Category Archives: Uncategorized

Home is Where My PC Is

And that’s moving today. Around three miles away, but still.

It’s a relatively inconvenient time though, with all the discounts and pre-expansion patches and such.

I was very, very tempted to pop the first of my nine WoW Tokens (purchased over a year ago) on Monday to ensure I wasn’t holding onto goods that would be deprecated. Then I thought through it rationally. “Okay… so I’d be spending a Token worth X amount to save… what? More than X amount?” A year of “lost” Garrison revenue has led me to believe price inflation would have rendered me non-competitive anyway, assuming I even had the time to spend dicking around the AH at the moment. Which I don’t.

Still, I will be in Legion. I haven’t decided if it will be right at the start, or later on like with Draenor.

Meanwhile, the Guild Wars 2 expansion is currently selling for $25 for another week or so. Although my attempts to get back into GW2 earlier this year didn’t go particularly well, I feel that part of that was due to the lack of buy-in. Not necessarily in forcing the feeling of investment per se, but knowing that next to none of the content I had access to would be new. Want to try the Revenant? Nope. See new zone? Denied. Living Story? Sorry, that’ll be a few thousand gems.

On the other hand, half off something I don’t ultimately end up using is 100% wasted. So we’ll see.

The last deal I wanted to mention was that current Humble Bundle in which they are selling Battleborn for basically $15. That’s gotta sting, yeah? From $60 to $15 in 2.5 months. I was tempted to pick it up… for Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel, not for Battleborn. On the other hand, I’ve mainlined Borderlands 2 to the degree that I’m not even sure I want to play that type of game anymore.

Hmm. Perhaps this move hasn’t impacted my purchasing decisions as much as I thought it has.

Ringing Endorsement

Does anyone else remember playing Dungeon Defenders? You know, that 4-player co-op pseudo-tower defense game from a while back? I knew that the sequel was in Early Access, so I decided to check on it’s progress since it reappeared on my Steam window.

“Still in Early Access, eh? Let me check the reviews…” Top one:

DD_Review

Oh, Steam. Never change.

Although the review goes on to point out that things have since changed – the endgame grind has become easier than before, best weapons were nerfed, etc – the juxtaposition between the 1,095 hours played and the Not Recommended score is just… I don’t know. Funny? Sad? Nostalgic from an MMO perspective?

The developers actually responded to Karthu’s review, assuring him that the changes are a work in progress as they shift some of the systems around in an attempt to provide more depth. Which highlights the Sisyphean absurdity of the situation even more as this dude played an Early Access game for over 45 days straight. Or to put in another perspective, that’s roughly 2.5 hours a day, every day, since it’s Early Access release on Steam (December 2015).

I dunno, man. That sorta sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. Even if it no longer takes 50+ hours of grinding the same map to get the best weapon. Especially if it no longer takes 50+ hours of grinding the same map to get the best weapon. I guess we’ll see.

FFXIV Impression: Wrap-Up

My 30 days have expired.

The highest my character reached was 25 Arcanist/13 Thaumaturge, with a smattering of other classes inbetween. I did have a few open days in which I could have pushed to unlock my first Job (Summoner at 30/15), but when you know you are not resubscribing to an MMO, you tend to lose (even more) interest in final pushes. Here is a random smattering of my wrap-up thoughts.

Invisible walls e’erywhere

I was genuinely surprised by the frequency and sheer brazenness of the invisible walls in FFXIV, especially coming from the (amazing, apparently) openness of GW2. While the minimap will generally indicate which areas are off-limits, sometimes it makes no rational sense. No swimming in your game? Fine, I can understand having oceans and lakes (invisibly) roped off. But sometimes you can wade into ankle-deep streams and sometimes you can’t. For example:

FFXIV_InvisibleWalls

That’s a damn-high vertical leap, by the way.

There is falling damage in the game – and flying eventually – so it is not as though every cliff-face is restricted. But some are. It’s generally one of those things I am hesitant to test lest I fall to my death, but when you actually bump off such a wall, I get an irrational urge to try finding the seams.

I suppose it didn’t bother me in FFX, so it shouldn’t bother me now… but it does.

Character Modeling

They are damn good.

FFXIV_Outfits

What a coincidental shot!

And I’m not even talking about just the culturally different tastes in women’s fantasy attire, I mean all the other incredibly intricate things FFXIV characters can do. The emote system is extremely thorough, to the point you can pantomime practically any conversation. The entire system is one of those “minor” things that you get used to after a while and later feel is lacking from every other game you play.

Tonal Whiplash

Speaking of cultural differences, I don’t even know what’s going on with quest text half the time. Are the writers trying to be funny? Edgy? Are there localization shenanigans afoot?

FFXIV_Sheep

Uh… huh.

FFXIV_DeadWhore

That must be very cold indeed, er, Hezzkhezl.

Maybe the game is simply a lot darker story-wise than its otherwise cheery facade would indicate, I dunno. Most of the early quests have you doing generic level 1 fantasy things like picking up apples or whatever. Then you get that, provided you accidentally stop spam-clicking your left mouse button near the quest givers.

I also enjoy the meta humor a bit…

FFXIV_Rotation

Just kidding, Ruin spam for days.

…but not so much when it only underlines the awful gameplay the class in question provides, e.g. Arcanist. “Sure, let me use Aetherflow and Energy Drain efficaciously… there we go. Now just got to wait 60 seconds for another go-around.” The Thaumaturge proves that the designers are not completely incompetent; if Aetherflow had a lower cooldown or having it up gave your DoTs a chance to proc a free Energy Drain or something, the class might actually have some redeeming feature.

Alas.

Waiting for things still sucks

FFXIV_WaitTime.jpg

It does.

This is not nearly anything as bad as what WoW got up to towards the end of my dungeon running career. Then again, I wasn’t actually forced to do any dungeons to continue the story up to the level cap either. But nevermind, I already griped about that.

Second Pass?

I have been pretty harsh on FFXIV thus far, but I do recognize that it largely follows the same MMORPG mold in which all the goodies are back-loaded into the endgame. Part of the point of my criticism though is that that sort of thing doesn’t work for me anymore. If you are in a period of your life where you can muscle through 30+ hours of unfun gameplay to “reach the good bits,” well… cherish it. There is nothing systemic about MMO design that forces a designer to build their games this way. If WoW came out now, I’d have the same criticism.

All that said, the original FFXIV plan was to play with a friend and check out the sights together. That plan got delayed by a necessary PC upgrade on his part, so when and if that happens, it’s entirely possible I will give FFXIV another month to turn things around. We’ll see then if my perception of the game changes, especially as a melee character.

Inconsistent Resolutions

It’s been about two weeks now, and I’m unsure on how I’m doing with my resolution to not play “just OK” games.

At first, things were good. Loaded up Fable 3, suffered through the Games for Windows Live bullshit, game froze while auto-saving after about 30 minutes of gameplay, and I Noped right out of there. Then, having picked up a Punch Club code from somewhere, I decided to give that a spin. Spent about 1.5 hours “playing” Punch Club before realizing it was just not for me. Cross that one right off… but now it’s getting press and I’m starting to wonder if I gave it enough time.

Then there is my current game, Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. I played that for about an hour the day before, and got stuck on one of the early bosses and was pretty frustrated. “Time to drop this game too.” But… I didn’t. I came back the next day, cleared the boss with ease, and for all intents and purposes am having fun playing. Not fun enough to justify a full review, but certainly more than I was the day before.

While there are certainly games in which the opening gameplay is the same as the end, there are even more that are not at all similar. Like pretty much 100% of MMOs, for example. It is not as though I “owe” these games anything – this is all supposed to be about my personal entertainment, after all – but it has got me thinking about things. Is it really fair to judge a game by its opening hours? Am I fine with the possibility of missing out on an otherwise compelling experience based on basically a slow tutorial?

I suppose on that note, I shouldn’t be second-guessing my resolution just quite yet, eh?

PAX Day Two: Lined

Went to two major panels on Saturday, one after the other. First was FF15 and the second was Pillars of Eternity.

In regards to FF15, I actually haven’t been following the already-released information close enough to tell what was breaking news. The panelists mainly drove home the “road trip” and “Buddies” aspect of the game. Which, if I’m honest, probably wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if I were not hearing their passion in person.

There was a moment while watching the gameplay that I asked myself “is this a Final Fantasy game at all?” I never really played 12 or the 13 series, so I’m not sure if there’s a huge precedent for the sort of Action RPG gameplay I watched on-screen – especially the bit where he hook-shotted up a telephone tower to wait for his MP to regen. The panelists did sort of address this subtly as they mentioned the kind of themes common throughout the series, such as the hero never being alone.

It’s not that seeing the party run down a highway avoiding traffic or that the lack of an ATB gauge is throwing me off; FF7 and 8 had a number of similar high-tech elements, and they are amongst my favorites. Honestly, it could just be that the last Final Fantasy game I completed was FFX-2. This series went from being the single most important thing in my gaming life – I jumped on the original Playstation precisely because I was following Squaresoft – to something I pick up on Steam sales, like everything else. And so “Final Fantasy” to me is/was a game that defines a particular gaming epoch, or it isn’t one at all.

Baggage aside, the game looks great, the road trip thing could be interesting, party banter is always welcome, and the remixed music was pure nostalgia.

The Pillars of Eternity panel was pretty much the devs just playing the game for about twenty minutes. Which certainly isn’t the worst kind of panel, and there wasn’t much they needed to sell for me to be onboard in the first place. They even had an Oprah moment with the whole “check under your chair for a prize.” Everyone got a free upgrade to the Champion edition, assuming you purchase the base game, and a few got upgrades to the highest tier.

While Pillars is a guaranteed purchase by me at some price-point, the pause-based tactical combat really hit home how much I prefer the FFT or other Tactics game type. It’s fun queuing up that initial volley of attacks in these sort of CRPGs, but things quickly end up coming down to micromanaging one or two characters, at best, and hoping that a third character is actually going to finish their attack animation and drink a potion before they die. The devs mentioned that there wasn’t going to be anything much in the way of AI, so you are kinda left with the worst of both worlds.

One day to go.

Wildstar Housing, Balance

This Penny Arcade is pretty much spot-on.

I have not personally succumbed to the housing endgame, but I absolutely see the appeal. My present domicile is named Function Over Form, and is primarily centered around having my own Mining and Garden nodes for resource gathering. Any decor that isn’t worth vendoring is placed as amusingly as possible, scaled up to the maximum. As it turns out, the scale on most of these items figuratively and literally go to 11.

I enjoy the view from my 30-ft couch.

The view from my 20-ft couch.

If you were looking for more serious housing endeavors, examples abound. I especially enjoyed seeing the DIY jumping puzzles. The craziest, most underrated part? You can visit other peoples’ houses. You don’t even need to know them in-game; as long as they have opened their house to the public, you can stop by, and perhaps harvest their resource nodes (more on that in a sec).

Here is the method to do so, and please pass it along:

Won't you be my neighbor?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Wildstar is by no means the first MMO with player housing. I was questing with a few friends on Vent the other night, and one friend actually complained that EQ2’s housing system was more intuitive. I’ll, uh, take your word for that.

Carbine has done something really clever here though, in elevating the Show & Tell aspect by combining it with Challenges and resources. I have my low-effort housing solely to be able to low-effort mine resources every hour or so; the Shardspire Canyon FABkit in the back similarly allows me to complete an easy challenge for a shot at additional goodies every 30 minutes.

But see, you can get a list of a few dozen people who have opened their houses to the public and check out their setups. If they too have resource nodes or Challenges on their property to complete, you have an incentive to essentially cold-call them to become Neighbors. Collect a big enough list, and you can probably farm all day just in other peoples’ houses.

Maybe that doesn’t seem all that social. I will tell you though, that it got me to add a random stranger to my Friend’s List so I could talk him into letting me farm his creepy, albeit very committed Plushie-themed house on the regular. I’m already trying to come up with a naming convention to indicate people willing to 50/50 their nodes into a… well, a “neighborhood,” to our mutual benefit.

The fact that there is a Zone Chat specifically for people in their houses is goddamn brilliant, by the way.

_____________

Having said that, I now have a 2nd character parked at level 15 with very little impetus to move forward. It is difficult to shape into words why that is the case, as I even enjoy my Medic main. As others have mentioned, by level 15 you will have unlocked your house, your mount, and will have opened up enough abilities to get somewhat of a grasp of what buttons you’ll be spamming for the next forever.

Part of the problem is commitment issues. Mobs don’t die in 2-shots anymore, so you better like who you’ll be grinding with. Is Medic really the best for me? In trying out the other classes though, let me just say that Carbine is going to seriously need to work on the ESPer and Engineer (I’d say Warrior too, but I’ll give it another shot first).

The Engineer problem is pretty straight-forward: the bots suck. Not only do the bots suck damage-wise – which is a big problem when they constitute 2 of your very early ability selections – but they have pathing issues too, which can lead to aggro issues. My Engineer is level 8 and it just doesn’t feel fun, and none of the upcoming abilities sound like they will be fun either.

The ESPer problem, on the other hand, is a complete breakdown in the class design. I can’t speak for it’s endgame performance, but there is almost nothing I like where I’m at. It is currently the ONLY class to have it’s “primary” builder require being stationary, which makes it worse than useless in PvP. Flag carrier running away? GG. Target runs out of your telegraph? Now they’re 35+ yards away and you’ll never hit them with anything. GG. Then you have it’s R ability with its… stay stationary to gain an absorb shield, interrupt armor, and PSI points? Only useable in combat? Let me just say that using that ability in PvP just leads to pretty much instant death, even in the lower brackets.

Medic was more fun, but PvP is a crazy mess.

Medic was more fun, but PvP is a crazy mess regardless of class.

I’m mentioning PvP a lot with the ESPer as that is largely how I leveled with that toon. The Aurin/Mordesh starting area is abysmal, and meanwhile PvP is pretty outstandingly rewarding and fun. It takes around 3-4 games per level, and you pretty much consistently get 300-400 PvP currency per battle. The PvP gear has some “useless” stats to make it weaker in PvE, but you can unlock usable shoulders that will likely last you a half-dozen levels or more with pure PvE stats. Otherwise, you must rely on opening the PvP loot bags rewarded at the end ala GW2, to similar effect (read: none).

My goal with the ESPer was pretty much to heal exclusively, and in that area it is kinda okay. Most of its healing abilities are actually targeted (and stationary), which reverts the game back to WoW-mode; I moved the team window down to the center of the screen and basically used it like Healbot. I ended up unlocking a standard telegraph heal in the teens though, so I was able to be a bit more mobile as a healer.

So, yeah, ESPer, Engineer, and likely Warrior are about the three weakest classes at the moment. Carbine is on the record for saying that classes will be buffed up to the top level rather than top-tier classes being nerfed, so we’ll see exactly how they plan on solving this balance issue. I don’t see any way out for the ESPer other than making the level 1 ability a mobile cast though.

Raid Finder: Day One

I used the Raid Finder for the very first time on Monday night. It was an… instructive experience.

Dogpile.

Dogpile.

One thing that I learned about myself is the fact that I felt compelled to seek out raid videos/strategies even for LFR difficulty. It is not (just) about insulating myself from group embarrassment, it is about mitigating that awful feeling of not knowing what I am doing. I hate that feeling. At first I believed the feeling to be unique to multiplayer games, as I certainly do not hit up GameFAQs or Wikis the moment I get to a boss fight in a single-player game. Indeed, wouldn’t that be cheating? Or, at least, cheating myself from the actual game.

But you know what? I hate that feeling even in single-player games. If I am dying to a boss repeatedly and have no idea why, or there does not seem to be any clues as to different strategies I could try, I most certainly hit up Wikis. I enjoy logic puzzles as much as (or more than) the next guy, but I must feel certain that logic is applicable to the situation. With videogames, that is not always a given: quests that you cannot turn in because you didn’t trip a programming “flag” by walking down a certain alleyway or whatever. There was a Borderlands 2 quest that I simply looked up on Youtube because I’ll be damned if I walk across every inch of a cell-shaded junkyard for an “X” mark after already spending 10 minutes looking it over. Playing “Where’s Waldo” can be entertaining, but not when you have to hold the book sideways and upside down before Waldo spawns… assuming you are even looking at the right page.

I digress.

Hey, it could happen to anyone!

Hey, it could happen to anyone!

Things got off to a nice start in LFR when the dog fight consisted of just tanking all three dogs in a cleave pile the entire time. The second boss seemed to have an inordinate amount of health, but he too dropped without doing much of note. I died twice to some insidious trash on the way to the troll boss; those bombs are simply stupid in a 25m setting, as I found it difficult to even see them among all the clashing colors and spell effects. Final boss dropped pretty quickly as well, although I almost died a few times towards the end once people stopped coming into the spirit world with me.

By the way, the queue for the 1st raid finder was 15 minutes for DPS. Might have been a “Monday before the reset” thing.

I joined a guild healer for the 2nd raid finder immediately afterwards, although the average wait time of 43 seconds was a bit off. Was killed by a combination of friendly fire and damage reflection during the first boss, but he otherwise went down quickly. I managed to avoid falling to my death during Elegon (thanks Icy-Veins!), but was killed by an add the 2nd tank never picked up; that will teach me to do something other than tunnel the boss. The third boss… made little sense. I spent a lot of time killing adds, as I could not quite understand what was up with the Devastating Combo thing other than I must have been doing it wrong. Eons later, the bosses died.

It is becoming somewhat of a running joke for my guildies since coming back on how much random loot I pull in. The prior week I got ~8 drops from my first 5 random dungeons, for example. This time around I got three epics from my first two LFR forays, all three of which came from the bonus rolls. I was not around for the Cata LFR days, but suffice it to say, I would not have likely came away with that much loot in a more traditional PuG.

Overall, LFR was a pleasant experience. While I can certainly empathize with the criticism of LFR – it was pretty ridiculously easy – I can definitely see the logic behind Blizzard’s moves here. Some raid is better than no raid, low-pop realms like Auchindoun-US wouldn’t support a robust raid PuG community, and to an extent even the “nothing ever drops!” LFR sentiment encourages organized guild raiding in a roundabout manner. Whether this remains satisfying in any sort of long-term manner remains to be seen, but honestly, it is better than the alternative of… what else, exactly? Running dungeons ad infinitum?

Achieving Zen

So I warned you about certain crafted BoE epic gear and how the new Firelands dailies would essentially obsolete them entirely. At the time, I was under the impression that the vendors with these 365 epic gear would be gated behind 25 days worth of dailies. That is not entirely the case, as you undoubtedly witnessed yourself on Thursday if you have been doing them daily.

Our good friend Zen’Vorka here has some goodies for anyone who fights their way into the Firelands. The items themselves are Matoclaw’s Band (Agility ring), Nightweaver’s Amulet (Intellect necklace), Fireheart Necklace (Strength necklace), and Pyrelord Greaves (Tanking Plate boots). I knew the Pyrelord boots were going to obsolete the BoE JP boots, but I thought that was going to happen closer to the end of August, not the beginning of July. Speaking of surprises, though…

Blizzard snuck in a stealth hotfix allowing you to unlock Firelands on Day 1.

What ends up happening now is instead of ending up with 8 Marks of the World Tree when you get to the point of unlocking the “outside” dailies, you have 16. After doing a single set of dailies, you will end up with 4 more Marks, unlocking the Firelands portal after one more quest. At that point, you are a mere one elite mob away from unlocking our friend Zen’Vorka and his goodies for your alts. The entire process takes ~35 minutes from zero to epic 365s depending on the dailies you get stuck with.

It is an open question as to why Blizzard made this change, and it will be even more interesting to see whether they end up doing something similar once “phase 3” starts being unlocked by people. And that is on top of the question as to whether or not it will actually take another month to unlock all the vendors or if they will be more like our friend Zen.

In any event, if the thought of doing 50+ dailies a day was stopping you from pimping your alts, the way has officially been cleared. Get out there and get geared.

Fate of Crafted Epics in 4.2 (and more)

I talked about about this subject in a general sense with Fire(lands) Sale where I pre-lamented the death of the Darkmoon trinkets in the face of easy-to-acquire alternatives. Due to a reader’s request, I have decided to focus more on what crafters can make right now and whether it might still be a good idea to make post-4.2.

Chest/Legs

This is perhaps the most obvious category of crafted epics at risk in 4.2. Players will be able to purchase T11 chest and legs for 2200 Justice points on Day 1 of the new patch, and I find it very likely many will do so immediately with whatever amount of JP they have stockpiled. Do not forget that you will (still) be able to turn Honor points into Justice points, easily bypassing the 4,000 cap if you choose. Three weeks of ZA/ZG runs later, they will be able to further purchase T12 (same slots) with their Valor points.

Belts
The situation with belts is more complex. Players will not be able to purchase any belts with JP nor VP this patch. Instead, there are two other sources of belts: a small sample from the Molten Front dailies after ~25 days, and a complete set after hitting Honored with the Avengers of Hyjal.

The three belts in the Bad category are Elementium Girdle of Pain, Light Elementium Belt, and Lightning Lash. All three have ilevel 365 analogs available after unlocking The Armorer in the Firelands dailies. The rest of the belts will not be replaced until you get a raid drop or hit Honored with the raid reputation. Last time I checked, the word on the street was that you could hit 11,999/12,000 Honored with the Avengers from farming trash – how difficult this will be or even if it is possible will remain to be seen. I find it likely however, that someone farming Firelands raid trash will probably want to do it with a purple belt in the meantime.

Trinkets
Already talked about this before, but…
 

The Darkmoon trinkets have given me a lot of AH mileage so far this expansion, but I stopped making the cards a few months ago. Players logging in after 4.2 will have the option of getting 359 trinkets immediately for 1650 JP and/or doing ~25 days of dailies for the 365 trinkets off of the vendors there. And if they hit Revered with the raid reputation, hey, more trinkets.

That covers the crafted BoE epics, but why stop here?

Cloaks
There are no crafted epic cloaks, but I am referring to any BoE epic cloaks from T11 content and/or ZA/ZG drops you may have in your bags. Sell them. Sell now.

Although I missed the chance to warn you before the Midsummer holiday arrived with its free 353 cloak giveaway, the 353 and 359 cloaks were still technically as good or better than what you could get stolen by a scrub for an off-spec they will never use from Ahune. This all changes in 4.2. Namely, every single player will be sporting 365 epic cloaks for completing the Thrall Got Zapped quest-line. Price your antiquated 359s to move, lest you get stuck with a 12,000g+ “investment” that you will have to dupe people into buying for even 800g. Indeed, I recently sold a Drape of Inimitable Fate and Zom’s Electrostatic Cloak for ~6,000g each and the buyer immediately relisted for 12,000g. If he can snag a sell between now and Tuesday, more power to him. Meanwhile, I just made nearly half of his possible profit with 0% of the risk.

If 365 cloaks from a quest chain was not bad enough, you also have Valor cloaks for JP and 378 cloaks after however long it takes to get Friendly with the Avengers of Hyjal. Move those capes like they’re hot.

Boots
Specifically the BoE epic boots you can buy with Valor today, and Justice on Tuesday. Seems pretty obvious that these would be bad deals to get, yes? Well… not quite. Ask yourself if you would be willing to buy Justice points for gold at, say, a 1:2 ratio. In other words, imagine spending 8000g to get 4000 JP. Would you? I would. You cannot get 4000 of course, as the boots are the only items that work this way and they cost 1650 JP. Point being, even though I can grind up the 1650 JP and get them “for free,” I could also simply buy them off someone who values their time less than I do and spend those same JP getting something else. Similar to belts though, there is a small kink in the plan: boots from dailies.

The three boots in the Bad category are Boots of the Perilous Seas, Rock Furrow Boots, and Moccasins of Verdurous Glooms. All three have 365 upgrades available after a scant 25 days worth of dailies. The other boots will not be replaced outside of raid drops so you will probably be able to sell them on a decent basis. Of course, so will everyone else capable of running heroics/grinding BGs but if you have nothing else to buy with those currencies, it is better than buying and vendoring Wrath epic gems.

Rings/Necklaces
Is anyone still making this garbage? Please, stop, what are you doing?

The mat price for the 346 rings/necklaces was ridiculous even on Day 1, but there were still chances at sales and (low) profit margins. Generally people will tell you to make the Elementium Moebius Band because it’s the cheapest but actually pretty good for any tank. Problem is that there is not one, but two epic tanking rings from the Firelands dailies. From the same vendor! I guess Blizzard’s thought process was that since the one ring had Parry on it, that a 2nd one was necessary for the Feral tanks. Except now if you are a Plate tank you have easy-street access to both. Did I mention they are on the same vendor? Non-casters are in the same boat with two separate Agility rings AND two separate Strength rings… on different vendors this time, but still. Spellcasters and/or healers got the shaft though, with only one ring.

So you have the option of the Valor rings being bought with JP, the new Valor rings bought with actual Valor, the crafted blue PvP rings having a difference of a whole 90 stats for the equivalent of ~1500g in mats, the 365 rings from the Firelands dailies (which covers every spec), and eventually the 391 rings at Exalted with Avengers.

Necklaces are in a mostly similar place as rings. Spellcasters get a Firelands daily option as do Strength DPS however. Missing here are Agility and Tank necklaces, which means you may have a market for Brazen Elementium Medallion (assuming people didn’t just get the Hyjal reputation neck) and Elementium Guardian. There are Valor necklaces available post-4.2, but I doubt the neck slot will be at the top of peoples’ lists to replace for quite some time.

Conclusion and Caveats
The mark of a good goblin is being able to make gold when it is not especially obvious that it is possible. Although I am labeling some items as Bad and Fire Sale and so on, it is entirely possible that you or someone who likes to sweat by the AH will make money where money ain’t got any right being made. Maybe that dude who bought my cheap cloaks will move both by Tuesday and laugh his way to the bank. That’s fine, I’m already at the bank giggling myself. The only real loser is whoever gets stuck with the item when the music stops, and presumably that person paid for the privilege so I guess everyone wins… until that guy does those 10 quests and replaces it.

So, yeah.

If you are looking for some quick and dirty advice, I would say: clear your stock, stop making/buying more BoEs. Worst case scenario you will still have your mats, and can go back to ignoring whatever I say on Wednesday. Goblins strike it rich all the time by taking on risk that no one else does. Goblins like myself also strike ~80% of the richness of the other goblins, with 90% less effort and less than a quarter of the risk. Do what you like, and we’ll all see how it pans out next month.

Crafted PvP Comparison

As you may or may not be aware, when patch 4.2 rolls around all the old crafted PvP recipes will be going from their current ilevel 339 states to a much beefier 358. The material costs will also be the same, but just keep in mind that already crafted gear will not be upgraded. In other words, do not pre-craft this gear.

What interests me in this interim period though, is the question about whether or not the current crop of Honor Point gear is worth purchasing in the days before 4.2 compared to what you can get crafted post-4.2. Obviously the Conquest Point epics will be purchasable after 4.2 with Honor and be much better than either, but as someone who enjoys getting their BG on the Honor cap is still 4000. For example, I have a warrior in the current crop of crafted PvP blues with about 2500 Honor accumulated. Would it be more “efficient” to hit the 4k Honor cap and stop playing altogether? Or would there be some benefit in buying the current Bloodthirsty Gladiator pieces while still aiming at capping out before June 28th?

A couple quick notes about the above picture. First, the stat gains along the bottom of the page does reflect my adding of gems into those eight sockets. Basically there are three Bolds, two Resplendent, and two Rigid gems in there along with the meta. Secondly, I am only comparing the five “tier” pieces at the moment because I have no idea how to add items to item sets on Wowhead, only how to remove them. Finally, if you want to look at the comparison yourself or perhaps change the gems around, you can use this link here.
What we can see about this at first glance is current Bloodthirsty Gladiator gear > 4.2 crafted gear, even without considering glove and 4-piece bonuses. Wowhead’s comparisons are not 100% accurate though, as the Bloodthirsty set does not have a 400+ resilience gain over the crafted gear – the discrepancy is likely from the crafted gear’s 2-piece +400 resilience bonus not being properly coded into Wowhead. Taking that into account and then manually plugging in the full Bloodthirsty Gladiator set, we get a comparison like this:
4.2 Crafted Bloodthirsty Glad Difference
Stamina 3,311 3,135 176
Strength 2,206 2,314 -108
Mastery 225 153 72
Armor 19,644 19,301 343
Resilience 1,873 1,930 -57
Critical strike 449 -449
Expertise 393 257 136
Haste 336 173 163
Hit 519 238 281

Note: the Difference column is focusing on the crafted gear. Looking at it in this perspective, Bloodthirsty Gladiator looks less obviously better. Indeed, the crafted gear has +146 stat points and +176 Stamina vs +108 Strength… and the existence of a metagem, a glove bonus, and a 4-piece bonus. Generally speaking, primary stats like Strength are valued at least 2:1 against combat ratings like Mastery, so the tradeoff becomes nearly ~2k HP against +3% crit damage and whatever goodies are on your gloves and 4pc bonus. Bloodthirsty Gladiator gear retains the advantage.

In an interesting twist, the crafted PvP accessories are unequivocally better than the current Honor ones:

The take-away from this is three-fold. (1) You should still be banking some mats to pump out the upgraded PvP gear for when servers come back up. New players and alts will still be hitting level 85 after 4.2 all the time and want something to cover their nakedness (or ‘sploit them into ZA/ZG queues). (2) The Bloodthirsty Gladiator non-accessory pieces are still worth getting, assuming buying them does not impact your ability to cap out on Honor by the 27th. Speaking of which, people with Bloodthirsty Glad gear will not be buying your non-accessory crafted PvP gear post-4.2. In other words, the markets do not overlap. Sorry, crafters. (3) If you have a JC toon, expect a rather nice post-patch payday. Your rings and necklaces will straight-up replace any non-epic piece of PvP gear. The healer pieces merely requiring Amberjewel and a smattering of Volatiles is especially win.

P.S. If you are a JC still making those 346 rings, you might want to stop. Resilience is a dead stat for PvE, of course, but you have to start asking yourself whether ~90 stats makes this comparison make sense:

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