Friday, April 12, 2019

Two Sides to Every Warlock

After seeing the [Two Sides to every Tale] achievement and mounts, I found that I had completed the Alliance side of the story on my hunter and about half done with my horde character. After reaching 120 on Elkagorasa, I had stopped doing the quest chain. This left about 4 hours of questing in Zulduzar to do, concluding with those war quests that lead up to the Battle of Dazaralor. 

This reminded me of how much fun I've enjoyed playing a warlock. While Blizzard was having a sale on their services, I was NOT tempted to simply faction change Elkagorasa to an Alliance. So, I spun up a void elf warlock. Elgorana was boosted to 110 and I've been leveling her the last few days. To speed up leveling I purchased a few heirloom armor upgrades. I figured since I'd be replacing my azerite pieces quickly, so I purchased upgrades for cloth pants, cloak, rings and trinkets. I also purchased the Int 2-handed staff upgrade. Unfortunately, AMR never really liked the trinkets as they have 0 intellect on them and she's used the two original boost-gear items she acquired. 

Elgorana - Void Elf Warlock

I remembered once to use the "Whee" buff from the Darkmoon Faire. Doing island invasions whenever they came up also provided a nice 10% buff when you complete the 4 world quests and the final blow up the opposite side. And I completely forgot to use any of the service medal flasks. When I logged off last night, Elgorana had just completed an island invasion and dinged 117. So she currently has the 10% invasion buff. I am planning to have Erlenmyer run over and grab two of the Service Medal flasks, then have Elgorana possibly run over to the DMF for the whee buff. This will bump her to a 30% XP bonus from 'buffs' + 15% from gear (weapon no longer provides bonus XP). From there I am planning on either doing a few island expeditions or start questing in Drustvar. 

I started an April Fools post. Unfortunately, I never finished my April Fools Patch notes. Some of the items that I had thought up were:
  1. A new warmode option, 'Call to arms' - by simply emoting 'FOR THE HORDE' or 'FOR THE ALLIANCE', immediately 5 AI followers popup to defend you while being attacked. Only usable by the losing faction.
  2. Who needs portals. Velen has returned with Exodar and replaced all the missing Alliance portals with teleport pads as we used in Legion. The horde would not be able to access them at all. 
  3. New dungeon. Similar to the Tournament of Champions dungeon in Wrath, but based off the Brawler's Guild where the bosses would randomly spawn from the entire library of brawlers. No 2 runs the same. Last fight is a free-for-all with 3-4 of the bosses coming out at the same time. 
ref: Vanion
I am personally FOR a level squish. The desire to spin up a new warlock was strong, but only because I could skip the leveling process for most of the old content. In addition, there are so many people that have played this game from X - expansion forward. Why should every player need to play through all the various expansions, which don't always make linear sense anymore, in order to reach max level. 
  1. The leveling experience could be somewhat unique for each new alt. One through BC, one through Panda.
  2. You could get definitive "intrinsic" rewards (like a new talent) more often. 
  3. The discontinuity from the various expansions wouldn't be as impactful. 
  4. Not such an insurmountable mountain for new players to overcome. Heirlooms, etc wouldn't b part of the leveling requirements. 
As we look forward to the next expansion, 9.0 could be time to 1/2 our level. All our level 120s log in on patch day and become 60s. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Quick Gold For Casual Players

About 2 months ago, my hunter was in a major pinch for gold. He was trying to level up his engineering and leatherworking professions. In addition, he was trying to keep his gear enchanted and gemmed for the (no-commitment) guild's casual raid. With all those expenses, he simply couldn't keep up. Enchants missed, cheap quality gems used, and no-food or flask buff throughout the raid.

That's when he came up with this sure-fire way to make gold fast in the game. It does not require any marketplace skills or persistence. No need to install, configure special add-ons (but TransmogCleanup helps!) It just needs a max level toon (preferably one with a WOD garrison hearthstone) and either a vendor mount, large bags or patience standing at the mailbox.

For most profitability:
  • Loot every corpse. Even if you don't have bag space, when you attempt to loot, it will appear in your mailbox. 
  • Look for things that help speed looting up, include engineering Loot-a-rang, Hunter FETCH skill. Also, don't try to kill things at range, instead gather everyone up into a bunch and AOE them down. 
  • Run with a class (or select talents) that grant a nice run speed, like a demon hunter, or a priest using magic feathers.

This level 85, Cataclysm expansion raid consists of 7 bosses arranged around a large arena. I like this raid because you can mount up for all but the last boss.

Step 1: Hearth to your faction capital (Orgrimmar, Stormwind) then fly over and take the portal to Mt. Hyjal. 

Step 2: Fly south to Firelands raid entrance. Enter!
 Step 3: Kill and loot everything! I like to mount up and make a clockwise loop (entrance is around 7 o'clock) around the raid. You should be able to aggro everything (except doggies which stun you) and do a simple AOE rotation to take them all down quickly.

  • If you haven't run this raid before, one boss only spawns after you've killed enough of the trash. Watch raid chat for his announcement. 
  • The bridge (top of image) isn't accessible until you've cleared all the bosses visible here. 
While there, you can pick-up:
  • Transmog: 
  • Mounts: 
    • There are three mounts available. Two have low drop rates from Alysrazor (flying bird boss who's mount is a bird DOESN'T FLY!) and the final boss Ragnaros. Third is the Glory of the Firelands Raider (which so far requires a group of 6-ish people). 
  • Pets
    • I see only one on the drop list. Smoldering Treat. I collect one for myself, then sell off all the seconds.

Blackrock Foundry
This level 100 Warlords raid is easily solo-able at level 120. There are three levels to it (Normal, Heroic, and Mythic) that you can run back-to-back for loot. There are 10 bosses, and while you cannot mount up between them, there isn't a lot maze running.

Step 1: Hearth to your garrison. 
Step 2: Hop aboard the taxi to the Iron Depot. You can easily fly here, but why when you can also take a quick snack/bio break here. The entrance to the raid is the portal in this screenshot. 

Step 3: Kill bosses (mostly). I don't get loot from trash often, so I've been running passed them recently.

My preferred order is:
Lobby view: Slagworks -> Iron Assembly -> Black Forge -> Crucible
  1. Slagworks -
    Slagworks: Enter at swirly, then bosses 1, 2 then 3.
    This is a dead end containing three bosses. At bottom of the ramp, take the paths to left and right to kill Oregorger and Gruul. Go back to the swirly and look for the new (see image above) entrance to Blast Furnace boss. When done with these three, run back to the lobby and go next door to the...
  2. Iron Assembly - Beastlord Darmac, Operator Thogar (can be buggy- the train will come in on line one. If only one canon shows, exit raid and come back in). After Thogar, an entrance will open in his area, jump down the shaft (there's no falling damage) and kill all the trash to start the Maidens fight. (Don't miss the 5-6 trash 'working', submerged in the water). 
    Black Forge: The quest giver (X) gives a skip quest for later.
  3. Black Forge - When you land in the water for the maidens, you moved to the Black Forge. After you kill the maidens, run along the path lined with giant mushrooms. Take the path to the left to the elevator shaft. Take the open archway to Hanz and Franz (think SNL). Follow the path to Flamebender Ka'graz then Kromog. After his kill, there's an arch to the right, another path lined with mushrooms (you have been here before. Take the elevator back up to the lobby.
  4. Crucible - aka Blackhand- The bridge over the lava has now cooled and you can cross it without dying. Take out Blackhand's bodyguard then Blackhand is a quick kill. 
Notes: Blast Furnace is the most annoying boss (to solo) in this raid. It consists of damaging the hampers of the furnace until it explodes then killing the elemental inside. To damage the hampers, you must run explosive bundles to the hampers (one on each side). The explosives drop off the engineers. I found if you kill them right next to a hamper, you can click the explosive satchel and the action button a couple of times. ENGINEERS WILL HEAL the furnace so don't try doing both sides at the same time.

After you've completed a raid, your bags (and mailbox) will likely be full. These two raids drop ilevel gear in the 100-150 range. Sell all these soulbound items. TransmogCleanup does a really good job with this as you can set a threshold to sell all items sub 300 (or whatever your equipped gear is). You can also have it NOT sell other items (BOE, Legendary item). I like to pass any crafting materials and BOE items to my bank alt for consideration of selling them on the AH. Lastly, I send over green items to possibly be disenchanted.

Let me know if there are other raids that you like to run for gold? There are 43 (as of 8.1) different raids available. With legacy loot rules taking effect on raids 2 expansions ago, I probably won't be running Legion raids soon (at least for gold). Maybe LFR edition?
  • Highmaul - haven't tried but will probably soon
  • Hellfire Citadel, dislike, it's a bit of a maze and a LOT of running around. 
  • Siege of Orgrimmar isn't too bad but takes a while to complete.
  • Throne of Thunder is a bit of a hike to get there.
  • Other MOP raids are ok
  • Of the Cata raids, Dragon Soul is probably worst of the bunch to solo because of the Spine fight.
  • Wrath, BC and Vanilla raids (IMO) don't seem to drop as much loot, so if I run one, it's usually just for an achievement or mount/pet drop. 

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. 

Two Sides to Every Warlock

After seeing the [ Two Sides to every Tale ] achievement and mounts, I found that I had completed the Alliance side of the story on my hunt...