BC Group Quests vs Old WoW

I'm not sure anyone else has noticed or commented on this in a meaningful way, but I thought I'd throw my 2cp out there and see what you guys think about the increase in group quests in the expansion. I don't know how many of you remember that far back, but prior to Burning Crusade we had just a few group quests that you could do and receive a blue item as a reward.

One was the Tyrion Fordring chain which actually forced you to run Strat at one point, so I'm not sure if that really counts. But I remember desperately trying to complete it with Kayree (my tank) so she could get the awesome chestpiece at the end. There was also The Last Barov, which required you to go into enemy territory and take out one of their elite mobs in exchange for a fun trinket. Not as exciting as a new piece of gear, but the basic concept is there.

We also had Blightcaller which had a great bow that I got for my hunter Korlyn. That was a tough fight and if you had noobs in the group you could easily wipe on it. And right next door was the Battle of Darrowshire. But as far as I can recall, that was the extent of the world quests that could be done as a group and grant you a rare item as a reward.

I suppose you could also count the various Silithus quests, but I don't think they really qualify since you had to kill many elite mobs and grind insignias to claim even one item. The Argent Dawn quests they added after that were pretty much the same deal, although I did manage to get a couple of those thanks the the addition of the crafting writs they allowed players to do. Can't tell you how many Stonescale Eels Kaliope fished up to get the healer helm they had, heheh.

Back to the original topic, I really have to commend Blizzard on the way they've made blue-quality gear available to more casual folks in the expansion. Even in Hellfire Peninsula they gave us a few quests with blue gear. Sure, we upgraded it later but it was still fun to walk away as a "noob" with a few nice items to whet our appetite.

Even better is that each of the level 70 zones has several quest chains that will result in a very nice blue item upon completion of a 'final' step that generally requires a group. It's not unusual for the item in question to be a solid pre-epic piece, such as the 'Second Sight' helms you get in STV. From what I've seen each version of that helm is at the top of the rankings for the class in question. And by doing the Ruul the Darkener or the Cipher of Damnation chains, you can get a blue weapon. In fact my rogue did both and got two very nice daggers.

I would bet if you did all of the various chains, you'd probably end up with a near-complete set of blue gear. Especially if you augmented with a few crafted items or BoE drops from the Auction. This was never possible before, to gear a toon up in all or mostly blue stuff without stepping foot into a dungeon.

Not too long ago, I remember being so proud of my hunter because I made her two of the Spitfire mail items available from the Cenarion Circle faction. But Korlyn never ran dungeons (as my 3rd toon) and she was lucky to have even a few blues to her name. My tank Kayree and my rogue were in the same boat. Only Kaliope had the full set of blue and I'd been working on her for almost two years when I ended up joining a raiding guild and finally got my first epic item.

As it stands right now, my hunter just turned 70 last week and she's already wearing half blue gear just in items I crafted or bought for her.  By completing some of the group quests she'll be able to add a few more nice items to that.  I wouldn't be surprised if she were able to collect a full set of blue gear in the next few weeks, just by completing some of the group quests and maybe building up her faction.  My level 61 tank already has blue gear sitting in the bank from stuff I looted or crafted while playing the other three toons.

So as much as people say that Blizzard doesn't make the good stuff available to casuals, I think they really did a nice job of opening up the better gear to non-raiding folks. Granted, you really can't get yourself decked out in epics as a casual player. But realistically you wouldn't need that kind of gear if you weren't raiding.

The items they did make available should be sufficient for a player to start running dungeons and collecting raid-worthy gear if they choose to do so. I think they did a better job of knitting the two groups together than what we had before and opened up a lot of options for casuals that didn't exist a year ago. Specialty crafters can now make epic gear for themselves, including weapons if you're a weaponsmith. Let's not forget the faction epics you can now access. Can you imagine getting Exalted with Argent Dawn and purchasing an epic weapon back in the day? No way.... but that's exactly what I did with Krystella who is now the proud owner of the Scryer epic dagger.

To all you folks out there who have been around awhile, what's your take on the availability of gear in Outland?

5 comments:

  1. Right on. I've always been a non-raider, I always loved the small-group content and, personally, I've always enjoyed leveling up and doing a bunch of quests. Leveling was never a pain for me, on the contrary, I always enjoyed the journey.

    When I was 60 and being in old WoW, endgame was a pain for me. Raiding Molten Core was such a BORE, and I remember seeing the first bosses of Blackwing Lair, but I always hated it.

    Since I love PVP'ing, I wanted to have at least some DECENT gear so I could compete. I did well even against purple opponents, but when the gap was too wide... game over. It's nice to see that we have smaller dungeons now and that we can at least minimally equip ourselves without having to bore ourselves to death in countless dungeon reruns.

    The quests, dungeons and heroics in the expansion are great. And I'm only 63 now, got back to the game 1 month ago. Loving it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess I never really thought about it in those terms -- meaning that the majority of WoW 1.0 blues were from instances. When I hit 60 with my first character (which would be back in.. oh.. May 2005? sigh.. I feel old now :-P) I immediately started running Strat, Scholo, UBRS.. you get the idea. So my little collection of blues built up steadily, and I never really thought about exactly what quality gear I had right when I started.

    What I remember a LOT more clearly was getting epic gear, since that took quite a bit more work. If you think about it, in WoW 1.0 (and especially back at that point, which was a few months before BWL even existed), the only real source of purples -- aside from the handful of world drops -- was MC. And to even get INTO there, you needed a group of 39 other semi-competant people who were attuned. Assuming you got IN, you then needed to learn to coordinate those 39 people to the point where they could down a boss. Once THAT was done, you had to hope that the 2-3 epics he dropped were class appropriate for you; if they were, then you needed to outroll or out-DKP probably 5-8 other people playing the same class. If not more, in the case of something that was a non-class item.

    So it took a LOT. It was pretty normal to play with a group of people raiding MC for 2-3 months before getting your first epic -- and once you did, it was entirely possible that it would be another month or two before your next. And it was the same story when BWL hit, too.

    With Karazhan now, there's still the challenge, but IMO it's a lot faster. Admittedly the attunement is much more involved and challenging than MC or BWL, but once you've got that.. You only need 9 other people. There are many, many 'non-class' items, and in fact, what with Tier tokens, a lot of item rot is eliminated (remember the days of Rags dropping 2x Nemesis pants, when every lock in the raid had them already -- AND a backup??). It still takes time to learn, and to progress, but each individual characters sees rewards a lot faster.

    Sorry for such a long post! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the new system with easier acces to the good loot. I was before BC in a raiding guild, even if I am a semi casual player. We went ZG, Ony and MC twice a week for 3-months before BC and what I have to show is 2 epics only...

    The biggest problem wasn't the bad loot though, it was the hierarcy. In any good group you can have tops 5 ppl giving active input to any given situation (maybe even only 3). And that makes 35 "tag-alongs" in an old 40-man raid. Now everyone counts, everyone needs to get in there and try their hardest.

    It has also done wonders for the guilds. Before you had to accept being in the same gang as a bunch of whining immature lewt-hungry epic hunters because any group sporting 40 ppl inline at one time needs all they can get. Now its doable to be 20 ppl totally to make a Kara run (if half is OL at one time). And heroics are doable with pugs more or less.

    I was seriously considering quitting wow before BC because of all this. Now its more fun than ever! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. In all the experience I have had with WoW I came to realize one thing that I would not be able easily take part in a raid on any dungeoons. Why? Well one thing is I live in India and my timings and the US timings of the majority of the guild folks are polar opposites. I mean 6pm to me is 5 or 6am to them or vice versa.

    Don't get me wrong I would enjoy doing the raids and get myself some of the hunter epic gears and all but the timings will not work out.

    My solution was simple. PVP BG. That was the only place where I could always go and tkae on people and rack up the necessary honor points and marks to get the gear tyhat was being sold there. I am a die hard alliance fan playing a night elf hunter (would have taken a human hunter but alas Blizzard is not giving that class to them).

    In another I had mentioned my gear was complete PVP epic 60 lvl gear. By the time I got into PVP though BC was 3 weeks away. And then I only got the expansion after nearly getting the entire gear set. My friends and other guild members kept telling me to come to outlands and get new gear and better stuff.

    I agree that many of the items in the BC area are good but overall the gear in the 60s PVP gear gives a lot of pluses. The 70 complete gear doesn't give that much advantages to the hunter even with the gems slotted.

    The only plus points I can honestly give the new gear is higher armor class and higher pluses. Overall all my gear including the rings and necklaces are for higher stam and intell. Why? More hp and mana letting you last longer against the target. In fact I am getting the enchants to make more agility or intell as the gear will have already high stam pluses.

    So if you are not able to go for those better gears in raids and other tuff instances then go for the entire PVP collection. The only thing there is that you have to be patient with the losses and wins in each type.

    My personal fav in these is the AV followed by AB. EoTS is ok but nothing great and the WSG can go and take a flying leap off the deep end of the netherstorm Kil'jidaen's backside.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I may venture into PVP with my hunter, but for the most part I'm not a PVP type. She's the only toon I can stand to go in with, the few times I've tried with my druid or rogue I just die alot. Plus I understand that non-geared folks have a hard time as well, and most of my gear is PVE oriented. But as I say, I did OK previously with my hunter so I may try again since I don't really expect to raid with her at all.

    ReplyDelete