Alt reality

As I have written over the last few posts, I am starting to develop some of my alts in Legion. What I should say is I am trying to do so, but it is a long, frustrating road. This was driven home to me last night as I was working on my little gnome destro warlock, who has herbalism and tailoring as professions. It seems like everywhere I turn, every part of progression for this alt runs smack dab up against huge roadblocks, usually in the form of dungeon or raid requirements but also in the form of very specific zone progressions, for even the most basic accomplishments.

All I wanted was a few upper level tailoring patterns and to complete the Champions of Legionfall achievement so I could finish up my last two class hall order advancement ranks.

What a journey through frustration it has been. And no, I have not reached either goal yet.

Start with the tailoring. I had only gotten as far as getting the blue tailoring items. So I dutifully took up the quest line again. Just the basic quest line (38 quests, some of which are time gated) requires the running of 3 separate dungeons. This gets you two upper level (“imbued silkweave”) items. However, to even get there, you must complete enough of the Suramar quest line to get the Suramar City mask, as all your upper level items must be crafted in a certain Suramar building. If you want to craft useful bags, you must run two mythics — upper and lower Kara. Additional upper level items — beyond the chest and bracers you get from the basic quest line — require achieving exalted with multiple (four, I think) factions and completing one or two additional quests. After you do all this, you will be at skill level 1 for your patterns. I am assuming the remaining skill levels are parsed out by the RNG gods at some rate similar to Nomi’s recipes, which is to say one or two every few months, assuming you pursue them every day.

Late edit: You can, in fact, buy several of the imbued silkweave patterns, level 1, from vendors scattered about, and they do not all require exalted rep or extra quests.

Champions of Legionfall achievement. The kicker for this one is, it requires completion of the entire previous class hall campaign, which is a 47-quest project that includes two required dungeons, Black Rook Hold and Vault of the Wardens for warlocks. I got to step 36, which is Vault, and was stymied because I could not find a group to do it. Frustrating does not really begin to describe it.

Here’s the thing. Most of us did these quest lines on our mains — Yes, they were annoying because Blizz designs quest lines not for the fun and enjoyment of the players but rather for how long they can drag them out and thus improve their MAU metric for the stockholders. But we and our friends were doing similar ones at the same time, and we usually had some help with the dungeons and even the raids later on for higher skill level patterns and recipes. But when you are leveling an alt, it is unlikely anyone else in your guild is at the same spot in their alt progression. Even if you are in an active and helpful guild, it is a real imposition on guildies to ask them to run a specific normal or heroic dungeon just so you can get that one recipe or that one warlock class hall campaign quest completed.

Yes, I know there is the auto group finder and the custom group finder. They are useless, especially if you are a dps. Over the weekend, I waited a total of 3 hours to get into a Vault group, and was unsuccessful. There were a total of zero custom groups forming for that dungeon, which is a crap shoot anyhow since my lock hovers around 870 ilevel, and of course that is garbage if you are looking to join a group for anything. I tried forming my own group Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and the most interest I got — during prime evening play time — was 2 additional dps.

Basically, I have hit a wall on my lock for advancing either my profession or my order hall campaign — and thus, of course, also my gear progression since I cannot so far unlock my third relic slot and thus my artifact weapon level seems stuck. Could I prevail on one of our guild tanks or healers to help me run Vault or the Karas? Yes, but honestly I have already done that for the previous dungeons I needed, and I am someone who hates to beg for help especially if it will inconvenience others. My other option is to beg to be included in some of the mythics and M+ runs they do several times a week, but that, too, would be pure charity as I would have to be carried in order to complete them.

And the requirements for dungeons and raids to progress are not even the worst requirements of the game. Some professions require running rated battlegrounds to progress. Rated battlegrounds! Not just random ones, but rated, where if you are not a dedicated pvp player already in a regular group, you must ask a group to carry you, and in doing so they likely will diminish their own rating just to help you out.

These kinds of dead ends are the most demoralizing parts of Legion, in my opinion. There are no alternate paths, no player options. If you don’t want to give up (which is apparently fine with Blizz, they seem to be in dream-smashing mode these days), there really is no way to get past them other than to hope for some good luck.

Which, in a way I guess, kind of summarizes the state of the game these days: hope for good luck. Skill and perseverance are becoming less and less important, unless you are talking about persevering in rolling the dice.

Blizz has done a few superficial things in Legion to “help” alts — speeded up some of the champion mission times, added the catchup mechanism for artifact research, made flying account-wide. I am not knocking those things. But they have, as usual, failed to acknowledge a basic flaw in their design, much less do anything about it. Or worse, they know it is annoying and frustrating for players — that it limits the potential for advancement for many — and they do not give a damn. I do not mind running long quest chains to achieve my alt goals, and I grumble but do not really mind grinding things like reputation to advance my alts. But when I get to the point — multiple times for almost every progression goal — where there is nothing I can do on my own to advance, when I must either beg or hope for assistance from others, then I feel stymied and angry. And that is NOT fun.

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.

11 Responses to Alt reality

  1. Marathal says:

    Yep. Even if I mustered the motivation to raise an alt to 110, no way would I even attempt a profession or any of the storyline especially anything involving the city

    • Fiannor says:

      Blizz seems enamored of the idea of making tailors be in a certain place to do their craft. Remember the professional cooldown in MoP, where you had to be in a certain place to accomplish it every day? I haven’t noticed this ridiculous requirement for any other crafting profession. Even in Legion, when for example leather workers have to make their level 1 items in the leather trade shop, once you get the level 2 patterns that is no longer necessary. Same for alchemy and jewelcrafting.

      It’s not even like tailoring or any of the armor crafters are such lucrative professions in Legion. Given the amount of pain and tedious work — not to mention fairly expensive mats and good favor from the RNG gods — needed to craft items that are even marginally in demand for sale, it really is a wonder that anyone bothers to go to the trouble to do it.

      • Marathal says:

        But we can make bags that require mats more expensive than what we needed for Garrison bags with the same amount of slots?

      • Fiannor says:

        OMG, yes on the bags. I have no clue why there are not larger bags available in Legion, especially given all the crap we have to drag around in them. On my main, I have all 30-slot bags except for the basic 16-slot one, and yet even when I really pare down my carried items my bag space hovers around 30-40. Enough for most activities, but definitely not soloing old raids.

        It would be interesting to see how many tailors actually went to the trouble of running both Karas for the “perk” of being able to craft bags that are, as you point out, more expensive to make and the same size as the hexweaves from WoD.

  2. Bheleu says:

    I was late to Legion – I’m still working on my main. I’m currently stuck on a number of quests because they require dungeons. In the past I could eventually solo a dungeon on normal, but with the scaling now not so much. I’ll either just stop without ever finishing my class hall order advancement ranks, or ask guild for ‘pity’ runs. Would it be so much to ask that you have a switch to turn off scaling in dungeons? It would not impact anyone else in the game, but would allow me to progress.

    I have found my goals for this xpac keep dropping lower and lower. Currently I’m at:
    1) get my main and a few alts to 110 to be ready for the next xpac in the hopes they fix hunters and everything else wrong with Legion
    2) run some old content for mounts.
    3) See how much gold I can farm

    Goals I’ve accepted may not happen:
    Flying
    Unlocking 3rd relic slot
    Additional follower for missions
    Alts
    Professions (In WoD I had all professions maxed on various alts)

    Does anyone know if any class can finish their order hall campaign without dungeons? Your post makes me sad because other than my 6 hunter alts, my only other alts are a rogue & a warlock. The rouge has always been a chore to get max level. Warlock wasn’t so bad in the past, but now I know to not even bother.

    • Fiannor says:

      “I have found my goals for this xpac keep dropping lower and lower.” That is a really demoralizing statement, but I feel the same way. I don’t think we are the only ones who feel like that, either, although I am certain these kinds of reactions do not even register with Blizz.

      You highlight another problem with Legion — the feeling of never being able to really catch up if you start late or even if you take a break for a few weeks. I know people who took breaks towards the end of 7.1.5 and when they came back in 7.2 they were so overwhelmed with the enormity of trying to catch up with gear and quest lines that they just quit the game. Some will undoubtedly come back for the next expansion, but some will not.

      Blizz really does need to improve its methods for gathering groups for dungeons. Of course there are more dps players than tanks or healers, that is the way Blizz has designed its group encounters. But having designed every encounter to require this ratio, they failed to implement some sort of mechanic to take it into consideration when they designed their group finding algorithms. They have made some half-hearted attempts to entice tanks or healers to queue up, but the rewards have not kept up with game economic inflation, so the rewards do not come close to justifying the time or trouble for a tank or healer. So what if dps have to wait hours or days to find a dungeon group, Blizz thinks, screw ’em they are a dime a dozen anyway. If the dungeon is current, it is relatively easy to find a group, but when most players have moved past normal and heroic because it is late in the expansion, it really is almost impossible to find one unless you prevail upon someone you know with a tank or heal spec to queue up with you.

  3. gnomecore says:

    That’s my major cons point in the whole expansion. Something as mundane and straightforward as professions should never, ever be gated in dungeons, save their mythic versions.

  4. I’m with you, man. The time in cue for those specific dungeons are heart-breakers. And if you are a tailor, there is nothing to bribe your guildies into going. Offering up some flasks or potions as an Alchemist seemed to help (many refuse to take the goods but respond to your plea of a bribe).
    And … you hit that road block and part your Alt for a week or so until you can muster the strength the face that road block again.

    • Fiannor says:

      Heartbreaker is right! Last night I queued again for Vault, waited over an hour, and lo and behold the queue popped. Then the server dc’ed me before I could hit Accept. Re-logged to find I was no longer in the queue. I let loose a stream of extremely bad words and logged out for the night. There is only so much frustration I can stand in a “leisure activity”.

      I have even tried just running random heroics in hopes I would get Vault, or even upper or lower Kara. No luck after 7 so far. But I have had Eye 4 times. 😤😤

      • Bheleu says:

        Interesting that you mention DC’ing. Has anyone else noticed an increase in random DC’s? It seems to happen to me about once a week. No pattern I can discern. Also different computers in different locations (completely different internet connections). Usually I can log right back in, but often times to my ghost….

  5. rvw says:

    Blizz needs to remove every single one of the ridiculous requirements for leveling professions and just let us get on with them as we’ve always done (pre WoD, ofc).

    It’s more insulting than I can say that they’ve reduced us – the players and the ones who’ve made them wealthy in the first place – little more than lackies fetching and carrying for npc’s.

    It’s bullshit and I’m fed up with their lack of intelligence and creativity.