Dragon Flight: Pesky Modifiers

Dragon Flight: Pesky Modifiers

I am loving my professions. They are fun and rewarding and irritating and all of the stuff that you might want. I am maxed in cooking but I do not have the recipes. Some are locked behind renown and feel far away. Will I remember to go back and look again?

I have found cooking recipes by way of fishing. You can fish up a bottle that might get you lucky or some coins to take to the very big frog. By my vague count, five inscription recipes (which I am not) and one cooking recipe that took me past 50 and then I “discovered” two more while crafting up my sweet haste AND crit food.

In the fishing profession panel, there is a slot in the upper right to add a modifier. For fishing it is only two; weak and strong. The weak one is the one I have and it gives “perception”. This modifier will give me a greater chance to catch the rare stuff. Without it, I’m just fishing up mundane fish, over and over. The strong one is simply not available yet, it comes from deep in the engineering stuff.

So, I want the stronger slot piece and then I’m done. Kinda. You can also enchant these pieces for even more perception from the enchanters. These are available now but at quite the cost. So, I’ll wait a week or two and that is a-okay.

Still, when I need it most is early and now. When I finally get it, I won’t need it.

It is a lot to keep track of for me. My main professions, mining and engineering, have three slots. So I want those slots filled asap but now I might need “finesse” or “deftness”. I think that there might be five or six different modifiers to choose from. Does one go all finesse? I simply don’t know but as prices drop, they can be fixed.

I can mine now without dismounting. My slots are cheap stuff and I’m not proud of it. I feel that I must be leaving a lot behind that could be fixed with best-in-slot modifiers and enchants. But, it is early. That is the theme, really, I need in now.

The professions are designed to take months. Then we’ll get a patch and new stuff, I hope. I’m glad that we can’t finish it all in one week. With one exception — I need gear for raiding.

Raid starts in one week-and-a-day. I don’t think I’ll be ready. I’m counting on my speedy guildies for some carries but loot drops are sparse. So, I’m gunning for my crafted helm from engineering and needing primal chaos; will I get what I need in a week?

That is why I’m calling the slotted pieces and their enchants pesky. I want to bring over my Evoker for gathering herbs and ores but I’d not even start without kitting out my character. Same with my alchemist/inscriptionist. Starting without that stuff is foolishness, we know that now.

I might have five Wowhead pages bookmarked, going back over and over again for each profession!

Contemplate and move on.

Dragon Fight: Week One

Dragon Flight: Week One

The expansion dropped on Monday, today is Friday morning. The game is currently down for fixes and stuff. Otherwise, I’d be playing.

Let’s see …

The game is fun and worth the purchase.

My path was to follow the campaign quests and to ignore the side quests but I’ll admit to doing some of those too. They are fun and challenging and, can I say, reasonable.

I dinged 70 last night and finished the campaign at 69 which had opened world quests and an easy path to 70 at the end. The players in our guild all finished days before me and it was hard not to be streaking ahead like they were, today we call it fear of missing out. I’m a grown-up, being two days behind in a two-year expansion is nothing. Some of the campaign quests were laugh-out-loud funny.

Dragon Flying is a major feature and totally fun and sometimes hard. It was super frustrating to start and to learn. Getting the glyphs was major for me and I spent hours on Day One getting a bunch of them and my life-syle was much better.

There are no Callings. I was bummed about that because they rewarded gold. I was counting on some daily feature but there is none. The WQs just change over every day and why would you do them except early on for some gear upgrades.

My professions are Engineering, Mining, Fishing and Cooking. These are very complicated and challenging. The same fear of missing out pushes me to try to get that stuff leveled when the design is for it to take months. I need to let the game come to me but I can see the hurdle right there and want to get over it!

I have not even looked at Work Orders yet. My instinct is to look at them if I want to buy something before I’d look at the Auction House. So far: I don’t want to buy anything!

We raid in two weeks. I really don’t want to chain dungeons for gear but I think I’ll be doing that. I’ve done one so far (on normal), the bosses were easy and the trash can kill you. So, typical design and I expect the same in raids.

In some ways it is over-whelming to me, there is a lot. I mentioned the difficulty in something in Discord and got, “Oh? I did that first try. I didn’t see a problem in that”. So, for a while I hated Discord.

Ultimately, I’ll bring over my Army of Alts, gatherers and alchemists and skinners. Stepping right into dragon flying is the lure. Rested bonus goes fast I’m told. Since the Alts don’t need to be competitive in dungeons and raids it is really tempting. But, like I said, the professions are very complicated (at least, to me, right now).

To sum up: when the servers come back up, I’ll be eager to play. Maybe some mining and fishing for a while and to clean up a zillion side quests!

Dragonflight: It is the Professions

Dragonflight: It is the Professions

We start on Monday! Like a lot of players, I have my main and alts hearthed at the inn in Stormwind. And, I want to remember to re-set that hearth once I reach the Dragon Isles.

Let us stop obsessing on our Talent Trees until we ding 70. Several of my amigos in the guild are planning marathons and have taken time off from work. Adding our talent points as we level up will be strange yet fun.

Professions are one of the expansion features. There is quite a bit of information out on it now, including animated calculators. It will be fun for all players to dabble into the new systems and learn about the different ways to make goodies. We will be spending a lot of time with our professions because that is the game as designed. Yep, you can skip the whole thing and not be hurting; which, I think, keeps it fun. Targeting a recipe, whether a cosmetic or a raiding phial (flask) or high-end gear; that is was the draw is for me.

The game is designed to be Alt Friendly in that it already has catch-up mechanics built in. If your main has 10 or 20 Renown, your Alt will have a 200% buff in earning Renown. If your main has all the dragon flying stuff, your Alt can fly as soon as she lands in the new zone. So, there is the temptation right there — Alts and Professions.

Professions look to be intense and so I’m a bit fearful right now. I don’t understand it yet. The volume of different materials needed for a single recipe is big and typical. At-a-glance, it looks like there is four of everything: herbs, ore, fish, meat, skins and so on. It’s gonna be c-r-a-z-y! We will have slow but steady gains over months and months of play.

……………………..

December fifth is our ten-year anniversary for our guild.

We’d like to celebrate in some fashion but it will be hard to do with everyone wanting to be leveling at that time. We are brain-storming ideas right now. Trying to gather together at night would only represent a few of our many players who play at all times and days. So, what to do?

The ideas so far are looking at the Achievements under Expansion Features and Exploration and picking one and let people race for a title maybe. Some reward, maybe a stack of gold for the winner.

Maybe investing early in a Cooking Accessory and loading the guild vault with them and let people get a present that advances their crafting. Again, hefty materials and profession advancements will hinder that idea; but it’s possible.

Unlimited guild repairs for a week. That will probably happen and since no one is progression raiding and our whole guild wiping, it may be a good gesture.

The new profession pets take special materials that you can only get rarely. The new profession design has really impacted on our ideas.

I understand that it is a big deal to keep a guild going for ten years. But it mostly matters to our leaders who’ve been invested for so long. The bulk of our roster may not even care.

A dragoning we will go!

Soaring to Iron Forge

Soaring to Iron Forge

Well, I blew through all the pre-patch stuff. Bags, toy, pet and even that funny coin achievement from our adventure guide. I have the tmog stuff for the four sets from the elemental invasions and so the heirloom piece and that achievement too!

The Evoker is fun. There is a kind of mini-game with Soar. This spell launches you up into the air and you can glide. With two supporting spells, you can get pretty far.

So.

I Soared from Stormwind to Iron Forge. It took me five Soars with a three minute cooldown, so I idled in some place waiting. It was and is fun. I Soared down the rivers by Westfall and Duskwood. I’m not very good yet but I think you can get pretty far if you do it right.

Practice, grasshopper.

Underlight Angler: Dragonflight

Underlight Angler: Dragonflight

A friend pointed this out and since I’d not heard of it before, I’ll pass it on to you.

One of the cool things about the Underlight Angler from Legion is that it gives you water walking.

If you are long-time player, you probably have this fishing pole.

Open up your professions tab and click on Fishing Journal. In the upper-right hand side, you’ll see a slot. Drop your Angler into the slot. It is no longer taking a bag space!

You will now see two buffs; one is water-walking (surface tension) and the other is equipped for fishing (fishing for attention).

Notice that your weapons have not been replaced. You are still ready for battle at any time.

With the water-walking buff, you can mount up on your Choppa and take off on the surface!

The buff goes away in battle. All you have to do is a cast in water to get the buffs again. And, off to the races you go!

Very excited, totally fun.

Pre-Order Dragonflight

Pre-Order Dragnoflight

For the curious, I have been re-reading Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series of which the first book is called: Dragonflight. That may have been part of my enthusiasm for the new expansion, and I bought it right away, day one.

It must be tricky timing releases. For me, I am primed for new content, so I am an easy mark. This has to fit into their quarterly financial report and all kinds of factors that I cannot imagine. So, the proof in the pudding is that everyone I know has bought the top package; seeing our hunter in raid with the new tmog wings was really great to see.

But: six months? That is a super short time if that part of the game is not even in Alpha yet. How can it be? My thought is that there are no new systems being introduced. The “new system” is the talent tree design and all of those spells have been tried and balanced and tested in the real game for a long time. Assuming that the artwork is in place (how can it be?), it may not be such a challenge to cobble together the beginning of an expansion in six months.

And, in my opinion, the best time to release a new expansion is right when school starts; everyone is done with summer, ready to be indoors and ready to squeeze in some hours on a new game before the classes drop all of the homework and exams and projects. Imagine this new expansion in three months!

Blizzard has been nerfing the current raid a lot. We have to be able to get our AOTC before this season four thing shows up with rotating raids. Part of the nerf is because the darned raid has some of the most punishing and complicated mechanics that I’ve ever seen. Many of us over-gear the content (the drops are meaningless) because of m+ but I rarely see a phase push except in the Pantheon boss. So, we are not really that over-powered or the mechanics are designed to prevent us from steam-rolling the content.

All in all, a six-month timed hype release will be really fun. As they release the new versions of the talent trees for the classes and then we’ll get more information on the new heroic class and peeks at the raid designs (and bosses) and hints, hopefully, of why we want to go there at all — this could be a lot of fun in the build-up.

Let’s play WoW

WoW and the ZM Model

WoW and the ZM Model

It has been a month since I last posted here, it feels like a week. Maybe there isn’t enough to chat about or maybe my days slip from one into another.

Progress is the first three bosses down on Heroic. That feels about right but we can only guess at the drop date of the next patch. Blizzard loves being coy, I want to plan; and that is that. Our goal is AOTC, lets hope that we make it in time.

My current obsession is on a throw-off statement by Ion in an interview. It could be meaningless or that I read more into it than will prove true when the next expansion arrives. Ion said that the Dragonflight expansion will be based on the ZM model; our current patch.

Zereth Mortis feels like Wow stripped down. This is a good thing. There is no real pressure to fill any bars. The rewards are minimal. Of the five daily quests, two sometimes offer gold as a reward but it might be anima (and I am drowning in anima). These quests are mostly easy “kill ten” or “fly on a frog” type quests, pretty fun but done very quickly. Only two offer rep.

Which makes me wonder (a lot) about life in the next expansion. WoW stripped down means no mission board. The zones are progressive and connected (I think) and probably won’t have Callings. And there is a big push on players making gear with a focused profession hub and many variants on the made gear.

There was no gold sink mount in Shadowlands, the gold sink was the Legendary system. Players sold gear for a ton of gold, those players made bank and crowed about it. Players like you and me spent, maybe, a million gold on gear. That is scary. And, in my opinion, way too much. If I were the King of the World, I’d ban TSM.

With so many unknowns but a tepid fear of lack of gold in Dragonflight, I am running Callings right now and will until the next expansion (perhaps a year from now). It is a mild fear but enough to have me spend some time every morning at reset to run some alts through the system. Happily I am a pet guy so if there are “three quests in bastion” I can do three pet battles in three consecutive days and not sweat it at all.

So, I have almost 6 million gold and I don’t feel like it is enough! I’ve never been a crafter in WoW, I make glyphs and flasks; anticipating a big profession gear system with so many players invested in leveling up the systems with the intention of making gold, a system that has to work for the expansion to be successful — is a lot!

I may be wrong but I do believe that the crafting Work Order system is not part of the Auction House. It will be a powerful mini-Auction House on its own, I think. That might be the only thing that keeps prices reasonable. I don’t know.

So: to recap. Still raiding, on Heroic. Doing a few M+ (it is a culture on its own), near the end of making my pets and mounts and determined to earn some gold by running Callings on four characters until the next expansion, maybe a year from now.

Happy Hunting!

Oh! I did spend 170,000 gold on a transmog piece. I don’t do that but I did. Rhinestone Sunglasses have been my wish and they finally showed up on my server’s AH. I love them, all my characters wear them. It was spendy, but I am happy!

WoW: Top Five Dailies in Zereth Mortis

WoW: Top Five Dailies in Zereth Mortis

Having my Main near the end of the ZM experience and having my Alts begin to trickle over, somedays the dailies are a hassle or I am in a hurry and so on. There is a decent range to the daily quests and on certain days, I am only willing to do the fun ones or the easy ones.

Once you have begun in the zone, picking up Patterns within Patterns, the weekly is a must. Doing the World Boss once a week will fill your bar by 20 percent. The bar doesn’t go away at the end of the week, so an Alt can just do the World Boss once a week and still make some progress.

The early quests in the zone will get you to Pocopoc, your little companion. I invest early in column two to get the power buffs to make questing easier. Eventually you’ll open the Jiro guys.

Here are my Top Five ZM Dailies, based on fun and easy:

  1. Open the Cache.
    This daily uses Poco’s powers to spend nine of his stuff to open the cache for you. Skip the puzzle, enjoy the done-and-done satisfaction.
  2. Frog’it
    I love this daily! It is a no-combat daily and you ride a frog. He jumps really far and you command him to use his sticky tongue to lick up the eggs. Well-designed, you can click to return to the start, you can click to leap far and then target your landing. If you get dismounted, the designer put an extra in your bags.
  3. The Portal One
    This gives you a portal to jump to areas that need you to do something to 12 guys. It is typically non-combat but you might find a mob or two. This takes no time and it’s fun.
  4. Super Jiro
    Once you open the Jiro guys, this quest is a non-fail, low effort bomb-the-zone quest with a couple of extras. I look forward to doing this one when it is up.
  5. Save the Vombata Cubs
    The area is populated with mobs but you can be careful and work around them. It is darling and adroable, the cubs sit on your back and you get the “plenty of room for cubs” buff. With its very high Cute Factor, I like doing this one every time.

When you want to do the minimum or get some early progress before you commit to the zone, try these five easy and fun dailies!

WoW: Moving Forward

WoW: Moving Forward

There were some nice completions this week.

Our raid team downed Anduin, on Normal, for the first time. This has been a tough boss for us with raid-splitting mechanics and more. It is a big deal for our raid team and finally we can think beyond this boss.

My main got the Enlightened paragon cache with the Engineering Wormhole to get to ZM. This has been a goal from Day One and, frankly, they should have given this to us on Day One. Silly grind.

I’ve made a combined 25 pets and mounts to get the achievement this week! With Genesis Motes as a currency, you don’t skip looting anything and finding the occasional lattice is a boon. This is designed pretty well with much of the gathering grind folded into our daily routines. Of course, surprise, there is an achievement hidden behind it to make a total of 50. Why not, I’ll give it a shot.

My Inscription guy got to Revered in ZM and has bought the Contract: Enlightened recipe. This guy has the four-piece tier and might be done with a lot in ZM.

Finally, our guild prodded and poked me until I joined them on a Mythic Plus run. Actually I ran two with them and the Great Vault gave me a ilevel 278 staff! We ran a 9 key and the players were, “Dude, you are jacking up 10k heals. You could totally run 15s”. Of course, I don’t know these dungeons like they do at all. The lure might be there, but I won’t take the bait.

The game is moving forward and I’m in no hurry. Since this is the last raid of the expansion, we need to milk the experience a little bit. I am glad that I’m not on a push-at-all-costs team that finishes Heroic and has nothing to do. Well I remember, since WoD I think, players who have finished their Mythic raiding joining our little band because their teams dissolved.

Happy Hunting!

WoW: Four Piece Resto-Druid

WoW: Four Piece Resto-Druid

So far, really great!

In our raid, we waltzed and were cocky through the normal bosses up to Anduin. We spent about an hour working on That Guy and then dropped down to try the first boss on heroic.

The other healers didn’t have their four-piece yet, so (for once and briefly) I was the top dog on the meters. And, for the first boss on heroic, there is a stacking phase at the end, a long one, so that suits Druid healing nicely. I was looking good!

And, I won a chest piece on heroic that I could use and will probably use the catalyst to make it a tier piece and swap out the LFR piece in my shoulder slot for a 252 from the cypher guys.

According to the Warcraft Logs, I got off 14 Swiftmends in the fight. Maybe half or more lined up with Convoke, which is the design. Still, my numbers were high. As casual as we are, I hope that everyone puts in a little extra this week to get their four-piece sets and we can finish out normal.

……………………….

One of my hunters has the four-piece tier set as well! Pure LFR and Sandworn Relics and one stop at the Catalyst (for the relics). It isn’t hard to do and getting there is satisfying. It is fun to be a bit weak again and cautious as I will grow in power.

Since my hunter is following my main, I kind of pick and choose what I want to do with the advantage of doing the stuff before on my druid. This time I’m investing my console into the popopoc buffs; making them last an hour and getting more. They are strong buffs to have early in the exploration and questing phases of ZM.

My initial intention was to have each of my characters in each of the zones. And I’ve done that since the expansion launched. But, my hunter hated the Bastion resonating arrow so, like everyone else, swapped to a new covenant. I chose Night Fae and am happy again.

I bought the renown up to 40 and spent a ton of anima which is easily sent from other characters. But, the drag is finding those lost souls to upgrade the travel, mission, collector and eventually the conservatory. So, I went to Torghast!

I have loved Torghast from the beginning. This hunter had almost completed the talent tree before I gave up on the whole thing. My fury was that I could not keep my pet alive when I got to the higher challenges in Torghast. Doing the Twisted Corridors, I’d get to the upper floors and it was obvious that my pet could not handle it and I was hanging on each cooldown for mend pet. I’d quit after two hours of playing.

Some time or another, I don’t know when, they fixed Torghast! I was shocked to see new (to me) anima powers that buff up your pet’s health (by 15% per anima cell) and damage output and size (for fun). I am most happy now to re-enter Torghast to collect 20 souls on the repeatable quest: I have collected all of the cosmetics and toys long ago, so just do it for fun. I’m fine with that.

………………..

And these fresh-to-ZM alts send Genesis Motes and more to my main. I am 21 of 25 pets/mounts towards the achievement without resorting to buying lattices on the AH. I like this mini-game in ZM.