I will add entries for future dates by editing the main post. Come back and look for updates if this is your cup of tea.
Well here we go again. My son talked me into going back to WoW. The thing that brought me back this time was the story. He is going to do full on progression raiding at the bleeding edge.
I started up WoW after buying the game for $40 on Thanksgiving. Minion had updated most of the addons, but some were broken. Cross checking dates on the addons showed that Minion was behind the most recent crop. I suppose I will have to find a better addon manager.
Coming back to WoW is a bit of a headache, because there is a re-learning curve. All of the stuff I was a pro at when I left seem impossibly difficult now. The good news was my interface worked out of the box. The bad news was I had a persistent error on login that something needed to be repaired, and when I would run repair (even as admin) it would hang.
So I uninstalled the game after copying my addons folder, reinstalled. This fixed the issue, but generated far more. Things like Fishing Buddy were no longer working and spewing out lots of errors. I had to rebuild my entire UI. Maybe it is better this time. I think I spent about 4hrs on Saturday just mucking around in UI.
To my delight my GSE and AHK were still working fine, but GSE is now GSE2. Spent a little time today relearning it, and started to hone a Beastmaster macro.
This time through I went with Beastmaster Hunter, just like everyone else did. Moo. It solos well. I have a Clefthoof that tanks just fine. Rotations are easy. You can move and DPS at the same time. I am playing a Worgen, which turns out to be a good pick since Running Wild gives you full mount speed in the Maw. Also he is a fast skinner and leatherworker. Between Darkflight, Aspect of the Cheetah, Soulshape, talented Disengage, and the 30% run speed talent I am Zippy McZippypants and can sprint all over the place. Really. There have been times when I just chained them all to range dump aggro.
But yeah, here is the experience. I came on and watched my 120 levels of every class get squished to 50. Umm, that sort of hurt. All those zones. Now all of those toons are just level 50 dweebs like anyone else. I get the whole inflation thing, and probably this is a better game, but man those toons that went through so many zones felt epic, and now feel a bit trivialized.
The intro cinematics and story this time around were fantastic. In fact, I like how the story line continues through the 4 major zones, and I think the basic idea of the afterlife planes being eroded by an evil force is a very compelling storyline. Each new zone sheds light on what happened in the other zones. I found myself reading quests again rather than autoskipping.
I like how the big decision of which covenant is right for you is helped by you getting a free taste test as you follow the main campaign storyline through the zones.
Bastion/Kyrion- loved the angelic feel here. Like the bright sunlight, unimpeded vistas. Aesthetically my favorite zone. Not the best pick for a BM with its key power, but I really like the servant. Found myself wanting to find out what else happened.
Maldraxxus/Necrolord- felt more bleak, like some endless hell of war. Loved the rune recovery process. Ran across the perfect fishing hole- some pool in which they were tossing body parts, which showed up as a permanent pool to detect fish. So I parked it there for about 120ish fishing skill, pulling up lots of goodies. Also this boss spawned out of that pool that had something to do with the daily turn ins…people would come by and toss stuff in the water. At one point it went purplish, and the guy who did it started fishing, but someone else tossed something in and it went red. Once the boss spawned the pool was white and yielding rare fish. I figure I will hit that one up again. Seems like we have Draenor style lures that force what you want to pop in the water. Liked the chakram ability, but did not like the flesh armor ability.
Ardenweald/Night Fae- Feels like endless Shadowmoon valley. Creatures are goofy and saccharine cute. Lots of nature themes. At some point I had to do this stupid play that I think I will find really tiring. Liked the greater story arc involving drought and groves dying, and a resolve to fight on. Picked this for BM since it has this amazing AOE ability called Wild Spirits. My son who tanked the 750 reward anima dungeon for me yesterday said some 45% of my DPS was coming from that one ability…he had fun doing massive pulls based on when that was up for me. I love zipping around in Soulshape though.
Revendreth/Venthyr- Gothic, dreary, blood porting vampire stuff. Sigh. Felt sort of like the hellscape of Worgan homeland gone bad. Did not like the abilties at all. Did like the mirror stuff, and thought the big bad reveals were nice from a story standpoint. Overall zone dragged on longer than I would have liked.
So the trip up was story mode for me. Out of Discord, headphones on, game music on, maximum immersion. Overall I think I will want to have one character per covenant, just to get the full experience. I probably will drag everyone to 60 again, but only really go deep on 4 characters. Figure tank, heals, ranged DPS, melee DPS. Looking at maybe for tank Druid/Demon Hunter, for Heals Druid/Resto Shaman, and for melee DPS I will probably do a rogue since I have not bothered with one seriously in about 4 expansions.
Other than story, my favorite part is Torghast. This is the game part where you grind up the resource needed to make your legendary. But it involves these solo (or group) instances. And you find currency in those instances that must be spent immediately (lost when instance is done) and you can enhance your powers to crazy levels while running it. There are some challenging fights in there, and I was able to do tier 3 this weekend. The last one was hard and I had to call in my son since I did not have enough DPS to get past the enrage timer.
The Maw is a fun zone with that Jailer mechanic…the more you do, the more the Jailer is aware of you. Reminds me of corruption in ADOM. Gives you a sense of urgency in the zone…get in…get it done…get out. I think the campaign story is very nice in giving you the basics of these zones.
This expansion has a lot of the grind pressure off. Gone are rep grinds. Nothing really important comes from them. If you cap your soul dust and do your 1000 anima weeklies, you are on progression. If you fall behind, there are catchup mechanisms. This means you can putter around and do whatever strikes your fancy and not really feel left out. I am sure as I turn the game into a grind by doing 12 alts this honeymoon phase will fade. But for now it is sort of nice not to feel like there is an oppressive weight of must dos to stay on pace.
My portal strategy is to use all of my legacy stones (garrison, stormwind cloak, etc) to go to Stormwind and the portal hub to access the central hub zone Oribos (Eternal City), and use my Town Portal bind at my covenant hub.
Things I am liking about Beastmaster- love the pets doing most of the work. Love Disengage…it breaks me out of stun with my talent and gives me 4s of run speed buff. I do this jump up, flip about in the air, disengage, then flip around move to have a short cooldown run speed buff. Fun. Loved it when I got rooted as part of a 1-2 combo with a root-blast, that I could just disengage and break out of the stun and get some distance. I am running with 2 pets, which is fun. Seems like pets were nerfed and they are all sort of the same except for skins. Have some fund to try out there with others though. I don’t like the traps much, and it seems like the best BM legendary involves tar/flare, two annoying ground target attacks. I like how pets jump cliffs without pulling the whole zone now. Got to figure out feed pet again.
Robots- was doing a daily in Ardenweald. Saw a good 6-8 Boomkins just blasting everything in the quest zone, with a Monk near them spin killing. They were just parked there. Doing that. All day long. How boring.
Bugs- Some of these quests are bugged. One daily I had to grab a staff, but the second I moved from it, the quest despawned, but I needed the staff to do the actual quest. Ugh. There was another one involving faerie wings and pods up high, and I could not figure it out without hitting online spoilers. Faerie dust would let me double jump up, but the second I would interact with the pod I would fall. Also still have stuff that is holding me in combat yet never makes any effort to close the distance. Not sure what is up there. Fishing Buddy is broken for me on the Fishing Extravaganza lua. Ugh. Maybe I should just load up Bug Sack and ignore the errors.
Had a few things worth mentioning.
Wowup seems to work fine as an addon manager. Adjour looks like an even better option. Mods presently are not crashing after updating via Wowup.
Went through some theory crafting and design for BM macros. Note Icy Veins rotations are garbage. Wowhead and Noxxic are good. I prefer Wowhead, so based this off of that. I think the best structure is to have a burst macro that does the 2min cooldowns of Aspect of the Wild and Wild Spirits. Used cast @cursor to facilitate the latter, and have to consciously hover the cursor where I want it when I burst.
Bestial wrath is a 90s CD that shortens by 12 for each barbed shot. I did the math for the rotations I am doing and it should be around 30s effective cooldown. For this reason it is best to add it to the main loops so as to maximize its uptime. One can delay the burst macro to align with Bestial Wrath to maximize its damage.
The single target loop seems to be best with BKCC (B=barbed, K=kill command, C=cobra shot). It is pretty lose so you can mash in something else as needed (like a heal pet, or a disengage, or a misdirect). The AOE loop repeats for this triple sequence of 3: MBK MCB MKC where M= multishot. It is hard keeping beast cleave up.
I have all 3 macros in right now, and they seem to be doing better than the ones I was using out of the box from Lazy Macros. I probably will do a simple macro for misdirect to a focus target. I also have a macro for tar trap/flare if I get the legendary piece. I did macro Darkflight/Aspect of the Cheetah to save keyspace. But my main mashers are burst, ST, AOE. Pulled out Mark of the Wild (no game effect now, just a glorified raid icon), and the autotargeting from the standard macros.
My son and I ran the Maw after work yesterday. His DK is pokey, but he took that covenant which grants the portal function, and when he does that I have little clue where he ran off to. We got close to jailer awareness 5. Apparently once you hit that you have 60s until you get autokilled by the jailer. It is best to port out when that happens, and wait the day for your awareness to clear. Died in the Maw, and ran back to my corpse to recover the loot. That is new.
There are a lot of hidden caches around the world, and it is fun trying to figure out how to get them. Found one in a secret cave behind vines. That cache advanced the Bastion Defense emissary quest by 20%…not too shabby.
Seems like Horde guys ding the map when someone has engaged a world boss. Look for that, because you can pile on for easy loot.
I have a 3rd champion for my mission table. Mission table missions seem really easy, and you do not need Garrison mission manager to do them. You have unlimited troops to supplement your champs. Many times I can send out only 1 champ and fill in the rest of slots with the troops.
I hit reknown 4. Yippee! Still need to figure out that whole mechanic. Am building the portal network for my faction right now.
ilvl is around 150. I have been having fun trying to clear out the quests on my covenant’s continent, and doing world quests. I am around 500/1000 anima on the weekly just from doing world quests, so that weekly is not that big of a deal.