Spirit of Harmony Reality Check

It's been a busy week eh? I know I'm going crazy trying to keep up with all my professions while maintaining a facade of reasonable leveling for my guild mates =) 

I want to talk a little bit about Spirits of Harmony because I've been reading all over the place about the angst of collecting them. Folks are sharing AOE farming spots and bemoaning the drop rates. There's a lot of frustration out there and I feel you guys. I know it's rough -- we're lowbies again! We've kind of gotten used to being king of the server with the world at our feet :)

While I applaud the ingenuity of some of the ideas floating around, I think we may be losing sight of the big picture. Once you reach level 90 and fully unlock your Farm, you'll be able to collect 16 motes of harmony in 5-10 minutes of work a day. Right now we're spending hours grinding mobs for worse results. I know, I've been doing it too. Meanwhile, if you're grinding mobs, you're not leveling. The best thing we can do is get ourselves to 90 and start our Farms. Yes it may take a couple of weeks, but the sooner we do it, the sooner we'll reach full production mode.

I've also read from a good number of folks on the Beta forums that motes drop at a higher rate from level 90 content. Doing dailies at that point may be much more lucrative than farming 85-87 mobs. Either way, wouldn't you rather be working on your faction while grinding mobs instead of whatever mobs you're grinding now?

It's hard to be patient, I get that. We want our shinies and we want them now! We want to cash in on the high of an energized player base. But at the end of the day, the difficulty of getting SoH is a good thing. It means every shmoe on the server won't have 50 of the same item you're trying to sell. 

Thoughts? Discuss!

31 comments:

  1. Hi, it might be just me but I got a higher drop rate from level 90 mobs than under 90s.

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    1. I don't think it's just you, I saw similar reports on the Beta realms and on the Consortium forums. That's partially why I suggest focusing on getting to 90 as the top priority right now. I also hear the faction grinds are pretty stiff, so I think it makes sense to combine mob grinding with faction questing.

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    2. Just grind rep with the tillers until exalted. You will have a farm with 16 slots. Plant songbell seeds everyday. Harvest 16 motes of harmony every day. PS here's a link to Icy Viens that makes growing your farm very easy.
      http://www.icy-veins.com/the-tillers-reputation-friendship-and-daily-quests-guide-wow

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    3. Thats the issue if you ask me. Even though you can farm 16 motes a day, nothing in the game takes the motes, you have to convert 10 motes to get 1 Spirit, and it takes a while to obtain enough Spirits of Harmony to make even one crafted item. Many people fail to realize Motes are useless unless you have 10 to make a Spirit.

      Also, under level 90, Ive found that running asround Kun-Lai Summit killing the mobs in and around the caves gives a good drop rate for the Motes. I killed upwards of 100 mobs and got 17 Motes in about an hour, not to shabby. You also get Motes doing the instances too.

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  2. oh, I am so out of shape for questing!

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    1. Haha, I know right? I'm amazed at how rust some of my toons are!

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  3. I'm looking forward to my first farm expansion tonight (less than 400 rep short yesterday :( ).

    Most of my mote grinding was combined with my food requirements. I mastered all the ways in the cooking tree and am training my apprentice. I also have 6 alts with the basic farm, and all the lvl 85 cooking quests done so I could use their tokens. So on top of the ~140 wildfowl breasts I needed, I also found it easier to kill cranes to turn their meat into tokens, to get the meats with lousy droprates, or vegetables (I needed over 2000 vegetables, and could only grow 140 a day)

    Then I made a week's worth of food for rep turnins (600 vegetables, almost 300 fish, and 140 meat).

    So, alot of cranes died this week. I'm actually showing a SoH surplus.

    I didn't try for any realm firsts, but I know I've guildfirsts in engineering, archaeology, and fishing. Now if someone else will get off their and complete BS and Inscription, I can buy pants for my panda.

    I didn't find a dark soil all week, until last night I saw one, followed by another 40-50 in quick succession. Fly low over cultivated areas, and look for dark circles. Some are hard to see if they're on the dirt-colored strips between fields, but the ones on cultivated lands (and most of them seem to be on cultivated lands) are easy to see, especially if the field doesn't have huge veggies on them. Ignore any maps you have of them, and just fly over all of the fields. Try to fly low, because at higher altitudes, they don't always appear immediately because they're "too far away to matter."

    If I hadn't stocked up on food for gifts, I'd skip giving people food entirely, and get rep solely with gifts. I'm at least 1/5 of the way there with all of them, and it was fun. Wiser thought this morning says all of the tokens will go to Jogu to get his Exalted bonus. Yesterday, I was giving the gifts to the people who wanted them, instead.

    There's something morally oleaginous though in buying friendships with just food and presents. Whatever happened to compliments, and having something in common?
    Once they all love me (hopefully Saturday), I'll have nearly no need for food at all. Very odd after having obsessed over it for a week.

    I guess, the moral of this story would be: If you're going to grind, find monsters that give you something worthwhile even if the motes don't drop.

    Or maybe: If you grind mobs for food, you'll be lvl 89.43 when you finish Kun-lai Summit.

    It's a shame getting Tiller rep is harder than getting rep with all of the tillers. If they were linked, I'd get that 16 plot farm tonight!

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    1. I'm with you on the multipurpose mobs. My beasts of choice are the turtles since they drop turtle meat, leather and motes. No matter what I'm getting stuff I need out of the deal :) It also takes some of the frustration out of the grind if you know you're still walking away with useful items.

      I've had the opposite problem with dark soil, been seeing it all over the place since Day 1, but of course can't pick it up. I suspect once I'm 90 it will be impossible to find thanks to all the other Farmers. I do appreciate that making friends is not gated though. If you want to spend all day collecting gifts you can power yourself up no problem.

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    2. Don't get me started on the pants GRRRRRRR
      Oh man to late
      In my guild of 500 it was I who maxed all but ENG and Archeology
      (ENG cause my toons in another guild Archy cause I hate it)
      The kicker we still don't have it
      Seriously 500 fricken people and I have made all the 600s we have.

      On a side not I missed all the RF on my server my internet company decided to have an outage 1 hour before launch for 8 more hours.

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    3. Oh I feel that pain too Desade! I powered up 10 of the 15 professions myself, begged 2 guildmates to level up 4 others (random person did FA). All in less than 48 hours and we were on track to get the RF achievement at the end of Day 2.

      At the end I was darting around Pandaria like a madwoman trying to cap Archaeology with the same 2 accomplices guarding me from angry mobs. Sadly I unlocked ALL FOUR of the rares BoA items during this power session and spent at least an extra hour collecting fragments because of it. The top guild on our server got the achieve as I was in the final stretch on our last profession. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed after pushing myself so hard.

      But at least we have our damn pants!!

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  4. Maybe I've been extremely lucky but I got five SoH just from leveling to 90 and another five since then. In effect, in a week's time I've gotten 10 SoH. Here I was thinking today that the drop rate was much higher than I expected. And I have not spent my time farming them either, every drop I've gotten has been from killing mobs will questing...the only exception is that I have got a few motes from the crates you can fish up.

    I agree that the drop rates are higher at level 90. My unscientific assessment is that I'm running about 5 motes per 100 mobs or roughly 200 mob kills for one SoH. Right now, on my server, the going rate for a SoH in a crafted good is 200g and I have seen people offer them up for 100g (I assume they just want to level up their professions).

    The problem is that as a dual gatherer I don't know what to do with the SoH. Honestly, the trade in from the SoH vendor are bad. As a herbalist I have golden lotus flowing out my rear end and I can't even sell them because everyone and their brother is trading their SoH for golden lotus because they are the only worthwhile trade-in to resell. Seriously, one serpent eye for one SoH is a joke as you can make a serpent eye in less than four stacks of ore prospecting which takes all of ten minutes to mine up.

    I realize that I am just one data point, so take it what you will, and maybe the laws of averages just need to catch up with me but from where I sit this second I wonder if the drop rate of SoH is too HIGH.

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    1. I think you've been lucky, most of the reports I'm reading indicate that folks will go a level or two with just a handful of motes. My warrior is sitting at 12 motes and she's halfway thru 86 with at least 2 hours of mote farming on top of questing.

      I would say if you want to get rid of your SoH, look at the trillium ore prices on your server, they may be comparable to GL. You could also just stockpile them for the inevitable gathering nerf that we'll see in a month or two. They may go up in value once mats start to dry up from the current glut.

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  5. The voice of wisdom. I know, I know, we all want to make Teh Goodness NAO, but hey, Blizz made it very obvious they were loading all the good stuff at 90, so that's where the focus should be...burning through to 90 so you can get to the shinies. And like the above poster, I too have been picking up motes as I went, and have 4+ SoH on my guy who's 20M from capping now.

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  6. Great Reality Check and completely agree. 6.750 Mill away from 90 and though part of me can't wait, I have done willingly every quest I can get too. Blizzard did make getting Zen so much easier. Not to mention the availability of mats (on my server Woolcloth has gone down to 1.5G, and enchanting mats being convertible (still looking for an addon for that).

    I do think mass farming is fun for some people because they are weighing the pros and cons and being strategic but the bemoaning, that's too much. I do wish overall they were bind to Account (my husband has a gatherer that other then vending them for Mats from the vendor) doesn't know what else to do.

    finally if you haven't seen the Daily Blink check it out for such a timely note. http://www.thedailyblink.com/2012/10/re-mote-possibilities/
    Its good for a chuckle

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  7. Wise advice.

    Still.

    RNG seems especially random; my hunter got 3 before getting to the first village, another is into 86 with only 8.

    I already have one toon at 90. It is so frustrating that instead of playing on the 90, who has 6 SoH, I am leveling two other alts just because of MoH. Every time I do a quest on the alts, I think "I really should be grinding instead of questing." If I am going to have to kill ten or twenty thousand mobs per alt over the next year, might as well do it now when I get XP. Quests are optional; MoH are not. Does not strike me as modern (or good) game design. At least the most common professions, the only ones that people tend to have several of, alchemy and inscription so far are untouched. Your scribes and alchemists can just stay 85 and do their daily c/d. But all the non-combat crafting alts that in past expansions would not have to level until a lull are now forced to grind mobs or even worse grind out ninety million XP in order to start Farming.

    Oh well, we can't control Blizzard, just our reaction to it. But they can't make these sort of design choices and expect people whose elder game is crafting to be pleased or silent.

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    1. Once you get your Farm in full swing you won't have to grind mobs anymore. You can always prioritize that plan and push each SoH toon to 90 and get their Farm unlocked. It takes a few weeks, for sure, but at that point you're in the position you want to be in with mote collection.

      It feels like a long time to wait, but in the grand scheme of 2 years before the next expansion, it's a drop in the bucket :)

      While it may not qualify as good game design from a crafter's perspective, I know they have to balance the other playstyles against it. What I'm hoping will happen is that the raiders will start raiding and drop out. If it means less amateurs in my pond later then I won't mind it so much. But yes, right now it's a hecka lotta work!

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    2. My initial reaction regarding mote gathering was irritation at how slowly it went. Then I began to like the low drop rate because as you mention the auction house craft items that require spirits have been slow to appear and therefore prices ( armor in my case ) have stayed quite good. Contender's plate gear and other 450-463 level plate have held up at 700g to 2k, and aren't overstocked. So this is any unexpected benefit that i love. The low level drops from grinding (wreck of the Vanguard) I send to a guild-mate to de for his own use, and the better drops i can sell or put in the guild bank. Perhaps most satisfying for me is that the auction house campers that used to make life somewhat (not totally) difficult have been taken out of the picture to a great extent because they can't just buy the mats and craft and never leave town, while operating at a very low margin of profit. Also My scribe enterprise (praise TSM) has picked up to a great degree as the glyph campers on my server either gave up or are off into Pandaria doing their thing and not nerfing glyph prices. So I find the Harmony issue to be good for me and I'm loving farming in halfhill cooking and MoP is outstandingly beautiful to game in!! Kaliope I posted an earlier note on the realm-first chest-thumping thread and I wanted to reiterate that your efforts are much appreciated as no RFs in smithing and mining for me without your superb guides and encouragement so hats off to Kaliope!!

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    3. Gratz on the RF achievements and thanks for sharing a different view of the SoH situation :) It's nice to see that it's having a positive influence on the market and I hope that continues!

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  8. I actually have collected about 8 on my max level character not trying to get them just doing quests, if you need to farm bad i think the simple act of counting them makes it take longer lol, but it really isn't so bad in like the dread wastes and townlong steps atleast it wasn't for me. Also I didn't put my comment on realm first i was so busy but you helped me get three :) mining/jc/engr(that puts the counter at a even 150) and I did about 6 non realm firsts towards working better as a team which the guild i helped ended up getting it. Thanks to these guides next expansion I plan to get the achieve on my bank guild ambitious but with your help I think definately possible :) Thanks!

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    1. I'm sure there's some truth in that, I'm not even counting drops on my druid because she's not hurting for SoH. But my warrior is desperate and each mote feels painfully slow to her. So perception can certainly be a factor in the frustration!

      Grats on your Realm Firsts and guild achievement =)

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  9. What our guild has been doing is sending level 90s out to help alts still at 85 with a very good reason to get a spirit of harmony. For instance, I got help farming one to get Realm First Blacksmithing, and am slowly farming up 5 more on my scribe to make the epic BoA staff, and a few others have done it to get BoE epics crafted.

    As you said, the tillers should be great, and a good reason to get the alts up to 90. The first revered farms should start popping up tomorrow, giving 1.2 spirits a day. One tip if you're really desperate to grow the farm - you get 50 rep per harvest (55 if guilded) - including the rare-ish bursting crops that are harvestable immediately. I haven't tried, but I'd assume you could grind all the way to exalted with a suitably large stack of seeds, a shovel, and inhuman patience this way. Or at least cross a rep threshold if you end a day at 11900/12000 or something.

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    1. Oh absolutely the rep from collecting crops is important. Especially when you get to 8 and 12 plots, those 50 points add up quickly. I don't know if there are any caps on that rep, but I don't think so. Pretty sure I was getting it all the way to Exalted.

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  10. I seem to be constantly sitting at ~100 motes of harmony that I have no specific use for. It's useful for the occasional trilliums or lotuses, I guess. Haven't been really farming for them, it's all just from the normal gameplay.

    I'm overflowing with enchanting mats as it is, and I wish that JC had been given an option to make epic jewelry. If Spirits of Harmony were at least BoA... I'm also rather disappointed that the Spirit Vendor doesn't sell any Magnificent Hides or Sha Crystals. They could make them cost more than one SoH if need be.

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  11. I think I may have made a mistake that others might still avoid.

    As the game progresses, the cost of making meals for the tillers keeps dropping. Ignoring Jogu for a second; once a week you could make up the food you need and mail your main 7 mail messages, one for each day. Then you have 9 very fast dailies that give money, valor and lesser charms; 31.5% of your week's valor.

    These quests go away when you hit exalted. They would last 3 weeks (ignoring the other non-tiller quests some of them have), but this number is reduced if you give them gifts.

    If I were starting over, I'd have saved the friendship quests until food was cheaper. I'd have given all gifts to Jogu, and then stopped digging up new ones.

    Getting Jogu to Exalted (or at least Revered), should be done as soon as possible. Even if you know what you plan to plant, if you ask him and are lucky enough for him to name your crop, then that's 40%-50% more veggies.

    While this is anecdotal, I'm convinced there was a major change in the spawning of Dark Soil when the servers were brought down for maintenance.

    Up until Monday, they behaved as if a new one always spawned immediately, or in a few minutes, if the number of dark soil patches dropped below a minimum. This meant that no matter how many people were digging them up, there would always be some for you to find.

    Now they're as rare as hen's teeth, but when our server crashed and restarted, I found 16 in very few minutes, and others may have been getting them as well. But new ones didn't spawn for a long time.

    According to guild-mates, Onyx Eggs behave in a similar manner. While these numbers I'm using are based on flimsy guesswork, its as if there were 50 spawn points, 20 of them start with eggs/soil. If you take one and there are more than 4 up, then a new one will spawn in 3 hours, otherwise a new one will spawn in 45 min.

    I've been told it's a bit more complicated than that as the eggs can despawn. But the above is the model I'm using.

    If you can be online when a scheduled reset happens, move your char beforehand into position. With luck you'll earn a week's worth of rep doing dailies, from 10-15 min hunting eggs; or 1/3-1/4 of the way from Jogu's indifference to best friends.

    Unless you couldn't care less about Valor gear and/or raiding, only give food to the other tillers.

    Am I the only one that feels slightly dirty becoming 10 people's best friend just by plying them with food and gifts? Whatever happened to talking, and finding things you have in common? Why not give a caring hug? I feel so shallow.

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  12. The most frustrating thing about all of this is that I WANT TO BE PLAYING MY MAIN T_T But I feel like if I leveled my alts (to get the SoH and rep) I would give my main better gear... Without the gear I can't raid as much on my main! It's so infuriating to be unable to pick the toon you want to play. :\

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    1. If you'd prefer to play your main, why not work on factions instead? You can get nice gear from the faction vendors that's better than crafted items at Revered. If your goal is collect raid-worthy gear for your main, that seems to be the better use of your time.

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  13. if you use the potion of luck you will get a chance a treasure to drop from 90 mobs These chests have a chance to drop motes, cloth etc. I'm going to test it out with my priest, by spending 1 spirit to get the 3 lotus needed for the potion. Just thought I'd share.

    Korherb - Tanaris

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  14. The drop rate does not bother me. What annoys me, is this:

    I have several alts whose sole purpose for existing is to support my main and my guildmates with their crafting skills. In previous expansions, only the "extreme" craftable items required these sort of rare materials. Now, just about everything that's useful at all requires them. To get any value out of my alt's crafting, I'll need to level them all at least to the point where they can grind Tillers rep to be able to purchase the Songbell Seeds. I have neither the time or the inclination to level 5 alts when I'm still out farming VPs and grinding rep with all these factions, none of whom sell Reputation Tabards anymore and the rep earned from doing dailies is anemic at best. Meanwhile, my main has Spirits of Harmony coming out the ying-yang, and nothing useful to do with any of them. When you add it all together, it seems to me that they really didn't think it through.

    Having made everything and it's second-cousin require these Spirits of Harmony to craft, the very least they could have done is make them BoA instead of BoP. Then at least I could mail them between alts who could do something practical with them.

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    1. It's my understanding that they are considering the BoA thing for Spirits at some point. I think the source of most of your frustration goes to the heart of their design philosophy for alts. They don't want us camping alts at the AH, simply buying mats and crafting top notch goodies. They want us out in the world with those toons, putting effort into our crafting just like we would on our main. The Spirit of Harmony is intended to enforce that philosophy. I understand why they did it.

      So players are frustrated because they had EZ-mode alt crafting for a while and now it's being eroded. But bear in mind that what you want is at odds with what they want for us. I know an argument can be made that we "the players" are putting in the work no matter what toon we're on, but they don't seem to agree with that perspective. Until we can change their minds on that, I don't know that we can expect to see huge shifts in the design of high-level crafting.

      The good news is that they are getting much better about shifting away from hard-core stances on dated design ideas. Eventually they may come around on this one too :)

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    2. I definitely see what you are saying here.

      I think the part they missed was taking into account the burnout factor of having to slog 4 or 5 alts through Jade Forest, et.al. in a very linear quest design, just to be able to take advantage of crafting these items while they are still useful. Before long, they won't be.

      What happened to the "you've done it once, we don't see the need to make you do it again and again on alts, so we're going to give you account (or server) wide credit for it" design philosophy they talked so much about? In this case, it seems counter-intuitive.

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    3. I would agree with that side of the argument, it's very challenging to level alts once you get above 2 or 3 (which most of us crafters do). Sadly I think their primary design focus really doesn't account for crafting as much as it does leveling/raiding/etc. Right now they are very focused on providing plenty of stuff for us to do so we don't get bored. Unfortunately those tasks are the exact things that make working on alts burdensome.

      At some point I think they're going to have to deal with the alt side of the equation in a more meaningful way. The rep bonus is a step in the right direction, but it's really just a bandaid. A well thought out approach is needed.

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