Patch 6.1: Mourning the Menagerie


Sam mourns the loss of his daily garrison pet battle adventures.

Patch 6.1 has brought some wonderful things to the game; it has never been easier to level an character and the Garrison has received some much needed quality of life updates.  There have also been some changes to help encourage more people to participate in pet battles in Draenor.  However, while some of these changes have been great, such as a free boost to 25 to anyone with a Menagerie, the changes to the actual pet battle daily in the Garrison are awful.

Ill be the first to admit that getting into those dailies required an extensive amount of work; for many players they were too challenging and time consuming to make it worth even doing.  Blizzard’s solution was to nerf the difficulty of the battles and I agree with their decision.  Yet, I’m unhappy with the change, not because of the change itself, but because of the severity of that change.

The original battles were challenging, but could be beaten with pets that were easy enough to acquire and level quickly if you were willing to put in the effort.  An appropriate change to make this easier was a slight nerf to them so that you could substitute a few more pets here and there. The nerfs were so severe that I have run with the exact same team since patch day and I’ve never been in danger of losing a battle.

I certainly hope that wasn’t the intent and that they overshot it a bit. I understand that it isn’t fun to lose the same battle repeatedly, but it’s even less fun to faceroll through a battle without much thought.  That is indeed hyperbole, but my exaggeration is not far off.  I have enough experience with pet battles to know which abilities to use and when, but that shouldn’t guaranteed me a win with any random pet combination; there should be at least some thought involved into the types of pets used.

Perhaps my biggest concern was the nerf to the experience you receive post battle.  You receive significantly less experience from the daily than you do from a random battle.  I actually tested it today and a level 20 carry pet gained 73 (no that’s not a typo) experience from the daily battle and 693 from a random world battle.  Small sample size aside, there’s no reason any battle against poor and common quality pets that are level 23 / 24 should give almost 10 times the experience of one against 3 rare level 25 pets.  That makes me ask the question:  What is the point of being able to fight the battle multiple times if there is next to no reward outside of the daily turn-in?

It might not seem like it, but I’m glad they made changes to get more people involved.  I have found pet battles to be an interesting addition to the game and it’s one of the reasons I decided to keep playing.  I hope everyone that is getting more seriously into them now enjoys them and I still plan on writing a few posts to help.  However, I’d be lying if I said that I was enjoying the Menagerie dailies in their current form. The lack of challenge just doesn’t interest me and were it not for the bag of pet spoils, I’d probably refrain from participating in them anymore.

– Sam

Draenor Thus Far and Looking Forward to 6.1

With 6.1 launching next week, I thought I’d reflect on how I’ve perceived Warlords of Draenor to date.  At launch, I was stymied by 6+ hour queues the first few days, which frustrated me, but I understood them.  After the first week, I was well on my way to leveling Sam.  I have enjoyed the 90-100 content three times now, but the first time was by far the best.

The questing does a very good job of conveying the story line, especially if you take the time to read every quest.  The reward for following the major quest lines were some of the best cinematics I’ve ever seen in a game.  I could write an entire post that focuses on specific quests and cinematics, but I’ll save that for another time.

I have really enjoyed Warlords of Draenor and while it certainly is in no way perfect, I view it in a very positive light.  Today, I’d like to take a brief look into my thoughts on Garrisons and Dungeons / Raids, before talking about what I am looking forward to in 6.1.  I’m very excited about a few of the additions coming in the patch, more specifically, what they mean for me personally.

Read more of this post

Starting Anew vs. Starting Over

As referenced in my last entry, It has been quite some time since I walked this path.  There was a time when I posted fairly regularly, and at least checked and replied to comments when that’s all I had the time to do.  After writing again yesterday, it became apparent to me that I missed having an outlet to write, I’m very, very rusty at it and there’s quite a lot to do around here before I can really get to it.  I’m working on that last point at the moment, but it seems at a snail’s pace.  At least I’m not starting from scratch; I can start fresh from where I left off, more or less.

In many ways, that’s exactly what it was like a few months ago when I started playing again.  It wasn’t hard to pick WoW back up, but there was some housekeeping and catching up that needed to be done.  If you’re interested in that small journey, read on…

Read more of this post