Friday, March 04, 2011

Recycling Content for Fun and Profit...

Place your bets now...

No 10 man Raid in 4.1, eh?

This will not go down well in certain circles, I fancy. Undoubtedly it will increase the number of 'Warcraft's rubbish now, I'm off to play Rift/Minecraft/wait for SW:TOR' threads, coz if you're not able to epeen other people in 'superior' gears or brag on Skype how you got a Server First... no, let's just not go there. It is interesting to see Blizzard publicly admit that they released the Crusaders' Coliseum too soon after Uldum, and that they want to 'package features like raids, dungeons, and daily quest hubs into smaller content updates and release them as soon as possible, rather than wait and release them as large but infrequent updates.'

What I think a lot of 'normal' players fail to grasp is the amount of information Blizzard now have available at their disposal in relation to what players are doing in game on any given day. Giving us two five-man dungeons as a 'stop gap' between the three ten mans currently available and a new raid makes a great deal of sense: raiding guilds can run it to fill gaps in team gear between heroic attempts and raid farms. Non raiders get access to new gear and points to go towards existing tier items, but they have to work for it. Everyone has new mounts to lust over (and I cannot believe those new versions of the old classics won't be anything but a low drop rate or a massive token grind) and it gives Blizzard more time to tune the Firelands. It also makes logical sense that we could expect post-4.2 to see another 'classic' raid environment given the once over for the five man 'market'. I'd not put it past Blizzard to already be considering splitting Karazhan into 'wings' a la Scarlet Monestary as it's 'story' is fairly self-contained and it would be relatively simple to update that to the Deathwing era. Considering it's position and significance in Warcraft lore (I'm looking at you Medivh), what's the betting the Bronze Dragonflight might have some involvement to boot, linking rather nicely back to the War of the Ancients. As we're promised a view of the Blue Dragonflight's future in Coldarra in 4.2, who's to say what could happen next?

It's clear however that Blizzard has a real desire to 'update' as much of the old 1-80 content as possible. While five man Dungeons remain a permanent fixture whilst levelling, the old raid content is pretty much untouched as you level, and this transform a raid to a 5 man/new raid content approach (while not popular in some quarters) has the advantage of an existing framework to start with, which can be built on with far more ease I would assume than designing new instances from the bottom upwards.

Was I right to be nervous when Blizzard updated Onyxia, that we were at the start of a slippery slope? Is the future of Azeroth really about going back to the past and doing it all over again?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

No Need...

... for P to go to SW any more, now that Iron Chef is done.

/Cookery flex.

I'll be moving to Uldum permanently at the weekend, where I intend to fish, try and find more Archaeology Rares and occasionally head to Tol Barad (via the Baradin's Wardens Tabard in anticipation of the 30 Tabards Achievement) As a result I'll be shifting my Secondary Profession focus to W at the start of next week.

Oh, and as I know certain people will notice, I have removed myself from Battle.Net's online ID thingy. I will consider returning at some point, but for now I think I'm happier not being on it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

These Boots are Made for Selling...

A quick word of warning for anyone stockpiling Valor Points in the hope 4.1 will give them a gear advantage: it's not going to happen. I've seen this discussed on various forums in the last few days, and it's Wow Insider that sums it up best:

Since Blizzard is not adding a new tier of points, your Valor point tally the day patch 4.1 launches will be rolled down into your Justice points. I know that for certain. I'm pretty sure that if you end up over the cap of 4,000 Justice points when your Valors are rolled down, you will be able to go over the cap. But you won't accrue any more justice points until you've spent some.

There's no point in hoarding in the hope you'll get an early crack at the new gear as was the case at Cata launch (once you'd made it to 85 at least) However, and this point is fairly significant, a surfeit of Valor and Justice points could work to your advantage. The reason lies in some of the items currently available from the Valor Points vendor:

You may have noticed on your server that people are selling the BoE Valor Points boots already: there are nine to choose from (which covers most needs) and frankly if you've bought everything else you could use from this vendor it's a pretty decent way of netting 18-25k (depending on the time of the week) If these remain BoE in 4.1 (can't check the PTR currently as all the servers are down) then frankly I know I'd be stupid not to drop my spare Justice Points on these across the family. If you're quick on patch release and you have points to burn, I'd have these on the AH as soon as humanly possible.

This also raises the point that it may well be worth maxxing both Valor and Justice points for 4.1 assuming this would grant you 8000 points (or 4.9 pairs of boots ^^) I still have a couple of items I'd like for VP's (cloak and ring spring to mind) but it would be great to have some left over to help out another member of the clan. I would suspect that closer to actual release of 4.1 we'll get some confirmation of how this rollover will work from the official channels. Until then, I'll be planning which boots would be the best first purchase...

PTR 4.1 :: Old Friends.

Here, don't I know you from somewhere..?

Welcome to PTR Build 13698, which not only introduces a new Lashtail Hatchling (as a result one assumes of the quest chain in STV) to the family of Vanity Pets, but an old friend back to the game. Yes, it's Griftah, who's bought his selection of completely-useless amulets to Stormwind Harbour (and the Hula Girl Doll, Engineers making Flying Machines please note) and starts a new quest chain what sends you to meet Budd, fresh from his adventures in Cataclysm, back in the Ghostlands...

The questline in STV's been updated too:

I couldn't give P her 'real' name on the PTR, so I decided to use the name of my first ever Dwarf character, Brunhilda. She's stuck right now over the Barrens in PTR Bug Hell, so I'm hoping I'll be able to log back in this time and get her to Winterspring for Cub Investigation before nipping back to STV...

[EDIT: I've been dumped out of the game by three characters now attempting to get to Winterspring, two at the same spot in the Barrens due to an 'assertion failure' :( I've got one premade hunter left on the server but as he's in Darnassus I'm not sure I'll be any more successful in making any progress... We'll try again later!]

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Grind Easy!

Winterspring Rep, Old Skool Stylee...

Grinding for a Winterspring Mount will, in 4.1, get an awful lot easier. The Wowhead Blog confirms that the selection of hugely annoying repeatable quests will be replaced by the supervision of a Winterspring Cub over a 20 day period, leading to you 'growing' and finally 'riding' the mount you trained and cared for. This is identical to what the Horde do with their Ravasaur Mount in Un'Goro, and I can attest from personal experience that it's a far more satisfying grind. You'll need to be L50 to start this, and currently there are only two 'quests' you'll have to choose between on a daily basis (Horde have four) but I would suspect we'll see others added before 4.1 goes live. What this does mean of course is another Reputation faction goes the way of the Dodo. This had better not impact my 55 completed... ^^

There's a bonus though, in the shape of a new vanity pet, the Winterspring Cub, which is a 50g purchase from an NPC in Everlook. As it's not a BoP item, I'd expect to see people trying to make a quick buck on these when the patch drops. I'll swing by on the PTR later and see if these are limited supply or not...

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I've been working over the Weekend on the final stages of my Professions grind. I'm rather pleased with how things stand.

K the Mage's Tailoring is at 520/525, with my first pieces of Dreamcloth made. Once they all come off CD on Saturday I'll maxx out, but as K's still at 80 it'll be a while before I can get to Professions Island for the Epic patterns, which frankly would be rather useful now for W's Lock-ing. As a result, K may be the next alt to be actively levelled. That means that I only have Blacksmithing left to level on M the Shammy. However, as was the case with Leatherworking there is only so far you can go without the purchasable recipes in the Twilight Highlands. So, until I can push her to 84 her Blacksmithing remains at 512/525. I'll start stockpiling the mats I need to purchase items though, so when it happens I can at least finish the task quickly.

As you'll see from my Achievements widget I have cooked thirty Cataclysm recipes, but it'll be a few days yet before I make it to the heady heights of Iron Chef. After that I'm very tempted to move to Uldum with P... to make an effort finally to try and get the Crawling Craw...