Monday, June 22, 2009

Fire Festival - maybe?

Well I was all set to jump into the fray when the fire festival hit last sunday and one of my chars was looking forward to getting a nice chunk of fireblooms for that illustrious fire pet they have on offer for 350 odd blossoms.

So I go out into the wild only to find out that I was unable to complete any of it due to having done it last year. *mutters*

Apparantly you're only allowed to celebrate summer once in a character's lifetime so while most of my characters are stuck in springtime or even winter I resigned to having to do one of my other characters first. Hopefully after 2.5 billion angry GM tickets blizzard will figure out that not all is right with the world.

Eventually I noted they did indeed post a message on the startup screen indicating they are aware of the issue so I look forward to seeing a day's worth of work go down the crapper because blizzard had to 'revert' to fix the issue (I know I know, I'm jaded).

In the end I did manage to get my mage all the achievements except slaying ahune on my magus which I had to pass up because it was getting late and I have a distinct lack of guildies I can force to help me with him.

Having run through most of the achievements behold a list of random tips for the poor lone hordie:

1. When doing some desecration in kalimdor and you have to hit azuremyst, blood isle and teldrassil as a horde note that you can take the ferry from auberdine (darkshore). You need to run straight through the town into a building before you can hit the docks so best thing to do is to wait in the water till you see the ship coming and then make a mad dash for it. (from the top of my head->) The left boat takes you to stormwind, the boat straight through goes to azuremyst and the boat to the right goes to Teldrassil. Note that azuremyst and teldrassil have multiple fires to be desecrated... don't forget one or you'll kick yourself repeatedly.

2. Most alliance are not interested in you whether you desecrate fires or not. The ones you have to watch for are usually level 80 with a really really bored look on their face (death knights mostly).

3. When stealing flames from enemy capitols note your chat text. You will just get the lootable dropped in your pack after clicking on the fire. If you find yourself clicking on the damn fire a dozen times without receiving an item check your pack: odds are you have it already (don't forget to right click it to activate the quest).

4. Save your blossoms for the fire festival outfit! you need the outfit to do one of the achievements and the darned thing is soulbound eating up some 400 blossoms at that. (reader comment: you can get a refund for the shoulders [and shoulders only] and get your blossoms back if you return them in time).

5. Once you have the blossoms for 40 torches you can do the torch tossing in dalaran achievement by yourself (although you really only need 10-20ish torches for the achievement). Simply bind the torches to a key and then click on yourself so you catch your own torches. The cooldown on the torches is almost nil so 40 torches in 15 secs should be cake. (reader comment: you can recycle torches between alts [although I just tossed mine to a guildie]).

6. You can steal torches from other players when they juggle (with storebought torches) by standing right on top of them (usually slightly in front). They won't like you for it, but if you're desperate for torches...

7. If you can't seem to get the torch catching right because you can't see the torch when you throw it use the following macro which allows you to zoom out further: /console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 5 or SetCVar("maxCameraDistance", 60)
If it doesn't work twiddle with the numbers... (reader comment: You can also watch the shadow of the torch you are throwing, if you stay 1 or 2 steps ahead of it you should be able to catch it that way too. OP comment: Note that undercity isn't a good spot to do this due to ground obscurities, ORG works quite well in this regard if it's not too busy).

8. Always walk sideways when in crab disguise... otherwise you're pretty obviously not getting into the whole crab thing properly.

9. Do your exploration achievements at the same time as putting out / honoring fires, you're there anyway.

10. You only need to do the fires in azeroth and outland for the achievements... anything more is just extra xp / blossoms

11. If you do torch tossing and torch catching on all your characters every day it'll net you a solid chunk of xp for literally no effort (both quests take maybe 5 mins per char).

And there we have it, the fire festival in a nutshell. Despite the rather annoying bug that doesn't allow my warlock to participate I'd say one of the more fun events in wow.

Happy juggling, let me know if you need some more info and I'll see what I can conjure up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

3.2 change summary

Well it looks like the next patch is going to be a whole new ball-game in terms of transportation. Mount requirements and cost are going down accross the board, we're looking at extensions to and for the argent tournament and there's even a new BG in the making.

For those of you that haven't checked up on the patch notes for 3.2 yet and actually read noobding instead (catering to really small audiences here) have a look at my summarized version of all the news out there in regards to 3.2.. As usual in no particular order:

1. The argent tournament colloseum will be completed and will include new 10 / 25 man raid dungeons available through an unlock system
2. Mount requirements are going down across the board. Epic land mounts at 40, normal mounts at 20, travel abilities at 16 and regular flying at 60 and the cost has been slashed for mounts as well (we're talking hundreds of gold less, hold off on collecting mounts for now).
3. A plethora of class changes and profession changes and with a little luck shamans will be the happy owner of a new totem management bar and hopefully a little bit smoother gameplay.
4. New heirlooms a few of which will come with additional xp bonusses that stack with the old one now allowing for up to 20% faster xp generation.
5. An upgraded squire that you can use as a bank/vendor or mail.
6. 2 new quest hubs in icecrown
7. Isle of conquest battleground added supposedly a bit of a spin-off of Arathi Basin's location cap concept.
8. A zeppelin that will go from TB to OGR (horde rejoice)
9. New portals connecting capitol cities to the dark portal and a flight path from there to shattrath

That's the crux of the changes without highlighting particular classes or professions. I am definitely holding off on commenting on those since they're never carved in stone. And since there's no warlock changes announced I really have nothing good to rant about anyway.

If there's a particular topic that strikes your fancy let me know and I'll see if I can conjure up some details

Monday, June 8, 2009

Basic item gold value (vendor)

We all know this situation: You finished up a quest, look at the rewards and decide nothing in there is worth anything to you so you just want to take whatever vendors for the most gold.

Even though the situation has become rare sometimes we don't have an addon readily available that will tell us what vendors for the most (usually after a patch comes by and makes your addons go up in smoke).

And since I couldn't find a decent listing I decided to simply figure out the basics myself and come up with the below tables of what sells for the most at vendors.

Before we dive into the actual table it's worth noting that the value of an item in terms of gold is mostly based both on stats and on ARMOR value (DPS in case of weapons). Since most quests give items of approximately the same item level it's rarely worth looking at how much value stats add to a specific item.

As a result this leaves armor as primary determination (we'll get to weapons in a bit) and the general rule of thumb is: The more armor, the more gold.

This already pre-determines the first thing you can look at when determining what's worth more. From most to least:


Now besides the obvious list there's another that determines value based on type. I could go into the nitty gritty of things but in the end it's based on observations over a day's worth of auctioning and vendoring and some data I found regarding calculating the armor value of an item. Again from most valuable to least valuable:


In case of armor this means a plate chest is worth significantly more than a mail chest but conversely a mail chest is going to be worth more than some plate boots.

Deciding between close matches is going to stay hard without an addon like auctioneer but in the end it's purely a matter of armor calculations. Generally though if you just cut the table in blocks of 3 (or so) then you can assume that a mail item from block 1 is going to be worth more than plate items in block 2.

It doesn't always work that way but 80% of the time you should get a better result than just picking up whatever plate item is in the list. When in doubt simply look at the value listed under armor and pick the highest.

Weapon gold value is calculated purely on their DPS values.
That means the higher DPS the more gold a particular item is worth. And you guessed it: that makes 2handers of any kind top of the foodchain when it comes to making money. Overall the table looks mostly like this from most to least:

guns, bows and crossbows
Thrown and off-hand

Knowing that the only real question remaining is how the weapon gold values fit in with the armor type gear.

Here is what I came up with:

(weapon) 2 handed [staffs are top of the pool here]
(weapon) 1h anded
(weapon) Wands, guns, (x)bows
(Plate) chest, legs
(Mail) chest, legs
(Plate) head, shoulders, feet
(Leather) chest, legs
(Mail) head, shoulders, feet
(cloth) chest, legs
(Leather) legs, head, shoulders
(Plate) wrist, waist, hands
(cloth) cloaks, head, shoulders, feet
(Mail) wrist, waist, hands
(Leather) wrist, waist, hands
(Cloth) wrist, waist, hands

I would like to ephasize at this point that these are ESTIMATES! Working off of this table has worked quite well for me so far but if you really want the most out of your quest reward choices you should probably look into downloading an appropriate addon.

But what about trinkets, shields, rings and other shiny things?

Currently I have no idea. After compiling the armor and weapon table I honestly had enough of compiling the data and I am still quietly hopeful that I'll just find a full list online somewhere.

Generally it seems that rings and necklaces are at the same level as leather legs, heads and shoulders. Trinkets I still have no idea and shields are right up there with other top of the line plate items (And thus generally a good pick).

Well lets hope this will be of some help to someone somewhere otherwise I just wasted an hour or two scribbling down numbers on a piece of paper ;).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Outland outable at 66

I had rested my death knight for a few days to get back up to the maximum rested xp.

I had a plan... granted, it wasn't any kind of cunning plan nor a particularly impressive one but I had a plan nonetheless.

So one dark dank evening with my level 66 DK sitting in shatt I decided I had had enough of outland. I had spent about 8 levels in the place after the DK starter quests had put me on 58 and decided the level 69+ mobs in the howling fjord would be easy enough for my nigh-indestructible blood DK.

I hopped on the zepelin in undercity, arrived shortly after in vengeance landing, took a quick note of the fact that there were no quests for me to pick up (start at 68) and headed off into the wilderness to do something that has always been regarded as an inefficient way of progression:

I started grinding mobs.

It didn't take long for my DK to light up like a christmas tree having gone from nearly no experience gathered to a full level's worth in what seemed to be a fairly short grinding session (I should've timed it).

I scratched my head for a moment wondering what happened. You'd think that straight forward grinding shouldn't be able to keep up or even come close to questing in outland but it did remarkably well.

Why I wondered... and the answer was simply: double xp.

The xp you gain for killing a normal mob in northrend is approximately twice as much as the xp you get from a normal mob in outland. Given that outland quests give approximately 10k xp per completion you're looking at 5 extra kills you'd have to make to make up for a regular outland quest.

But grinding generally also means you don't have that annoying travel time from and to the various quest locations.

In other words, the travel time in outland to complete quests completely negated the advantage questing in outland had in comparison to just plain grinding northrend mobs.

The additional advantages are obvious: Even though you go through rested xp like crazy (which is of no consequence to the altaholic that is me) your income practically doubles since you're all of a sudden getting all kinds of northrend valuables. You start collecting greens that you can almost immediately put on once you're done with your grinding session and you get all kinds of resources that are in fairly high demand (meats, borean leather, frostweave to name a few).

I had effectively ruined my stay in outland with spoils of war that should've been completely out of reach.
I settled on grinding the rest of the way to 68 when the northrend quests would become available and opted out of outland on my DK on a permanent basis.

For most of my more powerful characters this means I can enter outland at 58 and leave at 66 provided I have a full 1.5 bars of rested xp to grind out some mobs in northrend (something that is rarely an issue if you have 10 or so characters).

To a certain extend this is kind of saddening. Outland has become little more than a mandatory stop-off on your way to northrend lasting a mere 8 levels from the time you step foot in deathknight peninsula.

I had always enjoyed outland for what it was, but there's no real motivation to level there past level 66, not if you take into account how much less money / xp you will be earning while there.

I already have seen most of the quests and storylines and I am sure I will return to play them all again on one char on the other, but I would've much rather experience the place fully without that nagging feeling that I am going at half-speed collecting stuff that has hardly any value.

So much for outland?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How did dual-spec impact your gameplay?

With dual spec now having been around for a while and us probably being well on our way to get tri-spec or triple spec further down the line (call it prophecy if you will) there's pretty widespread yet seemingly minor changes to adapt to the option.

Most guilds seem to have undergone a short period of loot rule adjustment to deal with the whole main-spec / off-spec concept of dual speccing.
There were some pros and cons listed here and there about dual speccing but in the end most have settled on a main-spec / off-spec / not-specced concept and built their loot rules around that.

I had expected more really: guilds forcing all the classes with healer capacity into a a dual specced healer role, refusals to spec your second spec for the guild resulting in widespread drama, hefty complaints by pure dps classes that really only have another dps spec to spec into.

None of these seem to have materialized. The cost of dual spec is not prohibitive enough to assume people don't have dual spec yet at 80 and so it almost seems like dual spec was introduced and absorbed wholely by the wow community at large without too much fuss.

Bummer really... nothing like a broken system to bring all the classes closer together and end some age old class rivalries (or at least put a damper on them for a while). Although I suppose it's probably wrong to wish doom and gloom upon the system just to have something amusing to blog about (or is it?).

Personally my dual speccing adventures usually ended up with me having my usual spec as main spec and the dual spec is usually relegated to being a 'test area' where I throw fairly random stuff together to see what it does. Oddly enough my re-speccing cost have gone up significantly since dual specs were introduced because now I am in a perpetual state of having 2 specs I am not entirely happy with.

I still consider carrying extra sets of gear largely a waste and my dual specs tend to feed off of what is already equipped... but in the end my primary problem with dual specs is not the concept but the fact that I always forget I have it.

There's nothing like standing at a meeting stone waiting for that healer to arrive to fill up your party and not remembering that your moonkin is also a tree... or alternatively when I do remember repressing the thought that I might as well heal the thing and get it over with rather than standing around like a stupid dps waiting for a healer (because I don't feel like healing at that time).

That said, now that we have dual specs and no obvious problems (obvious as in even I noticed) have arised I have a feeling we'll soon be looking at tri-spec at the cost of 2k gold.

Maybe dual spec was just an elaborate gold-sink after all. So then dear blog connoiseur: How did dual spec impact your gameplay?