I’m going to be in work today when things start to warm up in Azeroth so I’ve been doing a little bit of reading to see what to expect later when I finally get a chance to log in. According to Blizzard Watch invasions will occur in Azshara, Dun Morogh, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Barrens, Tanaris, and Westfall. There’ll be a green icon on the map to show where to go & you basically enter a world scenario. Assuming you have to be 100 for this (if you want to survive anyway).
During the invasion you have to kill the demons, lieutenants and commander, achieve certain objectives and then defeat the boss. Sounds like typical day in the office.
If you complete the invasion you get Nethershards and sometimes chests with ilevel 685/700 equipment. You can trade Nethershards at Illidari vendors in the capitals and invasion zones. I notice Blizzard Watch mentioned transmog opportunities in regard to the chests that drop and in regard to what you can buy from the Nethershards. I guess transmog is now a thing right? Beanie is still rocking her eclectic look (i.e. nothing matches and the colours ill suit her complexion) because she’s too lazy to go to a transmog. Husband swears he saw a portable transmogrifier the other day. I have never see such a thing (I don’t get out much) so I googled it and discovered the Reins of the Grand Expedition Yak. How did I ever miss this? Oh I know – never cared about transmog and will never have that much gold. But now there’s all these uber well dressed players around me and I’m starting to feel inadequate. But I’m also lazy. I need that yak. For free. In the mail when I next log in. According to the Law of Attraction this should definitely work. I’ll let you know.
It does look as if these invasions are a good way to get ilevel 700 gear (via the Nethershards). But you need to grind for it. I’m assuming iLevel 700 will be the level 100-101 gear drops that we get in Legion so I will probably just gear up via basic quest rewards. I don’t need anything too fancy in my line of work (killing boars in Elwynn). But it will be fun to do at least one of the invasions. Just to get the “Been There, Bought the T Shirt” achievement. (Is that a real achievement? It so should be.)
Just completed The Offering to Azshara Quest. Basically had to stop the Darkscale priestesses from offering the Horn of the Ancients to Azshara. It was all a bit glitchy and I don’t know if this is down to the last patch or not. Every time Azshara was meant to speak the dialogue box had “Queen Azshara says …” but no actual dialogue. Fill in the blanks yourself (actually this could be a good game – you draw a card with quest text and dialogue but with key words missing and you have to fill in the words. Sort of like old 70s favourite Blankety Blank but for WoW.)
Anyway I’ve checked out the quest on Wowhead (this would be cheating in WoW Blankety Blank of course) and she’s meant to threaten death to whoever stopped the ritual (little ‘ol me). When Malfurion runs up to save the day she says “Ah Malfurion I was hoping to distract you while my allies attack Hyjal.” This causes Malfurion to go all Buffy in Becoming, Part One (Season Two) when she realises Angel has tricked her and the other vampires are attacking her friends back in the library (bye bye Kendra). He basically gives me the shortest time ever to accept a quest (honestly- I was distracted for a second and he’d gone which meant I had to do the whole thing again) and runs off, leaving me to prevent Soggy Soggoth’s (official title) return all alone. Thanks Malfurion.
The Twilight Hammer clan are attempting to bring Soggoth – minion of the Old Gods – back to life. I stop them (easily- I’ve already outlevelled this area but I’m a completionist once I get going and I’m now thinking levelling Beanie is a good opportunity to get the bulk of Loremaster done (I am of course totally embarrassed that I’ve not already done this after all these years on WoW)). Soggoth is now a card in Hearthstone by the way (courtesy of Whispers of the Old Gods). 9 mana minion, taunt, 5 attack and 9 health. Can’t be targeted by spells or hero powers. I think it’s weak given the high mana cost & low attack but a 9 health taunt can save the day in a pinch. Anyway he’s not one I own so this is all pretty irrelevant but I’ve discovered I enjoy meeting Hearthstone cards in WoW. It’s like finally meeting a celebrity (I remember when I saw Christopher Biggins on the train – I talked about it for months). Things are coming full circle – WoW spawned Hearthstone but Hearthstone could create (recreate) an interest in WoW? Maybe. Perhaps people will end up logging into WoW just to go and hang out with their favourite cards. Or is that weird? I think I’m going off on another tangent when I really need to focus. I have WoW Blankety Blank to create.
Given that one of my mains is a Mage – she was Frost but now she’s Arcane (she got tired of the little elemental & his needy ways) I thought I’d better have a look at the changes
planned for this spec.
According to Blizzard “Mages are in a very strong place compared to most classes, both thematically and mechanically” with “a lot of distinction among Arcane, Fire, and Frost Mages“. Therefore the changes they are making are more around improving our current gameplay and the quality of our stressed out lives. This includes Summon Refreshment which will automatically provide a stack of food if you’re on your own (ie me) and a table of refreshments when in a party or raid (ie everyone who’s not me). Fair enough I suppose but I’m quite civilised – I like to lay out a nice table even when I’m a billy no mates. Dining etiquette is on a downward slippery slope here.
Specifically on Arcane, Blizzard say that Arcane Mages require “Unparalleled skill … to manipulate the volatile forces of the universe.” – Oh dear, maybe I need to rethink the spec. They go on to say, “These practitioners push their magical knowledge to its very limits—often to the brink of their own exhaustion“. Yes that’s me to a tee. Many a night you’ll find me slumped over the keyboard weeping from the stress and strain of it all. Three buttons! Three buttons! It’s inhuman that’s what it is.
To help us burnt out Arcane mages our Arcane Charges will now be an “actual resource located underneath [the] Mana bar instead of a stacking debuff.” Excellent. To be honest I never have much of a clue about my buffs or debuffs. I can only look in so many places at once (one place actually – and that’s usually my keyboard). When I do lift my head I like to admire my pretty portrait in the top left hand side of the screen (yes default UI- did you expect anything else?) so this will help me a lot.
Arcane also has a new Mastery which increases our maximum Mana by a percentage and increases the damage bonus from Arcane Charges. Anything with the word “increases” is good for me, unless it refers to the size of my thighs. According to Blizz this “should make the Mastery feel a bit more interesting by allowing more aggressive Mana usage“. Excellent. In readiness for this I have drafted some awesome snarling & growling emotes. They want aggression I’ll show them aggression (I’ll also have some passive aggressive ones up my sleeve too – just in case the raid needs a change of strategy).
Good news for me with Displacement (instant cast, removes Blink cooldown for 4 seconds). I love blinking I do (obscure shout out to any UK reader who watched Big Brother Season 2 a gazillion years ago). Blinking does get me into trouble though – in real life my boss interprets blinking as dissent (so I now glue my eyelids to my forehead) and in game when I regularly blink into bad stuff at every inopportune moment (once during the Warmaster Blackhorn encounter I of course blinked right off the edge of the airship – it was a proper guild raid though (thank goodness) so everyone was nice about it even though I think I caused a wipe).
And that’s pretty much all the main stuff as far as I can make out. If I’ve missed something important (& I probably have – I skim read anything that included numbers and a”%”) let me know. Nothing ground breaking as far as I can see but in fairness that’s what they said. I wonder what they have planned for the Restoration Druid though? I am of course a healer in training too. I trust there will be no blinking (now that would be a class change) – I really want to maintain my eyes wide open, bunny in headlights approach to healing. It has served me so well….
I’ve been reading some blog posts recently criticising WoW players for various things – flying angst, unfair criticism of stressed out developers, unrealistic expectations, the Volkswagon emissions scandal etc. I notice that some of these posts talk about the player base and often direct the comments at “you” (me?) the reader. However, although I’m reading these posts I don’t identify with anything they are criticising or advocating – I’m firmly in the “I just don’t care” camp. I can’t even say I’m sitting on the fence – for me there is no fence, I’m just off somewhere dancing in a field. It’s causing me to have a little existential crisis (just a small one while the kettle boils). Why do I feel totally & utterly disconnected with it all? Am I completely naive and disturbingly apathetic or am I typical of the average WoW player?
My husband plays WoW – has done since Burning Crusade. He does not read any blog except mine (I made that a condition of marriage). He does not listen to WoW podcasts (he still thinks Randy is on The Instance). He never checks out specs/builds/rotations and when fighting in WoW pretty much just lines up all his abilities on the task bar & hits the ones not on cool down. He wanted flying in Draenor but after one rant about it said no more on the subject, accepted it & moved on. He is currently having a blast rediscovering pet battles because of the stone you get in the garrison that lets you level a pet to 25. He has no interest in the raiding end game or even 5 mans. He likes levelling alts, making money on the auction house & doing World Events. Is he typical?
I have played WoW for the same amount of time. I listen to The Instance while I iron, read WoW blogs and miss WoW Insider. I did not care about flying in Draenor. I do read up on my class to optimise my DPS if I intend dungeoning or doing LFR and in Cataclysm I even did some proper raiding with the guild I was in (but not too much due to my chronic crapness). I like levelling alts, taking part in some World Events and the occasional pet battle (get in there little level 2 squirrel). I am not bored at Draenor end game because I’m not there yet – my level 100 still has a ton of things to do and even if I get there I’m probably going to be too nervous to do all the proper grown up stuff. Am I typical?
Then there are the players who have done everything now (including flying). Some are currently holed up in their garrison twiddling their thumbs waiting for Legion. A few of these players regularly offer up well thought out critiques of what went wrong with Draenor & what Legion must do to right these wrongs. In these critiques they talk pointedly about (and sometimes to) the general WoW playerbase. They speak of the playerbases’ justified or unjustified (depending on their personal view) frustrations with Draenor & end game. Are they typical?
I do know that the latter group are not speaking to my experience but what I don’t know is if other people feel like me or am I (& husband) in the minority? I’m assuming WoW developers want WoW to meet the main needs of its player base – but what are those “main needs”? What is the view of the majority of players on Draenor? Was it a failure, is everyone bored, or are there people like me and husband still doing stuff with their level 100s, still levelling alts, still pet battling and still having fun?
Some of these other blog posts and articles come across as very angry – either at Blizzard or the playerbase in general. The anger surprises me. I’m not saying its wrong but personally I just cannot find that strength of feeling about anything either in or not in this game. I do not feel Blizzard owes me anything and they could never betray me – they are a games company making a game that I sometimes like to play. We have not exchanged fellowship rings or made heartfelt vows in some sacred space (although if they go F2P I will give them my heart forever!). I subscribe when I enjoy the game, I unsubscribe when I’m just not in the mood for it and I resubscribe when I miss it (I suspect Blizzard affectionately call me Bravetank the YoYo). Is there something wrong with me? Is the situation more dire than I appreciate and am I merrily fiddling while flames fast approach my toes?