Tuesday, October 4, 2011

4.3: Dragon Soul and Transmogrification

With 4.3 on the PTR, it isn't long until we get the final heroics, raid and features for the current iteration of the game.

With the patch comes three heroics: End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight.

The final of the three instances segues directly into the last raid of Cataclysm, Dragon Soul. But how will Deathwing meet his demise? Even with the Dragon Soul to weaken his armour, help of the Dragon Aspects and Thrall, and the might of a cadre of heroes, he who was once Neltharion the Earth-Warder is nigh on immortal, having transformed into something far greater than a black dragon. Now consumed by the hatred and even the powers of the old gods of Azeroth, Deathwing and his sprouting tentacles will have to be weakened to the point of defeat and then permanently imprisoned far beneath the world, much as the Titans once imprisoned the old gods.

I speculate that Alexstrasza, because of her history with Neltharion and more recently his incarnation as Deathwing, will land the final, incapacitating blow, allowing the other aspects to deal with Catacylsm's big bad guy once and for all. However that will be.

Along with the new instances and the final raid come various features: a cross-realm raid finder, void storage, and transmogrification being the most prominent of additions and changes to the game. There are some very cool weapons and pieces of armour out there to discover. Some will take a bit of work to acquire, while others will be nigh on impossible to attain.

I put together a set for my mage. It will take a bit of work to gather all of the necessary pieces. Following is just one option:

Items used:
Chief Architect's Monocle - Fineous Darkvire, Blackrock Depths [Acquired]
Mantle of the Elven Kings - Trash drop, The Eye
Shadow of Dread - Nefarian, Blackwing Descent
Firehawk Robes - 2,200 Valor Points.
Firehawk Gloves - 1,650 Valor Points.
Embereye Belt - Naresir Stormfury, Firelands and Mount Hyjal
Boots of the Black Flame - Tailoring
Red Sword of Courage - King Ymiron, Utgarde Pinnacle
Igniter Rod - Ignis the Furnace Master, Ulduar


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ding! Gaiwyn the Exalted

Congratulations to me. Not only did I hit 40 Exalted factions, thus gaining me the title I have coveted for oh, so long; but the faction I hit exalted with was none other than my guild! So I also got Time Flies When You're Having Fun, and shot over to the vendor in Stormwind to get both my Dark Phoenix Hatchling and my Reins of the Golden King!!

This happened last week but I have simply been too busy till now to put up a blog entry to commemorate this accomplishment. We moved to a new house on the weekend, and don't have internet yet, unfortunately; which also means I haven't played for about a week now. :(

Missing out on all that neat Molten Front stuff. But what can ya do, eh. :/

I'm just hoping that my Truegold stockpile doesn't go to waste and that supply will be very dry and demand very high when I am able to play again. XD


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, July 11, 2011

Achievements: Titles

It's time to pick up my series again. This post's topic is, of course, titles.

Table of Contents

There should be an unlockable title for having collected a certain number of titles. Ironic? Maybe, but what would you call being granted a mount for reaching a certain number of mounts; or being given a tabard for reaching a certain number of tabards? I'd call it well-deserved.

But what title? <*Name*, the Entitled>? <*Name*, the Titleholder>? Perhaps this is something they will add in future? But if not, I'm simply cool with collecting titles. It makes you feel like you have achieved something when you can put it against your name for all to see.

Titles I have gained
You can see my titles here (although the Wowhead information does need to be updated). Some of them I am quite proud of: Ambassador; Champion of the Frozen Wastes; the Diplomat; the Explorer; Guardian of Cenarius; Knight-Captain; Loremaster; the Seeker; and Twilight Vanquisher.

Others are pretty plain, such as the city and world event ones.

Titles I missed out on
Feats of strength or past raiding requirements — these are titles that I would have liked to have earned:
the Celestial Defender — the limitations of not being in the top raiding guild at the time — or anywhere close.
Champion of the Naaru — this was just bad timing on the part of Christmas holidays near the end of TBC.
Conqueror of Naxxramas — see the Celestial Defender above.
Death's Demise — never even done Ulduar — see the Celestial Defender above.
Grand Marshal — this took way more dedication than I could afford; vanilla PvP is nostalgic, though.
Hand of A'dal — see Champion of the Naaru above; they are two of my biggest regrets.
Herald of the Titans — not raiding really limited me.
the Magic Seeker — see the Celestial Defender above.
Obsidian Slayer — see the Celestial Defender above.
Scarab Lord — would have been absolutely amazing to have done the questline — but alas, no one from our guild at the time was able to get close.

Titles I wanted but will likely never get
The following have pretty heft requirements, either from past raids or from current raiding. I will most likely never get any of them:
of the Alliance — too many kills!
the Argent Defender — too insane!
of the Ashen Verdict — those days are gone; my rep is still neutral. :/
the Astral Walker / Starcaller — very doubtful, but doing Ulduar these days sure would be cool.
Avenger of Hyjal — not raiding prevents me from getting anywhere close.
Bane of the Fallen King / the Light of Dawn — doable these days, but doubtful I will ever go and do it.
Battlemaster — too much PvP.
Blackwing's Bane — yeah, not likely.
Champion of Ulduar / Conqueror of Ulduar — never even done Ulduar, and I doubt I'll go back and do this.
Defender of a Shattered World — would be great, but not raiding means this is a no-go.
Dragonslayer — not likely.
Firelord — would love to kill Ragnaros on heroic — two expansions from now...
of the Four Winds — highly unlikely, ever.
the Immortal / the Undying — actually got close to getting the 10-man one; doubt I will go back one day just to get this.
the Insane — I'm not insane.
Justicar — this is also pretty insane; rep for the two remaining PvP factions would take months (and months) of dedicated battlegrounds.
The Kingslayer / The Kingslayer — would be really neat to have, but unlikely I'll go back to clear up to and kill the Lich King.
Veteran of the Alliance — highly unlikely that I will even do one rated battleground...
Warbound — see Veteran of the Alliance above

Titles I want
This last section covers titles I have yet to get. I want these titles and will try to eventually get them:
Associate Professor — on my way to getting this, but archaeology is a pastime I seldom engage in.
the Camel-Hoarder — one can dream! I actually prefer the achievement name as a title...
the Exalted — more or less within my reach; as covered in my reputations post.
the Flamebreaker — this is what I am currently working on with the new stuff in patch 4.2; very cool because I actually think I can do it!*
the Pilgrim — I'm actually more interested in the turkey pet; might try again this year.
Professor — my ultimate archaeology aim; a long way off!

* I have been doing achievements while I do my Regrowth / Molten Front Dailies. There are still quite a few to get through, but since you have to unlock areas to be able to do some of them, I'm just taking my time. However, last night I manged to kill 3 of the 4 mini-bosses for The Fiery Lords of Sethria's Roost. I tried soloing Searris, but got owned pretty hard. A DK came along just as it reset and proceeded to kill it with help from his own NPCs (BTW, I had Chromie with me last night! She casts Time Warp, which is awesome!). I then called in a couple of guildies when I saw Andrazor flying around. We got that and the next two. So, one to go!

Edit: at lunchtime, I partied up with some randoms and killed Searris! Achievement complete. ;)

On another note, Battle.net has been updated with a Companions & Mounts tab (split into Companions and Mounts). Now you can see the companions and mounts that anyone has collected — complete with 3D models — as well as information on how to acquire ones that you want to get. Neat!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Header

I redesigned the header. Hopefully, it is only temporary, as my image editing skills are fairly limited. I find it hard to get the font and layout right — they just don't look professional. But I love this picture. It's very current and powerful!

That's all for now. Will try and work out the last of my intended posts in the next couple of weeks!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4.2 is Live

And boy is there a lot of stuff.

Of course, as usual I am writing this from the office. Which means I can't log in and check out any of the new content (and server crashes, no doubt). There is a lot of stuff in this patch, as has been talked about around the community for the last couple of months.

The biggest question is: what ninja "fixes" did Blizzard slip in under the radar?

The most exciting addition is (for me, at least): the Molten Front daily quest hub. I simply cannot wait to head to Hyjal and start that epic journey.

Yesterday, our little one was sick. My wife looked after her in the morning and I went home just before lunchtime to look after her for the afternoon. Once she was asleep for her afternoon nap, it was a great opportunity to do a heroic. :)

The random heroic it gave me was Halls of Origination. Aside from a mouthy healer (obviously emboldened by the presence of two guildies), it was a good run. I just felt sorry for the two tanks we went through who got the short end of a temperamental treehugger's branch.

Surprisingly, I got Faster Than the Speed of Light, my first HoO achievement. I have hardly any achievements towards the meta, but so far I haven't actually tried to get any. It sure would be nice to be able to coincide with guildies to knock off a whole lot of those heroic achievements towards getting my drake!

Just before getting into the heroic, I finished Uldum, getting Brann's quest to meet him inside the very instance I later had selected for me. Which meant that I was also able to complete that quest chain too!

To top it all off, the 70 Valor Points that I got from the random pushed me to 1,000. Exactly 1,000. My Justice Points also shot up to about 3,400. Since with 4.2 they converted Valor to Justice to a cap of 4,000, before the end of the day I had to decide what to do with an extra 400 points. At first I considered getting the 346 caster helm, but then realised it was a complete waste of points. Then, I considered getting the PvP wand through conversion. But that too seemed like a bit of a waste since I don't currently PvP.

I actually settled for a Conquest Points conversion twice over, swapping out 500 VP for 500 CP, which in turn would have been converted to mere HP overnight. 500 "free" Honor Points is better than nothing. And when I can finally log into the game I will have 3,900 JP waiting for me to spend on my first 359 pieces (I'm thinking Melodious Slippers and Firelord's Robes)!

All in all, the time I had yesterday to play felt both very timely and very rewarding.

Next stop: continued Tol Barad dailies for the grind to Exalted, continued Vashj'ir questing to complete that zone (or those three zones, really), and a slow drive into the brand-spanking new and seriously awesome Molten Front to unlock all that new content and experience the whole Firelord and fire elemental plane storyline (minus the awesome-looking raid).

Who knows: perhaps I will have the chance to experience the original Cataclysm raid content a bit more, now that it has been nerfed. Not that it's such a big deal for me to see it, but if the opportunity arises, why not?

Here's to enjoying new content!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Collectibles: Tabards

Fingers crossed that one day tabards will have their very own tab, complete with visuals — much like mounts and companions — or are assigned to a dropdown/slideout box like titles. I vote for the former!

In either case, until that day we are stuck either destroying replaceable tabards to save space or simply hanging onto them and allowing them to take up precious bank and bag space.

There is a 25 tabards achievement but with so many tabards in the game these days, it shouldn't be too long before they introduce a 50 unique tabards achievement (probably next expansion). But which will come first: an achievement for collecting 50 tabards or a dedicated tabards tab?

In this post, I'm going to divide tabards into two sections: tabards that I have; and tabards that I want. As with my Vanity Pet lists, this will show which tabards are fairly easy to get and which ones take extra effort, luck or are just plain no longer obtainable.

My Tabard Collection

Tabards that I have
The following is a list of tabards that I actually have right now, either in my bags or in the bank:

Gilneas Tabard — purchased from a vendor; I plan to use it for reputation gain in dungeons
Green Trophy Tabard of the Illidari — a TBC quest; can be destroyed and the alternative chosen
Knight's Colors — originally available from at least PvP rank 6, now a mere 100 honor points
Loremaster's Colors — reward for completing The Loremaster
Private's Tabard — 50 honor points
Renowned Guild Tabard — guild rep is still a long, tedious grind, even with this equipped
Sporeggar Tabard — costs 10 Glowcaps
Tabard of Ramkahen — this will get my to exalted
Tabard of Summer Skies — the second tabard that can be destroyed and the alternative chosen
Tabard of the Achiever — all you need are 25 tabards!
Tabard of the Argent Dawn — I have a feeling I missed it the first time around, but Wrath changed that!
Tabard of the Earthen Ring — more Cata rep
Tabard of the Explorer — was Northrend really so big as to warrant an epic quality tabard?
Tabard of the Guardians of Hyjal — Cata rep
Tabard of Therazane — probably the trickiest Cata rep tabard to get
Tabard of the Wildhammer Clan

I also had the following TBC tabards, but destroyed them because they are easily purchasable for 70s each — if I was so inclined to buy them back:
Aldor Tabard
Cenarian Expedition Tabard
Consortium Tabard
Keepers of Time Tabard
Kurenai Tabard
Lower City Tabard
Ogri'la Tabard
Sha'tar Tabard
Skyguard Tabard
Tabard of the Shattered Sun — one of my favourite looking tabards

Tabards that I want
Mostly for the sake of completion to the extent that I am able, but especially if they introduce a 50 tabards achievement in future. Even if I am unable to get a handful of these (because a few are tricky to get hold of), next expansion there should be six or seven new reputation tabards to make up for what I don't end up getting.

For now, I don't intend to get any of these tabards, since they only take up space. But when we get that much anticipated tabards tab I will definitely add as many as I can to my collection. :)

Arathor Battle Tabard — requires exalted with League of Arathor followed by five captured bases — should be epic
Argent Crusader's Tabard — 50 Champion's Seals
Baradin's Wardens Tabard — doesn't grant reputation, unfortunately — costs 40 Tol Barad Commendations
Darnassus Tabard — 70s from Darnassus
Exodar Tabard — 7s from Exodar
Gnomeregan Tabard — 7s from Ironforge
Ironforge Tabard — 7s from Ironforge
Silver Covenant Tabard — 50 Champion's Seals
Silverwing Battle Tabard — costs 2,059 honor points
Stormpike Battle Tabard — costs 2,679 honor points
Stormwind Tabard — 7s from Stormwind
Tabard of Conquest — reward from a difficult achievement, but a very cool tabard
Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade — drops from Scarlet Trainees in Scarlet Monastery — might have had this in the past, but will have to go farm it again if I want it (and it is cool, so maybe one day I will — again)

With 31 tabards under my belt (or over my robe), two more easily swappable (destroy and get the alternative from the vendor), and a handful more easily purchasable; I'm well on the way towards that future 50 tabards achievement and nicely padding out my tabards tab — when it shows up.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Achievements: Reputations

Next up, I want to cover reputations. Namely, achieving exalted status with reputations in the game. Not all reputations give rewards or have any form of reason behind aiming for exalted status; but many do.

My Exalted Reputations
I've been at 38 exalted reputations ever since hitting exalted with Silver Covenant in Wrath. So yes: that means I haven't got a single exalted reputation since Cataclysm came. But I am definitely — slowly, but surely — working on it.

As for oldschool reps, I've been slowly working on some of those for years. It's just a matter of every now and then doing something to increase my reputation with any given faction that ultimately doesn't give any sort of reward or benefit.

Alliance Vanguard 999 / 999 — one of those meta-factions that hits exalted by default
Argent Crusade 999 / 999 — easy grind in Wrath
Argent Dawn 999 / 999 — revered in vanilla for my key to Naxx! Cauuuuldroooons >.<
Cenarion Circle 999 / 999 — this sure brings back memories; painful memories...
Cenarion Expedition 999 / 999 — a much friendlier grind than its predecessor
Darnassus 999 / 999 — cities; who needs em?
Exodar 999 / 999 — the Naaru like me as much as the Draenei
Explorers' League 999 / 999 — another Wrath faction
Gnomeregan 999 / 999 — another city grind back when cloth hand-ins were the norm
Honor Hold 999 / 999 — every Alliance player in TBC did this one easily enough
Ironforge 999 / 999 — I guess the Dwarves love me too
Keepers of Time 999/999 — a hard grind, if I remember right. Heroic Durnholde... O.O
Kirin Tor 999 / 999 — one of my earlier Wrath grinds. What else would a mage do?
Knights of the Ebon Blade 999 / 999 — for the sake of an exalted faction ;)
Kurenai 999 / 999 — ah yes, the notorious ogre-slaying and bead hand-ins. Friggin' Corky :D
Lower City 999 / 999 — t'was imperative. Keys, keys, keys. :/
Netherwing 999 / 999 — had to get those netherdrakes somehow. But oh, the daily grind!
Ogri'la 999 / 999 — the addition of questing for them was actually pretty cool
Sha'tari Skyguard 999 / 999 — see above and replace "netherdrake" with "undulating stingray beast"
Shattered Sun Offensive 999 / 999 — the one faction I reached exalted with on seven toons...
Sporeggar 999 / 999 — only for my Tiny Sporebat
Stormpike Guard 999 / 999 — easy to reach by default in vanilla PvP
Stormwind 999 / 999Represent!
The Aldor 999 / 999 — had to choose a side. No way I was grinding the rival faction after that...
The Consortium 999 / 999 — another TBC dungeon grind. Good times :)
The Frostborn 999 / 999 — another of those default Wrath factions
The Kalu'ak 999 / 999 — who doesn't want a cool fishing pole?
The Oracles 999 / 999 — think I chose wisely
The Sha'tar 999 / 999 — TBC grinds weren't always that thrilling :/
The Silver Covenant 999 / 999 — came easily enough through the Argent Tournament and universal dungeon rep
The Sons of Hodir 999 / 999 — took a while, but determination always wins through
The Violet Eye 999 / 999 — ah, Karazhan; where would we be today if it hadn't been for your haunted halls?
The Wyrmrest Accord 999 / 999 — Dragonblight wasn't that bad
Thorium Brotherhood 999 / 999 — the bar, the bar, the bar O.O
Timbermaw Hold 999 / 999 — ugh
Valiance Expedition 999 / 999 — yay for default Wrath factions ;)
Wintersaber Trainers 999 / 999well worth it
Zandalar Tribe 999 / 999 — glad this still counts towards my total! Bijous, anyone?

Reputations To Work On
There are a total of 18 factions that I have been working on for various periods of time. Some are as old as the game itself; while others were added in Cataclysm and have been a slow grind for me, considering my casual playstyle. Some of these I may never get to exalted, while others I will max out before the end of this year.

Ashtongue Deathsworn 13,793 / 21000 — must find more Black Temple runs some time
Baradin's Wardens 2,964 / 6,000 — only just started doing the dailies
Booty Bay 9,153 / 12,000 — one day, maybe?
Brood of Nozdormu 1,745 / 21,000 — and TAQ runs, too
Darkmoon Faire 2,060 / 6,000 — not in a hurry to hand in cards; or anything, for that matter
Everlook 6,134 / 12,000 — see: Booty Bay
Gadgetzan 7,773 / 12,000 — see: Everlook
Gilneas 192 / 21,000 — once I'm exalted with the other Cata factions I'll switch back to this tabard
Guardians of Hyjal 11,554 / 21,000 — not in a hurry, but it will come before the end of the expansion
Guild 3,281 / 21,000 — thank goodness for Renowned Guild Tabard!
Hydraxian Waterlords 14,954 / 21,000 — one of my longest-running rep grinds XD
Ramkahen 6,318 / 21,000 — currently wear the tabard in instances
Ratchet 7,902 / 12,000 — see: Gadgetzan
Silverwing Sentinels 4,398 / 12,000 — a very old and drawn-out grind!
The Earthen Ring 2,963 / 21,000 — too bad you can only equip one tabard at a time
The League of Arathor 2,015 / 12,000 — see: Silverwing Sentinels
Therazane 2,784 / 21,000 — If I try for Pebble, the tabard will be secondary
Wildhammer Clan 4,002 / 6,000 — plenty of questing left in Twilight Highlands

I still need seven exalted factions to get The Exalted. Hopefully I will be able to do that before the end of Cataclysm. ;)

The easiest factions for me to get are: Baradin's Wardens, Gilneas, Guardians of Hyjal, Ramkahen, The Earthen Ring, Therazane and Wildhammer Clan. That's because they either have tabards or dailies. I will also probably get exalted with my guild before being exalted with all seven of the former.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Collectibles: Mounts

I was going to write about tabards next, but since Wowhead News did an article on mounts, I decided to roll with that instead.

  • Companion Pets
  • Tabards
  • Mounts
  • Titles
  • Reputations
  • Feats of Strength
  • Miscellaneous and Obsolete Items (ie. bank clutter)
  • and Soloing Old World Content

Collectibles: Mounts
Getting 100 mounts is not an easy feat. Some people have upwards of 125 mounts, but I've struggled to slog my way past 85. Having very few Cataclysm mounts yet (and no raid-related mounts from any iteration) doesn't help, mind you. But one day, perhaps I will eventually get there. And maybe my luck will change in instances, of which the only rare drop I have ever got on my mage is the Brewfest Ram — which is actually a rare holiday mount rather than a farmable instance drop. Other toons don't count (Brewfest Kodo on Selaena and Blue Proto-Drake on Zlaenya).

I'm going to break this down into mounts that I have — whether vendor-bought or acquired through various other means — and mounts that I want to eventually get. Since I don't spend real world money on in-game things, I'm going to ignore the TCG mounts and the ones that are available from the Blizzard Store. And since I doubt I will ever find the time to do things like past raid achievements or any sort of raiding, mounts acquired through raiding are also not within my grasp — and thus, not on my list.

I would highly recommend checking out the Mountain o' Mounts Guide for a breakdown of everything, in detail.

Warcraft Mounts: Gaiwyn's Collection

I have all vendor-bought mounts (excluding token-bought ones) and a good selection of other mounts, some of which require luck; others of which simply take a bit of effort. In all, it comes to 86 mounts, currently.

My wishlist (below the collection) includes rare drops, Argent Tournament mounts, PvP mounts, reputation mounts, and even achievement rewards. Total: 50 mounts. It will be a very long journey towards even making a dent in this, and many I will never get. But my next goal is to get 14 more mounts for my Blue Dragonhawk. ;)

When you collect mounts, even if your initial aim is to simply get the 100 mounts achievement, you do tend to end up having your favourites: whether it be style, animation, colours, or whatever. This means that it becomes more than simply a means to an end — it becomes a desire to have cool, interesting mounts that you can pick and choose from as you roam the world. Of course, some of the best mounts are also the most difficult to obtain, whether it be pure RNG or a really long grind. But one can dream!

I made this entry a lot shorter than the pets one. Listing all of the mounts I have or even just all of the mounts that I am aiming towards, would be a heck of a lot of unnecessary work, when Warcraft Mounts exists to track and link your collection and wishlist. ;)

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, June 13, 2011

Collectibles: Companion Pets

Over the next few weeks, I will be tackling a separate blog post about each of the following:
  • Companion Pets
  • Tabards
  • Mounts
  • Titles
  • Reputations
  • Feats of Strength
  • Miscellaneous and Obsolete Items (ie. bank clutter)
  • and Soloing Old World Content

Collectibles: Companion Pets
Update: I have since increased my pet collection from 70 to 85! I bought a whole lot off the AH for a little over 2k, including the Horde-only Dragonhawks and the mats for my Magic Lamp. XD

I'd like to kick it off by talking about companion pets (aka vanity pets or simply just pets). I had already decided to write about this before reading the recent JMTC blog entry about Mechanical Yetis or the Wowhead News post about pets. The Wowhead News one is incredibly useful and I would like to point your attention there if you are even mildly interested in vanity pets. I know I am going to draw on it quite a bit to write this blog entry. Big thanks to perculia for writing that up!

Of course, a post about companion pets is not complete without mention of the number one website: Warcraft Pets. Go, have a browse if you haven't already — or even if you have many times in the past. I would highly recommend tracking your collection so you can see your progress outside of the game. For in-game collection progress, Collectinator is a good addon. Personally, I use Critter Caller in-game as well to randomly summon my vanity pets.

It's not that I have suddenly become interested in vanity pets; or that I am jumping on the achievement bandwagon. I have always had an interest in companions, but that interest has waxed and waned over the years. Of course, with the introduction of achievements to the game and many, many more pets added with each expansion and even some patches, I have built up my collection on and off. With piqued interest, I'm both writing this blog entry and attempting to build my collection even more: past the 70 pets I have thus far collected. Maybe even over 100 one day!

So what is the point of this blog post? At first, I wanted to talk about which pets are easily obtainable and which take a bit of effort but should still be obtainable by any player, given enough effort. And I wanted to compare those reasonably easily obtainable ones with ones that I would consider to be quite a challenge to find and collect. After reading the Warcraft News post, I figured I would tabulate what they have so elegantly submitted and just divide things into two categories: the pets that I have and how I got them; and the pets that I still hope to collect and how I will go about getting them.

See, the biggest difference between items in-game is whether they are BoP or BoE. If BoP you have to consider where it comes from: vendor, boss-drop, etc. If BoE, you have to consider where it comes from originally and how much you are willing to pay to buy it from someone who is selling the item.

Vanity pets are no different. When people farm for them, they are ecstatic when they finally get the pet to drop. With a little research, you can discover which ones you can buy straight out and which ones you will have to go out of your way to get: albeit farming, if that is your cup of tea; or, if you are a gold-making dabbler like me, the intent to buy rare pets, one pocketful of gold at a time.

My biggest recommendation if wanting to buy pets is to either get in quick now or wait until well after 4.2. Because with the new achievements, gold-makers and pet-sellers are going to be charging rather exorbitant prices for their rare pets for a while — rather than the usual extreme prices that those pets go for.

Ok, let's get started.

Vendor-bought pets that I have purchased
In this section, I cover all vendor-bought pets. That's pure cash (and in rare cases, some rep) and a little travel time to kickstart your vanity pet collection. One other thing to remember is that I am Alliance and I don't have a Horde toon, so Horde vendors are out for me. That doesn't prevent me from browsing the AH (neutral or Alliance) for Horde-only vendor pets, but it does mean they don't get listed here.

Albino SnakeBreanni, Dalaran
Ancona Chicken"Plucky" Johnson, Thousand Needles
Blue Clockwork Rocket BotJepetto Joybuzz, Dalaran
Blue Dragonhawk HatchlingDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Blue MothSixx, Exodar
Bombay CatDonni Anthania, Elwynn Forest
Brown RabbitDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Calico CatBreanni, Dalaran
CockatielNarkk, Stranglethorn Vale
CockroachDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Cornish Rex CatDonni Anthania, Elwynn Forest
Crimson SnakeDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Ghostly SkullDalahir, Dalaran
Great Horned OwlShylenai, Darnassus
Guild Page — requires honoured reputation with your guild
Hawk OwlShylenai, Darnassus
Mana WyrmlingDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Nether Ray FryGrella, Terokkar Forest
Obsidian HatchlingBreanni, Dalaran
Orange Tabby CatDonni Anthania, Elwynn Forest
PenguSairuk, Dragonblight or Tanaika, Howling Fjord
Red MothDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
SenegalNarkk, Stranglethorn Vale or Dealer Rashaad, Netherstorm
Siamese CatDealer Rashaad, Netherstorm — I got this from Cookie in vanilla!
Silver Tabby CatDonni Anthania, Elwynn Forest
Snowshoe RabbitYarlyn Amberstill, Dun Morogh
White MothSixx, Exodar
Winterspring CubMichelle De Rum, Winterspring
Yellow MothSixx, Exodar

Total: 29

As you can see, there are a lot of vendor-bought pets. You can kick start or boost your collection quite easily by just zipping around to all of these vendors and grabbing them. The route you take is up to you. And now, onto:

Vendor-bought pets that I haven't purchased (and why)
Black Kingsnake — Horde
Brown Snake — Horde
Brown Prairie Dog — Horde
Golden Dragonhawk HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Red Dragonhawk HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Rustberg Gull — Haven't been to Tol Barad yet
Silver Dragonhawk HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Tree Frog — Waiting for the Darkmoon Faire
White Kitten — Haven't tried to get it yet, either from Lil' Timmy's limited stock or the AH
Wood Frog — Waiting for the Darkmoon Faire

Total: 10

The Dragonhawks are neat, so I will probably try and get those bought those, but I'm not interested in snakes or prairie dogs... As for the others, it's just a matter of patience — Darkmoon Faire, Tol Barad dailies eventually, etc.

Ok, so those are vendor pets. Now:

Special pets and rare drops that I have acquired or purchased
Some of the following were limited time only pets, and are no longer obtainable. Others took a bit of time and effort to acquire, and still others are simply rare pets that I either was lucky enough to have drop or bought straight out.

Argent Squire — Did all the Argent Tournament stuff during Wrath
Baby Blizzard Bear — No longer obtainable — WoW's 4th Anniversary
Clockwork Gnome — My second Archaeology pet
Cobra Hatchling — from the egg while going for my Green Proto-Drake
Curious Oracle Hatchling — got this during the latest Children's Week
Curious Wolvar Pup — got this during last year's or the previous one's Children's Week
Elementium Geode — bought this for 300g last night, actually ;)
Fossilized Hatchling — my first Archaeology pet
Frigid Frostling probably last Midsummer, since I got married the previous year :)
Gold Mini Jouster — the one I didn't choose will be available from patch 4.2 for completing the quest 10 times!
Legs — added in this year's Children's Week, so guess when I got it?
Magical Crawdad — got it from my first (and only) Mr. Pinchy! Didn't take too long, considering
MiniwingSkywing, Terokkar Forest
Mr. Chilly — No longer obtainable — from merging my original WoW account with battle.net
Mr. Wiggles — Think I got him a couple of years ago...
Onyxian Whelpling — No longer obtainable — WoW's 5th Anniversary
Panther Cub — Level 85 Zandalar questline in STV. See this if you intend to do it.
Peanut — One of my oldest pets
Perky Pug — I also have this on my priest; both were obtained during Wrath
Phoenix Hatchling — I just got this guy the other night. Very happy when it dropped — currently my favourite pet!
Pint-sized Pink Pachyderm — Only just got him last Brewfest as I pushed for my Violet Proto-Drake
Razzashi Hatchling — I farmed a couple of these with my priest before ZG was initially removed; sold the other one
Scooter the Snail — This year's Children's Week, since he was also just added
Sinister Squashling — Had this one for a couple of years, at least
Smolderweb Hatchling — Got this from its original quest
Snarly — Good old droprate increase ;)
Speedy — one of my oldest and still one of my favourite pets
Spirit of Summer — Probably last year, since I got married the previous summer
Sprite Darter Hatchling — Got him from the original quest while going for Loremaster pre-Cata!
Stinker — Got him by default at 50 pets, obviously
Strand Crawler — If you do fishing dailies long enough...
Tickbird Hatchling — from the egg while going for my Green Proto-Drake
Tiny Flamefly — Recently did the questline that leads to this little guy. Neat!
Tiny Snowman — What did you get for Christmas?
Tiny Sporebat — This was a no-brainer, since I am also a rep whore ;)
Vampiric Battling — No longer obtainable; actually glad I went and got it when I did!
Westfall Chicken — One of the easiest quest pets to get
White Tickbird Hatchling — from the egg while going for my Green Proto-Drake
Wolpertinger — Does yours linger?
Worg Pup — Got it from the original quest

Total: 41

So that's quite a lot of rare pets already. Still, there are many, many more that I hope to get. Some are not quite as intriguing as others. My top picks would have to be the Dark Phoenix Hatchling and the Crawling Claw. So cool!

And here we go:

Special pets and rare drops that I can and want to eventually get
Many rare pets are a 1/1000 zone or specific mob-type drop; some are a 100% drop from rare spawns; and others are limited in some way or acquired through various other means other than buying straight from vendors — or even the AH, in some cases. Whatever the case, I hope to farm or buy a lot of these non-vendor pets over a long period of time. :)

Ammen Vale Lashling — Champion's Seals or AH
Armadillo PupUpdate: Added to collection!!
Azure Whelpling — farm or AH (expensive)
Black Tabby Cat — farm or AH (expensive)
Blue Mini Jouster — In 4.2, I will do the quest 10x for this
Cenarion Hatchling — Just a matter of convincing my wife that it's for a good cause (100% goes to Japan disaster relief until 31 July 2011)
Chuck — Outland fishing daily + luck
Crawling Claw — Lots and lots of Archaeology ahead...
Dark Phoenix — Still a long way off from exalted with my guild :(
Dark Whelpling — farm or AH (expensive)
Darting HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Deviate Hatchling — farm or AH (expensive)
De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion — guildie or AH (not a bad price)
Disgusting Oozeling — farm or AH (usually expensive)
Dun Morogh Cub — Champion's Seals or AH
Egbert — future Children's Week
Elwynn Lamb — Champion's Seals or AH
Tiny Emerald Whelpling — farm or AH (expensive)
Father Winter's Helper — Christmas + luck
Firefly — farm or AH (very expensive)
Fox Kit — low on my priority list, since it can only be farmed
Green Wing MacawUpdate: Added to collection!
Guild HeraldUpdate: Added to collection!
Gundrak Hatchling — farm or AH (expensive)
Hyacinth Macaw — definitely one of the more expensive pets, but also one of the most beautiful
Jubling — gotta wait for the Darkmoon Faire to do the quest
Kirin Tor Familiar — very difficult to get, but I'll look for the books now and then
Lashtail Hatchling — I can't wait to go into ZG and get her back! I shall cry tears of joy XD
Leaping HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Lifelike Toad — the recipe is rare so the pet is rare
Lil' SmokyUpdate: Added to collection!
Little FawnUpdate: Acquired by default at 75 pets!
Magic Lamp** — Update: Crafted and added to collection!
Mechanical ChickenUpdate: Restored and added to collection!
Mechanical SquirrelUpdate: Added to collection!
Mechanopeep — Champion's Seals or AH
Mojo — probably have to do ZG/ZA a few times
Mr. GrubbsUpdate: Farmed and added to collection!
Muckbreath — Outland fishing + luck
Pebble — have to do Lost in the Deeps 10x
Peddlefeet — maybe next Valentine's Day
Personal World Destroyer — hope to grab when available
Pet BomblingUpdate: Added to collection!
Plump Turkey — better luck getting the achievement this year...
Proto-Drake Whelpback to the eggs...
Pterrordax Hatchlingmore bacon stri- I mean, incentive to dig up fossils ;)
Ravasaur Hatchling — farm or AH (expensive)
Razormaw HatchlingUpdate: Added to collection!
Searing Scorchling — unsure where this will come from when (if) it gets added back in
Shimmering Wyrmling — Champion's Seals or AH
Singing Sunflowerhave to do questline, starting with Basic Botany
Teldrassil Sproutling — Champion's Seals or AH
Tiny Shale Spider — very rare and hard to farm, but I want it! [Guide]
Toothy — Outland fishing + luck
Toxic Wasteling — Valentine's Day + luck
Tranquil Mechanical Yeti — waiting for a good AH deal
Voodoo Figurine — it will come in time with more Archaeology — a lot more
Whiskers the Rat — a future Children's Week
Willy — really gross but maybe in a future Children's Week
Winter Reindeer — Christmas + luck
Winter's Little Helper — Christmas + luck
Withershave to do questline, starting with The Last Wave of Survivors (long questline)

Total: 61

** Wowbrief Gold-making Tip: The Magic Lamp could be a gold-maker in 4.2, with increased interest in pet collecting. At current Heavenly Shard prices it is a tad pricey to make, but the profit should still be good. :)

And that about sums it all up. I can get got a few of the "rarer" pets as soon as I get got home, provided they are as they were still available. As you can see, it takes a lot of effort to get quite a number of them if you don't buy them straight off the AH (depending on cost and availability, of course). In all, I could end up with 130-140 pets. By the time I get some of the festival-only ones and some of the more expensive or very hard to farm ones, more pets will have been added to the game, too.

I am currently aiming for easily reached 75, but after exceeding that, I will be and am now on the fast track to 100. It is still a great deal of effort away, but much closer than that elusive 125!

Good luck to anyone who benefits from my list and summaries. ;)

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gold Halved?! Stockpiling for 4.2

Hello infrequent visitors. It often feels like I am writing to myself when I post entries here. Promoting yourself in the blogosphere takes commitment, tenacity and determination. Even an attitude change is enough to increase traffic. But this blog is simply my little writing outlet, entwined with my passion for the number one subscription MMO — a world that has been a part of my life for the past six years, and counting.

Whether one person or 200 people read any given entry, I will continue to write and express my own experiences and thoughts surrounding our beloved and ever-changing and maturing World of Warcraft. I'm just content with putting into words what is going through my mind and my gaming life at this moment. Promotion can be reserved for traffic-hungry bloggers within the community. :)

Now that that little spiel is out of the way, let's wax WoW, shall we? Shine on, shine off.

My gold reserves have been halved. I spent almost 35,000 of 70,000 gold! Perhaps "spent" is the wrong term. I invested a large sum of money into various areas for a predicted return. ROI may be 90%; it may be 200%; but whatever the outcome, just the thrill of spending — what is to me — so much gold makes the whole endeavour worthwhile.

I stepped out of my comfort zone in a much bigger way than at the end of Wrath. Back then, I kicked off my gold-making dabbling with a stroke of luck. And since I play casually and have taken a couple of breaks from playing since Cataclysm hit, I haven't really put much effort into utilising much of what is at my fingertips in order to increase my bankroll.

With 4.2 on the horizon, I decided to change this. I must rein myself in to prevent obsession — which also means following my own advice of not comparing my own experience and goblinning with others in the community. But I have taken some risks and have been preparing myself to try and turn my recent investments into profit.

Let's take a look, shall we?

JMTC has been a big help, once again. I had already determined to stockpile Truegold, after having realised that there are new craftables coming in 4.2 that require 8x Truegold each. I had just started buying up Volatiles and transmuting a bar a day, when I read the blog entry about stockpiling the stuff. That was when I decided to just buy as much as I could while also transmuting once a day. So far, I have bought around 45 bars off the AH at under 500g each (the cheapest was around 465g, but that is rare). 495 x 45 is around 22k gold spent. On Truegold purchases alone. The Volatiles also put quite a dent in my funds. But at least I am somewhat stocked up on those, too!

Expected ROI is 200% for these. No one can say for certain just how long after the patch hits until blacksmiths will be in desperate need of bulk Truegold; or whether there will be quite so much of an increase in value. One thing is certain, though: there will be profit.

Pristine Hides
Another JMTC blog entry put me onto this (thanks, Mageshadow! And thank you to the anonymous commenter who pointed it out in the first place!). It was actually something I missed. I had considered trying to stock up on Dreamcloth, because I know that just as Truegold is going to suddenly be in great demand for blacksmiths in 4.2, so too is Dreamcloth going to suddenly be in great demand for tailors! I decided not to invest in Dreamcloth, however, as I don't want to overextend myself. I could, potentially still stock up a little, but when you diversify too much it can become overwhelming.

Pristine Hides are not only going to be in high demand, but they are also going to possibly be in greater demand than even Truegold. 'What?' you might ask. 'What is the biggest difference between the new blacksmithing craftables and the new leatherworking ones?' The answer, my friend, is item level!

Take a look:

Pristine Hides are currently sitting at around 225g on my server. I bought up as much Savage Leather and Heavy Savage Leather as I could where it worked out to under 200g to hand in for a Pristine Hide (each costs 10x Heavy Savage Leather, which is 50x Savage Leather). Maybe half of what I bought was closer to 150g. I also expect a 200% ROI on these.

Primal Might
Now for some reasoning of my own. Researching other potentially profitable transmutes, I noticed that Primal Mights were selling on Proudmoore for anywhere between 275-420g. Why should this matter? Aren't they an obsolete item? Not quite. There are two uses for Primal Mights: Runed Adamantite Rod and Master of Transmutation.

The former is a potential niche market; but I reasoned that the latter is where you could make more sales. With the rise in demand of Truegold coming in 4.2, I predict that more alchemists will want to spec Transmutation Master. And in order to do so, they will need 4x Primal Might. I can't say when the demand for these will increase, but I am trying to keep an eye on prices and put them up individually for now to try and get a few bites. So far, I have sold 6 of the 7 I put up, ranging from 315 to 420g (300 to 400g after the AH cut).

The Primals needed to make these range in price overall, but it has worked out a fair bit cheaper to buy them as Motes when they are cheap. You can actually save quite a bit overall if you buy Motes whenever they are available. And since Transmute: Primal Might is not on the cooldown, you can craft to your heart's content. It's just a matter of choosing when to put them up, and how many to put up at once in order to maximise profit. I am still learning this, but I intend to experiment a bit with stacks of four to see how that works out.

Now, Primal Mights are not huge profit; but they are consistent and an interesting use of transmutation off the cooldown. Competition shouldn't be too fierce, either (if it is, don't bother, or just cool off for a bit and keep an eye on movement).

Shadowspirit Diamonds
This is really something I could have taken advantage of over these past few months. Especially as Obsidium and Elementium ore prices dropped (though they do still fluctuate a fair bit). But coming back to look at the Cataclysm shuffle, I see that Shadowspirit Diamonds still have the potential to yield decent profit. It's mostly a matter of finding ore at good prices (hint: near the end of weekends), finding the time to prospect and transmute, and choosing whether to sell raw or cut without fear of overwhelming competition that results in continually wasted deposit fees on your part (and the inevitable influx of returned gems — every jeweller's nightmare).

The gem market can be nasty. But if you play your cards right, you can at least come out on top, regardless of how many people continuously undercut your attempts at providing the masses with their meta gems.

I uploaded my Professions Shuffler spreadsheet. There is a link under the Tools box to the right. The spreadsheet tries to combine Alchemy, Enchanting and Jewelcrafting to help work out what makes profit and what doesn't. I simply don't have time to get involved in a big way in multiple markets — but I can still enjoy spending gold to try and make gold, and work out where potential profit can be made. And I can still play around with shuffle spreadsheets of my own concoction. ;)

I will upload an updated version every so often. Does that mean I have to start adding version numbers? :D


In other news, I picked up Archaeology with my rogue, Selaena. It would be nice to eventually have a shot at getting Recipe: Vial of the Sands from an excavated Canopic Jar. The probability is insane, though. :/

I also ran my first level 85 instance with her, Lost City of the Tol'vir. The lag was atrocious and I am really out of practice with a melee toon. But it was fun, and I got a new dagger: Barim's Main Gauche, and some shoulders from a quest in there: Clandestine Spaulders.

I rolled a Human hunter on the same realm as my little Worgen priest — who incidentally is now level 28 and slowly making his way through Ashenvale. My plan is not to level as fast as possible, but to enjoy the content and the casual pace that comes with experiencing the quest chains and lore. I want to finish the zones, regardless of experience gain and level pacing. It is my own escape within an escape.

Gaiwyn isn't really much closer to being able to step into the Zandalari heroics. But no mind. When 4.2 hits, I intend to forgo a lot of what I was aiming towards and simply enjoy the new questing hub and whatever rewards I can garner through that — not to mention, of course, the whole experience of the Molten Front and its dailies and progressive nature.

So I still play, and I am still trying to balance enjoyment between various toons. I honestly can't see most of my level 80s making the journey to 85; but with three now, who knows if I will get an urge to level, say, my warrior or my hunter. :)

And with that, I leave to post another day.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, May 2, 2011

Patches, Gold and Levelling

No, my Worgen is not called 'Patches'. I want to discuss briefly both patch 4.1 and 4.2.

4.1 dropped very recently, and it caused some of my addons to go a little haywire. I still have an issue because of the nameplate changes, but that should hopefully be resolved soon enough.

My biggest issue has actually been with auctioneer, for whatever reason. And so, after getting rid of addons I don't use and reinstalling LUI, I switched out auctioneer for auctionator. And I haven't looked back. I don't intend to spend a lot of time sorting out auctions, but I do still have quite a few glyphs and a few enchants to pawn off on my main server*; and I want to continue working towards a wee stockpile on my new server, with my little Worgen priest.

*Of course, I use TSM for posting glyphs and enchants.

Patch 4.1, Rise of the Zandalari, is not something I've actually got into. My mage is still plodding along through the original Cataclysm content; I have a long way to go still with reputation and quests!

Zandalar can wait; and in fact, the two new five-man heroic dungeons, Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, are inaccessible to me right now, with an iLevel far below the recommended 346. Until I manage to get a few more heroic items, they will continue to be out of reach. But at least this gives people time to get used to the dungeons so that there will be less chance of frustrating chain wiping when I finally do get to experience the content. As with the other heroics now, thankfully. :)

The Zandalari quest chain is also something that I want to delve into sometime — hopefully — before patch 4.2.

Ok, so speaking of 4.2, Blizzard want to roll it out as soon as possible; and so information surrounding it started being churned out for us the day after 4.1 went live! We have seen the new caster legendary, the new dynamic questing hub with its own world tree, a preview of the Firelands, the tier 13 raid with Ragnaros and his six goonies, Tier 13 itself; and many more cool and exciting things surrounding this major content patch.

In fact, maybe if you haven't already, you should check out this video released by the development team:

I may never raid, but I still want to immerse myself in the story and experience as much as I can with my limited playtime and busy schedule. And that means trying to get through all of the current content first — at least, as much as possible. As I said, there is a lot of questing and reputation grinding ahead still. At least Deepholm is almost over and done with now!

My Worgen priest is level 21. I did the level 20 priest quest, Favored of the Light, that requires you to go to Shadowfang Keep. The reward was Staff of the Hallowed, but during the run I got Odo's Ley Staff, which has higher intellect — and is thus better.

I have also made 50-60g total from auctions. Not bad for level 21. It is hard to pinpoint the exact amount without running beancounter, as I have spent some coin on things. I've bought maybe four pieces of armour that I managed to find (not much supply at this level), for various prices ranging from less than a gold to a couple of gold each. And I spent a bit of gold on two more 12-slot bags (7-8g each), so my priest is now decked out in all 12-slot bags. That's a lot of space for a level 21 toon, actually; even taking into account the herbalism and skinning I hope to do as I continue to quest.

So now my bank toon is sitting on about 27g, with a little leather and maybe a handful of herbs yet to put up. Actual gold is always so liquid: even at this level of dabbling! But I just can't help myself. :p

Progress in Darkshore has been steady. I must have finished more than half of it by now. And the storyline has been very cool. The zone has changed so much, and it's just amazing seeing everything that is going on there. Malfurion standing in the middle with a big whirlwind spinning around him: epic.

So now it becomes a balance between completing zones and enjoying heroics with Gaiwyn, and completing quests and enjoying the fresh levelling experience with my Worgen. The game has gained new excitement for me, and for that I am partway glad. :o


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore