Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Do You Do During the Lull?

Once again we flounder in the lull of the end of expansion blues and we are all looking for things to do to keep us busy.  I personally believe that the lull hurts the players who have been around longer than it might others because many of those things you could do you did in the last lull or the lull before it.  For first timers experiencing it it can be a little more acceptable, not saying it is, but it does not tend to hurt them quite as much as those that are experiencing it again.

Myself, I am at a complete loss for things to do in game.  Sure there are many things I have not done that I could do and there are always the forum jerks who would say "have you gotten to 2800 arena, have you completed heroic, do you have every achievement in the game, if you don't then don't say you have nothing to do" but just because there is something I have not done does not mean I want to do it. 

Unlike many of those forum trolls I understand, or would like to believe I do, the people that have only killed garrosh in LFR and say they are done with the game.  If that is the top level they want to play at, then they are done in their mind, and I am completely fine with that.   You do not need to kill garrosh on heroic to say you are done raiding, you do not need to be over 2800 rating in 3s to consider there is nothing left to do, you do not need to have every achievement in the game to say there is nothing worth aiming for.  Each person plays their own way and if you are done doing what you wanted to do, it is fine for you to say there is nothing for you to do.  Don't let the forum jerks get to you, they only say things like to to rile you up.

So many people are running around the shine in circles bored right now.  Many people are sitting staring at their computer saying they have nothing to do.  They are right, even if there are things they have not done as I mentioned, if they do not want to do them there is nothing for them to do. 

Now I might not be the best person to say what are some of the options you can do in game are right now because I chose to play another game or three during this lull but I do have a lot of experience with lulls like this after a few expansions so perhaps I can help push you in a direction that you might never have thought of before.  And do not worry, I am not going to pull the "if you have not killed garrosh on heroic you still have something to do" card.  I do not subscribe to the if I did it you can do it idea, we all play our own game.  Just going to give you a few ideas on what you might want to try to pass your time.  I'll start with what I am doing.

Play Something Else:

It might feel like you are cheating on your main game by playing another one but guess what, it is not.  If you feel you are done with that you want to do in game there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying some other things out.  You can either stop your payments on warcraft and come back later or you can do like I do and keep paying and keep playing, just less than you had before.

I log in to raid, or try to raid if enough people show up, a few nights a week.  I sometimes log in to help someone if they need some help.  I log in once in a while just because I am bored of playing some of those other games and need a taste of home.

You can play other games, there is nothing wrong with that.  Don't be afraid to test something else out.  There are other free to play games out there that somewhat fit the genre that you might be interested in.  Star Wars, Guild Wars 2, Rift, LotRO, and the new entry to the genre, but with a subscription like warcraft, Wildstar.  I played Rift through the last lull and am playing Wildstar through this one.  I actually prefer subscription based games which rift was at the time and wildstar is now, perhaps I will write a post on it some day soon on why I do not play the free to play games.

As much as I like Rift and Wildstar and I could really see myself getting into them neither of them have the refinement that warcraft has.  There is something to be said about a game with 10 years under its belt, it is really smooth when you compare it to everything else.  Those games, in years to come, could be so much better than warcraft, but both of them for as much as I enjoyed them, made me happy to return to wow when I went back.

So go pick up one of those games, maybe pop on stream and download a few cheap games or even free games.  There are games like PoE or Marvel Universe or many others that I play on there that are good for what they are there for, to pass the time and have some fun.

Achievement Hunting:

The newer you are to the game the more attractive of an option this one becomes.  If you are someone like me that went back in wrath and got all the older achievements in the wrath lull there are not many I can get now, but if you are new, there are a ton out there for you.

Not sure what drives me to do it, maybe it is that I like the little toast pop up, maybe I like the sound, or maybe it is just as simple as each achievement is a task, something to do, and I like doing stuff.  Either way, achievement hunting is a valid way to play the game and have some fun.

And my favorite part of achievement hunting is the best raid in the game, not only from a raid standpoint, but from an achievement standpoint, Ulduar.  There are so many achievements to attain there and so many of them you can not get in one visit, they will need multiple visits.  And trying to do some of them solo in 25 man actually will present a problem for some classes and / or people of certain skill levels, which in its own right is fun.

Achievements also have the added benefit of spanning everything, so it can bring you to see other parts of the game you have never looked into.  Maybe you will try raiding for the first time, maybe you will try arena for the first time, maybe you will do dailies hubs you never needed to do to try and get the achievements attached to some of those quests.  Maybe you can experience a little more of the game than you have and perhaps you might find something you like to do that you never thought of before.

Building Reputations:

Guess what, they also give you achievements.  I started to grind reputations before I even know reputations where a thing, so to speak.  I did it because I found I liked doing it.  Reputation grinding is not for everyone and all reputations are different.  Some you need to do raids for, some you need to collect things for, some you need to kill mobs for, some you need to do quests for.  So maybe you might find something that fits your style of game play and you can go for it. 

I have every reputation in the game at exalted except for the three PvP factions.  I like the grind, but that should go without saying for someone who had aldor exalted and after I bought the tabard (and equipped it for the credit toward the achievement of course) I switched to scryer.  Now that was a grind and even if you will call me a sick person because of it, I found it fun.  It gave me something to aim for and it really filled a great deal of time up at the end of an expansion while there was a lull.

Also, even if you seriously over gear older content now it will still be something that will take a fair deal of time.  Factions like Brood of Nozdormu, Hydrazian Waterlords and others will take running raids for months and months on end.  Factions like Ogri'la will take months of dailies as they do not offer many and that is the only way to get reputation.  And most factions in BC have mobs you can kill to get reputation and even if you can one shot them now it will keep you busy for quite some time.

If you are looking for a way to keep busy this will surely be something you can do to keep busy and if you want some of them also have extra bonuses you can get once you max out reputations such as fun trinkets, mounts, or tabards, which if you are doing achievements you will need as well.

Know Your Lore:

Do you want a real challenge?  Well, not so much any more being loremaster was changed, but before loremaster was changed if you tried to get it at the end of wrath loremaster could be quite difficult because there were so many mobs you needed to weaken to do a quest and it was pretty hard to weaken them without killing them.  Back then you needed to do basically every quest to get loremaster so you needed to do those quests.  Thank goodness for down ranked spells.  If you have to ask it is before your time.

There are still a few quests that will be bumps in the road that, oddly enough, being stronger will make harder, even more so without down ranking now, but loremaster can be done without doing even most of the quests any longer.

Have some fun with it this time around.  No rush to get to max level with your friends because you are already max level.  Read the quests, stay on the ground while doing it, and enjoy your super OP nature now that you out level everything.

You have the major advantage of doing them without a real need to do them so you can take your time and really get into the lore of the zones.  Perhaps you might even run across a few quests along the way that you actually enjoy doing.  Quest lines such as the day deathwing came have become famous because they were liked by so many players, maybe you never experienced it and it is about time you do it.  If I could suggest one zone that is worth doing far enough to open a quest it would be uldum for the quest Gnomebliteration. 

It has to be, hand down, my favorite quest in the game.  I even stopped doing the zone on one of my characters at this quest.  I do it, abandon it, do it again.  I never turn it in.  Whenever I am in a bad mood I can go there and do this quest and I am cheered up instantly.  Just make sure to have your sound on because the sound of the gnomes is priceless.  It should be considered a criminal offense that blizzard never made that a daily.

There are many gems to be found and lots of fun to be had while you are learning your lore and completing quests.  Not to mention, some of the best looking gear in the game is quest gear.  In my opinion at least.  It always amazed me how they spend so much time making raid gear and it is so ugly but the quest gear is freaking awesome.  The helboar carving blade has to be one of my favorite weapons in game, it is sleek.

The Grass is Greener:

Only ever played one side of the fence?  Try jumping over and seeing if the grass is really greener on the other side.  To anyone that enjoys the story of the game you are doing yourself a great disservice by not experiencing it on both sides.  While the leveling process does indeed give you a different feel depending on which side you level, it is at the current max level that you can really start to feel it more.

It seems like as time has gone on blizzard has made more and more strides in offering a distinctly different feel to storytelling on each side.  As someone that has played both I can say I see absolutely why people claim horde bias.  Sadly, or maybe not so sadly, one of the most shining examples of this bias was the barrens quest hub and the story the alliance plays a part of and the one the horde does.  Alliance had one lead in quest and then they gather junk for the horde and the horde had an entire quest line that tells a complete story.  If you never got to experience it I am sorry, but use this as an opportunity to level the opposite side so the next time something like this is put in you can see both sides of the story because it is the only way to get the full story.  At least there are still the stories in the wilds from both sides and they are different.

Having a character on both sides opens up more of the game to you as well, not only in story but in land.  Playing as horde there are many areas you will never see, never level in, never even visit, same goes for alliance.  At least now you get to see all of the game, every area, in its full glory.  It is something worth looking into in my opinion.

Fight the Power:

The RNG is the most powerful boss in the game and for some people like me it is a love / hate relationship.  We love to hate each other.  One of the few things I still have to work on in game during lulls is all thanks to the random number generator.  I still do not have the mount from stonecore or from onynia not to mention most raid mounts.

Being we have shared mounts now it makes it a little easier to fight the power.  You can run something like onyxia on multiple characters and not get the mount on all of them.  Oh wait, that was supposed to mean you have better chances to get the mount.  Excuse me if I sound bitter about not getting it, like I said me and the RNG are not exactly on speaking terms.

For as much as I might hate the RNG there is something good about it.  Of course I am using the term good very very loosely.  For as much as I hate RNG, RNG creates content by not giving you what you are looking for.  I might not do it as often as I used to but when I am bored it is not unheard of for me to cycle through characters and do Onyxia over and over this expansion since we have shared mounts.  Sure I never win the drake but I do it on a few characters, mostly the ones it is super easy on such as my many hunters and my warlock.  Not real thinking with a pet tank, just attack and let the pet do what the pet does.  Had a fun run the last time I did it and I actually killed Onyxia before she even finished taking off.  It was fun.  Even if I did not get the mount.

There are many dungeons, and any class can solo any of them now, that drop mounts you can try for and there are quite a few raid mounts.  However for many of the raid mounts you might need to have a certain class and / or skill level to attempt to get the mounts.  Even if you drag along a friend, mount hunting can be very fun even if extremely frustrating at some times.

Dress For Success:

Transmog is really a thing, a big thing for some.  I've never been one that got into it personally because of a few reasons.  One being I am color blind and if I made what looked like a nice set to me it might possible lead to other peoples eyes bleeding when they look at me and I am not really a mean person and I would not want to do that to them.

However, I do like minimalistic gear and for my main at least I went farming for a set I like and have used the same set since I finished it up.  I stuck with basic black, can not go wrong with basic black even if you are color blind.

Last expansion when we hit the lull and after transmog was added to the game I went to one of the many online sites where you can look at armor and I found a few pieces I just had to have.  Pieces that were mail but looked like cloth, which was exactly the look I wanted.  It just so happened that a few of the pieces dropped from the dungeons that were being redesigned so I had double reason to get what I could because it would no longer be available in game.

It took me what felt like one hundred and one tries to get the pants I wanted to drop and it felt like getting one of those super rare mounts I mentioned just before.  I was excited when they finally dropped.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy I got my mail pants that look like cloth.  All this from someone that does not even get into transmog.

If you happen to be one of those people that are into it I can surely see how much fun, and frustrating, hunting for mog sets could be.  It is surely a way to make the time pass in the lull for someone that is into it and it could even be a way to pass the time for someone that isn't into it, like it was for me last expansion, and just hates the way that current gear looks.  Take a peek at some of the lower level green sets, they are some of the bet looking sets ever created.

As a fun side note after I made my mog set, the one that looked like regular street clothing but all with the mail label so I could transmog into it, there was a mog contest on our server.  I did not join in the contest, I was just there to support a few members of my guild that were in it, and because my guild donated to the event being organized.  The people that ran it were from another server.  If you are a mog person you know which group I am talking about most likely even if I do not recall their name.  As it turns out, one of the judges saw me and liked my outfit and I actually won a prize that day of 5000 gold just for wearing what looked like street clothing because I hate how mail looks.  So transmog can be profitable too, even without trying.

Be a Goblin:

Speaking of profit you do not need to be a goblin to be thinking about making some cash.  You can sell BoE mog gear that drops that you do not need.  One quick look around and you will see what are the more popular sets and where you can find them.

You can spend your time on the auction house buying and selling, out farming, maybe crafting or flipping.  There are many ways that you can make money in game and maybe if you are not doing anything else right now making some gold surely can not hurt you and everyone likes gold right?

And it is not just being a goblin with the auction house that can make you money, and I do not mean selling your mother like a goblin would, I mean questing.  Yeah, that loremaster thing I mentioned.  Pick the loot that sells for the most and vendor everything.  That along with the quest rewards and looting everything and vendoring most of it and selling what you can sell on the auction house and you can easily make upwards of 50K just doing all the quests. 

Don't believe me?  Start a new character and do every single quest in the game, loot everything, sell the junk and auction off anything even partly decent, make sure you have two gathering professions too.  Sell it all as you go.  When you finish the last quest you will have been 90 for a long time but you will also have max flying, max speed of max flying, max bags even if you paid 3K a piece at the auction house for them for every single slot, even your bank ones, and you will still be sitting at somewhere over 50K gold.

Yes Virgina, there is a lot of gold out there and it is easy to get.  You just have to do something to get it.  Being a goblin does not mean working the auction house only, you can do what you like to make money.

Into trasnmog and know what sells, do that.  Into pet battles and know what pets are best, do that.  Buy green level one pets, turn them blue with a stone, level them to 25, sell them for 50 times what you paid for them.  You made money doing what you have fun doing.  Like running dungeons for fun, just vendor everything, but sell the cloth, really, sell it.  Like PvP, sell 2s carries, a decent player can easily carry someone in 2s to cap.  Use your knowledge and skills in whatever interests you to make gold instead of to argue about it in trade chat.

Raid or Die:

It might be hard to think that some of us have not raided much or at all this expansion, but perhaps if you are one of those people you can either step into it or step up your game a little.  If you are open to giving it a try there are a lot of guilds out there like mine that are more then willing to take someone along that is willing to learn even if they are not a raider or all they ever did was LFR.  Like I said, as long as they are willing to learn.

This lull is a lot worse for raiding than the previous ones because blizzard has done nothing to help the community this time alone in terms of a 30% buff or a 30% nerf like they did in the last two expansions.  And please, do not say valor upgrades, they only help those that helped themselves.  If people were willing to help themselves they would already be raiders.  But when they need a hand to help them get their foot in the door valor upgrades do nothing to make it easier for them.

With the upgrade system if someone needs to be doing 200K they still need to do be doing 200K but with the buff or nerf they only need to be doing 140K, and that opens a lot more doors than the valor upgrade system does to allow more people to experience the content.  I think having no buff or no nerf is a huge mistake on blizzards part.  Just my opinion of course, and yes, I have finished the raid tier already so it is not me asking for help, it is just how I feel.

However, that does not mean you can still not step up your game, if you are willing to try.  Move from doing nothing to doing the LFR, move from the LFR to flex, move from flex to normal or from normal to heroic.

There will always be guilds out there that would be willing to help you learn like my guild.  There will always be guilds out there that are on the same page as you and you can learn together with them.  There are guilds right now recruiting for flex, recruiting for normal and recruiting for heroic.  It is just a matter of finding the fit for you.  It is never too late to start raiding if you want to.  Just find a guild that has decent people in it that will not give you the "this has been out for months how the hell do you not know how to do it" attitude and you might actually even find it enjoyable.

Meet New People and Kill Them:

How about player vs player?  I know for me that is the one area my achievement hunting is lacking as I do not really like PvP.  Remove all forms of CC and I can really dig it but getting feared for 19 seconds and going from 100% to 0 while stuck in the fear is not exactly what I consider fun.  But doing it to someone else, well, that is fun.  It is okay to admit it, we all love screwing someone like that over but we all hate when it happens to us.

There will always be winners and losers and sometimes you are the one kicking the can and other times you are the can.  If you never gave it a try maybe you should try to grab a few people and go into battlegrounds together.  You would be amazed what playing with people can do for the experience.  Not only will you be more likely to win more often as a group, you learn more and even when you lose at least you have other people to complain about it too.  PvP is better with friends.

I personally do it in small doses here and there and I really do not like it that much, unless I am with people as I mentioned, so I do not dabble that much with it but maybe if you give it a shot you might find that it is something you like to do.  If you don't then at least you can say, I tried it and I do not really like it.  Kind of like broccoli when you were a kid and your mother gave it to you and you said, but I do not like it mom and your mother replied, how do you know you do not like it if you never tried it.  I might not really like PvP and it might seem wrong for me to suggest something I do not like, but at least I tried it, maybe you can too.

Kill Fluffy Kill:

Who else besides me has a darkmoon rabbit named fluffy?   If they had a rabbit pet hunters could tame in game I would never use any other pet.  But crazy killer rabbits and their fluffiness aside, pet battles are a whole different breed of freaking awesome.

Even if you are not into pet battles you have to respect the way it was added to the game.  From the moment you step foot on azeroth (at level 5 at least) you can start pet battling.  They went back and added it throughout the entire world.  There are old world dailies, there are horde versions and alliance versions, there are BC dailies, wrath dailies, cataclysm dailies and multiple types of mists dailies.  If blizzard put even 50% of the care and attention to the rest of the game that they gave to pet battles they would still have over 12 million subscribers.  They did such a great job completely integrating it into the entire experience of the game that even if you do not pet battle you have to respect how well done pet battles are.  (Prediction:  Biggest mistake of Warlords is not giving garrisons the pet battle treatment and making it a one and out addition like the farm.  Boo, bad blizzard, bad.)

If you have never tried them they can be closely related to pokeman which you might have tried.  I never had, but I knew the concept.  I kind of expected that pet battles would find their niche but I would have never guessed that I would enjoy it as much as I do.  Sure I have not pet battled or leveled any new pets in months, but that does not mean I do not consider myself a pet battler.

See, that is the beauty with pet battles.  There is no "current tier" you have to beat.  There is no rush to gear up, there is no gear reset, you can play it when you want to play it and outside of remembering which pets work best against which pets when you come back you can pick it up again any time you feel like it after putting it down for a while.

For a mini game there is an incredible amount of depth to it.  There are different rarities, there are different classes, there are different strengths, different weaknesses, all playing off each other.  There are speed based, health based and power based pets.  You can go for balanced, a combo of two or a stacking of one.  There are pets you can get in the world through battles, pets you can get from vendors, from reputation, from achievements, from raids, from dungeons, from pet battles.  You can even PvP pet battles.

It might seem childish to some and perhaps it is, but we are all playing a game and what is wrong with it.  Maybe if you never gave it a shot you can try it.  It is a nice way to pass the time.  Do it while in queue, or do it to level, do it for collecting purposes or do it for battle purposes, but pet battles no matter how you play with them are a very well designed part of the game and quite possibly the best designed addition to the game I have ever seen.

And So Much More:...

There are so many little things you can do in the game during the lull.  Remember for as much as the lull sucks, and it does really suck, it offers us something that we never have at any other point in the game.  A chance to catch up, to try something new, to focus on something we did not have the time for previously, because we are not in the position that we often feel like we have to do something now because it is mandatory to what our main focus of the game is.

You do not have to do those dailies, you do not need to gear up, you do not need to get that raid done, you do not need to conquest cap, you do not need to do anything, that is the beauty of a lull for as much as it sucks.  You do not need to do anything so that means it leaves you open to do anything.  Like I said, I am still playing but what I am doing during the lull is trying out some other stuff, and you know what, I will come back but I am quite enjoying my time at the moment where I do not feel as if I must log into the game to get something done.  I like coming home and not feeling like I need to valor cap, or I need to do dailies, or I even need to log in at all.  For now I am choosing to play some wildstar instead but after writing this I remembered I have a few new pets that I never leveled.  Perhaps I might pop back in game to do that.  With the lull, I have the time, the time to do anything I want.


  1. I think I may be one of only a few people trying to get their first toon through the legendary quest chain. I am one secret left to gather then start running the same LFR's over again to get the tokens(?). Less LFR random options! Yeah!

    Once I complete that quest, I'll start back working with my boosted, er, Hero-class bear tank to level up her gear. She's at an i505. Last run, she got like 4 drops in LFR due to simply because she's coming in so low.. :)

    If I get really bored, I've been working on running through the ranks of the Brawler's guild. Warlock is rank 6, bear is rank 3. Warlock has been able to just burn down all those first 18 bosses, but Chicken Izza (sp?) has been the biggest hang-up. Just can't burn him down fast enough to beat his adds slowly pecking him to death.

    Thinking about your post, maybe it is time to re-visit my old goblin hunter. That was some fun PVP. Sadly Er-knea is only level 15 so only get to see the first 2 BGs. BOA heirlooms and a bunch of dungeons? Maybe.

    1. Looks like you have things to do just because you had not done them yet, which right now is excellent for you. It gives you something to aim for still.

      I forgot about the brawlers guild. I did them all on my hunter a long time ago. Perhaps I could try it with some other classes just to see how I can do. Really a hunter is the only thing I am decent at however.

      A hunter at level 15 is awesome. Even more so if you have the BoA gear. You can walk around those 2 battle grounds like a god.

  2. I'm definitely in the "Play something else" category. I log in to do world bosses on my hunter and post auctions a couple times a week; that's about it.

    Lately, I was playing Far Cry 3 and I'm also spending some time playing Elder Scrolls Online. However even with ESO, I'm not investing a lot of time in the game. I just have other things going on where I don't have as much time for games. :(

    1. I log is no much less I actually lost a bunch of mails yesterday. Over 800 spirit dust and 80 sha crystals. :(

      Oh well. My own fault for not keeping up on keeping my mailboxes clear.

      Although I heard a lot about ESO I never even considered giving it a try. Not sure why, it just did not catch me. But things like that can sometimes be weird. Heck, my friends started playing wow when it first came out. Took them a long time to get me to join them because it did not seem like something I would want to play and here we are so many years later with me still playing. Who knows, sometimes you just need to give something a try.

  3. Being schedule-challenged at the best of times, I never do that much anyhow. Currently logging on for about an hour a day, around midnight, just before bed.

    Started on Pets about 8 weeks ago, and I'm finding it more interesting than I expected. The pet dailies take up my hour nicely - maybe a little too completely, but I'm one of those people you described who has nothing else I actually want to do.

    I always believed that last-patch doldrums were inevitable, and I was saving Proving Grounds Endless and Brawler's Guild for exactly now, but I find my motivation low. Maybe some weekend.

    I was eyeing Wildstar, but I really can't imagine myself identifying with one of those characters.

    Maybe I should start a new toon and try PvP, starting from the ground up.

    1. The pet battles surprised me too with how much I got into them. They make for a good filler if it is something you like.

      I leveled a priest through PvP only a long time ago, it was fun. Oddly enough as someone that does not really like PvP by leveling from PvP I learned to like it on my priest. I did it just for something different. Sometimes you need to shake things up some.

  4. You are right, it's about whether or not you have a niche in the game that you haven't yet explored and want to explore, not about doing HC Garrosh / getting to 2800 in 3v3.

    For people, who have played this game for a long time already, it can be a bit challenging to find such a niche, yes.

    In my case, it ends up with only one normal-size thing that I didn't do before and that I am relatively happy with doing now, plus a fair amount of tiny finishing touches to everything else scattered throughout the game.

    The normal-size thing that I am talking about is PVP pet battles. Pet PVP battles are fun, I enojy them (and I didn't think I would). They are lighthearted and not too deep, yet they take some skill and they are fairly varied, at least if you discount the reset days. :-) The thing I value most is that every single comp can be beaten to bits, convincingly, guaranteed, no exceptions.

    The tiny finishing touches are some mounts like that polar bear from Storm Peaks dailies, a couple achievements like the venerable A Bigger Bag on TI, plus missing profession recipes (eg, Cata Jewelcrafting recipes sold for tokens which you get from dailies, super-boring and super-slow, one of the worst grinds in the game, but I still sometimes do it).

    1. My niche is doing whatever I can do solo. Odd for a multi player game but that is what I enjoy. That is why I like achievement hunting, more master, reputation grinding, all things I can do on my own. I know most people would disagree but I would love to see more that is capable of being done solo. I would love if raids could be scaled down to be solo challenges, even if they were insanely hard.

      Pet battles are a pleasant surprise aren't they? You are the second person here to say the same thing, that they did not think they would like it but they do. I get that from so many people like people in my guild I turned on to them.

      The polar bear from the storm peaks dailies is the only mount I ever had luck with. I got it in my first baggie from the daily. Yeap, the first time I ever did it. That was insane. I used it for such a long time, still do, I like bear mounts.

    2. I have tried and tried to get that mount, never have. How does one get it?

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