WoW

More WoW, less FFXIV?

It’s not a real trend but with the 9 classes I actually enjoy playing all at 90, no meaningful gear upgrades to be acquired, and only 4 levels of crafter jobs missing, I’m feeling less inclined to spend my whole day in FFXIV – and this is great! I’m still doing my raiding, grinding out some reputations, slowly getting some jobs up via duty roulette, but it’s not “play the whole evening”.

On the other hand I’ve been doing a little alting in WoW again, brought my original Orc Shaman from 52 to 60 this week and my Blood Elf Warlock from 51 to 54 since yesterday. It’s mostly Threads of Fate with a few random dungeons sprinkled in. I haven’t played an alt since like week 3 of when Korthia launched and I was fed up, that must’ve been July (where I also speed-leveled a Paladin to 50).

It’s kinda braindead, it makes me relearn the class to a degree and unlike a gear grind the time is not lost, as the next expansion will come sooner or later. A point could be made about upgrading the Heirloom gear then, but if I level slow enough to be fully rested all the time there shouldn’t be a huge difference. Also enough time has passed so I am able to stomach the Shadowlands leveling again, after my ~13-14 times around Christmas 2020.

The only downside is that SWTOR is the sole loser in this match at the moment and for some reason I had the slight urge to get back to Guild Wars 2 as well lately…

Raiding Sepulcher – week 2

Despite invites starting at 1945 lately we hardly manage to start before 1958, but at least that. Sunday saw us doing Guardian, Dausegne, Pantheon, and Lihuvim, then Skolex on Tuesday and a first kill of Xy’mox, then a few tries on Halondrus but no kill. Still feels a little harder than last tier with at least one wipe per boss on the reclear. Doesn’t help that we’ve been having different tanks on all the nights, maybe it will improve this week. As usual I don’t really care about loot, but I guess with my 239 main hand it’s simply impossible to put out decent damage, so getting a 252+ MH is my top (or only) prio right now.

Raiding Sepulcher – week 1

Sunday, March 7, the first “progression” raid since our Sylvanas Heroic kill in early December, quite a few in the guild had stopped playing, according to all the hello and welcome back on Discord. Starting out was a bit slow, discipline and routine lacking a bit. First boss (Vigilant Guardian) on the second try, fourth boss? (Dausegne) on the third try, fifth boss (Prototype Pantheon) on the second try, and then three wipes on the sixth boss (Lihuvim), no kill. So it seems we skilled the second (Skolex) and third one (Xy’mox again), which is a bit weird, but I remember doing something like this last tier, so people only coming on Tuesday also getting some loot. Lihuvim seems a little harder but doable I think, so I’m kinda curious about Tuesday. My damage was bad, but that’s not surprising – everyone except two people have 4-11 iLvl more and they didn’t take a 3 month break. Still means I need to step up a bit, I don’t want to be in the lowest spots – but I guess for normal it’s not the end of the world.

Some random things I noticed: the login screen shows if your char has mail, that is really nice and I have no ide when they added that. Addons were still good to go after a quick update after 3 months.

Also, the longer I am there, the more I like Zereth Mortis. There’s a lot to discover and some neat things. There could be more portals though.

So, Tuesday we went back and killed Lihuvim on the first try of that night. It was actually kinda easy with the proper tactic and not just chaos. Interestingly we had huge problems with Skolex, the nominal second boss. Five wipes with tanks dying or everyone dying. The secret was stacking every second Retch and paying attention to the taunt rotation.

Then in the end we tried Xy’mox and wiped for six times, only once getting to the second add phase – so that one seems to be a bit harder for us, it wasn’t some “come on, this should be easy” as with Skolex.

Anyway, it was pretty fun to raid again with my WoW guild, and at the moment I’m inclined to add another month, but I’m also not completely sure if I want to do Heroic again. We’ll see.

Oh, and of course I forgot all the kill shots, so here’s my Pirate Pocopoc:

Pirate Pocopoc

The Daily Routine

I brought this on myself but currently there’s GW2 to log in for the daily login reward, then there’s EVE with all the accounts which grant a daily login award after 13:00, SWTOR (which doesn’t remember the password and needs the 2FA code) after 13:00, then I can do a few dailies and World Quests and progress the story a bit in WoW, and then I haven’t started with FFXIV.

On logging in my 3-4 retainers are waiting with their finished 18h Venture, there’s Expert Roulette for a few days to cap my highest-tier tomestones, the MSQ is too good on EXP to not queue up with a non-max level job (but at least I can browse or chat during the cutscenes), then sometimes I feel like doing the other roulettes, Trial or Level or even 50/60/70/80 (but not PvP). Then I still have some Beast Tribes to do. Pixies are really quick for good EXP on a 7x char, I started Qitari recently and want to finish Namazu – and don’t forget to check Grand Company turnins for some quick wins.

And that’s without the weeklies. Wondrous Tails, the 4 wings of Aspho on normal (especially the 4th one, but they are kinda quick), then Custom Deliveries as long as my DoH jobs are not at max level (missing Goldsmith and Leatherworker atm, both at 83ish) and maybe I even forgot something. Oh right, the Fashion thing and Cactpot. I totally gave up on Mini Cactpot, by the way.

On the other hand I feel like I’m progressing at a nice pace – all of the jobs I wanted at 90 are at 90, gear is shared inside a role (which is awesome) and I feel like I could skip most daily things if I lacked the time, which isn’t the case at the moment.

I guess it makes sense to not play too many MMOs when just one can absolutely fill your daily gaming time even if there’s plenty of it.

Speaking of WoW, I must have missed the reason why we went to Zereth Mortis, or it’s not such a cool thing that I forgot already. The zone is… ok I guess? I am completely happy to focus on just one character (which I already did in 9.1) and ignore the gear threadmill for now. I’m still at 240-241 iLvl and Sepulcher will drop 252 on normal. I am not running M+ but I’ll see that I get the World Boss done every week. Also maybe the Cypher will provide an upgrade or two, when I spent enough research.

Hello Zereth Mortis

Last night I saw that my WoW guild has a raid planned for Sunday so I claimed my WoW token and am now a subscriber for the rest of March. I just spent around 2h progressing the 9.2 content and while it’s not great, it’s not bad either. The only “argh, really?” moment was at the end where I had two quests left: “Go to Hub A” and “Go to Hub B”. I accepted 2 dailies and went to Hub B, then did my 2 dailies. Then I went to Hub A and the followup quest was “fill this bar by doing World Quests and Dailies.” Well thank you, I just did 2 dailies, and of course the progress didn’t count. /slowclap

Cross-faction in WoW

“It’s happening. Cross-faction dungeons, raids, and rated PvP will begin testing soon.

So this tweet came out like 2h ago and as someone who has been playing for over 15 years (with breaks) my only reaction is: WHY? WHY NOW?

I played nearly exclusively on Horde from 2005 to 2014. I had a few lowbie alliance alts on random servers, and then one Rogue in a guild on the same server. I joined that guild full-time when I came back for BfA. Then I transferred my main off last summer, to another Alliance guild.

Had this been in the game in 2018 I wouldn’t have had to level all chars again on the other faction. Well of course no one pressured me to do this but I would have absolutely stuck with my old “Horde” chars if I could’ve played with my guild. Not all toons of course, but I would’ve led my old three main chars through all the content.

So yeah, there are no cross-faction guilds, but I maybe would’ve raided on my Troll Warrior in Castle Nathria and Sanctum.

So I guess, personal history with wishing for this feature aside, it’s a good change, but I’m not sure it’s as tremendous as it sounds, if there are no cross-realm guilds. There are some players who are mostly on their main, would they even notice when someone is asking for a group in guild chat where they are not? The people who always seem to be on alts.. those could probably be in the guild. It gets complicated quickly, if you don’t have a dedicated chat channel – or if your guild is not advertising guild dungeon runs on Discord, and honestly why would they? Only if a sizable percentage of people might be on their other-faction chars. I dunno, it seems half-baked.

I’m not mad, just disappointed. (And I am 100% not mad for “grr Horde, grr Alliance” reasons – that ship has sailed. We have worked together cross-faction since WotLK with the Argent Crusade.

Personal PS: If they would manage to get this live for the 9.2 raid, I might actually do this on my Blood Elf Warlock and raid with my Alliance guild. But she’s still cross-server, so maybe it doesn’t work out again anyway, so probably nothing changes at all… And I simply don’t believe that this will be live for the 9.2 raid.

Wrath Classic

Shintar had an interesting post about a hypothetical (but eagerly? awaited) further installment of the WoW Classic cycle. I’ve not thought a lot about it, whether and for how long “Classic” would continue to evolve. But from most people I talked to and what I read, the consensus seems to be that Cataclysm can’t be part of anything “Classic”, because that’s where everything changed and this third expansion was sort of the beginning of a new era. I can’t really say “the” new era, because between expansions some things have gradually shifted and some have changed the game a lot. Also as I stopped playing in MoP, the fourth expansion, that’s my personal big breaking point, as I basically skipped the next one and only then came back. I simply know I am not objective enough to see the end of MoP as anything but the greatest change for me personally, as it coincided with my first years-long break.

Anyway, about Wrath. I’d rate my involvement in the game only at medium in Vanilla, despite spending a lot of time in PvP battlegrounds at the tail end, but I had missed out on most of the start and was just casually levelling up. Having fun, but not really invested. TBC was very different. I was eagerly awaiting the launch, I instantly started leveling, then raiding Karazhan, then hating it, then there was guild drama, then a new guild, then a little drama, and finally getting together with the people I’d spend half of TBC and then Wrath and Cata and even MoP together. But TBC was a very long time ago, Wrath was a little less long ago. At the start of TBC I pretty much still felt like a noob, having played for ~1.5 years. When Wrath launched I’d been playing for for over 3 years, and I had raided Black Temple, the pinnacle of difficulty. Also I think in Wrath I played even more than I did in TBC. Leveling alts, doing Heroics, raiding. Raiding on alts, everything. As I continued into Cata like this there was no burnout or anything, but still after all these years…

When my interest in Vanilla Classic was kinda big, my interest in TBC Classic was already a lot lower. I had seen SSC and TK, I had raided Black Temple, I tanked and healed some raids in addition to playing on my Rogue Main. And then Wrath. I leveled so many alts, we went to ICC so much, we killed the Lich King on Heroic. I have the feeling I’ve been there and while it’s been over 11 years by the time I’m writing this, even more than in TBC I have so many memories where I can honestly say: I had fun at the time, but I don’t need or even want to repeat that. It was fun because of the time, because of the people, and because it was new. I think to a degree I stopped leveling first in Classic and then in TBC Classic because I did not have those rose-colored glasses. My estimates of how slow everything would feel were 90% correct. I knew it was slow, I just had overestimated my own perseverance, as these two times it felt like a chore so often.

So yeah, and then the fact that my dungeon group mostly stopped playing in the middle of something, twice. Or even three times. Guess next time I’ll just not fall for it.

And interestingly none of this is really Blizzard’s fault (unlike in Retail). People wanted to have the original experience, and that is fine. I don’t need to relive everything. I had fun in Classic and TBC, but looking back even now it feels like a bit of wasted time – because one of my goals is usually reaching max level, and I failed to do that both times.

Getting back into WoW for 9.2, or not

Back at the start of December when I stopped playing WoW I was kind of sure I’d come back for 9.2 and go raid with my guild. Meanwhile I’ve been having a blast in FFXIV and while Blizzard didn’t have anything newsworthy to report that was equally horrible as all the stuff in the summer… I noticed that I don’t miss WoW. Then I tried to read up on some bits and bobs about what’s coming and I’m also not excited, but I didn’t have a clear picture yet of the new patch.

Catching up on RSS I noticed this post by Kaylriene (yeah, 10 days ago) and it indeed sounds bleak. The Korthia grind in 9.1 is already the thing I hated most, in addition to having to run Torghast again.

I was low-key planning to reroll Warlock because as far as I know we lost ours (switched to Hunter), but when this idea still sounded good to me I had completely forgotten about Legendaries and Torghast. My Warrior main is iLvl 240, and from a quick glance my active M+ running guildies are not higher than 248 for the most part, so I’d still have no problem just joining in when we start normal, I hope. But I don’t even know what gear I could quickly acquire on a yet-to-be-boosted character, and if I really want to do that. I think I want to subscribe and do Normal raids, maybe that even works in a single month – but I’m already leaning towards not participating in Heroic this time, just because then I’m feeling the need to keep up with gear and Legendaries and rep and everything. That simply sucks, I’m not sure you can really be a casual Heroic Raider.

I still can’t tell how the Extreme Trials and Savage Raids in FFXIV compare to Normal and Heroic Raiding in WoW, but let me tell you how easy it was to get iLvl 570/580 gear (in times of hours invested) for several jobs in FFXIV versus just getting gear on ONE CLASS in WoW, not even entertaining the thought of doing it on an alt. I had started Korthia on my Shaman, but my interest fizzled out in like week 3 and that was nowhere near the end, despite dutifully doing my dailies every day (not searching around for rares, just the dailies and weeklies).

Meh.

Sanctum of Domination – finished

We did it!

After 86 wipes on Sylvanas and after nearly 2 months we finally finished Sanctum of Domination, Shadowlands’ second raid tier.

A bad achievement screenshot .

Today we had 17 people and not the usual 13-15 – maybe that made the difference, or the practice of the last two weeks, or everyone actually giving their best. It might have been slow but I am so glad that we did it. More relieved than happy, actually.

My first AOTC

This is also my first AOTC (Ahead of the Curve) achievement for killing a Heroic end boss before the next tier arrives, something that eluded me in Castle Nathria, the first raid tier of this expansion, and that didn’t even exist when I last raided in MoP.++

So this was one day after our raid week #21 concluded. We’ll see if we can redo the kill on Sunday, or a bit later.

But… my sub is running out in 8-9 days, so I maybe have 2 raids left. I had acquired a WoW token as a backup plan if it would run out before we’d killed here, but now I’m looking forward to a little WoW vacation. I think I’ve been subbed since early BfA, that’s quite a while, one month more and it had been 3 years. I don’t know when 9.2 will hit, but I plan to come back and raid again with my current guild that I joined in early July, 5 months ago. But of course we’ll see how I’m feeling about WoW and ActiBlizz then, if we will have managed to raid in FFXIV and everything.

++ footnote: Because I don’t like writing wrong things I looked this up. This page on Wowpedia says there were some AOTC achievements in MoP (for Normal), but I have 4 out of 6, jus this one is weird: Sha of Fear before patch 5.2.0 – that patch came on March 5, 2013 – my “Defeat the bosses in Terrace of Endless Spring.” achievement says 2012-11-25, clearly before 5.2.0 but I don’t have it.

Evergreens and has-beens

When changing WoW servers recently (actually I dug out this draft and July 3rd id not so recently) and reserving my old names, creating bank characters and so on, I ran into the 50 character limit per WoW account. I think that’s happened for the first time, ever. 50 sounds a lot, but I’ve started playing this game in 2005, that’s 16 years. So only 3 new characters per year, right?
But how did we end up here?

Well, there’s the server where I started playing in 2005, which also was my main server until 2014, when I stopped playing for a few years. Mostly Horde, and that one Alliance Rogue I brought into the guild I’d been raiding Castle Nathria with recently, back in 2009. When I came back for Legion I started more Alliance characters on the server connected to this one – so basically one realm, but 2 connected realms. 19 on the original one, (now) 12 on the other one.

Then there’s the server I transferred to, 7 characters. And the Horde one where I went to visit those friends, but playing Horde, that’s another 5 characters. So we’re at 43 already.

But now to the outliers. There’s this one Level 11 (ex 24?) Warrior on a German PvP server, where I started to play with some people from another MMO, probably 12 years ago. I guess I can delete that one. Then I have a 30 Hunter (used to be 61 or so?) on Argent Dawn, where some bloggers started the guild named “Single Abstract Noun” – I would’ve saved that one via transfer if leveling was still a thing, but Level 30 can be done in like 5h, so hard pass on 17-25 EUR for a transfer 🙁

And then there’s the server where I had transferred my main over to raid, just before I stopped playing. I had started a DK and a Priest while playing there. The DK reached max level, the Priest only 5x (now 28). I think I transferred my main back for a normal price and the DK when the transfer was marked down, years later. Again, Level 30ish is easy to reach, so I guess the priest will be deleted at some point.

But… if I remember correctly, we had free transfers to that realm, so I brought my Level 19 Twink Hunter. The only Battlegrounds Twink I ever made. Now she’s Level 9 and I surely didn’t play her since 2014 or earlier, and I don’t know if twinking like this still works.

I didn’t go over the top with all the expensive BoEs, but she still had some nice gear.

So how did this post start out as an idea about twinks in WoW and ended up talking more about the 50 character limit? I don’t know.

One noteworthy thing is that before the level squish I didn’t want to delete old characters on random servers because of the time invested. Now it’s so quick that if I don’t have a nostalgic connection… that 10 year old toon can absolutely be deleted without a second thought, but there are just so many exceptions. Maybe the best way is to do it like people who clean up their apartments do it. Take a screenshot, write a few paragraphs in the blog about the story, delete, and go on with your life.