Warlords of Draenor – The Truth

Pontius Pilate: And what is ‘truth’? Is truth unchanging law?
We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?

Jesus Christ Superstar

Warlords of Draenor – The Truth

Stop for a second. Imagine that you just bought the expansion to Warlords of Draenor today. You’d played some of the past expansions and thought you’d give this a test drive. You’d be totally happy, engaged, curious and satisfied.

The struggle that many of the players have with this expansion (no content) is that they jumped into it on the first day and ate everything up in one stoned out binge. They ate all of Shadowmoon Valley in a day like a package of Oreos. They ripped through Talador like tearing through a bucket of KFC. Stoned out binge playing. I’d even ask: do they remember any of it?

If you were to start today, all of the pieces would make sense. You’d be leveling up, exploring the land and lore. You’d be discovering treasures without a map or addon. Once you dinged 100, you’d have a garrison and dungeons and two full LFR wings to gear up, mat up and get rich.

Now that we look back, brushing the crumbs off of our face, we know the treasures were not that great. It wasn’t worth it to go get them ALL. They were meant to be found with surprise; a little extra bit tucked in some corner. But we got greedy and used up everything all in a day. And we cry that there isn’t more to do.

The truth is that we do this every expansion. Our guild master wants to raid Day One that the wing opens. We raced to get to level and have the gear we needed (630 was our start for High Maul normal) and have buff foods, flasks, pots, gems and enchants.

The truth is that we look back on expansions and remember when we were OP, Over Powering at the end of an expansion and we loved it. We loved being strong enough to solo once feared content or rare boss. We loved the casual way we smoothly ran through the last raid, generously taking a lowbie through for gear. We were gods.

We have a couple of veteran players in our guild. They are just now willing to raid with us. They let us do all the progression, the choreography, the learning curves for each boss. They’ll join now and enjoy raiding. Smart guys.

The truth is that we are pigs. The game designers have it all mapped out over the arc of an expansion which means time-based design. They know where we are going (and some are working on the next expansion), the puzzle pieces exist. One doesn’t get a WoW expansion completed; it comes in pieces and patches with a cliff-hanging story arc. We pigged out on the available content and seem surprised that we ate it all yesterday and are hungry for more.

Go on a WoW diet. It’s a good game and a good franchise.



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Make Love Make Warcraft

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
Theodore Roosevelt

I have a big Number.

I’m still amazed at players who obsess on their big Number. It’s not the size of the numbers, it’s how you use it. Sure, sure, sure; we all like big Numbers. We’ve even downloaded tools to measure out big Numbers and publicly display them.

So very gauche.

I was in a LFR Brackenspore and at the end of the fight, some jive kid posted his Recount for all to see. He had a huge Number. However, on a closer look, he was banging Brackenspore exclusively; no spore shooters, no wild mushrooms, not even the big add that needs interrupts. We know that some interruptions can lead to better endings.

People who post their big Number for all to see only satisfy themselves.
They are boring to everyone else and even moreso, won’t be invited back.

That is when you know you have your groove on. When you get that tentative invite two days later to come do it again. You were a stud.

I heal with a paladin. As a pally healer, he is naturally devastatingly handsome with a fine dry wit. Myself, a down-to-earth Druid have my own winning charm and public grace. He obsesses on my big Number. He wants his Number to be as big as mine and he’s not even in my same class!

Dude, they love what we are doing to them. They want us to come back again tomorrow and do it to them again.

If someone called me out in a public forum and called me a failure; told me I could not play my class and that my Number was not big enough — I’d not play with them: and they can just go play with themselves and admire their own big Number all alone, as usual. Because, I get invited back.

There are times when we should be proud of our big Number.
When the raid leader says “Pop Hero”.



Druid T17 Restoration 2P Bonus

Healing is a matter of time,
but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

Hippocrates

Item – Druid T17 Restoration 2P Bonus
Requires Druid
Nature’s Swiftness now works on the next 3 spell casts.

I picked this up last night while guest healing in another guild’s raid. By the miracles of the benevolent gods, I was the only one wearing leather in the raid. So, even my low roll got me a piece. It was the Flamebender and Kromog.

Like most Druid healers, I’ve had a macro for Nature’s Swiftness for many expansions. It used to be Healing Touch but now it’s Regrowth; since I have the glyph which makes it crit every single time.

My use has been:
/tar focus
/cast Nature’s Swiftness
/cast Regrowth

Currently in my raid, I heal the Druid tank (who is my guild master and I’d better be darn sure this tank stays alive!) and the other druid healer rolls Lifebloom and IronBark on the Monk tank.

I’ve barely had a time to test this since I just got the pieces last night. I did a quick test on myself in the Garrison and it looks like NS is on a one minute cooldown but when I use it I tap it three times now.

48k, 48k, 48k heals; all in a row; one two three.

I’ll have to experiment some and maybe look up how other healers are using it; but at first glance it didn’t seem like much but on a tank — it could be a raid saver.

I’m really looking forward to our next raid and healing my Druid tank.



I love my guild, it’s fun.

The one thing that I know is that you win with good people.
Don Shula

I love my guild.

I’ve read, really with sadness, the blogs of Misdirections and the Grumpy Elf. They are discontented and feel the game has such bad design that they want to quit or go play other games.

And they are right on so many levels. There isn’t much end game content, the RNG for gear drops can really suck hard and the raiding content can be frustrating to the point of players dropping out.

I won’t dispute their point of view. It is valid and well considered.

But I love my guild.

On raid nights, I’ve schooled myself to not log in early and pester everyone (30 minutes to invites!). I log in now between Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy. This gives me enough time to top off my stack of flasks and the two potion stacks and gallop to the summon stone in time for invites.

I love the weekends. The guildies who are professionals will log in early morning to do garrison stuff and things they don’t have time to do during the week. It is a quiet time. We chat in guild or whisper, sometimes for hours.

Just like your guild, we have our Achievers. I don’t mind at all being dragged back into time to ToES to go on a scroll run. Or chain-running heroic dungeons with Pepe on our heads. Pretty silly and fun.

Tuesday nights are LFR nights. Our two raiding tanks team up for quick cues and many of us pile on vent. They want to run the raids “text book perfect” and practice their moves, interupts and timing. It makes for a great run and much easy laughter on vent.

6.2 will make or break this expansion.

But it won’t break my guild. Some good people, I like them.



Preparing for 6.2

I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.
Muhammad Ali

Preparing for 6.2
Today is April 23rd, 2015

The expansion is live on the PTR and is being data-mined and explored. It is early, very early, and much will change as it is tested and refined. An educated guess would put the patch dropping for us around June, two months from now.

So, how can we prepare now? We will play off of what we can know now and plan for the day that the patch drops.

Pet Charms.
I plan on having around 1000 saved up and I’m starting now. Several new pets and odd bits will become available at the Pet Vendor. Among them, for me, this is the most interesting: a toy!

From Blizzard Watch:
More expensive than all of these new pets combined is the new Magic Pet Mirror toy, which costs 500 Pet Charms. It allows you to take on the appearance of any pet that battles and isn’t companion-only, meaning you can choose to look like a pet like Gusting Grimoire but not one like K’ute.

Felbood is the new Savage Blood
Savage Blood will be useless, so I won’t be stockpiling or trying to earn them unless I want to make an upgrade now. So far, on the PTR, it does not say how to get them beyond having a Barn and trapping. I am hoping for purchase via Primal Spirits but no news yet on that front.

I will be stocking mats; ore, herbs and making sure I do my profession dailies for gearspring parts, hex cloth, true iron bars etc. And, just as important, the Sorcerous that they generate.

If we can buy Felblood via the Primal Spirit vendor, then I’ll simply use the Trader Visitor to convert mats. Know too that the new JC gems require Felbood to make as well.

I might need to make a Barn and learn to trap … (frowny face).

Garrison Resources.
We are told that the amount will change. It is currently 6000 resources to get to the Tanaan Jungle, the new zone in the expansion. We will need to buy a new building, the Shipyard, which will open a new exit in our garrison to the docks on the water. We’ll need to build a ship and have quests and stuff.

We’ll only need a few weeks to generate that many resources, so I won’t worry until June.

Bonus Rolls
There will be a new bonus roll ‘seal’ in the expansion, so no need to roll into the new raid having saved up 10. They’ll be useless in the Hellfire Citadel.

Conclusion:
Once upon a time, we’d look to the PTR to plan for new recipes. We’d stockpile in advance to make gold, lots of gold. That is not the case in this expansion. It will be our own resources.

Forewarned is forearmed, with just this little information we can begin to plan for Patch Day so we anticipate through it and not agonize through it.



Gold Making Garrisons

It’s really starting to add up.

Level three Barracks lets me have 25 followers.

Level three Inn gives me the Treasure missions and a follower with a Treasure Hunter trait.

I’m folding in my new treasure followers every week and retiring a redundant.

My Salvage Yard gives a mere 300g worth of goodies for 20 Crates; a trifle compared to the follower missions.

Make gold now, before they nerf it!

The Sound of Music and the World of Warcraft

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
Something Good (Sound of Music)

The Sound of Music and the World of Warcraft
I had the very good fortune to attend a screening of the Sound of Music at my local cinema. It was the 50th anniversary of the movie and was hosted/sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. I was delighted to discover a full house with an enthusiastic audience; they applauded after the musical numbers. It was great.

The story is about the Von Trapp family in Austria just before World War II. I feel comfortable spoiling the ending, they escape Nazi Germany. The Broadway play debuted in 1959, 14 years after the end of WWII. The movie opened in 1965, 20 years after WWII. This weekend, I watched it 70 years after World War II.

What struck me, and the reason I am typing this, was just before the intermission (yes, an intermission; this flick clocks in over three hours) one of the characters walks into the room and raises his hand; “Heil Hitler”. For me, it was chilling.

The audiences of 1959 and 1965 would have known that salute all too clearly. Most of them had lost a father, brother, uncle, son or friend in the War. Five million Americans died in that War. Twelve million Russians. The list goes on, it was a staggering number compounded by the horror of Hitler’s Final Solution — seven million Jews killed in ovens, gas chambers or starved to death.

When that character walked into the room — the audience knew.

As a story-teller; Robert Wise, the director, knew he only had to do that much. His audience was well aware of the situation. When you tell a story, you need to know who your audience is going to be.

This got me thinking about another movie about World War II: Cabaret. The stage play opened in 1966 and the movie premiered in 1972. The audience is removed by time from the horrors of the War and the point must be made much more clear. The director, Bob Fosse, achieves this in many ways including the distorted faces in the reflection of the brass instruments. The songs are harsher, revolting and often disgusting — because the audience was not there when it happened, they need to be told.

As time goes on, more information must be told to the audience about past events.

I think the designers of Warlords of Draenor could learn a thing or two from Mr. Robert Wise, Mr. Bob Fosse and Mr. Spielberg (Schindler’s List) about story-telling. With us taking a nostalgic ride through the history of Warcraft, not all of us know the players.

We Wrath babies don’t know who Blackhand was or why we’d really enjoy shooting him down. We are not the audience of 1965 watching the Sound of Music. I’ve felt this way for the expansion.

Who are these guys?