Resto-Druidness

“America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.”
Warren G. Harding


Resto-Druidness

We get past heroic Zul pretty regular. The next boss just got a nerf but he’s still a drag with an astonishing number of mechanics.

Resto-Druids do a good job in raids.

I raid with another Druid on some nights. He has a different build that I do but our Recount numbers are often the same. This means that there is some flexibility in our healing playstyle.

Over-all, I have only seen Monks put up consistent numbers higher than mine. That Monk claims that he is mostly a tank healer and otherwise worthless. I dunno, I don’t look too close.

We are not the “bring the class” class. For example, we don’t have a Mass Dispel that is coveted on Zul. We can not throw Divine Star to cheese the door into MOTHER. But, there are several bosses that have a stack mechanic and players are glad to see us.

In 8.1 our Tranquility will be nerfed and our Wild Growth with be buffed. Overall, this is a nerf, to be sure.

Still, Rest-Druids are looking pretty good in raids!

pvpteam2

Advertisements

Ebb and Flow: Gold Making

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”
John D. Rockefeller


Ebb and Flow: Gold Making

Candidly, my intention for making gold is when I have a goal and have something that I want to buy. Currently, there is nothing that looks appealing.

After I bought the Bronto gold sink mount, I dropped to 200,000 gold and now I’m up around 430,000 gold. Not much effort on my part, it is more a bit of playing at the AH. That Auction House is a brutal place to pvp.

Players are not shopping. You don’t see pet sales or tmogs sales going very well. The constants are raw materials and things needed to play like flasks or shout scrolls. Most players are not seeing easy gold and so they don’t spend easy gold. I have not been to the Black Market Auction House since this expansion dropped.

At this moment, we are in a fading market as we are in a lull before the next raid. The next raid is in January and for gold goblins, that is far away. I see very few gear upgrades for myself now.

Big gold makers like the Darkmoon Cards are fading. This was a very robust sales item and still best-in-slot for all stages of raiding. But the number of 355 as an ilevel doesn’t feel good, players want to look good too.

It is strange to me because the perception that I have of high Key dungeoneers is that they fine tune everything (which is why Ion stopped their ability to talent change) but my reality is that those players skip almost everything: food, potions, gems, enchants, shouts and invisibility pots. They will flask and would rather power through some mobs rather than skip them.

The mindset of the high key runners is very much like the pvp players. They want to show their skill in the class, they want to move quickly and right, they like the speed rush and, yet, accept failure easily. Fore-thought and planning is minimal at best.

I can’t sell invisibility pots!

You can sell feasts, flasks, potions and more but the market should be much more robust.

As always, play to the weekend warrior by selling raw materials and gear; put your stuff up on Friday.

On Monday night, put up your flasks and feasts for the raiders and organized play.

Get in the habit of putting stuff on the AH at the end of your play session, even if is fish, herbs and a few ores.


Farming for Gold
I don’t recommend it at all! Go catch some pets or join a battle ground.

If you must, fish up Redtail Loach to sell. Riverbud is the most used herb in alchemy. Monolite Ore is the base for many recipes.

If your dreams is greens, I suggest the Invasive Quillrats at Hawthorne’s Plot in Drustvar. It is a questing place with non-stop respawns and you farm Meaty Haunch. I got about ten pieces of green gear in twenty minutes.

The crafting professions suck.

We are now in the “rep phase” on Alliance for trading goods for AP by the portal to Arathi Highlands. I sold a LOT of the Grilled Catfish yesterday!


Gold Making is an empty chase but if you must, have some fun with it. Good luck!

BfA: The Bad Detective

“There is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible.”
Sherlock Holmes


BfA: The Bad Detective

So, the question everywhere seems to be if WoW is bleeding subscribers. It might be, I’d not be surprised. The stories I hear in game are of players leaving or certainly not playing every day.

Can we take a look?

The Questionable Detective visited Realm Pop US to take a look. He scrolled the slider to “all 120s”.


realmpop


On the mouse over for RP/Normal, we see the number 2,275,857.

Do we assume that everyone has two 120s or that many have yet to ding 120? There is no way to fold in Alts as a factor. We could guess; maybe everyone has two 120s which would make the US population at one million subscribers and then we could guess that to double that for Europe and then, maybe, double again for Asia.

This is the Realm Pop EU link right here.

The Horrible Detective has no idea where to find Africa or Australia.

It is possible that WoW has four million active subscribers, not including China.

Or if the bulk of subs only have one 120, then the number could be up around six million!

The butler did it.


IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When the Battle for Azeroth™ erupted worldwide last week, champions of the Alliance and the Horde around the globe were called upon to fight for their faction. Heroes everywhere turned out in force, and Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of Battle for Azeroth’s first full day of launch on August 14, more than 3.4 million units of the latest World of Warcraft® expansion had sold through worldwide—setting a new day-one sales record for the franchise and making it one of the fastest-selling PC games of all-time. August 23, 2018.

BfA: Strategic Blunders

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
Michael LeBoeuf


BfA: Strategic Blunders

We are in a bit of a lull and waiting for the next patch on December 11th. I’m still playing the game and enjoying it. However, we can now look back and over our first experiences.

War Mode
It is a new feature and a very good one. The players that I know who do it: love it. I have read the interviews with the developers who tell us that the Alliance got a bad introduction to War Mode and they are trying to up the rewards. Whether it is Horde racials that make them better at PvP or not, the perception is there. How Blizzard can change the perception of the players, I don’t know. How they’ll get a balance of Horde vs Alliance by getting the Alliance to come back after getting their butts kicked continually: I don’t know.

Island Expeditions
The islands are a lot of fun and well designed. The blunder in this case is that the designers assumed that AP as a reward is something that we would do anything for. There is no excitement on the islands, even finding a rare, when the rewards is always AP. It becomes a grind — and that is too bad considering all the work that went into the design elements. They are, again, upping the rewards to try to get us in there. New pets, mounts, doubloon vendors, tmog pieces is something we’ll play for, but when the end prize is AP and we just don’t care.

Raiding
By flattening our healing and dps, it has allowed for a lot more mechanics; the blunder here is that we survive fights, we don’t feel like we kicked heroic ass. Part of this flattening (there is a bunch) is the three AP pieces that won’t war- or titan-forge up, which does not feel good — we know very well how they are scrambling to make the traits better and to up the rewards.

Warfront
Fun stuff! The reward is a piece of high gear and you can re-run vs the AI over and over for 340 pieces. The quest portion rewards resources and plenty of gear, pets, mounts and toys. The donation part is pure AP and optional. No one that I know wants to miss this and we often party up to take it on. I don’t see any blunder in here but felt I had to mention it. By the time the new warfront comes out, we’ll have soaked Arathi for all it has.

Professions
I might start swearing at this point. The buff feasts and primary stat potions are so hard to make that the majority of raiders show up without them. The majority of players do not put gems in their sockets or enchant their pieces. The level of frustration when seeing this in your fellow players is a spike in blood pressure. Overall and in every aspect, Blizzard botched professions and this is a strategic blunder that I don’t think upping the rewards will change our perception of their failure.

Gold Making
Blizzard can shove it …
Sorry, players are getting angry. When a designer says that they upped the emissary rewards so we can afford our bonus rolls: I could throw a brick through their window. The interviews that I have seen on the lack of passive gold-making show the dev kind of shaking his head like he doesn’t get it all. It has to be orders from above.

End Game
This part of the game is the problem that Blizzard can not solve. After great designs in quests and classes and zones; once you arrive at 120, everything becomes a slow grind. The WQs and Emissary and more are all out of a fear; the fear born from Warlords of Draenor. The solution is not elegant. Other solutions like much bigger zones and endless quest areas must be too hard: I’m thinking of the size of Kalimdor when I first started in Burning Crusade and even at level 60(?) there was still so much more to explore.

The biggest strategic blunder in the first chapter of BfA is the assumption that the players would happily chase AP. This blunder has influenced all of the game because as a reward, we are not interested in pouring time into our neck piece (because the game has been flattened and it makes no noticeable difference).

There is a lot in 8.1 to look forward to: new story, quests, lore and all of the things that make this game great. Also, there is a racing push to keep players grinding, mostly by upping the rewards because AP is a terrible lure. And, I am not confident that they get it: the new Incursions which will be great for XP if you are leveling only reward 600 AP to max level players — this won’t be fun, it will be a hassle when they are in our way to get things done.

By using Legion as a template for BfA, Blizzard did not consider that we would be wiser and less naïve. It took a while in Legion for us to see how the AP grind becomes a deadening experience but we carried that understanding over to BfA. Unless they can get out of the hole that they’ve dug, they’ll have to keep adding other lures like titles or allied races or making things account wide or something.

Finally, you know that I will be in there in the thick of it. I love the game, it just needs some fresh leadership or less pressure from Activision or more fun.

magemagic

I’m All A-Flutter

“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.”
Douglas Adams


I’m All A-Flutter

Here you see my new shoulder enchant. The Living Wood Spaulders are a tier piece for Druids off of the train boss in Black Rock Foundry Mythic. I’d tried for three weeks and finally got an amigo with straight access to Blackhand and won the essence token with which I could choose my tier piece and here it is.


wrathwings


The wings really do flutter fast. Always on jumps but otherwise random. Animated shoulders to the extreme, I’m really happy.

The chest/robe is tmogged to Ymirjar Physician’s Robe and the staff is the Staff of the Earthmother with the Mending illusion.

wrathwings2

Looking at Professions: 8.1

“A chef is a mixture maybe of artistry and craft. You have to learn the craft really to get there.”
Wolfgang Puck


Looking at Professions: 8.1

The profession changes are up on the PTR but I’m not on the PTR. I can try looking through the Wowhead data-mining.

I think it will be hit and miss. For example, Blizzard has completely missed the boat when it comes to the Bountiful Captain’s Feast. Two “major” things are happening. One is a new version of the feast which replaces Midnight Salmon for Sanguicell. The second is the new leather-working recipe that can make a lure for Midnight Salmon (using three expulsom and five hydrocore). This lure is expensive to make and will be useless.

Here is my current look at the Captain’s Feast:


feast


As you can see or guess, in fishing for the two needed items I have caught more than enough Midnight Salmon. I have an abundance of Salmon. Blizz doesn’t play their own game, certainly they don’t grind mats for feasts and it shows!

If you want to make gold, you could put a bunch of Redtail Loach on the AH for high prices for those suckered into thinking that using Sanguicell is an advantage. I know, I have about 250 of that item.


The other thing that interests me is the Tools of the Trade questlines for the crafting professions. There is zero for gathering: zero. Each crafter gets a little something extra. It is fun, I hope, that some need to visit shrines or drums in the world.

These are from a screen cap of a photo of a slide at Blizzcon. Best that we can do today.


prof8


prof7


prof6


prof5


prof4


prof3


prof2


prof1


802813


Some things look interesting, Jewel-Crafters will get new gems that do some fun things but I don’t think that we’ll see anything in abundance.

There are lots of things happening in 8.1; new islands, warfronts, reps and more. For the most part, I’ll find it when I find it!

Blogging Along

“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.”
Sylvia Plath


Blogging Along

The blogging community is a civil one. Fledgling writers are given encouragement. I’m of the Don’t-get-it-right-get-it-written camp even though I can feel the weight of all those hyphens. In some ways, we are reporters and are prone to being brief in our reports which can be a relief on several levels.

It takes a certain conceit or ego to put your words out there. A blog is a safe place because you can be read or ignored, nothing is at stake with a daily or weekly report on the life around us.

Imagine if you were under the watchful eye of Mark Twain. He attacked Fenimore Cooper, the author of the Deerslayer, in print. In 1895, he called them Literary Offenses and even took one of Cooper’s paragraphs and edited it word by word, line by line.

In one place in “Deerslayer,” and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.

I’m glad that no one has put my writing under the microscope!

Imagine if you were a Beat writer like Jack Kerouac; happily getting work published that he never edited. Truman Capote, who wrote In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, said of them “that is not writing, that is typing.”

Burn!

Mr. Capote took that pot-shot across the writer’s bow back in 1957. It was a time when work was edited and you had a publisher and you owned the book that you bought; holding it firmly in hand as a commitment to the work.

Today, we are not nearly as engaged. The material scrolls past our eyes with minimal investment on our part. We are willing to accept a lot of “literary offenses” and won’t call anyone out — even for bad poetry, bless our hearts!

The blog rules, especially the click bait guys, say that if want to use a comma then put in a period. Like James Peterson’s writings; short sentences, brief thoughts, little weight – dammit, let’s move this story along!

Still, I do look at my own writing. I love the sin of over-hyphenating. I trip up the reader with energetic colons, semi-colons and commas. I do not embrace the Oxford Comma and you can thank me for that. Mostly I am happily typing away, head-streaming like our good brother-in-writing Jack Kerouac, hitting “publish” as if that were something accomplished.

While Gertrude Stein didn’t care for the pesky comma, consider the following*:

A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.

For want of a comma, the meaning is changed and the intention is made clear.

Write on, fellow bloggers, I love your work!


*The comma example is from Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss