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Starym

How the Kyrian Path of Ascension Fails in Its Purpose

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We have a little bit of a guest-editorial today, as well-known speed runner and autism-awareness champion DesMephisto really wanted to talk about the Kyrian Covenant's signature activity, the Path of Ascension. The focus here is both on the quality and difficulty of the content, but also on how long it takes to get it done in order to get all the available transmog, and we see Des compare it to the other Covenants' activities as well. Spoiler alert: he really isn't a fan of what the Kyrian have to offer (meaning the path is flawed? Sorry I had to.) So, let's get straight to it, as DesMephisto takes over!


Path of Ascension is one of the most problematic pieces of content I have engaged with in my 17 year history with WoW in nearly every category, from casual to cutting edge raiding. As someone who loves transmog I have done the max Covenant sanctum mini game for all 4, as well as the other transmog, so I want to take a look at what the other Covenants have to offer before diving into the Kyrian.

For Venthyr you have:

Travel Network:
Opens up random portals that you have to locate which you can loot once a day that change each week. Engaging with this content every day for 3 weeks will result in the full set.
Ember Court:
A really fun and well designed mini game where you attend to various guests and earn reputation that allows you to buy the transmog at rank 5 and exalted. Takes about 2 months from start to finish (rank 1 Cov to rank 5)

For Necrolords you have:

Abomination Stitchyard:
You build an army of abominations which have a chance to give you a transmog related piece. This took approximately 5 months of RNG, but you only had to log in once a week.
You can also build a special abomination called Unity, and hidden WQs requirements would reward you with an armor piece if you completed it with Unity out. A discord was made to save people time with this system which you can find here: https://discord.gg/K8MUVtjYnr.

For Night Fae you have:

Anima Conductor:
While farming Grateful Offerings you earn reputation from doing Anima conductor related quests. Takes about a month to hit exalted, then you spend 12.5k Anima for the armor set.
Night Fae Garden:
Use catalysts and seeds to get mounts and stuff with your garden. Once rank 5 you can just buy the armor for 15k anima.
 

And for the Kyrian main event you have:

Path of Ascension:
This mini game is designed as a series of battles that increase in difficulty from easy to hard, "loyalty" to "humility". You have 3 different soulbinds that you can battle with (vehicle combat) and to earn the transmog armor you must do it on the hardest difficulty. One set is simply earned by beating all bosses on humility. The other is earned by beating every boss with every soulbind.

PoA1.png

You must earn Medallions of Service which can come from rares and treasures that are only in Bastion. A single medallion will allow you to battle once. Some bosses are notoriously difficult or incredibly glitchy. Mad Mortimer for example sometimes requiring a significant number of medallions for the RNG to line up in your favor (some have taken 150+).

Alongside this you must also farm materials from each major area:

Elysian Feathers Elysian Feathers from Bastion - 105 in 22 minutes
Champion's Pelt Champion's Pelt from Ardenweald - 104 in 23 minutes
Nightforged Steel Nightforged Steel from Revendreth - 44 in 22 minutes
Calloused Bone Calloused Bone from Maldraxxus - 78 in 22 minutes

This would result in about 6 attempts worth of charms. These are absolutely mandatory for some bosses. Alternatively, you can buy a small chunk of the above mats (15-22 of each) for 5 Medallions of Service, but as you need them for the attempts anyway...

You are also supposed to grow stronger from your renown, however, my testing of that so far has shown that to not be the case. It likely was capped at renown 40 if it even worked as intended at all. A lot of the fights are doable and many of them can be quite fun and some even feel challenging in a fair way. Ecthra and Thran’iok being some of the most difficult but still remaining fair challenges to overcome. However, currently Mad Mortimer is quite possibly the worst designed boss out of all them and requires strong nerfs. Even as it stands, while I consider Thran and Echtra fair bosses, the amount of difficulty and effort needed to be invested here already goes far beyond what was stated for the previous Covenants.

PoA2.png   PoA3.png
Even here I had to use a bug to do this, by spawning the slime in the pillar which causes Mad Mort to not enrage appropriately.

Covenants are the very definition of casual content, and while I strongly support the idea of another Mage Tower, that was actually designed in a way that was not only fair, but didn’t require you to farm for hours to be able to do the content and have consumables (seeing as the entry fee was a complete non issue and you could buy consumables via the AH). With the constant bugs and glitches that exist in Path of Ascension, most people have exploited Mad Mortimer specifically to finish this achievement for the armor set.

They’ve been quick to hotfix the exploits, which they should, but quite often the boss still bugs out and resets, ruining your attempt and time invested. As someone who has finished the achievement I honestly would not expect 90% of the player base to engage with this content. That feels bad when Covenants are supposed to be an important choice in how you experience the game. Casual content is important and the fact that the way PoA is designed feels far outside that realm compared to all others is problematic.

PoA4.png


My recommendations:

  • Remove medallions as a currency to enter battle.
  • Allow you to buy medallions for Anima.
  • Increase damage more with renown to make it more accessible to less skilled players.
  • Nerf the health of Mad Mortimer by 20%.
  • Adjust Echtra's spiders cast time so they don’t immediately hit you despite their distance.

 

You can check out more from DesMephisto on Twitch and Twitter.

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Yeah... I think it was Hazelnutty who said something to the effect of "challenging content is fun, but not when failing means one less chance of actually attempting it."

The Medallions of Service should have been exclusively for buying the crafting stuff, or even for temporary buffs, but not for simply being able to participate in the first place.

This isn't even mentioning the logistical/time commitment nightmare of getting more than one of the sets (cloth, leather, mail, plate).

Edited by MrM

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My suggestion: just skip it?

 

I didn't do the Venthyr Tea Party either. I never did farming in Pandaria, just killed the wandering mobs for the SB items. SO many ways around all these things...why bother asking Blizz to waste time on this? Honestly, they have way more important things to do imo.

Edited by CheLives

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6 hours ago, CheLives said:

My suggestion: just skip it?

 

I didn't do the Venthyr Tea Party either. I never did farming in Pandaria, just killed the wandering mobs for the SB items. SO many ways around all these things...why bother asking Blizz to waste time on this? Honestly, they have way more important things to do imo.

But this is NOT a way around this. You say skip it, that means you completely skip the mogs that come from this. You skip what for many is CONTENT (collections). Why bother fixing issues in (CheLives favoured type of content) when a significant percentage of the playerbase will likely never engage with them (and yes, a significant percentage of the playerbase will not engage with almost any content type, be it raiding, dungeons or pvp, not to even mention pet battles).

Edited by Nym85

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You can get SOME kits of transmog from the vendor at the back of the bond of souls.  You can get pink and silver that way.

If you want the "forsworn" look or any chance to mix and match, you're going to want the mogs from the Path.  No wonder the forsworn say the path is flawed;  their mogs are harder to get than a top tier raid on previous xpacs.

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21 hours ago, Starym said:

A really fun and well designed mini game where you attend to various guests and earn reputation that allows you to buy the transmog at rank 5 and exalted. Takes about 2 months from start to finish (rank 1 Cov to rank 5)

I would say Path of Ascension is much better than the Venthyr Ember Court. To be able to gain all rewards from Ember Court, you need to upgrade your court to level 4 and then spend 32 weeks (8 weeks x 4 per rank 4 guest) maximizing the reputation of all your guests (less if you use the seasonal buffs for some holidays and/or rep increasing buffs). Even after that, there is a random chance that their tribute will contain the big reward (it's not a low chance though). You also need to do 1 quest per guest each week to gain their RSVP (pretty easy with flying, but they took some time before 9.1). I think this is much worse than the Kyrian mini-game, and the court gets pretty boring if you do it every week for 32+ weeks.

Although the Kyrian is boring in a sense that you gather all the mats and finish the fights you unlocked and there is nothing to do until the next PoA upgrade, unless you want some crafting materials of course...

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I have no trouble with Night Fae, Necro or Venthyr, but Kyrian,  hahahahaha.  I have yet to get past Pelegos on any of my Kyrian toons.  You first have to farm mats to make the extra stuff to do the fights then you have to do the fights to learn more stuff, then farm that crap too.  With Necro you pretty must get the parts you need just doing quests.  Venthyr, do a few quests to get guests food etc and done.  Kill maw rares for NightFae and go plant some seeds, easy peasy.   Plus you don't have to be someone else and use spells you aren't used to to defeat the other stuff either.

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The materials are pretty easy to get now, considering pelts and feathers are gainable from Korthia animals, which are numerous and high respawn due to rare farming and dailies.

Never had a problem getting bones and steel from the other two, especially Venthyr since you can get it while farming Avowed.

Edited by SidonisAntares
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I've tried the Kyrian one a few times before I switched my DH to Venthyr; just really didn't care for it.  And I'm not gun-ho on completing that portion of the Covenant system for another color of xmog.   It's not as fun or challenging compared to finding the Hidden Weapon xmog or completing the Mage Tower in Legion for your artifact appearence.  So just skip it entirely and moved on.

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I don't like Kyrian's path or Venthyr's party... I'll be honest. I'm too lazy and they require too much effort for a few different looks. The Night Fae garden is fine, but a bit boring. The most annoying bit there is the spirits that require you to run all over creation to find or meditate in random places. 

The one that's easily the most fun is the Necrolord Abombs (even with the slightly buggy nature of Chordy) because you can take them with you and get several things done at the same time. I wish that they had made the others similar to that. 

There is a reddit out there for the kyrian path to make it a bit easier, search google for "How to: Kyrian Path of Ascension 6 bosses" which helps with strat. I haven't found one for venthyr parties yet.

I would have all of my characters necrolord if it weren't for the fact that by the time I learned what I liked I'd already maxed out the covenant and opened up so much I couldn't see starting over for any reason now. Going back to zero reknown is terrible and then also losing all the anima and all the buildings you used anima to build up... just seems too harsh a punishment for switching covenants.  

 

All in all, it needs a rework that probably isn't going to happen. Blizz tends not to look back too often.


 

Edited by Sparkiekong

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It does seem extremely odd the way they're balanced in terms of time/effort. Kyrian is the only one that really requires any skill, I'm only on the Wisdom challenges now but from what I've read some of the achievements and the Humility tests can be quite difficult. The necrolord one is just quests every week that are all easy and relatively quick to do. I dont have much experience with the night fae one despite now having a level 5 building on an alt; I didn't find it at all interesting at lower levels so I haven't tried it despite upgrading the building, but it sounds extremely easy as well. Venthyr was the only other one that really seemed to have much of a learning curve, but it gets extremely easier once you get to rank 5 as its easy to max each guest's mood with the perks you get. It's just time gated by only being able to do it once a week.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Holymommades said:

I have no trouble with Night Fae, Necro or Venthyr, but Kyrian,  hahahahaha.  I have yet to get past Pelegos on any of my Kyrian toons.  You first have to farm mats to make the extra stuff to do the fights then you have to do the fights to learn more stuff, then farm that crap too.  With Necro you pretty must get the parts you need just doing quests.  Venthyr, do a few quests to get guests food etc and done.  Kill maw rares for NightFae and go plant some seeds, easy peasy.   Plus you don't have to be someone else and use spells you aren't used to to defeat the other stuff either.

I've tried multiple (30+ times) to beat the VERY FIRST FIGHT in Path of Ascension.  I absolutely stink at vehicle combat that's more than 2 buttons...and you can get to 5 (or more?) in this train-wreck of an activity.  I don't use the standard mapped keys for my abilities when I'm playing my own toon... I use different keybinds, which while they may seem odd to others, work very well for me.  I'm not an elite player, by any means, but I'm not a bad player, by a long shot.   And let me just say, I couldn't care less about the transmogs, though I am a hard-core battle pet and mount collector.  And...unlike ALL the other covenants, there are a number of battle/comanion pets and mounts that are not only gated behind Path, they're gated on ACHIEVEMENTS in Path.  I'm not able to beat the very first fight, and they want me to not only beat the fights, but do them in a harder way, just to earn a few battle/companion pets and mounts?   As mentioned in the article, all the other covenant activities are pretty damned easy, though maybe a little time-consuming...but they're doable without any particular skill level.   I think the suggestions in the initial article are just a start...this should be a fun thing to do, not a painful, difficult-if-not-impossible chore.  I really wish Blizzard would tone this down....a LOT.

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Materials can also be bought from vendor, so they are easy to come by. The whole thing is boring indeed, only done a few fights there so far.

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