Posts Tagged ‘Farming’

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).

Hunters Suck

Fresh from the Mists of Pandaria Beta…

Glyph of Fetch
+

What more proof is needed to show that Hunters are the ultimate farming class?

 

PS: I have a Hunter/Farming post in the works so stay tuned!

Making Plans

Since I’m playing WoW again, I figured I should make myself a plan of things I want to accomplish this time around.

I’m going to assume that Mists of Pandaria is likely to ship mid to late October. (This date is based on nothing other than a complete guess on my part.) Based on this, I figure I have around 3 months to achieve the following:

  • Alts:
    All alts levelled to 85 with their professions maxed.  Here’s my current progress of alts in the order I’m likely to level them:

    • 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)

    I’m fairly happy with which professions I have on my alts, the only real exception is Vixetta who has two gathering professions. My current thinking there is that I’ll drop Herbalism in favour of Engineering or Blacksmithing. All three of my Alchemists are Transmute spec’d and I intend to keep this, especially given the way alchemy cooldowns look to be shaping up in MoP right now.

  • Questing:
    I want to fully quest through each of the Cataclysm zones at least once. Starting with Twilight Highlands (which I’m half way through) then Uldum, which I don’t think I’ve done any quests in yet. I’ve also never finished Icecrown on any of my alts, so should head back to Northrend and do that. At some point, I’d like to go back and do all the new old-world quests, but this is lower on the priority list as it could take a while.
  • Gearing:
    There’s really no great point to spending massive amounts of time or gold getting my characters geared as gear resets have become a standard part of expansions. The first zone in Pandaria is likely to offer green quest rewards on par with current tier epics so why bother? This said, I would like to finish gearing my priest via LFR and maybe do the same for Jez and a couple of DPS toons. A large part of this is to be able to say I’ve experienced the content from all 4 positions (Heals, Tank, Ranged & Melee DPS) however I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a certain amount of ego involved in doing this.
  • Transmogfigication:
    I buy it, Transmogrification is cool. I was a little unsure when it was announced, but now it’s in I like it. My priest wants the tier 6 set and there’s probably other items that would be cool to have as well (for example the sword from 4 horsemen for my DK) so I’ll need to sit down sometime and make a shopping list. Again, as with questing, this is probably going to end up being kind of a long-term goal.
  • Mists of Pandaria Preperation:
    I’m intending to hit professions hard in MoP. It would be cool to think I could get the Realm First for max Jewelcrafting. Given the prices of ore in early Cataclysm (and previous expansions) this could be a costly endeavour, but then again it would repay for its self several times over by having access to gems cuts no one else does. I need to get a better handle on how professions are going to play out and start stocking up supplies to help with this.
  • Other Random Goals:
    Thunderfury will be mine! I run Molten Core weekly on Jez and have one binding so far but, week after week, Baron Geddon refuses to give up the second. By the same token I want the eye from Rag to make my Sulfuras. Once I get these suckers I’ll probably never want to set foot in Molten Core again as long as I live!

Rewarding Loyalty

In EVE I mostly run missions which reward you in (as best as I can tell) seven ways:

  1. ISK reward: You receive a fixed payment for successfully completing the mission and, if you complete the mission within the time limit, you’ll be given an additional bonus ISK reward. For level 4 missions the ISK rewards vary but are generally between one and three million combined (this can be increased with the Negotiation skill.
  2. Bounties: Most NPC ships you destroy (including Rogue Drones since Inferno) reward you with a bounty for killing them. This is in addition to any ISK payout for completing the mission it’s self and can range from a few thousand for frigate-class vessels up to several million for certain named mission rats. (eg; Anire Scarlet in “Dread Pirate Scarlet” rewards a 5m ISK bounty.)
  3. Modules: Killing NPC rats leaves wrecks which can contain valuable modules. A lot of what you get is worthless junk (ammo for example, though don’t underestimate the value Large Frequency Crystals) but occasionally you’ll get a really valuable item. For example, last week I picked up a Meta 4 missile launcher that sold for almost 10m ISK. (Pocket change to some I realise, but pocket change adds up to big bucks over time.)
  4. Salvage: Once you’ve looted the modules from wrecks you can salvage the wreck it’s self. If you’re running in high-sec, you’ll pretty much exclusively get Tech 1 salvage which is fairly low value. The best you can hope for is Armor Plates & Alloyed Tritanium Bars which sell for 150-250k each (Jita prices).
  5. Standings: Regular missions increase your standing with the Corporation offering them. Story Line missions reward standing with that Corporation’s faction. Killing the rats rewards security standings. All of these add up and give you access to better agents and rewards.
  6. Items: Certain missions, notably Story Line missions, reward items. This is usually something like an implant that can sell for up to 20m ISK.
  7. Loyalty Points: Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for this post, you receive loyalty points.
Factoring in 1-4 from the above a good mission, such as Mordus Headhunters, you can earn roughly:
  • 3m ISK rewards
  • ~15m ISK in bounties
  • Anything from 10-30m ISK in modules
  • ~4m ISK in salvage
  • Total: Anywhere from 30m to 50m ISK depending on how lucky you get with module drops.

Through my missioning I’ve built up a small but growing stock of Loyalty Points which I’ve been trying to decide how best to spend. I’ve spent a couple of thousand here and there buying “navy issue” ammo (I generally use navy ammo vs battleships in missions to make things go faster) but that’s about it.  Initially I was planning to save my points and purchase Megathron Navy Issue hulls which sell for around the 450m ISK mark. However yesterday I decided to try and investigate some of the alternatives.

Implants sell well, big volume and reasonable return, but given that the Goons just dumped tens of thousands of these in to the market, the price is pretty low right now.

My next choice was to look at Federation Navy Magnetic Stabilisers. These sell for decent ISK (~90m each) and the LP cost is fairly low too. They looked pretty good, the catch however is that they also require you to provide a selection of dog tags which, when you have to buy them, reduce the potential return significantly.

What I’ve settled on is Federation Navy Comets. Since I crush most ammo and drones I loot I have a reasonable supply of minerals building up. I purchased two single run blueprints for LP and set up the industry jobs. If both sell, which they should, I’ll next ~75m ISK after sales tax. Not amazing, but pretty decent.

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.

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