Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Big 80

Hit 80 last night, was a mad rush the last two days. Random thoughts.

1) Jeez leveling is time-consuming. I'm the last in the guild to level to 80 I think. I wonder what that says. Yet the guild is 'casual'.
2) I imagine most casuals wont hit 80 until January sometime, like end of January. We're looking at 8-10 hours per level at a casual basis. If you play 20 hours a week (which is alot), that's 5 weeks.
3) Most of the quests are great, but at the end I was really left searching for quests. One quest that unlocks a quest hub was bugged and that whole series of quests was denied to me.
4) If you play with rested XP all the way you will still burn through all but 3 zones, the start zone, and likely two middle zones.
5) The XP required per level doesn't change much at all, but the XP per mob and XP per quest does. So it does go quicker at higher levels.
6) Many of the later quests are single quest extremely long quest chains. At most you'll have two quests in the area with very short quest chains. So get used to flying to do the quest (or running) and coming back, and repeating this 4-5 times.
7) Thus an epic flying mount is almost required for the later zones. It will take much much longer without this. However if you sell your goods on AH, dont try to level professions, sell the greens you get, you should be close to 5000 at the end.
8) Professions: Enchanting becomes awesome, no longer do you have to do endless amounts of dungeons hoping for that rare drop, and every third quest gives a reward green or even a blue (there are much more quest blues now). I calculated last night, i saved almost all enchanting mats and have about 3000g worth, too bad I need 6000g worth of mats to get to 450.
9) This implies that they design it to get you halfway to profession cap while leveling, and the rest you do after cap.
10) quests are the absolute fastest way to level. Don't do an instance more than once, and that after you have several quests leading there (the dps boost from the blues means decreased leveling)
11) Shadowmeld (night elf racial) is a feign death type spell, if you run through an area and do no damage to the mob but attract it, hit shadowmeld and they'll run back to their area. This is insanely useful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Done Raiding TBC (really)



Just announced today that the guild was taking a break from raiding. We didn't have enough to run 25 mans today or yesterday, and there is only a week left. With 5 raiding days to go, and all pre-SW content cleared, it just didn't make sense to raid when people wouldn't be able to use much of the loot (at this point most of us have gotten everything except the upper boss loot). People were very busy doing BGs and other stuff and we generally had a good time, i think everyone is really looking forward to wraith and I have no doubt people are going to come out of the cracks and the guild and server will be a thriving place again in a few weeks.

I managed to get a second piece of T6 set on sunday, now i just need to get into MH to get it. I'm now fully rocking SSO badge gear or T6 drops, so i'm happy I won't be needing to replace that gear, at least on one character.

I also ran the Scourge event and got 2 pieces of T6 equiv loot (seemingly) on my horde hunter.

So now I need to get my lock to 70 or 68, and finish leveling tailoring/enchanting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Change is good

What an interesting two weeks it's been. I took a hiatus from raiding a few weeks before the patch came out. Now its out, and raidings been very easy. How easy? We struggled through all of BT, losing people on Gorefiend, Bloodboil, Council...We got up to Council and were thrilled.

Then came patch aka Nerf city, population us.

I've never seen stuff drop so quickly.

Last Sunday we dropped Illidan for the first time. (i say we, i mean the guild, i wasn't there)

Tuesday was bugged, the instances were down. I think we did Gruul, everything else was screwy.

Wed. we (me included) one-shotted everything in BT and did a 2 shot on Illidan due to random DCs.

Sun. we blitzed through MH and downed Archi pretty quickly. He really is freaking easy, you just can't die. Well, easy for us ranged, it sure seemed like healers/melee had their hands full. Then we decided to down Lady vashj. And we one shotted her. And then lurker just for kicks.

So 7 days, 3 end boss kills, i'm exalted with both MH and BT, I need Kael for the vials quest turn in, then i can get the sexy ring.

Raiding is so ridiculusly easy its not funny. We can get through Kael next week, then I bet off to sunwell. I really like the lack of mana pot consumption. I have only used 2 or 3, whereas normally i'd be downing 20 or 30 in a raid. This sort of thing makes it dramatically cheaper to raid.

Plus the leveling, plus the random kara group. yes, busy week WoW wise.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Moving

For the time being I am moving blogging to Doctors of Philosophy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DF ending 25 mans

My raiding guild is giving up 25mans. There was a huge competition with another guild to get Illidan down, and they put in alot of effort and got him down, while we continued to dwindle. They eventually got him down, no surprise, while we can't muster 25 men for the first time in 4 months. So, we are taking a break for the time being.

Options being discussed: Old world raids, 40 man AVs, bear runs (which I don't have the skill for), other light stuff. For me, i'm still taking a break from serious raiding, and maybe am done forever. I'd like to see the Wraith content but i don't want it to become the 20 hour work week that it became.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I QUIT

Yes, I decided last night to hang up my crossbow until after the expansion. Like most I am just burned out. Since i transfered in March, we progressed through Kara (my previous guild couldn't clear Kara in 20 hour raiding weeks, this guild did it in 3 hours), through Gruul and Mag, on to Serpentshire Cavern, through Tempest Keep, Mount Hyjal, and finally Black Temple. We are currently knocking on the door of the Betrayer himself, but I am not sure the guild will survive long enough to take him down.

Anyway, we did alot of progression, and i think it's natural that I look back and say hey we did great. But anyway this is why I am leaving.

1) Too late. With raid starts at 8:30 now, I'm raiding until 12:30 usually. Not good when I need to get up and go to work.

2) Too much like a job. In the end it's just a job. You log in, you show up, get yelled by your boss routinely, demoralized, etc. If you get your bosses down, ho hum, that's your job, no big deal. The thrill is def. gone.

3) Too much work. In addition to 3 nights a week raiding, I figured out my mats requirements. Most of this you can buy at AH.

2 x Flask of Relentless Assault - you can farm for an hour or so to get these, or buy them, 60g or so of mats each. 120g.
20 x stat food - can easily buy, 20g. Or fish it or whatever.
40 x pet food - buy it from vendor
28 stacks of ammo. about 2g each (1.8g).
25 x fel mana pot - need to get mats from AH, extremely expensive. Probably 100g for those 25, and I'm the guy who makes the pot. If you buy the pot in AH, its..about 30g a stack.
Repair costs for a night of wipes. This isn't bad any more because each boss drops 10g. But if you are doing progression, expect at least 50g in costs.

So total for a typical raid night is 370g. Multiply by 3. That's easily 1000g a week in consumables. You can do dailies every day (another 5 hours of work), and thats 700g. I'll typically have to gather mats for another 2 hours. So if I am raiding 3x a week, I'm easily spending 20 hours, actually playing the char. Then there is the strategy learning, etc.

4) Too many bosses. I get so confused now that we've go through 20 or so bosses, and will face 14 on a given week. It's very hard to remember all the strats.

5) Lack of skill. I just don't have it in me to be one of the best players on the server, which is basically demanded to raid the top instances. Its humbling, but there you go. As it is, I'm in very elite company, maybe 100 people on the server have ever seen Illidan. So...we've come a long way, but now I'm ready to do other things. I look forward to playing on my Horde side guild more esp w the expansion coming up.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Seriously bored

I guess like everyone else I'm waiting on Wraith. This game has tons to offer, but eventually the content ends. At this point I have:

1) A Black Temple raiding hunter. Unfortunately I'm overgeared for just about everything in the game at this point. For example, I ran Mechinar (normal), with 3 others, a druid, warrior tank, priest healer. Warrior said he was T5, I didn't check, probably true. The others were fresh 70s. We cleaned house, I did my usual damage which ended up being 4x more than the others (which isn't ego boasting, since the others were a tank and feral druid). Point being even with one person missing and the others not well geared I overgeared the instance. I'd like to raid more, and am starting to, but for ex. today i was put on alternate because we have more than 25 people signing up, and Sunday we did MH, not black temple, due to people not showing up. Typical raid BS.

2) A 70 druid. I love this char, or should. She's resto, and respecing seriously sucks. And there isn't much of a point grabbing gear or doing instances that don't lead to anything. I can't do quests or really anything with this char b/c of the very low dps.

3) 61 lock (horde). I'm bored w/ this char, i can't get past hellfire. It's pretty sad, admittedly.

4) 55 hunter (horde). I play this char with my wife.

Anyway to me WoW is a) raiding b) questing c) PVP.

Well, I did a and c on my hunter and b with everything. So... maybe its time to do something else.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Insanely busy

Since I'm moving in a week (gah), its hard to find time to do much stuff. But anyway i managed to powerlevel Adenosine up to 59.5 now, and Gibster at 51. I swear that 40-58 grind is so insanely painful. Adeno first hit outlands at 58, and got spanked and told to go back to playing in the kiddy pool, so she went back to Silithus for a level. Now she's got a few AH greens and an extra level, she'll come back and finish what she started.

On the third run through I'm actually somewhat impressed about the quest reward tuning. The mobs at 58 are significantly harder than those at 55, and you need to step up your gear quickly. Even the boars will take me out. That said if I can make it through to 60 I'll be in better shape gearwise once i finish those quests and my spells stop resisting so much.

But otherwise, besides Adeno, not much going on. I healed norm. bot on my druid (Gibear), that was fun and very easy for me (the tank had 15k HP, which is hugely helpful). Its somewhat ironic that by the time I'm able to do the instance I don't need the gear from it. I actually look forward to level 80 instances with T4/T5/T6 gear and getting upgrades from a similiarly geared group. Now everyone wants to be overgeared to run the instance, and it's almost not a challenge.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tameable Devilsaurs

Oh My. This just increased the Wraith hunter population a million-fold. This is just... I'm so excited, the very first thing i will do when I get Wraith is to get my devilsaur (if it makes it live, but it should I think, its not OP).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wraith Hunter talents

Well I kept thinking, what type of Hunter blogger would I be without mention of the talents?

Anyway they are here:

http://wotlkwiki.info/index.php/Hunter

Also see here:

http://www.wowinsider.com/2008/07/18/wrath-beta-patch-notes-hunter/

The end talents look very interesting, with the ability to tame an exotic pet at 51 points in BM tree. I dont like the steady shot costing ammo now, since as it is we routinely blow through a bag of arrows per raid. Now we'll need either large arrow stacks or larger bags or both. Plus the cost of arrows will double (for MH arrows they are 2g a stack, that's not cheap when you are buying 24 stacks). Since we're still not in the release portion of the game its somewaht silly to comment too much about talents that may or may not make it, but the hunter changes make me excited about playing a hunter.

The most significant change isn't on the talent tree, but is here:

Hunter pets no longer use skill points to learn abilities, they have been replaced by three Pet talent trees (DPS, Tanking, Utility). (WWI)


S
o essentially you will have a pet that can either do dps, tank, or utility, or some combo of the 3. So pigs may eventually become good tanks again, and hopefully cats will fall by the wayside.

Update: The new pet trees have been revealed, they are here.

Wow, initial reaction is that i'm disappointed you cant mix and match. Apparently pet families will be in one of three trees, dps, utility, tanking. For example cats are in dps and boars are in tanking. The talents look great, there are alot of tank-like aggro grabbing abilities now. However, there isn't much of a armor/health buff on the pet, so they are still going to be quite squishy. And I don't see much to help for PVP (except one talent in the utility tree that allows the pet to break CC).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Divorce!

From my starter guild/server anyway. The time finally came last week when I realized I could transfer my druid and have my hunter run dailies in half the time it would take my druid, I wouldn't have to continually respec, I could use the synergy from the druid/hunter (druid has enchant, so can make mana oil and DE stuff for the hunter, hunter can provide alchemy pots for druid), and more importantly tag along to a guild kara run and grab loot.

So I did transfer, leaving my wife, 4 toons, and my long standing association with the Ancient Ones (who never did anything and can't seem to down Gruul despite 100 70s (or more). I'm much happier as far as WoW time, I really consolidated alot, and now I have a goal for running instances/kara again. I'm also not doing serious raiding regularly, so that helps, especially when I'm so busy. Anyway, sad to leave Blackwater Raiders behind, but most of my friends have stopped playing on the server, so it's a moot point.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hunters without pets?



A new talent that may or may not be related to hunters in the latest Wraith build is Camouflage. I'm not sure the camo ability really goes with the hunter image. Sure it may be a nice trick for PVP, but there is the obvious pet issue. To me it would be very interesting if they changed the MM tree around to give you about as much dps as the BM tree without the pet, and not allow you to use a pet. Which is really really odd, but there you go. A 'lone ranger' of sorts. It would allow these types of talents more usefulness, for sure.

Loot greed

My response to this article on Massively

Couple of issues. First regarding the wealth distribution. It is true, in a capitalist society wealth is unequally distributed. However, the richest 1% pay the lion's share of the personal taxes in this country, and that tax rate has been very high in the last few decades. It went down under Bush but not more-so than the middle class. This isn't the place for politics, but people are dead wrong about the 'tax cuts for the rich' that people complain the Bush administration gave.

Second, you are absolutely right that in WoW it's a two tier system. First its character level then its gear leveling. At 70 your abilities double, triple or quadruple depending on your gear. For example, my dps on my hunter has increased 4 fold and can increase another two fold beyond that. That's 8 fold above the normal level 70 in basic equipment. So to get to 70 it is pretty easy, you don't have to do all the quests, you dont have to do the dungeons.

However, at 70 there is a rude shock. To do the heroic version of teh dungeons, you suddenly need much better gear than you'll typically get at 70. So you need to do the battlegrounds, and do the upper-end normal dungeons, and obtain epic crafted gear. There is a huge 'gear gap' between raids and heroics versus normal dungeons, and this gap can take months to overcome. This is pretty annoying and I hope they do a better job at it in the next expansion. Currently the end-game normal dungeons just aren't run, there are very few newly minted 70s. All the older 70s do the heroics for the badge reward. Thus the gear gap is much more challenging to overcome now that it used to be six months or a year ago, due to aging of the player population.

Lastly, while players are greedy, there are systems in place to aleaviate this. For 25 man raids our guild uses a point system like the vast majority of guilds. You put in the time, you get the points. You bid the points on the loot you want. If you are the high bidder, you win. Now, this doesn't prevent warriors from bidding on hunter gear, but its fair in the sense that they earned the points.

As you mentioned the WoW end-game raiding is based on tiers. Its reasonably expected that players need to have much of their gear in the previous tier to be successful in the next tier. For example, to do Kara you really need to have drops from heroics and badge rewards. That's sort of a tier 3.5 for a tier 4 instance. For SSC/TK the whole raid really needs to be in solid tier 4, no blues. For BT, the raid really needs to be in Tier 5/badge gear, with little/no Kara gear. The raids are designed this way, so its not a matter of greed as it is that it's required for all the players to have appropriate levels of gear.

I don't expect people to display common courtesy or ethics in this game. It's too easy to get away with things. If you didn't roll need when you needed to, you should have. If people are ninjaing loot, then the guild needs to have a mechanic in place to deal with it (masterloot). But by and large the death of guilds is due to #1 lack of timely progression, and #2 loot drama.

Flight times?

Why does it take 10' to get from one end of the continent to another? Why does it take 19 secs to get from IF to the isle of QS yet 10 min to get back?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ending the addiction?

Powerful article. I think at least half of the WoW population is addicted. I make efforts to cut back, but right now my life is so messed up and extremely stressful, this is the only thing I know that helps me cope. Anyway I am hoping once life becomes untangled I will be able to destress better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

pre-kara gear guide for resto druids

Here

Better late than never?

I've been trying to gear up my druid for either tanking or healing. I've somewhat given up on the character. I have LW 375 but no epic set yet (i got the healing LW specialization), I have the gloves of living touch. In theory I could go heals (i'm feral now). I just can't find a group to save my life. Nobody, i mean nobody, does normal instances anymore unless its ramps or SP at low 60s. I can't get enough good gear to tank anything or heal anything.

Its a really nice thought to have this guide, but with endgame being the way it is, nobody wants to help people gear up. It's all heroics and kara now. I am in one of the largest guilds on the server (probably the largest, some 100 70s, 3 kara groups). Nobody runs these instances for any purpose, ever (on my server)....So good luck trying to gear up for raiding at this point unless you have very kind guildies willing to 4 man heroics for you.

I think basically people are doing heroics now soley. If you can't step foot into heroics, dont bother. I did do Heroic SP late late saturday night and got a ton of stuff, a nature resist LW pattern (extremely useful for SSC, not that anyone will run SSC now), a epic leg piece which my hunter had and is great for dps, some other stuff. But by and large, a) gear in heroics is pretty terrible (the blue gear that drops from bosses - the last boss tends to drop a epic now and again) b) You have to be geared to do the heroics, and I'm really not. I could barely do hSP (easiest one) , and certainly not in my intended role. So...good luck to people wanting to get stuff. Honestly the best thing is to tag along a kara clear for a T5/T6 geared guild.

That said, if you do the Windhawk Armor set, you get about 530 bonus +heal off the bat. You can gem with Unstable Sapphire (+9 heal/+4 spirit, purple gem) or Purified Shadow Pearl (same as above but +3 spell damage too), and Teardrop Living Ruby (+18 heal, red gem) (or just all TLR = 6 x 18 = 108 +heal). So about 640 +heal off the bat if you ignore socket bonuses. Gloves of living touch is +77 heals, so 720 +heal from those 4 pieces, and another +75 heal if you manage to get the heal enchants. Roughly 800 +heal from 4 pieces properly gemmed and enchanted. But right now I'm broke and the cost is something like 1000g each for mats (much less if you can farm ingredients of course).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raiding hiatus

I decided its time to step back from raiding for a bit. I got some good news regarding a job prospect in North Carolina, and really need to focus on selling the house, moving, finishing up my current project, transitioning said project, etc. Anyway that will happen next week since I already signed up for stuff this week. I did receive another piece of nice BT loot last night (we got shade down, so are 3/8 in BT). I plan to do the Naaru heroics tonight, Tue night return to BT, Wed out with friend, Thur Mag's lair (should be an hour or so of raiding). Fri/Sat off, Sun last raid on BT. I'd certainly like to see Illidan down, but will have to wait until after I move to NC most likely.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Probably not a good thing

One of my comments is the picture for 1. Local - a weekly blog entry focusing on reader comments. Which just shows that i comment too much.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WoW API book



This seems incredibly useful. Plus this blurb from the author of probably the best WoW Addon: Omen.

Wow. Now this is a gem of a programming reference. The bar to writing tech references is really low these days, and as a result there are lots of tech books on the market that are really empty and only end up giving you one or two useful concepts.

This is not one of those books.


I'm going to order a copy and see if i can make something useful.

Entered Black Temple


I think the goal of most raiders is to down Illidian. When i first started playing WoW, the Black Temple (BT) wasn't around. It came out a few months after, and I thought to myself "gee, I want to see that". Then I thought "i'll probably never do it, because raiding is too hard, etc". So... a year later, I'm in the BT, doing progression raiding in one of the best-progressed guilds on the server. Now, granted on most servers, there are many guilds that have downed Illidan.

However, our server is new, our guild is new. The guild was formed 4 months ago. I've been playing with them about 3 months. We started in kara and quickly geared up (most people were in all kara gear at that point). We then got enough people to start 25 mans, doing Gruul twice, Mag twice, and then entered SSC/TK. After downing most of the bosses there once or twice, we decided to move to T6, since at that point everyone had the patch 2.4 badge gear, making the T5 stuff sidegrades at best. Now we are in T6, and everything is a upgrade.

Two nights ago two hunter loot dropped, a fellow hunter and an idiot warrior got them. Last night was my turn. I'm now the proud owner of Wraps of Precise Flight Nice upgrade for me, and the first useful upgrade since ZA.

Unfortunately, being in a BT guild is a sink or swim situation. Everyone is gearing up via DKP, which requires raid attendance. For example, I was gone from two raids last week. Because of that I had no DKP points, I couldn't bid on the two hunter items that dropped on Sunday, and I'm way behind on DKP for other things (doubley so since I just got a piece of gear). If I were to leave and come back 2 months later, the guild may be disbanded, and my raid spot will certainly have gone away.

Raiding guilds are constantly hemorranging people and acquiring new people, due to burnout, etc. Its a huge time sink. I am in one of the very few guilds that doesn't screw around and takes raid time very seriously. Almost all guilds at this level of progression are doing something like 3 nights progression a week, 5 hours each. 2 nights farm stuff like SSC. 1 night whatever, ZA or Kara. As it is, we do typically 4 raids a week, 3 are guild raids and you get DKP for. Essentially we do ZA to get gear upgrades easily (which isn't readily doable in 25 mans). So even though my WoW time is completely consumed by 3 nights of raiding, its what I'd consider a bare minimum to stay in a BT guild.

My goals are as follows. I'd like to see Illidan. I'd like to get my netherdrake (need about 7 more rounds of SMV dailies). I'd like to get my Champion of Naaru name (need to finish two quests and Mag). And..that's it. I dont' want to see Sunwell. I don't really want to raid on my druid. I imagine i'll have this stuff done in a month at our current rate of progression.

Too much WoW!

Argh. Gonna have to face it you're addicted to WOW. I think 90% of players are addicts and can't help but play every day. However at this point in my life I need to focus much more on my career and finishing my projects so my wife and I can move together. If I can't finish my work in time I can't move with her.

So....Some hard choices. I decided to limit myself to 15 hours a week of WoW. No dailies in the morning, no playing all weekend. 15 hours total. Farming, Raiding, leveling. This week (starting Tuesday) I already put in 4 hours for our BT raid. I plan on raiding Thur and Sun. That will probably be my full alotement.

Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't have a 'total hours of WoW a week' option, but it does have a handy play schedule you can make, restricting your (or your kids) playtime to certain times/days. So thats what I did, excluding from 1am to 6:30 pm every weekday. We'll see if I can keep this up or just need to go cold turkey.

I obviously enjoy playing, but I need to prioritize. If I wasn't raiding I would probably stop play all-together.

I feel its a vicious cycle for two reasons. 1) There is always more stuff to get. Always another piece of badge gear you can get with just one more Kara run (4 hours). Always another piece of Arena gear you can get with just one more week (1 hour). Etc etc etc. The game is really good at giving you feedback towards your goal, and at end game its something like this. Put in a full week (10 hours) of farming/dailies to make a piece of super epic gear. Put in 10-20 hours of battlegrounds to get one piece of gear. Put in a full raid night and hope to come away with a piece of gear (or not). But all this takes time. Many people have an entire PVP set, they must have spent hundreds of hours at 70 just doing BGs and arena. Most raiders have spent tons of time progressing through heroics, kara, ZA, etc.

2) To raid, you need a ton of consumables. My costs are between 100g and 200g a night. We're doing progression, you can count on dying alot. I think i spent 100g in repairs last night. Plus ammo, plus food, plus pet food, plus flasks. A fel mana pot is 5g of mats. I used 20 of them. A flask of relentless assault is about 40g, I used one. Etc etc. If you dont do dailies you are quickly going to go broke. I have enough saved up such that I will go as long as possible without wasting time doing dailies. I think i can go two months without. That's just if you buy it. I can farm my own mats for potions, but that takes time. I spent half an hour trying to farm last night, i got like 3 teracone for my efforts (the zone had 2-3 other players trying to find the same stuff, not going to work).

3) The biggie (to me) . If you log in for an hour on each toon you can do your dailies and make 100g per toon. (thereabouts). I ended up wasting so much time online just aquiring gold,(which you need to advance), whereas I could be working and being productive. "Its just an hour" quickly becomes "Its just 3 hours" and now you've wasted 20 hours a week doing dailies. I'd rather spend in game time on friends and doing fun stuff, not wasting time getting gold or BG honor. I would absolutely love for Blizz to have weeklies, do the quest once a week, get double the reward or whatever. Dont force people to log in every day on every toon to do dailies blizz!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Jewelcrafting obsenely overpowered?


All crafting professions have several issues. 1) The leveling patterns are essentially worthless by the time you get to making them. The best thing you can do while leveling tailor/leatherworking is to also level enchanting so you can disenchant the items. 2) People are stupid. 3) The really good stuff have very substantial material costs. Pre-kara epics always have a primal might and/or primal nether component (the later used to be only obtained from the end of a heroic dungeon run)

WoW is almost completely player-driven economics. However, jewelcrafters (JC) have all decided to a) remove many uncut gems from market b) make a ton of money from just cuts. Each JC pattern costs a ton of money, so you need to charge alot just to break even. And most of these pats can be aquired either through consortium, purchase on AH, or SSO/badges. Whereas with something like LW or Enchant, the rep pats are all over the place.

I remember one guy mentioning on a forum in 2.2 or thereabouts, that he made tens of thousands of gold just JCing, log in every day, prospect, cut, profit.

Perhaps its the *only* craft prof to make money? I do LW/enchant, almost none of LW stuff is sellable at profit, even epic/rares. (I sold my first epic for 100g profit, but i paid 600g for pat, i doubt i'll be able to sell 6 more to break even). Faradhim mentioned the trick of making something and DEing it. Usually the LW mats are the same cost as the DE mats, so no profit there. And so many times (again even with very high end stuff such as riding crops) the cost of the finished product is less than the mats go for, sometimes much less. Its the players that have no idea how to price items and feel they must screw up the market for everyone. If the real world was like this, everyone would starve.

Its almost a guarantee, if the pattern can be used to level your profession, the item is priced far below material cost, regardless of the demand for the item. For example, Riding crops. Used to be on our AH for as low as 100g. Primal mights are always at 120 or higher. Riding crops are a primal might, a large pris shard (always around 20g), and some leather. Now the RC market has increased slightly (and Allakazam shows that the median price is 188).

The perspective on JC is only a feeling, I'd like to know if they can really make money hand over fist. A friend claimed that he made tons of money with alchemy/herb, but he probably did farm herbs for hours on end. I certainly dont use the primal might CD (like ever), because I dont need the money on my hunter. (again, i wish my druid and hunter were on the same server).

Hit 70 and nothing to do!




Well, not quite.

I absolutely love being 70, I love the money influx (3000g in two weeks...probably more like 4-5k if you count mat costs?), I love leveling my profs (I'm now 375 LW, 359 enchant). But....I like to get more enchant patterns, but they are rep based or drop in instances. And i can't get an instance to save my life.

Right now the main thing I can do with my druid is either do quests with wife for cash, or farm for mats for my gear. Arena is probably out until I find a partner or make the LW set (plus my uber Gloves of Living Touch) BGs are very painful (10-20 hours for a item? Pls) Kara is out obviously. I can't find people to run instances with (even as a tank). Yes there is alot to do at 70, but right now...not so much for me until I can get the gear, which requires some hard quests which I need help with.

I wish...I wish i wasn't stuck on this server, I wish my best friend's horde guild could switch server and faction (or me visa versa), I wish more people were around to play with, i wish people would be willing to help out guildies...Last night 30 people were on, none could help. I think people are burned out in this current guild and maybe server (and maybe overall). Nobody wants to run the instances, etc.

Dailies and Glider


WoWJones has two interesting articles, one asking if botting was okay in wake of the Glider banning (Glider is a botting program). The second asks if the 2.4 dailies have caused too much price inflation.

1) If you are botting, you are denying a RL person (or another botter!) the chance at earning that farmed material. For example recently my wife has been leveling through Nagard and skinning every "walking leather" she sees for me, so I can make my Heavy Clefthoof set (which is an amazing set for pre-kara druid tanking). If there were botters farming these, it would be much more difficult for me to progress, since I dont have enough gold to actually purchase the set. (My gold is being saved for epic healing gear)

2) I have noticed that the drop rate is dependant on how actively farmed the item is. It really does differ from day to day as far as I can see. For example, Elemental plateau. Sometimes the drop rate is one mote per kill (average), other times its 0.2 motes/kill.

3) They also recently nerfed Hunters with boar pets specifically, we hunters think that has a large degree due to the botting. With boars you would almost guarantee not to pull aggro, now you have to do alot of tricks and more actively manage your pet. Makes it difficult for botters.

All this says to me that Blizz is very serious about botters. I won't deny that their customer service does suck, and many people have been unfairly caught up in it. However, I want to be able to play the game too, and be able to get my clefthoof set. Its more difficult to do that when the drop rate is so low that thousands of clefthoof are required.

On the other hand (and this was your point I think), I see the poor rationale in banning people who bring much needed supplies into the game now that we have much more money at our disposal. My thought is that Blizz not only wants to make raiding easier, but they also want people who are leveling professions to spend more time in game acquiring the resources they need (in a legit fashion). It goes back to the time-sink philosophy - the more time they make casuals invest in the game, the more money they make.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hit 70, now what?

My druid is 70 now (idk why the banner won't update). But her dps sucks majorly. One thing I found was that the gear was all bad. I went to the AH and bough a bunch of greens and they were mostly upgrades.

Further the spec is bad. This is the proper spec.

I may go balance or something to get through dailies quicker. My plan is to get enough money to make my epic LW gear and tank a bunch of stuff to get tanking gear.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whats new

Well, wife and i decided to spend much of the weekend playing WoW. It was fun and a relief from worrying about job interviews and the like. She is gone today and tomorrow, and again sunday/monday. I am gone Sunday/Thursday for conference. So now we are getting busy. Anyway! What got done:

Started sorta playing my lock with Faradhim . He has this idea of two-manning instances. Sounds like fun. We have two tanks, and two dps, and we can even sorta heal the tanks. We managed to do Ulda pretty easily after we figured out the swing of things. Being 6-7 levels above everything helps alot. Anyway it was fun! Bottom line. We next want to tackle ZF (level 44 mobs). We are now 48/47, so in the lines of doable. Other than that, i'm real bored with the lock, idk why. She's slow to level, has truoble with multiple mobs, things take a long time to die, etc. I look forward to getting to 50 and the new zone (not ungoro, i refuse to step into that place again).

Druid. Spent alot of time on the druid, getting some group quests done, doing the SMV quests. They are all hard to me. Finally I'm hitting my cap. I think i need better gear (i probably do actually). I haven't had any dps upgrades in a long time to be honest. When i ran instances i usually got healing upgrades. Quest rewards? Healing upgrades. Very little in the way of feral dps upgrades out there. Wife and i played a bit in nagard, finishing some of the "kill x mobs" quests. Let me tell you, when she and i play, stuff dies fast, real fast. We burned through a bunch of quests quickly. Druid is now 69 (just hit), i want to get to 70 quickly and get some tanking gear so i can start doing the 70 instances. Kara? Maybe, maybe. Not sure if i want to go back to 20 hours of kara wipes a week (actually, i dont, and i dont have time for it).

Hunter. Even played with the hunter alot. I logged on Sunday for the normal raid, and ended up going to ZA. No drops, but some badges and some quests done. And!!! At around midnight we decided to storm heroic Shat halls, the toughest in the game. And we blitzed through like it was candy. God heroics are easy with T5 geared people. So i finished 1/4 of my Champion of Naaru quest (4 heroics and Mag). Logged in Monday and got into a heroic fest. We did UB (daily, woot), and hSV (so now 2/4 for Naaru quest). Then wife and I went to see Indiana Jones, which was enjoyable but not a omg must see it flick.

Every time i get sick of the raiding guild and the raiding life i login and do raids and its easy and fun with well geared and skilled people. At the same time I look forward to being able to say 'yes, i can do that heroic' again on my druid's guild.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Growl unchanged in 2.4.2

It looks like from all the PTR testing growl is essentially unchanged. Boars are probably nerfed (due to the removal of growl's ability to scale with pet AP), but i haven't seen confirmation of this.

Anyway this is a recap of the issue plus solutions.

1) *something* changed in 2.4, that something was probably the fact that growl no longer fires first. 2) That lead to the charge/growl uncoupling, thus boars got hit hard with 2.4. 3) That lead to Hortus saying that growl will no longer stack with pet AP, thus nerfing boars. Fine. I have no idea if this nerf has still taken place or not. I'm guessing it has. All pets are doing less aggro due to #1. 4) Hortus claims that pet growl now stacks with hunter AP. The reports are not so clear but it doesn't look like it.

The upshot of this isn't that the hunter class is broken, but we need to readjust. Boars are no longer supreme. I went out and tamed a skettis owl (plus another owl to get max screech first). With this owl at loyality 2 (screech trained). I could down the skettis tree giants just fine.

For grinding, you will now need to do the following.

1) Pet attack, wait for growl to fire first. Then steady shot/autoshot. 2) Misdirect whenever its up. Doing this initially will almost guarantee you will not pull aggro. 3) Intimidate when up. Again you won't pull aggro if this is done. 4) FD at mob's half health mark (usually when you are about to pull aggro). 5) If all these are on CD and you are still having threat issues at the beginning, you need to go back to #1. 6) If you pull threat half-way through and all CDs exhausted, hit disengage or just autoshot. I almost never get to 6.

We have a ton of aggro management tools under our belt. We can still grind fine to do dailies and what not. With lower level pets its very painful due to lack of max growl rank. It's always been that way. Hunters are not broken, we just need to readjust our playstyle.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Signs that indicate your PUG is going to be bad

1) Where's the instance
2) Two healers
3) Hunter: What's chain trap?
4) Hunter in rogue blues and a tanking gun / 20 level old gun
5) Hunter who doesn't believe in pets.
6) Did anyone bring water?
7) Ranged dps: Oh i don't believe in drinking, i just autoshot until my mana comes back up.
8) Corpse run: Help I can't find the instance.

Tanking PUGs

I talked about PUGs previously here and here on my hunter and here on my feral druid.

As Resto4Life (and others) have mentioned there is a paucity of tanks for PUGs. Here are my thoughts. TL;DR, so far PUGs are entertaining for me, I raid in a serious guild, and this is my fun char. I never know what to expect with PUGs. As long as we can get through the instance fairly easily, it remains fun. But I like being able to switch from healer, to dps, to tank, depending on gear and spec. My previous thought was I would do healing for kara, but now I'm thinking i'll keep feral gear so I can do the odd tanking job, once i hit 70.

I occasionally tank. I tanked all saturday, I believe. I just got started in outlands, we're in zangamarsh. I play with my wife, she doesn't like groups much. For her WoW is a mostly solo adventure. Anyway, my experiences.

1) SP (of course not heroics, i'm 63). This group had a hunter in level 60 blues and purples. But the blues were rogue gear, and the purple was a level 40 gun. And no enchants. That's fine, you can go with appropriate greens and no enchants. But they need to be appropiate. Then we had the two healers. holy paly and a resto druid. Add to that a fury warrior I believe. Anyway, just about anything would work in below 70 instances. So we chugged along and did fine. Until we got to the 3rd boss, and we wiped.

No problem. We run back, but one person had to leave and left, the other (the hunter) said they had to go and clean their house and take a shower. No problem, we removed them from the group to get on with our lives. 5 minutes later, the hunter comes back. Lots of cursing. I apologized 4 times, was under the impression they were leaving. Others had same impression. Didn't help. Finally I put him on ignore. THen he proceeded to cuss out every other group member, until everyone had him on ignore. Then he proceeded to cuss out our guild on Trade chat. I submitted a petition to a GM at this point. I have no idea what happened. Hopefully he got a ban.

So to replace this guy,we found another hunter via LFG. He was a solo hunter, didn't believe in pets. We all laughed a bit (my main is a hunter, been playing for a year, i know the class quite well). Okay, whatever. Its a RP server. Fun enough guy, didn't have any problems. (but what's with hunters anyway?). Turns out this guy RPs that he's a bounty hunter, anyway, a fun, strange person. We finished the instance fine I believe. Well, I would inevitably die when the boss was at 10%. I blame this on healers. I may be wrong :)

2) UB. We did it with a shammy, resto druid, a lock, someone else. Me tanking. We get to the 3rd boss, the hunter. I tell the lock to sic their pet on the bear add. He said fine. Sure enuough, felhunter was on the main hunter boss. We wipe. I asked what happened. He got confused between the two bears (me and the mob). That was funny. Take two, was fine.

3) Ramps. This was a mostly guild event, fun. Again a hunter, a prot paly, a level 70 raiding holy paly who insisted he had some good thing to get from one of the bosses here (whatever), me and another feral druid. After several trash pulls I realized that we had a prot paly - he tanked the rest. I could dps well but his was lacking for obvious reasons. We lived mostly because of healing uberness. I had to explain chain trapping to the hunter. The prot paly never heard of LOS pulling. We didnt' wipe at all, it was great. The last boss was fun though, two of the party members (inc the tank) accidently fell through the place you jump down to exit the instance quickly. So we finished with the uber healer, one dps, and me tanking, and standing in fire and not realizing it (because i'm an idiot, but also because I wasn't taking any damage thanks to the heals).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New BM Raiding guide

Here

Meet my new friends



Murloc is my skettis owl that i dumped Lunchmeat for (a stupid worthless wolf).
Egbert is my new pet from Children's Week quest.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

All about bear/cat specs

Here! Great writeup.

10 commandments of raiding

Excellent list!

New Header

WooT! Thanks Faradhim!

Yesterday




Yesterday,

WoW was such an easy game to play,
Now those days seem so far away,
How I long for yesterday.

Suddenly,
I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh why did they nerf my pig Kenny?

Why she had to go I don't know,
They wouldn't say.
I said, something wrong,
How I long for Kenny to stay.

Yesterday,
WoW was such an easy game to play,
Now I need to tame something gay,
Oh I believe, in yesterday.

RIP Kenny 2007-2008

Crafting leveling

I think by far the thing I am enjoying most about my little druid is that she has useful crafting professions, and both are over 300 (in TBC territory). Now she can make Assault enchant to bracers (+24 AP). This is actually useful! Its the best bracer enchant for dps types such as hunters and rogues. And pretty cheap. I sell it for 12g, the price of mats. I actually had my first client today, a level 50 rogue. I had to go to SW for him, but whatever.

With all the money i made over the weekend selling old enchant mats and recipes, I used to buy Knothide leather by the ton. I finally got enough to power through to LW 350, and made two Riding Crops. These babies aren't cheap, each requires a Primal Might and some enchant stuff (which I happen to have!). But I'm still a bit away from being able to craft these wonderful things. And of course now I am broke, but with two Riding crops, and something like 100 Arcane Dust.

Hopefully i can sell the Riding crops at least for a small profit (enough to pay for mats and a bit). I must say I was discouraged when I hawked it in the Trade channel and promptly got ridiculed for asking 5g above the AH price. Yeah, whatever. THe issue is that the kids in Trade don't understand economics and don't understand profit. Its very reasonable to make 10% profit on your goods, especially when it took thousands of gold in mats to reach that point. Anyway I hope to get to 365 via Riding Crops, and then I can make the Drums. Don't make the mistake of making more than one drum set (I found out quickly), they don't sell at all, because they require high level LWers to use anyway.

Drums of Battle - extremely useful in raids, such that top guilds such as Nilhium has everyone in the raid at 350 LW to use these things, so as to get the stacking haste benefit. In order to down the sunwell bosses, this type of thing is required. There is a catch though, you need to be honored with Sha'tar, which is fairly easily obtained because you can buy the marks right off the AH.

It's pretty cool, with my profs and my druid plan, I can easily get into T6 content if I wish. At T6 the resto druids really shine because of the huge amount of raid damage incurred. (As do Circle of Healing priests and resto shammys). But by and large my impression is that a Resto druid is hugely helpful in T6 content.

Raiding T5 level

Well, yesterday was another fun-filled raid. (sarcasm). Actually it was okay. But i had to rush home (5 min prior to raid start), wolf down food (J was kind enough to give me her reheated food, and turn on my PC and log me in). Meanwhile i nearly choke to death on the chicken because I didn't chew it throughly. Beyond that, things went okay. We downed Lurker Below and Hydross . So we are 2/6 in SSC and 1/4 in TK. Not bad!

We continue to have enough dps to get through the bosses, but that will come up short at some point (soon I'm guessing, since we are only doing one ZA raid a week, and I'm never allowed to go, for odd reasons). Anyway we are now doing 2 nights of 25mans and one night of 10 mans. They are talking about moving to 3 nights of 25mans and one night of 10mans. That's a bit much, and I don't see everyone going to all of this. I myself am happy with 2 nights of 25mans.

What dropped? This mail chest piece. Now, normally you would think, hunter loot. Well, turns out shammys like that too. We had 3 hunters, and the discussion went like this.

Me: Guys, you two bid for it (implying i wouldn't bid on it, even though its a huge upgrade).
Strat: nah it's not a upgrade for me.
Cuddles: Okay, i'll bid.
Me: Well since strat isn't going to bid, i'm going to bid 50 dkp.

At this point cuddles knows that if he wants it, he has to bid more than 50 dkp. This is fair. I'm telling him he can have it if he uses a bit of dkp (60). But we all forgot about the shammy, who had exactly 70 dkp, and did indeed bid 70dkp. So did Cuddles. Cuddles lost the role. Cuddles lost the item. But now Cuddles and I have over 200 dkp in T5 content, and we'll get whatever. Me, i'm wanting the T5 tokens asap so i can get the great bonus. So i'm saving for that. But since everyone wants the tokens too, i may have to wait a while. Particularly if I'm only doing 2 nights of content a week.

Wowheat tooltip test

Arc. Steam Pistol.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

broke bear :( Or - How I learned to stop worrying and love the grind




My druid is enchanter/leatherworker, both in 300s. When my main left the server i dumped whatever i could onto my druid, hoping it would last until 70. Haha. We did manage to save enough for my wife and my level 60 mount, and enough for her 70 flyer. That said, I blew most of my remaining gold on a SSO pattern for resto druids. So I started the weekend with about 200g, absurdly low for me. So what to do.

Well, I could go and do old instances. I thought Mara would be fun. Ha! Mara is extremely long and annoying. I think it took us two hours to clear the place. Yeah, I needed my beloved lock with green ponytails to come help. It was fun though, we were so high level that we could walk by almost all mobs. At least we got to experience the place, i've never been, and neither has she. I probably wouldn't go as a group unless we had 3-4 hours to spend there. We didn't even finish, we got to the cavern before princess, and wiped because I got feared into a big mob group. No way would we spend the next hour running past all the mobs again. Probably should have soulstoned come to think of it. Oh well. That was the other issue, we ran out of soulshards since the mobs were grey to us. Next time we do this - bring a huge stack of soulshards. At the end I got 3 small brilliant shards that sell for 10g each. Not exactly an efficient use of time (we could have done our outland quests and gotten the same amount of dough).

Then I thought, well I'll do ZF , I know it very well, and its pretty short. I ended up dragging a 44 guildmate there, and we stealthed by most everything (kitty druid FTW). But again I couldn't do the bosses by myself, we got two down and the others were beyond us. Not enough dps i guess. Sad panda.

===========End wall o text=======
===========Begin Guide here======


Anyway! While doing all this running around, I amassed a ton of patterns from vendors scattered all over the place. Critical patterns at that (ie the cooking one for 275-300). And these all sell like hotcakes. Even the stuff in outlands, that you could grab in a five minute flight. I've sold tons of these in the last few days, and was up to 450 gold when i last looked. At this point I'm trying to just enjoy the leveling grind and profession grind. Hopefully i can hit LW 350 by the time the new patch hits and sell some riding crops, and at least break even.

So then I ran across this post and wrote the below as commentary. Pretty standard stuff, but i see this over and over again.

Well, you don't expect two epic mounts overnight right? It took me 2-3 months to scrape up enough gold for my epic mount. At the time, there was the skettis and ogri'la dailies. I did those every single day. Every day. That was 100g/day right there. Now if you want you could do the SSO dailies too, or alternate days SSO vs ogrila/skettis. Do this every single day.

Do you craft? Make stuff that's purple and sell it on AH (or trade), you should get some sort of profit, 100g is more or less typical.

Do you gather? Then gather. After dailies (and of course during). Those are the most efficient for time. Head to netherstorm and SMV and get the herbs. Or do mining runs.

Instances...if you can enchant and are 70 already, then maybe the old end-game instances are worth it. I know the dust/shards from 55-60 gear is really expensive, and enchanters need a ton of that dust to get through the last part prior to 300 (but you probably know that). I tried a few 40s instances, my druid was 63. I couldn't do it alone, and it wasn't an efficient use of time (2 hours plus repairs for 20-30g of stuff). You are better off doing your leveling quests that reward 2-3g each plus the ocassional green.

Lastly there is the traditional farming, slaughter mobs for greens/patterns. I would do this if you want a specific BOP pattern that drops off specific mobs. Ie the fel mana pot pat that drops of the BEs in SMV. Or there is always the elemental farming. This, I found, was not terribly efficient and extremely boring. I think i could make 50g per hour doing this.

Rate the outland dungeons

From my comment on Fara's blog

haha, great! Black morass is much fun as well. Those are probably the two best instances in outlands. Lets see, if we had to rank em.

Hellfire:
1) Ramps - its pretty much everyone's first OL instance, so i like it. give it 7/10.
2) Blood Furnace - I've only done this a few times. Its fun the first few times I think. 5/10
3) Shat Halls - This is a pretty tough instance with alot of tricks (the sewer, the gauntlet). Its really hard without a paly tank. Nobody likes to go there, esp on heroic. 5/10
4) Mag (25 man raid) Mag is a very short encounter, a few trash plus the boss himself. But the boss is very very long. It doesn't need to be so long (10 minute fight). 5/10

Serpent lake
1) Slave Pens - still a favorite, its the easiest of heroics. 8/10
2) Underbog - I dont know, i just like this instance. Its pretty standard fair for an instance, but nice scenery. 8/10
3) Steamvaults - the higher level instance, needed for kara key. Pretty fun, but i hate the first boss. (there is this whole trick about hunters doing misdirect for the first boss and it almost never works...its really hard on heroic. 5/10
4) SSC - the 25man raid. Fun so far! We're going back tonight

Auch - i havent done these much
1) mana tombs
2) crypts
3) Skek halls
6/10 for all of them, they didn't make much of an impression. Same old thing really.

Tempest Keep
1) Mechanar - fun, short instance. Lots of little tricks, all the bosses do wierd/unusual things. Easy on heroic. 8/10
2) botanica - kinda fun, unique anyway, but long... 6/10
3) ARcatraz...really quite boring, sorry. 5/10
4) The eye (25 man). Blah, the decore is horrid. I've only done loot reaver so far. 6/10 tenative
Keepers of Time
1) Durnhold (aka old hillsbrad)
fun, as noted 9/10
2) Black morass - very quick and simple, nothing fancy here. Either you have the dps or you dont (and you usually do now since the game is so old 8/10
3) Mt. Hyjal (dunno)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Officers dont do officers like u did

Epic drama, get it while it's hot. This was on this weeks guildwatch, but I'm linking for posterity. Extremely funny.

Older screenies


My hunter running from the T Rex!

Note the constant companionship of Kenny, my beloved pig.



My hunter downs the T Rex!







My Hunter main enters the Black Portal for the first time!

Random Screenies



Tapati (wife), Merca (Jim), and I do Scarlet Monestary (i'm in the middle, the cute Blood Elf)






The Beatles do Yetis



This requires some explaination. In order for me to grind the last levels of leatherworking (I'm LW/enchant, i can't skin, J's lock skins), we had to kill Yeti. Tons and tons of yeti. It got to be a comedic routine. Anyway, we were slaughtering yeti, and up comes these four night elves running around winterspring. I think it was a bot or a multiboxer or something, it was *wierd*. ANyway they happily slaughtered yeti and ran off to do other things (another reason why I think it was a power user of some sort, they often didnt' bother to loot the corpse, and never bothered to skin.)





Shreya (wife's char) (lock) and I (druid) enter the Dark Portal for the first time!

Recent downings



High King



Gruul





Magtheridon





Lurker Below

Friday, April 25, 2008

Boars dont' do boars like u did

lol this is great.

Dear Hunters:

Perhaps you didn't get our previous message. Please tame a cat. Please only tame a cat. We have many colors of cats for you to tame. Look, over there! A cat! Perhaps you should go tame it. You know you want to. The boar would make a fine ham sandwich while you relax with your new cat.

If you refuse to tame a cat, we will have no choice but to make every other pet in the game a sporebat. We'd hate to have to do that — probably because we would screw it up mightily in the attempt and then just have to say, "Working as intended." My God, we love that!

Remember, boars don't do boars like u did!

Love, Blizzard


They can have my piggie when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers...

Dunhear and Clank
deadlypork.com

2.4.2 hunter changes

Whole bunch of changes coming.

Most importantly the boar is dead, Blizz killed it. No longer will charge fire after growl, and no longer will pet AP add to growl threat. Instead growl bonus is based off hunter AP, and above 1200 its seen as beneficial. The PTRs have just opened so we don't know what this means yet.

Second, Aspect of Viper has changes slightly. This will give more mana while grinding at 70 (when its not an issue anyway), but not help too much in raiding (unless you are OOM and on pot CD, since you want to be in aspect of hawk most of the time anyway).

Here's my dirty secret. For kara, i almost always run with aspect of viper. We clear so fast I dont have time to drink between pulls. And we down the bosses anyway with plenty of time (Maiden fell in 1.25 minutes last time). So it doesn't matter if I dont do uber dps.

What does matter is that I don't pull aggro. No aspect of the hawk is about 10% less dps, and thus 10% less aggro. We ran last time without a play, thus no blessing of salv. I welcomed the change. I pulled aggro precisely once, whereas all other dps were falling left and right. They can't handle their aggro. I learned the hard way what happens when you don't (raid kick, guild kick threats). Personally I'd rather never run with salv, but that's not an option. Since i screwed up once, I'm forced to run with whatever they tell me to run with, whatever blessing they want to give me.

Anyway the third change is Beast scare is useful in PVP - 30 yard range, instant cast. So its good against druids now. So against druids we should actually be good again, whereas every other class will still have problems against druids.

RIP Sharvan

Sharvan from Aetherial Circle (home of BRK, TJ, others), passed away unexpectedly. I am saddened by their loss. Not sure what else to say. Read about it here and here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lurker below down




Lurker below, aka loot below, was downed on Tuesday. That makes 3 weeks of progression. We did it with 22 people, we were 3 short on dps. It took 14 minutes to down him. Whew that's a long time!

We wiped 5 times I think, typical for progression. He really is a easy fight though. He's got 3 tricks. One is a melee arc attack which throws people into water. If you aren't in melee range like me it's not a problem. Then he does his spout. Really easy. Lots of warnings for this. Just jump into the lake while he spouts. You can still pew-pew while in the lake. Every once in a while he spawns adds. This is when things get rough, we were so light on dps that we finally ended up leaving pets on islands, pet tank one mob, hunters trap the other. Then we could drop the island adds and then the melee adds. So once again hunters save the day, but my pet was useless the entire time, it was bugged and stuck in the water :( Now i know to put him on stay i guess. And just leave him on main island.

Anyway next up is Hydross!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Faction/race change?

WoWinsider asks this again. Here's what I think.

I'd really like to change faction. That wouldn't break lore, just have some people turn traitor. Happens all the time in war. Well, not often, but anyway. I'd pay a $10 fee to be able to play with my friends without leveling *yet another* character. But herein lies the issue, Blizz does all this stuff to add time to the game. The rep grinds, the money grinds, etc. They won't circumvent a mechanism to make you stay longer in the game than you normally would.

For example, consider this. I level an Alliance character to 70. Suddenly my friend starts playing Horde. I don't join him until he hits 70. Now I'm way behind him and the only option is to level a horde character to 70, which takes months realistically speaking (when you have lives and other chars, etc.) But by that time, said friend got bored of life at 70 and /gamequit. However, if I could just switch faction, I could easy transfer to play with him.

I think the worst part of this game is the level spread and faction. D&D has 20 levels (pre 4th ed), and of course no factions. It would be easy to start a character at level 1, and be able to play with a friend who is level 3. (Or more likely you are 10 and he is 13. Whatever). Its so damn hard to be able to play with friends unless you explicitedly lock the characters in sync, so that you do each quest in tandem. Otherwise its way to easy to outlevel. By the time there is a 3 level gap you are basically screwed, one if you will have to stop playing and let the other catch up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WoW economy inflation

MMO economics are complicated, because the supply of gold and materials are infinite, only the labor is finite. Anyway I have noticed that on my little horde char, my wife and I play on Earthen Ring. Previously we couldn't get much money at all on that server; things such as skins and herbs just would not sell. I started playing again this week, and noticed that now just about everything sells, and sells well. I made 150g in an week at level 40. I don't brag, this isn't alot. (Faradhim claims that he has close to 2000g and doesn't even have a level 70 character).

But still, the fact that the economy seems to be greatly stimulated is a huge thing for us. Now we can afford our level 40 mounts, buying new stuff on AH, and generally have more fun. In the past, we were severely limited by having very little available cash.

My theory is that there is a trickle down effect like so: Level 70s with epic mounts have so much money they dont know what to do with it. So they invest in powerleveling new professions and powerleveling alts, using the AH to level up cooking, first aid, and crafting professions. This drains all the stuff that lowbies have been trying to sell, and gives us more money to play around with (and donate to blizz via repairs and mount expenses).

So, yes, there is a huge influx of gold, the root cause of inflation. But there is right now also a large eflux in the shape of newly purchased mounts and powerleveled professions.

My thought is that once Wraith hits, we won't be able to (or wont have desire to) do the dailies any more, thus removing the gold source, and giving many sinks (powerlevel professions). For example I can just imagine that enchant past 375 would cost 10g per point initially. You'd have to buy the mats from AH and those level 70 greens sell for about 10g. So that right there is a huge sink. There will probably be another level 80 mount that costs 10,000g or something ridiculous. Anyway, Wraith will fix the inflation issues.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Naxx coming to WotLK

This is already known, but some new light has been shed on Naxx. It will be rutuned for level 80 content and a 25 man raid dungeon, it will have a few new encounters (trash pulls?), but by and large its the same thing. (From Blizzard forum post)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

70 Resto gear!

Can't wait until my little druid will be all grown up and either tanking or healing instances (probably the later). Anyway here is a list when she grows up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The fun factor

At this point I'm not enjoying WoW too much, since I can't do instances anymore with friends (we are all different levels), my raiding guild doesn't do anything other than raid, my casual guild I play my druid with my wife (which i very much enjoy), and thats it. I did a PUG for Ramps and it was painful, everyone was so bad. We had a 67 druid who healed, and a 70 rogue. That's the only way we got through the instance. I wish there was a 'are you not an idiot' checkbox on the LFG form. I spend most of my time doing dailies, but there isn't a point, since I dont' have alts on that server to spend money on.

5 man instances are fun, but its so damn hard to get 5 people who are compentent at the same level as you. This is the major flaw in WoW I think, the level spread is just too huge. Want to play with your level 70 friend? Fine, devote 6 months of your life to get to 70, only to find that friend took off 3 months ago.

So, if you aren't having fun doing a hobby, time to switch hobbies. Many have taken a break in preparation of WOTLK coming out sometime this year. I have certainly cut back. My problem is that I like to do fun stuff for 30 min or so and doing the dailies is a way to do that. But the dailies by themself aren't all that fun since they don't lead to any sort of goal, only more money, which you dont need. If you want to quest and get stuff done, you need to spend an hour at least. For instances, at least two hours. I like the fact that the outland instances are short by and large, but if your group is terrible then its just going to be pain and frustration.

Casual vs Hardcore?

BBB and his wife are raiding 5 times a week, on a newly 'hardcore' guild. Here's my thoughts. You can raid casually and have fun, and not go anywhere. Or you can raid seriously, and go somewhere, but not have fun (because at that point its a second job).

Basically I'm in the same boat as BBB. My wife hates when I raid, and I pretty much hate when I raid too. My raiding guild has finally reached Gruul, and downed them last night. We were overgeared so once we figured out the strategy it was easy. Anyway, let me think straight.

1) Priorities. I don't have time to spend raiding 5 nights aweek. I'm 34 with a job and wife (no kids yet), so i choose my priorities. I would strongly recommend against raiding 5 nights a week, pretty much everyone is going to get burned out.

2) Focus. The problem with raiding is the coordination is so critical, you have to show up on time, with the right stuff. Once I switched to my hard-core guild, suddenly we were doing 3-4 hour kara clears. Our first gruul was two hours. I'm sure next week it will be an hour. This, however, isn't all that fun, but hugely time efficient. If we do gruul and kara this week, that's 6 hours max of raiding time. Since gruul is so short you could combine that with kara or what have you. You could get most of your raiding done in a night if planned well and everyone knows what they are doing.

3) Fun. All about fun. Unfortunately my raiding guild isnt' fun. As sono as gruul was down, all 25 members split. Hardly anyone does heroics. My new friend and I do 2v2 arena, we're lucky to get 10 games in a week (usually its every other week). So i go back to my old guild alot and do fun stuff on my char. there.

4) Guild differences. My old guild is a 'raiding casual' guild that has yet to fully clear kara after...6 months I think? They typically spend 20 hours a week in kara, pretty much every night of the week. That's a heck of a lot of time. But they are alot of fun. I think its almost an inherent trade off, if you want to progress and do 25 mans, you need the serious business attitude. If you don't care and enjoy hanging with your friends, then the 'raiding casual' guild is for you. Just don't expect to make much progress.

Gruul is down

Well we did our first gruul run (of course i can't find the screenie, will post it later). It was fun..i'm glad I did it. Pretty easy once you figure it out. I love the design, there is one trash pull before first boss, a boss with 4 mini bosses that have some unique roles (a mage tank, two hunters tank). After that, there is another one or two trash, then Gruul! So you have lots of time to figure out stuff. And the rewards are great, 10g from each boss, 3 tier tokens, and a random loot. The Dragonspine trophy, the ultimate in hunter trinkets dropped but I didn't get it. Maybe next time.

I think i managed to wipe the raid several times because I wasn't clear that I was not supposed to initiate the pull, but MD after the pull initiation. Well, can't have everything. Anyway, very fun and short. Hope Mag is like that too. I was disappointed that the guild split up afterwords (not disbanded, but everyone logged off).

This leads me to the next post.

Friday, April 4, 2008

another macro

#showtooltip Steady shot
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/script UIErrorsFrame:Hide()
/castsequence reset=2 Steady shot, auto shot
/castrandom arcane shot, multi-shot
/cast [target=pettarget] Kill Command
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear(

from here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New loot ranking system

For all us loot-crazy people.

Here

For hunters I used agi 0.8 and AP 1.0, everything else zero, force sockets.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stranglethorn fishing contest

Here is a long guide (from the Game Dame).

Here is a article on wowinsider with a few more links of helpfulness.

Hunter's Helper

Seems quite useful. Basically its an addon that tells you all about the beast you have highlighted, and if it has any teachable skills.

Friday, March 21, 2008

pets in 25mans

Its buried in this thread. Not sure how long it will be around.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gear upgrades

Wow, computer died 5 minutes before run, so I switched to J's computer, and managed to get in before Attuman.

Anyway nothing really happened, we had Basso as a paly tank (meaning no trapping for me). So my life was very easy (good, b/c I spent every spare moment trying to feed my pet (bringing wrong pet food, so i had to use buff food!), and getting macros back in place.

No upgrades, not even any hunter loot. Out of 11 bosses. Amazing. Oh well, bound to have a bad run sometime. So I'm planning out my upgrades via Wow Armory.

There isn't anything available until I get to this tasty nugget: PVP bracers. Now I just need to run 20 WSG matches. (err lose 20 matches).

For Gauntlets, Gauntlets of sniping are an upgrade but for 60 badges, and I'd drop my mana/5 in favor of more attack power.

Cloaks. Well i have 2 or 3 cloaks sitting in bank, but I still like my blue cloak the best, because of the hit. Anyway I could grab this one from badge vendor for 25 badges, or maybe find Vengeance Wrap at AH for 1000g, or get the cloak from Shade (that is the real upgrade), or even the Skyguard cloak . Or just use the Prince cloak I have now, and lose the +hit goodness.

Chest piece: Not much here. There is this from Nightbane, I haven't seen it drop yet (but the leather dropped last week to my good friend Stained). I think i'll either have to wait or get the season 3 chest piece.

Legging: Not much, i got the piece from netherspite. The Shifting camo leggings are interesting but according to cheeky's an actual downgrade. Other than that, wait until T5/T6 stuff.

Boots: Apparently the PVP stuff is slightly better than what I have now, for 18000 honor and 40 EOTS tokens. 3dps upgrade according to cheeky's spreadsheet.

Rings: I have the truestrike ring, one of the rare BOE ones, i think i had to pay a guildie 500g because he won the roll even though he's a paly (isn't useful for palys). One reason I left that guild. Anyway, this PVP ring is a nice upgrade, or the one from prince. Or the 25 badge one.

Trinkets: A bunch of them out there. Most hunters try to get the vendor one for 40 badges and the Hourglass from BM.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Druid leveling

My reply to this post:

First go here for alot of guides on how to play your drood. http://thebigbearbutt.com/

Second, I too hated my druid, she was stuck in the 20s forever! Finally my wife started playing a warlock, and we duoed through most of pre-TBC now. Lock and druid are very powerful. Anyway at 20 you are too low for duskwood, I second the motion to go back to a 10-20 zone such as westfall (or redridge), and do green quests until you can get to 23 or so. I play feral cat like so many others. Some tips that haven't been mentioned.

1) Buy healing potions. The lower level ones are very cheap because alchemists make a ton of them to level up. The first one (minor) can be had for a silver for a stack. Granted that's probably not useful, but get a stack of the best you can for your level. Its money well spent.

2) Second, make sure your gear is up to snuff. If you are dieing alot, hit a few instances and get a few pieces of blue gear at your level. Or hit the AH and buy some greens (never buy blues there, too expensive).

3) Be careful with your pulls, as a feral you don't have the oh-shit button like hunters or palys. If you pull more than two, run away as fast as possible. (make sure you clear a path of mobs away from your quest area before you start killing so you have a escape route).

4) Consider a leveling guide to get you through the difficult low 20s area.

5) Generally if you are fighting just one mob (ideal), you can heal after you kill it. If you have two mobs, generally you'll have to heal midfight. Shift out of bear or cat, pop a potion or renew/rejuvinate, and do the big heal (healing touch?). The initial minor heal will allow you to survive long enough to get the big heal off. If you try the big heal at say 20% life you aren't going to make it most likely.

6) In the early zones there is usually a plethora of people. If someone is killing the same mobs as you, consider asking to join up. You may not get as much xp per kill but the main point is to get through the quests as quickly as possible since the XP reward is much higher now. If you can get through two quests while in a grp versus one quest solo, then you'll gain more XP in the group.

7) Don't worry too much about rested experience as this level. You'll tend to waste more time traveling to and from the inn at a low level than you will actually gain by resting. However: If you don't plan to play this char for a week, by all means head to an inn. As you increase your level and obtain faster transport (ie travel form, mount), generally you will want to rest in an inn if you are putting the character away for a day or so. If you are logging for just a few hours don't bother with the inn.

8) Plan your zones. For 20s, definately duskwood (23+)and wetlands (after duskwood). Those two zones can get through 30. Maybe you need to hit redridge at 20 for a bit as discussed previously. For 30s you have duskwallow marsh (can get you through most of 30 i think with the new neutral town), and of course Stranglethorn vale. STV is best from 30-37, it has a zillion quests to do (esp if you are horde and come from 1000 needles). Once you are out of yellow quests, head to duskwallow. If its your second character, consider other zones, but by and large STV is the best place to get through the mid30s and mid40s.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Leatherworking 300 to 375

Good guide at WoWinsider! I played my druid briefly this morning, she's 54. Just a few levels until OL, and from there a few levels until she can start grinding through the rest of the LW levels. SHe's got a long way to go at 225 though.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3rd Kara run and stuff

Not much fun time happening on my main char. I mostly farm a bit. I discovered that we completely kick ass in AV on this battlegroup (3600 honor in 1.5 hours). That's...just insane.

ANyway actually i'm pretty bored of the BM hunter, i've gotten to the point where there isn't a point trying to get pre-raid gear, because its not a upgrade. And of course all we do is kara and that's once a week. So, maybe i'll spec surv. Right now i'm mostly content to do kara. But that being said, my gear sucks. Somehow. Completely epic, yet sucks. 25% crit, yes hit capped, but 1500AP. You can get 1500AP, 22% crit (not hitcapped) without stepping foot in kara. So i got...3% crit for those months of raiding. Yeah idk, i never seem to get shit, or if i do its not an upgrade.

Last week there were some boots i wanted. I thoguht about it for a few seconds, too long because by the time I said i wanted it it was already sharded. This week, a raid member ninja'd a ring i could have used (really wanted) (they were confused by the stupid loot policy and apologized), and another piece was accidently looted by another member. I ended up *finally* getting the T4 token off curator, and a POS belt (15 mana/5, some AP). The famed [Belt of the Tracker]. I mean, really, a) what was I thinking (probably, hey its mail and i have 5 secs before disenchant). b) why is this purple? It should be green). Anyway, i'm getting 1-2 pieces every week there (well except last week), but these things aren't really upgrades. I got cloak which is just utter crap for PvE but great for PVP, i got a side-grade gloves (the T4 ones)...the kara loot is so underwealming, and there are quite a few sidegrades. There is a great loot table here. I must have done kara dozens of times (but only 3 full clears), and have seen only half of this stuff, and only got a few of the pieces. What's interesting is that there seems to be some gear that's high for mana/5 and some gear that's straight up agi+, and some gear that is all AP and crit. So there is some itemization available. But yeah, it seems like it would take half a year to get all the loot you'd want from kara. For example, never seen sunfury drop (did prince say 6 times). Seen WSR drop from wolf precisely once.

Anyway. Kara last night. MT was 30 minutes later than all of us. Its very unclear when raid start time is, either 7 or 7:30. I showed at 7 the first two times and we were pulling trash a few minutes later. This time, everyone was there at 7, but MT was there at 7:30. No biggie. We had a new bear tanking for some reason. He's a new guy. Never even done kara. How the hell did we end up with him, we must have been desparate for recruits (guess we are). Anyway, so off he goes to MT most of kara. Did a good job, i must say, but had no clue on the bosses (understandable). Vent didn't work so well with him, his headset must be crappy. Was real good about not being a loot whore, even though he probably really needed it.

Anyway, me me me. What did I do. Jack shit. I stayed quiet, I dpsed, and I didn't fuck up. That's what dpsers do. The only time people know of our existence is when we fuck up. My dps was neck and neck with the other two guys, a mage and my friend the rogue. So we should be happy. But i think i can blow their socks off if properly geared. Right now i think i'm all fucked up with not enough AP and agi. Well, if i mess up, i should be dead. When did i die? The valets up to Opera, i almost always die there because i'm always #2 on threat, and they one-shot mail wearing 10k health guys. Ran past the raid and into a arcane protector after curator. Woops. FD, pet gets it. no biggie. Died after Prince, some random aggro shit, i don't even know. Died on nightbane due to rain of bones and some bad hits. We later wiped (secretly i was happy), and we two-shotted his ass. See, hunter lives, we win. Hunter dies, we die. But yeah, i'm happy that i'm the only hunter in the raid, all the mail is mine. None of those damn shammies either, so naturally all mail is healing gear.

Hopefully things will pick up in a few weeks, but right now ZA isn't likely since they only want the 'good' crew there, and 25mans don't look especially promising, although we are getting a ton of ppl coming in, like 1-2 a week (mostly dps and tanks). Anyway i'm just as happy keeping the main on backburner while i level my lock and druid.

The Hunter guide

Not sure how I missed this, but tons of great stuff in here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tier tokens exchanged for Arena gear?

Wow this is huge, not sure how I missed it. Anyway Girl Meets Wow has the lowdown.

Huge I tell you.

Beginning 70 hunter gear

Here

Good start to entering Kara. I went another route, getting BG epics and arena stuff. I didn't do much instances at all. Either route works. With my route you'll have a ton more surivivability. The other route will be more DPS.

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