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.