Ancient Mana

This is a solid example of a great idea followed by missed execution.

Ancient Mana is the alternate currency in Legion, found in Suramar.  You collect 3-6 per kill, can collect various ground items for 5-150 (depending on the item), and can carry a varying total amount, which depends on your quest progression and a few items found around the map.  At max, you can carry up to 2000.

You spend it on 3 things.  First is 3 daily turnins for faction with the Nightfallen that also give a 1 hour buff each.  Second, there are random items around the map that you can spend mana on for another buff, either a companion, a shield, and so on.  Both of those are rather low cost, typically around 50.  The last item is the Withered Army training, which costs between 400-2000, available every 3 days.  This gives you ~450 rep, some toys, a chance at an artifact appearance (depending on class) and some gear.  It’s worth doing.

Getting to 2000 though, that’s a challenge.  You need to farm the items and I hate farming.

In Legion, when you harvest either a herbalism or mining node, it’s shared with other people on the map for a few seconds… 10 or so.  On the positive, no one can really steal a node.  This means less bad feelings and everyone gets a piece.  On the bad side, you see trains of bots harvesting.  Blizz has a solid record for banning them, but it takes time and even a few days of bots have a big impact on the economy.  Still, bots were there before and this actually makes it easier on honest players.  I should also mention that harvesting skill doesn’t gate you from harvesting.  My DH had 10 skill and was able to get herbs.  My monk with 800 gets more per plant, but that’s it.

The Issues

  • It’s a competitive resource that cannot be traded or sold.  This limits supply when others are around
  • You need to collect a fair amount to get to 2000
  • There is only 1 area (vineyards) that provides a decent pace of items to collect, without massive guards
  • Combined, this means 1 area is full of people all competing for limited resources

The Options

  • Increase the cap of mana to 2500 or 3000.  This means you don’t go back to zero when you do the withered army training
  • Increase the rate of ancient mana acquisition.  Similar to other harvesting abilities, let people get better at it over time.
  • Make the nodes shareable, like other harvesting abilities

It’s not like this is the end of the world, far from it.  It’s more of a reminder of what the game used to be like when everyone was competing for the same resources rather than working together.  And it’s not like the mana is absolutely required.  It’s more of a pet peeve/irritant to take 30 minutes to farm something when in reality, it should take 5.


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