Thursday, September 5, 2013

5.4: What are you Looking Forward to?

Over all my excitement for 5.4 is minimal at best.  While it does include a great deal of features I am looking forward to it really has not generated as much excitement from me as I would have expected it to.  I actually believe there is a reason for that, but that is for another post entirely.  Lets get on with what I am looking forward to most.

Proving Grounds:

I am interested in doing these but do not see myself rushing into them.  There will be so much else to do that this is better saved for when I am bored later on.  Sort of like the brawlers guild.  Something that I felt I had so much else to do that I never had the chance to do it at all yet.  One day I will.  If the past is any indicator, we will be raiding this tier for a year and a day, so I'll surely get to it, but later.

With a new raid tier, and three lockouts a week (LFR, flex and normal) and the timeless island it just seems like they are piling so much crap I want to do on top of each other meaning some of it I will not be able to do unless I want to burn myself out.. 

Not only will there be a new mode of raiding to do, but with the lack of valor gear that means I have no choice but to raid with alts if I want them to get gear.  So unlike every other tier in forever where I just do a little here and there on alts and still get them a few pieces of gear once a month or so with valor I will need to dedicate a fair amount of time to them leaving me even less free time to do the little fun things like this.

At one point I was extremely excited about this.  I wanted to get "the proven damage dealer", "the proven healer" and "the proven tank" ASAP.  Now, I really don't care about it.  I am not going to do them, at least not until I have nothing else to do and I do not see that happening, at least not right away.

I think the proving grounds would have served better as a middle raid addition.  5.3 or 5.5 would have been the perfect place for it to be added.  It is something that I am guessing would require a fair deal of time to do and it offers nothing in terms of reward.  So given the choice of running the LFR, flex, normal, doing the island, or just about anything else that would actually better my characters potential immediately it will take a back seat.

I am looking forward to it, don't get me wrong, but I think we would all be better served if they saved it for 5.5 instead of trying to squeeze more busy work into a new raid patch.  I would be more excited if this was in 5.5 than I am with it in 5.4.  I want to use it to train to get better at classes I do not play often, but I won't have the time to do that.  So that is why it moved down, way down, on my excitement list.


A new raid is always a welcome addition, even more so if you finished the previous one.  But I am not all that excited with the idea of yet another raid even if I have finished the previous one.  This feeling is for various reasons.  The top one being that this is the expansion ending raid and I do not give a crap about who we are fighting.

I never thought deathwing was much of a bad guy, still don't, I think it was a really flimsy story but when compared to garrosh deathwing was at least someone worth killing in the sense of a world destroying it must die sort of way.  Garrosh is just the leader of the enemy faction, as I play alliance mostly, and I always wanted to see him dead.   The fact he is empowered means nothing to me.  I always wanted him dead.  So where is the awesome lets kill the big baddie feeling? 

He was always there, he was always someone we wanted dead and even if there is even more reason to hate him now, who really cares.  He just does not seem like a real motivating enemy.  We go to kill someone we can go to kill every single day of the week but just in a different format.  Woohoo?

Also, after ToT's misadventures with horridon I don't think I could take another early boss that almost kills half the guilds on my server.  My guild was lucky enough to make it past him and not crumble into nothingness like many others did but I am not sure we could pull off that feat twice.  One more mistake from blizzard like that and I can see it be the end of the game for my guild, and by process, me.

So what about it am I excited for?  I am excited that the heroic modes are not needed for the meta achievement.  That is a nice touch for the casual guilds.  While I do not stress getting the achievement while going through a raid normally, we do knock out a few here and there. 

It will definitely be something that could really be fun knowing we do not need to do heroics, we might go out of our way to try for them.  Which for a casual guild that will most likely only do normals and a few heroics here and there it is something fun to add to the game.  I do like that part of it even if I am not all that excited about the big baddie being someone that really isn't a big baddie.  He is the enemy, always has been and always will be.  Boring.


The feature I am most excited about and most worried about at the same time.  I love that I will now be able to run with everyone in the guild that wants to run.  No more will I have to tell someone they can't come along because we can't do it with them.  I can tell them they can come along and they can get better and learn how to do it.  But that all depends on the difficulty level of the content.

I worry because it might still be too difficult for some of the lesser skilled players.  I am worried because normals might get harder now that flex is here and normals are in a nice place in my opinion, maybe a little over tuned on a few fights here and there, but otherwise nice.

If flex can revive the pug community like it is supposed to in their efforts to return to the days of wrath then it could be the best thing to ever happen to the game in the last two expansions.  Raiding has been a guild only event since wrath.  At least on small servers where there is no such thing as a pug.  This means my main server.

I am going to have to drag my alts through there being blizzard in their infinite wisdom decided to remove valor gear, which really bugs me.  I don't like pugging on alts, I just like gearing them slowly at my own pace with valor, but maybe, just maybe, if the difficulty level is okay for pugs, it might be okay.  If the pug world does not pick up because of flex, it might be the death of the alt for me.

So while I am really excited about flex I am also really worried about it.  This is one of those "only time will tell" sort of things.  I do not even want to hazard a guess how it will turn out, at least not until I experience the level of difficulty myself.

Knowing blizzard it will be way to hard for pugs and will just be normal-lite for lesser guilds or guilds that just want to take it easier.  Blizzard has shown over and over they have no clue who their player base is.  Just look at the difficulty level of the LFR.  A pure non-raiding group would never get a boss down, and that is who it was designed for.  So they are not very good as designing content for intended targets.  That worries me.

Timeless Island:

I am intrigued to say the least.  Blizzard has gone through all the motions this expansion.  The daily grind from 5.0.  The story telling arc from 5.1.  The timeless island scenario and story telling vehicle along with raid reputation grind of 5.2.  The mini quest hub that was a well rewarding single weekly grind in 5.3.  Now the timeless island, a land of events, in 5.4.

I could, and will, write a post about the excellent job blizzard has done keeping the grind mixed up this expansion patch from patch and that is something to be excited about.  While each is a grind in its own, each is a different grind and this time we go to event island, as I have been calling it.

About the only thing I don't think I like about event island are that the four celestial world bosses are on a combined loot table and you can only loot one of them a week.  I need all the help I can get with my luck, why not let me not get anything 4 times a week instead of not get anything one time a week?  They took away valor gear, the least they could do is let us have is the ability to loot all 4 of them and not only 1 of them each week.

Outside of that event island is looking good.  It is really a stolen page from rift, once again, but it at least is a nice stolen page.  From the outside looking in it really looks like they took the random event idea from rift and stepped it up a notch or two.  If it works out as well as it sounds that would be awesome.

The fact it offers 496 gear is not really all that exciting for someone like me when looking at my 11 classes on my main server.  Combined a 496 item would be a total of 3 slots upgraded.  Not exactly compelling content.  The 535s however would be a huge increase of nearly all slots on all alts, so that is pretty nice.  While I might not need the 496 gear personally, I like that they are adding it. 

If I level new alts it will be a very welcome tool to get them a few item levels and for newer players, non-raiders, and your general player in the player base a 496 might very well be a quality upgrade.  I do believe it should have been a 509 however, not 496.  Just a little higher.  496 seems so 5.0 and 5.0 in 5.4 just seems wrong, even when talking about non raiders.

There seems like there will be a lot to do and it will be the buzz for the first few weeks.  I wonder how long that will last, but from the start of it an achievement hunter like myself, and someone that wants to get those 535 pieces for alts, I can see me spending every waking second that I am not raiding of every day there.

I am looking forward to event island more than anything else in 5.4.  Quite odd that is the case if you ask me.  Even with good old boring deathchin I was more excited for that raid than anything else in the patch.  The fact the actual raid of a raid patch is less interesting than some new event island concept might be more telling in how I am starting to look at the game differently, or how they decided to promote both.  The raid seems just like a raid, nothing special whereas the island seems like something new and exciting.  So that is why the island looks like the best thing in a raid patch in my opinion.


There are of course other things being added or changed, like the change of gear needing no rep and using justice to buy, awesome for new players and about time.  But these are the few things that interest me the most.

So my over all assessment of excitement for the new patch on a scale of 1 - 10 is 5.  Looks like me might be okay, but there really is nothing to write home about.

What are you looking forward to and where would you put your level of excitement for the new patch?


  1. I have mixed feelings about 5.4...but not in the way you might think. Where I find myself right now is in a state of "meh" when it comes to WoW...when it comes to any of my games really.

    Lately I've been finding myself sitting at my computer staring at my desktop for 5-10 minutes trying to figure out what it is I want to do. Do I play WoW? If I do, what do I do? Do I play SC2? Do I play SimCity(5)? Do I play Pirates101? Do I blog? Ugh.

    At least I have other's blogs to keep me entertained...sadly I read through them all too quick and am left in the above situation.

    Maybe 5.4 is what I need to get out of this rutt. Sitting here right now thinking about it doesn't seem like it is.

    With all the goodies they gave us to do so far I am way behind. My highest ilvl toon is at 495. The rest are between 450-something and 470-something. I still have a lot of catching up to do to even think about new content.

    Now, about the patch itself, and less about me, I am interested in trying out Flex and Proving Grounds and seeing what Timeless Isle is about. I am certain there is a lot I could learn on my bevy of alts in Proving Grounds.

    Timeless Isle intrigues me, but I've not been following PTR info that well and have no clue about much of what awaits me there.

    I am most excited about Flex raiding, but am worried at the same time. It sounds like it's the type of raiding that is right up my alley, but with my wonky work schedule, and limited Bnet friends list, I doubt I'll ever get to give it a shot.

    1. Sounds like your toons might have a hell of a lot of fun on the island to start off. Being it will be packed and there is shared loot (I believe) tag along on your low geared characters and get some shots in, maybe you can get some 496 gear.

      Now you see what I think the island sounds pretty awesome? Things like that.

      Flex raids will be popping up in trade in no time. Flex is all about pugging and rebuilding community. Give it some time for the people that assemble the pugs and like to lead to get their feet wet and then, if all goes well, it will be like the good old days of ICC where there was a pug going 24/7.

      I am actually on the edge a bit about it. I am almost considering stepped down as a raid leader if flex works well and just start being a flex only player. I think I've had enough of the "trying to get better" grind over the past few years. Might be time to just sit back, relax, and let the game come to me. Just considering it, don't hold me to it. ;)

  2. I'm looking forward to the connected realms feature, whenever that happens. The servers I play on (Grizzly Hills, Fizzcrank, Tanaris, to name a few) are so dead it's not even funny. I've held out on transferring because of this feature.

    What I am not looking forward to is LFR. I plan on running it once just to see the new raid. I may be in the minority, but I still blame LFR for my burnout that started back in Dragon Soul. Doing those 2 parts in LFR weekly to cap valor (500 valor was pretty nice, I guess) AND still doing 2-3 nights of raiding the same damn raid just got to me. Hence the reason I don't do it anymore, which is why I wouldn't mind raiding again at some point.

    I'm with Grumpy, maybe a 5, or even a 4 for my interest. This is a make or break patch I'd say for Blizz, and for me to keep playing. Crossing my fingers...

    1. Connected realms were pushed back and will not be there on release. If they were I would have mentioned it and maybe even gave it 1 point higher on my assessment.

      I too am looking forward to them. Would be nice to see more people around. As long as they do not over do it and turn every server into a mega server it could be awesome. True medium servers would be nice. Not too big, not too small.

      LFR is a nightmare and it keeps getting worse because blizzard keeps making it harder for the people that can't raid to begin with. Sure, I would not mind a little challenge there, but when I am the only one that survives a mechanic 4 months after the LFR was out, that means the mechanic should have not been in there to begin with. LFR needs to be greatly adjusted downward to ever be something I could consider worth doing.

      I am with you. This is make or break for blizzard. I am all primed and ready to quit. Just waiting for blizzard to open the door once more.

  3. I'm another person at the "make or break" stage.

    I'm probably putting most of my hopes into Flex and Connected Realms. Timeless Isle will hopefully be good; I still go to Isle of Thunder to do dailies and kill elites, so hopefully Timeless Ilse will give me another place to do that.

    However, I'm not sure how important it will be to valor cap, if there's no valor gear. Not sure I'll be getting two new pieces of gear every week (if that's even statistically feasible) and I'll probably have 3000 vp by patch day. That'll be enough for 6 full upgrades already, which is almost half of the gear slots.

    1. I like grinding some valor while hanging out on the island being it is dead now. I make my rounds and solo all the rares. I even do it on my lesser characters because they are accessible. The one with the 2 minute timer is about the only one I can not get on some characters. It is such a great way to get some valor. I hope they keep adding things like that.

      Valor is going to be almost useless come the new patch. In a way I am almost beginning to like that idea. I plan to make a post about that today. I wonder who else would feel the same.

  4. Sorry if this sounds to snarky, but I'm most looking forward to see Mists of Pandaria wrap up.

    I think this was some of Blizzard's best work, but at the same time it's been my least enjoyable expansion.

    I really want to see with what they come up with next, especially with their 10th anniversary on the horizon.

    But to answer your question, Flex Raiding and Proving Grounds are two things I'm most curious about.

    1. I am also ready for mists to wrap up. I do think it is a fantastic expansion but still believe that is a two sided opinion. For my main it was fantastic, for my alts it sucked at the start and never really got all that much better.

      Seems like flex really has a great deal of people excited. I so hope it can live up to the hype.

  5. I have been so busy with rl and raiding and trying to progress hc modes in semi-casual group that I dint even notice that 5.4 is out next week.I am really excited about the new raid.There are 14 bosses init, holyshiiiiiit, thats largest number since Ulduar I guess. I was severely disappointed at 7 boss fl and 8boss DS.
    I am happy that flex is there, we can do meta's in parallel to our normal/hc progress. Even talked to gm to add another non - mandatory raid day just for flex for meta hunting :D

    Another interesting thing, leveled a druid to max level and went to arena with a friend on his suggestion that its the fastest way to gear. And holly molly is it fast ? I entered with 435 ilvl, 3 hrs later , 8k cp and four 496 pieces ( helm,weapon,belt, neck) , would have been more if i had gone for cheaper items first. But for ferals weapon dps is most important stat. I still have 20k more cp to get and so im gussing 6 more hours of arena and i will have full 496 gear. Going the route of 5man->msv lfr-> hof/terrace lfr ->tot lfr
    it would take me way more time than 9 hrs.Even with buying cheap 496 boa's and getting really lucky with drops, it wont be faster.
    I dont know if I should be annoyed that best way to gear an alt for pve is pvp, or be happy that 2 things that blizzard stated work perfectly , pvp catch-up and pvp gear will be decent in pve.
    Another side effect of this is , i never tried organzied pvp like arena or bg, and what started as an quick route to gearing an alt has got me interested in arena,I am thinking of doing more seriously. And this is coming from a player who got duelicious in cata after getting the legendary daggers :P .

    straws,champion of cupcake club

    1. I forgot about doing the achievements in flex, that is going to be awesome. Not having to kill the bosses on heroic and being able to get them in flex really does make this the first raid meta I can get while it is current. (miss DS by 3 achievements)

      I made a post before 5.2 came out telling people the best way to catch up was PvP. PvP has always been the best way to get starter gear for PvE but this expansion it is even better being PvP stats do not weigh into the stats on it. So a 496 PvP item and a 496 PvE item are equal for PvE. Have to love that, and hate it at the same time.

      I still wonder why a PvE easy mode catch up like that was never added. I think secretly they are trying to get more people into PvP. See, it is working on you. ;)

      I plan to do some arenas seriously for the first time since wrath come next patch for the 100 win mount. I figure 100 wins should be easy. So worth getting it done. So maybe it is working on me too. ;)

    2. haha i m at 40 wins aleady, that mount will be mine :D


    3. Doesn't it need to be all 100 next patch?

      If I knew I could have started early it would have been something great to do while waiting for the patch.

  6. Replies
    1. I really would have never pictured you a pet person.

      I forgot about that. I am looking forward to it as well but I would out it in the same league as proving grounds, something that would have been better for 5.5.

  7. I have been running on the PTR for the past month. While the Isle is fun the first two weeks, after that it becomes relatively useless except for hunting achievements or farming 496 gear for alts. You can get your legendary cloak in one night by killing the four celestials in a competent group. The rares are not rare, they spawn about every 30-45 minutes. The only reputation to farm will reward you with a pet and a mount (which requires killing a minimum of 2500 Yaungol). The isle is relatively small and so that if a call is made that a rare is up, it will be dead by the time you get there, except for the pirate ship. After you have your cape and if you are not interested in every last achievement, you will go there to kill 1 celestial per week (can only loot 1 of 4 per week) and perhaps take a crack at Ordos for a gear drop. If you play alts then you may continue to farm rares for the 496 gear, but the gear that drops is random and may be useless to you. There is no gating to the island, so everyone discovers all there is to know within the first week - so no anticipation or excitement after that. The LFR is a nightmare right now. I have done 3 wings. Expect 10 stacks of determination on almost every boss for the first few weeks. Lots of mechanics, lots of move out of bad and much more punishing than ToT LFR - lots of near insta-death and massive hits by the boss.

    1. ToT LFR was like that at first, too. LFR is always like that at first. The pain, as it always has before, will lessen over time and most bosses will become one-shots. If you want to avoid that, skip LFR for a month or three and wade in once most of the players have at least seen the fights.

    2. As an achievement hunter that is one of the things I am greatly looking forward to on the island. Although it does seem like they over did it with achievements, I will still try to get them all.

      I am readying a crew with the legendary quest line to go in there on day of release so we can all move along with it at the same time ASAP. I am glad we get it sooner than later. Kind of sucks that the previous legendaries you needed to finish the content before you got them. This one is designed to help you finish it. I like that idea better.

      Sounds like they did not learn anything from the ToT LFR. When will blizzard get it through their head that the LFR is way to hard for the average player.

      They should not put any "lesson" stuff in LFR. That is what a real raid is for. That is why I run 25s, to teach new players. LFR is for loot. Not for teaching. At least in my opinion.

    3. Any spots open for some crossrealm people in that Legendary group? :)

    4. I am pretty sure they will be.

      Heck, doing it on that first day seems to be the best time because you know everyone will be going for it. Just lay a shot in on the bosses, as they are shared tags.

      That is probably how I will do stuff on my alts.