Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guide to Professions: Best For...

  "What is the best profession for my class?"

  This is the most common question I've heard from people choosing professions, and it's actually the easiest to answer. The fine folks theorycrafting on Elitist Jerks and other sites have done the math, and can answer that question definitively, so what I've done is compile that information, and condense it into a list format.  I provide links for further information, and just a bit of explanation where I believe necessary.

Tanks

Best:
Leatherworking - 710 Stamina (750 from Fur Lining minus 40 from Major Stamina). "750 Stamina is the same item budget as 1000 Mastery so even once you subtract the 170 [Mastery] you still end up at 830" - EJ.

Better:
Blacksmithing - 480 Stamina or 640 Mastery, Dodge, or Parry.
Jewelcrafting - 480 Stamina or 320 Mastery, Dodge, or Parry from 2 JC gems.
Alchemy - 480 Stamina from Mixology + Flask of the Earth.
Enchanting - 480 Stamina from 2x Enchant Ring - Greater Stamina. (Tooltip bugged to say 160 each, is 240.)
Mining - 480 Stamina from Toughness.

Good:
Inscription -  450 Stamina from Secret Ox Horn Inscription.
Engineering - 480 Dodge averaged. Phase Fingers gives 2880 Dodge for 10sec, 60sec cooldown.

  I list Engineering lower because of Dodge's greater diminishing returns compared to Parry. For all tanks other than Druids, it is not one of the best options, but is still good. For Druids, the Parry/Dodge comparison is irrelevant, but Dodge still competes with both Stamina and Mastery.

   Druid tanks may choose to stack Agility as it "Increases your Attack Power (threat), Dodge (survivability), and Crit Chance (threat + survivability)." - noxxic. Similarly for Monks, "Attack Power improves the mitigation of Guard and Crit increases the uptime of Brewing: Elusive Brew."- noxxic. In that case, follow the Agility options in the next section.

Strength/Agility DPS

Best: 
Leatherworking - 330 Strength or Agility. (500 from Fur Lining minus 170 Strength or Agility enchants.)

Better:
Engineering - 320 averaged. Synapse Springs gives 1920 Agi for 10sec, 60sec cooldown.
Blacksmithing - 320 Strength or Agility.
Alchemy - 320 Str/Agi from Mixology + Flask of Winter's Bite or Flask of Spring Blossoms.
Enchanting - 320 Str/Agi from 2x Enchant Ring - Greater Strength or Enchant Ring - Greater Agility.
Jewelcrafting - 320 Strength or Agility.
Inscription - 320 Str/Agi from Secret Tiger Fang Inscription or Secret Tiger Claw Inscription.

Good:
Herbalism - 480 Haste average. Lifeblood gives 2880 Haste for 20sec every 120sec.
Tailoring -  1,000 AP average. Swordguard Embroidery procs for 4,000 AP for 15sec every 60sec. Does not stack with 180 Crit or Hit enchants.
Skinning - 480 Crit from Master of Anatomy.


Intellect DPS/Healers

Best:
Leatherworking - 330 Intellect (500 from Fur Lining minus 170 Intellect enchant.)

Better:
Engineering - 320 averaged. Synapse Springs gives 1920 Intellect for 10sec, 60sec cooldown.
Blacksmithing - 320 Intellect.
Alchemy - 320 Intellect from Mixology + Flask of the Warm Sun.
Enchanting - 320 Intellect from 2x Enchant Ring - Greater Intellect.
Jewelcrafting - 320 Intellect.
Inscription - 320 Intellect from Secret Crane Wing Inscription.
Tailoring - 320 Intellect average (500 minus 180 Intellect enchant.) Lightweave Embroidery procs 2,000 Intellect for 15sec every 60sec.

Good:
Herbalism - 480 Haste average. Lifeblood gives 2880 Haste for 20sec every 120sec. The self heal is 15-17k (125-141.7 HPS average).
Skinning - 480 Crit from Master of Anatomy.


Healers (Spirit Options)

Best:
Tailoring - 900 Spirit average. Darkglow Embroidery procs 3,000 Spirit for 15sec every 50sec. Does not stack with 180 Intellect enchant.

Better:
Blacksmithing - 640 Spirit.

Good:
Alchemy - 320 Spirit from Mixology + Flask of Falling Leaves.
Jewelcrafting - 320 Spirit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ink Trader

17 days into the new expansion, and still no new ink trade. This is ridiculous.

I can understand the vendors trading Blackfallow during the pre-patch, even though that was a change from previous expansions. I had stocked up on low-level inks to prepare for stocks running out during that time, but it didn't happen. That's fine. I didn't loose profit on it, just got delayed. Glyphs will sell eventually.

What I don't understand is why Blackfallow is still the trade in currency now, for over two weeks past release.

I've always taken the changes to the game in stride, since change cannot be resisted very much. Off the top of my head, I can think of Frostheim's petition to Ghostcrawler to maintain Hunter pet's uncritability going into Cata, Aspects going back off the GCD, and Zehera's frequent feedback on the forums, particularly the issue of using Explosive Trap vs. Black Arrow. Sometimes Blizzard does change it's plans based on feedback.

  "Beginning after the maintenance on Tuesday, October 9, ink traders will be converting from accepting Blackfallow Ink to accepting Ink of Dreams and Starlight Ink will become available for purchase. If you’re still holding on to your Blackfallow Ink, your time to trade it in is running short." - source

It is apparent that Blizzard is aware of the issue, has plans to change it, and did not intend to extend the Blackfallow trade in past Tuesday. The design intent is clear, and I'll be patient as they solve the technical issues preventing them from making the change. I think everyone should be.

However, I still think it's ridiculous that Blackfallow is the trade in currency for any amount of time in Mists. It just doesn't make sense.

P.S. I do not think this is a "Slap in the face" or any such nonsense. It's just one of the most aggravating experiences I've had in WoW. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ding Level 90 #1

  My Rogue is the first to be leveled, and I'm starting on the Tillers rep grind. I'll do the Direbrew event and I turned in the Claw for the epic boots, but I'm probably not going to focus on progressing this character right away. I really only leveled this character first to get Motes of Harmony farming ASAP. Likewise, my Priest is my next focus, my Pally next.

  I've found that simply questing yields a fantastic amount of XP, along with a bit of gold and some fun items. The gear stays current enough that I bought very few pieces of adventuring gear. On my Rogue I went north from Valley of the 4 Winds through Kun-Lai into Townlong, completing every quest. Doing so, along with a bit of gathering, got me to ding early in Dread Wastes. I'm sure I'll finish the zone eventually, for the rep or the gold or just out of a sense of completionism, but it's officially backburnered and my Rogue is now primarily a crafting alt.

  I'll level my Priest next, since it's the next character that I want to farm Harmony with, and I'm planning on sticking with dungeons. I expect to need more of that adventuring gear.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Random Ramblings: Guides Backburnered, Questing and Gathering

  I've been writing and re-writing my continuation on how to choose professions, but I think they're all due for a complete re-write. My original intent was to answer the question "What professions should I take?", but the 4 parts I've written so far (Choosing First Profs and Choosing Profs for 1-2 Characters published, parts 3,4 unpublished) are answering the more specific question "What professions pair well together?", which is a good question,  but narrow in focus. I'm going to start mostly from scratch, taking inspiration from one of my first blog posts: How To Choose Professions: Min/Maxing, Making Money, Self Sufficiency. Naturally, the information is out of date, and it's kind of brief, but it does address the three major motivations to choosing professions. 

  My proposed outline would then be:

HTCP: Min/Maxing - A short list showing compiled data from sources such as Elitist Jerks and other Class/Role specific websites, with links. Mostly written already, but lacking a few specifics.
HTCP: Best Professions for Leveling Players - I'll use the existing Choosing First Profs article, but with more content and more explicit focus on addressing new players.
HTCP: 1-2 Characters - The existing article proposes options with some commentary. I'll extend the commentary and rework the format to be less choppy. Dividing options between 2 Gathering, Gathering/Crafting, and 2 Crafting works well, but I need to address optimizing Spirit of Harmony.
HTCP: 3-5 Characters - It's already written in the format of the previous one, and has Spirit of Hamony optimization options listed, but I'm not satisfied with the choppy format. Dividing options based on varying amounts of Gathering professions taken becomes less relevant. Instead I'll see if I can divide options between focusing on specific markets, Spirit of Harmony optimization, and doubling up professions for extra cooldowns.
HTCP: 6+ Characters - With 12 profession slots, it's possible to take every profession, so streamlining options for efficiency (i.e. not logging in and out 20 times an hour) becomes important. It's not written yet, but I expect it to be similar to the previous one.

  For now, though, I've been questing and gathering, the two things I've always hated! I've completed the first two zones on my Rogue Herbalist, while gathering enough to get started on my 3 daily Inscription cooldowns and level my Horde Alchemy (not specced yet). I'll be leveling my Ally Alchemy next (transmute specced) just to get that cooldown started. I've also started questing/gathering on my DK Miner. Since he's Blood specced, mostly normal mode gear, and gemmed/enchanted/reforged to the hilt, I'm blowing through packs of mobs that my Rogue had to run from.

  But the questing really had me entranced! Normally I just do dungeons to level, but I'm really enjoying the questing experience so far. I'll probably start skipping ahead to Valley of the Four Winds eventually, just to get the farm going on crafting alts, but if the last zones all provide a good set of gear, that's how I'll prepare for heroics/raiding.

  Jade Forest did not feel like a chore to complete, but finding the occasional talking target was difficult and it was a bit buggy here and there. I flew though the map once on my ride to the top of Serpent's Heart. I think the conclusion of the zone was pretty epic.

  Valley of the Four Winds I was a little all over the place, kinda haphazardly going from place to place. A few of the quests confused me, one was bugged and couldn't be completed at first, and I fell through the map once. Now that I know what all the quests are, I'll be rolling through them faster on alts with less frustration. Paoquan Hollow and Nesingwary's Safari seemed a little disparate from the rest of the zone experience, but were fun in their own right.

  I'll probably start dungeons on my Hunter and Priest, skip ahead to Krasarang Wilds with my DK, and take my Rogue through Kun-Lai Summit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guide to Professions: Choosing Professions, 1-2 Characters

All Professions Lead to Profit


  Suppose you have one or more characters at level 80 or higher, and are interested in making more gold. You might wonder what the best professions to take are, and with what characters. I'll go through some options, starting with 1 character setups and building from there.

TL;DR
1 - BS/Ench
2 - Mining/JC, BS/Ench - or - Herb/Alch, Insc/Alch

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ding #6



  I've finally leveled my Rogue!

  My Female Dwarf Rogue, to be more specific. I started her along with my Shaman during the Cata pre-patch.  Two years later, my Shammy has enjoyed a bit of attention. A little PvP, a little LFR, but mostly just being my BS/Tailor. Two years later, my Rogue, neglected at level 50 for a loooong time, finally is a max level character.

  She's not one of the "legendary carrot effect" Rogues stomping around. If that were so, then my Priest would have the staff. She is, however, fully enjoying the full assortment of abilities, especially Crimson Tempest, a.k.a. BLOOD EVERYWHERE!!!



  I've been focusing on Assassin. It's a really slow rotation. I've always advised any player, in any role, to keep the GCD going. High activity is the best way to increase DPS, throughput for healers, or threat for tanks, (Also, tank DPS matters) but there's always been one exception in the back of my my mind, though, which I never bother to specify, since they know who they are.

  They're Rogues.

  I know I'm very new to the class, but I think a major way to improve it might be to remove the Energy cost of finishers. My impression so far of the Rogue rotations is: Build combo points>wait for energy>use finisher>wait for energy>repeat. If finishers only cost the combo points they use, then it would be: Build combo points>use finisher>build combo points>repeat. Assassin would still have the wait time between Mutilates, but it would be lessened by the extra Energy not spent on finishers.

  There would have to be a lot of re-balancing to adjust for the major increase in DPS this would cause, but it would decrease the time wasted between button presses waiting on Energy. This is mostly Assassin I'm looking at, but the Combat rotation outside of haste buffs has the same issue.

  For now, though, I'll just spec Combat (Dwarves use maces, see?) and gear up just a little bit, enough to get into LFR. I'm not going to spend any significant amount of time or gold on it, I just want to raid a little on my newest maxed alt. PvP can wait for next season.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guide to Professions: Choosing your First Professions



  Since I've been playing a lot with all the professions,  I'll try my hand at guides to the professions. Any input is welcome, and I'll edit and update them as necessary.

   This first part of the guide assumes that you are choosing what professions to take on a brand new character with no high-level support, and that you don't have much experience with professions, if any. I organize the typical starting options into the Best Options, which are profitable for leveling players, Very Good Options, which are very profitable in the long run and fairly easy to level, and Good Options, which can be a short term time and gold cost, but are still good in the long run. I also list Other Options and why I don't recommend them.

  I use WoW-Professions as a general guide to leveling professions. I highly recommend using Auctionator to buy and sell on the Auction House and something like Postal for the mailbox, since the default user interface is just too slow and clumsy.

  The Best Options

   Herbalism/Mining

  My highest recommendation for any player first starting off. Dual gathering goes along well with leveling, as it doesn't take time away from actually leveling.
  • It's bonuses are survival-oriented (Lifeblood from Herbalism as soon as you take the profession, Toughness from Mining at 75 points), and they scale as you level. 
  • They don't cost anything to level but a nominal fee for trainin.
  • Gathering herbs and ore grants a decent amount of experience.
  Gathering herbs requires no special equipment, but you will want a Mining Pick and an Herbalist's Spade, which is usually sold at a vendor right by the mining trainer. I suggest leaving them next to your hearthstone in your bags, so you never forget them.

  I recommend selling herbs and ore on the AH in stacks of 5, 10, or 20. This gives Inscribers and Jewelcrafters convenient stacks for milling and prospecting. Ore can also be sold in stacks of 1 or 2, for Miners to smelt.

  WoW-Profession's guides to Herbalism and Mining are intended to be as efficient as possible for a player at max level, so they may not be the best suited for a player while leveling. If either profession lags behind, though, following these is a great way to catch up.

  Herbalism/Inscription

  Inscription is uniquely profitable very early on (My low-level Inscription guide), and is great for any class just starting off. Be aware that the glyph market can be very competitive, but there's a lot of profit for the dedicated. Just resist the urge to camp, which is canceling and re-listing auctions that get undercut. That's a huge time sink.

  Very Good Options

 Mining/Jewelcrafting

  Any class can benefit from Jewelcrafting, and it has some nice bonuses while leveling, including Stone Statues that heal you, access to some nice rings and neckpieces very early on, and trinkets in the mid-levels and onward.

  Leveling Jewelcrafting along with Mining is, of course, the most economical method. Take this option of you are considering being a serious Gold Maker later on, as Jewelcrafting is a very profitable profession on it's own, as well as being the first half of the Ore Shuffle.

  Tailoring/Enchanting

  Tailoring is a common choice for Priests, Warlocks, and Mages, so they can craft their own armor. There is certainly merit to this in the endgame, since being able to craft armor using your own material and professions can be a great money saver in the long run. While leveling up to 90, though, Tailoring does not actually provide much benefit at all. There are plenty enough great quest rewards and dungeon drops that most items you will be able to craft won't be an upgrade. Even in the few cases where there are upgrades, it's replaced within a few levels.

  Tailoring is classically paired with Enchanting, since crafted items from Tailoring can be used to level Enchanting. Enchanting also does not provide much benefit while leveling, since putting enchants on leveling gear is largely a waste of time and material. The major advantage to having Enchanting while leveling enables a player to always be able to disenchant gear drops in a dungeon and many quest rewards for more than they vendor for.

  Take this option if you think you want to be a Tailor and/or Enchanter when you get to max level. Enchanting is the second half of the Ore Shuffle, so it's also a great choice for anyone who is considering being a Gold Maker.

  Good Options

  Skinning/Leatherworking

  This is a very popular choice for the Leather and Mail wearing classes. Leveling Leatherworking without having Skinning to support is is famously difficult and frustrating, and leveling Skinning without Leatherworking is just about useless, so the two are best leveled together.

  Much like Tailoring, Leatherworking also does not provide much benefit while leveling. Skinning does provide a small Crit bonus which scales as you level, but does not give an XP bonus, as Herbalism and Mining do.

  Take this option only if you are sure you want to be a Leatherworker at max level.

  Mining/Blacksmithing

  Popular for Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights, Blacksmithing also does not provide much benefit while leveling.

  Take this option if you are sure you want to be a Blacksmith at max level, but be aware that Blacksmithing will use up most of the ore you gather, which cuts into any profit you would make from Mining.

  Herbalism/Alchemy

  While leveling, Alchemy yields mostly useless items. Typically, enough potions drop for players along the way that anything you can make is usually excess. Also, like Blacksmithing and Mining, Alchemy cuts into Herbalism's potential profits.

  Take this option if you are sure you want to be an Alchemist at max level. It's a very profitable profession at max level.


  Mining/Engineering

  Engineering is really fun, with lot's of cool toys. It's especially great for leveling in battlegrounds, where it pairs well with Mining's Toughness.

  At max level, most crafted Engineering items are only useful to the Engineer, but between guns, scopes, pets, and mounts, it has a few niche markets for the dedicated.

  Take this option only if you are dead set on being an Engineer. It's an expensive hassle to level, and not the most profitable in the long run, but it's fun!

Other Options

  Any combination of two crafting professions, i.e. Jewelcrafting/Blacksmithing, is not good for leveling characters who don't have thousands of gold to invest in these professions, as well as the time and patience to use the AH for materials.

  Skinning along with any profession other than Leatherworking is largely useless, unless you are planning on being a double farmer at max level. In that case, it's OK to pair with Herbalism or Mining.

   Enchanting paired with a crafting professions other than Tailoring suffers the disadvantage of being unable to gather materials for crafting.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crafting IRL: Spicy Mac'n Cheese



  I like to cook, which is why I work at Olive Garden. I'm just a dishwasher now, but I'd like to advance to Culinary Assistant eventually. For now, my forays into cooking are limited to my own kitchen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tapping My Fingers, Waiting To Post Glyphs

I had the downloader getting seemingly stuck, but I just went ahead and left it alone, took a nap, boom, done.

I'd say I'm prepared. I took all my glyphs off the market, switched operations over to my new glyph poster/Ink Bank alt (Need the slot to start a Lock), and I'm ready to login and post like usual.

My final ink tally is (Ally/Horde):
Of the Sea - 14,832/866
Ethereal - 4,428/503
Shimmering - 217/74
Celestial - 1,920/171
Jadefire - 3,920/308
Lion's - 3,920/308
Midnight - 3,920/295
Total - 33,157/2,525 (35,682 across both)

That's 11,894 glyphs, on top of the 1,500 or so I have on hand (not sure how many, but probably closer to 2,000) My cost of mats is less than 10g, so all that ink cost 3g33s each or less. I'd say an average sell price of 40g per glyph is a good, conservative estimate, so at least 30g profit each. That's a potential 400,000g profit in my bags, at least. If prices rise to 100g each, that's makes it a potential 1,300,000g profit, all off of about 125,000g invested. I don't expect to sell them all right off, but they will all sell, eventually

I'd say waiting to post is indicative of my playing priority, but really, I just want to get that out of the way so I can start playing Beastmaster Hunter again. Haven't done that in PvE since TotC. It's been due. I tried it out on Beta, of course, so I have a good idea what to expect.

Priest healing looks as incredible as ever, and Shammy healing intrigues me yet again. I haven't devoted much time to it so far, so I don't fully understand the new cooldown paradigm. Using Riptide glyphed intrigues me.

DK tanking looks much the same, I'll just have to add the occasional Blood Boil to refresh diseases, and reforge for some hit and expertise.

Pally tanking I haven't looked at yet, but I'm sure WoW Insider has a good guide.

What I really need to do over the next week is finish leveling my Rogue, along with her Herbalism and Inscription.

And, of course, maintenance is extended 2 hours. Time to stop fretting and do something else.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Specialization vs. Diversification






  One of my constant struggles making gold on Warcraft is deciding what balance to take between specialization and diversification. Focusing on just one or two markets can help reduce the total amount of time and effort going into making gold, but to really get that extra bit of gold, one needs to be sure to tap many markets.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last Minute Leveling, Milling, and Stocking Up

  My Rogue is at 73, which means she'll certainly become my 6th 85 before Mists releases. I'll be leveling all 6 to 90, since I want all professions in play, but which one I raid on, which one I PvP on, I haven't decided. I'll probably continue LFR on my Hunter first, then my Pally tank and Priest healer, then my DK tank and Shammy Healer. I might have to run LFR's on my Rogue for a trinket or something, but I'm probably not going to raid much at all as a Rogue.

  My Druid and Warrior are both at level 44, and I'm seriously considering picking up an extra copy of WoW this week, and using RAF on both of them. It would go against my general rule of not paying anymore than $15 a month (Only other money I spent was on one name change).

  I've milled through most of my Whiptail, topping off my Ink stash of 1 Inscription bag of Shimmering, 1 bank tab (~653 glyphs worth) each of Midnight, Lion's, Jadefire and Celestial, 2 tabs of Ethereal, and a mailbox full of Ink of the Sea. I expect to maintain a full posting of glyphs through the pre-patch on into the start of Mists, enabling me to focus new herbs on new products, without having to trade down for a while. I expect my Ink of the Sea stash to last for months.

  For a couple of months now I've been buying cheap Truegold and Chaos Orbs off the Horde AH, flipping what I could for an average of 112g each Truegold and 35g each Orb. I'm left with a few stacks which are growing, and sales are thinning. I think people are finally dumping stock and stopping crafting. Both of these items will probably loose value for a few months as the overall stock dwindles, but the prices should come back up by January. At least they don't take up much room.

  I've also decided to change my alt plans and roll a Dwarf Warlock again. I feel that having only 3 Horde characters is OK, especially since they're Pally, Druid, and Monk (all Tauren). I'm not going to roll a non-Tauren just for the sake of having another Horde character, out of some sense of balance. I might reroll my Dwarf Mage as a Horde Pandaren, though. I'm not sure. I actually haven't tried them out at all, and the Beta is a black screen right now, so I can't login properly. As it stands now:

Alliance
85 Kalven -      Male Dwarf Hunter         
85 Kalare -       Female Human Priest
85 Kalmali -      Male Dwarf Death Knight
85 Kalyka -       Female Dwarf Shaman
73 Kalyssa -      Female Dwarf Rogue
44 Kalida -        Female Dwarf Warrior
15 Kaldwell -    Male Dwarf Mage (reroll Panderan?)
0   Kalister -      Male Dwarf Warlock

Horde
85 Kallahan -    Male Tauren Paladin
44 Kallonika -   Female Tauren Druid
0   Kallum -       Male Tauren Monk

P.S. I told myself I wouldn't do it, but I bought more Whiptail. There were over 650 stacks for less than 13g each. How could I not sweep them up?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Rare Opportunity

  BigBearButt makes the case for having a more casual kind of fun with the game while in this part of the expansion cycle, and it caused me to reflect on how I myself am playing on live and in beta.

  On live, I've been running a few FL's with guildies, to get the last few legendaries. It's just challenging enough to feel like it isn't a waste of time, nevermind the gear. I agree, the more casual aspect of running older content allows one to really take in the whole show. Even when leveling now, I'm sort of shedding the urgency to earn XP, and instead gaining experience. Hmm, I'm going to have to muse on that a bit.

  I'll muse later, I have a point to make. This Beta is a once-in-an-expansion chance to try out other classes and races at level 85! It's been so much fun! I've rolled Tauren and Dwarf Monks, male and female, just to try out their casting and melee animations. I've rolled Troll Warlocks and Forsaken Mages, and no, I still can't get into Forsaken.

  So take this opportunity to try a new class/race/gender combination. I recommend melee female Dwarves, especially with a shield.

  Also, my new celebrity crush is Tyler Ward. His voice sounds like a flannel blanket feels.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Hunter Keybinds


  Keybinds and macros set a foundation for executing a solid rotation, effective cooldown management, pet control, and CC usage. Without effective keybinds, abilities fall out of use. Without macros, actions become slow and cumbersome.

  I suspect most players keybinds are somewhat organic, in the sense that they add abilities as they level almost haphazardly. That can lead to very disorganized keybinds. A new expansion is a great time to reorganize keybinds purposefully. Innovating one's setup, especially after a year or more of playing one particular way, can be a daunting task, but I have occasionally made fundamental changes to my keybinds, and have found that it's like rearranging furniture, in that the new keybinds quickly become the new normal.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Darkmoon Card of Mists Trinkets


  I just noticed that the rewards for the Darkmoon Card of Mists decks are up on Wowhead. All but the tanking trinket have primary stats as both passive and as a proc. This makes them very potent indeed, and may be BIS for a few patches. It makes them a bit uninteresting, though.

  Another thing I notice is that they are Unique-Equipped: Darkmoon Card of the Mists (1). This just means that healers will have to choose either the Spirit or the Intellect option, and that Guardian Druids and Brewmaster Monks will have to choose either the Agility or the Dodge option.

  Also important to note is that these trinkets will not be available until Oct. 7th, when the first Darkmoon Faire of the expansion begins. That leaves 12 days in which to level up Inscription and start grinding out cards.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stable Slots Going Into Mists


  I have 13 pets I absolutely refuse to abandon, for any reason. I also have the remaining 5 Spirit Beasts, which I am very averse to abandoning. Of the remaining 8 slots, 7 are filled with pets that each currently fill a buff slot.

Non-Negotiable Keepers:
1. Hobs - Cat (Mastery)
2. Aroo - Wolf (Crit)
3. Ed - Hyena (Attack Speed)
4. Berry -  Deth'tilac (Web)
5. Citrus - Solix (Web)
6. Aotona (Snatch)
7. Kalvenosaur - King Krush (Crit, MS)
8. SASI - Jadefang (Kings)
9. Leto - Grubthor (Burrow)
10. Warpaint - Ban'thalos (SB)
11. TOTHEGROUND - Ghostcrawler (SB)
12. PocketHeal - Loque'nahak (SB)
13. Skoll (SB)

Other Spirit Beasts:
14. Ankha
15. Arcturis
16. Gondria
17. Karoma
18. Magria

Negotiable Keepers:
19. Raphael - Terrorpene (Shell Shield)
20. Soap - Wind Serpent (8% Magic Damage)
21. Ripper - Raptor (12% Armor)
22. Ravager (4% Physical Damage) to be replaced with a boar
23. Beeblebrox - Core Hound (Ancient Hysteria)
24. Jitterbug - Silithid (Stamina)

Mists Needs:
1. Water Strider (Spell Power, Crit, Water Walk)
2. Quillen (Crit, Battle Rez)
3. Porcupine (AOE stun)

  So it looks like I have to abandon at least two pets to be able to pick up all three of the new pets I believe will be needed. Of the negotiable keepers, though, each one brings a necessary buff, hence the dilemma. I might have to let go of a few Spirit Beasts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Search Terms That Led Here, 2

  I'm getting hits, yay me! Most traffic here is from Blessing of Kings, who has been doing TOR stuff. Some also comes from Darraxus who has been doing something called DayZ (sounds like a zombie thing). I have no idea about either of those things. I also get a little bit from World of Lae, who happens to be the answer to the first search listed. Some of it also comes from Google, and I'll treat search terms as a sort of Q and A:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

500k gold




  I just passed 500k gold the other day. I attribute my success so far to doing several things:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Inscription Updates: Research Done, Mists Speculation, More Whiptail


  I've finally finished Northrend Inscription Research on my Horde Inscriber. This, of course, allows me to start using Books of Glyph Mastery, which I am greatly annoyed are still necessary. There was supposed to be a fix so that all glyphs could be researched, but that never happened. I still need 32 books, so I'll have to step up buying efforts on both factions if I want to finish before Mists.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Warcraft Wealth, "Interview" 4

  I had no luck tracking down anyone in the 300k-700k gold range, so I'll just muse a bit on what it's like to play with 450k gold.

  Nothing on the AH is out of my price range. Reins of Poseidus has been on the AH for a bit, at 75k. If I wanted it, it's mine. I could buy 5. If I spent like that, though, I'd run out.

  I buy or craft BoE gear for my new 85's (I look for a deal though), fast flying for all, Stonedrake for my Priest (She earned it most) but not anymore than one, since it will be account wide, a Chopper for my Hunter Engineer, self-made, of course. I bought a few guild banks for good prices, maxed out the tabs, and started stashing for Mists. I always buy frugally, and I think that's part of how I got this far, but for a while I was feeling the expense of having 5 85's to fund.

  The only dailies I do are Cooking and Fishing dailies on a few alts for points and TB dailies on my Pally for the trinket. Dailies are just not good gold per hour. I also don't do dungeons after the VP cap, since I see that as a waste of time.

  I level professions for new 85's from scratch, usually costing me no more that 6k-8k gold. I see dropping a maxed profession as inconvenient, but sometimes worth the loss.  Since I have one of every crafting profession, the only things I buy from other people are potions and flasks, since I am not specialized in those, and they sell below cost-of-mats for non-specced Alchemists. I also buy VP BoE's since I prefer to trade my excess Valor for Conquest, for whenever the PvP bug bites.

  I'm at the point where making gold has become it's own game, so driving up the number is a source of inner satisfaction. I have long term plans for the Mists mounts, of course, but that's a ways away. I'll also be taking full advantage of Glyphmas to come, along with the new DMC trinkets. Honestly, I think I might double cap a few months into Mists.

  I think the minimum I could play comfortably at would be about 2k per max character per week after an initial large amount of spending when hitting cap (maybe 10k?). So I think, and this is just conjecture, that I'd want about 20k on hand and about 10k a week income, if I played without gold making as a priority.

  I think there's no real upper limit to how much I'd be ok with having, since anything after 100k is just a number to me. My first 100k was the moment where I first really felt I could hit cap, since going from 10k to 100k was a short, steady grind, and I believe going from 100k to cap will be a long, steady grind, but not 10 times as long since I perceive an exponential aspect to gold making.

Warcraft Wealth, Interview 3

  My third interview I took off-realm, as I'm now getting into the amounts where I might come across serious competitors. Surprisingly, my interviewee would not be an AH competitor at all. Karjash from Forge Camp Sunshine in the Alliance side of Scarlet Crusade replied:





Warcraft Wealth, Interview 2

  For my second interview, I asked for someone who has had more than 10k gold, but not more than 40k. Shockabrah from Knights of the Shadows answered:





Warcraft Wealth, Interview 1

  My reply to the reply to my last post inspired me to interview some players about how much gold they have and what their gameplay is like. I posted in Alliance trade chat looking for some one who has not had 4k gold, and Viirus from Avenging Pandas was my first response.





Friday, July 20, 2012

Random Ramblings: CTC and Trinkets, Pally vs DK Tanking, DS10 pugs, 450k gold


  I've been running LFR weekly on my Pally tank, and now I'm fully kited out. I've got 4 piece T13, the off-set shoulders (Finally), Souldrinker and Blackhorn's Mighty Bulwark. I also have Indomitable Pride and Soulshifter Vortex, though the proc on that second one is mostly wasted. If Resolve of the Undying drops, it would bring me close to full cap, but I wonder if 609 Stamina would quickly be a greater boost than 780 Dodge after reaching CTC. If I bought Fire of the Deep, I'd be capped already, even without the on-use, but I think that would be wasted VP.

  I'm only 4.45% under block cap when buffed, so I need to make some gearing decisions (i.e. hope for drops) based on that. For now I'll continue stacking Mastery, and using Elixir of the Master and Fortune Cookie (No Lavascale on the AH and my fishing isn't up yet). I know I'll have to start trading out for stamina soon, but I'm not quite there yet. As for trinkets, I'll stick with the one's I have, ignoring the Mastery proc for the most part. I'm sure a few DS regular drops will bring me to cap soon enough.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Role Call: July 2012

  I changed my alt line up a bit, after realizing that my setup was not ideal for various reasons, chief of which was that I realized I did not have a Dwarf shield tank. This would not do. Sometimes a particular race/class/spec combination just clicks. Dwarf Enhance Shaman was like that for me, as was Tauren Prot Pally. Dwarf Prot Warrior is my newest click, and I'm looking forward to pushing the class further than before (mid-40s). I suspect Dwarf Monk will click in such a way, but I'm open to having a Tauren Monk. I guess I should just try one out on the beta. I'm not sure what can make the Mage or Warlock classes click. One will likely be Dwarf, but which one, I don't know. I guess I should figure out what non-Tauren Horde race I'm ok with playing (likely Troll) and figure which class fits it better.

  I've also been neglecting my older 85's horribly, but I guess that's natural in this part of the expansion cycle. I don't want to be that guy who just endlessly levels alts, but never plays endgame (LFR doesn't count). My favorite specs so far for each class are Survival, Disc, Blood, Enhance, and Prot. Typically, I prefer to tank if I can, if not, then heal, if not, then DPS. How I decide between specs typically is a matter of which one performs best in a given situation. For example, I stick with Marksman in PvP, and before 4.3, played Marksman in PvE as well. It's not my favorite Hunter spec by any means, but when it's the best choice, I take it. Between Disc and Holy healing, I keep both specs on hand, but usually stick with Disc. The matter of choosing between Enhance and Elemental, however, comes down to a matter of gearing (can't switch between them easily) and that I leveled a Dwarf Shaman for the expressed purpose hitting things.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

PSA: Don't Trash the Flag






  I'll cut to the chase. Independence Day brings around my biggest pet peeve: Mistreatment of the American Flag.

  My friends know me as the kind of guy who will walk into a business for the express purpose of informing them that the flag they are displaying needs replaced, as it's torn or faded. I work in lawn care right now, and whenever we mow a cemetery, I collect a pocketful of torn or faded mini flags. It's these mini flags that, for some reason, people think it's ok to leave laying on the ground during this holiday.

  Please, do not turn the American Flag into litter.

  If you drop one, pick it up. When you're done with it, dispose of it.

  How to dispose of American Flags seems to be a source of anxiety for many people, as they have the vague sense that throwing it in the trash is wrong, but burning it also seems wrong. Well, burning the flag in a respectful manner is precisely the preferred manner of retiring unserviceable flags. It's quite simple, and only takes a few minutes. If you really don't feel comfortable retiring a flag this way yourself, any VFW post, Boy Scout troop or similar organization should be happy to take it off your hands.

  Drive safe, be careful with fireworks, and enjoy your holiday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Random Ramblings: Ding #5, Glyphs,

   Bleh, a second week without posting gone by.

  So my Pally is at 85 now, and at the super awkward ilevel of 351, so I'm still running old Cata heroics for 346 gear that I won't even bother gem/enchanting. It's difficult enough to be a tank, but for some reason, players in these dungeons think their gear makes them a better tank than me, just because they have more health. What ends up happening is some DK (usually a DK) pulls the next group while some undergeared/crafted pvp geared healer is at 10% mana and I'm at 10% health and unloads on only one mob, resulting in a scattered group all casters on the healer (OOM), and the other DPS scrambling around like squirrels loaded up with caffeine, trying to avoid getting hit. And it's all my fault.

  The glyph market has remained steady, and I actually had a few 5k days. Usually I pull in between 3-4k a day in sales, so about 3k profit. Some chatter in trade Alliance side clued me in that Horde still expect high glyph prices. I'm still in the Northrend Research grind, but I think I have enough recipes to chip away at this perception by barking a bit in trade while waiting for a chicken debuff to wear off. Seriously, gearing up from scratch on the less populated side sucks. I had to send a Twilight Amulet and an Elementium Earthguard over from the Ally side.

  The neutral AH is a really attractive concept to me, even with the 15% cut, since there are some markets that have large enough profit margins to handle the extra 10%. I'm thinking crafted gear of any kind, especially 397, glyphs, BoE's, hell, I even flipped a few hundred Whiptail for about 5-10g profit a stack.

  Anyway, back to glyphs. I've been buying glyphs less than 10g to keep prices up, and there's been a few glyph levelers lately, so I have a couple Inscription bags of backstock full again. For a while there, I had 4 bags full of glyphs I bought from someone for 10g each, sort of like an estate sale. I think I was being generous, since it was a guildie.

  Speaking of guildies, I sometimes switch between free-for-guildies and cost-of-mats as a policy, and I think I should stick with the second, so that I'm not taken advantage of. I made an exception for a particularly fast leveling Priest alt of an active guildie, but that's the last time. No more freebies.

  I'm not as swamped by work as I have been, so I just might have more to post within the week. I'm still needing to get Delegation done on my Priest, I have just a little bit of a Conquest grind left on my Hunter, and my newest 85 needs gear. Also, I'm almost to 300k gold.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Through a Glass, Darkly


  I finally collected enough Eternal Embers (life of a pugger) to finish off All-Seeing Eye. I've avoided learning to much about the quest chain, as I've always intended to complete it myself. I respecced to Shadow, though I considered speccing offensive Disc. That would have been too crazy, and I'm sure someone, somewhere has done it already. Anyway, I report to old dude in the Caverns of Time, something about a blind spot in time, and no port to Northrend? Come on! The place is full of Mages!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Random Ramblings: A Ton of Whiptail, "Polite Notes",


  That's 35,020 Whiptail. All mine, for less than 1g each. That's 1,751 stacks, or 7,004 mills worth. At 2 seconds per mill, that's about 3.5 hours of milling and 5.5 hours of crafting for an expected yield of 10,506 Blackfallow Ink. I already have 4,035 Blackfallow, and 3,646 lower level inks (not counting Shimmering), for a grand total of 18,187 ink, or 6,062 glyph's worth.

  That, ladies and gentlemen, is my nest egg.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Preparing Professions for Mists: Fact 3.5


Facts 1-3

  To continue just a bit on that last point I made, I want to speculate just a bit on the future of Blackfallow Ink. Right now it is typically the cheapest method of making any glyph other than those using Shimmering Ink (which I continue to be stumped over). In Mists, however, it is expected that the new ink will be the one to trade in for lower level inks, leaving very few outlets for an entire expansion of herbs. Herbalists will still be leveling, so a large supply will be there, with a greatly reduced outlet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BM vs MM Hunter PVP: CC Options, Buff/Debuffs, and Pets


   Pet selection as a Hunter can be game changing, especially where it comes to PvP. Since Cata came out, I've maintained that a Hunter should be familiar enough with the buff/debuff system to know which pet will benefit a group best in any given situation. This is just as applicable to CC options as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

BM vs MM Hunter PVP: Ability Comparisons

  I've been running a bit of Arena and trying to run as many Rated Battlegrounds as I can on my Hunter. Usually it's my Priest that gets in the group, so she's actually geared better and has higher rating. I want to break 1800 on my Hunter, though, so I'm going to focus on that character over the weekend.

  Part of that will be relearning MM PvP. There are a lot of fundamentals that are the same between all specs, like scatter-trapping, disengaging, ect. These are all Hunter basics, so I want to focus on spec specific differences.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Offtopic: Gripes About Shooters

  I'm no stranger to shooters, but my experience is mostly limited to Halo, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow 6. Aside from Halo, these are all what you would call "Military Shooters", i.e. "Realistic." I'm here to tell you, there's hardly anything realistic about them.

  Never mind the health packs, regeneration, shields, whatever allows a player to take hits and keep on trucking. That's just an outright suspension of disbelief. The disbelief I personally find difficult to suspend is the way ammo is treated.

  First off, reloading in most of these games before running out only brings you up to magazine capacity, not capacity+1. Also, when a partial magazine is taken out, I kind of expect to run across it again in series, after all full magazines are used. The Clancy games do this, and I like that. It's a small touch, but having some real-world experience with firearms makes me appreciate these kinds of things.

  Second, reloading is way too fast. New recruits often come into the military with the "I'm gonna be Rambo" idea, and this kinda feeds that. They think they can get their reload time down to 3 seconds. Reloading properly takes about 10 seconds with an M16. Remove the magazine, place empty magazine in your LBV, oriented upward to show as empty, pull a full magazine out, place the magazine in the well, drive the bolt home, tap the forward assist, resume firing. Ever play America's Army? Yeah, kinda like that, but hurried up with a harder tap on the forward assist. This kind of lag would be completely unacceptable in the fast paced gameplay we've become accustomed to, so we just speed it up.

  Side-note, one of the reasons we carry pistols is because switching to a sidearm is faster than reloading. This is actually something shooters do right, even if it's still a bit too fast.

  Finally, in the already ridiculous situation where one is carrying weapons in both hands, what's going on just below the viewpane? Are all these shooters secretly Goro clones? Do they instead all come with the getup Lara Croft has in the movies? What gives?

  My biggest complaint by far, however, is the underwhelming effect of explosives. A real Claymore's blast zone is the size of a football field, and a real A-C130 would obliterate any one of these maps in moments.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Pets

 
  A Hunter should like his pets enough to name them, at the very least. Some diehard MM Hunters can hardly be bothered to "Name their dots", but if you want any heals on your pet, it'd better have a name at the very least.

  Some Hunters go a step further and start to hold an emotional attachment to certain pets, and might even imbue them with personality. I'm not a roleplayer or anything, but I do think of my pets as friends.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preparing Professions for Mists: Facts 1-3



  I've been stockpiling here and there, and doing a lot of forum searching for what other people are stockpiling, and I've come to the conclusion that a lot of people are crackpot crazy. Some raise valid points, but then veer off into some serious speculation. I prefer to base predictions off of a few, simple facts.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

PvP Progress: Ironman


  I just did a random battleground as a warm up to this evening's Rateds, and landed in yet another group where everyone decided to fight in the middle instead of running the flag. Fortunately, the opposing team was doing the same thing, so I ran the flag unopposed, with no EFC up. I capped as soon as I got there.

  The second run I had a Priest buddy with me, and one of the Horde Hunter's slowed me with Concussive, but I Scatter-Trapped him and Jump-Disengaged out of range quickly. I was a little nervous when I got to cap, since there was an EFC out there, but he died quickly. I'm glad he did, since I don't think I'm a very good defensive player, even with Spirit Mend.

  My third run a different Hunter tried to Scatter-Trap me, but I trinketed it and returned in kind. I ran unopposed again, and capped.

  It seemed so easy, like taking candy from a baby.

Screenshots: LFR Fails, Skoll and Death, Stonedrake, Ghostwolf, Clownsuit, Nice Transmog


  I snapped this while in a rough start to LFR. It bugged somehow on the umpteenth wipe, and he/she(?) was just floating there waiting on the fresh influx of suckers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random Ramblings: Crappy BC Dungeons, NIR Begins, The Auction House is Like Fishing



  Dinged 65 on my Pally, and I'm so glad to now be taking a break from tanking or healing BC dungeons. I don't know what happens to players at this level. Shaman and Druids knockback mobs into other packs with abandon, DK's grip on cooldown, and non-DK tanks take their non-DK status as a pass to tank in DPS gear within fearing range of three other packs, berate the DPS for "Running into the other groups" (feared), berate the healer for going OOM (4 packs on a squishy tank), and demand a rez since they can't find the entrance. I switched to tanking mode and finished the dungeon with the DPS, while self healing. Pallys are OP. Warriors tanking in agility/haste gear can lay dead on the floor, for all the use they are.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jewelcrafting: Cuts, a Comment on Variety



  Jewelcrafting is one of the more lucrative professions, and though most gems sell in varying amounts, many patterns seem useless. Also, there's a very uneven spread across the ROYGBP spectrum. Primary stats as well as Mastery for tanks becoming so much more powerful than other options has further reduced the effective variety to cuts.

  These are the cuts considered ideal, not counting Resilience gems, with just a bit of my own commentary:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Macros: Targeting

  Targeting with macros makes target switching a breeze. I primarily use mouseover and focus macros as well as the occasional target specific macro. The two that I use most are:

/focus target

and

/target focus

  These simple macros are keybound and let me focus a target quickly and switch to a focused target quickly. They're invaluable in clinch situations. Other targeting macros are a bit more complicated, but knowing what each command does allows me to tailor a macroed abilities behavior precisely.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Random Ramblings: A Rant I Dreamed, Stonedrake, Playing Shadow

  It was a really weird dream, and I have no idea what triggered it. Of course, have lived with and worked with some big time rubes (haven't we all), but I don't often call them out on it. What I was going on about was the false assertion that people are becoming dumber with each successive generation.

  As far as I can recall, my central point was that calculus, which was developed by Issac Newton to explain planetary motion, is now taught in high schools as a subject worth knowing just for the sake of knowing. I also went on about how the very secrets of life, like DNA and genetics, and General Relativity, are taught to all children. Even seemingly mundane subjects, like History and Geography provide children with the opportunity to know so much about the world around us. Even optional courses like Drama and Debate establish a great variety to education. The generations past beyond living memory wouldn't be able to conceive of knowledge that we now consider "Elective". The world it's self didn't change. We changed it. We got smarter, faster, stronger, can travel with ease, can live twice as long, and have a greater resistance to disease. We entertain ourselves in previously unimaginable ways. We're better than ever.

  I could go on, but I'd rather segway into how this relates to Warcraft, so... uh... here's how it relates to Warcraft.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PvP Progress: First Round of 3's


  My first round of 3's started off with a win! Thanks to a couple of Guildmates, I've had a great initial experience. One of them was in PvE, and I'm not gonna name any names (cough, high deeps, cough), but luckily not many opponents caught on. We were alternately steamrolling, or being steamrolled.

  I think I need to pay more attention to positioning, since I missed a few fearing opportunities against enemy healers.

  I also have found predicting incoming damage to be nearly impossible. I think learning more about DPS cooldowns and their visual/audial indicators will help there.

  I was very surprised just how many melee seem to not know what an interrupt is. Not complaining, just stating an observation. I had so many Rogues, Kitties, Warriors, even a Pally, just chopping away at me without doing much damage, and letting me freecast on my teammates.

  A good Warlock is the devil, and a good Rogue paired with that Lock is the spawn of the devil.

  I think I'm going to move my raid/party frames back to the left. having them right next to enemy frames is too much clutter in one place. Also, I think I need more clear space in the middle for arena, so I'm going to make player, focus, and target frames thinner.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rolecall: April 2012

  I deleted my 55 Worgen Druid, which is now the highest level of character I have deleted, other than DK's. I didn't really feel invested in the character, though I did log about 50 hours on it. It occurred to me to faction change, but I think it's too expensive. If it were $10-15, then I would have. $30? Nah, I'll just reroll.

  To a Tauren Druid. I like Tauren. Besides, since I rolled new Mage and Warlock Dwarves, and my Shaman, Hunter, and Priest are all already Alliance, my Horde side needed some ranged.

  So to help me sort of solidify my character planning and progress, I'm going to write up a snapshot of where I'm at today, so without further ado, my characters:

My Macros: Crafting, Kill Command and Bestial Wrath, Castsequence

  Macros are one of those things in WoW that can really increase the effectiveness of your gameplay, and it seems that to many players see them as merely optional. That's too bad, because there are some that I don't think I could play well without. I use macroexplain.com to troubleshoot sometimes, and to get new ideas from their links.

 The most basic macro, however, is:

/macro
You'd think making a macro would be easily accessible, but typing /macro every single time you want to make an adjustment gets reeeaaalllly annoying. So, I made a macro labeled Macro that just says /macro, with the screaming bunny button face. Yo dawg.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Search Terms That Led Here

    It's been almost 4 months since I started blogging, and I'm not getting to very much traffic. Most of you are coming from Blessing of Kings (Thanks, Rohan!) and a few from other places I lurk, like Huntsman's Lodge and Cynwise's Warcraft Manual. I guess I should comment more prolifically? I wouldn't know, I'm new at this.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Journey From Raiding to PvP

   I used to love raiding. Pre-BC, it was a thing I did to burn time along with some old friends. Three or four of us would be in the same room, running the raid. Well, they would run it. I was just along for the deeps. I didn't care about gear or progression. I just liked being a Hunter. My favorite raid was ZG. It was the only rep grind I obsessed over, much less finished, and the last fight had me in the kiting role, which really made me feel accomplished.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More Transmogrification and Shammy PvP


  That's a Dark Vessel Breastplate, Tablet Bearer's Pauldrons, and Legguards of Caution, all from a few quests in the Hinterlands, Swamp Vest Gauntlets from a quest in Dustwallow Marsh, and my old Frostscale Belt and Boots. I left the Vicious Embersilk Cape as is, and have a Stylish Blue Shirt underneath. It took me awhile to find a decent helm, and I finally settled for Flesh Handler's Headpiece, from a quest in Netherstorm. Quite by coincidence (or subconscious association) it's the same helm Dagla Hammerbeak has.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Transmogrifications


  I've finally finished the Overlord's set on my male Dwarf DK, though technically I cheated with the boots. I took the quest reward look-alikes. I prefer a simpler, somewhat realistic look to my characters. As an RL veteran, I think the lack of a helm is equally ridiculous to plate bikinis in principle, if not in scale. For this reason, I'm still on the look out for a Field Plate Helm.

  For some very deep nostalgia's sake, I'm going to craft a Tough Scorpid set for my male Dwarf Hunter. He's been sporting a Frostscale Binding set.

  My Female Dwarf Shammy's Enhance set is also Frostscale, and her Resto set is Nerubian Hive. They're both great sets, just getting stale. I'm not sure what to pick, but Marauder's Mail looks pretty good.

  My female Dwarf Rogue (still leveling) has the heirloom daggers transmogrified to Torturing Pokers. They're a hoot in BG's. They look especially good with Fiery Weapon and Lifestealing. Now, maybe it's jumping the gun a bit, but I put together a Righteous Garb / Frostsaber Armor set. It looks great on the Dwarf model. I have to get the shoulders over from the Horde side and level to 57 before I can take some screenshots.

  Finally, I've decided to start farming up the Absolution Regalia for my female Human Priest. BC truly was a golden age of armor design.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Random Ramblings: BRD Leveling, Group Play and Marketing, Recount and the Prisoner's Dilemma


  I'm about halfway through leveling 3 characters though the 50's now, and boy have I about had enough of BRD. It's always been one of my favorite places in WoW, with so much fantastic design poured into it. Since I've made a special study of it over the years (It was the place I started out soloing on my Hunter, easy start plus nostalgia), I can lead a group through it in a fairly efficient manner with very little downtime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My opinion of WoW Races, in which I reference Pratchett, Tolkien, Star Trek, and Napolean Dynomite

 
  I'm playfully biased against what I consider the unnatural and alien races in World of Warcraft. I don't judge other player's choices at all, or even voice strong opinions, especially around players I don't know well. I just can't play certain races. I'd like to post my opinions for anyone who cares to read, or better yet, respond with your own.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

11 Class Challenge in MoP


  In preparation for MoP, I'll be leveling up 3-4 more 85's, which will leave me 2-4 short of all classes (Tauren Monk incoming). Part of my motivation for this is to get involved in the Horde AH, and more robustly in the Ally AH, but in the back of my mind, I've always wanted one of each class. But to what end, just AH profession mules? I want to play, dammit!

  So, it is my intent to play the endgame on every class during MoP. I know I won't become an expert in each class, much less each spec, but I'm sure there isn't a class I can't play well. What passes as endgame "completion" sounds like it will necessarily be arbitrary in nature. Full heroic 25 clears or 2400 rating? Dwarf, please. I'm way more casual than that. I'll give it some more serious thought, but if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Monday, April 2, 2012

SV Rotation Thoughts


  Over on BoK, Rohan gives us a first look at Ret and Holy Pally and has this to say about the Ret rotation: "Basically all non-finishers now produce Holy Power, so you can use Templar's Verdict essentially once every 4 GCDs." This sounds to me like the SV rotation, as three shots build focus and one shot spends it, though I'm sure our 1 second GCD makes ours go a lot faster.

  For the most part, the base SV rotation has stayed about the same through all of Cata: Explosive-Cobra-Cobra-Cobra, occasionally replacing one Cobra with Black Arrow or Arcane. In my experience, it was a very satisfying tempo, a simple back beat with a bit of syncopation.

  Garwulf also posted on the beta, and it looks like MoP could change SV to a multi-dotting spec. I imagine a 2-4 target fight starting with a Multi-Shot to get a full duration Serpent Sting up on all targets, Black Arrow on as many targets using as few casts as possible, then rotating through targets refreshing Serpent with Cobra using the same tempo as before, ES-CS-CS-CS, and refreshing Black Arrow every 20 seconds.

  Three key differences from the current rotation would be possible multiple casts of Black Arrow (depending on how the damage maths out), multiple Black Arrow DOT's either way, and rolling Serpent Sting on more than two targets. This is of course, wildly speculative.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Crafting Process April 2012



  Maximizing gold per hour is often the goal of AH players, and critical to this is an efficient routine. Logging in and out of alts looking for items wastes time, and sometimes material. I've written down the routine I've developed for my Alliance crafting core that reduces logins almost to 1 per character and maximizes each of my professions (except Alchemy) as much as possible in the current market.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Human Racial Rethink Redux

    I have one Human character, my Priest. I have several times considered race-changing her to Dwarf, or even faction changing. (In which case I would roll Tauren, of course.) Though I'm satisfied with the spirit passive bonus, even when it does make capping spirit/hit tricky, I find the Human race bland and uninteresting. I am also supremely unimpressed with Every Man for Himself.

  Much ado is made about the OP-ness (say that out loud) of the Human racial EMfH. I have previously outlined the math that leads me to believe it isn't superior, but I think I transitioned too quickly into the numbers without clearly stating my logic.

  The reason I believe EMfH to be over estimated is due to my "displacement" line of reasoning. Most, if not all choices in WoW are between A, B, and C, not A or nothing. For example, compare 2/2 Improved Renew and 2/3 Divine Fury. Of course, Holy Priests take both, and Disc Priests in PvE take Divine Fury to get to Inspiration. However, Disc Priests in PvP also need to get to Inspiration, but how they get there is more flexible. A 10% stronger Renew or slightly faster GHeals? A change in playstyle can significantly alter the decision.

  So I consider EMfH an extra trinket effect, not a whole extra trinket. It displaces the need to take a Medallion with the ability to take an extra Insignia or Badge.

  If, however, I were to consider this from a DPS perspective, then yes, I can appreciate the firepower two PvE trinkets can bring, though I caution players not to forget they are more vulnerable without the extra resilience. I also lament that EMfH is still mostly useless for a Shadow Priest, due to Phantasm.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Play Well

  I'm not by any means a hardcore player, but to call myself casual wouldn't be accurate either. I've built a reputation as a fast learner with a wide base of knowledge, with expertise in some areas.

  • I've played Hunter, Priest, Shaman, and DK to 85.
  • I raided in ToC and ICC (11/12 when it counted) as a Hunter.
  • I pugged as much as possible in Cata on my Priest and Hunter, 11/12 then 6/7.
  • I've done rated battlegrounds and some 2v2 both as a Priest and Hunter, random battlegrounds with my Shaman and DK.
  • I consider myself an expert at all Hunter specs, especially SV.
  • I've made a special study of the buff/debuff system.
  • I'm a well rounded Priest healer, having played A/A Disc, regular Disc, and Holy in PvE, Disc and Shadow in PvP.
  • Though new to Shaman, I manage to top charts in LFR as Resto or Enhance.
  • I'm currently tanking heroics on my DK, almost geared enough to hit LFR.
  • I have 1 of each crafting profession turning profit, mostly focused on the ore shuffle, glyphs, PvP gear, item enhancements, and a bit of cross-faction arbitrage.
  • I've leveled a Druid to 50 and a Pally to 45 and climbing fast, both alternating tanking and melee DPS, and also a Rogue to 50, alternating dungeons and battlegrounds.
  • I've played the other classes to at least 20, to get the first impressions of the class.
  • I'm familiar with a wide variety of addons.
  • I'm typically able to write my own macros tailored to my playstyle.
But enough about me. Here's what I think are the basics behind playing well that hold true across all classes and roles:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Item Level Inflation


  In the Dev Watercooler concerning item level inflation, Ghostcrawler states "If you look at the item level curves, you can see that most of the growth occurs at the maximum character levels for the various expansions." Now, I partially agree and disagree, with the caveat that disagreeing with GC carries a high risk of being wrong.

  Here's the popular chart showing the rate of ilevel inflation so far:

Item level vs. character level. Brown = vanilla. Green = BC. Blue = LK. Red = Cat.

  As you can see, there are upticks at the end of each expansion, caused by new content, but more problematic is the increased rate of inflation in recent expansions.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Holy Pally Gearing Speculation

  Perhaps the issue with intellect plate deserves a bit more than the somewhat sarcastic treatment I gave it a while back. I think also that the issue needs to be framed properly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back

  I took an unexpected break from WoW, but I'm back now.

  I have the annual pass, so whenever the beta opens up to me, I'll start testing with gusto! I probably won't be merely reporting facts, though. There's plenty enough of that. I think I'll focus more on a editorial perspective.

  I'm not up to speed on PvP yet. If I get back into it again I'll post on it.

  Professions may wind down soon, but with the 15% raid buff incoming, and the PvP season still in full swing, the various markets will likely remain productive. I expect some stagnation pre-MoP, though. Also, I'm to take a dual-themed approach going into MoP.
  • Firstly, I wish to protect the gold and other assets I've acquired from inflation. I expect soon enough everyone will have 6 digit bank accounts. 
  • Secondly, I will take advantage of the expansion through all of the crafting professions, even cooking. I still hate gathering.
  • As a minor goal, (one that may fall flat, or may be lucrative, who knows?) I will try to instigate as much cross-faction trading as possible. Large gold reserves will be necessary to do this, so I'll try to double what I have (about 200k) before MoP hits.
  While I was away, I had time to think about what aspects of the game I missed most. Crafting, dungeon crawling on alts, and battlegrounds stood out. I used to aspire to be a steady raider, maybe even a progression raider, but after that avenue was closed to me last year, I was forced to diversify my WoW experience. I'm glad I did.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blue Post: Intellect Plate Issue

Bashiok -- Intellect plate

  The situation with intellect plate is an ongoing discussion among the designers, but we have yet to come up with a solution that's better than just continuing to make intellect plate. ... Maybe someday there will be a new class that also uses Intellect plate."


  Two words: Battle Mage

New UI Format

  Had a lot of fun in rated's tonight. We got off to a bad start, but turned it around for a few good wins.

  But really I just want to showcase my UI setup:




  I'll start at the tooltip Shadow Protection and go counter-clockwise.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Addons I think Everyone Should Have

  And I mean everyone. Whether you play PvP or PvE, craft, run dailies, whatever. These addons or ones like them will make your game play that much smoother. Every now and then I clear all my addons and reintegrate them one at a time. These are the ones that are always present:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comparing DK's and Hunters



  Hunters have long had the Huntard image: Chinese Farmers, Girls collecting pets, everything is a hunter waepon (sic). Then Wrath came out and most Huntards rerolled DK's. That resulted in Dork Knights, Death Knoobs, Arthasdklol, and the like. Bad players will be bad no matter their class, though, so all matter of name calling aside, DK's and Hunters do share a few other similarities.

Ding #4


 
  I'd been avoiding my DK lately. I think it's because I hate tanking for lousy players. So I do a last few randoms to get to cap, and I get into a string of groups so bad, I nearly swear off tanking.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Professions: Starting Inscription from Scratch






  Inscription is primarily the business of crafting glyphs. Sure, there's some other cool stuff, but glyphs are the steady money maker. A unique advantage to this profession is it's low-level payoff potential. All of the other crafting professions must be leveled to current content before any real amount of returns can be made, but glyphs that sell for over 100g can be crafted as low as level 10. So, while crafting is mostly regarded as a max-level activity, profiting from glyphs can be done while leveling.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Ramblings Redux: Old People are Awesome

  Over on WoW Insider today, there's an interview with a 70 year old raiding GM. It's awesome, and you should read it.

  I just want to highlight and comment on a couple of things she said:

Random Ramblings: Horde Alts, Rares, Heirlooms

  I've tried rolling alts on other servers, and there's a certain challenge to starting fresh, no heirlooms, bags, or extra gold. A while ago, I leveled a Blood Elf Mage to 20 and a Tauren Warrior to 17, and made about 300g. I'd say it was a successful bootstrapping. I deleted them, however, since I just wasn't feeling it.

  Just yesterday, I started a female Tauren Paladin and male Blood Elf Mage, and got to 13 on the Pally before I realized that the names I picked out, Kalonika (beautiful victory) and Kallahan (bright-headed, lover of churches), were backwards in style. So I deleted them both, re-rolled a male Tauren Pally (Kallahan) and female Troll Mage (Kalonika). Besides, I really couldn't get into playing a male Blood Elf, even with the awesome dance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rename

  I renamed the blog to something more accurately descriptive. I think trying to limit my topics to one of the classes I play less often now is to constrictive.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rethinking the Human Racial

Creepy, or really creepy?

  Every Man for Himself is considered the best racial ability. Maybe, but it isn't simply a free trinket. Consider it an extra trinket effect.

  For example, my Priest has an Insignia of Dominance and Badge of Dominance, since I don't need a Medallion of Tenacity. The base resilience is the same on all trinkets, so disregard it. What the Human racial really is for me is an extra spell power buff. Let's see how it stacks up with the other throughput increasing racials: