Wednesday, May 27, 2009

jewelcrafting notes

Well as mentioned my JC is now 420. What a long painful slog!

Here are some of the notes from memory during it.

The guide from wowprofessions: Not that great. Typically i would make the suggested number of settings items (ie mithril filigri) and have 20 left over, meaning i burned a stack of ore). My suggestion is only make half of what it says, and don't use the recipe once it's green. Also get a glove enchant for gatherer (+5 mining skill), if you can (need to be 60 to use it)

1-300: This is just a horrid horrid grind. Get through it, just get through it. Copper and tin are not so tough, but the common gems from these ore are not really used. Shadowgem was my friend (and apparently everyone elses; sells for several gold each). Expect to pay 5g per skillup up to 15g.

You really should have mining leveling at the same time, its the only way without going flat broke. Silver, gold, truesilver ore is your friend. You can smelt these for mining skillups (along with other ore), making them quite valuable. Silver routinely goes for 4g per ore. You may just decide to skill up mining through just tin/iron ore instead of going the route of silver ore smelting.

Mithril: Once you get to mithril you can get half of your skillups through smelting mithril and truesilver. Do it. I noted that through this I didn't need that much more mithril ore. Or if you want to actually make money, just get mine skillups through mithril nodes, make 30 filigriess then prospect the rest of the ore until you have enough gems to get past this part. Most reliable place for mithril? The bug hives in tanaris

Thorium: Goes pretty quickly. Go grab 3 stacks of ore from AH and when you hit 250 mining, smelt it all. You'll need it or close to it. Then run around winterspring hitting the rich and small nodes. You'll get enough ore to get through this level. Star rubys are more common and somewhat cheaper on AH. Figure out the AH prices of the gems and make the cheapest item you can. For example azerothian diamonds sold for 20g each on AH, but star ruby sells for 12g. Sell the diamonds, buy rubies.

300-375. This was pretty easy. Fly around hellfire for a while to get to 325 mining, gather all the feliron you can. Smelt some for skillups. prospect the rest for common gems. At 325 you can get adamantite ore from nagard (best place) or from zangamarsh (which is a mix of fel iron and adamantite). Don't worry about mining skillups, i went from 300 to 400 in outlands in a few hours. Keep prosepcting until you have enough. I think i used 10 stacks of adamantite. You could just buy it on AH (15g each stack). Oh, big tip: Black diamonds which drops from MC and BRD are extremely cheap on AH, usually. I leveled about 20 levels using them and it cost less than a gold per skillup. Sell all your cut uncommon gems to the vendor. Don't bother with rare gems, you can sell them on AH or give them to a guildie.

375-420. Here I cheated and took stocks of uncommon northend gems from the gbank. After about 3 stacks of gems I got to 420, where I called it quits. I'll skill up more once I can fly around nortrhend and gather ore. Somewhere in here I became eligable for the JC daily quest, so I've been trying to do that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toon updates!

Druid is 53.5! I played him a bunch this weekend, well by a bunch i circled ungoro several times and ran part of two huge instances, BRD and ST. The ST run happened last night, it was great. I got 3 of my 4 quests done, including the druid quest. I didn't gain as much as I thought; i'm still only 53.5. I got half a level out, whereas I expected a full level. Anyway I may try to get the other quests and go back in. It was fun to be in a full group of appropriately geared people. Well except the hunter. And the warrior bailed at the first pull, idk why. We didn't even wipe yet. (We only wiped twice).

The hunter was a complete idiot. (linked is his armory profile). Lets look. Survival, okay. Notice the tons of trap talents? Which would be great if he could trap. His method of crowd control was distracting shot! (which is a ranged taunt, really useful for getting mobs off the healer). Never a trap was thrown down. The best part! The best part was when I remarked on his +spell damage shamy gear, and he said he had a alliance warrior at 80, and I asked if the warrior had the shammy gear too, and he said yes! To be fair, he was probably a twelve year old boy playing his first toon (the alliance 80 was either ebayed or probably just as bad). But apparently this guy lives in instances and run throughs. I don't know what his dps was (from now on i am running recount), but it had to be minisicule, due to his constant meleeing.

Anyway. My DK, i blitzed through jewelcrafting/mining (now at 420/397 i think). God that was a pretty tough grind, until outlands with an epic flyer (i sprung for that plus the uber expensive bird). Some kind guildie left a bunch of northend green quality gems in the bank, and i burned through them. Turns out they don't sell for much, only a few gold, cut. Which is a shame I guess. I didn't bother selling the outland green gems, and the blue gems I didn't even cut, uncut they sell for 3g each or so. Worthless. The huge money sink or profit engine occurs at thorium, where a full stack is 60g and the gems are 15g each. I made about 1000g back right there. I don't want to think how much i burned through, probably only 1000 or 2000g.

Oh, and I did ulduar10 (just flame leviathon) on my alliance 80 druid. I joined a new guild, forte. They are a pretty heavy duty raiding guild, but they raid at 9 EST, which is far too late for me (unless i go insane and decide to be up til 2am). That was super fun, going to try to get the horde guild to do it, its pretty simple and good gear drops. Looking forward to playing more with the alliance guild, but so far they just seem to do the raids.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Once upon a guild

This is a bump from Pike, the wonderful hunter blogger.

I think its a sad comment that life only ends in tragedy which is death. So to with guilds. Guilds come and go, and the coming is a glorious thing. I was instrumental in a guild-first KT downing last weekend on my druid; not my guild, someone elses. Still, it was fun to see them get the achievements and the loot.

Anyway, my first guild was Forces of Nature. I joined at level 10 on my first character, and i thought there was some long app process. Nope, just /ginvite. Well, it was a leveling guild and the GL was a nice guy, but a kid. Eventually the kids outnumbered the adults (which were three), and the GL got burned out (that was a key mover), so the guild just kinda dissentigrated.

Then there was Ancient Ones. My adult friend (husband/wife duo) moved over there, and they were a big raiding guild (full of fail, it turns out). But they were raiding! And in Kara! And I got to do kara. Oh did i do kara. Endless, endless runs of kara. This was the guild where it would take 30 hours of raiding a week to get to the last boss. Pulls took 30 minutes. The RL would disappear for 5-10 minutes each pull (he was the GL and MT, another problem). Eventually I got sick of wasting my life in kara (at that point we were raiding nearly every night, until 2 or 3 am)

So I transfered to DoubleFisted! A new guild, just starting up, full of people who knew what they were doing. Kara was cleared in 3 hours! I was rejoicing! We had defined raid times, 3x a week for 4 hours. Raids started and ended on time. That was in February of last year I think. We blew through T5 and beelined into T6, downing bosses every week just about. Still, there was alot of bosses. Then we were in Black Temple! And that was just awesomeness, the best thing there was in the game. You were Someone to be in BT. And we got up to Illidan! But time was against us, the great nerf of 2.4 hit about a week after we got to Illidan. They nerfed him so hard that we one-shotted him. About that time raiding collapsed on pretty much every server. See, raiders love challenge and new content, and we all knew our raid loot was going to be obsolete very soon (actually not so much). Anyway, when the challenge disappeared, the reason for raiding became lost. Still "we must raid". So we did, until wraith hit.

I think somewhere in here my RL best friend started playing horde (why'd it have to be horde?) , and started a guild Doctors of Philosophy in Earthen Ring. Now, I was really busy with the raiding, and leveling up another alliance toon, about fully commited. Yet playing with my best friend was tons of fun, so i joined him, started from nothing, and rolled...another hunter. Yes two, I dont know why. Anyway we formed a guild (actually he did), and i came onboard and eventually did more and more in teh guild. But for quite a while i would only play maybe once a week, while he was actively playing every day.

Wraith hit, and things changed, as I knew they would. The alliance raiding guild changed its nature, to a dark, ugly beast. The GL who quit and was an egomaniac, came back to lead the guild. Suddenly the guild was about server firsts, getting uber geared, and god help you if you are not in the raiding group. I decided at that point that I didn't want to raid like that. I worked extremely hard for 2-3 weeks, playing 40/60 hours a week, just to get to max level so I can raid with them (and i was already several weeks behind them). So i missed the boat, barely, and missed out on all the excitement. Suddenly I was a noob again, and my good friend on the guild took off, one by one. It had gotten too serious for them.

So i played more with the earthen ring guild, and lo and behold, the server just went insane from all the people coming back. 30 minute queues each night became the norm. So when server transfers opened, the hardcore of us jumped ship. At this point it was me, Jim, Jen, Tsu, Pesti, and we all would play together with whatever instance, just to do it. We did strat and scholo and other things. Was alot of fun. Then we reformed in dawnbringer, a new server. And oh lord what have we done?

I login to find a guild full of complete strangers. Dawnbringer in the early days was a melting pot; everyone was guildless. So we advertised and got just a ton of people. With such explosive growth, things happen. The hardcore of our old guild wondered what we had done, and were scared to interact with the new people. Some drifted away. Newbies came, drama occured because some had different ideals for the guild; the guild schismed. Now things are mostly petering out. We have a good group, but it gets harder and harder to run naxx with enough tanks and healers. People leave, but aren't replaced. I imagine we will need to recruit more people or stop running naxx alltogether. Now I find myself as GL, running the show, making the decisions, handling logistics. I'm pretty burned out too but want some escape from my current mad life. So, into the trenches once more.

toon updates

It's thursday!

Yeah i dont know what that means either.

I've been playing my druid lately; did an awesome run of ZF Monday at level 49 as cat dps (had a tank and a healer surprisingly), and we just tore the place up. We finished in 45 minutes, which is just awesome for that group. The longest thing was the staircase event. They *really* need to accelerate that event, it just got boring after a while. Anyway I was pretty stuck at 49, I did some quests in Feralas; while they were easy, they were green, so I only got maybe 1/4th of a level. There were two quests way up where feralas meets desolace that i finished just before going to work in the morming, and that gave me a nice half-level or so.

With all that and random running around with simple things I dinged 51 this morning, and quickly ran out of rested experience. I'm now in ungoro, i have a few more quests in tanaris to finish up, then I plan to blow through un'goro, maybe go to silithis or felwood, then winterspring if needed, then off to the dark portal! Yea. I'll be thrilled when that happens. I think i will just play through, unrested, for this stretch. It's going so quick that it's hard to keep rested and I dont feel like playing only a few hours a week. At 51 I finally got mangle, and my dps doubled! Was crazy-insane.

My DK is now 75, i haven't played him in a while, not leveling. I've been mining/JC on him, may do that this weekend if there is time. I'm actually pretty busy at work. I have 4600 gold saved up for his epic flyer, need another 1600. After the epic flyer I want to level JC to the max, then I will switch my druid to herb/inscription. I know herb is very easy to level, and I bet inscription is too. I'm making about 500g a week doing all sorts of things; recipes, selling greens, etc. Surprisingly leather is nearly worthless (or i guess not surprisingly). It's 10silver for thick leather, and maybe a silver or two for heavy leather. I was thinking of going LW for the druid but decided the one buff for bracers isn't really worth the loss of an income that LW brings.

I've been reading all the auctioning blogs, haven't come accross any sure fire ways to get rich (there is none), but what strikes me is that the guys who bother to post and check everything they get, the income generation is pretty small. One blogger (name eludes me) has a strategy where you just use the auctioneer batch post, and post in thousands per day. His idea is 1) scan the AH, 2) batch post everything. 3) profit. I did try this for a while but maybe my settings are wrong, the suggested price is always much more than the going price.

All I can say is, find a nitch, exploit it. My nitch is enchanting scrolls and frostweave bags. There is enough profit on those to not go broke. Also I buy dirt cheap from people in trade and resale a few days later. Recently for example I bought 10 flasks for 10g each, and sold them all for 20g on Wednesday. Nice simple profit for me. Also I bought alot of armor vellum 3. Hopefully I'll break even here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sucky guilds

I've been playing my alliance druid lately, just for fun stuff to do in groups. I love being able to get a group easily, and usually will log in enough to try a raid or the daily heroic. Last night I did the daily heroic, hVH, pretty easy, then i was about to log and a raids desparate cry 'need resto shaman or druid for last two bosses in 10naxx'. So, okay, whatever. It was some scrub guild's first naxx clear. Well, first being carried I mean. How do I define scrub?

1) No feast. I mean really, great feast is 30g per stack of 20. It's not that much for a quick raid buff every attempt.
2) No frost resist gear at all. I can see if people were so well geared they dont need it, but for a first attempt? Basically 'we want to be carried by pro healers and are too lazy to get the best stuff we can'.
3) Horrid dps. I mean just horrid. The best guy was 1800 dps. Sar the dragon took 10 minutes, I battle-rezed two people. Standing in the fire, you name it, they did it.
4) Dont run back after wipe. Really, your PUG healer would be glad to rez you (only one guy did this, and got called out).
5) Dont listen to the insanely long strat explanation (like literally 15 minutes for KT or whatever the last bosses name is).
6) Loot. Jesus. Okay, fine, i understand the maly key is for the guild. But when your PUG healer wins stuff which is an upgrade, its not acceptable to say 'can we get this for our sucky guildmate'? And don't go on and on about your stupid pixels. If you are at all competent, you will see that stuff again and again.

See, that doesn't make you any friends, and good luck getting more PUG healers for your fail guild.

Promotions and things

My best friend and I have long sorta co-managed our guild, and seen it rise in prosperity to heights we never dreamed about. However he's been feeling pretty burned out (like so many of us), and we decided to pass off the reins of leadership to me. So for the first time in 3 years of playing I'm in charge of a real guild. Things haven't changed much, we still have our raid leader doing naxx, and i'm doing the older raids. I still manage the bank. Now i have a bit more flexibility in that regard. So...things haven't changed too much yet. If it does then I will have to delegate more. Unfortunately people still come to the old GL for problems. I'm not sure how to go about that, maybe a MOTD saying 'gibster is the new GL, please see him for any problems'.

Other news. Wife has been studying like crazy, so i'm stuck at home playing wow when not doing chores or other things. Lately i've been getting my DK ready for endgame, getting funds for the epic mount, getting my jewelcrafting up. All of those things take time, and the economy is continuing to collapse. Last night I bought 10 flasks for 10g each on alliance side. Prices are really depressed there. I'm up to 4300g on my bank, and I did a ton of dailies on the hunter, so 600g there or so. I need 6000g for northrend flying and epic mount on DK, and my druid isn't too far distant from 80! Probably the best way is to find a nice quick circuit of dailies to do every da, but they are so boring now!

I'm up to 200 mining and JC, things have gotten better there. Previously I was spending 5 or more gold per point. The leveling guides at wow professions which I usually use are really bad, and many of the recipes are insanely expensive (for example 8 truesilver bars for a green neck). JC is insanely expensive to level. I can't say anything about enginering or blacksmithing, but it's the worst i've leveled (tailor, LW, enchant). The bright point is everything is disenchantable and you can make something off it. Plus the greens tend to sell decently, but at prices so low they are close to the disenchant price.

I think another week or two (probably two) will see me with enough for an epic flyer, and with JC/mine at 300. Then i can go around outlands and level up pretty quickly (hopefully).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The pain of soloing northrend as a lock

I made no secret of the fact that i hated my warlock. No feign death, the pet can't hold aggro, you wear cloth...but she is the tailor/enchanter of the guild, not to mention my personal cook. So, what to do? Ask WowInsider!

And I got a great bunch of responses.

Here is one:

emerge said...

As for a Northrend leveling spec, starting at Level 72 imho nothing beats . The Felguard is leaps and bounds above the Voidwalker for holding aggro on both single and multiple mobs and after the recent stamina nerf to the VW, the felguard is probably also the better pet for tanking elite group quest mobs, with nearly similar armor mitigation and even better avoidance.

For grinding, you'll send in your Felguard from range, after the FG has unloaded Anguish and Cleave on the mob, you'll dot up with Corruption and CoA, Immolate might not even be needed. Tab to the next mob in range, Ctrl+1 to have the FG attack that target. Let him grab aggro, dot up that mob, rinse and repeat for all mobs that dare to be in your range. By the time your dots pull aggro, the mobs will be almost dead and most of the time not even reach you before the last ticks of CoA finish them of. If they do reach you, either fear-dot them or finish them off with a couple ticks of Drain Life.

For soloing elites, send in FG and pop Demonic Empowerment right away to make him build aggro faster. Spend a couple of seconds watching how much damage he takes and start Health Funneling him while he builds aggro. Do not overheal with Healthfunnel, as to not build surplus aggro. Once the FG has a healthy threat lead, start dotting the elite in between your funnels. Soulshatter as needed, nuke when there is time and enough threat cushion. Voila, dead 5 man group quest mob. Only very few quests where the mechnics of the mob or the fight make this impossible.

As for downtime, there is none. Use Drain Soul finisher for Mana Return and between Fel Armor and Siphon Life you'll be able to apply Lifetap liberally, at the same time filling up your FGs mana (which he'll burn through like crazy) thanks to Mana Feed. Fel Synergy will keep the FG topped off in all but the hardest fights, where a couple of ticks of Health Funnel will bring him back to full in no time.

From pure leveling perspective, no 51 point talent will beat the beauty that is an awesome pet combined with strong instant cast self-healing dots. Deep Affliction is pure overkill, why would you want to apply enough dots to kill a mob 3 times over, wasting mana and GDCs, Meta is fun but situational and on a too long CD to be used efficiently in grinding and Deep Destro is severly limited in multi-mob and elite mob situations.

Here is another:

Cool Story Bro said...

The leveling spec is entirely based on your comfort level with mobs in your face and you being a cloth-wearing class. If you've leveled two hunters than you're probably going to be most comfortable with a felguard spec that dips into the destro tree since a felguard's threat is pretty insane and with the cleave you can actually hang on to more than one mob. I personally preferred leveling affliction. Others really like destro.

I've found that the easiest way to level for people who prefer pets is with a Felguard/SB spec and then (if you like the Felguard) moving over to a more traditional 41/30 spec when you get more comfortable with your demon. A 41/30 spec uses fire instead of shadow spells and only uses Corr/CoA to proc MC but the rotation can get some getting used to. Being able to toss Corr/CoA and then just SB spam is a hell of a lot easier.

Here is an example of a Felguard/SB spec for a level 71:

I went with some talents that are normally associated with PvP to increase survivability but there's a lot of leeway and depending on whether or not you're dying all the time you can choose talents that are more dps related.

Once you hit around 75 you should have your pet under control and can then start picking talents up like Decimation where you get to shoot massive fireballs at mobs when they're at or below 35% health or you can grab some more resillience for your pet so he can tank elites for group quests that you feel like solo'ing. Kind of up to you and how much you feel you've gotten the hang of it.

With the nerfs to SL and fear the new affliction spec might be slightly more difficult to level with than the old affliction spec but it's still viable. Even now when I'm doing my JC or cooking daily I just run around casting CoA/Corr on as many mobs as I can until they all die. I don't even lose health. Farming has never been so easy.

As for gear - every spec really likes spellpower. Crit/haste is secondary and a balance of both is fine for leveling. If you prefer quest-grinding rather than instances you don't really have to worry about hit too much but if you see a piece with it pick it up and toss it in your bank. Stamina is nice to have but don't gem for it. If you go demonology you're going to pick up extra stamina from your tree anyway.

And that's basically it. Locks have tons of ways to heal themselves (Drain Life and Fel Armor; SL/Haunt if Affliction) so you have little to no down-time if you're smart about LTing and you can always buy sauteed gobys in the AH for super cheap.

TBH, after leveling a druid (to 80), priest (to 60), lock (to 80), and a shammy (got the shammy to level 25 lawl) the lock was by far the easiest.

Good Luck!

These all seem very fun, i'll have to give it a shot! After i level the DK to 80 probably (who dinged 74 this morning after my daily 'kill the pups' quest in Dragonblight)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dk progress

My little DK is now 73 and some change! The boy grows up fast! Looks like I am still averaging 1-2 levels per week. I hope to play him this weekend, but I have alot of work to do.

Random gold tips

I think with all suggestions it is strongly dependent on your server. On our server for example, dust sells for 5-6g each, and greater cosmic sells for 10g. Heavy borean leather sells for 100g. However, its difficult to move this because it's not used much in high level LW recipes. Nerubian chitin is a different story through.

The two main things that always seem to be true are:

a) fragments will always sell better than wholes (ie motes/primals).

b) Farming up mats, make it into epic stuff that sells regularly is highly likely to be profitable. Nowadays the frozen orb market is crashing pretty fast, those are still used for LW and tailoring enchants.

c) Bidding will work maybe 10% of the time. So what. It usually results in a significant profit for you.

d) Recipes still sell pretty well, its a very steady business.

e) Certain types of cloth are highly profitable. Wool on horde side sells for 10g a stack sometimes. Silk you can't give away. Mageweave is decent. Runecloth is very common (thanks to all the DKs). Netherweave is surprisingly profitable.

You could go to many farming spots at many different levels and grind mobs and make about the same amount of profit, 100-200g per hour.

f) The isle of QS dailies are not to be underestimated, even at 80. An hour or less doing the dailies results in 30-40g from the dailies but more important 3-4 stacks of netherweave, and a bunch of greens.

g) You are always going to do the best with what makes a continual steady profit than looking for that one customer who needs what you can sell for a substatial mark up. For example, some of my enchants that i powerleveled to 450 with still have not been sold, 4 months later. Likewise with the beginner 80 epic pieces. I finally sold my hunter two-piece set. Probably made 600g. But it took a month to sell those things. That cuts into your profit margin substantially.

h) Enchants are a mixed bag. Sometimes you'll get the most money selling the greens. Leveling greens always always sell for 5g if they are useful. Ditch those that have just +spirit or +mp5 or whatever. And sometimes you can DE stuff for profit, like armor at level 74-80 for 10g each. Sometimes you can put those mats on the right enchant scroll and make profit, but many of these scrolls are not valued. Also many of the high end ones need abysal shards. You would be crazy foolish to buy those shards at 100g to put into an enchant ,where the top guilds have stacks and stacks of these in the gbank. You really have to know your customer - top end raiders, to do well in this market.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The broken arena treadmill

My buddy and i were pretty good PVEers, but never got about 1500 (hunter/druid). It seems there are several glaring issues for arena.

1) Obviously, it should be a separate client/server platform in total (ie a separate game, executable, and code base). this allows the devs to tweak the classes separately. No more would you have spell X doing A in PVE and B in PVP and trying to come up with mechanics to make it so that the item is useful in both cases.

2) Since they really want to separate arena and PVE so much, splitting the code would satisfy both. If they dont have enough forseeable revenue from arena, I would say that's indicative that WoW people are not really interested in arena.

3) The treadmill is broken. In PVE you go from quest gear, dungeon gear, heroic gear, and raid gear, in that order. In BGs only a handful of items are available, and the transitino should be starter set -> battleground set -> arena set. Running arena should not be a prereq to get BG gear.

4) If you set into the arena and get blown away because of crappy gear and a crappy comp, maybe its your fault but its not something you can change easily. Some classes just suck at arena, and they keep changing this all the freaking time. In s2/s3, druids were king, now they are pretty bad. I mean, what are you going to do, reroll another toon and powerlevel to 80 so you wont suck at arena? Is that realistic for anyone who has any sort of life?

5) The treadmill is broken part 2. In PVE you can get away with being undergeared for the encounter providing you are skilled, have someone who is better geared, or have consumables to offset the gear issue.

In arena, you set into the arena with your bad gear and your bad comp, and are probably inexperienced to boot. You lose, alot. You have a 1000 rating. You can get no gear, no loot, no nothing. You can switch teams but that doesn't help much. Not many who are totally geared are going to want to partner with someone who isn't geared. The teams that started early and are at the top are going to remain on the top, and there isn't much you can do, except reroll, get a good comp, and practice hard, and in 2-3 months get good enough gear to start winning more than you are losing.

Gear is such a huge issue that classes who have no business beating others in duals can get totally destroy people who are undergeared. For example, i have no PVP gear. I only have a small chance of criting anyone in PVP gear thanks to resiliance. My dps versus a geared person is much lower than it would be against a target dummy. The geared person has no such problem, and even has better dps than they would normally. The inbalance is two-way.

Anyway TL;DR arena is pretty broken, but i have no qualms against arena people, its just not how i want to spend my time due to it being an extremely unfair system.