Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for a Change. Again.

I've fallen through the World several times this week. Should I be concerned?

I'm not a big fan of change.

I used to hate it, back when there was no dual talenting and it was an utter pain to respec. Now I have two specs I'm normally loathed to swap between them, but last night I realised the grim truth: I can no longer raid as Marks and not feel like I'm being carried. Last night in our DS10 (YES WE'RE DOING PROGRESSION AGAIN YAY) I went back to SW after Boss #1 and respecced BM and saw an undisputed increase in damage (*cough* 5k more *cough*) I should really be going Survival, I know, but I'll wait until the mini patch to maximise the damage. I sorted BM properly when I was hunting for Spirit Beasts (WTB [More Stable Slots PST] as I'm already full) and as Hunter #2 has been a perma-BM'er so it was easier to simply switch last night. I need to practice my rotations over the weekend and get my head around the intensely complicated BM rotation... who am I kidding. It's like playing a Mage ^^

Mages are OP, you know. Not for long, mind, and for that we can all breath a sigh of relief.

I finally lucked out on my Epic Gems last night and a Queen's Garnet came out of one of my geodes: if I didn't know already it's time to start updating my raiding gear with Purple. Prices have now dropped to what I'd consider acceptable and so I took the plunge. What I'm hoping is that we'll see some news on the existence of the Epic Transmutes: I suspect it will co-incide with a Deathwing Nerf, and possibly a pre-Pandaland Event...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coming Around AGAIN...

The Cat, Me and the Big Tongue. Devil and the Dealer not included...

One of the things I've been meaning to do for a while (and not gotten around to) is to set up a reliable source for what I consider are the 'easily' farmable Vanity Pets. This will, at some point, include at least two alts who will 'run' the Argent Tournament on a daily basis in the months leading up to Pandaland, because I KNOW those critters already turn a decent profit. The other consistently decent source of income on the AH is from the pets that drop from the Oracle Dailies in Sholazar, so today I went and trashed my Frenzyheart Rep to start again. I only need Revered to be able to pick up my first Mysterious Egg in a while, and with the potential of FOUR possible vanity pets from it, I'd be stupid not to. A three gold investment is worth a 72 hour cooldown, after all. It's also a great deal easier hunting for shinies in the Wildgrowth when it's just you doing it, plus the leather I get from killing the serpents is always worthwhile.

I kinda miss Northrend. It must be time for a new Expansion.

Oh, and I capped P today and didn't see a single Darkmoon Artifact drop. This is going to be the Tolvir Archaeology Sites 'thing' all over again, isn't it... ?

Pet Farming, Darkmoon Faire Edition.

Practical Farming. Just add Husband.

The Faire may have departed, but those of us who spend far too much time obsessing about vanity pets like to think ahead are already looking to February and preparing to have as many tickets as conceivably possible come the Faire's return to Azeroth. To do this, quite apart from the full run of Darkmoon Dailies and Professions-related Monthlies, requires the stockpiling of the nine Darkmoon Artifacts:

  • Imbued Crystal
  • Ornate Weapon
  • Monstrous Egg
  • Mysterious Grimoire
  • A Treatise on Strategy
  • Soothsayer's Runes
  • Banner of the Fallen
  • Adventurer's Journal
  • Captured Insignia

Last month this was a relatively simple task, with the exception of the Treatise (more on which in a moment)  but this time around Blizzard have stealth-hotfixed the bosses that drop these items. No more farming low-level instances for me, sadly, I need to find level-appropriate places to drop them. The last three aren't a problem being found in PvP either, I just need patience (and I have plenty of that) The problem's those first five: well, four now as I have a reliable farm for the Ornate Weapon (First boss in Normal Tol'Vir is easily three mannable with my husband two boxing and my shaman healing) I've made sure I've got a Darkmoon's Adventurer's Guide on every character currently levelling or at 85 to maximise my chances of being able to roll on these items in dungeons, which is great for those guys not yet at the correct level for the new End Time instances...

The Treatice is already a fairly contentious item: selling in excess of 30k on my server, it's an insanely (and deliberately) low drop from the 'non-378' dungeons. The problem comes in getting oneself into these dungeons to begin with: using either of the LFG queues for points means you are queued for the End Time dungeons even if you don't want them. Manually queuing is of course possible but I am assuming this means there'll be no 150 VP at the end, which is clearly a problem.  I've not even managed to see one of these drop as yet, let alone roll on it, so I'll be doing my best to run as many 5 mans as I can this month in the vain hope I'll get lucky.

At least with a bunch of people farming I increase my odds, but I know how the RNG likes to taunt me, and it already is... ^^

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fastest Way to 10,000 Gold: How Fast is Enough?

Last item left after a 10k weekend. Gotta love Remote AH-age.

I like reading WoW Insider, but you know that if you're a regular here. Today I find myself perusing this article and nodding sagely at all the pointers therein. You could do a lot worse than Scribe your way to greatness in the continuing push to cash supremacy, after all. Those Fortune Cards alone are a massively productive way of dumping herbs into something more profitable... except if you're on my server right now. Herbs are big money. HUGE money, stupid amounts. Same is true for any Cataclysm raw materials which have seen a massive spike in profitability. If you wanna make 10k fast on my server, go farm for a bit. In my case, go farm for 10 hours, because that's the current turnover for just about anything I can scrape together: leather, herbs, ore. Primals, Volatiles, Eternals... you name it, it's a guaranteed sale. I'll do the Cataclysm stuff with a Potion of Treasure Finding on as well, because it all adds up. Maximise your money by multi-tasking when farming raw materials. Never just go out looking for one thing. As I did this yesterday on the Herby/Skinny Druid bankalt, it occurred to me why Essence of Destruction is selling for a pittance yet 20 Whiptail was exceeding 200g a stack over the weekend.

It's evidence of what's being called (in my Guild anyway) of the 'AFK Lightsabers' effect.

The migration of players away from Warcraft to Star Wars has already popped up in at least one Guild Recruitment Advert. A significant number of major farmers and goldspinners on the AH have vanished over Christmas: two of my major competitors in the Leather Selling Department haven't listed an auction since TOR went live. For me, of course, this means I can set the prices and have others undercut me: everything still sells, because there's fewer people presenting their wares. The number of people WTB-ing raw materials in trade has gone up considerably too. It's all symptoms of the same Force-induced situation. The question now is whether this is a long-term issue or, as was the case with Rift before, people play the game out and then return. I know that of the AFK Lightsaber brigade currently in our Guild more than one has bought an Annual Pass, which commits themselves to twelve months of fees even when they're not here. It makes me realise just what a master-stroke that idea was on Activision's part.

Personally I'm not too bothered at the reduced numbers of potential buyers, and the other guys I know who have been playing the AH, item flipping and selling BoE's over the Christmas Period don't seem to be that concerned either. If you have a plan, if it's making money and you stick to it, you really can't go too far wrong. My new Grind of Preference after the Faire arrived was doing the 250 Grisly Trophies I needed in two hours when we had Tol Barad: skinning crocs has always been a great way to pull in the Savage Leather and with a Potion of Treasure Finding on for the time it took I made a decent pile of 'extra sales items' The biggest bonus for me in TB however is the drop rate of green and blue items: you farm something for long enough and the items will drop. For me, the belt above was one of four Rare Armour items I landed during my Darkmoon Faire session: it was a VERY good morning. Those alone have sold for in excess of 2000g, quite apart from the large amount of gold from the skins. Some days it's definitely easier than others to bring home the bacon.

Let's hope my market remains as hungry as it currently appears to be...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Toys Out of the Pram...

...or in this case, wheelbarrow. You get the idea.

When the game you play is described as an MMO, drama is never far away. After all, what makes multiplayer great is what also has the potential to make it pants. Yes, I'm looking at you, other people, with the drama and the moods and the 'I don't feel like this' or 'this raid all SUCK ST*U Nubcaeks!1!!' Once upon a time if there was a choke point for issues it was LFG. Now we have 5 TIMES the potential with LFR, a whole twenty-four other reasons to be believe that Online Karma will come and get you if you leave before the rolls have been decided. My husband's invented a macro for those people who decide to begin encounters without a full compliment of people, hoping the Failbot 9000 will make people stop and think about their actions. Last night I found myself wondering that perhaps it is time to start doing some actual scientific studies, to try and understand what it is that, when people believe they are anonymous and somehow without reproach on t'Internets, makes them feel that toy throwing is even acceptable behaviour.

The fact is, anonymity is the least of your worries.

In the many years I have been involved in a Guild, drama has never been far away. I like to think I can avoid it, I dare to hope that by listening to people and identifying flashpoints before they occur I can keep it to a minimum, but the fact remains that if someone logs 'with a mood on', there's a better than average chance that's going to create a problem. As content becomes progressively more accessible the chances of game-generated drama does reduce however: it becomes less and less about the mechanics 'starting a fight.' No more Lady Vashj-related guild breaking dramas with Tainted Cores: I read with disappointment it's been nerfed too, the Cores no longer immobilise you anyway. Now, if only Blizzard could nerf the nobends who pull your boss or start your encounter when there's only 21 of you and then leave, THERE would be progress. However as long as there is peoples there is OHNOESDRAMAZ, and unless this game becomes Single Player it's never going to happen, so is it time to stop stressing and to Embrace the Fail...?

I read with satisfaction that the first LFR Loot 'refinements' will come into play with the next patch, meaning you can no longer roll on two of the same item and win. I've detailed elsewhere what I'd also like to see changed with the loot system but that's never going to change the issues with the people. An account-wide Ignore would be a definite step in the right direction on that front however, and I'm genuinely encouraged to see that Blizzard understand it's significance. If anything this would be a good way for Blizzard to identify problematic individuals if they (for instance) exceeded a certain number of Ignores across accounts. What else can be done to eliminate the disruptive elements? Community policing goes some way towards this, I realise. Take the case of the 'Ninja Guild' on our Server: I'm sure many people know of such groups, where either one or a number of players 'exploit' loot rules and scams and appear to get away scot free because Blizzard's hands are tied: if there are no loot rules in your party, there is no way to expose fraud. LFR eliminates this issue of course but with only one raid covered everything else is is open to abuse: until we can PuG Baradin Hold or Firelands there's still plenty of opportunity for your disruptive elements to wreak havoc.

It's often the people you least expect in Guilds who are the biggest troublemakers: I can think of two examples from personal experience of people who you'd never expect to be able to generate Drama, but the moment they ended up in LFG/LFR they became something else entirely. 'Perceived' anonymity gives certain people the belief they are beyond reproach, and it's only if those aggrieved take the time to report that anything ever stands a chance of changing. It's often just simpler to put your problems down to bad luck or the time of day (or as happens more and more, school holidays) and never follow up your gripes. However if you feel that your you've had a toy thrown at you in malice or anger, reporting it might yet end up being the straw that bans the Camel that chucked it. (^^) If it matters enough for you to go back to your Guild or friends and complain about, it may merit a ticket. If it's a person in your Guild giving you a hard time, your GM has a duty to listen and to try and solve the problem. We may complain, but people stay GM's for a reason, and it's often not simply about unrestricted access to the Bank.

The next time someone throws their toys about, stop and think why they've done it. If the problem is the way you've acted, maybe it's time to do something about that too.

POSTSCRIPT: I think this works on a related note :D

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Aaaaaand Relax!

It's a Troll on a Gnome Mount. Stranger things have happened... :D

I am back. If I'm honest I was never actually away, but playing on a machine without all my preferred addons was a bit of a wakeup call. Time to make backups. Need to sort out a current version of my Addons folder in case this happens again. Frankly if I needed a reminder to sort my on line life out I got it this week and if this comes to pass a second time I will be far better prepared.

It's been a really interesting week as well, with people leaving and returning to the game, with priorities changing and plans being set. I'm hoping we might start hearing some news about the Beta soon, and that D3 might not be long coming. Until we do, I'll do my best to entertain you. It's not like I don't have a bazillion and five different things I could be doing in the meantime... :D