Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Soloist Guide to Patch 5.0.4

  Today is the big day-the release of Patch 5.0.4, the pre-release patch to Mists of Pandaria. As a soloist, this patch is looking pretty good for me. I am going to go over the most relevant changes first and then take a look at other changes.

  •   ACCOUNT WIDE ACHIEVEMENTS, MOUNTS and PETS- this one is HUGE! As a soloist, that also makes me an altoholic. Having at times 20 chances to run holiday bosses or solo old dungeons or get lucky with rare drops while leveling means I have quite a few rare items spread across quite a few characters. My Blood Elf Rogue has the Hyacinth Macaw and Disgusting Oozeling, a Death Knight I rarely play has the Headless Horseman's Mount. Not to mention that buying one Horde and one Alliance Traveler's Tundra Mount means all of my many, many characters now have access to a vendor whenever and wherever they are at. And I am that much closer to the honorable kill achievement(thanks to my kid who loves to PvP on an associated account!).
  • AOE LOOTING- As a soloist, I love to spend time going back and seeing which older dungeons and raids I can solo. I also spend quite a bit of time using characters on second account running lower level characters through old dungeons. This is going to cut down A) looting time as I attempt to pull as many of the mobs as possible at a time and B) make deciding what to pick up and when easier (ie, run through Wailing Caverns, pull all of raptors in front area, kill, loot one bag with 'auto loot' turned off and then only loot the greens and hopefully the Deviate Hatchling. Score!).
  • CLASS & TALENT POINT CHANGES- For the most part, things are simplified. While some might look at this as the 'dumbing down' of the game, I just look at is as getting a microwave to cook your food instead of the old slow oven. Making life easier isn't necessarily 'dumbing' anything down. And as an altoholic, with so many characters, this will make choosing talents a much quicker deal. Not to mention getting all of your skills for FREE while you are out leveling up! No more visiting the trainer! My current baby Paladin hasn't learned anything for about 10 levels because I just didn't want to pay them knowing this was coming!
  • DAILY QUEST LIMIT REMOVED- Okay, now I will admit, with so many characters, I don't usually do that many dailies on any one at a time. But there have been times when my main, my Druid, hit that 25 quest cap in Molten Front without even realizing I was close. And with all of the dailies coming at level 90, it is going to be non-stop questing for me for the next 2 years, heh, and I love it!
  • RELICS, RANGED, WANDS, OTHER WEAPON CHANGES- Not that it makes a really big difference, it is really just one item slot less to worry about on every character. Time saver. Not to mention head enchants being removed-another item not to worry about building reputation to obtain.
  • MICRO-DUNGEON MAPS- This isn't in the patch notes, but it should be in the patch. And while I am not spatially-challenged(you can't get me lost in the real world-hence the nickname Scout/Skaut!), for some reason at times those caves you come across in Azeroth can be really challenging to negotiate! They have added maps to even the smallest spaces, such as the Caverns of Time area, mines in Elwynn Forest and even more detailed maps for each 1-5 starter zone!

 Those are the changes I am most looking forward to today. And now for the changes I am NOT looking forward to:
  • CROSS-REALM ZONES- After my first and main realm was chosen by the friend who got us into the game, I began choosing my new realms by searching for the realms with the least population. I just prefer to not have to compete with other players for mobs and resources. I prefer to play alone and in peace. That's why I shop very early in the morning, I can't stand crowds. Too many idiots out there. That's why I solo! Not looking forward to this.
  • SOME CLASS CHANGES- While not necessarily a solo thing, some of the changes are not really welcome. Such as taking away Stampede from my Druids! No more free Ravage after charging. I will miss you Stampede. /sadface
  • I WANT MY CHEETAH! Okay, this isn't really solo related either, and it will be resolved over time, but I HATE HATE HATE the new Druid travel form. I have four Druids at max level plus one at 62 and one at 55. I love Druid. But I do not want to be a big ugly deer! Yes, I have scribes that will eventually be making Glyph of Cheetah so I can have my precious little cheetah back, but from what I can tell it will not be available until learned from the new Mists of Pandaria level Inscription-and then not until it is discovered by each of my scribes. That could be a long way away. And with Druid as my main, it's not going to be an easy month for me. 

 Well, that is about it really. Most of the other changes don't affect me as a soloist at all. Those include Valor/Conquest point changes, BattleTag support(I don't have any friends), and PvE queue frames changed.

Overall this looks to be a very fun patch for a soloist and altoholic like me!

More Transmog

  I have decided to just flat out post screenshots of the rest of my characters in their transmogrification outfits. If you have any questions about any of the gear you can ask in the comments or find me on Twitter @graveskaut
  In no particular order, these are most of my level 85 characters. Not all of my 85s have transmog sets, and some are not quite complete, so I did not post them. Some of these, I admit, probably could use a better shot to show the outfit. I might do another showing the outfits using the Mog-it panel. 

Dwarf Hunter with Skoll

Undead Death Knight

Blood Elf Paladin

Undead Warlock

Gnome Rogue

Dwarf Paladin

Blood Elf Death Knight

Blood Elf Rogue

Worgen Druid

Troll Druid

Undead Warrior

Gnome Goblin

Tauren Shaman

Orc Hunter

Blood Elf Hunter

Dwarf Shaman

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Preparing for Leveling a Monk

  With the coming of Mists of Pandaria are the new class Monk as well as the new race Pandaren. Nearly all races can be Monks(with the exception of Goblin and Worgen), and Pandaren can be Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior and of course, Monk. I intend to level several of each, though I haven't quite decided for sure which!

  What I do know is that as soon as the expansion starts up on the morning of the 25th, I will be leveling an Undead Monk on my main realm(yeah for 11th slot!). I know that it will be impossible to get realm first, seeing as how they are allowing "raf"-"refer a friends" to level to 80 instantly to be eligible for the achievement. I didn't expect to be able to even compete with anyone else, as I have things to do like take my kid to and from school and ya know, sleep. I am going to level mine as quickly as possible though, well, just because. My Monk will not be my first level 90, but I will probably get him to at least 80-something before I start on my main Druid.

  And boy have I prepared for my Monk. I went by several lists made for those who intend to race to realm first(or where going to before "raf"), and did a bit of studying different professions and items to see what else I could do for him. I am also going to be really using heirlooms for the first time. Well, I had tons of Darkmoon Faire tokens laying around and figured why the heck not-now that I have 90 levels to get through! I do not have access to the helm as my main guild is only level 12(still not bad for only 3 people!).

What follows is a rough list of the things I have gathered with some more notes at the end.

elixirs of agility, 1 stack of each level available(in all different versions)
elixirs of trolls blood or fort(or whichever guardian are available at each level)
healing potions(though I don't think I'll need them much)
heavy knothide armor kits
enchant minor run speed, stack
speed potions
adventurers journals(for level 75-85)
weightstones, stack for each level available
delicate bloodstones, several just in case there are any sockets along the way

Gnomish Army Knife(for +10 to gathering)
Herbalists Gloves with Gatherer enchant(my Monk will be leveling with mining/herbalism)

Venerable Mass of McGowan -mace x2 w/agility enchant
Swift Hand of Justice -trinket x2
Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders
Stained Shadowcraft Tunic -w/stats enchant
Inherited Cape of the Black Baron -cloak w/stealth enchant

I have also collected a massive collection of BoE gear, mostly rare, to be sure my Monk has basically the best available gear at each level. Farming chests in every zone from Hillsbrad to Northrend as well as the rare mobs in Blasted Lands. As you can imagine, farming them means I have several hundred extras items that don't work for my Monk that are sitting waiting for others to come back when Mists is released and buy for their new Pandas of other classes! I also used my husband's leatherworker to craft some of the better items in each level such as the Helm of Fire, Barbaric Bracers and more.

Rings and necklaces-my jewelcrafter has made any best in slot items for leveling

Niffelvar Bearded Axe x2 with Mongoose enchants-these are by far better from levels 71-80.

I've managed to find a few of the items that are available to lower levels in each expansion(ie level 57-60 gear from Burning Crusade is much better than any items of those same level from Classic). They just aren't easy to farm and our realm never had any on the auction house for less than 500g(and I will NOT pay that!). The easiest ones to actually farm were from Blackrock Caverns by sending my Paladin to farm the trash in the first room over and over.

   At this time, one week from the pre-patch and about one month from the expansion, I hope I've been able to get anything I might want/need for my new Monk. I will be leveling at least one Pandaren Monk, and at least one Gnome Monk and possibly several other Pandaren, all on other realms-but I have not prepared for them at all! Not a single thing. But that's okay because I do love leveling and after the rush on the first one, I will be quietly, slowly enjoying leveling the rest of them!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Level 85 #22

A few days ago I got my 22nd character to level 85. A Worgen Druid. This will probably be my last 85 before the expansion comes out. I have a level 80(my "demon hunter"-but demons are just not found in Cata zones, so it will be dailies the rest of the way for him); and 4 more in their 70s; and another 9 in their 60s. As much as I would love to level them all(and might eventually), it is time to buckle down and get ready for Mists of Pandaria. I will be going over what I have prepared for my new monk-to-be in another post.

  So here is what I have at level 85:
  • At least one of each race
  • At least one of each class
  • One Druid of each of the 4 races available
The break down at max level:
Per Class:
Death Knight x2: male Blood Elf, male Undead
Druid x4: female Tauren, male Troll, male Night Elf, male Worgen
Hunter x3: male Blood Elf, female Orc, female Dwarf
Mage x3: male Undead, male Human, male Dwarf
Paladin x2 male Blood Elf, female Dwarf
Priest x1: female Draenei
Rogue x3: male Blood Elf, male Gnome, female Goblin
Shaman x2: female Tauren, male Dwarf
Warlock x1: male Undead

Warrior x1: female Undead

Per Race:
1 Orc-female hunter
2 Tauren-female druid, female shaman
1 Troll-male druid
4 Undead-male death knight, male mage, male warlock, female warrior
4 Blood Elf -male death knight, hunter, paladin, rogue
1 Goblin-female rogue

1 Human-male mage
4 Dwarf-female hunter, female paladin, male mage, male shaman
1 Gnome-male rogue
1 Night Elf-male druid
1 Draenei-female priest
1 Worgen-male druid

  There you have it, the break down of all of my level 85 characters. I will be leveling an Undead Monk on Day 1 of Mists of Pandaria(post about that coming soon)-though he will not be my first level 90. That honor goes to my Tauren Druid. She is always my number 1!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mage->Defias Rogue Transmog

  Today I am going to be showing my Human Mage, that sort of looks like a Defias Rogue. Shown here at the entrance to Deadmines with his faithful color coordinated Darkmoon Monkey. I've never been a fan of dresses on my male cloth wearers(or any of my characters really for that matter!), and having saved the red bandana headpiece found in Outland, I decided to go with a psych-out look. Most of the time the only thing that would give him away is his water elemental!

Head: Outlander's Facewrap
Shoulders: Flameseer Mantle (drops Uldaman)
Chest, gloves, legs and boots are all from the Netherweave set made by tailors
Main hand: Torturing Poker (drops Scarlet Monastery-may be going away in MoP)
Off Hand: Rod of Molten Fire (rare boe world drop-got mine cheap on AH)

I don't usually wear a tabard with the outfit, but any black or red one would probably look alright. My guild tabard is black/white and looks alright, but I leave it off anyway.

Next up will be my Blood Elf Paladin!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Transmog Time

 I am going to start a series showing off my Transmogrification sets for all of my characters. I have put a bit of time into most of my sets, getting my characters to look just how I'd like them to look at all times. It's what fits their personalities, their race, their professions even. Nothing fancy, that's for sure. But I have put quite a bit of thought into them.

 First up is my main, my Druid. I posed her atop Thunder Bluff with her Hyjal Bear Cub. Items include the following:
Head: Stag-Helm of Malorne (from Karazhan)
Shoulders: Pauldrons of Tribal Fury (Justice Points in Shattrath)
Back: Grimtotem Cloak (quest in Dustwallow Marsh)
Gloves: Gauntlets of Malorne (Karazhan)
Legs: Salamander Scale Pants (Molten Core)
Feet: Cenarion Boots (Molten Core)
Weapon: Warphorn Spear (vendors in Outland)
with Keepers of Time tabard

 A bit of a mish-mash from different sets, but I think they look good together. And my feral cat is the brown color, so it goes well with that. I also have the Rogue-ish blue Bloodfang recolor set for when I want to feel more stealthy.
  Strangely, as much as I like this very Druid-ish looking set, with the antlers and all, I do not look forward to the new Druid travel form being a stag. I love my little cheetah! I have this Tauren Druid at 85, plus a Troll Druid at 85, a Night Elf Druid(Moonkin) at 85, and a Worgen Druid at 79-and none of them are going to step a foot anywhere until I have the glyph that gives me my little cheetah back!!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

WoW Confessions

   I have been playing World of Warcraft for nearly 7 years now, since October of 2005. I've been a lot of places and seen a lot of strange and interesting things, but there are also so many things I have never done and never bothered to find out about. My kiddo is a total lore nerdette, but while I live for questing and enjoy what comes my way-I'm not one to seek out extra information.
   The way I see my characters are as extras in the movies. When you watch a fantasy, medieval setting film, the castle is always bustling with folks who are cooking food for the knights or making their clothes. And even Robin Hood had many more "Merry Men" than just Little John and Will Scarlet.
 I play this game to set out and quest, whether it is helping the local farmer with some nasty trouble making critters, to eventually taking down one of the lesser demons or dragons that is terrorizing the countryside. What I don't do is take it to the next level. I have never felt the need to be the BIG HERO. To take down the biggest of the baddies. But I am still adventuring and having fun doing it.

   So, inspired by Twitter, which I recently joined, here are a list of my World of Warcraft #confessions:

1. I have never done a raid *at* level. Sure, I venture in to some of those places when I am much higher level and the fights aren't really fair, just to see them. But never with tons of people that I don't know.

2. I have not done a 5man dungeon *at* level since Classic. And the ones in classic were enough to scare me away from ever wanting to interact with other players ever again. And that was at least 6 years ago. You try healing a warrior in BRD who wants to tank while dual-wielding daggers. And then get berated for not being able to do so successfully. No, just no.

3. I have no clue who this Wrathion is that people keep talking about now on the forums. And I don't feel like looking it up, because it probably won't affect me in the slightest.

4. I have never done arenas.  I despise PvP, I tolerate it for some things at best-as long as the battleground is Alterac Valley. Being one crappy player among 40 is easier to get by than one in ten or fifteen. I refuse to ruin other people's games, so I will not waste their time by being the "baddie" making that team lose.

5. I have never attacked an opposing factions guards. As young Horde, we wandered into Astraanar back before we understood that the other guys would kill us on site. It was disturbing that we just wanted to pass by and cause no trouble and they just wanted to kill us. Early lesson learned. I avoid opposing faction cities like the, well, plague. The first guild I joined called me all kinds of things because I wouldn't help them raid Sentinal Hill in Westfall. Dropped them like a rock.

6. I am pretty sure I am a horrible player. And as they always say, "don't be 'that' guy". Alright, as long as I stay away from other players, I won't infect them with my badness or waste their time.

7. I refuse to post things on the auction house for more than I would pay for them. Really, 500g for a level 10 chest? Not a chance. 75g or more for glyphs, nope-I never post them for more than 25g. If I didn't have a Scribe on every realm to avoid paying through the nose, I would not pay more than 25g-I would rather go glyph-less.

8. I don't bother to gem or enchant most of my gear at 85.  Why should I?? The only things my 85s do is dailies and professions. Call me horrible if you /inspect me if you will, I don't really care-it doesn't affect anyone at all.

  Well, I think that's it for now-it's the only ones I can think of at the moment. I might post more if I think of them. So there you have it, thoughts from a TRUE casual!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

20 Level 85s with more to come

This is all I do really. Level up characters. I do it only for myself. Once at level 85, many will do some dailies for some rep gear, all will work on professions. And I will continue to have fun.
These are the 85s on my main realm, Kael'Thas. Nine Horde and one Alliance. Tauren Druid, Undead Mage, Tauren Shaman, Blood Elf Rogue, Blood Elf Paladin, Blood Elf Hunter, Blood Elf Death Knight, Orc Hunter, Undead Warlock and Human Mage.
This is my second realm, Draenor. Four 85s here: Dwarf Hunter, Gnome Rogue, Draenei Priest, and Undead Death Knight.
My third realm, Terokkar. Two here, Dwarf Paladin and Dwarf Shaman.
My fourth main realm, Norgannon. Three here: Undead Warrior, Troll Druid and Goblin Rogue.
And my last little experiment, to level on a random realm with no help and to see how quickly. Don't recall how long it took but it was quick. This is my Dwarf Mage.

One note, just because most of the characters pictured are female, most of my characters are actually male. Especially the Blood Elves. And as you can see, there are a number of other characters in the 70s and 60s. Plus I have one more almost at 85 on another of my accounts(that I don't play as much).

 And I'm still having fun!