Daily Archives: July 30, 2020

A Princess of Maraudon

Last time around we jumped into Maraudon without much forethought, choosing to take the experience in as fresh a way as we could.  That led to us taking a somewhat less than optimal route, as we had to double back after clearing the purple side to get a critical question from the orange side.

(Note to self: You can’t be OP is you don’t do orange before purple.)

For our follow up trip we were going to be more direct.  Our group for the run was:

  • Moronae – level 51 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 51 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 51 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 50 gnome mage

We had a distinct series of tasks to accomplish, which started with some quest turn-ins on our way there.  We met up in Theramore to turn in a quest, then flew out to Nijel’s Point in Desolace and got another turn-in done along the way to the instance.  Then it was through the big doors to get started.

In we go

The next item on our list was Magra, the Third Khan, who held the final jewel we needed for another quest.  That meant going down the orange side of the entry area, as he hangs out in a side tunnel, up some stairs from the instance line over there.

Orange, this way…

It took a bit to find him.  The color/texture/lighting inside that area really messes with my ability to resolve the 2D image into a 3D environment in places, so we ended up taking a rather round about way to him because I was sure the direct route was a dead end.  Instead, it was just a sharp turn in the cave, which I discovered when we came back that way.  But we got him.

Then it was over to the purple side of things again, where we fought our way through to Lord Vyletongue.  He was all we really needed from the purple side.

This time around we pulled the guards outside of his lair first, then took him and the interior pair second, making the fight much more manageable.  He had the second item for the Celebras quest.  After that we just needed to get back to him.  The purple side of the instance does allow you to bypass some mobs, though we did have a mishap with the toxic bubbles.  After last week we knew to kite them as their AOE attack was hard on the melee.  Ula, who was trying to get in one last spell before pulling back sat too long in range and ended up being our first casualty of the run.

Mage down! Mage down!

It was about time to redo buffs anyway, so we rested a bit, then moved on.  Along the way we did get one of the better named drops of the run.

Imposing!

They came off a treant, so I guess he had a monkey living in his branches at some point.

Once out of the purple side and into the center of the instance, we found we could bypass quite a bit of the trash by jumping off into the brackish water and slaying the few mobs that wandered there.  We didn’t need any more drops of quest updates.

That brought us to Celebras again.  We fought him and his mininions and bested them, and this time Celebras had a quest turn-in for us and offered to teach us about the stone of something or other.

Celebras the instructor

That was a bit more of listen, turn-in, listen, watch, and so on.  We got out of sync, but once somebody is finished Celebras is willing to run the whole routine again for anybody who was left out.

Celebras and Ula

So we ended up with the Scepter of Celebras, which those of us who were just clicking through and not reading the quest text then asked, “So what? What  does it do? Can we use it right now?”

I had to go look it up, being one of those who clicked through without reading.  The scepter lets you skip the whole orange/purple parts of the instance and start at the stone, so you can farm the inner instance.  But we were not even sure what the inner instance was about, so we wandered off to see what we could find.

As with the the earlier parts, we found we could bypass quite a few mobs along the way.  We killed what we needed to, bypassed any mobs off the path, and made our way along.  Landslide, the primordial behemoth boss, dropped a helm upgrade for me.

Defense and Nature Resist

I also got a cloak upgrade that also had a nature resist stat, that being the theme of Maraudon gear I guess.

From there we fought our way down to Princess Theradras.  I actually didn’t take very may screen shots on this run.  I find that being the tank keeps me busy and I forget to take screen shots all the time.  But there was a nice vantage of the path leading down to the princess, with the behemoths in pairs spaced out along the route that I wish I had stopped to take a picture of.

But we made it down there to the island where Princess Theradras roams.

Princess Theradras is about

And we sat for a bit and discussed how we sort of remembered this fight and maybe some failed strategies and something about line of sight and being in the water and some other possibilities.  In the end I just looked it up.  I had been up past 3am the night before playing EVE Online and only got about 4 hours of sleep because I am old and seemingly incapable of staying asleep past 7am, so I wanted to get this done on the first try.

The basic info was she hits hard, so the tank needs to endure, and if she runs off after any of the casters the tank needs to grab her quick because she’ll smoosh the clothies.

In the end, we got her in one run.  It went about as described, though I think the fact that, by the time we got to her, we were all level 51 (and I had just hit 52) gave us enough of a buffer to endure any rogue attacks.  She dropped a nice caster item.  We gathered up and took the traditional screen shot.

Down with the princess!

I didn’t tweak the saturation or anything on that screen shot, it is just bright green around there.

After that I was feeling done, but we needed to leave and couldn’t remember if there was an exit path out of the instance or if we had to stone out.  I thought there might be something down in the water below the path to the princess, so we jumped off to check.  While we were there we took down Rotgrip.

Rotgrip under water

That was worth the effort as Moronae ended up with a nice set of boots out of it.

with nature resist

We explored a bit more… there is a whole cave area down behind where Rotgrip lurks… but did not find any likely exits, so decided to just stone back to Ironforge.

Recall in the water

After that I called it a day.  We still had a couple of quests to turn in.  One was back in Desolace, which promised to reward me with a best in slot item for tanks, the Mark of the Chosen.  The other was in Moonglade, which Moronae could just teleport to in order to turn it in.  The rest of us were going to have to get there the hard way.  But for 6,100 xp and a gold and a half I’ll make the run.

We missed at least one boss on our runs, and probably a few more things, but Maraudon isn’t anybody in the group’s special favorite instance, so we may be done there.

That makes the next instance on the list Sunken Temple.  But before we venture into there we need to get our level 50 class quests ready, as they all seem to require something from that instance to complete.

Addendum: Our history in Maraudon

SuperData Research Says Gaming was Still Going Strong in June

SuperData Research has released their digital revenue rankings chart for June 2020.  Digital revenue remains strong in the video game market according to the lead item, though PC and consoles were down a bit from March.

  • Digital games generated $10.46B in revenue in June 2020, the second-highest total ever after April 2020’s $10.54B sum. Overall earnings were up 3% from May ($10.2B) and 9% over June 2019 ($9.6B). Both PC and console revenue were down from their 2020 peaks set in March. This was offset by growth in mobile revenue, which hit an all-time high. Mobile game spending typically sees a boost in the summer months, and this seasonal growth was likely further bolstered by the limited availability of other entertainment options due to COVID-19.

The chart itself shows the top ten in each segment they cover.

SuperData Research Top 10 – June 2020

On the PC side of the chart, the usual top four continue to dominate the list, though Dungeon Fighter Online and League of Legends swapped places.

Roblox, which climbed onto the list in April held on to the fifth spot, which it had taken last month.

In sixth place we have Valorant, the new shooter from Riot.  My daughter plays it and describes it as a mash up of CS:GO and Overwatch, though she was yelling at her screen so much I initially thought she must be playing golf.  But I guess it does have the word “rant” in the title.  SuperData called out the game specifically in their notes:

  • Valorant from Riot Games had the biggest launch ever for a free-to-play PC title. The game’s revenue and player numbers put it ahead of what the PC version of Apex Legends achieved in February 2019. Apex Legends did, however, earn more overall at launch due to its console version. Valorant also made more than its closest competitor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in June despite the Valve title having a slightly larger audience. CS:GO user numbers and revenue were also down for the second straight month in June, indicating Valorant is siphoning away players.

This gives Riot two games on the PC list, and might explain why LoL slipped into second place I suppose.

After that we have Fortnite, which is seeing a bit of a resurgence with their new party game mode, World of Warcraft, CS:GO, and The Sims 4World of Tanks, a generally solid entry on the list, fell off for June.

On the console list, The Last of Us II, a PlayStation exclusive, jumped to the top.

  • The Last of Us Part 2 sold 2.8M digital units in June, easily setting the record for exclusive PlayStation launches. The long-awaited sequel surpassed Marvel’s Spider-Man and Final Fantasy VII Remake, which each sold 2.2M digital units in their respective release months. However, sales of TLOU2 are likely to be frontloaded as more than two-thirds of first-month digital sales were preorders, a high share even for a AAA title.

After that is FIFA 20 and then Pokemon Sword & Shield, which launched a paid DLC update that boosted revenue.

  • The Isle of Armor expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield was responsible for the title’s highest monthly digital earnings since launch. The earnings far exceed the highest month of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate additional content revenue. This is the first time a traditional Pokémon game has featured premium additional content, and this new strategy has paid off.

Nintendo also has Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Animal Crossings: New Horizons on the list.  That is unusual for the company and shows them transitioning from their strong retail presence of the past to a bigger digital footprint, no doubt spurred by the pandemic.

In fourth place was GTA V, which SuperData had some concerns about.

  • Grand Theft Auto V revenue on console fell 33% in June, indicating a lack of major updates may be offsetting increased engagement from COVID-19 lockdowns. The last named update to the game, The Diamond Casino Heist, released in December 2019. During that time, spending did rise temporarily in April and May, possibly due to COVID-19 lockdowns, before falling in June. The PC version is on a different performance trajectory and continued to benefit from a free Epic Games Store giveaway in May.

After that comes Fortnite, again doing well, and Destiny 2, which jumped onto the list in sixth place as it too had something new to offer:

  • Destiny 2 revenue and player numbers rose substantially as a result of a new season and announced expansion packs. Preorders for the Beyond Light expansion, currently slated to launch in November, and spending coinciding with a new season of content caused monthly earnings to rise 221% in June to reach the highest level since October 2019. Player numbers also jumped 45% to a record total for the game. The current and announced updates to the game were especially appealing to lapsed players, and millions of users who had previously quit the game returned in June.

On the mobile end of the chart, where all the money is I guess, Peacekeeper Elite, the Chinese market mobile version of PUBG, remained at the top of the list, followed by the previous reigning champ, Honour of KingsPUBG Mobile West also made the list, grabbing the tenth position.  In between Pokemon Go held onto fourth position while Candy Crush Saga dropped down to the ninth spot.

And then for comparison, NPD is back in the saddle still and has their own June numbers chart up.  As always, NPD numbers are US only, combine PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales (where noted).

  1. The Last of Us: Part II
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Red Dead Redemption II
  7. Ring Fit Adventure
  8. NBA 2K20
  9. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  10. Minecraft Dungeons*

*Digital sales on Nintendo eShop not included

That is a very different list in some ways.  Yes, TLOU2 is at the top, because consoles are still the most retail oriented of the platforms and everything on the list is on consoles.  But Pokemon Sword & Shield is nowhere to be seen because the DLC is digital only.  Instead, the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure for the Switch, which has a controller with it, makes the cut, as does Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, an older title, showing that Nintendo still has a foot in the retail space.  ACNH making both the SuperData’s digital list and NPD’s retail only list shows how strong it remains.