Friday, 24 May 2019

Not bad return for a 20 WR mission


Easy world quest WR rewards

My main is finding it a little hard to spend his War Resources. He's currently sitting at 4269 WR and just doing Emissaries and missions is enough to make him net positive. It's the combination of the 50WR/Emissary quest and being Exalted on all the BFA reps which means even doing missions by checking frequently throughout the day he still can't spend it fast enough.

It's still useful though as I can buy an item to transfer it to my alts. My highest upcoming alt is 104 so I'll probably have him at 120 in a couple of weeks. It will be great to sink a load of WR into him immediately and get his advancements done asap.

So with that in mind I'm still doing high paying WR quests even on this guy and especially on my other 120 alts.

Here's two world quests that caught my eye today and I'm flying over as I type.


A very easy 250 WR and a chance at a Veiled Crystal


This one is about 4-5 big pulls.


The addon I'm using to help me see the quests is World Quest Tracker. It also makes it easy to find groups for them.


8.2 gold farming idea

With flying coming to the new continents I'm thinking about farming world quests for disenchantables. Currently I have 9 world quests up that give items. If I did them all and they on average dropped 1 Veiled Crystal each that's 340g * 9 = 3060g.

Unlike many of my ideas this turns into actual gold reliably quickly. No need to place slow selling items up for months, Veiled Crystals are a busy market and if they don't sell on one listing they'll probably go on the next.

You would also get about 900 rep which is worth about 600g from paragon WR and gold payouts.

This could be repeated on every enchanter.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Taking our new heuristics into the evalution of a quest chain.

I have some old quest chains hanging about on my alts and I decided to evaluate one of them.

Our war continued starts an 8 quest chain in Tiragarde Sound where you'll be working with Rexxar to, um, deny the Alliance azerite or something.

Here are the rewards:

1. 2.34 gold.
2. 2.34 gold.
3. 2.34 gold.
4. 23.4 gold and 250 AP twice.
5. 46.8 gold.
6. 2.34 gold.
7. 46.8 gold.
8. 2.34 gold and 2000 Honourbound rep.

Honourbound rep is worth 0.6 plus 0.2 for the medals = 0.8 gold per.

Total value for the chain is 1,752.1 gold.

For most people not worth doing really as it will take at least 20 minutes. Might become worth doing when we can use our flying mounts.

Evaluating BFA currencies for missions

TLDR: 


1 gold = 0.25 WR = 1.7 rep (1.25 Honorbound/7th Legion rep) = 0.01 service medals. AP is close to worthless.

The long version:


Gold: our base currency. Can be exchanged for a great many useful items and resources.

Artifact power: this is a personal upgrade that can't be traded. With 8.2 it looks like it will become redundant, so long as your necklace has reached level 50. That seems very easy to reach. My alt who I've never deliberately done anything just for AP already is at level 46 a couple of months after hitting level 120. I'm expecting all 3 of my alts to hit level 50 before 8.2 or maybe soon after simply by doing missions and emissary quests. It's still worth doing AP missions from the table because you want the procs from your follower equipment.

War resources: The game seems to value WR at 4 gold per. A world quest that awards about 160 gold awards about 40 WR. The value of WR depends how onerous it is to farm this. With my main he has been WR positive simply by having all Exalted reps and the mission table advancement Azerothian Diplomat. However he can cash out excess WR by sending them to a less advanced alt so still pretty useful. Eventually the value of WR will go down once every alt that runs missions is fully advanced. Currently I do run WR world quests on my alts so I value WR at significantly above 4:1 because I'd not do a world quest for 160 gold. Part of this is preparation for 8.2 and partly this is developing this multi-alt mission table farming set up that I'm expecting to be an important part of late BFA gold. Let's say this may be valued at 5:1 while you're developing your mission runners or running out of WR when continuously running missions. If you find yourself skipping missions because you've run out then you're missing out on 2*226 gold from Follower Equipment procs plus 150ish gold value for a base mission for the want of 20-80 WR.

Paragon bags: 4000 gold, 500 WR (worth 2k), 2500 AP (nice but not really worth anything). So 6k for 10k rep which means 1 rep = 0.6 gold. (We'll discount the pets for now).

Reputation: 0.6 gold. We can use the paragon bag-derived value because all that matters is rep at the end of our BFA gameplay. Let me explain: suppose a mission runner will earn 85k rep over the course of this expansion. If you were to add an extra 10k that would add an extra 6k gold value. It doesn't matter that you had to sink 42k rep before she got on the paragon gravy train. There's no option to not invest that rep if you're doing emissaries and missions every day.

One world quest. The baseline for doing a world quest should be the opportunity cost of not doing an item world quest on my enchanter. One epic item disenchants into a Veiled Crystal, currently worth 360g and likely to hold its value into 8.2. (occasionally you get an Umbra Shard worth 180g as well). So if you're doing world quests that pay out less than 360g and not doing them on your enchanter you're not being efficient. This means that these WR quests I'm doing at the moment to get my alts through the mission table advancement are worth more to me than 360g, a value of 9:1. I would do a world quest for 40 WR and I wouldn't do one on my main for a Veiled Crystal. However this is a temporary situation once the alts are more self-sufficient from passives I'l stop running these quests.

Service Medals. The only way to turn these directly into gold is to sell the pet (Tanzil for Horde) but it's a pretty slow seller, mine hasn't sold in these last few months. A better way to evaluate them might be to base the assessment on the Draught of the Ten Lands experience potion. This item is extremely valuable at the start of an expansion when you're levelling your main but just a nice to have now when it's just alts. It depends how much you like the journey rather than simply wanting your alts to get to 120 as quickly as possible. It's more valuable if you stack a lot of experience impriving factors at once - DMF buff, heirlooms, Insightful gem. It's even more useful if you're getting power levelled by a friend or by paying gold for it. For me I'd put it at about 500g which means that 1 service medal = 100 gold. For most people it's probably more valuable but I do enjoy the journey. Service medals may be higher if there's another option in the shop that you value highly. I am saving mine for the ring which teleports you to the docks near the mission table. I've got it on my main and I want it on my alts because it will become particularly important when they are still running missions when perhaps being hearthed in Najatar in the 8.2 patch. There's also nice mounts and heirlooms on that vendor.

One implication of that is that the Honorbound (or 7th Legion) paragon bag is worth an additional 2000 gold for the 20 medals they give in addition to the other rewards.





Monday, 20 May 2019

A look at garrisons for level 120 characters

Garrisons are Wow's version of player housing and they're rather charming. If like me you didn't play the Warlords of Draenor expansion it's fun to tourist back. (Especially if you've just been wiping in pug Mythic+ but the tank rant can wait for another day.)

At level 90 (or with your 120 if you boosted) you can fly to the Dark Portal and Archmage Khadgar will take you on a pretty exciting, lore rich and quite long quest chain that eventually sees you set up a garrison.

I'm going to pick up the strategy from there and talk about what you need to do to build an effective and powerful garrison that can add to your income.

Let's review the buildings in a tier list:


Tier 1 (powerful).


Town hall - quest hub, resource cache and prereq for everything else. It's best to upgrade this as soon as possible. If you don't have enough of the garrison resources character you can simply do other stuff for some days or weeks while your cache slowly fills or you can do some quests that reward garrison resources. Empty the cache every 3 days or so minimum.

War mill. The main source of follower equipment, needed to unlock the best missions. The transmog gear can be disenchanted for mats. With a level 3 war mill you can turn in a few scraps for more follower equipment upgrade tokens.

Frostwall tavern. Main source of new followers. Improves garrison resource missions.

Trading post. This is the sink for garrison resources and necessary to make gold. You only need leve; 1.

Tailoring Emporium. Allows you to make Hexweave bags even if you're not a Tailor. Curently the best way to turn excess Garrison resources into something sellable.

Salvage yard. Passive garrison resources.



Tier 2 (useful)


Barracks - allows high experience patrol quests (perhaps redundant once you've levelled your followers), allows a bodyguard (pointless) and increases follower cap by 5 (highly useful).

Alchemy lab, all other profession buildings. Turns resources into specialised resources, sells recipes, some minor perks. Useful if you have that profession.

Storehouse. Improves throughput of work orders. Bank and guild bank.


Tier 3 (rubbish)


Barn. A convuluted way of getting skins. Easier to farm garrison resources and buy them from the Trading Post.

Goblin Workshop.

Spirit Lodge. Moving around Draenor isn't important these days.

Stables. Good for completionist mount collectors and that's about it.

Gladiator's Sanctum. There's no one to pvp on Draenor.

Lumber Mill. A mediocre way of getting extra garrison resources.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Lining up battle pet fights: simple mismatch and complex mismatch

Simple mismatch.


The battle pet minigame uses a rock paper scissors system to advantage some pets against others (which in turn will have an advantage against a different type).

Here's a pet called an Anubisath Idol, currently the highest rated battle pet in the game.



He is bad against undead since they passively get a damage bonus against him, bringing down the power of this pet in that match up. If you're new to battle pets and are running around the wilds battling everything rhat squeaks this guy is great because there are very few wild undead pets but hundreds of critters.

Most battle pets have attacks of the same type as their creature type. So the simple way to build a team is to pick pets that counter the type both on attack and on defence.

This Bile Larva takes less damage from Humanoids:



It also has some attacks that do bonus damage against Humanoids:


So in general this is a very effective pet against Humanoids.

This system is how the site wow-pets.com produces its counter pets. This is a pretty useful list for this simple strategy. When I fly around doing my dailies usually all the prep I need is a glance at wowhead to see Flier, Beast, Aquatic, then to throw a simple mismatch in slots 1, 2 and 3.

However it's not foolproof and it's not complete.

Mismatching actually gets a bit more complicated.


Complex mismatch.

 

Pets don't always have attacks that correspond to their creature type. In fact all of the pets that are considered counters under the simple mismatch system are off type. The Bile Larva is type Beast (good against Humanoid) with some type Undead (good against Humanoid) attacks.

Off type is the only way to get that kind of double whammy.

However this messes up our simple system. A Cogblade Raptor will mainly be using Bite, a Beast ability even though it is a Mechanical pet. If you send in a pet that's good against Mechanical damage that won't help because the Cogblade Raptor will not hit you with Mechanical attacks.


To optimise against a Cogblade Raptor you want a pet that is type Flying (less damage from Beasts) with Elemental attacks (bonus damage against Mechanical).

You can use this search engine to find your mismatches. Currently it finds 30 pets that counter Cogblade Raptors.

So complex mismatching is doing the research or starting then fleeing a pet battle to check exactly how you should counter a pet. Addons help a lot. I'm not ready to recommend an addon yet but one that shows the opposing pets abilities is what you need.


What else wins pet battles?


- Passives. Each type has a passive and some are powerful every time and some are useless except in certain magic. For example Critter passive counters stuns and Elemental passive counters Weather. Most of the time those passive do nothing. The Mechanical gets perhaps the best passive, coming back to life after you kill it.

- Synergy. The Cogblade Raptor has an ability that debuffs the opposing pet so that for 5 rounds it will take extra damage. This ability is balanced around 1 attack per round but the Raptor's main attack hits 2-3 times so long as it goes first which makes the debuff absurdly powerful. The final piece of the synergy is an ability that gives it a speed buff to help it go first against fast pets.

- Counters. I'm using counters in a different context here to mean abilities that counter or mitigate against opposing abilities. Dodge is pretty good against an ability that hits hard but has a long slow wind-up. Against the AI you can figure out when they will use their abilities and time your counter ability appropriately.

- Power level. Some abilities are just strong. The Nexus whelpling has a baseline attack that does 325 damage (at level 25). It also has an ability that does 325-487 with a bonus if the weather is Arcane Winds. This is just good, clearly better than the baseline before you consider the synergy.




You can find overpowered pets using the rating system here.

- Stats. Each pet gets a bonus called its breed and the bonus is lower if it's multi-type. So Power + Power is usually a better bonus than Health + Power. Some bonuses suit certain pets and certain matchups. Speed for instance is only useful at the tipping point where it makes your pet faster. Being 100 faster is functionally the same as being 1 faster. In general pets that hit hard probably benefit from Power and pets that outlast benefit from health. (Eg the Magical Crawdad has a heal for half its hit points which is better if those hit points are really high).

- Speed. It's worth saying that going first is really good, especially on high damage pets. My Cogblade Raptor sometimes kills an opponent pet before they get their third go. So it gets 3 rounds and the other pet only gets 2, it's like a 50% damage reduction from it not getting the third round.

Polished pet charms: gold analysis

I'm currently in the middle of cashing out my polished pet charms.

These buy pets which sell for a lot. For pet battlers debating whether to keep these pets or try to sell them my advice is to sell them. There are very powerful pets on the auction house for under 5k. None of these vendor pets are rated very highly. According to warcraftpets.com the highest polished pet charm pet in the list of vendor pets is Smoochums at number 15. That's 14 better pets just from vendors. Pet battle powerhouses these are not.

So cash then.

First a warning: pet value looks very high. That's because I have presence on multiple servers and value the pet based on the most expensive as that is where I will be selling it. Trying to sell it. Pets sell very slowly, glacially slowly, especially the expensive ones. So when I say a pet is 50,000 gold that means a pet varies from about 10k to 50k, and that it's essentially a lottery ticket with a 50k prize rather than actual money. However the lottery costs 1 silver to enter and pays 50k gold so it's a pretty good lottery. In fact the secret of making money on cross-server pets is to get really big so you're listing hundreds of pets on each of dozens of servers so that it doesn't matter if you only sell 1% of them on any given listing.

And here's why I gave the warning: currently the highest listing by gold/charm is a pet that would bring 859.71 gold per charm at that price. Remember you get 12-20 charms per world quest.

So off I go on my 3 level 120 characters spending polished pet charms.

Jenoh, pet vendor in Voldun

One of the vendors is locked behind some content I haven't done yet. I'll save some charms for later then and add doing a bunch of pvp pet battles to my list. Next week is pet bonus week so I'll do it then.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

War resources

Writing yesterday's post I realised I had been vastly underestimating the value of the mission table and was led to the conclusion I should be running it more.

But how to feed it?

The table uses War Resources as fuel and, without really planning it, I realised that my main character never runs out. This is because there are several parts of his routine that are improved over the baseline new 120 experience.

So what do you need to do to get your alts WR-efficient?

The first thing is the war quests that lead to giving you Lilian Voss as a 5th follower. This means that a full set of missions is crewed by 5 followers + one troop instead of 4 followers and 2 troops. More she reduces mission duration and she's another place to put Follower Equipment once she's leveled up which will take quite some time. So sooner we get started the better.

Next is the mission table advancement Azerothian Diplomat. This gives 50 war resources per emissary turn-in which is basically 50/day. Running missions from the table costs 40-300 WR per day depending how active you are. So reducing that sink by 50 is a big improvement.

Advancements will cost you a lot of WR and will require a few Island Expeditions and Warfronts to unlock everything. Sinking that WR will pay off over time, 50/day pays off the 1215 WR it costs to fully upgrade in  25 days.

The World Quest bonus event comes along as a weekly quest about once a month and rewards 1000WR for doing 20 world quests, activity you'd be doing anyway if you're actively farming mission tables so always take this quest. I missed out for months because I simply didn't know about it.

Emissary rewards sometimes pay 200 WR which is another useful source. It's effectively passive for us as we're running all our emissary quests.

Paragon reward bags give 500 WR for every 10k rep over Exalted with the 6 BFA factions your character is aligned with. For a new 120 with no rep it takes 42k to hit exalted then you get paid off at the end of grinding out another 10k. Emissary quests give a lot of rep though - hypothetically a 120 character with 0 rep just getting 1500 from an emissary turn' in once every 6 days would get a paragon bag from that faction after 208 days. In practice rep from world quests, pre-existing rep from leveling, contracts and other rep sources will shorten that even on an alt that just does mission tables and emissary quests.

So passively we're getting about 50/day plus 200/week plus 1000/month plus (eventually) 500 every paragon bag.  That's good but it's not quite enough, especially when we're progressing new alts through the advancements tree. Note too that you can buy an item from the faction vendor that lets you send WR to another character on your account so it's very worth doing if, like me, you have some alts levelling up.

That brings us to world quests, the main active method of gathering WR. Note that there can be a hidden WR world quest - the new Naga world quest shows up as a pearl but can pay either WR or gold. It pays out more than the base world quests so very worth doing when it's up. The WR quests in Darkshore also pay above average and there's a repeatable kill 12 bosses quest there that pays 200 WR every time you finish it.

Otherwise world quests are the on-demand way you get more WR once you're low. It doesn't feel terribly efficient to fly off, kill 10 mobs and just get 40 WR and a tiny amount of rep for it. We can at least minimise this by valuing WR quests as mid-high priority when doing our emissaries.

Update: I've also discovered/remembered that world bosses can be a pretty good source. This morning I have a random world boss in Voldun for 250 WR and also the Lion's Roar world boss in the Arathi Highlands for 250 WR. (22nd May 2019).

Friday, 17 May 2019

BFA routine content - some analysis

I'm taking a look here at the daily, weekly and cyclical content.

World quests

Contracts. A contract adds 10 rep per world quest. Emissary quest hand-ins count too so a typical day of 4 wqs and a hand in gives additional 50 rep per day. Rep, after a 52k per faction sink, pays about 4000 gold, 2500 AP and 500 War resources. Some factions have extra possible rewards such as sellable pets. Roughly speaking as 10000 rep = 4000 gold we can say that 2 rep is worth about 1 gold if you don't value ap and war resources especially highly. Even if you value them at 1 gold each then 10000 rep = 7000 value so about 1.4 rep per gold.

In 7 days of earning 50 rep a day a contract will earn 350 rep or about 175-250 value. That gives us a ceiling on contract value - if they cost more than 250g to make or buy then they're probably not worth it.

There's also a small time sink when doing contracts so if it's close then best not to spend the 2 minutes going to the auction house and buying them.

These are the prices for Horde contracts on Scarshield Legion-EU.

Honorbound 96.5g

Tortollan Seekers 127g

Voldunai 188g

Talanji's Expedition 247g

Champions of Azzeroth 280g

Zandalari Empire 300g

I decide to buy Honourbound contracts for my characters this week as that rep is a little better than the baseline because you also get 0.002 of a Honourbound Service Medal per rep.


Quests

There are two aspects to quests: context and individual merit.

Context is about how many other reward-giving game elements the quest completes in addition to itself. A single quest might be part of an invasion, part of an emissary quest, part of a weekly bonus quest, part of a paragon reward or part of the warquest Remaining Threats boss killing quest.

The most efficient way to maximise context is to do invasions that are currently emissary quests but at the moment I'm bored of invasions so I don't do them.

Warfront quests are nice because they have a higher average payout than other world quests, because some of the bosses can drop nice items, because you see soloable bosses travelling from one quest to another and because you can fly there.

Once a week there is a world boss to kill which is definitely the highest quest judged on its own merits.

The pet quests reward about 15 polished pet charms. Currently the Crimson Frog which is probably representative costs 100 charms and sells on the servers I have pet markets on for 7499 - 36392 gold, call it 22k average or 220 gold per charm. That's 3300 per world quest (plus about 40 gold's worth of rep). These prices are probably on the slide as over time more of these charms will enter the economy without a corresponding influx of new pet customers but it's clearly a very healthy world quest on its own merits.

The pet upgrade tokens can be bought at the rate of 1.3 tokens per 2 charm mystery bag so clearly the world quests that award about 15 charms are better than the world quests that award about 4 upgrade tokens but both are worth doing.

Pet quests can be done across multiple alts by setting the correct team then doing it on all alts before moving on to the next pet quests setting a team for that. This saves quite a lot of time setting teams.

I look out for the profession quests, either giving rank 3 of a recipe or for gathers giving a bunch of herbs for a very quick gather. In addition to the stated reward the recipe ones give 1 skill point which is not nothing in the late stages of a profession leveling process. The quests that give 5 expulsom are a great way to get that material as 5 expulsom = about 30 items scrapped.

The final quests I look out for on merit are quests that give purple items when I'm on a (dis)enchanter. Veiled crystals are currently about 340g on my server making these far superior to the regular gold quests.

Mission tables.

Follower equipment. I'm pretty happy with the quantity of herbs and anchorweed I've been passively getting from using the mission table. I have however decided to switch to the equipment that pays enchanting materials (Disenchanting Rod) as I think those are more valuable now and will hold their value better in late BFA and future expansions.

8.2 introduces new mats for most professions but not for enchanring so the Disenchanting Rod probably has more longevity.

Data from this thread suggests you get about 20,000g from a magnetic mining pick in a month of running 3 missions per day. That's about 222g per mission. Let's assume that we're going to be lazy and only refresh the table once a day. Currently the picks are 5k on my auction house so they pay off in 23 days of being really chill about this. Best of all, I believe this can be done on the phone app so it's a lot easier to keep this churning over while doing other things than playing Wow all day.

So the conclusion is that it's a good idea to get Follower Equipment on all followers and run these missions on multiple alts.

A second conclusion is that War Resources are more valuable than they look because having to stop running missions because you've run out costs you 222g per mission just in lost materials.

Here are the current prices of Follower Equipment on Scarshield Legion EU:

Crimson Ink Well 15000g

Potion of Herb Tracking 30000g

Magnetic Mining Pick 5000g 

Monelite Fish Finder 5000g

Tempest Hide Pouch 5000g

Kaleidoscopic Lens n/a

Rough-hooked Tidespray Linen n/a 

Disenchanting Rod 15000g

That's pretty interesting. The 5k ones pay you back in a week assuming they bring in about the same value as a pick and that you run 3 missions per day.

Now lets consider making my own. I can make bracers on my tailor and send them to my enchanter. 180 bracers gives about 30 expulsom.

Bracer cost = 10 tidespray linen (2.5g each) plus 5 nylon thread (0.48g) = 27.4 g

Expulsom cost = 6 bracers = 164.4g (acutally rather less because scrapping returns some cloth and nylon)

Disenchanting rod = 30 expulsom (4932g) + 40 gloom dust (6.7g each = 268g) + Star Wood (0.45g) + 5 veiled crystal (171g each = 855g) + hydrocore/tidalcore. Total = 6055g plus hydrocore.

Doing this research has led me to some conclusions:

- the 5k follower equipment is probably below crafting cost, the expulsoms alone nearly equal the price they're asking.

- these items are so good that I've decided to replace the 5% success chance stone we get from the vendor. 222g per mission beats very slightly higher chance of a bonus on all but the most absurdly lucrative missions (treasure map and battlerunes missions perhaps). Especially since the rewards from Follower Equipment aren't affected by mission success chance, it's enough that you do the mission.

- I need to start farming mythics to pick up some tidalcores.

- I need more alts at 120. 

- I should set up the wow app on my phone.