Lore & Motivation Development in Legion

I’ve listened to the intro music on loading screen in the morning, and there played this hero piece – taken from theme “Anduin”. That very tune which makes you grab your sword, bow or staff and fight. Here I caught myself thinking: do I really care for what’s happening now and what is expected next on Argus?

Surprisingly I’m not.

What moves the story and your dedication onward is not just the plot, but also your emotions – specifically, why you want to kill the big bad. This is what making you fight, endure this or that grind (reputations, world quests, AP, dailies – name it) – to become stronger and kill the big bad with your own hands.

Legion started with the heaviest impact on both factions: both leaders were killed in action.

Varian

Voljin

Never before each of the factions was so united and ready for the revenge. The desire to prove yourself, to kill everything responsible, to rally with the new leader was strongest we ever experienced.

And… Blizzard blew it.

The whole faction glory subsided in the very first scenario upon entering Stormheim – this was the last we saw even a glimpse of faction pride. Leaders are nowhere to be seen. Anduin mourned his father throughout the expansion, and only in Broken Shore he visited Varian’s grave. But he’s not seen even in Argus previews – this is not his war, and this not his responsibility. Thus neither of this is concerning Alliance.

Sylvanas became the new leader of the Horde. Her very first act as a new leader was plotting to enhance the ranks of Undead, treacherous and dangerous. Nothing addressing the war against Legion. This is not her war, and this is not her responsibility. Thus neither of this is concerning Horde.

Do you see how this faction pride all went in a dumpster and got absolutely no development?

The only faction presence was in The Nighthold, led by Liadrin, Tyrande and Vereesa who were busy messing each others’ hair more than dealing with Legion. Gul’dan was a true climax of the expansion – although we dealt with absolutely new pompous elves during the whole raid. Still, we avenged what happened in Broken Shore.

What we see now is class order halls, filled with renowned heroes and champions of Azeroth.

All the host is guided by Khadgar, who’s the world’s Guardian, but at the same time having fun. Guided by Illidan who’s having LOTS of fun because this it what he does. Guided by Maiev, who’s more of a hen mother, supervising her Broken Isles jailbreaks and following Illidan. Guided by Velen, for whom the whole war is more of a personal business considering Draenei history, his issues with Kil’Jaeden, his revenge for his homeworld, his vengeance for his son.

I don’t feel involved – I’m not motivated to help them with their personal business. Blizzard ultimately failed to develop Kil’Jaeden, to make him the guy you want to fight with. He’s not present in Broken Shore and in raid. He’s absent until the very encounter.

On Argus we will deal with the ruins of Draenei homeworld which could be immersing for Draenei players and explorers/historians, but not for everyone else. It’s all the same black rocks and fel green puddles. It’s a raid where we don’t even see Sargeras himself. We’ll just get the directions to fight and kill more fel bosses. We can do that – but for loot only.

Remember the great villains of the past – Illidan who challenged us since the very starting cinematic in BC, Arthas who we wanted to end ever since W3 RTS, Deathwing who ruined the world with our favorite places, fucking nazi Garrosh, Mannoroth and Archimonde – hated villains since the very same RTS. In Legion, the climax big bad is Gul’dan, and we’ve already dealt with him.

What we are left with today is JOB to be done. We need to do the job, but are we motivated to do it? We’re not. And not a slightest glimpse of spirit and/or faction pride. Nothing personal is involved.

Cheating on WoW

This is fun topic :)

I’m never giving up on WoW, and since today I’m rushing into raids again. I’m doing World Quests and all.

But like I said, I had two spare evenings before the next cooldown, and my wife went to bed early, so I couldn’t watch series and movies that we are supposed to watch together. This left me with trying something new in my late hours :)

Wildstar Online. It’s a perfect cosmo opera for me, as it has this eclectic cartoonish animation, it’s bizarre, has very fun playable races, limitless fantasy for providing fauna and flora and in all contains gazillions of humor. It’s WoW meets Firefly meets Star Trek.

Two factions: Dominion and Exiles. Dominion are a pompous empire (think victorian England), Exiles are space cowboys (think Firefly). Both have a playable human race, but there are also drunkard rock giants, thin local “elves” (with furry ears and tails), bestial draken, metal robot race, and murderous rodents (think mad scientists).

Naturally I’m playing Aurin (“elves”) – for Exiles, and Chua (rodents) – for Dominion. Not my toons here, but just to get the general impression.

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The world is enormous. The terrains are inventive and diverse, flora and fauna are beyond any limits of imagination. I can’t help but notice the big work which was done on the lore – the information is just overwhelming, there’s so much to learn and explore. Many dialogues are voiced, and the soundtrack seems to never repeat itself: in 2 minutes walk radius you could hear 10 different tunes, all of them are awesome.

For classes, we have casters, melee fighters – despite the space opera setting – and gunfighters, naturally. My Chua is an engineer which means a robot minion and a big fucking gun to deliver grief. My Aurin is a spellslinger – it means gun-fu with a pair of pistols.

I’m yet at my starting steps, and I’m just having fun exploring and doing quests. It’s a pleasure being in this world :)

In conclusion, here’s a cinematic from the game. Pretty much delivers the vibe.

Lull Marching On

Yes, despite the new raid rolling on, it’s a lull.

By Sunday I’ve led all my toons through the first two wings of Tomb of Sargeras, carrying out sacks of loot. Several transmog slots were closed, although many items were rings and relics and necks. I think that I’m on the top of the wave now, as very few items will be left to obtain by the opening of the next wing. And if Argus drops on us in September (3 weeks after Kil’Jaeden in LFR), for the first time in the expansion I will be there ready, with my transmog quest almost done.

I have these spare three evenings before cooldown now. I’ve spent a big lot of yesterday session doing the last treasure achievement (in Highmountain), did the Sentinax beacon achievement (Aurinko caught Sentinax at its final location in naga shore), ran Naxxramas for paladin transmog with Anibell. As long as yesterday was Wardens and today Highmountain emissaries, which I don’t need, I just don’t have anything to do for these two evenings. Finally… fishing?

Tomb of Sargeras runs were smooth and fun. Only once there was a wipe situation, and we struggled with The Desolate Host three times. Like I always say, there’s never an LFR group which doesn’t manage to slay a boss in LFR. We always do.

I’m queuing my tanking and healing classes in both (or three) roles, and naturally I’m taken as a tank or a healer most of the times. It’s fun, although a bit exhausting. But I’m cool with the bosses now, so I feel confident and aware of what’s happening.

Faerella reached the last weapon to upgrade: Demonology will be my go for the next cooldown. The same is awaiting Backston: my hated Beast Mastery. Helu has her Balance and Restoration weapons done at 52, so her next run in raids is cat form. And so on.

I’m gonna have all weapons at 52 by the next patch for every of my toons, I’ve no doubt. And no more artifact power worries.

Lull.

Plate Armor Grind!

Mindebad-Blood

While my mail, leather and cloth armor toons are now free to insert their coins into Tomb of Sargeras ATM for extra loot, my poor plate armor Mindebad, Anibell and Bons are still grinding The Nighthold and even Emerald Nightmare for the last set slots.

This cooldown brought us some happiness. Mindebad and Anibell now only lack their class-specific capes from Trilliax, which means lazy runs through the first wing. Bons lacks a helmet which comes from Botanist boss. It’s a bummer, because the boss is the last in the wing, and the most annoying wing. It’s not a bummer, because all three plate armor toons make it six tries for helmet per week (coins involved).

So, what is left for me to cover The Nighthold transmog for every class is 2 Aqueducts runs and 3 (could be less) full Aetheneums per week. Persistence!

The good thing about Tomb of Sargeras is that you can also cover its mogging slots with other classes. Micromantica gained – and equipped – priest set shoulders, so I don’t worry about this slot for Aurinko now. Of course my mage will change it for mage shoulders if it happens to drop, but I don’t really care about set bonuses in my cozy LFR environment. My goal is mogging, and set collections. ilvl is a pleasant bonus :)

Meanwhile, I’m seriously set up for tanking. It’s been a mere pleasure yesterday and today to queue all the roles possible. Especially Anibell and Paitsu, who are perfectly capable of tanking, healing or dpsing.

While Anibell and Bons are perfect with their tanking specs, Mindebad’s Blood is an unknown field for me. Well, it was an unknown field. I blasted through the Nighthold yesterday and didn’t have a sweat. I need to, and moreover, I’m ready to test her in the current Tomb of Sargeras. which I’m gonna do.

New politics from now on: queuing every alt in every role she could perform. I’m ready and set.

Tomb of Sargeras: A Peep into Wailing Halls

tomb-desolate-host-wing-2

Naturally what I did yesterday was a testing run in the new wing by Micromantica, doubled today by yet another caster – Faerella the Warlock.

The next wing consists of 3 bosses: Demonic inquisition, Sisters of the Moon and The Desolate Host.

In this wing I start to understand the whining about logistics – it really is tricky. But not so much on your second run.

Demonic Inquisition is a pair of fellow dudes who argue about whether flesh or soul is a subject of torment. I liked these bosses very much. Their looks design is awesome, and torture mechanics are totally comprehensible: just stop hitting them during a specific spell, is all. Neither of my tries brought me to the second room. Well, Faerella got this debuff by the very end, but bosses were supposed to die in 10 seconds (which they did), so I didn’t see any reason to try and see the other room.

After that we fight the same infernals in Goroth room – I hate when we have to kill the same trash in different wings – and then we descend to Elven rooms. Few packs of trash – really not annoying, well done, Blizzard, and we reach Sisters of the Moon boss.

I didn’t even notice how we killed them. First of all, I liked the wrestling-type boss change: when you deal with one and the same health bar, and they just give each other high five and change one by one as you do so. Really cool (and Elisande-type replenishing health bar, thrice – is not). The moon mechanics is probably the easiest movement requirement during a boss fight. You may go to the other floor color if you feel so, or you may do nothing and still be good, because the needed color will reach you anyways. So it’s just stepping out of a rare bad and nuking an add owl. Piece of cake.

Then comes The Desolate Host fight. Micromantica spent the whole encounter dead. She knew someone should go to the spirit realm, so she did. Something killed her immediately far away from any boss, and she never learnt what. Apparently not many guys, like myself, knew the encounter, because there was only one healer among very few people in spirit realm, and she had some tough times. Anyways, the boss went down. On my next try Faerella stayed in corporeal realm, but the group was better, so it split in two without any discussions. The boss just died, no troubles at all.

Is it because people already got some loot in previous weeks, but the wing seems very simple compared to the first one. The encounters are fun enough, and I won’t feel tedious when re-running them for loot. Second wing’s cool.

Gates of Hell Tanking – Nailed

One day before opening of the second wing, I’ve decided to try tanking the first one.

Besides the perfect timing, Melaris is closing in 52 on her tanking weapon, and she also had a quest and no first wing runs yet. So I decided to give it a go.

It went surprisingly smooth. Our second tank, a dwarf paladin, didn’t have a clue about what’s going on, so I pulled it off almost alone.

Trash mobs – no trouble at all. Took them out pack by pack, so we were fine.

Goroth – I was the only tank. Even with melted armor I just used my cooldowns, and all was fine. A pair of jumps was handy to relocate myself behind the pillars and back, so the boss positioning was executed by textbook.

Har’jatan – the second tank obviously died, because he didn’t turn the boss to raid bulk. So I pulled it off almost alone. Positioning was not that perfect, I held the beast in puddles very often, so it was not too convenient for melee dps.

Sassz’ine – nailed it, and almost alone again. As for void zones, I only got trapped by jellyfish once, but it was the only fail. I whispered to the second tank before the encounter to aggro from me at debuffs, but it didn’t work too well. He succeeded to perform this once, so I had to survive the whole debuff periods on my own cooldowns. A tough fight, yet I weren’t on the verge of dying.

For loot, I’ve got a cape, tier gloves, and a trinket. A decent drop.

Melaris-Gates-of-Hell-Tidestone

I’m eager to try tanking with other specs, although demon hunter is so great with AoE aggroing which is basically built in rotation. Could be harder with other classes.

So, all roles for the first wing tried and succeeded. Bring us the next wing! :)

New Specs!

For the second time in Legion the artifact system dictates me trying and playing the other specs than I normally like to play.

When you have a goal of driving every artifact to 52 traits, and you accidentally drop 21,8 million token into the already upgraded weapon… well, it sucks. So just in case I’m running, questing and exploring the pleasures of now-upgraded spec.

I think however good I’m becoming in playing an extra spec, sometimes I just don’t like to do this. Examples would be Beast Mastery for Backston, Demonology for Faerella or Unholy for Mindebad – outright boring. Mindebad is almost at 52 with her Unholy spec, and yet I didn’t grow to like it as much as I like Frost. So it’s 52, and I’m done with it.

Sometimes I switch specs due to their utility. Obviously tanking specs are a mere pleasure when engaging specifically fat very dangerous mobs during a world quest.

For warlocks it’s extremely awesome to quest in Affliction, because everything dies super fast, but I hate my mana depletion during raids, and a very slow Destruction is much more enjoyable for nuking bosses, although its mortar-type playing style is a torture in the field. It’s the same with shaman: Enhancement is very cool in the field, cause you rush into the fray, and in few quick blows everything’s dying, but Elemental is a preferable thing in raids to rain elements from afar and have a better sight of encounter.

Draenor introduced tanking specs to me, and in Legion I started healing. Actually every spec that can heal is my choice for Tomb of Sargeras today. It’s fun, relaxing, and very engaging. My paladin Anibell pulled off the Har’jatan encounter when our tank had 30 (!) stacks on himself. The other tank just died 5 seconds after he tried to tank any boss, I don’t know the reason. He was a warrior, he had a decent ilvl around 870 – quite enough for LFR. He just got one-shot – nothing a healer could do.

The most challenging spec is Discipline, and I tried it yesterday. It’s mind blowing by all means, but I think I’m starting to get the general idea. You have to place a heal on a friendly character, then start DPS-ing a boss very quickly to heal the friendly target, BUT if he’s dying, you have to switch to mighty direct healing spells. It’s outright insane :)

For a test, I ran Aqueducts to make it a bit challenging, but not so stressful as Tomb of Sargeras. Whew, it was fun. I want to learn the “how” at least. I like Holy very much, but Discipline has a potential in my case.

And when I’m done with healing artifacts, it’s gonna be time for tanking :) My goal with tanks is making it a fun and relaxing experience, not a run where I sweat and get tired :)

Anyways, exploring new specs is very fun! By the end of the Legion I’m gonna be decent in every 36 ways I guess.