Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not the Best Idea...

I am bored with my main's mogged outfit. I therefore have done something very stupid.

Red Five Standing By... :D

In gathering terms its not totally impossible to compile. I need one of the low drop items from Scholo (I own the other two) and the belt is a drop from ZA. Boots are a low % from Blackrock Depths. Even the staff shouldn't be a total disaster to grab: the rest are (reasonably) common or AH farming, or items I already own.

I really wanted to use the black mail trousers on my main, since I got them on the Gathering Hunter.

I also realise I have no weapon selected for this ensemble, but there are a number of guns in Void Storage that will go very nicely with this red and black look. I will update once I decide what I'm using.

This should provide quite a challenge in the gathering, and you KNOW how I like a challenge :P

Items are as follows:

  • Hero's Pauldrons
  • Bloodmoon Cloak
  • Bloodmail Hauberk
  • Sawbones Shirt
  • Ravager's Handwraps
  • Waistband of Hexes
  • Bloodmail Legguards
  • Greaves of Withering Dispair
  • Bloodfire Greatstaff

News on the outfit as it is created :D


Quiet weekend, huh?

Well, we have a look at what is probably the Mists of Pandaria packaging.  (props to @ReliqEU from whom I saw this first this morning) I wonder, if this is being leaked, whether we can expect an actual announcement next week?

If its a bit quiet, maybe that's the reason... :D

Perhaps it is time for that last weekend of relaxation before the storm arrives... ^^

Friday, June 22, 2012

Not Long Now...?

A lot has changed since the beta launched...

Today sees the first day of Raid Testing on the Beta Server.

Looking at the timings, and the situation on the beta generally, plus the fact that a number of sites are beginning to hint they feel an announcement is not far off, it could be time to guess the release date AGAIN. This time around however we have some limiting factors to consider, most notably the updated Brewfest rewards (which are suddenly looking like they'll be must wants for most, if not all of my alts at this rate) That's September 20th, which means (considering where we are), I'm going to assume the following:

  • PTR should open 'soon' for a 'transitional' patch which would apply new skills and introduce the Theramore Scenario. In this case, I'd say soon to be 2-3 weeks. This would go live at the beginning of August.
  • Raid testing will go on even after release date is announced, and we will get a 'balancing patch' very soon after release. I would expect a lot less raid testing than perhaps many people are expecting, to try and keep the encounters 'fresher for longer'

As to the date itself? Best guess is now late August (eight weeks lead time still applying) That means, if you picked either August 21st, 28th or even September 4th in the #mopreleasedate contest, I reckon you might be onto a winner... :D There are still spaces left on these dates for entries, if you've not yet cast your vote...

Personally, looking at the situation as it stands (and considering some people think Blizzard is playing chicken with the Guild Wars 2 people in terms of release dates) I'm going to pin my colours to the flag and say August 28th, just before the kids go back to school.

Whether I'm right (a second time) however now remains to be seen... ^^

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#137, Fondue Helms and Not!Farming

Another day, another Tournament Mount :D

Now, this one I like :D

The Quel'delar Steed has quite an understated look about it, and it is (I think) one of the few actual white mounts in game, which means my Mage will have her eyes on this once the system goes Account-wide. Once I'd finished this earlier I realised that there were some Midsummer Fire Festival achievements I'd not done (which is odd coz I'm sure I did them last year) so I picked off a couple, leaving the last two to do this evening. I am considering whether it is worth the effort to actually farm any blossoms this time around. A pet is 350 of the buggers :/

It's a STUPID HAT. Just DON'T.

Needless to say, I won't be spending any blossoms on the Fondue Helm. That must have taken minutes of thought, Blizzard ^^

I'm going to have a fair number of blossoms on P once I've knocked off those last bonfire achievements, and with the Daily Ahune Fail I suspect I can accidentally fall into farming at least one. However, with the Account Wide Achievements coming the only reason I now have to do anything on anyone other than P is the title, and I feel that's not nearly a strong enough incentive. I assume that if I took someone from scratch and did the farm I'd end up with enough blossoms, so I will consider my position tomorrow and (possibly) commit someone at the weekend. I guarantee though people will be selling these pets for far, far less than they are really worth in terms of time taken to actually farm them. As a result, it might be the time to buy them outright from the AH.

Needless to say, this Festival will not be one I'm taking an active interest in for the first time in many years.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Perception Filters

Sit down, take a moment, and breathe...

I am, on days such as these, a bear with very little brain.

I suffered greatly when my kids were very young from sleep deprivation. I broke two toes whilst my son was being breastfed, from walking into the large wooden blanket box in our bedroom, and didn't notice until about 24 hours later the damage I had done to myself. I still suffer now, especially during the Summer months (this morning's full-on Fox Cub War outside our bedroom window partly prompting this post) and it makes me realise how subjective I can become on too little sleep and too much caffeine.

I also find myself grasping some newly-awakened truths about my perception of the game in reference to the rest of the player base.

I had a blast writing up the Argent Tournament Guide over the weekend, and it occurred to me then that something that has become (to me) pretty much like waking up to feed a child in the middle of the night could be a new experience to someone else. It is easy to get complacent over time, to assume because you do something with regularity it will be simple for everyone else to grasp. When I went back to try and describe jousting, for instance, I really struggled. In the end I just did it every day for long enough for it to become second nature, and didn't really analyse what actually happened in the learning. I am therefore very grateful to those with more awareness of me who were able to provide some constructive details of how things worked. It makes me realise I need to spend more time looking at details...

Then there are the moments when I get bogged down in what I can't get to happen, rather than focussing on what actually needs to be done, which resulted last night in P running off a cliff and falling to her death, thinking she'd summoned her flying mount to avoid said grizzly fate. Archaeology is a pig: I know this, and its not as if this fact has only just registered, but last night I let the RNG get to me. These are the things that other people simply chalk down to acceptable variation and work through without getting all stressed and grumpy, and on most days I would be the same. I make a point to tell my kids that 'using tiredness as an excuse is not acceptable' and its true, you should never fall back on failings as a way to justify your actions.

Sometimes, you just let your perception distort the real truth that remains a constant.

Lots of you guys are new to this game and haven't been around forever. Many of you are infinitely more patient and brilliant and awesome than I am on days like today, and take wonder in things I have begun (quite frankly) to take for granted, and I should apologise if, at times, I come out of posts looking like a grumpy old dwarf, but on those days that's probably closer to the truth than I'd like to admit. This is where its wonderful to have reality checks like Twitter to remind me that, yes, other people do think that what I do is still okay and relevant, even if I feel like I've been hit on the back of the head by a large chunk of pine.

Every mount, therefore, should be progress and not feel like its an effort. Every dig gets me one step closer to my goal, and I will eventually get what I'm looking for. Patience is a virtue, and if I'm having trouble rationalising things in game, its probably a good time to go away and do something else... like write a blog post.

If you'll excuse me, I think it's time for a cuppa... :D

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


7000g and all I got was this lousy mammoth. Strolling Giant is zone's own.

I'm still failing on my Faffing Circuit of (Increasing) Disappointment. I've almost obtained enough Seals to get another Tournament Mount. The sale of the last round of gubbins from last night's disappointing Utgarde Pinnacle sprint tipped me over the 7k mark so it was time to go spend it all on another largely useless three person transport.

Can you tell this whole thing may be beginning to grind me down?

I think I may suck it in and do a couple of days of intense Archaeology in the incredibly slim hope that I'll spawn the mount. I can pretend I'm prepping for Pandaria and not solve any other race things so I can stack 200 of each fragments in anticipation... :D

Needless to say, this one felt VERY much like it was part of a grind :(

Monday, June 18, 2012

Facerolling Old Content for Profit and Pleasure :: The Argent Tournament, Part the Third.

Four Night Elves and a Dwarf. This may not end well... ^^

Finally, after over a week of poking things with pointy sticks, you are ready to proceed to the final stage of Argent Tomfoolery. As it happens, hitting Champion status is probably the best thing that can happen to you in Tournament terms: suddenly you start earning those all-important Champion's Seals and the mind numbingly tedious grind the exciting world of jousting gets even more attractive. There's even free gifts, as you will now see as we conclude our Guide.

Stage 3: Champions. Poking Skeletal Dragons, Accumulating Reputation and Making Money.

Becoming an Argent Champion not only confers on you an Achievement (which is also the case when you make Valiant) it can also, depending on your Reputation, reward you with a second Achievement (Exalted Champion) with your own faction. There is also (finally) the first look at Champion's Seals: you'll get 10 for completing this quest, and an added bonus: an Argent Squire (or a Grunt, dependant on faction) He counts as a pet (which seems a tad unfair) and is pretty much a cosmetic accessory, but he can be upgraded to act as a vendor, a mailbox or even a portable bank. However, to do this you'll need to be Exalted with the Argent Crusade first. Curses!

This is why reputation grinds are a royal pain...

If you're coming to this grind cold, don't worry about this vendor, or the Sunreaver-specific vendor in your faction pavillion. You will eventually grind enough rep by doing dailies to get Exalted with them both, after which there will be a selection of mounts/pets to purchase. There's also a useful Tabard for 50 seals that acts as a direct teleport to the Tournament, but we're not spending Seals on such fripperies. We want pets, and to get them we'll finally be given a set of dailies that reward us with the currency that counts.

Hello Boys (and Girls). Did you miss me?

Four new dailies appear at Champion level, available from this group in the main Argent Pavillion. You'll still be able to do the Faction-specific ones too: championing your own faction's cause opens up the remaining races, and you can choose whoever you like to continue with for another 25 Aspirant's Seals. That part of the grind remains constant until you've completed every one of your home races grinds. Eadric and his posse throw the following tasks into the mix:

  • Joust 4 Champions (either faction) in the biggest ring at the Tournament
  • Kill 15 Cult of the Damned members in the small camp to the west of the Argent Pavillion. In fact, ANY Cult members in Icecrown will count towards this total.
  • Kill 3 Boneguard Commanders at the Argent Crusade camp at Corp'rethar
  • Dispatch a large Frostwyrm (known locally as Chillmaw) plus the three Cultists accompanying him.

I'll admit here that I don't bother with the Commanders, because even at 85 they are a pig to solo: if you're questing with someone however these guys are worth doing for an extra seal a day. Killing Chillmaw will reward you with 2 seals, and at 85 most classes should have little trouble dispatching him and his entourage. The Cult guys drop a decent range of greens, I've had some blues, and they're also worthwhile for cloth, and their respawn rate makes the area a decent farm regardless.

You are rewarded for these quests with a choice of either a Gold Purse or a Champion's Writ. Back when this content was current, the Writ was a great way to get 250 rep with a home faction that did not involve grinding horrendous amounts of cloth. Now, the Writs are largely pointless, and I'd strongly suggest the Purse as it contains an additional Seal. That means, at this stage, you can earn six seals a day (seven if you decide to do the Commanders) This does not seem like many, but this number increases as your rep with the Sunreavers and the Argent Crusade builds up:

  • Becoming Exalted with the Sunreavers opens up 3 new quests in your Home Pavillion.
  • Becoming Exalted with the Argent Crusade opens up 2 new quests in the Argent Pavillion.

For details of the quests themselves (which involve killing mobs on and around the Tournament area and collecting items from the same) there's a fairly comprehensive list on WoWWiki. Needless to say, there is nothing particularly difficult to grasp, if you're now able to manage the jousting on your own.

This is the hardest bit, and by now you should be an expert :D

That's basically how it works: once you have championed every one of your home factions you'll get another Achievement, and that's it, you never need to visit your home pavilion again, except to pick up pets.

One pet is 40 seals. Not a lot of work if you're patient :D

At this point, the only restriction on your ability to collect is time and patience. I'm currently farming both factions with Hunters, and once P has her 3 remaining mounts she'll go back to doing the dailies for pets. Keep your fingers crossed that the faction mounts will one day stop being Soulbound and become BOE... :D

The Return of an Old Friend...

...screencapping Jesse before it becomes illegal to do so... ^^

Before we start. The Fast Show. Why haven't you seen it?

I had a plan for the weekend, which was fairly successfully derailed by a new reader request. Therefore, I think it might be a plan to actually get myself organised this week to prevent this from happening (though I have registered the request for a dungeon guide, but I'm not sure quite how I'd do it just now. I think it might end up being a little too tongue in cheek...) However, I digress.

This week, I will be mostly...

  • Finishing the Minipets Database Entry. 100 pets (approximately) to go. Then it's time to take 500 pictures ^^
  • Getting people to test it. I know who you are. I'll send e-mails/DM's via Twitter out this week. If you're reading this and would like to test the database, post in the comments please.
  • Getting the Horde Hunter geared to LFR standard. Then sending her out to the Tournament for pet farming. Then, MOG OUTFIT :D
  • Starting the grind to 85 on the Paladin.
  • Playing the Horde Rogue, probably to 40 so I can train the next level of Tailoring/Enchanting.
  • Putting the first of the 85's into storage (post on this to follow)

For now however I'll be off for a much needed dose of RL Stuffs, starting at the Gym :D

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Facerolling Old Content for Profit and Pleasure :: The Argent Tournament, Part the Second.

Get used to this view. WTB [AOE Looting], PST!

Yesterday we began our look back at the Crusade with the details on how to get people started: today, we're going to assume you managed to stay awake for the three days of Aspirants quests, biffed an NPC with sufficient skill to make him concede your awesomeness, and that you're now in a position to start part two of your training. No longer are we stuck at the bottom of the jousting Food Chain, and we can call ourselves (reasonably) competent as we head into the Land of the Valiant.

Stage 2: Valiants. Poking Things in Many Places.

There's a theme here. Ladies with unwanted weaponry, step forward...!

Completing the Aspirant chain will open up a series of quests with (initially) your home faction. Once you have done these for five days (and earned the 25 seals you require to progress) you'll have the opportunity to do it all over again with all the other races in said faction. That means TWENTY FIVE days of questing, for those of you who like to know exactly what you are getting landed with, and there is very little variation in the choice of activities. To summarise, you'll be expected to do the following:

  • Kill 10 Converted Heroes in Icecrown (see picture one above) On the plus side these guys are decent droppers of Frostweave cloth (if you're a tailor) but don't expect any greens, as they've been removed (presumably because so many people farm them for cloth)
  • Recover one of three swords from one of three women in mortal peril from drowning, frostbite and.. er.. frogs. Kissing frogs used to be the bane of many people's existences back in the day. It's still a royal pain, but you'll get used to it.
  •  Two sets of jousting quests. Yes, TWO SETS.

Ready for action at Corp'rethar. 3 shields = GOOD.

The first involves you travelling to the Crusade Forward Camp and is a bit of a wake up call for learning to joust with 'real' mobs. You need to eliminate 10 Boneguard Scouts, 15 Boneguard Footmen and 3 Boneguard Lieutenants. There is an additional quest (available once you've done five days of  Valiant quests and defeated your first Champion) which asks you to kill 3 Boneguard Commanders as well but even at 85 I can't do this without help, so I would suggest concentrating on the less tricky mobs:

  • Two hits on the Scouts using your Shield Breaker is enough to finish them easily: some are low enough to the ground that you can Charge them and kill them in one hit.
  • The Scouts will die when you run over them with your mount.
  • Lieutenants will die with a couple of charges, or a combination of charge and shield breaker. If they get to melee range, keep shields up and use Thrust. They will die eventually.

Once that's out of the way, it is time to stick yourself in your Faction's specific Jousting ring and slap about three of the other NPC combatants:

Action shot! Everything's on CD! You're gonna get it Orc-Boy!

If all else fails, when you start jousting, I suggest staying in melee range, keeping your shields green, and just slowly melee-ing your opponents to death with Thrust. It will take a while but you will win: even at 85 you are dependant on breaking down your opponent's shields to cause damage. If you can get confident enough to get some distance between them and you to throw a Shield-Breaker, so much the better, and this won't take long.

That will be your life for five days: still you'll not see a Seal, or indeed be able to buy anything from your faction-specific vendor. Once you accumulate 25 Marks you'll be sent to a bigger ring to beat up a new (and slightly harder) Argent Champion. Do that, and finally we are getting somewhere. Part Three tomorrow will cover Champion quests, where things finally begin to be profitable :D

A Note on Reputation.

If you are trying to earn Guild Rep, you really should do all these quests with a Tabard on, because even at 85 they'll give you something. You'll also earn reputation with the Sunreaver-specific faction you're allied to, plus a healthy slab of Argent Crusade kudos to boot (both of which will open up further pet and mount options as you go along) The added bonus are the reputation gains you'll garner for the factions under the umbrella of the Horde Expedition/Alliance Vanguard. If you are looking for a way to kill many birds with one stone in terms of finishing off faction reputation, this is the place to be.