Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WoW Weekly: A Bigg'un

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.

This WoW Weekly thing used to be somewhat of a weekly thing. And there are good reasons for its lapse, as I see. Some of those reasons will be discussed on an upcoming podcast. Said podcast is partially responsible for reigniting the drive to return to blogging here more regularly, but I'm not sure how long it will last. Legion may play into that prospect heavily.

The last WoW Weekly from May of 2015 looked at ways to approach the game outside of current content, since to me that content was lackluster at best. Thankfully, the arrival of Tanaan Jungle with Patch 6.2 was just around the corner. If nothing else, I knew I'd be knocking out the final achievements required for Draenor Pathfinder.

Let's catch up.

In late June, prior to a guild meet-up in New York, we killed Blackhand just in time to earn Ahead of the Curve. Then, the meetup saw roughly a dozen members of Sapere Aude converging on a little resort town in upstate New York to hang for a weekend. Many, many years ago, my personal goal was to join or start a guild that was tight-knit enough to make something like this happen. Achievement earned. We're in the process of planning 2016's meetup as I write this.

By August, my play habits hadn't really changed much; truth is, I still had to force myself to log in and had little desire to do so. So August saw some logging in for garrison chores two or three times per week, killing Yogg-Saron with four characters in search of Mimiron's Head, and raiding on Thursday nights.

En route to Ulduar.

September turned out to be one of the most surreal months I've had in a long, long time. The guild was working on Normal Archimonde, having already pushed halfway through Heroic. That's not why it was weird though. It got weird when the relationship I'd been in for the past six years dissolved. Would have seen it coming were it not for the blinders I'd equipped, and now, what's done is done. Needless to say it had a bit of an effect on my approach to the game. 

October was a month of personal recovery. I had some soul-searching to do and took refuge in music and friends. That, and I had to find a new place to live. For the first time since I'd started raiding during the Wrath of Lich King, I missed more than one scheduled raid in a month's time. I had internet access within a week of moving, but if my desire to play the game was low prior, it became non-existent. 

The succession plan I had in mind for Legion that involved me handing over the raid-leading reins suddenly got moved up. Thankfully, since we have such great people, the guild continued on, the raid still progressed, and I found myself on the receiving end of a plethora of concern and kind words from the friends I'd made in Azeroth. 

The month of November hailed an event that provided some much-needed entertainment: Blizzcon. I welcomed the departure from the Wisconsin climate and the distraction from the familiarity of home. Plus, I got to see and hang out with a bunch of my Blizzard-community friends. Before leaving for Anaheim, I promised the guild I'd be back full-time upon return. I was hoping Blizzcon would reinvigorate my excitement for the game. It did, to an extent, and I've kept my promise to the guild. If there's anything Blizzcon reminds me of, it's the fact that the people I game with are the biggest reason I remain.

December saw the guild defeating Heroic Archimonde a couple of weeks before Christmas, which was our ultimate goal for the expansion. Since our raids later in the month fell on holidays, we took a break until 2016.

And that, for the most part, brings us to the present. My play time has ratcheted up; it's nowhere near the consistent levels it was during Mists of Pandaria, but it's a significant change from the last half of 2015. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Hitting the gold cap (again): I'm making the slow slog without leaving my garrison by at least logging in for garrison chores on a near-daily basis. I've got four characters with max-level garrisons, two with shipyards also at max-level. I've also got a lower level mule collecting garrison resources to spend at the trading post. Between garrison and shipyard missions, items from crates, and crafted armor and weapons for AH sales, I can easily---easily---pay for my monthly subscription while seeing a significant surplus of gold. I anticipate not paying a dime for Warcraft and hitting the cap before Legion's release. 
  • Leveling an alt: With Heroic Archimonde's demise in mid-December, the guild raid was looking at either the prospect of many, many months of Heroic HFC on farm or at switching things up. We've opted for the latter, and are now on a rotating raid schedule that will hop between Heroic farm, Mythic difficulty, and an alt raid night. Hence, I've begun to gear my discipline priest. He's currently around 690 ilvl, but I should have my legendary ring this week unless I'm terribly unlucky with tome drops. 
  • The hunt for Mimiron's Head: I've been killing Yogg four times per week for quite some time now and have not had any luck. I'm about to earn the legendary healing mace on a second character, so there's that, I suppose.
  • Guild Ironman: During the downtime between expansions, the guild is running its version of an Ironman contest. My human monk is currently level 16. We decided to roll on Wyrmrest Accord, and I must say I really like the realm so far. I'll be chronicling that journey in a hopefully regular-ish series of posts.
  • Diablo 3 Season 4: With as much fun as I had leveling a monk in Season 3, I knew I'd return for Season 4. This time around I went with a demon hunter which, at first, I didn't think I was going to enjoy. I generally like melee combat. Still, after getting used to the play style I had no issues quickly leveling to 70 and starting the end-game journey. I really like the armor set dungeons this time around. Adds an interesting aspect to play and makes replaying through on a second character much more attractive to me. 

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