As The WOW Turns

Chronicling character builds to level 60 and beyond plus a journal of my new found obsession in the life and times of World Of Warcraft. Look for me in the Bonechewer realm...everyone says I'm the cute one. Also a member of Hidden Path guild.

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Born in Hawaii, moved to Washington in '88. Database programmer working as a system engineer to install and maintain slot machines in Native American casinos.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Lazy Bum

Okay. I admit - I'm a lazy bum. I've been neglecting my responsibility to post on this blog and I appologize to my readers...and my nagging wife. \kidding, she's not my wife, \slap. Okay I'm really kidding.

Let's see now, I was in Arizona during the first week of May so I didn't get to play for a week. But once I got back, I worked on getting Peep leveled in PvP. She is now Master Sergeant Peep, and working to become an officer Knight by the end of the month. Since she hit level 60, there is little for her to do besides instances and PvP, so I played my alts most the time - Gnomerouno, and I also started a hunter alt named Fealion on Bonechewer.

I also decided to start a horde alt on Skywall (a troll rogue named Zatoishi) because, frankly, I was tired of high levels ganking me every second on PvP. Since the honor rule went into effect, it's now more difficult to complete quests. At first, it was fun, but now traveling is far more difficult. I also realized how badly the alliance camps are defended - I often see groups of horde razzing a camp with no guards defending, while alliance groups razz a horde camp and a million gaurds appear to defend. I don't get it...I must be missing something or I'm just a fool for playing on the alliance side. So to make sure I'm not missing anything, I started a horde priest on PvP server - Tichondrius named Olfan. I guess it's time to learn the horde side of things.
I know I'm spreading myself thin with all these alts, so I need to work on one alt and get him/her up to level 40 before I move to the other alt.

This is were I stand with my alts: Gnomerouno is at level 36; Fealion is at level 28; Zatoishi is at level 17; and Olfan is at level 14. Honestly, I enjoy playing the rogue class more than the other classes, but I want to experience all the classes at least once.

As for Peep, she's currently my purse and raid/instance character, and will be until Battlegrounds or otherwise.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ice is Nice

Since Peep hit level 59, she’s been asked to join groups and raids at Blackrock Depth and Blackrock Spire. Under the full fire setup, she did okay due to the fact that all the mobs are fire-resistant or immune. I ended up using my scorch often but against the fire elementals or bosses I was stuck with arcane missiles and frostbolt. Arcane missiles lacked the punch and Frostbolt took too long to cast. At that moment, I wondered what a full ice mage would be like; thus, Peep's new talent setup.

I asked around regarding how full ice mages fared in the PvP world and responses ranged from “Good Luck” to “Ice Mages rule PvP!”. I took this setup to Blackrock Depth and here is the result: DAMN AWESOME! We blasted through with ease. Fire elementals to bosses, we cut them down like corn. I took this setup for a spin before going into Blackrock Depth, and though it’s not as dramatic, it still did a great job taking out mobs. Under my fire setup, I would get about 2 to 3 Fireballs before I would Nova Frost to get some distance, and finish up with Fire Blast and Scorch. With the ice setup, the mob would be lucky to get close before they died. The big spells for ice are Frostbolt, Cone of Cold, and Ice Barrier (similar to the priest’s shield, it absorbs damage and spells are not interrupted with a 2 minute cooldown). For AOE (Area of Effect), Blizzard rocks but still takes a lot of mana to cast; 3 Blizzards were enough to take down a group of level 50 mobs. With Chill points, Blizzard cuts the mob's movement by 31% for 1.5 seconds and it’s very helpful in groups and raids; the aggro on this spell is still pretty high so use it only if you know the enemy will die. Cold Snap is wonderful when fighting bosses. Throw up Ice Barrier then Cold Snap, and you're ready for Ice Barrier again when its time runs out. Realistically, this is the only reason for Cold Snap; all the other ice spells have a decent cooldown time. Frost Channeling is really nice - it lowers the cost of all my ice spells by 15%, which is a huge savings to my mana pool.

I haven’t tried this setup in the PvP environment, but I hope to try it out soon.

I thought that ice mages could encase their targets in ice, but I was wrong. I would like to know what spell or item does that? It would be a nice add to my arsenal. If you know, please send me a comment.

I’ll keep you all informed on how I fare. On a final note, I should have added 1 more point to Arcane Subtlety instead of Improved Frost Ward. It’s nice having 50% damage back on ice attacks, but I rarely run into a mob that’s strong in ice.

Frost Mastery
Improved Frostbolt Rank 5
Permafrost Rank 5
Ice Shards Rank 5
Winter's Chill Rank 3
Improved Frost Nova Rank 2
Piercing Ice Rank 3
Cold Snap Rank 1
Improved Blizzard Rank 3
Arctic Reach Rank 2
Frost Channeling Rank 3
Shatter Rank 5
Improved Frost Ward Rank 1
Ice Block Rank 1
Improved Cone of Cold Rank 3
Frostbite Rank 5
Ice Barrier Rank 1
Frost Total: 48

Arcane Mastery
Arcane Subtlety Rank 3
Arcane Total: 3

Total Points Spent: 51
Level Required: 60

Burn Baby Burn!

This was Peep's talent setup and I want to give a review on what I think about it. Being pure Fire mage is awesome, very dramatic and fast with crits in the 1000+ 25 to 35% of the time. The best spells under this setup are Fire Blast and Scorch. With Impact’s stun, it gives me a few moments more for another hit or two, and Ignite does a nice DOT (damage over time), which is perfect against rogues; they cannot stealth while fire is burning their butts. Playing PvP is also nice - quick kills with 2 or 3 Fire Balls and a blast to finish. \lol. I use the Nova Frost for a longer hold on my prey or to escape, and Combustion is nice on bosses. 100% crit on first Fire Ball is a pretty sight. If you do lots of groups and raids, this is a perfect setup for support - low aggro with big damage.

On the downside, fighting fire-immune or resistant mobs is tough and long. Most of the spells available to a mage are fire-related, so the other spells take longer to cast or they don’t do as well, e.g. arcane missiles. Also, the other spells cost a lot of mana to cast versus fire spells, so I only use them if needed. In PvP, I can hold my own for some time unless I’m ganked or taken by more than one person at a time. Rogues still own me though, if they get the first shot. In raids, I rock with Fire Blast and Scorch and, if I have some safety, I can take out players long range with my Fire Ball. A nice setup for raids against the other faction is a healer behind me, keeping my health up, and a tank in front, keeping anyone from getting close while I light their arse on fire. \lol. If they get through, I Nova Frost and move to a new location and start all over; this can last a while until we are overrun.

I would probably put the last 7 talents into arcane instead of ice. Getting Improved Arcane Missiles and Arcane Concentration might improve this setup; can’t argue with free cast spells.

Overall, this is an awesome quick-killer of a setup.

Frost Mastery
Permafrost Rank 5
Improved Frost Nova Rank 2
Frost Total: 7

Fire Mastery
Improved Fireball Rank 5
Impact Rank 5
Ignite Rank 5
Improved Fire Blast Rank 5
Flame Throwing Rank 2
Incinerate Rank 2
Improved Flamestrike Rank 3
Burning Soul Rank 3
Improved Scorch Rank 4
Critical Mass Rank 3
Blast Wave Rank 1
Fire Power Rank 5
Combustion Rank 1
Fire Total: 44

Total Points Spent: 51
Level Required: 60

60 Finally

60 Finally
Originally uploaded by playerblue99.

Big Six Zero

Big Six Zero
Originally uploaded by playerblue99.
Peep has made it to the big six-o. It took a few hours of grinding but all was worth it. /cheer

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

UBRS Battle of the Beast

Originally uploaded by playerblue99.
UBRS stands for Upper Blackrock Spire - this is one of two instances in Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge. Ever since Peep leveled up to 59, she's been asked to join many raids to instances like Blackrock Spire, Blackrock Depth, and Stratholme. Raids allow a larger group (normal groups are 5 or less) to play in the instance; anywhere from 6 to 40+ players at one time. You don't get very much experience, but the loot is awesome. In fact, this is the only reason to go on raids like this. So far, I have not seen any epic items for my class, but many great items for other classes often drop. Still, I've gotten lucky once or twice and left the party with some nice items.

Raids are lots of fun, but can be very long and tiring, depending on the group leader. So far, I've only been in one raid that was nice, smooth and very controlled. Most of the time, leadership is not good, and organization and/or cooperation is slim. Usually, we all die with groups like those and break apart very early in the instance. There have been times where we wait around for hours to get a good group together, and even then it seems to break apart before we start. I've learned to leave the party if it take more than 1 hour to get a large group together - it's not worth losing experience just waiting for others to get their act together.

Well, you've seen the end of one of my many battles in UBRS and there will be others in the future. Peep has 200,000 experience before the big six-oh, /cheer.

Open for Business

We have started a business on our server called Hidden Path Syndicate. We created this business to assist our guild members with enchantments for their armor and weapons in exchange for green, blue, and epic items they make or cannot sell (stuff no one wants) that the enchanters to disenchant. We know how expensive it is to buy the enchants but it’s even more expensive to actually make them. Enchanters lose money because we disenchant the dropped or made items instead of offering them up for sale at the AH. Leveling up is very long and expensive as well. Even if the character is at level 60, it will take awhile to reach level 300 in enchanting and cost him/her most of their hard-earned coins. It’s not until we reach level 265 that we start making money, but it's still slow and tedious. I mean, who would spend 10 to 25 gold for an enchant? Not many would or could, so we’ll sell for a loss and gain experience or (if we're lucky) actually make a very small profit.

There are 4 high-level enchanters in our guild, and we would pool our resources to make whatever enchants our guild mates would want for free, with some limitations of course, all within reason. For example: we wouldn’t give a level 14 paladin a +7 damage to their sword unless they supply all the materials. To make money, we would sell our services at a discount rate to the public. For example: +7 stamina to bracers would normally go for 3.5 gold on our server, but we would sell them to the public for 1.5 gold or less. With all our guild mates now chipping in with items, we have a higher stock of enchants to offer; consequently, our costs to the public are lowered. They then buy more and spread word of our guild's name, which we hope will increase membership. We worked on it last night and the result was 14 gold richer - I say that was a successful evening. However, we will need to figure out a marketing ploy to attract more customers and keep them coming. Personally, I’m very excited about this venture we’re starting - it nicely illustrates the economics of the game and makes it almost lifelike in the problems and solutions involved with starting a business, a corporation.

We’re already imagining a monopoly on enchanting...the Microsoft of WOW you could say. I’ve seen disenchanted items up for sale at the AH and the prices are skyrocketing. Our business venture may affect the prices of disenchants but it will probably be a while before we see any noticeable difference. One of the goals of the game is to be rich, isn’t it? I know, like in real life, being rich does make things a little easier, and at the same time - the higher you are, the further you can fall. Hidden Path Syndicate now open for business!

Monday, April 04, 2005

We're in the Money...

I’ve been on a business trip for the past 8 days, and I have not been playing Peep as much as I would like. She’s at level 57 now and I’m dying to reach the big six-zero. As I mentioned before, when I’m on a business trip I play WOW on my laptop. Lots of players do well with their laptop, but mine is company supplied, so RAM and Video are nothing more than adequate. Well, during these times, I usually play Gnomerouno or create new characters on different servers just to get myself familiar with the classes.

I’ve been playing Gnomerouno this week, and all I’ve done is farm for resources and sell them at the AH: mining, skinning, and drops from humanoids (cloth, wool, silk). I spent on average 2 hours a night just doing this, and he accumulated 114 gold. I was tempted to purchase new armor and weapons, but I've had an eye on an epic staff item for Peep for some time now - the Glowing Brightwood Staff. The staff is going for 600 gold in the AH and I’m nowhere near purchasing it, but I want to accumulate enough gold so next time I see an epic item, I’m ready to buy if I want to.

Peep has 80 gold on her, but it’s very difficult to keep because she’s been trying to level up on her tailoring and enchanting - and that costs money. She’s been a little lucky because she has a runecloth supplier now, and she purchases 100 runeclothes for 5 gold. She can make 4 runecloth bags with it and sells them for 4 to 5 gold each in AH. As for enchanting, the profit margin is only 10% to 25% profit above cost, so she needs to hit level 300 in order to do the enchantments that are in high demand.

I purchased a user guide called World of Warcraft Gold Guide online that I noticed in my Google ad while I was editing my blog one day. I purchased it because I wanted to know if there are areas in the game that I can exploit for gold. The first part of the guide pretty much says the same stuff I’ve been mentioning or you have already figured out. There is a section on supply and demand, buying and selling; basic economics I think the beginner would love to know. The second part of the guide is where the good stuff is... The section on herbs is very useful, as well as the junk drops from monsters. I rate this guide a 'must read' if you want to know how to make gold quickly. I can’t give you any details due to the copyright laws, but it’s worth the 25 bucks.

Gold isn’t really that difficult to come by, but you do have to keep yourself from buying stuff for buying's sake. For example, Gnomerouno is at a level where his gear is good enough to last him another 5 to 8 levels before he’ll need to upgrade to something better. But if you’re just going to farm, you really don’t need awesome armor or weapons to get the job done. Your basic prey will be green monsters anyways...the faster you kill, the more you gain per hour. Make sense? Well, I’m off to hunt raptors, see you online.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

We Don’t Need No Stinkin' Patches

I’m not going to go through all the wonderful things the new patch brought with it, but what I do want to say is - I hope they don’t make it that large again. It took 5 hours to download and successfully log on to the server before I was unceremoniously disconnected from the server a second later. I’m sure we all went though it...and dealing with the bugs that came with the patch; for example, critical application error when you die. Latency also was a big problem, which I can understand since so many were downloading the new patch. And not being able to view guild members in the guild screen is a pain, because I can’t tell which of my guildies are logged on to group with or send stuff to, but Blizzard will have the fix. They are pretty good and usually quick to fix problems.

I hear the upcoming patch has a lot of changes to the continent of Kalimdor, with more quests and instances, basically to draw more players to that continent. With that in mind, I notice more players on Kalimdor trying to raise their reputation status - I know I am. Before, I didn’t care if I was friendly or not. I just made honored last night, which shows you I was only there to do runs or short quests required to finish a chain quest.

I love that Blizzard is adding these new items and adventures into the game, but each time they do so, it’s almost a game-play killer. You can usually expect not to play for the next day or so. It’s been five days since the patch and only now are things starting to run close to normal. Latency is still a big problem for many of us. I don’t have latency problems that often, but I’ve noticed the red and yellow bar is present longer than the green bar. Maybe I’ll go out and buy another Gig of RAM to help out with the graphics, but I don’t think it will help much with latency issues stemming from Blizzard's game servers.

These patches also mean a class is going to get nerfed or ubered - I don’t think I used the right word, but you know what I mean. We’ve been seeing strikes from Paladins and Hunters since the patch, and it just won’t stop. Yea, in the name of balance, says Blizzard, which may be true, but I wouldn’t know. I haven’t played those classes, so I don’t know what I've missed. If anything, I think the Shamans should be nerfed. Those guys are tough cookies to crack.

Patches - good or bad, they are part of WOW life and we, as paying customers, will have to deal with the downs just the same. Very similar to cable, internet access, electricity, gas - you get the point. So we shouldn’t be surprised at the difficulty these patches come with; suck it up, it’ll be fine in the end.

And a word to Blizzard: You guys are great. Love your product, and will be one of your loyal customers for life. And lastly, hurry up and get this (BLEEPING!) game fixed so I can play!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Honor is in the Eye...

The other day, while playing Gnomerouno, I grouped up with some of my guild mates to do a VanCleef run in the Deadmines. I really didn’t need to go since Gnomerouno is level 27, but I figured the loot might be good. Our group consisted of two warriors, levels 18 and 21; a level 18 Priest; and our tank, a level 43 warrior named Bird. Bird was from another guild and happened to be friends with one of the players.

We had a good time going through the instance. Most of the loot went to the lower-level warriors and priest, which was fine by me. I mainly helped out and filled my bags with minerals collected along the way. Everything was equal when it came to looting. When a rolled item was collected, the person who could use it would message us and we would let that person have it. If no one needed an item, we all got a chance to roll for it. When we came up to chests, we even rolled for the chance to open it. This was the first time I’ve done this in any group I’ve been in. Usually, there's a mad dash to get to the chest and open it first, and the person that wins is usually the one not fighting. However, by typing “/random 100” we got to roll, and the person with the highest number won the chest items. If the chest included an item he/she didn’t need, we passed it to someone who did. Again, it was a very pleasant experience compared to most groups I have joined in the past.

Reading the update on the new honor system Blizzard is implementing in the near future, I think it will make game play a whole lot more fun. I see some drawbacks when it comes to class-specific awards, but I won’t get into that because it might change or they haven’t really programmed it yet. But one thing is for sure - working your way up to Warlord Commander is inviting, especially with the awards and status that goes with the position. Also, there will be no penalties for dishonorable actions yet, but can you imagine playing a character just to do evil? Like Fable and Knights of the Republic, your actions determine your character and its abilities, skills, and the way it looks. That would be cool. Well, with Blizzard's honor system you would accumulate honor and dishonor points on a daily basis, and at the end of the week be given a nhonor score based on an algorithm of those points. It sounds very complicated by the description and I can imagine it’ll go through several revisions before it gets implemented.

Blizzard really made a hit with this game. Soon the entire world will be battling each other online. Imagine dealing with Korea's nuclear issue with a battleground challenge. Korea and USA, Horde and Alliance, winner gets their way. I know it's silly, but what the hell - like most things in life, it’s only a game.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Money Talks

Gnomerouno is at level 25, and already his profession for mining and skinning is nearing level 225. His bandage level is up to 150, which is maxed if you don’t get the Manual for First Aid. With the manual, you can increase the bandage level to 225 and make heavy silk and mageweave bandages. I had Peep run to Stromgarde to buy the manuals from a vendor and mail them to Gnomerouno.

Gnomerouno has already made 80 gold, but keeping him updated with the latest and greatest cost him about the same. He’s a shop-a-holic and loves to buys stuff: armor, weapons, scrolls, potions, you name it he probably would like to buy it. But he’s going to have to settle down if he wants to buy the epic items when he gets to level 40. Harvest and sell, over and over, big money-maker.

The only reason he’s leveling is because he skins what he kills. He’s been so busy just harvesting and selling, he hasn’t done the Deadmines quest yet. In fact, last night was the first time he’s been in it. He soloed most of it and got as far as the Tauren guarding the ship. He will need another helper or two to get by them.

I love watching this rogue do battle, he crits often. He’s got three sets of weapons at his disposal: Dual maces, knives, and fists. Currently his primary setup is the dual maces - both are rare items and do an average of 24 dps each. He can’t find any knives that do equal or greater damage yet, so he uses those only during stealth or if he needs backstab for some reason (like an elite mob). He teamed up with another rogue at level 20. The young rogue wanted to finish a quest, but it had a level 25 elite mob. They set up with one in front of the elite and one behind, and used the backstab tactic. It was very easy killing elites this way. Back and forth, it was kind of funny watching the mob aggro between them.

Back to the subject of making money - I read an article online which pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing. Check it out at How to Make Money. My thought on this subject is to have a char for money-making and use it as a purse. Spend about 2 to 4 hours a week just harvesting stuff for sale, but also spend time leveling the character to obtain higher-level materials for those higher-level players that actually have money to spend. Gnomerouno is heading up the ladder to riches. Only hope the bottom doesn’t fall out from under him. Lol.

Nothing But Business

Peep has made it to level 54. I haven’t been playing much lately due to work and other more important stuff going on (like business trips). I have a laptop and I've installed WOW on it, but I don’t like to play my main characters on the laptop because the graphics are so bad I have a difficult time navigating. So during those times I’m away or when I play WOW on my laptop, I usually start a new character on a different server and just play for playing's sake.

For the first time, I played an Orc Warrior on server Kill Jaedan. I did a lot of experimenting and looking around. I chose the mining and Herbalist professions for my warrior because I was thinking a new char on a new server and I won’t have a big bro to help with expenses. And I know from playing Gnomerouno that harvesting and selling material is the fastest and easiest way to make lots of gold.

Once I hit level 10, I headed for Ogrimmar and man, is that place amazing. I had a difficult time finding my way around, even with the map. The AH was jam-packed with Horde. This server has more players than Bonechewer and it showed in the prices. For example: 20x linen on Bonechewer sells for an average of 20 silver at Iron Forge; here on Kill Jaeden, it averages 50 silver at Ogrimmar. Even rare items were going for huge amounts of gold. I saw a crossbow going for 350 gold compared to the same on Bonechewer for 90 gold. I guess the trade-off is a higher audience on Kill Jaeden versus Bonechewer, so prices would reflect it. Due to the high prices, my warrior would have to do without for some time. I had only 10 silver to my name after the skill and profession upgrades. It didn’t matter - I was just experimenting and seeing what character I'll want to be when I do decide to go Horde. Eventually I will, but my plate is full with Peep and Gnomerouno. On my next business trip, I think I’ll play an Undead Warlock.