Archive for January, 2011

Alright, show of hands…

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , on January 13, 2011 by Aeliel

Who wishes Blizzard would stop nerfing the PVE side of the game because they can’t manage to balance arena PVP and people keep crying about the flavor-of-the-month class being “OP”?

*raises hand*

I really, really wish they’d just split the way abilities work so they can nerf something in PVP and leave it intact in PVE. They very clearly can do that already (see: all the “XY way of CC only lasts 8 seconds in PVP”, diminishing returns, and so on) – so why aren’t they?

Bleh. Maybe in a few years they’ll finally wise up.

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Earning gold is NOT HARD

Posted in Alts, Gold making with tags , , , on January 12, 2011 by Aeliel

So I’m levelling a second hunter. I started because I wanted to see the goblin starter area, and then continued because the revamped old world quests are fun (and I’ve almost ran out of stable space on my lvl85 hunter, but there still are plenty of pretty pets I want to tame).

Now, I don’t know about your server – maybe mine is just special (and by special, I mean stupid) – but I always see people begging for gold in tradechat and the like. And I have no idea why. I mean, they clearly find it hard to earn gold somehow, but…

Here, take my little goblin hunter alt. She has no heirlooms; the only advantage she has over a “normal” lowbie character is 4 16-slot bags. I sent her no gold, because I like my alts to be independent if I can at all manage it. She has no professions, either – well, she’s Herbalism / Alchemy, but her Alchemy is at 16 (because of the goblin racial – otherwise it’d be at 1) and her Herbalism is at 41 (I outleveled the gathering skill pretty fast, a problem I’ve already had on other characters), so she might as well have none for the purposes of this post since she’s making no profit from them.

The extent of her interactions with the AH consists of a few visits a day, whenever I’m near one, to list things as quickly as possible then go back to levelling.

How much gold does she have? Here, have a screenshot.

Considering my gold-making method on her can be summed up with “sell everything I can’t use as quickly as possible”, that’s not bad. I would’ve hit 1k gold earlier (around level 25), but I spent about 100g on renaming two pets and another 200g or so on glyphs, since my scribe’s still on another server.

For the curious, here’s what I’ve been selling:

  • Linen Cloth (10-30g / stack)
  • Wool Cloth (30-40g / stack)
  • Random green items (99s to 15g each, depending on the item – and I’m being very unscientific about it, using “are the stats on this thing any good” as a meter of judgement for prices; I could probably get more if I priced each item more carefully, but I’d rather be levelling)
  • The Green Wing Macaw vanity pet (50g each, found two before I outleveled Deadmines)
  • Profession patterns (1-100g each depending on the pattern; some were random world drops, some limited-supply items from vendors)

If I had two gathering professions and I could be bothered keeping them up-to-date I’d be making even more gold, considering the current prices for lowbie herbs and minerals. And still, people seem to be having issues earning enough. I don’t get it.

Fixing Archaeology: some thoughts

Posted in Professions with tags , , on January 11, 2011 by Aeliel

I enjoy Archaeology – to the point that I levelled 83-85 entirely on digging, and I occasionally get sidetracked by it to get somewhere else. (“Oooh, a digsite in my path, I’ll just dig that one up and then carry on with what I was doing… oh hey, another one spawned nearby… ooooh, I’m just a few fragments short of a complete…” [much later] “Hey, where did the last hour go?”)

It still could use a lot of changes to make it more enjoyable for players. When the only change to the profession mentioned in the 4.0.6 patch notes so far is essentially “We’re not letting you stack up fragments while levelling so you can complete artifacts at higher skill levels and have a higher chance of getting the items you actually want – you’re going to dig up junk and like it!”… yeah. I got angry too.

Gavendo’s post on improving Archaeology has several good ideas on how to make the profession less painful, and some of them overlap with mine (including “get rid of the cooldown on Survey already”). Here’s mine.

Make the survey tool stay put and not disappear until you dig again or move X yards away from it.

This is a fairly big annoyance for me, since I will often be distracted from the game at just the wrong moment and have to re-dig in the same spot just to see which direction the survey tool was pointing.

Add new rare artifacts to the Fossil branch or lower the chance of Fossil digsite spawns.

There are two rares in the Fossil branch (the mount and the pet), and they’re really easy to find so most people will complete both before even hitting the skill cap – and yet whenever you finish up with a digsite in Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor, it has roughly a 1 in 4 chance of spawning as a Fossil one. It doesn’t help that most Fossil digsites are large and sprawling, requiring a lot more in-site travel time to pin down where exactly your survey tool is pointing.

And speaking of Fossils –

Make the Fossil fragment container more visible.

This adds to the “oh god, not another one of those” irritation. It’s flat and low to the ground, and as such it can be difficult to find exactly where it is in areas with dense foliage, especially if they’re not very well lit (I have Ungoro so much you have no idea). Make it taller, bigger, sparklier, whatever as long as I don’t have to caaaaaarefully run my mouse over the area around my character’s feet to find the stupid thing. (I’m aware other fragment containers are also quite small, such as Tol’vir and Vrykul – but the areas they’re found in don’t hide them nearly as much as Fossil containers.)

Make common artifacts more useful and/or interesting.

To avoid the “great, more vendor junk” thing. There are several ways to do this:

  • Set up a NPC that will let you trade junk artifacts for keystones. Even a punitive exchange rate would add some value.
  • Make at least some of the clothes and weapons equippable. White BoE would be ideal (the fact that they’re so insanely common would keep them from being too profitable), white BoA the next best thing. Some of us roleplay or enjoy dressing up bank alts – this would give us a reason to keep digging up common after common after common after common.
  • Add some green and/or blue items, equippable and useful, into the mix. Make them less common than the greys, but more common than the epics. Hell, make them have a random suffix similar to world-drop greens – and make the quality random, too. Even a 50% chance of grey / 35% green / 15% blue would be something. Again, BoE would be ideal (availability would keep prices down, and you’d always have the chance of “winning the lottery” and getting a blue item with a fantastic suffix and selling it for a lot, similar to the chances of getting a world-drop blue), BoA the next best thing.

That’s pretty much all I can think of for now. Like I said, I like Archaeology, and I’ll definitely keep digging even if the profession remains as it is – but it could be so much better.

Free 24-slot bag for hunters!

Posted in Hunter, Miscellanea with tags , on January 10, 2011 by Aeliel

…some conditions apply.

Back when I was a wee level 70 hunter, I obtained an Ancient Petrified Leaf from Molten Core and completed the class quest. Then I stuck the items in my bank and thought no more of it.

Fast forward to today. In my endless quest for more bag space on my main, I went to Wowhead’s list of available bags and sorted it by amount of slots. (Verdict: I need to go smack Bronjahm for Papa’s Brand New Bag and two-man Onyxia with Alieth again for the Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack, but aside from that, it’s Embersilk Bags until I’m ready to ugrade to 24-slotters.)

While I was looking through the list, the Ancient Sinew Wrapped Lamina caught my eye. It used to be a smallish quiver (18 slots), but got switched to a bag in the Great Ammo Removal of Cataclysm. I knew that. I had, however, assumed that it would into an 18-slot bag.

It didn’t. It’s a 24-slotter. The cheapest widely-available 24-slotter is 3k gold. Needless to say, I’m quite happy.

It is, unfortunately, unavailable post-Cataclysm: the quest items no longer drop. But if you did the quest beforehand and think you might’ve kept it, go check your bank!

After weeks of circling…

Posted in Alts, Hunter, Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , , , on January 10, 2011 by Aeliel

Refraining from squeeing out loud and waking up everybody else in the house is damn hard, lemme tell you.

I circled last night. Circle, circle, circle, circle… fall asleep in chair… AWOOOOOOOOGAbwuh-? Oh, it’s just somebody who pulled Sambas out underneath me. (Hadn’t pulled out mine or visited the stables since the last time I cleared cache, so I didn’t have him cached.) What the hell, I’m exhausted, let’s just go to sleep.

Wake up at 8:30am, can’t get back to sleep. What the hell, body, I went to sleep at 2am, surely I need more sleep than that. Toss in bed for a while trying to fall back asleep, can’t, finally decide to get up. Between one thing and the other I get to the computer around 8:45am. Decide to reboot so I don’t have any issues running two copies of the game to drag my second hunter through Deadmines to find the rare parrot I’m missing.

Reboot. Launch the game. I really should log my main first and do dailies. Nah, let’s log my hunter and see if Karoma’s up. Loading screen… disconnected from server. Relog. By now it’s 9am, a /who shows 49+ people in Twilight Highlands. Surely Karoma won’t be up… ah, what the hell, I’ll do some circles and then go do dailies on my main, just in case.

I’d logged out over what I think of the “middle” spawnpoint (the one almost directly south of Firebeard’s Patrol). So I decide to fly east first, then circle around.

Get to the spawnpoint by the shredders – the one where I’d ended up staring at Karoma’s dead body three times – AWOOOOOOOOOGAH!

Nearly shriek and jump out of chair, frantically click the NPCScan button, expecting to see her dead again. No… no she’s alive… right under me… untapped… not a soul around.

*happy dance*

Land, jump off mount, forget to tag (if there’d been anybody else around I would’ve been soooo screwed), frantically press Tame Beast. (I did, though, have the presence of mind to take a screenshot mid-tame.) Ten seconds later, she finally was mine.

Now I can go do something else without worrying that I’ll miss a spawn.

Installing WoW on a clunky old laptop: a comedy.

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , on January 7, 2011 by Aeliel

So I’m visiting my family for a few days. This means I’m in a different country, with no access to my usual computer.

What I do have is a clunky old laptop. This laptop has been with me for a long while, and used to run the game better than my normal computer – back in vanilla / TBC times. Yes, it’s that old.

The last patch I installed on it was the Trial of the Crusader patch of yore. But I figured, hey, maybe it’ll run Cataclysm! I won’t be able to use any addons, and I’ll have to play on minimum settings, but I can like, level a baby alt or something.

The first time I tried updating to the current version of WoW was back in October, when I also went to visit my family for a short while. “I’ll just start the downloader overnight, and when I wake up it’ll be downloaded” I thought. So I started the downloader, and woke up to a message stating, in no uncertain terms, “lolnospace”. (Except it used longer words, but that was the gist of it.)

/sigh

/find patch mirror

/download patch to a different drive

/start the updater

Quoth the updater, “lolnospace”.

At this point I had just a few days left before going back home, so I chalked it up to a learning experience and stopped there.

But this time – this time I was prepared. This time I had the Cataclysm DVD. Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Posted in Alts, Hunter, Mounts and pets with tags , , , on January 4, 2011 by Aeliel

Yeah, I kinda dropped off the radar for a bit there. My bad. (That said, Alieth still hasn’t posted a second time, so I’m still good.)

I’m now pretty decently geared on my main. I finally got the damn trinket and a decent relic, although I’m still using a 333 weapon (but I don’t have threat issues for the moment, so /careface). And I’m only missing Vigorous VanCleef Vindicator for the heroic drake. I also capped both Enchanting and Leatherworking: the latter was amazingly painful (even with farming leather on my hunter), while the 525-skill patterns for the former strike me as designed by somebody who didn’t get the memo that heroic instances don’t drop epics anymore. But meh.

I also hit 85 on my hunter and got decently geared pretty quickly. I’ve mostly completed my hunter pet wishlist (although it changed a fair bit in the process – I’ll probably make a post with screenshots of my final pet line up once I’m done with the last tame), with the exception of Karoma, who’s the last tamable Cataclysm rare I’m missing that I actually want.

I’ve been spending the vast majority of my free time in Twilight Highlands for more than a week now, circling the spawn points.

I haven’t even seen another hunter with her tamed yet (unlike Sambas, Terrorpene and Ghostcrawler).

I found her dead three times. Once, after doubling back to hit a spawn point where I had just been. And finding her dead does me very little good, because even if I set my alarm clock for 6 hours later and do nothing but circle, eventually I have to, you know, go do something else. And the next time I see her she’s dead again.

Why yes, it’s getting insanely frustrating. And by now it’s a matter of principle, even if I never use her again after I tame her (which is unlikely, since I rotate which pets I take with me to instances and whatnot). Aaaaaargh. I wish she was like Ghostcrawler, non-aggressive, slightly better hidden and very deadly.