8.1 – Let’s Go!

“That’s me: an old kazoo with some sparklers.”
Bette Davis


8.1 — Let’s Go!

Oh goody, we love new patches!

Kaylriene has a nice piece up today called Tides of Vengeance – Does it fix WoW?. The write-up is a very nice over-view and opinion on our new content and mechanics.

So, as I write this the servers are down. The worker-bees are pulling levers and banging on the engine to get it all to go. The servers should be up this afternoon but I’ll be at meetings and then we raid tonight. Soooo … I might not be able to enjoy the goods until tomorrow. Pity.

My first stop is almost always MMO Champs. Patch 8.1 – Tides of Vengeance Live Today is a very good and ordered presentation. It is loaded with links and jumps to more information. Patches have a lot of stuff!

For me, the temptation is always to run and do the new stuff like the warfront Darkshore thing. However, as a steady and mature adult, I do try to plan and prepare as much as possible. A-hem!

My characters need to get caught up with the new things offered.

  • It is a must to start by visiting the profession trainers. New recipes are being added for all of the crafting professions and then rank two of the recipes are offered at the representative group — The Tortollans have the rank two cooking stuff. So, each character will probably have to visit every quartermaster after visiting the trainers first.
  • Alts can learn flight paths! This will be awesome and a must first-thing when logging in. For Alliance it is called 7th Legion Scouting Map. BUT, I don’t know where to buy it and that is frustrating. Maybe the heirloom vendor in Iron Forge? Is it an heirloom like the other flight paths for Eastern Kingdoms? Maybe the 7th Legion quartermaster by the mission boat? I don’t know.
  • Two new vendors will be found over where we do the warfront and island stuff. One by the warfront table will sell stuff with the new currency 7th Legion Service Medal earned at the warfronts. The other is by the island table and I’ll visit this guy soon — I have some Dubloons!.
  • My inscriptionist will have to visit the 7th Legion quartermaster (I believe) to get the new 7th Legion rep contract rank two. We have paragon rewards after earning 10,000 rep points beyond exalted. So, I’d guess rep contracts will be sold always and forever from now on?
  • My main is exalted with the Champions of Azeroth. So, now my alts can get a benefit and a big jump on their neck pieces. How? I can’t find out. Is it a quest chain or do I have to know to visit Silithus? We’ll get it figured out.

New patches are fun and breathe life into the game. Players begin logging in more often to see what is offered. Let’s hope that the new islands, warfronts, raids and incursions can sustain us until 8.1.5.

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Resto-Druid Nerfed in 8.1

“The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.”
John Lewis


Resto-Druid Nerfed in 8.1

What we needed was analysis by an expert to explain the changes in the patch notes for 8.1. And we got one today. Chris Potter of Method posted his analysis on ranking healers on Wowhead.

He does a very good and thorough job of working spec by spec, spell by spell, talent by talent and trait by trait.

His conclusion was, “I see no reason to bring a Druid to the raid”.

The others; Disc, Holy, Monk, Pally and Shammy all have chances to be the best in certain scenarios in raiding. The Resto-Druid will not be invited to the dance.

I am concerned and some upset by this news. Method is the definitive voice on raiding. This information will spread all the way to the family and friends raids because, while we never hear from the designers, Wowhead and the like are very good reporters in the field.

It is not fair.
It is not balanced.
This is the “fix it” patch and we see the intention for BfA.

As a player, why don’t I get a vote or access to the Dev?

Blizz can ____ to ______. There are at least a thousand words that could fill in those blanks!

More Professions 8.1

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
Nora Ephron


More Professions 8.1

Amid all the excitement that I have to try the new stuff like islands or incursions, it is important not to lose sight of my bread and butter.


cookingeightpointone


I’m thinking that you could make a lot of gold by buying the Thick Paleo Steak off the AH this week and selling it next week! I have over 500 Sanguicell, just sitting around.
New recipes are being reported. At a glance it appears that one can simply trip-trod over to the trainer to learn rank one. With cooking, for example, we see that to get rank two that we’d have to go to the turtle guys (and be exalted). For rank three, it looks like a random paragon drop from the turtle guys.

The recipes are all the same in that: rank one is at the trainer, rank two is related to the recipe, rank three is a random paragon drop.

Another example is the new rep contract for the 7th legion via Inscription; rank two is bought from the 7th Legion quartermaster.

Facing the Forums

“Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.”
Clifford Stoll


Facing the Forums

I have to thank, or curse, blogger deezwurds.wordpress.com for posting Not only new but new forum guidelines. Curious, I went to see for myself.

First up, straight up; Blizzard may be hosting but they are not attending the party.

The forum is a fun place for players to talk to each other and post questions like “Have you ever leveled a character with pet battles?”. All fine and good.

Many forum writers seem to think that they can communicate with Blizzard. Nope! In my time there, I didn’t even see a post from a moderator.

As expected, there are a lot of “experts” who know, who really think they know, what is going on in every facet of the game; from the state of pvp to the value of stocks from Activision. They are all full of baloney.

It is astounding how assertive people are in the forums.


There are attempts at fact-finding. I was led to this reddit post which explains why there is a drop in participation in Mythic + dungeons from Legions 7.3.1 to BfA. Then the author, faithfully and true, offers speculation as to why and he owns that.

He suggests that mythic plus is harder, certain classes are weaker, the new dungeons are designed to be difficult. And that might all be true for him.

But, while he does show his data right here that there is a 12% drop; I feel that there are too many factors that we simply do not know to lead to the conclusion that Blizzard blew it on mythic plus dungeons.

One thing that could be a factor is falling subscriptions. That could account for less mythic plus participation that has nothing to do with dungeon design. Or, 7.3.1 was late in the game with players fully geared and with little content; perhaps that was a peak period for dungeon running while today players are still fresh with a ton of things to do like raiding or other things. We simply do not know. Guessing is fine but it is not fact.


The other strange thing in the forum posts is using popular youtubers as a reference in the sense that they are authorities on the subject. I don’t think that the streamers are doing behind-the-scenes interviews with Blizzard designers. I think that if they said that all was wonderful that no one would watch them.

The ever-present social media with streaming and youtubing is as bad as pop-up ads in the 90s; horrible “look at me” spectacles on the level of a child’s tantrum in the grocery store: embarrassing to look at.


To sum up:

Blizzard is not reading the forums for help from you.

Attempts at fact-finding are as rough as my Bad Detective with too many holes in the plot.

The impact of negative reviews by social media mavens and the streaming crowd are impacting the player’s understanding and enjoyment of the game.

It is a fun place to go to post about pet battling.

It’s in the Cards

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”
Nora Ephron


It’s in the Cards

Patch 8.1 is in one week and I’m not making a flask or potion until then. The number of required mats should be reduced and so I am, a bit gleefully, stacking materials until the day.

The RNG system works, I got one pet on an Island Expedition! Now I am addicted. I filled the bar last week on two characters and will do the same this week. 8.1 will give us an improvement to let us clear the island however we want. The current strategy is to go in on Normal and camp the Horde ship and keep them pinned until late in the game when the ships begin to arrive and you can target them; trolls, pirates, etc.

Because of the daily emissary quests and the monstrous amount of materials needed for raiding flasks and feast, I have not done a Timewalking dungeon since the last expansion. Many players flip through their Alts to do the first one for the 500 badge reward only. The increased time needed to clear the dungeons was a mistake and a big one.

  • I out-gear the weekly world boss and don’t do that.
  • I out-gear the warfront and I won’t do that again.
  • I out-gear the daily emissary and only do the 2000 gold one.
  • I out-gear the freaking Heroic raid! Unless a piece is titan-forged, I’ll be giving it away. Hopefully the AOTC is this week for our team.

Patch 8.1 does bring a new Warfront that looks different and therefore fun. Instead of a “kill 20” it will be four daily WQs which will get us to come back, I hope! The rewards match the ilevel of Arathi but will go up with the new season (Jan 22?). I’ll definitely go looking.

Patch 8.1 will have three-a-day turn-ins for the now two Warfronts to get AP. I think this is a little sneaky since we will be much more likely to do all three instead of pick and choose like we do now – or skip it altogether which we also do now.

The timing is good, very good for this lull. The new patch will give us some to mess around with like incursions replacing WQs in our home zones but also will leave lots of free time for the holidays. Many players simply disappear from Dec. 20th to Jan 3rd-ish.

And, for the first time, my Inscriptionist is trying to make a Dark Moon trinket. For a while I was selling the extra cards on the AH but after way too long, it seems that certain cards are rare; the four or the eight. I don’t even want the trinket, I wanted to see what the experience was like to make one.

inthecards

Cold Saturday Nights

“A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower.”
Kin Hubbard


Cold Saturday Nights

Last night we were primed to work on the Ahead of the Curve achievement and downing the final boss on heroic. I was excited to try and had a stack of Captain’s feasts and my cauldron ready. We knew that we’d have to pug in the orb runners and at Saturday, we knew that most of the dedicated runners would have done it already.

Our raid leader had something come up at work.

What to do? Well, we decided to run Nighthold on mythic from the last expansion. There is a chance at two mounts, achievement points and transmog gear. And, as you would guess, we face-rolled it with chatter, laughs and camaraderie.

Someone mentioned that Emerald Nightmare on mythic gives The Dreamer title. So, why not? It is a pretty good title and now I am Wrathsome the Dreamer. Players learned to catch the battle pet after the last kill, the Dream Whelpling, that can only be found there.

Heroism resets after a boss kill on old raids. We had one player who knew the fights on mythic and would say things like “get the kill in under 12 seconds to avoid the phase change”. That kept us focused for certain bosses but it really was a romp.

There is always something to do in Azeroth.

dream-whelp.v9799

Confusing Data-Mining

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
Marilyn Monroe


Confusing Data-Mining

Here is a straight copy and paste from the data-mined information on Resto-Druid for 8.1. What a block! It looks like a very welcome buff. As you see, it shows our core and spells buffed to 44%. But then it runs the same list at 31%. There is no line through the 31%, if that was our old.

Restoration
Restoration Druid Restoration Druid core passive Increases damage/healing by 44%: Cenarion Ward, Cultivation, Efflorescence, Germination, Incarnation: Tree of Life, Lifebloom, Nourish, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Revitalize, Spring Blossoms, Swiftmend, Tranquility, Wild Growth Increases periodic damage/healing by 44%: Cenarion Ward, Cultivation, Efflorescence, Germination, Incarnation: Tree of Life, Lifebloom, Nourish, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Revitalize, Spring Blossoms, Swiftmend, Tranquility, Wild Growth Increases damage/healing by 31%: Mangle, Moonfire, Shred, Solar Wrath, Sunfire, Thrash Increases periodic damage/healing by 31%: Mangle, Moonfire, Shred, Solar Wrath, Sunfire, Thrash Druid – Restoration Spec. Druid – Restoration Spec.

Of all that information, we never get enough information, but that is the price we pay for looking through data-mined stuff.

A 13% over-all buff to my class would be very welcome. If I were King of Blizzard, I’d buff our offensive spells a lot to be (more) welcome in dungeons.

What do you think, is my favorite class getting a buff?


Update: I see it now. It is ALL the same except that they added Nourish, a pvp talent to the list. No buffs for me.