on another server with that character with no support?

- What if I had no gold?

- What if I wanted to make the gear for leveling?

- I would be completely screwed because you need to be level 100 to make level 91 gear.

- Another blizzard math fail?

- Wow, what a surprise.

- That was sarcasm for the sarcasm impaired readers.

- Blizzard never really had a good relationship with math.

- I am sure it is intentional, not a mistake on their part.

- I just do not agree with it.

- I believe if someone with a forge but without the blacksmith profession wants to make some pieces for their leveling experience they should be able to.

- They should not need to have to buy them because they can not make them.

- Or be put off to make them to the point where they might not need them any longer.

- I did one zone on my paladin with its three crafted pieces and a 620 archaeology weapon which is better than the garrosh heirloom because unlike that one that goes up in level to a max of 620 the archaeology one is 620 right from the start.

- Needless to say even having not played it in so long it was super easy to grind stuff in tank spec as a paladin.

- I only play tank spec for my tanks.

- Meaning druid, DK, monk, warrior and paladin all level as tanks.

- Admittedly DK and bear leveling as tanks are best of them all.

- DKs are insane tank levelers.

- I honestly think anyone that levels as anything other than blood is slowing themselves down.

- Blood can pull more, take less damage, do more things, survive easier and on top of that do more DPS than any of the DPS specs.

- Why would anyone in their right mind do frost or unholy when blood is around?

- I wish they would bring back blood DPS.

- I never really liked the other specs.

- Not sure why I liked blood, but always did.

- Back when all three specs could tank or DPS I was blood and blood.

- It is just the one that clicked with me.

- Playing something that clicks with you is amazingly important to your enjoyment of the game.

- What do you do when the spec you enjoy you no longer enjoy?

- Or it is no longer viable?

- I think I should make a topic exploring that.

- Have a great day.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Power of Macros or Wow, I Didn't Know You Could Do That

While talking to a newer player in my guild who has been trying to get better we drifted on to the topic of macros.  He has been using some macros he read about but when we moved on and I started to drift down memory lane talking about some of the macros I have used over the years he said, "I did not even know you could do that".

It was then that it occurred to me that while some people might know about macros, they might not know there are a lot of little uses that can be helpful as well.  I am no expert with writing macros.  As a matter of fact whenever I do look to make a new one I usually need to go look up if I am doing it right.

Sites like Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic, outside of sounding like something a gnome made that might just cause you severe bodily injury, is an excellent tool to tell you exactly what a macro does.  When writing a macro I use it to see if it would do what I intended it to do or I use it to explain a macro I found but am not sure what it does.  The explain-o-matic explains it automatically.  I guess that is how it got its name.  Boy are those gnomes cleaver naming things.  It is a gnome invention right?

I told him about macros I used to get achievements, like Kiss and Make Up in Ulduar.

/tar Sara

And with that one simple macro an easy achievement became that much easier.  Instead of having to target her when she was angry at me I just hit my kiss sara macro and went along with my duties without ever losing the actual target I was on.

The ability to do this amazed him.  He read about some macros as in putting abilities that do not trigger a global cooldown together.  About putting your on use trinket into a macro.  About some of the basic things we all might first run across while we are learning to play and trying to step up our game a little.  But it never once occurred to him that macros could be used for other things.

It is not like my kiss macro was a one hit wonder either.  There were other times I needed to kiss things and the macro made it easier.  Remember the frogs for a argent tournament quest you needed to do seemingly all the time?  I used a kiss macro for them too.  Better than feeling the fool trying to click on them as they were jumping around and missing.  Or thinking you clicked on one and just kissing the air.  Oh air, how I love thee so.  Admit it, you know you have done it before too.  Marcos are a wonderful thing.

Now, this person was someone that had intentions to be a tank and he was reading a lot on tanking and when I mentioned a couple of macros I used all the time on my tanks he said he never read of them.  I can't believe it.  Maybe he was looking in the wrong places, or he did see it but did not understand the macro and what it was doing.  Maybe the people that wrote what he was reading thought it was common knowledge and just did not mention it, who knows.  But I personally believe no tank should leave home without these two simple and useful macros that I told him to make.

/cast [@focus] Taunt

What this does is taunt the target I have set as my focus.  I use this in fights where there are a lot of adds and it can sometimes be hard to target the boss asap when a tank switch is needed.  It will switch your main target to the focus, which should be the boss, and it will taunt it.  No fumbling around with tab target, no trying to click on it and getting every mob in a pack of 20 except the one you are looking for.  It is a clear and simple hit this when it is my turn to take the boss button and I like that.  It makes it easy, foolproof.  I like easy and foolproof.

/cast [@focus] Pummel

I've always been of the school that it is part of the tanks job to interrupt.  I know some people disagree, it is just the way I learned so it is how I play.  But tank or melee, this is a macro that is important in my opinion.  When you have a mob that needs to be interrupted but it is not the mob you are on, make sure it is your focus and when it is about to cast, hit this macro.  It was switch to that target to interrupt it and then immediately, without even noticing you switched, it will be back on the target you were working on.

Both these of course require the correct name of the spell for your class, but these are two simple little macros I have been using since I first tanked.  They never needed to changed and they have always been useful and for some odd reason he had never read of either of these on any sites.  Me, like the fool I am, thought things like this would be common sense.  But then again, I thought making a macro to kiss sara was common sense too and I was wrong.

It made me wonder if there were other macros out there people take for granted.  Simple easy macros that we use and never think about but really do make our lives easier.

I still use my camel macro whenever I am in uldum.  Sure I run silver dragon and NPC scan, but I have never even once in my life seen a camel in uldum so I take no chances.  When I am flying through there I tie my camel finding macro to something like ~ and just spam it hoping maybe, just maybe, it will pick up something that silver dragon or NPC scan misses.

/tar Mysterious Camel Figurine

Maybe one day it will actually target something and I too can become a camel hoarder.

Macros can have many uses.  For raids, for exploring, for interacting, for quests, for achievements, for kissing.  Some we take for granted and some we never thought of.  Maybe something you take for granted another person might have never thought about.  Maybe it is time we all investigate a little and find something new and perhaps powerful we can do with macros.

Any weird macros you have used to make something easier that you think others might have missed?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Content Would You Have Liked to See in 6.1?

It has been said by many, myself included, that we are not all that excited about 6.1 in terms of new content it is offering because it doesn't really seem to have any new content.  But from reading around the net I have come to the conclusion that the term "content" can have as wide a range of meanings as the world "casual" does in the game.  Content is in the eye of the beholder.

Now don't get me wrong.  There are a lot of wonderful things coming in the 6.1 patch.

Of course there are all the little number tweaks like changing one ability from 4% to 5% and another from 33%  to 25%, you know, all those little things that I don't think anyone in the world would consider content.  They are just tweaks to numbers, nothing more, nothing less.  So do not let a massive number of lines on the 6.1 notes dedicated to number tuning come off as content.  I think we can all agree on that one right?

Then there are some very exciting quality of life changes coming that I am looking forward too.  Personally, I do not see these things as content either.  Active tweaks if you will, that is what I call them.  Things already in game that are getting fixed, updated, or expanded.  I like that the catch rate of lunkers is going up, that when you fish in pools at any skill level you get enormous fish of that type, that we can upgrade our followers to a higher item level and get new raid quests, that they are adding a platinum rating to invasions, etc.

There are a whole plethora of updates to things that are already in game either by adjusting them or adding to them.  Again, to me this is not content, this is updating.  Updating is expected in a game of this type.  It is also why I do not consider the character models new content like some do.  It is just updating what is already in game and that is what I pay my 15 bucks a month for, in part, to keep things updated.  You might call this content, I personally don't.

Then they are adding some minor content.  These are things I consider one time things, not really repeatable content.  This is throw away content, stuff I love seeing added, but quickly burn through and never go back to.  I am looking forward to the new darkmoon stuff but once I do it and get everything, I will not return just as before.  I am looking forward to all the new raid pets I can get, but once I get all the pets unless there is another reason to return to those raids I will no longer step into them.  This is minor content, in my opinion.

Something like the heirloom tab can fall in between minor content and updating.  Minor content in the fact that you might go and grab all the other ones you do not have just to get the level 1 mount through the achievement, so that is something to do, but it is also just updating the heirloom system.  So it is a little but of active tweaking and a little bit of minor content.  The jukebox, being it was never in game before is pure minor content as in you will, if you want, go and get all the stuff and be done with it.

The meat of 6.1, the real stuff that is real content, just does not ring a bell with me.  This is why I am really blah about it.  The selfies and the twitter parts are something that will have life to them.  The people that use them will use them now and forever.  I put these things on the same level as trasnmog.  It is amazingly awesome for the people that want to use it and it is a major content addition for them, but for the people that do not want to use it, it is wasted development time.  I am firmly on the side that thinks it is wasted development time from a player standpoint.  However I do freely admit even if I will not use the twitter part, that I think it is a great addition to the game for blizzard.  It is just that it does nothing for me.

So this is why I think 6.1 is getting such a luke warm, at best, reception from so many people.  The only content they are adding is extremely targeted content.

That brings the question, for all those that have no use for the only real content they are adding, being able to post to twitter, what content would you have liked to see in 6.1?

1) New Quest Hubs:

I would have liked to see a few quest hubs added.  Some brand spanking new stuff to have some fun with, maybe even a reputation tied to it as it moved along the story line.  Have it like the landfall story line in mists, which should be the blue print for how patch quest hubs are added in my opinion.  A few daily hubs that open up the story as it goes with small side trips along the way for mini adventures.  That was quality content.

This would have given us more story and something new to do, but not something "pressing" to do.  It would also help to counter the number one complaint I see about this expansion, there is nothing to do outside of your garrison.

2) Daily Hubs Added:

Please forgive me to being a complete freak of nature when it comes to grinding but I got the reputations to exalted, my body guards to wing man, and everything else I could grind, save one thing, done as soon as possible.  I however am not representative of the gaming population.  I like doing this, most do not.

Would it have really hurt blizzard to add some daily quest hubs into the game for the main factions that give 3 dailies per day at 200 reputation each for completing them so the people that aren't insane like me can have something they can do slowly and / or when they have time to work on reputations and get out in the world a little?

3) Scenarios:

Can someone please tell me why they abandoned this idea?  The only reason I can think of is that they were lazy and did not really want to do any "work".  That does seem to fit the entire theme of warlords.

In the grand scheme of things scenarios were quick content they can throw together.  It used existing areas meaning no need to create new art work for the location.  It used existing mob models meaning there was no need to create new mobs.  All they needed to do is create a mini story and let us play it out.  I am fairly certain that creating this is leaps and bounds easier than creating a new raid or dungeon.  So much so that it could be something that is added as patch content filler without too much muss and fuss.

Not only were scenarios great for damage dealers that did not have forever to wait sometimes to get into random content, they told a story, they were cheap to make in comparison, and they could still be rewarding.

I think adding a few story telling scenarios with 6.1 with baggies that had a chance to contain 645 or 655 gear, some garrison resources and maybe a few apexis crystals as well for good measure, would have been a nice thing for those that don't raid to delve into and damage dealers that don't feel like waiting for half an hour to still have something they could do in a group setting.

I must repeat myself, I am sorry, but I am still completely baffled why they stopped making scenarios and I am even more confused why there were none in 6.1, which would have been the absolute perfect place to add a few and give this patch some meat.

Those are some of my ideas, things I would have liked to see as actual content in 6.1, what would you have liked to see?


Thanks to Navimie for making my day and making me love 6.1 by sharing this video with me.  I had to pass it along and make sure everyone saw it because I could not stop laughing it was so great.  Enjoy, and thanks for sharing it with me Navimie.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Great Apexis Crystal Fail. What Happened and How Blizzard Could Have Made it Better.

When mists ended and we lost two of our long standing currencies, justice points and valor points, which in themselves were just the following generation of the badges that predated them, I was against the removal of them then and still against the removal of them now.  I can go on through the various reasons why I believe losing justice and valor was a huge minus for the game as a whole but perhaps I will save that for another post or you can just read between the lines and see some of those reasons for yourself in this very post.

In the end those points were replaced, in part, by apexis crystals.  They were the pseudo points, a bland, lifeless, boring, over priced and under represented replacement for what was removed unceremoniously for no reason.  I call it, once again, blizzard fixing what wasn't broken to begin with.  In the end I can call it nothing short of, The Great Apexis Crystal Fail.

Lets go over where I personally believe apexis crystals failed and how I believe it could have been done better.

Apexis Gear:

They added a few pieces of gear, six to be precise, that could be purchased with apexis crystals.  This, in and of itself, was not a bad idea.  Having a few pieces of gear that you could buy with a currency in game does sort of fill the space left by the loss of justice and valor.

Where they went wrong with how they set it up and that can summed up in three different parts.  I will go over them and then give what I believe the solution should, or could, have been.

1) You needed to keep the gear.

You could not just buy a pair of legs and equip them.  Well, you could, but once you got something better you put the something better on and then forgot about the apexis legs, or many did.  The thing is, if you had held on to those legs you could upgrade them later.  Then upgrade them even more.  But the fact you needed to hold on to the gear caused many issues.

People did not want to buy a piece because they hated the idea of "wasting" apexis crystals on a piece of gear they might end up grabbing off the world boss, or in a raid, even LFR was better than the base pieces, or even worse, getting a better piece from a dungeon, perhaps even warforged or with a gem slot or with a tertiary stat.  It could even be as small as being the same item level but with decent secondary stats for you instead.  Maybe you would even get a combination of two or if you were really lucky and carrying around your four leaf clover you could get all three.  Seeing all the ways you could get better gear, and easily, really devalues the base apexis gear pieces and people more often that not just sold them off when they almost instantly replaced it instead of holding on to it to upgrade it later.

So "wasting" your apexis crystals on a piece of gear that was 630, usually poorly itemized for most specs and classes, and ending up with a dungeon piece that had better stats, warforged, a gem slot and a tertiary stat made you feel as if your apexis were really wasted.  No one likes wasting anything, even more so a limited commodity like apexis crystals that was made to feel like a grind for anyone that was not named me, because I dig that stuff, but I am weird so do not read too much into that.

So either you held on to that piece and saved up even more apexis crystals to upgrade it and then made it a 645 which, just perhaps, might still be worthless when compared to a dungeon piece with all those bonuses and the perfect secondary stats on them.  So now you needed to hold on to it even longer, much much much longer, because now you needed to grind another 20,000 of those hard to come by (at the beginning when you really needed them) apexis crystals to upgrade it to the last stage where it might actually be worth upgrading that piece to its final level.

And what so happens if you got an LFR pair of legs, or a real raid one on normal or heroic, or mythic by that point because we are talking a long long time to collect all those crystals, or maybe you even got one from a follower mission quest that was better.  You saved up those 36,500 apexis crystals at a rate of getting 800-1000 per day, not counting the pittance you got from mobs while doing the quests sometimes, but not always.  That means you now spent over a month to get a piece of gear that might still, even when upgraded to maximum, be completely useless.

Or how about this worse yet, you vendored off those apexis 630 pants when you got the warforged ones from the dungeon we spoke about that were better not only because they were a higher item level but because they had better stats.  Guess what you have to do if you want to continue to upgrade them?  Either restore a sold item, which many do not even know is an option in game until I explain it to them, or buy a new set of pants at 630 to start the entire process over again and basically "waste" the original 5000 you spent and had worked 5 days to amass a second time.  Having fun yet?

So yeah, the gear for apexis crystals were a horrible idea to begin with.  The horrible stats on them for most classes and no options made them worse.  The fact you needed to hold on to them for upgrading later was even worse moving it to bad idea of the third level.  Then, if you did managed to stick it out to get the top pair of legs which cost 20,000 crystals and the previous ones you had a hard decision to make.  Do the daily for 800 when you only need 300 more and basically "waste" 500 of them so you can get to the 20,000 to buy it or grind mobs for hours and hours on end which drop 1 or 2 on occasion to get the 300 so you do not go over the 20,000 and waste 500 crystals.

Maybe, just maybe, if they had put some notes on the gear that said (apexis level: 1) on them so it would denote that it was a piece of gear you could upgraded later it would have saved a great many people the trouble of having sold the gear not thinking about it.  A swing and a miss on blizzards part by not making something like that part of the item.

Yeah, this was, without a doubt, the most horrible idea in terms of buying gear with currency ever added to the game and if it goes away I am sure there is not one single person in the history of gaming that would shed a tear.

2) The pricing.

I already dabbled on this in the previous part but it deserves its own header.  Who the hell came up with the idea that for a pair of pants it would cost 5000 apexis crystals and it would be the super crappy type that I can probably get something with better stats and maybe even a higher level or a gem slot from a heroic dungeon idea?

5000 Crystals for a piece of horrible gear was bad enough to begin with.  But 11,500 more to upgrade it and it would still have horrible stats on it for most classes was not only out of line but it was obscene.  That would bring the total price up to 16,500 now for that pair of pants.  Thinking an average of 1,000 per day, figuring doing the 1K quest most times and getting some drops otherwise with the 800 ones, that seems reasonable, you are talking 16 and a half days worth of work for a poorly itemized piece of gear that can not be warforged, can not have a gem slot and can not have a tertiary stat on it and will still be beat out by many easy access gearing options like follower missions, LFR and normal mode as well as crafted items, world drops and world bosses.

Now, to add insult to injury, the next upgrade would cost you 20,000, which is (was) the max amount of apexis crystals you could have to begin with.  This brings issues of its own, as mentioned above, but now places your total cost for that horrible piece of gear at 36,500, or 36 and a half days to get.

The pricing was not only out of line, it was insulting.  For "fill in" gear it should not take longer to get it to a "fair" item level than it would take to learn to raid from scratch even if you never raided and get into a group that could kill a boss and get you something better, if you got a lucky drop that is.

The prices for apexis gear were so over priced I can not even find the words to describe it anymore than to say they are out of line.

3) The selection.

For many classes, as I mentioned, the apexis gear was not really what anyone would call "great" and as fill in gear that you could buy outside of raids there is nothing wrong with that.  Some less than stellar gear you can get just to fill in that weak spot is not really such a horrible thing is it?  I don't believe so.

But why only 6 items?  They are crap items, they take months and months to get if you want more than one, and they take up bag space if you want to hold on to them to upgrade them later.  So they come with a ton of drawbacks right off the bat.  They should have had an apexis piece for every single slot.  Not just six.

What if you had a slot you were having an issue with that was not one of those six?  Like the all important weapon or trinket slots.  Don't you think having a poorly itemized expensive apexis crystal weapon would be better than not having one at all?

If they really wanted to go the route that it takes forever to get them, they are poorly itemized, and it is a grind from hell to upgrade, the very least they could have done it allow all slots to have an apexis option.

How would grumpy have fixed it?

First things first, no more keeping the item to upgrade it.  The pants would cost 5000, 11,500 and 20,000 flat out.  You would not need the previous tier to get the higher one.  Add a "discounted" version for upgrading if you have the previous ones, but do not make it required.  If I only wanted the 20,000 one and choose to save for that one, let me buy just that one and do not make me buy the previous 2 and hold on to them.  The prices are way the hell too high to begin with, having them that high and you need the previous ones make them not worth it.

Using myself for an example.  If I wanted to gear my mage alt that I do not play I could choose to get a cheap pair of pants, just for something, or save up and buy the top ones for 20,000.  But the idea of having to buy the same piece three times and that then makes it cost 36,500 means, fuck it, I am not buying them on my mage.  Excuse the language, but seriously, 36,500 for something I can get equal or better than in a pug?  No thank you.  20,000 is still pricy, sure, but if I am not raiding, it is worth it.  It is not worth 36,500 however and having to hold on to it to upgrade it.  I would buy them if I had the crystals saved up, as is.  But I will not go through the buy, upgrade, buy, upgrade, crap on an alt.

I am not done, I would have also had pieces for each slot.  Maybe not each step of the way.  Maybe the weapon would have been available for a 630 and a 655 only.  Maybe trinkets would be 645 only.  Not all things needed to have multiple options for it, but all things should have had options.

And cap, what is with that 20,000 cap they have (had).  If the most expensive piece is 20,000 the cap should not have been 20,000.  It should have had some extra room, so if you had a case like I mentioned you could do the daily, end with 20,500, and then go buy it instead of losing 500 because you hit cap.  The cap should always be higher than the highest priced item.  It should not be the exact same.

As the expansion went on, they could have added more items there at a higher level, maybe even increased the prices a little, or decreased the older ones, and the newer ones would have been the 20,000 numbers instead.  They could have done so much that could have been useful for apexis crystals as a gearing process, they just chose not to.  Makes one wonder why.

Gathering Apexis Crystals:

This was another swing and a miss on blizzards part.  Sure you could get a few out of work orders, but you would not be building them up fast that way.  Sure we could get a tiny pittance from mobs we kill but trust me, from experience, if you planned to grind mobs for apexis to get gear, it was not an option.  Even if you used a bot and did it 24/7.  Even if you did it with the new group finder and AFKed and let everyone else do the work (you jerk) it would have still taken a dogs age.

We had one quest per day, a timeless island epoch stone sort of quest, because we all know how much we "loved" doing that.  You would get from 800 to 1000 per day, with the few that dropped here and there, and that was that.

This is where we come to the number that to get one completely upgraded piece of gear it would take, at best, usually around 36 days to get it.  And that is really off base.  Way to long for a "casual" player to get gear because do you really think they will be on every day and able to devote the time to do a large quest line that?  I think not, heck, I know not.  It is even too long for a "raider" to get that one slot he is having trouble with. 

So if it takes an every day player 36 days to get the piece, how long would it take a weekend warrior that only plays on saturday and sunday?   Assuming an average of 1K per day and 2 days a week played that would mean for a casual player it might be reasonable to guess it could take them 18 weeks, that is four and a half months, to get one single piece of gear at a "fair" item level with poorly itemized stats.   Really blizzard?  This is your idea of a way for casual players to get some gear?  At the rate of 3 pieces of gear a year... a year!!! 

There were no places you could collect apexis crystals at a reasonable rate that would make the gear a reasonable option even for a casual player.  None what so ever, and that was a huge mistake on blizzards part.

How would grumpy fix that?

Add apexis crystals to other duties.  First up... add some freaking dailies to the game.  Then add some apexis as rewards for doing the dailies.  Offer 200 apexis crystals for doing a dungeon, then have bosses drop 30 each or something.   Have raid bosses drop apexis crystals.  Make rares in the world killable more than once and done (which is another huge mistake this time around) and drop baggies, like the rares did in last expansion, that can have a chance to contain from 10 - 50 crystals.  Add a few more, minor, crystal missions to the garrisons, maybe even have lockboxes have a chance to contain a few.  Have crystals come once in a rare while from gathering, from crafting an item, from the extra roll in raids, from the timed runs in CMs, the faster you do it the more you get.

Basically use apexis crystals to motive people to do things, to get out of their garrison and experience the world.  Heck, there is no other reason to do so anyway.  If apexis were supposed to be some sort of half assed replacement for valor, make it one and use it as such by making it a motivating factor for people to actually, you know, play the game.  Shutter at the thought people might actually play the game.  How dare I think that.

Purchasing Options:

I mentioned gear as the first and foremost reason for collecting and spending apexis crystals but that is not all they are used for.  You can buy followers, pets and mounts from certain faction when you reach the required reputations.  But if you are anything even remotely resembling an active player you are probably doing what I do with mine.  I buy my extra rolls each week with them.  Nothing really else to buy with them.

How would grumpy fix that?

Do what they did with valor to give some people are reason to keep collecting them.  Add a couple of BoE items that can be purchased with them.  So I can buy them from my main and send them to an alt.  Or I can buy them to help a guild mate that is just starting the gearing process.  Or maybe I can just buy them to sell them on the auction house.  That is a start right?

How about having something like the trading post guy that sells items for garrison resources.  Add one that sells stuff for apexis crystals.  A combination of the primal vendor and the trading post vendor.  You can buy fish or meat or even crafting materials.  Make them expensive if you have to.  5000 for a savage blood, 2000 for a stack of crescent saberfish flesh, what have you.  But it would still give additional options to keep collecting apexis crystals to buy stuff you need.

Then maybe you could make them even more useful by adding the item upgrade system.  A 5 point upgrade to a piece of gear for 2500 apexis crystals.  Each patch raise it by one level allowed to upgrade and there you go, another useful idea for apexis crystals, even if they used it only on gear originally purchased with apexis crystals to begin with.

Add an heirloom vendor for apexis crystals selling both heirlooms and the items to upgrade them. Have an option to convert apexis to honor or conquest, I know I loved being able to turn justice into honor and I am sure people would be all over the apexis into honor, or even better conquest at a 100 to 1 rate even.  There are a million and one things they could have done.  But they did... none.  Nice job blizzard.

End note:

Over all, the idea would be the main idea for how I would have used apexis crystals.  Put lots of ways, out in the world, to get them and gather them.  Even pop up quest areas that are dailies, kind of like the ones we had while first questing thought, that offer some here and there.  Dailies, gathering, rare killing, all good reasons among the many others there could be to go out and gather apexis crystals and make the game a little more about being out in the world and a little less about being in your garrison.  And in the process blizzard could have turned the apexis crystals into the driving force that fed an expansion instead of a wasted resource that was useless basically the day the expansion came out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- Another valentines day event passed an another year without the mount.

- I think that has to be the rarest mount, holiday boss wise, in the game.

- Even more so when you think that for the last few years I have been doing it on multiple characters daily and still have not got it.

- Hope someone else out there had better luck than I.

- I've been doing a lot of mount farming lately.

- Seems like I have fallen into the "end of the expansion" mode already.

- Kind of sad if you think about it.

- I spend more time soloing old raids for mounts these last weeks than actually playing current content.

- Had a pug experience that was good and some what bad toward the end.

- Joined a fresh heroic highmaul.

- Downed the first boss, butcher, brack and then when we get to tectus, the raid leader kicks the tank.

- He was doing a fantastic job really, there was no reason to kick him.

- His reason?

- A guild mate needed something off that boss.

- So he brings his guild mate in for that boss to tank, we down the boss, he doesn't get what he wants, he leaves the group.

- The entire group falls apart after that while waiting for a new tank.

- What the F?

- Could he have at least asked the tank, do you have an offspec so my buddy that needs something off this boss could come.

- Could his buddy have just come in for that boss alone in an offspec.

- We were blowing through it, even if we carried him it would have been no big deal.

- And as it seems he only wanted that one boss anyway no one would have bitched, or even noticed that he came in for just a one boss carry.

- This was a group we could have one shot the entire thing with and he ruined it for a stupid reason.

- If his buddy wanted something off that boss he should have joined his own pug and not destroyed ours.

- I know, his pug, his rules.

- But it sucks seeing a great group get dismantled like that because of selfish people.

- I did not need anything and I stayed.

- Only wanted the trinket off butcher or weapon off brack.

- But I would have gladly stayed for the whole thing.

- Am I the only person in the game what actually plays for the fun of playing and isn't just a self absorbed prick?

- I hate people like that.

- Have a few "new" people in guild that seem to be under the impression that if they sign up for the raid they will get an invite on raid night.

- Let me break it to you softly, I will invite you to test you only.

- If you fail the test, you need to earn your way back into my good graces before you get an invite again.

- Signing up does not mean you will automatically get invited.

- No, I do not care if it is flex.

- If you are nor raid ready, you are not raid ready.

- Signing up does not make up for poor preparation, poor performance and poor raid awareness.

- So no, absolutely not, signing up does not insure you get a spot in the raid.

- All it does it let me know you are interested, and I will invite or not invite based on my need for you.

- Want to make sure you get an invite after signing up.

- Play well, be a team player, come prepared and on time, and don't be a dim wit on voice chat, and you will get an invitation.

- Then there is the "other" type.

- Decent gear, 665, for heroic BRF.  Not great but doable.

- Still some soft spots in their gear that they can use upgrades for.

- Decided to do a heroic highmaul run this weekend to get some new people some gear, and this person asks to bring his alt.

- You are under performing in your 665 gear doing only 15K.

- There are upgrades to be had here for many slots for you.

- And you want to bring an alt?

- Welcome to my shit list and being one of those people that no longer get invited to BRF raids.

- You need gear from the raid, you need practice on your character, and you want to bring an alt instead?

- You, my friend, are not a raider.

- Heck, I did a pug this week for butcher and brack, the only 2 I needed gear from in there, and I was still going to do it again to waste a coin there even if I were loot locked anyway.

- And I know how to play my character. not doing 15K at 665.

- But there were upgrades to be had, they were easy enough to kill and get a chance to get, so I went in to try and get them, to be better for myself and for my team.

- When you place yourself ahead of the team when your main still need a lot of work, you most definitely are on my shit list.

- If I need to fill a damage dealer spot for the next BRF day I would rather pug than bring you.

- Maybe the pug person actually spent some time trying to get gear this week and playing his main so he can get better at it.

- How you like them apples?

- Did a blackrock normal inviting whoever wanted to come, a come as you are raid so to speak.

- After we downed the first boss we moved to the second and it felt like herding cats.

- I explained in perfect and complete detail how the guy rolls, how to tell why he rolls, which boxes to kill to determine his path, which way to run to avoid getting hit, even put a marker on my head so people could follow me, and still more than half the raid died every time.

- I swear when that run was done I wanted to quit raiding ever again.

- And this is supposed to be normal?

- This is supposed to be the place where I can bring the beginners?

- This is the raid that is meant to be for friends and family?

- I actually threw my hands up in the air in frustration and yelled at my computer, "I F'N give up.".

- Well, if blizzards intention was to make you want to rethink your friendships and disown your family, than it is working.

- If this is the state of normal raiding where we could not even down a simple boss explained to the absolute fullest after a dozen attempt, I never ever ever want to raid again.

- Sorry, but even in a mixed group of friends and family, no boss except maybe the last few should ever take more than 4 or 5 wipes to figure out.

- That is why it is called normal, that is why it is refereed to as friends and family raiding.

- Did blizzard really over tune this for the audience it was intended for?

- I think so.

- At the stage it is now I say, just remove normal completely.

- Normal mode raiding serves absolutely no purpose what so ever in the game at the level it is.

- Make LFR flex, and let the friends and family guilds walk into LFR without filling the group with randoms.

- So a guild can do a 12 man LFR run if they so choose.

- That would be leaps and bounds better than the normal that is in game now.

- I give up on normal, I never want to touch a normal again, normal can go jump off a cliff and die a horrible death for all I care.

- Because normal is not normal.

- Not as they advertised it.

- It was a nightmare.

- I think I woke up in a cold sweat screaming that night.

- I can't believe that the next time I decide to do normal I am going to have to be ultra picky about who I bring.

- I thought that was intended for heroic and not normal.

- I think I am all but done with this game.

- Not sure why I am still even playing.

- I can not down bosses fast enough on heroic because each week I have different healers and different tanks and we need to learn the fight all over again and start from the beginning.

- Making no progression on new content sucks, even more so when you were always used to do it.

- I can not even down things on normal because apparently I can not bring lesser players, as it was intended for, to get it done or we won't get it done.

- I can't do mythic because there are no guilds on my server that are capable of doing it that I could join.

- I can never get my two partners on so we can do threes for arena.

- There is no content really to do in the world leaving me to finish off old things.

- All the old things I need to finish mostly require rare drops.

- I am about as sick as I can be with the RNG not giving me any drops.

- So it is another effort in wasting time to farm old content for mounts when I will never get them.

- As fun as it is, cycling thought a dozen characters and soloing DS each week gets tried real fast.

- I can't find a challenge mode group for the life of me.

- I usually end up with a group that has been me and the tank doing 24K and the other two damage dealers doing 10K, or three sold damage dealers but a tank that can only handle one mob at a time, or a group that is really solid but has a healer that probably could not keep us up in a level 30 instance.

- I am sick of trying to find decent groups, because there are none.

- So once again, can someone tell me, outside of the friendships I have made in game, what does this game have to offer me?

- Because right now all it seems like it has to offer is frustration, annoyance, and boredom.

- I'd say I was burnt out, but I have been playing so little lately, what is there to burn out from.

- There just isn't anything worth doing in game any more, for me at least.

- And it is not like I ask for much.

- I just want to have a weekly group I go and kill some internet dragons with on a regular basis to have some fun, in raids, in challenge modes, or even as a group in ashran.

- And I can't find that.

- It makes for a very sad elf.

- Have a great day.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Off Base Blue Posts on Reforging Bother Me

Get ready for rant time, because a blue post annoyed me and I want to have some fun complaining about it.

I have always been against the removal of reforging.  Despite the countless posts made about it I still do not understand blizzards reason for removing it and oddly enough every time one of the blues makes a post concerning its removal I understand less why it was removed.  It is almost as if they are defending its removal by making me want it back even more with what they say.

Some people love the removal of reforging, some people hate it.  We, as the paying and playing customers, have the rights to our opinions.  There is nothing wrong about us not agreeing on things because not everyone shares the same opinions.  And that is the problem with the blue responses when it comes to reforging.  They are taking their opinion (the company line if you will) and saying it is fact.

It is really starting to piss me off that they keep throwing around their opinions as facts when there is, as a fact, entire parts of the community that vocally disagrees with them.  They need to stop saying that "reforging was not engaging game play", just because it wasn't for them.  That doesn't mean it wasn't for me or many others that would like to see reforging return. 

I do not find transmog to be engaging game play, but I don't go around saying it isn't.  So they should not go around saying reforging wasn't engaging game play even if was just changing numbers just because they do not find it to be so.  That is an opinion, they need to stop spewing that garbage as fact.

Here is the question and answer taken from the blue tracker over at MMOC that bugged me, basically because of the double talk that contradicted itself. 

Their original reason for removing Reforging was the fact that everyone was using it solely to maintain Hit and Expertise cap. with those two stats gone, I legitimately see no reason why Reforging cannot be brought back and used in the way it was originally designed for.

That was one part, but the bigger part was that it doesn't actually improve the game experience. There are still soft caps for some stats, but ultimately Reforging just didn't provide any engaging gameplay to get an item and then reforge it to whatever your best stat is based on a sim or recommendation from a website. That's not creating engaging gameplay. If the desire for Reforging is based on "I'd like to make my items better by picking the stats I want more." the simpler answer there, and the one that does create engaging gameplay and interaction with the game world and other players, is "Get better items."

This reply, made by Bashiok, once again show how completely clueless he is.

"The bigger part was that it doesn't actually improve the game experience".  I have two responses to this line alone, one short one, and one longer rant.  The short one comes first.

How did reforging not improve my game experience?  I really would like to hear him explain that.  Having better stats for my class and spec made my experience worse?  Having more options for upgrades made my experience worse?  Having the power to switch from a mastery build to a haste build on the fly made my experience worse?

I want to tap him on the head a few times yelling, think McFly, think.  Seriously Baskiok, how did having more options make my game experience worse, I would like to know.

Now to the meat.

"The bigger part was that it doesn't actually improve the game experience" is one loaded line if I ever read one.  Who says it doesn't improve the game experience?  It sure as hell improves mine.  I like when I get a piece of gear and it is an upgrade, I dislike when I get a piece of gear and it is not.  I am absolutely sure I am not alone with that sentiment. 

When I can get a new item which should be an upgrade and it is not because my lesser item level piece is perfectly itemized but the better item level piece has my two worst secondary stats on it, it sucks.  My so called upgrade is actually a down grade, that is not, repeat, not improving my game experience. 

With reforging around that piece might, just might, still be an upgrade now.  Without reforging it gets disenchanted and is a temporal crystal at best.  Is that really something that is helping my over all experience in game?  The fact that the one time I can loot the boss that week I won an upgrade that was not actually an upgrade?

There are opinions and we are all entitled to them but saying something like that is not an opinion.  You might like reforging, you might hate reforging, that is an opinion.  But saying that you removed it for "the bigger part" because it doesn't improve game play is not an opinion, it is an outright falsehood.  It is a lie.  You are allowed your own opinions but do not lie and call it fact.  Do not say it does not improve game play because you do not like it, or because the company line tells you to say that because that is a lie.  It might not improve your game play because you dislike it, but to say that because you do not like it that it is fact for everyone when it is not.

Bashiok goes on in the same reply to say if your sole reason for wanting reforging is to get better stats on an item that it would be more engaging game play to go and get better items.  But what if the better item you seek does not exists which is the case for a great many slots for a great many classes?

Lets go through this step by step so I can explain how this is double talk and faulty logic.

So he says that getting better items is engaging game play right?
So that means he acknowledges that getting better stuff is engaging game play right?
So if reforging makes better stuff shouldn't that fit into his description of engaging game play?

He said getting better items is engaging game play but in the same breath he says reforging was not engaging game play because it makes items better.  That makes absolutely no sense.  Does he even have a clue what he is talking about?

So Bashiok, I ask you.  Is getting better items engaging game play or not?  Can't have it both ways.  If getting better items is engaging game play than reforging should return, if getting better items is not engaging game play than reforging should stay gone.  I am using your logic here.  Now pick a side and stand on it. 

If you say getting better items is not engaging game play I will ask you to never upgrade your gear again, because that is not engaging game play.  Oh wait, you can't do that because that is what the entire game is about, getting better gear.  Guess you were right, getting better items is engaging game play.  Guess that means reforging, even if your opinion was you disliked it, is engaging game play as well.

So please stop with the garbage remarks Bashiok and start pushing for reforging to be returned to the game.  You said so yourself in the post you made, even if you did not intend to, that reforging is in fact engaging game play.  There was no reason for it to be removed in the first place.  Reworked, maybe, removed, no.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I Must Be Getting Old

Looking at the "content" being added when patch 6.1 comes out I am left wondering, where is the content, if there is any at all.  Heirloom tab should have been part of release.  Blood elf models should have been part of release.  "Increased" garrisons stuff and profession stuff should have been part of release. 

The darkmoon faire additions I can see as new content for 6.1 and I do see it as such , but that is something you will do until you get the achievement for them and it is in an area that is only around one week a month to begin with.  So it is not lasting content and it is not content that will always be there.

The raiding with leashes, adding more pets we can collect to older raids is more content, but like most other things of this nature, for many, it will be a one time thing and for others they might use it as a source of income.  A nice addition but not really robust content.

There are a lot of nice little additions coming with 6.1 like these, but nothing ground breaking, nothing that I personally would call content.  No new raids, no new dungeons, no new scenarios, nothing with any meat to it.  There is a rumored quest hub but I am not so sure of that.  There is not even a continuation of the garrison campaign which is a sad turn of events.

Basically what we are getting with 6.1 is not a patch, it is the final release of 6.0 as it should have been with some small added goodies.  6.1's release signals the end of the warlords of draenor beta basically.

When talking about this to a friend in guild he told me, but I forgot about the twitter integration and the selfies.  The thing is, I did not forget about them, and that is why I say I must be getting old.

To me those are probably the two most worthless features ever added to warcraft, while for many others it is the biggest addition to the game in a long time.  Being I just do not see the fascination with twitter and / or posting selfies I can only assume that I am getting way too old for this game.

I do not blame blizzard for adding this stuff.  I think it is fantastic for business.  Beyond fantastic even.  Spreading word on social media is better than airing commercials on TV.  Having people tweet from in game will be the biggest boost to the exposure of the game in many years, maybe even  the largest exposure since its burst growth period really took off in the burning crusade. 

I think the addition of twitter is a great thing for the game.  But it just shows me that as I grow older the game remains the same age, and maybe I am just outgrowing warcraft if this is the future of the game and were they intended to push the game in the future with additions like posting to twitter directly from game.  At least it won't be intrusive and I will never notice it is even there, or so we are told.

In the vernacular of the twitter generation, when I first heard of this being added I would have had to say, "lolwut"

And that exactly explains why I must be getting too old for this.  When even a great addition to the game that will help it grow I still can not connect to in any way, shape or form, because I just don't get it.  My beard is getting grey.  Well, greyer.