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All posts for the month April, 2016

Ten Easily Obtainable Followers

Published April 29, 2016 by Justyce

 

Recently I tried out a really cool method of leveling from 90-100 in 2 hours, and while I didn’t quite make it to 100 in 2 hours, it was fairly fast and quest-free, meaning I raced to the finish line with next to no followers! Ahh! How would I make gold with NO followers?!

Well of course I had to remedy this so I checked out some followers on WoWhead and came up with a list for you guys of followers that are all really SIMPLE to obtain, and don’t require having done pre-quests or unlocking specific things to get to. I’ve done basically NO quests, and was able to walk up and just talk to these followers or do one short quest for them and they wanted to be besties with me.

Below I’ve listed them broken into zones and with coordinates for both Horde and Alliance. However since I’m Horde, some of these are Horde only!

 

ASHRAN

Fen Tao (Horde & Alliance)

Aside from Vivienne, there’s another follower in Ashran that some people aren’t aware of. His name is Fen Tao, and all you have to do is walk up to him and recruit him.

Horde – 47, 45

Alliance – 45, 70

fen tao

 

FROSTFIRE RIDGE

Dagg (Horde & Alliance)

To obtain Dagg, you simply release him from a cage in two different locations. He’ll then appear at your garrison later!

65, 60

39, 28

Dagg-quest

 

Weaponsmith Na’shra  (Horde)

This is a Horde only follower but all you have to do is a simple quest of collecting ore in a cave nearby and she’s your friend.

64, 39

nashra

 

GORGROND

Blook (Horde & Alliance)

To get Blook all you need to do is ask him to fight you and then beat him and he submits to you. If you’re on foot, he’s up a twisting path in the mountains- the road begins at 42, 90

41, 91

blook

 

High Centurion Tormmok (Horde & Alliance)

When you approach Tormmok he is fighting mobs. You need to just help him, and after 3 waves, he will notice how awesome a fighter you are and want to chill in your garrison.

45, 86

tormmok

 

 

TALADOR

Ahm (Horde & Alliance)

All Ahm really wants is for you to avenge his death, or something. He’s pretty fly for a dead draenei. After you help him out he shows up in  your garrison.

57, 24

Ahm

 

Pleasure-Bot 8000 (Horde & Alliance)

To obtain this follower you have to do a relatively easy quest nearby in the lake and he’s yours!

62, 50

pleasure bot

 

SPIRES OF ARAK

Benjamin Gibb (Horde)

This undead dude just chills in the ground and you can just walk up and talk to him and he’s good to go. I mean, anyone who pulls him out of the ground has gotta be cool, right? This is a Horde only follower, the Alliance equivalent is Admiral Taylor.

35, 52

benjamin gibb

 

Leorajh (Horde & Alliance)

This feline follower is a bit of a pain to find. He’s up in a secret cave which you’ll need to fight your way through but then he’ll just happily go join your happy garrison family. If you’re on foot, the path begins at 51, 65.

The cave entrance is at 54, 68.

leorajh

 

MULTIPLE ZONES

Image of Archmage Vargoth (Horde & Alliance)

Remember this guy from back in Burning Crusade? Well now you can have him in your very own garrison! He takes a bit more than the rest of the guys on this list, but it’s still a very simple one with no pre requisites other than that you must be level 100.

There are four  items you can turn in to get him as a follower, found at the following coordinates.

Boots – 68, 18 Frostfire Ridge

Ring – 39, 39 Gorgrond

Hat – 45, 37 Talador

Staff- 46, 16 Nagrand

archmage

All pictures from Google images

 

 

Well there you have it, 10 simple followers that you should be able to obtain within an hour! Good luck!

faerisong sig

Warlords of Draenor: End of Expansion review.

Published April 25, 2016 by Apate

With the official release date of Legion finally announced (August 30th which is a Tuesday) I feel now is a good time to look back at the expansion we all love to hate.  But was it really all bad.  Well let’s go over it and find out.  Please note I will not be touching Garrisons, I don’t feel they need to be talked about outside of 17kdjxvdqvygyjpg

 

The beginning.  Or how I stopped worrying and loved the ques:

Well let’s just say that WoD didn’t get off to the best of starts.  Blizzard unaware and if I were to ask Illidan he would say “not prepared.” found that their servers became full in the first few days.  Many players were stuck in ques that lasted hours, some unable to play at all in the first week.  This was a PR disaster a nightmare that was even picked up by the BBC watchdog programme in the UK, although far too late and when it came out everything was sorted.  But that was the first in a line of incidents that made fans unhappy.  Though in a partial defense Blizzard was at the time under attack from constant DDoS attacks which made things a lot harder, and for MMOs in general DDoS attacks are practically impossible to defend against.

 

The leveling: Or “How to screw things up in your first five minutes in this new land.”:

 

So we finally are able to come into the game.   What is the first thing we do, we talk to a newly clean shaven and much younger looking Khadgar before storming our way through the portal into Draenor, reminiscent of the attack on Draenor by the alliance in Beyond the Dark Portal, which was also lead by Khadgar.  We come through the portal to be met by thousands of orcs and what is the first thing we the players do?  We release Cho’gall, Teron gore and worst of all Gul’dan.

Now I know this was a desperate time but in the end some fore planning should have come about in the lore department.  After that we retreat, hide and make our way to the ships, landing in Shadowmoon for Alliance and Frostfire for the horde where our adventure begins.

Now I must say early game and leveling (for the first character you play) was pretty well done.  The storyline for most of it seemed fine (Gorgrond exception here), there were a few hiccups along the way.  The most noticeable being Doomhammer’s sudden 180 in about 3 quests. Unfortunate symptom of cut and changed content which would plague the expansion.  Though the cinematic that ended the quest chain I must admit I enjoyed.

The questing took us all the way to Nagrand where for many the story for us ended with “And justice for Thrall.” Where the Makro’gah between Thrall and Garrosh ended a story arc that began all the way back in Wrath, maybe BC.  For others it could say the leveling story line ended with Cho’gall’s betrayal and his turning to the new masters.  Which I am certain are the Void Lords that were introduced in the Chronicles.  In the end meaning he joined the same side as his main universe counterpart (Since Old Gods are pawns of Void Lord’s).  All in all a good part of the game

Dungeons: Or “That thing that will always be compared to Burning Crusade.”

Ok the dungeons. These are a mixed bag, in my opinion some were good, some were great.  Some were hard, others easy. Of course generally difficulty tended to be on who you were with but in the end let’s look at those that stand out.

UBRS remake: The remake of the dungeon where Blackwing’s forces are replaced with the Blackrock and Dragonmaw tribes lead by Zaela. Perhaps one of the more difficult dungeons due to perfect positioning required on certain bosses and everyone insisting on resurrecting Leeroy.  Adding a new difficulty addition to the dungeon.

On the other end we have Skyreach, which I feel is perhaps the easiest of the dungeons.  No bosses bringing in a difficulty level of high skill.  Simple, straightforward yet fun.  Like most of the dungeons which were in between.  They were fun enough.  Only problem being there were too few at launch and no more added till later on.  While the addition of Mythic difficulty added a new challenge it didn’t add enough to keep players interested.

 

Raiding: Or how you are now Khadgar’s little plaything.

Now we come to the endgame.  The raids, each of which Khadgar decided to send you along to gather things to take down Gul’dan.  All in all there are three raids, Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry and Hellfire Citadel.  Three raids with different themes.  Highmaul the Ogre empire.  Blackrock Foundry the orcish raid.  While Hellfire starts off orc but becomes demonic as you continue on.  Ending with the one of the leaders of the legion Archimonde.

Here I feel WoD shines.  For all its flaws the raid part feels just right.  A difficulty level for everyone (Though some scream that you need to do them all when you don’t.).  Those that wanted mythic didn’t need to do Normals and those who were not into raiding but wanted to see the story had LFR and if they were adventurous normal.  For me LFR was a major disappointment, it became too easy when MoP difficulty was just at the right level. While the others felt good for their position.  Highmaul as the entry raid.  BRF later on and then Hellfire.  All in all each gave a pleasant experience for the raider within me.

PVP or “How I must smash in the other guys face.”:

Can’t say much, no new BGs, Ashran good idea, bad execution.  Balance, worse than MoP.  Better than earlier expansions.  Biggest issue, too quickly able to outgear everything in one day outside of heroic Hellfire Citadel.

 

Outside world content or “That thing most people do.”

Well once you have leveled, done your heroic dungeon and such you want to go out there right?  Well of course, so you grab your quest, go out and… Wait where is the content?

Now don’t get me wrong I have no objections to the Apexis % style of dailies.  To me that is essentially taking all the quests in a zone and saying “Do it all how you want.” but why so few and why not have a good enough rewards for them.  Yes I know gear was there but before Tanaan everything had versatility on it and that helped no one.  The world needed more to do and better rewards for it.  Especially when people won’t do things for sake of it being fun.

Don’t get me wrong certain zones apexis dailies were fun.it just needed to be more of it, added variety.  Also extra things for gathering and crafting.

Tanaan came about and helped a little.  More daily zones, rares left, right centre.  But in the end it was too little too late.  If each zone at 100 had this amount there would have been less issues.

 

Final Verdict:  “Or the score that reviewers give out of 10”

Well WoD was doomed from the start.  It was clear a couple months after the Blizzcon announcement that a major error in development happened and a lot of stuff needed to be scrapped.  Added with SoO fatigue Blizzard couldn’t push back till it was ready and were punished for their mistakes.

Good raids, decent dungeons, good leveling but when it comes to the overworld gameplay too much bare bones.   Good parts and really bad parts. All in all the score I will give Warlords of Draenor is:

 

5/10

 

 

Preparation for a new expansion

Published April 18, 2016 by majickmanwow

The end of an expansion and the start of a new expansion, most of us have been there, where we slowly are working through the PVP and Instances that the end game offers, but when you’ve done all that what do you do when you find yourself looking for things to do in the break where you’re done with Warlords and waiting for Legion to start.

Garrisons

Some love it, some hate it, but those little pesky missions you can send your followers on can net you a fair bit of gold, well sometimes more than just a little bit. In this last little time spend time leveling your followers, send them on missions, and if you’re like me gain all the Crates of salvage and sell the items inside for a bit more cash.

Professions

Most of us will have one even if it may not be leveled, come Legion you can bet the level cap will be higher, and another 100 points to level through. Played right professions can net you a good chunk of gold too, and who doesn’t like gold, right?

Head to the Jungle

While you are probably already doing it, every player should be spending a significant amount of time inside Tanaan Jungle. There is a ton of gold to be made here for very minimal work. Don’t hesitate to complete quests, kill rares, do the bonus objectives, and pick up any treasures you find along the way.

While doing all these tasks you will not only be making gold, but also collecting a ton of Apexis Crystals. Use these to purchase Baleful gear and upgrade tokens from the Order of the Awakened representative to fill in any weak spots in your gear. While you will probably replace your gear very quickly in Legion, this is so simple to do and will give you an extra leg up when you start the journey through the next expansion.

The last thing that we could all do is, spring cleaning. If you’re like me after 3 expansions you have piled up some of the old reagents, potions and gear that you’ve just stashed in your bank. It does help that Weapons and gear will be put into a library of sorts and doesn’t fill a slot in my bank anymore, but still there is a large amount of crap that we could all see go

 

 

 

 

Garrison Tables and the trouble with streamers

Published April 18, 2016 by Apate

As with Vanilla the thoughts are those of myself Administrator Apate and may not reflect the views of the other Admins at Life of Warcraft.

 

So it seemed earlier this week a couple of streamers found out about the garrison tables being in Legion Alpha and began some highly emotional and dare I say clickbait style attacks on the table without waiting on the full picture.

Blizzard with Alpha like any other business wants people to know what is going on and try to bring in revenue.   With streamers they can do that.  The streamers show the game, the fans watch and everyone sees what is happening. Now the issue is that while it can bring in free advertisement sometimes the priorities of said streamers are not in line with those of Blizzard.  What I am going to talk about is one of those times.  Highlighted with what happens when something is from WoD.  Certainly not universally loved (But also not universally hated) and a version of it appears in Legion Alpha.

A minimum of two streamers come out and attack the table without even knowing or caring about the entire story.  Even going so far as to make up stuff about how the table is going to be mandatory due to an artifact weapon addon.

Well it seems with only five minutes of research that turned out to be a lie.  The addon to the artifact comes from an NPC which you have to buy with resources for your class hall.  How do you get said resources one might ask?  Well as of right now in Alpha there is absolutely no way to get those resources from within the class hall.  The ways you get the resources are through things like doing quests, dungeons, raids, the daily quest map etc.  In short to unlock this part of the artifact weapon, as of current alpha build you have to play the game.  Which was what people wanted last time.  Reasons to go out and play the game.  (Which actually also brought complaints from few people who felt compelled to quest and dungeon but that’s another topic).

With missinformation going out about such things it can and will hurt sales of games or any other product when these kinds of things happen.  Also in the long term, those streamers that rely on wow, including those that did the attack will lose out too.  It isn’t beneficial for anyone and everyone will lose out.

 

This is Apate closing off.

Vanilla realms, and why I think never really means “not until we’re done with wow”

Published April 15, 2016 by Apate

Ok first off this is a major opinion piece glaring on the subject of Vanilla realms due to all the “controversy” regarding NoS closure.

 

Let’s talk about what it would take to make one. Firstly 2-3 years if they started now before it would be released. Why you might ask, well I’ll tell you. Firstly the original code and hardware that run Vanilla is gone. Simply put it doesn’t exist anymore, and what little they have that is close to it is stuff like the size limit of the main bag. Secondly this means that the game will need to be rebuilt from scratch, this isn’t a copy and past job this is rebuilding everything.

This takes time, money, resources and man power. Now where would this come from. Would you A) Take this from Devs you already have, hurting development of HS/Legion(and future expansions)/Starcraft follow up/ Overwatch/Heroes or do you hire brand new people. The latter meaning that now you have to train brand new staff, get them into blizzards way of running and creating things, so we add another year to development time or the former which will undoubtedly hurt one of the other games. Not only is this new staff being trained it is new staff being paid. They’re not going to go to blizzard on the cheap, they’re going to want a good wage package, with benefits and job security.

Then we need to ask is it pve/pvp/RP/RP PVP. Ok we add all 4 of them, that’s now 4 servers which need maintenance, GMs to keep an eye on them, devs to make sure bugs are found and fixed.

Then the players, unless there is over a million subs on these four realms alone there simply isn’t the financial incentive to do it. How many people will be playing long term on these realms, how many will up and leave simply because they’re done. Or because there’s really not much to do outside of raid etc etc. If they’re not going to stay then there is no point. Unless a great profit can be made from it then there is no point taking the risk.

I know people are now mocking the whole “You think you do, but you don’t line.” But people are also taking it as a literal response to the person giving the question. If the answer was expanded on like it should have been people would realize it wasn’t directed to the question, it was directed to the community as a whole. Which loves most of the Quality of life additions we have now. Dungeon finder, AoE looting, flying (Let’s not forget that fiasco), AHs and banks in all capitals, fixed flight paths, mounts that are not stupidly expensive and take forever to get, barber shops, VP/JP from Cata/MoP, transmogs.

I could go on, but in Vanilla those things didn’t exist. Also half the classes and half the specs were just not viable. Want to tank on a paladin? Get out of here and reroll warrior and we’ll see you in about 3-4 months. Want to play fire mage? Well don’t think about molten core or BWL. Shadow priest? Shut up and go holy. Oh and you put a number in what skill? Go back and copy this cookie cutter build or don’t bother running.

Now do some people prefer Vanilla to other times in wow? Of course, but you have to ask yourself. Is there enough people to start over from scratch and make a profit from it? The answer is likely no and anyone who thinks a multi billion dollar company hasn’t run the numbers time and time and time again are deluding themselves.

In conclusion there is no way the head offices of Blizzard have never talked about this.  They have done and even come out to say so.  But the numbers are not there, the player base as a whole will unlikely to be stable enough.  People talk about sub increases between Vanilla and the Wrath peek but fail to realize the WC3 pull.  The end of Arthas was really the end of the story for many.  The costs, the man time, the resources and I feel a lack of stable player base in my opinion means that Blizzard really have nothing to gain overall from making a Vanilla realm.

Denizens of the Cosmos

Published April 11, 2016 by Apate

As we talked about in a previous article about the different Cosmic forces.  Light, Shadow (void), life, death, order and disorder.  Now it is time to talk about the Denziens which originate or are linked to such forces.

 

Naaru: (Light)

The Naaru are beings of living holy energy.  Benevolent creatures and are the purest expression of light that exists in the universe.  The Naaru are a race that has vowed to bring peace and hope to all mortal races and hold back the dark forces of the Void.

Titans (order):

Titans are giant beings composed of the primordial matter from which created the universe.  Roaming the universe they are walking worlds imbued with the raw power of creation.  Seeking out others of their kind that slumber waiting to be born.

The Burning Legion (Disorder):

The single most destructive force in the universe.  Lead by Sargeras the legion is a demonic army traveling world to world with the sole mission to destroy all life.  Destroying everything in their path with devastating fel magic.

Wild Gods (Life):

The Wild Gods are the primordial manifestation of life and nature.  The Wild Gods are creatures of two worlds.  The physical universe and their spirits linked to the emerald dream (On Azeroth at least).  Wild Gods appear in forms of many wild animals, but in much larger forms.

Undead (Death):

The Undead are mortals who have died and become trapped between life and death.  They derive their power from necromantic energies that pervade the universe.  Many are driven by vengeance against those that have killed them.

Void Lords and Old Gods (Shadow/Void):

Firstly the Void Lords, monstrous entities of pure shadow.  These beings are cruel and merciless beyond all comprehension.  They are driven by an insatiable hunger that can never be filled.  They seek to devour all energy and life in the physical universe.  In their natural state the Void Lords can only exist outside of reality, only the most powerful can manifest in the physical universe, but only for a short amount of time.  But the Void Lords have one ace which to help their goal…. The Old Gods.

The Old Gods are the physical manifestations of the Void.  Nightmares Incarnate, as large as mountains and are flesh of blight.  They are withering tentacles that grow like cancer within worlds.  They serve the Void Lords, seeking to transform worlds into planets of despair and death.  They also have one other goal.  One in which when found out changed the fate of the universe forever. (But for another post)

That’s all for now, don’t forget if you wish for more lore, buy yourselves the Warcraft Chronicles, it is worth every penny/cent/whatever your currency is.

~Apate

The State of Raiding and Catch up Mechanics

Published April 4, 2016 by Apate

So as a follow up to Majicman’s talk on LFR (and slightly on Vanilla servers) I thought I would expand on the situation and talk about raiding as a whole.

Number or raids and raid bosses:

Right now raiding in WoD is three raids and four world bosses.  Now that might not look like much but when it comes down to it, WoD actually has more raid bosses than Cataclysm.   In the three raids WoD produced thirty four raid bosses (Not counting different difficulty levels) while Cataclysm produced thirty one. Now this is not an argument about quality of boss fights which is subjective on the person or the status of non raid content, in which Cataclysm clearly had more and produced more as time went on. (For the record every other expansion had more raid bosses).

Now the reason why I am talking about both WoD and Cataclysm is that when it comes to raids they are similar in overall boss amount.  It is the amount of different raids that brings the argument.  Is two large and one medium size raid better than four medium and one small.  For me the answer is that I would have preferred perhaps BRF and HFC to have both been split into two raids.  Even if each raid both has wings which you could choose your direction, more so in BRF since HFC does have a linearity to it.  Having them in different instances does give more of a perception that there is more to do and gives people a choice on how to progress, just like in the first tier of Cataclysm where you had three raids and a choice in which to go in. Also a shout out to Highmaul for bringing back optional bosses.  Sometimes I think that can work wonders in a raid.

 

Difficulty:

Ok here comes the big topic.  The difficulty of the raid itself.  For me every expansion the raids have become more complex and difficult.  While I am not talking about LFR (Which I feel hit their sweet spot in MoP), comparing present day difficulty levels with their previous counter parts (Flex > Normal, Normal > Heroic,  Heroic > Mythic) I feel that generally difficulty has increased.

This also comes about by looking at mechanics from old raids to present day.  Even up to ICC you had bosses that had very little to do mechanics wise, though there are some nice unique bosses (Dreamwalker.) many others could be considered little more than tank and spank.  Blizzard themselves have brought this up indicating they do not make raids anymore without having the thought that everyone and their mother goes into the raid instance with raid addons like DBM or weak auras etc.  I say compare Archimonde Hyjal to Archimonde HFC.  HFC Archimonde has more mechanics and more that can one shot than his Hyjal counterpart.  Now I know people will say “But we can breeze through HFC, we couldn’t with BT or Hyjal back in the day.” and I will address this argument.

This leads on to an issue, has raiding become too complex, also are there too many difficulty levels?  For me the answer is eeeh maybe.  I can understand the argument on both sides but in the end I feel I fall on the no side.  Not that I ask for more difficulty levels I just feel that people can progress at their own pace, take a game series I have loved since the Civilization series.  Back during Civ 1 and 2 era I was young and stuck with Chieftain, my father a much better player at a much higher level.  We both enjoyed the game, while I kept low maybe heading to warlord, he kept going up until he was at Emperor/Deity.

After growing up a bit more for me a new difficulty level in a game meant something new, even if the game was generally the same, it felt like I was seeing newer content.  In Civ I was now pushing the Prince and King levels.  In Resident Evil I was going for the pushing for the most difficult levels.  Hell I even did Silent Hill 3 in highest puzzle and monster difficulty. The latter I don’t suggest unless you have the complete works of Shakespeare. But that is how I see difficulty levels with raids, but I still understand the people that think “I’ve done it on Normal I’ve done it all.” even if I don’t agree with it.

A small word on LFR though.  I know how some people hate it and consider it a poison to the game.  But the fact of LFR is that as big as wow got, Blizzard could not legitimize the costs of building raids without LFR.  Making parts of a game in which only 5-10% of the playerbase sees is bad for business.  With also no other means of fighting iconic enemies like

Mythic mode also brings in an issue.  A lot of guilds claim to have been hurt by making it 20 man only (Paragon).  I personally think 20 man was the best number they could go with.  Having two different sizes have a problem.  Mythics by and large need to be perfectly balanced and a one size is the best way to do it.  Not only that but Blizzard didn’t make mythic mode without warning.  Raiding teams had a full year (Actually 14 months) to prepare.  There really was no excuse.

Catch up mechanics:

 

The big one, the one I feel has split the player base.  Arguments on both sides raging from there should be none and that players should go through each raid as a progression even if they come in late.  To one person on a certain fan forum screaming that full mythic gear with every tier item and trinkets should be available almost free over world.  The latter of course is ridiculous the former I feel has merit but is flawed.

As much as I feel a person should see every raid, I understand how not having catch up mechanics can hurt teams.  Tanks were poached quite often as well as healers or even the person you geared up.  Not just that but bringing in a friend into the game would mean they would need to be geared too.  So for me there does need to be catch up mechanics, but a sensible one.  Even WoD catch up was too high, too fast.   I was able once I reached level one hundred to get to 707 ilevel within a couple days.  That’s essentially out gearing normal HFC which is far too high, far too fast.  Yes I will admit that is pvp gear but knowing the secondaries I needed I was able to pick my gear outside of trinkets, which I was able to find in one extra day.

So what should happen?  Well I feel each raid catch up should give gear just below the normal difficulty ilevel linked behind dailies and other out world farming, VP from dungeons.  The gear should be of decent secondaries as well.  But tier and main trinkets should remain within the raids, without them as loot from bosses the reward structure is just too easy.  The carrot and stick if you will.

This also brings in to the “We can breeze through x raid now.” with the over powered rewards you can easily out gear normal and maybe even heroic HFC excluding tiers and trinkets, making it so certain mechanics are not necessary.  While if you did normal HFC in a team full of  normal BRF gear it would be a higher level of difficulty.

 

Conclusion:

In conclusion I feel while the raids themselves in HFC are as good as they ever have been, outside instances have put them below what they were in MoP.  Too easy catch up mechanics making essentially everything up to latter end normal HFC trivial has hurt the raiding scene.  With different ways to gear up in Legion it seems that it could turn around once again.  Especially with Blizzard hinting at a 3 tier expansion coming up.  So there is hope again.

 

Agree/Disagree comment below

~Apate.