Archive for yay more dailies to grind oh wait

Straw hats and you

Posted in Miscellanea, Transmogrification with tags , , on October 31, 2012 by Aeliel

Although I hit exalted with the Tillers themselves quite some time ago, I’ve still been doing the dailies – for valor points, for fun, and for reputation with the individual pandas. I’m almost done with Friends on the Farm, and today I capped my rep with Old Hillpaw and got a Straw Hat in the mail.

Being me, I promptly linked it in guild chat and commented that it really should have some sort of farming bonus or something like that on it, because it’s useless as it is… and then somebody asked a smart question:

“Is it transmoggable?”

Turns out yes, yes it is.

The hat Old Hillpaw mails you is cloth, but Gina Mudclaw sells a version of the hat for each of the four armor classes – cloth, leather, plate and mail. They look absolutely identical, and while they’re somewhat unflattering on some races (see my poor night elf above), I would wager it wouldn’t look half bad on, say, a pandaren.

PSA: Argent Tournament

Posted in Alts, Mounts and pets, Strategy with tags , , on September 10, 2012 by Aeliel

One of the entries in my Cataclysm bucket list (which I never posted here, and now it’s perhaps a bit too late to do so) was to finish collecting the mounts I was missing from the Argent Tournament. Earlier today, I was staring mournfully at my Champion’s Seals and grumbling that I can’t really acquire them faster, when something occurred to me.

Aside from the paladin pony (for which I need to stop slacking and work on the dailies with, well, my paladin), these mounts can be earned on any character on your account and used by all of them.

This means that if you’ve unlocked the Argent Tournament on more than one character and you’re missing more than one mount, you should do the dailies every day on every single one of those characters, since this will speed up the rate at which you acquire mounts. You don’t even need to unlock Crusader dailies (although if you’ve done that, it’ll help, since it’ll increase the amount of daily Champion’s Seals you earn on that character), since the only requirement for buying the mounts from a specific faction is having championed said faction.

Yes, this is the most obvious thing ever, and I’m kind of boggling at myself that it didn’t occur to me earlier (I’d have been doing the dailies on multiple characters since account-wide mounts were announced if it had). In case I’m not the only person this didn’t occur to, I figured I’d post here.

On bad design

Posted in Achievements, Miscellanea, PuG business with tags , , , on December 11, 2011 by Aeliel

I got all the Darkmoon Faire artifacts this month on my main – every single one. Because I’m an impatient completionist and achievement points call to me.

The PVP ones were pretty easy. Ran a couple of Alterac Valley, stopping to loot every single corpse, got two, got frustrated and realized it would probably be more efficient to just buy the third one on the AH. So that’s what I did.

Most of the dungeons ones were easy, too. Stockades coughed up Ornate Weapons quite easily, Scarlet Monastery was farmed for Imbued Crystals (Whitemane) and Mysterious Grimoires (Doan), and Gahz’rilla kindly dropped a Monstrous Egg. These are meant to drop from the new heroics, too, and I saw some – but it was just more efficient to grind old instances and not risk getting outrolled.

Getting Soothsayer’s Runes was a simple matter of building a trade-chat PuG for Magmaw 10 only, for the specific and sole purpose of getting them. One drops for each raid member, so no problem there.

The Treatise on Strategy was the problematic item, and it’s simply a matter of poor design.

I can understand the theory behind it. In the same way the Soothsayer’s Runes are “hey, let’s get people to run raids that aren’t Dragon Soul!”, the Treatise on Strategy is “hey, let’s get people to run heroics that aren’t the new ones!”.

It’s a lovely theory, and I salute the desire to give players reasons to run old content. The way this was implemented, however, leaves much to be desired.

The problem is this:

We didn’t really like having separate queues for each tier of Heroic 5-player dungeons. The random option should be all-inclusive. […] if you want to run any random Cataclysm Heroic dungeon, we want the system to choose from all of them. […] you’re probably getting the new ones more frequently because more players are queuing for them specifically. You’re being grouped with those people by the system so the wait times are as short as possible.

(source)

In other words, players want to run old heroics (because the Treatise on Strategy only drops from there) but, at the same time, are frustrated in their efforts to do so, since the dungeon finder will drop a well-geared character into the new heroics more often than not. Because of this, players end up having to queue specifically for the old heroics by selecting them all in the “specific dungeons” list – which means they’re unable to do each heroic more than once a day and they won’t get valor points from the run, just justice points.

The former consequence makes getting a Treatise frustrating – it only drops from one or two bosses in each instance, at a very low drop rate, and it’s quite likely that several people in the group will have a Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide and therefore be competition for the loot. The latter consequence will further frustrate players with well-geared characters, since justice points are essentially useless for them.

All this also further exacerbates the resentment between well-geared players and undergeared, under-performing or freshly 85 players. From a well-geared player’s perspective, it looks like this:

“I’m carrying these scrubs, I’m doing three or four times their DPS, they stand in all the bad possible, and I’m not even getting any valor points out of this, never mind a Treatise. This sucks.”

Or possibly even this:

“I carried these scrubs, I did three or four times their DPS, they stood in all the bad possible, and now one of them actually rolled against me on the Treatise and won? This really sucks. Ungrateful little bastards.”

From an undergeared player’s perspective, it looks like this:

“These guys come into dungeons they overgear, yell at me for being new, want to skip bosses I need loot from, boss me around and don’t even bother explaining how fights I’ve never seen work. This sucks.”

Nobody’s happy, everybody’s frustrated. Not a well thought out system at all.

I wish I could feel like it’s going to get better with subsequent arrivals of the Darkmoon Faire – after all, the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide stays and the artifacts drop even when the Faire’s out of town – but I don’t see it happening. More people are going to queue up for the new heroics anyway if they want valor points (because they’re faster, they can potentially provide gear upgrades and valuable BoEs as well as valor points, and “they’re not filled with scrubs”), so queuing for a “Random Cataclysm Heroic” in the dungeon finder will still drop well-geared characters in the new heroics. So well-geared characters wanting a Treatise will have to queue specifically for each old heroic, leading to the same frustration all the time.

There’s no elegant solution, either, and no solution I can see Blizzard taking. One solution would be to take the three new heroics out of the random Cataclysm heroic list – but Blizzard has openly stated they don’t want to do that. Another solution would be to make the Treatise drop off at least one boss in all heroics, including the new ones… but that would defeat the original point of the Treatise.

But then again, that might be better. Well-geared and knowledgeable players and under-geared, new-to-85 players in the same heroic together is a recipe for disaster anyway. (See also: the drama when it looked like raiders would have to run heroics to cap valor points every week.)

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.

After buying eggs for ages…

Posted in Achievements, Mounts and pets with tags , , on April 23, 2011 by Aeliel

At the long, long last. I started buying eggs shortly after the release of Wrath of the Lich King, and the only time I didn’t buy one when the previous one hatched was when I wasn’t actually playing at all. I actually got my drake last week – but since I hadn’t been doing Oracles dailies for a while, and only did them every three days (each time I went to buy a new egg), if that, once I resumed, it took me a bit longer to hit Exalted.

There’s very few reps I don’t have at Exalted now. Bloodsail Buccaneers (Honored, can’t honestly be bothered grinding it further up), Darkmoon Faire (Revered, paused for the time being since my scribe alt is still on a different server), Ravenholdt (Neutral, haven’t touched it since I’ve not yet leveled a rogue), Steamwheedle Cartel (all four factions are Honored… long grind to go, though) and the PVP factions (ughhhhh).

What the (composite) screenshot doesn’t show, of course, is me switching to Frenzyheart very shortly after hitting exalted with the Oracles. Time to work on Frenzyheart for Mercenary of Sholazar! Well, assuming I can be bothered, that is.

The best Cataclysm dailies for gold

Posted in Achievements, Gold making with tags , , , , on March 2, 2011 by Aeliel

So I’ve pretty much ran out of reasons to do dailies. I have the pet and both mounts from Tol Barad, I’m at the reputation cap with everything imaginable, and I’ve obtained every cooking recipe available from the tokens and got my Iron Chef achievement to boot (without either of the two guild-reward recipes /flex).

So I figured I’d investigate and see which dailies are most profitable from a gold-making standpoint. I’m fully aware that doing dailies is by no means the most efficient way of earning gold when it comes to time spent vs gold earned, but what can I say – I find dailies relaxing.

As you’ll see, some dailies in the list are from WotLK. If a specific WotLK daily is not in the list, you can assume it’s not really decent gold, and that’s why it got left out (for example, the Troll Patrol set of dailies in Zul’drak). If I’ve forgotten anything, do point it out to me, it’s been an eternity since I’ve done WotLK dailies that aren’t the Argent Tournament ones.

I’m also not including jewelcrafting dailies, either the old or the new. From looking at Wowhead, the Dalaran jewelcrafting daily at the very least would deserve inclusion in the list – but I have no idea if Wowhead’s data is correct (it isn’t for several other dailies; I had to check the entirety of this list by hand). My jewelcrafting character is still on my old server and still level 80, so I have no idea how much gold the Dalaran daily would reward at level 85 and no way of checking.

The list got long, so I’m tucking it in the extended entry. I’ve tried adding information on additional gold-earning and achievement potential wherever possible.

[Update, patch 4.2: Hyjal dailies reward 16 gold 54 silver each with only a few exceptions. However, due to travel time and the sheer amount of those dailies, doing all Hyjal dailies first then cherry-picking the best earners from this list is probably the most efficient way of earning gold by doing dailies. See the Hyjal dailies entry.]

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A few guesses about 4.1

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , on February 26, 2011 by Aeliel

Mostly fed by digging through Wowhead’s list of 4.1 additions so far.

  • The Hallow’s End event is getting reworked to the “new model” of seasonal events (dailies get you tokens which you use to buy items).
  • The Children’s Week event might be getting the same treatment, too.
  • There’s definitely going to be Firelands dailies.
  • Hydra pets for hunters! (But then, that’s pretty well known and all over the place already, so it’s not really that much of a guess. There are other changes to pet models and new tamables as well – a good summary of the changes to hunter pets can be found on the Petopia forums.)
  • The method of obtaining the Winterspring Frostsaber mount is going to be changed to dailies, matching the method of obtaining the Venomhide Ravasaur mount. (And about bloody time, too – that repgrind was absolutely godawful. It makes me wonder, though, what will happen to the reputation faction… if it simply disappears, Alliance will have one less faction than Horde due to the existence of Tranquillien.)
  • Nightsaber Cub: TCG reward. Panther Cub: at this point I’ve no idea – it’s a white item, so the odds of it being a ZG drop are a bit low. Winterspring Cub: sold in Everlook. I wonder how much gold I’ll make reselling the latter on the AH… probably a fair amount, especially considering the luck I’ve had with Highland Pomegranates (and those are, at least in Orgrimmar, sold just a few yards from an AH).
  • There’s going to be a raid encounter in the Firelands involving Fandral Staghelm. (Please oh please let us kill the bastard…)
  • There’s going to be a raid encounter in the Firelands involving Alysra, the green dragon who (supposedly) transported Fandral Staghelm to a safe location in Moonglade. Whether it’s the same encounter as the above or a separate one, I’ve no idea.
  • There might be an event of some sort involving Anachronos. Boss fight, perhaps.

I’m curious to see how right I am as the PTR progresses.

4.1 reaction post

Posted in Achievements, Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , , , on February 24, 2011 by Aeliel


4.1 official patchnotes are out, plus unofficial datamined extras courtesy of MMO-Champion as usual.

Let’s see.

The Gurubashi Tribe Persists

Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.

I saw this coming. This and Zul’Aman both. It made no sense to have the place just as an outdoor questing area – visited for just a couple of quests, seriously now – and waste all that space. Plus the quests referring to Zul’Gurub left very blatantly obvious dangling plot threads.

The Return of Zul’Aman

Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will join Zul’Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.

What will happen to the old Zul’Aman? It can’t possibly stay there – it would require having a separate entrance for the raid and for the dungeon (or alternatively, for the dungeon not to have an in-world entrance, which… doesn’t work terribly well, since it would prevent any revisiting of the content once you outlevel it in the dungeon finder).

So here’s my questions:

  1. The Amani Dragonhawks (and the hatchlings that spawn during the boss encounters) just got a new model in 4.0.6. They’re currently tamable by level 70+ hunters. What happens to them? They’ll either become extinct as a lvl70 mob, and therefore tamable only by level 85 hunters who can enter the 5-man instance, or the model will be added somewhere else. Personally, I’d prefer the latter, but either way I’m glad I went and tamed the dragonhawk on my goblin hunter shortly after 4.0.6 hit.
  2. What happens to Mojo? Random drop from bosses or trash in the new 5-man instance is my guess; either way, if you care about the pet at all, considering Blizzard’s penchant for removing things I’d say go get it now. I’d guess that just about any class can solo the place at level 85.

Additionally, if there’s anything at all you want from the current version of Zul’Aman – because it’s pretty, for roleplay gear, whatever else, go get it now. I’d wager most of the models aren’t going to remain in the loot from the 5-man version (there’s just too much of it, plus Blizzard loves new item models).

(One notable item from Zul’Aman which is likely to just go extinct: Tiny Voodoo Mask. They might make a lvl85 version of it and add it as an extra random boss drop for funsies, but I’m not holding my breath.)

We’re pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them.  We’ll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.

Most likely a 1% drop from the raptor, tiger and bear bosses. Either that or a reward from an extra chest (or drop from an extra boss) that’s only available if you make the run in less than 45 minutes or whatever.

My thoughts about these can be summed up with “yay, another mount I will never see drop at level, will go back and solo farm when I outlevel and/or outgear it and will still never see it drop“. Why yes, I’m still bitter about farming the original ZG tiger and raptor mounts since I was level 70 and having nothing to show for it. Hisssssssss.

(Speaking of which, I ought to go kill Skadi, so the blue protodrake can keep not dropping.)

All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Shield Bash, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

[cue resounding cheers from anybody for whom hit is not particularly valuable – tanks, healers, and certain DPS specs]

About bloody time.

Death Knight

Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.

This might change the frost death knight rotation around quite a bit. I wonder if there’ll even be any point at all in having Blood Strike on my bars anymore. We’ll see.

Hunter

Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 5 levels below.

It’s currently three, not five (gosh, Blizzard, you know your own game so well), but it’s hard to stay grouchy for a decent change. Yay, no more having to level pets up after taming them. (Although it’s not nearly as bad as it was in vanilla. Don’t talk to me about hunters in vanilla.)

Paladin

Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.

My tankadin alt is sadfacing. On the other hand, I can’t repress my unholy glee at this. Yay, no more “ffs healer just DPS I don’t need you I’m a paladin I can self heal lol” idiots in dungeons.

Priest

Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

…just when I was really starting to enjoy playing my disc priest. :| “Oh hey guys, you know that spell of yours that we buff throughout the tree? You’re really not meant to use it. Here, have a duration nerf. Go spec holy now.” Sigh.

The changes to Dispel Magic, on the other hand, I saw coming from a mile away. Doesn’t affect me, since I don’t play shadow; to be honest it smells like a PVP nerf more than anything (in any instance run there’ll be somebody – your healer – who can cleanse magic effects off your party; in PVP, not necessarily).

Rogue

Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.

Oh yes, please buff rogues. They’re so underpowered and downtrodden. Especially in PVP. (Also, where’s the cooldown reduction and movement penalty removal for druid stealth? Such love you show to my class, Blizzard, thank you so much.)

I’m bitter. Don’t mind me.

[– Official patch notes end here –]

Map

FirelandsDailies

Ahahaha I saw this coming. Hell, I can’t say I mind, though. I was just yesterday lamenting to myself that I’m running out of dailies to do on my main – I’m pretty much just doing the cooking daily and Lol Tol Barad right now, and I have almost enough commendations to buy the drake, which is the last non-gear item I’m missing from them. I might keep going and buy myself a trinket or something, not sure yet. We’ll see.

Beryl Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Beryl Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Crimson Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Crimson Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Flameward Hippogryph Summons and dismisses a rideable Flameward Hippogryph mount. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast

And these will probably be from the Firelands dailies. Just you watch. I started thinking and changed my mind. Hippogryph from the Fireland dailies; the pair of Fire Hawks will be from raiding – one for the Glory achievement, one a random drop, perhaps.

Petting Zoo Collect 100 unique companion pets.
Menagerie Collect 125 unique companion pets.

*is on 142* Yay, free achievement points.

I’m guessing (hoping!) the Nightsaber and Winterspring cubs are rewards for these two achievements; the Panther Cub I’m guessing is a random drop from the 5-man Zul’Gurub, possibly from the end boss (much like the Phoenix Hatchling in Magister’s Terrace).

The Nightsaber Cub has turned out to be a TCG reward (much like the Savage Raptor and Amani Dragonhawk mounts, as well as the Fool’s Gold and War Party Hitching Post – but those I’d guessed). Still holding out hope for the other pair of cubs, but at this rate they’ll probably end up being Blizzard Store purchases or something.

Agility epics from leatherworking (both mail and leather) are finally getting sockets. Hurrah. Maybe I’ll bother crafting them for myself now, both for my main and for my hunter (after all, I do want to get the ilvl to run 5-man ZG and ZA on the hunter as soon as possible).

And they seem to be (re)buffing bear!Mangle and Maul, while slightly nerfing Thrash. Wonder if that’s intended or just a tooltip slip.