WoW: It Never Ends

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or, if not my friend, maybe my ally long enough for us to get out of this.”
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


WoW: It Never Ends

And that is good, I like a game that can keep me busy.

Having an (almost) cleared quest log is a trip. One is for taking the battle pet to Legion WQs and I got part way through my third or fourth pet and gave up. Maybe I’ll go back to it.


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My hordie alt is in the LFR now. The horde enjoy fishing while waiting for players to flood in and out after a wipe. This Hyper-Compressed Ocean toy has turned out to be a great toy and a great way to pass the time. I am really glad that I got it. You can fish up any fish in the game including the secret fish and the bobber crates.


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We are still raiding. Our team now rides up around 23 or 24 now that we are doing heroic. I remember well when we had our hardy ten facing the final boss on normal. Our raid leader is really smart and is being very laid back regarding progression, knowing that we will be in this lull state for a long time. We downed the soccer boss and Ra-den for the first time this week. The learned bosses are dropping faster and faster.


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We are all looking at the changes with the Echoes and purchased corruptions that should be arriving today after reset. I have been running a haste proc build (racing pulse) and buying a rank one to add to a ring might be interesting. If we can choose, then we can make builds and try them out — much more fun than reading advice on a webpage.

Peace!

Out and About in Azeroth

“A man may plant a tree for a number of reasons. Perhaps he likes trees. Perhaps he wants shelter. Or perhaps he knows that someday he may need the firewood.”
Joanne Harris


Out and About in Azeroth

Somehow our raid team ballooned up to 24, at least on the first three bosses on heroic. We can carry them. After the third boss is down, it is understood that some of them will leave. But, only after sticking with us to the dog boss entrance. This is because three mobs drop 200 mentos for a total of 600. Good stuff.

Out of the blue and much to my surprise, the raid leader and one of the fighters began talking parses and damage. Believe it or not, we are running Warcraft Logs again. I was shocked. It has been ages (really probably a year) since we pored and poured over the data. It is believed by me that they like looking at their jacked-up corruption numbers.

I missed the boat entirely on the path to 100 exalted rep. The answer was obvious: horde side. Duh. I sat there feeling like Foghorn Leghorn kept throwing them over my head and I was the fool for comedy. So, I logged into my 120 hordie today to do some emissary rep runs. Didn’t even have a flying mount on the action bar: that is how long it had been since I visited this character!

While the next expansion is a long ways away, I feel like there is a lot to do. I am prepping four characters to cross over, each to his own covenant. Of great interest to me will be the pre-expansion patch when we get squished and all of our new spells. I hope that for a brief time that we are way over-powered but we can still get the AOTC for the mount — will it work that way?

Each morning I alternate between looking at Wowhead and MMO Champs for information that I’m interested in for Shadowlands and reading the daily news on the pandemic. Back and forth, every day. These are some tough times and I’m glad to have WoW to keep from this urge to run and go shopping just to get out.

Blessed be.

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The Shadowlands Prep

“When you are dealing with an invisible enemy,
use most resources as shield, and a bit as a bait.”

Toba Beta


The Shadowlands Prep

I saw a picture of a bunch of TSA guys lined up at some airport with their white gowns, masks and face shields. They sure did remind me of the anonymous storm troopers in Star Wars. Just saying.

I agree with Misdirections in The Road to Shadowlands. The difference between four months to the next expansion and eight months is huge. If Blizz would even give us a “best guess” with a long line of qualifiers, it would be helpful.

Several of my friends in WoW told me that they plan on having four characters in Shadowlands. They want to experience each Covenant, like we did in Legion with the class halls. It is good idea and if Shadowlands is really “alt friendly” then why not my hunter profession team? I guess that I’ll keep an eye on the Beta, which isn’t really my thing.

The team is herb/engineering, mining/engineering, inscription/alchemy, skinning/leatherworking. I have a wild-card druid who is herbing/mining too, often a late-comer to the expansions.

My current list of new 120s is short. I had one in 138 gear who had never been to Legion or Boralus. The big deal for me is deciding if I want to do the cloak run. How Blizzard will replace our neck and cloak in the pre-expansion patch would be a good thing to know. In the mean time, my UI really wants me to visit the forge to upgrade the neck but I don’t have a second essence.


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The AP part was easy. Farming the Echoes (500) is a drag and, again, I have to decide how far to take these alts in preparation for Shadowlands. Especially if they are not playing much in BfA.

And there is what to do with my time now in the lull. I could go into running up some gold. The Project Longboi shows that you can earn five million in three months by running old raids. He even lists which raids are the most profitable. I’m guessing Gnomecore with his massive tmog goals is loaded with gold!

Edit: Project Longboi earned 1.7 million gold in three months.

Some things are ticked off of the list:


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And I still have to do the pet battle dungeons, which I have not touched! I’m glad that I saved them for more peaceful times.

WoW: Mindless Gameplay

“Make foes of bowmen if you must,
Never of penmen.”

Tiruvalluvar


WoW: Mindless Gameplay

Here at the end of an expansion all of the many systems designed for this expansion must come under question. By this I mean, we (really me) got into the habit of running certain things on a daily or weekly basis to earn the end reward. Some rewards appear to be ongoing, like AP, even though the steps earned are really small.

I’m pretty much done with the Horrible Visions. I liked them well enough to earn the rewards in the designed game but to do them on a lark is not for me. So, now I look at my only two characters that have done the cloak business and I see that I’m collecting but not spending:


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Not watching what you are doing will leave you holding a bag full of stuff. I have forgotten what Nethershards and Apexis Crystals and Timeless Coins buy, but I can see that I spent a lot of time at some point collecting but not spending:


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No one will tell us exactly when the next expansion will arrive. The smart people that I know have predictions that are very different from each other. If we did know, then we’d be able to time our activities; like for a raider like me, when would I stop gathering herbs to make flasks so that I’m not stuck holding a ton of materials that I don’t spend.

In about fifteen minutes, the weekly reset will happen. I intend on doing the major assault for the gear reward (as I have said before, the odds are astronomical that I’ll get the piece that I want). I’ll gladly do it just for the chance, it is kind of fun to fill the bar. But, I could easily not do it — it is time to rethink what my rhythm of play has been and adapt it to the end game times.

Of Alts, Rep and XP

“If your enemy offers you two targets, strike at a third.”
Robert Jordan


Of Alts, Rep and XP

My raiding friends say that I don’t get it. And I don’t. Everyone is leveling up characters with this big XP buff and crowing about their progress. My question is, “What are you going to do with that character?”.

I can understand insurance. If, in the next expansion, there is a favored class and everyone wants to play that class, having a ready-to-go guy would be pretty handy. If they nerfed the resto-druid even more, I would be heart broken. I don’t have a shaman up and ready.

Now, I am no stranger to Alts. My play strategy is exactly what Ion hates; alts feeding their mains. That is my intention and it gets harder to do as Ion puts trip hazards in my way. But, I do want an herbalist who will feed my alchemist who will supply my main with flasks and potions.

Seeing the world through different eyes does have it’s appeal. I have (one) horde character who is 120 and has played (some). Seeing that other side is cool and fills in story and lore.

The rep buff is new but, again, why? I already have the exalted mounts and goodies from the paragon caches. Why would I drag an alt through all of that again? At this point in Wow, I have played every class except Death Knight. I think. Maybe I could look at the list.

For BfA, I dropped my skinner/leatherworker and left him in the garrison making drums of fury. If everyone is doing it, I’d better too; so he is now 120. His ilevel is 411 and can enter the current raid on LFR. But he has no second essence even though the slot is open and he can’t add the extra stamina until that second slot has something in it. So, I guess I have to earn enough to buy from MOTHER on an Alt that will probably go nowhere.

There has to be a strategy. My druid will raid and my hunter will explore. They will choose different covenants … wait, is that it? Everyone wants a max toon in a different covenant? I’d need four for alliance and four for horde to do that.

It has been promised that the next expansion will be more alt-friendly. Odds are that my idea is very different than Ion’s idea of friendly. In Cata, Panda and WoD, I had an army of profession alts – almost all of them hunters or herbing druids. That ran for three full expansions and it was great. I had a JC, blacksmith, engineer, inscription guy and so on.

So, these two buffs are massive. A lot of people are returning. I see players that quit last year. But what about us players who have been here all along? These things do very little for me unless I just don’t get it. If you can explain it, let me know in the comments!

Shadowlands: Flatten the Curve

“War is a series of catastrophes which result in victory.”
Albert Pike


Shadowlands: Flatten the Curve

I’m a sensitive guy.

If someone is looking at anything of mine and says, “I’m impressed”, well, I get a little offended. It sounds condescending to me. I want to ask if they even know what they are looking at.

My football coach once said, “Go in, son. Make me proud.” Ack! There is so much wrong with that. I am not your son nor do I play to make you happy or proud. That kind of stuff trips me up, it really does.

Ion the Game Designer guy said, in an interview about Shadowlands, “There is no Warforging, Titanforging, or Corruption in Shadowlands. Let loot be loot.” Triggered again, I step back. Is this supposed to be a manly rally cry? What IS this? Stubborn pride?

He said a few other things that didn’t bother me but were interesting:
“The team is going to reduce the amount of loot that drops in Shadowlands raids.”
“Your performance from pull to pull should vary based on your gameplay and less on proc chance.”
And so on.

Going from Draenor into Legion, the developers said that they wanted to get away from the “pre-pot pull hero” type of game play. I totally agree with them. In WoD, we’d often have the strategy of blowing all of our cooldowns on the pull and jump from phase one to phase three, skipping a ton of mechanics by our power.

They also said that they had to fix how our secondary stats act in the game. As an expansion went on, some classes would get extra-super-strong. In other words, they had to flatten the curve.

In BfA, they’ve been successful. There are still some mechanics that we can ignore, but for the most part we see everything as designed. We have to honor the mechanic. Heh, I added the bold to sound like Ion. It feels tough and righteous, right?

Now that we’ve experienced BfA and are going to go into the Shadowlands, I wonder about that flatten the curve experience and wonder if it will be simply flat. This is because I have done Hivemind a lot on Normal. It is not a fun fight really, it is a survival fight. There are quite a few survival fights in this current raid.

The times of the pre-pot hero pull were really fun. We frantically mashed our buttons as fast as we could (this is before the GCD changes). There were times when we’d save our potions and hero for a specific time in the raid fight and line everything up and unload to clear a hard mechanic; it was tense and fun and we would strut when successful. Some would post their damage charts.

Surviving fights isn’t really that fun. N’zoth is a survival fight, you can’t do much to push it along. Sure, they are bringing back some iconic spells that were pruned but that won’t bring a major impact; they kept the strong needed spells when they pruned.

I can only hope that the flattened game is fun. I hope that the designs are more than survival fights. The “bring the class, not the player” is a failure if you ask me. Needing a specific class to be successful is stupid. Instead it should be if you have a certain class, they can do amazing things that make it fun. So much fun that you can skip a mechanic. Whoa!

N’Zoth the Corruptor Down

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”
Mark Twain


N’Zoth The Corruptor Down

I don’t know if we could do it again. It was on the fifth pull of the evening. Everything worked perfect on that final pull. Stage three saw the entire raid team alive and uncorrupted.


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Because it is the week of the Darkmoon Faire, many of our raiders were wearing fish heads! Gotta enjoy my fun group of raiders.


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I won the coveted trinket. It is easy to use as a casting healer, the best “on use” is away from people.


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Everyone was respectfully quiet during the cut scene. I’m glad I saved the kill by not doing it in the LFR so that I could enjoy it as part of a group.

We had time enough to down three bosses on heroic!

So, the boss on the box is dead, so to speak. We finished the task given for this expansion!


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Speed Run

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)


Speed Run

This is a post where I talk about stuff that everyone knows already. But: I’m still figuring it out.


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Here is my hunter with the silithid pet. This pet has Pathfinding.


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Now, let’s take the Talent called Trailblazer.


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Sadly I only have one azerite piece with the Longstrider effect.


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Movement speed is now 151%! And it sometimes seems to jack up higher now and then, I think. One does really feel like one is smoking it down the road.


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Add Aspect of the Cheetah off of cooldown and you are ready for a Speed Run through any old raid.

Betcha some other classes have stackable speed things. I like my hunter.

Technically a Lull

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken (1880 – 1856)


Technically a Lull

While I have not seen Gnomecore declare it an official lull in the game, it is beginning to feel like we are closing in on the end of content. My big one is still N’zoth and Sunday our raid team will have the full evening to dedicate to the task.

Earning the We Have The Technology achievement this week led to the tmog backpack! This means that my console talent tree for the legendary cloak is complete. I can dial my activities in Uldum and the Vale way back now.


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The backpack is cool, mostly because it is new to me! On Night Elves it kinda swings back and forth on the back when running like the straps are loose. On the tiny Gnome it is much tighter and, of course, looks adorable. It looks like my hunter’s big gun is supposed to ride on the back and behind the backpack and I so see a little clipping, which is a shame.


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On a very strange note, I must have a wonky addon. This screen shot shows me as a level 60 character and I have equipped an old gun with some stacks of thorium bullets! Very strange indeed.


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So, it is not an official lull. There are plenty of things to do and finish up. But, you can feel tasks winding up.

Happy Hunting. And may all your hits, be crits!

A Solid Lock Out

“Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.”
Walt Whitman


A Solid Lock Out

Our raid team has not killed N’zoth yet on normal. It is coming soon enough. The truth is that, in part, we have not had many chances at it. So, this week, our raid leader built a weekly lock-out so that we are sure to get some hits on the final boss.


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The above is what we’ll go into tonight and, Elune have mercy, we’ll down this guy and move to heroic. We are surely sick and tired of this raid on normal, we blow through it. But, even so, it takes hours of trash and boss and travel to get through it all. So, a lock-out is the way to go.

It is two wing final bosses who drop loot that raiders need and then the final wing.


Now that we don’t have war- and titan-forged items, we are needing corrupted gear to get stronger. My problem is that I do not have the pieces that I want!

Looking at the math, if I do get a piece of gear at all; then I want it to be corrupted. Then there are eighteen different corruption spells, then there are three possible ranks and then there are eight possible slots. The odds of me ever getting close to what I want are astronomical.

I’m guessing that the odds are 1 in 18 x 3 x 8 (432). Titan-forging was a better bet, by far.


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When you are running corruption pieces, you have to do the math on how high that you are willing to go: the risk vs reward. This means that you keep back-ups of all your gear and all of the corruption pieces in case you do get a piece that you want and have to shift everything around. It is a juggling act!


Honestly, I don’t always know what is going on. With trinkets, azerite and corruption pieces popping off at random times; there is no way that I can follow it when I’m playing.


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That is a screen shot of my buff bar at about medium proc. I don’t know what half of them are. But, better corruption pieces will make me stronger, I need that.

Now ask me if I’m having fun. You bet I am!