Friday, October 24, 2014

The future of casual goldmaking

Before I begin, I can't believe nearly 65,000 people have filled their time reading this blog.  A small percentage have also filled their time writing me hate mail.  Both are appreciated!

With all this talk of garrisons, expansions, easy-bake materials (thanks Stede), cataclysmic changes to professions, and the end of the world as we know it for shuffling, it's been forgotten just how anyone can make gold in the future while actually playing the game!

I'm a big grinder, I love visiting old content, bosses, trash packs, and killing them for old time's sake. When I swapped mains in Wrath to my paladin, I actually went back and redid the 40+ reputations to exalted just because.  Today I'm approaching 80 reps at exalted and look forward to hitting them in WoD.  There's very few things in Warcraft that I really enjoy:

  • Leveling battle pets
  • Grinding reputations
  • Collecting gold
  • Getting achievements without even trying and having people get jelly about my score
  • Collecting mounts
  • Collecting toys - this is now a recent addiction, er addition
  • Quick GDKP runs with awesome raiders
  • Wondering why certain people completely redirect their lives for this game
  • Complaining about changes
  • Complaining about Blizzard's decisions
  • Complaining
  • Doing public BGs so I can join in the melee of bitching about bads in boost gear
  • Pissing people off who are poor and just don't get it
  • ...This list is getting pretty long, looks like I enjoy more than a few things
But what I love to do is find where things drop in the best quantity and build the better mousetrap.  I often visited Naxx for Frostweave, or Scarlet Cathedral for silk.  I'm currently found in Sunwell and BT just messing around looking for my monk and death knight tier.  I used to kill the trolls in The Hinterlands back in Classic for their prizes.  Every now and again I run over to AQ10 even though I don't need anything. 

I think this is sort of my comfort food.  Since I've been around the game and can officially call myself one of the last men standing from Classic, these things bring back great memories and feelings of nostalgia.  Like warlocks not being able to banish when told, when the casual we used to carry on Archimonde would wipe us, and making people cry over gear (literally, I have that feather in my cap).  I really like old content, so it's with great happiness that the majority of old raids are now completely soloable.  Too bad I already have the 200k Mind on your Money.

Since they're essentially removing dailies, there's going to be a limited number of ways people will be able to get any gold to buy our overpriced items in the auction house.  And really, garrisons are a nice idea, but check back with all the players in about a month.  I assure you, just like Tillers, I will be another of the last men standing.  Why?  Because I have a high tolerance for boring and painful bad content (what one of my old Classic/TBC friends used to say about me).

Raid content I've now been able to solo with ease:

Cataclysm - Dragon Solo is soloable up to Spine.  You need 2-3 more to really get Spine to work right, unless you're a DDR champion and can do more than one thing at a time.  Firelands is a joke in Heroic and Normal.  Tier 11 has lots of painful memories, like the elevator boss and people getting lost on the way back to Cho'gall, but offers some really fast coin and trash.  25M Heroic is just not in the cards but for the average person, 10M Normal or Heroic will be the way to go for these.

Wrath of the Lich King - Naxx and Ulduar were already soloable, but now you can easily pound out No Lights.  I liked it so much I saved an alt for future farming of him.  Lich King, too!  I've scored several kills on 25M Heroic LK, which is kinda sad when you recall people worked for months on him.  I spent about 5 pulls trying to remember the mechanics, and no Invincible yet.  It's amazing that you forget a boss or ten after several years when you used to spend entire evenings doing pulls for nothing.

The average run through Heroic Cataclysm content is going to score you about 150-200g per boss kill, and about 25g in Normal and take about 20-30 minutes depending on you and how fast you can click the RP NPCs.  You can expect to see 2-3 pieces drop per boss, with a value that's all over the map.  Tokens go for nothing, so it's worth exchanging them for the piece when they pop for your class.  Everything should be vendored.

ICC 25 man is going to net you about 500g for the run.  Ulduar will be about the same amount.  And this is at 90.  Best to keep moving because these are going to take a while to get through.

So the future of casual goldmaking?  Old raids, mount farming, and vendoring everything.  I sorta think that this is justice.

Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Patch 6.0.2 - Three Shards and a Sha

This isn't about gold, this is just me being the cynical old guy I've come to be... and be loved for.

When you reach that point in life when you expect things to be phoned in, you know you're reaching mediocrity.

No, I don't hate the game, nor the changes, but I do still hate the players.  I do dislike being robbed again of a lead-in and some immersion.

Anyone that's done the expansion pre-release "event" knows that we're dealing with 2nd tier in the world of build ups and hype.  2nd may just be a little generous, this was a bit half-assed.  And I know I'll get some hate comments and STFU Zero comments for this, but seriously, I've been playing their games now for 15 years and one thing Blizz usually never does is phone things in.  They troll the shit out of their customers (Diablo 3, Lich King event), they charge the shit out of them (Every expansion with bonus subscription, "Free 90", Blizzard Shop button in the damned game), they put us on all the time (Reward for Shen'dralar rep besides achievement, PvP will be put into Diablo 3, we have more people working on WoW than ever before but magically things are still broken/overlooked), but one thing they usually don't do is do something not very exciting.

Enter... Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2.  If I didn't follow the lore and the game developments, I would have been utterly confused as to why the portal turned red.  Additionally, how did Garrosh escape?  Who's to blame for this?  Which faction was actually holding him prisoner and which Panda's ass do we kick for falling down on the job?  How did he get from Pandaria all the way back to Draenor 35 years ago?  What's with the green shit that one green orc asked the red long haired orc to drink, and who the hell are they?  If you can answer these questions, then you seriously followed it closely, and more closely than me and I actually follow the lore story unlike most people.

And say what you like about Garrosh.  The guy made the slip and we didn't hear squat about it.  If I'm ever locked up, I want to be cell mates with this guy.  No reporters were assigned to the story, no interviews with guards and how they were underpaid and overworked and it was the fault of the unions, no "uh-oh, Garrosh is loose again, round up the posse" story leading up to the cinematic.  Just a "here you go" beautifully done cinematic.  Sort of like watching a movie for the first time and selecting Chapter 6 on the DVD without watching 1-5.  I felt like I usually do on a movie date when I go to get popcorn refilled sometime in the middle and I come back and need a primer on WTF happened the 30 minutes I was gone and a primer on the 5 minutes I wasn't paying attention while hearing about the previous 30 minutes during the primer.  My life is one big jumble.

I write that through the eyes of a casual player, of course I recognized the homage to WC3 and the major players and didn't confuse Manno for Magtheridon, because pit lords.  But what about everyone else who can barely push the right buttons off cooldown?  And us lore nerds who were actually thirsty for more?  Kudos to anyone who gets in line at the lore panel and throws that shit down on Metzen at BC14.  How about the lead-in for that?

What I learned from Three Shards and a Sha (my personal name for the 'event' because that's what my main got from it) was that there's a bunch of Red Orcs running through the portal and they must be bad because the color is now red.  Thrall was out there telling me to kill things.  I looked through a telescope and assumed they were bads because they were on flying mounts bought from the Blizzard store.  There was a mini-boss at the end that Thrall had no problem tanking, and I had to tell our new Warchief that shit was going down, and he was so happy he gave me a purple trinket and a little iron ball.  Sort of reminded me of that movie about The Madness of King George. 

Me:  They're coming, Vol'jin!
Vol'Jin:  Thanks, have a toy and this choice of good trinket or shitty trinket.
Me:  You da man, Vol'jin!

And then he just stands there looking Vol'jin'ish. 

I hated this event so much I've only done it 8 times so far, still have another 14 to go because it's mandatory.

I rather liked the Mists of Pandaria event.  Hold the phone, there wasn't one.  Wait, they had that demonstration of a scenario where Garrosh bombed the shit out of Theramore and pissed off some people to where their hair turned white and passed it off as an event until people called them on it and they admitted there was no event.  But at least that was a full working scenario.  And this brings me to part two.

Upper Blackrock Spire.  My favorite memory of the place was at 60 when I snagged my Tier 0 mage robes from some jackass in the guild that nobody liked after crafting the epic robes.  Of course, he QQ'd his ass off.  And of course, he was a warlock wanting mage tier.  Caused so much drama, he Gquit that night and good times were had by all and I got lots of thank you tells.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.

I queued for this hot mess.  After putting up 75% of the dps through the place and tanking on my ret paladin because apparently AOE threat no longer exists for warrior tanks (it doesn't anymore, right, they removed it I came to understand), dying several times because when you don't know how to AOE tank the best thing you can do is pull half the room leading up to Nef's old spot while standing in slams, we got to what used to be the least liked place in the joint because people would invariably run into the cage way back when and cause the game to turn upside down and bug.  No problem, dead boss.

The back door to Awbee opens and I run in assuming the same map, and it's locked.  After 5-10 minutes of looking around for levers, jumping against walls and trying to get over those new jaws on the floor, we all decided to look it up on Wowhead.  And there it was, buried in one of the last comments about the place, it ends after that event and the rest is available after you hit 100.

I wanted to scream.

And I did!

At my monitor.

And it looked back at me laughing.  Seriously, it did.

And then I realized, this was phoned in and there's nothing else to do for a month.  Except maybe old raids for mounts, because holy crap have you seen your dps against those old bosses!?


I jest a bit here, because really what we need is to set circa-2008 expectations again.  Blizzard always wow'ed us with WoW.  There were always mementos and fond memories from the events, and those of us that were there probably consider the Wrath event the greatest event of all time, probably even better than most of the raids in the expansion except for Ulduar.  In Classic we walked away with a tabard that you can show your grandkids, but it was repeated in TBC dammit.  Cataclysm had 2 different storylines and an assload of new quests with the revision of the zones.  They also gave us a glimpse of Cho and the Twilight Hammer over a period of time.

I know people worked really hard on that quest series in Blasted Lands.  But didn't anyone ask "is that all there is?" in the meetings?  10-15 minutes of questing without a real backstory...  And I know there are those out there that have drank the Kool-Aid and it could be flavored poop and you'd still ask for more, but is this all?  Did this satisfy?

Unless they have some build-up story, I think a lot of people forked over $15 this month just to see less entertainment than you would see in 90 minutes at the movies.  And it probably explains why the lag on Illidan went away inside of a day.

Unfortunately, outside of a pet that I'll treasure (until I sell the other 21 of them) forever, and three shards and a sha, I didn't feel satisfied.  Anyone?  Anyone at all.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Goldmaking types

For some reason I thought of this while in traffic today.  What else would I think about?  (I wrote this a month or so ago, thanks to Stede I'm publishing it because fun posts are fun).

1)  The Grinder - If there's a "best" ore path, or top place to get skins, or a set of dailies rewarding the most gold you'll find this person.  They made their gold the old fashioned way, they mined/herbed/skinned/quested for it.  Friend of the Jeweler and Paper Pusher, you can count on them needing to move a truckload of something quick, but not for too low a price.

2) The Flipper - Dedicating their lives to full scan searches via Auctioneer/TUJ Sniper, these are the people looking for the bargains they can turn for more.  They are the ones screaming for auctionhouse apps for their phones so they can scan and scam in their cars.  Ranging from coppers to tens of thousands of gold to hundreds of thousands for the most exclusive items, they comb the realms looking for deals to pile it up.  Someone forgot to tell them to spend some on themselves, but one never knows when they'll need that 10/20/40 million to make a deal happen.

3) The Arms Dealer - Profession kings.  Who needs 9 Blacksmiths for the next patch?  They do, and extra accounts because 11 slots isn't enough to handle their little pixelated sweatshop.  Apple and Martha have nothing on these people for forced labor camps, with 3, 4, and 10 accounts just so they can make the gear to get you ahead - for the lowest cost and the best price because dammit you aren't paying more and you've forced it to this!

4) The Chemist/Crack Dealers - Somehow between TBC and Wrath these people got lost at a wrong turn at Albuquerque and still make their money slinging potions and flasks.  They're out there, waiting on those procs just so they can brag to their friends about the 5 proc on the strength flasks, so everyone will forget about the string of no-procs they threw down the past week.  Yes friends, it's worth it in the end.  If anyone hasn't made a profit in the game in the past 3 expansions, it's these guys.  They'll tell you they made a profit, they farmed the mats so they were free!

5) The Jeweler - Close relative of the Paper Pusher, these guys are adept at pushing a single button once every 4.26 seconds to bust up those rocks the rest of the server is too lazy to prospect.  They'll typically need guild banks and extra mail slots to hold all their ores and minerals, because one day they'll get around to handling the load.  Their entire focus is Tuesday.  Because on that day friends, they get to hock their wares and then return to the shadowy confines of some whisked away abode in who-knows-where while they prep for the next week.  Commonly complains about the price of ore; any ore, pick one.

6) The Gambler - Ever wonder who falls for those "presents in a box, 1 has a mount" spams in trade?  Or even the highest roll wins spam?  Do you know a guild where certain addons for trash pulls are required so you can roll for gold?  How about the people that religiously farm for MFCs, or those that even buy them?  You've met the gambler, these are the guys who won't work the auctionhouse or do a daily to save their bank account, but throw down 1000 gold for a 10% chance at doubling it?  They're in!   Probably the most close association to people you actually know in real life, we all have these types in the family.

7) The Paper Pusher - These guys are your scribes.  They need a new name, because scribe is going on 6 years old and this is really all they do.  Make glyphs, post, cancel, repost, recraft, repeat.  They push paper better than a government bureaucrat and thanks to addons with more efficiency.  That's all they do, too.  JC?  Nah.  Enchanting?  Too much cost.  Alchemy? Blacksmith? Tailor?  Who has the time!?  Commonly seen preparing for monthly Darkmoon trips.

8)  Prada/Coco - as in Chanel.  Making lots of custom bags and for every occasion, these people are cloth fiends.  They still make Mooncloth bags because they look better than Netherweave.  If you need a 28 slot enchanting bag, they'll hook you up.  Outdated since TBC?  They have it and are probably posting it.

What do you think?  Know any other types?  As we roll into the conclusion of mass goldmaking (WoD) I'm wondering if there's anyone I missed.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Battle Pets: Daily Tamer Experience

For those of you unaware, one of my favorite aspects of the game today aside from gold and GDKP raiding is pet battles.  I got into it last year and like most things I ended up documenting certain things.  Maybe this will be of use to you in case you're trying to figure out how the tamers work and why people do the quests everyday.

The reason is simple:  You get a lot of experience depending on the level of pet you are carrying.  I had a theory when I first started that the experience had some sort of diminishing return, so this led to me actually performing battles with every single variety and documenting the results.

As you can see from the chart below, the yellow highlight shows you the spot where you will earn the most experience, and it's a mirror.  This is why it is bad to use a level 3 against a 25, your best return will be a 10 or 11.

Note that the chart assumes you are wearing the safari hat.  If you aren't, then you net 10% off that amount.  If you are using the pet treats, obviously you'll account for the extra boost of 25%.  More or less I use this as a guide so I don't waste experience on pets that are too high or too low.  The difference between 25N and 25P here:  25P are Pandaria trainers, Ns are Northrend and Cata.

Additionally, I put together something for 1-25 Wild Pet battles, and since 1-19 is mostly boring for folks I'm only showing the returns you see when fighting level 20 to 25s.

Again, yellow shows the sweet spot and assumes the safari hat is worn.  Where I placed the "x" means I never got to those levels, but you get the idea.

I figure that since we're about 2.5 months out, I can share this little nugget with you in case you're looking for something to do.  I'm presently trying to get all the pets I have to 25 (or at least most of them) prior to the release.  I have 550ish pets, 170ish at 25, and the vast, vast majority are between 16 and 24 right now.  Only greens are 11-15.  I figure if I get this out of the way, I won't need to bother with my OCD for about another year.

Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

November 13th is no longer just for Wrath of the Lich King

So at midnight, November 13, 2008 I was standing in line at Wal-muerto (it's the Wal of the Dead), huddled with all my fellow geeks.  I had arrived an hour early because I knew that would guarantee me a Collector's Edition, and the ire of my guildmaster at the time who was freaking out about the dragons.  I still never understood that, he played because of dragons, of which there hadn't been one since Onyxia.  Prior to all of this, the game had been an absolute blast and was inhabited by the old school MMO/gamer community that understood "shit is s'poseda be hard" and not everyone would walk away a winner.

I bought the game, went home all excited, installed it while trolling my GM, completed the first quest, found an inn, and went to bed.  It took me a week to hit my first 80 because, well, I work and 10 levels at 3 hours a night was quite a commitment.  I don't take time off for video games, I take time off for sunny places that serve drinks with umbrellas.  Or places that have snow capped mountains and craps tables, and I bring my own drink umbrellas to those.

Now, 6 years later, we see that same number come up again.  I'm thinking it was a Freudian nod to their most successful release in the history of the franchise, Blizz loves to pay homage.

As I said in my last entry, Warcraft is all social marketing nowadays, and the people who had the access were glued to their screens watching the announcement party for the release date.  Yes, a big party for the announcement of the release date.  It was advertised in the launcher, a countdown clock was all over MMOC and other fan sites...  all to hear the announcement and watch the cinematic for the expansion of a 10 year old game.  I think that means the franchise is going to go on for a while longer.

Just a note for those concerned about the longevity - Blizzard expected maybe 1 million subscribers when Warcraft originally launched.  Don't believe it?  Check out how many original servers they had at launch.  Prior to November 2004, Blizzard was not the behemoth that World of Warcraft built.  Blizzard was known for making RTS games, and their subsidiary Blizzard North handled Diablo.  Today they have an enormous marketing budget and cash flow thanks to the little engine that took the best parts of the MMO industry and improved on them.

I'll tell you how you'll know it's dead:  When they no longer make expansions and merely deliver patch events.  See other MMOs out there for a guide.

It's still interesting.  I play because it is a giant puzzle, and I like puzzles.  I've been playing Diablo 3 like a fiend since March 25, and that's only because someone somewhere buried their foot in the ass of the development team and made it something of quality and something resembling the best franchise Blizzard has. 

What is the first thing I'm doing November 13?  Getting a good night's rest, I have work in the morning.  I still haven't bought the expansion, and I'll probably make that decision in November.

Have a fantastic Fall people!  Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wake me when it's November...

I think we'll see the next expansion drop by mid to late November, probably even first week of December (a la Cata).  They won't be releasing it prior to Blizzcon because Blizzcon is a giant advertisement, which is the 7th-8th of November.  There will be a ton of buzz and everyone will go home and tell their friends, their guildies, their little brother/sister that the game is so awesome and they should buy it.  The whole idea behind the beta invites, Blizzcon (which is not at a loss, this is advertising folks), and the fansites that have direct links (and are totally allowed to datamine against the TOS) is to sell the game.  Social media is how massive games sell, and while I'm perfectly fine with that, I'm more into being entertained.

As with all expansions since the first (TBC), I will not be participating in any betas, I won't be speculating about how to make a mint the first week, and when I buy the game I will be getting a good night's rest for work in the morning and then trying to log on when I get home from work that Tuesday the Xth, whatever month it is.  I'll no doubt be days behind the first week, but like the tortoise and the hare, the hare unsubbed the next month because he got bored.  And in the end, I'll put together my mint within the first month - once I figure out what's what of course.

Note:  I don't like doing beta because 1) It's not live, everything is still up for change 2) it spoils the story for me and I love new toys and adventures 3) there is no dessert when it goes live, you get to do everything all over again 4) I absolutely love experimenting with game mechanics when they're live, and not so much when there are loads of bugs.  I don't even mess with PTRs.

So where does this leave me?  I've done about everything I cared to do in MoP, I've got the Heroic gear on multiple characters, I've got my gold tmog on 4 of my toons, I got all the reps, I made and pissed away millions of gold, and my guild is dead still.  For some reason the AH is still buzzing, I'm guessing people still leveling alts or doing PvP in that last preparation for Orcland. 

If there's one thing you learn from expansion to expansion, it's what the keep and what to dump.  This past week, after spending all my free time slaughtering demons over in D3RoS since 3/25, I decided to finally get rid of the crap in my bags and pass it off on the good people of Illidan.  No more buying, no more snatching, no more mailboxes rotating thousands of stacks of ores/bars/cloth/herbs.  Just sell it off.  I haven't been doing squat in months anyhow, so put that banker to bed.  What I've come to the conclusion of is simple:

Dump almost everything

I am going to hold onto my Windwool Collection however.  And some items are going to be quite valuable for leveling in the future, so I wouldn't get rid of those just yet.   I'm not going to tell you what to keep however, that's the job of the hoarders who stay home all day.  Here's a short list of some of the trash I've pawned off, and how I snagged a clean 117k in gold with about 1200g in AH costs in the past week doing nothing but posting once per day, going back to Diablo, and repeating in 24 hours.

Note that all materials/items are assumed to be Mists of Pandaria, not previous content.

* All epic BOE crafted armors and weapons.  This includes all the blacksmith, leatherworking and tailoring purples that take 21/28 days each to make.  If they are BOE purples that dropped off a mob, you may want to hold onto that for leveling/twink purposes later.  Further, the PvP blues are not worth holding onto, unless you're going to engage in some weird transmog idea later (I don't bother with it) then lock and load.

* Gems.  If it comes from Kyp/GI/Trill ores, it's going to be useless.  Leveling greens and blues will not have sockets in them, and people will be going for the new gems for their epics.  You may consider holding onto metas however, as there is a small demand for those.  Personally, I'm dumping them all.  Professions are going to be streamlined, so it may not be worth holding onto anything except blue uncommon and rare gems

* Enchanting materials.  I think 'server first enchanting profession' was generally scored within 30 minutes at release.  Tell you anything?  Hypnotic Dust was incredibly high in demand throughout MoP, and stacks of it prior to MoP could be traded for magewater.  But after the Miners and JCs moved onward, the best way to make it became through embercloth, which was going for a fortune and was time consuming to farm.  This caused prices of it to skyrocket because enchanting required a lot of it and they didn't have easymode shortcuts to gain 2-5 levels off very little dust.  MoP offered this.  Hasta la vista, baby. 

Shas, well, we all know the score on these things.  Ask the Maelstrom hoarders how that worked out.  Make Dancing and Jade and be done with them.  If you need Shas, check your enchanter's bank.  I went through my 4 enchanters and DE'd everything they weren't equipping or going to be using.  I scored about 6 scrolls just from that alone.

* LW Leg and Shoulder enchants.  What better use for Mag hide and your SoH?  Or leftover junk for darkmoon cards.  I hate darkmoon cards of course, too much time involved, but I do like shoulder enchants.  I wouldn't craft the Mag hides the old fashioned way (50 leathers), just burn cooldowns because you'll probably want to keep the hides around for next expansion when people aren't skinning MoP.  (I know, I said I wasn't going to say what to keep).  Sell those damned scales, too.  If you got em, off they go.

* Herbs.  I sell these in their glyphed version.  Alchemy was so damned bad for elixirs, pots, and flasks this expansion, unless it was the time following patches.  I heard from somewhere that milling won't be happening anymore, so there's no time like the present.

* Leftover raid materials.  This is a bigger list actually.  This includes all foods, fish, veggies, elixirs/pots/flasks, Spirits of War, Haunted Spirits, etc.  I personally craft my SoW into belts.  Nobody is going to care about these items, unless you want to keep some back for leveling come Orcland.  I usually don't care about anything for leveling except maybe flasks.  Cooking is generally one of my first activities to level, and the day MoP released I got home from work and went to 600 fishing prior to leveling.  I'm not even joking.

* Anything you've crafted with Living Steel that isn't a mount or a pet.  Belt Buckles and Weapon Chains.  I had dozens of these things laying around, and I used to make 10:1 buckles to chains.

* Engineer scopes.  My engineers were always guilty of having too many SoH in their banks, and I used to love screwing hunters every Tuesday by buying out all the LBSoDs and reposting at 5 to 10 times the price I paid.  Yeah, did this, I sold them all usually, and fuck hunters.  Because they required SoH, you couldn't just turn around and craft 2 dozen of the things, so I used to love getting all my money back with a sale a two, and then reaping it in off the worst fucking people in the game!  That's right, your bullshit of whining because you couldn't have the healing mace for your stupid pet healing has stuck with me for this long.  So, suck it!  Where was I?  Oh yeah, sell the scopes before they have no more value and are replaced by the first green recipe scope in Orcland.

So that's what I'm doing.  Am I going to be dead wrong on things?  Maybe.  Who cares, it's not like I'll be poor.  But I damned sure won't be getting stuck with anything I don't want to be selling.  It's bad enough having to redo TSM groups for a new expansion again, and I relish the thought of removing most of these categories only to replace them with new ones.

For now, I'm going back to Diablo again.  The game's actually a lot of fun, and feels very similar to the way we used to do it in D2.  Of course, the original abomination was horrid, but they're under new management now and it looks like they're going the right way.  I for one am glad, because the franchise looked like they were going to be happy putting a bullet in it.

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Locked, Loaded, So Why Unsub?

First, a quick toasty and tasty roast.

I recently caught a retweet from Power Word: Beg about “Top Gold Makers to follow on Twitter 2014!”…  which I affectionately call “People who have not yet told me to go get a job”.  In the list, he listed a whopping 2 people I would definitely follow if you’re looking to score gold consistently (and not luck of the draw 10k crap).  I’ll let you decide who.  And if I chapped your ass by saying only 2 because you know who ONE of them is and you know you aren’t the other one, then please, feel free to take it up with me after class.

Besides, anything you read in public is useless information because when everyone knows, nobody wins.  It’s one reason I don’t publish “How To” guides on my own blog, I muse about thought processes because I already know what I’m doing and obviously most don’t.  For example, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll never get anything except my kneejerk reactions to things, so you have to follow me for entertainment purposes only.  Since I’m not doing this for money, I don’t care how many or who follows me.  Professionally I’ve dealt in trade secrets my entire career, even signing NDAs with every contract I enter into.  One even forced me to relocate geographically upon severance.  So if you want to know what I do, you become my friend and prove we are on equal footing and the relationship would be beneficial for both parties.  Twitter is essentially high-tech bathroom graffiti with hyperlinks.

I don’t follow the Stay-At-Home streamers, they either need to get back to school or do something more productive, and I’m busy.  I do however rely on retweets of others to let me know how these boneheads are doing because it’s just not worth the time to follow the inane banter that their pointless little lives produce while calling it their pursuit in life.  Check out Gamebreaker and see how that’s going.  Just saying, my company is hiring.  Within a few hours you could pay for that fresh 90!

So support your local bleggar – tell them to go get a job.  And on to our topic!

What’s Content?  Certainly Not What You Think It Is From The Looks of It

Blizzard went and released the pre-sale event with a ~9 month projected release date on it.  They knew what they were doing, Q1 ends in 3 weeks, and they knew there would be some fallout from it because the majority of their playerbase are whiney little entitled shitheads that are used to being handed the carrots now rather than chasing them.

Let’s further talk about how freaking stupid people act by saying there’s nothing to do between now and expansion and we have months of endless boredom ahead of us.  No, really, these are talking monkeys who should uninstall and leave my game alone – everytime these chimp brains get together Blizzard takes more shit away from me.  Back when I raided was always pushing for server pole positions and having to loot players from competing guilds, my favorite time in the game was “Me” time.

Progression is over, you have just under a year to play the game your way and do interesting things that you didn’t have time for normally.  It’s been this way for freaking 10 years, progression, break, progression, break.  Anyone who’s screaming for new content at this point needs to join the bleggars and go get a job with all that free time they now have.  Like I said, I love getting content breaks, it’s sort of like daylight savings, you get an hour of extra sleep but at the expense of losing sleep when it begins!

Given how behind the devs have seemed in Twitter and elsewhere, a summer or early fall release just never seemed to be in the cards.  I said June, but that was way back in January and prior to seeing the type of tweets we’ve all seen.  After all, Blizz has historically been about polish, and forced releases are just not going to be something they engage in.

Today is all about staying occupied while we’re in a time of relative peace.  That’s right you serial killers in training, there’s lots of content.

Interesting Things To Do Between Now and Expansion Release

1.    Join OpenRaid

I know the vast majority of players are decent people.  Some decent people are also decent players, who know how to treat their fellow players in a public raid setting.  Check out, get yourself some street cred and make some friends.  I’m on there, and I do things from time to time when I want to go for an achievement.  If you suck, or like to rage in vent or drop groups as a revenge tactic, please stay away.  Otherwise, everybody in the pool!

2.    Complete Gold Proving Grounds

Most of you are going to have to do Silver just to get into Heroic dungeon modes anyhow (thanks to Blizz for letting us know LFR is definitely trash for the first new tier).  Get gold and then see how far you get with Endless.  It’s merely a test of your ability to time cooldowns and spec for a fight.  If you cannot get Silver, it’s ok, you can always …

2b. Learn how to play

It’s a perfect time to get that dps up over 50k with i500.  You know who you are, I see you in LFR with ungemmed/unenchanted gear.  If you’re rolling Timeless Isle 496 trash, you should easily be doing 80-100k regardless of mods and with the right mods.  I ran across a 515 hunter in ToT LFR the other night.  The guy was doing 34,000 dps and whining because he wasn’t getting battle rezzes.  And we wonder why tigers eat their young?

3.    Challenge modes

Grab 4 friends, some flasks, and invisibility potions and go get the gear before it’s gone forever.  Or find a group running them for gold.  I’ll tell you this, this is one of the only Tmogs you’ll want to have.  Between my S11 Elite Paladin set and my CM Gold Challenge mode gear, I’m set.  Two sets of very exclusive pieces, and the mount isn’t half bad either (Silver).  You don’t even take durability in CMs, so there’s really no excuse – except not knowing what you’re doing.

4.    Get Beloved

I personally got this when it required 70 Exalted factions, but it now only requires 60.  You make a ton of gold running the various raids for rep, and some also give up pets now.  There are plenty of resets left between now and expansion.  If you can’t be asked to do some dailies, then there’s just no hope for you.

5.    Over 600 battle pets are available

And they need to get to 25!  If you haven’t done them by now, give them a try.  I was the original “Pokemon sucks, screw MOP” asshole, now I’m with the program.  Go visit and read some guides or see where you fall.  I’m currently working my up the Illidan ranks again, 21 spots til #1!  I love when you can keep score.

6.    Finish the Pandaria dungeon achievements

These are pretty easy, although some are annoying.  Get it done before Blizzard goes and fucks up something they’ll never fix thus removing the mount forever. It happens!  The pink dragon is a decent skin.

7.    Finish the remaining quests

I’m big on quests.  Finish Loremaster of Pandaria, it’s a decent amount of gold, rep, and toys.  You may also find out the answers to several things you’ve seen in game.  I know when I finished Dread Wastes it was an “a ha!” moment.

8.    Archeology – Seeker of Knowledge

If you have this achievement, you’ve got one of the rarest titles in the game.  It will only take you several dozen hours to get it assuming you don’t get screwed by the RNG gods, so get started now.  Besides that, you get a really nice amount of gold from the Tolvir boxes which would be the preferred box-dump.

At the very least, you will get all the BOAs offered for MoP, so when WoD hits you can start on those, too.

9.    Grind Conqueror or Justicar

Old school achievement, entirely time spent based.  Don’t suck and you’ll get it faster.  Get a group of people and dominate!

10.    Finish leveling all character slots and all classes on your server

Who needs free 90s?  Or at least have 10x90s and 1x60 for when you buy the expansion.  The 60 will receive 600 professions.  The only real reason to have a free 90 is to kickstart your WoW playing career, reroll for free, or get carried in LFRs until you get some better gear.  Profession slots are nice, but we’re not really in a boom time for those.  Besides, I think it’s more interesting to learn where the class has been instead of just seeing one level of it.

I will say I’m disappointed I’m being asked to pay an extra 10 bucks for this expansion, which offers a free 90, when I have all my server’s slots at 90.  This is more of an annoyance, like being told you are required to tip 18% for parties of 6 or more and then having a server that gives you a terrible experience.  (yes, Humperdinks, thanks for the memory)

11.    Finish all old content raids and their achievements

Hey, it’s a free mount most of the time, why not?  Gear is temporary, mounts are forever.  You will need a group for most of them.  Ulduar through Dragon Soul, and using OpenRaid makes this definitely possible regardless of your server size.

12.    Finish something that will take weeks

During Wrath it was Insane, the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, and ZG mounts before they changed them forever (also, check, check, check/check).  Today, you can go for the mount in Vale of Eternity (shard drops), which also allows you to grind exalted Golden Lotus across all toons since the shards are BOA and can be mailed to one character.  Grind the remaining achievements that require you to get exalted with competing factions (Sholozar Basin, Shattrath) and be the envy of achievement whores everywhere.

13.    Roll the other faction on another server, or maybe on your main server

Go 1-90 as your favorite mirror faction/race.  Gnome? Go Forsaken.  Tauren? Try Night Elf. Worgen? Go Goblin.  This will award the Double Agent achievement and you get to see the storyline from another perspective.  I did this back in TBC and I was shocked at how awesome the Horde was.  Today I’m almost entirely Horde. That’s right, fuck the Alliance.

14.    Do something bizarre, crazy, and probably against the TOS

For me, it’s always rolling over to the Goldshire Inn on Moon Guard.  Nekkid neckbeards all over the place all looking for the hookup and to act crazy and like deviates.  It’s entertaining for me, but for some people I’m sure this will be memories that last a lifetime.

15.    Play for the sake of playing

It’s not all about getting the best gear out of carrymode raid instances and then demanding more “content”.  This game is an endless carrot chase, with different modeled bosses doing the same thing – dropping loot.  Take it from someone that remembers the reaction to Hellfire Peninsula when it was 10 minutes after midnight on release.  Your epics become worthless in the next expansion and frankly, that LFR gear is garbage anyhow when within a month of WoD’s release you’ll probably have access to Heroic SoO versions for your xmogging pleasure.  Get away from the Auction House for a few hours, go make some new friends, do someone a solid and run them though some dungeons.

There’s a truckload of things to do, and if you can’t find something, then you aren’t really trying.  If you must unsub, then do it and leave the rest of us alone.

I await the first “That’s All Boring” reply.  Fine, if you’ve gone as far as you can this expansion to your satisfaction, then take a break.  Maybe join a gym and get rid of the Panda-Paunch, fatty.  Can’t be asked to go outside?  Fine, pick a different game for a little while.  But do not sit and demand more content because you’re bored, entitled, or have higher than hell expectations from a 10 year old game that’s had this same track record of lulls since the end of Classic.

This remains an MMO-RPG.  MMO doesn’t stand for Money Making Online (yes, you, the AH Junkies) and RPG has always stood for character progression.  While they’ve removed a lot of the aspect of progression with keeping everyone at current content by fiat (and losers calling it Quality of Life improvements…  really…), the majority of the remaining content requires your attendance and attention.  While we’re experiencing an RPG within a video game format, there’s still a world outside of stupid raids.  If you aren’t entertained, then check out.  Again, for the third time, stop acting like degenerate addicts by demanding new content from a manufacturer that historically doesn’t respond well to customer demands and threatening them with withholding your wallet.  They’ll let you in on the next adventure when they’re good and flippin’ ready.

Oh yeah, I’m probably going to go play some Rift again!

Thanks for stopping in!