World of Warcraft: Random Thoughts, Stuff I’m Working On, etc.

This blog on World of Warcraft will be a hodge podge of random thoughts and things I’ve been working on recently. I’ll actually reverse the order and start with stuff I’ve been doing lately in the game. Although I started a small project for calculating the yield of farming enchants, I ended up being side tracked since I’ve been utterly focused on what I’m calling the “500 Club” or rather “getting my toons to a minimum of ilvl 500.” The thing I’ve discovered is that to really maximize each toon for a given week in terms of valor points and gear, you really require quite a bit of time. In my case, it takes roughly a day of dedicating myself to each toon. I’m not talking about a full 24 hours devoted to every little activity, but roughly a day of focus.

The hardest aspect of my “500 Club” idea is getting the first toon to hit the Valor Point cap. Usually, I’ll start with whatever my lowest geared toon is, go after a rare elite on the Isle of Thunder, earn 50 or so Lesser Charms then put them through Throne of Thunder, top to bottom and hit whatever LFRs remain just to squeeze out every little inch of Valor that I can. Unfortunately, the wait times on LFR combined with the RNG factor of occasionally getting into a fail group or the last boss in the instance force me to re-queue, hence costing even more time. With the average wait time being anywhere between 10-30 minutes, I would say most of my time being eaten up is just waiting for something to happen.

However, one of the issues about “Average Wait Time” is that it’s completely inaccurate. Sometimes a queue that might say 5 minutes end up taking 10-20 minutes. If you use your time wisely, you can do other productive activities like dailies, Pet Battles (to try and get ahead on the Lesser Charms), work on your farm or doing some gathering. Either way, attempting to complete a full route the first time through tends to take around 6-7 hours, sometimes more. That’s why I tend to prioritize my lowest geared toon since it’ll motivate me to do more.

The timing aspect can be exacerbated though when you factor in world bosses. At this stage, with my lowest toon having an ilvl of 489, it really makes little sense to do world bosses outside of Nalak if I want to optimize my time. You could argue for Oondasta but the time and frustration for getting a successful Oondasta group together on my realm typically end up being counter productive unless done early on in the week. Even then the waiting factor is utterly frustrating, either standing by for the group to gather or for Oondasta to spawn.

That all said, I’ll probably alter my methods slightly now that I really don’t need the older LFRs and focus more attention on Throne of Thunder and collecting Lesser Charms for the re-roll Mogu tokens. That way, my focus will be on obtaining the best gear for my guys that I can get for the time allotment. I’ll use easier LFRs for remaining Valor Points as well as gearing up off specs just for fun, and perhaps epics/gold. But I won’t force myself to run every single one without a purpose.

The one semi-unfortunate consequence is the return to doing dailies. At this stage, I really hate dailies but I think that you really don’t have to do them all on each toon every day. Instead, a better method seems to be focusing on a single toon, getting the 50 Lesser Charms and spare Valor Points as well as reputation along the way. As with my previous days, I pretty much am extremely selective in the dailies as some still remain nuisances. However, a few I’ve found to be more productive than expected such as the Dominance Offensive, which I’m using primarily to enhance my reputation with the Black Prince.

Along the way, I’ve been doing a lot to make gold. I did a tabulation and discovered that I’m at over 80k in gold spread across 10 toons. That’s not bad actually. At the moment, one of my big crafting projects is creating one of the Reborn weapons. I noticed that the one I’m aiming at crafting is on the Auction House for 50k. Although I heard that the price ranges from 20-30k normally, 50k would be a nice bit of pocket change. I think it’s important to craft these before the patch as I’m certain there might be new items that will eventually devalue these weapons.

On my tailoring side, I’ve been crafting quite a few robes and gloves. Those sell for 2k and are pretty consistent. I think the key here is not overflooding the market and keeping it diverse so that people are buying in sets. I’m sure that when a new mage or warlock levels, for instance, they might want to gear themselves up quickly. So having two pairs of the same robe on the Auction House might be counterproductive as opposed to a robe and matching gloves. Also, I crafted a mail chest piece. The price might be set a little high. However, since there’s only one other piece, which was set a fair amount higher, I’m hoping to still be able to attract a buyer for it.

Doing LFR and crafting with the occasional dailies thrown in has made me realize that I’ve been racking up quite a bit of gold on each toon, once I focus on them for the week. That made me want to set another goal up which I’m calling the “10k club.” In that situation, I am to make sure each toon has 10k worth of gold minimal. Right now, I can’t see any major purchases outside of the reforge mount. Even then I haven’t decided whether to make that purchase or not. I suppose if I could sell a reborn weapon for 50k, I wouldn’t have much of an issue making that purchase as the traveling reforging can be pretty convenient at times.

One thing that I’ve been pretty happy about so far is my hunter. I got pretty lucky in the past few days with my hunter, where he managed to score the 4 piece set bonus, a decent weapon and trinket. Some of the items he won without a reroll, allowing me to save my bonuses for other gear that I managed to win on occasion. As a result, I’ve seen my hunter’s DPS rise up meteorically in LFR.

Another thing I’m pretty proud of is that I finally managed to complete Throne of Thunder LFR on each of my toons. It makes me happy that I can run any section for any person that I want. That provides me an incredible amount of flexibility that offers me numerous opportunities. Some things I hope to do down the road is switch specs on a few toons and try out different play styles. For instance, I’d love to be able to go in as either a BM or Survival Hunter. Or perhaps give Subtlety a try on my rogue and maybe even Unholy. By having all these options available to me, I can really learn how each of the classes operate and decide on my own which spec per class suits me.

Taking a few steps back, I want to talk about the Isle of Thunder vs the other areas for daily quests and even the upcoming new island. One of the things that I’ve come to feel is that the Isle of Thunder, with regards to dailies, is pretty horrible. I really dislike how the daily quests are organized, the structure of the island, the mob density, the high health for many mobs and the stupid raid-like boss mechanics for a few quests. The thing is that the island’s daily aspect really is optional. There really isn’t any positive rewards from the dailies unless it’s your thing. But the thing that gets me more than anything is that the time-to-reward ratio is pretty skewed. Some of the worst quests on the island are the end mini bosses. Those have raid-like mechanics and get pretty tedious to do. I’m not saying that they’re impossible nor hard, just really tedious. And for what? The same amount of gold, valor and lesser charms that you can obtain doing a single Golden Lotus quest.

What’s even better are the useless rewards from the vender on the Isle. Outside of the belt, I really don’t see a point in the gear that Blizzard included with those guys. The fact that the gear requires reputation AND Valor Points to obtain at a lesser level than the Shado-Pan Assault just demonstrate once again how Blizzard really failed in designing a rewarding experience on the Isle with regards to dailies. Usually, I might do the Isle dailies if I’m bored or if I’m waiting around for a Nalak or rare elite encounter. But there’s just a lot of better ways to get rewards, especially for my guys at this stage than doing dailies on the Isle of Thunder.

Ironically, I found that the Order of the Cloud Serpents were inadvertently more rewarding in a very literal sense. The other day I realized that my hunter was very close to getting exalted with them. So I decided to finish up his reputation grind with them. Upon hitting exalted, I ended up getting a mount that I already had. Since the game wouldn’t allow me to use the mount, I ended up just selling it for 750 gold. Since I have 10 toons and you can only get 3 separate ones, this situation implies that I can make a bit of gold just getting to exalted on my other toons.

Getting back to Throne of Thunder, I have to say at this stage, I think I’ve become pretty familiar with the routine at least with regards to LFR. What’s cool is figuring out how to optimize your performance with each toon. Some fights like Durumu, Horridon and Lei Shen have some nice dynamics that force you to change your style up slightly and allow for certain classes to really shine. I’m thinking about eventually writing a blog just ranking each boss in terms of difficulty. I might add things like my favorite/hated classes on top of that based on my experience with each situation.

Looking forward, I’m really trying my hardest to get everyone to that ilvl 500 mark. Although the next patch says that the gear drop rate will be increased, I prefer to believe that it’s better right now with my schedule to get ahead and prepared for the Siege of Orgrimmar. My thinking is that the way things are working now, the current situation is, for the most part, stable. Certainly, the RNG sucks when it comes to LFR, but it’s a mostly known environment. Hard to say what else might change when patch 5.4 hits but most people will most likely be focused on just the Siege of Orgrimmar rather than older content. If more valor gear is introduced, you’re better off using your new valor for those items than older items.

But I am a little worried about how the next system of re-rolls and charms will end up working out. I heard mention that there will be new re-roll tokens that are based on the new island and that creatures on that island will drop the equivalent of Lesser Charms for you to get the next level of re-roll tokens. I haven’t really read much thus far about the new island so I don’t know if Blizzard is committed to creating yet another huge batch of dailies or if the existing dailies will allow you to purchase the re-roll tokens. I sincerely hope that whatever Blizzard intends to do that it is flexible (e.g. can still do Pet Battles, dailies, kill creatures or a combination of the three) and not too grindy. I did give the weekly patch 5.3 supply quest a try and the low drop rate and monotonous killing of mobs just put me to sleep. Also, I’m hoping that the new island and the creatures are better designed than the Isle of Thunder. The mob density and high hit points really are pointless mechanisms to just enforce more of the same, stupid, time wasting grind that the rest of the game has imposed on us in this expansion.

Then there’s the Legendary quest line. I read that some of the new world bosses on that island might only be open to people with the cape from the Legendary quest. I really hope that Blizzard reneges on that decision. Oondasta was horrible enough. So why impose more typical Blizzard bullshit in all of this?

Either way, we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping to get all of this stuff done asap so I don’t burn myself out too much. But at the same time, I really hope 5.4 becomes a major turning point in the expansion. I think the expansion thus far has been okay at best but mostly frustrating and just way too time consuming overall. There has been good points but I really would love for Blizzard to start cutting down on that time factor somehow. I could take other aspects of the game if the game wasn’t so horrendously mismanaged when it comes to time.

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