Warclaw – Complex to Get

Just got the Warclaw this afternoon after grinding about Five Hours in WvW to

So the process is to Get all the items in the Warclaw Achievement by grinding WvW stuff, enable the Warclaw in the Bottom Left area of the WvW panel. Then Activate the Warclaw Reward Track and grind that bar all the way to the end to get the Warclaw Helmet. Then the Warclaw Certificate shows up in the Vendor for 8 Gold. Buy that and use it. And Voila, you have the Warclaw mount. Sigh.

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Warcraft Makes War on Portals

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Recently Wow developers announced removal of many portals in the game and there was an uproar.

While World of Warcraft v8.1.5 adds a lot of new content, it also is removing things from the game. In this case, many of the portals that get players around Azeroth in a timely fashion are being taken out to keep “the world having a meaningful size”. However, this design decision has sparked a massive backlash with the community, with several threads topping the 5,000 response mark. A new dev post acknowledges the outcry but essentially says, “Sorry, not sorry. We’re sticking to it.”

[…]

Wow Travel Has Always Been Slower than in Other Games

All the other games I play have always had portals. Wow has been alone is not providing universally fast ways to get around the world. If you aren’t a mage, or don’t have a mage in your party, then it’s always been a trek to get to a ship, airship or portal to where you want to go. Of course you can fly long distances, but those flights take “Real Time”, whether you use your own mount or take a flight they move at the same speed. Ship / Airship travel is a pair of short cut scenes and a portal across the world. At least they got that right. But unlike other games, there is no setting for SKIP THE TRAVEL CUTSCENE I have seen hundreds of times. And I still have to stand around waiting on a Wow [Air]Ship rather than it being ready to go when I am. No waiting in FFXIV on any ship and the cut scenes are optional.

It has long been a convention in most MMOs that to teleport to somewhere you must have been there before. Guild Wars 2 is a good example of this convention. Asura Gates, which are like Wow Portals take you anywhere, and will work the first time you use them. But the Waypoints must have been visited on foot before you can teleport to them. But in GW2 once  you visit a place, you can instantly travel across the world to any waypoint, for a small fee.

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Getting Your Warclaw Mount

 

If you are into the Path of Fire mounts at all, you’re going to want this mount. And especially if you are playing a Charr, you are going to want to ride this bad boy.

However, this is not the best mount in the game. As far as I know it does not move as fast or jump as far as Raptor. However, you may not need to have Path of Fire to get it and use it in the rest of the world. I do not have mine yet. But I know that you can ride it outside of WvW and I have seen no mention of requiring Path of Fire, which you obviously need for the other mounts. So if you only have the core game or only Heart of Thorns, you might go for this one. Have you noticed that the base skin for Warclaw looks dorky? I’m sure that’s on purpose. They saved the sweet skins for the Gem Store I’m sure. Anyway.

But… Getting this mount is confusing. The instructions are not clear unless you are completely familiar with WvW progression, as I was not. So here’s the skinny on getting your Warclaw, and you can avoid my mistakes and wasted grind.

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GW2 Is Not Fun and FFXIV Is Fun

GW2 is great fun, but I don’t like playing it.
FFXIV can be boring at times, but I love playing it.

Here’s a large group of folks in the Crystal Desert doing bounties and me crossing the 9000 mark in Achievement Points. Yeah for me. Great Fun. I love it. And I hate it.

Sound strange? Let me explain.

Early in my MMO experiences I played a lot of GW1 and was looking forward to GW2 when it came out. As an early player, I suffered through the early teething pains and grew to love it. I quickly made many alts of all professions and races and played through to the end of the core game, and cleared the map on most of my characters. Loved it.
But then came Living World Season 1. I played some of this. Most noteably I climbed the Tower of Nightmares in Kessex Hills. But alas I was doing other things and missed the war that Scarlet made on Lion’s Arch. But I did come back and see the devestation over the next couple of years until it was rebuilt.

The core game areas are all solo-able by a level 80 character with “Exotic Gear” which can easily be crafted by you and your alts for all the classes. Exotic gear is only 5% less powerful than the much more difficult to craft Legendary or Ascended gear. There are tons of attractive armor skins that can be earned through dungeon tokens or purchased with Karma or Gold. All my alts have attractive cultural or dungeon skins over crafted exotic armor.

I love rocking and rolling with large groups of folks, sometimes 50 or more, doing open world events. BUT

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Where are the Smart Bosses?

[I don’t have pictures from the Antorus fight, but here are some pictures from Dungeons I’ve played in Wow. ] I saw this article in PC Gamer today.

It sounds like he must have been wearing a diaper, but never the less, that’s a lot of work.

In World of Warcraft, players are often willing to go to extremes just to say they’ve done it. Some might spend all their time grinding out hard to get achievements while others will run a raid boss hundreds of times in hopes of getting some rare loot. But Rextroy is of a higher caliber. He beat the first raid boss of Antorus, The Burning Throne all by himself—and it only took him a measly eight hours. His reward? I’m not sure exactly. Bragging rights? I guess?
[…]

You can watch the whole video here. It’s been compressed to about 13 minutes. You may want to watch the first few minutes and then skip to near the end to see him hiding in the pool to avoid the huge AOE attack that is supposed to challenge a Raid group of 10-15 players.

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Auto Leveling? How it Really Works.

GW2_2016_12_13_17_53_53_814x.jpg By the way, let’s not forget how Auto Leveling works – at least in Guild Wars 2 where it was first implemented Game Wide, at least as far as I’m aware. Officially it’s called Dynamic Level Adjustment.

Unlike Wow Legion areas Level Scaling, GW2 Auto Leveling changes your level to match – roughly – the zone or instance where you are working. But there are two key features that Wow Legion didn’t do that GW2 also does:

  • Your character is never “Up Leveled” so that you still can’t hunt in areas above your level, at least not without help. And in many cases, you simply can’t go to the higher area anyway. This is what you might expect. Yes, you will be up-leveled to 80 in Fractals of the Mist, one of the instances.
  • The XP that you get for killing mobs and doing quests [Hearts and Events in GW2] scaled up to your level. So in GW2, there is no such thing as a “Trivial Quest”. So it’s not a waste of time to hunt in lower level areas. Well actually, if the zone is much lower than you are, your XP is actually reduced enough that you’ll likely move on, unless you would like to explore that area for an achievement. So as an 80, if you want to work all the starting areas [ 1 – 10 ] don’t expect rewards except the Exploring achievement.
  • The Loot you get is always appropriate to your actual level. It’s not the best gear. White or Green and  rarely Blue. But does make sense to hunt in a 60 area if you are already 80, and you’ll get some nice things. All crafting mats come from Dismantling Found gear, so hunting this way makes a lot of sense. To get explorer achievements you need to do all the Hearts – zone quests – and the loot / gold is appropriate to your level.
  • When GW2 started, they got Auto Leveling wrong, and it was a real pain to move to harder areas. They leveled you to exactly the level of the mobs where you were, so it was a pain if you got jumped by more than one mob. Now the down-leveling is more like +3 to the mobs you are fighting and it’s completely reasonable. Here’s a post I did back in Sept 2013 about a year after GW2 released. They fixed this problem. Like I said, you are now working at about +3 to the mobs around you and that’s totally reasonable.

So how is Wow Level Scaling for Legion different?

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Wow – Legion Gripes

 

Wow_2017_09_02_18_27_53_823.jpgOk. I’ve been playing Legion for a week or so. Time for some gripes.

It’s too hard. My fingers are bleeding here. Let’s look at some history. I first joined Wow back in Cataclysm days and being an Altaholic, I had a few toons up through the 80’s through Vashj’ir and Deepholm. I wasn’t into dungeons much, so I was wearing mostly quest gear and some crafted pieces. I was doing fine. The game was fun.

Then came Pandaria, and I got trashed. Why was that? There was a sudden item level jump between the quest gear of Cata and Pandy. And the gear they gave you on the Pandy Intro quests looked way better than Cata quest gear, but it was really just trash. So you step off the boat and get trashed by the 3 Hosen that jump you. I couldn’t move out of the outposts. Pandaria was just NO FUN. I never found out whether I should have ground up some dungeons for gear or whether I had to be a serious raider – never had done one back then – to get reasonable gear for Pandaria.

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MMO Economic Comparisons

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GW2 Trading Post Graph

After playing World of Warcraft back in 2011-2013, then Tera and Guild Wars 2, I’m back playing Wow again. I’ve been watching two things:

 

  1. How to level up most efficiently.
  2. How to make enough gold to progress in the game.

There have been a few changes in Wow since I played it, or at least there appear to be. And this note looks at those changes in the economics by comparing Wow with the other two games I’ve been playing.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that changes in a game that are made to allow folks to level up faster greatly affect the economy, or can. And in some cases they can basically wreck the economy for some groups of players.

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Wardrobe vs Transmog etc.

Let’s compare the “Cosmetic Look” features of Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft, as well as the banking, battle and party loot features and see what that can tell us about game philosophy.

Starting with Wow, let’s look at Transmogrification.

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Guild Wars 2 – Ice Cracked

I’ve just completed “A Crack in the Ice” the most recent story line in Living World Season 3. It didn’t take very long: about four hours. I had some help with the next to last Story segment since I couldn’t find the entry point. Spoiler, it was on top of a pillar that you need to fly to. And it was helpful to have some extra firepower. If you can, take a friend for the last two story segments.

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