Posts Tagged ‘Alts’

Goals, Plans & Alts

One aspect of EVE that I’m not really that enthused by is the way alts are handled. You can create up to three characters per account, however you can only have one of the three training at any given time.

Say you want to have an alt sat in a trade hub (eg Jita) to do your buying and selling. You’ll want to train this character to have, as a minimum, Trade & Retail. You’ll probably also want them to have some of the supporting skills; Accounting, Marketing, Daytrading, Margin Trading, Visibility and Procurement to name a few. To get all these to a reasonable level (~level 4) will take a good three weeks, during which time your main isn’t able to be training anything. On top of this, you’ll want to increase your standings with whichever corporation runs your chosen trading station (Caldari Navy for Jita 4-4) to reduce the sales tax you pay, so you’ll need to run some missions for them again eating in to time away from your main.

As a result of this, you really only have two choices:

  1. Train those skills on your main and diversify your skill portfolio at the expense of reaching your other goals that bit slower.
  2. Activate a second account enabling you to have two characters training at once and then gang up for missions.

The most obvious downside to option two is that you have to pay for a second account. However, if you can earn enough ISK, you can cover this by purchasing PLEX from the in-game market. This is what I’m planning. (Actually, my goal is to pay for both accounts with PLEX.)

My alt is going to be a “support” character. Here’s what I’m planning in a nut shell:

  • Jezbelle – Primarily combat orientated. My current goal is to be able to fly the following; Megathron, Megathron Navy Issue, Vindicator and eventually a Kronos. Included in my plan are all the required supporting skills (eg; the prerequisites for Tech 2 Blasters/Railguns etc). Based on the plan I’ve assembled in EVEMon I will be able to step in to a properly (Tech 2) fitted Kronos inside of six months, which I actually think is reasonable. I’ve then got another three months of sundry skills planned to further enhance the performance gains from the hull. (Mostly this consists of maxing out a lot of skills to level five that only require three/four to pass the minimum requirements.)
  • Jhiqui – Initially, I’ve planned to train in to pilot a Noctis, so I can salvage the wrecks Jez creates, and then a Providence, so I can haul that crap to market in bulk, this will take about two months. Once this is done, I’ll turn my attention to the main goal for Jhiqui; providing Logistics support to Jez. Given that Jez is going to mostly be flying buffer-tanked Gallente hulls I’ve chosen to make Jhiqui Amarr with the goal to be able to pilot a Guardian. Later on I intend cross-train Caldari Cruisers to be able to fly a Basilisk as well, since from what I’ve read, a lot of fleets seem to fly with shield tanks.

Despite having started Jhiqui later than Jezebelle, both plans complete around the same time so everything should work out rather well. Where I go from there is really anyone’s guess. If I ever get in to low/null sec stuff I guess I’d ultimately aim to fly a Nyx though that’s clearly some significant way off (probably a year to be able to pilot & fit the hull properly, not to mention the cost!)

While I’m not raking in ISK at the speed Gevlon is, I should have little to no trouble make money if/when I need to. I’ve made some minor ventures in to hauling Tech 2 modules between Jita & Rens which has proven very positive (they’ve paid for fully fitted a Thorax & Myrmidon so far with a very comfortable pile of ISK left over). I’ll continue this as time goes on, though I will wait until I can pilot something with a better tank than an Iteron Mk III before hauling anything too valuable!

Leveling Your Bank Balance

Lone StarListen! We’re not just doing this for the money! We’re doing this for a SHIT LOAD of money!”
 – Lone Star (Spaceballs)

This is one of the articles I originally planned to write when I started this here little blog of mine.

One of the things I’ve come to despise over my years playing WoW is people that constantly complain they have no money to train their abilities or to learn the riding skills. Let’s take a look at riding specifically as this is a skill that everyone will need to learn sooner or later (preferable sooner).

  • Apprentice Riding – Requires level 20, costs 4g, grants 60% increased movement speed, mounts cost 1g each
  • Journeyman Riding – Requires level 40, costs 50g, grants 100% increased movement speed, mounts cost 10g each
  • Expert Riding – Requires level 60, costs 250g, grants 150% increased movement speed, mounts cost 50g each, allows you to fly in Outland
  • Flight Master’s License – Requires level 60, costs 250g, allows you to fly in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor etc
  • Cold Weather Flying – Requires level 68, costs 500g, allows you to fly in Northrend
  • Artisan Riding – Requires level 70, costs 5000g, grants 280% increased movement speed, mounts cost 100g each
  • Master Riding – Requires level 80, costs 5000g, grants 310% increased movement speed

Excluding Master Riding, which you don’t really need, by the time you get to level 80 you will have spent 6215g on riding and four mounts; two land mounts (one slow, one fast) and two flying mounts (one slow, one fast).

In reality this is not an exact figure, there are various factors that will mostly help to decrease this cost, though buying yourself additional mounts will naturally nudge it back up.

By the time you hit 58, you should be *at least* Revered (more likely Exalted if you bought a tabard) with your home-city faction (eg Stormwind) so make sure you train your riding in whichever city you have the highest standing. This can give you up to 20% discount on training costs. If you’re in a level 24+ guild you will also have Bartering which gives you a further 10% discount. Combined, you can reduce your costs by up to 30% bringing that initial 6215g figure down to a rather more manageable 4350g.

For arguments sake, let’s pick somewhere in the middle and say your guild isn’t level 24 yet and that you’re highest city reputation is Revered. This gives you 15% discount meaning that you’re looking at 5283g. Add to that your costs to train your class abilities, which for a Paladin is about 240g, and you’re looking at somewhere around a 5500g investment to level your character. To some folks this will seem like a huge amount but it’s really not. So, how do you achieve this? It’s simple and here’s how:

Bags

The first tip is get your bags sorted out. If you’re starting out on a new server, this might come later in the process, but it’s important to think about this. More bag space means fewer trips to the vendor, mail box or auction house. It’s worth investing in a set of bags as soon as you have the gold to spare, the bigger the better. While in the short term this may reduce your gold balance, this investment will be repaid many times over in the long run.

Your Junk Is Someone Else’s Treasure

Grey items should be sold to your nearest vendor. White items have some sort of use by a profession so you should try selling these on the auction house. Green, Blue & (eventually) Purple items carry the highest value and so should, again, go on the Auction House.

Many gold bloggers advocate the creation of a bank character and so do I. Spend 5-10 minutes to create a level 1 character and run them to the nearest capital city. Once there, send anything that you’re going to sell at auction to this character. Doing this means that you only have to leave the area you’re questing in when you want to go and train. At other times, just find a mail box and a vendor and clear your bags.

Generally speaking I stick to the following pattern for selling stuff based on the item quality:

  • White (Common) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it
  • Green (Uncommon) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it. Alternatively if you know an enchanter have them disenchant it and sell the mats instead
  • Blue (Rare) – List it three or four times. If it doesn’t sell, treat as above
  • Purple (Epic) – Keep re-listing until it sells, because it most likely will eventually

I generally list common items for 12 hours and everything else for 24 hours. The shorter duration on common items is because you’re more likely to get undercut in these markets.

Professions

Personally, I see little point in picking up a crafting profession much before you get to level 80. If you level at a reasonable pace you will out grow anything you make very quickly so there’s little point making it to begin with. What I do suggest however is to pick up two of the three gathering professions. Which two is up to you but consider this; Mining feeds three professions (Blacksmithing, Engineering & Jewelcrafting),  Herbalism feeds two professions (Alchemy & Inscription) while Skinning only feeds one (Leatherworking). With this in mind, Mining & Herbalism are the obvious choices as they have the largest potential market. However look at your own Auction House, see which has the least representation and go for that.

Mining:
Copper Ore sells for, on average, 48g per stack. Mithril & Thorium ores also sell very well and when you hit Outland you’ll find Fel Iron sell for even more (over 90g per stack) so you should have a steady income stream as you move through progressively higher zones. Also, it’s important to always check the going price of both ore and bars before selling to ensure that you’re getting the most money you can.
Herbalism:
Goldthorn sells for ridiculous prices (185g per stack) while Outland herbs sell for even more (Felweed is currently selling for ~240g per stack!!).
Skinning:
As expected, Skinning shows the lowest prices as it has the smallest audience. Rugged Leather averages 63g per stack with Knothide leather selling for much the same.

I don’t know what it is about Outland, but there generally seems to be more demand than supply for raw materials from those zones. Maybe people just don’t like them, but they’re a gold mine if you do!

Conclusion

Assuming you play on a server with prices close to the US average, that you pick up Mining & Herbalism and that you don’t spend your gold on flashy blue & purple items that other people are selling. – By the time you hit level 80 you should be able to alt over to your banker and mail yourself the gold you need to go and buy epic flight. If not then I’m sorry, there’s little hope of you ever making gold.

In a future post, I’ll discuss what to do about your professions post level 80.

 

*All sale prices quoted are based on the “US Alliance Mean” value as calculated by The Undermine Journal on the day of posting. Prices do vary significantly between servers so may not be wholly accurate for your own server.

The Joys of the Dungeon Finder

Wizzbit

You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
 – The Operative (Serenity)

I have many alts that I’m gradually levelling. Last night I was playing on Wizzbit, my Gnome Warrior (lvl83), not  to be confused with Wizzadora, Gnome Priest.

Anyway, last night I ran a couple of leveling instances with my wife on Yalena (lvl82 Resto Shaman), my sister Varian (lvl82 Destro Warlock) and our friend/guild master on Codemonkey (lvl81 Prot Paladin). Wizzbit is Fury, so all we needed to do was pick up a third DPS and we’d be good to go. There was no one on in guild in the low 80s so we hit LFD, got Blackrock Caverns and picked up a Hunter, who seemed nice enough.

We proceeded to clear to and downed the first boss with little problem, though Varian did manage to get herself killed (it was my wife’s first time healing as a Shaman so she was still figuring out all her abilities.) One boss down, we headed on to the second.

Now, anyone who’s run BRC before knows this fight, stand in the beams to stop the adds transforming. Before the pull, we paused to explain the fight to Varian (she’s just come back to WoW after a two year break) and to the Hunter, who confessed he’d never been here before. No problem, I appreciate honesty and respect people for saying that they’ve never done an instance before rather than rushing in blindly and potentially getting you killed. Varian was to take the beam on the right and the Hunter the left, step out at ~80 stacks, let them fall off then step back in.

Everyone happy with their assignments, Code executed the pull. Varian ran in and blocked her beam. The Hunter just stood where he was and started shooting, he didn’t even attempt to move towards his add. Naturally, the add quickly evolved and started running around. Code picked it up and we killed it, then returned to the boss who died in due course. Varian, despite never having done the fight before, had her add under control the whole time and managed to come second on damage. There was a brief post-mortem discussion, during which the Hunter apologised saying he didn’t understand where he was meant to stand and us pointing out that now he’d know for the next time.

The rest of the instance was fairly non-eventful, until two pulls from the end when the Hunter sent his pet after the wrong group and we ended up with ten mobs on us instead of five. Code rounded them all up and we AoE’d them down. It was a tense 60 or so seconds, but Yalena acquitted herself rather nicely on the healing without anyone dying.

Ok, so the Hunter wasn’t that bad I guess. He was from our server and, based on the conversation in party, this was his only toon. No hard feelings, he just needs to learn to pay a little more attention in future.

Round Two, Fight!

The Hunter departed and we rolled again, this time getting Throne of Tides along with a Balance Druid. One pull in and the Druid asks for an afk, we continue clearing trash and after almost five minutes he returns explaining that he had to put his 6 week old son to bed. We reach the first boss, set up add assignments and engage. She goes down, maybe a little slowly but not overly so. After the fight I take a peek at my damage meter; I was doing about 7k, Varian & Code about 6k each and the Druid? 338dps! Seriously? I inspected him; His gear looked fine, mostly quest greens, right stats even a few enchants. Talents looked about right for Balance based on what little I know of the spec. What the hell? In hindsight, we should have vote kicked him right then and there, but we didn’t.

Instead, we moved on to the second boss where, just as we’re about to pull, I have to remind the Druid to put on his chicken suit. “Oh, LOL, I forgot!” Why/when did he even come out of Moonkin form in the first place?

We engage the boss, I get hit with Curse of Faitgue followed by Squeeze and finally dumped right slap in the middle of a Dark Fissure. I died. The fight continues and eventually the boss falls over, Varian topped the damage meter and the Druid improved… to 660dps. Cerith Spire Staff drops, a solid upgrade for Varian and a decent upgrade for Yalena (she’s main spec Elemental) but the Druid out-rolls them both.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an elitist and I don’t expect someone in lvl80 quest greens to be posting 10k, it just doesn’t work like that and I’m fine with it. However I do expect them to post more damage than a lvl60. Given his gear, he should have been able to pull 4-5k easily and 5-6k with a little effort.

A vote kick is initiated in the middle of the next pull, the Druid gets the boot and is replaced by a friendly Gnome Death Knight who actually knows how to play and we finish up the second half of the instance.

It’s times like this that I can understand where Gevlon is coming from. I don’t mind helping people out with gearing up an alt, but by the time you hit lvl80 you should have a pretty good idea how to play your class. If not, ask your guild mates for a little advice or do some reading online (Elitist Jerks comes to mind). Don’t zone in to an instance and expect four complete strangers to carry you. WoW is a team effort and you need to play your role or you’ll be replaced.

Forward Planning Discount

Wizzadora

Run for it? Running’s not a plan! Running’s what you do, once a plan fails!
 – Earl Bassett (Tremors)

This is Wizzadora, my Gnome Priest. Right now she’s level 80 but I’m working on getting her to 85 as quickly as I can.

I’m levelling her for a couple of reasons;

  1. I’ve tried playing a Priest a few times in the past, but for one reason or another, I’ve always got bored and deleted them. When it was announced that Gnomes would be able to be Priests in Cataclysm I decided that I’d give it another go and I’ve actually really enjoyed levelling her.
  2. Since I started levelling her it has become apparent that my guild has an over-abundance of tanks and mêlée damage dealers, but a general shortage of ranged damage dealers and, more importantly, healers. Well, we have healers, it’s just that they’re almost all Druids which really hurts us in raids.

I started out levelling her as Shadow (as most people tend to) but I soon found that Shadow was a real mana drain and I was having to drink after every couple of groups. Maybe I was doing it wrong, I didn’t really understand the class that well at that point, but I was also starting to run instances and (naturally) found that queues are shorter as a healer. So I did a little reading on healing as a Priest and decided to respec to Discipline with an Atonement based spec. This is what sealed it for me, the combination of being able to contribute to damage while having some really strong heals helped me to get in to the class and bumped up my enjoyment considerably.

Since I’m a sucker for pain, I’ve decided that this alt will be a pure healer and set up her secondary spec as Holy. I don’t enjoy Holy quite as much as Discipline but I do see that for really intensive fights the healing throughput is greater than Discipline and it therefore makes perfect sense to be able to play as either.

 

So, how does this post relate to the Auction House? Well, as I’ve been levelling Wizzadora, I’ve constantly kept one eye on the AH. It’s amazing the bargains you can get when you’re not in any particular rush for them!

My best purchase so far came on Sunday evening; Someone listed a Je’Tze’s Sparkling Tiara on the Auction House for 675g. To put things in perspective, this item averages 17,591g on my server so, naturally, I grabbed it. Sure I could flip it and make myself around 16,000g profit (which would be the Goblinish thing to do) but I actually wanted the item for my Priest and the chances of seeing it for this price again before the next expansion are minimal.

As things stand at this moment, with the gear I have in my bank already along with the quest rewards I can get for the Thrall line & first day of Hyjal dailies,  I should be able to start running Troll heroics pretty much as soon as I hit 85. With a little forward planning, you can do the same for any alt you’re levelling. The best thing is, as these items are Bind on Equip, you can always resell them later if you get better or decide to abandon the alt.

Raison D’être…

Now that you know about me let’s talk about this blog.

RighteousJezebelle

As I mentioned, my main character these days is Jezebelle. Way back in classic WoW, when Wizzbit was my main, I tanked Molten Core as a Warrior. When Burning Crusade came around Wizzbit went Fury and has remained that way ever since. However, I still enjoyed tanking, so decided to give a Paladin a try (this was before Dual Specs existed).

I quickly found that I liked the way Paladins played. They are one of only two classes in the game that can fill any role in a group, the other being Druids. You can heal, you can deal damage and, most significantly for me, you can tank. In BC, while very competent in their own right, Paladin tanks excelled at AoE pulls, and BC had those in droves. There truly is nothing quite like rounding up a couple of dozen mobs at once and dropping them all in a neat little pile. I still go back to instances like Karazhan now and pull the entire ball room at once just to relive the old days.

So, a big percentage of this blog will be dedicated to Paladins and my own experiences playing one. Do I know everything there is to know about Paladins? Not a chance, but I have picked up enough information over the years to feel that I am reasonably qualified to share my own experiences with blogosphere at large. Who knows, one day I may be as well regarded as Rhidach.

ProfitGold!

How much gold do you have? There’s not much concrete information on the subject, but the consensus of opinion is that the average player doesn’t really have all that much. Though one needs to ask the question; “Why?” Blizzard practically give you the stuff; do 25 daily quests and you’ll be earning yourself in the region of 500g a day. Most people should be able to knock those out in a little over an hour and a lot do, yet they still have no gold, so where does it all go? I’ll give you a hint… In to my bank. Well not just mine, but any number of gold makers. I’m not talking about Gold Farmers or hackers or those level 1 characters you see in trade who, supposedly, have a bank full of BoE epics (they don’t by the way, they just want your credit card info or account details). What I’m talking about are other players who work the market to turn a profit.

Now I’m not going to give away all my secrets for making at once. However, you can expect me to share a few tips and tricks for making gold that anyone can follow, from someone completely new to WoW to veteran players that want some extra gold to buy that shiny new epic they just saw on the Auction House.

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