BfA: Tranquility

“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson

BfA: Tranquility

This spell has been the big raid-wide spell in our books forever. It is pretty. It is not quite strong enough to bail out a raid in trouble but it can top off a lot of players or get them on their way again.

In Legion, our artifact allowed us to cast this channeled spell on the move. Wonderful! But, really, it was too good. Gone was the choice and chance that this tremendous spell might be cut off because we ourselves had to move out of the fire.

Here is the Legion version:


Here is the Battle for Azeroth version:


Built in is a little bit of grace. The stacks begin when you start channeling. So, if you are forced to move at least you have a couple or three stacks on the players that still cooks along. The spell isn’t totally ruined because you might have to move.

The tool-tip shows a flat healing number at the end of the channeled spell; instead of that spell power multiplier. I don’t know if that number will go up — my character on the beta is a lowly 110, parked in town.

I like the stacks. It would have been almost painful to go back to the old version of the spell after the beauty of our artifact trait all through Legion.


Glory of the Legion Raider

“The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Glory of the Legion Raider

Last night we all met on Discord for raid night. Everyone wanted to talk about Fortnite and that Call of Duty is on the Blizzard Launcher and the price of tokens.

After about twenty minutes, one got the sense that no one wanted to raid. Or do mythic plus. But, we don’t want to disband.

So, we grabbed some more guildies who don’t raid but love achievements and attacked Nighthold. A guild achievement run is healthy for the guild. Suddenly everyone was very chatty and excited and cheerful. I’m guessing Legion burn-out, in general.

When we did the achieve run on Antores, we over-powered the Normal difficulty but had to pay attention to mechanics. With Nighthold, we could ignore the mechanics and power through everything — which meant the healers had to work over-time! I was exhausted!

The achievements were fun. Eating the fruit that makes you hallucinate cracked me up. The Infinite Whelpling was awesome. There are some very creative achievements and Nighthold is, as ever, beautiful in a mostly outdoor environment.

We were a mixed bag of achievers, some had several and some had none. So … we did them all. Sadly, one achievement demands three different raids; so we’ll have to go back and clean up. And, to be fair, we’ll have to clean up on Emerald Nightmare because while most of us has done it — some have not.

Last on the list: Tomb of Sargeras.


Finally: Data-Mining for Me!

“Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent.”
Carl Sandburg

Finally: Data-Mining For Me

Hooray for MMO Champs. Today they posted Build 26624 Highlights.

Mount, reputation, pet and toy achievements and their rewards. It looks like I might be close already to a few of them!

The new pet token will be called the Polished Pet Charm. Good to know.

There will be a fun tmog piece called a Waist of Time. I assume that the pendulum swings when I walk.

And for a brutal cost of five million gold, the Reins of the Mighty Caravan Brutosaur. This is the gold sink of the expansion and I don’t have that much! The comment section on Wowhead says that the vendor will be an auctioneer. Whoa.

NB: From Wowhead, “It also appears faction discounts apply to these prices. So if you are Exalted with the Zandalari Empire or Proudmoore Admiralty, you will get a 20% discount on these items–saving 1 million gold isn’t bad! Thanks to Flora for pointing this out to us:

So far, I don’t see any Day One toys that I think I’ll want.

All of the profession patterns posted are locked behind reputation.

I anticipate some Time Spent in this next expansion.


BfA Minigames: Toys and Pets

“Every once in a while, someone will mail me a single popcorn kernel that didn’t pop. I’ll get out a fresh kernel, tape it to a piece of paper and mail it back to them.”
Orville Redenbacher

BfA Minigames: Toys and Pets

It would not be “spoiling” the next expansion to research toys and pets. There is a ton of stuff out there on mounts but I can only ride one at a time, so I don’t get as excited as I used to with mounts. I would like to know what will be the gold sink and if it is a mount, will it have a utility and the cost.

Legion did a pretty good job. I think the Pet Battle Dungeons were okay. They used existing artwork, which is necessary. Personally, I hope that they didn’t spend too much time on it because, once done, the novelty was over and I had no real wish to return.

We know that there will be Hot Buttered Popcorn from the DMF. Many will recall getting a gray popcorn and peanuts item from the vendor at the amphitheater in Zul’Drak. I hope that this new toy will have some text like we see when golf clap or play the violin.


Overloaded with so many toys, I can’t help but wonder what the amazing designers at Blizzard will come up with!

Bubbles of Mischief has a great article on Battle Pets in Battle for Azeroth. A lot of players are excited about the cute little mummy. I think that I want a butterfly. As ever, Bubbles of Mischief writes excellent and thorough articles.

I really enjoy the mini-games and side tangents.

My New Capital: Boralus

“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

My New Capital: Boralus

Long story short; my friend wanted me to heal a dungeon on the Beta. It took me two hours to do the opening scenarios, get the pendant, get the healing addon and to set up my spells.

Boralus is our new hang-out area in Battle for Azeroth, if you are Alliance. We’ll be spending a lot of time there. Even though we are ground-bound, it is outdoors and we can ride our mounts.

I had a very rough time getting around. It was very confusing. Not only are there barriers like buildings and it is a harbor and so is surrounded by water, it is also multi-level: you have to find the right stairs.

It was worse than my first visit to Stormwind a long time ago, when I felt that I’d come to each intersection and then open my map. Step by slow step, it was frustrating and no fun. Stormwind has some landmarks like fountains or different colors but Boralus doesn’t have those yet — at least until I’ve spent a few years there. To me, the architecture all looked the same shape, color and texture.

At one point I was trying to find this portal that would take me back to Stormwind. Like other expansions, one of the first quests is to visit the bank, innkeeper, flight point guy. I decided to ask a guard where the bank was, thinking that the portal was near by — I mean, really, I had just seen it in the opening quests.

The guard marked it on the map but I could not go there. I had to follow this path and circle around some stuff. And, this is silly, I found myself constantly going farther and farther away from my goal.

Eventually I found it, it was indoors but down some more stairs.

Yeah, I can understand a city being built for defense. The design is cool. But, I know that (for me) that I’ll have to spend a long time, way too much time, learning my way around this major city in this World of Warcraft.


Who will heal Mythic Plus in BfA?

“Nothing can have value without being an object of utility.”
Karl Marx

Who Will Heal Mythic Plus in BfA?

Today’s date is: May 9th, 2018.

One of the down sides to having an esport nestled right inside of our happy MMO is that everyone sees the right way to do it. Currently only one tank, the Blood DK and one healer, Holy Paladin are viable and competitive. Some do run with Resto-Druid healers but not the winners.

We’ve seen this “only right way” before. During Warlords of Draenor, if you didn’t have a Discipline Priest in a mythic raid; then you were doing it wrong — according to the lead designer WatcherDev.

The question is: do we think that Blizzard can balance Mythic Plus for all healers? Certainly we feel that some classes might be left behind but, really, the tanks and healers?

By extension; can Blizzard balance mythic raiding and mythic plus dungeons so that all tanks and all healers are embraced and welcomed in both?

Probably not. Your favorite class could be parked on the side street of game play. I don’t think that they can do it. No invites for you to the party. Class discrimination is called Classism. It is oppressive. It is likely political!

One problem is trust.

If we knew then, back years ago, that the Blood DK and Holy Pally would be the top dogs in mythic plus dungeons: we all would have been ready and played them. Do we know who will do what in the new mythic plus designs for BfA? Blizzard will not tell us. They will sit with smiles on their faces as they see their present to the world be unwrapped and discovered.

Time Spent is a bitch.

We’ve seen it before. A certain class is strong in a certain expansion and many players drop their cherished characters to level up the best class for the expansion. To be the best, you have no choice. If you played with world-first Method, then you’d have several classes ready and on call. This is compounded now with mythic plus dungeons.

If they increased the damage dealt for the healers in mythic plus dungeons, this might solve half of the problem. Resto-Druids do this complicated thing called Catweaving. I don’t think priests have any strong dps option — but they could. All Blizzard has to do is jack up the damage from Smite, for example. Simply turn the dial up.

Or give the healers some powerful utilities. Give the Disc Priest an AoE stun or the Druid a powerful stampeding roar or any unique thing that might be yummy and tasty in a speed run for rewards.

It is a worrisome question. Not knowing if I’ll be welcome to the party, when I really do want to play.

Legion Remembered

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.
Samuel Beckett

Legion Remembered

Thinking a lot about Battle for Azeroth, loaded with expectations, hopes, dreams and fun; I’d like to pause for a moment in the continual push forward to try to remember the highlights of Legion. What are the stand-outs of Legion that I’ll remember from my “time spent”?

Legion was solid.

Mythic Plus
This was, is and will continue to be a big deal. Being new to tanking, I’ll also say that it is a bitch. If I had started at the beginning with everyone else, a new element like an affix would have been the sole new element. As it is, it is all new. Kiting mobs down the hallway of Black Rook Hold while they explode and leave nasty puddles is difficult!

The designs were pretty solid. The need for Blizzard to satisfy the standards of Method skews all of our experiences. Mostly it was “same old, same old” but we’ll probably all resent Tomb of Sargeras and its over-tuning forever. And, as the years roll by, the designers are still struggling with Flexible Raiding. The number of dispels or puddles to stand in or new adds have to echo the raid size. A guild raid team can die from a bad design.

Pet Battles
High marks all around for this mini-game. The achievements were fun, the new pets were fun, the new dungeons were fun. Having them part of the WQ and Emissary runs was a relief and brilliant.

Again, it was very well done. The data-mining by Wowhead had me primed on which new toys I wanted on Day One. And, I did get a lot of them. And macro’d them. And it was great. My only knock are the toys RNGed in the Withered Training – that thing takes time, it is tedious and I’m still missing some.

The patron saints for the fishing designers have to be Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Beckett. Absurd, funny, surprising; I had the best time fishing in Legion. We got quests and a very special fishing rod and fishing raid teams! Lots of imagination and creativity: A Plus.

Zone Scaling
It has its merits and drawbacks. We’ll see it again. Personally, I think it is a flat experience that borders on tedious. Since we have to get Loremaster, there is no escaping it. I’m pondering whether I want to zip up to 120 by any means necessary and go back to those zones over-geared: and that, my friends, is a shame.

Friends and Blogs
A highlight for Legion and the best of memories will be how active I was blogging and reading blogs and my friends who played with me during the expansion in raids, dungeons and pvp. Discord works pretty well and is the new standard.

Let me extend my middle finger at the Blood of Sargeras. Resentment abounds.

Legion is almost over. I had fun. I hope that you did too.

Below: a fishing raid team stuffed in a tiny boat. Hilarious.