Friday, 29 October 2010

The Gnomer run

I logged in the other day on my flying mount in Wormrest Temple and got a whisper from a level 75 Death Knight who asked where I got the 5k gold from (they were still 2k short). The most likely answer would be I have alts or a gathering profession, and while I do have a number of alts (none above level 51) my professions are both at level 1.
I explained to him a way you can get around 80 gold an hour on a low level (42+) character. First off I want to thank Marco for his monthly blogging carnivals and for showing me how to do this.
Here is a link to the post in question
While that post suggests a complete clear of the instance. I approached it slightly differently because my time was quite tight and I had other things I wanted to do in game.

I made a routine of doing a Gnomer run whenever I logged in but set a time limit of around 40 mins. This is a great way to get extra gold if you lack a high level character, think of it as the equivalent to doing dailies in Northrend for gold.

Because my Death Knight is on the Horde faction getting to Gnomer is initially a little difficult. First I had to get the quest Find Scooty for the Goblin Transponder. After that it was pretty easy to use the teleport to get to the instance. I did Gnomer runs on my level 64 DK, a L51 Hunter and a L42 Hunter, by basing a character in Booty Bay it is very easy to get to the instance and return to Booty Bay to dispose of my drops. There is a repair NPC next to the teleport and an inn and postbox nearby.

Instead of clearing the instance I just cleared the walkways up to the Clean Room before killing all the Gnomes in there. After that I would run between the cleaning machines until I either ran out of bag space or Grime Encrusted Objects. At this point I could run back to the teleport and then return back to the instance, which had not reset. Personally I also did the Trogg Tunnels event (looting the box of assorted parts) and cleared the platform with Troggs (there is always a chest and box of assorted parts there). Despite having 20-25 bag space I usually had to return to Booty Bay before I could convert most of the Grime Encrusted Objects. Hunters are good at this because of a faster run speed, by running between the two closest polishing machines you can maximise your time spent.

The mobs that drop the Grime Encrusted Objects are both out side and inside the instance, the ones inside the instance seem to have a higher drop rate and re-spawn so in theory you could spend as much time doing this as you like.

This is a typical run;
I have a character based in the Booty Bay Inn, run to the teleport and clear all the mobs to the instance entrance. They also drop silk and wool cloth.
Clear all the walkways on this level, first going right and then left.
Speak to the Gnome to start the Trogg tunnel event, make sure you kill them away from the tunnel entrances so you can loot them after the entrances are sealed.
Continue clearing the walkways all the way to the cog platform, reached by a small plank.
Usually I was out of bag space at this point so I ran back to teleport and sold greys, repaired and mailed out the rest to a bank alt.
Return to the instance killing the few re-spawns.
Clear all the mobs in towards the Clean Room, I used to go via the Dormitory.
Clear all the Gnome mobs in the Clean Room (not necessary if you are Alliance plus you have the advantage of a mailbox and vendor in this case I would recommend clearing the dormitory as well).
By this time I would have 30-40 Grime encrusted objects to convert at 3 silver each, while you will get some junk you will also get Copper,Tin and Silver Ore as well as pearls and low level gems all of these sell well on the AH.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Weekend to Oct 25

A bit of a mixed weekend as technical issues after an emergency patch and a very long F1 race cut pretty deeply into my playing time. Looking at the positives, I got my DK on Darkspear to level 65 so getting jewelcrafting and blacksmithing to max level is just a case of getting the mats together.

The AH on Darkspear is not generating much income for me so I started running daily quests on my Warlock to boost my income a bit. The reson for this is probably that after the patch people have jumped back on to their mains.

I’m running the Ebon Hold and Kalu’ak quests as well as the daily at Wormsrest Accord, these bring in around 100g and as well as 1-2 stacks of frostweave cloth worth another 10g. I don’t have Kalu’ak or Wormrest Accord at exhalted yet so that would get me the 15 exhalted reputations achievement. I have a couple of crafted items from ToC patterns on my Warlock which has pushed mana and health past 20K making these runs very easy (I haven’t gemmed or enchanted these pieces yet). Inspite of this Immolate/Incinerate/Combustion are enough to kill most mobs in under 4 secs.

On Hellfire I got my DK to level 75 in 5.25 hours played I have added in dailies which means I shall have plenty of gold to level my professions. At the moment I have 2 Kalu’ak quests, the Defence of Wormrest Spire and Drake Hunt. These don’t take much time to complete and give good xp and gold for the time invested. The quests in Borean Tundra are still offering efficient levelling. I haven’t been running instances because in the time I complete an instance I can run quests for well over 100k xp. It took another 5.25 hours to hit level 76 although that included a trip back to Undercity to clearout my bags, it is worth keeping free bag space to 15-20 every time you are at an inn/mailbox.

Quest breakdown;
Borean Tundra 135/150
Howling Fjord 53/105
Dragonblight 99/130
Grizzly Hills 9/75
Zul'Drak 1/100

Total quests 822
Daily Quests 18

I also started a little preparation work on my Paladin, once my DK is level 80 this will be the character I am levelling so I got mining to 330 ready for Ungoro Crater. I put talents into Protection as this seems best suited to gathering, I was surprised at how low the xp for mithril ore was though, hopefully thorium will be more in line with the zone. Eventually my druid will take over the mining role but at level 8 it will be after Cataclysm, hopefully my paladin will be well into Outland by then (level 64?)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

the week to Oct 22

My Death Knight on Hellfire reached level 74, time taken was 5.25 hours. It probably would have been less but I was just doing quests as I came to them. Much of this was done in Dragonblight, quests seemed to run out of just short of level 74. This was without doing any quests in Borean Tundra though, fortunately I found some quests at Moa'ki Harbour including a daily repeatable.
I'm moving into Borean Tundra, although it is a level 68-72 zone many of the quests are still amber and giving around 20k xp and it leads to another daily quest.
The daily quests are going to become part of my daily levelling process, they give a little extra gold and extra reputation.

On Darkspear where I am mainly active in the AH, prices are a bit messed up. Material costs have risen but crafted items are either selling slowly or at much reduced prices. It could be that people are clearing out stock in anticipation of Cataclysm. Because of the patch, profession specialisations have disappeared so that Ebonweave/Spellweave/Moonshroud cloths now require twice as many mats as before. I didn't prepare for this but I did immediately adjust my prices, as a result I haven't been able to sell all of these cloths at competitive prices for now. Emerald bags still sell consistently though so I'm just holding steady on the AH. I'm going to start doing some dailies with my Warlock to bring in some extra gold in the meantime. This way I should be able to take advantage of any bargains that I find. I probably spend over 800g on mats a day when prices are right.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The cast for Cataclysm

Time to introduce my characters, I will be creating some new ones during Cataclysm but this is how things stand at the moment

Hellfire (Horde)
Main – Death Knight L73
expect to be level 80 by the release of Cataclysm
Alt – Hunter L42 (Skinning/Engineering)
hope to get to Outland for Cataclysm
Alt - Paladin L50 (Mining/Blacksmithing)
hope to get to Northrend for Cataclysm
Bank Alt – Druid L7 (Mining/Herbalism)
This will be my gathering character in Cataclysm
Inactive Shaman L44 (Herbalism/Leatherworking)
Mage L42 (Tailoring/Enchanting)
Warlock L40 (Alchemy/Inscription)

Darkspear (Alliance)
Main – Warlock L80 (Tailoring/Enchanting both 450)
Levelling – Death Knight L74
Levelling to L75 to max out Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing
Levelling – Druid L46 (Mining/Herbalism)
Gathering alt

Vek’Nilash (Alliance co-op)
Main – Warrior L63
levelling with a L64 Druid
Bank Alt – Priest L??

Aerie Peak (Inactive - Horde)
Druid L50
Priest L50
Warrior L65
Rogue L48

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Patch 4.0.1 – the first week

When a new expansion is launched there is always a major patch to the game. However the changes for cataclysm include changes to how all the classes play. For those that use addons it is especially stressful, many players look upon some of these addons as being part of how they play. Nearly all addons did not work and some will not be replaced in their current form. For these reasons the first week or so after the patch were always going to test players, anyone who visits the official forums cannot help but see the complaints (or QQ) about the various changes. Fans of Player versus Player (PvP) were especially dismayed because as the developers admitted the patch temporarily unbalanced PvP.

For an altaholic, such as myself, it is a big challenge simply because I play so many different classes. I am actively playing four classes (Death Knight, Hunter, Druid and Warrior) all of which had to pick talents from the new smaller talent trees and learn how to use my spells/abilities after the changes. In addition some classes had the way their resources (Mana etc.) altered so that the old play styles would not work.

I didn’t log on until the evening after the patch, because my work means I only get a little time during the week to play. Although I had played without addons in the Beta, I hadn’t been using the auction house either and this is somewhere where I heavily rely on a few addons. I was too tired to be honest to do lots of manual calculations to make sense of things so I left it for another day.

Next up was my hunter. I had been farming the Gnomeregan instance on my level 42 Orc hunter so this was a good chance to see if things were better or worse after the patch. First I had to deal with being unable to either summon my pet (a gorilla) or train a new one. Instead I had to find a trainer to learn the new ability of call pet 2, my initial pet was in a stable so I couldn’t summon it. At level 42 you can ‘carry’ 3 different pets on you which is useful, this number eventually goes up to 5. Once I had learned all the ‘new’ abilities and spent my talents (Beast Mastery) it was time to return to Gnomeregan.
My instance runs are quite short, no more than 45 minutes, and only take me as far as the Clean Room. Because of the new focus resource and that volley has been removed I had to play around with my rotations before finding one that worked. Hunters can no longer use aspect of the viper to regenerate (mana/focus) and instead I used steady shot to regenerate focus when it got low. Multishot now hits all enemies within 8 yards of the target and is a good enough replacement for volley, in fact the changes made things easier. Once I had re-learned how to play my hunter the run seemed easier than before.

Later on I switched to my main character, a level 71 death knight (DK), I had been using the blood tree but not wishing to be forced into tanking in instances it was time for a change. Because I have two death knights I could try out both trees, another option would be to dual spec which is now very affordable at 100 gold – down from 1,000 gold. I choose to use the Frost tree and change from a 2 handed weapon to two 1 handed weapons. It was at this point I started to miss another addon, DrDamage which shows information on each spell/ability. The addon author is in the process of updating it so until then I will have to work things out by trial and error. Eventually I did work out a rotation that worked for me, which went even smoother once I realised that frost presence is better than blood presence now (without it I found myself low on rune power). Over the coming days I levelled my death knight to level 73, the only issue being when attacked by multiple mobs – Frost cannot tank or at least I cannot.

I also had a brief look around on my gathering characters, ore and herbs now give XP – the amount depends on your level. However there is a bug with newly created characters that mean herbalism has to be re-learned every time you log on (or hit a loading screen?). There was a similar bug with fishing in the beta so this should be quite easy to fix.

In future I will try to post every few days, although many of these posts will most likely be shorter in nature with the occasional longer more detailed post.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A new Beginning

The Cataclysm starts here, today the EU is getting patch 4.0.1 and the changes that the expansion brings start to be implemented.

I am going to be posting on this blog my journey through Cataclysm, but first a quick rundown of what kind of WoW player I am. I am an altaholic but I'm not heavy into the endgame, I tend to play solo (except for PuG groups) whilst still being an officer in a long running guild. I play the Auction House, but I am not obsessed with being gold capped. I have a casual approach to the game but play over 30 hours a week. I follow a lot of WoW sites/blogs but don't min max. Oh and I was in the first wave of Beta testers, I gave feedback and posted on the forums but was not as thorough as some people seemed to think a beta tester should be.

When Wrath of the Litch King (WotLK) launched my highest level character was in the mid-60's but I also had a number of 40 something characters. Since then I have levelled a number of characters, but only have one level 80. Cataclysm is less than a couple of months away and I am just about to launch my second character into Northrend, I have a number of characters on three different realms in their 50's. I have learned so much and I am still learning.

Because I am an older gamer I didn't grow up with video games, indeed they grew up with me. As a result my skills are maybe less sharp than the average gamer and yet my hunger for them remains undiminished. It also means I have had to balance work and home with my favourite pastime.

My motivation for writing this blog is personal, a place to put my experiences and thoughts but I hope there will be good information here for the less hardcore player and we will all learn not to be so terrible at playing World of Warcraft. From time to time I will go off topic but the focus will be WoW and video games.