Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The First Week

My brother started playing again, so that no longer gives me access to his account. I'm glad he is playing again though, albeit as casually as - if not more so than - me. What this means, however, is that it is best if I don't use his account for my own personal use anymore; and it meant that when Cataclysm hit I couldn't run both accounts to take advantage of doing two things at once. Oh well!

Day 1
I managed to check into the hotel pretty quickly, and got onto the server a couple of hours after the expansion went live. I spent a little time sorting my priest out with mining bags, enchanted gloves and learning the highest skill of my two professions (Mining and Jewelcrafting) before heading to Icecrown. I wasted a little time flitting around tapping nodes before updating my Gathermate 2 Data and integrating it in. After that I managed to get to 470 mining pretty quickly and headed straight to Twilight Highlands.

In the highlands, I followed the mining circuit I already had planned, as seen below on the map. I spent a good few hours gathering Obsidium Ore, and once I hit 520 I was able to also mine Pyrite Ore. I stocked up about 25 stacks of obsidium and 2 stacks of pyrite before calling it a night. I sent them over to my warlock then switched to her to post some stuff up on the AH. This was less than eight hours after the expansion had been flipped on.

Twilight Highlands Mining Circuit
One thing I learned from this is that you don't need four mining bags. One would have sufficed (and saved me a little gold), as it took me literally hours to fill up just one, and there are mailboxes nearby for sending your haul off to another toon. Actually, another thing I learned is that even though the mining circuit shouldn't take you close to angry mobs, if you do stupid things you will die. Three times. :p

Unfortunately, none of my ore sold, and very few glyphs that I had put up sold. However, my priest also managed to get a few gems the previous night and all of the volatiles I had put up sold, so at least I wasn't at a total loss. In fact, even now none of my ore has sold even though I have reposted it twice since then. I will probably prospect the obsidium and turn the pyrite into Truegold, eventually. Perhaps I shouldn't have sold those volatiles after all. :x

Day 2
The next night was dedicated to my main. And every time I have played since then has either been to sort out auctions and mail on my warlock or to play my mage.

I started by handing in 25 daily quests in Icecrown for a nice little xp boost. After that, I uncapped Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid and Cooking and got my license to fly in Azeroth. Unfortunately, my Fishing is still not high enough to learn Illustrious, but that is something I will slowly work on during the expansion. After I could fly and had a nice little look at Stormwind (absolutely amazing from the air and very easy to navigate!), I went to talk to one of my favourite characters: Harrison Jones.

Professor Jones told me all that I needed to know to dig up fossil fragments and piece together artifacts. The new Archaeology profession is both tedious and enjoyable. I have spent most of my time in-game since that point simply levelling archaeology. It is a hard, long road but the rewards at the end - and on into the future - make it worthwhile. Not to mention the fact that it is interesting, unique and gives you a closer look at the various races and lore within Azeroth and Outland.

So since the second day of the expansion I have hardly done anything but dig dig dig. And aside from the tedium of porting, hearthing and flying all over the place to try and piece things together, it has been fun. Call me boring, but there is just something about following survey markers and uncovering pieces of artifacts that really intrigues me. I'm really diggin' it. *ba-dum-tch*

I hit level 82 last night from just handing in those dailies last week and archaeology since then (plus a quest and its daily counterpart that I stumbled upon while digging). I started out getting about 11k rested xp per piece that I dug up (three digs per digsite), and am now getting almost 19k rested. Unfortunately, after just a little digging each day my rested experience fades; but over 27k per digsite is some nice xp in itself. The biggest timesink here is travelling between digsites, as one location takes less time than the average quest.

Levelling the profession, however, takes a long time. Up to about level 75 you get skill points for digging up artifacts. From 75 to 100 the chance of getting skill points is greatly reduced. At 100, fragments go grey and you can only skill up from solving artifacts. One digsite yields three fragments per dig for a total of nine. As you level up, the amount of fragments required to complete an artifact increases slightly; rares that you randomly discover take many more fragments to complete. You start off needing around 25 fragments to solve an artifact, and by about level 200 you need around 35-40 = four digsites of that type.

The digsites themselves are somewhat random, as are the artifacts that you discover to work towards solving. You can choose what sort of fragments you will collect, but it is still limited to the active digsites that have spawned. Fortunately, there are eight to choose from - four per continent. Once you unlock Outland, that's four more, and then Northrend is another four, for a total of 16 by the time you have a skill level of 375. Unfortunately, Tol'vir digsites (of which there are only four in the one zone: Uldum) currently share spawns with the beginning ones, ultimately frustrating many budding archaeologists.

So far I have managed to reach about 235 archaeology skill and have uncovered one rare: Fossilized Hatchling. For those that uncover fossils more than anything, this is the first one that people get. For the races, there are other "starter" rares that people discover.

It helps to balance as much as you can, but I am saving up dwarf fragments in the hopes of getting Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan when I am a high enough level for the possibility of discovering it. I also wouldn't mind the Clockwork Gnome and The Innkeeper's Daughter from dwarven fragments, and the Scepter of Azj'Aqir from Tol'vir. The fossil reward, Fossilized Raptor, will come in time and without too much effort, either. It is the easiest epic to get.

Guild Achievements, Levelling and Rewards
Unfortunately, archaeology doesn't count towards guild experience. With all the effort I am putting into the profession I am not actually contributing to my own guild reputation or to the guild experience as a whole. But we have enough active members to hit the daily experience cap each day. I will just have some reputation catch-up to do.

So far, we have hit level 3 and unlocked two perks: Fast Track (Rank 1) and Mount Up. Since I purchased Master Riding, I now fly at 350% speed. It doesn't feel any faster than 280%, but it is. What I am most looking forward to, though is the Reins of the Golden King at guild level 25 (and personally exalted).

It's a friggin' lion!
I only just decided to start doing the daily cooking quests. I really should have done this earlier, as I need three tokens for each cooking recipe and it will benefit my guild in the long run. My aim right now is to get the two more tokens I need to purchase the Recipe: Starfire Espresso and make thousands of them for a big caffeine fix... no, to both help my guild get Set the Oven to "Cataclysmic", which unlocks Recipe: Broiled Dragon Feast, and to help raise my own reputation with the guild.

Of course, I will have to spread it out over a few days because of the daily guild reputation cap that coincides with the guild levelling cap.

As I mentioned earlier, my ore didn't sell. The market was flooded with all kinds of trade goods as prices attempted to settle and everyone was undercutting everyone else. I have managed to sell a few Netherweave bags at everything ranging from a mere 8g to a nice 25g. I am also still finding my feet with glyphs and will post them up over the next few weekends in the hopes of eventually selling all my stock.

With levelling blues and epics, I have hardly had any bites, but I have managed to sell a few. I don't have the time to cross-check what I paid for them (besides, I'm pretty sure I lost all that data when my entire UI got reset the day before Cataclysm - that's another story), and then set the price for each individual item manually. But what I have been doing is trying to not compete with anyone and simply holding back from posting if there are a few up already.

So far I have stockpiled some obsidium and pyrite ore, made about 13k in sales and spent 4k gold on 310% flying for my main. So my bank is sitting at 11k, up from the 2k that I had sitting in there when Cata hit.

In the long run, I hope to pawn off all of these levelling BoEs, as well as do something smart with my stockpile of enchanting scrolls and Saronite ore. I'm holding back with the ore because I want to see what happens to supply. I also have a few stacks of Northrend herbs sitting around waiting to be useful.

So all in all, it's been pretty slow going for me. With limited time to play I think I'm doing ok, though. Just biding my time and slowly eeking out these bags and glyphs, and the odd items here and there. The gold will come in; I still have to level my professions and quest with my mage, at least. Happy days ahead. :)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cataclysm Starter Guide

I wrote the following guide for the MMO-Champion forums. You can see the original post here or continue reading.

[Guide] How to Start in Cataclysm (Alliance)
Wondering what to do when Cataclysm hits? Regardless of your intentions, the first thing you will want to do - unless levelling a new toon - is to learn to fly in Azeroth. And unless you intend to farm reagents, you will probably want to learn Illustrious of all your professions, grab Archaeology if so inclined, and then head to one of the two starting zones.

So where do you want to be when the switch gets flipped? Well, for Alliance, Stormwind is a good start, as you can do everything there. For Horde it is Orgrimmar. Grab your Flight Master's License, run a circuit, picking up all of your skills and then head to the relevant NPC to be on your way to your zone of choice.

Unfortunately, I don't play Horde, so I'm going to only focus on helping Alliance get to where they need to be to optimise their first few minutes of playing. Sorry, Hordies!

Here is a summary of all the trainers and relevant NPCs to get started. I simply collected data straight from Wowhead and consolidated it for easy reading:

Flight Master's License
Flying Trainer - Bralla Cloudwing (70.8 73.2). This is where you want to be at 12.01am on the 7th of December, or logged out at if unable to be playing when Cataclysm hits.

Gathering Profession Trainers
Herbalism Trainer - Tannysa (54.6 83.6).
Mining Trainer - Gelman Stonehand (59.6 37.6).
Skinning Trainer - Maris Granger (72.7 62.0).

Crafting Profession Trainers
Alchemy Trainer - Lilyssia Nightbreeze (55.6 85.9).
Blacksmithing Trainer - Therum Deepforge (63.8 37.2).
Enchanting Trainer - Lucan Cordell (53.0 74.3).
Engineering Trainer - Lilliam Sparkspindle (62.8 32.2).
Inscription Trainer - Catarina Stanford (49.8 74.2).
Jewelcrafting Trainer - Theresa Denman (63.5 61.5).
Leatherworking Trainer - Simon Tanner (71.8 62.9).
Tailoring Trainer - Georgio Bolero (53.2 81.7).

Secondary Profession Trainers
Archaeology Trainer - None other than Harrison Jones (85.7 25.9).
Cooking Trainer - Stephen Ryback (78.1 53.2).
First Aid Trainer - Shaina Fuller (52.9 44.9).
Fishing Trainer - Arnold Leland (55.1 69.5).

The Starting ZonesFollowing is a map to see the locations of all trainers and key points to help you plot your path and be on your way fully prepared.

Stormwind Cataclysm Trainers and NPCs
Tip: Remember to have all necessary bagspace, levelling reagents and anything else ready before Cataclysm goes live so that you aren't wasting time flying to the bank or the auction house - even though they are both very cool now.

I hope that this is insightful and helpful to people. :)

As a final note: Personally, I am going to level Archaeology.

Edit: I still haven't actually decided what I am going to do, but it will likely consist of playing both Gaiwyn and Gidaeon simultaneously, as I said in my previous post. Right now, the best thing looks to be levelling Gaiwyn as per normal - or Archaeology as I previously said - and taking Gidaeon to Twilight Highlands rather than getting him to 82 and going to Deepholm (aka Miner's Paradise).

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Deepholm at 82

A spanner has been thrown in the works and when that happens, one must consider an alternate plan: create a contingency to jolt your plan back into working order.

My dilemma occurred when I researched how to get to Deepholm. But why would you want to go to Deepholm, Gaiwyn? The answer is simple: Elementium Ore. It is by all accounts the best zone for mining the new minerals. Sure, Twilight Highlands and Uldum are some great high-level zones and will prove to have a good number of node spawn points; but Deepholm is where the serious miners will farm. It's freaking underground!

Deepholm: Elementium Ore Mining Circuit
It turns out that to get to Deepholm you must be level 82. The only other way to get there is to ask for a Warlock summon. Good luck with that in early days.

So my choices are now three-fold: level my chosen miner to 82 before seriously focusing on mining in Deepholm for profit; try to play the auction house - buy as cheap as possible and resell for profit; or simply head to Uldum or Twilight Highlands and grit my teeth at the fewer nodes and higher level mobs with large aggro radii.

Option 1: Level to 82
Gidaeon is the warrior on my second account. Originally, he was on my primary account but I transferred him at the end of TBC to what was then my brother's account. He took him from 70-80 and played him a bit - mostly as a tank - in WotLK. Since then, my brother has quit playing the game and so I inherited his account as my own secondary account; essentially giving me back my old warrior to do with as I please - an entire account to do with as I please.

His second profession is maxed blacksmithing. This could prove to be fruitful also, in the long run, if I put a little time into levelling it for Cataclysm.

My initial plan was to pop 4x Mammoth Mining Bags onto him, zoom around Icecrown until I get mining up to 470 off Saronite nodes, and then head over to Deepholm to do a few mining spirals for Obsidium Ore. But since there is no way to get to Deepholm before picking up the quest from Naraat the Earthspeaker in Stormwind, in order to do this I would have to level him to 82.

This is not entirely out of the question. If I dual-box I can level both Gaiwyn and Gidaeon in tandem. Gaiwyn will definitely have the XP advantage, though, as I have 25 daily quests ready to hand in for a nice little boost on my way to 81. It also means that at 85 there will be a few more quests to complete for extra gold.

So this is one of my options. Once Gidaeon hits 82 I could then proceed to spiral around Deepholm tapping any nodes that I encounter before any of the dozens of other miners out there doing the same thing, while Gaiwyn picks up and levels Archaeology in the old world. A fairly sound plan.

Option 2: Sit at the Auction House
My second option is to sit at the auction house, buy up herbs, ores and leather for reselling, refresh glyphs, and slowly trickle out levelling and twink items for all those people who will have rolled new Worgen and be looking for gear to boost them or deck them out.

At the same time I would probably be levelling Gaiwyn in Hyjal; not too difficult to do dual-boxing, as not much concentration is needed to sit at the auction house on my other account.

The advantage of this is being able to snatch* what I estimate to be good deals as well as getting my goods out there to make a bit of profit as I go. The disadvantage is that Gidaeon will be no closer to 82 and able to go to Deepholm to mine, if I so wish to do so in future. Farming is not my thing; but there is no better time to mine the new ore than the first few weeks of the expansion.

* Turns out that you can set your snatch list for the new materials now. Read this great post by Mike over at Server Fifth: Build Your Snatch List Now.

Option 3: The High Level Zones
Forgoing levelling at all is my final option. I would still get to 470 mining (475 when my old Gauntlets of Might mining gloves are equipped) in Icecrown, but then shoot off straight to either Uldum or Twilight Highlands. I'm currently not sure which is the better of the two in terms of chance of being splattered into the ground by high level mobs camping nodes, but I'm sure they are both equally plausible for doing mining circuits.

The advantage of this is no waiting around and thus very little, if any, competition. Soon as my mining is high enough for the new ore, I can fly straight to one of those zones and go crazy finding nodes and tapping them out for their sweet, sweet juices. The disadvantage is being splattered into the ground by... well, you get the picture.

Twilight Highlands: A Rough Mining Circuit
This is the decision that I have just over a day to make. Come tomorrow I will be leaving very early for the conference out in the city (a two hour drive, at least). It finishes 30 minutes after Cataclysm goes live, and I have to then leave the location and drive somewhere to grab a bite to eat / snacks and drinks for the long night ahead, and head to the hotel to check in to my room.

Here's hoping that tonight I can set everything up that needs to be set up, ready to go, with my toons logged out at strategic locations, and my bags and banks sorted out ready for everything that is going to happen over the next few weeks of play.

Whatever happens, I look forward to everything that tomorrow night will bring. And whatever your plans are, so should you.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Friday, December 3, 2010

Are You Ready?

Cataclysm is just around the corner. How prepared are you? How are you going to manage your stockpiles and goods? Will you power-level professions in the hopes of making rather lucrative profit by taking advantage of high demand in the first few days or weeks of the expansion?

I think that given my limited time to spend in game I have done pretty well for myself. I've got the Netherweave Bags ready to pawn off to the hundreds of new Worgen that didn't buy up beforehand; I've got a nice wee collection of glyphs ready to get dumped at reasonable markup; and I've got a selection of various different items and reagents that should yield various amounts of profit.

It has been difficult to stay patient and not try to just empty my bank tabs or my alt's bank. I have put up glyphs a couple of times since the shattering (patch 4.0.3a) with very little interest shown, and have enchanted a few twink/heirloom scrolls in the hopes of making a little profit from them.

What will net me a good sum of gold, however, is being careful about using items and reagents in smart ways. It's all a big learning process for me, with my dabbling and dipping my toes in to try things out. The next few weeks feel like they will be a make it or break it situation, where - even though I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket by even a long shot - there is the potential to make mistakes and fail to get a decent gold boost.

My battle plan
Here is my situation: I have a family and very little time to spare to give to the game, so I appreciate any time that I am able to find to play. I have been trying to be smart about how I use my crafting and auction time, but it has been difficult to make it feel at times that I am progressing at all. After all, enjoying the game comes first.

When the expansion hits I will be in the city, at a 3-day conference. When the servers flip into Cataclysm mode, I will be at the conference, waiting for it to finish. It will probably be two hours after many other people get to play that I have checked into my hotel and plugged myself in.

The good news is, I will be staying in the hotel for two nights, which means I should get a few uninterrupted hours of play; and at such a crucial time!

My intention is to log the warrior on my secondary account, equip 4x Mammoth Mining Bags, and just go as crazy as I can flying around the new zones tapping nodes. At the same time, I will give most of my focus to playing my main. I want to level Archaeology, but I also want to experience as much of the new content as I can manage over two nights of playing.

One small bit of preparation I have almost completed is to fill my quest log with 25 completed daily quests. I am almost there and should have it all done and ready to hand in for a nice little 5-600k experience boost with just a couple of minutes of flying between Icecrown hubs.

So for me, it will become a matter of juggling between tapping out as much of the new ores as I can manage while levelling Archaeology and levelling my mage through the new zones.

The AH and Professions
I want to play the game, not sit at the auction house. I will level Enchanting and Tailoring as the goods come to me naturally throughout the course of levelling, but my other professions can wait for a bit before I give any of them any real focus. I do have the reagents to boost my Jewelcrafting, Alchemy and Inscription a little, but these are not going to be a big focus for me from the outset.

My only time spent at the auction house will be to do a scan as I sleep and to use Auction Profit Master to throw up glyphs, bags, and some of the levelling blues and epics that I have collected.

For many, camping the auction house and power levelling professions is going to prove to be very worthwhile. For me, I'm not a big gold player (yet). I just want to utilise my time well and keep a keen interest in playing the game for fun.

Flipping Enchanting Scrolls
Turns out that in the shattering, Enchanting Vellum became available for a mere 8s through any enchanting vendor. This made the small stockpile I had collected no longer worthwhile. Or did it?

Firstly, I would have been able to eventually use up all of the scrolls I had made since Enchanting is one profession I want to try and focus on as a gold-maker this time around. I say "would have been", though, because I decided to see if everyone was aware of the change. They weren't.

I worked out that it cost me 40s to make each of the scrolls, so I put them up on the AH at 50s each. Had I bought them from the vendor for 8s each, the profit would have been much greater, but at a profit of just under 9s for each scroll sold, I netted about 18g in profit from the 200 that I put up. Every single one sold.

If I had time to play I would put the rest of them up and simply replenish my stock from the vendor. This is just one example of buying goods from a vendor and putting them up on the AH at minimal cost and risk. If the ignorance keeps up through to next week, this could prove to be a nice little boost.

Buy 1,000 scrolls at 8s each. Put them up for 50s. Take away the auction house cut and the deposit fee and you are left with about 400g in profit from simply vendor flipping. That is provided you sell all 1k scrolls, but with many enchanters out there wanting to be prepared to level their profession, this is actually a low risk endeavour.

Keep an eye out for things that you can turn for profit. With the changes, it doesn't mean that players change. Vendor-bought pets, reagents and other things have the potential to be sold at a decent mark-up. Just a way to boost your reserves.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hatchling a Plan

Hatchlings Making a Comeback
It's official: Razzashi Hatchlings will not be a money-maker in Cataclysm. So the question is: do I try and sell mine now at 5k gold a-piece, or do I wait and see just how difficult and rare they become when re-introduced to the game post-4.0.3a?

Either way, the only thing I've lost is the couple of hours it took me to farm them myself. Thankfully, I didn't pay a large sum of gold in the hope that their value would skyrocket. And if it comes down to it, I can learn the pet myself on a couple of toons. :)

Saronite Shuffle
On another note, I've heard that it may still be profitable to prospect Saronite Ore, grab cheap Eternal Earth (people dumping their stock) and use that with the green gems you prospected to make items for either vendoring (if profitable), selling at the AH (if the supply is not too high) and disenchanting.

Northrend enchanting mats should rise in price in the expansion, so that isn't a bad way to go. Just work out if you can get stacks of ore cheaply enough and it could be a good market to dabble in.

Glyphs and Inks
Just this morning I got a pretty insane deal: about 20 stacks of Adder's Tongue for 14g per stack! I have been buying as many herbs as I can get my hands on (at less than 24g per stack), and crafting as many glyphs as I can from the milled pigments and resulting ink - a huge task in itself.

Dumping the Snowfall Ink is a huge problem, as they keep getting returned to my mailbox after trying to auction them off. It seems that there is too much on the market and just not enough people wanting to make and hand in Darkmoon cards. If it comes down to it, I could always just vendor them. :x

I have filled up more than a guild bank tab so far with stacks of 5-10 glyphs each and have stockpiled 3-4 stacks of lower level inks (for crafting into glyphs or even reselling post-patch). My plan is to get at least 10 of each of some of the popular glyphs as well as 8 stacks of each of the six glyph inks before patch 4.0.3a. If I can sell all 10 of about 20 glyphs per class, covering 6/10 classes, at 45g each, I will make 54k gold. Having spent around 20k on herbs to make the glyphs, that's over 200% profit.

It has been a lot of work, but the more I tried to prepare, the more I found myself making. It's too hard to balance everything, so my piece of advice today is to just do what you can do and not worry about trying to meet crazy goals. I may be taking too much on my plate, and I am definitely putting a lot more effort into Inscription than anything else. But this opportunity to take advantage of selling so many glyphs will not roll round again any time soon, and that is something I keep in the back of my mind as I continuously press that mill button.

Here's hoping that I can spread myself out more after Glyphmas II passes; just not too thinly. :)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Speed is Money, Friend

As I continue to buy Northrend herbs to build my stockpile of glyphs ready for Cataclysm's release, I continue to look for other potential money-makers.

But before I go into a few suggestions, I want to draw attention to two recent announcements that affect the game in different ways.

Firstly, Blizzard announced that they are revoking the unattainability of the Insane in the Membrane achievement. With the changes to Feralas, Dire Maul is having its level reduced, and with these changes the Shen'dralar are becoming an obsolete faction. This meant that the associated achievement was to become impossible to complete post Cataclysm. It also meant that anyone wanting to get the Insane title was forking out tens of thousands in gold in order to complete their Shen'dralar rep. In fact, I made 30k off this sudden drive towards completion; as told in my initial gold-making post. It is what truly kick-started my gold-making endeavour and the change of tack for this blog.

Well, you can imagine just how upset people were - some of whom spent up to 50k gold on ensuring they got the achievement - when Blizzard decided to remove Shen'dralar from the requirements for getting it. They are planning on adding exalted reputation with the faction as a Feat of Strength in the future, but that is no consolation for this big kerfuffle.

This is just a reminder to us that you never know when Blizzard will make changes to the game and how it will affect the community. Everything, from spending gold to trying to make it contains some sort of risk. You wouldn't get anywhere if you didn't take risks.

It also reminds me of the Razzashi Hatchlings I have sitting in the bank. This is either a great asset or a waste of bank space. As I mentioned in my gold-making post, they could skyrocket to a very high value; but they could just as easily become worthless, if Blizzard decide to add a means of acquiring them from a vendor, or some other such simple method. The good thing for me is that I didn't pay one copper for them - I farmed the two that I have. But time is money, and so the time I spent getting them to drop was time not spent elsewhere doing something with a guaranteed reward. When I do sell them I will be able to calculate my hourly rate. Here's hoping that it is impressive enough to have a blog post of its own!

The second thing that I wanted to mention is the removal of the achievement, Helping Scribes Pay the Bills. This isn't the best news for scribes hoping to sell every single glyph and will reduce the demand for not so popular glyphs. Since I am focusing on simply providing just the most popular glyphs, it shouldn't affect my own sales terribly much. Also, who knows if they will add a similar achievement to the game in future.

And now, onto the main point of this post.

As everyone is aware, there will be a huge influx of levelling toons. I mentioned it in my previous post, but I will say it again: there is money to be made in providing a service for all those new toons and twinks, as well as people levelling from 80 to 85, and everyone levelling professions; albeit from scratch or from 450 to 525.

As the title of this post says, speed is money. The faster you go, the more you get done. And if the means is there to do something faster - move along the ground, zoom from node to node, be able to gather reagents at a lower skill level, or even to cook faster* - then there is also demand.

*Too bad tailors can't make Chef's Hats. ;)

Speed Enhancements
Some things to keep an eye on:
  • Mithril Spurs: with mount training available from level 20, and these puppies usable until level 70, who wouldn't want to pop a pair onto some ragged old boots and decrease the time getting from point A to point B? You can even steal my goblinesque phrase that speed is money, for trade channel advertising.
  • Enchant Gloves - Riding Skill: another mounted speed boost. Can't hurt to try selling these to all those Worgoblins, too.
  • Enchant Boots - Minor Speed: not just a twink enchant, having a minor speed boost is excellent for levelling - even after getting a mount. Also, ask any high-end raider and they will tell you not to underestimate the DPS increase that a speed boost provides. Blizzard have given multiple classes more skills, and even glyphs that increase speed in various ways. This points towards the attraction that movement speed provides under more circumstances than most people realise.
  • Enchant Boots - Boar's Speed: the mid-level movement speed enchant. It provides an extra 90 health to the wearer - a pitiful amount, even in the mid-30s, but people may just pay for this over Minor Speed.
  • Swiftness Potion: the alchemical answer to temporarily increasing movement speed. Sales of these are also worth considering with the sudden influx of levelling and twink toons.

Tag 'em and bag 'em
The best gatherer setup is to have a herbalist/miner druid with Master Riding and a pocket paladin (also with 310% flying). That way, you never have to dismount and you gain the benefit from Crusader Aura!

But no matter whether you are into gathering or not, there is an abundance of people who farm herbs, leather and ores. And what better incentive to go out and fill your bags than to have big bags to fill!

If I spend my first few Cataclysm hours taking advantage of the insane prices that will no doubt be affixed to brand new shiny ores and herbs, I would be wise to equip my chosen gatherer with four of the appropriate 32-slot bags.

There should be a demand for these bags, but you can always look into the cheaper options to provide for people without quite so much gold to spend on item-specific bag-space. Remember to check reagent prices now, while people are dumping their Northrend stock!

Gathering Enchants
Not only will people profit from having the most bag space possible, but being able to mine that node or pick that herb as early as possible is also beneficial.
  • Herbalist's Gloves - for leather armour wearers and above.
  • Enchant Gloves - Advanced Herbalism: I would imagine that the demand for this enchant will rise if it hasn't already. And it stacks with the bonus on Herbalist's Gloves!
  • Enchant Gloves - Advanced Mining: the miners' equivalent to the above enchant. Too bad there are no gloves with a mining bonus, but there is a helmet for Engineers. :)
  • Enchant Gloves - Skinning. There are BoP items out there that increase skinning skill, but not everyone knows about them or has had the luck to acquire them. I know that I coveted both Finkle's Skinner and Zulian Slicer (when ZG was released) back in the day but just never got either on my hunter. :(
  • Enchant Gloves - Gatherer: note the minimum level. This should still go up in demand with the amount of people gathering in the new high level zones. Also, unlike the other +5 enchants, Gatherer is learned from enchanting trainers.

Remember that there are plenty of other options out there! Look for other ways to help players enhance their levelling experience and you will both benefit. The reward for this is likely to be greater than the risk. Just remember that nothing in life is certain. :)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, November 8, 2010

Making Gold

Cataclysm is on the horizon, as everyone in the WoW community knows. 4.0.1 came out a couple of weeks ago, and with it, some very big changes - in anticipation of the changeover with Cataclysm.

I've decided to change my approach to this blog. Not that I post very often at all, but for a while I want to focus on something that brings a glint to most players' eyes: gold-making.

I recently starting following Just My Two Copper, a gold blog that has an entire community centred around it. The forums are very helpful and there are frequent blog posts that give ideas and tips to people wanting to try their hand at taking advantage of the in-game economy.

The one thing that you need if you intend to make gold is to read, be patient, and read some more. Do things in your own time, at your own pace, and learn from your mistakes. Also, don't try to take on too much at once. It is overwhelming to try and launch into it headfirst (as I soon found out). You will likely only hinder your progression.

Ok, so here is a little bit from my own experience over the last two weeks or so. With Cataclysm coming upon us so fast, there isn't much time left to prepare. So let's go!

Why do I want to make gold?
This is the first question you should ask yourself. My own reasons vary, but I mostly just want to see how successful I can be in learning to use the auction house and my professions to my advantage.

You might wonder what someone would do with a spare 10k gold, let alone 100k, or even the new cap of a million gold. I wonder too, which is also part of the reason I want to try and build my reserves. The economic challenge itself draws me in.

How do I start?
It is best to have some gold to start with. Thankfully, there are myriad ways to get your initial fund. Unless you spend everything you get from questing and selling junk, you should have at least a little gold. Get focused, change your spending habits (stop paying exorbitant prices for epic gems for your alts' blue gear), and aim to get a few thousand through your own methods, so you can kick-start your money-making endeavour.

What then?
When you have a little gold, and even while trying to build up a little bit to get started, read around. JMTC is a good place to start, but there are a lot of gold blogs around. Unless you are willing to start somewhere and build up your knowledge, you won't get very far. Every realm has a different economy, and everyone has different ways of investing. So learn as much as you can about your own realm; experiment, prepare and don't be afraid of making mistakes. Don't regret missing out on opportunities, either. Many will pass you by, so just focus on what you manage to get your claws into!

What is the best way to make gold?
The answer is simple: it depends. It depends on so many things. I would recommend a few things though, but it really comes down to your own willingness to try, to learn, and to put in some time and patience. Start small and expand out into other markets that interest you.

From my own little, recent experience, it pays to consider a few things: looks for current opportunities (right now, this means things that are disappearing or changing in Cataclysm, and will always include in-game holidays); install helpful addons; have multiple professions; farm only when it is profitable to do so, or do it because you enjoy it (ie. in Cataclysm, gathering professions will make a killing in the first 24- or 48-hours when materials are brand new, and will take weeks, if not months to plateau and even off at a stable market price).

The good thing about a game economy is that there are finite options. But this doesn't mean that your options are limited. Dabble here and there, focus on things that interest you, set yourself up to be efficient (spreadsheets, addons, trying your best to not waste too much time in-game going around in circles); and don't forget to have fun!

Preparing for Cataclysm
It's not too late to start. So far, I have decided that in Cataclysm I want to focus on Enchanting more than anything, but I have also stockpiled things that I believe will turn at least a little profit, and have also begun to invest somewhat into Inscription.

When 4.0.1 hit, those that were prepared were able to make everything from a little profit to hundreds of thousands of gold. I wasn't prepared. I came to the game late and so missed out on what could have been a very profitable GlyphmasTM.

But I am learning, and I am preparing for Cataclysm the best that I can! Things to consider (definitely not an exhaustive list):
  • What will all the levelling toons need or want? Remember that people will be rolling new Worgen and Goblins, which means gear, enchants and glyphs especially will be in much demand.
  • What obsolete materials will suddenly be in demand? With people heading off to the new zones and those levelling not spending much time in Outland and Northrend, what can you stockpile to provide for the demand that there will be?
  • What is disappearing or changing? Consider pets and achievements that people will want to get before the 7th of December, and things that will still be in-game but no longer available to acquire!
  • What is still in demand now but has been forgotten by the masses? Do things like Eternal Belt Buckles or leg armors still sell? How about classic items that you could potentially buy and resell at a profit?
  • What else can you think of that might be in demand but in short supply when Cataclysm hits? Try thinking outside the box.

Get a guild bank. If you are serious about making gold, you will need a lot of space to store materials, crafted items, and things you will use in the future to turn a profit. Invest in your own personal guild bank, and when you can afford it, max out the tabs. I just managed to buy the last tab in my guild bank. It costs 5,000 gold! All up, it is almost 10k gold for the bank tabs, but in the long run it will be well worth it.

Use alts. Bank alts can be handy, and definitely remove a bit of stress. Depending on how deeply you want to get involved in auctioneering and gold-making, at least one bank alt with full guild bank access will be handy. If you want to do things on a smaller scale but break out into multiple areas and markets, it is still handy to have everything filtered through one toon.

Buy on the weekend, sell during the week. This is a little piece of advice that a lot of people don't realise. Try it for a couple of weeks and just watch what happens to auctions. There is less demand during the week, but there is also a lot less supply. If you want to be smart, buy your materials in bulk between Saturday and Sunday and sell your goods wisely during the week. Just be aware of when people will most want what you have to provide, and don't flood the market!

Set up the right addons. This is not an exhaustive list but is what I use. There are always other options:
  • Auctioneer: track prices and market averages; post and buy things at sensible prices; scan for good deals via the reselling and snatch options.
  • Auction Profit Master: post in bulk much easier. This is especially useful for Scribes and Enchanters, but also Jewelcrafting can take advantage of posting up bulk gems, and even Tailoring, Leatherworking and Blacksmithing will have an easier time getting their goods up. APM is also an excellent bulk mailing tool. Set up alts to send frequently bought and mailed items to, and with one click you can post it all off!
  • Altoholic: very handy for tracking what is in your alts' bags, their professions, achievements, etc. This synergises with quite a few economy addons.
  • Advanced Trade Skill Window: Queue craftable items and craft things from base materials much more easily (for example, with just Netherweave Cloth and Eternium Thread, you can much more easily make Netherweave Bags).
  • Scroll Master: As I am going to focus mostly on enchanting, this is my choice of a queuing tool. If you want to focus more on glyphs, I would recommend KevTool Queue. SM will scan the AH and allow you to queue enchanting scrolls to craft. It will give you a list of mats that you need, you have in your bags and any alts have in their bags, as well as what scrolls are currently up on the AH for both your enchanter and any alts you have assigned. The bonus is, it interacts directly with APM and will automatically create groups of every single enchant you enable!
  • MailOpener: Some people recommend other mail opening addons, but I like the simplicity of this one. I recommend it for clearing your mailbox without much hassle at all. When you are clearing hundreds of auctions you will be very thankful for it. I'm not there yet, but even with my mere dozens of mails it is a godsend.
  • Any other or alternative addons that you feel would be helpful, or complement your use of professions, buying and re-selling, and any other approach to gold-making. Even something as simple as SellJunk can make things easier.

My experience
I am new. I won't pretend that I have much experience or that I can offer any more insight than anyone else playing this game. But I will share my recent experiences in the hopes that someone will stumble on this blog post and be encouraged to try their hand at becoming a part-time auctioneer.

I started with close to 5k gold. I spent a lot of it - all but around 1.5k - on levelling blues and epics, Saronite Ore, enchanting mats, herbs and Netherweave Cloth. Over the days that I did this, I must have earned a bit more gold through selling a few enchants and such, so all up I estimate that I spent close to 5,000 gold on kick-starting my Cataclysm stockpile.

Then I received a tip: many of the reputations needed for Insane in the Membrane will no longer be achievable in Cataclysm. What could this mean for me? Did I have anything that was suddenly in high demand? Yes.

You see, over the last year or so I have farmed Baron Rivendare's Deathcharger. I'm currently at 63 kills and no luck. Regrettably, I got rid of a lot of the enchanting mats gathered during that time; something I need a lot of now. Having killed hundreds of abominations, it was easy enough for me to collect stacks of Frayed Abomination Stitchings, something I intended to use, along with Librams of Protection, to raise my Shen'dralar rep.

Well, as fortune would have it, I had collected all but the librams (always overpriced and in very short supply), and so had one necessary item rotting in my bank. One sparkly, suddenly very much in demand item: Pristine Black Diamond. 44, if I remember. And how much were these pitiful little gems going for? A thousand gold a piece. That's right, they had suddenly skyrocketed to phenomenal prices.

I sold myself short with half of them, only making 10k off 20 - but leaving one customer incredibly happy, so that is a bonus. But for the other 24, I sold them at 1k a piece (minus the 5% auction cut). So I suddenly found myself 30k richer.

From almost no gold (but a fair investment in the bank) to 30,000 gold. This is exactly what I needed to boost my spirits and consider preparing all the more for Cataclysm. One can never predict the market, or what is going to happen to all current materials' supply and demand. But there are a few avenues I have been pursuing and trying to prepare for.

And I am still learning. I'm still making mistakes and wasting my time somewhat, but I am approaching things with a positive outlook. No longer do I look at the auction house in dismay as I see a flood of enchanting scrolls up for less than material cost. I see the potential of breaking into the enchanting market with Cataclysm enchants and providing all those little Worgen with levelling enchants, shiny blue and epic weapons and gear, and even a few glyphs for good measure.

Because when you know what something is worth, and if you utilise both patience and wisdom, you will celebrate every victory.

Risk vs. Reward
One final point I want to make before I conclude is that you should always consider the risk of buying or investing in something. If you keep your eyes and options open, as you gain confidence and build your resources and efficiency, you will begin to reap the benefit of sometimes taking risks.

Gold-making is a risky business. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you are very likely to sell yourself short and find yourself twiddling your thumbs or watching as the market appears to crash around you. But if you are willing to take risks for the sake of improving and advancing, then you will find the reward is greater than having five zeroes on your gold count.

And that pretty much sums up everything I have to say. In just a few short weeks I have gained at least a little more awareness and some knowledge, begun to prepare for Cataclysm, created tracking spreadsheets, updated my economy addons, made 30k gold through blind luck, and have learned to see things from a different perspective.

Just today I realised that my approach to the glyph market may be too time-consuming and have decided to alter my tactic. I'll see how that goes.

But the most important thing is to not get carried away. I have a family that I love, and I don't want the excitement of virtual currency to draw me away from time spent with them. If I can't be efficient enough or I lose out in a big way, it doesn't matter in light of what is really important: the relationship that I have with those closest to me.

I'll leave this post with a few screenshots of the state of my guild bank as of this morning. It is definitely a work in progress, and if time permits I would like to collect enough stuff to tick me up into the six-digit region sometime within the first month of the release of Cataclysm.

It's a rum thing, Mr. Mate!

Tailoring tab
This is currently being filled with Netherweave Bolts. I stupidly crafted a whole lot of bags before realising that bolts take up far less room and therefore you can store four times as much! I will put a couple of hundred up at a large markup before Cataclysm gets switched on, and then will trickle them out 20 or so at a time over the following weeks.

Mining tab
This is getting filled with Saronite Ore. I will decide what to do with it when I observe the various markets in Cataclysm. I may sell it wholesale if it becomes profitable enough, or I may prospect it and do something with the gems.

Levelling tab
These are mostly items to resell at a profit, but a few materials to help people levelling their professions. I have collected a range of armour and weapons and a few tidbits here and there.

Inscription tab
A work definitely in progress. I decided to focus on five or six classes and am aiming to craft or acquire five of every popular glyph for each of those classes. If I can, I would like to gather up 20 of each glyph by the time Cataclysm hits. It's a tiny drop in a huge pool, but it is something!

Enchanting tab
My main pursit. I haven't crafted much yet, and haven't stored any enchanting mats or scrolls in this tab yet. So far I have only started putting vellums in. I want to make hundreds of them while they are cheap enough (because you never know when Earthroot will go up in price).

Miscellaneous tab
The final tab is just miscellaneous things. I have collected a few pets. The two Razzashi Hatchlings are ones that I farmed myself. They currently sell for around 6k on my realm, but if things are in my favour, with ZG being removed in Cataclysm, they could go up to 20, 40 or even 100k (one should be hopeful!). I also have some pets that drop from Mysterious Egg. Since it will be a much bigger pain to go to Sholazar Basin every week, these pets should go up a little in demand.

You may also have noticed a couple of things in my warlock's bags: enchanting scrolls and some sort of armour items. Well, the scrolls are my slow start to preparation for selling enchants. They are in her bags so that Scroll Master recognises their existence.

The armour pieces are starter gear. That's right, Recruit's Shirts and Neophyte's Boots. These actually sell from time to time. I paid a handful of copper for them in Old Hillsbrad, and get anything from 10-15 gold per piece. They have hardly been selling, but even selling just one more than covers the auction posting cost for putting them up a hundred times over. This is just a wee experiment and so far it hasn't been a complete waste of time. My experience here is that the grey ones don't sell; the white ones occasionally do.

Think outside the box! :)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beta Theta Data

There is some cool stuff on the beta servers right now.

The new glyph interface is active, although a lot of new glyphs are still under development:
Cataclysm Glyph UI

Worgen can now customise both their Worgen and Human forms:
Worgen customisation screen - Worgen form

Worgen customisation screen - Human form

The Dark Phoenix mount is acquired through a guild achievement that requires completion of the first three raid achievements:
Dark Phoenix a guild achievement

A few tidbits:
  • The vanilla raid instance Zul'Gurub is being removed (Source).
  • Possibly due to popular demand or simply just efficient development, the heroic versions of Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines will now be released with the expansion, rather than in a later patch (Source).
  • The patch notes have been updated for the newest beta build (12857: Source), and the level cap has been raised to 85 (Source), with Uldum and Twilight Highlands now accessible for testing.

A lot more has happened over the last couple of months. For some decent beta footage, check out the videos from TotalHalibut, aka Total Biscuit of Cynical Brit fame. He recently released one of a Stonecore dungeon run, and with the level cap now 85, expect end-game instance videos some time before the end of the beta:

Totalhobnob Stonecore run


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Friday, July 16, 2010

My 41 Points

The first iteration of the new talent trees was released the other day. They are in serious beta mode, as Blizzard have not delivered what they have promised just yet. We can only hope that beta participants will be able to communicate clearly just what it is that should be altered, changed and adjusted.

Step 1: At level 10, choose your spec

Step 2: Other trees are locked as you fill out your chosen tree

Step 3: At level 70 the other trees unlock and more choices open up

There is a lot of work to be done on the trees. Let's take the priest ones as an example. Here is what I posted to the priest forums:

So many of these talents should not be options; they should simply be part and parcel of being that spec. Why should we be given the option of taking something like shadowform as a shadow priest? It should be there by default when you click "shadow" as your chosen spec.

There simply needs to be less choosing talents that no one in their right mind will pass over -- it defeats the purpose of having a tree in the first place -- and more taking things that really do seem optional, that you are sure not everyone will take.

Every single talent that you choose should offer the question: is everyone going to take this because it is a mandatory talent, or is this an actual option amongst all the other options I have?

Sure, a disc priest will play the same as a disc priest -- and the same for all specs -- but wouldn't it be cool if cookie cutter builds actually had half the talent points floating so that there were literally dozens of different specs to give a little different flavour. Makes it more personal. Makes it so you can look at another person's spec and go, "Wow, we have quite a few different talents but we are filling the same role, and neither one of us suffers for not having taken the exact same build as the other." And there you have many, many options.

What should be options (I'm not talking about what should be simply available) are taking damage talents as a healer, getting cool effects and bonuses added to key spells, and having a lot of options in each tree that really complement that spec in different ways.

If Blizzard do anything, it should be to approach the trees from scratch, offering each class specialisation the passives without spending talent points, and a whole heap of option when it comes to utility, boosting spells and doing cool stuff.

Right now, that is not the case. But it will be. I have faith.

Right, so why can't we have, say, a few shadowform boosting talents? Something like: Talent A: Improves shadowform by boosting mana by 5%/10% (2 points); Talent B: Improves shadowform by increasing shadow damage by an additional x/2x amount (2 points); Talent C: Improves shadowform by reducing stun and fear effects by 10%/20% (2 points); Talent D: Improves shadowform by increasing movement speed by 7%/15% and reducing the resistance to snare effects by x%/y% and reducing the time of snare effects by x%/y%.

And that's just one example of talents where people will have real options that really affect how they play their chosen spec, and there will be a whole lot more variety amongst players of the same spec, with a lot of utility and boosting options. Talents that are optional skills -- where you are having to choose wicked skill A, awesome skill B, intense skill C, or crazy skill D -- need to be a cohesively large part of each specialisation, as well as optional supporting talents that make you choose between multiple options; the benefits of which are not immediately apparent, but none of which will make you feel inferior to a different "build".

So for now, we wait. We wait until they dig out these trees at the roots and design a whole lot of new talents that will feel like they are worth taking; but that give you the option of taking. I really do want to be able to open up each of my characters' talent trees and feel that I am choosing more than simply mandatory talents with a couple of extras thrown in with leftover points. It has to feel substantial and solid and unique, with the cool, fun, powerful factor increasingly growing as you go down your chosen tree towards that big, bad talent at the end.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Changes to Talents

The talent trees are getting a huge overhaul. You can read Zarhym's original announcement here.

The revamp will bring things closer to the original model of 31 talent points per tree. Players will choose a specialisation at level 10, when their first talent point is unlocked, and will then be locked to that tree until level 70. This will give choosing talents much more meaning as a. They make talents very cool and core talents available from level 10 (Mortal Strike, Stormstrike, Penance, etc); and b. Talents will be available about every two levels, with a total of 41 to spend by level 85, minimising confusion and giving much more meaning to choosing talent trees and the points themselves.

This means that only ten points will be available to give you the option of putting them in other trees from level 70. It will also mean that balancing each class-spec will be easier. People will know their role and have an expectation of filling that role from early on.

Dual spec will remain the same, as will being able to respec at any time. But expect to see a greater percentage of prot warriors and holy priests at the early levels, where levelling will be much easier as non-DPS specs and tanking / healing instances will be a lot more viable.

Because of the nature of how the trees will work, Mastery will be a learned skill at the high levels (around level 75), with the Mastery stat being on level 78+ gear. It will affect gameplay slightly differently now that the trees are being completely changed.

I'm excited about these changes. It seems to be moving more towards the design concept they originally had: removing bloat from trees; making the game more accessible to people; and making talents actually mean something for people. It sounds at first as if choice is being taken away from players, but the simplification of the talent specialisation process will make the game a lot more fun as people level and will give end-game characters a greater feeling of being the class-spec(s) they want to be .

It also means that in future expansions, expanding talents and skills will be much more flexible and allow for even more powerful and exciting changes without overhauling the tree system again.

On another note, I highly recommend checking out the following videos by TotalBiscuit at cynicalbrit.com:

For more, head on over to cynicalbrit.com. There are a lot of videos of changed areas from the air, such as Stormwind (7:20) and Stranglethorn Vale (6:50), not to mention new zones, such as Mt Hyjal (21:37) and Vashj'ir (9:36).


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Preparing for the Cataclysm

The Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) has been lifted on the Cataclysm beta. We are now swarmed with a plethora of information. You can find it all at this MMO-Champion post. This is more than enough to get excited about!

I'm especially excited about the professions. There are some absolutely amazing upgrades that can be crafted. I foresee myself gathering a lot of materials in the months following Cataclysm's release. With my casual playstyle, it sure will keep a player like me occupied, just gearing up to run instances, which in turn will eventually lead to doing them on heroic.

Can't wait to play around with class builds, either. And exploring the new zones for the first time, not to mention doing the revamped old zones is going to occupy a lot of my time, also.

I figure that there are now about four months left to finish off what I want to in preparation for the release of the expansion. Because once it hits, sticking to Northrend would be tedious and destroy all of my patience.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Powered by Wowhead

Wowhead recently updated their Powered by page with a guide to adding gems, enchants and set bonuses that will show up within item tooltips.

I have been levelling my hunter. He is level 75 so far, and mostly in blues, which is fun.

My priest got her [Emblem of Frost] cloak, [Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky]. And my mage finally got a robe upgrade, [Ancient Polar Bear Hide].

Achievement-wise, during the Noblegarden holiday, I decided to complete the achievements and get the title, the Noble, as well as achieve more towards What a Long, Strange Trip; which will eventually reward me with the [Violet Proto-Drake].

Speaking of 310% mounts, in Cataclysm, we will be able to purchase 310% mount speed -- possibly titled Master Riding. Not much detail has been released regarding this, but hopefully it will not be restricted to having a 310% mount before it is available.

There are many things I am looking forward to in Cataclysm. The recent Developer Chat on Twitter addressed a lot of things.

And a couple of weeks ago we started hearing a lot more about changes coming to all of the classes in the class previews, compiled together here. Exciting. ;)


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rob Pardo at the GDC

Rob Pardo, Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Game Design, held a panel at the Game Developers Conference the other day about the success of World of Warcraft; what Blizzard did and didn't do right.

Go to wow.com to see a summary, complete with images.

Recently, I have been doing Argent Tournament dailies with Gaiwyn. I initially intended to save up for one of the heirloom trinkets to make levelling Kynthaea easier when Cataclysm hits (as I have upgraded her gear significantly). But now, I want to see if I can get the 150 Champion's Seals that I need to purchase a Silver Covenant Hippogryph.

It would also be nice to get a Great Red Elekk, a Swift Gray Steed, a Swift Moonsaber, a Swift Violet Ram and a Turbostrider -- each costing a mere 5 Champion's Seals and 400g (with faction discount).

I'm also hoping that they introduce a good range of new mounts in Cataclysm to make getting Mountain o' Mounts much more possible, and thus bringing my Blue Dragonhawk within reach.

Not much else to report. I play when I can and have been trying to recruit for my guild. It's hard to find casual players that are patient enough to stick around while we find other casual players.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Excited About Cataclysm

The latest news is about changes to stats. You can read about the changes here.

I just want to get excited for a moment about some of these changes. The simplification and adjustment of classes is really cool and something I am very much looking forward to seeing implemented.

  • Spell power is all but being removed and Intellect will be a caster's key stat; this will simplify gear choices and having a powerful caster weapon will seem much cooler!
  • Only healers will benefit from Spirit; MP5 is being completely removed, as is the FSR*.
  • Armor Penetration will only come from talents
  • Mastery is going to be a really cool addition; there will be much more choice in talent specs and this will allow for a greater range of viable playstyles
  • There will no longer be ranks of spells, but spells and skills will get stronger as you level -- think: heirloom items.
  • Weapon skill is finally being removed! This is an excellent move on the developers' part, as it should have been removed from the game a long time ago
  • The addition of Reforging will make gear choices so much more interesting!
  • Gems are being changed to reflect the stat changes and to improve slotting; this in itself is something to get excited about, as Jewelcrafting should become a whole lot cooler (hopefully this means there will be far fewer high level gem recipes to learn!) and meeting the requirements of meta gems will not be such a sacrifice anymore!

* The five second rule, where casters must have stopped casting for five seconds before passive mana regeneration activates

The changes to gear before Cataclysm hits also has me excited. I'll summarise what Eyonix said in his post:
  • Plate wearers will want to wear only plate because only plate will have favourable stats
  • Tanks will no longer see defense or block value on their gear
  • Mail and plate will have no intellect whatsoever; hunters get focus instead of a mana pool (we knew this a long time ago, but it is still exciting!) and caster shaman and holy paladins will have talents that give them bonuses to mana
  • Mail, leather and cloth wearers will see a substantial health increase (40k health mage?)
  • Absolutely no spirit for casters!! Let mages rejoice across the world!
  • No MP5 for healers

More information is going to be released as they continue to work on all of the huge changes and new stuff for the expansion. When patch 3.4 hits, we should see the initial changes take place and will have time to get used to the new stats before Cataclysm comes out.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore