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Inscription is Facked.

FACK

I’ve been long delayed in my report on BfA inscription.  A large part of that delay has been Blizzard’s delay in implementation of a reasonable system for Scribes to create Glyphs.

Lemme essplain.  No. Is too much. Lemme summarize.

Starting in the expansion following (3.0) the introduction of Glyphs (2.0), Blizz offered a mechanism for Scribes to create glyphs that were introduced in every expansion. In short, the Ink Trader.  The Ink Trader allowed you to exchange whatever the current expansion’s primary ink for inks from previous expansions.  So, for example, if you were in the Cataclysm expansion, you could exchange Blackfallow Ink for any ink required to create glyphs in Vanilla, BC, or WotLK. In MoP, then you could exchange inks from that expansion for older inks. And so forth. I hope you’re keeping up.

Which brings us to the most notable absence from the current expansion.  Normally, at the introduction of the x.0 patch for an expansion, the Ink Traders in all faction hubs (Stormwind, Shattrath, etc as an example) would provide an exchange of whatever that expansion’s most common ink was for any other ink in the game. For example, in Legion, we could exchange Roseate Pigment for inks from previous expansions.

But now we’re in weird territory.

When BfA rolled, we expected an Ink Trader in the faction cities to accept one of the inks from the current expansion (we figured it would be Ultramarine Ink) for inks from previous expansions. But we found nothing. At that point, the previous expansion (Legion) still held sway. So the only way to create inks for all expansions was: farm Legion inks (Roseate Pigment) or go gather herbs on the continents from the previous expansions, and mill them. This was less than optimal. In a world where we expected to exchange Ultramarine Ink  for other inks, we were met with disappointment, at a massive scale. And now we are in 8.1.0, and there is still no sign of an ink Trader in Boralas, much less Stormwind.

So what we are doing, here in the first content patch of BfA, is farming Legion herbs.  BfA herbs are almost useless – there are three Druid glyphs in this expansion, and that is it – so we are currently either selling them off – a poor financial investment – or banking them against an expected future where they are actually useful.   At this point, I am becoming cynical.

So what is actually going on?  Those that are willing to attribute an  actual plan to all of this are welcome to comfort themselves in the actual market, but those of us that are embedded in the current market are doubtful. Currently, Dreamleaf (https://www.wowhead.com/item=124102/dreamleaf#comments) is the king of the Inscription market due to its secondary conception of Roseate and Sallow (especially Sallow) pigments. BfA Inscription is pretty much dead. And the WoW customer service accounts are pretty much silent on the topic after multiple pokes.

That is: currently. Aside from Cards of *, it is currently impossible to turn BfA herbs into a profit. And Blizzard doesn’t seem to care even so much as to stroke your ego. Sorry.

BtW: in case you were thinking of switching to Alchemy:

image

Herb-related crafting in BfA is, to be quite brutally honest, a cluster-fuck.  You’re best served in just selling the herbs (especially Legion herbs) than trying to make a profit at Inscription or Alchemy.

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Expansion Iteration: A visualization

I’ll be brief.

Blizzard Watch just posted a great analysis of the iteration times for all the past expansions.  I took that data and visualized it.

Expansion Iterations

Blue is the gap between the release of the previous expansion and the announce of the new one; red is basically the time between that announce and the start of beta; and the orange is the length of the beta to release.

Crunch it however you want, but the big takeaway for me is the damned heroic effort in getting MoP out in less time than all but one previous expansion, and that’s INCLUDING a total refactoring of The Jade Forest.

Size Matters

Ask most long-time raiders, and they’ll usually agree that Karazhan is by far the best raid, of all time, hands down, full stop.

I’m having a hard time arguing that logically.

So I’ll go for illogic.

While I love and adore Kara as the primeval training grounds for my raiding mains, it wasn’t until we got to Ulduar that I really felt like I was in the middle of something epic.

karazhan tower

Most of the Wrath raids were built around 25-man raids in scale, with the mobs scaled down to accommodate 10-man raids.  And while Naxx was built around a 40-man raid, it never felt “larger” than it was supposed to be.  10-man raids fit in there nicely, no echoes or anything.

Ulduar, however, felt HUGE. You could spread your raid out all over the place and still have tons of dark, empty corners for … things … to happen.

attacking_ignis

I’ll always have a warm glow in my heart for Kara. But when it comes to the feeling of Epic adventures, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like Ulduar, before or since.

ulduar_stained_glass