Settling into a pattern, and Blizz is still alt-hostile

A month short of a year into Legion, and I realized over the weekend that I have finally settled into a weekly routine in the game.

Tuesday (reset day): Collect weekly things on my main — seals, Mythic+ chest, weekly bonus quest. I don’t run every weekly on my main — usually only the timewalkers and the mythics, the rest I either have no interest in (PvP and pets) or the reward is not worth the time. The rest of Tuesday is spent on raid 7-11 PM server time.

Wednesday: World quests and Broken Shore quests on main, decide which alts will receive emphasis for the week and run LFR, profession, or quests on it. Check the alts’ gear and decide how best to upgrade it for the week. I usually pick 2 alts to concentrate on — I find it is not feasible to work on more than that in a week, there is just not time.

Thursday: Replenish main’s potions/flasks/food, then raid 7-11 server time.

Friday: Run one Mythic +15 for the week on main with the incredibly generous guild group that tries to ensure every raider gets at least one in for the weekly chest. Run emissaries and BS quests on main and on one or both chosen alts. If I am doing it, run the weekly on main.

Saturday: Usually a day off, no game time.

Sunday: Pretty much alt day. Do class hall maintenance activities on maxed alts, also emissaries and BS quests on selected alts. If time, work on order hall or profession quest lines on an alt. If even more time, work on leveling a non-maxed alt.

Monday: Finish up odds and ends on main. Spend a couple of hours running sims on main for next week’s gear/talent best build. Study fine points of the coming week’s progression bosses.

I am at a point on my main where the only reason I run emissary quests and BS dailies is for the reward chests. Nothing given as individual loot for the quests is worth anything to my main — the gear is way too low, the gold amounts are paltry, and the AP is so low compared to what I need for an extra concordance point as to be downright insulting. Certainly not worth even the few minutes needed to do the AP quest.

The emissary and BS chests, it turns out, are the new gear currency. That is, there is apparently a magic secret number of them you have to open before you get a legendary. The difference between this system and previous currency systems is that we used to know how many seals/coins/etc we had to collect to get a desired piece of gear, plus we could actually choose the piece we wanted. But now only Blizz knows the number, and they not us get to choose which piece we get. But it is still a currency system, make no mistake.

So I still run these daily activities on my main. Luckily, it doesn’t take long, what with flying and also having pretty decent gear. Once in a while, if I need leather, I will spend extra time in one of the quest areas where skinnable critters are being killed.

On relatively new alts, the world quests are still useful in and of themselves. The gear can be an upgrade, and my new alts almost always are in desperate need of Blood of Sargeras in order to upgrade the crafted items I usually outfit them with, so they run the ones giving that as a reward whether or not they are part of an emissary chain. I also make sure my active alts run the world bosses each week.

I still believe making BoS soulbound is one of the worst ideas Blizz had in Legion. Of course, they stick with it because it forces more game play and thus increases bonuses for their executives, but it is an enormously frustrating mechanic. The effect of it is that by the time you have an alt able to gather BoS in reasonable quantities, they usually do not need it any more, unless they have a profession that goes through a lot of it. This is yet another instance of Blizz deliberately misleading us — “In Legion you can equip any number of crafted items, no more 3-piece limit!” Sure you can — except of course the crafted gear will be too low level to do you any good. At 20 BoS per crafted gear max upgrade, this can easily cost up to 200 or more BoS to fully outfit an alt.

In a grand gesture of generosity, Blizz recently allowed us to use order resources to buy BoS, at the rate of 1000 OR for 1 BoS, except you have to buy them in batches of 5. Generally, in keeping with the Blizz philosophy of being hostile to alt development, at the time when an alt most needs BoS they do not have 20,000 extra order resources available to upgrade one piece of crafted gear.

Not to worry, Blizz went overboard in their generosity here, allowing a shuffle mechanism to transfer BoS from one character to another within an account. You can buy order resources with BoS, transfer them to an alt, then have the alt use the extra order resources to buy the BoS they need. Sounds great, eh? Just one small thing: the exchange rates are exorbitant. You lose 80% of your BoS in the process. For example, it costs you 100 BoS to buy the order resources that would allow an alt to buy 20 BoS.

In everything, from profession quest lines to order hall chains to artifact progression to the nutty legendary system to crafted gear, Blizz remains extremely alt-hostile. Yes, they will claim they have gone to great lengths to permit alt catch-up, and there are some decent mechanisms. But in general Legion is still the most alt-unfriendly expansion ever.

Still, even given the hoops to jump through for alts, I have managed to get myself into a nice comfortable routine in Legion. Some people might think of this as a bad thing, but honestly I kind of look forward to getting to this point in an expansion. There is a lot to be said for the mental ease of familiarity.

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.

5 Responses to Settling into a pattern, and Blizz is still alt-hostile

  1. Alunaria says:

    Hm, that is a good idea; to sort of have such a week plan. I think I’ll benefit from that…

    You know, I did feel as if there was some kind of currency system too! Thought it was in my head.

    Those BoS being soulbound – there was…Some kind of…thing, token/similar, in MoP wasnt there? (I didnt play during that era) and it was later on made none soulbound? It is a little odd though, with so much focus on Legion being alt-hostile, that these are not just made at least account-bound by now.

    Crafting in Legion is beyond me, it really sounds as if it is not worth it; similar to many other professions. A little perculiar, since they did work on all those profession quests.

    “Mental ease of familiarity” – that is a good way to put it; iI really like to reach such a point too.

    Hm, I wonder though, if you do not mind, and I am just curious; Which expansions do you consider alt friendly, and why – compared to Legion?

    It’s probably just me, but Legion being so alt-hostile; I see that coming from the entire design of Legion, and how it relies on AP/Class Hall/Time gating things; all core to Legion gameplay. Let’s rid ourselves of all of these, and would it then, be better?

    • Fiannor says:

      I halfway expect BoS to become account bound in the last patch — maybe 7.3.5?

      I thought Cataclysm was very alt friendly — in fact, that is when I really started to create alts and actually play them. But I was not a great fan of Cata as an expansion. To me, MoP was the best expansion of all — lots of reasons, but in terms of alts it was great. I think the reason is that there were very few “Gotta do’s”, so you could level and gear your main and pretty much be done with it, allowing you to have fun with a lot of alts.

      In MoP, I had time to easily run all my alts (think I had like 6 at the time) through the entire legendary cape quest line, to max out their professions, to get them some nice catch-up gear on Timeless Isle, and even to get the green fire achievement on my warlock. I was in a non-progression guild at the time, and we often ran alt raids where I could heal on my mistweaver or resto druid, or run dps on my mage or warlock or whatever. Also, MoP had quick 3-man scenarios you could queue for (which awarded gear currency), and were fun to play around with on your alts. There were some profession quest lines, but they were attainable without having to get to max level or max gar in order to be able to finish them. (Unlike having to run mythic dungeons, or normal level raids, for example, in Legion just to finish out a profession.)

      All of that was possible, I believe, because I was not chasing some never-ending series of gear on my main (no AP, no legendaries beyond a cape, no rapid sequence of tier gear, no class hall or followers to max out, etc.). I like to be able to actually reach a goal, and I get cranky when I just start to get close only to have Blizz move the goal posts. In MoP, you could get your main to the end game and then really start to have fun — whether it was making money in the auction house or developing alts or raiding or racking up achievements or collecting mounts or whatever. But in Legion, YOU NEVER REALLY GET TO THE END GAME, Blizz keeps adding on requirements like more artifact traits or new tier gear or new class hall quest lines.

      I know Blizz touts this as a great thing — eternal “content” — but I hate it. The game design of Legion panders to the players who whine about there being nothing to do once they have maxed out their main, the ones who — like middle schoolers in the second week of their summer vacation — constantly snivel, “I’m BOOOOOORED!” I have never been bored in this game, not when MoP seemed to drag on forever, not even in the content-starved WoD. I always have a lot to do, and I enjoy having the freedom to come up with my own projects. I do not enjoy Blizz constantly dictating new ones for me.

      • Alunaria says:

        Thank you for the response 🙂

        Aha, yes, I see where you are coming from; There are a lot of things in Legion that does appear as “Gotta do’s”, so one ends up being forced down a certain road that is very timeconsuming.

        Oh, yes, I can relate to that easily; I guess that is why I sometimes do feel a little “burned out” – I feel as if I am never done in Legion. Granted, I have not much time to play, but I have never had this feeling before in game, at least not on this level.

        I guess the “eternal content” has so much focus these days, to cater to those that often have the loudest voices on the forums, complaining there is nothing to do in game.

        I’ve never been bored either, and I don’t think I ever will, but somehow this “never reaching end game” is demotivating for me.

        I guess your response really nails all the issues I have with it, so yeah, thank you 🙂

        I do wonder if we will see a “solution” at some point, or if this is the way the game will “evolve”. I find it wrong to have the player segment be those that just want quantity above quality, but hey.

  2. While I’m not as routine as you are, I do try and run my alts through the LFR to keep them fairly current; even though they won’t be raiding. I’m not sure why.

    • Fiannor says:

      Running them through LFR seems like a good idea. It gives you a good environment to practice alt rotations and understand the fights from a perspective other than your main, which in my opinion is always a plus, as the more you understand about all aspects of a fight the better raider you are.

      The main reason I don’t run LFR regularly on my alts is time — there are just so many other activities I feel I “have to” do on alts that compete for my play time. I might start running them through it more often once I get to the point where they all have their class hall and artifact and follower and profession stuff done. (Also, by then hopefully most people will have gotten the idea on the bosses and there will be fewer painful wipes and gripes… 🙄)

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