Archive for 2012

It’s Been a While!

Wow, has it really been a month since my last blog post? It doesn’t seem like that long, but I guess it has. So, what’s been happening? Well, as it happens, quite a bit…

 

Level 90(s)

I got my Priest to level 90 on 13th October. I did this completely solo so it took longer than I’d originally hoped, but I wasn’t going to rush things. I’ve really enjoyed questing in Pandaria and still have two zones left to finish on her. About a week later I got my second level 90; my Hunter. This time around I levelled with my wife (duo Hunters) which was pretty good fun. It helped a little having been through most of the quests before and I tried my hardest not to spoil the surprises or rush her too much.

Mists has so many daily quests on offer that one could literally send the entire day working on them. Instead we’ve decided to focus our efforts on 2-3 factions at a time (my Priest, her Hunter) and will move on once these are done. So far, we’ve hit Exalted with Tillers & Order of the Cloud Serpent and just hit Revered with The Anglers. I think we’ll probably move on to Golden Lotus and Klaxxi next and then Shado-Pan & August Celestials in another few weeks. My Hunter is also about 1/2 of the way through revered with Tillers but this is currently the only faction I’m working on with her.

Since hitting 90, I’ve stuck with a fairly relaxed play-style. My Priest has run a few of the heroics and (I think) all of the scenarios. I found that combat regen was a significant issue to begin with (especially when running the first couple of heroics) but things have gotten markedly easier as item level has increased. I finally hit the minimum requirement for LFR on Sunday so I dove right on it. Being my first time there I didn’t get much opportunity to look around but the zone (Mogu’shan Vaults) looked suitably grand. I went in blind having not done any homework or read up on the fights, I figured that I’ve been playing this game long enough that I should be able to pick things up fairly quickly and I’m happy to report I wasn’t wrong. From my perspective, the most interesting fight was probably Elegon, due to the movement and visuals, followed by Will of the Emperor, mostly because for the second (successful) attempt I decided to focus purely on the tanks (both tanks had died on the first attempt so I took this as a sign that someone should dedicate themselves to keeping them alive!) While I didn’t top the meters for heals, I wasn’t last either (4th overall for the first 3 bosses, 3rd overall for the second 3) so that’s something positive to take away, along with 6 upgrades!

 

Molten Core

I’m still doing my weekly Molten Core runs with my Paladin. On the 9th I got the Eye from Ragnaros so I wasfinally  able to complete my Sulfuras. I’ve still not got my second binging from Baron Geddon, but having Sulfuras complete helps a lot as I can now just run in, kill Baron Geddon and leave. Maybe in another 5 years I’ll get that second binding and be done with Molten Core for good!

 

Darkmoon Faire

The first Darkmoon Faire was disappointing. I’ve been doing my research every day on both scribes since the expansion began and was able to complete two decks before the end of the first faire. This took a combination of trading and buying a few cards for gold. I spent, in total, around 30k gold (herbs & cards) and ended up  selling only one of the trinkets for 70k. I’m sure I could have been more aggressive and sold the other, but I’ve not really been focused on it. The second faire is this week and I can only see prices going down. The trinkets really aren’t as amazing this expansion as they were in Cata, especially with LFR giving people access to the same or higher iLevel gear earlier.

 

Professions

Across all my alts I’ve maxed out the following professions: Alchemy (x4), Archaeology  Blacksmith, Cooking, Enchanting, Engineering, Jewelcrafting, Herbalism, Inscription (x2), Leatherworking, Mining (x2), Skinning & Tailoring. All that remains is First Aid and Fishing, both of which are getting there.

I ended up maxing out several professions on green patterns since the majority of my alts didn’t have any Spirits of Harmony as a result of this, the prize for worst/hardest profession to level is a dead-heat between Engineering and Blacksmith. Prices of ore have only just starting to come down so I ended up mining vast amounts of ore myself. In fact, I mined so much ore that both my Warrior & Rogue are close to 86 purely from mining Ghost Iron in Jade Forest. Leatherworking was considerably easier as my Hunter had plenty of Spirits to buy one of the high-level patterns.

It’s easily possible to max out Mining without ever leaving Jade Forest, Skinning you need to move on to Valley of Four Winds but I found I was unable to max Herbalism until I hit Kun-Lai Summit. The distribution of herbs also makes it harder to max Alchemy (unless you’re buying herbs) until you hit the higher zones as you need those herbs to progress.

Archaeology is super easy to level now and didn’t really take me overly long to do (in the grand-scheme of things). My Priest was only around 150 coming in to the expansion and I probably spent a couple of evenings working on it between taming pets. Cooking is a little more time consuming and while all the different “ways” are a little frustrating they do add a bit more flavour to the profession (pun fully intended).

I can’t mention cooking  without talking about farms, of which I have 7. (Currently 1x 16 plot, 1x 12 plot & 5x 4 plot). This gives me a total of 48 plots and a potential daily yield of 240 vegies (336 if I plant based on Jogu’s advice). I’ve made around 10-15k gold with absolute minimum effort selling these but prices are falling. Even so, I expect the farms to continue to be profitable for a while yet as a lot of people are still levelling their cooking and/or don’t want to play Farmville.

 

 

Hopefully, I won’t leave it so long before my next post!

Pandaren Starting Zone

My wife was working away last week helping out with a store refit so I once I’d created my Monk, I just parked her and didn’t log her in. On Saturday we, along with a friend, decided to check out the Pandaren starting zone; The Wandering Isle.

The first thing I noticed when logging in was that I couldn’t see anyone else. There were NPCs around, but no other players despite my wife being logged in on the same realm right next to me. I invited her and our friend to a party and they both appeared. A quick Google search turns up this blue post and specifically this quote:

The Wandering Isle, the pandaren starting area, will also not have CRZ enabled at launch, though we’ll have multiple instances of this zone running as needed for each realm, in an attempt to prevent overcrowding.

Hats off Blizzard, this is an excellent idea and very well implemented. The whole time we were questing through the starting zone we never really had more than one or two people competing for spawns which is a vast improvement over previous expansions (the DK starting area, for example, was very crowded).

 

As with the Goblin starting zone, we knew we wouldn’t be returning here so we took our time (embracing the Pandaren ideal of “slow down”) and let everything sink in. Like the rest of this expansion, the artwork in the Pandaren starting zone is beautiful and while I understand that anthropomorphic pandas aren’t everyone’s cup of tea you do have to give Blizzard credit for a job well done. The area is fresh, the stories engaging and the quests (while reusing tried and trusted mechanics) don’t feel too tedious.

The quests involving recovering the elemental spirits were fun and gave you lots of little glimpses in to Panderan culture. The fun quests are nicely balanced by more somber quests such as Passing Wisdom, where you bid farewell to Master Shang Xi. There’s even a budding romance between the two central characters Aysa Cloudsinger and Ji Firepaw which we know from the start is doomed.

The final series of quests, starting with The Suffering of Shen-zin Su introduce the Horde and Alliance. The contrast between the two factions has never been clearer; The Horde characters seem intent on revenge for being having prisoners on the crashed ship, while The Alliance characters seem more concerned with rescuing everyone from the wreckage before thinking about anything else. It’s at this point that the relation ship between Aysa and Ji is torn apart and it becomes clear to the player where eachs loyalties will ultimately end up.

 

All in all I quite enjoyed the zone. It’s a nice set up for the expansion and a great introduction to the Pandaren.

Pandaria Progress – Priest (Episode 1)

Last night I decided to start my journey into Pandaria properly. After getting home I played for around 3-4 hours and started working my way through the quest lines in The Jade Forest. As I said before, I’m not in any especial rush to level so I’m taking my time, reading all quest texts and just absorbing the enormity of everything.

I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t started yet, but I can assure you that you’re in for a real treat when you do.

One thing that I liked about SW:ToR when I played the beta last year was the voice acting. It really added to the immersiveness of the story lines and helped you to connect with the characters. It’s something that WoW has traditionally lacked and I’m really pleased to see that Blizzard have tried to incorporate this. While not every quest is voiced, many of the key moments are and it just makes this that little bit more engaging.

The real highlight for me so far has to be the White Pawn/SI:7 chain across the first half(?) of the zone. I love Sully & Amber and the series of quests involving them nicely echo The Day that Deathwing Came, only better.

 

Professional

Wizzadora has Herbalism/Alchemy so I’ve been picking flowers as I’ve been questing. As with Gomjabbar the other day, I’ve had very little (virtually no) competion for herb spawns. During my questing I picked up around a dozen stacks of herbs (Green Tea Leaf & Rain Poppy) without going out of my way to find it. Even so, it’s slow going and I’ve only got to 572 Herbalism. Still, I’m happy with the progress considering it’s not something I’ve really been focused on. I’m somewhat less impressed with Alchemy.

When I arrived at Dawn’s Blossom I figured it would be a good time to train up my alchemy so I spoke to Ni Gentlepaw only to find that she had just 2 recipes for me that were both green… WTF?

After asking one of my guildies, it turns out that virtually every alchemy recipe needs to be “discovered” by crafing ones you already know, though this isn’t actually made clear anywhere in game (that I could see). Having done some more reading on this today wow-professions.com has (as always) a great guide on what to expect. Still, I really think that Blizzard need to make this more obvious.

The Eagle Has Landed

The Jade Forest

My first Pandaria screenshot; The Jade Forest

 

Initial thoughts

Mists went live at 8am yesterday morning. Since I (foolishly) didn’t book any time off work, I’ve not been able to play for more than a few hours last night but I feel I can sum up my initial feelings in one (very fitting) word… Wow. This is Blizzard at their absolute finest and I really am blown away by what they’ve done. Pandaria looks beautiful, full of life and exquisite little details wherever you look. The fantastic vista that Blizzard have created is perfectly complemented by a truly epic soundtrack worthy of a blockbuster movie.

Obviously I’ve known the inspiration for this expansion for a long time. I’ve seen the screenshots from Blizzcon and from the beta but none of them really do it justice. The visuals really bring to mind movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers. (The Jade Forest especially reminds me of the scenes in the bamboo forest from the latter.)

While my absolute number one WoW moment will probably remain the first time I arrived in Howling Fjord my first steps in Pandaria are a very close second. My hat is off to Blizzard for delivering on everything they promised and I’m really looking forward to being able to attack the content properly over the coming day, weeks and months.

 

First Steps

As per my plan, posted on Monday, I first took my Rogue out mining. I figured that most of the profession realm firsts are done and I’m not in any massive rush so I took my time and did a little exploring. Not being able to fly always makes the world seem bigger and The Jade Forest is certainly no exception. It took me a good 2 hours to explore the zone and there’s still a couple of areas I can’t figure out how to get to! During that time I picked up 20 stacks of Ghost Iron Ore with very little competition, maxing out mining along the way. Being 10 hours behind the first wave meant that there were less people around but it was far from deserted. I had one instance of someone “stealing” an ore node from, literally, under my feat while I was killing a mob and a couple of cases where someone beat me to a node fair and square but that was it.

I mailed all the ore I collected across to Jez and prospected it down. I didn’t get all that many blue gems, but I did get plenty of greens. Seemingly Blizzard tweaked the levelling for professions before release as I was able to get 3 points off most orange patterns and ground out 585 fairly quickly before running out of mats (for patterns that give skillups). I’m now left with the daily researches and blue quality gems to level on when I obtain more ore.

I was a little impatient with Inscription… I logged in briefly at lunch time and bought a couple of stacks of herbs off the Auction House for ~450g a stack just to get my research done. Neither scribe learned anything especially exciting (Glyph of the Cheetah and Glyph of Marking) so I didn’t bother crafting any. By the time I checked the Auction House before bed Green Tea Leaf had dropped all the way down to 23g per stack so I bought & milled 10 stacks.

 

That’s about it for now, more to follow in the coming days!

T-minus 24 Hours And Counting

Mists of PandariaMists goes live tonight at midnight and I finally got around to purchased my copy yesterday (nothing like waiting ’till the last minute!) I’ve been cleaning and organising and I think I’m about as prepared as I can be;

  • Vixetta’s professions have been switched over to Alchemy/Inscription and maxed both out. Unfortunately, Blizzard updated the material requirements for the Transmute mastery quest already so I haven’t been able to do that just yet: You now need to provide 4 Living Steel so this will be one of my first tasks once things go live.
  • Gomjabbar (Rogue) hit 85 recently and has maxed out her Mining to go with her Engineering.
  • All my glyphs are crafted and banked ready to start selling in the coming weeks.
  • Bags are cleared on all my toons ready for questing.
  • I’ve cleared as much junk as possible on my banker to make posting auctions of new stuff as easy.
  • Full set of Frostweave Bags crafted for my Monk.

My only real concern is with my Warlock: Everything that I’ve read points to only needing to be level 80 to train professions to 600 skill and I’m really hoping that this is the case as my Kinetick, my main scribe, is only 81. I’ve been meaning to get her to 85 for a while, but I’ve just not had the time; something else just always seems to be more important (either both in-game or out). I did manage to knock out 80-81 in around an hour or so last weekend so I expect that, if it turns out you do need to be 85 to train, I can probably power through in a fairly reasonable timeframe.

Launch Day Plans

For me (playing on US servers from the UK) the expansion will go live at 8am tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I’ll be on my way to work at that time so won’t be able to log in until the evening. Sure, I could have booked the day off work but I decided not to bother. This means I’ll probably miss out on any realm firsts but that’s not really a big loss. I’ll probably hit 90 fairly quickly anyway and MoP is going to be around for a while so why rush?

So what do I intend to do on launch day?

  1. Gathering:
    I’ve just spotted something on Wowhead: Mist-Piercing Goggles. My first goal will be to get at least one pair of these crafted. To this end, I’ll be taking Gomjabbar (Miner/Engineer) out first. I have a feeling that these will sell for a LOT of gold in the opening weeks of the expansion, though the market risks becoming quickly saturated. The limiting factor here is going to be the requirement of two Spirit of Harmony. If these turn out to be easy to obtain (seemingly anything can drop them) I’ll consider farming them for a bit. Regardless, once I’ve got my pair crafted I’ll work on mining up the ore I’ll need for Jez’s Jewelcrafting (see below).
    Once this is done, I’ll send my (second) set of goggles to Wizzadora and take her out herbing firstly for Inscription then for Alchemy.
  2. Inscription:
    There’s no real need to rush Inscription to 600 on release day, the key thing here is to get both Kinetick & Vixetta to the trainer and learn Scroll of Wisdom (needed for the new Darkmoon Cards). This will give me access to one of the new glyphs which (assuming the market hasn’t already crashed) I’ll want to get up on the AH as fast as possible. Given that I’ll be losing a good 10 hours to the competition I’ll probably miss out on the best profits, but I’m hoping I’ll still be able to make a reasonable return on whatever the RNG gives me. The new glyphs are orange all the way to 595 as well so these should be a profitable way of levelling Inscription.
  3. Jewelcrafting:
    Something tells me that JC is going to be rather expensive to level. Everything needs gems and gems need ore, I would guesstimate that 525-575 will take around 50 stacks of ore. There only appears to be one type of common ore in Mists: Ghost Iron Ore for which there’s currently no prospecting data on Wowhead’s MoP site. So this estimate is based on the following assumptions: 1 stack of Obsidium Ore gives you (on average) 1.5 of each green gem, Elementium Ore slightly less. Assuming these probabilities continue (there’s no reason for them not to) levelling on Ornate Bands and Shadowfire Necklaces you’re going to need 50 of each green gem. Assuming a worst case, I think that 50 stacks for 50 levels is likely. With any luck, those 50 stacks of ore should also yield sufficient blue gems for the remaining 25 levels.
  4. Alchemy:
    Transmute: Living Steel is the goal here. Unfortunately, this requires 600 Alchemy. Wowhead has no information on where recipes are obtained yet, but broadly speaking I’d guess I’m looking at something like the following…

    All told, I’d estimate needing 30x Silkweed, 60x Rain Poppy, 25x Green Tea Leaf, 55x Fool’s Cap and 25x Snow Lilly (multiplied by 4 alchemists!)

That lot should keep me pretty busy! I expect there to be a fair bit of competition for resource nodes so the goggles should be a big help and I’ll want to get them crafted ASAP. I suspect I’ll end up levelling up one toon’s profession at a time, unless I end up with an abundance of lower level mats. Blizzard have, unsurprisingly, adjusted all the skill up bands for Cataclysm patterns such that they’re not viable for grinding very far beyond 525 so the ability to go back and do this is cut.

I’ll be sure to check the Auction House before heading out farming as you never know, the hard-core farmers might have already have driven prices down to where it’s viable to buy them off the AH (unlikely).

Inscription Update – 2

Last time I posted that I was a little over the halfway mark. I’m happy to report that I milled ~50,000 herbs and crafted all the inks I need for this little project. The final number of inks came in a little over what I was aiming for as I picked up a few extra stacks of herbs here and there which I added to the pile for milling. All told, I ended up with ~14,700 inks crafted with a couple of days spare before the patch.

 

Next comes the crafting…

Prior to the patch I took the decision to start crafting glyphs. I went on the assumption that Blizzard weren’t going to write off all the glyphs and would instead opt to reuse the item ids. As it turns out, in about 99% of cases, they did reuse the old ids and I only ended up with 1 stack of grey items which vendored for a few gold. (30 inks wasted, which is nothing compared to the total volume I’ve been building).

I’ve gone back and updated my spreadsheet with all the new glyphs and established which ones I’m missing. I’d read several posts suggesting that if you knew all the discoverable glyphs before the patch you’d know them all after the patch. I’ve tested this and can confirm it appears to be the case (ie; no new discoveries have been added to either Minor Inscription Research or Northrend Inscription Research). Based on this, it’s safe to conclude that the remaining glyphs I’m missing (about 20 spread across the current 10 classes, plus about half the Monk glyphs) are going to be learnt from crafting Scroll of Wisdom. Crafting this item triggers a “resets at midnight” cooldown so scribes are limited on how fast they’ll be able to obtain those missing glyphs. Assuming I do my “research” every day, I should have everything learned in a little over a month.

As I posted the other day I’m in the process of changing my DK’s professions over from Herb/Mining to Insc/Alch. This isn’t going to affect my plans all that much but will, hopefully, speed up the pace with which I can learn the new glyphs and get those on the market a little faster. My Warlock will continue to be my “main” scribe but I’ll split the sales between the two toons (DK –> Paladin on one, Priest –> Warrior on the other). As my DK learns the glyphs she’s missing I’ll gradually switch production over to her as well to reduce the need to mail glyphs about.

 

To date, I have created 10 of each (known) glyph for: Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Paladin & Rogue. My Warlock has 11 Packs of Endless Pockets of which I have completely fill the 7 in her bank already (hence the need to split my sales) and I’ve just bought 6 for my DK for when she’s ready to switch professions.

Slight aside… Something I noticed when the patch hit was that they’ve updated the UI for the bank slightly and added room for a second row of bags. I’ve not seen anything mentioned about this anywhere else but I thought it was kind of interesting. This suggests to me that there’s a small possibility that Blizzard are considering allowing you more bank space, which would be great news!

 

Sales

With the exception of listing a couple of Fetch & Bear Cub glyphs on patch day, I’ve not yet started selling any of my glyphs. The Monk glyphs you can learn from the trainer started out selling for ~500g in some cases but crashed to the 15-20g range in less than 48 hours. I expect these will shoot back up once people can actually start making their Monks though so I’ll be crafting these (along with everything else) in anticipation of this.

At the moment, the ink-traders are still accepting Blackfallow Ink, rather than Ink of Dreams (despite the UI suggesting otherwise) so the market is still very active. My current intention is to get my glyphs crafted, possibly top up my stockpile of inks, and then wait for the expansion to ship. The assumption being ink traders will get “fixed” when the expansion goes live and that, given Pandaria herbs will likely be very expensive for the first few weeks (at least), glyph prices will rise accordingly.

Pandaria Profession Plans

while back I posted about my long term plans for what I want to achieve in WoW this time around. Now that Mists is literally knocking at the door I’ve been slightly reconsidering what I want to do with my alts, specifically their professions. Firstly, let’s get a quick update on where I am with everyone today…
  • Jezebelle – Paladin – 85 – Jewelcrafting (525) / Enchanting (525)
  • Wizzadora – Priest – 85 – Alchemy (525) / Herbalism (525)
  • Wizzbit – Warrior – 85 – Blacksmith (525) / Mining (525)
  • Satu – Hunter –  85 – Leatherworking (525) / Skinning (525)
  • Vixetta – Deathknight – 85 – Mining (525) / Herbalism (525)
  • Gomjabbar – Rogue – 84 – Engineering (525) / Mining (511)
  • Torall – Mage – 80 – Tailoring (525) / Alchemy (525)
  • Kinetick – Warlock – 80 – Inscription (525) / Herbalism (497)
  • Mirax – Shaman – 80 – Alchemy (525) / Herbalism (416)
  • Un-named – Monk – 1 – ??? / ???

Generally speaking, I’m fairly happy with most of my profession choices, but I’m pretty certain that I can make some optimisations for both character performance and gold making.

Currently, my least optimal character is Vixetta. Two gathering professions are great for making money while levelling (I completely recommend this path to everyone) but I’m not really a gatherer at heart. I’ve got nothing against gathering and if I’m crafting something for myself I’ll often gather the mats rather than buy them, I’d just rather run instances or play the Auction House with my time. So, something’s got to budge but what gets dropped and what do I learn instead?

Let’s cut the list another way…

  • Alchemy – 3 (Wizzadora, Torall, Mirax – All transmute)
  • Blacksmith – 1 (Wizzbit)
  • Enchanting – 1 (Jezebelle)
  • Engineering – 1 (Gomjabbar)
  • Herbalism – 4 (Wizzadora, Vixetta, Mirax, Kineitck)
  • Inscription – 1 (Kinetick)
  • Jewelcrafting – 1 (Jezebelle)
  • Leatherworking – 1 (Satu)
  • Mining – 3 (Wizzbit, Vixetta, Gomjabbar)
  • Skinning – 1 (Satu)
  • Tailoring – 1 (Torall)

Personally, I’d be happy with 2 Miners and 2 Herbalists so I could easily drop both professions on Vix. In terms or perks (character enhancement), most professions give about the same benefit so that doesn’t really factor into my choices.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and Tailoring are all fairly weak professions for making gold given that you can usually get better gear by simply running instances, so they’re out.

Skinning is by far the weakest gathering profession for making gold as it only feeds into one crafting profession so, given that I’m already dropping Herbalism & Mining, that’s got to be out too.

Enchanting does have the potential to make decent gold. It’s extremely handy when farming lower-level instances, which DKs excel at, but I’ve already got Jez who can do this just as efficiently. It’s also costly and time-consuming to level so is less appealing.

Engineering is, in my experience, more of a fun/gimmicky profession. It does have a couple of ways to make gold but I don’t really see any need to have multiple engineers.

This leaves me with three choices; Alchemy, Inscription and Jewelcrafting. All three professions have certain limitations/bottlenecks imposed on them which make them good gold makers…

Alchemy

Blacksmiths, Engineers and even Jewelcrafters all need Living Steel. Crafting a bar triggers a 24 hour cooldown that resets at midnight. Transmute-master alchemists have a chance to receive bonus items when performing transmutes. Given that Living Steel will very likely be in high demand throughout the expansion (this was historically the case for both Truegold and Titansteel) Alchemy is a very appealing option.

Inscription

Everyone needs a set of glyphs, it’s kind of essential to playing “properly”. Unfortunately, learning all glyphs is bottlenecked by research which can only be performed once a day. Fortunately, this isn’t the sole money maker for Inscription… The Darkmoon card trinkets have the potential to generate just as much gold and possibly more, especially in the early stages of the expansion. This gold making potential is getting kicked up a gear with Mists as you won’t be able to mass-craft cards right off the bat. Unless you have a huge pile of Spirit of Harmony going spare, each card requires a Scroll of Wisdom. Creating a scroll triggers a 24 hour cooldown (resets at midnight) which will push the price of the cards up significantly. Add to this the fact that scribes now make shoulder enchants and you can see that inscription has the potential to be on the of the most lucrative professions available.

Jewelcrafting

Like Inscription, Jewelcrafting has an artificial limit placed on how fast you can learn all the available recipes. As with the last two expansions, it’s a daily quest rewarding Zen Jewelcrafter’s Tokens. While (at the time of writing ) it’s not yet made clear on Wowhead, these will be required to purchase the majority of blue quality gem cuts. Clearly, the person who learns a given cut first has the potential to make the most gold from it. This said, Jewelcrafting is a steady income that will last throughout the expansion as everyone will replace their gear each time a new tier of content is added.

 

Decisions, decisions…

So, all three are very much viable for making gold. Of the three, Jewelcrafting is probably the trickiest to level up, while Alchemy is the easiest. For pure, ongoing, gold making I’d guess that Jewelcrafting has the highest potential since, as mentioned above, every tier people will need new gems. However, given that there will probably be less than 10 really valuable cuts, once you have these the benefit of having multiple JCs is significantly reduced. Based on this, I think I’m going to go for Alchemy (transmute again) and Inscription. This will give me 4 transmute cooldowns and 2 scrolls per day. I’ll be able to spread my glyph sales over 2 characters (which will ease storage) and set myself up to springboard into Darkmoon card sales likely in time for the second faire (*) after the expansion ships.

This means I need to head out tonight and start gathering some herbs to power-level both professions before Saturday (since I can do the Darkmoon quests for five free levels). Fortunately, I can use the very handy guides over at WoW Professions to work out exactly what I’ll need.

There is also a certain temptation to make a 3rd Scribe (probably Mirax) to get the maximum potential possible. I think I’ll sort out Vixetta first though!

 

* Each deck requires 8 cards to make. On average, you will need 52 cards to get your first deck and 70 cards for your second (source – the post is for Cataclysm but the theory remains true for Mists). Given that there’s less than two weeks between the expansion’s release and the first faire it’s very unlikely that anyone will be able to create one of the new decks from this faire unless they have 4+ scribes or trade cards. However, if you can somehow get a couple of decks you’ll be able to make an absolute killing selling the resultant trinkets!

A Week of 5.0

I refer, of course, to a week of Patch 5.0.4 and not a week in Hawaii.

 

The patch dropped last Tuesday and I’ve now had a chance to play a bit. So, what do I think of the changes? I’ve got a few impressions and thoughts based on the classes/specs I’ve played so far…

 

Hunter

Satu was the first toon I talented and tried out this week. My wife spent quite a bit of time reading about Hunters on Wednesday (she had the afternoon off work). It seems a lot of folks on beta have been touting Beast Mastery as the highest DPS spec currently. I’ve mostly been Marksman recently, but figured I’d try out BM. The rumours seem to be true and while I haven’t actually tested MM myself yet, BM feels like it’s in a pretty good place.

 

Paladin

While I have setup Jez’s Protection talents, I’ve not actually tanked anything on her since the patch. I have however played around with Ret and my initial impressions are positive. The rotation doesn’t feel too bad and her damage has increased fairly significantly (I swear she was doing a solid 5k dps more than before the patch). One thing I really can’t get over is the removal of auras. Having had an aura as long as I’ve had a Paladin, I feel dirty not having one. This would probably be eased some if your currently active seal showed up as a buff, which it doesn’t.

 

Priest

Nothing really to report here yet. I’ve set up Wizzadora’s Discipline talents, but not even touched her Holy spec. I’ve not run anything with her this week but from what I’ve seen testing on dummies things feel fairly consistent with how they were before the patch.

 

Death Knight

Vixetta hit 85 10 days before the patch so I made the decision to grind her up to 4,000 JPs and park her until it dropped. Most of my time this week has been spent playing her and I’ve gone from just scraping through the gear requirement for heroics to tanking Dragon Soul LFR. The DK changes don’t seem to be too massive, the rotation is still fairly consistent with pre-patch but with a few tweaks. I’m rather enjoying playing her and feel there’s even the potential for her to become my preferred tanking toon!

 

Warrior

Of all the my characters I’ve played this week, Wizzbit feels the most akward. I’ve read a couple of guides (Noxxic, Icy Veins) and I’ve got the setup right, but when I’ve run dungeons with her, I just can’t seem to get the rotation to work for me; it feels clunky and awkward, she’s constantly rage-starved and I seem to always be waiting for something (other than rage-dumps) to come off cooldown. This is really a shame because, while I haven’t played Wizz much this expansion, I did really enjoy Fury. I suspect part of the problem is that she’s severely undergeared (due to lack of play) and that if I fixed this things would start to click into place. However, right now, I’m not enjoying playing her enough to spend the time to gear her up.

 

Rogue

Lastly my Rogue, Gomjabbar. I’ve been levelling her with my wife’s Paladin and she’s currently up to 84. While there have been quite a few changes to Rogues (poisons are a spell now!) the core gameplay is still the same and the levelling has been smooth. I quite like the Rogue and am kinda interested to see how well she plays when properly geared since she’s already doing quite silly damage in levelling gear.

 

 

General Thoughts

I really like what Blizzard have tried to do. While I thought I’d miss the old talent trees, I’ve pretty much already forgotten about them. The new talent system might be a little simplistic for some but the goal of removing “mandatory” talents is a noble one and while there are still some options that are clearly more powerful than others, I can see Blizzard is trying to smooth these out so that you really can pick the ability that sounds cool rather than the one you need to have. This is a great change for the game and should, hopefully, make it that much more enjoyable.

With the exception of the Warrior (which may just be me) the class changes feel fairly natural. Most DPS specs seem to have 2 discrete rotations; one for single-target and one for multi-target. This is a great change and I’ve setup my action bars accordingly.

In most cases, you seem to need far less buttons on your bars now which is great as, let’s face it, it was getting pretty cluttered. In most cases, you seem to have 4/5 main damage abilities, one of which is generally a proc. You’ve then got a selection of cooldown personal damage boosters (usually 3-4 of these), a couple of crowd control abilities and some group utilities. This, to me, feels like really good design… Each class (and to a lesser extent, spec) retains its individuality through the name and look of its abilities. However there’s enough similarity in the setups that you can fairly easily slip from one class/spec to another without having to learn everything over.

 

My wife seems fairly happy with the changes too. She was trying out her Mage over the weekend and was shocked by just how much her damage has increased. She was seeing 20k sustainable with spikes of around 50k. She’s also seen that Hunters get Stampede at 87 and has gone from only ever having 1 pet to taming everything in sight (as long as they look cool!)

All in all, I’m looking forward to what other new stuff the expansion is going to bring.

Inscription Update

Last week I posted about my plans for returning to the glyph market. I figured now would be a good time for a quick progress update.

 

Milling

I started out with a target goal of crafting 14,600 inks to enable me to create 10 of each glyph and have some mats over for restocking. With some help from my wife, I’ve so far milled down somewhere in the region of 28k herbs and produced almost 8,000 inks, so I’ve past the half way mark in 6 days. Which puts me in a great position of achieving my goal before the ink trader stops accepting Blackfallow Ink (I’ve seen a couple of people posting that this has changed on the 5.0.4 PTR so it’s a good bet that it will happen next Tuesday).

Costs have been a little higher than I would have liked as herb prices have been creeping up (doubtless as a result of *ahem* someone buying out almost all the Whiptail on Eitrigg). This has been offset a little due to the fact that my wife has been picking anything and everything while out doing archaeology, every little helps and I’m certainly grateful for the assistance. I’m still well within a “comfortable” range of expense and anticipate coming in around 50k invested in this project.

 

Storage

My Scribe started out with 4 Packs of Endless Pockets. Earlier in the week someone was selling these for under 50g each (the mats are worth ~200g on my server) so I bought 6 more. Since I’m not planning on levelling her any time soon and since she has very little in the way of anything in her bank I’ve got plenty of “local” storage to hold crafted glyphs. This said, I’m way short of the mark for holding on to all the inks I’m producing so I’ve moved my scribe out of our guild and in to our bank guild. I’ve dedicated 3 tabs in the Guild Bank to holding inks which I’ve already filled.

 

Crafting

8,000 inks take up a lot of room. That’s 400 stacks you need to find space for! Yesterday I reached saturation point having filled the space I’d allocated in out Guild Bank and 4 32 slot bags in my scribe’s bank so I decided to start crafting glyphs, my logic being that 1 stack of 10 glyphs requires 1.5 stacks of ink. I was going to have to do the crafting sooner or later anyway, so I might as well get a shimmy on. Death Knights & Druids are done and banked ready for sale.

 

Left-overs

Milling all those herbs has left me with a large amount of Inferno Ink that I’ve needed to get rid of. At the beginning of the week, someone was selling Volatile Life really cheap (I’m talking 50s each here). I can only assume that they were dumping their stock before Mists and just wanted shot of them. Whatever the reason, I bought about 700 of them and started producing Darkmoon Card of Destruction in the hops that I could possibly recoup some of my expense. Out of about 30 cards produced I’ve sold 8 making ~2,500g. More than the mats cost, but not great. I’ve been trying to sell the remaining 20 as a job lot in trade with no success, maybe the faire in a couple of weeks will improve that, regardless I’m not going to be making more as the price of Volatile Life had gone back up over 2g each last time I looked. The rest of my Inferno Inks I’ve been selling as-is getting about 40g per stack. Pocket change compared to what I’ve been spending on this little project but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Mists Cinematic

Just unveiled at Gamescom 2012…

 

I like it, the promised conflict between Alliance & Horde is there and the Pandaren Monk just kicks ass. There’s some humour in there too, the segment around 2:30 made me chuckle.

Can’t wait for 25th September!

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