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Hey all, it’s Sihx, and well, after more than 4 years of raiding with my team, I’m taking the summer off to spend more time with my family instead of my virtual family. It does feel nice to get more time at night with my wife and kids on Wed and Thursdays, but man, I really do miss the raiding scene. However, I’ve refocused my few hours of weekly play time in Azeroth into farming, I mean, literal farming, and of course, leveling alts with the 33% nerf to xp between 85 and 90. If you aren’t raiding or don’t have a weekly committment, I’d suggest you think of things you’d like to do in game, and then make a checklist, in order, of what you can get done in a short window of playing time. Perhaps it’s trying out the new heroic scenarios for ilevel 516 loot. Maybe expanded pet battles, leveling alts, killing 3 bosses in LFR, transmog runs, making a little cash in the auction house, or maybe just getting your sexy blood elf to dance on the mail box all night long. Whatever it is, do what you want, and make sure you’re having fun without taking away from someone else.
It’s a question that I rarely hear fully answered, “how much World of Warcraft have you played, total?” Some may glance at their /played, but that doesn’t tell the whole picture. Many of us have been playing since Vanilla, and it’s understandable to fear the summation of real-life hours that you have spent logged into Azeroth. In preparation for my interview on the Twisted Nether Blogcast last week, I decided to pop the hood and look deep into how many days I’ve spent killing dragons, getting ganked, and dancing on mailboxes.
I may not have as many toons as some of you out there, but my main realm (Earthen Ring – US) has 11 characters at level 81 or higher that I at least periodically log into (although MoP is so damn alt-unfriendly!) Back in my first few years of WoW, I played on a PVP server, so I had to log into each one of those toons as well to gather their /played time. All information was entered into a spreadsheet, down to the minute played. For this exercise, I did not include the three or four toons I have spread on two other servers that are level 5 or below, as their /played time is insignificant. Additionally, I did not add up time played from my dual-boxing toons on 3 other accounts, as they were played simultaneously with some of my current toons on Earthen Ring. If anyone out there multiboxes, don’t consider each toon individually, of course. We’re talking real world human playing time, and not the ones with the porn stashes.
The next step was to establish how long I’ve played this game. Checking my account history, I created my first WoW account on October 25, 2006. Through today (March 11, 2013), that is a span of 2,328 days. With those numbers, my play time since I started, can be broken down as follows:
My total /played time is 154 days, 10 hours, 28 minutes (3,706 hours)
That equates to almost 93 weeks, almost 2 full years of full time work (40 hrs/week)
6.63% of my life has been spent playing WoW
I have averaged 11.14 hours per week
If Wow were a job, I would have grossed $25,18.76, all on 2006 CA State minimum wage ($6.75/hr)
I probably could have built Noah’s Ark, written a work of art, earned a second masters degree, and learned 3 new languages if I hadn’t played all of that World of Warcraft
Okay, maybe only 2 languages.
The other common statement that we’ve heard is that WoW is a cheap form of entertainment. Yes, $15 per month is quite inexpensive for the enjoyment most of us get out of this game, but I wanted to see EXACTLY how much it was costing me.
Looking into my account history, I summed up what I have spent on this game in the last 6 and a half years. I’ve had a 3 month recurring subscription charge for most of that time, dual boxed with recruit-a-friend three times, bought multiple copies of the game and expansions, subscribed to the mobile auction house and have purchased just one pet. The grand total? $1,647.97.
Ok, that’s not a drop in the bucket, but considering that it’s over 6 1/2 years, it’s not that bad. However, I can say I have not spent close to that on any other video game franchise in my life.
Now the math was simple. How much does World of Warcraft cost per hour?
For me, 44 cents.
I’d say that’s a cheap form of entertainment.
Now, I just hope my wife doesn’t find out how much of my life has been spent in game rather than with her, although my /played time with her and our kids is “forever.”
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Upgrade vendors are going away with patch 5.2, and many players think that you should upgrade your gear before the patch hits. This sounds reasonable at first, but I took a deeper look into the numbers and the efficiency of this strategy, and with an exception, I believe you should NOT upgrade your gear.
It costs 750 valor points for a 4 item level upgrade, which equals the benchmark value of 187.5 valor points per item level. This is not a good exchange rate compared to most of the vendor gear you can purchase. I recommend you rep up with Operation Shieldwall or Dominance Offensive to get ilevel 496 gear for 4 different slots: a ring, trinket, waist and feet. Even at this rate (before patch 5.2), it would take amassing 6,500 valor points to purchase these 4 items, which would take you no less than 7 weeks with the 1,000 VP/week cap. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this advice: 1) if you have a best-in-slot piece that you are confident that you won’t be replacing for 6+ months, then you may want to upgrade. 2) If you have capped at 3,000 valor points and don’t have the rep anywhere to purchase gear, then you may want to burn 750 to bump your best piece 4 item levels (but sheesh, get going on some rep!!). 3) If you refuse to do ANY dailies, well then, yes, upgrade your gear I suppose, but it better be 476 or higher from LFR and regular raiding (You can upgrade blue gear with justice points).
Bottom line: The math says that until you have only item level 483 equipment or higher left to replace, replace it with vendor reputation gear, UNLESS you have a best in slot item that you know that you won’t replace in the next 6 months. Additionally, in patch 5.2, 5.0 vendor gear, which is ilevel 489, will cost 50% less, and 5.1 gear will cost 25% less. Knowing this, you may only want to spend valor points when you reach the 3,000 VP cap and use whatever you save to immediately purchase discounted gear once 5.2 drops.
After a busy holiday season, I’m back producing audio segments. In this installment, I take a left and right, and left turn again, to produce a 90 second stand up segment honoring Jeff Foxworthy and the bad rap that Death Knights get in the World of Warcraft.
The increase from 25 to 40 valor points per raid boss is a mere drop in the bucket of the weekly cap
I’ve been actively raiding with my team (Noogie Nights, represent!) and we’re currently 4/6 in MV 10 normal. However, in my inebriated state last week, I realized that we were only receiving 25 valor points PER RAID BOSS! I honestly thought this was a joke that escaped me. Well, the value did escape me like my two year old’s wet diaper. Quite honestly I was floored that a RAID BOSS gave as much valor as 5 dailies. And, I’m sure we’re all sick of dailies at this point.
Just yesterday, Blizzard implemented some 5.1 hotfixes and now they’ve increased the valor points rewarded per raid boss to a whopping 40. I feel a Dr. Evil “reallllly” coming on while I stroke my hairless cat. 40 points. 40. Let that sink in. 40.
So, I’m someone with limited playing time, and now that I’m back to raiding 6 hours per week, I can’t afford to do my dailies, LFR, dungeons and scenarios like I was before jumping back into raiding. All of those activities were to prepare for raiding. It certainly looks like I’ll never hit the VP weekly cap now, not that I ever did in the first place. Assuming we’re knocking out 6 bosses in a couple of weeks, that would still put me at only 240 VP. I ain’t got the time to supplement the remaining 760, outside of a few dailies.
I suppose though, that the devil’s advocate would purport that I have the chance to obtain 489 epics through raiding INSTEAD of gaining valor points for the purpose of obtaining gear, and there is some validity to the point, but I don’t believe it as far as some at Blizzard that have stated it’s essentially double-dipping. This was the argument for eliminating championing factions with tabards in heroic dungeons. In fact, I hit the loot jackpot last week, receiving 3 plate dps items (I’m a frost DK), and 1 set of tanking boots in 4 bosses. Yes, I got a drop a boss, so I’ll stop bitching for a while about my lack of gear, but that’s beside the point to the philosophical argument I present to you today .
What are your thoughts on the meager increase in valor points, and the general challenges of capping valor AND reputation every week?
Oh, and by the way, I had taken a few months off to take care of family matters, but I’m ramping up my recording schedule, including the AIE Raid Wrapup.
Recruit a friend and dual boxing = instant level 80 panda monk!
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I took the summer off with the kiddos, but now I’m back for more Epic Diaper segments.
I’m a bit of an altoholic, and as of today, I have 7 level 85s and 3 level 81s, all 10 slots are full. Before 5.0.4, I assumed that we wouldn’t get that 11th character slot until MoP drops on September 25. However, Blizzard surprised me in giving us that 11th slot in patch 5.0.4!! What did that mean for me? Well, another alt! But, wait, I have one of every class, and monks aren’t available until MoP, so what would I put there?! Good question, Mr. third party brain!! Why, I do WANT a panda monk, afterall, and there’s a way I can get a level 80 panda monk within hours of MoP launching. You cannot boost a panda monk with the Scroll of Resurrection, unfortunately, but Blizzard has been clear about allowing you to grant levels from Recruit a Friend!
So, it’s a bit tricky, but this is what I’m currently doing: I bought the WoW Battlechest and Wrath for $5 each during the August sale on Blizzard’s site. $10. Now, I emailed myself the RAF code and established the new account on my Battle.net account, which starts the clock for the 90 day duration of benefits (summoning, triple xp, etc.). I then created 2 blood elf mages, and equipped BOTH of them with a full caster dps heirloom set (yes, I spent the justice points and gold on a second set). The reason is that heirloom XP boosts (a total of 35%) STACKS with the 300% RAF boost for a total of 335%!!!
I plan on leveling this first pair of mages to 80, then deleting the mage from my veteran account, as she takes up that 11th character slot, and I need a new team. The referred account mage now has 40 levels to grant my panda monk (you get 1 level to grant for every 2 levels you gain). But that’s not enough. So, I will level a SECOND pair of mages to 40, so the referred account now has 20 levels to grant, and then I’ll level a third pair of mages to level 20, so the referred account has 10 levels to grants! That’s 70 levels total, why not 80? Well, when you create a panda (and I’m creating a panda monk), you need to level through the starting zone to the point where you choose a faction, which is at level 10. You can’t grant a panda monk levels before that, as stated by Blizzard. That’s fine, I want to see the starting zone anyway!
Once MoP drops, I’ll level that Kung-fu panda to 10, then have my level 20 mage summon him to Orgrimmar to grant him 10 levels to level 20. Then I will log on the level 40 mage, grant the panda 20 levels to level 40, and finally, log on with my level 80 mage and grant him 40 levels to level 80.9999! Note: make sure you have your boosted character at a bubble shy of the next level. This way, he/she will be one bubble away from level 81 and save you an hour or two of leveling in Cata content.
In a special April Fool’s “Switcharoo” segment, Alludra the Mage takes over Epic Diapers to make your gaming more efficient, well, actually, profitable as a parent. She discusses her exploitation, er, I mean, involvement with her sons in getting them excited about playing World of Warcraft!
Yes, having children isn’t always a money drain, well, virtually speaking, anyway.
You can also listen to MY takeover of “Alludra’s Pets” segment over on her site. It’s #34, “Ghoulies”. You can also stream that segment below:
Four other regular “The Instance” podcast segment producers also swapped segments in an effort spearheaded and organized by Alludra herself.
You can listen to all 6 segments sequentially in the episode #270 of “The Instance” here.
Big props to Alludra for this wonderful idea! I had a blast dipping my toes into the pet world, coming up with a segment that I don’t know much about.