Right now is perhaps slow for me, but not for the MMO space at-large, as New World’s launch last week definitely proved. I might have words on that topic at some point, but I’m not on that train yet and not sure if I will try it out.
Instead, I’ve been keeping busy over the last couple of weeks through some preparatory gameplay in both FFXIV and WoW, getting ready for the fall/winter releases to come in both games.
With AotC and KSM for Season 2 of Shadowlands done and dusted, attention turns to gold-making, alt preparation, and achievements. This week, my raid team will start working on Sanctum achievements, which will hopefully be a one-week endeavor like it was in Castle Nathria. While a bit messy last week, we did get a repeat Heroic Sylvanas kill for the second kill in the guild, as the first group has a bit of a DPS gap and execution gap to close still for the fight to fall, although they’re right on the cusp. It took us 90 minutes this last reset to repeat the kill, so I wouldn’t say we have it on farm either, and we had a fair number of phase 1 deaths, which means there is still a lack of attention being paid to the fight.
On the alt front, I’ve been working on cycling Renown and callings on my existing level 60 alts – my Warlock is current, my Hunter is close, my Druid and Priest are over 50 Renown each, and the rest need to finish 9.0 Covenant campaigns, including the last two I haven’t done in Necrolord(my DK) and Venthyr(my Paladin who I switched late last season). I’ve been focusing attention on alts in cycles to gear them up, with my Warlock getting up over 226 item level (Demonology is so much fun to me), my Hunter getting just over 210 item level (MM still does huge damage played well), and my Druid and Priest both also being over 210 (in my Druid’s case, already 215 all because of Mythic Plus play in Season 1 of Shadowlands). I’ve also taken to cycling callings on alts to make some much needed cash, and went from 11k total on my home server to 315k in about a week through callings, leveling professions, and some smarter play on expenses. I haven’t leveled every profession to max since Warlords of Draenor, so I’m somewhat eager to do so again and to see if I can get to a level of self-sustenance like I have in FFXIV(okay, without gear repair this is impossible, but as close as I can get!).
Why do all this now, when the Renown part in particular will be much easier in 9.1.5? Well, for me, it’s two things – the first is a lack of meaningful stuff to do on my Demon Hunter (no point to fishing for ever-higher keystones to me, my gear is plateaued short of choice upgrades like finally getting a Cruciform Veinripper in my Vault this week, and my DH already has kept up with Renown and is fully Covenant upgraded) and Mage Tower prep. Not so much to gear (because Timewalking means that won’t really matter anyways) but just to learn rotations, get familiar with each spec and the utility on-offer, and to practice the rotations in a mix of settings while also trying to work within my gear options to get ideal secondary stat balances for the Mage Tower once stats are squished down to Legion levels.
I have a Mage Tower guide in the works in the drafts folder that will probably be out in the next day or so, because the preparations you can do now could help drastically ease the progress in the Tower, as the game will be different compared to Legion (outgearing challenges no longer being possible is a HUGE shift). Since I’ve done all 36 in Legion (and I haven’t even mentioned it to anyone in like, a week), I find myself in a good position to speak to the baseline preparation that will help you make it through.
I’ve basically been chipping away very slowly at my remaining, feasible goals. Exarchic gear shuffling is the game for now, getting Allegory to buy Rain to get Augmented Exarchic equipment at item level 520 for remaining low-gear jobs is key for me right now, and in the next week or so, I need to play with all my jobs to get action bars untangled (when streaming last year, I had to reformat Windows on my old PC and did not back up my placement of spells on a lot of jobs I was sort of passingly playing, so I didn’t remember where I had what and without that, I kind of lost sight of combos and setups). I’ve also been waiting eagerly for Media Tour info (I’ve seen the leaked tooltips from it including those tasty Sage abilities!) and the next Live Letter in a month!
I turned 36 last Friday! Okay, I don’t really care that much (one of the few ways in which I am a curmudgeon in real life is that I don’t really care to celebrate getting older as any special thing), but it was a nice day with my wife, I had a porterhouse steak dinner which was lovely, and I did some work around the house to make things a little bit nicer.
On the actual work front, I’m working on finishing up the guide eBooks I have in-progress, and I pulled an 8-year old game design out of mothballs (an early draft in Evernote!) and decided to work on it. It was a TCG in the original design notes I have, but I think it will be better as a deckbuilding game, and I did a quick pass on the notes to bring things up from that old template to something that I think will work better. I’m excited to work on it, and I’ve been breaking out old Kickstarter pricing templates from my successful novel project to figure out how it will work for this game, identifying suppliers who can do the print work (including a limited run of foil cards, which is very cool) and getting the base game design finished so cards can be designed and playtesting can be done.
I’ve also started in on a new meal prep plan and workout routine at home that is seeing great results (lost about 11 pounds in two weeks) and I feel a lot better with it, which is pretty neat. The 11 pounds result is almost certainly inflated on water weight and other such bullshit, but a loss is, in this case, a win and for it to be so large right off the bat reminds me of how well I once did at the fitness thing (in 2016 I lost 108 pounds in 8 months, which was an arduous journey I was quite proud of) so it is good to see that I can still design a plan for myself that works around my quirks (I hate cooking so I prep in bulk and reheat, I don’t need variety so I can often make a meal plan with a single great meal that I eat twice a day times infinity days, and I try to get bodybuilder levels of protein per day using the 1g per pound of target lean mass ideal as guidance meaning protein shakes, eggs, and the like) and execute against said plan.
In the coming days and weeks here, I’ll be documenting some new adventures in gaming (a couple of fairly unique titles I’ve been playing that beg to be discussed) and working through the news on the ABK lawsuit, the current state of WoW and changes coming, and all the hype leading up to Endwalker in FFXIV!