Legion Catch-Up in January 2018

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Hooray! I’m back from New Year vacation, and it’s time to resume blogging and gaming :) And the first topic I would talk of is catching up in Legion with a new toon.

My dwarf fire mage, started in the middle of December, has leveled al the way through from 1 to 110. As usual, it was my normal leveling: mostly doing questlines, running available dungeons once, leveling her professions on the way – at least First Aid, Cooking and her main combo of Alchemy-Herbalism.

A couple of days ago she hit 100 – and rushed into Legion content. With Legion, she performed every zone questing in full, running the four respective dungeons once for Pillars of creation and Alchemy quests. That’s where she dinged 110!

She also did a part of mage campaign available and unlocked her 3rd relic. Her followers now are at miserable 104-106, so there’s much to do yet here. And still, considering catching up…

When you hit 110, you immediately get the maximum artifact knowledge. This means that upon your very first artifact power item after 110 you get this:

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“You have enough AP to learn 111 new abilities”.

This, and with some Suramar questing which grants some awful amount of most powerful AP tokens, has brought her weapon to… 66.

Not even some of my properly leveled toons have as much on their main weapons!

Considering armor, she has got 5 cloth tokens which was enough to get her to the very first raid – Emerald Nightmare. And she ran EN – ToV – The Nighthold, getting enough ilvl to enter the next raid upon finishing the first one. I got the first Legendary (not the best one, but 1000 lvl which is important for ilvl) from Odyn. The quick entrance to Broken Shore granted her 400 shards to exchange for a token and get over 850.

Now she has only one wing to complete from The Nighthold, and with her current ilvl 857 it may well be enough to reach Tomb of Sargeras.

Upon reaching 850 she also got an access to Argus. So, with world quests and veiled argunite available… I guess I’ll be running Antorus LFR of 890 access level in no time.

The first day of Legion was Azsuna, Val’sharah and Highmountain along with obtaining artifact weapons and class campaign.

The second day of Legion was Stormheim, enter Suramar and 3 raids which brought me to Antorus.

Guys. No other expansion made catching up that fast. This is amazing :)

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Altoholism Has No Cure

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One of the 100% signs of expansion end for me is leveling alts – whether I need them or not :)

I’ve put aside my troll shaman yet at her 37. It’s not clear whether I’ll be leveling a Zandalari as a troll shaman, so I decided not to rush with her.

Meanwhile I now have a new toon that I focus my attention on between quick world quest sessions and LFR runs.

I’ve decided to level a fire mage. Micromantica has always been Frost, and although I’ve mastered Fire and Arcane for fun sakes, leveled all artifact weapons and even raided in these specs, she doesn’t really feel like them. Ice, period.

I’ve chosen one of the least popular race/gender/class combination: a dwarf girl. It’s really hard to pick a cool appearance with them – mostly you get a village type, and it’s not a compliment. Still, much gold spent in barbershop again and again, and I’ve settled with what I find even beautiful :)

Her background is a sort of a royal young girl, just out of her teens, and with a very adventurous and curious mind. You know, the ones who, as children, would walk out of the yard and disappear in the streets to explore some town outskirts with friends, returning home when it’s dark and their parents already called the police, the ambulance and the morgues :)

So, she has no interest in being a thane’s daughter – whatever her parents thought she would be, and as long as coming of age she’s off to the world for adventures and whatever she’ll meet on her way. Attuned to fire and fascinated by the power of molten metal in Ironforge capital, she learnt to be a mage to harness its power in all its might.

I won’t give her name, because I don’t like it now. We’ll see if I transfer her to the main realm after they add 6 more slots – then there will be renaming :)

Meanwhile, Tanaris, 44 and counting.

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Routines

As of now, I’m back into position which largely reminds me of leveling stage.

My toons’ artifact knowledge is finally good enough to proceed for Suramar, and that I do. My druid will be the last to hit Knowledge 15 (tonight), so it’s a solid foundation for completing Suramar questlines and see the traits shower at my artifacts.

The ultimate goal is of course the Nightfallen questline. It’s both keeping your toons up-to-date, and shovels just enormous heaps of artifact power in your face. It’s strange how most of the “loremaster” ones don’t give any reputation, so I’m gonna be all dailies on my toons. Never missing the emissary ones. By Micromantica’s pioneer experience, once you start digging rep, it’s completed pretty fast in spite of the tiny rep amount for quests.

Anyways, it’s gonna get me busy for a pair of months. I hope to come to finish or close to that by the new faction opening.

The other routine for me is raiding – that is, LFR in all the available LFRs.

Emerald Nightmare is pretty much on farm now. People effectively wipe only at Il’gynoth today – a tiny scruple of dps to finish him on the first time. And it’s only because few people don’t hold fast, but start running out of the room :) Trials of Valor is a problem, with wining, wipes and all. Yes, it’s a hard one, but could be managed.

LFR in Legion is very, very strange and different from my previous LFR experience. Frankly speaking, raids are not a source of gear upgrades anymore. They are a source of transmog options – and that is my focus now. I really need to collect all the plates, mails, leathers and cloths, and be done with it. If my ilvl grows a bit during the process – can’t say no to that.

Where to get upgrades? World quests.

Yesterday I peeped at my toon chart and saw that Gardell, my paladin, is only 822, and Aurinko, my priest, is only 823. And thus they were not available to step into Emerald Nightmare which has an enter barrier of 825.

It took me half an hour to pick the gear world quests and get them both ready to run LFRs.

The next goal is gaining my toons Trials of Valor and The Nighthold access – 830 and 835 in case of LFR. That would be easy.

Bless the world quests.

 

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Aurinko raiding!

 

Stormheim Zone Review: Jim Cummings & Fjords of Confusion

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Stormheim is easily my least favored zone – by many reasons.

First, it’s the plot. We open up with a stunning scenario, a brutal clash between Horde and Alliance, we are absolutely ready to rip the throats of the Worgen or the Undead with our bare hands, and we do, and then there’s aftermath, all settles down.

What I’m trying to say is that you’re completely confused about where are you and what’s all the point of you being here. So you seek the pillar of creation… or you are put into test of valor and glory… wait, what? drogbar and tauren are also into vrykul rituals?.. oh, suddenly it’s some bad vrykul… why are they ‘bad’? All the vrykul in the zone are hostile… whatever… now we’re underground and we need to save the winged ghost girls… then we have to fight them in flesh – so apparently ghosts are good… ok, now it’s Legion we need to handle.. now, remind me why some storm dragons are good and others are bad? Wow, a completely unrelated cinematic.

What the fuck is going on?!

It’s just too many stories, which only seem to be intertwined, but they are very much confusing per se. The Alliance/Horde clash is suddenly forgotten for good after the scenario until the final cinematic which falls on you as suddenly as meeting an elephant in the open sea. You fail to say who is your enemy here. Helya? We got there by accident. Legion? It’s presence is pretty small. Vrykul? Which of them? There are many vrykul factions, and each of them is hostile to us. We just hopping the slopes like mountain goats all confused and engage in a fight every minute, with every stone and bush. Wildlife is hostile too, yes.

The zone itself is Autumn in the fjords, and the problem is with fjords. The logistics are the worst. It’s that zone where you would hearth out rather than find your way. Slopes, mountains, every flat spot is heavily populated by enemies. Also, the zone is pretty dark and depressing, especially when played at night time.

I will say the horrible thing now, but, frankly speaking, vikings are boring :) They have style and all, but even the orc culture, not unlike the vrykul one, is much richer and more interesting. So when you get a zone filled with viking stuff by 95%… Well, it’s not fun. You just get tired very quickly of all the honor, battle and trial talks. Like it was not enough, there’s two dungeons and a raid to overfill your glass.

Yet I found a pair of highlights here.

The first one is the amazon vrykul village, Skold Ashil. I could listen to their battle cries forever – all the ‘Protect the temple!’ and ‘The battle is upon us, sisters!’. Their voices, it is something. Like it’s not enough, they are the most beautiful females among all WoW races (first noticed in Northrend). And the haircuts are badass as hell.

The second one is the stunning voice performance by Jim Cummings. His Havi is putting you into a trance. As long as he’s with us for most of the story, you’re just enchanted with his mesmerizing guidance and don’t think much about what actually is going on, where and why he’s driving you :) And all his small camp activities – frying a fish, cooking a soup, drinking and chopping a moose. Too nice.

Stormheim Points

  • Storyline: 2/5
  • Safe Hubs/Spots: 3/5
  • Visuals: 3/5
  • Travel Comfort: 1/5
  • Bonus points: Skold Ashil, the shieldmaidens, Havi

Highmountain Zone Review: Highmountain Stands

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Despite the name, you quickly learn that Highmountain is not about mountains as you travel. The paths here are really straightforward, and you almost never struggle with the need of taking a detour. Once you’ve discovered the flight paths, your logistics here are a pleasure. Even the peak itself is user-friendly.

What also helps is the nice spreading of hostile mobs. You’d never have to struggle through armies unless you came to struggle them on purpose. If you have to walk through packs somewhere, you’re doing it wrong. There are many perfectly safe highways too, so this all makes the zone quite relaxing to be in.

All the thumbs up for logistics are a bit spoiled with a pair of locations. First, it’s your path to Illidari camp. Whatever you do, you would grab a PvP flag on your first way there. Second, it’s the central hub, home of the moose tauren. Yes, you’ve guessed right. While the access to the eastern part is mere pleasure, everything else is achieved via elevators. That’s most discouraging, especially through leveling questing when you have to return to the chieftain after every quest hub.

The questing itself is probably the fastest of all zones. Once again, we need to make a whole out of parts, and this is my favorite thing. Here we need to unite the tribes helping them across the zone. One of them is corrupted, so we have a replacement – drogbar. I’m not a fan of the creatures, they are basically redesigned orcs.

All in all the story here is… nice. It feels a bit like you came in a kindergarten, you doing it all with an affectionate smile, but don’t take all the fuss seriously. The main nemesis, Dargrul, is like playing in a sandbox. He’s got this nuke – the Hammer, but he can’t use it properly. They are just bullying for fun :)

All the tribes feel like kids too. They are peaceful, very cute, and they have no clue. I don’t really know why Mayla became a chieftain. She didn’t do anything. We helped the tribes and brought them together, then we took her to watch a retro-video about Deathwing and the black dragon, and bam, she’s chieftain.

If I had to choose a true chieftain for the moose tauren, it would be Jale Rivermane. I’m a fan of the lady – and her voice too.

The story somewhat lacked epicness in the end of all, but it was so cosy and whole that I enjoyed it very much.

The zone itself is my favorite of all. I like the winter-touched zones, but here it’s not the winter in all its rage. It feels like spring, chilly breeze and warm air, fresh grass under your feet. I just love travelling there, just riding the roads. The same perfect verge of greens and snow was in Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord.

My favorite zone.

Highmountain Points

  • Storyline: 4/5
  • Safe Hubs/Spots: Perfect
  • Visuals: 5/5
  • Travel Comfort: 5/5, except elevators and PvP flagging to Illidari camp
  • Extra points: Jale Rivermane, the peak, murloc quests, Addie (!) in Nesingwary’s camp

Leveling Almost Done

I know I’ve been absent recently, and it was for two good reasons.

Reason one, the last week I spent on tour with my band Svartby through Czech and Poland. The tour was awesome although tiresome, as every journey. It is interesting how every trip to another city or country is a test on my gaming addiction. When I’m at home, WoW is one of my major leisure activities, and it’s always interesting for me to check if I miss the game on my travelling or not, because under no circumstances I take my laptop with me. Yet another test passed: I was glad to return to the game of course, I was glad to run through Azeroth again on my return. But during the trip itself I was quite busy and happy with new impressions and activities, so I didn’t even remember about the game the other day.

Reason two, is that my current gameplay before and after vacation is a long leveling journey for my team of twelve toons. I’m glad to report that leveling business comes to an end now. Let’s see how my chart has filled since before and then talk about it a bit (the picture is clickable):

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So, leveling. The big ‘+’ under the zone name means Loremaster, the one beside means Explorer, and the third one is the corresponding Pillar of Creation which requires to complete a dungeon (except Val’sharah). With 120 levels to go for 12 toons in whole, I have done 110.

As you can see, I have each zone to be completed for the last time now. And it’s gonna be a slow ride. Once again I will be reading all the quests like for the first time. I will be saying goodbye to storylines – it was a productive, interesting and compelling journey.

Meanwhile I’m having new goals now upon reaching 110 with my toons.

  1. Artifact Knowledge – I know now that it’s one of the most important things to spend garrison resources at. You must always have an order running. The range between artifact power acquired by Micromantica (AK level 10) and for example Hexen (AK level 5) is frightening. I may want to collect as much Knowledge as possible before even starting to properly do Suramar questlines.
  2. Opening Suramar for World Quests – yes, all the toons need the first two or three questlines to open world questing. World quests are fun, different, fast and very rewarding. So that’s top priority to get my toons busy.
  3. Class Order Hall Campaigns. Also top priority. Not only it gives a nice boost on resources, ilvl, and all, but it’s also a very different lore storyline for every toon.

My main, Micromantica, is still far away from completing Suramar questline. Being at 3000/21000 rep, she got two quests to Suramar dungeons which are Mythic-only, LFG-unavailable ones. This could really, really be a problem. Are they obligatory for Loremaster? Because this bothers me in huge scales.

I’ve completed LFR Emerald Nightmare with her, and I can’t say I was quite moved by the story. I don’t feel like I wanted to fight the bosses in the first place. It’s not my job. It’s a local and very class-specific problem. My druid – yes, she could add this to her duties. And probably it’s also because these ‘out there’ locations seem like they’re not real anyways, just an alternate versions of real locations, and OMG we’ve been fed up with that.

I have many posts planned about Artifact Weapons, leveling zones and everything. Leveling comes to an end for me, and with new routines I’m gonna sum up this experience.

P.S. Not so grindy about the Halloween horse this year. Just an occasional run or two during the day :)

Trivia

Traditional small thoughts in between the milestones:

  • Nomi was probably tuned a bit, as he granted two recipes for 7 orders to Hexen and one recipe for 4 orders to Melaris. But may be it’s still RNG at work.
  • Sitting at 9k/12k Suramar rep with Micromantica, and yet again saving the main storyline Suramar piece for a slow, relaxed questing evening
  • Not Revered yet with any factions
  • Artifact level: 15
  • Killed a second world boss!
  • Did some world questing in two zones, and wow, this was a significant progress in all of directions
  • I know my main should get more attention. And yet I’m all into toon leveling now
  • No, not boring, although I skip reading most quests of course now. I will read them carefully again when the last toon will do them
  • Scaling and choosing routes and quest hubs is awesome
  • Just want to drive all characters into level cap routines I guess
  • Still savoring dungeon runs for pillars for later on most toons
  • A pair of toons are 104, three are 110, the rest are 106 and up
  • Like I planned, doing quest hubs for whatever character I feel like playing at the moment. I could drop doing a quest hub in the middle and switch to another toon if I feel like it
  • The next goals upon driving them all to 110 would be Suramar campaign, class order hall campaigns, leveling professions and world questing for Artifact Power
  • Raiding really seems like a side dish now, one of many activities to do. And I think it’s good
  • All the 36 artifact weapons are mine, and there will be a blog post coming of course
  • I’m planning a series of posts about zones as well.

Have a nice day!