Friday, March 24, 2017

And the Mage Makes 11!

So I hit 110 on the mage earlier this week.  Leveling as fire ended up being quite a bit easier than I was expecting.  What it lacks over frost in control, it more than makes up for in sheer burstiness.  And adding a frost-based bodyguard brings back at least a little bit of those control features.

The class order hall campaign for the mage was a bit odd in that there was almost no content available while leveling.  Unlike most classes, where there is a series of things available around level 105 or 106, there was pretty much nothing after the original 101/102 stuff until hitting level 110.  I'm not entirely through it yet, but so far it's nothing out of the ordinary.

I'll be working on the warrior next (in fact already have him sitting at 103).  He's not going to make it to 110 before 7.2 drops, so he may end up getting paused for a bit while I work on Pathfinder Part 2 and on whatever is necessary to make progress on class mounts on 11 different toons, which sounds like it'll be a bit of a nightmare, since I need all 11 to get to Exalted with the new faction in order to get there.  I'm seriously hoping they change that little bit at some point in the future.

I also managed to get yet another legendary this week, this time on the druid.  This one dropped as loot off a random world rare kill, which is the first time that I've ever had that happen.  But hey!  I'll take it!  That brings me to having legendaries on 8 of my current 11 max level toons.

Also, next week is Spring Break, so there will be a break in the play time for vacation and holiday.

Cheers,

Joar


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Rogue Makes Level 110 #10

I hit level 110 on the rogue about two weeks ago.  He's getting close to being done with his class order hall campaign as well.  I'm still enjoying subtlety, at least for world quests and that kind of thing.  From a leveling speed time, the rogue ended up being pretty quick, coming in as the fourth fastest toon so far.

I also managed to get a legendary on this guy almost right away, as one dropped out of an emissary box on the "Do 20 world quests" part of the class order hall campaign.  That makes 7 of my 10 max level characters with legendaries at this point with the Druid, Demon Hunter and Shaman being the unlucky 3 without.

Once I get those last two classes leveled, I'll probably focus on doing world quests on those until they get one.

I'm now off working on the mage.  I'm leveling as fire for the first time ever, which has been relatively decent.  What it loses over frost in terms of control, it definitely makes up for in sheer burst damage.

After the mage, it'll be the warrior and then I'll be done with all the Horde classes.

Cheers,

Joar


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Updates on Leveling and Thoughts On Artifact Power

So I managed to get my elemental shaman to 110 a week or so ago (the exact date was 2/2).  The leveling time on this one was right in the middle of the pack at almost exactly 18 hours of played time.

Elemental wasn't my favorite, but ended up not being all that bad by the time it was done.  It is also incredibly fun in dungeons, so I did a bit more of those than normal.

I also managed to get all 5 of my 910 legendaries upgraded to 940 grinding out essences, mostly from LFR runs and from emissary chests.  Wasn't too bad by the time it was all said and done.  I'm not sure it was 100% necessary, but what the heck, right?

I also managed to get the moose mount from the weekly archaeology quest.  It ended up taking about 3 hours and definitely helped having the Surveyor enchant on my gloves.    It was a welcome distraction from other things.

I also started working again on the fishing artifact.  I've finished up the rares in Aszuna and Val'Sharah and am starting to work on Highmountain rares.

Also a welcome distraction.

Meanwhile, I've been leveling my rogue as Subtlety, which I had totally forgotten was even a spec. But with my favorite leveling spec, combat, completely gone, I had to pick something, and I didn't have two daggers, so Sub it was!  It's actually been pretty decent to level, with a few abilities that give it really decent burst and power.

Finally, there's been a ton of controversy swirling about artifact power and limits and developer blog posts and thousands and thousands of Maw of Souls runs.  I'd like to get really engaged in this.  I really would.  But where I am as a player right now and what I'm doing in game, I don't care.  I really don't.  The system is clearly not working as it should for high end raiders and Blizzard absolutely needs to figure out how to address that and needs to be good about communicating what they are doing in that regard.  But for me.  It's not an issue.

Cheers,

Joar


Friday, February 10, 2017

An Analysis of Blizzard's Q4 Earnings Release

So after saying on Alternative Chat's Blog that I wasn't going to comment on Activision Blizzard's Q4 earnings release, after reading through it again, I just can't help myself.

I won't be providing the normal line by line in depth analysis, because frankly, very little of it is driven by Warcraft anymore, and it can all pretty much be summed up by "we made a shit load of money!"

But here are a few things that I did want to highlight:

They did report that Warcraft had a 10% increase in MAU's year over year and a 20% increase in the 4th quarter, which sounds pretty positive on the face of it.  But think back to the fourth quarter of last 2015.  I went back a looked at my blog from that quarter and there were titles like "Not Much of An Update" and "Why Not Level a Third Warlock?  What Else Is There To Do".  The fourth quarter of 2015 was the absolute pits of disgust and boredom with Warlords of Draenor and to only post a 20% increase over THAT.  Well, to quote a certain current world leader.  SAD.

The other interesting thing that they did start to provide data on is a new metric on "play time" which is not something that we've seen them publicly reporting on by platform before.  But they did disclose that this quarter for Warcraft was the highest amount of play time of any non-launch quarter in the last four years.  Which at least implies that, while their user numbers may have dropped off following launch, they are maintaining a decent amount of time per user (no doubt grinding out artifact power, but hey!).  That does at least imply they are getting something right about the pace of content releases this time around.

They also disclosed that Blizzard had record levels of full year and fourth quarter "in-game content" driven by World of Warcraft in-game content.  What is this "in-game content" that I'm paying for in World of Warcraft?  I don't recall any content / quest chains, DLC's, or other things that I have to pay for in game.  Oh yeah.  That would be the Token market.  Apparently that is working out quite well for them.

Oh, and one other interesting data point.  Blizzard's revenue and operating profit was higher this year than Activision's.  And that hasn't happened before.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Completed Toon Number 8

So I managed to finish the Joarfu the windwalker monk last week.  So this was the first toon that I leveled with a class hall follower body guard.  I know, I know!  As a result, it was perhaps also unsurprisingly my fastest toon to get from 100 to 110 with a total played time of 15 hours and 2 minutes, making it almost 2 hours faster than the next fastest toon, my beast master hunter.

The monk stayed fun to play throughout the entire leveling process and felt smooth and powerful the whole way.

Next up is the shaman, and I can already tell I'm going to have issues deciding between elemental (which was my original plan) and enhancement.  Elemental seems much more fun in dungeons, but with 30-40 minute queues for dps in normals while leveling, dungeons just aren't that big a part of it.

For regular questing, enhancement seems much more powerful and capable for taking down mobs with minimal downtime.

After a fair amount of leveling this weekend, the shaman is sitting at level 105 and is working his way through Val'sharah.  Highmountain is up next and at the rate that is going, I will likely hit 110 in Highmountain without moving on to Stormheim (which means I'll have to run around to grab some flight paths later on for world quests).

I'm also working on the Touch of a Titan quest gathering essences for the various toons that have 910 legendaries.  It's a total of 5 legendaries that I have to upgrade.  I've already managed to finish it up on my hunter.  I've got two on the warlock, one on the death knight and one on the priest that I need to upgrade, so it'll be back to running world quests on both the death knight and the priest. I may put this on hold though to pursue the new goal, which is to get the remaining classes leveled to 110 in time for the class mount questline to be released in 7.2

With the shaman currently in progress, it's just the rogue, mage and warrior still to go, so I may try to get those knocked out and the class order hall campaigns completed before I go back to worrying about legendaries.

That's it for this week.

Cheers!

Joar




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Completed Seven Class Order Hall Campaigns

So I managed to complete my seventh class order hall campaign this morning.  They've all been pretty interesting as content goes, and I'm not sure that I could pick one that I've liked more than others.  But it's been pretty interesting working through all of them.

I wasn't a big fan of having to grind out the various dungeons on the demon hunter campaign (as I understand it, that also happens in the mage campaign, which I haven't done yet).  My main issue there is I never really did decide if I preferred playing as tank or dps.  I was questing mostly as tank, so I wasn't doing real well as dps in those dungeons.

My monk is still sitting at level 103, so I've got a ways to go at this point before I'm in a position to start doing much on his order hall campaign.  The windwalker monk has been fun so far, but I'm not in a huge hurry to finish leveling him.  I don't particularly see that as a class that I'm likely to do much beyond finishing the order hall campaign, much like the demon hunter.

I also managed to fill out the 35th trait on my weapon on the warlock, and I'm getting close to a full weapon on the hunter.  Rather than continuing to fill up the warlock destruction artifact, I decided to switch over and start putting points into the affliction weapon.  So we'll see how that goes.

Beyond that, with Nighthold opening today, the quest to upgrade your legendary is out, so it's important to grab that before you open any emissary chests, because the quest items can drop from those chests.

At some point, I also need to go back and work on the leatherworking and alchemy profession quests as well.

Cheers,

Joar




Friday, January 6, 2017

The Long-Term Patient Approach to Generating Artifact Power For Alts

So I'm going to write up the approach that has been working well for me in terms of generating significant amounts of artifact power for alts with what seems to be a minimum of effort.  While I'm putting this out there, I also fully acknowledge that this approach will definitely be impacted by the release of Patch 7.1.5, which is right around the corner, although in general, the changes in that patch may actually make this method slightly easier to execute on.

So here's what I do:

Once you hit level 110, don't do much of anything other than the regular artifact knowledge research every couple of days.  You can certainly finish up the class order hall campaign if you want to, although there are also benefits to waiting on that.

The one thing that I do make sure to do is the Nighfallen emissary quests every time that they come up.  You can do Kirin Tor emissary quests as well, but frankly those have gotten to be enough of a pain in the butt, that I can certainly understand passing on them.  Note that without unlocking most of the Suramar story line, it'll likely take you more than one day to do the Nightfallen emissary quest because of the limitations on the world quests available.  The good news is that means it'll be a bare minimum of time each day.

The rest of the process starts once your artifact knowledge gets to something over 20 which takes a little over 3 months at current rates, but will become significant faster once 7.1.5 drops and you have the ability to "buy" alts up to artifact knowledge 20 instantly.

At that point, go out and do the the full Suramar story line.  If you did the full 3 month wait approach, while doing the regular Nightfallen emissary quests, you should have enough rep with Nightfallen to knock out the entire thing.  If not, it's going to take you quite a bit longer.  At level 25 of Artifact Knowledge, the Suramar story line is going to earn you enough artifact power to fill all 35 traits on your weapon.  And it's a hell of a good story in the process.