In Shadowlands, the weekly mythic+ cache is being replaced with the great vault. I shared my initial reaction of their first post about it (and got a correction by a commenter), wowhead has gotten more information, including an actual example of how it works. I’ll summarize a bit of what they said, along with providing a link to the original post after the break. Having seen clarification, there are parts of what bothered me that were my misunderstanding, however, most of my main issues still linger…(more…)
There comes a point where an achievement toast might start to sound a little judgmental, even condescending. Like, “Ding – You’ve clearly not been outside in a while, but grats on all those 90’s”. So, well, yesterday I finally hit 90 on the last class available, my Blood Elf Warlock. Which, is even more excessive because I have 2 level 90 druids. That makes 12 total level 90 characters. My days /played is probably pretty atrocious at this point. But what the hell, at least it’s not the Insane title, right? With some of the achievements in game that require massive amounts of play time (250k honorable kills, for instance), I wonder why there isn’t an achievement for having all classes to max level. There’s one for 5 classes. There’s one for 1 on each faction. It takes far more time to get Loremaster than to level 11 classes, so it isn’t that Blizzard is afraid of requiring that much time invested. So what gives?
Anyway, who know Blizzard’s logic for achievements. But, kidding aside, I’m actually pretty happy to be done with the leveling process. The initial gearing process is actually pretty fun because literally every drop is an upgrade and the timeless isle, while grindy if you stay there too long, has been a veritable smorgasbord of loot. Since I’ve been out there enough on other characters already, each of my recent 90’s (mage, shaman, lock) have been at least 490 item level in under 1 hour /played at level 90. Of course, in the nature of MMO’s my goal itself becomes cyclical very quickly. I wanted to get my characters max as fast
as possible as I could stomach so I could start gearing them to be able to kill flex Garrosh. I want to kill flex Garrosh for the heirloom weapons. I want those heirloom weapons to make leveling in Warlords of Draenor easier. So… I’m leveling to gear up to kill a dude to get items to make leveling easier. Such logic. Wow.
There are two main camps with very different rationale regarding dungeon loot etiquette – specifically in looking for dungeon (LFD) groups. These dungeons are queued up with an interface that, after a wait (much shorter for tanks and healers), dumps you in a dungeon with random players. Chances are you’ve never seen these other players before, they’re probably from a different server, and you’ll probably never see them again. Then, along with this new-found group of temporary companions, you proceed to trounce a bunch of enemies, bosses, and hopefully collect some loot. Here is where the issue comes into play. In a LFD group, the “Need” roll, or highest priority option, is limited solely by class. A Paladin in the group, regardless of the role they’ve chosen (tank, healer, or DPS), can roll need for plate tanking, dps, or healing gear (including rings/necks wither either intellect, strength, or tanking stats). The two camps of thought vary dramatically at this point. One side thinks that it’s okay to need on anything your class can use, anything at all that is an upgrade (as is allowed by the game system) while the other firmly believes that some courtesy should be shown and the player should limit their need rolls to the role they have chosen (unless the gear is not needed by the player filling the role). So which side is right and which side is a selfish, entitled, wanker?
I participated something last night that made me wonder if perhaps making content accessible to the masses can have an adverse side effect of making that content far too easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who hails back to the “harder” old days that let only an elite few actually see all of a raids bosses. I really like that there are normal modes to bosses that don’t require dozens of attempts to kill. I love the relative ease of blowing through a MoP heroic dungeon without much worry that I might be wiping to this boss for the next 45 minutes. I even enjoy the concept of the Looking for Raid feature. Particularly on nights where we’re short guildies online to do a normal raid or just so I can take an alt through the content without having to make a second raid / join a second raiding guild. So, keep in mind that I think it’s okay that the LFR bosses and trash pulls can be a low stress, easy-going, fun way to get some sub-par raiding gear. But after doing the first 3 bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, perhaps we should consider that content that has been made so accessible that there’s no challenge left might not be worthwhile content after all. There may be some spoilers to raid content after the break, so be warned!
After my Paladin, who is now pretty much as geared as possible with the exception of valor point and raiding gear (and one piece of Earthen Ring rep gear for the Holy Offspec), I’m working on gearing up my fury/prot warrior. From a little math of my total justice points earned, I’ve killed about 50 bosses on him… and won 2 pieces of fury gear. An interesting bit to note, rolling greed only, I’d won 3-4 pieces of off-spec tanking gear before I had enough justice points to buy a 346 piece from the vendor. I simply have no luck attempting to get fury gear for this warrior. I bought the epic dps chest piece, got an epic belt from Hyjal Rep, won bracers and a trinket from heroics. Aside from those pieces, despite 50 boss kills, the rest of the gear is from regulars or, even worse, quest rewards. Sometimes the rolls just don’t go your way.
What I find most interesting about the warriors lack of loot, is that I haven’t lost rolls for fury loot. After 50 boss kills, only 2 pieces of fury wearable loot have dropped. So, ironically, the warrior could also be considered very lucky because I’ve won 100% of the fury drops. When wanting to call yourself unlucky, it’s good to look at the situation from as many views as possible.
A good friend and guildy of mine was asked by our guild to switch mains as our guild was fairly overburdened with plate dps classes. Fortunately, this (being only a couple of weeks ago) was still fairly early in the expansion. His warrior though, was already pretty much decked out in pre-raid gear. So with a little grumbling he began rushing his rogue to level 85. Within days of reaching level cap, he grabbed a couple of pre-raid best-in-slot heroic pieces and, in a unusual stint of good luck, 1 epic from each of the first two pulls in a Bastion of Twilight trash run. Effectively putting his rogue ahead of his warrior in terms of gear in probably 1/4 of the time. Luck is a funny thing, isn’t it?
On the Island of Tol Barad, I’m repeatedly given a quest to rescue a prisoner from Farson Hold and escort it to safety. This druid is clearly the dumbest NPC to ever exist. It’s really no surprise that he keeps getting caught. Every couple of days I’m again asked by the area commander to go rescue him and how does he repay me – by being the most clueless druid ever to live. This bear druid (whose health doesn’t increase in bear form) was clearly carried by a more skill raid group to get all of his gear. He has roughly 190k health at level 85, non elite. This means he is decked out in (very ugly) high-end raiding gear with stamina trinkets, enchants, and gems. Seeing someone so geared, I want to think “this guy must be ‘pro'” and “clearly him getting caught was a fluke”. If I thought that though, I’d be horribly wrong. After bringing him out of the dungeon, the Farson Hold Prisoner pauses in front of the exit, the path to freedom clearly visible, then heads back inside the keep, going not one but two obviously wrong directions. Sometimes, it seems like he really has the fire in him to escape. He runs straight outside (missing his normal RP points) and then does one of two things: He comes back! OR He gets on a horse and leaves, failing to mention to the commander I helped him out. I save him and most of the time he slights me the opportunity to get some brownie points with Hellscream’s troops. Honestly, I think drugs are involved. Someone needs to give this guy an intervention and maybe he’d stop getting caught so often.
You will receive: 25 94
Upon completion of this quest you will gain:
- 69,400 experience
Check out my Faction Guide to see the epic loot you can pick up for these factions.
Apparently today is the official day after the Christmas holiday time for my universe. Last night my significant other took down our tree and decorations in the midst of a living room cleaning frenzy, and today the tree at the office where I work is packed away into boxes to wait for the next year.
So, I’m now waiting for christmas again. Though, I sincerely hope it doesn’t take until december to find my presents, which apparently someone buried all over Azeroth. Yes, I’m talking about Archeology epics. This profession is a little soul-sucking, but I really want Zin’Rokh, the epic level 85 bind-to-account 2h weapon. Aside being a substantial upgrade for my ret main, would also look nice on my fury warrior and death knight once the paladin upgrades or finds a replacement. There is also a very nice healer trinket for my holy set or my resto shaman once he hits 85, and a caster ring, which lacks hit or spirit, making it a viable upgrade for my holy paladin, resto/ele shaman, or boomkin. The trinket and ring are also bind-to-account.
Although the grind to get any of these (which I haven’t yet, by the way) is pretty long, at least due to the nature of the BOA epics, only one toon needs to be an archeologist unless you really care about multiple toons getting the pets and mounts. Just last night I got the Fossilized Raptor mount and although it’s pretty cool, I have no desire to level archeology on any other toons. I’m glad I have the last of the fossil solves that I have any interest in, but we all know we really want the gear.
For those looking to start archeology, a couple important tips:
- Do it now, they’re making leveling even longer in patch 4.0.6
- After 100 skill you don’t get anymore skill points for leveling, so don’t solve any of your finds prior to that skill level, in 4.0.6 it seem they’re lowering the number to 50. So at least head to 100 prior to the patch dropping.
- They’re also limiting the amount of fragments you can collect to 200 per race. Each solve takes a minimum of 35 fragments, rares solves up to 150 fragments. Some people were saving all the fragments of the race they wanted loot from (the 2h sword is from troll), in order to only solve that race once they were high enough to find the item. This won’t work after 4.0.6 either.
- Unless you have a real preference of which toon gets pets/mounts/achievements, level this profession on your fastest character. Any toon with 310 flying, paladins for aura, druids for quick flight form, etc. The faster you can move the faster you get to dig sites and to the survey points
- A decent guide/explanation of the profession can be found HERE.
I’ve prepared a pretty inclusive list of all the cataclysm factions, links to their loot lists on wowhead, and if they have tabards, dailies, etc. Also past the cut is a list of each factions epic loot available. Continue below to see the list including Baradin’s Wardens, Dragonmaw Clan, Guardians of Hyjal, Hellscream’s Reach, Ramkahen, The Earthen Ring, Therazane and Wildhammer Clan.
Awesomeness. That’s my “if you had to describe deepholm in one word” word. This zone, like Hyjal, has a very fluid quest process. Blizzard has really stepped up their game with cataclysm. Now the questing has more of the feel of a traditional RPG, where your actions and quest results have a very real effect on the world around you. They again made a lot of use of the phasing mechanics in order to show the progression of the zone and the NPCs involved as you do things which help save the world. The zone is gorgeous and has now become my favorite cataclysm zone. Of course, I’ve only played Hyjal and Deepholm so far.
I must say: Hyjal was a blast. Counting all the horrible groups of people killing and collecting everything for the quests, completing the zone took me between 4-5 hours and got me to level 82. I really enjoy how the zone played out, with few exceptions I’ll get back to later. For the most part, the quests lead you in a circular direction around the zone with very few quests sending you very far. The zone makes heavy use of little mini-instances. You take portals to underground areas and complete small quest chains inside, then return to the main zone to continue. Everything looks great, though (unsurprisingly) they reused a lot of old models for the mobs. I only have one major complaint with the flow and feel of the zone as a whole. Occasionally, there was no quests to do. Sometimes it seemed to not give you any directional quests to the next place and you sort of have to fly around for a little while to find a quest giver.
There aren’t really any difficult quests to complete. This could be due to it being the “entry-level” cataclysm zone or because my Paladin was sporting pretty nice ICC25 quality gear. After doing what I believe was all the quests in the zone, I had only two upgrades to my current gear, though some pieces were close. As a result my person damage dropped a little. As you level the ratings required to gain a % of haste/crit/hit/expertise all become much more substantial. With only 2 upgrades, my haste and crit are both 50% or so lower after 2 levels gained and both hit and expertise, which used to be capped, are now well under cap. Fortunately, I feel that Deepholm holds more upgrades. Shortly after leaving Hyjal I did the Stonecore instance and got Sword of the Bottomless Pit, a substantial upgrade over even my Shadow’s Edge. The damage per second of the weapon is 33% higher. I digress, back to Hyjal.
Another thing I noticed, though honestly not until I was writing this, there wasn’t any group quests in Hyjal. On several occasions I ended up grouped with people so we could share the kill of a quest mob, but it was out of convenience of not waiting for 4 other people to kill it first, not from difficulty of the mob. I am hoping for more difficult future zones and quests. Alas, I must wrap this up, my 35 minute wait to log on is about over and I want to get back to questing.
More from the Cataclysm soon, Deepholm next!
Hyjal leveling guide – I admittedly didn’t use this, but I wanted to provide a resource for those looking for one.