Friday, February 27, 2009

How you view your characters. . .

I was thinking about this the other day, how I view my characters. I don't RP in any real sense of the words in game, most of my characters' names either sound cool or are for labeling purposes or both. Magefish isn't really a mage, due to a translation error, Eisenfish means Iron fish and not frozen fish like I thought (Ironfish is more a warrior name, one I've actually used), but it does sound kind of cool.

History has a lot to do with it. I remember the slow laborious grind of leveling my first paladin Leshif (the only Leshif in all of Wow). Starting as retribution, taking a break for alts, server switches, a short stint as holy and then finding the joys of protection. I remember running dungeons with level appropriate groups, before everyone decided to use level-capped characters in purples as a crutch. I remember the slow grind of leveling professions (I'm looking at you blacksmithing and jewelcrafting). I remember the frustration of PvP, influencing my opinion of other classes (ok, mostly rogues), and it basically making my trip through the early 40's impossible (yeah, an upper 60's instance in a low 40's zone is great with open world PvP, I am looking at you Tanaris).

Some characters I look at what they've become and I'm proud (my 2 pallies, leveled from level 1, both badass in their own way, capable of leading a group). Some characters I look at and see limitless potential (Eisenfish & Zerofish), a story that has yet to be written. Some characters are stagnant and forgotten (unfortunate, but with around 30 alts, they can't all be favorite sons).

Another factor that plays into a feel for characters, I think difficulty in leveling almost directly correlates into a "feel" for the characters. Leveling prot on a PvP server SUCKS. I have had almost no end of frustration, but I feel a bigger attachment to Leshif than any other character. On the other hand my death knights, although fun to play, seem like soul-less death machines, there is no attachment, they're effective, but that's it.

How do the rest of you feel about your characters? Do they have special meaning to you?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friends don't let friends be death-tards. . .

I think the least understood class in the game currently is the death knight. This is completely normal as it is the newest class, people have more often than not less experience playing them than other classes. The fact the they start "powerful" relative to other classes makes this even worse. There is no lowbie learning phase where you feel out the character, what it can do, put it through it's paces. It is powerful with very minimal effort and its possible to breeze through the game by mashing random buttons, hence the advent of the death-tard. Yes, the stigma of reaching the level cap with no real skill which used to be reserved almost solely for hunters now applies to death knights as well. Friends, don't be a death-tard (or death-n00b if you prefer) it is very easily avoided if you just remember a few simple things.

Death knight talent trees. First of all, anything you may know about any other class, forget it completely before you look at death knight talent trees. Every other class in the game, the tree progresses, making the character more effective in a given role, be it tanking, DPS or healing. This is not the way the death knight trees work. There is no pure tanking tree. No, "well frost is supposed to be for tanking, cuz my buddy said so" is not an acceptable rebuttal. There is no single death knight tanking tree. There is no single death knight tanking tree. OK, repeated, reinforced, bolded, we should be on the same page. Death knight "tanking" talents are spread out amongst all three trees, and the most useful to a tank is actually located fairly deep in the blood tree (reduces damage that would take you below 35% incrementally).

Basically, Blood is single target DPS/self healing, Frost is utility/dual wielding, and Unholy is Pet/AoE damage. Again, for those of you slow to catch on, there is no tree for pure tanking. All three have tanking abilities in the first tier (a dedicated tank should take all of them), and at least one useful ability farther down in the tree. It is impossible for a player to have ALL of the useful deathknight tanking abilities. Personally, I find deep blood supplemented by some frost and unholy to be the best tanking build and deep unholy supplemented by blood to be the best for leveling (I enjoy an AoE heavy style). That is me, based on my experiences and conversations with people whose opinion I respect (shout outs to WTFspaghetti for suggesting blood as a tanking spec)

OK, now for a couple do's and dont's. First of all, anyone who plays a death knight loves death grip, it is incredibly useful in leveling and can be great in group play. Unless you are tanking, do not use death grip unless specifically told to by the tank. Nothing pisses me off more than tanking a group of melee mobs and having a death-tard pull one off me. You're not tanking, I am, there is a reason for that. Beat on the mobs like a good little DPS. Mages, death grip to your heart's content. Also, when in the role of DPS in a group, be conscious of the use of your AoE abilities. I know for a fact warriors and paladins can produce very solid AoE aggro, so the use of AoE abilities should not pull mobs off them. However, I have limited druid tanking experience, so make sure you don't pull threat from the tank with your AoE abilities. A good tactic would be to use virulence to spread your diseases to the group, this ability, since it spreads DoTs, isn't super high in threat right away.

Lastly, a very basic damage rotation. I normally use icy touch to pull since it is ranged and I prefer to save death grip so it's not on cooldown when I really need it. I then use plague strike so the mob has 2+ diseases, then use virulence to spread the diseases to any nearby mobs. If there are 3+ mobs, I drop death and decay in the area to get solid AoE going. Then you should have 1 or 2 unused blood runes to hit blood strike on the primary mob and once your death strike will be ready shortly to regen any health. That is a solid rotation, not rocket science and fairly basic, but if you havent played a DK or don't know what to use, that will work.

Remember, friends don't let friends be death-tards. If you see someone that you think may be experiencing death-tardism, tell them to get help, before it's too late.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I wish the Goblin would stick to making money in Wow. . .

I don't like to get into topics like this because Wow is my "escape" from real life. Its a game, I treat it like a game, its fun for me. In real life I work in the securities industry, so I think I have an above average understanding of how the economy works in the real world.

If you have read this post completely ignore it. The goblin gives an incomplete and often incorrect assessment of things. Wow is not a real economy. It lacks a lot of the mechanisms of a real economy. The biggest thing Wow lacks, and the general reason for a lot of our problems in the economy right now is debt.

In the real world, a large driver of the economy has been debt. You borrow money from someone that has it with the promise that it will be paid back. Individuals do it to finanace houses, cars, school, all kinds of things. Institutions loan money between each other to loan to individuals. The federal government and the states solicit these loans in the form of bonds (as a side note, the Chinese government is one of the biggest investors in US treasury bonds). The interest that is paid on these loans is the price that is paid for the service, in addition to the promise that the principal amount will be paid back.

The system works pretty well based on one major assumption: the loans will be paid back on time to the lender. Some default risk is built in, and generally bonds with a higher risk of default can pay out higher yields (commonly referred to as junk bonds), the trade off for risk of default is a higher interest payment.

The problem with our current system is that people are borrowing more than they are able to pay back, which has started a chain reaction. Person A defaults on a loan to Bank A, which then cannot pay back it's loan to Bank B, who then does not have money to lend out, so has to lower its rates to person B, who then has to borrow money to pay back to Bank C, its a vicious cycle that unfortunately we have become somewhat locked into. Maybe after billions in "write-offs" of bad debt, we will reach some sort of equilibrium, but that is one of the true reasons behind our current problems.

The point of all this is that Wow has no such system, so any comparison between Wow's economy and the real world will be at best incomplete and at worst downright wrong.

Stay tuned for my upcoming post on Death knight tanking, I much prefer talking about that to anything involving my real life job ;)

Monday, February 23, 2009

3 man instances, inside jokes and head kicks. . .

I hope everyone had a good weekend. For me it was part relaxing, part catching up with some old friends, part chugging through some goals in good old Wow and part hockey.

I'm sure by now everyone has run Hellfire ramparts with less than a full group. One of my goals is to solo it, but I didn't feel my level 71 was quite prepared for the bosses, so I held off. I feel particularly lucky on my alliance server in that both guilds I am a part of are extremely helpful and have a lot of people I enjoy sharing chat with (thats why we're in guilds right? well, pre-raiding anyways). Well last night I was talking to one of the 80's in my main guild Sons of Silence and she asked if I needed help with anything. I replied that I was good on questing, but I did need to run ramps on my death knight. She said her bf was running something, but he loved ramps and when he was done, we set off to 3 man ramps with an 80 gnome rogue, 66 frost DK and my 60 unholy DK (although I dinged 61 midway through the instance). I didn't think we'd be successful with the rogue not having as strong AoE and no heals, but who believes it, we pulled it off, didn't take too long, I got the hell-reaver and the belt (more to come on that below). I was a very happy DK last night.

On the inside joke front, it just hit me last night, does anyone else think the Tenacious Defender is a referrence to the Jack Black band Tenacious D?

One of the other things that happened this weekend was a free UFC event on spike, UFC 95. Although there were no championship matches it was a pretty solid card. First of all, knockout of the night has to go to Nate Marquadt with bonus points for opening up his opponent. Not only did he hit a beautiful flying knee, he followed up with right and left legged head kicks and punches. He put such a charge into his opponent, the cut man was still working on him when Marquadt's interview was done. Head kicks have to be one of the most exciting things in sports.

Oh, and as anyone who has ever leveled blacksmithing to 300 will say: it's horrible and I never want to do it again, but I did it. Now its on to hoarding fel iron and farming primals to get to 350 so I can go to cobalt. I have kind of put off leveling so I can get the armorsmithing breastplates for the pally. He is currently at 65 and the level 65 one is pretty nice, it only gets better at 70.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Loot rules, Heirloom shoulders and The Wrestler. . .

There was something I saw last night that really bothered me, and as usual, that motivated me to blog. Had it happened to me personally, I probably only would have been affected by one action, but it was the overall that really bothered me. No one likes a loot ninja. The worst types of loot ninjas are the ones who brag about it in guild chat. One of the guilds that I am in on azuremyst (populated by in general great people) has in its membership a paladin. I believe the paladin was specc'd holy for this particular run in Naxx. This person somehow acquired mail legs, leather caster shoulders and plate tanking gloves. I can't imagine either a tank or off tank couldn't use purple plate tanking gloves more than a healer, and it irks me to see a plate healer rolling on mail and leather. Maybe there were no shamans or druids in the entire raid, and maybe the tanks already had better than the purple tanking gloves, but thats a lot of maybes and it rubs me the wrong way.

Speaking of raids/heroics, I have finally found a reason to level up, gear up and run them. I want the heirloom shoulders for my alts, and they're only 40 badges of heroism each. I figure I can get one pair of leather for shammy/druid and one pair of cloth for the mage, then my shoulder needs are set till 80. Well, I want to level the pally and DK first but yeah, those shoulders are very nice and once I found out they were attainable with no pvp whatsoever, I am all about it.

Lastly The Wrestler. Amazing movie, well done, but SOOOOO SAD! Without trying to spoil it too much, its the first movie I've ever seen where I wanted the main character to get together with the stripper, and Marisa Tomei is smoking hot in it, especially for being in her 40's. I think it did a really good job of capturing a more realistic look at professional wrestling. Again, so sad, and I must say the ending left me a little unfulfilled, but I'll leave it at that. Even if you're not a fan of professional wrestling, you should see it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is the part where I feel like a total N00b. . .

I would love to participate in the screenshot posting. I think its a great idea, share some history about the game, give insight into my characters, etc. There's only one problem. I didn't know you could actually A) take screenshots or B) how to do it.

Yes, I do feel quite the nOOb.

When I get home, I will double check and see if there is anything there, maybe I will take a few for a "Guided tour of Fish" post. . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love stinks, and more non Wow related content. . .

Whats worse than a hallmark holiday created to move merchandise? A blizzard clone of said aforementioned holiday. I'm sure this isn't my first bout with said holiday but as I had a nice long weekend to farm er play, I had more opportunities to be annoyed with it this year. No I won't mend your heart, enjoy your debuff, thanks for playing.

In case anyone was wondering, I did celebrate the real life version of the holiday. We had a nice dinner, I grilled steak, herb basted shrimp and served it with cheese grits. I think I delivered in spite of my illness (I had a pretty major sinus infection). Yes, I like to think I have 450 cooking IRL. . .well, maybe 300, I'm not quite an iron chef lol.

Non Warcraft related content to follow!

So I saw a post from One Among Many titled "to the pain" and I thought "ZOMGTHEPRINCESSBRIDE!!!!!!!!!"

This got me to thinking "I think I'll post my top 5 movies of all time". I don't believe any on the list are better than the others, they are the best of their given genres (in my opinion).

1. The Princess Bride - Just classic, swordfighting is amazing, practically the whole movie is quotable. Its just a giant cornucopia of goodness, thats all there is to say about that.

2. Gladiator - Epic. It is the best historical piece I've ever seen, I never get tired of it.

3. Any Given Sunday - In my opinion, this is the best realistic sports movie ever made. I think it realistically portrays how football actually is.

4. Snatch - If you havent seen it, do yourself a favor and do so. Part crime caper, part comedy, it is at times disjointed but an amazing movie.

5. The Matrix Reloaded - Total non-stop actiongasm. It has normal fights, fights with weapons, gun fights and an epic car chase. Sure, the plot is kind of convoluted and its not where I saw the franchise going, but as far as an action movie goes, its hard to get better action than the matrix reloaded.

I think those 5 best represent their particular genres and I never get tired of them. What are everyone else's top 5?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why I love mages, and my build at 80. . .

This is kind of a new thing for me. With almost all of my characters I enjoy the leveling process, focus on the here and now, what I can do. With the mage it's different. The warlock was an easy class to get used to with easy conversion of health to mana, a pet to keep the mobs away and dots to tick damage down. It was efficient and well, easy. The mage is not easy. It is technical, there are a lot of abilities which can be very situational and I die a LOT leveling (less now than in the beginning). The more I become accustomed to them the more I feel the power there. Aoe damage, utility, self sufficiency, all the things that I look for in a character. They definately aren't easy, but what that is worthwhile is?

Again, in a move that is new to me, I've planned my talents up to level 80. Yes this implies I am actually going to charge to 80 with a character. The freedom from PvP and general enjoyment of the class and understanding have opened "new" doors for me. So hopefully this link works, my planned talents at 80.

The real question was "do I go into fire or arcane?". I honestly believe that the 51 point talent in frost is A) next to useless and B) not worthy of being a 51 point talent. The deciding factor on which way to go was the 21 point talents. Presence of mind is cool and has some utility but blast wave makes this a no-brainer. Aoe damage that is instant cast and knocks people back from me? I can just imagine the havoc I can cause on lower level instances with this (as I've previously stated, I solo lower level instances for fun and profit).

I would love to hear any and all comments/suggestions from those more experienced than me in the magical discipline. . .

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dual specs are coming. . .

So in searching to see which realms are eligible for free character transfers (azuremyst is too heavily populated for me, but I'm pretty well established there, so I would move for free, but its not worth paying), I saw a post by ghostcrawler talking about dual specs. I just figured I would throw my 2 coppers into the pot about what we learned.

The good:
There is a one time fee for the dual specs, once you buy them, you can switch between them freely at any lexicon of power. Also, your glyphs stay with the spec, thats awesome. They are implementing a feature that would make you actually save the talent spec for it to be set permanently (no more clicking something and going "OOPS, guess I'm stuck with it there!").

The bad:
You have to be level 80 to have dual specs.

So basically they are implementing a bunch of great enhancements that will be useless to the characters it would benefit the most. I get the theory that once you hit the level cap, the game begins, I have never accepted that explanation. Once you hit the level cap dailies begin, and extended farming, and maybe if you are so inclined raiding. Allowing dual specs only for characters at the level cap is counter productive because the skills needed to play in a given spec are gained through leveling, and basic dungeons are much more forgiving than heroics. I don't want to tank a dungeon with a re-specced priest who has never healed before. I'm sure healers wouldn't want to run with someone who has never tanked before (not that there seems to be a shortage of tank-specced characters in the game).

I have healed as a paladin in instances before. I have a basic understanding of pretty much every class in the game. I can tell you right now, I would not be that effective healing as a shaman or druid, or getting max DPS from ANY class. Are these skills blizzard thinks we will magically acquire at level 80? Maybe it is because I don't have a level 80 character. Let me ask those of you that do: when you hit 80, did you gain an understanding of how to play every spec in your class?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Leveling on a PvP server. . .

I have a post in the works about tanking. Not something super advanced and anyone with a ton of experience tanking probably won't find it useful, but I thought it would be a good academic exercise.

I was all set to crank that out today and then another issue arose. My guild is short on tanks and they could use another one. I don't know how I feel about this. I guess the best way to figure things out is blog about it.

I hate PvP. Basically because it involves other people wasting my time killing me making me stop what I'm doing to run back to my corpse. It has at times made me contemplate leaving the game completely. I have played the last few days back on a PvE server and I forgot how much more fun it is for me. I never have to look at another character and think "Oh, they're going to run over here and kill me now".

The flip side of this is I miss my guildies. My intention was not to quit the server, I have just been trying to level blacksmithing without spending lots of gold. For any of you that have ever done it you know that means grinding, lots of grinding. So I have been out of the loop for longer than normal but basically, I don't want to lose contact with everyone.

I have already pretty much verified what I thought before. The game is more fun on a PvE server. I can craft, level alts, and sit AFK, all without the fear of PvP. My question is this: Do I try to level my paladin on the PvP server or do I retire him and level my death knight? My deathknight is actually not far from level 70 and my paladin is a little bit into 71 so there is not much of a level difference. I know death knights can be endgame tanks. I definately like paladins more, but as a death knight I feel like A) I would be able to defend myself better and B) as a double gatherer, I can quit wasting time and money on crafting on the PvP server.

I guess its time to start looking into DK tanking builds. . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

My 10 favorite class/specs in Wow. . .

So I was having a conversation with some of my newly adopted guildies on Azuremyst (I can't for the life of me remember the name, but the tabard is pretty sweet) and we were discussing several classes. Besides me saying "Yeah, I don't much care for them" every other sentence, it was a very invigorating conversation (who knew S priests finally got AoE, sorry, can't level one to 75 just to get it though). It got me to thinking: which are my 10 favorite class/spec combos in the game and why?

1. Prot Paladin - Heavy armor, AoE, Bad-assery. I like AoE grinding with a prot pally more than almost anything else in the game. I spent almost a whole level grinding mobs for Aldor rep just because it was SO MUCH FUN! (and no one ganked me while I did it, which was a bonus).

2. Frost Mage - 15-20 mobs at a time? It can be done! (not grey mobs either!) Add in portals and teleports for quick and easy travel and you have a no brainer choice at #2. Yes, I considered arcane for this spot, but frost is tried and true, its an old friend that has lasted through multiple characters, I can't abandon it for the flashy new abilities of arcane.

3. Unholy Death Knight - I would have put blood here before the last patch increasing blood aura healing and nerfing a lot of the blood aspect healing. Unholy is powerful in single target or AoE and free epic land mount makes them amazing gatherers. I will admit, I don't keep the pet up at all times because I find them kind of annoying.

4. Feral Druid - You can be a half warrior, a half rogue, or a half priest at the drop of a hat. To me, that adds up to 150%. I love ferals, they're my little swiss army knife characters for utility and easy leveling. I prefer the night elf version to tauren for the record, lions should not have horns.

5. Blood Death knight - Still a lot of fun and powerful single target DPS, I would have swapped this spot with unholy had they left the powerful self healing alone.

6. Affliction Warlock - Haunt is quite possibly one of my favorite abilities in the game. I don't care if people say they're nerfed. I see a class that kills fairly quickly with little downtime. If only they got seed of corruption a little sooner than 70, say around 60 or so.

7. Demonology Warlock - Felguard smash! The 51 point talent is outright dumb (I want a doomguard, or pitlord or something more menacing) but a couple demons on the rampage is still pretty damn cool.

8. Shadow Priest - Fast killing with little down time. A bigger selection of AoE (and getting it before northrend) again would make this class perfect for me. It took me a while to appreciate the inherent coolness of the shadow priest but they definately rock.

9. Retribution Paladin - Its button smashing, its bursty, its not quite as fun as a deathknight, but it can heal itself on demand: its the ret paladin! I do think divine storm is pretty cool, although ret paladins are definately way weak on the AoE compared to prot.

10. Arms Warrior - This spot was close. I admit, I like what they did with prot warriors, but arms is just a lot more fun. I scoff at fury for their Titans grip, the AoE is where its at, bladestorm, and sweeping strikes all the way! Of course I have horrible problems leveling a warrior after 60, I think it more has to do with my paladin mindset than anything. I still think this spec has a lot to reccomend itself and deserves to round out my top 10.

Honorable mention: Enhancement Shaman - just missed but its the only self healing dual wielder.

Yes, no love for hunters (boring easy mode) and no love for rogues (rogue AoE is sapping one, having your buddy sap another and stunlocking them, blech). I respect their abilities and wouldn't mind sharing a group with them, but there are so many things I would rather play.

One other non Wow related gripe. Vh1 is about as metal as reynolds wrap. Seriously, check out their list of the top 40 metal songs ever. I guess if you removed half the songs on there that arent metal, it would be a decent list. You would also be removing A THIRD OF THE LIST!! 80's Ozzy - not very metal, GnR damn sure not metal, KISS and ACDC sure as HELL arent metal. Maybe my next compilation will be to re-do their horrible crappy list.

The most tedious things to do in Wow are. . .

Wow is a game right? Games are supposed to fun. I enjoy 90% of Wow. This weekend was spent in that other 10%. I had every intention of doing some leveling, popping over the Daggerspine, seeing how my horde buddies were doing, maybe even take my deathknight to northrend. That didn't happen.

I spent pretty much the entire weekend engaged in the tedious time sink tasks that will eventually pay dividends, but for the mean time are pretty much just killing time. First, I have a new deathknight who needs to go from mining 0 to 300. This in and of itself takes a few days, and thats assuming you can hit every ore node that has spawned where they're supposed to be and havent been mined by anyone else. Thorium is the worst part, but I'm not even there yet. I did manage to get to dark iron/truesilver (230) before the weekend was over. Obviously that is going to require some more work.

The rest of the weekend was spent on my alliance paladin. I was about 100k xp from level 65 so I decided to knock that out. I had won an auction for Shield of the Wayward Footman and decided it was a perfect time to re-spec protection. I had been retribution since the patch and honestly, it just isn't me. I love AoE grinding, and retribution just can't do it like protection. Another thing that took a severe amount of time, I dropped skinning on my paladin for blacksmithing. As any of you who are blacksmiths know, leveling blacksmithing is the most tedious, time consuming, resource intensive chore in the game. Oh, and I'm going armorsmithing as my specialty. I think it takes somewhere in the area of 400 mithril bars to knock out the levels and the specialty. I will eventually drop mining for jewelcrafting, but that will be around the time my mage is ready to pick up enchanting. As far as I can tell, armorsmithing and jewelcrafting give me the best advantage for a tank. JC only gems and ability to add sockets are going to be a huge help in the long run.

So to summarize, I won't call it a waste of time. It has to be done. I have seen the comparative difficulty between warrior and paladin leveling (sorry darraxus, I just can't do it!) so my warrior becomes a bank alt, paladin BS/JC and death knight gets mining and skinning. On the upside, once this is done, my pally will have a sweet blue breastplate (socketed with northrend gems mmmmm) and since I'm farming all my own mats, I won't be any lighter in the pockets. The downside is that it will be very time consuming, even at 30 mithril per run and 20 thorium once I get to that level, I will be farming ore for some time.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends. . .

Thats right, its not just a quest, it applies to other areas of the game as well (and yes, I know its a song by those kooky insectoid brits).

I am by nature a solo player. I like to run around by myself, kill stuff, do quests, level, etc. I have multiple alts on every server I actually play on so that I have all the crafting skills covered (except engineering, which I think is rather pointless and not a benefit for me personally. Motorcycles in wow? Really? Thats about as useful as a sixth finger, but I digress). What makes the game more than just random grinding and upgrades? Its the people you share the world with.

I'm not talking about douchebag 80's who kill my level 23 in tarren mill. I'm also not talking about your Mr Draenei deathknight who mined my tin node while I was killing the mobs protecting it (you're a douchebag too and you know it). Its the people that I spend time with in the game. Some I know in real life and occasionally get to have lunch with. Some I have never met, but I talk to all the time in guild chat. Some people whose blogs I read and make me feel like I kind of know them. Some people read my blog and then invite me into their guild (You've been warned Alerexis, I'm dead weight, I just roll up alts and take up space, I never raid!).

If it wasn't for the social aspect of wow, I would probably still be playing (I am a rather compulsive accessorizer and no other game does it quite as well, even if I don't like the looks of a lot of the northrend stuff), the game just wouldn't be as much fun.

I would say I wish there was a big old guild made up of blogs I read however I think it would be desperately short on heals and maybe even a little light on tanks. But it would be TOTALLY worth it to see the mages competing to do the most damage. But that's probably an idea for another blog post. . .

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why 1 crafting and 1 gathering per char is a waste of time. . .

I see this theory all the time: if you are taking a crafting skill, take the corresponding gathering skill. Blacksmiths, jewelcrafters, and engineers take mining; leatherworkers take skinning; Alchemists and scribes take herbalism; enchanters take tailoring by default. What is wrong with this reasoning? It is the absolute least efficient use of a character you can have.

First of all, for a single character just starting out, there is absolutely zero reason not to double gather. Mining and skinning is solid however my personal favorite is mining and herbalism. Mining and herbalism is a more advanced version because you can only have one or the other show up on the map, but once you master it, these are much more profitable and used by a larger number of professions (3 and 2 to 1). So if you only have one character, do yourself a favor and double gather, you will never be self sufficient, at least there is almost always a market for raw materials.

Still reading? This means you probably have more than one character. I can identify with that, I too have more than one character. If your goal is to be completely self sufficient and do it the most efficient way possible, you have to break your characters into two groups: gatherers and producers. The reason for this? Gathering takes time and if you can gather for multiple characters at the same time, you are increasing your efficiency. Here is another tip, classes that use similar resources should be grouped together. I like to pair blacksmithing and jewelcrafting. Why? You're only sending metal to one character (I dislike engineering, it doesnt do much for me and seems like comparatively a waste). I would say alchemy and inscription go together (they do, naturally) but like most people, I leveled up alchemy before inscription was introduced, so that wasn't very viable.

Personally I came up with two different models, one is a one gatherer model if you intend to ignore leatherworking and buy any leather you need at the AH (I don't like doing this, I like to be purely self sufficient, but thats just me). The other one uses one "pure" gatherer and one gatherer who has a crafting skill.

One gatherer:
Gatherer: Mining/Herbalism
Crafter A: Jewelcrafting an either blacksmithing or engineering
Crafter B: Tailoring enchanting
Crafter C: Alchemy/Inscription

Again, thats an ideal layout starting (mostly) from scratch.

Two gatherers:
Gatherer A: Mining/Skinning
Gatherer B: Herbalism/Inscription
Crafter A: Jewelcrafting an either blacksmithing or engineering
Crafter B: Tailoring enchanting
Crafter C: Alchemy/Leatherworking

You can tailor this to your liking, you can swap LW with inscription and make your herbalist a BS or engineer to give you an additional metalworking profession, it has a lot of possibilities. You could do herbalism with skinning and do JC with mining. The important thing is since you can only be gathering with one character at a time (unless dualboxing, but I won't get into that), do it as efficiently as you possibly can.

Lastly there is one more benefit of crafters and gatherers being seperated: rested experience. The best place to leave a crafter is near an auction house. Why? To sell the stuff they made. AH's are generally in capitals which give you rested XP. You only need to get to level 60 to hit the crafting cap. Let your crafters sit, quest with them when you feel like it getting the benefit of a full level and a half of rested XP.

I'm not a traitor, I'm just indecisive. . .

So after much deliberation and scouting of many prospective guilds on many servers I came to a conclusion yesterday. I'm back to Azuremyst alliance side and I will continue to level my hordies on Daggerspine until someone pisses me off (basically first time someone kills me). Its a lot of work, but looking back, I should have been on a PvE server all along anyways. I just can't stand getting killed. I thought to myself "wouldn't it be nice if they had a server where players of other factions couldn't attack you whenever?" Yeah, I am not exactly what you'd call a quick learner.

I have decided on a very generic model for being "self sufficient". It will pretty much work on any server, either faction but as I prefer alliance (ok, I like medium build guys with beards, and that fuzz blood elves get is not a beard! Orcs are great for fighting types, but as they can't be paladins or mages. . .). Paladin tank blacksmith/jewelcrafting - can solo instances to gather cloth, AoE for mats, etc. Deathknight mining and skinning - kills quick, free epic mount, goodness. Mage tailoring/enchanting - Can also solo instances for mats, and my favorite caster class in the game. Druid leatherworking/alchemy - this one is sort of optional, leatherworking is kind of a throw in, but I like druids and these professions fit. Shammy Herbalism/Inscription - Need inscriptions for enchanting and general utility and someone has to get herbs for alchemy and inscription, this works. Yes, thats 5 characters to be self sufficient, thats why I have so many alts floating around.

I have talked to a few people and I am giving a couple guilds a shot to see how I like it. I'm sure they won't be quite the same or as enjoyable as my horde guildmates but peace of mind is priceless. I will now be able to run any content I want without fear of being killed (by other players at least, mobs are still an ever present danger)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rock Band and other non Wow content. . .

I figured I would file something under the "anything else I feel like blogging about" heading. I was thinking the other day while looking over the new Rock Band DLC and thinking "man this sucks", Do we really need any more grateful dead? I didnt download and of the first batch, nor will I touch anyf of this. Godsmack was a good surprise, but a little late if you ask me. So I put together a list of a few things I REALLY would like to see for Rock Band.

Take it off by the Donnas - I love this song, it would be so fun to play. I know it was released as DLC for guitar hero but COME ON, its AMAZING.

The entire Countdown to Extinction album by Megadeth - Peace sells, great song, but the whole album? They really dropped the ball on this one. Countdown to extinction went to #2 on the charts, was double platinum and is the best all around Megadeth ablum to date.

A Saliva setlist - I'd go with Your Disease, Always, and pick one of their new singles. I like Saliva, I've seen them live, they would be super fun.

You couldn't be me by Hell Yeah - the same lead singer from mudvayne (as a side note, I am SOOOO happy they ditched the creepy face paint) with more of a southern metal sound, this song is shear awesomeness and probably more appropriate for all ages than their other single "Alchohol and ass".

Last, but definately not least, Bad girlfriend by Theory of a deadman. I actually saw this band live a bunch of years ago they opened for Trapt (who has a downloadable song, WTF?) and smile empty soul (pretty certifiably gone at this point). Bad girlfriend is pretty is pretty much my favorite song right now and I bet they would get a TON of downloads by putting this out.

Also, if you are into the philosophical side of martial arts and like a good tragedy, Red Belt is an amazing movie. If you're looking for mindless action, avoid it, too heavy on plot and character, basically the opposite of a Jean Claude Van Dam movie. There is a pretty damn awesome scene where he escapes a rear naked choke by running up a wall and doing a backflip. Strangely enough, I never learned that choke defense.