It’s certainly been a long time since I’ve had the time to sit down and write here, for which I apologize. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, mind you, it’s that I lack the time.
Work is a bit overwhelming, as I adjust to this “daytime” schedule. I feel as though I have no time for anything that I really want to do. Or, if I really want to do it, I have to abandon other things that I want to do. In fact, I recently had to step down from writing about guild leadership at Sentry Totem, which really, really makes me sad. I just didn’t have the time to contribute regularly.
I haven’t played much WoW, either.
I have mostly maintained my podcast, which is great, but it’s been at the cost of doing other stuff. And this month is National Novel Writing Month and that is something I always endeavour to do, but, perhaps understandably, my ability to hit 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November never goes well when I’m actively playing WoW. ;) This year, as last year and the year before, I’m dedicating a lot of my spare time (and I have so much less of it now!) to NaNoWriMo.
Speaking of writing, I haven’t finished my Raid Leader’s Guide. If we’re lucky, I’m hoping to have something for you in the early weeks of 2015. It’s just so difficult to find the time (and motivation!) to write about it. Even though I think it’s super-important for WoW folks, even though I want to share everything I know about it with you, it’s a tough slog. I’d rather you wait for something good than something terrible and pretty much unfinished.
Tonight, the night between Wednesday, November 12th and Thursday, November 13th, marks a pretty big change in my life, strangely.
You see, Warlords of Draenor launches at 3am.
And I… am going to be asleep. Because I have work in the morning.
Not only that, but I’m probably not going to play much, if at all, on Thursday when I get home from work, because there’s this whole “writing” thing. Friday, I’ve got the first of two high school reunion dinners this weekend. I think that, realistically, the first opportunity I’ll really have to be able to play Warlords is Friday night, after dinner — if I’m still conscious.
While I did miss out on the Mists of Pandaria launch, I was on a flight to Rome. Kind of couldn’t be helped.
This time, it’s all my choice. It’s my choice not to be sleep-deprived at work tomorrow. It’s my choice to be rested for Friday. It’s my choice to not play.
And it just seems as though my choices, of late, have been just that — not to play.
And it makes me sad.
I’m not blaming anything or anyone for these choices, although I freely admit that if I didn’t have a full-time job, I would probably be resting now in preparation for a 3am launch… My priorities are changing, shifting, and they’re not even done changing, yet. They will likely never be what they once were. I will likely never again know as much about WoW as I have previously. I will likely never be quite as engaged in the game as I was before. And the thing is, none of this is because of the game. It’s all because of me and my circumstances in life.
I remember when Burning Crusade launched and I was SO ANGRY that there were no midnight parties in Montreal, which meant that I had to wait until 7am the next day. Still, I was on TeamSpeak (!!!) with Majik as he stepped through the Dark Portal… and got flattened by the Fel Reaver while gazing at the sky.
I waited in line for Wrath of the Lich King and played through the night.
I bought the digital version of Cataclysm and played through the night then, too.
Of course, there was the delayed playing of Mists of Pandaria due to Italy.
But tonight… I won’t be up late. I won’t go out and explore Shadowmoon Valley within minutes. I won’t skin dead animals or tame new ones. I won’t log in and out on all my characters to make sure they get rested experience going.
I’m going to bed shortly and the entire World of Warcraft will change while I dream of things that don’t involve healing or hunting or deck fire on Heroic Blackhorn.
I’m a little sad and feeling a little introspective tonight.
But to those of you who still wholly embrace this wacky game, to those of you who will be up at 3am, to those of you who will race through the new content in the next couple of days… enjoy it. Take care of yourselves. Take it easy on the soft drinks. Get some rest, eventually. But above all, enjoy the launch. You never know when it’ll be your last.
Go forth and decimate the Iron Horde for me. I’ll catch up with you soon.
Well, it’s been about ten days since I last wrote in this space, mostly due to work stuff, family stuff, oh, and yes, illness. (On Thursday, I started sneezing so much someone could haven mistaken me for a pregnant Bajoran.)
At that time, I had pondered whether the “Show my Real ID on Friends of Friends lists” option would extend to BattleTags, since we still have no controls specifically for BattleTags.
The answer, it would appear, is no.
Yup. That’s Majik’s “People You May Know” list and, 15 screens down, at the very bottom, where there are no mutual friends connecting him and those individuals that “he may know”, I’m right there. (In order to get this screenshot from him, I had to actually tell him my BattleTag or he wouldn’t have confirmed it for me. :P)
As to why this is a big deal, I can understand why some people don’t think it is… But to me, it’s just another way of showing me that Blizzard doesn’t care about our privacy. The lack of control, the lack of refinement of the tools, these are things that, were they fixed, would have me thrilled to use BattleTags. That’s ultimately where I’m coming from: I want to be able to use BattleTags within World of Warcraft without giving up my privacy.
Since I can’t do that, I don’t want to use BattleTags. More, I don’t want anyone to be able to associate me with a BattleTag.
Think about it. With someone’s BattleTag, you can search for them on the official Hearthstone, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 AND Heroes of the Storm forums, all without being their “friend” on BattleNet. Just how long do you think WoW’s character-based postings are going to last when all of their other properties are using BattleTags?
Then, with someone’s BattleTag, you can spam them with requests, even if they still turn you down. Someone who knows someone else’s BattleTag can also post this sort of thing to various forums, which will cause an uptick in spam requests.
My husband decided to disable his RealId to see what would happen. He doesn’t play WoW any more and I’m the only active RealId person on his list, everyone else is btag. So I disappeared off his list, and he cannot add me back on using my email. So far so good. So then he sends me a btag friend request, which I accept. My RealId name appears on his friends list. Not my btag, my RealId name. He shows up only as his btag, but I show up as a RealId name.
What’s up with that?
It’s true that these are not exactly the most harmful or most efficient ways to harass someone, but they’re there. More, this is just what people can do with your BattleTag ID right now. What happens when WoW’s forums adopt the BattleTag?
What happens if BattleTags become visible in WoW, even to the extent that they are currently visible in Hearthstone? Right now, after you play someone in Hearthstone, you get their BattleTag and you get the option to request to add them to your friends list. What if some genius idiot at Blizzard decides this is a good plan for LFR or the LFG groups in WoW? “Did you enjoy playing with FAKENAME#0000? Add them to your BattleTag list and play with them more often!”
Again, with proper, granular controls that existed on an IM program in the late 90s, BattleTags would be brilliant. But without any kind of control whatsoever, I have to opt out of their use. I was a less-effective guild recruiter without using BattleTags, because I didn’t want prospective recruits to know every detail of my Blizzard gaming habits. I’m sure I come off as an aloof snob when people want to exchange BattleTags with me. There are actually a lot of people with whom I would like to connect over BattleTags, but none to the point where I’d like them to have an unfettered view of my gaming. I don’t want anyone to know about my Undead baby rogue on that PVP server. I don’t want anyone to know what I’m doing in Hearthstone. It’s my decision whether or not I share these activities with others — or, at least, it should be. Once you give someone access to you via BattleTags, you don’t have that decision any longer. That privacy is gone. All because Blizzard doesn’t seem to care enough to even install the most basic of privacy controls.
It’s a worrying privacy creep and it just continues to show me that, perhaps, my love affair with World of Warcraft and Blizzard in general, is truly over.
(You’re welcome to comment, welcome to disagree, but bear in mind my Comment Policy.)
I have been playing your games, in some fashion, since the original PC version of Diablo. I played Diablo II, as well as at least one expansion. I eventually found my way to World of Warcraft in October of 2005 and the rest is basically history. I played until November of 2012 and then took a break for approximately 17 months.
I came back to the game shortly after the Warlords of Draenor pre-purchase came out. I pre-purchased Warlords, then four hours later, I resubbed to the game.
As I write this, I have about 68 hours on my current game card and, to be honest, I’m not really inclined to fork over another $15.
It’s not because of the sexism and even homophobia and misogyny that I have seen in the game — although those exist.
It’s not because you nerfed my class to the ground — although my main raiding character was a paladin for the majority of my playing time.
It’s not even because it’s going to take over a year between content patches — although that’s a truly abysmal production schedule and if I had been raiding this whole time, I would have surely quit in disgust by now.
I wasn’t exactly sure what Rooster was talking about, until I opened up my own desktop app. Now, let’s be clear: I have precisely 0 BattleNet friends and my RealID is turned off. But I still clicked on “Add a Friend” and was rewarded with this piece of nonsense:
Now, to be fair, because I have RealID turned off, those are all BattleTags. But that’s my brother’s BattleTag, my friend Majik’s BattleTag… and the guy above Majik? That’s one of his friends. Something like two years ago, I played Diablo III with Majik and his friend, for a period of approximately THIRTY MINUTES.
Then, Blizzard, I gasped out-loud at the possibility that my BattleTag is floating around out there like that. See, you have a flag in the BattleNet account options to not show up like that… except that it’s for RealID, not BattleTags (click for a bigger version):
Now, one might think that, possibly, since there are no preferences for one’s BattleTags, that perhaps they follow the rules laid out for RealID, but, honestly, I have no idea if this is the case.
As my brother is the father of a newborn and I don’t actually know Majik’s friend, my thought was immediately to get him on his computer and then have HIM click “Add A Friend” and see if I showed up. Unfortunately, he was asleep when I texted him (multiple times), since he has to be up at 5am and I think I might have woken up his wife with my constant texting…
So I’ll have to post again with the results of this test.
But, honestly, Blizzard. It’s 2014. Why do I have to be angry with you about your complete and utter lack of social controls?
It’s been nearly two years since you posted that “Appear Offline” was “coming soon”. TWO YEARS, Blizzard. That’s longer than Mists of Pandaria has been out! And your inelegant (to say the least) “privacy” controls are still absolutely laughable. I say this as someone who has been in the online community industry for over a decade. In this day and age of Facebook privacy screwups, of cloud hacking, of nations spying on their own citizens, you’re really going to continue to deny your users the ability to properly manage their online/offline statuses? You’re going to make it easy to find people who don’t want to be found?
Look, I get that community makes your product stickier. Believe me, I do. People come for the games and stay for the people. I know! And you want to compete with Steam, I’m guessing, right? Guess what? STEAM HAS AN OFFLINE MODE. And a variety of ways for users to manage their privacy. And Steam hit the 75 million active user mark last January.
Why, why, why do you continue to eat away at the privacy of your gamers? Why don’t you understand that, when I play your games, I don’t really want to announce to a dozen people that I’m on a rarely-used alt on a server I never visit? Why don’t you understand that I don’t want people to know all of my alts? That I don’t want prospective recruits to know all of my alts? That I don’t want people to necessarily know that I’m in one of your games?
These are fundamental questions for me. I am increasingly disturbed by each and every privacy issue that comes up when it comes to BattleNet and Blizzard’s games.
You know, Blizzard, there was a time when I loved BattleNet. Those times were back in the late 90s when I was playing Diablo. Ever since RealID came out, I have learned to loathe BattleNet. I resent it. I resent people expecting me to share my RealID/BattleTag with them. I hate that people I barely know are all “hey, whats ur btag???” because “lol its just ur btag”. I hate that I can’t even post on the Hearthstone forums without my BattleTag being exposed for all to see. I cannot believe that I cannot remove a BattleTag from my account and I am just as incredulous about the fact that there are no distinct BattleTag privacy options available to me.
So, hi. I’ve finally moved my blog over to my new webhost. If you got here after going to kurn.apotheosis-now.com, please note the new address: kurn.info/blog. I believe that I have ensured that all old links point to the appropriate new links — not just because of the domain name change, but because of the URL change to the entries themselves. I swapped from a numerical system (which drove me crazy – I always had to look up which entry belonged to which number) to one with the titles of the posts in it.
I probably should have done that, like, five years ago. Hopefully that works out okay. Let me know if it doesn’t!
Anyhow, welcome to the new home of Kurn’s Corner. I know that I’ve been excessively quiet of late and that is, truly, not my intention. Now that I’ve moved everything over, I plan to tweak the theme a bit and, you know, actually write occasional blog posts.
I have things to say, obviously, like always — I want to spend some time talking about healing. I want to talk about Warlords. I want to mention my thoughts on a bunch of other things…
But that’s going to have to wait. For now, we have a new webhost, a new URL and I’m looking forward to writing here, every so often.
Thanks so much for reading. I promise to have something relatively interesting to read soon. In the meantime, check out my podcast, the Kurncast: http://www.kurn.info/podcast/
For those of you who are unaware, I haven’t had a full-time, steady job in quite some time. I was in university for longer than I probably should have been, supplemented income with web clients and such, had a fortunate thing happen to me which allowed me to not worry about money for a while and, since graduating from university, I’ve been looking for work.
While looking for work, I’ve explored different avenues for making money. Among them, my guides. I’ve also done some web work and have complained (at length) on Twitter about some nightmarish clients.
Today, I was officially offered a position for full-time work in my field (!) (no details for you guys yet, sorry!) and, because I am not stupid, I accepted it.
What this means for me:
Working Monday to Friday from 9am-6pm
Going to bed no later than midnight Sunday-Thursday
ZOMG A STEADY PAYCHEQUE
A distinct lack of this thing called “free time”
What this means for you:
Definite interruption in content production. Specifically:
Changes to the podcast schedule. I’ve been releasing most episodes on Sunday night/Monday morning. This may change to something like Sunday afternoon or Monday evening.
A delay in my guides. I wanted to release my Raid Leader’s Guide in August/early September. That is almost certainly not going to happen now. As of right now, before even starting work, I’m thinking we’re looking at late October/early November. On the plus side, it will almost certainly beat Warlords of Draenor to release. ;)
A delay in my Sneak Peeks. I generally write for my guides and then look over the content and select 2000-3000 words for sneak peeks and release those every week. Well, most weeks. With the interview process and such this week, I had no time to write, much less release a sneak peek. The best way to be kept up to date on my guides and sneak peeks is by signing up for my announcement list. With an upcoming bizarre schedule, I’ll do my best to aim for a new sneak peek every two weeks, but I can’t promise anything yet.
Possibly more blogging (?!) just so I have an outlet to talk about WoW stuff — assuming I have time to still play WoW.
Crap. I just realized that I may not be able to pull an all-nighter when Warlords comes out. That’d be a first for me. (Well, not really. I wasn’t here for the launch of Mists, but that’s because I was in Italy.) Oh, well, a steady paycheque makes a lot of things worth it. ;)
Anyhow, that’s what’s going on with me. I’m very careful about keeping my “real life” away from my “WoW life” and I didn’t give out any of my WoW-related stuff to my new employer, but I want to remain very vague about things anyhow (hence all the [REDACTED] tweets on Twitter!).
So that’s what’s going on with me. I’m really excited about this and will spend some time planning stuff out. With any luck, there won’t be too large a disruption to stuff you’ve come to expect from me.
That said, there should be a new Kurncast this Sunday night/Monday morning, by the way, and look for content (YouTube?) about the new Naxx “adventure” in Hearthstone after it comes out on Tuesday! (I’m seriously so excited about PVE coming to Hearthstone. I realize this makes me a little sad. I’m okay with that.)
Due to (good things redacted), my schedule is haywire this week and there’s a lot of uncertainty. I wanted to have Episode 11 of the Kurncast up last night, but I did two full takes (17m and 20m) and hated them both, so I was going to do it tonight.
Buuuuuuut. (Good things redacted) happened and that leaves my week pretty much up in the air. Plus client work, plus other stuff, so I won’t have a Kurncast this week.
Depending on how the week shapes up, I might not end up having a Raid Leader’s Sneak Peek, either! We’ll have to see how it goes.
Kurncast will be back next Sunday night/Monday morning. Thanks for your understanding! :)
Finally, if you’re in need of webhosting, please do consider Bluehost! If you use this affiliate link, you’d also be helping to support me in various WoW-related efforts. I’d really appreciate it, thank you. :)
I finally finished my quest for the legendary cloak. Unsurprisingly, I have some thoughts on the matter. ;) I’m going to break down the different chapters of the quest and comment on them separately before discussing my overall impressions at the end. Go get a beverage. Trust me.
Chapter 1: Sigils Can Suck It
Being that I’m not a rogue who got Fangs of the Father, I had to grind rep for Wrathion.
First, let me be clear: I’m not opposed to a good, old-fashioned rep grind. Really, I’m not. That said, just killing mobs to do so is (and always has been) annoying. I’ve done it several times in the past (Hydraxian Waterlords rep to Honored, for instance) but there’s no other real way to gain rep with Wrathion. Just lots and lots… and lots… of killing.
Part of me enjoyed the mindless killing of the Mogu in the Vale (which was where I decided to rep grind), but it wasn’t fun by any stretch of the imagination.
That said, it was ten times more fun than collecting 10 Sigils of Power and 10 Sigils of Wisdom.
Perhaps if I had been a regular raider this expansion, instead of not playing for 17 months, I wouldn’t have been frustrated at the low drop rates. Maybe I would have taken it in stride that sigils only dropped occasionally from the bosses of Tier 14. (Yes, I know that they continued to drop through Throne of Thunder and the first half of Siege, but the hypothetical is if I’d been playing and raiding consistently, so that’s a few months of just Tier 14.)
On the one hand, loot is random. It always has been and it always will be. It’s part of what keeps people going back. How many times did I kill General Drakkisath for my Beaststalker Tunic? 60. Six-zero. SIXTY. Over the course of a couple of years. I killed Gandling in Scholo for my Beaststalker’s Cap 4 times before I even SAW that helm, but killed him an additional 24 times before I won it. I’m fine with random loot in general. It’s like it’s the natural order of things.
That said, 20 random-drop, required “legendary” pieces is a lot of killing bosses. Like I said, maybe if I’d been a regular raider, I wouldn’t have minded, but as someone who was catching up through LFR and not raiding regularly with any group… this was less fun. LFR in general is not terribly fun, so to do LFR run after LFR run and not get the requisite number of sigils is disappointing.
Kurn, why didn’t you raid regularly?
Okay, so that’s a fair question and I may as well answer it now. After over a year of not needing to make time to raid, not having to set aside 3-4 hours three times a week, I really didn’t want to start doing that again. I play at weird times and it’s not really consistent. You can find me online at 7am or 7pm, 2am or 2pm and it changes frequently. I didn’t want to be tied to my computer for raids. As much as I enjoyed raiding in the past, I didn’t particularly feel like raiding regularly again. Certainly, to do so when I came back (March) would have meant doing so with another guild, because my own guild of Apotheosis was knee-deep in heroic Siege of Orgrimmar at that point. Doing so with another guild would have meant character transfers and, honestly, I didn’t feel like giving Blizz any more of my money (I’d just pre-ordered WoD and resubbed for a month), so I decided against it. Also, I typically raid on my holy paladin, but I wanted the cloak on my hunter, with whom I had not seriously raided since Vanilla — and I was seriously behind on gear compared to organized raiders.
Yes, I could have used services like OpenRaid and all that in order to have smoother runs, but I’m notoriously private about my BattleTag and have turned off RealID and until these systems receive the basic in privacy-related tools, I will do my best to not use them. It’s a Thing for me. And while I recognize that I’m one of very few people who feels this strongly about privacy in the game, that’s my choice.
So did I make things harder on myself than I absolutely needed to? Sure, I’ll admit that. But that doesn’t change the fact that chasing down 20 sigils was unpleasant for me. I would wager it was unpleasant for everyone.
Okay, back to Chapter 1…
The reward for this, the Crystallized Dread? I didn’t even get to use this! It’s still sitting in my bags. Why? Because I’d picked up a bow from Tortos in the Throne of Thunder. So my actual reward for finishing Chapter 1 was to be able to move on to Chapter 2.
Chapter 2: Vexing Valor & Problematic PVP
Chapter 2 brings us to Krasarang Wilds. Despite the fact I dislike PVP-like things (oh boy, more on THAT later), I kind of enjoyed the short period of time I spent in Krasarang, killing Horde mobs to get to Revered. (Yes, I could have gone to Isle of Thunder for all of this rep grinding, but I wanted to experience all of the content Blizz had put in.)
I think this was the one portion of the questline where I was genuinely bummed that no one else was out there doing dailies. It felt very lonely and empty, sort of like how Azeroth felt when they introduced Outlands in Burning Crusade.
The Valor Point section wasn’t too bad, but I fully admit that I had it easy, only needing 3000 Valor Points versus 6000. So I’m not going to complain. I’ll say this, though: six weeks of Valor Point capping is tough and it feels like an artificial barrier for a month and a half to prevent one from advancing “too quickly” on the quest line.
It also wasn’t clear to me (or many others!) that you didn’t need to save your VP, that you could spend them. Perhaps that’s because the VP needed when I did the quest was the same as the VP cap. Plus, the tracking was odd (although I’ve read theories that could explain why — preventing the dropping of the quest/loss of progress, faction transfer issues, etc), but in the end, I got my 3000 VP pretty easily.
Next up was killing Warlord Bloodhilt in Krasarang. Hunters are OP because I soloed him as Survival with my turtle pet and a couple of different talents than I usually take. It wasn’t really hard, but it wasn’t a cakewalk. I liked this. :)
The Lion Roars includes some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had playing WoW and I probably would have stopped there if it hadn’t been for my brother, who had temporarily resubbed. It took me close to a week of trying for about an hour every single day to get both wins.
Why in the fuck does a PVE-related questline, which just required you to raid, which just required you to earn Valor Points, require you to participate in BATTLEGROUNDS?
I used to PVP a lot on my hunter. I got to Knight-Captain (and just missed Knight-Champion a few times!) in Vanilla. I got so tired of the zerg rushes, of the constant death, of everything to do with PVP, that I just stopped doing it, for the most part.
Over the years, I’ve played around in arenas now and again. I got to Rival in Arena Season 2. I kind of like arenas. In 144 2v2 games with me (as a holy paladin) and my brother (arms warrior), I won 73 and lost 71. It’s occasionally fun and I got a bunch of this season’s gear, but ultimately, PVP doesn’t really interest me. As soon as my brother stopped playing again, I stopped caring about arenas.
So to be forced to do PVP stuff in order to advance what is clearly a PVE questline makes no sense to me whatsoever and was probably one of the more miserable experiences I’ve had in the game. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve done School of Hard Knocks. I’ve done With a Little Helper from My Friends. It’s not that I’m just completely terrible! But winning these two BGs was exhausting.
Eff that. I especially hated that it was the new ones. I know how to play Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley. Why not give me the choice of winning two BGs? Just any two. Why THOSE two? Maybe they wanted to push people into trying the new ones? Guess what? I am NEVER going back to Temple of Kotmogu or Silvershard Mines EVER AGAIN. I have developed such an intense loathing for them. It goes beyond my hatred of most BGs. It’s frightening, to be honest. And the sad thing is that when I heard about them before the expansion came out, they sounded fun. The Temple of Kotmogu especially — I loved thinking about the various tactics for scoring when they announced it. I had even thought that maybe I would play around a bit in it with my brother, like, willingly. Silvershard Mines was interesting to me because I play some Team Fortress 2 and it sounded just like a Payload map.
And yet, terrible experiences. They might be the best BGs to ever hit WoW, but I have the worst associations with them now. I’m never, ever touching them again.
You also have to feel sorry for the poor PVPers who had to suffer through countless PVE scrubs. At least I brought with me my brother, who was a decently geared and skilled arms warrior…
Okay. Enough. I could rant about this for another 1000 words, but I’ll leave it at this: Keep your goddamn PVP nonsense out of my goddamn PVE experiences.
Full disclosure, I did half of my rep and secrets before any of Blizzard’s temporary buffs and the remaining half during the time in which the temporary buffs were active.
The first half wasn’t so bad. I got to about 11k through Revered with Wrathion by screwing around on the Isle of Thunder and doing some concentrated mob killing. This is another point where I lamented not doing things with everyone because the Isle of Thunder was just so empty and sad. I didn’t experience probably 75% of what Isle of Thunder had to offer and I’m kind of sad about that.
I also got 11/20 Secrets of the Empire before I tired of LFR and took a lengthy break. I returned to LFR during the two weeks of the Gaze of the Black Prince. So when I walked into the appropriate LFRs to pick up my 9 remaining secrets, it was perhaps a bad thing that I got all nine and still had bosses left to kill. I had presumed (perhaps foolishly) that I could easily knock out both my remaining secrets and all 12 Titan Runestones and finish the quest during the last week of the Gaze buff.
It had taken me literally 20 minutes (with the guild perk Mr. Popularity, plus my Battle Standard of Coordination) to finish off my rep and hit Exalted with Wrathion, so I was ready to move on to the next stage. I turned in my 20 Secrets of the Empire (and my 40 Trillium bars) and was anxious to go kill the remaining bosses who would start me off with my Titan Runestones.
After four bosses, I had 3 Titan Runestones. You’d think someone with a sociology and statistical background wouldn’t take that as FACT, but apparently I internalized the 75% drop rate.
Boy, was I unhappy to only get 7 Runestones out of the 14 possible bosses. It was so discouraging. Here I thought I could knock it all out during the last week of the Gaze buff and finally get my stupid cloak and be done!
I was apparently mistaken.
Anyhow, the other parts of the chapter included a pretty uneventful time over at The Thunder Forge. Maybe it’s that my gear was around 537 in average ilvl, but this was easy and boring as crap. Kind of neat to see an Algalon-like dude, though. That’s a nifty model.
The Nalak bit was pretty hilarious. Again, because NO ONE is EVER on the Isle of Thunder (and because I am stubborn as hell and want to do things by myself whenever possible), I did this by myself thanks in particular to this comment at Wowhead.
I ended up getting my last two Runestones this week, plus the Heart of the Thunder King. And so, we move on to…
Chapter 4: Is that a CHALLENGE?
Okay, so this was both neat and ridiculous.
I talked to all of the Celestials and ended at the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai because, well, I’m a DPS who isn’t a caster. I had a Celestial Offering to help me out, too, and at the Temple of the White Tiger, it gives 10% extra Strength and Agility.
So I click on the gong and get told it’s the melee DPS challenge.
My actual reaction: “what in the fuck, do I have to go do the CASTER challenge?!”
So off I went to the Temple of the Jade Serpent. Hey, look! 10% increased Intellect thanks to my offering. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense for a hunter. (I still miss my mana bar.)
Anyhow, Wrathion pwned me twice and then I was like “okaaaaay, time to regroup.”
I swapped a couple of glyphs and a couple of talents and even FORGET to glyph Black Ice. I learned it (I hadn’t known it), but forgot to actually select it as a glyph to use. Whoops. I ended up not needing it, though. Swapping to Binding Shot was really helpful and the third try was successful, although just barely.
Given that hunters pick the Tigerfang Wrap, I think it’s especially odd that the challenge took place at the Jade Temple.
That said, I really enjoyed the actual fight. It wasn’t all that hard, though. Kiting Artorius through Winterspring for my Rhok’delar was more difficult and took me far longer than the ~30 minutes I spent in total from the first pull to finishing this challenge. Which is a shame, really. I would like more stuff like THIS. THIS was fun.
Chapter 5: Challenging the Celestials
Get 5000 coins on Timeless Isle? No problem.
Defeat all four Celestials: actually, so much easier than I would have thought.
The “other raids” button is carefully hidden away, but was awesome in finding a group for all of the Celestials. 30 minutes later, they were all defeated.
And done. Got my cloak.
Then, for fun, I killed Garrosh and saw Wrathion get pissed off at Varian. Look, I’m no fan of Varian’s, but Wrathion, you suck. I long for the day when I can skin you. That said, I laughed out loud when he said he should have taken control himself, just like “Auntie Onyxia”. Props to Blizzard for that, and the bit with Anduin remembering her as Lady Katrana Prestor.
So I have a legendary. But it sure as hell doesn’t feel like a legendary, despite all the hoops I jumped through for it. Let’s see, 20 Sigils, 20 Secrets, 12 Runestones, 2 BG wins, one-on-one combat, killing all the Celestials, OH, and grinding to Exalted with that little bastard… Yeah, legendary hoops, but the cloak feels ridiculous. This cloak feels like the Kingslayer title did after three months. The first month, it’s all shiny and new and YOU KILLED THE LICH KING YEAH!!!! The second month, you start to be bored by the invites to join someone’s run. The third month, everyone and their brother has the title.
That’s the same thing with the cloak. I cannot imagine how actual, organized raiders feel about their hard work when people like me (ahahaha, I’m a “dirty casual”!) can get the exact same cloak with nowhere near the same time invested. I queued up for LFR. They did actual raids. Their boss kills were more difficult than mine (probably, anyway). Isn’t it a sad thing that I have the same cloak as Tikari, who is currently 13/14 heroics in Siege of Orgrimmar?
I think it’s sad. Also, ridiculous.
A legendary is legendary not because the item’s colour is orange or because it has better-than-average stats and a neat proc. A legendary is legendary because it’s rare. Or it’s supposed to be.
Tell me, what’s the barrier in getting a legendary cloak today? There’s one tricky part, which is the one-on-one combat with Wrathion, and that’s it. Everything else is pretty easy and just takes a lot of time. But it’s not even a lot of time all at once! It’s time spent at your leisure! You can do an hour of LFR here, two hours there and 30 minutes some other time.
So with just a tiny bit of skill and time spent at your own leisure, you too can get a legendary cloak.
And that’s a problem. Legendary cloaks are now basically required for any raiding guild.
While this is fair for those raiding guilds (the cloaks ARE really good), it’s less good for people who just want to break into raiding. Having the cloaks existing at all is an artificial barrier to entry to organized raiding. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE barriers to entry for raiding — a lot — but the time commitment to getting a cloak is a lot longer than an attunement quest (or six).
It’s also bad for guilds who want to have that kind of standard because it reduces the pool of available talent substantially. But it’s a difficult decision to make: do you take the undergeared person of that class or do you hold out and pray you get another good disc priest or elemental shaman or whatever it is you’re searching?
I don’t envy guild leaders or raid leaders today. They have difficult choices in terms of recruitment and, frankly, I’m relieved that I’m not involved in their decisions.
As to the legendaries… I don’t think there’s a good way to do them. Giving them to everyone is awful. Giving them to one individual feels bad, too.
If everyone has a legendary, it’s the same result as if no one has one. So I vote to get rid of them.
What do you think?
(PS: Catch more of my writing over at SentryTotem.com, Tuesdays and Fridays!)