Buffed for Questing: 8.2

“Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?”
Walt Whitman


Buffed for Questing: 8.2

My level of preparation is over the top, there is not much to do in Azeroth except make gold. That gets boring pretty quick.

A buff is something that gives you a little more power. Is it necessary? Not at all! Is it welcome, you betcha. I’ve buffed people and seen them stop in their tracks and run back to return the favor.

To say that I’m bitter about losing Mark of the Wild on my Druid would put it mildly. I can promise you that on patch day when landing in the new zone that I’d buff every player running by.

Our sausage buff food adds 83 to our main stat. My warlock has over 8000 intellect. So, that’s not worth using.

Our main stat potion jacks it up by 900 for 25 seconds. Again, not worth it.

A flask adds something like 238 to our main stat for an hour. That might be worth it if you are sitting on a bunch of them.

Drums of Fury? They are not precious, I’d say use them up. Cheap on the AH, there will be a few mobs that are tough.

The three battle scrolls can give a seven percent buff to your Attack Power, Intellect or Stamina for thirty minutes. I am a little confused about the Battle Shout scroll, does is only jack up strength and agility or would it be handy to my balance druid and warlock? I really wish I knew.

I don’t think that we’ll be dying a lot in our new zones, even when we first arrive. If you feel a little tender, get a seven percent stamina scroll.

Speed is always welcome. I fear, though, that the Lightfoot Potions would go too fast to be useful. One would needs stacks and stacks of them, so I’d say no.

Alchemy and Inscription are not the only tools. My engineering tinker can give me an absorb shield and a glider, other professions must have handy stuff too.


All in all, I’d say maybe a scroll if you have them. Use up your Drums. Remember your toolkit.

And please, if you are on your warrior, mage or priest — buff everyone. It will be like a gift and very welcome. My Suggestion Box request was a 40 yard buff-all-within cast instead of picking each player running by.


Edit: With a little research, I found that the battle shout buffs strength and agility, so useless to my druid and warlock. Battle Scroll of Battle Shout

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Patch 8.2 – Let’s Plan!

“If Attila the Hun were alive today, he’d be a drama critic.”
Edward Albee


Patch 8.2 – Let’s Plan!

My approach will be different from yours. Let me share my intention and you can tell me if I am nuts.

My short-term goals are:

  • Exploration and Reputation for Flying
  • Level up Alchemy to 175
  • Level up Cooking to 175
  • Have fun

To reach these goals I will be playing on two characters to start, my mains. First into the fray is my Druid with healer azerite traits in balance spec, should I change them? This guy is an Herbalist and Engineer, you don’t see Engineering on my short-term goals.

Questing will find me using the perks of the last patch. I have stacks of flasks and sausage feasts. I might make some scrolls (by the way, the three buff scrolls do not get upgraded in 8.2).

As my Druid blazes the trail, the herbs picked will be funneled to my other main who has Alchemy and Engineering. Rank 1 flasks are learned at 155, Rank 2 flasks are learned at 170 and Rank 3 is from a World Quest that requires three of the flavor. If my math is right (its not) I’ll need 1500 herbs to get to Rank 3 on all four flask types. 155 to 170 is 15 steps, making three each of the four recipes is 12 steps; not too bad.

So, there does need some early attention to Alchemy because the desired Rank 3 WQs will rotate in and out. The Alchemy trainer is in Naztalar, the new zone.

Crucial to the Alchemy plan are the Tools of the Trade boiling cauldrons found scattered about the zones. The ideal is that they update to the new recipes, the worse would be they do not update and only yield old stuff, the strange might be that you can only get what you have learned. I have found zero information or speculation on this and so it is a Day One side trip to Vol’dun to find out.

At-a-glance, it appears that none of the Alchemy recipes are tied to reputation except the big one: Rank 3 Mystical Cauldron. This needs exalted in Nazjatar.

Cooking is from your trainer, so that means pick it up before you leave Boralus. The raiding feast is brutal at max cooking and exalted reputation. My intention here is to merely let the materials stack up as I quest and loot and then take a long look at it.

So: from the above I see that I’ll play normally, running about and seeing what is what and herbing along the way. Keeping an eye out for the Alchemy WQs will be important but, all in all, not too much of a burden.


The new Benthic Gear is also something to track. You loot Prismatic Manapearls. With 5 you can buy a 385 piece, with 20 more you upgrade it to 400. Then it is 10 per five step up to 430. That is how I understand it. Since my Azerite pieces are already at 420, I’ll choose to start with a big stat item like pants or boots. No weapons, rings or trinkets, of course: just stats and some odd flavoring like swim speed or a buff against certain mobs.

It looks like a pretty long haul depending on the Prismatic Manapearl drop rate. I’d guess that we’ll see a few by questing and many more from dungeons, raids and pvp. The beauty is that once you have your character tricked out, they are account-bound so you can (eventually, a long time from now) send them to your hungry Alts.


I have four characters at 120 but one is not exalted with the 7th Legion, I’m not sure if that guy can go over. That guy is an herbalist and miner and always comes late to the party.

The number three guy is my second alchemist and inscriptionist. There will be new rep contracts that require mass milling the new herb for maroon ink and, dude, the herbs will be way too precious early on. So, this guy might start doing the emissary in Naztalar only.

Engineering: I have an Engineer who is a Gnome with +15 engineering. She’s already at 160. We need exalted and 170 to make the only thing I’m interested in: Blingtron 7000. If it is a toy like the others, my other engineer should be able to use it. A girl can dream, right?


This plan puts the opportunity on my Druid to lead the way. Whatever the game design is, that is where I’ll go. I have not looked into much at all about the actual experience.

I am already worried that I’ll miss the main quest line and get lost on some side thing. If only we had color-coded exclamation marks. My ideal would be to follow the big main story arc as far as I can and then noodle about on side things. Will there be war campaign quests and where will we get them?


All in all, I’m excited to land in a new zone and play. I counted 86 new battle pets to be had, at my current 975 it will be an easy hop to the coveted 1000 uniques and the Hearthy pet.


Fishing. I like it. The two types needed for the feasts are one from each zone. I looked at the maps and saw very little water except for the obvious coast lines. Will the few pools and lakes be packed, I don’t know.


Gold making. When BfA dropped, a person in our guild fished and sold fish until she reached one million gold; then she started to quest. It can be done.

Oddly, I am the only player that I know with the AH Mount. There is a gold sink rocket ship-type mount for 500,000 gold which I can afford but: no. I’d never use it which would make it truly a sink!

I see little need for any of the Mount Equipment. My Druid can raft in travel form at full speed ahead and is an engineer with a cape-enhanced glider built it. I will wait until I find a need, I guess.


And that is that. A lot of words above that only tell you that I’ll use flasks and buff food to go questing.

Am I nuts?

8:2: Steps into a New Land

“The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.”
Hunter S. Thompson


8.2: Steps into a New Land

First impressions are important.

Many players will be eager to get the first jump into the new zone. Will it be crowded, a frenzied mob moving from one quest to the next? The farmers call it “hyper-spawn” when you get a zone so depleted that continuous adds keep coming and coming. How Blizzard presents its work will be interesting.

There is some imaginings now about how it can play out. Some goals are obvious like flying: revered with two or three factions. Does one stay in one zone until revered and then move to another or do we bounce back and forth, filling all the cups at the same time?

One thing for sure, we’ll be here for a long time. These zones will be well-worn with all the grindy needs of spare parts and pieces to build things or to craft with a profession. Knowing that tempers the insane urge to get it all done right away.

Do you wonder how the designers feel when flying is the highlight of a patch over everything else created?

There will be four characters grinding to revered. Profession Alts feed the raiding Mains. This player is kind of excited to see Blingtron 7000 at exalted; the materials to make it are already in the bank; times two!

The fun thing about questing in a new zone is that it brings back all of your powers to the front. The need or desire to prowl about hidden from angry eyes is something to be embraced. A mad dash through the enemy to find a safe place to feign death brings a snicker of superiority.

There will be a petition to our raid leader to cancel raiding in boring old BoD for two weeks so we can party up with our friends and play. Pre-patch needs a lot of bag and bank clearing. It will be satisfying to use the flasks and food buffs simply to quest about.

No need to choose the new Mount Equipment right away. Waiting to the time when it is a solution to a problem will drive that need, until then: empty slot.

How fun to anticipate a new patch, these are good times.

Patch 8.2: One Week Notice

“A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.”
Lana Turner


Patch 8.2: One Week Notice

Exciting times!

As people who are much smarter than me figured out, it pretty much has to be in this time window to not conflict with Classic. Blizzard needs us to be bored enough in BfA to be willing to go take a look and show big numbers for their launch.

Is the patch ready? I don’t know. I do know that our UI has not been updated with the next raid and dungeon. Nor do we see the upcoming toys, pets, mounts and recipes. It seems to me that we typically get an updated UI before a patch drop. Maybe not, I might remember it differently.

The new raid will open on July 9th. I think that it is way too soon but the season concept forces the raid to open with the pvp and mythic plus season.

Can we prepare? Sure, we can stockpile materials from our current zones so that we don’t have to return. We won’t need fish, that is for sure; the recipes want the new zone’s fish.

In Alchemy, I looked and saw all kinds of new and improved pots and flask. But no mana potion. Health yes, mana no. I hope that it is a mistake and we’ll get a new bigger mana pot.

My preparation is paltry. I looked into professions with some interest. But I’ll be open and fresh when looking a new zones and stuff. One thing that always worries me on patch day is missing the new recipes: will we get them from our trainer or in the new zones? This is important.


I have a screen capture to share. Last night we did an achievement run and on Opulence we have to /praise the Sunflower. So, I made mine big so no one would miss it. And I’m a gnome.

So I spent the hallway run face-to-face with a giant sunflower! Smiling at me. I loved it. Couldn’t see a darn thing.


starflower

Ion and the Peter Principle

“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?”
Laurence J. Peter


Ion and the Peter Principle

When I went to grad school it was a very fancy private school. No, I was not rich, I was on a full scholarship. But, the school was loaded with rich and entitled kids. They’d often vent their frustration at the faculty for holding them back, the faculty were the enemy.

Then, after I graduated I got hired by another school within this same college. We, as a faculty, worked very hard to teach our students. Some of our faculty would really complain about the administration for not allowing them to do all that they wanted.

You know where this is going.

I was elected Chairman of the Academic Council with weekly meetings with the president and provost. Yep, they were doing their best to give the students the best chance at an education. I met the Board of Directors and the Trustees, they were doing everything that they can.

It is like that Corinthians verse, “When I was a child, I thought as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things”. Paraphrased a bit, but we often see the powers-that-be as enemies or against us, the little people but as we learn more we see that this is not the deal.

Occasionally, I’d see a faculty member really blast the president. He took it too. Candidly, he was not a great president; he was glorified fund raiser. That president kept his job for thirty years, unbelievable.


I know that we in WoW look at Ion and really want to blast him. I’m sure that he is doing his best to give a good game and to serve many masters.

I think about the Peter Principle. This is an idea that people rise to their level of incompetence.

Let’s say you get hired as a systems manager and you are really good at it. So, you get promoted to supervise all the systems managers. And you are really good at it and you get promoted. And promoted again. Now you are lead Game Designer and you don’t get promoted. You are not very good at the job, you are incompetent. So, you are stuck at this job that you are not very good at.

The Peter Principle tells us that everyone gets promoted until they don’t and this suggests that everyone in the business is not very good at their job. The only thing keeping this business alive is that the lower people are still moving up.

The point is that Ion and his brethren are not trying to screw us in the game. The point is that they are incompetent and can’t give us a great game.

Firing Ion would be a disaster on every front. WoW numbers would decline, the ship has left the sinking rats. Give him a raise and let him become a fund raiser.

Three Weeks on the Road

“Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.”
Adlai Stevenson I


Three Weeks on the Road

Patch 8.2 is in it’s “release” cycle encouraging us to think that June 25th might be the date of the drop. As usual, Gnomecore applies some solid logic.

We know that there is a lot in the big patch. Let’s hope that this coming Tuesday will pre-load our UI so we can hunt for unlearned recipes and toys and achievements!

One thing for sure, we’ll be on the ground until we learn flying. They say about two to three weeks to get the rep, so lets say three weeks. Under the new Mount Equipment rules our Water Strider will be reduced to sinking unless the character-wide slot is filled with water walking. The two other choices are anti-daze and a parachute.

I expect that a lot of players will be choosing mounts based on reasons of vanity or achievement or function like the two-seater choppa’. Anticipating the new burst of freedom should be fun in the packed two new zones.

Which mount will you choose to reflect your glory?


saber2


My choice will be one of the cat mounts, probably one of the originals purchased in Darnassus. I think that they nailed the cat animations and the ride is smooth. Except for the occasional fierce roar, it is mostly a quiet run. Perfect!


saber1

The Filthy Bucket

“Never use a big word when a little filthy one will do.”
Johnny Carson


The Filthy Bucket

I got the pet!

There is a hidden boss-like encounter in Tol Dagar. We did it and re-did it last night until everyone got their own pet, the Filthy Slime. It is an ooze pet. The boss encounter leaves you with a bad smell buff!

After the first boss outside, we entered the sewer. Since we had a rogue, we opened the gate. Down the hall and up one flight of stairs — the end of that hall has two prison cells. The second to the last can be opened to find a broken wall and a broken hallway.

There is a room with a lone single filthy bucket. Ew. Clicking the filthy bucket releases a giant ooze monster! Once it is dead, everyone can click on the loot. It is a random chance but last night we got a hot streak of lucky drops.

We did it on Mythic 0. There can be found a “discarded key” on the way that can open the cell, so you don’t need a rogue. We killed the first boss, the hidden boss, ran out and reset the instance. The pet can be caged and traded or sold on the AH.

Get some amigos and go take a try. It is easy to do.


Filthy Bucket
Filthy Slime