Archive for January, 2016


headThere’s enough to do in World of Warcraft to keep me playing since I’ve some back. Creating my own parameters and setting my own goal keeps me enjoying what I’m doing. Warlords of Draenor is what it is, it hasn’t changed, the dearth of patch content is still an issue and we remain sceptical about Legion and the future. The game is still there though: WoD raids are still among the best Blizzard have ever made; the excellent levelling process makes raising alts from 90 – 100 a joy; the older expansion content still exists and many; many things are left for us to complete.

So while I’m still annoyed and disappointed by Warlords of Draenor and won’t pay for a subscription myself the core game still interests me and I do have things to do. Indeed the farming of gold to finance my WoW Token purchase each month has become a mini game. What I have learned over the last two months is that if used properly the Garrison is useful and fun. The most important piece of wisdom I can share with you is: Garrisons, you’ll like them more the less time you spend in them. If you’re following my example and hacking your way to 60k gold each month (well that’s the price on Draenor-EU dammit) I’ve got some simple tips.

harvestYour Garrison(s).

One Level 3 Garrison and a good, epic fleet in your shipyard can deliver a couple of thousand gold on a good day (more). These days although not unusual aren’t every other. I’ve currently got three Horde level 100s and their Garrisons are (almost) fully optimized. I can easily turn over 2K a day easily with all three chars, a WoW Token costs 60K, so that puts me right on track to buy the token doing nothing every day except harvest my Garrisons.

Small buildings:

Level 2 Gem Boutique

JCRegardless of your professions you need one of these in all your garrisons. At level 2 you can assign a follower to work in the Boutique. This follower will offer a simple daily quest each day that with reward on average 250G. (That’s 40% of your daily requirement if you have three Gem Boutiques.)

Level 3 Salvage Yard

Literally money for nothing. You’ll potentially get an extra drop, Salvage Bag or Crate, from Follower missions. These contain trash items and green/blue transog/trash gear. Either vendor the gear (for around 25G) or disenchant it and auction the mats. This salvage also has a chance of Follower weapon/armour upgrades. This stuff is great.

Medium buildings

Level 2 Lunafall / Frostwall Inn

At level 2 an NPC inside your inn will give you a choice of three Followers to select from. You can set the Ability or Trait of your recruits and in this way you can fill out your roster with Treasure Hunters. Gold missions from the command table will yield two, sometime more, times the gold due to the Followers on the mission with this trait.

Large Buildings

War Mill / Dwarven Bunker

A no brainer. At level 3 the War Mill will yield one free Bonus Roll Token a week. For Garrison Resources and Iron Horde Scraps (dropping in raids and dungeons mainly) you can get more Follower armour and weapon upgrades. You’ll need these to speed your progress to 675 with all your Treasure Hunter followers. Ker-ching!

Barracks

Another no brainer: a level 3 Barracks allows you to have 5 more active followers. More active Followers means more Follower missions each day.

All Garrisons have a location for a mine and a herb garden. Ore and herbs are not a fabulous source of gold, many guides advise against levelling and harvesting. However, the gold return : time spent ratio is reasonable. Of course, to get the mine and garden to level 3 you’ll need 3850G and 1500 garrison resources. I expect to harvest a 200 stack of herbs every other day. The value of the stacks fluctuate and different herbs do have different values but for 300 – 400 gold every other day if you struggling to make your target this may assist in avoiding your two final options below. You’re going to need some ore and often a couple of herbs to complete the Gem Boutique daily so mine and herb garden are not bad plans, even if you only harvest what’s required for the daily. Harvesting both mine took me eleven minutes today and I was not approaching it as a time trial.

InnWith my three level 3 garrison and my treasure hunting / questing activities on my other chars I’m turning in 60K every 15 days. I can afford to toss some cash around, I can generate enough gold for my WoW Token in half the time required. So I can put my feet up and not do any of the following:

Cataclysm Raids

If you are skilled and play the right class then I guess you’re solo-ing old MoP raids. I’ve tried Throne of Thunder and found Jin’rokh more trouble than it was worth. For me that rules out the rest of ToT and Siege of Orgrimmar. I believe Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear are not impossible to solo at level 100. Give them a try I will be. I can reported that as a DPS class with very little mitigation

As for the Catacylsm raids I am happy to report my personal experience is that all are solo-able on heroic difficulty right up to Dragon Soul. Why do you want solo these old raids? Well in a couple or three hours when you vendored the contents of you bags, four or five times, you’ll find yourself about 5K better off. You can run these dungeons once a week, that’s 4 times in your WoW Token period. That’s around 22.5K or 35% of your token money, big hit relatively short time: 7 hours ¼.

I messed up and did Firelands on 10 man difficulty today, it took 35 minutes and yielded 1251G.

Bastion of Twilight on heroic difficulty took 23 minutes (including travel time) and yielded 1253G.

Blackwing Descent on heroic was all over in 15 minutes but did yield a surprising 1511G.

I completed Dragon Soul heroic in 36 minutes (up to the ‘loot ship’, skipping Spine and Madness) for a whopping 1642G.

alex1 hour 49 (109 minutes) to farm 5657G. That’s a respectable 3114G per hour.

LFR

Thanks to that ridiculous and useless Legendary Ring quest chain, farming out LFR for 900 stones, 33 tomes and a severed arm is an unfortunate necessity (if you’re into that kind of thing). LFR – whatever else you think of it – is a great source of gold. As Raider Finder is such an awful waste of time and a cesspool of the dregs of the player base, I urge you to only consider farming it on Wednesday, immediately after a the reset.

On a Wednesday raiders and competent players dip into LFR if they need to. In MoP Thursday and Friday were also viable for this purpose. These days with the halving of subscriber numbers and the further attrition we can now only guess at (Blizzard will publish no more subscriber figures) during the long final patch content desert, LFR is not worth venturing into after Wednesday each week. Your mileage may vary, you might get lucky, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry and Hellfire Citadel contain 15 wings between them. At 154 gold per wing that’s 2310 simply for getting through each wing, after your share of looted gold and the sale of any epics you won but don’t need you’re going to have ground out about 4k gold. If you have the stamina you can do this on multiple chars. Personally I can only bear to go in to grind out my legendary bits. With three chars at different stages of the Legendary cycle the upside is that at it’s worse I had to do Highmaul on one character, Blackrock Foundry on another and Hellfire Citadel on the last. The characters have moved up pretty much together and now I don’t need to even queue for HM and this week I got my last of 900 stones so BRF is finished too now.

This month I intend to finish levellingsleeping-on-piles-of-wow-gold-620px at least two more Horde characters: the Death Knight and Paladin. The garrisons should then quickly be able to deliver my WoW Token gold with very little outside effort. Then I can concentrate on having more fun, I’m even considering raiding again. Maybe with the Alliance.

This may seem like a large investment in gold generating activities just to get enough for WoW Tokens so I don’t need to subscribe until new content is released. However, no new content is coming until the next expansion and it’s unlikely we’ll see that before September, eight months from now. I’ll be utilizing this time to learn new gold farming techniques for when I’m too busy in Legion (fingers crossed) I’ll share anything simple I find. Anything complex you’ll be looking to someone else for help with.

For Bond he could’ve sampled a fart and looped if for three minutes for me.

I thought I’d kick off 2016 with less of a retrospective and more of a summary of where I am now. For the last ten years I’ve been pushing away interesting games titles knowing that World of Warcraft was taking all my time invested in gaming. At the beginning of 2015 I cancelled my subscription and was happy to consider that the end of the line, the end of the journey in Azeroth.

Warlords of Dreanor had a good levelling experience, but Garrisons just sucked the joy out of everything for me. Gathering professions were always a thing for me. Collecting Terocone in Terokkar Forest sticks fondly in my mind as does Mithil hunting in Desolace. Riding round in circles has never been so much fun. Follower missions just engulfed the game, if you had a couple of alts it felt like a couple of hours of your day was mandatory Garrison farming. I feel sorry for Blizzard, how do you design optional content and give it satisfying, compelling rewards without making it feel essential – something you have to do?

After four months Azeroth was calling and I logging on to my limited account and playing low level chars in Deathknell and Tirisfal just to pass the time. Sooner than later I wanted to start playing with my level 100 warlock and maybe levelling up my 90s through the freshest and newest content. I might even want to raid I thought. So I subscribed for one month. Since then it’s been a battle to earn the ±62k required to buy a WoW Token and play for free (or at least on someone else’s dollar).

Now I’m dividing my time almost equally between Warcraft, new games and XCOM that I just love. Finding enough time to devote to WoW to keep playing may become problematic when I start the Long War XCOM mod and XCOM2 ships next month. Instead of cutting back and restraining myself from launching WoW any time the computer is on I am now making an effort to do enough each day to keep myself ticking over in game.

I’ve learned some useful means of generating cash quickly and making the most of the Garrison’s money generating potential to the poiint now where I can earn my WoW Token in about half the time (±14 days) and cherry pick my methods. Whatever your object in farming gold her are some simple and cast iron methods for earning that gold. My next post will skip through some of the method I find easiest to generate the Token gold.

The question is why did I come back to Azeroth and why to I continue to play. even in a limited way. Well, it’s not the raiding because I haven’t done any and honestly i have little interest in it. I came back for camaraderie and fun to be had in building things: guilds; raid teams; relationships; friendships.

The conundrum is that I do not trust people online any more. I’d always thought their was potential to form friendships with other Warcraft players. I also imagined that this could be more than the online acquaintance level relationships I’d had for the first half of my time in Azeroth. I believed that if I found more mature people I had more in common with on a human level that the relationship could transition into the real world and become real friendship. Other people were doing it, speaking of meeting friends, partners, even future spouses in game.

This gloriously backfired for me and perhaps that was a valuable experience. Now I’m more realistic (pessimistic) about the limits of online relationships, I can enjoy them more, with lower expectations. I can be more laid back and less uptight about all kinds of guild interactions. However, I’m so reluctant to make any investment, developing any sort of relationship with guild members, so nervous about actually joining in. The result is that I look forward to no one coming online, I rarely chat to anyone, I am somewhat aloof from all activities, events and people in the guild channel. I’m a little anonymous and ambivalent towards all my guildies, Alliance and Horde. I actually feel like a many of the Forsaken. I’m tacitly allied to these people but I’m just following my own agenda which doesn’t really involve them.

I keep considering trying to do something with my gear and drifting back into raiding. The truth is that that activity is only truly engaging when you care. Care about the progress and care about the team. I’d like to be immersed in shared guild and raiding experiences but simply too wary to allow myself to fully engage at this point.

The World of Warcraft franchise is going through tough times. Legion is a long way off yet and we don’t know if it can possibly deliver and fully rescue the game. The pleasurable aspects of the game that I have always elevated above all others are still there, I am the one preventing myself from fully accessing them and fully enjoying the game again. I’m not sure how to square this circle.

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