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. 

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!

    Free Weekend March 21 - March 24.

    Haven't played in awhile? Quit because of some mechanics? Blizzard is offering WoW for free to returning players this coming weekend...