Friday, 27 September 2013

Welfare Mothers

Welfare Epics 
"Epic quality items in the video game World of Warcraft that are obtained through grinding PVP. These items are generally on par with the highest quality items in the game and can be easily had by anyone with only a minimal investment of time. No skill is required to obtain a Welfare Epic."
Urban Dictionary
As WoW gamers we have all encountered the concept of Welfare Epics and the original source is believed to be from the Blizzard Developers during a Blizzcon 6 or 7 years ago. It is the source of much angst over the years, but oddly the debate has not even fizzled, during the expansion with the most Welfare Epics the game as ever seen. Not only that we have a so called Welfare Legendary.

The idea was that the Legendary item would be available to everybody who put the effort in and would stretch across the entire expansion. To this effect it has achieved what it intended, weapons available to a class or type of class used to throw the game balance out completely. If you can't remember think back to spell casters during Firelands and Rogues during Dragon Soul.

The argument against the MoP implementation was that everybody would have a Legendary, which would make the Legendary, not very Legendary. Did the end of the world happen when 5.4 dropped? no of course not. Does everybody now have a Legendary? I think the answer is quite resounding no. In an attempt to judge the progress of my own guild, I was able to find 11 Legendary cloaks on the top 100 Roster. My guess is that this corresponds exactly with the 10 man raid team plus 1 extra which I think is an alt, meaning 1 person could be bothered to drag an alt through the LFR week after and maintain the Raiding on a main. Hats of to that man.

What about me? I can safely say that I am behind the curve and moving in steadily in the slow lane. I am however pursuing the dream just at my own pace. My progress so far in summary:

  1. Exalted with Wrathion (I mean Honored) how can you play the game and be
  2. 10 Sigils of Power and Wisdom - this was a stumbling block but I completed months ago. It was a pain doing the older LFR's when the world and his wife were in Throne of Thunder. Doing Sigil runs when all the gear drops are vendor trash.
  3. Sha of Fear - this took longer than expected, because every LFG in the second half of Mogushan Vaults was already at least one boss down. When you queue for an hour to be thrown into an ongoing raid the immediate response is not to queue up again for the same thing to happen. Not sure the Gems in the virtual weapons worked too well as an expansion feature.
  4. Revered with the Black Prince -  yes next
  5. 3000 Valor - This proved to arduous because of the timing was a few weeks before patch 5.4 dropped and I was focused on Levelling alts.
  6. Warlord Bloodhilt and PvP- This leads my current status.
The choice was Horde commander or PvP? Lets do Horde commander and then get some new PvP gear and knock out a couple of wins.

On my previous visits the Kor'kron cannons could not hit a cows arse with a banjo. Now they require dismounting ASAP and moving from the land site. Storm your way to the fortress and kill Bloodhilt, yeah no problem.

Action stations, pet runs in dies very quickly and Bloodhilt strangles me one handed with both feet off the ground. That is not quite right, lets visit Wowhead.

"If you attempt to kill this guy and your group is wiping DO NOT run away. He will haunt you for life."

Group what the hell are they talking about?

"Since his health has been significantly nurfed I was able to solo this on my 510 Survival hunter."

Phew, that sounds better, he can be soloed. Instructions that followed are a page long. Ok this might be a bit harder than expected.

"Send your pet to the boss and stack up really close.
If you stand far away the boss does an ability called Chock em' Out which will kill you."

Ok, stand in melee range, thank god minimum range is not an issue any more.

"Had a 351k turtle with me (ilvl 514 BM), Glyph of Mending, Animal Bond (not really needed) and Spirit Bond kept him alive for the whole fight, so there's no need for Exhilaration or Merc Contracts. :P."

Pet seems to need a bit more protection than Tenacity Pet alone was providing. I decided that it was time to make a BM pet Tanking spec with my old PvP second spec.

Out went Aspect of the Iron Hawk and in came Spirit Bond. Dps loss for pet and hunter survivability.

"While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 3% of total health every 2 sec."

Nice 3% not to be sniffed at. What about Glyphs? Animal Bond and Mending. Ok good to go.

The new Tanking Spec worked a treat. Not really a scratch. Which considering the 3 previous attempts had been abysmal failures. Some times this game is about planning and less about skill. The fight can go on for 10 or 15 minutes, at the end if I am still alive then I have won.

Now I need to test my Pet tanking spec on the extra boss in the Jade Temple, it is a tough to solo that guy as well. Some of these Blizzard tricks require you to complete on the first few days of the release, otherwise you are left to solo group content.

Welfare Legendary, is not something I hear being mentioned these days. I think most people have had to work hard or endure some rough nights to get them.


  1. I've always hated the term welfare epic and hate welfare legendary even more. People, even urban dictionary, apparently have no clue what welfare means.

    If I log in and there are epics in my mailbox, they are welfare. If I need to do something for them, they are not.

    Maybe, just maybe, I can get behind the idea of PvP epics being welfare, because you do not even need to win to get them. You get honor even when you lose and that is about as close to doing nothing as you can get in game.

    When people called valor gear welfare it always annoyed me. It takes 2+ week of grinding valor, maybe dealing with horrible groups in randoms, all to get one piece of gear. If that is not hard work, I don't know what is. Having a piece drop off a mob I was planning on killing anyway, now that is closer to the definition of welfare. Getting something for nothing being I was killing him anyway. Yet it is the raider that usually calls other things welfare gear, kind of odd when you consider raiding gear is as close to welfare as PvE gear gets.

    Anyone that calls the legendary a welfare legendary needs to be taken out back and shot to death, they need to be removed from the gene pool. They should never be allowed to reproduce.

    Okay, a little to harsh maybe, but welfare my ass, that legendary is a lot of work, and waiting, and grinding, and luck with drops and when you get it take pride in the fact that you earned it. Earning something is the complete and total opposite of welfare.

    The jade serpent extra boss might give you fits with your gear. It does a fair deal of damage, bring a friend or two, or at least one to heal your pet and you should be fine. I did it yesterday and destroyed it, but I have a 543 item level. It was brute force for me.

    1. I am curious if you think the Wrathion quest line was good or bad?

      Personally I dislike being forced to PvP for a PvE item. I don't mind PvP but it is nearly 2 years since I did a battleground. I am just going to be cannon fodder. Which is no fun for me and less fun my team mates.

    2. I thought the legendary line was good. It required consistent playing to reward those that stayed active and for the most part kept you busy. Remember, it used to be 7K valor for that one part, not 3K like now. So it took a long time.

      That 7 week valor collecting, and horrible drop rates that saw me get 27 power before I had 10 wisdom and not get one runestone for 6 weeks in a row before they changed it that you will get at least one a week, meant I was basically working on my legendary from day 1 of release when I hit 90 to day one of 5.4 release when I bested the celestials in battle.

      It took nearly 1 full year of constant play, so hell yes, it was an active quest line that made someone earn their legendary.

      I disliked the PvP aspect of it of course as I too am not a PvPer but outside of that it was not bad otherwise even with the 7 week collection wait and the horrible drop rates.

      They made many changes to allow people to catch up, increased drop rates, no longer being able to get over 10 of a sigil as it will not give you the other, only 3K valor needed, etc, but it still is a long journey for someone that starts now.

      Do I dislike that someone else gets the "easy" trip compared to what I did? Maybe a little, but they still have to earn it, if anything being so far behind, the pressure is on them a lot more than it was ever on me as I was doing it as it came out and was always ahead of the curve, so to speak.

      I would not mind seeing a quest line of this magnitude in every expansion, not at all.

      And like I said, with all that work, never let anyone call it a welfare legendary. Even if you did all your gathering in LFR, you still worked your ass off for it.

  2. I'd be willing to concede that the i496 tokens from the Island are actually welfare epics... open a few chests and you'll have epics. Those are kind of the definition. Still, I think that term was coined back when epics were very rare, even for raiders. These days, all epics are welfare in comparison, just not based on the current paradigm. You know exactly what it takes to earn an epic, if you do it and get one, it's not welfare.

    Regarding the legendary, I did the Rogue legendary in Cat and to me, the cloak process has been, if anything, more involved. I quite enjoyed the Rogue questline, especially the challenge sections, and the cloak had similar challenges involved. Both also included collections over multiple weeks, the cloak just had more of them and took longer. Back in the old days getting a legendary required a lucky drop and a lucky roll. How is that in any way a legendary process? The process from Wrath to now is actually pretty similar... I don't think the cloak is any less legendary than anything else that's come before it.

    What extra boss are you guys talking about? I have the cloak and I don't recall a Jade Serpent extra boss... may have just forgotten, though.

    1. R, the Jade Temple boss is for the Noodle Cart. I missed the boat on this and everybody has already gone off and beat this boss in the first 2 days. Now it is down to solo or maybe one extra person unless you bring friends with you.

      I seem to remember that he drops aggro and goes for anybody he feels like destroying.

    2. @R

      I can agree with the 496 things but I don't consider them current level gear so even if they are purple they are not epics, in my mind at least. Epics in my mind start at current normal mode item level. So 553 is an epic item right at this moment in game, anything else is a catch up mechanic. Just my opinion of course.

      And we are talking about the noodle cart boss. After you beat the sha at the end you fight another boss after.


      Didn't even notice the random aggro thing. I thought I just accidentally pulled aggro off my pet and hit feign death when he attacked me. I will say he hits freaking hard, even at well over 500K life he almost took me out. I took the first few hits being he was almost dead and I figured I would just finish him and saw my life drop like a rock before I feigned.

    3. Oh, didn't realize you'd moved off the legendary questline at that point. Is it possible to get that extra boss on normal? I have that noodle cart starter quest on a few toons but I haven't gotten around to it yet, since it sounded like I only had to kill the end boss I figured I'd just solo the place on normal to get him down... wasn't aware of anything after that.

      Eh, don't answer that, I don't like spoilers. I'll give it a shot as planned and will see where it goes.

      @Grumpy, as for the faster legendary progression at this point, I'm all for it... Ordos kills have already slowed down significantly on my active server and I have a lot of toons that I'd like to run through him every week. The more people doing that fight on a weekly basis, the better. When other people getting legendaries makes my life easier, bring 'em on!

    4. Yes, you can get him on normal. He is the same normal or heroic however.