Sunday, October 13, 2013

WoW Weekly: Thursday raids and casual play

WoW Weekly is a biweekly-ish, self-absorbed look into the things I've been doing -- or not doing -- in the game. From auctioneering and pet battling to mount farming and raiding.

I wrote the last WoW Weekly just after 5.4 went live. Since then, I've checked out the Proving Grounds. My level 90 alts are all acceptably sitting around ilvl 496 or higher, thanks to the Timeless Isle's "give out armor like it's candy at Halloween" philosophy. The Celestial Tournament has elicited only a few half-hearted attempts from me, and really, I haven't spent much time on the Isle beyond the first couple of days. I'm just a bit burned out, and need a break from grinds on isles in out-of-the-way places. Add the new raids to the mix and there's quite a bit to do. I thought I'd be playing a bit more, but my approach has been rather casual this patch.

A breakdown below:

  • A few weeks ago, our little transfer guild merged with another guild (lead by one of our raiders) and we've been recruiting since then. Most of the ragtag members from our Thursday night raid have brought at least their raiding character into the guild on their own accord.

  • Speaking of raiding: the Thursday night raid is still going strong. We get occasional inquiries about open slots (which we still have since it's Flex) via our forum post, but otherwise we've been running with the same 10-14 players for the past couple of months. We've managed to kill the first five bosses in Flex on our limited schedule and are looking forward to beginning our raid at the Gates this week. 

  • I'm seeing Tempest Keep on five toons every week. Lately, I've been trying to organize my own world boss tours (Galleon/Sha/Nalak/Oondasta) solely for the extra Valor and the chance at mounts. It's amazing what a full 40-player group in 520ish gear can do to these bosses.

  • Still having to force myself to run LFR, and I'm not doing that great of a job. I managed to kill five of the 11 available bosses before I'd reach my tolerance threshold this week. I think LFR is awesome for allowing players to see content they wouldn't normally see---I absolutely loved it when it came out, running multiple toons each week---but as time went on I realized how terrible it is for the game and community. You want to fix LFR? Make it flex-type scenario where the player can queue up with 0-24 friends/players from their server, with the missing slots and roles filled by NPCs. 

  • Though late to the game, I did receive a Hearthstone beta invite last week and naturally dove right in. There's a super low barrier-to-entry, play is quick and fun, and it's easy to keep saying "one more game" late into the evening. I put down some initial thoughts and am planning to follow up with a post about features I'd like to see Blizzard add to the game before it goes live. 

And that's that. Til next time, may all your quest rewards be useful!

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