Wednesday, January 27, 2021

First Chapter of the Kyrian Covenant Campaign

 I did the first chapter of the Kyrian campaign today. It's quite good, but also kind of weird.

Basically you're following one of the Aspirants around as she prepares for ascension. The two of you go to Azeroth to escort a soul back to the Shadowlands. In Azeroth, you meet the soul of Ben Howell and relive his last day.

It's a pretty cool quest, one where you're just a good, average man with a family. I won't spoil how he dies, but it was pretty touching and tied in with the original story back in Azeroth. However, once you finish that part, you escort the Ben's soul back to Oribos where he is promptly thrown into the Maw!

It kind of illustrates how wrong the Kyrian are. If the Forsworn were a pure third-party faction, then it would be very tempting to join them. But instead they're allied with the obvious bad guy, which just makes them seem stupid as well.

I guess we'll see how Blizzard resolves this in future chapters, but so far I think the execution of the Kyrian parts of the story have been pretty poor, and greatly hurt the faction.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Gaming Log - January 26

Normal Castle Nathria raid night again. This was my first raid as Kyrian, so I was looking forward to see how it worked.

In addition to its raw power, Divine Toll feels very good. Light of Dawn to get to zero Holy Power, Divine Toll to 5 Holy Power and 5 Holy Shocks and 5 Glimmer of Lights, then Light of Dawn again, is super strong just on its own.

I parsed quite a bit better--well, blue and green parses, but better than grey--on several fights, though there's a few I still need to work on. I did manage to get chained every single time on Sludgefist, which was annoying. I never really used the Steward potions, but now that I think about it, I probably could have in Stone Generals to remove a bleed.

I'm up to Renown 7 or 8 already. I did get a couple renown ranks from the raid itself, which I wasn't expecting. I think the full catch up will take a couple of weeks, though.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Switching Covenants

I bit the bullet and switched my paladin to Kyrian. I didn't really want to, but I'm parsing so low that's it's probably best to follow the theorycraft exactly until I figure out and fix whatever the issue is. I do have an alt rogue which I will put in Night Fae.

Divine Toll is really, really powerful. Even on Retribution and Protection it's pretty insane. Full Holy power and large amounts of damage to start the fight. I tanked a Spires of Ascension +4 after I switched, and it was pretty awesome. Multiple shields bouncing everywhere on pretty much every other pull. Though I did accidentally pull one extra pack with it before the third boss.

It is a bit interesting what carried over from the previous covenant. Neutral adventurers like Meatball and Croman come over with their same level. Covenant adventurers that you've previously rescued in Torghast can be found in the central Torghast area, though they start at level 1. You can use armor from your previous covenant, but you can't use the transmog. You can't use the previous covenant mounts, though. You do keep your conduits and their levels, but you have to unlock the soulbinds again as you gain renown.  Otherwise, you pretty much start from scratch.

Oh well, I do like the Kyrian plate armor, mount and classical Greek aesthetics. Let's hope the story is interesting.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

A Redistricting Toy Problem

This is a non-gaming post.

I've been thinking about drawing electoral districts and gerrymandering lately. I came up with a simple toy problem that I cannot decide on an answer for. So I'll throw it out for any readers to comment on.

Imagine we have a small, square town. There are two parties here, the Blues and the Greens. Most people lean Blue or lean Green. However, partisanship is not extreme, and some people will vote for a particularly charismatic or competent candidate from the other party. For various reasons about 2/3 of the people lean Blue and live on the west side of town. 1/3 lean Green and live on the east side. Like so:

B | B | G

B | B | G

B | B | G

The city has a council with 3 councilors. What's the best way to draw three districts for this town?

If you slice vertically, then you guarantee representation. There will be 2 Blue councilors, and 1 Green. However, the districts are not competitive at all, and there's no real possibility that Green will ever get a majority.

If you slice horizontally, then you guarantee competitiveness. However, it's quite possible that Green will lose all three elections, and have no representation at all. But if the Green party is particularly good one year, then they could take 2 or even 3 seats and have a majority.

So I don't know what the best solution is. Maybe the solution is to ignore district composition entirely and use strictly geographical borders.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Gaming Log - January 23

Not a lot done today. I woke up to find that one of the pipes in my apartment had sprung a leak, so my morning was preoccupied with cleaning up and getting the superintendent to fix it. Luckily it was a pretty small leak.

I did a couple of callings on my Paladin, then did the souls weekly and a Maw weekly + daily combo that was in the same area.

I then did a couple callings on my Priest, and upgraded another slot. It's kind of funny, I have almost none of the Sanctum upgrades on my Priest, as all my anima has been put into upgrading armor.

Finally I did a few more quests in Revendreth and got to level 53. Though, I have the suspicion that I'm getting more XP from mining than actual quests and combat.

Friday, January 22, 2021

An Interesting View of Gear in Shadowlands

Wrathofkublakhan at Coffee Cakes and Crits has an interesting way of looking at gear in Shadowlands:

Visiting the Wow Community Forums, I see all-in-caps complaining about the low loot drops in dungeons and raids. I think that they are looking at it wrong. The right way, it seems to me, is to look at your own ilevel. Mine is about 200 with a 9/10 clear so far of the current raid. That is about perfect.

I have gear pieces above and below 200 and a chest piece and/or weapon drop at 200 would be welcome. This is good. The game is working. I remember in BfA out-gearing the raid before we even started. The same in Legion, there would be times when we’d start a raid and all eyes were on the final bosses for chances of an upgrade.

I think this is a good way of looking at gear. I'm i205, and we're 4/10 Heroic Nathria. That's just about perfect. Loot is scarce, but every item that drops in new and challenging content is an upgrade. Most likely an upgrade for me, but guaranteed for someone in the raid. I have some high pieces (Legendary and rings, for some reason) and some pieces that could still use a Normal Nathria upgrade (bracers, as is tradition ever since Cho'gall).

I really like how loot is handled in Shadowlands. Loot is scare and thus valuable. I know there's a lot of complaints on places like Reddit, but I strongly hope that Blizzard holds the line.

About the only thing that might need a look is collecting raid sets for transmog. And even that might be fine after a couple more months.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Gaming Log - January 21

Raid night again. This time we're going into Heroic.

I changed my keybinds to more closely match last expansion. As well, I decided to lean on Light of Dawn instead of Word of Glory. I think those changes helped a bit, but I'm still parsing very low.

In any case, it was a pretty productive raid, as we killed Huntsman Altimor, Hungering Destroyer and Lady Inerva Darkvein, making us 4/10 for the raid.

On Huntsman we wiped 5 times, always at the same point when we had to switch to and kill the shades in P2. Sometimes we switched too late, so they became immune to CC and got their casts off. But once we got past that phase, it was a pretty clean kill.

Hungering Destroyer had 3 wipes, mostly getting used to the strategy. We set up in a box around him in the middle of the room, with 4 groups on the corners. Then we make sure one miasma person goes to each group. The wipes mainly came from multiple beams moving out to the same place.

Finally, we had 6 wipes on Lady Inerva Darkvein, including a wipe at 5%. This was mostly refining the strategy and making sure that everyone did the orbs quickly. Our kill was going well until the last 10% and then everyone started dying. I think we killed her with 5 people left alive. Though I was in a Podtender cocoon, and a priest was in angel form.

Still, a pretty good raid. This part of heroic raiding is still the best, where you wipe steadily until you succeed.