Saturday, September 18, 2010

About Time!

Tonight SHOULD have been Ulduar Hard Modes. Sadly we couldn't make the numbers, and I didn't have the heart to pull people away from levelling. I'm going to admit I'm pretty grumpy it didn't happen (and I will be programming it again next month in the vain hope I might actually get to see Algalon the Observer before Cataclysm) but I decided instead to round up some Guildies, look at our Glory of the Hero achievements and see what we could do to finish them.

As you can see, I'm done. T & E have Chaos Theory to do to finish theirs, and S has Ruby Void. That will mean by this time tomorrow that's four more people with the achievement. It may not be Hard Modes but it's a good use of the time we had.

It's a pity the quest reward's only 280% speed though, I'm a big fan of the Proto Dragons and I think this looks a damn sight better than the Purple one...

Friday, September 17, 2010

One Man's Trash...

I got into trouble this week for using the phrase 'Gentlemen, start your engines' as it is clearly pejorative. If the title of today's entry offends you I would point out this is part of a well-established idiom and frankly if it bothers you that much it's probably best that you just stop reading. I'm pretty liberal as a rule and I'd say I lean a fair bit towards feminism, but frankly there's sensible and there's PC gone mad. Shoo now.

Right then, to the matter in hand.
Pitlord Head on a Stick = PROFIT.
As was previously stated, this week I have farmed. A LOT. There was a point on Wednesday that I couldn't get the Adamantite on the AH quickly enough, it would sell as soon as it was listed. However there comes a point where incessant circuits of Nagrand makes you want to kill stuff, so last night I went out with a couple of Guildies who'd decided it was a good time to take a swipe at finishing their Outland Dungeonmaster and Outland Dungeon Hero achievements. As we began in Hellfire, the Wonder Pally punted the idea of killing Magrethedon (which is a popular weekly farming target of a regular reader here) for the cash. It took us about seven minutes and the four of us netted 150g each, quite aside from the gem bag and the 20 slotter. That's not bad for less than ten minutes work. Plus I get to buff an entire quest zone :D

It's been a week of obtaining cash from odd sources, if truth be told, quite aside from the mining bonanza. I've been trying to finish the Shattrath Fishing Dailies on a couple of alts, and one of the fishing bags coughed up a pair of Antique Silver Cufflinks. A quick squint on my auction house data told me these sold for 150g, which I have to admit I found hard to believe, and decided to put them up as a test. They'd gone by the end of the day. Colour me stunned.

Having had a clear out on the Tailor Mage in anticipation of Cataclysm, I found myself with 48 Bolts of Silk Cloth I was fully prepared to vend. In a moment of madness I decided instead to make what is my favourite shirt of the last five years: the Rich Purple Silk Shirt pattern only dropped in SM, and with such a rarity the pattern itself could command a four figure sum. I'd made myself one as it's the best match I've found to Mage Tier 10 gears, and I settled on a 30g buyout price. At time of writing I've sold six, and I've made up a few more with the last of the mats I'd got in my bag for the weekend. It's true, people will buy the strangest things.

It's also true that farming does not have to involve painful and repetitive grinds. It can be fun, it can involve your mates, and it can be based on the strangest of raw materials...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Working the Numbers

MMO Champion has, for all of you wondering about these things, a calculator to convert your badgers and elbows to Great Justice Points and cold hard cash. Here's P's totals as they currently stand, and as I was musing yesterday both Triumph and Frost are worth exactly the same when converted, which is potentially Very Good News for the second tier alts. I think I may be investing in some 264 gears across the family if the equivalent slot's gear is of a particularly low level.

Sale of Badgers of Justice gains you 342 gold. Result!

75000 Honor equates to 1800 HP on the PvP calculator, and as as result of that there may be a bit of PvP mullarkey in the weeks leading up to 4.0.1, which according to my background downloader is on it's way... ^^

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Pound in Your Pocket

(If you don't know what the title refers to, I suggest you go read here.)

WTB [Conversion System for Dalaran Cooking Award]s, PST
Now we all know how the currency system is changing, your thoughts may be drifting to what you'll be doing in the weeks leading up to the Expansion. With nine L80's in the Family (at present) I'm well aware that the time has come to pick my starting team: there's no way I'll be able to level everyone immediately (though I do intend to push professions with everyone that has one, regardless of their progress to 85). The currency changes should make the choice of who goes first a fair bit easier: Hunter and Lock are pretty much geared as far as they will reasonably go (the odd PuG drop aside) and are beginning as a result to accumulate emblems that would only be used for buying saronite or gems. The question then becomes how much the 580 Emblems I have on P and the 200 on W will buy me come the announcement of Justice Points rewards in Cataclysm. Is it worth spending the next couple of weeks running Heroics/Raid Instances to boost those totals, even if it ends up being just for a couple of items?

A factor I'd also not immediately considered is that Justice Points will appear prior to Cataclysm, and will allow you to buy T10 gears by combining your current Frost and Triumph totals. This is good news for the 'second tier' alts I have, especially the Mage and the Druid who could both do with a couple of upgrades prior to Cataclysm anyway: however, do I bother? Would it not be sensible to bank all my points across all the alts and when the time comes to level provide each new alt with upgrades via new Cataclysm crafted gear, thus allowing everyone a boost to the levelling process? Should I also be looking at sticking my alts through TBC Heroics not simply for the reputation but for the chance of picking up some more Legacy badges to add to my gold totals come the conversion process? [*] Potentially I have many new places to farm... :D

We're not totally in the dark when it comes to what the pound points in our pockets will be worth. We do know that Justice points represent the lower tier of Cataclysm gear. give us this handy guide:

  • Justice Points Low-tier, easy-to-get PvE points that will buy gear (like Emblems of Triumph are now)
  • Valor Points High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points that will buy gear (like Emblems of Frost are now)
  • Honor Points Low-tier, easy-to-get PvP points that will buy PvP gear (like normal Honor Points are now)
  • Conquest Points High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points that will buy PvP gear (like Arena Points are now)

That means (I would surmise) that we'll get Justice Points from Heroic five mans, and Valor Points from raiding... As I won't see a Heroic for a while and the possibility of decent Heroic-level gear fast come 85 to facilitate easier raiding is a big lure, I'd say that I'd be wise therefore to save my Justice Points on the potential raiders and spend them on the non-raiders pre-Cataclysm to help me level faster. Whether I actively stockpile Emblems prior to the switchover would largely depend on whether we get to see the gear in question before it all kicks off... but even without that I'm aware of how much stats have changed via the Wonders of Datamining (TM) As of now I am leaning towards at least some badge farming on the raiders before 4.0.1 hits.

The killer could be in the short term how much Justice Points the current Frost and Triumph gears go for. We know Blizzard will convert the current Emblems at a 1:1 ratio (which would make killing a boss in a heroic worth one Justice Point, which seems a bit odd but does at least preserve the worth of the existing Emblems) it will then come down to whether the T10 chest continues to cost 90 Justice Points or not. If it does, then I think there might be a lot of second tier Heroic Farming... ^^ 4000 points (I would wager) is only likely to buy you two small items (wrists, cloak, ring) or one large item (belt, neck, offhand) come Cataclysm anyway, because if it were big things like chests or legs that would cause a gear imbalance and an advantage to anyone who was able to grind 4000 Emblems/4000 Points before the cap was put in place. On that front I find myself thinking that Blizzard may well raise the 4000 hard cap at Expansion anyway... but it's all speculation until we here what's worth what.

Whatever happens, things are likely to get very interesting in the coming weeks. Is it 4.0.1 yet???

[*] It's a waste of time for everything except rep and golds from drops. I can't see one Badger of Justice being worth more than 1g anyway...


This little nugget seems to have been missed by the major sites, maybe I should send them a tip:

40 player battlegrounds will be converted to 25 player for rated matches.

No more Epic AV :(

Pay Attention 007

The Cataclysm details just keep on coming. I have to say I think the November 2nd release date is looking more and more certain...

First up: yes, Cataclysm is coming as a three tier 'event' in terms of game changes. 4.0.1 as it stands on the PTR occurs 'several weeks' (I'd read a month) before Cataclysm and amends the class and stats changes to give us all a chance to get used to stuff. 4.0.3 will be I'd predict a fortnight or so before launch, and will give us the new levelling experience and new graphics improvements plus race combos and (hopefully) a head start on Archaeology. The big news is that mount speed changes and the chance to buy 310% speed in Dalaran will open with 4.0.1. Full details are here.

Secondly, there's confirmation of what will happen to all your currency.

In the upcoming 4.0 patch we'll begin the first stage of the conversion to the new currencies. Emblems of Triumph and Emblems of Frost will be converted into Justice Points. For this initial conversion there will be a soft cap of points you can have, with a hard cap enforced later as detailed below. All PvE emblems and badges below Frost and Triumph will be converted into gold. This even includes legacy badges, like Badges of Justice. If any of these older currencies are converted into gold, the player will receive it through an in-game letter.

Blimey Charlie. Blizzard give us gold. It can't be long then before Ghostcrawler starts handing out ponies... ^^ This begs the question however, just how much gold do you get per badge: I'd assume it will be on a 1g = 1 badge ratio because frankly any more and I can see loads of people nipping out and running TBC heroics until 4.0.1 just to get some free moolah. I'm not that interested in the old stuff however, I'd like to see what the new stuff has to offer... pay attention please, here comes the Science bit:

While we previously announced that there's a limit to the amount of these new currencies you can stockpile, we're providing a grace period in the form of a soft cap. This soft cap will allow the initial conversion to push the amount owned over the cap, but will not allow any further points to be earned (or returned through item refunds) until enough points are spent to put you below the hard cap.

For instance, a player has 3000 Emblems of Triumph, and 1200 Emblems of Frost; at the time of conversion they'll be given 4200 Justice Points. The hard cap for Justice Points is 4000, so that player won't be able to earn any more Justice Points until he or she spends enough points to reduce the total to under 4000. This also applies to the new PvP Honor Points, which also have a cap of 4000.

Shortly before Cataclysm is released, another patch will enforce the hard cap, marking the second stage of the currency conversion. Any Justice or Honor Points above the hard cap will be converted to gold, and just like in the first stage of the conversion, the player will receive an in-game letter explaining that some of their currencies were converted into gold as well as delivering the gold itself.

The key there is 4000 Badges. That's your ceiling, so anything below that and I'd say it's time to start stockpiling. As a result of this I'll suspect I could be stopping pretty much all of my purchases (with the possible exception of my Priest who I need to gear to an acceptable level in the first place) and may use everything I have as a foundation for new gears in Cataclysm. I'm curious to see what the current PvP Honor points conversion will be, but anyone who's in a position to do rated BG's come Cata (and I have three toons with gear that could cope with it) will be maxxed.

Journey's End

This would have been far more Epic 4.5 years ago...
The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj first opened on our server on March 4th, 2006. The event was scheduled for 8am server time by the Alliance Guild who had completed the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline, and I remember the sense of total anticipation as myself and the Wonder Pally logged on to find a server absolutely crammed full of people, all in the same place. The next couple of hours were totally mad: server crashes, the first tries at AQ20 (this just in: AQ20 will become a 10 player raid in Cataclysm!) and the realisation that the weeks and weeks of farming for cloth really had translated into something totally EPIC.

Last night, after what is probably a year's worth of faffing, I finally completed what remains of the Scepter questline.

I'm going to need a bigger boat...
In the end I persuaded six guildmates (four of whom were pallies, with whom I'd just done The Undying with) to come an polish this off, with the promise of a World Server message, which sadly appears to have been removed from the game. No matter, the event did spawn the following craptastic gag:
Four Paladins and a Hunter walk into a Bar. The bartender looks at the Paladins expectantly. One shrugs and says 'We're all skint, she's buying' The Hunter laughs and replies ' Haven't you heard, in Cataclysm there's no more rounds...'
Well, I liked it :D

With the Blue Scepter Shard in my bags, I went and finally took possession of what is, in essence, a piece of junk. However, I know it's significance, and I think in the end that's all that matters, and I'd say the time and effort used to get here was utterly and totally worthwhile. The Lore Nerd in me is a happy camper. There was a bonus though: one of the two rewards from killing Maws, quite apart from the fact it vends for 82 gold (should I decide to do so at any point) is that it allows underwater breathing. I reckon that might come in useful come Cataclysm...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Constant Reminder

Yes, I added a countdown clock.

It occured to me last night that P still has the last bit of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline to knock off, so I grabbed a couple of Elementium off some (totally awesome) Guildies and will be off to Azshara sometime this week to sort myself out before the Zone gets given over to the Goblins. Once that is done, I think it's probably time to get W the Lock into running ZG for rep to Exalted (as everything else is going to at least remain on her rep-gathering tip)

If you want me this week, I'll be farming until my fingers bleed :D

Monday, September 13, 2010

Less Than Eight Weeks...

You know, I thought I'd have longer, at least another month. No matter. If there's a definite timeframe (and Boubouille is rarely wrong on these things) that gives me the opportunity for some precise plannage. There is also of course the very real chance this could be a first and he's incorrect, but I'd say that if he's prepared to stick it on his front page, he's gotta be reasonably confident. As a result I'd predict an official Blizzard Press Release very soon.

With all this in mind, I should with little effort be able to pull both the Ally Paladin and the Horde Hunter to 80. I should also be able to make enough cash to ensure everyone has Epic Flying, plus a bit put away for emergencies. That leaves a couple of issues to resolve:

  • Running alts through Zul'Gurub
  • Gear upgrades using Primordial Saronite
  • Levelling order
  • Final preparation for the Worgen/Goblin

I'll bet you now, it isn't going to be nearly enough time :p

Now You Know

According to MMO Champion, Cataclysm will be released November 2nd.

Also according to this post, gathering nodes in Cataclysm will give you XP.

Time to book that time off folks... ^^

Another One Bites the Dust

That will be Level 80 #9 then... the Priest hit the big eight-zero doing the Holdir quests (which seems to be something of a trend of late...)

I levelled her Shadow (simply because it was easier) but I will be gearing her Holy (because of the reduced Heroic queue wait times) Last night I picked up her Tier 8 hat from the Dailies pre-80 and a couple of very nice ICC 10 Normal items (thanks again to the Guildies who were good enough to run me through it in one hit) She already has 245 Bracers and I suspect, should the process of healing in Heroics prove as stressful as I suspect it will, may well get a couple of gifts in the coming weeks. Next to level: Palalalaladin.

I can also confirm that the Horde Cataclysm precursor is just as good as the Alliance one and may actually be better as the Trolls do what the Gnomes can't and actually beat their nemesis and reclaim the Echo Isles proper. There's also a decent introduction to the concept of the Troll Druid (they've been in hiding on the Isles waiting for my arrival, apparently) The are clear parallels between both events, but I'm going to say I enjoyed throwing frogs far more than I did testing Gnomish Tanks.

B and her Troll Recruits on their way from Razor Hill.

I'd also argue the transformation for the Horde is far better looking than the Gnome Infantry:

E flies away from Shatt in her cunning disguise...
I will run the rest of the family through the Alliance event this week: with 4.0.1 arriving on the PTR's there's no telling how long it's likely to be about after all...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blimey Charlie!

Yes, of course I'm downloading it...

Patch 4.0.1 is available for download on the PTR's.

This has caught most people competely by surprise. The patch, as it stands, is EXACTLY the same World as we currently inhabit, with the major change of updated talents and spells. This will be what you'll get if you choose not to buy the Expansion, if I read things correctly which makes me wonder, if you want to level 1-60 without Cataclysm is it possible to interact with anyone? Will you be in one version of the World while everyone else is phased?

The patch is a whopping 14GB, which also begs the question whether there is content that is currently 'locked' and that can be released in a structured manner. There's also only two PTR relams available in Europe: I'd predict it's going to be a tad laggy if I'm lucky enough to get onto it...