If nothing else, getting achievements means I am doing something sort of productive in wow. Not majorly productive – like gearing, or getting a something really rare; but I am getting somewhere.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
Lichborne’s p5.4 analysis on DKs
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.
Achieve – finally killed that huge dinosaur
Booyah, I’ve finally killed Oon, and got the pile of yuck that he drops when killed. It killed me more times that I killed it, but Oon probably stopped getting achievements for player death a long time ago.
Despite all the spite we still see poop jokes in wow. Good on em.
Dark Heart of Pandaria Heroic scenario
I’ve only done a handful of heroic scenarios and the Dark Heart was pretty tough all told. I joined the team and found that it needed all my concentration to keep alive and swinging. Yes, heroic scenarios are actually challenging. That is good. Bring them on.
I’m a tricksy treasure horder
Just pruned the front page blog links
I’ve pruned dead, gone, missing, or content changed links and blogs from the my warcraft & pc gaming blog’s homepage (ya, this one you’re reading); and thought it might also serve as an invite to readers and subscribers to tell me about things that should be there. So many of the resources from 2007 through 2011 are gone.
So allowing that it is WoW or gaming related – what do you visit that’s worth linking, or should I link to you?
Maintenance is fun. TyphoonAndrew
New Blacksmith transmute in 5.4, old one is now pointless
The new transmute for Blacksmiths in patch 5.4 is the Balanced Trillium Ingot (BTI). This transmute basically renders the older Lightning Steel Ingot (LSI) introduced to craft the new weapons from ilevel 489 to 503 defunct. So thanks. BS was handed a transmute for vanity and downgrades on the patch content, and then given another.
Screw off developers, this seems like a very short and shitty merry-go-round of mindless transmutes with no forward planning. What ever happened to giving progression through a profession, where materials and patterns progress? A leads to B, then C, etc. In essence the Blacksmiths will drop any interest in LSI now and just wait for BTI. Silly.
Balanced Trillium Ingot is used for at the very least new Pants and Belt patterns for Blacksmiths and hopefully more items. If it is just for these two slots then I’ll probably pass on this new “feature”.
Given I launch snark at the devs, here is what I would have done in its place. Continue reading
A good time to return
If the banter around flex raids is true, then patch 5.4 will be a good time for players to return to WoW, particularly if they are members of a guild like ours.
I know, that sounds like a recruitment post. It’s not especially one, but more players and characters are welcome.
What I mean is our guild is one which has a very dedicated raid team who sometimes used to have trouble with numbers. We now also have slightly more darn good raiders than we can fit in an ideal x10 man composition, and an additional growing number of more casual members who love to raid but also play wow in a less serious way. Or they might play hard, but less often.
For us (and potentially a large number of other guilds) Flex-Raids that means we are in an ideal spot. Whichever way we go in terms of using the flex systems, it can only be to our advantage. That said we (the officers) haven’t chatted through the implications as yet, but I fairly confident that we’ll get to a good place with a minimum of fuss.
Now all I need is to get through the 11x remaining kills of Lei-Shen for the uber-rare widgets of awesome, so I can catch up on the legendary quest chain. Fun times ahead watching folks stand in the bad.
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
Wildstar actually sounds interesting
The more tangential information I read on Wildstar the more I think it might be trying to approach a different audience and supply a different game.
A few things sound interesting, like having playstyle pathways where you pick the style of challenge you want, and the game as aspects built especially for that style. If you like combat, you kill monsters. Prefer discovery, then be challenged to find nooks and special areas.
I also like the art style of the game. Having an overtly cartoon world means the rendering could be sympathetic to longevity in graphics, and also potentially avoids the problems of the uncanny valley which most “real-looking” games face. The tech and resources needed to render out a human face which looks “right” are crazy complex and high. A styled cartoon looks right as we fill in the detail mentally. Our minds are the sketchpad and resources which gives the game appeal.
A non-real style also means that emotional, special, and blood/damage effects can also be skewed toward imparting the meaning without a special particle engine. Take the presentation of a spaceship for example. I have no idea what a Devastator class warship might look like in a space game, but I can tell you without a second of thinking that rendering of water in Farcry was incredible and still looked like cgi. I accept the spaceship as real, but I call bullshit on the water’s repeating pattern at max camera distance.
I have no intention of playing Wildstar, especially as my old pc will not be up to the challenge; but I am interested. That is more that I can say about many of the other games being published and in Beta at the moment.
Interesting times. I’m going to keep watching it. TyphoonAndrew
The Vale gets smashed!
New pics from wowhead’s digging on the ptr shows the Vale smashed up and broken. This is great. The baddies actually responded to us stuffing around on their doorsteps.
View all these and more on Wowhead
Mine Is Another Man’s Treasure
I’ve been hunting and completed the “Is Another Man’s Treasure” achievement, and now have my shiny new title, the Relic Hunter. It was a short but fun journey which leads me to ponder some of the other achievements and special things I might be able to do during down time.
My gathering has not stopped though.
So far my main has now got about 22 of the 25 or so items which you can find to get the achievement, which only requires 20. I plan to get the others slowly over time.
My alts are still gathering these too. I have two Jade Infused Blades and two Jinyu Staves, and will be working on a few more Pandaren Mining Picks, and hopefully at least two of the caster neck items. Each find is nice in terms of silly feedback reward, and also 300k experience to a leveling character. Not to be sniffed at.
WoW patch 5.4 looks good thus far
There is a stack of new material to read for patch 5.4, and what I’m reading at the moment makes me think that it will be a good patch. Why? Because a lot of the material is further along that what we saw with the early v5 patches, which means I think I am getting a better view of things to come.
Linkage of interest (spoilers and opinions follow):
- wowhead’s build highlights
- wowheads’s Tier Armor preview
- and current patch notes (yup, wowhead guys really do great summaries)
My highlights so far are:
- There are new temporary titles for the people completing the realm best challenge modes, and the character only has the title while they hold the record. To keep the title you need to keep the record. That is so darn cool! i.e. “Darkmaster” for Scholomance. What warlock does not want the title Darkmaster?
- DK have a change to Blood spec where Dancing Rune Weapon does not cost runic power anymore. Cool! I’m going to macro that puppy in now and use it all the time.
- Interesting that Fel Armor for Warlocks, Shadow for priests, and Moonkin form for Druids no longer reduces damage taken, from 15% to 0%. The Hunter talent was reduced from 15% to 10%. Why the difference? Do Hunters still need protection from standing in bad and raid damage, but the casters are meant to know better?
- Pvp Season 14 Armor for Warlocks is awesome looking. I want a t16 Warlock now.
- Pve T16 for Mages is very beautiful. The glasses are a little odd, but the overall effect is stunning.
- Flexible Raid will be interesting and I can see a huge potential for guilds to use this.
- The “virtual servers” acting as realm combinations is a new feature which is interesting. Does this mark the unavoidable merge of low pop realms? It depends on how it is added, and what the effect is. i.e. If I join a guild on a different server using this virtualisation and then that realm becomes high pop, do I get unjoined?
- The new solo content in the Proving Grounds is something I like to read about. Will the rewards be cosmetic (like Brawlers and Challenge modes) or gear-ups like Heroics and Scenarios?
- The Siege of Ogrimar / Garrosh encounter is going the way I didn’t like, but hey – can’t have it all. Garrosh is corrupted/empowered by Y’shaarj who is one of the old gods, and gains all sorts of boosts from it. Reading the summary thus far the end fight in SoO might feel similar to the end of Ulduar. Not a bad thing, I would have preferred that Garrosh was a nasty bastard without having him “corrupted”. Why must our evil villains be corrupted to be evil?
- Apparently support for dedicated sound hardware has been nurfed in WoW, and this makes the shitty chopping sound I’m getting since patch 5.3 make sense. I’ll have to research how to alter my sound config to not stutter now.
- We have new item levels as:
- 521 for Raid finder, 527 for Flex raids, 541 for Normal raids, 547 for Thunderforged, 554 for Heroic raids, and 560 for Heroic Thunderforged gear.
- That means that the Normal mode gear you might have now (522) will be upgraded slightly by Flex, no real upgrade except the Tier bonuses for LFR.
- Unless you’ve also already upgraded your 522 to 530, and then even Flex offers nothing except Tier gear. The numbers seem well thought through.
- The Engineer’s SkyClaw mount might be in this patch.
- Blacksmiths get another new daily transmute – the Balanced Trillium Ingot. I’m still transmuting the other stuff. Hopefully this is a useful waste of Trillium bars.
- Les excited by a new Celestial Tournament, which will likely be the new daily quest hub. Probably also another bloody faction to grind up with. For pitty’s sake.
Lastly we have the Death Knight new Tier bonuses…
T16 PH – Death Knight DPS
2 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 DPS 2P Bonus – Killing Machine and Sudden Doom grant 500 Haste or Mastery, whichever is highest, for ($hnd * 2 + 4) sec, stacking up to 10 times.
4 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 DPS 4P Bonus – Death Coil increases the duration of Dark Transformation by 1.5 sec per cast. Pillar of Frost increases rune regeneration speed by 100% while active.
T16 PH – Death Knight Tank
2 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 Blood 4P Bonus – Dancing Rune Weapon will reactivate all Frost and Unholy runes as Death Runes, and make your next 4 Death Strikes free.
4 pieces: Item – Death Knight T16 Blood 2P Bonus – Every 4 Heart Strikes, Rune Strikes, or Blood Boils will add one charge to your next Bone Shield.
For Blood I can see DRW being a bloody awesome Boom tool. It becomes a burst effect for either recovery or threat/dps. I really like that idea. The 4x set is also clever in terms of quality of life improvement where Tanks need to think about refreshing Bone Shield less.
For DPS the 4x set looks nice in terms of boosting dps on use, which is better than the current 4x set which I think is situationally great or average. Not sure on 2x set as yet.
I suggest you do not trust Perfect World
I wrote a post recently about disliking Perfect World’s spammy emails, but then credited them with with a single click unsubscribe. Well that feature is not working, so they really they fail on all counts. I wrote:
The best feature that Perfect World offered in that email was a “one click remove” link which removed me from all future offers.
Love that! A darn good feature right there. They got that dead right and kudos for them for doing it. I respect a company which lets folks opt out.
Well I was grumbly then, but they’ve sent the same junk, so now it is actually spam filter time for them. Then I do some digging through their policies, and while they claim to respect and protect as normal good companies do, they follow it with this junk:
While this Policy states our intended policies and practices for the collection, use and handling of personal information and we endeavor to follow such policies and practices, we are not in a position to guarantee these standards. There may be factors beyond our control that may result in disclosure of personal information or in the handling of personal information in a manner other than as stated in this Policy. As a consequence, we disclaim any warranties or representations relating to maintenance or nondisclosure of any personal information collected from visitors and users.
What utter fail. And lastly:
If you object to your personal information being transferred or used as described in this Policy, please do not use this Website.
Well we agree on that.
I had started toying in Neverwinter but cannot see that happening again now until my boredom rises past Warcraft, through SWToR, and back through Diablo 3. If a company cannot handle a simple opt out, I cannot trust they’ll do much else correctly, especially when they’ve written a part of their policy to disclaim any responsibility without consideration to the cause. It would be fine to disclaim events beyond their control, but they’ve written that they disclaim everything.
I suggest you do not trust Perfect World.
Silly Authenticator Observation #1
Silly Authenticator Observation #1 – I’m only asked to authenticate now when my mobile is at the bottom of a bag or in another room. How does it know?
Yup, its Tuesday maintenance.
Pandaria Gathering Achievements
There are a set of gathering achievements in Pandaria which are based upon finding low and high quality items which appear randomly throughout the zones. These are generally the domain of the folks who love achievements like “The Loremaster”, which is to date one of the best titles I think there is in the game and which is also actually achievable without a world ending amount of hard grinding. These collection set is Bounty of Pandaria, Finders Keepers, Lost and Found, One Man’s Trash, Riches of Pandaria, and finally Is Another Man’s Treasure (wowhead has a good guide on this). The end goal for all of them is the in-game title “the Relic Hunter“. Another great title, more so because I think the number of players who have it will be rare (around 5%) but also because it demonstrates that the player is dedicated and probably slightly insane.
As of this post I have all those achievements done except “Is Another Man’s Treasure”, which requires the player to find 20x of the special BoA or exceedingly rare items which spawn randomly in the game world. At the moment I am up to 18 of 20 items. So close, which makes it frustrating and rewarding when I get each of the last ones.
Aside – I almost never actually do this type of completionist / gathering / farming / achievement stuff, but I love this type of thing when it gives quasi-tangible rewards. In this case a title, the gold from the low quality items, and the Bind to Account items from the good rares.I am going to pass the BoA items down to my alts, and also hang onto some of them on my Death Knight main as they are actually still oddly and slightly handy.
It feels like this set of “quest chains” were well designed and have tangible rewards directly related to the effort.
There are approx 5-7 more items I could find to get up to the 20 rares found which are needed, but they are the rare of the rare, and often very highly desired. That means farmers, campers, and lots of competition all the time. Even in the short time I’ve been watching some of them I’ve seen regular character also flying past in patterns very similar to mine.
On two occasions I got to an item with a few seconds of somebody arriving, and in one case was beaten to an item by the skin of my teeth.
I am enjoying the challenge immensely.
I am also considering trying to get more than one of some items on my account by farming them with alts as well. The Mining Pick is an example where it gives a +10 to mining skill when carried.
A character wielding two rare weapons might be a tad selfish for all the other Relic Hunters, and a character with two of the same rare can look darn good. A great RP set should try to make others jealous.
Happy Hunting, TyphoonAndrew Continue reading
Kill Alani, Praise the Sun achievement
Like almost everyone I try to kill Alani each week. That dragon is probably so sick of being tagged that it might just stop hanging in the air too close to the Storm King. It is a great sounding achievement.
FlexRaids in 5.4, and LFR is apparently killing wow?
I’m reading about the Flexible Raid feature which is likely for patch 5.4, and I really dislike where the community is already taking it.
Ultimately, my guess is that in the next expansion, as long as there are no technical difficulties with the Flex Raid system, is that it will replace LFR completely. I sure hope it does. LFR is a stone around WoW’s neck and needs to be killed as quickly as possible. For this reason I welcome the Flex raid system with open arms, and hope that it succeeds.
While LFR might be killing the game for some, you are the not the entire player base.
If not for LFR I could not see the raid content. I don’t have a huge social network of raiders with RealID to sync with, and therefore I need LFR for the game to be viable.
I would not have some of the gear I have which allows me to sub-in to help our guild’s regular raid team. I am a pitch hitter who helps fill gaps, and removing LFR only makes that a shitty experience to try and keep up with where our raid team is. Our Guild raids three nights a week and is about as social a group as I have ever played an online game with – because I know a bunch of them from real life and have played with others for years. Years and years in fact.
So this new system is designed for social…good. What I will then need to do is open up and connect with new folks to form irregular raid times to try and suit my irregular schedule? Nah, I’ll just keep doing LFR when I can.
I love that the Flexible Raid feature is being added, it is a great step that will benefit the game, but to say that this renders LFR obsolete is plainly wrong. It might be true that many players who begrudgingly play LFR now will only do Flexibel Raids, but I doubt that too.
Many players will try to do all three, and that is a bad thing. It means burnout and boredom are present faster. i.e. Weekly LFR, Flex, Normal on the same content? Nope, no time. Bah, move on.
Links: I Like Pancakes – Flexible Raid Preview. and MMO Champ’s article.
I am Schrödinger’s cat (screenshot)
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.