Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Much is Enough?

Making money. Air is always a good call :D

The Auction House, on my (normally busy) server, has officially gone into freefall. Stuff keeps coming back unsold. The bottom has finally fallen out of leather. My husband, logging on last night to see me as the only person in the Dwarven District AH, remarked 'your release date would be a good idea right now to get some people back in here.'

There will inevitably be a pickup as soon as we know the Pandaria release date, as people return to frantically level alts/professions/professions alts, but for now I am faced with a rethink. Many of my normal avenues of gold generation have effectively vanished. It is time for a new plan, but I can see some of you wondering why I'm bothering. How much gold do I need, anyway?

The answer is quite a bit, actually.

The Reins of the Grand Expedition Yak were EVERYWHERE on Beta this week, and at least once a minute while I was data inputting for the Pet Database I'd see someone in Trade ask where to get one. That alone is going to cost a whopping 60,000g without discounts: fortunately I don't have to buy any more than one (Benefits of Account Mounts #21) but that's still quite a purchase. There are a significant number of new 'normal' mounts too, at least 5000g each. That's before we start considering armour upgrades, recipes, factions... oh yeah, and that Black Market Auction House.

I reckon I'll need some more gold, you know, just in case :p

Stuff is still selling: enchanting mats and raw ore both seem fairly solid so I did some test runs last night through heroic Northrend content and across Nagrand to see just how robust the market actually is. I picked Wrath dungeons for the Frostweave, which I'm going to begin to stockpile to make bags. Adamantite and Khorium seem particularly sensible because I'm betting once people realise there are two new engineering mounts, there will be a turn to the profession. I am yet to check my endeavours from last night but I will report here via an edit how I did.

If this fails to turn a decent night's income, there's still a lot I can do. If it doesn't however, things are clearly a lot worse than I thought, and it might be time to start hassling Blizzard to get a move on... ^^ I'm not sure my market's going to hang around for the summer...

[EDIT: Good sales! Adamantite, Book of Glyph Mastery, Arctic Fur and enchanting mats all did the business last night!]

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fugitive Motel

I'll be over here...

Nothing has happened correctly today.

It all started auspiciously enough: three rares in Blades Edge (whilst doing daily cookery) and then Vyragosa in Storm Peaks and then... Those are the moments when I realise I will never have the time to lose it over the TLPD spawn. It's a shame because of all the mounts in game I'd like it the most not because of the rarity, but because of the colour. I'm a big fan of colour, especially on days like these.

The rest of the day has conspired against me, and to cap it all my body's decided it's had enough after a week's worth of gym visits in an attempt to get back into shape.

I'm getting too old for this stuff.

Tonight therefore may briefly involve me swinging past Bor's Breath... you know, just in case.

One day I might get lucky, but I'm sure as heck not changing my life just for one mount, even thought I wish I could (sometimes)

Not 'til I can read by the moon am I going anywhere...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

[BETA] The Way of the Container

A picture paints a thousand words...

With the release of the latest beta build, it is becoming clear that Blizzard's moving towards a whole new way of levelling certain professions.

El's produced an excellent and succinct guide on how Cookery is going to function come the Expansion, and I see no need to duplicate that here, save to make a point based on the Daily Quest which uses the containers above. You can bundle 20 of ANY ingredient, it appears, and this then forms the basis of the reward. What else will you be able to do with these crates?

I think it is fair to speculate that we'll see this method of 'crating' (which we know is going to be active in Archaeology as well) as a key constituent of the Tiller's Farm faction's rep gathering methods. What is not clear for instance, is whether an item like the Red Blossom Leek is going to be a drop from a mob or (which is looking increasingly possible) whether a Tiller Farm 'grows' the item which can then be sold on the AH or exchanged for more rep. If so, anyone wishing to level cookery is going to want to seriously consider starting a farm on at least one character. With cross account achievements a consideration, it now looks rather attractive for me to assign an alt to farm separate from my main levelling alts, and perhaps leave them to do this exclusively as a way to more efficiently distribute the materials across the 'family.'

These crates also have a L90 restriction. I wonder if this means the Tillers Farms will also be unavailable until max level...?

Both herb and mining nodes are now active in the Jade Forest (allowing my Alchemist/herber to not only gather but make some Elixirs, which confirms that the proc system's still functioning) Perhaps it's time to start killing some tigers again in the hope that Raw Tiger Steak will start dropping... :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Wings over Stormwind.

I don't particularly like the Sandstone Drake, it must be said. Cost aside (three weeks of grinding and transmutes for this one) it has a MASSIVE benefit being purchased now.

Every alt on both my accounts has access to a two person flying mount. [*]

When I think of it that way, this was money very well spent.

Next up, back to the Argent Tournament.

[*] I assume the RaF mounts won't share as they are character specific. I should probably check on Beta... ^^

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Presenting the Minipets Database :: Q&A

I'm particularly proud of the logo... :D

For the last couple of weeks myself and Andy (known to most of you as @caerphoto on that there Twitter) have been engaged in what is turning out to be a pretty serious project: the Minipets Database (or Minipetter as it has been come to be known by the two of us.) Andy answered a cry for help when I realised, looking at the sheer number of Battle Pets Blizzard were planning on launching in Pandaria, that I was going to need more than pencil and paper to record the whereabouts of almost 500 critters. Hence the database was born, and I think it might be a plan now to answer some questions about why I felt the need to undertake this project in the first place.


Q: Both Wowhead and WarcraftPets have perfectly serviceable databases you could use to track pet data: why did you feel the need to make one of your own?

My husband asked this question fairly early on in my reasoning process, and my reply remains the same now as it did then: I wanted to make a particular kind of list. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked by Guildies 'Do you know how I get pet X?' and I found myself wanting something I could customise to my personal level of detail. This means, over time, I am likely to do my own guides on locating some of the harder 'vanity' pets, but that current list is secondary to the enormous amount of new data I was presented with on Beta. I wanted a way to put that all in one simple alphabetical list, with a way to pass on to other people BEFORE THE GAME WENT LIVE where to find the Mini Pets I know I want to hunt down as quickly and efficiently as possible. I could have just kept all this information to myself, but it occurred to me that if I wanted to do this, other people would too.

Hence the Database was formed.

Q: How accurate can it be with the constantly changing nature of the Beta?

I'm hoping that it will be accurate, considering that pets aren't being removed, and that the Pet Battle system is clearly getting a lot of love on Beta at present. I'm also not looking to provide a guide to what every pet's special skills are, or indeed on how to Pet Battle successfully. This is simply a repository of information for other people to track and tame, and I hope that I can get the database as accurate as possible in terms of locating pets as the beta progresses.

Q: Would you consider writing a pet Battle Guide at some point in the future?

Honestly, I have no idea. My overriding motivation, as of now, is not the battling, but the collecting. That's what I do in game, and with the possibility of 500 pets to gather, I really need some kind of organisation to get it right. If it turns out I'm not totally hopeless at Battling I might change my mind, but right now I am working on this primary priority.

Q: Can I add data to the Database?

If you think there's anything missing, stuff I could add, or any mistakes (especially spelling, I'm dreadful) please let me know and I'll be happy to go amend/correct. I'm hoping this is a resource that will become popular and that it functions in a way that other people find easy to use. I'm also going to need to track down people with the rarer minipets for the photographs, so if you're lucky enough to own a Golden Pig or any of the other harder to find critters, gimme a shout.

Q: How do you see the Database developing after the Expansion goes live?

I fully intend to keep the database up to date and current whenever a new pet is added, or if details emerge of rarity and spawn points. Needless to say, this is likely to remain a permanent work in progress :D


The Database should (hopefully) go live before the end of the week, before which time I'm looking for  a couple of people to play with it and check out its usefulness. If that's something you'd be willing to do, leave a comment on this post or Direct Message @alternativechat on twitter, and I'll contact you personally.

Monday, May 21, 2012

If it's Monday, I must be Faffing...

It is going to be a busy week here at ALT:ernative Towers. I am hoping we'll be able to get the Mini Pet Database live at some point, I have another 'secret project' in the early development stages and on top of all this I really should be playing Diablo 3 writing my end of term assessment, or rather editing it so it fits the word count. Still, we have managed to insert some primary gaming :D

Yes, it's a gathering ding :D

The Mogging/Gathering Hunter is now 85, leaving the Horde hunter and my Paladin as the two remaining alts not maxxed. There is also the Goblin Rogue, who if my estimates of release date go well astray might also make it to a loftier reach than L20. For now however the Grand Plan is coming to fruition. What I need to do next is get working on some more mounts via P for the Alliance folks to share, and some Crusade quests/reputation on the Horde hunter to pick up the Dark Side equivalent.

Needless to say, I am trying to do everything: today that's not been too hard but I might begin to struggle at the end of the week... :D

Sunday, May 20, 2012

[BETA] The Devil in the Details

Well, it seemed appropriate.

I have, for the last couple of days, been beavering away on my Mini Pet Project. In the process of this, and after the latest beta push, the interface gained a huge amount of what is, on the surface, completely irrelevant information. Spells are still missing, and there are a healthy number of both omissions and duplications in the list of 500 pets. However, about 80% of these fellas now have a story: some are quirky, many are practical and some are genuinely funny. What this does show (to me at least) is two fold. Firstly, if you weren't aware already, Blizzard is taking the Mini pet battles VERY seriously indeed. It also amply demonstrates that whoever it is who has been given the job of creating in many cases new lore for every critter you'll own and capture in Pandaria cares a great deal about the task in hand.

Is this an indicator of a rarer spawn for this pet?

I can't help but thinking that these (often very complex) descriptions might not hold clues to how some of these pets will be found: will I need to kill Infernals in Felwood for instance in order to spawn the Minfernal? Many of the flavour text describes creatures burrowing and hiding in areas of the world... is this not simply information to skip over, but could it hold clues as to were your next battle will be located?

Don't mess with Mr Wiggles. Just DON'T...

There are also some literary and pop culture references thrown into the mix for good measure :D

10 pop points if you get this one :D

If I wasn't excited enough for this new development in  game, this makes me think that Blizzard really are taking the 'bring the fun back' ethos very seriously indeed. In fact, it has managed to deflect me from my Archaeology plans, which I fully intend to return to next week... :D For now however, I reiterate the tweet I sent to @Warcraft on Saturday night, which sums up my feelings pretty well...

Seven Days :: The Best Laid Plans...

This is the third post published (thus far) in association with the Newbie Blogger Initiative.


This week, like most that I end up involved in, has not gone exactly to plan.

I had intended to post a NBI aside every day this week, but Real Life inevitably got in the way. Wednesday-Saturday was, unsurprisingly, stymied not simply by Diablo 3 but some fairly serious Real Life considerations. It bought home to me a fact I'd not even considered when I'd been planning out my posts for this week: sometimes, try as you might. you just don't get what you want. All the planning in the world cannot cover the last minute change. 

The trick is to learn and move on.

The moving on part is particularly important.

I've been part of a Writing Course at my local college since September. As time has gone on, more and more people have failed to turn up. Some complained the course was too hard. Some apologised they were writing and were too busy to make it to show their work, which is (of course) a perfectly plausible excuse. If given a choice between writing (making no money) and your paid job, I think it's fair to say most sensible people will take the money and run. 

Except people like me.

I am here admitting I had a plan and it failed. However, it won't stop me writing. Those posts I planned to share will be presented: I know it won't be this month (because I have an important assessment to complete before May is done) but you will get to see them, perhaps even outside the one month auspice of the NBI. I want to write them because they are important to me, and I think they may be helpful to you guys. The issue for me becomes a time-scale I need to 'juggle' to accommodate everything, and that writing is often anything but an exact science.

The lesson I pass on here as a result is two-fold. If you make a commitment on your blog, it is both polite and sensible to follow through for the sake of your readership. They expect you to treat them with respect, and they deserve that whenever you engage them. If, when all else fails, you are unable to deliver what you have promised, be totally honest with your readership, and don't be afraid to apologise. Saying sorry is not a weakness, it is a way to prove you understand what you're doing and that feelings can be hurt if you deceive.

I'm sorry I promised seven posts and you've only got three so far. The rest will come, I promise... watch this space :D