I’ve been slowly picking away at my dailies in World of Warcraft. Overall I feel like Mechagon is easier than Nazjatar but I’m starting to see some progress on both sides. I’m sitting on 7.6/12k towards getting Revered with the Waveblade Ankoan right now and roughly at 5/12k towards getting Revered with the Rustbolt Resistance. It’s not fast going at all and I don’t do everything I should be doing every day but I’m slowly getting there nonetheless. If I keep this up I may actually unlock flying before Classic launches!
I’ve been really trying to make this grind less painful. It’s just doing the dailies every day plus Worldquests gets really boring fast. Catch up mechanics in WoW suck so bad compared to Final Fantasy XIV that it’s not even funny. When I was actively playing WoW I could log in and play for 30 mins to get my stuff done and log back out. Maybe a bit longer if I wanted to do Looking for Raid or a dungeon or battlefront. Now however I’m spending 1.5 to 2 hours per evening just poking away at quests and it’s just not that fun. I know it’s worth it in the end because it means I will unlock flying for all the characters on my account and I will have a much less painful time leveling alts like my Warrior, who I’ve put off leveling because I want flight. So I know what the cake is at the end of the road but I’m really resenting Blizzard for making the road a viking race where I’m way behind the rest of the group.
Honestly there’s nothing much else to write about. My WoW dailies are on track. I actually fixed my sleep schedule, yay and life goes it’s normal way.
When I decided to go back to World of Warcraft somewhere at the end of July I figured I’d sit down for a couple of nights and just grind out the whole flying thing. You see, I’m so used to the Final Fantasy XIV way of doing things that I may have completely forgotten how utterly annoying it is to unlock flying in WoW. I much prefer the system that Square Enix implemented where you sort of organically unlock flying for all the new zones of an expansion as you do the main story. It gives you access to easier travel way earlier on and makes things like Hunts, FATE farms and the like much more beareable.
Cue Blizzard and their approach to unlocking flying. As they’ve done since the Warlords of Draenor expansion flying is tied to achievements. Before that you just had to obtain enough gold to buy flying from a vendor. Now it’s tied to a grind that comes naturally as you keep on playing the game, especially the achievement part, but can be quite frustrating when you are a returning player. I was lucky that I finished off the first part of the achievement pretty early on after expansion launch so I just have to focus on the two new zones now, but I don’t want to think about what a nightmare it would be if I still had to grind out starting Battle for Azeroth reps on top of the new ones. I would drive me quite insane I imagine.
So far I’ve managed to more or less keep up with doing dailies in both Mechagon aswell as Nazjatar. I find Mechagon to be a bit more doable due to it being a smaller surface plus, if you’re lucky, you can pick up a jetpack on certain days that allows you to fly for 20 minutes at a time. This is huge to someone who hasn’t unlocked flying yet because it means I don’t have to pull half the island to get to something and instead can just fly over it. Unfortunately Nazjatar doesn’t have something similar but I have unlocked all the flying points there, allowing me to cross from one end to the other end of the zone pretty “fast”. Still it’s pretty annoying to have to cross all of it on a ground mount. As Rogue I can dismount and stealth past a lot of the mobs but that slows me down even more.
Nevertheless according to my calculations I should be hitting the flying unlock right before WoW Classic goes live. You get around 1-1.5k reputation per day per faction if you do all the dailies and world quests. I need 11k untill I’m Revered with the Ankoan Waveblade and about 17k untill I hit the same with the Rustbolt Resistance of Mechagon. If I manage to find time to do the dailies every day, without it hampering too much time for other games, it will take me a maximum of 17 days to get flying unlocked. Obviously I hope that it will be sooner than that, especially since the Ankoan are on the roulette for WQ completion bonus, which in itself nets 1.5k rep alone. Plus if I can drop having to do dailies in Nazjatar and only have Mechagon left it’s much less time spent so there’s that. All in all I’m still on track to unlock flying before Classic so here’s keeping my fingers crossed!
As I’m easing back into WoW the two new zones, Nazjatar and Mechagon, kind of highlight the major difference with endgame grinding in WoW and FFXIV for me. As we all know FFXIV endgame is based on running dungeons for tomes, raiding and ex-primals. This is all group content. Once you’ve played through the Mainstory and completed all the sidequests you’re basically out of quests to do. Of course there’s the challenge log which I kind of count as “weekly quests” and of course we have daily quests in the form of beast tribe dailies but most of the endgame stuff revolves around group content. I’m not going to tackle crafting and gathering here as I feel those systems are so resoundingly different in both games that they deserve their own post.
In WoW however a lot of “endgame” content revolves around doing quests. Nazjatar and Mechagon emphasize this even more than usual. To unlock flying and to move through the story you’re required to do a ton of questing. This involves one time quests that advance plot points, world quests that were newly introduced in Legion that give you items and rep with factions to now a ton of daily quests to again advance your reputation and level up your companions. Dungeons are fun to do and WoW has it’s own challenges in the form of Mythic+ dungeons and high end raiding where, on both occasions, you pray for a piece of loot to drop. Therefore you’re reliant on way more sources to gear up and tackle more difficult content than just running dungeons over and over. Also when it comes to unlocking features like flying you’re basically confined to doing dailies and world quests otherwise you will never get the reputation needed to unlock this among other things (like recipes and items).
A lot of people don’t like this questing to progress. Especially people who are more into raiding than anything feel like that being forced to do this many quests to unlock stuff is a damper on their fun. Personally I can see the positives in tieing progress to more solo oriented and quest content as opposed to raiding and running dungeons. It gives people like me time to sit down, unwind and do stuff on my own pace that doesn’t necessarily need the involvement of other people. I don’t mind doing quests. I just sit down and get into the zone and grind away.
Conversely I also don’t mind the current endgame progress in FFXIV. I do my ex-roulette every day untill I’m capped on the newest tomestones. I do the 8-man raid so I can get gear upgrades on normal mode and when I feel like a challenge I will pug an ex-Primal or, when I’m feeling exceptionally well, a Savage raid. I don’t mind having to group up with other people to get stuff done and in the FFXIV community I’m much happier to be running dungeons than everywhere else. Usually people are quiet outside of saying “hi” and we have a fast and efficient run. Sometimes you get more talkative people. Sometimes you get a bad player. But overall the FFXIV dungeon and raid (non Savage content) experience is quite relaxed and doesn’t feel like a chore at all.
All of this has put me in an interesting decision state. Do I want to kick back in WoW with some quests and minimal social interaction as I work towards my personal goals? Or do I pick up my controller, nestle on my couch and start up FFXIV and embrace the social experience as I queue up for various dungeons, trials and even raids? It all depends on my mood and what goal I want to attain. Both have their pro’s and cons. Both represent a grind in some form. And I’m perfectly happy with the difference that’s there.