Arathi Highlands Remastered & Warfronts

Just look at these. The previously one of the most boring zones, Arathi Highlands, got a complete and total revamp in Battle for Azeroth.

To say it’s gorgeous is to say nothing. Despite being a warfront, it’s a vibrant populated land now, and an eye candy as such.

Stromgarde was rebuilt, Highlands is a lush verdant region now and cleansed from Syndicate mobs and Forsaken presence. It is worth fighting for now!

I only hope this makes it into open world (with a timely dragon option for nostalgy people). Actually it should be, because world bosses would be available for the winning faction.

I’m hyped like hell, and I wonder if they remake more zones of old to the same high quality as the latest expansion zones. Leveling in older zones is a bit… painful to the eye, with all the rectangular textures.

There are plenty of warfronts gameplay videos on YouTube, and I’m totally sure that these scenarios are gonna be one of my most exciting activities in the coming expansion.

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Underbelly Tycoon: PvE Guide

Underbelly is Dalaran’s sewers, and it has 3 entrances: the one by Krasus landing, the one near the Council of Six tower, and also you could jump into the well by the Horde’s quarter bank.

Underbelly Entrances:

Map-Dalaran-Legion

Underbelly is simple. There are two modes: either the Underbelly guards ‘take a break’ (allowing PvP) or they are on guard (PvP is forbidden).

Underbelly Sightless Eyes come from either looting chests (PvP mode) or looting Underbelly bosses (PvE mode). Obviously I go for bosses.

The bosses are marked with a star, and you must be quick to run there when it pops and plant a shot (much like world quest rare kills). If you’re at least LFR-clad from Antorus, they’re a piece of cake for any class solo, so don’t hesitate to engage a combat. One boss drops ca 50-130 eyes.

There are wands sold by a goblin vendor where you can spend your earned eyes – applied to a boss 90%+ health, the wand increases its damage and HP, but also Underbelly eyes reward when killed.

I started it all with my warlock – it is convenient to jump in your Order Hall portal to drop the PvP mode, but for other classes it’s a little farther run upstairs to the city.

So, here’s your routine if you’re a PvE player like myself:

The-Underbelly-Map-Legion

  1. Check if PvE mode is currently active (both PvP and PvE are marked as a debuff upon your entrance to Underbelly).
  2. Standby at the marked camping spot. Here you will see every boss and have a quick access to every boss even without speed spells (like my warlock).
  3. Check the map for the boss arrivals.
  4. When they do, go and kill them!
  5. If you have a wand, you need to be very quick to apply it while a boss has 90% health or more.
  6. Spend all the earned eyes on the wands.
  7. When PvP mode goes up (it is announced as ‘guards take a break’), run to the city upstairs, or use an order hall portal if you’re a lucky warlock.
  8. Try and grab the spare chests on the way if PvP is not going on. Be careful, as looting takes a while.
  9. Wait for the guards to return to their posts, repeat.

Useful Tips:

  • The cycles of guards’ breaks take roughly from 1 to 20 minutes, and are pretty quick. So you need to check for the current mode constantly not to miss your bosses.
  • Fishing area (or Black Market zone) – spawned fish schools are also a source of Sightless Eyes, but it’s not worth it. You can’t fish in peace in PvP mode, and during PvE you just won’t be able to reach the lower level bosses in time from there. The bosses grant much more, so you’d better camp them instead of fishing.
  • Collecting the eyes is pretty quick, but it requires some persistent grind session. You can easily collect 4k in an hour or two.
  • Underbelly Tycoon achievement requires 20,000 Sightless Eyes to collect, but you don’t have to have this number on you. All earned count into the achivement.
  • Underbelly Tycoon achievement grants you a mount – Ratstallion. I think it’s unique and a must-have :)

Ratstallion

Happy hunting!

Trivia: Closing Antorus, Grind Fest & Leveling

Demon-Hunter-LFR-set-Antorus

First and foremost, the one set before last is done: Demon Hunter! With one decisive strike, Melaris hits the missing items, winning her 2 remaining pieces at once!

What is left considering my raiding in Antorus is my monk. All four of the leather toons are trying for the belt from Varimathras, and Paitsu only is responisble for Aggrammar and Imonar pieces. This takes little to none time from my gaming routine.

Grind Fest & Bucket List

To take a break from leveling and raiding routines, I’ve slowly started working towards my long profession grind achivements.

Micromantica joined a funny chatty group yesterday, and she obtained two more bars for Conjurer Margoss reputation. I think this will be the case until BfA pre-patch: once I’m done leveling for the day, I’ll work towards archaeology, fishing, or maybe this remaining first aid. My grind bucket list until pre-patch is this:

  • Obtaining reputation, achivement, mounts and toys from fishermen.
  • Working towards 250 digging sites in Archaeology achievement. Once I’m done with that, I can’t imagine I will have any pristines left to collect.
  • Catch all pokemon for the Broken Isles pet collection.
  • Maybe – maybe – grind items for the last First Aid achievement. I know it’s gonna be a legacy, yet it’s such a random at work… we shall see.
  • Grind Sentinax for the last Exploration achievement – killing its bosses.
  • Grind Underbelly eyes… 11,5k to go, but it’s a fast thing to do.

Basically every grind is “go and do”. I will need some movies and series for the tasks :)

Leveling

My previous thing of bringing the 4 toons up simultaneously appeared to be not so much fun. I found it quite more effective to take one toon at a time and devote several gaming sessions.

This weekend was exclusively devoted to Myde the Arcane Mage. She did Netherstorm in full (almost) while also running dungeons like hell. And I brought her 22 levels up from the other toons, look where she is now, at 82:

Myde-Valley-of-Four-Winds-Chen-Stormstout-LiLi

Anyways, here’s Netherstorm experience. It was hell for an arcane mage. I guess it’s the class that has most troubles… because most mobs are immune or have a special defense against arcane magic! There are plenty of ethereals, spirits and arcane/void elementals… very immersing but very frustrating. Some of the quests I had to complete in Frost spec, because I couldn’t even hurt the common mobs!

I was also frustrated that most of the questline final bosses require 2-5 people to kill. Obviously it was a challenge for me, being the squishiest and petless class. And I actually had some fun trying to win the unfair encounters (and I did down 3 of them), but a pair of last bosses just kill you in few strikes. Vendetta, I’ll return there several levels later. But serisouly, this must be nerfed.

Anyways, picking the missed and forgotten zones for leveling is just amazing. Twilight Highlands is a must-stop for one of my hordies, because I’ve always naturally missed it: it opens at 84, along with 3 new Cata dungeons which bring you through this level to Pandaria. I just need to see their unique storyline.

Leveling in Northrend & Outland

Nexus-Coldarra

I had a leveling streak with Myde on my weekend. She started in Borean Tundra and did  questing through it all, except for the DEHTA and murloc hubs.

And she leveled… from 58 to 71.

The core source of experience was actually dungeons. Every dungeon brings you up for 0,7-1 level, and they are lots. Every next level opens up 2-4 more from both Outland and Northrend. I go without repeating a single one of them, and I still have at least 12 to go.

After finishing the Tundra (Coldarra was obligatory, because Myde is arcane), I just stopped bothering with questing and went on a tour opening Northrend map. Every subzone ticks by 1000+ experience, so you could easily gather at least 1-2 levels merely by opening the map. Thus you have your Northrend opened while waiting for dungeons to pop up.

It’s super fast, and I’m planning to get her to 80 just by exploration and dungeons. If I have some time left from opening Outland, I would quest in Nether zone of Outland a bit – a largely ignored quest spot previously for obvious reasons.

We shall see about Pandaria and Cataclysm, but the speed of leveling up in Northrend/Outland is just amazing. In few hours she left other allied toons 10 levels behind. The same plan goes with the other allied toons: exploring while waiting for dungeons, and then grabbing a zone of choice to quest a bit – they are all available at 67, be it Shadowmoon Valley, Storm Peaks or Icecrown.

Why Players Are Not Into World PvP?

This was the question at Battle of Azeroth Media Day to which the developers apparently don’t have an answer yet. The only reaction from gaming community to this bit of interview was: REALLY?!

And I mean it: really? After all these years of game development and received feedback Blizzard doesn’t have an answer. The only reason they gave is that players feel stress knowing that there is a real person behind the opposing character. That’s the most ridiculous reason ever to my opinion.

Let me clarify the mystery from the point of view of a PvE-only player.

First of all, here’s my achievement chart to give a perspective at the author of this blog:

Achievement Chart

As you can see, PvP is the least developed – and thus the least interesting activity that I go into during my playing time. The reasons are as follows.

Competition Is Not King

People play for many reasons, and one of them is competition of course. Even in PvE pushing the limits is sometimes vital: be it raid progression, clearing mythic dungeons, soloing current raids and other stuff.

Still, PvP is ALL about being better than the others, ‘kicking their ass’, overcoming the real players. Dear Blizzard, could you imagine that there are people that are NOT interested in this?

I’m not interested in competition – I login to see the story, to explore the wonders of the world of Azeroth, to relax and have fun. I’m not interested in pushing my buttons better than another person – like at all.

Immersement

PvE is not free from the following drawback, but the amount of nicknames like ‘Bobpro’, ‘Kickyerass’ or ‘Shamanheal’ is significantly a more frequent thing for PvP-oriented people. And these nicknames are a litmus test, they mean that the player behind it doesn’t give a shit about the world he/she’s in. Their character for them is just a sack of pixels and stats, there’s no backstory, imagination or immersement to the world involved.

Needless to say, this ruins my immersement as well. While any book, movie or game is a sort of escapism, you want to spend your time in a wholesome world. Or at least try to.

When questing, world questing or farming, you have your own goals to achieve. An unexpected PvP encounter (even if you win) is a disturbance, it stalls your progress towards your goals. It is not wanted, it is not welcomed, and well, it is not fun.

When I’m in the middle of an exciting story, I don’t want to be interrupted by a random ‘Bobpro’ who decides it’s time for PvP for him.

Social Stigma

PvP, in general, is shaking the virtual penis in front of the fresh corpse, knowing that there’s a real person behind it.

It is obvious that this kind of activity attracts lots of total jerks who just find it a mere pleasure to kill other players. Are they compensating the real life failures and lack of achievements (a thing not uncommon with younger people), are they just angry at the world and want to punish a random player for it, or just your common griefers whose idea of fun is to ruin the other person’s gameplay.

World PvP modes allow them to do this. When you’re in the middle of a quest, fighting a harder zone boss ,or 3 mobs at once, a guy comes at you to finish the job the mobs started.

Most often, he will also jump around a corpse. Nice job indeed!

Cherry on top, the guys won’t do it for the Alliance or the Horde’s sake which would at least justify the attack. It’ll be your random ‘Bobpro’.

Surprise Attacks

World PvP in most cases is a rape. The aggressor starts the fight having a huge advantage of being prepared, having his cooldowns at the ready, and the element of surprise. This alone is enough to burst-cut the foe to 30% before he even thinks of defence.

And there is more – class imbalance. A number of classes, especially caster ones, need time to fuel up and start to deal some notable damage. Not to say anything about healing specs with the lack of offensive abilities.

Basically, an equally geared warlock has no chances against a warrior or a death knight surprise attack.

Ganking

What else to say here? Only that scaling world puts an extra 15-45 level gap between players which don’t scale.

=======================

When Blizzard asks why some players are not into world pvp, the list is welcome to be quoted.

Battle for Azeroth Release Date

This just in: Battle for Azeroth will be released on August 14!

1

Pre-patch would likely be out a month before expansion, so prepare your checklists and get ready to grind them until July 14. Then we will have Teldrassil burning, Siege of Lordaeron and artifact power cancelled on our hands. Most probably well run repeatable quests to earn new faction mounts and probably transmog/toys.

I’d say it’s just in time. Covering Legion loose ends and rushing right into the fray.

And yes, For the Alliance!

Trivia: No More Unmaker

It’s been a raid reset yesterday, and I drove Paitsu the Monk through all the 3 wings that need to drop transmogs yet.

LFR in raid reset day is a mere pleasure. We stormed through all the three wings without wipes, and very fast too. As a healer, I didn’t experience the smallest trouble. Well, silly deaths like Kingaroth death ray, Argus cones or Coven’s lightnings/walking oldies don’t count, but those “too dumb to live” were suprisingly few and didn’t stall the rest.

Among all the relic and ring trash I won the monk chest from Argus himself… and this literally means that I’m officially done with the last boss. Moreover, I’ve obtained the transmog scythe too previously!

What is left is few leather things from Coven wing, and hat/pants from Aggramar and Imonar, monk only. With any luck, every week could be the last one of Legion raiding.

I’m very close to the end, and leveling is coming to be my major activity. Antorus is taking only some ridiculous time from my weekly routines.