Thursday, October 23, 2014

Garrisons and Professions: Spotlight on Alchemy and the Alchemy Lab

This post in one in a series of posts that will be in regards to garrisons and professions in Warlords of Draenor and how they interact with each other, and on their own.

Unlike previous expansions professions are much more involved this expansion, even if somewhat simplified at the same time.  Being tied to buildings in the garrisons it not only opens up more options but different options to either supplement a profession you already have or fill the role of a profession you do not have.

Note:  As warlords is still in beta, it is possible some of this information might change before the expansion is released.

Spotlight on Alchemy:

List or all materials you will need to make all items in your alchemy skill book:
MiscCrystal Vial.
Herbs: Fireweed, Starflower, Nagrand Arrowbloom, Talador Orchard, Frostweed.
Elements: Sorcerous Water, Sorcerous Fire.
Meat: Raw Talbuk Meat, Raw Clefthoof Meat, Raw Boar Meat.
Ore: True Iron Ore, Blackrock Ore.
Fish: Abyssal Gulper Eel Flesh, Blackwater Whiptail Flesh, Crescent Saberfish Flesh, Jawless Skulker Flesh, Fat Sleeper Flesh, Fire Ammonite Tentacle, Blind Lake Sturgeon Flash.
Herbs, oddly, not used for alchemy: Gorgrond Flytrap(catch up only), Chameleon Lotus.

Flasks:

Draenic Agility Flask: Increases agility by 200 for 1 hour.
1 - Crystal Vial, 4 - Fireweed
Greater Draenic Agility Flask: Increases agility by 250 for 1 hour. (creates 5)
5 - Draenic Agility Flasks, 1 - Sorcerous Water, 5 - Alchemical Catalyst
Draenic Intellect Flask: Increases intellect by 200 for 1 hour.
1 - Crystal Vial, 4 - Starflower
Greater Draenic Intellect Flask: Increases intellect by 250 for 1 hour. (creates 5)
5 - Draenic Intellect Flasks, 1 - Sorcerous Fire, 5 - Alchemical Catalyst
Draenic Strength Flask: Increases strength by 200 for 1 hour.
1 - Crystal Vial, 4 - Nagrand Arrowbloom
Greater Draenic Strength Flask: Increases strength by 250 for 1 hour. (creates 5)
5 - Draenic Strength Flasks, 1 - Sorcerous Fire, 5 - Alchemical Catalyst
Draenic Stamina Flask: Increases stamina by 250 for 1 hour.
1 - Crystal Vial, 4 - Talador Orchid
Greater Draenic Stamina Flask: Increases stamina by 375 for 1 hour. (creates 5)
5 - Draenic Stamina Flasks, 1 Sorcerous Water, 5 - Alchemical Catalyst

Stat Increasing Potions:

Draenic Agility Potion: Increases agility by 1000 for 25 seconds.
1 - Crescent Oil, 1 - Raw Talbuk Meat
Draenic Armor Potion: Increases armor by 1000 for 25 seconds.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 - True Iron Ore
Draenic Intellect Potion: Increases intellect by 1000 for 25 seconds.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 - Abyssal Gulper Eel Flesh
Draenic Strength Potion: Increases strength by 1000 for 25 seconds.
1 - Crescent Oil, 1 Raw Boar Meat

Other Potions:

Draenic Channeled Mana Potion: Restore (2550 *10) mana over 10 seconds and you can not move or take actions.
1- Crescent Oil, 1 - Raw Clefthoof Meat
Draenic Mana Potion: Restores 32300 - 35700 mana.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 - Blackwater Whiptail Flesh
Draenic Rejuvenation Potion: Restores 64600 - 71400 health and 16150 - 17850 mana.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 - Crescent Saberfish Flesh
Draenic Invisibility Potion:  Grants invisibility for 18 seconds.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 - Jawless Skulker Flesh
Draenic Living Action Potion:  Removes and grants a 3 second immunity to all movement and stun effects.
1 - Crescent Oil , 3 - Fat Sleeper Flesh
Draenic Swiftness Potion: Increases movement speed by 70% and swim speed by 200% for 8 seconds.
1- Crescent Oil, 3 Blackwater Whiptail Flesh
Pure Rage Potion: Instantly grant 75 rage. (warrior, druid only)
1- Crescent Oil, 3 - Fire Ammonite Tentacle

Elixirs:

Draenic Water Breathing Elixir: Grants underwater breathing for 1 hour.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 Abyssal Gulper Eel Flesh
Draenic Water Walking Elixir: Grants water walking for 10 minutes or until hit.
1 - Crescent Oil, 3 Blind Lake Sturgeon Flesh

Misc:

Transmorphic Tincture: Inverts gender of the drinker for a short time.
1 - Crescent Oil, 5 - Frostweed
Crescent Oil: Crafting Material
3 - Crescent Saberfish Flesh
Alchemical Catalyst: Crafting Material (1 day cooldown)
20 - Frostweed, 10 - Blackrock Ore
Secrets of Draenor Alchemy: Currency (1 day cooldown)
5 - Frostweed

Gear:

Draenic Philosopher's Stone: 620 item level, equitable at level 91 trinket, does NOT count toward the craft three gear limit. BoP.
5 - Alchemical Catalyst, 1 True Iron Ore

Learning Draenor Alchemy:

You will receive a quest early on from a draenei chest for alliance or a bladespire chest for horde that will start a quest line.  Once you've completed the small quest line you will receive A Treatise on the Alchemy of Draenor and Garrison Blueprint: Alchemy Lab, Level 1.

The Treatise, once clicked on and learned, will boost your maximum alchemy skill to 700 and will teach you all of the following skills. Alchemical Cataclysm and Secrets of Draenor Alchemy, which you should start doing immediately as they are cooldown abilities as well as Draenic Invisibility Potion, Draenic Living Action Potion, Draenic Mana Potion, Draenic Swiftness Potion, Pure Rage Potion, Draenic Water Breathing Elixir and Draenic Water Walking Elixir.

All other alchemy potions listed above but not listed as being learned from the treatise will need to be purchased with the currency you create from the daily cooldown for secrets of draenor alchemy.

If you have the alchemy lab in your garrison there will be Albert de Hyde (horde) and Mary Kearie (alliance) whom you can purchases the plans from right there in your alchemy lab.  If you do not have an alchemy lab on your garrison you can travel to your hub near ashran and purchase the plans there from Joshua Alverez (horde) or Katherine Joplin (alliance).

Once you have learned everything there is to learn, you can continue to make secrets of draenor alchemy to purchase a small pouch of coins.  It remains to be seen if this will be worthwhile come live but it is nice to see that there might still be a reason to keep doing the daily secret cooldown after the 27 days it would take to purchase all the recipes.

Spotlight on the Alchemy Lab:

This section will contain two parts.  One if you have alchemy as a profession, one if you do not.

If you have Alchemy as a Profession:

Level 1 Alchemy Lab:
Once you complete the small quest, mentioned above, that will award you the garrison blueprint for a level 1 alchemy lab and you will be able to build your alchemy lab.
A level 1 alchemy lab will take 1 hour to build and requires 150 gold and 50 garrison resources.
A level 1 alchemy lab allows you to produce 7 work orders at a time.

Level 2 Alchemy Lab:
A level 2 alchemy lab requires you to have a level 2 town hall.
A level 2 alchemy lab requires you to have set up your talador outpost or be level 96.
A level 2 alchemy lab will take 1 hour to build and requires 300 gold and 100 garrison resources.
A level 2 alchemy lab allows you to produce 14 work at a time.
A level 2 alchemy lab allows you to assign a follower with the alchemy trait to work at the lab.

The blueprints for the level 2 alchemy lab is available for purchase, after you meet the requirements listed above, from Rezlak (horde) or Sparz Bolttwist (alliance) in your garrison town hall for 750 gold.
Alternatively you can purchase the blueprints with an Outpost Building Assembly Notes item from Torgg Flexington (horde) or Kinkade Jakobs (alliance) at your ashran base.
Two copies of Outpost Building Assembly Notes can be obtained free from questing, and completing the outpost quest line, in Spires of Arak and Gorgrond.  This could effectively save you 1500 gold.

Level 3 Alchemy Lab:
A level 3 alchemy lab requires you to have a level 3 town hall.
A level 3 alchemy lab  requires you to have completed the [Working More Orders] achievement and be level 100.
A level 3 alchemy lab will take 1 hour to build and requires 500 gold and 300 garrison resources.
A level 3 alchemy lab will allow you to produce 21 work orders at a time.

The blueprints for the level 3 alchemy lab are available for purchase, after you meet the requirements listed above, from Rezlak (horde) or Sparz Bolttwist (alliance) in your garrison town hall for 1000 gold.

Work Orders:

Alchemy work orders require 5 frostweed to produce and each order takes 4 hours to finish.  It will award you with an alchemical catalyst and sometimes a sorcerous water or a sorcerous fire.  Having a higher level lab, which allows you to produce more work orders, means you need to log in to check less often.  Orders will stack up if you are not online for a while and you will not miss out on anything. So if you have a 21 order queue you would only need to collect your products and place new orders every 84 hours, which is three and a half days, making this fantastic for those alts you sometimes forget to log into.

Working Follower:

Once your alchemy lab reaches level 2 you will be allowed to assign a worker to help there.  The worker must have alchemy as a trait as not just any worker can be assigned to any building.  A follower working in any garrison building does not gain experience.  Consider leveling your follower first before placing them as a worker in one of your buildings.  Workers at the alchemy lab have a small chance to increase the materials you get when filling work orders, depending on their level, the higher the better of course.  Also, if you have a follower working at your alchemy lab you will receive a daily alchemy quest entitled Alchemy Experiment which will award you with 3-5 low value draenor alchemy potions or flasks.

Pros to having the profession:

Increased catalyst generation to make more flasks, chance for additional materials from work orders.

If you do not have Alchemy as a Profession:

Most things will remain the same with a few notable exceptions.
You will not be able to build an alchemy lab on your garrison until you level your town hall to level 2.
Once you have a level 2 town hall you learn all level 1 profession building blueprints, so do not worry that you were incapable of doing the quest.
You will be able to make all potions and all lesser flasks that an alchemist can make in your alchemy lab.
The potions will require you to have a level 2 alchemy lab to make them.
The lesser flasks will require you to have a level 3 alchemy lab to make them.
You will not be able to make any of the greater flasks.

Cons to not having alchemy profession:

No reason to do work orders because you can not make the greater flasks that require the catalysts that come from work orders.  As alchemical catalysts are bind on pick up you would be wasting resources to create something you have no use for.

Catching up or Switching to Alchemy in Warlords:

Even as a level 1 alchemist you can do the quest that will get you the alchemy lab plans for your garrison along with the treatise which when learned teaches you most of the alchemy potions.  Also, as a side bonus, even if you are a skill level 1, once you use the treatise you will attain a max level of 700, meaning no need to ever go back to train up again.

These potions, while being native to draenor do not need a high profession skill level to create.  This means you can level up from 1 to catching up, through making potions with just draenor based materials.

In addition to that there are many items you can find in the world that will help increase your alchemy and will speed you along up to skill level 600, where you will now be working on current content.  All drops that start these skill gaining quests by dropping these items require an alchemy skill level of 1, so you can start from the bottom up.  All of these are turned in at your garrison.

Cracked Potion Vial:  5 skill ups, up to a skill level of 600.
Requires: 5 - Fireweed, 5 - Talador Orchid
Impotent Healing Potion: 5 skill ups, up to a skill level of 600.
Requires: 4 - Talador Orchid
Unstable Elixir: 5 skill ups, up to a skill level of 600.
Requires: 4 - Talador Orcird, 4 - Gorgrond Flytrap
Unorganized Alchemist Notes: 5 skill ups, up to a skill level of 600.
Requires: 8 - Frostweed

Did you find this post useful?
Would you like to see more like this for other professions and garrisons buildings?
Is there anything you think should be added/updated?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Leveling in Warlords as a Hunter

I have played all three specs on the beta and done at least some questing in all three specs.  While it will always come down to one thing, which spec you personally enjoy the best, I am going to offer my personal observations and opinions of leveling as a hunter on the beta.  I try to level effectively so the way I judge it will of course be based on that.  Once again I will say, level as what you want to level as all three specs are viable for leveling.

Marksmen:

Pros: With its long and powerful shots marksman can make quick work of mobs in just a few shots.  Being it is the current best spec damage wise it is also the best spec to down the rares, seemingly hundreds of them, that you will encounter while leveling.  For leveling, with thrill for cheaper aimed shots and stampede for rare mob burst marksman can really do a good job of making it a smooth and easy trip to 100.

Cons:  With its long shots, while powerful, you could find yourself slowed down some.  Until you get kill shot at 35% you would never have a use for that powerful and free cast either.  The mastery, which is designed for standing still, goes against everything that has ever been held true for hunter leveling and that is that you keep moving all the time.  Sure, you will not lose much while moving, but it still feels off to do so when you are on a class that should be standing still.  Add to that the complete lack of instants, which make tab and shoot for mass tagging and pulling impossible, you do not really have many of the tools that make hunter leveling so fun.

Opinion: Leveling as marksmen will be slower than either of the other specs.  If efficiency is what you are looking for, you will not find it here.  Even as the top DPS spec it is not enough to even be worth considering as a leveling spec because DPS does not matter when the difference will be killing something in 13 seconds or 15 seconds.  The power of the instant casts that the other two specs offer dwarf anything MM might have to offer by a long shot.

Beast Mastery:

Pros: Your pet, duh.  One of the biggest pros of being a BM hunter while leveling is that your pet is powerful, does most of the work, can hold aggro better, and can hold more mobs at once.  With the mix of having instants for mass pulling, multi shot for beast cleave which will help your pet with aggro, and the powerful pet which kinds of sums up its usefulness, BM has always been a formidable leveling spec for hunters.  BM also still has burst which will help with rares out in the world which you will run across a lot of.

Cons:  Your pet, really.  If you are a full normal (now heroic) mode geared hunter even at the least your pet can one shot mobs up to and occasionally past level 94 even in survival and marksmen spec.  Imagine what it will do in beast mastery and if you have heroic (now mythic) gear.  It will one shot more mobs.  And do not even consider blink strikes as a skill while leveling as BM.  Remember, if your pet kills something before you damage it you get no experience, no loot and no quest credit for the kill.  Blink strikes along with your powerful pet will ensure that you are killing a lot of mobs and getting nothing from them.  So your powerful pet might actually slow things down instead of speed them up if you are well geared to begin with in the first few levels.

Opinion:  If you are willing to micro manage your pet, or are coming into warlords with an item level of 520 or so, BM can and will be the best spec to level through warlords with.  It has all the pros mentioned and the cons won't be as bad.  You might still loose some mobs here and there to the pet killing it before you touch it, but it will be less likely at lower gear levels and while trying to manage your pet.  So weigh that with how you like to level.  If you do not mind watching your pet like a hawk it is great, if you just want to kill everything in your range it might not.

Survival:

Pros: From a DPS standpoint survival is dead last.  It does not have the power of MM or the burst of BM.  All of that sounds like a con right?  Absolutely not.  For leveling survival uses its shortcomings at 100 to its advantage.  Even more so if you have the four piece set, which can and will last you all the way to 100 if you have the normal (now heroic) or better version of it.  Survival has a fair deal of instants, has a steady and consistent damage flow and AoE DoT damage along with its pet being weaker than a beast mastery pet which makes it less likely to kill mobs so quick without you hitting it.  This makes AoE mob grinding so much easier.  Sure you will not have MMs power against rares or BMs burst against rares, but all rares out in the world can just as easily be soloed as survival even if it is at a more steady and even flowed pace without the big numbers or burst damage.  Add to the fact that survival has survivalist which heals you whenever you kill a target that grants honor or experience.  This will keep you healed up nicely should you take any damage. 

Cons: You won't have any on demand burst, you won't be able to let your pet do all the work against the larger mobs, you won't be killing things as fast as you might be able to be killing them in other specs, you don't have any hard hitting shots, and you don't have any execute like kill shot.  Looking at it from those stand points it sure seems like survival is lacking over all, which is probably because it is really lacking in all those things I mentioned.

Opinion: With many instants, many heals, and the luck of the proc on the four piece set, this makes survival the unequaled leveling machine when compared to the other specs.  It can keep moving, it can keep pulling, and if it gets itself in danger and takes a little damage you never really need to worry about it.  The pet can still hold aggro well enough with MD, you can still kill rares well enough, and you can DoT the world with all those instants which will make questing, and completing quests with all that competition so much easier.

Suggested leveling specs in Warlords:

Skills for all three specs while leveling (not 100):
Post Haste (speed boost), Binding Shot (control), Spirit Bond (healing), Thrill of the Hunt (more instants), Stampede (burst), Glaive Toss (instant)

1st: Survival:  Instants, healing and DoTs.
2nd: Beast Mastery:  Burst and pets.
3rd: Marksmen: Slow and strong.

 What will you be leveling as?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

3 Ways to Fix the New and Lacking Group Finder

Blizzard introduced a new group finder in the game which is a fantastic tool, in theory, but was implemented not only lacking in ability and usefulness, but seemingly more of an in development stage than a completed product.  It doesn't even seem as far along as a beta and most definitely not something that should have been released to the general public yet.  It is not a complete tool and could be leaps and bounds better, but I have some suggestions that might make it so.

1) Sorting:

The new group finder has only been out for a week and I am already beyond sick and tired of looking through it for what I want.  If I am looking for a pug on my hunter, which at the moment is 578, I do not want to be joining groups that have a 499 item level requirement for SoO heroic (never mind why anyone thinks you can do it with a group of 499 people).  I would prefer to get a group that is filled with like geared players for a quick kill.  It would be nice to have an option to show only groups that have a 570+ item level requirement to join.

Instead I have to page through group after group after group with 499 requirements, 580 requirements, and other such things that are completely useless to me.  I am not going to join the 499 group any more than I would be capable of joining the 580 group because I do not fit in with either one of them.  I do not fit in the lower one because it is not my intention to carry a bunch of under geared people and I do not fit in the 580 because to them I am under geared and I am sure they are not looking to carry me.  Now, who is capable of playing their class gets put to the side here, because you really can not tell skill by an item level, but the chances of success usually, but not always, go up with the higher the item level people have.  So even if I consistently beat people in 585 or better gear, if a 580 group were to take me, a 578, they would still call it carrying me as I was below their requirement.  Hence the reason I do not fit there either.

So for sorting option one, item level.  Something like the auction house where you put the levels you want to search for gear for, I could out 570-578 requirements to sort them out and only see groups looking for that.

For the next part of sorting, I think there should be an option to search for what people are looking for.  I tried to snag a group on my healer the other day and once again was wasting my time paging through junk listing after junk listing trying to find groups that needed healers.  I even went so far as to type healer in the search bar and looked that way but for some odd reason it still showed me whatever the hell it wanted to.  Even listings that did not have the word healer listed anywhere.

So for sorting option two, role.  So if I wanted to heal it I could look for groups that were in need of a healer only.  No need to show me group after group that are full on healers and only need tanks.

Another thing was seeing all these groups that were for normal or mythic.  I have no need, nor desire, to do normal.  I also just wanted a quick run, not to possibly work progression with a group.  Not that I am adverse to that, but on a night I just want to put in some killing time for quick loot and a shot at an heirloom, learning the fights with a group of strangers that do not want to use voice chat is not exactly my idea of a good time.  I just want to do a quick, hopefully garrosh only, heroic kill and be gone.

So for sorting option three, difficulty.  I don't understand why this one was not baseline without even thinking about it.  How did this go live without a sort by difficulty option, seriously.  It is so unrealistic that it went live without one that there might be one and I just never noticed, if that is the case, they should make it more noticeable.

On each of my characters I am looking for different things.  My shaman of course wants the shaman gear, so getting a group at shamans would be nice.  One hunter needs nothing from normal, so a garrosh only kill would be nice.  Another hunter is in all mythic gear except for my two trinkets, so a sha, shaman or siegecrafter might be nice to start with.  My priest needs a helm that will just never drop so a thok starting point would be a decent place to be because I could use a tier piece too.  You get the idea.  Sure I could start anywhere and work with the group to get to the bosses I want, but why not look for a group that is on the boss I want first, to see if I do not need to work the previous bosses with a group of strangers.

So for sorting option four, on boss.   If I want to start at shaman, let me put that as a search option, to only show groups that are on shaman right now and recruiting for that.  Sure it might end up being a very short list looking for a boss in the middle, but it would not hurt for me to start my search there.  And if I find nothing for me I can step back to willing to start at jug, or willing to start at gal, or, well, you get the idea.

Loot option are important too.  I can not tell you the number of times I saw someone leaving the group and they post something like, leaving group because of loot setting master looter.  Is that some sort of addon?  I see it so often.  Some people will not join a group with master looter.  Some will not join a group without master looter to stop ninjas and hoping the master looter is paying attention and not going to give a DPS trinket to the tank as a main spec roll, or something like that.  Now with the addition of the personal loot setting I am sure we will see many people that would prefer that in the pug setting.

So for sorting option five, loot setting.  It just makes sense if you want no drama in a pug to use the personal loot option.  It seems like it was created with pugs in mind.  So why not give us a way to sort just by that.

2) Search:

There is a search bar, yes, but it doesn't work at all as I mentioned earlier.  Like when I was looking for garrosh only groups that were on garrosh and I typed to search for garrosh it gave me so many groups that were not even on garrosh, near garrosh or even had the word garrosh anywhere in their description.  That is not how a search is supposed to work. 

The sort option will surely help some there.  But not for everything.  A better search option would be nice even if the sort option would really fix a lot of the issues.  I know people hate doing belts, I can do them and I am used to doing them, so I figured maybe if I search for a group that needed someone for belts I could get an instant invite.  So I typed belts and got a ton of results.  Not even one of them had anything to do with belts.

A fully functional search feature that actually works like a true search should would be a nice addition to the group finder.  The one in game now does not even remotely come close to working, as I said, this release of the group finder isn't even as quality as a beta release would be.  When not even the search option works, the system needs work.

3) Solo Listing:

One of the best things about the group finder this group finder replaced was that you could list your name and be invited instead of having to search for a group and wait in the hopes they will accept your request to join.  The solo listing option was also perfect for groups for world bosses which were more of a "come one come all" sort of thing.  People would list their names under ordos and just wait for an invite.  No need to search for an ordos group, just list and sooner or later you will get an invitation.

I can see why for something like heroic raids and mythic raids this option would not be as good because you can't just randomly invite everyone to it like you can to a celestial kill, but it still serves a purpose in game to have this option to just throw your name out there and wait for it to stick somewhere. I am honestly baffled why they removed this in favor of what we now have and did not incorporate it into what we now have so we had both options.  It makes absolutely no sense.

I wanted to find a celestial group on my mage, still never got the gloves, and it took me a while to find a group looking for people.  When I did find a group it was with 5 people, no thank you.  When I finally found a second one it had 1 person in it.  Third one I found, 1 person in it.  I eventually found a group, on my very own server thank you very much, but this shows you one of the reasons that just listing your name would be better.  While I might not have requested to join the 5 person one and most definitely would have never requested to join the 1 person groups, if my name was listed, along with dozens of others, and I was invited to a group with only one person, I would sit and wait knowing it would fill in because you had a list of people to invite instead of having to wait for people to ask to join.  Most people will not ask to join an empty or near empty group, but once there are a few people they might request to join but getting that few people is hard because who requests to join an empty group?  Starting a group like this would be harder, in my opinion, when compared to having people solo list and just sending them invites.

I looked around for about 30 minutes trying to find a group for my shaman healer.  It is only a 556 item level being I have not really played it much this expansion, but I was looking for a group that needed a healer.  After paging through so many things, which once again sort will help fix this problem, I got tired of looking for a group and just gave up.  I would have so much rathered list my name in the system saying 556 healer looking for garrosh only and then I can go around and do other things instead of wasting my time looking through a million groups to never find one that was where I wanted or the item level acceptable for me.

This is where solo listing works and is a good thing.  Not only just for celestial groups or ordos groups, even if that is more so where they excel.  It allows people to throw their name in the mix and actually "play" the game instead of sitting there looking for groups and asking for invites.  I would mush rather be out farming warbringers while waiting for an invite on my hunter from the solo listing than spending those 30 minutes looking for a group myself.  Call it lazy, because it is, but I call it an option.  If I choose to list my name and then hope for an invite, shouldn't it be my choice?

End Note:

There are probably more suggestions out there that could make the group finder better but the fact of the matter is that in the current release it is just not really as useful of a tool as it is capable of being.  It is severely lacking.  It feels like a half release, a not ready for prime time release, and over all unfinished product.  Lets hope blizzard does not leave it this way and by warlords it actually becomes a more useful and effective tool, because I don't know about you, but I love, absolutely love, the idea of having the ability in game to assemble groups. 

The only problem I see is that come warlords we can not do mythic with a group like that, which, in my option, kind of defeats the purpose of the system.  I can raid heroic all I want with my guild.  Being my server is not a very progressed server, if I want more progression, I need to group with other people from other servers and I would like to be able to do mythic with them.  I do not want to leave my guild and switch servers just to play the game.  I should be able to do so on whatever server I am on, and that means mythic groups should be capable of being formed this way.

There is one other issue I would love to touch on that I know I have heard many concerns over already and I tend to agree with them.  Having people ask for permission to join a group and then possibly getting denied or ignored is not good for player morale.  Yes, I too would decline a bad player or someone that came off as the might be one, but I can see that player after getting denied over and over getting down on themselves and possibly quitting the game.  It is not good for the community for people to constantly be told no.  Even if they are being told no for the right reason.  Sooner or later, they will just stop trying.  The solo listing would help with this, it would decrease the feeling of being turned down that would turn off some people, upset others, and make even some quit the game because they feel as if they are alone in what is supposed to be an MMO.  Either way, it just points out another reason why the system they put in place is a bad system with a good idea in it current implementation.

Do you like the new group finder?  Do you think it can be better?  If so, how?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts

- I had a very mount filled week.

- It began with the patch where I got the three other mounts from the challenge mode silvers.

- I was happy just with that, 3 more added to my mount collection.

- Then that day, when doing my weekly easy raid route the azure drake fell from EoE 25 finally.

- It has been easy to do for a long time, but I am still glad to take it off my list.

- Even if it was usually one shot and dead once we got to the last mounted phase, the fight was still annoying.

- But it does not end there for me, my week would see more than 4 new mounts.

- While on my horde hunter killing some time waiting to find a decent raid group I was killing some stuff in the vale as well and got my final shy shard to drop.

- I was not even AoE pulling and grinding like I normally do.

- I was just leisurely walking around killing one at a time as I came across them.

- I must have spent well over 100 hours game time grinding for those 10 shards.

- If you add up all the time I leveled there, did dailies there and just flat out grinded for them.

- Heck it might be more.

- So I broke alani's shield and collected my thundering ruby cloud serpent.

- That gives me five mounts so far for the week.

- While doing stonecore over and over I hit the 10 instance lockout and got stuck on the loading screen.

- It would not let me in, it would not kick me out.

- So I had to log into another character, but I could not go into an instance with them because the 10 per hour is shared across characters.

- Which sucks but I understand why.

- So I figured I would see if I can build a mount.

- I only ever built one of the helicopters so I figured I would build the other.

- I had most everything needed but the hula doll and some additional fel iron needed to make felsteel for the felsteel stabilizers.

- So I went to BC to farm up some.

- One guild mate said, why don't I just buy some off the auction house.

- I said, because I have an hour to kill until I can go back to mount grinding.

- And because I do not waste gold when I can get something myself.

- That is the reason you have never seen over 10k gold and I have alts I don't even play with over 100K sitting on them.

- I don't waste gold buying grossly over priced items I can get with a few minutes of my own time.

- So my miner wasted about 30 minutes, would have spent more but I was only doing this to waste some time, flying around and got more than enough for what I needed.

- I made the bars, converted them to felsteel, mailed them to my engineer, made the fel steel into stabilizers and I made my second helicopter.

- Still have not made the two engineering mounts from this expansion yet.

- And yes I do have both a goblin and a gnomish engineer that can make each so I could do both myself.

- I just do not look forward to spending 20K now, because we lost the guild perk, per orb at a rate of 3 orbs per to make them.

- I'll wait for some fool to put one on the auction house for 30K, which has happened before.

- Love, as a buyer, when people put things on the AH for much less than half what they even cost to make.

- So the mount count for the week is up to 6 mounts.

- Can I make it to 7?

- A friend asked me to show him where to tame chimaeron, so when I was capable of zoning into an instance again I took a break to help him do that.

- After doing that it occurred to me that I only needed one more achievement for glory of the cataclysm raider.

- I never managed to get four play, so I might as well go nab that and get another mount.

- Not to mention that Al'Akir has a chance to drop a mount too.

- So I went and knocked that one out quick even if I wasn't sure if I was doing the achievement right but I got it.

- Ding, mount number 7 for the week.

- Too bad he did not drop the mount, that would have been 8.

- But I am not about to complain at all.

- I had a very good week for mounts, wouldn't you say?

- On one of my solo character servers, as in a server I only have one character on, I decided to do a little cleaning up.

- I purchased my reagents tab and hit deposit all.

- It filled nearly every slot of the reagent tab.

- We can not have that can we?

- Not after I have said over and over we will need a lot of space for warlords.

- So you know what that means right?

- Auction house time.

- I cleared out my reagents tab completely, as in there is no longer one single thing in it.

- I had everything I collected over the years in there.

- 1 mage royal, 3 peacebloom, 17 heavy leather, 66 rugged leather, 3 tigers eye, 8 rhino meat, 20 golden dater, you name it, I had everything I had run across over the years of playing sitting there.

- I put it all on the auction house.

- Listed 138 auction, not with the intention to make a lot of gold, but with the intention to clean out my bags.

- And of course make more money than just vendoring the stuff would give.

- 24 hours later I collect the 14 auctions that did not sell and nearly 5K gold.

- I'd have to say that was a stunning success in clearing out the junk.

- I finally got my heirloom from heroic for my hunter.

- Sadly I needed to get the 100% drop rate buff to do it.

- Got a normal one and a heroic one.

- To bad I really do not have any more hunters for them.

- I guess that means I need to get to 90 with another one now right?

- Almost all my hunters have a better than heroic garrosh loom.

- Yeah, I think I will level another hunter, maybe.

- Also got my rogue a heroic heirloom this week.

- That brings me from a 502 weapon to a 569 weapon.

- Think that might help my DPS some?

- Have to get some other characters through there to take advantage of this 100% drop rate.

- Sadly the only characters I have over the 570 mark that everyone asks for are 3 hunters, a priest and a druid, and I save 4 of the 5 for possible guild runs.

- Which means I need to get some of my lower geared ones into raids.

- And when you do not know someone and all you have to go off of is an item level, no one will ever give you a chance to get into a group.

- Makes me feel bad for some people like newer players without a base team to build with.

- They could be great players but because of their item level you would never notice it.

- Finding a group in game for stuff is horrible now.

- The in game finder now sucks huge moose balls.

- People need to make a group and you have to request to join.

- I plan a post how HORRIBLE of an idea this is for some people.

- It is a good addition, sure, but they should have left the other way in too.

- Where you list your name and people invite you from that.

- Why not have both?

- Because that would make way to much sense for blizzard to do.

- I do not like the new in game group finder.

- I do not like it at all.

- While looking for groups I found at least a dozen listed "LF something" and when I hovered over it the instance was done.

- Excuse me?

- Once the instance is done, why is it still listed there?

- Blizzard coding error?  Group leader error?  Trolling?

- I never made a group, so I am not sure which is which.

- Finding a celestial group is a nightmare with that now.

- I looked for one of my characters yesterday and there were 2 groups.

- One with 17 people, all DPS, and one with 1 person, 1 DPS.

- So you know what that means?

- I did not ask to join any of them.

- Whereas with the old way, I could list my name and just get an invite.

- For me, I do not want to join a group I do not see ready to go.

- But if I was sent an invite to a group not ready to go I would not know until I joined it, and once I was in it I would stay being I am there.

- They need to old way back, in addition to the new way, or their new group finder will be nothing more than a spectacular failure.

- I must say some of the custom groups were... interesting.

- Epic dance party.  Lowbie farming.  Naked leveling.  And my favorite and most confusing, headless horseman.

- Why create a group for something there is a random group finder for?

- Just queue for it dude.

- But frogs, oh my god frogs, there had to be 10,001 groups for frogs.

- Try finding a frog alive on any server, even completely dead ones.

- Blizzard made another one of their, becoming expected, huge mistakes.

- Changing it so upgrades come from lesser charms and then having only one place to get lesser charms at a reasonable rate was not exactly what I call a good idea.

- Blizzard needed to make make more places to farm lesser charms.

- Even up where ordos is, which is always filled with mobs because even now most people can not handle them, there were groups fighting over spawns.

- Everything was dead.

- Blizzard, if you wanted lesser charms to fill an important role, even for only a month, you should have added a reliable way to get them.

- How about all those things you removed valor from, add lesser charms too.

- 200 lesser chrams for the epoch stone quest.

- 7 for a daily.

- 80 for a dungeon.

- Instead of creating an extremely hostile environment that the frog area creates.

- People talk about toxic community, well, blizzard helps stir the pot with things like this.

- They know if they put everyone in the same place fighting over the same thing in limited supply that it would create a hostile gaming environment and they still did it.

- So while the blame goes on us for acting poorly as people, it should also go on blizzard for creating that situation and allowing it to happen.

- I did the warlords entry quest in the blasted lands on 6 characters so far.

- Plan to do it on all of them at some point and save the pet for selling later.

- If it is indeed removed from the game it will be worth a lot more than the 20g it is going for now later on.

- Just think what the vampiric batling would go for now if you could sell it?

- Of course this is more plentiful than that one was, and pets are a huge deal now as opposed to then, so there are more people collecting them, but the theory is still the same.

- If you can stock up on a one time only pet to sell 2 years later, go for it.

- I know I will.

- I managed one bronze dragonling so far.

- I tried farming for it, even after killing everything in the blasted lands including all the elites, and getting none, I decided against it.

- If I get some extras while doing the quest, cool, if not, it is not being removed from the game, so no big deal really.

- I got my one, so I am happy.

- I did the hallow ends routes and got both my pets and my toy already.

- So I am done with hallows end once again.

- I thought about getting a few extras of the new pets but after seeing the time involved in doing that, it is just not worth it.

- But, if you were to do it, do pandaria and northrend only.

- It will get you 150 easy and it is quickest.

- And then buy one extra pet with each 90 that you can.

- Maybe I will do that later.

- I am still missing some addons from being updated.

- I love the addon people and it might be wrong to ask for them to hurry up, but, hurry up guys. lol

- Addons spoil me.

- I swear I want to rip out my speakers when soloing spine of deathwing.

- I soloed it a few times this week on different hunters and I wiped at least once on all of them.

- Not because it is hard, but because I end up losing my freaking mind from hearing the countdown and make some sort of mistake.

- One character on my first attempt I got to the last tendon and was beating on it and got blown off as the killing blow landed.

- I thought I had time, I thought as soon as it died it would be okay, I thought wrong.

- For the records, it is still a wipe even if I did finish the fight and break the last tendon.

- Saw the last panel start to fly off, the screen switch like it does to start the cut scene, and then my dead body was on the ship.

- How cheap is that?

- It is like the week I killed yogg 3 times in a row and died as he died and kept having to do it again.

- I don't care if I die as the boss dies, if the boss is dead it is over even if I die.

- I should not need to do it again.

- Did LK to see if you can skip by dreamwalker now, yes you can.

- Oddly enough the only boss I had any problems with on in 25H was PP.

- Everything else was easy enough.

- Did ulduar to see if you could run the hall and not be killed on thorim, you can.

- I did so much soloing this week it was insane.

- Not even counting alts which soloed a bunch as well, my main soloed (or helped someone with) 20 raids this week.

- I did not even know there were 20 raids in the freaking game.

- It sure does not seem like that are that many, until you look at your raid lockout list.

- A few were for mount runs (ICC, DS, etc) , a few where to help others (BWD, ToC, etc), and a few were for fun (BoT, RS, etc).

- Basically I ran nearly every raid in the game this weekend.

- It is a decent money maker.

- They might have nerfed gold drops, but the gear still sells well and even the gray gear sells nicely.

- I am sitting at 241 mounts and 87 toys.

- I am wondering, can I get to the 250 and 100 numbers before the expansion comes out?

- I guess that all depends on how well the RNG lords want to treat me.

- Or how much gold I want to spend.

- There are a fair deal of toys and mounts on the AH I can buy.

- Not enough to get me to the 250 and 100 numbers, but they will get me closer.

- I might go that route, if I am really really close and it will get me there.

- Otherwise it comes down to collecting.

- And I think I am out of toys I can just go and get.

- So now it is a couple of drop ones, and waiting until holiday events come and the new expansion comes.

- The mount one seems more attainable.

- But the RNG gods need to shine on me.

- I love you RNG gods.

- Be nice to me.

- Think they will buy that, did I sounds sincere?

- Have a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Return to the Argent Tournament

As soon as warlords is released it will become the 4th expansion in which I will be visiting the argent tournament.  That means that content created in the wrath of the lich king has managed to pass the test of time better than anything blizzard has created since.

From the beginning when I did the argent tournament when it first came out because that is what we do as game player, to the second expansion where I went there, which was cataclysm, and did some dailies to get some pets to sell and to collect all the mounts, to the third expansion I went there, mists of pandaria, where I continued going there for pets, and come warlords which will be the 4th expansion I will be going there, again for pets, but with even more reason, should I want to build up some chaimpion seals if I ever want to buy some heirlooms they offer and to get all the banners from there that are now part of the toy box, and as a collector, that means I need to go get that.

Could it be that the argent tournament is quite possibly the absolute best questing hub ever released in the game in terms of lasting content?

Yes, the fact might be I could have got all those things way back in wrath.  I could have gotten the mounts back then, could have gotten the pets back then, could have gotten the toys back then, and I could have purchased all the heirlooms with justice before they were removed.  So basically you could say that it offers nothing more than it did in wrath, and you would be right.  And that is part of what makes it so amazing.  Nothing has been added to it since it was released and there is still, for most people, plenty of reason to still keep going back there many years later.

It is what it offered, and how it offered it, that makes it something that, in a game where content is fleeting, it is a lasting part of the game for so many people.

Nothing at the argent tournament was required when it first came out really and most definitely nothing now.  I doubt a great many needed the gear from there when it first came out and I am sure, unless for transmog reasons, there is no one that needs the gear from there now.  Everything the argent tournament offers was something that might have been desired by a person, but was not required for optional game play.

So with a massive amount of things that could tickle the fancy of nearly every type of player and the limited ability to get champion seals to only a handful per day, even if it is a generous handful, it kept people coming back.

In wrath I picked up my argent squire with my seals and then added the birdie, which I still suggest everyone make the effort to earn, it is cool to have a pet with the utility that the argent squire with the birdie offers.  I purchased some pets back then and I would sell them on the auction house.  They were a great way to make a little extra gold.  I did, of course, buy the silver covenant mount, a hippogryph, because it is a hippogryph, and it looks awesome.  And the pet, I bought the silver covenant pet as well.  I never really bought too much otherwise, just pets to sell after I got what I wanted.

When cataclysm came out and there was a new mount achievement I saw myself looking for some mounts to get so I could reach the next mount achievement.  It seemed that the argent tournament mounts were the only reputation mounts I never purchased.  Most likely because I was busy spending my seals on pets to sell instead of on mounts.  But throughout cataclysm I always went back there when I had some free time to knock out a few quests and build up some seals.  Over the course of the expansion, with no rushing really, I managed to get all the mounts offered from the argent tournament.

With mists and the addition of pet battles, buying those argent pets for resale was something different.  Before I did it because pet collectors wanted it.  Because getting ones from the other faction could prove hard, because people liked pets.  Now I was doing it because people wanted to battle pets.  They were no longer just collectors, they were fighters.  And unlike in the past were people would save up over time and wait to get a pet, when pet battlers need their pet, they want their pet.  Which, for the person selling it, can be a very good way to make money.  So thorough out mists, when I had some time here and there, I would pop by the argent tournament and do a few quests to save up for a pet.

With the addition of 6.0.2 I find myself, once again, looking at doing the tournament dailies.  It will not take long to get the toys from there for my toy box.  They only sell for 15 seals each and you get more than 15 seals a day, so I will be done with it rather quickly and if I do not slack off it will most definitely be before warlords actually launches, but the thought still sits there.  Warlords will be the 4th expansion that the argent tournament is valuable content for.

People will be going back to get mounts, if they hadn't already, pets, if they want to, toys, to fill their toy box, gear, for transmog, and now heirloom gear that they need to save up for and not just grind one day and buy it, like with justice, or open their wallet and purchase it, like with guild heirlooms.

If you want these things from the argent tournament, you will need to spend some time at the argent tournament.  If you want the mounts and banners you will need to not only get that specific base faction to exalted, but you will need to champion them.  At a slow, but still moving nicely, rate of quest progression and seal collection, the argent tournament can take a fair deal of your time up.  You will not open it all up over one day, or one week, but maybe one month.  You will need to get all your factions base members at exalted, which means that the argent tournament might actually send you back to do other content, as well as sending you back, to itself, in the past, where it still remains as relevant as any content released today.

There is something to be said about a quest hub that remains largely unchanged and has been given no new short cuts to play catch up, that still remains active.  Still remains important to so many people that are after something, be it mounts or toys or pets or heirlooms.  And it keeps you coming back over and over and over to continue collecting seals.

As we enter warlords, I am returning to wrath once again.  Say what you want about wrath or the argent tournament, but actions speak louder than words.  Just go see how many people are there on a regular basis as testament to how well the content has lasted.  Now that is how to design content to last.

So what is it that has made the argent tournament remain content that people have actively played in four consecutive expansions?  Could it be because it has so much to offer?  Could it be because it takes some time to progress through it and open it all up?  Could it be that the currency comes in a smaller limited supply that keeps you coming back?  Could it be because some of the items you could turn around and sell on the auction house?  Or could it be because it was the first, and only, time that blizzard ever designed a quest hub just right?  Maybe it is a little bit of all of them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Some FAQs From Day One of 6.0.2

Here are just some randomly thrown together questions I was asked last night more than a few times.  I figured I would try to collect them so maybe some people might find the answer they are looking for.  As it seems, these are things people did not know about, understand, or were just unsure of.  Maybe I can help.  Warning: anything can change and I could be wrong, but my answers here are accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Hunter Specific:

Q: Where did my serpent sting go?
A: Serpent sting is not only available to survival hunters.  It is a passive and automatically applied to all targets you hit with an arcane shot or a multi shot.

Q: What happened to stampede?
A: It is now a talent on the same row as a murder of crows and blink strikes and at the moment it is not useful for any spec in terms of raiding.

Q: Is stampede completely useless now?
A: Not at all.  Stampede is still a great burst cooldown but over the course of any real amount of time, like in a raid, the other abilities will pass it in effectiveness but if you are out in the world killing rares or something that will go down quickly, as in 20 or 30 seconds max, than stampede is still a great choice for its burst damage.

Q: So now that scatter shot is gone does that mean I need to get better at targeting my traps in PvP?
A: While getting better at targeting is not a bad idea, do not worry too much.  For the sole purpose of the scatter trap situation the range of traps has been greatly increased meaning you do not need to be perfectly accurate as you were before hand.  Sadly for all other applications the loss of scatter shot does suck.

Q: Which spec is best now?
A: At the moment, and it seems at level 100, marksman is the way to go for the best numbers.  However that can change if any last minute adjustments are made, but I would not expect it to change much at level 90, if at all.

Q: Should I quit playing a hunter, they suck now?
A: That is completely up to you.  I will not quit using mine.  If it ends up being that bad I will raid on a different character, but my hunter will always be my main as long as I am playing the game.  So really, only you can answer that question.  How much you do love playing a hunter?

Q: Can I solo XXX now?
A: Give it a try.  Sometimes soloing is about skill, sometimes it is about power.  I will tell you that you have a hell of a lot more power than you used to when going to old content.

Raiding:

Q:  How can I just join a flex 4 group?
A: You can't.  There is no such thing as flex any longer, it is now referred to as normal.  With that change it means it is treated just like a normal raid and you must start at the beginning and zone in through the entrance.  You can still join a group at later bosses, but you will need to travel there or be summoned.

Q: If I got an heirloom on flex but never on normal can I get the 100% change drop one on normal now?
A: Yes.  Your flex one is now a normal one and the normal one you want is now a heroic one.  But you will get a 100% chance of getting a weapon for each raid level.  So if you have never got one on normal (now heroic) you will have a 100% chance to get it if you kill garrosh.

Q: Is the 100% drop per account, per character, or unlimited?
A: Every character on every account on every difficulty will have a 100% chance to get the BoA weapon if they have never received one on that difficulty before.  Once you get on on that specific character for that specific difficulty, you can still get another but at the normal, very small, drop rate chance.

Q: So I can't do mythic 10 man?
A: No, the days of arguing 10 vs 25 are over.  Mythic, the highest level of difficulty in game, is now a single group size of 20.  So your 10 man will need to recruit more people if you want to do mythic.

Q: If I just did heroic (normal) can I pug into a mythic group?
A: Yes.  LFR, normal, heroic and mythic are all separate lockouts now.  So if you do one with guild you can pug the other if you wish.

Q: So what are the raid sizes and difficulties now?
A: LFR is completely unchanged, it is still LFR for 25 people.  Flex is now referred to as normal and can be anywhere from 10 to 30 people.  Normal is now referred to as heroic and is now also flexible and can be anywhere from 10 to 30 people.  Heroic is now referred to as mythic and is a strict 20 player format.

Q: Holy crap my gear says heroic and I've never done heroic, is that a bug?
A: Nope, not a bug.  That just means your gear is normal gear and being normal is now called heroic, your normal gear is now heroic gear.

General:

Q: I hate my new face, can I change it without paying real money?
A: Sure you can.  As long as you trust your local barber shop gnome or goblin with scissors.  They took some classes in plastic surgery and will gladly reconstruct your face for a nominal fee.

Q: Where did this gold in my mail come from?
A: Justice points and valor points were removed from the game and converted to gold at a rare of 47 silver per point.

Q: Is it safe to delete toys that I already know?
A: Yes, it is safe.  If you want to be sure click on it and when you do not learn it you are now sure and you can delete it.

Q: This mob just two shot me, is that intended?
A: Maybe yes, maybe no.  Is it something you could normally kill easy enough?  If so make a bug report with the name of the mob and explain that you used to kill it easily and now it two shots you.  Some stat squish problems are around and they will fix them as they are reported.  If it is something that used to two shot you, it most likely still will.

Q: Where is the reagents tab?
A: You will have an additional tab at the bottom of your bank.  Click on that and you can buy the use of the tab for 100 gold, well worth it if you ask me.

Q: I learned my toy and it disappeared. and Where are my toys?
A: Your toys are now in the same place where your mounts and pets are.  It is an added tab there which you can click on.  You can use your toys directly from there or drag the ones you like to your action bar for easy access.

Q: What happened with all the things I used to buy with valor / justice?
A: Most of them were converted to be purchasable with gold, like the justice gear and valor gear.  Some stuff was removed from the game like justice heirlooms and wrath commendations.

Q: Where can I get heirlooms from now being the vendor for justice is gone?
A: You can by them from the argent tournament and from the darkmoon fair.  However this will take considerable more time collecting the needed currency and some heirlooms are not available from them at all.

Q: Will the heirlooms removed ever be added back to the game?
A: Blizzard said they will at some point but don't hold your breath waiting for them.

Q: Can I get to Draenor?
A: No, that is part of the expansion, anything you see here is not part of the expansion, it is part of the base game even if you never buy the expansion.

Q: Where is my garrison?
A: On Draenor waiting for you to get there on November 13th.

Q: So what exactly was added?
A: The limited time event for the title, pet and achievement and anything that you do not need to go to draenor for.

Q: How long do I have before the quest line goes away?
A: Just like all other prepatch events they will go away as soon as the expansion comes out on November 13th.

Abilities:

Q: One of my abilities is gone and I know for a fact it was not removed, what happened?
A: Some abilities like mangle for bears and death coil for blood DKs were designed to be used by more than one spec.  When they changed it to be different for specs, or removed it from another spec, the spell ID changed and that is why it disappeared from your bar.  Just pull it out of your spell book and drop it back on your bar.  It is still the same spell, just different behind the scenes coding for it that removed it from your bar.

Q: What is with all these question marks on my bar?
A: They are broken macros most likely.  If a spell has been removed, like greater healing wave on my shaman, the macro shows as a ? for me.  Also if the spell has been renamed, like unleash elements on my shaman, it will show as a ? for me.  I deleted the deleted ability macro and took it off my bar and changed the name of the one that changed.  The ? for unleashed elements started showing the right image when I changed the macro to the new name of unleash life.

Q: How come my abilities hit so hard sometimes and so soft other times?
A: Older content gives us a buff, so you could see yourself hitting something for 400K one minute than come out into current content and only hit it for 20K.  Nothing is broken, don't worry.  You will just do higher numbers in older content.  It is part of the system and intended, even if it feels weird.

Q: How come it is telling me I have unused talent points?
A: Because you have unused talent points.   There were many changes to talents and if there was a large change in any row, or if a talent you had was removed, you will need to reselected a talent for that row.

Q: How come it will not let me select a level 100 talent?
A: Maybe because you are not level 100.

Q: My character seems broken without the level 100 talent, is that intended?
A: All classes are designed around being max level and yes, we are playing incomplete characters right now.  The leveling perks we will get while leveling added to the level 100 talent may very well help with making your character feel less broken.

I got asked more questions, but these are some of the ones that stood out and I thought maybe the answers might help other people.  If I can remember any more later, or someone asks one here that I happen to know the answer too, I might update this later.  I might be grumpy, but I am definitely more polite than trade chat for when you have a question.

Logging Into 6.0.2: Impressions on Live

There are many tid bits of things I want to talk about but I will lead off by saying I did not really do all that much because there was just so much to do.  I did however manage not to get sucked into going to the blasted lands and if anything that is thanks to the fact there was so much I wanted to do otherwise.  I am keeping track of all the gold I get mailed to me, when I am done opening all my characters mails I will surely share that.  Personally I am wondering how much gold I will end up with from the removal of valor and justice.

The Character Screen:

Of course my hunter would be the first character I was going to log into.  It is my main after all and as such it would get the majority of my attention.  But I wanted to take a look at all my characters new faces before logging in.  While some of them I have seen because of character transfers on the beta others I had not seen what they were going to look like until just now.

Some of the new faces were not exactly what I would have liked.  They do not even look remotely like what they are supposed to look like.  My gnome mage looks like a meth head, my human warlock looks like a celebrity but I could not place who it was, but it most definitely looks familiar.  My priest looks so sad, almost depressed and that is depressing for me.

Other characters looked fine.  Of course my hunter I was already used to.  I had been playing with that face on beta for a while so there was nothing really to get used to.  My druid, paladin and shaman all look fantastic, better than I had expected.

So with pluses and minuses the character redesign face wise was best described as "eh".  It wasn't great over all and it wasn't bad over all.  I can most definitely see the people that put more stock into what their characters look like being extremely upset with some of these but the only one that really bugged me was my gnome mage.  Being I do not look too closely at the faces I can live with it.

I did however visit the barber shop for some plastic surgery on my gnome mage as it was the only character I felt compelled to do so on because he looked that bad.  Sadly after surfing through all the gnome male faces one by one and taking a good look at each one and trying to figure out which one I would like most I came to the conclusion I would just leave it as is.  There are no faces that even remotely resemble what my gnome looked like before.  So instead of wasting gold for a face change from one horrible face to another horrible face I will just leave it as is and consider a race change instead.

An Unexpected Surprise:

When I logged into my hunter not only did I get the achievement that awarded me the shado-master title, because shado-pan monastery gold, which I did not manage to get, was removed from the meta requirement.  Being I was on the beta I expected that would happen, even if I was still trying to get groups for gold challenge modes.  One thing I did get I was really not expecting however. I managed to get 3 new mounts mailed to me which I will say must have been a bug but it was one I will admit I did not report and will not report.

When you completed all the challenge modes on silver you got an egg you could turn in for a phoenix mount, which is really pretty.  You only get one egg which means you only get one mount.  Now maybe this was not a bug, maybe they mentioned it somewhere, but I never saw it.  When I logged in the other 3 phoenix mounts were in my mail box.  So now I have all the challenge mode mounts on one character.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

If it was a bug I hope I get to keep them, I like the mounts and I am a mount collector, if it was intended and never mentioned anywhere that is a pretty cool little unexpected gift for having all silvers.  If it was mentioned somewhere that we would get them all anyway and I completely missed it, whoops.  Either way, I like my three new unexpected mounts.

I Hate Typing Delete:

I logged into my hunter first, of course, and immediately went to my bank to open my reagents tab.  I hit the deposit all option and then started to organized things in there.  First things first, I took my spirits and motes of harmony back out.  They will all find their way to my tailor which will in turn make cloth and bags.  I like bags.

I had had a 36 slot herb bag filled on my hunter, as he is an herbalist, and it worked out to be 7 spaces in my reagents tab.  The beauty of a 200 stack, I am really going to dig this. 7 spaces taken up is so much better than 36 spaces taken up.

After I did that my intention was to switch out my herb bag with one of the royal satchels in my bank.  It would give me extra herb space in my bank and extra bag space on my character for traveling.  Being I can craft directly from the bank now I no longer needed to carry around herbs with me for when someone asks if anyone had a flask or some potions.  I can just craft them from my bank.  So this means carrying around an herb bag on me is wasted space.  It used to be required when raiding, now it isn't and I like that change, but feel a little slighted that I have a "wasted" profession bag, but no worries as I will surely find a use for it.

To do the switch however I needed to clear out my bags first, and there was so much to be cleaned out.  First pass through my bank bags was cleaning up and taking out my challenge mode / proving grounds gear as well as some other gear I had been saving "just in case".  You know, that extra warforged belt with hit in case I needed more hit so I could switch it out, the chest piece that I might switch out but do not need because I got the mythic one some time ago and there is no way I would switch out to a heroic one after that, things like that.  I took all of that stuff out first and vendored it off, no need for that clutter any longer.

Then I went back to the bank and being I have a second slot of void storage that means there is more stuff I can put in there and more rooms in my bags.  I pulled out things to throw in there and once again cursed blizzard for not allowing me to put gear with the "unique" tag in the void storage.  Either way, that cleared up some more space.  And correct me if I am wrong, but I could have sworn that on the beta it cost 1000 gold to open the second void storage tab.  Well, on live it was free, and on live it is now nearly half full already.  And just think, I am not one of those people that is a transmog freak and I use that much space.  I feel bad for the people that love to mog.  They could probably use 10 tabs of void storage.  Well, if they keep this rate going, maybe you could expect a new tab every expansion.

Then back to the bank and toy box time.  I got a toy box achievement when I logged in from toys they automatically put into my toy box for me.  That was kind of cool, well, actually that was really cool.

See, what blizzard did, to help the people that had deleted quest related toys or archeology toys, was they did a scan of your character and if you had ever discovered the toy while digging or got the toy from a quest marked complete, it automatically put it in your toy box.  That way, even if you had thrown it away, you got it back.  Good looking out blizzard.

But one side effect of that was that I still have all these toys and I can not actually just throw them away.  I need to type delete each time I want to throw them away.

So while it was a great thing blizzard did automatically putting those things in our toy boxes the side effect was I needed to type delete at least 200 times yesterday throwing away toys on all my characters that were already in my toy box.  First world problems of course, but still slightly annoying when there is so much more I wanted to do and this did eat up a fair deal of time.

Dungeon Time:

Of course after a drought of over 2 years with no new five man content people wanted to do the new dungeon, even people that needed nothing from them.  I figured, as a tank was needed, I could use this as a change to grab a few items for my tanks that actually needed stuff from there.

I was suffering from major lag spikes, as in moving every other second.  My latency was fine home and world, it was just jumpy.  I did not bring my druid, monk or DK because they all have okay gear and really do not need anything but my warrior and my paladin were a different story all together.

The dungeon was easy enough but I did wipe us once.  You could even say I did it on purpose.  When I got to leeroys room I ran in yelling leeroy jenkins and pulled the whole room.  We killed most of the mobs but did end up wiping.  Whoops.  But hey, this is about fun and I had a lot of fun doing it.  If the damn things did not chain stun me we would not have wiped.  Live and learn, or die and learn as it may be, but it as fun none the less.

I manged to get my paladin a 550 ring to replace the 496 one it was wearing.  I also got some gloves for my paladin because even after all this time and so many world boss kills none of the celestial bosses or ordos was kind enough to cough up any gloves so those 550 gloves were a nice upgrade to 535 timeless ones.

My warrior wanted the two handed weapon because I wanted to test out one of the OP DPS specs for warriors now and I did not have a weapon for it.  Almost bought the 489 one with timeless coins the other day but didn't, now I am glad I did not.  I got the 550 two hander my first time in there.

So my paladin nabbed 2 pieces it needed the first time in there and my warrior one piece it needed its first time in there.  Seems like today was my lucky day.

Lucky Day:

So I figured it was time to pop back on my hunter and test out that apparent luck I am having, and the stat squish with soloing old content at the same time.  Maybe if I were to do some of those old raids for mount drops I might get one today.

A guild mate was leveling, on a day like this I might question that, but he asked me if I could run him through a dungeon quickly, and of course I said okay.  He was in northrend and I figured I could run him through and then hit up Maly and VoA if the alliance owned it.

After I ran him through the dungeon, which was as easy as ever, and managed to bug out one boss because I killed it too fast, I dropped him off at a questing hub and headed over to give maly a try.  I dropped group, switched it to 25 man legacy raid, and entered the eye of eternity with no expectations really, as I have been doing this for a while and on multiple characters each week for months now.

I could see the buff when soloing older content working for us, big time, because while I usually get maly to 4% or less depending on the character I am on before phase 2 starts, this time around I had him at 1 heath while he was doing his little speech before even flying away to start phase two.  I actually had to double check to make sure I was on 25 man because I thought maybe I accidentally put it on 10 being I almost killed him before even even started his little role play speech.  So yeah, the buff does make us stronger, not like I needed it for this one, but it is nice to see it in action.

I went through the motions and when we got to the mounted part of combat I hit 1 once and he was dead.  When I flew over to loot the gem I had no expectations.  When I saw the azure drake in there I was so happy.  Once less fight to farm for a mount and one more thing to cross off my list.  That makes for 4 new mounts on patch day.  It has been a pretty good patch day for me.

I did VoA, all four bosses, and knocked out a quick onyxia as well, but nothing to report on that front.  Hey, I am not going to complain, I got one mount I had been farming for a long time and I am happy with that.

Playing With Numbers:

I then went to test out my hunter numbers on the dummy seeing if that 12% boost to survival did anything to help.  I started off slow as in 400 DPS slow and climbed up.  I made it to 3800 DPS and leveled out there.

Immediately I thought to myself, what the hell am I doing wrong.  I know hunters are hurting but they are not hurting that bad.  I know I am not one of the great hunters, but I am a hell of a lot better than that.  I could not even top out over 4000 DPS and it was really sad.

It was then someone told me that I should not use the dummy all the way on the right, it is not the right level.  Well now, that explains a lot.  I see now, it is a ?? mob.  Oops.

I spent the better part of half an hour just pounding away, on the correct dummy this time, and I capped out at 9800 DPS, with no buffs, no food, no flask or no potions of course.  Most of the time I fluttered around 9300 DPS bottom to that 9800 DPS top and I think it would be safe to say that I can do between those numbers with no buffs what so ever.  Still feels as if I were doing something wrong however.

It was sad.  Sure I could kill old content really fast, but seeing those numbers and seeing everyone else sitting at the dummies, in less gear than I, doing 13K and 15K, I decided to just log off for the night and come back tomorrow fresh headed.  I almost felt as if I was drunk from drinking in all the new stuff.

I'll clear more bags tomorrow, I'll type delete another 200 times tomorrow, I try another spec for my hunter tomorrow, and I will raid tomorrow.  But I will try not to dwell on the numbers even if they are upsetting.

Many Questions, Handle Them:

Over the course of trying to do everything for myself and with all my attempts to be completely selfish, and yes I wanted to be, I still ended up answering 100s of questions.  From guild, on voice chat, in trade, in whispers. 

As I said, it was expected that most players had no idea what was going on.  I must have had to explain how to enable out of date addons a few dozen times to people saying nothing worked.  I had to explain to 4 hunters that stampede is no longer baseline and then be yelled at by one of them like it was my fault it was no longer baseline.  I had to explain there was no valor any more at least 10 times.  I had to tell dozens of people "they removed that talent".  I also had at least 20 people tell me, when I said "that was removed", why didn't they warn us.  I said they did, but all those people said they never knew.  As I said, blizzard is beyond horrible at sharing information with their players and times like this are proof of that.

Even if I had intended to keep to myself, to do my own things, I still ended up playing the role of helper.  It is just in my nature I guess.  Even if I am sure I started getting more than a bit surly with my answers as the night went on, from having to answer the same questions a million times.  I think I am going to make another post after this one with a FAQs that I had from yesterday.  Maybe it will help some others.

I was expecting most people not to know what was going on, and I was right, but it seems there were a lot that did know what was going on, at least in part, that I had not expected would be the type to know.

Play the Game:

Setting up my hunters bar and knowing what was gone was no big deal as I had played so much on the beta.  I already knew what was going on, but for most of my other classes it was a case of what did I lose and trying to remember as I was going along.

When I logged on to my characters I would ask on vent, to see who knew the classes best, what ability was I missing.  I logged into my mage and asked, my #1 and #5 abilities are gone, what was there.  On my DK I asked my #3 ability is gone, what was there.  It made for a fun game, and really did tell me a lot of who knows what class.  One of my guild mates, whom I knew to be the most knowledgeable player in the guild, nailed nearly every ability that was gone just based on me saying what keybind they used to be.  When you can say "my shift 3" is gone and someone can say, oh that was this ability, you can really tell they know a lot about the game.

Some abilities disappeared from my bar that made no sense what so ever.  Like mangle disappeared from my bear, but I still have mangle.  Death coil disappeared from my DK, but I still have death coil.  Sometimes things are weird, but there is a reason behind it disappearing from my bar.

Loved all those question marks sitting all over my bars on my priest for abilities I had mouse over macros for that were now gone.  Seeing what I lost and then seeing the addition of things like holy nova make me wonder, what the hell were they thinking.  Spirit shell is ten thousand times better than holy nova could ever be when it comes to usefulness.

It is going to take a lot of getting used to when I play the characters I do not often play and try to figure out what is missing.  It will happen when you use the character.  Like on my warrior, my shift three was missing, and I had no freaking clue what it was.  Can you tell how often I tank on my warrior?  It wasn't until I went to hit it and it was not there.  Ah, storm bolt used to be there.  Oh well, at least now I know.

So for my alts it will be a case of getting out there and playing on them.  Best way to get used to changes is to play with them.   So get out there and play.  But don't forget to clean up those bags too.  I'll be doing more of the same later today.  Lots to do, lots and lots to do.

Sometimes this game feels like it goes from having nothing to do, to having too much to do.  I wish blizzard would release things in smaller bunches sometimes instead of saving everything up for one huge release of a lot of stuff all at once.  It feels like feast or famine gaming, or is it just me that feels that way?