Archive for the Professions Category

As for what I’ve been up to…

Posted in Achievements, Alts, Miscellanea, Mounts and pets, Professions with tags , , , , on October 2, 2012 by Aeliel

…beyond leveling and gearing, that is…

(464 equipped ilvl and climbing, with stupid green ilvl437 pants and two crafted ilvl450 rings because mine just won’t drop ARGH and the newly rep-requirement-less JP gear doesn’t include tanking pants for some dumb reason.)

Behold the reason I’ve been living in dungeons since I hit 90 (which was on day 1)…

I was the last of our group to get it, because the last achievement I needed was Hydrophobia – which is individual, not group – and I am a baddie bad who stands in the bad, apparently. (And while I know I could’ve just stood outside the door and let the others pull and kill the boss without me – I refuse to take the easy way out for anything.)

Now if I could actually ride the bloody mount, I’d be even happier. But no, it requires Cloud Serpent Riding, and the eggs to grind that rep are as rare as hen’s teeth so I’m stuck doing dailies.

And here’s the reason I was grinding professions on alts (and being stubborn about engineering on my hunter)…

Not as shiny as a realm first achievement by any means, but I’m still pretty proud.

One more day to go before raids open. Wonder if I’ll get the last heroic blues I’m missing to drop before then…

Farming Exotic Leather: Dread Wastes

Posted in Gold making, Professions, Strategy with tags , on October 2, 2012 by Aeliel

Busybusybusy gearing up for raiding, getting achievements and so on, but I’ll just leave this here – hopefully before one of the spots I’m mentioning gets nerfed to oblivion.

I was leveling my hunter’s engineering and decided to be stubborn – rather than making 1281627891693 Thermal Anvils, I wanted to at least craft something useful. So I made some guns for when I feel like leveling both her and my other hunter (and the third one I’m planning to create), and then I decided to make the Pandaria Wormhole Generator, because yay for engineering teleporters! Except to make that, I needed two Spirits of Harmony, and I didn’t have any. Bugger.

I was going to just take the hunter to Jade Forest and kill some things, since she’s still lvl85, but the boyfriend was going to do his Klaxxi dailies, so I figured I’d tag along and do the you-kill-I-loot thing in case he got any motes to drop.

I didn’t find very many motes (ended up farming those in Valley of the Four Winds by myself), but the hunter’s a skinner, so here’s what I found…

The yellow and the green locations are places for daily quests. Yellow has Greatback Mushan (and, a bit further off to the side, Dreadspinner Tenders); green has Chillwater Turtles and Horrorscale Scorpids (and, a bit further south, Ik’thik Amberstingers). People kill them for Klaxxi dailies, and they’re skinnable, and since the quest items aren’t a 100% drop, there’s piles and piles and piles of bodies. I seriously couldn’t skin fast enough.

Once we were done with the dailies, I still didn’t have enough motes, so off we went to see if we could find a suitable place for AoE farming, because hey, why not. Going mostly at random, we found the third area on the map.

The red area is special. It has Ruby Venomtails – normal mobs that you can kill and skin – and, more importantly, they have Dread Scarabs. The latter come in packs of 5-6, have around 40k health each, die in 2-3 hits even to my lvl85 hunter… and each of them skins into 1-6 Exotic Leather, with the usual chance at Plump Intestines. In other words, they’re Deepholm Stone Bats v2.0.

Considering how quickly the Deepholm bats got nerfed, I would suggest heading there sooner rather than later if you want to get some farming in. Not that it takes much leather at all to cap leatherworking these days, but still.

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 from silver: Dry Yeast and Noble Hops

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags , , on February 18, 2011 by Aeliel

Shortly before patch 4.0.6 hit, I read a post on Kaliope’s Crafting weblog (which I keep meaning to link from the sidebar) about the introduction of a cooking goodie bag, randomly containing Cocoa Beans, Noble Hops and Dry Yeast. The bags would then become the only source of these cooking reagents, which prior to 4.0.6 were freely available in unlimited quantities from the same vendors which sold recipes for tokens.

So I went and stocked up, since I really hate having to buy crafting materials with limited tokens. Bought two stacks of each. Now I’m wishing I’d bought more.

See, the cooking bag is apparently bugged at the moment. It’s theoretically meant to be on a rotation; right now, the only bag showing up on the vendors is the one containing only Cocoa Beans.

Which means I sold my stockpile of Dry Yeast and Noble Hops for quite a lot of gold. If you also stocked up on them before the patch, I’d sell them now, before the bug is fixed. By the time they get around to fixing it, you’ll probably have spare tokens to buy the bag with if you desperately need them (I know I will – I’m just missing 6 3-token recipes, which means another two weeks of doing the daily with some moderate luck with 2-token quests).

On a side note, two other cooking-related vendor items that may sell are Tropical Sunfruits and Highland Pomegranates. I had spares after using them in recipes to obtain The Cataclysmic Gourmet, since they’re sold in stacks of five, so I figured I’d toss them at the AH just in case – and they sold. For 10g each. (Each stack of five is ~2g or so from a vendor, not counting reputation discounts and the like.) It’s worth a try – even if they don’t sell, you’ve not lost a huge upfront investment.

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.

Well, that was quick

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags , on December 22, 2010 by Aeliel

I can’t state this with 100% certainty since there are no hotfix notes mentioning this yet, but the awesome Savage Leather farming spot I mentioned a few posts ago seems to have been nerfed. It was working fine this afternoon – I was happily killing bats and skinning them; then I switched to my main for a while, and when I switched back, the bats were suddenly no longer skinnable.

The basilisks in the area are still skinnable, as are the drakes in the north, but bleh. T’was good while it lasted. Now to find another good place to farm the rest of the Savage Leather I need, since Alieth has caught the arena bug and now we both need a PVP set posthaste.

Fishing: Albino Cavefish

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags , , on December 18, 2010 by Aeliel

Just a quick note – and this is absolutely not a fancy strategy, and I can’t believe there aren’t more people doing this on my server (but then again, the less people doing this the more profit for me).

Whenever I’m in Deepholm, I make sure I fish some Albino Cavefish. It’s only used for one thing – Deepstone Oil, from Alchemy – but every alchemist will be making a handful of those for skillups, plus they’re reagents for the Vial of the Sands mount.

The Therazane dailies (which I do for reputation, gold and the chance at achievements – although I still haven’t seen the Pebble daily nor the Fungalmancer Glop daily, grrr) take me right to a place with plenty of pools (the Crimson Expanse, at about the 3-o’-clock position on the map), and I’ve never seen anybody else fish these pools. There are also some pools further south, at the Silvermarsh, but I rarely bother with those.

There are red clouds on the shores that will put a DoT on you, but it’s quite easy to avoid those with some method of water walking. (If you’re not a shaman, priest or death knight, try the Elixir of Water Walking – it can be found in the bag rewarded by the fishing dailies, so it’s pretty easy to obtain.)

The price has remained pretty steady on my server, at 8-10g per fish (160-200g per stack). I only fish what pools I see while doing the dailies in the Crimson Expanse area; it takes about 15 minutes of my time per day, and I usually come out with one and a half or two stacks of the fish. Considering I still don’t have fishing capped and I’m still missing the Sea Turtle (and it’s been confirmed to drop from Cataclysm pools, thank you Blizzard for small mercies), it’s not a bad gold return for something I’d be doing anyway. By the time I log in to do my dailies, the fish I caught the day before has sold; there is very little competition.

Sure, I could be fishing for Fathom Eels in Uldum – but that’s a pain, since the fishing pools are affected by phasing and as a result there’s a whole clump around Schnottz’s Landing. There’s also plenty of competition, the fishing path is long, and the prices keep dropping to the point that on bad days, they’re below the Albino Cavefish. Other fish has similar issues.

Farming Savage Leather: Deepholm

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags , , on December 18, 2010 by Aeliel

The price of Savage Leather just won’t go down on my server – and I need to level leatherworking on my main. So I’ve been levelling my hunter, who has skinning as one profession. It’s something I’d been wanting to do anyway, considering all the pretty pets in Cataclysm (got myself a flaming turtle as soon as I hit 81; I might tell the story of the adventurous tame later), and if it saves me some gold all the better.

Doing 80-81 in Vashj’ir got me some leather, but just barely enough for 5 skillpoints. Argh. I switched to Hyjal at 81, mostly to get the aforementioned flaming turtle, and then did 81-82 there simply because I couldn’t be bothered switching back. At 82, I went to Deepholm.

Not much skinning in Deepholm, what with all the stone creatures, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought as well. I quested my way through almost the entirety of the zone, skinning the occasional dragonkin and getting more and more anxious to hit 83 so I could go skin my way through Uldum.

Then the Therazane quest chain led me to the upper left corner of Deepholm. Unskinnable flayers, rock, rock, more rock, and… what’s that? Bats? Let’s try and shoot them and see.

In red, we have the bat path. Here, Stone Bats fly all around the marked area in packs of 8-10. You shoot one, you pull the entire pack; they have 5368 health each, and I could 3-shot them even as a level 82-83 hunter. Each of them skins into one Savage Leather (no scraps at all that I could see in my brief, unscientific farming of 8 stacks of leather off them) and will also occasionally skin a Strange Bloated Stomach; they also have a chance of skinning into a Pristine Hide (I got one last night), although the droprate is so low since the nerf-hotfix that your best bet if you want Pristine Hides is to just skin lots and lots of leather and trade up using the vendors in Twilight Highlands.

The bats also drop Toughened Flesh. It doesn’t sell terribly well (just 2g each on my server) but it’s used to make the Goblin Barbecue, the Engineering-crafted basic feast of Cataclysm. (There’s a better version, providing 90 stamina / 90 something else, but it’s a reward from a guild achievement your guild is unlikely to obtain anytime soon unless you’re in <Fishing Addicts>.) I got 3 stacks of the stuff from just a brief period of farming and let’s just say that Alieth loves me very much right now considering how fast his guild chews through the barbecues.

And of course they drop vendor greys – again, in a very brief period of farming I got roughly 100g in them, plus a couple of random greens I sent to my main to disenchant.

Running out of bats is extremely unlikely, but if you do – or if you just get bored – visit the Shalehide Basilisks at the northern portion of the bat path. Those also skin nicely, although they take much longer to kill; they are, though, quest mobs, so if there are lots of players in the area you might find empty corpses just waiting for you to skin them.

If you need Blackened Dragonscales, you can go further north, in the dragon area. The Stone Drakes here are elite, yes, but they’re also quest mobs – which means other players might be doing the killing work for you – and they get knocked down periodically by friendly NPCs, which takes off a decent chunk of their health.

Personally I’ve avoided the dragons (except when I was doing that specific quest) and stuck to bats, but I thought I’d mention them in case you’re ever in need of dragonscales.

Now I’m unsure whether I want to move out of Deepholm. It’s hard to imagine anywhere in Uldum or Twilight Highlands beating this for a skinning spot. Maybe I’ll just level to 85 and then come back here…

Mining at 80 in Cataclysm

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags on December 11, 2010 by Aeliel

Alright, I know, most sane people who wanted to earn some gold at the start of the expansion levelled characters with gathering professions first.

I levelled my main character first, though (enchanting / leatherworking). I’ll probably level my hunter next, simply because she has skinning and I’d like to cap leatherworking on my main sometime this century.

Alieth, though, wanted to cap engineering even faster than that – because he could get a shiny helm from it – and the prices on Obsidium and Elementium were obscene. And I have a level 80 character with mining (who is now 81, due to all the gathering experience… yes, even at 4k experience per node, yes I mined a lot).

Deepholm is an amazing zone for mining, especially in terms of Elementium, but you can’t get there until you’re level 82. If you have time, you’re probably better off levelling your miner to 82, but if you’re in a hurry to get some ore or for some reason don’t want to level that particular character just yet, you have options.

Obsidium

I tried Hyjal first, but doing an almost-full loop and finding only one node led me to reconsidering. I went back to Orgrimmar, picked up the Vashj’ir quest and off I went. I did the first handful of starter quests, up until the point where I got my seahorse (if you’re a druid you can skip the seahorse; a sea turtle would probably also allow you to skip the seahorse, but I don’t have it myself so I can’t compare speeds).

I tried several mining paths, but this circuit in the Shimmering Expanse yielded the best results. You’ll get occasional mob aggro, but since it’s a starter zone, it’s nothing you can’t deal with. Just go in loops and pick up everything you see.

Elementium

Elementium is a bit more complicated. I debated between Twilight Highlands and Uldum, and ended up picking Twilight Highlands simply because it had, at the time, more mining nodes marked on Wowhead, so I could plan out my path a bit better. (I might investigate Uldum at some point in the future, although I’ll probably be 83 or 84 on my miner by then.)

The mining paths here are a bit more complex.

The  mountain path has minimal mob aggro and pretty quick node respawn. You’re likely to get jumped by a mob occasionally, especially at the south end of the path; I could kill the mobs, but my miner is an ICC-geared prot paladin, so it might be different for you. I found several nodes here every circuit. Avoid going into the Elementium Depths if you can’t kill mobs: you’ll get aggro from one as soon as you enter. If you can kill mobs decently fast, though, there are several nodes close to the entrance that you can get at with a little bit of work.

The river path has zero mob aggro, but nodes there don’t seem to respawn nearly as fast. My experience varied widely: sometimes I found 7-8 nodes or more on a single river circuit, sometimes I found none. There are a few node spawns in the lake at the start of the path, and those also have zero mob aggro, unless you’re careless. You can mount up on your flying mount right from the water surface now, no need to swim to shore, so it doesn’t waste too much time.

The cave is my favourite spot, hands down. It’s called the Obsidian Lair, and it’s for a quest; the only players I ever saw in there were doing the quest (in comparison, I ran into several other miners on both the mountain path and the river path). It has zero mob aggro (I only once got aggroed by something –  a whelpling – and it was very, very easy to kill, compared to the mobs elsewhere), you can fly inside it, and there are plenty of node spawns.

You can’t just stay in the cave and mine, as you’ll run out of nodes, but the nodes in there seem to share a respawn with the nodes on the mountain path, meaning if you mine the mountain path – or if you know somebody else is – it’s very well worth it to duck into the cave every time you’re close to the entrance. I’ve had it happen several times that I would clear all the nodes in the cave, and then notice them respawning as I was heading back to the mountain path, since somebody else was mining outside. 

The circle denotes one of the two entrances: there’s another, halfway up the mountain near the end of the marked mountain path, but it might be a bit hard to find and I forgot to take a screenshot – just go through the normal entrance and fly through the entire cave and you’ll see where it’s located.

Personally, I ended up settling down on a circuit that hit all three paths. Start at the south end of the mountain path, take a right turn where the mountain path meets the river path and do a full river path loop, then continue on the north portion of the mountain path, double back and follow the south portion of the mountain path once more, then duck into the cave. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Brief Archaeology information

Posted in Professions with tags , , on December 9, 2010 by Aeliel

At least partly for my own reference, some information gathered from my somewhat hurried levelling of Archaeology from 1 to 525.

  • Where you dig will influence what you get. You can level 1-525 wholly in one continent if you want to (that’s mostly what I did – I stayed in Kalimdor, barring brief visits to Eastern Kingdoms and Outlands); you need 300+ for digsites in Outlands to appear, 375 for Northrend dig sites and 475 for sites in the zones added by Cataclysm. Go through the list of Archaeology rewards on Wowhead and decide where to dig based on what you want, but note that you can’t plan what you get beyond picking what continent to be on, so be prepared for some frustration. The maps found here are quite good.
  • What artifacts you use keystones to speed up will depend on your situation and what most nodes you’re digging up are. I was digging up mostly Night Elf nodes, and even using keystones on literally every single artifact that would allow me to I still dug up more than I spent; not so much for Troll and Dwarf keystones, but I didn’t even get many fragments of those in the first place.
  • Some artifacts can be keystoned, some can’t. Very basic common artifacts can’t be keystoned, while ones that require more fragments allow for one or two keystones, depending on the fragment amount. Rare artifacts seem to all accept three keystones.
  • Note that Fossil artifacts have no keystone.
  • The experience gain from getting Archaeology from 1 to cap is enough to level a character from 83 to 85.

In the process of levelling, I found several rare artifacts: Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown (pretty, despite the description, but I don’t think it’ll ever have a use beyond dressing up my death knight bank alt – if I ever want to level a cloth-wearing character I have heirlooms), Druid and Priest Statue Set (look at me look at me look at me!), Highborne Soul Mirror, Kaldorei Wind Chimes (these do bugger all except for an emote and a tinkling sound), Fossilized Hatchling and Fossilized Raptor – and I’m 42 fragments from Bones of Transformation (that’s 5 digsites, and yes I’m already counting three keystones). And I got enough Scandalous Silk Nightgowns to clothe an army.

(It’s a pity the grey items have no use beyond being vendored. Some of them would’ve been very neat, especially for RP…)

Now back to digging up the rest of the items I want.