Wrathsome the Fabulous

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
Muhammad Ali


Wrathsome the Fabulous

The news of the day is the change to the number of pieces that you will need in your wardrobe to (hopefully, eventually) get the Fabulous title. Alternative Chat wrote up a commentary called She’s in Fashion and Bubbles of Mischief also gave us an update called Fashionista Changes which also included a video. Seeing that video, one notes that to make a transmog change — a full set would cost about 300 gold! You won’t see me swapping sets often, I promise!

Go ahead and read their pages, they have much more insight than I do!

I visited Captive Wrymtongue, the vendor for the Invasions. I went to Gadgetzan but later found out that he’ll be in our capital city as well.

I think everyone who plays a Warlock will want the Felbat Pup for the low low price of 1800 Nethershards. Remembering that you get a mere 260 Nethershards, this pet will cost you the time and play of eight Invasions — totally fun.

The Captive Wrymtongue also sells armor ensembles, which are transmog sets that look very “legion invasion” and fabulous! Warning: these ensemble tokens are Bind on Pick Up! Buying a leather token with my Mage would bring heartbreak. The ensemble armor set costs a trifle: only 1850 Nethershards.

This is also an introduction to the “ensemble set token” system, new to Legion.

I looked up Ensemble: Felshroud Leather Armor on Wowhead and got way too much information.

The other armor sets are:
Ensemble: Fel-Infused Cloth Armor
Ensemble: Fel-Chain Mail Armor
Ensemble: Felforged Plate Armor

Along our pre-expansion patch journey, we will want to do all of the Legion Invasions and get the feat of strength: Defender of Azeroth. Frankly, it should be a title, right?

How do these ensemble sets work? Does learning via that token break them into all the pieces into my wardrobe? Or does it keep it always as a single set … we’ll find out, I’m excited.

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Beta: Invasion Edition

“Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.”
Dale Evans


Beta: Burning (Legion) Questions. Invasion Edition

My burning question was: can I fly from Howling Fjord in Northrend to the Broken Isles.

No. No you can’t. I died from fatigue and ended up in the graveyard in … Westfall. I ran my wisp back but my dead body died of fatigue! I kid you not. Dead again. Of course I tried again; died again. I decided to take a Rezz Sickness but I could not move my body the two steps closer to get that graveyard rezz. This morning, yes I could!

Invasions will be a short-term Big Thing. We will want to do them before the Legion expansion arrives as it will go away; forever. I tried one in Gadgetzan: here is my report.

  • The Invasion (in Gadgetzan) was in four phases. The first three have a percentage progress bar, the last is called Final Stage: kill the Big Bad.
  • I was the only player there, the Bruiser NPCs were a great help. I could have simply floated on my flying mount and completed the Invasion.
  • My suspicion is that there will be times when you arrive on the Final Phase and get credit for the kill.
  • Around Tanaris were portals with nasty demons, it looked wicked cool.
  • I died a lot; maybe six times or more times. Hopefully that won’t be the case when this happens on my home realm with a ton of players.
  • It took about an hour.
  • Other Invasions were happening, while I was in Gadgetzan it looked like there was one in ZF and one up in Winterspring.
  • You earn a currency that is in your Currency Tab. I earned 260 units (Nethershards) on one Invasion. At the end, I won two caches as rewards; an ilevel 700 chest and also bracers.
  • The Achievement is called Stand Against the Legion and it’s a Feat of Strength.
  • They were hard to find, North East of Gadgetzan are a set of vendors (and a much needed repair guy). You spend your Nethershards there. 1850 would buy me the token that represents the tmog armor set. So … eight Invasions for the set. Also I saw a battle pet and some regular gear (that I’d not want unless it looked cool).
  • Finally: it was painful, it took forever but it was really fun. Demons falling from the sky, a familiar city under siege, the graphics, animations, content and urgency was very well done.

I can’t wait to do it “for the reals”.

Beta Blues: My Copy

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Henri Matisse


Beta Blues: My Copy

NB: Resto-Druid; Leatherworking, Herbalism.

It is nice to finally be able to copy my character over to the Beta. Some of my questions have finally been answered.

1. The Leatherworking Stat Tent will only work in Draenor.

2. The Drums of the Forgotten Kings does work in Legion. A 4% buff to Intellect is nothing to complain about. I did not have a chance to party with anyone to see if the party-wide buff worked.

3. I visited the Fishing Trainer in (new) Dalaran. I trained so I could level to 800 but saw no fishing daily quests from Marcia. Same with Cooking (yes training, no daily quests, no recipes to buy).

4. The Leatherworking Trainer was willing to train me if would I give up some Legion skins with a note on the quest “if you don’t have skinning, you can get them from another source like the Auction House.”

5. The Herbalism Trainer offered no training. I took a flight path to Azsuna, got on my chopper and rode down the road. I found ONE herb node. It was a kind of auto-training for Legion herbs that flashed on my screen. In my fifteen minutes in this zone, I saw no other herb nodes to pick.

6. My stats on my gear stayed the same except Spirit was converted to Versatility.

7. The Class Trinket from Archimonde will work only to level 109 (tooltip note). Will it turn gray at level 110, I don’t know.

7a. My Class Trinket is socketed with a +50 haste gem which is now a +160 haste gem, as if by magic.

8. I killed a level 100 bear in my Affinity Talent. I took almost no damage from the bear, but it still took …. freaking forever. I’m in 728 gear. I didn’t time it, but it felt like two full minutes. In any case, the mob did not fall over from a shot of Moonfire.
8a. The nameplates are different. I can’t tell if I’m in range of a hostile mob. I think, in time, it must be something to merely get used to understanding.

9. I fished a couple of gray items in the (new) Dalaran fountain. They were points towards the Achievement. I can confirm that you can troll everyone by jumping on a mount and parking in the fountain. It still feels way too small in consideration of the anticipated numbers of players wanting the Fishing Artifact.

10. My garrison had no gold missions. My Treasure Hunter trait is now Extreme Scavenger. I laughed when I turned in my 100% missions and failed them all (gold missions, perhaps?). I laughed when I failed all my Shipyard missions, sinking half of my fleet. Bittersweet, to be sure.

Clearly, it is the Beta/PTR. Yesterday I tried the Character Transfer and was rejected, loading screened, disconnected and could not fly in Draenor — I ran to the next flight point but it didn’t work either.

This morning, everything was much smoother. I am happy to help stress test, can I say that I work for Blizzard now? As a rabid fan, seeing the future is pretty fun; as a studied mature adult, I’m careful not to do TOO much as I want to enjoy the game as designed.

The main thing that worries me, questing as a healer, is semi-confirmed: it sucks.

Legion: Professions in the Balance

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
Pablo Picasso


Legion: Professions in the Balance

I’ve done what research that I can. If you can think of it, I have done it: websites, blogs, videos, data-mining sites and the rest. Sometimes I see information and wonder but what does it “mean”? When it comes to things like professions, there is the broader context of game play: ease of access, hefty or simple quests, even class choices come into consideration.

Some information is coming out like the Twitch Dev Chat and luckily we see writers like Misdirections responding and trying to figure it out. There will be a Profession Dev Chat on Twitch on June 23rd. This is the interview that will, hopefully, resolve and give us some direction on how to move forward.

The fulcrum is the Bind on Pick-up crafting material: Blood of Sargeras.

Even though we are not playing Legion yet, they have promised “more”. Gotta laugh at that one! It isn’t just that single material, of course; we have to get the other crafting mats, recipes, recipe ranks and so on.

Imagination One:
Legion is easy! Anyone can take an Alt quickly into zones and farm up a ton of mats; the skinner can stack mobs with aoe and skin easily, herb and mining nodes are plentiful and on clear pathways with little mob resistance. Respawn rates make us giggle and we path up and down watching our XP and Artifact Power go up, up, up. The profession quests are speedy and rewarding, plentiful materials make it easy to create and then burn to ash our goods. Flasks and potions are mailed to our Mains.

Imagination Two:
Legion takes forever! The Artifact line, the slow rep grind in each zone and pathing mobs won’t let you breathe: each zone has only one Inn to change talents. Every mining node gives small but precious xp and you had to fight to get to the node. It is a savage land, yet again! You don’t dare bring an Alt over as it will distract from the need to level, get powerful; grind the zones one single trudging step at a time. It is so frustrating that you begin to cue for dungeons.

Imagination Three:
Legion is balanced! It is balanced for healers who are questing to level up their Artifact, get zone rep, gathering mats and it is challenging but freaking fun! Tanks, melee and ranged are confident and will see you questing and party up with you on a whim; you make new friends. You don’t get lost, each path is unique and you soon anticipate what is over the rise. You can feel the progress. Everything is meaningful.

The Profession Dev chat will answer some questions and it will be great. But, choosing to drop your second crafting profession for a gathering profession on your Main (do it right now, it will take forever to level gathering before Legion) needs information that we simply don’t have.

How long does it take to get to level 110?
How long does it take to finish each and all of the rep zones?
How long does it take to max professions?
How easy or hard are the leveling zones once you get gear on your 110?
Can the BoP mat drops support two crafting profession without feeling starved?
Will the crafted profession gear be worthwhile for an extended time?
Will the next patch blow up all of our efforts?
Will a 20 minute dungeon replace your 5 hour investment in crafted gear?
What is the intention with crafting professions? Are they designed for non-raiders?

With all of the leveling zones (not Suramar) being set to “scale” the experience is always the same. You can’t go back to the level 102 zone in 109 gear and trash the place. In other words, you never “arrive”. Those funny achievements called Ready for Raiding will mock our experience in Legion.

There are so many questions, unknowns and variables at this time that making an informed decision is impossible. Guessing and hoping feels terrible. Being wrong and changing your choices in mid-expansion is a nasty bitter time sink, moving backwards.

Finally:
When you visit an Art Gallery opening, you can visit with the Artist. The first question is often: what is your intention. The second question is: do you have something to say.
Looking at professions without knowing the intention is looking at mere blobs of color on a canvas. Not knowing the goal for End Game, the viewer could easily dismiss the work and move to the free drinks station.

Resto-Druid: Utility

“Don’t you know,” she said pityingly, “that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?”
P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins


Resto-Druid: Utility

Utility is talked about, roughly, as the things that classes can do outside of their role as DPS, Healer or Tank. An Interrupt is a utility and the cooldown is different for different classes. Crowd Control in the form of traps, polymorph, roots are all utility spells. There are other examples, like the Lock TV.

Druid are unique and, frankly, are loaded with utility. Legion has given us Affinity “stances” (so to speak), strengthening our utility by a Talent but also has removed common spells in our books by moving them to the Affinity.

Ignoring the Affinity Talent for the moment, if you are a Resto-Druid the ranged moonkin-type spells are always available. You can dot with Moonfire and cast Wrath. You don’t see the moonkin choice unless you have chosen the Affinity. The other shapeshift choices are there on your bar: guardian, feral, travel.

The utility of “going bear” while in Resto spec is that your armor is increased by 200%. You can use the Bark Skin spell for temporary toughness. The default is sneaky in that it only pre-loads Bark Skin but you can put Growl on your bar. And you have your three “works in all shape-shift forms” Talents: Mighty Bash (a stun), Mass Entanglement (group root) and Typhoon (group knock back and daze) — all instant cast with fairly long cooldowns. However: gone are our offensive spells: we can not mangle or thrash without the Affinity Talent.

“Going Bear” is all about opportunity. Being able to survive jumping on a bomb can be a big help to the team. By casting Growl on an add, running away and casting Entangling Roots, you can “kite” mobs and leave them stuck in the back of the dungeon. You might be able to save the day if the tank goes down but you are sacrificing your healing job: really, a flip of the coin when things are going bad.

“Going Kitty” is great because you have Dash and Prowl. Prowl is fantastic for weaving through mobs that you don’t want to engage (typically when soloing in the world). Dash is always useful and a signature spell for the Druid. In dungeon content, you might cast Entangling Roots and Dash your way out of the dungeon door!

Travel Form is simply that; we get to look different and move different than anyone else. We can fly, swim or even be a stag that offers a ride to your weary buddy.

Take the time when the pre-expansion patch drops to set up all of your action bars. Be ready to “go bear” on the fly with your spells where they need to be: same with the Affinity Talents: preset them and know what to expect when it is on demand.

The Affinity Talents are strong, very strong. Now we cross the line from core utility and really consider it part of our spec. Resto/Balance is a healer who can do some additional DPS from range. Resto/Feral is a healer who can do some additional DPS from melee. Resto/Guardian is a healer who can off-tank (wow!).

Anticipating your ambition and knowing the encounters will make your Resto-Druid shine. Savvy Druids will be learning the dungeons in Legion to see when our utility spells like Ursol’s Vortex are in demand and make a difference. Also, we anticipate our Affinity Talents and should use them at any and every opportunity. The same with Talents; having Renewal when in Guardian makes a lot of sense.

The key is being aware and looking for the chance and choice to use all of the weapons in your toolkit. Watching for when groups tend to struggle; rooting that add on Kilrogg in WoD or kiting an Infernal, can be the reason why everyone should want a druid in their dungeon or raid.

One more thing: our shapeshifting is instant. We Druids are always ready.

Finally, let us give a nod to the passing of Stampeding Roar. No longer available to the Resto-Druid, it was once a great utility spell!

Pre-Patch: Players are Busy!

“Your Majesty, I am like you. I do no work. I do nothing, but I am indispensable.”
Sergei Diaghilev


Pre-Patch: Players are Busy!

It has been a treat the past few days and weeks to see the surge of excitement (and trepidation) for the upcoming expansion.

Misdirections is posting on the experiences from the Beta and PTR and tackling the worries that we all have with professions. Following other players concerns and decisions will help me decide on my choices: which might be best dealt with soon.

Gnomecore is also on the Beta and PTR and posting on the frustrations and experiences of getting into scenarios and also reporting on the feel of three DPS classes. Thankfully, he is also writing on Transmog, which we are all very interested in.

Alternative Chat is a bit of a nut and very fun to read. We are reminded to prepare (today!) for titles and toys and, of course, a whole lot more.

Bodhi Rana, sensibly, has bailed. That’s all folks! I guess we’ll see him in Legion.

So, players are busy. The Devs are busy, now hosting a weekly chat on Twitch covering expectations, news and rationale for Legion decisions. It helps shape in our imagination the way that we’ll be playing soon.

We are all looking to the pre-expansion patch and planning while also putting pieces in place for when Legion drops. It’s fun.

I was watching a preview/overview of the Marksman Hunter on YouTube. The channel seems to be FinalBossTV. Since this guy is the only guy posting this type of material, I looked in since I hope to play Marksmanship in Legion. I also watched his Resto-Druid piece and in both cases I got “I don’t play this spec”.

Even though FinalBossTv doesn’t play the spec, we do get a video over-view of the Artifact, Talents and Spells. We also get his impressions, which are useless. And, since he’s the only guy doing this stuff: it is worth it to me to look in.

Which brings me to my burning question. Will the Class Guide sites like Icy Veins be posting class guides on the day the pre-expansion patch drops? Icy Veins has worked hard to dominate the click market for guides, I hope they are prepared!

I think that what I want to know immediately is: what is stat priority? Since everything changes at the pre-expansion patch and we carry our “geared” characters into Legion; having a solid understanding of Mastery and the stats is crucial. We need to understand our classes!

Like everyone, I’ll have a great time learning rotations and I’ll play with Talents a lot: it is fun. Still, I can do something about stat priority … if I know the information. If we don’t get at least a basic class guide out of Icy Veins or some other source; I think that they have failed. If I solve that problem on my own, then there is no reason to look to their site in the future having released myself from dependence on a third-party fan site.

What makes me worry is that there is been not even a hint that someone is working on it. Even Ask Mr Robot seems to be vamping with no hints.

C’mon guys, now is the time!

Watcher on Twitch TV

Bertie Wooster: Why is it do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of that little thing my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?


Watcher on Twitch TV

I just finished watching this hour long (to be weekly) live presentation. MMO Champs already has a recap to be found here..

Next week is professions and then they have a list, like PvP. Thursdays at 11am, pacific coast time.

While these guys are not trained nor professional presenters, I really did enjoy watching the show. In the past, I felt that they “cherry picked” the questions that they wanted to answer. It didn’t have that oily feeling this time.

There was a ton of information! Most of the information will be good-to-know for some hard core players yet not much was necessary to be a player, enjoying the game. Just as it should be.

They did choose the best question to be first. Personal Loot, if it is something you already have or less than you have and you win it: you can trade it! Sure, some pugger might bail and vendor it; we’ve seen this in the past: but, in general, this is really good news to team players.

Flying will come in the middle of the expansion. Assuming a two year cycle, we will get flying in about one year from now.

The rest, well, you can get from the notes on MMO Champs. Nothing was a “news flash!” or anything that was crucial — basically, Legion was designed to have a lot to do and you can enjoy doing any or all of it!

Kudos to Blizzard, I enjoyed the show.