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Ok I have been reading all of the Blue Posts about how they have been working on some sort of solution to this issue.  As a programmer I understand that changes can not just be made on the fly often.  Especially when it deals with the underlying architecture.

However on Elune we have been dealing with this BS on and off, since January.  If you want to run an instance after 8PM EST you will most likely be dancing in and out of the instance portal for 10-20 minutes each time you want to run an instance.

7 Bloody months.

I really hope blizzard is not planning on getting new players often anymore.  I will tell you that if I was a new player and wanted to run an instance, maybe my first instance and ran into this problem I would be canceling the next day.

I bring this up because I have run into this the past 2 nights while I was trying to run a new player through Dead Mines.  I recruited them to the game and was planning on helping them out.  We ended up running the instance but this has got to end.

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The server upgrades had damn well better be in place when the patch hits or else there is going to be hell to pay on the forums.  Given that the new patch will again add incentives for running normal and heroic 5 man dungeons.  The massive amounts of people complaining would be like nothing we have seen before IMO.  But then I did miss things join right around the time of the original Naxx patch.   The instance servers as we know it will most likely melt under the load, hopefully only figuratively speaking.

Don’t get me wrong I know Blizzard is working on the problem and they want to get these issues resolved I guess a little more transparency as to how the servers are set up in general would at least help some of us understand the issues.  Then we can explain it to the rest of the community that have no clue about hardware and or software deployment.

Crafting in World of Warcraft – WotLK (Part 2): Consumables and Cool Downs

Consumables

Continuing from my post yesterday on to more about Consumables and Cool Down items.

Consumables of Yesterday

Early and Before Burning Crusade

  • Food
  • Scrolls
  • Multiple Potions/Elixirs/Flasks
  • Weapon Upgrade
  • Chain Pots

Later Burning Crusade

  • Food
  • 1 Scroll
  • 1 Battle Elixir
  • 1 Defense Elixir
  • Weapon Upgrade
  • Chain Pots

Consumables of Today

  • Food
  • 1 Scroll
  • 1 Battle Elixir
  • 1 Defense Elixir
  • 1 Potion

As I mentioned at the end of my post yesterday I am torn between liking and approving of the consolidated buff/consumable system and lament to the extent that it is enforced.  I guess it is just that IMO I have always seen buffs as a crutch and not a requirement.  However Blizzard in their wisdom decided that if all of the top raiders and because of the herd mentality that occurs in raiding, all raiders were buffing themselves to insane levels, then they would have to tune encounters such that it was assumed that you had them.  So since they did not want to tune encounters in such a way they decided to codify their beliefs rather than just let the twitchy hardcore burn themselves out.  I would be of the opinion to let them burn.

So now the only professions that create real consumables for raiding are Inscription, Cooking and Alchemy.  The only profitable items that sell on the auction house are consumables.  Everything else that is somewhat worthwhile have such painful crafting requirements that when you take the cost of the materials as based on the Auction House and craft an item you are lucky if you can sell it for 80% of what it costs to make.

This leads us to the next part of the topic Cool Down crafted materials.

However before continuing onto Cool Down crafted materials I am going to take a moment and pontificate about a possible solution for this market imbalance.

All crafting professions need to create a raiding consumable.  I realize this can and will cause balancing issues but it is something that needs to be done to balance out the earning potential discrepancies between professions.

  • Jewel Crafting – Ioun Stone Like item, essentially a temporary modification to helms.
  • Black Smithing – (Old Sharpening and Weight Stones) or a more generic weapon modification set of items.
  • Enchanting – The Old +spell power oils, or a wider array of effects from the oils.
  • Engineering – Some Armor augmentation items also usable by more than just engineers.

In addition to all of these modifications the bonuses they grant would have to be bonuses that have a set duration and are not affected by death like how the current Flask system works.

A way to balance this system would be to take the buff that a flask currently gives and make an item set where if everyone had 100% of the bonuses they could get from the above then it would be equal to some multiple of the current flask.

For example if a flask give +60 spell power, then between JC, Weapon, Off Hand, Engineering and the original flask bonuses grant 150 or 2.5 times the current flask bonus.  Yes this will mean buffs scale a bit more, but if you weaken flasks a little bit you could get it down to 2 or 1.5 times.  However I do not want to suggest that we Nerf flasks just to make the other professions happy.  I would rather see more options implemented.

Back to the materials issue.

Cool Down Materials

On this topic for those of you that are not familiar with them there are 3 common Cool Down materials in WotLK at the moment.

  • Titansteel – Mining
  • Specialty Cloths – Tailoring
  • Eternal or Titanium Transmutes shared cool down – Alchemy.

For mining and alchemy this results in a 20 hour cool down, so once a day each profession can perform 1 smelting and or 1 transmute, with the exception of the meta gems.  When I was skilling up alchemy I was really surprised to discover that there was no cool down on the meta gem transmute.  For tailoring each tailor can perform 1 transmute for each type of cloth once every 3 days and 20 hours.

So what is the result of this?  Well every material that has a cool down is kept at about a 10% return if you were to craft it from buying the materials.  However because of this 10% return the result is that it makes crafting the epic items from these items worthless for resale.  The profit that the player crafting makes is destroyed due to the small inflation from cool down items.  As the auction house is currently set up this issue will be next to impossible to fix.  Other than just removing the cool down and then moving the profit from the intermediate step to the gathering step.

In a few days when I get to my Auction House post I will get into this topic again in greater detail.  Specifically solutions or at least improvements to the whole transaction process.

This is a good place to take a break.  My next post will be looking at the crafted Epics that do not require raiding and compare them to entry level raiding items.

Crafting in World of Warcraft – WotLK (Part 1): AKA a waste of time and Gold

This is a topic that is usually the fuel for one of my long winded rants.  I will attempt to keep it organized and not go off on many tangents.  I have a separate rant for Auction House, even though they are interrelated I will keep the threads as isolated as I can.

Background:

The Past, Day 1 -> The Burning Crusade

Looking back there were several really nice items that could be crafted in this era.   They were all very long and arduous to obtain usually requiring materials out of the raiding instances.  I did not have any level cap characters at this time let alone max skill professions.  Leveling skills through 1-300 which covers this time is still painful and a waste of resources.  The only thing you get for skilling through this hell is several professions is access to the next level of crafting.

The Burning Crusade -> Wrath of the Lich King

It was during the Burning Crusade that I got my first character to 70 or level cap.  The character was my Mage and the guild that I was in did not raid.  We were a leveling guild and most had more than one alt and we had fun.  We ran 5 man dungeons as we could as people leveled and essentially those that climbed to the top went and helped power people through older dungeons.  During this time my Mage was a Miner/JCer, origionally a Miner/Engineer.  I had gone with a Firefly theme for my naming convention and my mage ended up modeled after Kaylee Frye the ships engineer.

However after getting to 70 and having no where to go I started to get burn out while endlessly leveling alts.  This is when I went to Vanguard for about a month because they were promoting a crafting progression system.  It sounded appealing so I checked it out.  Turns out Vanguard has found a new way to bring meaning to the word Grind when it concerns their crafting system.  A theme I will expand upon in the Auction House post is that in Vanguard as in almost every MMO you are screwed if you attempt to make money through crafting.  The only viable and sustainable way to amass generic in-game resources (gold, isk what ever the currency is called) is through gathering and selling everything.  EVE-Online this is not as true but to really get good and able to make any money manufacturing takes months if not a years worth of experience in a separate path other than gathering.

So after coming back to from my brief rest in Vanguard, I gave into all of the advise I had received from other players in my guild and Lissanna.  I dropped engineering and picked up Tailoring.  I then spend the next 1-1.5 months grinding to get to the top of Tailoring and to gather enough resources to make the Spellfire 3 piece set.  This was as good as the first tier of raiding gear and took many times longer to obtain.

Current:

Currently I have a 450 JCer, Enchanter, Black Smith, Alchemist (LoL Transmute Spec) and nearly an Engineer who is at 449.  I have not bothered to make the last few Gnomish Army knives I would need to push it to 450.  I have a few others that are in the 400-435ish range of Leather-working and Tailoring.  This is not counting the gathering professions as my Hunter was 450 in skinning after doing the Nexus quests.

There are several things wrong with profession in this expansion.  Some of the issues come from people over using some of the benefits that were introduced in the Burning Crusade and Blizzard made those profession a new form of torture to skill up.  This is one reason I hate with the heat of over 9000 Suns the top end raiding guilds that have to have every possible min/max bonus so they can possibly get a boss kill before another guild rather than doing the instance another week or 2 for better gear all around.

Now part of me really likes the fact that blizzard nerfed all raid buffs to hell so that one would not need to farm for hours just to get enough consumables for the next week of raiding.  On the other hand it completely and utterly destroyed any chance players could make a reasonable profit from selling crafted items.  I was a bad raider and did not raid with all of the best enchants and buffs when I raided Kara, TK and SSC.  I only did it if we wiped and it looked like we only needed a little more overall.  But the first time or 3 attempting a boss the buffs are a waste.  My opinion was if you need all of those buffs to complete the content then you should not be attempting the content.  Come back in a week or 2 and try again after some gear upgrades.   Now the only consumables usable in raids are a flask and food.  Well that is good for the Flask/Elixer Spec Alchemist and Cooks but is a mighty extended middle finger to all of the other professions.  One time gear enchants and modifications do not occur often enough to make a sustainable economy.

With the length of the set up here I am going to break this into multiple posts.