Monday, November 24, 2008

Spoiled food: Northern Spices have ruined my fun

Unless I've missed something, here's how the daily cooking award system works.

Each day, the daily cooking quest in Dalaran (which, I have to say, is lots of fun and doesn't seem like a chore, unlike the old cooking dailies) will reward you with one cooking award and a small spice bag which typically holds a few spices (let's say 5, for the sake of keeping things neat). The awards are a form of currency, and can be viewed in your Currency tab.

New cooking recipes can be purchased for 3 awards, so you have the potential to learn one new recipe every 3 days. The new recipes are foods that are superior to their trained counterparts. For example, 40 stam, 80 attack power, 46 spellpower, compared to 30 stam, 60 attack power, 35 spellpower. Obviously, as a raider, I want the better food, at least for when we are attempting content that isn't on farm yet. I like to maximise my stats as much as possible, and that means using the best consumables I can get.

Here's the problem.

The recipes require Northern Spices, which can only be acquired through the daily quest and are limited by the number of cooking awards that you have. I can only "earn" 15 spices per day (on my main character) - 5 from your daily reward, and 10 if you use your daily award to buy more spices (they can be purchased in lots of 10 for one cooking award). So, basically, I can make 15 pieces of the best food per day, or around 5 stacks per week. Considering that we raid 4 nights per week, this isn't very much food. The best food will have to be rationed, and I'll have to use second-best food where possible. This REALLY goes against the grain, because I always like to use the best consumables available to me.

The biggest problem for me though is one of my biggest joys in this game is giving to others. One of my favourite things to do is to supply my tanks with food for raiding. Not because they won't do it themselves, but because I enjoy helping them out (farming as a tank is yuck, and they already pay big repair bills etc). I love to spend a few hours fishing or farming food that is then donated back to the guild to help us progress.

Under this new system, I won't be able to do that unless I buy extra spices - I'm going to go ahead and assume they'll go for astronomical (or is that gastronomical) prices, or park alts in Dalaran to do extra dailies. That may end up being what I have to do - have Keeva spend all her awards on recipes, and have the alts buy all the spices.

I feel very frustrated. Blizzard have given the cooks a bunch of new, awesome recipes, but then restricted us to making only a few per day (and that's AFTER you've bought any/all of the new recipes at a rate of one new recipe every three days).

On top of that, if you're a raider, you won't be able to afford to spare any of those spices for fun foods like critter bites or tracker snacks, because in order to buff yourself as much as possible for raiding, you won't want to spare any spices for frivolous things. Similarly, there won't be any room to sell our new foods on the auction house to earn a little money, because all of the spices will be used for raiding.

Considering all the moves Blizzard has made to prevent raiders from being "forced" to use expensive consumables, it seems a little odd that I will now have to park alts in Dalaran in order to earn extra spices to make sure I have all of the food I need... and as a raider, I can't afford to make any of the fun recipes either. Doesn't this go against all of the past changes to relieve the consumables strain on raiders?

I used to enjoy supplying food for myself, my tanks, and keeping some spare in case someone in the raid ran out. Surplus went to the AH for a tidy profit, to offset the cost of raiding. A few hours spent peacefully fishing would set me and my tanks up for the week, and earn a little extra money as well. Now all I will be able to do is make my own food and possibly a stack for the tanks per week, not one each per raid night. Even if I can eventually buy extra spices from the AH, or park 3 alts in Dalaran to "farm" spices for me, I still feel as though I can't farm food the way I used to. I can't spend the weekend farming and give away or donate stacks of food anymore, unless it's the second best food, and that's just not the same. I don't like settling for second best.

It may seem trivial, but I love using my tradeskills and farming time to help others, and this system has made me really sad.


Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you there keevs. i like being able to get a few stacks of each food going to hand out if people need it. luckily my wife plays as well, so we both do the cooking dailies and have built up a store or spices already to level new recipes with. also we are only getting the recipes we need to help people out atm.

78 Tauren Resto Shaman

Keeva said...

I think I'll enlist the help of guildies to summon my 3 high-ish alts to Dalaran and have them set their hearths there, so they can do the daily for me.

That way Keeva can keep getting her recipes, and the alts can do all the spice farming.

Even so, it won't leave me much time... raids are 7pm my time, and I get online at 5:30pm. Sons of Hodir won't leave me much time to do cooking quests on 4 characters...

We'll see, I guess. I'm just sad because I really love farming a bunch of stuff for people. I guess I can still farm the mats, and I can still farm the other food, but it's not really the same.

Blòód said...

While it's awesome that you are kind enough to share the love (of cooking :P) I think the best outcome will be the new incentive for everyone to level their own skill, rather than rely on the people who have given up their time in the guild. I'm not against people sharing but at the end of the day if everyone is cooking the whole raid is going to be better off.


Until then... I think it will be alt central in Dalaran!

80 Tauren Resto Druid

Keeva said...

Mhmm.. like I said, nobody relies on me to turn up with consumables for them to use, but it can help in times when we are having trouble on a boss and someone runs out of something.

I'm a one-stop shop, and usually carry:

- buff food + stam food
- campfire reagents
- extra flasks
- symbols and candles
- vials
- bullets and arrows

Along with 40 of each of the usual elixirs that I use, my own reagents, extra mana potions, etc.

I like being able to come to the rescue if someone accidentally forgets to fill up on candles, runs out of bullets for pulling trash, that kind of thing.

Mostly though I just really enjoy opening up a trade window and dropping in something that means an hour or so of farming time saved for someone else. I know that they really appreciate it, and that's something that makes me happy. The new system makes it hard for me to do this.

Keeva said...

Oh, and flares and repair bots.

Anonymous said...

I could have sworn I saw the spices available for purchase of some random Dalaran vendor just the other day...


Blòód said...

WTB Keeva and her one-stop-shop :D

No wonder your guild is epic, and I think I'm sure it sets a great example for everyone. I must admit I have always aimed to start a raid with many empty bag slots and yet at the conclusion they are still empty... an opportunity exists me thinks ;)

80 Tauren Resto Druid

Anea said...

Hm, I hadn't thought about it that way. I know that I do have to purchase the recipes and spices with my awards, but I hadn't put it into the raiding perspective. I guess it's lucky that my guild isn't raiding yet - that way I can at least save up!

You do make a good point though, about Blizz perhaps not thinking this all the way through. Hopefully they'll see this and rethink!

Kirsten said...

I only have one word for this blog entry.


Wayne said...

I understand your frustrations, but it isn't as bad as it seems. 15x 7 days = 105 spices per week. You raid 4 nights per week, so 25+ high quality foods per raid, enough to share.

It does suck that I have to choose between making food and learning new recipes.