The Cloak of Virtue claimed

After a lucky run this week which saw three of the Titan runes drop, I’ve acquired a Cloak of Virtue quest reward for patch 5.3 – The Tiger Claw Cape.

To say it is an upgrade from the ilevel 530 dps cloak I was using is a shattering understatement. 530 vs 608 is a wonderful difference when you are on this side of the quest reward.

I chose the Tank challenge as I’d been told is was a little easier and I was short on time. Overall it was very straight forward, with the only trick being where the tank must stand in front of the incoming blasts from four directions. Cute mechanic for a mini-boss style encounter, but I’d be annoyed to see that in a raid fight.

It also means that I’m actually caught up on “current” for the legendary questline for the first time since starting it. Luck has a great deal to do with that.

I cannot wait to use it. Happy Killing.

Slowly is the only way to go

Thanks to a guildie (hello Tarc) I have completed the Nalak phase of the Legendary quest and am now killing bosses again in Throne of Thunder LFR for the x12 bling-things part. Twelve, that is better than Twenty; right?

Well yes and no. There is no indication that the drop rate is better or worse, unless you suspect that the change to an auto-drop from Lei-Shen might indicate that these little tokens were even more rare that the 20x odd of the previous type. I got the first one last night from Lei-Shen and I guess I’m ok with it taking 12 weeks to get the others. I like Legendaries to be hard and painful. Patch 5.4 will likely be out in production before I reach 12x drops, so I’ll hopefully be able to use the cloak in p5.4 content.

From a lore perspective I do not understand how it makes sense that Wrathion would ask for this many too. I mean there are 12 bosses, and these are rare things, and they drop from bosses only…and somehow we got 20x of them. No wonder Wrathion has us doing this, it is not logical in the setting. I bet he is amazed! Not a new theme though if I remember the Hand of Sulfuras correctly either.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

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.

Um, what? Interview with Blizzdevs

Aside

Listening to the one of latest Podcast from Legendary – about 15 minutes in they’re (Greg Street and Brian Holinka) talking through the effects of balancing Pvp vs Pve, and about how they’re not desiring to push one group into the other…forgotten about the Wrathion quest line already? Wish I had.

Great interview though. Particularly good for their perspective on Pvp in terms of balance holistically in the game, rather than at a micro level between classes and specs. A cynic might view it all as boilerplate stuff, but if you listen there is some meat in there on what they are thinking about when the choices are made, which I find really interesting. I’m a fan of knowing some of the process, even if I don’t follow the results.

WoW p5.3 this week, highlights include

Patch 5.3 notes are out, for the Prod drop on May 21st. Ref: MMO-Champion – Patch 5.3 Live This Week for a full summary. I expect downtime to be bigish, with the downloader churning away. This means the cycle is less than three months between patches, and if the next patch comes quickly we might see a staggeringly fast end to the Pandaria story-lines. Blizzard’s website also has a nice prep summary.

garrosh Hellscream image from Blizzard's website

I’m pondering the amount of ilevel 500+ gear which is being made available in one time rewards, and perhaps it is time to consider the offset as a priority.

A few highlights for me are:

  • the return of the Item Upgrades, via that vendor. Yes, we can again decide if an existing upgrade is better than buying off-loot (” items upgraded with Valor will now cost 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item “). Cool. Mr Robot and others will have their systems ready too if what I read is true.
  • the ilevel 600 cloaks from the Wrathion quest chain. ilevel 600 is huge, and worth it for everyone. I want it, and want three of them.
  • the Heroic Scenarios is a boon I’m looking forward to, not because I want to see that older content again, but because of the chance for the ilevel 516 gear. Including a quest that has a reward of a 516 built in. Wowhead has a comment which lists the rewards by armour type. Why on earth are these using the Pandarian models for blue and green loot? Lazy. A re-colour at least might have been nice – all emeralds and ruby.
  • the Heroic scenarios need item level 480 to enter, and use a pre-made team of three. Still hopefully should be not too hard at ilevel 510.
  • the new scenarios for the lead up lore/story to the Siege of Orgrimmar. Assuming that is the big deal in patch 5.4, this should get all the players happy with killing Orcs and agreeing that the War Chief is a bad guy, not a good-bad guy.
  • a quest has been added that reveals the final Sha and some ilevel 502 boots. Nice upgrade for the slow and unlucky guys like me. Shamefully I’m planning on getting better than this, so I might just take the Tanking option instead of the Dps option.
  • I know I should try the brawlers guild soon.
  • the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster will sell re-colour of popular old Tier gear, upgrades to ilevel 489 which is nice for the alts and new main toons. I don’t mind at all they the stuff is available in a different way. They’ve chosen some nice sets, and as a DK I had access to my set anyway.
  • we can now transmog from the Bank and Void Storage directly. Good. Nice change.
  • the Heirloom Shields are in. Great news for alts. I’ve been saving the odd Justice Point for this.
  • Lastly – I’d love a Hearthstone Beta. I’ve ripped on it recently as a distraction, but I am curious. HINT. Too strong? Nah. HINT HINT.

King Wyrnn and a Panda, they all look alike

Overall I’m looking forward to the 5.3 patch. It is not a huge patch for content, rather is a prep patch. It is a great patch for gearing your toons. The folk who don’t get much are those who are already geared up beyond 522 or higher. Sorry guys, only the cloak for you.

I did not finish collecting the Wrathion tokens from boss kills in patch 5.2, but will get there soon. I also don’t run the downloader often, so I’m going to kick that off before bed tonight.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Wrathion Story part 2 done!

Those pesky pvp battles were an absolute pain, and now my DK is thankfully back to grinding drops from raid bosses and farming mats to get further through the quest chain.

Generally I hated the pvp battlegrounds. Almost all the fights demonstrated that an organised group will crush a typical pvp set of random players. The battlegrounds where we died constantly were blisteringly frustrating.

The battlegrounds were a core of us followed some simple strategies were good, and generally we either won or came very close to winning.

I learnt:

  • Any group is stuffed without a healer, and protecting the healer is actually fun. A particular Paladin teamed up with myself and another Death Knight and we roflstomped almost everyone for 2-3 minutes at a time before the Orb debuff made us crushable. As a set of three we moved through that Battleground together and it worked really well. Later it was a Druid who help me steamroll through the squishies are part of the fighting team.
  • Stay as a group. i.e. when 3-4 players stayed in the middle of the Orb Arena (not its real name) we smashed the others. Especially when we had two players with Orbs.
  • Fight within the game’s ideal zone. i.e. on the flags, carts, or in the center of the arena where you get the most points.
  • Personal cooldowns are not for emergencies, they are for every second in the game. A moment spent in combat without them is pointless.
  • Not that I intended to, but a particular Shadow Priest and Warlock on Horde are probably writing blog posts about how much Death Knights are broken and overpowered in PvP. I think I killed these particular two characters

Quick PvP Round 3

PvP round three was much better. How you ask? Well I seemed to get into more teams that knew what they were doing, and were better able to bolster my silly ass through the experience. I did participate as well as I understood.

(Warning – Achievement screenshot spam).

For Temple of Kotmogu – 4x killing blows, 3x deaths, 48 Honorable kills and 4x Orb possessions, which also grants 403 of the 1600 points were mine. Another DK teamed with me for the match pulling in a very nice 498 points.

For Mines – less impressive and far more like the noob I am in PvP. 1x killing blow, 1x death, 26 honorable kills, and 2x carts controlled. If not for the frustration I think PvP could be enjoyable.

Legendary-Quest-Part2Complete

Best of all, this means I’m back onto the PvE based grind for the Wrathion quest chain. Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Wrathion’s PvP Battleground Quests

wrathionGo to hell whoever thought it would be wacky fun times to include a few pvp fights in a PvE quest chain.

I tried to be open minded.

I crafted, gem’ed, enchanted, etc a pvp set. Because I didn’t want to be carried too much.

I’ve joined fights and basically just got my arse handed to me.

Or the team are more interested in kill farming than actually winning.

Or teams that seem to get excited by the notion of the Perfect Loss.

I have no use for honor except buying more pvp gear, which I do not want once I have this lousy waste of bandwidth done.

If this is the only way that the PvP content will get seen by a majority of the playerbase, then your pvp content is *ahem* bland. This experience just tells me that pvp has not changed or improved fundamentally in 6 years. If I want to kill people I’ll play a 3d shooter, not WoW.

So go straight to hell, this part of the Legendary chain is plain crappy. I know it is supposed to be “hard“, but it is not supposed to be a shitty waste of my time.

Tests from Wrathion

Now that I’ve done the Test of Valor (yay, finally) I’m at the part in the epic quest chain to kill a special commander, and win two pvp battlegrounds.

WoWScrnShot_TestOfValor

I’m not keen to do the PvP part as I do not understand anything about the two games, and this late in the expansion I can imagine that random teams will not like a scrub. Tough luck for them though, blame Blizzard folks, the Epic quest chain is making me hurt your PvP fun. As such I’ve started collecting the ~458 pvp gear, so I don’t get roflstomped straight away and I won’t be a useless scarecrow for the team I join.

Getting a started Pvp set is cheap if you know the patterns (10-15 ore per item, + gems and enchants) or very expensive if you want to buy your way through the sets. I either crafted the items, or had them crafted except for one item. So an almost full kit out was around 2000g with gems and enchantments, with most of that cost coming from the gear I purchased and the gems/enchants. The 458 gear is a long way from the beautiful Conquest items that I can see the vendor selling (/drool). For a full gear-set 2k is cheap as chips. If only beginning PvE gear was so cheap; nice that there is a lower barrier to entry for PvP.

I’ve also purchased a pvp neck and ring with Honor, and using a few one handed LFR 483s to go Dual Wield Frost for the pvp battles. I;m not expecting to get top charts for Dps, and did not want to affect my main hand 2H dps weapon by reforging away to the “wrong” starts for PvE.

So far the biggest problem is bag space. A Dps, Tank, and now PvP-Dps set takes up a lot of space. I wonder if PvP-Blood is still fun and frustrating for the enemy? Coming to a battleground near you, Mortigen the scrub DK.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Old news is good news

Some thoughts on what is now old news…

Valor points are not being reset (huzzah) to Justice points, and patch is set for 5.2 If you’re able to spend and then earn the valor for an upgrade it is still worth it, just don’t upgrade an item you’ll replace early (trinket, ring, etc) once you get into the new Reps. I shot a stack of Justice points on a basically useless heirloom item for a Shaman, because I have little else to purchase with them. Justice are pretty dull at the moment once you’re past a gear level. That is ok in the most part, but it would be nice to do something good with them.

In 5.2 we get new reps to grind out, new gear to loath the drop rate for, and new dailies to make the drop rate seem a secondary concern. Less yay, but something to get into.

New raids look good, in a way that is a new visual presentation (cybernetic aztec dinosaurs with lasers…..roar) and also a new set of mechanical challenges. Good news. Lore/RP wise it will be an interesting patch if only because we get closer to finding out why Garrosh goes bananas and why Jania does not follow suit and smash a few cities. I know she’s taken the road less traveled, but Garrosh is going to need to do some more shitty things before the rest of the horde will use him as an end-boss. He’s been an unmitigated arse so far and the horde racial leadership are happy with that. Well the ones who are alive are anyway.

Oh, and Wrathion! He continues to give the heroes gifts and boons, as we continue to follow his agenda. I feel that either he’s a major player i the end of this expansion, or the major NPC in the next expansion. It would be great to see a character transverse the expansions so that during Mists he helps and rewards, and then in the next expansion we see what and why he did particular things. I can’t help but think his goal is to restore the Black Dragon flight, and that might be brilliant or could be a total disaster for the players. It would be especially good if Wrathion is actually a creature of leadership, but not a “corrupted bad guy”. Sure his view might be different, and lets see him as a leader for the future stepping into the empty shoes of the other flights now that they have left.

The season 13 pvp gear for Death Knights looks nice, particularly the shoulders. The help is less so, but overall ok. The Shaman set is great, and stinks of a HP Lovecraft touch. Creepy Shamans.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew.