May 30, 2012

Head Enchants, Schmead Enchants

Good news, everyone! Ghostcrawler has confirmed that head enchants are coming out of the game for Mists:
"Head enchants are gone.

We decided that putting head enchants on the various faction vendors wasn't working well with our design intent for the factions. There is a lot of max-level quest content in MoP, much of it focused around the reputation with the new factions. I think it's really cool stuff -- worlds away from the old Argent Crusade scourge stone days. :)

In previous expansions, the head enchants on the faction vendors served to force players into that content. You couldn't even choose which reputation to pursue -- you had to pursue the one with your specific head enchant. Our design intent for MoP is to give players options in how to play, and the head enchant design wasn't compatible with that.

Once we decided to no longer offer new head enchants, we made the older ones non-functional or else players would feel like they had to go back to older content or be missing out on power. This way, helmets are just no longer enchantable and you'll have one less required step to get a piece of loot ready to wear.

Shoulder enchants can now be provided by scribes, so those still exist, but they are also not part of the faction reputation system." (Source: Wowhead News | Blue post)
My initial reaction was positive. There would be no more angst because the faction with my head enchant was not the same as the faction with my shiny exalted gear! I had a little think though, settled down a little, and realised it wasn't all rainbows and celebratory cakes.

The trouble for me is that the grind to exalted for that head enchant was content, something to aim for, another thing to achieve. I live for achievements, UI-based or self-imposed. While I'm not losing much with the removal of this grind, it was still content. Couple that with account-wide achievements removing the necessity to grind mounts/titles/achievements on more than one character if you don't want to, and I find myself experiencing a twinge of worry.

I do find it harder to mourn the loss of shoulder enchants obtained via rep grinds - Therazane rep and its forced series of quests to even unlock the tabard mean that only my main has friendly status - and as they will be available from scribes I don't think the change will be felt in the same way, but that's another milestone we don't need to reach anymore. I'd always wished for an Inscription option on top of the Therazane grind, or at least Bind to Account status for the enchants. We've gone straight past that to just removing the rep element altogether.

Ultimately, there are so many new features shipping with Mists that it's been impossible to see how I would run out of content. Pet battles, farming and more have been added. All the usual things will still be in the game. I will simply have to trust that Blizzard have got their balancing right!

May 14, 2012

Week 18: Some [Rare Enthusiasm] appears!

Super brief update!
  • Wildlight is now 48
  • Leatherworking is now at 525
Well. I said I'd lost my levelling drive, and then I went ahead and added another 8 levels to my priest. I deserve some kind of high five. I've been running lots of dungeons with my partner's dwarf resto shaman and it's been good fun. What I wouldn't give for an AoE attack though - Mind Flay gets pretty boring sometimes.

I even hit 525 leatherworking without buying any more leathers! I don't know if I'll buy the 359 epic patterns because I'm not likely to make them, so it's all a bit anticlimactic. The silver lining is that I have a leatherworker ready for Mists so I can at least make the new epics for Ara when I'm frantically gearing for Tier 14.

Ok that's literally all the news, and I can't imagine you want a picture of Wildlight in the same heirlooms with a different belt and gloves. Until next week!

May 08, 2012

Weeks 15-17: Hitting a Levelling Wall

It seems like these updates are the only thing that I have time for at the moment. I want to do a big achievements roundup but honestly, it'll have to wait until I have a few hours to link everything up and give it the effort I want to. Real life crits hard, kids.

Quick update:
  • Shiden is now 85!
  • Wildlight is now 40
  • Lóthwen is now 28
  • Skinning - to 525
  • Leatherworking - to 521
  • Enchanting - to 299
  • Inscription - to 196
  • Engineering - to 155

Biggest news is that Shiden hit 85, finally! She's great fun to play and I've started running some normal dungeons with guildies to gear her up. I have to say, watching Elemental Overload proc on a Lava Burst and seeing two go shooting off at enemies is an absolute blast. Slightly nervous about trying out a Restoration spec so I'm going to gear up to about ilvl 378, reforge to suit needs and then start with normals while I put theory into practice. If I'm not a great shaman healer that's fine - the list only demands that I try healing everything once!

Skinning hit 525 without any effort whatsoever, but even with the Darkmoon Faire daily this month, leatherworking is stuck a few points below 525. I need to get out there and farm some Savage Leather, or just give in to temptation and buy it...I hope that profession material requirements are lowered at some point in the future because the sheer amount you need to hit each threshold often prevents you from making anything useful as you level. By the time I can make the leatherworking epics I'll likely have picked up better gear from dungeons with a lot less effort.

The problem with that final push to 85 is that it's killed my levelling drive. The next nearest alt is Wildlight at 37, with Lóthwen at 28, and both of them need to hit 85 so that I can max their professions. I can't muster up the energy for another two long, long grinds and have been bumming about getting Outland dungeon reps on Ara. Still, the list is a focus not an obligation and I'm not at the stage where I'm about to level when I don't want to. Fingers crossed that I can fit in the odd level here and there before I lose the habit! [Update: I did 3 levels on the priest tonight, and it was good fun. That might be because I'm at the bar fights and riverboats section of Thousand Needles, though!]

I'm conspicuously tall here.

In other news, I removed engineering as a second profession for Lóthwen because Wildlight already has it and there's no way I'm levelling it twice. Being a hoarder I have tonnes of cloth stashed away and I've decided to make her second profession tailoring. There are a couple of BoP recipes for tailors that are really nice so I want at least one cloth-wearing alt that can make the most of them.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative 2012

Just a quick post to let you know about the Newbie Blogger Initiative started up by Syp of Bio Break! It's a one-month event that I'm signing up for because I think my post/month count is just over one.

I started Achievements Ahoy on a pretty big whim. I thought about the name, and what kind of area to post about, but I've never really laid proper foundations. This shows through in my patchy posting ;) but aside from myself there are over 70 blogs participating - seriously, some really big names are on board for this - and we'll each be writing a post with some advice for new bloggers. If you write a blog and haven't signed up it's not too late! Head over to the forums and check-in as a sponsor blog.

The point of the Newbie Blogger Initiative is to get people blogging, even if they're as unsure of their direction as I was (and still am some days!). The worst that happens is you abandon it a little way down the road and I'll bet good gold that you don't - I bet that you find ideas, things to write about, readers who comment on your posts and a whole new community waiting for you to jump in. If you don't write a blog but are thinking about starting one you could do a whole lot worse than heading to the forums and checking in as a newbie blogger.

Be brave, and good luck!