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Posts with tag Tillers

New faction short story: The Untamed Valley

I have a soft spot for the Tillers. I think they're one of my favorite factions from Pandaria. It wasn't just the fact that I got my own farm, it was the fact that each character involved in the Tillers' quests was so fleshed out, so well written, and so engaging that you really couldn't help but be enchanted by Halfhill and the surrounding farms. Of all the pandaren we've met in Mists, I think I'm going to miss the gang in Halfhill the most.

That said, the absolute last person I ever expected to show up in a short story surrounding the Tillers was Vindicator Maraad. Yet there he is, accompanied by Sentinel Commander Lyalia, another Alliance face we haven't seen for quite some time. The thought of a towering blue-skinned alien from another world interacting with the jovial and decidedly down-to-earth farmers of Halfhill seems like a really strange idea for a story. And yet in Blizzard's latest short story offering, The Untamed Valley, it works. It really, really works, in the most unexpected way.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: How do you relax in WoW?

WoW Tillers Farm
Many, if not most, of us have certainly at one point or another taken breaks from playing WoW, in which we stop playing for a few weeks, or months, or even years, before coming back. But what do we do when we need a break, but don't want to stop playing the game? Maybe you just can't stomach going back to that one raid yet again, or the thought of setting foot in one more battleground makes you want to put your face on your keyboard and moan. Yet the call of the login screen still remains, just not for whatever you had been doing.

The great thing about WoW is the variety of play options, so there's nearly always something enjoyable to pick up. You could farm for those rare mounts you never got, go back for a questing or archaeology achievement. There's pets to collect and battle, recipe lists to complete, achievements to finish up, proving grounds to master, and even your Tiller's farm to manage. In Warlords of Draenor, we're going to get a whole garrison to ourselves to deck out, as well. Personally, I find mountains of giant vegetables to be my zen in World of Warcraft. What about you? What relaxes you in this game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What we leave behind

I'm really concerned about Dog. Dog is the dog that I rescued from near starvation in the Heartland over in the Valley of the Four Winds. I was so excited to find and rescue this poor little guy that I even wrote a brief article about him at the time. Since then, Dog has been happily living the life of a king on my farm, and despite the fact that I was never able to name him, he seems to be happy enough to just respond to the name Dog, not to mention a few choice emotes. If you haven't already done so, try using /love, /pet, /bark, or /kiss on your puppy, because the result is adorable.

Actually, I kind of love everything on my farm. Shaggy the yak from Farmer Fung, the sheep from Chee Chee, the piggies sent courtesy of Fish Fellreed (who is still my favorite), and of course Luna the cat from Ella. Even the chickens, although they have a disturbing tendency to flop over dead due to phasing. I spent a lot of time building up the farm and making it the nicest little place to hang out, even when I'm not currently farming crops. It's a good farm. I had fun building it.

But I'm super concerned about Dog, because I know I'll be leaving soon.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2: Getting ready for release day

Patch 52 Getting ready for release
Earlier today, we mentioned Bashiok's patch 5.2 release date estimate of late February. However, the blog post in which this tentative release date was mentioned contains a lot of great information on preparing for the patch which should not be missed.

Some of the topics covered include:
  • How to reach the Isle of the Thunder King and entering the new raid instance.
  • Throne of Thunder normal difficulty available in the first week, Heroic difficulty opens the week after
  • Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder opens the same week as Heroic raids (Week 2) with a new section each week after that
  • 480 item level needed to enter Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder
  • All Valor points will be reset and converted down to Justice points
  • Current Valor items will have their costs reduced (25-50% reduction)
  • Valor item upgrades won't be available in patch 5.2
  • Recapping the Legendary meta gem and what will happen to your Sha-Touched weapons
  • Ability to champion select reputations for the first Heroic and Scenario queue of the day
  • The Tillers can also help your reputation by issuing you work orders from the various factions.
  • 5.2 Valor items are tied to raid reputation from boss kills and not dailies (which can be earned via Raid Finder)
If you're still looking for ways to prepare for patch 5.2, our very own Kristin wrote up some excellent points to get yourself ahead of the pack.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: How to get your hands on Sunsong Ranch

Patch 52 PTR How to get your hands on Sunsong Ranch
When we last visited Sunsong Ranch in patch 5.2, it was to news of several improvements of the farming content. This included some changes to the Master Plow, some changes to the way seeds were planted, and to top it all off, the option to purchase your farm and make it your very own. This meant that the farm would turn into a rest point and an area where one could immediately log out of the game -- something that players had been requesting ever since they began helping Yoon and planting their own crops on his farm.

While we knew that the option would eventually be added, it was not available with patch 5.2's first iteration on the PTR. So we had no news on how much it would cost, what kind of reputation you would need to have, or what exactly would happen to Farmer Yoon after you purchased his property. The latest build to hit the PTR has now unlocked the feature, and players can now test out the content to their heart's content.

But uh ... you can't purchase the farm.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 Prep: Get ahead of the game

Isle of Thunder
Patch 5.2 will bring new dailies, new factions, another raid, and a kitchen sink. It's pretty much a super patch. With so many additions, you may start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of class changes on top of new grinds -- and you know, pets and stuff. Never fear, we're here to help you prepare! Before we get too deep into this, remember that everything we've learned about patch 5.2 is from the PTR. Things can change!
  • Farm (or buy) Ghost Iron. Both blacksmithing and engineering will see new unique crafting materials similar to the scribe's Scroll of Wisdom -- Lightning Steel Ingot and Stabilized Lightning Source, respectively. Both require 10 Ghost Iron bars, so snag some Ghost Iron now, and use some of it to transmute into Living Steel. Many new crafted items will require it.
  • Get ahead in your Wrathion quests. In 5.2, Wrathion will ask for 40 Trillium Bars in a quest on the way to the legendary meta gems, so start gathering the ore now to get a head start.
  • Get your Tillers rep to Exalted and unlock all plots. Although farming may not be appealing to everyone, Tillers rep is one of the easiest to max out. At Exalted, we'll be able to use work orders to gain rep in patch 5.2.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2: Work orders allow reputation gain through your farm

Patch 52 Work orders allow reputation gain through your farm
Work orders are in in the patch 5.2 PTR, allowing players to gain reputation with other factions by farming. You can see Matticus' character here being offered several work orders from other factions. Wowhead has datamined many of the quests, indicating that, for now at least, they are available purely for factions added in patch 5.0.4 and patch 5.1.

It's no great surprise that the new factions aren't included in these work orders, to be able to earn reputation for the new factions by farming would be rather strange when they have only just appeared. There doesn't, at present, appear to be any prior reputation requirement to get these work order quests, but you do have to have bought your farm in order to receive the work orders, so a considerable dose of Tillers work is required.

Edit: A blue post has clarified that you no longer have to buy the farm to receive and complete work orders, but you will need to be exalted with the Tillers and have all plots unlocked.

Once you've bought the farm You'll need to farm specific vegetables for specific factions, so, for example, the Golden Lotus want White Turnips. There's two quests for each faction, so continuing to look at the Golden Lotus, the first quest is to plant 8 White Turnip Seeds, and the second is to harvest 8 Ripe White Turnips, resulting in 40 White Turnips. Only the second part of the quest awards reputation, 300 at the moment, but both currently award 236,000 XP.

The general consensus seems to be that any way to gain reputation is a bonus, but these don't seem particularly fast. Do they strike a good balance?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

We don't need daily quests anymore

We don't need daily quests anymore
I think I've firmly established that I really love doing quests, and that I'm fine with daily quests as a whole. Sure, some of them may have had their moments of extreme frustration, but by and large the daily quest system in Mists of Pandaria is pretty entertaining. But while it's entertaining to me, and it's fine with some players, there are others who cannot stand the system. They hate daily quests. The sight of a blue exclamation point is a source of constant irritation.

And it doesn't really matter how you wrap up that package, it's still going to be annoying content that players feel they must complete in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what is tied to the system, or if it offers rewards of value, like Lesser Charms or valor points. Adding the value to the daily quest system doesn't make completing the quests any more compelling, it just makes them another chore that must be completed.

Which is why daily quests need to go away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

What you should plant on your Tiller's farm

This hit my inbox the other day:


What's the most profitable thing to plant in a farm? I'd assume in most cases people plant for their profession or whatever raw material sells for the most. I, however, am a chronic alt-oholic and have every profession maxed and available to me. I don't raid and can't stand dailies, so I only have patterns available that are vendor trained, bought with spirits of harmony, or learned off a cooldown. So what's the start and end of the equation?

-Matt


So what is the most profitable thing to plant on your farm? Matt assumes correctly that the majority of people simply plant what they can use to avoid having to buy off the Auction House. There is plenty of opportunity to improve this, though!

Generally, the least profitable thing to farm is vegetables. This is only true because everyone else already farms them, and they're all you can farm until you get farther into the Tillers reputation grind. The reputation seeds for leather, ore, cloth, or enchanting mats are generally lower yield than simply getting Harmonies and trading those for what you need, and that's generally less than you'd get by planting Enigma Seeds, selling everything you get, and using that gold to buy leather, ore, cloth, or enchanting mats. In short, the most profitable thing to plant is usually Songbell Seeds or Enigma Seeds.

Songbell Seeds

Songbell Seeds provide you with Motes of Harmony, which provide Spirits of Harmony. If you have a profession that requires these to make items valuable to other players or allows you to use them to skip daily cooldowns, then you can figure out exactly how much one of them is worth and do the math.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Big changes coming to Sunsong Ranch in 5.2

Big changes coming to Sunsong Ranch in 52
There's been plenty of talk over the last couple of months about Sunsong Ranch, the farm that players can adopt and use to grow various crops of their own. A lot of that talk revolved around whether or not Sunsong Ranch was the first step towards player housing, a feature that a lot of players have been wistfully wishing for since the days of vanilla. Earlier this month, we asked Cory Stockton and Dave Kosak if this was indeed the case, and the response was that while the ranch could be interpreted that way, player housing wasn't something intended for the future.

However, both Stockton and Kosak were excited with how well the farming feature had been received, and with how well it integrated with other features in the game. As a new feature, the farm works seamlessly with other professions in the game. Being able to grow your own resources has been a tremendous boon for players, but the question still remained -- how could the farming feature be improved even further?

Well ... how about as an additional means to gather reputation?

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

How WoW's content offerings progressed in 2012

What did we learn
2012 is nearly over. If you were playing WoW on this date in 2011, you were playing a significantly different game, raiding the ultimate raid of Cataclysm with the Dragon Soul, or... probably not doing much else. One of the biggest changes between then and now is one that's often commented on, namely that there's a much wider variety of content in Mists of Pandaria at the endgame level. Level 90 players can choose to run scenarios, heroic dungeons, use the Looking for Raid tool, engage in pet battles, pursue one of a wide variety of daily quests which allow for the gaining of reputation with various factions, run challenge mode dungeons, or get involved in 10/25 man raiding. One can even step into older raid content with or without a group for the purposes of collecting gear for transmogrification or simply for fun.

I've said before and will say again that quests like Welcome to the Machine demonstrated real mastery on the part of the development team behind Cataclysm. To my mind, the real lesson of the Cataclysm to Mists transition is threefold. Cataclysm was extremely well designed, but the majority of its best content is in those revamped 1 to 60 jones, or to coin a term, is in vertical content, a pillar of content that players ascend. Mists content is horizontal -- while there are several zones to level from 85 to 90 in, the true flowering of the vast majority of Mists content is a plateau, an expanse that blossoms outward. Once you ascend those five levels, you get more to do, not less. However, it must be said that this isn't a trend that Mists invented. Pretty much every innovation in Mists of Pandaria's content delivery is built on the edifice of Cataclysm, which itself built on previous expansions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Talking patch 5.1 with Dave Kosak & Cory Stockton

Patch 51 interview with Dave Kosak and Cory Stockton
Patch 5.1 introduced a lot of new content, and a lot of new lore -- and who better to explain it all than Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, and Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak? We sat down with both, along with Community Manager Zarhym to talk about some of the new features found in patch 5.1. Along with questions about the Brawler's Guild, both Kosak and Stockton addressed scenarios, daily quests, tweaking old content, that pesky matter of player housing, and what's to come in patch 5.2.

Patch 5.1 was an incredibly fast patch. Is this going to be a trend with Mists?

Cory Stockton: Yeah, for sure -- this has been our goal for a long time. We can't promise that we're going to have the exact same amount of content in the exact same amount of time, but it's definitely our intention to deliver patches in a time frame similar to this with a similar or larger amount of content. It just all comes down to each individual patch and the details of what we can do, but it's definitely our goal.

Dave Kosak: We'll alternate between patches that have raid content and patches that don't have raid content as sort of required by what players are doing in the game and try and space it out. But our objective has always been faster content delivery, and we're hoping that players are seeing that we're trying to live up to that.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1 PTR: Grand Commendations Boost Alt Reputation

Patch 51 PTR Grand Commendations Boost Alt Reputation
WoW Insider posted in early October, detailing Blizzard's announcement of the upcoming changes to reputation gain. Blizzard had recognized that the heavy demands placed on players to grind out seemingly endless daily quests to gain reputation with a faction were altogether too onerous, particularly for those with a substantial stable of alts.

Therefore, a system was announced whereby, once one character had attained revered reputation with a faction, every other character on that account would receive doubled reputation gains. Now, wowhead's dataminers have uncovered the method used by Blizzard to implement their new system: Grand Commendations.

These bind on pickup items, such as the Grand Commendation of the Golden Lotus "Unlock 100% bonus reputation gain with the Golden Lotus for all characters on this account". They are available for all the existing Pandaria factions, as well as the new factions appearing in 5.1: Operation: Shieldwall and the Dominance Offensive. There is no pricing data yet, but it seems likely that these will be purchaseable from the faction quartermasters. If you're struggling to locate the faction quartermasters, Matt Rossi wrote a guide detailing their locations.

It will be interesting to see if any such steps are taken retroactively, or whether it is considered unnecessary. Are there any pre-Mists factions for which such a system would be applicable, or even useful?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Reputation in review: The Tillers

Reputation in review The Tillers
I may have taken leave of my sanity. I'm currently in the midst of a massive reputation grind in an effort to get everything to exalted. Part of this is because I like seeing green bars fill up on my screen, but part of it was intense curiosity towards the new daily system. Despite a somewhat compelling story, the daily quests in the Firelands just didn't quite work for me. Partially because the story just didn't seem all that compelling, but mostly due to the fact that the majority of the quests took place in a zone that was red on red.

I hate red zones.

Regardless, as a result of the experience I've seen what these rep grinds look like, and surprisingly, they're all different. You're not going to get the same experience doing each, and the quests aren't really very similar between each, either. Some of the reputation grinds are fantastic, and some ... well let's just say they could use some work. But let's take a look at what was hands-down my favorite rep grind and exactly what made it so fantastic to grind out.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Get your alts' farms started right at 85

Get your alts' farms started right at 85 ANY
Farming isn't just for maximum level characters. In fact, you can start a 4-plot farm up with your 85 toons fairly quickly, which can accelerate the time it takes your main to level cooking with all those vegetables! I'm able to cook 5 batches of feasts -- that's 25 skill points! -- in just 2 harvests with 5 alts working alongside my main.

Your alt will need to run past 85-86 level mobs to get started farming. I'm not sure if you can summon a lower level toon to Pandaria, but Farmer Yoon's quests to start up your farm are level 85 and above, so your toon will need to be at least 85.

First, your alt will have to get to Pandaria through your faction's quest. You'll need to complete the vehicle quest, whether that's shooting Alliance troops from a turret or shooting Horde troops from a helicopter. Then, you should be able to drop to the ground via a rope and continue the rest of the way to Halfhill on mounted foot.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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