The Ol’ Switcheroo; Alts are the New Mains

May 17th, 2008

While the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is going to offer many new and exciting aspects of WoW, there is one larger, more fundamental game change that could take place for many of us and is often overlooked; WotLK will bring the perfect opertunity to switch mains. Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about this, as my shaman get close and closer to level 70 and I dream about how fun it will be to raid with him as either enhancement or restoration, or both. And with the advent of Death Knights, how many people will can their original rogues or locks or whatevers in favor of the new, original, and unplayed class?



Personally, Death Knights sound kinda lame to me; WoW Insider posted a lot of updates this past week about the Death Knights, and it honestly sounds a lot less cool than I originally. It feels like three classes jumbled into one, with thinly-veiled attempts to make it seem totally new. And anyone that played Diablo II and rolled a Necromancer will tell you - fun at first, not so great a month later. And! The real kicker for me - you start out at level 55. Begging for Ramparts and Slave Pens run-throughs and hammering out the same Outlands quests on your “new, unique” toon is going to make it feel a lot less unique pretty darn fast; being in the middle of the grind myself, I can safely say that Llevel 55 to 70, maybe, but 55 to 80? No thanks.

Nonetheless, the expansion will allow many people burnt out on being “the sheep machine” or “the tank” a chance to either pick up one of their alts and race to the finish, or turn their Death Knight into their new head hancho. While the initial thought of this scares me a little bit - out of fear of losing all of our tanks and heals fed up with being exactly that - I wonder, what might keep someone from making the switch? Read the rest of this entry »

Boomkin Druids and spell haste: an epic re-post

May 15th, 2008

Murmurs boomkin haste guideThe following post is a copy and paste from the wow forums, courtesy of Murmurs, on the Shadowmoon server. Be sure to check the original for the original discussion.

In particular, the aspect of this thread that strike me as particularly insightful pertain to breaking down the entire analysis to several different tiers of haste stats. By chunking the breakdown starting at +47 haste amount, the analysis ties into the psychology of players thinking of their own prospects for gear in the next two-month time frame. This is so much better than the all too common haste account that assumes we are all being blessed with BT riches.

Notes on Boomkin Haste
Part I: Basics-

Spell haste is a stat found on a limited amount of higher end items that allows for spell to be cast at a higher rate. In general, you will not be seeing many spell haste items until you can get into Black Temple or Mount Hyjal, however Zul’Aman does have several haste items and a few can be purchased with Heroic Badges.

Things to watch out for when stacking spell haste is the fact that these items will usually have lower overall stats and not contain any spell hit or spell crit. Very, very few items before Sunwell, like three in total if I recall correctly, have both spell haste and spell hit or spell crit. Although spell crit is merely a side-issue, making sure that you reamin hit capped is extremely important for raid DPS.

Part II: Stepping Stones-
If you want to start stacking spell haste, there are a few things to take into consideration first. Foremost, how much spell haste can you get right away? If you cannot hit at least 47 spell haste, then the stat is essentially useless to you and is not at all worth having. If any other piece of gear offers similar stat values, it will almost always offer better DPS out-put than the haste item you are using. After you are able to hit 47 spell haste, which stats to choose becomes more difficult.

In general, you will see the best return from spell haste if you are able to reach a new second cap off of a Starfire cast. The numbers to shoot for are as follows:

47 haste - .1 seconds
109 haste - .2 seconds
172 haste - .3 seconds
235 haste - .4seconds
314 haste - .5 seconds

Read the rest of this entry »

Time is Money: The myth of market cornering

May 12th, 2008

Time is Money is a Raider’s Progress feature bringing together information from various wow web resources, but mainly, my own experience as I attempt to play wow efficiently while enjoying incredible wealth. You know how Uncle Scrooge from Ducktales used to swim around in that enormous vault filled with gold? Like that.

Woot. Big week last week. I bought a second epic flyer, and continued on the spending spree to hook up a 1k crafted weapon, all the mats for red belt of battle, and all the mats for every enchant you could possibly need for a t5 level raider - all from scratch. All of this is based on only a few weeks implementing the types of strategies i’m discussing here. At this point Im bringing in about 1000 gold a week, and the best part…it doesn’t even feel like i”m trying. I’ll check ah maybe three times a day. Sometimes, I’ll hit up a daily if some of my staple markets are flooded. At his point they almost always leave me feeling like, “damn, did I just take 10minutes to make 11gold. What a waste.” Ok, but enough about me, how about you?

A simple enough idea is that you want to corner a market. However, what would cornering a market in wow require? What markets are suitable for this type of control? What’s the risk? In general, I have found that wholesale market manipulation in wow is extremely difficult. The reason is farming. If i seek to corner, let’s say, primal fires, there is a relatively high chance that someone with a lot of time on their hands will just kill 1000 of these guys on some non-raiding friday night, and inject those goods into the market. This type of activity isn’t only easy in wow, it’s highly common. Many people embrace the farm psychology. Thank god that isn’t us, but it makes for rocky water when you think you’ve finally got the distribution of goods on the AH to buy em all up and take over.

Forget about cornering markets. There are much more subtle manipulations you can do that not only require less of an initial investment, but also feature less risk than looking to claim an entire market to yourself. Here are three different scenarios.

Getting in under the red.
I feel like it has to do with the timing of when wow-ers tend to use the AH. It seems to me like people list things after a night of playing, and buy things when they come home from school, and again around 7pm before raids. This fits nicely with a 24hour listing period, to create all sorts of situations where items are coming down in fat groups while a vastly different priced tier of the same item is freshly listed, as shown in the following image.

picture3.jpg

In these scenarios, you want to scoop up everything under 80% and list significantly higher. How much higher? I would not put these dreaming glorys at 21g, but closer to the 100% mark, to discourage other people from coming in and getting under my red post. Red is like beaming a message at sellers, make a profit on this guy’s high price.

Breaking items down
When asking players how they make their auction riches, one thing comes up time and time again - breaking big stacks into smaller stacks. However, if you dive into adamantite with this strategy you’re going to get burned. Here is a scenario perfect for breaking stacks down.

picture-7.jpg


Buy up that 20 AND 11 stack, breaking it down into 6-ers (because thats how much you need to make a flask or a few pots), and mark them at the 120% mark.

The Corner
Finally, here is an example of a great opportunity to corner. Now, sometimes there are 50 black lotuses on the market. I had watched these lotuses dwindle after about 2 days, and felt safe in that there would probably be another day or so before a big fresh flood of them into the market.

picture4.jpg

Buy up all of these bad boys and re-price at something like 10g50 a piece, maybe more. Gratz, youve just cornered black lotus. Get ready for 200% profits.

Silly, Silly Horde!

May 8th, 2008

So I logged on the other day with my toon was parked in the Scryer bank in Shattrath, and I came on to find a bunch of Horde having some fun with the bane of my newly-minted level 60’s existence - Hellfire’s Fel Reaver. “He’s back!”, I thought, “He’s followed me from the grave!!” But I soon saw that they had just kited him all the way from Hellfire, perhaps to get some help from the guards, but certainly to give everyone in the city a good chuckle. Well played, good sirs, well played.

Fel reaver down in shatt

I’ve seen other screenshots and videos of people kiting Omen (the nasty 2 headed dog that shows up during the Lunar Festival) all the way to Ogrimmar, and I think it’s pretty great; what a nice way to liven things up in a game that, lets face it, can become pretty monotonous with dailies and whatnot.

What sort of kookie stuff have you and your friends done? Who would you kite to Shattrath if you could? I personally would love to see the Hellfire general channel spam master, Doom Lord Kazzak himself, laying dead at the feet of A’lar!

Ding 60!! Wewt!

May 7th, 2008



So! After not posting about my shaman for a while, I come back with exciting news. Level 60! Wewt!

Right now you’re probably saying, “Cool! Grats, man! Hey…didn’t you skip a post? I thought these things were supposed to come every ten levels…” And in that you’d be right - I did skip a post. There was never any level 50 love here in the blog, and I apologize. But honestly, it wasn’t out of laziness, it was out of respect for you, the reader. There was just absolutely nothing to blog about with hitting level 50. I already had my mount, the cool spells have already come (in Windfury, Stormstrike, and the such), and the zones for that range sorta blow. By the time you reach level 45 you’ve burned through all the quests in Tanaris already (arguable the last fun zone for a while, with all those pirates), and you’re stuck either begging for instance groups for dungeons that are also not that fun (ZF you burn out on super fast), or being ineffecient by hopping around from zone to zone trying to do a couple quests here and a couple quests there.

The next time I found a solid zone with a lot of quests I could do was the late 40s-early 50s when I went to Felwood, and after that, Winterspring. I particularly enjoyed WInterspring, because not only are winter-based zones my favorite, but I never went there with my mage, so all the quests and maps were new. Plus, skinning those yetis got my leatherworking and skinning up to 300. And that was pretty much that - nothing new or really exciting to talk about, so I opted to let on fly by. And as I ran through the portal in the Blasted Lands, feeling like a champ, a couple really interesting things hit me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Grind

April 26th, 2008



Scarpia made a great post the other day about the new dailies, and I just wanted to take a minute and offer a couple more tips I’ve discovered regarding them. I’ve had a lot of free time this week so I’ve been able to do almost all of them, and here are a couple things I’ve figured out. All these pointers pertain to people who don’t have an unlimited amount of time to do dailies, but still want to make a pretty penny; if time isn’t an issue, you can go ahead and take your sweet time, doing all of them. But, who is so lucky? Anyways, a couple more tips:

  • Tip #1: Do all the quests (except the gathering ones) with a buddy. This is probably the best pointer there is, and I know Scarpia already mentioned it, but it’s absolutely worth bringing up again. Killing quests go twice as fast with a friend, and you’re less likely to get ganked (probably the biggest time waster of all). I often just invite whoever I’m by that I see questing, and say hello once they’ve joined the group. Or, if you fly to the Isle from Ironforge, you can start asking in the general channel as soon as you zone in. Either way, this is the biggie. If you want to do the gathering quests, I recommend doing those solo. The drop rates sort of suck, and it takes twice as long if you’re waiting for a buddy to get his 4 Mana Remnants, too.
  • Tip #2: Play Zone Defense. Another big time waster, which you’d never think about, is looting. Kill a mob, run to him, loot him, kill the next, run over, loot him too, etc. You’ll save a surprising amount of time by standing in one spot, pulling all the mobs you can reach over to you, letting them stack up, and loot them all at the same time once there are no more mobs that you could easily hit. This way, not only are you regenerating health and mana faster (since you’re out of the 5 second rule longer), but it’s just more effecient.
  • Tip #3: Don’t forget to blow coolddowns and trinkets all the time. The faster you’re killing a mob, the faster you’re finishing quests. Sometimes we only go into all out DPS mode when we’re all jazzed up for a boss fight; don’t forget you can super nuke regular mobs, too!
  • Tip #4: Never touch the Horde. Unless you’ve got an extra 30 minutes to burn, and enjoy being camped, don’t pick fights. If you see a menacing hode near you, you can even DoT up his mob, or help him out for one second. They like that. You could even wave. I know I know, I die a little inside every time too, but whatever saves time by keeping me from being ganked, right?
  • Tip #5: Pick all the quests up at the same time, and cash them in together. Once you’ve decided how much time you have that day to do dailies, pick all the quests that you’re going to do up for that zone, and only cash them in once you’ve finished them all. Running back to an NPC to cash in one quest, when you just have to run back to him 2 minutes later to cash in at the guy standing next to him is another time burner.

Hope those little pointers help. Is there anything you do to make your dailies go faster? Any other little tidbits you’ve found speed up the process?

Patch Notes 2.4.2: VOID REAVER FIXED, void reaver alarm FTW

April 25th, 2008

Void ReaverTHANK GOD! A patch is on its way. Official notes are up. And the biggest news of all, void reaver is fixed so that his arcane orbs produce combat log announcements.

This is so important. Here’s some background. Since patch 2.4 launched void reaver stopped announcing his orbs. He also stopped turning towards players whom he was targeting prior to launching an orb at them. Since you only have about 3 seconds after an orb launches to get out of 18yrd range from the orb’s detonation point, for guilds working on ssc, and just starting TK, this was the death knell of their t5 shoulder farming - my guild for instance. We were pretty good on void reaver’s 10minute timer, but, we were’t pulling it off if we lost 3 or 4 dps half-way through the long fight.

The key to taking down void reaver on EZ-mode is a little mod called void reaver alarm. It announces when and where the orbs are coming. It also gives a crystal clear display on a palyer’s ui showing exactly how far away they are from the future detonation point. Unfortunately, it only worked based on combat log announcements, which got all messed up in 2.4

To make a long story short, Void Reaver becomes a mechanical wuss again because combat log announcements for arcane orbs are coming with patch 2.4.2, allowing a void reaver alarm fix. Woot.

Time is Money: Mastering the Auction House: Inflation

April 24th, 2008

Vision dust inflation AH snapshot
Time is Money is a Raider’s Progress feature bringing together information from various wow web resources, but mainly, my own experience as I attempt to play wow efficiently while enjoying incredible wealth. You know how Uncle Scrooge from Ducktales used to swim around in that enormous vault filled with gold? Like that.

The wow-ers over at woweconomist were keen to point out a phenomenon that is obviously taking place on our server, inflation, which occurs when more capital is injected into the economy. This is why americans are getting extra checks this tax season, to inject more cash into the system and to cause inflation to bring the value of the dollar back up. So with everyone and their mother grabbing 100g+ every day in their dailies, as well as getting more gold from farmable raid material, things are heating up. But, inflation is a major opportunity to make some serious gold. I have found that the high price for many of my items is now the standard going price, with many noobs still dropping things in the AH at the low-side of prices from several weeks ago. Here are some specifics:

1. In addition to prices going up, demand for large prismatics couldn’t be higher. When that armory unlocks, all of a sudden everyone needs 15 shards. But since all this is happening relatively soon, it’s easy to score shards still for around 24g. Grab that. You can safely post in the 30g range, or play it risky and try controlling to push upwards around 32,34g.

2. Prices for all power-profession leveling are also locking into their higher prices. Heavy Leathers, large radiant shards, vision dusts, and dream dusts have been some serious winners for me recently.

3. Twink items see the boost. Zealot blades in the 80s. Scarlet chestpieces solidly at 180g+, and twisted chanter’s staffs hitting 120g pretty easily.

I’m not saying you couldn’t sell at these prices before. But now you don’t have to wait around to flip these things. Inflation is pushing the average value up, so plan accordingly.

Time Is Money: Phase 3 Dailies, 100g in well under an hour.

April 23rd, 2008

Sunwell dailies no naga
Time is Money is a Raider’s Progress feature bringing together information from various wow web resources, but mainly, my own experience as I attempt to play wow efficiently while enjoying incredible wealth. You know how Uncle Scrooge from Ducktales used to swim around in that enormous vault filled with gold? Like that.

OK OK. Dailies aren’t as bad as I made out in my previous post, even in the new area, Isle of Quel’danas, despite yet another bitchy post. But, there are a couple of criteria that either make or break the reasonability of dailies as a viable gold making strategy, especially on PVP servers.

RULE 1:
Take a friend.

What’s great about the new area is that many of the quests are twice as fast with friends, because they involve killing a certain number of guys. Don;t understimate the amount of time you spend drinking or eating. WIth a partner, this time becomes non-existant and can double your turn in rate.

The other reason is for protection. On a pvp server, you will get attacked as a solo dude because whatever mob you are working on will take your health down enough giving anyone that gets the jump on you an easy advantage. With a partner, the tables are turned, and further make gank retaliation easier. Even just one friend is significant daily gank deterrent. You may still get ganked, but it will certainly be less.

RULE 2:
Skip brutal collection quests

This includes the naga quest and sometimes the mana remnants quest. If you are solo, mana remnants isnt that bad. If you area group, it will take as much time as 3 of the other non-collection dailies. The nage quest is brutal under any circumstances. Just avoid it.

My circuit is now:
1. fires over skettis (then take direct flight to BEM)
2. wrangle aether rays
3. play simon
4. hearth to shatt
5. get a guildy. if no guildy yell around on the island or see who is getting ganked trying the first mana remnants quest
7. all of QD except nagas
8. take the scroll quest reward back to shatt
9. fly to shatter point
10. nail the hellfire quests (only if i’m feeling it, they take a bit longer)

TIPS:
* for mana remnants and reactivating sentries, run all the way to the most southern point of the island. For some reason no one goes there.
* If there is a persistent ganker try skipping ahead to other QD quests. people tend to start with the mana remnants one and move gradually to bombs and then ley lines. Mix it up to get away from any losers.

Craftable items after 2.4: Nether vortex upgrades for priests and others

April 21st, 2008

sample patterns

One of the great things about 2.4 has been the rapid upgrading of any SSC t5 content raid group. In a previous post I introduced the world of crafteds that are relatively new territory, and criticized many people’s excitement as being unwarranted due to the sunmote requirement for many of the items that are associated with the 2.4 content. But, more interesting than 2.4 rep recipes, and in addition to the badge reward items, are all the TK, and SSC craftables that can now be made with ultra cheap, 200g (at my AH), nether vortexes. Find out what progressed guilds can make. Here’s what’s on my list:

Belt of the long road. This was some dream item that appeared in the top of the wowarmory breakdown for +healing and you never expected to see it because of its low drop rate on SSC trash. This thing is amazing. Throw a few gems in there and youve got a belt with +105 heals and +33 spirit. AMAZING. Cost, 2 vortexes and some waters and lifes. You can fish 10 waters up in an afternoon, hovering over elemental plateau and only logging in once an hour when you check your email. Every alchy in your guild has 10 lifes sitting in the bank. But lets say you buy everything - vortexes at 220g a piece, something like 700g. THATS IT. Or, thinking in terms of badges again, 30 badges and something like 300gold. Now try finding a boss before BT that even drops a healing bet, and there you have it. This item is one of those not-to-be replaced items. Take that weak kara belt and chuck it out the window. Cincture of will? This thing is like an extra 40 heals AND 8 more spirit. That’s chump change for that stat increase. GET IT.

But dont be greedy. Boots of the long road? not worth it unless you’ve got the nether’s eating up your bank space. Luckily, i did. There are a lot of great boot drops in raids to come and the kara boots you are prolly toteing are not that bad compared to the boots of long road. Not a big enough up when those badges could go to killer 2.4 badge rewards like the chest or getting the figurine made.