Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Burning Question

One of the things as a non-number/gear/theorycraft geek that I find the most frustrating is the whole 'Is this bit of gear an upgrade?' question. It gets asked a lot during raids, when people are reviewing new gear via badges, and it inevitably relies on a bunch of lists that someone who's more hardcore/knowledgeable/geeky than me has up on a website somewhere. It's always worse when I'm the one having to make the decision.

So today, dear reader, you get to help me, and I get to show you a piece of webby stuff I find extremely useful. I picked up these trousers via Emalon 25 last night. According to Wowhead, there's only one other pair that have a higher iLevel in game, and they drop in 25 man. From Yogg-Saron ^^ Plus, they're for ferals...

(These are the ones that Emalon drops, ignore the team arena thingy) I'm currently only wearing these:

So I'll lose hit and int and spi but I gain spell and a shedload of health. It will make sense for me to keep the old trousers for my healing set and use these for dps and gem them for crit/haste. However, I'd like this in a form that can let me compare the two side by side. Wowhead's Item Comparison Tool does this beautifully and with simple numbers that even a nublet like me can understand:

As I don't use the set bonus on the old legs, and the 6 hit I lose from the gem bonus isn't an issue as I'm already over cap, there really isn't a reason not to use these, despite the fact they're PvP gear. It does bear out the fact that running the PvP bosses is far from a waste of time even if you'll never do any proper Battlegrounds or Arenas. I got 2 Emblems of Conquest to add to my total and I snagged an extremely decent pair of Boom legs, which just happen to have a load of resilience stuck on them. In fact, until I run the new 10 man Crusader's Coliseum, I'm not going to see anything better.

If you're not running VoA 25 in a PuG or with your Guild, you REALLY should be.


So, in a sing off between the Spice Girls, Jamelia and Sam Brown... well, no contest really. Anyway, I digress. Let us drag this post kicking and screaming back on-topic...

I'm stopping on most progress for a bit. This does not fortell the end of the World, far from it. 3.2 is bringing some major changes to both levelling in the 1-70 bracket and mount cost and speed. As a result it's time to maximise the rested bonuses, and to make sure I don't waste money on buying mounts and skills that will cost less in a couple of weeks. If you didn't know, the following will apply as of 3.2 (details copied from those lovely people at

Apprentice Riding
  • Requires level 20
  • Cost: 4 gold
  • Mount cost: 1 gold
Journeyman Riding
  • Requires level 40
  • Cost: 50 gold
  • Mount cost: 10 gold
Expert Riding
  • 150% flying mount speed; 60% land mount speed
  • Requires level 60
  • Cost: 600 gold (faction discounts now apply)
  • Mount Cost: 50 gold
  • Can now be learned in Honor Hold (Alliance) or Thrallmar (Horde)
Currently to buy Journeyman is 560g (exalted rep 480g skill, mount 80g) and I've been holding out on my Shammy (getting funny looks running around Outland in Ghost Wolf ^^) I almost cracked last night and 560g is sitting in the mailbox, where it will stay (must RESIST) and have another 50g added to it. I'll then aim to upgrade all my slow flyers to the new 150% speed as soon as is humanly possible. Ah, the perils of multiple alt-age ^^

I also have a rogue sitting in the late 20's who I'm feeling the need to level via BG's. This may well become a separate project depending on time constraints. More as we know what my brain is doing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The State of the Notion

So, it is with a tear in my eye that I begin this particular update, as I say farewell to not one but two abortive Death Knight projects. I have to be honest, the notion of a Hero Class is great in principle but for me at least, it just didn't work. Should I be utterly wrong about the new races and the new profession next expansion I only hope they bring a Hero Class with a softer side. Having to butcher a friend halfway through my starting quests kinda did it for me. Next time I'd like something that doesn't involve quite so much innocent slaughter, if that's ok.

Anyway, without any more faffage, let us get down to the State of the Alts.

So the Hunter-Formally-Known-As-Main saw a Heroic tour of Naxx across the weekend. What was abundantly apparent from doing Naxx complete (for only the second time) is that the last two bosses are a bloody pushover compared to some of the wing bosses you need to fight to get there. It's great to have done it again, and the guests the Guild took to help us get over the 'it's Summer and we're a bit light on bodies' stage seemed to really enjoy themselves. Rumour has it we'll be in Ulduar 25 on Friday. That's gonna be interesting...

The Alt-That's-Now-A-Main, on the other hand, has had a bit of a rest. Apart from breaking the 250 emblem mark in Ulduar 10 midweek (more on which below) I've been desperately flying around trying to find a Frost Lotus ANYWHERE (did they nerf the drop rate and not tell me?) and stocking up on mats for the 3.2 Jewelcrafting smackdown. I've got to 350 fishing solely via the magic of Marcia Chase (gawd bless her!) and the Lock is close to doing the same. I am asking Greatfather Winter for more cool stuff in fishing bags come December. Deviate Fish and Pygmy Oil are SO last patch...

Talking of Ulduar, we'd like to debut a new feature.

Right, so as a rule I'm not here to blow my own trumpet, except when it's in the cause of spectacular stupidity. Thursday's Ulduar saw a fair bit of that from the Druid Corner. Top of the pile, the incident which demonstrates that Topping the DPS Meters is Dangerous and is to Be Avoided At All Costs...

So, there we are on Holdir, 45 seconds in, with a Toasty Fire to my right, standing in a spotlight and using the Storm Cloud handily provided by the Shaman healer. For a brief, *glorious* moment I'm doing nearly 7000dps. Then I'm dead. One-shotted by Holdir for nearly 30k, coz I pulled aggro from our DK tank. Duh.

Note to Self: leave dps to people who are competant and survive the fight.

Stand by for much more Epic Azerothian FAIL coming soon. It's a certainty.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seven Days...

Top Album. Just saying. Track Six, incase you were wondering...

The smart money's predicting 3.2 is next week. Bugger, better sort out that pre-flight checklist then ^^ There's also been a small but subtle change to the badge counts: the Heroic Dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Conquest. So I can confidently predict I'll be doing Dungeon Dailies again.


While you wait for me to extract the digit with anything more meaningful than this, read how Wired predict the new Warcraft Movie will pan out...


So, just to confuse me further, MMO has details of what gear drops in which of the 6 new modes of the new dungeon:
Trial of the Champion (5-player) Normal mode: Item level 200
Trial of the Champion (5-player) Heroic mode: Item level 213
Trial of the Crusader (10-player) Normal mode: Item level 232
Trial of the Crusader (25-player) Normal mode: Item level 245
Trial of the Grand Crusader (10-player) Heroic mode: Item level 245
Trial of the Grand Crusader (25-player) Heroic mode: Item level 258
So... you gotta do the 5 man normal to access the Heroic mode (if I read it right, or I could just be getting more confused) and I assume you have to access the 10 man normal... [Head Explodes] No, it's just all too much. Why do I have a sudden desire to return to forty man raiding so I can just stand at the back and slack all the time???

Anyway, 623 modes of one instance aside, there is now a list of just some of what I will be able to get for my Champions Seals come 3.2. P has 191 currently neatly piled in her bags...
Argent Crusader's Tabard: 50 seals
Argent Pony Bridle (for your squire): 150 seals
Bind-on-Account chest pieces: 60 seals
Bind-on-Account weapons: 60-95 seals
Bind-on-Account trinkets: 75 seals
Argent Warhorse/Argent Charger (epic ground mounts): 100 seals
Quel'dorei Steed/Sunreaver Hawkstrider (epic ground mounts): 100 seals
Silver Covenant Hippogryph/Sunreaver Dragonhawk (epic flying mounts): 150 seals
Shimmering Wyrmling (pet): 40 seals
The Bridle is, of course, the much anticipated Pack Mule/Portable Bank that made me not go and buy a Hyppogryff the moment I had 150 seals. Hooray for knowing Blizzard always have a Plan B. I am assuming the BoA items will include what is currently on offer plus the new weapons. I think it'll be Bridle plus pet to start with and we'll take it from there...

Back later with the promised update...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Talk to the Trees...

...that's why they put me awwwwwwaaaaayyyyy!!!!!!

Week 2 of the Summer Holidays, and there has been much work on raquetball and swimming, and less in Azeroth, but there will be an update Tuesday morning after a very successful 25 Man Naxx last night. However, has yet again pre-empted a conversation that's been going on in our Guild, that of the (potential) profession of Woodworking.

If we assume for the moment (as we are with two new playable races in the works) that the upcoming expansion will also debut a new profession (as Jewelcrafting was in TBC with the Draenai/Blood Elves) I'd really like to think that Woodworking may finally get the nod. I feel that it's a profession that could pretty seamlessly integrate into Azeroth as it stands, that it's potential output would fill some important crafting holes and that the economy could sustain it. Most of all, however, as a total and utter professions NUTJOB I would be very VERY VERY excited at this. No, stop backing away, let me explain why.

When Jewelcrafting was debuted pre-TBC there was a glorious period pre-expansion when Blizzard seeded the old world with the 1-300 content. Patterns appeared across the two continents (nostalgia!) and gave us a fantastic insight into what we'd need and the gathering commenced with enthusiasm. Patterns changed hands for stupid amounts, people ran old world instances until their eyes bled. When the expansion hit I spent six hours with a mate going from 1-300 and it was frankly brilliant. For once it wasn't about relying on a group for an instance or 40 mates for a raid. This was summat I'd worked towards on my own and I'd gathered for and was just awesome to do, and in the end I made a pretty good profit at the end.

Of course a great deal has changed since then, but I find myself thinking that when Blizzard debut a new profession (and I do think it's high time they did) it's going to reignite the love of crafting in a lot of people. Especially if it means bows, staffs, shields (*) and wooden items like relics and sigils that are really missing from the current crafted range.

So I'll lift my eyes skywards and say a silent prayer to the woodland gods, and hope that as well as Goblins (Master Woodcrafters! I've seen them in the Deadmines! Racial bonus!!!) and Worgen we'll be whittling and pulping come the next expansion...

(*) Yes I do know BS's can do shields, but there's squat for spell casters. There's a hole right there that could really do with filling!