Monthly Archives: July 2009

New 3.2 Argent Tournamen quests: I need more reputation!

Okay, so I was a little bit of a slacker on getting reputations with the alliance reps (you know, Darnassus, Ironforge, Exodar, etc). Right now, I’m only exalted with Stormwind, which I got after I finished a couple hours ago. I’m less than half way through revered with Gnomeregan.  My other reputations are all in the revered range, even though I’ve been working for a couple weeks to get them up.

To prepare for patch 3.2, I’ve been working diligently on the Argent Tournament quests, and I’m continuing to grind the Exodar tournament daily quests for the reputation and gold, even though I have enough badges to be done with all the factions by now. Why won’t I turn them in yet? Well, first, that would cheat me out of extra gold, and second… I need to keep grinding for reputation. Here’s why:

The new tournament rewards require: the title of Crusader.

These new rewards are the heirloom items, and the upgraded squires (with access to the bank, mailbox, & vendors). You also get access to new dailies that reward Champion’s Seals.

What do you have to do to get the title of Crusader? You have to complete the Exalted Argent Champion achievement for either the alliance or the horde.

This means you have to not only be able to represent all of your faction’s reputations in battle, but you also have to have exalted faction with all of those reputations. This also requires exalted with the Argent Crusade. The other set of quests & rewards requires exalted with either the Sunreavers or the Silver Covenant. If you are already exalted with everything, you are welcome to laugh at me now. However, if you are in my boat, keep reading on what you can do to catch up!

BRD cloth farming

So, if the dalies aren’t going to get you to exalted with your faction’s reputations fast enough before 3.2 comes out, what should you do?

  1. Everyone I’ve complained to about my reputation status has recommended going back and doing the starter zone quests with my level 80 character, especially for the Draeni or Blood Elf starting area (depending on your faction). They made it such that you get the FULL amount of reputation, even at level 80. You’ll need to turn on “show low level quests” for your mini map to find them. I took their advice, and actually found an amazing reputation return for the low amount of work the quests required. Start with the level 1 quests (in Ammen vale’s crash site for Exodar) and work your way up from there – even the very lowest level quests were giving about 250 rep a pop even at level 80. You can do any of the faction’s starter quests. Also, Exodar quests give rep with all the other Alliance factions!
  2. There are cloth turn-ins in every major city. They start with wool, then silk, mageweave, and finally runecloth. The initial turn in quests require 60 of each of these cloth types, and reward 350 faction. After completing those quests, you can only turn in Runecloth (so check before you start buying up the various cloth types). At one stack for 75 rep a piece for the “Additional Runecloth” quest means you should work on getting runecloth now while you still can by buy it off the Auction house for a reasonable price. You can also farm things like lower level instances (with a full Blackrock Depths clear giving a little over a thousand rep worth of cloth stacks).
  3. Keep doing the daily tournament quests to get faction with reputations until 3.2 comes out or you hit Exalted…
Posted in Achievements, Patch 3.2 WotLK

Motivations for raiding are more complicated than casual versus hardcore

On Of Teeth and Claws, there is an interesting discussion going on about raid motivation classifications. Casual versus hardcore raiding is really something that doesn’t even make sense to me at this point – as neither ‘casuals’ nor ‘hardcore’ are actually a homogeneous group, and both groups seem to be unhappy with changes that are made to raiding. What matters is NOT just how much you can raid, but the attitude you bring towards raiding, and WHY you are raiding.  When people can clear all the instances in 1 day or 2 days, you can’t just use # of days raiding as a metric that’s worthwhile. In the days of Naxx, “casual” raiders actually took longer to clear the instance than “hardcore” raiders because some of the “hardcore” raiders got it down to a 3 hour clear of all the hard-mode content, whereas the “casual” raiding groups just took longer because they were slower at getting through the “normal” bosses, and were more prone to wiping. However, hard-mode versus normal bosses doesn’t even really define differences in why people are raiding, or how much they dedicate themselves to it.

Here are where I see continuous categories (the first two are from Russish’s quote on the Teeth & claws post, the third one was recommended by my boyfriend when I talked to him about the article). I really don’t see just high or low scores on these dimensions, but a range where people can fall in the middle, high, or low – and this can make it hard to find a guild that is a good match for you, and can cause a lot of problems in guilds, even if you all agree to raiding the same number of hours a week:

  • Looter
  • Challenger
  • Social

For the looter dimension, you can care a lot about the loot you get from the instance, or very little, or somewhere in the middle. It’s not an all or nothing thing. I like upgrades, but raiding while also beta testing for 2 expansions shows me how temporary and nearly worthless striving for gear upgrades really is. So, for me, I’m usually low on the “looter” dimension, but I’m really not a “casual raider” by any sense of the term. If we really didn’t care about the looter dimension, we’d all be off running Molten Core with our buddies just because we could. So, somewhere, most of us care at least a little about the gear upgrades in the highest level content – it’s just a matter of how much it drives your playing.

For the challenger dimension, it’s all about how much you enjoy the thill of harder content where you are more likely to wipe, and how well you are willing to prepare for the instance. I actually would rank myself pretty high. I really hate the fact that even Ulduar can be run with PUGs, and I frequently get in arguments with my RL friends who would score very low on the challenger dimension. It’s not that I have endless time to dedicate to raiding, it’s that I want it to cost people time & effort to get their rewards, and I hate the feeling of loot just being thrown around for anyone with a pulse, and I dislike the idea of super easy content. However, at the same time, due to being in graduate school, I’m not ranked as high on this dimension as some other people who do have endless amounts of time to raid. However, I expect to wipe on bosses, and get a thrill out of seeing “new” content, and strive for really challenging fights that put my skills to the test. I’m willing to farm reputations, materials – I spend time reading as many boss strategy guides as I can. I spend time learning the ins and outs of my class and my spec so that I can bring the highest quality to whatever I do in the raid instance. It’s not about killing all the hard-mode Ulduars, but about the attitude you bring even to 10-man raids – it’s the thrill of knowing what you are doing and battling against what feels like something that isn’t possible. Easy one-shot kills are boring to people scoring high on the challenger dimension. I like to think that the thrill of seeing “new content” comes in as part of the challenger dimension, even though “new” doesn’t have to mean “hard”.

On the social dimension, it really comes down to how many people you are willing to raid with, and how closely you feel the need to be attached to a guild. Some people want all the stuff from raid instances without ever stepping foot in a dungeon with more than 5 people (and they would even sometimes prefer to have crafting equivalents, or to get gear out of 2v2 arenas to lower the number of people they have to interact with). People low on the social dimension could even want a lot of loot and want challenges, but really just not like raiding. On the other hand, I’m very high on the social dimension. I want to raid with as many people as possible, so I really like the 25-man instances, and I miss the days of 40-man instances. As a healer, I get more fun out of having more health bars to watch, and I like the epic grand scale of having a lot of people in the raid instance with me. I also really just like being around other people in the game – I like the social aspect of it all. Other people really like raiding in the 10-man dungeons, even if they enjoy challenges and want access to high quality loot, because they fall more somewhere in the middle of the social dimension. Perhaps they’re only willing to raid with their close personal friends. There are also people who want to raid with a bunch of people they don’t even know, so long as it fits their time schedule. Some of the group of people who love the fact that you can PUG Naxx & Ulduar are sometimes driven by where they fall on the social dimension – they just can’t commit to a certain guild and group of people to raid the same content week after week, even if they fall higher on the challenge & loot continuums that are sometimes considered more “hard core”.

Conclusions - What makes developing this game hard is that all 11 million players have a different reason for wanting to play this game, and everyone who raids has a different set of goals and reasons for wanting to raid (and people who hate raiding have just as many reasons why). It’s really not possible to cater to everyone if you think of these dimensions (and all the other motivating factors) that people bring to this game (for raiding, leveling, PvP, farming, crafting, etc).

Posted in Uncategorized

Get there faster!

So, there have been a couple additional travel improvements in recent patch updates on the PTR.

First, the one that druids should be the most excited about:

Swift Flight Form: Druids who have acquired a mount able to go 310% flight speed will now also go that speed while in this form.

I would be excited about this, except that I don’t have a 310% flight speed mount, and I probably won’t have one any time soon. However, it improves my motivation level towards getting one. When you want to fly around as an instant-cast bird all day, the motivation to get different flying mounts is usually low for me.

Second, the one I’m actually more excited about:

Tome of Cold Weather Flying: New heirloom item. Players who have reached level 80 can now purchase this book for 1,000 gold from Hira Snowdawn, the Cold Weather Flying Trainer in Dalaran. Similar to other heirloom items, this item can be mailed to other characters of the same realm, account and faction. The book is consumed when read training the character in Cold Weather Flying. Requires level 68.

This means that my level 73 shaman (that’s mostly abandoned and neglected) can fly around to farm herbs in zones that I’m not likely to die horribly to high level mobs.  I should still level up higher to get the herbs I need for flasks and such, but then leveling up my shaman will be so much easier because getting around is faster. I really just don’t care about running around on ground mounts anymore, and the push to 77 to get access to my epic flying speed on that character just hasn’t gotten me to level very far at all. Since this change requires you to already have one level 80 character on your account, it’s really pretty fair. Once you have done the whole process, you get rewarded so that your alts can fly sooner. There is really nothing wrong with this at all. I think being able to travel faster makes the game more fun once the content isn’t really all that new to you.

One thing that all these travel improvements do is make it harder for them to force us to run around on ground mounts when the next expansion comes out. Most people are now going to be used to flying everywhere since level 60.

Posted in Druid - General, Patch 3.2 WotLK

Achievements & Ulduar progress

Okay, so now that the Holidays are over, we were able to actually focus on getting through raid content this week. That means new boss kills!

We got Vezax  in 25-man down on our first attempt of the week. So, here’s Conspiracy of Elune’s boss kill shot for Vezax in 25-man (normal). Also included is me stealing a kiss from Sara as we got Yogg to phase two. We don’t have a Yogg kill yet, but I’m happy to see that the fight feels really epic, even just getting to phase 2 tonight felt like an accomplishment of it’s own. I also hit exalted with Argent Tournament when I was doing my dalies, snagging a triple achievement (Argent crusade, Argent Champion, & 15 exalted reputations!).

Congrats Conspiracy on the Vezax kill!

Posted in Achievements

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