Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Embracing being Casual in Warlords of Draenor

Newly groomed Kanter and Iorek enjoying his Level 2 Garrison

So after some contemplation, I decided 1 week after the release of the Warlords of Draenor (WoD) expansion for World of Warcraft was a reasonable time to wait until I bought it.  I knew I couldn't keep up with others, so buying it early or on the first day seemed to not be acknowledging how I am playing the game.  By waiting a week, I not only missed the issues people were having the first few days (although I did have a queue one time trying to farm) but it let me avoid the rush mentality.  Thanks to Erinys for commenting on my earlier post and letting me know I'm not the only blogger who doesn't have to start on the first day.

At this point I have brought three characters into Draenor.  My Hunter, Kanter, pictured above, was always my first character to do anything and still is the most comfortable character to solo.  He is now level 92, has completed the quest achievement in Shadowmoon Valley, has a level 2 Garrison and is ready to go to Gorgrond.

As I had mentioned previously, I leveled my Druid, Kantree, to 60 so I could use my instant 90 on him and also get a max level (pre-WoD) leatherworker and skinner.  I wanted to see how that worked and let two of my daughters watch as I went through the intro series of quests on him.  My daughters like the new armor, but it was pretty much all replaced during those first few quests.  Also, even though I had reasonable size bags they were all replaced and the content ended up in my mail.  This was a good thing since I didn't need most of it.  One observation, my BoP bags were no longer bound, so I could use them on another character if I wanted to.

When I first took him to Draenor he had the same set of quests as Kanter, but he only started with three abilities.  As we went through the quests, abilities were added three or four at a time.  I didn't see much benefit to this for me and it was rather annoying to only have travel form when the quest chain was almost over.  There was no explanation on how to use the skills at all.  Kantree has his level 1 Garrison with a Leatherworking building and hasn't done much other than send Followers on missions since then.

This does bring up one thing I wish I knew before I started WoD.  After doing the initial quests, I tried to find the profession trainers, even flying back to Stormwind to see if they were there.  It turns out you get the max level gathering (skinning, herbalism, and mining), archaeology, and fishing skills by using them.  For me, they happened within the first few times I used them (certainly it was not more than 5).  The archaeology one came with the first time I built an artifact.  All the other professions (First Aid, Cooking and the other primary profession) came from drops before I hit level 91.

Finally, I've always wanted to try a healer in groups though I've only ever done a few dungeons.  Still, I have started leveling my priest, Kantra, as well and she also has her level 2 garrison with her Tailoring and Jewelcrafting buildings.  Once she hits level 92, she'll go directly to Gorgrond and I'll plan to alter completing zones between the two of them.

I've been having fun with all the new content.  Yrel (a Draenei NPC) is a good conduit to seeing someone stand and grow in response to the Iron Horde and I liked the plot of Shadowmoon Valley.  I don't love the whole time-travel aspect of it (that will probably be another post) but you don't really see any of that as you are playing.  I have been caught up in the garrison mini-game, putting all my followers on missions each time I play.  It has taken my management playtime, so I stopped playing The Tribez that I mentioned in my last post.

I hope all of you who have chosen to play WoD are having fun.  For those of you who aren't, hopefully this gives a little view of what the first few days were like for this casual player.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Other Games While Waiting

Definitely not an MMO
While waiting for Warlords of Draenor to come out and trying to decide when I'll actually buy it, I've been playing other games more.  Now, on the day it has arrived, I figure I'll post about it.

About two months ago, as my time in World of Warcraft was becoming less, I started playing Civilization V again.  I played the original game and Civilization 2 a lot but have only played the others sparingly because each game takes so much time.  I at least finished two games, but it may take too much time for me to really get into it.

I was looking for a game for my cell phone that is more involved than 2048 or Sudoku and Tobald mention The Tribez as an aside in one of his posts, so I decided to try it.  As a typically city builder, there are built in delays on how often you can do things, so it works as a two to three times a day game and has a minor plot and quests to keep you working on goals.  However, like many of these games, the time increases as your cities grow and the goals take longer to reach.  I'm still playing, but as some point soon I might decide that it is more of a chore than fun.  The free to play model is very fair.  I've thought about paying to speed up some things, but never have and don't feel any real need to do it.

I downloaded Plants vs Zombies soon after I got my original Kindle Fire and eventually played through 'Doctor Zomboss' and stopped.  My youngest daughter discovered it and youtube 'Let's Play' videos about it and it got me interested again.  A relatively basic tower defense game where most of the levels are not too difficult but they throw in ones where you can only use the plants they provide which can sometimes be impossible based on what you get first.  Still, it is enough fun that I've played through it again, on my second, more difficult fight against Doctor Zomboss and playing with the mini-games.

Finally, I picked up 'Cook, Serve, Delicious' on a recent Steam sale for $5.  I had read some blog posts about it (I wish I could find them) where people were having fun playing it together.  It requires you to press specific buttons in a sequence to cook food and perform other tasks like cleaning the dishes.  During 'Rush Hour' it's fast enough that I can't get them all done correctly, but it's amazing how the muscle memory forms.  I haven't played it that much yet, but it has a real 'just one more turn' hook and was a game I stayed up too long one night playing which is a recommendation in my book.

For all of you playing Warlords of Draenor, have fun!  I'm still behind on reading my news feed but I'll be interested to hear your impressions and will be there eventually.