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Critter Killer Squad

After a few conversations back and forth on Twitter, it was decided that I should be the one to do a post about tips for farming the Critter Killer Squad achievement for your guild by killing 50,000 critters collectively. Completing this achievement gives your guild members access to the Armadillo Pup companion pet, though you do have one heck of a rep grind to do with your guild before you can actually purchase and summon him. The current PTR patch mentions he’s purchasable at Revered once the patch goes live, but currently it’s Exalted.

This isn’t really a guide to show you how to do it, it’s merely a list of tips to help you along the way. I’m going to point out the primary locations for where I did most of my grinding as well as things you can do to help you out in your own.

General Tips

Classy Killers
The first thing to consider if you’re going to go on a critter farming spree is your class. If you don’t have good AoE spells, or you’re not able to “spam” your AoE spells, then you aren’t really an ideal farmer. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it of course, only that you could do better if you were a different class. Which class is the best Critter farmer in the game? Mages followed by Priests.

Mages are the best critter farmers because they have a cheap AoE spell that you can spam (no cooldown) and several ways of getting their mana back quickly and easily. By taking the Arcane spec they can reduce the cooldown of their best mana return, Evocation, to every two minutes. By taking the Fire spec they gain access to two more AoE spells that can be cast instantly on a targeted location. And they can always conjure their own food for free if mana returns get stuck on cooldown.

Priests have a similarly useful AoE, but mana can become an issue after sustained periods without as many ways of generating it back.

You can also do a fair job with a Death Knight if you take the Frost Spec, allowing you to cast two Blood Boils, and two Howling Blasts to clear large numbers of critters. The drawback is that Howling Blast does require you to select a target which can be hard if you’re having to click on some of these tiny critters. You can get around that either with a macro or by trying to click on other, larger targets to center it on. You can also use your “ice cubes” cooldown when it’s up, allowing Frost Fever to kill them.

Critter Killer “SQUAD”
The next thing to consider is whether or not other people in your guild are willing to help you. Why is that important? Because just like loot in dungeons or raids, you get credit for the kills as long as you’re in the area when they die. Credit in the case of critters is the kill count. What that means is that if you’re in a group then everyone who is there and within “reward range” of the critters when they die all get credit for it.

So if you’re in a group with another person for your guild then every critter killed counts as two critters because both of you are rewarded with a kill. If you’re in a group of five, then every critter counts as five. And if you’re in a 40 man raid, then every critter counts as 40 instead.

Remember, guild achievements aren’t meant to be accomplished by a single individual, they’re meant to be a group effort; that’s why they’re guild achievements. Get a group together for the areas you want to farm in and then go do them together. You can either send a large group, like the 40 man raid, to a single location, or you can do smaller parties or raids to several locations at once.

Uldum
Uldum: the land of sheep, moths, lizards and scarabs.

This is where most of the people who got this achievement first did their thing. There are two locations on the map where two groups of sheep spawn which make it an excellent zone to grab a few, quick kills from. When the expansion was first released killing these sheep forced more sheep to instantly respawn, making it the single-best location in the game to farm the achievement. Once Blizzard caught on though, they took away the respawn rate and now they respawn about the same as any other critter, though maybe a tad slower.

Those little packs of sheep are still a great source of kills though, so I still enjoyed farming them even after the respawn nerf.

Anywhere that you find green growth in the zone can also be home to moths which count for the achievement as well. If you happen to be an herbalist or a skinner then you’ll likely be farming these areas for your professions as well, and killing critters while you’re in the middle of farming something else anyway is a great way to contribute to the guild without going out of your way. The sheep don’t quite have enough time to respawn after a single path along the highest spawn points of Whiptail unless you manage to find several of the nodes and stop for moths along the way, but a double-path should have the big sheep packs back up for you.

If you’re a miner then you’ll often find along your mining paths here that there will be several groups of critters that spawn in groups of three and then spread out and “flee” when you get close to them. Drop down in the middle and fire off an AoE spell to grab your three kills and then return to your ore farming. Many of the ore nodes themselves are spawn points for these critters which you can use to some extent as a reference for a place to keep your eyes open for a node you’re not aware of.

I start my mining path just south of where the sheep spawn, at a point where I often find Pyrite nodes and then I run a path that takes me through both sheep spawn locations, up around where the Armadillo rare spawn is located, up into the western mountain ranges looping around the north side of the map all the way to the east where I also find several Pyrite nodes, and then I go back to the sheep spot. My mining path is significantly larger than my herb path, and the sheep have always respawned by the time I get back around.

You can also make a macro to “/target Strange Camel Statue” to search for the statue that gives you a chance at a camel mount. I haven’t had any luck with that one myself yet, but I’ve been told that’s the best way to find it since the statue can be targeted.

Zul’Gurub
Zul’Gurub: The raid that once was, land of the eternal snakes.

In Zul’Gurub you’re going to be killing snakes. Lots, and lots, and lots of snakes. Now, there aren’t all that many snakes that are actually there, probably only 25-30 in this particular area, but killing them forces more to spawn and they also have a fast respawn rate on their own. The key to getting them to spawn a lot is to make sure that you kill all of them, and doing that requires you to know where all of them are.

Go to the area marked on the map. You’ll find the section where the snake boss used to be located when ZG was still a raid instance. Now, back out of his room onto the main pathway that runs around the instance. There are 4 snakes that spawn right outside there; 2 are in line with the doorway and there is one slightly to both the left and right of the door. The doorway itself also has up to 3 snakes that can spawn inside it.

Now your objective is clear a ring around the entire area inside the snake bosses “room”. So go in the door and start making a circle around the edge, spamming your AoE the whole time. I prefer to turn right and go around counter-clockwise, but that’s just me. When you come around opposite the doorway to where the stairs are go on up and do the same thing there, spamming your AoE as you circle around the upper floor. Then go back down the stairs and finish your ring of the lower level by following it around and going back out the door.

From there it’s just a simple matter of repeating everything you just did. If you don’t kill all of the snakes then not all of them will respawn, that’s why I have you kill the ones outside the door. You can’t kill just the lower floor and outside the door, or the snakes will follow normal respawn rules. If you do take the time to get snake down in there then you’ll have a constant supply of snakes to kill.

As you path around here you’ll pick up on where all of the snakes are and get a feel for where you need to stand when you fire your AoE to kill the most snakes per cast, and you’ll find just how close you need to get to the edges of the room. Once you’ve got a feel for it you’ll be able to clear the place in no time and can probably develop a rhythm like I did where I didn’t even have to look at the screen anymore because I knew how far to turn in each direction in sequence to get to where I was going.

ZG farming gets old pretty fast, but it is effective and it’s your best source if you don’t want to deal with respawn rates. If you’re grinding the achievement with your guild you probably don’t want to bring more than 2-3 other people with you to this place. While killing does force respawns, there’s still a little bit of an actual respawn on the forced spawn as well which ends up giving you a slight delay followed by bursts of snakes in random places and it gets a little screwy.

Eastern Plaguelands
Eastern Plaguelands: Enough creepy crawlies to feed the entire goblin race for a decade.

Eastern Plaguelands is overall the best place for you to farm. It has more critters than any other location in the game now, and they all have a reasonable respawn rate of 3-5 minutes. The respawn timer kind of sucks, but the cave is large enough and there are enough critters in there to make up for it.

EPL comes with another side benefit though which helps with that respawn timer, and that’s farming for the Mr. Grubbs companion pet. The whole point of killing these critters is to open up another pet, so don’t try to tell me you’re not in it for pets. ;)

If you don’t already have Mr. Grubbs then go ahead and clear out the cave full of critters and then fly east and farm some mobs for a chance to get Mr. Grubbs. After a few minutes of grinding those, head back to the cave and kill some more, then grind Grubbs while you wait, and so on and so forth.

If you’re going to grind this achievement with your guild then this is the best place to do it in groups.

Psynister’s Psystem
I did a large portion of my guild’s critter farming solo, mostly because I had no idea at the time that doing it in groups could multiply your kill count. If I had known that then we would have gotten it way sooner than we did.

I started off farming the sheep in Uldum, pre-nerf, and not expecting a nerf to come for a while I mostly took my time with them and only did a few thousand at a time before going off to do something else. I don’t remember what our count was when the nerf hit, but I think it was around 10-12k at that point.

The nerf wasn’t a big setback though because I had found a location that was even better. I was leveling a Worgen Fury Warrior to become PvP twink when I suddenly found myself in a tunnel/hallway absolutely full of critters. I remembered it from the Beta but I had completely forgotten that the area existed. The great thing about this place was that the critters actually attacked you which mean that my Warrior had a never ending supply of Rage along with a never ending supply of critters, and a wonderful spell to dump that Rage into that just happened to be an AoE.

I farmed the crap out of that hall until all of my non-BoA gear was broken. Once it broke I set off to find myself a repair vendor so I could make use of my enchanted Hand-Me-Downs again, but none of them existed in the phase I was in. Sadly, neither did a mailbox so I couldn’t send the BoA’s to a new Warrior. The grinding was still great, but slower after all of my gear was busted so I took a break there for a while as well. The following week this place was nerfed as well so that the critters don’t count. Still, I’d managed over 20,000 kills there.

That left me with only a few options so I searched for other good places to go and stumbled onto the snakes in ZG. The good thing about them is that they do have an excellent respawn rate. The bad thing is, farming them kind of sucks with how spread out they are so you don’t get as many kills in as short of a time. And because of the layout I actually got bored with it easier than I did the others. I only did maybe 500-1,000 there before I got bored and left.

I then went to try my luck in EPL which is where I decided to spend most of my remaining time farming it. The respawn rate isn’t great, but the number of critters inside was fantastic. The respawn timer did make it boring pretty easily though, so again I only ended up with a little over 1,000 kills here at the time.

From there I left the achievement alone for a while at around 36,000 critters. From there I left it up to the rest of the guild for a while and we made decent progress from there. When I saw that we were within 5,000 of the achievement I went back to farming a bit more seriously and decided to beat the respawn timers by setting up a different toon in each of my three best farming locations and just relog each time I finished off an area. That worked for all of two cycles before I was killing them all too fast to really make it efficient. The DK in Uldum was doing good slaying sheep with Blood Boil and Howling Blast, but the Balance Druid kind of sucked in ZG with how much they were spread out and how much mana my non-cooldown AoE spells required to cast. The Mage was still slaying like crazy in EPL though, and eventually I just gave up on the rotation and stuck with Mage/EPL.

Quite a few members jumped in there at the end trying to finish off the achievement. At the very end, I saw two other people farming critters and only one of which was in a good spot (Uldum) for getting big numbers in a short amount of time. I’d worked so hard on the achievement though that I wasn’t about to let someone else finish what I’d started so I jumped back on the Mage for one final push through that EPL tunnel. I went in with 200 critters left on the countdown and started in.

I saw the numbers drop quickly, and just as we hit 13 I saw someone else in my tunnel doing the same thing. If he had been flagged, and on the opposite faction, I’d have killed him with AoE spells a’blazing, but that was not the case. Luckily I’d been through that stinking cave so many times that I knew all of the twists and turns and I knew there was a side passage to his right…and apparently so did he.

But, he wasn’t a mage.

/cast Blink
/cast Arcane Explosion (critter count: 3)
/cast Arcane Explosion (critter count: -7)

Now all I have to do is stop being such a friggin altoholic and focus on a single character long enough to get my rep high enough to buy the Armadillo. I’m not real big on companion pets, but still – I am a Texan, after all.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2011 in Death Knight, Mage, Priest, World of Warcraft

 

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Guild Leveling: Numbers

First off, a special thanks to my twitter buddy, @Bryterside for hooking me up with the link to wowpedia.org where all of the numbers in the following analysis came from. That and hundreds of other source links as he’s almost always one of the first three people to respond when I have a question.

Now on to what we’re talking about today – numbers for guild leveling. One thing you’ll find “wrong” in the wowpedia article linked to about is that Blizzard decided that guild achievements were too much, so they removed their ability to boost you over the daily cap. So the cap is the cap, and that’s all there is to it. They were initially going to let us use guild achievements to go beyond the daily cap, but seeing this put into action on the live servers rather than the beta servers showed that the achievements made it far too easy to level your guild.

The change is good for all those who were worried that being in small guilds would make their members leave to join larger guilds who would have faster access to more perks, because now every guild falls into the same limitations. The only difference is that large guilds will (theoretically) hit the cap earlier each day than smaller guilds. The change is bad for those who are in large guilds who view this as a nerf to their advancement.

Daily Guild Experience Cap
So what is the cap? 6,246,000 experience can be earned for your guild every day, and only the top 25 people who earn experience can contribute to that total. So if you have 30 people in your guild earning guild experience but you don’t reach the cap, then the 5 people who contributed the least amount of guild experience do not have theirs calculated into the total. If you hit the cap with 26 people, but not 25, then you don’t hit the cap.

Once you have the cap met for the day it’s met for the day and that’s that, as it only counts the top 25 and if someone surpasses one of those 25 then you’re still already meeting cap because you’ve only earned more experience.

Thanks to Lerali in the comments below for pointing us to the source for the 25 player cap being removed. All experience earned for your guild is counted now, on all members, until the daily cap is reached each day.

Earning Experience
So we know what the limit is, so now we need to know how to actually earn that experience. The following information is taken directly from the wowpedia.org article I linked you to at the top, slightly modified for my personal layout preferences:

1 – Earning Guild achievements
2 – Boss kills in a raid or dungeon in which “most” of the party is from the same guild
3 – Rated Battleground or Arena wins in which “most” of the party is from the same guild
4 – Completing quests (dailies included) that reward experience
5 – An individual player’s faction reputation advancement
6 – An individual player’s profession progression

When you see the word “most” in that list, here’s what it’s talking about:

Raid and Dungeon boss kills
Guild xp for boss kills is scaled on a few factors.
A – Boss level
B – Normal / Heroic

Amount of guild members present (more xp for raids, since they are limited to once a week)
A – 25 player raid, 20/25
B – 10 player raid, 8/10
C – Dungeons, 4/5
D – Old 25 & 40 man raids (pre-Cataclysm), 8/25

Arena victories
A – Amount of guild members present
A1 – 2/2
A2 – 3/3
A3 – 5/5

Rated battleground victories
A – Amount of guild members present
A1 – 8/10 – 10 player rated battleground
A2 – 12/15 – 15 player rated battleground

Now you’ll notice that this particular list above here is strictly the methods of which you gain the experience, not the actual values of how much you gain. That information I haven’t found yet, as I’m not sure anyone actually has that specific information this early.

How Quickly Can Your Guild Level?
So, just how fast can your guild actually level up then? Here’s a table to show you the absolute best case scenario; meaning that you’re hitting the experience cap every single day until you reach the cap of Guild Level 25. I haven’t found any information on how hard/easy it is to actually hit the cap every single day, so I don’t know if this is going to be exactly how you’ll work out or if it will take you longer.

LV Total Days Reward Desc
2 16,580,000 2.65 Fast Track
(Rank 1)
Experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 5%.
3 34,820,000 5.57 Mount Up Increases speed while mounted by 5%. Not active in Battlegrounds or Arenas.
4 54,710,000 8.76 Mr. Popularity
(Rank 1)
Reputation gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 5%.
5 76,260,000 12.21 Cash Flow
(Rank 1)
Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 5% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.
6 99,470,000 15.93 Fast Track
(Rank 2)
Experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 10%.
7 124,350,000 19.91 Reinforce
(Rank 1)
Items take 5% less durability loss when you die.
8 150,880,000 24.16 Hasty Hearth Reduces the cooldown on your Hearthstone by 15 minutes.
9 179,080,000 28.67 Reinforce
(Rank 2)
Items take 10% less durability loss when you die.
10 208,930,000 33.45 Chug-A-Lug
(Rank 1)
The duration of buffs from all guild cauldrons and feasts is increased by 50%.
11 240,440,000 38.5 Mobile Banking Summons your guild bank. Instant, 1 hr cooldown
12 273,610,000 43.81 Mr. Popularity
(Rank 2)
Reputation gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 10%.
13 308,440,000 49.38 Honorable Mention
(Rank 1)
Increases Honor points gained by 5%.
14 344,930,000 55.22 Working Overtime Increases the chance to gain a skill increase on tradeskills by 10%.
15 383,070,000 61.33 The Quick and the Dead Increases health and mana gained when resurrected by a guild member by 50% and increases movement speed while dead by 100%. Does not function in combat or while in a Battleground or Arena.
16 422,870,000 67.7 Cash Flow
(Rank 2)
Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 10% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.
17 464,320,000 74.34 Guild Mail In-game mail sent between guild members now arrives instantly.
18 507,430,000 81.24 For Great Justice Increases Justice points gained by 5%.
19 552,200,000 88.41 Honorable Mention
(Rank 2)
Increases Honor points gained by 10%.
20 598,630,000 95.84 Happy Hour Increases the number of flasks gained from using a flask cauldron by 100%.
21 646,730,000 103.54 Have Group, Will Travel Summons all raid or party members to the caster’s current location. Unlimited range, 6 sec cast / Channeled, 2 hr cooldown
22 696,480,000 111.51 Chug-A-Lug
(Rank 2)
The duration of buffs from all guild cauldrons and feasts is increased by 100%.
23 747,890,000 119.74 Bountiful Bags Increases the quantity of materials gained from Mining, Skinning, Herbalism, and Disenchanting by 15%.
24 800,960,000 128.24 Bartering Reduces the price of items from all vendors by 5%.
25 855,690,000 137 Mass Resurrection Brings all dead party and raid members back to life with 35% health and 35% mana. Cannot be cast when in combat. 64% of base mana, Unlimited range, 10 sec cast

So 137 total days, 4.5 months, of reaching the experience cap will get you to Guild Level 25.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Guide, Leveling

 

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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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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I’m sure you’ve all heard the term before. It’s a term of irony, one that fits rather well with “only the good die young”. And irony being what it is, it often ends up being true.

There are any number of good deeds that can be performed in World of Warcraft: helping with quests, loaning gold, teaching new classes or abilities, helping with addons or macros, power leveling, farming, crafting, and who knows how many other things. Sometimes you do these deeds for strangers, often receiving a reward, or payment, of gold for the deed that was done, and sometimes you do it for friends where the only payment you need is thanks.

(insert unnecessarily long discussion on deeds and punishments and all that jazz)

Alright, after the fifth time I rewrote the philosophical stuff in those parenthesis up there, I said to myself, “Self, it’s 4:40 in the flipping morning… Why in the world are you still awake and trying to use your brain at this hour?” I had a good point there, and there was no arguing with myself as inevitably I was doomed to lose regardless of whether or not I won. Or, something…

(insert long winded background story explanation and such)

Alright, several more rewrites of that part too, but I kept trying to reference the stuff I already took out in the above “insert”. So now it’s 5:15 and I’m giving myself that same speech, “Self, shut up and write the freaking post.” So here we go, moving right along.

I like helping people out. I like running people through dungeons, I like giving advice on how to do things or ways to play that keep things fun and exciting. I spend a lot of time in the game doing things solo because that’s just how I roll, but being social also plays a very key role in my enjoyment of the game, and spending time helping my friends is just something I like to do. I might go by a “sinister” name, but I’m not a very sinister guy (usually). To make a long story short(ish), Cynwise and Fynralyl (aka Wife) came and hunted me down on my 62 Rogue while I was leveling in Hellfire where Cyn proceeded to point out those “nice guy” traits to me in party chat.

Do you know what the best way to punish someone that likes to help you for free is? You pay them without paying them, that’s how. And how do you do that? By giving them a gift. Apparently Cyn and Fyn thought I wasn’t traveling in style, and as a thank you/birthday/blogoversary/whatever gift they attacked me with a trade window. They were stacking spell penetration, and I had no resilience to begin with. The next thing I know, *VROOM!* crit to the face:

Fyn and Cyn got together and pooled some of each of their resources, to “punish” my good deeds with a gift I couldn’t refuse.

From there I had to mail the key over to my Mage, Belsynis, and Cyn had to log off for a bit. In celebration though, Fyn and I decided to go take ourselves a little drive out to the lake as she filled me in on the parts of this little scheme that I didn’t know. You just can’t help but love the Shaman’s Water Walking spell when you’re taking a new mount out for a spin.

And you can’t go for a scenic drive with the wife without stopping for a picture of the pretty rainbow.

And when you’re standing at the top of that waterfall, how could you ever resist the urge to leap off of it!? (Just don’t make the same mistake we did and leave the Water Walking on when you do it, or else you may end up dead.)

A while later, Fyn signed off to head to bed and I managed to catch Cyn on twitter and get him to come back into the game for some screenshots. Cyn being a Warlock, we decided the Dark Portal was a decent place for some screen shots.

Of course, Cynwise being the Goddess of Death that she is, it was hard to resist the urge to go slay the demons gathered near the portal. And sometimes it’s so hard that you just go ahead and give in, and kill them all… The demons, they got double-pwned.

And since jumping off of things proved to be so much fun with Fyn, Cyn and I decided to do the same thing.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2010 in World of Warcraft

 

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BAST: Guild Reputation

This week’s Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth was submitted by my good friend, Anexxia of Bible of Dreams. The topic at hand is Guild Reputation, and feature of the upcoming Cataclysm expansion.

The recent information Blizzard released to all of us who are eagerly awaiting the Cataclysm expansion mentioned that we’ll all need to build reputation with our guild to take advantage of guild rewards, with Exalted reputation needed with your guild for some items, on each character who wants to take advantage of said guild perks. Given this little slice of information, I started wondering just what will end up granting you faction with your guild. Which then led me to what *should* grant you faction with your guild.

In her description of the event, she also mentioned that we may want to point out things that we feel should cause you to lose reputation with your guild as well.

NOTE: This are not an official release from Blizzard, this is random crap I just came up with.

Gaining Reputation
Here is a list of things that should increase your guild reputation as they show teamwork, positive leadership skills, or other actions or traits that provide and increase an effective guild environment.

Hail to the King, Baby!
For following the directions of guild/raid leaders, you will be rewarded for your support. (+100 for following directions, +50 for success)

Excuse Me, Mr. President?
Helping a guild/raid leader who doesn’t know or doesn’t understand how something works, or politely correcting a mistake they made. (+100 rep)

Know Your Role
If upon review of the damage meters you’re shown to have participated in every way available to your class, your guild will love you. Mages should show on the Decurses table, Feral and Balance Druids should show up on the resurrections table, and Warlocks and Mages should show up at least once per fight on the Deaths table as a DPS clothie sacrifice is one of their most important contributions to any raid. (+50 Rep per meter category)

OMNOMNOMNOM
Every raider should come prepared with consumables. Use your flasks (+50 Rep per raid), use your buff foods (+50 Rep), provide a fish feast for your raid (+75 Rep), make use of raid-wide class consumables such as Mage Tables and Soul Wells (+25 Rep).

Help Needed!
For helping or teaching guild members, you provide one of the most crucial benefits a guild can have – knowledge. Repeatable once per week. (+200 Rep)

That’s What She Said
For making amusing (non-offensive) jokes on the fly, particularly ones that cause a wipe because nobody could see their monitor through the tears, you shall be rewarded. (+150 Rep)

Here, You Can Have It
Rolling Greed or Passing on a loot upgrade that is a larger upgrade for another guild member is honorable. (+100 Rep)

The Guild the Slays Together, Stays Together
When running through dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, or arena matches with all guild members, reputation gains are increased. (+25 Rep, +5% bonus to all guild reputation rewards for 1 hour)

It Came From the Guild
Providing crafted gear for your guild mates to wear, or wearing gear crafted by your guild mates increases the respect between players.

Charlie Bit Me!
Avenge the death of a guild member who was killed in or near one of your faction’s major cities by killing the player, or players, that they fought against. (+2 Rep per target’s level)

Don’t Stand In the Fire
Move out of a damaging zone that was cast on you within 3 seconds, or before taking 10% of your total health worth of damage from the zone. (+25 Rep)

Losing Reputation
Here is a list of things that should strip you of guild reputation, as they will eventually lead to you having Hated reputation but in game and out.

Know Your Role, and Shut Your Mouth
If you talk in vent, or type anything in raid chat while an officer, leader, or similarly authorized person is explaining or organizing anything at all having to do with the raid, then it’s time for you to know your role, and shut your mouth. (-10 Rep per character typed, or -50 Rep per second your mic is activated in vent)

King of the Hill
If you make any move whatsoever to strip a guild or raid leader of their authority or position by taking it upon yourself, then you an everyone who actually listens to you loses reputation. (-1500 Rep for the offender, -300 Rep for all followers)

Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!
Suck it up, Granny. If the raid wipes and you don’t corpse run back with the rest of the guild, so help me I will…let’s just say some threats you don’t want to post in a public setting. Summary: Pain. Lots of pain. (-50,000 Rep)

Oops…I Forgot…
Be prepared, or be prepared to pay the price. If you hearth or request a portal because you forgot to repair, purchase consumables or reagents, or forgot to grab the right gear before coming to the raid, then the only thing you gain +5 Annoyance. (-50 Rep)

Hand It Over
Rolling Need on loot that you don’t need or can’t use makes you a moron. Don’t be a moron. (-250 Rep)

Help Wanted
Don’t beg for help on trivial crap and then whine in gchat because you didn’t get it or because 10 minutes was too long for you to wait. (-100 Rep)

Doe$ $omeone Ha$ Gold$ I Can Ha$
Don’t beg for money, go get your own. (-1 Rep per copper value of the amount asked for; minimum -50 Rep)

Do Icicles Agro Fireflies?
Die while standing in a damaging zone that deals at least 10% of your total hit points in damage to you. (-2,500 Rep)

Honest Reply
Here are some suggestions that I honestly think would work with this system. A lot of other suggestions I’ve seen wouldn’t actually work either because they can’t be tracked, or because they could be abused.

I think reputation bonuses will most likely come from doing things together more than anything else. I don’t think they’ll require everyone in the group to be a member, but I think having a majority would be reasonable. I also having a feeling that it’s going to be given on a per-dungeon completed basis for heroics and per-raid boss basis for raids. For PvP…I’m not really sure, probably per objective completed or maybe total honor earned?

A lot of the things in my own list up there are not really possible, and while some of them I’d like to see included because of their significance (or annoyance), I think only a few will even come close to the end result that Blizzard goes with.

Examples of some abusable ones I see are things like donating gold or items to the guild bank. Since you could just turn right around and pull that money/item out, hand it to another player, and then have them donate it as well I don’t think we’ll see it. Way too much book work on that one.

So, I’m leaning towards something like these:

Which One of These Is Not Like the Others?
Complete a random normal or heroic dungeon with two or more additional guild members in the group.

Which One of These Is Not the Same?
Kill a boss in any level 80 or 85 raid with 5 (10-man) or 14 (25-man) additional guild members in the raid.

We Will, We Will, Rock You!
Compete in a random battleground with at least two or more additional guild members in the battleground.

Can You Make One For Me?
Craft on items requested by a guild member through the guild list. (Rep based on item level.)

Beyond that list, I’m not really sure what we can expect to really have a chance at seeing once it goes live. The last one there about crafting items comes from the new guild interface that is supposedly going to allow you to see and link the professions of your guild members so that you’re not constantly having to bother people to link them for you.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Reputation

 

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Guild: The Breakfast Club

There’s a new guild in town, and it’s called The Breakfast Club. It was started by a group of five people who got together originally when MOTiE was created, who decided that we might as well also start up a twinking guild. I happen to enjoy PvP, so I agreed to doing it and offered to lead the guild as well since I had more PvP experience than everyone else.

To give you a quick definition of what twinking actually is, it’s basically obtaining the best gear you can get along with the best enchantments you can find for said gear, and using that to make the most powerful low-level character you can. A lot of the gear you get from Dungeons, some from turning in PvP rewards of honor or marks, some from quests (usually higher level quests that you get a high level character to run you through), and some you might get from turning in badges or shards for BoA gear from your high level main character.

While there is such a thing as a PvE twink, people don’t usually bother with that because if you are constantly leveling and progressing through the game then you are constantly having to replace your gear as well. The majority of twinks are PvP twinks who focus on a single level bracket. In our case, that bracket is currently level 19.

Meet the Team
Guild Master
Ibewaffles (Tauren Druid 19)
– soon to move up into the 29 bracket to heal in Arathi Basin as well

Guild Officers
Ibegritz (Undead Rogue 19)
Ibebacon (Blood Elf Hunter 19)
Ibepancake (Orc Rogue 19)

Guild Members
Ibemilk (Blood Elf Hunter 19)
Ibesyrup (Orc Shaman 17)
Ibepancakes (Blood Elf Warlock ??)
Ibehashbrown (Undead Warrior ??)
Ibeomlet (?? Rogue 9)

Some of these guys were brought in while I was not logged in and I haven’t seen them since, or they are players that play during hours that I do not. Looking at the roster last night we have quite a few more that aren’t on the list here, but since many of them are still below level 10 as the players focus more on their main characters, I cannot look them up on the armory or like sites to find all of their names now.

Recent Twink Changes
Turning Off Experience Gains
With the launch of 3.2 players are able to turn off their experience gains so that their character can stay at a given level indefinitely. This allows twink players who previously could not run instances or do quests without leveling their character up to do so. Along with that change was one to battlegrounds, where players who have turned off their experience only fight others who have done the same, so there is essentially a Twink battleground, and a non-twink Battleground.

Despite the theoretical existence of two different types of battlegrounds, the reality is that you will still face twinks in the non-twink battlegrounds due to the amount of experience rewarded being so small, and you will still face non-twinks in the twink battlegrounds because there are players who plan on twinking but have not bothered to get their gear or enchants yet even though they are in the bracket with you. The biggest difference that you see is that non-twink battlegrounds have a significantly shorter queue time on average than the twink battlegrounds do.

“Nerfing” Enchants
Another recent change, that’s been around for a few months now, is that a lot of the enchants that people used to abuse to make their twinks more powerful are now unavailable to them because Blizzard made two changes. First, they put level requirements on enchants so that you can no longer get some enchants for lower level brackets that you used to. In the past, if you had a high level character, a fair amount of gold, and an excess of time, you could have a twink that was pretty well unbeatable by anyone who did not match your level of devotion to twinking.

In addition to putting level requirements on some enchants, they also made it so that some of the other enchant-type items that you received became soulbound when you enchant them. Previously you were able to get head enchanting items on your high level character and then use it on your twink, but this no longer works as the enchanting item is bound to the high level character and whatever item you use it on becomes bound to you as well.

Time Limit
The most controvertial change of them all is the 25 minute time limit that has been placed on Warsong Gulch (WSG). Along with that change was one that says in the case of a tie whoever captured the first flag wins the game. When the time limit was first introduced it was only 20 minutes, which passed by so quickly that basically whoever captured the first flag won. Prior to this change, there was no time limit at all which presented its own problems.

People complained a great deal about the time limit and Blizzard responded by giving us an extra 5 minutes. That’s not a whole lot of extra time, but those five minutes do help a lot more than you would think. Before the time limit was introduced people did what we call “Turtling”, where they capture a flag and then pull most of their players around the flag carrier to defend them for however long they feel is necessary. In some cases you would turtle to prevent your team from losing, in some cases you would do it to give your own team time to recapture your own flag, and in the horror stories it was done so that the team doing the turtling could go and farm honor from their opponents for as long as they wanted.

Turtling
Turtling is not much of an option now that there is a time limit though you do still see it. When the time limit was first introduced people turtled because they were used to it. After a few days it pretty well disappeared for the most part because people were rushing to do as much as possible within the time limit. Here recently though turtling has been reintroduced by whichever team captures the first flag as they try to win with a single capture instead of trying to win the game as intended by being the first team to capture three flags.

The sad thing is, turtling is effective. If the other team doesn’t pull together a solid team to come crack down on your flag carrier then you’re probably going to win so long as you had the first flag cap. It doesn’t show that you have any skill in PvP or in being a twink, it just shows that sometimes simple math proves itself in that nine people can kill two faster than the two can kill one with however many healers standing around him.

The flip side of turtling is that it can easily cost you the game, especially if you capped the first flag but your opponent capped the second and you’re now tied. Your team turtles to score a win because you capped the first flag, and meanwhile the other team does the same thing while continuing to send a couple of small groups at you one at a time. Your team keeps up the defense because they think they’re effective and shutting down the enemy assaults.

What’s really happening here is the opponent is sending those groups in to find out what each person of your team is doing and what they’re capable of. They’re also running the clock down to nothing. They want to find who all can heal and what kind of damage your flag carrier can take while also getting used to a pattern so that you defend against an attack every 2 minutes. You fall into the habit taking out the group then sitting down to eat and drink and getting caught up on the TV show next to you. Suddenly you find out the other seven people sitting just a few yards away pop their trap and completely own your face using crowd control on your healers and everyone else focusing fire strictly on the flag carrier. Your guy dies, the enemy recaps their flag and then caps yours as well for a 2-1 victory with no time left on the clock.

The ones that came in on offense tend to kill whoever they can while not bothering to heal themselves during that time, hoping to get a small amount of honor before you save them a trip back home. That’s right, they want to get killed, they just don’t want it to seem to easy. Because the next step in this process is a mad rush by your team to cap a second flag so that the score can be tied again with your team winning from having the first cap. The problem is, you just killed off all of their attackers allowing them to resurrect right back at their base so that they can meet your sad little rush with a brutal defense. Congratulations, you just got owned.

My Thoughts
For the most part these changes are good because it allows more people to join the mix and have a chance at twinking. In some cases the changes are “bad” and have driven players away (mostly talking about things like the head enchants there), but I leave bad in quotes there because it’s not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.

Turtling sucks, and anybody who decides to do it or participate in it sucks too. It’s a valid strategy and it does technically win you a match if done correctly, but if I see my own team turtling I will intentionally let enemy players bypass me to go after my flag carrier instead and I will not help in defending them. I’m there for a fight and a challenge, not to see who has the thickest shell. I will certainly help defend my flag carrier in normal play, but once it becomes a turtle I want no part of it. In the examples above of good turtles gone bad I will not defend my flag carrier, but I will serve my team by killing the EFC instead. I do want to win, I just don’t want to do it via some pansy tactic like turtling.

The Breakfast Club: Start your day off right – go kill some Alliance!
So far none of the premades that we have done have faced off against premades from other servers. So while we generally dominate when we’re together, we have had an unfair advantage in doing that so far compared to our opponents.

Despite the lack of opposing premade groups, there are a lot of very experienced twinks in our battlegroup that present a wonderful challenge and provide us with opportunities to learn and grow in our own skills and strategies.

Though we are not a big guild and we are not focused solely on PvP (the guild is, but the players aren’t), I think this guild has been successful in doing what it set out to do and we have a blast when we get together and face off against the other players.

The Blog
I have no intention of turning this blog into a source for Twink information. I created the blog to be a source of information for leveling your characters, and that’s how it’s going to stay. I might start up a second blog to house twink-related information, but I’m not in too much of a hurry to do that if I do it at all. I would not be surprised if a bit of twinkage shows up from time to time on the Notebook, but don’t expect the blog’s focus to change.

Out of every aspect of World of Warcraft that I have participated in, I find that PvP presents the most challenge in the game. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the hardest part of the game, or even the most fun, just that it gives me the most challenge. There’s an extra level of excitement when rushing into the unknown of facing other people who are capable of making their own decisions on the fly that you can’t find get from facing a raid boss who follows a preprogrammed course of actions.

Despite all of that, I still find leveling characters to be the most enjoyable and most rewarding experience overall. For the best flavor overall though, it’s a nice mix of all of the above.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2009 in World of Warcraft

 

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Balance Druid Gear: Gnomeregan and Scarlet Monastery

This weekend our Twitter-inspired guild, My Other Tweet is Epic, is going to do a low level instance run through Gnomeregan and Scarlet Monastery. Since we are a new guild and consisting mostly of people who rolled new characters to come join us, we are going to stick with low level instances for now.

In preparation for this, I did a quick check on the loot tables for Gnomer and SM for gear on my Balance Druid, Belgawrath. The items I am going list here are strictly going to be drops that come from bosses, and for the most part only “blues” and “purples” as the vast majority of green items can be found all over the world.

The items I discuss down below are specific to me, meaning to say that these are items that I am going to be looking for myself. You might want the same items, or you might want different items. Some items that are not upgrades for me (and as such were left off of the lists) may be upgrades for you. If you want to run these instances yourself, then it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the loot that can drop. Always keep in mind that gear does not make your character, and you can certainly play the game with poor gear. I like to upgrade my gear on a near-constant basis because that’s something that I just like to do. I don’t mind spending time or resources on items that I know full well will be replaced in two levels. But that’s just me.

I leveled Belgawrath through his 20’s as Feral and had an excellent time doing it. When I got to 29 though I went ahead and twinked him to some degree for battlegrounds and found that I actually enjoyed healing and balance dps more than I did feral face clawing (hard to imagine, even for me). So when I hit 29 I went ahead and respecced back into Balance because I, personally, found it more enjoyable. Feral has less downtime and is overall perhaps a bit stronger or faster. But, Balance has more survivability, is a bit less gear dependent, and just fits me a bit better overall.

So, enough rambling from me, let’s look at some loot!

Gnomeregan (Levels 24-33, Min. Entry Level 15)
In looking through the loot tables in Gnomer, there really was not a whole lot of caster gear that drops. Some of it that does really doesn’t compare with some lower level tailoring or leatherworking items and so forth, so I left a few items off.

When I finished checking all of the bosses, as well as giving a quick look at the overall loot drops, I came down to a sad little list of only three particular items that I want.

Item Name Type Level Req. Drop Location Drop Rate
Charged Gear Ring 28 Mekgineer Thurmaplugg (Boss) 33%
Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator Helm 28 Mekgineer Thurmaplugg (Boss) 9%
Schematic: Craftsman’s Monocle Eng Schematic Eng 185 Mekgineer Thurmaplugg (Boss) 0.5%




Sadly, all of the items that I want drop from the very same boss. And two of the three items are Bind on Pick Up (BoP) so I have no chance to farm them with my higher level characters.

The Charged Gear has potential to be a good ring for me, but the enchantment that goes on it is chosen randomly, so while it has the highest drop rate at 33%, it is entirely likely that the ring will do me little good. For myself, I am looking for “of the Eagle” (+6-7 Int and Stam), “of the Falcon” (+6-7 Int and Agi), or “of Intellect” (+10 Int).

The reason for including “of the Falcon” in that list is because the bonus to Agility would allow me to use the ring effectively in both my caster and my feral cat gear sets. Even though I am too low for dual spec, I do carry two full sets of gear to change in and out of as needed for the situation. If I ever run out of mana, I switch my gear and go into Cat Form instead and use my mana only for healing until it is safe for me to drink.

The Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator is a very interesting item that could be useful for several different classes. My first thought was that it would be excellent for a Protection Paladin with it’s extra AoE damage that it can deal. But with +15 Intelligence, +12 Spirit, and the fact that it’s made out of Cloth suggest that it is geared more towards a caster. Its “Use” ability deals 147-167 damage in a large cone to the mobs standing in front of you, and it puts up an effect similar to the Shaman’s Lightning Shield spell for 10 minutes.

The Craftsman’s Monocle is a cloth head piece that provides 40 Armor, and +15 Intellect. I want this one first off because it looks cool. I’m not afraid to admit that I am willing to wear slightly worse gear simply because it looks cool, though +15 Int is certainly not bad. At the same time, I also don’t mind wearing powerful gear that looks stupid (like the EGR head piece up above). Luckily, if this does not drop, which is likely considering its low drop rate, then at least I can come back and farm it with a higher level character if I really want to get it. Don’t forget though, that you do have to be an Engineer with at least 185 skill in the profession to even wear it.

Scarlet Monastery (Levels 34-45, Min. Entry Level 20)

Item Name Type Level Req. Drop Location Drop Rate
Bloodmage Mantle Shoulders 30 Bloodmage Thalnos (Boss) 49%
Deadman’s Hand Ring 29 Arcanist Doan (Boss) 2%
Illusionary Rod Staff 34 Arcanist Doan (Boss) 44%
Mantle of Doan Shoulders 33 Arcanist Doan (Boss) 46%
Triune Amulet Neck 39 High Inquisitor Whitemane (Boss) 37%
Whitemane’s Chapeau Head 39 High Inquisitor Whitemane (Boss) 39%
Embalmed Shroud Head 30 Fallen Champion (Rare) 37%
Blighted Leggings Legs 30 Azshir the Sleepless (Rare) 32%
Ghostshard Talisman Neck 30 Azshir the Sleepless (Rare) 30%




With bonuses to Intellect, Spirit, and Crit chance Bloodmage Mantle is a solid choice for shoulders. These shoulders are not a huge upgrade over my current shoulders, but the extra boost to crit appeals to me.

Deadman’s Hand is an excellent “purple” item from SM:Library. With +10 Stamina you get a strong boost to hit points, which is twice what my Heart Ring gives me right now. It also has an excellent proc that gives you a chance to freeze any enemy that hits you. Since I am playing a Balance spec right now this means that I can occasionally root the mob in place long enough to get my spells off without having to cast Entangling Roots myself.

The Illusionary Rod is a huge upgrade to my current staff, and is one of the best staves for its level that can also last for quite a long time. It offers 15 Int, 7 Stam, and 10 Crit instead of the 7 Int and 7 Spirit that my current staff gives.

Mantle of Doan is about equal to what I am wearing right now, with slightly more spirit and 9 Hit in place of the +2 Spell Power I have right now. Not a huge difference, but if you don’t hit then it doesn’t matter how much damage you might have done with the spell in the first place.

Triune Amulet is one of the most solid neck pieces you can get around this level. With +7 to Int, Stam, and Spirit, it can be used by pretty well every class in the game. It leans more towards casters, or at least classes that use mana than to ones that do not, but anyone could use it. My current neck piece gives 3 Int, 5 Crit, and 9 Spell Power.

Whitemane’s Chapeau is a definite upgrade to what I am currently wearing. 9 Stam, 10 Int, and 14 Spirit kicks my 10 Int, 6 Spirit to the curb. This is one of the biggest upgrades I am looking forward to, even if I can’t wear it for another 7 levels.

The other items drop off of rare spawns that truly are rare. I have literally ran through SM well over 1,000 times across my different characters, and in all of those times I could count the number of times that I have seen these rare spawns one hand. Embalmed Shroud is a good backup head piece in case the Chapeau doesn’t drop. 7 Stam, 11 Int, and 14 Spell Power is quite a bit better than my current setup.

The Blighted Leggings also drop from a rare spawn, and are a fair upgrade. Sadly, I would trade 8 Int for 7 Stam which while it would help me live longer in combat, it would slow me down a bit from the mana loss. But, it does provide more than double the amount of spell power that I get from my current legs.

About These Items
You will notice from looking at those lists that many of the items that I am interested in fit in the same slot. So I do not need to find all of the items on the list, but all of them would be helpful to me in some way.

When I looked at the list for what items I needed, I looked for specific stats. Since the druid has such good survivability I focus more on Intellect with my druid than I do Stamina. It certainly does not hurt to have more hit points, which is why many of the items you see there also include stamina buffs.

After Intellect, I looked for either Spell Power or Spirit as both of these help as well. Spell power increases the damage I deal so that I don’t have to cast as many spells, thus conserving my mana. Spirit helps to regenerate my mana while I am between fights or while I have a mob stuck in Entangling Roots, which also helps with my mana. At level 34 I had over twice the amount of mana as the best “water” I could buy was able to restore. Now at level 36 I have 160% more mana than the new “water” that opened up at 35.

After Int, Stam, SP, and Spirit, I look for the other two stats that can really help me: Critical Hit and Hit. The more you crit, the fewer spells you have to cast, and the same can be said for the more often you hit rather than miss. With Starfall currently scoring crits for over 800 damage, which is about 75-80% of the total health of most mobs my level, a solid crit can go a long way towards reducing downtime.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Druid

 

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