Death Knight Leveled

As the Darkmoon Faire was winding down I managed to get my DK leveled up to 110. Leveling is so fast now, it’s easy to fall far behind on class hall quests. This is especially true when you have multiple rounds of follower missions to complete, and multiple dungeons to run. I have a special hatred for the class hall quests that require Maw of Souls and Vault of the Wardens. Almost nobody runs those dungeons on normal mode, since you have to be 110 to unlock them anyway. That means a 40+ minute DPS queue, or waiting until you hit ilvl 825 to queue for heroic. I’m stalled out on unlocking the mount quest until I finish the standard class hall quest line, and I’m stalled on that until I can finish these dungeons. Luckily gearing up is fairly quick, and I should hit 825 soon.

Like a lot of things about Legion, getting up to speed when you hit 110 feels very uneven. Some systems are working really well. For example, I’ve already hit concordance after just 2 days or so of play at the level cap. The changes to artifact knowledge feel great, putting everyone on a level playing field. Most of the gearing process seems good too. Between nethershards and world quests I’ve upgraded most of my gear to at least 850 in no time. On the other hand, my highest level relic is 750-ish, and I still have an empty relic slot on my main spec weapon. Weapon level is hugely important to feeling powerful and being able to kill things and complete quests quickly, and there’s no reliable way to get relics in a hurry. I know there’s at least one from the Argus quests, but the thought of attempting those with a weapon that’s less than 800 ilvl does not appeal. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be able to buy 850 relics of our choice from the nethershard vendor at this point. Failing that, Kadghar should just hand you some ilvl 800 relics as soon as you ding 110. Praying for a world quest with a useful relic reward feels miserable, and getting carried through dungeons hoping for a drop when you can’t contribute much feels rude.

On the plus side, concordance goes a long way towards making up for my crappy item level. Unholy DK has some really silly survivability and I’ve been tearing through world quests even without a follower to help. I’m hoping to finish up the original class hall story tonight or tomorrow (depending on dungeon queues). The DK story is by far one of the best ones, or at least most interesting. So far it is second only to rogue for me in terms of class flavor and engaging story. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the morality of some of the things I’ve been doing, but it absolutely feels right for the class and is contributing to the overall game lore. I’ve already seen spoilers for this story, but I’m still excited to see how everything plays out firsthand.

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Hunter Mount Quest

I finished this quest before my break from WoW, but only remembered to post it once I resubscribed. Whoops. My hunter was the last alt that is already 110 that hadn’t gotten her mount. My DK and shaman are 100 and 101, and my warrior is not even close, so they will all have to wait.

Hunter is in a strange place for me. I’ve always liked the class, and the archer archetype is second only to spellcaster in terms of my “player fantasy” preferences. In Legion, however, the class has seen some major changes that detracted from my enjoyment of the class. Beastmastery has always been my favorite spec, and even at 110 with all my gold traits on my weapon it still feels like something is missing. I like having pets but I don’t like feeling like I’m useless in comparison to them, and I also don’t like how much the pet survivability has been nerfed this expansion. Marksman is a nonstarter because the optimal way to play involves getting rid of your pet altogether, and while the new Survival spec is more fun than I thought it would be, I will always prefer ranged to melee.

All that grumbling about the state of the class aside, their mount quest was amazing. Unlike so many of the other class’ quests, there’s no gating, gathering, or extraneous running around. Instead you receive an invitation to Odyn’s great hunt and go straight there. The scenario takes place in the wilderness area of the trial of valor, and it’s just perfect. You get to eat and drink at a valajar feast (doing so gives you some nice buffs), and then you set out into the night to hunt the spirits of some great beasts and put them to rest. You have a few rounds of stalking around in the dark and fighting your prey, and then you get to fight the wolfhawk. The fights weren’t bad at all, even in my barely 110-for-a-week gear. If anything they were slightly too easy, but for this kind of content I’m perfectly okay with that.

The mount looks cool, and fits well with the hunter class theme. About the only thing I didn’t like about this quest is Odyn, because he’s a jerk and on principle I don’t want to do anything to help him. If you have a hunter alt laying around I’d highly suggest going for this class mount. It was a lot of fun!

Witch Doctor Set Mastery

I’m still slowly moving forward with the goal of mastering all of the set dungeons in Diablo 3. So far I’ve finished the Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Crusader ones. Next I decided to work on the Witch Doctor mastery, since I play that class fairly often and had all of the sets laying around. Sadly even with all of the time I spent with the class, I had only mastered one dungeon so I still had plenty of work to do. At least the pennant reward for this mastery looks neat!

WDPen

The set dungeon I had already completed was the Jade Harvester’s. I decided to try it again for this project just to remind myself what it was like so I could record it here. The objectives are to harvest 15 enemies (x10) and kill a total of 100 enemies while they’re affected by both haunt and locust swarm. I got it on my first attempt. It definitely helped that this is the set I’m most comfortable with and I had plenty of choices for legendaries to make it work. I suspect the biggest issue with this one would normally be clearing everything within the timer since the map is fairly large and convoluted.  I used Shukrani’s Triumph in the cube which let me spirit walk until I attacked or found an enemy, which made for a speedy, easy run.

Next up was the Helltooth Harness set dungeon. The first objective here is easy. “Do not take any poison damage” can be utterly trivialized by cubing Mara’s Kaleidoscope. I’m sure it is possible to do without this item but why bother if you have one available? The second objective is to kill 20 enemies with a single wall of death (x4). This was the sort of objective that gives me trouble. First, you have to be able to 1-shot the small enemies with your wall, which hopefully shouldn’t be too hard. I used a Jeram’s Bracers to increase damage to make sure of this. More importantly though, you actually have to find or make groups of 20 enemies. It was tricky to do since the dungeon has a lot of little pockets and pillars that make it hard to find and group up the mobs. I had no trouble running through and killing everything in time, but it took me 5 or 6 tries to meet this objective. If RNG is kind and you get good pack placement this one should be easy.

After that I worked on the Arachyr’s Mantle dungeon. The easier objective here was to let your hex toad lick 30 enemies. On my first attempt I was so eager to get this done that I botched the other objective. Killing all of the elites while they are both webbed and piranha’d was tricky simply because they got accidentally killed by other things first. On the plus side there aren’t that many enemies and the layout is fairly straightforward so eventually I just ran through to find the elites first and then let the toad mop up for my 30 licks. The other good thing about this one is it didn’t require much in the way of specialized legendaries other than the set itself. It took a few tries to get the hang of what I needed to do but was definitely easier than the Helltooth dungeon.

The last of the Witch Doctor dungeons was Zunimassa’s. This one asks  you to grip 150 enemies in grasp of the dead, and to avoid getting into melee range with anything. That second requirement really slows you down, because you can never risk running ahead and getting too close to an enemy. With reasonable gear things should die quickly to your swarm of pets before they get to you though. I managed to 1-shot this one without even looking at the map ahead of time, so I’d call this one very easy.

Overall these were way easier than I expected them to be. Since I already had all the gear I needed I managed to knock all of them out in a single evening. I’m getting close to my goal but the next two classes are ones I’ve never played so there will be some down time while I level and farm gear for them. Still, I’m getting close enough that those awesome wings look like an achievable goal now!

 

 

 

 

Crusader set dungeons

I guess I’m following through on this nonsense mission to try to master all of the set dungeons in Diablo 3, because cosmetics are the true endgame and the wings you get as a reward are so very sweet. Having finished off the Demon Hunter and the Wizard dungeons for Season 10’s conquest waay back in April, I decided to step out of my comfort zone for the next one. So I leveled a crusader, a class which I’ve never really played any farther than leveling to 70. I don’t really love playing melee in Diablo games, I’m not sure why. Mostly I suspect that it is far outside of my “player fantasy” idea. I want to be smart and precise and out of harm’s way, not wading into the thick of things. Even so, the crusader is survivable and has enough shiny tricks to be entertaining.

crusaderMasteryI did the dungeons in order of what gear I happened to collect, so the Invoker dungeon was up first. This might have been the easiest set dungeon out of any of the ones I’ve tried. The objectives are to get hit by the goatmen’s spears, and to kill the elites while both consecration and iron skin are active. The enemies are easy and the dungeon layout is very straightforward without a lot of twists or dead ends. I looked up the map before I started, and I completed the mastery on my first try with almost 30 seconds to spare. My weapons and armor (other than the Invoker set) were a random collection of whatever I had laying around, including some yellows. Seriously easy. If you’re struggling with mastering a set dungeon for the season journey, I would highly recommend this one.

Next up was the Light’s set dungeon. The objectives are to use falling sword 3 times within 15 seconds (x3) and to not get hit by any of the enemies’ mortar attacks. You’ll want the weapon Cam’s Rebuttal for this one, since it will let you cast falling sword more often. The layout of the dungeon is a very simple series of T intersections, and wasn’t bad at all to finish. The main thing holding me back on this one was my time to kill the elites, since that both made it harder to kill everything in the time limit and made me have to dodge more mortar attacks. With some slightly better gear this one would be a breeze.

The third crusader set dungeon I attempted was Roland’s. I struggled with this one until I got the exact right gear for it. Namely, the Flail of the Charge/Shield of the Steed combo for faster movement, and Golden Flense (2H flail) for wrath restoration. Without the steed charge boost I couldn’t clear fast enough, and without the Flense I couldn’t meet one of the objectives at all. The first objective is to hit 12 enemies with a single sweep attack (x7). There are multiple points on the map with big groups of enemies so this wasn’t too bad, especially with Illusory Boots in the cube to allow easy positioning. Like many similar set dungeon objectives this one is a matter of holding off until you have a promising pack and being prepared to restart if you get bad RNG on group spawns. The other objective is to spend 300 wrath within 10 seconds (x5). That is what I really struggled with until I could cube a Flense. It was still difficult to spam enough within 10 seconds but I got it done. This dungeon was not as bad as some of the RNG-heavy ones from other classes but it was incredibly gear-dependent.

The last crusader dungeon I completed was Akkhan’s. This one’s objectives were to use condemn on 10 different enemies (x10), and to kill 150 enemies while under the effect of Akarat’s Champion. The steed charge weapon/shield combo I farmed for the Roland’s dungeon also worked great here. In fact it felt almost mandatory, because my biggest challenge with this set dungeon was clearing all the required enemies in time. Raw power also seemed to matter again in this one, and like in the Light’s set dungeon, much of the time I wasted was spent trying to take down the elites. Rounding up tons of enemies with steed charge + illusory boots was simple and the small enemies died quick enough from condemn at least. Of all the crusader dungeons this one took me the most tries. My failures were all either by dying like an idiot, or to the timer running out with a handful of enemies left.

Overall these weren’t too bad. The Invoker’s is by far the easiest, not just of the crusader dungeons but including the wizard and demon hunter ones as well. Considering I had never really played a crusader much before attempting these, I was pretty pleased at my success. Even without really knowing what I was doing this series was easier than the wizard ones. Now to figure out which class to work on next!

 

Stormblood for the Holiday

I had a very long weekend for the holiday and spent most of my gaming time with FFXIV. Our Free Company is still very active and it feels so great to have tons of people around and looking to group. I spent a good share of time helping folks knock out story dungeons or just getting faster queues for roulettes. Yes, even as a healer my roulette queues are almost instant right now, while the poor DPS are waiting and waiting. I would love to see the data on the effect adding 2 new DPS classes had on queue times. I suspect it isn’t as drastic a change as we might think since many folks are happy with their chosen role, but I’m sure it did make things at least a bit worse. There’s so very many red mages now.

One of the goals I had for the holiday was to complete the two EX primals that are available. I got halfway there. It only took a couple attempts to get a Lakshmi clear, but I’ve been trying Susano over and over and over to no avail. I am hoping that once I clear it I’ll be able to get into the farm groups that actually know what they’re doing, because I’m so sick of watching the other healer (it’s almost always the healer) stand in the group with the lightning and kill us all. I’d really like to get the weapon from him, since it will be at least 6 more weeks before I can get a weapon upgrade anywhere else.

The big excitement really came yesterday when the first wing of the Omega raid opened up. As is now standard in FFXIV, it had 4 bosses with the token loot system used in Heavensward’s Alexander raids. I got pretty lucky and won items off the first 3 bosses on the first try, so I only had to run V4.0 a couple extra times to get all my gear for the week. I ended up with a belt, a pair of gloves, and 1/2 of a hat. Not bad. I’m hoping to farm Lakshmi a bit so I don’t have to depend on jewelry from Omega as much and can focus on “left side” tokens. Loot aside, the raid was super fun and I’m quite happy with it. I’m curious to see where the story takes us, but I think I already like it better than Alex. I loved the music and a lot of the fights from the Alexander raid, but the story left a lot to be desired. Omega seems to fit in much better with the overall plot of the expansion.

Stormblood has definitely been keeping me busy so far. I am hoping now that most of our raid group is at 70 that we’ll set up a regular raid night again and work on clearing the EX primals and Omega. I’ve been flirting with burnout a bit, mostly because I’ve been running a lot of things on my own and pugging is bad for my mental health. If I can do fun things on the regular with my friends I’ll be a much happier Grace.

Rise of the Necromancer

Yesterday saw the launch of the new Necromancer class in Diablo 3. If you’ve been around this blog a while you know I’m a huge D3 fan, so it was a no-brainer for me to spend $14.99 to pick up the new goodies. I spent most of my evening yesterday checking out the class and some of the other offerings that came along with the newest patch, and came away very pleased.

The first thing I tried when I booted up D3 last night was the new Challenge Rift system. Okay I lied the first thing I did was run to my stash and rearrange things to take advantage of the 2 new stash tabs I got with my necromancer purchase. But after that the next thing I did was try a challenge rift! The system took me a minute to figure out. Namely, to get to the challenge rift, you have to select a character, but before you log into a new game you must go to the game settings. Challenge rift will be a new option for your game type (beside the old story and adventure modes). Selecting this will assign you the character for the randomly-selected greater rift run of the week. When you zone in you’re in a new mini-area where you can learn about challenge rifts, check out your assigned skills and gear, and practice on some demons they keep laying around for that purpose. It was fun to see someone else’s build and try to make it work. This week’s rift was a demon hunter with an impale build. The fact that it was randomly selected means sometimes you end up with strange choices, for instance this person had a cubed ability that boosted fan of knives…but they were not using that skill. In any case I managed to get through the rift in about half the time of the original run so I made it work just fine. I really enjoyed this concept and my main hope is that they either make it more rewarding (the crafting mats were nice but not exciting), or update the offerings more frequently. I can see myself trying it out once every week but I’m not that interested in trying to climb the leaderboards or anything. The real joy of it is just seeing what random build they give you and making the most of it.

Anyway after the challenge rift was conquered I finally made my brand new necromancer. I decided to level via the story since it has been quite a while since I played all the way through it. Like I sometimes do with single-player games, I made things super easy for myself so I could play around and focus on the narrative instead of the gameplay. That meant normal mode and a gem of ease, so enemies just fell over when they so much as looked at me until I got above level 60. I ended up setting on a build that I’m sure will not be remotely functional at endgame but has been keeping me very entertained. I’ve got 1 generator, 1 movement ability, and the rest of my abilities all summon minions of one flavor or other. I had a blast running around and turning the corpses of my enemies into part of my rolling death swarm. By the end of the night I had made it into Act V so tonight I’ll finish up and switch to adventure mode. Hopefully I can get some set pieces and start figuring out a viable build for running rifts.

I expect I’ll be heading back to FFXIV before the end of the weekend, both because all my friends are still deeply entrenched there and because I don’t want to burn out on D3 before the start of the new season next month. Still, I’d say I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of this content pack. The cosmetic stuff is nice, the stash space is amazing for this pack rat, and the new class has been great fun. I am already looking forward to playing as a necromancer next season!

More Class Mounts

After my previous run of class mount acquisition I thought I’d slow down a bit. The next mount on the list was actually not a mount, but druid flight form. I like Thisalee Crow, so I was happy to help her when she asked. We’ve got to defend the shrine of Aviana from a demon invasion, and take back the idol they stole so we can restore the flight form for all the druids of the talon who depend on it. This quest was surprisingly action-packed, and even though I’m not quite sure yet whether I like the new flight form, I definitely liked the quest to get it.

WoWScrnShot_061017_235310Next up was my rogue. I have loved everything about the rogue class hall and story so far, and this one started off with my favorite buddy Lilian Voss so I was excited. Unfortunately this quest chain is somewhat pvp focused and it stressed me out a lot. You have to kill marked targets in each of the opposing faction’s capital cities. This means using a lot of your various rogue-y tricks to infiltrate and murder your target before you get caught by guards or players. After I finished this quest I kept seeing Alliance rogues hovering around outside the Horde cities and now I know why. I have so much sympathy for them. On the plus side, I think this might be my favorite mount of all the new class ones.

Warlock started off slow because you have to gather a bunch of items up front, and one item you need only drops from the end boss of legion invasions. It felt very parallel to the pally quest, which makes sense since both of those classes had previous mount questlines. However where they pally one made up for its annoying start with a nostalgic romp at the end, the warlock quest just felt annoying. It might be because I’m not great at playing a warlock, but I didn’t think their mount quest was very fun. I do really like their mounts though.

The demon hunter quest might have been the easiest of all of them. They just have a short scenario where you fly down to the planet of the felbats and have to punch the felbat brood mother until she decides to be your friend. Or something. You have to chase her around a little bit and there is a cool moment where you have to glide down to her and jump on her back in mid-air. There’s also a set-up where you can use your demon sight ability to try to track her down, but it wasn’t strictly necessary to complete the mission. I might have been cooler to set up something that made it more vital, but it is difficult to make that work and not just be annoying. I was fairly happy that it was easy anyway, since I still felt like I was recovering from the rogue quest even after several days’ break. The mount is kinda cool looking although I hate the weird blade-on-the-head thing.

The only character I have left at 110 that doesn’t have her mount yet is my hunter, and she’s still a few days’ worth of questing away from unlocking the start of that chain. My shaman is still level 100, and the highest level warrior I have is only in the 70s, so it will be a while. So far, aesthetically the rogue mount is my favorite. As far as the quests go, if the start of the paladin one hadn’t been so awful that one would probably be my favorite. But because of the hangup of having to get crafted items and Suramar stuff it got knocked down a peg. Instead I have to say that the priest quest has been my favorite overall.

Class Mount Quests!

After how long we’ve had to wait for them to unlock, I was half expecting the quests for the new class mounts in WoW to be epic and complicated and time-consuming. This was not the case, and honestly I’m glad. Leveling up all the alts and finishing all of the broken shore quests to unlock the class mount quest was enough of a challenge. And for those who are dedicated to one class, there are a few extra goodies like spec-specific mounts and bonus pets for unlocking concordance. For me as someone who merely dabbles in all the classes for completion’s sake, I’m happy I get to see this little extra flavor content, and increase my mount stable a bit in the process!

For all classes, you need to complete the “Breaching the Tomb” achievement in order for the mount quest to unlock. It has been a lot of painful busywork doing those quests over the past few weeks, waiting for each new one to open up with the weekly reset. Now that they’re all available you can motor through them on new alts with no waiting. The main things that will slow you down are having to wait for an invasion for one of the early quests, collecting nether shards (I wait to spend any on new alts until after I finish this quest), and completing the broken shore order hall missions (if your champions aren’t leveled and geared yet). That last one was my biggest sticking point on many alts, but now that the requirement has been nerfed from 3 missions down to 1 I can finally move forward.

I haven’t done all of them yet, but much like the initial class hall quests, the mount quests are quite variable. Spoilers and opinions about the specific quests follow.


The monk quest was the first one I did, since that is theoretically still my main. Also because I can use the mount on my baby monk for our level-locked silliness. I was all ready to have more fun times with beer because that was pretty much the entirety of the monk hall quest line, but sadly after buying beer for one Master in exchange for a story there was no brew to be had. The quest has you running back to the peak of serenity to look for the tiger spirit who traditionally serves as mount for the grandmaster. It seems he’s been in mourning since the guy you replaced was killed in the demon invasion, which is why you didn’t know anything about his existence until now. It definitely has a very strong monk flavor even without much beer in it, and the mount is extra cool because he is a sentient being and will occasionally talk to you. Since this is my main I will also be attempting to get concordance eventually so I can unlock the matching tiger pet as well.

Next I did the pally quest. Sadly, one of the first things you have to do is buy a gem from some elf in Suramar. Did I mention I almost entirely skipped Suramar on all my alts? Before I could do the mount quest, I had to do Suramar far enough to unlock the mask so the vendors would even talk to me, and then I discovered I needed 500 ancient mana. My current cap was 300 so I had to first run and find 2 of the items that increase your  cap, and then go pick a few flowers in the vineyard until I had enough to buy the gem. After this inauspicious start, the rest of the mount quest was amazing. It is a huge callback to the original paladin mount quest from vanilla. You get to go back to Stratholme and kill a bunch of undead with a NPC all-pally party, and eventually purify Rivendare’s mount to turn it into your sweet new holy steed. I’m not entirely sure how I brought that undead horse back to life but I still enjoyed this quest a lot!

The next class on the list for me was priest. As someone who used to main a disc priest, I have not been happy with the direction of the “class fantasy” or the feel of priest healing in this expansion. This makes everything I do on my priest bittersweet these days. Anyhow, the priest quest premise was intriguing: Magni Bronzebeard, the dwarf who turned into a diamond and now speaks for the spirit of the planet itself, had a vision and sent me off on my quest. After my own heart, the quest sent me deep under the ocean in a submarine to a lost titan vault. Once there I got to see some banter between the Bronzebeard brothers and relive one of the most annoying Wrath-era dungeon fights with snarky dwarven commentary. It could have been obnoxious but I found it really charming. It didn’t feel especially “priest flavored” but it was an amazing quest and definitely one of my favorites. It also helps that I like the look of the priest mount a lot.

After priest, I tackled the mage quest. For that one you chase down a magic flying disc that Antonidas had been working on. It involved tracking down a couple archmages in various places around the world, and then a trial in the Eye of Eternity. I was hoping for some clever puzzles or something here but it was mostly a matter of tracking down the right mage and asking nicely if I could have their priceless artifact, please. The mage quest wasn’t as exciting or nostalgic as some of the other ones, but the trial was fun enough. You get to murder elementals of fire, frost, and arcane, which somehow bleeds off the excess energy from the disc parts and lets you combine them together into something that works. Sure, Antonidas never figured out how to do this and it was part of his life’s work and you knocked it out in 20 minutes. You’ll forget all about that once you’re riding around on your cool new mage frisbee.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the past 2 days, but Druid, Warlock, and Rogue are all ready to go and Demon Hunter is not far behind. I’ll have my comments on those quests up as soon as I get through them!

Class Halls in WoW Legion

12. That is the number of characters I now have sitting at the level cap in WoW. Why on earth I have done this thing I do not know, but there it is. Except for the demon hunter, which was number 12, I have finished everybody’s order hall quests and have all the horde ones plus one ally monk caught up on the broken shore quest line as of last week. Even with 12 characters, there’s some duplication, so I still haven’t seen quite all of the class stories yet, so that’s still a goal. The only one I’m really dreading is warrior, simply because I don’t have a warrior leveled at all, so instead of having to dash from 100 to 110 I’ll need to grind myself all the way up from level 20. That process of getting from 100 to 110 is incredibly painless now, especially with invasions. Those events are fairly quick and in addition to decent experience they give way more AP and order resources than you otherwise have access to while leveling. That, combined with gifts of an AK tome and some boxes of resources from the blood trader from more established characters, makes the initial stages of gearing up at 110 and upgrading the order hall a breeze.

Something that becomes increasingly apparent the more class stories you see is just how variable they are in terms of gating, story, and difficulty/annoyance factor. The really frustrating difference to me is the amount of dungeon runs required. Some, like the demon hunter I just finished, don’t make you run any dungeons at all until after you hit 110. Others send you to one or two. The druid is the worst offender, forcing you to run at least 4 dungeons and then even more once you reach 110. Some of the story quests are also expensive, requiring various crafting materials to finish. I think some of this may have been nerfed since Legion started, but it is still weirdly frustrating that some classes had this step and others didn’t. Finally, don’t get me started on the differences in order hall upgrades. I like that in theory there’s some differences there so that every class isn’t just given the same choices with different flavor text, but a few classes make out like bandits while others are left with really lackluster options. Druid loses here again in my opinion. There’s a couple key abilities that make life way easier in the order hall: the ability to complete one free world quest per day, an NPC that lets you place work orders for champion equipment, and the option to get bonus resources when completing world quests. The poor druids get none of these, which means leveling and gearing up your champions is much slower, and you need to do more world questing to be able to afford to run missions. Meanwhile my mage, pally, and lock are fairly set since they can all place orders for equipment and also get one free world quest per day. Some of these bonuses will matter less when some more time has passed and champions get fully leveled and geared, but for a fresh alt these perks are really helpful.

As for the stories, there are some definite winners and losers there too. At some point when I’ve finished all of them I’d love to go into detail about which are the best and worst and why. So far my favorite is surprisingly the rogue story. It has a real authentic rogue flavor with lots of sneaking and subterfuge (and some pirates too!). It wasn’t the most original thing in the world but it was executed well and made me feel important in the story of Legion without having to be a big damn hero or a cookie-cutter version of what everyone else was doing. It also helps that the bonus companion rogues get from the broken shore quest line is one of my favorite characters in the game, and now she and I can go be buddies murdering demons out in the world every day.

I’ll wrap up here with my top three order halls (the ones I’ve seen anyway) for flavor of the hall itself (layout, atmosphere), story, and convenience:

Flavor of the hall itself:
Mage – It’s Hogwarts in Dalaran. ‘Nuff said.
Rogue – Secret passages, vaults of loot, and a fighting ring. Much better than “the Dalaran sewers” makes it sound.
Druid – A tiny piece of the Emerald Dream and a beautiful grove in Val’shara. There’s even a barrow den, which, annoying as they are to navigate, definitely exude druid flavor.
Worst: Hunter – A lodge on top of a mountain with very few distinguishing features. It is pretty, but so boring.

Class Story:
Rogue – Subterfuge, treachery, pirates, secret codes, and Lillian Voss. Clear winner.
Druid – Very true to druid class flavor and ties directly in with major world story events.
Monk – Beer beer and more beer. Once I got over how silly it was I realized how much fun I was having and how different it was from the other classes.
Worst: Hunter – loses points again for boredom. I was not interested in their organization or their story at all. I love hunters! Why is their order hall stuff so boring??

Convenience:
Mage – Easy teleport access from anywhere, optional portals to every Legion zone, free world quest completion, compact layout
Warlock – Mostly tied with Pally for including lots of useful options in the order hall upgrade tree, it wins over pally for the slightly better layout.
Pally – Like the Locks, Pallies get useful hall upgrades and as an added bonus it’s an extra way to get to the Eastern Kingdoms in a hurry.
Worst: Druid – As stated above, they are missing key quality of life options in their hall which makes starting out and maintaining resources more annoying. Also their hall is huge and sprawling (but at least you can fly in there).

Legion’s Profession Problems

After my WoW alt update post last week I decided to level my druid next. I just couldn’t resist the joy of flight form, cheering many quests and sniping all the herbs. For some reason I enjoyed the process way more than when I leveled my Alliance druid. I’m not sure if it was having flying, or not being an elf or what, but I had a lot more fun. I’ve been tempted to get the new flight form glyph because it looks really nice, but I just can’t bring myself to give up my awesome bat form.

Speaking of herbalizing from the skies, I also decided to give professions another go, mostly because I knew Darkmoon Faire was coming up and I figured at least I could get 5 free skill-ups that way. Unfortunately professions in Legion are still completely awful. I wanted to focus on my priest, who has tailoring and alchemy, since she’s my most nostalgia-heavy character and those professions made me a ton of gold over the years. Sadly the biggest moneymaker she has is still probably the 30 slot bags from WoD. Meanwhile leveling tailoring requires doing the Suramar questline, which I was avoiding like the plague on my alts. I loved Suramar, but it was long and had a rep grind and I don’t have any desire to repeat it if I can help it. On the alchemy side I’ve run up against the RNG of learning upgrades. Having to make a billion potions that are too low to give skillups to try to learn new ranks that might give skillups does not appeal. On top of all of that, you also have to run multiple dungeons for each profession. At least now that I’m 110 I can be carried through heroics by people with way more gear in a matter of minutes, as long as I don’t make myself depressed by looking at the damage meters.

The huge disconnect between how easy it is to level up an alt and how annoying it is to level their professions is really messing with my normal path to expansion/patch lull enjoyment. This is the time in prior expansions where I’d be raking in gold. Sure, we all got spoiled by how easy that was in WoD, but even in prior expansions I could level an alt and be useful making flasks, bags, gems, or transmutes pretty quickly. This time around even my main only got her professions maxed by staking out the Darkmoon Faire, and my alts are getting to around rank 760 (out of 800) at best before I hit a wall of dungeons or RNG or both. It has been fun to see a bunch of the class hall stories, but feels really strange that these alts aren’t being useful like they should. All that investment into leveling alts feels very hollow if I stop logging into them as soon as I’m done with their story. Oh well, at least I can keep selling plenty of Draenor-era bags. Maybe I should park my alts back in my garrison again…