Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Silence isn't Golden

It’s been some time since I’ve done a blog post. I have quite a few reasons for that, most of which end up sounding lame. This blog is something I enjoy doing. I don’t believe I ever had a huge reader base, but I certainly have some level of guilt for just falling off the face of the earth. Generally speaking, putting out blog posts is (obviously) fairly low on my list of real and virtual priorities.

I’d like to take a few moments to wrap up Cataclysm and to make a few statements about my impression of MoP so far. I’m posting this from work, so there won’t be any fun pictures at first. I’ll make a note and add some things later tonight when I’m home. Personifying my characters is fun and I feel that including image content is a vital component to the entertainment value of a blog. For now though you’re just going to have to enjoy what I’m writing.

Cataclysm was an enormously fun expansion for me. I won’t rehash my chronicle too much, so if you’re a new reader just go skim some of my other posts. The bulk of my Cata time was enjoyed under the banner of my current guild, Apotheosis. As a member of the guild’s 25 man (and woman) raid team, I had a blast. We went 8/8 in heroic Dragon Soul, got the raid meta-achievement mount, and did so with style.

As a player, Cataclysm brought me a lot of really cool “firsts.” I got my first heroic boss kill, my first piece of heroic loot, my first raid mount, and lots of other stuff. I was able to get a full best in slot ret set and turn it into a couple of rankings (H Morchok and H Spine.) I consider myself so fortunate to have been brought on with Apotheosis. Cataclysm was a fantastic time because of the great members and officers I get to play this game with.

Now that Mists of Pandaria has been out for a few weeks, I feel like I have a decent idea of what the expansion has to offer. A lot of fuss is being made about the quantity of “required” tasks raiding folks have at hand. I’ll get into that as well as my initial impressions on raiding, and even a little bit of gold making.

The snarky pseudonym “World of Dailycraft” has popped up numerous times throughout Twitter and the bloggersphere. Mists did indeed bring forth a bounty of reputation factions and corresponding dailies. I’ve voiced my opinion on this topic a few times via Twitter. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. To start with the main positive, I think it’s great that Blizzard has given players such a wealth of content to enjoy. Most people, however, probably feel that is beside the point. Due to the fact that several of the factions are the sources of valor point gear, raiders are up in arms about issues of time investment. I won’t lie; I’ve felt a lot of that same frustration. Upon hitting 90, I immediately went to work on Golden Lotus rep. That’s probably a good first step because the GL dailies are right at your front door if you’re hearth is set at Shrine in Vale. Other rep factions aren’t so close, but none are particularly far either. Distance isn’t the issue anyway.

When you’re looking at the big picture of what you could potentially do, every day, the volume of work is staggering. Assuming you cleared the appropriate zones, once you hit 90 you can immediately start working on Golden Lotus and Klaxxi rep. Between those two, depending on your rep level, there’s probably 5-15 dailies available per faction. That may be an underestimation because I’m not currently working on Klaxxi rep. I’m revered with Golden Lotus, so I feel I have a decent feel there. Upon hitting Revered with GL, you can then go work on Shado-Pan and August Celestials rep (which I haven’t touched yet.) I don’t really think I need to hash out the numbers here. It’s a lot of dailies. Add to that the fact that you can do daily quests for The Tillers and Anglers, and you might never have time for dungeons, pvp, farming, eating, sleeping, etc.

Now, it’s really easy to just look at all this stuff and throw your hands up in exasperation. Daily quest farming isn’t very fun. In an expansion with gorgeous vistas, new dungeon and raid content (that is actually fun and engaging,) pet battles, and a new PVP season, you really just have to prioritize. Unless you’re unemployed, you probably don’t have time to do everything, every day. I obviously can’t speak for everybody out there, but I think that’s a fair statement. If you’re a raider, you’re probably going to have some desire to acquire the valor point gear that’s available. One limiting factor that I think ZOMG DAILYCRAFT haters overlook is the fact that VP isn’t exactly growing on trees. You can cap out and gain only 1,000 valor points a week. Since items cost between 1250 and 2200 (right?) VP each, I don’t think it would be very reasonable to just rush to get these reps ALL maxed out immediately. Keep that in mind and just work on the ones you want. Hopefully the gating enforced by the VP cap can help people smooth out the race to rep acquisition. Hardcore progression raiders probably have a different opinion on this topic, but they’re limited by VP just like the rest of us.

So far I’ve done a few raids in MoP. As you know, there are two world bosses. I’ve done both the Sha of Anger and Galleon. I have mixed feelings about world bosses because of griefing. I just think it’s annoying that PVP flagged horde can (and do) show up to my raid to try to get hit by AOE. It’s obnoxious and it’s probably why Sha and Galleon aren’t currently scheduled official raids for my guild.

Elsewhere, in the relative safety of Mogu’shan Vaults, Apotheosis has been deftly chipping away at encounters. As a retribution paladin, I’ve enjoyed all of the fights immensely so far. I feel they’re engaging without being gimmicky. My favorite is probably Spirit Kings. I enjoy the pace of the fight as well as the variety of mechanics to contend with. Apoth is currently 4/6 and has a lot of momentum toward getting our first Elegon kill.

Ret DPS feels strong at this point in the expansion. I like the changes made to holy power generation a lot. Not having a lot of open GCD’s makes the spec feel a lot more entertaining. I’ve mostly gotten over how stacking haste makes me feel dirty. I love our level 90 talents (although I haven’t really used holy prism.) Both Execution Sentence and Light’s hammer have bad ass spell effects AND great damage. I think they’re fun talents that have the perfect amount of paladin flavor.

Finally, I just wanted to share some thoughts on gold making. I haven’t ever really been successful at making what I would consider “large” amounts of gold in Warcraft. Back in Wrath I remember I went through a phase where I successfully farmed and sold herbs. Unfortunately, that was somewhat short lived. I think I made around 10k when the market shifted and my stuff stopped selling. I had no income to speak of in Cataclysm. The only thing that really propelled me was a large sale I made to a guildie when I moved servers to raid with Apotheosis.

I’ve kind of gotten tired of this habit of acquiring gold and just sitting on it like I’m afraid of being broke. Mists has inspired an adventurous (sort of) spirit in me concerning gold making. So far I’ve had what I would consider a moderate level of success. I’m still sort of backward, from the point of view of *real* success, because I still farm most of my mats. However, there are always multiple ends for which it makes the means worth it. My adventure started when I decided to make myself a Darkmoon Card trinket. My scribe was on an alt I had been thinking about moving to Eldre’Thalas anyway, so I just went ahead and pulled the trigger. From there, I leveled from 525 to 600 (which Blizzard has made amazingly easy) with herbs farmed by another alt, my druid. Inspired by Team Brofist co-founder and ret paladin pal Ilumiqt, I decided to make a second scribe. My transferred alt had a bunch of low level inks that made the 1-600 process a breeze. In the end, I made myself a trinket and netted around 20k selling cards.

On top of that, during the process of farming herbs for my inscription, my druid leveled from 85 to almost 88. She also acquired an enormous amount of ghost iron, which my alchemist has had a grand time turning into trillium and living steel. Almost all of this stuff sells. One thing I learned along the way, with help from my friend/guildie/healer Serrinne is that persistence pays off. Posting, reposting, adjusting my approach, sitting on inventory, it doesn’t really matter what I do, as long as I’m doing something. Since MoP came out I’ve added about 50k to my coffers. I’ve set a personal goal of hitting 100k, which I should be able to do pretty soon. There’s something fun about the success of an auction. I’ve tried to flip a few things, which isn’t always successful, but that’s just part of the game. Since the market is so active right now, it’s a fun time to get involved. I don’t really have a plan for my 100k. I may just end up sitting on it, but who knows. I’d like to continue making gold so that I can enjoy stuff like that ridiculous yak or maybe even one of the engineering mounts. Who knows?

Anyway, thanks to those who came back to this blog. I’ll do my best to keep it updated from time to time. I think I will work on a new banner as well. Stay tuned for some updates, guides, and hopefully just some good fun reading.

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