Background Music – Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The current Blog Azeroth Shared Topic – Background Music is on now (8th to 14th Feb), and its something that factors into how I play.

  • When leveling the first times through anywhere I’ll have the sound off, unless I’m totally solo’ing. When solo’ing I like the music.
  • As above for instances, when in them for the first few times I won’t use the sound so I can concentrate.
  • Solo’ing old instances I try to remember to turn the sound on.
  • If I’m not listening to the music, I’m listening to Podcasts, both WoW related and all the other odd podcasts I like.
  • If I’m on vent I’ll not have the sound on, but sometimes will have both my earbuds from my phone in so I can hear podcasts or different music, and also my gaming headset. It means there are a lot of cables around, but during a heavy wow session I don’t move much.
  • The music I’ve been listening to recently is some of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (an opera), and some 90s grunge music. Both styles are the music of my youth.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Third 90 and more to come I suspect

My Druid ding’ed 90 in WoW last week, which makes a tally of three level ninety characters: a Death Knight, a Warrior, and a Druid.

Next will be my slowly leveling Shaman who is now level 71 (the toon in the top left if the image below) and a long time lost Shadow Priest who is level 82 (bottom left character).

In my character list I also have a handful of 85s and then each class smattered down to a lowbie Monk at level 13. I do not really want to repeat the 85-90 grind so many more times, but the leveling path in Pandaria is so fixed there is little choice. Perhaps I could level by only queuing in Dungeons and just farm my way through the Pandaria starting area for materials to sell. That will only be moderately dull as well but will ensure my lowbies have the ability to increase their professions.

The Wrath of the Lich King content on the baby Shaman is sensational by comparison to 4x more Pandaria zones and a Cataclysm story.

Mortigen, Raze, nagarj, Arkham, Aurac and Yeirah head shots

If I cannot raid regularly in 5.4 due to work & life, then I might as well start working on these alts. Getting through the levels is something I can do whilst also being interrupted, and it is not “hard” content to do. Continue reading

What a few nights a week can do? A lot actually.

Recently…

I’ve been happily playing through the Mists content with my Death Knight, and so far the questing has been excellent. I am now level 88 and getting close to the end of the second zone. By the level of the other players around me I get the impression that others are moving faster through the zones, and having rested XP might be a good cause for that – I am getting more xp per quest because I am generating more rested due to time not playing. Hey, not bad.

If given the choice I would be playing 16 hours a day and not in rested XP at all, but you can’t have everything. If I get to 90 without completing all the zones then I am sure I will get the opportunity over the next year or so to see them fully. Or I’ll complete them at max level and horde all the gold and drops.

The gear from questing is darn good – far better and specialised for the roles of a DK than any other expansion and this is by design. For some classes it might seem odd that they get given two dps options, but each of the plate melee classes/specs has slightly different needs for stats and this gives flexibility.

The Voice of the Deeps heroic two handed sword is ilevel 410 and still far better than any quest drop (at the moment). I guess that eventually I’ll see a weapon that is better, but so far the ilevel 415 greens and blues are not as good. VotD has a damage buff per mastery and the buff in mastery at for the gear above ilevel 400 is huge. I get the impression that it is not meant to be this good. I love it.

…and then last night…

I had the pleasure of playing for a prolonged period and was able to get through level 88 and I am now level 89. This was my stretch goal as I really wanted to get the dps and tanking trinkets from the Brewfest encounter before is ended.

After din’ing 89 I was fortunate enough to have a few guildies online who joined me in killing Direbrew a few times, and grabbed the dps trinket and one of the tanking trinkets.

Stoked!

One alt down, four to go

I’m on a leveling mission: Get each of my toons to the highest level possible before the expansion.

I recently ding’ed 85 on my Warlock – Arkham, which is the second character I ever rolled in World of Warcraft. Now I move onto the remaining four: Priest, Mage, Rogue, and Shaman. For leveling I am using only dps style, and only infrequently doing the 5-man dungeons. As while I know the Dungeons are fantastic for gear and XP, I cannot commit to playing very long due to kiddlet interruptions. I don’t want to be that guy, who goes AFK for ages and needs to be kicked from the team.

As far as the Warlock goes the updates for the class in Mists of Pandaria look very appealing from a cosmetic perspective. It is tempting to fusk around and see if they still play as ruthlessly as they did in The Burning Crusade.

Next highest character is the Shadow Priest at level 81, which I created toward the end of TBC and has almost (a brief journey into Ulduar) always been an alt for Alchemy and Herbalism. Yeirah, you’re up. Get to the face-melting.

Such a silly silly wow’er

World of Warcraft

My wow’ing has increased recently, and as I’m playing more I find that my memory is flawed in some aspects of the game, and an optimal approach is somewhat harder than it used to be. I’m becoming a silly wow’er. As a positive I am enjoying wow a lot again, just in time for the expansion.

For example:

I remembered too late that Normal mode dungeons can be run many times each day, as they do not have a 24 lockout. This means that I could run the Stonecore normal many times a day for the rare mount, rather than once as I was. Doh.

As running normal for mounts is easy I was also doing Heroic UP in Northrend for the Blue Protodrake that drops there too. Imagine my joy in finding that I did not change the difficult after running Stonecore on Normal, when the mount only drops in Heroic mode. Doh, back to the entrance I go. It did seem a little easy.

The weeks activity was not all silly though, as I’ve started alt’ing around again. This time I am concurrently leveling a Mage (51), Warlock (83), Shaman (46), Rogue (50), and Priest (80). My suss is that I can cycle through these characters using the rested experience boost and then switch toons. So far with so many characters I am always playing in rested. Its great.

The reason that I chose these classes is because all my other class characters are already 85. I do get slightly disinterested with some content when you have to play it three times. Often though doing the same content with three perspectives give me an idea for the differences in the class. The squishy factor of a Priest and Warlock are concerning when compared with how tough and mean all the plate wearing classes are (yup, all my plate wearers are max’ed out, not a surprise really).

During the leveling I can sometimes (if the family don’t need help) queue up for a instance and smash monsters in a team. The times when I do this with guildies I get a very quick reminder that I’m a scrub when it comes to playing multiple classes. However when I play in randoms I find that I smash the charts and perform well. That might mean my guildies are very powerful (true), and also might mean that even a total scrub who stays out of the fire is valuable.

It’s a nice reminder of the golden rule: you do zero dps when you’re dead. Happy killing, alt’ing, and noobing.

TyphoonAndrew

A strategy for leveling the Archaeology profession

Here are a few quick thoughts for leveling the Archaeology profession.

  1. Get all the flight paths which have been added in Cata. Many old characters will not have the new flight points, so check your map for flight points you have missed. There is a correlation between the new flight points and the archy nodes.
  2. Grind any and all nodes, trying to stay with a narrow range of racial types, and trying to stay localised to the nodes which are close. I do them in batches of north and south, and use my teleports to switch between north and south as infrequently as possible.
  3. Stay on one continent for each grind session, or even for all the leveling you do.
  4. Remember to use your hearthstones, class teleports, etc (moonglade & ebonhold), so that you port quickly up and down the continent. There are also teleport capes from Guild vendors.
  5. As you can only have a max of 200 fragments for each type, don’t bother to stockpile them past around 150, but as you approach skill 450 you should start stockpiling the fragments you want the rewards from so you hit skill 450 with around 200 fragments.
  6. Get a good podcast or some great music to pass the time. I use the gryphons as much as possible so I can do other things like house chores and read while traveling.
  7. Learn which dig sites are smaller, and do them as a priority. The smaller sites are faster to resolve, so you’re on you way faster. I sometimes skip the large ones, as that makes for the most efficient fragments per minute.
the survey tool for archaeology

Get used to seeing this little tool, and never trust how far it tells you. It lies.

These have been garnered through rolling into the Internet and through my own frustration in the archy grind.

Also the best advice I could give is to grab a mod to assist. The Archy mod allows you to filter the sites by their racial source, making it far easier to target your fragments. This is a must if you’re trying to farm for a specific drop – like the beautiful two handed sword from the trolls. More on that later.

Happy digging people, may all your fragments arrive in batches of 100.

A guide to learning how to gear a character

I’ve started thinking about one of my alts as the next character to play a bit, and realised that my knowledge on the class mechanics for almost all of them is well out of date. In digging for answers across many classes and roles, it turns out that I follow a set of very similar steps regardless of the character.

So here is my cheat-sheet / guide for learning about a class.

Start with the EJ forms landing page for your class.

This will be initially an overload of information, but it is best to jump into the deep end. Sometimes printing the first post and reading in spare time is better to get a grip on the information presented. Go to Elitist Jerks, click the class mechanics. Find the thread for the spec that you’re interested in. These will usually have a leading 25-30 lines of basic information on stats, gems, specs, and rotations. Skip any of the comments after the first ten.

 http://elitistjerks.com/forums.php

 Then jump into the class specific forums on the official forums. Generally you’ll not see anything as useful or detailed as in the EJ forums, but there is still sometimes a post that is “how to”, or “introduction” based. Generally skip the comments, as they will be less and less useful as you get further through them.

Things to establish first are: How to select a Talent Tree.

 Pick the tree which is suitable for the way you wish to play in a broad way of speaking, and confirm that it is useful for levelling by doing a quick Google search. Each class will have many ways to level, but one spec which is considered better than others. For almost all cases this means picking a tree which has high dps particularly if it is burst dps, and potentially either a good set of defensive or “oh-shit” buttons, or a spec which gains a pet.

Examples of the really solid levelling talent trees for classes are:

  • Demonology Warlocks,
  • Beast Master Hunters,
  • Unholy Death Knights,
  • Frost Mages,
  • Shadow Priests,
  • Ret Paladins,
  • Feral-Cat Druids,

Basically any dps role if the class only has one dps talent tree. There are also very viable ways to level in almost any tree, these are just the most common, or easy.

For spending your points use the spec listed in some forums (below), but remember to only spend a maximum of 5 points per level. You do this so that you can select powers deeper in the tree, as the powers generally get much better the further down the tree you select. Be careful not to select abilities which are focused on either a lot of survival or reducing cool-downs on stuns and such, as they are generally for PvP, not for levelling. You’ll have an opportunity to grab some of them later anyway.

Continue reading