Category Archives: World of Warcraft

Heirloom Farming: Darkmoon Faire

[Update 12/6/11: Two artifacts require level 85.]
[Update 12/6/11: A blue post by Blizzard has just junked most of my assumptions and changed some numbers.]

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the new Darkmoon Faire is in town for the week.

The Darkmoon Faire offers all kinds of fun little games to play, achievements to…achieve, and quests to complete. And of course, it brings along the focus of this entire expansion – yet another grind.

This grind doesn’t get you any end game gear though. Instead it provides a nice collection of pets (6), mounts (2), toys, PvE heirlooms, and gear from the past for all your transmogrification needs. Basically, this is Cataclysm’s version of the Argent Tournament. The major difference is that the DMF is only around on the first week of every month, starting on the first Sunday of the month.

The purpose of this particular post is farming for those heirlooms. Why? Because heirlooms are kinda “my thang”. You feel me? You know what I’m sayin’? You smell what I’m stepping in? Alright, let’s get to it then.

At the end of the article I have a summary of how many tickets it’s possible for you to farm so that you know what kind of schedule you’re looking at regardless of what items you’re farming for.

Minimum Requirements
I wanted to include this in the guide with the F2P community and the Gnome Clones in mind, though I’m sure some of you other players might like the heads up as well.

The regular daily quests are reportedly able to be done by a character of any level. I’ve heard people say you have to be level 10, other say there’s no level requirement. I don’t know the actual answer just yet, but I will have it as soon as servers come back up today and I can test it (or rather, have it tested by my brother in law since I’m stuck at work). We have confirmed that you can start the DMF daily quests at level 1.

In order to do the professions quests, which can be done only once per Faire, you have to be the minimum level to have the profession (which is 1 for non-crafting professions, 5 for crafting). You also have to have a skill rank of 75 in order to open the quests.

For the Darkmoon Artifacts to drop for you in dungeons and battlegrounds you have to be at least level 15. Which bosses drop a particular artifact are tied to the bosses themselves and which artifact you’re looking for. I’m sure that sentence made almost no sense, so let me clarify. For example, bosses that are “monsters” like the Hydra in Zul’Farak can drop the Monstrous Egg artifact because that boss is a monster thus tying him to that artifact. Other artifacts are similarly tied to bosses that are related somehow to the concept of the artifact. Some you’ll see tied to noble or military leaders so when you see a boss whose name is General, Lord, Commander and so forth, they are the bosses that drop that type of artifact.

Battleground artifacts come from the corpses of your opponents, so make sure you’re looting those insignia. It doesn’t matter who killed them, you can run around just looting dead bodies and not participating at all in the PvP and you’ll get artifacts. No, I absolutely do not suggest you do that, I’m just letting you know there’s nothing required to get them other than looting enemy bodies.

Also, dungeon artifacts come up in the Need/Greed rolls while for battlegrounds to the looter go the spoils.

Archeology is the exception to the professions rule since it has a level requirement of 20. It also requires to you have a skill level of 75 and the quest itself requires you to have 15 Fossil Fragments to complete the quest. So not only do you have to have this profession, you also have to have spent the time leveling it and collecting specific fragments in order to do the quest.

So the absolute minimum level to do everything is 20. So the minimum level I would suggest for seriously farming the Prize Tickets is level 15 since you have access to almost everything. Level 20 opens up one more monthly professions quest (Archeology) and then you’ve got access to all but the two artifacts that require you to be level 85. However, you can start this farming at level 1, so there’s no reason to wait if you have a fresh toon and the faire is in progress.

[UPDATE: Two artifacts require level 85.

Through further research I have found that the A Treatise on Strategy artifact requires level 85 and so far all reports show that it drops only from level 85 Heroics, and typically from bosses whose names reveal them to be somehow related to a military calling such as Commander Ulthok, General Umbriss, and Admiral Ripsnarl.

Also, the artifact called Soothsayer’s Runes requires level 85 as well and is confirmed to drop in Tier 11+ raids. This one is unique then in two ways. First, that it’s the only one dropped in a raid rather than a dungeon. Second, that this one does not require a loot roll; instead, everyone in the raid who has a copy of the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide in their inventory will receive it when it drops and is looted.]

Heirloom Prices
Before we get into how you go about farming these things, it’s important to know how much farming you’ll have to do.

Of the 25 PvE heirlooms that you can get from the Darkmoon Faire, 19 of them (chests, shoulders, one-handed weapons) require 110 Prize Tickets, the two trinkets both require 130 Tickets, and the two-handed weapons require 160 Tickets.

You cannot get heirloom cloaks or helms from the Faire, and no new item slots were opened in this patch so legs and rings are still unavailable all together (save the ring from the Kalu’ak tournament).

The good news is, these prize tickets aren’t that hard to get your hands on. The bad news is, the event is only around for the first week of every month which means you have a set window in which to do all of your grinding and your grinding potential is limited by the small number of available quests.

Questing for Tickets

Daily Quests: 40 Tickets per Faire
Questing is your steady source of tickets. There are five daily quests that you can do, and each of those rewards a single ticket. You can do those daily quests eight times throughout the week, for a total weekly farm of 40 Prize Tickets. How do you do daily quests for eight days in a seven day week? You log on at 12 A.M. server time on Saturday night and do the dailies before 3 A.M. server time on Sunday morning when daily quests are reset. There’s your weekly exploit report, now back to our regularly scheduled farming guide. So 1 ticket per quest, 5 quests per day, 7(+1) days per week.

Blizzard quotes this as being available only seven times per week, but unless they put something in place to stop it, you can still farm an extra day’s worth of dailies during that three hour stretch each time it opens. This functionality has been around for years and I don’t see them fixing it now. They’re well aware of it and Bashiok even quoted someone who mentioned it on the boards and corrected his own total count to include it.

Monthly Quests:
Each month, once per Faire, you can do a quest related to each of your professions and secondary skills as long as you have at least skill rank 75 in that profession. Each character can have a total of six of these (two professions, four secondary skills) at one time. Professions reward 4 Tickets each while Secondary Skills reward 3 Tickets each.

For most players that’s going to be the final count on this type of farming. However, if you’re all kinds of serious about farming these heirlooms you can actually (ab)use the system here by leveling your primary professions to 75, doing their quests, dropping the professions, picking up 2 new professions, leveling to 75, doing the quests, drop the professions, rinse and repeat for all eleven professions. So crazy people can get a total of 3 tickets per quest, for all 11 professions and all 4 secondary skills, for a total of 45 prize tickets per month.

Other monthly quests include the Test Your Strength quest which has you collect 250 Grisly Trophies from targets you kill, and quests that start from all of the Darkmoon Artifacts that you get from dungeon bosses and looting insignia from opposing forces in battlegrounds.

[Update: Blizzard has confirmed that all of these are repeatable each month.]

There are a total of nine Darkmoon Artifacts: five from dungeons (one of those 85 heroic-only), three from battlegrounds, and 1 from T11+ raids. Each of these artifacts starts a quest which is simply turning the item in at the Faire.

4 Dungeon Artifacts – 10 Tickets each (40)
1 Heroic Artifact – 15 Tickets
1 Raid Artifact – 10 Tickets
3 BG Artifacts – 5 Tickets each (15)
2 Primary Professions – 4 Tickets each (8*)
4 Secondary Professions – 3 Tickets each (12)
1 Test Your Strength – 10 Tickets

So the grand total for Monthly Quests (not counting the dailies) is: 110*

I’m awaiting confirmation on whether or not Blizzard has put a stop to the dropping/repicking professions thing I mentioned above. If it’s gone, then 110 Monthly is the limit, while if it’s not you can add another 36 to the total.

Total Farming Per Month
This is the part of the guide that’s applicable to everyone who wants to farm the prize tickets, even if you have no interest in heirlooms. These are your total farming caps per month for you to determine how long you’ll have to farm to get all the items you want.

Total Weekly Farming: 40 Tickets
Total Monthly Farming: 18-45 Tickets
Total Artifact Farming: 100 Tickets

So, you’re able to farm a maximum of 158 Tickets if you’re sane, or 185 Tickets if you’re no longer restricted to the realm of sanity.

That’s a lot of tickets. You can basically get a new heirloom every month, or two heirlooms every two months depending on how seriously you farm and which ones you’re going for since there is some variation in price.


Posted by on December 6, 2011 in World of Warcraft


Tags: , , ,

Upcoming Content

My WoW blogging has been really out of whack here for the last few months, and posting frequency here has slowed quite a bit. Now that we’re back into the full swing of things though, more posts are going to come out shortly.

My latest obsession has been level 24 twinks, but I’m not sure I’m going to post about them here since leveling to 24 is about as easy as breathing. Those twinks are part of why I haven’t done much posting lately as I’ve had no leveling to really blog about. And while I don’t mind putting twink information here, I don’t want that to be the only thing you see from me since that’s just one thing I like to do in WoW.

My current project is a level 70 Resto Druid which I probably will blog about at least a little bit since I’ve actually had a blast leveling her. I’ve done a lot of dungeon runs, a lot of PvP, tons of gathering, and quite a bit of questing as well. With the exception of two dungeon queues that have popped with me as DPS, I’ve done all of that so far as Resto. She’s currently level 65 and her total Honor earned so far is around 3,600. I’m really looking forward to getting her to 70 and getting her geared and enchanted. I really like the idea of being able to actively twink somewhere besides WSG and AB.

Other projects that I have planned that will also include some blogging time potentially include:
– Level 70 Frost Mage Twink
– Level 70 Holy Priest Twink
– Leveling 1-85 Prot Warrior

Which of those I actually follow through with my plans on remains to be seen. If you’ve followed me for any length of time I’m sure you’re aware that I frequently change my mind when it comes to alts so who knows what will actually come to pass.

The project I had been working on, Project High Heals, is probably going to fade away. I might level the Priest the rest of the way to 85, but I don’t know that I’m going to level the Shaman any time soon, and I don’t feel like leveling a Paladin at the moment either. So maybe I’ll just back burner it, or it might be dead. We’ll see.


Posted by on November 18, 2011 in World of Warcraft


MoP’ing up the Twinks

Today we’re going to take a look at the talent trees that are proposed for being in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, and how those talent trees might impact twink brackets. As we continue on, keep in mind the fact that this stuff was just announced at BlizzCon 2011 and this expansion isn’t scheduled to come out for who knows how long yet so any and all information here could potentially change.

I’m not going to look at every bracket in this post because there are just too many talents to smash them all into a single post. Instead I’m going to break in into two parts; one for the 10-14 bracket, and one for the 15-19 and 20-24 brackets as the impact on the two should be roughly the same.

I did not attend or in any way participate in this year’s BlizzCon, so I’m only going off of what the MoP Talent Calculator from Wowhead has to tell me, and what I heard people say on Twitter or on other blogs. If any of this information is incorrect, incomplete, or false please notify me of such in the comments so that I can get it updated with the correct information.

Right now we don’t know much of anything about the Monk class, so they won’t be included in this particular post. It is safe to say you better be careful around those pandas with their racial sleep attack though.
Turn the page to find out more…


Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior


Tags: ,

New Heirlooms in 4.3

In Patch 4.3 the Darkmoon Faire is going to get a nice little revamp (details here). I’ve never been too big on the faire beyond abusing the vendors there to get high selling mats for cheap vendor prices that I could toss on the AH for a quick, easy profit. My lack of interest almost made me ignore the information regarding the faire, but I was bored anyway (and about to leave work for the day) so I figured I might as well take a look.

Most of what the notes mentioned weren’t bad, but nothing that would get me otherwise interested in the DMF, until I stumbled onto this:

“We have adorable companion pets inludin’ a fez-wearing monkey, a plethora of profession recipes, toys, balloons, souvenirs, delectable carnival snacks and beverages, heirlooms for the little ones, and even replicas of long-lost suits of armor that we’re offering for your Transmogrification needs.”

Unfortunately for us, there’s no more mention of heirlooms in the article, so we don’t know for sure what it refers to. It could be new heirlooms, it could be existing heirlooms, or it could be other items all together that they simply used the word to describe. Without the details, one can only hope and imagine.

But wait… we do have details!
Turn the page to find out more…


Tags: , ,

Shadow Priest PvP Guide

PLEASE NOTE: This guide was written in 2011 and has not been updated since. Some of the information is still applicable, but as far as actually playing the class consider all of this incredibly outdated.

It occurred to me a few days ago that I haven’t actually put anything related to Shadow Priest PvP on the blog since shortly after I first started. Since that’s really the only thing I’ve done on that toon since the time I first got into arenas, I think it’s time I shared some of what I’ve learned.

As Fox Van Allen of WoW Insider was looking for Shadow PvP sources for his article this week, I decided I’d better fire up that speech-to-text software and get my virtual blogging fingers moving.

Getting Your Rear in Gear
The first step of getting into PvP is your gear. If you’re starting from scratch then your quickest method of gearing is crafted gear, which will be consist of pieces from the Bloodthirsty Embersilk and Bloodthirsty Fireweave sets. Overall, the Embersilk set has more pieces with the stats you’re looking for, but you should look at Fireweave as well just in case there are pieces you’d rather have from it (the Fireweave Pants in particular). The only set bonus on these is a 2 piece that grants +400 Resilience, which most likely stacks if you want to grab at least two pieces from each set for twice the bonus.

These new crafted pieces are actually really good, almost as good as the Vicious pieces. While they’re very close in raw stats, even higher in some cases, than the Vicious gear, they have a comparatively weak set bonus and no sockets where the Vicious gear has 8.

From there you’ll have to start your grinds of Honor and Conquest points to purchase better gear. Honor farming will get you the Vicious Gladiator’s Raiment and Vicious Gladiator’s Investiture sets. The Raiment set is the DPS version, and Investiture is the “healer” version. I list both of them because even though the healer version is supposed to be for healers, many Shadow Priests will still prefer it over the Raiment for the 4 piece set bonus since the DPS 4pc kind of sucks.

Blizzard has discussed methods of preventing Priests from getting dual 2pc bonuses by taking some pieces from both sets, but as far as I know they haven’t actually done it yet so you can still double-dip in the Vicious sets, or you can go for the 4pc bonus of your choice. The Raiment gives you Crit, Haste, and Mastery while the Investiture gives you Spirit (Hit), Crit, and Haste. The Raiment 4pc lowers the cast time of your nukes while the 4pc Investiture makes your PW:Shield remove movement impairing effects and make you immune to slows for 4 seconds when cast on yourself.

Regardless of which Vicious set you aim for first, make sure your first purchase is the gloves for an extra 3 seconds off of your Psychic Scream cooldown. Gloves are cheap, and they’re the only piece that offers an additional bonus on top of just raw stats, so they’re your best initial purchase.

Once you start farming your Conquest points via Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds, it’s time to start grabbing Ruthless Gladiator’s set pieces. The set bonuses and which stats are given from which set remain the same as the Vicious set, they just have higher values of the attributes. If you want your gloves to be your first Ruthless purchase instead of your first Vicious, that’s fine as well.

I’d give you a Wowhead link to the Ruthless gear, but those links are a little odd right now. If you want to look at individual pieces then you can do a search for “Ruthless Gladiator’s” on Wowhead and it will pull up the list for you. Once Wowhead gets the items linked right, I’ll add a link to the post, but right now the set bonus is linking back to a set a few seasons ago so I’m going to leave it out for now.

Are You Ready? (Stat Goals)
There are a few stat goals that you want to meet before you get started with PvP, though what goals you have is going to depend on what PvP activity we’re talking about.

If you’re just now getting started and BG’s are what you’re focusing on, then just go in there with whatever you’ve got quick and easy access to. If that’s all PvE gear, that’s fine. If you can get your hands on some crafted pieces or have some Honor points sitting around for Vicious, then grab what you can and keep on going.

If you’re getting ready for Arenas, then you want to shoot for around 1,500-2,000 Resilience before you get started unless you aren’t too bothered by losses. If you’re looking at RBG’s or more serious Arena play, then you want to shoot for a minimum of 3,000 Resilience before you get too serious about them.

Spell Penetration is a pretty big deal. If you’re new to BG’s then whatever you can get is better than nothing. If you’re looking at serious play though, then you want to shoot for the cap of 240. This cap is easy to hit, you can do it with a cloak and a ring, or a cloak and an enchant and call it done, but make sure you don’t skip out on this cap. Only Mages can actually reach that 240 range, while all of the other classes can be covered by just 195. Mages can deal some crazy burst damage though, so I suggest you aim for 240.

Hit is another important stat, and PvP being PvP, the cap on hit is fairly low. Shoot for around 4-5% hit, preferably through the use of Spirit rather than the actual Hit stat so that you’re getting mana regeneration out of the deal as well. A lot of off-set PvP gear will give you the option between a piece that offers Hit and another that offers the same amount worth of Spirit – always go for the Spirit piece. You’re shooting for somewhere between 400-500 Spirit to hit that cap.

Spec’tacular (Shadow PvP Spec)

Above is spec that I prefer to use in the arenas. I didn’t put any points Improved Shadow Word: Pain which other shadow priests often ask about, mostly because I rarely use my DoT spells when doing arenas, which is my preferred method of PvP at level 85. I also didn’t put any points into Paralysis, even though it’s another CC ability, which is another question often asked. This one I don’t use mostly because it’s only situationally useful, and in my arena teams our first kill target is usually a caster which makes limiting their movement worth very little.

Improved SW:Pain isn’t bad if you’re actually using your DoT’s. If I were focused on larger arena teams or BG/RBG’s then I might try to find points I could place there. Paralysis can be good, especially against melee teams or in other PvP settings, I just don’t take it as a matter of personal preference for my 2v2 setups.

I use the glyphs that best fit my playstyle. With 2v2 being my focus, I’m primarily dealing damage via nukes rather than DoT’s and using my glyphs for extra survivability or utility.

Prime: Dispersion, SW: Death, Mind Flay
Major: Psychic Horror, Fade, Mass Dispel
Minor: Fading, Levitate, Fortitude

Dispersion reduces the spell’s cooldown, which is especially useful to me in arenas and RBG’s. SW:Death causes the cooldown to instantly reset itself once per 6 seconds if you cast it on a target below 25% health and it doesn’t kill them, which is almost always when you’re dealing with PvP targets because of Resilience; it’s one of the most important glyphs you can take if you’re going to do arena. Mind Flay is the only damage spell that I use in every match regardless of my opponents or which form of PvP I’m doing, so I take it over SW:Pain because I know I’ll utilize it no matter what.

Psychic Horror is one of the most useful spells we have access to, so reducing it’s cooldown by any amount is worth it to me. Fade is great for reducing the cooldown of its spell which allows me to break movement debuffs with Fade instead of having to potentially waste something more important like Dispersion. Mass Dispel is one I value a lot for reducing the cast time of Mass Dispel down to 0.5 seconds, as the reaction time on removing a Paladin’s bubble can easily be the difference between victory and defeat, and not removing a DK’s ice cubes in time can cost your team a BG match.

The minor glyphs are all pretty boring. I use Fading only because there’s so many freaking Frost DK’s out there right now slowing me every 2 seconds, so reducing its mana cost is a real bonus. Fortitude is for those Purge-happy Shamans out there removing your buffs like nobody’s business, cutting the cost of reapplying the buff in half. Levitate is there just because I hate dealing with reagents and never want to find myself needing to do a crucial BG jump only to find in midair that I have no reagents.

Your Tears Fuel Me… (Crowd Control and Cooldowns)
Arena matches are more or less decided by two things: Crowd Control and Cooldowns.

Crowd Control
We have a few different forms of Crowd Control (CC) available to us. First up is Psychic Scream, an AoE fear spell. By default this has a 30 second cooldown, which can be lowered by 4 seconds with talent points, and by an additional 3 points with the PvP Gloves. You can also use the Glyph of Psychic Scream to cause the targets to tremble in place instead of runny around crazily, but it increases the cooldown by 3 seconds. I’m not a fan of using the glyph for this spell, but I do love reducing its cooldown for more frequent use. You can use this spell either defensively, causing melee targets to run away from you or your teammates, or you can use it offensively as a spell interrupt or to get some free cast time on a target while he and/or his healer can’t respond.

Next up is Psychic Horror, a talent-purchased spell that causes the target to tremble in horror for 3 seconds and also disarms them for 10 seconds. The default cooldown on this beauty is 2 minutes, though you can lower it to a minute and a half with the Glyph of Psychic Horror which I definitely suggest that you do. Defensively, I use this to strip melee classes of their weapons and to get some distance from them (or closing that distance if it’s a Hunter). Offensively, I typically cast this on healers to either burn them or their teammate(s) down during the 3 second “stun”.

Next we have, Silence which is semi-CC, I guess. It’s a ranged silence that lasts for 5 seconds. The cooldown is 45 seconds long, and sadly there’s nothing you can do to reduce that. Defensively this is best used on enemy casters, Paladins, or Shamans. You can also use it defensively on Warriors, especially when you see them rushing into a group of your team during BG’s as they’ll often use their Shouts which this will stop. Offensively, this is for healers first and DPS casters second. I typically use this on healers unless I’m facing a Mage, in which case I’ll hit the Mage right after he burns his cooldowns.

Then we have the crowd favorite, Mind Control which lets you take control of an opponent for a few seconds. In BG’s I use this to make people jump off of cliffs, or in AV I like to control the tank or healer while they’re fighting our bosses. In Arena this is best used either to remove a healer while your partner(s) focus the DPS, to force people into Line of Sight (LoS) situations, or in a chain AoE effect. The chain AoE effect is Mind Control (which turns them into an ally), Leap of Faith to pull them to you (which also breaks the MC channel, turning them back into an enemy), and then Psychic Scream to fear them away.

Last on our list is the nearly worthless, Shackle Undead. It’s only useful against Death Knight ghouls in PvP. I see very, very few DK’s in PvP actually using their ghouls right now other than to summon and then immediately sacrifice for health. Power shifts all the time though, so you want this somewhere that you can easily cast it even if it doesn’t necessarily merit its own keybind.

We have a lot of really good cooldowns as well. Some of our cooldowns are also our CC, but here are the others.

Fade doesn’t seem much like a PvP cooldown at first glance, but talents in the Shadow tree cause it to become one. By default its only real use is to make enemy pets drop you as their target, though that typically only works in BG’s against people who don’t really know what they’re doing. The cooldown is 30 seconds, but you can reduce that by 9 seconds with the Glyph of Fade and another 6 seconds with the Veiled Shadows talent. The Phantasm talent in the Shadow tree also causes Fade to remove all movement impairing effects which is why it’s on my cooldowns list. I do use the Glyph of Fade, but don’t get it confused with the Glyph of Fading which just reduces the mana cost.

Fear Ward is a fairly good defensive cooldown, preventing the next fear effect used on the target. It has a 3 minute duration and a 3 minute cooldown, with a glyph that reduces the cooldown and duration by 60 seconds. I don’t bother with the glyph, but I do like the spell itself. The best use of this spell is to use it when you actually need it rather than just starting the match off with it, but it’s hard to judge when your opponents might use a fear and when they won’t so you might want to use it as a starting buff regardless if you’re not good at reading your opponents.

Hymn of Hope is a mana regenerating cooldown, the use of which is hard to really say in a blog post as it can be very situational. It’s a channeled spell that can restore mana to your teammates as well, but because it’s channeled it leaves you vulnerable. If you have a chance to cast it without being harassed then great, but if not then you’re best bet is to get whatever use out of it you can and sick your Shadowfiend on someone either right before or right after you cast Hymn of Hope. Doing this will maximize your mana return. The cooldown on this sucker is a whopping 6 minutes, so don’t expect to be able to use it very often.

Shadowfiend is a really cool mana return cooldown which summons a little shadow monster to go beat up your enemies and restore your mana every time he hits. The cooldown is 5 minutes, but it can be reduced by 10 seconds with points in Sin and Punishment and another 60 seconds with points in Veiled Shadows. The glyph is pretty mediocre, and I wouldn’t suggest it as my Shadowfiend almost never gets killed.

Divine Hymn is an AoE healing cooldown. It’s similar to a Druid’s Tranquility spell, restoring a fair amount of health to targets within range while you channel it. I use it for my 2v2 team every now and then, but most often in BG’s and RBG’s.

Leap of Faith is a fantastic spell, pulling a friendly target to yourself. The cooldown on this one is 1.5 minutes with no way to reduce it. I most often use this to actually save my teammates in arena, pulling them to me followed by a bubble and then a heal if I can afford it and have the time to do so, or to just give them time to run and heal themselves or whatever they can do. However, you can also use this offensively both to pull your melee members over to a target or in a CC combo that I mentioned above which is to Mind Control an enemy, followed by Leap of Faith to bring them to you, followed by Psychic Scream to make them run away. This is best used on healers, but it’s also great for peeling melee off of your teammates.

Dispersion is last up on the list, our keystone talent at the end of the Shadow tree. Dispersion is great for restoring your mana, but it’s also fantastic for breaking out of CC since it removes all roots and snares, and it also reduces all the damage you take by 90% while it’s active. The cooldown on this is 2 minutes, but can be reduced by 45 seconds with the Glyph of Dispersion. I usually use this for the damage reduction, and pretty often for the mana regen as well. I usually cast either a Psychic Scream or a PW:Shield when the effect wears off, depending on the situation. I like to try to force tunnel visioned melee targets to follow me during Dispersion and then CC them where I can LoS their healers before burning them down.

Face Melting (Offensive Spells)
There are two methods of damage dealing that we can use: direct damage and damage over time.

For arenas I almost never bother with DoT’s other than to pressure healers. With so many high-burst classes in arenas right now I have to go with direct damage in 2v2 which means Mind Spike and Mind Blast spam. Using these nukes along with CC, I typically kill my focus target within two rotations unless I’m forced to play defensively. When I’m forced to defense, I will use my DoT’s, but if there’s a healer on the other team I won’t bother unless I can afford the time to cast Vampiric Touch first. I use Mind Flay primarily to set up Archangel procs for mana regen and the damage boost, or to slow melee that are harassing my team, or to slow our kill target if he’s trying to get LoS.

When I’m doing a direct damage rotation I use either Mind Spike x2, Vampiric Touch, Mind Blast, or Mind Spike x3, Mind Blast, depending on my current mana situation. To get the most damage out of this rotation you want to build up your Shadow Orbs (at least 1, 3 if possible) through Mind Flay cast, activate Archangel once you’ve got 5 stacks of Evangelism, and then go to town with the nukes.

In BG’s or in 3v3+ arenas I use my DoT’s all the time to keep pressure on as many people at once as I can so that I can then focus my nukes on the healers. When I’m not in 2v2 arena, I also tend to use the majority of my cooldowns and CC defensively, save for when we’re burning down a healer or a flag carrier in which case I’m likely all offense. If you are going to use your DoT’s, then your optimal rotation is SW:Pain, Mind Flay until you get at least 1 Shadow Orb, Mind Blast, Vampiric Touch, Devouring Plague, and then spam Mind Flay.

Devouring Plague deserves a special mention here because it’s our only source of spammable, instant damage. The mana cost for spamming it is pretty steep, but if you need to kill someone who’s low on health or you need to get them within that 25% range so that SW:Death deals its full damage, then it’s worth the price. Typically, I kill targets with SW:Death casts, and it usually takes two casts to kill someone, but for those times that I don’t manage to finish them off Devouring Plague is the answer.

Shadow Word: Death is how I kill almost every target because that’s what it does and it does it well. With all the resilience and healing that goes on in PvP though, I almost never kill a target with a single cast, I have to have the Glyph of SW:Death to instantly remove its cooldown when it fails to kill so that I can cast it again. When I’m not close to killing someone, and I have spent at least 10% of my mana, I use SW:Death if it’s active to trigger the Masochism talent which restores 10% of your mana when SW:Death fails to kill a target.

Heward’s Handy Haversack (Other Useful Spells)
You get bonus points if you know where that title came from, and extra bonus points if I spelled it wrong and you can prove it.

Some spells that you need to keep in mind whenever you’re doing PvP can be the deciding factor in a match.

Power Word: Shield is one of the few healing-type abilities that we can use that doesn’t kick us out of Shadow Form. In my 2v2 team I’m typically casting this on my partner because everyone loves to focus him while they let me melt their faces. When my partner switches to his other toon in the team though, the rolls are switched. Combining PW:Shield with Dispersion, Fade, Psychic Scream/Horror, and Silence make me one of the best kiting machines around which is often an easy when if we’re facing opponents prone to tunnel vision.

Cure Disease does just what it says, and it too can be cast without breaking Shadow Form. Other Shadow Priests are about the only ones you’ll use this against.

Dispel Magic isn’t quite as great as it used to be (no) thanks to current changes which allow only the healing specs to dispel your teammates. You can either remove two Magic debuffs from yourself or to remove 1 buff from an opponent. I don’t often use this offensively, even though I really should, instead I’m typically defensive with this.

Mind Vision is a spell that so many Priests simply dismiss, but it’s so incredibly useful in PvP. It won’t do you much good in arenas because they’re all so small, but in BG’s and RBG’s it’s fantastic. I use this most often to track down EFC’s so that I can tell my team where the flag is going, or to find my own EFC to know his path so that I can move to assist him. It’s also great for spying on other locations around a map such as Arathi basin or Eye of the Storm, though, allowing me to report on the defenses of each location.

Mana Burn is another spell ignored by the PvE crowd, which means a large portion of the PvP crowd forgets it exists as well. If you’re having trouble bringing down a healer, it’s because you didn’t burn his mana first. It’s especially effective against Paladin healers, but it’s a great spell against any caster. Whether you’re better off burning mana or just nuking someone has way too many variables for me to go over, but definitely do not ignore this spell, especially in arenas.

Holy Nova deserves a mention just to find those stinking Rogues, Druids, and Mages (invisibility). You don’t want to spam this because of its mana cost, but it’s the only proactive method you have to finding stealthers.

Mass Dispel is last up on this list. It’s an AoE dispell that can clear up to 10 debuffs from your team and up to 10 buffs from your opponents. The most important thing to remember about this spell is that it can dispel buffs that are otherwise impervious; namely a Paladin’s bubble and a Mage’s Ice Block spell. Letting a Paladin be immune to everything for 10 seconds is never a good idea if you can help it, nor is allowing your whole team to sit frozen in a Death Knight’s Hungering Cold spell. Mass Dispel can take care of all of that. And don’t forget to use the glyph that goes with it, reducing its cast time from 1.5 seconds down to 0.5 seconds.



Reputation Guide: Cenarion Circle

About two years ago, I wrote a pretty guide on farming reputation with the Cenarion Circle (seen here). That worthless guide still gets a lot of traffic, so I decided to go take a read through it this week to see just how bad it was. It’s bordering on worthless; not to mention the fact that I misspelled the name in the first place. /facepalm

That’s one wrong that I can make right though, so this time we’re going to look at farming Cenarion Circle reputation with some information that might actually be useful. I’ll go over what quests you need to do, items you need to collect, and mobs you need to kill. I’ll also talk about what the benefits are to farming this reputation so that you know ahead of time what you’re getting out of it.

One of the great things about this reputation grind is that all of the methods available to earn reputation can be done all the way to Exalted, so if you find a method that you like you can just stick with it until you’re done.

Cenarion Circle Rewards
Most of the rewards for grinding this reputation come in the form of professions recipes. However, there is also a title that you can earn by becoming exalted with both the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition.

Blacksmithing Recipes
Heavy Obsidian Belt: Requires Friendly
Ironvine Belt: Requires Friendly
Ironvine Gloves: Requires Honored
Light Obsidian Belt: Requires Honored
Ironvine Breastplate: Requires Revered
Jagged Obsidian Shield: Requires Revered
Obsidian Mail Tunic: Requires Exalted

None of these are especially useful in today’s game.

Enchanting Recipes
Enchant Cloak – Greater Fire Resistance: Requires Friendly
Enchant Cloak – Greater Nature Resistance: Requires Honored

Both of these grant 15 Resistance to their respective elements, and both can be placed on BoA cloaks (thus usable by twinks), so there is still some use for them even if it’s a bit small.

Leatherworking Recipes
Bramblewood Belt: Requires Friendly
Sandstalker Bracers: Requires Friendly
Spitfire Bracers: Requires Friendly
Bramblewood Boots: Requires Honored
Sandstalker Gauntlets: Requires Honored
Spitfire Gauntlets: Requires Honored
Bramblewood Helm: Requires Revered
Sandstalker Breastplate: Requires Revered
Spitfire Breastplate: Requires Revered
Dreamscale Breastplate: Requires Exalted

None of these are especially useful in today’s game.

Tailoring Recipes
Cenarion Herb Bag: Requires Friendly
Sylvan Shoulders: Requires Friendly
Sylvan Crown: Requires Honored
Gaea’s Embrace: Requires Revered
Satchel of Cenarius: Requires Revered
Sylvan Vest: Requires Revered

None of the gear is especially useful in today’s game. However, the herbalism bags can still bring a surprising amount of gold in on some servers. On my Alliance server you probably couldn’t sell one of these if your account’s security depended on it. But, on my Horde server you can sell the 24 slot Satchel of Cenarius for about 250g. The 20 slot Cenarion Herb Bag doesn’t sell as well, and you can buy 20 slot profession bags (for most professions) from vendors in Outlands and now some of the racial capitals such as Orgrimmar as well.

With 32 and 36 slot Herbalism bags available now the potential profitability of these two is very much server dependent, so be sure to check prices on your local AH before you decide to farm this rep strictly for the sake of selling these bags.

“[YourName], Guardian of Cenarius”: Requires Exalted with the Cenarion Circle and Cenarion Expedition

One of the best titles for a Druid, hands down. It’s a great title for any class, not just the Druid, it’s just especially cool for them.

Farming Items
If you like to do you reputation grinding by farming items or buying them from the Auction House, then the Encrypted Twilight Text is what you’re looking for. You can farm these off of the humanoid mobs in Silithus that have “Twilight” in their name.

These Twilight mobs all have a chance to drop these texts, and their drop rate isn’t too bad, while the supply of mobs to farm them from is fairly high. So you shouldn’t have too much trouble farming these.

There’s also a an elite mob that paths around a couple of different places in Silithus called the Twilight Prophet who always drops 7-10 of the texts when you kill them. They can spawn at either of their locations or even both at the same time, and their spawn timers are 1-2 times per hour. They’ll be accompanied by two melee mobs who also have chances to drop the texts just like the other twilight mobs in the zone.

The Twilight mobs also drop a 3-piece cloth armor set which used to allow you activate stones around the twilight camps to summon elementals who could be killed for other quests and reputation. The cloth items still drop, but you can no longer use them to summon the elementals, so there’s no reason to farm these anymore. If you do find some of these cloth pieces your best option is just to vendor them, you might be able to sell them on the auction house if someone isn’t aware that they’re no longer useful, but it can’t be disenchanted either, so your best bet is to just vendor dim and get what small amounts of money you can.

Here is a map of the general location of all of the Twilight mobs, minus the Twilight Prophet:

This map shows the spawn points and pathing locations of the Twilight Prophet elite mobs:

Grinding Mobs
All of the Twilight mobs in Silithus will grant you 10 Reputation (before any bonuses), except for the Twilight Prophet who rewards 30 Reputation. The respawn rate of the mobs themselves is pretty average, but with four camps located around the zone it shouldn’t be too hard for you to get a steady farming rotation established, including a quick run down the Prophet’s spawn points.

You can also grind mobs in the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj (AQ20) raid instance (which is now only a 10 man raid in Cataclysm). A full clear of the instance will grant you roughly 2,000 Reputation. Bosses grant 110 Reputation, except for Ossirian (final boss) who rewards 220 Reputation. That’s a total of six bosses, so 770 of the reputation for a full clear comes from bosses and the other 1,200 or so from the trash if you feel like calculating your chances for earning rep while skipping bosses if that’s how you’d prefer to do it. Most of the bosses really aren’t that hard to defeat, even solo, so there’s really no need for you to skip bosses.

As a raid, AQ20 will still lock you out if you kill the bosses in there, so if you want to do a constant farm then you’ll need to leave the bosses alone and reset after you’ve removed the trash, otherwise you’ll have to wait until your raid lock resets (every 3 days) to go in again.

Grinding Quests
You can find quests that grant you reputation with Cenarion Circle in Silithus, Desolace, Western Plaguelands, Eastern Plaguelands, Felwood, Un’Goro Crater and Southern Barrens. You can find a list of quests by following this link to Wowhead.

Desolace and Silithus are the two primary questing hubs, so if you’re going to farm the quests I would definitely start with those two since they have the most potential to get to the most reputation in the shortest amount of time.

If you’re a Druid then your level 20 class quest to go to SFK will grant you 500 reputation, and your level 50 class quest to go to BRD will reward 350 reputation. If you’re not a Druid… lesson learned, time to reroll.

Grinding Dungeons
The only real dungeon grind is the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj grind I mentioned above in the Mob Grinding section. None of the other instances, including the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, will give you reputation with Cenarion Circle – that I’m aware of. This raid has a 3 day lockout, so you can do it 23 times per week depending on where your lockouts fall.

Suggested Farming Method
The way that I suggest you find this reputation is to start out by doing all of the quests in both Silithus and Desolace, and then decide what you want farm. I suggest that you start farming the twilight mobs for the reputation and the twilight texts, especially the prophet. If you are able to solo AQ20, or if you have a guild that wouldn’t mind a fun retro raid, then you can also earn quite a bit of reputation with that. You might find it simpler and less hassle to just farm the twilight mobs for texts instead, which is the method I would likely choose.

Questing is going to be your simplest and “fastest” method of farming the reputation early on, and from there you can move onto grinding either mobs or drops. Many of the quest will require you to kill the twilight mobs who drop those texts anyway, so starting with questing is going to help you with your grinding later on.

If you’ve already completed all of those quests and you’re tired of grinding mobs and running dungeons, then I would suggest you go ahead and do the quests in the other zones that are mentioned above. When doing those other quests I suggest you do them in order of the zones’ average level from highest to lowest.

Also, you want to keep an eye out for the twilight texts on the auction house. With the questing areas newly redone many players are exploring zones again and rolling new toons. Those who quest in Silithus will likely sell their texts on the auction house.

How Long Is This Grind?
This grind really isn’t all that terrible. Some methods of farming the reputation are faster than others, so naturally your mileage may vary. When I did this on my Protection Paladin prior to Cataclysm, the grind took me roughly 4 hours. From what I’ve gathered in researching the changes after Cataclysm, this grind is even faster than that if you have a high level toon.

I am currently leveling up a toon who will farm this reputation for the herbalism bags, and I’ll update this post with the information on how long it takes me to farm it once I have it completed. I also plan to find this on my Druid so that I can get the title, at which point I will have another guide for the Cenarion Expedition as well.


Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Guide, Professions, Reputation


Tags: ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,014 other followers

%d bloggers like this: