Legion, the Journey to 800 LW and Skinning Rants

(Spoilers abound for Legion, especially around Leatherworking. You have been warned.)

I’m quite enjoying Legion, but there are a couple of issues I have with professions. Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the best expansion since Wrath, I just have some… questions and comments regarding professions.

800 leatherworking

First of all, everything Gravenscale and Dreadleather for a Leatherworker goes grey at 780, assuming you don’t have any rank 3 recipes. By itself, this is fine, in my opinion. I knew we’d have a challenging expansion in terms of professions when I had to hurl myself off various cliffs and waterfalls, chasing a moose. (That’s a whole other story!)

The problem here is the acquisition of the various Rank 3 recipes. Let’s look at Gravenscale stuff:

  • Armbands: From elite Skrog Tidestompers/Wavecrashers at a ridiculously low rate
  • Grips: Drop from Advisor Melandrus in Court of Stars (Mythic only dungeon)
  • Hauberk: Drop from Latosius in Black Rook Hold only on Mythic
  • Treads: Drop from Cordana Felsong in Vault of the Wardens
  • Spaulders: ???
  • Girdle: Strap Bucklebolt in the Underbelly in Dalaran for 1500g and 500 Sightless Eyes
  • Leggings & Helm: Exalted with Valarjar

Of these items, the cheapest to make are the Armbands, which require no Bloods of Sargeras, though 110 Stormscale. The Treads, Girdle and Spaulders (who even knows where that recipe drops?!) all require 12 Stormscale and 2 Bloods of Sargeras, which is at least somewhat better than the Leggings, Helm and Hauberk, all of which require Felhide. (Though, interestingly, the Hauberk does not require Bloods…)

Of all of those items that drop in dungeons, none are a 100% drop rate.

It seemed to me that getting the Rank 3 belts for Dreadleather and Gravenscale were my best option. It took me a couple of hours, but I got all the crap I needed in the Underbelly and got my recipes (both Rank 2 and Rank 3, btw).

I was able to get to 790 pretty quickly, as my new hobby is farming basilisks for scales and Bloods of Sargeras, and then, disaster — the recipes turned green. Still, it wasn’t intolerable. I was able to get to 795 with a bit of effort and then 796 and finally, 797.

Ladies and gentlemen, getting from 797 to 798 required that I make nearly 40 belts. (I think the official count was 38, as best as I can tell.) That is 456 Stormscales (not a problem) and 76 Bloods of Sargeras. That’s where the problem was. Look, make it take 10, even 15 crafts to level up on a green recipe, but 38?! THIRTY-EIGHT. With two BOP items for each?! Ridiculous.

I guess RNG worked out for me though because I got from 798 to 799 on 13 belts and then, hilariously, I got from 799 to 800 with one single belt.

I hit 800 Leatherworking last night, before the Darkmoon Faire arrived, which was my goal. I don’t think that waiting for a monthly event should be your best chance of getting those last five skill points. I mean, it was good to know it was happening and, had I been stuck under 800 before the Faire left, I certainly would have taken advantage of it, but I don’t think it should almost be a requirement. I managed to get to 800 LW the old-fashioned way and I’m pretty pleased with myself, but the journey to 800 was difficult and I have spent way too much time killing way too many basilisks. (Current count is somewhere over 3000.)

And now, now we turn to Skinning, because there are some Issues.

First, I should note that miners and herbalists have it good, these days. No one can steal your node. Nodes exist for everyone and deplete for people individually. This is a great change. As someone with at least two herbalists and one miner, I can appreciate this. (I don’t want to talk about the quests related to these yet, though. More on that when I’ve maxed out those professions.)

Skinners, however, get screwed.

In this expansion, they got rid of mob tagging. On the whole, a great change. If you tag the mob, other people can tag it and you can all loot after you defeat the thing. (Well, same-faction tagging, anyway.)

Skinners, though, have the problem in that they need to have everything off of the corpse before we can skin. So if I’ve looted the body but my brother, Fog, who killed it with me, has not, then I cannot skin the corpse until my brother has looted the body too.

This is problematic for a couple of reasons:

  • Some people just don’t loot their mobs (which I do NOT understand at all! Looting is practically the whole point of the game!)
  • Other skinners will purposely tag all your mobs, let you do all the work and then deliberately will not loot, waiting for you to leave before they loot and then can skin.

The fact that when you loot, you loot ALL nearby bodies makes things even more difficult, because you can start skinning a couple of mobs and then other skinners can come running up and skin the rest. This used to be mitigated by not looting a corpse until you were ready to skin it, but that hasn’t worked since before AOE loot was introduced. This not only is still a problem, but is exacerbating the problem of other skinners purposely tagging your mobs, because if you loot one of them, you loot them all, giving them the ability to loot and start skinning when they feel like it.

That said, I’m pretty good at dealing with this nonsense, personally. If someone tags my mobs, I will go forth and tag ALL THE MOBS and just sit back and wait until they take off. I will feign if needed, I will get my pet to feign, and they may end up dead due to pulling all of the mobs. The lesson here is that if you’re a jerk to me, I will do whatever I can do to kill you in-game. Don’t mess with me, I farmed Elemental Plateau in Burning Crusade!

But we shouldn’t have to do that. If I have tagged a mob initially, you should not be able to prevent me from skinning it. Period. That’s where the problem lies.

Additionally, skinning in Suramar is a nightmare if you have a small cap on your Ancient Mana, because if there’s Ancient Mana on the mob that you cannot pick up, surprise! You can’t skin the corpse. That needs to be remedied ASAP and is, honestly, one of the main reasons I haven’t done a lot in Suramar yet.

Finally, Felhide. This is only acquired by skinning the Felhide Gargantuan when it shows up as a World Quest. This severely limits the number of Felhides that exist at any given time. On the one hand, that’s fine, because it means Felhides are valuable, but on the other, the demand and supply rise and fall with the RNG of the World Quests. I’d rather they be an extremely rare skin, even rarer than the Bloods of Sargeras, to be honest. There were two Felhide World Quests today and the price of Felhide is currently hovering around 300g apiece. Last Sunday, it was around 800g apiece. Do miners and herbalists have this RNG-World-Quest nonsense for any of their items? Honestly, I’d love to know.

Anyways. I’m enjoying the expansion overall. Kurn is 110 and I’ve still got a lot of quests to do in various zones. My shaman is 101 due entirely to mining and herbing and I’ve got Madrana halfway to 101 after opening up her class hall. (Loved the Dalaran Crater bit, check out this screenshot. We’re twins! Lightforge Armor and the Stormpike tabard FTW!)

twins

Oh, and I’ve finally hit more than a million gold. Yay! How’s Legion treating you?

My Own 90 Boost Adventures & Ruminations

Here’s where I confess that:

a) I actually resubbed for 30 days shortly after pre-ordering the expansion last Monday (and by “shortly”, I mean “within four hours”)
and
b) I boosted a warlock from 1-90

I know, I know. The poll results said I should boost a brand-new monk. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. I have absolutely no desire to play a monk outside of a tiny bit of curiosity when it comes to mistweavers. I did not want to play a monk.

Similarly, I kind of thought it, well, silly, to play a warlock. I already have a ranged DPS class with a pet — my hunter. So why the warlock?

Well, the first reason is because I’ve always been interested in warlocks in terms of a playstyle. DoT management has always intrigued me in theory. The second reason is that I’ve tried, on more than one occasion, to level a warlock. It never goes well (even with heirlooms — and I even have the heirloom RING!) and I have no interest in levelling a character from 1-90 or even 1-60 and then boosting from 60.

The third reason is that hey, I don’t much like the other options I felt I realistically had and so went with the warlock. It was the second choice in my poll, so why the heck not?

I’ll say this up front, I’m a bad warlock. I’ve spent about an hour at the training dummies and I am just not doing a great job. Part of this is UI-related (I need a good dot timer that ISN’T DoTimer because DoTimer keeps crashing my WoW, oddly) and part of it is that I’m sure I’m just not comprehending the subtleties of the class yet. Happily for the rest of the population, I have not grouped up for anything at this juncture, because I clearly don’t know what in the hell I’m doing and do not wish to inflict my idiocy on other people. You’re welcome! :)

That said, part of the reason for even using the boost was to help my professions along in the sense that I have:

– skinning/leatherworking on Kurn
– alchemy (elixir)/jewelcrafting on Madrana
– herbalism/mining on my shaman
– alchemy (potion)/enchanting on my priest
– alchemy (transmute)/inscription on my warrior

Those are all maxed. This means that, on Eldre’Thalas, I am missing just blacksmithing, engineering and tailoring as primary professions. I might bring my mage back from Skywall (at some point) and drop his herbalism for tailoring… but the point is, I wanted my boosted character to have blacksmithing and engineering.

Now, I could have, perhaps I should have, rolled a death knight on Eldre’Thalas, levelled five levels to 60 and then boosted that to 90, with 600 BS/600 Engineering. But I thought about it and realized that I really have zero desire to play a death knight. I don’t enjoy tanking and I enjoy melee DPS even less than I enjoy tanking.

So I boosted the warlock to 90 (male dwarf, FYI) and have the plan to make him a blacksmith and an engineer.

Problem: OH MY GOD, THE MATS.

It was brought to my attention that, previously in the expansion, Blacksmithing was changed and one is now able to use just Ghost Iron Ore to level to 600.

Ultimately, though it was good to know, it was kind of useless because Engineering requires many of the same materials as Blacksmithing. Additionally, the total number of pieces of Ghost Iron Ore required is over ten thousand. Even though it’s abundant and I could buy a bunch I’m sure, if I had to go mining in the old worlds for things like Thorium and Cobalt for Engineering, then I decided to do it “old school” for Blacksmithing, too, by just going around and mining for both professions while I was going to be out there anyway.

Total pieces of various types of ore/stone needed for BOTH Blacksmithing AND Engineering the old-school way: 5593.

Total pieces of various types of ore/stone needed for BOTH Blacksmithing AND Engineering with the “new” BS Ghost Iron Ore method: ~12000.

… yeah, OLD SCHOOL IT IS.

So, I made a spreadsheet because things just got complicated. Of course, it doesn’t include things like “Alicite” or “Wool Cloth” type materials. I have most of that stuff just lying around in my many bank tabs of my bank guild. I just tracked the stones and ores. Of course, in order to count up all the ores I needed, I had to look up the mats at various guides and then MULTIPLIED the number of bars they were asking for by two, in many cases, in order to come up with how much ore I needed. That’s not the case with things like Thorium, but is the case with something like Adamantite. So I broke down the number of pieces of all the types of ore needed for Blacksmithing and then did the same for Engineering. Then I hauled out Altoholic and searched through all my toons (on that realm, excluding the Apotheosis guild bank) and put in a column stating how many of these things I already had. Turns out I had a lot of Rough Stone, Coarse Stone and even Dense Stone. I also had a lot of Iron Ore. Then I put in the “Total I Need” column at the end, showing me how many I needed to have IN MY BAGS after mining to ensure I’d have just about enough. In the case of Copper Ore, I had to mine 369 pieces. In the case of Thorium, 609 pieces.

So I designated Saturday, March 15th, as #MININGDAY2014. Here’s some of what I did.

bsengineering3
So. Much. Thorium.
bsengineering4
On to Fel Iron.
bsengineering5
Adamantite took a long time, but was marginally less awful than Fel Iron.
The worst, to date. Cobalt was painful.
The worst, to date. Cobalt was painful.

So I did everything through Fel Iron Ore on Saturday, did Adamantite and Cobalt on Sunday and plan to tackle the rest later this week, as time allows. I’ll also be spending some time on Timeless Isle, practicing being a warlock, once I get around to doing a bit more reading.

As an aside, I’m finding something really interesting is happening since I’ve been back: many people are acting as though I don’t know what in the hell I’m doing.

Guys, I may have taken a break for over a year (17 months minus a week in there around Christmas, actually) but it’s not like I don’t know how to play the game. Sure, I didn’t know about the Ghost Iron Ore method for Blacksmithing, but even still, I discounted that method once I had learned about it, because 10,000+ pieces of Ghost Iron Ore versus fewer than 6000 pieces of stuff just doesn’t make sense to me, especially because I had to mine some of the old stuff for Engineering anyhow.

And yet, 90% of the comments I’ve received about this have been challenging my logic for choosing to mine old-school materials.

I know people are mostly trying to help and some are confused by my choices, but for crying out loud, I didn’t play for 17 months. It’s not like I forgot everything I ever knew about the game. ;) It’s changed, but it hasn’t changed that much. And it’s not as though I don’t keep up on the vast majority of changes. Or as if I don’t do my own research on things. While it’s really interesting to be on the side of things where I have to look stuff up and I have to confirm various things, it’s less interesting to be repeatedly challenged by people who think they know better.

To be honest, it’s making me think a lot about how I’ve acted in the past, when I’ve been on top of my game and have known things with absolute conviction. While I maintain that any advice I’ve given out in the past about this game has, at the time, been accurate, I can’t help but wonder if newer people (or at least less-knowledgeable people) were frustrated with the advice I’d offered to them. I know that I’m right about certain things (old-school mats vs. Ghost Iron Ore in this particular situation, FOR ME, for instance), but part of what fatigued me over the course of my WoW career was the constant questioning of my decisions. Have I, at some point in the past, caused fatigue or frustration to someone else when I’ve genuinely been trying to help? I’m not talking about feedback to people in my raid groups or guilds, but random holy paladins who were, as I saw it, Doing Things Wrong in random dungeons in the past. Or hunters. I mean, okay, the melee hunters in this Wailing Caverns run I once was snarky to, I’m not apologetic about. At all. :P I mean people to whom I offered unsolicited advice.

I’m trying to figure out which scenario I’m running up against here…

1) People are offering me advice and are trying to be helpful, despite the fact that it is actually not going to help me in the least.
2) People are offering me advice and are trying to be helpful because they think they know better than I do.

While I’d really like to believe the majority of people offering advice fall into group 1, I can’t help but think there are at least a few in group 2 and possibly some people who are both.

Again, this is causing me to be introspective. Every time I’ve offered advice to someone, I have tried to be helpful and have tried to make sure that the advice WOULD be helpful. But I know that many times, I’ve seen the problem as a very basic “oh, they don’t know about X, Y or Z, LET ME INFORM THEM” problem, thus falling into category 2. Have I been wrong in the past? Is it a lot more nuanced than I’ve seen it? Should I have been less willing to offer advice until I was certain someone needed it? I don’t know. I can’t help but think that if I didn’t offer advice, then maybe no one else would have. I can’t help but think that if people keep their mouths shut and adopt an attitude of “not my problem”, the community suffers. And what if people who are obviously struggling don’t ask for advice? What if people just sit there quietly, unsure of what they’re doing, but remain silent rather than open their mouths and be thought a fool?

Even after an extended break, I didn’t think I’d ever be on the “oh, no, Kurn, do it THIS WAY” side of things again. But apparently, I am. It’s a weird thing to go from being someone who knows damn near everything there is to know about the game to, well, not knowing, for example, that Blacksmithing is available to level from 1-600 with just Ghost Iron Ore. The last time I was this out of touch with the game itself was before I hit 60 on my first toon. And I don’t know if I like it. No, okay, I don’t like it. And I definitely don’t like being challenged by others on my various decisions, but I’ve done that to others in the past. I’m not even sure that the random, unsolicited advice I’ve given in the past is altogether justifiable, although I would think that telling a death knight “tank” to use Blood Presence is, you know, something they should do regardless of how tactfully that may or may not be put…

I guess I’m just trying to work out how I feel about people’s recent behaviour towards me and how my reaction to that may mirror how other people may have felt when I gave those others unsolicited advice. I mean, I’m thankful that people want to help me out. I appreciate the sentiment. And I like talking to people about the game. But maybe doing it in a way that is less challenging and more helpful (but not condescending!) is a better way to get one’s point across. Yeah, I’m wondering how I could do that, myself. Certainly, it’s a fine line to tread, but I know that I’d be more receptive to advice given in such a manner and I imagine others would be, too.

Today, March 17th, 2014, is the last day that you’ll be able to buy Kurn’s Guide to Being a Kick-Ass Raider at its introductory price, by the way! The launch sale ends tomorrow, so don’t hesitate to check it out!

Account-wide Achievements and Questions of Identity

There’s been talk recently about having account-wide achievements in Mists of Pandaria and it leaves me (and I suspect many others) unsure as to how to feel about this.

I am not the only person who raids with a different character now than she did in Vanilla or Burning Crusade or Wrath or even earlier this expansion. Kurnmogh, my hunter, hasn’t seriously raided current content on a regular basis since Vanilla. I managed to get in for the Tidewalker kill in SSC on the hunter, as well as the Gorefiend kill in Black Temple, but, by and large, since Burning Crusade, I’ve been healing in 25-man raids, while farming and doing silly things on my hunter.

That means that while I still have a huge attachment to Kurn (obviously), all my raiding achievements (and titles) are on Madrana.

It took me a bit of time to accept this, especially the title part of it. I was not so pleased to miss out on getting Hand of A’dal on Kurn, while I was thrilled to get it at all.

As the years went by, the achievements, titles and mounts started piling up on Madrana. Hand of A’dal. Twilight Vanquisher. Astral Walker. Kingslayer. Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). Defender of a Shattered World. Glory of the Firelands Raider. Destroyer’s End. All of them gotten while the content was current, except for Astral Walker, gotten during Tier 9 content.

In the meantime, Kurn got all the holiday titles and even managed to get the Baron’s mount. Kurn managed to snag of the Nightfall in T10 gear and also got Kingslayer, and Defender of a Shattered World but most of those came when it wasn’t current or was heavily nerfed (30% buff in ICC, zerging Sarth 3D 10-man for fun, post-nerf T11 content).

And then there’s the OTHER holy paladin. I am the same player playing that holy paladin, Madrana of Skywall, as I am playing Madrana of Eldre’Thalas. Madrana of Eldre’Thalas WAS Madrana of Skywall for about six months at the end of Wrath. But the current Madrana of Skywall is a new toon, the baby pally, I call her. She hasn’t earned anything.

I lie, she’s got “the Patient”, “Kingslayer” and “Destroyer’s End” (and the Kingslayer was because I helped out a group of guildies get the Been Waiting a Long Time achievement on LK, then got the kill and the title).

But just because I haven’t earned anything of note, really, on the baby pally, does that mean I’m not capable of having done so? No, because I clearly did all that on the OTHER Madrana.

It makes my head hurt.

So I’m going to say that no, I don’t think achievements should be account-wide. For me, my achievements show a very clear snapshot of what I was doing at a certain time in my WoW career. It reads like a resumé. I am so very proud of so many of my achievements and titles and mounts that I got on Madrana. While it would be nice to have them accessible to me on the baby pally, or ride my Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher or Corrupted Egg of Millagazor on Kurn, it seems inauthentic.

Terribly strange, isn’t it? I mean, they’re MY achievements, MY titles, MY mounts, but I feel if I didn’t earn them with a specific character, that character shouldn’t get to benefit from them. (Conversely, this does not mean I don’t think arcanums should continue to be account-bound, but that’s more because I’m lazy and hate rep grinds, not because of anything larger.)

I guess it comes down to what do those achievements, titles and mounts mean to me? I find the idea of being able to wear the “Hand of A’dal” title on Kurn to be, well, devaluing the work and time I put in on the Lady Vashj and Kael’thas fights on Madrana. I know, it’s weird.

But let’s take account-wide achievements a step further to maybe illustrate my point.

The baby pally has 525 cooking, as do Kurn and Madrana of Eldre’Thalas. Both Kurn and Madrana of ET have the Chef’s Hat. Having not spent two years in Wrath of the Lich King content, the baby paladin never got 100 Dalaran Cooking Awards and never was able to buy the Chef’s Hat. (WTB one of these for each profession, by the way.) This means that the baby pally’s hearth is currently in Dalaran so she can do cooking dailies efficiently (and also take the CoT port from Dal to get down to Dragon Soul quickly) and I’m at a woeful 52 tokens. (No, she doesn’t have high enough fishing either to do the Dalaran Fishing Dailies in the hopes of a Waterlogged Recipe, either.)

Should I need to grind that up to 100 to get the hat? I have it on two characters, already, shouldn’t I just be able to send that along? In a world where my level 5 bank alt could potentially wear the Hand of A’dal title, why on earth shouldn’t all my characters have access to at least one of the two Chef’s Hats I have?

For that matter, why should I have to level up cooking to 525 on THREE characters? Surely just one character knowing cooking ought to suffice. Same with first aid and, of course, fishing!

But if we go that route, what about “real” professions, like Leatherworking, Inscription and Alchemy? No kidding, I have four characters at 525 Alchemy, three at 525 Inscription, three at 525 Herbalism, two at 525 Mining and basically one of everything at max level save Engineering and Blacksmithing. Shouldn’t that stuff carry over as well? I mean, I’m the one who did all that work, right? I’m the one who sat there and milled ’till my fingers were raw (okay, not quite that bad, but still). I’m the one who did all of that on all kinds of different characters, on a variety of servers.

So if we open the door to account-wide achievements, titles, mounts and pets… where does it stop? Where should it stop? Where do you draw the line between “quality of life improvement” and “completely freaking ridiculous”? Is there even a line TO draw between those two points? I would argue that the Chef’s Hat, for instance, would be a quality of life improvement, but my level 5 bank alt being a Hand of A’dal would be completely freaking ridiculous. But someone else might think that the Chef’s Hat is ridiculous and the level 5 bank alt with that title would be AMAZING.

I strongly suspect that questions like these are the primary reason we haven’t seen much account-wide stuff to date and why they’ll probably “test out” account-wide pets and the like first. The slippery slope is just too slippery. What is completely acceptable to one person is a step too far for another. Taken to the extreme, you could make an argument for throwing out the levelling process because “hey, I got to level 85/90/100 on one character! Make all my toons that level!”

I do agree I’m probably a little strange with my identity issues (“But KURN never killed Vashj and Kael!!!”) but I think my own situation, particularly with the baby pally thrown in the mix, illustrates an interesting conundrum with regards to the value of these rewards and the reasons people attach meaning to them. I think all of these are important questions and situations that need to be looked at before they throw the doors open to account-wide achievements.

(Blatant guild plug: Remember, Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas is 2/8 HM with Heroic Yor’sahj to 22% and is recruiting!!!)

Kurn's Q&A 22

Good evening, or perhaps good morning! Had a lovely Tuesday, including dinner with the family at my parents’ house, then got to login and play with the new chat features a little bit. Again, as stated before, please don’t be offended if I choose not to include you in my Real ID network. I feel that the tools they give us are still rather clunky and not remotely refined enough for my tastes to consider sharing with people I don’t already know in real life.

Having said that, BOY HOWDY, do we have a bunch of interesting terms this week! You’d think someone had been BORED TO DEATH at work or something! As such, starting this week, I’ll have an anonymous form for questions you’d like to ask me for this Q&A-style post. Look for it on Wednesday or Thursday.

In the meantime…

I clearly made a mistake last week when I said:

“I like seeing myself in search terms. It’s cute.”

1)

kurnmogh, why is majik the best tank?
kurnmogh, how did majik redefine the mage class and why was he so good?
kurnmogh sucks and majik rules
why is kurnmogh just not as good as majik at wow?

And my personal favourites:

how come kurn can only play any given class in world of warcraft just about half as well as majik?
how has kurnmogh played and lived in the shadow of majik for so long?

Let’s tackle these burning questions individually.

1a) Majik is the best tank because he is a stupidly good player. It’s like he’s an idiot savant.

1b) Majik was key in redefining the mage class because he was frost and he was competitive DPS through ’till Hyjal. His approach to playing his mage was one that involved using Billy, the water elemental, to his full extent, making sure to be hit-capped and generally not dying to stupid things. However, it should be noted that, while still drunk from the traditional pony keg booze after Maulgar, Majik did blink into Gruul, causing a wipe. He was so good because, as previously noted, Majik is an idiot savant when it comes to the World of Warcraft. It also helped that he was a meter whore throughout the ENTIRETY of Burning Crusade and this drove him to swap to an Arcane/Frost rotation which meant that he was constantly Arcane Explosioning on Hyjal waves. Like a tool. Sure, his numbers were huge, but I do believe he started dying more frequently at this point, which had a negative effect on his overall DPS.

1c) We’ll pair the next two together, as they’re essentially the same. It’s true, dear readers, I am not as good as Majik is at WoW. I just don’t have the instincts that he does when it comes to, well, basically anything. Majik is ten times better at this game than I am and doesn’t have this habit of forgetting to do things like pop class-specific cooldowns the way I do. (Nature’s Swiftness? What’s that?)

1d) My favourite questions! Hooray!

– Majik has four level 80s and is working on his fifth. The classes are: mage, druid, shaman and death knight. Kurn has six level 80s and they are: hunter, paladin, shaman, mage, druid, priest. As you can see, there’s some overlap. Majik’s hunter is in his 40s, Majik’s highest paladin toon still would get beat down by Hogger and Kurn hates death knights in general, so the comparison is really versus each other when it comes to a mage, a druid and a shaman.

– Given that Majik raided full-time on his mage for years, that’s not a fair comparison. This leaves us with two alts, the druids and the shaman. I fully agree I can only play the druid and shaman half as well as Majik can. Why? This is largely because I have spent all my time really focused on the paladin and the hunter.

– Thus, while I fully admit I can’t play a mage, druid or shaman as well as Majik, due in part to my not being an idiot savant, if he wants to try to level up his hunter or paladin to get a good comparison going, he is welcome to do so.

– As to living in his shadow, I’ve got to say that it was cold there in his shadow, to never have sunlight on my face. I was content to let him shine, that’s my way. I always walked a step behind. So he was the one with all the glory, while I was the one with all the strength. I wonder if he knows that I’m really his hero or everything he wishes he could be? Clearly, I am the wind beneath his wings.

Now that I’ve learned from my lesson regarding search terms, let’s move on!

2) unbound plague ticks damage

Here’s a parse of a mage in the raid having Unbound Plague for 10 seconds before passing it off:

[23:34:40.353] Mage afflicted by Unbound Plague from Professor Putricide
[23:34:41.515] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (999)
[23:34:42.459] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (1249)
[23:34:43.463] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (1561)
[23:34:44.410] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 1410 (A: 541)
[23:34:45.424] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 2439
[23:34:46.359] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 3049
[23:34:47.507] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 3811
[23:34:48.433] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 4764
[23:34:49.354] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 5955
[23:34:50.399] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 7444

Here’s me in the same raid for 11 ticks:

[23:37:09.981] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 681  (A: 289)
[23:37:11.135] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1212
[23:37:11.978] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1254 (A: 261)
[23:37:13.153] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1895
[23:37:13.965] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 2368
[23:37:15.331] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 2960
[23:37:15.877] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 3701
[23:37:17.203] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 4626
[23:37:17.827] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 5782
[23:37:19.300] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 7227
[23:37:19.964] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana Absorb (9034)

So you can get an idea of the damage: it starts out very low and ramps up hugely. The damage it does isn’t too bad, but if someone with Plague Sickness gets it, that damage is increased by 250%.

3) any new way to cheat unbound plague

Well, I don’t condone cheating. Are you talking about better plague visibility now that AVR and AVRE have been broken? If so, you may want to look into using HudMap:

http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/hudmap.aspx

4) dbm mark vengeful shade

Okay, here’s the problem with Vengeful Shades; they’re not able to be targetted. That means you can’t click on them to mark them, you can’t hit V and see their health bars. You just have to watch for them when they spawn and run the hell away.

5) does feign death work on frozen orbs on toravon

Yes.

6) elixir mastery will double flasks?

Okay, let’s explain this again.

As an alchemist, you get this fun thing called “Mixology” which doubles all elixir and flask *durations* and increases their effects slightly.

In order to have the *possibility* to proc extra flasks, you must be an elixir-specced alchemist, that is an Elixir Master. This will not proc all the time. This will not double your haul. This happens approximately at a 10% rate from what I’ve noticed. So for every ten flasks you make, you will roughly get one extra.

7) how many people go into frostmourne on 25 lk

On normal, this is one at a time, approximately once a minute throughout the final phase when he casts Harvest Soul on someone. On heroic, EVERYONE goes into Frostmourne.

8) lightning-infused leggings worth it

I recently crafted mine, replacing the heroic Legplates of Failing Light. After looking at the Ruby Sanctum loot tables at MMO-Champion there are NO new legs being added. That means that there are no legs higher than ilvl 264 with haste on them. So yes. Definitely worth it for any holy paladin.

9) server transfer raid lockout

It all gets cleared. I had done my daily random heroic before I transferred my paladin. Then I transferred and ran another — none were barred from me, and I also got 2 extra Emblems of Frost by virtue of doing another “first” random.

10) shadow trap lich king

Don’t stand in them. It’s not rocket science, folks.

Of Money and Alts

So I set out on Friday to make 5000g and to level my priest alt from 78-and-a-half to 80.

I was halfway successful.

My priest is languishing at about 79 and a half, mostly because my brother and a friend of ours both dinged 80 over the weekend. This meant that my brother, resplendent in his awful tanking gear (though still immune to crits, thank you very much) insisted I “heal [him] plz” through some heroics. Seriously, he hit 80 and says to me on Vent “heal meh plz!!!”. So I hopped on my druid and went to town. Over the weekend, we went to Azjol-Nerub, The Nexus, Culling of Stratholme and Halls of Stone, all on heroic, and tried TOC regular for the tanking trinket, too.

He’s not easy to heal, but he’s not inflicting himself on another healer, so I’m okay with that.

What’s more than a little surprising is that he’s not having a horrible time holding aggro. When I went out there on my druid in bear form, probably better geared than my brother, I kept running into people with ICC gear who would whirlwind or Consecrate or Death and Decay and BAM, they would own the mobs.

My brother? No problem. And he’s using Grid to show him who has aggro so he can cast Righteous Defense or BOP or something easily. (Yes, that was my influence.)

Conclusion: Paladin tanks are OP. ;)

As to the money side of things, I ended up with 5,400g more than I had on Friday afternoon. There are still things up on the AH and still things that expired in my bags, but really, that wasn’t bad at all.

How did I do it?

1) Flasks. Flasks sell like hotcakes between 7pm-8pm server time. I sold Flasks of the Frost Wyrm exclusively, in stacks of 5, for just over 100g per stack. I have no idea how many flasks I made, but it was a LOT. It seemed like I always had at least a stack up on the AH or a stack that had just sold.

How did I get the mats? Well, Icethorn is plentiful out there. So is Lichbloom, really, but it’s expensive on the AH. So I took Rilgon’s advice and grabbed GatherMate/GatherMate data (Gatherer has never worked properly for me, for some reason) and went farming in both Wintergrasp and Icecrown on my shaman. My shammy is both a miner and an herbalist, so I used GatherMate’s displays to show me when I should be tracking what, which worked out very well.

The Wintergrasp farming was particularly productive since you can not only harvest Frost Lotuses from any herb you pick, but you can also pick Frost Lotuses from their rare spawns. (I think the only other place in the game you can pick an actual Frost Lotus spawn is in Freya’s room in Ulduar, but I could be wrong.)

While farming herbs for flasks, I also gathered a ton of ore (I actually hit something like 10 titanium nodes in two loops of Icecrown and Wintergrasp!) and did the following:

– prospected the raw Titanium Ore: sold some Titanium Powder, cut and sold any epic gems from the ore, stored the rare and uncommon gems for the future.

– smelted the raw Saronite into Bars: sent them to my transmute specced alchemist and transmuted them to Titanium Bars. The proc rate was abysmal, but I did see a couple. I sold stacks of five bars for 75-80g per stack.

– kept all the crystallized elements for the future, including future Cardinal Ruby transmutes

2) Gems. I had a bit of a stockpile of Cardinal Rubies in my bank (5-6 I think) and so cut those into Fractured, Delicate, Bold and Runed. I transmuted four more Cardinal Rubies on Saturday and Sunday (no procs) and cut and sold those as well. I got a couple epic gems from my Titanium Ore prospecting, so I cut a Solid Majestic Zircon and a couple of Ametrines (Reckless — they sell, but cheaply! — and Glinting, which doesn’t sell well at all on my server). The trouble here is that most of the cash I got from gems is not repeatable because I emptied my stock of Cardinal Rubies and the cut gems are going for like, one or two gold over the raw gems on my server. If I made about 1100g from gems, probably only 500g of it was not due to my prior stock.

3) Food. I spent some time on Kurn fishing and got a ton of Imperial Manta Ray, which I cooked into Imperial Manta Steak. This is my preferred buff food in raids on Madrana, so at worst, I was stocking up for myself. But when I realized I had something like over 200 fish, I decided to sell half of what I had. 80-100g a stack for haste food at raid time on the weekend. Very nice.

I also had enough fish to make a couple of Fish Feasts, which I sold for about 120g per stack of 20.

I also bought some cheap Rhino Meat and made some Hearty Rhino. I made 40, so 2 stacks sold for about 90g apiece, I think it was.

4) Enchants. I sold some raw materials. I had Dream Shards coming out my ears, so I sold a bunch of those (about 40) and a lot of leftover enchanting mats from the 50-60 range, like Large Brilliant Shards, Greater Eternal Essences and the like. Sold all that, probably to the tune of about 500g. I also had leftover mats for the Fiery enchant, so I made some scrolls and while I’ve only sold one of them for 35g, I still have 3 to sell. This was really just me selling crap I already had.

5) Dailies. The only dailies I did were the fishing and cooking dailies on Kurn and the daily random dungeon. I also did the weekly quest on Kurn. I got lucky a couple of times and got the Waterlogged Recipe (5 extra cooking tokens) and the Poison Vial thingy (extra gold). I could have done a lot more in terms of dailies and money, but the thing is, I absolutely loathe the Argent Tournament dailies in particular, and I hate relying on people for Threat from Above and the Commanders.

6) Glyphs. My druid is my scribe and I have a very poor selection of recipes. I essentially did Inscription for the Darkmoon Cards and the shoulder enchant, because as I was levelling my druid, I decided there was no way in hell I was going to do Hodir again. And then when I hit, oh, 70-something, they patched in that the Hodir enchants were BOA. /headdesk. Still, I had a bunch of glyphs leftover that had never sold, so I managed to sell about 200g worth of glyphs. Glyph of Polymorph, Glyph of Chain Heal, Glyph of Rejuvenation all sold out.

Other Things I Could Have Tried: With some patience, I could have done various Leatherworking leg armors, Tailoring spellthreads, done more Earthsiege/Skyflare Diamond transmutes/cuts. The main issue here was a lack of cheap eternals and Frozen Orbs to do this effectively. I already have most of the mats for these, but not so much with the eternals and definitely not with the Frozen Orbs. (Most of the orbs I was getting — and yes, I bought some — were for the sole purpose of making them into Frost Lotuses.)

So. With a 24h downtime coming to ALL MY SERVERS as of 3am, I need to get going on my priest. Stupid priest. Why did I roll a priest? A fourth healer? Really? Someone punch me in the face if I ever decide to level another healer to 80 again. I’ve GOT one of each, that should now be sufficient FOREVER.

Weekend Plans

I didn’t raid on Thursday and I probably won’t raid on Sunday. I’m feeling pretty burnt out, as if most of you haven’t been able to tell. ;) So there are a few goals I have for this weekend, since it’s raining and I’m not going to go up north to my parents’ cottage.

1) Try to ding the priest 80. She’s three bars into 78 at the moment and just a wee bit rested. I have completed precisely 262 quests with her. Can you tell I have basically spent all my time on her from 15+ in instances? Also, some battlegrounds. And it’s AB weekend, so maybe I’ll go camp LM and enjoy hurling some Horde off the side.

2) Make money. I have always loved to make virtual money. And yet, in WoW, I am not so good at keeping it. I think I’ve broken 20k gold once, but spent a lot of money on my druid alt, my brother’s hunter and our friend’s DK, so that dwindled. On Friday, I was at 10k gold in my bank alt’s guild bank, with no more than 200g on each of my other toons. I plan to end the weekend with about 15k gold in the bank. How?

– Flasks: Madrana’s an elixir specced alchemist and flasks are one of the things that EVERYONE buys. Problem: Frost Lotuses. Solutions: farm with the shammy; run instances on the druid tank for badges to turn in for frozen orbs; buy the damn things.

– Smelting Ore: Mithril Ore was really cheap this week whereas Mithril Bars were super expensive. I made about 800g from smelting ore into bars, but I risked flooding the market. Still, weekends are when people tend to power-level professions and stuff if the mats are available, n’est-ce pas?

– Fish Feasts/Buff Food: One of my pre-Cataclysm goals is for Kurn to get a freaking turtle mount. Ever since I got my buddy Euphie to go fishing for me pre-raid, several months ago, and he got the turtle mount, I have been consumed with jealousy. ;) So Kurn’s been doing a lot of fishing lately (and will probably take in the fishing contest today, too) and, as such, has a ton of many different fish. Must go get more Nettlefish for Fish Feasts and check out what other fish are selling well.

– Gems: Madrana’s also a JC, so if I can find a bunch of raw gems for cheap, I should be able to turn those over pretty quickly.

– Runescrolls of Fortitude: The druid’s got Inscription and these consistently sell well. I just haven’t bothered to make any for a while.

– Drums of Forgotten Kings/of the Wild: Speaking of, Kurn’s a LW and can make drums. I wonder if they’re selling well these days.

So those are my plans for the weekend. Anyone have additional money-making tips? Professions at my disposal:

Skinning, Herbalism, Mining, Fishing, Enchanting, Tailoring, Jewelcrafting, Alchemy (Elixir spec and Transmute spec), Inscription, Leatherworking.

I am victorious!

At 2:52am, I dropped my 450 mining.

And I picked up skinning.

At 9:11am, I hit 450 skinning.

Despite the gold ads on the site, this is the guide I used. Comprehensive, good use of map images. I’m very happy with it. Of course, it helped to know three things:

1) I had +10 skinning from Finkle’s Skinner.

2) I had +5 skinning from Enchant Gloves – Gatherer.

3) Once you hit 415 skinning, you can skin any mob in the game, since that’s what allows you to skin level 83s. Anything beyond that is just for the 40 crit strike rating you get for maxing it out.

So when I hit 350, I headed to Northrend, knowing I could skin anything in Borean. By 390, I went, as the guide suggested, to Sholazar. And then I did the math. When I hit 400, I went to Storm Peaks and started killing dragons and rhinos. Good times!

I even went on a run to Heroic Violet Hold (dragons! Skinning of dragons! Unfortunately, there was a lame druid who was skinning for all he was worth and I missed several opportunities.) in an effort to keep skilling up.

Amusing conversation from that run:

Every time I get into a group with a paladin, which is often, I spam that macro. MOST of the time I get it off in time for the paladin to notice before he or she starts buffing. I try to save on people’s symbols of kings. :P

Anyways. 450 skinning. So THERE, Fad. Toldja! ;D

Kurn and Professions

When I started playing, I started with my hunter, Kurn, who picked up Skinning and Leatherworking.

This combination worked beautifully for me for over a year.

And then I realized I needed more money than skinning was providing for me.

So, on the advice of a then-guildie, I switched to mining, for thorium ore and arcane crystal goodness.

That lasted a couple of months. Then just before BC came out, literally just a couple of days, I went back to skinning. I reasoned that I needed to fund my LWing somehow and my brother was a LW, too.

Once both my brother and I hit 375 LW in BC, I dropped herbalism on the pally for JC and dropped skinning on the hunter for… mining.

And that’s how it’s been since May of 2007 or something like that.

Then, I levelled a shaman, whose professions are mining and herbalism, to supply my paladin with ore and herbs for her JC/alchemy.

For some reason, my toons are all basically on the same server. So I have 2 herbalists (druid and shammy) and 2 miners (shammy and hunter). But I have no skinner.

Since druids are hax at herbing with flight form, I didn’t want to drop that on the druid. So that left herbing on the shammy or mining on either the shammy or the hunter.

Dropping either on the shammy would result in the shammy no longer being THE farm toon for my paladin.

So after some thinking about it, I did it. I dropped mining, AGAIN, and picked up skinning, AGAIN.

330 skinning. I’m pushing for 450 before I sleep.

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Gems and You: A Guide

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to one of what will be many guides written by yours truly, Kurn. Today’s exciting topic, gems.

I’ve been a jewelcrafter on my paladin for almost a year, and to this day, it still astounds me how many people are missing the very basics of the jewelcrafting profession. This is not a guide about how to level up jewelcrafting (the three days I spent in Exodar, running from the AH to the JC trainer to get to 300, were not the most efficient or cheap days of my WoW career), but rather, to inform you about types of gems and cuts. Note that this guide will not be addressing any BOP gems and will only focus on green, rare and epic quality gems and cuts that are available from your friendly neighbourhood jewelcrafter. Further, it will really center on cuts for gems that are mined or come from prospected Fel Iron or Adamantite Ore or are epic-quality. (Pearls and meta gems will be addressed briefly.)

So, let’s get started.

Continue reading “Gems and You: A Guide”