Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Conjurer Morgoss

Conjurer Morgoss

 Conjurer Morgoss is Legion's version of fishing mogul Nat Pagle. Strangely, Morgoss doesn't fish. He lives on an island floating on the northern side of Dalaran. Keya had no problem reaching the island since she can use her Glide spell. To get off the island (it's always a good thing to know how to return) you can ask Morgoss to send you back up to Dalaran. There's a catch, though (hehe, I made a funny). Whether it's a bug or purposeful, if you have drowned mana in your bags talking to Morgoss will cause him to consume the drowned mana, and he won't send you to Dalaran until all the drowned mana is used. Not a big deal, since the drowned mana can only be used by Morgoss. The mana can be used to increase reputation with Morgross or it can be used to buy goodies from Morgross. The only interesting goodie that you can buy from Morgoss is a water mount, which, get this, can only be used UNDER WATER, but it doesn't provide underwater breathing. For those characters who have methods to breath underwater, this might be cool, but for most it's pretty useless. Jeeze, I'm talking myself into abandoning Conjurer Morgoss and his faintly interesting island. I should start a "Bring Back Nat Pagle" rally.

I've since taken a longer look at Legion fishing. The ultimate goal, in addition to collecting fish to sell or craft,  is to get an artifact fishing pole called the Underlight Angler. That would be worth acquiring, so I'm going to give it a try. On the surface it seems to be a very complicated process, requiring catching thousands of fish. It took well over a thousand catches for Wild to earn his loot with Nat Pagle. Now it's Keya's turn. 

Okay, while Keya is wasting her time fishing and munching on lousy self-made food, Sista is working on more practical matters. But she had to navigate through the Trade Quarter first. The Auction House is a strange place these days. For some reason players love to turn the trade quarter into a green spew that coats everything. Cheering, clapping, singing, and dancing are almost continuous. Not to mention the endless pet battles. She bought some gear on the AH after sorting through some really crazy pricing. She saw gear of the exact same type priced at 2000 gold and at 98 gold. It's crazy, but she did get four pieces for almost nothing. Having recently reached Level 103, she equipped the gear and raised her gear score from i714 to i719.

Sista is still leveling her tailoring and enchanting professions, and needs cloth and gear that can be disenchanted. She got a tip that Bastion of the Twilight (BoT) was a good place to start. One consideration is that the Twilight Highlands are still pretty rough country without a lot of amenities. Sista was able to find a small town called Kirthaven where Sista could dump the junk in her bags and get cleaned up. Sista intends to tear through BoT as many times as allowed.

Her First Run: No problems. She almost fell through the hole that opened when the last boss, Cho'gol, met it's match against her. Sher picked up 11 pieces of gear to disenchant and 96 embersilk cloth. The disenchants earned a meager 9 hypnotic dust.
Run #2: Well, it seems I've forgotten a few things about raids. Like lockouts. Sista will not be able to run any BoT raids for six days. Sigh.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ode to Fishing and Cooking

Ode to Fishing and Cooking
(and a little farming)

Continuing the theme of "Odes," Demon Hunter Mahakeya took an extended break after reaching max level 110. She is now extending that break to level up both Fishing and Cooking professions. No family member has maxed either. Tiphaine has the most experience, with 365 fishing skill and 394 cooking skill. That's still a long way to max level 800 skill. Too bad Tiphaine's daughter, Plumrosefist, is Horde. She has close to 700 skill in both. Oh well.

Keya doesn't even own a fishing pole. Rather than research higher end poles she might be able to acquire, she impatiently grabbed a level 1 pole, fished up 10 fishing skill, and bought a +5 pole. She raised her fishing skill to 20/800. Keya has no idea what she is getting herself into.

Rumor has it that Pandaria is the mecca of learning the Fishing skill, and that Cooking can be earned right along side the fishing. Keya plans to do most of her leveling in Pandaria. As for cooking, golden carp can be fished just about anywhere there's water and can be made into food via Cooking skills.

It seemed simple, but then it never is. Keya was successful at completing the series of quests to gain access to Pandaria. She even figured out how to establish the Pandaria Portal in Dalaran. But things went sour when she wound up in a forced march through low level quests that so far have been endless. She can't fly in Pandaria, because she doesn't have Wisdom of the Four Winds flying training in Pandaria. Apparently, if one is a demon hunter, and a boosted one at that, the only way to earn flying in Pandaria is to buy the license for 2400 gold.

In many ways Keya is still a child, ignorant of many things that the more experienced take for granted. Like going all the way to the Shrine of Two Moons on her ground mount in Pandaria, only to discover that the shrine is for Horde, not Alliance. You'd think that a level 110 demon hunter could handle a few level 90 elites . . . except it didn't work out that way. She died, overwhelmed by an entire city of hostile elites.

Setting all that aside, flying in Pandaria is a luxury, not a necessity. All she needs is a fishable pool of golden carp somewhere. That means doing the Pandaria quests required to rid the land of the nasties so that lakes and rivers are pure. Which means doing the quests.

Just for completeness sake Keya tried fishing in the tunnels beneath Dalaran. There, she found the Black Market. Those tunnels are very dangerous and the waters stocked with level 110 elite fish that have no qualms about attacking above water as well as below. Keya found that out the hard way when she was fishing there. Keya couldn't help herself when a level 110 elite showed up and those hanging around tried to kill it. She joined in the fun, forgetting that she was holding her fishing pole instead of her artifact weapon, and died within seconds of attacking the elite.

Keya still believes all this is worth the trouble. She has her goal in front of her. Eventually, Keya will make a little trip to a tiny, floating island just north of Legion's Dalaran to complete her level 800 fishing skills. Eventually.

While Keya works on her projects, Sista insisted on getting some time as well, and she had Chaitee on her side. The issue is Embersilk Bags; ie, the lack of Hypnotic Dust to make the bags, which are a large part of her auction house work. It takes 15 hypnotic dust to make one bag. Generally, the dust costs 15 gold each, and at that cost Chaitee can make a tidy profit. The Dust, however, is getting harder to get and the price is hovering around 20 gold now. Sista wanted to try her hand at farming the materials to see if it would be worth the time to farm them.

The best place to farm hypnotic dust is in the Bastion of Twilight, an old level 85 dungeon in the Twilight Highlands. The dungeon is perched on the highest spire of the land. Her mission - to slaughter everything in the first chamber, and do it the maximum number of resets allowed per day, which is ten. The loot from those kills returned the following: 11 pieces of gear that can be disenchanted, about 200 embersilk cloth, and various junk. After sorting it all out, she was able to get 7 more disenchantable gear by crafting spiritmend robes with the embersilk.

All told, Sista finished with 28 hypnotic dust for an hour's work. That's not quite enough to make two embersilk bags. Assuming she did make two bags, she could make about 700 gold from the sale. If she sold the 28 dust at, say, 19 gold each, she would make 532 gold. Making the bags is still the better choice, but her idea of farming the hypnotic dust for profit? Well, an hour farming Bastion of Twilight is easy work, so why not take what it offers? And by the way, she did come away with a fascinating head piece called Tsanga's Helm.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ode to Rational Potions, Flasks, and Food

Ode to Rational Potions, Flasks, and Food

I know that new crafted goods would be more expensive in Legion. Prices always jump into the stratosphere when crafters are looking for or gathering materials to make the next great things for leveling characters, raiders, PvPers, etc.  What did surprise me is where some prices have soared so high it seems inconceivable that anyone would pay that kind of gold.

Gathering mats, such as the new cloth (ashal'dori silk), leather (stonehide), mail (leyblood) and plate (stormscale) are following the expected pattern of high prices early and quick price drops as mats become more available. Prices will stabilize for awhile and then drop again, until a true price is reached. Chaitee keeps watch and buys when she sees a bargain. Then, when there is a spike in price, she sells to gain gold to start buying again. Nothing new here.

However, the makers of food, flasks, and potions in Legion apparently live on another planet.

For example, the Flask of Ten Thousand Stars is a flask that grants increased stamina for one hour. ONE of these flasks cost 900 gold on the AH. ONE Flask of the Seventh Demon that grants increased agility for one hour costs - get this - 1,570 gold. For just one! And that's at a 71% discount. Yes, these costs fluctuate, sometimes wildly, but the fact that people are paying those kind of prices . . . 

For another example, look at the price of a common Legion food, like Azshari Salad, which grants renewed health, mana and haste. It's selling for over 400 gold for a single salad.

Potions are also highly priced, but are far more reasonable on Legion's wild scale. Common potions like Ancient Mana and rejuvenation cost between 40 - 60 gold apiece.

There's one food addition that's worthwhile having - Crispy Bacon. One crispy bacon will set you back only 20 gold or so. What it does is extend your well fed buff by an additional hour (so you don't have to pay the full price of a food item). Keep a lot of these handy if you regularly need food and potions.

However, not even guild leader Tiphaine wants to spend over a thousand gold for a single flask, or 400 gold for a salad. That's madness.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ode to the Embersilk Bag

Ode to the Embersilk Bag

There is a rich history of bag making in the world of Warcraft. From it's earliest days, players demanded larger and larger bags to carry around their "stuff" and to store even more stuff. That included finding storage for, well, more bags. Note: I am not including specialty bags.

When the Autumn Tea Green guild moved into Stormwind, several dozen empty bags drifted into a corner of Tab 4 of the bank. Many of the smallest bags (with as few as 4 slots) were destroyed or sold during the consolidation. Which was a shame, actually, because bags are a part of the game's heritage going back more than a decade. Of course bags that small are essentially useless, but some felt the need to hold on to a few. The smallest bag the guild has is an 8 slot woolen bag. "Back in the day" that was a very serviceable bag. The bag wasn't soulbound and so could be shared and re-shared with new characters. Over time came the 12, 14 and 16 slot bags, none of them soulbound. That's why these bags continue to be used despite what now is considered a small bag.

Bind on equip bags (which can't be shared once they are used) are pretty much the standard now in sizes from 18, 20, 22, 26, 28 and ultimately, today's 30 slot Hexweave bag. Did you notice the gap in that line of bags? Yep, for some reason no 24 slot bag was created. That has now been rectified in Legion with the 24 slot Silkweave Satchel.

Happyface, and now Chaitee, have been making gold off of crafting and selling the two most used bags today - the 20 slot frostweave and the 22 slot embersilk. The question for Chaitee now is whether those two bags will still be money makers, or will they fall to the silkweave or even the hexweave?

After a hard look and a bit of wispful sadness, I an worried that two of the best gold makers in Chaitee's arsenal is going to fall - ie, frostweave and embersilk bags are doomed, and here's why.

The largest bag, the 30 slot hexweave, cannot be crafted in bulk and requires expensive mats. It will continue to cost around 1000 gold per bag. This bag is for those with the gold and the need for the largest utility bag in the game. The 24 slot Silkweave bag, on the other hand, has no such limitations. The bag needs only one easily obtainable mat - Shal'dori silk. It takes 90 silk, at a price currently at about 7g per silk. Do the math and the bag costs 630 gold to craft. BUT, the cost of silk started at around 12 gold and has continued to fall as more gold farmers flood the market. Expect the price of the silk to continue to fall. Embersilk bags are at a current high of 399 gold. However, when shal'dori silk reaches 4 gold per silk (and it will) that price falls to 360 gold, lower than the 22 slot embersilk, which requires more expensive and harder to farm materials. It's a losing battle - the 24 slot bag is going to reign supreme, and it will severely blunt Chaitee's bag business. She can and will make money selling the silkweave satchel (as soon as Sista learns to craft it!), but she will have to eventually find other money makers.

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.