So, let’s talk about the Barrens.
My few weeks back in Vanilla left me with two rather uncomfortable memories: being dumb enough to roll on a PvP realm and also being dumb enough to read Barrens chat, which was the Trade of its day. Fortunately, I’ve since gotten smarter and am on an RP realm in addition to turning off all the channels ever! So all I really see there nowadays is the yelling of countless Kor’kron commanders and the problems endless Kor’kron caravans are having with that whole staying upright in the face of gravity thing.
There are many ways you can acquire the supplies (wood, oil, meat and stone) you need for the weekly quest/awesome stuff, but there’s pretty much only one way that’s efficient – killing commanders. Killing regular mobs gets you too few items to be worth the effort considering the damage they do, even if you ignore the fact that you need 150 of each to turn in the quest! While overturned caravans provide easy looting of said supplies, the map doesn’t update nearly fast enough to make them useful to you whatsoever. You might accidentally be near one when the map decides to show you where it is, but if you’re not? Blah! It’s pointless to go look through the entire zone. You have a better chance of getting to a commander and trying to help kill it than you do at locating an overturned caravan and looting something from it before Everybody Else does.
You can escort caravans for your faction as well, but there’s one problem – they spawn randomly and in areas that are not always indicated on the map by text or icon, so have fun finding them. Actually, there are two problems, now that I think about it – the opposite faction can destroy your caravan. NO THANKS, I NEED LESS FUTILITY IN MY LIFE.
So far, I’ve managed to get Thermalix, Alexalis, Mechalis and Niremere through the requirements for the event title, which includes one run of the weekly quest. I’ve definitely had the most trouble with Alexalis and Niremere.
Alexa’s problems were almost entirely gear-related – being melee is dangerous since the commanders throw out a lot of damage in their immediate vicinity (especially if everybody misses the interrupts), and the poor girl just kept getting smashed to bits. Nir, however, had to deal with both low gear AND the threat of getting smashed to bits by the far more numerous Horde. Blah.
My main issue with the “killing commanders” method of gathering is just how easy it is to get flagged by accident, even though WRA is an RP realm. I’m normally quite careful never to flag myself, as I’m pretty convinced “stranger danger” is totally real when it comes to getting shanked in the back by the opposing faction. Unfortunately, if some Horde/Alliance happens to be flagged and uses an AoE that I just HAPPEN to get hit by, that’s it, I’m flagged. If I use an AoE that hits a flagged member of the opposing faction, welp, that’s that.
On most of my characters, I’m pretty competent with single-target attacks and so I’m able to at least avoid flagging myself THAT way. But poor Nir, poor Nir. Since she’s a Protection Paladin, my normal mode of operation is GO AND SMASH ALL THE THINGS AND GET ALL THE AGGRO AOE AVENGER’S SHIELD AOE CONSECRATION SMASH HAMMER OF THE RIGHTEOUS SMASH SMASH RAAAR. This is bad in the Barrens. Unfortunately, if I change her spec to Retribution (where I am slightly better at attacking with single-target skills but where I am far less capable of good DPS overall), I leave her extremely vulnerable when she does get flagged. I know, I do better DPS as Protection, WTF.
Thanks to the PvP changes that have taken place (THANK GAWD, I DON’T JUST FALL OVER DEAD and THIS IS AMAZING), getting flagged isn’t ALWAYS an immediate disaster. Since I’m not terribad at hunter, Therm can actually defend herself now, which is AMAZING. (Did I mention how it’s AMAZING? Because it is.) Mech is fine if she gets flagged. She’ll Asphyxiate you, get you all good and infected and then Death Strike to survive until somebody else comes along to help. Alexa never had flagging issues because she was just dead already nine times out of ten. But Nir? I just can’t do Ret to save my life. Last time she got hit by some Tauren DK’s AoE and got flagged, I gave up, stood there and waited to die (which didn’t take long, thanks to bad gear and lots of Horde). I didn’t even bother to bubble/hearth. It was like, “GET IT OVER WITH, GAWD, SO I CAN RUN BACK AND LOOT THIS THING.”
Anyhoo, Thermalix managed to loot the Latent Kor’kron Helm and Boots, while Cal donated two shoulder tokens to her. I was about to squee for IMPROVEMENTS YAY, until I learned that they turn into 489 gear. Therm’s shoulders, bought after I devoted far too much blood, sweat and tears to the sadistic pandas known as the Golden Lotus, are already 489. Her helm is 502. Her boots are 502 (twice over now, thanks to Tortos).
She did waste one shoulder token because she wanted to know what it looked like, but she sent the rest to Mech and Alexa.
There is ONE THING that I really want to happen in the Barrens RIGHT NOW. MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR MULTIPLE PEOPLE TO LOOT THE COMMANDERS AT ONCE. GAWD!