Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the Gear Gap, and Suggestions on Stopgap Solutions

Yet again an alt has run full tilt into the gear gap between Northrend normals and Cataclysm normals.  And rather than rant about it I figured I'd try to be constructive. I know that in the long run Blizz is trying to figure out what to do about gear inflation, but that doesn't help people right now. So here's some stopgap solutions in the meantime.

1. Have crafted gear that fills the gap. My tailor can't make a full set of Cat greens for a level 80, and neither can my blacksmith or leatherworker. Add some patterns and fix this. You could even have them drop from the level 80 Wraith dungeons.  This isn't an ideal newbie solution, but it'd couldn't hurt.

2. Give the heirlooms that scale to 85 an i level (like 282). Heck, if you wanted to be really nice, you could make it a scaling i-level. It'd be nice to be able to queue with my cloak and helm of YAY XP, instead of queueing in greens I am just going to switch out as soon as I get in there.

3. Get rid of the XP gap between Northrend heroics and Cat normals. At least that way I could go farm Northrend stuff for XP (even if gear farming them is pointless). It just makes the gap a bit less painful.

4. Lower the ilevel requirements for the first two Cat normals.

5. Drop Cat greens in level 80 dungeons.

6. Make quest rewards from the level 80 dungeons equivalent to Cat greens.

Now, why am I harping on this? Well, imagine you're a new player. You've decided that you want to tank or heal at end game, so you've leveled through dungeons, or you've leveled through dungeons cause you like them. You're learning how to play, you've kinda got the gear thing down, and then you hit level 80 and lookie, you can't keep progressing the way you have been.  You have to hope that a) you know that Cat greens can be bought on the AH and that you have the gold or that b) it occurs to you to go quest or that c) you have helpful and friendly guildies.

Otherwise, I can see a misinformed newbie thinking "okay, guess I need to run more Wraith normals" never realizing that they will never get to a high enough i level that way.  And that could easily lead to a rage quit. If it's annoying to me (who has the gold and the knowledge to go get what I need from the AH), I can only imagine how frustrating it might be to a new player.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stuff I've been up to in WoW

Other than transmog? Okay, quite a bit of transmog. Lookie at the newest outfits!
 Monera's new outfit, based around that pretty leather skirt. All pieces except belt and staff are low-level AH stuff. The staff will be replaced, once I find one I like better.

 Garetia's new mail outfit. Not ideal yet, but I like the green theme. Based around the tunic, a dungeon quest reward from Auchenai Crypts. All other bits were either already in bags, purchased on the AH, or crafted.

 And here we see Anput, my rogue. She's also rocking a chest from that same quest as Garetia is, just leather instead of mail. The pants are again AH, found while I was trying to put together Monera's outfit. Otherwise it's a mix of heirlooms, level 60 pvp gear, and the dagger is Fangs of the Father, a dungeon drop (don't ask me which dungeon, she's run 7 in the past few days and they've all run together).

Otherwise, there's been a lot of gearing up Eiunn the shaman, who is now 3/8 DS 10 as elemental and 4/8 DS LFR as resto. I've run a lot of the new 5 mans, and come to some conclusions.
1) caster mail is a myth
2) Echo of Sylvannas stinks
3) Thrall is this expansion's CoT Arthas.

Lyllea's 8/8 in LFR, and 4/8 in DS 10. We're running hard into the DPS check on Ultra (due to 3 healing it in normal Firelands gear), and have developed a great dislike of Warlord Buggy'McBuggyPants. I've gotten some tier from LFR, and while it looks like Lyl's 359 boots are never getting replaced, I did get a new main hand, so I can't complain much.

My DK's next in line for gearing, but it's hard to convince myself to run those 5 mans another 7 times after running them on Lyl (to cap valor if I don't want to deal with the stupid of LFR) and Eiunn (damn you caster mail, DROP!). So instead I've actually been leveling. In fact, at this point all of my alts on Shadow Council have run through all their rested XP. My mage is almost to 80, the rogue's 66, and even the warrior got some love (and a Blackfathoms run of "hit all the buttons because EJ has either failed me on a fury guide or I'm very tired and looking in the wrong place"). I also rolled a lock Horde-side to help Redeemed with Stay Classy. I'm looking forward to getting her into PVP, mostly because a) 7 heirlooms=OP, and b) an undead running around with gnome pigtails just seems extra evil.

Other than that, I've gotten into some achievement runs on various toons, and I'm dabbling my toe into the crafting transmog market. Eiunn's picked up both Ulduar and BT leatherworking and/or tailoring patterns, so I'm planning on making one or two, see if they'll sell. All this transmog is a bit hard on the old gold reserves, after all, and if I don't do something I might have to *GASP!* do dailies.

So that's what I've been up to during this radio silence. Now, off to bed, and before I forget...


Transmogging without a set, how to create an original look

So, I've been doing a lot of trying to figure out how to transmog stuff so I get unique and also nice-looking gear. And I figured I'd write up what I've come up with.

First, and foremost, get a addon that shows you what gear looks like on your toon. I love MogIt, but I'm sure there's plenty out there to choose from.

Second, run old stuff. My server has a lovely channel called achievements, and you can generally find at least one old raid going on at peak times. Look for mount runs, achievement runs, that sort of thing. Personally I don't pick my raid based on what it might drop, I pick it based on how much I like going there. That way any cool drops are just a neat bonus. But it is best to go in without a preconceived notion of what you're going for, so that you're more open to new things. I didn't go into Black Temple thinking I was going to get a shield, but I did. Also, I discovered there's a kick-arse mace in there, so it looks like my DK may be doing some farming.

Third, keep an eye out while leveling alts. I've already found a sword that I want to get on as many toons as possible, simply because it looks cool.

Now, you should hopefully have a good selection of gear at this point. Now comes the hard part, creating a look from this selection. Here's one way (the way I find the easiest) to do it...

Step 1) Find your favorite piece. Ideally you want something that's going to be obvious on your toon, like a chest or shield or staff or shoulders.  This piece is what you're going to build your set around. In the case of Lyl, I started with the current priest tier shoulders.

Step 2) Gather all that gear you've been collecting. Hit the transmog guy and start experimenting. Keep in mind a few simple things, like matching colors and keeping the ornateness/simplicity of the gear more or less equivalent to your favorite piece. Generally you'll want to go with simpler looking gear than your favorite piece so the rest of the set doesn't distract. Also keep in mind that enchants on your gear will still be visible, so you generally don't want to transmog your nice sword with the glowing red enchant to the blue lightsaber.

Step 3) Now hopefully you've got at least the beginnings of a set. Start farming to fill in any slots, and don't forget about hitting the AH. Cheap leveling greens often have a nice look, and your friendly tailor can make some nice things too (like the black mageweave headpiece, or the admiral's hat). Heck, the Fel Iron sword is pretty darn neat-looking too, and that shouldn't be too hard to hunt down from a blacksmith.

Now, to put my money where my mouth is, here's my current looks...
Lyllea, starting with the current priest shoulders, adding a splash of Ulduar, tier 11 (the boots), and even a staff from Scarlet Monastery, which you'll have to actually go to the Armory to see, since I can't figure out how to change her pose to show it. I have no idea which tabard that is, since I don't have one that matches.

Eiunn, who is still a work in progress, first in what she's currently wearing (and yes, I need either a top with green or pants and shield with blue)...

And second, in an earlier version...(yes, that's not the best screencap ever, sorry). Since this cap, I've picked up a shield from Black Temple, cursed my legs for not matching, and gotten rid of the helm. Cool helm, but I didn't have anything else that matched it.

Here's my DK, Llonya. She's my only toon in a precreated set, and that is her original DK greens (never getting rid of stuff finally came in handy)

And here's MogIt in action, showing me what that offhand (in Black Temple) looks like on my toon.

And I have no idea why all my space goats look so grumpy! Didn't there used to be a way to customize the pose of your toons in the Armory? Did they get rid of that or am I just too tired to see it?

I hope this makes transmogging a bit less ACK! and a bit more fun for you. Sure, there's tons of great sets (I saw a lvl 60 dressed as a SW guard tonight), but I think half the fun's making your own, plus there's loads of resources on sets.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Slightly Disappointed

So this is how I feel about 4.3...

Has it lived up to that? Well, I'm waiting for my decision after the Darkmoon Faire hits, but so far...

Really reusing the Eye of Eternity?  Awesome setting, you know I love it (it's my blog's backdrop for goodness sake) but fail on something new and shiny.  Sadness.  Naxx at the beginning of Wraith? You failed there, you're kinda failing here...

Here's hoping the Darkmoon Faire is F-ing awesome, cause if not, well, watching Quills on Netflix (or South Park or Mad Men or random documentaries) is more appealing. At least with that, I get knitting done (and therefore have something tangible to show for it). But Blizzard, PLEASE! I don't want to give up the game that has led to so many incredible friends, please! I want to keep playing, give me a reason to (besides the horse and Diablo 3 for the year-long, cause I ran through Diablo 2 in a summer with pain meds (ankle-reconstruction, owie)).

But for something positive, my run with the raid finder was relatively painless. I want to figure out how to hit an idiot through the internet (my blue bar = your red bar, idiot, if I have no blue, then you have no red), but it was relatively promising. I'm just not sure it will remain so (or be so if I hadn't que'd for heals. Yes, I queue for new raids as heals, and new dungeons as DPS.) I blame the begininng of Cat, which made me doubt (and still doubt) my 5 man healing skills.

I did get tier (but am not sure if I want to break my 4 piece) and did see 2 fights. But that isn't enough on it's own to keep me playing. The awesome friends and guilds I have gotten to know do that, and I have yet to see something to keep me playing over the long-term outside of those. Blizz, I want to keep giving you my money, please please please be worthy of it!!!!