Garrison Architects

Today is a good day to build.

It’s also a good day to run around the overflowing wilderness of Draenor trying to earn the Draenor Pathfinder achievement. It’s an interesting achievement that is feasibly doable at Lvl 100 if you’ve got the gear for it, which only the daily reputation quests might prevent if you’re going solo. But only if you’re having trouble fighting the elites out in Tanaan Jungle. Otherwise it’s just a few daily quests. Moggie was fully geared during the pre-Legion invasion event so he’s pretty much able to kill anything and everything Draenor has to offer.

Even as far as being able to solo some of the dungeons out there.

I’ve managed to get through Bloodmaul Slag Mines, The Iron Docks, and Auchindoun with relative ease. I don’t really want to push much further than Auchindoun, though. They nearly managed to kill ol’ Moggie. The dungeons in Warlords of Draenor are smaller and less loot intensive than those I’ve experienced prior, but they’re still well made encounters. They’re diverse, too.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the steadily decreasing size of dungeons (and other instances) since Wrath of the Lich King, though I am pleased to see more story being put into them. Story that usually ties into the zone the instance is in or the quests available in the instance. By the way, if you’re wondering, this post isn’t particularly related to the ongoing series– I’m just reflecting on the joy that is Warlords of Draenor. Attempting to earn the Draenor Pathfinder achievement (and working towards adventures with Legion content) has reignited my interest in this expansion. It’s pretty good. I’m really enjoying how the garrison helps to not only develop your professions but also opens up new locations to visit. The shipyard is particularly neat to look at, too.

The Temple of Karabor.

It’s definitely a gamble as if you don’t enjoy the garrison you’re out of luck. Incredibly out of luck. You’re also going to have to deal with being on the ground for the majority of it, either until you earn flying or leave Draenor never to return. But I like it. I can’t really explain why but there’s something about it that’s refreshing. The crafting is incredibly simplified compared to other expansions (including Legion it would seem) but it’s enjoyable all the same. Especially if you’re planning to carry on to Lvl 110 and want to easily burn through 600-700.

The art direction is perhaps the best I’ve seen in World of Warcraft, too.

The halls of Auchindoun are ridiculously beautiful. The dark, charred, Fel scarred landscapes are gorgeously haunting. The music is deliciously fitting and helps tremendously to create an enchanting atmosphere, whether it’s holy or unholy, which helps to deliver key story elements. I still enjoy the core gameplay but a lot of my return is thanks to Warlords of Draenor.

I’m particularly fond of the Horde story as Thrall is a major part of it. For reasons I won’t explain (as not to spoil it) he’s a particularly notable inclusion in the events to come, which helps develop his character further. The Alliance story is pretty great, too. In fact- all of it is great. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve got numerous other characters to experience the content with. In any case, I just wanted to highlight this expansion as more than just a setting for my ongoing series. It really does deserve the praise. I’ve also got three out of the five requirements for Draenor Pathfinder met, with the last two being the quest lines for the zones and the daily reputation grinding. So I guess I’ve got some work to do.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 10)

The elements are no longer silent.

Warlords of Draenor has certainly been a treat. I didn’t really expect that much from the expansion to begin with, but as I’ve experienced both the Alliance and Horde stories I’m convinced it’s one of the best expansions. Especially from the Horde perspective. While the Alliance perspective has some great stories, plot elements, and key battles- the Horde perspective is peerless. Fighting alongside Durotan in a campaign that mirrors what Thrall did for the Horde is awesome.

It’s also an expansion oozing with alternate history.

I’m a massive fan of the changes to questing, too. How you can find rare and powerful equipment from specific rare or elite mobs. How you can level up through exploration and completing tasks specific to the zone. How the way that you develop your garrison has an impact on how you interact with the world. It all works so well without you even realising it.

The pre-Legion patch changes to Enhancement Shamans have likely played a part in this as well. That said, I’ve always enjoyed the way that Shamans have played (even back in Cataclysm). Even if I am bummed out that they’ve lost their totems. Or, rather, that they’ve lost the ability to summon four. I think I’ve seen that for Elemental Shamans, though. I’ve met a few out in Draenor who seem to be able to summon totems like I used to. Those were the days. The days where you could die in the starting zone as they had waves of hostile mobs near that cave. They weren’t really the days- I’m just contractually obligated to say that as I’m older than the dirt in Orgrimmar. These days are better. Mostly.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

I’ve also managed to get nearly every one of my Alliance characters outfitted with a set of four Frostweave Bags, with only my Rogue left unaccounted for. She’ll get them soon enough. Moggie and/or Flint will be going to either Icecrown Citadel or Naxxramas some time soon. Or maybe I’ll throw Voljaarn into the fray. It’ll be interesting to see how powerful he has become. Soul has actually run out of things to learn in both of her professions as a result of these bags, too. She needs to hit Lvl 75 to start learning more.

It’s not an impossible goal, either.

I’m actually incredibly pleased with how this subscription has played out. Despite playing less time than I usually would, I’ve managed to not only reach but exceed a number of the goals I’d set out at the start of the month. It’s promising. It shows me that I don’t need to be playing full time (as it were) to get value from the subscription at least.

It’s been fun talking about the different characters, too. It’s nice to think that there are many different participants in these Adventures in Azeroth, which isn’t even counting the characters you’ve not met/heard of yet. Or the ones that don’t exist yet. I’m looking at you future Demon Hunter who will likely be a tank/DPS. Not that it’s technically possible to be anything else. Unless you never activate a secondary specialisation. I think you’ll like my Druid. She turns into a cat. I actually surprised my friend with her bear form, once. She thought I was a random bear mob and wondered why it was following her despite not being hostile. The dance animation for bears is pretty neat, too.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 5)

An enticing mistress.

One of the most interesting aspects about this return to World of Warcraft is how much I’m enjoying it. I fully expected that after the free week I got earlier this year that the nostalgia would wear off- but it hasn’t. I’m probably more nostalgic than I’ve ever been. I’m not entirely sure if that’s because I’ve got more content to experience than I know what to do with, or that I really didn’t like Cataclysm. To be honest, while soloing a few of the dungeons the other day I got the same feeling even then. Cataclysm… just wasn’t good.

Which is odd when you consider that’s when Moggie started to make significant progress. But, still, the silly rotation that Retribution inherited along with the general class changes just made me feel a lot more comfortable in Protection. Which then led to me soloing almost all of the time as I wasn’t interested in the world content.

Hence why my subscription kind of fell to the wayside for a while.

Warlords of Draenor has certainly increased the chances I’d maintain an active subscription by a significant percentage. I’m a lot happier, having a lot more fun, and enjoying all of the content I’ve experienced since I’ve returned. It could be that once the excess content expires I’ll burn out in the same way as I did before. But, I don’t know- I don’t feel like that’s going to happen this time. Even looking at the sustainable progress I’ve made with my Horde characters fills me with an amount of enthusiasm. I’ll probably be doing a lot more with those in the future as a result of it, too. It’s also nice to have some new characters to experience content with. Further still if I purchase Legion and invest in a Demon Hunter.

As it does on yours, Thrall.

As it does on yours, Thrall.

The Horde has been a major focus this time around. I spent some time with my Shaman, Warrior, and Warlock building up their professions to make sure they’re all relevant to the content they’re currently levelling through. Voljaarn (the Shaman) has also been through the Mists of Pandaria content and is now sitting happily in his garrison. Warlords of Draenor content is next on his list but I don’t know if he’ll be pushing to Lvl 100 just yet. I’ve got a couple of other characters to think about first.

Kirinastei (the Warlock) is one of those. As he was the only character I had prior to the Warlords of Draenor upgrade that wasn’t Lvl 70 or higher. Levelling through Outland (or at least half of it) seems to suggest that the experience there is unchanged, which likely means Northrend is also as I remember it. Cataclysm, too. Mists of Pandaria just seems quicker by default.

There’s also the newly made Death Knight.

I’m still debating whether it’s a better idea to use the free Lvl 90 boost (that I likely won’t use elsewhere) to improve his professions or progress through them organically. I don’t particularly like skipping levelling experiences, though. I’d rather not level the character at all than skip all of it entirely. Still, Death Knights are a bit of an exception to that rule. Then again, I begin to wonder if Demon Hunters might face similar problems. However, while I’m not entirely sure of this, it would seem that you can progress through professions in Warlords of Draenor regardless of currently known recipes. So maybe that’s an option for the two of those? It’s a difficult choice to make as it’s somewhat permanent once committed to.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 2)

It’s a fishin’ day.

Probably the least developed of all of Moggie’s professions for the reason that I only do it when I absolutely need to. I don’t particular enjoy it, nor does it have much of a purpose outside of a few quests and a few achievements. That said, Warlords of Draenor introduced a new Cooking system which was made much easier by being able to fish in my garrison. So it was about time to take out that rod I never use, attach some baubles to it, and fish for a couple of hours. The good news is that Moggie has now mastered Cooking (again).

The bad news is that Fishing is still trailing by a considerable margin.

On the topic of garrisons- they’re awesome! They remind me of the days of building settlements in Warcraft III. I’m particularly enjoying how organic the growth process is, how easy they are to manage, and how much use they have. I love the idea of things like the mine (where you can harvest Mining nodes every day). I also love that they’re fully customisable.

I did make a slight mistake and build a Forge believing that was for a smelting the ore I’ve found. But the Mine and the associated work orders are for that. That said, the Forge does allow me to craft equipment which Moggie can use. So all is not lost. Especially if I’m missing a very particular piece of equipment that I can easily craft myself. I’ve still got the ability to upgrade Moggie’s garrison one final time, so I’m sure that will give me the opportunity to fill in another building or two to cover what I would have built in place of the Forge. Probably somewhere I can access my bank or perhaps an auctioneer (if that’s an option). I’m really enjoying the garrison concept, though.

I have no idea what I'm standing in...

I have no idea what I’m standing in…

Mists of Pandaria was quite an enjoyable experience, too. I cleared through the Lvl 85 to Lvl 90 levelling experience in two zones (and a few straggler quests elsewhere). That said, I don’t actually mind that so much as I can experience other zones on other characters with a fresh perspective. Unlike, say, Cataclysm, where Moggie finished most of the quests in pretty much every one of the areas while levelling from Lvl 80 to Lvl 85. Could also throw Voljaarn (Troll Enhancement Shaman) out there as well. Get the Horde perspective.

Warlords of Draenor has been pretty awesome as well.

I’ve always liked alternate history/universe stories, though. The visuals, the quests, and pretty much everything has been fantastic so far. I’m quite excited about going for the achievement which unlocks flying, not only to be able to fly but to be able to explore more of the world. There’s a myriad of hidden goodies scattered across this world. Some are pretty powerful, too.

I’m not entirely sure where Moggie will be going after he reaches Lvl 100, either. I want to do the other pre-release events if possible. I’ve already had some fun pushing back the various invasions across Azeroth. I wasn’t particularly good at it- but I was there. Which is probably a twofold problem of both my current level and the quality of my equipment. Neither are probably at the level they need to be to do pre-release events. But, they will be later. There’s also a whole list of places to explore, dungeons to solo, raids to attempt, and various other things to see out in the world. So I don’t think I’ll get bored. I might go for a few lava baths with ol’ Ragnaros (Molten Core) for some nostalgic dips down memory lane.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie