Saturday, July 23, 2016

Data Mining Legion Professions

Data Mining Legion Professions

The Autumn Tea Green Guild is hoping to get a fast start in crafting professions for Legion. I did a very quick scan to see what looked new to the professions as well as what looks very similar to that of Draenor. My means to attack this is to attempt to prioritize needs and get up to speed on crafting as quickly as possible.

Sistaphilia Professions (Tailoring and Enchanting)

Tailoring - There is still a lack of good information on this profession, but there's at least  one major impact: Bags. Embersilk (22 slot) and frostweave (20 slot) bags have made thousands of gold for the guild, but both of those bags will be overtaken by the Legion 24 slot bag, Silkweave Satchel. This is a 24 slot bag that needs only one ingredient (90 shal'dorei silk). It will likely cost less than the already maligned 26 and 28 slot bags that few use. For very large bag needs, there is still the 30 slot hexweave bag, but like the 26 and 28 slot bags, it too, may languish because the difficulty of getting crafting material as the garrisons are abandoned.

But I don't think embersilk and frostweave bags will go away completely, since embersilk and frostweave are pretty easy to farm.

Enchanting - New versions of temporal crystal (chaos crystal), luminous shard (arkhana), and draenic dust (leylight shard) will replace the old versions and work in a similar fashion - minus the garrison element. There is also Blood of Sargeras, a rare item like felblight I think that isn't fully understood yet. The "Mark" enchants are now "Word" enchants but perform the same duty: adding stats to gear.

Javajoo Professions (Herbalism and Mining)

Herbalism - the new herbs are yseralline seed (found within other herbs), felwort, starlight rose, fjarnskaggi, foxflower, dreamleaf, and aethril. Wow, that's a lot of herbs. Herb seeds can also be looted and planted near water. There are three herb ranks and each herb has their own quests. Boon of the Harvester is an enchant which obtains herbs from slain mobs. Along with a glove enchant that speeds up gathering. There's a chance a hostile mob will appear, just as they do in Draenor gathering.

Mining - Types: leystone ore, felslate, infernal brimstone. Same rules as herbalism. There are only two ranks instead of three. Boon of the Salvager and glove enchant increase gathering.

Rakta Professions (Alchemy and Jewelcrafting)

Alchemy depends heavily on herbs, which puts pressure on Java to keep gathering. Potions and flasks and transmutes are still the norm. The alchemist trinket follows the same pattern. Nothing really new here except the naming.

Jewelcrafting - There are no guides and almost no information yet. It's got to be there, I just haven't found a good source.

Tiphaine Professions (Blacksmithing and Inscription)

Blacksmithing - Leystone ore (requires anvil) and demonsteel (requires Firmament Stone and demonsteel bars) are the primary materials used, replacing blackrock ore and true iron ore.

Inscription - Major glyphs have been removed. Minor glyphs were either removed, turned into toys, or made into cosmetic glyphs applied to certain spells with no limit of how many. Replacing glyphs are Vantus Runes which have a specific purpose - they increase a player's strength against a particular boss for the week (yawn). The most important aspect of this profession now is collecting relics which can be applied to slots on our artifact weapon.

Mahakeya Professions (Leatherworking and Skinning)

Leatherworking - The new mats and armor are:
    Stonehide Leather: Leather armor; Warhide armor
    Dreadhide Leather: Leather armor; Dreadleather armor
    Stormscale: Mail armor; Battlebound armor
    Gravenscale: Mail armor; Gravenscale armor

Skinning - Scraps have been removed so you get a full pelt with each skinning. Works the same way as the other gathering professions.

The Rest - Professions Archaeology, Cooking, First Aid, Engineering, and Fishing.
    I like to fish and will be looking for fish that can be cooked into stat upgrades.
    First Aid? Healing Tonic is replaced with silkweave splint bandages.
    I have no interest in either Archaeology or Engineering.

Finally, Tiphaine has discovered the new location of the floating city of Dalaran. Dalaran is going to be the central gathering point in Legion. With the launch of Legion, Dalaran will be found floating in the southern Broken Isles, south of Suramar and southeast of Azsuna. The city has received a number of upgrades and are working on the finishing touches.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

More Patch Note Information

More Patch Note Information

Spirit and Bonus Armor have been removed. And there goes all that effort Java took to gain that armor. Sigh.
Spell power on caster weapons has been consolidated into Intellect to aid in weapon comparisons.
Potion of Luck and Potion of Greater Luck no longer have any effect.
Note on swapping Specs: Can't swap while in combat. The new spec swapping rules results in dual specialization being removed.
Talents can be traded freely in rested xp areas, and can also be traded out of those areas if using a consumable item made by inscription.
All Major Glyphs and most minor glyphs have been converted or removed.
Glyphs have been removed. Those which have a cosmetic effect have been converted into other items.
Want a Gnome hunter? Now you can.
Hunters (mail), Shaman (mail), Warriors (plate), and Paladins (plate) can equip gear at level 1 instead of level 40.
The maximum gold a character can have has been increased to 9,999,999 gold (1 gold less that 10 million). Previous maximum? 1 million.
You can no longer hide you helm or cloak unless you use a transmogrifier. Shoulders will also be added to that list.

Stormwind City on Pre-Patch Night

Welcome to the Legion Pre-Patch

The Crush at the Auction House

More Madness in the Courtyard

Chaitee Takes it all In

Note: See the previous post for all the details.

Blizz Needs This Pre-Patch

Blizz Needs This Pre-Patch

I started this post right after the pre-patch went live and I had a number of issues. However, now that a couple of days have gone by things are starting to settle in. Java and Chaitee have the lead and they are pretty well oriented now. There were a few early issues: gear slots showing the wrong gear, buggy character information, new views that changed while fixes were in progress, that kind of thing. In addition, the pre-patch has no special patch quests or other events that could get snarled up by the glitches that have to be fixed before launching the full expansion.

The addons I need are relatively few and are working fine with one exception: Auctioneer. Chaitee manages the Auction House and admits to some frustration in getting her AH chores done each day. Auctioneer is the premier addon for handling the AH and as of this morning it still doesn't work and there is no expected date when it will be ready. Patience is the rule, here. The authors have lives and will get it fixed when they can. That doesn't make Chaitee feel any better, though. Working with the vanilla AH sucks. Gold is being lost. That said, Chaitee deserves a pat on the back for working to gain back at least some of the gold outlay the family has sucked out of the bank. About 26k gold has been added back to the coffers.

Once Java felt comfortable she headed out to do some combat in Shadowmoon Valley (where her garrison is). She went hunting in Socrether's Rise where there is a high concentration of level 100 mobs. By the way, Java's offensive spells grew by two when I got around to setting up her talents. Avenging Wrath (increased DPS and healing) and Seraphim (increases stats by 750) is now in the combat rotation.

The first time Java used the revamped Consecration, I was like WoW! The animation is truly cool. The spell one shots beasts and mobs under level 100. Fighting level 100s was also a joy to behold. As I figured, killing them took some time, but her health bar barely moved off 100% even against numerous mobs. I haven't pitted her against an elite yet, but the short test looks like she'll be very tough to kill.

Java already had one Level 100 Tanaan elite kill (the mangler) before the pre-patch. Now she stalked a new challenge with the pre-patch changes. The mangler was tough, but now she sought an even more dangerous forest beast - a Tanglewood Ancient, level 100 elite. The frozen tree waits patiently for someone to try him. Java did.

Java learned quickly that Ancients have a lot in common with protection spec. They are very, very hard to kill. The battle took almost twice as long as the pre-patch mangler. I didn't record the DPS of the mangler fight, but Java's DPS on the Ancient was 9068k. Decent but not thrilling. Java has 249k health. The Ancient has 1.2 million health. The battle was very even, with both health bars dropping almost in tandem. Java used nearly all of the tricks she had and even then it came down to those dicey last seconds. The Ancient died with Java at 15% health.

Java is getting used to the new look, and overall I like it. The entire player frame can now be seen without having to scroll down to see all the stats, giving it a cleaner look. Dominos also added some features I hadn't seen before, such as showing the cooldown counts for each active spell. That certainly helps with spell choices. I do miss the spell that grants +strength for one hour. Where did that go?

There are also some weaponizing changes. Protection Warrior Rakta uses sword and board, but she can now also use a Two-Hander in protection spec: she even got one (actually 2) for free! A nice idea, but Rakta's stats are far better with sword and board. The 2-hand probably works better with an Arms spec.

Tiphaine, too, received a pair of one-hand weapons for dual wielding, courtesy of Wow. It seems every spec is getting weapon changes of some kind. Tiphaine can't actually duel wield them, though, not until Legion is fully released. So these amount to teasers. And may not be used at all since her 2-hander is i705 and the one hands are just i655. Tiphaine will probably never use them.

Sista got no freebies at all. I guess she's already perfect. Right.

Evening Update: Around 9pm last night the main square in Stormwind was suddenly flooded with large masses of players. The number of players were staggering and people began noticing that many were from other realms. A bug/glitch in the system? No one seemed to know. I haven't seen such a concentrated group of players since the days when the Horde or Alliance would gather huge numbers into raids to assault an enemy city and attempt to kill their king. Was Stormwind under attack? No, so the only idea I could think of is that Blizz merged realms on purpose temporarily - or something went way wrong. Chaitee has been hanging out for a long time now and the square is still packed. The already overwhelmed auction house came to a crawl (not that the vanilla AH was of much use anyway) and things started to get strained. The game locked up and died, and a second attempt also failed. Shades of expansions of the past, where failed logins and all kinds of craziness was the norm. But Blizz has to be ecstatic at the turn out.

As of this morning the Stormwind square is still very busy. And still no Auctioneer.

Looks like the next chore is getting all of the other family members set up and ready for the real event - Legion. Only Java and Chaitee are fully set up so far.

This is a long post, so look for a second post with pics!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

So It Begins: Legion Pre-Patch Messes

So It Begins: Legion Pre-Patch Messes

I intended to talk about protection paladin changes, but that has to wait as my addons have all gone belly up. Logging in crashed, and Blizzard changed my window type without my knowledge. I then had to change passwords to find a way to log back in, and now the pre-patch is being patched until further notice.

So, a half hour later I managed to log back in successfully with my new password and I'm looking at the vanilla view of my screen. I feel so lost without my addons. So I opened all the default action bars just so I could see some buttons. With additional effort I got Dominos (my go to addon) running. Now I can get all my spells set up again. I had nine offensive spells before the pre-patch. Now Java has only six. I haven't tried any combat yet. Six spells. Makes me nervous. Anyway, here is what has been done to the Paladin.

Protection Paladin Changes

Changes to the protection paladin in Legion could spell the end of the "hybrid" paladin that selects protection but fights and gears up more like retribution. Like Javajoo.

 Gone are offensive spells Holy Power, Crusader Strike, and Word of Glory. All paladin Seals have been removed from the game.

Consecration has been twisted into a healing spell - Paladins are encouraged to stand inside the area of consecration to get additional healing from two new spells, Light of the Protector (self healing) and Divine Bulwark, a multipurpose, passive spell that combines the affects of Shield of the Righteous, Bastion of Glory, and improves melee blocking while increasing attack power.

Another new spell is Divine Steed, which auto calls your mount and gives a 100% increase in speed for 3 seconds.

Icy Veins hasn't set a spell rotation yet, but it appears that things will be simpler. I suspect there will be more standing around waiting on cooldowns to finish. It also appears that killing things in prot spec will take longer than before. That probably works out ok for Java and I, but I wonder how well it will be received by those who believe this is all a dumbing down trick.

On another related subject Blizzard now allows players to switch specs almost at will without going to the trainer. The catch? It costs gold to make the swap - 100 gold is the number that keeps popping up. I don't understand what Blizzard thinks they are making better by this idiotic idea.

Bottom line is more heals and loss of some offensive spells. Standing in consecration increases healing - a gimmick to get pallies to stand closer to melee, which Blizz wants pallies to do more of. Best guess on what that will do to the spec is the pally will be even harder to kill, but killing things may take a lot longer. Blizz doesn't seem to want the prot/ret hybrid to succeed.

But, hey, its still only the first day of the pre-patch.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Foraging for Flowers and Rocks

Foraging for Flowers and Rocks

After deciding that there wasn't any reason for Javajoo to mess around with the Tanaan jungle, her curiosity got the better of her. She found the passage into the Tanaan Jungle a relatively easy one. A few battles and a quick stopover to establish and enter the Alliance Lion's Den where Tanaan operations are centered. Java is still leveling mining and herbalism, the two professions that Java wants to use to help level at the beginning of Legion. Java had to start from scratch and are so far at 603 Mining and 316 at Herbalism. Java gets two ores for every flower she picks, so it'll take Java longer to finish Herbalism, so the foraging continues.

In addition to picking flowers and pounding rocks, Java made a complete sweep of Tanaan (thanks to Tiphaine for getting the family flying skill in Tanaan) and then checked in where a weekly battle is waged against three elites. Java was lucky and found a group already engaged. Java managed to get in on two kills. Later, she helped kill the third elite but she must have arrived too late to get credit for the kill. Tiphaine smiled at Java's situation, having been there and done that. Tiphaine eventually reached the point she could solo at least two of the special elites, and in group had killed all three many, many times. Java needs a lot of help just to kill one of them. In time she'll get it done, if only to impress Tiphaine.

Tiphaine's interest encouraged Java. She decided to tweak the wings of one of the lesser jungle denizens called Manglers, a monkey like level 100 elite. The battle took considerable time, but Java was careful and patient. Layered in heavy armor and stocked with healing spells, Java eventually killed the beast. Her first solo level 100 elite kill. Java didn't even have her follower along, either. The lure of getting more involved in the war continues to tantalize her. Gear . . .  must . . .  get . . .  gear.

On another subject, I need a name for the soon to arrive demon hunter. I chose a Hindu backround this time, incorporating two Hindu gods, Mahalasa and Kartikeya. Mahalasa is a female avatar of the god Vishnu and a deadly enchantress. Kartikeya is the male Hindu God of War. I merged the two names into one: Mahakeya. I then did a search of the name and there were no matches. So the name is safe for now.

Will the character be male or female? Do you have to ask?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Demon Hunter and Garrison Questions

Demon Hunter and Garrison Questions

PS - Note that I am peppering you with two posts this morning!

(1) What gear level will demon hunters start with? Demon Hunters begin life at level 98, level up to 100 and enter a special training facility. When they come out of that into the world of Legion they receive a full set of i680 gear. Wow.
        PS - I might have miscalculated the gear level required to have early success in Legion. Tiphaine (i674)  is the only member even close to level i680. That could be a scary scenario for Java (i622) who I intend to send into Legion first. Perhaps Java should spend more time in Tanaan to raise her gear level.

(2) Will demon hunters want or need a garrison? The answer seems to be two-fold.
        (2a) First is the question, are garrisons required in Legion? The short answer is no.
        (2b) The second question is: Should demon hunters build a garrison? The best answer I could find is this: Some players believe that a garrison would be useful for trading recources via the bunker, war mill, and trading post. If one is very good at doing that it might be useful. However, my expectation is that there will be way more things to do in Legion that will make garrisons useless. Plus, there is another lore based reason for abandoning garrisons: Demon Hunters come after the defeat of Archimode and should not be involved in any way with Draenor. However, Blizz ignores lore as often as they defend it, so that may not mean much.

(3) Another consideration is whether the garrison hearthstone will continue to funtion outside Draenor. If it's blocked, garrisons are dead.

(4) Garrisons made it easy to access banks and the Auction House. One "hopes" that the new Class Halls will have convenient access if the garrisons don't.

(5) What will we do without garrison missions? Here's one answer from the forums: "You'll be too busy sending your followers on Class Hall missions to think about running the old content version of garrisons."

Your thoughts?