Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mounting Fatigue Surrounds Invasions

Mounting Fatigue Surrounds Invasions

The energy and excitement of battling invading demons is beginning to wear thin. Bruiserbabe has achieved her primary goal of reaching Level 70, and the family Boost is now secure and available to either account when a decision is made how to use it.

Fist hopes to see some additional time in the trenches as well, but the endless battles for what is becoming minimal gain is turning off many in the family.

Even Keya, with 500 nethershards to spend, may decide to cut her invasions short and buy the three Coalesced Fels she needs to max her pair of stage six weapons, take a well deserved break, buy one more gear upgrade, and wait on Legion.

Jocelyne spent a ton of nethershards as the first to tackle the invasions after Keya's arrival. She still has 191 shards, 150 of which will go to buying the account bound Felbat Pup Companion for all of the family to share.

Sista still has some work to do, being one step short (i699) of reaching i700. She has 309 nethershards, enough to get her Fel Barbed Spear to stage 5, and will keep running invasions until she gets that sixth stage.

It may be "an invasion too far" for Rakta, however. She has only 100 nethershards, which will help with two pieces of gear, but sits at i698. Another hurdle is her Fel Hacker, which is only at stage 3. Less than a week remains.

Javajoo has done well in getting her gear to i701, but is also coming up a bit short with her Fel Hacker at stage 3. She needs a couple of invasions to get her nethershards over 300 so she can buy her way to stage 5. After that she needs some luck to get a Coalesced Fel to drop to max her weapon. She could really use a ring upgrade as well (i650 baleful) but gathering another 50 nethershards to bump it up to i700 could be a challenge.

Tiphaine has been so busy keeping track of the rest of the family she forgot to check on her own needs. Her overall gear level at i703 is fine, but not so her Fel Lord's Warmace, which is only at stage 3. However, with 491 nethershards, she can buy the three Coalesced Fels she needs to max out her weapon.

Then there are those who simply aren't going to be fully prepared come Legion.
Fist is one of them, buried at i676.
Wildshard took a complete pass on the invasions, standing pat at i655.
Phillypurdue also took a pass at i653.
Shaman Jezzibael once had hopes of being the first non-tank family member to participate in the invasions, but that plan never came to fruition. Jezzi remains mired at gear level i626.

However, in a rare meeting between the two leaders, Tiphaine and Jocelyne both agreed that if possible each of the above family members would get a chance to take the boat to the Broken Isles and participate in at least one invasion. Time is running out to make that happen.
Each member will have to make their own decision about when to accept and use the quest "City Under Siege" which takes place on the floating city of Dalaran and is a must do quest to get access to Legion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Short Return of the Horde Tea Green Guild

A Short Return of the Horde Tea Green Guild

For those who have almost forgotten, there is another family on the second account that has seen hard times. The names: Bruiserbabe (63 death knight), Merytophvy (60 hunter), Hearnoevils (30 hunter), Beanoevils (25 hunter), Hapless (16 druid), Mewgoogaipan (12 mage), Whispersoul (12 warrior), and Alwayslost (12 paladin)

With the approach of Legion, a decision had to be made whether to return them to the shadowy depths of Draenor and falling an expansion behind or bring them into the light, if only for a brief time.

The senior player, Bruiserbabe (BB), made her case to join in the battle against the demons. At stake is a level 100 Boost that might one day be in jeopardy if not taken now. However, there is a complication. To grant the Boost, there must be at least one player at level 70.

Bruiserbabe took the job of leveling to 70 exclusively through invasions. In her first day of work her modest level of 63 didn't seem to slow her down in any way. In fact, she took a very aggressive attitude, attacking at will anything and everything that came at her. She is now level 68 and has six small chests and six large chests. Her immediate goal is to reach level 70, but there will also be an interesting decision to make once she reaches that goal.

The plan is that once the Boost is available, the first new demon hunter will be born to the Horde side of the family.

Bruiserbabe is making a case, however, to take that boost herself, along with all those chests she's been saving up. If she doesn't use the boost herself, those chests are only worth whatever level BB reaches. If she stays at level 70, those chests will be worth only level 70 type gear.
Can BB hold those chests even into Legion, and still use them if/when she decides to level further? So far I haven't found anything conclusive that the chests are still valid past level 100, although there are rumors they'll be good up until level 109 (ie, at level 109 she would get level 109 gear from the chests). If that's wrong, though, no one really knows what happens to those chests. Still usable at level 100, or become useless?  So far no one has an answer to that question. I guess we'll find out on August 31st.

In other news, Plumrosefist began her embarkation to ilevel 700: She is the last in the family of hybrid tanks as a Brewmaster Monk. She's also Tiphaine's daughter, and did not make the transition to the Alliance as her mother did. Make of that what you will.

Fist (new) - (i663) --> i676

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

For the Real Heroes

For the Real Heroes

One question needed asking - Can low level players participate in the Invasion Lottery? I put the guild's Auction House squire to the test. Leve 21 Chaitee was eager to take on the challenge. She had never gone beyond the walls of Stormwind since she took up with the Autumn Tea Green Guild as their Auction House Meister.

In an astounding announcement we learned that ALL players can participate in battling the attacking demons, from the lowest level ten to the highest level 100.

Two stalwarts of the family, Chaitee and Happyface, have been performing their duties for a very long time. They never complain - okay, they complain, but they like what they're doing - What? Are you crazy, we want to be out there going toe toe with evil doers! - Okay, never mind! For all the work you do for the rest of the guilds, Chaitee and Happyface are released from all duties prior to Legion Launch. Go kill some demons!

Chaitee wasted no time. She took the flight path from Stormwind to Sentinel Hill. There was no ongoing invasion at the time, so she was able to wander about and even practice her bow and let her cat Tazzy run free. Such freedom! She thought of home, and how much see missed seeing the countryside. She knew her duty, though, and took her responsibilities seriously. On the next pass of the demon ships, Chaitee joined the fighters in protecting her homeland. Chaitee fought the demons, raising her level from 21 to 23! She's too young to compare gear levels, but at least she could take pride in the gear she does have, and the level of her best stat, Agility, which is at level 85.
Her worth in battle was proven when she earned two level 28 gear pieces, gloves and helm. The proud additions improved her agility score to 94. Congratulations, Chaitee!

How Invasions Work - Dissecting the Process of Defending the Realm from Demons

To start with, invasions only occur on Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms of Azeroth. There are no invasions on Draenor, Northrend, Pandaria, or the Broken Isles (although I expect attacks on the Broken Isles once Legion launches).

In the Eastern Kingdoms invasions happen in Dun Morogh (Kharanos), Elwyn Forest (Sentinel Hill), and Hills Brad Foothills (Tarren Mills). In Kalimdor invasions occur in Tanaris (Gadgetzahn), Northern Barrens (The Crossroads), and outside the Northen gate of Orgrimmar.

As far as how many invasions there are, it is almost limitless. Invasions form as soon as enough players show up in the invasion zones. I've parked toons in the same place and rotated them (you can't do the same invasion back to back, but you can alternate toons). I can usually get three invasions in until I ran out of invasions at that spot. There are a few periods where one or both continents have no invasions in progress, but I can't tell if this is planned or just random.

Every invasion follows the same pattern. The attackers include low level demons and higher level elite demons relatively easy to kill. Stage 2 includes more of the same with more dangerous elite demons. Stage three includes at least two major elite demons, maybe three, I start to lose count after awhile. Then the REALLY NASTY elites arive, usually one or two. Note that there is always a large throng of players at these invasions, and in general as a group we can survive most of these attacks. The REALLY NASTY elites are a different story. Expect to die A LOT during those battles. Expect the cost of fixing gear to run into the thousands of gold. Seriously. I believe Blizz uses this as one of the games gold dumps. When was the last time you even thought about fixing gear?
Now, some do it the easy way. They park their toon at an invasion site and leave. They come back later, find their corpse, and take the spoils, which is always one small and one large box. Yes, you don't have to do anything but stand around if you want. But its faster to kill things.

Leveling gear is not a science. Raising overall gear scores depends on the size of the upgrade. The gear is a random drop, which can be very frustrating. Rakta was pinned down for quite awhile because she had an i615 wrist that the gods refused to upgrade. When she finally won an i700 wrist she jumped six levels. Weapon gear upgrades using coalesced fels takes as many as three upgrades to win one level, but they're worth it for the added weapon stats.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Keeping Track (Saturday/Sunday)

Keeping Track (Saturday/Sunday)

Follow Along as the Gear Wheels Turn . . .

(#1) - Jocy (i700) --> i703 [#1 Horde]
(#2) - Tiphaine (i689) --> i694 --> i698 --> i702 --> i703 [#1 Alliance]
(#3) - Keya (i695) --> i700 --> i701
(#4) - Java (i684) --> i690 --> i695 --> i696 --> i701 (no longer a kid)

Vs the Kids:
(#5) - Sista (i672) --> i678 --> i687 --> i688 --> i696 --> i699
(#6) - Rakta (i669) --> i672 --> i679 --> i690 --> i696

The Eastern Kingdom gets most of the attention for the invasions, primarily because most of the family are housed in Stormwind. Iron Forge in Dun Morogh is convenient since the invasions attack the nearby small town of Kharanos. Java and Rakta take turns and can do it several times a day.
No one seems to like Kalimdor. The Barrens and Azshara areas are mostly horde and its a pain to park anyone there. Ratchet is the defacto holding area. Sista and Keya keep getting pushed out there but they always wind their way back to Stormwind. So Sista is going to bed down in Ratchet. I'm thinking of leaving Keya in Tanaris since its so far south. Or maybe I have that backward. On the other hand, Tanaris is the worst place for an invasion. Keya and Sista both abandoned that spot.

Everyone is having a bad run with drops this weekend. There's enough useless i700 gear to arm every farmer in the Eastern Kingdoms (just don't let the peasants get wind of that).

PS - Only 9 more days until Legion launches. There might even be something new in Tuesday's maintenance. But I'll keep farming invasion nethershards for the Coalesced Fels to get weapon upgrades. Unless Sista and Rakta get very, very unlucky, they both should join the i700 club in a couple of days.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Letting the Kids Play

Letting the Kids Play

Tiphaine, Jocy, and Keya stepped aside to see how the kids do. All three have been through the Legion scenario to prepare for the Broken Isles. Now we get to see how they do under heavy combat in the invasions.

They started like so:

    Gear Progression: (i653) --> i672 --> i684
    Notes: Started with 3 pieces of gear under i600 (yuk!). Java doesn't have enough nethershards to buy even one bandage. Well . . . So she died a lot. All that massive armor protecting her through the Tanaan Jungle was like paper against these demon invaders. Picked up Fel Hacker, an i700 one hander she can upgrade to i725 (eventually). She'll be using her old i705 weapon until then.


Gear Progression: (i655) --> i669
Notes: Began with NINE pieces of Oathsworn gear (i640 boosted gear, vomit!). Her battles  were, well, short. Getting into melee range usually meant death against the special elites. Yea, she's a warrior. So? Don't they, well, sort of HAVE to be in melee range? Rakta changed the subject.


    Gear Progression: (i670) --> i672
    Notes: Not much to show for the effort. She did get a third Glaive and its account bound.

Note: The family recently discovered Captive Wyrmtongue, a vendor who sells gear for
nethershards. Necks, cloaks, rings, trinkets, just the things the family needs.
A reminder of who leads this race to the top gear:

(#1) - Jocy (i700)
(#2) - Keya (i695) --> i700
(#3) - Tiphaine (i689) --> i694 --> i698

Vs the Kids:
(#4) - Java (i684) --> i690
(#5) - Sista (i672) --> i678 --> i687
(#6) - Rakta (i669) --> i672 --> i679

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jocelyne Preens, Challenges Tiphaine

Jocelyne Preens, Challenges Tiphaine

In the latest invasion battle in the Northern Barrens Jocy reached a singular goal unmet by any family member, horde or alliance. Jocy reached gear level i700.

Tiphaine made an elaborate shrug, pointing out that Jocy had no competitors for time, hoarding every invasion until, by pure chance, she reached a goal that would be inevitable in a couple of weeks anyway.

"Jealous much?" Jocy quipped. Tiphaine is at i689, 11 levels short of Jocy's triumph. Keya brings i691 gear to the party, aided in large part by her initial demon hunting training.

Poking fun at Keya now, Jocy brandished her steelforged one-handed weapon and trusted shield, laughing that despite Keya's two shields and six blades, Jocy's one blade and single shield were more than a match against her. Jocy made wild motions in the air, mimicking Keya's demon hunter manuevers.

One wonders which irks Tiphaine the most - being behind her horde rival, Jocy, or watching the young kid Keya surpass her.

The invasions continue almost 24-7. Jocy, Tiphaine, and Keya are the main players. Sure, the others would like some action, but these three are going to be first into the breach come Legion, and they want to be as ready as possible.

Keya has a special advantage in the hunt. She can use the Coalesced Fels that she gains to upgrade her glaives. Only demon hunters can do this, since only demon hunters have access to Legion gear. She's also incredibly lucky - she got not one, but two very rare i710 gear drops instead of the almost always i700, and she could equip both. So Keya can claim i795 gear now. She'd better be a little more careful when waving those blades around, though. She was pretty embarrased when she accidentally attacked a horde player while battling a demon outside Orgrimmar. I don't think the horde player noticed in all the fighting, but she could see the PvP flag. At least no one came after her.

Okay, so it's not all going Keya's way. Her leatherworking still sucks. Raw beast leather is very expensive. Keya farmed it for a few hours in Nagrand. It was BORING.

Keya and "Friend"

Can you guess where this is?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tiphaine Muscles In

But pictures first.  I found a spot to take some demon hunter pics, courtesy of Keya. The first three show Keya with her glaives strapped across her back. In the second pic she is reaching to pull the glaives over her head and into her hands. In the third pic she is carrying the glaives in her hands. The fourth pic shows her mounted on her felsabre.

Tiphaine (i680) has been overtaken by both Jocy and Keya in the gear department. This morning she decided to do something about it. Her first assault was at Sentinel Hill. Stupid me forgot to take a pic of the elite, but he knew the name: Krosus. She did get two upgrades, raising her gear level to i685. Another fact that pleased Tiphaine is that in the battle with Krosus she came in third in DPS. First time I can recall in these battles that any family member made it into the top five DPSers against these elites.

Tiphaine then embarked on a new journey, the first of any in the family. Appropriate, she would say. All of the family are used to seeing the talking heads popping up periodically in game, usually at the wrong moments. This time it was Khadgar asking Tiphaine to help him out in getting support to allow the Horde into Dalaran. And guess what? Dalaran is located over Karazahn now! Khadgar takes Tiphaine for a walk through the past of Karazhan. We did a little exploring, killed a few mobs, and then he returned her to Dalaran. The city is in conflict, and enemy mobs run rampart in the streets. The bank is open, but there is no one manning the booths. At least the Alliance sanctuary, A Hero's Rest, is still in business. Unfortunately, Krasus Landing is occupied by a really, really nasty elite. No flight path available. I am really getting excited about Legion. And I'd better pay more attention when a talking head pops up.