Exalted with the Lorewakers

I didn’t want to be exalted with the Lorewalkers for the Red Disc, although that is a nice bonus. The real goal was the Archy tools to spin up the Archy nodes in Pandaria, and to teleport to a random active site. Such good function needs to be acquired.
Lorewalkers-Exalted-Red-DiscI do like the fact I can fly around like the trash mobs in the Malygos fight though. Very cool.

Advertisements

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.

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?

A few more Blue comments, Bag Space, and random linkage

Those Blue posters really do put up with a heck of a lot of splatter and vitriol from the community. Thankfully the mess is easy to find and enjoy. This time Bag Space is something I’ve got some thoughts on at the end, which the Blues seem to think cannot be solved by adding space.

  • Apparently post trolling for “survey feedback” on Dailies is not productive. Fair.
  • No AHs in the Pandaria zones. Consistent with other expansions. Fair, and the OP phrased it well enough to sound like a request too. +1.
  • WoW custom Monopoly has been released. I don’t get it, but can accept it. Fair.
  • A DPS comparison with Blue, via Noxic. Hmm. Not what I’m seeing.
  • I am not the only one (surprise!) that dislikes the Loot-Need rolls in 5 mans, but it is working as intended. That makes it just more evidence that the folks I hate who proceed to take everything are doing nothing “wrong” and everything selfishly. They have great gear though. Again here.
  • Blue confirmed that bigger bags won’t help the issue of no space in the long term. Ahem. That does not mean that larger bags, or better stacking of items in stacks larger than 20 (for most buff food for example) won’t significantly help. I think there is a bit of snarkin the Blue’s response where they offer that bigger bags is such a good suggestion. How about:
    • Make all things that stack to 20 now go up to 100 instead (or maybe 99 if you must). Food, ingredients, crystals, herbs, ore, mats for enchants, cloth, etc. All of it. We’ll have heaps more bag space, with no change in the size of the variable in the DB which stored the stack count.
    • Give me an item (yes it will use a bag slot) that allows me to DE. Sell it as a special Rep item from the Consortium as an Exalted special. That way we can DE as we go too.
    • Make lesser charms stack to 900+.
    • The the quest items for Dailies that I do not have auto-disappear when the Daily is dropped or complete (Duh).

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…

What I did first? Heck, I’ve just only started

Many blogs out there posting about what they did first, and what the experience in Mists is like, which is great to see high praise for the content released. I played for less than 1 hour between dinner, baby tasks, and spending a non-wow night with the better half.

No download (that was done), no patch issues (also done), no latency issues (cool).

enter the realm of Pandaria

In an hour I was able to:

  • Accepted the new “come to the King” quest that appears auto-magically. Great touch – this is a superior way to get the content in the player’s eyeballs.
  • Ramped up my professions (mining, first aid, archy, cooking, fishing), but could not get the Stormwind Blacksmith to talk to me; ah well. Better things to worry about.
  • Checked my quest log to get rid of the naff naff quests that I might have left.
  • Logged in each lowbie and 85 alt character so that the rested ticks over. I’m not sure if I actually had to do that, but I figure it was a few clicks to be sure.
  • Created my Pandaren Monk, did the “get your staff quest”, then logged. Rested will be ticking slowly, ready for a good run in a week or so.
  • Then headed to Pandaria to help recover the Prince! Cool. An actual reason for a hero and highly regarded character to head across to an unknown place and “adventure”.

So my initial impression is that the introduction was solid, and worked well as an Alliance character. I loved that the first real quest was a vehicle mode, and then straight after it was a “Kill a Set of Dirty Stinking Horde snotlings”. Yes, the tone is right. Get players into the mindset that we need to hurt the Horde. If the lore is adding in-game to back the destruction of Theramore, then I’ll get on board with the Horde killing.

So I’m stoked. It’s too early to say its all wonderful, but the chatter in Guild seems to be that everything is darn interesting and the characters are racing toward maximum level at a smooth pace. A few characters were already 86 last night, and I’m sure we’ll see a few 87’s today; if not already.

Happy (misty horde scum) Killing, TyphoonAndrew.

The Instance Interview with Cory Stockton

Logo of Blizzard Entertainment

The Instance had the opportunity to interview Cory Stockton (episode 292), one of the key World of Warcraft “Lead Content Designer” at Blizzard. It adds an element of personality to the names that we read about on forums and blogs.

cute long view image of Pandaria hillside and small buildings

Overall listening to this helped me along the hype cycle, to look forward to Mists and also raise my expectations on the lore and content being offered in Mists to characters leveling through 85-90. End game options in particular get a good thrashing as a topic throughout the interview. Some notes:

  • What characters Cory plays…loving the Monk class, and appears he’s a bit of an alt-a-holic. I respect that.
  • Timed runs, and Scenarios – What were the challenges in getting the balance right? Goal: Competitive PvE and Leaderboards.
  • A key challenge was explaining what Pandaria is, and why the factions are going there, and for what goals. A quick mention of Garrosh’s motivations and how they think about new lore.
  • Corey stated that scenarios should have the players understanding the goal up front. The snarky part of my play experience thinks that he’ll want to review the Fall of Theramore then. That said, he has confidence that the other scenarios are interesting and engaging. He mentions a “siege of the Undercity” style scenario with Varian Wrynn as a 3 player mode. Interesting.
  • Apparently folks do not read quest text! Wow, that makes for a challenge in terms of keeping context for a mission new without over simplification.
  • Less cinematics in questing, which is probably good given some of the feedback from Uldum.

Its definitely worth a listen.