Just a little boost… to 90

The recent Warlords of Draenor “scouting report” gave us an update on how the level 90 boosts would work. To recap:

  • If you order your digital version through Blizzard, you get your free 90 boost right away.
  • If you buy a boxed copy, then, you would get the level 90 boost when you added the code to your account.
  • You may be able to buy additional level 90 boosts from Blizzard later on.

In general, I support the idea of level 90 boosts. A bit of background: I have been playing since early Vanilla, I’m currently a recruitment officer in my guild (we’re still looking for ranged DPS!), and I re-rolled a mage last expansion because I got bored with my druid. I came up with several important observations relevant to why the level 90 boosts aren’t that big of a problem for me:

  • Most current players will boost up alts to try out, without having to invest in re-leveling through content they may already be bored with. Right now, my alts tend to die off somewhere in Burning Crusade content because I just really don’t enjoy leveling through all that old content anymore. It doesn’t impact anyone else if I pick up a new alt just to try it out, without having to level 90 levels to figure out I didn’t really like it.
  • People will still choose to level new characters when their time is worth more than their money. Most people won’t pay for a second free level 90 boost because it won’t really be necessary to have tons of level 90s next expansion (you still have to get them to 100!).
  • Attracting new or returning players to the game is beneficial for everyone. WOW could use a subscription boost, but people coming back to face a giant wall of content they don’t want to do will make it harder to keep our current guilds full and healthy.
  • Leveling 1 to 89 tells you almost nothing about how to play your class at max-level. Very few people level up to 90 and then consider their time playing the game over. This is usually when people feel like they start playing the real game. When you are recruiting, you’ll be able to see how much relevant experience a player has, anyway – so you’ll want to see sufficient progress after they ding 90 to prove they know what they are doing.
  • Giving people free 90s before the expansion comes allows people to have something to focus on while we’re all bored waiting for new content. Getting to play around with a new class can be fun and keep people active in the short-term.

The change, however, makes me think that the time of needing my druid leveling guide (that was started back in 2006) may soon be over. If most people are boosting characters to 90, they may not need guides that focus on the early playing experiences, and end-game guides may end up being sufficient to teach people the basics they need to know.

In conclusion, getting people caught up faster to everyone else is beneficial to the health of a nearly 10 year old game. So, the benefits of level 90 boosts outweigh any potential negatives. I am looking forward to having a level 90 warlock I can play around with. Maybe I’ll even like it better than my mage. What class are you going to boost to 90?

Raiding in the New Year!

Welcome to 2014! The last year has been a great year for my guild. We have been progressing in raids faster than any other tier, and our 25-man raid has reached 8/14 HM. I’m also having a lot of fun as a frost mage, and I really love the guild family. I enjoy spending my time in Azeroth with my guild, Undying Resolution.

As we move into the new year, we should hopefully see the beta for WOD start up “soon”. In preparing for the wait for mythic raiding, however, we are still working on making further heroic progress in Siege.

As the guild recruitment officer, it is my job to keep our raids happy and full of awesome people. Right now, our guild is looking to fill healing and ranged DPS spots for SoO and future WOD raiding. We have openings for:

  • Healers of any class, but we are especially interested in a holy priest or restoration druid.
  • Ranged DPS, especially moonkin, shadow priests, or elemental shaman.
  • It would be especially awesome if we could find a hybrid healer/DPS who may be able to swap seamlessly between roles in the transition between running 25-man normal-modes and the 20-man mythic raids.

We are raiding 25-mans on Wed/Thurs/Sun from 8 to 11 PM, Eastern time, on the Elune-US(Alliance) server. It is pretty rare for us to have healing spots open, so if you have been looking for a new heroic-mode guild that raids on a fairly relaxed (3 day) schedule, please talk to us soon! Our guild is almost always looking for ranged DPS, though we don’t have any melee or tank openings at the current time. You can see more about our guild and apply on our forums at: http://www.undyingresolution.com/

As always, if you have questions about my guild, or about anything else, you can contact me on twitter @restokin

Happy new year! Can’t out deeps that boomkin! Ember Isolte’s “Moonkin” parody song is slightly outdated, but I swear she sings “crit chicken,” not “carrot chicken”!!!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a happy holiday season! Merry Christmas and happy Winter’s Veil! I hope your gently shaken gifts bring you all that your heart desires! Lets just hope that you were on Santa’s nice list, and not on his naughty list this year!

Lets also hope that Blizzard brings us a new World of Warcraft expansion soon!

Is the class always greener on the other side?

In my many years of playing World of Warcraft, I have spent a considerable amount of time as part of the theorycrafting community, especially related to druid class design. However, I turned my attention to the mage class for the first time in Mists of Pandaria and put my druid into hybernation from serious raiding (though I still do play my druid from time to time). In switching to a mage as my raiding main, I thought I would finally have the wonderful damage superiority that “pure” classes promised from their much greener hill on the other side of the hybrid vs. pure divide.

What I found, however, was just simply another class with the same problems, related to a lack of movement DPS, talent issues, outdated mechanics, and ability bloat. In my many years of being envious of the mage class, I quickly found that everything wasn’t all that I thought it would be. While I am still raiding on my mage, and haven’t dedicated much time to the druid this expansion, broadening my expertise to understanding the mechanics of two classes gave me a much better sense of perspective about the fact that every class in WOW has design limitations that can make it difficult or frustrating to live with on a day-to-day basis.

While I needed the change in perspective, and I don’t regret my class switch, I have overall been more selective in terms of what minor problems I’ve come to live with, versus understanding what major problems I think should still be addressed (such as healing mushroom’s development in early MOP for resto druids, and the continuing problem of the mage level 90 talents).

As we start to ramp up for another round of beta testing and feedback, I think it is still important to remember that a side-effect of theorycrafting and class balance is that other classes likely have just as many serious problems in this type of game. In addition, while classes all have strengths, and the game as a whole is substantially better than it used to be, it turns out that the class we play isn’t the only one that is potentially in need of fixing.

With that said, I really do look forward to picking apart both mage and druid weaknesses as we ramp up into the next expansion over the next many months. Just remember – that other classes don’t necessarily have things all that much better at the end of the day. The game balance as a whole, however, is still much better than it used to be in the dark days of Vanilla and Burning Crusade.