Wednesday, April 30, 2008

All about bear/cat specs

Here! Great writeup.

10 commandments of raiding

Excellent list!

New Header

WooT! Thanks Faradhim!



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

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.

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.

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



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

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