Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Class Review: Warrior

First of all, I leveled exclusively as protection from 1 to 80 so I can't really say anything about the other two specs. Protection was great, though, but before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I mostly didn't tank, but instead used a damage focused protection spec to  quest insanely fast. Thanks to the sturdiness of protection, I could take on 5-6 mobs at once, up to 10 if I really wanted to live on the edge. All you need to do is charge from one mob to another, gather them up, rend one of them, thunder clap the rest of them to spread rend and then use cleave and glyphed revenge to burn them down, while at the same time focusing on killing one of them ASAP, so you're able to use the healing from victory rush.

With 7-8 mobs on you, this usually means you drop to about 30% by the time the first mob is dead, then get back up to around 50% by using victory rush. By that time, rend, cleave thunderclap and revenge have dropped the rest of the mobs to bellow 50%, which means the next one you focus on will die that much faster, and you will get victory rush again. Basically, you almost die, but then you easily go back up and burn the rest. If you accidentally take on to many, you always have your defensive cooldowns to save yourself.

This procedure worked flawlessly up to 80, but when I got to Hyjal, the jump in mob health and damage, as well as gear was to much and it took to long for me to kill even one. This is why I switched to fury and started dual wielding twohanders. It wasn't as fast anymore, but once I got some gear, I could kill a mob in under 10 seconds and already be on the next one, so questing was still pretty fast.

All in all, the warrior is a pretty fast and fun class. You'll always have plenty to do and charging is always fun. Definitely one of my favorite classes.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Jewelcrafting preparations.

This is old news by now, but I thought I'd share anyway.

It seems jewelcrafters will be able to prepare for epic cuts after all. The recipes will be bought for 5 tokens each, or you will have the option of buying a random recipe for 4 tokens. Of course, i'ts in no way worth the risk if you ask me, so I will be spending 5 tokens per recipe as soon as the patch hits. I'll get the red cuts first and then get a few purple, orange and blue ones. Yellow and green will be saved for last, If I even manage to buy any early enough. Right now, I'm sitting on 15 jewelcrafter tokens because I stopped buying blue cuts once I found out about this. You should probably do the same.

If you're one of the lucky few that sits on a heap of tokens, you should probably get the good cuts first and then use the random option to get the rest. However, if you're on a highly competitive realm, you might want to follow Critical Goblin's advice on what epic cuts to buy first. I'm not, so I will be going with my own "advice".

In other news, I'm back to 275k gold, and I'm hoping I'll go up much, much more soon, since I'm finally close to being stocked on mats again.


Friday, 28 October 2011

Class Review: Death Knight

I'm a bit at a loss on what to write here. I really have no firm opinion on the death knight in any direction. First of all, you won't be seeing the revamped vanilla zones on him, so that part doesn't matter. That also means the experience will be Outland or Northrend style during most of your leveling time, so you might not like it very much simply because of that.

On the other hand, the DK is a tough class with good damage. You won't kill things especially fast, nor especially slow, and you will live through most stuff. If you get some decent gear and a good spec, you might even do some AoE killing to speed things up.

I leveled as frost most of the time, first with a twohander during the time of WotLK. When Cataclysm arrived, I started out as twohander again, but soon realized that dual wielding is faster, simply because you get more runes. Also, be sure to switch to unholy presence in the later levels. I'm not sure which is better before 80, but unholy definitely beats frost or blood after.

In any case, you should roll a death knight simply to experience the starting zone from 55 to 60. It has some interesting lore and a good story line, so you will definitely enjoy it if you like that type of stuff.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Class Review: Mage

One word: Awesome!

I started this class out with a friend. We we're gonna level two gnomish mages together, but he gave up around level 17. I took a break from it, because I went Frost and I didn't really like it. I came back a few months later and tried some weird hybrid spec where I used instant cast spells only (Ice Lance, that arcane thing, and some others). It wasn't the fastest or best way to do damage, but for a while, it was fun as hell. I was basically playing a shooter at that point.

I did this until mid 30s, but the foes weren't falling as fast by that point. I decided to try Arcane, because I heard it's pretty strong if you get mana efficient enough. It. Was. Awesome. From this level on, up to 80, most enemies fell in one, some in two or three shots. I can't remember a single time an enemy actually managed to reach me, mostly due to the slow effect of arcane blast. Even in the 80-85 range, most enemies died in 2-3 shots. It was just insanely fast and easy. My strategy from 35 to 85 was to just run in the casting range of as many enemies as possible and simply snipe them down. Even the Northrend group quests weren't an issue. Thanks to Slow and Blink with the speed run increase, most enemies, no matter how strong, died before they could get to me. For those rare occasions where I ran out of mana, Evocation was there often enough to fill it right back up, together with my health.

To put it simply, this was the best and most overpowered leveling experience I had and I loved every second of it. A definite recommendation from me to try a mage.

Another busy day...

... so all I did was post some auctions and do the JC daily. No Netherwing today. Also, I'm all out of maelstrom crystals and they were expensive today, so I'm not expecting much profit from enchanting tomorrow.

I guess I'll do another class review.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

It's over nine thousand!

Finally got the feat today.  I was pretty close for the last couple of weeks, but it was only today that I realized I still have a few Outland dungeons to complete on heroic. I spent a few hours clearing those out and it got me 15 points over the edge. While I was already there, I also bought the Cenarion War Hypogriph. I didn't even realize I don't have it jet. As you may have noticed, I've been spending a lot of money lately, so I keep dropping in the amount I have left. I'm back down to 265 000 again. Once I clear most of those gold sinks, It will start increasing again. Oh, and I've also been working on my Netherwing reputation. With any luck in finding some extra eggs, I'll get that cleared tomorrow. It will probably be the day after tomorrow, though, since I wan't be able to play in the morning, so there will be more egg finding competition when I do it. I'm thinking I need 4-5 eggs in addition to the dailies to reach exalted tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

WoW is becomming a kid's game!

Just a quick word regarding all of this "pandaren are childish" rage. I'm sure a lot of people have at one point read this famous quote from the Bible somewhere:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Here's an expansion on that one, by C. S. Lewis:
Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
TL;DR: You think it's childish? Grow up!

Class Review: Warlock

The warlock is the second class I rolled and one of the classes I liked playing. I picked gnome, simply because I thought it fit best out of the alliance classes, but race choice really shouldn't be an issue for anyone, unless they are in one of the top guilds of the world.

I started out with demonology and I didn't like it very much. Sure, the demon keeps you alive through almost anything, but it's also very, very slow. As for destruction, back when I played it, you just had to drink fat to often. Somewhere around the 40s, I switched to affliction and I haven't looked back until 80. Starting out as affliction, you should probably take an opponent at a time, doting them up and then finishing with a shadow bolt or drain soul.

Once you get to a slightly higher level and learn most of your dots, the style of playing changes greatly. What I did was to throw dots on one enemy and just move on to another one while the first one was still alive. I could easily take 4-5 enemies in a row that way and never stop to drink or eat at all. Just as about to get one to many, one of the first ones dies, so its never an issue. If your health ever drops, death coil and haunt take care of it, and if it really becomes a problem, you always have drain life, which you can talent to heal for more if you're in trouble. Sure, on a few occasions I went to far and got my ass handed to me, but for the most part it was fast, efficient and fun.

When Cataclysm arrived, I somehow thought that destruction would be better so i tried for half a level in that spec. Suffice to say, I switched back to affliction very fast and simply wen't back to my old tactics. Of course, mobs have much more health in this level range, so I wasn't usually taking more than 2-3 mobs at a time. Still, thanks to that nifty new Soul Swap spell, it was working out very nicely. If you time it correctly, and glyph it, you can keep the dot's from your first target running throughout the few, saving you time and helping you pull more, or do some direct damage to finish them faster.

All in all, the warlock is a pretty fun class to level. Well, at least affliction is.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Class Review: Paladin

Since this was my first one, I have to also rate him first.

The most important thing to take note of here is that I've leveled him during the first months of Wrath. The way he was back then and the way he is now is very, very different.

I have to say, the experience was a bit dull. You had very few attacks and most of the damage was coming from weapon swings. I also had to drink quite often, since regeneration wasn't insanely fast back then. The seals needed a recast every 2 minutes, so that was a bit tedious to. On the other hand, the survivability was completely insane. I could easily do most group quests and I had no issues with taking multiple mobs at once.

Getting mounts was a bit simpler and cheaper than most classes, so I could get to them sooner. Once I finally got to Outland, a patch made the seals last 30 minutes, so some of the tediousness was removed, and I also got more spells, so it was less dull to play. Again, the group quests were mostly soloed, thanks to Lay on Hands, Divine Shield and big Heals. I basically had 2-3 extra lives every few minutes. This was pretty much the same throughout Wrath.

With the changes Cataclysm brought, I was pretty much on par with most classes in the 80-85 range. I felt a bit squishy at first, but once I got the hang of it, I could take on several mobs again and this time Word of Glory was the heal of choice. There are really no group quests in Cataclysm, so I can't say anything about that. All in all, it was a good experience.

I don't know how leveling from 1 is now, but I'm guessing it's much faster and more interesting. Since you have Holy Power to heal yourself now, there is probably little to no downtime. From what I hear, it's also very possible to level as Protection or Holy, so you can try that out as well. In the end, If you wan't a tough, durable class which isn't the fastest, but is fast enough, go for it.

Casually being casual.

I was very wasteful with my gold today. I wen't on a big spending spree, buying a few pets to get over 100 (at 102 now), then buying the chopper and finally going to my last three alts and getting some stuff for them to make them look nicer. I basically just removed their heirlooms and bought them some cheap gear. I definitely won't be playing my alts often, because I want to focus on getting achievements for my paladin now. I'm getting awfully close to the Over 9000 Feat.

Anyway, since not much is happening in the game, I thought I might spend some time rating the classes and how fun/fast they were in leveling.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mission Complete!

I said I would be done today and I'm done.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a (proud?) owner of 10 characters, each of a different class, all at level 85. There will be no more leveling for me until the next expansion.

There really isn't much to say about the process. I was extremely close yesterday and it only took a bit over an hour to get over the last part today. Instead, I thought I could write a few words about each of them.

Larthas, Human Paladin; December 2010
Larthas was the first one I rolled and has remained my main since. I usually prefer mages in roleplaying games, but the idea of a holy warrior with a higher purpose was attractive for me, in spite of me not being at all religious in real life. It simply seemed like the ultimate hero and protector. I bought the game back in December or November of 2008. At first, my plan was to just get Vanilla and the Burning Crusade, thinking there's plenty of content there and that I wouldn't want or need Wrath of the Lich King yet. Of course, after I actually experienced the game and realized how big the endgame actually is, I quickly folded and bought it a few days after reaching level 70. Leveling a paladin wasn't very fun in those times with 2 minute seals and very little attacks at low levels. It was sturdy, though, so I could easily solo much of the group content. I was also a clicker back then and a complete newbie. I was willing to learn, though, so I did. As for professions, I started with mining and blacksmithing because it made sense for a plate class, but switched mining for enchanting a couple of months after hitting 80 and realizing I loathe farming.

Hastral, Gnome Warlock; July 2011
After a while of endgame, my second char to roll was Hastral, my warlock. I started out as demonology, but around the 50s, I switched to Affliction and never looked back. The idea of just dotting up mob after mob and letting them die while switching to another one was one and worked great. It took me a while to level this one, but not nearly as long as my first one. This character first became my herbalist and transmute master, but is now my elixir master. Even though he was the second character to reach 80 back in Wrath, he was the fourth one to reach 85 and was part of my August push, when I got a total of 5 characters to 85.

Auriaya, Draenei Death Knight; July 2011
Around the time of my warlock, I also made my mage, but he wasn't the third to cap. He was supposed to be a character I was gonna level with a friend, but he gave up fast, so this poor gnome was left alone for al long time. I tried leveling him as frost, but I didn't like it very much, so I stopped for a while and decided to roll a death knight. The DK was the first character  to abandon my naming convention of making every name an anagram of my first char's name - Larthas. The reason for this was a bit silly, now that I look at it. I read somewhere that people prefer to buy stuff from girls. Since this was supposed to be my bank alt, I decided to make her a female draenei and name her Auriaya. Of course, I abandoned the bank alt concept very soon after that, since it involved to much relogging and mailing back and fort  and instead  each of my characters is responsible for their own crafting and selling now. In any case, the initial plan was also to keep the DK at 65, just to max a profession, but I ended up leveling to 80 anyway. Auriaya was third to 80 as well as third to 85, and also the first one from the August push.

Lashtar, Draenei Shaman; August 2011
After that, I decided to try a shaman with herbalism and inscription, because everyone was screaming how good of a money maker inscription is. I wen't back to my naming convention and named him Lashtar. He was capped pretty fast and it was a draenei again, because I wanted to see the starting zone, which was skipped on the death knight. According to the guides back, the fastest and easiest way to level was with enhancement, but I stopped with that in the twenties, I believe, and opted for a combination of enhancement and elemental instead. When I got to the higher levels, I completely switched to elemental and never looked back. I also did some dungeon healing on this one with the secondary spec. This character ended up dropping herbalism and replacing it with transmute mastery, since I already had a gatherer. Lasthar was the fourth to 80, but the sixth to 85.

Salthra, Night Elf Rogue; August 2011
Soon enough, it was time for my rogue. Again, due to the naming convention, he was named Salthra (I was running out of ideas here). It wasn't the funnest character to level, but I got him to 80 anyway. I started and and stayed combat during all of that. The main reason I made him was my plan to get the insane title, which is on hold for months now. You need a rogue for that and I prefer to have my own instead of asking someone else. After Cataclysm arrived, this one got to 85 pretty fast to, and I found it a bit more fun with recuperation. He was my skinner and leatherworker. He isn't making a lot of money right now, but  it's steady and very low maintenance. This was the last character I got to 80 in wrath and the fifth character to 85.

Sahtral, Gnome Mage; July 2011
Once Cataclysm was out and I got a bit sated with endgame (but only a bit), I got back to my mage and pushed him to the cap. He was also part of my naming convention with Sahtral as his name. At first, he was a skinner/tailor. I didn't really need skinning, but by that time, I already had enchanting on my paladin, so I didn't need that either. I switched to arcane and went for a dozen or so levels with an all-instant-cast array of spells. I'm not sure if it was the fastest way, but it was fast enough, and the ability to run and cast was pretty fun and new for me. Nearing Outland, I switched to complete arcane and never looked back. By the end of vanilla, I was one- or two-shoting everything and this speed didn't greatly drop in Outland or Northrend. Once Cataclysm was there, I dropped enchanting on my paladin to take back mining. The reason for this was two-fold. First of all, I had trouble raising any professions to the new cap, so I needed a source of materials. Secondly, two crafting professions being used to earn gold was taking up to much room in my bags and, since I had enough alts anyway, I decided to keep one big money maker per character. While this one was stuck at low level for a long time, I leveled him from there straight to 85. This was the first alt of Cataclysm to get to the cap and probably one of my fastest characters to level. He is currently at a bit over 4 days played and that's including plenty of PVP and dungeon runs for gear at 85.

Dolgar, Dwarf Hunter; August 2011
It was around this point that I decided on my goal to get all characters to 85 and I started leveling faster. Next one was Dolgar, my hunter. I stopped using my naming convention completely from this point on and used an online dwarven name generator instead. At first, he started as a beastmaster. Then he switched to marksmanship around 40 and I loved the high powered aimed shots which would almost one shot everything. I pretty much stayed marksmanship up to 85, but I kept my beast mastery off spec for soloing group content. Once I hit 85, my plan was to do PVP with my brother in law on this one, but since he was a hunter to, it didn't work out and I went back to my paladin. He is also my engineer, but isn't making money at the moment. I might revisit that in the future.

Aiken, Human Warrior; Aquinia, Human Priest; Beaufort, Worgen Druid; October 2011
After that, I made the warrior, druid and priest. I was pretty much leveling them together, switching to the one that had the biggest rested bonus. This sped things up a bit, but it also made the experience duller, so I wouldn't recommend it. If you have alts sitting on a rested bonus, just do a quick dungeon instead, or at least  try and make their levels a bit further apart. Out of these three, the warrior was the most fun and the druid was probably the least, but they all weren't to far apart. The warrior did stand out greatly at lower levels with the priest lagging behind the druid until he overthrew him starting in Cataclysm zones.

Well, that's that. My one major goal is complete. There will be relaxed gameplay in the future, and I will be spending less time in the game, playing more casually. This should affect the number of posts though, only the  type of content.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Half a step away...

Yesterday, I was busy during the day, so I didn't even touch the game. In the evening, I posted my auctions and then I watched Blizzcon. I won't write about that right now, simply because you are probably overwhelmed with information anyway. Suffice to say, I can't wait for the next expansion. In any case, I made no progress on my goal yesterday.

Today, however, I was extremely productive (or unproductive, depending on how you look at it). I pushed my druid to one quest away from 85, which means part two of my three-part plan is complete. This took me most of the morning so I had to take a break after that. I also did the Crucible quests while doing this. I also planned to get my priest to 83, but that didn't work out as planned. In fact, it worked out much, much better. I got to 83. Then I got to 84. Then I finished the intro to twilight, which got me 1 million out of 9 needed for 85. Then I also finished the Hallow's End quest line for the box pet, which got me nearly another half a million. Then I asked some guildies to take me through Crucible, which added another million or so. Then, since I was already in the Highlands, I decided to unlock the portal to get there faster tomorrow. I ended up with about 41% of the XP needed for level 85, so I only have a little over a half to do tomorrow.

This also shows how much composure and self-control I have, since I didn't push the rest of the way today.

Just kidding, the only reason I stopped is because my eyes are bleeding.

Side note: I'm at 290 000 gold

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Druids aren't as fun.

I got my druid from 82 to 84 today, so he will probably be the second part of my three-part plan. Since I'm getting real close to the cap, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the class and how it feels to level it.

It's not as fun.

It really is as simple as that. After leveling most other classes, this is what I have to say. It simply is not as fun. First, I tried balance and I managed to push to 30 on that. It wasn't fun at all. The eclipse mechanic is interesting, but the spells don't hit as hard as a, for instance, a mage or a hunter does, and the cast times are far to long. Most of the time, you feel like you're waiting for the sequence to finish. This is why I gave up on balance mid 30s and switched to feral. This was... funner. It still wasn't like protection leveling with warrior or marksman leveling with my hunter, but it wasn't as bad as balance. The mobs died much faster, mostly thanks to a high amount of crits and the fact that leveling 1-60 is easy as hell right now. Still, thanks to being energy starved after the first 3 or 4 seconds of a fight, it was still pretty annoying. Again, I felt like I'm waiting to do my next move.

Now, I don't usually mind slow-paced, tactical games where you need to think out your moves. In fact, I love them. However, WoW isn't such a game. Your attacks are supposed to be something that becomes part of your muscle memory; something you do automatically, without thinking. You execute them on a reflex basis and the majority of your attention is devoted to other stuff, like planning who to attack next, getting out of bad stuff or interrupting a spell. I'm not sure if that was the initial idea of the game, but that's how it turned out.

Other classes behave like that. They either have an unlimited resource or hit hard or fast enough not to get to starved of it. With a feral druid, I hit the two or three attacks I can afford and then I'm forced to wait until my energy recharges enough to hit another one. The closest to this style are the rogue and the hunter. However, rogues auto-attacks hit fine, so the health keeps dropping at a steady pace. You see this, so you aren't bothered to much with having to wait for energy. With the hunter, the approach is a bit different. You can't afford more than a few shots, but most mobs die within those few shots and even then, your auto-shots and your pet do the rest. Druid auto-attacks are very weak. His skills hit hard, but the auto-attacks barely do anything, or at least that's my impression. In my opinion, that's the part that makes it annoying.

With balance, we have a different kind of issue. The resources are fine, but your main attack spells have much to long of a cast time.There's really nothing else to say about it. The cast time is to long, so the fighting is boring. Mage does it better, even shadow priest does it better. It's simply to long.

Now, I understand completely that all of this changes once you reach the cap and get proper gear. Suddenly you get more clearcasting procs and enough haste to offset all of this. That's not the part I have an issue with. My issue is with leveling.

Also, I'm tunnel visioning on a druid here. I have issues with the priest as well. More on that once I get those last few levels, though.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Hyjal no more!

As planned,my warrior is practically 85 now. He is one quest turn-in from reaching it, the quest is completed and he is standing next to the quest giver. Part one of my three-part plan is completed. He also completed the Crucible of Carnage and about a half of the Twilight Highlands quests.

My druid and priest have also advanced a bit. I got them both to 82, which took going through Mount Hyjal and completing quests up and including killing Nemesis. Since my plan is to now go to Deepholme, this also means I'm done leveling in Mount Hyjal for good. Tomorrow, I plan to do the same with Deepholme. As for Uldum, I don't think I'll manage to clear it on both characters, but I might try doing it on one.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I can almost touch it!

My warrior is 84. I took him through Hyjal up to the part where the forest get's revitalized. Then I took him through Deepholme until I got the first two pieces of the world pillar. After that, it was the preparation part with Ramhaken, up to right before the attack, as well as the first part with Harrison Jones. This got me to 84, but I also decided to do the intro to Twilight Highlands. Tomorrow, I will go through the highlands and complete part one of my three-piece final plan. I will get him as close to 85 as possible, until I'm just one quest short. Then I will complete that quest, but won't turn it in. I'll park my character right next to the quest giver and wait until my other two characters are in the same situation. All three of my remaining alts will reach the cap at the same time.

Hopefully, a guildie will be online and take a screenshot.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Farewell to Northrend.

I got to 80 on my priest, which means all of my alts are now 80 or above. I won't be leveling in Northrend, ever again. I took the usual route and cleared all of Scholazar Basin, the intro to Icecrown and a bit beyond the intro to Storm Peaks. I actually got to one quest before the point I've reached yesterday with my druid. I expected to ding earlier, but I forgot about gathering on my druid, which got him plenty of extra experience.

That's it. I'm only 15 levels away from my goal. True, its the longest 15 levels, but it feels close anyway. Hopefully, I'll get one of the last 3 alts to the cap within the next few days. Who knows, I might get a level today.

Other than that, nothing else was done. Well, I'm back to 270 000 gold, but that's it. I'll focus on gold more when I reach my leveling goal.

Picture credit to Justin Kunz - Justin Kunz Blog

Friday, 14 October 2011

The first rule of the Ring of Blood - Do not return to Dragonblight

I really need to give up on  these silly titles.

As you're probably guessing, I've completely cleared Dragonblight on all of my alts now. I will not be leveling in it anymore. At the same time, I will never finish the Wrathgate quest chain either. The good thing about it - I can always go and look at the cinematic on most of my characters. Dragonblight is a pretty decent zone. There's very little of those completely on the rail quests where you just have to watch it finish itself and wait to continue, but at the same time, the pure grinding quests are either short, or the mobs are densely populated, so you still complete them fast. As an added bonus, the final group quests, which are the only ones you can't really solo anymore are all placed in a nice semi circle, so if you get a group or a high level friend to help you, you're done really fast.

As you're probably also guessing, I also finished the Ring of Blood quests of Northrend for the last time. For this one, I really recommend just getting a high level friend, because getting a group that is also capable of some team play is just painful. Also, I wouldn't recommend leveling in Zul'Drak. Its a big zone, you will probably be over or underleveled for it and it just runs to slowly with a big number of gimmicky quests. My advice would be to go through it once to get the lore, because it's good, but avoid it on your alts. In fact,

  • Borean Tundra
  • Dragonblight
  • Scholazar Basin
  • Icecrown (Argent Crusade up to Crosaders Pinnacle
  • Storm Peaks (K3, Starting Viking Lady up to the ride on the big Frost Worg, Frosthold quests to 80)

would be my leveling road of choice through Northrend.

Other than this, I've also gotten all the way to 80 on my druid, so with any luck, tomorrow will be the last time leveling in Northrend, ever, for me. The priest is 76, nearing 77.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Not as planned.

I was hoping to completely clear Dragonblight on my druid and priest today, but I didn't have as much time as I hoped. I managed to clear all but the group quest on my priest, and a few quest less than that on my druid. I was going to do the group quests to, as well as the Ring of Blood quests in Zul'Drak, but I couldn't get anyone to take me trough them and my brother in law was offline for most of the day, so he couldn't help. Still, the priest is now at 76 and the druid is 75, so that's 7 levels total, which really isn't bad.

Other than that, I did nothing else, absolutely nothing. Sorry, maybe tomorrow will be more eventful.

On a side note, something unexpected is happening. I was honestly expecting the druid to be more durable and better at soloing group content, but it seems my priest does much better. I throw a renew and shield myself, go shadow form and then start attacking. I can repeat this as many times as I want, as long as I have mana, and once that gets low, I can always go for dispersion or summon my shadow fiend to get mana back. I've soloed mobs with 100k health quite easily, which is amazing. On the other hand, even with two points in that talent that boosts healing with agility, my healing still isn't enough to offset the damage I take on my cat/bear, once survival instincts fall off.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The dance is killing the game?

Gevlon wrote some interesting articles lately. He makes some points, in his own, often controversial way, but that's not why I'm mentioning him. The reason is that he seems to be noticing something I've had thoughts about for a while. I don't like fights the outcome of which depends on flawlessly fulfilling a single requirement; where that one little thing has to be perfect or you die. I never liked them, at all. I'm talking about stuff like interrupting a spell being cast in time, or the group wipes. Sadly, a lot of the fights in newer raids seem to be going in that direction. The big issue here is that when you have 10 or 25 people that go through a "do it right or die" situation on every attempt, someone is bound to mess up most of the time. People aren't perfect, they make mistakes, and this type of boss battles makes it hard, even impossible for others to cover that mistake. This isn't "good players carrying the bad" what I would like here, this is approaching it as a team game. That's the point of the team - to be stronger combined, than each one would be individually. The way it is now, you first repeat the fight until everyone learns it, and then repeat the fight until you get lucky enough for no one to make a fatal mistake. Sure, once you get gear and the nerfs come around, then the fatal mistake might not be fatal anymore, but then it just feels cheapened.

Now, on the other hand, I don't like tank-and-spank fights any less. While the first type seems annoying and tedious, the second is just dull. There's nothing fun about it. Most decent raiders fulfill enough of their potential to turn this type of fight into a simple gear check. There's no challenge whatsoever.

This is why I prefer fights where you can mess up in many places, but none of these mistakes should be fatal on it's own. Maybe you fail to interrupt a spell, so the boss gets stronger for a while, or he does a ton of damage suddenly, but you can get through it, once or twice. Mess up to many times, or in to many different areas and you lose, but mess up a couple of times and you can make up for it somewhere else. Sadly, I'm not really sure there's a boss in this game that does this perfectly. I'm not even sure if it's possible with the current state of the game, but this is what I would like. I would like a game that's challenging, but fair. A game where every mistake lets you know you made it, but gives you a chance to fix it. That way, overall skill would make the biggest difference, and I would feel more motivated to improve myself and try harder.

Total Biscuit touched this topic in a recent mailbox video of his, while talking about Demon Souls. This is why that game is good, even though its hard - because it's constantly being fair, no one is being cheated into failing.

Goodbye Borean Thundra and Howling Fjord, it's been fun!

Today was the last time I was leveling in these two zones. To be more precise, today was the day I finished all of the quests in Borean Thundra on my last two alts and moved on to Dragonblight. If everything goes according to plan, tomorrow will be the last day in Dragonblight and probably my last time doing the Ring of Blood quests in Zul'Drak. After that, it's Scholazar Basin, Icecrown and Stormpeaks. Hmm, I guess that also means I won't be seeing Grizzly Hills either. Milestones, milestones.

Other than that, it seems I'll be doing Firelands HC with Larthas again to night. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Blizzard is selling gold!

Relax. No they aren't.

Blizzard is releasing a new pet, a miniature of the guardian mount this time. What's unique about that pet is that it will be BoE and a one time use. Of course, that means you can buy it for real life cash and then sell it on the auction house. This created a commotion in the community, with many people shouting how it will ruin the economy, how it creates a precedent and puts us on a slippery slope. This is just plain wrong, at least when it comes to ruining the economy. This is why.

Gold buying is common in WoW, it just isn't legal. I'm willing to bet most people did it, or at least know someone that did it. Now it's legal and it's better that way. Why? Illegal gold sellers get their gold from several sources, but the biggest one are the compromised accounts. Heck, most people that buy gold do it in a dumb way which then gets their account hacked soon in the future. So what happens when your account gets hacked? You report it to blizzard and get your items restored. The problem is, the gold that will be restored to you is created out of thin air, while the hacker still gets to keep his gold. In fact, he already passed it on to buyers or someone else, which is why Blizzard can't just remove it from the game - someone else, often innocent will get damaged that way. So suddenly there's more gold in the game and everyone's gold is worth less - inflation.

On the other hand, if someone buys this mount in the store and puts it on the auction house for, let's say, 40 thousand gold, someone will buy it and suddenly there's 40 000 gold less with that player. It just changes hands, no inflation happening. This is why it's a good thing.

Of course, the reality isn't that simple. In all likelihood, illegal gold selling will still be there because it will probably be cheaper. Heck, this might even encourage more people to buy illegally, since they might get the pet cheaper that way. Still, in most scenarios I can think if, this might not shift the game in another direction, but it certainly will help slow the inflation due to hacking and farming down. This is always a good thing, especially for those who don't have time for farming or playing the AH like I do.

A quickie!

Very, very little happened today. I got my druid to 73 and my priest to 71, I got up to 265 000 on the AH and that's it. I just didn't get the chance to play. The only noteworthy thing is that I'm out of rested XP now, so my leveling will slow down for a bit.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Moving Up

I'm gathering rested XP faster than I expected, so it actually might happen that I'll get past Northrend before 4.3 get's here. Right now, my warrior is already level 80, my druid is 72 with about 60-70% rested bonus, and my priest is still 70, at around 120% bonus. I'll try and finish a dungeon or two with my priest tomorrow and maybe try out healing. As for Larthas, I got in a guild group for Firelands HC and killed the first two bosses. My status is just backup, though, since I cant dedicate a proper raid week to the guild right now, so I don't expect for this to happen again any time soon.

Other than that, I got up as high as 275 000 gold, but then dropped back down to 260 000 after stocking up on raw gems and enchanting materials. I also tried some extreme undercutting tactics on the glyph market and it seems to be working, but I'm not sure if its more effective than my old approach.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Nothing major happened during the last few days, but I am making some progress. My warrior is 77 now and I'm planning to spend some of the rested bonus on both my druid and my priest today. Larthas is working on some Outland rep grinding and also needs to cap his valor and conquest points for the new week. Other than that, it's been a slow few days. My auction business slowed down a bit, because the prices of materials weren't that nice, but I managed to score some cheap supplies yesterday, so that should speed up. My total gold has been varying from as high as 260k to as low as 245k. It's at around 253k now. Oh, I also had to spend 8.5k for epic flying for my last two alts, so that slowed it down also.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Another update!

No major news, I'm afraid. 

I decided to push my priest and druid to 70, since early Northrend XP makes it easy and fast to level 60-70. This happened yesterday and took mi around 2 hours. Today, I realized my warrior is getting close to the rested cap, so I leveled him to 76. He is now ready for a full Scholazar run, which should put him around 79, and then I'll take him through a quick session in Storm Peaks. In total, that's 6 levels closer to my goal since my last update. Getting there!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Jewelcrafting - Cataclysm 4.2

I promised a usable jewelcrafting guide, so here goes…

First of all, this will not be another “I’m a gold making guru” prediction post that many other blogs seem to write these days. The fact is, while the pyrite ore craze did make some sense, no one knows how we will be making gold from epic gems in patch 4.3 and there’s a good chance that people with alts won’t be making any, unless they plan to invest some time raiding on their jewelcrafting alts. There is no certainty, but the chance is there. This is why I would like to focus on what we know – green and blue gems.
First of all, if you’re just starting, there is one site you definitely need:
I’m not a fan of “maximizing profits at all costs”. My personal philosophy is to find a fast, low maintenance way to create an income, and stick to that. Everything else is automation. While you could go the slow way of researching what gems people use on guide-type sites like Elitist Jerks, wowpopular gives you the quick and dirty basic info – what gems people use the most.

As you can see, the “inn” color this and probably most of the years in the future is and will be red. Red gems are the ones that give you the primary stats, which are the most important ones for most classes and specs. What this means is that when you start doing dailies and buying your first recipes, you will probably want one that involves an Inferno Ruby. I won’t list those here, because you are not an idiot and can use the search function, no matter where it is. Keep in mind, though, your realm might be like mine, with cut red gem prices fluctuating a lot. In that case, you might want to go with a purple or an orange cut at first, since those seem to be a bit more stable. In any case, don’t just look at how much the cut gem sells for. Look at the price difference between cut and uncut.  40g cut/ 20g uncut is just as good as 100g cut/80g uncut. In fact, it’s even better, since you can start mass producing and selling faster.

So you got your first recipe. Ok, now go get another one, and another one. In fact, get them all, because that’s all the wisdom – get recipes, buy uncut and sell cut. The order you do this in should be your decision, based on how stuff sells, prices on your server, etc.
  • You could first focus on buying one recipe of each color. That way, you could make use of good prices on uncut gems easier and more effectively.
  • You could focus on stuff that’s high on wow popular.
  • You could focus on gems with the consistently highest profit margins
In any case, the choice is yours. There is no universally right answer.

Now that you have this, you need addons to automate the process. I find Trade Skill Master to be the best all-around addon for this. It has an auction posting module, a crafting and queuing module and a shopping module. There are plenty of guides for configuring this addon, so I won’t write another one, but I will give you a few pointers:
  • Check your prices of raw gems, set some valid limit for each color. Every cut gem above that limit should be selling, any uncut gem bellow that limit should be bought. Of course, be reasonable. If your stocks keep growing and you aren’t selling anything, it’s time to move the limit on that color a bit down.
  • Produce everything. If you have the recipe for it, make it. It will sell eventually.
  • Make one posting group for each color. How many auctions of each cut you wish to post is up to you and your server. Add new cuts to their groups as you learn them.
  • Use the deal finding module to buy gems fast and easy.
That’s pretty much it. This is what I do to make 1-2000 gold a day on my Azuremyst-EU realm. It is not a big, crowded realm and there is some competition, so your results may wary based on these and other factors.  My routine is to craft only rare gems and to do this twice a day – once in the morning when I wake up, and once in the evening, before raiding. I could probably make more money by expanding to green cuts as well, but it is my opinion that this would increase my time invested greatly, while only increasing my profits marginally. As I said, my philosophy is to a low maintenance/ good yield approach.


Bye, bye, Outland!

Yep, it’s true guys. Today was the last day I will ever have to spend leveling through Outland. That is, it will be the last day, unless Blizzards decided to revamp Outland in the same way they did with Vanilla zones, at one point in the future.

It took some repetitive questing, some help from a friend (Ring of Blood) and some time, but I’m finally done. All of my characters are now level 68 or above. This also means that my leveling goal will be put on hold for a while. It seems that Northrend experience will be nerfed by around 30% in the next patch, so I decided to wait for that before I continue. I will, however, continue to use up my rested bonus so it won’t be wasted. Who knows, by the time 4.3 gets here, I might get past Northrend with a char or two.

In any case, I think I’ll try and focus on my paladin for a while now. There are achievements to be unlocked, gold to be made, gear to be acquired.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Quick Update

 I believe I already mentioned that my current major goal in World of Warcraft is to have one character of each class on level 85. After today, 7 out of 10 classes have reached that goal. What’s left is a level 73 Warrior, a level 66 Druid and a level 65 Priest. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will see Outland for the last time and all of my characters will be at level 68 at least.

Stay tuned for the next update, tomorrow. Also, I will try to write a post about jewelcrafting and how I earn some sweet auction house gold with it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

How’s gold farming coming along?

Oh! Thanks for asking, it’s been going quite well, actually. I started up pretty late and I definitely didn’t cash in on the early cataclysm craze, but I’m still quite the craftsman when it comes to earning Warcraft gold. When I started playing, I went on a big spending spree and bought plenty of vanity items, as well as some utility stuff like the Dalaran teleporter ring, epic flying for most of my alts, etc. This dropped me to around 120 thousand gold, but now I’m back at around 220k. I started out slow, because I needed to acquire some critical crafting recipes first, but over the last week or two, I have been steadily earning around 5000 gold per day, for about 20 minutes of work.
When it comes to addons, I have replaced most of mine with just one suite – the Trade Skill Master. It handles milling, disenchanting, mats shopping, crafting, posting, mailing, and pretty much everything else. Only two other gold related addons I use are the Auctionator as a better interface than the standard one for when I need to buy or sell something manually and maybe Ark Inventory, just to keep things nicely sorted.

When it comes to professions, my biggest money maker by far is enchanting. I have no idea why that is, since jewelcrafting and inscription usually get ahead, but I’m guessing it’s realm related. I probably have very little competition in that area. The second runner up would probably be jewelcrafting, then blacksmithing, then inscription. However, I get by far the best ratio of work+investment to profit from inscription. I get the feeling that if I worked hard to get most glyph recipes and really make a stockpile, I would earn a lot. Leatherworking and alchemy would be my weakest professions, and I completely gave up on Engineering, since pets rarely sell and it takes too much time to buy the materials.

All in all, I’m the king (well, maybe a duke) of Warcraft gold on my worthless realm and things will only get better.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Scroll of Resurrection

No, not the actual Blizzard service, just a fitting name for this post. Yes, this blog died on me. For a few months, even the game died on me. I enjoyed getting Cataclysm and leveling my main to 85 through the new content, but then some crap started happening. 

I wound up in a hospital for nearly a month and was stuck in a lengthy recovery after that. My subscription time ran out and to be honest, the desire to renew it wasn't there. Then a few months ago Blizzard managed to reel me back in with a free week of game time. 

I'm not playing as much as I used to, though. I decided on a new goal. I will try and get one character of each class to 85, continue with my Auction House gold earning and once the leveling portion is done, drastically reduce my game time and continue to play casually. As you can see, the larger part of my goal is nearing its completion. I have 7 characters completely leveled, and 3 other characters at 60 or higher. I hope to reach my goal within a month, but it might take slightly longer, since I'm about to lose a lot of my free time due to college.