Google+ ALT : ernative: 07/15/2012 - 07/22/2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soon...? [TM]

I have already embarrassed myself once this year by being so way out on the Pandaria release date it wasn't funny. I have decided therefore I cannot make it any worse than it already is. This will then be me, sticking my neck out again:

Hmmm...

Corey Stockton's quite a player in the MoP scheme of things. #crunchtime sounds quite significant. What if this weekend is the last weekend before the release date is set? If Blizzard decide to tell us next Tuesday, and we're working on an eight week 'window of opportunity', that would mean we'd see Pandaria release September 18th. Why is this significant? Because Brewfest begins September 20th and we know that the Festival is updated to reflect the new item levels...

Right, let's say it.

I reckon Blizzard will release Mists of Pandaria on September 18th.

Let's see how wrong I am... :D

[BETA] I Would Say This Pet is Rare...

Blizzard clearly have been reading my thoughts on Pet Rarity this week (I know, who am I kidding) because this morning we have a list of which existing pets will be given the 'Rare' classification once Pandaria hits. Most of these are not really a surprise, but there are a few eye-openers in terms of which pets will be tradeable when the markets finally open. Here's the list of who we have so far:


Brilliant Kaliri :: Not Tradeable
Celestial Dragon :: Not Tradeable
Feral Vermling :: Not Tradeable
Jade Tentacle :: Not Tradeable
Kirin Tor Familiar :: Not Tradeable
Little Fawn :: Not Tradeable
Nuts :: Not Tradeable
Stinker :: Not Tradeable
Clockwork Gnome : TRADEABLE
Crawling Claw :: TRADEABLE
Fossilized Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Pterrodax Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Voodoo Figurine :: TRADEABLE
Murkimus :: Not Tradeable
Core Hound Pup :: Not Tradeable
Cenarion Hatchling :: Not Tradeable
Gryphon Hatchling :: Not Tradeable
Guardian Cub :: Not Tradeable
Lil' K.T. :: Not Tradeable
Lil' Ragnaros :: Not Tradeable
Lil' XT :: Not Tradeable
Moonkin Hatchling :: Not Tradeable
Pandaren Monk :: Not Tradeable
Soul of the Aspects :: Not Tradeable, CANNOT BATTLE
Wind Rider Cub :: Not Tradeable
Deathy :: Not Tradeable
Grunty :: Not Tradeable
Murkablo :: Not Tradeable
Murky :: Not Tradeable
Fetish Shaman :: Not Tradeable
Frosty :: Not Tradeable
Lil' Deathwing :: Not Tradeable
Lucky Quilen Cub :: Not Tradeable
Lurky :: Not Tradeable
Mini Thor :: Not Tradeable
Netherwhelp :: Not Tradeable
Panda Cub :: Not Tradeable
Darkmoon Balloon :: TRADEABLE CANNOT BATTLE
Darkmoon Cub :: TRADEABLE
Darkmoon Monkey :: TRADEABLE
Darkmoon Tonk :: TRADEABLE
Darkmoon Turtle :: TRADEABLE
Darkmoon Zeppelin :: TRADEABLE
Azure Whelpling :: TRADEABLE
Crimson Whelpling :: TRADEABLE
Dark Whelpling :: TRADEABLE
Emerald Whelpling :: TRADEABLE
Firefly :: TRADEABLE
Fox Kit :: TRADEABLE
Gundrak Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Hyacinth Macaw :: TRADEABLE (quality downgrade)
Razzashi Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Sprite Darter Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Phoenix Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Chuck :: TRADEABLE
Giant Sewer Rat :: TRADEABLE
Magical Crawdad :: TRADEABLE
Muckbreath :: TRADEABLE
Snarly :: TRADEABLE
Strand Crawler :: TRADEABLE
Toothy :: TRADEABLE
Dark Phoenix Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Elementium Geode :: TRADEABLE
Crimson Lasher :: TRADEABLE
Hyjal Bear Cub :: TRADEABLE
Searing Scorchling :: TRADEABLE
Panther Cub :: Not Tradeable
Pebble :: Not Tradeable
Disgusting Oozeling :: TRADEABLE
Mr. Grubbs :: TRADEABLE
Tiny Shale Spider :: TRADEABLE
Bananas :: TRADEABLE
Dragon Kite :: TRADEABLE CANNOT BATTLE
Ethereal Soul-Trader :: TRADEABLE
Eye of the Legion :: TRADEABLE
Gregarious Grell :: TRADEABLE
Hippogryph Hatchling :: TRADEABLE
Landro's Lichling :: TRADEABLE
Landro's Lil' XT :: TRADEABLE
Nightsaber Cub :: TRADEABLE
Purple Puffer :: TRADEABLE
Rocket Chicken :: TRADEABLE
Sand Scarab :: TRADEABLE
Spectral Tiger Cub :: TRADEABLE
Tuskarr Kite :: TRADEABLE CANNOT BATTLE
Lumpy :: TRADEABLE
Baby Blizzard Bear :: Not Tradeable
Onyxian Whelpling :: Not Tradeable
Lucky :: Not Tradeable CANNOT BATTLE
Mini Tyrael :: Not Tradeable


This gives some food for thought: There are some rep pets in this list (Hyjal ones) and all the Darkmoon Pets are included (use those spare tickets guys!) I'd also identify Mr Grubbs, the Dark Phoenix and the Magical Crawdad as potential high-cash 'investments' This list is by no means complete either, so I'll be watching for any potential additions... :D

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Farming Today: 72 Hours On the Farm

Sheep one. No, really... ANY TIME NOW...

This weekend, I have an audacious plan.

Starting tomorrow I intend to do three days of hard grind across the entire family. To prevent boredom, frustration and as much repetition as is feasibly possible I have sent every alt out today to various starting positions. Obviously I cannot farm non-stop over three days (kids, family and bum numbness considered) but I can at least make an effort to maximise the things I do into effective hour-long bursts. Therefore I have the following ready to roll:

  • P (Hunter#1) : Violet Hold Normal (4 in an hour): Skinning to make Heavy Borean Leather/Dragonscale.
  • M (Rogue) : Mining in Shadowmoon Valley with use of Zapthrottle Mote Extractor.
  • S (Druid) : Skinning and Herbing in Nagrand.
  • N (Priest) : Collecting 250 Grisly Trophies in Icecrown with a side order of Tournament Dailies
  • M (Other Druid) : Herbing in Cata Zones. 250 Trophies with a Treasure Finder on.
  • W (Warlock) : Heroic Northrend Instances for cloth, greens and stuffs.
  • M (Shaman) : Heroic Outland Instances for cloth, greens and stuffs.
  • K (Mage) :: Deepholm with Treasure Finding. Making bags and Dramcloths.
  • G (Hunter #2) : Mining in Nagrand with use of Zapthrottle Mote Extractor.
  • K (Hunter #3) :: All Silithus, all the time, with added mining and herbing.

P's farming 'grind' will be detailed in a separate post over the weekend. Clearly some of these farms are far less intensive than others, but this should encourage everyone to chip in with a monetary contribution. Currently this weeks receipts from the AH are in excess of 10,000g, and I'll need to extract a digit (or get lucky with a big money drop) to do as well as I managed last week.

I plan to get P to do the Tournament as well over the weekend, as I'm not far of the last mount I need from there. Everyone else however will (hopefully) not be too distracted and get on with their tasks...

Supporting Everyone

Two factions : Joint support?

One thing that has NEVER played well with me in Warcraft is the notion of having to pick sides. In any two sided battle my default state, like it or not, ends up being somewhere in the middle. My brain refuses to fall one way or another, even after I've heard all the arguments and weighed up all the possibilities. I do not understand why it isn't possible to play for both teams without recrimination.

For a long time however I was embarrassed to admit I wanted to do this in game, I sense in part because the Alliance/Horde 'dispute' is one now so deeply ingrained into the lore. I'd love the opportunity to dungeon with Horde players, or fight joint foes, because I'm betting that there are people just like me who have chosen their camps but secretly wish there were more flexibility inside the mechanics. I sense Blizzard have begun to realise this too, and giving us one new race who go off on two different paths, both of whom come to their factions to learn and assist as primary functions. I'm considering a Panda on both sides, just to see how they are treated in their journey's to 90.

However, Pandaria does finally begin to concede to those of us who play both sides: there is an achievement for having a max level toon on both factions, for instance. Your Horde and Alliance players will also both share the same achievements, mounts and pets. the last one of these is one that is making me particularly excited, especially from a speed of gathering/variety of pets viewpoint. I fully intend to level both Horde and Alliance trainers 'in tandem' which should give them access to a far larger range of pets as they start their journey, and means I can level two 'teams' simultaneously but with different quests to accompany the journey.

The possibilities for utilising both factions has not been lost to many gold makers either: there is often a large disparity in market values across the factions, and faction-specific items are always a great way to pull in some extra cash. I'm always hoping that when I log in my L1 neutral AH alt in Booty Bay I'll see someone else there but more often than not I'm alone: I suspect that will change with Pet Battles, especially with rarer pets. I have to say I'm excited about this more than I have been for a while, mostly because I think the potential in Pet Battles is something that Blizzard really have only scratched the surface with as yet. Add to this potential market opportunities with the Tillers Farm (which Blizzard seem to be keeping fairly close to their chests right now) and whatever rare goodies the Black Market Auction House might bring...

I'd like to think that being on both sides of the fence won't give me a disadvantage. In fact, with what we've got to look forward to in the months to come, I could do with some more able bodies to bring to the fight...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

[BETA] Pet Battles : Class Principles in Practice

Before we explore the further adventures of Demonium the Beta Warlock and her pet battle experiences, we will break down how to successfully approach the business of battles. To do this, is important to understand two sets of abilities: Pet Actives and Pet Passives. Let us present these to you in handy table fashion:




Pet Type Increased Damage to
(Green Arrow)
Reduced Damage to
(Red Arrow)
Passive
Bonus
AquaticElemental Magic DoT/AoE
Resistance
Beast CritterFlying25% extra damage
below 50% health
Critter UndeadHumanoidBreaks out of crowd
control more easily

Dragonkin MagicUndead50% extra damage
on next round after
reducing enemy health
to below 25%
Elemental MechanicalCritterIgnore all
weather effects
FlyingAquatic Dragonkin50% extra speed whilst
above 50% health
Humanoid Dragonkin Beast Recover 5% of health
after every attack
Magic Flying MechanicalCannot be dealt more
than 50% of max
health in one attack
MechanicalBeastElementalReturns to live once
per battle after death
with 25% health
UndeadHumanoid AquaticReturn to life for one
round when killed


If you prefer your information in a handy infographic form, Wowjuju has you covered.

This seems quite a lot of information to initially take in, but when you take your battles on a pet by pet basis, things begin to make a lot more sense.


Demonium versus the Rabbit. Note the icon on the portrait

Demonium is in Lakeshire, looking for pets to battle. She discovers a Mountain Cottontail and foolishly forgets to check her chart before starting her battle. If she had paid attention she would have seen that the Cottontail is a Critter, and therefore the best pet type to fight it comes from the Beast family...


This is not a good choice of pet: Critter vs Critter does not give an advantage.

Demonium checks the active pets she has available to her: we have a Beast in our group, so the choice is simple:

Rat Snake ticks all the boxes. Look for green arrows to increase your strength.

Demonium's Rat Snake is her choice to continue this battle: she forfeits her next turn to substitute the stronger pet into the fight...


The snake does the business, and the attack bonus is visually shown

... and the snake does the job. We win this fight.

Let's be clear, you are not forced to 'play' this way to progress: you can win with no attention to pet types. However, once you start trying to capture pets in higher zones you will find that one or two additional pets will appear wanting to battle you too. When that happens you might want to start considering strategies.

I am of the opinion that picking one pet from each of the 10 groups as your 'starting team' will be the way forward for some. Others may wish to specialise with all of one group of pets, which seems to be the method that the low level trainers play their game. Many of you may wish to simply pick your favourites and see what happens. I doubt there will ever be a 'right way' to play Pet Battles, only the way which you find the most enjoyable.

However, knowing there are distinct advantages to playing certain pet types against each other may be of use when you start fighting PvP battles, because you can be certain that there will be those who also ascribe to this method of approach. Knowing all the possibilities is the key. Understanding the game will help you understand how others will play :D

[BETA] Pet Pattles :: The REAL Pandarian Gold Sink

The only pet that matters is the one you can sell. Discuss.

You can expect an update on my Pet Battling Adventures later today, but I'm going to start this morning with what I think is going to be a more significant development. I'm pretty certain I've thrown around the much-overused 'game-changer' phrase in relation to this new mini game. I've heard it referred to as a profession in certain circles over the last week and I'm beginning to realise that description is more apt than I first grasped. The potential to make a living via this medium is potentially limitless. This could be a full-time job ^^

I am already seeing reports of pet sales on the increase in the game as it stands, presumably as people start realising the nature of the battling beast. However pets on Live right now are vastly different animals to the ones used for battling. The key is two-fold, and involves both numbers and colours.

You can capture up to three of the same pet. This is significant.

There are a number of key factors to consider in the process of pet capture:
  • As you can see from the screenie, you can hold up to three copies of the same pet. 
  • A wild pet, when captured, will be assigned a random rarity value (which is illustrated with the colour of the box around the pet portrait)
  • A wild pet will retain the level which it was captured with
What does a rarity value bring to a pet?

So, with a different colour comes more possibilities...

As you can hold three copies of the same animal, any battler would be worth their while fighting multiples of the same potential addition, to keep the one with the best quality for levelling. That could leave an awful lot of 'spares' for AH sale. What also needs to be considered is whether, once the system goes live, there will two 'types' of pets in the game world: the ones that you can only obtain via Pet Battling and the 200 plus pets that existed before the concept was introduced. Some of those inside the system we know are excluded from trading, but many aren't.

The key issues to consider therefore are:
  • Rarity value of Wild Pets
  • Rarity value of 'existing' pets
  • Level of pet itself
  • Significantly, an attractive combination of the above
This may have a direct bearing on those people actively stockpiling pets for resale once the game goes 'live', especially as Blizzard have confirmed that any multiples of pets you may have on alts will be 'refunded' to you once Pandaria appears, and will be deposited in your bags or left in your mailbox. What is as yet unclear (because my pet battles do not allow me to use any pets other than the ones I have collected via battling or I had waiting for me via the mailbox) is what level/rarity all the other existing pets will have once you begin the game live. It would be logical to assume everyone will start at level one in a personal collection, but what will happen to pets that are still BoE? Will they have a level assigned to them? Could there be a distinction between pet types and will rarity be reflected in the BoE population?

Certainly the Argent Tournament pets, for instance, which are blue quality as of Live, should logically retain their colour (and by definition faster levelling abilities) come Pandaria. Suddenly the Hyacinth Wing Macaw (the only Epic pet drop so far in game) could garner significant additional value... but I'm betting it would be worth so much more when maximum levelled by a judicious trainer before being placed on the AH, and suddenly a new possibility presents itself. You don't want to sell 'raw' pets on the AH any more: you will want to train them first before they are caged and put up for auction, because after the chaos of the first few months dies down the real value will be in the time you take to make a simple pet worth something far more. An investment in time will genuinely pay dividends for those collecting the coins.

If, like me, you are one of the people stockpiling pets for sale come Pandaria, it might be time to consider an addition of a new alt to your family: not one who'll gather or make items via Professions, but one who's sole job is to train. With achievements and pet levels working across an entire Battle.net account it might well be the moment to give a dedicated character the task of managing this new (potential) income stream. Sadly I doubt you'll be able to name them Ash... though Ketchum was available on my server and is now taken... :D

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Joy of Random

This an avocado.

I am a little more random this morning than I have been for a while, and in between the faffing and the domestic tasks and the musical accompaniments my mind tends to wander.  As a result, many random thoughts are percolating around my head, and to save clogging up Twitter any more than I normally do, I have decided to make a post out of them...


In no particular order...


  • Just how 'based in tradition' will the Blizzard release schedule be? Is it going to be eight weeks before when the the announcement is made? This would mean (theoretically) if it happened today that's early September for me to get enough gold...
  • How many of my family will demand new outfits before the Expansion? Just how likely is it I'll be able to provide them?
  • How robust is my planning when taking into account the fact a lot of prep time could co-incide with kids' Summer Holidays, which is traditionally the time when I play the least?
  • Why won't anyone in a bloody instance DROP THE MOUNTS I COVET DAMMIT!
  • Just how insane is the server likely to get when the announcement hits? If pre-Cataclysm is any indicator it is likely to be pretty strange...
  • Why did I put so many Savoury Deviate Delight on the AH to start with?
  • Maybe having no sugar for the week is beginning to affect my ability to write coherent blog posts...

Pandaria Release Date :: Just HOW Imminent, Exactly?

I can upgrade my Collector's Edition? SWEET!

MMO has evidence of upgrades available on US accounts, with box art, but no obvious date. My account has an 'upgrade available' in the EU.

The question then becomes:


Monday, July 16, 2012

[BETA] Pet Battles :: Additional Information

So much information in one window... :D

I've been asked by a couple of people if I can provide more information on how battles actually function: the problem currently on beta is, with so many people trying to fight, things are beginning to break. The concensus is this has something to do with the phasing that takes place whenever you move into a 'battle window'. Currently I'm suffering from the same issue most people seem to have: you begin a battle and your pets automatically die. Having tried this in a couple of zones I'd say beta has done its job and showed a major issue with the mechanic. Until Blizzard fix it, here's what I learnt:

  • There will be a distinct advantage to levelling certain pets before others, assuming that the NPC's you need to battle keep the same basic teams (see below)
  • It will also probably be a sensible suggestion to level one of each major pet 'types' so you have a range of animals with varied abilities.
  • When you capture a Wild Pet, it maintains the level with which it was capped. I am assuming this means the higher level zone you go to, the higher level the pet itself. Thanks to @Cymre on Twitter for confirming this is the case :D
  • Swapping a pet (Button 4) will forfeit your turn. However, if you have a pet on low health that might die if not swapped it is worth the loss. If you win the battle you will get XP for every pet that took part.
  • Capturing a pet also awards XP to your Battle Pets. There is no penalty therefore for not winning the fight if it is a pet you don't have.
Passive skills are worth considering when picking your pets.
  • Certain pets will be an advantage in your team as 'all-rounders' Having a passive that allows the pet to come back to life, for instance, can be useful in longer fights. AoE/DoT abilities will also be useful if fighting multiple opponents in NPC battles.
  • As you capture pets in higher level areas, remember to clear any wandering mobs around you. There are also places that won't allow battles if there is not enough room to move:
You survive, Stormwind Rat, until next time...!

Just before everything broke for me, I was about to start my second NPC trainer battle:


Is his first name Michael? Will I get a fruit bag if I beat him?

This will be my first three-pet fight, and I'm going to take a guess from the team MacDonald sends out that trainers will use pets indiginous to the area with which to battle you. Again, some knowledge will be useful here: knowing what pet types you will face will give you a chance to train appropriate opponents, to make the fights fast and ensure your victory.

Let's hope they move fast to fix the issues on beta, as I am quite looking forward to continuing to play this 'mini-game'... :D

Sunday, July 15, 2012

[BETA] Pet Battles :: From the Beginning

[PLEASE NOTE: This Beta information only, and as a result may be subject to change on release]

It's my first time. Be gentle :D

As expected, Pet Battles are now live on Beta. After some game play, I can confidently say the following:
  • Some people will do this instead of actual levelling.
  • Many people will get very VERY involved in this.
  • Blizzard are geniuses.
Other people are already compiling very detailed and (far more useful) guides than I will ever be capable of. This therefore will be what I know I'm going to need to grasp to make sure I can play once the games go live.

Where are the Pet Trainers?

They are in every capital, and outside said capitals. When Pandaria hits I'd strongly suggest being anywhere BUT Stormwind to begin your training, but you will be forced to go there in the sequence. It's one more reason to start in Ironforge. For the purposes of this exercise however, meet the Elwynn Trainer:


You can tell he's a Pet Trainer... :D

How do you start Battles?

You need the skill to battle and to track battle pets, both available from the Trainer. Once you have them, you need to pick a pet to battle with:


Pet Battle window. Gonna get less complicated eventually.

Okay, let us go through this by the letters:

Selecting a pet in the left hand menu brings up the pet at A. Here you can see that each pet can have up to six skills, but only three can be used per fight. Stupid (my Murloc, will have better names honest) has only one skill currently available, the other five can be learnt once he levels (to 2, 4, 10, 15, 20) We can see he is a Humanoid, has 174 health, 15 power and 15 speed. Speed (it appears) dictates how fast a pet goes into battle, and these three figures should change as you level.

Area B is your first active Battle Pet slot (where my Serpent Hatchling resides) Here you have an experience bar and the three spells that you can use. The spells are in pairs, with a drop-down window that will let you choose which spell to use as they become available. You'll need to get a pet to level three to gain access to the second slot (C), and level five to get the third.

D is important: if a pet(s) dies in battle you can use the Revive Battle pets ability to bring them all back to life with full HP. If this is on cooldown, you can go and find a Stable Master who will perform the same task.


Suddenly, Stable Masters have a whole new task to perform...

What Happens when you Battle...?

There is a questline to ease you into the process of battling: you'll be sent out to find and defeat a wild pet as your first task:


Gotta move fast on the beta: everyone's trying to catch them all...

You will be looking for the green paw icon: they pop up on your minimap too, so keep your eyes open. There are also pets available inside the capitals too if it gets too stressful hunting them down with the crowds. Once you find your pet, left click it to start your fight. Cue the dramatic battle music!


Click for larger. It is worth it.

So, let us explain the Battle Pet Interface:

A are your fight combatants. You are on the left, opponent on the right. The fighting pet shows with level and health, and you take turns (unsurprisingly) to slap each other.  You must select your spell first, then the computer will chose and then the 'round' will play out. Your combat log (E) shows the round, what spells are used and the damage they do when cast.

I picked the Serpent for a reason: it is capable of a DoT/AoE attack which can last across multiple rounds. If such a spell is applied to the battlefield it will show at B and an indicator will show on the spell bar at C as to how many rounds it will be before you can use it again (in this case 4) Clearly you'll want to start your fight with an AoE if you have it and let it do damage over time while you use another spell. D is the other important spell in the early rounds, especially as many fights are buggy. Wave your white flag to surrender and to leave the interface if anything goes wrong.

This therefore is how you begin, and questing introduces you to the following:
  • Winning your first fight
  • Learn where to heal your pet
  • Battle a pet to Level Three, thus opening up your second pet slot
  • Learn how to catch a pet
This should be self-explanatory...

You'll also see, next to the locked ability I am yet to learn via levelling, an icon that allows you to swap pets during battles, which opens up once your second slot does.

Once you have captured a pet, you'll be sent to battle your first trainer. Yes, you get to fight NPC's with NPC pets :D

Bring it, Julia!

Same rules apply, except this time it's 2 v 2. The canny person will be checking out the pet trainers before the game goes live to ensure they have strong teams to defeat them quickly (in this case, snakes are I believe critters, so you'll want abilities that do a + damage to them.) If your ability automatically has a modifier to your opponent's pet it will show on your spell bar (green arrow up for a plus, red arrow down for a minus) so the smart amongst you will start picking teams appropriately.

Yes, you will :D

That is as far as I have got so far, but you can expect more as I play with this. Needless to say, I reckon this feature was well worth waiting for...

Farming Today: Vanilla Zones (50+) Silithus

When its raining outside, sand is a decent alternative...

In the first of what will be a regular series leading up to the new expansion, I will be sharing some of the places you can find me farming in across Azeroth. When I say 'farming' I mean just that: killing lots and lots of mobs: some for their skins, some for their drops. No fancy AH flipping or stacking here either: drops all get listed, cheapest at Auction. The object of the exercise is just to make it sell.

This week, I have been mostly playing in Silithus. A /who in the zone whenever I've entered has shown me as the only person there (on Alliance) which is a luxury I won't have come Pandaria: once zones merge it will be more than likely I'll meet one of you good people there (if you're on the EU Realms) so I am most definitely making hay while the sun shines.

What's On Offer?

Silithus has a number of distinctly unique advantages to its name:

  • Air and Earth Elementals on a really quick spawn timer (with added reputation)
  • Many, many skinnable mobs.
  • Humanoids (with added reputation)
  • Two instances in the zone (AQ20, AQ40) both with reputation.

Before You Begin...

Farming is only useful if a) you don't get bored of it and b) you maximise the time you do have. I only farm in one hour bursts. Any more and I get frustrated, so it makes sense to apportion a set time to do the task and then move on to something more entertaining. I pick zones where I can maximise the materials I farm. That means taking a skinner to zones (like Silithus) with a high leather yielding population. However, with Earth elementals (and the fact that even low-level mobs can now be mined for additional materials) a Miner is a good choice or, as is my case, a miner and herbalist.

Also, remember these key points when farming like this:

  • Go with EMPTY BAGS. Why? because EVERYTHING SELLS: whether it be to a vendor or on the AH.
  • YES SELL EVERYTHING. Grey vendor trash has a value, and it all adds to your totals.
  • Run with a copy of Wowhead open: if something drops and you don't know what it is, check it out. It could be worth a lot more than you first realise.
  • EVERYTHING HAS A VALUE. The good farmer is a knowledgeable one: learn to associate what you farm with how it sells, and to notice the high value items quickly.

What You'll Get!


1. Rugged/Thick Leather, plus Thorium and Truesilver.

I spent a lot of time in Silithus during the end of Wrath, grinding my Brood of Nozdormo rep and completing the Sceptre of the Shifting Sands questline before key elements vanished. One of the biggest single changes in Cataclysm meant the Silithid stopped yielding insect-specific crafting mats and instead began dropping Thick and Rugged Leather instead. This means that, outside an instance, this zone becomes one of the best places to grind those two types in small areas. The respawn rate in the hives is very robust, and if you take a skinner/miner there's a near infinite supply of Thorium/Truesilver to be had around the hives themselves. Again, respawn times are very healthy.

2. Sungrass, Mountain Silversage, Golden Sansam, Dreamfoil

If you come with a miner/herbalist or a helrbalist/skinner, there's still a lot of useful stuff to be gathered.

3. Essence of Air/Essence of Earth.

The two static populations of Elementals to the west of the zone are where I have made the bulk of my cash in the last week. Essence of Air is a decent % drop from the Dust Stormers, and with it comes Breath of Wind and Elemental Air, which is a key constituent in the making of Truesilver Transformers for Engineers (along with Elemental Earth which drops from the Desert Rumblers)

The Transformers fit into a lot of Engi recipes (including the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti) and the Air is a key part of a number of Heirloom Enchants. Needless to say, I can't farm these fast enough. With a miner/herbalist in this small area you'll have full bags in well under an hour, and have the chance to pick up some Vanilla recipes which might be worth a great deal more than you realise: my highlight for this week was the Elixir of Dream Vision. It netted a cool 8000g on the AH, mid-week :D

4. The Twilight's Hammer.

Essential if you're wanting to farm Cenarian Circle rep pre-Pandaria, droppers of large quantities of Runecloth and Encrypted Twilight Text (which can also be turned in for rep) and basically a nice change if you're fed up with everything else... but not that good for cash. Sadly a lot of the Windstone mechanics are broken, and the zone in this respect could really do with a freshen up. However, if you see the Twilight Prophet wandering about make sure you kill her as she'll give extra Cenarian Circle rep and drops between 6-10 texts in one hit.

5. Rare Spawns.

If you are one of those types that likes to dabble in mogging items, the L50+ zones have a fair number of rares, guaranteed to drop a green-quality reward:

My cache list. Some clearly more rare than others...

However if you want to hunt rares for maximum profit, you'd be far better off in the Blasted Lands. This post tells you why.


6. AQ20/AQ40

The two instances are covered in great detail in many places, so I won't bother here. Needless to say, AQ20 is on a 3 day raid timer and is a great additional source of rugged leather, and takes my hunter 30 minutes to clear. If you fancy a change of scenery (and have an enchanter who could make maximum use by DE-ing the drops) it might be worth a look.


In Conclusion.

For me, the key to Silithus' success right now is that no-one else is there. This gives me completely unrestricted access to everything I want, at whatever time of day I have an hour window to farm in. AH sales have been strong, consistent, and often my items have sold as soon as they have listed (and no, I'm not too cheap, before you ask ^^) The only current restriction for me right now is time, and that means I'll be happy to keep going back.