Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wow, just wow.

Raid last night was, well, terrifying and overwhelming and incredibly impressive. I now feel like a complete and total noob, and I fear the other healers had to carry me. But I will do my research, and practice, and hopefully next time will be better. There was apparently a wws report done, so I will look over that. Also I need to remember to fear ward the tank on Ony. Very important, that.

I did have some mana problems, especially on Beasts and Faction Champs, and ended up having to switch my badge trinket back in to up my mana pool.

But enough of that, have some pretty pictures...

The Malygos fight is just really gorgeous. I spent all of phase 3 dead thanks to a disconnect on phase 2. I've decided this is a good thing, since it meant no one could see how fail I am at dragon driving.

One of my 3 new shiny achievements.

Another one. I didn't catch the Ony fight one, sadly.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah, yes. Hit cap, my old nemesis.

It's been a nice week of drops for Lyllea. Got enough frost for the violet drape cloak (which is bis for disc right now), and the idea of me having a BIS anything is well, weird. Awesome, but weird. Oh, and VOA 10/25 were ridiculously kind and now I have a pvp set. I've never had one of those before.

In theory I'm going on a 25 man tonight, and a Sarth 3d zerg tomorrow, so I've been spending the past few days optimizing gear. Oh, and I got the Nevermelting Ice Crystal from H Pos, so I can finally retire my trusty Sapphire Owl. It'd be even nicer if I could use it in my shadow spec as well, but both of my blue trinkets add to hit. Stupid hit cap. I miss my hunter talents for lowering it. Part of my current problem with hit cap?

My disc set and my shadow set share a lot of gear between them. I can put Icewalker on my boots, since I'm not really sacrificing anything to do so, but once I start switching out gems I risk gimping my heal power. On the one hand it's really nice that I can use a lot of gear for both, because otherwise my shadow spec would probably stink more than it does, but on the other it does make gemming a bit more of a challenge.

And yeah, I could run heroics till I'm blue in the face, but I kinda ran into a problem there. There's been a lot of failing lately, and I think it's my fault. From the time I hit 80, the dungeon finder has looked at my gear, snickered, then stuck me with overgeared people. Well, now I appear to have joined the overgeared club and I am not so good at healing undergeared/appropriately geared people. Especially when I get an undergeared tank and melee dps, things don't seem to go well. And when I fail at healing CoS and HoL, my healing confidence goes into the dumpster. I'm thinking the dps queue may be my friend for a bit. I can practice shadow, and not worry about my healing skills. Plus I can quest while waiting and get a bit more gold. I could certainly use it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

How I'm currently making gold...

I'm not sitting on huge amounts of gold atm, but that has more to do with getting enchanting and inscription to 375 than anything else. Plus, I'm lazy. But in the interests of being helpful, I'm going to share how I make my gold...

1. tradeskill cooldowns. Do them. Every day. Go get the mats if you need to, but do them.
2. Cutting epic gems. I use wow-popular to decide what cuts to get, buy gems when they're relatively cheap or transmute them via my alchemist, then cut them and post. Plus the epic gem market on my server is quite a bit less volatile then the regular gem market.
3. When leveling tradeskills, I vary what I make. It's much easier to unload 2 glyphs of horn of winter and 2 of shadow word:pain, then it is to unload 4 of one. Especially since there's a lot of competition and volatility in the glyph market. Oh, and always have the vellum for leveling enchants. Always. Lower-level enchants can and do sell, some of them for very nice chunks of change.
4. Alchemy + Jcing is win. Add in mining and it's double win. Alchemists make metagems and epic gems and titanium bars from saronite. Jewelcrafters can provide most of the raw materials for these transmutes.
Jewelcrafters can cut these gems for max profit, and a miner can use the titanium to make titansteel. Plus alchemists can transmute eternals from one type to another, which is just handy.

I occasionally quest (a good moneymaker), farm ore/herbs, or do dailies, but those are all more of a "I'm in the mood to do that" sort of thing or "man I need that for something", whereas I do my cooldowns every day and check the gem markets every day.

Oh, and running dungeons can also bring in a nice bit of cash, just pick up all the greys. I'm always surprised at the number of people who leave the greys behind. They add up quickly, and there are even addons that will sell them for you as soon as you interact with a vendor.

Now, these tips will probably not make you a wow millionaire or anything like that, but they will bring in some nice cash. Now if I could just remember that quite a lot of my gold is tied up in inventory right now so that my gold stores didn't look so puny, I'd be happy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

So, I am still wowing, and I did manage to come up with something interesting to do. Now soloing old instances on the hunter, well, that's not much of a challenge, but on the priest...

I just soloed most of Strat (I skipped live side) and well, it was a lot of fun. I went as disc and mostly holy novaed the heck out of things. I even got the piccolo and some interesting-looking cloth drops.

It was also a good way to test the new comp. Man, shadowform is really awesome-looking, but I have to hunt down a mouse. touchpad is not fun. Now back to pimping my bank toon, and then another badge run later tonight. I love it when Blizz resets the server, it means I get the weekly raid twice.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wow Malaise and cheating on Wow with other games

I seem to be in a general sort of WoW malaise. I log in because I feel like I should, putter around for a bit, then log back off. It's just not very fun right now. I can't figure out if that's because I'm not in the mood to play, or what...

So, in an effort to a) do something fun, and b) try to break myself out of this funk, I'm going to try other games. Starting with LotRO, since they're having a free weekend. I played LotRO for about 6 months and did like it quite a lot, just lost interest. It's a lovely game, and I'm hoping that playing something else for a bit will remind me why I play wow.

Plus, I have a new computer coming (drool 1 gb video card drool) and that means I will actually have HD space to have more than one game installed.

I'll report on what I'm playing and what I think about it, but I figured I should warn you guys that WoW stuff may be short on the ground for a bit.

And to start off, here's my original impressions of LotRO, written way back in July 2007.....

So, guess who got Lord of the Rings Online yesterday? Yup, me. Guess who hasn't played any other MMORGPS besides City of Heroes (at launch for less than a month)? Also me. So, you're getting first impressions, under the cut for those of you who don't care. I'm probably pretty close to a MMORPG virgin at this point, but I did my best to compare to City of Heroes. As I get more familiar, I'll let you guys know more. Also, expect screenshots. This game is incredible-looking. Seriously beautiful. And remember, I'm running a 256 mb video card, not exactly top of the line.

So I installed the game, and waited for it to patch. This took a while, since they released a patch yesterday and everyone was patching at once. Grr. Like 2 hours. I should also point out that my connection is a max 256 kb up, 756 kb down, so not so fast to begin with. I do like the fact that the game a) doesn't need the discs to play, and b) comes with a buddy key good for 10 days of play. Good marketing there. Oh, and Sid's already spoken for mine. Sorry. Anyway, after spending lots of time thinking of names (it's probably a good idea to have about 10 or so on hand and I would suggest the everchanging book of names for this), I was finally ready to go. YAY! Opening cinematic was cool. Then you pick a server (I picked Gladden since the Ars fellowship is there (Ars Techica is a site whose forums I belong to and had read before I bought the game) and make a character. Many names are taken and I ended up with my 5th choice name. Sigh.

Also, not every class is available for every race. I made an elven hunter. Probably not the easiest choice to start, but I hate running up to my enemies, and I liked playing a blaster (ranged fighter) in City of Heroes, so I figured why not? Hunters are better at ranged, but they can use melee weapons. As far as elf goes, I tend to play elves.

You get quite a few choices, though not as many as CoH(City of Heroes), and your hair, eyes, and such do somewhat depend on what region you chose (I think). Then I entered the tutorial region and got very confused. I figured out movement fairly quickly, though I'm not overly enamored of the hold down the right mouse button and move mouse or use a or d to look around system. The equipping what you take took me most of the tutorial to figure out. I was wondering why the enemies were so difficult, and why I kept dying. Then I decided to figure out what the bag things on the bottom of my screen were. Turns out, hey they're bags and there's stuff in them. And if I switch out my fairly useless knife and bow for the better knife and bow, wow, the goblins fall down now. And ooh, if I change out this pair of pants for that pair of pants, my pants change colour.

And hey, there's Elrond! And he looks like Elrond should look! Yay!
I finished the tutorial and started the actual game, which is damn impressive. So far I haven't gotten lost. The directions aren't too bad. The ring quests (which are the only ones I've done) tell you to go north or follow the road until it branches, then follow the west branch, things like that. Actually, the graphics are good enough that I think I can find my way around via landmarks, but I haven't wandered very far. So far, I've seen Dwalin, Elrond, Gildor, and Elrond's two sons. I like the looks of the first three, but not the looks of the twins. You can see pictures on the game website, if you're interested.

No lag yet on my system. I've seen some other players, but haven't interacted with anyone yet, mostly cause that would either mean I'd have to figure out how to use the chat system or find my mic (there's built-in voice chat). And since I haven't even figured out the targeting system yet (something to do with tab, but I'm not sure and I'm already at level 4), that can wait. If you're interested in finding me, I've got 3 characters on Gladden and one on Brandywine so far. Gladden has Mirelle the hobbit burglar (level 1), Colldoran the elven champion (level 1), and Nathyrra the elven hunter (my main so far and level 4 and yes the one I've been talking about).

So that's what I think, and yes it was fun and damn I'm tired and migrainy. I was already so, and playing till past 11 (I got sucked in) did not help.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Addons for Leveling Professions

One of my major 2010 WoW goals is to have all professions maxed. I figure I'm not the only person who wants to do this, so I though today I'd talk about some addons that might help you get there.

First off, Altaholic. It's not just for profession leveling, but it's really useful for it. I can mouse over something in my inventory and see if an alt or a gbank has some and what alts know the recipe and what alts can learn it. I cannot recommend this addon highly enough, especially if you're trying to keep track of multiple professions on multiple alts.

Second, Gatherer and the wowhead database plugin. Every node wowhead knows about, all displayed nicely for you. Great for leveling or farming.

Third, Auctioneer. Okay, I know you're going wtf, but follow me on this. Not only can you make sure that you're buying and selling mats at a good price, you can also use the Snatch list to grab needed items when they're cheap. Just go look at a profession leveling guide (like this one), see what you're going to need, then add it to the Snatch list. Sadly the only way I've found to add items to my snatch list is to have one in my inventory, but I may be missing something. Plus, while you're there, do a vendor search and grab everything that people are selling below vendor price. Vendor them and yay, instant gold!

Other nice addons:
You need to have a character in the mid60s or so to get their professions to 450. If you don't have enough high level toons, may I suggest a couple of nice leveling addons?
Tour Guide and Jaime's Leveling Guide I've been using these for the various alts, and it does make leveling quicker.

Oh, and one last thing... Cartographer. Sadly 3.3 has borked this addon, but if you disable the look and feel module it still works. If you'd prefer to replace it completely, hit No Stock UI for a nice writeup of your options.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In the spirit of trying new things, I tanked on the warrior. It was, well, rather nightmarish. Since I didn't know what I was doing, I was pulling rather slowly, so everyone else, including my healer, started pulling for me and then bitched at me when I didn't instantly get the mobs off them. And to add insult to injury, the warlock decided to pet tank about halfway through. We got as far as the harbor (this was Deadmines) before I bailed. I may need to rethink this leveling through dungeons as prot idea. Or get lots of antacids.

I also got to tank heal Patch 25 on Lyllea, which was made much more exciting by the fact that Vuhdo bugged out and my tank wasn't visible. I ended up having to /target "name" and cast all my spells via bartender. It did make a difference in my healing style. Normally I spam flash heal and PW:S, with the occasional penance and a rare greater heal, but since I couldn't easily/quickly identify flash heal on my bars (yes I don't know what the icon looks like) I used PW:S, penance, and greater heal. My overheal was through the roof (since I was always casting a Greater Heal unless Penance was available or PW:S had fallen off, but I had plenty of mana throughout the fight.

My newfound abundance of mana probably indicates that I should stop stacking intellect and start trying to balance it with spellpower and crit/haste. Of course since I have no idea what role I'm likely to have in a raid, it's a bit harder to make gear choices. My guild is currently only doing the weekly raid quest, and maybe, just maybe hitting Ulduar. And I want to do more. I want to see all of Ulduar, not just Flame, Razor, XT, and maybe Kologarn. I don't really care about seeing TOC but I do want to see ICC, and I don't want to pug it. And right now, I honestly think none of that's going to happen with my guild. We've never been hardcore raiders, but it seems like we're just social now. And while I love the people in my guild, I don't know if that's going to work for me. I'm actually pondering trying to get my gear up to ICC levels, then see if I can find a raiding guild that only runs 25 mans (so I could still heal for Silver Dragoons since they only run 10mans). But that'll take a while, and in the meantime, I'm going to go back to leveling alts. Go go shammy and warlock!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

There are good PUGs and bad PUGS...

I've been pugging up a storm on Lyllea, and I've discovered a pattern. The first heroic of the day will suck. The tank will let the mobs eat my face, dps will pull half the instance at once, and everyone will expect to be rezed after a wipe.

And then the rest of the pugs are good. Some are awesome. I had a Halls of Stone run where I never went below 80% mana (might have something to do with the 25k mana pool), and I was actually happy to have a warlock life tapping cause it gave me something to do. Plus, when I accidentally butt-pullled a pat, tank picked it up immediately and the mobs went squish.

I've also dipped my toe into the lower level pugging. I tried Ramparts twice on my pally, once as dps and once as heals. And what luck, I got to encounter that rare species Leetist Tankus Dickus, subspecies Mortus Militis. He called us all noobs repeatedly, tried to boot the lvl 57 shaman, couldn't hold aggro, and insulted the healer (the same shaman) repeatedly for dying so much. I left that group in a hurry, after telling the shaman that he was doing well (he was) and to pay no attention to the tank. Then I tried again, got Clueless Mortis Militis this time, and well, a new healer and a clueless tank do not make for any sort of a smooth run. I am now surprisingly motivated to figure out pally tanking just to save myself from newbie DK tanks.

Needless to say, I was rather expecting the worst when I tried pugging on the much neglected warlock, and was pleasantly surprised. Two runs of Scarlet Graveyard, everything went squish, and I was probably the worst one in both groups. Note to self, take some time to figure out what your spells are before going into queue, or you will have situations like the paladin asking you why you aren't using Rain of Fire (I forgot I had it).

I can't help wondering if the Outlands pugs are going to be this bad forever as people decide that the queues for dps are too long, take their much-neglected DKs, and decide to tank. I really hope not, but if they are, at least all my current toons at those levels can respec and tank.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you this special breaking news...

Are you prepared... FOR SNOW!

This is what the news has been full of for the past few days. Everyone's running to get milk and bread, even if they normally don't consume either. Me, I have tortillas in the fridge (those things keep forever) and a big jar of peanut butter. Also, my food powered fuzzy blanket warmer (also referred to as a puppy) is ready to go.

Yeah, it's got nothing to do with WoW, but after spending nigh on 2 hours trying to figure out why the Sims 3 wouldn't run (my nvidia driver and it don't play nicely), I needed a bit of a break.

As my grandmother used to say..."There's a reason native Southerners don't go out in the snow. The roads are full of former Northerners." (Snow in GA is nothing like snow in MA and tends to involve much more ice and much less fluffy white)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Taking Stock of the toons

I figured it was time to make a "where am I going and why am I in this handbasket" post, also known as wth am I doing in game and what's up with the alts? Since it's a new year, it makes sense to take stock.

Maxed Toons:

Garetia is doing transmutes. That's it. No merrymaker, no dailies, no farming, no raiding, just transmutes. There are grinds I'd like to do on her, but I have only so much tolerance for grinding stuff, and the stuff I need to grind on other toons is more important.

Lyllea is doing way too many heroics, trying to get all of her gear up to purples, and doing titansteel and icy prisms. She's also raid healing.

Level 60-62 Toons:
Monera (the druid) is doing minor inscription research, the occasional lap of Hellfire for herbs, and generally slowly leveling herbalism and inscription. She can now mill Northrend herbs. She gets all the herbs I pick up on any toon to mill.

Adowa (the pally) has been dual-speced ret/holy. I am currently trying to get blacksmithing and engineering up to Outlands levels. Once I do that, I'm stealing the plate heirlooms from whichever toon happens to have them and taking her to at 68.

Llonya (the DK) has been respeced to a tankish spec, and I figure I'll try my hand at tanking with her. She's also the one farming up all the ore to level Adowa's professions. Occasionally I invest a bit of gold to further level her enchanting.

Level 20-30 Toons:
Aidelyn (the rogue) is now level 20, mounted, and ready to be pushed to 30.

Eiunn (the shammy) is sitting at 21, and I have no idea what to do with her. She's more or less on hold till I figure that out.

Angetia (the mage) is hanging out at 25. I'm pondering swiping the cloth heirlooms off Monera to get her to 30.

Tyrosia (the horde warlock) is still in a "I don't like this server" holding pattern.

Level 15-20 Toons:

Cywair (the warrior) has been run to Loch Modan, and is set to level. I'm hoping that I can get him to 20 at least. Plus, leveling him's a nice change from the squishies. He's got two gathering professions, herbalism and skinning, and I see no reason to change that, especially since the herbalism self-heal is really useful for him. Yay panic button!

And here we have Cywair all decked out in heirlooms on the loading screen. Now, why are his shoulders bigger than his head? Blizz, wtb a turn off shoulders option please!