Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Money Making in MOP, Update #2

Currently at just shy of 110K gold.  Bags continue to sell briskly, and I've cleared out a good portion of the BC and Wrath era crafting materials I collected in the weeks prior to the expansion.  Laenshield has learned the Living Steel transmutation as well, which provides another source of profit (about 1K per day).

Between the transmutation, bags, and selling MoP ore/herbs on the AH, I'm making about 3500 gold per day just as side effect of questing on Aeven.  At this rate, I think I'll be beating 150k gold by the end of October.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Money Making in MOP, Update #1

So.  As of October 8th, I have about 82k total from selling gathered items, herbs/ore, and bags.  That's a 17k increase over 11 days, or about 1500 gold per day.  At this rate, I'm looking at having about 120k in the bank by the end of October - well short of my 200k goal.


Part of the problem is that we've got a major release coming at work, and some things going on at church that have been taking up a lot of time, leaving relatively little for WoW.  So I've really not been playing much, compared to the WotLK and Cataclysm releases.

In game, the reason I've been leveling Aeven so slowly is that the stories are interesting, exploring Pandaria is fun, and I don't feel the need to rush through content to get to max level ASAP. All of that's a good thing.   Last night's few hours of play saw me get distracted and start poking around and exploring rather than questing, and I had a blast.

Still, it cuts into my money-making.  As I progress, though, I'm sure that I'll encounter new and exciting opportunities for parting people from their cash on the AH.

To that end, I've cleared out most of my stockpile of Outland ores, with Fel Iron selling fairly reliably for 100g/stack.  I need to start doing the same with my Outland herbs and enchanting materials.

Keep in mind that my "stockpiles" in this case are a few dozen stacks - I don't have a guild bank for my sole personal use, and I'm not looking to corner the market or anything.  My goal was, and is, just to take advantage of the fact that players will be leveling new characters in the expansion, and provide them some of the materials they'll need to level their professions.

MoP ore and herb prices have been surprisingly stable on Kirin Tor.  Ghost iron ore - the only ore I've been mining to date - has held pretty steady, at about 100-120 g/stack.  Green tea leaves started at about 40g per stack, but as people have leveled out of the starting zones, it's starting to push upwards to 60g per stack or so.

I've also started investing in leveling alchemy (Laenshield), inscription (Aretae), and jewlcrafting (Aetherna) on my alts.  No enchanting yet - I'll do that as part of leveling Aeth, since she's my enchanter now, and I can take advantage of the gear upgrades available through leveling to provide the materials I need for that.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Panda Thoughts

Pandaria is gorgeous - even my wife thinks so.  The style reminds me quite a bit of Northrend, in a good way... the land seems to be much more real, and less cartoony, than some of the old world zones.

Well.... to be honest, the Jade Forest is beautiful.  I'm pushing level 87 on Aeven, and I still haven't gotten out of the first starting zone!  I'm actually looking forward to the other zones, even the ones I visited briefly in the beta.  I can't wait to meet the Grummles, the Klaxxi, the Tillers, and figure out what beasts Hemet Nesingwary wants me to slaughter this time.

I credit Aeven's rapid advance, in part, on the incredible abundance of herb and ore nodes in the zone.  At level 86, she's still getting 15k XP per node.  Last night, just questing for a couple of hours - not even farming - she managed to hit about 50 nodes in an hour.  That's about 750K XP over and above what she got from questing, and roughly the equivalent of completing an additional six quests on top of the ones she'd already done.  Whoa.

The XP gains from the nodes helps make up for the leveling pace that Aeven's at, though.  Leveling on a protection paladin is much, much slower than I'm used to... but man, she is un-freaking-killable.  I've gotten into the habit of trying to collect at least 3-4 mobs at a time, just because fighting a single mob is so slow that it feels painful.  At one point last night, I managed to collect and burn down a group of about 8 mobs at once.  Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory keep her up, and in the few instances where things start to look a little hairy, there's always Lay On Hands.

So far, I'm having a lot of fun.  The laid back nature and practicality of the Pandaren is absolutely  delightful.  When I completed A Humble Offering and Pei-Zhisays commented on the mushroom offering I collected, "Also, they make a pretty fine stir-fry"... that made me chuckle.  Those Pandaren certainly keep their feet on the ground, as the Dwarves would say!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Money Making in MoP

I'm starting out with a total of about 65k gold across my various characters (Kirin Tor, Alliance).

I've got three plans I'm pursuing:

Gathering.  I've already made about 3k gold just off of the herbs and ores I've gathered with Aeven in the first half of the Jade Forest.  The price per unit isn't sky high, but it's high enough that I expect farming ore and herbs for a while to be a decent money maker.  I've also got a good stockpile of Outland and Northrend ores and herbs that I'll be selling to folks leveling their Pandaren characters.

Materials.  Stuff that comes from killing mobs - primarily, cooking materials, enchanting mats and windwool cloth.  For now, if it's a cooking reagent, cloth, or something else usable by a profession, it's going on the auction house for the best price I can get.

Bags.  I've got enough materials for about 400 netherweave bags and 40 embersilk bags socked away on Laenshield.  While this won't make nearly as much money as gathering or selling materials, I expect it will generate a few thousand gold.

Once the prices for ores, herbs and other materials starts to trail off, I'll start stockpiling materials to level my own professions.  I'm not a raider, except very casually, so having the absolute best gear really isn't an immediate priority for me.  I'm hoping to get to 200k gold by the end of October - enough to fuel whatever initial pursuits might be interesting in MoP.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MoP: First Impressions

Scenarios are interesting.  Hopefully a little more challenging than the Theramore scenario was, though.

Pet battles are amazing.  I thought, "Oh, I'll just learn the skill on Aeven before I hit Pandaria and start gathering," and half an hour later, I had a couple of new pets and a fistful of new achievements.  I can definitely see moar pet battles in my future.

The intro to Pandaria is a bit linear, but I understand that was to help introduce the idea of the Sha and the reasons for the Horde/Alliance interest in Pandaria.  I'm OK with that, especially since it looks like from the second half of the Jade Forest on through the rest of the expansion there's a lot more freedom to accept or ignore quests.  I'll be plowing through with Aeven until I can hit max gathering skills, but I plan on slowing down and seeing everything with Aetherna.

The Sha look like interesting foes.  I'll need to be careful when I play through on Aeth and my other characters, though.  Ive got Aeven specced as protection, which means she can gather up and wear down a large number of enemies at once.  Some of the intro quests will be a bit trickier on a more squishy class.

Pandaria is obviously a land abundant in natural resources.  I've not really even left the starting area (Pado'shan village?) yet, and I've already hit 550 mining/herbalism on Aeven, with 3+ stacks of ghost iron ore and 2+ stacks of green tea leaves.  Note to self: next time, learn the new level of profession training before starting to gather.

The scenery is awesome.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Maze Of Twisty Passages

The Pandas are coming... and with the 5.0.4 patch today, Cynwise has decided that the best thing you can do is to start over from scratch.

Well, not entirely - not until you have the chance to level yourself some Panda.  But for your existing characters?  There have been enough changes that is makes sense to clear off those menu bars and rebuild 'em.

From my time in the beta, I'd have to say this is a pretty sound bit of advice.  Things have changed drastically; instead of adapting, it's probably best to start over and build a new UI that you're comfortable with.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Ultimate Gold Sink

Coming soon with Mists of Pandaria:  The Black Market auction house.

Looking for that rare mount?  Rare pet?  An old tier piece for transmog that you just can't seem to get that one boss to drop?

Keep your eyes on the Black Market.


From the UI, it looks like there's no "buy it now" option.  So when those Ashes of Al'ar show up, you don't just have to see it listed - you apparently have to be prepared for the ensuing bidding war.

Double yoi!

I don't see how they can do this, really, unless they implement a proxy bid system.  To do otherwise would be to invite the unbridled rage of millions of bidders...

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Snark Is Strong In This One

In Pandaria, when you get to the Valley of the Four Winds, one of the quests you can pick up is "Li Li's Day Off".  Li Li is a snarky little Pandaren, the niece of Chen Stormstout, and when Chen runs off to investigate an abandoned brewery, she asks you to help her see the sights in the valley.  As part of the quest, you get Li Li's Wishing Stone, which lets you summon her whenever you get to a sight she wants to see.  You will be tempted to hit a point, summon her, then dismiss her so you can be about your business.

Don't do it.

If she's accompanying you as you perform your other quests, she makes some amusing and truly, deeply snarky comments about the situations and things you encounter.

I liked Li Li when I first encountered her on entering the Valley; as time goes by, I'm just growing more and more fond of her.

Friday, April 27, 2012

For The Children

Children's Week is upon us, which means that it's time for The School of Hard Knocks to rear it's ugly head again.

Hey... it's For The Children.

As usual when it's something PvP related, I recommend that you turn to Cynwise.  If you're going to be in the BGs trying for your achievement, take a look at his guide for the event.  If you're a regular BG participant, you might want to consider his Modest Proposal.

Me?  I'm thinking that I'll drop in on a BG or two, just to lend a hand.  Not on Aeth, though, tempting as that might be.  Perhaps I'll get some starter PvP gear on Laenshield or Aretae or even Aeven and see what PvP as a different class feels like.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Scratch That... Apparently, I've Been REALLY Good!

Just got an invite to the Diablo III beta as well.

Looks like I'll be playing lots of games in the future!


Yes, yes, I know.  It's not like I wasn't going to do that anyways; but now I have a justification for it.

Apparently, I've Been Good

Blizzard has decided that I CAN HAZ PANDAS.

This isn't my first time beta-testing a game (take a gander at Frayed Knights, which I suspect you'll enjoy if you have anything more than a rudimentary sense of humor).  I may be weird, but as a software developer, I actually take the whole "beta tester" thing kind of seriously.

Yeah, I'll get to see da Pandas.  I'm also looking forward to filing some reports on truly heinous bugs.

Don't laugh.  I just told you - I'm weird.

In fact, as kind of a good omen of the bounty of bugs to come, I managed to file one even before I had the Mists beta installed.  The Mac installer crashed in a weird and unusual way, so boom - off goes the problem report to Blizzard.

An auspicious beginning, I think :-)

Moar Panda news to follow...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

With The Fury of a Thousand Suns

Ah, Noblegarden!  The seasons are turning.  Spring is in the air, and it is a time to put aside the struggles of the world for a time, and celebrate not victory, but life itself.

Ah, Noblegarden!  One of the few in-game holidays without a PvP component.

At least... that's what they'd like you to think.

The truth of the matter - the sick, twisted truth - is that while there is no direct PvP activity during Noblegarden, the entirety of this oh-so-innocent looking holiday is designed to fill you with the seething, white-hot fury of a thousand suns, directed at your fellow WoW player.

Consider, please.  What is the primary activity of Noblegarden, eh?

Running around and collecting Brightly Colored Eggs.

So pastoral, yes?  So... so peaceful.

Until you show up in Dolanaar and realize that there are about a thousand other people doing the exact same thing.

Have you ever had a character who was a miner?

Have you ever, on that character, spotted a node, swooped in on it, and stood on the node while you fought off the inevitable slavering horror who lurked nearby?

Have you ever done so, only to hear, as you finished off your foe, a sound that simultaneously chilled your blood and filled you with a blinding, burning hatred?

"Tink... tink... tink..."

Yes... the sound that lets you know that, when you turn around, you'll be greeted by the sight of some inconsiderate jerk of indeterminate parentage stealing your freaking node.

Recall the times this has happened to you.  Take this thought.  Roll it around in your head for a bit.  Allow it to seep into your psyche, until you remember the feeling of incandescent rage that bubbled through your entire being, bringing all your thoughts to a roiling boil of distilled hatred that suddenly crystalized into a single, focused desire.

Nay, not a desire, but a need.

A need to kill.

Got it?

Now imagine that feeling washing over you every thirty seconds.

That, my friend, is what it's like collecting eggs for Noblegarden.

Two days, and I'm about halfway towards the 500 chocolates I need for Aeth's Swift Springstrider.  Two more days, and I suspect that I will be filled with a loathing of my fellow WoW player so blindingly intense that Deathwing himself would be taken aback.

If I could, I would cheerfully murder each and every person in Dolanaar.

Cheerfully.  Whistling a jaunty little killing tune the whole while.

Fortunately for them, my murderous rage is blunted by the sad, sad fact that one cannot simply gank members of one's own faction.

Believe me, I've tried.

That druid in flight form, camping two prime egg spawns?  If looks could kill, man, you'd be dead.  And not just dead - I'd camp your dismembered corpse, and sit and munch on Barbecued Buzzard Wings while I waited for the chance to kill you again.

Fortunately for you, Blizzard - in their wisdom - keeps me from this immensely logical course of action.  Which leaves me with a surfeit of vitriol, a desire to find another player and ruin their entire week, that I need to unload somewhere.

Now, where could I find that kind of catharsis?

If only there were some location - some battleground - where I could let slip the dogs of war and vent my pent-up feelings, even if it were upon some poor proxy for my despite!


So, yeah.  Noblegarden?

Totally a PvP holiday.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Most Exciting Bit Of MoP News Yet...

Glyph of Crittermorph.


Tremble in fear before my chelonian army, fools!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dual Gathering

I recently read an article at The Consortium that advocated having a dual-gathering (mining/herbalist) character, especially at the start of an expansion.  Since I was already shuffling professions around on my characters, I figured that I'd shift Aeven from being a miner/skinner to a miner/herbalist.  How long could it take, really?  Besides - I'd actually be making some money in the process, which is different from leveling a crafting profession.  So, why not?

Four hours later, she's now at 475 skill in herbalism, and already able to start picking nodes in Cataclysm content.  Running through Hyjal was fun - it seems like she was running into a node (Cinderbloom, Stormvine or Obsidium) once a minute or so, and her bags started to fill up pretty quickly.

If Aeven is going to become my main gathering character, I'm not sure what I'll do with Aretae.  Having him as an herbalist seems redundant, but I'm not sure it's really worth it to train him as a leather worker or a smith.

In any case, I'm pretty sure that for MoP, I'll end up rolling and leveling a female Pandaren monk.  Take a look at that link, there.  She's so FLUFFY!  Ahem.  That's another two primary profession slots to look at - perhaps I'll level skinning/leatherworking on Aelin, and blacksmithing on Aretae?  Hmm.  Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Laenshield the Alchemist

Since Aeth is now an enchanter, I dropped that profession on Laenshield and picked up alchemy.  The total time to level was about the same - a couple of hours a day over 2-3 days for collecting mats, picking up recipes, etc. - but the overall cost was vastly different.  It cost Laenshield less than 3k, total, to level alchemy, and even that's probably on the high side, since I'm still making money off of selling the potions, elixirs, and other items he produced while leveling.

Granted, I spent a couple of hours on Aretae gathering herbs for Laenshield before I started leveling alchemy.  That wasn't really to avoid spending gold on the AH, though.  Truth be told, there were almost no low-level (pre-BC) herbs on the AH at all.  Given that, farming up what I needed was the only real option I had.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dances With Guildies

I did a couple of HoTs on Aeth last night, then had a guild member ask if there was anyone interested in running normal Cata dungeons.

It.  Was.  Glorious.

Srsly.  I had about the best time I've had in the game for a long while.

The first dungeon was the Vortex Pinacle, which is always neat to run.  With three other guildies, we had enough room to hit LFD looking for a tank, and got one really quickly... and got one who was not only competent, but had a sense of humor.

That became significant rather quickly.

After the first pull, the tank took a look at our healer - a Worgen druid - and said words to the effect of "Holy cow, heals - your gear!"

And yeah, the healer was in a mix of quest greens, crafted and quest blues, and the occasional epic.  Nothing unusual, really, but... something of a mismatched set.

"I've had really lousy luck with drops", she mentioned.

At which point I commented that her gear "was lovingly crafted from the finest bubble gum and sticks we could find."

Aaaaaaaaaaaand we were off!

Pretty much from that point on, we were joking back and forth about everything.  Standing in the green is good? What about fire?  "Fire heals you.  You just have to stand in it long enough."  Riffing on fragments of movies and songs.  "Sheep this one..." After Aeth did a turtle polymorph, "That's not a sheep!  That's not even the same species!" "It's a... uh... SEA SHEEP!"

I think I shocked someone by knowing who Barbara Manatee was. (That came up in Throne of the Tides, of course).  "Don't stand in the bubbly green stuff!" "I thought green stuff was good!" "No, the bubble are like in the bathtub.  Toxic farts."

Yeah, not exactly the lofty heights of humor.

But it was relaxed, we were having a good time, and even when people 'asploded from various things, we managed to soldier on and beat the living loot out of the bosses.  The tank (who was an amazingly excellent and a wonderful person to boot) stuck with us through two dungeons, rolled with the strange comments and weird humor, and was generally was just the right person at the right time for our pack of only moderately lucid lightning-throwing, arcane blasting, stabbity heroes.

Good times... good times!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aetherna the Enchanter

Enchantress?  Enchantrix?

Whatever - she's dropped Mining, leveled enchanting to 525 over the course of a couple of days, and is now sporting a couple of nice +40 int ring buffs instead of a boring old +120 stam buff.

All for the cost of... (drumroll, please!)

... 17,000g.  Give or take a few coins.

But hey, who's counting?

Note that this was the cost to go from 0 to 525 - my original estimate of what it would take to level enchanting to 525 in Cataclysm assumed that you were starting out at 450 skill already, and was based on market prices from over a year ago.  On my server, the price of hypnotic dust has fallen to about 10% of what it was a year ago, and celestial essences are running at about 75% of what they once were.  That reduces the total cost to go from 450 to 525 from 14,950g to around 5700g.


Now, granted - I was in a hurry, I had the cash, so I was willing to pay more than the lowest possible market price for a lot of mats.  What's the difference between 42g for a BC-era essence and 45g for the same essence?  Well, 3 gold, times 50, times how many times I made that decision... it adds up.  Plus, I spent quite a bit of gold at the end of the process to buy up some heavenly shards to trade for the top-end Cata enchantments.  So let's say that I was paying at least a 15% surcharge for my mats, and knock the total price down to 14,450g.

Still, that means leveling from 0 to 450 cost about 8,750g.


Yeah, it stung a bit.  On the plus side, I've made about 3k selling some of the enchants I used to level on the AH, so that helps knock the total price down a bit.  In real terms - what I actually paid - that means that I'm only out about 14k.  If I had been more careful about buying and stockpiling mats, I probably could have knocked the total cost down to 11k and some change.

But... hey, +80 int on my rings now.

That's only 175g per point of intelligence.

Definitely worth it, right?

Now to start running some dungeons to make use of my new found disenchanting skills... I figure I'll only need to run something like 100 random HoTs to make up the cash I blew on this little diversion.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Last night, as I waited for the queue to pop for a run through a random HoT, I gave some thought to some changes.

Right now, I've got a couple of stable alts with a nice selection of professions:

  • Aetherna - level 85, Jewlcrafting and Mining
  • Laenshield - level 85, Tailoring and Enchanting
  • Aretae - level 85, Inscription and Herbalism
  • Aeven - level 80, Mining and Skinning
Overall, a nice spread of capabilities.  I've got all three gathering professions (Mining, Herbalism, Skinning) represented, plus the major gear enhancement professions (Inscription, Tailoring, Jewlcrafting and Enchanting).  There's a couple of gaps, though...

Aeth is my main.  She's the one that gets all the love, all the randoms, all the effort at advancement.  I honestly don't think this is going to change any time soon.  There's just something about playing a mage that really appeals to me.  On top of that, she's my achievement hound... if I'm doing something in the world, it's almost certainly on Aeth.

In particular, it's annoyed me the number of times I've gotten a bit of random loot in the LFD that's soulbound.  On Aeth, that means I can sell it to a vendor for about 10% of it's real value (should it happen to be disenchanted).  Sometimes there's an enchanter along for a run, so she can get a shard or a crystal instead of a purple that sells for 15g, but that's not certain by a long shot.

So, I'm thinking of dropping Mining on Aeth and picking up Enchanting.  Being able to add some ring enchants would definitely be nice.  Where will she get ores to prospect for gems, though?  Aeven, of course.  So that's one change.

If Aeth has Enchanting, then there's not much point in keeping that profession on Laenshield.  It would be nice to have an alchemist around, though.  I leveled Alchemy on Talesin (my Horde shaman) to max level, and having access to a transmutation alchemist would be nice.  Where will he get the herbs to turn into potions, though?  Aretae, of course!  So that's change number two.

Now, Aeven's skinning skill was a nice little money maker as she was leveling.  I suspect that it will continue to be so for a while.  Still, it would be nice to have something else available.  Blacksmithing?  Leatherworking?  Engineering?  Frankly, each of those has a minor appeal.  However... Aretae's my only leather wearer, and I'm not really interested in gearing him up for PvE (though PvP might be interesting).  Engineering is really tied specifically to the character who has the skill, so unless I'm planning on Aeven being more active than she is now, that leaves blacksmithing as an eventuall profession for her.  Change number three.

So my tentative plans:
  • Aeth drops Mining, picks up Enchanting, and levels it to max.
  • Laenshield drops Enchanting, picks up Alchemy, and levels it to max.
  • Aeven (eventually, possibly) drops skinning, picks up Blacksmithing, and levels it to max.
It'll probably be a bit expensive, but I've got plenty and to spare at this point, so why not?

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Say," you may wonder...

... "What's that crazy 'Azeroth on 20 Silver a Day' guy up to these days?"

Glad you asked!

I've been running random dungeons on Aeth.  Random HoT's and random regular Cata dungeons, mostly.

Seven last night, in fact.  One after another.  Boom, boom, booooooooom.


You see, the first seven random heroic end time dungeons give you valor points - 150 each for completion, plus something like 77 justice points per boss.  You knew that already, though, right?

Gotta get those VP for gear, after all!  It's about a 10 minute queue for DPS on my server, so I spend some time in Uldum flying around and mining while I wait for the next queue to pop.

Now, the random regular Cata dungeons don't give VP.  Instead, the first seven give you 140 JP each for completion, plus something like 33 JP per boss.

If you add it up, that can be around 250 - 350 JP per random regular Cata dungeon.  Plus, the queue is generally really short - on the order of a minute or two.  From what I've seen, you end up with a lot of well-geared players in a mix of PvE/PvP gear, so I don't think I've had any of the random Cata dungeons take appreciably longer than 20 minutes or so.

So, basically, I've been stockpiling JP.

And spending JP.

The week before last, I was depleting my stash of VP when I realized that I was approaching the cap on JP.  So I wandered over the the JP vendors to see what I might convert my JP into.  In the past, I've converted them into BoP boots and bracers for a bit of a profit, but for whatever reason, I checked out the JP goods vendor this time.

Looked over his goods, said "Meh," went to go buy some boots... and hesitated.

Huh.  You can turn 375 JP into 250 honor points?  Why is that catching my attention?

Well, I guess I can eventually use it to buy some better PvP gear, but... hmmm.


Aren't the PvP mounts purchasable for honor points now?

A quick check, the PvP mount vendor located, and HOLY COW THEY'RE ONLY 2000 HONOR APIECE?

Let's see - I already have one of the PvP mounts, so that's four more mounts!

How many do I have now, anyways?  Let's see...  huh, 95.

Ninety.  Five.

Plus four.

Makes... ninety nine?

And... wait, I'm about 10 tickets short of getting another Darkmoon Fair mount.

Ninety.  Five.

Plus four.

Plus one.

Makes... a Mountain o' Mounts!


So, yeah.  I've been farming JP.  Blowing it all on PvP mounts.

And, really, having a fun time doing it.

Another 7 dungeons or so and maybe I can start stockpiling JP to covert to honor and buy some decent PvP gear...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is It Just Me?

Does anyone else amuse themselves by grabbing the "Love Is In The Air" daily quest, running over to  Stormwind's Old Town, and tossing bonbons and perfume at the thugs loitering around outside of "The Five Deadly Venoms"?

Makes me chuckle every time.

Making Gold

Hand over fist, man, hand over fist.

Well - maybe not quite that much, but on the order of 8k gold over the past few days, with very little work involved.

I'm selling gems on the AH.

No, not cut gems - though, as a JC, I could do that.  The profit margins are probably better, but really, that takes a whole lot more time and effort - identifying which cuts are selling, which are more profitable, and so on - than I'm willing to put into things.  For me, making cash is a way to fund other aspects of the game, not an end in and of itself; and spending 20 minutes a day to pull in 3k seems like a pretty good rate of return for me.

No, I'm selling raw gems on the AH.

You see, I noticed that - on my server, at least - Carnelian is going for between 100g and 130g apiece.  Probably because three of them go into the Inferno Ruby transmute, and those are going for about 330g each, minimum.

Obsidium Ore and Elementium Ore each go for about 6g each, which means there's generally a decent supply in the sub-6g range.

So, I'll buy about 20 stacks of ore - cost of 2400g.  Then I'll just crank through and prospect it - that's 80 prospects total.  That will (conservatively) net me about 16 each of the green gems, and 4 each of the blue gems.  More green gems and less blue gems if I'm prospecting Obsidium, more less green gems and more blue gems if I'm prospecting Elementium, obviously.

16 x Carnelian @100g = 1600g
16 x Nightstone @ 10g = 160g
16 x Hessonite @ 10g = 160g
16 x Jasper @ 7g = 112g
16 x Zephyrite @ 6g = 96g
16 x Alicite @ 2g = 32g

4 x Amberjewel @ 8g = 32g
4 x Demonseye @ 21g = 84g
4 x Dream Emerald @ 30g = 120g
4 x Ember Topaz @ 32g = 128g
4 x Inferno Rubies @ 300g = 1200g
4 x Ocean Saphire @ 15g = 60g

Income - 3784g.  Outlay - 2400g.  Profit - 1384g.

Again, this is a conservative calculation.  I've actually been getting closer to 2000g profit on prospecting 20 stacks of ore, so either I've been lucky with my drop rates, or I'm missing something in my figuring.

In any case, it's made me about 8k gold over the last four days.  I put the blue gems up on the AH as single units, unless their price drops below 5g for some reason... then, I just stuff them back in the bank.   Green gems get listed as stacks of 3 gems or singles, with the exception of Zephyrite and Alicite, which get sold in bulk (stacks of 20) or just get vendored if the price drops below 2g.

I'm going to continue this for a few days, and see how it works out.  I suspect it will continue to be a decent money maker for some time to come.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's That Time

Just cranking through the Love is In The Air dailies, Aeth finally managed to pick up enough tokens to get her Swift Lovebird.  Along the way, she even managed to pick up a Vile Fumigator's Mask, which will definitely be going into void storage for future transmog potential.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Blizzard posted an updated talent calculator for MoP.

Let's see... anything... in... ter... es... 

Holy cow.

Some magey bits to consider:

Temporal Shield - level 30 Arcane Mage talent.  "Envelops you in a temporal field for 4 sec.  Damage taken while shielded will be undone over 6 sec."

Invocation - level 90 Arcane Mage talent.  "Your evocation spell no longer has a cooldown, but you no longer have any base mana regeneration.  Completing an Evocate causes you to 20% increased spell damage for 30 sec."

Incanter's Shield - level 90 Frost Mage talent.  "Absorb's damage, converting the damage into mana, up to a maximum of 30% of your maximum mana.  Lasts 8 sec.  When your Incanter's Shield is destroyed, you gain 30% increased spell power for 30 sec."

Just...  wow.  Invocation with Mana Adept?  Burn to 40% mana, cast Evocate.  6 seconds later, burn again.  Couple with Arcane Power to get an additional 20% damage for 15 seconds.  That's 15 seconds - 10 GCDs - of 40% bonus damage, another 10 GCDs of 20% bonus damage, and if you haven't managed to burn through 60% of your mana by then you're really not trying.  Evocate, lather, rinse, repeat, with the Arcane Power tossed in on every third rotation.

Incanter's shield?  "Hey, hold on.  I need to run and stand in the fire for a few seconds."  Given the amount of Bad Stuff (TM) that generally gets thrown around, this is a potentially always-up 30% spellpower increase coupled with a 30% mana return.

Oh, yeah.  MoP looks like it's going to be fun.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Two major milestone recently.

First... I've managed to crack the 50k gold mark.  Well, actually, I hit that goal a while back, but it was total gold across multiple servers.  I've since reached 50k gold on one server, which is more of a milestone.

I've got to emphasize that while I've occasionally engaged in some minor gold-making activities - crafting and selling a batch of Mysterious Fortune Cards, or some glyphs, or starting PvP cloth gear,  etc. - most of my "gold making" has simply been accomplished as a by-product of playing the game.  Waiting for a queue to pop?  I'll mine a bit in Uldum... and in a couple of weeks, that ore will hit the AH, or become a stack of Inferno Rubies.  Accumulated a couple of stacks of cloth from soloing Northrend dungeons?  Ship it off to my tailor and make some Frostweave Bags.

Playing more or less casually, without any focus on gold making, has still allowed me to accumulate over 50k in savings.  That's after shelling out tons of cash for pets, mounts, glyphs, rep items, DMF quest items, BoE gear, potions, flasks and... you get the idea.

In other words, there's a reason why I'm telling you "no" when you whisper me begging for gold.

Second milestone?  Reached exalted with the DMF, which got Aeth the achievement for 50 Exalted Reputations.  It was kind of cool in that I got to exalted by turning in A Treatise on Strategy, which meant that I was able to get three achievements simultaneously: 50 Exalted Reputations, Darkmoon Dungeoneer and Darkmoon Despoiler.

The next week or so will be spent on holiday activities - primarily farming Love Tokens for a Swift Lovebird, though if I have enough tokens left over, I may buy a couple of Truesilver Shafted Arrows to put up on the AH at some point.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two to the Sixth

Yesterday, I had the chance to download and try out the new 64-bit client for WoW.

For a piece of "unsupported" software, it's rather nice.

Loading screens, particularly the initial loading screen, seems to complete much more quickly for me.  Frame rates are generally better, to the point where I was able to do crank up my graphics settings to "Ultra" for the the Benedictus fight in Hour of Twilight.

Overall, very nice.  I think I'll be using the 64-bit client for a while longer, maybe see how the frame rate performs in some more chaotic and crowded situations.

One note: the Mac link for "How to tell if you have a 64-bit operating system" are not quite correct.  The link takes you to the Mac support page that tells you how to answer the question, "How do I tell if I'm using the 64-bit kernel?"  Which isn't what you really want to know.  You can run 64-bit applications on a 64-bit processor even if you're currently running the 32-bit kernel.

Instead, what you really want are the instructions that describe "How to tell if your Intel-based Mac has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor."  My MacBook Pro is running the 32-bit kernel, but because it has a 64-bit processor, I had no problem running the WoW 64-bit client.  I may follow the instructions on the 64-bit kernel page and reboot to use the 64-bit kernel, just to see if there's any additional improvements there; but the WoW 64-bit client runs just fine on my Intel Core 2 Duo system.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Status Report II: The Statusing

Status so far as Aeth heads for Glory of the Hero:
  • Chaos Theory - Done!
  • Respect Your Elders - Done!
  • Volunteer Work - Done!
  • Better Off Dred - Possible, but tricky.
  • Less-Rabi - Possible, but tricky.
  • Abuse the Ooze - Done!
  • Zombiefest! - Untried.
  • Experienced Drake Rider - Definitely going to need a group for this.
  • Ruby Void - Arcane mage Needs Group Badly!

The last was more or less a fluke.  There was a small (9? 10?) person group that a guild mate put together to try for this, so I jumped in.  We did 3-4 attempts, and at one point, managed to get the whale shark down to something like 94% before we all died in a horribly gory frenzy of blood and entrails.

Figuring out we knew what was going on, we jumped back in for another attempt, sure that we knew what was going on, and that we'd nail it this time.  I switched to fire spec on Aeth so I could scorch and move and "tank" the shark in a pinch, and we were off!

Two minutes into it, we were making some good progress - it really did look like we knew what we were doing - when my wife comes in, plops down on the bed next to me, and says, "I just got off the phone..."

Now, I'm not the most sensitive, empathic guy in the world.  I can be rather dense some times.  OK, a lot of the time.  In this case, however... everything in her tone, her posture, her words were clear even to me.

"Hey," they all said,  "Yeah, you, knucklehead. Put down the laptop.  Forget the stupid game.  Remember that whole 'love, cherish, honor' thing you promised a couple of decades back?  Yeah, this is what you were babbling about.  Now get hoppin', bozo!"

Which, in a rare fit of sanity, I did.

I think I saw Aeth become shark chow about 4.2 nano-seconds after I took my hands of the keyboard.  Didn't even take the time to say anything in chat.  I felt bad, but... a dozen strangers vs. my wife?  Sorry, guys.  House isn't on fire, but it's a RL emergency just the same.

Turns out that we have a close friend is going through a really, really, really rough spot, in multiple areas.  We kind of had an inkling of it, but this evening was the first time said friend had an opportunity to talk to my wife and lean on her shoulder about it... and afterwards, my wife needed to debrief and lean on me in turn.

So, a while later, I hop back on and find myself floating in the briny deep.  I scroll back through the chat log to see who it is that I need to apologize to for bailing on them without notice, and... holy cow!  They did it!  There's the guild announce for the achievement!  Wait, what's my name doing there?

Quick check of the achievements tab... and yes, there it is.

They not only downed the whale shark, they managed to do so on the attempt that I had to bail on. 

Apparently, they did have it nailed down.

Way to go, guys!  Thanks for carrying me :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

You Learn Something New Every Day


Apparently, there's a bank in Theramore now.

Who knew?

Status Report

Status so far as Aeth heads for Glory of the Hero:
The hardest part about last night's efforts were getting past Prince Taldaram.  Oy!  Possible to solo, but just barely.  I ended up popping my Baradin Footman's Tags just before the first Vampric Embrace; then I used an Ice Block to survive the first flame spheres.  I just ate the next vampric embrace, but immediately afterwards, I popped Mirror Image so I could use Evocation to regain health.  I did my best (Blink & run!) to dodge the second flame sphere summons, and after that, popped all my cooldowns (Arcane Power, Time Warp, Tirande's Favorite Doll, etc.) to burn him down ASAP.  Ended up with the Prince down, and Aeth's health at something like 5k.  A very close thing.

Going back through WotLK content, I'm surprised at how gimmicky even the 5-man bosses are.  Well, not so much surprised, as in intrigued... with a couple of exceptions, their gimmicks aren't trivializable, even for an incredibly overgeared powerhouse like Aeth.  Most BC dungeon bosses go down so quickly that their mechanics don't really even come into play, or if they do, they can simply be ignored.  I wonder if that was a conscious design decision in Wrath, or if it's something that has just more or less evolved from the design process at Blizzard.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moving Right Along

I've spent a couple of evenings earlier this week in Karazhan, working on Aeth's reputation with the Violet Eye

One run through all the way up to the chess event, followed by another partial run, got me to within about 1k of exalted.  Finishing off the quest chain that ends with killing Nightbane on the Master's Terrace let me finish that grind and got Aeth all the way to 999/1000 exalted... which means she now has 49 exalted reputations.  Only one more to go!

What to do now, though?  Just about the only way Aeth has of grinding out additional reputations is through raids - Molten Core, Ahn'Quiraj, Black Temple, etc.  Well, gee - Kara wasn't horribly difficult, honestly.  How hard could Black Temple be, really?

Two very quick deaths in the Black Temple in exchange for 36 rep makes it pretty obvious that the answer is something like "pretty freaking hard for a squishy mage".  Ouch.  Maybe a bit more thought will help divine the answer here...

  • Bloodsail Buccaneers - killing Blackwater Raiders - 5k+ of them - to get to Exalted, then start in on killing 1600+ Booty Bay Bruisers.  Then worry about repairing reputations with the neutral Goblin factions.  Ouch.
  • Darkmoon Faire - monthly quests.  Should get to exalted the next time it shows up.
  • Ravenholdt - farming junkboxes.  Need about 800 more to max out at 999/1000 exalted.
  • Hydraxian Waterlords - Molten Core - vanilla 40-man raid.
  • Brood of Nozdormu - Ruins of Ahn'Quiraj - vanilla 20-man raid that gives almost no rep.
  • Brood of Nozdormu - Temple of Ahn'Quiraj - vanilla 40-man raid.
  • Ashtongue Deathsworn - Black Temple - BC 25-man raid.
  • Scale of the Sands - Hyjal Summit - BC 25-man raid.
  • The Ashen Verdict - Icecrown Citadel - WotLK 10-man raid.
  • Avengers of Hyjal - Firelands - Cata 10-man raid.
  • PvP Factions - no.  Just... no.  Holy cow - 3k+ WSG battlegrounds? Augh!
Hmm.  When "wait for a couple of weeks" and "farm junkboxes until your fingers bleed" are your two best options... maybe it's time to try and put together some classic raids.

Speaking of which, Aeth got to go along for a normal Dragon Soul raid last night, as we're trying to help out a guild mate who wants to get his Fangs of the Father.  It took a bit of effort to get everyone on the same page and down Morchok, but it was actually pretty simple.  What can I say?  I've got some good guild mates.  I'm happy because another weekly DS raid will give me and my erratic schedule a chance to pop in and raid with my guild.

Since I'm willing to wait to grind rep, and raids take time to organize and are kind of catch-as-catch-can for me, I'm obviously going to have some time to work on other things.  Like, say... Glory of the Hero

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  That's so last expansion.  Still, I've only got a handful of achievements I need for this meta, and it was pretty simple to knock out Consumption Junction last night.  Which leaves Aeth needing only ten more WotLK heroic dungeon achievements:
I'll give the easier looking ones a try tonight or tomorrow, and maybe see if I can pick up a partner or two for the ones that would be easier to accomplish in a group.  Oh, and maybe unpack my Baradin Footman's Tags and see if that's a help as well.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who's A Pretty Kitty?

More to come but... for now, know that while I may hate to admit it, I'm Barbie-ing pretty hard right now.

Why, you may ask?

Well - just take a look at Aeth after her solo run through Karazhan last night...

Why, yes - that's Aeth wearing a classic Masquerade Gown and Gloves of Saintly Blessings.  The absolutely cute little shoulders that compliment the gown are a Thistlefur Mantle.  The weapon that's slung over her back, glowing with arcane energy, is (indeed!) The Bringer of Death.  That fell staff is complimented nicely by the simple curves of Corla's Baton.


I stumbled on this look entirely by accident, but man, I like it.  I like the fact that she looks elegant, eldritch, and dangerous all at the same time.  Most of all, though?

I'm ab-so-lute-ly ecstatic that I no longer have to deal with a monument the size of a small boat sitting on each of her shoulders.

That, alone, makes transmogrification a win for me.

The fact that Aeth's just plain gorgeous now is a bonus :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Hundred Percent

Archaeology achievements?  100% complete!  And apparently, I now belong in a museum, or something.

With two rares to go, I shifted my emphasis from Kalimdor to Northrend.  I figured that since I had found zero Vrykul or Nerubian rares, I'd probably have a better chance of getting one of those projects relatively quickly if I worked in areas I'd not done much in before.

Looks like that was a good guess.  Night before last, I solved the Vrykul Drinking Horn for rare #19, and a push last night netted Aeth the Blessing of the Old God for rare #20.

Also, providing evidence that the RNG has a sense of humor, after getting the Blessing for rare #20, I cleared out some Night Elf fragments that I had remaining... and now have Tyrande's Favorite Doll queued up for the next time I want to do some digging.

Once that happens, Aeth may finally get to replace the tree stump she's been dragging around for the past couple of months.  The wonderful thing?  When she finally gets a better trinket, I can pass this along to Laenshield or even Aeven.  Yay for account bound epics!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I may be lying in the gutter...

... but I'm looking at the stars, right?

If by "stars", you mean "a DK and a warrior and a rogue who collectively managed to kick my sorry butt in dps".

I ran a HoT last night in a semi-pug - myself and three other guildies, plus a random fellow just to keep the LFD tool happy.  As it turned out, we managed to pick up someone who used to play on our server and knew a couple of my guild mates, so it was a very pleasant run.

Except for my dps.

I mean, I used to think that 20K dps overall for an iLvl 381 arcane mage was acceptable in a heroic 5-man run.

Possibly even approaching "decent".

I've gotten to the point in a LFD group where I can pretty much expect that I'll be the #1 damage dealer, or #2 if a shaman shows up.

This run, though?


The rogue managed 60K dps.  Not on one particular boss fight, either.  That was 60K dps overall.

I mean... the DK tank was managing about 40K dps.

They're all raid geared, but... wow.

Sheesh.  At least I managed to out-damage the healer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Happy new year!

I took some time off for Christmas, which meant that there was time to stay up late, sleep in, and play WoW (and finish plowing through George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" books, but that's beside the point).

And playing WoW meant... time to work on archaeology.


I really should have titled this post, "How I learned to stop worrying and love the survey tool."

What happened?

Less than two months ago, I was writing about how I thought archaeology was a bust.  Stick a fork in it, it's done.  There was no joy in it for me, it was too much of a grind, not enough fun.

Yet in the last week, I've managed to level my archaeology to max.  Not only that, but I've also managed to get almost every archaeology achievement.  The sole exception is It Belongs in a Museum... and I'm only three rare artifacts short of achieving that particular goal.

What... what happened?

Three things.

First: the new Darkmoon Faire.

As y'all know, thanks to the Insane in the Membrane achievement, I'm very much interested in raising my Darkmoon Faire reputation for Aeth.  Fortunately, with the release of patch 4.3, that whole process has become much less grindy and gold-intensive, thanks to the new Darkmoon Faire.  There are a number of repeatable (once a month) quests at the new Fair, all of which grant Darkmoon reputation upon completion.  So there was zero chance that I'd skip any of these quests on Aeth, since doing so would mean wringing out less than the maximum possible amount of reputation every Faire appearance.

As it turns out, several of the new Darkmoon Faire quests are related to professions.  You do something like gather scrap metal from around the fair, or cut glass into fake gems, and get a few skill points along with a reputation reward.  Yay!  What's not to like?

One of those profession quests, of course, is for archaeology.

So.  Gritting my teeth, eyes on the prize - my precious Darkmoon Faire rep - I went forth to dig up a handful of fossil fragments for the quest.

Which brings us to the next factor.

Second: archaeology buffs.

It's been a long time since I've attempted to do anything with archaeology.  Long enough, in fact, that I missed the fact that the fragment drop rate for archeology had been buffed in patch 4.3.  I mean, I knew, intellectually, that it had been buffed - but I had not actually experienced the change, if you know what I mean.

You might not think it, but going from ~12 fragments per dig site to ~20 fragments per dig site makes for a huge difference.

Consider common archaeology items.  Most of them take 25-45 fragments to solve (minus any bonus you might get from keystones, scrolls, etc.)  Before the fragment rate buff in 4.3, that meant that you had to fully explore 3-4 dig sites for a particular race in order to solve a common archaeology artifact.

Heaven help you if you were looking at a rare artifact that took 150 fragments.  That would take somewhere around 13-15 dig sites to complete.


With the increased drop rate on fragments, though? All of a sudden, most common artifacts can generally be solved by fully exploring two dig sites, and in many cases, doing so leaves you with a small buffer of fragments to contribute to your next artifact.  Even hideously expensive rare artifacts can  be solved by hitting 7-8 dig sites.

Perviously, taking an hour or so to bop around Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms might net you enough fragments to solve a common artifact or two, and perhaps make a small dent in the progress required for a few more.  Now, though?

Solution city, man.

Before, archaeology felt like I was running around, accomplishing nothing.  Oh, I'd find a few fragments here, a few fragments there, but overall, it felt like I was running in place and getting nowhere.  

With the 4.3 buffs, it seemed like I was able to solve an artifact every other dig site or so.  Even if I was unlucky enough to get four entirely different types of dig sites on a single continent, I could be pretty sure that after two circuits, I'd be able to solve 3-4 artifacts of different types.

In other words, I went from feeling like I was stagnating to feeling like I was making progress.  Because, all of a sudden, I was making progress... or, rather, I could see myself making progress.  I'd fly around, hit 3-4 dig sites, look at the archaeology pane and think, "Oh, hey!  I can solve  this Dwarf artifact.  And that Night Elf one, too.  Oh, and I'm almost close enough to solve this fossil..."

And then - then! - came the magic thought.

You know the one.

"... maybe just one more dig site."

Bam!  Welcome to the skinner box, man.

Third: I was on vacation.

This doesn't mean what you think it means.

I'm not saying that I had umpteen extra hours to devote to archaeology, or that I was doing archaeology more than anything else in WoW.

What I am saying is that my normal blog reading habits were disrupted a bit by vacation.

You see, I normally sit down and read through my blog subscriptions in Google Reader a couple of times a day.  On vacation, though, these tend to build up, as I don't usually have the time to dedicate to blog reading, what with everything else in going on.

When you're doing archaeology, though, there's often 3-4 minute interrupts in the flow of the game as you move from one place to another.  Do you know what I discovered about all that time on the taxi going from one location to another in pursuit of a new dig site?

Prime blog reading time.

Survey, dig, survey, dig, survey, dig.  Fly to the nearest flight master.  Grab the taxi to the next dig site. Tab out to Google Reader and read a stack of blog posts. Tab back to WoW and fly to the next dig site.

Lather, rinse, repeat... and two hours later, I've caught up with my blog reading for the day, and racked up something like 400 archaeology fragments and solved a bunch of artifacts.


Conclusion: archaeology no longer sucks.

So, there you have it.  Archaeology is actually kind of fun now.  I still wish I could murder mobs for fragments or clues, but hey - what's there right now has managed to become more interesting than fishing, so I'll take it.  Granted, "more interesting than fishing" is a pretty low bar to beat, but at least the profession as a whole seems to be headed in a better direction.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got three more rare artifacts to find...