Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 19, 2012
 
World of Warcraft status report

As I believe that content is the purpose of a MMORPG, and not an obstacle to overcome, I don't rush. That plus time spent in other games, like XCOM, means that my World of Warcraft main still hasn't hit the level cap. He is level 89 though, which qualified him for both the Brewfest and the Halloween event dungeons. Thus I do have two level 90 (iLevel 470) epic trinkets from Coren Direbrew and two rings from the Headless Horseman. Why two each? Well, this is where the trouble starts.

I like 5-man dungeons. I also like the more casual kind of raids. Very early in my World of Warcraft career I discovered that the best way to get into a dungeon or a raid was to play a role that is less popular. I tried both tanking and healing, and ended up liking healing a lot more. So my main is a priest with holy spec and nearly 8 years of experience in group healing. I'm not claiming I'm the world's best WoW player, but I am a good healer.

Unfortunately in this expansion you cannot simply just play the content you like. As after nearly 8 years of practice I'm unlikely to still make huge steps in improving my player skill as a healer, my healing output depends very much on my gear. In previous expansions I would have been able to get better gear by just running dungeons. But in this expansion I'm already capped at 4,000 justice points and there is no way I can spend them at level 89 (unless I want to waste them to buy bad level 85 epics or heirlooms). And even once I reach level 90, I will still not be able to spend those points, or progress further by running normal dungeons. Instead I will have to grind daily quests with various factions to be able to buy justice point gear. And I would need to be stupid to do those daily quests as holy priest, I need to be shadow to kill mobs in a reasonable amount of time. That is why I'm collecting spell damage gear as well as healing gear, to speed up grinding. I am really going to miss tabards.

Ultimately that is a self-defeating game design. As Green Armadillo recently wrote, MMORPGs are increasingly forcing us to do stuff we don't like as a pre-condition of allowing us to play the stuff we actually do want to play. But when I turn on my computer and wonder what to play, that game design ends up with me thinking "oh, if I play World of Warcraft I will have to grind daily quests I don't like before I can run dungeons", while if I play some non-MMORPG game, I will be able to do the activity that I actually do want to play. Thus sooner or later I decide *not* to play WoW, and unsubscribe.

I think combining daily quests and gear progression is a bad idea. You don't need gear progression to be able to do daily quests, thus you are basically rewarded with something that only serves for a very different activity. I don't mind there being daily quests in the game, there are probably a lot of people who like them as an endgame activity. But why not make the rewards for dailies to be pets and mounts and other stuff you don't need to run heroics and raids? It is great to have many optional alternatives in a MMORPG, but stupid to make them mandatory for progression.

Comments:
Rep Requirement for JP gear is removed. Happy gearing.
 
Those two rings and two trinkets are probably BiS for out of all your current healing options.

Holy gear works well for shadow priests (if not completely optimal). The only bits that would be useless are on heal effects on trinkets or enchants.

And yes, see above for the removal of rep requirements for JP gear. 3 ilvl 458 JP items and a 450 weapon from the Arena of Annihilation means you should meet the minimum requirements for LFG heroic instances (ave ilvl 435) 10 minutes after hitting max level.
 
Spell damage and healing gear? Do you mean items with spirit? Spell damage and healing is one stat on items since wrath. And how this was earlier? Player couldn't get those points beforehand, so he had to use quest items and getting reputation rewards anyway.
 
I believe that the best content is an obstacle that is really fun to overcome. ;)

Otherwise, I agree that it's not good game design to stack types of content the way WoW does. It should be possible to do all kinds of things at all kinds of 'levels' and still progress your character. Even if that means that the character power progression has to slow down.

About daily quests .. I never liked them. I understand the idea: recreating the popular leveling game at max level. But it doesn't work for me because leveling is fun for me because I expore my character's abilities and a landscape / monsters, etc. (Maybe even meet other players and overcome challenges together .. not really possible in today's WoW, of course.)

But leveling is not fun for me because I like questing. I certainly don't like to repeat quests ad infinitum.
 
Yes, they messed up seriously with that JP/VP and reputation thing. This is why they reversed the change and you can now buy JP gear without rep and for VP gear honored will be enough to get you stuff (BTW if you quest in the last zone, you get enough stuff to get into heroics).
At the same time, they clearly stated that VP gear is not vital for raid progression... and it's true. I got bored of the many of the stupid dailies quickly (Golden lotus in particular) and I'm still only honored with the "important" factions. It's not really limiting my raid activity in any way, I can get better stuff from raids/LFG than I can buy with VP anyway.
 
@typhoonandrew
I believe he was talking about being unable to buy anything with JP because he is 89, not because of the rep requirements.

@Tobold
Don't forget there is a vendor who lets you exchange 350 JP for 250 Honor. In this way, you can convert some JP to honor and therefore have more room for more JP to squirrel away. Honor gear is perfectly fine now for PVE.
 
You're absolutely right that it would be stupid to have to run dailies to progress your character. Fortunately, Blizzard agree. You do NOT have to run dailies to progress your character. If you prefer, you can run dungeons, then heroics, then LFR instead, if that's your preference. The rep gear is not needed to run dungeons or raids.

 
" The rep gear is not needed to run dungeons or raids."

No but you need to have a minimum ilevel and the easiest way to get the gears is running dungeons.

"Rep Requirement for JP gear is removed"

Don't you need to be honored? That's not removed...

And most of you are missing the points with the hole "gear for shadow is good enough to heal" or vice-versa. Let's pretend he's running an Enhanc Shaman instead (like I am). There's no way I can grind and quest as Resto, yet thats what I want to run dungeons as.
 
"MMORPGs are increasingly forcing us to do stuff we don't like as a pre-condition of allowing us to play the stuff we actually do want to play."

When was this not true?

How many times did you have to run BRD to even get in MC? Or do long, rambling, multi hour dungeons for a 5% chance of getting what you want.

I remember having to run that 10 man thing with the dragons like 1000 times to get my warlock his tier 0 gear.

Not to mention grinding for soulstones, cash to repair stuff, etc.

The entire MMO enterprise is based around making you do at least 2 hours of work for 1 hour of fun.
 
So it seems the problem for some people is that the way they enjoy playing isn't also the very fastest way to get gear?

How terrible.
 
@Poule
The only JP purchased item that requires rep is the weapon slot and that is revered.

If a magic-focused healing shaman wants to run quests with his mgical healing gear then I would suggest they use the magic focused elemental spec, as opposed to the melee focused enhancement. The replies to this thread have displayed that dailies are not required to unlock end-game healing content. Requiring multiple sets to do multiple activities is not the point of the original discussion.
 
Yep, you don't need rep to spend those JP's.

Well that changes things, eh?
 
It only postpones the problem to when I want to spend valor points. I checked: Those still need daily quest rep.
 
Yes, but you can't even get valor until 90, and valor doesn't solely come from dailies; it also comes from LFR, scenarios, and dungeons.

The rep grind is awful in MoP, but it's not quite as awful as you think it is.
 
That sounds like a great PR slogan: "Not quite as awful as you think it is!".
 
You've healed for 8 years and you can't or won't queue for regular dungeons (the content you like) without better gear? And you're complaining about dailies already having done none of them? I'm just not buying what your selling.

Your only barrier to content right now is reaching level 90, doing all the quests in the last zone, and the scenario that gives the weapon. All are fun.

Then spend a few weeks having fun running heroics and gathering better gear. At worst do the Klaxxi dailies 5 or 6 times to get honored and hit the AH and you can get the last pieces that take you to the ilvl you need for LFR.

Since you're fine progressing slowly, I just don't understand how you could possibly be complaining about this expansion. The game is chock full of fun things to do that keep you looking forward to more fun things.
 
Even if Valor is gated to Revered, I still think of daily quests as optional for dungeons and raids. I've been 90 since Tuesday, and I haven't done a single daily quest. But I've done a variety of heroic content and look forward to LFR and eventually Normal raiding. The casualty here? I won't have access to Valor gear, to which I say: "Who cares?" I'm raiding the dungeons to improve through drops anyway.

It's a non-issue for me. But I can see where you're coming from.
 
In fact, if I may follow up my last comment, in previous expansions I've felt more "forced" to do rep grinding for enchantments (head/shoulders) because that was the only acquire those bits of improvements which were near mandatory for raiding. At least in this regard, the game has improved. I truly don't feel like my hand is being forced here in regards to daily quests, so I struggle with your dilemma. But I will follow the discussion further in the comments.
 
I get that you prefer not to do things you don't want (questing, levelling) and just focus on things you do. But it's very core to WoW (and similar themepark games) that some content is behind gates, and some of those gates are gear or level based. It is what it is.

You don't have to like it, but that's not really a bone to pick with Pandaria. It's not specific to this expansion and tbh when I levelled my healer, I was able to go straight into heroics on hitting 90, just from quest reward gear and the Direbrew trinket/ Horseman ring. So it's not hard, assuming you don't have an issue with the levelling game.
 
A few things were already mentioned like no reputation requirements for JP gear, etc.
Some other things are:
- "progress further by running normal dungeons"
There are no end game normal dungeons. Only heroics and they are on par with WotLK dungeons during ICC, difficulty wise.
- "why not make the rewards for dailies to be pets and mounts and other stuff"
That is how it works. You get trinkets and other gimmicks around revered and mounts once you hit exalted.
JP gear, while buffed, is inferior to dungeon gear and VP gear is a sidegrade for raid gear but gated through the 1000 VP per week.
 
I think you are overstating things here Tobold.

There is absolutely no need to get VP gear if you don't want it. You don't need it for heroics in the least. You don't need it for LFR or even for normal modes. It's entirely a side reward if you feel like doing reputation.


Reputation only feels forced for people unfortunately enough to be enchanters in my experience, they are stuck needing a lot of grinding to get what they need. Otherwise, reputation feels entirely optional.
 
I heard a number of comments that this expansion provides the most choice of any. E.g.: you can earn VP from reg/heroic raids, LFR, heroics, scenarios, or dailies.

My opinion is the typical path for a 90 is:

finish dreadwaste for 429+ gear with a couple of 450 quest blues. Get some 458 JP gear to replace your worst.

IMO the easiest way for a new 90 to get gear (and perhaps even for higher toons to VP Cap) is scenarios. The item level required is under 430 so many will be there before hitting 90.

I think someone who finished dread wastes, got a JP item or two, the 450 scenario weapon, and 0-3 scenario 463 items will be at the 450 level required for heroics. Without doing any dailies or getting any honor. Crafted gear makes it even easier ofc.
 
I totally agree with your assessment Tobold. I personally do not have the time anymore to grind bad content to play good content. So it's single player games for me now until mmorpg's get that fixed. I do miss raiding a couple nights a week, that's for sure.

Off topic:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/10/haunts-kickstarter-failure-highlights-the-risks-of-crowdfunding/
You called it.
 
I can't speak for your realm, but I know that on my realms, the crafted 450 spirit cloth goes for well under 100g each for all slots.

I know you don't need to think twice about jumping into heroics as dps in quest greens (barely meeting item level requirements), and that as a healer, you have more of tendency to push well past the minimum item level requirements before being comfortable jumping in, and the crafted gear is the easiest way to do that.

Sure, the Contender's Satin set has PvP stats on it, but everyone needs to get out of the mentality that PvP gear is bad for PvE, because you're simply not paying a secondary stat penalty anymore due to the inclusion of PvP stats.

Fill whatever armor slots you don't have blues in when you hit 90, and start rolling the heroics. I'm sure you'd even be fine with your quest weapon and trinkets until you can replace them in heroics (though you've taken care of the trinkets).

Get yourself into a Sha group as soon as you hit 90 and pick up the quest item to turn in for the 476 boots, and you'll have no trouble getting into LFR within a week of hitting 90.

As many have mentioned before, the Valor gear isn't positioned as clear best-in-slot stuff like it was in previous expansions.

I'm only focusing on doing my Tillers dailies (about 2 days from exalted). I don't really enjoy the "Farmville" gameplay, but the easy farming of Motes of Harmony make it too good too good to pass up. Crafting the 463 weapons on my Blacksmith has been the equivalent of printing money so far, especially considering that Blizzard opted not to release honor weapons (conquest weapons requiring several weeks worth of points accumulated during the season before you're even eligible to purchase them).

Beyond Tillers, the only real motivator for me to do dailes is to bank a few of the Lucky Charms for bonus rolls on specific bosses in LFR and Sha, and even then, I've only turned in the lesser charms once thus far (been 90 for just under 3 weeks).

Definitely check out the Contender's Satin set. Prices fluctuate a fair bit from realm to realm, but I believe some recipes are required to level Tailoring, so you can usually find them at or below the cost of cloth.
 
As others have said, there is no need to do a single daily for gear progression.

Dread Waste doing all the quests you will be equipped in 437 greens and 440+ blues in every single slot. The heroic dungeons require an ilvl of 435.

The heroic dungeons and scenarios drop ilvl 463 for every gear slot. Raidfinder Mogushanvault requires ilvl 460 to queue. 10man normal Mogushanvault is balanced for 463.

The only thing that JP and VP gear is good for, is shortening the time it takes you to increase your ilvl to the 435/460 barriers.

Another thing: it takes 5250 VP to buy all 3 items from a faction. So if you do want to buy 489 rep items (instead of raiding for them in 10man) you actually need 21 weeks to even earn the valor for all of them. More than enough time to do the dailies, you can concentrate on one faction at a time and even skip at least every other day.

One thing you'll miss out when doing no dailies at all is the 3 bonus rolls for raid bosses per week from charms of good fortune. It takes 45 dailies per week to get to the cap.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Dread Wastes quests -> Scenarios / normal Dungeons -> heroic Dungeons -> LFR / world Bosses -> normal difficulty raids.

Add a touch of crafted gear and maybe even PvP pieces and BAM, awesomely geared with no help from dailies.
 
Yeah, so I caved and accepted that scroll of resurrection. Bought the panda-pack to hang with my friends. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with this expansion. I’m actually encountering the opposite problem. I had way too much exp, so that I still hadn’t finished all the zones by the time I hit 90. Now I’m 90 and there are a BILLION things to do and I have no idea what I ‘should’ be doing.

The most fun for me, in the game, is questing and levelling, uncovering the story. I think I fully completed Jade Forest and Valley of the Four Winds, with a bit of time spent in Krasarang and enough of Kun-Lai Summit to unlock the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. I hit 90 just exploring that area and was informed that I was now eligible for a billion dungeons. First thing I did was hit the AH and buy a full set of crafted blue tanking armour and enchants for it, and I had enough Justice Points left-over from WotLK for a nice cloak.

There are a few daily rep things I wanted to do straight away for fun toys like mounts and farming, to level my cooking, but other than that, there’s all these dungeons and scenarios available and I haven’t got the faintest idea of what to do with myself for them. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem as I’d just take the lead from my mates who dragged me back for the ‘typical’ best thing to do after hitting 90, maybe run some dungeons or scenarios without any peer pressure that you get queuing with randoms. But the level-capped friends were busy this weekend, so I had to fend for myself after hitting 90.

My solution was to just keep playing the zones. I built up my little horde town in Kun-Lai. I don’t want to just spam the dungeon-finder, because I’d like to encounter each dungeon at an appropriate point in that zone’s story. Also, being a few levels higher doesn’t hurt for soloing the dungeon, while you’re levelling, so you don’t have to worry about your performance affecting the group. I did that with the cataclysm zones as I was levelling from 80, and (barely) Stormstout Brewery at 87. I don’t know if the dungeons will get too hard for me to continue to do that but, as a tank, soloing dungeons is a pretty good way to learn mechanics before stepping up to try heroics.

My mates’ll straighten me out when we start playing again this week, but I was mildly puzzled that there is no explanation about scenarios in-game at all. I hadn’t the foggiest idea where to start with that, or even if I should – I know I could always google it as well, and frankly I’ve simply got so much left to do before I have to start LOOKING for things to do, but I was just surprised that there wasn’t an in-game explanation lead-in.
 
"But in this expansion I'm already capped at 4,000 justice points and there is no way I can spend them at level 89 (unless I want to waste them to buy bad level 85 epics or heirlooms)."

True. You can convert them to HP, and convert those back to JP. If you're capped on both you have an issue though. What you could do is buy an item and then make sure within 2 hr time frame you are 90. Then you can give the item back after you spend your points. Other than that you could buy some Cata mats with JP or mounts with HP. Or heirlooms.

"And I would need to be stupid to do those daily quests as holy priest, I need to be shadow to kill mobs in a reasonable amount of time. That is why I'm collecting spell damage gear as well as healing gear, to speed up grinding. I am really going to miss tabards."

Again, true. While you can certainly solo content as holy or disc, doing so as shadow goes quicker. But you can just use your holy/disc gear for that. You could reforge, but certainly don't have to. The fact you'll be over your hit cap and don't have much haste won't matter much, and the procs on trinkets you can actually trigger with glyph of dark binding (toss a renew on yourself).

The Coren Direbrew trinkets are less good than ilvl 463 HC dungeon trinkets. They're not BiS for any spec whatsoever. You could activate the healing trinket as shadow (halo et al, renew, PoM) or the DPS trinket as holy/disc (atonement smiting, damage chakra smiting, halo et al, glyphed holy fire, SW:D sniping) but they're not worth the casting time to gain a performance increase over the ilvl 463 trinkets. TL;DR they're not worth the ilvl they represent (only talking about priest here but I suspect its not an isolated case).

The rings are ace although I prefer mastery over crit as both holy and disc except when atonement spamming. Then I prefer crit. The hit/haste ring is obviously good for shadow. Although if you're human you'll prefer spirit over hit it is still a good ring.

"I think combining daily quests and gear progression is a bad idea. You don't need gear progression to be able to do daily quests, thus you are basically rewarded with something that only serves for a very different activity. I don't mind there being daily quests in the game, there are probably a lot of people who like them as an endgame activity."

Hardcore players don't like them because they have to grind them every day. Casual players don't like them because they don't have the time to do them.

As a casual player your content ends with LFR in the start of expansion this is the highest level of difficulty you will achieve. Eventually you'll be able to do normal raid, perhaps with alts of more serious raiders once you caught up.

"But why not make the rewards for dailies to be pets and mounts and other stuff you don't need to run heroics and raids? It is great to have many optional alternatives in a MMORPG, but stupid to make them mandatory for progression."

Because people complained there was too little content in start of Cata. Blizzard did not want to make the same mistake.
 
Forgot to mention one minor but very interesting tidbit: you could stay holy and quest in a small group of people (guildies, friends). This way you can still do damage, but also heal up people and help with CC and be able to provide a backbone in case of wPvP.
 
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