Monday, 26 January 2009

Greatest thing in WoW?

Easiest question in the world...Druid Swift Flight Form! Having levelled Brahmin through Outland after the release of Wrath I hit Northrend as soon as I hit 68. This means I never got to use flight form at all other than to return for some herbs and with two other toons with epic flight normal flight form felt painfully slow.

Wizz forward 9 levels and upon hitting 77 I'd managed between all of my toons to accrue just under 7000g. With Brahmin now effectively my main there was never any thought of not getting Swift Flight so off to Dalaran I went for Artisan @ 5000g and Cold Weather @ 1000g; expensive but worth every penny. Whilst epic flight on Daxaar and Nefaros was pretty sweet, Swift is just divine due to the instant cast and ability to herb without switching form.

Those Snowfall Glade Pups for Planning For The Future don't know what hits them when I swoop in every morning. And I apologise to any frustrated player below 77 on the ground when I'm around but hey, I suffered for a couple of weeks at the hands of others.

Of all three toons I now have with Epic flight this is the one for me that truly is EPIC. Rather amusing since it's the only one that doesn't actually share that name.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Yes I know I haven’t been around for ages

It's a long story, but one that predominantly consists of boring house renovation so I'll spare you the details. On the more interesting subject of WoW there have been some pretty major changes in the camp. Allow me to summarise:

  1. I am bored of DPS
  2. Daxaar my Gnome Fire Mage is no longer my main. See above.
  3. Brahmin my Resto Night Elf Druid is now my main.
  4. I LOVE healing. See above
  5. Northrend is a definite improvement over TBC but still IMO a little too much of the same.
  6. The Refer-A-Friend system is imba!
  7. There are two new toons on the roll call. Naxaar a 60 Gnome Warlock and Nadaar a 62 Prot Pally. See above.

With one too many bad PUGS over the summer period I became very despondent towards the game to the point where I left and played EVE for a while. Yes it really did get that bad! Being an multiboxing altaholic I decided the RAF programme was too good an opportunity to pass up. So a third account was created and from it came Naxaar my little Gnome Warlock and my first female toon. I must admit I had a lot of fun levelling this two upto 60 but Naxaar has now been parked to be replaced by Zuukar the holy spec priest for dual-boxing duties with Nadaar. AOE grinding on a prot pally with a backup healer is pretty sick. Those three packs of Buzzards in Hellfire have never had it so hard.

Farewell Daxaar

Well, I found that upon hitting 70 with Daxaar I pretty much dropped him like a stone. At the time I wasn't sure why I didn't enjoy playing him anymore but once I started healing in groups on Zuukar around level 40 in ZF and then Brahmin once Resto at 60 in Ramparts I realised why. I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in making Daxaar a better character. 1000+ dmg 1000000 +dmg to me was utterly irrelevant. I was a damage dealing class who paid no attention to the damage meters! Once I started healing and discovered the responsibility of keeping players alive in the group I realised I was becoming more interested in upgrading my gear and subsequently more interested in grouping to get those drops. Before anyone gets on their soapboxes, I'm not saying the healer is any more important than the dps it's just the healer IS more important to me.

I know the above may seem ridiculous to many. The idea of having played a mage to 70 without any interest in the dps but I'm one of those strange people who actually enjoy levelling so dps was just a means to an end. In this case getting to the next quest and ding. I'll probably level Daxaar at some point in the future but for now he's staying at 70 and only coming out for the odd Utgarde Keep run or to offer up portals to my other toons.


Enter Brahmin

HOT HOT HOT. I've converted to the Wack-a-Mole style of gameplay. Anyone that understands this reference either is or has been a healer. Anyone that wonders what the hell I'm on about should be grateful of the people that do understand. J

My first taste of healing in an instance was with my Holy Priest Zuukar on a run through Zul'Farrak. I don't mind admitting I was nervous running an instance with a PUG for my first attempt but things went really well, we had no wipes and I realised just how enjoyable and satisfying the play style could be. However, as many probably know, once you out level ZF nowadays it's pretty impossible to get groups for places such as Sunken Temple and BRD. Therefore my instance healing was put on hold until Outland.

Fast forward about three months to mid December 2008 and Brahmin hits Outland first, five levels ahead of Zuukar, so I decided to spec Resto from Feral. Luckily my introduction to healing on a Resto Druid was made significantly easier by the introduction of the Death Knight. Firstly, finding a group in Outland mid December as a healer is dead easy and secondly the DK class is so imba that even when played badly they are a piece of cake to heal.

Shortly after respeccing I had a few days off work whereupon I played the crap out of WoW for the first time in 12 months. I hooked up with a few good DK's over this time and before I knew it I was level 66 and Lifebloom FTW! The DK's had moved on to Northrend having hit 68 but I still found plenty of groups to get myself over 68 soon enough. I even managed to squeeze in all the Nagrand Nessingwary quests to get my hands on Harold's Rejuvenating Broach.

Last night I hooked up with a great PUG and having cleared Azjol Nerub in about 15 minutes we decided to hit Old Kingdom straight after. I was rather pleased with myself for getting them through being only 72 (dinged 73 in there) with only one death on Jedoga which was sorted with a Rebirth.

Enter Nefaros

Remember this little fella? Well he's my now 73 Dwarf Prot Warrior and with the new changes to Prot he's suddenly become a lot of fun to play. I've been predominantly levelling him and Brahmin together through Northrend which is a pretty potent force easily able to complete quests such as Last Rites as a pair. Thunderclap, Shockwave and Hurricane FTW.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Heave! The BIG push to 70

It's been a while since I posted on here.  So much for keeping this going like a diary!  Hey, I'm a bit busy trying to rebuild my house in RL, give me a break. :)

So what have I been up to?  Well I've been spending quite some time dual-boxing Zuukar and Brahmin who are now at level 36 and steaming through Dustwallow Marsh. But over the last week I've decided to try and push Nefaros over the line and finally hit 70.  He's currently on the cusp of 68 having pretty much cleaned up in Nagrand but it's so hard switching back to the levelling pace in Outland after spending time in joys of pre 60 levelling. The great feeling of each ding is quickly quelled when you see it's now another 750,000 xp to the next level.

When I levelled Daxaar I'd hit 70 before touching any of Shadowmoon Valley or Netherstorm so this time I'm planning on hitting Netherstorm as soon as I hit 68.  I've chosen Netherstorm over SMV as I want to try and build my rep with the Consortium to get the Seaforium Charge Schematic which requires Revered.  I know I could head up there at 67 but I'm a bit of a closet completionist and having picked up all the quests from a hub, in this case Telaar I simply can't move on until at least 90% are complete, despite having done them all before.

About half way through 67 I started dual boxing Nefaros with Daxaar.  Although they've no healing capability whatsoever between them, a prot spec warrior and fire mage make a pretty useful team with Nefaros doing the splendid job of rounding up the mobs in a very Paladin-esq fashion whereupon Dax steps in and AOE's the crap out of anything left moving.  The other advantage of Dax tagging along is that he can pick up all those quests he missed out gold gold! The small level difference also means that when Dax is only on follow rather than grouped with Nef, the reduction to Nef's xp as a result of Dax "assisting" is negligible.

Given the amount of time between posts Nef will probably be 70 by the time I return.  Let's hope not.  Well, you know what I mean!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Saddled Up Duo

I've not written much about Zuukar (Human Priest) or Brahmin (Night Elf Druid) on here so I thought is was about time I rectified that.

I'm a casual player anyway but both Zuukar and Brahmin have always been my "ubber casual" characters. It's not been unusual for these two to go unlogged for weeks at a time. However, I've recently been playing these two more as a dual-boxing duo with Zuukar on follow healing Brahmin who's heading down the Feral tree. I'm not going to say they're invincible but a dps/tanking druid with their own personal healer on follow is quite an awesome combination. As long as the mobs can be rounded up sufficiently i.e no more than one caster, it's not been uncommon for Brahmin in bear form to go into a fight with four mobs of equal level at a time. I run two copies of WoW on the same machine in windowed mode so I tab between the two primarily using Swipe on Brahmin and keeping up the heals and SW:P with Zuukar. I use Healbot on Zuukar which is great for applying quick heals to a target without switching from your current target. Up until I started using it I had several macros that spoecifically targeted Brahmin, fine but not very flexible.

Over the last few weeks they've gone from level 22 to 31 travelling together through Redridge Mountains, Duskwood and we're now into Southshore and Hillsbrad Foothills. And of course with patch 2.4.3 dropping they've both picked up their mounts at 30...thank you Blizzard!

I haven't decided yet whether to head over to Dustwallow Marsh for its new(ish) quest hub as I've done that twice already on Daxaar and Nefaros so I've seen it all but mainly because without the joys of teleportation that I enjoyed with Daxaar I find the trek to the trainers and the AH a bit of a PITA. I may try a different leveling process consisting mostly of Eastern Kingdoms.

1-350 Engineering (in three hours) and more goggles!

Nefaros has from the start always been about making money, so mining and skinning all the way.  This has proven very successful allowing him to hit Outland with just shy of 700g and pick up a few really nice blue pieces off the AH on the way.  However, when I found out the Tankatronic Goggles were available at level 62 and Engineering 350 I had to have them! I thought levelling engineering would be a complete nightmare but it was actually quite easy and relatively cheap. OK, so this isn't something you're going to be doing unless you have a 70 to supply some of the harder to find mats like Adamantite and Khorium but on the whole this just made the process a little cheaper for me as I was able to farm rather than buy. The most expensive items were the higher level ores such as Mithril and certainly Thorium. Although I could have sent Daxaar into Winterspring to pick up most of this I decided to take the AH hit and spend the time farming motes as this generally yields more gold per hour.

I won't go into detail about the levelling process but suffice to say it took around 3 hours in total of which most of this time was spent watching the timer bar and running backwards and forwards from the trainer engineering supplier. It was made a lot easier by having my two accounts as working the 300 to 350 skill had Nefaros hauled up in the Honor Hold forge whilst Daxaar would do farming runs around Hellfire for the Fel Iron then head back to HH for a quick trade with Nefaros and off he'd go again. It never ceases to amaze me just how much ore there is in that zone, particularly along the main road to the Citadel.

I actually finished levelling to 350 and created the goggles just before I hit 62 so I got my gems sorted (I'll post about my decisions another time) early as the AH price was good and waited patiently. On hitting 62 I immediately popped them on and suddenly realised I hadn't seen Nef's face since 42 when I'd picked up the Southsea Head Bucket. It was rather strange seeing him again J

As of this writing I've now done a couple of Citadel runs with them and boy do they make a difference. The only issue I see so far is reduced rage generation due to the extra mitigation but overall I'm super impressed.

It's not real money

Gold!  I've been making a fair bit of it recently by farming and of course with the dailies.  However, even though the gold is flowing considerably easier than it did before I hit 70, I still find myself treating it like real money.  By this I mean the effort expended in acquiring the gold is fairly significant and therefore I find myself stockpiling "for a rainy day" (is this a UK only term?) and not wanting to waste it.  I think this is a strange way of thinking as given that this is only a game surely we should treat it in entirely the opposite way to real life.  By that I mean if I want something shouldn't I just buy it?

If you ever needed proof that YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY GOLD and in my quest to rid the world of gold farmers (albeit a fairly passive quest). Just 10 days after clearing myself out for epic flight I had almost 2000g in the bank just from dailies!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Nice PUG!

Couple of nights ago I logged Brahmin (22 Druid) and dropped him into the LFG channel for the first time. Given that I haven't run any instances with him yet I decided to try my luck in Deadmines. This was also due to my hate of Stockades and laziness at the idea of walking to SFK or BFD.

Now before I continue I must admit I can't remember any of the players names which is a shame as I'd have liked to give them a mention. I really must learn to remember names, IRL too.

Anyway, I always uncheck the auto add option and go off to do other stuff whilst waiting for an invite. Not very proactive, but I'm lazy; shoot me! I got a /w from a group leader which I always prefer to the immediate invite dialog and on accepting was really pleased to see three other people in the group including a priest.

My first realisation was that now as a druid I needed to see what the group was looking for from me. The Paladin group leader was tanking and the priest healing so that left me with vanilla DPS. Cool, kitty form for my first instance. I liked the idea of that.

The group roster was: Pally, Priest, Shammy, Mage and me.

Without boring you with details of Deadmines, suffice to say this was a superb run. We were slightly over levelled for the instance so this made it a lot easier but regardless, we gelled really well. The Pally did his usual thing of AOE tanking and I enjoyed clawing stuff from behind. The coolest part for me was when we inadvertently pulled Gilnid too soon. The Pally went OOM so I quickly switched to bear form and started tanking him. Almost straight away the pally called in chat to direct all heals onto me. It was right at this moment that I realised the druid really is one of the most fun classes to play or should that be good groups are the most fun to play?

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A rather epic weekend

In the quest for the epic flyer I logged each of my characters on Saturday evening and did a quick calculation to see how much gold I had across them all. Titan Panel gold tracker used to work for this but since transferring Nefaros onto the second account this has stopped updating and I haven't had the inclination to look into it. Anyway, I was rather pleased to see I'd amassed a total in excess of 5400g. Enough for the training and the Swift Gryphon, sweet! So I logged Millymayl (the bank alt) and mailed her 350g to Dax and headed over to Honor Hold to trade with Nefaros (second account) and clean him out of 595g. Over to Shadow Moon Valley and I was the proud owner of epic flight (in fetching purple!).


I've had this skill for a few days now and I can honestly say it's worth EVERY "penny". Farming mining nodes and motes is a joy. This comes in as a double win when I fly everywhere rather than use the flight masters which means I can always stop off at those mining nodes I would have otherwise had to watch go sailing by beneath me. Gold is also saved on the daily flights from Shattrath to Area 52 to SMV. Yes I know I'm a mage so I can save some by porting to Shatt but it still adds up.


So you'd think that was all, alas no. In my previous post I mentioned the only downside of epic flight was the loss of my Flying Machine as I didn't have the mats to buy the Turbo Charged version. Well that wasn't entirely true. On Sunday after completing the dailies I set about creating as many of the mats as possible and hitting the required 375 engineering. I knew I was woefully short on Khorium for the Repair Bots required to get me to 375 but it suddenly occurred to me that this wasn't a problem. I'm a friggin' Gnome, therefore I get +15 engineering specialisation. This meant White Smoke Flares would get me to 370 albeit green from 360.


By the time I hit 375 engineering only one Repair Bot and 4 Hardened Adamantite Tubes were required so another quick totting up of the bank balance meant I could hit the AH for the remaining 3 Khorium Power Cores needed. Although these came in at a rather hefty IIRC 60g each I was able to offset this by selling the Hardened Adamantite Tubes. Auctioneer showed a 14 day mean price on these of 110g each so all for went up at 108g each. The last one sold last night. :-) As if the above spree wasn't bad enough I also picked up a Riding Crop for 170g giving +10% mount speed increase.


I really am flying now!

Time to fly, quickly

I've made the decision to cough up the 5000g for the Epic flyer. The problem is I haven't got 5000g!

Let me explain. Once I hit 70 and got my Gryphon flying mount I remember thinking how utterly cool it was but how frustrating it was that I would never experience epic flight. 5000g at that point in time seemed like such a well, epic amount of gold. I saw no way of raising that sort of cash without spending a significant amount more time in the game or using a gold seller and neither of those were an option as my wife would have something to say about the first and I despise the latter. That was until I started doing the Sunwell dailies.

Daxaar is my first character to hit 70 so when the XP bar finally disappeared it opened up a whole new world. I started doing the dailies immediately without any specific objective for spending my hard earned gold. Approximately one month later, I've done the dailies every day since which has resulted in a bank balance of just below 4000g.

About a week ago the idea suddenly entered my head that I may aswell go for the epic flyer. Sure 5000g + the mount cost could buy a whole lot of great gear, including the Spellstrike pants but I've decided epic flight is more for me, especially having just built my Flying Machine Control. I'll probably take out a "loan" with Nefaros for some of his 600g and I've already started selling some of the mats gathering dust in the bank. The ones that you hold onto thinking I may need them one day but almost certainly never will.

The big question is will I be patient enough to wait until I've collected the mats for my Turbo Charged Flying Mount or will I just blow gold on an epic Gryphon to tide me over? Thinking about it, it's almost certainly going to be the latter. The problem is I need 375 engineering to make the epic flyer for which I'm going to need a "Sin-Dorei boat load" of Khorium to reach from my current level 359. Even with Cartographer and Gathermate helping me out I'm struggling to find enough Khorium nodes whilst farming to bring it in on time.

I'll keep you updated on the bank balance and search for Khorium!

Those magnificent Gnomes in their Flying Machines

I picked up the schematic for one of these pretty much as soon as I hit 350 engineering. However, it all went wrong when I realised I needed four Elemental Seaforium Charges. The mats for these are easily obtained but the schematic is BoP and requires revered with the Consortium and I'm neutral! Having completed nearly all zone quests up to Nagrand I completely missed the Netherstorm quests before hitting 70. Now I know I can still do those quests and bring in gold instead of XP but it just seemed like an inefficient use of my time so decided the flying machine was never meant to be.

However, as I mentioned in a previous post I joined the Trotters Traders Ltd guild recently and so decided to see if anyone had the schematic as the crafted charges just require 350 engineering IIRC. A quick message to guild chat got me several positive responses and so Abban was the kind recipient of my mats and a few hours later I'm airborne in what is IMO the coolest "gadget" in the game. I also think this thing should be reserved for Gnomes only as the quirky animations have Gnomish Engineering written all over them. J

Through the Dark Portal

No this isn't a post about the book! Short and sweet as two posts in one day is almost ridiculous for me. But anyway, Nefaros slipped through a couple of nights ago and we're knocking out the quests in earnest. We've hit 60 and got ourselves a rather splendid epic Ram in fetching brown. See you in Ramparts!

I’m Guilded!

...well Daxaar is anyway.

After a few months of being a loner since my departure from The Cleansing Flames guild, I've today joined the Trotters Traders Ltd guild. Their guild charter fits perfectly with everything I want from the game and having spent a few hours in guild chat today and met some super friendly people I'm sure I've made a good decision. Hopefully they'll feel the same once my probation is up. Despite the rather laid back name, which as I'm a huge OFAH fan is the best guild name on the server; they are doing really well with end game content. As of end of May:

Kara - Clear
ZA - 5/6
Gruul - Clear
Magtheridon - Clear
TK - 2/4
Mount Hyjal - 1/5

They are relaxed about attendance for raids and as I have absolutely no raiding experience this is probably more of a bonus for them than me! My plan is to try and gear up through heroics which I'm hoping I'll get more chance to do now with guildie's and then put my name down for Kara. By that time we'll probably have Wrath in our laps so everyone will be moving on but if this isn't the case then I'll hopefully give some of the 25-man content a try.