Archive for grinding makes kittens cry

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…

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.

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…

The “Pass on loot” trick

Posted in Gold making, Miscellanea with tags , , , on November 28, 2010 by Aeliel

I ran into this trick while farming Outland heroic instances with Alieth (because he rerolled and is missing all the Outland reputations – and being a squishy, squishy healer he can’t easily solo those heroics).

When grouped, you get a new option in the right-click menu on your character frame: “Pass on loot”.

If you switche that option on, you forfeit your right to loot – and the only times you will see a sparkling, lootable corpse are:

  • If the corpse contains a quest item, or
  • If the corpse contains an item of green or better quality (assuming loot quality is set on Uncommon; I haven’t tested it, but I would imagine it’s dependent on the loot quality setting).

You will still be unable to roll on the green or better items that drop, since you’re passing on them – so it’s a pretty pointless option when you’re in a group with random strangers.

When you’re farming things with a friend (or even dual-boxing), though, this can be an extremely efficient way to farm and loot only corpses with worthwhile items. The character who isn’t passing on loot should ideally be the “tank” of the pair, pulling and killing most mobs; the weaker character follows behind and loots anything that sparkles. Any green or better item that drops will pop up a need / greed / disenchant / pass window for the character who isn’t passing on loot.

Sure, you’re losing out on the profits from cloth and other white and grey drops – but we were going for speed of clearing, not maximum profit, or we would’ve stopped and looted everything; this way, we still were able to collect enchanting materials and other random drops (including Schematic: Crashin’ Thrashin’ Robot, which is pretty insanely rare) that we would have otherwise missed out on.

Adorably annoying

Posted in Mounts and pets with tags , , , on November 25, 2010 by Aeliel

New quests means new vanity pets. New vanity pets means I will start farming them almost immediately, because I’ve been a vanity pet addict since I ran into Lil Timmy in Stormwind, five years ago, and spent half of my hard-earned silver on a white kitten.

First I went to talk to Brazie the Botanist to get my Singing Sunflower. A lot of cursing and a request for Alieth to play the Pumpkin Bomb level for me so I could figure out what I was doing wrong, I had it. (If you’re also stuck on that level, the winning strategy seems to be two rows of sunflowers, one of spitters, one of freezyas, and then strangler vines and rocknuts for protection. You want three sunflowers before you ever plant any spitters. By the time you get to the second massive wave, you’ll have more solar power than you can use and you can just pumpkin bomb things to death.)

Then I went to talk to Apothecary Furrows in Darkshore, in a cave in the middle of nowhere as far as Horde is concerned, to buy Withers. I kinda wish they’d put in a quest chain for this critter for Horde, too – Alliance seems to get the long chains for pets and Horde the brute-force way (see also: Sprite Darter Hatchling).

Then I went to quest in Burning Steppes for the Tiny Flamefly. I have no idea what the Alliance-side questline is for this, but Horde picks up this breadcrumb quest from Thorium Point to start it off, although I think you can just go to Flamestar Post and start from there. You have to do about half of the quests in Burning Steppes to get to the point where you get the pet – by that point, I was actually having fun with the quest chain, so I went and finished the entire zone while I was there.

Then I went to pick up Mr. Grubbs. This annoying (but absolutely adorable) critter is pretty much Disgusting Oozeling 2.0 in terms of farming, with the added issue that it’s BoP. You go talk to Fiona (fly to Throndoril River, she’s right there), do the quests to pick up her first two companions, then “talk” to her caravan and pick up Fiona’s Lucky Charm.

Then you get ready to farm until you want to cry.

The Hidden Stash that contains the pet can drop from mostly everything you kill in EPL as long as you have the buff on you, not just the Carrion Grubs and Devourers, but I ended up grinding at the big clump of worms south of Light’s Hope Chapel. They respawn very quickly and you’re unlikely to ever run out of mobs, and you won’t have much competition.

It seems to take most people (at least according to comments on WarcraftPets and the like) about 15-20 stashes, if that, to get the pet to drop. It took me 45. Argh.

When Alieth starts farming this, there’ll be lots of hate – either on his part, for the farming, if it takes him ages, or on my part, for his luck, if he gets it faster than I did. We shall see.

I’m on a trike. (Twice.)

Posted in Mounts and pets with tags , , , on November 25, 2010 by Aeliel

Yes, I did it in BRD. It was about as fun as jamming toothpicks under my fingernails, even doing it with two characters simultaneously (one of many good reasons to have my alts, some of them at least, on a separate account) and with three other people helping out, to the point that we had it down to around one minute per event reset. I might do this again for some other character the “right” way, running Northrend instances with the tabard on, now that it’s actually working – but not anytime soon.

Also, an additional funny – it’s people like this that sometimes make me despair for the future of this game…