Tag Archives: Darkmoon Faire

Darkmoon Faire Once Again Gives Trade Skill Increases

Back during the summer, back when Blizzard was ramping things up for the Battle for Azeroth expansion, some changes landed for trade skills which, in a disturbingly typical lack of foresight, broke a couple of things.

As usual, the desire was to… well… not fix trade skill levels, but to make them less onerous.  So they were changed from one continuous level grind… you have to skill up the original classic and through all the expansion to get to the current trade skill options… to a discreet, expansion based set of skills.  This allowed you to go directly to the BfA harvesting and recipes without all that mucking about in the past.

The cost was, besides the usual amount of confusion, was breaking the ability to get your trade skill backlog filled in when you did a character boost.  I just missed the window before the change so my blood elf got boosted to 110.  I suppose at least I didn’t waste my time getting him to 60 before hand.

The other item was the trade skill boosts from the monthly Darkmoon Faire quests.

Behold, Darkmoon Faire

The problem there was that the quests still told you that you were getting a +5 skill bump for doing the quest there in the rewards, but when you did one and turned it in you found out that was a lie.

Almost six months down the road now, Blizzard has finally gotten around to addressing the Darkmoon Faire quests.  They have been updated so they actually give you a boost to your trade skills again.

An engineering boost

I was worried a bit when I saw that it specifically said “Kul Tiran” with relation to the skills that it might only apply to the current expansion.  However, when I rolled out a low level alt to try it, the quests for them did not specify “Kul Tiran” and when I turned them in they added skill points to their current focus.

Just a normal trade skill boost

That happened to be at the original WoW end of the trade skill spectrum.  My characters tend to be in the current expansion or in the 1-60 content.   Still, I managed to dig through and find somebody with a skill in the middle just to see if the quests correctly reflected all the new trade skill tiers.

An alt back in Draenor for fishing

Of course, this leads to another oddity of the new trade skill system.  That particular alt only had a fishing skill of 293 back under the old reckoning.  However, having built a garrison and fished a bit out in Draenor… fishing no longer being restricted by skill level, you can dip your pole anywhere… he had acquired the Draenor fishing skill, which basically opened up his skill bar all the the way up to that point.

However, under the new system he only has base game fishing, still at 293 and Draenor fishing, which is now at 6.

Fishing levels

I cropped together two screen shots for that, since it only shows the level for each when you mouse over them.  But it illustrates how changing one thing ends leaving ripples in your system if you’re not careful.  Can I get, for example, Northrend fishing with this guy now?  If I go train it, can I level it up?  If I go train Legion fishing, will that now be the target for the quests?  I am not certain.

Anyway, I am at least happy to see that Blizzard got around to restoring the trade skill boost for the Darkmoon Faire quests.  I am not sure that this update is going to get me to jump back in the game full time, but it did get me logged in to visit the faire with a few characters I suppose.  And given where trade skills have gone since Draenor, this is about all the advancement I am getting on that front.  But some advancement is better than none at all I suppose.

Darkmoon Dirigible and Kul Tiras

Going back to look, I think I officially started collecting Darkmoon Faire tokens with the intention of getting the Darkmoon Dirigible back in November of 2017.  I already had a bit of a jump on it, having found a character with a couple hundred prize tickets already in hand.  This was because I have been in the habit of running alts through Darkmoon Faire to boost their trade skills when it is up and I am subscribed.  This is why all my alts can fish, as I explained.

Anyway, with the coming of the Darkmoon Faire earlier this month I finally had 1,000 prize tickets on hand so was able to add the Darkmoon Dirigible mount to my collection.

Flying over Stormwind in the Darkmoon Dirigible

I would have, could have, should have gotten it earlier, except that I took a break from World of Warcraft about when the alpha for Battle for Azeroth was hitting.  I figured it was a good point for a break before the pre-expansion events came along.  I already had the allied races unlocked and what not.

Of course in hindsight I wonder if I should have stayed subscribed and just run the DMF event a few more times, as on my return to Azeroth I found that Blizzard had been messing with trade skills again.  The first thing I found was that you no longer got your trade skills raised when you boosted a level 60+ character, a bit of a blow since I went to boost a character just a week after they made this change.  An opportunity lost.

And then Darkmoon Faire came around in August and I saw that the trade skill quests were no longer giving you the promised +5 boost to your skill when you turned them in.  I figured they would have to fix this sooner rather than later.  This seems like one of those changes in one location that broke something elsewhere.  However, Blizz came back and said that they meant to do this, that those quests would only give you a boost to your level 1-60 trade skills, which seemed rather useless in the new “segmented by expansion” trade skill reality of Battle for Azeroth.

With the trade skill masterplan seeming to be arranged to allow to people by bypass the mostly useless vanilla recipes, why would Blizz then make those the only thing you can boost with the DMF quests?  That seems backwards.  It certainly killed an incentive I had to visit DMF with alt, since they are almost all past 300 at this point.  I already have all the heirloom gear and pets and mounts from the event.

But it feel like Blizz has been struggling with trade skills for a few expansions now.  Warlords of Draenor trivialized them in the extreme, the Legion attempted to revive them by forcing you to do group content to obtain recipes to advance them, and now this with BfA.

And the response to all of this sort of thing, the change to boosts, the change to DMF quests, the ilevel scaling issues, the warfront complaints, has been pretty much summed up as, “we know and we don’t care.”

Not that I think a company has to jump and change things the moment anybody complains.  But when they address something like the fact that leveling up gets harder as your ilevel increases… basically, you are incentivized to not upgrade your gear… by saying they are aware of the issue but they don’t think it is important enough to fix, it does give one pause.

I’m not up in arms ready to rebel against Blizzard, but neither am I feeling the warm fuzzies from them either.  They have an agenda and my own play style just doesn’t fit into that.

Meanwhile, my enthusiasm for adventuring in Kul Tiras seems to have waned.  At one point I was happily logging in every night to take on the next set of quests and see the beautiful world that Blizz had built, and then I stopped logging in.  Syp was attempting to make a virtue out of slowness by announcing that he was going to be the last person to hit level 120 in BfA.  But when he made it there with his first character my main was still 117, only a zone and a half into Kul Tiras.

I am not sure what happened there.  It wasn’t the ilevel thing.  That was easily solved by downgrading my gear.

I know I tend to hit a post-launch point during an expansion cycle where I take a break while Blizz fills out the content of an expansion.  Then, when they finally get around to announcing that flying is possible to unlock, I show back up and carry on with that as my over-arching goal.  But I don’t think I am there yet.

Always another problem to solve… with violence

I also haven’t done any of the dungeons yet.  This is because I have gotten to the point where I don’t want to do them with dungeon finder groups.  Or, rather, that I want to be able to do them with a group at least once that goes through an instance slowly enough for me to absorb what is going on and catch the details.  That is simply impossible with dungeon finder, where every group ends up an exercise in trying to keep up with the tank who is determined to get things done at max speed.  Of course, if the tank dares to slow down somebody in the group will start nagging about the slackening pace, so you can’t really blame the tank.  Players will always optimize over time, and in this case it means going as fast as possible.

I miss the old days of the instance group when we could run an instance at our leisure.

Without dungeons as a draw, it is pretty much just the overland content for me, so if my interest flags there that is pretty much it.

But I have also been distracted by other titles, about which I will write in further posts.  So maybe it is a minor break from the game.  But enthusiasm around the house for WoW has been at low ebb since my daughter returned to school.  We were both big on the expansion when it first hit, but then school started and she has been busy with that.  She is a much better student than I was at that age.

That is where I stand at the moment.  My main is 117 and about halfway through the Kul Tiras campaign.  I have a Horde alt that is hanging out in Zandalar and an Alliance alt that is in Kul Tiras, but both are still 110.  I also managed to push another alt up to level 110 by leveling up battle pets in Draenor.  And then there was the Dakrmoon Dirigible.  Not much progress after a month, but in the scope of a two year expansion cycle, not horrible either.

Why My Alts Can Fish

Okay, a past post may have explained my odd attraction to fishing in MMORPGs.  Or maybe it didn’t.  But if there is fishing in a game, I’ll be there.

On the Shadowmoon Valley shore

But fishing really only needs one character.    I generally pick somebody to be my fisherman and send them out to fish around the world, following whatever plans the game happens to have for the vocation.

Something on the hook

In World of Warcraft though my alts end up fishing as well.

Maybe not all of them.  I draw the line at different servers and there are a couple of low level characters I rolled up for a specific reason that I have since ignored.  But alts I actually play tend to have their fishing skill raised up past 75.

The reason is Darkmoone Faire.

Behold, Darkmoon Faire

Darkmoon Faire rolls around once a month in Azeroth, starting on the first Sunday of each month and running for a week.  And every month it comes by I am there in Elwynn Forest to join in on the fun… or whatever it is that one calls the activities at the faire.

The faire has been around forever, at least in the reckoning of the years of Azeroth.  It used to pop up in different locations and its portal even made appearances outside of Shattrath in Outland, back when people used to be there.  But I was never really much for the faire back then.  It wasn’t until Cataclysm that I started visiting regularly.

It was during that time frame that the faire adopted its more regular monthly schedule, with portals outside of Stormwind and Thunder Bluff, so it was much easier to find.  And, of course, Cataclysm was also a dark time in WoW for the instance group.  We found the expansion unsatisfying and the rework of the old world distressing, so left for other pastures before too long.

Well, most of us did.  I went in on that deal where I subscribed to WoW for a year to get my copy of Diablo III, so I was stuck with paid time on the game (and Blizz wouldn’t even let me turn off auto-renewal despite having paid in advance).

I wasn’t playing a lot during that time, but every month I would roll into Darkmoon Faire with my main and then a growing number of alts.  It started as a way to slowly advance the trade skills I was otherwise not using.  With every fair there is a quest for each profession that you can run once which advances you 5 skill points.  That is not a lot, but it is something… and it is often something that can get you past a dry spot in the profession progress curve.

Of course, fishing is a profession, but I wasn’t all in on that quite yet.

Once I had made the faire a regular stop I started looking at the prize tickets that were piling up.  Each quest gives you a few and you can earn a few more by playing the carnival games.  Soon the prize tickets became as important, then even more important, than the profession skills.

Through the parallel progress of a pile of alts, each earning some tickets with every passing faire, I have been able to accumulate almost all of the heirloom armor available (as well as upgrading all I have from level 60 to 90), all of the pets, and most of the mounts.  I am currently saving up for the Darkmoon dirigible mount, which came in with patch 7.3, and which costs 1,000 prize tickets.  That might take me a while.

Since the acquisition of prize tickets became a goal, I expanded to get fishing going on my alts, since that was one of the professions for which a quest was available.  It did require me to get each alt up past the skill level of 75, into the second tier of the profession, which you have to do to be able to take the quest.  But once there each alt that visits the faire spends a few minutes down at the dock fishing up the required catch to add some additional tickets to their monthly take.

My hunter down at the end of the faire

Of course, the faire has other attractions.  Knowing the faire was coming I saved up some of my WoW Legion faction upgrade tokens.  If you ride the merry-go-round at the fair it boosts experience and faction gains by 10%.

Riding for a faction boost!

That isn’t a huge boost, but when you are sitting on a bunch of tokens it can make a difference.

Anyway, I mention this because Darkmoon Faire is here again this week and I and my alts will be showing up to visit, to boost our professional training a bit, to collect more prize tickets, to do the pet battles, and to fish.

The View from the Last Pre-Draenor Darkmoon Faire

I only just realized last night that it was Darkmoon Faire this week.  I asked my daughter why she did not remind me of this, to which she replied, “That’s not my job.”

Teenagers.

But it is true that I am usually the one reminding people that it is time once again for Darkmoon Faire.

I became quite the fan of Darkmoon Faire at some point around Cataclysm, when the fair settled down to a regular monthly schedule and location and beefed up its offerings.

Looking at Darkmoon Faire

Looking at Darkmoon Faire

Specifically, the profession quests hooked me.  Since the dark days of ennui after the Cataclysm launch, I have pushed a wide selection of my characters through those quests month in and month out.  This actually got me past some of the flat spots in leveling up some of those skills.  You only advance your profession by five points every month, but sometimes that is enough.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have a 600 skill leatherworker today if it were not for Darkmoon Faire.  Oh the pain.

So month in and month out a gaggle of my characters wander through the fair, skilling up their professions just a notch, getting a bit of experience and a wee bit of faction.  My main, Vikund, finally hid exalted with Darkmoon Faire just last month.  Given how long that took, I was a bit disappointed that there was no achievement for it.  Ah well.  And, of course, there are those Darkmoon Faire prize tickets slowly accumulating on all those characters.

But this month… well… October is turning into an odd month.

I’ve gone into something of a cool down in Azeroth, not wanting feel worn out on WoW in any way when the Warlords of Draenor expansion drops.  The instance group is still on its summer hiatus.  I got that last set of mounts I wanted out of The Burning Crusade content.  And I have put my Loremaster achievement ambitions aside in the Blade’s Edge Mountains for now.  But Darkmoon Faire, I could not let that pass.

Because by November I expect the world to be different.  We won’t get the Warlords of Draenor expansion until November 13, but I strongly suspect that we will get the WoW 6.0 patch by the end of this month.  And that patch contains all the underpinnings, all the changes and updates and evolutions, that are required for the expansion.  The great stat squish will be here soon.  Even Darkmoon Fair is getting some changes, though those sound like upgrades, unlike some of the things Blizzard is taking away.

And so I started logging in my list of characters last of night for their regular run through the faire.  I even remembered to buy the flour for the cooking quest with each character before going through the portal.  I have some more to log in before the fair wraps up on Saturday night, which is plenty of time.

After that though, the month will likely remain quiet for me in Azeroth, at least until the big pre-expansion patch drops.  Then it will be time to start figuring out the game yet again as we head towards Draenor.  November looms.

Addendum:  And the pre-expansion patch got a date, October 14.

Here come the changes

Here come the changes

(In contrast to WoW I have been playing a lot more EVE Online this month, and EVE has a “big changes” expansion set to drop in November as well.  That, however, is mostly due to what looks like a last minute hurrah by some of our traditional foes looking to get in some action before Phoebe reduces their ability to roam New Eden at will.  Have you seen how far Nulli Secunda lives from us?)