RIP Nostalrius

So quite a bit has happened since my last post, most notably the closing of Nostalrius where I had played. Admittedly, I did not end up playing much more since my last post, primarily due to the concern of something like closing down happening. And while Nostalrius was well managed I do still have a preference to play on the official servers even though the game in some aspects feels inferior.

I’ve ended up examining my prospects as far as it comes to joining a guild and while it is yet to be finalised will probably be joining a casual-ish raiding guild on my priest that is about to start in Hellfire Citadel Heroic, so far having downed one boss. If nothing else, it should give me a better feel on how I enjoy the current state of healing, considering I’ve yet to do any “proper” content since the revamp in Cataclysm though the signs haven’t been all that good, though the changes coming in Legion to Holy priests do seem promising. Mostly though, I’m just looking forward to getting some proper raiding in.

Pristine Realms

Now, the response provided by Blizzard on the backlash caused by the closing of Nostalrius and consequent community demand for official Classic realms did also provide an interesting though lamented idea for recapturing some of the things players at least alledgedly miss, namely community. That idea was Pristine Realms. Specifically, these would be realms where certain “quality of life” features would be disabled:

  • LFD/LFR
  • Heirlooms
  • Character boosts, transfers
  • Cross realm zones
  • Recruit-a-Friend bonuses

Personally, I’m not too sure how to feel. It does remove several things I feel are problematic, however content would still be obsoleted at a unecessary pace due to catch-up mechanics like PvP gear or Tanaan/Timeless Isle and badges before them. Even as I say that, I have been leveling a warrior and quite enjoying being able to level at a quick pace through dungeons (at least until Warlords of Draenor content, at which point one is force out into the world to gear up grumbles), which wouldn’t be possible without LFD. So these features certainly aren’t without merit and I’m not sure if such realms would generate sufficient interest for them to stay playable without the cross-realm features. In the end, I’d be very tempted to participate, though having to give up my characters would be a somewhat difficult thing to bear. Another thing preventing me from enjoying unofficial servers as well.

Legion

On the matter of Legion’s current state, I’m not sure I have too much to say. I do look forward to the changes coming to Holy priests, specifically the new Word spells. Especially having a properly strong single target heal again is appealing. How I feel about the removal of Spirit as a stat I’m not so sure yet, on one hand it should keep regeneration from getting out of hand at the end of expansions necessitating more bursty damage yet it’s been a stat I’ve enjoyed being able to increase the most (less so with the changes in Cataclysm admittedly).

There was also a recent worry over the proposed changes to respeccing, namely: characters have a primary spec, changing from it costs an increasing amount of gold (up to 62g, a curious number) but changing back to the primary spec can be done for free. This functionality would be available anywhere, and dual-spec would be leaving us. Personally, I’ve generally been very attached to the spec I choose to play on a give character and am consequently not overly concerned over this change. At current gold rates, this also seems like a quite minor gold sink. To be fair, it is an extra cost incurred during raiding, as changing specs for specific bosses or even for clearing trash has become popular. It remains to be seen if this change would discourage such a change, potentially serving Blizzards goal of empowering class and spec fantasy by encouraging players to stay in spec. It’s an odd change in that it probably primarily hits the top and bottom end of raiders, as the top cares the most about optimisation while the bottom end probably needs the flexibility provided by hybrids the most. I’ll be watching with interest how this ends up playing out.


In the end, there’s a lot of wait and see here with how Legion changes end up playing out and how I enjoy the (potential) guild I join. Hopefully it all ends well and there’s some enjoyable gaming on the horizon. For now, it remains to be seen.

World of Warcraft

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.

World of Warcraft

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.

World of Warcraft

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.

World of Warcraft