More on Adventure Era

I’ll admit to playing this little IOS game too much. So much so that I think I can offer some tips to other players.

  • Plan your login/play times so that you match your expected gapto the work effort of tasks. For example there is no point using an extra worker in a task to get it completed faster if you won’t login till after the longer of the two times. Especially important for research and major upgrades which can take 8-24 hours. Click a long task before bed, and sleep happy.
  • You will need to reshuffle where your units are placed to fit in the new ones when land gets tight. I can see why the game does this (to drive in-game purchases) but so far it can be played without spending real money.
  • Stockpile your gold as a priority, because everything costs gold in the end. I made the mistake of having plenty of resources, and then struggling to pay to open up a new area of land. The next area of land I want is a steep purchase at 200,000 gold, but thankfully I’ve been focusing on gold as well as other resources so I can afford it. Plan to always have around double the gold of your next land purchase, because it seems relative to the cost of each research task  and the cumulative cost of upgrades.
  • Once you open the Trader, check it often. It is a great way to buy resources cheaply. The Trader becomes active a few moments after you login, and seems to be in sync with the gold leprechaun about half the time.
  • Research costs a hell of a lot too, so click through the next items you can see but not research yet, so you have an idea of what is coming.
  • The Pet serves no purpose. I read somewhere that it opens a new area of land at level 12, but mine hasn’t. Meh, disappointing. Perhaps it only opens when your level matched the pet?

Happy clicking.

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Some tips for what and how to name your Pandaren

With all the new furry hand slappers (monks) adding to the regular characters in World of Warcraft many players are looking for that perfect Pandaren name (yup, this adds from the post where I had no idea for a name – I still don’t).

A pandaren monk by a few brasiers

Here are some tips:

  • Please pick a name that is not overtly stupid. If you previously created a character called “Iownyoutoo” then you should read this first tip a few times. Let it sink in.
  • If you pick the name of a real Panda living in a zoo, be prepared for it to potentially “retire” in your life time.
  • Pop culture or odd references will get a good thrashing, and on the non-RP realms that seems fair an reasonable. I know a Hunter named Schrödinger who always used a Cat. Perfect.
  • Anything involving beer, stout, ale, etc will be actually be suitable to the lore for a change. Alehound is still a crappy name, but given we have an official NPC called Stormstout there is an excuse to get a little left field.
  • Names which combine quasi-roleplay themes are really cool, especially the two word combos: Thunderpaw, Powderkeg, Ironfoot, Raindancer, Firehammer.
  • Don’t forget that the Pandaren lore is both heavily spiritual and also respectful of the elements, much in the same way that the Shaman and Earthen Ring is, so all the elemental based (earth, air, fire, water) names are up for grabs, with all the variations; Mountainsong, Firebrew, etc.
  • Not a fan of the “bare” instead of “bear”, although if you’re an Australian and you want to really mash the lore into a blender then some “Koala” references might be really dangerous and fun.
  • Silly is great when it’s openly so – Whoflungpoo – that means you!

a pandaren brewmaster holding the Keg

There are resources already sprung up to help folks find that perfect name, such as (from the other post about Pandaren Monk names) these with a few extra thrown in:

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.

DPS with Whiteline Fever is a Trainwreck

I should know, I get white line fever in spades. It goes like this:

You’re starting the fight, strategy pinging around your skull as the Tanks run in. First phase watch threat, second phase get the adds, etc. Your adrenaline is ramping up, and Omen ticks your name onto the meter. Combat begins. Fun; sweet blood-thirsty fun.

Move, strike, move, strike, strike, kill. Turn, new target, strike, strike….and it all fades to a white line.

Next thing you know a guildmate is screaming over vent, you’re up to your neck in aggro, and you’re standing in a void zone/fire/glyph thing. Damn it!

Whiteline fever strikes again.

It happens to most folks who get distracted for whatever reason, so this post is half confession of what I do wrong, and half call to action. Any screw-up in a run can be bad, and nobody likes to be that person. If you’re a DPS role and find yourself getting white-line fever, please read a few tips below on what works to keep me from getting too absorbed in the thrill.

Continue reading

Warlock Play Tips

Starting from a post by Altosis on Warlock Raiding Tips (threat pulling, damage coefficients, spec advice), I have a few more general comments to make about Warlock play style, which goes beyond the raid.

(a) Don’t put DoTs on creatures that have a Aggro reset, or you end up dead. If you have to, then make sure you know that your DoT is gone before the reset. This happens a lot in raids, so get used to hearing and regretting the line “stop dps”.

Mobs such as:

– Attumen when he jumps on Midnight’s back. Give the tank plenty of agro time, and then burn him down.

– The Undead huge skeletons in Kara just after Maiden.In particular their threat table is such that you want to be at worst 3rd on it. Do not go higher or you’ll get smashed. For them 2nd place on threat equals dead.

– The Ogre trash in Gruul’s Lair.

I have died more times that I care to mention because I didn’t realise that my DoT was ticking during an aggro reset.

(b) Dead = Zero DPS. This is an extension of the point above, but has far more ranging applications. Survival allows you to help and do more damage; and also shows that you know the fights.

(c) Curse of Elements is Awesome, for a lot of people, not just Warlocks. Help everyone with damage, not just your Curse of Doom or Agony. This applies when you have other casters who can get he benefit, especially if their gear is better than yours (shocked!).

(d) Summon those guys who get lost. Its so much faster than waiting for them to run, or get help, and only costs 1 shard. In fact don’t be affraid to use shards, as hording them is pointless. I try to finish a run with about 5-10 spare. That means the last few bosses are getting Shadowburnt all the time.

(e) Get shards from all the trash you can, and stop when your bags are almost full.

(f) Play the spec you like; period. If I have to watch a new Ret pally gear up through kara I don’t want to hear about how Demo or Destro is not viable at low +SpDam. Ignore the Leets, play your way. True for any class, and especially Warlocks.

(g) Use your Soulstones and Healthstones all the time. In raiding it goes without saying that you should be doing this all the time, but do not ignore this when soloing, etc. It helps, makes recovery faster, and keeps you in the habit.

Tricks for young Pallys

As a tanking Paladin there are some subtle parts of playing that it took me a long time to commit to memory, or practice with regularity. Many of the tips & tricks below carry across for any character or class, but in particular I have found a significant difference when using a Protection Paladin who is still gearing up, as opposed to a character who is already using high quality gear.

I’m going to assume that you know about stacking blessings, and you’ve read all about what buffs to use in Opportunistic Rotation – if not let me know and I’ll post on it.

A. Check the damage type from mobs regularly.

Most creatures will be hurting you with physical damage, so the choice of aura/buff is easy. However there are some creatures where the damage type is not obvious, or you may forget to switch Aura type to gain more resistance to a particular type of mob. Especially true of casters who might do shadow damage (like the Skettis casters).

For example the Mana Worms in the Bashir Landing do Nature damage when you hit them, and their physical attacks are really weak. So instead of worrying about which aura or buff, I buy a few Nature Resist potions and absorb the damage. This means the recovery between fights is much quicker.

This is normal behavior in an Instance so you learn what the best strategies are, but it applies equally to solo play.

B. Check the AH for cheap pots, food, scrolls, and buffs.

As prot spec the mana bar when soloing is never full enough, and a few extra mana pots are always handy. Browsing the AH for cheap potions is always a good idea, and the don’t have to be Super Mana or Health to be handy. Also keep an eye out for cheap food, and other consumables, as often folks sell these items without an appreciation of how valuable or handy they really are. That extra Amour potion, or health regeneration can make a difference. Lower level water seems especially cheap (or find a mage and press the button on their forehead). A few silver spent on buffs can cut significant time off your combat recovery.

Extra buffs will make a difference when doing an instance where your gear is close to the limit of what you can survive. Doing a harder instances means you will need stamina food, weapon and shield buffs, and a potion or two. Get them and encourage those you play with to do the same.

A good list of items to watch for is any mid level to late level scrolls and cheap potions. Also check the AH at different times during the week, as popular raid nights will create shortages, and other nights you’ll see a few bargains.

C. Use a buff time manager.

As you run more and more instances, you’ll find the demand for Blessings to be many and varied. There will be times when you will be using 30 minute buffs on some classes, and also 10 minute buffs on others. A good tool for managing this is PallyPower, as it lets you set what buffs each paladin in the group will use. This might seem overkill initially, but it becomes a no brainer to see how long each buff has remaining, who is missing a buff, and re-buffing is a simple one click on each class icon. My old guild was so happy with PallyPower that it is a raid requirement for all Paladins.

An example of this is when you are Tanking with another pally in group. Your tanking buff is useless to them, so hit them with Salv (or what ever is useful), and use the 10 minute tank buff on yourself. The monitor will warn you when its time to re-buff them, which means you only need worry about yourself. They can in turn use the tool to buff you with Light or Wisdom, and 10 minute buff themselves.

Also consider a strategy when in a group with more than one Paladin. If you have buffs that they don’t (Bo Kings) then get them to apply buffs in accordance with what is useful all round. eg. One Paladin does Salv all round (not you), then you do Wis/Might/Kings depending on the target class. If you have three Paladins, get Salv and Kings all round, and Wis/Light/Might on class specifics.

Also check out a mod called Aurora (Ace2 compatible) which gives you a warning when you enter combat with Crusader aura on. The big red warning will help train you to switch before pulling, and catch it for you whe you’re being forgetful.

D. Learn about your friends

Spend the time to learn about what other classes and professions can bring to the run. Taunt, Sap, Shackle, Sheep, Fear (pally and warlock), Stun, Slow, Mind Control, Seduce, Kite, Trap, etc, should all be part of what you regularly consider, but it takes extra effort to really understand what the limitations of these control methods are. Some instances are almost impossible without the right type of crowd control.

For example: if your Priest doing the Mind Control gets hurt, it all goes sour. So tank well away from them, or get them to stand way off to the side. Ask what spec your Rogue and Hunters are to see if they will have the improved versions of Sap and Trap. Might be handy to know that you have a few extra seconds longer than normal on that CC, or that the Hunter is happy to chain trap.

Also learn what professions can help. The Drums of Fear from Leatherworking can help in a pinch, and you can use Freeze bombs and other explosives from Engineering to help slow and pull mobs to where you need them. There may even be times when a well placed Net created by a Tailor may help (like when the Warlock tailor drawns aggro and you taunt is on cooldown).