Google+ ALT : ernative: 03/08/2009 - 03/15/2009

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

All Change!

So, the 3.1 PTR Notes are available, and BOY are there some major changes. And we mean MAJOR.

1. Class Spells
  • Stoneform (Dwarf Racial): No longer makes you immune to poison, disease and bleed effects for 8 seconds. Instead, using Stoneform will clear those effects when cast. Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes from 3 minutes.
I'd kinda hoped the'd go back on this, but no, it's there now. Those 8 seconds used to be REALLY useful, especially in PvP. *sigh*
  • Faerie Fire and Faerie Fire (Feral): Now decreases armor of your target by 5%. Has a 5-minute duration, and a 40-second PvP duration.
This however makes me smile immensely. 5 MINUTES! Hooray for new and faster rotations, and hooray for not having to think as much in high-pressure situations. They take it with one hand, but they give it back with another... ^^
  • Innervate: This spell no longer costs mana.
Or maybe they don't... This is a pretty significant boost. 4% of base mana saved. Nice!
  • Celestial Focus redesigned: Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Starfire, Hibernate and Hurricane by 23/46/70% and increases your total spell haste by 1/2/3%.
This is also not too shabby. 3% spell haste. I need to start looking at my talents as a matter of some urgency.

2. Professions
  • You can now sometimes find Alchemist's Caches from bosses in Ulduar. Only players with an Alchemy skill of 425 or higher can loot these secret caches.
OooOOoooh special sekrit stuffs! A genuine excuse to level W the Lock to 80 at last... :D
  • A new recipe has been added to cooking trainers for making Black Jelly, using several Borean Man 'O War as ingredients. While it looks disgusting, it restores more health and mana than the highest level food.
And this mere DAYS after I cleared the stacks of it out of my bank because I thought Blizz wouldn't use it...*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* Note to Self: Blizzard are fiendish gits.

  • Players no longer need to complete the Clamlette Surprise quest to gain Artisan cooking. The quest now offers the unique recipe, Clamlette Magnifique. If you already completed the quest, you can visit Dirge Quickcleave in Gadgetzan to learn this recipe (for free).
  • Several Northrend recipes were given greater skill up ranges to make it easier to reach 450 cooking skill.
  • You no longer need to learn cooking from books. The trainers have finally done their reading and are able to teach you the same thing.

So these couple are fairly significant. They've removed the 'you need a book/quest' part of Fishing as well (I can only hope they'll do the same to First Aid in time) and streamlined the entire process at the lower end. They've also removed the need for flint and tinder in fires so this will make cooking on the go a significantly easier part of any person's routine. You won't need stuff like apples or spices either for the low level quests, one assumes it will just be multiples of the meat. I'll log in M later and take a look at her recipes. Basically, as they have with the questing, they've made the levelling process a great deal easier.

  • A new (and very rare) special mount can now be caught from Northrend fishing pools.

Like I didn't have competition enough already ^^
  • You can now fish anywhere, regardless of skill. Every catch has the potential for fishing skill gains, but you are likely to catch worthless junk in areas that are too difficult for your skill.
Blimey :o So, it is now impossible not to catch anything, eh? I will believe it when I see it. As they've reduced the fishing cast time AGAIN, as well as the time it takes to mine and herb (wut no skinning reduction?) I will have an increased number of opportunities to try this out. Plus, as you can now fish in WG... now there's summat to do on the PTR when I get a chance...

  • Added a recipe to trainers for creating a level 70 superior-quality off-hand item.
  • Added a recipe for creating a different level 70 superior-quality off-hand item. Scribes will find the recipe is dropped from residents of Silverbrook.
  • Added around 50 new glyph recipes. These new recipes can be obtained from Books of Glyph Mastery found as world drops on Northrend monsters. Reading a Book of Glyph Mastery randomly discovers one of the newly-added recipes.
  • Glyph icons have been updated so it is easy to distinguish between classes.
  • Players will now learn 3 recipes the very first time they perform Northrend Inscription Research. This does not apply to players who have already discovered recipes from Northrend Inscription Research (sorry).

So, all of these are really rather yaysome. Having glyphs that distinguish by class will be a HUGE bonus (we have a bank slot full of them and frankly it's impossible to work out which is which) The item drops from mobs thing is a logical progression as well, which brings the skill in line with all the other classes. One wonders if the books are BoE, if they are then there's a new huge bestseller on the AH. Oh yeah, and that's worth reproducing for the sorry at the end. *sigh*

It also seems a fair number of recipes across the board in the crafting professions have been rebalanced to become more appropriate. Thank Loken for That.

3. General Gubbins.
  • Badges and Emblems looted off of any dungeon bosses by a member of the party or raid will automatically be given to all eligible party or raid members. Party or raid members must still be inside the instance to receive Badges or Emblems.
This is HUGE, it is AWESOME! and frankly is the most sensible bit of coding change I've seen for a LONG time. So, all you need to make sure of in 5 man is that at least one preson is awake after a boss kill... actually, thinking about it, maybe that's not such a great thing...
  • Loot from clams now stacks correctly!
... and all is now well with the World.

Friday, March 13, 2009

./applause

So, via WoW Insider this morning, Fury Warriors feel nerfed. They get rather literary in their condemnation of Blizzard, in possibly the most intelligent QQ'ing you are likely to see for some time. I posted this on our Guild Forums, and just before lunch my husband replied with this. Ironically someone did summat very similar not long afterwards on the same thread, but I think his is better. Plus, this one is about Hunters, and you KNOW how upset the nerfs there make me... As a result, I post it for you here, in it's entirety.

Enjoy.


Waiting For God Only Knows
by S. Beckett (a Gnome of this Parish)


A country road. A tree.

Evening.

Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again.

As before.

Enter Vladimir.


ESTRAGON:
Oh the swine! (He pulls up the leg of his trousers.) Blizzard's crippled me!

POZZO:
I told you they didn't like hunters.

VLADIMIR:
(to Estragon). Show me. (Estragon shows his WWS report. To Pozzo, angrily.) He's bleeding dps!

POZZO:
It's not a good sign.

ESTRAGON:
(on one leg). Hunters will never work again!

VLADIMIR:
(tenderly). Rogues and Shaman will carry you. (Pause.) If necessary.

POZZO:
They've stopped crying. (To Estragon.) Hunters have replaced them as it were. (Lyrically.) The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each class who begins to weep, somewhere else another class stops. The same is true of the laugh. (He laughs.) Let us not then speak ill of the last patch, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. (Pause.) Let us not speak well of it either. (Pause.) Let us not speak of it at all. (Pause. Judiciously.) It is true the server population has increased.

ESTRAGON:
I hear something.

POZZO:
Where?

VLADIMIR:
It's the forums.

POZZO:
(disappointed). Damnation!

VLADIMIR:
Silence!

ESTRAGON:
Perhaps the QQing has stopped.

They straighten up.

POZZO:
Which of you smells so bad?

ESTRAGON:
He has stinking breath and I have stinking feet.

POZZO:
I must go.

ESTRAGON:
And your half-hunter?

POZZO:
I must have left him at the inn.

Silence.

ESTRAGON:
Then adieu.

POZZO:
Adieu.

VLADIMIR:
Adieu.

POZZO:
Adieu.

Silence. No one moves.

VLADIMIR:
Adieu.

POZZO:
Adieu.

ESTRAGON:
Adieu.

Silence.

POZZO:
And thank you.

VLADIMIR:
Thank you.

POZZO:
Not at all.

Silence.

POZZO:
I don't seem to be able . . . (long hesitation) . . . to log off.

Little Things

Logging into the Test Server this morning to update the latest Build, I notice a small but significant change:

On the Server currently

Latest Test Server Build

Well, it makes sense that if I have an Authenticator, it would work with any Blizzard game. Oh, if only there were another online Blizzard game I could play when I don't want to go to Azeroth.... *wistful*

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Money Money Money

Making Money by Doing Not a Lot

No 1 in an Occasional Series of Several

Making money in Azeroth, like any other virtual environment, is never as easy as everyone else makes it sound. Clearly it matters, or else there'd be no Goldsellers, no 'Earn 25,000 gold in 2 days' adverts cluttering up other people's blogs, and no need to hack anyone else's account. You need a certain amount of gold to repair, to travel, to raid, to train... but Blizzard knows this. They give you monetary incentives from questing, from bosses, they give you dailies which also reward you with reputation (and more ways to spend your money...) You can survive on this level indefinitely. However, most people don't want to. They NEED to consume.

Whether it's a mount, or the mats for a crafted item, or a rare BoE drop, we all have need at times to make money. So, by extension, we all have the need to grind. This is ultimately tedious, repetitive and can be very frustrating. This is of course the point where people give up and will bemoan 'oh I can't get X gold, it's just to difficult/boring/depressing/time consuming' and I would guess, in certain situations, where the goldsellers make their mark. Making money need not be that way, far from it. In fact you can make healthy amounts of money by doing very little. Take it from someone who does. So, in this first of what is likely to be several shoddily-produced guides, I will tell you how profit can be found, even by those of us who really can't be arsed.


Gordon is a Moron: greed, in this case, is bad...

STEP 1: Sell Low.

If, like my PvE server, the AH is the place to be, you would think you need to be pretty savvy to turn a consistent profit. You'd also think that some kind of fancy Auctioneer type addon will be a staple if you want to get your auctions to sell. Not so. Common sense and a little cheekiness is all you need.

I make a very good living from my Inscriber, as she levels to 450, selling the new Darkmoon Faire cards. My cards are NEVER the most expensive however, far from it. I will deliberately wait until someone else has the card I've made to sell and then undercut them, because given the choice between two items, it's unlikely anyone will buy the higher priced one. If I make a Nobles card (which are currently the huge sellers, most sell in excess of 1000g) I'll make sure I'm several hundred gold cheaper as well. The key to being a lazy moneymaker is understanding that greed is BAD. Anything that recoups the cost of your materials and gives you summat extra is a profit. If you can do it consistently, you will make money. If you are the only person selling a card, or an item, don't try and make a fast buck, because you will increasingly be disappointed, and people will more than likely undercut you in the process.


After levelling from 1-80 in a week, Chaz realised just how much lemonade he'd drunk...

STEP 2: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Nothing on your travels in Azeroth should EVER go to waste. If you are out doing dailies the first thing you should do before you go anywhere is clear your bags. If you're questing leave all the junk you normally have with you back in the bank. Spend the time clearing your inventory and try and have one, maybe two slots completely empty, as the last thing you want to do is destroy anything while you are away from a vendor. EVERYTHING has a sale value, and often items you might not think would be valuable end up adding up to a decent sum. It really does help if you know what is used for professions as well: we all know Primals and Eternals are staples for crafting, but at the lower levels there are a lot of white items that can command decent prices by being part of a craft. Lazy profiteers know that a little bit of effort can reap sizable rewards.

Cloth is possibly the best way to make money by not really trying. It's a craft staple, it's essential for First Aid, and it's hardly difficult to find. On it's own it sells well on the AH: mageweave on my server especially is always in short supply and inevitably overpriced. As I've been levelling an alt it drops as a part of what I need to do anyway to progress, so once I had my First Aid skill covered it was lazy money in the bank. Of course, if at 80 you wanted to make lazy money this way it's hardly ideal to drag your behind back to the Old World, so you'd be better off stockpiling your Frostweave and AH-ing that. As a non-tailor my Druid can bring in a couple of stacks from the Dailies in Icecrown and Storm Peaks, plus those little nuggets of gold we know as Relics of Ulduar.

If your cloth prices are a bit depressing, there are alternatives to simple vendoring. Find a tailor (or in my case, have an alt with the skill) and send them all the cloth and have them convert it all into items that you can DE. This is proving very cost effective currently with silk and runecloth, meaning I am selling a good amount of mid-level dusts and shards. If you have a surfeit of Netherweave, the trick of turning them into bandages before vendoring them will still make you coin if the AH isn't accommodating. The last thing you should ever do is vend cloth. Cloth, like plastic bottles in the Real World, could be the key to a virtual fortune.


1977: The hair may have been dodgy, but the potential for future Quest Titles was already obvious...

STEP 3: Going back to my Roots.

If you never learnt a profession when you began your life, shame on you! However I know there are a lot of people who didn't, or conversely the skills they have they simply don't use to their advantage. It may be time to do a little bit of work now, but if you do I assure you there will be lots of loafing and chocolate biscuits when we're done.

By far the two most profitable skills you can possess are Mining and Herbalism. Skinning comes a close third. There is a veritable goldmine of cash out there waiting for you if you do these, but it takes a lot of time and effort to do so, plus you are often in competition with numerous people, at whatever hour of the day or night you find yourself online. So, I suggest you forget jostling with the 45 people strip farming Icecrown and go retro.

At some point on your server someone will be levelling, and if they are (and they're reading the speed levelling guides) they will need raw materials. The chances are they're going to be the alt of a richer main as well, so as long as we bear in mind point one above we're not going to go mad with our prices once we've gathered. Go check the AH and see what ISN'T there. Whatever it is, that's probably a good bet for mining and herbing. Spend an hour in a lowbie zone, go pick up a stack or two of summat, stick it on the AH and hope for the best. Remember while you're there to kill mobs and loot everything. As a miner there are loads of caves in Azeroth you could spend time in where mobs drop all sorts of useful low-level stuff. Mining and skinning in some places = goldmine, same with skinning and herbalism. The trick is to find your niche first, and not to over-exploit it.

If you DON'T have a gathering profession, and you really don't use the profession/s you learnt and then left half-finished, you could do a lot worse than level a gathering skill to 450. This however could be classed as actual grinding. It may be time for a bit of stark reality...


There is a moment where loafing is not enough. Pass me that Chainsaw, Gandalf...

STEP 4: If All Else Fails...

There are moments when there is really nothing else for it. You have a couple of hours and the mental ability to farm, but you have no idea what to do or where. The farming spots your Guildies tell you about are crowded. You can't be arsed with running around trying to find a decent spot when you know at any point someone may come along and set up camp next to you.

So, go to an Instance.

Every Blizzard instance has something unique about it that can make you easy money. If you're a Skinner for instance, Uldaman and Shadowfang Keep are a very decent way at from 60-80 to pull in cash with Skinning. Maraudon offers mining and herbalism opportunities, or if you're feeling brave you could try running the Underbog or the Dark Portal (just don't aggro that bloke by the portal, ok?) Herbalism is pretty good in the Slave Pens... All instances have greens, cloth and the possibility of BoE blues. Of course if you're an Enchanter you can also DE all the Boss drops. It just needs a little bit of thought and you could still be pulling in some decent coin in an area you have all to yourself. No fighting people for kills, no mob tagging, just you and loads of lovely golds. Plus when you're done, out you go, reset the Instance, and off you go again. I hope you remembered to empty your bags before you came...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World of the Straaaange

So, I decide yesterday to go do some mining for M's Blacksmithing Odyssey with M my gatherer. Best bet has always been Winterspring for me, especially in the morning as it's deserted. First call was the cave at Mazthoril which has 2 spawn points, one buried deep inside the cave. I was then rather surprised when I was mining away happily and then teleported suddenly to the entrance of Drywhisper Gorge... A quick look at my chat window and it appears, albeit briefly, I was mining in Hyjal :o


Looking at the action log it appears I managed to pick up the No Man's Land debuff by accident. I was probably in Hyjal for less than a second. It's the first naughty thing I've ever done in the game almost four years, and it was completely accidental. Gutted.


Monday Night's Naxx 10 was something rather special. Having finally knocked off the 4 Horsemen we went and 2-shotted Sapph. The achievement was deliberately planned, and we coped with 2 and a bit healers with reassuring ease. The second achievement was the most fun I have had in a boss fight in a VERY long time. The healing was beyond awesome and we killed a ridiculous number of Abominations in the last 20 seconds before Big K attacked. It was CHAOS, pure and simple, but I am proud to be GM of a Guild where people can do that, first time, and work so well together as a team. /respect


Last week in IF it was a guy with 20 Huge Feasts, all laid out in front of the IF Bank (screenie failure, I was gutted). This week, American Politics 101. Next week I predict a re-enactment of 'Watchmen' with Dr Manhattan played by a Night Elf...


Oh yeah and I finally did Triage. Second try ^^. \o/

Monday, March 09, 2009

It's the Great Big Post of Everything

[I suspect that I watch too much kids television. It's good for the obscure post titles though...]

So, gonna have a bit of a roundup here as a) I can't get onto the PTR AGAIN :( and b) I've been doing a bit of faffage around the rest of the family. Really, you cannot faff enough.

P [Ironforge, Hunter] Update:


So, I ran around and fished and farmed and finally did the cookery stuff, and then discover that they're gonna make the trip to 450 a lot easier.

*headdesk*

P is enjoying her semi-retired status by farming leathers, defending (and attacking) Wintergrasp and doing the odd 25 man PuG at the weekends. Next up on the Agenda will be fishing achievements and some prep for a foray into some light PvP-ing. There is a good chance I will DS her into traps and work on a proper PvP build as her second string.

M [Darnassus, Druid] Update:


I've not done much instancing of late (most of my time's been on the Shammy, see below) but that night in HoL was class. We also did Lightning Struck, so all the achievements in 1 hit = WIN. I've been doing quests as a gold supplement, now the Basin is done we're beating up Trolls and Scourge... there's also been a lot of preparation for DS (I am thinking about writing a seperate post on this) I've invested with my badge pool in the Druid Healing chest, and the Handbook of Obscure Remedies, and after last night's Naxx 10 I have enough badgers to go grab the Egg of Mortal Essence which means I have a decent spread of healer-specific items. I've picked up odds and ends from heroics and swept up in 10 man (picked up a nice healing neck last night) and have been focussing on replacing the items I have with hit for things more appropriate for a tree.

Lesser-Levelled Update:

W the Lock (74) got an outing yesterday to AN, and K the Mage (70) has been working hard on her tailoring (443/450) . She even got to do Nexus and UK but has yet to update any gears. N the Priest (72) is one point away from maxxing Enchanting \o/ by the time-honored tradition of DE-ing greens from everyone else and selling the enchants via scrolls on the AH. Haste on Cloak does very well, I have discovered, and does not break the bank in terms of mattage.

The big moves however come over in Azeroth.

M [Exodar, Shaman] Update:

So, we are at L49. Yesterday I did Searing Gorge. Normally that quest hub at the Thorium Brotherhood would be a couple of days work but yesterday I completed it in three and a half hours, thus proving beyond a doubt they've nerfed the content pre-60 (to the ground, baby!) Even the Elite who guards the Firey Flux recipe is no longer, and has only one nonleet mate to biff. Shammy + Totems + Chain Lightning = owned. The only thing they have not nerfed is the bloody ridiculous Incendosaur + reagent + coal hand in you need to do the TB rep. GAH! Never mind, I still need to find a bazillion iron and mithril bars for all the Armoursmith quests (yes I know I'm a weaponsmith but I'm also a competist.)

One of the things I've noticed is just how utterly useless BS is pre 300. There are NO spell power items of any note, it's all crit and AP and strength and hit. Clearly Blizzard have noticed this as well as there is apparently a re-asessment of all the BS items coming in 3.1, which I hope will be too late for me as by that time I hope to be rolling into Northrend. However, it would be nice to be able to make lower level stuff that sells that's not Spurs or shield spikes.

So today I WILL do the Triage quest. I sent M out early to round up some more Thorium to hit out a few more points in the BS-ing and then I suspect I will spend an hour or so riding around the Charred Vale in Stonetalon picking up Mithril (or possibly Badlands depending on traffic) After that, I can hear the Sunken Temple calling me...