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LFR: Raiding with friends

I have a confession. I actually enjoy the Looking for Raid content. While I don’t have a lot of time to play, I prefer running LFR over 5-mans to get my valor points.  However, I usually will only run LFR when I’m running with other guild members and friends. When we can get 5 to 10 people to queue up for the LFR together, it’s a lot more fun than just going by myself.

There has been talk of trying to solve a “LFR problem” of running LFR feeling mandatory (getting VP gear and set bonuses faster). However, This is really the same problem of the daily reputation quests, needing to maintain your farm, and the problem of needing to VP cap in general. In mists of pandaria, there is a lot of content. A lot of that content ends up being less desirable things that you feel socially compelled to do for the sake of keeping up with raiding.

When I first hit 90, I really had an issue with all these things that I had to do. However, in remembering all the time I spent in Stormwind feeling “bored” outside of raids, I can see Blizzard’s point in making all the extra things we feel like we need to do. Of all the things I feel compelled to do this expansion to be prepared for raids, LFR is actually the one thing that I really enjoy doing. I like the ability to run LFR to get experience with new encounters, or to just go in and top meters in my raiding gear. I didn’t mind the LFR in Dragonsoul that much, and the Mists LFR encounters are still new enough that I’m enjoying doing them when I have time. The LFR raids don’t require a whole lot of planning or attention, and they offer valuable rewards past the point where the blue drops from heroic 5-mans aren’t compelling anymore. So, I would be really bummed if they tied the LFR lockout to the normal and heroic raid lockout because LFR is really a different type of content. If we’re asking for fewer things to do outside of raids, I would vote for making the consumable gathering easier (lower mats required for flasks & feasts) or increasing the valor point rewards from content even more to accelerate the speed of capping points. I’d also prefer to go back to “weekly” quests instead of “daily” quests in some places. I can’t run a random heroic every day. Instead, I tend to have to do most of my VP farming on the weekend when I’m not tied up in long work hours (though I usually end up in the office 6 days a week when we get close to deadlines or have kids coming into the lab). I don’t honestly really mind having to do LFR once a week for my VP and chance at potential upgrades.

What do you guys think? Do you enjoy having more things to do outside of raids, or do you find all of the extra content to be a drain on your time? Do you think that the LFR is a problem, or an enjoyable thing to help fill your time?

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, Written By Lissanna

All the friends on my farm

In my yard, we grew a pumpkin vine, and from that vine, we harvested one runty pumpkin. It isn’t much wider than a post-it note, and since it grew side-ways,  it has to lay on its side because it doesn’t have a flat bottom like all the store-bought pumpkins. 🙂

Today, we’re going to talk about the Tillers. The tillers are the faction with whom you gain reputation for farming the little in-game farming mini-game and doing their quests.

This is actually a slightly confusing faction, however. In addition to the one bar for “tillers,” there are ten other reputations to grind up for 10 different farmers who are part of that faction.

While they provide you with really great incentives for leveling tillers, they don’t provide very good incentives for making friends with the other farmers.

I was really confused, however, for a long time about what the point of those extra factions were. They aren’t related to getting better food buffs (you have to do that by leveling each of the six “ways” in cooking).

When you are “best friends” with them, they will come to your farm, stand there and look pretty, and give you vanity things (like animals) that aren’t super important. There is a cricket pet that comes from Cho, but other than that, you mostly get seed packs and vanity items, and hitting a high enough level with Gina Mudclaw puts a mailbox closer to your your farm (instead of having to use the one up by the inn).

When Gina mudclaw is on your farm, she’ll stand around and act as a vendor (same as she does 40 yards away in the market), and you pay less money to get predictions from Jogu the drunk. However, none of the friends on your farm make the unwanted pests go away. Your farm is still full of weeds, birds, vines, and other vermin that you have to pull out all the time. While you can get a faster way of dealing with dry or bug-infested crops (the rep grains during the general tillers rep gives you an irrigation system and some bug spray), but none of the other inconveniences go away when you level up your farm and gain reputation with the other farm NPCs.

When you are best friends with other farmers, and you invite them to “help” on your farm, someone should do something other than just stand around and watch you do all the work. Just making the farm space look a little prettier doesn’t really “help” me do my farm chores. Can’t someone hand me a Weed Wacker, some vermin-be-gone, or a scarecrow that chases away the birds? That’s all I really want. Otherwise, I don’t really see the point in doing annoying daily quests just get to “best friends” with people who don’t do much for me in return.

The whole farming thing has started to “grow” on me, but I think that they could do more to make planting things enjoyable.

Posted in Farming, Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, Patches, Written By Lissanna

The great food buff debate

Hey guys. So it’s been a while since I (Garnaph) last posted. As many of you know, I had to vanish for a while due to the birth of my daughter. Even when the dust settled on that and life started to return to normal, I realized that most of the news that everyone was talking about was from the MoP beta, and since I wasn’t in the beta, I didn’t really have anything to add.

However, with the MoP release, there’s a lot going on, and I’ve finally got something useful to say again. I missed writing articles, so I’m very keen to get back into it. I’m working on a new Power Auras series for the re-written version of the mod (as an update to my original series), but since the writers have been holding back the new version, I’m waiting until they release it so everyone can play around with it after reading my posts.

What I’d like to talk about today is MoP buff foods. Blizzard has been kind enough to complicate the hell out of it, so here’s what you need to know :

Cooking is now split into 6 “ways”. Each of these is levelled separately (your cooking skill for purposes of achievements etc is the maximum of these), and is tied to a specific stat (except for way of the brew, which I’ll ignore). Each of these ways ends with a feast, and a normal single buff food. Essentially, if you eat the “wrong” feast, you get 250 of your primary stat (375 if stamina). If you eat the “right” feast, you get 275 of your primary stat (415 if stamina).

  • Wok 275 Agility, 375 Stamina;
  • Oven 415 Stamina;
  • Steamer 275 Spirit, 375 Stamina;
  • Pot 275 Intelligence, 375 Stamina;
  • Grill 275 Strength, 375 Stamina.

All of the single buff foods give 300 of the stat associated with the food (450 for stamina).

  • Sea Mist Rice Noodles = 300 Agility
  • Steamed Crab Surprise = 300 Spirit
  • Chun Tian Spring Rolls = 450 Stamina
  • Mogu Fish Stew = 300 Intellect
  • Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp = 300 Strength

On top of all of that, if you level every single one of the ways to max, you can complete the quest “master of the ways” which gives you access to the final ultimate feast, which gives 275 to your primary stat (415 stamina) to all.

Next up, note that healers will always get int from feasts, unless they eat from a Banquet of the steamer. Assuming that you have access to Pandaren Banquets or Great Pandaren Banquets (10 and 25 man versions, respectively) this means that everyone will get 275 in their preferred stat (except healers who may prefer to use single-buff food to get spirit instead, though there is some debate about whether Intellect or Spirit is better for healer consumables).

So, the question is, how do you deal with this? Do you force all raiders to farm up their 300 (415 stamina) food, or do you just accept that banquets are the way to go, and assist your healers in obtaining their 300 spirit food? Is the 25 in a stat really going to be worth all of the farming time involved for your 10/25 raiders?

I guess the answer to that question is based on your personal feelings on the matter. If you’re a world/realm top guild, you’ll probably suck it up for the extra 25, knowing you need to push your best. If you’re in a more casual guild, you’ll probably feel, as I do, that it’s just not worth the amount of effort and admin involved.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, Written By Garnaph

Wash all the yak (mounts)!

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled druid-related posts to talk about something completely different.

While leveling, my absolute favorite quest was “At the Yak Wash”.

The premise of this yak wash quest is that the yaks go in dirty:

And comes out clean! That’s right, they change colors!

The sad part of this quest, however, was that once you finished it, the quest wasn’t repeatable. While you could buy yak mounts from the vendor (either a gray one or a blonde one), it wasn’t quite the same as the magical color-changing yaks from the quest.

In the recent patch notes, however, was a line that said this:

The Yak Wash will now make all but the filthiest Yaks sparkling clean.

So, I decided to take my dirty yak mount back to the wash:

And my yak mount changed colors! It washed my yak mount! It’s a temporary effect (when you dismount & re-mount, they revert back to their original colors), but it makes me really happy to see the attention to detail. So, what is your favorite part of Mists of Pandaria?

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, Written By Lissanna


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