Saturday, October 15, 2011

4.1 PTR :: Forewarned is Forearmed...

I've not seen this reported anywhere else of yet, so who knows, we may be in the realms of pretty fresh news: say hello to Farrah Facet. She's the new Jewelcrafting Vendor in Stormwind (who looks remarkably like Isabel Jones, it must be said) and she's got some stuff you might be interested in if you like cutting gems:

Also please note the Purchase window shows how many Jewelcrafting Tokens you have to spend,
I think that's a new feature...

Yup, that's FIVE Jewelcrafting tokens for every recipe you're gonna want to buy come 4.3, so if you've not been doing those dailies it's hight time you extracted the digit and got started. However, quite interestingly she also sells the Tome of Burning Jewels for 4 tokens which will allow you to discover a random recipe...

You takes your tokens and makes your choice!

I'll be off now working out how many patterns I can buy come the Patch...

[EDIT: I was right, this was news, and WoW Insider's thanking me for the tip-off. There's something that doesn't happen every day \o/]

Friday, October 14, 2011

4.1 PTR :: Is it Just Me...?

With thanks to MMO Champion for the image, something has been bothering me ever since I saw the updated artwork for Illidan:

Hugo Weaving
Illidan Stormrage
 Get this man for the Warcraft movie, stat!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

4.1 PTR :: String!

Any excuse for a Goodies reference, frankly. There's a new PTR build being deployed and although I COULD talk about all the potentially cool stuff therein my late-nite brain latched onto the following coding string:

SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_148 = "Target is already affected by Stardust No. 2.";

It's an end to the 'A more powerful spell is already active' message I get when I try and spam this stuff on NPC's in Stormwind for the Jewelcrafting Daily. It's also making me hope that if they're updating spells for Jewelcrafters currently we might be seeing some recipes appearing soon... ^^

We can but hope...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Great Big Bank of Everything?

Gold totals removed to protect the Hardworking... ^^

I would be lost without my Vanity Guild Bank. Currently rocking five tabs, all pretty much full, it is the place where everything goes from the Army of Alts after a long day Playing Warcraft. It is presided over by my long-defunct level 20-summat Hunter who spends an inordinate amount of time at the AH, making cash not simply from the obscure and the forgotten, but from the huge amount of raw materials picked up on any given day. The storage system is simple: if it's common, I'll keep a stack. If I get more I'll stick a stack on the AH for sale and collect another stack, and so on. Currently I'm stockpiling food to level alt cookery, hence the extra stacks in the window. A bankalt's work is never done.

I've been thinking a lot about Banks, as it happens, on the back of Blizzard's comments about streamlining both pet distribution and Heirlooms. Part of me would like this to be a precursor to something that would combine distribution and storage for all the characters on one account in an easy and accessible fashion. Maybe, just maybe, I could have an Account Bank. As soon as I opened up any character, regardless of whether they were Guilded or not, they'd all have access to my Account Bank. It wouldn't matter if they were on Server A or Server B either, everyone would be able to go look there. It would be where Blizzard delivered my Blizzcon Pet, or any individual item I'd bought from the Blizzard store. It would also be where all my Heirlooms were stored, so they could be accessed by any alt on any server to help them with levelling. Is this really too much to ask?

Perhaps it's not as fantastical as it first seems: Diablo 3 will have a Central Bank for all your characters so if you happen to pick up an item on your Barbarian that a Wizard might use you can deposit it to be picked up later. Void Storage has opened up the possibility of a secondary medium for gear, I have to think that the possibility should at least be explored.

I also find myself thinking that it might not be long before we have a second tier of Auction House. That thought sprang from the various discussions I've had over this new Blizzard Store Pet, and it occurs to me that if Diablo 3's Real Money AH is as successful as I am sure it will be, that Azeroth will be influenced.  I think that it would be far too dangerous to try and change the existing system, but if we can have additional storage bolted on what's stopping Blizzard from introducing a Regional AH: a place where you can sell items placed in your Account Bank. I'd expect it to be restricted to rare items: pets, armour, weapons, the hard to find enchants or materials you'd expect to wildly vary in price across a number of Auction Houses in any one region. By creating a central place to buy and sell it would be easier overall for people to get what they wanted at what would, over time, become the place where you could turn you Warcraft gold back into real world money, because I have to think at some point they will do that too. That money would go into your Account Bank too, where you could take it out as Euros (in my case) or choose to distribute it across multiple characters on multiple servers...

I'll be watching this side of developments with interest in the months to come, and a small part of has to think this is going to come up in conversation at some point during Blizzcon... ^^

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Week I Will be Mostly...

This is a picture of a Gnome and some sheep. No, I don't know either...

  • Being slightly behind due to a cracking couple of days doing College gubbins. I have a five hour seminar coming up on Saturday. I should probably organise taking some lunch with me :D

  • Making a conscious decision to those toons who are not yet suitably geared for Trolls to a level where they are. After that, gearing everyone so they meet the iLevel 363 that's probably going to be required for the 4.3 Instance Trio.

  • Grinding more gold, because you can never have enough. Who knows, maybe one day Blizzard will allow me to convert it back to Real World cash. More thoughts on how the Diablo 3 plan might affect the Game later in the week...

  • Resisting the temptation to make a second Druid just for the hell of it. I have an urge to level another toon without the use of Heirlooms, just to see how it all works, and having been inspired by a fellow Guildie who appears to be doing most of his XP gain via gathering, I'm wondering how I would do in that regard...

  • Finishing some of the Old Worlde quests on P, and (hopefully) finally getting to see Ragnaros in his new pad before the week is out... I hear he was down to the mid 60's last night with the progression group. You never know...

Monday, October 10, 2011

The End of the Affair?

Do not be fooled by his cute exterior. This guy is Evil Incarnate...

I suppose it was only a matter of time. Guys, meet the Guardian Cub, the tiny guy who will be forever remembered as marking the point where Blizzard gave in and allowed people a chance to sell pets for gold. Yup, you heard me right: this guy will cost you 10 euros, and you can sell him on your local Auction House.

Just take a moment to absorb that: 10 euros will (potentially) buy you in-game gold.

I can already here the sounds of people imploding across Europe and the US as this news sinks in. It's not like Blizzard are even trying to disguise this as something else either: they even mention this in their own promotional spiel, and I quote:

Q: Could I put the Guardian Cub up on the auction house to try to make some gold if I wanted to?

While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection,
we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there's never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they'll pay for it.

As soon it was clear the Diablo 3 AH was going to handle real world cash people began to speculate how Warcraft might be affected, and now we have an answer. More significant however is the move away from Bind to Account pets: if I want to have a matching pet to go with every alt on my account that owns the Winged Gardian, I've gotta drop 10 euros FOR EVERY CHARACTER. That's a killer, and makes me rather glad that I've only got one serious pet collector to worry about.

My other concern, and I'm yet to see how this pans out, is how Blizzard will ensure that these pets aren't bought by gold selling companies to begin with. I can only assume they have sufficient data that leads them to believe that most, if not all gold movement goes on in game and that they believe only legitimate players will be purchasing these spawns of evil cute guys to sell on. Then I find myself pondering who would actually choose to buy these in game to begin with, when you could get one for what is (still, imo) a reasonable sum. I'm sure they will sell, and I doubt the in-game server economy is going to collapse as a result of this bombshell, but the fact remains this is a major sea change for Azeroth and undoubtedly it will not be the last time we see this happen. I'd now like to know if bought from Blizzard, in-game mounts will be afforded the same treatment...

Time to Do Things Properly...

Cleanup, Aisle 4 please!

It is becoming increasingly apparent that I need A Proper Plan.

As I move further into my college courses, time is becoming a luxury. This means when I'm online there is a real need to maximise my movements. I had an hour on Saturday, for instance and I went and finished the Ashenvale quests I'd had outstanding in P's log, and have the starter quest in Stonetalon ready to pick up and run through when I get the time this week. This evening I should have an hour free to runabout my current #1 Grinding spot, something I really feel I ought to make time to do every day before 4.3. With the current earnings from this alone I'll have a decent nest egg to buy Void Storage for everyone and have change over to pick up anything I might need to upgrade gears.

Then it becomes a case of prioritising everything else. I'm hearing mutterings that you'll need a minimum of iLevel 363 gear to step foot in the new 5 Mans, which means all but three of the current 85's have work to do. It would make logical sense therefore to max out everyone's JP/VP's to boot as soon as I have everyone to that level, which is probably a level of logistical competency I'm not yet able to attain, but we can at least try. This would mean extra cash if previous roll-overs are to be followed, and that can't be a bad thing.

I reckon I'll be sitting down with paper and pencil this week and making some kind of formal rough plan of action. I'm betting we'll see 4.3 in early December, and considering what else there is to do between now and then, I'll need some direction...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

A Weekend Off

I did some stuff, I got some 10 man ICC Achievements, but this weekend I concentrated on my college coursework and didn't think much about Warcraft.

Some days this is a Good Thing.

When I finally wake up, I think I'll start again...