6.2 after a week

Last week, after my initial look at 6.2, I assessed it to be mediocre at best. Well, now that I have had a chance to play it for almost a week, I have to say that I have seen nothing to change that opinion. If anything, “mediocre” is being a tad generous.

First, let me point out that I do not yet have the entire patch picture. I have only taken my hunters to Tanaan, not my squishier and lesser-geared alts. I have not stepped foot in the new raid tier (we are having some personnel and scheduling problems on my raid team) and have not so far tried the Timewalker event. (Timewalker events may be the only real alt gearing catch-up mechanism in this patch.) But I do not think either of those will be so terrific as to make me holler “Whee! This is AWESOME! What a fantastic patch!” What I have done is: quest, farm for felblight, daily and weekly rep runs, shipyard, one disastrous attempt at Mythic Skyreach, and a tiny bit of crafting.

My original plan had been to get all my alts with a level 3 garrison into T2 as quickly as possible. But I abandoned that idea when I realized the huge time sink required to prioritize the rep grind on my main, so as to be able to complete the Pathfinder achievement in a timely fashion. It has occupied literally hours every day for me to just do the minimum on one hunter, to say nothing of my other hunter and certainly not any other alt.

Reputation. I think the rep grind should ease up a bit by tonight, as that is when I will hit exalted with the Saberstalker faction. If any of you have not started this yet, it involves just going to Fang’rilla and blasting everything in sight. There is a weekly quest that has you killing some mini-bosses in an arena. There are a few rares you can kill as often as they spawn for 600 rep, but mainly you get 30 rep for every kill. All mobs are elites, and while it is possible for some classes (like hunters) to solo, it is not practical to do so because it would take forever. Group size is limited to 5, and for once, I have been extremely lucky in the pugs I have joined. A standard group works well, but 5 DPS also works, especially if they are careful about their own health. The best groups, though, have a good tank to round up lots of mobs and let everyone AoE their little hearts out. As an aside, I think I have used Misdirection more this last week than I have in the last year, and I have also gotten in a lot of kiting practice, so that part of the grind has been fun.

So Saberstalker rep is not complicated, and parts of it can be a lot of fun, but after a couple hours of just blasting away it does get a bit boring. Also, since it is such an easy rep grind, I am puzzled as to why it has a weekly event. It seems doubtful that anyone chasing rep would take more than a week to reach exalted, and I am sure some eager beavers had it in a couple of days. A weekly would seem to make much more sense for the other two rep grinds, as they are much slower to get.

I don’t have a lot to say about the other two rep chases. They are metered, you can only advance them via dailies. This is Blizz’s way of giving themselves more time to delay the demand for flying, and of stretching out what we will see as “content” in the patch.

Quests. There are almost none that I could find, honestly. Maybe I missed one key one that would open up lots of new ones, but I don’t think so. So I guess this is the Timeless Isle pattern. At least one quest, though, Setting the Signal, seems out of whack. If you are a class with a stealth capability, it can be solo’ed but it is tedious to do so. And not many players can solo it by killing mobs to get to the quest items, at least not without dying A LOT. Otherwise it requires a pretty robust group, and the further we get into this patch, the fewer groups seem to be available for it.

Mythic Skyreach. The less said about this, the better. I only went in there to try and get one of the gem recipes for my JC (well, actually for the robot, but …), and the group I was with just couldn’t finish the instance. It was a combination of the tank not realizing he couldn’t pull everything in sight, DPS being stupid about standing in crap and breaking CC, and a healer who couldn’t keep up (although I doubt if any healer could have kept up with all the stupid things being done). I will probably wait for a guild group to try this again, or until most people outgear it. I am annoyed that it contains a crucial gem recipe, but I have the mastery one which is the most important for me anyway, and maybe if I can craft enough of them the others will drop for me.

Felblight farming. My luck remains unbelievably bad for this, and it is really starting to annoy me. Over the past week, I averaged approximately one Felblight per 75 skins/ fish. This is nowhere near the advertised 10% drop rate, and it is especially galling when others seem to get massive amounts of it. Worse, although there is a large amount of it available in our AH, the price remains around 500-700 gold apiece for it. So, by my calculation, in order to upgrade even one piece of crafted gear to level 6, that would require between 45,000 and 63,000 gold or 6750 skins. Even for my JC to craft one gem, the Felblight cost to me is at least 7500 gold or 1000 skins.

This is just wrong.

Shipyard. In my opinion, this is another garrison disaster. It does not require the kind of time that follower missions did, but that is about the only positive thing I can say about it. And actually I never found follower missions all that onerous for time. Yes, you could feel like you had to log in every couple of hours to manage them, but I never did them more than once a day, and they were quick, rewarding, and sort of fun. Blizz seems to have removed the quick, rewarding, and fun parts of follower missions and made them into naval missions.

You really cannot reliably complete shipyard missions without all epic ships. This is because without epics you cannot have ships with the required equipment for a given mission, which means it will likely fail, which means you will probably lose one or more of your epic ships and have to start over. To raise a green ship to purple takes something like 45,000 XP. All of the green-doable missions I have seen so far award 500 XP, and they take anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days to complete. So usually this is not a good option for getting epics. The other way to get them is by RNG when you build them.

Yeah, that’s right. The same RNG that has meant no 4-piece tier gear for me for two expansions, the same RNG that awards me one Felblight for 75 skins. Last night, having accumulated 12 rush work orders for my shipyard, I tried to build a purple — or even blue — battleship. Yep, you guessed it, 12 green battleships.

Nearly every shipyard mission offered for me requires equipment I do not have on any of my ships, thus there is usually only one insignificant mission per day I can reasonably do. I have twice lost blue ships to 94% missions. I have received zero decent rewards. And the fact that it can take 2 days to complete a mission is not a plus. It means that a failed mission is vastly more disastrous than a failed follower mission.

I will be doing shipyard missions just enough to advance my legendary on my two hunters, then I will stop doing them. They stink. Once again, Blizz has totally failed to grasp the roots of a problem, and has “fixed” the fun and rewarding parts of follower missions in order to give us these horrible shipyard missions.

Final comments. Patch 6.2 certainly has more content than did 6.1, and I am happy to once again see some reasons to get out into the world even if it is only to grind. But there are so many other problems with the patch that I cannot call it a success. It is probably one of the better parts of this expansion, but that is not saying much, kind of like saying the newest mess my neighbor’s dog made in my yard is not as disgusting as the earlier ones.

6.2 seems to have put the final nail in the coffin of alt play, since it is unlikely that an undergeared alt can easily succeed on T2. Blizz touted it as a catch-up mechanism for alt gearing, but their implementation of it — except for Timewalker events — in no way supports that goal. Crafting has become almost undoable because of the horrible Felblight gating. Shipyards are nothing more than follower missions without the fun and rewards.

I do not see me spending much time in Tanaan after my rep is done. Once I get flying on my account, I may spend some time farming Felblight a few times a week, but that is about it.

Mainly I will be marking time waiting for the next expansion.

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.

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