Flight Requirements In Legion

Beginning with Draenor you are required achievements to get access to flights. It’s a good decision.

Gold gate is not an option anymore, at least not after garrisons. Some of the players have 11 garrisons acting like gold pumps and they won’t even notice a gold gating. Some of the players have only one toon and desperately saving for the yak or whatever precious mount – and the gold gating model will be a complete disaster to them.

What I am trying to say is: all players must have equal opportunities at expansion launch. And here’s what we have in Legion:

Achievement

Here’s your requirements to flights in Legion, at least it’s the first step.

Three achievements are inherited from Warlords of Draenor:

  1. Broken Isles Explorer – obviously all the map must be opened.
  2. Loremaster of Legion – and all the main questlines must be done.
  3. Broken Isles Diplomat – you must be revered with six Legion factions.

Two achievements are new and bound to Class Order Halls:

  1. A Glorious Campaign – you must finish the new “garrison” campaign questline.
  2. Variety is the Spice of Life – it’s 100 world missions for you.

Let’s mumble a bit about its completion.

  1. If the questing will be as awesome as it is in Draenor, Loremaster will take you from 1 day to 2 weeks depending on your pace, and it won’t be boring.
  2. Explorer – once you’ve completed the questlines, 90% of your map will be already opened. Few, very few special visits to certain dead ends won’t be a problem.
  3. Order Hall Campaign is a nice chunk of plot – which I will gladly replay with all of my alts, because it will be different for each and every class.
  4. World Missions – these are dailies/weeklies, and these are endgame. You will be doing them anyways to boost your professions, to level your artifacts, and many other things.
  5. Finally, reputations. In Draenor it was a stupid artificial crutch thanks to yes/no flight politics during the expansion, and Blizzard had to invent new factions. In Legion you will be gaining reputations from the very beginning – through questing, possibly dungeons – and all the same world missions you will be doing anyways. Remember how we got revered with Arakkoa when we just finished Spires of Arak questline? Won’t be long in Legion I guess. It’s only Revered you need, guys.

Blizzard wants us to see the plot. I couldn’t agree more. You should be aware of what is happening in the universe. You should be aware about the course of events, characters and where everything is going. You shouldn’t be walking in epic things from the latest tier and barely recognize Thrall.

In my opinion all these requirements seem quite sensible and they could be achieved in a month or two of moderately lazy playing.

What is more important, these achievements are done simultaneously and pursue many goals through one activity. During questing you open the map and gain reputations as it has always been. During world missions you gain artifact power, you get reputations and you buff your professions, from what I’ve already read about alpha.

I wonder what the next steps could be. If Part II and Part III will introduce us some flight-specific questlines, like winning a race or snatching a dragon egg, that would be just perfect. If it’s more grinding of any nature – it is a Blizzard’s failed opportunity to do everything right.

Bluepost:

Bluepost_Flights

Does it finally feel that Blizzard will manage to make players feel in game like Blizzard wants them to feel?… I hope so, at least it sounds like that.

 

Nostalrius: Logical Ending

There are just a pair of very comprehensive points why we won’t be playing at any older WoW realms.

Nostalrius

Blizzard couldn’t leave Nostalrius be, because after all it’s a pirate server. Giving Nostalrius a carte blanche will automatically mean a carte blanche for other pirate servers, because rules apply to everyone. And so you could flush the meaning of “intellectual property” in the toilet then.

Official Blizzard realm

Opening an older server is not about pressing a button. Either it’s Nostalrius hypothetically patronized by Blizzard or a Blizzard’s official vanilla realm, this automatically means that this realm is under Blizzard’s standards of quality. Fixing multiple bugs, 24-hour technical support, server capacity and everything. An ability may not work on a pirate server and it’s understandable, but if it’s Blizzard’s realm, you’ll just flood the tech support with bugs, requests and everything you find not working.

This requires time and work and employees and supervising.

And this kind of expenses just will not pay off. First, I don’t think people are going to pay any significant fee for extra Warcraft. Second, what will you do after Naxxramas is nailed after a 6-12 months of gaming? Request TBC?..

People will just face the same thing they’re facing now: boredom, so they will just quit after they’ve pleased their nostalgic feelings. Doesn’t sound like a business plan to me.

UPD:

About leveling. Guys, no one – you hear me? – no one makes you use all the leveling buffs. Potions, heirlooms, friend invites.

I’ve recently leveled a Fire Mage from scratch. It took me a month of lazy playing. I didn’t use ANY heirlooms, I did every dungeon only ONCE and I gained my experience points mostly through questing and professions. It was amazing and fun!

But no, people will dress their alts all in heirlooms, will do only dungeon runs over and over, sitting in a capital, and then they would whine how leveling is boring and too fast now. How there’s no hardcore. And if they saw some hardcore, they would whine how it’s impossible to level an alt. Eh?

Nova Covert Ops – Chapter I

Nova

It was a bit sad to say goodbye to Starcraft universe after we were done with Legacy of the Void (although Blizzard did EVERYTHING that we came to the finish exhausted and bored from LotV – have you destroyed three pillars?).

Yet presenting more stories within the universe is quite an obvious step from Blizzard. Many resources were spent on game development. We have an excellent game engine which allows to set up many more events (though not of epic proportions). Frankly speaking I will gladly enjoy more local conflicts  – they feel very cosy with me and you can’t possibly enhance epicness more after LotV ending. So, Nova Covert Ops.

Only the first chapter is available now, and I have enjoyed it like hell. It has everything you could expect from a Ghost agent story in Starcraft II game. Missions are diverse. One-man-army (of course) and few “normal” Starcraft gameplay missions (with bases), but with a huge emphasis on Nova herself as it should be. If you miss Battletoads, there’s a mission which will make you cry from nostalgy – literally! Finally Blizzard remind you that Vultures are not some light armor machines, but hover BIKES. Long story short, the mission design is amazing.

I won’t spoil the plot, let’s just say it’s pretty simple – you could guess the intrigue way before it’s actually revealed further. But imagine you’re watching some new movie – of course you know that villain will be defeated or a protagonist will win the race. It has to be there, but what matters is: how. So I wouldn’t call it a drawback. The plot has all attributes of an elite spy movie, and well, it’s awesome.

Can’t wait for the next chapter.

In conclusion – here are my marks for SC2:

  • Wings of Liberty – 5/5
  • Heart of the Swarm – 4/5
  • Legacy of the Void – 2+/5
  • Nova Covert Ops – 5/5

Definitely worth a try.

Legion Release Date Announced

Okay, obviously all bloggers must post their opinion on the release date announcement, so here’s mine :)

Every WoW player has their own understanding of progress and has his/her own goals. That is why the perception of release date is always subjective, depending on how much there’s left to do or how tired you are already.

I must say that August, 30 is near to perfect timing for me. At the end of Pandaria I was desperately trying to collect all LFR sets for my 10-then toons. I’ve almost completed this goal, but it was a raiding rush, and I was not “done” with Pandaria when Warlords were launched.

This time there’s no rush.

Before Legion I must complete these goals:

  • Collect all Argent Tournament mounts bound to daily quest tokens – Horde and Alliance. I got most of them already, so I’m talking May or June now.
  • I have a Fire Mage and a Combat Rogue who need to complete their Epic Rings and suit up at HFC. Most probable to be done by the beginning of July, as they’re messing up with Blackrock Foundry runes quest now.
  • Explore all the map, leaving no blank spots for any of my toons. I like exploring, I like when my maps are complete. Considering exploration, I’m a perfectionist. In Legion it will serve another purpose: you will possibly have to travel to older parts of the world to do some quests and missions. It doesn’t take too much time, not with flights, so there’s not much left now. By all means the goal will be completed.
  • Finish some extra reputations – it’s 77 out of 81 now.

I don’t think that mount farming should be thrown in the list, because it’s mere random.

I guess we should wait for pre-patch a month prior Legion release, so I have archaeology and pet battle projects saved for the lazy July.

So, what are your personal goals before Legion? And how does the release date sound to you? :)

Bank Day & Epic Ring Catch-Up

Amidst my dull grinding for Argent Tournament mounts, there were some interesting moments this weekend.

Epic Rings

Epic Rings are amazingly easy to catch up for alts. I’m getting an 8-10 Abrogator Stone mission every next day in my Shipyard. Plus there’s an ogre selling some in Tanaan for Apexis crystals. Plus Garrison missions bring some small amount, but they do.

All in all, this ogre/Highmaul step took me just 2 weeks. I’ve ran Highmaul only twice with my 2 new toons, and Hedersen the Rogue will collect the last ones from shipyard after I come home from work, Kellers the Mage will probably have to perform yet one more Highmaul run on Wednesday to speed this up.

Equipment – Now Account-Wide?

I went stalking rares for ship equipment in Tanaan yesterday and they dropped no blueprints. I have checked on my equipment dwarf, and there they all were, you could buy any piece. I wonder how this happened. I had to hunt each and every equipment for all my toons back in August, and now they’re account-wide? That’s interesting.

Banking Day

I’ve organized my bags yesterday – actually it was a banking day. I have accumulated all my realm mats at two toons – one for Alliance characters and one for the Horde characters. Also I’ve crafted some potions and stones and charms to sell.

11 toons, guys. Eleven bags stuffed with cooking, mining and herbalism raw mats. Plenty charms, jewels and potions crafted. All put to sales.

Guess what? Accumulated throughout Draenor this all won me a massive amount of 4000 gold.

I just don’t see any reasons to even bother. This kind of cash I’m earning in two-three days with Garrison and Shipyard missions, and I don’t have to waste my time going through mine and herb garden, collecting stacks, crafting, putting it into auction and waiting what will happen… 1 minute spent for mission check-send.

Long story short: all Draenor crafts and mats will be vendor trash ever since.

Research: Gnomes Don’t Really Need Gnomeregan?

This work is presented to all the Gnome community by the famed explorer of Azeroth and beyond – Micromantica, the honorary member of Ironforge Explorers’ League.

*Please note that this is a research based on raving fantasy which was then proved by facts – actually it’s the way all true Gnome researches are to be done. 

So, the question in question is:

Gnomes Want Gnomeregan Back, But Is It Gnomeregan They Need?

Let’s fuss about the modern state of affairs. As we all probably know, Gnomeregan was overrun by troggs in the Third War. Gnomes valiantly dealt with these nasty gnawers all by themselves, letting the dwarves help fighting the demon and Scourge threats. Then something went wrong.

We won’t point with our fingers at certain persons, but the result was turning Gnomeregan into a fallout theme park. Not only some troggs are to be found in modern Gnomeregan (and so, the problem was not solved completely), but many, many, many, oh, many Gnomes were turned into leper ones. This lepers instantly became hostile, and even provided their resources and twisted brains for villainy villains (see Steamvault).

This was the day when Gnomeregan was lost. The surface was claimed not so long ago, but the major parts of the underground city are still swarming with troggs, lepers and living ooze.

Gnomeregan dwellers became refugees. They were accepted by Ironforge and still hold a big chunk of a quarter there despite building New Tinkertown. But Gnome investments in the victories and technical wonders of Alliance is not part of this research. We are interested in one simple question: why we ever need Gnomeregan back so much?

*Micromantica sips a fizzledrink, then coninues.

Missions We Want Within Gnomeregan

Our interests in Gnomeregan are as follows:

  1. Humanitarian (or should we say: Gnomanitarian?). Some Gnomes are still there to be cleansed and saved from radiation.
  2. Scientific and Practical. Vast number of research papers and mechanisms are tobe recovered, researched and used in further activities.
  3. Nostalgic. Or call it revenge. Most of all we want Gnomeregan for Gnomeregan’s sake. Because it was our home… sort of.

While these reasons are definitely welcome with any sane Gnome, we can’t cast away or deny the importance and necessity of claiming Gnomeregan for ourselves. But do we really need it as our home? And is it the best capital city possible?

The answer is: NO.

Fasten Your Seatbelts And Face The Facts

Guess who are the digging race of Azeroth? Dwarves. In each and every corner of Azeroth and beyond – if you meet a dwarf settlement, it’s attached to a mountain, a hill or at least dug three levels underground. A note from the audience?

*Telsamar’s tavern lady sends her hugs and kisses. 

Thank you! I’m coming for ribs this weekend! Now, where were we?

Right, dwarf digging habits. Please check out the dwarf capitals.

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As you can perfectly see, Ironforge, Grim Batol and Aerie Peak – yes, even the air-loving Aerie Peak! – are built into a mountain so hard that only gates and narrow windows are seen. And I’m not even giving you Blackrock. You were there.

The important thing for dwarves is that everything important is happening inside the mountain or underground. The same is true about their settlements.

WoWScrnShot_040616_095338

The city of Dun Modr is a perfect example of a typical dwarven city. You find a rock and dig deep inside it, leaving only small holes on the surface to get in.

Name any dwarven settlement and you will see that very little is on surface but very much is underground.

This was true for original Earthen and Iron Dwarves. Travelling in Northrend, each and every dwarf settlement will be dug deep in the mountains.

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This is true for the modern dwarves. At the present Draenor campaign, the most notable settlement of dwarfs was in Gorgrond, and guess how it looks? Right, an entrance gate-hole and a big lot happening underground and inside the mountain.

*One more fizzledrink for the lecturer’s table plz *ahem* Thankz!

Now we’re here, on the slimy ground of “I don’t believe you!” and “Impossible!”. But I hope that Gnomes are capable of letting the theories turn their world upside down. We came up with an idea to spin the world around our rockets, right? So:

Gnomeregan’s Caverns Are Not Of Gnome Origin

Gnomes can dig, it’s very true. You could see the giant drills on our submarines. Won’t we be able to drill some stupid mountain? Hah!

But us, Gnomes, are not a DIGGER race. Certainly all the technical wonders in Gnomeregan are purely and only our work. Certainly it’s something to be proud of. But it was not the place we chose for ourselves in the first place!

From the very start, even mechagnomes needed some field and fresh air for their experiments. See Terrace of the Makers: it’s the most populated mechagnome zone, and it has nothing to do with any caves.

WoWScrnShot_040616_100545

Mimiron – do you remember his hideout? Nothing like caves or dwarvish halls, no sir! It’s a vast space, a perfect lab opened for experiments. Any experiments. You can’t exactly remember if there are walls or ceilings, cause they’re so not around.

And now to modern Gnomes.

Each and every Gnome settlement in the world is set in an open space. Moreover, it’s not only an open space, but a rise. Slides, please! *ahem* 

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Toshley’s Station in Outland, Blade’s Edge Mountains. It’s one of the higher grounds. Was there a possibility to dig a hole? Yes. Was there a possibility to build a house in a mountain? Yes. Could we do that in close proximity to the examined area? Yes. Are there any underground huts? No.

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Steelgrill Depot in Khaz Modan, Dun Morogh. When Gnomes get their settlement, it’s an open space. Compare to Kharanos which is almost the same town:

Kharanos

Yes, that’s Kharanos for you. All the buildings are set deep in mountains and the tavern has two underground levels.

WoWScrnShot_040616_101212

Fizzcrank Airstrip in Northrend, Borean Tundra. Again, many hillsides and mountains to set a base – but what we have is an open space and no underground homes.

And there’s an interesting example too. The Shimmering Flats in Kalimdor, Thousand Needles were a playground for Gnomes and Goblins. Before Cataclysm, it was a racing ground where we competed with greenskins – it was a battle of speed and engineering!  Cataclysm flooded the grounds.

Did the inhabitants escape? No. Did they floated to a rocky safe shore and built themselves a safe, steady base to continue scuba diving from there? No.

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It’s an open space floating speedbarge. Very dangerous – because goblin brawls and pirates shooting, but very convenient in terms of investigation. Not a single Dwarf would ever, ever stay there after Cataclysm or even think of building such an unstable thing. Gnomes did.

Face the facts: when Gnomes are free to go and set themselves a base of operations, it will never, ever be a diggy diggy hole. Even if the landscape welcomes some steady underground fortress or lab to be built, Gnomes won’t do that.

And look what we have here.

Gnomeregan caverns were originally dwarven or natural mines or both. They were enhanced, mechanized and improved by Gnomes, but it was never a place Gnomes were truly happy about. We may only wonder if it was the only option or Dwarves just showed them the dark caverns and said: now you live here, but Gnomes would never build their home city under ground or in a mountain. They’re not a digging race! But Dwarves – those Dwarves who live around the corner – they are! If we only had a choice…

But We Have It Now!

New Tinkertown is a nice start, and it’s both a refugee camp and a front base for Gnomeregan operations. Mind you, I would have been in front rows for claiming Gnomeregan in Operation: Gnomeregan II, III and IV, and however many will be needed.

But what Gnome people really need is:

  1. To evacuate all blueprints, machines and Gnomes to be saved from Gnomeregan.
  2. To seal this place, solving the trogg problem once and for all (it’s not like we have an extra mad Aspect of the Earth on loose to break the mountain).
  3. Finally, leave the current New Tinkertown to be a guarding outpost and build ourselves a proper capital according to Gnome true intentions and lifestyle.

Where? Oh, I have the answer for you. The goddamn Frostmane trolls hill between Gnomeregan and Ironforge.

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And that is why.

  1. It will be a natural expansion of New Tinkertown. We keep our close proximity to dangerous fallout sites and Gnomeregan which are to be cleansed. We keep our trade and maintain friendship with Ironforge Dwarfs, and we can check out the Gnome relatives in Ironforge too.
  2. It will solve the Frostmane troll problem once and for all. It seems that Moira and Varian didn’t finish the trolls there during Pandaria campaign, it was more of the proving allegiance fight. But Frostmanes keep harassing the trade ways! Dwarves will only say “thank you”.
  3. Finally, the plateau has enough space to build a proper Gnome capital. What is more important, it’s located on high grounds and is a perfect place for a true Gnome town as we seen them in the examples before. Opened to winds, flight, alchemy, magic and explosion experiments and more.

My call:

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Your call!

Ding 100 – Trivia

So, it took me a month of lazy leveling to get my brand new fire mage from 1 to 100. My leveling rules were this as always :

  • No heirlooms or other buffs like potions
  • Leveling through questing and completing storylines if I started one
  • Doing every dungeon only once when it becomes available.

This weekend it was the last leg of my journey. I finished Talador, did a full questing for Spires of Arak and nailed 6/8 of Nagrand. When I dinged, I got the quest to bring justice to Garrosh, so I obviously finished this questline too. What is left is Throne of Elements and Oshugun part, the most annoying one. Probably I will do it when I’m on queues.

So, Kellers is now 610. It means she can do Heroic Dungeons, but not before I’m done with Silver Proving Grounds. It may be tough because Fire Mage all depends on procs. It may either be a piece of cake or a devastating row of failures. We’ll see tonight.

Important thing is that I started the epic ring questline for both of my newbie toons. Hedersen the Combat Rogue, the boosted one, made all her path from scratch yesterday’s morning and now she’s already sitting on 37/125 Abrogator Stones, having a ship sent for 10 more today. I wouldn’t be very surprised if she will have her ring by the beginning of June. It’s really very easy to catch up on the ring now.

With Kellers the Fire Mage, it’s a bit different. She has to gear up a bit to get into Highmaul, and still it’s a cause of few days to get her through Apexis 4986 quest and heroics. Anyways, I combine gearing up and collecting epic quest items, so we’re gonna prevail. Anyways she has the very first ring iteration of 640 now :)

A must-do for all my toons are top levels of First Aid, Cooking and 2 main professions. Both newbies are almost there.

Kellers is very short on resources now. I had to fly through 4 zones to collect 2000 resources from all treasure batches for the final tier 3 garrison upgrade. Now there’s a shipyard coming and some buildings need to be upgraded too, but it’s not a rush.

Flying is a bliss. All questing was done very, very fast. All the annoying things were escaped and I had a great and fast leveling. But you know what? Blizzard are right. If you’re doing the questlines for the first time – you must do them without flying. Immersement and danger – they have to be there. Once you did it – you must be allowed to fly, upon completing questlines, exploration and reaching cap. Grinding reputations is few months hell, so you mustn’t throw it in the cauldron.

That’s trivia for tonight :)