Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 08, 2016
World of Warcraft Legion companion app

I'm playing World of Warcraft on my iPad. Well, not the whole game. But the Legion class hall, like the Warlords of Draenor garrison it replaces, has a mini-game in which you send out followers to do missions. As these missions take several hours of real time to complete, that mini-game resembles similar gameplay of some mobile games. And it is best played on a mobile device, because many people due to work and school can't play World of Warcraft every 4 hours for 5 minutes, while on a mobile device that is much more feasible. So Blizzard this week launched the Legion companion app, which allows you to do just that, on Android or iOS devices. The app also allows you to do research in you class hall, hire troops, and apparently there is some world quest feature available at character level 110.

Blizzard apparently has a new approach of adapting World of Warcraft to modern gaming habits. During Warlords of Draenor people asked for an app like that, but only ever got an app where you could manually set timers to remind you when your missions were done. The Legion companion app allows you to actually send followers on missions, complete missions, and the next time you log into the main game the rewards will be in your inventory. Also this week Blizzard introduced a new feature where you can stream your gameplay live onto social networks. Not something I'm personally going to use, but I can see that there is demand for such a feature.

The new app encouraged me to try to at least level my frost mage to level 101 to get access to those missions. Unfortunately that proves to be a rather tedious slog. With polymorph not working on many mobs, and freeze effects breaking immediately, the frost mage is quickly overwhelmed when fighting more than one mob at a time. And in Legion single mobs have become a rarity, most monsters now come in groups and added involuntary pulls are very common. Sometimes I just have to try to kill one mob of a group, blink away and leave combat using invisibility to then come back and deal with the now smaller group before respawn. I was wondering if switching to another spec would improve things, but I already chose the frost artifact and it'll be several levels before I get the next one. I hear people complaining that ranged dps are better than melee dps in Legion group content, but for leveling my fury warrior is far, far better than my mage.

Polymorph works on humanoids and beasts only. So no demons, elementals etc.

But are you sure that you utilize your frost mage's tools to the fullest? It is recommended spec for levelling because of big amount of control. In PvP frost mages are bane of almost all melee calsses.

I remember two rooting spells frost mages have without any talents, both are aoe roots. Your elemental can freeze enemies at range for 8 seconds, and your frost nova does the same with enemies that are close. Ice nova talent is aoe 2-second root. There is of course ring of frost talent with 10 second duration - full incapacitate, i.e. even caster and archer mobs won't be able to damage you.

Then come slows. Frostbolt only does 30% slow, but close enemies can be 70% slowed with cone of cold, which can be followed by blink.

You can utilize these skills in succession so first one will come off cooldown when you've used last one. You also have ice block to wait out the cooldowns, and it can be talented to have 2 charges and heal you.

And you already know about invisibility.
My only problem with the companion app:
- the world map showing world quests is BETTER than the ingame one
- you cannot open the companion app (for one character) if you're logged in

As a result, the entire "world quest" map is quite useless, since when I'm ingame (to actually do the world quests) I cannot use the better map of the app to locate them.

BTW world quest = daily without the blue exclamation mark and without a descriptive text. I'm not really sure it's such a revolutionary idea, even if when you read GW2 players it seems like it is.....

For the frost mage leveling: I'll be trying it as well, but I managed to get killed on my feral druid, so I guess that non-plate DPS leveling may actually require some thinking :)
In any case you should be aware that with the new "simplification" (= massive pruning of abilities), nothing has really been simplified.... the current situation is that if you use the wrong skills, the consequences are MUCH worse. On my blood DK I was getting killed by trash in the legendary scenario. After a quick read on icy-veins I proceeded to steamroll the rest. Talent choices matter a lot as well, at times the survival/dps tradeoff is quite brutal.

Your elemental can freeze enemies at range for 8 seconds

I guess I followed bad talent spec advice when I took the talent that eliminated the elemental in exchange for more frost spell damage. Probably good for raids, bad for leveling.
I did level a Frost mage to 110 during beta without too much trouble, but haven't leveled my Frost mage on live yet, but I did play Frost during pre-patch. I know the problem you are talking about. Starting with Protection Paladin as my first 110 makes very spoiled.

But there are few tips I learned I want to try out when I get back to her:
- You are right, Icy Veins spec is more of a dungeon spec than leveling. I even disagree with their General Use recommendations.
- Blizzard is no longer channeled and has a decent cooldown. So casting that on every cooldown is recommended against packs.
- Ray of Frost (Level 15) coupled with Rune of Power can really put the hurt on a single target
- Cold Snap (Level 30) turns Ice Block into your only in combat healing. Good to take a rest and let your pet and bodyguard (if you have one) to take a beating. Also gives your cooldowns a chance to tick down while you take an icy rest.
- Ice Nova (Level 30) gives you another ranged control (in addition to your pet). Remember to cast a Frost Bolt before Ice Nova to create a shatter combo on your first victim.
- Consider switching to Ice Ward (Level 75) to give you that second Frost Nova. Keep those packs in your multiple Blizzards in place with a chance to shatter.
- Frost Bomb is nice if you use Frozen Touch (Level 30), but if you use Ice Nova, Arctic Gale can give your Blizzard that extra punch you need for packs.
- Thermal Void (Level 100) is definitely a dungeon ability. Glacial Spike is better burst, and when it hits, freezes freezable targets (i.e. not bosses), setting you up for a Frost Lance shatter.
- When you get a Brain Freeze proc, burn all available Fingers of Frost with Ice Lance, cast a Frost Bolt, immediately hit the Flurry, and when your GCD finishes, hit Ice Lance. Flurry chills its target allowing the Frost Bolt and Ice Lance a chance to shatter.
Thanks for the advice. Changing 4 talents and moving from demons to murlocs (which are humanoids and thus can be polymorphed) really improved things for me. I'm in general not a huge fan of pet classes, but the water elemental is too useful to live without.
You can get the other artifacts at level 102, mate.

Beware of the companion app! I strongly suspect when you finish storyline follower missions, you don't get credit properly in your character's quest.
So far its great and yes the world quest is better then the one in game. But at least I can plan and generally some world quests finish shortly after I get home and at least one is worth doing so I can prioritise those.

Melee/tank vs ranged for levelling seems off. My dk can grab a rare and 4-5 mobs and never drop below 50%, my spriest has to use everything to kill 1 rare.
The world quest features in the app are only information. It shows which are how long available, rewards etc. Only useful if you want to take a look in your afternoon coffee break to get hyped for your evening playing session.

But I can't see me (or anyone) making a to do list on paper with info from the app to work off in the evening. It would be nice if you could tick the world quest that interest you in the app and have that appearing ingame as a to do list with directions.

Btw, I really like world quests. They are daily quests done right. A good variety of tasks, faster done than former dailies, some require a group which is easily found with the dungeon tool. Just make me miss flying a lot.
Generally in 5-man group content melee are better than ranged. More damage, better AoE and they get to ignore all the mechanics that primarily focus ranged characters. I don't know where you got the ranged>melee thing, but even the melee animations were updated for Legion to make gameplay more fluid.
Ranged > Melee because you're not dealing with the mess of floor mechanics that usually occur near a boss, and that many visuals often makes seeing things underneath near impossible (heck, my Pally tank's consecrate is bad enough on its own, let alone everyone else's visuals as well).

There also tend to be far more anti-melee mechanics than anti-ranged (primarily because to threaten tanks often requires inadvertently threatening melee mechanically), though that in recent years has started to normalize as the devs create more mechanics ranged have to deal with.

Finally, ranged often just have to move less. Step to the side to dodge, you're good. Melee to dodge often have to run out, then run back in. That gets mitigated a little by the fact that melee can DPS on the move, but in general anything that increases your mobility as melee tends to be high priority because of all the extra movement.

But at the end of the day, group content != solo content. Very different experiences require very different skill sets/tool kits, and I would not use one to extrapolate experience in the other.
In solo content, melee works better simply because you don't have a tank to keep the mobs at range! Sure, you get off a couple of nukes before they come up to you, but after that the balance turns around in their favour.
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