Warlords of Draenor Reaction: Miscellaneous Features

I think I’ve covered the majority of my Warlords of Draenor reactions in my two previous posts, about raids (obviously) and itemization. There are a lot of other things to talk about, but I don’t have particularly much to say about any of them, so I thought I’d stick them in a single post. :)

Garrisons

Well. It’s an interesting concept. I’m not thrilled yet. Cory Stockton seemed really excited about them. I’ve never really cared about player housing, so maybe it’s just something that eludes me as being SO COOL. It’s like the farm, but like, times a thousand or something, one of them said? I liked the farm, but more than one was difficult to do consistently. Are all of our characters expected to have a garrison? Isn’t that a LOT of garrisoning? I think someone asked if our alts could be our garrison followers and I think that would be a pretty awesome option.

I am a bit intrigued by the limited access to professions you don’t have through your garrison and followers, but obviously need more info.

The mini-game of setting up missions sounds cool, but some of them take days? A week? Not sure how I feel about that, although, at the moment, I’m not impressed. I haven’t really given it a lot of thought, though, so maybe it’s fine that they take X number of real-life days.

Inventory Updates

YAY FOR HEIRLOOM COLLECTIONS. And toys, I guess, although I don’t have many of those. Would LOVE to see tabards added to collections. Love that quest items won’t be stored in your bags. Love that you can craft directly from the bank! But will you need to have your bank open? Or can you do it anywhere in the world as long as the mats are in your bank?

Stacks upped to 100 items. Beautiful.

Level 90 Boost

Okay. Seriously. Is anyone else a little concerned about letting people loose upon the world (and LFG…) with a level 90 they’ve had extremely little experience playing? Anyone? I am petrified of the level 90 “tank” who shows up in LFG for an introductory dungeon who doesn’t know a damn thing about what they’re doing. The words I fear seeing as an excuse for poor play: “lol 90 boost lol”.

That said, I think it’s a good idea to bring back past players who stopped playing a while back. I’m pretty much buying the expansion (I still want to get a realm first skinning, dammit) so I’m wondering which character of mine I should boost to 90. Right now, I have my hunter, Kurn, at 90 and I also have my shaman alt at 90 (since he’s my miner/herbalist). If I’m remembering correctly, I have:

Madrana of Eldre’Thalas at 85
Madrana of Skywall at 85
Skywall mage at 85
Proudmoore druid… at 80? 85? I think 85.
Eldre’Thalas priest at 85
Eldre’Thalas warrior at 80
Eldre’Thalas mage… in her 50s, I think.
Eldre’Thalas rogue bank alt at 5
Eldre’Thalas horde druid at 8. (Yes, 8.)
Ursin horde rogue at … 15, I think?

I think the most hilarious thing to do would be to take my level 5 bank alt on ET to 90. Except I don’t like playing melee classes. But it would be pretty amusing to have my bank alt sitting at a level cap.

What’s interesting is that this could also be used on a level 1, newly created character. So if you’re looking for another profession alt… there you go. That’s also a possibility. I don’t actually have a blacksmith or engineer…

If I’m smart, I’ll resub a couple months prior to the expansion coming out (at the latest) and get Madrana of ET up to 90, along with the priest. And maybe get the warrior up as high as I need to in order to continue to max out inscription. Then I should start a new toon, boost to 90, make it an engineer/blacksmith and I’ll have at least one toon with each profession.

If I’m less smart, I’ll resub just before the expansion drops and waste the boost on Madrana.

Honestly, it could go either way. >.>

Heroic Upper Blackrock Spire

I’m worried that this will mean a complete revamp of LBRS as well. I love Blackrock Spire. Both Upper and Lower, plus Blackrock Depths. These are some of my favourite dungeons in World of Warcraft. Will using my Seal of Ascension still spawn Vael in the Rend fight? Will you still be able to see LBRS from UBRS? I mean, LBRS is a maze, a true labyrinth, but it’s MY labyrinth. I know that place! UBRS is a lot more linear. Will the Father Flame event still exist? Will we still kite Drakk to the Beast’s room? I mean, so much of both of the dungeons are completely outdated, but… still. I have spent the equivalent of DAYS OF MY LIFE in UBRS/LBRS. Days. Probably even a week’s worth of my life in there. This is definitely the curmudgeonly old Kurn talking, but don’t you fuck with my Blackrock Spire(s).

I disliked revamped Scholomance. True, I think I only ran it twice (on my level 50-something mage) or maybe three times (I have a vague recollection of running it on Kurn to see what had changed), but I really, really didn’t like it. Also important to note, I didn’t like the original Scholomance much, but at least I’d gotten used to it. I hope they don’t mess with UBRS too much. To see an instance I LOVED get messed with would make me very sad.

And if they get rid of Lord Victor Nefarius saying “Foolsss… Kill the one in the dress!”, then WoW is truly dead to me. Best emote ever.

Avoiding Breakpoints

And now, for something completely different: actual praise.

I love how they plan to tackle various loot/raid mechanic issues with flexible raid makeups. The way I understand it’ll work is this:

If, at 10 people, you get one debuff cast on someone, and at 15 people you get two debuffs, here’s how it breaks down for numbers in between:

10 people: 100% chance of 1 debuff
11 people: 100% chance of 1 debuff, 20% chance of a second debuff
12 people: 100% chance of 1 debuff, 40% chance of a second debuff
13 people: 100% chance of 1 debuff, 60% chance of a second debuff
14 people: 100% chance of 1 debuff, 80% chance of a second debuff
15 people: 100% chance of 2 debuffs

Beautiful, elegant solution. And if you have debuffs going out several times a fight, I’m guessing these chances are calculated per debuff, so you could end up with 1 sometimes and 2 other times. It’s great.

As to loot, if you get 2 pieces on 10 and 3 on 15, then you get the same chances as above per person (20%) to get that third piece of loot. Also elegant.

Brilliant solutions here, actually. Like, I couldn’t be more pleased with how that seems to be turning out.

Item Squish

Part of me is sad that we’re not going all the way back to Vanilla levels (hands up, all those who are shocked… yeah, that’s what I thought) but I think the amount of damage and such seems reasonable, from what I heard at the panel. In my hastily typed notes, I have:

1100 int, 2209 Fireball down from 20640 int, 47k Fireball

Should be interesting to see how that all turns out… and how quickly it ramps back up.

Lore & Story… and Stuff

Look, I’ll admit it: I started playing WoW for reasons completely unrelated to the story. I don’t tend to care too much about the lore, as long as the story interests me. Killing Illidan, even if I didn’t know who he was? Interested me. Killing Arthas, after having only a vague idea of who he was at the start of the expansion? Interested me. Killing Deathwing, after seeing him BURN AUBERDINE TO SMITHEREENS? Very much interested me. Pandas? Not so much.

I am on the fence about Warlords of Draenor. Here’s the thing: we’re obviously going to defeat Garrosh & Co. and the Iron Horde will not come through the Dark Portal to our version of Azeroth. I mean, when have we NOT defeated the bad guy, right? We’re heroes. That’s what we DO.

So if what we do in Draenor doesn’t affect our actual past (the devs have said it won’t have any effect on “our” history at all) and if we’re basically going to win anyhow… then what’s the point?

Plus, the fact that it won’t affect our past bothers me. Continuity and timelines and stuff is something I enjoy (and have enjoyed since the Back to the Future movies). If you go back in time and prevent your parents from getting together (like Marty almost did in BttF), there have to be repercussions to that stuff, you know?

Being a fan of Star Trek, too, I’ve had a bit of exposure to their ideas about timelines and time travel. And they state the same thing: you screw with the past, you risk screwing with the future. Picard’s instructions to his crew in First Contact were to settle down and keep a low profile.

I know that, reasonably, the reason Garrosh’s meddling in the past doesn’t affect “our” past is because that would be a stupid amount of work just in the name of consistency. But it still bugs me.

Also. Orcs? More Garrosh? Ugh. Almost makes me want to resub so I can go defeat his smug ass in Siege of Orgrimmar. I’ve wanted to bash his face in since Trial of the Crusader. Also, since I pay very little attention to the lore, I don’t really know all of these orc clans. I know OF many of these chiefs, like Ner’zhul, Grom Hellscream (Gromsblood, anyone?)… I love that I now understand why the Eye of Kilrogg is so named (Kilrogg Deadeye). I like that I know OF pretty much all the clans and stuff. But I don’t know terribly much about them. Honestly, a lot of these names are recognizable to me just because I know there are servers named for these characters!

That said, the BC-era player in me is excited at the opportunity to revisit a somewhat familiar land. When I heard that Karabor is the home city for the Alliance, I gasped and literally said “I love my Medallion of Karabor!”. I wonder if using my Medallion of Karabor in Warlords will bring me to Black Temple in Outlands or Karabor in Draenor. ;)

I love that Nagrand is there. I loved that zone. Apart from, you know, almost living there. Between killing clefthooves for leather and farming elementals up on the plateau, I spent a lot of time in Nagrand. It’ll be nice to take a look at another version of it. (I will die laughing if Elemental Plateau still exists! The existance of Pure Pools of Water is what got me fishing on Kurn beyond the ~100 or so points I had in fishing from random fishing as I had levelled.)

Flying in Draenor

The big news post-BlizzCon is that flight in Draenor is likely to be postponed until patch 6.1. I estimate this will be between 2 and 4 months after launch. Patch 4.1 was about five months after launch. 5.1 was was only two months after launch.

Frankly, I don’t care too much. The levelling process, to me, has always been on foot (Cataclysm excepted). I’m used to it. I’m a bit miffed that I have to wait until AFTER I’m level 100, in that even when I AM 100 I won’t be able to fly, but really, whatever. I get that they want to herd us carefully. I don’t mind too much. Besides, when’s the last time you spent quality time with your ground mounts? (Okay, I have the Baron’s mount, I have my epic pally mount, I have the Brewfest Kodo… I have fun ground mounts.)

That said, I understand that people are pissed. It’s always the same argument, though. When we couldn’t fly in Northrend ’till 80, it was the same thing. Couldn’t fly in Pandaria ’till 90? Same thing. After a certain time, you just don’t care about hearing the same pointless arguments. The devs don’t want us to fly, so we can’t fly. End of story.

Other Stuff

I’m looking over my notes and I don’t have a lot else to say… I guess I’ll just include a few things at random from the opening ceremony and Warlords announcement.

– Love that they’re porting Hearthstone to iPhone and Android. (Haven’t been playing. Should play more.)
– Although I probably won’t play, the Heroes of the Storm trailer was pretty awesome.
– Loved the memories that Rob Pardo showed. TM vs. SS, 40m Ony, Dark Portal, AQ gates, ZG’s corrupted blood (which is the whole reason I started playing!)
– I have a note here saying “for the motherfucking Alliance, yo”. I’m not sure what the hell that was for. Still, I just laughed as I read it, so I thought I would share.
– I do like that it’s 10 levels. These 5-level expansions make levelling weird.
– “Oh God, not the Arakkoa!” I don’t need a whole expansion of Majik (if he plays) yelling “KA-KAW!!!” at me.
– I like the ogres.
– Looking forward to seeing Hellfire before it became Hellfire.
– Love the Gronn! I miss Gruul and his sons.
– Looking forward to the pre-launch 6.0 event for sure. The Dark Portal. Man, such memories.
– Player models: Not a lot of stuff to say yet. Wait ’till we see the new humans and night elves. THEN I’ll have stuff to say. Although I will say I quite like the work they’ve done that I’ve see so far. The undead’s bones, the dwarves look great, love the orc, too.
– Upgrades to core spells rather than gaining new spells: I like. (Probably until they screw with my spells. We’ll have to see.)

Okay, I guess that’s it for now. What about you? What do you think about flying? The story? Are you as scared of level-boosted players as I am? ;)

(Oh, and before I forget, there’s a big post-BlizzCon sale going on over at Kurn’s Guides! Check it out!)

9 comments

  1. Somnar says:

    Flying…(AKA the hot topic on twitter right now!) I actually like that they are holding it until 6.1! Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion on this, but I think the people who are threatning to quit are being just a tad bit over the top. I mean, I miss knowing the zones like the back of my hand in all fairness.

    All in all, I saw the launch trailer for Warlords while I was at work (And steaming that the feed was blocked for Blizzcon) and even remarked to my wife that WoW may indeed be over for me… Then I got home and saw the remarkable, sweeping changes they are making… Sign. Me. Up. (Now please?)

    Now I just need to decide whether it’s come back now, or come back later! :)

    Excellent reading your thoughts as well Kurn, thanks!

  2. Mylana says:

    I gotta be honest, I’ve really been missing an MMO to play and the ones I tried to hop on board with or were waiting for are either taking too long, didn’t hook me, or have outright died/lost my interest.

    I’m still on the fence about whether or not I would return to WoW seeing as how my old guild (Choice) is disbanded and it would mean starting somewhat fresh, but maybe that would be a good change. And on the one hand I want to raid again for the great challenge, the teamwork and all that, but on the other I remember that I mostly quit in the first place because raids really started feeling samey, so I got bored.

    I don’t expect WoD to fully revitalize my interest in WoW or to blow me away with a brand new raiding experience, but at the very least I could see the new features and quality-of-life improvements helping to keep me from tearing my hair out from boredom. Plus it would be nice to just have a big group of “friends” again. Heck, maybe I’d even server transfer and join you guys on ET.

  3. Talarian says:

    They had mentioned if you use the 90 boost you end up getting an introduction to WoD similar to the Death Knight starting zone, ensuring that you get your abilities just a few at a time so you can learn. I’ll be interested to see what that ends up looking like.

  4. Rades says:

    KA-KAW!!

    Sadly I think that Nefarius quote is going to be gone, since he’s canonically dead now and when they update dungeons, they update their lore to fit current continuity. That being said, they also like keeping nostalgia things like that, so maybe the quote will still be there, just said by a different (still alive) person.

  5. R says:

    “Is anyone else a little concerned about letting people loose upon the world (and LFG…) with a level 90 they’ve had extremely little experience playing?”

    Yep, but Blizz has also hinted that they might consider tying something like PG:Bronze to queuing for various roles for LFR (hell, I’d be okay with it just being tied to tanks). I think the insta-boost to 90 being available makes that type of thing MORE likely which I think is in the best interests of the game as a whole, I’d like all queued tanks to have at least that level of competence. It won’t help me avoid the SoO LFR warrior “tank” who showed up with 150K less health than my dps toon with a L87-calibre green weapon and i450 shield, but at least I’d be guaranteed a basic level of competence if not a viable gear set.

  6. Sol says:

    Realm firsts are going. I can’t find the reference to the question asked at Blizzcon but some forum discussion is here http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/10490859587. Connected and adventuring in different realms finished them off (I think Blizz were looking to end them, there always seemed to be some controversy).

  7. Kurn says:

    Somnar – I think I’m remembering the absolute bliss I felt when I finally trained flying at 90 on Kurn, which makes me a bit annoyed that I won’t be able to do that at 100. But threatening to quit? If THAT is what makes someone quit, they weren’t really into WoW anyhow, IMHO. I miss knowing zones like the back of my hand too, to be honest. I remember knowing every single inch of the Western Plaguelands, for instance. And I knew Nagrand REALLY well (stupid clefthooves). But I didn’t know any WotLK zones very well (I still forget some of them if I try to name them) and I still haven’t seen all of Azeroth post-Cata, I don’t think. And I can maybe name two Pandaria zones, hah!

    I think it’d be nice to really be well-acquainted with the zones again. Not sure they need to delay flying for it, but whatever. :)

    Thanks for your comment, buddy. :)

    Mylana – Looking at the Choice roster, looks like JAKE is the GM, with Zare as an officer. Not sure who else is still an officer. I see Tallus, Space, a Beez alt, Lily, a Fug alt, Dae, Tel, and a fair number of other familiar names.

    Honestly, I’d wait for Skywall to get connected to other realms. Same for Eldre’Thalas…

    Talarian – Yeah, I remember hearing about that. I just know how terrible some DKs were off the bat. All you have to do is run Hellfire Ramparts to see the collection of terribad DKs… >.>

    Rades – See, the way I always saw it was that you go through the initial levelling and you COULD then go through the raids as you level up, so if they’re redoing UBRS and maintaining it as a level 55ish dungeon, it makes sense that Nef is still alive. People haven’t had the opportunity to do BWL or BWD. It only throws a monkey wrench in the works when people are level 100 and doing Heroic UBRS and are like “Wait a sec, I not only killed that jackass at 60, but also at 85! WTF?”

    Also, noooooooo, not the KA-KAW! God, I still hate Sethekk Halls.

    R – Well, linking PG achievements to various LFR roles would be great. I’d be wholly in favour of that. Let’s hope that would work for LFG as well…! Nothing worse than waiting for an LFG queue and seeing a shaman “healer” in agility gear or a warrior “tank” not wearing a shield…

    Sol – That is truly sad and tragic. I’d love to see a blue post confirming, or knowing which panel confirmed it, but if you’re right, I’m definitely saddened by the profession firsts. (Not so much the class firsts — they really, IMHO, required an unhealthy amount of play. I was 40 minutes off the server first skinner in Cata and had only played for a couple of hours.)

  8. Sane says:

    Mylana and Kurn, there are a few of us Choice people on Proudmore now. I just re-subbed a couple of weeks ago and found Fugara (Wooshen) and Beez there.

  9. Kurn says:

    Sane – what’s hilarious is I still have a level 85 druid over on Proudmoore from my days pre-Choice (back in Wrath, I was on Proudmoore before I moved to Choice). Should I resub, I’ll definitely pop over on to that toon to say hi. :)

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