Sometimes Vanilla tastes better

So I did end up freezing my subscription again and it’ll run out on the 26th though I doubt I’ll be logging in before that. In the end what solidified it for me was dabblinga bit with a private Vanilla server again and noticing how much more fun the game felt even with all its flaws. It’s odd noticing how years of further development haven’t really successfully added all that much that would motivate me to play and rather conversely succeeded in taking some of those motivating factors away.

Anyway, I had played on this server before back in spring with a few friends, I rolled a priest (obviously). But then summer came and as usual put a bit of a damper on my gaming and I didn’t end up returning immediately during fall. Now though I’ve made somewhat of a more casual comeback, playing a bit at a time every few days and it’s been quite fun. A bit of questing and a Sunken Temple run is all I’ve managed so far, though now it’s looking like I’ll have to start doing some more serious dungeoneering as quests are starting to seem somewhat scarce. Though that’s probably a wise move anyways, as the dungeons are starting to drop gear that’ll be relevant at 60 anyway so I can gear and level up simultaneously.

As of yet I’ve no ambitions when it comes to raiding, mostly due to not being sure how much time I’m willing and able to dedicate to scheduled gaming. Hopefully I’ll have time for something, the server does seem to have a rather active raiding community so finding a guild shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Especially considering healers are usually in demand, though I’m not overly familiar with the class distribution on this server.

In the end I’ll probably check Legion out as well, though as usual it’ll probably be mostly to see the leveling experience and checking out the dungeons a few times. Sure, maybe I’ll poke my head in to LFR as well, but eh, it doesn’t really seem all that interesting. Might as well watch some of the livestreams for that.

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Time's gone by

Things have been rather slow lately. After BRF, I haven’t really participated in raids which is a tad unfortunate. This is partially because as far as I can tell, there haven’t really been further raids organised in the guild or they’ve been unfortunately too late for my schedule.

However, I’ve not been completely idle, there has been some running of LFR which has lead to somewhat upgraded rings on both the priest & druid (still the 690 variant though). And that brings me nicely to this: I’ve been playing my priest again somewhat and it’s been quite nice. In the end, priest is probably the class I do enjoy the most, even if I don’t think the changes along the years have been all that kind. It’s been nice bringing some “old-style” healing into the LFR’s I participate in, though my insistence not to waste mana usually doesn’t translate overly well to the meters (unless one decides to look at overhealing). It is quite silly though how many healers LFR requires, considering at least at this point at least one if not two are probably doing pretty much nothing, at least in the “older” raids. I’ve not into HFC that much, at least the LFR variant of it seems the least interesting of the currently available raids. I’m sure it’s a much better experience on a proper difficulty level.

Besides that, I’ve been poking a bit at leveling a warrior, though that’s still early stages and not going overly quickly. I should probably just respec Protection and run dungeons, would probably keep me more interested. Though I do generally find I don’t overly enjoy tanking at the level-cap and DPS is right out, so I’m not quite sure where I’m going with the warrior leveling.

Outside of the game though, I’ve been following Kugnen’s Project Sixty with some interest. It seems like a valiant effort in recreating a somewhat sped up Vanilla Progression and seems somewhat successful in that effort. From what I’ve seen through his streams, it does look like a good time. I’d rather play on one of the larger private server’s though, if one was looking for an authentic experience. That of course isn’t available in this case, as Kungen can’t really go on a private server while being a partnered streamer, so.

Besides that though, WoW wise, it’s been very quiet for me. I’m not overly enthusiastic about attempting to join a guild at the moment as I’ve other commitments and without one there isn’t all that much in the game that I can currently do that would be of interest. I did take a very half-hearted stab at getting Draenor flying, however the dailies involved in order to acquire the reputation required just felt very uninteresting and that stopped that plan.

What we currently know of Legion however, especially the Holy Priest changes, do look rather good. Hopefully I’ll have a better opportunity at that time to participate in raiding! Until then though, I might end up freezing my sub (again), we’ll see what the rest of the year brings.

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Blackrock Foundry happened

Yesterday, some raiding did actually manage to happen, kind of. A Blackrock Foundry normal run was started, sadly only five people from the guild showed up. This time however, the raid leader decided to PUG the rest of the group so it wouldn’t be a completely wasted effort and we (well, I) did get to experience the raid! Well, as said, kind of. While I stayed for the whole raid and we did clear all of it, at the end it was only me with one other guild member. So it ended up being mostly a PUG raid. Which, while they were fine folk & made the run go smooth, isn’t quite the same experience as progressing through an instance with a guild. Admittedly, there isn’t much progressing to be had in BRF considering even yesterday most if not all of the raid overgeared the instance. I did manage to pick up a couple of marginal upgrades however, so that was nice.

Still, today’s Hellfire Citadel run did not end up happening. There had only been four signups I think and the event creator didn’t even end up showing online, probably can be attributed to the low signups. So the state of raiding remains somewhat dire and considerations for joining a raiding guild continue. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad time in the expansion lifecycle to do that, however. On one hand, one gets to know the guild a bit during farm and it’s probably easier to find a guild while everyone’s farming because players probably fall out due to boredom. On the other hand, I’ve little interest in the farming part myself as well, nor do I have the gear to get into any of the guilds doing the actually interesting content.

So challenges remain, however I did get to do BRF! Yay! Even if it was in a PUG that overgeared the instance.

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Raiding progress (or lack thereof)

There’s been little progress since my last update. No further raids have happened so far, though there is one scheduled for tonight though only with two people signed up. I’ve made decent progress on the Talon Queen title, needing only ~3000 more reputation & I’ll be getting around 2000 from tomorrow’s Heroic Skyreach. As the dungeon event is ending, I’ll probably end up grinding the rest of the reputation out in the world as I haven’t bothered putting together a group for the Mythic variant of Skyreach yet and probably won’t end up doing that before the event is over.

I would be interested in starting to do some Mythic dungeons though and did attempt Skyreach once with a guild group after one of the failed raid attempts. It seemed like they could be a lot of fun, as there seems to be a bit of challenge left especially as we went in with the bare minimum of item level recommended. Sadly, we did not seem to have sufficient DPS at the time and the group disbanded after a few wipes on the first boss, though the trash went rather well. It seems it would be preferrable to find DPS in the 20,000+ range, which somehow doesn’t seem overly common as observed in guild runs & LFG Heroics. Obviously anecdotal, but still.

I have had a tad of time to think about what I want from raiding though and it seems to be simply to get to raid “properly”, i.e. not in LFR & not PUG. I’ve noticed I don’t really care for the gearing aspect all that much, as it seems much of the prestige at least I associate with it is gone. So simply getting to experience the raids (hopefully starting with Highmaul as I haven’t raided at all this expansion) would be awesome. This is probably also why I’ve been so lukewarm on many of the more recent expansions, the simple matter that I haven’t really been raiding in them. Sure, I disagee with some of the changes Blizzard has made in them as well, but not participating in the content that gives me most enjoyment in the game is more probably the root cause.

This, however makes my situation somewhat awkward. As I’m not overly eager at finding new guilds & the attempts at getting raids together in my current guild fail, seeing what way to proceed becomes somewhat difficult. I’m hoping I can simply stay with the current guild as it does seem to have some rather nice people in it, though if raiding doesn’t start happening I sadly won’t be able to. Finding a new guild might be hard because I’d actually like to go back and clear the “old” raids, though that might happen in some sort of alt run. Finding a guild at this stage of the expansion when you’re not overly geared however isn’t all that simple. Most guilds seem to be expecting HFC experience & gear, neither of which I have. Joining a newly founded guild might simply leave me in the same situation I’m now, waiting for there to be sufficient raiders.

So matters are not as simple as they might seem, sadly.

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Leveling complete! Gearing & Raid attempts

The last couple of weeks have gone by rather quickly, it seems. Much of that time seems to have gone with WoW, which for the time being seems to have captured my interest again which has been rather fun. As noted previously, I had started leveling a druid and managed to get to 100 almost a week ago now, last Friday morning. Leveling was one hell of a ride, I chose to do it primarily through dungeons though that stopped once I reached WoD levels, partially due to the item level restrictions for entering dungeons and partially due to long queue times. This lead to the final ten levels being somewhat tedious as I strongly prefer group content and had experienced the zones twice previously.

The dungeon leveling prior to that was a blast, however. I ended up especially enjoying the Cataclysm dungeons as they seemed to have retained some of the danger Blizzard had introduced in them. So while this did lead to some wipes as a consequence of people not knowing mechanics at times, the feeling of actually having to do something or risk wiping did add to the enjoyment of the run. Revisiting the old TBC dungeons was a good time as well as it meant getting to run my favorite dungeon, Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde (also know as Old Hillsbrad Foothills). This gave me an opportunity to reflect ony why I enjoy the dungeon so much and I think I came to a conclusion. It’s probably because I enjoy the pace the dungeon sets, while still allowing for more variation than dungeons like The Black Morass or Violet Hold which are more of running from portal to portal in the same small space. Incidentally, I also quite enjoy the Culling of Stratholme, which also fits into this paced dungeon theme. Though naturally the damage output of the group still has some effect on how quickly the dungeon goes.

But in the end, level 100 was hit and gearing started. I decided to do something somewhat silly and gear through PvP even though I’m primarily a PvE player myself, as there was a Battleground bonus even running conveniently after I had reached max level. This allowed me to gear in time for the scheduled raid time on Sunday, which was rather nice. The gearing path isn’t as bad as one might think, as PvP gear no longer has any PvP specific stats (like resilience) on it and the itemisation was decent in most respects. It also allowed for a rather big leap in item level, which seems to be the primary measure of gears usefulness these days (though properly itemised lower item level pieces might still be better than their higher item level counterparts, which didn’t end up being relevant for me as the gap in item level was so great).

Sadly the raid did not end up occurring, however we did manage an improptu run on on Monday instead. This ended up being normal Highmaul, which was fun as I hadn’t had the chance to properly experience the instance. We ended up taking down the couple first bosses and sadly had to call it at Brackenspore after a couple of wipes as some members of the raid had to leave and we were unable to find replacements. Sadly the continuation raid yesterday did not happen either, but there’s a raid scheduled for tonight that hopefully ends up happening. It seems it’ll either be Highmaul or Blackrock Foundry, both of which would be interesting to experience and finish at some point even if the gear doesn’t seem overly necessary after my PvP gearing. Highmaul in particular seems to have no gear of interest, but it’s fun doing some raiding nontheless!

All in all it’s been a fun experience so far, though I am starting to notice I’m slightly running out of steam. I don’t really feel I have overly many interesting goals outside of raiding now that I’ve geared up somewhat and don’t need to level anymore. Sure, I’m working on a couple of mounts (specifically the Flametalon of Alysrazor & Reins of the Raven Lord) however those are once a week/day engagements even if I do the attempts on several characters. I’m also trying to get my Arakkoa Outcasts reputation to exalted for the title Talon Queen, however that as well is somewhat rate limited now that the dungeon event for reputation is on as there is only one heroic per day I can do that gives reputation with them. I’ll probably end up either continuing farming the mobs that grant the reptutation (though I’d rather just do more dungeons) or running the dungeon on Mythic 2-3 times for the remaining reputation. Still, none of these things end up being tasks one can dedicate oneself to, excepting the reputation farm though I’m opting for the more fun albeit slower route of doing it through dungeons (slower not in a time spent but time lapsed sense).

Maybe I’ll have to end up leveling yet another character? Though I do fear I’d only end up in the same situation once again! Another alternative may end up being seeking a more raiding focused guild, though that may be a somewhat difficult task as I fear I might have somewhat particular preferences. I suppose time will tell how I end up continuing!

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