Patch 7.2. Expectations, Rep Grind and The Nighthold

Patch 7.2. will presumably dawn on us very-very soon, and here are the signs:

  • PvP season comes to an end. I know nothing about PvP, but a season end usually indicates new patch.
  • Blizzard posted big previews of the new dungeon and the new activities on the Broken Shore
  • Finally, all my alts got a quest for some Broken Shore follower mission, and 3 or 4 more were available after I did it.

Granted that PvP season lasts for at least two weeks more, I foretell the patch coming at the beginning – middle of April.

This gives my alts some time to run more raids for gear up and transmog and come as close to finishing the current reputations as possible. Although it still won’t be enough.

I’m totally eager to see the new lore and the new activities, but the content is very hasty nowadays.

Reputation Grind

Well, in Legion it’s not exactly a grind. Enjoyable and fast 4-world-quest streaks for emissaries provide lots of useful stuff, and by choice. You don’t have to run the quests you don’t like: you can always wait for easier ones for three days.

My toons are good with Nightfallen, and Micromantica is good with every faction, so it’s a relief too. Still I have work to do:

Reputation-chart
The number color codes are:

  • Orange – Friendly
  • Green – Honored
  • Blue – Revered
  • Violet – Exalted and Good

Italic (cursive) is current emissary to complete. For example: Anibell smashed the brains out of dangerous creatures in the morning, so her Wardens number is in normal font.

Alt Management!!

The Nighthold

Mayluna ran the full LFR yesterday, and she got the tier chest along with several items.

Is it me, or the loot has a pattern? I’ve noticed that on your very first LFR run in certain raid you would get mostly rings and trinkets and necks. On your second and third run you have increased drop chance for capes and belts. Since the third run the tier slots start to get covered.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve noticed this pattern since Draenor.

Melaris and Her Tattoos

I mogged the chest to expose all the intricate Illidari tattoo designs…

Melaris-Designs

Blizzard artists didn’t draw all those tattoos to be covered under gear, did they?

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Gul’Down! A Peep into Betrayer’s Rise

– For the Alliance!
(c) King Varian Wrynn

Yeah!

Gul'dan_Nighthold

Two gnomes of mine has finally put an end to the bastard – and in different roles. Micromantica the Mage went as a pioneer – ranged DPS is probably the best way to explore the unknown encounters, and Aurinko the Priest followed – as a healer (!)

It was awesome.

I liked the encounter very much. There’s no trash, just pure boss fight. The mechanics are totally understandable, the encounter depends much on your actions so you feel your contribution, but at the same time are not too punishing if a single person fails to follow. It’s forgiving for single mistakes, but relies much on your work as a group. That’s how all encounters should be.

On my first try we have wiped only once. As soon as we’ve understood that the eyes are extremely dangerous and aren’t just your common trash mobs for cleave and AoE, Gul’dan’s ass was kicked easy and fast. I also switched from my playful Fire spec of 32 traits to the monstrous and glorious Ice of 35 traits on our second pull.

On my second try I went as a healer! I think I performed really well, and it was hardcore. We killed him at 3 stacks – so this was our fourth try. It required the initiate tanks and half of raid to leave in dismay, and new members came on the second try.

I don’t understand it: people learn try by try – especially if it’s the very first day – and they become better. Also every next try adds up 5% to damage and healing – so it becomes easier and easier. But people think “we’re gonna leave and queue for another group which could probably be better”. What a ridiculous hope to find a radical difference in random! What’s worse, these people keep telling that LFR is awful and hopeless.

Experience is the opposite: you should stay in the group to try and try – I’ve never left an LFR group out of despair (and I’m an LFR-only raider since Pandaria). And we always killed a boss – normally the winning tries are so smooth that barely a single player is dead by the end of encounter. So yes, stay, try, learn and educate others, and there will be success. Or how do you think people farm the bosses after? They do learn. 

Anyways, Gul’dan healing experience is pretty intense. The try before last was hardcore, only two of us healers left alive, and we did the impossible saves of tanks, ourselves and DPS guys. We were too short of living DPS guys to succeed, but it was cool. The last and winning try was smooth: as people learnt to kill the eyes, I didn’t even sweat.

The reward was identical: non-tier boots. Gul’dan owes us many, many pants.

Lore

Yes, the plot and outcome are perfectly logical and all, but I’m not an Illidan’s fanboy and returning him from the “dead” in Legion was a bad idea in the first place. I hope he sacrifices himself on Argus (like encapsulating Sargeras inside himself so that we could fight him) and dies for reals. He’s an anti-hero with a heavy overweight on anti- and I really want him to be punished for everything he’s done. This sort of character cannot be left living in peace in the woods or sent roaming the other worlds to “fight evil” – we saw how it plays out in Illidan’s case. So please just burn like a moth – and we’re good.

What’s important is that I put an end to Gul’dan with my own very hands – I’ve been dreaming of it since Draenor. The Warcraft movie didn’t alter my attitude much if only added more hate towards him, but Broken Shore cinematic was the main reason I’ve anticipated this encounter. Blizzard really succeeded in growing such a great villain out of funny old man we freed during Draenor’s starting scenario.

The Nightfallen storyline ends well though. I won’t be spoiling it for those who haven’t completed the storyline yet, but it’s so nice and it gives you a perfect feeling that all your Suramar efforts were worth it. And it also gives you a manasaber mount which goes in the cellar of achievement numbers.

All in all, I liked how the chapter ended. I’ve seen the lore. I’ve experienced the story. Now it’s time for relaxed farm: we have professions to level and reputations to get.

And yes, Gul’dan owes us pants.

The Nighthold: A Peep into Royal Athenaeum

star-augur-etraeus-royal-ahenaeum

This weekend I’ve obviously queued for a Royal Athenaeum quarter – and ran it with few toons.

My first run on a Horde toon was awful: rage quits, wipes, insults and all the pleasures of an LFR run which is not on farm yet, and people expect the bosses to pop like balloons while they still lack some tactics knowledge and better gear for this to happen.

The second run on an Alliance toon went smooth, and people went joking they would like to form a proper raid group out of this LFR one – that’s how good we were.

The further runs (I guess I did a pair more during weekend) were somewhere in the middle: occasional wipes, but all in all we beat the wing.

What I’m saying is that I saw all the range of group skills during the weekend, so I can be more or less objective.

I’m not fond of Royal Athenaeum.

First, it’s the trash mobs. They are extremely dangerous, and the other time you don’t even know what hit you. When we fought some trash on our way to Tel’arn’s site, there happened some spell which went BOOM – and ALL the raid group was dead in an  instant. Worse, the shal’dorei guards are small, wear camouflage, and you never know how many mobs are there left and whom to kill. I don’t even start with the thing that trash mobs are wandering, and also the raid design suggests that you don’t kill every of them. An unexperienced player would easily bring a pair of extra trash packs into skirmish from behind, and neither tanks nor healers would pull it off.

Yes, the raid environment design. It’s as the least logical as possible.

You don’t feel like you secure passages here. Yes, the raid lore is that we are too small of a group to conduct a proper assault, so the united elven army and us are just a desperate group to reach Elisande and Gul’dan with the least effort possible. Aqueducts worked this way, because it’s our secret passage, and elves secure the grounds after we beat the bosses. Athenaeum – no. Yes, the first boss is a guard commander we need to kill and leave many guards to live if they are not in our way, but why the fel should we get bothered with Tel’arn and Etraeus which are perfectly fine in their playgrounds? They are not even bothering about what’s happening outside of their rooms!

Now, bosses.

Spellblade Aluriel wanders like a common trash mob, and your actual encounter happens in a corridor. Thus, it doesn’t feel any special at all, but neither it feels like a very fat trash mob due to multiple mechanics to follow. So, it’s not a boss, it’s an annoyance.

Star Augur Etraeus is sitting in a tower. It’s perfectly okay, but you will never guess which passage to him you would have to choose. And when you leave the encounter site, you could easily run into another tower just following the corridor, and that’s where the unnecessary mobs attack you, bringing extra pain to the raid group.  The encounter itself is possibly the only one in this wing that I like in full: very beautiful and also interesting. Bad thing is: you should never be in front of his face as a melee dps which is hard to follow due to the boss model design. If a tank turns him to melee camp, and you don’t react in a second, you’re dead. In my opinion, it’s not the kind of challenge we need – especially when ranged fighters don’t even bother. Also I feel kinda claustrophobic in this room – I would prefer some bigger space of course.

High Botanist Tel’arn is pretty cool, I like the inventive mechanics which require much movement and positioning, and the encounter is also your cleave test which was an exciting game for my warlock. The drawback of the encounter is that it is TOO LONG. Seriously, I get severely bored by the last 30%, and 10-20% feel like a torture. Could be better when people dress up a bit, but it’s quite a tiresome marathon now.

I’m not sure if drop rates were fixed a bit, but I get one or two items for each wing. Too bad my toons only got rings, trinkets or necks – in other words, no tier items yet.

Royal Athenaeum will not be my favorite quarter, and definitely not the one I would remember with any good feelings when we’re a pair of expansions away from Legion.