Wall o’ Text: Why Motes Of Harmony Are Terrible
So I hit 90 within three or four days of the launch of Pandaria, as I’m sure a few others did as well. I was nowhere near a realm first, nor was I looking for it, but there were about 25 to 50 90s on my server (logged in, Horde faction only) when I finally got rid of my experience bar for another two years. Since then, I immediately trained pandaran flying, and then I began to explore the vast new continent to find out exactly what there was to do. Luckily, earlier in the same day that I reached endgame, WoW Insider posted an article about the reputation faction for the Order of the Cloud Serpent, which peaked my curiosity instantly. You have to remember, I knew absolutely nothing about this expansion. I was gone for all of Cata and fell out of following the game’s news and developments. When I finally came back, I was around only for a few weeks before travelling for work for the next month, during which 5.01 (or whatever it was called) dropped. I was still able to play during that time, sporadically, but I chose to goof off mostly. If there is one thing that I wish they would have allowed during that patch that they didn’t was access to the pet battling system. It would have been nice to be able to do something as casually as the pet battle system in the
month leading up to the expansion where there was nothing to do and nothing to see (as I’ve said before, Theramore was terrible, and Blizz really dropped the ball on having a decent pre-launch event). It also would have been nice to be able to have battle pets levelled up to the proper level to be able to take them out and battle with the pandaran local pets straight off the airship. But, alas, t’was not to pass and now we must go and kick some…. Err, nevermind, this isn’t Shakespeare so let’s just move on.
So back to level 90. On the way up to 90 I queued for random dungeons every once in a while. At first, I joined exclusively as Arms to fill a damage roll because I hate to have the responsibility of being the tank without knowing what the encounter is going to bring. Granted that almost all of the randoms that I was in, everyone was learning as well, including the actual tanks, but this is just my personal preference. Eventually, once I had seen all four of the levelling dungeons (by the way, only four levelling dungeons? Really? REALLY?) I started queueing as a tank, and then I was the one explaining to all the new players exactly what needed to be done. And then I hit 90. And then I realized that I could no longer use the random dungeon finder.
Why, you might ask?
Well the reason is that all non-heroic dungeons in Mists are 85 to 90 (although technically, 85 to 89) and all heroic dungeons are level 90. To say that differently, while you’re levelling in Mists, you can queue for only the normal dungeon versions of the four available instances. When you’re level 90, you can only queue for a random heroic, not a regular. Yes, I realize that you can queue for a specific regular dungeon, however, when I don’t care which dungeon that I want to join, I’m really interested in getting the additional rewards for using the random queuing system.
So what, you might ask?
Well the problem is that when I finished levelling, I was part way through the Towlong Steppes zone, and most of my gear was levelling gear (I got one drop from the normal dungeons while levelling). So my character didn’t meet the gear level requirements to run heroics, which left me with not very helpful options to get geared up. The first option, is crafted gear, except that because everyone is levelling their professions right now, everything is expensive… Very expensive. Having sat out an expansion, I’m way behind on the gold curve (not to mention having the hungry mouths of an army of alts to feed). The second option, is to continue questing and hope for better gear from quest rewards. While this was probably the option I should have gone with since I am both cheap and broke, I had just hit 90 and wanted to see what was available at the endgame. So I chose door number three, and went with doing the daily quests. Except, I got side tracked. I saw flying serpents and said, “I have to do those.” I saw the new Tilling profession and said “I have to do those.” Coincidentally, Tilling requires you to be either rich (insert previously established fact here) or you have to fish / farm your own mats. Once you get done with them, why not cook them up since there is now an NPC that will allow you to level your cooking from skill 1 to skill 525 using only vendor sold items that she sells.
All of this stuff got me really distracted for the first two days, and then I found out that pet battles are as fun and addictive as they are, and I wrote off another couple of days to that. Essentially, I kinda lost myself in those dailies and pet battles, and totally forgot about trying to gear up. All that being said, yesterday I finally went back to Towlong to carry on with the questing there, which I finished up. All that’s left is the Dread Wastes. In the meantime, I tried out a BG (for the first time in two years, and oh man do I need to work on my pvp’ing). That experience was enough to convince to finally spring some of the gold I’d made while levelling and go get my blacksmithing up. So I did, and with the Motes of Harmony that I’d collected I was able to buy six out of the eight pvp recipes for strength plate. Those pieces were all upgrades, every last one of them, for the pieces I was wearing, so now my Arms set is dominated by a rediculous looking armor set (already transmog’d to the good ole Relentless Gladiator). I’ve queued for a couple of random scenarios, which grant 30 and then 15 valor points and those have gone very well. There was a healer in the group both times, so no one died, and I earned two of the ‘do something extra’ achievements.
But despite all of that (I forgot to mention above, but all dailies that I’ve found reward 5 Valor Points in addition to other rewards), I haven’t been able to get anything remotely close to an upgrade. Until today. Blizz decided to remove the reputation requirements on the JP and VP vendor in a hotfix today, which meant all of the gear that was formerly out of reach (still only friendly with golden lotus) is suddenly available. While I did have plenty of JP saved up from my dungeon runs at 85 prior to the launch and while levelling after the launch, I only had enough for a single piece. I chose to pick up the dps cloak, since that was the lowest iLvl piece that I was wearing, and it bumped me up to 1 under the heroic requirement >.< The Valor vendor still isn't really an option, since I only have 500 Valor Points from doing all the dailies all week (I missed a few days and a few dailies). I'm not sure if you'll actually be able to hit the valor cap just from
dailies, but I don't suspect you can. In any case, I'll be continuing to save up valor pieces to pick up a little upgrade in my quest to get ready for the raid finder. And that, is what I've been up to at 90 (I've also been levelling a Pandaran Monk, but that's for another post).
Onwards and, well, onwards
So this post is subtitled “Why Motes of Harmony Are Terrible” and all that above was supposed to be a quick paragraph discussing what I’ve been up to, but it kind of turned into a side rant that turned into a main rant that might actually end up being longer than the main post is going to be. Let’s find out together. I started picking up the Motes while out levelling, thought they were like the Motes from Outlands, you pick up enough and then convert them to their bigger badder version.
They were called ‘Harmony’ so I figured this was the new version of the Mote of Life. Seeing as how Kor doesn’t need those, I basically stuck it in a bag and didn’t pay attention to it for a couple days until I was going through my bags and realized just how mnay of them I had. (81, to be exact). I ended up using two Spirits of Harmony (each takes ten motes) to make a crafted axe in order to get my skill up to 575, and the remainder were used to purchase the patterns for the crafted PvP
strength plate. Now that’s all well and good, I’ve gotten used to using these kinds of items for crafting materials or currency, whatever. What’s terrible about them is that they’re untradable because they’re soulbound. Case in point. Yesterday, Nim had his Enginerring up to 595 (or near enough as not to matter, it might have been 570). In any case, he was five points away from something, and he just happened to have a craftable engineering pet that I don’t have yet, and that pattern would grant him five skill points for one construction. Just like Kor is a Blacksmith and Jewelcrafter, Nim is a Blacksmith and Engineer. Both of us have been unable to gather our own materials to level our professions, and so we’ve had to rely on guildies or the AH. In my case, I’ve levelled my gatherer character and gotten him to Pandaria, but he’s still got a long ways to go.
In the case of Nim’s engineering pattern, he required Trillium, which is still eye gougingly expensive and time-lost rare (well, maybe not that rare, but you get the idea). So I purchased six Trillium bars (btw, I’m totally waiting for Blizz to create an expansion with an ore combination of Naquedah, Naquadriah and Trinium, just saying) off the AH, sent the required Ghost Iron I had on me, and then took a second look at the pattern. Like the Axe my blacksmith made, it required two Spirits of
Harmony. So I asked Nim how many he had, and he replied, 1.7. So I asked him if he realized that they were Soulbound. “That’s kind of terrible” was Nim’s reply, which I totally have to agree with. The motes of harmony are a low drop rate item that drop from just about everything on Pandaria and while farming them is generally feasible, its not really going to be quick or painless. This means that any time a crafter wants to make a higher end item, whether it be to sell or to help out a guildie, they have to go spend their precious time (and I say precious very seriously, time is the one thing you can never get back, that and the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks into canon), to farm these items themselves. This means that there is going to be an insane, intangible price added on to any crafted item that requires these motes. If these were tradable, the price would be insane right now while everyone scrambled to get them to level their professions, but as time went on and the demand dropped significantly to a more reasonable level and the supply rose over time, so too would the price normalize into a reasonable amount, or at least an amount that people would be willing to pay. This is the way of the economy (which does not require a cooking fire, btw) in WoW whenever any new tradable resource is introduced. Perhaps if there was a daily quest that rewarded 10 motes / 1 spirit of harmony, it wouldn’t be so bad, that way, you could always work on building more without needing to grind. If I run out of motes and need to spirits for a pattern, I have to go and grind for two hours to get enough to make them? That’s terrible design. That’s 2004 design, not to kick Vanilla WoW or anything, back in the day that was just the way it was, but this is 2012 new jack, things have changed.
And what about gatherer characters? My Death Knight is an herbalist and a miner, so he has no need to have any Spirits of Harmony (unless they are used for something else I’m not yet aware of). If my DK can’t use them to have gear crafted for him, and he can’t sell them, am I just going to have them build up in my bank? That’s terrible design. There’s ways around this of course, if they can work it on the back end. If two are required for a profession, have a tab in the trade window
that allows the crafter to use the other person’s Spirits and then the crafted item is automatically traded upon crafting and soulbound to the player who was ‘buying’ the craft. This way at least a crafter could say ‘Bring your own Spirits to this party.’
So that’s about all I have for my ranting today. If you’re already level 90, Bravo Zulu. If not, get working on it! In the meantime,