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

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