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.

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Impressions of new content for patch 5.3

I played the new content released in the WoW patch 5.3 last night, and here are a few observations (also here is Wowheads guide – which is darn handy).

Overall: Great to see new lore. Excited to have two new scenarios, specific quests to advance the story, and an experience across both the old world and Pandaria. Great too that the legendary quest keeps rolling, and I cannot wait (but will take months and months) to get the high level cloak.

Pandarian-LoadScreen

Whatever comes in 5.4 will hopefully still value that cloak’s ilevel 600. Otherwise it seems a short term reward. Or imagine what the next jump after 600 will be, and how that will devalue all other gear for the patch.

But … no way in hell I’m doing the “gather 150×4 materials” every bloody week. I started the quest yesterday, and it took hours and hours to progress through it. I’ve got around 450 of the 600 drops needed, and I’m already really bored with doing the same four tasks:

  1. Kill mobs in one of the four areas, infrequently opening boxes too. At the moment I can kill and loot mobs faster than I can sneak past mobs to loot boxes. Druids however can loot the boxes in bird form and snaffle them quickly.
  2. Kill one of the special bosses which randomly spawn. After death they drop a better amount of each material, but they also can now (hotfix 223 May) be tagged to the alt faction and also take a bit of time to kill. That change at least means it is faster to gather the mats.
  3. Escort a caravan, so that it arrives safely and hope than a faction opponent does not dps it dead. The caravans as so easy to kill its a joke. Trust me – I took revenge on a horde group by nuking their caravan.
  4. Find the random exploded boxes. Periodically somewhere on the map a lot of boxes spawn all spread out. Run around looting them for 1 or 2 mats per box.

Dull, dull, double-dull is all I can say about this weekly quest.

I’ve already read comments from other players saying they’ll do this quest twice and then never again. My advice is to do this now while people still want the pet and the few other odd rewards so that you gain the advantage of big groups killing those NPCs. It is a blisteringly stupid move to create such a grind.

But apparently it is great for alts, as they can gear up this way? FFS no. Each weekly grants a 489 item when better rewards are in the new heroic scenarios, but only if you have also looted one of the special drops too. Derp.

scenario-screenie

Otherwise the scenarios and new quests are great. Fast, easy on normal, and fun to blow through. I get the impression that after a few times I’ll recognise all the lore elements and begin to get tired of them, but for now it is something new to play through. My last task is to get the end of the “help the lost old hermit” chain, for the boots, and then that will be all the lore done. A few nights and the content is “encountered”.

Regardless, I hope you’re liking it. TyphoonAndrew.

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