6.2 — Scattered thoughts

How did your first day go with 6.2? I can best sum mine up with a hearty “meh…” Some things were fun, some were almost unbelievably frustrating, but one thing I know for sure is that this patch will get very old very fast.

So far I have only taken my two hunters there, so the grinding was as easy as it will get. Neither is fantastically geared, but they are not bad either at 684 and 673. Killing mobs and soloing rares and elites was not a problem.

On my main, I managed to hit Friendly with the three new factions, so that gave me some hope that the rep grind will be bearable, if slightly boring. I can imagine that some people will have their Pathfinder achievement within a few days, which will increase the pressure on Blizz to get 6.2.x out quickly for flying. However, since Blizz publicly estimated that achieving the rep part would take approximately three weeks for most players, I do not expect 6.2.x for at least three weeks, more likely a month at the earliest. Prepare your forum comments now….

As I muddled about in T2 yesterday, I was struck by the differences between it and Timeless Isle. I admit that TI got to be boring after a bit, but I think already that T2 does not compare favorably with it. For example, it is touted as a gear catch-up mechanism for alts, but the Baleful gear is all BoP. On TI, the gear was BoA, which meant that you could take your main there, pick up some pieces for your alts and get them quickly to the point where they could fend for themselves on the island, questing and treasure hunting and whatnot. That is not the case with T2, and honestly I think bringing my healer and my poor squishy mage there will largely be an exercise in frustration.

Speaking of which, and only slightly off topic, Blizz needs to start thinking harder about how their game design adversely affects healers. (And probably tanks, too, although I can’t speak firsthand about that.) There is just no way, for example, that a healer without a damage off spec (a real one, not like a shadow priest) can successfully deal with T2 rares or even the elites you need to kill boatloads of for the Saberon rep. Blizz has designed their game such that healers have no choice but to group up for a big majority of the game’s activities. Others may not even be attainable — how does a healer do Brawlers Guild? Even leveling a healer seems to have gotten harder with WoD. My healer is a mistweaver, so I have a fairly robust damage ability, but I definitely noticed that leveling her to 100 seemed much more difficult, relatively, than leveling to 90.

Anyway, back to my impressions from yesterday. I knocked out the quest line for JC pretty quickly, it is trivial. And since I begrudgingly and sullenly had gotten to the required Brawlers Guild rank of 6 a couple of nights ago (I still think this is a ridiculous requirement), I was able to get the mastery gem module. However, the whole JC mechanism in 6.2 puzzles me. Basically, unlike every other patch in WoW and unlike every other profession, now JC’s don’t actually LEARN the new gem recipes. They get access to a gem cutter robot in the northern part of T2, and they can find/buy/loot modules (from rep, running Mythic Skyreach, etc.) that teach the robot how to cut the secondary stat gems. Thus, to craft a gem, the JC has to assemble the mats and then travel to the robot and have the gem cut. There is apparently a small chance that the JC can learn a recipe each time the robot cuts a gem for them, but the bottom line is that JCs have a completely different crafting mechanism now than all other professions.

I don’t understand this, but my tinfoil hat is channeling a theory to me. Back before WoD, when Blizz was hyping it, one of the devs — I don’t remember which one and now I can’t find the citation — made an interesting statement about JCs. There had been a player question about the lack of gem slots in the new gear, and the dev explained that it fit in with the desire to allow players to immediately equip and use loot drops, but he added a slightly snarky comment along the lines of honestly he could not feel too bad that JCs would no longer be able to “print gold.” Which was surprising to me, because back then the gem market was much like the glyph market — you really had to work at it to make any reasonable gold by making large quantities of pretty much every gem type and spend a huge amount of time on the AH adjusting quantities and prices every few hours. But the dev comment indicates there is at least one person at Blizz who wants to make it difficult for JCs to craft their gems, and I think the 6.2 gem dance is the result.

Let’s see, what else? It seemed to me that the T2 art and graphics overall are kind of dark, gloomy, and depressing. Again, it compares unfavorably to TI. I have explained before that I am not a fan of the dark and spooky game genre, I like bright engaging artwork and graphics. For me, it makes a big difference in how ready I am to quest in a given area. If it is dark and murky, I will stay away from it if I possibly can.

Shipyards? I got mine up and running on my hunters. I know Blizz has said they will be less onerous to manage than the follower missions. But my initial thought was that now I have even more to do in every garrison when I log in. As I don’t have an herbalist in T2 yet, I will still have to tend to my herb gardens. Mining nodes in T2 seems much less productive for the actual ore than does the garrison mine, so I will need to keep that up at least on a couple of alts in order to maintain my flow of mats. Same with crafting cooldowns. So I actually see my garrison drudgery increasing as a result of adding shipyards. And BTW Blizz, what the hell were you thinking with the whole requirement to run down to the shipyard? Have any of you actually done this 30 or 40 times? In case you haven’t, let me tell you now that it stinks.

Felblight? Not sure I even want to go there. I had what may be world record bad luck with it yesterday. I tried skinning for it, mining ore nodes for it, fishing for it, and killing mobs and rares for it. After two hours of killing elites, and after getting 196 ore, 43 fish, and 96 skins, I finally got my first Felblight. All told, I spent probably 10 hours in T2 yesterday, and I ended up with a grand total of 3 Felblight. This was scream-level frustrating for me, even more so since it seemed like the stuff was falling out of the sky for everyone else. If my bad luck continues, I will be forced to buy the stuff, but my server still has it pretty high, around 1000 gold each. It is annoying that I have easily a couple of thousand profession mats on all my professions, but they are completely useless without the Felblight.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I have nattered on too long, time to wrap this up. In summary:

  1. T2 will wear pretty thin pretty fast, I think.
  2. Gaining rep might go faster than Blizz predicted, so they better get the flying mods completed quick.
  3. Baleful gear needs to be BoA, on the model of the Timesless Isle gear.
  4. Blizz needs to start paying more attention to the leveling and world activity experience for healers and tanks.
  5. Jewelcrafting sucks even more than it did before this patch.
  6. T2 needs to be less depressing in its graphics.
  7. Shipyards only add to the garrison workload.
  8. Running between garrison and shipyard is stupid and annoying.
  9. Drop rate algorithm for Felblight needs to change — seriously, make it a hard one in ten drop, not this ridiculous 10% “average” drop rate.

 

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

2 Responses to 6.2 — Scattered thoughts

  1. Lurking reader says:

    Meh is a pretty accurate summation. The area is bland and just feels random. To me, this doesn’t feel like the next logical step of the story. Although with the way that’s been who knows. Why is the king in our garrison? Why did he come to Draenor?

    You are so right about a healer in this. Although I will say I’m leveling a Resto Shaman right now and two of her attacks are ridiculously powerful for a healer. She’s only 88 right now and won’t ever make it to Draenor but I’m curious if that would hold up. I don’t have a high level healer yet but when I do, I doubt I’ll spend much time in T2. To be honest, once I have flight, I doubt I’ll spend much time there anyways

    I do not understand how T2 is a catch-up mechanism. With T1 there were very easy to find treasures very early on that let you find the gear without too much risk. And doing the first few quests got you some basic gear and a free upgrade if I remember correctly. T2 seems to have none of that. If I am going there with a sub-650 character and I’m not in a group, it is going to be pretty damn challenging and NOT a catch-up mechanism. Or at least not one that is any different than dungeons or raiding – group work towards grinding gear.

    All of this is to say nothing of the BoP/BoA thing with the baleful gear.

    I saw about your luck on Grumpy’s blog and all I can say is wow. Wow. I think they saw your previous post and made sure to say, “oh yeah? Have some RNG Fiannor!” Best of luck next time.

    Last two things and sorry for the long comment:

    That JC stuff is bad game design. None of that sounds fun, which I think has something to do with games.

    And the shipyard…I know realism shows us that the shipyard needs to be separated, but honestly? Putting it far away is not going to make me leave my garrison more. It’ll make me do shipyard stuff less. Also, when I (mistakenly) believed Tanaan to be a separate island the need for boats made sense. When I realized I was thinking of Farahlon and that Tanaan was connected to the main continent, it just makes no sense.

    • Fiannor says:

      LOL, you might be onto something with the wrath of the RNG gods being visited upon me.

      It’s beginning to look like the whole concept of alt catch-up mechanism for 6.2 is flawed in its execution. Nothing about T2 is conducive to bringing an undergeared alt there. Once again, Blizz seems unable to connect experience with hype.

      I had not thought about the geography of Tanaan, but you are right — there is no reason to go through the whole sea invasion thing. Unless Blizz has some frustrated former Marines on their staff, who are nostalgic about amphibious assault….