Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Use it or Lose it

Just a week away from the launch of Cataclysm and one thing that will happen is that all rested xp will be reset to zero. In other words any character below level 80 that you intend playing in before December 17th you should reduce their rested xp to zero before the reset. I have plans to be active on 4 characters that fit into the category which means using up that xp. This is in addition to levelling my 2 level 80’s.

My main focus now is on my Hunter, currently level 50 with at least a level of rested, once I have used up the rested I will attack the rested on a level 46 Druid and level 65 Death Knight.

One minor distraction has been trying to get a handle on the Herb market on Hellfire EU, I have a high level herbalist and I am still working out what things are worth and since patch 4.0.3a where herbs can be found. At least 2 herbs changed their names as well. I’m mainly going to be trying to exploit shortages in the market, though this did lead to an ill tempered exchange with someone who wanted to buy my goldthorn but wouldn’t pay the higher value I placed on it. Instead they decided that I should sell it for the lowest price I had seen it on the AH all week. In the end they decided I was a noob who hadn’t been playing WoW very long. My bank character was at the time sitting on over 4k gold but I couldn’t discuss it further as they put me on ignore. Fortunately I have a low level Scribe/Alchemist on the same realm who can make use of the herbs if the price drops. Still not everyone understands supply and demand.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

State of play on Cataclysm's eve

So Cataclysm starts here...
The zones for levels 1-60 are released and I expect over the next couple of weeks they will see a lot of activity, hopefully this will result in a lot of gathering data appearing on the internet. I have a level 80 on two different realms and while one is focused on crafting the other is a gatherer.

Status Report
Warlock (Tailor/Enchanter) level 80 – doing dailies for gold, working on Silver Covenent and Wormrest Accord.
Death Knight (Blacksmith/Jewelcrafter) level 65 – currently inactive
Druid (Miner/Herbalist) level 46 – currently inactive

Death Knight (Herbalist/Skinner) level 80 – levelling herbalism/skinning/fishing/cooking (all around 300)
Paladin (Mining/Blacksmith) level 64 – aiming to reach level 68 by December 6th
Hunter (Skinner/Engineer) level 49 – working on venomous ravarsaur mount, aiming to reach level 58 by December 6th
Druid (Miner/Herbalist) level 14 – bank alt

There is a lot of hype about realm firsts, there is no way I will get one of those and to be honest I have no interest in them. I am content to get to max level a few weeks later than the first wave, I do however want to take advantage of those that do. So my level 80 herb gatherer/skinner will be keeping a close eye on the AH. I have already started recording the price of herbs twice a day at times I am likely to post, this should help identify gaps in supply and the best herbs to gather for gold per hour. When I get back into the new zones I’ll be spending an hour in each to see what I can farm and recording the information. I’ll get a clearer picture of what sells once I start listing on the auction house. Something for a future post.

I intend to avoid getting frustrated by over populated zones while levelling my characters and my plan is to level my 80s initially in Northrend. My Death Knight has not done any quests in Icecrown or Storm Peaks and if my experience in the beta is correct just doing dailies can net around 25-35% of a level per day. The reduction of xp required for level 70-80 will leave my Paladin (mining/blacksmithing) in a strong position to reach level 80 quickly as well. Because all rested xp is to be reset to zero when cataclysm launches it is actually best to level a lower level character first so I may be spending some time on levelling my (currently) level 14 druid (mining/herbalism) however my weekday time will probably be largely used up just running dailies on my level 80. The advantage of delaying is that when I finally hit the new zones most of the bugs should have been fixed and the number of players competing for mobs should be much lower. The first few weeks in the beta were pretty frustrating with quest choke points so levelling my Paladin through Northrend and Hunter through Outland should be very time efficient.

Something that will take me away from that is keeping up with my girlfriend who rolled a druid on another realm, we plan to 2 man as many instances as possible. I created a Hunter but seem to be constantly a couple of levels behind here which makes holding aggro an issue (she heals my pet tanks). It also gave me an opportunity to see how much I have learned when it comes to rolling on a new realm, gold is a slight issue. I struggled at levels 5-15 due to little gold and no bag rewards, because she had Herbalism/Skinning I picked skinning and leatherworking. I found training costs kept me broke for much of the time and often I couldn’t train new skills until I was halfway through the level. All of this wasn’t made easy by the lack of a pet until level 10, fortunately I know how to kite. A stack of light leather sells for about 2 gold so eventually I was able to buy some better bags, as a rule I have around 20 slots available at level 21. I am just around even on gold at the moment. On the other hand she has over 100 gold from farming herbs! To try and catch up I have been running pick up groups without her and these do make for quicker levelling and of course there is good gear to be had. The only instance we have 2 manned so far is Ragefire Chasm (RFC) at level 18/20 but this was before patch 4.0.3a and many spells are going to be nerfed so it will be interesting to see when we can complete Wailing Caverns.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

My Death Knight got to within 5% of level 80 without doing any quests in Storm Peaks or Icecrown so it is looking like it will be possible to reach level 82 without even leaving Northrend. I got to L72 before leaving Outland, and still had a lot of quests to do there. Next time through I will start Northrend in Howling Fjord to get the Kalu'ak daily then switch to Borean Tundra because I want to make the dailies a big part of my levelling.

I tested levelling from 80 with dailies on the beta realm, although xp could be adjusted (gold rewards from dailies already have been reduced), it is an option if the new zones are overpopulated. This happened a number of times in early beta.

Running dailies on my L80 Warlock gained a good level percentage just from my normal morning run (22 daily quests) starting at level 80.94 I got to 81.24. 8 of those quests are 'PvP' however I have yet to encounter any other faction players while doing these quests and I doubt this will change when cataclysm launches.

Having a litle bit of gold on these characters I hope to buy a few nice uncommon (green) items on the auction house, though my Warlock shouldn't need them before hitting the first level 81 zone. I have 3 crafted raid epics from patterns I bought on the auction house and I haven't even bothered to gem or enchant them yet.

Because it seems that it will be difficult to max out some professions without getting to at least level 84, dailies in Northrend are going to be significant for those with crafting alts. However it looks like it might only take a week playing around 90 mins per alt to get to level 82.

My focus in live has now switched to my Hunter, people are raving about how overpowered Mages are but my level 44 Hunter is able to take on multiple mobs 4-5 levels higher with relative ease. I'm not brilliantly skilled so most players should be able to do this. I want to get to level 48 to unlock the Venomous Ravasaur mount quest at which point I'll be aiming to get my Paladin to at least level 68. Currently he is 10/20 on the ravasaur quest and L55.5, but with mining can level quite quickly.