Saturday, 22 October 2011

First Thoughts - Mists of Pandaria FAQ

So they went and done it and put Pandas into WoW. As expected there was a lot of reaction from the official community along with the usual number of 'I quit !!!!' posts.

So some people do take this game very seriously indeed, there was a good post on the forums which explianed why this thinking was flawed using Taurens and Worgen as examples.

I have to admit I was a little dubious about the Pandas, but not enough to even consider a rage-quit. In fact I signed up for Annual Pass, this is a great deal unless you are going to rage quit. The value of the bonus items; an exclusive mount and a free copy of Diablo 3 amount to some 5+ months of the subscription and then there is the automatic beta invite.

So on to the FAQ

The Pandaren start at level 1 and have there own start area before arriving in the normal zones just like Goblins and Worgen. I wonder how chat will be handled, presumably you can all chat until you pick your faction at level 10.

Monks are hybrids Tank/Healer/DPS and will play in a beat'em up style, no auto attack.

Pandaren cannot become death knights, the only race that cannot.

Level cap raised to 90

A big focus on things to do at level cap apart from raiding/arenas

New minigame involving vanity pets

No new professions

Major overhaul of talents that can be picked independently of spec.

No flying in Pandaria until level cap

Friday, 12 August 2011

King Slacker?

I have recently been spending a bit of time on my only level 85 character. A Death Knight (of course) who I had gradually got to level cap just before patch 4.2 was released. Because I wanted to do the new dailies it meant doing most of the Hyjal quests, although I had levelled in Vashj’ir. I still had a lot of zones to complete and ended up hoping from one zone to the next without completing any. As a result I only unlocked the Deepholm quests a week ago, still at least now I can do my 25 daily quests (2 in Orgrimmar, 7 in Deepholm and 16 in Firelands). I don’t always manage to do them everyday either.

I had been languishing in the lower level of our guild up until a couple of weeks ago. Our guild is far from hardcore, we reached level 18 yesterday and have our 2nd anniversary coming up next week. In fact we embrace our reputation as slackers. This has allowed me to ‘stealth’ my way into the top ten on the lifetime guild activity list, I would have only been 11th but we kicked out some people who had been inactive for over 3 months. In fact last week I was top of the weekly activity, largely due to completing the Deep into Deepholm achievement before moving on to Uldum. After one day of this weeks dailies I am comfortably ahead on weekly activity of all those ahead of me on the lifetime list.

I found it necessary to gear up in order to make the Firelands dailies less of a struggle, you see I haven’t been inside an instance since Azjol-Nerub (the only instance I have completed on this character). A trip to Ask Mr Robot showed me how to get some AH gear up to the job, I still lack a few pieces and have some reputation to grind for others. However it shows you can gear up without grouping if you have some gold to spend, I have probably spent over 45k gold so far. 27k on a weapons alone! Fortunately my mining ‘research’ in Outlands has led to a steady stream of gold as well as from Herbalism/Skinning on my DK. It is well worth taking your time in Firelands as there are plenty of mobs to skin. In spite of this my gold is very much depleted.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Instances - the non-gamer and me

My non-gamer friend and I are working our way through 2-manning instances as we level (currently at level 56). Mainly the instances are green when we do them. This means we get XP and some gear upgrades from them, although they are also supported by Tailoring, Blacksmithing and Engineering (no heirlooms though). We also make good use of Elixirs and buff foods enchants etc. So far we have cleared all the instances up to Black Rock Depths with the exception of RFC (we have never grouped through LFG) and SFK (last boss stopped us at the appropriate level). We have also done all the bosses except Willey Hopebreaker (Stratholme – the Horde), damage races will remain a problem when two manning content. We haven’t one shotted all the content though, Dire Maul – Grodok Commons in particular was a stiff challenge with us even wiping on trash at times.
She won’t play female characters, I balance this by making all my tanks female – although we have done all the instances on my warrior so far. And won’t play Horde, they are too ugly.

The non-gamer has gone from struggling with moving and fighting their way around the start zone (1-5) to suggesting boss strategies and playing the auction house. Crafting professions however still remain something they don’t have any interest in, they tried enchanting but didn’t really get it. On the other hand I have come to dread them calling “Oh! Herbs!” Especially in instances. They have at various points cornered the low level leather market (up to heavy leather). They even feel comfortable with the gamer terminology used in game. Far from just being a healer to my tank they suggest strategies, some of which work.
We try to attempt instances 1-2 levels below the top level and there is a degree of imbalance from one instance to the rest, Dire Maul was a speed bump (due to being not completely downgraded) but after that it was business as usual. We are trying to see how far we can go with two manning the instances but there may come the day when we will invite an outsider in, both of us are un-guilded. That time has not yet come but when it does it will be someone from the same realm as us EU-Mazrigos.

Two manning instances allows you to really see how the boss mechanics work and forces you to plan out the fights. In fact we now are at a point where we have to take a raider approach, stocking up on supplies and reading boss strategies (well okay I do that stuff and they listen). Stocking up means elixirs, food and as an engineer (bombs). I learned goblin engineering and the Bigger One is proving very useful in some situations – big radius plus 3 second stun. They have a discipline priest and usually account for around 25% of the total damage. Currently I have almost the full imperial plate set, enough for the set bonus anyway.
Neither of us are expert players, but we have found the right level of challenge.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Twitter added

While I am not a huge fan of twitter I have added a twitter link and will be adding a few tips there between the main content.

You can find me at the_greygamer

I am currently 'tweeting' my in-game activities

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Gold per Hour - Update

I am still working on the mining component for this guide. I will publish some of my findings on this blog but the complete figures are probably best put in a separate document.

Rather than just publish a list of what zones are best for each type of ore I have expanded my research to eventually cover all the zones with accurate data for all. I think this can be useful for those who have to farm at busy times where a less productive zone can be more productive due to less competition.

To this end I have run Darkshore 14 times so far, for a grand total of almost seven hours on a level 42-44 Druid with a 60% mount and the bountiful bags bonus. If you eliminate the bountiful bags bonus (+15%) I have collected 82 stacks of copper ore or about 242 copper ore per hour. Just check what the current selling price is on your realm to see the gold per hour and this is what you should expect for a level 20 character.

I have also made a start on the best Tin and Iron zones. Unfortunately I have limited time for this research at the moment so it is slow progress. The figures for copper are starting to look quite consistent though and it is becoming clear that there are different 'best' routes for the different factions. These are based around making good use of the flightmasters in each zone.

In Darkshore for example, I have a route that starts at Grove of the Ancients and finishes at Lor'Danel, Such an approach allows some zones to be broken into shorter routes that can be tailored to the time available.

I should be able to put up a post on copper ore for the Alliance soon and I will be covering selling the ore as well. The only problem I can see is that copper and tin should be covered together because they combine to make bronze. This combination can unlock a lot more profit from mining than just copper alone.

I have started a couple of Horde gatherers on another realm to cover that faction, and as a side project made a druid and a paladin to see which is best. I will start on these once they reach level 20.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Gathering - Optimising

Traditionally gathering (mining/herbalism) has been a good way to get extra gold while levelling, in Cataclysm you also earn xp. As a result this has encouraged more people to level gathering and this means lower prices in the auction house. Gathering is still a good source of extra income though. If you want to make the best use of time spent gathering there are a number of factors to consider.

Night Elf – Shadowmeld (useful for ending combat and especially useful for druid gatherers)
Worgen – Darkflight (40% bonus to run speed for 10 seconds can help you get out of combat or get to a node quickly)
Tauren – Cultivation (+15 bonus to herbalism and fast gathering speed)
Goblin – Rocket Jump (Jump forward a short distance), Pack Hobgoblin (access to bank while out of cities)

There is a bit of a debate as to which class is the most efficient. While any class can make profit from gathering, it seems to come down to one of two classes as being the most efficient, Druid or Paladin. This is simply a question of which class can cover the most ground the quickest.
Retribution paladins can get a talent that gives them a 15% bonus to run or mounted speed, and all paladins get Crusader Aura at level 62 which gives a 20% bonus to mounted speed (this doesn’t stack with other movement bonuses.)
However the druid brings movement and other advantages, namely stealth and fast movement underwater. Feral druids can get speed by putting their first two talent points in Feral Swiftness which gives a 30% bonuses to run speed while in cat form (even if stealthed).
Both of these will at times give an advantage that the paladin has no answer to.

Mount up - gives a 10% bonus to mounted speed and is available at level 3,
Bountiful Bags - gives a 15% bonus to all you gather but can only be found in guilds level 23 and above.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Gold per Hour - Skinning part II

Skinning in the 10-60 zones

Heavy Leather
Zone: Feralas
Mobs: Feral Scar Yeti (37)
Method: There are Yetis outside the cave, kill and skin these before moving into the tunnel. Beyond the tunnel is a cave complex with three branches. Clear the initial area before moving to the right branch, after clearing this you can jump down to the next branch and follow this to the area you started at then clear the remaining branch. Mobs will start to respawn in the area(s) you previously cleared. When the cave is cleared re-trace your steps back to the tunnel and clear the area outside the tunnel again.
Heavy Leather 130
Thick Leather 64
Heavy Hide 6
Silk Cloth 158
Total gold value 382

Thick Leather
Zone: Un’Goro Crater
Mobs: Dimetradon (49-52)
Method: Start from Marshal’s Stand and kill the Dimetradons immediately to the south, then work your way clockwise around the camp.
Thick Leather 92
Rugged Leather 52
Thick Hide 4
Rugged Hide 4
Total gold value 450

Rugged Leather
Zone: Winterspring
Mobs: Ice Thistle Yeti (51-52)
Method: Clear both sides next to the slope that runs up to the cave proper. I like to kill packs of 4-5, after 3 packs I skin all the corpses. I only go a shortway into the cave before returning to the areas outside.
Thick Leather 63
Rugged Leather 84
Thick Hide 5
Rugged Hide 10
Runecloth 62
Total gold value 581