Tuesday, April 28, 2015

May 4th Official 'Epic Story XP Boost' Notification & WoW Update

Apparently patch 3.2 launched today and it has something to do with an Emperor, and some dark side stuff, and a lot of ships and rocks.  I dunno 'bout all that.  But I do know that the official announcement for the x12 epic story XP boost went live!  Few notes for this:

  • You must be a subscriber, not a free or preferred pleb
  • It runs till 'fall' - may coincide with Force Awakens release?
  • You can toggle it off if you hate fun
  •  Effective for levels 1 through 55 only

It launches May 4th (that's a Monday) so be aware!  It may involve rolling resets on the servers.  Patience is key.  No, wait.  GIMME NOW.

On the WoW front, the team is heading into Blackrock once more.  Our target tonight is normal mode Blast Furnace; we want to see what the nerfs and scaling changes have done to the encounter.  If we can push past him, we'll be 9/10 and moving on to normal mode Blackhand!

Yes, yes before you roll your eyes and say, "Ugh, normal mode is like LFR lulz" remember that our guild name is Casual Losers.  We are both casuals and losers.  Henceforth, we are not the prototypical l33t modez raiders, k?  Show me your AotC achievement if you're so awwwesssooommmme.  Which you probably already have.  But like whatever man.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

WoW & Further Notes on x12 XP Boost

Quras (on MMO-Champion) posted this not long ago regarding comm changes:
Update on gearing.
Comm gear is getting a reduced cost. All leveling planet comm gear will be 2 comms. Even barrels and hilts which were 7 are now 2.

Class quests will give 8 comms each. You should be able to keep yourself decently geared as you level. 

So it looks like class quests will be handing out buckets of comms, meaning you can now gear your way through the x12 class quests without being in the hole from the get-go.  This, at least to me, is a fantastic change.  I was already planning on shipping a few million creds to my hunter just so I could stay up to date with mods, but this type of change makes it moot.  Amazing!

On the WoW front, I just completed leveling my enhancement shaman.  WoW instituted some new changes to how heirlooms work, so I was able to spend a bit of gold and get my mail heirlooms boosted to level 100.  Combine that with the XP potions you can buy for 100 resources (check the Sergeant in your garrison) and the Inn bonus in the Spires of Arak, and I was able to knock out the final 2.5 levels in 2 hours!  Yeah, that dang fast.

All in all, the Draenor leveling experience is very good.  The cutscenes are kept to a minimum and the story is very well done.  It doesn't have the depth or breadth of a SWTOR class leveling experience, but the side missions are much less annoying too.  And the dungeons are pretty nice, if a little long-winded and difficult at times.  The only downside to the Draenor leveling curve is the ridiculous amounts of resources you have to attain to level your garrison.  I mainly got around this by not playing my shaman until recently; having a stockpile of 8-9K garrison resources trivialized much of the cost.  But having to level with no resource backup is a very tedious experience.  You're so resource-starved at the beginning that each new building is like an almost impossible goal ... but once your garrison is up and running, you generate resources in buckets.  On my main (Blackhowl), I struggle to find things to buy with my resources so I don't cap!  It's an odd problem to have, but thus is the nature of the grind.  I don't really know what they could do alleviate it, other than applying a modifier in the first few levels to increase your resource generation.

The garrisons have been a mixed bag so far.  On the one hand, it is simply AWESOME having your own war base.  It really provides me with a foothold in a savage land (hee hee) and gives me something to be proud of.  The missions and followers are worth their weight in gold.  On the other ... the 'wizard chores' that you have to perform day in and day out tend to get very tedious.  Supremely tedious.  And that's nothing compared to the apexis shard daily quests or the mount dailies (for the stables) or the blood farming for your barn.  Or even the simple fact of mining and herbing every day ... everything just drags out and becomes a chore.

I do love the idea of garrisons though, but in the next iteration I think Blizzard can concentrate more on the crafting/mission aspects of your war base and less on the gathering/dailies.  Or set it as a weekly cooldown instead of a daily; something that allows the player to log in less frequently but still not lose ground to those who get on religiously every day.  I'd also like to see more reputations in the game as well, something we can work towards with dungeon tabards or resource gathering.  Something other than 'kill 25,000 mobs here.'

Don't take this for a knock against Draenor.  I think it's the best expansion since Lich King and it broke new ground of the playerbase; tons of new things to try and do.  And the lack of flight has made the game immensely more exciting than before.  Easily the most fun I've had in WoW since the heady days of Northrend. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

x12 XP Bonus Active on May 4th - so is Targeter

Via the Cantina livestream, it looks like SWTOR is getting a x12 XP boost for all subscribers starting on May 4th.  The developers said it will be in place 'for a long time.'  This leads me to believe that the bonus may stick around all through the summer and may lead to The Force Awakens premiere in December?  Could we be getting The Force Awakens themed items in upcoming crates?  How cool would it be to get a real TIE Fighter for space PVP, eh?

Oh, and I guess with the x12 XP buff going active, that means ol' Targeter is getting back in the swing.  I've got a bounty hunter named Droideka (outifitted in cyborg gear from head to toe so he looks like a robot) I've wanted to start leveling again, and this new buff means it's basically a no-brainer.

I think I'll take advantage of the dwindling x2 XP buff that's still active to get back into the swing of things.  Gotta walk  before you run, right?

Plans for this buff are:
  • Get the Bounty Hunter to max (or near max ... at least see the end of the class story)
  • Fire up my cat-person Jedi Knight again and get as far as I can
  • Still avoid the wretched story in Consular class (blech)
  • Get my stealth Inquisitor through his story (fat Chiss are best Chiss)
  • Maybe re-do my Sith Warrior as a dark-side?  My first Warrior was light-side and it was immensely satisfying to play.  Maybe go lady Warrior this time?
As always, SWTOR is a great game to come back to because of all the story, plot, and fantastic moments.  Feels good to dip my toes back in.

Oh, and I'm still raiding in WoW.  We're 8/10 normal in Blackrock, 3/10 heroic.  We've moved on from Highmaul, but were just shy of our goal (7/7 normal, 6/7 heroic but jesus tap-dancing christ, Heroic Imperator is a paaaain).  I've dropped ESO (boy, that flamed out fast as hell) and may take another look at it once it comes to Xbox One.

But it's ok!  By dropping ESO, I've picked up working out and going outside.  These are good changes.  I've got a weight bench in my garage that I hit regularly and I see the sun, which is a positive.

Nice to be back!