February 22, 2017

Token Bliss

At the beginning of the month, Blizzard announced that WoW Tokens could now be exchanged for a Battle.net balance. I had been sitting on the worry for a while since it was touched upon at Blizzcon last year. I knew it was only a matter of time until it was implemented, but I did not expect it to be so soon or without warning. Since May 2016, I've been purchasing my game time using gold, and it's been really nice. Since then I watched the tokens fluctuate in price from 30k up to around 60k. I knew with this announcement they would definitely rise, and I was worried about what kind of prices I would be paying.

On the night that this feature was implemented, tokens creeped up to 80k. I began to see a lot of worry with some people on whether or not they would be able to keep playing the game this way. I felt really bad for the people who had been playing this way simply because $15 is a bit out of their budget to spend on entertainment each month. Would they be able to keep up with the rising price of the tokens? In fact, I became a little worried myself once they sailed into the 100k+ territory.

Image credit: Reddit
I am sitting on a nice pile of gold right now. I don't really go out of my way to make a ton of it, but I am very comfortable with what I make each month. To renew my game time for February, I bought a token for around 84k. After the initial token boom, prices seem to be settling and are now sitting around 88k - 90k. Would I like to see that price lessen a bit? Of course! Just like money, I prefer my gold in my bank instead of having to spend it.

But what about those who have an abundance of gold and want to cash in? The tokens can be redeemed for $15 when added to your account. This can be used to buy in game items or other Blizzard games. Reddit had many threads with tips on how to get the best deal when converting tokens, and I love that. It's always nice to get the best bang for your buck, even when it's in game currency. It's going to be interesting to see how different game trends will effect the prices in the upcoming year. I wouldn't say I'm happy about this change, but this is something I will just have to learn to deal with if I plan on continuing to use this method for my game time.

February 9, 2017

That Look is so Burning Crusade

Legion has been full of throwbacks to Burning Crusade. As someone who started during that era, I have been loving this. With patch 7.2 slowly creeping closer and closer to release, we've been getting more and more information on different things being released. This patch will bring the Tomb of Sargeras raid along with a new tier set to collect - Tier 20. I'm normally excited for new tier sets, but these leave more to be desired.

Continuing on the BC nostalgia train, Tier 20 is an upgrade of the Tier 6 sets. I know many people have been asking for high resolution versions of older gear, and Blizzard delivered. Among some of my favorites are the warrior, paladin, and priest. Even the new demon hunter set looks good. Sadly, I think a few of these missed the mark. When I look at some of the colors for the mage set, all I see is a mess. To me, the blue, green (definitely this one), and mythic yellow recolors look like they were altered using a color slider in a photo program and not fully balanced giving it a very strange look when put all together.

Hmm, I'm not sure.
Maybe it was just me being a little too nit picky, so I went on Twitter to poke around and see what other people think. A few weeks ago I asked everyone how they felt about the sets. Most people were underwhelmed and most seemed to prefer new sets inspired by older tier instead of a complete update of an older one. I have to agree. I love trying to collect the new sets because they are new. I like to see what the team comes up with using the expansion aesthetics to build a set. Honestly I feel like this fell short on all ends as the original death knight and monk sets that were created look very strange as well.

I know some of my followers don't speak for the entire community, so if you're reading this and have a differing opinion, I'd love to hear it. Do you like the HD remake or would have preferred an original set? Do you really like one of the sets that others have talked badly about? Let me know in a comment below.

January 25, 2017

Welcome to the Underbelly

I cannot believe that I'm sitting here about to write something that potentially evolves PvP. This is an aspect of the game I really don't enjoy, not because I don't find it fun, but because it tends to bring out the worst in me. Repeated deaths, especially by the same person, throws me into a seething rage, and I have been known to mess up a mouse or two due to this. So I tend to leave PvP to the ones who can handle it. Legion brought some really awesome looking mounts acquired this way, but the one that immediately caught my attention was Ratstallion! It's no surprise that spending a lot of time in the Underbelly of Dalaran would get you a rat mount! If you played during Wrath, you may even remember spending some time in the sewers trying to fish up a giant sewer rat. The conditions down there haven't changed, and it's still as grimy and seedy as ever. I'm just going to say that if you plan on getting a coffee while down there, I'd skip out...

When I first decided I was going to collect this mount, I began by going into the Underbelly and doing the quest that is sometimes available from Fizzi Liverzapper. That quest usually nets you 150 sightless eyes, and is just good to get done if you're in a hurry and can't stay down there. I figured by the time Legion was finished I may have enough for the mount, but that is hardly a way to grind it out. When the Diablo 20th Anniversary event went live, I used this time to understand exactly when to fight and when to run to maximize my sightless eyes collection. In the course of a few days I went from having 5k to 10k and then grinded out about 1k each day until I had all 20k eyes collected.

If you're heading down there, you're going to want to keep an eye out for the "bosses" that spawn. These drop a hefty amount of eyes, especially if you can use a wild mana wand on them. I suggest buying a few of these to keep on hand since you will collect 5k eyes (the max amount you can hold) faster than you think. Buying a feast for everyone also helps as it gives you a nice food buff. Don't forget the temporary mount from the rat crate as well! If the guards happen to go on break while fighting a boss, I would usually just toss up a few AOE moves. If I was lucky I would get a kill or two. If someone would attack me, I'd run away as fast as I could; I'm such a coward, sorry! If you want to wait out the guard's break, you can, but you can also hire a body guard to safely allow you to roam around without being attacked.

I did have a complaint with the default hired guard buff. Other than right when it's about to expire, you don't know how long you have left on it. This can be frustrating for those like me who are trying to grind out sightless eyes with the least amount of PvP as possible, looking for pets to battle, fishing, or even camping the BMAH for that one piece of tier 3 you REALLY want. My boyfriend decided to come to the rescue and create a simple addon that does exactly that. It's called Underbelly Buddy and it tracks the time of the hired guard buff obtainable in the Underbelly of Dalaran. So if you were frustrated with the buff as well, I definitely suggest checking it out. You may find it really helpful!

Though 20k sightless eyes seems like a daunting amount at the beginning, it definitely isn't. If you were putting this one off because the PvP aspect may have turned you away from it, come back! The last tip I can give you is to take it slow and farm out 1k eyes a day. This way you'll be getting your achievement and Ratstallion before you even know it. Good luck and remember, hold onto your wallets and skip out on the coffee!

January 16, 2017

Diablo 20th Anniversary

"Stay awhile and listen."

I'm as much of a Diablo fan as I am a WoW fan. While I never played the original or D2, I've logged countless of hours into D3 and still do with each season. I guess you could imagine my excitement when I heard that the 20th anniversary celebration of Diablo would also be coming to World of Warcraft along with some exclusive items. As with all timed holidays, I get a little nervous because I want to be able to collect everything, and I wasn't sure how bad the drops would be. It turns out they weren't too bad at all.

After poking my nose around for a bit more information, I learned that the best place to consistently find treasure goblins was the Dalaran Underbelly. This caused me to spend more time in the sewers where I was able to grind out a ton of sightless eyes, but I'll save that for another blog post. There always seemed to be a ton of people hanging around the area for the event, so it was never hard to kill a goblin unless someone decided to stun it, causing it to make an escape portal. If the kill was successful, a portal would spawn to take you away to the "Cow Level" upon clicking it.

There is no cow level... right?
Upon entering the "Cow Level", you would have a five minute buff that allowed you to stay in the zone. It was just a field filled with, you guessed it, cows! After enough of them was killed, a rare spawn called the Cow King would come out and fight you. He dropped a Twelve-String Guitar that plays the Diablo Tristram theme. If you ever wanted to be a bard, this is your chance! It's a shame it doesn't have your character hold a lute while strumming along. The boss also had a chance to drop the Livestock Lochaber Axe though I sadly didn't get a chance to collect that item. The next part of the event left me to grind out enough scrolls to combine with a tome to make the town portal toy. I thought for sure killing all of those goblins would eventually net me a Horadric Satchel, but that bag ended up taking me the longest to get. One ended up dropping for me two days before the event expired.

While a lot of people probably wanted more from this event, I'm surprised and really glad that Blizzard actually gave us something to do. It was really refreshing to see a crossover in WoW, and I hope they would do something for another one of their games once it reaches a big milestone. This could have even made players who never set foot in the Diablo universe give the game a try.  If this was a little taste of what's to come with micro holidays, I'm all for it. Our first official micro holiday is happening this week, and I'm sure I'll want to talk about it. Regardless of what you thought about the event, it was a nice little break from the monotony of world quests and artifact power grinding.

December 30, 2016

The "Holidaze"

I have to admit, I'm having trouble adjusting back to a somewhat normal routine. With traveling and events starting from Thanksgiving and lasting up until New Years, no wonder I can't get things together! With patch 7.1.5 on the horizon, I haven't really started anything new in Warcraft. I've been working on clearing out Vel's quest log along with other things I just never got around to finishing. Doing this has also netted me a bump in my achievement score. I am now up to 19,000 points. This was a nice little personal goal for me to achieve though I know a lot of other people have much more than that.

Winter Veil was also lovely this year. I personally think these are some of the best gifts that Blizzard has given. The disposable Winter Veil suits are awesome, and I really wish Blizzard would consider putting something like this in for the other holidays as well. It gives you a chance to dress up without having to hold onto non transmoggable event items (not like space is an issues anymore) or stressing over the fact that you can't transmog them in general! I was also lucky enough to get the Minion of Grumpus mount from a present as well. I'm glad because I was a bit upset I didn't get lucky with it last year. It's such a massive mount that I probably won't even use, but it's fun to have just in case.

So what's next? With the new year coming in really soon, I plan on continuing working on my backlog of things and updating my to-do list here as they are completed. Of course this isn't a full list of things I'm working on, but more just the collecting parts. I also want to say that the third annual Icecrown Challenge is now live! I plan on doing my run this weekend so I will be making some more noise on Twitter about it. If you want to learn more about the event, you can do so over at Ratsel's post. If you want to learn more about why I run, you can see the two previous years posts (2014 & 2015). If you just want to donate, I'll include the link to that as well - AFSP Icecrown Challenge Donation Link.