Thursday, September 6, 2012

MoP Pet Battles Tips & Predictions

Hey all, been a while since I posted, but I figured I'd get this one out while I thought about it.

I've been playing the Beta recently, with one main focus in mind. Pet Battles! As an altoholic collector, the Pokemon themed Pet Battling that will come about in Mists of Pandaria is awesome. Not only is it fun, it's also challenging, forcing you to use strategy to defeat the other team.

Hints & Tips:
Don't worry about those unique pets that other people have. So, you weren't around from Vanilla WoW, and don't have Tyrael's Hilt. You didn't go to a Blizzcon, and don't have a Murky code. Fuggedabowdit.

I ran a little experiment with the Argent Tournament Elwynn Lamb vs. a rare quality Black Lamb that I caught in a pet battle in Elwynn Forest.
After leveling them both to level 6, here's their stats.

As you can see, the Black Lamb has substantially higher DPA (Damage per Attack), Haste, and Health, making it the better choice.

So if you want the best battle pets, you're gonna have to capture them. Don't even bother leveling poor thru uncommon pets though, only put effort into leveling the rares that you catch. But how do you catch rares?

Welllll, until there's an addon created that identifies them as rare when the pet battle begins, the only way to do it is by trial and error while battling. Hover over their portraits to see their DPA/Haste numbers, and look at their health. If those numbers are a lot higher than your pets, or if they have the little chevron showing that they have first hit capability, they're probably a rare. You'll get the hang of judging whether they're rare or not after a while, so don't sweat it. You can also capture one, then on the next battle, open your Mount/Pet tab, to see if the stats on the one you own are substantially lower than the one you're fighting.

If you want to get rares quickly, you can start pet battles, check the pets, and end the battle if you don't see stats you like.

Oooh, also, Aquatic pets are the bomb! Most of them have single target or group heals, which can come in handy for restoring health to your 3 pets without running back to a stable master, or waiting 10 minutes for the ability to come off of cooldown. 1 DPS pet and 2 Aquatic = EZ mode. The frog/toad ability to /Kiss is also pretty sweet, with ramping damage, plus the ability to CC your opponent.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and prognosticate a way to move gold from one server to another, with Blizzard's blessing. All the pets you catch in the wild can't be put in a cage to be sold on the Auction House, which kinda sucks. However.....all those vendor bought pets CAN be. Not exactly news, since they could be put on the AH for years now. Here's the twist though; you buy/obtain a pet on one server, and you're free to transfer it to any other server/faction side you want! Since the pets are shared account-wide, and you'd be able to cage them from any character you have, it makes sense that you could sell it anywhere you choose. No more starting broke on a new server, just sell off a pet and make a chunk of gold!

Another prediction I have is that people will level those vendor bought pets. Why? For someone who is starting to do pet battles, it realllly makes a difference to have a high level pet to be able to swap in. If you're battling a level 10 pet, and have a level 5 and level 25 pet, all the level 5 needs to do is survive 1 round, then swap out for the 25. The level 5 will get a huge chunk of XP, allowing him to level up a lot quicker than by battling pets around his own level. Think of it like getting run through RFC at level 10 by an 85; as long as you don't draw aggro, you get lots of XP for just hanging around.

Anyways, just wanted to share those thoughts for anyone that's interested in pet battles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

20 Days of...WoW Blogging Challenge - Day Five

Day Five - Favourite Item in the Game

I'm a sucker for items that DO something for you. Not for me the vendor trash grey items with humorous text, no sir! They either have to make my character look different, or have some useful function in the game. I'd have to say that the Dalaran teleport rings were/are my favorite item of all time. Wayyyy back in Wrath of the Lich King, they introduced these nifty little rings. Not only were they exceptionally handy for getting to the main hub of activity at that time (Dalaran), they also could be instantly upgraded to almost best-in-slot itemization for your character. All it required was a mere pittance, maybe 10,000 gold or so, to go through the upgrading processes, and you got a great ring with killer stats that allowed you to warp back to Dalaran every 30 minutes. And, since Dalaran had portals to all the capitol cities, the world was open to you. Need to get to Silvermoon City from Thunder Bluff? No worries mate, port to Dalaran, and take the portal to SMC; no need to track down a mage, or spend time on a windrider, then wait for a zeppelin.

The other great benefit of having the ring was the multitude of options it allowed you in setting your hearthstone. Since you had an easy way to get back to a capitol city with an AH, you could be more choosy in setting where you wanted your hearth. You wanted to pick up an easy 200 honor per day in 5 minutes? Set your hearth to Conquest Hold/Amberpine Lodge in Grizzly Hills, and do those 4 PvP quests around Venture Bay, then use your ring to get back. Or maybe you were working on your Netherwing rep out in Shadowmoon Valley, and really didn't enjoy having to spend 5 minutes flying out there everyday. Hey hey, set your hearth at the Sanctum of the Stars, and you could do your dailies and egg hunting, then zip back to Dalaran.

Nowadays, we have our guild cloaks, but even the epic one has a cooldown of 2 hours, which is still a long time. I enjoy my engineering warp items, but the Dalaran ring is always useful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

20 Days of...WoW Blogging Challenge - Day Four

Day Four - My fondest memory

I'm a bit strange when it comes to WoW memories. Unlike Fannon or Saga, I don't raid, so I don't have memories of taking down a particularly vexing boss. I get more of a sense of accomplishment from achievements that I earn solo, since it was ME ME, all ME that did it. One in particular was especially gratifying.

After killing my first rare in Northrend, and earning the first step towards Frostbitten, I started learning about the other rares in Northrend. I was especially intrigued by the Time-Lost Proto Drake in Storm Peaks, since just killing it would give you a bad-ass Drake mount. Unfortunately, it definitely lives up to its name. I would spend an hour at a time flying around SP, or just perched in the intersection point of the TLPD flight paths, but I....just...can't stay AFK in a game. I log in to play, not to do nothing. So, after a while, I gave up on it. I figured, "Hey, I already have the Red/Green/Bronze Drakes, that's enough for me."

I was flying out to Storm Peaks on my rogue Thrillkiller on 10/13/2011 to try to look for Dirkee, since I was knocking out Frostbitten on all toons. All of a sudden, my NPC_scan went off! I figured it was Vyragosa, which would have been great too, since she's on the endangered species list from all the TLPD hunters. But, it was the real deal this time. I quickly hard logged, deleted my creature cache, logged in on Bloodshrike, and headed over to the area where Thrillkiller was. I started scanning for the Drake, hoping and praying that nobody had gotten it in the few minutes I had lost. I finally located it, got its attention, and quickly downed it.

I had been trying to get that mount for at least a year, and finally obtained it. That was a great day! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Children's Week 2012 - Early Post

Last year's post. 'Nuff said. :)

Seriously though, that's all I have to go on right now. I'll update if there's anything different, like if they take out that cursed achievement that is the bane of altoholics everywhere....

Edit: All 10 of my toons on Demon Soul did all the Orphan quests possible (Blood and Bull already had both Dalaran orphans), Clockwrkmage on Daggerspine got the SW and Shattrath quests done, and I only got Bloodshrike on Darrowmere through the Dalaran orphan quest.

After hearing about mounts being shared in Mists of Pandaria, which would retro-actively grant the achievements necessary to obtain the mount (I.E. all the meta achievements for What a Long Strange Trip It's Been, which gives you the Violet Proto Drake), I just couldn't stomach trying to do the School of Hard Knocks achievement for toons on Demon Soul, even though it was the only achievement that some of my guys needed to get the Drake.

Since my main achievement hunter already has the Drake, why bother with the stress and headaches of doing it on other toons, when I'll be getting it when MoP launches?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

20 Days of...WoW Blogging Challenge - Day Three

Extended maintenance tonight, so it's time for me to get back to the challenge. Nobody SAID it had to be done in 20 calendar days.... :)

First Day Playing WoW (Day 3)

Like I said on Day 1, I had resisted playing WoW. I had heard the horror stories about Evercrack, and how WoW was just as addictive. But, I crumbled, and finally gave the trial a spin. Hmmm, I actually forgot what year I started, I just remember it was October, and The Burning Crusade came out shortly after. Wikipedia says TBC came out in January of 2007, so I started mid October of 2006.

I picked a troll hunter, since I had always favored ranged classes, like the Amazons in Diablo II, and the ability to have a pet that helped you was pure win. After finding out how to adjust the hotkeys to my liking, since WASD controls isn't how I roll, I set off in the training valley. I know I probably hoarded every drop, running back to the vendor to clear out my bag(singular) of trash, since that's how I've always been. The thing I really remember was finding a treasure chest on my way to Razor Hill, and seeing a green texted jewel come out of it. I was excited!! That Kawasaki green had been branded into my brain from Diablo II as relating to sets, and it was always a rush finding them. I think I changed professions from miner to skinner to herbalist to alchemist to leatherworker all in the same day, because I couldn't decide which I wanted to pursue. I finally picked Alchemy, since I figured health potions are always a good thing to have.

In the next few days, my stable of alts started growing exponentially. I figured, why pay someone else for crafting something for me, when I could just have an alt that could cover that profession? And once my 4th toon Bonescourge took up engineering, and I saw the benefit of having AoE attacks with bombs that could hurt multiple monsters at once.....well, shoot, that meant ALL my guys needed to be engineers!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is in the Air (and zipping thru portals)


A bit late on this, but I'll link to it next year.
Whew, the Lunar Festival, Darkmoon Fair, and Love is in the Air all happening around the same time makes for a very busy altoholic.

You definitely want to do the 4 Gift for XXX chief daily quests on as many toons as you can, as it allows you to turn 1 bracelet into 5 love tokens. Do all 4 Chief dailies, and 4 bracelets becomes 20 tokens, getting you closer to the 270 tokens needed for the mount, without the headache of grinding it out. Plus, 16 gold at level 85 for each daily adds up to a lotta gold, especially on multiple toons.

The holiday, like most of them, is a lot easier and more rewarding at max level, as you have access to the holiday boss, which always drops more tokens that you need, plus you have a chance at the ultra-rare Big Love Rocket. At 0.16% drop rate, the more toons you do it on, the more you increase your chances. It's also a whole lot easier to do on a max level toon because of the HUGE difference in monsters. On a lower level toon, for example my hunter Bloodshrike on Darrowmere (76), I can kill mobs that are maybe 5-6 levels lower than me. They die easily, but it still takes a bit of time, and I'm only getting a Charm on every 3rd kill (though it seems like more). On Demon Soul, with all my 85's, I have tons of options to annihilate mobs that were designed for level 80 toons, in ilevel 200ish gear. With toons geared in Cataclysm gear, even crappy 318 greens or 371 PvP gear, you cut through whole groups of mobs in seconds, and watch the charms just pour in. It's all about the efficiency of killing, optimal results for the minimum of time spent grinding mobs.

Cold at Cold's Gold Factory had some ideas, which I gleefully seized upon. The Slags in Halls of Lightning normal mode is a brilliant idea. Since they don't drop loot, it doesn't slow me down in my killing frenzy, so I just run around the central pillar. I've done it on my hunter, paladin, and death knight, and racked up 130 charms in about 25 minutes.

Alto at Altosgoldishadvise recommended Rokir in Icecrown. I tried it out, but didn't seem to make many charms.

Over at Power Word: Gold, he suggests the Fractured Front in Deepholm, since you can use a Treasure Potion to get even more reward for your time spent.

Whatever your favorite spot is, you're still going to need to turn in the Bracelets for the Gift to the 4 Chiefs of each Faction.

For Horde, here's my rotation. My guys are all logged in Orgrimmar for the holiday. I log in, grab the Crushing the Crown daily, the Perfume/Chocolate daily, the Gift for the Warchief, and take out 3 or 4 bracelets from my guild bank. I join the Q for the Apothecaries, then go turn in 1 bracelet to Garrosh, tossing out candy/perfume to all the NPC's in the throne room. 2 dailies down already, I take the portal to Uldum for Crushing the Crown.

Once that's done, I either fly straight north to Thunder Bluff to turn one in to Baine, or I just hit my hearthstone. At the beginning of the holiday, I changed my hearth to the Wayfarer's Inn, located just off the Bazaar in Silvermoon City. The reason for this is that the daily for Lor'themar is given at the Bazaar, allowing me to pick it up ON THE WAY, not having to backtrack to it from getting a teleport there. And, once done, I just take the portal behind him to the courtyard of UC, where I pick up the daily for Sylvanas.

Now, here's the difference with having the Darkmoon Fair running at the same time. With the DM Fair, I'd come back up to the central section of UC, talk to the DM mage to instantly port to Mulgore, then fly up to do the daily for Baine. Once done, I'd use my guild teleport cloak to instantly be back in Orgrimmar, turn in Crushing the Crown, then log over to my next toon. Less than 20 minutes total time spent, 30 tokens plus the extra from the holiday bosses, plus 16 gold x6. You'd have to collect 300 Charms for the same result, and at a 33% drop rate, that would be over 900 monsters you'd have to kill. Now that the Fair is over, I usually don't bother with Baine.

For're screwed, just like during the daily for killing the Greench. :)
I kid, I kid, but it probably adds on a lot of time to try to get to Ironforge, as well as go to Darnassus and the Exodar.

I haven't been doing much on Alliance side this year, since my main Clockwrkmage only got to level 81. I'd imagine you'd log in, join the Q for the apothecaries, grab bracelets out of the bank, toss perfume/candy, get the Crushing the Crown daily, then turn in a bracelet to Varian. Take the portal to Uldum for Crushing the Crown, then hearth to the Inn in Darnassus, pick up the daily for Tyrande, turn it in upstairs at the temple, then hop down and take the portal to the Exodar. Turn in the daily for Prophet Velen, then use your teleport cloak/Dalaran teleport ring to quickly get back to ......Stormwind, to turn in Crushing the Crown. Darkmoon Fair or not, there's no fast way to Ironforge, unless you get a port from a mage. The Alliance Darkmoon mages port you to Goldshire, right by Stormwind.

You could take a flight from a flightmaster, or take the portal in Stormwind to Twilight Highlands, then fly south-west to Ironforge, since you'd only have to cross the Wetlands.

Well, just a few random thoughts about the holiday, hope it helps!

Edit 2/24/2012:
I got 4 of the Wasteling, 2 Roses, and 7 Masks (Buriza got 4 of them). No Rocket mount for me. :(
Buut, I did save up enough tokens for 8 Lovebirds, and 13 pets, both of which will fetch a good price later on.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guild Level 25 - Finally!


Wraith Flight on Demon Soul finally hit level 25 yesterday, with a big sigh of relief from me. I don't have to pay people anymore!! It's not about the gold, but I felt obligated to log in to see if I owed people money, as I didn't want people to have to wait forever to get paid, like the copycat guild Guild Bonus made them do.

Exactly how much gold did I pay out? Given that I leveled it to level 2 myself, that's 16.58 million gxp subtracted from the grand total of 845.67 million gxp, leaving 829.09 million gxp needed to get from level 2 to level 25. Grand total of contributions from all my toons = 150,107,791 subtracted from 845,670,000 = 695,562,209 guild xp that my guildies were paid for. At 1 gold per 1k guild xp, and allowing for people who didn't hit a payment mark, I probably paid out 695 THOUSAND gold over the past year.

In retrospect, I probably should have just paid someone for their high level guild, like E at the Altchronicles did, who I discovered from a comment on a BigBearButt post.

The difference between owning the guild, as opposed to just being a regular member and contributing, is that I can never ever be /gkicked. I am free to set policies, and I have faith that the Cash Flow perk, as well as the gold rewards for guild challenges, will eventually pay me back for the gold I've spent. I'd definitely have to /kick everyone if I decided to go on a long break, as you can be dethroned by members petitioning GM's if you've been offline for more than a month.

I don't know what it is, I'm just highly self-reliant (loner), probably from the influence of Diablo II, where I would buy items I wanted from players using my carefully hoarded gems (P Rubies ftw!), instead of doing countless Baal runs hoping that the items I wanted would drop. In WoW, I pay people to help the guild, instead of just hoping that they would, or having to run dungeons/BG's ad nauseum to benefit them, even when I didn't want to, so they'd stay in the guild.

Being a GM of a guild has drawbacks, you always have to be offering something, be it gold, dungeon runs, PvP, or raiding. If you offer nothing, people will leave.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

20 Days of...WoW Blogging Challenge - Day Two

Why did I start this blog?

I started this blog back in November of '08.....well, not really. Actually, I had a bunch of posts that I had written on my laptop beforehand, and started throwing them up there when I finally got around to making my blog. That's why there's about 50 posts within the first 3 days. The introduction was actually written a year before that. :)

Why do bloggers write? It's usually for a multitude of reasons, not just one. I had been reading BigRedKitty for a while beforehand, and BRK's sheer joie de vivre in playing his hunter was infectious. I've always enjoyed writing, and really like teaching/sharing my knowledge with others. The best way to learn is to teach, as by going over a subject from the ground up, you often learn surprising new things. I had noticed that nobody really talked about the Engineering profession, treating it like a bastard crafting profession, and that annoyed me. Ever since my 4th toon picked up the Engineering profession, I was hooked. I dropped max level herbalism on Bloodshrike to take it up, and haven't looked back. As of right now, 26 of my 30 toons are engineers, with only my priests and my mage Banesidhe not having the engineering skill (Priests have Levitate/Resurrection, Bane had too many hard to find enchanting/tailoring recipes to give up).

So, I started a blog with the intent of perhaps swaying people's opinions towards engineering, through the enthusiasm I showed for it in my posts. That's the reason for the blog title, as well as the picture.

The blog is also my release for stress, such as when my guild bank on Darrowmere got items ninja'd from it. As a Spider Robinson quote says, "Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy." Just typing out my feelings and thoughts is a release in itself, and if people comment, that's a bonus.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

20 Days of...WoW Blogging Challenge - Day One

I was blog-crawling the other day, and somehow I ended up at the Dwarven Battle Medic. Looking through his previous posts, I stumbled on the 20 Days of...challenge, originally presented by Saga of Spellbound over a year ago.

The idea seems fun, so I'm gonna try it. Given that my posting has slowed to about once a month, this'll serve as a goad to get the creative juices flowing.

Who am I?
I'd have to say my first toon is Bloodshrike, a Troll Hunter on Demon Soul. I was wooed into playing WoW by a friend at work, after years of resisting. Not because I didn't think I'd like it, quite the opposite. When I play a game, I stay for the long haul. But, after 7 years of playing Diablo II, developing variant builds for classes (Crushplosive archers for all class types), and posting on the forums, it was time for a change. From the first moment I logged in, I was enthralled. The ability to look up, down, around....which happened a lot, often unintentionally, as I had changed the controls to have my mouse used for movement, which I was used to on Diablo II. But once I figured that out, I was off and questing. I avoided the AH at first, but got used to it after a while, and my 4th alt Banesidhe actually funded a lot of my professions, using gold gained from selling enchanting mats to buy mats for engineering/blacksmithing.

Bloodshrike has been my nom de guerre for a while now, ever since reading the Westmark novels by Lloyd Alexander, and feeling curious about the name "Shrike." The blood got tacked on to the front of it, and I've been Bloodshrike while playing Half-life, Halo, Diablo, and now WoW.

Blood is certainly my achievement whore, but I hesitate on calling any of the toons I play my "main." I don't RP, I don't identify strongly with any one toon, I just like playing them all. I've got at least 3 or more (cough, hunters) of each class, and enjoy them equally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Leveling


The Grumpy Elf has some very thought-provoking posts up on his blog, A New Leveling Model and Is the Leveling Model Dated in particular caught my eye. I do like a lot of what he's advocating, but I'd like to offer a caveat (well, two actually).

Talents - One of the reasons for gradually unlocking spells and abilities is to let new players get accustomed to them. I don't know about you, but I use more than 4 abilities when playing. Hell, I have more than 20 abilities usually mapped to my left hand, and those are the ones that I consider using regularly, or at least in specific situations that pop up fairly often. Granted, I have an odd setup, using 1-6, Q-T, A-G,Z-B, hitting all of them with my left hand, with a bunch of them having Alt functions macro bound to them. My right hand is used for movement and target selection with the mouse.
Dumping all the spells available to an 85 on a fresh new player would be overwhelming, especially if they used the default WASD setup that Blizzard gives them. "I'm supposed to use ALL of these spells? How am I supposed to hit them if my left hand is stuck hitting those 4 keys??? Bugger this, I'm gonna go play Farmville instead!"

Altoholics - I have 30 toons that I am un-concentrated on leveling, at a veryyy relaxed pace. I would like to offer an extension of the Grumpy Elf's thoughts, in that quests/reputations credit should be account wide if this new model goes through. I've got 8 85's, and have only done the Tol Barad dailies to completion on 6 of them. Since all your toons would be level 85, gear would not be over-powered, so there would no reason for currency that one toon has acquired not to be used by others. For example, the Crocolisk daily in Tol Barad is slightly irritating for me to do, since I want to skin the damn things for Savage Leather. But my priest Burizadokyan(JC/Alch) and warlock Bonescourge (Scribe/Eng) can't do that, and it wouldn't be feasible to log out, and log back in with my skinner. Since my rogue Thrillkiller is my skinner, and has done everything I want to do in Tol Barad, why not allow him to gain Tol Barad Commendations, and let Bone or Bur spend them? You could have an account wide reputation level, but you'd still have to put in the time to do dailies on at least one toon for the currency. You could do the dailies on more than one toon if wanted/needed, but...speaking from experience, that wears you down and burns you out.

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Cheers!