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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default World of Warcraft

    We don't actually have a thread for this but maybe instead of posting in my blog, I'll post here and then anyone else who plays can chip in to comment or bitch or whatever they'd like.

    WoW is still actually in business, which is remarkable considering it was a major revision of the early days of MMOs (it took everything learned through EQ and other MMOs at the time, and then reworked it / built from the ground up to get a "cleaner" game -- so I'd call it a second generation MMO, as opposed to EQ and similar). Pretty much it was the model that encouraged so many other MMOs to roll out... and then most of them to crash and burn over the years. It's obviously one of the most successful, and then actually getting "WoW Classic" on its feet last summer drew back some of the old-timers who no longer identified with the newer releases and wanted a throwback to the early days.

    Anyway, there have been quite a number of expansions over the years (typically every two years or so): Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and now Battle for Azeroth.

    Currently it's wrapping up BfA (with more open-world PvP) expansion, in preparation for Ghostlands this fall which people seem more excited about. There are things I have enjoyed about BfA, including actually getting some skill at open world PvP when I'm in War Mode; at the same time, there's some of the same-old corporate crap involving sitting on quality of life features until they need them to drive participation at later stages of the expansion. This video captures some of what I am talking about.



    They apparently broke BfA into "three" pieces as far as the story rollout went, and I was kind of irked when they rolled segment #3 out about 5-6 months back. I was happy just waiting for Ghostlands and meanwhile playing old content for achievements and transmog and also trying to level some alts... and suddenly it's like there's another whole piece to the game that you have to play to some degree in order to keep your item level and gear current. And it wasn't just higher gear -- now we have "corrupted" gear to go along with the essences you needed for your Azerite necklace. The only reason that whole thing exists was just to drive up numbers, but I think the player base was happy to have been done. And it is a LOT of content to do. Meanwhile, they had a lot of the stuff (like the cloak upgrades) on timed rollouts -- you were restricted either by the amount of currency you could get to run the scenario to earn a cloak upgrade OR there was a literal lock on how much upgrade you could get. [Apparently blizzard must have seen people not finishing the cloak leveling, because last week they dropped the last levels of the cloak to stuff that can be accomplished in a single run of the scenario per level instead of having to run the damn 30-minute scenario 3-4x to complete.)

    Meanwhile, it was all very alt-unfriendly, to have to do the same content (extensive as it was) to max out any alts you might have wanted to play. And the high levels of the cloak leveling was just ridiculous in terms of time you needed to spend, with it increasing in number of drops needed per level. So I never ended up leveling my cloak to 15 until this past week for my main, and I accumulated 250K of the currency needed to run the scenario (the original cap on it was 25K, until Blizzard removed it because I guess people just weren't running it, and so the currency would cap out, and then people would just be like "screw this").

    So as of late, and tying in with this video, they have now instituted an ADDITIONAL currency where you could buy either essence upgrades for your alts and now last week corruption power upgrades. I was really excited at first because you'd typically get 50 currency for completing a world something, and 500 currency could get an alt a new essence. When they rolled out the corruption items, they increased the 50 currency drop to 250 instead so technically you could get an essence just by completing two sets of dailies... and then (something you missed if you didn't bother to read the patch notes) upped the amount needed to 2500 for essences (so they just multiplied everything by five) so then they could just 2500-8000 currency for corruption upgrades.

    For a game that is in the last 5-6 months of its lifecycle, and the content is mainly played out... why the hell would I want to WORK that hard on a main or alt for content that is going to vanish in six months and serve no purpose? There is no long-term purpose to doing it.

    Meanwhile, when you scrap or disenchant an azerite item, you get a certain amount of residue. And you can use this either to buy a random piece of azerite gear or spend a lot more to get a specific piece of gear. (Random, you take your chances.) Anyway, it's a hell of a lot of residue you need unless I guess you are doing mythic or high-end raids (which will also give you some). So it's like, "Hey, here's a vendor, aren't we cool?" but "Hey, we'll make everything so expensive that unless you do particular content ALL THE TIME you might as well not bother because you'll never collect enough to purchase an item in enough time before the new expansion for it to be worth it."

    That is my current gripe about the game.

    ----

    But I guess I shouldn't generally just gripe. There were some things I did like about BfA -- and the storylines were actually pretty good overall (aside from the major gaff of screwing up the Banshee Queen IMO. I guess she was never meant to be a painful tormented figure but simply off her rocker ever since the Lich King screwed her up). I ran both the Alliance and Horde storylines, and I actually got more sympathy for Jaina, who I routinely hated before then.

    And I have been spending a lot more time just running old dungeons, doing holiday events, leveling characters representing all four types of gear (to transmog the most I could), and acquiring mounts and reputation. There are some expansions I just loved. I know some people hate the pandas, but flying around in Pandaria leaves me feeling at peace. It's one of those things where I don't even need to be playing / doing something game-wise, I just enjoy flying around through the zones ... it makes my heart happy.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I managed to bag two of the months I desperately wanted over the last few months. I mentioned at least one in my blog, it was the Ashes of Al'ar phoenix mount. Every week (if I had time), I'd run about 4-6 characters through the Burning Crusade "The Tempest" raid -- you can run through and skip all the bosses aside from the last, who can drop the mount. It seems there was a 1% chance for the drop each time on Heroic. I finally got it on my (total altogether) 120th run, I think. So happy to never have to go back there again.

    (And yes, it's a cool mount, simply one I don't use during PvP because it's SO conspicuous.)




    The other mount I got was the Astral Serpent from Pandaria (drops from Elegon). That one, I got in far less tries than expected, within two weeks after I started running it.




    So it's on to bigger and better. Currently I am trying to tag Sha of Anger with multiple characters per week, to get the purple dragon mount. Also I am using the "personal raid" trick to set up fast runs on the Lich King so I can get his steed without running the entire raid with each character I have.

    (Basically I have one character in Horde and in Alliance who have killed all but the Lich King on normal mode -- and each week I reactive their lockout code. Because WoW does not immediately kick someone off who looks "disconnected", you can start a party, logout, sign in with another character in Normal mode and join, logout, go back to the original and accept the request, logout, then go back to the character you WANT to do the raid with and accept the acceptance. Now WoW waits about a minute after someone looks disconnected to pass group leader to another person in the group if they were the leader, and that is what happens here. So wait outside the dungeon until your new character gets group leader, go into the raid, accept the raid lockout (so you only need to kill the final boss), uninvite the original character who no longer is group leader, and now that you're the only one in the group and you're leader, with the OTHEr character's boss lockouts in place. Change to Heroic mode, and you'll be asked if you want to accept the lockouts in Heroic mode too. Yes. Now you only have to kill the lich king and can transport as close as possible through the raid with all the teleports activated.)

    I have six Horde characters and three Alliance characters (plus the two "party starters with lockouts" -- they never complete the raid, they just carry the lockout status from week to week) to run through the raid now. It takes about five minutes instead of 35 to do the raid and just farm the lich king, for each character. So it's not nearly so tedious.

    I tried this trick with Firelands but did not get it to work. I can run Firelands in 15 minutes with my main, but it's still a bit tedious, just to farm the boss for a mount drop.

    Anyway, I'll stick with Sha and Lich King until I get the drop, then move onto farming other mount drops.


    Tangential note: I was irked on Alliance chat the other night. Some guy apparently has MULTIPLES of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake in his bag. He thought he could sell them, he didn't realize they were Bind on Pickup (BoP). This mount is one of the hardest to get because it appears free-range in a section of WotLK flying, and you have to tag it to get credit (without dying -- so you need to be able to attack while flying, probably a glider), and it's on a 2-8 hour timer it shares with another Rare that gives no such drop and is the less common of the two. IOW, you either get really lucky to fly around, find it when it's up and tag it FIRST, or you camp the location for hours waiting for it (maybe get a group?) and hope you can all get to the location if it spawns so you can get credit. Needless to say, the latter can take days of camping.

    And this guy has multiples sitting in his bag that he can't even use. Idiot.

    I have only accidentally run across the OTHER rare twice in all of my time playing WoW, btw. Once, I killed it; the other time I ran across its body before the corpse despawned.

    The only comparable mount I think i have farmed was the phosphorescent dragon in Deepholm. Same deal, 2-8 hour spawn timer. you have to reach it first, and hop on its back, and then ride/attack it into submission, and then it gives you the drop. I was lucky, I only spent probably 5-6 hours altogether over the course of 3 days for it to appear and I got it... and luckily that zone is pretty dead nowadays. So it's not like I had to fight about 50 other PCs to get there first, I just had to be there when it blipped in.

    There's another mount I got as well a few months back -- the Time-Lost Hippogriff, in Legion -- five crystals pop into existence scattered across one of the zones. There's about 35 spawn points (so only 5 would have the crystals) and you have to collect all five and it's yours... but you're competing with everyone else. So if someone else finds all five first, you lose all your crystals and then have to start over when the next set of 5 crystals pop into being at potentially new spawn points. Again, I did this quest well into BfA, so not many other people were around. Finding that last crystal can be a bitch.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
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    Do other people like to focus on one character type and/or race, or do people like to try as many other types as possible?

    While I have a few favored toons/combos, I am more of the latter and am trying to get a cross-section of the available classes and races at least on Horde. As far as classes go for either side, I have 120s for:
    - Paladin
    - Priest
    - Demon Hunter
    - Warrior
    - Hunter
    - Rogue
    - Druid

    I have a 113 shaman that I will cap off. I also have level 60 death knight and a level 63 monk and a boosted 110 level warlock.

    Each class has three subclasses. Typically I will learn multiple subclasses if I can, although DPS style ones are easier.

    I am learning that I do not really like ranged characters as much (although I'm happy with my priest). I think my favorites are still Paladin and Demon Hunter, followed closely by my priest. I really do not like Hunter, although I've been using Marksman -- I think it would be great in a raid / setting where I can just plant myself far away and blast stuff while everyone else takes aggro. So mage probably operates similarly. The class I hate the most currently is Warlock, although I've only tried Destruction so far. the play style just doesn't seem to fit with my preferred play.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
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    So about these secret mounts / puzzle chains. There's been a number that came out and the devs actually expect some of them now to be discovered during data mining so it seems built into their thought process when planning them.

    I finished three of them since Thursday night (I got my Lucid Nightmare, the Riddle Wyrm, and the Fathom mount by activating the WQ). I cannot complete the Mindhive mount on my own (the whole latter half demands a five-person group with extensive interaction), so probably will never get that -- that mount actually allows five people to ride it at once... but only the five who complete the questline/end ritual together. So to let other people mount, you need to actually do the questline with them. An intriguing idea but not super-useful unless you have a group of people you normally team with... so automatically it's more of a "mythic dungeon team"mount or something. And it's a hell of a lot of work for this mount.

    I think my biggest gripe is that the puzzles aren't really tailored towards normal single-person puzzle solvers. The chains of quests is usually 8-10 items along... and the clues are ridiculously vague now that I have seen them. I honestly don't know how people figured them out... except that there's a TON of people trying to solve them they come out, so instead of one person trying 1000 different things to see what works, you get 10K people trying 1-2 things apiece and someone gets it right and then shares the answer on social media. So while I might feel a twinge of guilt "riding the coattails" of others who actually solved the problems, considering the clues aren't really solvable in most cases without extensive group involvement, then it doesn't seem to matter much. (Some of the answers also demand a deep knowledge of WoW lore to even understand the clue... OR have involved complex and seemingly random mathematical calculations that only people familiar with mechanics of a particular part of the game would think of.)

    ---

    The Fathom Mount involves getting yourself attuned to ten dark orbs IN THE RIGHT ORDER and then reporting back to the NPC quest giver. Then the WQ finally shows up on your map -- every two weeks, the quest changes between either dropping the mount or the pet. Technically you can get both within two days if you do one the day before the change, then do the other immediately after the quest changes. (Which is almost what happened with me -- I got the mount two days from the changeover). Anyway, here is my thing -- Was there any way to know (1) how many orbs there were, without data mining (so you know when you have found all of them) and (2) where they were in ALL OF THE BROKEN ISLES and then (3) what the proper ORDER to click needed to be? Does one know how many sequences exist when you have ten items and only one sequence works? All I can think of is that it would have to be a large-scale group effort -- basically list all the combinations, then have people a LOT of volunteers to each do one. You should do them in cycles -- take the first clump of however many, try those. If one works, you are done. If none work, assign one item to everyone in the next cycle. Rinse, repeat.

    The thing I most appreciated about the orbs, though, is where they were located. All of them were in small caves (a few underwater away from shore),and pretty much they were all locations I had passed countless times while doing the expansion, and never even realized there was a cave there -- all hidden behind bushes/foliage. I was laughing because all you can do is plunge in the foliage, sometimes at an odd angle...and suddenly you're in a hole that expands into a cave. That was pretty sweet.

    ---

    The Lucid Nightmare is a cool ground mount but again most of the clues seemed SO vague, I am shocked that people figured them out. About the most enjoyable part of doing this questline (even through the guide) was the Endless Halls, it's the last big piece of the puzzle before you conclude it. You click on an urn and are transported into a maze of rooms. They all look the same, but there are five altars and five sconces in the maze of rooms, all of different colors, and your job is to click on a sconce, then run that color back to the appropriate altar to click on. When you complete this, exit to another room and no matter what room it is, you're dumped in to the "final" room where the clue awaits.

    This is complicated by a few factors:
    - The rooms all look alike -- EXCEPT that some rooms will have one or more exits blocked by stones (which makes them look a bit more unique) and some rooms have the colored sconce or altar.
    - When you clear a color, the colors disappear from the altar and sconce -- so now those rooms look like the others.
    - One of the rooms is a teleport. You don't know which room it is but it teleports you somewhere else in the maze. Needless to say, this can really throw off your bearings.
    - it is not a pure flat grid. Some times your rooms will pass over to different rooms from where you'd expect on a 1-to-1 grid. Sometimes they don't. You have to figure this out and map it as best as you can.
    - The maze spills over when you leave the boundaries. You don't know when you're leaving the boundaries, it just wraps around on its own and suddenly you'll realize you have been mapping the same passages.


    So basically the approach I used:
    - Map the entire area as much as I can.
    - Find the teleport room -- which means every time you enter a new room, go back the way you came and see if the room you go back to looks like the same room you left previously. If it's different, you got teleported. Mark that room on the map. Don't enter it again.
    - Find all the altars and sconces first before using any of them, so you can (based on the map) do the quickest and least confusing sequence to clear them, so you don't happen to get lost once the landmarks start to disappear.
    - Have multiple sheets of paper handy for when you start overlapping, get teleported, whatever.

    I ended up needing about 90-120 minutes and three sheets of paper to finish the maze (although I don't think it was bigger than 15x15 or 20x20 rooms). Fortunately where everything was positioned was pretty easy for me to finish. I cleared any isolated colors first. The last three colors sets were close to each other, and in the right sequence where I could clear one, walk a room over to grab the next flame, then clear the next, and finally have one long path without any exits to grab the final flame and walk about 10 rooms to the final altar.

    But I did not need any 'secret knowledge' of the game or its lore, nor did I need to do any weird mathematics based on game mechanics. I was just tossed into a maze and had to figure out the solution to get out, it was pure logic and trial/error. I wish more of the puzzles were like that. It was more elegant than all the random shite in the rest of the puzzle lines.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
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    The prior weekend i ended up running the "timed" Karazhan upgrade and getting the flaming dragon mount off that.

    They basically had redone Karazhan which was an old raid from either classic or TBC I think -- it was a real slog with lots of trash mobs, along with eight bosses, and has a chess match competition right near the end that is so clunky that it's hard to win solo. I finished it once, and then just quit because it was an hour of time for not-so-great drops. The only great thing it had was the undead horse mount drop that is right near the entrance. And the trash mobs are SO many that you can pretty much level up your reputation by only doing the raid once a week for a month or something.

    So they redid it as a 5-man dungeon and it was so much better / streamlined as such. But the added a "timed" quest -- there's 5 purple gems. When you run it on Mythic, you have 8 minutes to get the first (typically the Opera house, although the floor plan is open), then five minutes added for each after I think. And when you get all five, then you have 5 minutes to find the spirit of the wizard who made the tower, who actually is back at the bottom of the tower (yeah, annoying). If you click on him, there's a roleplay of a fight he had with a dragon that leaves it a flaming undead, and if you kill it, there's a 20% chance you'll get the mount if you're solo, otherwise typically one person in a 5 person group will get it... and it will know who already has it, so there's better chance for someone else to get it.

    Anyway, since it's last expansion, it's much easier to get solo. I just ran the dungeon with my 120s, and got the mount of the third attempt that weekend. (I just blew two attempts the prior weekend trying to figure out the sequence and where the wizard spirit was located). Not a hard mount to get if you know the pattern and you can then still finish the dungeon as well.

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I have now done the Heroic Darkshore warfront on Alliance and Horde.

    I gotta say, especially the end boss is much easier on Alliance. I'm still trying to determine whether that's because the graphics / color contrast is easier, or whether there's simply not as much environment damage from being in the wrong squares (i.e., there's more safe spaces) + the razor discs actually blow a 4-person wide hole in the approaching wall versus the horde version where I swear the hole is smaller. I think it is designed to be easier. When I finally ran it three times in one week (because I had three 120's), I just had to shake my head. Much much more simple.

    Long story short, I still can die pretty easily on Horde runs with the flaming floors and flaming marching troops even at i465, if I'm not careful, where I've never died running it on Alliance i445 even with sloppier play.

    I think the only area on Alliance Heroic Darkshore that was deadly is the final boss at the base area, which is a dragon that spews poison on the ground, leaving very little safe space to stand on if you're melee. However, that fight is also a bitch for Horde because the bear boss creates occasional magic blasts around itself that you have to jump out of quickly or you can get close to one-shotted. In addition, the boss are the airbase area is worse for Horde too (the shrieking griffin), I've died there my share of times as melee just from getting stun-locked repeatedly.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    So I lucked out in the Vale assault this week -- happened to hear that the Ha-Li elite bird was getting worn down, so I stopped in with my character at the time (Vasliss, my nightborne arms Warrior). I took enough damage that I had to stand back for the last 45 seconds of the fight and just chuck axes and then back away, lol. It was lame, I know.

    But when it died, I just thought, "I think I've got the mount!" and checked my bags... and there it was, the rare mount drop from that elite. Luck of the draw, since it only has a 1-3% drop chance and there were about 20 people there.

    Anyway, it is modeled after the bird drop I got out of the final Pandaria raid -- except that one is brown/orange feathers and this one is pretty shades of blue, otherwise it's the same model.

    Here's a random pic here:

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I want to play WoW, or should I say in my head I like the idea of getting back into it, yet in actuality sitting still and focusing on one activity for more than 20 minutes seems like a fate worse than death.

    I keep vacillating between whether I should play retail or classic, and what class I'd want to play in endgame content. If I ever do decide to play again on a serious level, I'm completely done and burned out on Horde. That said, I log in, create my character and class, fall in love with the prospect of what could be, then spawn in the game and feel a tidalwave of apathy wash over me as I'm doing beginning level quests.

    Then I decide, "hey, I've done all thos before. Might as well play the max level characters I have on retail and just be done with it." I log on there, immediately think of the gigantic retail grindfest that awaits me, then log out of there as well. Rinse and repeat, daily.
    The order of preference for your cognitive functions appears to be
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stigmata View Post
    I want to play WoW, or should I say in my head I like the idea of getting back into it, yet in actuality sitting still and focusing on one activity for more than 20 minutes seems like a fate worse than death.

    I keep vacillating between whether I should play retail or classic, and what class I'd want to play in endgame content. If I ever do decide to play again on a serious level, I'm completely done and burned out on Horde. That said, I log in, create my character and class, fall in love with the prospect of what could be, then spawn in the game and feel a tidalwave of apathy wash over me as I'm doing beginning level quests.

    Then I decide, "hey, I've done all thos before. Might as well play the max level characters I have on retail and just be done with it." I log on there, immediately think of the gigantic retail grindfest that awaits me, then log out of there as well. Rinse and repeat, daily.
    lol. I get that.

    I have a few toons I have been leveling. Most get stuck in leveling hell -- I lose momentum, then they sit there for months without me doing anything. Recently I decided that I should just cap my Alliance shaman off (from level 113), so i did that last week. Just by running assaults, I get a level per assault basically, and eventually get there. I have a shaman on Horde I wanted to level but they are only level 23 and I am overwhelmed just by looking at them (Vulpera). I started a death knight (blood) but am only at level 63. But I have some mid-level stuff (void elf priest around level 50, monk at 64) that I never finished leveling.

    Even as I post this, last night I was just thinking that I could get a few hours of writing time instead of playing WoW. I think my biggest thing I wanted to do was hit Honor level 40 to get the silver mount. Running the weekly "kill opposite faction" quest on 11-12 characters gives me 2250 points a shot, and each level is only 8800 points. I'm almost halfway through level 38 now, so only a few more weeks to reach that level. But I might just go cold turkey and cut off access.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Junior Member GoggleGirl17's Avatar
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    I seem to be stuck in a neverending dilemma about whether I actually want to get back into WoW. It was my jam up until WoD, but with Legion and then BfA (my two least favorite expansions) I completely lost interest. I've purchased a gaming laptop twice in the past year in hopes of reigniting my passion for the game, but returned it both times, as I felt so bored with my abilities and watching my character perform the same rotations and doing the same content. I hate the addition of allied races, and I also do not care for most of the new zones or instances. I often feel nostalgic about Classic WoW which is what keeps tempting me to play again, but every time I realize that I've already experienced what Classic has to offer and it no longer feels magical to me. So, now I play Overwatch in order to get in quick gaming sessions which don't last long enough for me to start questioning what I am doing with my time.
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