Monday, May 31, 2010

The Story Within

World of Warcraft has a story. But I am not sure what the story is.

One of Tobold's recent posts suddenly has me thinking about the effectiveness of the story in a game, and why I even bother playing.

So, why do I play a game whose story I do not even know?

First, lets take a look at what I think I know of World of Warcraft's story:

The Titans made Azeroth, they are the world builders of the gods. Maybe. Dragons are probably at least as old as the Titans, and so are the demons.

(Remember, I am only telling the story as I know it, for the real story, I would suggest WoWWiki, I've read through some of the World of Warcraft story there in the past and some of it is pretty good.)

The oldest and most predominant race on Azeroth are/were the trolls. Most of the ruins you see in the game are of troll nature. Their god went mad and some sort of insanity spread throughout the race so that we now see them amidst a dark age that they may never recover from.

I do not know how the Dwarves, Elves, Ogres, Goblins,Tauren, or Gnomes came to be upon Azeroth...the Dwarves might be natives alongside the Trolls, but I am not sure. Humans lost their home world to the Burning Crusade's demonic onslaught and somehow came to be ported (or something) to Azeroth, for safety (so much for that).

At some point the undead came to Azeroth as the Scourge and another god went mad but was absorbed by a human hero. He too went mad and made his own undead army to thwart the scourge but really, he wants it all.

Someone made a very powerful, god-like dragon really, really mad. He's coming to Azeroth too because, well everyone else seems to be there, so why not?

The Dreani had their world torn asunder by the Burning Legion and crash-landed on Azeroth because, again, that's where the party is at.

And, that's about all I know of the story behind the World of Warcraft. Sure, there are thousands of smaller stories, but that is the Big One. As far as I can relate it at this time, anyway.

So why do I play the game if I am obviously not playing for the story? Because I like pretty pixels. I love good-looking characters and eye-catching armor and absurdly-designed weapons. I love spell effects. I love an open world that allows me to go just about anywhere, do anything, even if those options are somewhat limited.

I play for the gear, but not for the treadmill of gear acquisition.

Right now, my main character has a set of level-appropriate gear that, while not spectacular and all disco-flashy, looks good as a set of matching parts. And her swords are nothing to laugh at either.

That is all it takes to please me and keep me playing World of Warcraft.

I can be a simple person at times.

Gearing Up Again

Well, I managed to craft the entire Savage Saronite set for my DPS warrior. I also crafted a couple of gem slots and used another item that created a slot. So I bought three +16 strength gems. I almost got the epics for +20 each, but in Gevlon's words, sometimes the cost to improvement ratio just does not add up.

I also attached titanium chains to my two two-handers for some really nice crit bonuses and a leg enchant as well.

Replaced my rings with two crimson rings of something or other, and my necklace and also my cape.

It all adds up to a general increase in damage and crit. A dps player can not complain about that!

I think that at this point, my toon is ready for entry level raiding in Lich King. I will have to speak to someone in my guild to see if they will have me. Also have to make sure I actually can make the time for it.

It is nice to see the lich king mobs die a little faster too!

Making Money Day Fourteen

Another ho-hum day.

I might be that I just do not have the instinct for playing the market. Or, I am just at the right place at the wrong time. There is not a whole lot of activity in the auction house right now, with everyone taking a break for holidays and waiting for Cataclysm to drop.

I did sell some of my blacksmith's crafted gear that came about from leveling up that profession last night. Almost made a hundred gold, and the night is still young.

But my ore is not selling. The undercutting is harsh. I would buy it all but I do not have the resources to support that kind of investment.

Maybe I also need to read some of Gevlon's posts a little better...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My First Epic

My warrior got her first Lich King Epic this evening via the argent tournament vendor. A nice two-hander that out-shines anything else I could get at this time. Might be a long while before I can get the second one, but that is the plan regardless.

Got her blacksmithing up to over 430. Need about another 420 saronite ores to cap it get it 445, then I have to try and craft some epic stuff from auction house plans. I thought I might make a set of spiked saronite gear, but I need another 200 ores or so for that as well.

I should be able to get the ore by the end of the week though. I used to get about a hundred ores a day in BC, seems to be about the same in Lich King when I put my mind to it.

Man, that is a nice sword though. Can hardly wait for the second one.

Making Money Day Thirteen

Ho, hum.

Sold a few arrows, put some more up. At 1s each, they are not paying me back very quickly, but at least it is something, I suppose.

Some more ore came back. Put it back up.

Finally decided to use my banked ore to level up Blacksmithing on my warrior and put up the crafted items via my money maker.

Some morons are undercutting me really bad on that ore though. They caught on to the price-per-single idea but instead of actually trying to make a profit, they are setting the stuff up at just over one gold each. If I go too much below five gold each I will not make my money back, it will be a loss instead.

I am hoping that these guys will just sell out and go away. They did not put much up. I think they were just raiders or something who tripped over some nodes and decided on a whim to make a few gold pcs.

Otherwise, that is about it for the day.

Making Money Day Twelve

Nothing to report, really.

All of my ore came back so I relisted it. Made no money at all.

My green gear is not selling yet either.

I am trying a new trick with the arrows, we'll see how that works out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Not Long Now

My main is two days away from getting her first Lich King epic. I decided to only do two of the three Champion Seal quests. Two of them nearby the quest-givers while the third one is on the other side of the zone. It takes a long time to get there and it also takes longer to kill the Commanders with all the other mobs and thier quick respawn timers. And if another one or two seal farmers are out there it takes even longer still.

It means a longer wait, but I have other stuff I would rather do (in-game and also out) than force myself to grind the additional Champion Seal. I just have to remind myself that I have until Cataclysm drops. Not really a lot of time, but also no need to rush and make the task into work.

Making Money Day Eleven

Not a bad day. Had some ore money come in, then I bought some more (someone undercut me but it was low enough for me to buy it up and raise the price). I would up with about 20g.

This evening some more money came in and I am sitting at over 100g. If the rest of the ore sells I'll be around 900g...not bad, but not likely. I think I will have to relist a lot of ore tomorrow night, but we'll see.

I might go ahead and farm some low-level herbs and sell some pigments with my Death Knight. The pigments were selling for a nice rounded 50g per stack. I don't think doing some grind with the AH at this point will be a bad thing, it is just going too slowly. I would love to get into some of the other end-game items, especially Primordial Saronite, since I need so much of it anyway, but I am determined to wait until my money maker actually has that kind of gold for investing rather than putting my main's gold at risk.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Money Day Ten

My Cobalt profits came back today along with some more arrows...I did not realize I had bought so many, I must have been really optimistic.

I bought a bunch more "cheap" ore and bars to flip at an extended cost. If they all sell I will end the 48hrs with over 700g. Remember, this character actually started out with nothing, it is a new character that was supposed to just play the auction house but I got a little disorganized along the way. Her first money came from some old pigments that was on my Death Knight. These past ten days she has not gone past the 300(or so) mark.

So, if these bars sell within the next 48hrs, she will have proven herself rather well. I still need to keep an eye on some other markets though. Undercutting happens swiftly and I will have to be able to move on regularly. It would be nice to have a series of markets I can rotate through as I stir things up and move on while they settle down until I can come back again.

It is a nice thought anyway.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making Money Day Nine

I checked in on my money maker a couple times today which lead me to believe that there would be no profit made. The second time I looked in on things I found all of my arrows returned back, and that was a lot of little stacks let me tell you. It took me a long time to individually click on every icon. Every few minutes the box would refresh and refill and I re-read the "Your mail box is full" message many, many times.

I took a peak at the state of arrows on the auction house and saw a potential chance at still getting something out of the ordeal so I put up a hundred stacks of ten at the piddly price of 5s per stack. I can not be sure that this is not below vendor price, I will have to do the math on that one.

A few hours later I checked in on things again and all the arrows had sold. I made a little over two gold off of a thousand, which is almost double what a stack of one thousand cost me. So I put up another series to see how long I can keep it up.

I really need to work the math on this because I am not sure right now what all is going on.

Anyway, I checked out my cobalt bars which should be ending this evening and they are all sold with delivery times between fifteen minutes and one hour. I decided to buy some more ore but the pricing is really bad. several single ores for 5g each, which is what I was selling the bars for, and a few stacks of 10 for over 40g each...I don't think so.

Still, with the money on the way, I will have made over 120g today. When I bought the arrows and the ore with this toon, she had just over 300g. She ends the day with more than what she started the week with. So, I get my money back plus a profit. Small and piddly as it is, that is what it is all about.

Now I am more confident that I can do this and the money I am after. I just have to pay attention to some of the other markets.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making Money Day Eight

Made 60-70g today from my ore endeavor.

The arrows are not selling and will not. Someone has cornered that market and is more than happy to undercut severely. He is now breaking his stacks 1000 for 1g into lots of 100 for 10s. Technically he is not even undercutting because the price per arrow is staying the same for him. It appears he simply knows how the auction house lists items and is making sure his stays on the first page. It is a fair fight so far but I am not sure I want to keep at the arrows. I really do not see a way to force myself into that market.

The ores are ok, though slow, and I was already undercut there as well. I thought about buying the cheaper lots and seeing if I could force an increase in the market. I have done that before in Burning Crusade with some spider silk from Outlands. I did ok but did not really know what I was doing, I think I broke even or came out ahead a little, but I can not be sure about it.

Anyway, I do not know how much of a risk I want to take. At this point I am making less per day than I could with Northrend dailies...or even Outland dailies for that matter. But, if I am to get the gear I am after, then I must continue to play the market.

I am certain that I am currently done leveling herbalism and inscription. I am getting close to having to purchase expensive/rare materials or having to level up in Outland and fight for every herb node. Talk about slow money...

I have been researching gold making blogs and found a couple that might help me. Unfortunately I have possibly chosen the worst time during the lifecycle of a World of Warcraft expansion to make gold, when the players are capped out and going on long breaks. Also, all of the auction house tricks and materials "secrets" are out and old news now.

But, at least I made some money today. All is not yet lost.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making Money Day Seven (Part Two)

I may have destroyed the ice arrow market on my server for a few days, maybe longer.

I checked in on my money maker who put up the arrows and found that none had sold (granted it has only been an hour or two, but I wanted to see how things were going) and found that I have already been undercut with a page worth of arrows in stacks of 500 for about 50s each. So I undercut again with my stacks of ten but this time at 20s. It can still be profit, but at this point hardly worth the effort.

I checked the vendor price and if he goes much lower I can buy out his stock and make a profit from the vendors. Worse scenario is that I am stuck with a bunch of arrows and about 50g less than I started today.

Not what I had hoped for, but the risk is part of the venture.

Making Money Day Seven

Trying something different. It has risk. I even messed it up already but continued anyway.

Not too long ago Ice Arrows were selling in stacks of a thousand for a decent price. Some goblins informed Gevlon that these arrows could sell for several gold in stacks of ten.

Well, the price has fallen considerably, but the stacks can still be sundered into tens for a profit.

So I took the risk and bought several 1k stacks at about 1.5g each and made stacks of ten at 75s each. Not a lot of gold, but still a huge profit margin if they sell.

My first mistake was to forget how the auction house was organized and I placed a handful of tens at 7g...pretty stupid. I left them there though because you just never know how crazy people can be.

While a part of me is giggling like a school girl at remembering the arrows from Gevlon's blog, a part of me just doesn't believe these are going to sell. Something just does not feel right.

But, we will see.

Hating on WoW

People are hating on World of Warcraft and the blogger defendents are up in arms over it...I guess. Larisa at the Pink Pigtail Inn and Tobold are on the case and the culprit seems to be a particular blogger who is normally positive and fun to read but suddenly went bi-polar and hates everything to do with MMOs and those of us who play them are ignorant and brain washed...or something.

Normally, I absolutely love this game, but sometimes I hate it very much.

For instance, right now I am technically "done" with the Lich King expansion. Even the upcoming Ruby Sanctum will not offer me anything new to do (at least nothing that has bee announced). I can earn alternative currencies for epic gear, or I can figure out how to make gold in the game and buy some crafted gear or pay someone to make it for me. But not to raid in. I want the gear to make leveling in Cataclysm easier.

And to look cool, feel epic.

In this game there is nothing to hold us over. There are no minigames like traditional platform RPGs sometimes have. I would love to see my professions put to the test in a secondary game within the game...yadda, yadda, yadda...

This is how people go from being a satisfied customer to spitting on their once-favorite games.

I was in a lowly state of mind and spirit when the Lich King expansion dropped: one guild had broken up, another guild had merged, my friends moved on to different servers or took long breaks...Lich King dropped and I had no contacts left, no one to level with, no one to group up with. And the character stats kept resetting so I had to learn my character's abilities all over again, but I had no groups that I could learn with.

I took breaks, I ranted a little on my blog, I started over on a new serve with some friends and then something happened in real life so I took another break and when I came back my friends were all level 80 and raiding already.

So I ranted some more.

For about three months, I think I even stopped paying for the game. I had not quit in disgust, I just did not know what to do and was not playing at all.

I came back and promptly took more breaks. For over a year I was more off than on.

And I ranted.

I also rant about my country and its government.

However, just as I do not run for the boarder, I also do not jump into other games (though I do play some others from time to time). I recognize that America is the best and most successful nation currently in the world just as World of Warcraft is the best MMO game currently live.

You do not have to love everything and sometimes you may need to sleep off some bad vibes or go on a long walk, but you always come back to the best.

The haters? They are just mad that they could not find a reason to stay and now if the were to log in they would be behind. And nobody wants to be the noob.

Making Money Day Six

Another non profit day.

In fact, if I do not figure out something to sell or flip soon, my Death Knight is going to run out of money just from the inscription training.

And on that end, I am happy to report that she is now harvesting in Feralas. She was in the Hinterland trying to find sungrass and purple lotus (or something) then I peaked at a guide and saw that my herb farming would be better off elsewhere.

My first trek through Feralas was not very lucrative on the herb front, however. Maybe I was just having bad luck.

Anyway, Herbalism is now 300/300 while Inscription is around 200. Or maybe higher. I am on the last leg in Azeroth, whatever the number is. After my next skill-up I am off to Outlands, where I may likely leave this character to rest.

I do not think I am ready to return to leveling there. And besides, I have to figure out how to actually make some money or I will not be able to afford simple act of leveling in Outland.

I am definitely doing something wrong though, I should be making at least enough money to cover the cost of leveling a profession...

Dang, just realized I forgot to scan the auction house last night. Hopefully one in six will not make things more difficult.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Making Money Day Five

No money made today.

I received two auctions back on my Death Knight and am about to receive a butt load back on my money maker.

I am not really surprised. Although I severely undercut the low-end glyphs, I really did not expect them to sell. I just do not see why anyone would want them. Other bloggers have pointed out that the raiding population is currently not progressing right now. Casual guilds are stuck where they are with the occasional new boss kill while the hardcores have already done everything to death. Besides, no raiders have a need for what I selling in the first place, really.

I have a ways to go before I can craft anything significantly useful. And then I'll have to play the market somehow anyway because the stuff that will sell is only dropping in high-end raids.

There is probably something on the lower end that I can manipulate but I have to learn the market better first before I will be able to spot those items.

In spite of no money earned, my Death Knight did increase Herbalism and Inscription significantly. Although I am not looking forward to entering Outland to continue the skill-ups. I will actually have to fight the mobs there and begin leveling again. That will slow things down significantly.

Playing the market is a daunting task. But as Gevlon has pointed out several times, it is the only way to make honest gold quickly.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making Money Day Four

When the Lich King expansion dropped, I made a Death Knight like everyone else, I also gave him herbalism and inscription. I monkeyed around with that for a day or two and then basically let the character rot.

After dusting her off during this money making venture, I was surprised to realize that I knew absolutely nothing about inscription. It took me a little while to figure out why some of my herbs could not be milled, then I could not immediately see where Midnight Ink came from...

But I eventually got my head screwed on right and moaned a little that I had already sold some of the ink that I needed to increase inscription further. So that means I have to get some more herbs. Which means I have to farm a lot more because I am not about to pay the prices that I saw in the auction house.

...unless I can find some beneath market price and market price happens to be lower than the ink...which is probably what Gevlon would look for.

But then Gevlon would also have several thousand gold to invest in entire bags worth of the stuff...I do not.

Anyway, after selling some more inks, I transferred about 170 more gold to my money maker alt. Have not played today yet, just checked out my mail boxes. I need to get things organized better and I am almost there. Then I need to develop an actual plan. My money maker character is turning out to just be a bank alt who scans the auction house and collects gold from other character's auctions to keep track of what I am making.

An unfortunate side effect of all this is that my main, which started out with almost 2k gold, now only has a little over 1k. I bought an herb bag and an inscription bag, four netherweave bags, a few bank slots...a couple of auction house greens for my low-level money maker to kill stuff faster with...activity like that adds up quickly. So, I have actually spent more than I have made. I might be able to argue that it was invested, but I am not feeling that way. I think it might have been wasted. But the bag space was certainly needed. Creating an industry demands space.

Is there a better way to level up inscription? Not really. I do not have the capital to do it quickly from the auction house and farming the skill points in the field takes time. Not much I can do about though. Creating an industry requires high, if not capped, professions. I have none on any of my characters. Except for mining, but I am not sure what I want to do with my ore yet. Keep farming it so I can cap out Blacksmithing, or sell it to support an inscription industry? I really do not know what I would with Blacksmithing...

Anyhow, making money is good. Hopefully the investing stage is mostly over so I can start making more than I spend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Respec Blues

There was a time when it cost some change to re-specialize a character. In the level 60 end game, this was a huge detriment to raiding for some people, forcing them to grind out all that gold every few days, or even daily for some. In vanilla WoW, gold was hard to come by.

I did not have to worry about that since I was still leveling when Burning Crusade came around. Though I did respec a few times after that expansion dropped, the gold issue was not so intense as it was far easier to come by. By the level 70 end game, I was getting over 100g a day from dailies...when I could be bothered to do them.

Then Lich King came around. Something happened. See, when Burning Crusade came, Blizzard had changed the talents so much that they gifted the players with a "free" respec by simply removing all of our points and letting us redistribute them upon logging in. What a great deal!

Until you realized that you had to do this free redistribution for every one of your characters.

Thankfully, I only remember having to do this once in Burning Crusade.

In the Lich King expansion made this free gift a huge labor for some of us. I was not pleased in the least. Having to respec all of my characters once was enough for me, let alone another 3-4 times.

We will probably have to do this again at least once in Cataclysm. But considering Blizzards recent track record, they will have to fix everything after the first respec, then another one for at least some of the classes to fine-tune balance issues.

I suppose so long as I am actively playing, this will not be so much of an issue. But in Lich King, I kept returning from breaks from the game only to have to,once again, redistribute my talent points, which means that Blizzard changed what some of them do, which means that I had to put my evening's intentions on hold so that I could figure out what had changed and what had stayed the same. *sigh*

After an hour or two (because I am slow in this game) did I still want to play that evening? Not really. Then, in a few days I back on another break. Then back in the game, only to redistribute points again...and so on.

Well, hopefully we will not have to go through this so much in Cataclysm.

Making Money Day Three

This post may have a couple of updates later on since the day is kind of just getting started.

My current auctions should be at about 12-18 hours in. Found some more rough stone sales in my mail box but it was only for two auctions and I received less than one gold for the two of them. Still, any gold is better than none!

Not sure how long I will be able to make myself grind out herbs around Darkshire. The point of Gevlon's (and others) auction house wealth creation is that you do not have to go farming, with the exception of the very beginning to build up some capitol to invest with. So, that is what I am kind of doing, but I am also getting the hang of the auction house and auctioneer, so really, I am probably doing exactly what I should be doing for myself and my needs.

Need to get back to my main also. She should have received her first Argent Tournament two-hander yesterday but I've been so focused on this money-making endeavor...

I think I need to keep her busy with those dailies so that by the time I have enough money for the rest of her epic gear, she should be almost, or already have, her second two-hander.

Also need to develop some sort of plan for her trinkets and jewelry...

Anyhow, it is all about the benjamins now, if I can not get the money for the gear then I will be leveling in Cataclysm with hobo gear like you have never seen before:

One or two Karazhan epics, level 70 blues and greens, Northrend leveling blues and greens, and at least one level 80 epic two-hander...

I suppose if push came to shove, I would buy level 80 blue and green dps gear and some gems, but still, one of the reasons I play games is for cool-looking characters.

Anyway, the day is young!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making Money Day Two

I spent about three hours running around Dun Morogue, leveled up at least once maybe twice, things are a little fuzzy, had some breaks. Did some more corpse runs. This time though, I did manage to farm up some herbs and ore, but nearly what I would have liked, I think I am letting quests distract me from the goal.

Instead of farming the whole time, I spent a lot of time killing stuff and running between towns to sell stuff to vendors. I am level nine and still have not bought any bags yet. Although I have taken Gevlon's tip and not bothered to purchase skills yet either.

I swapped some more old inventory around and had my main craft some copper mail gear then sent it to my enchanter for some enchants, then finally sent it to my money maker. Things die much better now.

Put up some more bronze bars.

I am not doing this as Gevlon would. I am shuffling and selling old inventory along with the new, so the numbers are not as "honest" as they might otherwise be.

However, if the bronze sells, I can give back some of the "borrowed" gold to my other alts and still come out ahead. From this mornings Auction House sales she was given 55g, the remainder was left with an alt whom she "borrowed" from.

But, again, that was old inventory. Technically, this character has not yet made any money at all while at the end of day one or day two Gevlon had made at least 10g.

I am thinking that I might invest my main's 2k instead. But I should probably stick with this low-level/low-risk endeavor for a while longer to get the hang of things. Otherwise I could lose my entire financial "wealth" within 48hrs.

Making Money, Day One

Day one was a bust.

However, I did accomplish a few things: Made a new character, picked up herbalism and mining, went to Dun Morogue and promptly began spending a lot of time corpse-running.

In Gevlon's blog, he claims to have entered Stormwind at level 5, picked up his professions then jumped on the tram and promptly spent an hour farming herbs in Dun Morogue. According to his blog, he came up with several stacks of herbs within that first hour.

But how? Did he avoid the mobs somehow? How did he not die?

Maybe I'm missing something or maybe he is just that much better than I am.

Anyway, I picked up a few copper ores and some herbs and sent them off to another bank alt that is parked in Stormwind. That alt stored the herbs and copper, but took out some old rough stone and bronze bars. Most of that sold and this morning I was greeted with about 70g waiting for me in my mailbox.

I had my main buy a green two-hand sword and some decent pants and sent them to my money maker.

Otherwise, last night was rather uneventful, logged off at level six or seven.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where to Go From Here?

As they say in World of Warcraft, the game does not really start until you have reached the level cap.

The first thing I did after logging off after dinging 80 last night was to look up Blacksmith gear to see what I might be able to use. I thought that maybe I could smelt my own ore that I have been gathering for the past 10 levels and then just buy the rest of my ingredients and have some other blacksmith put it all together for me.

Well, not so fast.

I found six pcs of epic dps gear for my warrior that can be crafted. There might be more but this was just a quick "peek". I looked up my server's auction house cost for the completed gear and also the individual materials:

Titanium Razorplate...2500g
Titanium Spikeguards...2200g
Legplates of Painful Death...16,000g
Hell Frozen Bonegrinders...not listed
Belt of the Titans...2200
Spiked Titansteel Helm...not listed

Total of listed gear...over 23,000g

This might actually be a bargain thought, because here is what the ingredients came out to be:

Titansteel Bar...47x100g...4700g
Crusader Orb...12x150-200g...2400g
Primordial Saronite...13x1200g...15,600g
Runed Orb...6x150-200g...1200g
Frozen Orb...1x30g...30g
Deadly Saronite Dirk...4x30g...120g
Vengeance Bindings...1...unlisted
Assorted Eternals...32...Have in Bank
Saronite Bar...4...Have in Bank

Total of listed items...approx. 24,050g

So, the materials versus the crafted gear is actually pretty close. But wow, I was not expecting this cost. I can see now why Larisa from the Pink Pigtail Inn was concerned. Although, this is a little different than being "raid ready" for the introductory raid instance upon dinging level cap. In this case, I waited so long that some of this gear can only be crafted with end-game materials. We are talking about items that might drop 2-3 times a week in Ulduar or Ice Crown Citadel.

On the other hand, being a new 80 near the end of the current expansion story is no picnic. If actually wanted to raid, I would need this gear at the least to be considered, and probably other badge gear. But to get into heroics to get the badges, again, I would need this gear at the least.

I do not play the auction house market and it is not really feasible to grind out 25k gold worth of farmed materials, assuming anyone was buying that stuff at this point anyway. Really, anything that anyone needs at this time is dropping in Ulduar and Ice Crown, kind of hard to farm that stuff solo.

I can see now why someone might be tempted to buy in-game gold.

Tobold has written more than once about how the leveling experience is a solo one that suddenly drops players into a group game with little or no warning.

So, I think I am going to try something I would not normally do. I think I am going to use Gevlon's experiences chronicled on his blog to start a new alt, and see if I can play some of that auction house game. I do not need to reach the gold cap, or anything near it, just need a tiny fraction of it to get me into that epic gear. Could take a few weeks, but honestly, other than doing Argent Tournament dailies, I have absolutely nothing else to do at this point.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I finally received my level 80 achievement this evening. Approximately fourteen months of on/off effort and lack-luster motivation. I still am using some Karazhan gear and level 70 dps gear. I have only grouped up once during this expansion: Utguard Keep, and it fell apart before we ever made it to the first boss. I did not even bother training or distributing points during the past six levels. I have not advanced my Blacksmithing or First Aid professions. While I did learn a new First Aid skill at level 78 or 79, I have yet to make any Frost Weave bandages, I am still using the Netherweave ones that I brought with me.

A buddy of mine in my guild asked if I wanted to do my first heroic and I was like, "Are you insane? Have you seen my gear? No one has that kind of patience any more, dude!"

You think I'm exaggerating? I happened to be fighting some mobs near another level 80 player this evening while I was still 79. He was killing his mobs in 2-3 swings. My average is about six or seven swings, when all of my goodies are lit up.

One thing that has not changed for me through the four years or so that I've been playing: I hate group quests. Do you know how difficult it is to get a group together this late in the game? I did a quest chain that took me most of the evening to get through and after a dozen or so quests it suddenly turned into three 5-man quests. you're killing me, Blizzard! It's like reading a story and you're moving along then suddenly you find yourself at the end and it says "To be continued" but you know that the next installment is not for at least six months, assuming the author does not get sick. Or worse yet, you rent a DVD and it freezes up at the climax...


So now I'm an 80. I think I will try to do the normal 5-mans. Maybe I can get some blue gear. Does anyone still do those?

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Hero!

Larisa inspires me again to write on something that I might not have thought to on my own. She herself was inspired by other bloggers as well: Copra and Tobold sort of jump-started the dialogue.

The basic question boils down to, what makes a hero? Or, more specifically, what makes your character heroic in an MMORPG when everyone else is playing the same role of hero as yourself?

So, here it goes:

My warrior began her journey in the green grasses of Northshire in Elwyn Forest. A monastery of sorts was being over-run on all sides by various threats from an over-population of wolves and kobolds over-running the local mine, to brigands causing havoc in the nearby farm. Once my warrior brought a measure of order to the walled-off bastion of peace and meditation, she was asked to visit the nearby town of Goldshire where someone might be able to put her blossoming skills to good use.

Goldshire was both peaceful and busy all at once. It was a good place to rest after a completing various tasks laid out by the local residents and over-worked authorities, but soon proved to be too small. My warrior desired to see more exotic locales and see what more there was to learn.

So, it was off to Stormwind, and nothing would ever be the same. From the flowering nation of the elves to the hot furnaces of the dwarves, my warrior would be tasked to venture to ever more exotic and dangerous places. The fiery mountain, the tropics, the parched deserts at the bottom to the icy mountains at the top of the world, and even beyond! My warrior found the swirling gate of another, broken world where beings of light and of the pits of Hell itself struggle for dominance. Even the icy realm of the fabled, and feared, Lich King himself was not left untouched by the passing my warrior.

Friends were met and fell beside her in the heat of combat. Some went off to other heroic adventures while some were lured by dark designs.

My warrior has battled dragons and demons, saved burning villages and cured diseases and plagues. Countless battles were fought, countless wrongs were made right, and still my warrior found time to assist the young orphans of war and devastation.

She only wanted to see the world and learn its knowledge, but she became so much more than an explorer and scholar. My warrior, my hero!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Product Leaks and NDAs

I do not care about any of it in the least.

It is fun to follow the drama from time to time, but I really just do not care.

If the leaks are there, I am glad to take a peak, but if they are not there, I will not miss them.

All the fuss over who gets to receive internet traffic for posting illegal pictures is just ridiculous.

If you want the traffic, then post the pics! Sure, you will get a cease and desist letter and maybe have to deal with some lawyers and maybe even get sued, but if you really want the traffic, that is what you have to risk.

MMO Champion took the risk. All of the "legitimate" websites that wanted to run the pics but feared the NDA cried tears of misery and rage (which shows more about the spirit of those sites than the owners might have wanted to reveal) over the "lost" traffic that they would not have had to begin with.


Let the criminals be criminals and the saints be saints. It'll all balance out in the shuffle.

Professions Update

Well, the Blizzard Blues have shared an update for what we can expect to see with professions in Cataclysm.

I am not overly impressed. That is to say, I am not impressed at all. Every expansion sees a few changes but many players would like to see a complete overhall of the creation mechanic.

Instead, we are getting such things as: more daily jewel crafting and fishing and cooking quests, more fun engineering stuff, four more minerals...more of the same, really. Oh, but wait, some of the gem stats are changing colors! Oh, and blacksmithing will have a new "feature" where if you have an item that requires three times the normal amount of materials, then you will get three times the normal skill-ups.

They are removing the specialization mechanic so that we are even less unique. Somehow that is for the best...

They are adding entry level PVP gear to the crafting professions and intend to update the patterns each season. That is nice and all, but it's just more gear. Sure, more is nice, but it certainly does not change anything about the crafting mechanic.

Gear will have a few random stats appear to "shake things up" so to speak. Just think, a warrior tank asks you to please craft some tank gear for him and he gives you 2k gold worth of materials and the gear that pops up is full of spell power...better believe that will shake things up for sure!

Yeah, thanks for all the "effort". We will still be collecting thousands of materials to cap out the professions and watching the progress bar as we create dozens of the same items every...single...time, just to hit the auction house and maybe get a little bit of profit out of the endeavor.

So far we get to keep the little stat bonuses that they included with professions in Lich King *yawn*...just one more thing they will have to continue to balance around: they give it in the professions so they have to take it from somewhere else.

Honestly, I did not expect them to get radical, but I had hoped they might. Crafting in World of Warcraft is utterly boring.

Anyway, it is what it is, as an acquaintance of mine is want to say.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Leveling Game and What it Costs

Larisa is asking how much gold she should have to be raid ready in Cataclysm after she tops off her levels.

I asked her what she thought she was going to need that would require more than the gold she might get from leveling. I pointed out that in Lich King, "raid ready" means having a mix of 5-man blues and some leveling greens. By the time you cap out at level 70 you should have plenty of gold for gemming your first epics, even after dropping 1k on cold weather flying and another 1k for duel speccing.

My own experiences are proof of the matter. I entered Northrend with a little over 1k and spent it on dps gear (I only had Karazhan tanking epics and I wanted to kill stuff faster while leveling) and my toon is currently at level 79 with over 1k even after buying cold weather flying on schedule. I have not sold anything on the auction house and have not run any 5-mans. I am currently gathering champion seals to get an epic two-hander or two. I might go duel spec, but I might not. I get to make that decision any time I want though just because of the quest gold I've made (and selling stuff to vendors). I have a bank full of northrend ore and frostweave and I should be able to make a small fortune off of those even if I wait until the prices bottom out after the expansion drops. I have not touched my blacksmithing since I capped it in Burning Crusade, not sure what to do with it, so I'm holding the ore for now.

Point is, I've done nothing to get gold, but have made over 2k. I have plenty of gold to make if I sell some of the northrend items I've gathered just from killing and mining. I have epic weapons waiting for me at the argent tournament that only require time played, and no gold at all.

So, again, what do we need the gold for if we only want to be raid ready?

If Blizzard makes the first Cataclysm raid casual friendly again, our 5-man blues and leveling greens will be enough to get in. Gems are nice to have but are mostly wasted on anything that is not epic, unless you are like me and intend to wear some of your gear forever. For instance, the dps gems that I bought at level 71 are still giving me love because I have not changed any of my gemmed gear yet. I have had some greens that would have been nice upgrades to my epics and blues, but the gems made the difference.

The only thing to worry about at this point is what Blizzard intends to do about travel. If we have to pay for travel in Azeroth (rather than just exotic fluff mounts) then we may have to mind our coins. Otherwise, there is nothing to stress over.

Frankly, unless you are collecting in-game vanity items or absolutely must have best-in-slot items (even though they are only somewhat better than the standard fare), then more than 5k gold is more than one player can reasonably spend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Not so Fast!

Cataclysm is in Alpha mode! Must be coming out soooooon!!!

No, not really.

Well, soon for me, but not so much for others. I'll be very fortunate to be at level 80 and have decent gear by the time the expansion drops, but other players have been at level 80 for well over a year. The upcoming Ruby Sanctum raid will be of little use to them, just more gear and maybe some fluff toys.

I would love to get my Blacksmithing up to the level 70 cap, but I think I still need several hundred ore to do so, plus whatever "extras" I would have to buy from the AH. Thousands of gold worth, I'm sure. And I will be in need of new weapons. For me, that means weeks of Battle Grounds...maybe, I'm a little fuzzy on how to get nice weapons outside of raiding and arenas. In Burning Crusade I did Battle Grounds for cheap/outdated arena weapons that had been tossed into the honor point pool. It was good stuff for farming.

I like to kill mobs, I can do it for hours on end, and the more I can kill the happier I am. So, epic dps weapons are awesome, no matter what the bonus stats are, if they let me kill mobs faster. I wish there were achievements for killing random stuff, thousands of mobs of any kind.

Too bad Blizzard precisely does not want to put that in the game, "because if we add an achievement to kill 10,000 murlocs, someone will do it." Well duh! What are achievements for if not to achieve them?

Anyway, I have a lot to do if I'm going to get my character ready for the Cataclysm level grind. And the way I've been playing these past eighteen months, I may not make it in time.

Yeah, the expansion may not be released until November or later, and I may not be ready by then...whew!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Small Distractions

So, for about a week I was really into my character again, but then I got distracted outside the game. Not a big deal. I've definitely got my mind on my toon and can hardly wait to get back in and hit 80. So close.

I think I will try to get some decent gear after I hit 80. Maybe try to rack up some loot currency from 5-mans or something. Maybe do some battle grounds and get some dps gear. Gonna need something better than I have if I want a half-way decent time of leveling after Cataclysm drops, and that will not be far off. Beta is just around the corner. Dataminers have found beta promotional images in the Battlenet coding. I really do not have much time left.

Anyhow, first of May and feeling good.