Archive for December, 2014


Grimrail Depot is the Worst Thing Ever

I’m very patient.  I don’t gripe in party chat.  I don’t call people noobs.  I don’t tell people how bad they are playing.  I generally stay silent, respawn after a wipe, then go back and do my thing but try and do better.

I tolerate both the good and the bad in LFD groups.  Sometimes you get a great group, sometimes you don’t.  That’s life.

That said, my problems with Grimrail Depot are not from the players or the inevitable griping and drama that comes with a run through this hellish place.  This is all Blizzard’s fault.  I have now run Grimrail Depot three times – twice as a healer and once as dps.  I will never run it again.  Here’s why.

  • After making the game more and more of a solo affair, pushing us into LFD and LFR and Garrisons and reducing any need to communicate, the first boss in Grimrail Depot actually requires some form of coordination.  Since most players have been trained by Blizzard to run in and pull without fear, this inevitably leads to drama.  Who is killing what?  Why did you kill the little guy first?
  • When on the train, during trash packs there is fire everywhere.  I’m a good little player – I’ve learned to run out of fire.  But wait!  We’re in a narrow little corridor with no room to maneuver.  So we get caught in fire no matter how much we want to get out of it.  Sorry healers.
  • Line of sight.  Take one wrong step, and you’re out of sight of the healer.  Let the finger-pointing commence.
  • The second boss is the biggest mess of any instance boss I can remember.  The Dungeon Journal – a real advance in the game – gives no real clear advice on what the heck is going on in that fight.  I’ve done it three times and I still don’t have a clear idea of what I’m doing.
  • The sliding backward thing during the second boss?  Whatever developer came up with that should have to sit on a rolling chair on an inclined floor while he tries to do work at Blizzard HQ.

In three times through this instance I’ve totaled about 18 wipes.  It doesn’t matter how patient I am, that’s more than I can take.  Thanks, Blizzard, but I’ll pass on this one.


What Makes This Better Than Dailies?

Yesterday I posted a list of all the things I do when I log onto WoW.  It involved garrison missions, mining ore, picking herbs, gathering timber, trapping beasts, daily crafting cooldowns, and the daily Apexis Crystal quest.  It is quite a large list.

I dinged level 100 about 5 days ago.  I have not yet run most of the level 100 dungeons on either normal or heroic mode.  The reason for this falls squarely on my “chores”.  Each evening I log on at some point.  By the time I have finished my chores, I look at the clock and decide that I won’t have time to wait in a queue and complete a pug instance before I have to go to bed.  And so I do a couple of quests or kill some rares, or just gather more timber.  I’m not making a lot of progress toward raid-readiness.

And yet I don’t feel like I’m being forced to do this.  In Mists, the dailies felt mandatory.  They were mostly not enjoyable, but were a means to an end.   Whether you were a crafter or a raider, there was something you needed from the dailies.

In WoD, the garrison is simply the most fun I am having in the game, and I play the game to have fun.  I am opting to do what I like, even if it isn’t an optimized path to end game.

I think that somewhere along the way, WoW was taken over by optimizers.  Each task or choice had its value set based on how close it was to the ideal path toward an end goal.  Whether is is online guides or simulations or HandyNotes or add-ons, the majority of the game turned into a means to an end, and if you strayed from the most optimal path you were “doing it wrong”.  WoD has brought back the freedom to play how you like, and that’s just what I’m going to do.


Day in the Life of a Garrison Junkie

Here’s my daily routine when I first log onto WoW.

  • log onto druid
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to forge, collect and restart work orders.  Refresh follower buff.
  • Collect and restart work orders from enchanter’s hut and lumber mill.
  • Pick herbs and collect ore.  Collect and restart work orders from herb garden and mine.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto rogue
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to tannery, collect and restart work orders.
  • Run outside of garrison to find elephants to trap for barn work orders.  Run back to garrison.
  • Collect and restart work orders from enchanter’s hut and barn.
  • Pick herbs and collect ore.  Collect and restart work orders from herb garden and mine.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto mage
  • Hearth to auction house.  Cancel and repost auctions.
  • Hearth back to garrison.
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to scribe’s quarters, collect and restart work orders.
  • Collect and restart work orders from trading post
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto priest
  • Complete missions.
  • Run to Tailoring Emporium.  Collect and restart work orders.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • log back to druid
  • Pick up daily Apexis Crystal quest.  Fly out to wherever that is located.  Grind mobs until quest is done.  Hearth back to garrison.

This process takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  That’s all before I can think about questing or running instances. When you add in the fact that I refresh my missions again before I log off, I’d say that this process takes a good third of my gaming time.


My gaming so far

I really binged on WoW over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I played essentially all day Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I feel like I’m back in Burning Crusade, when I would arrange my whole life schedule around my WoW time.  That wasn’t healthy for me then, so I may have to rein it in soon.

Here’s what I’m at so far:

My resto/balance druid is at level 100, doing Nagrand quests.  I’ve run some normal instances as a healer and those have been fun.  I should be into heroics by this weekend.  Resto seems strong.  Moonkin dps seems better (easier) in WoD than it did in Mists.  It still suffers from super slow cast times, which I don’t like. It has good burst if you pop cooldowns, so I’ve had no trouble handing the rare spawn mobs around the world.  I have trouble keeping dps up in groups because things die too fast and my spells don’t have time to cast.

My rogue (still my main!) is at level 96.  I’m leveling with my wife and she doesn’t play as much as I do.  So far I’m still wearing almost all of my raid gear from Mists.  There is nothing I’ve encountered while leveling that I can’t just burn down.  I have yet to run any instances with him so I don’t know how well rogue dps is comparing these days.  I know that I can maintain 8-12k unbuffed when soloing, and that seems comparable to what I see people doing in dungeons.

The biggest change was the combo points staying on us, but we’ve had that since the pre-expansion patch so that doesn’t feel new.  The biggest NEW change is the Enhanced Slice and Dice perk, when SnD becomes passive.  That feels weird.  I still hit my SnD keybind at the start of fights out of years of muscle memory.  I need to switch that keybind to something useful.

I have leveled my arcane mage and my shadow priest a bit.  The arcane mage feels too squishy.  With no self-heals I die a lot to even weak mobs.  I need to kill them before they reach me or I’m in trouble.  The shadow priest is fun, as always.

I have four garrisons that I am juggling.  I timed my daily “chores” and it takes almost 40 minutes for me to complete and refresh my follower missions, collect my ore and herbs, get work orders going, and do my daily crafting cooldown on four characters.

  • My druid’s garrison is level 3 and has a lumber mill, forge, enchanter’s hut, and dwarven bunker.
  • The rogue’s garrison is level 2 and has a barracks, tannery, barn, and enchanter’s hut.
  • My mage’s garrison is level 2 and has a barracks, scribe’s quarters, and trading post
  • The priest’s garrison is level 1 and has a barracks and a tailoring emporium.

My guild isn’t going to start raiding in the first week.  We don’t have enough people geared up yet.  We may start in the 2nd week.  As always, we’re not in a rush.  We’re not competing with anyone.


Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
December 2014
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