Saturday, January 31, 2015

Following Up

Aw, crap

Heyas, I came back from a few days away from home to discover Xfinity clobbered the wires to my apartment complex. And nobody knows when that will be back. I tell ya, it's hard to live with no data. And it means that I have to take my laptop over to a friend's house to post anything. He's not even a WoW player and is sitting here, slowly shaking his head at me.


There's been a bunch of small things that deserved a bit of follow-up comment and I wanted to knock a few of those out today:

Garrison Resources:  
Right after the expansion opened, I did a run through on ways to collect garrison resources on a more efficient level. I was very hyped about sending followers with a Scavenger trait on missions that were paying in resource. This took a while to ramp up, but finally, I can sometimes stack two scavengers on the best missions and bring back 500-700 resource at a time. But this is not every day. And again, it took forever to get this mini-squad ready, between leveling them to 100, and getting them to have useful skill sets. And now, the Patch 6.1 changes have nerfed the scavenging trait in half, so the scavengers will bring back 100% instead of 200%.

Gorgrond, in particular is full of treasures that deliver garrison resources. Those will take a while to uncover, but are ultimately finite. 

The Stables:
You can get a lot of garrison resources out of the quests for training your new mounts. But those end suddenly; you get your buncha new mounts. And then I can't figure out why I haven't deleted the stables. It's kind of a shame: the Stables is one of the best-looking elements in the Garrison, but once you finish training mounts (and the two associated achievements) I don't think that place can justify its continued existence. On the other hand, there's nothing else I really want to put in its place either. So it stays for now, gathering resentment.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Warlords Story

Books and lore, books and lore, gotta read me some books and lore.
Well, we've had a bunch of weeks with our shiny Warlords of Draenor. As the world gets rid of its holiday hangover and buckles down for a new year, I thought it was time to look at one of my favorite parts of Warcraft: the story!

All things considered, I think the narrative is doing pretty well here. There are things I'm uncertain of but ought to get to the bottom of with a bit more questing/raiding. There are things I'd like to see happen and things that I'd rather hadn't.  Let's hope I can edit all this into some semblance of order:

The following are some observations I've made in the past few weeks

Why Do Orcs Pick Such Crappy Places to Live?
Even in a place as nice as Nagrand, orcs pick the one barren hillock to settle.
I remember reading in one novel or another Thrall's explanation of why he chose the lands of Durotar to settle as orcland when he came to Kalimdor. He felt the barren land would make his people harder, tougher. The desert there would keep his people from becoming spoiled by luxury.

Fix Dem Garrisons!

So, Blizzard has thrown down the word and declared they are not happy with the way garrisons work, particularly for alts. I'm sorry I don't know how to link in blue texts from the forums, so that's a screen grab up there, but I hope it conveys the point. And I couldn't agree more. I would also generally state that the could be improved in general.

Don't get me wrong: I'm mostly pretty happy with the garrison (although I'm finding some other rubs that bug me a little. More on that later.) But there is always room for improvement. While Takralus is talking about alt garrisons, I think more can be done to all garrisons that would be an improvement for alt people and for more single-character players.

Improve the Garrison Control UI
First problem is that there are two UIs, one that is accessed at your garrison (or an outpost) by clicking on the table, and then there is the crossed sabers icon on the edge of your mini map. Neither UI shows you all the information you need to run your garrison, and generally, they are still muddled. I spend more time deciding which followers to send on what missions because you have to click here and then click there to see various information. At the same time, I can't see my stock of garrison resources, and the chat window is blocked. Uncool.  Plus, you have to wait, and wait, and wait while the little animations showing your followers butchering denizens of Draenor load and then play and then celebrate their victories, only after you've manually clicked on the treasure chest yourself.  Very Uncool. You can't sort missions by any sort of priority. You can't sort your followers by their abilities.  Totally uncool.

There are add-ons that can help with some of these things and I'm exploring those now and may report on them soon. But if Blizzard wants to improve the garrison maintenance experience, this would be the best place to start.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fishin' Fission

The surest way to catch fish: Wear a really insane hat
Holy cow! How'd all these professions get so complicated? No, I know the answer to that. The developers made them complicated. I suppose we could ask why, but I bet the answer is "fun." Y'know, like how it's so fun to have everything switched up on us without much explanation. There's such an array of new materials and stuff to manage and our old mechanics put out to pasture.

Among the most changed is probably fishing. The reasons to fish are ever-the-same: one can cook fish into snazzy food. Everything else about it has been kicked around a bit. Some basic things one should understand:

  • You can catch fish in three sizes, small, normal and enormous. Guess which one is the best!
  • Each game fish exists in its own specialized zone. But you can haul Crescent Saberfish out of any location.
  • You're real goal for fishing excellence: 950 skill. More on this soon.

Things have opened up, in the sense that you can show up in Draenor with no fishing skill at all and get to work, but if you want to fish efficiently, there's some things you gotta do:

Get your skill to 700 asap 

There's no way around this. Even when you have top skill it's not going to get you the highest quality catch. I can't imagine what it must be like to not already be a fishing pro and feel compelled to get into the profession. But to fish efficiently, you need all 700 of those fishing skill points. Do your garrison daily, and even the old dailies for boosts. You can get some extra points from the Darkmoon Faire as well. But get them.

Brief Lessons Learned on a Weekend in December

Lol. Sorry, I wrote this last weekend and then spent several days editing. I really learned all this on a weekend in December though! It's not very long or in depth. But it needed some care.

Lesson 1: Beware of Training Manuals
You don't want this.

At some point, your garrison command may offer you a follower mission called The Dance Studio. It's a 100% to complete and you'll bring home a book called "Supreme Manual of Dance" which will confer the Dance trait on a follower. This sounds kinda funny, and harmless and I spent a while thinking about which of my favorite followers would be improved if they were doing a cha-cha-cha. But I paused to look up the manual. And I'm so glad I did. This manual replaces a trait on your folower. It's not added, and it's a dance skill alright that counters danger zones. I'm not sure about anybody else, but half my followers can counter danger zones. I deactivate followers with danger zone counters so I can get somebody with something more useful in. Last thing I want is more ability to counter danger zones.  The manual has gone into the bank until... whenever.

Lesson 2: Goggles are for Engineers
Well, duh!
This is really not anything new, but the face wear being made my engineers this expansion are BoE, which is just like every other crafted epic available. But they have additional requirements as well. So, as I was arming a hunter this weekend, I made BoE shoulders, which she put on with no troubles. And then I crafted a BoE necklace and she put that on too. So, then I made some BoE goggles and utterly failed to notice the 600 engineering skill they require despite being gloriously BoE. Long story short: I should gave paid closer attention and not utterly wasted a week's worth of gear things. But I think it's just obtuse that the developers made every other craftsman capable of producing nice epics that could be shared around and not the engineers.