Wednesday 14 August 2013

Planning for war

Anyway, with predictions that we are approaching the last phase of the Pandaren campaign, I've started planning for 5.4. I've got the best gear I can get for now: ilvl 530 for the most part, as well as the ilvl 600 cloak from the legendary quest-line, and I'm not going to win any heroic gear from the Throne of Thunder in the next month (my guild is 1/12 normal. I'm 6/12 normal, due to links with other guilds, but there isn't a hope of getting much further before the storm breaks), so I'm going to save enough valor points so that I'm capped for 5.4, in the hopes that I'll have something to spend them on.

As for raiding in 5.4, my plan is to take advantage of the Flexible Raid feature, which allows you to take anywhere from 10 to 25 raiders into a raid whose difficulty level that is between LFR and Normal, and whose loot is also between those two levels. I predict that this will replace LFR raiding for our guildies. Certainly, as soon as the new 5.4 raids open, we plan to take a look at the first fight in Normal mode (since it opens first), but I'm not expecting any kills! FR raiding will then open up and I hope we'll get a kill early in the first month, if not in the first week of the raid. There is absolutely no point in me personally doing LFR at all, as the gear rewards are mostly 2 levels below what I already have (I assume the upgrade vendor is going away on his holidays again).

I've started buying windwool cloth to stockpile. We'll need a lot of it when the new tailoring patterns drop. I've stopped making Imperial Silk. It's already useless. Instead, I'm saving my cloth to make Celestial Cloth as soon as I get the pattern, and then to make the ilvl 553 caster belt (3 weeks worth of cloth) and leggings (4 weeks more).

With the arrival of new raids comes the need for new gems and enchantments. I'll certainly be buying up tons of enchanting materials this month, and any cheap gems I see at auction - I believe there are no epic gems coming in 5.4.

The new zone, the Timeless Isle, has a new currency, the Timeless Coin. 5000 of these are needed for the next leg of the legendary quest-line, so I expect to spend a lot of time there!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

The coming storm

The Darkspear trolls under Vol'Jin are revolting. No, seriously, they are. Up in the Barrens, they're openly colluding with the Alliance to disrupt Garrosh's preparations for the coming war, paying adventurers like me to go and kill orcs.

That's par for the course from trolls, I suppose. They can't even get along with each other, never mind with other species. Never trust a troll. Do you remember when the Zandalari trolls were the good guys? I even became exalted with them, back in the day. They helped us in Zul'Drak against the Drakkari, as we helped them in Zul Gurub against the Gurubashi. Now the Zandalari try to kill me on sight.

You can never trust a troll. Garrosh is learning this painful lesson, as Vol'Jin backstabs him.

Well, I'm happy to help Vol'Jin become a thorn in Garrosh's side, but I don't understand why he wants to become one. Is he hoping to break away from the Horde and join the rest of the Trolls in a third faction? According to our alliance spies, he claims to be unhappy with "Garrosh playing god? Making monsters? Dis ain't what da horde is about!". Well, I'd be tempted to believe him if he wasn't in the same horde as the undead. Playing god and making monsters is exactly what the Forsaken are about. Has he forgotten about Sylvanas Windrunner? If he was really unhappy about that, he should have left the horde long ago.

I can also sympathise with the goblins' unhappiness over their treatment by the orcs, especially the Kor'kron Guard. But I can't see why they would want to overthrow Garrosh. The Kor'kron Guard are just behaving the way all orcs do. Removing Garrosh won't change the nature of the orcs, any more than overthrowing Gallywix would change the nature of goblins.

And, orc adventurers, why are you planning on betraying your own warchief? He has expanded your territory, given the night-elves an almighty kicking, blown Theramore to smithereens, and generally made Kalimdor a horde-dominated continent. He's everything a proper orc could want in a warchief, unlike Thrall who wanted to make peace with the alliance and made friends with Jaina Proudmoore. He wanted to be a Peacechief. Garrosh showed how real orcs deal with Jaina Proudmoore. What real orc wants peace? Maybe that's good for the tauren, but a real orc lives for war. You should be joining the Kor'kron Guard to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. And if the trolls and the goblins don't like it, crush them too. Instead you're planning to betray and kill the best Warchief you've ever had!

Never trust an orc.

Anyway, I'm glad the idiots in the horde are breaking themselves apart, for Garrosh is a real danger to the Alliance, and King Varian Wrynn's only response to Garrosh's attacks have been to turn the other cheek. Even when Jaina kicks the blood-elves out of the Kirin Tor, for helping Garrosh steal the divine bell, that wimp complains that he could have got the Sin'dorei to join the alliance, if only she'd done nothing. Yeah, right.

Meantime Jana has been using a scrying technique known as "datamining" to determine that Garrosh may be planning on blowing up Stormwind Harbour. I wonder if that will wake Varian from his slumber.

Friday 2 August 2013


Are you cheered by the news that Activision-Blizzard is separating itself from cash-strapped Vivendi? It probably is good news. But I'd just like to point out one thing, by way of warning.

Blizzard released World of Warcraft while owned by Vivendi, and all through their time with Vivendi, their subscriber numbers climbed. Vanilla, BC and WotLK were developed under Vivendi's stewardship. In July 2008, Activision merged with Vivendi Games, and Blizzard was moved out of Vivendi's stewardship, and into Activision's. Soon after, Ghostcrawler replaced Tigole, and the decline of WoW subscriber numbers began.

Of course, all of this could be a coincidence. It probably is. But I can't say that it certainly is. Who knows what new pressures Activision put on Blizzard? What is certain is that Blizzard's time with Vivendi was good for Blizzard, and Blizzard's time with Activision has not been so good.