Monday, December 29, 2014

A Week in an MMO Life: Trials

Not really related, but I did try out the (a?) glider in Nagrand with my Talbuk
I hope everyone reading had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year!  I did quite a bit these last two weeks.  I hope this doesn't just come off as a list.

I have my 20 Followers on Kanter and can't decide if I want to level my Barracks or replace it with another building so it stays at level 1 for now.   My Salvage Yard finally coughed up some armor for my followers so now I have 3 iLevel 630 followers and they give me better quests including some for more follower gear.  The iLevel 630 quests also give iLevel 640 (?) gear for my character so that's been a nice boost for him.

My first two characters, my hunter and priest were pretty well set.  I knew I was going to use my Druid, Kantree, to instant level to 90 since he had two professions none of my other 90 toons had (leatherwork and skinning).  Once I used the instant level, I had to try out the intro quest and once he had the Garrison, he needed to be able to use the Barn and by that point, it made sense to get him to 92 for the Mine.

By the time Kanter hit 100, I was starting to accumulate a lot of things to be Disenchanted by my enchanter, Kantrina, so I thought I should get him a Garrison, too so I could use the materials and since she is also an Engineer, it only made sense to get the level 2 Garrison so she could start producing the Engineering dailies as well.  Once you have the level 2 garrison, you might as well get to level 92 so you can get the Mine again, right?

At this point my enchanter had used up most of her supplies on the dailies and work orders and I had a surplus of ore to use.  Someone suggested that I could use the ore with a Blacksmith to get more enchanting supplies, so I started leveling my Blacksmith Warrior, Kantro.  Once he had the Forge I could have stopped, but it didn't seem right that my only miner didn't have a mine, so today he reached level 92.  This is what leads to having  five toons with Mines.  I have gone back to leveling my priest who was stuck at level 94 and I'm looking forward to having a level 3 Barn and to try out the Inn with her (assuming I ever learn how to heal).  Right now I'm happy with where my other toons are, but I suspect there will be something that encourages me to do more than the work orders, crafting dailies, mining, and follower missions.  It does take some time just to do that.

I spoke about the stables in my last post and at this point have 7 of the 8 mounts you can get from them (and the Mountain o' Mounts achievement).  I am glad I had vacation because it did take a little while to bring all 6 mounts each day to their next battle.  The battles were not difficult for my hunter though it was odd not having a pet.  Each mount takes between 7 and 12 battles but the way I did them (maybe it's how it always works out), there were always two on the same battle each day so I would have three places to visit each day and the respawns were pretty quick.  If you have a specific item in your pack when you defeat the last of these battles, you also get one more mount, a pretty cool armored pig, so I got that as well.  There is an 8th mount available for completing these battles with another more difficult item in your pack, but I'm in no rush to get it.

I knew if I wanted to go on Heroic Dungeons or raids I would need to complete the Silver Proving grounds achievement, so I started working on it a couple weeks ago.  Leveling a hunter is very easy (after leveling the priest, druid, mage and warrior, I know this well), so I wasn't very well prepared for it.  I first had to figure out the best way to get AOE damage (I needed to put Barrage on my bar and I learned that using multishot causes my pet to do AOE damage, too).  Then it was more a matter of practice.  Learning to move and shoot again.  Learning to interrupt when needed.  Learning to more quickly switch targets.  I play on a laptop and for questing it's fine, but for this I had to move to where I had larger monitor and a mouse rather than just a track pad.  I did eventually get the Silver achievement and went on my first (and only so far) heroic random dungeon.  I thought the trials were pretty effective and I'm sure I'll do better DPS (particularly for AOE) and I'll be more likely to hit interrupts because of it.

Molten Core:
I thought that I would work on the Legendary ring quests this weekend, but one night a few people in my guild said they'd be going to Molten Core so I went along.  I've heard nightmare stories about some of these runs, but this went pretty well.  We did have one point where someone added a second hound pack in the middle of when we were fighting the first and they kept regenerating until someone manufactured a wipe.  Otherwise I think there may have been one other wipe, but after my experiences in Vanilla, this was trivally easy and it was fun to see it again on level.  Yes, I am now a proud owner of a Core Hound Mount more than a week before it'll be done!

It's been a busy week (and yes, I played more than one night this last week ;)).  I still don't have a definite direction.  I would like to work on the Ring quest with Kanter but would rather go with someone in my guild if I can.  I would like to try a Normal raid with the guild as well thought I'm not interested in being good enough to do Heroic or Mythic and I don't want to get in the way.  I'll be interested in leveling my Priest to 100 and then trying the Healing proving grounds.  I mentioned before I had finished Bronze during Pandaria.  Once I get that done, I would like to try to do the daily Inn quests on her, but that means dealing with random groups and I'm not sure how that will go.  I'm still doing the fishing dailies and I'm about half way to getting my level 3 Fishing Shack which will lead to another series of tasks for Nat Pagle.  There is also the Pet Menagerie just sitting there with an available quest and Syl kindly provided a guide for a newbie like me (I think my highest level pet is level 4 and I only did that because my daughter wanted to try it).

I have plenty to keep me busy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Week in an MMO Life: Level 100

Kanter flying on a flight path since no flying otherwise in Draenor

Recently Kanter reached the new max level,100, in World of Warcraft.  As is the case these days, this isn't as much a sign of completion as an ability to start many other things.

Before I go into the future, I want to talk about questing.  I liked the Yrel story as much as I've seen it.  I've done all the quest achievements except for Nagrand and I have no desire to do the 'Bonus Objectives,' areas where you kill so many of different kinds of mobs for a reward.  That said, I liked the Pandaria quests better.  I seem to be in the minority, but I liked the stranger in a strange land setting and I think the time travel is something of a cop out, though I understand why they did it.  More on that in another post if I ever get to it.

The Garrison has a lot to keep me busy, maybe too much.  I feel compelled to get all my herbs and ore every day, along with the daily crafting activities.  Kanter is doing the Alchemy dailies, Kantra, the Tailor and Jewelcrafting ones, and Kantree has just started the Leatherworking ones.  Note that they mostly aren't daily quests just daily activities at the garrison station and daily cooldowns for core crafting components.  That is an improvement from Pandaria:  you don't feel overwhelmed with dozens of dailies once you reach max level.

Kanter picked the Lumber Mill  as his first middle size plot item and harvesting has been happening pretty naturally along with quests.  It does seem to keep my garrison stocked with the supplies I need.  I've only had to wait overnight once to build or expand on a plot.  I'm also looking forward to getting the Follower who works in the Lumber Mill.

When I improved my garrison to level 3, I received three new plots and got the Stables, Trading Post, and Salvage Yard.  I really like that the Stables displays a random set of my mounts every day.  I also like the quests to raise more mounts, but it's becoming too much now with four mounts I'm working on at the same time.  I'd rather they would have serialized them.  You don't have to take all the quests but it'll be difficult for me to not work on all of them and with six to work on, that will be a lot.  The ability to gather while mounted is very helpful and with it and the speed buff at level 3, I don't think I'll ever get rid of it (particularly since I can play with the other buildings on my alts).

The Trading Post has been neutral.  As of now it's just a way to turn gathered ingredients into garrison provisions.  I like the Lumber Yard better for that, but I may eventually not want to wander around and I can get the components her from the Herb Garden and Mine located in the garrison.  The Auction House would be nice to have, but it looks like it won't be easy to get it.

So far, the Salvage Yard has been a bust.  Only some of the garrison quests yield salvage and I haven't gotten anything interesting from it.

I'm also not very happy with the Garrison quests.  I've only tried to solo quest and it seemed too crowded and took too long.  The second time wasn't as bad because there were fewer people, but I still don't like it.  I had the option for a similar quest with the same 800 Apexis Crystal reward at Socretar's Rise but when I completed my quests there, I was only 18% done and couldn't be bothered to grind the rest.

I've always found Fishing to be a relaxing diversion in WoW even though I don't like it in real life.  I'm using the dailies to get my 100 fish of six different types for Draenor Fisherman achievement.  After that, I can work on getting Nat Pagel as a follower.

When I started, I thought I would probably advance my Hunter and Priest close together, but I've been focusing on my Hunter, Kanter, so far, probably a sign that I'm not that interested in group quests.  I would like to have my Mage, Kantrina, have access to the Enchanting and Engineering plots, but I don't have any incentive yet to bring my Warrior since mining isn't an issue with the Garrison mines and nothing is compelling me to get Blacksmithing at this time.

In summary, I'm enjoying Warlords of Draenor, but I'm not sure I'll do much group content.  The Garrison works well integrating a base into the game and the quests have pulled me along, but so far I can't be bothered to gear up for the normal end game content.