Blaugust 2022 has ended

I’m a little late, but back in town now. Blaugust 2022 has come to a close, thanks to all the participants and Belghast for organizing it again. I didn’t comment a lot, but I tried to check out the people who I don’t usually read all the time and the new folks. Good job, everyone!

Here’s another link to the participant list and that’s the Blaugust overview page.

As for a personal review, I did manage to reach my stretch goal of 15 posts, which means I got the silver badge again.

The Silver Club 2022

Unfortunately I only managed to do three non-WoW posts despite playing quite a bit of EVE Online, but this blog is mostly a diary of stuff that happened, through the lens of what I’m in the mood to write about, and so I guess that included mostly WoW. This time I also didn’t really take part in the themed weeks, but I felt I had nothing to contribute there, so why push it? I’m also skipping the achievements part because I didn’t really try to do them, so all hits are purely coincidental.

Anyway, it’s been fun and I’m glad I could take part in a non stressful way, looking forward to next year.

Blaugust 2022 has ended Read More »

Shadowlands Season 4 raids

This is the fourth week of Shadowlands Season 4 and while M+ is kinda ok I’m not a fan of raiding right now. While I originally supported us going down to only one day instead of two days per week – you can’t really get a lot done in just 2h. Today we barely managed to get Nathria Normal cleared (in the order of first continuing the old bosses from Sludgefist alive, then doing a new ID up to Council, in total 10/10) and no one seems to be motivated to go for Heroic after our first try three weeks ago and noticing it’s not a pushover after all these months of no one doing the fight, and no one’s really up for progressing – the only draw seems to be the mount (for clearing all 3 on Fated Normal) and the gear, to a degree. Legendary bow for Sylvanas and some odd bits and bobs here and there. Today I got the missing cloak of the Normal set but didn’t get the Shoulders.

But that’s not really the problem. I’m not really enjoying it, Normal is just too easy for this group, and some people have already stopped logging in for this weird season, and I can’t hold it against them (amongst them our replacement raid leader). I mean, I’m happy to hopefully get the mount – but this 3 Dinar loot system doesn’t excite me. I know I should take the Jailer’s Gavel (would be an upgrade from 259 to 285) but I kinda dislike the mechanic, it just makes most sense. I mean, the system seems fine in geenral, I’d like that in a normal raid tier. Kill 30 bosses, be able to buy a weapon or trinket (maybe make it 20, for 2 complete Normal clears and not 30 for 3 Normal clears, or something) as a form of bad luck protection. But I’m simply noticing I’m not made for farming content. We’ve seen it on Normal+Fated now and I don’t really want to go back. Go Heroic or stop trying.

Overall I’m simply not sure I’ll keep logging in for raids until Dragonflight launches if we’re keeping up this pace of only clearing Normal, but maybe people are actually up for a challenge and reprogressing Nathria after we got the mount, but I somehow doubt it. I think I’ve not missed a raid in this guild since July 2021, but maybe that’s coming soon. That’s not to say I hate Season 4, but I guess I’d be more ok with Season 3 just petering out slowly like in other expansions. That feeling of “being done” – got 2 of 3 AOTC and now for 3-4 months.. just go away and play other games, like I did after our Heroic Sylvanas kill – but instead we got this weird Raid tier, that’s just interesting enough to not just sod off.

Also I’m noticing that I’m in a certain end-of-expansion mood as I’ve been going around and knocking off soloable achievements in Shadowlands. Quests, Exploration, finding treasures, grabbing pets. I’ve not done that for a long time…

This is Blaugust 2020 – post #15.

Shadowlands Season 4 raids Read More »

Collecting transmogs

It’s Friday and I’m mentally preparing for a vacation trip on Monday, which also means I’ll be missing the last 3 days of Blaugust and I’ve not yet reached my goal of 15 posts per month. More like a stretch goal but unless I’m going for the full 31 (like in 2018) I don’t really feel like cheating by just banging out a semi-random post. This one might sound like one, but I’ll be coming to the point shortly. I’m just not sure if something will come up for the last one.

I’ve been keeping busy this week by running tons of old instances in WoW, in order to finish out some transmog sets. See, at some point they added achievements to have a full set of one raid tier. SimpleArmory nicely shows these under Achievements -> Collections -> Appearances.

Despite me playing a ton over the years, I’ve never actually been in a guild that kills stuff very quick and then spends months farming, so my completion of Tier sets was actually abysmal until I started farming old raids.

The first ones I finished were the Tier 5 Rogue set quite recently and the Paladin Nighthold set, probably also this year, since then I also managed to get the Tier 11 Warrior set from Icecrown Citadel and the Rogue set from Siege of Orgrimmar in Pandaria. My main targets at the moment are Rogue Tier 4 from Karazhan (1 piece missing), Rogue set from Throne of Thunder (1 piece missing), Heart of Fear/Terrace of the Endless Spring, Rogue set from Naxxramas 25 (1 piece missing), and with a little less focus Black Temple and Ulduar.

It really helps to have several Rogues and Warriors and I’m sure I’ll lose interest again soonish, but right now I’ll push a bit more. So there are 28 achievements for raid tiers in previous expansions, and I currently have only 12 of them, and I really want to get to around 18…

Next week there will be the Trial of Style event again (and I’m missing the start of it), but I’m just to cheap to simply transmog 30 chars, so I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I’m not saying I don’t transmog my main chars, but that alt that I probably won’t touch in a few months.. Yeah, Trial of Style free transmog it is.

Now if only WoW had something like tokens I could save up and just buy the one thing I need after 10 runs of the old instance, that would be great.

Thinking about all the transmogs I also noticed that I was missing some of the Shadowlands Covenant transmogs, there are 16 of them – one per Covenant and armor class. Now it’s Saturday afternoon and I already managed to grab the Kyrian Plate one, the Night Fae Mail one and most of the Necrolord Leather one, it’s kinda easy to rush through with decent gear. The missing ones are Kyrian Cloth and Venthyr Mail… for the latter I don’t even have a char that chose this.

Maldraxxus Covenant Leather armor, 6/9 pieces

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #14.

Collecting transmogs Read More »

WoW and gearing

Had a nice lengthy chat with our ex-raid leader (Sanctum) on Discord last night, WoW was not a major part of the discussion, but as we was also back ingame I checked his Armory and well…

We needed 6 weeks to clear Sepulcher on normal, that’s when he stopped playing. He was mostly doing M+ that season and just occasionally popping in for raids. His toon is still at iLevel 272. This is noteworthy insofar, as he’s basically wearing a single piece of gear from the normal raid (iLevel 252/259). Heroic was 265, Mythic was 278. So all his pieces are already higher item level than Normal drops and 7 are above Heroic Level, 5 are at 262/265.

I’ve lost track how many weeks Season 3 lasted (we killed the Jailer on Heroic in week 22 and I think it was the last one), but after 6 weeks he was already at 272 and I only managed to get to 277ish when S4 dropped – that’s 16 weeks.

If gear was any major motivation for me this would make zero sense. M+ drops are simply too strong and it’s kinda ridiculous. Yeah, I’m not checking out and just leaving the gear on the table – I’m not good enough to just ace the content, I kinda need the appropriate gear… or even a smidge higher than that. But we killed the boss that dropped 265(+4?) loot when a third of the raid already had 278 gear and everything we needed was a special weapon or trinket.

It’s not really taking away a lot of my enjoyment for the game – I just find it a little pointless that I can’t get any nice upgrades in raids.

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #13.

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Which MMO mount do you like using the most?

Saw this prompt at Paeroka’s blog (originally by Syp) and it’s a fascinating question.

I guess I’m not one of the “forever” people, if I have a favourite mount I usually get a new, more interesting one at some point months or years in the future and then I’ll change it.

There are a few notable exceptions though:

  • WoW:Black War Raptor on my Orc Rogue (PvP Rank 11 in Vanilla gave you Epic Riding without having to buy it, and I wanted a Raptor and not a Wolf, so I ground Cloth for a while to raise my rep and get this)
  • WoW: The class hall mounts of Legion are all pretty nice and I use them a lot, Raven on Rogue, Elemental on Shaman
  • WoW: The Headless Horseman’s Mount is one I lucked out on getting and a few chars have used it for years
  • At a time, some of the reward mounts for completing a Raid
  • WildStar: My Aurin’s Hoverboard
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A healthy mix, different one for every job, but I do like my Black Chocobo
  • SWTOR: I was very happy when I got a Jetpack for my Powertech and have used it ever since

But overall, if I get a new mount I’ll probably use it for a while on a char, or even longer if it fits a theme, like this one I just crafted myself for around 90k? instead of buying it for 220k.

Freshly crafted Depleted Kyparium Rocket

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #12.

Which MMO mount do you like using the most? Read More »

Timewalking and keeping busy

I’m not actually a huge fan of the Timewalking dungeons. It’s a nice concept but it’s only good to catch up gear on alts that just dinged max level, although the chest at the end can be nice. This week there’s also a special thing where you can get a +2 Timewalking Mythic keystone, that’s more interesting, as that counts as Timewalking AND you get a Great Vault reward.

I didn’t plan to run as many, but now I did 5 on Hunter and DK, and 4 on Shaman. Guess I should do 5 on my main Warrior, but meh.

This year I was lucky and got a mount, though.

Infinite Timereaver, yay!

Also what happens if you’re semi-afk and not paying attention? People from the M+ crowd spamming you on Discord for 10 minutes because no one else is on and then you end up running M+ for 4h straight. Was some nice healing practice and higher keys for my main though, lucky day.

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #11.

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The annoying things you’d already forgotten

Rant incoming. I guess I’m in a bit of a WoW binge at the moment (completed the “run 4 Mythic dungeons for a shiny item” on four toons, went to a few old raids for transmogs, caught up on a few very old achievements) and I’m currently really, really, really annoyed that progress isn’t shared.

Sure, back when I had one main on Horde from Vanilla to Pandaria it was all no problem (well except doing Heal and Tank Challenge Mode) and of course my main had all of them, but I mained an Alliance Demon Hunter in Legion, an Alliance Paladin in BfA, and an Alliance Warrior in Shadowlands while still doing some rep grinds on my old main. Yeah, now it’s a complete clusterfuck, especially with the four covenants in Shadowlands where I kinda have one “main” for the sake of Covenant stuff/zone and also sometimes one char is just more progressed on one daily/World Quest than the other. There’s no really good way to track this either, I need to do the parasol WQ 5 times more on one toon, 6 times more on another, good luck remembering that without a spreadsheet – why can’t it be 10 in total?

The other thing is the cross-realm thing, and while I don’t begrudge the people who can now happily use their toons, why did this only come in 2022? I did not have any meaningful presence on the Alliance side except one Rogue until 2014 and then after my return I levelled up at least one of every class there. And in general (and I agree this is my fault) I could’ve transferred some of them earlier when I switched to the German server where I’m playing now, but now I’m kinda stuck with all my Horde toons with shitty equip on my original server, five more 60s (two of them important to me) on that same server, but Alliance side. I already paid for the 8 transfers bundle (and used up 6), but still. Why did I have to leave all my Horde legacy behind from late 2016 until early 2022, and now – even mid-expansion- I could’ve finally continued to use them?

So yes, it’s my own fault, but in contrast to FFXIV (lame, always a comparison with this game) – nothing here would’ve been my own fault except if I had wanted to reroll on a different server group, and then I would have 2 characters to maybe transfer, but realistically not needing to do it, and not one per class and faction. Hell, I’d gladly accept 12 transfers over 24.

And the last pet peeve, I love how the Armory keeps track of your boss kills from older expansions… just that you’re never allowed to go in there again for transmogs if you want to conserve e.g. your original Pandaria raid progression, which means I always need to farm transmogs on alts of the same class (I’m lucky that only Trial of the Crusader had faction-specific sets afaik), but I will admit that this is 100% a me problem and only really affects Rogue/Warrior/Shaman, but I’m not actually collecting transmogs on SO many classes and I have enough Rogues and Warriors.

So, what’s the point now? I don’t know what Dragonflight will be and if I will play, and then which toon – I will probably stick to an Alliance char in my guild just for logistical reasons and because the damage is done and I’m now attached to some of them already as well. The achievement thing is probably digging up which character has the best progression already, per achievement, and continue from there… or just not bother at all, which seems to be the best course of action, really.

Can I really change anything about this? No. Is it my own fault? To some degree, I could’ve just tried to find a Horde guild. But having moved to a guild where my friends play (and it is Alliance), that’s not my fault – this is squarely on Blizzard’s asinine imagined conflict thing, and all the per-character stuff plays against that as well. I guess that’s enough ranting, in the end I’m still having fun playing the game, but I would have invested so much fewer hours… so I guess it is indeed in their best interest to keep the people busy… until it’s enough and they quit.

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #10.

The annoying things you’d already forgotten Read More »

That Retail and Classic bundle

It’s good to read about people liking the bundle of WoW Retail + Classic (Shintar in this case) because I agree that it’s a really good deal for both the company and the players. I don’t even want to imagine how numbers would look for each of the games without the other, guess there would be huge dips, depending on the patch cycle. And I’m saying that while not being sold on XBox Game Pass, but for other reasons – but multiple MMOs by the same studio? Good. Multiple versions of the same game? Mandatory.

Anyway, I’m just getting that out of the way, because there’s no way I would have been paying a single Euro for Classic in the last months (or a year?), but on the weekend I actually logged in my 69 Druid (stranded in Area 52) and maybe make a little progress towards 70. But when I had patched up again and logged in I saw that I was only at around 10% towards the final level and then it hit me again how tedious I found Classic. Which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had anything to look forward to, but I don’t. I don’t plan to play WotLK Classic, I don’t want to raid at 70 (if I made it), I don’t even want to collect gear, I especially don’t want to grind reps. If I could have an old backup copy of my toons at a WotLK savepoint I’d maybe go try raiding, but no way I’m falling into this trap a third time…

So, maybe I will work up some motivation to do those last 90% with the 50% XP buff, maybe I won’t.

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #9.

That Retail and Classic bundle Read More »

Random grouping

This week there’s this weekly quest up where you need to run 4 “Mythic” dungeons, M0 counts though.

When I got roped into an M+ by the guild they of course did not tell me, but we ran an M0 after that, so my Shammy is sitting at 1/4 now at least.

This afternoon I wanted to run those with my DK, but opted for Unholy. First one was Taza’vesh and today I learned a few things. First of all that the “Forged Credentials” thing makes it a little harder, but you get a mount in the end. And for the dungeon to count you need to do Streets and Gambit, not sure if Gambit alone counts. But I got a mount, even if it took an hour – and doing the Hylbrande console thing for the first time is actually hard, messed it up somehow.

Second run was Halls with an Outlaw Rogue with unbelievable damage, but the rest of us was kinda bad and they tried to skip trash that we then still pulled. Onto the boss.

Third run was Necrotic Wake and was quick and uneventful, the last one was Plaguefall and kinda ok, except a weird near-wipe because we had Tentacles where I’d never seen them, maybe a M0 thing?

Maybe I was lucky that I didn’t meet any real idiots but it was still more tedious than running a +15 with the guild (last season’s +15, maybe +11 now).

Anyway, I’m not actually sure getting this 291 item (meh item as well) was worth the 2-2.5h. I mean, on the upside I could replace 2 252 rings with 262/268 ones and got Head/Shoulders/Chest, but don’t have enough flux to upgrade them all, especially 259 -> 262 isn’t worth it. If the 291 had been a Tier slot piece or a Weapon however… It did dampen my enthusiasm to run 7 or 6 more of those, but let’s see how I feel about that tomorrow or if we’ll run some after the raid tonight.

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #8.

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Looter Shooters are weird

I’ve probably written more than once that I don’t actually like the concept of a Looter Shooter, and that I enjoy Borderlands more despite of the fact than because of it. OK, the case can be made that with a plethora of different weapons I might more easily find my favourite… but then again, back when I played Quake I also found my favourites easily even if there were just 5 of them, I just don’t like the slow progression in single player of only getting a new one every few levels.

Anyway. Azuriel wrote about Necromunda: Hired Gun and there’s this one sentence (ok, two sentences):

As mentioned previously, this is also a looter-shooter. You will acquire a lot of incrementally more powerful guns that you can customize with various mods and relics.

And it clicked and I had an epiphany. “incrementally more powerful” and “customize”. I don’t object to incremental upgrades at all, but the modding is annoying busywork for me. I prefer to make the most of what the game gives me, hopefully playtested and balanced a bit. I don’t actually want to find the one gamebreaking combo and I also don’t want to use the 70% effective weapon. Why would I willingly take a break from the (hopefully) enjoyable gameplay of running and shooting (and looting is fine as well) to fiddle with mods? Ugh.

So hear me out, here’s my idea. You have a classic looter shooter but I have a “Destroy this looted item” button and I get a bit of currency/spare parts that I can simply use with one click to improve my current weapon. No mods, no fiddling, just make the number go up. Bonus points for a Path of Exile-inspired loot filter that will auto-consume all grey and green loot and just keep the blue and purple ones for inspection. Now THAT would solve half my problems with looter shooters. The automatic juicing wouldn’t even have to be optimal, and it wouldn’t have to be the exclusive mode.. it’s just the lazy bastard way of playing such a game.

Does this exist already and I have missed it?

This is Blaugust 2022 – post #7.

Looter Shooters are weird Read More »