Monday, December 5, 2016

WoW Weekly: Dear Lord, It's Been a While

WoW Weekly is a biweekly-ish, self-absorbed look into the things I've been doing inside the game and out. From mount farming and raiding, to music, movies, books and other games.

Thus ends Feckless Leader's posting drought. 

Man, it's been a while, hasn't it? I knew I'd been neglecting this space for reasons I'll get into shortly, but when I realized it's been over a month since my last post I became extra grateful the spirit chose to move me this morning. Because that's really my MO. Like when writing music, I don't often approach this with discipline, but rather opt to wait around patiently for the muse to drop onto my shoulder, or at best, will the muse to touch down somewhere in the neighborhood. 

While the muse has been at arm's length this whole time, other things have taken precedence. I'm playing a hell of a lot more Legion than I was playing Warlords. But I'm also playing a lot less Legion than I did Mists of Pandaria. That's mostly due to real life business, and partly to do with the fact two other Blizzard games have been demanding my attention. 

Ok, two paragraphs in, seems like the right time to get to the main point of this whole post: have you guys met Mehlody? I don't think you have. I did what 99% of other players did and rolled a demon hunter at the start of the expansion. Then, I put her on the shelf so I could focus on gearing up the enhancement shaman main. 

A few weeks ago, I reached the point with my main where I could start to consider alts. That point for me, mind you, was finding and equipping a second legendary. He's been geared up to the teeth thanks to the guild's weekly raid, so outside of achievements and finishing Karazhan, he's doing all right. 

With Mehlody, I learned that if leveling is your main goal, things go by pretty quickly. As a double-gatherer, I chose to start out in Stormheim and Highmountain due to Fjarnskaggl and Foxflower herbs. Figured it'd be a good way to furnish some of my main's raid supplies, because flasks and potions are expensive, people! I quickly abandoned that idea with the advent of the Blood of Sargeras vendor, since gathering would just slow me down. I finished the main storyline in Stormheim, most of it in Highmountain, and just a snippet in Val'sharah before I dinged 110. Thanks to the work done by my trusty main Elepheagle, my Flight Master's whistle was instantly delivered and I set off to Suramar. 

Prior to last weekend, I was faced with the gearing slog: reach 810 in order to be able to queue for Heroic dungeons. I was well under that, and the prospects of running with the guild's Sunday alt run were unlikely. Thanks to some crafted gear and a couple of lucky world quest upgrades, I was just shy of 810 prior to raid start. I used pull that only a raid leader has and inserted myself into the off-tank position that night. Luckily, we only had one other tank that night, so I had to do it, you know? 

It was rough for me at times---I feel for the healers---but we managed to clear Normal Emerald Nightmare in about 75 minutes. Yes, we were stacked with superstars from our Thursday main raid, but still. I lucked out on gear, and a couple people chuckled when at raid's end I declared that I was ready for Heroic dungeons. I only did run a couple of those between last week's alt run and this week's, but still managed to pull my ilvl up to 830. Special nod to the legendary necklace I pulled from a Highmountain cache last night.

As for the alt run this week, we only managed to make it through Cenarius, but the loot gods were kind again, granting me over 10 ilvls. I think now I'm technically ready for Mythic dungeons, a prospect that excites me as a tank. 

I'm happy with the amount of time I put in on my main to get him to where he's at, but I'm also surprised at how quickly it felt like I got Mehlody to a respectable point. There's definitely some alt-unfriendly mechanics in this expansion, and I would NOT want to juggle the resource acquisition and order halls for 3+ characters. I look at Mehlody and feel like she's geared enough. I can fill in as raid tank if needed, tank any dungeon at this point...what's left? 

Roll another alt? What else can I say here...

Oh yeah. I attended for the fifth time this year. The things I wanted to say were meant for a standalone post, but so much time has passed I'm not sure that'd be relevant. So I'll do it here in shorter form.
  • The biggest thing I noticed this year was how little of the con's focus was on World of Warcraft, and how much was on esports, specifically Overwatch. It is a much different beast than the event I first attended six years ago. That said, the evolution feels natural. It's getting to the point where I feel like I could head to Anaheim for a vacation that just happens to coincide with the con, buy a virtual ticket, and do all the after-hours stuff with friends. Which leads me to...
  • I did a terrible job of connecting with the community this year. This was due in part to the fact our group was staying a little farther off-campus in a house that had all the amenities you could wish for on a vacation, including a large, partially covered outdoor patio with a swimming pool, hot tub, foosball table, pool table, gaming center, dartboard, and bar. 
  • Hodor (Kristian Nairn) can spin. I haven't really given EDM much of a chance, purely personal preference. But it was a lot of fun hearing and seeing live. Songhammer is Songhammer. Consistent fellas, even if the gig is getting a little old. Weird Al was a pleasant surprise, but Foo Fighters still remains as the only Blizzcon concert I saw through completely. A buddy and I opted to try out the Diablo Necromancer because we knew there'd be little to no line and we heard everyone who tested got a commemorative token.
  • I had an incredibly awkward experience on the flight home. Ask me about it sometime.   

One inevitable effect from Blizzcon is having the desire to play other Blizzard games, at least for me. I'd sort of cooled on Overwatch during the lead up to Legion. I didn't have too many friends playing and I was busy getting all of my toons to level 100 in Warcraft. Seeing all of the Overwatch at Blizzcon lulled me back into the game. I've also found more friends to play with in the mean time, which makes the game more enjoyable on multiple levels. I'm not a fan of the shooter genre, but I'm a big fan of this game. 

Heroes of the Storm
While I didn't need any extra urging to jump back into Heroes of the Storm post-Blizzcon, the Nexus Challenge makes it extra worthwhile. Though it's seemingly a ploy to get Overwatch players to check out Heroes, I and many friends have taken advantage of the promotion. Now that I've played my 30 games I've opted to take it easy and devote non-WoW game time to Overwatch, but you can be sure I'll be making regular appearances in the Nexus.

After those last two paragraphs I must say, damn, Blizzard makes good games. I like knowing that when life gets too busy for WoW, or even when WoW is no more, I won't have to look far for my gaming entertainment.

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