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Archive for the ‘happy dance’ Category

That Big Bear Butt fellow sure knows how to have fun in WoW — and he always seems to have the most fun when he’s making his own fun. Most recently, he’s discovered a way to use the Custom Group finder to juggle multiple alts into the same raid group/lockout without needing a second person. What a terrific idea! I knew immediately just who to try it with.

Last week, I decided to take my level 94 Fury Warrior into 10N Firelands to see if she could snag the Spaulders of Manifold Eyes off of Beth’tilac for that awesome regal crimson kit that Silverblade designed for my Savage Blood mog event. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily she smashed stuff. My Disc Priest, who is also level 94, has been wanting the Mantle of Closed Doors from Baleroc pretty much forever… but I wasn’t sure she could smash Cataclysm raids with quite the same ease as my Warrior. After I read about BBB’s clever shimmy this afternoon, I decided to clear up to Baleroc with my Warrior, bring my Priest in to do Baleroc, and then go back to my Warrior for Majordomo and Rags. It worked like a charm! It did take my Priest two tries to kill Baleroc — and then, to my great delight, the Mantle of Closed Doors dropped! My streak of good luck continued; when my Warrior got to Rags, he dropped Sulfuras, the Extinguished Hand for her!

Thanks for the tip, Bear!

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Because it is still summer and therefore I can, and because I knew I would be too distracted to focus on working on the items on my to-do list anyway even if I did go to my office on campus, I stayed home this morning to follow the Blizzard Watch and Wowhead liveblogs of the big expansion announcement. (more…)

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Just in time for the Flying-in-Draenor patch to hit the PTR, I’ve completed the requisite achievement*. I attained revered status with the Order of the Awakened this evening, and I became revered with Vol’jin’s Headhunters and the Saberstalkers last night. I was pleased to observe, when I learned the Frostwolf costume toy, that I also automatically learned the Karabor costume toy — but the costume still requires Revered with the appropriate faction to use, so I’ll have to take Kaylynda to Tanaan, after all.

Knowing that Tanaan was an iteration on the Timeless Isle model, I felt a certain amount of trepidation about it. I found the Timeless Isle pretty thoroughly boring, so I only went there when I felt like I absolutely had to. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how fun I’ve found Tanaan to be; the quests that give direction, but still choice, to what content to do each day make a huge difference in my enjoyment of the zone. Using the Group Finder to join groups for Rumble in the Jungle or Throne of Kil’jaeden as a healer has also scratched the itch to do group healing again that I’d been feeling.

In other Patch 6.2 progress, my Shipyard is at 19/25 Treasure missions completed toward the stage 3 upgrade. I plan to continue playing the Shipyard until I have each of the three Heirloom rings, the cosmetic hat, and BMAH access in my Garrison. After that, I probably won’t continue actively running my fleet. I want to rebuild my Inn, eventually, to keep working on my projects of a) getting a follower with each two-ability combo** and b) collecting as many of the Tauren followers as I can.


Meanwhile, Vivianne became my Wingman on Tuesday night. Although I thought the Bodyguard concept was a pretty nifty iteration upon the Shado-Pan Companion concept, I’d ignored them for most of the expansion. Partly this was because I kept forgetting to actually assign a bodyguard to work in the Barracks; I wouldn’t think that maybe I should do that until I’d already sent all my followers — including the ones who are bodyguards — out on missions. I finally started remembering to bring a bodyguard when I started working on Securing Draenor after the Draenor Pathfinder meta-achievement was announced. Having Vivianne along has been immensely helpful in Tanaan; without her, Kamalia feels almost as weak as the Underpowered Death Knight. I think Tanaan must have been tuned with the expectation that players would have their bodyguards along.

Then I needed to decide if I wanted to continue with Vivianne, or start working with one of the other bodyguards. Although I still have things I want to do in Tanaan — the last chapter of the Garrison Campaign (the Cipher of Damnation), getting to Exalted with the Order of the Awakened for the fancy ship blueprint, collecting enough claws for the Savage Cub pet — I probably won’t be spending as much time in Tanaan anymore. I’ll want to do the main oil daily, the arakkoa daily, and the garrison resources daily, but I might not bother with making sure that I complete all the other dailies each and every day anymore (I wasn’t always doing that, anyway). So another bodyguard’s rep will go slower than Viv’s did. I decided to go with Tormmok — Ishaal is one of my scavengers and thus too valuable to spare from missions while my Shipyard is guzzling all my Garrison Resouces, I’ve heard that Aeda dies a lot because she is an aggro hog, and I think I’d rather have potent DPS than the small heals from Leorajh.

I wonder, though, what will happen to our bodyguards when we move on from Draenor? Will we get to bring any of them — particularly ones that we’ve raised to Wingman status — to our base for the next expansion, whatever that iteration of the Garrison concept turns out to be? Will they be able to come with us as adventuring companions for the next expansion? That’s kind of a cool thought, but I don’t think it would really happen. Tuning leveling content with the expectation of a Wingman bodyguard would be very alt-unfriendly. Anyhow, it’s not in Blizzard’s general expansion philosophy for WoW to make players have to complete anything more than getting raw leveling XP out of last expansion’s content before they can proceed into a new expansion’s content. They’ll want new players to be able to move straight on from dinging level 100 into the level 100-110 questing content. Still, I think it might be fun to have our Wingman bodyguards show up in our new base, like Dog did, and to maybe have one of them them be the person that appears when a quest spawns an assistant, instead of the default NPC (characters who don’t have Warlords bodyguards would still get the default assistant NPC).

* I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Blizz has been monitoring the progress of playerbase completion of the achievement to decide when to put out that patch.

** I still have four or five holes there, and while I have followers whose abilities I could reroll to fill some of them, there are one or two that I will need to recruit for.

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So flying is coming to Draenor, after all, via a meta-Acheivement requiring the completion of various activities around Draenor that is more or less exactly what the folks whose opinions in the flying kerfluffle I have most agreed with have been suggesting all along could be the way for flying to be earned in Draenor. Hurrah!

So how will one earn one’s wings in Draenor?

Explore Draenor
I finally finished that up a week or so back, after having discovered that there were a few small spots in a couple of zones that I hadn’t managed to uncover yet.

Loremaster of Draenor
I did that while I was leveling. I haven’t done all the Bonus Objectives, though, and occasionally I stumble across a side-quest that I missed. I ought to go clean those up for easy Achievement points and delicious little bits of story.

Collect 100 Draenor treasures
Hmm. I’ve found 53 already. I’ve seen treasures that I haven’t bothered to figure out how to get to, or made a few pathetic attempts at the required jumping puzzle before giving up because I had other things I wanted to do that day. Time to go back and try those again.

Securing Draenor
Oh… I’d better start paying attention to Shadow Hunter Ukambe’s daily strategic assault recommendations, then. I’ve been an absolutely terrible “Commander” and ignored him so far.

Get Revered with all three of the new Tanaan Jungle factions
Well, I was going to have to do that anyway to get blueprints and and oil for my Shipyard.

And once I’ve done all this with Kamalia, Kerisa will be able to spread her wings and soar in Draenor’s savage skies!

~*~*~

Despite the snarkiness of the original version of this post, I really am quite pleased with the proposed implementation of flying in Draenor. I think it is just right: fully explore the content on the ground, and then you can take to the sky. Furthermore, this is the motivation that I’ve been needing to get out of my Garrison and experience some of the Draenor content that I have thus far ignored.

Treasures… yes, the treasures are fun, but I’ve felt overwhelmed by how many of them there are to find. Because there are so many, I am less inclined to pause whatever I am in the middle of doing when I see the purple glow to figure out how to get to it than I would be if the treasures were fewer and further in-between. On the other hand, because there are so many, I might be able to get up to 100 treasures found without having to become too thoroughly frustrated by the ones that are in places that are really difficult to get to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I would much, much rather do dailies for reputation than pure grinding. I did the Timbermaw grind with Kamalia; I’ve done Aldor/Scryer with various alts; I didn’t bother with the Emperor Shaohao rep on the Timeless Isle because it was a pure grind. I haven’t bothered with reputation — faction or bodyguard — in Warlords because I wasn’t interested enough in the rewards to want to grind, grind, grind for them. The only Warlords reputation I have at Exalted is the Arakkoa Outcasts, and that’s because of the rep tokens my followers brought me. I’m relieved that the new factions in Tanaan Jungle will have dailies, and I will be perfectly happy to gather that rep at the pace set by the dailies.

After having discovered fairly early on that the Apexis gear was visually identical to the gear I was getting from dungeons and follower missions, I decided that I didn’t need to collect Apexis crystals to buy items for Transmogrification. Because I wasn’t running LFR, I didn’t need the Apexis gear for its stats, either. Thus, I had no motivation to collect Apexis crystals, and the daily strategic assault quest seemed to me to be a very thin veneer on what was really just a grind. Even recognizing that the chapters of the Garrison Campaign (which I very much enjoyed) were taking me to the same locations as the strategic assault quests didn’t motivate me to go back to those places later when they were the Apexis dailies. But I’ll gladly “Secure Draenor” to make the skies safe enough to fly in. I might even bring along a bodyguard and start working on those reputations, too!

In Mists, I didn’t really get going with alt leveling until Patch 5.1 un-coupled the Shado-Pan and August Celestial reputations from having to get Revered with the Golden Lotus first. I’m having this feeling that with the “Draenor Pathfinder” acheivement bringing an account-wide flying unlock, Patch 6.2 might just be the point in this expansion where my alt leveling finally takes off (pun intended)!

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Ever since Patch 6.1, I’ve been patiently biding my time, waiting for Harrison Jones to show up in my own garrison with his Treasure Contracts. Because I’ve been busy, I’ve ignored him when he’s had a contract I’ve already done, and I’ve been glad that the days when he’s been in my garrison with a contract I haven’t already done have mostly been Fridays or Saturdays. I’ve taken to watching Wowhead’s “Today in Draenor” sidebar to see what Treasure Contract quest is up. On Wednesday, I saw that the Treasure Contract of the day was the only one I hadn’t done yet, the very last one I needed to get Harrison as a follower. When I logged in, though, High Overlord Saurfang was in my Town Hall. So I did something I had never done before — I looked in the Group Finder for someone who did have Harrison Jones in their Town Hall, and joined the group, and went to a complete stranger’s Garrison.

At last, I have Harrison Jones to mentor all my new recruits!

Although the format of the Treasure Contract quest chains very quickly became predictable — find/kill Named NPC, read the journal, collect Item #1, collect Item #2, collect Item #3, assemble the Super Whatsit, find the secret cave, do the puzzle (and sometimes fight a miniboss) — I enjoyed them. I liked the little stories the journals told. I liked trying to figure out where in the zone the clues in the journals were leading me before looking at my map to see where there were Quest Objective areas lit up in blue. And I liked the little puzzles at the end of each quest chain. They were simple enough to fun instead of frustrating, but they weren’t so simple as to require absolutely no thought whatsoever. For casual solo player me, they were great content.

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Approximately 18 months ago — in August 2013 — I suggested that Sunsong Ranch could use a jukebox, saying:

I suppose it’s probably too late to get a jukebox for Sunsong Ranch… but if Blizz iterates upon the personal farm/house concept in the next expansion, something like this could easily be part of the package. It could be the reward for becoming Best Friends with one of the farming NPCs. Engineers could make it with some ridonkulous amount of high level materials. It could even be an item in the in-game store. However it is obtained/implemented, I would love to be able to choose my favorite World of Warcraft music to play inside my characters’ personal space.

Either the person(s) at Blizzard whose job it is to keep tabs on the WoW blogosphere thought this was an interesting enough idea to pass along, or (more likely) someone who is less internet-agoraphobic than I am suggested a similar idea on the official forums and got a lot of “yes, yes, please do this!” support, because here we are in the next expansion, with the Garrison as the iteration of the Farm concept, and lo and behold, in Patch 6.1, the Garrison will get a jukebox.

If someone at Blizzard does read my little blog — THANK YOU! I’m so excited for Patch 6.1 to come so I can build my Garrison boombox and fill it up with tunes! XD

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While we were leveling, BTH and I took turns choosing which outpost we’d build in each zone. We ended up with the Sparring Arena, Arcane Sanctum, Tavern, and Corral. I was pleased with the Arcane Sanctum, Tavern, and Corral and plan to build those outposts with most of my alts (I will build the Arsenal, Smuggling Run, and Tankworks with at least one alt, just to see what they do), but I wasn’t really happy with the Sparring Arena — especially after I discovered that the followers I really wanted from Gorgrond came from having chosen the Lumber Yard instead. I didn’t switch my outpost choice, though, because a) I couldn’t afford it (I’ve never been good at the gold-making minigame) and b) doing so wouldn’t let me get the other followers anyway.

Thus, it is very welcome news indeed that, after the next server maintenance, the cost to switch outpost buildings will be halved and — much more importantly, to my mind — the building-specific follower questlines will also unlock.

Assuming that there will be maintenance next Tuesday instead of just rolling restarts, I will be out there in Gorgrond on Tuesday swapping out my Sparring Arena for a Lumber Yard and doing the quests to recruit Penny Clobberbottom and Kaz the Shrieker into my garrison team.

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