Thursday, December 30, 2010


Due to Cataclysm and holiday craziness I'm a little late doing this post, and although there is no excuse for it, if you bug me I'll still make excuses. Also due to cataclysm being released since my last post this post will cover Vashj'ir instead of Ashenvale. The first thing I should say about Vashj'ir is that it's long. not just kinda long, really long. if you go in at 80 you'll probably be almost 83 when you leave.
Story wise Vashj'ir was probably my favorite 80-85 zone but it definitely had it's flaws. It seemed like for every combat quest you did there were two that asked you to pick up items off the ground or go poke a button. The amount of collection quests probably isn't a problem anymore, but on opening night there were not enough quest nodes for the people in the zone. The entrances to the giant... things were mildly difficult to find which was just frustrating and broke the flow of questing.
The star of the zone was easily the chain that involves you controlling a naga in the past to find out how their defenses work. The slow gain of abilities throughout the chain provided a nice build up while still giving you breaks to play as your character. The end of the chain had a very epic feel as you fought to save the naga from a vrykul invasion.
Between the amazing story, the few good quests and the overall length of Vashj'ir I would highly recommend playing it if you don't think it'll be too crowded. If you get there and it looks full, just go to Hyjal, you can come back later

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Northern Barrens Exploded

Northern Barrens was a change from Durotar. My slightly dinged up Troll Druid followed the multiple quests leading into the zone to find things were a little different than they used to be. The very first quests were, you guessed it, collect plainstrider beaks and kill quillboar. The main differences this time was that the quest givers were now right at the entrance to the Barrens cutting down on running time drastically. From there you ride on a caravan and defend it from attacks up to another outpost.

Here you meet up with the legend of the barrens, Mankrik. Unfortunately he once again tells you to collect 60 tusks. The other quests in that area have more interesting mechanics including capturing a prisoner then choosing between torturing it or rewarding it in order to get information. Another quest from this hub involves you finding a kodo near the quillboar den and collecting grain sacks for it. In my personal experience there were not enough grain sacks in the area and it would probably be a good idea to skip that quest.

The next quest takes place on another more difficult caravan ride to the Crossroads, I say more difficult because you use two buttons instead of one. Crossroads has its usual quests such as the oases and the hunting quests which and with Echeyakee. The centaur quests are still in as well but with slightly different mechanics making for less run time and a better overall experience.

After that you fly to Ratchet to begin the goblin portion of the barrens and begin the massively updated pirate quests. I'll leave the mechanics of them for you to see but they are much better and involve much less running back and forth than they used to. The only other real quest from the barrens leads you to kill and trap some raptors which was quite easy, but the boss raptor seemed to have a slightly long respawn time. From here you take a boat ride north up the river to do the Samophlange chain. It seemed the same as before but with one more quest tacked on the end.

Last but not least you kill harpies in the northwest corner. Overall Northern Barrens had some fun new things at the beginning but seemed to taper off near the end. I would recommend playing through it until you finish the pirate quests, then grabbing the quest from Crossroads that leads to where my next article will be focused, Ashenvale.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Post-Shattering Durotar

Today is my first post in a series I will continue up to and part way into Cataclysm describing the general feel and questing experience of each of the changed and completely new zones. Today I played through Durotar on my brand new Troll Druid.

For the most part it felt like the old Durotar but with a more economical questing experience. There were a few old quests brought back such as collecting crawler mucus and killing human marines, but several changed ones. In the quest to collect Burning Blade collars there was an interesting debuff added which would turn you into a demon boosting a few stats if it ever built up to a 5 stack. The most fun in my opinion however were the new quests including an amazing chain that sent you through the newly flooded western half of the zone helping various npcs you come across.

This is not even mention the brand new troll starting area which is a little slow to start with but builds up quick using fresh new mechanics and culminating in a Battle For Undercityesque boss fight. After completing all these I landed at a healthy lvl 12. Overall I would say this starting zone is miles better than all the ones I played pre shattering.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Patch Insanity

As you already know, unless for some crazy reason you don't, 4.0.1 dropped this week. There was a good deal of balancing done almost immediately. Before the balancing could go through mages thoroughly enjoyed running around one-shotting things while warriors cried in a corner. Well that's not exactly right, but close enough.
This patch brought in all of the system changes for cataclysm so we could play around with them and break them before release day. New talent trees, shiny new guild interface (no guild leveling though), new glyphs and interface, new spells, new just about everything.
The new blood tanking DK is much more fun than before as well as being slightly more versatile. In what I've played so far I've had no issues with it and I might even be doing more damage.
The new mut rogue is almost exactly the same as before except that you don't have to watch Hunger for Blood and you use backstab when the target is < 35%. I have not been able to test my rogue in a raid environment yet, but from what I hear their damage is still good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Making Gold

As promised (sort of) here's one of the gold making strategies. Most if not all of the methods I list in this article should work post cataclysm.

This time it's all about converting stuff upwards. Ore and Leather are especially good for this. some of the most profitable conversions are:
Saronite Ore --> Saronite Bar --> Titanium Bar -?> Titansteel Bar
Fel Iron Ore --> Fel Iron Bar
Borean Leather --> Heavy Borean Leather --> Arctic Fur
When converting these upwards you will generally buy the lowest step and sell in each level all the way up allowing you access to multiple markets from one source. Any of these are nearly always profitable with the exception of titansteel, be especially careful not to over produce in that market. These that I've shown you aren't the only things that are profitable to convert. Be sure to check your own server to find the best market for you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Few Things

Beta Death Knight Tanking Changes
I'm behind the curve here but if you haven't seen the 12984 build changes before, you can see them now. With a little opinion from me.

All Presences have no cooldown or rune cost, but consume all runic power. This will cause significant changes to pvp as well as making it easier to fix mistakes in pve. Impromptu tanking anyone?

Base disease duration is now 21 seconds. Not really a dps buff or anything, but it significantly increases utility and freedom.

Death Strike now heals for a minimum of 10% of your max health. This buff fixes my biggest problem with the Cata changes Blizzard was making. It's still not as powerful as it's current iteration solo, but it is a large improvement over the previous change.

Entering The Market
The standard version of the Entering the Market column will be postponed as most of the strategies used could change significantly very soon. I will post a few working strategies tomorrow and possibly a few more times before Cataclysm drops.

In Other News
Heroics are hard again. I'm not sure whether to cry or scream for joy at this. I will say that I enjoy some strategy in my dungeons though.

That's it for today, if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to post them on the facebook discussion board or email them to

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Death Knight Tanking in Cata

I was originally planning on talking about alternate playstyles and other such nonsense, but that'll have to wait for another day. Today my biggest question is "What will DK tanking be like in cata?"

Previous Beta Builds
Before it looked like blood tanking would be extremely similar to how it is now. The main differences being that you would have cooldowns from other trees in the blood tree.

Current Beta Build (12942)
I'll start little and work my way up here Vampiric Blood has been nerfed to 25% bonus healing, from 35%. While this isn't a particularly large change it does begin to bring us back in line with other tanks.

Rune Tap has also been weakened slightly. It now heals 15% of your max health instead of 20%.

Will of the Necropolis now can only occur once every 45 seconds. All this does is put it in line with the other tank's automatic "oh shit" skills.

This is where it gets kind of sticky. Death Strike has been reworked, it now heals you for 30% of the damage you have received in the preceding 5 seconds. Although this is a good change for overall balance it will have a few repercussions we need to look at. Improved Death Strike now increases the healing component of Death Strike by 25/50/75%. These changes make our 2pc T11 bonus much less useful. As it currently stands the bonus is only a 5% increase to Death Strike's damage which formerly would've also indirectly increased survivability. Now it's simply a very minor threat increase. I could see an easy way to make this increase survivability again would be to make it increase healing as well as damage. On a slightly different note this could bring up interesting questions of when exactly would be the most optimal time to hit Death Strike. The confusion this could cause with newer or less experienced tanks could lead to problems and once again a bad reputation for DK tanks everywhere

In the end we'll have to see how Blizzard works this all out. The T11 thing could simply be that they overlooked it in this build and it will be fixed in the next one.