Legion: The Beta Fish Test

“It’s said in Hollywood that you should always forgive your enemies – because you never know when you’ll have to work with them.”
Lana Turner


Legion: The Beta Fish Test

I was doing some cleaning of my bags. My main had a Lure Master Tackle Box bag for fish, which I’d rather have as a hexweave bag but it was full of fish. In WoD I had six different baits, hooks and worms, and then three different versions of each fish; tiny, regular and enormous. I hadn’t actively kept things tidy and clean, when I got some fish; I’d toss them in the bag and move on.

Eventually, when my shipyards settled down, I put the fishing net on my submarines. With six shipyards, I chose an Alt with no professions to store all of that fish in the reagent tab. Now all of my level 100 characters are maxed cooking and first aid, even the ones who have never fished! I replaced those nets, I was drowning in fish!

Wondering if I could replace that Tackle Box bag for a hexweave bag, I went onto the Beta and headed for the open, yet broken, shores.

Both of my mains have the Angler’s Fishing Raft. It sits in the bottom left of my backpack since that bag is small and can stay open to re-set the ten minute timer. I clicked on my raft and … bam … it was a toy. Fun, I suppose, but I couldn’t put the icon back in my backpack. Precious action bar space or a favorite toy are my two choices.

The Angler’s Raft is faster than a ground mount. Tapping the space bar will make you zoooooom across the water. It’s great, everyone should have one. Safely fishing in the water instead of being attacked by a pathing mob on the shore is golden.

I fished for about thirty minutes, some of that was traveling about for fun. It was raining hard in one area and looked great.

I fished up three different fish in my experiment; Silver Mackerel, Cursed Queenfish and Black Barracuda. No little, medium, large fish at all! Yay. The Silver Mackerel looks to be the generic fish caught outside of a pool, the Queenfish is regional to Azsuna and the Barracuda must be dedicated to the ocean or outer shores.

I did catch a Message in a Beer Bottle. It gave up a two-minute lure for rare fish, of which I caught none.

Fishing Level seems to have no bearing on my success. The one lure that I had was a specialty item (of which I am sure that there are many), meant to be used right away for a short time span.

As far as I can tell, we won’t need fishing hats and lures to boost our fishing level and get better success.

I am guessing that fishing will take up about seven bag slots, a different type of fish for each zone.

There will be no need for a dedicated fishing bag in Legion.




Legion: Blizzard Feedback Forums

“We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them.”
Evelyn Waugh


Legion: Blizzard Feedback Forums
(or: Wrath the Advocate)

Gaming forums in general can be toxic. Now and then one reads of a Moderator who is getting death threats in their home mail box. It is not a fun place to visit and I believe that it is wrong to even have a suggestion or hint that a person writing onto a forum should think that the game will change because of his Bright Idea. Nature of the beast, web 2.0 and all that stuff; shameful really.

Still, I love the forums.

It is a very different experience to visit the Legion forums for Alpha and Beta and it is pretty cool. I’ve spent plenty of time reading the posts with the intention of a better understanding of my class in general and specifically once Legion arrives.

The forum posters are dedicated, knowledgeable, many know math and theorycrafting. However, you get zero sense of the forums being read by the class designers. For one, it takes too long! It can take a hour to even read a few pages (the resto-druid forum is up to 30 pages). Their time is better spent on Logs and using other comparative tools. In those 30 pages, there is one “blue post”, one; and it was months ago.

Partially, the flaw is that the forums are general and have no direction. “We want feedback” is simply too broad, giving them what they need is unlikely.

This link will lead you to the forums with Legion Testing on the top. By far the most interesting, in my opinion, is the dedicated Legion Class Feedback.

If you are visiting now (which I recommend) and have not been along for the ride on all the different build changes, start on the last page and work backwards. This way you will see the most current and, uh, meaningful comments. Stop when you feel you have seen enough.

You might get lucky. I loved a brief discussion on whether it is best to cast Innervate on yourself (as a resto-druid) or on a holy priest who has a lot more instant high-mana spells. Something to consider, no?

Everyone thinks that their class is nerfed! And it is! It is a new expansion with more and better pieces to come down the line. No one writes, “this spell combination looks really neat-o”. But, still, a lot of players are working very hard to give feedback to the game that they love.

Wrathsome the Activist
I even started my own thread on the PTR forum! It is called Guilds, Simply Guilds. Do I think that it will be read? No, I do not. Will it get a blue post? Never! I guess I got to vent some steam, which is part of the forum process too; not always the best of things. Still, maybe (just maybe, perhaps I can dream, possibly against all odds, one in a trillion, plant the seed) it will make a small difference in two years.

Pour a stiff drink or top off that coffee cup and take a tour of the Legion Feedback Forums!


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.

Beta Beast Mastery Hunter

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”
Roger Ebert


Beta Beast Master Hunter

Today’s date is: June 2, 2016.

The opening sequence is very clean. You start in Stormwind and get a scenario. You are then sent to (new) Dalaran and get the Artifact quest. Once done with that, you are sent to your Class Order Hall. The Mission Table gives you choices on which zone to start in and (I think) a Flight Path to that zone to begin.

The brand new Artifact is ilevel 750. The Beta gear is all 680. With Beast Mastery, you get the Artifact pet: Hati. No complaints, it looks pretty cool!

New Experience Notes:

  • Misdirection was clumsy to me because you have to choose which pet to cast it on, now that you have two pets. Very clumsy and will probably be resolved by a macro or two.
  • A bunch of spells are now lumped into one spell called Pet Utility which is a fly-out box. Tame, Mend, Revive, Dismiss, Feed and Beast Lore. The idea is fine but you need to heal your pet all of the time. That fly-out box was not going to cut it. I made a macro /cast Mend Pet within two minutes of running in a zone.
  • I didn’t spend enough time to see if I have to Mend Pet on Hati also; best guess is: yes.
  • My pet was Ferocity and held aggro just fine.

I tried a Level 100 elite (a big tree monster). It took a long time, as it should, but I downed him. The regular Level 100’s were a piece of cake and I began “doing the hunter thing” and used my pet to attack one and then another to stack up mobs.

Controlling my pet in battle (for example a wandering mob jumped me while I was on the elite) felt clumsy too. I think that might be better with some simple practice and getting used to where my spells are on the bar.

I jumped off a cliff for fun. Dying sucks! Getting back to my body was a total drag and took forever because the landscape is so extreme.

Talents are very real. I tried only a few (I want to experience the game when it is for-the-reals) but they are powerful and different.

New Experience Conclusion: The opening sequence leads you where you need to go. You are strong enough to quest and get out and about. The UI will take time and that is a-okay. Finally, I worry that I’ll be making macros to fight against a simplified spell book.

Legion Beta: Healer, Mana Regeneration

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
Orson Welles


Legion Beta: Healer, Mana Regeneration

With Spirit gone, our mana regen will be flat. This it to make it exciting for healers. Managing our resources is part of the mini-game of healing.

I’m fine with whatever the game design will be. If it is horrible, I expect it to get fixed. I’m also not worried about raiding because everyone is in the same boat (so to speak).

What I worry about is Dungeon Running. Trash, Boss, Trash, Boss, Trash, Boss; will we really have to stop after every fight and eat and drink?


I got on the Beta (Day Three). Without the Artifact which will give some mana regen, I emptied my mana bar to see how long it took to refill.

Stats:
Mana Regen: 6400 — amount of mana regenerated every 5 seconds
Haste: +5%

Refilling the Bar:
One minute; 58 seconds — lets call it two full minutes!

Using the Beta provided test food:
Aszuna Test Food: stacks to 200, 20 second full regen


What does it mean?
For one, I hope that everyone brings their own food. Topping off my own resources only to heal up the other players will mean me topping off my resources again. If we don’t have food then the wait between pulls is way (way) too long.

For two, the Aszuna Test Food stacks to 200; I hope the same in true for all foods in Legion.

For three, I hope the Ever-Blooming Frond or some other item gives me out-of-combat restoration. I used this item all through WoD in dungeons and it was excellent.

For four, our first instinct is to say that we will get more and more powerful and that our haste will increase a lot — however: Dungeons will scale. It will always be hard, the damage will always be relatively the same for the duration of the expansion.

Our playstyle in Legion is changing and we will adapt. I hope it is not all about everyone waiting on the healer to be ready for the next pull!

Legion Beta: Day Two

“You don’t have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.”
John Ciardi


Legion Beta: Day Two

I am wondering why we have to wait until August 30! Of course, I know that there is a lot to do but the improvements from day one to two were big. We helped with the Stress Test and the disconnects were fewer by far.

I collected my poor dead Druid and ported back to (new) Dalaran. Since I had miserably failed so bad on the Artifact quest (resto with balance affinity), I decided to give a hunter a try. I’m a veteran dps as a hunter!

Beast Mastery is very (very) different than before. The focus regen is mostly passive, so you wait to cast a spell. Even worse, you are looking at your action bar for it to come off cooldown. I hope it gets faster, better, stronger.

I did the opening scenario and went to Dalaran. I have the Artifact quest but ran out of time to try it out. You can’t do anything else — the Artifact quest is the only quest, the flight points don’t have any connections; that is that!

I will probably wait until we can do Character Transfers. Most of my questions are the type of knowing how to get a solid start when Legion drops. Sure, the Artifact but the fishing Artifact too. Professions will need to be addressed early on, I want and need to know all that stuff to be confident.

All in all: Day Two served up a much smoother and cleaner experience. My friends, there is hope!

xoxo



Dalaran Hearthstone

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou


Dalaran Hearthstone

My sole venture into Beta yesterday rewarded me with a (new) Dalaran Hearthstone. Adding a home-base Hearthstone, like our garrison, was genius. My quandry will be: where to set my Hearthstone?

Once upon a time, one would level and put the Hearthstone in the zone’s inn for rested xp in between bouts of questing, exploring and leveling. It had a one hour cooldown and that … was life! As our Worlds(s) of Warcraft have expanded, getting around is very important to our playtime and playstyle.

My playstyle is not a frontal cone cleave, I am more of an AoE Starfall kind of player. I’m all over the place. In WoD, I set my hearth to Stormshield and then to Tanaan. I found that most players had set their hearth to the Shrine in Pandaria! Much smarter, I wished I’d thought of that sooner; too much wasted time.

Setting our Hearthstone is like an anchor to our daily approach to the game. Will it be another portal fail in (new) Dalaran? Setting my hearth to the Shrine isn’t very exciting. I might put it by something I do every day like a pet battle or a profession daily. By the way, I’m assuming that there will be fishing and cooking dailies in (new) Dalaran that are as fun as the old dailies.

I worry that I’ll miss out on solutions. The mining pick in the Spires of Arak to speed up my mining was something that I’d have hated to miss out on. There is sure to be plenty of odd speed boosts, tricks, gliders, portals and more in Legion.

I think the only answer for me in discovering the nifty solutions is by following the bloggers and also the information sites!

Where to set my Hearthstone is a tough choice!




Beta: Day One

“I have ever been the queerest mixture of weakness and strength, and have paid heavily for the weakness.”
Annie Besant


Beta: Day One

They wanted us for Stress Testing and I was glad to be cannon fodder. They needed that testing as it is surely Beta.

Here is what I know with a new character (no transfers yet):

  • You start in Stormwind
  • You have 680 gear
  • I choose night elf druid: healer with the balance affinity
  • No toys, no heirlooms, two pets (?) and a lot of mounts. The Appearance tab (not called wardrobe) only had the stuff I was wearing.
  • The Scenario of the Burning Legion invasion stuff took about 20 minutes to get in. It is broken right now. I finally put the game in windowed mode so I could surf the net.
  • The hot tip is to stick with the King (finally did the scenario).
  • There is a cool teaching area on the docks of Stormwind where they show you all of the demons you’ll be facing.
  • No thorns for druids.
  • You will need 1700 Pet Charms to get the stuff from the seller in Dalaran.
  • You can’t back your camera up — you are stuck about 12 feet behind your character. For me, it felt super cramped.

Once I got to Dalaran, I couldn’t go anywhere. So, I took the Artifact quest and died. And died. And died. I couldn’t do it as a healer with some dps spells. I was very frustrated at myself, thinking I sucked.

Finally, I simply ported back to Dalaran (you get a special Dalaran hearthstone). To try to get some sight-seeing in, I jumped off the edge! And disconnected!

I can see why the developers didn’t want the Water Strider. My first instinct was to hop on my strider and go scooting around the edges of the zones; which I did.

Someone got Realm First in cooking! I had a good laugh at that.

We have new name plates. They look like the thin lines from Tidy Plates. I finally found how to turn them on after streaking through some mobs and (dying).

I got to Azuma, which I thought was a scaled zone but all the mobs had ?? for their levels and ran out and pwned me.

My dead body has a wisp over it in the ocean and it keeps disconnecting.

The transitions from area to area (even in Dalaran) can disconnect you; it’s very fragile right now.

It was fun. I’m glad I could help out Blizzard with their testing.

Two things I walk away with:
One, they have a lot of programming to do to smooth stuff out.
Two, I began to really feel that Warlords of Draenor is d-o-n-e.

xoxo




Blogs and the Beta (notes)

‚ÄúThis wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”
Dorothy Parker


Blogs and the Beta (notes).

My goodness! I have been all over the place today.

I visited Darkmoon Times which pointed me to Bubbles of Mischief with a posting on the Warcraft Movie perks. Even if you plan on taking a break from WoW before Legion, you’d want to log in during the initial movie release. Two Tmog pieces for horde, two Tmog pieces for alliance and one achievement for each! Pretty sweet!

Blizzard Watch stepped up to the plate with some heavy duty Alpha work looking into Legion: A snapshot of World Quests. It looks to be a bit daunting at first, 35 quest choices on the map! Yikes, my quest log only holds 25. We’ll tame that beast, I’m sure. I hope that we can share World Quests and party with a friend.


The Beta patch notes are up.

Only a few surprises: one looks to be a Catch-22.

  • Equipment limits on the amount of crafted gear that can be worn have been removed.
  • The Obliterum Forge, unlocked with a questline at level 110, will allow players to destroy their crafted gear and obtain Obliterum. Obliterum, in turn, can be used to make crafted gear more powerful.

Crafting and burning gear for the upgrade mats looks brutal.

I can’t find it now but tier sets will have a chance at six gear slots (to build a four piece set). Which slots will those six be? We do see that Legion cloaks, rings, and items worn on the neck are no longer tied to a specific primary stat, and will remain relevant between specializations., so; which pieces do we craft up? Those three?


Also; this caught my eye:

  • Characters can now change between any of their specializations at most any time for a progressive gold cost. Action bar configurations are saved for each specialization. As a result, Dual Specialization has been removed.
  • Characters can queue up as any role that is available to their class and will automatically switch to the suitable specialization when entering the Dungeon, Raid, Battleground, or Arena without any gold cost. For example, a paladin might be questing as Retribution but queue up in Dungeon Finder as a Tank. When the paladin enters the dungeon, they will automatically switch to Protection.

I don’t understand. Why would you be questing as a Ret Pally? Tanks and Healers have “meaningful” dps to quest with; why be in another spec — unless it is way (way) late in the game and you are leveling a second Artifact. Maybe that example is for playing in 2017: always good to think ahead.

I mean, really: are we being designed for playing in multiple specs or not? The rising cost of switching specs compounded with the long Artifact line makes me feel that I will be locked hard into one spec.


Uncle Wrath says: Always keep in mind that this is the beginning of Legion. There are patches planned ahead for massive changes, typically easing up on restrictions and ways for us to be more powerful.