Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almost there... aaaaaalmost there...

420 gold, 17 stacks of Dark Iron Ore, and one trip to BRD later, Aetherna is now exalted with the Thorium Brotherhood, and at 34/35 reputations on her way towards 35 Exalted Reputations.

Overall, this was kind of a non-grind. I'd initially expected that I'd end up having to run Molten Core over and over to get the Fiery Cores and Lava Cores she'd need to turn in for rep. Then I realized that - for whatever reason - I could usually find Fiery Cores on the AH for 60-90 gold each. Lava Cores were about 200g each, and Blood of the Mountain 400 gold each... but by being patient, and buying a lot of cheap cores, I managed to get her rep up to about 18k fairly cheaply. (Oh, OK. I did splurge 1500 gold for a stack of lava cores at one point).

Add in some random Dark Iron Ore turn ins, including the last one, and getting to exalted was pretty much just a matter of spending money as fast as I could make it. Let's face it, too - at 80, in a lot of cases, it's quicker and easier to make 500 gold and buy 5 Fiery Cores of the AH than it is to actually farm those cores yourself. The Zandalar Tribe rep grind was much the same, in that you could actually get to exalted without setting foot in Zul'gurub if you really wanted to for some reason. Nice breaks from the usual "run this dungeon 20 times and then we'll like you" type rep grinds, but not nearly as fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tanking by Accident

As I've said before, I've been killing Coren Direbrew repeatedly for yummy Emblems of Frost and other assorted goodies. Just like every other level 80 out there.

Last night, I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing, and instead of queuing Aeven up for Direbrew, I instead queued for a random heroic. I didn't realize what I had done until I phased in to the Oculus.

Understand this: at this point in Aeven's career, I'd used her to tank a whopping 0 (that's zero, folks, nil, nada, zilch) Northrend heroics, and a whopping 0 (again, that's zero) Northrend dungeons at all. Aside from Direbrew, I'd not done any tanking at all for months.

But... this was the Oculus. Easy pulls, plus the final fight is on drakes, even, so that's not even like it's a real fight, right? So I buckled down and did my best. Thanks in very large part to a most excellent healer, and good DPS players, I was able to do a decent enough job. It was a sloppy job in places, definitely. Those stinking whelps in the first pulls are annoying as all get out. There were points where I was mashing buttons frantically, though, trying to re-teach my fingers how to handle Aeven's abilities. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I ran the whole thing without any auras up at all. Bleah.

Still, we made it through to Eregos without loosing anyone.

Oddly enough, this was the tough fight - I was on a red drake to start with, and Eregos kicked my red little butt all over the map without much of a thought. We wiped, and on the way back, I mentioned that I was used to healing... and the healer suggested swapping roles, so that he (with his mondo health pool and stats) could tank while I healed.

Bingo! Took a while, but after a few minutes, there was one dead internet dragon, and Aeven had her first Emblems of Triumph and Stone Keeper's Shards. As a side effect, I find that I'm not nearly as worried about tanking heroics as I was when Aeven dinged 80... so I may run a few more with her in the next couple of months, just to get a feel for tanking as we head into Cata.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brewmaster Aetherna

After three days of Brewfest, Aeth finally earned enough tokens to join the Brew of the Month club... which was all she needed to finish the holiday meta and earn the achievement for Brewmaster.

In the process, she's killed Coren Direbrew something like three dozen times. Man, that's got to sting! On the whole, though, it's been a profitable holiday for her and her kin. Both Aeth and Laen have gotten the Great Brewfest Kodo (Aeth's gotten it twice), and Aeven's picked up a couple of really nice trinkets and a smashing good weapon for a still somewhat-new level 80 tank.

Oh, and I've gotten a second Direbrew's Remote and Bloody Shanker, as well. In fact, out of 7 runs on three different characters, I've seen every possible item drop - sometimes more than once - with the sole exception of the Swift Brewfest Ram. So I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the drop rates for some of the rare items have been nudged up a bit. Given that you used to be able to do each holiday boss five times (or more) a day, I wouldn't be surprised if the drop rate for special items is now 5x or more what it used to be.

All of which makes me a happy camper. Aside from wanting the Ram - I can't help it, I just think they're so stinking ram-cute - I still need to complete Rotten Hallow and Sinister Calling on Aeth for the Long Strange Trip achievement. She already has a Hallowed Helm, and the Rotten Hallow achievement is no real hardship, so that just leaves obtaining a Sinister Squashling as the last real obstacle on the way to her Violet Proto Drake. Hopefully getting little Squashy will just be a matter of time, instead of the whim of the RNG.

Final note for those who are interested in The Insane: the Shen'dralar reputation grind will see you turning in a bunch of Librams to build your reputation. Each turn in will require some additional components, including two (or four) Large Brilliant Shards.

If you have an enchanter with you, after killing Direbrew, make sure you smash the three kegs in the back of his room to pull Hurley Blackbreath. He's got an excellent chance of dropping a blue that can disenchant into - you guessed it - a Large Brilliant Shard. Same thing goes for Ribbly Screwspigot, who's standing just outside Direbrew's room. If you plan on killing Direbrew a couple of times a day, you should be able to get a stack or two of shards out of it as well. If you're already an enchanter, there's probably easier ways to go about getting your own shards; but if not, this is a nice way to pick up a handful without going too far out of your way.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Done Vacating

Had a wonderful time in the Outer Banks of NC with the family. Went fishing with the girls, went swimming with the girls, dug big ol' holes in the sand and built sprawling (but temporary, oh so temporary!) sand castles, and generally just relaxed and rested.

Oh, and I ran Aetherna through Dire Maul about three dozen times to Free Knot and push all her Steamwheedle faction reps to Exalted. That not only got Aeth to 30 Exalted Reputations, it put her to 33/35 reputations towards 35 Exalted Reputations.

Which may happen sooner than I thought it would! I ran into a prot pally last night who is also interested in grinding out BC dungeon reps, and we did two clears of Shattered Halls (normal and heroic) for about 5k reputation all told. If we can manage to get together a couple of more times, we can probably bang out our Honor Hold rep in another 3-4 runs, and then maybe move on to some of the other Outland dungeons.

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention an earlier Shattered Halls run, where a guild mate (also an arcane mage) joined in and helped Aeth and a couple of mid-level 60's (another mage and a warlock) do a full clear. Revenge of the squishies! There was a lot of dying, a lot of crowd control, and in general, it felt like a challenge. Not an insurmountable one, by any stretch of the imagination; but it definitely had a different flavor than the silent, quick, 15-minute LK random heroics. Frankly, it was a complete blast, and probably the most fun I've had in game for weeks.

I also have a new justification for my reputation grind madness... the United Nations guild achievement. Raising 55 reputations to exalted as a guild? There's only... what, 50 reputation factions in-game right now, and another 7 on the way with Cataclysm? Oh, well. Guess that means I'm actually going to have to do Insane in the Membrane. Mayyyyyyyyyybe. At least, I've kept all the librams I scrounged up from my Dire Maul runs, and I'm starting to collect the items I'll need to push my Darkmoon Faire reputation to Friendly. Oy... come Cata, it looks like I may be leveling a Worgen Rogue scribe. Yow.

Some other tidbits from the past week or so:

Aeth managed to honor Uther as part of the Harvest Festival, which netted 550 reputation with the Alliance. I'm to the point where, barring potential rep gains from Cataclysm quests, the only way she'll get to Exalted with the Alliance is by doing holiday-related quests. Fortunately, it looks like I'll be able to hit that easily if I do all the Hallow's End and Lunar Festival quests this year.

Aeth also hit STV to dance with Captain Demeza to get her Pirate's Day achievement. I have to say, she makes a good pirate.

Oh, and in a heroic Pit of Saron run with some guild mates, Aeth managed to not look up, and so got another achievement (without really trying). Love it when that happens!

This week, aside from Honor Hold reputation, I'm going to be working on Keepers of Time rep as well - another 20 runs of Old Hillsbrad and Black Morass on normal mode will get her there, slowly. Something to do when nothing else presents itself.

Oh, and then of course, there's Brewfest... all Aeth needs to accomplish here towards the Long, Strange Trip meta achievement is to pick up Brew of the Month achievement. With that, she'll be one step closer (and really, only a Sinister Squashling away) from her Violet Proto Drake. I think I'm goping to try and get Aeven the stamina trinkets from Coren Direbrew, too. That should be a nice, simple test of her tanking abilities, with a nice little reward to boot. I wouldn't say no to a Tankard O' Terror, either :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gone Fishing

No, not in game. Literally.

More to follow once I'm back home from vacation, but for now, I wanted to make note of the World of Warcraft Reputation Calculator at Doesn't tell me a lot I don't know, but it is really nice to have the list of mobs/repeatable quests that grant rep all in one place.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Above and Below

Aetherna has made The Deadliest Catch, which... hmm. Didn't actually kill her. Last night, she managed to fish up The Lurker Below, which got her the achievement... The Lurker Above? Huh. Well, this time, at least, she died. This Lurker Above (who is, in fact, the Lurker Below) is in fact the Deadliest Catch, while the Deadliest Catch is actually something more like, oh, I don't know, a "possibly deadly if you stand in one spot and don't run away or bubble heart or turn invisible or something easy like that" Catch.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Farewell, Zul'Gurub

We hardly knew ye.

(Well, I hardly knew ye. There are some people who, I am sure, are all too familiar with you.)

Apparently, come Cataclysm, Zul'Gurub is gone, boyo. Gone. As in, no more.

I wonder if Hero of the Zandalar Tribe will become a feat of strength, or if there will be new quests or a new instance for building Zandalar reputation. In any case... I'll need to get together a group and do a full run through ZG before it disappears under the waves.

Aetherna, Hero of Northrend

So, according to the Armory, Aetherna's run Heroic Ahn'kahet (Old Kingdom) six times. In that time, she's never actually killed Amanitar, the optional mushroom boss. Which was the only boss she needed to get her Heroic: Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom achievement, which was the last thing she needed to become a Northrend Dungeon Hero. Sweet!

To cap off the evening, she hit Hellfire Peninsula and completed a bunch of Honor Hold dungeon quests that she had skipped while leveling. Aside from picking up a nice little chunk of Honor Hold reputation, she also managed to solo regular Blood Furnace.

Oh, and I've been inspired to pick up - and try to finish, as best I'm able - the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest line. I'd barely started this when I was working on Loremaster, so there's a lot of interesting stuff to do here, starting with a Blackwing Lair run.

Reputation grind status:
  • Brood of Nozdormu - 26346/36000 (hated)
  • Keepers of Time - 810/21000 (revered)
  • Honor Hold - 4187/21000 (revered)
Gotta remember to hit up the Sha'tari Skyguard and get a couple of new mounts, too, on the way to my Mountain o' Mounts.