Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year-In-Review (and Ding, Level 100 #3)

I look back over my blog and what I accomplished in 2014, and as you would expect for a year with no new content released by Blizzard over the course of the entire year, it's a bit underwhelming.

I did have a goal coming out of 2013 of completing all four wings of LFR and defeating Garrosh on all 11 of my max level Horde toons.  As I look back, I managed to finish off that goal on January 10th of 2014.  After that, I took a brief spin through pet collecting and battling until I managed to complete the Celestial Tournament.

After that came some flirtation with the new Diablo 3 expansion, followed by some flirtation with Wildstar. What can I say, I'm a flirt.

Needless to say, neither held my attention for very long, so it was back to leveling the alliance army, and I managed to finish off the pre-expansion period getting my 16th max level character.  I also managed to finally get the Headless Horseman mount after literally years and years of trying on what was, by my calculations, my 551st attempt.

I now finish up 2014 getting ready to run my fourth toon to 100 in the new expansion.  I've got 3 characters at max level now, all of whom have completed the current available LFR content and are on the current stage of the legendary quest.  The third toon will be caught up shortly (although not today).

I'm looking forward to Azeroth in 2015 and the opportunities that all this new content will provide.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Unlucky Death Knight

My poor death knight is the unluckiest soul in the Joar empire this expansion so far.  The poor guy is stuck at an ilvl of 609 and continues to have awful luck in normal dungeons, getting absolutely nothing in terms of useful drops.  So he's going to be watching all his pals go off to try the new wing of LFR this week, while he sits in in his stable and commiserates with his mounts.

He's a blacksmith, so is getting close to being able to make himself his first piece of crafted gear, but even that isn't going to be enough to get him there.

My warlock had pretty good luck last week in both the normal and LFR version of Highmaul and got 3 or 4 upgrades out of the run.  So he's looking forward to the new wing opening this week and seeing those bosses for the first time.

He's got enough Hexweave to craft his last piece of crafted gear, but we're going to wait to see if anything drops in LFR first.

I've also been leveling both the Alliance and Horde hunters and am really enjoying Marksmanship on both.  I'm hoping my Horde hunter has better luck with gearing once he gets to 100 than the Death Knight has, because I think that may be my second raiding toon.

Finally, I've also been working on my stables on my death knight.  He's now caught all the mounts, so it's just a matter of working through the quest lines.  So that's about it for the update for this week.  I'm hoping to get my hunter to 100 by the end of the week as well as getting in some more LFR runs, and we'll have to see if my poor death knight's luck improves.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ding, Level 100 #2

So I managed to get my 2nd character to level 100.  While there was considerably less time spent dicking around with my Garrison on this particular toon, there was still a relatively fair amount of Garrison time involved, so my total time to 100 was still not quite as fast as I think I should be able to achieve.  I ended up with a total leveling time to 100 on this character of 17 hours and 51 minutes, so about 7 hours faster than the first time through.

I'm not really planning to work on gearing this toon for endgame just yet.  I want to get the hunter leveled first, and will also be doing some LFR on my warlock once it releases this week.

I also did a Molten Core run with my guild this past weekend and managed to get a new head piece and the new core hound mount.  It naturally goes a little more smoothly with a full guild group, but we managed to clear it in just a little over two hours with only one wipe in the process, so not too bad all considered.

I've been also getting started on follower missions on my warlock as well.  He's maxed out on his number of followers, at least until he gets his barracks to level 3, so we're just leveling for now.  I need to go finish the quest line in Arak because there is one particular follower in Arak that I want to grab to round out my collection. But I'm only at something like 30 patrol missions, so I've got a ways to go before I need to worry about expanding my follower collection much more.

Not really getting much of value out of my salvage yard at this point, but closing in on the achievement that I need to upgrade that to level 3, so hopefully that'll help.

I did go out and grab a stable on my death knight and am working on the daily quests for the various mounts.  We'll see if the DK is the best character to be doing that on.  Certainly in terms of taming the mounts, the speed boost from Unholy Aura helps a lot.  Not sure how he's going to fare on the individual fights though.

The hunter is up next for leveling, and I'd like to get him done as quickly as possible too as I'm a little bit more interested in starting to play him through on the end game.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Initial Pre-LFR Gearing Strategies

So I managed to finish up the legendary quest chain on my main at this point and I'm happily sitting at a 623 ilvl, so well in excess of the minimum needed to queue for both Molten Core and the new LFR wings when they come out in another week.

Having gotten Joar to this point, and as a fairly casual consumer of raid content, I wanted to share the gearing strategies that I used for Joar to get him to the point where he could access the content I wanted with a minimum of work.

Note, that if you're looking to do cutting edge raiding, this almost certainly isn't the best approach as this is focused on getting to a minimum acceptable ilvl and not maximizing your ilvl.  One other point is that this didn't involve the purchase of a single BoE or crafted piece.

So here are the handful of recommendations.

  • If you quested through most of the zones, you should have more than enough rep to purchase two ilvl 615 trinkets in Ashran.  They cost about 600g each at Honored rep.
  • This is a very short term garrison recommendation, but as soon as you get your Garrison to level 2, get yourself a War Mill up and running.  This will increase the chances of getting upgrades from quest rewards and the level of those upgrades.  
  • After you've done this, be sure to move on to Nagrand as soon as you can and quest all the way through Nagrand.  You can pretty easily accumulate a handful of ilvl 630 gear this way.
  • Start the legendary questline as soon as you hit 98.  Get that Skyreach quest out of the way before you hit 100 and while you're still earning xp from it.
For the rest of my gear, everything else came from other drops that I got while doing the four heroics that you need to do to complete the legendary questline.  

In other developments, I'm also making pretty good progress on my death knight, who is now sitting at level 94 and is working his way through Gorgrond.  I'm suppressing my urge to tinker with my Garrison as much as possible, focusing instead on leveling speed this time.  Although with a new mine up and running, that's making it somewhat difficult for my miner / blacksmith death knight.

He's been extremely easy to level as frost so far.  My hunter will be up next, followed after by my paladin, who is my jewelcrafter.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Leveling Speed with Garrisons

So I can now confirm with some data in hand, that if spending a lot of time in your garrison messing around with all the fun stuff on offer there, it will significantly slow your leveling time.  My warlock finally managed to hit 100 on Friday, about a week after the expansion release, with a total leveling time of 24 hours and 30 minutes.

I will note that that is still significantly better than my first character leveling times in both Mists and Cataclysm, but it is more than double some of the better leveling times that I've been hearing about from others where a 10-12 hours speed run seems to be about average.  Some of that time was the result of server issues in the first week, but a lot of that is just a result of the distraction provided by my Garrison.

I've now started the process on my death knight, and the plan is to run him straight through as quickly as possible, so I'll report back on what the next few toons look like.

In the meantime, on my main, I went off and grabbed the Silver Proving Grounds achievement and started on the legendary quest line.  So I'm working on the daily quest for Apexis Shards and running normals to try to get the ilvl to queue for heroics.  Once I turn in the Apexis shard portion of the legendary questline, I'll start saving those up for gear next.

I've also managed to upgrade my Garrison to level 3 and am just working on some of the other buildings at this point.  It's mostly just a matter of saving up enough Garrison resources at this point to get the other buildings in place.  Once that is done, I'll probably start follower missions in earnest.

The current plan for Joar's garrison is

Small buildings:

Tailoring - matches a profession
Enchanting - matches a profession
Salvage Yard

Medium Buildings

Lumber Mill - extra Garrison resources
Trading Post - extra resources

Large Buildings

Workshop - access to extra bonus roll token

I'm also working through Hexweave Cloth as much as possible and am getting pretty close to having enough to craft an epic, so that should help with my ilvl.  Enchants are selling well, as are glyphs, so that's keeping my cash flow up pretty well.

My guild has a Molten Core run scheduled for early December, so I'm probably going to wait and do that as a guild run rather than just trying it at random.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Distracted by Garrisons

So my earnestly laid plans of getting my Garrison set up and then leaving it behind, to quickly level to 100 were quickly waylaid by a nasty habit of messing with my Garrison.  So I'm sitting at level 96 instead of 100, but I've got upgraded Tailoring and Enchanting buildings and an upgraded mine.  And I'm amassing tons of ore to send to my blacksmith and jewelcrafter and engineer.  I've got almost a dozen followers, 3 of them epic.  I've done a bunch of different Garrison missions with my followers and gotten some cool stuff out of that as well.  I'm cutting down trees for my lumber mill and hunting down seeds so I can get my herb garden up and running.  (Note to self, need to find an addon that shows my herbalism notes even if I'm not an herbalist).

I'm running across various zones search for just the right follower.  So I've now got the appropriate followers to assign to my tailoring and enchanting buildings, so I now I need more followers to go on missions, since those guys now have other tasks.

I'm not as close to 100 as I thought I would be, but I'm having fun with it.

I've not gone the goblin route of trying to make as much money as possible in the early days of the expansion.  In part because I'm already sitting on a comfortable cash pile, and also because, with my Garrison pumping out a steady supply of resources for all my various professions, I really don't think I need it.  Stuff is getting churned out for later use.

I do want to run my inscriptionist through pretty quick so that he can start cranking out new glyphs because that is typically a pretty lucrative market for me, and I'm probably going to want the Darkmoon Card trinket at least on my main.

So we'll see how it goes as I continue to level alts.  I think the next one will be a bit easier to go all out with, so I may have a little bit better data on leveling speed.  My one after that was supposed to be of the official "faffing with Garrisons" variety, so I may just swap that with the plan for my main.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bagged, Tagged, Planned and Ready to Roll

So the launch of Warlords is rapidly approaching.  I've been scurrying around this week acquiring Grummlepacks, Onyxia Hide Bags, Dragon Hide Bags and a few Royal Satchels so that all of my toons have plenty of bag space for leveling in Warlords.  Of course, I've never had an issue with running out of bag space while leveling in the past, so not sure why I think I'm going to have issues this time, but best to be prepared.  I don't know if we'll be seeing the same volume of random toys and cooking related items that seemed to drop all over the place in Pandaria, but I've always got bank alts set up to accept transfers of any needed excess goods at the first opportunity.

I've also had the time to plan out what I think my Garrison layouts are going to be for each toon, as well as my initial thoughts on leveling order and the leveling approach to be used by each toon.

So here is what that little plan looks like:

Small plot Medium plot Large plot Leveling approach
Joar Tailoring Emporium Barn Barracks Questing skip ahead
Enchanter's Study Lumber Mill Mage Tower
Joardk The Forge Barn Barracks Questing - complete zones
Enchanter's Study Trading Post Stables
Joarshot Enchanter's Study Inn Barracks Garrison Focused
Alchemy Lab Lumber Mill Armoury
Joarbek Scribes Quarters Trading Post Armoury Questing - skip ahead
Storehouse Lumber Mill Barracks
Salvage Yard
Joaridan Gem's Boutique Barn Barracks Dungeons / healing
Enchanter's Study Trading Post Mage Tower
Joarfu Enchanter's Study Inn Armoury Garrison focused
Storehouse Lumber Mill Barracks
Salvage Yard
Joarvyk Alchemy Lab Trading Post Mage Tower Dungeons / healing
Storehouse Lumber Mill Workshop
Salvage Yard
Joarnak Enchanter's Study Barn Mage Tower Questing - complete zones
Storehouse Trading Post Workshop
Salvage Yard
Joarwyn Tannery Barn Barrcks Dungeons / healing
Enchanter's Study Lumber Mill Stables
Joarmama Enchanter's Study Inn Armoury Garrison focused
Storehouse Lumber Mill Barracks
Salvage Yard
Joarstab Engineering Works Inn Stables Questing - skip ahead
Enchanter's Study Lumber Mill Workshop
Melric Enchanter's Study Trading Post Mage Tower Questing - skip ahead
Storehouse Inn Stables
Salvage Yard
Melpar Enchanter's Study Trading Post Mage Tower Questing - complete zones
Storehouse Barn Stables
Salvage Yard
Meloar Enchanter's Study Inn Armoury Garrison Focused
Storehouse Lumber Mill Barracks
Salvage Yard
Melwon Scribes Quarters Trading Post Barracks Dungeons / healing
Storehouse Lumber Mill Workshop
Salvage Yard
Melardin Enchanter's Study Trading Post Mage Tower Questing - complete zones
Storehouse Barn Stables

Salvage Yard

So I think that gives me a reasonable start to the plan.   Everyone is cleaned out and freshly stocked with supplies and more than adequate bag space. Everyone with crafting professions has the corresponding plots.  The toons that are my big money makers generally have access to a trading post in their Garrison (although may have to bulldoze at least one Lumber Mill at some point).  I've got a plan for my Garrisons that gives me a look at basically all the buildings available (except for the PvP building, which I'm still debating about adding to a toon or two later on).  And I've also spaced out the toons that I plan to level via dungeons to make sure that I don't drive myself completely insane.

Once I start getting a few toons to max level, I'll then need to decide if I want to start jumping into LFR or focus on playing around with my garrisons etc.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Historical Data on Leveling Times

I will once again be tracking my leveling times for the variety of Joar alts and, consistent with prior expansions, using a variety of different approaches:

  • Straight zone play throughs
  • Dungeon leveling
  • Zone skip aheads
  • Garrison centric leveling
I will admit that because of personal issues going on, I did not manage to participate in the beta at all this time unfortunately, so I don't know much beyond what I've read about what I'll be facing.  However, I gather that there will be leveling options that are a little bit more garrison centric than straight questing options, so to the extent that I can design different leveling paths under those scenarios, I will do that and report out the data.

I thought I'd also recap the data that I have from the last two expansions.  For MoP, my average leveling time (from the prior max level) was around 23.1 hours played and there was no significant difference between any of the above approaches.

In Catalclysm, my average time to max level was 24.7 hours played.  In that case, the characters that used a dungeon based leveling approach were slightly longer.  While that average is higher, there are two unrelated factors that may have been specific to me in both those cases - one is going into Cataclysm, the full set of toons was not as well geared as they were going into MoP, so that may have impacted the leveling time, at least initially.  I also chose to have my first toon leveled for that expansion be my paladin instead of my warlock, because I wanted to try to have a healer first.  Playing through a toon that wasn't my main and trying to get gear that was healing focused, undoubtedly affected my leveling time, and as a result (combined with launch date general slowness), my time on the paladin was significantly higher than anyone else (35 hours in total).  If you back that out as an outlier, the average time on Cata drops to 23.4 hours, or not wildly different than MoP.

I've gathered from what I've read in various places that the time from 90 to 100 is going to be significantly shorter this time around, but I've not actually done it myself yet.  We'll know for sure next week.

In the meantime, with 16 toons to level, I'll be assigning four to each of the groups above, which should give me a somewhat reasonable indicator under each approach.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ding! Level 90 #16 and more Pre-Warlords Preparation

So I finally managed to hit level 90 on my alliance paladin on Sunday, giving me 16 in total.  Not many compared to some, but I'm pretty happy with the total all told.  It's interesting that is really only 3 more max level characters than I had at the end of Cataclysm and one of those is my boosted character from the pre-order.

That leaves me with 6 more alliance characters that are still in the leveling process, and all of those are sitting in the mid-50's (except for the monk, who is in the mid-20's.).  Despite the lack of focus on leveling new toons in MoP, most of those same alliance toons were in the mid-30's at the end of Cataclysm, so I did make a little bit of progress on them.

I'll probably continue to work through them all a little bit between now and when Warlords drops next week, in addition to my gold making efforts.

I'm still finding that most of the old standby professions from MoP are still producing decent profits.  For some reason, people on my server are still continuing to buy crafted PvP gear, which I don't understand at all, but as long as people keep buying it, I'll keep selling it.  Glyphs aren't selling as well as they did before the patch given all the changes, but it is still a dependable source of income.  Enchants continue to sell extremely well.  Gems have tapered off a bit after the immediate post-patch gold rush - they're back to around the same general level of profitability that they were.

So my banks are all cleaned out, my reagent tabs organized and filled, my toy boxes stocked.  I have a few odds and ends pieces of gear that either need to be sold or put into void storage, but by and large, I think I'm ready.

I was debating running around collecting additional bags for my variety of toons for leveling, but for some reason, bag space has never really been a big issue for me while leveling.  I tend to ship things that need tending to off to alts at the first available mailbox, vendor things regularly and keep a ready stream of disenchanting going.  Assuming a lot of the random crap that you tended to get in MoP will now be toy box eligible and that there won't be zillions of random food items for your farm dropping like they tended to in MoP, I anticipate it will be far less crowded than it used to be anyway.

Most of the times that I had bag space issues tended to be if I was trying to assemble multiple gear sets, but I don't anticipate that being as much of an issue this time around as it used to be given the changes to stats brought by the patch.

That being said, I may go grab a quick Onyxia bag and Grummlepack on most of my alts as those are pretty easy to get.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Woot! On Headless Horseman Kill #551 Finally!

One seriously happy warlock

So after way too many years of trying and a total of 551 Headless Horseman kills, the mount is finally mine!

I will also manage to pick up both pets today, so mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Upgrades and My Continued Assault on the Headless Horseman

So I've gone back to my annual ritual of desperation and futility and have been running the Headless Horseman every day on all 15 of my max level toons.  This is an activity that I've been doing for several years now, and I started this year's Hallow's End having already attempted it 400 times.  As of last night, that number of attempts is now up to 440, and if the 0.5% chance on Wowhead is accurate, that means there is only an 11% chance that I'd run it that many times without getting the mount.

That makes me incredibly special and unique in a way that is seriously starting to piss me off.

I've still only run the Blasted Lands quests on one toon since I've now become preoccupied with the Headless Horseman.  However, the upgrades from Horseman rings as well as heading out to Townlong Steppes to buy upgrades has resulted in a little bit of ilvl movement on my characters since my last update in early August.

So here is where we stand as of today:

Warlock - 554 -> 560
Shaman - 535 -> 537
DK 529 - > 531
Hunter 523 -> 528
Mage 519 -> 525
Monk 516 -> 524
Priest 519 -> 521
Paladin 513 -> 521
Druid 513 -> 517
Warrior 512 -> 515
Rogue 508 -> 514

So I still need to finish cleaning all that Timeless Isle gear out of my bags and get my heirlooms reconsolidated in one place, then run the Blasted Lands quests on a few toons that could use the upgrades.  I'll have plenty of time to get all that done once the Hallow's End event is done.  I'm also probably going to work on getting the pets since I'm waiting in queue anyway.

And, if I have time left over, I may continue working on leveling the alliance army.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You Are Not Prepared!!!! for 6.0

Actually, I am sort of prepared, but that makes for a really boring blog post title.  So there are a number of things that I plan to do tonight once 6.0 is up and running, after of course making sure as many of my addons as possible have been updated.

  • Sort through my various alt banks and make sure everything is appropriately deposited in the new toy box.  Wowhead has a list of things that can go in the toybox, and combining that with the ArkInventory cross toon search feature has me well prepared with a good list of how to get that done efficiently.
  • Go play through the new launch event in the Blasted Lands.  I honestly might give this one a day or two before I jump into it, just to wait for the crowds to die down a little bit.
  • Run the new UBRS instance.  I should be able to grab a guild group for this one.
  • With a total of 15 toons geared at least somewhat for raiding, I'm probably not going to go to the trouble of optimizing more than a handful for raiding at this point.  I'll likely try Siege again on a couple, but not enough for it to be worth going through a big optimization effort.  Sorry Mr. Robot.
  • I'd like to jump into some of the older raid instances that have been made more solo friendly to see how that feels.  Thorim.  This means you.
  • I've been very focused on my alliance paladin lately hoping to get him to 90 before the next expansion drops (he's currently sitting just slightly short of 82).  Despite that goal, I may go back to leveling folks a little bit at a time just to get a feel for some of the class changes and how those may impact me for leveling come WoD release.
  • I may make a few trips to the barber shops / plastic surgeon guy to see if I like new face options for any of my characters.  It seems like an odd thing since I'm generally only looking at their back sides, but I figure I'll take a look.
  • With 522 gear now purchasable for gold from the Shado-Pan Assault vendor, I will probably buy a few upgrade pieces for toons that can use them.  I probably should have prepared a list for this.  
I think that's about it for my post-patch to do list.  Once all of that is done, I'll probably go back to leveling my alliance toons for the next month or so.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Paladin on to Cataclysm and a Permanent Drop From the Weekly Checklist

So I managed to get my alliance paladin to level 80 last night, which means he's heading for Mount Hyjal.  I was briefly thinking about going the Vash'jir route because I haven't done it in a really long time, but then I remembered that I'm not completely insane.

I managed to get through Northrend without doing a single dungeon more than once, other than the requisite 2-3 passes through Utgarde Keep from levels 68-70.  So that was all good.

He's looking to be in pretty good shape for hitting max within the next week or two, so in plenty of time for WoD.  Doesn't look like my poor alliance shadow priest is going to be as lucky, but that's okay.

I also managed to cross something off my standing weekly to do list permanently.

Thank you Onyxia!  It'll be weird not seeing you every week.  Enjoy the break from my Chaos Bolts.

I also solo'd the Zul'Aman speed run and managed to get the Amani Bear mount as well, so all in, it was a good week for new mounts for the Joar empire.

After 6.0 drops, potentially next week, I'll be starting the process of cleaning out my bags, and potentially planning the various garrison buildings that I'll be targeting for my various toons that I'll be leveling for WoD.

I'm also debating my leveling order for WoD.  I'm pretty sure Joar will be first, then some combination of death knight, shaman, paladin and hunter, but haven't decided for sure on any of those yet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Joar Alliance Army Leveling Updates

So I managed to ding 70 on my paladin last night.  Does anything other than Utgarde Keep ever pop from 68-71?  I'm getting so incredibly tired of that place.  I guess I could just queue for the specific dungeons that I want to avoid the incredible frustration of watching that pop up again and again.

Pushing this one toon toward max has made me realize that I sort of miss the gradual progress of doing a little bit on a whole bunch of toons all at once, so I may bag the pushing one and a time approach, and go back to a little bit of everything.  After all, I really don't particularly need yet another toon at max level come Warlords, so what does it matter, right?

I've also started to execute on the pre-patch 6.0 plans that I laid out in my last post.  All the extra burdens have been used, Justice Points spent (although I did realize I've been using the PvP version of the caster staff, so I may grind out a few more points on one toon to get the regular caster staff).

I've also started spending valor for upgrades on all the toons that have valor sitting on their currency tab.

I've also started to inventory everyone's bank to see what cleaning needs to be done.  Priest, shammy and paladin seem to need the most attention at this point, so we'll get to those.

I've also sent a full set of Timeless Isle gear to my alliance paladin and alliance priest, as those are the only toons likely to hit max level before the expansion hits, so at least they'll have a little bit of a boost once they get there.  The rest are in the process of being sharded or sold.

So we're getting to be in good shape I think.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Initial Preparations for WoD

The one year birthday of Siege of Orgrimmar passed since my last blog post.  No meaningful new content in over a year now.  Just sort of boggles the mind, doesn't it?  I've now managed to defeat Garrosh Hellscream on something like 13 different toons to the point that I can't stand the sight of the place.  I've taken to using the auction house in Undercity, just to avoid Orgrimmar.

I've continued to work on my alliance paladin, and he is very close to being ready to head to Northrend.  Getting to the home stretch on that one.  I think I may manage to get one more alliance character in addition to the paladin to max before WoD drops, but we'll see.  

I've also started to think about the various things I need to do to prepare for WoD.

So here's a quick version of my to-do list over the next few weeks.

  1. Make sure to spend all the accumulated valor and justice points on all 15 current max level toons.  I keep saying on Twitter that I'm currently working on #15, but now that I look closely at it, it's #16 I'm working on.  Sheesh.  In any case, there are still a handful of heirlooms that I don't have.  Nothing really better to do with those JP.  VP will likely go toward gear or upgrades.
  2. It really can't hurt to do some farming of lesser charms, since it will be possible to use them for upgrades once patch 6.0 drops.  Those little gear bonuses will help make the initial leveling zones just a little bit easier.
  3. Make sure to use those last few Burdens of Eternity.  See point above.
  4. Clean out those banks.  Some gear should be headed for void storage, and the stuff that isn't can just be sold or sharded.  This time around, all the crafting reagents can just stay, since that'll all going on a separate tab come 6.0.
  5. Timeless Isle gear fire sale.  I've managed to accumulate a few hundred pieces of Timeless Isle gear.  It's time for that all to be sharded or sold.  The good news is I've got enchanters in two separate armor types, so I'll be able to shard about half of it.
My to do list tends to get longer as we get closer to the expansion release date, so I'll be sure to post updates from time to time.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Updated Nothingness

So I haven't posted an update to this here blog for quite some time.  Totally screwed up the whole Blaugust thing.  Whose idea was it anyway to start something that encouraged daily posting at a time of intense inter-content doldrums.  The world is not all about Warcraft you say?  Nonsense.

Poor Wildstar really missed a bet here.  If the leveling and grinding process hadn't been so incredibly painful and buggy, I would have been happily plunking away in Nexus working on a bunch of different toons while waiting for WoD.  If you have managed to drive subscribers away while there was literally nothing else to go do, you've really accomplished something there Carbine.  Well done.

So here is what I've been up to.  I've been working through the last stages of the legenday quest line on my priest.  I've got just Runestones to go at this point, but honestly, I really don't care if I finish or not.  I've found my play time significantly reduced of late because of some real life changes going on, so I don't anticipate having the time to be the massive altoholic I've been in the past come WoD.  I may actually choose to focus on two or three characters max come WoD, and honestly, my priest is probably not going to be one of them.

I haven't 100% finalized the decisions yet, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be some combination of my warlock, my death knight, my shaman and my hunter.

I've been going back and picking up some achievements on Joar.  Because yes, it's something to do, and because dammit, those Malayan Quillrat's just cry out to be /loved.  I often find myself looking at those on the mini-map wondering why there would be anything Malaysian in Pandaria and scolding myself for not visiting my KL operations in real life recently.  But that might just be me.

I finally managed to log onto my mage while it was raining in Stranglethorn, so I also picked up the elusive Baby Ape, completing my Zookeeper achievement and title.  Zookeeper Joar.  Like anyone would trust a warlock with their baby animals.  Is someone grilling burgers?  Cool green fire grill dude.

Lastly, because I can never quite cure myself of my altoholic bent, I've also been working on my paladin alliance side.  He's currently working his way through Outland.  I must say, my dwarf paladin is a darn good looking dude.

So that's the update.  I'll try to get back to posting more regularly, especially as we get closer to the release of WoD and 6.0.  I will of course start with my preparatory plans, of course assuming my normal rampant case of altoholism.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Critical Evaluation of the Warlord Cinematic

So here are a few initial thoughts on the Warlords of Draenor Cinematic.

  • Really excited to see gnomes featured so prominently.  Granted, it was just an advertisement off to the side, but still.  I'll take it.
  • While initially concerned, I thought Kim Kardashian really shined in the role of Pit Lord.
  • What happened in the past 35 years that caused Orcs to lose the ability to construct something more than two stories tall?
  • Is Thrall still green or will we be getting a new red Thrall.  Does this have any impact on the suggested side effects of green M&M's?
  • Can we just all agree to call this the AngryOrc expansion?  I mean, there was even a two handed axe firmly planted in a skull.  Doesn't get more AngryOrc than that.
  • I'm confused.  What are we fighting about?
  • Looking forward to the new improved St. Patricks day event featuring that weird green beer stuff that Grom was contemplating drinking.  Weirdest leprechaun ever though.
  • After all that work on character models and everything else, why do all the Orcs in the cinematic look exactly the same.  Could we get name tags please?
  • On November 13, 1914, Berber tribesman defeated the French in Morocco in the battle of El Herri.  Coincidence?  You be the judge.  Without that, the berber carpet in Mike Morhaime's rec room probably wouldn't be there.
  • None of the Orcs making their way to the giant building appeared to be flying, effectively confirming that there will be no flying in the new expansion.  Or that most netherdrake members of the Screen Actors' Guild continued to be on strike during the filming of the cinematic.
  • If all those torches are planning to stop by my garrison at some point, I'm going to need a level 4 dining room.
  • Orc orc orc orc orc orc orc orc....if you say that fast enough, it starts to sound like you're saying Kor over and over again.  The people that used to play Beatles albums backwards looking for secret messages are very concerned by this.

Friday, August 8, 2014

10 Years, 10 Questions

Thank you to Alternative Godmother for a fantastic idea.  For those of you not following her blog, you should be.  It sits at, and it's fantastic.  You can also find her on twitter @AlternativeChat, which is also the name of her podcast which you can find on iTunes as well as on the blog.  Of course, the chances that you're reading me, and not reading her are pretty slim, but just in case, I figured I'd add that plug.

In any case, she had the absolutely brilliant idea to get the community to a bit of a retrospective on the last 10 years, so she's asked folks to answer 10 questions about their experience with World of Warcraft.  So with no further ado, here are my answers to the 10 questions:

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

So, for those of you that have watched my Twitter feed recently, I have been divorced and remarried.  I had one child with my previous wife, and we divorced when he was two years old.  When he was three, my ex-wife decided to move about 450 miles away from me.  I've spent the last 15 years traveling to see him every other weekend.  That's all about to end, because next weekend, he's going to be starting college full time.  He'll be studying Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina.  

But I digress.

Video games became a connection point for us.  It start with Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo, and eventually XBox.  We'd spend a significant amount of our time together on the weekends just playing games together.  At one point, there was a lull in between releases of various console games and we went looking for something else to keep us occupied.  Trolling the video game aisle at Target, we came upon World of Warcraft.  "You ever heard of this?"  "Yeah, I think some of my friends play it and think it's pretty cool.  It's online, so we could play together even when you're not down here."

DING DING DING DING!  We have a winner!  So we picked it up and started playing.  It gave us a way to stay connected during the week and on the weekends when I wasn't here.  And 8 or so years later, it's something that we still do very regularly.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

Meet Abbert.  Gnome mage.  The first character I ever rolled, and never got past level 13.  He still sits calmly there in Stormwind, waiting.  Hoping I'll decide to finish him up one day.  I believe I started him on Drenden, but then took a free server transfer to Nesingwary at one point when I started the mission of getting a toon of every class of one faction to max level.  Of course, that started on Drenden, but then moved to Garrosh when my son (see above) moved most of his toons to Garrosh.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I initially tried an alliance character and got a little frustrated with it.  Squishy mages.  The next thing I tried was my warlock, Joar.  Interestingly enough, that's what came up when I hit randomize on the name button and now it's a key part of my online identify.  Funny how that works.

There wasn't really anything specific about either faction.  My first forays on an alliance toon weren't successful.  I tried an undead warlock and that went much better for me.  I found a friendly guild right away, and the rest is history.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

Hitting max level for the first time is still a very memorable thing for me.  Also, my first time stepping into a raid.  I love some of the fun things that my guild has done and some of the special in-game things.  Getting together in game to honor a friend's passing, for example.  The Lich King was my first end expansion boss kill, and that is still very memorable for me, as is Deathwing.

I'm really not sure I could identify just one.  My son and I co-tanked Throne of Thunder one weekend beginning to end, and that was an amazing thing for me, because I am truly the worlds worst tank, and I was really amazed how he was able to sit there and walk me through it so we ended up having a very successful run.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I really enjoy leveling.  And yes, I think that's always been the case.  There are a ton of things that I enjoy though.  I like raiding on a casual basis.  I enjoy PvP every now and then.  I love exploring.  I love working on professions.  

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

I tend to hang out in a combination of Orgrimmar and whatever the faction base of the xpac is (Shattrath, Dalaran, Shrine, etc.).

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

318 days, 16 hours.  It's sort of interesting to me how that breaks down.  I'm currently sitting at a total of 15 level 90's.  I've got 11 of those Horde - one of each class, and 4 alliance, with another 7 alliance in the process of leveling.  The played time is very heavily Horde slanted with a total of 297 days, 22 hours on that faction.  Of that, my main, Joar, undead warlock, has the most at 109 days, 7 hours.  Surprising to me, my priest was second at 26 days, 23 hours.  I probably raided most on my priest in Cataclysm and did a fair amount of PvP on him early in MoP.  My druid was my lead alt through most of Wrath however, so I really expected him to be higher.

On the alliance side, my total is less than my average Horde toon at 19 days, 21 hours.  The highest is my hunter at 4 days and 12 hours.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I do.  Not for quests that I've done 20 times.  But the first time leveling in any given expansion, I'm definitely reading them.  Usually the second time as well.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Well, now that I see his sorry ass sitting there in Stormwind all sad and at level 13, I sort of regret never finishing Abbert.  I sometimes regret leaving Drenden because as it turns out, it wouldn't have impact my ability to continue to play with my son given cross realm and all that.  While I have a guild that I love on Garrosh, I had some really good friends on Drenden and was sad to leave them behind.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

It has mostly been a way for me to stay connected with my son.  Something for us to always talk about during those awkward teenage years, and will hopefully remain that way while he's away at college.  In the meantime, I'm working on getting his two younger brothers hooked (so they can stay connected with him as well...yeah...that's it!)

So that's it, 10 questions, 10 years.  Hope I did you proud, Godmother!

It's a Rogue Lovin' Weekend (Maybe)

So I think the plan for this weekend is going to be to give some LFR love to my rogue, who currently has the lowest ilvl of the Joar Horde empire.  I did manage to pick up a Timeless Isle weapon for him and also a Shado-Pan Assault trinket, so it did move his ilvl from 503 to 508, but that still puts him 4 points behind the next closest member of the Joar army.  So I may see if I can make some progress on him this weekend.

My last update was way back in early May.  Despite taking a break from doing much on the Horde side, there has been some movement on the Horde side since then.  So here's the latest and greatest:

Warlock - 548 -> 554
Shaman - 529 -> 535
DK - 526 -> 529
Hunter - still 523
Priest - 517 -> 519
Druid - still 513
Warrior 511 -> 512
Mage - 510 -> 519
Paladin - 508 -> 513
Monk - 506 -> 516
Rogue - 503 -> 508

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Diving Back Into Wow

So I finally hit the button and unsubbed Wildstar.  So many things that I loved about the game, but at the end of the day, those were all unfortunately offset by the number of things that I found extremely frustrating.

So I've dived back into WoW.  And when I say dived, it's more like dipped my toe gradually into the zero entry section of the pool.  Between vacations and craziness at work, my play time has been wildly limited, so "diving" is probably overstating things a bit.

I may just focus on leveling the rest of the Joar alliance army.  I did do a quick solo run through Ulduar on my warlock to pick up some transmog gear and see if I could knock out a few achievements.  I got hung up on Thorim, but I may enlist some help to knock that one out rather than try to gimmick it.

I've been debating leveling the alliance side of my toon collection a bit at a time, or just pick a toons and level them all the way through, one at a time.

My last update on the alliance group was on April 6th, and I've made some pretty good progress since then, so here's where things stand now:

Priest - level 48 -> 56
Mage - level 46 -> 52
Rogue - level 46 ->52
Druid - level 49 -> 56
Paladin - level 49 -> 54
Warrior - level 49 -> 54
Monk - level 17 -> 25

So this is with being pretty distracted by Wildstar over the time since then and having my overall play time significantly reduced.  I'm still thinking sometime November / December'ish looks pretty on track for a WoD release date, so it'll be interesting to see how far I can get these between now and then.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Wildstar

So I've got a month to decide if I want to go ahead and renew my Wildstar subscription for another month, and frankly I'm struggling for a lot of different reasons.  There are some things that I really love about the game, and some things that drive me absolutely nuts.

So let me start off by laying out where I'm coming from.  I'm an extremely casual player.  I don't generally raid consistently with a raid team in any game, not in small part because my work and family schedules are very unpredictable, and I wouldn't be able to commit to a consistent date or time.  I do, however, run LFR and world bosses pretty frequently, and at least two of my WoW characters have ilvls that are on par with someone that does raid (i.e., over 553).  I'm mostly playing the game for entertainment and stress relief.  There's really not much on TV that interests me other than as background noise, and frankly I can't bring myself to read the 94th version of the same story by John Grisham.  So I play video games.  For fun.  And to relax.

Yep.  I'm a carebear.

So here are the things that I love about Wildstar so far.  It's different.  The whole idea of a alien space fantasy game is really cool, and different than the stuff that's come out recently.  It's pretty cartoony, so it runs well on laptops in airports when I'm traveling for work.  I like the whole path concept and having two things that you can be working on leveling for your character.  It adds another dimension to the game play that is really interesting.  I also absolutely love what they've done with housing.  Without a raid finder, I need something to do at end game, and tinkering with housing plots across an army of alts seems like it would be a really entertaining way to spend my time.  They seem to have done a lot of things with the game really well.  The approach to crafting has really been intriguing for me so far, and I like the fact that they also seem to be releasing content at a pretty decent pace.

So now for the negatives.  The game is hard.  Really hard.  From the perspective of a casual rather than a hard core raider, it is almost unreasonably so.  Now don't get me wrong, I fully recognize that there are people that play these games because of the skill required.  And they don't even necessarily have to be hard-core progression raiders.  People that just really enjoy the challenge.  And this game may be truly excellent for those folks.  But for me, as someone who is looking at it as an alternative to watching Grey's Anatomy (ok, not really), I'm looking for an interesting story and something that is challenging, but not to the point of being frustrating.  And Wildstar so far has been well over that frustrating line.

The second issue for me is there is still a lot about the game that is extremely buggy.  Quests that are bugged, abilities that don't work.  Whole areas that are just glitchy.  Checking the forums, it's obvious that these bugs have been out there since release, and they don't appear to be getting addressed.  I started playing Wildstar on an Engineer and have finally concluded that I just can't continue.  In concept, it should be a great class to level with, but I've found the bots to just be too buggy.  From times where they just stop following you altogether, to other times that they either decide to pull things for themselves, or won't taunt when you ask.  For a class where they've seemingly sacrificed both dps and mobility because you have these bot defenders, not having the bots work properly ruins it for me.

So I've switched to trying my Spellslinger, and so far that seems to be working a little bit better in terms of the buginess, so I may take a shot at running this character to 50.  I feel like I owe the game that much at least.

But I have found myself going to back to WoW and leveling more members of the Joar alliance army.  The 7 non-90 classes I have alliance side are all in the early 50's, so getting close to Outland, which might be fun.  And the game feels a lot like an old cherished blanket when you slide back into after a break.  Warm, comfortable, and just seems to fit perfectly.  So we'll see.  As always, I'll write about it here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wildstar, Rift and WoW updates

So I missed canceling my Wildstar subscription by just barely a day, so I've basically got another month to continue trying it out to see what I think.  If nothing else, it's new content to see and new stuff to do in the downtime while I wait for new Warcraft content.  I've managed to get my Engineer to level 22.  It's getting to be a pretty challenging slog at this point.  I've just started into Whitevale.  I was hoping to be level 23 before hoping over to Whitevale, but a few different bugged quests stood in my way.

I've also been working on a Dominion Spellslinger and have gotten him to level 12.  I've been enjoying that class, because, while it doesn't have the tanking bot, it has a lot more range and hits a lot harder than the engineer.  So stuff is getting dead before it even gets nearby.  I'm doing Scientist on the Spellslinger and that has also been a lot of fun so far.  I'm also giving Architect a try, because if I do decide to run someone all the way to end game, focusing on doing stuff with my housing plot seems like a good way to spend my end game time given my erratic play schedule.

On Rift, I started working through my mage a bit more.  I was a little disappointed to see that one of the recent patches did away with the Warlock / Necromancer preset soul combination that I'd been using, although the Necromancer / Elemental combo that seems to have replaced it seems to be working pretty well also.  I'm sure I could have looked up a custom build, but I'm going for casual easy mode here.  This toon is almost to 58 and I think I'll finish getting them to 60 and maybe do a few Expert dungeons for gear before moving onto my Rogue / Hunter on the Defiant side.

In Warcraft, I'm still not finding much to do outside of gold-making, although that continues to go extremely well.  I tend to be primarily a solo player (although I love my guild, I'm not available with enough consistency to be on a raid team or anything like that), so I remain concerned that diving too deep into the beta will only result in my getting burned out on WoD content even faster than I did this time around, particularly if Blizzard's content process continues to work the same as it has for the last 3 expansions.  So I'm holding off on that and just letting the Joar army sit for now, other than regular auction house stuff.  I may level another alliance toon or two before it's done, but that remains to be seen.

Staying out of the beta continues to be a personal challenge, and one that I may give in to before too long.  Garrisons looks like a really interesting new feature, particularly for a casual player like me, so I'm really anxious to try it out.  Carbine has done a fantastic job with the player housing concept in Wildstar, so I'm hoping Blizzard is taking notes at some of the cool things that have been done there.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

5 Year Blogoversary (slightly late)

So my five year blogoversary past this past Monday without any fanfare because of real life obligations.  And because, not being in the Warlords of Draenor Alpha at this point, I don't have a ton to write about.  My various Warcraft toons are basically on hold, making gold each week, but generally hanging out waiting for the next expansion.  I've been playing a little bit of Wildstar, and, while it's an excellent game, I'm not sure even that is going to be enough to hold my attention until WoD drops.

But I did want to reflect a bit on what I've accomplished here over those 5 years since I first laid down the first post in this space.  At that time, I had exactly 2 level 80 max level toons (having only gotten one character to max level over the course of Vanilla and Burning Crusade.

So since then, I've managed to level a total of 15 characters to max level - one of each class on the Horde side on one server, and 4 alliance characters on another server.  I've also leveled one character to max level in Rift (with a second not far behind), one character to max level in SWTOR, and I'm about a third of the way there on Wildstar.

I may give up on Wildstar and go back to playing Rift a bit more.  My guardian mage is pretty close to max level but my defiant rogue / hunter has a way to go.  I have managed to get my Engineer / Settler to level 19, but I'm finding it's not a game that's as conducive as I'd like to an extremely casual play style.  I tend to play mostly while traveling (which is fine) or in the evenings while watching TV with my wife.  If I set things down to watch something or talk with my wife about something, it's not a great situation if that has a huge impact on me in game.  In WoW or Rift, I can park my toon in a safe place, and worse case scenario, I have to run back to my corpse.  That's not an option in Wildstar, and I've found that a bit frustrating.  But that's me as an extremely casual player.  Fantastic game and if I was playing a lot more than I am now, I'd probably be much more focused on it.

So cheers!  Thanks for those of you that have been reading!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Adventures in Wildstar

So I've started to dip my toes into Wildstar, including playing a little bit during the early launch period.  My play time has been pretty limited because of other real life commitments, but wanted to report out here on some initial thoughts.

I may need to change the name of this blog by the time it's all said and done, as I find myself still reporting out here as I try out and play other games.  I've talked in this space about Rift, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, and now Wildstar.  My alt addiction hasn't changed, it's really just spreading as a disease to other platforms.

So here's what I've done so far on Wildstar.  My "main" character so far has been my Mordesh Engineer / Settler.  I'm enjoying the engineer so far as a ranged class with a decent amount of survivability.  It has a little bit of a pet class feel with the two bots that you get to run around with and that's firmly within my comfort zone.  The bots are a little buggy at times though and have a tendency to sometimes run off and do their own thing - particularly if you're in an area with heavy mob concentrations.

So far, I've been playing as a pure assault focused build, but I may switch that up a bit and try a "tankier" spec to see how that feels.  While the class overall works well, I"m not killing things overly fast.

The Settler path has been pretty interesting so far.  I like building the little buff stations that help out the other folks in the zone.  There are a lot of thing that show up with the settler icon - planting flowers, repairing banners and other things that I feel compelled to do because they have the little icon, but they don't really appear to be accomplishing much or adding value.  And it just reverses anyway after a period of time.  So while I'm still enjoying it, start to feel a little bit of regret on the Settler choice.

My other character that I've mostly been messing with has been a Human Spellslinger / Soldier.  So far I really like this one a lot.  Seems to still have good survivability and fun abilities.  The Soldier path, while not wildly popular, works pretty well for me.  As long as I'm out killing a bunch of stuff anyway, I may as well get "extra credit" for some of it.

I'm thinking about also trying an Esper / Explorer and and a Medic / Scientist - maybe on the Dominion side, just to try everything out a bit.  For right now though, I want to focus on working to get one of my first two to max level.  My engineer is only level 11, so I've got quite a way to go.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Update on the Joar Army

So there really hasn't been much going on lately for me in WoW.  I've been raiding on various toons when I can, and doing Ordos on a toon or two each week.  I just recently changed jobs, and that's taken a bit of a bite out of my normal play time as well.

Looking back over the blog, I realized that I haven't posted an update on ilvl for the whole Joar LFR team, so I thought I'd update that here.  I've actually make some decent progress on a small group of toons, having 4 toons over 520 ilvl versus only two the last time I posted about this topic here (which was way back on January 7th).

So here is the update

Warlock - 543 -> 548
Shaman - 508 -> 529
DK - still 526
Hunter - 511 -> 523
Priest - 505 -> 517
Druid - 511 -> 513
Warrior still 511
Mage - 503 -> 510
Paladin - 506 -> 508
Monk - still 506
Rogue - 501 -> 503

My shaman has obviously been the biggest mover, but honestly, that's just been an effort to pick up those last few glyph recipes more than anything.

Might be time to give the monk, rogue and paladin some love over the next week or so.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Act V Done on My Crusader - So Now I Do What?

So I finished up Act V on my Crusader this weekend, which ended up being really quite easy.  Not sure overall I enjoy the class as much as my Wizard, but it's still quite a lot of fun for me.  So my Crusader is sitting at level 45 or so, and I'm looking at the "what now" stuff - which seems to involved doing Adventure Mode bounties and Rifts at increasing levels of difficulty.

We'll have to see, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough to keep my attention.  I'm more of a quester and story line guy myself, so having to do the same stuff over again a few more times to get to max level...well, just not sure I'm going to be up for that.

And I really have no idea why I feel differently about that than I do about, say, running Siege of Orgrimmar over and over and over and over again.  I just do.  It's not even the possible drops and rewards from running Siege, because you get similar rewards from Adventure Mode.  I'm still going to give it a try to see if I can push the Crusader through to level 70, but I'm not feeling as enthusiastic about it as I was while finishing up the actual story line.

I've been working on the rest of the alliance army a bit as well.  I've got 7 toons left to go on the alliance side, and here's where they all stand.

Priest - level 48
Mage - level 46
Rogue - level 46
Druid - level 49
Paladin - level 49
Warrior - level 49
Monk - level 17

Having concluded I wasn't using my boost on my monk, I now need to go ahead and level that bad boy.  Which is a ton of fun anyway, so no issues there.

Should be getting the whole family off to Outland here in the foreseeable future, so that'll be fun.  And with that, they just started playing "Love Shack" by the B-52's.  Good music to kill gnolls by.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reaper of Souls - Initial Crusader Thoughts

So I decided to assuage a little of my basic boredom around WoW by springing for Reaper of Souls.  I played D3 a little bit when it first came out but never really got into it.  Didn't have a single character past level 10, although I'd started a few.

So I thought I'd give the new Crusader class a try since I wasn't really invested in anything else.  So far, I've been enjoying it a fair amount.  He seems to have pretty good survivability - at least better than what I was seeing at low levels from my demon hunter or wizard - but puts out enough dps to get through most of the boss fights and large mob packs easily enough.

I'd tell you what build I've been using, but frankly, I've been messing around with it a fair amount, switching back and forth between Smite and Judge for my primary and trying a little bit of Fists of Heaven, Blessed Shield and Sweep Attack for my secondary.  It all seems to work fairly well.  Not sure it's as strong as other classes, but the AoE seems good enough to easily take down most large mob packs.

I've really been debating on the Utility spell.  Most of the builds that I see seem to rely on the Steed Charge, but I've actually really been enjoying using Provoke to get everyone's attention and rounded up so I can mow them down with my AoE.  Plus it is another Wrath generator which always helps as well.

So far, gear doesn't seem to be an issue.  Lots of interesting drops and plenty of legendaries to keep my character afloat as well as a few to set aside for alts.

Right now my Crusader is sitting at level 28 and just got started on Act III, so we'll see how it goes from here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lessons from a Boosted 60

So with my Warlords of Draenor pre-order, I went ahead and boosted by level 60 Shaman to 90, in the process earning him max level inscription and tailoring in the process.  The process seemed to work fairly well, was intuitive and easy to understand.  I then set about grabbing some quick Golden Lotus rep so I could learn the recipes for the spellthreads to start making some money.  Picked up a few extra glyph recipes in the process dropping off the mobs I killed for the Golden Lotus rep.

So far it has worked pretty well.

The only downside was the unexpected confluence of my decision to boost a 60 to take advantage of the veteran profession boost with Blizzard's decision to do a realm merge with my alliance server at the same time.  At least in the short term, the realm merge has had the immediate impact of cratering glyph prices, making it not nearly as lucrative as it appeared to be when I first started analyzing the process.

But glyph prices do tend to swing a fair amount over time, and I'm guessing a server merge is a fairly traumatic event to the local economy, so I'll stick it out for a while and see how it goes.

In the meantime, I continue to take down Ordos each week on an assortment of toons, run the occasional LFR here and there and am back to working on the rest of the alliance army.

Had an interesting run on my hunter this past week where I managed to get both best in slot trinkets to drop out of LFR in the same afternoon.  The turned around and had a Dinomancer Tome drop almost immediately on the Isle of Giants.  It was a good day to be my hunter.

Ordos finally put an end to his lucky streak by awarding him with the traditional double gold.  So you can't have everything.

I'm heading out on spring break next week, so won't be playing much or posting.  Will be soaking up the sunshine and barking at my kids to stop fighting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To Boost a 60 or a Low Level?

So now I'm completely torn.  The final announcement that boosting a level 60 character to 90 will also boost both of that characters chosen professions to 600 makes my decision on which character to boost just a little bit harder.  My alliance shaman, who is an herbalist and inscriptionist is currently sitting at level 50, and would be pretty easy to level those last few levels.  Having a max level inscriptionist would be a nice source of gold for my other toons on that server, so it's very tempting to go ahead and level that toon, especially with how quickly a monk can level to 60 with full heirlooms and the xp boost.

So I'm tempted to go ahead and level the shammy those few extra levels and boost him for the extra source on income on my alliance server (where I currently have exactly 0 maxed professions).

In other news, I've continued to do a little bit of LFR here and there on my monk, my paladin, my shadow priest and my shaman.  I've been trying to get those last few random drop glyph recipes on the shaman without much success.

I've also gone back to leveling the alliance side army and have gained a few levels there on the shaman, priest, mage and rogue, all of whom are in the mid to upper 40's.

So that's the story for now.  I'll be running Ordos on a quite a few toons over the next few days just to gear a few more folks up, for reasons that sort of escape me.  And in the meantime, I might be focusing on that shammy a bit more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Level 90 #14, and How Quickly We Gear

So on Friday, I managed to finally push my warlock over the finish line to 90.  I did it sitting in an airport boarding area.  I've been spending so much time waiting for delayed flights lately, I was thinking it might be interesting, in a sadly disturbed and insane kind of way, to level a character from 1-90 completely while sitting in airports, waiting on flights.

So when Saturday rolled around, it then quickly became an exercise in how quickly could I gear this character up.  She was basically starting out with a full set of Timeless Isle gear, with the exception of the neck piece, which I thought I had, but apparently not.  Must have used it on the bloody paladin or something.

In any case, I then purchased a second trinket from the JP vendor and ran Arena of Annihilation for the weapon.  That got my character geared enough for ToT, but not quite there for SoO.

One run through ToT was all it took, particularly the staff off the twins before Lei Shen, as well as tier pants and pretty new boots, and my new femdorf warlock was all ready for SoO.

I did manage to get her through the first wing.  Of course the Immerseus trinket, that I waited months and months for on Joar dropped for the dreaded femdorf the very first time through.

So within 24 hours of hitting 90, I was able to get my ilvl all the way up to 499, partially also with the help of nice PvP gloves off the Celestials.

So we'll continue to work her through SoO as time allows so that she can become the 12th member of the Joar army to kill Garrosh.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Raiding With Whoever

So I've discovered one enormous advantage of my adventure to kill Garrosh on a toon of every class.  When I feel like running LFR and doing a little raiding, I can pretty much just spin the character wheel and pick whichever class and toon that I want.  I'm not feeling any real need or drive to gear up any more toons - chance are they'll just be replacing that gear within the first few zones and dungeons of the new expansion anyway.

I had even considered working on getting the legendary cloak on more toons, but would that just mean that I wouldn't be replacing that item until level 97 instead of say, level 93.  Probably, so what's the point.

So for now, I'm just picking whatever toon inspires me at the moment, and jumping in.  If I get gear on that toon, or Secrets, or Runestones, great.  If not, that's fine too.  So for the last week or so, it's been primarily my hunter, my shaman and my shadow priest getting the love and attention.

I've also been very focused on continuing to level my alliance warlock and have managed to get them to level 83.  So definitely in the home stretch on that one.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Return to Leveling the Alliance Army

So I've run out of things to distract me at this point, so I've gone back to working on leveling my alliance army.  Right now the warlock is getting the most attention, but I've been slowly working on the other 7 characters a bit while they have full rested xp.

Hard to believe it, but my last update on this blog on my various alliance toons was all the way back in October.  I'm actually pretty surprised with how much progress I've made since that point, with a total of 81 levels gained over that period of time.  I actually managed to get both my death knight and my hunter from 85 to 90 in that period of time as well.

So here's the update on a toon by toon basis from where they were in October to now:

Death Knight 85 -> 90
Druid 40 -> 45
Hunter 85 -> 90
Mage 39 -> 43
Paladin 40 -> 44
Priest 39 -> 44
Rogue 37 -> 43
Shaman 40 -> 46
Warlock 38 -> 72
Warrior 39 -> 44
Monk 10 -> 12

The monk is going to be the recipient of the free boost to 90 since he's obviously the toon that will benefit the most from it.

My plan is to finish the warlock up and then probably switch to either the priest or the shaman for the next concentrated burst.  I very seriously doubt I'll be able to get all of these to 90 before the next xpac drops, but that's no big deal.  Just something to do while I wait.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dear Emperor Shahao

Dear Emperor Shahao,

First of all, let me thank you for the shiny, glowy new cloud serpent.  While I'm not sure it was really worth the effort, I do like a shiny sparkly new mount, so it does bring me some measure of joy.

With all that being said, I'm sending you this letter to tender my resignation effective immediately.  After stacking yaungol corpses so high that people no longer needed to use an albatross to get to Garnia, I'm officially done.

I'd also like to take this moment to suggest that you might want to consider getting some help.  I mean, what is your huge issue with the yaungol anyway.  They seem to be keeping pretty much to themselves, picking flowers and standing around campfires roasting, well, something.

I figure I've probably killed somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 yaungol for you at this point, but now I'm done, and no more yaungol will die at my hand in your name.

So please, don't ask for any more elites to be killed, I'm not gathering any more epoch stones.  Frankly, I think Nozdormu has put up with enough crap for one dragon and doesn't need more people screwing with the timeways  I will still be killing rares of course, because shiny pets!

So that's it.  You'll occasionally see me on the other side of the courtyard, queuing for pet battle tournaments or waiting for groups for the Celestials and after I've had some time to recover, I may every now and then give a friendly wave.  But it's going to take me some time.  Right now, I'm covered in yaungol blood, and I'm sort of done with you.

Good day, sir.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

First Try at the Celestial Tournament

So my first attempt at the Celestial Tournament was not bad.  This week (at least on my server, I have no idea if it's different from realm to realm), was the combination of Wise Mari, Blingtron and Shademaster Kiryn.

The first two I was able to get down pretty easily and was eventually able to get Kiryn down as well.  I think it did manage to convince me of two things - first that I need to upgrade my Raven, and second, that I will probably need a second one, or a Darkmoon Crow, for the Wise Mari fight to make it easier.  My moth was doing fine and I never didn't get Wise Mari down, but it would be nice to be able to change the weather to cut down on the AoE damage there.

Where things fell apart was on the four Celestial pets.  It quite quickly became apparent to me that I would in fact need a second fox and a second jumping spider for the strategy that I was using because it worked as intended, they also did both end up dying, so weren't usable on the next Celestial.

So here is the combinations that I went with this week:

Wise Mari - Amber Moth, Onyxian Whelpling and Sea Pony
Blingtron - Spawn of G'nathus, Kun-Lai Runt and Fel Flame
Kiryn - Harbinger of Flame, Gilnean Raven and Son of Animus.

for the Celestials:

Yu'la - Mr. Bigglesworth pretty much solo'd this one with a slight assist from my Anubisath Idol
Zao - Alpine Fox, Crystal Spider and Jumping Spider - this didn't actually end up working, but I think it would on a second attempt.  I didn't hit the Crystal Prison at the right point on my spider.
Xu-Fu - my plan for this one was Alpine Fox, Jumping Spider and Menagerie Custodian.  However, with both my fox and spider dead, I wasn't able to execute this one.  Afterwards, I went out and acquired second rares of both and now just need to level them up a bit.
Chi-Chi - so my plan for this one was Unborn Val'kyr, then two Nexus Whelplings for what essentially works out to an Arcane Storm buffed Mana Surge dot.  It sort of worked, but I think I got some bad rng.  I may try it again another time or two before switching to a different approach, maybe using my Living Fluid, which I would need to level.

For the rest of my team that I've been prepping for the remaining weeks, here's what that looks like:

Spirebound Crab
Emerald Whelpling
Emerald Proto-Whelp
Spawn of Onyxia
Flayer Youngling
Scourged Whelpling
Darkmoon Tonk
Elfin Rabbit and
Sporeling Sprout

to give me a few other options to mess with, I may go ahead and grab a Darkmoon Zeppelin, a Tranquil Mechanical Yeti and a Clockwork Rocket Bot.  Maybe a Hoplingi and a Lesser Voidcaller as well.

I'm going to give it another couple tries later in the week with my leveled second fox, second spider and my upgraded Gilnean Raven and if that doesn't work, then it might be time to adjust the strategies a bit.  It seems best at this point to have really strong strategies for each of the Celestials since you're going to face them every week, and then tinker a bit with the Champions themselves.  Not sure I'm there yet on the Celestials, but we'll see.

Dawntrail Progress

Since last week's update, I finished the MSQ for Dawntrail and have unlocked all of the expert dungeons so I can start running expert ro...