5.2: From Most Alt-Unfriendly to Best Alt Expansion Ever?

Patch 5.2 should be out today. It is always a bit overwhelming looking at the huge, collated MMO-Champion post, but one thing should not be missed: 5.2 changes Mists from the most alt-unfriendly expansion ever to perhaps the friendliest one yet. Here are some of the changes I had been keeping an eye on:

New ways of gaining Reputation

Daily quests are fine the first time around, but grinding them multiple times is simply cruel. Commendations came out in 5.1, but you still had to do the dailies, albeit half as many. Now, as long as you fully unlock the Farm, you can do two work orders a day for 400 reputation apiece. Additionally, the first heroic dungeon and first Scenario of the day gives you 750 and 325 rep respectively. On top of that, the 5-person rare spawns on the new island have a chance of dropping BoA tokens that can be consumed for 1000 reputation with a particular faction. I am unsure if the 1-2 man rare spawns drop smaller versions of the same token.

While it may be still worth doing the actual dailies to compliment the bonus reputation, the point is we now have a choice again.

Accelerated Catch-Up Gear Acquisition

I am not sure what the official percent increase is, but the drop rate for the 5.0 LFR bosses and Elder Charm rolls will be greatly increased. The prices of Valor items from the vendors have been decreased by 50% and 25% for the 5.0 and 5.1 items, respectively. Season 12 PvP gear is now on the Honor vendor, as usual, but now you can buy the ilevel 476 weapons for Honor. Additionally, the new Conquest weapons will not have a rating requirement. Blacksmiths can make BoE versions of the Burning Crusade Blacksmith weapons, at either 463 blues or 476 epics.

Tangentially, if you have a tanking spec, you might actually be able to farm more Honor by running heroic dungeons than doing random BGs. One of the changes in 5.2 is that you get 100 Justice Points for each heroic boss kill. That means for every 8 bosses you kill, you can turn in 750 of the 800 otherwise useless Justice Points into 500 Honor (or 375 JP –> 250 HP). Even if there is a more efficient way of farming Honor – and assuming you’re not killing more than 4 bosses every 30 minutes – the fact remains that you can gain that Honor while also gaining +725 reputation of your choice plus Valor points.

This is actually starting to feel a lot like Wrath again, when I would tank the daily heroic on 3-4 toons a day.

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On a complete different note, I spent nearly four hours yesterday attempting to get the last 24 Motes of Harmony necessary for my Scribe to craft one of the 476 BoA staves. The idea was to craft one of the staves, mail it to my main to upgrade twice, and then bank it for one of my other alts before the upgrade vendor is removed with the patch. I had (obviously) waffled quite a bit over whether this was worth my time, and just decided this weekend that it was. Unfortunately, between all the time spent leveling this weekend (my DK Scribe was level 85) and the mad dash last night, I damn near came away snuffing the small flame of my interest in WoW entirely out.

I ended up with 3.4 Spirits of Harmony, a gain of 8 Motes across levels 87-88.5. For a minute there, I honestly considering spending 4000 Honor at the vendor to get 10 Motes (400 H for a Mote is goddamn robbery), but I was hating life pretty hard at the end and I would still be short a few besides. I washed the taste out of my mouth with a little PlanetSide 2, but I am definitely not going to be doing something as crazy again. Those days are long over for me.

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Posted on March 5, 2013, in WoW and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. On rep: the rep gains from both farm quest and dungeons are doubled by the grand commendation. So if your doing these on alts, assuming your main is revered them you need to double your numbers.

  2. Agreed. Reading the changes has changed my mind on alts from “forget it and play something else” to “time to work on them” :)
    I hope they learn the lesson and keep the varied rep sources in the coming expansions, not everyone loves chain-running dailies….

  3. I for one wish they would just make rep account wide. It really feels like an ‘unlockable’ that you should only have to do once. The old tabards made it easier, but an easy chore is still a chore. Even with the rep from dungeons/scenarios I can’t find the care to actually queue for one. At least dailies I can go and do and don’t have to wait in a line for. I’m starting to wonder why, exactly, I play this game.

    One mostly unheralded change is that they’ve increased the yields from the special seeds at the farm. Leather seeds are probably tripled, cloth seeds (which were pretty generous before) are doubled at least–sometimes you get whole bolts out of them, and mining seems kind of a wash–more trillium but a lot less ghost iron/kyparite.

    • In an ideal world, to me at least, Rep would be account-wide and all drops would be Bind on Account; BoE items would still exist, but would turn into BoAs once you equipped them on someone. This sort of radical change couldn’t just be dropped into WoW without some revision of underlying mechanics, of course – individual LFG loot would be needed as a minimum to prevent everyone needing on everything – but ultimately it would be a better gameplay experience IMO.

      The reason I have alts is not to duplicate or elongate the leveling experience; I have alts because I want (more) variety in my endgame experience. Sometimes I like the mobility of my warrior. Sometimes I like healing on the shaman. I’m not at all sure what value there is in the intervening leveling/gearing up experience, when I have already accomplished said process on at least one other character. Other than, of course, more money to Blizzard.

      • I almost mentioned allowing people to skip leveling on alts just as an aside. I enjoy leveling enough (as much as I enjoy anything–again not sure why I actually play) but it feels like another thing that you shouldn’t have to repeat over and over unless you want to.

        I think if Blizzard could figure out a way to get people to play without a gear carrot that they would be more amenable to changing gear to be BOA. As it is, they should at least convert all transmog (i.e. “older than current expansion” gear) to BOA. Must I really run MC on every character I want transmog gear for? And then you have the differences in solo capabilities and so forth.

        Though at the same time, I imagine the “welfare epics” crowd would have an absolute hissy fit over any change in soulbinding.