Archive Page 2

06
Sep
16

Do we need a guild web site anymore?

At one time, I thought that the silence in my guild chat was just a symptom of a dysfunctional/dying guild. Now, though, I hear that this is fairly characteristic of a lot of guilds around the game. Guilds serve almost no purpose now for casual players. The default method of running dungeons is through LFG, and the default way for running raids in LFR. No need to talk to your guildies. The only time guilds are necessary is for organized raiding and Mythic dungeons. Even for those, you can use the Group Finder tool in game or a service like OpenRaid and avoid restrictive guild ties.

In the long tail of Warlords, I allowed my guild web site subscription to lapse. No one was using it – hardly anyone in the guild was even playing actively. Now that Legion has gone live I thought I would reactivate it. But to what end? I have no immediate plans to start recruiting, and it is not clear that we need it for any communication if we have no plans to raid. I can’t see any reason that people would use the web site.

So, the silence in guild chat continues…

03
Sep
16

Optimistic or pessimistic?

I remember it well, back in 2014. The hype about the new expansion was intense. Garrisons are cool! New zones are beautiful! Blizzard has knocked it out of the park! That lasted about two weeks before people started complaining.

I’m not defending Warlords… people complained because there was a lot to complain about. It is possible that Legion is simply much better.

I am wondering, though. In a couple of weeks, when players have finished many or all of the artifact quests and leveled through the new zones… will Legion get the same treatment as WoD did? Is this an inevitability in the current era of gaming, where people burn through content in a week or two and then get bored and move on?

02
Sep
16

What are my goals in Legion?

I have never been a speed leveler. I remember even back in the early days of Wrath, some of my guildmates were starting to find groups to run Naxxramas and I was still meandering my way through the Dragon Wastes.

You’re only going to get one opportunity to experience the story for the first time. I read every quest, watch the cut scenes, and explore the zones.

What am I missing out on?

Well, gold making, for one. I am a pretty dedicated gold maker – not a “goblin” as some people say, but I do pretty well.

At the start of the expansion there are HUGE profit opportunities. Lots of quests require specific herbs, ores, or other crafting materials. That auction house market is tremendously inflated. Those who run through the content to level 110 can start farming those things and making boatloads of gold. I’ve heard of people raking in hundreds of thousands of gold in the first week.

As much as I like my gold, I’m sure I’ll still find profitable opportunities later.

I can’t think of anything else. Raids aren’t available yet. There are regular and heroic dungeons, but I’ve heard that the Group Finder is really really slow for dps right now, and you need a premade group for mythics. I don’t think that’s a big loss for the time being.

This brings up a big question – what are my end goals this expansion? What do I hope to do when I eventually reach the level cap?

In every expansion since Wrath, the answer was that I would raid with my guild, of course. In Legion, that is not a foregone conclusion. It is not clear that my guild will be able to support a raid group. On top of that, it is also not clear that I will be able to dedicate the time to raiding on a schedule.

My goals are (in priority order):

  1. Play with my family. I have 5 immediate family members who are playing, plus myself. I hope that we can run dungeons together, do the Karazhan “mini-raid” dungeon when it comes in Patch 7.1, and maybe do some LFR together.
  2. Make gold. I usually do this by crafting. It looks like crafting will be gated by level, and opportunities are limited if you’re not level 110. That means I will have to get at least 3-4 alts up to level 110.
  3. Explore. I always place a priority on getting the reputation and exploration achievements. It seems like Legion steers you in that direction, anyway.
  4. Raid, eventually. I would love to raid with my guild. If most of my family raids, that gives us 5-6. I know of at least 2-3 more in the guild that probably would raid. Depending on how long this xpac holds the attention of everyone else, we might be able to field a group eventually. Definitely not before October or November, though.
  5. Master my rogue. There was once a time when I tried really hard to be a good PVE rogue, if not a great one. I competed against myself to max out my performance. I studied theorycrafting. In the last couple of expansions I have let that slide as I have played the game much more casually. (this coincides with the decline in my blogging) It would be nice to refocus on that.
  6. Perks – the extra things that Blizzard offers for us to do, like Challenge Modes and Mythic Dungeons. I have never tried these. In January or so, I’ll take a look at where I am and where my friends are and see if something like this is viable.

 

01
Sep
16

Legion – Intro quests (rogue, monk)

Last night I did the assassination rogue and windwalker monk intro quests up to and including getting artifact weapons.

Windwalker Monk

First, I had a lot of trouble making a decision on spec for the monk. I leveled my monk as a healer. I hope to continue healing with him in Legion. However, I wasn’t sure if I could easily level as a healer. So when the time came, I chose the DPS spec for my artifact. I’m not planning to raid with him, so being a little behind on Artifact Power when I get the healer artifact won’t be a big problem. It just means I shouldn’t do any dungeon healing until hitting level 102.

As far as the questlines, I give them a “meh”. They were basically all running around killing trash. I liked visiting the Vortex Pinnacle, but it wasn’t as iconic a dungeon as some others in my memories. I did find the fights to be pretty hard, but part of that is that I rarely dps on my monk and I am probably terrible. I was doing 25k dps, but I would have died repeatedly if there wasn’t an NPC healing me throughout. The weapon is interesting, but not as cool as some others.

 

Assassination Rogue

This was so great.

Yes, I play a rogue as my main, so I admit I might be biased. But it was different from the other questlines so far. Rather than just killing things, it actually made use of stealth and pickpocketing. It was reminiscent of a light version of the Fangs of the Father legendary quest from back in Cataclysm.

Even the very first intro was cool, with the council and the assassinations and the surprise visitor. Running around with Garona. Avoiding the Stormwind guards. Decoding secret messages. It was all very rogue-ish. Plus the weapons – Garona’s daggers – had a strong connection to familiar WoW lore.  I felt to me like a lot more love went into this than into the windwalker monk or shadow priest artifact quests.

10/10, would play again. Fortunately, I have another level 100 rogue, so I will.

31
Aug
16

Making the expansion fun for the family

My wife and I have been playing WoW for 10+ years. I’ve played without a break for that time. My wife has taken long breaks away from the game. My oldest daughter (in college now) has played on and off for a couple of years but never consistently. My son just got his own account this year.

This expansion will be the first time the four of us will all be playing at the same time.

I want to make the expansion a special, fun experience. So, this Saturday we’re planning an all day WoW-a-thon. We’re all saving one of our level 100 toons to start that day so that we can all level up from 100 together.

The plan is:

  1. Eat breakfast together. That’s a big hurdle, since the kids prefer to sleep until noon.
  2. Watch the South Park WoW episode as a warm-up
  3. Play through our Class Order Hall / Artifact weapon quests, which are solo affairs
  4. Have Hot Pockets and soda for lunch, like “real gamers” do
  5. Play together for a few hours, probably finishing a zone, and maybe run a dungeon as a group. (my daughter has a DK she will use and learn to tank)
  6. Order pizza for dinner
  7. Play more into the evening

While the food may give us indigestion, the family is all looking forward to the event. I’m just using it as family time and a chance to hang with my kids, even if it is in a virtual world.

 

31
Aug
16

Legion – Intro Quests (mage, priest)

My strategy for Legion is not to hurry to level 110. (honestly, I have a hard time understanding people who do that, but to each their own)

I went into the expansion with 11 max-level characters in 10 classes:

  • Assassination Rogue
  • Arcane Mage
  • Shadow Priest
  • Balance/Resto Druid
  • Ret Paladin
  • Subtlety Rogue
  • Havoc Demon Hunter
  • Elemental Shaman
  • Demonology Warlock
  • Mistweaver Monk
  • Arms Warrior

My plan is to do the introductory questlines to get the Class Order Hall and the Artifact Weapon in each one.

I spent about 4-5 hours in the game yesterday. I did some auction house posting to try and grab some gold during the initial rush of players – flasks, potions, flipping some crafting mats. I played my arcane mage until he finished the intro quests and went to the Broken Isles. Then I did the same for my shadow priest. (I started with those because I need their crafting abilities to get glyphs and enchants rolling on the auction house)

Arcane Mage

The arcane mage quest was fun. I thought that going back to the Nexus was a good trip down memory lane. If you didn’t play through WotLK content then maybe less so. I did have trouble with the final boss. Admittedly, I don’t play my mage often and my dps was pretty poor. After failing twice I used an enhancement rune left over from WoD and threw a couple of quick enchants on my gear and was successful. The weapon is interesting, but not as impactful or lore-relevant as some others in the game. It was a good experience.

Shadow Priest

I had less fun with the shadow priest questline, although I think the class gameplay was better than the arcane mage. Heading to Tirisfal Glades was not as interesting to me. As an alliance player I have no real attachment to that zone. I initially thought the quest might take me to Scarlet Monastery, but that turned out not to be the case. I also didn’t know any of the NPCs, which could be because I don’t play the priest much, or because they weren’t supposed to be memorable. I found the final quests and end boss for the weapon to be somewhat underwhelming. The weapon itself, while not particularly notable in lore, is game-changing as it affects your dps.

I will add that I have always been terrible at shadow priest. I usually have trouble completing the simplest quests in that class. I remember with shame when I needed help killing mobs on one of the holiday event side quests in WoD. Not so anymore. I had little trouble blasting my way through the intro quests. With my PW:Shield seemingly always available I rarely took any damage. It was more fun than the mage, for sure.

Tomorrow I’ll probably do my assassination rogue and maybe mistweaver monk.

29
Aug
16

I am Prepared

My last garrison missions are turned in. I have crafting mats for some quick sales to powerlevelers to earn some fast gold. I have my iLvL 700 gear from Legion invasions on my main and several alts. I’ve played through the Broken Isles intro quests on both Alliance and Horde. I’ve got my limited-availability prepatch items. I’m ready to go.

Invasions were a success. I went into the prepatch with 6 max level characters. After invasions I now have 11 (one was boosted). The event kept me playing daily for the whole month.

My wife and two older kids now also have max level characters. We’re all going to play together in Legion, which will be a new and fun experience.

We face a daunting challenge in the Legion incursion. Having already lost major lore figures, I am excited to see what direction Blizzard will take us. I’m looking forward to the ride.




Armory

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)
September 2016
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