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

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Anibell the Paladin and Her Majestic Shield

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

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

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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!

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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:

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– 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 :)

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Busy Weekends: WQ, Darkmoon, Healing and More

Insurrection

Yes, on Friday I’m done with Insurrection questline – Mayluna blasted through it shifting in and out Balance and Feral forms, and so all the toons made it to the secret entrance.

It was a great relief actually. I’ve covered the main plot chapters for every toon, and so they are feeling free to do something else now.

World Quest Week

So that I didn’t accidentally start to like world quests, Blizzard threw in a WQ week like on purpose. This means 240 WQ to be performed during 7 days! And it must be done, because my toons are barely scraping the last 100 resources for the artifact token missions.

While I’m largely ignoring all the weekly events, the resource week is always one of my top priorities. I’ve barely did 3 order hall upgrades, I’m always sending my toons for missions, so resources are a must. And right when I was ready to play in a relaxed way, I’m having a very tense schedule now. I appreciate the irony :)

Tip: to drive your alts through WQ week fast and easy, don’t complete them one by one. Choose the easiesr quests and do them on your alts, wait for the next day, repeat. If you try to do 20 quests on one alt in one seat, you’ll have to crawl into well-hidden places, waste much time and effort, and end up exhausted.

Darkmoon

Darkmoon Faire was another add-up to the tense schedule. Although not that urgent, I’ve driven all my toons through profession quests in one go to forget about it until the next month. It seems I’m leveling my professions through Darkmoon only :)

Hexen dinged Alchemy – and as a Goblin, she had to reach 815 skill level. This makes 4 maxed professions for the meta achievement: Alchemy, Herbalism, Tailoring and Skinning. It’s a long ride…

Trials of Valor Mogging Set

I’ve already wrote about my frustration: once I finished the transmog quest for 1000 soul shards, I got the ugly brown model set from Normal raid as a reward, and didn’t get  beautiful dark blue LFR cloth models.

Well, something really strange but cool happened.

I went to Trials of Valor with another cloth toon yesterday – who doesn’t even have this quest now. And Odyn drops a full LFR model set for her – yes, the dark blue one!

I guess it’s awesome. I need to check how this works on other armor types too. This means a lot less runs then.

Healing

Probably there is no more frequent line in my blog than “I – don’t – heal”. That was true until yesterday.

Well, I’ve tried some healing before. Mayluna the Druid was a healer for 1-64 levels. I’ve also obtained all the artifact healer weapons – which was a disaster.

But never say never. Aurinko – as her name suggests (“Sun”) – was destined to try a bit healing ever since she was named this way.

I went for Emerald Nightmare first, cause I needed some cloth mogs there. Bosses pop like balloons nowadays, so why not try?

I’ve read the TL;DR section at Icy Veins, which gave me the basics. Placed the talents at my bars, juggled them a bit, and went there.

Healing EN was not difficult. In fact, it was a piece of cake. Okay, let’s do Trials of Valor – with all their heavy mechanics where people still die.

aurinko_gnome-battle-medic-trials-of-valor-odyn

Nailed it. And yes, Odyn gave Aurinko that well-earned LFR model set!

Still not believing it’s happening, I queued for the current raid, the Nighthold, which is not overgeared yet, and people tend to wipe on Tichondrius because of low DPS and his enrage. My artifact traits on healing weapon are 34 now, so I didn’t have even this 5% boost.

It was awesome. I was perfectly aware of what I’m doing, I got full control of the situation, and I’ve finished all the three wings as a healer. For the first time in my life I was healing in raid environment.

Those robes I went for in EN – they dropped yesterday, and right in time!

aurinko_gnome-battle-medic

There is a whole new world opened for me with accepting a healer role, and here are my observations:

  • It’s a relaxed activity. Much more relaxed than DPS, or the most stressful – tanking. While as a DPS you are pushing everything you can and frantically tracking the boss’ health, a healer would suddenly see a boss fall and be very surprised about it. Is it already dead? Nice!
  • Yes, you don’t see the battle field. Your concerns are health bars, and you see nothing that’s happening there – nothing. If you want to see the majestic encounter in all its beauty and designer’s glory, you’d better come as a ranged DPS.
  • Therefore, you must know the encounter as well as your own palm. You need to know when and where you should move out so that it would require only a one quick glance at the battlefield, and then you return to your health bars :)
  • This knowledge also lets you to know what is happening to your wards: prepare for their possible failures and injuries, and see where you could do something – and where it’s just impossible.
  • In fact, healers probably know the best how others are performing during an encounter. I see everything that’s happening: who failed to follow mechanics, who just lingered, I see everything. I see everyone’s skills, be it tanks, healers or DPS. T.ex., one of our tanks – the monk – was toxic and offered to kick a bear druid because monk had too many stacks at Krosus. I pointed out that those stacks were quite heal-able, but he himself died not for the stacks, but by falling off a bridge. Twice. Count to three, would you?
  • One of my fears was also coordination between healers. It happened to be very easy too. I don’t use addons, and the basic interface appeared to be quite enough and essential to perform the healing role successfully. It shows buffs and debuffs, it shows who and how is being healed at the moment, finally, you can see which one you cannot reach.
  • I didn’t run out of mana except once – it significantly drops if you start spamming AoE, which happened only at Spellblade Aluriel. All in all, I see any health bar which is not 100% as a personal insult, and I try to keep it as such. If people follow the mechanics, we keep and end up like that.

I may remember much more, cause there is a ton of fresh impressions. But let’s leave it until next time.

Conclusion is that now I want to try more raid healing – as a relaxed role, and the next to try is probably will be my shaman.

Final cherry on the top:

Gnomes are not too religious and are very practical. So they’re not zealous and they don’t plunge into the depths of Holy Light pathos.

Light is an instrument.

I’m glad to consider and roleplay Aurinko not as a freaking priestess-who-calms-and-soothes-and-spirit-and-heart-and-soul. Neither of that.

Aurinko is a Battle Medic

aurinko_gnome-battle-medic-priest-order-hall

Professions in Legion: Issues & Solutions

TL;DR: they are useless :)

Not even one expansion before has been that hard on professions. Yes, even then-blamed Draenor, with all the work orders and all.

We are three months into expansion. My alts have all the range of professions, including Goblin and Gnome Engineering fork. And you know what? Most of them are not over their 730 skill level yet.

What’s New? 

  • The horse amount of mats – kept from Draenor. I fail to understand why you need 50 or 100 rolls of cloth to craft a pair of pants. Yes, it’s not actually 100 now, but the mats income is way too short.
  • Recipe/scheme levels – you are supposed to learn and begin to be more effective, not wasting extra mats. Iron logic as it may seem, the reality smashes the idea into smithereens.
  • Finally, profession quests.

Let’s see how it plays out.

Gathering

I can’t say anything bad about it really. Skinning, Herbalism and Mining are quite good. Of course there is no free mine or herb garden, but I still consider these sites as a Draenor failure, even if they were available only for herbalists/miners.

The recipe levels are just fine here. By all means, even if you haven’t done any questing and don’t have a specific mat skills, you will raise your skill level, you get at least some mats when working on nodes or wildlife corpses. You may reach 800 just gathering.

Naturally the questing helps: once you get 2 and 3 stars, you begin to gather more mats, and there’s a possibility to grab some rare ones. You are more skilled, so where a beginner would squash most of the herbs, you would delicately pick all of them. It works here.

The wrong thing with questing for gathering professions is its random nature. You may or may not get a quest from your node, so it’s just a lottery. That’s not how it must work.

Solution: while everything is fine with gathering nowadays, we need a guaranteed quest item drop upon reaching a certain level. Say, at 725 skill level all herbs, skins and nodes would give you the quest for the first level. At 750 – the second. At 775 – or 800, doesn’t really matter – the last one.

Make the quest item drop chances increase as you gain your skill level. At some point of skill level, the quest item drop rate must be 100%.

That’s just so easy and would solve all the problems.

Crafting

…is the worst.

The same very idea of recipe/schemes levels just doesn’t work- at all. You see, you are supposed to waste less mats as you gain your skill. That’s iron logic, but in practice…

When you are leveling, you are rapidly growing in your item levels. If you smash through a single leveling zone – which takes 3-4 playing hours at best, you will make your ilvl grow by 30.

Now, what’s the point of 715-730 gear when you outgrow it in several hours? And what’s the point of buying it?

I confess I put some use in crafted items. When I crafted my first modest items, they were sent to my alts, and they actually walked in them… for a pair of hours until they got a superior quest gear. I wouldn’t even bother, but items were crafted as a skill-raising process.

In no bad dreams I would imagine someone actually buying crafted gear of that ilvl below 800.

And here’s your pins under nails: these first items would cost you some enormous amount of mats. Because you’re a ‘crafting loser’ yet. To improve your schemes, you need to play at top level: recipes of higher level come from world quests and reputations.

So, by the time you are able to craft the gear cheap, you have no use for it. At all.

Profession quests are actually very good. But it’s… because I like extra lore. They are really fun and engaging, they make you feel your profession, how it works and all.

Yet there are some impediments: why on earth would you hide some of them in mythic dungeons? My tailor got a quest to the new Karazhan. You know what it is? A bag scheme. A bag scheme when I have the same capacity bag from Draenor. What would be your choice? Dungeon quests are general impediment as it is. My Enchanting progress was stalled for a month no less, because I couldn’t make myself pay an extra visit to the Halls of Valor.

I’m in a sort of a stalemate now: finally I have enough mats for low level recipes, but I don’t need to craft them, neither for use nor for raising my skill.

Complaining without offering an alternative is whining, so I need to offer some solutions. Here we go:

First, low ilvl schemes and recipes should cost almost no mats to craft. They shouldn’t probably even have star-levels. Their purpose is aiding you to level, so you should get this access and mats barely stepping into the first leveling zone. It maybe a lesson in Dalaran where they learn you to craft basic items and give you a basic stack of current mats. So you’ll be available to make your skill level to 710 right on spot.

Second, you are out to leveling world. There you can grab these profession quests and complete them alongside leveling. While doing so, you raise your skill level to at least 750 – again, schemes should cost little mats and have no star-levels. While leveling, you gather mats, and you craft the items up to 785 ilvl – competing with questing gear.

Third level – endgame. Now you’re ready for the challenges: dungeons, world quests, raids, reputations. Here come your star-recipes which are meant to raise your skill level from 750 to 800. These items are supposed to be crafted, because at 110 people want to get equipped for dungeons and raids quick. Crafted gear finally becomes handy.

Cooking

Don’t even get me started on cooking.

A Crazy Idea

…which is inspired by MMORPG called Blade & Soul.

I was quite surprised to learn that everything you wear in this blade& fist martial arts game doesn’t give you any stats. At all. You gain power via improving your weapon. Which makes a lot of sense. Cloth pants are cloth pants, and how could some Ragnaros or Lich King fail to pierce them?

Your outfits are purely cosmetic. But you earn and hunt for your costumes hard.

So, here’s a thought for WoW: what if gear crafting professions were concentrated on APPEARANCES rather than ilvl?

Tailors, Leatherworkers and Blacksmiths: what you craft is a set of transmog gear. Totally amazing to wear. But with no stats. If you want stats, you get them in raids and dungeons.

Imagine you craft some spiky cool Blood Brawler Set for warriors, or elegant and rich Ultimate Conjurer Set for mages. This will take one slot and sell as a whole, when you use it, all items would be added to corresponding transmogrification panels. And it would be relevant throughout every expansion. Something worth learning to craft and actually crafting, for yourself and for others.

If you’re in doubt whether it’s gonna bring profit, look at all the same Blade & Soul. Costumes are a THING there. These outfits are chased after as hell. So it all depends on armor artists.

In other words, could craft be concentrated on life-improvement and cosmetic items rather than gear? Toys, utility buffs, transmog, mounts, bags. I just think it is one of the ways out of the current pit.

What do you think? Could we drift in this direction?

Big Project: Archaeology of Pandaria

My next Big Project came to an end: I have collected the last pristine object, the rarest Mantid banner, and completed all achievements!

Archaeology of Pandaria consists of three big parts.

    1. You must collect all the types of objects, but you complete it pretty soon. That was done way ago.
    2. You must collect 20 of each object. That’s pretty hard only in the last step. When you’re just started or crawling in the middle, whichever object you dig out goes into achievement. Then by the end you start having full collections, so each new item you don’t need already feels like a vain item. Still, if your next ‘project’ is what you need, then you’re sure that when you complete it, it will count towards the achievements. And ‘vain items’ could be packed and exchanged in Ashran for earlier projects (night elf, dwarfs etc.), pandarian projects – which helps much, or draenor archaeology garrison missions.
    3. The third and the last step are all the same objects, but of pristine quality – one of each kind. It gives you a quest when you can place it in a special show-off room. Of course you collect most pristine objects while hunting for your 20-batches, but still. That is hell of a hunt, because not only you need the right object to proc, but you need it to be pristine as well. I have collected 32 pandaren teapots, for example, before I got a pristine one.

Completing this, you get yourself a personal museum – that’s the greatest idea ever. We need more things like that, so that you achievements were exposed somewhere, if not for everyone, but for yourself.

And so, I have completed my room :)

I thought it could be useful to give some stats of how many objects I collected to complete all the achievements. I won’t bother you with object names, but will simply share the numbers:

Pandaren: 10 objects = 21-31-41-34-32-24-29-28-31-42
Mogu: 10 objects = 27-40-37-30-38-28-32-32-32-30
Mantid: 8 objects = 26-32-31-48-43-37-41-54

That was RNG for me. Of course, it would work better or worse for you, but statistics show that we must count for 30-35 objects to do the trick.

Draenor Archaeology – next!

Skins And Furs: Filling The Barn

One of the most frustrating things about Garrison that I was complaining about is the skins/furs income. The problem is: as long as you can gather herb/ore literally from under your feet, it’s unfair for Leatherworkers and Tailors that collecting THEIR resources is harder.

Now I changed my mind.

Last week I had to go out of town for a couple of days, and I spent the last hour in the game to charge all my workshops with orders before leaving.

It’s All About Time

So, as clearing up a full Lv 3 Mine takes you approximately 4 minutes, it appeared that capturing beasts at Nagrand doesn’t take you much longer, however it may seem.

When I set off with my leatherworker Chitsuro to get beasts for Lv 3 Barn, I prepared for like 15-20 minutes of running around. Actually it took me 5 minutes to pile up the stock of 26 cages (maximum Barn capacity). That is 13 beasts to aggro (you know that you can capture one beast twice, right?). If not for the trap cooldown, it would be even faster.

When I came home after 2 days, I found that my leather stock is so full that I may not worry about leathers for like a long time. And suddenly my one and only disasterous profession (Leatherwork) looks very good and I manage to do some gear for my toons.

Mind you, it’s without severe grinding. 5 minutes, and you’re good for 3 days.

Isn’t that nice?

Now For Something Completely Unrelated: 

WoWScrnShot_020115_163023
My best shot of clash with Garrosh ^_^

Garrisons: Blue Collar Experience

Now that my all 10 chars set up their Tier 2 garrisons and got themselves their profession shacks each, the Garrison becomes a daily chore like it was at Pandaria’s farm.

Of course it’s more fun! Even with herb garden and mine, it doesn’t get me very tired of the routine. I understand what and where I’m doing.

Your Daily Resources Income

My 5 Alliance characters dig the mine and provide an enormous amount of ore daily. The only character that benefits from ores is Microfury, my jeweller, so now she doesn’t even know where to pile up the said ore. She got herself mats more than enough for daily craft and orders – and even more than that. Crafting rings and necklaces for 4 chars (need 92 and 95 level to use them) didn’t influence much on her stocks.

Mayluna and Backston share the herb income for their Alchemy and Scribing respectively. Even with only 2 gardens level one, it’s already almost enough.

My 5 Horde characters have vice versa situation. Schlitzchen and Ilmari have to share ores for Engineering and Blacksmithing, while Zindari gets full advantage of all of the Horde’s herb income for her Alchemy.

The big trouble now is pelts and furs. Yes, you can go out of your garrison and meet HERDS ready for trapping (will take you 5-10 minutes to fill your Barn), but it’s like: I need to go outside somewhere there… meh. And getting Dust for Enchanting – you must quest, mon. So I think it’s not that fair between professions.

Garrison: Time Consuming

Collecting resources, placing orders, sending mats to each other – takes my 10 chars nearly one hour daily. And I even didn’t upgrade most of my buildings much further than level 1. Are we ever going to play and quest and do dungeons?

Good news everyone: when all the recipes and schemes will be learned and all necessary crafts will be made, I guess there won’t be a big need in resources unless you want to make some money. Even then, I see the light in the end of the tunnel. So a routine won’t be a routine anymore.

WoWScrnShot_120914_205249
– Let’s teleport out of here and get ourselves some real action! Oh wait, there’s a new ready order from Mine that I need to pickup…

Still Not Happy With Cooking

Cause the meat drop from the animals is disasterously low and fishing is so time-consuming. I want the old schemes back! If I catch a fish or get a lump of meat, I want to fry it at once.

What’s The Endgame Of Garrisons?

Micromantica got herself Garrison Tier 3 and upgraded few buildings to Tier 2. I guess she needs some orders achievements to upgrade everything and a HUGE load of money. Her last thousand gold, she spent it to get the beloved Excavation level 3. More digging!

My First Steps On Draenor

Of course I didn’t rush into Draenor upon its opening! Even an hour before the event, the clouds and grounds around the Dark Portal were dark with swarming mounts. So I went to sleep and I’ve played like hour and a half in the morning with now a reasonable amount of other players in the starting zone.

darkPortalUpdate

Here are my first impressions. There will be no story spoilers (at least I’ll try not to).
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