Thoughts from 5.1 patch notes

Some odd stuff:

Spirit of Harmony can now be purchased for 600 Conquest Points at the Conquest Quartermaster.

Can I convert the other way please? Please? And to VPs not Conquest? That would be bloody wonderful. 1x SoH granting 600 VP would be like Christmas. I know, dream on.

Portal Shards grow into consumable items which can be used to open a portal from Sunsong Ranch to a major faction city.

That’s handy. Although I’d say just buy yourself the Stormwind cloak and use it to teleport. Less farming and it never runs out.

A search bar has been added to the mount section of the Mount and Pet Journal. The Mount and Pet Journal remembers which tab you were last using.

Good. It needed it.

Banquet of the Steamer and Great Banquet of the Steamer now correctly provide Intellect to damage based casting classes. Healers will continue to gain Spirit from these foods.

This will make a huge amount of raiders happy. Bravo.

 

 

Shieldwall VP rewards

The Shieldwall rewards are live, and are as follows (5.1 patch notes):

  • 458 trinket for approx 100 gold as a starter reward,
  • a 496 ring at Honored, costing 1250 VP,
  • a 496 Belt, Boots, and Trinket at Revered, costing 1750 each,
  • Exalted gets you a new flying mount.

The starter reward is likely to go to an offset, as most raiders have better in main at the very least. Despite the undertone of my last post, this gear is welcome, and will make the dailies for the other factions a secondary consideration.

Getting to Revered will be very rewarding for raiders as 496 gear is far better than MV gear, and good for HoF. The honored Ring also means that you should skip the other Valor rings now if you have not purchased them, by comparison this is better – because it can be upgraded with more VPs to 504 gear level.

There are five dailies to do each day, each granting +250 reputation, 5 VPs, and 2 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

You will need 6500 Valor points to buy all the gear for one spec, and will also need to have unlocked the various Reps. That is 1300 daily quests performed if this is done by dailies, so I hope everyone has a realistic impression of how long these will take to get, and also how important a 496 ilevel is compared to some raiders still using 476 gear. I think a raider who is missing key items such as Boots, Belt, Rings, or a Trinket should be doing these dailies before they raid – the upgrade is guaranteed and a powerful change.

Or 13,000 VPs if you wish to have gear for both specs which might be used in raiding.

Yet the VP rewards for activities are apparently as desired and working as intended? Bullshit. Only working as intended by people who don’t play the game. I’m nudging closer to giving this Valor treadmill away for good.

ps. Wasn’t operation shieldwall something in Mass Effect, or by Bioware? Have we run out of names for armies fighting?

pps. If the end boss of the Tier is the Sha of Fear, does that mean this is the War on Fear? How did the war on Terror go?

wow p5.1 Valor Grinding Update by Ask Mr. Robot

You PvE folks don’t need more gear drops, just update the gear you have with Valor and Justice! Yay. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Mr Robot has an excellent summary with examples of how and how gear will soon be able to be upgrades with grind-able points. In Patch 5.1 for WoW you’ll get a +8 item level boost on any gear, costing 1500 points. That is pretty neat for a raider who is missing a key upgrade due to poor luck. It offers an alternative which was not available.

I have a niggling feeling though that it will make capping Valor/Justice each week so much more important. It was already very desirable, but now it feels even closer to a mandatory requirement.

Q. Where do you get the points?

A. Same places – boss kills, instances, and doing daily quests. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. Do we get more, or are the scales adjusted?

A. Nope, all is good in the ratios so I’m told. 25 points per boss kill is apparently what is needed.

Raiding and LFR offer between 40-50% max of the Valor, assuming that you are doing full clears. Not many guilds are doing full clears – so many raiders are not even close to max before they start doing Instances and daily quests.

Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. Should I do progression, with wipes, long effort, etc or do Valor farming?

A. Both. You need to play more, or play more efficiently, or whatever – this is all about being given expanded options. Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory.

Q. How could the reward improve or valor system improve?

A. How about:

  • Increase the reward from the instances from 80 VP first and 40 every run afterward to 100 and 60 each extra run. Make it so more people run instances to get their Valor – it can’t hurt. It still makes it a hard slog to cap. Increasing the JP reward is a good idea too.
  • Reward both Valor and Justice from Scenarios, unless they are intended to be done once and then forgotten.
  • Reward more from boss kills in PvE, from 25 to 40-45. This means that it is still very unlikely that a character will cap valor just from PvE clearing.
  • Reward daily quest reward from 5 VP to 10 or 15 VP. This is for fools like me who are earning valor through daily quests a lot and are really bored with it.
  • The bonus for valor capping a character changes so that instead of one character getting to 1000 valor and the buff kicking in, the 1000 can be gained on any set of characters, then all get more. This means more people are using alts – which would be their choice.

Remember: Grinding instances and daily quests is not mandatory. Are you happy citizen?

Refs:

Numerious daily quests yesterday

Yesterday I did a heap of dailies in Warcraft – All the Golden Lotus, Klaxxi, Tillers, Shado-Pan, Fishing, Archaeology, and the {dragon flying mount guys}. It took the better part of my time online, and was not so bad. It was not my objective to do that many, but there queue times for 5 mans were long, and it worked out that way.

It didn’t suck as much as I thought it might. I think knowing that the task ahead was to grind that many is probably a big part of what puts me off, as thinking about tomorrow I have no intention of doing that many.

I raise this as there is flack about daily quests through out the wow community, and I’m on the fence on the overall issue. Pondering this I thought:

  • I like that there is no limit to the amount you can do, even if that means going back and doing dailies from old expansions. It’s your time, do whatever you like.
  • I dislike that I’m doing it for 5 valor points a quest. It seems too low.
  • I like that we get the coin-thingy which eventually allow extra loot rolls.
  • I dislike the gated release of Shado-pan and the other guys at Revered, as I think the idea is OK lore wise, but it should have been opened at honored. Getting to that faction sooner would have made a world of difference to my level of boredom in daily quests.
  • I dislike that the non-valor Rep rewards are all but useless compared to crafted gear, drops, and easily available alternatives. Essentially most of the rewards are not usable.
  • Soon (patch 5.1?) the Justice points will upgrade gear, as will the valor. Thankfully that will help me a lot, but I cannot see that as a justification for the low point rewards.
  • Players who play every day will get capped quickly, but then those players will get capped quickly anyway – so we have a barrier in place for the grinders who play daily, which also applied to the more casuals. I see both sides of this – limiting the grind rate help stretch content, but that also frustrates players. Tough call.
  • If I was given a choice there would be some way to enhance the rep gain per week. Perhaps a tabard as implemented in previous expansions is not “right”, but the grind to Exalted feels wrong at the moment too.
  • Daily quests are not “fun” enough by themselves to keep playing, I do them because of the valor and rep reward. That is a slightly depressing thing, and I wonder how much I will feel like playing if I ever get the required factions to Exalted.

I got a heap of valor points from the many quests, and thankfully some gold which helps cover the raiding costs and flippant purchases (like extra node detection goggles for my gathering alt). I also skipped a few of the quests available which only rewarded rep and gold with Vanity Factions – those factions that have no PvE advantage, but have mounts and tabards. Perhaps I should have included them for the sake of being a completionist, but honestly I don’t care for achievement points.

As a method of gearing my character a valor grind via daily quests is the longest and most banal method I can think of. Its an utterly poor way to garner gear – but casuals have very few other choices. So tomorrow is more – an unless I’m lucky enough to see a Sha of Anger group, it’ll be that until the cows come home.

As an aside – the Lore for many of the daily quests feels like things that an apprentice or scrub could do. Is this really the tasks that need the attention of a person who vanquished Deathwing, The Lich King, and all the other old gods? It’s an old snark, but still relevant when you pick-up your eleventh flower. The quest givers in Pandaria are no more or less lazy then elsewhere – asking for the dull tasks to be done by those who have something to prove.

Perhaps one day many expansions from now my character can return to Pandaria and visit farmer Yoon, and we’ll laugh as how much of his work I did for him. For now that guy pisses me off. Happy killing.

Head Down Bump Up

I’m DHBU at the moment covering for one of my PMs who is on two weeks leave, and my wife started working again this week, and all sorts of real life junk…which gets in the way of a good gaming session.

In Warcraft the absolute highlight of the month so far was last night getting a new sword upgrade (finally) from Elegon, which replaced my crappy item level 463 weapon - Starshatter. It’s a great looking toy. It might get transmogged to an older style Death Knight weapon soon, as they look even better.

Screenshots and happy rants will follow soon, for now though – I’m a happy lad.

I cannot help but love an almost 1200 raw dps upgrade, plus the additional stats.


Happy Killing.

Random in Boss fights?

A good find about how good or bad it is for encounters in PvE to be heavily or lightly scripted, which is interesting given how much the degree of “random” affects fun.

Tobold wrote:

In my opinion there is too little randomization in MMORPGs. They are nearly totally deterministic. Before combat even starts you know what the monster will do, and what keys to press in which order to optimally defeat it. Thus combat involves no thinking, only execution.

As Craig Stern says, the solution is not making the result of button presses unpredictable, but to make the opponent unpredictable, or the starting situation. That is why card games work: The cards you draw are random, but what you can do with them is not. And in a MMORPG the monsters could be made more unpredictable as well. Why do people need to know in advance what the boss mob is going to do after X minutes to beat him?

posted by Tobold Stoutfoot at 8:54 AM on Nov 18, 2012

To be fair, its better to read the entire post and linked articles.

Would introducing more randomness be good?

I think it would be terrible – consider that if you really want to make the bosses challenging then you make them more intelligent…..say they don’t have a threat table anymore, they just crush anyone who tries casts a heal.

Same issue in pen and paper – for some reason (story) the big bad orc (high CR monster) wails on the fighter, not the cleric.

I can see the point about execution and predetermined strategies removing “creative” aspects, but really the 4th wall is so present in an MMO that it is just differing personal perspectives for how far the slider between real and scripted the entire game is. I also think that some random is ok, but too much will be very disruptive to the players, as their outcome for victory is too much outside their control.

The card game in Tobold’s example is not a good match to the game style events in an MMO, given how different the perspective is, but does help my point: who likes playing solitaire when the game cannot be won?

Trial of the Champion had the pvp based fight which was excellent, but it still came down to a set of abilities, and a priority based kill order. It was also hated by a few raiders.

Another random fight was Lord Ryolyth in Firelands – who was basically impossible if the randomness didn’t go your way. That is a shitty way to spend an evening.

Go have a read as the discussion on both Tobolds and Craig’s blog are good stuff. Happy Killing.

Is Wrathion an evil mongrel?

That funny son-of-a-black-dragon named Wrathion has a new quest in a future patch, to continue the bump and grind of assembling a Legendary item. The quest is called “Test of Valor” and requires the collection of 6000 valor points. So it’s not important if he’s evil in a good vs evil way, more in terms of if he’s the sadistic expression of “Love that Valor” grind which Mists has brought us.

It is not clear if the counter for 6000 starts when the quest is accepted, or is retroactive. I’d suggest that making it retroactive is poor for three reasons:

  1. getting a Legendary should be hard. 6 weeks work is nothing compared to the years of work to get early Legendary items like Sulfuron and Thunderfury. Yes it should be as hard as it was.
  2. getting 6000 valor will count in the next expansion as well as this one. Meaning that from start it does not matter what you do to earn them, its just a questline for a particularly challenging set of content.
  3. if it is retroactive then I have 6000 valor from ages ago when valor points were first introduced, considering some isolated mechanic which counts from one day, but ignores others makes the coding harder.

So make it count from the time the quest is accepted, and make it reset if the quest is dropped. The idea that this might upset people upsets me. I’ll say something rude and elitist which is hopefully out of character for me: play another game if six weeks work is too hard for a legendary item.

There is a thread on the official forms saying farewell to WoW due to the Valor grind. While I think the grind itself around gearing with Valor is poor in Pandaria, I’m all for the Legendary being brutally punishing, the harder they are the better.

Thoughts? Too harsh?

Faction reps gaining slowly

A quick toon update on Reputations in progress for Mortigen my Death Knight, making me think that daily quests do have a reward, but by golly that does not make them entertaining.

  • Black Prince now Honored. Not a big deal without the drops needed from raid bosses, which are darn rare and most of what I need now coming from Heart of Fear.
  • Golden Lotus now Revered, so I can save that little more valor and might soon have some upgraded epic Shoulders. Yay. Anyone got some spare Valor? Also means I can unlock the Shadow Pan to start more quests. And a step closer to the epic quest reward too.
  • Klaxxi now Revered, also not a big deal due to the Valor requirement on rewards. I suppose it is one step closer to Exalted and a free 487 epic item. Yippee. Grind.
  • Tillers now totally beyond my comprehension of which idiot farmer likes me, and which are snarky. I do not understand why Farmer Yoon (or whatever his name is) actually needs rep or help. What he really needs and actually has is a host of available players to be slaves on his farm while he stands idle beside the hut watching. That shovel pusher is lucky he is not a yellow-mob, because I’d be killing him every week. Yes, I am exalted which is why these turkeys get the biggest rant.
  • I also do not understand how to get Cooking leveled quickly. All my non-”Way-of-the” cooking is gray.
  • Anglers have had a brief look in, but fishing is no more compelling than before, which means that it’ll be one of the last things I do each week if I have the time.
  • Archaeology is after fishing/Anglers. Yawn.

So I keep doing Golden Lotus and Klaxxi for the Exalted quest chain, garnering Valor to buy the Shoulders, then add Shadow Pan into the mix instead of Tillers so that the epic Helm will one day be something available too.

It’s nice to have an upgrade path. See you online.