Monday, 7 October 2013

Werewolves Of London

Most of the time I am in full agreement with the Godmother, she tends to talk a great deal of sense, but I must disagree in the strongest terms about her comments regarding the noodle cart. It might just be one throw away comment in a deluge of other far more important comments about the future of professions, but that is often the way. Taking you back in time to September, the Godmother said:

"Immersing yourself in the business of any profession currently (with the possible exception of Cookery) is anything but entertaining. Blizzard have shown with Noodle Carts there are ways to make things more interesting and engaging, but that's only one small part of a very large problem."

Seems relatively innocuous, but in my opinion Cookery is the most overblown profession of them all, and the Noodle Cart is the pinnacle of this flamboyance. Cookery as definitely had it's own problems during the lifetime of WoW, a secondary profession which gave a small stat increase for a few minutes. That is now a 60 minute significant stat increase which are made for sharing in the form of a feast or banquet. The major issue was the reliance at certain points in the progression on fishing, which at the time was of minority interest.
The annoyance with the system is that aside from having to reach 600, there are 5 specialisms to learn in the form of the "Way of" system. This additional chore seems to offer no additional bonus whether you learn one or all five. As usual because it is there you invariably do all of them, seeing those orange recipes winking at you and five separate blue bars that needs filling.

The Noodle Cart comes with its own quest chain including 2 dungeons and a scenario. The first dungeon trip is to the Jade Temple and requires killing the Sha of Doubt and then an additional boss. The Sha is easy enough to solo on normal but the Ghost Lin Da-Gu is a right pain in the arse and I needed to draft in a friend to Tank. I disliked the need to seek assistance to complete a quest for a profession. The second Dungeon trip is to the Stormstout Brewery to obtain 20 Sloshes of Brew. This requires defeating the two bosses and 20 alementals, this was actually remarkably easy to solo.

Unfortunately this pales into insignificance compared to the scenario, "The Secret Ingredient Is...". This kind of dexterity, reflex and planning coupled with a flaky interface that would not interact with the environment on the first 3 attempts. I hate it with a passion and when I have spent a considerable amount of effort to get there I do not want this kind of obstacle put in my way.

The meta game  reminds me of the old Triage quest for Doctor Gustaf VanHowzen in Theramore. In vanilla days Blizzard liked to put a roadblock in the professions at 225, in particular the First Aid and Fishing quests were agonizingly bad but for completely different reasons. The Triage involved the following:


Good day, doctor. You will be tested on your ability to triage patients accordingly this afternoon. Should you pass your examination, you will join the prestigious ranks of Alliance Trauma.

Now pay attention! The critically injured must be tended to first. After the criticals come the badly injured. The injured should be tended to last. You must save 15 patients to pass this exam. You will fail should 6 of your patients die in triage.

Good luck, doctor.

This was a running around clickfest, and to think I did this quest on 10 characters. I hated it with a passion and only once or twice managed to do it successfully on my own. It was possible to cheat the system by pairing up with some and doing the quest at the same time. The reason why people came up with up with this scheme is a sad indictment of the quality of the quest.

Unfortunately the scenario leaves no room for cheating and sadly it remain incomplete in my quest list.

I am now reviewing the issue of the Noodle Cart and whether I really need it. I can make the first 2 and have hundreds of banquets already across all my characters. I even manged to use a Noodle Cart in the flex raid, and felt a right doofus dancing and trying to attract the attention of the Raid team.

All this for a lame reference to Kung Fu Panda. I really hope this is not the future of professions.


  1. I loved that quest and it is still in the game, I did it a couple of weeks ago while leveling a new character through there.

    I would take the bandage they give you and put it in the 1 spot then I would fine the perfect spot dead center of the room where there was only one bed you could not reach and I would hover over all the others and click on them and hit 1 and let it go.

    I loved that quest because it was quick and easy experience.

    But no matter how much I loved it or you hated it, content like that does not really spice up professions.

    While I am right in the godmothers camp and have been complaining beside her that something needs to be done with professions I do not believe that cooking like this is the answer. I think they are going to try and go more along that line. I hope they do not.

    There is nothing fun or exciting about professions, never has been and never will be. But please never let them make more crap like the carts. Please please please.

    I need to make countless numbers of food that each requires me to have countless other numbers of food that took me even more, and different countless numbers of food to even be able to make this to make that. You get the idea, it turns out that to make one cart you will end up needing to level up a few dozen things with a few thousand foods. Although I already did it and I am a pack rat so I had all the mats to make all stages of the cart, what the hell is what they design.

    That feels so much more vanilla. And while I like the idea, for such a minimal boost it just does not see worth it. I have my own 300 food, stacks and stacks of it. Any decent raider already does.

    If blizzard wanted to make the food cart more than just some novelty item and something worth the time and effort it should have given 1000 of a stat, not 300.

    Sorry, ranted a little there, did not meant to.

    For yourself, just make your 300 food. It is easier and less expensive. maybe, just maybe, in a 25 man the food car might be worth it, otherwise it is a waste.

    BTW, look up the scenario on wowhead, that is what I did. It tells you the three types of people and what each three types like. I kept forgetting and looking back so I just decided to start making and throwing food at everyone no matter what it was and it worked.

  2. Yeah, I actually have fond memories of that quest as well (only memories at this point since I stopped actually picking up First Aid on toons years ago). I've always enjoyed little skill checks here and there...

    My issue with cooking is basically the same issue I have with every damned profession in the game - very poor cost/benefit, it's just a bit more pronounced with cooking vs the primary professions.

    My typical caster toon at this point has 30-40K Int... the BEST food available gives me 300 Int. That's a 1% increase in Int which will translate to something close to but likely less than 1% dps in actual gameplay (most spells don't scale 1:1 with SP).

    1%. That's best case, with 300 stat food. 200K dps becomes 202K. You probably wouldn't even notice the difference unless you were pushing for world first performances.

    Considering the cost (they aren't free), hassle (they aren't easy) and leveling requirements (they're ridiculous) just to get to the point of being able to make them, a temporary 1% boost just isn't worth it.

    I stocked up on feasts early in the expansion when many folks were leveling cooking, they were selling on the AH for 10% of the mat prices going into them. I was buying them more out of pity than anything, the thought of people paying listing fees and not having them sell was probematic and I was able to help out. I still have a lot of them but I gave a bunch away to raiding guilds to help them out... that isn't the sign of a healthy profession.

    Considering all these factors, I'd want cooking to result in a SIGNIFICANT increase in power. 5%, 10%, whatever. Why does food give less benefit than a druid hitting their MotW button considering the extra effort involved?

    I can extend this out to the other professions, too... crafting professions give an average benefit of 320 primary stats, almost exactly the same as cooking. A 1% power increase, and one that decreases in importance as time goes on, it doesn't even scale up.

    With cooking, though, it's a consumable... you're paying that price every time you drop a feast. At least the two extra gem sockets for Blacksmiths only have to be filled when new gear is acquired (or for the min/maxers, when they decide to re-gem). LWers, tailors, scribes and enchanters only ever have to add their bonuses when they get new gear and their perks are heavily discounted vs what everyone else pays for their lesser equivalents. That doesn't make them any more USEFUL (still 1%) but at least it's a bit less painful and very infrequent.

    Cooking only ever costs you, repeatedly, every time you wipe (or every time someone dies, in some of my groups, people stopped carrying personal food ages ago).

    And the difference between 275 and 300 food? 25, or about 0.1%. The difference between 200K and 200.2K dps. About the same as being half a GCD late on a cast, once, for your nuke. Stick to 250 or 275 food if you do feel obligated to use it, it's close enough, and sell the 300 food to the folks who can't do math. Or just skip cooking entirely.

    (I'm glossing over the "food exists and is of greater than zero benefit so therefore it must be used" argument that I know exists, I'd just like to see that mindset go away and never come back)

  3. " I hate it with a passion and when I have spent a considerable amount of effort to get there I do not want this kind of obstacle put in my way."

    QQ. I'm afraid you'll just have to improve. I think if you'd practiced Dr. VanHowzen's quest a little more, you might not be having your current problems :-) Dig deep, and try, try again.

    Interestingly, VanHowzen came to my mind when I was thinking about another QQ: "heroes" whining about how hard the Cataclysm instances were when they first came out. VanHowzen came up with a brilliant idea for making things easier for the poor dears. Blizzard, however, nerfed the instances before he could put his plan into action. Now, of course, he is dead - along with the rest of the inhabitants of Theramore.

    1. "Well, what to make of this! It is an answer to the problem of wiping, that much is certain. For those people who hate adventuring, surely this is a great solution. Perhaps even better though, why wouldn't the powers that be just hand over the "phat lewtz" without making them go to the trouble of running the instances? The broken "I win" button must be fixed!"

      It looks like Blizzard finely fixed this problem with the Timeless Isle, phat lewtz without the effort.

      I could simply waste time throwing bowls of noodles at everyone, but the worst part of it all was the unresponsive UI. Activate person click on table - nothing happens. Activate person - click on table person sits down. Next person will not activate at all, not at the front of the queue. Yes but I have clicked on all 5 people, somebody must be at the front of the queue.

      Bob quits in disgust.

    2. Yeah, Loot Island! And Blizzard have said that they intend this to be the model for future expansions, according to Azuriel. I suppose it's better than the old "dailies" model.

      As for the noodle cart, quite a good solution is to ignore it entirely, and just make +300 food that suits you personally. every raider can then supply himself with food. The worry is that eventually +350 or +400 food might rely on/build on having a noodle cart. But I doubt that.