29 June 2010

Make gold by brokerage - zero trade skills required

There is a guy in our guild who is doing really well at making gold. He has just hit 80, and has (so far) no tradeskills.

I have an inscriptionist, and make glyphs (have all the recipees). However, there are two parts to this that I dont enjoy; Milling inks and gathering mail. My guildy buys the herbs, gets them milled, and sends me the ink of the sea (which I pay for). I then turn the inks into glyphs, which he then posts for me and I pay him a cut for that too.

Finally, he gathers epic gems from a stable of alchemists, for which I pay a set price. By doing the running around and providing them with the mats, he gives them a small cut, and adds another large cut for himself before mailing the gems to me. I also would not be surprised to find him scanning the AH for gems that I am after.

By doing this, inside a fortnight - starting with as a (roughly) level 65 toon, he earnt nearly 8k in gold. Yes, If I had the time I could have been doing these things too, but I don't enjoy that part of the game, and he does. And he is really enjoying making gold.

19 June 2010

Foo's raiding Jun 2010

It has been said that raiding is something that I do when I am not playing the auction house.  There is some truth to this.  Currently I am running Ulduar once a week on a Saturday night, starting 8:30 pm Server time (Caelestraz).

I don't do gearscore.  I do Elitist Groups instead.  I am interested in your choice of gear and whether it is properly gemmed and enchanted.  An average Ilvl of about 206 would be enough to do the bosses we are up to.  I assume you probably have this.  If you don't, it probably doesnt matter.

I like consumables.  I will provide raid buffs from Fish Feasts, Runescroll of Fortitude, Drums of the Wild, Drums of Forgotten Kings.  I will normally use flasks in raids, and potions when needed.  I would like you to have potions and flasks/elixirs and use them when needed.  While this is Ulduar and you may not need them, it is better to have them just in case.

For achievments, tell me you are a Champion of the Frozen Wastes and I will be impressed.  It does not really matter how many ICC bosses you have down.  I also don't care if you know the fights yet.  I don't know them either.  I do read the strategies, and occasionally watch the fights video and encourage you to do so too.  My primary resource is http://www.wowwiki.com/Ulduar

I care about your ability to get out of the fire.  I run Ensindia Fails (similar to failbot).  This is a confronting addon.  It tells us how often players are stressing our healers without cause.  Most players I run with (including me) are mentioned.  I try not to be at the 'top' of the fail list.

For all classes, I want you to know your class (or be prepared to learn it).  www.wow.com/resources is good.

I love healers.  For a healer, I  want you to be able to dispel whatever you are meant to dispel, and to feel comfortable healing.   If you are a tank, I want you to keep agro of the healers, and to stay upright.  By preference keeping agro of the DPS is a nice extra. For DPS, I like you to hurt things, but keep in mind that if you tank it you may need to spank it.  Keeping the healer alive earns you extra heals.

Addons (in every case there are alternatives, but I will name some and link the addons I use):
  • Threat meter (Omen)
  • DPS/activity meter (Recount) - for personal use.  Just don't link it in raid.
  • Lagmeter (Quartz/Icehud)
  • HealingLibrary (Grid/Vuhdo/Healbot) - especially for healers, but usefull for anyone who wants to know where heals are going.

I care about showing up on time.  I understand that real life happens.  If you have signed up please show up.  Bonus points if you are at the stone in time to help with summoning.

15 June 2010

Blacksmithing 375-450

At the end of May I posted about getting leatherworking 375-450.  I also levelled Blacksmithing at the same time, using the same approach - Auctioneer, LilSparky, and Ackis Recipee list.  This approach is essentially:
  • Get a wide selection of recipees.
  • Make a mixture of items.
  • Make what will sell for a profit wherever possible.

My 'Buffs' are the ability to socket my gloves and wrists, with 2 Runed Cardinal Ruby gives me 46 spellpower.  Given that I can still enchant my gloves and wrists (where with the leatherworking the fur linings are the enchant), this is rougly equivilant.

Starting off, Ackis Recipee list suggests that Reinforced Cobalt peices (eg the chestpiece) can be found as drops.  With the recipees being off the beaten track and Bind on Pickup, they will sell for more.  However, I am not keen on taking a lvl 65 into Sholozar basin, so just used the vendor recipees.  At 420, you get a stack of options: Belt Buckles, PVP starter gear, and at 425 Titanium Rods.  All of these sell well, and I made a few of each.  These become yellow at 435, and there are not a lot of 'Orange' recipee options, but 'Yellow' recipees still usually give a skill up.  I also made a lot of keys for personal use later.  Toward the end, I tried to make some Icebane gear, not particularly expecting it to sell well, but it did have 2 sockets.

I have been posting the crafted items on a 48 hour cycle, and starting last week, dropped the prices of the remaining armour by 50% just to clear it out.  I did not do any further trading on this toon.  Starting off with a 'kitty' of 13,000g, in a five week period I managed to spend 11,000g (roughly 5,000g on Leatherworking, 6,500 on Blacksmithing), but sold the made items to end up with 16,000g.

Some other 'popular' websites that encourage you to use the 'smallest' number of mats are designed by gold sellers or gold guide sellers.  They have a financial interest in keeping your toon poor.  As I have shown, taking a little time, and with a little effort, I not only levelled two of the most expensive professions, but did so at a profit.

05 June 2010

Which talent tree is the right talent tree?

Here I am to discuss talent trees, we have all been there trying to squeeze out the best we can from healing to DPS back to tanking. But when we change our specs over to match the "theory crafted" best we may lose abilities/utilities that we may need or have wanted.

To start lets discuss DPS:

Is there such a thing as too little DPS? Some classes have talent trees that limit their DPS to the point they're avoided by everyone that is max level, and others increase there DPS so much they're universally accepted as the "only viable" spec. What does this mean? Are the other trees really that "bad"? Are they ever of any use? Were they there solely to add some leveling ease? Lets take a look at some under used specs.

For a Mage, frost is the plague spec outside of PVP despite having reasonable raid utility. Talents that allow replenishment (a % mana return for all raid members) talents that slow down adds, freeze them in place, and in some cases encase them in ice and stop them from attacking for X seconds.

For a Warlock Demonology is pretty much on the shelf after you are 80. Why? cause it's pet based damage and again is considerably lower than the others. Like frost this is avoided for the low DPS, despite having a raid wide (proc based) spell power buff from the felguard.

Yes I know my name is being cursed and your mashing your faces with your palms at each consecutive word. But Remember these spec still deal damage and in a 10man 3-4k is not overly low. Yes tanks can make 3k etc etc but the point being that some DPS are already pulling 8k so 3 toons getting 8k and you getting 4k but providing more mana other buffs etc may not be a bad trade off for a DPS "loss". There are heaps more than this I know, this is just to make you think, raid leaders should be aware of these advantages. Of course DPS is still gear dependent to a certain extent and at higher levels of gear the gap may close enough to make it viable again.

In 25mans would these become more viable? Not really, because your utility isn't really felt, as a Shadow priest can provide replenishment and they're not the only ones, but again its not likely to be used in a 10man either as no one will accept your utility for DPS losses. Basically these are lost specs, they are covered in so much hate in 10mans and do not stand out that much in 25's so is there a point to this post?

Well yes, the point I am making is that these are still viable despite the hatred. Why are they viable? Because your guild can still request this of you, and you should make them aware that you can provide a specific buff. It may be a one off thing or a permanent thing. The beauty is that dual spec allows you this freedom between boss fights so if you need a spec for one fight but not the rest then why not have an off spec for that fight? Why not have it for a fight you know your guild can easily beat with your lower DPS from a utility spec?

Healers, there is not much for healers you would think, but again there is. Healers have a few tricks in their trees for different things. They have raid/AOE heal talents to focus there healing through multi-target healing, or single target talents to push their single target heals as far as possible. A healer will spec based on what they are doing for there guild, or for how they heal, and others spec a cookie cutter talent tree. The problem with cookie cutter trees is they hover dangerously close to the point that people start hating the tree or their class. Specs for how you play have the opposite effect. You like your class, you have all you want, but you may let others down due to a few missed choices. Specs for how you heal again fall in between this and make you think about talents you want or talents that cookie cutters suggest. Tanks are in the same boat and many warrior tanks will sometimes take two talent specs in with one for AOE and one for single target. Why? because they cannot take both well enough, healers are the same and DPS falls on another scale where they have the ability to kill either way but can be substantially weakened in utility.

So to clarify what all that dribble means:

* The "best" spec is not always the right one
* Spec as a mixture of what you do and how you do it
* Tanks and Healers specialize between multiple or single targets
* DPS.... Raid contribution based on selective talents and trees

Yes I know half the WOW community is now going to end me, the other half sees my point and the third half....hang on.... Anyway, the point being all trees are viable as long as you make them viable.

If you want more DPS there is going to be a more prominent tree, utility again has more prominent talents that may be missed by cookie cutter trees. So work out what you like and what everyone in your guild is comfortable with and have fun. Hell I play a frostfire mage and that spec died on release, so enjoy what you do and make it work. Remember, you can't dps if you're taking a dirt nap because you didn't give yourself utility talents. A healer with no mana is not a healer, its a liability. A tank with no.... HEALTH! is not going to save your DPS'n butt. You may be there to kill but you are all linked to each other.

Egamad...the SHAMAGE

04 June 2010

The path to tankhood.

Ok, so I realize many people are taking advantage of the looking for group system for faster leveling, I myself am one of them. But while anyone can DPS and a mediocre healer will do for a 5 man, the tank is the make and break point.

Last night on my hunter (lvl25) I had to use my pet to tank because or Paladin tank (lvl25) could not generate enough aggro to hold my auto shot /sigh. He later tried to reprimand my use of pet to tank and proceeded to tell me how to play my class (or so he thought). For one I have my pet passive by default, and at this level I keep all his tanking/solo questing abilities on his bar ready to save a healer or myself, the DPS loss is not that crucial.

The problem though was not me at all, yes I pulled aggro but after waiting 3 secs and having my first attack pull aggro is surely not my fault. I realize as DPS its my job to watch my aggro, but Omen does not work until you attack or heal a target that is in combat or puts you in combat, so until my first shot I have no idea where my aggro or the tanks is at (hence the 3 second head start). The situation gets worse as he was still yelling at me to turn my pets growl off, (its worth noting at this point my pet was still on passive and sitting beside me) when he could not generate aggro fast enough anyway.

The tanks of this upcoming wave are not something I want my Shaman (lvl80) to be healing, seriously there are a lot of people rolling these classes for these roles and having no idea how to play it. So here is a run down.

Tank: Keeping all targets in FRONT of you is an important trick to learn, it's hard to defend attacks from behind so learn to position them. TAB targeting is another great trick for tanks as many players still prefer to AOE down mobs than single target so make sure to stack threat across all with a TAB or mouse targeting rotation. Aggro, Taunts, Cooldowns, these are cornerstones of your class and many require you to be in a situation to warrant there use, so remember what talents you have and do not be afraid to use them when needed, 2minutes -3 minutes there not long times at all. REPAIR YOUR GEAR!! seriously there is nothing worse than a certain paladin screaming at you for saving the party when his weapon has no durability and he cannot hold aggro.

Healer: You stand somewhere away from possible patrols or other mobs, and you heal. Remember to be stocked up on Water (mana re-gen drinks) each time you sign up, and do not be afraid to do what I call *combat re-gen*, the art of drinking right before the pull and still be drinking in the middle of combat, you can usually squeeze out enough mana before your single big heal to the tank. As with most roles remember to use ability's like fade if your a priest to keep aggro low, as not all tanks are created equal and just because he has 4 mobs hitting him, does not mean a healers aggro will not peel it off.

DPS: Seriously, you know your job, you kill and you do it fast, but for the love of good stop posting the charts up no one cares if you pulled 13k but because you didn't sheep a mob we wiped, and in my case at 25, did not frost trap it, did not off tank on the pet, you may be a Damage toon, but your also a utility when played right. The difference between trash wipes is often not a DPS issue, but which class did not use a crowd control, or Off tank, or heal when the priest went OOM, or innervate etc. Stop comparing your E-peen and realize we are a unit of 5-10-25 or 40 players... and that you are part of a group, yes you signed up to kill, but you can still kill and you can save the day with traps or sheep, and banish etc. While we are the damage dealers and more damage is better, saving the group at the cost of a few seconds on boss is nothing. If you can save the healer then do it! do not wait around for someone else to do it. The list for DPS is to massive the do's and dont's is an article alone.

So I will leave you with that, remember what your role is and think of what else you can do, PVP skill can be used in PVE when it all goes to hell. Crowd control is still valid and necessary, offer to OT something if your plate or a pet user, offer to sheep anything they mark with X. If the tank is having a hard time with 4 mobs use 1 or more of the above to make life easier, all tank classes should now where there taunt is so picking up a CC or pet tanked mob is no great task.

Bringing you more as I get to it, but please add to this as I'm sure this is global and not limited to my battle group.