Squish Or Boost?


I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the anticipated level squish the game is headed towards. What will the new cap be? How will the already grouped zones be re-leveled, in some cases again already. 60 is the most likely level. So I could see all of the existing content cut in half, save for the BfA & next expansion content.  But here’s the question: will a level squish result in an XP squish?

If the levels drop but the amount of XP in a relative sense does not change, then what’s the point other than to make gear numbers smaller? If the amount of experience needed to level does decrease, what’s the best way to do it? Well, rather than do that, let me propose an alternative.

On my private server, there is an XP boost and it can be set as high as 12x. 12 times the experience to level. Think about that for a moment and consider your heirlooms and such still stack on top of that. When all is said and done you could be looking at close to 20 times the norm. No doubt you’re either thinking what a great idea that is for alts, or that it’s so fast you would burn through any content without really encountering any of it. Both are quite true, but also cater to different people.

There are a good portion of players who are casual these days. Even more than ever as many of the hardcore folk are all over Classic. But whether they are or are not does not change the benefits of the experience boost. Players who just want to hit that end game can burn past the content they don’t care about, so that they may get there. And let’s face it, each expansion’s content has more than served its purpose at this point. Nothing is being lost.

Now, if you would rather experience the content at level, then notice that I said it could be set “as high as.” That’s right, you can adjust it to a level you want it to be, if at all. If you want to drudge your way through certain zones the way they are meant to be played, nothing is stopping you. Want to bounce around low level, but then speed up the stretch from 25-40? Turn the experience reward as high as you’d like to make it happen. There is literally no downfall to this approach for you as a player.

Some might be concerned or believe it might dilute the quality of player at end game because they haven’t played their class enough to know what they’re doing. Well, you could still say that about players in the game’s current state. The key to said leveling experience is that it would need to be capped at the entry point to the game’s previous expansion. So if it was brought into action tomorrow, the experience boost would cease to work at level 100. Or if we’re being realistic and it came as some “amazing feature” in the new expansion, then level 110. You could do as much or as little as you wanted to until you hit the Battle For Azeroth content. Then you have 20 (current) levels to hone your abilities and given the way WoW does their talents and skills these days, that’s probably 15 levels more than you realistically need.

This system would likely maintain players more than the current means does. Off and on I know plenty of people who get burned out, or want to level an alt but not go through the rigmarole and tedious time to do so (even if the current system is still faster than any of its predecessors). New players see level 120 and find that daunting. Yes, Blizzard offers one free character boost to the cap of the previous expansion, but ten levels for a game isn’t necessarily the best approach either.

I doubt we will ever see such a system come into play. Even with the much mentioned level squish that is coming, I still don’t see the first 80% of the game going any quicker. It’s unfortunate, because I think with each expansion World of Warcraft is probably pulling in a less than 30% new player base. The experience boost helps both sides of that. You make it a bit more appealing for new players to consider signing up, possibly to level with a friend. And, you recognize the other side is a massive player base that tends to drop their subscription within six to twelve months of the new hotness coming out because they’re already done.

I don’t own a video game company. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of one. I only go by what I see and experience. Blizzard is still making money off of Warcraft nearly hand over fist. It has been their bread and butter for well over a decade. They’ve become the masters of taking something someone does and applying it even better in their own game. It would go a long way if they did something like this.


Winter Veil Comes Early For Alts

I had originally planned to try and get a new chapter of Posthumous up, but work was too crazy for that and I didn’t have the energy by the time I got home.  More importantly something came about in-game that I wanted to talk about.  I first heard it from Zwingli, and then had it confirmed on WoW Insider: you can now send account bound items to other servers.

This makes me a happy Amateur.  From the first day “Bind On Account” items were introduced I felt they were anything but.  Heck, remember when you couldn’t even send them to the opposing faction on the same server?  To get to where we are today is a great boon for the game.  As my title suggests, this is a huge boost for alts.  You don’t mind levelling on a new server because the process can be sped up with just a quick mail or two.  As it is, I’m scattered across roughly half a dozen servers and I can imagine there are people spread much wider than I am.  To be able to now grab an heirloom with a toon that has more than enough resources to do so, and send it to another on a distant server just feels like that oh so sweet gift on Winter Veil morning.

If you want to send something, just type in the character name and the server that toon is on, such as Semblance-Fenris.  Instantly, account bound item is transferred.  Will we see other future items become transferable?  That’s hard to say.  Account bound items work because they’re like pets and mounts were.  It’s easy to make it happen because they’re basically attached to the signature of your account rather than one character.  Either way, I’m going to bask in the glory of this news…just as soon as I figure out where all my BoA’s are located.

Fly Or Die Challenge?

I logged on last night and one of the first things I tend to do is see who’s on.  In doing so, I notice Killthryn’s Real ID message: “Ask me about the Fly or Die Challenge.”  Inquisitive sort that I am, I did just that.


Telling me that it’s a logical progression from the 2012 challenge (in which participants have a fair number of alts), he proceeded to explain a relatively straightforward gauntlet: either a toon gets to 60 and learns flying or you delete it on New Year’s Eve.  That’s…well, one can’t argue how direct the concept is.  It’s certainly a great way to cull the alts, as it were.  Taking the time to think about it for a day, I have to say I think it’s a great idea.  1-60 can be obtained pretty quickly in the modern era of Azeroth.  It’s also a bracket where you do have options in how you want to level (as opposed to hitting 68 and knowing the first dungeon you’ll see on any toon is Utgarde Keep).  For some, it will be a great way to evaluate their alts.  I know Mrs. Amateur has said she’s in.  But am I?

At this stage, I’m really not sure.  He’s made it clear that bank alts are allowed to remain lowbies (I believe the rate is one per server but he may correct me), but I think I have more characters in the 10-40 bracket than anywhere else.  I kind of like them that way.  I mean, I joke Vortmar is level 14 and has three years worth of Winter Veil Cookies.  Would I want to delete him if he didn’t reach 60?  I don’t think that I would.

As I say, I think it’s a great challenge.  But so was the 2012 challenge and I failed that miserably because I had no idea the turn Amateur Azerothian was destined to take.  I think I would love to take the challenge, but depending on this year I don’t want to lose toons to the fates of another year.  The best I could do is apply it to certain characters but then I feel as though that would defeat or cheat the challenge itself and refuse to do that either.  So instead, I will cheer folks on and watch and see.

To Do List (No Buckets)

That’s Liouxpold making his way to Lower City, following the completion of his Netherdrake Rep.  I hadn’t done it before and I have to say it was really enjoyable -the lore of it was well done and tells us more about the Dragonflight.  Plus the “Booterang” is just hilarious.  Now that I’ve finished that, I still have a list of things I need to get done.  Not in a “before Mists arrives” sort of way, just things that need to get done.

  • Finish mailing out the Mogolympics prizes.
  • Get more links working on the Mogolympics site.  Pretty Fly Draenei offered to help and I think I did the right thing in accepting.  Too much burnout doing it on my own, but I’m too damn stubborn to ask for help.  Taurus much?
  • Post my guide to the Netherdrake Reputation grind
  • Post more of the upcoming Laid Back Raids.  At least this weekend’s is up now (much to the delight of Arvash, no doubt).
  • Add a few more header images to “flavour” up the site.
  • Get my other blog off the ground.  At least it has a name now -I think.
  • Execute my character purge in WoW.
  • Find out how people are doing in the 2012 challenge.
  • Start posting that other Mogging idea I touched on last week.
  • Update my blog roll

Hopefully now that I’ve posted this list, it’ll be easier to start knocking them off.  There’s no timeline -well, save for a couple of the items, so it’s not like there’s pressure.  Sure, there’s self-imposed “get that done” in my head, but no outside influence weighing on me.  Now that I’ve said that, time to have at some of it.

Days Go By

It was a long weekend here, and I was enjoying the weather and the family yesterday and even some WoW.  So things here were quiet, though I did stay on top of the Transmogolympics.  The contest was only announced a couple days ago and we’re already up to twenty participants.  In case you missed it, there is no limit on how many people take part.  However, if we manage to have more participants than factions, then some factions will merely have more than one representative; much like the real Olympic Games. Also, I wanted to take a moment to once again thank Tome of the Ancient for the logo.  I told her what I wanted and she delivered beautifully.  I’m also happy to have her, Matty, and Khizzara as fellow judges for the event.

We had another successful Laid Back Raids on Saturday night.  The only place scheduled this week was Trial of the Crusader, but that didn’t stop us from also kicking down the doors to Ruby Sanctum and Obsidian Sanctum. We had a solid turnout including, for the first time, both Repgrind and Ratters (and his daughter as well)!  It was great timing as Rep knew TotC and was able to provide some guidance, though we did zerg the sucker down pretty fast.  For the Sanctums, I filled out the group with my friend Valanyr and a couple of his buds.  Oh, and Tum even got himself a new set of wings.

In Azeroth over the weekend, there was a great deal of puttering about, or “faffing” as Godmother and Kamalia have come to tell me.  Fireflint is finally 75, and that means time to boost his Blacksmithing.  I’ll obviously have to gain a few levels before I can max him out on it, fortunately I’ll be able to hit the Darkmoon Faire before the week is out.  I also snagged a few levels for Carrera and Estheriot.  Plus, three new faces are showing up around here now.

I have no clue as to why internet demons have taken the Gnome’s face.  Fortunately she sent me a postcard of her hanging with faction leader of epic epicness,

Zero Zero One One One Zero One Zero!

She joined the ranks for a few reasons.  The first, is admittedly, I had a sudden fetish to have a character with the Very Light Sabre.  As I pointed out to Mrs. Amateur, it’s a coincidence I gave her the Leia hair buns.  Also, I rolled her on Fenris (US).  I’ve heard horror stories about the economy and thought I would check it out for myself.  I farmed up some quick Peacebloom and Silverleaf, and threw that on the Auction House.  Neither was a full stack and it resulted in about 10 gold in her pocket.  That allowed me to grab a couple of items off the Auction House to sell, as well as purchase some of the rabbits from Amberstill Ranch and see if I can get a few coin for those as well.  So, so far things don’t seem too strange.  Hopefully the Schematic: Mechanical Mithril Dragonling sold at the behest of my advice.  I managed to sell one with Tumunzahar yesterday on Runetotem for 85g.  I still think that’s absurd, but if folks aren’t going to go get it out in the Hinterlands I may as well.  It didn’t hurt I was getting a couple points in Archaeology at the time either.

In closing, let me just tell you how strange it is to see “Semblance” in Trade chat.  Even merely as a name, it seems to look out of place.  Funny that.

Azerothian X-Men (Or Where I Swear At Nav)

**note** This post is best viewed on its own.  Click on the topic heading for a less buggered view

Yes, I completely blame Navimie for this one.  All that superhero talk sparked my creative juices and my OCD kicked in to the point I had to build this.  For your pleasure, the X-Men (Alliance):

Jean Grey (Phoenix), Storm, Cyclops, Professor X, Wolverine, Iceman

I had puttered around with a couple of other characters, but they just weren’t working out to my liking.  So I stuck with these six…which took long enough as it was.  About two hours for the lot, I believe.  Then another twenty minutes to put the details together here.  These are 100% transmog outfits and I was trying to re-imagine them in Azeroth rather than recreate them.  All in all, not too shabby I suppose.

Jean Grey:



Professor X:



Bye Bye January

The first month of the year is gone in a few short hours (or possibly it’s already gone in your part of the world) and if there’s one way to summarize it, that would be WHERE DID MY IMMUNE SYSTEM GO?!?!  Seriously, I was sick every day this month.  Some were better than others (the strep throat phase suckethed horribly), but on the whole I’ve had some variation of a viral infection or flu since New Year’s Day.  Ugh.

That out of the way, I present a random post of random thoughts as it relates to our wonderful World (of Warcraft).  For starters, I hate the idea of Hoarders, but this Machinima always cracks me up.  It’s definitely the Troll.  Plus, if you know any players like this I can guarantee you Void Storage has done nothing to help this situation.

  • I finally landed Horrux’s pants on the Auction House last night. I’ve needed Brutish Legguards for over a month.  I decided to check the Undermine Journal before I went to bed and then logged on like a madman.  This would be the fifth time I’ve seen them only to login and they’re gone.  Alas, I still need the gloves, but now that it’s the only piece of gear I’m missing for his outfit, I may look for other options.
  • Mount Hyjal is absurdly slow without a flying mount.  That’s right, Liouxpold still doesn’t have one.  I haven’t bothered visiting the Cenarion Expedition in quite some time.  Part of me thinks this weekend might be a great opportunity to go farm crazy.  No, I won’t just buy him a bird.
  • Still debating whether or not I want the Elder title for Tumunzahar.  I got it on Siori when it was introduced, mainly because I had this notion as guild leader she needed it first (and I succeeded in that area).  I like Starcaller on Tum but if Blizzard allows for mixed titles in the future, Elder Starcaller actually has a ring to it.
  • Leveling with guild perks and even ONE BoA is ridiculously faster than doing it vanilla style.  That’s a no-brainer, but The 2012 is teaching me that rather quickly. 
  • Love Warrior tanking and Druid tanking, and quickly coming around to Paladin tanking.  Yet, I look at both my Blood Death Knights and just cringe at the idea.
  • On the flip side, I love Priest healing, find Shaman healing easy, and am just now starting to level a Resto Druid…Holy Paladin will probably come later.
  • No, I don’t dual-spec much.  By much, I mean one toon has it. 
  • I used to hate Cooking.  Now, the daily grants an absurd amount of xp that you’d be a fool not to learn it.
  • Visiting the replica vendors in Netherstorm was a bad idea.  Some of the items for sale out there are amazing.  At the same time, I’m not sure how the level 60 gear works.  I’m guessing you have to get it with honor first, and that allows you to buy the replica version for ‘Mogging. 
  • Yes, Blizzard, that’s still incredibly fail to do to the player base.
  • I finally got Formula: Enchant Chest – Greater Stats, though it was off my Auction House and for a mint.  Yet, I still haven’t decided whether to learn it or try and sell it.  Hard to say if I’d get my money back or more, though it’s the only time I’ve ever seen the formula in four years.
  • Speaking of Formulas, I keep meaning to check whether Crusader drops anymore or not.  I have one in my bank, so it’s worth looking into.
  • I really need to take Tumunzahar in to kill visit Malygos, as it’s the only Wrath raid (pre-Icecrown) he never did. 
  • I also need to get rolling on getting Siori the legendary daggers.  I think I need to sweet talk a couple people about getting in on a raid for the sap fight.  
  • I should finish up some of the other posts that are sitting in the pipeline.  So many ideas, so little time.  
  • I hope that when I get home, patching WoW on a Linux system is easy.