Vaguely prepared

‘Vaguely’ is probably the best descriptor for my Legion readiness. Bags are half empty (could do better), gear is good (though soon to be very dated), pre-patch achievements are complete. No real plan about how to level, but I’m keen to start in Highmountain due to the strong Tauren connection. And I can’t wait to get cracking on the Underlight Angler fishing Artifact!

One major decision is whether to stick with BM, or go over to Marksmanship. By all accounts Marks is going to be well ahead in the early Artifact days due to its rapid power accumulation. I think I’ll put my faith in Blizzard to balance that out though.

I much prefer the idea of a bow over a gun, which is a vote for Marks. As just about everyone has commented the models seem the wrong way around, despite the archetype of the Vanilla-cinematic BM Dwarf with his gun. The ‘hidden’ bow model for BM is a pretty ordinary mechanical looking Goblin creation unfortunately, so transmog is the only route to a handsome bow, which is a shame given the changing Artifact appearances.

Marks sounds quite RNG dependent for Marking Targets procs, which might become frustrating. And having to abandon pets also seems a bridge too far.

Strangely BM is getting very mixed reviews – many hate it or find it unplayable, others love it and are switching mains to BM. I’m finding it tolerable, if a bit limited in terms of opportunities to do things. I miss having Kill Shot as a finisher (my thumb still instinctively reaches for it), and there is often an autoshot zone where you’re just waiting for an ability to become available. Stampede also seems a bit borked in the way it won’t adapt to boss positioning, as very few bosses will stand in one spot long enough for the full impact to be felt.

Garwulf’s biting criticism that BM has become almost a caster class is pretty insightful too – your ability to do physical DPS is far outweighed by summoning Crows, Dire Beasts, and Stampedes. Add a lightning-powered Artifact and summoned wolf and BM has become very Shamanistic.

Still, if I was going to swap the invasions would have been the perfect time to test out the new model, but I’ve left that too late now. So BM it is. I think.

Other than spec, the biggest decision left is whether to abandon Tailoring for Mining, to better match Engineering. It seems a bit of a waste having burnt through all that cloth to level Tailoring, but Legion seems to heavily favour matching gathering and crafting professions. I fear that without mining there will be a shortage of Blood of Sargeras drops, which would be super annoying.

20 hours to go. Better make some decisions!

Raid report & Legion Professions

Spent another night raiding Heroic HFC on Thursday, with mixed results. Still can’t seem to put out decent DPS, despite my iLvl reaching around 705 now. So I’m going to review all my talents and rotation and upgrades, as it seems my current choices were superseded somewhere along the line without me noticing (probably because I wasn’t raiding so it didn’t matter). Given patch 7.0 will change all this very soon, it’s probably a bit silly, but it will force me to be realistic about skill vs gearing, and compare better with similarly geared players.

Downed a few new bosses I’d only seen in LFR which was good, died on obvious mechanics which was bad. Archimonde (N) was a classic case: we got the meta (which gave me the final piece for Glory of the Hellfire Raider), but we got it while I was lying dead in the Twisting Nether as I didn’t realise you had to ‘exit’ and was busily attacking a worthless Void Star. Sigh.

On the plus side, I was lucky enough to get the Tier Gloves, so I now have the 4 piece set bonus (albeit with the LFR chest), and need only 5 more Tomes before getting the Legendary Ring (despite going 1/10 on Tomes in LFR last week!).

In other news the profession Q&A was quite interesting, and I think confirms the plan to go gatherer/crafter on my twin tank alts. Seems like the traditional gatherer/crafter match is the favoured playstyle once again, after Warlords blew that up with the Garrison Mine & Herb Garden.

I’ve avoided reading too much about Legion stuff, wanting to discover it organically in game rather than through the beta coverage. So I was pretty excited to see there is going to be a Fishing Artifact! When the Q&A asked about how to acquire it:

Purposely meant to be kept vague, having hidden things in the world keeps things fun. Don’t believe everything you datamine; you don’t need to complete the Wish Remover achievement. This is meant to be something for people who love fishing.

/raises hoof
I love fishing. Prepping my fishing lines, reels, rods, and special hats!

Boost Planning

Yesterday I finished levelling my Druid tank to 60, all through LFD runs. It’s a fun way to level, with not many repeat dungeons until the 50-60 Stratholme/Blackrock Depths/Blackrock Spire zone.

Spire is a great run – it’s long, complicated, some interesting pulls, bonus bosses, pet drops, the works. It’s a marvel of 3D mapping too, with lots of bridges and fissures where you can see the lower levels you’ve already traversed (and fall if you’re not careful). And it’s the first Dungeon where the bosses might actually kill you even in these days of OP Heirlooms – namely Vosh’gajin who likes turning everyone into frogs.

So I now have two level 60 tanks (the other being a Paladin), and two boosts to spend. I’ve still got the level 90 Boost from Warlords, and a level 100 from Legion. Beyond the enjoyment I get from low level dungeon tanking, the logic behind getting the toons to 60 was to take advantage of the ‘free’ profession levelling that comes with the boost.

I have Engineering, Tailoring, Leatherworking, and Skinning already maxed, and I want to add Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Mining and Herbing to the mix. I dropped Mining during Warlords as there was no point in having a dedicated gatherer with the Garrison Mine, but it sounds like we’ll need gatherers again in Legion.

The main decision to make is whether to go dual crafting/dual gathering, or mix and match the appropriate skills. Because crafting is so much slower, I’m tempted to go Alchemy/Blacksmithing on the Paladin and boost him to 100, which will give full 700 profession skills. Then put the gathering skills on the Druid, boost her to 90, and easily grind the professions from 600 while she’s out levelling herself.

Having said that it’s nice to have self sufficient crafter/gatherers, so maybe I’ll just have to knuckle down and level Alchemy the slow way.

There’s also the matter of the BoP Blood of Sargeas crafting mat to consider. Similar to the MoP Spirit of Harmony, the Blood being BoP makes a dual gatherer less attractive.

Decisions, decisions! I might wait for the next Legion Q&A, which will focus on Professions and may make the choice more obvious.

Spirit of Harmony – Bind on Guild

After upgrading my Engineering, I sent a guild call out to let any miners and herbalists know that I had a nice pair of Mist-Piercing Goggles waiting if they sent through the mats.

Of course I’d neglected to take into account the fact that the new crafting mat Spirit of Harmony is BoP. Ugh. So no nice crafting for my guildies.

People have been asking for the SoH’s to be made BoA, which would be nice. Even nicer would be BoG – Bind on Guild. That way you would encourage guild stickiness, and give guild crafters some nice kudos.