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. 

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