First Week In Tanaan

WoWScrnShot_062815_164705

1. Only Schlitzchen, Zindari and Ilmari have no 715 Epic Rings, and as long as they have 860+ Runes, it’s gonna be fixed by the end of the week (Wednesday-Thursday).

2. It means that 8 of my alts do have 715 Epic Rings.

3. Runes drop like hell, at least two or three 18-Rune missions in Garrison per week (up from 1), and some 20-Rune missions spotted in the sea too (not available for me yet though). Very alt-friendly: Blizzard wants the alts to catch up asap, not grinding BRF for Runes of Highmaul for Stones. I appreciate that.

4. Only Melaris, Microfury and Salash out of 11 toons don’t have their base at Tanaan. I pushed all other 8 toons to build docks, establish a base and run the first quest line considering scouts and exploring the jungle. The starting line takes you only 30 minutes to go, so I’m definitely gonna push all my toons to Tanaan this week. I like how all my toons now easily catch up with the current content and are equally developed.

5.  Reputations are earned rationally. Your daily routine with one alt takes you like 1 hour tops, and it gives a solid reputation bonus in 3 directions (needed to fly). Mind you, I didn’t get ANY Exalted reputation at Draenor before – because it was acquired through grinding only.

WoWScrnShot_062815_191945

All toons do funniest faces when establishing a base :)

6. Did three “old” dungeon runs – easy like it was then at leveling, and gives solid awards. Worth it! I like to bring all my pool of spells into old dungeons where you didn’t have like half of it.

7. It’s fun to kill rares. I managed to have a solid fight with 3k fel elemental (Aggrosh? Angrosh? Whatevs). It was a tough challenge, and I did it single-handed with my ice mage Micromantica. No one interfered, except that a random Worgen DK came in the last moment to do a last hit. Proud of myself. Tanaan Jungle brings back fun to fighting one-on-one (or one-on-pack), where there’s no healer for backup and no tank to take aggro off you. You do your best and survive at your best.

8. It was just in time. People got bored of Garrison, but at the same time you feel like you like this peaceful activity. It’s a dangerous swamp that sucks you in like hell. You may want some SIMS activity between raids instead of fighting – just because raids give you challenge, and you want to have a rest between the runs. It’s awful because it has every sense and ability to become rooted, needed and desired. It’s high time we don’t have to sit in Garrison anymore. And just in time cause when I’m in Tanaan, here and then I suddenly miss the boring peaceful Garrison… It’s dangerous really. Please never do any SIMS activity again. I like the faction capitals, we’re adventurers, not farmers or burghers.

9. Social factor. I actually meet PEOPLE in Tanaan. It’s like MMO became MMO again. Fun fact: when Micromantica was ready to enter Sargerai temple for daily, a passer-by dwarf paladin invited her into group. The thing is: we appeared to be from the same guild and had a guild chat just few minutes ago! Of course there could have been a pre-arranged group, but the coincidence of two guildies meet in the same place with one objective… Let’s say, it is so uncommon for previous Draenor, that it surprised me like hell.

I also banded up for Saberon quest with passer-bys. You just wait in the place you need and you will find people to play with in no time (group finder yesterday proved to be in vain).

10. Ships are easy to manage. Nice feature, but I wish there was a flight path and a Follower missions table in one place at the wharf. Objective with highest priority: kill Rares which carry the ship improvement blueprints.

11. Entering my first LFR in Helfire Citadel on Wednesday :) All toons will be able to do it!

WoWScrnShot_062615_102805

First Hours At Tanaan

My voyage to Tanaan yesterday was undertaken after a whole day of anticipation. The realms opened when I just started my workday, and I had to wait until evening to log in with my main.

Luckily I got one more proof that planning a vacation or a day off at the day of new xpac or patch launch is silly. It will ALWAYS bring some drawbacks and fails on the release date, so while people were struggling with multiple mistakes and couldn’t login, I was working and waiting for the evening. By the time I arrived home (and not without visiting supermarket with my wife and cooking some dinner together after), all login troubles were fixed by Blizzard and I was able to play smooth like always :=)

NO SPOILERS COMING.

QUESTING

Micromantica, my Gnome Frost Mage, was immediately loaded with tasks both from Khadgar and His Highness Wrynn. Then I had this flight to Iron Docks – it’s the first time I saw Foundry from above, and I saw it as a good sign, a flight preview! I was extremely happy to meet Yrel on my arrival. I love the character, I enjoy questing with her and for her, and I hope we will bond after Draenor ends. I would definitely bring her back to Azeroth, along with Grommash and Drek’Thar. Pity these three seem too involved into local communities and local business, so they probably stay.

Run through Iron Docks was tough. I’ve completed the grind mission for small reward, and it wasn’t a piece of cake. I ended up eating conjured meals after every fight to recover. Guess I won’t do it again with alts. But the main quest is very straightforward and fast: get bombs, blow a train, kill a bastard.

SHIPYARD

Then I completed the shipyard part. It’s not easy. Guys are scattered around the place, so it was tough to find them. I was also confused with the idea that I have so little ships (5) until next upgrade to tier 2. And it won’t be until few weeks.

The guides say that you build 3 Destroyers and 2 Transports until next Tier, and when you’re able to build more and better boats, you go for submarines, carriers and battleships. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Also there’s a big deal that you send your ships only to 100% chance missions, because it’s easy to fail them (it’s even in Tutorial questing). You upgrade these ships much like followers.

Shipyard is fun (yet), but I hope they add a flight path there too, although it’s 10 seconds drive from new Garrison exit.

QUESTING AGAIN

After you do your shipyard, you’re able to go to Tanaan. Now you bond with Yrel until you build a base. It’s a small and easy run, and you spend like 5-10 minutes from your shipyard to establishing your new outpost.

Then you’re overwhelmed with dailies!

They are intertwined with normal “campaign” questing, so it goes very smoothly. I must say that introduction questing is great, as when you finish to learn the intelligence reports who tell you what is going on, you’ll have opened 80% of the zone map, killed some rares and probably did some dailies too.

It’s like a mix of Pandarian dailies and Garrison campaign/missions table. I checked the achievement lists, and was glad to learn that you will unveil the main storyline as you progress through reputations. So dailies do make sense and you will unveil more plot. It’s crucial that you do! Actually it was expressed in many blogs, including mine, and I’m very glad Blizzard did it. Giving away small portions of the story arcs is what makes you come back and get busy with dailies. Perfect.

EXPLORATION

I put my nose in most corners of the map. The toughest would be saberon and Throne of KilJaeden zones: swarmed with elites, it takes my mage a big effort to kill at least one, save many. Not without a group I’m going there.

I did dailies at Iron Horde harbour, near the blasted gate at Talador and some pits right under Citadel. Swarming with mobs, died several times, but both easy and challenging enough.

I liked the part near harbour – there’s a dungeon/fortification which swarms with orcs and pales fighting each other. It’s a treasure hunt there, giving some apexis for Arrakoa quest. And pale orcs are crawling in the ceiling and jump on you! Appeared to be very fun. Also not far from there is a Bleeding Hollow ancestor grave pit. Gives you chills, a great place as well.

The Grey Elites do drop nice things and easy to kill, so I feel they’re balanced good. Got myself a 670 stave and a 670 shoulder cloth which I immediately put on. Six 650s which were disenchanted at once. Actually you have a chance to get good loot from any mob, so it feels like styled as Timeless Isle. Encourages exploration.

Tanaan itself is dark and tricky. It’s very dangerous and grim even without green fel slime, and creatures successfully hide there. Expect many surprise attacks. I wonder if we get tired of the eternal darkness after 1? 2? 6? months?

REPUTATIONS

Got myself 3000 for Arakkoa (yellow -> green) and even more with Draenei. Would be moderately annoying. Pain in the ass might be saberons, as it suggests killing elite mobs. We’ll see how it goes after I check out this area properly.

CONCLUSION

I’m going to close the Epic Ring quest for alts in Blackrock Foundry – with the only difference that they will spend their time in Tanaan rather than Garrison. Worked good for Chitsuro in the morning!

All in all Tanaan seems a place where I will spend many time.I’m overwhelmed by amounts of zones and things to do, let it sort out a bit. In fact, it’s gonna be my priority: coping with loads of information about new stuff.

Day and Night Before Patch 6.2.

So, Patch 6.2. is coming tomorrow, and let us see if I come prepared for it.

WoWScrnShot_061015_234617

THE RINGS

First and foremost it’s my Epic Ring chain that got me busy. Today I have closed the weekly Blackrock cooldown, and here’s what we have with our 900 Runes:

————–
ALLIANCE

Microfury 885
Backston 803
Mayluna 759
Chitsuro 728

HORDE

Ilmari 672
Schlitzchen 669
Zindari 708
————–
Micromantica, Gottenbar, Melaris and Salash are already happy and done, settled in Garrison. So these four are able to go to Hellfire… not until next week, when LFR opens. Meanwhile they will explore Tanaan.

Next week most Alliance toons will also get their 715 rings and be ready for Hellfire when it comes, and a week after the rest guys will get their prize too. So, as long as I would prefer to get them all ready by tomorrow, it won’t happen. But! it’s the first time when all my toons almost nailed to do the relevant content and be ready for the next step.

To the end of Patch and relevant raid, sometimes there’s fun time for fun! Behold our spontaneous demonized run throughout the 3rd wing :)

WoWScrnShot_062015_171815

WoWScrnShot_062015_172757

WoWScrnShot_062015_173750

THE FLIGHTS

I’ve accomplished Securing Draenor achievement with Micromantica, completing all daily missions. The guy at your townhouse sells all the contracts, so you can hit them all one by one in a couple of hours or so. Thus, I’m ready for flights – or more so, grinding 3 new reputations. The rest is done: of course I did the Loremaster and of course I did the Explorer months ago.

THE THINGS TO DO

It’s damn pity that I haven’t grinded a single reputation yet. And although I have fished out 4 types of 100-fish, there’s few to go. I need this meta achievement and Nat pagle to forget about Garrison. After Patch 6.2. comes, I’m probably be all the way into Tanaan, so I better do this now. Moreover, a single Exalted lets you build Tavern Lv.3, so it will make grinding for flights easier.

Behold: Trawler “Micromantica”

WoWScrnShot_061415_235558

Luckily, with raid cooldowns, I have this spare evening today for happy grinding and fishing and archaeology. It’s a peaceful rest from raids, so, at last I have it. Fishing it is.

Maybe I will meet one more Hypnotoad?…

WoWScrnShot_062115_001517

Something’s In The Air… Players?

TwilightThis picture in fact is very sufficient and I may not continue the post. But I will, so you get yourselves a bit of reading.

  • There will be flights on Draenor! Huge news that shows Blizzard listens to logic and its fan base.
  • There will be achievements for flights in Draenor! Huge news as it should have been from the very start when flying was introduced. Make some effort to explore, then relax. Not the enormous gold piles like we had before.
  • Achievements? Yes, they’re very reasonable. Exploration and questing. And some rep grinding which I hope will go smooth with dailies (I hope for dailies, not usual Draenor grind!!). Reputation seems like extra thing.
  • Account-wide achievement? Yes, and it couldn’t be other way if you put reputations in it.
  • What do I have? Explorer – check. Loremaster – check. 100 Treasures – check. Dailies – only 4 for Micromantica, should do them. Reputations – not check of course.

Seems a most comforting solution to please players and developers. It’s good they put reps in Draenor, but I hope won’t be that in next xpacs. Only quests and exploration.

I’m peaceful and happy.

Waiting for Patch… Or Not?

Before work, today’s morning opened for me with 3-wing run in Foundry and after Oregorger in 4th wing I ditched my raid. Cause Gottenbar became the second one to get his 715 Epic Ring. Oh well, it’s 2/11 of my alts now. Will be 3/11 in the evening, cause Melaris the Draenei Death Knight is ridiculous 125 runes away from the goal.

When I was at work I checked the news and saw many forecasts that Patch 6.2 will be on air at June 23-24. It’s not certain, just people compared when PvP seasons ended and when patch arrived.

This means that I’m not getting all my alts cool and nice for Hellfire Citadel with their brand new rings, but they will try their best. After all, even when BRF was out, Highmaul was good and overcrowded to run, so I don’t think I won’t be able to find groups at BRF when Hellfire will be online. That means: no rush. We do our best and hope for the best.

Meanwhile all toons are ready for Hellfire with the required ilvl of 650 – we range from 653 to 659.

So, be it June 16, 23 or 30 – I’m good and ready. I’m eager to build wharfs, see Tanaan and run Hellfire Citadel. I’m eager to be busy raiding BRF with alts for 3 weeks for the rings. Say what? Hellfire will be allowed only to those who earned their rings, so mwahaha! Actually it’s a good point cause I lost many raids in vain, first gearing up in Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry, and then re-running them for rings’ Runes and Stones. This time I make it smart. No one with the ring below 715 enters Hellfire Citadel to earn both gear and whatever “Hellfire Poops” Khadgar needs next time.

– But moooom?!..

– Shut it.

Of all the new raid, I want to meet and fight this guy:

gorefiend

Just feeling affection for big fat monstrous blobs ^_^ Like Teron’gor lore story, but he was shite at Black Temple. This time he’s good both in Auchindoun and Hellfire Citadel.

Mood: Positive. Anticipation. 

Blackrock Foundry: Gnomecore’s Review

With Hellfire Citadel already breathing in our face, let’s see what we were doing in raids for the latest months. I’m willing to talk about Blackrock Foundry.

WoWScrnShot_040515_124047
Micromantica is about to get wet.

While Highmaul was very diverse and many forces collided there, Blackrock Foundry can boast its unity. Blackhand doesn’t let you forget that it’s his domain, shouting orders or at least mentioned in each and every wing. It’s the true plant facility, where victory (lol) is forged and all the wings work in unison.

This unity may have easily been a drawback, cause the design is also unique. All you meet is different variations of red, fiery and black armor clad orcs and bloodred magnarons in hot tight caves. To our surprise, it doesn’t feel boring even a single time, and the reason is the perfect design of encounters.

Which reminds of…

NINTENDO!

Many encounters do NOT resemble the ordinary “massive fire breath/scream raid AoE” and “pile up to divide the damage”. What is unique about Foundry is that you must constantly move, and many abilities depend on how YOU! personally YOU cope with them.

Oregorger, anyone?
Slash from TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project. Oregorger, anyone?

In fact, Blizzard managed to make the boss encounters feel like massive beat-em up games, only it’s 24 friends playing, not two.Those of us old enough to remember NES and Sega consoles easily recall this or that moments:

  • A rolling boss you must avoid
  • Incoming trains with next pack of Foot soldiers you must defeat
  • Something you must blow with bombs to release a boss
  • Goddamn conveyor belts!

…and many more.

What adds to the feeling is that most bosses are hardly bigger than the players – like bosses in old console games too. The heavy bulk of Kromog is as rare exception as some never-moving Mother Alien which will take half of screen. And the amount of soldier packs feels like beat em ups as well.

My favourite bosses from BRF

  • Iron Maidens – for the sake of flying to the ship (always do) and flawless avoiding of other abilities.
  • Kromog – I like the “hand” mechanics and mastered it, although I don’t like the restof the fight.
  • Ka’graz – just like everything from the boss.
  • Blackhand – the second phase. The rest are too uneasy for my melee fighters, but cool for the ranged.
  • Blast Furnace – is amazing with all the correct target selection.
  • Tho’gar – is a mess, but with my good ranged AoEers it’s a mere pleasure.
WoWScrnShot_051915_010057
Redball incoming!

With all the mistakes made by Blizzard throughout the expansion, we must admit that raids were done top notch. I liked Highmaul and I’m positively surprised how same, damn hot, claustrophobic caves with orcs and magnarons only feel fun and different to run and run the raid over and over again with alt toons.

The only drawback is music: it’s chaotic during the raid and never refers to what’s going on. Why did they do that? Couldn’t they compose a special raid theme?.. That destroys the involvement like hell.

Obivously Hellfire Citadel is gonna be more like “normal” Warcraft raids – the mechanics sound interesting and I crave to try it. But I still have many runs through BRF to complete Epic Rings from my toons – and frankly, I would have 4 more weeks of raiding it now :)

WoWScrnShot_041615_002439
Scary Kromog wears pantyhose like a baby.

Epic Marathon

My WoW experience recently has become a severe grinding routine. Reason is: alts.

Blast_Furnace

I’m deep in the middle of my epic ring quest for alts now. In fact, I would have been expressing hypocritical issues if I told that I have nothing to do.

As we don’t know when Tanaan and Hellfire will come to life, I’m mad about trying to fulfill cooldowns for Blackrock LFRs for 10 of my alts and come prepared for the next Ring/Raid stage. I don’t focus on loot, cause it drops here and then. In fact, most of my 10 alts already have at least 4-piece bonus sets which grant you upgrades. Also I don’t know what will be the requirements for Hellfire LFRs, but if it’s 650-655, then I’m good and done.

The runes keep dropping, so that’s my main progress focus that I keep tracking. I even made this small Wordpad file where I put down the numbers xD It’s convenient among 10 alts, as you see who falls behind and who is heading to the top, so you pick the one who needs to go raid sooner.

As of now, my alts’ rune collections are between 135 and 575 of required 900. That leads us to at least 4-5 weeks of my path to the glory. And only THEN I will have “nothing to do” ;)

The thing is: when I login with a toon, I instantly queue up for all BRF raids. There are few things at Garrison that need 5-10 minutes, and when I’m done, I don’t go anywhere. If I’m lucky, I get into a raid even before reaching Salvage Yard, and then it’s a raiding snowball for 2 hours. Then I just logout and login with the next toon. Pretty intense. And I don’t even manage to fulfill all cooldown for all toons in one week.

But let’s face it: if it were for my main only, it would have been 2 hours of raiding in a week, and I would have nothing to do anything else.

Conclusion: with 10 alts it’s intense now. Currently I’m really good cause I have raids to do. With 1 main – Draenor is a content disaster and absense of flights don’t add up to leave Garrison and explore the world.

Fix that.