Archive for March, 2011

Obscure useful items

Posted in Miscellanea, Professions with tags on March 28, 2011 by Aeliel

This post is intended to make a list of useful items that have found a permanent spot in my characters’ bags. Some of them I only carry when I’m playing certain classes or specs, while others are more widely useful. (Also, some items in this list will be less obscure than others – but “Useful items, some obscure and some less so” is not nearly as catchy a post title.)

Obsidium Skeleton Key

  • From: crafted by Blacksmithing. Two keys require two Folded Obsidium, each of which requires two Obsidium Bars to craft.
  • Why: to open Elementium Lockboxes. Unlike lower-level skeleton keys, these don’t require Blacksmithing to use. Furthermore, assuming Obsidium Bars cost ~5g each (more or less the going price on my server), opening one lockbox will cost you 10g; each lockbox contains, on average, 31g plus one or two Cataclysm-level greens. Sure, you could just look for a rogue in trade chat, but that tends to take time.

Sulfuron Slammer

  • From: Plugger Spazzring, in the bar in BRD, sells it for 20s each.
  • Why: the Ozruk fight in heroic Stonecore. Drinking one of these will put a small DoT on you, lasting for 6 seconds. If you don’t have any DoTs to reflect on yourself as a ranged DPS (hunters), your DoT missed (non-hitcapped healers), or you’re simply dealing with a dispel-happy group member who removes Elementium Bulwark as soon as it’s cast, you can drink this as Ozruk casts Paralyze to break the subsequent stun. It should ideally be used only as a last resort, since it’s very potent alcohol and drinking even just one will make your character really drunk, but having a fuzzy screen and swaying character beats getting stunned and taking additional damage.
  • Starfire Espresso can be used to remove your drunkenness after the fight is over, but considering each Sulfuron Slammer is +50 inebriate and each Starfire Espresso is -15, it might take a bit.

Elixir of Water Walking

  • From: crafted by Alchemy (although the recipe for it is learned via Northrend Alchemy Research, so not all alchemists will know it). Alternatively, you can occasionally find it in the bags rewarded by the various fishing dailies.
  • Why: two pretty obvious reasons. Fishing from the water allows you to avoid mob aggro; being able to ride on water can also be very useful to get from one place to another faster, while avoiding both mobs and other players. I use them a lot when running around the Tol Barad Peninsula doing dailies.

By no means a long post, but I figured I’d throw it out there. I’ll update it if I find more useful items.

Gold tip: stop blindly pressing “Disenchant”

Posted in Gold making with tags , , , on March 25, 2011 by Aeliel

Enchanting materials are good, right? Well, not so much when you could earn more gold from selling what you disenchanted than it would cost to buy the result of the disenchanting.

To go into more details:

  1. BoP blues from instances – especially Wrath-level blues as well as the blues from the starter Cataclysm instances, which disenchant into Small Heavenly Shards rather then normal ones. So you’re taking a weapon that vendors for 20g+ and turning it into a 5g shard? Well done you.
  2. BoE blues from instances. As a rule of thumb, I never roll “Disenchant” on these. Why? They often sell for vastly more than the shard would… and if they don’t, it’s easy enough to get them disenchanted anyway, since they’re BoE. Granted, I’m a little bit spoiled, since my main is an enchanter and I don’t have to ask anybody else to shard things for me… but still.
  3. BoE greens require a bit of thought, as the market for them is highly variable.
    Vanilla greens are often worth disenchanting – especially the higher-level ones that disenchant into Greater Eternal Essences and Illusion Dust; keep an eye out for well-statted low-40s plate and mail, though, as people will often pay a premium to kit their alts out in plate and mail once it’s available to them.
    TBC greens are worth disenchanting across the board, except for sub-60 greens with excellent suffixes, as these can sell very well (although the market’s shrunk a bit since Cataclysm, since the remodeled sub-60 quests give excellent gear rewards).
    Wrath greens will most likely be more profitable sold to a vendor this early on in Cataclysm due to the high availability of Wrath enchanting materials.
    Well-statted sub-80 Cataclysm greens should never be disenchanted. The two Hypnotic Dust or Lesser Celestial Essence you will get from disenchanting those will not make up for the 100g+ each those greens are worth on the AH. I cringe every time I see one of those get disenchanted in an instance.

You don’t even need to memorize what items disenchant into what materials. Get an auction addon (Auctionator or Auctioneer), do regular scans and the information will be right in the item’s tooltip.

Another alt, another quiet week

Posted in Alts, Blog business, Miscellanea with tags on March 25, 2011 by Aeliel

Quiet blog? Must be alt levelling time again!

The more I play the game, the less I seem to post about the game. Somehow, it figures.

This time it’s my warlock. She’s one of my oldest characters: I created her back in vanilla, and she’s the only character other than my main who was created back then and is still played (I also had an undead rogue, tauren shaman and tauren hunter, all of which are now abandoned), but she often is left trailing behind. I only hit 70 on her at the very end of TBC, when they eased the leveling curve, and never actually hit 80 before Cataclysm dropped, since I was so sick of Wrath quests (still am).

On the other hand, now she’ll be my fourth level 85, which I suppose makes up for it.

Changes to valor points and daily dungeons in 4.1

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags on March 19, 2011 by Aeliel

A blue post explains the upcoming changes to the daily random dungeons in 4.1.

Normal random heroics will still give 70VP each; normal troll heroics (ZG and ZA) will give 140VP each.

In other words, if you’re geared enough that you can successfully run the troll heroics, you get rewarded with extra valor points in addition to epic items. This makes perfect sense to me – they’re more difficult, hence they provide a greater reward, similarly to raid encounters.

Troll heroics will be on a different random heading in the RDF, so you can queue for a random troll heroic specifically.

This makes me really happy. On my main, I’m at the point where I need absolutely nothing from normal heroics. (Well, except for one item, and considering the item is at the end of SFK and it’s a relic for my feral DPS offspec – I think I’ll survive using the same relic I’m using for tanking.)

What this means is you can chain-run the troll heroics. Back in WotLK, when I still needed gear from the Icecrown heroics (mostly for my army of alts), I used to queue specifically for them first, then, if I had the time, run a few randoms and hope I’d RNG onto them again. No need to do this with the troll heroics – just queue and queue and queue and queue as long as you want.

This also removes the risk factor of running those heroics with a random PuG. Say you want a specific drop from the second or third boss in ZG but your PuG killed the first boss then dissolved – just queue again.

The method of rewarding VP from random heroics has changed from “one per day” to “seven per week”.

This means you can run all seven of your randoms in a single day, if you so wish, rather than be forced to log in every day to run one random. And I personally want to find whoever is responsible for this change and hug them.

I don’t always feel like running a random dungeon every day. And even if I do, I have multiple characters at 85 by now, and sometimes I don’t feel like playing one of them, but I do feel like running multiple random dungeons with another. This change removes the “well damn, I want to [play character X / level another alt / go do something that isn’t WoW for once], but if I do that I’ll miss out on my daily VP for my main” issue.

There is a soft cap of 980VP earnable each week from heroics.

The overall weekly cap is still 1250VP, and if you want to hit that you still need to raid. If you can only ran normal heroics, you can earn 490VP from that (70 x 7); if you are capable of running troll heroics, you can get 980VP just from those (140 x 7), or from a combination of those and normal heroics. What you can’t do is earn more than 980VP per week: if you run all 7 VP-giving troll heroics, you won’t earn any VP from running normal heroics.

Good changes are good. I’m definitely looking forward to not feeling like I have an obligation to log in each day because “I need to do my daily heroic”.

A competent dungeon finder PuG for once

Posted in Achievements, Mounts and pets, PuG business with tags , , on March 17, 2011 by Aeliel

The Heroic Deadmines loading screen makes me cringe.

My priest has yet to complete that instance – her groups tend to dissolve somewhere after the second or third boss.

My hunter has completed it a bunch of times, but every time I go there I find myself using Feign Death pretty much every cooldown.

My main has had the most success with it, mostly due to being a tank. However, these days I tend to queue as DPS in the dungeon finder to get my daily valor points. (DPS is more relaxing, what can I say.)

Still, I hate that place, especially the gauntlet before the last boss. Very few groups navigate it properly; additionally, the mechanical nightmare gives me pretty absurd graphics lag, and good luck avoiding the spinning sparks when your game’s reduced to a slideshow.

Back in December, I had a pretty steady group going for Glory of the Cataclysm Hero – I tanked, Alieth healed, and a bunch of his guildies rotated in and out for DPS. Then he swapped guilds, and I was left missing only Vigorous VanCleef Vindicator for my drake.

Not an achievement you can get in a PuG, right? Even when I found myself in good H-DM PuGs, even with Alieth healing, and we said “let’s give it a go”, something inevitably went wrong. So I shelved the achievement, figuring I’d put together a group for it at some point.

Then today I loaded into H-DM for my daily valor points and found myself in the most amazingly competent dungeon finder PuG I have ever seen. Everybody was from different servers. The tank said he was “pretty new to Cataclysm tanking”, but he was the best tank I’ve seen in a long while; the other two DPS and the healer didn’t talk much (or in some cases, at all), just did their jobs perfectly. Everything went smoothly, everybody worked together. Still, I didn’t ask about doing VVV. I figured what was the point of getting my hopes up when it wasn’t going to happen?

I died in the mechanical nightmare as usual, but this time it didn’t matter, since I was the only one who did. We ended up with two full minutes to clear Ripsnarl’s nightmare, and pulled Vanessa with 30 seconds left on the achievement timer.

PuGs like that tend to restore my faith in humanity. I hope I run into those people again, and more like them.

(And now I don’t want to go run randoms on my priest, because I like having faith in humanity.)

But… but… but…

Posted in Druid, Miscellanea with tags , on March 11, 2011 by Aeliel

Dear Zul’aman and Zul’gurub loot list,

where’s my weapon? Strength-based DPS classes get not one but two 2H weapons (an axe and a mace), plus a pair of 1H swords. Agility-based melee that aren’t me get a pair of fist weapons and a dagger. And yet, there’s not an agility polearm or staff in sight.

This damn well better be not final. :|