April 7, 2017

Patch 7.2: First Thoughts

New patch, new stuff to do - this is the Warcraft cycle. The patch has now been out for over a week, and I've been able to jump in and mess around with the stuff that I was looking forward to. It's all pretty exciting when a new patch comes out with new things. However, it can sometimes get a little messy when those things are mostly just repackaged versions of what we've been doing before.

No, this isn't going to be a complaint post. I honestly have little to gripe about. Let's talk about the intro to the Broken Shore. I love scenarios that make you feel like you're part of what's happening in lore. I didn't think I'd be overcome with emotions, but the minute I set foot on the shores again, I thought back on the Legion intro and all the sacrifices that were made. It really gives the player a sense of wanting to push back the forces and get into the action. I love that! The downside is having to do it over and over on alts. It gets a bit stale. The Broken Shore itself looks alright. I know a lot of people are getting tired of the sickly fel green color, but you have to admit that the Tomb of Sargeras looming over everything looks very intimidating.

The dailies are also refreshing since they are in a sense new, though trying to get the quests done on my server can be a bit of a challenge. Since 7.2 I've noticed a very heavy Alliance presence on my server. I know we have always been Ally heavy, but this feels like a lot more. Most things are tagged before you even have a chance. Come on Blizzard! I thought we were supposed to be working together to defeat the Legion. I know cross faction tagging isn't usually ideal, but it would be so beneficial there. There is also the issues with random invasions only lasting six hours a day. Regardless at which time they are placed, someone will always be left out. Though it's no longer a requirement for Pathfinder pt. II, I still question why Blizzard didn't just change each invasion to last 24 hrs and rotate them that way.

The other day I ran Cathedral of Eternal Night with my little guild. The place was really beautiful and the fights were really fun, especially Mephistroth. If you haven't run that dungeon yet, I highly suggest doing that. I was also excited to dive into the anticipated pet battle dungeon. Sadly this was a bit lackluster, and I'll only be running it until I collect the remaining pets I'm missing. Finally we come to the sets tab! It's my new favorite thing, and I honestly wish Blizzard would have implemented something like this earlier. My only complaint is I wish it had a filter for all sets (greens, blues, epics) for those who love collecting. Maybe someday we will see it get to that point.

As with most things here, this is of course my personal opinion, and you probably shouldn't listen to me or anyone else for that matter. If you neglected your playtime last patch, now is a good time to jump back in. With gear catch up, flying coming soon, and a new raid after that, you'll be able to help fight the Legion in no time. Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and hopefully I'll see you on the Broken Shore!

March 9, 2017

Hidden Appearances

I have finally finished! I have collected all three of my mage hidden artifact appearances. This was a little goal that I set for myself, and honestly I thought I'd be done with it a long time before this. That wasn't the case. RNG can be a total block in some cases, and there is nothing you can really do to prevent that except to just keep trying and hoping that someday it will pop up or drop. Since my Ebonchill post is super popular, I thought I would post about getting my hidden appearances as well. Also, some of these require your artifact knowledge to be a certain level, but that isn't really an issue anymore (unless it's your main) due to the Artifact Research Compendium and the ability to send them to alts. I still decided to include the required AK as well just in case.

The Woolmancer's Charge (Requires AK 6)

I am a frost mage, and if I'm not playing frost, I'll be playing fire. Arcane is a spec that I can't seem to ever full enjoy so I'm rarely play it. Of course this would be the first hidden appearance I acquire. To start the "event" for a chance to get The Woolmancer's Charge, you need to travel to each Broken Isle zone and polymorph specific mobs. I won't go into detail here on the specific mobs as they can be found on the Woolmancer's page.

Next is the waiting part. You must wait until a volatile sheep spawns in your class hall. I believe a toast window will pop up to get your attention though one didn't for me. If this doesn't happen, don't worry. The sheep will be following you so it's not hard to miss. Right click on this sheep a few times and BAM, it will explode!

Now fly yourself over to Stormheim and look for an Extremely Volatile Sheep. Once you find this little guy, you're going to want to click on it like you did in your order hall to make it explode. I found making a macro to locate this one worked best. You can even use this to find the specific mobs to polymorph like I explained earlier:

/tar Extremely Volatile Stormheim Sheep
/script SetRaidTarget("target",8);

After this, head to the Tower of Azora in Elwynn Forest and complete the little event for your appearance. I personally find that this is by far one of the silliest and funniest hidden appearances. Plus the staff will sometimes let out this ridiculous scream on polymorph. It's too good!

Everburning Crystal (Requires AK 4)

This is the appearance I wanted the most, and I started working toward it as soon as I could unlock the Teleportation Nexus order hall perk. This perk puts portals in your class hall that leads to each zone on the Broken Isle. When the event for this hidden appearance is triggered, you will see the emote "You hear a strange crackling sound from the portals downstairs." pop up in your chat box when you are in your order hall. From there, take any one of the portals to be ported to this sub-zone of Frostfire Ridge.


Once there you will see two elementals. The larger of the two, Asher, will be the one who will give you the Everburning Crystal to unlock this appearance. This is another little macro that may help you check for the daily roll of the arcane and frost artifact. While it didn't work well for me (my frost one was always saying yes) others have had success with using it:

/run f="\124cffffff00\124Hquest:%s:0\124h[%s]\124h\124r: \124cff%s\124r";for k,v in pairs({[44384]="Daily Portal Event Roll",[43828]="Sheep Summon Daily Roll"})do print(format(f,k,v,IsQuestFlaggedCompleted(k)and"00ff00Yes"or"ff0000No"))end

The Stars Design (Requires AK 5)

I really wish I had been prepared when this actually dropped. The truth was that I wasn't even farming for it at the time. I was out in the world questing. This hidden appearance has a chance to drop off of basically any mob in Suramar. I know a lot of people love to farm around Moonguard Stronghold since there are lots of mob packs that respawn pretty fast. I was actually in the dangerous part of the city (yea, that part!), but I have no idea which exact mob it dropped from. While I wasn't actively seeking it at the time, I'm glad to finally have it. The Stars Design is a really gorgeous skin and definitely reminds me of a lot of weapons from Ulduar.

Of course each of these hidden appearances also have separate colors to obtain by doing dungeons, PvP, and world quests. I may just have to save those to talk about another time, lol. If you read through all of that, props to you. I know it was a very lengthy post. I don't care though because if it helps one mage out there, my job has been done!

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!