Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- Been doing the holiday quests on anywhere from 6-12 characters a day.

- Still no minion of grumpus.

- If ever there were a mount I should have gotten on the first try don't you think this one is it?

- Should call it minion of grumpy.

- I did get the scroll toy from the older dailies on the 6th try, so that was nice.

- I also managed to snag a bunch of the new pets.

- Took me a bunch of tries to get the first one, then got a second a few snow piles later.

- Then I spent a little time on my druid flying and looting to snag 3 more.

- Then on my shaman, who I call my lucky character, I looted one and only one snow pile, it had a pet.

- Then yesterday on my horde hunter I grabbed a pile it had one.

- Then grabbed a second pile it had one.

- Hard to believe it took me over 30 snow piles to get the first one.

- Seems you are either lucky or you are not lucky.

- As far as my mount goes, still not lucky.

- But the game did give me a christmas day gift.

- My rogue took his weekly trek to the black temple in search of his second warglaive.

- To my shock I saw orange, was it the one I needed or was it my third main hand.

- It was, it was what I needed.

- Ding, achievement, and it was a wonderful chistmas gift for my rogue.

- I can not wait for BC time walkers again.

- I am so going to bust out those bad boys.

- On a whim out of boredom I decided to try for healing proving grounds gold on my shaman.

- Had never tried on my shaman.

- Did it on the first try.

- But I'll admit it got a little hairy in that last round.

- The DPS really sucks in the proving grounds doesn't it?

- Takes them forever to down things and they stand in everything.

- I'd think healing a few 5 mans would teach people that is how the game is played.

- Congratulations to blizzard for making it really realistic.

- I hit hero at the end just so they would down things faster.

- It worked.

- I was surprised I did it on one try actually.

- And glad.

- Being I was not actually "trying" for it, if I had not managed it I doubt I would have given it a second attempt.

- Being it felt like I had my grove on I felt it was time to challenge myself some.

- And try the proving grounds on my warlock.

- After all the horror stories I have heard, even from skilled locks, on how difficult it was on a lock I was a bit nervous.

- But first things first, I had to level a lock.

- Warlock was the only class I did not have at 100.

- It was time to fix that.

- I did not want to use the "trick" for speed leveling.

- See, I am weird, I actually like to quest.

- For the "trick" to speed leveling I'll give you the quick version.

- Go fly around and do all the bonus objectives.

- Do not complete them, only get them to near completion.

- Then after you did as many as you can manage, which in truth you should be able to do all of them, even nagrand, you pop one of those elixirs that increase experience gain by 300%.

- If you are on rested experience and have the 300% experience thing, you just go and complete all the bonus objectives now.

- Ding, ding, ding all the way up to 100 nice and fast.

- But I did not do that, I leveled the old fashion way, by questing.

- I might do that on one of my level 90 hunters.

- He is sitting at 588 item level as I recall, and my lock was only 589 when it hit 100, so the gear would be fine for the speed leveling route.

- I have 3 more hunters in the 580 or so range I might end up doing that with.

- But my lock needed to work his way up.

- Not to mention, I wanted to get a feel for the class, and playing it is the best way to do that right.

- As I said I was 589 when I hit 100.

- I did cheat a little.

- I crated myself a weapon and upgraded it some, to 675, because that is easy.

- I also made one of those level 100 heirloom trinkets.

- But no other crafted things at all.

- Just gear I got while leveling.

- I went into the proving grounds ready for a challenge.

- I've heard how hard it was on a lock.

- Bronze was a breeze, I started to feel a little cocky, like silver was going to be easy.

- I will admit that I had done this on so many characters already.

- I knew what the rounds were.

- I knew what skills I would need to handle everything.

- I was set up with an interrupt for sacrifice.

- I had my gates where I knew I would need to move.

- My teleport where I would need to move.

- I do not think any one person had ever stepped into a proving grounds more prepared than I was.

- I was dead set on doing this today no matter how long it took me.

- And from all the reading about it I knew what was in store of me.

- There was one problem however.

- When you over prepare to the extent I did, you take all the fun out of it.

- I blew through silver like it was a joke.

- Never even came close to missing any round.

- Did not even need to use my teleport, or my personal transport.

- I had given advice to so many locks on how to do it, it felt like I had done it already.

- So there was absolutely zero challenge to it.

- I one shot it and moved on to gold.

- I figured if silver was that easy maybe I can do gold.

- Yeah... right.

- I got destroyed on gold.

- Silver was only easy because I over prepared for it.

- I was so not ready for gold.

- Not by a long shot.

- Oh well, I managed silver and I was happy with that.

- I really was afraid I would fail it at least a few times before I got it.

- Even as prepared as I was.

- Now to the gearing up phase.

- I sent all the baleful gear for cloth I had over to my lock.

- I sent the 5 empowered apexis fragments over.

- And I clicked on everything.

- Did not get much luck with upgrades.

- Not one worth using the empowered pieces on.

- So I guess I will hold on to them for now, no use using them on something I know I just want to replace.

- But enough to get me to a 643 item level.

- I did all the dungeons, then did all the starter LFRs for stones once I got to that phase.

- Doing around 26K - 30K in the LFR as destro, was at 659 when I did that, not sure how locks scale, but does that sound good?

- I think it is okay.

- Heck, in some pugs I am in, even a heroic archie one I was in this weekend with a 720 minimum item level, there were people doing that, or less.

- So it has to be okay at least.

- Can't wait to see what I can do once I get gear.

- Or at least some gear with mastery.

- I ended day one at 100 at 665 item level thanks to lucky drops from dungeons and LFR that got my the exact things I needed.

- And now a lock will enter the mix.

- I actually had fun playing the lock.

- Even if I do hate casters.

- The need to remove that stand still while casting bull crap.

- It adds nothing to game play at all.

- It is a general annoyance and nothing more.

- But one thing that was nice was being on a fresh 100 that was capable of soloing things with ease.

- When I went to T2 I had none of that land and wait for people when I saw rares.

- It was land and start pounding away.

- Even at a low item level nothing could stop me.

- Perhaps warlock could be my class of choice come legion.

- We know hunters are out of the question really as they removed the hunter class.

- So I have to find something else and need a back up in case the make believe fake hunter class doesn't do it for me.

- Being able to have a tank is awesome.

- I like questing that way, it is part of the reason I always said hunters were the best questing class.

- Sic your pet on stuff while you go clicking, collecting and doing what ever you have to.

- It sure makes doing stuff more fun.

- At least that is my opinion, I am sure others think differently.

- Oh, I mentioned earlier a heroic archie I was in this weekend.

- We did not down it, but oh well, I can not be picky, I do not have AotC so I take what groups I can get.

- But what got me in this group was I still do not understand why it broke up.

- First wipe was 48%.

- Second wipe was 31%.

- Third wipe was 20%.

- Forth wipe was 18%.

- Fifth wipe was 5%.

- Sixth wipe was 3%.

- Group broke up.

- WTF???

- We were getting there, each attempt was better, each attempt we were removing some of the bad players and were lucky enough to replace them with better ones.

- I guess I will get my first kill another day.

- You know what amazes me most?

- The group had a strict 720 item level requirement.

- I was, still am, under 720, but with stuff in my bags I am 721 so I did sneak in.

- So I am guessing either everyone else did the same or people really suck at this game.

- I was top DPS on every attempt, if you do not count the mage that never switched to adds.

- He beat me numbers wise, he did not beat me on doing what you are supposed to do.

- He was 89-90% on boss, every attempt.

- I think my best attempt I was a 39% on boss, because I spent the whole freaking fights soloing all the adds it felt like.

- But if I, someone who does not have AotC (which means I suck, right) can do the fight right, never screw up mechanics, top the charts while doing all that, what the hell are the rest of these people doing there.

- There were people complaining that they do this ever week and never wiped this many times.

- I want to know who is carrying their 730 item level 30K DPS butt, so they can take me instead.

- I might actually help the group and not hurt it by making it harder than it needs to be.

- Everyone in the group had AotC besides me.

- Why was I the only one, it seemed, switching to adds, following mechanics, and still pulling decent numbers.

- These people should have been running circles around me.

- In a way, I was hoping they would.

- Once, just once, I would like to get a group of equally skilled players in a pug.

- I would pay to find a group like that, just so I can enjoy myself and not have to feel like I am doing everything on my own.

- It sucks to feel like that.

- And this is why I can't see me getting AotC any time soon.

- Raiding this expansion has been brutal to my guild.

- We would normally be done with a raid on normal by this time and doing heroics.

- Now we are not done with normal (heroic) and could not do heroic even if we wanted to (thanks to it being 20 man).

- Of all the things I hate about warlords, the thing I hate the most is the way they destroyed raiding for the casual guild this expansion.

- But hey, over all I had a good weekend getting a lot done.

- Just need to put the bad pug people out of my head.

- How can so many people that are such bad players all have AotC.

- Makes me a sad elf.

- Hope you had a good holiday weekend.

- Have a great day.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Tale of Rory the Christmas Goblin

Sit back for the tale
and hear the story of Rory
the great Christmas goblin
as it happened back near the quarry

The blinkers were blinking
and the mashers were mashing
But Rory the Goblin
Thought the lights needed more flashing

He mixed some Kaja Cola
With some Kungaloosh
For a punch that he knew
Would make minds go whoosh whoosh

It was his last step of many
On making this year
A Christmas to remember
One forever they'd cheer

Each year the goblins of Kezan
Hang flickers, flashers, blinkers and blasters
All to have the biggest display of the towns
most importantly his, willowsgrove masters

While his father was away
he knew no lights would be hung
Unless he did something special
the house would look like Funafuti the cat's dung

And here in willowsgrove masters
a goblins worth is based on Christmas blast
he wasn't going to be the kid
Who went to class with his house as the last

Prepared Rory was
to make this year the best
he gathered materials for weeks
put all the mixtures to the test

Planned it all he did
down to the last light
there would be sparkles and flashes
and explosions that night

his house and his township
would forever be known
as willowsgrove masters
the master lighters home

invitations were sent
and the drinks were all free
at the hill over looking
the entire town for all to see

now for nightfall to come
so he could plug in his lights
so people would know
little Rory has the brightest brights

Papa would be proud
if he saw the entire town coming there
all because his son
set this day up for fanfare

The drank their Kaja Cola
And Kungaloosh by the gallon
waiting for the sun to go down
as he connected the last balun

Thank you all for coming
Rory exclaimed with great joy
willowsgrove masters will win this years lightfest
all my knowledge I did employ

So sit back and wait
and let the light show begin
Enjoy your drinks and your food
while I plug this here thing in

The buzz and the hum
the light sparkled and then flashed
but lights were not lighting
no bedazzle, no flickers , no blast

With no chagrin at all
he booted and punched at the panel
work you damn thing
I won't say it again and that final

But nothing would happen
except a spark from a short
here or there that was all
no lights of no sort

You failure, you louse
you called us all here for that
they shouted at Rory
saying they've seen more flash from a rat

As they started to walk down to the town
Rory kicked and punched and he begged them to stop
Just one more minute I know it will work
he kicked once more so hard to the sound of a pop

The ground began to rattle
the machine was no flop
as the power went to the city
the people did stop

First his house lit up
then beezles then alvro chili hut
The counting house lit up too
even the bulb antlers on his mutt

The crowd began to notice not only his house
it was the whole city that has things glittered
the fences, the posts, and the street lanes too
people took pictures to show all and they twittered

Rory had done it
just as their reactions have shown
but just as he got comfortable
he noticed a fuse had just blown

The counting house went up first
then the bar exploded too, bye bye rusted crown
as his house and others followed soon
as explosions and flames enveloped the town

Tears came from his eyes
bashes, booms and other sounds
in a matter of seconds
all the smiles turned to frowns

Then an explosion so big
it was heard three towns over, not pretty
as the last house had fallen
his dreams have destroyed the whole city

But the bangers and blasters
in the air they were so high
the blingers and bloppers
were all lighting up in the sky

as the others watched on
to his surprise they no longer seem sad
the jumped up for joy and cheered
they yelled happy and glad

For Rory did it
even if he did not realize
the ultimate goblin Christmas
destruction and explosions are gifts to goblin eyes

there you have it, the goblin that tried
just to win a light show on the 25th
And that is the story of Rory
how he became the christmas goblin of myth

I decided to make up a little something fun to share with my fellow warcraft fans.  Hope you enjoy the story or rory.  Perhaps he will make another appearence some day.  He seems like a likable ennough kid.  For a goblin at least.

Merry Christmas all, and may Rory not visit your town. ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What Keeps Good DPS From Becoming Tank or Heals?

I saw this questions posted on the MMO-C forums and without even opening it and reading any responses my first instinct was to come here and make a post about it because I do have some strong views on the answer to that question.

I will start with the TL;DR version and then go deeper if people wish to dig into my thought train on this subject.

TL;DR version

There are three main reasons this is the case.

1) As a damage dealer their is less individual responsibility.
2) It is easier to find a good tank or good healer than it is to find a good damage dealer.
3) There is more of a chance to shine as a damage dealer.

These, in my opinion, are the three main reasons for what keeps good DPS from becoming tanks or healers.

Now to go deeper into my thought process in coming up with these three reasons as the main reasons why you do not see many good damage dealers switching to tank or heal.

1) As a damage dealer their is less individual responsibility.

In a dungeon there is one tank and one healer, in a raid there are 2 tanks and depending on group size anywhere from 2-5 healers maybe.  The remainder of the group is filled with damage dealers.  If a damage dealer messes up, missing an interrupt or what have you there are more than enough other damage dealers to cover up for them and do it.  If a tank misses a taunt in a raid it could mean a wipe, if a tank misses using a cooldown while the healer is spell locked or stunned in a five man it could mean a wipe.  Same pressures fall on to the healers.  If a healer misses their raid cooldown timing or uses it at the wrong time it could mean a wipe.  If a healer makes the wrong decision to save the rogue instead of casting a crucial heal on a tank in need it could mean a wipe in a five man.

There is a lot more responsibility on the shoulders of a tank or a healer.  Some people just do not want to deal with that.  It does not mean they are incapable of doing so, it just means they do not want to.  In the end who really would want to do anything they don't actively want to do.  Some people thrive on the responsibility but I believe those types to be few and far between.

Perhaps there are those people who main tanks and healers and only want to play a tank or healer and nothing else because they like the challenge, they like the responsibility or maybe they are just like me and like the easy route. 

I have a saying about classes, if it can tank it tanks, if it can heal it heals, if it can't do anything else, I DPS on it.  This is why my warrior, paladin, monk, death knight and druid are tanks, my priest and shaman are healers and the only damage dealers I have are the 4 pure damage dealing classes.

The reason for this belief is not because I like the responsibility role, I don't, but because I like the easy role.  In a organized group setting tanking and healing are by far the easiest role in the game.  And to the heart of the question posed, in random group content, the tank and healer role are the hardest role in the game. 

This is why I do not queue as a tank for random content.  I don't want to deal with it and would rather wait in queue than to fill the more difficult role with all the responsibility where I get blamed for everything even if it is not my fault as a tank.  Just, no thank you.  So maybe, just maybe, the reason I do not play a tank in random content is because of responsibility and I bet a great deal of people feel the same about tanking for randoms.  I would tank in an organized group setting any day, I like it there, is a nice and easy and laid back environment.  A hell of a lot less stressful than being a damage dealer, that is for sure.

2) It is easier to find a good tank or good healer than it is to find a good damage dealer.

Just writing that line rings so true.  I believe it would be a rarity to see many cases were truer words were ever written about warcraft than what you see above.  It is much easier to find a good tank or a good healer than it is to find a good damage dealer.

As someone who has been a raid leader since wrath, and started tanking and healing near the end of wrath, I can tell you that the #1 reason I have never switched to a healer or tank full time when the guild needed it was because I knew I could find one.  It might take a little time of course and there would always be people trying out that were beyond dreadful at the job, but it was much easier to find a good tank or a good healer than it was to find a good damage dealer.

It goes back to what I said in the previous point.  In a dungeon you only need one tank and one healer, and more importantly in a raid you only need 2 tanks and maybe as many as 5 healers.  Fewer of them are needed overall to fill a group out, so it is easier, much easier, to fill those positions.

Also to that point, being fewer of them are needed the competition for those spots is usually more fierce.  This means the better players are the ones that rise to the top faster when competing for so few open spots.  This is the number one reason why I say you would be hard pressed to find truer words when it is said that it is easier to find a good tank or healer than a good damage dealer.

So, while I have needed to fill in as a tank or a healer many times over those years, I rarely had to do so for long.  A new tank or new healer came along soon enough.  As I said, there are so few spots for them that there are always capable and even exceptional, tanks and healers out there with no guilds.

But lets look at the other side of the spectrum to reinforce that statement, even if after what I pointed out already it does not need any reinforcement.

Again, in my years as a raid leader I have found it to near nightmare levels of disappointment in finding a full crew of quality damage dealers.   As so many are needed to have an effective group the odds are even when you find yourself with a quality group there will always be that one guy, or gal, who is doing less damage than others, who does not understand an important mechanic, who you can not put on interrupt duty, who you can not count on target switching, or adds work, on getting out of the fire, of not suffering from tunnel vision or just plain old being a slightly lesser of a player than the rest of the group.

Even when you have the best group you have ever had, there will always be one person who you say "as long as that ability does not go on the rogue we got this" when working progression.  It is extremely hard, nigh impossible, to get a group of all quality damage dealers.  A group where the entire group is capable of dealing with mechanics, of remembering an interrupt order, of target switching as needed, of targeting the priority, or moving as a unit, of doing quality damage, of avoiding the avoidable, and of doing all the little things, is impossible to get, at least in any group under world first contention.

Being so many damage dealers are needed for a group the picking are slim and you usually get a few screw ups in your group.  So again, without a shadow of a doubt, many people like myself that are decent damage dealers, do not switch to tank or heal because it is easy to find a tank or healer but it is extremely difficult to find a decent damage dealer.  So basically the good DPS do not switch because it would be harder to find a good DPS to replace them if they did than it would be to find a good tank or healer to fill that open slot.  That is why good DPS do not switch, because good DPS are to few and far between, they can not be spared to switch, even more so when you need so damn many of them to make a group.

3) There is more of a chance to shine as a damage dealer.

Last but not least is the ego answer.   Some people just like to see themselves being on the top.  Hard to do as a healer because for a healer it is a group effort.  Sometimes the healer that did the least heals was the most important healer on the fight.  Sometimes the healer that was calling out when to dispel and who to dispel was doing a more important job than their healing numbers alone might show.  For a tank you can try to press as much DPS as possible while still surviving so you can toot your own horn but really if you want your ego to go through the roof, you need to be a damage dealer to get your fill of patting yourself on the back.

Admittedly the top damage dealer is not always the "best" player.  Actually in most evenly skilled groups the top damage dealer is rarely the "best" player.  More often than not they are the person that refuses to do special duty, or will not interrupt and say let the lower DPS do it, all because it will hurt their numbers.  So no, being top damage dealer does not mean someone is good, absolutely not, but it does do something for their ego and, as it seems, a great many people like that. They yearn for it.

But it is not only about ego in the sense they want to show everyone how great they are, it is also when it comes to roles, being a damage dealer is the role that you never stop learning at.  No matter how good you do, you can do better.  While some people might like to shine at the tops of the damage charts, there are others like myself that like to shine, even if only in their own eyes, by constantly getting better at what they do.  I know there will always be someone out there that makes me look like a complete noob because I could do better and I like the challenge of playing a role where I can always find something I did wrong so I can try to not make the same mistakes again.  It is also a role in which you can see yourself getting better.

No matter how well you do there is always room to improve as a damage dealer.  Is there something you could have done better in your rotation?  Did you miss a proc, did you focus, rage or energy cap, did you fill every available GCD that you were capable of doing something for, did you miss any auto attacks because you stepped out of range, the list goes on and on, there is never any end.  Can you avoid more avoidable damage, can you solo some mechanics that makes your raids life easier, can you do that special duty while not missing a beat and still rock out like a rock star on the numbers chart.

And as I mentioned earlier you can see yourself getting better.  It is not an ego thing for the world like the damage dealers that post charts all the time showing how awesome they are but it is a personal ego thing in a sense that you can see yourself getting better the more you work at it.

That is something which is much harder to see as a tank or a healer.  You could have some fantastic healers behind you and tank like a god, but not because you are using all your active mitigation and cooldowns correctly, but because they are some really great healers.  If that is the case, how do you know you are actually doing poorly and need to get better?  Or if you do start getting better how do you as the tank know you are getting better.  You were surviving and the boss was dying before, you are surviving and the boss is dying now.  Is you getting better immediately noticeable like it would be with a damage dealer?  So how do you know you improved?  Sure you can find out if you comb through the logs, sure you can ask your healers if you felt easier to heal, but it is not the same as getting better on a damage dealer when you can see it right there, first hand, and notice it.

Same goes for being a healer.  You can get better and better each week, but it is a team effort, and if you team keeps getting better too, you are not going to see your numbers go up because it is not all about the numbers.  If anything you will see your numbers go down.  Everyone will.  People taking less damage as they get better, fights getting shorter as they get better, all the other healers getting more reactive or preplanning as they get better. 

You can only heal a group for as much damage as they take.  If you are in a group with a solid tank and good damage dealers that can avoid stuff, your numbers will be lower than if you were in a group with a bad tank and damage dealers that just set up camp in the bad.  If you fail in a group like that are you doing worse or was it the group?  It is hard to judge as a healer.  Also healers have to be the single worst class in the game to get better at because effectively the better your healers get the fewer of them you need, so if your group gets real good, someone is going to be out of work soon and told to switch to their offspec or just removed from the raid completely in favor of someone that does more damage than they would in their offspec.  Not to mention, as long as the boss dies, you did well.  You can't heal more if everyone lived and was at full health.  You healed enough, more would be impossible in that case.  Unlike with a damage dealer.  Even if the boss died, you could have always done more, there is always room to do more.

So in the role of a damage dealer you have a lot more room to shine, be it for bragging rights or to see yourself continuously get better as a player shining in your own eyes.  You can shine more so and easier than it would be to shine as a tank or a healer.

So there are my three reasons that answer the question in the topic.  Now I am off to read the replies of others.  Perhaps something I read there will open my eyes and make me look at it a different way, but this is how I felt best answered that question.  Why do you think it is that good damage dealers do not become tanks or healers?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- I have not purchased anything from the blizzard store in a while.

- But seeing the new arcane hippogryph makes me want to break open the wallet.

- If that becomes a store mount, which I hope it does so I can get it right away, I will buy that without a seconds thought.

- I love hippogryph mounts.

- But I think you guessed that.

- Color does not mean anything.

- It is a matter of looks and size.

- I think they are the perfect size for flying mounts.

- But to each their own.

- What do you think is the "right" size for a flying mount.

- Some things just do not match.

- Like a tauren on a plainstrider.

- But a gnome on a plainstrider is a match made in heaven.

- I like that combo.

- Speaking of gnomes if you happen to be a gnome fan getting that winter veil thing in your garrison that turns you into a festively dressed gnome has to be a favorite addition of yours.

- While I do not normally like small characters I do sometimes like to run around as a gnome.

- I change into one each time I go to do the holiday dailies.

- Just seems fitting.

- My priest did some "baggie" LFRs again this weekend for tomes, did a total of 3 wings, and 9 bosses, and got one tome.

- At this rate she should be done with the legendary just in time for the next expansion.

- Meanwhile another one of my characters who has not killed every boss the last two weeks is sitting pretty at 19.

- So I would guess they came in on a few in progress runs so maybe I did 11 bosses each week.

- So I get 19 in 22 bosses on one character and the other I have to be over 50 kills on thus far and have 5.

- Speaking of boss kills, did a normal this weekend on one of my characters I never even started the legendary on.

- Felt like wasted potential.

- But they needed a healer and I bought in a 673 healer.

- Low for normal you say?

- I say just right.

- One shot everything all the way to archie and I had poor, but acceptable healing numbers.

- 3 healed a 17 person group but still it seemed like as a shaman, which I was, there were not enough times for my mastery to really make my numbers soar.

- It was the first time this character was in HFC, had not even done LFR.

- Heck, had not even opened T2 yet.

- I had to be summoned there.

- Felt funny because I am one of those people that never need a summon, I am always there on my own.

- I guess I could have flown there but the summon was faster.

- I won a few pieces of gear and ended the run with 12 of the 13 bosses down at 686.

- Not a bad run at all.

- Sure it was mostly a guild run with people on alts and some pugs, but it was still awesome to one shot everything on alts like we did.

- Wish our heroic runs were that smooth.

- We still wipe sometimes on bosses that should have been one shot bosses for a long time.

- And the even funnier part is we wipe on some of the easiest bosses in there like reaver and iskar.

- Put it this way, if someone is having lag issues it is a 100% certainty that they will put the wind on them on iskar.

- Or they will DC the second they get the orb.

- Have you ever killed iskar on heroic without using the orb?

- We did, once.

- The person with the orb DCed, we started to run the fire through them and not heal them just to kill them on purpose.

- We did about 1/2 the fight without the orb because we had no choice.

- Wish the game code was smart enough to pass it, to anyone, the second someone disconnects from the game.

- But I'll admit that doing the boss with no orb was probably the most exciting fight we have done this expansion.

- Did you know if you time it right you can run behind the pillars and not get blown off by the wind?

- We had to use that strategy on that kill.

- Only lost one person to the three sets of winds were were orbless for.

- Speed bosses, abilities, leap of faith, you name it, we used every trick in the book.

- Having three druids for stampeding roar didn't hurt either.

- Was fun, you should try doing it sometime.

- If you do LFR you have a hell of a lot of practice with no one ever throwing the orb.

- I wonder why mechanics like that even make it into LFR.

- You would think blizzard should know by now that anything that requires a group to work as a team never works in random grouping.

- At least their toned down the abilities to not matter there, so that is something.

- Either way, the mechanic should never have been in LFR to begin with.

- Over all had a good weekend with the holiday stuff.

- Got a few medallions, a few elixirs, a few follower upgrade things, and some alts got lucky with some needed oil.

- Seems like only my less played alts need oil, my main is floating in the stuff and I have not done T2 since the opening month.

- My main has like 60K, my two more played alts have like 26K and 12K, and one less played alt that somehow managed to get the oil mission for being revered is at 6K.

- But any alt that does not have the oil platform is screwed and working on follower missions only to get oil.

- So needless to say getting oil at the "you did not win the mount" parting gift is a welcome sight.

- BTW, I did not win the mount yet.

- I am decorating my garrison on my main and opening boxes on my alts.

- I do not do them all every day, but get it done on at least 5 or 6 each day.

- Over the weekend I did it on 11 on day.

- I was bored.

- Doing it on a healer with a follower that tanks can get you into a lot of trouble, and fast.

- The follower kept getting knocked back into more mobs and I got my 8 kills in one lump sum, but it really makes me wish we had some follower control.

- I got my 8, like I said, but it felt more like I killed 80 and not only 8.

- The AI is still miles better than that shadow pan guy from mists.

- What was his name, Protector Yi, or something.

- I still have nightmares about him, I think I partly blocked it out.

- He would pull entire zones.

- You would be nowhere near a mob and he would find a way to pull it.

- The mob would not even be aggressive, he would pull it.

- You name it, if it was on his hit chart where he could damage it, he would.

- And the worst part of the deal was he could not hold aggro.

- So maybe picking up mobs if he held aggro would not be so bad.

- But not holding aggro and then dying easily, he was, in a word, a nightmare.

- So you can tell they made a massive upgrade to the follower AI.

- It is better than our shadow pan buddies, that is for sure.

- Maybe I should add that to my list of posts about what warlords did right.

- Their bodyguards are leaps and bounds an improvement over the mists version of them.

- Still, when it comes to followers / bodyguards, Taoshi remains my favorite.

- Even if mists AI was not as good as the one in warlords.

- Taoshi rocked.

- Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pug Anxieties are Killing My Raiding Experience

First off I want to start by saying I have no advice to offer here.  I am dealing with an issue and writing about it helps me do so.  For those that do no know the meaning of anxiety in terms it fits for the game I will provide the definition so you can better understand what I am going through.

Anxiety - a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Basically being afraid to pug.  There is no more uncertain outcome than being grouped with a bunch of random people who you know nothing about.

I am completely certain I am not the only person that has experienced these feeling when pugging but I wasn't always this way.  And no, it was not bad pugs that made me start having this issue, I don't even know what triggered it.  I just have a very unreasonable fear of pugs for the last couple of years and it seems to keep getting worse.  It seems the more blizzard opens up pugging the more anxieties I have about it.  Even if I do join a pug and it goes well it does not make me feel less worried about the next pug I join, it makes me feel more worried.

These past few weeks with people on vacation for the holidays or other such stuff going on in life we have had some absences on the raid team.  One day without a tank, another down a healer, and then this week with 2 main tanks, 4 main healers, and 5 geared damage dealers I had the option of pugging 4 damage dealers or asking people to switch.

In each case I decided to switch to tank myself once, have someone else switch to healer another time, and then last night I had one healer switch to DPS and tried doing 2/3/6 which is really still over healing.  Each case we did not get the normal progression we should have on heroic.  One night we did 7 bosses, another 5 and then the last only 4.  We should be doing more than that in a raid night, we had done more than that, we can do more than that, but it is my fear of pugs that is making me rather have people switch than bring outsiders in to fill the gap even if I know filling the gap is more beneficial to the group as a whole.

Some might say I am trying to keep all gear in the guild, which is a good thing.  Some might say I am trying to push my group to be capable of doing more than just want they get used to which makes them better players, which is a good thing.  Some might say I am just trying to keep things moving instead of having to wait on pugs, which is a good thing.

But the truth is, I am just afraid to invite pugs to the group.  I would rather spend the night wiping on something we have been downing for months (which has happened) than bring in someone else and it is killing my enjoyment of raiding and I am pretty sure the spirit of the raiders as well.

One night a few weeks ago with two rookie tanks it took us 8 attempts to get iron reaver down.  A boss that should have been nothing of a challenge.  But instead of looking for two geared tanks I decided to have 2 people with 680ish alts tank it.  Admittedly it was a little low for unproven tanks in heroic, but we did manage even if we wiped more than a few times.

So you can think of it two ways, I challenged my group to do something and they did it.  Or I held them back because in the time it took us to down it, and the time I took out to explain the taunt switching and such to the tanks, we probably could have cleared the entire lower part.

I can maybe understand my anxieties about pugging alone because not doing it I only hurt myself, but I have a feeling if I keep this fear of pugging up I am going to do more damage to the guilds group than I have ever done to help them.

When I need people I should just go grab them.  There are a wealth of players out there looking to raid on even well geared mains, or very skilled players on undergeared alts.  Sure there will be some disruptive players, some toxic players, some loot drama that always come with pugs and other such unwelcome additions that come with it but there could also be bosses dying, loot being distributed and maybe even some new players finding their way to us on a regular basis because they like our style or we are a right fit for them and their progression.

There is good and bad to pugging, that is for sure, I know it.  So why do I fear it so?  Only a few short years ago I would start my own pugs, just me or just me and one guild mate and go in and do whatever I could in whatever was the current raid.  I had no qualms about it.  I made a lot of friends and it is where I built my reputation on my server as a good guy that was fun to play with.  But that was when pugging was server specific.  As they open up pugging more and more my anxieties seem to go up higher and higher about it.

Now I really am just the grumpy elf that would rather not kill something than invite a pug to his group because I have this unreasonable fear.

But the last couple of weeks I have been slowly trying to rectify the situation.  It is not working too well just yet, but it is working somewhat.

I am pugging alone, getting more comfortable in the pug environment again.  The other night before raid I did two pugs.  Not kidding, two pugs.  One was for one boss only oddly enough and it was even advertised that way but I still wanted to get into it to ease my way into interacting with others.  Also I figured it was perfect, a one boss raid means quick raid hopefully, so it made it the perfect raid for me.

I was doing this because I figure if I can get comfortable with pugging again maybe I can start inviting people into my groups, or better yet, meet someone in one of these groups that I could invite and it would feel more like a friend coming along instead of a pug.  Even if it is someone I only raided with once, I do not consider them really a pug.  I know them, even if it is just slightly.  For these pugs the fact I already killed the bosses meant nothing to me.  I wanted the interaction, that is what I was there for, to push myself to get over my anxieties.

First group was normal mano and archie.  One shot both.  The requirements to join were extremely reasonable at 705 item level.  The second group was heroic gorefiend only, the guy had killed all other bosses.  It was a one shot as well.  It had asked for 710 only and had the "know fight" tag which was simple and again very reasonable.

I then hit my anxiety driven wall, even after 2 pugs and 3 one shot kills you would think I would feel comfortable now, I am in the zone.  That was absolutely not the case.  I saw a heroic xhul that said it wanted 715 item level.  I have that so check.  It wanted 50K DPS minimum.  I have that and would probably do considerably more, so check.  It said know fight.  I know the fight, did it earlier this week even so check.

I had everything it asked for and more and I just could not bring myself to hit join group.  I clicked on the listing, even clicked on the join.  Started to type out my "know fight, can pull the numbers, am raid aware" line but never finished writing it.  I could not click the join and I don't know why.  I locked up.  The description seemed reasonable, no "raid leader is a jerk" indicators with the words he used.  I just could not do it.

And this was after two very successful pugs that had no jerks in them, went smooth as could be, and would be considered an outstandingly positive experience even by the harshest critics out there.

So I did not join that raid or any other for that matter.  I just wanted for an hour to see who showed up.  Saw a nice turn out and figured maybe we can do a couple upper heroic bosses that night and refused to pug again for that hour I was waiting because I was afraid to.

I need to figure out why I feel this overwhelming anxiety about pugs lately.  The main thing there is to do in the game right now is raid and I am afraid to pug.  It is bad enough if I ruin my own time by not being able to pug, but I do not wish to ruin the guilds time based on my own personal problems as well.

What caused this anxiety and how do I fix it, I need to figure that out on my own and I need to figure it out soon.  It is killing my enjoyment of raiding.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- Actually did some LFR on alts this weekend for the hell of it.

- No really bad groups.

- But the occasional jerk.

- Doesn't it seem like there always is one?

- We had a rogue that kept pulling trash left and right trying to wipe us.

- Like pulling the big guy on the way to council.

- Like going around corners and pulling extra packs.

- And let me say this groups was not in any way over geared for the LFR content.

- It was not one of those power groups.

- My rogue, whom you all know I am quite poor at playing, was usually near the top even on trash pulls which is sadder than sad.

- Amazingly we did not wipe even with this persons attempts to kill us.

- So they might not have been the most powerful group but oddly enough they seemed to be a very organized one.

- They focused adds down in a reasonable priority, as nothing was going down fast.

- Over all I would say it was a great group, even if the numbers might not have seen it if you were on the outside looking in.

- People were interrupting, chain stunning, knocking back, using all their tools.

- Color me impressed.

- Whenever you hear me complain people should be banned from LFR, that is the type of person I am talking about.

- Seemed they were doing it on purpose to try and ruin everyone's day.

- Yet maybe, just maybe, we can think about it another way.

- Maybe he was trying to make people into better player by pushing them to do better not to wipe.

- Interesting thought when you think about it that way isn't it?

- Still say blizzard needs some hard and fast rules for people that act like that.

- Finally decided to do blackhand again on my priest to get the arm.

- Only took three tries to get it.

- Love when a 100% drop doesn't drop.

- I can understand the first time as some people had said if you already killed him that week you can not get the arm killing him a second time.

- I understand that, I do not agree with that however, but I do understand it.

- My druid killed him to get the last of the runes and then killed him again to get the arm on the same day in back to back queuing.

- My second hunter killed him on a saturday, finished collecting runes the next day on sunday and killed him again for the hand on that sunday.

- So I can say with 100% certainty that is not true, you can get the arm after you already kill him that week.

- But like I said, I can understand if you don't get it, you did already kill him, so I'll chalk that one up to maybe my druid and my second hunter, who both killed him twice in the same week, got lucky.

- But me getting lucky, come on, what are the odds of that?

- But the second time I killed him it was a fresh week, I had not killed him in weeks, and I did not get the arm.

- That is not acceptable.

- Do you know what blizzards response to my ticket was when I sent it in?

- Not all quest drops are a 100% drop change.

- Nope, not kidding, that was their response.

- Quest items like that have always been 100% drops all throughout the history of the game.

- I think the people that respond to tickets should be require to play the game so they have some clue what they are talking about instead of just spitting out whatever nonsense comes to mind.

- Either way, I finally got the arm on my priest and figured I would get some tomes now.

- I waited and waited and waited before entering the queue.

- I refuse to queue as a healer without the baggie.

- So I only managed 3 of the 5 wings before I got bored of waiting.

- Funny how that works.

- The raid actually has something I want and I will still not do it unless they gave me more.

- I don't need gear from it, so I want the baggie.

- Seems fair to me.

- And who does not like an additional 500+ gold.

- Not like I need the gold, it is the principle of the matter for me.

- If they want me to queue without the bag, drop real tier sets and not LFR tier sets.

- Drop real trinkets and not LFR trinkets.

- Even if my priest is not raiding, I raid, and if I ever want to bring my priest into an alt run I would rather them have LFR real tier than the LFR fake tier.

- If they added real tier back I would have gladly run it on my priest even without the baggie.

- Hell, if they added real tier back every single one of my alts would be running it (gladly) and they would all have real tier and be ready for an alt raid.

- But as it is the only reason I am running it is for tomes, that drop really poorly anyway mind you, so that extra 500 gold goes a long way.

- Not to mention I want to stack up on some baleful pieces.

- Might boost something soon on a high progression server and want to have a quick head start with them.

- Just have not decided on what server yet but I do have an idea.

- I want a server where I can get into mythics.

- Sure I know you can cross realm them now, but I want to get into a group on a more progressed server to start mythics the week they come out next expansion, not months and months after I should be done with them.

- Not a lot to ask for I think.

- Speaking of mythic, I got my butt handed to me this weekend by a fully mythic geared person.

- On their alt.

- It is rare I meet anyone I can not hold my own against, even when they are in complete mythic gear.

- Sure they will beat me but they will still see I did respectable.

- I'll keep it close and usually do.

- I may not be a great player but I sure as hell am a respectable player.

- Was running mythic dungeons, needed a 5th, so we pugged a 738 shaman.

- Now with the group I had, me, another high DPS and a tank geared for DPS numbers with a really killer healer we were mass pulling and just blowing the dungeons up.

- But this shaman made me look like a newbie on nearly all the trash pulls.

- And some of the boss pulls too, even if I did beat him on a few of those.

- I know MM is not an AoE spec, but getting beat by someone doing 800K on trash is embarrassing.

- On an alt nonetheless that he was just starting to upgrade his gear on.

- Game, set and match, I was beat.

- I bow to him, job well done.

- And he even did big numbers on single target too even if I was able to eek out a few bosses where I beat him.

- We seemed 50/50 on bosses, he would win one I would win one.

- Not like bosses lasted long, usually 8-10 seconds max, with him doing well over 300K sometimes, me pulling around 240K if I got some lucky procs the other DPS around 150K and the tank doing roughly 60K not to mention the healer doing over 20K, nothing lasted long.

- But when I beat him on a boss it was barely however when he beat my on a boss he killed me there too.

- Not as bad as he did with the AoE, but still rough.

- I was very impressed.

- Maybe I should roll on his server and find him.

- His server was the one I was thinking of rolling on to begin with.

- If his alt is that well geared, and he is that solid of a player, perhaps that server has some better groups.

- Actually I know it does, I have 2 characters on that server that I have not leveled since wrath.

- Perhaps I could boost one of them.

- A druid and a hunter over there.

- Even though I have not leveled them since wrath I know the server is good.

- I log on there from time to time to chat for a little bit.

- They were always pugging heroic before 95% of raiding guilds were finished with normal back in wrath and cata as I recall.

- And downing heroic with those pugs, which is the more important factor.

- Maybe if I ever wanted to get more progression oriented that would be the server to do it on.

- Even if I just pugged there.

- Something to consider.

- I would love to be in a group where I needed to step up my game to even keep up.

- Being around good players makes you a better player.

- At least I have always believed so.

- You have to want to become better however, that is the key.

- I have some people in my guild I have raided with for many years that are who they are and never seem to get better.

- We try to teach them, we try to help them, but it seems they reached their skill cap.

- I think it is more a desired skill cap than an actual skill cap however.

- I know they can get better, I just do not think they wish to.

- But hey, when you are in a guild like mine having someone that shows up on time every week you take what you can get and are damn happy to have them.

- Even if I need to bring extra enchants just for him because if he gets and upgrade he always forgets.

- I don't get people sometimes.

- Wouldn't you want to be at least enchanted?

- I feel I am letting people down if I do not at least try to do the little things like that.

- Forget playing right and doing right, just the idea of preparing right goes a long way in my mind.

- But I'm weird.

- What the hell do I know.

- To each their own I guess.

- Oh, I did have two fantastic moments of luck this weekend.

- So yeah, I guess I do get lucky sometimes, rarely but sometimes.

- My rogue was doing the world boss, I could only use one thing on it.

- As the boss died I said, give me my neck, and it dropped.

- Woot.

- But the second was better because I was not even trying for it.

- While doing my timewalkers I got the mount to drop.

- I know it could drop but I was not hoping for it.

- I figured with my luck I would never get it so I was not even thinking about it.

- When it dropped I looked at it like "what's this".

- I was shocked.

- Maybe the secret is not wanting something to get it.

- Oh wait, there was one more thing.

- Finally got a trinket from heroic, and it was warforged too, and it was off a roll.

- Still never seen the damn thing drop, even when on alts, so it seems like the only want to win it was with a roll.

- Too bad it seems to be one win per 10 rolls.

- But I will gladly take that win.

- So yeah, that was my luck, so I best not expect anything special for the next 6 months again.

- I blew my luck load on the timewalker mount.

- But even if I dislike large mounts I must say it is a very nice one.

- So it was worth spending my luck on that.

- Have a great day.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Things Warlords Did Right: Non-Linear Raids

With all the bad things people can say about warlords it is very easy to forgot about some of things that the expansion did well.  You can complain about no dailies, no reason to do dungeons after release which valor and it associated gear could have cured early on, no flight at release, ashran not living up to what some people expected and I could go on and on with more, very reasonable, complaints we have heard.  Because of things like those ones I mentioned it is a fairly safe assumption warlords is near the bottom of more than a fair amount of peoples lists, but that does not mean that warlords did not do a few things right.

In the third of a series of posts addressing the things they did right, and only those things, I want to take a look at the boss progression in raids, which in my opinion, was done fairly well this expansion.

Warlords made their raid progression design better this expansion in my opinion.

There might be a lot of things we can pick apart with raids like the fact smaller groups still have a much harder time than larger ones or if you are from the school of thought that believes 20 man only mythic destroyed the average guild but this is not about either of those things or other things that we might find questionable about their raid design.  It is about the one thing I think, hands down, was done well for raiding in warlords, and that is non-linear progression.

Right from the start we were given options about how we would tackle the raids.  After the first boss in highmaul we saw that this raid offered us options, once that you could choose how to progress.  Was your group a powerful damage dealing group but not always the best as special duty detail and avoiding the avoidable?  Go for the Butcher.  Was your group top notch with special duties, then perhaps Brackenspore might be a better way to progresses.  Maybe your group was excellent at avoiding damage but not so much with huge numbers or spot on special duties, than maybe Tectus ha your name written all over him.

Sure you would need to beat all the bosses eventually, but with options like this it allowed your group to play to their strengths and get some gear from the bosses that played to their strengths.  My group was always good at throwing up some large numbers so butcher was a breeze for us, no problem at all, while my friends group which was more a mechanics based group went after tectus first.  They had not problem with him but lots of trouble with butcher while we were the other way around, it took us more than a couple of wipes to down tectus but butcher was a one shot even early on.

A design like that made for an excellent way for each group to design their own progression path.  When the second raid came out blizzard did something they rarely do.  They kept rolling with a good idea.  Usually the best ideas get thrown to the side and forgotten about, think ulduar raid design for a prime example of that.  But blizzard kept up with the choose your own progression path.

While my guild went to Gruul first because we are a DPS heavy group, when we started downing bosses on a regular basis we decided that going to the Hans and Franz wing first was the better idea.  The three bosses in that wing, at least for our make up, were the easiest over all, on top of that, that wing offered 2 chances at tier pieces.  Other groups might have went the beast lord wing first while still others might have done the Gruul one.  For us, as blast furnace was really giving us trouble, even with Gruul and Oregorger being easy, we always saved that for last.

The wings worked well in that sense as people could go with whichever one fits their groups strengths, or they worked so that a starting guild could pick off the first boss of each wing just to get some easy ones out of the way to get more gear for the second bosses of each wing.  It was, in a word, a very solid design.

To add to the wing design and choose who you wish to kill was the quests they added that once you killed the end boss of each wing 4 times in any particular difficulty you could, if you so decided, go directly to the last boss in that difficulty.  This effectively meant that you had full choice in the raid, shoot for the wing you wanted to do, or just go in and kick the big baddies butt and leave.  You decide for your own guilds progression.  Play for kills, play for progression, or play for just going after the bosses that had the loot your group needed to move forward another day.  It gave you choices.

When Hellfire came out you might have thought those options were gone, and to some extent they did seem lesser, but they were not gone.  The first two bosses were the first two bosses, there was nothing you could do about that, but you did have a minor choice after that.  Go to the super super easy Hellfire Loot Council, or the slightly harder but still entry level  Kormrock depending on your groups strengths and weaknesses.

Keeping with the quest to move further design they had in blackrock they added a quest for Gorefiend were if you killed him 4 times you can just warp past him to the upper level.  Although he worked as the old school gate, and a quite difficult one for some groups, where you needed to kill boss A to get to boss B it wasn't just that.   Once you killed him enough you could warp past him as I said, but it also was not an A to B thing, it was kill A to get to B, C, D or E.  Another choice in how you wanted to progress.

You could go to the "this is what addons were made for" Iskar, or to Socrethar and his Mr Roboto so we could kill him for the 4th time, or was it 5th, or you could go to the Fel Lord Zakuun and save Grom when we really should have been killing Grom too, or you could have went to the hardest of the four in Xhul.  You could easily play to the strengths of your group.

Once you picked and choose your way around the upper citadel there was one more boss to kill before moving forward and start working on your second quest boss.  One were if you killed it 4 times you could jump right too him, not past him like Gorefiend but too him.  Either way it gave you yet another way to choose what you wanted to do when you came in to raid.

Do you just want to go to the end and kill the last 2?  Do you want to do the beginning and gear some people up on alts or maybe get those pieces you still have not been lucky enough to see drop (looking at you blademaster)?  Do you want to do the upper and get those bosses you probably have killed the least, maybe a pet to sell from Iskar, or a tier piece from Soc or Zhul, or a trinket in my case from Tyrant?  It is all your choice, you could choose your own progression.

There are a lot of things I could nit pick about when it comes to raiding like the things I mentioned at the start or the random upgrades from warforged or gem slotted gear, but I can never complain about the very good job they did giving us options for our raiding progression this expansion.  Each and every raid had options.  Maybe you liked them, maybe you didn't, but I personally believe this was a step in the right direction for raid design and I really do hope they keep up with it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Things Warlords Did Right: Crafted Gear

With all the bad things people can say about warlords it is very easy to forgot about some of things that the expansion did well.  You can complain about no dailies, no reason to do dungeons after release which valor and it associated gear could have cured early on, no flight at release, ashran not living up to what some people expected and I could go on and on with more, very reasonable, complaints we have heard.  Because of things like those ones I mentioned it is a fairly safe assumption warlords is near the bottom of more than a fair amount of peoples lists, but that does not mean that warlords did not do a few things right.

In the second of a series of posts addressing the things they did right, and only those things, I want to take a look at the crafted gear, which in my opinion, was done pretty well this expansion.

Warlords did crafted gear well, not perfect, but very well.

There are a few things I can still pick at with the crafted gear that I did not like such as the limit three, but seeing how high the item level was (lower heroic level at the end) it is understandable why they had to have some limit, and the random secondary stats.  This expansion way over used random as content for its design and not even the well designed crafted gear this expansion escaped that error in creative judgement.

But putting the questionable decisions to the side crafted gear did something this expansion that it had never been able to do before, and that was they became a viable way to get at least a few piece of gear for everyone throughout the entire expansion.  That is something I consider huge.  I major plus in the design of crafted gear.

So where did they go right in my opinion?  Lets start at the beginning.

The crafted gear was a high item level to start and it could be perfect starter gear once you hit 100, or even better, perfect leveling gear as it could be equip at level 91.  It made it so that way even the base items always had value throughout the entire expansion.  Whether it was get a few decent pieces right off the bat once you hit 100, or to throw a few, over powered for the level, pieces on your alt while leveling thanks to the very low and extremely generous level 91 requirement.

As I mentioned I did not like the randomized stats, however I did like the fact there was an item to reorganize the stats.  It could have been done better, it could have been less random, but at least it was there.  Something that we have to give some credit to the people who designed the crafted gear for adding.

So we had decent level gear we would upgrade, we had stats we could customize, and we could actually equip these items at a level low level to enjoy the power they gave up while leveling.  All this sounds great, but it was only the start of what made crafting gear so good this expansion.

What made it all the better was that the key ingredient for the patterns, Savage Blood, was attainable by everyone and it was not soulbound.   It was unlike anything we had ever seen before.  It was not like Primordial Saronite from Wrath that was attained predominantly from raids as an rare drop.  It was not like Chaos Orbs that were BoP and rolled on by every crafter to share in Cataclysm.  It was not like Haunting Spirits that required disenchanting raid gear in Mists to get or like the motes that were random world drops and could not be traded at the start of Mists as well.

What made the key ingredient, Savage Blood, so great this expansion was it was something simple that everyone, even a non raider could get and it was not bound to you so your main could collect them and send them over to your crafting alts.  So you could farm them to sell or have all your alts working on them so your crafter could make gear for your main.  I think this was one of the best changes that could happen to the way crafted gear was made, making the key ingredient so accessible. 

So no matter if you were a raider or not, a main or an alt, a powerful player or a weak one that needed to group up, no matter what, you could get savage blood to make your gear and that was awesome for everyone.  And it did not stop with savage blood.  Even as new gear levels came out the new key ingredient of Felblight, while it might have given a small edge to people with gathering professions, it too could be attained by anyone just by joining in on a fight with the world boss, leaving the idea that the key ingredient for crafted gear was something everyone could get if they just put in a little effort of going out to get it.

Speaking of new levels of gear comes the #1 reason why I think crafted gear was done so well this expansion.

One of my largest complaints with blizzards designers over the years was that everything they make seems to come from a mindset of "this is the last patch we will ever release".  They do not make anything thinking about how will this work next expansion or even next patch.  They make things with no concept of "how will this work in the future" and I have often criticized that, rightfully so I believe.  While it remains true that they still seem to run the game mostly in that "pay no mind" to the future design philosophy, the people who designed the crafted gear apparently wanted nothing to do with that and it was designed to last not one raid, not two raids, but the entire expansion long.

What is even better was that as the upgrades went along, the older upgrades decreased in the number of materials needed to make them.  Once again showing spectacular forethought in the development of crafted gear that would last an entire expansion and great execution in carrying it out.

The idea that the patterns we got for the first craftable gear items we made was still good at the end of the expansion is something we have never seen in the history of the game.  Usually the first time a new patch comes out everything before that patch becomes useless and I think crafting gear this expansion showed that you can do things differently and it can work well.

Sure making a piece of gear all the way to max level at the end of the expansion took a lot of materials, but the materials were all within grasp of every single player and the key ingredients were capable of being traded on the auction house if you needed more.

I liked crafted gear, even with the few shortcomings that they had, because they lasted the entire expansion, because they seemed to be well thought out and because they were one of the things that warlords did right and I would love to see them keep this design philosophy in future expansion and maybe we can remember it as "the one good thing" that came from warlords.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Things Warlords Did Right: Questing

With all the bad things people can say about warlords it is very easy to forgot about some of things that the expansion did well.  You can complain about no dailies, no reason to do dungeons after release which valor and it associated gear could have cured early on, no flight at release, ashran not living up to what some people expected and I could go on and on with more, very reasonable, complaints we have heard.  Because of things like those ones I mentioned it is a fairly safe assumption warlords is near the bottom of more than a fair amount of peoples lists, but that does not mean that warlords did not do a few things right.

In the first of a series of posts addressing the things they did right, and only those things, I want to take a look at the questing experience, which in my opinion, was done exceptionally well this expansion.

Warlords did questing well.

I know a lot of people still consider the warlords questing experience to be quite linear in nature but I have to disagree.  As someone who actually enjoys questing, both the act of doing them and reading the quests that accompany them, I would like to consider myself a connoisseur or sort when it comes to questing and I believe it is in fact the best job they have ever done making it non-linear.

To support my claim that the questing is in fact not linear is the fact that the "end of zone" reward, the book we get that we can trade in for a garrison blueprint, can be attained in each and every zone without doing the entire zone.  Heck, in one of those zones, Nagrand, you get it near the beginning of the zone.  That is the "big" zone reward.  So the fact that you do not need to do the entire zone to get it is about as much proof that the questing is not linear as you need.

Linear questing is such.  You need to do A to open B then do B to open C then do C to open D and continue along.  If you want to see what real linear questing was, go quest in cataclysm content.  In each and every zone on Draenor you can do the quests you are given to start with or you can choose just to turn the lead in quest in and not pick up the quests it sends you to and go exploring.  You will find many quests you can pick up that give you little hubs in that area and did not require you to do anything to open them.  You really can choose which quests you want to do and which you do not.

If you so choose to quest as I do, where I do the ones that get me followers and the "end of zone reward" as fast as possible, yes, you can call it linear, as I make the most efficient path to get the rewards I want and as such it does end up being the same on every character.  But the fact of the matter does remain, I do not have to do it that way, I choose to.

It is that open questing, those choices of which hubs you want to do and which you do not, that makes questing this expansion such a breath of fresh air over what we were used to in the past expansions.  Never before has the questing experience given us so many options of which quests to do.

And it does not stop there, as questing is usually a means to level and blizzard did not stop by making that questing experience better over all they made it so there were extras in it.  Not only the standard extras where a certain quest might offer a toy or something fun either.

They had rare mobs, although they were not as fun as the mists rares where you could kill them over and over and they had what could be a quality drop for you, they were one off kills this time around, they were still something to help break up the questing experience and offer another way to get some experience points for leveling.  Also there were a lot more in one single zone then in all of Pandaria combined making it so it would be near impossible to not run into a few of them while questing.  Most were easy, some could be a challenge for some classes, and some where without a doubt over tuned, but they worked as a fair distraction to the standard questing design.

They added bonus objectives that in reality were nothing more than combining four different quests that usually would be the complement of a hub into one large bonus objective.  Some people did them, some ignored them, but they were there as an option and even if all they really were was a collection of quests bundled together into one, some people really liked them.  More than a few people I know that are adverse to questing, they just despise it, loved doing all the bonus objectives, even if, as I said, all they really are were quests.  Packaging together quests as something new and different, worked exceptional for the questing experience and was a good addition to the game.

But wait, that is not all, there were also treasures all over the place.  Some might say treasures are not part of the questing experience but once more I respectfully disagree.  Where did I and many others come across those treasures?  While questing.  Did we take a few steps off the questing trail once in a blue moon to pick up one of those treasures?  I know I did.  Do my alts make sure to grab all the treasures they can to speed up their leveling experience while questing?  Your damn skippy they do.  Treasures played a very intricate part of the leveling process through questing.  They gave us something to break up the monotony, sometimes gave us something we could use, and lets not forget the nice little chuck of experience you got for finding them.  I actually almost had the 200 treasure achievement as soon as I hit 100 on my first character the day the expansion came out because I was collecting as I went, while questing.  So yeah, it was part of the questing experience.

Another little tid bit that people who do not play alts are always do the same things on each character they play might not have noticed is that depending on which building you decided on in each zone you opened up a different sub quest hub based on that building.  Like in gorgrond you could either end up doing the upper quests or the lower quests, gathering wood or breaking rocks, it made the experience different, if you decided to take that path.  And for those completionists out there like myself you could even switch building after you did all the quests and do the other set of quests which also gets you different followers when you do it, because each of those buildings has a follower associated with it and which building you choose dictates which follower you get the quest for.  It might not be much, but it was a kind of cool way to spice of questing for people with multiple characters or people that wanted to see it all like myself.

There are a lot of bad things people can say about warlords but when you pick it apart piece by piece there were some things it did well and in my opinion the questing while leveling experience has never been more open, optional or diverse as it was this expansion and it was surely something I think warlords did right.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Few Words on Loot Assignment

Talking with a few guild mates last night on voice chat it occurred to me how different people really are when it comes time to talk about loot in general.

I was mentioning some pugging I did this week, laughing, about how some groups are looking to get people buy saying things like "All Monk loot reserved" or "Agility trinket reserved".  I said, it really limited the potential sign up, or could create problems from people that do not read, which is most, reserving loot like that.

Someone said they would never join a pug with reserved loot, even if they were a guaranteed one shot group, even if the loot that was reserved was for a class they were not on, never never never.  Another one said they have no problems joining a group with reserves as long as they are all mentioned beforehand.  Me, I lean more toward the second person, as long as I know about it before hand than I can make an informed decision on if I want to join or not.  Also with coins now at least I would have a chance to roll so even if something is reserved I can still win what I am looking for.  In theory anyway.

The comments ran the gambit from one end to the other, some even getting rather hostile over the idea that people would even reserve something.  The one logical comment made, and really one I agree with 100%, was "if I helped them down the boss then I have equal rights to all loot that drops from it".  I agree completely, unless you are a carry if you helped in the downing of the boss you should have the same right to loot that drops from it as any other person.

I mentioned that when looking for a raiding guild for my horde hunter last expansion I used that same line.  I got invited to join a few heroic (now mythic) guilds that offered to trial me.  All well and dandy, until they told me that I could not roll on loot for the first 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how the trial goes.  No thank you.  I do not care if you have downed something 20 times and it is my first time.  If I can not roll on loot there is absolutely no reason for me to help you kill the boss.

Needless to say I had a dreadfully hard time finding a guild, but I did end the expansion in nearly all heroic (now mythic) gear because I held out for groups where I would be allowed to roll on gear.  I believe, as I said, unless it is a pure carry, if you contribute to the downing of a boss you have the same rights to loot as anyone else there.

So we went back and forth about our opinions on pugs, laughing at some of the requirements they ask for, like the one normal archie group that wanted 740 item level only.  Or the one that wanted AotC for normal, not as bad as asking for 740 but lets get real.  One of my favorites was a reserve one where the guy put, random loot on reserve.  What exactly does that mean?  I have no problem joining a group I know there is something on reserve in, but I am not going to join a group that said random loot on reserve.  How do I know that what I want to roll on you won't say, "Oh, that is one of the things I reserved, sorry.".  Eh, no thanks, I'll pass.

Then we got to talking about our guild and one of the members that just left because being on the topic of loot someone got upset because a player left guild and switched servers after "we geared her up".  I told him not to think of it that way.

Sure we ran a few normal clears to get her gear when she came back to the game and then we carried her through some heroics until she started to get back into the swing of things, but she tried her best based on the gear she had and once geared she did contribute just as much as anyone else in the group.  She was a great player and she was starting to get back into the game.  Maybe she wanted more.

I do not know were she left to join.  Maybe to join a top progression guild again, as we did originally recruit her away from blood legion, and she came to us because she still wanted to be in a good guild but without the hardcore pressure any longer.  Or maybe she left to go play with her boyfriend again as she had mentioned she wanted to do for a while, who happens to be horde side, who knows, we did not talk before she left.

Either way, I do not look at it as "we geared her up".  I look at it as we helped her gear up as she helped us down bosses.  Sure we did run normal a couple of weeks were we could have spent the time getting more gear in heroic or working on progression, sure it sucks losing someone we invested time in, but it is all par for the course if you ask me.  It is not last expansion.  The raiding scene is dying a painful death as a whole, we are no longer the #1 25 man guild on the server and #3 10 man on the server where people are fighting to come to us, we are just another run of the mill casual raiding guild once more.  So people will leave, it is the way it is.

But he got so offended, took it personally, and I think if ever she decided to come back to the guild he would cause problems with it.  All because in his mind "we geared her up and she left".

It is amazing how possessive people get over gear, even if it is not gear for them. Be it in pugs, in guild, what have you, they have the idea that it is "my gear".  I'd think if anyone would be that jaded about it that person would be me with my piss poor luck.  Yet in the end I think I am one of the few people that have, what I believe, to be a healthy outlook on gear.

I wonder what other peoples opinion on the matter is, in respect to pugs reserving things if you would like it or not, join them or not, and in respect to having people gear up and then move along in your guild.  As it seems from my discussions last night, some people have very strong views on these loot assignment issues.  What are yours?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- Decided this weekend I would run my horde hunter through LFR.

- Did not need valor on my main and did not feel like playing any other alts.

- Last I played it, some 3 months ago or maybe longer I guess, I was sitting at 11 tomes, so I figured what the hell.

- It had only ever did LFR, no real raiding, and the last I played it the last 2 parts of LFR were not even out yet.

- So a full clear and guess how many tomes I got for it?

- Come on, I know you wanna guess and make fun of my horrible luck.

- Two, I got two.

- Thought it was going to be a good run.

- Got one off the first boss I killed.

- And that was it until the last of the 13 bosses.

- First and last boss gave me a tome, none others did.

- I'd say that fits my luck perfectly.

- At least all the runs were very smooth.

- Don't recall wiping on any bosses, not even archie.

- But we did wipe on trash twice I think.

- And we did not, repeat, did not have any high geared players carrying any of the groups.

- I think it was just a solid group of all alts of people that knew how to play somewhat decently.

- Made for a nice run.

- But I learned one thing about my horde hunter.

- I am so out of practice I really suck at beast mastery.

- I am not just talking doing poorly, I am talking wow I sucked it up.

- My horde hunter is mixed in whatever it could get its hands on gear wise, so a collection of junk, and a 682 item level.

- I was doing around 30K-34K on most fights.

- Now maybe I am just wrong for comparing it to my main hunter which when it was 682 had the 4 piece BRF tier and that was easily over 50K at that item level, but it made me feel bad for the people I was playing with.

- Yes, even in the LFR I felt like I was letting them down.

- But when it came to AoE I can see why BM shines over MM in a million and one ways.

- I was pulling close to 200K on some AoE trash pulls, and not just bursting that that, staying close to there.

- Sure I would drop to 160 or so, but I could never do that on my MM unless the packs died fast.

- And these were not dying fast.

- Now to figure out how to do single target better.

- I know there is more I can get out of it even without the tier set.

- I know the priority, I know the abilities, I know how to maximize the KCs for BW with FF, I just do not think I was getting the most out of it.

- But I will take the same advice I give everyone else when they say their numbers are not where they should be.

- Practice.

- No really.

- I can give people advice until the cows come home (no pun intended as my hunter is tauren) but they will never get better if they do not practice.

- All the advice in the world won't help someone that does not do what they are supposed to do right.

- Either way, by the end of the run I was feeling a little better about BM, even if not comfortable with it again yet.

- Always takes me two or three weeks of playing it ease back into a spec.

- Now lets get off horde hunter BM DPS and move to more fun random thoughts.

- Well, maybe fun depending on how you look at it.

- Blizzard had some fun this weekend, that is for sure, trolling me.

- I've been trying to get those rare pets that were added in 6.2 but never see them around.

- I sometimes spend a half hour flying around to see if one spawned, but have never seen the one in Talador.

- But Saturday I saw one, my hands started to shake a little, can I land and get to it before someone else tags it.

- It was the first time I had ever seen one.

- I land and click on it, or try to, but I miss.

- And miss again, and again.

- I can't even click on the damn thing as it flies around.

- I then finally get it.

- First attack my pet lands a crit, no big deal the mob still has over 500 life left.

- Second attack I land another crit for over 600 and kill it.


- I forfeit the fight because I could swear I heard if you forfeit or lose the mob reappears.

- For the record, that is 100% false, the pet was gone and did not return.

- /cry

- The first one I ever saw and I kill it by landing 2 critical strikes in a row from a pet I swear I do not recall ever seeing a hit over 500 before.

- What are the odds of getting two crits in a row like that?

- It never ever happens when I need it to.

- So I decide I just killed it, so it has to respawn somewhere else right?

- I am going to scour this entire place and find it.

- I put my corgi in, although I could have put my turnip in too, just so that way I would not kill it again if I ran into it.

- Low and behold less than 10 minutes later I see it again.

- I land, go to click on it, accidentally click on a mob and fire a shot at it and the mob does an AoE and kills it.


- Blizzard, why do you hate me so?

- Well, it has to respawn again right, so I will keep searching, I know today is my day.

- Once more less than 10 minutes of flying around and I see another one.

- I land, slowly, I put my mouse over it, every so sure handed, and I click on it.

- It is a poor one but who cares, I will just stone it, this pet will be mine.

- And it was.

- Finally.

- But blizzard was not done trolling me.

- No, not by a long shot.

- See, I have been trying to get that garrison achievement for doing all the archaeology missions but I still need one, that never pops up.

- Story of my life right?

- And I keep buying the explorers notebook to force an archaeology mission to spawn.

- But I was all out of restored artifacts to buy more so figured I would do some archaeology and get a few.

- And also work toward my pristine collection achievement at the same time.

- I was flying about digging, which I remind you I only do because I can fly, please take note of that you dim wits at blizzard that do not like us flying.

- I was doing it, and enjoying it, only because of flying.

- And I get one dig in forstfire ridge.

- Right on top of garn nighthowl.

- You have to be F'N kidding me.

- Maybe someone is farming him and there will not be any mobs around.

- I get there and there is no such luck.

- I land and start digging.

- It tells me to get closer to the pack.

- Do you know the pack I am talking about.

- The one with the big nighthowl and his bunch of baby nighthowls around it.

- And by babies I mean the babies which are the smaller ones that are level 100 elites with millions of health each.

- And there are a lot of them completely surrounding him.

- I step closer, closer, closer.

- I dig.

- Damn, I need to get closer.

- Blizzard, why do you hate me so?

- Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch.

- Two points for reference.

- I dig again and it appears.

- Right under the snout of one of the babies.

- Sleeping babies.

- Please stay sleeping baby wolf.

- I am a hunter and I love animals, I do not kill them, I keep them well fed and give them a home to live in and they are my friends.

- Do not eat me Mr Wolfie.

- I grab the dig and turn tail and run off.

- Of course I was not done, there are more than just one dig per site, but I got that hard one out of the way.

- So what do I do next?

- Think logical about it.

- I get myself killed because I am not paying attention and while walking around digging two come up from behind me and maul my purple elf butt to death.

- Looking at my death log is like this.

- 311,570 from garn nighthowl.

- 158,616 you have died.

- Ouch.

- I did not die a second time, I keep an eye on all the roamers around there.

- I did not realize how many there are in that area until I did the dig.

- There has to be 35-40 of them, if not more.

- It was the single most "exciting" dig of my entire life.

- And if you do archaeology get ready for next expansion.

- With mobs scaling to your level and no flying, every single dig site has the potential to be exactly like that.

- It was fun, yes, but I will never even think of touching archaeology until A) I have flying and B) I am so far over geared that even scaling to my level I can one shot things.

- The garn dig site was really fun to do, as a once in a blue moon thing, but if every dig site was like that, sorry the reward is most definitely not worth the effort.

- They better put dig sites in areas where no mobs are in legion.

- Because this will not be fun if that is what every single one is like.

- Serious question, if they are removing a stat next expansion, why is versatility still in game?

- They could have removed that and no one would complain but they are removing multistrike instead.

- Sure, remove a stat some classes actually love and keep a stat everyone either doesn't understand or doesn't want.

- Versatility is not bad, so to speak.

- But given the option most people would want anything else.

- So are we really going to go through another expansion of everyone and their mother saying "It's got versatility on it, I don't want it."

- Maybe they will buff it a little bit.

- But therein lies the problem, if you buff it any then it becomes the best stat for everyone.

- So why have a stat so powerful or so weak, that it would be near impossible to balance correctly, even in game?

- Your guess is as good as mine.

- And my guess is the people at blizzard just like trolling people.

- And versatility is them trolling everyone at once.

- Which I guess I am fine with, they can't have all their fun just trolling just me.

- Hey, where is my beta invite blizzard?

- Give me something to write about.

- Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How Much Extra Bag Space Will You Have Come Legion?

After doing my daily duties around garrisonville yesterday and making a stop at the bank to throw some junk in there for the time being I came to realize just how much space I will have back once this expansion is over.  Perhaps it is my own fault for saving stuff that I might need later when I honestly know I really won't ever use any of it.  But either way, come next expansion when I can ditch this stuff.  I am going to have a boat load of free space.

After putting in a couple of follower upgrade pieces and some rush orders I got from a garrison mission I started to think, it is too early to start ditching this stuff?  It was then that I came to the conclusion, against my pack rat nature, that no, it is most definitely not too early to start ditching stuff.

Rush Orders:

With no sell price these things are just going to have to be thrown away.  I really wish that they had at least a one copper sell price.  Just feels wrong throwing them away but would not feel wrong selling them for one copper.  Maybe that is just me.

On my hunter alone I have 177 alchemy lab rush orders and I do not even have an alchemy lab any longer.  I ditched it ages ago for a storehouse.  Lets forget for a moment that I do not have an alchemy lab because it would only take a few clicks of the mouse to build another one to use those, I have nearly 4000 alchemical catalysts.  Even if I start making flasks now and used every herb I had I would not scratch the surface of using them all.  So I do not need them thus I do not need the work orders for more of them.

My other profession building, as I suggested all hunters get, is an enchanters study.  I have 383 work orders for that.  I was putting 3 more in my bank when this whole idea to start ditching stuff came to me.  Again, lets not even consider the fact I have close to 800 temporal crystals, am I really going to be getting that many more new items being I am not raiding on alts, so not enchanting them, to warrant needing those as back up should I ever run short of crystals?  I think not.

Even across my alts, my druid jewel crafter has over 300 rush orders, my rogue leather worker has nearly 400 rush orders.  All in all, every character I have has some, in small or large amounts, and I really do not see me needing them any more.  So you know what that means?  Hello bag space good bye rush orders.

Follower Items:

Was going to call this one follower upgrades, but not all follower items are upgrades.  Like the thing that makes you better with saberon, or increases experience on missions, are they really upgrades?  Not even slightly.  Even more so the experience on when you are already 100 and item level 675 on the follower.  Maybe the supreme manual of dance might be good to apply to your characters, but the rest of the stuff can be thrown away.  And I have been throwing them away since they were first added to the game.  They are complete garbage and nothing but bag wasting clutter in my opinion.

I have been ditching the Guide to Arakkoa Relations, Ogre Buddy Handbook, Grease Monkey Guide, and Winning with Wildlings since they were added, but a few of my alts inexplicably still have a couple laying around, they can all go bye bye.

As for the other ones like Follower Trait Retraining Guide, Follower Ability Retraining Guide, Follower Retraining Certificate, and the Supreme Manual of Dance can all go too, but as I mentioned the dance manual is one of the only upgrades of these sorts that you might use, at least I do.

If you happen to be holding on to any or all of these things it can free up more than a few bag slot diting thing.  Sadly they have the same problem the rush orders do.  No sell price.  And even worse, you need to type the world delete each time to ditch them, which is beyond annoying.  Gee thanks blizzard, you give me garbage and then ask me to confirm I want to ditch the garbage.  One copper sell price blizzard, please.

Now lets move on to the more useful, maybe, items they some of us might be holding on to.  Pure item level upgrade items.  I started vendoring off most of them a long time ago.  Unless it is a new 100 that I am still building up my follower fleet on I ditch any +3 item, any +615 item and any +630 item.  I only hold on to the +645 items and the +6 and +9 ones for most of my characters.  And in reality, I never switch follower, never really get new followers, and can do all the missions 100% with what I have, so I really do not need them either.

So that would free up 6 bag spaces for me if I ditch them, if someone is saving at least one stack of all of them that would be 12 bag spaces, and if someone for some reason has more than one stack of each type, for whatever reason they might have, it could be even more bag spaces.

Word to the wise here, sell those things.  Blizzard will nerf the sell cost of them before we move into next expansion.  That is certain.  As it stands now if you have a few stacks of those things you can easily net yourself a grand, perhaps more depending on what you held on to.

Shipyard and Other Upgrades:

All those things you get from shipyard missions to change abilities on your ship take up space.  I don't know about you, but I am still holding on to them.  I only have 2 of the rare missions done so far, only one of the heirlooms, so I am still doing a lot of shipyard missions trying to get the other heirlooms from there so those things save me from having to waste garrison resources to buy them. However, once I am done getting all my heirlooms and mounts and pets and achievements and what have you from the shipyard, yeah, they can visit the discard pile as well.

Those +250 oil, +1000 garrison resources, +50 follower item level, and other such things I still hold on to as well.  If I have the desire to level another alt then said alt will become the beneficiary of them so they can build up their garrison quickly.  But I know there are some people stockpiling them with no real plan for them, as I have to send them to alts.  If that is the case, sell them.  No really, they are all capable of being sold and if you are not going to use them, sell them, they free bag space getting rid of them.  Or you can chance that in a few years from now when someone is going back to get achievements things like that might sell for a fair bit.  Your call.  After all the money I made this expansion, I am not holding for gold, at least not those.

Draenor Only Items:

I will not even try to list them all but there are easily dozens of them but I am talking about things like Skull of the Mad Chief and Aviana's Feather.  First off they should be toys, they and many other items like them, but for some odd reason they are not, so they take up bag space.  Secondly, who has used either of these two items I mentioned since they got flying?  I know I have not.  I am sure many have, but they are not so much needed any more.

The question with these is, do we ditch them or do we hang on to them hoping for blizzard to do the right thing and make them toys for our toy box?  Being there are still items from vanilla that are not in the toy box that should be, I would not hold my breath for them making them toys any time soon but I would be glad for blizzard to prove me wrong.

What I plan to do, personally, is keep them on an alt that I do not play much in their bank.  If they are made toys then all my characters will have access to them.  But for my more played characters the above mentioned toys and many like them can go bye bye.  Lets get some bag space baby.

Crafting Materials:

While it might be true I am starting to herb once again for fireweed on my main, for all other herbs I still have thousands left.  Some two thousand, some 4 thousand.  And I have not really herbed for nearly 9 months I think and I still have that many left.  All this while making sure I keep my guild absolutely floating in potions and flasks refilling the guild bank all the time.

This expansion flooded us with materials, so much we do not even know what to do with it all.  Lets not even talk about the special crafting regents.  As I mentioned I have near 4000 of the alchemical catalysts alone.  I have near that many war paints, burnished leathers, and many others.  About the only one I use regularly is the cloth one making bags for everyone that needs them, my alts, my friends, even just some random newbie I see I will hand a bag too.  Yes, I handed out 4 bags a few months ago just for the fun of it.  Found 2 level 40ish characters out the in world, saw they did not have any achievements over that level (although that can be faked by not sharing your achievement across characters), and I gave them both 2 bags.  Ain't I a nice elf sometimes?

But the thing is, we all have to have so many crafting materials we do not know what to do with them all.  Even the elements, which are supposed to be hard to get, the ones I have the least of is the one I make bags with, and I still have over 600 of those.  And if I ever run out, I currently have just shy of 15,000 primal spirits over all my characters, so I can easily buy more if needed.

They gave us the regent tab, they allowed items to stack higher, and I still have less space than I did before because I am over loaded with materials.  Perhaps it is my fault for having so many alts early on and getting to much, or for holding on to it too long, but either way, a lot of space is being taken up by materials of one sort or another.

I said, on the beta, that the fish were taking up way to many spaces, even put in some suggestions like we should just fish up the flesh and not have small, reg, and large as well as flesh and I put in the suggestion to just not have three sizes but one.  Either way, with many types of fish and many sizes of them, they are a huge space hog.

When it comes to things, on my server at least, the 125 food sells nicely and fish is needed for it, so I am getting rid of it as fast as I stock them up and making good coin doing so.  If your server is 125 food crazy like mine, that is an option to unloading fish.

As for the other stuff, should you sell them now or hold on to them?  That is more a question for the gold goblins but for me, I plan to slim down some and use or sell the majority of the items.  Will you make money selling them now?  Maybe, maybe not, it depends on your server, I can not give you an honest answer.

But either way, if you are looking to clean up for next expansion, like I am already, materials are a major source of space wasters for many of us.  I have more arrowbloom than I could ever use it seems.


I will not be unloading any of it just yet but if you are anything like me you have a bunch of gear sitting in your bags.  Even if you are not talking about gear for a different spec or for PvP.  I have stuff I keep for item level, like my 710 neck because my 691 is statically better.  I have stuff I keep for possible off piece from tier depending on which pieces I get, like 715 shoulders with critical and multistrike, or 705 hands with critical and multistrike and a gem slot.  I have piece that could replace every slot of gear that could also be tier, so I can mix and match as needed.  I have 7 different trinkets in my bags.  Some or better for one thing, some for another, and none are my best trinkets that I would not want to switch, so I play around with them trying to figure out which one works for me.  In the end I would have to guess I have at least 16 slots filled with gear and I am not even talking about an offspec set or a PvP set.  That is additional.

As I am still raiding and still playing all that gear might still come in handy.  But as he get closer to the end, at least for alts, I will be less likely to hold on to pieces that are maybe I will use them pieces.  They are alts, no need to be that anal about it like I am with my main(s).

For some people however, if you are not really the type that cares so much about being the best you can be, you can really clear up a lot of space by clearing out that maybe gear.  Just make sure it isn't better for you before you ditch it is all I ask.

So if you were to clear out everything, all that junk from this expansion, all the stuff that is not junk but you will not need it next expansion, all that stuff that you want to keep but are not really sure why you are keeping it on you, like the feather, why the hell is it still in my bags, how much space will you have freed up?

Not doing a real count, but an off the top of my head count, if I ditched everything I talked about here I would probably save at lest 24 bag slots that I carry on me, at least 40 bag slots that are in my bank and easily another 50 in my regents tab.  That is well over 100 bag spaces I can clear up.  That is a lot.