A Boy and his Death Rays / BigRedSerpent/ Aosdana Saoi (Master of the Arts)
Home of Bloodshrike, the Altoholic Engineer
One Altoholic’s musings on the path to 70.
Hi, welcome to my blog. I’ve been reading BigRedKitty http://bigredkitty.blogspot.com/ for a while now, and decided to try my hand at writing a blog as well. Why BigRedSerpent? A nod of admiration to BigRedKitty for his excellent hunter advice, and because I’m theming my main hunter around dragons. I tamed Arikara (Red windserpent, appears with a puff of smoke when summoned) when I went to do the Horde only quest Arikara in Thousand Needles. Since it’s Horde only, unless there’s a massive amount of cooperation between friends on a PvP server, you won’t see an Ally running around with this particular pet. I suppose an Ally character could steal it on a PvE or PVP server if he waited up there until a Horde character went to do the quest, but that’s highly unlikely.
(Edit 11/10/08 - Changed my mind about the title, since I'm just now getting around to putting this up on Blogspot. I figured I'd make up my own, since there's already a lot of "BigRed" titled blogs out there.)
I’m theming my main Bloodshrike (lvl 44 Troll Hunter) around Windserpents and dragonlings, since I will be able to call up 3 of them from engineering (Mechanical, Mithril, Arcanite), and it would be fun to have Arikara, a mechanical Dragonling, and a non-attack pet Whelpling all out at once.
This isn’t a build guide blog, but I’ll post hints and tips as they occur to me. I think I’ll be blogging about the different characters in sequence, as I level them up. A little background on me: I was Bloodshrike on the Diablo 2 forums, and if anyone read those, they’ll know I was a big fan of variant builds. I developed a Crushplosive build for all character types (using the Kuko Shakaku bow that fired explosive arrows, and items that had Crushing Blow) that allowed any character type to use a low level bow to kill in Hell difficulty. I also developed builds around the runeword Passion, that granted any character the ability to use a weapon with Zeal (multi-hit attack), that was normally reserved for Paladins only.
With that said, I’m an Altoholic. Check here for an explanation more humorously written than I have the creative energy for. http://www.notaddicted.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-480.html
I have 10 characters Horde side on Demon Soul, and 10 characters Ally side on Daggerspine.
Edit 4/10/08: And now I’ll have 10 toons on Horde side Darrowmere.
Each account has one of each character type, with the final slot reserved for a twink (Demon Soul has a hunter in that slot, Daggerspine has one too).
I play very defensively, so I like to have my characters to have the best enchants/items I can make/give them, every 2 levels. Each server I play on also has all professions covered. I started playing WOW back in October of 2006, and I’ve only gotten 2 lvl 40’s, with most of my other characters around the 20-30 level. Why? I don’t have a lot of time to play, and when I do log on, I usually take a while scanning the auction house for deals, instead of going out and gathering the items. I also had the crazy idea of making ALL my characters go through ALL the quests that they come across, which gives you minimal experience, but at least you get rep with different factions. I don’t like the Draenai mounts, so I took my 2 Draenai characters directly to Darnassus once I hit level 12, and started doing quests there. Same with Blood Elves. I’m trying to get my priest and paladin Exalted status with Thunder Bluff, and am doing all those low level gray quests so I can get a Kodo sometime around the 40’s (I know, pally’s get a free ride, but I want a dinosaur, darn it!).
Update – 9/18 My two Draenai characters just dinged 20, and they’re already at Revered with Darnassus. I’ll be at Exalted long before level 40, at this rate.
If you do want to gain reputation with other factions, the best way is to get over to their starting areas, as soon as possible. That way you’re still getting some experience for doing the quests, as well as rep. However, for Horde paladins and Ally Shamans, you’ll have to travel back to Silvermoon City and the Exodar to pick up your character specific quests. I made the mistake of leveling up my Blood Elf Paladin in the Barrens, and wasn’t aware there was a paladin quest to get the resurrection spell. So, I made Goblin Jumper Cables so I could still have the option of rezzing people. I was level 24 before people told me I missed the quest. Doh! I need to go back and do it still. At least the Jumper Cables aren’t soulbound, so I was able to send them to my twink hunter.
I’ve had people ask me why I have so many alts. Well, why not? You can have up to 50 toons scattered across as many servers as you like. Take advantage of it. Play as both Horde and Ally, and learn about each of their Friendly zones in perfect safety, since you can’t be attacked on your home turf, unless you attack first. When I played Diablo 2, I had 3 barbarian accounts, 2 druid accounts, and 1 account for each of the other classes (each account has 8 characters). Plus, I had about 5 armory accounts, so I could easily swap out equipment as I was leveling a new character up. Hmmmm…..I wonder if that’s why Blizzard now has soulbound items, that you have disenchant/vendor, instead of giving to another character. J
I also play alts because I don’t have the patience to grind out levels and rerun instances. I never got a character past level 90 in Diablo 2, and I’ll be surprised if most of my characters reach level 70 in WOW. Once you figure out how to make gold, it’s a lot funner to level up professions than to grind character levels, because it only takes gold to level professions, but it takes a lot of time to grind out levels. Right now, the main reason I level is because I’ve reached the level cap on my professions, and am anxious to start making new items. With video games, I’m not worried about having 1 uber character; I’m more about having a bunch of different types of characters that are all viable to play. I laugh when people say “Oh, they nerfed XXX class or xxx spell, now they suck!” If you don’t know how to play a class, and you’re used to using one button to do all the killing for you, you’ll have difficulty when they readjust the class skills during a patch. If you are skilled, it doesn’t matter what weapons you use, how many epics you have…..you’ll still end up successful. Look at the example of the naked Troll hunter who made it to level 70 (link to his blog XXXXX).
However, my interests still lie in making my characters unique and fun to play. In WOW, Engineering fills that goal. It’s referred to as a money sink and waste of time, but I think it’s one of the funnest professions ever! What other profession allows you to become a Jack-of-all-trades?
Let’s list off what it allows you to do: Slowfall like a mage (Parachute cloak), breathe underwater like a druid (Deepdive helmet), Resurrect like a priest (Goblin Jumper cables), Charge like a warrior (Goblin Rocket Helmet), Teleport like a mage (each engineering spec allows you to build 2 teleports to different locations), Mind Control like a priest (Gnomish Mind Control Cap), ranged attacks for paladins (Bombs, mortars, explosive sheep, rockets), Bubble like a paladin (Gnomish harm prevention belt), Root like a druid (Gnomish Net-o-matic), run fast like a rogue (2 kinds of Rocket boots), make your own higher damage projectiles for ranged weapons, make your own guns and scopes……the list goes on and on.
Feel overwhelmed when you get swarmed by murlocs? Bombs give you a good Area of Effect damage like a mage (most bombs have a 5 yard blast radius, giving you a good chance of weakening/killing every enemy around you). This can give you a good chance of coming out of fights alive, since all the enemies will have a chunk of life missing. This helps with humanoid mobs especially, because they run when they’re low on health. Let the weak ones run, kill the rest, and chop down the ones that fled when they return.
200-300 damage from a bomb at level 20 might not sound like much of an advantage, considering that you have to channel it, but it does that to ALL the mobs surrounding you. 1000-1500 damage to say 5 mobs for a 2 second channel, with an immediate aggro grab from the target dummy you throw up, and those bombs start looking more appealing. A mage’s Blizzard or Flamestrike can’t compete, because while it may do a lot of damage to the mobs beating on your tank in an instance, if you try using them while questing, they’ll get interrupted in seconds. Bombs are instant, full AOE damage.
Oh, did I mention headgear? Oh yeah, it also gives you the possibility of a helm at lvl 10 that gives you 8 stamina and 7 spirit (Green Tinted Goggles). You have to powerlevel your engineering skillz to 150 to make it and/or use it, but it’s worth it. What other profession gives you a helm at that level? Jewelcrafting gives you Moonsoul Crown for lvl 26, tailoring gives you some non-green helm earlier, blacksmithing has the Green Iron Helm for lvl 29, Leatherworking has a very rare Comfortable Hat recipe level 200 that makes a green helm for a level 33??? character, but no others give you that potential boost that early. There are helms that drop with green bonuses, but they’ll be hideously overpriced in the AH. Also, at lvl 20, any caster class could learn Spellpower Goggles Xtreme (hmm, I should test and see if it would boost hunter shots as well. According to Thottbot it does). Equippable at lvl 215 engineering (again, powerleveling) it increases damage and healing done by spells and effects up to 21. This schematic is a drop (don’t buy it if you see it on the AH, it’ll be a waste of money), but it can also be learned from the Artisan engineering trainer in Gadgetzan (Edit: Artisan Engineering training is now available from Expert Trainers since this last patch).
Mechanical Attack Pets – envious of Hunters and Warlocks being able to summon a minion/pet to help them? Make your own! Explosive sheep (think guided woolly missile, nice for paladins) and the Compact Harvest Reaper Kit available at Eng skill 175, character lvl 30. Both of these have charges, but they have short cooldowns on use. The Harvest reaper also scales up with your engineering skill, doing higher damage at higher levels of engineering. It also hangs around for 10 minutes, which is longer than any other mechanical attack pet. Beware; this is a pet on full “kill ‘em all” mode. He will force you to keep attacking new mobs, whereas some of us (like me) will take a break after 10 or so, to reorganize bags, skin beasts, or farm herb/ore nodes.
Edit 12/3/07: The sheep aren’t really that useful. You have to be as close as you would be to throw a bomb, and bombs are easier to predict what enemies are going to get hurt. Usually the lead mob will see the sheep, hit it, and the explosion will only damage him. With bombs, it shows the blast radius, so you can grab aggro, stand near any casters or ranged weapon users, and include them in the hurt/pain/death, whereas normally they’d be standing at a distance, out of the blast range.
And the best of the best, Trinket attack pets – Gnomish Battle Chicken (lvl 240 engineering, gnomish spec, lvl 35 minimum to learn/use for Horde, lvl 30 minimum to learn/use for Alliance Gnomes). Mechanical Dragonling (lvl 200 engineering, no spec, lvl 30 minimum to use), Mithril mechanical Dragonling (250 engineering, no spec, lvl 40 to use), Arcanite Dragonling (lvl 300 Engineering, no spec, lvl 50 to use). Keep at least 1 of these in your trinket slot when questing on a PvP server. Nothing surprises a potential ganker more than 2-3 pets beating on them, when they thought they had a defenseless target. The cooldown on cast for the dragonling trinkets is shared, so you can only cast one of them at a time, but you can cast the next one after one minute (which is how long one of them stay around. However, you can cast the Gnomish Battle Chicken at the same time, so you can cast a Dragonling, a Chicken and the Harvest Reaper Kit as well. If you’re a hunter or warlock, that’s one more pet to add to the mix. Trinket Attack pet damage also scales up with your engineering level, so level it up quickly!
Edit 2/5/08: The Gnomish Battle Chicken isn’t very useful. He crits for about 1 damage against lvl 35 mobs, but he also gives an Attack Squawk Buff that increases your attack speed (haste). He also has only has a 20 minute cooldown.
Do NOT use mechanical attack pets in an instance, unless you’re at a boss. These pets are on the attack constantly, so you’re just inviting a wipe. Let them off when you’re grinding, when you get attacked by an enemy player, or against bosses. Otherwise, just equip the shrink ray/net-o-matic/death ray/flamethrower/Jumper cable combo that you like while inside an instance. If your party wipes, and you survive (example: A hunter Feigns Death, then equips the Jumper cables) you can rezz the healer, and they can rezz the rest of the party.
Last, but not least, you can make 24 slot Engineering bags. They are primarily designed to hold engineering mats, but I’d say they’re great for any high level profession. All Essences of XXX, Elemental XXX (except Water, for some reason), Motes of XXX (and I would imagine Primals too), Ichor of Undeath, Core of Earth, Heart of Fire…..all of them fit in the bag. And if you ARE an engineer anyway, nobody says you can’t have 2 or 3 of these beauties in your bank slots. You can only put one of them at a time in your inventory bag slots, but the sheer amount of storage per cost of the bag is incredible.