Jasra’s Excellent Legion Intro Adventure

Screenshot 2016-08-30 17.55.48.pngOne of the probable requirements of our guild raiding in this expansion is that I bring Jas as my main once again, so I’ve gone as far as to rearrange my login screen to reflect the reality of the situation. For the first time since I ever logged into WoW, Grimmtooth is no longer the first entry in the login screen.

But I’m okay with that.

So the story of the Legion launch is the story of Jasra and her excellent adventure.

A new home

The first step in the process is getting in touch with Khadgar and getting him to put Dalaran into warp drive to The Broken Isles. I have to say here that “we have to go to the Broken Isles” is the Captain Obvious moment of the expansion so far.  Good sleuthing, Khad. I bet you were the pride of your Hogwarts class.

While I was in Dal, I had to wander around to see what changed.

  • The Auction House is gone. Not a big surprise. Blizz associates auction houses with … something incredibly unfair in favor of auction house barons. I’m not sure what they are bringing to this table other than GOLD BAD POVERTY GOOD but at least all other auction houses are one portal away.
  • The good news is that the capital portals are back!  Instead of a single portal to your faction capital, you have portals to all of the major capitals for your faction.  This is a welcome move away from the Org / Stormwind bias of Cataclysm.
  • Speaking of which, the Dalaran Must Move quest rewards you with a Dalaran hearthstone. This is in addition to your Garrison and regular Hearthstone. This is massive, folks.
  • The Sewer is apparently a PvP area, and just entering will flag you.  I mean, yah.
  • And while doing the Monochrome Marathon back to my Sewer corpse, I lost internets when a massive lightning strike occurred nearby. No matter how smoothly the server team rolls out the new expansion – and they did a massively good job, by the way – mother nature always finds a way to put you in your place.

Anyway …

Assembling your Staff

The first order of business is the artifact quest.  Now, I have no idea who this Faol guy is, but I bet you Hordies are full of the loves for this guy.  At any rate, he was The Guy for the Light’s Wrath quest line.

This quest line, without throwing too many spoilers out, required all of your Disco toolkit, though in many cases in a very contrived and blizzard-like manner. The hand of ham, it was very evident.

Screenshot 2016-08-30 21.51.17.png

Azuregos was the token DPS in this run

But the fun part is that it took you back to Northrend and some old familiar stomping grounds, even if it’s somewhat difficult to associate the Blue Dragonflight with Discipline priesting.

Screenshot 2016-08-30 22.07.18.png.jpg

It isn’t … awful looking, at least

Kids in the Class Hall

After getting the artifact in your sweaty Disco hands, it’s time to do the Class Hall thang.

The neatest thing about the Class Hall was who the avatars of the three disciplines were. Miora for Shadow, which I had no idea. Valen for Holy, because DUH.  And Faol for Disco, which, being Alliance to the core, all I have to say is WHATEVEVS, DISCO PRIEST GOY. I’m sure he’s a big deal for Horde. Good for them.

Screenshot 2016-08-30 22.18.11.png.jpg

Naaru child, please don’t start quoting nursery rhymes.

The oddest thing is the voice of Saa’ra, a Naaru that we rescue with my magical fucking staff. She sounds like a cross between a sci-fi movie computer and a horror movie angel. Creepy as FUCK.

Also, Faol addresses me as “Cardinal”. Why the everloving HELLS is that not now a title for my character. BLIZZ U DISAPOIT MEH.

Starting the Levelling

Remember that lady from the Illidan graphic story thingy that questioned the difference between Demon Hunter and Demon?  Well, according to the lore nerds, her name is Kor’vas. And then you start questing, if you’re in Azsuna – and what Elf wound not be? (silently judging Elves that started in a different zone)

Screenshot 2016-08-30 23.04.09.png

Guess who’s coming to dinner

And Then

Remember that earlier wandering around Dal?  Well, one thing I learned is that your profession providers will be providing entry level quests so you can start gathering stuff off of your victims and level up your crafting.

The neat thing about first aid was that I was able to accumulate recipes from all levels from Cataclysm forward. As a priest, I really didn’t need any of those, but it was neat seeing that they have a compensation process for, at least, secondary skills.

A nice new addition to Dal^2 is a transmorgrifier living in the Enchanting shop.

And finally, once I entered “the world”, I found that the Draenor “bonus objective” thing has been carried over, and, in some cases, incorporated into the main questing scheme. Good luck with that.

Also, don’t forget to visit your primary crafting trainers. They have fairly straightforward quests for you to fulfill before you can gain your new crafting skills.

Going forward

I like the job that Blizz did in forming a conduit into which you pour your toons’ essence. The moving-dal to artifact-weapon to class-hall progression makes perfect sense as you go along, and the point where you finally choose your entry into the Broken Isles is flawless. Four starting zones versus two, or, even, one, is a great idea and I approve with all of my thumbs.

Time to get some rested XP. Night all.

Legion’d

Login

The Invasion event is almost over, and I’m glad for it.

Not to say that it wasn’t fun and productive, in a limited way, but it wasn’t three weeks worth of fun and productive in a limited way.

Sure, I only have all six pieces of warforged gear on one toon, but all of my 100s have at least four.  More than that is just a grind.

Invasion Gear Ain’t All That

If you get all of your invasion gear up to iLevel 710, you’re on par with some of the less well-developed WoD raiders, but I have to ask how long it’ll be good for. Traditionally, my epics are chucked just as fast as I can find superior questing greens when the expansion starts.

Broken Isles Event was Cheap

I won’t spoil the “surprise” but …

I don’t mean in the form of no expenses spared.  I instead mean, Blizz generated some tension between Horde and Alliance in a cheesy way. Instead of laying down a solid story that explains to you why you should be pissed (Alliance) or feeling REAL misunderstood (Horde), they chose to hide bits of the story behind the Iron Curtain, as it were.  And the joke of it all is that all you have to do is go up to YouTube to see the other side of the scenario, and that tension is instantly negated.  Hordesplainers be like “well actually” and this time it’s actually a valid defense.

Had the story been more expertly laid out, I would have given this event full marks. Having said that, it was still pretty damned good.

Getting Tired of Jaina’s Shit

In fact, the whole “Kirin Tor Takes Dalaran on a Field Trip” series of events is pretty thinly plotted, but the bitterest pill of all to swallow is how they have reduced Jaina to a whiney little jerk that spends a lot of time doing the Kylo Ren Stomp all over the place. So much so that I think most people were glad when she /ragequit the Kirin Tor – and not just on the Horde side.

Let’s go for extra points and point out how sleazily that Khadgar basically manspreaded right into her old spot in the council. I gotta say, people upset that Khadgar has basically preempted Jaina’s rightful place as the Mage of Mages in the past two or three expansions MIGHT be onto something.  And as a guy that named his cat after her, I’d like to see better.

I hope they redeem the character with some solid storytelling in this expansion, but I’m worried we’ll get the ragey version of “*sniffle* just proud of my king …”  (gag). I’d love to say that I know Blizz can do better … but I can’t.  The major character arcs seem to be in the hands of someone that really can’t tell a story that well (cough cough Metzen). They need to hand that over to Kozak.

Invasions were good for one thing, anyway

Getting out there and learning your new rotations is a good thing. For those of us not raiding, the only way to really test your mettle was against the major demons in at the Throne of Kil’jaden.

The invasions provided new and useful targets. They also taught me that melee in that sort of environment is no fun.  Let’s just say I’m glad for the opportunity to learn defensive cooldowns on an Unholy DK, but I would have preferred not to.

You’re gonna say “But Grimm, the Invasion Event was also good for leveling toons!”  Gonna say it again: I’m not getting why you’d bother playing a toon you don’t want to level in the first place. Let’s agree that that argument will never, ever carry water with me.

But this is from a guy that hasn’t used either of his boosts yet. So whatever.

Speaking of Raiding

Our GM has been getting more active in game and has actually canvassed us to see if we’d be interested in raiding this expansion.  Might have to bring Jasra for this, as we look to be replete with DPS, but that’s fine, I like to be useful.

I’m also seeing some old friends I thought I’d never be playing with again, and that makes me very excite.

I don’t know if we will actually get there, but I think we’ll at least be able to cobble together some consistent 5-mans. Jas made an attempt at that last night and brought the house down with her screwed up keybinds.  So we’re working on that. Smile

Cautiously Optimistic

At the start of WoD, everyone was like OMG Cutscenes and proclaiming the storytelling to be the star of the expansion.  At the end of this content drought called 6.2, nobody’s wondering where the five million people went to – the answer is: away. They got bored and let down by the rest of the expansion not living up to the start of the expansion – or its price.

So, while I am hearing good things about the expansion so far, I’m also mindful that Blizz has a lot to make up for once again. Maybe they’ll deliver on the promise of a more content-ful expansion with a lot more to look forward to. You have to play to find out.

Tomorrow in the US, they roll out the demons in force. As always, I’m here first to have fun. Here’s hoping the rollout goes smoothly and it lives up to the hype.

I’ll see you on the Isles, fellow WoWheads.

Gaming Invasions without being a Jerk

Hovering slackers

Nobody notices, sure….

Been to any demon invasions lately? Notice anything odd, such as a virtual carpet of slackers hovering over the site of the invasion on mooses they got through charity runs?

It’s true. You can be totally useless and still get rewards for just being around and breathing (or not breathing) during a Legion invasion.

mountain slacker

The Hinterlands finally proves to be useful.

Your natural and noble disdain for such crotch-rubbing weasels can be retained and yet you, too, can exploit a certain weakness of the invasion mechanic, earning you progress in an invasion event without having to, ya know, exert yourself for the entirety of the event. And yet hold your head up at the slackers meetings.

Here’s the deal – progression in Phase 1 of an invasion starts more or less when you enter a zone, not when you first engage.  Progression of Phase 1 starts as soon as you’re in the zone.  No matter what you do.

So the longer you are in a zone under invasion, the further Phase 1 progresses without your involvement.

The trick, then, is to maximize your time in an invasion zone prior to actually having to be involved.  In short, finding the longest traverse across an invasion zone to your target flight point.

Consider for a moment the Northern Barrens.

northern barrens.jpg

Cribbed from WoWHead

If you choose Ratchet as your embarkation point, then it makes sense to fly across the zone on its long axis. In one case, I was able to get all the way to Phase 3 before landing. The trick was to fly from Southern Barrens to Ratchet on the way to the Crossroads invasion.

There are other similar examples. For example, Alliance should fly to Sentinel Hill manually rather than take a flight path for the simple reason that you spend more time over Westfall that way, and thus more time in Phase 1 in transit to the site of the invasion.

westfall

Also cribbed from WoWHead

You could even maximize it further by taking the gryphon to Moonbrook first, then flying to Sentinel Hill manually.

Basically, this is all about plotting your entrance. I’m only surprised that Blood Elves aren’t involved in some way – they do love a good entrance.

Is this gaming the system?  Well, in this case, Blizz has created the system. They have deliberately set things up this way in order to waste your time and make your grind for Nethershards and Fel-Infused armor as long and tediously as possible. As far as I’m concerned, this is a response in kind.

Contempt breeds contempt.

There’s a bear out there!

Grimm_full_resolution

Shortly after logging in to the pre-patch content, I noticed something very disturbing about my favorite pet, Bumbles the Polar Bear.  He looked … kinda scruffy, compared to his prior appearance.

2 bears

Do you even comb bro?

I was not pleased.

As always, Petopia to the rescue!  At the bottom of the  linked page, they list bears using the old models, which, they note, there is now only one of each of the colors.  And, as you can see, there is a white one – Bjarn, in Dun Morogh.

Now, I’m pretty sure that Bumbles the First was in fact Bjarn when first tamed, but I am hardly going to quibble over such an easy to find and tame creature.  Well, easy for me to find. Your mileage may vary.

I digress …. bears are of course not the only pet family afflicted with new-look-itis, I’m sure, but our good friends at Petopia have an answer for just about any one of them. So, if you don’t like your new pet’s look, go have a look! You may find a pleasant surprise.

At any rate, all is once again well between Bumbles and I. In this particular case, anyway.

Grimm and Bumbles (all is well)

All is well.

I Saw the Warcraft Movie and It Didn’t Suck

warcraft movieBased on the disgruntlements I have heard from “The Internets”, I had very low expectations for this film.  Had I had moderately high expectations, they would have been exceeded. I quite enjoyed it.

Spoilers below the cut.  Don’t read if you intend to see the movie now and don’t want spoilers. On the other hand, if you’re waiting for the Blu-Ray, you’re part of the problem and you deserve no spoiler guards, so read on.

(If you’re unable to afford to see the movie, this is probably your only chance to find out what’s in the movie since you wouldn’t be able to afford the disk, either, unless you plan to pirate it. Don’t pirate it.)

Read the rest of this entry

Glyphageddon

Illume400“Back in the day” there was an event that Scribes around Azeroth fondly remember as “Glyphmas”. During this time, it was impossible to make a glyph that didn’t sell. And the money for said glyphs was being trucked in by the wagon load.  It was a heady time, and Blizz killed it with their dirty “game mechanics”, but it happened just the same.

Now we’re quickly approaching an apocalyptic cusp in the history of Inscription.  Legion is changing glyphs in a big way, or I should say many big ways. But, as glyph mongers1, only a few of these ways concern us at the moment.

By far the biggest changes that affect glyph mongers are thus:

  1. All Major Glyphs are being discontinued. Period.
  2. All minor glyphs that do anything are being discontinued. Period.

This leaves us with just (roughly) 45 out of 425 glyphs, plus 61 new ones for a total of 104 Glyphs to sell2.  All of these glyphs are cosmetic only. Heck, some of the purely cosmetic glyphs from WoD didn’t make it – they were very selective!

legion glyphs

Click here for the full spreadsheet

(Note: click on the little arrow in the header to open filter options. Filter out “Charred”, for example, to just see the glyphs we’re gonna have in Legion.  You can also filter based on class, which is useful if you’re only interested in your class’ glyphs, though I have to say, if that’s the case, this is not the blog post for you.)

Now, the good news is that these cosmetic glyphs will have a higher demand, because Glyphs are once again consumable.  Right now, in WoD, when you use a glyph, it adds it to your permanent Glyph book, as it were, so these cosmetic glyphs would  have a very low throughput. But now, they won’t be permanent. Once replaced, they go away, and the only way to get that effect back again is to use another glyph.  Hooray?

There are a couple of other items that are of interest.

  • Tome of the Tranquil Mind allows players to change talents wherever they are, such as in an instance. This is new since one may only otherwise change spec / talents in a “safe” location, such as Stormwind or Dalaran.
  • Codex of the Tranquil Mind does the same thing, but for entire groups, so will bring quite a bit more on the AH.

I feel these may be a bit of a sop to Scribes to make up for the decimation of our glyph inventory.

Recipe ranks

Not entirely related to commerce, but kinda is. If this makes final implementation, then we’ll be able to craft things more efficiently as we gain recipe ranks. Not clear on whether this is per recipe or per profession.

Unlearned Tab in Spellbook

One thing that always bugs me is that data mining just doesn’t cover it when it comes to telling if you know all the recipes you can … so this is a welcome addition to the trade skill panel.

Shoulder enchants

Aside from Boon of the Scavenger, rumors of the return of shoulder enchants seem to be somewhat rumor-ish.

Equipment

From what I can see, Artifact weapons have removed a few sources of income (staves, wands, off-hands), but we still have our Tarot card trinkets.  In WoD, those wore out fast because you were allowed max 3 items of crafted gear, and anyone with a calculator could figure out that head + chest + weapon (or pants) was the best bang for the slot.  Does Legion change that limitation? If so, these guys will regain some popularity, like they had in previous expansions.

Waiting with bated3 breath

There are a lot of unanswered questions before I know my comfort level. How difficult will our mats be to get? Will recipe ranks have any real effect? Will the consumable nature of glyphs compensate for the fact they’re only cosmetic? Will the Tranquil Mind items take up the slack? Will the three-crafted-item limit be lifted?

I watched in horror as Alchemy and Enchanting and Jewel crafting got gutted in the past expansion, with the offerings of each reduced to a sketch of previous expansions. Looks like it’s our turn now, and I’m kinda hating it.

Plan of action

Forewarned is for-aremed, they say. Whoever “they” is.

At any rate, be aware that 380 or so of your current glyphs will be junk by the end of August, and adjust appropriately. Getting 1 GP for a glyph now is better than getting 1 SP for a  Charred Glyph after the pre-release patch hits.

Armed with the knowledge I have, I’m going to start dumping glyphs around June 20 or so. I plan to have all of the “Charred” items sold off by the end of July.  Don’t forget, the expected launch of Legion is the end of August, and the typical pre-expansion patch usually occurs 4-5 weeks prior to the expansion.  So the actual drop dead date is when patch 7.0.x will occur.


  1. My own term: those of us that make and sell glyphs for profit, ignoring all other aspects of the practice that aren’t reflected in Auction House trending.  We don’t care about what glyphs are most potent or what mechanics are in place. All that matters is how much gold we can get for the least amount of gold expenditure.
  2. The current count of new glyphs is incomplete, because there are many that are currently missing, or apparently so. So while most classes have 10 or so glyphs available, some, like Mages, only have 7. Gonna go out on a limb and say that’s not where Blizz wants to land.
  3. If I see one more person with “baited” breath I might fireball them right in the face.

The New Hotness

As countless happy people log into the beta, I’m sitting  here looking at a bog standard login in battle.net. But there are compensations.

Once again, our internet angel Vidyala has reached out and provided me with a reason to be of good cheer, in this case a most excellent commission of myself and my favorite pet, Bumbles, in our favorite hunting grounds. She hadn’t been taking commissions, but for some odd reason accepted my moniez in exchange for this awesome artwork. As you can tell, no matter the price, I came out on top in this exchange.

I am not here to brag on my good fortune, but merely to a) explain why this image may appear in the headers from now on (it will), and b) to sing the praises of all things Vidyala.

And now, prepare to bask in the magnificence of my turbulence.

Grimm_full_resolution

Thanks, Vid! As always, it is a genuine pleasure!

They see me Trollin’, they hatin’, mon

NewGrimm

The 2016 Running of the Trolls is an event to benefit The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBT (and other) youth.  I will be there on my fresh Troll hunter, GrimmtoothTu.  I intend to be at least level 20 so I can help retrieve lostlings with my mammoth, but one need only roll a level 1 and show up to participate.

Essential links:

The Trevor Project Info:

thetrevorproject.org
Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Get help online : http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now

Date: June 11, 2016

Time: 9PM EST / 6PM PST

Here’s a more thorough explanation of what’s going on, how to sign up, how to donate, how to participate, and an FAQ.

Magical Warlock Girl – Running of the Trolls

This is a truly worthy cause – I hope to see you there!

Blizzcon Ho! (her: what did you just call me?)

blizzcon banner

The bad news is: I didn’t get Blizzcon tickets.

The good news is: Mrs Grimmtooth did!

The better news: she’s gonna let me tag along!

We’ve never been to this before, so we’re not entirely sure what all is going on. Here is our provisional plan:

  1. Arrive Wednesday
  2. Go to Disney (day)
  3. Go to Blizzcon! (day)
  4. Go to Con Before the Storm (night)
  5. Go to Blizzcon! (day)
  6. Go to Con Before the Storm? (night)
  7. Go home

Also, there will be copious In-n-Out Burger. (I have missed you sooooo much, INOB!)

Not entirely sure about the night schedule.  We are staying at the Doubletree, which is where many of our Twitter friends will be lurking, but beyond that we’re not sure where we’ll be roosting in between cons. I know CBtS will have many of the people I want to meet, such as the staff at WoWHead, BlizzWatch, and TNB (looking at you, Hydra). I’m hearing other of my bloggy friends may be there as well, so I am totally having an anticipatory fanboy moment here.

If you’re going, please let us know where you might be lurking so I can come stalk greet you.

If you’re going to Disney and wanna  herd, let me know as well – I’m a totally noob at Disney, so more experienced hands are welcome (Disclaimer: Mrs Grimm may be driving that effort).

It’s still sinking in right now, but I am becoming progressively more excited as time goes on!

OMG OMG OMG OMG

Calvin Hobbes Dance

 

Blizzcon Zen

blizzcon banner

The second round of Blizzcon tickets is upon us today at 10AM UBT (Universal Blizzard Time).  We failed to get tickets on the first round, but we’re limbering up our mouse fingers – special exercises and so forth – for this round.

I even visited the top of Mount Neverest to get advice from the Grand Master himself, which I share with you now.

You can excel, grasshopper, if you’re willing to pay the price!

Keep your eyes on the timer. Grip the mouse like a friend.
You don’t have to have telekinesis but pretend

like you do. Aim the mouse pointer around the site.
Enter into the slow motion so that time & space distort.

Make report with the button; click click how it go.
Pop-lock as you wield it; feel the trons flow

against the counter-currents of the motions you make.
You might mistake it for a simple game of timing, but it ain’t.

Now taint the universe with the flavor of your game,
tilt reality around your tickets to shape the lane

of their travel. But do not let it unravel fate:
don’t hit enter if it’s already too late.

It’s unfair to your opponent how you move through air,
how you throw away your keyboard — in the back got a spare,

how you dared them to serve before you got in the room,
how they tried but the nets cradled each as a womb.

Now, assuming that you’ve got all my lessons ignored…
See me at the Hilton at Con Before the Storm.

With respectful regrets to Mr. MC Frontalot, as always.

pandaren master

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