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.

A Song for Your Class

I’ve been nursing this idea for a while.

Here’s your task: try and find the song for a class (or a spec).

Rules:

  1. Full lyrics should fit. That is, if lyrics mention ‘coke’ or ‘London’ or ‘car’ – you failed. It should be a song fitting WoW universe. Maybe your WoW toon could use as a motto or an order hall theme.
  2. It’s better if music fits the lyrics.

The game starts with Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritania”. I’ve been singing along, and it suddenly dawned on me that the whole track is a Death Knight hymn. Music fits, so it’s a perfect example:

We do away with your kind
Count down to exterminate the human race
4,3,2,1

Let chaos entwine
On defenseless soil
Remove errors of man
And sweep all the weakening kind

I am war, I am pain
I am all you’ve ever slain
I am tears in your eyes
I am grief, I am lies

Bygone are intolerance
And presence of grace
Scavengers are sent out
To cleanse the human filth parades

I am pure, I am true
I am all over you
I am laugh, I am smile
I am the earth defiled

I am the cosmic storm
I am the tiny worms
I am fear in the night
I am bringer of light

Nice :) The second example is a track of Battle Beast “Madness” – guess what? I found a song for Shadow Priests, and my Aurinko tends to hum it while questing :) The music doesn’t really fit, but the lyrics do:

One and only reality
Fatal journey to infinity
Chase the monster of the seven seas
Face it, kill it, and you’ll be free
I am thy strength, I am thy sword

My name is Madness
And I’m the light you need in darkness
You can’t escape from me
‘Cause i’m Madness
And I will tear your soul apart
We die as one
As one

Know your demons to know where to strike
Dark is their home and well they hide
Bloodbound battle, a quest for truth
I’m the last one to die in you
I am berserk, I fear no fear

My name is Madness
And I will hunt you down in darkness
You can’t escape from me
‘Cause i’m Madness
The demon slayer in your head
I’m always there

No one can hear you scream
No one will find you
There’s no way out of here alive

So, could you come up with more examples?
Hashtag #ClassSoundtrack

Progressing Through Order Hall Campaigns

Note: All pics are clickable and open large in new windows

death-knight-order-hall-campaign
Mindebad: The Death Itself Has Come To Paladins

My current state is best described by the words ‘almost there’.

Like I said, my alt leveling is complete, my Explorer and Loremaster for the initial four zones are done for every alt, so I’ve deleted the character level, loremaster and explorer columns from my chart:

list

The only zone columns left now mean the corresponding dungeon – and Pillar of Creation. Completing one means a 800 ilvl item to your slot, beside the obvious quest, lore and a thing in your exhibition (yes, I’m a completionist).

Apart from obvious side goals of slowly digging up through ilvl, Artifact Weapon traits and Artifact knowledge, my main focus in the recent week has been Order Hall campaigns.

Once you start digging it for a character, it’s completed in no time. Each and every campaign shares not the plot, but an approach. The impeding milestones are:

  • delivering some mats, unique for every class. It maybe obliterum (1 piece), food, bandages, the worst being Blood of Sargeras which you can’t buy or trade, so you should save it in advance or wait for WQ to pop.
  • completing quests in several dungeons on normal difficulty. The quests take you to leveling dungeons, and also the ones which open at 110. That’s not hard at all, but it appeared to be one of the most impeding things for me. It’s just because you need to save an hour for dungeon run – the actual run time and the queue. And obviously you must be on this alt not to lose the queue.

A useful tip for alts: save you Pillar of Creation runs until they send you with Order Hall missions and profession missions to the dungeon.

  • completing a series of follower missions – I guess it’s two sets of 5 missions. It’s an easy thing to do, requires the lowest hall resources and the lowest follower ilvl/quality. Also the time for a mission is about 4 hours, so you could technically complete this step in one day.
  • completing 20 world quests. Scary as it may seem, it’s not that hard at all. Each quest normally takes barely 5 minutes, including travel time. It’s easily completed in one sit, although I prefered to wait a bit until the new ones pop with more important rewards and easier, less grindy conditions. Mind you, the first requirement was 30 world quests which was fixed in the latest patch.

The rest questing between these milestones is pure gold. Cutscenes, epicness, fighting Legion, huge amounts of lore and major characters involved – and every step completed in 10-15 minutes.

druid-order-hall-campaign
Mayluna: The ArchKitty

I would highly praise this part of Legion expansion. Class Order Hall campaigns are providing a solid lore background, interesting and very different plot twists and stories unique for every class (though they couldn’t help and blend the last step of Paladins and Priest campaigns into the same final quests). The only grind quest, if any at all in your class campaign, will take you 30 minutes at most. The campaigns are fun, engaging, deal with Legion itself rather than local problems, epic and provide a strong bond with your class.

I’d say it’s my favorite part of the expansion so far. A splendid diverse experience, and three more to witness. I’m happy!

So far I have three campaigns left to complete for the Feat of Strength:

  • Paitsu the Monk needs her nine world quests. I suppose there could be an extra quest to a 110-only dungeon, like Black Rook Hold or Maw of Souls.
  • Melaris the Demon Hunter is at her final step, requiring two more random dungeons (to kill 6 random bosses) to experience the final battle after.
  • Hexen the Rogue would be the last one I guess. I finally pulled out the plug of her Black Rook Hold quest yesterday, which appeared to be a milestone leading to 20 world quests/5 follower missions part. I thought she was somewhere closer to the end, oh well. Won’t take her long either.

So, Feat of Strength is coming this week. And I think it’s we who should grant Blizzard an achievement.

shaman-order-hall-campaign
Schliztchen: Uniting The Four Elements

Class Hotfixes!

frostmage

Just my feelings and thoughts about latest class tunings. I won’t repost the whole list, you can read it for example @ BlizzardWatch.

My general message has two edges, good and bad.

First of all, did we really have to wait for the first raid to launch, and fix classes only after?

We’re celebrating the first month of Legion in the coming days. During the month, most players have leveled to 110, run dungeons, and are way into Suramar and world quests which is a hardcore gameplay for some of us. That is: the whole variety of content was covered, and it was NOT a pleasant ride for some specs.

While a number of specs suffered to the extent I hated to login with them, I’m mostly talking Frost Mages of course. It’s been the first time in my WoW history when my main just HAD to switch spec to Fire – not to die from a wind’s blow. Frost was tears, sweat and blood, and it was pain, and it was deaths, deaths, deaths. The whole leveling and Suramar experience for Micromantica was ruined at a large scale.

It required the first raiding week stats for Blizzard to see Frost mages at the very bottom of DPS table – HALF worse than the best DPS spec. Just think of it: whatever you do, you are 50% power from MM Hunters and Havoc Demon Hunters.

I don’t care much of squeezing the last dps drops from my specs, but the gameplay was so uncomfortable that I feel like I’m unloading iron when fighting common mobs.

It was a bitch ride. Yes, I think the big class hotfixes should have come way earlier – at least two weeks into expansion, and little tweaks after raids.

Second: the hotfixes are here, and thank gods they are.

I’m listing the specs of importance to me – today’s morning I tested them all first hand.

Frost Mage – yes, yes, and yes. I did a daily in Suramar for a test, and it’s all as it should be. Our frost power is back, and I’m finally playing, not crawling through a thorn thicket of mobs. I don’t mind minor tweaks, but it’s all is just that good now. Mage is in place. I’m happy.

Elemental Shaman – got some buffs, and it was really needed. Shaman was squishier than a Priest – imagine that. When I end a fight while leveling, I end up with barely 20% of health bar. If it wore cloth, it would die more often than a mage – yes, it’s possible. And shaman are not about ‘plink’, they’re about unleashing and smashing.

Elemental Shaman Before Hotfixes

earthbenders1

Elemental Shaman After Hotfixes

earthbenders2

Retribution Paladin – they got some buffs. Pally was not exactly squishy, but yes, I felt underpowered. Thank you.

Frost Death Knight – we got our powers back. I got used to Death Knight as a swift blades master, it was a perfect machine of delivering death. In seconds the fights were over. I’m glad I can play that way again. The previous pre-hotfix version was slow as a tractor, and it didn’t compensate with hard hitting.

I Didn’t Ask For This, But Thanks:

Assassination Rogues, Destruction Warlocks, Survival Hunters were buffed too. And it was a significant buff. I never complained about any of these specs, they felt very, very confident in battles against common mobs and taking out elite rares solo. Well… thanks! I don’t mind at all.

Raiding begins for me today – you know, I’m an LFR creature, so it’s gonna be my first glance at a raid in Legion :) I’m stepping in with my Mage – she’s the only one ready for LFR by now. And yes, I’ll be doing it as a Frost Mage!

Leveling in Legion: A Hell or A Bliss?

As I’ve dinged my first 110 in the weekend, it’s time to talk about leveling process in Legion.

The route for my first toon to level was clockwise: Azsuna – Val’sharah – Highmountain – Stormheim. I’ve done all the main storylines and tried to complete fill-the-bar quests too. I did the corresponding dungeons  – the ones to finish the pillars questlines. Also I did some quests for Order Hall missions and one more story arc about Light and Illidan. Well, what are the leveling issues?

Pro:

  • Loads of lore. Just don’t try and squeeze it in one day, your head will explode. Bite by bite – that’s the way to explore Legion.
  • Scaling is performing its intended function well: you may choose whatever route, and you can quest with you guildies or friends.
  • The stories are great. The only pity is that cinematics are not done for every zone’s climax.
  • You can grab extra quest hubs if you feel to do so. They are not obligatory for Loremaster achievements or to get you to 110. But they earn you a nice reward: pets, toys, artifact power items, and they often add up amusing and funny stories.
  • Blizzard managed to ease your questing even further. Since Draenor we got used to NPCs grabbing and leading or carrying you to the next quest point – well, in Legion it’s up to 11. It’s hard to get lost, really. And the most amazing thing is that your Loremaster questline ends right at the dungeon entrance!

The baseline is: Blizzard yet again proved their skills in delivering the cool stories and questing content.

Cons:

Yes, there will be some points.

Travelling

As I said, getting to quest hubs is not an issue. NPCs guide you there or you can get there by yourself. If you’re getting to quest hubs by falling off a cliff or crossing a river or driving through a field of angry mobs, you’re doing it wrong. There is always a convenient road – you just didn’t find it yet.

The problem is: doing the quests themselves. Due to you lack of terrain knowledge, you still get lost. And the terrain itself is hills, hills and hills. If you fall off a cliff, you have your long way back among angry mobs. Quest objective can hide in a cave, and you could spend much time just riding on the surface before you realize you have to make a long detour and seek your way up on the hill or down through some hidden cave entrance.

It is partially cured by doing a quest once. When I went questing with the other toon, it’s way easier. When you know the whole picture, you can PLAN, and it all works out.

Yet, I’m not very fond of that all the five zones in Legion are either hills, slopes or mountains. I would really prefer at least a single zone like Valley of Four Winds or Barrens – just for a change.

I’ve effectively wasted 30 minutes in Suramar yesterday for two quests – kill-me-ten, bring-me-three-items common stuff. Just because I was looking for my ways around the place.

Scaling

Yes, that is not just bliss, but also a problem.

First of all: there’s not a single point now in… leveling. The whole point of leveling is growing stronger. That is why it is called leveling. You gain levels. You grow in power. Well, actually you’re not.

You are not overgrowing the landscape. A 100 lvl frog is still as dangerous because it’s a 110 frog now. So what do these 10 levels you gained mean? Nothing. They are useless levels.

Face that: levels now serve as just a gating to gear, dungeon and quest access. But it could be achieved by other means. With introduced scaling, levels have become an outdated system of character development. 

Class Differences in Leveling

Oh my, that is harsh. I don’t know about designing quests and zones, but it differs much for classes and specs.

Mage: for Micromantica, every quest is a pain. Every single fight leaves me with 20-50% of health, and I eat. I eat after every single mob. I move like a fly to just survive. My fingers are steaming from casting, I am using all the range of my spells. My rotation now includes Ice Floes, Frost Nova and Ice Barrier. After I give in a simple quest I feel like I’ve unloaded a full car of coal with my own hands.

To play a mage effectively you need to be kiting. Now, try that kiting among the slopes, and hills, and heavily populated mob patches. I often end up aggroing many more mobs than I intended. Mobs are hiding in the landscape, and you don’t see their health bars until they jump at you and it’s too late. Mobs tend to resurrect and jump at you from behind when you think you’re perfectly kiting your main foe – suddenly you’re not. If you try to kite sideways from them both – you end up in a bunch of three or four. And I die, and I die, and I die. It’s sweat and blood.

Leveling a mage is pain, and it kills all the experience. I know that I must go to Suramar to do a daily, and I start to cry. I know that mobs will be as tough in zones I already did.

Mommy, I don’t want to fight any mobs! Any at all!

Warrior: Bons is on a stroll. I haven’t tried a DPS spec yet, but for Protection it’s a playground.

I can safely run through a populated hostile village – never caring of how many mobs aggro on me or whether they dismount me. I can and do collect a bunch of five mobs at once. I can beat a rare mob to death and never have a sweat.

I don’t even use any defensive abilities. I don’t itch. Nothing could get my health beyond 75% yet, and I did the whole Stormheim and half of Azsuna. I can watch a movie at a laptop nearby while picking at 8 mobs and a rare at once. They can’t scratch me. They will die, and I will be 70% at worst.

She’s just unbreakable.

………what the fuck is happening?!

Prepared for Legion: Outsider Alts

After assembling my Feat of Strength Team yesterday, I’ve made an important toon toggle between realms.

Gottenbar the Tauren Warrior was the second warrior on my main EU-Fordragon realm. I transferred him to EU-Azuregos where my other alts dwell to free a slot. And Baisa the Shadow Priest moved to EU-Fordragon – to become the priest there.

*Funny thing: ‘Baisa’ nickname was already taken at Fordragon, so I was suddenly stuck in inventing the new nickname for an hour. Finally I’ve narrowed options to play on light and darkness – which resulted in Aurinko, ‘sun’ in Finnish.

The operation resulted in this: EU-Fordragon now holds 12 toons of different classes, the ultimate team. Six of them are Gnomes, which is especially heartwarming for a blogger named Gnomecore for a reason. And that left me thinking: do I really need the rest of the toons at EU-Azuregos?

Tanking Team

As a devoted DPS throughout all my life, I’ve grabbed the idea of tanking and liked it only in Draenor dungeons and LFR. By my habit, I’ve started separate toons for the tanking specs. Yet in Legion it may be much more enjoyable to level up another artifacts and double-spec. The only question is: will I regret about toons and will the tank spec vibe fit my DPS races?

Gottenbar, Protection Warrior

Gottenbar

I’ve never really liked Tauren because of their movement. Due to their size, their strides are wide and slow. Although Tauren tanking vibe is extremely convincing – who would tank among races if not Tauren, after all? – I could live without it, especially if ‘an armored flea’ comes in charge:

Bons, Fury Warrior

Bons

I would trade with ease. Bons would double-spec into Fury and Protection. Gottenbar – out.

Zindari, Vengeance Demon Hunter

Zindari

Well, this would be easy. he’s very new, I didn’t invest any specific time in him. I’ve just replayed the starting DH questline to see all the small things I’ve previously missed in a rush. He didn’t invested time to do any invasions.

Although I liked the vibe of a male Blood Elf as a Demon Hunter, he steps aside for trained and geared:

Melaris, Havoc Demon Hunter

Melaris

The Night Elf girl would DPS, but also she could tank if she gets bored. I’ve grasped the abilities and the whole DH tanking idea. So, Melaris will double-spec into both Havoc and Vengeance. Zindari – out.

*Yet he will do one more thing for the sake of other toons. He must into Draenor and do Jeweller’s Horde starting quest for a toy you can’t get otherwise. Then he vanishes into Twisting Nether.

Oluu, Brewmaster Monk

Oluu

Why, she was nice. But something was broken in the pre-patch. Some spells were gone, and the few left just feel awkward with a Draenei. Her class match @ Fordragon is:

Paitsu, Windwalker Monk

Paitsu

The big thing is that Brewmasters will wield kegs like Chen Stormstout – putting them on shoulder. This doesn’t associate well with sleek races like draenei, trolls and elves. But it will go extremely well with orcs, pandaren, dwarves… – and yes, gnomes.

I just think it’s gonna be awesome. So, Paitsu will double spec as Windwalker and Brewmaster. Oluu – out.

Now that we’ve done with the tanking toons, let’s go to some harder choices.

Kellers, Fire Mage

Kellers

Well, she’s just so cool. The animation of a casting human female is so great that I enjoyed every moment of it all through her leveling and up to invasions. Her class match is:

Micromantica, Ice Mage

Micromantica

There could be no blending. Yes, I would give Micromantica a fire spec, no problem. But Kellers is so in character, she’s so awesome that I just can’t delete her! :) Kellers – stays. 

Hedersen, Outlaw Rogue

Hedersen

Yeah, she’s also an awesome character. Her fighting style and class fantasy is corsair, and cool cutlasses just can’t, won’t go with my assassin, Hexen:

Hexen

The girls stay as they are. Hexen will be an elite assassin, and Hedersen is a corsair princess, all about seas and sails. And swords. Hedersen – stays. 

The Final Toon List for Legion

EU-FORDRAGON:

A1A2H

 

 

EU-AZUREGOS:

A3

Prepared for Legion: Feat of Strength Team

I’ve set up an ultimate team of champions among my alts to complete Class Order Hall campaigns and get the Feat of Strength. The goal for the Feat of Strength is: you need to finish the Class Order lore for every available class in the game.

All my alts are now at level 100, ilvl 700. All confident with their specs and rotations.

Here goes. Meet my 12 class champions.

Micromantica (Frost Mage)

Micromantica

Microfury (Destruction Warlock)

Microfury

Bons (Fury Warrior)

Bons

Paitsu (Windwalker Monk)

Paitsu

Mindebad (Frost Death Knight)

Mindebad

Aurinko (Shadow Priest)

Baisa

Mayluna (Feral Druid) 

Mayluna

Melaris (Havoc Demon Hunter)

Melaris

Gardell (Retribution Paladin)

Gardell

Lizgun (Survival Hunter)

Lizgun

Schlitzchen (Elemental Shaman)

Schlitzchen

Hexen (Assassination Rogue)

Hexen

We are prepared!