Friday, November 27, 2009

Review Time

The last 6 months I had more or less dedicated my progression to my various lowbies (of which, I am sure you won't remember, had quite a few) and since it's now officially a tradition (sadly lacking a name) it's time to take a look how NoobDing is doing with it's character progression.

Taking a swift look back to a post in may we can see that I was doing an average about half a level a day there and about 198 levels to go to the magical mark of 800 levels or 10 level 80's if that makes more sense.

With the Cataclysm looming in the distance which would tack another 50 levels onto that number I am quite interested to see how I got on over the last six months and how much I have left to go.

The last status in march (number in brackets denouncing the increase since my review before that):

Capsize - lvl 80 undead warlock (+10)
Capstone - lvl 80 blood elf paladin (+10)
Capricious - lvl 70 troll hunter (+6)
Capibara - lvl 80 tauren druid (+12)
Capone - lvl 43 Orc rogue (+0)
Capeesh - lvl 34 Orc warrior (+3)
Capacitate - lvl 44 undead priest (+9)
Capitulate - lvl 58 Blood elf mage (+18)
Capow - lvl 50 Tauren shaman (+15)
Capsickle - lvl 63 Orc Death Knight (+8 from 55)

And with that the magic numbers for november 2009:

Capsize - lvl 80 undead warlock (capped)
Capstone - lvl 80 blood elf paladin (capped)
Capricious - lvl 71 troll hunter (+1)
Capibara - lvl 80 tauren druid (capped)
Capone - lvl 70 Orc rogue (+27)
Capeesh - lvl 67 Orc warrior (+33)
Capacitate - lvl 70 undead priest (+26)
Capitulate - lvl 72 Blood elf mage (+14)
Capow - lvl 70 Tauren shaman (+20)
Capsickle - lvl 72 Orc Death Knight (+9)

A total gain of 130 levels which is still not quite a level a day but definitely a solid improvement. The most interesting part of this is that I am now only 68 levels away from being fully capped which at the current averages and my tendency for laziness over the holiday puts me at fully capped status in march/april 2010. Will it be enough time to hit fully capped before cataclysm? Hard to say...

On the less analytical side I have to say that I had a horrible and I mean absolutely horrible time levelling my rogue. Normally I'd blame the fact that I make a better ranged person than a melee person but the absolute lack of healing potential has made levelling my rogue an arduous task. Using stealth helps but tends to slow the killing down. On the other hand not killing things right away on a rogue is a sin you can only fix through resetting the entire battle. And that despite the fact that he's dragging around a good 4 heirlooms which should make him at least gear-wise superior to any mob on his level.

Joining the list of now less popular characters is much to my own surprise the priest. There's something about the priest that strikes me as sluggish and inefficient. Perhaps the spells don't lock in place like I want them to or the killing speed is just too mediocre but I can rarely motivate myself to pick him up despite loving the shield spells.

The hunter together with the warlock and paladin have received a lot of 'alternative love'. While the hunter is now proudly running around on a venomhide mount and has a good chunk of exploration completed the warlock and pally decided to lift themselves in some good old deadly/furious gladiator gear which really upped the survivability for my warlock tremendously (in pvp, the only place it really is an issue).

The druid is off in dreamland considering a tanking set that he'll probably never get together and the mage has been sent to the mines to crank out titansteel bars on a daily basis.

Overall in the last 6 months the biggest personal surprise was the warrior. Whilst in the beginning his self healing and staying power were lackluster at best now at level 60+ with some gear on him I can really tell the difference as he tears through things with few delays.

I finally understand all the wayward comments about how gear dependant warriors really are (although I suppose they meant protection) and by that I mean I finally understand they didn't mean you have to be all epicced out but with some decent gear on the warrior can go from pacifistic turtle to no holds barred rampaging warmonger... wish someone would've told me earlier.

All in all I've gotten a clearer understanding of what each character entails... and whilst I am still a natural warlock I am definitely looking forward to putting those last 10 levels on most characters especially to see if the rogue and priest will redeem themselves somewhere along the way.

And you? How are your alts doing?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Pilgrim's kitchen

I wasn't really impressed with the current pilgrim's event that's currently running on WoW but I do admit to having a fair bit of fun doing the pilgrim's peril quests which on the one hand had me standing peacefully amongst allies at stormwind and on the other had me in a fierce bind in auberdine resulting in quite a few corpse runs.

In the end I can really take or leave the holiday but it's a nice way to keep busy till christmas and the title seems easy enough to achieve.

There is however a hidden benefit to the whole festival in that you can quite easily train your cooking from 0 to 350 at nearly no cost and minimal effort.

To do that simply buy the bountiful cookbook from any of the pilgrim's bounty vendors at a festival and learn the first of 5 recipes. You can leave the rest in the book unless you already have the cooking skill required to save some space.
Make said recipe till you can learn the second recipe from the book and move on till you're done with them all.

The items you'll want to cook with are at the festivals in Undercity, Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff freely (I tend to go in that order too) for sale from any ole vendor (or one of those vendor buckets). You can pick up and do the pilgrim dailies at the same time if you like for some easy xp/gold.

For the last recipe item you'll have to head into your starter zone and kill wild turkeys that only spawn during the event. There's an achievement attached to this as well so expect quite a bit of traffic around the area.

And that's pretty much it. I suppose I could've gone into more detail but I have faith that you get the general idea and will figure out the rest on your own.

Happy cooking

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trade This!

Trade is a wonderful tool. It allows the more socially oriented business (wo)man to create a nice income, allows for quick sales of obscure items and every now and then you manage to get a real deal off of someone whose just too lazy to AH their goods.

Unfortunately only about 20% of all chat traffic on the [2. Trade] channel resembles actual 'trading' or selling / buying of items or services.
The rest is, by lack of a better word, utter abysmal crap. Endless arrays of barrens escapees filling the channel with anything from high quality conversations about their school life right down to ye ole [dirge] spam which is still alive and kicking on my server for some obscure reason.

I'd almost be inclined to join the first guild that actually uses the recruitment channel for guild recruitment but considering they're just trying to buy some guildies (euhm recruit some members) I can give that a pass as useful trade information.

But mild ranting aside it seems to me that there is actually a very simple way to ensure, at least for the most part, that trade is indeed about well... trade.

What I suggest is simply that trade is put in a pre-fixed format. Next time you hit 'trade' to advertise one of your wares in you should receive a nice simple little popup.

In this little popup we find a number of dropdown lists (comboboxes or whatever you may wish to call them) and a few 'link' fields.

Basically you would be able to select one of 3 activties: WTT, WTB, WTS
and a few items perhaps up to 5 in the format of [quantity] [item link]

From the quantity dropdown you could select any number (i.e. from 1-100 or make a field that only accepts integers as input) and the item link box would allow you to insert an item link and an item link only.

By preventing the actual 'tradee' which is us for all intents and purposes to just type in whatever we come up with we would then be forced to simply select if we want to trade, buy or sell and also be forced to simply put in an item link and how many we want to sell (1 by default).

If the item link field doesn't accept anything but item links (or skill links etc.) and the quantity isn't modifiable beyond whats there to be selected there's really no choice but to use trade what it was made for in the first place.

Sure you could embelish it with an item search function or allow for more than 5 items to be offered up at the same time, maybe a color selector or whatnot to make your text stand out but that's the basic concept.

And with that you would end up wiping out all the mindless chatter, at least some of the guild recruitment spam (not dirge spam I suppose) and most gold sellers would be looking for a new way to sell us their illegal goods.

A big win in my book, since I rather like the chatting once in a while, but also the actual trading. I just think they would be better off in separate channels so I can choose to opt out of one or the other.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The hidden danger of chilled meat

Chilled meat is good, chilled meat is yummy stuff that once upon a time when the cooking dailies still took an obcene amount of it was a valued commodity.

Those times are over, we know it... the dailies have been adjusted and chilled meat is, well still useful enough to keep around but hardly worth the time selling it.
By now we all have a moderate supply of it stashed away somewhere... because we remember those days it was worth something and are quietly holding on to our supply just in case they add something that will use the stuff.

I thought I had a moderate supply myself... I though meh... I have a stack or 3 roaming around somewhere, until one day our only active guild mage (no pun intended) denoted that she had '412 chilled meats'.

412 chilled meats is enough to prompt me to look how much of the stuff I really had lurking around in the ancient freezers that are my various banks and I came up with: a little under 30 stacks (I rounded a bit, I am not going to count them you know) of chilled meat. That's almost 600(!) chilled meat.

So unless there's an event around the corner that will need a hell of a lot of northern stew or some such I say to you: Beware the chilled meat... you could be stashing enough to get through a cataclysm without knowing it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fur and Fury

Having spent the last week at the SAPTeched and suffering from a generally busy work arena the last few weeks I didn't get around to playing much wow. So little even that I managed to miss the better part of Halloween which is too bad since I was all set up to go for a vicious Rant on how people kill the quest giver in the starting zones, park their oversized orange mammoths over waterpools and what not.

It was a particularly ranty rant which is always nice to do once in a while so I am a little sad I missed the opportunity to let Halloween meet my broadside.

Of course like any good rant it sticks in your system till you let it out so I found something completely different to rant about. Something in a field I previously knew very little about (and probably don't know nearly enough about as it is).

It all started a few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to do something new with my druid. Sure it was nice being a tree and frankly I haven't played any healer type character that's more fun to play than a tree druid whom can literally roll hots over half a raid without breaking a sweat... but when it comes to actually doing something other than healing, healing specs always seem crippled.

You can't kill things... unless you think killing something means applying the single dot you have and then outhealing the bastard's damage.

So I decided I'd look into some bear specs. It combined a lot of the survivability the average tree has with just that much more damage to make trying out the whole feral tree appealing.

And with that I started jotting down an outline for a spec and afterwards started digging for gear. It took me about 20 minutes before I started wondering where all the bear-tank gear was. It took me another 10 minutes to realize that there was no such thing as bear-tank gear. Bear tanks wear DPS gear...

Nothing around that really looked like it could improve damage mitigation... clearly my little furball was just meant to take hits, soak them up and pray for heals before the soaking capacity stopped.

With nothing out there in terms of gear I began to wonder how this would impact the bear tank population on various servers. After all without specifically designed bear tanking gear it means the bear tank is in direct competition with DPS of all types for most of his/her gear.

I never looked at a rogue's DPS gear and thought... hey that stuff would be nice for my bear tank but apparantly I should've all along.

Frankly I never had looked much at non-bearform bears at all... and now that I survey the few bear-tanks my server seems to have I must note that most of them look like they recently stumbled into the leftover bin at some wayward fashion show.
When they're out of form at least... when they're in form they pretty much look like a bear ... which is uneventful in itself.

I didn't shelve my plans for a bear tank but I do have to wonder how appealing a bear tank really is when your gear makes you look like a fashion accident and you have to compete with DPS to get it. And that's outside of 5 man performance which looks like it consists mostly of 'swipe swipe swipe swipe' activity.

Looking at it from a distance I think bears need something... if nothing else something that will allow them to reclaim their identities as tanks rather than an afterthought to the whole 'lets just gear a plate tank' conundrum.

That said, did anyone actually see a bear tank in the last months? I've seen maybe 3 in the last weeks... and that's nothing compared to the oodles of platewearing tanks (mostly pallies) that seem to be all over the place.

Is the bear tank heading for extinction?