Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Archaeology For Beginners in Patch 8.x

This week my Alliance guild is planning on attempting the Glory of the Uldir Raider meta-achievements. Unfortunately, no one in the guild has the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron for the What's in the Box? meta. So last night, while the guild was raiding, I attempted to find this toy, here is what I learned.

Archaeology basics

Archaeology spotting scope
  1. Look at the world/ zone big map, click on the magnifying glass on top corner and select the checkbox for "Show Dig sites". (there is a similar 'track dig sites on the mini-map you might need to enable).
  2. Scan map, there should be a number of little shovels appearing on the map. 
  3. Fly to the one closest to you. When you are close, the mini-map will display a zone (like quest zone) for archaeology finds. 
  4. From the professions window (P), click the survey button. I suggest moving this to your button bar for quick access. 
  5. The first survey spot (unless you are really lucky) will provide you with a spotting scope and a small light. The color of the light is your distance from the find; red to yellow to blinking yellow. (per wowhead comment "Red = more than 70 yards Yellow = 30-70 yards Green = less than 30 yards")
  6. Run in the direction of the spotting scope, repeating the survey and run, until a glowing shovel appears above your characters head. Survey spots were typically on little mounds, or where no angry mobs were. 
  7. When glowing shovel appears, click survey again to uncover the item.
  8. Collect fragments! If you have enough fragments for an artifact 'build', you can complete it, box it and store it in your bank. (note: boxes stack, items do not)
  9. Repeat 5-8 until the dig site has been exhausted of all fragments. 
For more info, this guide is very useful. 

  • Archaeology pre-wod required leveling your skill for that specific area. If you want to look for items in Northrend, your archaeology skill will need to be 350 before you even see dig sites on your map. 
  • During the Warlords expansion, archaeology got a revamp. Dig sites are visible at archaeology skill level 1 in Draenor, Broken Isles/Argus and Kul Tiras/Zan'dalar zones. The dig sites shrunk to roughly 1/3 of their size, but There are more fragments to be found in each dig site. They are typically in zones with little to no enemy mobs. 
  • It appears the 'order' of your finds is completely random. You will likely need to go through a number of grey "normal" items before a rare item (like the puzzle box). 
  • Restored Artifacts are a currency for items. DON'T get rid of them. Upon reaching level 600 archaeology you can buy a crate of nerubian archaeology fragments to partially complete a relic. 
What I did:
  • After spending too much time flying around Northrend looking for dig sites on my alliance toon, I finally flipped over to my horde warlock to work on this. He played through the zone completely AND had some skill points already for archaeology. 
  • At 250, I could have either flew around Kalimdor OR skip to WOD -> BFA, which has no entry-level skill requirements. I chose BFA simply because it is the current content. Thinking back, I should have gone to Legion zones and leveled from 250-350 there. In Legion, my toon could have flown between dig sites instead of relying on taxi's and the flight master's whistle. 
  • I completed dig sites (taxi, run, whistle) and restored artifacts until reaching 350. 
  • At 350, cleared my bags, and moved to Northrend. The single Nerubian dig site appears to be at Talramas crash site, but there may be more (at least according to this). To get a new one to spawn, you need to clear it and maybe a second out? (Map to all 5 possible dig sites)
    Talramas crash site
  • I went from Borean Tundra, up to Icecrown to complete a Vrykul site, back down to Dragonblight to complete a night elf site, then Talramas respawned (1AM local time). 
  • Bed.

During the 3 hours I played, I managed to get 2 pristine items, including the pristine (which result in something in my Zan'dalar viewing room, plus 2 'rare' completions which resulted in a toy and a BOA ilevel 300 weapon. 

Reading the comments on wowhead, there may be Nerubian dig sites in Kalimdor? There are at least 2 people reporting sites in Easter Plaguelands. They appear to spawn around the floating necropolises, so the DK starting area could make sense. Too bad the fragments are soulbound, my paladin could use his class hall exit to get there easily! At least as a horde, I can take the portal to.. oh, destroyed Undercity?

If you have a decent amount gold, you could 'cheat' the system a little and buy Nerubian Obelisk off the AH. These equate to 12 fragments and look to sell for about 1,800 gold. Considering you need between about 600 fragments to complete all the nerubian relics, it could be helpful (or just wait until they drop normally). 

I suggest running with an add-on as it made some things very obvious. I used "Minimal Archaeology" (as the fan-favorite "Archy" appears to still be outdated). Minimal does a nice job. I wish it had the HUD of Archy or Archaeology Helper.

Minimal Archaeology:

Archaeology Helper: 


Monday, January 14, 2019

Failed Mythic+ Affix Ideas

This project started as something silly going through my brain then took a life of its own. Here I'd like to detail several mythic+ dungeon affixes that never made it into the game. I now find myself trying to think of ways to deal with each of these affixes. 

Shiny - Random mobs will be afflicted by BLING. These mobs will be sporting extra gems and polish on their armor. Players will be able to identify them via a glowing aura and small sparkles that randomly twinkle around them. While fighting these glowing and twinkling mobs, players will randomly get blinded for one second.

Demoralized - While fighting mobs, they will randomly become completely demoralized and simply sit down. Once demoralized, these mobs will become unattackable. They will sit on the floor until they encounter another mob that is actively fighting you. Players may find that they are short numbers to complete the mythic+ dungeon and will want to kite trash mobs over demoralized mobs.

Vomitous - Upon taking a critical hit, mobs will have a 15% chance to vomit on players within melee range. This vomit will leave a pool of green, viscous vomit on the floor. Players hit with vomitous will get a [hideous smell] debuff and will cause more mobs to vomit around them. If a player steps in a vomit pool, they will slip, get a 2-second stun and also get the hideous smell debuff. Players can wash off debuff (water element in the dungeon) or wait for it to fade in 45 seconds.

Disloyal - Randomly mobs will become disloyal to their cause and start fighting with your party (instead of against). If the flipped mob is the 'leader', his entire group will start following your party. Disloyal mobs have a higher chance to aggro any party nearby, causing a [Prove the Faith] buff on these aggro'd mobs. The number of disloyal mobs following the party will increase the chance to 'encourage' more mobs to flip sides. Disloyal mobs are not attackable while loyal to the player and will not count towards the count.

Overly Optimistic - The player's party aggro radius is increased dramatically, so mobs will engage when they see fighting nearby. Mobs that are overly optimistic will also start out with an enraged buff for the first 30 seconds, then slowly burn out if the fight goes on long.

Swifty - Mobs will use advanced AI tricks learned from watching hours of PVP and twitch Fortnite streams to pull all the dirty tricks. The party will use coordinated attacks. They will pretend to dance with you, then get up and attack you from behind, they may even cluster into a single party blocking all the doors.

Day-Z - All non-boss mobs will randomly have a chance to come back to life as an undead scourge. The respawn timer is completely random. If a zombie walks over a corpse, it is highly likely to reanimate these additional corpses. The reanimated mobs will have 50% health and move at 70% normal speed. They will also have none of their original abilities. If they do any damage to a player, they will pass an 'infection' to that player. If the player dies before the debuff is cleansed, they too will come back as an enemy, undead scourge. During this affix, corpses will not despawn so players can see where previous kills are at.

Fanboii - Upon entering a dungeon, a child fan will be attached to your party. This child is super excited to have finally caught up with your party and will follow you throughout the dungeon. While progressing through the dungeon, s/he will make comments and take pictures during the fights. (pictures will cause momentary blindness if facing child). Fanboii children will not aggro enemies during combat but have a higher chance of triggering any traps skipped. Children can also get distracted, and fall behind, running through areas the party just passed through. Having a cute pet out will help keep the child focused. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Glory of the Hellfire Raider at 120

Now that my hunter has reached his potential max for the patch, I've decided to start running him through legacy raids for gold and glory. Last night I decided to take on Hellfire Citadel to see what he was possible of doing.

At the moment, Erlenmyer is level 120, sporting ilevel 378 gear. He has managed to pick up two 385 azerite pieces and fully populated all traits, giving him two 390 slot items.

During the first solo pass, he was able to complete the raid without any MAJOR issues. The only 'issue' was on the first boss (aka save the canons) fight. To win this fight, you must run waves of ammunition off the incoming tanks to the canons that the Kirin Tor have captured. Picking up the ammo box gives a short run speed buff to get you up to the canon and back. During that time, it's likely that another wave of trash has come in. I tried to do both during the fight (kill trash and run ammo boxes). After several waves, they simply stopped coming. I was able to run all of the ammo boxes then and finish the fight.. (new idea for soloing the first achievement)

As of January 8th 2019

As of this morning, here are the achievements that I was able to complete. 

blue = AOE all targets while standing here for Nearly Indestructible
black = barrage kills add here for Turning Tide.
  1. Hellfire Assault: Nearly Indestructible -  If my experience last night is typical, a solo (ranged DPS) player should be able to sit between the two canons, kill all the trash (not running ammo) for a few minutes and run the ammo boxes AFTER the trash quit spawning. I'll try this again on Normal mode another night this week. (7.3.5 comment)
  2. Iron Reaver: Turning the Tide - Dismiss (or pacify) pet. Aggro boss then un-target (so as to not auto-shot). Run over to a side of the arena (near black swirls on the image above). Wait for [barrage]. I had to repeat this about 6 times as the barrage only kills one or two at a time.
  3. Kormrok: Waves Came Crashing Down All Around - Burn down the boss as fast as possible.
  4. Hellfire High Council: Don't Fear the Reaper - Burn down all three (AOE) fast. I failed because I focus killed the first too fast and failed to AOE the next two in time. 
  5. Kilrogg Deadeye: A Race Against Slime - Burn down the boss as fast as possible.
  6. Gorefiend: Get In My Belly - Going to require two people (one who can kill self and one who can b-rez). ?? All the comments seem to indicate that someone has to be dead to enter the boss. 
  7. Shadow-lord Iskar: Pro Toss - Burn down the boss as fast as possible - he still appeared to go through his next phase but got the achievement when all the trash was dead. 
  8. Socrethar the Eternal: I'm a Soul Man - Didn't attempt, but it appears to require slowing the 'ghosts' so they don't touch you and explode. Kiting them long enough to allow 20 ghosts to spawn, then burn down ghosts before killing the boss.
  9. Tyrant Velhari: Non-Lethal Enforcer - Burn down the boss before boss summons add. 
  10. Xhul'horac: You Gotta Keep 'em Separated - Burn down the boss as fast as possible.
  11. Fel Lord Zakuun: This Land Was Green and Good Until...Burn down the boss as fast as possible.
  12. Bad Manner(oth) - Failed because I decided to burn down even though I had a doom lord following me around. Killing the summoners clockwise from where you teleport in worked for this. DPS boss to 30% then stand in the middle of the platform so you don't get thrown off. The link points to a comment where they used a pet class to solo this. 
  13. Echoes of Doomfire - Failed (I was tired and just wanted it to end), but (supposedly) it's as easy as "wait for doomfire to be cast, then kill boss" strategy. At 120, you can walk passed all his trash, and kill Archimonde directly. I had the party scene after boss fight with his 3 lieutenants still standing there.

As of Jan 9th, I am 7/13 completed. High Council, Manneroth and Archimonde should all be easy to solo. Socrethgar is going to require a bit of practice I believe. Assault and Gorefiend are probably going to require a group (can't get eaten and keep aggro also can't run boxes AND kill mobs as hunter or warlock). I'll post an update here when each is completed.

update night 1/9
Ran raid again on Normal. I completed two of the remaining six achievements. Reaper and Doomfire were as easy as stated. AOE down the council and wait for the first doomfire to be cast then kill him quickly.

Draenor has been freed but the legion is still hanging out.

  • "#1-Nearly" I did what I mentioned and only dps during the first few minutes. When completed, I ran the ammo boxes (probably 5 or 6) to the canons and they blew open the door. From my sight, both canons didn't have a drop on health. Sadly the video I was recording crashed 3 bosses later and nothing was saved. So I can't go back and check.
  • #6-Belly - There's no way to solo this that I can see. Normal I never got sucked in.
  • #8 Socethar - mm, I think I need a class that has run speed. Druid or maybe shaman looks favorable. Those ghosts come out 6 at a time on normal mode. If any catch up with you, or run into any obstacle they despawn.  You need 20. Kill construct. Let him rebuild, don't kill ghost boss. While he's working he summons adds through 3 portals. One of those portals always has the ghosts. I could slow them, but could not outrun them. I believe he ran through the ghosts cycle about 3 times before hopping back into the construct.
  • #12-Manneroth, I was trying to get him to 30%, then still had him targeted and auto-shot killed him.

    Talking it over here in the office with a co-worker that he's currently leveling a VE hunter up to get the heritage armor appearance. As part of that build, he's running the [trailblazer] talent. This provides a 30% run speed increase when out of combat for 3 seconds. This has me thinking that about #1 and #8. Next reset (unless I want to try again on Mythic), I can test it again with this ability. Heck running old content with this talent may make all sorts of things better!

    Sunday, December 2, 2018

    End of 8.0

    Looking at the calendar, we are under 2 weeks until patch 8.1 drops. See! Paste this following line into a Windows 10 CMD prompt.

    powershell.exe -noprofile -command "write-host (new-timespan $(get-date) '12/12/2018').days,'days'"

    14th Anniversary! I've been working on leveling Elkagorasa a lot during this event. I was able to level him up to 117 within a couple hoursHe's taken a bit of a backseat so far this expansion. RL friends have continued playing Alliance characters. Tank and healer roles have been taken. So DPS is where I stay. 

    this is why they added xmog

    Looking back, it's hard to believe I've been playing this same video game for 12 years now. I am still playing with one of those friends that encouraged me so long ago. Muhan retired a while ago, but  Velares (formerly Wrogh) is active and well. 

    I've enjoyed the leveling experience on the horde side. It has quite a different experience than the alliance storyline. Using Azeroth Auto Pilot as my guide (with cut-scenes enabled), I've played through the Nazmir and part of the Voldun stories. (fishing for catfish in Boralus at the same time, sorry if a little distracted). I've run a couple of Island Expeditions but was only able to get a single level, so I am not so impressed with the 'best way to level' argument.

    Erlenmyer has achieved AOTC! About a month we started looking for a new guild. Our tank found a home on Proudmoore-US. The three of us moved here and joined the Fluffy Wizard Hat Club. Happily this guild is very active. Tuesday they have an alt/casual raid night starting at a slightly early 8:30PM. As of the last run, Erl has reached his goal of 370 gear score before 8.1.

    Unfortunately, this exposed an 'issue'. On the last three fights of this raid, I was constantly getting disconnected. I'll be fighting along, then all the sudden, all the other players will stop moving. Feel like I am in my own Mannequin Challenge. I haven't been able to wait out most of the DCs as it can take upwards of 5 minutes before it actually registers. During Zul and Mythrax, I even had to logout, log into a different toon, wait for the disconnect to register, then rejoin the raid. I think it's an addon (like Details, or parts of DBM), so I've been working to remove a bunch of them but nothing is really standing out as the culprit. Need another Tuesday to come around and attempt G'huun.

    With moving to Proudmoore, came a different issue. Gold. My bank toon on Kul Tiras had around 40k gold with outstanding sales in the auction house. So here's my plan:

    Gold Making for Noobs 101

    1. Create a new bank toon, outfit toon with as many bags as possible. Elrgure (picked using Randomize function)
    2. (On max level) Run old raid content and send BOE drops to bank toon.
    3. Attempt to sell or DE all items.

    Step 1: I had just had did the quest chain to open up the Dark Iron Dwarves. Created a warlock, trained her in enchanting and ran her through the intro quest chain until she made it to Stormwind. She is now parked in front of the bank/auction house. To fill in, I picked her up 4 of the bags from a bag vendor in town.

    Step 2: Erlenmyer ran a number of old raids. Firelands was rather lucrative due to the number of trash mobs. He picked up quite a few BOE items and probably 1500 in gold (looting and selling soulbound items). Then ran Ulduar, ICC, TK, and Sunwell (still hoping for legendary bow drop). At the end of the adventure, I've raked in almost 6,000 gold for about 2 hours of work.

    Erl also has been fishing. Since the Alliance is contributing this week to the warfront, Grilled Catfish is selling really well. Now that he spent the 1000g for the level 3 recipe, every 5 catfish are making 10 grilled catfish dishes. He's able to sell these in groups of 20 for about 500-1000 gold! So, fish for about 15 minutes, get 15 fish. Make 30 dishes and sell for 1000! Not bad.

    Step 3: With Elrgure sitting by a mailbox in Stormwind, she grabs all the extra loot and attempts to sell them for a profit on the AH. This has been going 'ok'. There's not a big, big market for xmog gear on Proudmoore. I am usually able to refund my deposit on the auction house sales.

    If the green items don't sell in a round or two (or are worth less than 100g according to Auctionator), I'll disenchant the items and attempt to sell the dust. Happily, level 20 toons can disenchant pretty much anything. No longer does your bank alt need to be at the same level as your main in order to DE 120 level gear.

    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    OMG! It's the End of the World!!!!

    I can't watch many WoW youtube channels right now this expansion. Seems many vloggers are all click-baiting us into watching their same rehash regarding the end of WoW! I realize that I have a different perspective that these players. I only have a single toon at 120. I haven't run a normal/heroic/mythic raid (trying to get into a pug, but not completed). I come from a small guild that doesn't have enough regular players to fill a 5-man dungeon group.

    Read the following in Orc voice and animate my head.
    This is my reaction post, reacting to Bellular's reaction of Asmongold's reaction video where he reacts to a weeks old blue post for the PTR edition of the game.

    Titanforging and warforging killed the fun!

    Your Warforging gear spinner!
    I like titanforging. I am happy for my guild member when he gets a +15 titanforged item in his mythic+ loot box. It means that we'll probably be able to push those keys a 'little bit higher'! It means my alts that are sitting back in the starting area, probably won't be ilevel 265 for 'too long' and can quickly catch up (maybe even be relevant). 4 world quests all rewarding a chest piece?? Run all 4 maybe one will drop a warforged or even titanforged item. In addition, the gear-spinner isn't something specific to me or you or even that crazy 10 year old with 30 alts. We ALL have a random 1:50,000  chance to get additional levels and stats on our gear. 
    The reasoning behind the system is to create an atmosphere that you could always get a new upgrade, regardless of the activity you're doing. source
    I do get that there is frustration when it doesn't happen. I've been teased numerous times about items being Me-Forged. "Oh! that 355 piece isn't good enough? I see it's not Elk-Forged!" It's was tough when every item my hunter had equipped at the end of Legion was either war or titan forged.

    Azerite gear is broken! 

    Let's think back
    • Legion legendaries were broken - random drops that randomly dropped from ANY content (including time walking dungeons). I had an alt who ended the expac with only two legendaries and one came from the Antorus quest chain due to some really bad RNG and limited end-game play.
    • Garrisons were broken - players could farm up mats without leaving their garrison. 
    • Reputations were broken - content that was rep gated behind reps that required reps to other factions (gold lotus anyone).
    • Reforging was broken - before armor was multi-stat'd (agility, strength, intellect) you either had to have 3 armor sets (for some hybrid classes) or could reforge some stats to make it more 'acceptable' for your class. 
    • Glyphs were broken
    • HIT was broken - If there was one stat to rule them all, it was HIT. If you for some reason, couldn't actually hit the target you were attacking, it felt bad. So instead, you stacked every piece of hit gear you could wear. 

    What's broken with AZ gear? 

    1. Trying to do too much. Our Legion artifact and legendaries gave us a TON of nifty new skills and abilities. (Oh! those fond memories of the magical hamster bubble that my paladin first picked up! She wore that necklace through most the expansion! ) Now Blizzard is trying to appease players and allow us to keep many of these traits, abilities and HPS/DPS boosts on AZ gear. In addition, when they removed tier gear, players lost those 2-piece and 4-piece set bonuses. So now raiders have nothing really shiny to raid for other than ilevel increases. AZ gear is trying to be legendary, original and everything good and sweet. 
    2. Raining AZ Gear! There are LOTS of places to get AZ gear, but depending on the source, traits are inconsistent. Dungeons (i.e. normal -> mythic+ dungeon bosses), raids, world bosses all drop specific pieces. On the other hand, emissary boxes and weekly mythic+ loot chest reward a random piece from anywhere in the game. The issue is that several of the traits on gear are not favored at all. So even if you get an upgraded ilevel piece, those traits could be underpowered (based on sims) than an older, lower ilevel piece. 
    3. MOAR GEAR! aka the hybrid (tank/healer) tax. For example, if you play a monk and want a decent mistweaver and windwalker AND brewmaster gear set in BFA, you likely need 3 full sets of armor! OH MY! This is so WRATH! The BEST trait for mistweaver is very likely NOT the same BEST trait for windwalker. reforge or replace?
    4. Expectation - This is something that took me ages to 'learn'. One cannot expect to have the same standard of living as their parents currently do now. When my wife and I first married, we started shopping for a new house. We first started looking at houses in the best part of town, of equal size and quality as our parents. After a few weeks, we started to realize that we couldn't afford, didn't have the credit rating or even really need a house the same size as them (i.e. me = no kids vs my parents = 2 late-teen boys).

      With regards to AZ gear, we get a low-level piece and can activate all 3-4 tiers of it, but a new item drops and we can only activate a portion of those traits. On the other hand, that new piece of gear has 30% better stats (strength/agility/intellect & stamina). HONESTLY, how much of a HPS/DPS difference is having that well-balanced trait vs not having it? From my sims, I am seeing more increase by upgrading to the partially activated piece. As we progress in the game (aka growing up more), we'll be able to activate more traits and grow (slightly) stronger. Then the next tier of AZ gear will come out (i.e. 8.1) and we'll be back to only 1-2 traits activated.

    • Vendor - the AZ gear vendor is nice. Scrap all AZ item that I can't use for hopes to higher level, better stat'd items. This reminds me of the withering essence vendor during the previous expansions. It worked out nicely at end game, but seems early to get this level of freedom now. 
    • or how about a gear slot machine - turn in that lousy az gear item, plus some gold for a new item. Thinking of the vending machines in Fortnight. 10g re-roll gear (matching ilevel) but slot total RNG, 100g re-roll gear specific slot, total rng stats/traits, 1000g specific item
    • Tier gear style traits - Balance or remove most traits. Looking at Legion Tier gear, we had 4 possible traits. Hypothetically Blizzard could remove all traits until we are back to only those few. Sorry if you are one of few that likes (AAA) when everyone else likes (BBB).
    •  balance traits so choice doesn't matter - Making them all do about the same means no matter how used it will work. Then it's simply a matter of choosing one cosmetic appearance over another.. This obesity turns me into a cow for five seconds!! 
    • allow traits per spec.. Each piece of gear can be three spec. Sort of like how my hunter can play survival, marksmanship and beast master. 
    • Bring back the obliterum forge. We have a dalaran hearthstone, we can port back, burn a hydrocell and some expulsom, to get five more levels on any non - AZ gear. Players in a lot of who play a lot of end game content will be able to upgrade to max per patch eventually.. 

    Archaeology For Beginners in Patch 8.x

    This week my Alliance guild is planning on attempting the Glory of the Uldir Raider  meta-achievements. Unfortunately, no one in the guild ...