Raiding Upkeep

This is not exactly a topic I planned on talking about this morning, but in truth it is a pretty fresh one for me as well.  This morning while doing my early morning trying to find excuses not to start blogging thing… I encountered this topic come across my feed.  The interesting thing about it is that I am currently living on both sides of this statement.  Firstly…  I have lived most of warcraft life in a perpetual state of poverty.  For years I dealt with tanking repair bills, and even then never really got used to using the whole making gold off the auction house thing.  My preferred method of earning gold is laying waste to zones… but that has never really been that lucrative.  By now any profits that I gained from the era of hot and cold running garrison gold is disappearing rapidly.  On the other side of this coin I am part of the leadership of a fledgling raid, and our folks… myself included are running into the same lack of ability to really afford the normal trappings of raiding.  For now we have been eating up the stock of Warlords era flasks… just to feel like we are doing something, but those are not that useful with the mudflation of this expansion.  Right now in theory every raider needs cloak, ring and neck enchants, gems, flasks, and if we want to get really serious about things two potions per attempt.  At this very moment the prices for these items on my server are kinda madness.

  • Good Ring Enchants – 10,000 g (each)
  • Good Neck Enchant – 25,000 g
  • Good Cloak Enchant – 2000 g
  • Primary Stat Gem – 25,000 g
  • Secondary Stat Gems – 2,000 g (each)
  • Flask – 2,000 g (each)
  • Potion – 1,000 g (each)

So to walk into a raid night as good as you can possibly be, carrying a single stack of potions you are well over the 100,000 gold mark.  I have long since ceased to have that sort of money, and am presenting sitting around the 17,000 gold mark on my Main, with a few other characters that I could potentially steal gold from in the 20,000 range.  In theory I should be selling enchants to make money, but getting the materials has been its own challenge.  With everything functioning off of personal loot, the only way I get materials is if something is simply not an upgrade for me.  Now my guild is pretty awesome because it has been tradition lately in runs that they trade over anything that cannot be used for me to disenchant.  The challenge there however is that I have gotten enough materials so far to do one and a half neck enchant.  The material cost for everything is just insane right now, and as a result…  since we are not really a progression raid we have not pushed the point.  I personally have gems and enchants on everything, and have been using last generation flasks just to feel like I am doing something.  I am passing out as many ring enchants as I can since that represents the cheapest thing I can do, but even then…  a single ring enchant is 10 dust, which represents me eating 3-4 green pieces of gear or shattering 3 blue crystals.  My stock of materials is pretty much spent at this point, and I have only outfitted a handful of people in enchants.

We are in a similar boat with wishing the raid bank could be chipping in more.  We just are not getting enough of anything to be able to pass it around freely so right now…  folks are largely dipping into whatever profession they have on their alts.  Traditionally when a new expansion launches I play through whatever characters interest me, leveling alts as a method of relaxation.  This time around… I am absolutely leveling whichever alt has the profession I am finding myself really needing.  I pushed up Exeter my Paladin because I felt like I needed a miner to feed engineering on my main…  however I am wishing I had instead pushed up either my gemcrafter or my alchemist.  Presently I have been working up the alchemist, but so far it feels like there are just so many other things that I need to be doing, especially considering we are under a world quest faction bonus event.  More important than that… I through some strange string of luck have managed to get two legendaries already… so I absolutely need to have that 15,000 order resources ready and waiting in a few days for me to start researching that final trait that will allow me to equip both of them.  Ultimately it feels like there is simply too much to do right now, to shift into the mode of trying to find ways to make money to be able to afford your raiding upkeep.

The real challenge is of course this is the sort of expansion that brings back folks from the mists of time.  We have had so many people renew their accounts that have not touched the game since Cataclysm, or at least since Pandaria.  The problem is these folks did not have a pile of gold built up from the era of free garrison money.  I admittedly did not milk that as much as I should have because I was off playing other things.  Alt proposed that if it is that important that we have the Token system, but that seems horrible.  Not that she said it, because I don’t necessarily think she was being completely serious, but that it is something to consider.  The problem with this theory however is that right now those tokens are only going to get a player about 35,000 gold which seems insanely low when confronted with the price of things.  That would be able to afford you a neck enchant and a single ring enchant at the prices things are going for your $20.  My personal theory is that all of the crafting materials are purposefully painful, as a way to soak up all of the excess gold that is floating around on the server from the garrisons mistake.  Then at some point in the near future, be it 7.1 or a hotfix…  across the board crafting materials are going to be reduced making literally everything easier to create.  As a long time enchanter, I have seen this happen so many times over the expansions where enchants are mindboggling insane at the launch and then are later tempered considerably.

Where the real pain is happening is that those of us who did play Warlords are going through a bit of whiplash.  Tradeskills in general have gone from a complete polar shift, going from being extremely casual and something that everyone can do…  to being something extremely difficult to even get materials for.  As an example… even after crafting goblin gliders for basically anyone in the guild who wanted them this expansion…  I am sitting on a stockpile of over 2000 True Iron Ore on Belghast.  Comparatively I have less than 300 Leystone Ore so far… and that is from both my miner actively mining anything I come across in the world, and my main running the salvage armor shoulder enchant.  This post might be coming off  as complaining at the current state of things, but in reality I am mostly okay with it.  That said I have just had to come to realize that we are not going to have a raid of fully flasked players every single week.  If I cannot bring myself to spend that kind of gold just for the privilege of raiding casually…  I am certainly not going to expect anyone else to do it.  Similarly I also remember a time before flasks in raids was an expected thing at casual levels.  Hell our progression vanilla raid maybe had a flask on the tank, or on a handful of overachievers… but the other 34 of us seemed to get along just fine taking bosses down without consumables.  I realize fights are scaled completely differently now… but my ultimate hope is that consumables become an edge that players can use if they choose to afford it, but less of a hard requirement.  I realize this is going to mean we are progressing slowly, and I am largely okay with that… given that I am raiding this expansion to hang out with my friends more than anything.

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