Every so often I see something that completely makes my night. Originally I was logged into World of Warcraft to do the Love Rocket grind… and surprise to no one that went exactly as I expected. Another night of running 6 holiday dungeons… only to walk away with another handful of tokens and a few pets. Between two of the dungeon runs, I happened to notice a familiar sight across the trade chat attached to the Garrison system. The server I play on is Argent Dawn, the US version… and it was a day one server, one of two Roleplaying servers at launch. As a result we have quite the history as servers go, and much of it is wrapped up in the individuals that inhabit it. One of those is Pixi the bag making gnome. She has been doing her roleplay shouts since the early days of the server… originally starting out in Iron Forge and now apparently moving to the Garrison system. Now she traditionally charges more than the other bag makers on our server… but there is just something special about buying a “Pixi Pack” as she calls them. She makes a grand gesture about it and gives you a silly amount of summoned mage food to fill the pack up. Even asks you where you are going and offers to Teleport you to your destination. She is one of those constants that has been here since day one… and gives me warm fuzzies every time I see the shout about her little white pony and tinker cart rolling into frame.
This is ultimately the reason why I could never truly play on any other server. I have so many memories of the community and the people that populate it. For years I was one of the forum rats that hung out constantly on the official server forums. When Blizzard released the new forums and tried to force everyone to use RealID… we abandoned that forum and started out own called the Argent Dawn Exiles. There had been some rampant issues of folks getting banned for asking why someone had gotten banned… there was some silly shit going on with the forums back then. For awhile even saying the word “ban” was worthy of a ban…. so instead we made up the code word “Cream Cheese” which we used to horrible effect. The awesome thing about the way the community was is that I got to hang out regularly with folks on both sides of the fence, and I have a lot of awesome friends Horde side as well as my original Alliance side connections. Its when I think about how connected I still am to Argent Dawn, or in FFXIV Cactuar… that I kinda lament the modern game infrastructure with free floating players and no real “servers” to speak of. Sure it makes life so much easier at launch and making sure you can play with your friends, but there was something special about hanging out every night with the same larger population of people.
One of the trends that I have seen over the years is folks bashing the existence of LFR, or Looking For Raid. I personally think its a great system, or WAS a great system in past expansions. My only beef with it is that currently the gear that you get from LFR is kinda trash… and the set bonuses that exist are pale shadows of the set bonuses that folks actually need. I’ve always thought that the only difference between LFR/Normal/Heroic gear should be item level… and as a result I think that LFR should drop tier. The primary line of thinking is that for those doing normal raiding there is zero reason why we should ever darken the door of LFR other than the occasional Valor farming. Even if in theory we could get slightly higher item level for the occasional slot that is lagging behind the rest of your set… the challenge is in breaking your set. I’ve lamented my inability to get rid of my 670 set of tier gear from BRF for awhile now, when in theory I could replace them with higher item level versions from HFC LFR. The truth is however… that LFR is not for people with access to traditional raiding.
LFR is for the folks who don’t have the social infrastructure to be able to raid on a regular basis. It is also for folks like me, who have an army of alts that make me sad when I see nothing but blue gear on them. So since I had warm fuzzies last night about the server, I decided to stick around and run some LFR on the Shaman. I recently hit 100 and through a mixture of baleful and garrison gear I was able to get up to high enough item level to be able to do BRF LFR. Largely speaking I am just looking to push my item level up enough to hit 650 so I can move once again to the next gear and run HFC LFR, and be able to get decent gear that I might be able to actually function in Tanaan with. In theory I might be able to survive simply because I have crafted 690 weapons, but I know Tanaan is going to be a stretch until I get some decent gear. That is the problem with the current endgame “in world” content is that it is in no way as good as the Timeless Isle. I remember when I dinged 90 with any character I generally had a stockpile of gear laying around to be able to equip and make that character instantly viable. This time around the few BoA Baleful pieces only get you so far, and it relies on you actually being in Tanaan with that character to get the rest. Additionally I find it insanely frustrating that Baleful itself can alternate between completely useless shit… aka 650 items… to the damned near best you can get 695s. In any case I figure over the next few nights I will finish the last two parts of BRF and hopefully at that point will have the item level to continue into Hellfire Citadel.