Archive for the 'General' Category


What’s in a Main?

Hi. My name is Dinaer. And I’m an elemental shaman.

I’ve been playing my rogue as my main since vanilla. I’ve gone out of my way to do all of my important achievements and accomplishments on that character. No matter what role I was playing for the good of the guild, my rogue was my main. When I tanked on my pally in Wrath, I still played my rogue more. When I healed on a resto druid through Cata and into Pandaria, I still made sure to play my rogue first and foremost.

My guild, having lasted since early vanilla, is now all but inactive. There are 5-10 players that log on sporadically, but there are never more than 2-3 on at a time. We tried to get a raid group going, but couldn’t field more than 8 logged on for a raid night that was advertised weeks in advance.

I leveled a tauren shaman to have the chance to play with some friends. Today, I did LFR Gul’dan for the first time, and I did it on my shaman. As far as I remember, this is the first time I have killed a final raid boss on an “alt” before doing it first on my rogue.

Which begs the question – is the shaman my alt? I spend more playtime on the shaman than the rogue. I have done Karazhan on the shaman, not the rogue. I have cleared Nighthold (LFR) on the shaman, not the rogue.

I guess I’m a shaman now.


View From the Horde side

I have been an alliance player almost exclusively since vanilla. My guild is alliance, and so there was never a compelling reason to play horde. I’ve started a couple of horde characters, but never played them to the level cap.

In the Demon Invasion event preceding Legion, I used the big XP from the invasion events to level a Tauren shaman to 100. I didn’t do anything with him other than the invasions, but he reached the level cap, which was an accomplishment.

I have a few friends that have come back to WoW, but they are playing horde. Since my guild isn’t doing anything these days, I decided to jump onto the Horde side of things. I played quickly through the main storylines in the four main zones and reached 110 in two weeks of sporadic playtime.

I was a little let down when I saw that the storylines were almost exactly the same on the Horde side. There were a couple of divergences – a couple of flight paths that are Horde-only, a couple of specifically Horde quest-givers. But for the most part everything was identical.

That was disappointing to me. In vanilla and earlier expansions, playing Horde gave you a whole different side of the story than playing Alliance. I wonder if this is one of those details that Blizzard has lost along the way in order to streamline game production.

Anyway, now I may actually have some friends online to run with. That will be a welcome change.

Now I just have to figure out how to dps with an elemental shaman. Or I need to level my restoration artifact.


What Does Casual Look Like?

I keep reading posts on Reddit complaining about all the RNG on top of RNG, and how the grind is ruining the game.

The more I read, the more I think that the really involved players – the dedicated raiders and the ones that are most likely to post on Reddit – don’t actually understand or care about how the vast majority of players play. This isn’t new, of course, but I’m really seeing a wide gulf between the expectations of different play groups.

Once upon a time, I was like them. I had structured play times, raid times, farming times. I had lists of gear upgrades and I knew where they dropped. I made sure to run heroics and do dailies to chase whatever carrot was being dangled in front of us at the time.

Let me describe my playtime now. I’ll also add that this is the playstyle of nearly every player I currently know, including many that go all the way back to vanilla and that were former raiders.

Legendaries – I have two legendaries on my main, and one on each of my two most played alts. I have no idea if they are “good” or “bad” legendaries because I have never taken the time to look up what legendaries are available. Since my gear level is in the 860-870 range, ANY legendary at iLVL 910 will be a big upgrade. Even the utility talents can be useful when soloing, which is 99% of my playing. Sephuz’s Secret is great as an extra movement buff when I am stealthing through a bunch of stuff to get to a quest objective.

World Quests – This makes up almost all of my playtime. I keep up on my emissary quests in order to get reputation, with the goal of hitting exalted with each faction so that I can get the flying meta. (I haven’t looked up what I need for the flying meta, but I know that’s one of them). Also, all of my legendaries have dropped from emissary caches, so I keep doing them for that reason.

Mythics – I have run a few. One with a +1 keystone to try it, but mostly without. My only motivation for running the mythics has been to get attuned for Karazhan. I did that with my group of friends, but that took weeks to coordinate our play time.

Karazhan – As a BC raider, I was really looking forward to this. It is, however, really long. We’ve gone in twice. The first time we spent the evening on opera and maiden. We didn’t look up videos or strats. We just played until we figured it out. The second time in we did opera, maiden, and moroes. That’s as far as we’ve been.

Raids – Just LFR. And that only a few times. I don’t get gear upgrades in LFR, so there is little point to doing it over again once I’ve seen it.

Some would say that this makes me “bad” because I’m not doing Mythic +15. I disagree with that term. I haven’t tried and failed out of a lack of skill. Its like saying that a guy who plays basketball in his driveway is “bad” at basketball. When compared to NBA players, sure. But he’s not playing against NBA players, so who cares? As long as he’s having fun shooting in his driveway, then his goal is reached.

I still play more days than not. I’m having fun. I’m not chasing anything super-rare like the fox mount or a specific legendary. I basically feel like this game was made for me, and it’s great. The more dedicated players can have their complaints, but they don’t speak for me.



My wife and I finally got some WoW time this weekend.

I tell her, “meet me at Khadgar in Dalaran and we’ll pick up where we left off.”

She says, “I’m at Khadgar”

I don’t see her. Hmmm. Oh, yeah – phasing. I invite her to my party, and then *POP* she appear standing next to me.

Issue #1 – I have no idea how the phasing works, but you would think that people on your own server – especially in your own guild – would be given some preferential treatment when phasing happens. You should be more likely to be in the same phase with people on your server or in your guild.

Later, we are questing in Suramar. Parts of the intro questline there must be done solo, so even though we are in the same party and on the same quest we cannot see each other. Alright, I get it – the quest was designed for solo play so this is a choice made by the developers.

But then the quests are over, I see other players standing in Meredil, but not my wife. She’s on my minimap, but I don’t see her. I drop group and reinvite her. *POP* there she is.

Issue #2 – people in a party together should always be in the same phase by default

I will say that the phasing has made it sometime inconvenient to quest together while leveling. I get the reasons for it, and I see the utility of it, but there are times when it is a hassle.



Blizzcon coming soon

I’m a little concerned about Blizzcon.

I’ve been watching Blizzcon for many years. It has always been a source of excitement and entertainment. Not only were there always great game-related announcements, but we got to see guys like Chris Metzen, Mike Morhaime, Greg Street, and Alex Afrasiabi geeking out over their creations. We have seen Elite Tauren Chieftan bang on their instruments and a guy in a red shirt stump the authors of the game’s lore.

With the recent spate of departures among some of the senior designers at the game, I think we will be seeing a lot of different faces at Blizzcon this year. No longer will Metzen greet us with his geeky introductions in his distinctive voice. Will Morhaime still show up on stage?

So without the familiar personalities, and with no sign of any big announcements, I worry that this year’s event will be very corporate. Rather than a celebration of the game itself, it will be more of a toast to its success, and an emphasis on e-sports. While that is still admirable, that’s not what people pay all that money to see.

I am hoping that I am surprised. Maybe they have a trick or two up their sleeve.


Leatherworking Mount Quest

I got to the point in Leatherworking where I was given the quest “Mounting Made Easy”. In this, you have to put a leash on a wild Great Northern Elderhorn and follow it as it runs throughout Stormheim.

First – the quest itself takes a long time. Even if you were to nail it on the first attempt (a near impossibility) it would run 10-15 minutes of chasing this thing. With failures and restarts, it took me about 45 minutes total. I did not watch any videos or guides before doing it.

It is challenging. It is also a bit too long. It was fun at first, but then it got a bit frustrating. If it had been about half the length it was, then the annoying aspects would have been offset by the joy of accomplishment upon finishing.

The quest is clearly not meant to be done on the first try. There are times that the Elderhorn makes jumps that the player cannot possibly make – leaping up onto a rock or jumping across a chasm. In these cases, the player is bound to fail the first time. Good players will then explore and try and find solutions before trying again. Lazy players will complain.

(As an aside, this has caused no end of whining on official and unofficial WoW forums. The tears of entitlement pouring from those pages could fill an ocean.)

Three things that I found were extremely helpful:

  1. Fighter Chow. You will get attacked while you run, and you will sometimes take fall damage. Obviously, if you die then you fail. Fighter Chow increases your out-of-combat regeneration rate.
  2. Class Order Hall armor set two-piece bonus. This also increases your out-of-combat regeneration.
  3. Stonehide Leather Barding. This is made by leatherworkers, and keeps you from being dismounted while riding.

There are a couple of tricky moments in the run. Fortunately, when you fail you don’t have to start from the beginning. There are checkpoints along the way. After a failure, look on your map for the location of the quest and you’ll get to restart there.

  • Tricky moment #1 – the waterfall. There are four jumps down the water fall. On the last, the Elderhorn jumps way up in the air before coming back down. You can’t jump that high. So if you jump at the same time as the Elderhorn, you’ll reach the ground long before it does and the leash will break. Wait a moment after it jumps before you jump.
  • Tricky moment #2 – After you jump down some rocks to the river near Cullens Post, going back uphill from there is tricky. The Elderhorn will run around the right side of the path and then make a sudden jump. You can’t make that jump, so if you follow it you will fail here. As the Elderhorn runs around he right side of the path, you go up the path staying as close to it as possible. When it jumps up you’ll be there waiting.
  • Tricky moment #3 -Hellmouth Shallows. The Elderhorn will zig zag in and out of the islands. You will end up with a small army of Vyrkul chasing you and attacking you. It is very possible for you to die here. You’ll have to maneuver to try and avoid as many attacks as possible without getting too far from your Elderhorn.

After running around Hellmouth Shallows there comes a point when the Elderhorn jumps to the top of a tall rock. I panicked there and ran around the rock and broke the leash. Don’t do that! This is the end of the quest. Just get close enough to the rock for the quest to complete.


New patch makes Legion more alt-friendly

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was behind the progression on my rogue because I’ve been playing alongside my wife, and she hasn’t had much playtime.

Here comes patch 7.1 to save me!

In the patch, if you have one character who has unlocked World Quests the original way – by reaching Friendly rep with the 5 main factions – then it will also unlock World Quests on your alts shortly after they reach 110. No need to finish the rep requirements!

I logged into my rogue the other day, intending to spend time fishing, and POP I got my whistle and could do World Quests. This allows me to develop that character, but I am not progressing the storyline quests farther than my wife’s character. I’m getting some gear, artifact power, and order hall resources. None of that prevents my wife and I from questing in Azsuna and Suramar together.


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)
March 2017
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