Analysis on: Zandalari Warbringers and Griefing

Good day readers,

Patch 5.2 is what I would like to call the Stressful Patch. Warlocks are stressing about finding non-existant tomes for a try at the green fire quest-line (I wish you luck not in finding the tome but actually doing the fight).

There’s stress regarding Oondasta, idiots who keep him in combat long enough so the opposite faction’s pull does not reset, and the fact that one single guild in the opposite faction in our server controls everything anyways so it wasn’t really a surprise that they’d get the first, and all subsequent kills for the next 9 months. I’ll just do Oondasta when he’s not current. Just like how they kept Galleon on perma-lockdown until probably last week.

But no, this post is in regards to the new “rares” called Zandalari Warbringers and my moderate commentary regarding their design.

I shall also do up this post in the report format in which I was trained in. For accounting.

Introduction

Patch 5.2 introduced Direhorn Mounts to the populace, in the form of a rare-ish drop off new world-rare-elite mobs called Zandalari Warbringers. This short post will review their design and gameplay implications regarding their status as rares, griefing and tagging, and potentially recommend a new design for them.

Zandalari Warbringers

Now let’s face it, a dinosaur mount is just cool. Direhorn mounts look like triceratops, and are dropped of new rares called Zandalari Warbringers. These warbringers spawn in each zone except for the Vale and the Valley, usually near a cliff/water.

The warbringers have a small chance at dropping a Direhorn mount of the same color that they are riding. They also drop reputation tokens and material bags, which are moot since those are useless nowadys. We’re only interested in the mounts. The warbringers appear to have a 30-60 minute respawn timer and have just over 21 million hitpoints. They do require a tank/heal/dps or if you re a blood DK or a hunter who is really comfortable in kiting.

Issues

My first issue with these mobs is not even the griefing and tag-stealing. It’s their status as a “rare”. Also, their status as one of the very first non-actually-rare mobs which drop a mount. Let’s think back to what are the only mobs out in the wild who drops mounts? Aeonnax, and Time Lost Proto Drake right?

Those two are special and have their own “time lost” category. They have erratic spawn points, and spawn so infrequently that only the most devout will be willing to camp them out.

The issue with warbringers is that their spawns are completely predictable/campable, which then demotes their mounts to a status of “not that prestigious”. However, the drop rate is still so low that you may kill ten and still not get a mount.

See where the issue is “mounting” now (yay puns). Not only are they not actually prestigious, but they are also so high in demand that these direhorn mounts are momentarily perceived as “rare”. Even if you find one, you may not be guaranteed a mount, which there are three different variations of. This sets off a cycle of continuous hunting and competing.

Next issue is the general gameplay competition you see. You could be waiting for 30 minutes but you are slow, another group can just swoop in and tag the mob once it spawns. This is ineviable. We did it to a group yesterday and another group did it to us.

Another issue is purposely despawning the mob and trying to steal it on reset. Hunters can powershot warbringers off a cliff, or an entire group can taunt-kite the mob so far away that it resets. This is a total dick move.

Alternatives

There are a few alternatives to alleviate the aggravation of these mount-dropping-not-actually-rare assholes. First is to make them untauntable except for within the group that has the tag. This is a simple which prevents seven paladins taunting your mob out into the sea. I do not see a downfall to this other than it can’t be taunted externally.

A second option would be to make these rares share the same tagging mechanics as the rares on the Isle of Thunder. Blizzard did good on making them tag-to-EVERYONE. There’s no stress, just find the mob and get to it and you have your independent loot. What you can do with the warbringers is make them tag-to-faction, just to have a little bit of competition. My reasoning is, if our little group of 3 can take down a warbringer, why would we want to help out fellow hordies and diminish our SMALL chance at the mount? Selfishness justified. We killed five with no mount, why would we want to kill more and then extend the roll on the mount to even more people?

A third option to everyone is to wait it out for a year. In a year no one will be hunting these mounts, so setup a small fun guild expedition to hunt dinosaurs. This is the single positive point that I have managed to salvage from these rares. An event for the FUTURE. It’s a conspiracy to get us playing into the future.

Recommendation

I recommend switching these mobs to be untauntable AND tap-to-faction. WoW has done such a good job in mitigating threats in regards to rares, and this stems from helping out hunters and their rare pets.

Let’s take a look back to Wrath.

We had spirit beasts. Coveted beasts with low health and a high demand. Angry hunters may kill your tame, or kite it away. This was alleviated through the challenge tames in Cataclysm, and further alleviated with HIDDEN tames in Pandaria.

None of the rares in Pandaria on the get-go dropped mounts, just useless vanity items and they were also very plentiful.

Everything was going SO WELL until the arrival of the Warbringers. What happened? I don’t want to fly around for hours looking for a “rare”. They aren’t even “rare”, we know when they will spawn and hence there’s no thrill of the hunt involved. It all boils down to who hits it first? You know what that means? This reminds me of world-bosses in MAPLESTORY. Do you want to become Maplestory? No!

Does tagging a mob first mean you are a better player? No it means you were a split second faster or your ability has priority over others.

I guess this goes towards the Isle of Thunder rares as well, we know when they will spawn so we treat them as VP farms. However it’s independent loot so there’s no grief.

Conclusion

Just get exalted with your new faction rep and buy the exalted Direhorn mount and pipe the fuck down in the mean time. It’s been less than a WEEK of 5.2 those warbringers aren’t going anywhere. We have such a massive hunger for content that we don’t even appreciate how awesome everything else is. The end.

Turny the Direhornless Tree

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