For the last three days, since September 25th became the day, players have been speculating on what would happen to Brewfest. Well, last night the blues posted their answer which was that it was going to be upgraded for level 90. Now Brewfest starts on the 20th so Coren Direbew would be inaccessible for five days, it ends on the 5th giving players 10 days to kill him. The catch is you have to be level 89 in order to queue for him, meaning those 10 days aren’t kill opportunities but levelling time. As blizz have stated that they want people to stop and smell the roses, and won’t allow flying until level 90 to better facilitate this, there was predictable outrage at this mixed message.
Why level up for it?
There are two mounts that drop from this boss, or more accurately the bag you get for your first kill of the day, the kodo and the ram. Given you only get one shot at these each day, and that mounts are going account wide in Mists, a tactic I used to get the Frigid Frostling was to run it on every character I had that qualified. With the expansion dropping in the middle of Brewfest, and requiring level 89 to queue, it’ll be hard enough for your average player to get one character ready to have a shot, let alone more than one.
I personally, thankfully for my collectionist/completionist tendencies, don’t have this issue as I already have both mounts, one on my main and another on an alt. However, I can really sympathise with those that are still waiting on the drop. Knowing that you’ll have to wait another year for a proper shot at them must be very frustrating. If it did affect me I’d probably be raging, or at least initially before I calmed down and realised that I’d get another shot in a year, and what’s a year as it’ll in all likelihood happen eventually, and that’s what’s important.
Mounts are mounts though, unless you’re a collector then it’s not a big deal. The upgraded epic gear that he drops does have an impact. For a long time in Cata I rocked my Brawler’s Trophy as it was a good trinket for paladin tanks, particularly if you didn’t have access to raid drops. For progression raiders, or people that want good gear fast, Direbrew will likely be dropping gear as good as you get before raids. Therefore levelling fast, and hitting him, might be seen as mandatory for those that want that gear. However, the gear drops everytime you kill him, so if you don’t the trinket you want, you can just queue again. Therefore you could wait until the last day of Brewfest, having had 10 days to level to 89, and then run him repeatedly until it drops.
The last reason to level up is for those achievement hunters who have never killed him on anything. Achievements are going account wide in Mists so for those working on What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been if you have the kill on anything it would count. The only people that wouldn’t have that kill would either be players that started within the last year, or players that have only really decided to go for the achievement. As an achievement nut myself I would be really annoyed about this. I had to wait an extra year to finish ‘What a strange trip’ as I swapped mains so I started again on the same holiday that I needed to finish. Waiting an extra year because of the level barrier would be extremely frustrating. Saying that if you really want it you’ll level up is unkind, you shouldn’t have to choose between leisurely enjoying the content at your own pace, and having to level fast for the sake of one achievement.
Should he have been upgraded?
With Mists literally dropping in the middle of Brewfest, if he dropped the same 359 gear as last year it would be a faceroll. I remember doing the Love is in the Air boss this year and it was a cakewalk. I ran it everyday for a shot at the rocket, if I’d known mounts were going account wide I would have run it on everything, that was my only reason for running. The gear was outdated at that point for anything other than fresh alts. The gear wouldn’t even be needed by alts if it was still 359 as a couple of quests in Pandaria would upgrade it.
Therefore he would be an irrelevance except for mount hunters, and those needing the achievement for the meta. A lot less people are bound to be involved in the holiday anyway as we’ll all be excitedly enjoying the new content. If people had even less reason to take part in the holiday then it would make it a pretty ill attended party.
However, I really do sympathise with the achievement hunters. I missed out on a few holiday kill achievements when I first started the game as I was too low level, that meant I would have had to wait an extra few months to finish the big meta. I accepted that as I was a new player and therefore I wasn’t at that level yet. I couldn’t raid, or do dungeons with my friends, or anything max level because I wasn’t max level. For those players that are max level now, the changing of the level requirement isn’t the same as them being too low level because they’re not level capped. It really isn’t fair.
A middle ground
Brewfest has five days before Mists is released, and perhaps it should be the same Brewfest as last year – for those five days. Let the achievement hunters get their kill at least, let people have a couple of attempts at the mount that just won’t drop. Then when Mists is released have Direbrew upgrade then. That would mean he would have a relevance, and everyone would have a shot at what they want. That really is the fairest way to do it. Locking him for five days serves no purpose.
I don’t see what would be difficult about flicking a switch for him to change levels on the 25th. I do have some background in coding and it would just be a matter of an if statement. However, warcraft is a huge game and the code is all sort of intertwined in ways I can’t imagine. That’s where all the bugs come from, the unintended consequences where you change something in one place, and it affects something you didn’t realise it was connected too. With everything else blizz will be having to worry about on launch day they don’t need a problem with Brewfest.
Right now blizz have annoyed a fair few people and I can see why. I understand why he’s upgraded and I appreciate the necessity of that. However, they would destroy the arguments of those who vocally oppose the upgrade by having old Direbrew and new Direbrew before and after the 25th. People just want a shot at the mounts and the achievement. It only comes round once a year and really it’s not a hard compromise.