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There are only 2 months left before Blizzard/World of Warcraft (WoW) releases the Legion expansion pack (expac).  While many subscribers left a few months after the release of Warlords of Draenor, there was a core group of gamers that stuck with World of Warcraft for social connections and RPG opportunities. World of Warcraft is our “relaxation” home. It’s that special time we have after the dinner dishes are washed and the kids are in bed. We can talk to our friends and family while we play and are right there at home if an emergency pops up or someone wakes from a nightmare.

That being said, there is a very special time in the expac release cycle when you can get a lot done relatively easily.  It’s the time loyal players finally feel like Blizzard cares about the fact they didn’t leave when the rest of the players got bored.  These are the golden days where you have time to play your alts, catch up on achievements and do everything you can to prepare yourself for new content.

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I was surprised at a comment someone made on a YouTube video regarding the cost to play the game (one of the actors used the word “extortion” in the video). In fact, the game can be played for free by purchasing a game-time token for in-game gold. The person in question was taken aback that I said you could get the gold in game to cover the token in a day, or a week if you didn’t want to spend all day doing it.  Not only do I think it could be done if you’re an extremely focused person, but I am going to share some information about what those of us who stayed the entire time were able to enjoy.

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First and foremost, the mission tables (both regular and shipyard) have special treasure opportunities if you have a Level 3 Lunarfall Inn/Shipyard in your garrison.  Once you have a Level 3 Inn, you’ll receive the Blingtron missions.

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The Inn also gives you the opportunity to determine your follower’s traits. As you can see Treasure Hunter is the golden ticket. While they may take a little longer to level up, you are ensured extra gold on any mission they participate in.  Once you make all your followers Treasure Hunters, it turns your Blingtron Missions into something very special (there is also an opportunity to purchase a re-roll token from your garrison quartermaster for those followers gained through quests, dungeons and raids).

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Blingtron + 3 Treasure Hunters = 4,000 Gold

No doubt, you’ve read about the Blingtron missions. Like everything else, however, it’s an RNG decision. Some weeks you might get them on multiple alts on multiple days, some weeks you won’t see them at all. There are similar missions in the shipyard table, usually worth 750 gold. While the shipyard table is a little harder to balance with crews who will double your treasure and crews that will give you free ship parts, it is still possible to make large amounts of money from ship missions. Just make sure you can afford the ship parts that will give you the highest eligible percentage chance to complete your gold missions.

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Not just for tanks and healers any more!

Another end-expac unused gem is Looking For Raid (LFR).  You may shirk away from ANYTHING that remotely resembles LFR, I know most serious raiders do. This is probably why the Savage Satchels are now giving out 500+ gold for doing a single LFR wing (trust me, you’ll earn every 500 of those gold pieces putting up with people).

On top of the 154 gold and variable valor seen above (75 Valor for High Maul and Blackrock Foundry raid wings, 150 Valor for HFC raid wings), the 500+ gold Savage Satchels are probably one of the MOST productive uses of your gold collecting time.  Yes, you’ll be dragged through each boss in out of control zerg style and you may want to throw something at a wall at some point, but if you are one of the people who prefer to earn their game time instead of paying out cash, this is a good way to do it. You not only get valor you can use to upgrade your main and your alt’s gear, but the percentage drop rate for tomes is higher in LFR if you’re still working on your legendary ring.

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How Many Can You Get? All 12 If The Timing Is Right.

You can do Savage Satchel raid wings MORE than one time per evening/week. The amount of gold to complete the wing is lower, but your 500+ satchel gold and all the other goodies a satchel holds (account bound baleful trinkets and runes) are still there. With 12 LFR raid wings available, you’ll make a conservative 7800 in gold alone for one complete run through raids if you can find satchels for each wing. If you have no need for the baleful tokens, you can convert them into gear and sell them to your garrison vendors. It only took my hunter one evening of play to run through all 12 one time (yes, I said hunter as in DPS).

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The yellow triangle indicates you’ve already run this raid wing for the week.

These are the types of opportunities you get at the end of an expac. While many other players moved on to another game after getting one character to level 100, the rest of us took advantage of the opportunities to make gold for the things we’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford. While I don’t have a millionaire’s gold balance (I can’t play as much as someone with a healthier physical constitution), I have been able to use my extra gold to buy some battle pets and help others in our raid group and my guild here and there.

Blizzard has already let us know the mission tables will be nerfed into oblivion to keep people from staying in their garrisons (don’t care – at the end of the day it’s my REAL home and that’s where I’ll be logging out). Who knows if satchels will even be offered in Legion?

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Your gathering alts are now useless.

Professions will be much harder to process. Craftable gear will require rep grinds. Gear upgrade reagents like the Blood of Sargeras will be Bind on Pickup (BoP), making your gathering alts useless as they won’t be able to trade what they’ve gathered with anyone. (I don’t have a Beta Key, but this is what I’ve been told – BTW if you have a Beta Key you don’t have time to use, please let me know! I’m dying to get into the Beta Server to start making notes and my contest luck has been about as bad as my Hearthstone RNG luck.)

Let’s enjoy these last days of Warlords of Draenor and the easy gold they offer while they are still here to be enjoyed. 🙂

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 photo Garrison - Alliance - Level 3_zpsr7pzwiga.png

Home Sweet Home – My Alliance Garrison

It’s been over TWO years since I posted to this blog site.  While it was never my intention to become a daily/weekly/monthly blogger, I originally felt I could share tips regarding a game I loved.  Time passes quickly when you’re having fun though.

Upon looking back at earlier posts, the tips I provided as a “newbie” player made sense. Two years have gone by and I have fallen into “experienced” player mode; those people who’s vernacular is full of abbreviations the uninitiated wouldn’t understand.

I now have 12 level 100 Alliance characters.  11 of them are one of each class, the 12th being a resto/feral druid that gathers herbs and ore.  These are the characters I play on a daily basis.  I also have 12 Horde characters I rarely or never touch of which only six are level 100.

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My Horde Garrison

My Horde characters were created at a time when there were three of us exploring the game and wanted to know all the aspects of both factions. I never felt connected to my Horde characters, from their races to having to take an elevator to almost anywhere. Consequently, when the others in our group fell into their real-life obligations I stopped playing any of my Horde characters for the most part and kept to my Alliance heritage. That feels both good and right.

Now that we are two months away from the next expansion pack in the World of Warcraft (WoW) saga, I can look back over the best and worst parts of Warlords of Draenor.

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Daily Missions – MasterPlan Add-On

Draenor Was Alt-Friendly:  Warlords of Draenor was built around the garrison system. Each of your alts had their own garrison and their own daily missions. As you can see above, garrison mission rewards were anything from gold to honor to a plethora of helpful items to boost your garrison to top level, help you gather more mats to craft items or get free gear tokens. Some items were transferable, such as honor you could send to another alt if they had none (The Botani Stirr above).  As a PvE player, I used honor to buy a seal that gave me a free roll on loot in Hellfire Citadel raids – a great way to have another chance at raid gear.

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Daily on the left, shipyard on the right.

There were mission tables for both the Town Hall and your shipyard, which netted many FREE items. All you needed to do was run through both tables on every alt which could take as much as 3 minutes or 5 if you wanted to pick up extra garrison resources outside your town hall and do the daily mat creation for your profession.  If you REALLY wanted to make the most of your alts, each one had an herb garden and a mine in their garrison you could collect resources from daily if you had the time.  Extra herbs and ore could be transferred to whatever alt needed it on any given day and you didn’t have to contend with others over an ore or herb node.

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Tailoring Hut on the left, Enchanting Hut on the right, herb garden behind both between the trees.

Professions Were Quick and Easy To Do: If you know much about WoW, you know that each character or “alt” can only have two crafting professions. Unfortunately, the game has MANY craftables almost every character needs. Whether it’s enchants or gems (to add valuable stats), inscriptions (glyphs, staffs and trinkets), flasks or potions, armor (cloth, leather, mail or plate), bladed weapons or engineering marvels such as a Findle’s Loot-A-Rang you still need one character with each profession. This includes a rogue who can open all your locked boxes as blacksmiths were not allowed the pleasure in Warlords.

While I originally created one character of every class so I could learn how to play them (and as a healer know what they WEREN’T doing to mitigate damage), having enough characters to have one for each profession was a necessity.  You don’t want to have to pay for glyphs for each of your characters if you can just make them yourself.  In addition, if you are part of a team running a weekly raid group and want to support those raid members with less time to play having those extra professional resources is worth it’s weight in gold.

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Draenor Pathfinder – Finally, Flying For Everyone!

Once You Had Flying, ALL Your Alts Had Flying:  While the lack of flying in the beginning of Warlords was a highly debated subject, in the end (and WAY too late) Blizzard relented by creating an achievement-based flying mechanic.  This allowed Blizzard to make flying something you had to earn by showing you had at least once, learned all about the new zones (the reason they were against flying). Certain items that required exalted reputation, however, became very tedious to grind rep for. Without flying it would have been intolerable.  For those of us who played several alts, flying was a Godsend.

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Garrison – The Front Gate

Home Sweet Home: As you can tell by the picture at the very top of this blog post each character was given their own personal space in the game called a “garrison.” It was a quiet place to go home each time you played. It wasn’t filled with strangers acting like immature 13 year olds and you could invite anyone to your garrison you wanted, from your raid or party group to complete strangers looking for different garrison amenities through the Premade Group Finder.  You could receive a special forge buff from the Blacksmithing Hut that kept you from having to repair your armor (as long as you didn’t die) or take a mage portal from the Mage Tower to any of the main areas in Draenor.  Each garrison was customizable for each character and those of us who were lucky enough to have two World of Warcraft accounts could keep one open with a Salvage Yard, Bank and Auction House for all our the other alts to use.

I greatly enjoyed the Warlords expansion pack and was a bit sad to hear Legion was going to be released so soon.  I didn’t have time to get all of my Horde characters raised to 100 (we stopped leveling them together at around level 73), nor did I have time to work on achievements, pets or mounts once they announced the drop date on the new expansion. Some characters I used my Legion Pre-Purchase boosts on while a couple others purchased a Level 100 boost ($60) because I just couldn’t bear to finish leveling them and I needed their special services.

And For The Bad Things:  The only truly hideous thing I disagreed with in Warlords was Blizzard’s decision regarding flying.  Blizzard waited WAY too long to introduce flying in the area covered by the Warlords expansion pack.

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The views from flying were spectacular!

Once the huge drop in active subscriptions happened (otherwise known as kids with short attention spans), Blizzard should have introduced flying. This is the point when people who have loved what this MMO offers had an opportunity to raise up their main character and were starting on their alts.  They would already have all the requirements for the flying achievement from leveling up their main and be ready to get to work on their other characters.  The fact the conversation took SO long on Blizzard’s part (purists who never want ANY Blizzard expansion to have flying and the more realistic of us with multiple characters who love flying and need the mobility flying offers) made the day it was finally released a bit sour. We were very happy to be able to FINALLY get around, but the days spent walking everywhere we’d already been were incredibly time-consuming and a detriment to the game.  To Blizzard’s credit, the achievement route was the best option because it gave credit where credit was due.  It not only rewarded people for playing all the parts of the new expansion, but acknowledged that we cared enough about the game to stick with it and play additional characters.

There are so many other specific things I liked about Warlord’s gear, items and play. This blog post could go on for days were I to list them all.  I will end this entry by saying I will continue to end the day in my Warlord’s garrison as opposed to the “Inn” or “Class Hall” provided in Legion.  While you can be sure Blizzard will nerf the mission table mechanics once Legion is released, they can’t take my home away from me completely.  It will still be a place for friends to gather and a spot of quiet solace (as opposed to a Class Hall where you will ultimately be molested by 13 year old boys who’s parents thought a computer would do a better job raising them then they could, but that’s a blog entry for another day).   I will cherish these last two months of Warlords of Draenor as I also prepare our raid group for what to expect in Legion.

 

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I haven’t posted to this blog in a VERY long time.  It’s not that I haven’t been playing World of Warcraft.  My ability to post was more related to a tinge of OCD or what some consider perfectionism.  I could edit a post 20 times before I’d consider it good enough to live on the web forever and some times posting seems more like a daunting task.  What’s changed in a year?

I have six natural level 90 characters now – 5 Alliance, 1 Horde and two unnatural level 90 characters (boosted).  By natural I mean I actually spent the time to level all these characters up the hard way.  My main character, Shavai, now has iLvL 547 gear instead of struggling with quest gear (and the top level of gear has gone up twice).  The guild master from my old guild quit the game to focus on other things in life, but very kindly helped me transition into my own guild.  Most notably, my son and his girlfriend are now both playing World of Warcraft with me.

Playing a game for over a year gives you an amazing perspective on the game and the people who play it.  World of Warcraft has so much to offer in play types and places to play, yet many people want quick and instant gratification. In a game so rich with things to do and places to go, finding those who really appreciate all the game’s aspects is a rare and joyous occasion.  We’ve had a few people join the guild with alts, but none who are regular players.

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Currently, I own two Level 25 guilds – one Alliance on the Dalaran server and one Horde on the Gnomeregan server. My hope is to make our guilds learning guilds.  I look forward to getting all my characters up to Level 90 so I can concentrate more on creating guild resources and do guild recruiting. Our goal with the learning guilds will be to provide tools and tips to everyone who wants to explore the depth of the game and more casual, less regimented opportunities to try and learn some of the harder aspects of the game such as raids.

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At the end of this year, Blizzard will release a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft called “Warlords of Draenor.”  If bootleg videos of people flying over unfinished lands is any indication, there will be plenty to explore in addition to being able to create your own town.

If you are new to the game and interested in trying it Blizzard offers a free trial. As someone who went the trial route and ended up playing the game I recommend just jumping in as the trial route creates two different accounts which can get confusing to newer users.  You can usually find the game software on sale.  I recommend buying a 60-Day play time card from your local Wal-Mart and getting a link to special perks which gives you an opportunity to get triple experience and a special “Summon” ability from the person who gave the link to you regardless of which class you are.  These perks only last for a couple of months though so it’s best to make use of them immediately.  You can request a special link to these perks by e-mailing knightsoftwistedfate@gmail.com with the e-mail address you’ll be using for your World of Warcraft account.  It’s important you have this link available for use before creating your account.

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Chances are upon creating your first character you’ll be bombarded by requests to join a guild.  Make sure you choose a Level 25 guild to take advantage of all the perks (a list of these is available on the home page of our Alliance guild web page).  Don’t worry about being stuck with any one guild.  You can leave at any time and switch to a guild that better suits your play needs.

You may want to find a guild that caters to newer users so you don’t suffer the wrath of players who treat new users with contempt.  Unfortunately, abuse of new players has become the staple of today’s barely raised children looking for a way to feel better about themselves at the expense of others.  There are plenty of mature users in the game.  You just have to find them.

Playing World of Warcraft can be a fun way to keep in touch with family who are no longer physically near you.  It can also be a good way to teach your child to be a responsible internet user instead of an internet abuser.  It’s a great way to focus on something else when dealing with daily pain management and a great way to relax if you have smaller children who go to bed early.  It allows you to socialize and achieve things all in the safety of your own home.

Now is a great time to get ready for the Warlords of Draenor expansion whether you are a new player or coming back to the game after a long period of inactivity.  Hope to see you there! 🙂

 

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