So, I’m going to be raiding someday soon™.

My Hunter is a max Jewelcrafter/Alchemist, so naturally I checked wowhead to see what the new Cauldrons were like, where to get the recipes, what materials would be needed, etc.

I didn’t find any cauldrons at all. It looked… it looked like each player would need to have their own specially-made Flask, with a 1 hour duration. Each flask takes some Mists herbs plus 1 Golden Lotus. Yes, each. 

Spread over four hours of raiding, that would be 40 Golden Lotus per raid night for Flask buffs… minus the ones I wouldn’t need for my Alchemist mixologist buff.

Forty Golden Lotus? Holy shit.

Seeing that led me to go check into Raiding Consumables for Mists of Pandaria in general. Maybe I was missing something.

Tree Heals Go Woosh did a great guide a short time ago on Raid Consumables, still current, but at the time I hadn’t been really fixated on raiding. I didn’t study it close enough when it went up.

I sure as heck read back over it now.

There seem to be no Cauldrons. You want to raid with a Flask buff, you’ll need your own.

There are “Feasts” that the whole raid can eat and gain benefit from, but the best stats come from single-use food, not Feasts.

Even the most cursory glance at Raid Food shows that the mats each bite will take are immense.

It actually looks like Cooking mats were designed to consume all of the produce your farm can generate… meaning that if you want to make your own max quality food, you’ll need to do your farm every day, too.

Of course, if you’re using your farm to generate produce, you’re not plating Songbells for Spirit of Harmony.

This feels like severe culture shock. 

Notice, I’m not saying I don’t LIKE it. I’m just saying this is gonna take some mental readjusting.

In Burning Crusade, each raider was responsible for bringing their own consumables, and damnit we had a LOT of them to bring.

In Burning Crusade, if you wanted to be as buffed as possible, you could bring with you Food buffs, Flasks, Scrolls, Sharpening Stones of various kinds, geez I can’t even remember it all anymore.

It felt like too much, but at the same time it felt good to have made the effort to be totally prepared. Does that make sense? It felt to have gone that extra mile, to have brought every conceiveable buff with you, it showed you really tried to be the best you could be..

At the same time, back then the mats were too expensive for one person to realistically supply the entire raid every raid night without going off the deep end. So everyone brought their own, OR would make arrangements to pay someone else/provide mats to someone else that could make raid buff stuff for them. And usually give them a tip.

The key there is, even if someone didn’t bring their own, everyone in the game acknowledged in some way that they were responsible for bringing their own shit to the party. If they didn’t it was their own fault. Same as if they came without having repaired first, or enchanted weapons and armor.

Northrend changed things up some, and by the time Cataclysm came around, most temporary buff items were dead and gone, and we were left with two: Flasks and Food.

Then those were made easier as well, A single-crafted Cauldron could supply an entire raid with Flasks, and a single-crafted Food could provide the whole raid with spec-specific buffs.

Instead of every player responsible for themselves, it became obvious that one person was expected to be able to supply everyone. 

Now, maybe your group chose to pool food materials and cauldron materials, different people would bring flasks to feed the Alchemist, various people would fish to provide the mats for Feasts, but it was a HUGE shift in responsiblity.

Now we’re going back to individual responsibility?

So, what do we make of this?

It sure as heck looks like the materials for Flasks are gonna take more resources that one person should realistically be expected to provide alone every week… if this system were staying live the entire expansion.

Let me rephrase that.

I, as the only current Alchemist in my raid team, have no intention of spending time every week farming 40 Golden Lotus by flying around herbing, for the next year, so I can provide the entire raid team with Flasks for the night.

Last night, in order to see how much I would have to farm to reach that goal, I flew around for over two hours on my Druid in Kun Lai Summit, farming a tight route of ever-refreshing Snow Lilies.

I gathered massive quantities of Snow Lilies, probably 5000 gold worth easy if I hadn’t been Milling ‘em. So I gathered mass quantities… and then consumed mass quantities.

In all that time, I got 3 Golden Lotus. THREE.

Okay, so there are more ways to gather Lotus than herbing.

I tested the Revered Tiller Enigma Seeds, planting ten as a test in my garden. Out of 10 planted Enigma Seeds, I got 1 Golden Lotus. Which is nice, but over a week doesn’t come close to 40.

Now, if I were to plant Songbells for Motes of Harmony, you are guaranteed one mote per Songbell every day. You can purchase 3 Golden Lotus with one Spirit of Harmony at the vendor in your faction-specific place in the Vale.

So, best case, say I spent 7 days a week planting 16 Songbells, harvesting them specifically for Golden Lotus and no other reason. I could get 1.6 Spirit a day, eleven Spirit of Harmony a week plus two motes left over. That comes close to what I’d need, 33 Golden Lotus. Close, but still no 40 Lotus Cigar.

You know something? I’m Transmute specced, and it’s come in very handy for Primal Diamond tranmutes, I’ve procced quite a few extra. But I bet if I were to be Flask specced, or if I had someone who was do the actual crafting, we might hit that 40 goal.

Good lord, I’m exhausted writing about it, let alone doing it every day! Holy crap! I am seriously questioning my commitment to raiding at this point.   

This coupled with the way individual food buffs are more powerful that the new feasts leaves me thinking that Blizzard expects everyone to just start taking responsiblity for themselves, and the Banquets are meant for LFR kinds of situations or Heroics.

Or… alternatively, maybe this situation isn’t meant to last.

Are things the way they are right now because Blizzard wants the effort and commitment of crafting these food and flasks to be a challenge specifically aimed at progression raid teams racing for Realm Firsts?

Will we see, a few months down the line, the return of high level Cauldrons and Feasts for use once the competition for Realm and World Firsts is behind us and the time-challenged start getting ready for raids?

I don’t know, I haven’t been keeping track of any conversation about consumables in WoW. There might be reams already written about this, and Blue Posts, and it’s just passed me by.

I do feel kind of wierd. Like, I remember being here when the expansion came out, and I do have a level 90 Druid, and yet it feels like I have no idea what’s going on in the game. 

I blame Pet Battles.

If you’re really committed to getting progression raiding accomplishments, I could see food and flasks simply being set up as one more challenge to test your commitment. What I can’t see is the system staying that way long term for everyone in the game who has come to love raiding, if that IS the current goal of consumables.

For all I know, this is just the way things are now. 

I’m serious, I don’t want to say I lack commitment, but I can’t see farming 40 Golden Lotus every single week. I just don’t have that kind of time. I work a paying job all day, you know?

People bitch about having to do dailies, but there is an end goal there. Once yuo hit exalted, you can STOP.

I’m sitting here saying I just don’t have the time to farm raid mats, let alone do dailies on top of it.

Sure, short term I’ve been doing Tiller dailies… on one character, every day. Plus farming. NOTHING ELSE.

I cannot see doing farming, long term, every day for the rest of my game time to be raid ready. ‘

In the words of Cassie, I do not want to play a game where I feel guilty if I don’t log in to do my chores. That’s why we quit playing Animal Crossing, we got sick of having to log in every day to pull weeds.

As things stand, this is just the cost of raiding. Making that commitment in time to make the flasks and food.

Six months from now? Yeah, I don’t see maintaining that kind of momentum.

Now, if only the Agility food was bacon-based. And if my computer had smell-o-vision. Then maybe we could talk.

Sorry, Emeril. Had to say it.

13 Responses to “Preparing to Raid… UGH”
  1. Malchome says:

    Ya Blizzard really dropped the ball on this one. For some reason they see convenience as a problem and have put roadblocks in everywhere they “reasonably” can this expansion. Additionally rather than improving old mechanics that came and gone and were reinstated they re-implemented them without fixing some of the issues that made them a major PITA.

    No flying until level cap, and no books to at least let alts have flying after the first character went through the painful process.
    No flying when dead, so if you die, you either are completely stuck with no way to get to your body in daily areas or you have to run halfway across the zone to get the path back up to your body….
    No Feasts with equal buffs to individual food.
    No Cauldrons
    Rep and Dailies are only unlocked at 90 so no working on multiple goals at the same time while leveling.
    iLvl of LFR is too high, the gear progression is now completely linear rather than allowing reasonable multistreaming after hitting about 440 iLvl.
    Too much XP required for 87-90, only feels acceptable if you have rested xp the whole process, given that 90% of the content is restricted for level cap.

    • Malchome says:

      Don’t get me wrong there is also a ton of good with this expansion but some of the initial design and pacing is just a monumental level of effort for very little payoff. Maybe if raiding had been postponed another week at least it would have been a little better for the raiders that want to raid normal mode and also have a life and job outside the bloody game.

  2. spinks says:

    I dunno. In my guild we looked at the flasks and high end food and said “Clearly this is not compulsory – maybe save those for when it’s really important and use regular pandaren feasts and regular (cheap) elixirs the rest of the time.)” 25 extra stat points when you have about 10k stat in total is a drop in the ocean, if we ever get that close to killing a boss then we’ll probably kill it on the next attempt anyway.

  3. Rohan says:

    Why are you the person expected to provide Flasks for everyone? Why not tell each raider to provide their own flasks or elixirs? The Auction House exists. As for food, the best food is only +25 more stats than the feasts. The feasts are more than good enough for a non-royalty group.

    The thing is that Blizzard always provides a slightly worse option which is much cheaper. If you use that option, life is a lot easier, and you upgrade to the best option when it becomes more viable.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I’m not saying I am expected to, by anyone.

      What I’m saying is, the system before Cataclysm was personal responsibility, during Cataclysm is was adjusted to one person being able to supply everyone, and now it feels like we’re back to personal responsibility… BUT only if everyone in the team is equally aware of the problems in making Flasks for All.

      I wonder, how many folks know there are no cauldrons anymore? I didn’t know for sure until I started researching it yesterday.

  4. Alburet says:

    Personally I embrace this change. People need more personal responsiblity. Back in my day BC you were responsible for your own damn food and flasks and any other comsumable you needed. Played a hunter then which ment 2 bags of ammo to make sure i had enough for the run. It was then you looked at the team and knew who was ready and who would show up just at the time to start and start bumming off people beacuse they nevr brought their own. Made ya tink if they couldnt prepare ahead of time, then were they worth the effort to keep them in the raid instead of bob who was sitting there on stand by with all his shyte ready to go.
    And those calculations would be off for my old raid team we raidd 2 nights a week 3 hours at a time so tat would be 60 for us. Also makes me glad my old raid team is taking their time leveling up to see if we feel the raiding desire anymore.

  5. Mannyac says:

    It’s not an adventure, it’s a job…

  6. Theodoxus says:

    Just curious, the Golden Lotus sitch has been commented on, Blizz knows there’s too few, so that’ll probably be upped. But my problem is with 100 year soy sauce/ black pepper. I’m having a much harder time getting iron paws than lotus. I got to 600 cooking, and have basically stymied getting any other Way to 600 due to lack of them. And the items? Forget it – no 40 or 50 in sight.

    I’m spending most of my available time doing dailies on my main. I have very little time to devote to a second toon (much less 6) and my monk is still only in his 60s despite massive boosts to his xp (pandaran rested xp boost, monk xp boost, full set (including pants) of heirlooms and level 25 guild.

    Gathering up mats to turn in to iron paws isn’t really on the chopping block.

    Kinda getting a bit miffed over the gating in everything this xpac has delivered.

  7. Surya says:

    Maybe this could help concerning the flasks. What my guild does is require everyone in the raid to convert at least one spirit of harmony into 3 golden lotus per raid night while the guild provides the other herbs required for the flasks.

    This has actually worked quite well for us and has made my guild leaders job (who is our flask specced alchemist) a lot easier. We just give him the lotus before raid and he just makes us the flasks for the night.

    P.s. we’re a 10m guild, may be a little more difficult in a 25m setting.

  8. Riegnman says:

    You know what I haven’t seen? I haven’t seen people sitting around stormwind complaining that there is nothing to do in this stupid game and how they are going to GW2 or something. Now everybody sits around stormwind and complains that there is too much crap that they have to do and this isn’t a job that they are getting paid to do. How can Blizz expect them to do X, Y and Z just so they can do A? Maybe there will be a middle grou d reached soon. I, however, can’t help but think that Blizz is giving everybody the finger and saying

    “Down the first ooking raid boss the first week now”.

  9. Iocane says:

    First time commenting, and I’m a few days late to the post, but I discovered that it’s a lot less time consuming to just fish up 20 of a specific kind of fish (other than golden carp) to trade in for a token to buy veggies with than it is to try and farm them all. In a half hour or so of flying around the edge of the continent for octopus and shrimp pools, I got enough fish to make two of the 10 man feasts. This means I get to just use my farm for motes, which is kinda nice.

    Granted, I also just quit raiding because I’m so overwhelmed by all of the stuff that there is to do. The game is suddenly far more enjoyable for me without that push to get geared and run endless heroics that always make me cranky…

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