Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Ripped in just four weeks!

Well not really.

I'm back for 3.3, and looks like just in the nick of time. In that time, I've been trying to shape up for summer and have gotten tanned up and shed over 11 kgs. But now all that hard work will go to waste as I risk DVT from sitting hours on end as we head into the most addictive chapter, the finale of Wrath.

I'm expecting to see little sun from here on and I'll probably look pasty as soon, like a light jaundice skin colour. Actually the whole 'yay i <3 vampire craze' might be in a blessing in disguise.

Why did I stop? Well hmm... would I rather enjoy the horse racing, beers, bbq's and warm drinking nights or sit and play the dogs balls of content that is TOC 10 and 25. No brainer. On the flip side my absence has pulled me back in the pecking order in the cut throat world of quadruple raiding rets. I have managed to scrape enough gear together to get my four piece together and a few other bits and pieces (thank you gdkp runs!) This has kept me within striking range of the other rets, and my key mashing is making up for the gear difference.

So heading into 3.3 I'm ready for Icecrown, get ready yo, Rexkicker is coming to town... Ho ho ho...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Capped

Mmm the sweetest words that an AH baron can hear hear, and in my case thats 214,748g 36s 46c. For some reason, this is 2 copper shy of the supposed gold cap of 2^31 (although its really really close). Why its 2c short I just don't know, maybe its some kind of weird wow developer in joke.
If you're wondering how to get there, well there is a lot of truth to the saying, it takes money to make money. Think back to when you were a level 10 running around Elwynn forest with your mining pick and collecting copper ore. At the time I was stoked to sell a stack for 1g 50s. A fortune for that level, and it was enough to buy up a whole suit of white vendor mail armor from the blacksmith in Goldshire. Well naturally as you open up access to larger amounts of potential gold (such as earning 13g for a quest), 1g 50s seems pretty trivial.
A similar kind of thing happens when you have access to a large bankroll. You gain scale that can be used to purchase items in bulk or purchase expensive items. For example, I have no qualms buying up several thousands of gold worth of uncut and cut gems to resell later at a premium. I don't blink an eye purchasing cheap nobles decks at 4k to flip at 6.5k (sounds weird I know). I love trading in bulk with farmers for their entire stock of herbs, eternals and ore, I get a bit of a rush, as I wonder how much stock he has.
Unfortunately its a mixed blessing as that brings me to my next phase, what now? Since the 3.2 patch, accumulating gold has been the only real driver for me to play wow and the Crusaders Colosseum is hardly worthwhile content to keep me interested long term. I'll have a think about it, I might start pushing for the 500k gold mark. I might take a break from WoW or then again, I might stay to simply kick Arthas' arse.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

WTB axe racial

Is it just me or is anyone else sick of axes? What is with the dev's love of trying to turn my toon into some sort of glorified lumberjack? Don't get me wrong I love wielding big two handers as much as the next guy, but I like to picture my pally whacking the boss in the knee Tonya Harding style. Its not like I'm asking for some extremely rare unheard of weapon either, I mean being human, there's a nice 3 expertise from Swords OR Maces. That's half of the available 2h weapons and yet the last mace I wielded was the titansteel destroyer and my last sword was the Jin'rohk!

My weapon progression this expansion has been....

Jin'rohk > Whale Stick Harpoon > Titansteel Destroyer > Death's Bite > Betrayer of Humanity > Worldcarver

So needless to say, when 3.2 hit, I eagerly hit up MMO Champion loot tables and found a sweet weapon called Justicebringer. Obviously a name that belongs to a pally mace, but nope, its another freaking Axe.

Then when I heard that Shadowmourne was announced as a legendary weapon my heart skipped a beat, imagining a twin to the Frostmourne like on my Wrath load screen, I would finally have the chance to weild a legendary weapon, kinda like the big ass Cloud sword in FFVII. But an axe...again? Seriously, wtf?!!

Surely Blizz could make a legendary 2h sword that I could earn. It could have been a ridiculously long quest chain like oh I dunno something akin to the 'Insane' achievement and I would have been happy to do it. For a measly axe however, it had better just be a drop off Arthas, because that's all I can really stand.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Can't do it

There are some achievements you think how the heck are we going to get that? Scrolling through the list its not Firefighter that worries me, or Yogg with 3 keepers, its Kologarn's With Open Arms.

Asking a ret to not dps the arms is like asking you to stop jerking off. You can't stop it, its in your blood. Its one of the few fights that a ret is built for! A fight with three targets up is like a red rag to a bull, and my epeen is too big to take a dive like that.


The only way I'm going to get the achievement is if I die in glorious combat. I need to either get crushed by the right hand or fried by eye beams. My preferred way to go would be to get crushed by the hand because if I get scooped up by the hand my deeps is screwed anyway.

With Open Arms? Not on my watch!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Club Ret

So I notched up my 30th birthday yesterday, which definitely puts me into the older gamer category. How do I feel about it? Well I guess that's just a number, but I'm definitely not as high tech as the next generation coming through. Shit, I own a relatively up to date mobile phone but I still only use it to make phone calls and text. I'll be pretty much screwed when I update it to a touch phone and the lack of buttons will throw me off.

It explains the low tech spartan nature of my blog. I.e. I'm too dumb to work out how to make it look nicer, and too zoned after coming from home and then trying to raid. Doesn't leave too much time to actually post as much as I would like.

What does being 30 have to do with anything? Well not much but with age comes experience and wisdom. In turn that leads to MOAR DPS! Lemme explain. Currently, due to a lack of dks (sigh), we can end up in a situation where there are four ret pally's in raid. This can get up to FIVE in fights like Hodir and General V where our prot pally switches specs. That's right, we have a Club Ret.

With five raiding rets there's not much separating me and them at all. Three of us are near identical with Worldcarver, 4 piece T8.5, DMC: Greatness and the OMGWTFBSHAX Libram of Valiance. The other two are not far behind in gear either, so there is plenty of pride on the line. The only real difference between me and them is that I'm pure ret whereas the others enjoy their second spec of tanking or healing. When I lose a boss fight, I get Recount spammed to thy kingdom come but more often then not I tend to come out on top.

So whats the difference? After comparing five rets in raid there is a slight difference in technique, and I believe that it boils down to the timing of Avenging Wrath.

1) Don't be too eager to pop your wings!
This is the main thing that I notice. A few of the rets will charge in and just blow wings straight away. Not in 3.2 buddy! Now you need to build that five stack from Seal of Vengeance up first before popping your wings. Since the stack is only applied from autoswings it takes roughly 12 seconds to put the stack on.

If you pop AW straight away at the start of the fight, with the 20 second buff, you are really only maximising your dps from the final 8 seconds of AW since it takes the first 12 stacks to build up the stack.

2) For your second wings, watch the bosses health
As a general rule of thumb I check the bosses health for the timing of my second wings (e.g. Ignis, XT, Hodir, General etc). If my AW cd comes up for a second time and we're roughly 55-60% of the way through the bosses health or less, I'll use my wings again straight away and it should be available for use for a third time later. If however, the bosses health is below 55%, I hold off on using wings until the final 20% so I can start spamming Hammer of Wrath!

3) Popping a haste potion to build the 5 stack faster?
I dunno, I've read this idea in two separate places twice now and it just seems well, totally f*cked. Apparently if you pop the potion before you enter into combat you can get your stack up really fast (and I'm assuming this would free your haste potion for later use).

Well there you go, hope it was useful and my your deeps be epeen filled. I gotta admit though, rereading it I am intrigued by the haste potion idea. I will have to test it out on something like Ignis and see.

DIAF Rabi

Since the 3.2 patch hit, for some reason I've been inspired to finish my 'Glory to the Hero' achievement. I owe this to the change in vehicles in Oculus where your dragon scales with gear which gave me the heart to venture into Oculus once again (I think I'm still mentally scarred from that freaking place). So I've been knocking out the achievements left and right.

One of the achievements *cough* Less-Rabi is completely ridiculous. I must've spent about a dozen nights trying to knock it over that by the end of it, I just wanted to punch him in the head. I was getting so desperate for the achievement that I paid a shammy guildie 1k to spec into Reverberation to help get it done even though he had already done the achievement twice before and I could feel his relunctance in doing it again.

So when I finished the achievement, I just spammed gchat with PROGRESSION!!!

Damn, the drake is pretty cool though. Oh wait, no 310% flight speed? F*ck!

Rex out...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

No need to res

Recently, our team finally... YES FINALLY pulled off our Undying run. Our weekly lazy Saturday afternoon soul crushing/abyss crystal farming event paid off. Interestingly though, you don't actually need the same team from start to finish to grab the title. Our holy pally subbed in for the resto druid half way through the run and was rewarded with the title, the resto druid unfortunately was not.

I've been doing this run for so long now, I'm actually pretty relaxed about the whole thing... right up until Sapphiron/KT fights. How do I feel about it now? Well I'm actually relieved as all heck, your brain just becomes focused on willing yourself to not be the that fails. Its never fun being the one that slips up that fails the whole run. The pressure of the Undying run gets to people and they end up doing all sorts of weird things that you know that they just normally don't do.

You know what though, getting Undying is kind of like a perfect holiday, nice but not really memorable. Come to think of it though, our DK tank was so stressed out with the thought of doing Heigan that he refused to do it so we simply left him outside while we nine manned it. I lol'd when he scored the 'Safety Dance' achievement!

Amyway, the best memories from holidays come about when things don't go according to plan like you lost your luggage, the food was crappy at the hotel or when you got ripped off by some dodgy souvenier merchant. In some sort of sick way I enjoyed the failures more than the clear as it's just plain light hearted fun to get stuck into the one that messed up.

Memorable failures

Even yours truly hasn't avoided the blame of a failed Undying run, I failed to make the jump on Thaddius (first time ever since doing Naxx) and then ran in before a charge was assigned. >.<

Here's a list of other random things that happened during various Undying runs. To try and capture the level of frustration, I have tried to rank the level of fail, with an acceptable rng type mistake being a low level of fail to the very high, WTF ARE U SERIOUS erage type fail.

Boss: Instructor
Cause: After clearing the trash up to Instructor, the tank takes a break and eats up on the ramp. Needless to say Instructor wasn't too impressed when he walked by and saw him just sitting there having a picnic.
Level of fail: Medium

Boss: Four Horseman
Cause: After clearing three wings, the Holy priest decides to go afk mid fight and parks himself on top of the platform after the pull. Dies due to no debuffs being up on him and losing LOS to the other healers. Comes back on later and asks 'how'd it go?'.
Level of fail: Very high

Boss: Sapphiron
Cause: Hero lock tries to squeeze off a couple more dots at the wyrm in the air instead of playing it safe behind the iceblock. After yelling on vent, realises too late that he's in trouble making it but gets there. Then decides to stand next to the iceblock instead of behind it...
Level of fail: High

Boss: Kel Thuzad
Cause: Off tank fails to see void zone while tanking only one of the scarabs. Causes wipe at 2% of KT's health (this one was soul crushing!).
Level of fail: High

Friday, 7 August 2009

I now pronounce you man and toon

The more I rack up achievement points, the more I realise I am wedded to Rexkicker the ret paladin til the end of my wow time. Gone are the days where I would switch off and muck about on an alt for the fear that the one time I do, I'm gonna knock over some achievement I won't have on my main.

So I am stuck. Is it just me? Well not really. This is apparent in the guild, where we actually have a shortage on full time dk's. Sometimes we have one, usually though we have none. This is despite almost everyone (including yours truly) having a dk alt. People simply don't want to make the switch and start their achievements all over again!

My brother though doesn't have this problem. He doesn't care about doing achievements and is free to split his time between his warrior tank/rogue dps/priest healer. So he's happy to swap from one character to another.

There is a definite split in game styles right there. Those that pursue achievements don't care for alts (they simply don't have the time to), and those that are altoholics don't give a damn about achievements. Unfortunately, I seem to have landed on the achievement whore half. It could be worse, I could have rolled a pure class and would be stuck doing dps all the time. At least this way if I ever get bored of ret I can switch it up (or at least temporarily).

Each to their own I guess. Now where is that dk?

Sunday, 19 July 2009

All hail the Nightmare Tear

One item on the PTR has peaked my interest, the Nightmare Tear! What is it? Well its the big brother version of the Enchanted Tear. The enchanted tear provides +6 all stats and is a prismatic gem (i.e. counted as a blue, red and yellow gem). The Nightmare Tear packs a bigger punch, and weighs in at a hefty +10 all stats. This beauty has sparked my interest from both a ret dps perspective and an opportunity to make some extra gold.

How do you get one?
Made by a JC using a dragon's eye and five infinite dust.

How many can you have?
These are unique equipped so its 1 per gear set.

Ret view
Currently on live, non-JC pve rets snap an enchanted tear into the blue socket to meet the normal Relentless Earthsiege Diamond's meta requirement (i.e. requires one blue, yellow and red gem). Next patch however, all rets will need one of these to meet their meta requirements especially since JC rets no longer benefit from bold dragon's eyes being prismatic in 3.2.

Still, lets break it down against the other blue socket choice for rets, the sovereign dreadstone.

Sovereign Dreadstone
Gem Colour: Purple
+10 Strength
+15 Stamina

Nightmare Vine
Gem Colour: Prismatic
+10 Strength
+10 Agility
+10 Intellect
+10 Stamina
+10 Spirit (lol)

Its pretty clear, come patch day I'm jamming one of these bad boys into a blue socket.

And on making gold?
My tip is that while everyone has their eyes firmly fixed on the titanium ore market the price of dragon's eyes is going unchecked. It seems a bit out of whack considering that people that buy up titanium ore are doing so in the hope that it procs an epic gem, whereas you can obtain a guaranteed raw epic gem (subject to ptr changes blah blah blah) in the form of a Dragon's Eye. So I reckon that I will snap up as many dragon's eyes as I can get and then drop them on the AH on patch day (some as repriced Dragon's Eyes, some as Nightmare tears).

I'm backing that every JC and his dog will be hoarding their JC tokens for new recipes and the supply of Dragon's Eyes will dry up sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Yogg downed!

I could sense that Vandelay Industries was close to downing 25 man Yogg from our previous attempts, and we managed to get to phase 3 on Sunday so our hopes were high that this would finally be our night. On Monday though, things didn't begin so great. We were having disconnects, my brother was sick as a dog and so opted not to raid while one of our DK's net got capped (once you reach your broadband download limit, the bandwidth gets reduced to dial up speed). So we were forced to sub out the DK and I pleaded with my bro to log onto his rogue to give us a hand. To which he eventually agreed.

Our luck started to change then and after a couple of attempts, we had Yogg down to 25%. After a slight change in strategy we then took Yogg to 2% before a slight error in judgement cost us the kill and the raid was quickly overwhelmed with adds. At that stage I slumped in my chair and pressed my forehead onto the keyboard. I looked up at my clock, it was 11pm; we had been wiping on Yogg for a solid 3 and a half hours.


Normally we have a tight raiding policy, we call raids at 11pm and start afresh the next night. However, being Monday we needed to get Yogg down and no one wanted to wait another week. We had some of our best dps on and we needed to make sure we took advantage of that opportunity.

'C'mon, one perfect run guys!' was the raid leaders call over Vent. And then it happened, we delivered that run!

So last night we finally cleared Yogg, and its been a freaking long time coming. Our last progression kill was General Vezax on the 8 June, and after five weeks of wiping on Yogg I'm glad to have done it, otherwise I probably would've lost my RL sanity.

Babam!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Changes to Alchemy on the PTR

Yesterday Alchemy was looking pretty sweet, but mmo champion has noted some changes to Alchemy on the PTR.

First of all it looks like the epic gem transmute is on a 20 hour shared cooldown. This seriously ruins the whole thing for Alchs. I mean if you were an alchemist you would focus on the most valuable gem a cardinal ruby transmute (which now requires 1 eternal fire and 1 scarlet ruby).

I liked the former system better it gave a use for the rare gems and would keep epic gem prices pretty sane. Lets hope the devs see it this way and switch it back.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Prospecting 100 stacks of Titanium Ore in 3.2 PTR

Okay so I logged onto the PTR today and decided that I would prospect 100 stacks of Titanium Ore to see what the result would be. 100 stacks is a pretty fair idea as it gives 400 prospects so here are the results:

Cardinal Ruby 19 (4.75%)
Kings Amber 17 (4.25%)
Eye of Zul 10 (2.5%)
Majestic Zircon 20 (5.00%)
Ametrine 21 (5.25%)
Dreadstone 20 (5.00%)

Titanium Dust 266 (66.50%)
Scarlet Ruby 23 (5.75%), Bloodstone 94 (23.50%)
Autumn's Glow 24 (6.00%), Sun Crystal 109 (27.25%)
Forest Emerald 15 (3.75%), Dark Jade 104 (26.00%)
Sky Sapphire 14 (3.50%), Chalcedony 105 (26.25%)
Twilight Opal 16 (4.00%), Shadow Crystal 104 (26.00%)
Monarch Topaz 10 (2.50%), Huge Citrine 83 (20.75%)
Note that the sum of the percentages is greater than 100% as there are multiple procs from one prospect. So it definitely appears that proccing epic gems is in the same ballpark as proccing rare gems in Saronite Ore. Our sample shows that there is a 26.75% chance to proc an epic gem. As a rule of thumb, this is like proccing an epic gem every stack of Titanium Ore.
The dust is also pretty nice, 10 dust is needed for a repeatable hand in quest for a JC token. So 266 dust would yield 26 JC tokens. The epic JC patterns need 5 JC tokens so our sample was enough to earn 5 patterns.
Now lets look at Alchemy which has flown under the radar a bit as alchemists can also make epic gems via transmutes.
**This has changed since the last build on 30/6/09**
3 Sky Sapphire = 1 Majestic Zircon
3 Forest Emerald = 1 Eye of Zul
3 Twilight Opal = 1 Dreadstone
1 Majestic Zircon + 2 Eternal Life = 1 King's Amber
1 Majestic Zircon + 2 Eternal Shadow = 1 Ametrine
3 Eye of Zul = 1 Cardinal Ruby (available through a quest to do five transmutes.)
I tried out the transmutes mainly the Sky Sapphire, Forest Emerald and the Twilight Opal ones (I didn't bring any Eternal Shadows or Lifes with me to the PTR ao I couldn't do those). The result was amazing though, my Alchemist is Level 70 450 transmute spec, and she procced multiple gems (had a two-proc with Eye of Zul twice out of the five transmutes).
Since she has 450 skill, I think that lets her do the Cardinal Ruby transmute as well, so with 17 Eye of Zuls I was able to do five transmutes. Again she procced double Cardinal Rubies twice! Quick tip though, if you are at 450 alchemy, make sure you pick up the quest before you do the transmutes.

Note that there is currently no CD on the gem transmutes on the PTR. To be honest I don't expect there to be otherwise rare gems will be totally worthless again just like in tbc. Looks like Alchs are gonna have a pretty sweet ride this patch.
So after my initial stack of 100 titanium ore, and with some help from my transmute spec alc my total epic gem return was:
Cardinal Ruby 26
Kings Amber 17
Eye of Zul 2
Majestic Zircon 25
Ametrine 21
Dreadstone 25
Bring on the patch!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

General Vezzzzzzzzzzzzzz *snore*

General Vezax is by far the most boring fight I have encountered!

To clarify, my guild uses a simple strategy that involves having a DK tank that blows his cooldown whenever General enrages. This removes the need to kite the General in this phase so it becomes a really long tank and spank. I don't even move so I just sit on the boss and play one handed while the other props up my head trying to prevent myself from falling asleep.

The worst thing is this torture goes on for a whole 10 minutes! The fight would be pretty cool if I had something to focus on like being on interrupt duty like the rest of the melee but with Hammer of Justice on a 60 second cooldown, it's really only handy for clutch interrupts. I almost want to slit my wrists if there's a wipe because I cbf sitting through another 10 minutes of that.

In comparison I love the rest of Ulduar (apart from Flame Leviathan). The keepers are all well thought out cool fights, and Mimiron is my personal favourite. Dodging mines, explosions, void zones its all guns blazing non stop action. The General Vezax fight just feels out of place, and it would have been much better to just go straight to Yogg Saron after the keepers. It would just keep the pace of the raid up.

I reckon they should have swapped General with Ignis, it would have been better if General was optional!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Ruby Shades con artist

I was hanging around in IF the other day on my bank alt and I had this guy that wanted to con me out of my Haris Pilton Ruby Shades. It was a bit of a laugh so I just took some screenies of the conversation... Enjoy!






Monday, 1 June 2009

That's just weird...

I originally had something else planned to write about, but that will have to wait for another day. At the moment, all the action is about Ferraro, Paladin Schmaladin and Retpaladin.com.

It turns out that Ferraro was actually seven Ferraros (or is the collective term Ferrari?) where when one writer decided that when they had enough of the stalker/fan mail, a new blogger would takeover the blog and continue to be Ferraro (kind of like the Phantom and how the legend passes from father to son). It seems a pretty strange explanation because I didn't notice any change in the style of the blog. I mean, its pretty hard to write in the same style as someone before no matter how hard you try.

I thought about removing Paladin Schmaladin from my blogroll but its actually more interesting if it stays. So the Ferrari... err yeah that's it, have been great writers and have provided the community with good solid information. I'm talking about the paladin stuff here not the personal or gadget content.

Still it doesn't excuse the identity theft of some girl that had no idea PS ever existed. As if the internet wasn't weird enough! It kinda brings back all that cliches from the late 90's of how anyone you meet on the infoweb is an axe murderer.

What's most disappointing is that Ferraro represented every teenage boy's wet dream. An attractive, intelligent and funny girl that was awesome at video games that turned out to be a... well... guy (well at least two of the Ferrari were guys according to Ferraro No.7's post). Be who you are, for those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind. I think that was how Ferrari's sig went, pity they couldn't live up to the first part.

How do I feel? Well it reminds me of when I found out the truth of Santa Claus, sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Powerlevelling Inscription

I feel that the time is right for my shaman alt to take on Inscription as a profession. Yes I've missed the boat on the glyph market and darkmoon cards and it would've been much better to do it before 3.1 came out. This isn't the goal though, its the ability to produce cheap vellums thats the attraction.

I have never been interested in making an opportunistic quick buck. Sustainability is my game, preferring to list auctions and then go off and spend the time productively e.g. raiding, rather than sit in trade and watching the AH.

Whats the current trend? I like to delve into cheap but in demand enchants like Icewalker, +8 stats to chest and enchant bracer greater spellpower. Previously I've been purchasing vellums from the AH to test the market. Now, by cutting out the middle man and producing vellums in-house production costs should fall increasing profitability. So the shammy has dropped her rarely used herbalism profession for something a little more productive. At a price of 2k gold to powerlevel, Inscription is relatively cheap compared to the gold vacuum of blacksmithing.

Inscription prediction

When Inscription originally came out, as a concept where the bread and butter income was glyphs I hated the idea. What good is a profession (or any business for that matter) where you do not have return customers. You have a business where what you make is of such high quality that it never breaks, never becomes outdated and therefore never gets to be replaced.

Compare that with enchanting and jewelcrafting, gear gets replaced and at that time, you return to your friendly JC or Enchanter for a recustomisation of your gear. Better still, a new piece of gear might throw out the balance of your other pieces so you regem or re-enchant your other pieces to suit!

What I would like to see is either some kind of fuel made by inscribers to power your glyphs or a time decay that degrades the glyphs over time (say a month). That way it encourages repeat business and keeps inscribers in a job. Strangely enough the impact of dual specs has made inscription worse. Sure there was obscene profits when 3.1 hit but once everyone had their new set of glyphs then what?

For example pre 3.1, if you were a a pure dps class say a PvE rogue and you wanted to do arena for awhile with a PvP spec, you could respec and reglyph. In 3.1 you just switch specs whenever you please. No need for new glyphs, great for the average wow player, really poor outcome for inscribers!

Its not all doom and gloom for insribers though. Hybrids potentially need three or more specs e.g. pvp/arena spec, pve spec and an off spec. My guess is that long term, the ongoing demand for glyphs will be driven by hybrids so when making glyphs keep this in mind. If the devs bring out tri-specs Inscription will be largely killed off.

Monday, 25 May 2009

DPS Rage

I was just flicking through Jong's blog on how he does dps, and yep he likes to rage up to get psyched.

I 100% agree with that method. When the dps is on there's a huge amount of personal rage flowing through me. It gives the edge I need and like a sith lord, you just give into the hate and just let it take over. Its common knowledge on guild vent that I hardly talk during a new boss fight because I shut out well... everything. When someone asks a question at times like this, my tagline is 'Can't talk dpsing!', which basically sums up how I feel at the time.

Unfortunately this kind of gameplay is also expensive (talking about RL money here not gold!) when either a) I die stupidly in a boss fight or b) when there is a wipe on a boss when it has a smidgen of health. What usually follows in the event of a) or b) occurring is this...

1) Slam mouse on the table.
2) Remove headset from head.
3) Throw headset.
4) Swear.
5) Inspect headset and mouse.
6) Realise headset/mouse is now broken (or makes a funny rattling sound that wasn't there before).
7) Get p*ssed off that it is now broken and swear some more.
8) Open packaging for new mouse/headset.
9) Channel rage inward and focus dps more.

Its a perfect feedback mechanism! The more I rage the more dps is put out. I kind of feel like a fury warrior in RL in a way.

No kidding, my headset is replaced about once every three months and yep it's due to be replaced again. Come to think of it, my right earpiece sounds a bit dodgy if I tilt my head to one side. Time to shell out another $30 for a new Logitech headset from Officeworks.

This also probably explains why I fail at arena. I tend to get blindsided by my rage and focus on just hitting stuff. When I nerd rage I become more riled up and well playing worked up in Arenas just makes you lose more.

Is it healthy to play like this? Well it gives me an outlet to release the pent up rage stored up from say work or rl. Way better than that 'Woozah' method Martin Lawrence tries to do on Bad Boyz II.

My doctor however, would disagree. Earlier this year I had a blood pressure monitor strapped to me as I have unusually high blood pressure for my age. I had to leave it on for 24 hours while doing my normal routine. When the results came back, I had a hard time explaining why my blood pressure peaked during the period of 7pm until midnight (i.e. raid time) when in fact your blood pressure is actually supposed to come down!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

RL Dilemma...

Sometimes I write posts that never see the light of day. When I write these posts, I email them to myself and think it over, usually after re-reading it I just trash it and start all over again. This is likely to be one of those articles, oh wait since this one's appeared on the blog I must've posted it...

Well I've been battling with something during my WoW career, and that is dealing with RL. I found that as I was getting better with my paladin my life getting worse. I was overweight and becoming socially isolated (apart from chatting on Vent with some close guildies).

Recently, I read this book called The Game by Neil Strauss, an autobiography of a writer who delves into the world of Pick Up Artists (PUA's), and in the course of doing so becomes a master PUA. Once I finished the book, I thought 'Hey I could do this!' and set about seeing if I really could.

I started reading the sequel 'Rules of the Game', which is a quasi self help book. The focus is on living the book and not just reading it. I tried to treat it like a game, what the book told me to do, I would do it 'because it said so'. As I got better at the Game, I levelled up! I signed up to personal training, bought some new clothes, had a haircut and started to see if I could change (and of course try the art of pick up). It all sounds a bit new-age, but honestly, what could be so wrong about trying to improve your odds in meeting a potential partner? One thing that The Game did teach me is that while physical attraction is a key driver for men, for women its more of a mental attraction. Luckily, I do have a gift with the gab, so I guess for me its more about putting struture around my game and being more concious of how I set up my approach.

That was a few weeks ago. Fast forward to last Saturday; I saw this attractive brunette in her late 20's at a Jazz club, and started to chat her up using some material that I learnt from The Game mixed in with my own stuff. Since she was holding a present at the time, I decided to open with the line 'Hi there, what did you buy me?', which was met with a laugh and the conversation opened from there. Things went really well and after about 20 minutes, I pulled out some cool dance moves, kissed her and got her phone number... but I'm also pretty sure that she has a kid.

Now sorry if I sound like a kent, but that changes things. I've been really wrestling with the thought of calling her. On one hand we got on really well, on the other, I'm not sure if I could handle it. Should I walk away or see where the path ends? Since I met her on Saturday and its now Tuesday, is it still acceptable to call her? Hmm... so many thoughts running through my head right now.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Ulduar nerfs and XT

So Ulduar got nerfed, and to be honest I'm happy it did.

In 25 man Ulduar, my guild (now called Vanderlay Industries) was coming up against a brick wall in terms of dps. We were hitting enrage timers on both Razorscale and XT Deconstructor and simply weren't progressing past Laviathan. XT in particular was the problem, if you couldn't down him (or is it a her with that voice?), you couldn't progress. I was stumped, I couldn't figure out how on one hand, Vanderlay could easily smash the Patchwerk 3 min achievement week in week out, and yet not have enough dps and hit enrage timers on XT! Don't get me wrong, I love a good challenge and facerolling Naxx hardly provides that. The step from Naxx to Ulduar was simply too far!

Post nerfs, I like how those bosses play out now. In Naxx gear, its doable but with flasks. That's how raiding should be, and will help separate serious and casual guilds.

We're up to 7/14 in Ulduar, clearing Leviathan, Ignis, Razorscale, XT, Kologarn, Assembly of Iron (I really should just cave in and call them Iron Council) and Hodir. We're working on Auriaya and once I figure out a clean kite path and pull, I'll write it up. Anyway...

XT Deconstructor Strat
Our strat for XT is different to other guilds. Strats I've read say for raiders to spread out so that the bomb doesn't get in anyone's way. What we found that if melee gets the bomb they have to run through a spread out raid, doing damage along the way.

Instead we've gone for the stacked raid approach, where the raid stacks up and if you get the bomb you just move away from the group. Much easier for the melee to find an open space if they get the bomb (yay melee!).

From there on its just a dps race, focusing on going all out when the heart pops out.

Cheers!

Rex

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Argent Squire pet

Its amazing the dodgy comments coming up every time someone gets their squire pet out. My personal favourite is: ‘hey kid, wanna raise my flagpole?’

The funniest moment is when you see a male priest running past with their squire boy. The comedy just writes itself!


Ah well, its almost midnight and I'm pretty buggered, I'll write a better update soon.

Cheers,

Rex

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Benched

F*cken hell. On the bench for 25 Ulduar.

So while I was fuming from the sidelines, I decided to check out the Argent Tournament. I have to admit its pretty damn cool, and while still an 'Aspirant' rank, a.k.a trainee, its shaping up to be a heck of a lot of fun. Especially for the paladin class which looks hella sweet in the shiny plate armor and a FREAKIN LANCE!

Definitely awesome.

Gotta wait...

Damn servers are still down... and I think it'll be down for quite awhile yet.

Oh well I finished the patch and at least its downloaded. I still don't understand why Blizz needs to throw up their terms of reference each patch. Its not like you would ever sit down on patch day and say... you know what, I can't accept these terms and stop right there. So please just remove it, just ask us once when we first install the game and let it be.

Hmm looks like I'm going to have to wait until I finish work to have a go...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The time has come

The 3.1 patch is upon us and yet I find myself out of time, scrambling around preparing for the first raid tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to Ulduar. For the first time since I started playing WoW, I feel like Rexkicker is at his peak and I am stoked that he is ready to hit the ground running. The fights look really cool from what I've seen on youtube and it seems pretty refreshing. I'm a big fan of the dwarves (heck I spend a crapton of time in Ironforge!).

There is so much to do, so what follows is a bit of a checklist that I'll probably come back and check for myself!

With the changes to the ret tree and how ret functions, hit now becomes a priority, and Rawr tells me I need to regem accordingly, so I need to overhaul my gems and my enchants. Apart from that though, my priority will be to hit the JC store and lay 1k on an upgrade to my Kirin Tor Ring.

I will need to redo my build. I've had a play with the ret talents and while I am not a fan of the new cookie cutter 0/17/54 ret build I've been seeing, I will probably use it to start with. I dunno, the build just seems so.... wasteful.

I need to change my glyphs as well! In comes the Exorcism glyph and out goes the Glyph of Hammer of Wrath. I bet that's the one I do forget, I mean how often do you really change glyphs?

While I'm on it... mental note to start keeping sacred shield up now that it last for 1 minute. While it won't stop the blowback damage from SoB, it should help minimise damage from other sources so that its mainly the blowback damage I'm suffering from and hopefully not to much else.

Dual specs? Well tomorrow to be honest it will be last on my list of priorities and I'll probably pick it up a day later. Not that I can't pick it up, I just have more important things I need to take care of first.

Ah well, that's it from me, I need to play with Rawr some more. If you're hitting Ulduar tomorrow, good luck and have fun!

Cheers,

Rex

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Armorsmithing - Legplates of Conquest nerfed!

On an alt, I have an armorsmith/enchanter.

One of the advantages of this setup was the Legplates of Conquest.
For the price of three saronite bars and two crystallised earth, it vendored for 9g 61s 57c and could be DE'd into a Dream Shard.

Zarhym writes:

"We recently made a change to the sell value and disenchant materials obtained from Legplates of Conquest. The material costs used to create this item were unintentionally low, and we were prompted to make changes to minimize the impact on the game's economy."

So now the legplates vendor for for 1g 20s and now DE's into a small dream shard.

If you were an enchanter, you could DE the legplates into dream shards. This too has been nerfed as it now only produces a small dream shard.

Impact the economy? Blizz have supported the price of dream shards but have reduced demand for Saronite, which will crash the price of ore.

Worse still this was hotfixed, couldn't they have waited for the 3.1 patch? I mean there were no patch notes for this, so I made the mistake of making 20 legplates of conquest only to found out I couldn't DE or vendor them. So yeah, I made a loss on this one.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Old school enchants for the AH

While waiting for 3.1 to hit, I'm stockpiling all my gems and wotlk enchanting mats. However, I still need an income in the meantime so I'm carving out a profitable niche through selling old school enchants on scrolls. I have deliberately stayed away from Wrath enchants for a few reasons.

Primarily, the exorbitant price of Wrath enchanting materials makes it hard to justify the cost. After you take into consideration AH fees, undercutting and the cost of the vellum, the margin is pretty slim. So, I am happy to sell the raw materials. Secondly every high level enchanter is going to have the same Wrath enchants that you have, so your chances of being undercut are very high (yay trainer recipes). Thirdly, people are still accustomed to sourcing an enchanter from trade, many are doing skillups for free and even some enchanters pay players gold if they skillup.

So what does that leave then? For me its those enchants that are still useful, that are hard to find. Its those rare enchants that players are willing to pay top dollar for from the AH. The following is a list of enchants that I believe sell well:

Enchant Weapon Mongoose
Where from: Karazhan - Moroes, Shade of Aran
Who will buy it: melee dps, tanks and hunters.
Selling Price: 400-500g
Why: Still a popular enchant in Wrath, it provides a great proc which provides extra attack power, crit or dodge (depending on the class).

Enchant Weapon Crusader
Where from: AH, this also dropped in Stratholme.
Who will buy it: twink melee dps, BoA melee weapons.
Selling Price: 75-95g
Why: A good value for money enchant particularly when used on BoA weapons during levelling.

Enchant Weapon Spell Power
Where from: Molten Core Bosses
Who will buy it: twink casters and healers, BoA caster and healer weapons.
Selling Price: 850-1,200g
Why: One of a few solid choices for casters, the Spell Power enchant although expensive to craft (roughly 250g in mats) can sell for a lot due to the difficulty in acquiring the enchant from MC bosses.

Enchant Bracer Major Defense
Where from: Netherstorm - Ethereum Nullifier
Who will buy it: Tanks (particularly DK's).
Selling Price: 80g-110g
Why: In particular, death knights have difficulty staying defence capped as they cannot carry shields making this enchant is popular with DK's for that reason. Additionally, this enchant and is very cheap to make with 2 small prismatics and 10 arcane dust!

Enchant Weapon Mighty Intellect
Where from: Thorium Brotherhood (Revered)
Who will buy it: twink casters and healers, BoA caster and healer weapons.
Selling Price: Haven't sold any (currently listed for 600g).
Why: A relatively cheaper alternative to the Spell Power enchant, this may be sought after by players wanting to enchant the BoA weapon, but may not have the budget for the Spell Power option.

Enchant Weapon Mighty Spirit
Where from: Thorium Brotherhood (Honored)
Who will buy it: twink resto druids, priests and warlocks. BoA resto druid and priest healer and warlock caster weapons. Selling Price: Haven't listed any for sale yet.
Why: Certain classes benefit more from spirit than others and can benefit from increased spell power from spirit. Additionally, these classes may want to have spirit to have less downtime while levelling.

There are a couple more that I want to collect, which include:

Enchant 2H Weapon Major Agility
Where from: Arcatraz - Eredar Deathbringer
Who will buy it: feral druidsWhy: This enchant is sought after by feral druid tanks as it is constant and does not rely on a proc (unlike Mongoose).

Enchant Weapon Healing Power
Where from: Molten Core bosses
Who will buy it: twink casters and healers, BoA caster and healer weapons.
Why: An alternative to Enchant Weapon Spell Power, I think the mats are cheaper than the Spell Power enchant and you could sell it for just as much.

Enchant Gloves Shadow Power
Where from: AQ40 and AQ20 bosses
Who will buy it: twink warlocks and shadow priests.
Why: The enchant is pretty rare because of the lack of AQ raids so the price will be high. However, since demand is limited to twink warlocks and shadow priests, demand is limited.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Babam!

Awesome, the Betrayer of Humanity finally dropped, and is a huge upgrade over my Death's Bite!
I wonder what kind of dps I can push with it? I'm thinking that breaking 10k on Thaddius is within reach now.

I hope I don't have to replace it too soon once Ulduar comes out, I mean, I just got the thing.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Finally!


Yes! Twilight Vanquisher Rexkicker!

Alright, after nights of continous wiping, last night was our night! Where one perfect attempt brought about the results we were looking for. In fact its more of a relief than anything else. I mean, with patch 3.1 rolling soon, I would've been pretty p*ssed working on it for weeks, coming close and not getting it. So once I get tired of hanging around Dalaran with Twilight Vanquisher, I think its back to the good old 'Chef' title.

So whats my take on the whole fight from my PoV?

Well when you engage Sarth, the raid and the boss switch places. The tank pulls the boss to the front and the raid moves to the back where the boss was standing. Being melee I go about halfway, wait until the tank picks up the boss and start my dps slowly at the side of his back right leg and . If you're directly behind the boss, you get stunned so you're just a bit to the side of him. I also pop Hand of Salvation at the start so I don't snap aggro accidentally (I've been guilty of this before and I'm never going to do it again!).

After about 30 seconds Tenebron joins the fight (the drake that spawns adds). At the start of the first flame wave, I switch dps to Tenebron which is tanked at the back of the raid. Adds will spawn from Tenebron, so we try and stack the adds on top of Tenebron for more AoE. Oh, and before I forget, turn all non-essential addons off (especially Quest Helper!) and turn your spell detail right down. It gets hella laggy from here on out. These simple changes helped me and other guildies to stop lagging out on void zones and lava waves.

By the time Shadron comes down (at about 1m 15s), our raid usually has Tenebron down to about 25%. At this stage, we pop Heroism, that way both Shadron and Tenebron (tanked by the single tank) and the adds are all together and are within AoE. I can also open up on Tenebron by spamming Hammer of Wrath to finish him off.

After Tenebron goes down, we clean up the rest of the adds and start to work Shadron. After 2 mins, Vesperon joins the fight. This is where it gets nuts. When you attack during the Vesperon 'phase', each attack deals damage to yourself. Not too bad, but when you consider that you're also taking damage from SotM, its too hard for the healers to keep you and the tanks up. Soo for Vesperon...I switch out SotM and use Seal of Command (remember that thing?). Also I judge light here, this is to help the raid out so that the heal procs help lessen the effects of the raid damage.

Once Shadron is down, congratulations the hard work is done! From here, most of the raid moves into the portals to take out both acolytes. Those raid members outside of the portals watch the countdown to the next flame wave. If the raid burns both acolytes too fast, the raid my warp back out of the portal right into a flame wave. So don't risk all your hard work and make sure you finish off the second acolyte only when its safe to shift back into the 'real world'.
After that you switch back to SotM, and dps down Vesperon and then Sarth like normal.

There you go, that strategy is what Covenant (my guild) have been trying to pull off for the past three weeks. Soooo what next? Well 'of the Nightfall' title looks interesting...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Achievementism

Well I dunno, we failed at 3D again so after three solid hours of wiping and another three hours last night we then stepped it down to 2D and just rolled through it easy with less than 25. I dunno, it just seems like a huge step from two to three drakes. Ah well, maybe next week, onto the real post...

Is achievementism on the rise?

Okay, its not a real word, but more and more I'm seeing achievements being used as a tool for discrimination.

The first place where I'm seeing achievementism is in trade chat. Since most of the content is 'easy', there are pug raids everywhere. So as a screen to sort out the bads, raid leaders are requiring that pugs link their achievement.

For example, if there is a pug Naxx raid, linking 'The Fall of Naxxaramus' achievement will go a long way to getting an invite. Also the better your achievement, the better your chances of getting an invite such as having 'The dedicated few' achievement. I have also been in Naxx raids where players swap out their main for an alt for certain bosses for achievements just so to make it easier to get pug raid invites in the future.

This is also going further to recruiting, where achievements are scrutinised heavily as part of the screening process. Since my guild is working on 3 drakes, new applicants would need to have cleared OS with at least 1 drake or they aren't really given a look in. Its akin to a job application, where you might take an applicant with a higher qualification, say a degree over someone with a diploma. Sure they could lie on the application, but the achievements tell the truth.

So I am a firm believer that achievements aren't 'useless', even though the points value attached to them is. At the very least, your achievements are like your resume. Whether or not you get the position - whether in a raid or an invite to a guild may depend on the quality of your achievements.

Here we go again...

Having another crack at OS+3D... again.

The guilds getting better and I think I'm failing much less on void zones and lava waves. I've turned my spell detail to minimum which helps to keep lag down and makes void zones much easier to see. I can't see my consecrate though, so I just hope my targets are in range when i drop it.

About to pull. I'll check in later with how I went...

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Say no to dual specs

The more I think about dual specs, the more I hate it! Other guildies have asked me what my second spec will be, and when I said it would be PvP, I get lol'd at. Their view is that since I can spec holy or tank, I should to benefit the guild.

The guild however already benefit from me being ret, and I have been geared specifically for that role. If I was a pure dps class no one would care if my alternate spec was for pvp/arena, so why should it be any different simply because I'm a hybrid?

A second spec is a bad idea. If Blizzard is serious about arena and wanting to help alleviate the tank/healer shortage, then they need to implement tri specs or even quad specs (in the case of druids and paladins). I would be more than happy to pay extra for my third or fourth spec so that hybrids can choose if they want those extra specs or not, whereas those pure classes that have no need for those extra specs can simply choose not to pay for it.

I have a nagging feeling that Blizzard will be tempted to make an encounter that requires signicantly more tanks or healers than usual, forcing some dps hybrids to switch specs mid-raid because they can. While it would secure a dps hybrid a raid slot, it would mean that they would need to perform a role that they either do not have the gear or skill for. I know that I haven't been holy for a long time now (and well before the 3.0 patch), so I know I couldn't switch to holy mid-raid and heal. It just wouldn't work.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Conflicts of doing achievements and ret school



I admit that I've become pretty competitive with achievements, I'm sitting on 5180 achievement points, and am staring down the barrel of finding old quests to finish for the Loremaster title.

What I am noticing more and more is that I am conflicted between trying to do achievements and raiding. I only have a certain amount of time to play and when my personal goals conflict with that of the guild I'm having to knock back people with the line... 'Can't raid, doing achievements'.

This actually happened with the recent Love Fool event. I shelved all raiding as I knew I wouldn't have time to do the achievements if I raided! I found that I was already checking into Ironforge every hour hoping that a candy bag would drop. So that left me with playing around on alts while waiting for the 1 hour debuff to wear off. This same situation is sure to come up again with Hallow's End and Brewfest. I know I'll be farming like crazy during these events.

The other achievements that leave me baffled are ones like 'The Dedicated Few' where you bring 20 players or less to Naxx. Imagine being told, 'sorry you can't come, we're going for the achievment', even though there are five spots still left in the raid! Having to dump players from your line-up is a bit harsh.

Ret school

We have two other ret paladins in the guild, both of them are part-time as in one's ret/holy and the other is ret/prot. So I still have my usual ret spot locked up. I like the competition though as it makes me focus. What I am finding fascinating is the different schools of thought on gearing for ret. One side being the 'strength at all costs' versus the 'stay hit capped' side.

I'm in the 'strength at all costs' camp, and have sacrificed other stats. I mean, I only have 186 hit. My nerve will get tested even more once I replace Death's Bite with the Jawbone or Betrayer of Humanity which will drop my hit to about 124... well if I can ever get my hands on them that is.

One of the part time rets has converted to the strength at all costs camp but the other is firmly stuck in the other camp and won't budge. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to sway him with higher numbers to make him change his mind, but considering I outgear him by a fair margin as well its not exactly a fair contest. *shrug*

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

On having baseline Kings in 3.1.0

Okay, so in amongst the changes to ret in 3.1.0 this is the one that stood out the most to me:
  • Blessing of Kings – this spell is now a base ability trainable by all paladins.
I'm feeling neither here nor there about it to be honest. I mean, I liked bringing Kings to raids, it sure helped in securing a raid spot by default. I even liked seeing in trade chat 'LF1M for Naxx prefer ret pally'.

So with an extra five points it opens up some possibilities! Well, lets call it seven considering that the standard ret pve build already has two talent points leftover 'to do what you please'. Hmm.... but the question is, where are the points going to go?

If you put those points back into ret the build will definitely have more PvP tools with talents like Vindication, Eye for an Eye and Divine Purpose to choose from. Although, none of these will directly increase your damage output. I guess to help out the tanks you could go with Improved Retribution Aura, but I dunno, an extra 56 reflective damage from two talent points is pretty meh.

What about the holy tree? Sigh, nothing good there either.

So that leaves prot. Blizz are making big changes to the Prot tree to streamline it, which makes you wonder how that's going to look. Also, something has to replace the gaping Tier 1 talent hole that Kings (and Improved Kings) leaves behind in the tree. It would be cool if they moved Divine Guardian within reach of Ret, I wouldn't mind dumping two spare talent points in that talent for raiding!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Respect your Elders!

Okay Elders, enough is enough. Please be less irritating and stop spamming me! I'm sick of having to keep clearing out those pesky red envelopes out of my mailbox. I should slap a 'no junk mail' sticker. Thanks but no thanks, you can keep your crappy fireworks and yellow orbs.

Seriously though, I visited all 75 elders and scored my Elder title! Along the way, I also picked up another three titles which I had deliberately held off on completing so I could consolidate the achievements with the Lunar Festival.

The titles I picked up were:

Argent Champion
Explorer
Ambassador

That's four titles in three days. Not too shabby at all.

Explorer
Well this was easy enough. While I was scouring the continents for the Elders, I decided to visit all those brown areas on my map. Made the whole journey much longer, but seriously, who really wants to go back to Azshara more than once?!

Argent Champion

I saw that I had to go in Stratholme to see Elder Farwhisper, so I packed my trusty Argent Dawn Commission trinket and headed off to wade through the scourge and have a crack at the Rivendare mount (no luck!). It was nice timing on Blizzards part to let players have the full rep bonus before the Lunar Festival began. Amid the max rep gain, scourgestones dropping and finishing a couple of grey quests, I hit exalted with the Argent Dawn and babam, Argent Champion Title.

Ambassador

I had picked up quite a few stacks of Runecloth from the Strat run, and decided to hand them into the Draenei cloth quartermaster for rep which brought me within a couple of bars of exalted. I picked up the rest of the rep from the handy quest turn ins from each of the elders, 82.5 rep each across the alliance factions (since Rexkicker is a human).

Get your rep up!
I highly recommend that you take the time to visit your Elders. If you're a non-Human, consider this:

75 Elders x 75 rep each = 5,625 rep

Now the kicker is that the rep is for all the alliance factions:
Ironforge, Stormwind, Exodar, Darnassus and Gnomeragen Exiles

You get five times as much rep! If you aren't already exalted with any of the factions, this is worth 28,125 rep in total (30,937.5 rep for Humans) or 375 Runecloth turn-ins.

So go on, mount up and take your tour of Azeroth.

Cheers,

Rex

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New JC recipes and Frogger guide

New JC Recipes!

Woo... these two recipes came up for sale on Dreadmaul! Since they're BoE, they are being listed for sale for a hefty sum. As such, the recipes provide a high barrier to entry, keeping the average run of the mill undercutter out of the market. I think there are only two others that have the Sovereign recipe (paid 1k gold) and I'm pretty sure that I'm the sole owner for the Purified one. I bought two advertised Purified Recipes for 85g and 220g respectively to prevent myself from being undercut. These two cuts have been very profitable, and I have been selling the cut gems for about 100g each!

Since twilight opals are generally a bit unloved, I have bought up a heap at about 20-30g each and I'm looking at a markup of about 60-70g. I have already recouped my costs for the recipes and hopefully can hold onto the monopoly for awhile yet.
Like I said previously in my goldmaking guide, don't use your main to list or advertise in trade or people will ask you to cut the gem for them. If you told them that the fee for the cut is 60-70g, they'll tell you to 'die in a fire'. Its much easier to say that you just got your gems cut from a JC that was advertising in trade... but you can't remember who.

I had another JC pst me asking to have the gem cut, but I just gave him my cover story. It felt a bit cruel to watch him then spam trade for the next three days looking for the unknown JC, but in the end he gave up and bought it. Why did I not cut the gem for him? Well, its not because I'm being a downright bastard. Its to prevent a conflict of interest where the very person that you just cut your gem for may be the person that undercuts you for far more than a 5g cutting fee!

How not to fail at Frogger

I don't understand why people keep dying on Frogger. I have a habit of hanging out at the back of raids and watching people try and traverse the slimes. If they die, I res them at the start of the slimes and watch as they have to run the gauntlet again! It is pretty funny when they die multiple times. Anyway, it is with great pleasure to present my 'How not to fail at Frogger', raid strat!

In the top half of the picture below, you can see a common mistake, players think that the safest path is to move in the middle of the slimes (or to try and squeeze in front).
What they don't take into consideration is the lag on servers so even though you look like you are in the clear when you move between slimes, you are in fact heading straight into it!

The bottom half of the picture is the correct way to do Frogger. You should aim to be as close to, but behind the slime as possible. After lag is taken into account, you are more towards the middle when crossing.


Hope this help prevent some wipes in your raids!

Cheers,

Rex

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Tier gear qq - 7.10 vs 7.25

Hey all, I'm just going to get something off my chest about looting distribution with tier gear.

Now in my guild, we have a loot priority system for gear in that loot priority goes: Tanks > Healers > Dps
At first glance this seems fair enough, firstly without adequately geared tanks and healers you cannot clear the content (or at least comfortably). For tier gear, paladins share their token with priests and locks. As a result of this system, I've waited patiently at the back of the line as our two-three paladin tanks get geared, followed by our holy paladins and priests.


So in Naxx 25, my shoulder token dropped and as everyone else had their T7 shoulders, I expected to be next in line. A holy paladin however, that already had the T7.10 shoulders was given the loot under the healer priority system. I was absolutely stunned and was a hairs breadth close to rage quitting. Now I don't normally qq over gear, but this dual tier system in wotlk is screwing with loot distribution!

Yes T7.25 is slightly better than T7.10, but in my view, for loot distribution purposes it needs to be viewed as T7. For example, if you already had T7.10 and a T7.25 piece drops, as a general rule that loot should go to the person without the T7 piece. To treat it separately would simply take too long to gear the raid, and the upgrade from T7.10 is marginal.

This system is made more difficult since some tier gear can also be bought with badges. So, if I farm heaps of heroics and buy my T7.10 hands and chest, using the above loot system, I would automatically be bypassed if my T7.25 hands or chest drop. I'm actually gimping myself in the long run for getting T7.10, and may end up passing the T7.25 to someone in blues. So its actually a disincentive, and sends out the wrong message to the guild.

You could remove tier gear from being bought with badges to resolve this issue, however badges provide a means for casual raiders, players with low loot priority or dkp, and alts to obtain their tier gear. Additionally, you also cannot make the T7.10 reward the same as T7.25 either as there would be no incentive to raid the harder 25 man content.

So what is the answer? Well as irritating as it sounds, maybe Blizzard should significantly inflate the stats on the T7.25 gear to become T8. At least that way it is crystal clear that there is a major benefit to prioritising the gear to tanks and healers. Anyway, that's my rant. Oh wait, I just realised that this would still leave me without my shoulders... damn it!

Rex's Goldmaking Guide: Part 5 - Jewelcrafting

Before I start writing this chapter for Jewelcrafting, I just want to talk briefly about risk. JC is expensive to level but I find it very rewarding. I see JC being divided into three levels of risk, conservative, moderate and high. Just like in the sharemarket, the more risk you take on, the greater your potential reward as well as the greater the chance you'll make a loss.

When I started out with JC, I only had a small amount of gold. As I got used to what sells and what doesn't and had more gold to play with, my appetite for risk grew over time. I highly recommend that if you pursue JC you do the same, start out small and work your way up.

Conservative
The conservative method I would apply if you would like to sleep easy at night, and you are happy with about 200+ gold a day from your profession. In that case you should simply do the JC daily quest in Dalaran, pocket the gold and use your Dalaran Jewelcrafting Token to buy a Dragon's Eye (worth about 250g on Dreadmaul).

Moderate
Now, the second method is to obtain Saronite Ore (mining or AH), prospect it and sell the gems. This is what you generally hear from JCs moneymaking guides and can be combined with the conservative strategy to increase your income.

What they don't usually mention is that you don't know what you're gonna get. I'm not sure what the proc rate for rare gems is in Wrath, but my gut feel is that it is higher than in TBC. This is because in Wrath you can actually proc more than one blue gem per prospect.

Using a TBC rare gem proc rate of 3% for each kind of rare gem, you have an 18% (i.e. 3% x 6) chance. So you should expect a rare gem every one and a bit stacks you go through. Now since the chance of proccing gems is random, don't be disheartened if you get a string of no procs (or even worse about 6 forest emeralds in a row!). You are playing the law of averages here, so I recommend prospecting a minimum of 12 stacks at a time to avoid disappointment.

Now with the gems, you can sell them uncut on the AH at a reasonable profit. Your target market are other JCs that buy the gems and relist them cut, players that can't find the right cut on the AH, or players that simply prefer to find a JC to do the cut for them.

High Risk
What follows is my method. My apologies up front if it's a bit convoluted, but it's a modified strategy to the one I used throughout TBC and seems to be doing just fine in Wrath. This also draws upon the Alchemy and Enchanting strategies I outlined in the earlier parts and combines them into one big gold making machine. Feel free to use some or all of the strategy depending on what you have access to.

Firstly, you do the purchase Saronite Ore and prospect thing. Then you take any rare gems you prospect and get them cut (even pay another JC if you have to!).

I use the following main cuts:

Sky Sapphire: Solid
Autumn's Glow: Smooth, Rigid, Quick, Mystic, Thick
Scarlet Ruby: Delicate, Bold, Runed
Twilight Opal: Glowing, Royal, Balanced, Regal
Monarch Topaz: Luminous, Potent, Veiled, Glinting, Reckless
Forest Emerald: Enduring, Seer's, Dazzling

After you've gone through your ore, you will also be left with bloodstones, sun crystals, chalcedonys, dark jades, huge citrines and shadow crystals. The question is what to do with them?!

Firstly you can make green rings and necklaces to DE. Bloodstones (Bloodstone Band), Chalcedonys (Crystal Chalcedony Amulet), Sun Crystals (Sun Rock Ring) and Huge Citrines (Crystal Citrine Necklace) can be combined with two crystallised earths. Eternal earths are already dirt cheap and the fact that you can get five greens out of a single eternal earth really is a no brainer.

If prices on the AH for runed bloodstones are good, you can just cut them and sell them. These low end gems are an economical choice for poor casters and healers given the scarlet ruby version goes for over 100g.

Metagems are another way if you have surplus so get friendly with a transmute spec
alchemist (that will let you keep the procs!) if you can. An eternal fire, dark jade and a huge citrine combine to make an earthsiege diamond. For skyflare diamonds, transmute an eternal air, chalcedony and bloodstone.

With these gems, I usually cut the following:

Earthsiege Diamond: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
Skyflare Diamond: Chaotic Skyflare Diamond or Ember Skyflare Diamond.

Unfortunately there isn't anything really useful with the shadow crystals, so you might as well just vendor them or list on the AH uncut. Other JC's might buy them in case they need more shadow crystals to finish their jewelcrafting dailies. I tried cutting them and listing them for sale, but its not really worth the time spent.

There you have it! Well that brings me to the end of my goldmaking series of posts. I hope you found it valuable in some way.

Cheers!

Rex

Monday, 19 January 2009

Rex's Goldmaking Guide: Part 4 - Enchanting

On enchanting...

My apologies up front as I'm a bit of a novice at the enchanting game. I only recently took up enchanting in Wrath as I wanted to know more about the profession. It seemed like everyone I came across said that enchanting was a massive gold sink, and it would be a waste to level the profession just for the ring enchants. I pressed on, reasoning that at least this way, any raids or heroics I run, I can just shard the blues or epics.

My thoughts turned to making money from the profession when I met a certain Boomkin enchanter, one of the richest players on Dreadmaul, and he told me that it was easy to make money as an enchanter, you just need to work the AH.

This could mean many things, firstly what it told me was that everything I needed to make money as an enchanter was already there I just had to figure out how to make the most of it. Secondly, the gold from enchanting was not in trying to selling enchants for tips, but for the disenchanted materials. I'll say this again, do not work for tips!

Naturally, I tried to find some guides for tips from making money by disenchanting. Most of it is crap however! The guides recommended that I scan the auction house for greens, however most of these were overpriced and there was no way this method could provide a large enough income to 'get rich quick'. The next step was to research what goods I can craft cheaply specifically for disenchanting (see Part 3 for blacksmithing greens that can be crafted and DE for a profit). This is the key, and I have done very well since then. With patch 3.0.8 looming on the horzion however, the profession will be undergoing a major change.

BC Enchants still of value?

There are a couple of enchants from BC that I see people spamming trade for, many of them wanting either the Mongoose weapon enchant or the Major Defence (+12 def) to bracers. I farmed Netherstorm for the bracer enchant for three hours but it was worth it in the end.

I've started to use the Vellums to enchant these onto so I can sell the scrolls through my level 12 bank alt at high prices without copping abuse on my main. Players might scoff at the price you ask but with the enchants having such a high barrier to entry (i.e hard to get), people have little choice to pay more for it. I've sold the bracer enchants for 80g each, but I might jack it up for more.

I've even received whispers asking me to log onto my main to do the enchant, but I just pass them off and tell them someone else enchanted the scroll. This in a way forces them to buy the enchant without them getting p*ssed at you if they really want it. ;)

Enchanting in 3.0.8

The boffins at Blizzard are shaking up enchanting in the next patch, which to be honest had to happen. Current Wrath enchants are asking for huge amounts of infinite dusts and greater cosmic essences, and few recipes need dream shards. This has led to high prices for greater cosmic essences (35g) however on the reverse side, dream shards are almost worthless (6-8g). To put it into perspective, several guildies prefer to just vendor blues from boss drops for more gold instead of getting a dream shard.

MMO Champion has a neat list of the changes which includes the introduction of two new recipes. So where to from here? Well with the recipes in 3.0.8 requiring far less greater cosmics and dusts and being replaced by dream shards, this should reverse the trend. I'm thinking that the price of greater cosmics will collapse simply because of the huge number of supply that will accumulate on the AH. To offset this, dream shards will now be in high demand especially since the new Titanguard Guard weapon enchant will require 12 dream shards! I'm thinking that dream shards will spike quite high initially while tanks buy up dream shards to enchant their new weapons (since there really is a lack of a decent weapon enchant on offer at the moment). After that, shards might settle in at about 30g.

Coming up, my personal favourite... jewelcrafting!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Rex's Goldmaking Guide: Part 3 - Tailoring, Blacksmithing and Alchemy

Ah professions, the meat and potatoes part of making gold. Using the trends we pointed out in the Part 2, we'll have a look at three of the professions Blacksmithing, Tailoring and Alchemy in this part of the guide. What we won't cover are the gathering professions such as Skinning, Mining and Herbalism as these require farming.

I don't have any experience on Inscription so I can't really comment. My gut feeling though is that as a profession, there's little ongoing demand or repeat business. Once players get their set of glyphs, they are done and there are no real incentives to change glyphs.

The making of Darkmoon cards is interesting although random. The Nobles Deck seems like the deck of choice and people are willing to pay big bucks for it, I've seen prices advertised for about 14k gold for a deck and the Ace for about 5k. Until competition drives the prices down, in the short term at least, Inscribers lucky enough to proc a Nobles Card will hit the jackpot.

I don't know about Vellums, perhaps they can provide a nice income stream as enchanters use these more and more to list enchants on the AH.

Tailoring

Its all about bags! However its not about the Frostweave Bag... yet. Currently, it costs 90 pieces of frostweave cloth (about 22g a stack) and 12 infinite dusts (~36g) and 2 eternium threads. On Dreadmaul, bags are selling for about 100g each, so you're making a loss if you're buying mats to sell. In the short term, it will continue to be expensive, however once the 3.0.8 patch comes in, Frostweave Bags should become cheaper to make as the bag will need less frostweave cloth.

In the meantime though, the 16 slot Netherweave Bag is still popular due to the hideously expensive price of frostweave bags and the mats for the 18 slot version being tricky to get. In fact, the demand for the Netherweave Bags has more than tripled the price, and I have made a nice amount selling bags in the 15-25g range (up from the BC price of about 4g). Not bad when you consider that the bag is made from a single stack of netherweave cloth (and a rune thread).

Whats driving demand for Netherweave Bags? Well the bags are still an upgrade from the 12 slot versions DK's start out with as well as an economical choice for fitting out any alts or bank alts that players have.

Making bags still has falling demands over time though since you don't replace bags very often at all. Typically you get you invest in a good set of bags at the start that will last.

Alchemy

I've often heard that Alchemy isn't profitable, and that the real money made is actually in Herbalism. Through BC, I took up alchemy and herbalism on my shaman to make buffs for raiding. I hardly made money out of alchemy alone. As pot spec, I could only sell extra pots I procced which is really nickle and dime stuff really, a couple gold here and there. I came across a few transmute spec Alchemists, and they all complained saying it was the worst decision they made. The long cooldown to make metagems meant it was hardly worth it.

In Wrath however, its a different story. Transmute spec alchemists aren't restricted to a daily cooldown anymore! This alone made me dump pot spec and take up transmute spec. I then bought up a stack of Eternal Airs and Eternal Fires, took some scrub gems from my jewelcrafter and proceeded to produce a stack of skyflare and earthsiege diamonds.

Now the procs here are awesome! From a stack of about 20 transmutes, I usually pick up about 3-5 extra diamonds. if you want you can sell them uncut for about 40-50g each (already in profit) plus the bonus profit on the extra procced gems. Alternatively, you can take them along to your local JC and with the right cut, turn it into a gem worth about 70-100g!

Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing is in a really nice place now with all of its gear being BoE and the introduction of the Eternal Belt Buckle. For long term profit, I love the belt buckle! Everyone level 70 and up needs (not wants) one. I make heaps of these (about 20 at a time), and they sell like hot cakes on the AH.

I've stayed away from making epic BoE gear. I'm just not comfortable putting a lot of gold into a single item hoping it will sell. This is especially the case when the BS epic designs are all trainer taught and as such don't have any barrier to entry. This I believe leaves you wide open to undercutting and a high risk of having to sell the crafted items at a loss. I'm a bit more conservative in that way but that's just personal preference.

In terms of making items to DE, I stumbled across the plans for Reinforced Cobalt Shoulders which dropped off the Onslaught Mason in Dragonblight while I was levelling. With the mats to make it being four cobalt bars, this is an awesome, as you can make five level 73 greens from one stack of cobalt! Whats weird is that the DE table is a bit off. Install of DEing into lesser cosmic essences or 1-2 infinite dust, it DEs into greater cosmics and a number of infinite dusts. There are other world drop recipes for the other pieces of the 'Reinforced Cobalt' set, but you only need one pattern as they all use only four cobalt bars.

For dream shards, if you have both enchanting and blacksmithing skilled up. Armoursmiths can make Legplates of Conquest for the cost of 3 saronite bars and a fifth of an Eternal Earth. Hopefully these should be worth a bit after the 3.0.8 patch. The legplates are bop though so you can't make these on your blacksmith and send them to another toon to DE.

So that's Tailoring, Blacksmithing and Alchemy coming, in part four, I'll have a look at Enchanting and the demands at present and in 3.0.8, and then finally the big daddy of moneymakers... jewelcrafting. :D

Cheers!

Rex