Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pirates VS Ninjas: Warcraft Hunters Union (WHU) Event 4

Veteran hunter, Frostheim, and a horde of level 35 and under baby hunters recently wrapped up WHU (Warcraft Hunters Union) event number four! The plan was for participating members, which numbered in the hundreds, to meet up in Gurabashi Arena, Strangelthorn Vale, for an epic pirates versus ninjas battle. Afterwords, the rambunctious rabble of rowdy dwarves traveled south to Booty Bay to get their Pirate Day costume and achievement, and parrot pets for those who had enough rep with Booty Bay. Finally, the pirate costume wearing group of booze-reeking, bullet-slinging bearded freaks took the party east to one of the pirate ships just off the shore, for a celebration of copious alcohol consumption and one hell of a fireworks show! Here are pics from the event, which happened this past Sunday.

^ Prior to the event, those who signed up were mailed 3 Savory Deviate Delight,(when eaten, turns you into either a pirate or a ninja) which were then consumed by all involved. The pirates grouped at one end of the stands while the ninjas grouped at the other. At the signal, both parties jumped into the Arena for a fight to the finish. This happened three times. Pirates won 2-1, finally proving that pirates are more badass than ninjas in their black pajamas.

^ Pirates versus ninjas like never before!

^ This was taken during round 2, which was the round the ninjas won.

^ WHU members, mounted on their trusty racial mounts, racing south to Booty Bay for a quick Pirate Day celebration, achievement and purchase of the pirate costume complimenting parrot pet.

^ Pirate ship officially comandeered. Let the celebration begin!

^ Pretty blue fireworks! Also, a dozen campfires burning brightly on a ship made of wood, which is a concept that could only be hatched from the booze-soaked brains of inebriated dwarves.

^ The grand finale!

^ My WHU hunter Beergasm and his faithful companion, Trixie. Beergasm is one of many veteran members of WHU and has been proudly participating since day one.


^ Hunter domination in Warsong Gulch. Okay so this ended up being a complete turtle after we scored one flag cap, but other mostly hunter matches that night were completely one sided, even without healers. Fun times!

^ Members of WHU line up in formation in Kharanos. This was from event 3.

^ Colorful gang of dwarven hunters!

WHU is a all dwarven hunter guild on Icecrown, US. The first event was at level cap 10, the second 20, the third 30, and 35 for this event. It was founded by Frostheim of and the 'Scattered Shots' hunter column of Anyone can join WHU, just start a dwarven hunter on Icecrown US, join the whu chat channel, and ask for an invite.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part 4: Levels 21-30

Long time no update! I really have no excuses other than I haven't been playing much WoW lately, and for the last week and a half I've been recovering from a nasty stomach bug that sucked the life out of me and forced me to live a nauseous existence of lounging on the couch and watching a lot of television and movies, on a diet of ginger ale and soda crackers. This was a crippling process that made me feel so exhausted that I didn't even want to play video games, which is bad! But I'm back and feeling mostly better, and my shaman is now level 30 (as of 11 days ago). Yes, I've been putting off updating my blog. :(

Levels 20 to 30 went pretty smoothly and consisted mostly of doing quests in Ashenvale with a healthy dose of dungeons. Got Razorfen Kraul and Gnomeregan (ugh, hate that place!) out of the way, as well as a couple others. I even managed to top the DPS meters in one of them!

My newly equipped heirloom gear has really sped the leveling process up, and I'm glad I transferred my hunter from another realm to lend them to my shaman.

I decided to drop Mining in favor of Inscription to complement my other primary profession, Herbalism. While I was making some pretty good money selling ore in the auction house, I figured I may as well be leveling a crafting profession while I level, and inscription is far more profitable than alchemy in my opinion. I actually made a couple hundred gold casually selling glyphs and weapon/armor vellums as I worked on skilling up. I did not go out of my way to craft extra stuff just for the sake of getting richer. It's so satisfying to put up a couple dozen auctions at night and wake up the next morning (or a week later if you got really sick and didn't play for a few days) to a mailbox full of gold.

My arsenal of spells and abilities is really starting to get interesting. At level 30 I hit the jackpot! I got the ability to place or remove all of my totems simultaneously (can't remember the ability name), rather than having to place them manually, which is both cool and a time saver. I also learned some great new offensive and utility spells like Windfury Weapon and Astral Recall. Astral Recall is one of the most convenient leveling spells in the game. It basically lets me teleport to a major town to utilize the auction house, bank and trainers, then hearth back to a quest hub and quickly get back to doing quests. Astral Recall will save me tons of time and money that I would've lost using flight paths. Not to leave out the self-ressurrection spell, Reincarnation! Freaking sweet!

Last but not least, I got all my totems now except wind totem. Three down, one to go! Thank goodness. Some of those totem quests are time consuming and have me running around all over the damn place!

Time to grind my way to level 40.

Part Four Summary:

Starting level: 21
Finishing level: 30
Talent spread: 0/21/0 (Enhancement)

Starting money: 340g 80s
Ending money: 666g 27s

Inscription skill: 127
herbalism skill: 174

Spirithorn Armory Link

Friday, July 23, 2010

Maxed 2 More Professions, New 80 ding, Other Updates

It's been a couple weeks since I wrote and for that I apologize. With that out of the way, time for some updates on my progress to get every profession maxed out and get gold capped!

When I last wrote I mentioned that I was slowing down on WoW for a couple weeks to catch up on some other gaming. While that happened, I did sneak in enough World of Warcraft time to finally cap enchanting on my 80 hunter, alchemy on my priest (for those counting, that leaves only tailoring and leatherworking) and level said priest to 80, making him my fifth level 80 toon! And since epics are easy I did a few dungeon runs and got some loots and a couple pieces of tier 9.

I broke 40,000 gold as well. I know for some hardcore gold makers in WoW this number represents a week's worth of buying out mats in the Auction House, but I'm not officially gaming the AH just yet. This is just selling stuff I craft leveling up my various professions and gold earned while leveling up toons, etc. Also, four of my five level 80 toons have epic flying so that's a huge chunk of money invested right there. To be honest I don't see myself really gaming the economy until after Cataclysm arrives. Until then....preparation. Oh, and my bank toon's guild bank is filling up quite nicely with a surplus of stuff to sell when the time is right.

Concerning Project Tauren Shaman, which I know I haven't updated in way too long, I transferred my Orc Hunter Wyrmfoe to the Doomhammer realm so he could lend his heirlooms to my Shaman. Coincidentally both Spirithorn (my shaman) and Wyrmfoe are level 20. Don't worry, Wyrmfoe is ONLY providing heirlooms. The goal of Project Tauren Shaman is still to level without any gold or other assistance from other toons. By the way, Wyrmfoe's pet raptor is named AndyBotwin. Points to you if you get the reference to one of the best shows in television currently.

I've been thinking about the Refer-a-Friend feature lately and I might give it a try before too long. Of course the friend I'll be referring is myself, in the interest of power leveling a couple toons just for shits and giggles and of course for the awesome two-seater mount. I setup one of my older gaming PC's along side my current rig, setup a second account and downloaded the trial version of the game, patching it up to date and everything. Stupid old me figured that once you own WoW and all of its expansions you could install it on multiple accounts, only having to pay for two accounts. Nope. Each account requires its own copy of the game and all of its expansions. I'll have to pick up the WoW Battle Chest and pay for a second account long enough to get the mount on my main account. Below is a shot of my second account getting patched up to date. And might I add that running two PC's side by side really satisfies the inner geek in me, especially when said PC's were built by yours truly.

Buying second copies of WoW and paying for a second account for a few months seems like a huge waste of money, and it is, but I've always wanted to give dualboxing a shot. We'll see if it happens. I'll keep you updated.

Okay time to wrap this post up. Just a couple things before I leave. I have my two character slots for my Worgen and Goblin toons (Male Druid and Female Rogue respectively) named and reserved. I can't wait! Which brings me to a question for my readers. What are you going to do first once Cataclysm is out: Level your current toons to 85 or focus on leveling a Worgen/Goblin?

See you next time! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some WoW Downtime + Updates

Just a quick update. I haven't been playing much WoW in the last week. I blame BioWare for this. I started playing Mass Effect 2 and put over 20 hours in last week. I played the game and put about 10-12 hours in when it first came out last year but stopped playing. When I tried to resume that game I didn't remember the story so I started over. Man that game is good. BioWare + SciFi is a damn good match. If you played the first Mass Effect but got frustrated by the constant inventory management and the Mako driving sequences, give ME2 a try. They streamlined the hell out of the game and got rid of all the annoying things from the first one. It also runs smooth and is stable on PC, unlike the first one in which I experienced a lot of audio glitches and crashing. I also started playing Dragon Age: Origins over the weekend. I still need to finish Red Dead Redemption as well. Too many great games, not enough time!

So yeah...catching up on other games requires WoW downtime. I did play a little bit but really have nothing major to report other than I have nearly capped Alchemy and Enchanting on my priest and hunter respectively (both professions at 440 currently). Played a little bit yesterday and dinged 76 on my priest. This is my fifth grind from 70-80 and each time if feels like it gets slower and slower. Even with the 20% bonus experience granted by my heirloom gear it's still a pain in the ass.

Which got me thinking.

For Project Tauren Shaman I'm thinking about transferring my orc hunter from his current realm to Doomhammer, where my shaman resides. The reason is because my horde has an heirloom set and the thought of leveling that shaman without the experience bonus makes me shudder. The hunter heirlooms aren't perfectly itemized for a shaman but they will work out okay I think. It's about the experience bonus anyway. Yes, I'm spoiled by those damn heirlooms! If I end up doing this I'll be sure to include the details the next time I updated Project Tauren Shaman.

Back to alchemy and enchanting briefly. Been making some decent gold selling flasks and meta gems during raid nights. The flasks are profitable only because I had some herbs stockpiled so I didn't have to purchase any up front. I don't think I'll be selling flasks regularly as it's a pretty competitve market with lots of reposting and undercutting. That and I'm transmute mastery. The mats to make meta gems are cheap and when the transmute mastery procs and I get a two for one, that's just extra free gold in my pocket. I post my gems at really odd times, like super late at night or first thing in the morning when I wake up. Seems to work. Having success selling mostly Austere Earthsiege Diamonds, Chaotic Skyflare Diamonds, Relentless Earthsiege Diamonds and Ember Skyflare Diamonds. I sell gems at 12 hours to keep posting fees minimal in case I need to cancel and repost.

Enchanting wise, I sold a few scrolls of Enchant Cloak - Titanweave and made a few hundred gold and have been spending dream shards trying to pick up profitable enchanting recipes, such as Enchant 2H Weapon - Massacre. I haven't looked into buying up mats and selling them on the market just yet, but will do so soon and see how profitable and competitive it is.

Okay so that wasn't a "quick" update after all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Scribe's Tale: Farming vs. Purchasing

It's no secret that a great place to farm Northrend herbs is in Sholazar Basin. I used to do this on my Death Knight scribe quite regularly. I'd farm for an hour or so, mill the herbs and craft various inscription stuff to sell on the AH. Then I learned on a fellow gold blogger's blog (sorry, I don't remember who) that Weapon and Armor Vellum III are great sellers on the AH, so I focused all my farmed materials on the crafting of those. My short time farming would usually allow me to sell a stack or two of each, and they sell fast on my realm. Usually within a matter of a couple hours.

I realized three things pretty quickly:

1) There's a lot of demand for the vellums if they are selling that fast, which means there must be a lot of enchanters selling their wares on the AH.

2) The number of sellers selling vellums on the AH is super low compared to all the people selling enchants. There's room for me.

3) Farming is too time intensive to keep up with the demand of the vellums.

So I went about and started adding herbs to my snatch list in Auctioneer, hoping to get as many stacks of herbs on the cheap to mill and turn into inks of the sea, which is the ink needed to craft the vellums. And it has paid off. Sure, it's more of an upfront investment to purchase all the herbs instead of farming them, but think of all the hours I would lose if I farmed herbs for one hour a day! The sheer volume of vellums I can stockpile and sell results in so much profit that the cost of purchasing the herbs is like dropping a penny into a wishing well.

Here's some things I've learned about selling vellums on my realm. Your realm may vary, it's your job to pick up on the trends:

1) I find that selling them in stacks of 5 works best for me. The few other people selling vellums regularly seem to do it in full stacks fo 20 or one at a time. Offer something different than your competitors.

2) Weapon vellums are much more profitable on my realm, probably due to there being more people selling weapon enchants than armor enchants. Still, both are profitable and its a good idea to sell both.

3) They sell pretty well 24/7, but they sell extremely fast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

To summarize, farming can be profitiable in short bursts and it's a great way for a beginner gold maker (which I still consider myself to be) to familiarize him or herself with the economy and what's worth what. I believe everybody should farm a little here and there when it's convenient. But purchasing and stockpiling your mats on the AH gives you much more time to craft and sell, and that means more money in your pocket. The benefit of stockpiling is that when all your stuff has sold on the AH, you just grab more out of the bank and restock, whereas with farming you have to drop everything, fly to wherever, spend time farming, etc.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Tips For Multitaskers

A couple things. If you're somewhat into getting achievements like I am, at least on my main (which is my level 80 hunter), but you're also into multitasking, these two tips are for you.

On my hunter I'm trying to complete all the Northrend quests in the game, so when I'm waiting for my dungeon finder queue to spit me into a heroic, or if I just feel like killing off a few low level quests, I'll go and do exactly that. Not only am I working towards getting the achievements associated with doing all the Northrend quests, I'm also disenchanting random drops and quest rewards into enchanting mats, which I am saving for my final push to 450 enchanting. If you've already maxed out enchanting then this is pure profit. On top of the enchanting mats and gold rewards, you also get tons of vendor trash which surprisingly adds up into decent profits once vendored.

My second tip is related to the Midsummer Fire Festival event. This is a great time to get easy gold and experience for your leveling alts. Take my 73 priest for example. Fully rested and in heirloom (BoA) gear, the exp. gains from simply riding around and honoring (or desecrating the opposite faction's) bonfires is easy money and exp. Sure it's a little boring but just put on an episode of your favorite podcast or two and get to work (talk about multitasking!). Since you go all over Azeroth, Outland and Northrend in persuit of these bonfires, it's also a great time to work on that Explorer achievement and title. If you're not into doing that and just want to stick to doing dungeons and quests, don't forget to visit the nearest Ribbon Pole once an hour and use it long enough to get the full 60 minute duration experience buff, which adds a 10% experience bonus to enemies killed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello JMTC Readers :)

First of all thanks to Markco over at Just My Two Copper for the link to my blog. Second, welcome new readers. Well I guess that would be readers period, as you're probably the first. This blog is fairly new - only a couple months old in fact.

Here's a quick overview of what this blog is about. My goal in WoW is to have every profession maxed out and get gold capped eventually. I'm also doing a project where I level my first Horde toon to 80 before cataclysm comes out, so that I can see Azeroth from Horde eyes before things change forever. The secondary objective of this is to see how much money I can make leveling to 80.

I call it Project Tauren Shaman and you can read about it here. For a quick summary so far my Tauren Shaman is level 20 and has 340 gold.

A little update on my first goal of getting every profession capped. I recently got Blacksmithing and Herbalism to 80. My level 80 hunter has been slowly grinding out Enchanting and she is now at 430. I'll probably get lazy and just buy the mats needed to level to 450 on the auction house. Speaking of, the last 10 points in blacksmithing required nearly 1000 gold in AH purchased mats. The good news is those 10 points let me make 10 Titansteel Shield Walls, which netted me nearly 5000 gold once they all sold. (Most of them sold Tuesday - Thursday on my realm, which is basically raiding time) This speaks volumes about how investing in materials in the AH (versus wasting hours and hours farming the same mats) and turning them into products people want can net you huge profits. Farming does have its place, but turning 1000g into 5000g in just a few minutes of crafting time is a no brainer.

Back to my professions. I now have the following crafting professions maxed (all gathering professions are maxed, as is cooking and fishing on one character): Enchanting, Jewelcrafting, Inscription. As mentioned earlier I'm nearly there with enchanting and my 73 priest has Alchemy up to 395 I believe. My lowly level 40 mage has tailoring up to 300 so that will be my focus soon. After that I'll work on leveling up a leatherworker.

Here's a quick gold tip: If you have more than one herbalist toon you probably have a surplus of random herbs stashed in somebody's bank. At least I did. I needed to free up some bank slots so I sent dozens of stacks of random herbs off to my scribe to have them milled. Once everything was milled I turned all the various inks I ended up with into random glyphs, crafting two or three apiece. I also ended up crafting a couple rare quality off-hands which sold pretty quick on the AH, turning some dusty old herbs that had just been sitting around doing nothing into a couple hundred gold. The glyphs I stashed away in my bank toons guild vault for Cataclysm. Why? Once the expansion hits people are going to be buying out every possible glyph for their toons because of the recently announced changes to the glyphing system. Sure, the glyph market will be saturated, but the demand for every glyph in existence will also be through the roof and that will drive prices up.

Could I have made some decent money NOW by just selling the herbs? Sure. But I will make a lot more later by converting them all into glyphs and just having a little patience. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part 3: Levels 14-20

Man oh man! These last few levels have been filled with sheer excitement and entertainment! Not really. Shaman isn't the most exciting class to level but I'm sticking with it. What is exciting, however, is that in the last few levels I got lots of nice gear upgrades, did my first couple dungeons, earned a lot more gold and got my first mount!

Money Spent

Let's get this out of the way. Obviously one of the goals of Project Tauren Shaman is to accumulate as much gold as possible on the journey to 80, and that means not spending any money on frivolous things such as auction house gear and vanity pets. However, I did cough up some money on necessary things such as learning to use one and two handed axes, as well as a couple Netherweave Bags for 14 gold each. Things I deem necessary. Some quest turn-ins found Spirithorn in Ratchet where he invested a few silver in some engineering plans and jewelcrafting designs and turned them into gold, thanks to the auction house. Other than that and leveling up his abilities and professions, no money was spent.

As you'll recall in Project Tauren Part 2, a couple bags dropped off of random mobs. With the aforementioned netherweave bags and another eight slot bag that dropped for me, my bag slots are now full. Eventually I'll pick up two more netherweave bags and should be set in the bags department for a while.

Money Earned

My quests didn't put me in the way of as many mining nodes as I had hoped, but I did get a few stacks which immediately went into the auction house. Same goes for herbs. It doesn't help that I can only track one thing at a time, so I'm sure I'm missing out on quite a few mining nodes and herbs. I got lucky and managed to loot a semi-rare vanity pet, the Leaping Hatchling, which netted me 158 gold in the auction house. Not bad, though if I was more patient I probably could've made more. There were at least eight other people selling them and so everybody was undercutting. I held onto it for a few days but there were never less than 7-8 people selling it. Oh well. I also signed another guild charter for an easy two gold. As of the time of this writing I probably have another 20-30 gold tied up in the auction house so things are going quite good, money wise.

Deadmines / Wailing Caverns

Spirithorn got his first taste of pugging instances as a dpser. First up was Deadmines, which is a fun instance and never really gets old. It was pretty straightforward and we cleared it pretty fast. I did a whopping 20 dps and I have no idea if that's good or bad. I think I was level 16 or 17 with one or two greens and the rest of my gear was lousy. I did get my first Satchel of Helpful Goods, which was exciting.

Wailing Caverns was a different story. A lot of the mobs in there use sleep and fear spells, sending random members of my pug running every which way and pulling other groups, or sitting idle while under the effect of very lenghty sleep spells. Eventually a wipe occured because both myself and the dedicated healer were asleep, leading to the death of the tank. This led to the group disbanding which was a shame, as we were probably ten minutes from clearing this rather lenghty instance. I was frustrated by the sleep and fear spells that had disbanded our group, as well as the fact that a lot of the mobs in Wailing Caverns are immune to nature damage, completely nullifying a lot of my attacks as well as my nature based interrupt, Wind Shear.

Then it occured to me. Tremor Totem! This little gem of a totem doesn't prevent fears or sleeps, but it does dispel them pretty quickly after they happen. I assigned it as my earth totem of choice and requeued, hoping to get Wailing Caverns again. Sure enough I did and about 45 minutes later our group was victorious, partially thanks to my awesome tremor totems. I got my first taste of the satisfying utilitarian aspect of the Shaman class, and it was tasty indeed! I threw the tank an extra heal or two when our lagging healer was too laggy to do so himself, saving the tank from certain death many times, which was extremely gratifying. I was also second on the DPS charts which I was pretty stoked about seeing as how the tank in my earlier deadmines run did more dps than I did. In my defense, said tank was a couple levels higher and in heirloom gear.

Still haven't queued as a healer as all my healing spells are not very mana efficient and have long casting times, but at level 20 I learned Lesser Healing Wave, so I'll give dungeon healing a try soon.

Side Note: As early as level 20, thanks to loot from Satchels of Helpful goods and random dungeon drops, I'm already starting to accumulate a DPS and Healing gear set. Craziness!

Fun New Abilities

First and foremost, thanks to herbalism I finally learned Lifeblood, which has saved my ass more times than I care to admit. Having an instant free heal over time when you're a lowly shaman in garbage gear is invaluable. Now, at level 20, my gear is leaps and bounds better but I'm sure it will come in handy occasionally.

At level 16 I learned Ghost Wolf which sped up my travel times in the way-too-large zone of Barrens, thankfully. It's also cool to run around as a semi-transparent wolf. Neat stuff.

I mentioned earlier that I learned a new healing spell that will make pug healing easier. Combined with the mana-regenerative goodness of Water Shield and that gives me some stuff to work with as I experiment with healing.

I feel like the longer I stick with the Shaman class the more rewarding it's going to be, which is reassuring as the first 20 levels have been pretty dull.


I have room for one major and one minor glyph. Not sure what I'm going to get but I'm open for suggestions. Time to do a little research. More on my glyph choices in the next installment of Project Tauren Shaman! Unless, of course, they are ridiculously expensive. Are there any scribes on Doomhammer that want to hook me up with a couple freebies? :)

Part Three Summary:

Starting level: 13
Finishing level: 20
Talent spread: 0/11/0

Starting money: 92g 93s
Ending money:340g 80s

Mining skill: 66
herbalism skill: 118
cooking skill: 68
first aid skill: 72

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reselling Books of Glyph Mastery

Just a quick gold tip for my readership (currently 0).

In the words of Alice Cooper, "school's out for summer". I've noticed the change on my realm as well as the economy, as more players are active. And with that activity are more people leveling, questing and grinding/farming. This means the auction house is being flooded with more materials, thus driving down costs as sellers undercut eachother. This is currently affecting the prices of Books of Glyph Mastery on my realm.

The regular going price for them on my realm is around 30-45 gold depending on how many are being sold on the AH, but with the recent surge in activity I routinely find them for around 13-15 gold.

The other night I found six such books of glyph mastery, each for 13-14 gold. All the rest were listed for 20+ gold with the highest priced ones listed for around 40 gold. I decided to wait until not so many were on the AH (at the time there were 2 full pages of listings) and resell them later. Sure enough, a couple days later there were less than 10 listed, all 45 gold and up. I relisted the six I had bought earlier for 43 gold and they sold within a day, netting me around a 300% return on investment.

So keep an eye out for books of glyph mastery on your realm and add them to your auctioneer snatch lists.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Profession Progression

One of my long term goals in World of Warcraft is to level every profession to 80. As I don't raid I have lots of time to level alts and work on this. The idea is to be self-reliant which will help me reach my other long term goal: getting gold capped. Having access to all the professions will save me thousands of gold along the way, helping with the latter goal.

Here's my progress.

Level 80 hunter: 450 Engineering / 350 Enchanting

Originally my hunter was 450 herbalism / 450 alchemy. Switched to mining and engineering. Once engineering 450 was reached I dropped mining and picked up enchanting. Leveled it up mostly with soloing instances and disenchanting all the drops. Extremely painful profession to level up by yourself. I only turned to the auction house when desperate, and probably only spent a couple hundred gold there. FINALLY got through the Outland portion of the profession, which was a long grind. She has lots of Northrend enchanting mats stockpiled from running heroics and disenchanting drops from all my various level 80s. My blacksmith is finally crafting Northrend blacksmithing stuff so I can DE these as well, if needed. Enchanting will eventually play a big role in my goal of getting gold capped.

Level 80 Death Knight: 450 Herbalism / 448 Incription

I'm currently farming Sholazar Basin for herbs and making a couple Darkmoon Card of the North every day. I'll reach 450 tonight. So far I have two nobles cards! I plan on making the Darkmoon cards beyond 450 and eventually equipping my DK with a Darkmoon Card: Greatness trinket. Just because I've always wanted one. I'm doing the daily Northrend research and keeping an eye out for low priced Books of Glyph Mastery on the auction house. I can sometimes find them for 13-15 gold. I don't have much luck having them drop off random mobs on any of my level 80s so I just watch the AH.

Level 80 Paladin: 450 Mining / 382 Blacksmithing

I have so much cobalt, saronite and titanium ore stockpiled that I don't anticipate getting blacksmithing capped will be a huge issue. I'm was pleasantly surprised to see some of the cobalt green quality armor sets actually sell in the auction house for decent amounts of gold. In a few cases they were worth far more than their disenchanted value as well. Look before you vendor/DE!

Level 80 Warrior: 450 Jewelcrafting / 450 Mining

Doing the Dalaran daily jewelcrafting quest every day and working on my collection of designs. As soon as I get my alchemist leveled I can start transmuting all the gems I have stockpiled into epics and auctioning them off slowly. Other than crafting and vendoring Sun Rock Rings and Bloodstone Bands, and auctioning the occasional blue quality gem, I'm not making much money. Yet. The blue quality gem market on my realm is camped by someone who literally watches the AH day and night, and cancels/reposts any auctions that underbid him within 30 minutes. In fact based on the brief snooping I did, it seems like this person might have two separate WoW accounts, which is not uncommon for hardcore AH players. I eventually want to drive this person out of business. But I'll worry about that later. ;)

Level 61 Priest: 320 Alchemy / 326 Herbalism

Nothing too exciting going on here. Just leveling both professions as I level the toon. This will be my next level 80.

Level 40 Mage: 300 Tailoring / 253 Skinning

I was aggressive with tailoring as I had so much cloth stockpiled from all the characters I've leveled. I can't progress any further in tailoring until I level my mage beyond 40. Any cloth I gather between now and then will be auctioned off. I'm saving all my skinning mats for...

Leatherworking. Which I don't currently have on any toon. When Cataclysm hits I will be rolling a Worgen rogue and power-leveling him (or her?) along with leatherworking.

So the goal for now is to cap inscription, blacksmithing and enchanting, as well as get my Priest and his professions capped. After that I'll put all my focus on the mage. By the time he's level 80, Cataclysm will probably be knocking on my door.

As for my goal of getting gold capped, I'm slowly but surely learing about the economy on my realm and getting involved in the AH game, though I'm not dedicating nearly enough time to it. As soon as I meet my other goals I hope to really dive into AH strategies and hopefully post more about that. Until then I can recommend some great gold making blogs that I read regularly:

Just My Two Copper
Cold's Gold Factory

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buying Uncut Epic Gems with Emblems of Triumph

Buying epic gems with Emblems of Triumph

If you're like me and you have a character who can no longer benefit from Emblem of Triumph (or lesser emblem) gear, but you have a ton stockpiled from doing heroic dailies and weekly raids, you're probably down-converting them to Emblems of Heroism to purchase uncut epic gems.

While it may be a no brainer for some, I recently had to help a guildie with this process so I figured I'd put up a post about it. It took me a few minutes to figure out the conversion process the first time I had to do this, as it's not just a matter of converting one to another. It's a three part conversion process.

First you need to go to the Emblem of Triumph vendor in Dalaran and scroll to the very last page of items, where you can convert Emblems of Triumph to Emblems of Conquest. Depending on the cut you want, you'll need to convert either 10 or 20 emblems. Next, talk to the Emblem of Conquest vendor and scroll to the last page of goods, converting the Emblems of Conquest into Emblems of Valor. See where this is going?

After you have your Emblems of Valor, talk to the Emblem of Valor vendor and down-convert, once again, to Emblems of Heroism. Finally, talk to the Emblem of Heroism vendor and purchase your uncut epic gem(s) of choice.

And remember, you don't have to do this one emblem at a time. If you shift+click during the conversion process you can define a custom number of emblems to convert all at once. Don't be like me and do this entire process 20 times to get that cardinal ruby.

If anybody knows a way to instantly convert Emblems of Triumph to Emblems of Heroism, and skip all the middle conversions, I'd love to know!

Monday, May 17, 2010


That's right. My Death Knight, which I rolled shortly after WotLK came out, finally dinged 80 on Saturday. I know, I know. It took long enough. Over the last couple weeks I got tired of seeing him on my character select screen, level 68 and abandoned in Borean Tundra. So I've been working hard and putting in the time. This is my fourth level 80 toon.

Shortly after the ding I trained for my Army of the Dead spell, though I have yet to really put it to use. Seems like an overkill for soloing, and it definitely seems like a sketchy move to pull off in a dungeon. One of these days I'll ask the tank at the start of a pug if it's cool if I unleash them during boss fights.

I wanted to jump into heroics and start farming emblems of triumph right away, but my gear prevented me from using the LFG tool. I was in mostly blues with a gear score just shy of 2100. I didn't have a high enough reputation with any of the Northrend factions to buy any decent upgrades, and I'm too cheap to buy crafted epics. I couldn't even get into the epic gear slinging five man Icecrown Citadel instances.

What's a poorly geared fresh level 80 to do?

I had 28 Emblems of Triumph from doing dungeons Northrend dunegons while I leveled, so I hit up the vendor and picked up the Sigil of Virulence, which is proving to be an an awesome purchase as it procs all the time. That pushed my gear score up a bit but still did not open any gates. Then it dawned on me that I hadn't done the Amphitheater of Anguish event in Zul'Drak yet, and it rewards a nice two hander that would be a nice gear upgrade from the blue two hander I'd been using since level 72. So I went and got it done, thanks to a level 75 rogue and her uber geared level 80 druid guildie that healed me as I "tanked" the amphiteather baddies. After that I got on my warrior jewelcrafter and crafted a nice epic ring for my DK. Not the best stats for a DPS DK, but it'll do for now.

Viola. ICC 5 mans and even a few heroics were now available.

A day later, after completing the normal mode 5 man ICC dungeons (got a couple ilevel 219 epics in Pit of Saron) and a few random heroics, I'm already rocking my tier 9 shoulders and have a few other epics equipped. After being a level 80 for only a day my gearscore is already 3400. Not too shabby.

Time for the DK to take a breather. I'm all DK'd out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Farming Scholomance

Last night I logged onto my level 80 hunter and set off to conquer Scholomance. I'm trying add one of the rarer enchants in the game to my collection, Formula: Enchant Weapon - Lifestealing, and I'm too cheap to look on the Auction House. I prefer to farm such things myself. I figured I would also do a full clear of the place and get the achievement in the process. I cleared out my bags as much as I could and flew out to Chillwind Point. elixirs of water walking are always handy and I try to keep a stack of these readily available at all times. I have a ton stockpiled from doing the Shattrath daily fishing quest countless times in the BC days. Since Scholomance is isolated on an island and I absolutely hate the slow process that is swimming, I popped a water walking potion and quickly made my way onto the island. A ghost NPC outside the entrance had a low level quest so I picked it up, hoping it would reward Argent Dawn rep (it didn't). I also equipped my Argent Dawn Commission trinket since I'm revered with said faction, and wanted to earn AD reputation and pick up scourgestones from the mobs and bosses.

Luckily I already had the key required to enter the dungeon so I swapped out my trusty wolf for my tanking bear pet and got to work. The aforementioned enchanting formula drops off spectral researchers, of which there are a few right inside the dungeon, past the first set of mobs. The drop rate isn't very low, but it didn't drop during my first sweep. I could've quickly ran out and reset it and tried again, but I wanted to do a full clear first.

A lot of greens and even a couple BoE blues dropped off the trash mobs, which I disenchanted for some valuable enchanting mats. Most of the bosses dropped two blues as well, so this is a great place to farm some of the harder to get enchanting mats such as large brilliant shards and greater eternal essences. Also, if you are leveling a tailor or need runecloth for whatever reason, this is the place. I got about 20 stacks while in Scholomance. The drop rates are ridiculous. Even if you don't have a tailor you can get some decent money selling stacks of it in the Auction House. On my realm they go for about 6g a stack.

The mobs in Scholomance also drop a decent amount of silver as well as grey quality weapons/armor that vendor for around a gold each, if not more. When all was said and done, and I finally got my enchanting formula to drop (after I initially cleared the dungeon, I had to reset it three times before it dropped), I was 110 gold richer than when I started. I will get even more gold selling the enchanting mats I accumulated, or converting them into weapon/armor enchanting scrolls and selling them in that form. Not to mention the money I will eventually get when I sell the stacks of rune cloth after cataclysm is out, and everybody is leveling up new toons and power-leveling professions. My bank alt is stashing them for now. As the goblins say, "time is money", and eventually the time I invested in Scholomance farming them will earn me money.

After redeeming all my scourgestones at Chillwind Camp and redeeming crypt fiend parts and bone fragments at Light's Hope Chapel in Eastern Plaguelands, I had earned close to 9000 Argent Dawn rep. Not bad for an hour's worth of work. All in all, if you need Argent Dawn rep, enchanting mats or a lot of runecloth, Scholomance is a great place to farm that will also reward your efforts with some decent gold.

It should be noted that quite a few of the undead mobs in Scholomance are immunte to arcane damage, so be prepared for that. I couldn't use volley to AoE down mobs in certain areas of the instance.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part 2: Levels 1-13

Just like with any other class, the first dozen or so levels are a repetitive grind of spamming the same couple spells. Mine consisted of placing an earth totem (later earth and fire) and spamming lightning bolt with the occasional earth shock, making sure to have a weapon enhancer applied to my weapon as well as constantly having lightning shield up. I went on a whole bunch of quests, killed a lot of stuff, picked a lot of flowers and mined a lot of copper ore.

Bag space has been a constant thorn in my side. I vowed to vendor all the trash and auction off any white or higher quality items that dropped, so I spent a lot of time running to and from Thunder Bluff to visit the auctioneer and stash stuff in my bank. Luckily, the very second monster I encountered after rolling my shaman dropped a six slot bag, which gave me some much needed bag space right off the bat.

Mailing items to a bank alt for the first few levels became a non-option when I realized that the postage fees were 1+ silver in cost, which is too much money to spend when you're leveling a new toon without any funding from wealthy high level alts. The money is better spent leveling up abilities and training professions.

After finishing up the starting zone and moving into the more open terrain of Mulgore, I actually had enough spare cash to pick up mining and herbalism, along with a mining pick axe. Cooking and first aid were funded a bit later, after I had received some money from successful auctions.

Picking up two gathering professions created a new problem: my already tight bag space was even tighter now that I had rough stones, copper ore, earthroot, peacebloom and silver leaf taking up five more precious slots, as well as the occasional tigerseye and malachite. It didn't help that most of the quests in Mulgore seem to require the toting about of quest related items. I was having no luck with mobs dropping more random bags either, so eventually I coughed up some silver for a vendor purchased eight slot bag. Other than professions and abilites, this was the only thing I purchased from levels 1 to 13. Of course, shortly after I did this I got another six slot drop off a random mob. Typical. I now have a decent amount of bag space until I can get enough gold generated to buy a few netherweave bags.

Side note: If you're a tailor and interested in making money, always having a stockpile of netherweave bags to dump on the AH is very profitable. People like me who level multiple alts consider the netherweave bag the goto bag for expanding carrying capacity and bank space. Better yet make dozens of these and save them for Cataclysm, when EVERYONE will be going crazy leveling alts.

At around level 10 I did a quest for Cairn Bloodhoof in which the reward was a green quality pair of leather pants with +4 agility on them. I was pretty excited about this as they would be my first green quality piece of gear! But as I went to turn in the quest I met an army of high level alliance toons exiting Thunder Bluff, leaving the corpse of poor old Cairn in their wake. I waited and waited for him to respawn but he never did. I logged off and took a break and came back 30 minutes later. Still no luck. So I googled it and learned that faction leaders are on a four hour respawn. You learn something new every day.

While I waited, I decided to undertake the fire totem quest and explore Durotar. Along the way a nice two-handed green quality mace with +2 strength dropped for me, allowing me to ditch my one-hander and shield combo. Once I got Spirithorn's skill in two handed maces up, it was packing quite a wallop in melee combat. The strength of earth totem enhances my melee dps nicely.

My journey through Durotar allowed me to mine a few stacks of copper, which would, in addition to lots of stacks of random herbs, soon allow me to accumulate some pretty respectable low level wealth (nearly 93 gold at level 13!). I also signed a guild charter in Orgrimmar for 2 gold, and will definitely watch trade chat for more opportunities. This is a pathetically easy way to make gold. Along the way, I also picked up a couple quests for Ragefire chasm, but the LFG tool isn't available for me yet. As soon as the LFG tool becomes available I'll head into a dungeon or two and hopefully get some gear to replace my grey quality crap gear.

So far I'm having fun with the shaman class. Having leveled ranged, melee, and healing classes before, I'm finding the shaman to be a unique mix of ranged and melee dps with the added convenience of healing spells. My healing wave ability is up to level three, but I have ranks one and three on my cast bar for big heals as well as a more mana friendly version for small healing bursts between fights. This will come in handy healing pugs too, which you will hear about in part three.

Part Two Summary:

Starting level: 0
Finishing level: 13
Talent spread: 0/4/0

Starting money: 0
Ending money:92g 93s

Mining skill: 38
herbalism skill: 88
cooking skill: 60
first aid skill: 61

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hunter Pet Ideas for Cataclysm

There has been a lot of talk and speculation this week on the possibility of new hunter pets and the utilization of their unique abilities in Cataclysm. With a couple new possible tamable creature models being revealed from recent Cataclysm alpha data-mining (Mastiff and Fox), it seems like hunters are going to be facing some new pet decisions come the next expansion.

There have been discussions on what kinds of pets and abilities players would like to see on a few popular World of Warcraft related sites, so I would just like to share some of my hunter pet ideas.

Pet Idea 1: Murlocs

The infamous murloc. I would personally love to have a fiesty murloc at my side, helping to fell my various foes. Their special ability would be a thrown fishing net that roots your target in place for a few seconds and isn't broken by damage. And of course they would make their trademark murloc gurgling sound as you send them after your enemies. Murlocs eat a strict diet of fish only.

Pet Idea 2: Giant Squirrels

I'm not talking about being able to tame the small squirrel critters that already inhabit Azeroth and beyond. Blizzard would have to create a new monster type for this. I'm thinking BIG squirrels, the size of a small dog, frolicking about you with tail swishing crazily just like real squirrels. Giant squirrels would only eat bread, fruit, and cheese, although I have witnessed real life squirrels eat meat before, which was frightening. Possible ideas for a giant squirrel's unique ability are Acorn Barrage and Intimidating Tail Swish.

Acorn Barrage would be a channeled multi-target attack that hits your targeted opponent and the next two closest foes with a barrage of acorns, hitting each target three times over a three or four second channel. This would be an awesome ability to use simultaneously with multi-shot or volley, and would be useful in PvP as well. Of course since it's channeled it could be interrupted by any attack.

Intimidating Tail Swish would basically be a fear spell that sends any opponent in a 10 yard radius of your giant pet squirrel running for their life for a few seconds. Obviously this would mainly be useful in PvP battlegrounds or non-dungeon PvE. Let's face it, hunters with a fear ability would be awesome. It's just fun to watch things scatter. The little icon over the heads of your feared opponents would be of a squirrel face with red glowing eyes or something.

Pet Idea 3: Skunk

Skunks may look adorable with their spunky hair and cute white stripe, but when they face away from you and lift their tails, you had better be in another zip code. The obvious unique ability would be this very defensive tactic, called Repulsive Stench. It would be a conical area of attack, applying a nature DoT or slightly decreasing movement, as well as attack and casting speeds to affected targets. Skunks would eat a diet of bread and fruit.

Pet Collars

I realize a lot of people have this idea. For me personally, I thought it would be a neat hunter pet mechanic in WoW after playing Dragon Age: Origins, a game in which you can acquire a canine-like pet and equip different collars on him for different effects. Pet collars in WoW would be like rings or neck pieces - you wouldn't actually see them on your pet, but they would have different pet attribute enhancing stats. Or instead of the collar itself having stats, it would have a single gem slot that could be fitted with certain pet exclusive gems. This would give jewelcrafters new gems to cut in Cataclysm and would be a neat way for hunters to customize their pets.

Pet gems wouldn't be crazy powerful. Think more along the lines of the usefulness of minor glyphs. One gem might heal a pet for 2% of received damage, slightly increase its chance to dodge melee attacks or slightly increase focus regeneration speed. Hell, they could be completely utilitarian. Maybe a certain gem allows the pet to automatically undo a movement impairing effect on a nearby friendly target with a three minute cooldown, or it provides a small health (or other attribute) boost to all members in the pet's master's raid group. Or how about a gem that increases the party's movement speed to rival that of Aspect of the Pack, speeding up movement speed between trash pulls without having to worry about being dazed from being hit while in AotP? Fun things of that nature.

One of the things I love most about being a hunter, other than the pure DPS, is group utilization. I like using traps. I like misdirecting my threat. I like pushing a button and instantly allowing everybody in the group to run much faster. Hunter pet collars could be a way to enhance a hunter's group usefulness without even touching the talent trees.

Cataclysm is still months away but half the fun in waiting is speculating and coming up with things you hope will make it into the expansion. What ideas do you have?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Project Tauren Shaman Part One - Overview and Intro

The Primary Goal: Level to 80 with a horde toon before cataclysm comes out. The world is going to change and I've only experienced Azeroth, Outland and Northrend from the eyes of Alliance toons. Now is the time to experience Horde content before the world changes permanently.

The Secondary Goal: To accumulate as much gold as possible on my journey to 80. I will be selling everything profitable in the Auction House, while trying to rely only on quest rewards and random drops for gear. If at all possible I would like to avoid spending money on anything but repairs and training.

The Race Selection: Tauren. What else can I say other than I have always wanted a tauren toon?

The Class Selection: Shaman. Right now (as in pre-cataclysm) taurens can only be hunters, warriors, death knights, druids and shaman. Why did I pick shaman?

The death knight defeats the whole purpose of this experiment so it's obviously eliminated from my choice of class.

While I love my level 80 human fury warrior, and few things in the game would be cooler than having a hulking, geared up and plated out tauren warrior barreling towards my opponents in PvP, I have to pass on leveling another warrior. With no crowd control or self healing abilities until much higher levels it can be a very frustrating grind. I don't want to be bogged down with time consuming corpse runs, nor do I want to waste money and bag space on healing pots. Not to mention repairs get pretty pricey later on, which could sabotage my money-making goals.

Hunter was a very appealing choice as it's my favorite class in the game and I have a lot of experience playing as one, so leveling would be fast and easy. But I want to try something new. Enough said.

Druid is also out. I've tried leveling druids before and I just can't seem to get into it. Though I do have a level 40ish druid somewhere, I rarely play him. Maybe one day I'll get him leveled to 80, but I definitely don't want to do it twice.

So shaman it is, and here's why:

1) Shaman is the only class I've never experienced beyond level 10. I want to experience something refreshing and new.

2) I want the ability to queue for random dungeons as a healer to minimize wait times. Healing myself and others while leveling will be nice as well.

3) It will give me a chance to get some shaman experience under my belt as I plan to roll a goblin shaman come cataclysm. Having some knowledge on how to play the shaman class properly will allow me to focus more on the new quests and content cataclysm will bring.

The professions: As my secondary goal is to make as much money as possible I will be picking two gathering professions, mining and herbalism. Not only will I be able to offload everything I mine and pick to the AH for pure profit, but the mining profession stamina bonus will be nice, and the extra free herbalism self-heal lifeblood comes in handy for conserving mana in dungeons (by not wasting mana healing myself) and keeping my health topped off during soloing. Also, taurens have the racial ability of +15 to herbalism so that could minimize instances where I'm in a new zone and can't pick the herbs there because I'm 15 points below the skill level needed to pick them.

Having one or more crafting professions would be nice, sure, but I don't want to spend the time and money required to level them. I will be leveling first aid and cooking however.

The Leveling Process: I will be leveling with a balanced combination of quests, dungeons and PvP battlegrounds. While dungeons are great for speed leveling, I don't want to rely on them too heavily: low level random dungeon reward money is LOUSY compared to questing and I will miss out on a lot of mining and herbalism nodes (aka money). However, I still plan on doing the occasional dungeons to keep myself decently geared in blue quality gear. I will do the odd PvP battleground when quests and dungeons get old and when I'm in the higher end of my current level bracket.

The Realm: My three criteria for picking a realm to play on were simple: it had ad to be PvE realm I have no existing toons on in the MST timezone, with a nearly balanced Horde/Alliance ratio. A quick look on showed that the Doomhammer realm was a good candidate.

The Bank Alt: I'll be rolling a to be announced bank alt to handle the overflowing bags of my tauren, at least until he gets more bag space, as well as managing auction house transactions. Vendoring and auctioning EVERTHING that drops is important for accumulating wealth throughout the leveling process.

The Guild: I'm perfectly fine with leveling to 80 solo. That said, if I end up in a dungeon run with a group of nice people and a guild invite is extended to me, I will consider joining it. Nothing wrong with having a group to do dungeons and group quests with without having to rely on pugs.

The Talent Spec: Enhancement. Based on the little research I've done, leveling as elemental is extremely boring. I'm generally and not a fan of leveling in a healing spec so enhancement it is.

And so, without further ado, I would like to introduce Spirithorn, the level 1 Tauren Shaman!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in which I will progress through the first few levels and chronicle my adventures, experiences and finances!