Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Opinion: All opinions should matter, but who knows best in the end?

Following the highly successful launch of Warlords of Draenor, with both vocal praise and the subscriber numbers to back it up, the last couple of weeks have seen a bit of a turn in moods, at least in the official forums and on WoW Insider. People are saying that there isn't much to do at level 100, options are removed from the game, and it's all about the garrisons now.

Although I don't agree with the tone that many use when they voice their opinions, I have for some weeks had similar concerned thoughts. A bit too early in this expansion's run, I've already completed things that I would normally not start with until much later in the expansion run. Things like [Draenor Angler], [Grand Treasure Hunter], and already having tamed rare versions of every single battle pet that exists on Draenor.

I think this issue is coming up now because of a combination of the following:

  • Some of us have played for a damned long time now! I've played 7 years, others have played 10 years. Even people that started playing in Cataclysm have played for 4 years. The chance is big that we have used previous lulls to achieve most of the old stuff that we wanted to achieve. For me, an example is [What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been], which I completed FIVE YEARS ago. I still do some World Event-stuff, but only to collect the new collectibles added. 
  • Some of us want to, and are able to, use a huge amount of time on our hobbies. Is it even realistically possible to make a game so filled with content that we never run out of stuff to do, even if we spend all free time trying?
  • "Mandatory" and handheld content have been partially removed. Noone has to level their professions, there are no Valor Points to cap from dungeons and raids, there are no reputations required for head enchants or epic gear, there are few daily quests.

It's tempting to blame the "lack of content" on players that complained about too many dailies, or the ones that complained that scenarios made healers and tanks redundant. But I can't be mad at anyone else telling Blizzard how they want things! It's their absolute right to do so. In fact, as players and customers, it's all we can do; give our feedback. It's up to the developers to analyze the feedback, and then choose what actions to take because of it.

Let me show you how I spend my time in WoW:


My WoW-week starts on Wednesday. Oh my, how I love Wednesdays! Everything is reset and fresh. Mmmm. :)
  1. With my resent new obsession with collecting female draenei followers (I have 7 of 25 so far), the week's highpoint for me is actually visiting my inn to see if I'm able to recruit a new one. This is the first thing I do when I log on for the day, heart pounding, looking through my fingers. Alas, in these five weeks with an inn, I have received exactly zero draenei followers. Not that I'm upset or anything. :-/
  2. Raid reset is also a thing of course. :) Our raid team raids for three hours, three times a week. So that is nine hours summed up, and has perhaps already exceeded the amount of time that other people have to spend on a "silly hobby". We are now 6/7 normal and 1/7 heroic by the way, and I've really enjoyed Highmaul so far! I'm very happy about the flexible group size, and I'm almost feeling relieved that mythic will be out of the question for us.
  3. The third big thing is the [Garrison Campaign], which I love. I've done six chapters of it so far, and the small questlines have been a good mix of fun and lore so far. I hope they will keep adding small questlines now and then. I've seen some complaints about the staggering of this content, but for me it's all good.
  4. Tarlna the Ageless or Drov the Ruiner.
  5. Raid Finder. I've been doing raid finder in addition to heroic and normal raids. I've enjoyed them a lot so far. The queues have been short, there's been no wiping, yelling, swearing and shaming. Just some relaxed killing of bosses with other friendly players. I will probably only be doing them as long as I still need upgrades, as I don't want to exhaust my stay in there.
  6. Invasion for gold, silver and bronze bag once a week. I was suprised to find that I didn't enjoy the invasions more than I do. After all, they are kind of similar to the 3people scenarios we had in MOP. Anyway, after getting my weekly bag, I ignore them until next week (unless someone needs my help of course).
All summed up I reckon it's about 12 hours of gameplay in my weekly activities.

Watching... Waiting... Plotting...


My daily routine is pretty much my garrison-routine.
  1. Mission Table. Complete all missions, look through the new ones, start interesting ones first, then as many as I can after that.
  2. Pet Battle. Every day I do the pet battle challenge available in my garrison, which gives me a bag that contains enough pet battle currency to let me upgrade one pet to rare every other day, and sometimes it contains a pet, Absolutely love how the way they have continued the pet battles in WoW. They're still a small side feature, and luckily there is no new level cap.(Phew!)
  3. Open all the Salvage Boxes in my Salvage Yard.
  4. Collecting and starting new work orders in my Dwarven Bunker, Trading Post, Enchanter's Study, Herb Garden and Mine. Collecting all herbs and ores in the Garden and Mine.
  5. Swing by the inn and pick up the two available dungeon quests (which I then proceed to ignore until I have to abandon them later in the week to clear space in the quest log).
  6. Some days I pick up the fishing daily, go over to the bank in my Storehouse, withdraw 10 Enormous fish, gut them, and hand in the quest.
  7. Use my daily Inscription- and Alchemy-cooldowns.
  8. Pick up the daily Apexis-quest, ask if anyone in guild wants to do it, and go do it.
  9. Mission Table again.
  10. Scout for Blingtron.
All summed up this would be (less than) 1 hour every day, and thus 7 hours every week. Combined with my weekly activities, we're now looking at around 19 hours of weekly gameplay, which is no small amount to spend on a hobby! (Except for those of us that have more time that we want to spend on that hobby.)

I have started using the new character model.
Trying to get used to them now, so that I can rage when they get changed again. ;)
I'm kidding! I actually love this face. I'm just a bit slow when it comes to vital changes like this...

What I could be doing, but I'm not

  • Dungeons. I enjoyed the first 3 weeks of doing 2-3 dungeons every day. They are really good dungeons. The thing is I don't like doing dungeons well enough to do them without a good reason. They're kind of a stress factor to me. So when I don't need any gear from them, I don't need the extra garrison resources, and they don't give me Valor Points, I end up not doing them at all.
  • Challenge Modes. Too much work for too low gear. The weapon transmogs are "meh" compared to MOP-transmog sets.
  • PVP and Ashran. I don't have the interest, patience, temper or bagspace to do PVP. Right now anyway.
  • If I had chosen other buildings in the garrison, I could have had more stuff to do. Like quests for the Stables, chopping down trees for the Lumber Mill, trapping animals for the Barn, and so on. I will probably check the other buildings out eventually, but right now I'm very happy with the buildings I have, and how they work together for my goals to get my garrison draentastic! (What?! It's a word!) My buildings are Barracks, Dwarven Bunker, Inn, Trading Post, Storehouse, Enchanter's Study and Salvage Yard.
  • Camp for rare spawns that drop mounts. I wasted a whole freaking day camping for Poundfist. I will not be doing that again any time soon.
  • Reputation Grinds. I actually have done this a little bit though. I got revered with Sha'tari Defense the first week of WOD, purely to be able to get Vindicator Heluun in my ranks. The grind consisted of me and four others AOEing orcs in Talador. Thousands upon thousands of orcs. Yay, fun. :p I don't think the goblin reputation seems that bad, with hand-ins of tokens that drop from rares. I have no idea whatsoever what requires to get Arakkoa-rep. And the two others I will gain rep with slowly over time, as I do the daily Apexis Crystal-quests.
  • Alts. I don't want an alt garrison factory. Until I figure out how to handle the alts, I'm keeping most of them in Pandaria.

So what is it that I want exactly?

I want a reason to do dungeons, and I want some 3people scenarios.

I want more daily quests. I miss them sorely! Reinstating the daily quest cap would probably be a good idea, as people can't seem to limit themselves.

If I can't get more daily quests, I want to be able to choose 2-3 Apexis Crystal daily areas, and to be able to choose from the whole pool instead of from just the two.

I want the reputations to have some daily quests. Grinding is not fun for me at all!

I want the choice to share one garrison on all my characters. And I want the choice to have separate garrisons as it is now, for those that want it.

I want the fish to only have one size.

I miss the Ironpaw Token-system! Where are the Ironhoof Tokens?

LFR is perfect now, please don't touch it. Don't implement extra rewards, don't make it harder, just leave it as it is.


Warlords of Draenor is really good, and the fact that people want more of it can absolutely be viewed as a good thing. But in the end, what is more "dangerous" to the game, people saying they have too much stuff to do, or people saying they don't have anything to do? All opinions should matter, but the ones that are screaming loudest at any given moment might not necessarily be the majority, or the ones that knows what is best for the game. Including me of course. :)


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Silly Little Post

I was overdoing it a bit with the alts in Mists of Pandaria, so I wanted to take it slow from start this time around. Mostly meaning not running 17 garrisons simultaneously. However, things have been getting a bit too quiet the last weeks, in addition to me wanting to see the quests for the second time, so I feel like I'm ready to level a second character now. In a way, leveling followers have kind of felt like leveling new alts, without being clueless about their rotations.

I can't decide on who though. So I thought I would check who has earned it. If this was about being fair, who would get leveled? I'm gonna start off with disqualifying any "second paladins, fourth hunters and sixth monks", let's keep it simple. ;-)

So who was leveled to max in the previous expansion, and in what order?

Burning Crusade - Level 70

  1. Laeleiweyn, Beast Master Hunter. Main. It took me four months leveling my first character from 1 to 70. Much exploration and noobness happened. :)
  2. Nordlys, Elemental Shaman. Wanted to try healing, went with ranged DPS instead.
  3. Ohmy, Protection Paladin. Wanted to be a tank, ended up tanking mobs in the wold by myself...
  4. Thealy, Shadow Priest. Wanted to be a healer. Would have been 3rd to 70, but stayed as a ghost in Scarlet Monastery for four months after being accused of being "the worst healer ever". Inflicting damage as shadow proved to be much fun, and this was when I found out I liked DOT-specs.

Wrath of the Lich King - Level 80
  1. Thealy, Shadow Priest. Main first part of the expansion. Last to 70, first to 80! Raided with her the first two tiers in Wrath.
  2. Laeleiweyn, Beast Master/Survival/Marksmanship Survival Hunter... Main last part of the expansion. Took over as the character that I raided with. Tried all specs over the course of the expansion. Survival became a big favorite.
  3. Nordlys, Restoration/Enhancement Shaman. Alt-raids.
  4. Ohmy, Protection Paladin. Alt-raids.
  5. Vesla, Affliction Warlock. DOTs!
  6. Silja, Protection Warrior. Alt-raids.

Cataclysm - Level 85
  1. Laeleiweyn, Survival Hunter. Main. Only raider entire expansion. I was very main-oriented, and didn't level third alt until 1,5 year after launch!
  2. Silja, Protection Warrior. Last to 80, early to 85. :)
  3. Thealy, Shadow Priest.
  4. Ohmy, Protecion Paladin.
  5. Lilliel, Balance Druid. (Was my free level 80 from some kind of promotion.)
  6. Nordlys, Enhancement Shaman.
  7. Vesla, Affliction Warlock.
  8. Salay, Blood Death Knight.
  9. Mikya, Fire Mage.

Mists of Pandaria - Level 90
  1. Kinlai, Windwalker/Brewmaster Monk. Main. After a whole lot of internal struggle became my new main. Noone was more suprised than me.
  2. Laeleiweyn, Beast Mastery Hunter. I felt hunters got so many, too many, new buttons with MOP. The pruning shows that this was a mistake obviously, although I'm not entirely sure I agree with all the pruning.
  3. Salay, Blood Death Knight. Late 85, early 90!
  4. Mikya, Fire Mage. Late 85, early 90! (Been a recurring thing, seems I like them best shortly after I leveled them.)
  5. Thealy, Shadow Priest.
  6. Nordlys, Enhancement Shaman.
  7. Ohmy, Protection Paladin.
  8. Lilliel, Feral (Cat) Druid.
  9. Vesla, Affliction Warlock.
  10. Silja, Protection Warrior.
  11. Thesilae, Combat Rogue.

Warlords of Draenor - Level 100
  1. Kinlai, Windwalker/Brewmaster Monk.
  2. Who will be next? :)

/Played, in descending order
  1. Hunter
  2. Monk
  3. Priest
  4. Shaman
  5. Paladin
  6. (Second hunter)
  7. Warlock
  8. Death Knight
  9. Warrior
  10. Mage
  11. Druid
  12. Rogue

Let's get rid of some competition... Who do I not feel like leveling right now?
  • Warlock
  • Death Knight
  • Mage
  • Druid
  • Rogue

Now, if they had implemented draenei warlocks, druids or rogues tomorrow, the choice would have been easy; I would have started one of those. I started to like my rogue when I grinded for the dices, and with inspiration like Mishka and Rangari Erdanii, I have already made a name for my future draenei rogue. But right now I want to level a draenei character, for "roleplaying in my head"-purposes.

Remaining candidates, including thoughts or goals for the expansion:
  • Hunter.
    I want Gara, and I want the cool helm that Rangari Kaalya is wearing.
    She has kind of earned it, with being the old main...
  • Priest.
    Shadow is fun, but clothies are squishy. Shares one profession with the monk.
  • Shaman.
    Also want the helm that the hunter wants.
  • Paladin.
    Yrel!!! And the focus is on paladins in this expansion. Has never been among the first to hit max level. Want to be Retribution this time around.
    Has the same professions as the monk.
  • Warrior.
    I want to try out gladiator stance at level 100. Least played character of those in this list, has perhaps deserved some play time?

So, what's the verdict? I still can't decide... Well, at least I narrowed it down to five possible ones.

Have you been leveling alts yet? How did you decide?


Update 21-DEC (two days later): I have started leveling my hunter Laeleiweyn, and I'm enjoying slowly questing through Shadowmoon Valley again. :)

Update 10-MAY (4,5 months later): Lae stopped at level 95, and I still have only one level 100! Can it really be that I beat the alt-habit?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Recruits

It was late at night in Shadowmoon Valley. Kinlai was enjoying a Draenic Pale Ale at the Lunarfall Inn in the garrison. Her garrison actually, but... "Details!" She could hear Chel and Kaalya behind her, eagerly discussing arrow mechanics, with Miall as an interested listener. Heluun and Illona were sitting at a table at the other side of the room. Heluun seemed to be telling a story, and Illona was wearing a somewhat skeptical expression on her face. The door to the inn opened, and she turned to see Tuulani and Scout Valdez entering and moving towards the bar. As they came closer, Tuulani sent her a big smile and waved, before proceeding to the barkeeper. Valdez, on the other hand, came over to her.


Kinlai greeted him, and nodded to the chair next to her. She was curious. Valdez never bothered her this late at night unless there was an immediate threat lurking around the garrison walls. He seemed to be taking his time, so that didn't seem to be the case this time.

"Commander, I have news from Gorgrond."

Gorgrond... The most untamed landscape she had seen in all of Draenor. They had traveled through parts of Gorgrond a month back. Both her garrison forces and the local rangari had suffered severe losses to the wilds. Those that had survived had eventually found a big iron horde base in the northwest of Gorgrond, which they were systematically working on weakening. The only good thing that had come out of that expedition was Kaalya. Gorgrond was bad news.

"What about Gorgrond?"

Valdez leaned closer and lowered his voice.

"I heard you have been having trouble finding new recruits."

Kinlai saw a sudden movement in the corner of her eye. She turned, and could see Lysa Sterion watching them from a nearby table. Kinlai emptied her beer.

"Let's finish this conversation somewhere a bit less crowded." 

She got up, and lead the way towards the door. Once outside, she started heading for the town hall. She again mulled over the recruiting-problem in her head, and didn't notice that Valdez was struggling to keep up in a dignified matter. Lysa was her main recruiter in the garrison. And although she had brought in a few new people, she had not been able to deliver any of the local expertise that Kinlai had wanted, nor the numbers that they needed.

As they arrived at the town hall, they met Romuul, who was about to leave. He smiled, and politely held the door for them as they entered.

"Good evening, Commander. Scout Valdez."

They made their way to the command room and sat down in a couple of chairs that were placed in front of the big fireplace. Valdez cut straight to the case.

"We've finally been able to make contact with the other branch of rangari in Gorgrond. They are located to the northeast of the land. They need our help up there. In return I think we could get some really powerful allies to our mission, so it is my recommendation that we send a team."
"There are two names that have been popping up a lot; one "Pitfighter" Vaandaam, which seems to be a monk."
"A monk, really? That is interesting. The monks from our timeline all got trained by the pandaren... I would very much like to meet this Vaandaam."
"And the other is a draenei..."

He paused, and got a pondering expression.

"Of course it's a draenei if it's one of the rangari. What's the name?"
"A draenei... rogue."

A draenei rogue? Kinlai felt overjoyous for a second.

"A rogue? Is it... Is Mishka here on Draenor?"

There were several SI:7-agents in the garrison already, among them Amber Kearnen that she had also worked together with in Pandaria. She had been under the impression that Mishka was on another mission back on Azeroth, but now she was here!
But Valdez shook his head.

"It's not Mishka."

Kinlai felt a rush of disappointment.

"This one is called Rangari Erdanii, and is supposedly somewhat of a "master of stealth and assassination". Which says quite a bit I imagine, all the rangari seem to be very skilled."
"You've done great, Valdez, going to Gorgrond is the right thing to do. Not only do we need more recruits. But I want to help the local draenei and the rangari as much as we can. We just need to be more careful about it this time around... "
"Should I make arrangements for Lysa Sterion and her team to travel to Gorgrond then?"

Gorgrond... With nature itself trying to eat you alive, with the plant beings and the plant zombies, the gronn and the iron horde. Lysa Sterion wouldn't survive 5 minutes.

"No, I'll take this mission myself."

She suddenly felt eager, and got up from her chair.

"Actually, I will travel there tonight!"
"Commander, please wait! There's the raid to Highmaul tomorrow. And I need a couple of days for preparations. Let's say... Wednesday."

Wednesday. So far away.

"Alright, make it so. Good night, Valdez."

She headed to the armory to see if they had spare weapons and armor suitable for these new rangari recruits. She found a couple of daggers and fist weapons that were in good shape.

"Bring on Wednesday!"

(What is this about?)