Monday, March 31, 2014

Picking a Class to Boost??

I love this list that WoWJuJu has put together reviewing all the various classes and if you should/n't boost it to 90.

Warlocks, never loved, but often envied.
I hadn't thought about DK, but you start at 55, so leveling to 60 would have taken a heck of a lot less time.

Why should I choose a Death Knight?
  • It starts from level 55.
  • You can get to level 60 pretty fast, pick your desired professions and the boost feature will boost those professions to max as well.
  • You can use the character as DPS but you can also tank and if you want to use Looking for Dungeon/Raid feature, as a tank you’ll spend less time in the queue.
  • A Death Knight pretty great at soloing stuff and it had some great survivability abilities.
  • Any Race (except Pandarens) can be a Death Knight.
Why shouldn’t I pick a Death Knight?
  • You have to have at least one more character on your account at or above level 55.
  • The resource system might be a bit unusual for a beginner.
  • You can not use the Death Knight as a Range DPS nor as a Healer. If you want to play those roles, pick another class.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The (Leveling) Story So Far.

As I reach the midpoint of leveling my druid to 60, I've had a few revelations about the entire process that I wanted to share. 
  1. Playing a druid is fun. I find that the combination of shape changing and multiple different playstyles fun. Charge in as bear, aggro a cluster of mobs, get over powered, heal as troll, back to bear, still too many, change to cat and run like an angry mob is chasing me!! 
  2. Heirloom gear is highly overpowered (on the plus XP side). With 150% XP on every kill, I am flying through the zones. Complete 4 quests in an area and I gain half a level. By the time, I reach the last quests in a zone, I am seeing grey "low level" alerts on the quests. If I run a random dungeon in the middle, forget it, hearth back to Orgrimmar, look for a new zone.
  3. ...Making it pointless to level professions. As much as I had intended to keep my leatherworking up to snuff, it's been impossible to do so. In order to catch up my leatherworking and skinning, I'd need to go back to level 5-10 zones and level up my skinning further. At this point, my skinning is at 30 and I need 115-120 to skin Blackfathom monsters. 
  4. The Vanilla dungeons are huge and complex!  Take a dungeon like Blackfathom Deeps, where
    BFD from above looks so simple!
    there are 4 distinct bosses. Finding the entrance to those bosses requires swimming through underwater pools or hopping over rock piles. I've been in this dungeon now 3 times and still haven't found the "Fathom Core". Now it's green and not going to be worth it. 
  5. By playing the Tank, some groups  actually expect you to lead and know where to go. I haven't seen most of these dungeons in well, 4 years when I leveled my priest this way. Luckily, most the time I can simply follow the bouncing ball of lights to the next area, but sometimes I go down a path and no one follows. 
  6. There are still jerks. It's not just LFR. I think it has to do with heirloom gear giving people a sense of invulnerability, but people still over commit. The other day, Tanking dungeon and the healer announced at the entrance "follow me or die...I am heading straight to the end boss". Just sitting there, thinking to myself  "Um why? The epic loots that drop off Thermaplug? Aren't we only here for the XP?" I see my clothie brethren hanging back around me as we go through the dungeon. We made it passed into the first big area of mobs, all the dps and me die. Healer is off running through. I put on kitty run mode and scoot passed tons of mobs. Guess what, they kept following until we caught up with him. Dungeon wipe. Zone in and  /IGNORE <healer>, g'bye . That should make sure I don't see him in a dungeon again.. PLEASE!
Overall, it's a pleasant run up the levels to 30 (or 29.5 so far). It's nice and nostalgic to run these classic dungeons over again. Would like to see some of the WoD dungeons not feel so "on rails" as seems like they've been since, well, Wrath? By running to 60, the professions will take care of themselves, so at this time, it's pointless to keep trying. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How I Raise and Nurture an Alt.

I am not an altoholic. I don't have a stable of toons providing me all my professions. Personally raising another to max level is a dreadful task and one to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately with the veteran bonus in the new instant-90, I have seriously started leveling a druid alt.

With my leveling anxiety, I am taking advantage of every single shortcut possible. From using heirloom gear so that I can max out my possible XP bonuses and jumping into my guild to get their favor, to making sure I always park in an Inn or major city to get my rested bonus.

Twink it up: I have equipped every piece of heirloom gear that I can locate:
Once I get more Justice points, I'd still like to get the:
  1. Shoulders or the upgraded model
  2. DPS Main hand or the upgraded model
Also, (just found) that I need to run to my Guild vendor in Orgrimmar and pick up these pants! I have the 1750 gold!

With all these items equipped, that's a 45% XP bonus! Every 100 XP is now giving 145 XP!  To reach level 60, that means about 1.7 million XP (using estimated 3.9 million for 0-60 leveling) I didn't earn through killing monsters or turning in quests.. Now add (2X) rested bonus, and as soon as possible Elk's existing level 25 guild for that xp bonus as well. 

Since professions also provide XP, I'll be picking up leatherworking and skinning. Kill a beast, skin it, make a new pair of boots.  

One note, I hadn't realized, but you can enchant heirloom gear with high level enchants and they level down... 
In Patch 5.4, all enchants and profession perks can be applied to items of every level. Previously, only low-level enchants were able to be applied to heirloom items and there was a pretty selective list of what you'd want to put on your gear. With the current system, you can put a Mists of Pandaria enchant on your starter gear. It will have a weak effect that will scale up as you level.
So, I can have my priest enchant some vellums and ship them over for the heirloom gear! Here's the enchants WowPopular suggests for a Feral Druid:
Build it up! Find a source that I like, and start following their talent tree build. At 15, I'll have the run speed increase immediately available. At 30, I'll have a group heals, so when running dungeons, I won't need the healer as much, maybe switch the tanking? Tanking queue = faster queue times!

Fire it up! At 10, I'll pick up the DPS specialization, allowing me to through mow through the quests a lot faster. At 15, I'll add a random dungeon or two into the mix in order to level even quicker. While leveling my priest, I found healing dungeons much more fun than trying to dps (in a healing spec) on the quests. In addition, I could gain about a level with each dungeon that I ran.

Run with it! To date, I've played for about 4 hours. Levels 0-5 where completed with no heirloom gear (10 minutes to level 3). Levels 5-15 with the 6 items listed above (+25% xp). I still need about 400 JP in order to get the heirloom shoulders. As I typed this up, I've been chatting with a guild leader and hope to have a guild invite when I logon tonight. All this planning just to NOT level professions (and maybe learn the class before trying to run LFR!!).

For more posts related to my raising this alt, click on the label "Druid".

Level: Cumulative Time Played
  • 0-3: 15 minutes - Wow that was FAST! Have three spells before I fight mini-boss in starting area.
  • 3-10: 140 minutes (picked up 3 +xp heirloom items) - mailboxes all over troll starting area.
  • 10-15: 240 minutes
  • 15-17: 300 minutes - (picked up 2 more +xp heirloom items) - included last bosses of Deadmines. Spent time leveling skinning to 30 in area right around Orgrimmar.
  • 18-21: 450 minutes - 2 more dungeons. Quests in Azshara are not relevant, need to find another area. Also quickly out pacing my non-heirloom gear. Still have level 12 bracers on. Mow through Wailing Caverns, tanked most of it as kitty. (Official tank was level 17 monk).
  • 22-23: 525 minutes - one more dungeon, had to jump to Ashenvale to get into level appropriate questing. Have installed Carbonite in order to help organize quests. Decided that I can't keep up profession as already too high for skinning (need to go back to Azshara?) and can't get enough mats for leather working. Reorganized my attack bar to match this..
  • 24-26 : 625 minutes - Tanked Blackfathom Deeps. 2 levels! Considering so many people running heirloom gear, there were 2 other people who could have tanked this one, a warrior and a paladin. In fact, the pally kept pulling. Disabled Carbonite, I thought it would suggest quests, except for listing where the quest givers are, IMHO the in game quest guides are plenty. Passing level 25 means that I can now equip a glyph in one of my slots. Really tempted NOT to get "Glyph of the Stag". Which secretly allows you to equip a Daddle. Nope, not interested. 
  • 27-32: 870 minutes - spent about 15 minutes and respec'd as full fledged druid Tank, (ie Guardian). LOTS of Gnomeregan (6 Thermaplugg kills to-date). In 2 consecutive runs, I went from level 29-31 due to cleaning out a lot of trash. It was fun, the hunter kept jumping down between levels and their pet would aggro the entire ledge; causing 3 out 5 deaths (same hunter and me survived). For 60g I picked up the Mages Deck of the AH. This summons a Darkmoon agent to your current location. You turn in the deck for one of two necklaces (int or agility). The necklace alone was selling for close to 200g. Was able to pickup one Scarlet Halls run in the middle of all that. Hope to start progressing to the 30-35 dungeons!. Scarlet Halls, Scarlet Monastery, Razorfen Kraul. Hmm, looking at the dungeon list, I missed Stockades and Ragefire Chasm completely. Need to start looking at GEAR! Of my non-heirloom items, I have hands, wrist, belt, & boots are getting to be my oldest. For 45 honor, I can pickup some decent PVP boots. RFK has some gloves. Another 45 honor for a pvp belt. Finally SH has a decent wrist
  • 33-36: 972 minutes - 2 SM, 2 RFK, no drops. Still have ilevel 21 boots and 25 belt and 26 wrist equipped. Considering twink gear on AH, but it's all green. bleh. Queue times for one of the three battlegrounds are 30-45 minutes! By the time I could get into a BG, I've ran three dungeons and gained another level. 
  • 37-40:  1140 minutes - Ran 3 Maraudon dungeons - two kills of Princess finally got some decent (i39 boots). Then dropped in as DPS into Warsong Gulch. Fun. Ended up being a full 20 minute sessions, but 0:2 with Alliance winning. I think their flag carrier was just hanging out, because we weren't returning it. Probably should have hunted him down. Now have about 80 honor points that I could spend on the belt. Have to really decide if run from Undercity to Arathi Highlands is worth upgrading my green (AH purchased) belt. At 39, I ran Dire Maul (part 1?). It's another one of those complicated dungeons that you hate dying in because it's 5 minutes to run back... :( Ran dungeon twice, went through 1.5 levels before crashing for night.
  • (not) Actual Uldaman Map shown
    41-43: 1300 minutes - Now up to 21+ hours played on this druid. Ran 2 more dungeons last night, Scholomance and Uldaman. Scholo is odd to play at 40 because it's identical to the heroic edition; can't get lost in here. Uldaman is both fun and an amazingly messy dungeon. It's like running through the tunnels in an ant farm. First time running this week and forgot about the DMF bonus, until after almost done with Uldaman and I see someone grabbing grisly trophies. At 1AM, I ran her to Thunder Bluff and parked her at the bottom of the elevators (as soon as I saw rested).
  • 44-47: 1578 minutes. I've now played this druid for a full 24 hours. While in a run of Dire Maul, I had the healer check and see that I was running with the healer staff, instead of an agility weapon. That got me thinking about my hunter. For a short time, she was running with a dps weapon (not a bow). Yeah, I spent honor on a dagger for my hunter. Checking my bags, I found it in my priest's bank. A quick toon hop over to Elk, and I traded it in for the slightly better Panda edition. Looking at the two now (old vs new), not sure this is really an upgrade. Gain 6 agility, but lose 60-80 melee damage. Wowhead gives the dagger a score of 2.1, and the staff a score of 2.6. I guess if you combine that with my AH purchased offhand, it's a bonus? DMF bonus doesn't appear to have helped that much. Average level time bumped to 33 minutes per level between 43 and 47. At 45, I picked the Faerie Swarm talent.
  • 48-50: 1672 minutes (or 27 hrs, 52 min) - Zul'Farak 3 times to get just to 50 (at last boss).
  • 51-53: 1800 minutes - Spent about 30 minutes with Elkagorasa and completed the last quest to get
    Champion of Horde status and picked up the DPS mace. Sadly it wasn't the 2-handed mace as it would have required 20 more champion seals, or another 2 days grinding dailies. Getting into the 'end game' Vanilla dungeons. BRD with it's 42 bosses is yet another of the complex, easy to get lost in dungeons. Time to level has basically leveled out, staying under 35 minutes each. I am curious what will happen in 4 levels when the first BC dungeon will drop into the mix. Will my heirloom gear be OP there as well? 
  • 54-57: 2002 minutes - fairly certain I typed something up here, but Blogger appears to have lost the content. :(
  • 58: 2100 minutes - see blog post on adventure. 
  • 59 - 61:  2260 minutes or 37 hrs, 40 minutes. One more run through LBRS, then finally got one run through UBRS to finalize quests from inside that dungeon. Lost our healer again, but happily we picked up a druid healer before we got to the first boss. After UBRS, our group re-queued and we started hitting Hellfire Ramparts. At ~1000xp per kill, and a healer who said "group more each kill". So I'd skip one group, and grab the second, so 8-10 mobs per group. At 60, picked up Soul of the Forest, so extra Rage generation. Got some practice playing with my 2 keybinds (button 4 - Charge, button 5 to a mouse over Faerie Swarm.). Click on one target, mouse over and B5, click B4 to charge. I was able to successfully pull off a mid-fight Rebirth, but probably because such a good healer keeping me alive. 
NOW WHAT? Pick professions and boost!! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pre-Order Complete

Ok, I bit. I've re-up'd my subscription to Warcraft and pre-paid for WoD. I have (all but) decided that my boosted 90 will be a druid.

Thinking about the 'veteran' perks, I am not too sold on "we'll level up your professions to max". Since I don't have a (horde) druid, it will be a fresh new character and the grind to 60 sounds incredibly daunting. OK, grind to 15 during DMF, with heirloom gear, run dungeons until 60, probably take me, what a week.  I do like the idea of saving the gold required to buy the supplies to level these skills on my own.. But you do get XP (when WoD is released) by leveling professions. We'll see..

So, would the 'boost' include druid flight form? Since I don't have a druid beyond level 5, does this come from a trainer? Or a quest chain that I'll need to go find? Ok, auto learned at level 58. So, that would be a Yes!

Name Fame! (just found Dark Legacy Comics!) MissturDarse?.. So far, all my toons have people-ish names, not like "Pancake". I've mentioned Elk's name is based on a mish-mash of things. Eride the Priest is a one-off my own RL name. Erknea the Goblin is Er + Knee but with pink pigtails, so end with the feminine "a". This will be my first hybrid toon, so maybe a mish-mash of "Everything".

Got no Class? Tauren or Troll. I am looking for something like this by Poneria. Can't have Tauren warlocks, so she didn't include them in her review. Assuming the don't change Trolls too much in WoD, their racials appear stronger for PVE. Haste is an important stat for healing.

Whips Chains and Where Did I Put My Leathers?.. My runs across the Timeless Isles have already provided me quite a stockpile of Leather gear. Sure, this new druid is going to have 486 gear already, but plopping on some 496 items at the get-go would be nice. 535 would be even better, but that assumes some luck and quickly picking up bear tanking?

To XP or To Not XP, that is the FINAL question? A druid engineer sounds like a great idea. A druid engineer that I DON'T need to spend any money to level the profession to 600 sounds absolutely awesome! My own Sky Golem! and MechnoHog! I guess leveling up to 60 would at least help me decide if I can stand to watch a Troll move.

Last night Elkagorasa reach a glorious iLevel 529. This means that all he really needs is to replace the 496 trinket from Dominance Offensive. This means, I don't need to be running LFR for gear upgrades. Thok's Tooth is about all that would help him now. The Priest is fairly close behind. Tailoring pants are in the works (but only just started). I'd like to grab one more tier gear so that she has the 2 item set bonus, but damn if the RNG gods hate me lately.

Either way means I should have more time to run an alt. So... Here We Go!!

  1. Good heirloom list -it's a bit outdated and doesn't include the MoP items. Ended up stealing all the leather gear I had equipped on my hunter alt.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Connected Realms Game Play Idea

I hadn't noticed an announcement, but last night, it appeared my realm Malfurion-US had been merged with another. Standing in the Shrine of Two Moons, over by the Inn Keeper was a player from another realm. Now looking back, probably partied with someone and pulled to my realm, but.. this got me thinking.

The Party of Elkagorasas. If I were to multi-box, I could technically create characters on each realm with the exact same name. Heck, I could make a druid, get the stag glyph. Elkagorasa the warlock, riding Elk the druid-elk-mount. Makes me seriously consider a druid for my Instant 90 in WoD.

Even without the multi-boxing aspect, having the option 2 or 3 of my characters all with exact same name is intriguing.

Speaking of druids, Elkagorasa this morning picked up the Overgrown Lilypad from Sele'na (Gomez). This allows me to self-cast symbiosis on me, providing, yet another heals.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Orc Warlock art!

Maybe it's time to bring out this old PVP set and give Elk a new haircut!

Taming MOAR Pets

WFH means Work Warcraft From Home Monday was a work from home kind of day, so I worked on a little project of my own. I saw this on Twit...