The Legendary catch-up in p5.4

A note from a little while ago indicates that there will be a Legendary catch-up coming in Patch 5.4. This is good and bad, and the divide in opinion seems very polar.

Good for those who are interested in getting the item, and who struggled to keep up. Great for new 90s, or for players with Alts. Incredible for them. I know many players personally who will frigg’n love the fact that they won’t be returning to old content just for the quest drops.

Legendary-Quest-Part2Complete

Bad for players who wished this Legendary to be as unique as the others. They want it to be hard. As a direct comment in the post says:

So basically what this means is, those of us that keep up with the chain as parts are introduced are wasting time that could be used to do other things, because all we have to do is wait a patch or 2 and we can make up months of  grinding in a cpl weeks… Cut the shit!!! IT’S A LEGENDARY, not every hockey helmet that pays $15/mo is entitled to it just because they pay for game time… This is something thats supposed to be exclusive, treat it as such and keep it harder to aquire then getting a new heartstone…

Overall if it were my choice I’d have said no to the concept, but the actual mechanic in this case still requires significant grinding, and will not make that much of a difference in terms of time investment. Sure, it took me 3+ months of hard work to get here, but that is ok when the hard work is still needed. This is less of a nurf to effort than when the Valor points were dropped.

So I think Blizzard have done a good job of allowing players to raid (what will be) the current content, but also slowly gain ground on the quest chain. The drop rate seems to be the same, the kill rate, etc all should leave the player doing the same activity, just in a harder and current raid. Once the Legendary was presented as an Orange-Toy-for-Everyone this type of grand fest was really the only course of action.

Happy killing.

DK-T14-Chest-is-a-Dress

Lichborne’s p5.4 analysis on DKs

Aside

WoWInsider’s Lichbourne thoughts on the current patch 5.4 are good, so good in fact that I’m just going to link it. Have a read if you’re interested in what Death Knights have coming soon. It’s early days for these notes, but overall nothing I can see is major or especially bad. A DRW free is great for Blood spec.

Ref: Lichborne: Patch 5.4 patch note analysis for death knights.
DK-T14-Chest-is-a-Dress

Rumour – Final stage Legendary, might not be a weapon…

The final stage reward for the legendary quest might not be a weapon, as hinted by Bashiok in this little thread. Yep, I know that is a rumour, but it raises that question of expectation on rewards for effort. Let the conjecture begin…

It could be that we have a choice of trinket, or any other gear-slot. Given how the rewards through the quests have allowed a choice on reward it makes sense that WoW could reward players with an option.

Would that suck? Kind of, but mostly not. It might fit well.

Kind of sucky as I think getting to THE LEGENDARY is the goal. By tradition in previous expansions these have been weapons, and Pandaria has gone the Gem, Gem Slot, enhancement, and now Cloak route. It is easily conceivable to not be a final weapon.

Take the lore into consideration for a sec too and ponder why Wrathion would give another person a great weapon in the first place. He’s a Black Dragon and they are an evil selfish kind of lot. I wouldn’t trust him to not give us a cursed weapon, and then giggle about it while he attempts to subvert things to his own agenda.

But what if the item was something which is not a fixed mechanical advantage at all?

  • Imagine the final reward is a ilevel “high” widget, which always continues to scale to the level to your other highest gear +5. You’d want it, and you’d always want it. Legendary. It could take a trinket slot, add gob-smacking a mounts of two stats, and be done with it. eg. Haste & Mastery +nnnn, with a proc on cast or melee to look swirls and wonderful. I’d want that.
  • A reward that allows the wearer to assume a constructed illusory appearance. Like your own little transmog illusion over the top of whatever you wear. No more transmog costs, just this widget in your bags. I’d want that too, especially if I could turn it on and off.

And so on with all sorts of blisteringly cool features which will cause every player to want this item on all their characters. And despite my previous rants about legendary being a little washed out, or the process being odd – that is what they are: something that all toons should desire.

Just a thought, TyphoonAndrew.

Are patches coming too fast? (wowinsider)

WowInsider has an interesting post – Are patches coming too fast?

My gut says yes they are, but only slightly. The main irritation I have with the patches is the news and hype mill, and the fact that I play so little that my main falls behind and that means zero alts.

As my friend Ragnaros says, “TOO SOON! YOU HAVE AWAKENED ME TOO SOON, EXECUTUS! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS INTRUSION?”

The two points I’ll make briefly are (a) the ramp up of patch news arrived too soon for 5.3 after 5.2 hit the servers, and (b) our raid team was not able to get through all of the content, but I thin overall the timing of the actual drop was very good.

As far as (b) we could have done better if we’d had less in-team issues unrelated to the content. Folks leaving or having interruptions to their schedules caused us to lag behind where we really could have been. Should have been. Desire to be. One week extra would have made little difference, so this is really moot. The actual drop date was good. If I were a player trying to take two characters through the content then I suspect it would have been more of a struggle.

On (a) the rumour mill and the hype starts so far in advance of the actual content that I think it is a distraction to the current material. We had news of the 5.3 gear and weapon changes and some other patch notes before the best players in the world had killed the end boss on Normal mode. That is too fast. Far too fast.

The energy and hype on patches gives players excitement for what is next, but having the next carrot dangle when you have just got your teeth onto a new one feels like overload. We could have had one to two weeks of pure patch 5.2 discussion and feedback with Blizzard as a vendor, to make the feedback and excitement stick. Then they could have started talking about 5.3.

Heck we’ve already heard a blue make a “you’re going to love the next expansion” comment, which is too early by a bloody long way. We have not even heard a sniffle of how Garrosh will transition into a Boss.

Lastly I’ll concede a very valid point that too slow is worse than a little too fast. The wait at the end of Wrath of the Lich King and the Burning Crusade as long, and I think some players gave up due to that.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

The Offensive Shieldwall Operation

Aside

kek. Somewhat silly and irrelevant – while pondering the names of the new daily quest faction content it appeared in my brain that there are a few odd variations to have fun with. You might have to be a little loopy to enjoy this:

  • The Offensive Operation
  • Operation Dominance
  • The Dominance of the Offensive Shieldwall Operation, which cannot be denied.

It all sounds a little like a special evening event at the boutique bondage and discipline house-of-ill-repute. Collect those tokens for an extra lashing! At least they chose ShieldWall which I can’t do too much damage with.

I blame a lack of sleep due to crying babies, tired parents, and the holiday season. More is the pity that no alcohol or fine food was involved. Shameful.

Also silly, but cleverer by half is Penny Arcade’s commentary on WoW as played by moms eight years after the initial jump (comic url). PA are brilliant, colour me a fanboy.

(thou shalt wolves and grind valor!) Strange days.

Raidboss Valor Reward Increased

http://mmo4ever.com/mists-of-pandaria/gfx/icons/pvecurrency-valor.pngHuge news – and perhaps in response to the community being pissed off about the low rate of valor collection – the rewards will be boosted in maintenance today – from 25 to 40 VPs per kill. Wow Insider has the skinny, twitter post from GhostCrawler, and patch notes.

Normal and Heroic raid encounters in Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring now award 40 Valor, up from 25. This will take effect after the weekly reset.

Wow. Excellent!

What does it mean? Well for a start raiders have a reason to spin through a clear of Mogu’shun Vaults for Valor instead of doing dailies. 240 VP per clear is far better than 150.

Also in this patch is the Spirit Kings appearing in a set order – interesting. Was it enough of an issue that folks found it hard? A particular order did not seem to be more difficult. No more than the selection of Doggies in the 3 Dogs fight being sometimes a pain.

Happy Killing. Continue reading

Round-up of WoW news Snippets

A few smallish things worth briefly pondering…

Challenge Mode Leaderboards are live, showing the characters doing particularly well in Challenge Modes. It has some neat filtering options for classes and removing the same toon-groups.

Free realm transfers for some realms due to population troubles. If you’re on these realms you might be interested – not so much for most of us. Oceanic players on Frostmourne particularly might be keen.

Blizzard have released a graphic novel – The Pearl of Pandaria, which is getting reasonable reviews so far from what I’ve heard on blogs and podcasts.

Pet battles are proving to be darn popular, which I did not expect. Many guildies are raving about how good it is and the achievement junkies are going spare to get all the battles in. blogs and podcasts too seem to be loving them, somewhat ironically. Good call Blizzard, wow – given that I might try it in a few weeks.

Dark Legacy have a cute comic about the pre-release emptiness in the cities – moot now but still funny.

I’m reading the Tides of War novel to gain some lore background on the setting for Mists. While I can appreciate the books are different from the games (or films, or whatever) there are things in the novel’s timeline which do not mesh with what I am playing in the game.

For example the game lore just released has everyone discovering the moving island of Pandaria. This discovery leads to a few changes for major Non Player Characters and also to the escalation to war between the Horde and the Alliance. The novel by contrast has the escalation based upon the destruction of Theramore, and the ongoing battle using all sorts of non-typical war machines. It is a disparity in terms of I am not sure which is missing on what lore, or which is meant to be right.

Am I at war because of Pandaria, the bombing, or some other reason? “Why do we fight” is a reasonable question, and one that perhaps the more roleplaying focused players have already answered for themselves in spite of the odd contradiction. I’m kind of expecting a RetCon somewhere in the post-Mists round-up to declare that the novel is authorative, but who knows.

There is also the possibility that the segment of story told in Tides of War is removed from the events of Pandaria and these things are all happening in parallel. That would be almost plausible, except for one of the NPCs (who I won’t spoil).

Jania does not know anything about Pandas, poor girl

Many distracting things which take us away from the leveling. Must play…must play…