Friday, September 28, 2007

Yes. I am Exalted.

Last night I ran what is (I hope) my last non-heroic Steamvaults ever. At the end I turned in just a few of my many Coilfang Armaments and hit the magic exalted mark. As a result of my endeavors I got quite a few new little goodies.

Since my priest is an alchemist, I picked up a pair of new alchemy recipes. I got[Recipe: Major Nature Protection Potion] and [Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom]. And of course the piece that made me shiver in all my naughty parts[Windcaller's Orb]. This is just a huge upgrade over the crappy green piece I was toting around before.

I hope to get a chance to make another post later about the upcoming changes to my classes in 2.3 later today.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cost Accounting 101: Your mount and you

One of the Loyal Readers (of which there are some) prompted the posts of the last week about mounts. I drew a quick table for this person relating costs based on classes. I realized at that point that I had never seen this table before and set about to fix that problem. Then I wrote two days worth of posts about mounts, quests, and costs and never once put the table onto the blog. I'm here to fix that.

Riding SkillCostWarlock CostPaladin CostDruid Cost>

* Costs do not reflect prices paid for reagents, necessary quest items or quest rewards.

Sermon on the Mount

Today I pick up on a topic I started on Tuesday. We had discussed then the mount options up to (and including) the level 60 mounts for all classes. This time we will look at the level 70 mounts (better known as "flying mounts").

This time, the love train for Warlocks & Paladins has derailed. There are no "free" riding skills for either of these classes. They'll have to pay the 800 Gold (no discount for honored) fee to learn the skill just like everyone else.

Oh. Wait. Not like everyone else because Druids, jump on the Riding Skill Love Train. At level 68 druids can train "Flight Form" from their trainers and get the 225 riding skill for free.

Sidebar: Does it really make much sense that you train Flight Form in the "Old World" from Druid Trainers in Moonglade or other places that, ostensibly, have NEVER USED THE FORM since it can only be used in the Outlands. Isn't it great when lore continuity and technical issues clash head to head?

So, for a full two levels, druids are flitting about going where no sub-70 can. Yes, this means they can run all the Tempest Keep instances, can pick mana thistle, abuse the landscape to reach that just slightly too high Khorium vein or Dreaming Glory. In short doing the things that only level 70's can normally do. And did I mention the 225 riding skill is free?

For the great majority of the rest of us, one of the first things we do upon reaching level 70 is head over to Shadowmoon Valley and buy both the flight skill and the epic mount of our choice. (Total cost of mount & training 900G). Of course the druids that have been flying for two levels can also head over and buy their own flying mount for a measly 100G.

The only other mount "stuff" to do after this is scrimp, save, beg, steal, and instance your way to 5200 Gold. Yes. Five thousand two hundred. When you have that amount saved up you can buy your 300 riding skill (5000 Gold) and epic flying mount (200 Gold).

The only other mount related topics are Netherwings, Druid Epic Flight Form, and collecting dropped mounts.

  • I can't speak to Netherwing-I've not done it and I have nothing useful to add.
  • I can't really speak to Swift Flight Form either. I understand there are a number of quests that can (generally) be soloed. This all culminates in the Heroic Run of Sethekk Halls where the final quest in that line is completed. Hope you saved up on your Lower City Reputation.
  • In all my time playing I've never seen a mount drop. No skeletal warhorse from the Baron, no raptor from Bloodlord Mandokir, no Swift Zulian tiger, nothing. Let's just say the drop rate is small.
So, that's all on mounts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So, like patch 2.2 hits and my UI totally freaking breaks. I spent several hours last night doing three things in a iterative fashion. And by iterative I don't mean the orderly kind of iterative where you do step one, then step two, then step three, then back to step one.

Instead I did step three, then two, then three, then one, then one, then two, etc.

The three things I did are:

  • Try to fix my old UI
  • Try to download a new UI I liked
  • Try to put together a brand new UI all my own from random bits.
So. The bottom line is I didn't get to play and I'm frustrated.

Hate you Blizzard. Hope you get thrown in a pool.


Hate you less Blizzard. Got the UI working - sorta. Just want to mention that getting thrown into a pool is still in play.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dude, where's my mount?

The defining moment in the lives of many characters is getting the mount. I was an old school player who was used to paying a LOT for the mount and a little for the training. Some time ago Blizzard reversed those requirements. That makes some of the classes that get free mounts or riding skill particularly appealing.

For instance, most characters hit 40 and go buy a mount for 20 Gold (18 Gold Honored) and training for 80 Gold (72 Gold Honored). Not so either the paladins or warlocks. They go train a skill and get a mount and the riding skill to go with it. Total cost 1 Gold (90 Silver Honored). All these mounts are considered 75 Riding Skill mounts and give you 60% increase in run speed.

The level 60 mount again costs gold for the training and mount. The mount itself is 100 Gold (90 Gold Honored) and the training is 600 Gold (540 Gold Honored). The paladins and warlocks are again the exception. Each deserves its own subsection below

Warlock Epic Mount Questlines

Upon reaching level 60, the trainer in either Ironforge or Orgrimmar will send the new warlock to the Burning Steppes. This will set two quest lines in motion which can be completed concurrently. The materials branch of the quest requires:

The questing portion requires purchasing 3 shadowy potions (6 Gold) and Xorothian Stardust (150 Gold). It also requires a trip to Scholomance up to Ras Frostwhisper's room.

Once the materials collection is done, you'll be able to buy the 3 items you need to complete the ritual in Dire Maul. These items are NOT consumed in the ritual and can be supplied by another warlock. This saves 250 Gold if a friendly guild warlock has them. It also requires nearly a full clear of Dire Maul West. Total price will vary based on what items you can get from your own tradeskills, your guild and the auction house.

All in all, probably much less than the 630 Honored Price most classes will pay. And the riding skill is free.

Paladin Epic Mount Questlines

Upon reaching level 60, the appropriate Paladin Trainer will give you quests. I'm not an expert at Paladins. I don't know the first thing about them except that they're always trying to tank things or beat me on the healing meters.

It appears that both horde and alliance need similar things consisting of:
Apart from these quests, it looks like each side has an easily soloable small quest chain costing about 200 Gold. Each side culminates in a quest in a 5-man dungeon. From my reading the horde side looks easier, but I don't know for sure.

All in all, I'm not sure about the paladin side quests. The amount of money and questing may not make it all that much more cost effective go get the free riding skill for the paladin. I might go the normal route and just buy the mount and training. Of course, lorewise, its almost required for the paladin to have his epic warhorse.

That's WAY more than enough today. One day later this week, I'll talk about flying mounts and epics fliers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

As a hunter who is lucky enough to have received an insanely lucky drop of [Legacy] (Sorry BRK!)I routinely look for other hunters in my travels around Azeroth that are carrying the same blade.

Imagine my surprise when last night while being a good guild mate and running a couple of sub-40s through all wings of Scarlet Monastery that I saw a level 69 hunter with a Legacy like axe on his back.

Fast-forward several minutes while I check my character sheet to ensure that Legacy does indeed require level 70 and how does this level 69 nobody have MY AXE?!?!?!?

Thank good for the armory because that allowed me to look him up real quick (He was horde, I am alliance -- inspect doesn't work) and notice that he's not carrying [Legacy] at all but instead is carrying [Glorious War-Axe]

Man. Couldn't Blizzard even change the freaking graphic on the War-Axe so the hunters who are drooling over Legacy can at least stand out a LITTLE?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Your Tree-Huggin' Friends

No, not the feral droods in your guild. Not the OOMkins either. Not even the tree-shaped healybots. I'm talking about the scattered groups of night elves and taurens scattered around the Outlands that give you rep.

I'm talking about the Cenarion Expedition.

My first character to level through the expansion was my priest. I did the quests as I found them. I turned in repeatable quest items when I had a stack. I robbed myself of perfectly solo-able reputation and instead shifted that reputation grind to my end game. In fact, I switched it to the end game virtually requiring a five-man group to get the rep.

The sad thing is I didn't even learn from my bad mistake after the first character. In fact, it wasn't until I was doing these quests for the fourth time that I learned from my mistakes. Some might say I am a slow learner. They would be right.

The last time I worried about reputation I did it in what I consider the "right" way. Here is my basic plan.

1. Ignore all the quests that might give Cenarion reputation except the single quest for turning in the unidentified plant parts. Yes. All of them. Even that tempting little conclave in Hellfire Peninsula a little south of the Temple of Telhamat. Instead grind plant parts. Have your alts grind plant parts. Buy plant parts from the Auction House. Agree to perform future unspecified favors for guild mates in exchange for plant parts. Turn these in at their place in Zangarmarsh until the chick finally says "Bremm, if you bring me another plant part I will kick you in the teeth." (Although, if she calls you Bremm, you need to give me my account back!)

1a. Alternatively, you can be killing nagas for the plant parts. Apparently each one you kill will give you some free Cenarion Rep. However, I avoided this as I wanted to maximize the potential to get an uncatalogued species. See step 2. I believe you can also run Slave Pens & Underbog over and over if that's your thing. But, since I wanted to do this mostly solo, I ignored that route as well.

2. Then and only then, nay you look at what she's returned to you for all those plant parts. Look specifically for an Uncatalogued Species. You may turn these in if you are lucky enough to get any. Unfortunately, these are soulbound and you can't grind them. It's just luck if the draw if you get one in your mad plant-part turn-in frenzy.

3. Do Cenarion Expedition quests with abandon.Make sure you go back to Hellfire and pick up those. Do all the ones in Zangarmarsh. Make sure you hit the place to the west, near Sporregar. Do all the ones in Terrokar Forest (near the Cenarion Outpost).

4. When you get to Blade's Edge Mountain, do all the quests in Sylvannar & Evergrove. Many of these also give CE Rep. Yes. Even do that crappy quest that involves listening the the whispers of the Raven God. It's rep. And that's what you're after.

5. Ascertain your rep standings. On my hunter, the only dude who did this right, I needed about 700 reputation to revered. And he's not human (obviously). A human who follows this should already be revered and not have set foot in Steamvault.

6. Run Steamvault until you're revered. It shouldn't take more than one run, even if you missed a few quests.

7. Look at the rewards available at Exalted. You may have enough reputation for everything you want. They have a nice caster ring, a healer off-hand, the best non-raid (or maybe even period) druid tanking weapons in the game. And they have alchemy, jewelcrafting, blacksmithing and leatherworking patterns at Exalted.

Learn from my mistakes and rectify them for yourselves (if there's still time).

Also, this strategy does not only work for Cenarion. There are repeatable quests for most of the major factions that involve grinding and collecting. Arakkoa Feathers for Lower City. Ivory Tusks and Oshu'gun Crystals for Consortium. Even turning in your Scryer or Aldor items will give some Sha'tar reputation. Use the sites at your disposal and plan out your reputation gains.

It'll only save you time later from doing the eleventeenth Shadow Lab run.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Farmer God

There's this guy in my guild, a hunter, who jokingly has his guild information set to "The Farmer God." He's not far off.

His incomplete list of achievements:

  • Got his epic flying mount and netherdrake (only one in the guild).
  • Successfully farmed Scholomance (with a partner) until both the recipe for flask of supreme power and the ace of portals dropped.
  • Routinely lays waste to mobs in Netherstorm and has ground up his Aldor Faction with the proceeds.
  • Pays back loans in the hundreds of gold in less than a day.
  • Dropped Skinning and mined his way from 1 to 375 in 18 hours.
  • Has delivered in excess of 200 stacks of netherweave cloth to budding tailors.
  • Found and ground 40 netherweb spider silk overnight.
  • Comes to a raid prepared with food for any class and role combination that might come to the run.
  • Passes out in excess of 20 mana potions for raids & runs even though he might only use 2 or 3.
  • Nearly single-handedly supplied my recent tailoring misadventures by filling my mailbox with cloth and spider silk.
  • Has personal conversations with the hunters he leads to suggest spec and gear replacements.
  • Takes criticism of his particular style and build into account and comes back next time stronger than ever.
  • He steadfastly researches the gear and build he needs to make himself great.
He's not the most l337 hunter I've ever seen. He makes mistakes in his shot rotation. He does some funky things with his spec. But all in all, there's no other hunter I'd rather count on. He keeps my squishy butt alive when I'm healing and he goes toe-to-toe with me on the DPS race when I'm on another toon. When I (used to) tank, he never pulled aggro off of me.

Here's to you Werenal. I just wanted you to know how much you're appreciated. And as BRK would say, "Pass the Ammo"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And eat first...

While I was leveling all of my characters took up cooking. The tiny buff it gave (although at level 5, +4 Stamina/+4 Spirit is not "small") made that grind a little easier. And I'm so glad I did. Because now I have access to some of the most required buffs for heroics/raids. I've recapped the various buffs you can get from foods and who I think might benefit. (Note: These are only the Outland recipes because that's where I am. A list of lower level food could be ascertained by visiting any of the big data sites or Kaliope's Crafting Blog.)

  • Hunters/Melee DPS:
  1. Ravager Dog (+40 Attack Power, +20 Spirit)
  2. Grilled Mudfish, Warp Burger (+20 Agility, +20 Spirit)
  • Casters:
  1. Blackened Sporefish (8 mana/5 seconds, +20 Spirit)
  2. Poached Bluefish, Blackened Basilisk (+23 spell damage, +23 Spirit)
  3. Crunchy Serpent (+23 spell damage, +20 Spirit)
  • Healers:
  1. Blackened Sporefish (8 mana/5 seconds, +20 Spirit)
  2. Golden Fishsticks (+44 Healing, +20 Spirit)
  • Tanks (Warriors - Paladins might like caster food and druids think about melee food)
  1. Roasted Clefthoof (+20 Strength, +20 Spirit)
  • Anyone:
  1. Buzzard Bites, Clambar, Feltail Delight, Talbuk Steak (+20 Stamina, +20 Spirit)
  2. Spicy Crawdad, Fisherman's Feast (+30 Stamina, +20 Spirit)
If you leveled fishing and cooking these buffs take nothing but a few minutes to get. If you stick to the non-fishing variety there's also something for everyone. Heck, get a fellow guild member to cook for you if necessary. It's polite to provide them with the raw materials though if you're asking them to cook, for instance, in the entry hall of Karazhan too. Most of the above recipes don't require any materials other than the meat/fish.

Most of the ingredients are completely easy to figure out, but if you need to check out Kaliope's Crafter's Tome if you need to know for sure what the ingredients are.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pulling Weeds and Hemming

For anyone following, on Friday, my warlock who had previously dropped mining was up to 117 herbalism and the priest had begun to accumulate cloth in preparations for starting the sewing.

By Saturday evening, Bremette the warlock was at 325 herbalism. I chose to stop her here because that's the first time she could pick Terocone. And the big herbs I use on a regular basis in alchemy only go up to Terocone. Sure I use Netherbloom, Nightmare Vine and Mana Thistle, but not as much as the triumvirate of Felweed, Dreaming Glory, and Terocone. So I just stopped.

Enter Bremm the priest. On his way through Stormwind City he was unlearning his herbalism. After a quick trip to the mailbox to pick up stockpiled linen and wool, he was off to train. And away we go. Boy do those points fly by when you're getting a point for every stinking bolt of linen you make. Unfortunately, it really starts slowing down fast. And Blizzard...why oh why do you make us run out of the newbie tailoring area, up the hill, around the corner and into another shop? I bet I looked around for 3 minutes before I finally went back and actually read what the NPC said. Anyway training-sewing-training-sewing.


I ran out of silk.

Quick run through Scarlet Monastery for guildies with me getting all the cloth and I'm back in business.


I ran out of runecloth.

Quick run through Scholomance for guildies with me getting all the cloth and I'm back in business.

*BAM* - Wait, no sound effects this round. By this time, the call had gone out that I was doing this and the donations started rolling in. I got netherweave from just about EVERYONE. Big donations were Baby, Larilex, Nightchills, and (god love him) Werenal.

Recap: I'm at 362 Tailoring and waiting on getting some netherweb spider silk and the lock's herbalism has hit 350. Not a bad weekends work.

Friday, September 14, 2007

10-man raids are not merely 2 5-man groups

(Extra bonus post since I promised to post this on yesterday's entry and then got distracted by the herbs)

My guild has had its share of drama over Karazhan. We started running it sometime in late April. Unfortunately, at the time, our raid leader wasn't really in tune with what we felt the guild was about. The vast majority of the guild was very much casual. We'd run together if we could, if not we'd find something that the rag-tag collection of folks on could do. He was a hard(ish)-core raider.

When we had 22 people (or so) sign up for raids, he was very much about making the very best, most cohesive, effective, blood-chilling group he could to take on Karazhan. But that left those not picked for this elite bad feeling chopped liverish. And the secondaries had approximately zero chance of doing anything worthwhile in there.

The guild leadership tried to moderate this by choosing groups such that both groups had decent make-up and moderate chance of success past the opera. This went, bluntly, not so well. About 15 /gquits later, we were a shell of ourselves and not able to attack Karazhan at all (even though we'd previously cleared through the Maiden).

The next thing the guild tried was an alliance with a more powerful guild who was routinely moving beyond the Curator. Unfortunately, our bad luck continued and this "alliance" wasn't interested in anything but them absorbing our guild. Strike two.

We made a few halfhearted attempts at Kara, eventually getting ourselves into position to routinely challenge the Curator. Then about a third of the raid group quit for reasons of their own. Still in guild but not logged in for about 6 days at a time. One of the tanks respecced arms.

Now we're at the present. Woefully short on tanks and healers, but having an adequate group to give it a shot. On our most recent excursions we've reliably cleared Attumen but Moroes has evaded us. Unfortunately, many of the attendees are recent eager 70s. But not the kind of gear you'd expect to be downing Attumen. They lack..badly. However, a string of Moroes at under 20% shows we've got the spunk and guts to try it, I'm afraid the gearcheck thing is going to beat us for a while.

This brings me to the most recent development in the guild. Several of the guys who are new to the raid are suggesting we put Karazhan on a back burner and instead do some 5-man heroics. They go on to say that getting folks together for Karazhan is hard, and the experience we gain as a constantly changing group of heroic instancers should more than make up for our lack of gear.

Having done heroics, I'm not so sure. In most heroics I've been in there's only a single healer (maybe a backup for tough fights) and clothies die pretty much arbitrarily. And maybe it's just me but I find Attumen and crew (up through the Opera) to be somewhat easier than most of the 5-man heroics. Granted I haven't been on all of them and made the mistake of doing Mana Tombs as my first heroic, but it just doesn't seem like its worth it to do heroics at the cost of not doing Karazhan. And the elite drops that I'm sure are enticing lots of folks drop from bosses that are WAY harder in heroic than anything I've seen (in my limited experience) in Karazhan.

I dunno.

Three miners walk into a bar...

So I finally decided that my current crop of maximum level characters had silly tradeskills:

  • Bremm (70 Priest) 375 Herbalism/375 Alchemy
  • Bremette (70 Warlock) 375 Mining/370ish Engineering
  • Brehm (70 Warrior) 375 Mining/350ish Blacksmithing
  • Bremagorn (70 Hunter) 375 Mining/375 Jewelcrafting
Q: What's wrong with this picture?
A: My holy priest doesn't have tailoring and can't wear the "best" healing gear


The easiest solution, of course, is to drop one of my priest's skills and level tailoring. So that's what I did. But since I'm specced for elixirs and have discovered a handful of alchemy recipes I didn't want to give that up. Must be I'm dropping herbalism.

But, how am I going to make potions when I don't have any raw materials? Buy them at the AH? You jest. So I need to drop herbalism on my priest and pick up tailoring. Additionally, I'm dropping mining from one of my THREE (yeah. wow) miners and pick up herbalism. Then the herbalist can feed the alchemist. The two miners can supply for all three crafts requiring metal, and the priest can get busy sewing.

So far, I've dropped mining on the lock and started herbalism. Weed pulling commenced in Elwynn forest (sorry lowbies if a gnome warlock on a dreadsteed zoomed by and ninjaed all your herbs) and she's at 117 herbalism. I'm hoping to have her up to 375 by the end of the weekend when I can drop my herbalism on the priest and start the slow craft of sewing.

I looked at a guide for tailoring. This is going to take a LOT of cloth. Good thing I'm planning to run guildies through low instances for the moderate price of "all your cloth are belong to me."

Hope it works.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A little ornery

So, lately as a responsible person in power in my guild, I've been trying to post things on our GroupCalender (get this or a similar in game scheduling tool if you don't already use one) and last night's run was Onyxia. I posted the run a week in advance giving everyone time to get themselves attuned to go down the black scaly lady.

How many of the legion of folks who were unattuned got attuned?




Right - ONE. One. 1.

So when I finally announced the Ony run wasn't going on, several of the folks who had signed up but failed to get keyed started clamoring for "SV, Slabs, Arc, Bot, BM, SV, SH, etc. etc."

What did I do? That's right. I took my 70 warlock to Ramparts (normal) to help the guy who did bother getting attuned to do a quest.

Karazhan is Friday. Tomorrow I intend to write about the differences between running Kara and a 5-man heroic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting the Guildies Keyed

Well, I've not taken the warlock out of the barn for a good long time (other than fulfilling an adamantite bullet addicition for my hunter) and it was high time I did. Since a new 70 paladin tank (Owaru) needed his second Karazhan key fragment and what we really needed was DPS, I volunteered Bremette. (Bremagorn the hunter is already revered with Cenarion and Bremm's healing wasn't required as we had another awesome in-guild healer (Yorkshire) to pick up my slack) so the warlock seemed the obvious choice.

Due to time constraints we took a sneaky, meandering path with minimal pulls to get to the fragment jar and still down all 3 bosses. Alas, most of the drops were greeded for vendoring as we had no enchanter with us--and the second boss didn't drop my engineering recipe.

With that behind us, Owaru still needed his third key fragment. With some folks needing to log off, sleep, etc. we shuffled some characters around and ended up with a (mostly) in-guild run to the third fragment. Success. We even swapped out one of our (already keyed) DPSers for another Paladin tank (Noosh) when we were at the fragment. Two birds with one stone and two more tanks one step closer to offtanking Karazhan (or even main tanking for all I care)

Tonight we've got Onyxia. I know -- Onyxia, what sort of crazy talk is this. Isn't Onyxia like a 60 instance from back in the day when you had to walk to Molten Core, uphill (both ways) and in the snow with no shoes? Well, Yes. It is an "old world" raid. Lately what the guild has been trying to do (lately, ha. One other time) is set aside Wednesdays for the raid instances we are nostalgic about. Last week we did Molten Core (first three bosses) and this week Ony. In a couple weeks, we'll do Blackwing Lair. A good part of the loot was sharded (or crystalled as is more appropriate with epics) but we did take some pre-60's guys in there. All in all a warrior, hunter and mage all 57 or less got MC Epics last week. I'm not sure how the Onyxia hat drops compare to other outland gear, but for someone not at max-level it may be pretty significant.

But, Brem, I hear you decry, isn't this just a lot of time spent in old stuff when you could be doing Kara or something? Well, maybe is my definitive answer. I think even though the instances are easy-mode for 70's that it gives at least a glimpse of what a raid instance is like to the folks who've never seen it. And since we can safely take the 55-60 crowd with us, there's potentially some great loot for them. And besides. It's fun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hello and Welcome

Welcome to a new blog idea I'm trying to start. I'm an over 40 gamer, spending a great deal of time in Blizzard's World of Warcraft. I've built four characters to the current maximum level and have a smattering of various lower level characters that I basically just fool around with. What my guild needs of me most right now is to play my healer. I like my healer, I do. He's a 70 priest, set up to heal -- and at this he excels. And to some degree, my guild has the right to ask me to heal most of the time. They've gone on gear runs with me, they've helped me complete quests, they've passed on loots I can use more. So, they've paid their dues with the priest and I need to expect to pay mine. This blog, in fact, is even named after the priest.

Names are important to me, but so is having everyone know who is behind my toons. To that end, each of them has a name consisting of some permutation of 'brem' in the first several letters. We have -

  1. Bremm - 70 Priest, Holy Disc Specialization
  2. Brehm - 70 Warrior (semi-retired), currently arms/fury spec for what little PVP he does
  3. Bremette - 70 Warlock, played only slightly more frequently than Brehm. And most of the time she's making bullets for --
  4. Bremagorn - 70 Hunter. When I'm soloing or doing pick up group things, this is the dude I love to play
That's the 70's. In future posts (assuming there are any) I'll probably talk about the others. As well as what I've done most recently in Azeroth.