Patch 7.3.: Are You Prepared?

Kageyama-Patch-7-3

Picture being courtesy of brilliant Kageyama Satsuki, are you prepared for the patch?

I’m finding myself at a big clearing up nowadays, closing the loose ends.

Artifact Weapons

Weapons

This is where I will draw the line in grinding artifact power: 52 traits. As you see, I’ve almost completed my goal of driving all the weapons to 52. Anibell, Baisa and Aurinko will likely close their part within a week, and you have to excuse Helu who had four druid weapons to level.

With the new artifact relic system, I will not care about leveling or checking the weapons anymore. Upon reaching 52, I’m just deleting this expansion-wide table of weapons from my list. I’ll be just playing the specs that I like and invest in them – with no particular goal of reaching some point. I’ve had enough of AP grind. I may even skip the AP missions at missions table.

Still, Legion did a very good thing making me play all the specs. It’s awesome that I could switch to any spec now and be confident there. Even the most shunned specs: I’ve led my hunter Baisa through Magni quest and later world quests in Beast Mastery, I tanked Kil’Jaeden in Blood with Mindebad, and now I like questing in Discipline as it’s the Light shooting spec and at the same time quite powerful DPSing with ultimate built-in self-heals.

I’m implying to heal the Antorus raid at least on my priest, shaman and monk – these are the most enjoyable specs for healing. Oh my, who could have thought of that a year ago when I hated healing! I still do though with paladin and druid :)

So, thanks, the expansion, for leading me through all the 36 paths :)

Gear

Gear

This is the table I need to complete for full class mogging sets from Tomb of Sargeras. Bosses are listed which are to be killed by specific toons – and it has to be the exact class to drop. Well, except Har’jatan’s boots for Melaris which could be acquired by any leather class.

The worst thing is that some pieces come off trash, and trash only. So you’re basically bound to run and run the raid hoping for the best, and not even having a chance to toss a coin for the needed drop. That’s not nice. So far I had a single trash drop: a belt for the priest set.

I think that after I acquire the last pieces off bosses I’m gonna call it a day. It’s a task of solo raid running, not the tedious LFR runs throughout the whole raid on all toons with a minuscule chance of drop.

So yes, during the first weeks of the patch I’m still gonna be covering the mogging slots from the Tomb.

Many Little Things

Not enough urge yet to grind Margoss reputation or Underbelly eyes, it’s yet a thing for the end of the expansion.

Still doing the daily world quests for paragon chests – four toons per day. Still need Valarjar, Dreamweavers, Farondis and Nightfallen mounts. I think it’s expansion-wide project, but frankly I’m sick of it. Should have gotten them all by now, after half a year.

Heading for “invest 50 times in every building in Broken Shore” achievements. Micromantica just launches missions for Legionfall resources and unloads them from time to time. So far it’s 28-41-10. No world quests to speed it up, but maybe I could do that by the end of expansion to close the loose ends.

Old raid mogging runs are a thing lately with me – at least I need the achievements, the rest of the toons may suffice with the most wanted chests, legs, hands and shoulders. I’ve collected 2 sets from Throne of Thunder on weekend (mage, and – as a collateral damage – priest). Performed a full run on every raid possible except Dragon Soul (because the last piece comes from Baradin) and Siege of Orgrimmar (the mere thought about the first boss solo makes me sleepy). Many pieces acquired, and I’m actually very close to covering lots of set achievements.

Speaking of mogging, I’m also spending my instant world quest completion options (like mage, death knight, paladin, warlock, and demon hunter have) for specific PvP WQ if the reward is PvP tokens – I spend them for old PvP sets. Fat chance I’m doing any PvP on my own, so it’s the only way :)

I’m good with main professions on all toons – except Melaris’ mining and herbalism and Aurinko’s mining. I will level them and also cooking and first aid via Darkmoon Faire, so I’ll be there by the end of expansion.

In conclusion: 

I’m far from done with the expansion, but mostly I’m having expansion-wide projects now.  I wish I had one more week for yet one more try with mogging in Tomb and completing my weapons, but nevertheless, I’m ready.

Bring it on! We have an epic story to explore ^_^

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Trivia: Slow Down

It’s Monday, and it’s time to revise my week.

As for reputations, the progress rolls as it should:

May 22

Reputation-List-May22

May 29

rep-29-may

I’ve decided I slow down now. Every day I’ll be doing only those emissaries and those toons which are not Exalted yet. When I’m there, I’ll assign the “mount teams” to factions, and it’s gonna be only 4 emissaries per day – basically an hour of gameplay which is quite sensible for chasing the mounts.

I need to take a break from world quests, although it’s still fun to do them. If I had only a pair of toons, I’d never even think about being exhausted. With twelve – and a race to Exalted – it was a bit tough. Although the end is nigh. This week I”ll be there- and then I’m entering the relaxed mode, ready for running and re-running raids for transmog and Broken Shore questing.

Broken Shore

Meanwhile my toons went to the long-delayed Sentinax farm for badges quest. And it suddenly appeared to be quite fun and fast, even for those like warlock, rogue, shaman or druid girls. The step is over now, and I’m glad the further ones are soloed.

For Micromantica the-lore-flagship who does every quest upon arrival, there’s two weeks and two steps left. It means that the new raid is coming at us in the middle of June, and also class mounts. So I need to be ready for this with every toon considering Broken Shore major questline.

Artifact Weapons

weapons-29-may

Just this sheet, nothing else.

My politics towards AK and AP are:

  1. I’m glad that I need only 40 AK now, not 50 – because I will stop worrying about them 10 orders earlier.
  2. My cap will be trait 52. Then I will just invest in other specs – even the ones that I don’t play. I did that previously – when the cap was basically 35, and it worked well. I could do the lore quests for every spec when the new traits in 7.2. were opened. And the traits were bounced back to 35 for everyone, and a small AP amount refunded.
  3. I don’t even think about grinding AP. What for? It comes naturally, and my main spec weapons are more than ready for LFRs. Let’s leave some room for their improvement :)

Invasion Transmog Weapons

Oh my. And here’s your next reason to run invasions! Just look at these transmogs which drop from the last bosses.

I would sell my soul for the staff at 2:53.

Meanwhile, Azsuna, Val’sharah and Stormheim are complete :) I expect Highmountain to be active since 4 p.m. – so I may finish the achievement when I’m home from work :)

A Weekend in Broken Shore: Artifact Quests in 7.2.

It was quite a weekend!

Artifact Questing

It was the highlight of the weekend. I drove all my alts to acquire the knowledge level of 26, place orders, and run some quests for unlocking new traits. I ran them in a casual way: whenever I felt to. The important thing is not to get exhausted – the expansion launch days taught me a lot about overdose.

And yet: List-Artifact

If the weapon name is in bold, it means I did the quests and unlocked new traits for it. Of course I’m doing every weapon, but step by step.

Quests are shared among classes and are actually few:

Tanks: One Quest

  • Legion robs Bank of Dalaran for the heart of Highlord Kruul, and you investigate with Kor’vas the Illidari. It’s walk and talk in the city, then you transport to Hellfire Peninsula staircase and fight waves of mobs solo while Kor’vas holds a portal open. It’s a hard quest, and dying is not uncommon – imps scorch very hard, and you just lack magic defenses, self heals or dps power to kill the summoners fast. Still, you can kill some, die if you die and continue killing them after your resurrection.

Healers: One Quest

  • There’s a new wave of crazy ghosts from Black Rook premises upon Gilneans, so you are on errand to help them. Although it’s a healer quest, you are not healing or dispelling anything much. You heal 8 Gilneans in the beginning, and then you can switch to DPS or tank spec.

DPS: Five Quests

  • You investigate an undead mage case – who was corrupted by a succubus. First in Dalaran, then you work with a warlock champion for clues and portal to Azsuna.
  • You investigate a case of a necrolyte cult in Dalaran with a Blood Elf knight – his brother is corrupted. Underbelly, then you go to a cave in Broken Shore.
  • You are sent to Azshara zone in Kalimdor to investigate a case of a famous mage Xylem – apparently he read some bad tome, and it corrupted him.
  • You are sent to Highmountain to stop Blood Totem tauren who use fel magic to twist the creatures and prepare an assault on Thunder Totem.
  • You are sent to Jandvik, then to Stormheim to help Skovald’s daughter unite the Vrykul tribes.

And this is it. If you saw these quests, you didn’t miss any lore.

The common point is that major villains always escape: we will deal with them later.

Few shots:

Mindebad the Death Knight and Her Unholy (Least Played) Weapon

4

Anibell the Paladin and Her Majestic Shield

5

Schlitzchen the Shaman and She Sometimes Forgets How to Hold her Claw

3

Paitsu the Monk and They Seem to Have Spoiled Her Beer with Arcane Energies

6

Reputations

…or, more important, Legionfall reputation.

List-Reputation

Micromantica is actually digging reputation – and in a casual way. She doesn’t farm anything, thank gods. I just grab every world quest available – and the batch of four actually takes 15-20 minutes. So, in the first week of this casual gameplay, I will be already Honored. And I barely had one order hall mission for rep tokens.

What Blizzard says: this step for flights is gonna take us 2-3 weeks.

My alts don’t run Broken Shore quests – I just don’t see any reason now. Other reputations for toons are somewhat frozen in a stalemate a bit over Honored/Revered borderline. I would casually take a toon and run an emissary now and then. We’ll be there.

Useless Stuff

Nether Shards – I don’t count them. Eventually I would buy some toys, but armor tokens are about the mogs that I already have, so I better upgrade through raids.

Obliterum – all the same. Micromantica boosted a 835 item to 880, and it’s the highest ilvl item I have except legendaries. But its appearance doesn’t change like it was with upgraded weapons in Draenor, so I just go: meh. Doesn’t worth bothering.

In other words, it’s nice to have options to raise your ilvl, it’s just I’m not too hungry for ilvl, and so I won’t use them.

Professions and Darkmoon Faire

It’s an amusing routine actually. I gathered some mats throughout a month and didn’t spend them. And Darkmoon Faire is a perfect time to check your state of skills: revise the collected mats and craft a lot of stuff to raise skill level along with the Darkmoon +5 quests.

Like I said, professions in Legion mean nothing to me. I only want to cap 800, do all the mogs, toys and mounts, and forget about professions until the next expansion.

I’ve ran the profession quests for every toon in Darkmoon Faire, and this time my Leatherworkers, the monk Paitsu and the hunter Lizgun, both dinged 800.

Which means that I was able to craft myself a moose!

1

I’m glad cause it’s finally a proper moose. Not some ghost one or streaked with magic tattoos. Just your common, hairy, smelling, alive moose :)

I’ve tried the potion of night or whatever it’s called. It’s too cool to be true, and I love it. I need to buy more of this. No screenshots of it yet (the picture above is actual Highmountain nighttime).

Heads Turn!

The coolest thing in 7.2. is that your head turns after your target’s face now. Now it’s not like you’re talking to a person and ignore him completely: your toon will look at his/her face.

The most benefits here are for Gnomes and Goblins! They actually raise their chins if they’re talking to taller NPC or players. The days of speaking to kneel caps and belt buckles are over!

See Hexen looking up at Skovald’s daughter:

2

– I mean, c’mon, girl! Take it easy!

Taller races like Elves, Tauren and Draenei would tilt their heads down to talk to shorter races.

And you actually pay attention to your enemies now, not looking in the horizon while cutting off limbs.

Awesome.

Dungeons and Raids

Suramar dungeons and Karazhan wait for me to explore. Didn’t touch them yet, but it’s in week’s plans of course. I want to see them – and then it’s just single runs for quests. They won’t be included in my dungeon routine – because I don’t have any dungeon routine and never will.

Didn’t have time to continue my raid runs yet – I think I’m gonna do them when I’m done with weapon questing.

Waiting for invasions this week. I wonder how they would work – the most important thing here is schedule of course.

This is it for tonight :)

Changing Specs

As long as I’m forced not gaming this week, I thought I could write a long-planned post about my spec issues in Legion.

So, specs.

Spec Swapping Philosophy

Switching specs is becoming easier and easier with every expansion. Gear has been given double or triple major stats: that is, you’re automatically start to benefit from Intellect rather than Agility if you Enhancement Shaman switches to Elemental or Restoration. Rings and trinkets have those stats removed – this is the next step in this direction. Legion has also granted us the ability to switch to whichever spec you want upon click without visiting training masters.

At the same time the introduced artifact weapons became some sort of impediment. You could find it hard to try some serious tanking if you’ve put all your artifact points in a healer weapon, or try to swap from one DPS spec to another for the same reason. But I suppose it concerns only serious raiding business guys only. For a casual player like myself, a spec swap is not a problem. In half a day your second weapon could be upgraded to 25 traits with absolutely no effort, and you could buy some basic relics at AH and win the upgrades in LFR and world quests. Maybe you won’t be as cool as a badass main spec too soon, but at least you won’t feel too undertuned to suffer during raids , dungeons and questing. So if you want to try another spec, I see that there’s little trouble. Which is good, and even more exciting that it happens considering the whole complexity of the artifact system.

Before Legion, I stuck to the philosophy of one spec – one alt. I enjoy starting alts and leveling, so it’s never been a problem to get myself a new toon and drive it to level cap while learning to play a spec from basics. And I had time to do so – there was not much to be done during WoD and MoP expansion ends. Still I’ve reduced my alt number to 12 in Legion – covering all classes. This decision during pre-patch was quite a prophetic one, as I’m barely coping with keeping even them 12 up-to-date now. The amount of content in Legion is pretty overwhelming.

Now I’m feeling good with my toons – I’m just at the right place. They all are ready to drive through The Nighthold LFRs, and it also means that I may pick whichever class and spec I’d like to play at the moment. My goal now is to open 35 traits for all artifact weapons, then I could slowly and lazily invest the leftovers until 7.2.

Spec Choices

Legion has brought us massive spec changes, so in some cases I’ve started questing in August with another specs than I’ve played before. And it’s time to revise how it played out – let’s do it class by class.

Mage

micromantica

By the start of the Legion Micromantica mained Frost throughout her lifetime, and I’ve also had a maxed Fire alt (deleted now). Leveling in Frost in Legion was pain, but I’ve remained true to the spec apart from few quests in Suramar in Fire. Now that all undertunes to Frost are long gone, I’ve forgotten about Fire and main Frost again. I have recently tried Arcane for the very first time in my life. It appeared to be interesting, so Micromantica could grab her Alu’neth from time to time to have some fun in LFR. Though if she’s outside raiding environment or if she wants some serious damage, it’s Frost only.

Warlock 

microfury

Microfury has been faithful to Affliction until Legion pre-patch. Questing and leveling till January was spent in Destruction though. A slow but powerful mortar, Destruction seemed more suitable to me. Now that I leveled traits in Affliction in January, I’m back there again. I was positively surprised how Suramar mobs just POP under Affliction spells – you don’t even have time to place all the DoTs. And it’s extremely fun and complex rotation with fatter foes – elites and bosses, that is. So, Affliction it is now – as a faster and more vivid spec. I’ve tried Demonology, and it didn’t seem fun or engaging at all.

Priest

aurinko

No surprises for Aurinko. I’m not into healing game, so the only choice here is Shadow Priest. Quite enjoying the spec and the whole madness mechanics which is quite unique.

Warrior

bons

My warrior history is long and complex. Bons is a blend of three initiate warrior toons who mained all the three specs. During Legion I’ve played her as Protection, but felt the need of having an extra DPS spec if I felt lazy to tank multiple LFRs. With quite a squishy Fury, I’ve turned to Arms for the first time since Pandaria, and it appeared to be very satisfactory. So, it’s Arms now – with occasional switches to Protection to make the most tough quests easy. I could say these specs are equal here.

Death Knight

mindebad

Rumors (and proofs) are that Death Knights are the best tanks who could even solo the current expansion raids. Well, not for me. I’ve tried playing Blood in Suramar, and all I do is dying at fat and dangerous mobs. Obviously I’m doing something wrong, but I just can’t figure it out. Nevermind, the one and only DK spec choice for me has always been Frost which is quite amazing in Legion. Unholy – as a pet spec – is dismissed forever.

Monk

paitsu

Paitsu was a Windwalker once, but she inherited some knowledge from Oluu, the retired Draenei Brewmaster, and was leveling and having fun as a tank in Legion. Brewmaster spec mastered, she picked up her Windwalker skills once again. Killing mobs may prove way too long if you’re tossing kegs. Basically she shares the approach with Bons: tanking the toughest enemies and multiple mob clusters, but enjoying herself as a Windwalker during normal questing and raids. No Mistweaving for sure.

Paladin

anibell

Anibell nurtures love and respect for Retribution as the only DPS spec. Although That One Quest in Suramar made her try Protection too, and now she can effectively cosplay Captain America-style Alliance knight of the Light too. Dual-specced, played the same way as Monk and Warrior. And no too Holy business with Silver Hand.

Demon Hunter

melaris

Obviously Havoc is the main spec for Melaris. A very enjoyable and super fast melee spec, it’s a great success introducing the new class. I’ve got a grip of Vengeance as well during That One Quest. The first mob nearly got me killed, so I figured out I was doing something wrong. It was obvious I was missing some vital spell on my bars. So a quick scan of the spellbook introduced me with one of the basic blows which is also the core of providing self-heals. Everything is a piece of cake ever since in that spec. Although, unlike Paladin, Warrior and Monk, I would stick with Havoc only. I don’t like much those Vengeance trademark jumps and all the rotation. Easy, but I’d better Havoc.

Druid

mayluna

Mayluna has always been my only druid, and during her long history she’s tried all the specs – and in raiding environment too. In Legion she leveled as a cat, and she’s extremely enjoyable, swift and super effective fighter. For raids though I’m rapidly growing her Balance scythe now. Ranged DPS is my thing, it’s more relaxed – especially with pretty squishy kitty. But for the field it’s the cat only. Balance casting is unforgivingly long compared to the quick bites and scratches of a ferocious feline. Bear feels solid, easy and powerful, but I can’t figure out any situations I may want to use it. Restoration is best when played by other players.

Shaman

schlitzchen

Same way goes with Schlitzchen. Doomhammer is a cool choice for the field now, it provides super fast skirmishes. For longer fights like elites and raids – it’s Elemental. An extremely enjoyable, flashy, powerful, ranged spec, but not for sprints – it’s a marathon one. Restoration? Yes, this is exactly the spec I don’t play.

Hunter 

lizgun

Lizgun couldn’t help trying the Survival of course, and she has been swinging her cool spear up until raid farming. Apart from everyone else says, Survival is a perfect reboot, and I’m enjoying it. Still, for raids it’s Marksmanship and Lone Wolf talent to please my extreme laziness. Beast Mastery – no, never. Not only most of your spells are about beasts, not shooting. But there’s a whole zoo running with you now. Not on my watch.

Rogue

hexen

Hexen has always been a master of Assassination which is my favorite spec, and it stays as such. Outlaw needed some tunings to exclude the annoying finishers, and I would eagerly play it for fun from time to time – much like Arcane spec with my Mage. Subtlety – I’ve tried that. It’s probably the most complex and interesting spec to play in the whole DPS camp. But others have guns and poisons…

***

One of the lull symptoms for me is the urge of trying new specs and starting new toons. I think this is what happened in January. Although I have raids to run and Insurrection to complete yet for most of my toons… but I’m eager to try it in other specs. Not the ones I’ve leveled in.

Artifact Power Management in 7.2.

Blue post:

ap

So, it means:

  • In 7.2. you will have only one level of Paragon trait – the one at 35
  • All artifact traits 36-54 will be removed, and AP refunded
  • You open the new traits via quest chain
  • Then you invest your refunded AP into them

Guidelines on Artifact Power management before 7.2.

  • Feel free to upgrade up to 54 – you’ll be able to invest 36-54 AP in the new traits
  • Once at 54, invest into off-specs
  • Don’t save artifact tokens for 7.2.

In short, one of my fears is confirmed: Blizzard are already choking on artifact system and what to do with them throughout expansion. Frankly speaking, this 20-leveled “Paragon” trait looked like a temporary plug in the first place. But you never know where you go until you try. After all, artifacts are new to the game, and for the first try they’re designed so much better than WoD garrisons which required 3 iterations to become playable (order halls). I  wish I could see the end of where the artifacts are going, but I guess Blizzard don’t know that themselves yet.

My plan stays the same – leveling all played and non-played weapons to 35, then proceed with upgrading them further. I hope that further content (Broken Shore and Argus) will grant tokens with more significant amounts of artifact power – so it could be more sensible to drive from 35 to 54 AFTER Patch 7.2. drops. But it’s just my thoughts. If I’m having all the specs at 35 before patch, I will surely invest the tokens, not save them.

Suramar Finished: What’s Next?

Yesterday I’ve experienced the last bit of Suramar campaigns.

The chapter felt way unfinished, even granted the further storyline coming at us. I’ve expected the junkies make some progress to their current state and be prepared for assault on Suramar, but it’s apparently yet to come.

Suramar will get its own review post, but all in all I must say that Blizzard failed to see the difference between challenging and annoying.

At least I can boast my Loremaster achievement now. What is left is 6000 rep for the Wardens, and I’m good with the first part of the flight requirement.

So my main Micromantica is largely good with her emergency goals. She has all followers at 850 ilvl and purple quality, she saw the Emerald Nightmare in full, she’s up and ready for tomorrow’s Trials of Valor LFR.

Other goals seem like expansion-long. She naturally has to level her Artifact Traits and Knowledge. She has yet all factions to Exalted. She has yet to level her professions, and it seems that no use would come out of Tailoring, granted how much mats you need and what sucking ilvl you produce. Generally I see professions as an extra lore adventure now.  Which is fun, engaging and all… but completely useless. Strange, huh?

Alt Management

Yes, with my main reaching her goals, it’s time to drag my alts further. And I must say my chess-like strategy did pay off! See for yourself:

  • I don’t have any toons which need leveling. I can’t tell ‘I have my shaman at lvl 101’, for example – which I often read in blogs or guild chat.
  • All toons are at artifact knowledge level 5 or higher.
  • All toons have 14 artifact traits or more.
  • All toons have completed their order hall campaigns and have 8 followers to pick from.
  • All toons are at ilvl 805 or higher.
  • Almost all toons have all pillars of creation – I need 4 dungeons to run, and that’s it.

So, my gameplay considering alts is finally a routine. World quests, garrison missions, professions and profession quests. There’s no rush!

Here are your alt management tips:

The first idea of alt management now is picking up an alt which lacks something: order hall resources expired, has fewer artifact traits and all. Then you go and do emissary questing. In just an hour or two you could complete a set of three emissary meta-quests. And you find your alt boosted! Much artifact power – enough for one more trait, resources sufficient for a week of missions, ilvl raised by 10 points or more. Generally, if your alt seems underleveled and underpowered, just pick it up and start playing it! You’d be surprised how much progress it makes in no time. Yes, even an hour is a huge leap forward.

The second imperative is having your artifact knowledge orders running, and it better always be two orders so that you don’t waste a minute. Time is of the essence here, so when your previous order is over, the next one starts right away.

The third goal for alts is going for Suramar questing, because it gives an enormous boost to artifact power. But I want to gain at least level 10-12 of artifact knowledge before I go there.

Don’t tell me Legion is NOT alt-friendly, because it is.