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Category Archives: Professions

Profession Leveling: Alchemy 1-525

Last week I started the off a new series of posts about Leveling Professions. Today I’m going to start off the profession-specific posts with this one on Alchemy.

Alchemy is a very interesting profession in that it can provide you with more potential buffs than every other profession in the game. Every class and every spec can benefit from using it, and items you make early on can still provide at least some benefit to you no matter what level you are.

The purpose of these guides isn’t to actually tell you what to make, because you can already find that at the same source I go to when it’s time to level professions: WoW-Professions.com. You can click on this link to find their Alchemy Leveling Guide.

Instead, I’m going to go through the leveling guide and give you the information that you don’t find at WoW-Professions. Things such as bottlenecks in crafting or materials, how I personally go about leveling them (where I deviate from their guides), and some things I like or dislike about the profession. I’ll also give a few tips on how I make gold with the profession, or ways that I might put it to use that aren’t apparent to everyone.

Getting Started: Materials
The first thing you need to know about Alchemy is what type of materials you need to craft. Herbalism is your primary source. If you want to level an Alchemist you need to either make their other profession Herbalism so that they can provide their own mats, have another toon with Herbalism to feed them mats, or be prepared to spend 2-8,000g on the auction house purchasing the herbs that you need.

There are also some other professions that can lend a hand to your leveling and crafting. Fishing provides a few different materials that you can use to get a decent amount of leveling done. Without digging through all of the recipes I can think of three fish in particular that you can use to speed up your leveling and save yourself some herbs. This mostly happens very early on in Vanilla recipes and then again in Northrend.

You can also get some leveling out of Mining and Jewelcrafting by making use of transmutes. Early on you won’t get much help from either profession, though Mining can help through some of the levels. Once you get to Nothrend level crafting you can get a lot of skill points from transmuting Saronite Bars into Titanium. Cataclysm Alchemy allows you to get the last 15 points or so from transmuting gems that you’ll get from either Mining or Jewelcrafting.

If you’re looking to power-level the profession you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to find a list of items you want to gather beforehand.

Trouble Areas
Almost every profession has some sort of bottleneck, or trouble area where the mats are either hard to find or all of the recipes you have access to are either green or yellow and so only have a chance to skill you up. I’ve had yellow recipes that took up to nine attempts before it gave me a single point, and yet I’ve had green recipes that gave me a point every single time I made them. Random numbers suck.

Alchemy is pretty good in that it doesn’t have a whole lot of trouble spots in it. However, there are a few herbs in particular that I want to point out as bottlenecks: Goldthorn, Netherbloom, Heartblossom. You want to be sure to farm or purchase enough of these to get through the rough spots because they’re either the only source of skill-ups, or other recipes require so many mats that it wouldn’t be worth it to go any other route.

Clicking on the links for those herbs will take you to maps on Wowhead that show you where the herb nodes are found. You can also look above the mats to see how many herb nodes there are in other zones and click the corresponding links to find the spawn points in the zones that you click.

Goldthorn has always been a bottleneck for me, I’ve had a hard time getting my hands on it all three times I’ve leveled Alchemy. You used to find it in STV at a pretty decent rate, but that’s not the case anymore. Wowhead told me to farm it in Arathi Basin and the Hinterlands, and while the farming wasn’t great there either I did at least find a reasonable amount of nodes. The other catch to the Goldthorn is that it’s always one of the most expensive herbs to buy on the AH, and typically supply is fairly low as well. You need a lot of this herb to get through the mid-high levels of Azeroth recipes.

Netherbloom is similar in that it’s typically expensive to buy and not so easily farmed. The best place to farm this herb is in Netherstorm and it’s in fairly decent supply up there. The problem comes from how short Outlands is and how few people bother getting to Netherstorm in their normal questing which results in most of the supply on the AH coming from people who’re farming it specifically to make you pay for it if you don’t want to farm it yourself.

Heartblossom finishes off the material bottleneck list for me. It’s a new herb in Cataclysm that you’ll use when you’re pushing to the level cap and only available in Deepholm which is a fairly small zone and very easily farmed with its circular layout. It’s one of the better herbs for Inscription to mill and it’s used in a lot of Alchemy recipes which means demand is high as well. Farming for this one is hard because so many other people farm it as well, and the daily quests for Therazane mean people will continue to farm here throughout the life of the expansion while they do their dailies. It’s by far the most expensive herb on the AH on the two servers I actively play on.

Notable Special Recipes
These special recipes are ones that you want to purchase beforehand if you can to make your leveling easier. First up is the Philosopher’s Stone which you purchase in Gadgetzan, located in Tanaris. The fastest and easiest way to get there is to get a Mage portal to Dalaran (or use your Kirin Tor Ring if you have one) and then take the portal found in the Violet Citadel to the Caverns of Time which is found in eastern Tanaris. The portal to CoT is still there even after the removal of city portals with the launch of Cataclysm.

You don’t need it if you’re going to power level the profession all the way and plan to make the Alchemist trinket because it counts as one for you. But if you’re not going to do that, then you’ll need it if you want to be able to do transmutes. I suggest you get it either way because your specialization in Outlands will happen before you can access that trinket and you can save yourself some skill points if you transmute your own mats for the quest (see Specializations below).

When you go to Tanaris to pick this one up, the vendor that sells it also has 4-5 other recipes available. I always buy them all when I go there either to use or to sell on the AH. They aren’t great and won’t really help you much unless you buy them while you’re leveling the profession to get some cheap skills from transmuting old world bars, but you never know when they might come in handy.

Next up we have the Super Mana Potion recipe which you purchase in Zangar Marsh for Alliance or Blade’s Edge Mountains for Horde. It’s not absolutely essential, but it will save you quite a few mats if you get it. It’s a limited-quantity item and takes about half an hour to respawn if someone else buys it before you, but it’s good for saving your mats. If you happen to find an extra recipe when you’re in the area, you might want to consider putting it on the AH to save someone else the trip…for a fee, of course.

The only other recipe I feel a need to mention here is the recipe to Transmute Primal Might. When you chose your Specialization (see below) the easiest method of doing so is to take the Transmute spec which requires four of these. If you buy the pattern and craft your own then you can get the “free” skill points from making them, where if you just buy them off of the AH already made then you don’t. It’s not crucial, it’s just something to consider.

Since I have multiple Alchemists and my typical spec is Transmute I have one of my other Alchemists craft the four Primal Mights in hopes that my transmute spec will kick in and proc additional Primal Mights. Chances aren’t great, but it happens.

Specializations
There are three different specializations that you can choose from as an Alchemist, and while you don’t have to choose any of them you’re screwing yourself out of free crafted items if you don’t choose one. You must have a minimum skill level of 325, and a character level of 68 before you can specialize.

Transmutation Mastery is the “easiest” one to get because it only requires items that you can easily farm, make, or purchase yourself. It allows anything you transmute to give you up to 4 addition copies of the item. Items that you craft which result in multiple copies to begin with are not multiplied by up to four, it’s just added to. So if it normally makes 2 it can instead make anywhere from 2-6 of the item instead. The additional procs from being a Transmute Master do not use any additional mats, they’re all “free”. Quest: Master of Transmutation

Elixir Mastery requires you to gather items found in the Black Morass instance found in the Caverns of Time. It’s not a hard quest to do if you’re on a higher level toon, but if you’re leveling the toon you’ll likely have a hard time finding a group to do the dungeon with you. If you don’t have guildies to help you and can’t find a group then you might be better off using the “cheat” down below. Chosing the Elixir spec allows you to proc up to four additional copies of any elixirs that you make. Again, it’s not actually a multiplication, it’s an addition. I think most elixirs are only crafted in 1’s anyway, but still. These additional procs of extra elixirs do not use up any additional mats. Flasks are counted as Elixirs too. Quest: Master of Elixirs

Potions Mastery requires you to collect items from the Botanica, another instance that’s hard to get into or find a group for. Again, it’s not hard if you’re on a high level toon, but you’re probably better off using the “cheat” below if you’re leveling your toon and want to take the Potions spec. This spec works the same as the other two, giving you a chance to proc up to 4 additional potions any time you craft them at no additional material cost. There have been some reports of bugs with the Potions spec since Cataclysm was released, but recent comments on Wowhead show that it looks to have been cleared up. Quest: Master of Potions

Cheating the System: You can “cheat” your specialization if you don’t want to be a transmutation master by first choosing transmute as your spec by doing the quest for it, and then paying 150g at the person you turn it into to drop your specialization. You can then go to either of the other specialization trainers and learn the new specialization without having to do the quest for it. You can do this as many times as you want, paying 150g each time to drop your spec.

Psynister Preferences
Personally I prefer the transmute spec because it’s the most valuable to me both from a gold making perspective as well as being able to supply materials to other people in my guild to help them level their professions. In Wrath I spent several months as an Elixir Master making gold from selling Flasks.

No matter what your spec is, if you’re looking to make money off of Alchemy the trick is in utilizing your spec. With Cataclysm for example, Healing and Mana Potions for level 85 characters do not drop off of mobs and are not sold by any form of vendor; The only way to get them is from an Alchemist. So making money as a Potions Master is best done making potions like that which people will buy because they’re more of a necessity. Once raiding really starts to pick up on your server you’ll be able to make a lot of money doing the same with Flasks. While people are still leveling their professions and trying to make gold by crafting epic gear, Transmute is currently the spec of choice for making either Volatiles, Truegold, blue-quality gems, or Metagems.

I’ve never been a fan of Potions spec, I guess Professor Snape just doesn’t excite me much. But I’ve had a lot of success with both Elixir and Transmutation, so those are the two that I would recommend from person experience and preference.

Power Leveling Materials List
The following list is taken from the WoW-Professions website. To find a list of what to make with these items you’ll need to refer to their Alchemy Leveling Guide.

Approximate Materials Required for 1-525:

59 x Peacebloom
59 x Silverleaf
93 x Briarthorn
33 x Bruiseweed
20 x Mageroyal
45 x Stranglekelp
20 x Liferoot
30 x Kingsblood
55 x Goldthorn
10 x Wild Steelbloom
55 x Sungrass
25 x Khadgar’s Whisker
15 x Blindweed
45 x Golden Sansam
18 x Mountain Silversage
30 x Sorrowmoss
15 x Dreamfoil
50 x Felweed
10 x Terocone
35 x Dreaming Glory
10 x Netherbloom
20 x Talandra’s Rose
5 x Pygmy Suckerfish
75 x Goldclover
30 x Tiger Lily
25 x Adder’s Tongue
20 x Icethorn
40 x Lichbloom
81 x Cinderbloom
13 x Stormvine
51 x Azshara’s Veil
34 x Heartblossom
55 x Volatile Life – you need only 5 if you don’t need the Alchemy trinket
32 x Twilight Jasmine
23 x Whiptail
3 x Hessonite
15 x Alicite
15 x Zephyrite or 15 Nightstone

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Guide, Professions

 

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Leveling Professions

The one thing that I may enjoy more about this game than leveling toons is leveling professions. While I don’t often powerlevel my toons, I most definitely powerlevel my professions. When my characters reach a level that their professions can be trained to the next level I typically power the profession to the new maximum before I reach the next character level.

My many acquaintances on Twitter are familiar with my habits of deleting max level toons, and have decided that since there are a few others who do the same that there needed to be a name for it. Thus, Psynister Psyndrome was created to describe those who delete and reroll their high level toons. But that’s not the only thing I’m known for deleting at high level. I’m also well known for dropping maxed professions to pick up another, max it, drop it, max another, drop it, and so on.

So, mini-rambling aside, I’m no stranger to leveling professions. For the most part I farm all of my mats myself, though I’ll definitely dip into the AH to fill in any mats that I’ve missed (so long as the price isn’t ridiculous). The purpose of this post isn’t to guide you through leveling certain professions, but rather a general look them and the benefits of leveling them, as well as tips for how to make leveling them easier.

Why Level (With) Professions?
Leveling your professions is something you should do on every toon. If nothing else, you should have dual gathering professions simply for the additional experience and the additional income of selling what you find on the auction house.

Some of the benefits of leveling your professions along with your toon rather than waiting for higher levels include cost savings (from farming mats instead of buying them), increased speed or power while leveling, easy access to gear upgrades, and increased leveling speed in the case of Mining and Herbalism (and Archeology, though I’m not counting that here).

If you’re playing a caster for instance, Engineering provides excellent goggles for increasing Intellect and Spirit. Enchanting and Alchemy can provide a wide variety of buffs for every class. Inscription gives you buffs similar to Alchemy through scrolls, but also gives access to additional “hearthstone” via Scrolls of Recall as well as access to excellent off-hand items for casters. Jewelcrafting is excellent for filling out your ring, neck, and trinket slots at early levels where gear for those slots is often hard to find.

Leatherworking is the single-best resource for Agility gear for any leveling toon as well as a very strong source of caster leather. Tailoring provides great caster gear while leveling. Blacksmithing…well, blacksmithing sucks for the most part, but you do get access to keys that can be used to open locked chests or doors, shield spikes to make your tanks more deadly, and spurs that increase your mounted speed.

There are also three gathering professions that can help you out. Herbalism is the most beneficial as it provides an instant heal that also grants Haste when used, not to mention is the most abundant of the gathering professions which means you can get a significant amount of experience from farming herbs. Mining is next on this list as it provides a decent amount of survivability by increasing your stamina, and also grants gather experience. Skinning is for those of you who like to deal damage as it gives you a boost to your Crit, and while it does not grant gather experience it is incredibly easy to level it.

Resources for Leveling
When it comes to leveling your professions, the single-best resource I’ve found online is by far WoW-Professions. The site has a list of all of the mats you’ll need to level each profession from 1-525, a list of which items to make, when to make them, and how many to make.

I never follow any of the guides 100% because I’m a natural farmer and always end up with additional mats, so I don’t mind making items even when they go green when I’ve still got the mats to make 60 more of them. But, you can follow the guide almost to the letter and get exactly where you want to go with the profession.

The site also lists specific recipes that you’ll want to look for that can be found only from vendors or mob drops that can make leveling significantly easier or more cost effective if you can find them, and gives a link back to Wowhead so that you can easily find where to get the recipes.

Another good resource I’ve found is BankAlt.com. It hasn’t been updated for Cataclysm yet, and I’m waiting to hear back from the author, Darth Solo of WoW Alone, about whether or not he plans to update it. But, even if it’s not updated it’s an excellent resource for crafting everything up through the Wrath expansion. It doesn’t tell you what to make or how to make it, but instead it shows you everything you need to make a specific item, broken down into its rawest form.

So if you’re looking to make some specific items to help you while leveling, and you know it takes crafted mats but aren’t good at remembering or calculating the amount of base mats, then this site is golden. For instance, look at the Frostweave Bag. If you’re not a long-time bag maker, do you know right off the top of your head how much cloth and dust each of those bags takes?

If you go to the site and click on the Tailoring link at the top you’ll be able to type “Frostweave Bag” into the search window to have the item pop up. You can then see the item’s actual mats which are 2 Eternium Threads and 6 Bolts of Imbued Frostweave, just like you’ll see it in your professions window. But, you can click on the Expand button right next to the mats and it will break those mats down to their basic form, showing you what you actually need to get in order to make one: 2 Eternium Thread, 6 Bolts of Imbued Frostweave (12 Infinite Dust, 12 Bolts of Frostweave [60 Frostweave Cloth]).

General Profession Leveling Tips
There are a lot of small things you can find or do to help level your professions. You can find them in the form of in-game addons, online guides, and sites such as Wowhead that offer a searchable database.

In the case of gathering professions there are several different addons that you can get to help you locate nodes. The one I prefer is called Gatherer, though I have several friends and guildmates who prefer GatherMate.

As far as things you can actively do to help level your professions, the first is to be sure you’re throwing mats away. If you know you’re going to level a profession, don’t sell the mats that you find or farm for that profession. For example, if you’re about to roll a Druid with Herbalism and Alchemy, don’t get rid of herbs that you find on your other toons.

If you’re leveling a character with dual gathering professions and have any intention of leveling professions that use those mats on another toon(s), consider establishing a bank alt and sending all of those gathered mats to the bank alt to be stored in their guild bank.

When I’m ready to start leveling a crafting profession on one of my toons I like to send all of the mats over from my bank alt and then use the mailbox as storage. When sending the mail over I like to have each type of mat in their own “envelope” or grouped with other mats of the same level. Doing this allows me to easily withdraw the mats that I need while leaving the mats that I’m not ready for stored in the mailbox, and by doing so it’s completely organized and easy for me to find any item that I might need. Being rather anal when it comes to organization, I also send them in reverse order of when they’re needed so that the earliest mats used show up first in the mailbox, but I’m crazy like that.

Sometimes I like to level a toon with dual gathering professions with the intent of dropping one of them for a crafting profession that matches the one I’m going to keep once I reach a higher level. For example, I might level a toon with Herbalism and Mining, but drop the Herbalism once I’m nearing the end of Outlands (mid-high 60’s) and replace it with a crafting profession like Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting. While the JC profession can give you rings, necks, and trinkets that are good for leveling, the real draw of the profession is the gems and gems serve no purpose prior to Outlands and Northrend, so I almost never level as a JC. Blacksmithing similarly provides very little benefit to a character while they’re leveling and most of the items that are significant enough to really look into making them don’t show up until Outlands or Northrend levels.

If you’re leveling Gathering professions, be sure to gather as much as you need in your current leveling zones to open up gathering in the zone you intend to move to. A good way to judge those levels is by looking at the WoW-Professions site for your gathering profession to see what skill level it tells you to build up to before moving on to a new zone. If you’re still questing in an area when your gathering skills are high enough to move on, don’t stop gathering but because you’ve reached the necessary level, just don’t stick around farming needlessly either.

Specific Tips: Gathering Professions
For Mining the general rule of thumb is that every range of new mining nodes covers 40-60 skill levels. So if you just learned how to smelt a new type of ore then you know you have about 50’ish skill levels that you need to gain before you can start mining/smelting the next type of ore. Also remember that you can smelt your ore to help increase your skill if you find yourself leveling out of the zones you’re trying to farm in and end up in zones where your skill isn’t high enough to mine.

Smelting turns grey before gathering. If you’re trying to speed your mining skill by smelting, remember to smelt early if you’re farming nodes of the same type. Also remember that you have a small chance of gaining a skill level if the smelting is “green”, but you still have a high chance of gaining a skill point from actually mining a node when it’s “green”. Because mining nodes are in fairly low supply, the chance of skilling up from the nodes is higher than other gathering nodes.

Also keep in mind that while Blacksmithing and Engineering rely primarily on ore being smelted into bars, Jewelcrafting most often uses the raw ore. Smelting requires 1-2 of the ore in question while Jewelcrafting always requires ore to be in stacks of 5 for Prospecting.

Herbalism is similar, but the sheer number of herb types means that you’ll find a smaller number of skill levels between different types of herb nodes, but you’ll find higher level herbs that are 60+ skill levels higher than other herbs in the very same zone. There are many more herb nodes than mining nodes, due in part to the fact that gathering those nodes is the only way to level Herbalism where Mining can be leveled by both gathering and smelting.

There are two crafting professions that specifically rely on herbs, Alchemy and Inscription. With Alchemy you’ll always use your herbs in lots of 1 or 2, so if you’re looking for a specific number to stop gathering at, try to get multiples of 10 of each herb. For Inscription you’re always going to use exactly 5 herbs of the same type for every use of milling. So if you’re about to leave a zone that offers a specific type of herb and the zones you’re moving to do not contain that herb, then farming until you reach a multiple of 5 or 10 is optimal.

For Skinning the best tool is mathematics. The thing to remember about Skinning is that the skill level required is based on the level of the beast. Beast Level x 5 = Required Skinning Level. That restriction doesn’t apply on beasts up to around level 10 or 15, because you don’t generally get the profession until you’re already level 5 or higher and mobs in the starting zones can’t be skinned anyway, so they give you a little room to catch up at the earliest stages. Skinning is similar to Herbalism in that there is no alternative way to level it, you have to actually gather. However, Skinning is also the only gathering profession that does not reward gather experience.

If you’re about to move into a new zone, take a look at the level of the beasts that appear there. If your skill level isn’t five times as high as the beasts then you’re not going to be able to use your profession. Beasts can be found in nearly every zone in the game, so as long as you’re skinning whenever you have the chance you should theoretically never fall behind. Just don’t be in too much of a rush to move forward unless you’re willing to go back to catch up.

While many of the crafting professions make use of leather here and there, Leatherworking is of course the primary one. The LW profession typically uses forms of “leather” in multiples of 2-4, and “hides” in multiples of 1-3. The great thing about LW is that you can combine multiple lower-level leathers to make the higher level leathers. So while your Skinning will typically far outlevel your LW while you level your character, you can always turn the excess leather from lower levels into the higher level versions if you have enough of it.

If you’re not especially good when it comes to math, here’s a quick reference for you to judge how close you are for the zone. If the mobs are between these levels then you know you need somewhere between the two skill levels. Similarly, if you know that your skill level is almost 200 but you’re still in a level 20 zone, then you know that your skill is high enough to cover the entire zone since you can skin mobs that are level 40. And the reverse is true as well, if you find yourself in a level 40 zone but your skill is only 150 then you probably aren’t going to be able to skin a single mob in the entire zone.

Mob Levels Req. Skinning Skill
10 50
15 75
20 100
25 125
30 150
35 175
40 200
45 225
50 250
55 275
60 300
65 325
70 350
75 375
80 425
85 ???

[Update: Cataclysm mobs level 80 require 425 minimum to skin, level 81 mobs require 440.]

General Tips: Crafting Professions
When it comes to crafting professions you need to keep two things in mind. First, can you do anything at all with the items you’re crafting besides vendor them. Second, are you wasting mats by making items that aren’t “orange” or are you saving mats?

[UPDATE: And as Khraden pointed out in the comments, save yourself some bagspace and buy a Gnomish Army Knife (or 10), or have them crafted by an Engineer that you know. They count as every form of "tool" that's used in crafting with your professions, saving all the space that those items would normally take up in your bags. If you're not a Blacksmith, Engineer, Jewelcrafter, Miner, or Skinner, then you can skip it.]

Alchemy is a good example of that first question; can you do anything at all with the items besides vendor them? There are a lot of things you’ll make with Alchemy that are great for leveling the skill but that aren’t really all that useful or valuable. You’ll find yourself making all sorts of potions and elixers, and while some of them are really good, others just kind of…well, suck. If you can make items that are useful to at least one of your toons, then it’s not a waste. If you know that certain players would make a lot of use out of your potions, such as twinks or people who like utility potions like Water Walking for fishing and such, then making those types of items can net you a lot of gold on the Auction House. But every now and then you’re going to find yourself making random crap that nobody’s going to want and your only option is to either vendor it or use it yourself.

Blacksmithing is the spaghetti and meatballs of crafting professions. Most of the items you can make are just filler, they’re the noodles and if that’s all you got then it would really suck. Then you have some items that are pretty cool and can help you while you level, such as gear for your class and items such as spurs or shield spikes; these are your sauce that make the meal worth eating. And then you have the fantastic items, the meatballs, that are the whole reason you chose the profession in the first place. These are items such as epic gear, the ability to socket your own gear, or items that sell really well on the auction house because they’re useful for other professions (i.e. Enchanting).

Blacksmithing takes a ton of mats to level up, and in my opinion it’s the second most underwhelming profession in the game. However, there are some really great items you can make with it, and it’s an excellent source of gold if you craft the right items and list them on the auction house. It’s one of the best sources of gear to be disenchanted, and an excellent source of gear for Plate wearers and Melee DPS classes with some good caster weapons thrown in here and there as well. It’s also the only source for Rods which Enchanters require to level and make use of their profession.

A lot of items you make with BS, particularly pre-Burning Crusade, are going to suck to the point that vendoring them or having them disenchanted is about the only thing they’re good for. Once you’ve reached BC level crafting, and especially Wrath and Cataclysm level crafting, there are two primary markets to keep in mind when crafting gear that you’re not going to use yourself. First, Weapons disenchant into more valuable items than Armor. Second, gear for Tanks sells better on the AH (generally) than gear for any other class or role.

Enchanting is a profession that many people hate to level, and it’s my favorite profession. The easiest way to level Enchanting is to pair it up with a crafting profession so that you can easily disenchant the gear that you make to get the mats for Enchanting. Another great way to get mats is to make frequent use of the LFG feature and disenchant everything that drops in dungeons that isn’t of immediate use to you. When you’re questing and it’s time to choose your rewards, take a close look at the items rewarded. If none of the items are a great upgrade to you then choose weapons over armor and disenchant them.

A tip for farming Enchanting mats once you’ve reached a high enough level that you can solo lower level dungeons is to have one of your friends log into one of their alts and form a party with you, and then log out and go back to playing on whatever toon they feel like playing on. By being in a group, any items that drop which can be disenchanted will pop up the loot menu that will allow you to auto-disenchant anything you don’t want to keep and roll greed/need on anything you do want.

If you have a crafting profession on another character and none of the items you make sell on the AH after a round or two, send them to your enchanter to be disenchanted instead. Unless you need the gold for vendoring the item, it’s better to get enchanting mats that are more widely demanded than to sell an item that’s useful to only a few people.

The other tip I want to mention about Enchanting is that if you aren’t enchanting your own gear or those of your friends, don’t waste enchants on crap you’re going to just get rid of. Put them on Enchanting Vellums which you can now purchase from every Enchanting Vendor in the game. Try to sell the enchanted scrolls on the AH and if they don’t sell you can either ship them to a bank alt to then be distributed to other toons you level to help them along, or to be saved for other gear at a later date.

An excellent example of a profession that benefits greatly from making green-level items is Engineering. The most cost-effect method of leveling Engineering through pre-BC content is to rely heavily on explosives. Explosives come from Blasting Powders, which come from the “stone” that you get while mining. Stone is very easy to come by and often very cheap on the Auction House because of it. Making blasting powers is the typically cheapest way to level by making them until they go grey. Once they’re grey you make the cheapest (mats-wise) explosive you can that uses the blasting powder along with some cloth until it too goes either green or grey. You’re not going to be able to level 1-525 on powders and explosives alone, or even 1-300 for that matter, but you can cover a lot of skill levels by doing this.

Inscription is an excellent, though…interesting, profession. You can either make a ton of gold with it, or you can make almost nothing with it, depending on how and when you use it. Inscription got a big change in the 4.0 patch that tripled the mats required to make all of our glyphs. As part of that, we also had the vast majority of our items grant multiple skill-ups if you craft them while the recipe is “orange”. Other professions got this as well, but it’s more apparent in Inscription than any other that I’ve seen.

The big thing to remember about leveling Inscription, because of this, is that the ones that offer multiple skills when orange generally only do so until the next multiple of 5, so it’s best to craft them when your skill level is at a 4. For example, if you are at skill level 150 have an item that gives you 3 or 5 skill points when you make it, you get the most out of your mats if you can get your skill up to 154 before you make the item that gives you the 3-5 points, because in almost every case as soon as your skill reaches 155 the item that gives you 3-5 points before then will then turn “yellow” and only grant you 0-1 skill points when you make it instead. By crafting it at 154 you’re able to jump to 152 or 154 which will likely give you yet another recipe that grants 3-5 points when you make it; effectively giving you a chance to leap frog your way through the leveling profess to the point that tripling our material cost becomes a benefit rather than a big nerf.

The next thing to remember about Inscription is that there are five sources of getting new glyphs. The first is to simple level up your skill as new patterns will open up the further you go. The second is your Minor Inscription Research when you can do once per day (resets at midnight server time). Next you have the Northrend Inscription research which can also be done once per day and resets at midnight-server. Then, there are the Books of Glyph Mastery which drop in Northrend. All of these glyph sources are independent of one another, meaning that none of the recipes discovered from one of them is available from any of the others. If you want to be able to make all of the glyphs then you have to make use of every source. Finally, there are a few recipes that you can learn by purchasing the recipe from an Inscription Supplies Vendor. If memory servers, there are only two of these now.

Jewelcrafting is one of the “most important” professions in the game as end game raiders require the best gems the can find. The kind of Gems I’m referring to don’t really exist until you reach BC content, and they’re not really essential until you reach end game, though they are definitely useful from the time they become available. Most of what you make from pre-BC patterns will be pretty useless save for a few upgrades to your rings and neck slots, and an occasional trinket. Some of the items will sell well on the AH, and others are better disenchanted.

When leveling JC, especially in pre-BC, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether you’re better of prospecting your ore for gems or selling your ore on the AH and instead buying the raw gems for cheaper prices to level instead. Once you get to Northrend especially, you’ll often find that the best source of income for JC is a combination of cutting gems and making jewelry to be disenchanted. Some Wrath gems are still being used today, but that’s quickly dying down as Cataclysm gems drop in price and increase in supply from people leveling their alts or spending time gathering in their spare time between queues and raids.

Leatherworking is the one profession I have never gotten to max level, or even to Burning Crusade level content. I have no idea what the secret is to leveling LW, because I just can’t bring myself to do it. Every toon I’ve tried to level it on has been deleted. What I do know about LW is that it’s a great source of leveling gear for classes that like Agility. It’s also decent for leather-wearing caster classes and Druid tanks, though to a somewhat lesser degree.

The only tip I have for leveling LW is one that I already mentioned in the previous section when I mentioned Skinning, which is to remember that you can turn your lower level leathers into higher level ones. The more skinning you do, the better off you’re going to be, and unlike other gather-craft combinations your low level mats still have at least some value to you even after you’ve increased to higher skill levels. The major obstacle I ran into while leveling LW on my own toons was Hides. Hides cannot be made from lower versions, they can only be skinned off of mobs of the appropriate level.

Another thing to mention in relation to that tip though is that while low level leathers can become higher level leathers, it’s usually faster and easier to just go farm the leather you need off of the appropriate level mobs. If you’re leveling the two professions together while you’re leveling your toon, pay attention to the types of leathers that your “orange” recipes use. If you see that there’s a new type of leather being called for that you’ve never seen before, then you may need to farm in a different location to find the right level of mobs. I often run into the problem where I’m making things with Medium Leather for instance, and I find new patterns calling out for Heavy Leather, yet the mobs I’ve killing at the moment are dropping Thick Leather which is actually above Heavy. Somewhere in my general questing paths I end up skipping the mobs that drop most of the Heavy Leather and I get bottlenecked there because of it.

So if you ever find your Skinning skill jumping ahead of your LW skill as far as what mats you’re receiving, do yourself a favor and go back to farm the lower level mobs that drop what you need. Because while you have that nifty feature of turning lower leathers into higher, there’s nothing you can do to turn higher level leathers into lowers.

Tailoring is the a lot like Blacksmithing except that our spaghetti is now more like lasagna. You start off with some fairly crappy items, then you get some good items, then some great items, then another layer of bland filler, then some more decent stuff, then some more great, then it sucks again and so on. You can get a lot of great cloth gear for your casters, and you can get a lot of random junk that isn’t really good for anything or the mats are insane compared to the little return you get on the item and how quickly you’ll outgrow it in today’s leveling environment.

Leveling Tailoring is all about resources. If you have a character that can easily farm all the cloth you need to level it, then you’re golden. If you don’t, then it’s probably going to suck. Also, once you move into Northrend you’re going to need access to Enchanting mats to level your skill, specifically Infinite Dust. Luckily, with Cataclysm recipes available you now only need a single stack of Infinite Dust on your way to 525 Tailoring. Unfortunately, the fastest and most mats-effective way to level your Tailoring to 525 also requires a bit over 90 stacks of Embersilk Cloth, so I hope you like farming or have the gold to throw away to get it.

While you’re leveling Tailoring, don’t bother making the items that require a ton of obscure mats, especially from pre-BC and BC patterns. Even if they’re upgrades, they most likely won’t be for long and are not worth the cost in mats. Keep it simple. Once you’ve out leveled a certain type of cloth you’re pretty much done with it. The best way to farm your cloth is through dungeon runs, though the I’ll get into that more when I write the specific to Tailoring. And remember, humanoid mobs are where you find the cloth.

Specific Tips: Crafting Professions
Crafting professions are far too broad for me to throw specific details about them into this particular post. Instead I’ll take a look at each one individually in posts to come and talk about specific tips for leveling them, farming mats, and where to find recipes that you’ll be particularly interested in picking up to make the process smoother.

Shall I Continue?
If you’d like me to go on and talk about each of the professions in a more detail, please let me know in the comments as having direction from my readers can really help a lot in deciding what topics to blog about and in what order.

Also, if you have any tips you would like to share about leveling your professions, or resources that you like to refer to when doing it yourself, please share those with us as well.

Shame: I Have None
To finish it off here I’m going to drop a plug here in a fashion lacking in shame. One of the projects I’ve started up this year includes a podcast called The OverLores.

We’re taking five Worgen through their entire storyline, delving into the lore of the race and the events surrounding their reintroduction to the world now that the Greymane wall has been breached and the forces of Undercity seek to wipe them from the face of Azeroth.

As everyone rushes to reach the level cap once again, start up new Recruit A Friend accounts to powerlevel new races and classes to add to their collection of raiders and end game farmers, we’re dedicating this podcast and this project to finding all the lore that people miss while doing so.

Deathwing has emerged.

The great dragon has sundered the world of Azeroth.

Our land has been shaken, burned, and torn open in ways unthinkable.

Five Worgen have left their home of Gilneas to venture out into the world, to learn, to explore, to gain a kingly knowledge of all that has transpired.

Will you join us?

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Guide, Leveling, Professions

 

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Overlooked Features: Professions Window

With so much being thrown at us at once it’s no wonder that some changes have gone unnoticed. I already mentioned a few of those changes last week a few weeks ago, but today we’re going to take a close look at one overlooked feature in particular – the Professions Window.

I don’t remember what all was said in the patch notes and such regarding the professions window, but I’m pretty sure that out of all of the changes this one most likely wasn’t at the top of your list for things to pay attention to. If you’ve done anything with your professions (and you don’t use an addon to replace the built in window) then you know just from looking at it that there are some new features there.

I’m going to mention a couple of them here, and if you’ve noticed any other new features your self feel free to share them with us in the comments.

Commonly Known Features
The most commonly known and recognized features of the new professions window are the two new buttons up at the top right corner.

The first (top) of those new buttons allows you to link your profession to any channel that you’re currently a part of, including ones like Party and Raid chat, and it also allows you to put in a few words of text either before or after the link in case you’re advertising for business in Trade chat or the like. I’ve used macros for this for a long time so this particular feature didn’t really give me anything new, but it did allow me to delete those macros to make more room for others.

The second button in that corner is the filter button. It allows you to filter your recipes to show only the ones that meet the criteria that you specify. You can have it show only the ones that you’re carrying the mats for right now or you can have it show you only the ones that have a chance to give you a skill point when you make it. You can also sort by equipment slots, item types, and so on depending on which profession you’re looking at.

I really like the filter feature because I’m a pretty serious professions power leveler; As soon as my toons reach the right character level to train the next skill level of their professions I learn it and then power level the profession back to the top again. This feature allows me to skip over all of the useless recipes that I can’t skill up on and only look at what’s available. It also helps me find gear upgrades for specific slots in Leatherworking and Blacksmithing where before my best filters were strictly armor type (cloth, leather, mail, plate) where I needed more specific (plate chest, mail legs, etc).

Overlooked Features
There’s also another component of the new professions window that’s overlooked, or perhaps misunderstood, and that’s the search window. At the very top of the professions window, spreading across the center, is a search box that you can type in to narrow down a search. That’s easy enough to understand, and something you’ve likely already had access to if you’ve used professions addons before.

But that’s not the only thing that search window can do. The addon that I used before 4.0 had a search feature, but it only looked at the names. It saved me a lot of time, especially with Enchanting which was such a beast to sort through otherwise, but names don’t always cut it. This new search window doesn’t just look at the name, it looks at everything. By “everything” I mean it looks at the name, the mats, and the stats or abilities.

Search Window: Stats
Take a look at Enchanting. What if someone asks you, “What enchants do you have that give Agility?” Can you answer that one? Do you know which enchants they are and which equipment slots they go to? Do you know the names of all of them? Enchanting doesn’t hold a strict naming convention, nor does it hold to equipment slots; heck, enchanting doesn’t even stay consistent in which enchants progress across level ranges and which do not. Not every enchant that grants Agility actually has the word Agility in their name. Some have words you could associate with it, like Stealth, but others don’t and might not catch your eye if you’re just scrolling through looking for a specific stat. Mongoose gives Agility, Crusader gives Strength, Ice Walker gives Crit, but the names themselves don’t tell you that if you’re not familiar with the profession.

How about if you’re looking for crafted gear for your freshly dinged level 85 tank. It’s a lot easier to find gear you need if you put Dodge or Parry into the search box. For a Healer, you might want to search for Spirit, Intellect, or Spell Power instead. Caster DPS might be more interested in Critical Strike Rating, or perhaps they’re short on Hit or looking for Haste. Melee DPS might need more Expertise. If you’re getting ready for some PvP it might be a good idea to hit up the local crafters and search for Resilience, or “speed” if you’re looking for new enchants with a speed bonus but don’t know the names for all of the new ones.

The search feature is fantastic for finding specific stats on gear, enchants, and gems because it looks at more than just the name.

Search Window: Materials
If you have a lot of mats sitting around in your bank or spread across your alts, it helps to know what you can do with them. One of your options is to use the built in filter to show only the recipes you have the mats for. While that feature is handy it’s not entirely accurate for getting rid of mats if you don’t have all of the mats on hand, for instance there may be a vendor item you don’t have on hand, or maybe it requires you to craft one other item that you have mats for but haven’t made yet (the wires and settings and such for JC is a good example).

If you use the search feature instead though, then you can see every recipe that uses that particular material. You can also use both a search and a filter at the same time to find an even more focused result, but again the filters like “have mats” or “gives skill ups” will remove recipes that do not fit those categories.

Using the search for a mat allows you to go down your list and see what other mats you might be missing to get rid of some of your stock so that you can either craft items to put on the AH, give/sell to other players, craft to disenchant, or whatever else it is you feel like making. It can also help you decide to get rid of the mats themselves if you see that it only goes into recipes you’re never going to use or ones that are great for leveling and could bring in a lot of profit if you sold the mats raw instead of trying to craft with them. It might also open your eyes to the fact that you don’t even have the recipe that the mat is used for.

If someone in your guild sends a message out to gchat saying, “Hey, can anybody do anything with [random mat]?” You can shift-click that while you have your professions window open to see what all you can make with it and then link the items back if they want something made for them, or if they’re just looking to give it to someone that can do something with it then you’ll know whether or not you can. Remember, mats are rarely restricted to being used in only a single profession, so doing a quick search might even reveal a mat that you didn’t realize (or forgot) that you could use.

Drawbacks
There’s only one drawback I’ve seen to new professions windows so far and it’s really just a minor hassle that’s easy to get around. The problem with it is that it takes priority of your shift-clicks. So if you have the window open at your bank and you want to break one of your stacks of mats in the bank because you know you only need 2-3 of them to craft something and you go to shift-click the stack to take a smaller portion it’s always going to assume you really meant to use the search feature with that shift-click instead. So you can’t break stacks into smaller stacks while you have the professions window open, but all you have to do is close it and then break your stacks as you please, then open it again when you’re ready to craft.

That’s really the only drawback I’ve seen with the new windows. I have experienced a few glitches when using filters where the filter gets applied, then I make something, and then the filter glitches or something and several other recipes pop up in the window (sometimes all of them) even though it shows the filter still in place. But that’s not a drawback so much as it’s just a bug in the system thanks to the expansion.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Guide, Patch Notes, Professions

 

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Overlooked Changes

Today we’re going to look at some of the things that have changed in the recent patches that not everyone knows about. Blizzard did an excellent job of leaving things out of the patch notes this time around and it’s been a bit of an interesting search trying to find them all.

I’m sure I don’t have all of the things that have gone unnoticed listed here, so I certainly welcome your input on anything else you may have noticed that others seem to have missed, or which did not appear in any of the patch notes.

Mailboxes in Starting Zones
In case you aren’t aware, every starting zone now has a mailbox in it. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about their plans to roll new alts which include running to the next town to get their bags, gold and gear – but you don’t have to.

All of the mailboxes are pretty close to right where you load after creating the character. If you start a little ways off from where the first quest-hub is then that’s where you want to look as it’s generally right beside the main building in the first hub.

Generalized Professions Trainers
In those second towns that you used to have to go to in order to find your first mailbox, you’ll now find a new type of NPC called a Professions Trainer. They’re almost always located right beside the Trade Goods vendor if you need to know where to look.

These NPC’s allow you to ask about any of the actual professions, not tradeskills, to get a general idea of what they do and how they work. After asking about a specific profession you’ll also be able to train that profession from the NPC.

The good news is, you can no get started on any profession you want without having to hunt down your trainers in specific cities (looking at you, JC trainers). The bad news is, they can only train you up to skill level 75, and they will not train you in the next level of the profession. In order to progress you’ll have to find a trainer specific to your profession.

Dual Specialization and Class Trainers
You can now purchase a dual spec at level 30 (down from 40) and it now costs only 10g (down from 100g in beta, down from 1,000g in 3.5). You still get it from your class trainer, so if you need to know where to buy it just ask a guard for the nearest trainer.

You can also find class trainers for every class in all of your faction’s major cities. The one class that might be an exception to that is the Death Knight, and the only reason I don’t know is because I haven’t thought about looking. Having a portal directly to my trainers kind of removes the need for me to care about where else I can find them in the world.

Battlegrounds and Dungeons
Battlegrounds are now split up into level ranges of 5 rather than 10, so level 10-14 and 15-19 are two separate brackets now and so on up the level range, with 85 being in its own.

You can also queue for some battlegrounds at lower levels than you used to. I did a post on that earlier this week, so if you want the details on that you can read about them here.

That post also includes the new level ranges for the 1-60 dungeons. Most of them stayed the same or at least pretty close to what they were before, but others made some fairly significant changes. See Stratholme and Scholomance for some big eye-openers.

Alliance and Horde Racial Tabards
You can now purchase tabards for each of the 6 races of your faction, including the Goblin and Worgen that aren’t playable yet (for 5 more days, woot!). These tabards give you reputation for killing mobs inside dungeons – all mobs, in all dungeons, at all levels.

You can purchase the tabards in the major cities from vendors you’ll find near or next-to the flight master. Here’s a reference for where you need to go to buy each one:

Stormwind: Humans
Ironforge: Dwarves and Gnomes
Darnassus: Night Elves and Worgen
Exodar: Draenei

Orgrimmar: Orc, Troll, Goblin
Undercity: Undead
Thunderbluff: Tauren
Silvermoon City: Blood Elves

You get the most reputation from running dungeons of your own level, though it is possible to grind rep from dungeons both above or below your level as well.

If you start wearing a tabard and 15 and chain some random dungeons you should become Exalted after about 10 dungeons worth.

[Edit: One more thing about the tabard vendors - They're all riding the racial mount. So if you're heading to the flight master in SW and see an NPC on a horse that wasn't there before, he's likely the tabard vendor. If you go up to the flight master in Org and you see a Troll on a raptor next to an Orc on a wolf next to a Goblin in a tryke - you've just found the tabard vendors.]

Rare Spawns Give HUGE Experience
Thanks to my buddy @Etherjammer on twitter, it appears that Rare Spawns now give you about 15x as much experience as a normal mob of the same level when you kill them. So that’s roughly the value of a quest or two. I haven’t seen anything official on rare spawns, so maybe there’s a formula or maybe certain ones just have certain values or something. I’m not sure what’s going on in particular, but it’s safe to say that if you see a rare spawn – kill it. Or tame it, maybe, if you’re a hunter, but in general – kill it.

Guild Professions Lists
I still see people asking around for links from certain guild members, or asking if anybody has Profession A and so on. If you pull up your guild window you can select “Professions” from the dropdown box up at the top and then view the professions and recipes of everyone in the guild. There’s a checkbox in the bottom-left corner of the guild window that lets you toggle online and offline players, so you can even see the professions of people that aren’t currently logged in.

The new professions windows also allow you to search. Typing words into the professions search window will bring up any items in that profession that contain the word(s) either in the title or in the description. You can also do a search by materials. For instance, if you can’t remember the exact name for that special twink/BoA strength enchant, but you do remember that it uses Righteous Orbs, then you can type “righteous orb” into the search window and it will pull up the Crusader enchant if the person knows it.

If you do a search and don’t get any results then you can repeat that search for the rest of the guild members listed as having that profession. I’m told there’s supposed to be a way to do a guild-wide search with the professions windows, but I haven’t gotten it to work yet so I don’t know if it’s just broken or if it’s not really implemented. But either way it’s not working for me right now.

Dungeon Quests
In running random dungeons I still have people asking the party to share quests. As far as I’m aware, all of the dungeon quests that require you to actually be inside the dungeon are given to you inside the dungeon itself. So if you zone into the entrance of a dungeon and there aren’t any quests for you to get, it’s because you’ve already done them all or you aren’t eligible for them.

There are still some quests that send you to the area where the dungeon is found that still get listed as being in or from that dungeon, but they’re completed outside of it so sharing them would do you no good anyway. If someone drops group in the middle of the dungeon and another person comes in to replace them, then you do want to share with that person since they zone in next to you instead of at the entrance where the quest givers are located.

The slight exception to this rule is found in the next section.

Class Quests
The old class quests are gone, but there are new class quests available to take their place. The first of these quests is available at level 20 and from what I’ve seen they all involve going to SFK to get certain items. The reward for all of these that I’ve seen on my own toons so far is a weapon or off-hand item.

There is at least one other class quest that you get like this that requires a higher level, but I’ve only found it so far on my 80 Mage so I’m not positive what the level requirement is.

The class quests come from your class trainers in the major cities. I’m not sure if you can get the quests for trainers found in other locations or not.

Flight Paths [Edit: Added]
My thanks to @Christman for reminding me about the flight paths. There are now Flight Masters/Paths in all of those 2nd towns I mentioned above (examples: Sin’jin Village, Razor Hill, Kharanos, Goldshire, Bloodhoof Village, etc).

You can also see all of the flight paths on your map now, for both factions. In order to see them you have to have either explored the part of the map that those flight paths are located in, or have an addon that removes the unexplored effect from your map.

I use the Mapster addon which shows me the full map and allows me to put a transparent, colored “fog” over the sections that I haven’t actually explored yet. So I’m able to see the full map, including flight paths for both factions, at all times and I have a green colored fog that hangs over portions I haven’t explored yet so that I can track that as well.

Reduced Cost: Respecialization [Edit: Added]
Another thing I just remembered is that the cost to respec has been changed. It’s not longer a set amount that increases each time you do it, the cost is now based on your character’s level.

I haven’t done it enough or on a broad enough level range to figure out what calculation they might be using for it, but I did a respec on a level 13 Priest and it cost me 11s and some change.

 

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Reputation: Cenarion Expedition

If you’ve taken any time in the last week or so to see the Hand Me Down posts that I put out there you’ve probably seen me mention the change to the Enchant Cloak – Stealth enchant. As someone who likes to make twinks for PvP and who uses gear like those I mention in the HMD posts, this change was significant enough to send me out for a reputation grind.

The faction in question is the Cenarion Expedition, located primarily in Zangarmarsh. The first thing I did was check with both of my enchanters to see if either of them had any reputation to go off of because I knew I would end up doing it on both of them (one of each faction), and I wanted to do it on the closer one first. After that I took a stroll around the internet to find out what I could, and then I asked for advice on Twitter.

I managed to hit Exalted with my Human Mage last night and hope to get my Blood Elf Paladin through it before Cataclysm launches.

General Tips
There are a few things you should look at doing before you start on this rep grind. The first is that there are four items that you can turn in with repeatable quests for reputation. The first can only be used until you’re Honored, and the other three can be used up to Exalted.

There are two things you can do early on to help maximize your reputation gain. First, don’t do any quests for the faction until you’re at least honored. There are some quests you get from the small camp in western Hellfire Peninsula as well as some in northern Terrokar Forrest (there are green moths around there), and a small few in other zones in Outlands as well. There are also a few quests in mid-eastern Borean Tundra in Northrend.

If you’ve already done some, or even all of those quests then it’s not too big of a deal, you just can’t maximize your rep gains.

The second thing you can do to maximize your reputation is to farm, or buy, the Unidentified Plant Parts before you get started. This is the first repeatable reputation item; the one that can only be used until Honored.

If you’re building your rep with a high level character then it’s likely easier for you to just buy all that you need from the AH so that you can skip farming the lowest of the Coilfang Reservoir instances. If you can’t buy enough, or farm enough via Herbalism or killing mobs around Zangarmarsh, then you probably want to go ahead and farm the Underbog and Slave Pens instances both for the reputation from killing the mobs inside as well as their chance to drop the Unidentified Plant parts.

But the more plant parts you can turn in, the more chances you have for another repeatable rep turning that’s only available from tuning in those parts. Once you get to Honored you can’t turn them in anymore so you’ll loose the opportunity to find them.

Another thing you can do to prepare before hand is to keep an eye out on the Auction House for Coilfang Armaments. These are used in a repeatable quest that gives 75 Rep for each turn in. You’ll find roughly 15-20 of them on a full clear of the Steamvault instance, and it’s one of the easier ways to get to Exalted. I found them on the AH from 8g-22g, with most of them being around 15g (until people noticed I was buying them and then tripled the cost).

Neutral to Honored
If you’re going for the fast route, then turning in your Unidentified Plant Parts is the first order of business. The initial quest, Plants of Zangarmarsh, requires 10 of the plant parts in order to make it repeatable, so go ahead and do it for 250 Rep. You can then turn in 10 more plant parts at a time with the repeatable version of the quest, Identify Plant Parts, which also rewards 250 Rep each time and rewards you with a Package of Identified Plants.

The Package of Identified Plants is where you can find the Uncatalogued Species. It’s a rare drop from the package, but it also starts a repeatable quest chain that lets you turn in Uncatalogued Species for 500 Rep each. These can be used all the way to Exalted, so you want to hang onto them until you’re at least Honored. You’ll also get plenty of trash items from the package as well as a few that act like regular food and some that are buff foods. They aren’t bad if you’re doing it at level, but otherwise it’s all just vendor trash.

If you want to farm the Unidentified Plant Parts then you can either do so farming the Underbog and Slave Pens instances to get them from mob drops while also increasing your rep from killing the Nagas inside, or if you’re an Herbalist you can farm the Bog Lords (and other mobs that look just like them) in south-west and north-east Zangarmarsh or in the cave in south-east Zangarmarsh which will allow you to farm their corpses for additional chances for the plant parts while also giving you reputation with Sporeggar (not all of the mobs like this give Sporeggar rep, but the majority of them do).

I recently started a Death Knight on the server that I started with first and leveled him with Herbalism and Inscription. While making my rounds in Zangarmarsh farming herbs I also killed the Bog Lords and similar mobs so that I could farm the corpses for additional herbs. The actual herbs I milled for his inks, but the Unidentified Plant Parts were sent to my Paladin for his rep and the trash of course was vendored making it both worthwhile and profitable all at the same time.

If you’re out of plant parts and still haven’t reached Honored then you can either farm Slave Pens and Underbog, killing the Nagas for reputation, or you can go ahead and do some of the quests that you haven’t done yet.

Honored to Revered
Once you reach honored most of the mobs in Slave Pens and Underbog no longer give any reputation and you can no longer turn in the Unidentified Plant Parts. From here on it’s all quests, the three remaining repeatable item turn-ins, and the Steamvault instance.

I did the Outlands quests and Steamvault runs to get from Honored to revered and saved my Northrend quests for the next stretch. It doesn’t matter which order you do them in though as all of the remaining options are available from Honored to Exalted.

If you managed to find some of the Uncatalogued Species from turning in your plant parts then this is where you turn them in. They give 500 Rep a piece, which is the single-highest boost you’ll see from here on. Turn them all in and then start your quests and dungeon runs.

The most efficient rep grind from here on is to run the Steamvault instance which requires level 67+ to enter. It’s not a raid, but it does have a heroic version if you choose to run it over the normal. The normal version of the instance gives about 1500 Rep for a full clear. The Naga mobs inside also have a chance to drop Coilfang Armaments and an item that starts a quest called
Orders from Lady Vashj. The quest sends you back to the camp in Zangarmarsh where you’re rewarded with 500 Rep for turning it in, and doing so opens up the repeatable quest to turn in the Coilfang Armaments for 75 Rep each.

From here on the most efficient method of getting the rep is to run Steamvault to get rep from the kills and then turning in all of the armaments that you find as well. You can continue on with the normal version all the way to Exalted, which is what I suggest if you’re doing this solo. If you have a few friends that are doing it with you then you can also purchase the Reservoir Key once you’ve reached Honored which will allow you to run the heroic version. You get more rep per kill on heroic, but you’ll most likely get more rep per hour just running the normal version over and over.

There’s one other repeatable quest I haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s called Can’t Get Ear-nough…. It requires you to turn in 15 Nesingwary Lackey Ears which you’ll find in Borean Tundra. There are several other quests you can pick up from the same spot that also reward you with reputation so be sure you’ve done all of those as well.

There are two places in particular that I found especially good for farming the ears. First is a little ways north and slightly west of where you pick up the quest; there’s a quest mob called the Minion of Kaw. These little suckers have a near-instant respawn time and they’re all located very close to each other. They don’t have the best drop rate, but their respawn makes them a very nice target to farm the ears.

The other mob I suggest is found directly south of the quest giver, across the plains where the stealthed guys are attacking the elks, there’s a little coastal area full of Northsea Thugs. These mobs have a similar respawn rate to the Minions of Kaw, but are a little more spread out. However, both the north and south end of their spawning zone have triggers to spawn more mobs once you’ve killed all of the mobs in the area. So the more you kill them, the more you force them to spawn. If you find that all of them are dead where you’re at, just go to the other end and you’ll find more of them. In many cases you’ll kill one and cause three more to spawn right where you’re at and killing those will spawn yet more of them.

Revered to Exalted
Once you’ve reached Revered it’s time to pull out all of the stops and finish up everything you can. If you have any quests left that you haven’t done yet you want to make sure you do those now. You’ll also want to continue trading in Coilfang Armaments and chain Steamvaults runs when you have the time. Basically you’re going to keep on doing what you’ve been doing, just make sure you finish up any quests that you’ve skipped along the way.

Once all of the quests are done it’s time to chain Steamvault runs until the very end. If you finish a run and have just a small amount of rep left to get then you can either return to the camp to turn in your Armaments to finish it off, or you can do what I did and just queue for another run and then sell all of your armaments on the AH to get back some of the gold you might have spent buying them yourself.

My Thoughts
Having completed it on one of the two toons that I’ve doing it on, I have to say that this rep grind really wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t especially hard and it really didn’t take me that long overall, either. I did purchase quite a few armaments along the way which probably saved me about a dozen runs through Steamvaults.

The toon I’ve completed it with had skipped almost all of the CE quests during his leveling, so being able to do his quests after he hit Revered really helped that final stretch fly by quickly. The toon that’s still working on it had done almost all of his quests while he was leveling, so the Northrend quests are all he has left to help him along. He’s spent almost twice as much gold on Armaments and he’s still 9 runs away from being Exalted (not counting the armaments he gets during those runs).

I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting the second toon to Exalted before Cataclysm comes out next week, though it is does take quite a bit longer to run Steamvault on my green-geared Ret Paladin than it did my ICC-geared Frost Mage. Of course, the Frost Mage can do 70-80k damage in 3 seconds where the Paladin takes about 5 minutes to do that.

So I now have my Cloak – Stealth enchant on one of the two servers that I spend the most time on and am closing in fast on the second. There are also several other recipes that you can get for other professions. I went ahead and bought all of the Alchemy recipes since my Mage also happens to be an alchemist, but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever make a single item from them. They’re available and I’ve got the gold, so I might as well add them to my collection, right?

There’s also a hippogryph mount that you can get when you become exalted. It costs 2,000g if you’re neutral, and 1,600g if you’re Exalted, but you can’t buy the thing until you’re exalted anyway so it costs 1,600g. I don’t like the look of the mount so I haven’t bought it yet and don’t really plan to either. I’m still considering it to a very small degree, but chances are very slim.

I’ve got hundreds of spears, and dozens of strings of ears. But of the druids I steer clear, for my ears can’t stand to hear, the millions of exultant cheers.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Guide, Professions, Reputation, World of Warcraft

 

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Paladin Leveling: Retribution 1-29

It’s been a good, long time since I last blogged about Paladins. When I first really got into blogging about leveling it was because of my previous two Paladins (both Protection). At that point in time everyone was saying that you should level as Ret, no exception, but I went with Prot and did some crazy soloing and AoE grinding on my quest to level 80, and it was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in game.

I managed to get my last Paladin, Lexington, up to level 78 before I switched servers and left him there never to be played again. He hasn’t seen any serious play time at all in over a year and a half now. People are always asking me to update the Prot Paladin guides and though I’ve said several times that I would I just never could manage to make myself get over there and leveling give him some play time love. So I’ll make it public here and now that there will not be a Prot Paladin guide or update until I decide to level another one, and at this point in time I’m not planning to do so until sometime in Cataclysm.

Last week I leveled a Holy Paladin to level 10 to twink him for PvP, and on Friday I had a crazy idea to turn his experience back on and raise him to 19 instead for additional healing spells. I wanted to hurry to 19 so I also gave him a respec (which cost only 40-some silver, btw) to Retribution just to hurry it along. What started as a 9 level blitz turned into 23 level joy ride of splitting heads with my axe.

As with my level 80 Druid, Hotstuffbaby, my twink names tend to bite me in the butt when I decide to level them instead. At least Hearmywords can be fun if I macro different sayings to my attacks or something, I guess.

/cast Crusader Strike
/y Can you hear me yet, %t?

/cast Templar’s Verdict
/y Can you hear me now, %t?

/cast Exorcism
/y I said… CAN. YOU. HEAR. ME.

Playing a Retribution Paladin
Ret Paladins play much like any other melee class, where you basically close in with your targets and proceed to bash their face in until they fall over and give you loot. Paladins got a change in play style from the 4.0 patch though in the form of Holy Power.

Back in the early days of 3.x I was able to solo a great deal of content with my Protection Paladin and I really did have an absolute blast leveling him up and soloing five man group quests below level and soloing at level dungeons. I’m not feeling the tanking bug right now though, so this time around I’m going for Retribution instead.

Playing a Ret Paladin in 4.0.1 is very similar to how that Prot Pally felt in 3.x – over powered. It’s even better than it was before though, because now we actually have additional attacks that we can use in early levels instead of waiting for level 30 before we had anything besides auto-attack. Solo play got even better because we now have a healing spell from level 9 on that is not only mana-free, but also instant to cast. While not as good as Lay on Hands (which we still have, and do get in this level range), it also doesn’t have a cooldown beyond the generation of Holy Power, so it’s very easy to use.

Retribution-Specific Tips
To start this section off, we’re going to look first at the perks of choosing the Retribution tree. The keystone ability you get for choosing Ret is Templar’s Verdict, an instant attack that consumes Holy Power for increased weapon damage. You also get Sheath of Light which increases your spellpower by 30% of your attack power as well as giving a 6% bonus to your Spell Hit, and Two-Handed Weapon Specialization which gives you a 20% damage bonus with two-handed weapons. And finishing off the Ret perks is Judgements of the Bold which restores 25% of your base mana over 10 seconds every time you cast Judgement.

Holy Power
Our new mechanic, Holy Power, is similar(ish) to a Rogue’s combo points. You build Holy Power by using certain abilities, primarily Crusader Strike, but they build up on you rather than on your target and they expire with time or when consumed by another ability. You can store up to three Holy Power at a time, and the abilities that use it increase in power with each point.

Rather than having finishing moves, Paladins can burn their Holy Power with either healing spells or additional attacks, and since the HP stacks on you rather than the target you can kill one enemy by building up your HP and then kill another by spending the HP built on the first target. When soloing elites or fighting bosses in a dungeon, you can also contribute a great deal of instant-cast healing by using your HP with Word of Glory. I’ll get into the details of that further down.

As I mentioned, this paladin started out as a level 10 Holy twink, and at level 10 I was able to solo level 19 casters and rare spawns with nothing more than Crusader Strike and Word of Glory. It wasn’t a quick and easy soloing due to a very high miss chance, but there was literally no chance at all that I was going to die, even when I managed to draw agro on two of them at a time. In fact, if I had been Horde instead of Alliance, and had thought to try it, I’m quite certain I could have soloed RFC at level 10.

Seals and Judgement
A Seal is a Paladin-specific buff which typically adds some sort of extra bonus to your attacks. In this level range our only Seal is Seal of Righteousness which adds some Holy damage to each of our attacks. The Seal in use also determines the power of your Judgement spell.

There used to be multiple forms of Judgement, and they used to do different things based on your seal, but now it’s all an amount of damage. Seal of Righteousness provides the single highest Judgement damage of all the Seals at this time. Note that Judgement can only be cast if you have a Seal active, so always make sure that buff is up or else you lose access to one of your most useful attack spells.

Judgement is our primary form of ranged attack or ranged pull at this level, with Exorcism being the only other option that’s not a taunt. Exorcism will eat through your mana and has a cast time, where Judgement replenishes your mana and is an instant cast spell.

Auras
Auras are another paladin-specific buff, but these apply to your whole raid as long as they are within 40 yards of you. Our aura for most of this level range is Devotion Aura which provides a nice bonus to our Armor, which you’ll typically replace at level 26 with Retribution Aura which deals damage to enemies whenever they hit you.

There are several auras to choose from as you get higher in level, but Retribution and Devotion are the two auras you’ll use most often while leveling. I generally run around in Retribution aura because the extra DPS appeals to me more than the extra survivability of Devotion, especially with Word of Glory in our tool belt now.

Important Spells & Abilities
There are a lot of spells and abilities that come with being a Paladin, but I’m going to try to keep it simple and limited to only the most important ones for a Retribution spec. There are other spells that you’ll get in this level range as well, I leave them out only because I do not find them critical to playing a Ret paladin.

Level 1-10:

  • Crusader Strike (1): An instant strike that causes 120% weapon damage.
  • Judgement (3): Unleashes the energy of a Seal to judge an enemy for Holy damage.
  • Seal of Righteousness (3): Fills the Paladin with holy spirit for 30 min, granting each single-target melee attack additional Holy damage. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.
  • Devotion Aura (5): Gives additional armor to party and raid members within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Hammer of Justice (7): Stuns the target for 6 sec.
  • Word of Glory (9): Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for 115 to 127 per charge of Holy Power.

Crusader Strike is basically the key to everything you do as Ret, because it’s your primary source of Holy Power. It also does a decent amount of damage, but the big thing is that HP. I’m not 100% positive but fairly close, that using it gives you HP every time you use it, even when you miss. I can’t think of a time that I’ve ever used it and not received HP for doing so. Judgement is our primary ranged attack, and also our main source of mana regeneration.

Seal of Righteousness and Devotion Aura are the two buffs that you want to have up at all times. Auras have no duration and persist through death, so the one you have active when you die will still be active when your rez. Seals are only 30 minute buffs though, and must be active in order for you to use Judgement, so be sure to have your Seal active at all times, and if it gets dispelled during combat be sure to reapply it right away.

Hammer of Justice seems mostly PvP related, but it’s also great for questing and dungeons or either stop running mobs or to interrupt an enemy spellcaster. It’s also great for stunning a mob long enough to get off a Crusader Strike followed by a Word of Glory when you’re in desperate need of a heal.

Word of Glory is an amazing spell, one of my favorite additions to the Paladin. It’s an instant cast heal that requires no mana, instead healing you for an amount based on how much Holy Power you have available. Unlike most of your other HP abilities, WoG heals you for a flat amount, multiplied by the HP used. So if it heals you for 120 with a single point of HP, then it will heal you for 360 if you have three points of HP. So if you’re in a fight for your life then you can alternate Crusader Strike-Word of Glory, or you can build up a bigger stack if healing isn’t quite so time sensitive.

Level 11-19:

  • Flash of Light (16): A quick, expensive heal that heals a friendly target for 392 to 438.
  • Lay on Hands (16): Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to the Paladin’s maximum health and restores 160 of their mana. If used on self, the Paladin cannot be targeted by Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Hand of Protection, or self-targeted Lay on Hands again for 2 min.
  • Exorcism (18): Causes Holy damage to an enemy target. If the target is Undead or Demon, it will always critically hit.
  • Hand of Protection (18): A targeted party or raid member is protected from all physical attacks for 10 sec, but during that time they cannot attack or use physical abilities. Players may only have one Hand on them per Paladin at any one time. Once protected, the target cannot be targeted by Divine Shield or Hand of Protection again for 2 min.

I mention Flash of Light rather than Holy Light because enough though FoL cost 3x as much mana as HL, the cast time is significantly reduced, and if you need a heal badly enough that you’re going to spend a cast time on it, you want to make sure it’s big enough to be worth it. If you need to heal, and you need it now, then FoL is the way to go if Word of Glory won’t cover it and/or Lay on Hands is on cooldown. Our other big heal, the top dog of all heals, Lay on Hands appears at the same level. If you, or someone else is about to die, this is a literal life saver. The strongest healing spell in the game, even on a crit, can’t top the healing potential of this bad boy.

Exorcism is one of our trademark damaging spells, dealing a solid amount of Holy damage to the target. As an added bonus, it has a guaranteed crit against demons and undead targets, and our talent points will soon give us a chance to proc the ability to use it as an instant cast spell which makes it an even better DPS tool.

Hand of Protection is one of the Paladin’s “bubbles”, preventing all physical damage to the friendly target that you cast it on. The good thing is, this will keep you alive against all forms of physical damage, including falling damage. The bad thing is, it does nothing at all against Magic damage and it prevents you for using any attack spells either. The best use for this, other than jumping off of cliffs, is to use it when you have no Holy Power, Lay on Hands is unavailable, and you’re being attacked by physical mobs. Pop HoP for immunity and then use your spells to heal yourself back to full. This is about the only time I bother casting Holy Light as I have the time to safely use it with its long cast time rather than spending additional mana on FoL.

One thing to note about HoP, if you’ve gotten the use out of it that you need (such as an emergency heal), you can right-click on the buff to cancel it, which will remove the restriction of attacking. I have a /cancelaura macro attached to my Crusader Strike for this purpose which I’ll have down in the macros section below.

Level 21-29:

  • Blessing of Kings (22): Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour. If target is in your party or raid, all party and raid members will be affected. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Consecration (24): Consecrates the land beneath the Paladin, doing Holy damage over 10 sec to enemies who enter the area.
  • Retribution Aura (26): Causes 9 Holy damage to any enemy that strikes a party or raid member within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Holy Wrath (28): Sends bolts of holy power in all directions, causing Holy damage divided among all targets within 10 yds and stunning all Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals and Undead for 3 sec.

Blessing of Kings is another buff that you want to have up at all times, increasing your main stats by 5% and giving you some magic resistance as well. The blessing changed in 4.0.1 so that they now hit your whole party and they last for 1 hour as regular and greater blessings were combined into one.

Consecration is a decent ability to use if you’re in a big group of mobs, but the damage isn’t as good as it used to be and the mana cost is ridiculous, not to mention the cooldown was increased. I don’t recommend you use this thing for much of anything unless you’re forced to fight several mobs at once and you feel that you need the extra damage. I used to love that spell so much…

Retribution Aura is our DPS aura, allowing us to deal extra damage by getting hit. You’re now a porcupine with an axe. Holy Wrath is our new AoE spell of choice. It used to only work on undead and demons, but now it works on everything and applies a stun to specific types of mobs. The damage works for everything though and the animation actually looks cool now compared to what it was in the previous version. If you want to spend mana on AoE, do it with Holy Wrath, not Consecration.

Leveling a Retribution Paladin
Starter Rotation: Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike
Questing Rotation 1: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Exorcism (on proc), Templar’s Verdict
LFG Trash Rotation: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Exorcism (on proc), DS/TV/Conc*
LFG Boss Rotation: Judgement, Crusader Strike**, Exorcism (on proc), Templar’s Verdict

The Starter Rotation is what you’ll use prior to level 10. Basically just switch back and forth between Crusader Strike and Judgement until everything is dead.

Once you start getting some of your other abilities you can use the other rotations instead. The “Exorcism (on proc)” refers to our level 29 talent point in The Art of War which give our auto-attack a chance to make Exorcism an instant-cast spell that costs not mana and does twice the normal damage.

*On the LFG Trash Rotation includes a “DS/TV/Conc*” at the end of it. This is where you use Divine Storm (DS) if you spent the talent point on it, Templar’s Verdict (TV) if you have a big target that needs a big hit, or Consecrate (Conc) if you have mana to spare and are fighting three or more mobs with a significant amount of health left. Right now I’m not a fan of Consecration. The damage is pretty low, the cooldown is long, and the mana cost sucks. Not that we use a whole lot of mana right now anyway, but still, I think I’d rather spend my cooldowns on Crusader Strikes and Divine Storms than Consecration.

**For the LFG Boss Rotation it’s a little more specific than what I have up there. As things stand right now in 4.0.1, bosses are just like they were in 3.5, so their health isn’t all that impressive and with all classes getting their changes most bosses are a flipping joke right now while leveling. But for a mini-spoiler, bosses that have 3,000 health right now in live have over 28,000-31,000 health in Cataclysm. So for right now you can build up one or two Holy Power and then dump it into Templar’s Verdict to deal some hate to the bosses and it’ll be over before you know it. But once Cataclysm arrives you’re going to want a full stack of Holy Power each time you unleash TV on a boss to maximize your damage. If you get an Art of War proc, fire off that Exorcism right away as you don’t want to risk losing it or missing out on another proc because the current one was still active.

Talent Spec: Retribution 29

  • Crusade 3/3: Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Templar’s Verdict by 30% and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%.
  • Improved Judgments 2/2: Increases the range of your Judgement by 20 yards.
  • Pursuit of Justice 2/2: You have a 100% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. In addition, increases your movement and mounted movement speed by 15%. This effect does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
  • Rule of Law 3/3: Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Word of Glory by 15%.
  • The Art of War 1/3: Your autoattacks have a 7% chance to make your next Exorcism instant, free and cause 100% additional damage.
  • OR

  • Divine Storm 1/1: An instant attack that causes weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards. The Divine Storm heals up to 3 party or raid members totaling 25% of the damage caused. Consumes all Holy Power to increase damage dealt by 22%, 74%, or 150%.

In the first tier I started off with Crusade because I saw it as the most likely contribution to my damage while leveling since Crusader Strike is my most common attack, and Templar’s Verdict my most likely use for Holy Power. Improved Judgements came next as I prefer to pull with Judgement and the more range it has the better, not to mention using it to finish off runners or pull threat for mobs chasing after my healer when the tank’s not watching.

For the second tier I decided to go for Pursuit of Justice first because of the increased speed. The holy power from stun/fear/immobilize isn’t likely to happen in this bracket outside of PvP and Wailing Caverns, but the increased run speed is a huge bonus for leveling. I then went for Rule of Law for another damage increase via crit chance for Crusader Strike, and survivability via crit for Word of Glory.

For the sole point in the third tier I chose to go with a single point in The Art of War over Divine Storm because I prefer the damage increase from instant Exorcisms to the potential AoE damage of Divine Storm. With a long cooldown and high mana cost on Consecration now, it’s just not worth it for me to try to AoE my way through all of my quests when it’s actually faster for me to just destroy things one at a time. I did take Divine Storm at level 31 for an extra AoE to use in random dungeons. I love the fact that Divine Storm now hits everything within 8 yards instead of only four targets like it did previously.

Everything here is about increasing our damage output in one way or another, with the slight exception of Pursuit of Justice which is more about decreasing our travel time which makes leveling faster.

Glyphs
I’m going to list at least two options for each glyph type that you can choose from, and below each section I’ll mention why I choose them and under which circumstances I might change from one to another.

Prime

Crusader Strike is my primary attack; It’s how I get my Holy Power and where the majority of my damage comes from outside of auto-attacks. Because of this, I went with the Crusader Strike first, increasing my crit chance by 5%. I gave a lot of thought to using Exorcism instead as it’s a flat damage increase to Exorcism, but I don’t use it quite as often as I do CS, and up to this level range it’s almost guaranteed that if I use Exo on something it’s going to be dead before that 6 second DoT effect would matter. If you’re doing a lot of LFG, then I might suggest Exo > CS for boss fights, but even then you’ll have way more uses of CS than Exo regardless.

Major

I personally went with Hammer of Justice first because I like to use PvP to help me level when I’m not in a questing/dungeon kind of mood and the extra range on a stun is pretty nice. In PvE the extra range doesn’t help a whole lot unless I pull multiple mobs and one of them happens to be a caster. Going with Divinity is more useful later in the game as mana is rarely an issue unless you’re using Exorcism or your heals more frequently. I found it to be useful in LFG, so I have been switching back and forth as needed.

Minor

As with most classes, our minor glyphs kind of suck. The only one I really say is necessary is Lay on Hands since it’s the only ability that you’re likely to use while in combat and its use can actually have a significant impact by allowing you to cast LoH more often. Every other Paladin minor glyph right now just reduces the mana cost of spells that you’ll likely only cast outside of combat anyway, where casting your buffs and then drinking to restore your mana would negate the glyph’s use, not to mention we don’t care about mana much to begin with.

Retribution Macros
I don’t use a whole lot of fancy macros on my Paladin just yet, but I do have a few that are particularly useful.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cancelaura Blessing of Protection
/cast Crusader Strike [same for Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm, and Exorcism]

This is the one that I mentioned up above that cancels my BoP right before I attack. BoP gives you immunity to physical damage, but at the expense of not allowing you to attack. Generally you want to cast this when you need to heal yourself (if you’re targeting yourself), so after you’re finished healing it’s time to get back to combat rather than just waiting for it to end itself. Basically this one saves me the trouble of canceling the buff myself.

I use a version of this macro for all of my primary attack spells as I mention in the macro text itself.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast [modifier:alt] Divine Storm; Templar’s Verdict

This is a typical space saving macro. DS and TV both use your Holy Power for a melee attack. TV is a single-target attack that can do 225% weapon damage with a full stack of HP, where Divine Storm is an AoE attack that burns your HP for up to 150% weapon damage. They both work the same way and use the same kind of resource, so I use a simple macro to switch from one spell to the other when I hold the Alt key.

Gearing Up as Retribution
As a melee class we’re looking for stats that impact our melee performance such as Strength, Attack Power, Hit, Crit, and Haste. We know from our Two-Handed Weapon Specialization that we’re meant to use two-handed weapons, and the general rules apply there; the slower the weapon, the higher the damage.

Stat Priority: Strength, Attack Power, Crit, Haste, Hit, Expertise

In short, we’re going to stack Strength. Crit and Haste are both great stats when you can find them, though Crit is much easier to find than Haste at these levels. Hit and Expertise are both good, but again they’ll play a bigger role at later levels than they do now.

If you have access to heirloom gear and want to know which ones to use:
Bloodied Arcanite Reaper with the Crusader enchant
Polished Breastplate of Valor with the Greater Stats enchant (+4 all)
Polished Spaulders of Valor
Swift Hand of Justice probably two of these

If you don’t have access to BoA items then you want to look for gear via dungeons. Here is a short list of items that come to mind for me:

Ragefire Chasm
Subterranean Cape Cloak, +4 Str, +4 Agi

Deadmines
Rockslicer 2H Axe, 18.4 DPS, +11 Str
Smite’s Mighty Hammer 2H Mace, 19.8 DPS, +11 Str, +4 Agi

Wailing Caverns
Cobrahn’s Grasp Mail Belt, +8 Str, +3 Agi

Shadowfang Keep
Silverlaine’s Family Crest +7 Str, +3 Stam
Arced War Axe 2H Axe, 21.8 DPS, +10 Str, +9 Stam
Phantom Armor Mail Chest, +3 Str, +11 Stam, +5 Crit

Blackrock Depths
Reef Axe 2H Axe, 22.4 DPS, +10 Stam, +20 Attack Power
Algae Fists Mail Gloves, +10 Str, +4 Stam

Razorfen Kraul
Tusken Helm Mail Helm, +12 Str, +12 Agi
Corpsemaker 2H Axe, 29.0 DPS, +15 Str, +8 Stam

Gnomeregan
Thermaplugg’s Left Arm 2H Axe, 32.6 DPS, +18 Str, +7 Stam
Grubbis Paws Mail Gloves, +6 Str, +5 Agi, +9 Stam
Manual Crowd Pummeler 2H Mace, 29.0 DPS, +16 Str, +5 Agi, Use: +500 Haste for 30 seconds (1 hour cooldown).

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Class, Guide, Leveling, Macro, Melee, Paladin, Play Styles, Professions

 

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Leveling Overview: Cataclysm 1-10

Beta Build: 4.0.1.12942
Spoiler Types:
– New features
– Low level class abilities or traits
– General impression of starting areas (no specific lore)

With my beta key firmly in hand, and the client downloaded and installed (after 38 hours), a lot of my leveling now is done in the beta rather than the live, and it’s most likely going to stay that way. I don’t want to leave the blog hanging or go off in another direction with it, so I’m going to keep right on blogging about leveling, just with a Cataclysm touch in mind instead.

I’m going to stay away from spoilers as far as the game itself goes, but I am going to talk about new abilities, where you get them, how you get them, and so on and so forth. There will be some small spoilers in relation to those topics, so if you don’t even want to know what abilities are changing and such, then you’ll probably want to ignore me for a couple more months until it comes out live. I’ve said it since Cataclysm was revealed to us in BlizzCon 2009, that it will launch in November and I still believe that that is true.

Each post that I make in relation to Cataclysm prior to its actual launch will have a disclaimer at the top noting which type of spoilers (if any) you’ll find in the post, along with the beta build number associated with the information in the post.

For this post I’m going to talk about leveling for all of the races and classes up to level 10, just to give you an idea of how they’re going to feel coming right out of the box.
Turn the page to find out more…

 

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