Tobold's Blog
Friday, April 17, 2015
Level cap activities

I am not a huge fan of playing at the level cap. Gameplay at the level cap tends to be more repetitive, with diminishing returns of gear rewards over time. And while reaching the level cap is great as a starting point for the next expansion, the gear reset when that expansion comes makes most rewards you got at the level cap obsolete.

One thing I was interested in was making gold with my 4 level 100 characters in view of the WoW token coming to Europe one day. That turned out to be rather easy. With two tradeskill buildings and the relate professions per character, and a level 3 barn each, I'm making over 5,000 gold *a day* just by producing the crafting materials and savage blood that I transform into various upgrade essences. The problem is that with money-making methods I am most interested in proving the concept, and not necessarily in repeating the method for a long time. For the savage blood I need to kill 6 elite level 100 mobs per character per day, or 168 elite mobs per week. That gets tedious pretty quickly, and between farming those mobs and doing the daily garrison chores (gathering resources, collecting work orders, followers missions) I end up spending half of the time I play each week just with those money-making tasks. As I already have enough gold to buy a bunch of tokens, I'm planning to cut that way down, and skip the resource collection / farming part. The tradeskill building still make some money if I buy the resources, and I don't really need more.

End game activities frequently pose a danger of circular logic: You raid to get epics, and you need epics to raid more. I need gold to pay for WoW tokens, and then I spend my subscription time to make gold. To escape that circular logic I think I need to concentrate on what is intrinsically the most fun activity, and forget about the rewards.

One thing I am having a lot of fun with is pet battles. Collecting the pets from different zones appeals to the collector in me. I am currently working on the Draenor zones, with the added goal of reaching 150 pet battles won in Draenor, which gives an account-wide achievement which unlocks the level 3 menageries in my garrisons. But once I have that, I was thinking of collecting pets with my low level monk and/or hunter, combining questing with pet collecting in the same zone. Maybe that way I'll even level another character all the way from 1 to 100.

I still haven't regained my interest in group content, even with the announced timewalking mechanics. On paper it looks like a good idea: A lot of effort went into creating the dungeons of previous editions, and right now they are pretty useless. I soloed Karazhan for fun with my warlock, but beyond the nostalgia value that isn't really all that interesting. So yeah, making old dungeons available to current end game characters sounds good. Only I'm not interested because if you join a pickup group today you only ever get people in a hurry wanting to do speed runs, and complaining all the time about their group mates. That isn't what I would want to visit old dungeons for, even if they give level 100 rewards. As I said, those will be obsolete by the time the next expansion comes anyway.

Raiding is not so circular to me. I had that same issue with all three Diablo games though.

Raiding to me is about being able to kill more bosses, and hopefully get the mounts that some of them drop. I very much like mounts, and I very much like killing more internet dragons.
For the first time in ten years, I'm taking an extended vacation from WoW. I don't think it's dying or anything like that, I just don't find it very fun at the moment.

Every expansion has its "chores" you have to do. The difference between previous expansions and WoD is that there is no end in sight to the daily chores the garrison introduced. What I mean by that is in previous expansions, in order to achieve certain tangible goals (gain exalted, unlock the mount, etc.) you had to do daily quests. There were usually a lot of chores involved, but you were driving toward a definite end point. Once you got there, you could enjoy the reward and stop the chores because there was no point in continuing.

The garrison changed that. The profit potential is so huge, you're nuts if you don't perform your daily chores (elite mob farming, check on missions every few hours, ensure work orders are active) ad nauseum on as many characters as possible every single day. There is no end in sight, no tangible goal. How much gold is enough? More. I think many people could simply say, "that sucks up too much of my time, I'm not doing that every single day for the next year of the expansion." I can't do that.

If I was still playing WoW I would feel compelled to do my garrison chores every day. I tried to dial down my playing to just raid nights. My signal to cancel my subscription was when I found myself considering potential "guilty feelings" over not getting my WoW chores done when I was deciding where to take my family on vacation.
Pro tip: If you trap animals for your barn in a group, all members of the group get the trapped animal. On my guild's last "trap run" I got 104 trapped elites. That will run my barn for a while. And I never tossed out a single trap, I just followed the group tossing out heals.

It's also easy to fall into "I get more by parallelizing my systems" trap. If one barn is good, 2 must be great! Except now you have to grind up twice as many trapped animals, and do everything else that's associated with that process twice. It get's old fast.

WoW gets high marks for loading the game up with stuff to do. Collecting pets is great, and there is the "Celestial challenge" on loot island that you can do for the extreme challenge of it.

I still don't have one of the "Baby Apes" from Jaguero Island.
Yeah blackhawk, that's a really good sign it's time to quit. When you are putting video game activities above real life, things are fubar.
I have decided long ago not to do activities where the "not being fun" is bigger than the benefit. Barns are a great source of gold especially at the start of the expansion but actually trapping the animals sucks so much that I gave up after 2 attempts.

Logging through my toons to start missions isn't the pinnacle of gaming either, but the benefit is big enough that I do it. Also on my 4th toon without dwarven bunker and no epiced out army it's a bit more fun to see which follower to equip.

Fun activities for me: raiding twice a week with people I've known for years. We are pretty bad though, only half through hc Foundry. Also I like to tank random 5man hc. I don't do challenge modes. While I like the difficulty the ticking clock turns me off. Also that's content I'd like to play with people I know and my small guild doesn't have enough interested players. Even if that would turn out to be a third "raid day" every week. I rather hop into the dungeon tool and tank a quick 5man, leaving if I don't like the other people, and being able to just turn off the game if I feel like it. A whole third evening would be too much. Looking forward to mythic 5mans, let's hope they are doable via dungeon tool.

Have you tryed the Loremaster achievement? You could combine it with catching all the rare pets in every area. Leveling is so easy that it really doesn't matter if you do it on a new char or a 100.

About gear becoming obsolete: why do you care? You don't care about Death Mines gear replaced in Razorfen Down. Foundry replacing Highmaul is the same as is quest greens of a new expansion replacing the last raid gear.

Every single item I get in a raid helps me beating the next boss. It is relevant for at least one boss fight and I don't care at all if it becomes obsolete. Gear is a tool. Of course it's nice to get items as a reward but that isn't the reward that counts. The exhilarating feeling of beating a boss the first time is the real reward of raiding.
I also have zero interest in group content. I have done a couple of LFRs but I don't really think of that as group content.

FYI: once you move from learning about it, to thinking about "passive income" then you can start with examining your gold per hour. E.g. stop mine/herb on max level chars. Barns can take a lot of time.

OTOH, if you just log on each character every 5000 minutes and pick up resources, that is 16,000 GR which arbitrage into 16000 gold on my server atm, for doing a half hour per month. E.g. Priest is standing next to GR pile. Every three days, log in, click on pile, log out. 500g in 20 seconds. That is 30 cents for a third of a minute's time.

The next step up is having them run gold or garrison resource missions. Or walk over and do daily work orders and profession daily. Storehouse to up the number of workorders queued. I read of someone who had anvils on the alt so they did not have to go all the way down to the anvil in the building.

It is an intellectual exercise, the money is trivial. But you could see what is the minimum minutes per month of alt time can get you a token.

Imagine if they ever sell 90 boosts for tokens!

After disparaging the barn, along comes FelBloods which I bet will be pricey near launch.
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