I’ve been wanting to post this for a few days, now, but felt I really should post now after having read Anafielle’s excellent post, Mists of Farm-daria.

Let’s be super-clear about this: I am no longer a raider. As such, I have a lot of latitude in being able to do what I want to do. But I’m in a raiding guild and I read blogs by raiders and follow many raiders on Twitter. The biggest concern I keep seeing, over and over again, is how much time people are spending doing all the non-raid stuff they feel they “should” do as a responsible raider.

At Level 90, I gather that there are a few dailies a raider “needs” to do for rep with various factions. Here’s what those factions give you:

- Golden Lotus: Tailors and LWs particularly due to the patterns available at honored, plus VP rings at honored. At Revered, Shoulders and Chests become available with VP.

- Klaxxi: Blacksmiths get their plans here at honored. There are also VP necks here at honored. VP legs and belts are available at Revered. Exalted has some blue-quality (ilvl 463) weapons available.

- Shado-Pan: VP cloaks at honored, VP trinkets and helms at Revered.

- August Celestials: Enchanting patterns at Revered, as well as VP boots, gloves and bracers.

Of course, “needing” to do the dailies is a very subjective term. From my perspective, a raider should probably maximize his or her gear in order to perform better in raids. As such, since VP gear is available from ALL of those factions (and I’m not even talking about how you had to earn rep with factions for JUSTICE point gear until recently!), raiders should likely rep up to at least revered with most of these factions.

I feel that a raider should maximize his or her gear within reason. (And bear in mind that my thoughts no longer necessarily reflect the mindset of Apotheosis!) That means I feel that you shouldn’t need to drop 200k on a heroic drop at the Black Market Auction House. It means you shouldn’t need to craft something worth 60k (possible exception for the Darkmoon Faire trinkets).

At the same time, it means that I feel one needs to do LFR weekly for upgrades, rep up for upgrades, cap VP for upgrades.

Not everyone will agree with me. Raiders who fall on the more casual side of things than Apotheosis will think I’m insane. Raiders who fall on the more hardcore side of things than Apotheosis will be more likely to say “of course, duh, PLUS you need to get those BMAH items AND craft all the things”.

The fact remains that in order to improve your performance in a raid, your gear needs to be upgraded. How you do it and how dedicated you are to doing it is all that’s in question.

That brings us to cooking.

In brief, fuck cooking.

I say that as someone who has ALWAYS had at least one max-level cook. In Cataclysm, I had 3 max-level cooks. I own three Chef’s Hats. In short, I enjoy cooking.

Whoever decided to fuck with cooking in this expansion needs a smack upside the head.

Don’t get me wrong, the farm thing is cute. I like being able to grow things. My problems with cooking are not problems with farming, although they are tangentially related. No, my problems with cooking consist primarily of the fact that it takes an incredible amount of materials to max yourself in one single Way of cooking and that unless you max all the Ways, you can’t drop a 275 stat food feast. Plus, 275 stat food feasts aren’t even as good as the 300 stat foods that are single-use! What the eff happened here?

If we look at my personal feelings about gear, doesn’t that mean I think everyone should use personal 300 stat foods? Sure. Until you look at what’s REQUIRED for 300 stat food. Say I want to make the 300 Agility food for Kurn. That’s Sea Mist Rice Noodles.

Ingredients for 5:

- 1 Rice Flour (Ironpaw Token)
- 25 Scallions (farm or 1 Ironpaw Token for 25)
- 5 Tiger Gourami (fishing or 1 Ironpaw Token for 5)
- 5 Raw Turtle Meat (farming mobs or 1 Ironpaw Token for 5)

At minimum, for a stack (20) of 300 stat food, you’re looking at 4 Ironpaw Tokens, 4 days of farming on a farm that is at least 5 plots, finding 4-5 Tiger Gourami schools and fishing them, possibly two, then killing some turtles for the meat. Or spending 16 Ironpaw Tokens for all the mats. Or mixing and matching and supplementing with the Auction House.

Imagine a typical progression raid guild can wipe 30 times in a single night. You now want at least 30 foods. Add another 2 tokens, minimum, up to another 8. For a single night of raiding.

I’m pretty sure many people will agree with me when I say “fuck THAT right in the ear”.

There are different swaps to be made, of course, something about Bundles of Groceries and trades with Spirits of Harmony and the like, but that’s still pretty rough, particularly the farming of mobs and the fishing up of fish.

Now, I happen to enjoy fishing. Prior to Mists’ launch, I had ALL the fishing achievements. I like it. But a lot of people don’t. And a lot of people may feel pressed into fishing to get that “best food”. Plus, the fact that there are SO MANY ingredients means that the AH is not a great source. There may be hundreds of carrots up, but not hundreds of Tiger Gouramis. Which leads back to tokens or farming/fishing yourself.

Now multiply that by 10 or 25, depending on your raid size. Gah.

So in terms of effort vs. gain, having the guild bank handle banquets is probably your best bet. After all, it’s “only” 25 stats. But, and I don’t know about you, it would drive me crazy not to have the 300 stat food on me. (Have I mentioned I’m glad I’m not raiding? No? I AM VERY GLAD TO NOT BE RAIDING.)

Say you want the 300 stat food and want to rep up with, oh, everything. That is a stupid amount of time investment. Plus, you still may run dungeons and LFR in addition to raiding…

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been doing Golden Lotus dailies, Tiller dailies and Anglers dailies on Kurn. I’m a hunter. Pure DPS. It still takes me ~90 minutes to do all my dailies and tend to my farm. And I’m not even doing Klaxxi dailies because, well, ew, gross. Add in another 20-30 minutes for Klaxxi, then another 20-30 minutes for other factions as they become available and you are looking at 90 minutes to 2 hours for a not-particularly-geared DPS to earn rep EVERY DAY in order to get better gear. God forbid you’re a healer.

Then there’s flasks. Gone are cauldrons entirely. And each flask requires a Golden Lotus. Do you know I haven’t ever PICKED a Golden Lotus on my herbalist? Haven’t seen any. As such, the most reliable method of getting a Golden Lotus is trading in a Spirit of Harmony for three of the herbs. Whee, that’s one night of flasks in my guild, but hey, that doesn’t even include the herbs. Thankfully, the other herbs are only 4 of a single type, in conjunction with the Golden Lotus, so it’s no longer 8 of 2 separate herbs, it’s just 4 of one herb. Feel bad for the Strength users who pay out the wazoo for Fool’s Cap, but anyhow.

This seems as though it’s overkill. In their effort to give more, diverse things for people to do, Blizzard has only succeeded in making a lot of the things “mandatory” for many of the raiders in their game. When, then, do raiders have the time to do Challenge dungeons? Scenarios? Hunt down those rares? Level alts?

Blizzard has, in my opinion, screwed up and needs to rectify certain things ASAP:

- Banquets should be 300 stat food (450 stam for tanks)
- Cauldrons should be re-integrated into the game at a similar cost as last expansion: 3 of each flask (int/str/agi/stam) (I still think we’ll outgrow Spirit flasks, so I don’t think that’s necessary to include in the Cauldrons)
- Cooking should not be quite as brutal in terms of materials required
- Dailies should NOT be taking 90 minutes every single day

And, as was pointed out on Twitter by Rades and Vosskah, why the reversion back to a DAILY heroic dungeon for VP instead of just capping at 7 heroic dungeons a week?

Blizzard has done a lot of things right this expansion (I love a LOT of little things) but these “wrong” things are things that would drive me to quit if I weren’t already planning to do so.