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Wow-64 2016-08-20 17-39-50-37

Wow-64 2016-08-20 17-39-50-37

The past week was hyper focused on a single goal… getting Belgaoh my monk from 53 to 100.  The weird thing about this process is that once completed… I am finding myself drifting a bit without purpose.  The above screenshot is unrelated to anything, but I thought it looked cool so you are getting it with this mornings post.  Starting yesterday I begin finally running my stable of characters through the Broken Shore content.  I managed to snag all of the toys, and troll shoes transmog from my single leel 100 horde character, and on my second time through on an alliance character successfully got the bonnet cosmetic item.  I am assuming that tomorrow there will be a new step on the quest chain being patched in, and this time around we will actually do the moving of Dalaran to the Broken Isles bit.  Tonight is our Final Fantasy XIV raid, so that means I will go into this weeks patch not having run Broken Shores on the bulk of my characters.  At least in theory the content isn’t going anywhere so I shouldn’t feel that much of a rush to push through it.  I think this content will essentially be the “welcome to Legion” content for everyone from this point on wards.  I will say it was really strange buzzing right past the quest starter for Cataclysm, Pandaria and Draenor on the monk.  I think I have all of the quests sitting in my log, because they are given automatically when you zone into Stormwind, but I am not sure when if ever I am going to do them.  At this moment I am contemplating using the Timeless Isle port to get to Draenor, but then again that would mean I need to open up Pandaria to get to it.

Wow-64 2016-08-20 18-16-25-87

Even though I have completed one journey to 100… I am finding that I cannot seem to quit the Invasion Event.  A good chunk of yesterday was also spent running characters through the event trying to get the last few 700 items for each.  I managed to finish off Lodin and Tallow last night, which leaves Gloam, Exeter and Belglaive all needing a single item slot.  Belglaive is a little more complicated because I used that character to purchase the pet, and as a result he is still missing several of the purchased pieces of gear.  I just need to run ANY instances on him to get that finished off.  I do have his Glaives upgraded to 725, and I have started a second set mooching off of everyone else’s spare tokens to upgrade them for my eventual Horde demon hunter.  I wish the other weapons worked like this, in that they were bind on account and you could pass them around as needed.  Some characters I have gotten more than my fair share of weapons… and then others like Exeter have yet to see a single one.  I have this feeling that ultimately it is going to be Ex my Paladin that I will continue to run events on, as I try and get three weapons for him.  The other big thing that I need to accomplish before this event is over is to try and find the Demon that spawns in Orgrimmar and Stormwind and get a Fel Spreader toy.  I failed to get one the two times I tried it yesterday, with the one in Orgrimmar bugging out and running back to the Doomsayer and fading.

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The big thing I have learned over the years is that I have a lot of fun playing World of Warcraft, so long as I have a goal in mind.  For example this last week has been a blast as I leveled my way through to 100 doing events.  In theory I could pick a Horde character and start doing the same, but I don’t really have any that are nearly as close to finish as my Monk was.  Doing the event without flight was a pain in the butt, and I am not sure if I want to go back to that frustration right now.  If I was going to pick a character on that side of the fence I would probably pick my Warlock since I have really enjoyed playing my Alliance lock… and I have full cloth heirlooms.  Similarly I have full leather heirlooms, but of the leather classes the one I am most likely to play… is the Demon Hunter, which is easy as hell to get to 100.  I do however have the cash to just go ahead and outfit my plate heirlooms up to 100 and then push something else that I would likely play.  My Orc Deathknight is sitting at 60, so flight is possible, even if it is a slow version.  I might be fun to be able to use this event to play with one of the other specs like Frost or Unholy.  If the next goal is NOT the event however… I need to pick something be it Mount Farming or Dungeon Achievements because so long as I can keep a list of things I want to do… I will be able to stay engaged in this game.  I really am having a lot of fun being around all of these people again.  It is a bit like a reunion, because everywhere I turn on Argent Dawn I keep running into familiar faces from the past.  I know we have roughly a week until the official launch of Legion, and with that comes a whole new set of goals so I just need to keep busy in the meantime.

Fixed Mostly

Wow-64 2016-08-19 18-37-53-90

The Wild Ride

Wow-64 2016-08-19 11-52-13-74

The last two weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster of nerfs and buffs to the Legion Event.  When I first wrote Monday about the “elevator” it was really simple and fast to get a character through the levels, and it didn’t even require much attention to detail.  Simply being in the zone allowed you to reap the entire lions share of experience.  This unfortunately lead to a bit of a plague of afk leveling, because players would park in a relative safe spot and just wait for the phases to complete.  The irony here is that I didn’t actually do this myself until the first round of nerfs, taking the experience down so much that the event didn’t really feel worthwhile.  The positive takeaway of this experience is that Blizzard kept trying different combinations to see if they could find the sweet spot.  I know of at least four different hotfixes that were applied to tweak this variable or that until we wound up with the one that happened last night, and seems to FINALLY restore the event to a level that isn’t AFK leveling, but still feels like you aren’t wasting your time.  Also the new version of the event seems to reward group player, and dissuade players from some of the antisocial behavior that had sprung up.

For a period of time your best bet was to find a quiet corner of the zone to camp for demons and solo everything you could.  This however lead players to getting rather vocal when someone was encroaching upon their turf.  I mean I get the frustration because it could literally half your experience gained if another player touched whatever you had been soloing.  A drive by dot could wreck your experience, and as a result folks were somewhat understandably grumpy about the experience.  You can read my own twitter feed full of random comments about this over the week, so on several levels I have been grumpy as well.  Since I have been writing about it I thought this morning I would talk about the various methods I have personally experiences, and which have good results if you are going into these events hunting experience for leveling, rather than loot boxes.  You admittedly end up with more lootboxes than you could ever want as well, but that is just a fringe benefit.

Your Own Private Army

Wow-64 2016-08-19 18-37-53-90

Scattered throughout the Invasion zones are a number of NPCs that can be saved.  Several of them will fight along side you when you save them, and are really handy.  I am sure I don’t have a full list, but here are some of the ones I know about and have used.

I am certain there are more, but wowhead is freaking out this morning.  I know at some point I also had a dwarven hunter lady while out in Tanaris.  Essentially they are scattered throughout the battlefield, and in Westfall they are often times inside the farm houses.  Rescuing them essentially allows you to take things down more quickly because you have a battle minion following you around and attacking whatever you happen to be attacking.  For example if I have the Crusader I tend to go after the huge mini-boss type baddies because the stun effects them and allows me to shred them.  If I have one of the AOE minions… then I tend to focus on large packs because they will chew them up with AOE damage.  I am not sure how many of these you can have at once, but I have for certain had two up at once and been just fine.  Essentially when you have a couple of these battle minions up, you can run throughout the zone looking for packs of Legion mobs and shredding them for experience.

Vehicular Demonslaughter

The option one of my friends tends to favor is to grab one of the many vehicles scattered around the battlefield and start laying waste to baddies with it.  There is a shockingly wide variety of these available.  For the alliance I know we have Dwarven Steam Tanks, Gnomish Spiders, and Darnassian Glaive Throwers.  Similarly there are horde options as well including some weird undead thing that throws bombs.  Once again the idea is to grab a tank, and just go to town wrecking as many demons as you can before you run out of fuel.  Fuel being a buff that you get that shows how long you can be active in the vehicle.  Personally I have had the best luck with the Steam Tanks because they allow you to just brute force large packs of mobs at once.  Demolishers I think play a similar role for the horde, and allow you to just storm into a Legion camp and destroy everything in your path.

Chase the Skulls

Now personally after the patch I think this is the best option for maximum experience gain… and it seems like everyone else has caught on as well.  Boss fights reward a silly amount of experience now.  In my 70s last night I was getting 45k-60k experience per boss kill, and the various mobs scattered throughout the map and marked with Skulls in phase three… count as bosses.  So new best way to gain experience seems to be to chase these around the zone, and I say chase because there will be a massive amount of flying mounts heading in one direction or another.  The key here however is to stay alive.  This is my only real complaint about the changes… is that with placing so much emphasis on boss kills, you are completely screwed if you are dead while the boss is taken down.  If you are dead you get exactly zero experience for the boss kill, and makes the entire process a complete waste of your time.  As a result you have to play super cautiously, especially as you near the end of the bosses health bar.  I tend to disengage from melee range and use my extremely crappy channeled range attack just to make sure I am on the threat list of the boss but also giving myself maximum room to duck away in case of one of the many one shot boss abilities.  Overall the changes are much better than they have been…  and in truth you can end up with a lot more experience per invasion than you could even before the first round of nerfs.  The big difference is that you have to be extremely active and constantly moving around zone and fighting to make that happen.  Ultimately I think that was what they were going for, and I wanted to reward activity that helps the invasion out… and not activity that happens to get in through a loophole.

 

Slow News Day

Wow-64 2016-08-19 06-23-21-74

Wow-64 2016-08-19 06-23-21-74

For lack of a better term, yesterday was a slow news day… at least in terms of me and gaming.  A handful of times a year I go out with some co-workers to RiffTrax and last night was the live show for Mothra.  I say live show… because in Nashville the Rifftrax crew genuinely is doing this live… and simulcast to the various theaters around the country.  We’ve talked about how great it would be to sit there in the theater and experience it in person…  but that would be like a nine hour drive.  Also the RiffTrax show is always on “a school night” which would make work the next day super awkward and staying over in Nashville even more bizarre.  The interesting aside from last night is that I apparently had either not seen Mothra… or did not remember it at all.  In truth when I think Mothra… I think Mothra vs Godzilla.  Growing up there was a local UHF channel that used to have “themed” weeks during the summer.  There would be one week where they played all of the Spiderman movies, or another week where they played nothing but Bruce Lee.  One of the weeks was always every single Godzilla movie, and I remember watching those as a kid and enjoying them greatly.  Mothra on the other hand…  was just way more bizarre than I ever realized.  Also as the RiffTrax folks kept pointing out… for a movie about Mothra she didn’t spend much time on screen.  The “Riffs” were of course plentiful and one of the more awesome things about going to several of these live shows… is that they keep making call backs to previous ones.  Both Merlin and the Ice Cream Bunny made appearances at least in joke form.

As far as gaming goes I did manage to get about an hour in before I finally collapsed, and during that time I mostly just worked on trying to get drops from the invasions.  Right now it seems like everyone is for the most part either finished gearing… or one slot away from it.  I’ve made a lot of progress in knocking stuff off in my spreadsheet, and at least feel like I am in a better place than I was earlier.  It does get frustrating when you need a single item… but keep getting nothing but bracers for example.  What I seem to be missing follows…

  • Exeter – Paladin – Gloves
  • Lodin – Hunter – Shoulders
  • Tallow – Shaman – Legs
  • Gloam – Rogue – Gloves
  • Belglaive – Demon Hunter – Grinding out Purchased Items
  • Belghast – Warrior – It’s Complicated

Right now I am mostly focused on that last one.  Belghast was my best geared character going into this event, so some of the items are simply not upgrades… unless I happen to warforge them.  Even then some of the slots are not worth it unless I get the 720 warforged versions.  The main thing for him however is gloves and a set of weapons because at least in my Fury set I only have a pair of 690 axes.  I am not sure at what point I call it “good” however, because really I feel like my 11 level 100 characters are all in a reasonable place for leveling in the Legion expansion, which ultimately was my entire point in doing any of the events.  At some point soon I am going to shift my focus over to the Monk and see how close I can get to pushing him over the level 100 line before the expansion actually hits.  I am not sure why but it just feels like it would be awesome to say I went into this expansion will a full stable of level 100 characters… at least on Argent Dawn my primary server.

Elevator Broken

Wow-64 2016-08-16 09-52-40-00

Fun While it Lasted

Wow-64 2016-08-16 09-52-40-00

On Monday I wrote about riding this new Legion Event to 100 on several of my characters, and how holding chests allowed me to instantly have viable level capped characters upon dinging.  At least the second part of that statement is true now, but sadly the first part…  not so much.  It seems yesterday they patched the servers to increase the spawn rate of events, but greatly decrease the experience gained from each.  While this is technically a net gain… it is also a whole lot of busy work to gain it.  Previously on my Monk in his 50s/60s I was gaining at least one full levels worth of experience from each event I participated in.  So that mean’t every four hours, I could run two events with him and then still have time to swap in some other alts for gearing purposes.  As of yesterday I was getting a little less than half of a level of experience per event participated in.  That means during the same four hour window, there are now a total of six events, instead of two…  and as a result if experience stays roughly half a level that means I gain 3 levels instead of 2 before.  The gotcha however is that you spend almost every second of that four hours either participating in an event or travelling to the next one, and in my experience I had no real time to swap in that many alts to also attempt to get gear.  Given how fast experience is gained through questing, it also feels like during that same four hour block I could probably do significantly better than three levels.

What made the “elevator” nice is that I could more casually swap in my lower level alts, and still have time to do the ones I was trying to get gear for.  Now instead I have to make a choice between getting the gear from the event, or leveling.  I mean I get why they did this, because they really want folks to focus on the gear and not the easy ticket leveling.  I am just glad that I managed to pull my Priest from 92 to 100, and my Mage from 90 to 100 before the elevator broke.  As a result I am tabling my Monk for the moment, at least until I finish getting all of the rest of my stable of 11 characters fully geared in 700 or better items from the event.  Technically Belghast my Draenor main has the least stuff from the event, but he also has 700 or better in most of his slots already.  Other than that my rogue really is the one missing the most gear, so I will be working on him next.  Exeter my Paladin is missing a weapon, Lodin my hunter Shoulders, and Tallow my Shaman a handful of items.  Instead of focusing entirely on the Monk I am going to work on getting these characters the last of the missing pieces so that they are in a better state to be prepared for leveling them in Legion.  I have this feeling that 700 is essentially the place they are expecting us to be at for the new content, and even though we will be swapping all of it out for better gear almost instantly it should at least ease that transition.

Unknown Main

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I am hoping over the next few days to be able to reach a point where I am completely okay hopping off the event train.  While it has been a fun ride chasing the skulls around the zones, I have to say I have neglected other important things during the process.  For example I have yet to complete the Broken Shore quest chain in live on any of my characters.  While I did it a bunch of times in Beta and have since seen the cinematics I missed… with the patching in of more quest content I feel like I need to get on the ball and start in with this.  More than anything this expansion feels really different, and in a good way.  I like the way that they seem to be easing us into the content with the invasion, and the head start into Broken Shore or the Demon Hunter experience.  It feels like we are having this rolling soft launch more than waiting for the 30th to flip the switch and have everyone rush into doing exactly the same stuff.  My hope is this is going to allow us to have a more staggered experience with different groups of people progressing through the content at different speeds.  I know personally I will likely be starting the new content in Stormheim, but that is largely because it feels like this great big love letter to Northrend.

The biggest challenge however still yet to be solved is… I have zero clue what my main is going to be.  There are a bunch of different classes that I really enjoy right now.  I love Vengeance Demon Hunter, I think in part because of its mobility and the ability to get places due to double jump and glide which comes in super handy in the new content.  I also am completely in love with Lodin my Hunter… because I am finally getting to play out that fantasy of being a melee hunter.  Belghast and Belgrave are both strong contenders because well… I tend to level tanks first, but in both cases they don’t necessarily feel that new or fresh but more the same.  I am also loving Tallow my Enhancement Shaman and Gloam my Outlaw Rogue… but they will more than likely be relegated to the back burner.  The character that I love that I am shocked to admit it though is my Demonology Warlock.  It is actually a really strong contender for getting leveled quickly, because I have enjoyed playing it so much.  Now however you can see the problem… I am loving this game at the moment because I am loving a lot of my characters at the same time.  There however has to be a first… and I am still completely up in the air as to who that is going to be.

Elevator to Top

Wow-64 2016-08-15 06-28-24-85

Wow-64 2016-08-15 06-28-24-85

This weekend was a weekend for many things, not the least of which was some interstellar exploration in No Man’s Sky.  However an even larger portion of the weekend was spent with the Legion invasion event in World of Warcraft.  I am not exactly sure why Warcraft is so sticky for me right now… but whatever the case it absolutely is.  I am probably having more fun playing this game than I have since long before Cataclysm… and potentially even before the launch of Wrath.  I am actually looking forward to coming home and playing, and this event is a large part of that.  At face value the event is an easy way to get characters decked out in item level 700 gear, and additionally a source of a new pet.  However the way this invasion works makes it so much more enjoyable for me than the previous ones.  I’ve already talked about this in previous posts but two zones open up around the world and every four hours these swap.  The only somewhat negative part of this is that I have apparently swapped logging into all of my characters to fiddle with the garrison, to logging in all of my characters to try and get both invasions in before the zone timer runs own.  There however was an eventual end to this madness and that was collecting a full set of gear on every character.  Friday however the game was patched and it all changed.

LegionEventBags

Now in addition to getting two chests worth of gear…  you also get a significant experience boost every time a phase completes.  In the high 90s each zone invasion is worth roughly half of a level, so each set of two invasions is a little more than a full level of experience.  As a result I have been using and abusing this event to level up those characters that I was never likely going to level on my own.  In this case that is my Priest and my Mage, both classes I have not had a whole lot of interest in playing, but would still like to add to my stable of 100s.  When I started this process my priest had seen enough leveling in Draenor to unlock the Garrison, and then from that point onwards was nothing more than a profession character.  I managed to get to level 92 through doing the various XP missions that came available as part of the daily Garrison queue.  Over the course of the event it took 14 full events to go from 92 to 100, and I literally dinged moments before sitting down to write this post.  Now as I ran this event I held onto every chest, apart from one I opened just to see if my theory was going to be correct.

LegionEventLoot

The chest loot is assigned at the moment you open it.  That means by holding my chests I was able to open them as soon as I dinged 100 and get a fast infusion of item level 700 gear.  In the bags I had 3 weapons, 5 chests, 3 boots, 4 gloves, 4 helms, 2 pants, 2 shoulders, 1 belt, and 4 bracers… as well as two of the weapon infusion items and 657 Nethershards.  So I was able to level up without worrying about my gear at all… and then go to instant reasonable levels upon dinging.  I am absolutely going to use this elevator for as far as I can take it to push up some of the character that I never really got around to leveling.  Once I finish off the Mage I am probably going to try and see where I can get with my sub level 60 monk, and at least push it levels out of the old world.  If you have some of those characters that are sitting in the 90s that you never really got around to leveling in Draenor I highly suggest you take advantage of this.  If nothing else this has been an amazing way to pull up those gear levels for the various characters that I leveled to 100 but never really raided much on.