I must first say that I am not adverse to grinding and actually like it. So there is a fair deal for me to look forward too with the patch but from the people I have spoken too they don't seem to be as welcoming as I am to having to grind things out. To most it seems work is a four letter word. Well, it is, but you know what I mean.
There are a lot of things to do if you choose to participate in it when the patch gets released, as currently is happening on US servers as I write this and will on UK servers tomorrow, but the question will be are these the things people actually want to do. I personally see a few issues with some of the things they are adding, some of which are not actually my issues but issues none the less.
So what do we have to look forward to and will you do the grind to get it?
The main part of grindfest
2015 is going to be the collection of apexis crystals as the catch up
mechanic for gear. On T2 (Tanaan or Timeless Island 2, if you will) the mobs can
drop pieces that you click on to create a piece of 650 item level gear
and there is an upgrade item that can make that 650 piece of gear a 695
piece of gear.
For many raiders this might be good for one
or two or maybe even three slots at most but even at that the number of
people that will find no real use for this are an extremely slim few.
I'd hazard a guess that less than 1% of the player base could not find
at least one piece that a 695 that would be an upgrade for them.
I see many people taking advantage of gearing up a bit this way. I
know I will be doing so on my alts. Heck I have a few alts that hit 100
and never left their garrison that even a 650 piece alone would be an
But this is really where we step into
grindfest 2015 and why this post has the title it does. If anything I
call it a grindfest because of this very reason. You can grind yourself
to full 695 gear and if you are not a raider or want to gear alts that
does not raid, this is exactly how you can do it. Not quite as good as
valor, but a much better substitute than the original apexis gear that
came with the expansions release.
This gear, when
upgraded, is a higher item level than LFR gear which will be attractive
to most and is the entry level of of normal mode hellfire which makes
for a suitable stepping stone should you not be a raider and want to consider jumping into raiding.
The thing is
that unless you want to sacrifice your mental health, your physical
hygiene and the relationships with your family and friends, it is going
to take a hell of a long time should you wish to gear up completely this
way in one sitting. I would not suggest it, really, but it is entirely
possible, if you are willing to grind grind grind.
base baneful pieces that turn into 650 items can drop from mobs all
across T2 but the upgrade to 695 pieces will need to be purchased for 20,000
apexis crystals each. Sure you will snag one along the way from a quest
but outside of that you will be grinding for a long time to get every
single slot 695 if that is what you want.
If you do not
get lucky enough to get the base baneful pieces to drop you can also
buy those base pieces for 5,000 apexis crystals each and 10K for a
weapon version. So you can get everything even if you are unlucky with
drops, which I actually love the see. It might require a bit more work
on your part to grind the crystals needed but to have a net under you to
protect you from the random number generator demon is a pretty nice
addition if you ask me.
For me my alts that I do not
raid with will be dabbling in T2 after I am done with my main getting
all the achievements and reputations I desire. I can see them spending a
fair deal of time there just killing stuff over and over for apexis
crystals. Yeap, grinding in the grindfest.
will skip this part of the grind of course because I will be actually
raiding with it and raid gear from late normal and higher is better than
695 so there is no need to do this grind with him but I am really
interested in this for alts. Finally a way to get raid ready without
needing to raid to get raid ready, which never made sense to me to begin
I will of course do the grind for the mount and other goodies on my main as that would be the character that will most effectively be able to grind apexis crystals. Just a matter of logic there, using my most powerful character to do the heavy lifting. In the process I am sure I will get a fair deal of baneful pieces which I can turn over to any fresh 100s that might come along later effectively meaning that any character I hit 100 with from that point on will start at a 650 item level. Interesting enough this is exactly the item level required to queue for the new raid.
Fair warning once again however, if you plan on
gearing up this way it will be a very long and drawn out grind. But at
least there are many more ways to gain apexis crystals now on T2 and the
older stuff with the daily and the missives is still there should you wish to speed it along even more.
people looking to collect apexis crystals for the purpose of gearing up
or any other reason they might want them. When taking the daily from
your garrison, buy a missive for the same exact quest. Start it and
then go do the daily. You will do the daily once yet get credit for
finishing it twice effectively doubling your apexis crystal intake.
Can't beat that with a stick.
So are you ready to grind? Sure hope so.
Might as well call this one flying because most people will be grinding out these reputations with the sole purpose of getting them to revered so they can activate flying when it is released. Flying or not this is something I would start to tackle the second the patch comes out because, as I mentioned, I dig that sort of stuff.
While there are some mobs to kill that give reputation for one of the factions, daily quests available for all of the factions, the continuation of the garrison campaign that will offer up some reputation along the way, a weekly quest and an item drop that is not soulbound and can be farmed for or purchased off the auction house if you wish, I still see a major issue with the reputations.
The problem is I see them suffering from the same issue that people had with the reputations in mists. They are something people will consider them mandatory. And if you want flying at some point, guess what, they are indeed mandatory.
People never had an issue with the dailies in mists even if blizzard misread the situation and that is why we had not dailies this expansion, they had a problem with them feeling mandatory. If people wanted to buy valor gear, they had to do the dailies, if people wanted to get crafting profession patterns, they had to do dailies, if they wanted something from shado pan or august celestials, they had to do golden lotus dailies first before they could do those dailies so you had to do dailies to open the ability to do more dailies, and this is what people disliked. See the problem here. It is not like it is a bad thing to make people work for something but if there is something they want put behind a wall of something they do not like they will feel it is mandatory. Once something feels like they have to do it the fun level of doing it greatly decreases for most. So needless to say I do not see this going over well.
For a bit of good news, if you log in daily and even if you get absolutely zero drops for the bonus reputation pieces, it will take only three weeks to get to the revered reputation you need for flying. The better news is that if you are doing all Tanaan has to offer, you will get some drops for the reputation pieces which will make it a shorter grind.
My personal goal is exalted with all factions by this weekend. With as many alts as I have that I will run through this and open up the shipyard and start there I am hoping I will get enough of the reputation items to drop. I'll send them all to my main and be exalted and done with it relatively quickly. If the drop rate is like it was on the PTR, I don't see this being a problem at all thanks to me having ten level 100s on my mains server currently.
A long long time ago on a blog not so far way I suggested that people not drop their gathering professions. I said, you will still need them in the near future. Do not think this garrison flow of resources will last forever because it won't and you do not want to get stuck having to level up a gathering profession again.
I do hope most people listened to me because, as I said would happen, your gathering professions are needed again. And they are needed a lot. If you are just making gear for yourself, making gems and such, or looking to make some gold selling things you will need a lot of felblight this patch and felblight comes from one place and one place only. Gathering while on T2.
Picking herbs, mining nodes, skinning beasts, and even fishing can all get you felblight at what seems to be near a 10% chance (based on what I read, I can not confirm or deny that number). Which means that you will be gathering a hell of a lot if you want to upgrade some items. And felblight is tradable which means even if you do not need it, it can be a massive gold maker as soon as you start collecting it. Even more so seeing the numbers of felblight needed.
Lets take my gun for example, the crafted one. If I want to upgrade it to 690 from 675 I will need 30 felblight among other things and if I want to level it up to 705 from 690 I will need another 60 felblight bringing my total required felblight to 90 to upgrade one single item.
At a 10% drop rate that would mean my herbalist would need to pick 900 herbs to see 90 felblight. Hope you have your grinding gloves on because your fingers are going to be raw from picking flowers.
I did mention this was grindfest 2015 didn't I? Well, it sure is and you can see why I say this stuff is going to sell for a fortune on the auction house as soon as the patch comes out if you choose to not collect them for your own uses. People will want to upgrade things and being the only way to gather any felblight is to have a gathering profession and do that gathering in T2, it might be a bit slow to start collecting decent amounts.
No, you can not get this stuff gathering in your garrison. No, you can not get this stuff filling barn orders. No, you can not get this stuff out in the world other wise. No, you can not trade in primal spirits for them. The only way to do this is to grind your little heart out with your gathering profession on T2 and only on T2.
As for the new patterns for the professions, no need to worry unless you are a jewel crafter, you just have to wait for your profession vendor to spawn in your, or someone elses, garrison and buy the patterns.
Sorry jewel crafters but no such luck for you. You will have to get out there and earn your new patterns. No easy path to the new gems.
You will get a quest that sends you to get the first pattern, which will cost you 1000 apexis crystals, which at this stage should not be an issue for most. After you finish that quest and get the versatility gem it is time to go collect the others which will require you getting a drop off a raid boss, a drop of the last boss of a mythic dungeon, getting to rank 6 in the brawlers guild, killing Rukhmar and getting revered with a faction so you can buy it.
Yes, you read that right. Blizzard has tied in optional content to now be required content. You will need to do the brawlers guild up to rank 6 if you want to make the mastery gem. Sadly for me my two current jewel craters are both tanks and tanks only. Not sure if I will be able to get rank 6 on them. I do have a hunter that is a jewel crafter but that account has been inactive since cataclysm and I have no intention of reactivating it just so I can easily get to rank 6.
I am not sure I like this part of the whole process. You should not need to do optional content to get an important pattern like this. I have not even done brawlers guild on my main this expansion. I got to max rank last expansion when it first came out. All they did was mix up the same bosses so I have no desire to do it again, never the less do it on a tank. I guess I'll take the challenge and see if I can do it, but honestly I should not have to. Did blizzard forget that the brawlers guild is supposed to be optional content?
For those that really do not want to try there is a bit of good news however. You have a small chance of learning a pattern you do not know when crafting one of the others. So if you do manage to snag some of the others when you make them you might discover one you did not get. So I guess there is that as a fall back, just sadly it is a fall back based on the random number generator which, by default, makes it bad design.
Now you might end up grind materials to make critical strike gems so that way you can learn the mastery gem. I am sure that is making some people so very happy.
The new version of followers is more time intensive and needs more resources required. This, to many, might end up seeming like another grind but at least with the shipyard you will not be feeling the need to log in every 30 minutes to optimize it.
But that does not mean that there will be no work required. Yes, shipyards will need some grinding too. Killing rares can net you some oil which are needed to build ships but some of the better ships which will greatly increase your chances of success will require achievements, reputations or upgrading your shipyard. So it will not be as simple as do quest, get follower, send on mission. Nope, you will need to grind out those ships and then when you can make those ships they cost resources and take an hour to build.
Missions are fewer and longer, much longer, and have a much higher rate of failure, so no 100% on everything like with followers this time around. And unlike garrison missions were failure is not such a big deal failure in a shipyard missions results in a destroyed ship and the need to rebuild one costing more resources and more time.
Longer missions, less chance of success, real penalties for failure and this is lining up to be a hell of a lot more involved than follower missions were.
Thinking maybe you will skip this? Not if you want to finish the legendary quest line you won't. The only way to complete the legendary quest line is to finish the shipyard missions that get you the required items for it. So much for garrisons being optional content.
There are four rare elites that spawn every hour on T2 and I suggest you make it stop number 1 to kill those to get a head start on your shipyard as they all have a 100 percent drop chance to give you oil to get things rolling. So yeah, rare hunting is now required too. At least if you want to get a leg up. And do not forget your regular follower missions as some of them now award oil as well. Shipyards will be a bit more work than followers were, at least that is how it is looking.
Ships will also have two equipment slots which you will need to buy items to equip in those slots that can be used to counter specific things. You will not be succeeding at any missions if you can not counter things, it is just that simple. One problem however. The thing is not all equipment will be available to you even if you have the garrison resources that would be needed to buy them. You would first need to get the blueprints for them and you know what that means right? Grinding rare mobs to get the blueprints for counters to drop. Having fun grinding yet?
Is it worth doing? As I said you need to it complete the legendary quest line, so that makes it a yes, but if that did not sell you the shipyard missions can get you raid level loot, a pet and heirloom rings. Got me sold, I will be building mine on all my characters ASAP, grind or not. Not to mention Captain Grumpy does have a nice ring to it doesn't it.
There is a lot more to 6.2, but the heart and soul of 6.2 is grindfest 2015 on T2. Not to be remiss I'll give a short run down of some of the other things being added that could or could not be considered grinds by some.
Legendary quest line finishes:
- The quest line comes to a head thanks to our shipyards and gets us all a ring that was a suspect design choice, to say the least.
A new raid: Hellfire Citadel.
- Could be considered grinding new gear and many of us will partake in that.
New battle pets:
- You will need well over 1000 of the pet battle tokens, hope you have been saving up, or that will be another grind for you, as well as having more new drops and world catches out there.
New world boss:
- At least this one drops gear better than LFR level, even better than early normal bosses, but still not in the style of mists world bosses that were such a huge success.
- Mythic versions being scaled up to be harder and timerwalker dungeons tuning your level down. Just reskins basically but should be fun for at least a short time.
Lots of little stuff like pepe costumes, darker nights, bonus weekends, etc, surely not a grind but hey, it is something even if it does not fit the grindfest 2015 motif of this patch.
My plan of attack for today:
Open up things on my main and start on the reputations. Then cycle through alts to at least open up T2. Then tank mythic skyreach on both my druid and my warrior, for the jewel crafting pattern. After that, depends on what I am in the mood for. I would like to gather my 90 felblight for my gun upgrade first but it all depends on what the gathering competition looks like. No rush however as yesterday was the ore trader which means the ore trader, and the pattern for my gun, will not be back for 5 days anyway, so I have some time. What are your plans?