Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's October!

It's October!

I'm back from from my trip to Tennessee. The drive took five days from San Diego to Franklin. I then flew back to SD. The weather was perfect and we made good time.

Keya had been making all the news up until the trip. However, Sista is going to get more time to get her tailoring and enchanting going. That means taking the portal in Stormwind and start the march to indoctrinate her into the Broken Isles. Sista is a druid, and her trials focused mostly on the Emerald Dream and Moonglade. The process was the most frustrating yet. A number of quests were badly flawed, which greatly increased the time to get them done. I spent as much time researching the "tricks" to get the misbehaving quests done as I did doing the quests.

The second, more serious problem, is Sista herself. She stayed with the family choice of tank roles regarding her spec, which is Guardian (bear form). Sista worked hard but is having a difficult time staying alive in a spec that specializes in staying alive. In part it's her gear level, which is i705, but that didn't stop or even slow down Tiphaine or Keya. Sista hasn't made a decision yet, but she is considering taking up Feral or even Balance. Wildshard made his living in balance/restoration, but the dangers of the Broken Isles usually come in bunches and don't stay at range to be picked off.

Most of what Sista will be doing is profession work, which does include gathering cloth, and that means killing things. Enchanting is secondary, but she'll be working that, too. Decisions decisions.

Despite her setbacks, Sista finished her apprenticeship and earned access to the Dreamwalk, the place in the Emerald Dream where she can plan missions and work on her new weapons. And by the way, the guardian artifact weapon is also a fail for me. Of course, they don't show when in bear form, but still, the "Claws of Ursoc" look like they've been declawed. Yuk. Although the claws look better in human form.

Sista in Human Form with Claws of Ursoc

Claws of Ursoc up close

Sista in Worgen Form

Friday, September 23, 2016

Going to a Dangerous Party

Going to a Dangerous Party

Keya spent some time cleaning up quests, mostly in Highmountain, but also in Stormheim. That kept her busy, but the spoils from that effort were not exactly all that exciting. The real work is in Suramar, where everyone is level 110 and the size of the spoils are worth the danger. She stumbled into Suramar City recently and died just as quickly. She needed a better plan. This is it.

There is a quest called "The Masks We Wear." A "friend" got her an invitation to a party. Some of the revelers at this party aren't hostile, but others are. She was given a party mask to give her further cover. Believing that was all she had to do, Keya sashayed into the party (imagine a demon hunter "sass-shaying" with those horns and wicked weapons)  and promptly stomped on someone's shoe. Mayhem erupted - all of it aimed at Keya. Cornered and way outnumbered, she killed a LOT of party-goers and henchmen, taking as many as she could before she died. And die she did.

Her friend sighed at the news (once Keya recovered, of course) and gave more explicit directions. Pick up an enchanted party mask and wear it (you know its on because Keya turns into a transparent version of a party goer). Stay away from the guards that have orbs over their heads. They're the only ones who can see you, the rest should ignore you. I say "should" because the hostile guards even without the orbs tend to fight first and ask questions later. Find and talk to the green NPC in the area.

It took some more practice (and a few more murders of locals) before she got the hang of the mask. Her task was to talk to eight partygoers. She managed to chat up seven guests and there didn't seem to be any more. Keya had to stray farther away while still trying to keep tabs on the orbheads who had gotten faint wifts of Keya twice. She pulled out of range quickly. Her last target forced Keya right into the middle of the party to get him to talk to her. That was pretty dicey, as Keya really didn't want to have to make a run for it while she still had tasks to complete. Long story short, she met up with a group of conspirators within the city and had to perform several tasks to prove herself to them. Keya now has a better mask that allows her to walk freely in the city as long as she's wearing it. It's a creepy thing, and isn't foolproof. Getting near any of the orbed guards gets them unsettled. She stays away from them, but the city is crowded and she can't just walk down the middle of the thoroughfare without getting stares.

Keya was directed out of the city where she returned to the cave where her worst nightmare took place. The elite there needs mana regularly (vampire-like) and to her surprise there is an inn! The inn has it's own arsenal of weapons for purchase based on faction honor. Keya was able to upgrade her boots to i800. Overall, her gear is now up to i790. Keya still hates the dark, dank place, but she'll be forced to return periodically to feed the elite and check out the weapons cache. It's also relatively near Suramar City. Setting up shop there might not be so bad an idea.

PS - Keya recently earned Honored with the Autumn Tea Green guild, a belated gift given her long sojourn without a guild.

Other guildies are chomping at the bit to get some action. Sista is at least somewhat productive, crafting enchants and tailoring bags. Rakta and Java are pretty much out to pasture at the moment. All three would like to take the plunge into Legion, but the process is a lengthy one and there just hasn't been enough time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mahakeya Reaches Level 110 - Now What?

Mahakeya Reaches Level 110 - Now What?

On Monday afternoon Keya reached the pinnacle of Legion leveling - she is now Level 110, with a gear score of i781. At the moment she's in the training academy learning about Class Halls.

One of the first things Keya learned at the academy is the new PvP system, which uses Honor Talents. PvPers earn honor through rated and unrated battlegrounds, world PvP quests, arena matches and skirmishes, and unrated PvP. There are five PvP Talent builds and levels that grant honor. There are six talent tiers, each offering three choices similar to the non-pvp tiers.

There is only one choice at the first level. Keya picked up the Gladiator's Medallion, which when used removes movement impairing effects. Kaya isn't interested in battleground or arena matches since they became over organized and lost the wild nature of unbridled combat. However, world pvp quests sound interesting and she might try her hand at those.

Keya continued her training at the academy and earned her degree. She was then passed along to the man Farondis who seems to be much the coward. There is a rather long segment of running around with lots of explosions where it didn't really matter what Keya did. Eventually Keya took out Athissa, completing the forced march through the questline.

[Aside - I don't like quests where the character is literally dragged around through a preset series of events. As a player I want to interact and contribute to these "events," not just be dragged around. That is stupid and should be eliminated. Why even bother if  I'm in the scene but only a bystander? Note that I'm not talking about cut scenes, which provide information]

Finally, Keya found herself at a portal. No Farondis, so maybe she was back in control. This must be the next leg of the journey, so in she went. Two very large hate-coiled creatures stood in her way. Keya attacked. They gave a very spirited fight. Keya needed to use a couple of save me moves. The fight went on. Those two mobs were persistent, she gave them that. Keya had to move to draw health from her fragments. It slowed the damage, but that wasn't enough. The grey light of fading health pushed Keya into a more desperate mode. It didn't help. After a very long fight, Keya died.

What in hell was that?! Stubborn, she tried a second time. She couldn't separate the two mobs, and both came at her again. And again she died. Okay, just what is she facing? The two mobs were both level 110 elites. Okay, but Keya has taken that challenge before and survived. What's different? She took a very hard look at the portal. It has a name, "Eye of Azshara." Keya had walked into a dungeon, where the elites are even more fierce. Solo. Well, that explained it. Keya finally found a situation she couldn't handle. Took long enough.

Keya thought she'd got rid of the Farondis character, who keeps screwing up and putting Keya in harms way. She finally killed Athissis (or however that's spelled). That seems to be the end of him. I hope.

After extricating herself from the dungeon she quickly found herself in even worse trouble. She had returned to Dalaran for some rest, but a quest bubble was dangling a chance to enter Suramar. She took the portal and landed in all kinds of nastiness. She was collecting gems of some kind while constantly fighting off groups of mobs. Keya is good at this, and killed the creatures in droves. She was able to collect 5 of the 6 she needed, but then something glitched. She could not loot the sixth gem. She killed enough mobs to level to 111 if there were such a level. After forever, she finally let herself die and will try again after settling things she needed to do in Dalaran. PS - The quest cleaned itself up while Keya was away and when she came back to the area (which included finding the area again, the nitch in the rock of an opening, and the cave where the last part of the quest in done) Keya was able to reopen the battle with what's her name (one of the many gods I don't bother to learn the names of). That was a long fight as well, with flying demons and witches, ropes that have to be cut, and blood spilled against the offending god. But she got it done.

Still, she seems to have lost her invitation to Suramar. The original welcoming committee is not longer helping, and, more important, there's no portal like she had the first time around. She'll find her way into Suramar one way or the other. She is after the quest, Uniting the Isles. Keya has at least friendly reputation in every region in the Broken Isles - except for Suramar. That's her mission.

Suramar City! Yes, Keya found her way in and managed to secure two flight paths to help her along the way. She's learned a few things, too. Her first "visit" was a ride past the entrance, which she quickly learned was protected by hostiles. There was a quest available on the far side of the city so Keya took off to get to it by circling around. About two-thirds of the way she ran into a spot she couldn't go around. The city and all its wonders, including a very nice looking thoroughfare, was just outside the transparent, shimmering walls. What if . . .

She stepped through the wall and stood on the path. Keya was cautious. Surely, there were barriers she couldn't pass. She saw someone walking toward her bathed in yellow. A non-combatant. Nice. Maybe this city is like others, hostile on the outside, but friendly once you know the trick. A obviously hostile looking fellow on horseback also came down the path. This should be interesting. The hostile attacked. Keya killed the beast and his master. With her blood lust up, and more hostiles starting her way, Keya leaped onto her mount and took a small army very angry guards on a merry jaunt through the city trying to find a way out. The gods were watching (and laughing) when she veered off the cobblestones at a break in the city walls. When  she stopped for breath (and to search for a hiding place) she discovered she was standing outside the entrance to the very place that she had gone looking for.

After that, Keya went to a party. More on that later.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mahakeya and the Autumn Tea Green Guild

Mahakeya and the Autumn Tea Green Guild

It took a little slight of hand to make it happen, but Keya is now a member of the guild. Guild Leader Tiphaine needed the help of level 12 warrior Whispersoul, also a guild member but residing in the account that is closing - in three days. Whispersoul was given permission to invite players into the guild. Mahakeya was online in Dalaran on the main account. Timing is everything. Whisper must make the invite: /ginvite mahakeya. As soon as she does that, I change accounts and then switch to Keya. The attempt failed on the first try. Keya did not get the invite. The account switching has always been the issue due to lag time between the switch. On the second try, the guild invite popped up on Keya's screen but she didn't click on it fast enough. Another fail. On the third try Keya was faster - she snatched the invite and then quickly checked the guild. Hooray! Keya is now a member of the guild. Keya can start earning guild credit and contributing to the guild. More important, she can now use the guild bank.

Keya kick started her leatherworking and has decided to get serious leveling it. She is barely started, at just 158 of 800, so it will take time. Her skinning is at 666 so she can still gain experience skinning beasts and adding stonehide leather to craft stuff. But reaching 800 in both professions is the priority. Along with killing things and doing quests, of course.

Keya pushed past Level 108 Friday and is now at Level 109 as of Sunday. She improved her overall gear score, going from i766 to i771.

She is still learning the rules for improving her artifact weapon. Officially, her weapons are called Aldrachi Warblades. There are 17 slots which can be filled with traits. Keya has filled eight slots so far. The filled slots have to be connected. You can't insert traits where there is no connecting link. Each trait has a rank, such as 1 of 3. In that example, all three ranks have to completed before adding another trait to an unfilled slot. APs are used to buy ranks. The cost starts out low, but the cost ramps up quickly. When she started she needed 350 APs to buy a rank. Now she has to have 750 APs to buy a rank. I'm probably not using the right terminology, but that's how I try to understand this complex arrangement. So far most of Keya's APs come from missions, which earn as much as 165 APs to complete a mission. Keya has just four followers and some limited henchmen and can only handle two missions at a time. She needs to research how to get more followers.
She currently has 12 unused artifacts in her bags. Some of them will be useful when she gets further down the line. Others can't be slotted because the slot is already filled. But most of the artifacts she's carting around don't seem to fit anywhere. At least not yet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Please Help Leatherworking Profession

Please Help Leatherworking Profession

Note: The below expresses the frustration Keya's had trying to get her leatherworking profession off the ground. I eventually found out that completing that first crafted piece uses a very limited amount of mats and that some of those mats could be used in another item. It appears that I used some of those mats and now can't finish the crafting because I'm short one mat. Abandoning and re-doing the quest appears to be the only way to get it done, but that has its own dangers - trying to restore an abandoned quest often doesn't work, and in fact makes things worse. Still trying to figure this out . . .

Mahakeya is truly befuddled. She is a great demon hunter. She's reached Level 106. Her artifact weapon is i751. Her skinning has provided a bounty of crafting materials. Nothing can stand in her way. She has, of course, completed her leatherworking starting quest, "Skin Deep." She then picked up the second and most basic leatherworking crafting quest, "Over Your Head", to craft a Rough Warhide Mask. Simple. It should be, but it isn't.

In addition to the crafting material, Keya must use Namha's tanning rack and workbench. Both are conveniently located right in Namha's shop. When attempting to produce anything, however, she continues to get messages telling her she needs the rack or bench. She clicks on the bench when it says to and gets a message she needs the rack. Click on the rack and it says it needs the bench. Click on the material you're trying to craft and again get the you're doing it wrong message again.

She couldn't do it.The material preparation alone requires four different setups. In desperation she attempted to follow two different videos on how to do it - but the videos made even less sense.

This one crafted item, Rough Warhide Mask, requires all of these elements, all of which has to be crafted:
Shaved Stonehide Pelt
Stonehide Leather Strip
Tanned Stonehide Leather
Stonehide Leather Lining
Fresh Stonehide Pelt (this is the mat Keya is short on)
Namha's Tanning Mixture
The use of Namha's Tanning Rack
The use of Namha's Workbench


 FINALLY - She completed the Rough Warhide Mask. To be honest I don't know how Keya did it. She just kept clicking on things randomly until the gods of blind chance shined down on her. I hope her next crafting is easier.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

It's been four days since the last post. Real life issues and game frustrations are getting snarled up with each other. Keep that in mind.

The major real life downer is our cat, Mr Creme. He's a gentle, easy going 17 year old and diabetic for many years without any serious problems. Two weeks ago he became unable to pass his stool. Bluntly, he can't poop. The cost so far has gone into four digits following an ultrasound that didn't gain us anything. He's gone from a healthy 13 pounder to 11 pounds in that time. Our vet has run out of things to try. Mr Creme is home now.We make him as comfortable as we can and he's still our affectionate cat. He'll let us know when he's ready to leave us.

Coddling the Children?

Quoted from Blizzard: "Early on in your journey to the Broken Isles, you’ll be able to freely choose among a number of zones that adapt to your character’s level: Azsuna, Highmountain, Stormheim, and Val’sharah. Whether you’re level 101 or 108, the quests, enemies, and drops in each of those four zones dynamically scale to your level, giving you the freedom to explore this mysterious new domain as you see fit. Each of these zones has a very different feel, with distinct factions to meet, fantastic stories to uncover, and experiences that you won’t soon forget."

The above cleared up for me why Keya and other toons have so little trouble defeating anything and everything around them - every encounter is scaled to match the character's level and capabilities. That must include elites as well, as Keya has won every battle so far. Honestly, that's pretty deflating. It's like, "Have fun, children, Mommy and Daddy won't let anything bad happen to you. Play nice with your safe toys."
    I enjoy the prospect of gathering gear and pushing the limits of what I can accomplish while leveling. Keya even stuck her head into the Suramar zone, which is all level 110 and not scaled like the other four zones. I've always looked forward to tackling increasingly difficult zones and beating them. On the Broken Isles, that doesn't exist. Keya has begun further leveling in a new zone, Highmountain, and is now Level 104. I will enjoy the journey and gather my goodies, but frankly, the thrill of victory seems kind of hollow.

On the positive side, Keya picked up two more followers, doubling her prior number. That should speed up the order hall missions a bit. I do like playing a demon hunter. Everything she does is flashy and in your face. She's still struggling with her leatherworking, though, and still hasn't made her basic "Rough Rawhide Mask." Guess I'll have to actually read the directions instead of trying to figure it out. Keya is also conflicted because many of her potential kills are docile creatures, including horses, and she'd rather her targets be things that can fight back.

It hasn't been much of an issue, yet, but Keya remains puzzled about how artifacts work. The ones that provide AP are straightforward, but the other pieces are completely baffling.
Keya's equipped artifacts are Tormented Souls, Internal Force, Soul Carver, and Shatter the Souls. They all have ranks (generally from 1-3) that can be bought with APs. She also has three artifacts that she can't equip yet: Rock Fired Ore, Shel'nir Sproutling, and Manathirsty Focus. Just guessing, I think some of these can't be added because there must be a link to another artifact already in place. However, there is one artifact that does go next to another equipped one, but I can't add it to the weapon. I guess I'll eventually figure it out. Keya's gear level is now i726. I'm not sure what the max gear level is. However, on the auction house I see gear for sale as high as i850. The cost to buy ONE set would empty the guild's entire treasury.

Things to remember: (1) Don't forget to check the Scouting Map (it's the THIRD tab on the mission table; (2) Try to remember what level you need to be on while at the Fel Hammer; the crazy quilt multi-layered chambers in such a small space is just ridiculous; (3) Plan your trips between the Broken Isles, Dalaran, and the Fel Hammer to coincide with portal availability (I lose track of how many times I had to wait around to get an available portal); (4) Someone please shut Layne up about wanting me to change artifact weapons. Keya is Vengeance! And doesn't want to learn Havoc. Stop bugging her about it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sneaky Plumrosefist

Sneaky Plumrosefist

Mahakeya is supposed to have control of leveling for the time being. However, Plumrosefist, "Fist," played a hidden card and got herself invited to a trip to the Broken Isles. With Jocy's concurrence, she saved her invasion chests instead of using them to improve her gear. The idea is to see if the chests contain better gear if the holder has reached the Broken Isles and attained at least level 101. It's likely as moot point, now, with the new Legion gear already flowing in. Still, I want to test the theory.

I also want to comment on the Pandaria process that Fist went through to get into Legion. Well done in my opinion, and tough enough to be challenging. I actually felt the testing to be worth it, and it was fun, too, searching for clues to the riddles posed by the quests. The weapon of a brewmaster monk is also interesting, too. It's just a staff, but the way she holds it is different than any other I've seen. "Fu Zan, the Wanderer's Companion" can be strapped to her back but can also be carried over her shoulder, which looks pretty cool.

Back to the current situation. Fist opened one chest and received an i700 wrist. No hint that it was any more than that. Lucky for Fist, it was an upgrade. While she was at it, she used up her nethershards to improve two more pieces of gear. She went from i676 to i693. Not bad.

The next test will be when she reaches level 101 and opens another chest. Till then, Fist plans to make the most of her opportunity. She's already down on the Isles at Aszuna. And yes, she checked to make sure she had a flight master tagged.

In Dalaran Fist made a visit to The Filthy Animal, where her mother once lived. Not the worst dive she's ever seen, but still a dive. Her mother, now alliance, would not be welcome there.

Good News! The Auctioneer addon is back in business! Chaitee and Happyface are elated that the standard bearer of auctions has returned to normal operations. The many non-auctioneer goers with suspect math expertise will still be taken to the cleaners, but Auctioneer makes that a lot harder. For now prices on gear and items are kind of all over the place. Chaitee has been taking bids on a lot of gear from level 101 to 110 hoping to get lucky from owners who don't pay attention to bid expiration. Some gear may go to those who need them, but she also hopes to cash in by selling them back at a much higher price. Profession materials are still very expensive and should be sold for gold instead of crafted right now.

Keya is chomping at the bit to get back into action. Fist, however, is pushing back, wanting to finish the testing Jocy demands of her. Fist returned to Aszuna and worked her way to Level 101. She then tested the rest of the chests she'd kept all that time. They were all Felshroud gear, the same as the rest of the invasion gear. Oh well, it was worth the chance. Fist's gear level of i702 already looks a bit outdated. Her staff has just 325 AP. However, she might have had to wait a long time getting into Legion had she not held on to those chests.

Fist's second profession is a little less dangerous. She plans to sort through every piece of discarded gear clogging up her room at the Flithy Aninal and making sweet ensembles. She takes her own special pride in being a smart looking clotheshorse. She even volunteered to figure out how transmogs work.