Archive for tl;dr

Memories of Scholomance

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by Aeliel

I could make my way through Scholomance with my eyes closed.

That’s not hyperbole, by the way. A couple days ago, I pointed out the existence of Alanna’s Embrace to a guildie who loves pink, and she dutifully trotted off to farm it… except she’d never really been in Scholomance. She killed Rattlegore, then announced, “I’m lost.” I was locked outside by the instance timer at that point, so I couldn’t walk into her instance and help her out that way, but I successfully described the place to her (in enough detail that I could tell her to, for instance, which doors were wrought iron and which were wood) and got her to Ras Frostwhisper.

I spent a lot of time in Scholomance.

Back in Vanilla, before I started raiding, Scholomance was (together with Stratholme and Upper Blackrock Spire) the only endgame available to me. So I ran the place over, and over, and over, and over, trying to collect a full Wildheart set. (Not to mention a full Shadowcraft set, which I had to fight rogues tooth and nail for.)

I knew the place like the back of my hand by that point, even then – the route of every patrol, which mob had which abilities (and which pulls were most likely to wipe a group if mishandled), the optimal path to clear through the instance in the shortest time and still hit every boss, how to pull Rattlegore’s room without getting the boss prematurely and so on.

I even went to the trouble of getting a key to the place, which required a fair amount of time and effort, requiring a trek all over the world (from the Plaguelands to Gadgetzan to Un’goro and back) – not to mention 15 gold plus materials, which at the time was a fairly sizeable sum. I was sick and tired of waiting around at the instance entrance while the raid leader found somebody with the key who was willing to unlock the door (for a fee, of course), found a rogue with high enough lockpicking, or got somebody to jump off the top of the building and kill themselves close enough to the door that they could resurrect on the other side. So I figured I’d just get the key and put together my own damn groups.

And oh, yes, back then you raided Scholomance. Clearing it with a 5-man and getting your quests done was something you did only if you were a very good player with a very good group – clearing it for loot, well, people went the easy way and got a raid group together. Can’t really blame them, considering how many hazards there were in the place, although quests gave nice rewards both in terms of actual equipment and in terms of lore items. (Such as the Spectral Essence, which allowed you to see ghosts in Caer Darrow outside the instance, and which I deleted because of bag space and forgot to re-get yesterday – augh. Oh, well, nothing I can do about that now.)

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On the ethics of riding dragons

Posted in Lore, Miscellanea with tags , , , on December 13, 2011 by Aeliel

It’s no secret to anybody who knows me well that I have A Thing For Dragons™. “It has dragons in it” has gotten me to try just about anything, even if I then ended up tossing it at the wall in disgust (hello, “Eragon”).

World of Warcraft has dragons, and moreover, it has dragon mounts. Great, right?

Well, yes. It’s fun to ride around on a dragon. It makes you feel heroic.

But is it ethical?

Okay, okay, stop laughing and bear with me.

Dragons in World of Warcraft – at least normal dragons from the major flights – are intelligent, not just part of the wildlife. They think, they talk, they have feelings, they can have power well beyond that of members of playable races…

…and despite this, it seems to be the case that we’re using at least some of the drakes we ride against their will, turning intelligent creatures into little more than beasts of burden.

It is a major point of Warcraft lore that the enslaving of Alexstrasza and the red dragonflight by the Dragonmaw Clan, and the forced use of drakes and dragons as war mounts, was a heinous, horrible act.

And yet it seems to be perfectly fine for players to do the same thing – at least to “evil” dragons.

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Allies

Some of the drakes you can ride join you out of their own free will. The questline to obtain a Netherwing drake, for instance, makes it abundantly clear that they are joining you out of gratitude for the help you have provided to their flight:

It is an honor to meet you, <name>. We have all been keeping a close eye on your adventures and are grateful for all that you have done for the Netherwing Dragonflight.

If you choose me as your compatriot, I will fly you to the ends of this world and back. Whatever it is that you ask of me, I will do my best to comply.

(Although you can then return to Netherwing Ledge and purchase all other colors of Netherwing drake from Drake Dealer Hurlunk, one could simply argue you’re paying the dumb orcs some gold to free the remaining drakes they still have enslaved. So that works out.)

Similarly, although the Bronze Drake is technically a drop, you can make an excellent case that the drake would choose to join you because you saved a member of the Bronze flight. The Red Drake likely joins you willingly as well: although you have to spend gold to purchase one, doing so requires you to be exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord, the dragon faction par excellence. (Plus, you know, Alexstrasza is standing right there and I doubt she would be pleased with a random mortal grabbing one of her drakes and going “okay, you’re my mount now”. The last guy who did that, she had as a snack.)

(As a side note, this makes me wonder why there’s no rideable green drake in the game yet. The Guardians of Hyjal faction would’ve been a perfect place for one, considering Ysera is taking an active role there. Either that, or the Avengers of Hyjal, using Marks of the World Tree as currency to purchase it.)

Enslaved

Not all drakes fare quite so well.

The Blue, Azure, Black, Twilight and Onyxian drakes are obtained by very violent methods; the Black dragonflight is vicious, destructive, corrupted, insane and generally evil; the Blue dragonflight is on the wrong side of the Nexus War (and, going by the original method of acquiring the Blue and Azure drakes, you would have just killed their leader). At best, these drakes are insane, feral, more beast than anything else; at worst, they’re fully sentient, just your enemy. Either way, you’re essentially enslaving them.

(Yes, I’m aware it could be the one nice or non-hostile drake wanting to join you, but it’s extremely unlikely.)

The Albino Drake is another case of a dragon that’s considered little more than livestock. Consider the letter that accompanies it, sent by Mei Francis, a seller of exotic mounts:

I couldn’t help but to notice how good you are with the livestock. With all of the activity around here, business has been better than ever for me.

I don’t suppose you’d mind looking after this Albino Drake for me? I simply don’t have enough spare minutes in the day to care for all of these animals.

Yours,

Mei

“You’re good with animals, please care for this particular one, I haven’t got the time.” Okay then!

There are even more clear-cut cases of “see pretty drake, beat it to within an inch of its life, then slap a saddle on it and enslave it as your mount”, but they all belong to dragon breeds that either have been confirmed by in-game lore as being essentially beasts (Time-Lost Proto-Drake) or as far as we’ve seen haven’t displayed any sign of higher thought, such as stone dragons (Aeonaxx, Slabhide) or storm dragons (Altairus). So we can’t really be certain.

Either way, much as I love drakes and I love riding them… it makes me uneasy.

(And don’t get me started on whelp vanity pets. As much as I love them, they all originally were, and some of them still are, drops from whelps of the same dragonflight found in the game world. So essentially what you’re doing is killing a bunch of dragon kids, then finding one that’s still alive despite the beating and taking it for a pet. Nice, very nice. How very heroic of you.)

It just feels like Blizzard originally introduced drake mounts in the game to give players something amazing and heroic to ride beyond the default gryphons and wyverns (the Netherwing drakes were the very first drake mounts introduced), because it would feel great to have a dragon call you a hero and decide to accompany you in your further adventurers – but that has long since fallen by the wayside, and they just add drake mounts wherever because hey, dragons are cool, right? And it makes me a bit sad, because it did feel great to have a dragon want to come with me… and now they’re just another mount, found or bought pretty much everywhere.

Official talent calculator for Mists of Pandaria

Posted in Druid with tags , , , on November 23, 2011 by Aeliel

Blizzard finally released an official talent calculator for Mists of Pandaria. I have Opinions when it comes to the druid talents. This should not be a surprise.

(I’m aware all this isn’t final. It’s kind of obvious from the fact that there are things missing from several classes and specs. Still, they put out a preview, I get to have an opinion.)

First of all, there are two new spells. Might of Ursoc, at level 72, is a standard, class-wide Last Stand (30% extra health for 20 seconds). Symbiosis, at level 87, looks quite interesting:

Creates a symbiotic link which grants the Druid one ability belonging to the target’s class, varying by the Druid’s specialization.

In exchange, grants the target one druid ability based on their class and combat role.

Lasts 1 hour and persists through death.

Needs more information, of course, but so far, so interesting.

Now, as for the rest of the changes… this’ll get long, so I’ll just put it behind a cut.

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Druid talent picks

Posted in Druid, Strategy, Tanking with tags , , , on October 25, 2011 by Aeliel

(I took a screenshot of the full talent screen from the panel stream, then edited it a bit to remove background clutter.)

A lot of people are doing this, and I was certainly going “ooh, I love that one” in my head while I watched the panel, so I figure what the hell.

This is from an almost purely PVE perspective (to say I’m not a great PVPer would be a massive understatement), and I’ll be considering talents based on their usefulness for a feral druid tank and for a feral druid DPS. I’m not going to mention in exact detail what each talent does, just briefly sum them up – if you want more details, MMO-Champion has a ton of screenshots, and Wowhead’s Mists of Pandaria talent calculator has the information as well.

Level 15

Feline Swiftness is a basic flat increase to your movement speed, Tireless Pursuit is an extra Dash, and Displacer Beast is a “ack, getting focused in PVP, must survive” panic button. To me, the choice is very clear-cut.

Feral tank: Feline Swiftness. No contest.
Feral DPS: Feline Swiftness most of the time, although I’ll be swapping in Tireless Pursuit if there are specific fights where you stay mostly still but suddenly have to get from point A to point B as soon as possible.
Leveling: Displacer Beast. I’m on a PVP server and I’m pretty awful at PVP. An extra “ack ack ack get it off get it off” panic button every 3 minutes might not end up saving me more time than the flat movement speed increase, but it’ll certainly save me tons of frustration.

Level 30

Nature’s Swiftness makes specific spells instant and castable in all forms, Renewal is a self-heal, and Cenarion Ward is a reactive HoT that can be cast on any friendly target.

At a first glance, Renewal is the most useful for a tank, since it gives you an extra panic button and 30% of your maximum health can be a decent chunk. However, depending on how much health you have and on how well it scales, Cenarion Ward might end up totaling more self-healing than Renewal when pushed every time it’s up, since its shorter cooldown means you can use it four times as often as Renewal… however, it’s not a panic button. As for Nature’s Swiftness, the only real benefit it offers to a tank is the ability to cast Rebirth instantly and without shifting out – which is only useful if you’re the only person in the raid who can combat res. On the one hand, I am in that situation (10-man raid, no death knight, no warlock, I’m the only druid and I’m a tank)… on the other, more important hand, I don’t see why I should have to sacrifice a cooldown that could very well save my life just so I can rescue some idiot who died from standing in bad and is quite likely to die again from standing in bad after I res him.

For a feral DPS, the choice is simpler. For most fights, panic button heal > instant Rebirth without shifting out > reactive HoT. (The reasoning being that you do no damage when you’re dead, while although you lose some DPS time when shifting out and resurrecting somebody it’s not likely to get you killed. The reactive HoT is unlikely to trigger very frequently if you cast it on cooldown, and if your healers are having issues keeping people up in fights with mild AoE damage you have bigger issues than Cenarion Ward can fix.) In fights with lots of heavy AoE damage, Cenarion Ward might become useful and end up taking some strain off the healers, but if it’s not off the GCD it might negatively impact your damage.

Feral tank: Renewal. Even if Cenarion Ward ends up totaling more self-healing over the course of a fight, I’d rather have a cooldown I can push to save my life when it matters than a consistent trickle of health. As for Nature’s Swiftness, thanks but no thanks.
Feral DPS: Renewal, although I may swap in Cenarion Ward depending on the fight.
Leveling: Cenarion Ward might come in handy here, depending on the scaling. Would certainly reduce downtime. If it doesn’t scale well, Renewal here too.

Level 45

Faerie Swarm adds a movement slow to an ability we already have, Mass Entanglement is a targeted AoE root, and Typhoon is an AoE knockback plus daze.

I’m immediately discounting Mass Entanglement because it very specifically can’t be cast in bear or cat form, and well, screw that. Even if there was a fight that absolutely required adds to be rooted – other classes can do that at less cost to them. The other two are very situational, and which one is the best very much depends on what you’re fighting.

Typhoon is going to be incredible for any fight where there’s something that absolutely must be knocked back, or else. (Hello, Ragnaros adds.) Faerie Swarm is going to be incredible for any fight where there’s something that absolutely must be slowed, or else. We currently have Infected Wounds, but I’m guessing that’s going to go away in 5.0 – and even if it doesn’t, Faerie Swarm is a ranged slow. My only qualm with it is the 6-second cooldown it incurs in bear and cat form. It makes sense – normal Faerie Fire is the same way – but it caps the amount of targets you can efficiently slow to two unless you shift out and just spam it every global cooldown.

(I’m not sure how likely it is that they’ll make it so you can only slow one target at a time. The Slow talent for mages very specifically says it can only be used on one target at a time and it’s a level 90 talents as things currently stand, but it also slows ranged attacks and spell casts, while ours doesn’t. We’ll see.)

Feral tank: Typhoon in most cases, replacing it with Faerie Swarm when a slow is needed.
Feral DPS: Typhoon, except for when a slow is needed.
Leveling: Typhoon. It’s extremely unlikely that I’ll want to slow the movement of something I’m trying to kill, considering er, I’m a melee… and there’s all those lovely cliffs in Pandaria that I can potentially knock people that try to gank me off of.

Level 60

This is where I say “gee Blizzard, would it have killed you to be a bit more specific?” – most of the talents don’t say what they do for one form or the other. All three talents are “does something, based on your form or spec.” Feh.

Wild Charge looks like it will be useless to bears, unless they make haste not suck or take away Feral Charge. Which they very well might, since they specifically said “Wild Charge is a new version of Feral Charge” and that the idea was “Let’s take something cool that different talent trees have and make it available to everyone.”

(Don’t even get me started on how angry I’ll be if they do that. Yeah, let’s force all feral tanks to take a specific talent and sacrifice something that might buff their threat or survivability instead if they want a gap closer, that’ll go very well with the idea of not making any of the choices mandatory and making people “choose between apples to apples.” Warriors have a gap closer by default and get to pick a way to buff it at level 15, paladins get theirs at level 15 and it’s not even a particularly hard choice because the other two talents aren’t nearly as good for a paladin tank, death knights have Death Grip, and druids have to wait until level 60 to get Wild Charge? Screw you. Put it at level 15 with the other movement effects where it belongs or leave Feral Charge as a baseline ability for tank druids, and have Wild Charge replace it with a buffed version – give it 30% extra damage after charging rather than 30% haste and it’ll actually be a choice people can decide to make rather than “oh well, the other two talents look nice but I have to take the gap closer.”)

Uh. I clearly have Strong Opinions. Moving on.

Incarnation “activates a superior shapeshifting form based on your specialization.” Force of Nature, they said during the panel, “works a little bit like Guardian of Ancient Kings.” As far as cat druids are concerned, both of these are likely to be a DPS-increasing talent – for bears, they could go either way, boosting survivability or threat.

All in all, I don’t know enough about this talent tier to make a reasoned choice. All I can do is guess (and get angry based on that guess – ahem).

Level 75

Demoralizing Roar is an AoE disorient, Ursol’s Vortex is a short-range AoE Death Grip, Bear Hug is a stun with a damage component.

(Demoralizing Roar as we know and hate it today will be gone. Hooray. As they put it during the panel, it “was just kinda maintenance-y, the debuff wasn’t that interesting” and I’m glad they decided to get rid of it.)

This is interesting. The new Demoralizing Roar strikes me as more of a PVP thing – I honestly can’t see the usefulness of an AoE disorient in PVE, except maybe in very specialized situations. Ursol’s Vortex sounds pretty amazing – 15 yards might not sound that big, but for instance Skull Bash currently has a 13-yard range. It’s going to be a useful ability to get enemies all nice and clumped, both for bears and for cats. Bear Hug at first glance seems more of a PVP thing, and it’s definitely pretty useless for a tank, but… hmmm.

Does it work on bosses? As in – does the damage still go through if the stun component doesn’t?

In cat gear, cat spec and bear form right now I have 145k health, completely unbuffed. Just smacking around a target dummy, Shred hits for 11.5k non-crit. And just for precision’s sake, let’s count autoattacks as well – 1.4k non-crit, once every 0.93 seconds. (I’m wearing a 300agi flask, but considering it’s got almost the full 2 hours left and I have a raid soon, I’m unwilling to click it off. Bear with me.)

Given the 1sec GCD and assuming I’m starting from a full energy bar (or have either Tiger’s Fury or Berserk available), I could Shred a maximum of three times in a 3-second period, for a total damage of 34.5k. Add in four autoattacks (rounding up for sanity’s sake), you get 40.1k. Bear Hugging something, assuming I was at full health, would do 14.5k damage (10% of my health) per tick, three times, for a total damage of 43.5k. I’d also incur a GCD when switching back to cat form, but if I were to Bear Hug when I’m out of energy anyway, I’d be dealing more damage than I would just autoattacking while waiting for my energy bar to fill back up. At worst it’s damage-neutral (assuming I miss two more autoattacks due to having to switch back to cat form); at best, it’s more damage than just autoattacking when waiting on an empty energy bar with nothing available to fill it back up.

Definitely something I’ll want to try out.

Feral tank: Ursol’s Vortex.
Feral DPS: undecided. Ursol’s Vortex offers good utility, but if Bear Hug works on bosses…
Leveling: Ursol’s Vortex, most likely.

Level 90

Heart of the Wild allows you to cover a role that you normally wouldn’t be able to take on for a short time, Master Shapeshifter buffs your spellpower when you use melee attacks and your attack power when you cast non-instant spells, and Disentanglement allows you to shapeshift out of roots and heals you for 20% of your maximum health every time you shapeshift, with the heal being on a 30-second cooldown.

Ehhhh. Not really interested in Master Shapeshifter. Heart of the Wild might come in handy, depending on the effect it has for bear druids – if it allows you to temporarily do decent cat DPS, I might even take it. Disentanglement has the potential to be insanely powerful. Never mind the shifting out of roots (something I very much want back, thank you very much) and the PVP effect of the talent (shift to bear form to turtle out some damage, get a heal to help you out with that)… I find myself wondering if you could use it to heal yourself while tanking, by shifting out of bear form and back in between the boss’ melee swings. It would need very careful timing but could be quite awesome.

Feral tank: Disentanglement for the root removal and the potential, switching in Heart of the Wild for fights in which I would be able to temporarily switch to cat form and try to do some damage (assuming it buffs my cat damage).
Feral DPS: Disentanglement for the root removal and the additional survivability (low health? shift out of cat form and back in to save your skin). Heart of the Wild looks nice on paper – however, the chance that fights will exist where a cat DPS will be wanted as a sub-par tank for 45 seconds every 6 minutes are very slim, and I’d rather talent for myself rather than pick a talent just in case somebody screws up and I need to step up and save the day.
Leveling: Disentanglement for the root removal and the heal both (kill something hard, shift out, heal yourself to 80% and shift back into cat form). Master Shapeshifter might come in handy here, too – hit stuff, shift out and heal yourself better when it’s dead, shift back in and hit stuff harder – but I’m unsure if it’ll make that big a difference.

Into the Mists

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags , , on October 24, 2011 by Aeliel

Right then. In the interest of not letting it go several months between posts anymore, I’m trying to squash the little voice in my head going “shut up shut up nobody cares about what you have to say” and talking about things.

Specifically, “Mists of Pandaria” and the various announcements made at this year’s Blizzcon. Because everybody’s talking about that anyway, might as well join in, right?

All thoughts in no particular order, just as things come to mind.

1. The World of Warcraft Annual Pass thing. Yeah, I signed up. As far as I’m concerned – I was already planning to keep playing World of Warcraft, so this is free stuff for something I was going to do anyway. (Not to mention that mount is quite likely to solve the mount issue I have on my paladin for me. A suitably paladin-y horse that I can use as a ground mount and as a flying mount, that I can use instead of the stupid glowing elekk that replaced my paladin pony with Cataclysm, that matches the Tyrael mini-pet I already have on her and that doesn’t require me to grind any reputation or currency to get? Yes, please.)

2. People’s reactions to all the announcements. Getting this out early because it’s getting on my nerves – before you open your mouth, make sure you know for certain what you’re talking about. This includes “but I don’t want my panda lady to look exactly like the panda dudes just with a bow on her head!” (it was a joke, get a clue), “but with these talents there will no longer be any difference between specs” (they’re keeping specs and spec-based abilities, talents are something on top of that rather than what you pick to define your spec, again, get a clue), and so on. Argh.

3. The new expansion being called Mists of Pandaria. Color me unsurprised. The moment MMO-Champion pointed out that Blizzard had trademarked “Mists of Pandaria” and Blizzard started being all “you guys this is not necessarily the next expansion we trademark stuff all the time honest” it was blindingly obvious it was, in fact, going to be the next expansion.

4. Pandas. Leaving aside the shrieks of “but pandas aren’t canon!” (uh hello, Chen Stormstout would like to disagree with that)… I’m holding my final judgment until I actually see how it all plays out, but I can’t help but like the idea of pandaren as a race. They sound like good fun to play, and assuming the female model looks good (no, I still can’t manage to play a male character, I’ve tried, it doesn’t work – I’m not sure what that says about me) I’ll definitely be creating a pandaren character.

(As a side note, let me qualify “looks good.” Looks good for the race. I don’t mean “looks good” as in it’s a sexy human-ish female with a panda head and fur. I mean something like this fan concept of a female pandaren. Extreme sexual dimorphism might work with some races, such as the draenei, but I don’t think it’d work with the pandaren. One of their racials is “Bouncy,” for crying out loud. If female pandaren turn out to be “oh let’s just take a human woman, give her fur and a couple of panda attributes and call it done” I will be very disappointed.)

Also, the racials are fun. And if a lot of serious PVPers end up race-switching to pandaren because of the Quaking Palm racial, I will be endlessly amused. Panda invasion!

5. The new talents look interesting. Again, I’m holding my final judgment until I actually see them in action and see all the details (some of the druid talents in the specific are very vaguely worded right now – I might discuss them more in depth in another post, we’ll see), but I like the idea as it was described.

6. Pet battles. I’m looking forward to this so much, you have no idea. I currently have 169 vanity pets and I can’t wait to level them all up and fight with them and catch wild pets and stuff. Yes, this is Pokemon, shut up, I’m going to enjoy this. If this ends up not being actually released I’ll be sad.

7. Dungeon challenge modes are yet another thing I’m really looking forward to. I like the idea of having cosmetic gear as a reward (and I can absolutely see myself spending tons of time trying to perfect a particular challenge so I can get the last piece of gear I need for a fancy new outfit), I like the idea of leaderboards showing who’s best at each challenge, and I really, really, really like the idea of gear normalization for them. These things should be about who has the highest skill, not who has the best equipment and can therefore outgear the challenge entirely.

8. Account-wide achievements. I’ll be sad if they don’t manage to implement this. “So for example we could say, ‘Get every profession to max level,’ which would be really cruel to do for one character, but across your entire stable of characters would be kind of fun.” Altitis – validated!

9. Weapon changes – both happy and sad about this. Happy because this simplifies things; sad because there are some items that have been removed from the game, and I still have them on one character – but with the change, they’ll be only vendor fodder and nothing more. For example, my hunter’s Lok’delar, Stave of the Ancient Keepers, or her Arcanite Ripper.

Back when the Arcanite Ripper was available, with the WotLK launch event, my hunter was the only character I had that could wield two-handed axes (my paladin was created towards the tail end of WotLK, and my warrior was created, er, last month). So I went out of my way to ensure I would get the axe for her – it was one of the very first “hey, let’s see if we can do this with less than the intended amount of players” things I did with Alieth. He healed on his priest, I tanked on my druid, and the hunter was logged in a second client in the background and provided a bit of extra damage in the form of autoshot and the pet munching on the boss. And now I will no longer be able to use it. :(

I was vaguely hoping that they would at least let people equip weapons they no longer can (melee weapons for hunters, ranged weapons for warriors and rogues) in a cosmetic slot, but somebody asked about that during one of the Q&A panels and the response was “we have no plans to do that currently.” Boo.

10. Druids getting four specs. I’m happy. I like both tanking and melee DPS, but I like them being separate. I understand that several people enjoyed being able to tank stuff and still do decent DPS when they weren’t tanking, but this way it’ll be much easier to balance, I’d wager. Also, sometimes I really hated the “you’re a bear but you can still do decent damage” thing for a very simple reason – it led to me being stuck in an offtank role not because the other tank was better at it, or he had higher survivability, but because “well we need your DPS to kill the boss before the enrage timer,” which is just as stupid a reason as “well we need you to shift out and decurse sometimes.”

11. Monks. Yeah, I’m gonna roll one. This shouldn’t be surprising to anybody who knows me and my stable of alts. What I don’t know yet is whether I’ll roll a pandaren monk or go with one of the existing races and make the pandaren one of the other classes I still haven’t managed to level to cap – rogue or shaman. Unless I manage to roll a rogue and a shaman and get them both to 85 before the expansion hits, which might happen – in which case it’ll be a pandaren monk. Unless I end up not liking pandaren when I try them out during the beta, in which case it’ll be a non-pandaren monk.

And it’ll probably be a tank, unless I end up really disliking the monk tank playstyle. Is there therapy for tank-addicted people like me, I wonder?

12. No flying until max level is very, very good. I liked exploring the new world on foot during Burning Crusade and WotLK, and it’s one of the things I felt was missing during Cataclysm. Flying, as awesome as it is (ask me about my obsession with flying!), makes the world seem smaller.

13. Yessssssssss heroic Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery. I was hoping for heroic Stratholme as well, but alas. Maybe someday in the future. Also world raid bosses yaaaaaaaaaay!

And… I think that’s it. I might add some more comments as I re-watch the entire Blizzcon (see, buying a virtual ticket is good for something other than getting a Murkablo).

Best dailies for gold: Hyjal addendum

Posted in Gold making with tags , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Aeliel

(Header image from the Hyjal jousting daily. Apparently there are several “Easter egg” messages, not just this one, but this is the first I’ve ever gotten.)

Having unlocked everything unlockable on some character or other (well, except Filling the Moonwell, but as far as I know that doesn’t unlock any extra daily), I feel I have enough data to update my best Cataclysm dailies for gold post with the dailies that were added in 4.2. Yes, I could’ve just used Wowhead to determine the rewards, but I always prefer confirming things myself.

tl;dr – Mount Hyjal is Isle of Quel’danas v3.0 (v2.0 was the Argent Tournament). There still are single dailies that reward more gold than the Hyjal ones, but counting travel time – and the fact that there are just so many of the Hyjal dailies, 17 after unlocking both Ancients and Armaments – these dailies most likely are the single most efficient way of earning gold through dailies. Doing all 17 dailies will give a total of 247 gold and 68 silver per day.

Unfortunately, they can’t be easily clumped by gold rewarded, since you really can’t just pick and choose which ones to do the way you can everywhere else, so I’m going to sum them up by sections.

Also, Wowhead has an excellent guide to achievements for the 4.2 dailies, so if you’re interested in achievements go take a look – it’s better than anything I could write up myself.

Jousting: 7 gold, 80 silver (1 daily)

Vigilance on Wings. Only worth doing for the achievement, especially considering how much of a pain it is.

Outside: 61 gold, 61 silver total (4 dailies)

The Protectors of Hyjal rewards 20 gold, 26 silver. It’s always available (even on the first day of doing the dailies, once you go back outside after unlocking the Molten Front).

Rage Against the Flames, Supplies for the Other Side, Releasing the Pressure, Relieving the Pain and Treating the Wounds reward 16 gold, 54 silver. You can only do one of them each day, at random.

Call the Flock, Those Bears Up There, Punting Season, Perfecting Your Howl and Between the Trees reward 12 gold, 40 silver and 50 copper. You can only do one of them each day, at random; each has a follow-up quest, also rewarding 12 gold, 40 silver and 50 copper.

Inside: 66 gold, 16 silver total (4 dailies)

All the basic Molten Front dailies reward 16 gold, 54 silver each. Some of them are always the same, some are random on a rotation.

Druids of the Talon / Shadow Wardens: 82 gold, 70 silver total (5 dailies)

All dailies given by the Druids of the Talon and Shadow Wardens reward 16 gold, 54 silver each. Some of them are always the same, some are random on a rotation. Starting to see a pattern yet? You can only quest for one faction each day.

Avrilla and Tholo: 33 gold, 8 silver total (2 dailies)

Unlocking the Shadow Wardens will give you access to Avrilla’s daily. Unlocking the Druids of the Talon will give you access to Tholo’s. Both dailies reward 16 gold, 54 silver each; they are not mutually exclusive, but you will have to unlock both factions to have access to both.

Additional Armaments: 16 gold, 54 silver (1 daily)

Completing Additional Armaments will unlock an extra daily. It’s always available to you, even if you haven’t completed all dailies for the Druids or Wardens for whatever reason (such as not completing Fire in the Skies to have a shot at Death From Above every day).

Calling the Ancients: 20 gold, 67 silver (1 daily)

Completing Calling the Ancients will unlock an extra daily. It’s only available to you after you’ve completed the Druids or Wardens dailies for the day, so if you’re deliberately not completing a specific daily, you won’t be able to pick it up.

As usual…

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , , on July 23, 2011 by Aeliel

…too busy actually playing to post about it. I keep meaning to update my best Cataclysm dailies for gold post with the new Hyjal dailies, but every time I go do the dailies I forget to note down the gold rewards. It doesn’t help that I’ve been sick and, as a result, very fuzzy-brained. Blargh.

On the upside…

I’m done with the challenge tames! (Until my little hunter hits 85 – she’s 81 right now – and then I get to chase down Anthriss, Ankha, Karkin and Kirix. Yay?)

 Of course, I still haven’t managed to name most of them. The only two that got named so far are Skarr (Maladath, after this item, because I’ve always liked the sound of the name and it seemed to fit) and Ban’thalos (Spirit – the same name as my Loque’nahak, who got abandoned to free up a slot for him; I have Loque on my little hunter as well and I try not to duplicate pets). I haven’t been this indecisive over a pet’s name, let alone four pets’ names, in a very long while.

Story of each individual tame in the extended entry, for those who care. Some of them involve ganking. (PVP servers are such fun, right?)

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