Thursday, March 4, 2010


I like the place, I really do, but one can only eat so much halloween candy before they, well, make their folks regret purchasing that cream colored carpet. 

Thankfully, the place is big enough that it you don't really do the whole thing at once, but I have seen it enough that my eyes are starting to bleed.  I wonder why Blizzard put in these 'bottleneck' dungeons in vanilla wow.  ST and now BRD are the only dungeons I get sent to through LFG.  Yes, I there is some overlap - Maura was green when I started ST and BRD was orange as I was wrapping it up - but I was never SENT there.  I think I'm about to graduate into DM which and I think Scholo and Strat will soon follow so the issue will (hopefully) go away.  But it's still odd. 

I mean, when I get to Outlands, Hellfire Ramparts and Blood Furnace are almost equal.  The dungeons in Zangamarsh and Terrokar also overlap, levelwise.  In Northrend, there are several dungeons for a given level range.  I guess that means Blizzard learned the lesson.  Thats a good thing and something I've really come appreciate about them - they made a great game in Vanilla WoW, but saw ways to improve.  More importantly, they weren't conceited enough to not implement those changes.  The same was true for the transition from BC to Wrath and even during Wrath itself (hello LFG!).  And Cataclysm seems to foreshadow even more improvements. 

In any event, I'm BR(n)D out (I'm out of rest xp as well) but I'm still in the Eastern Kingdoms.  I've been working on Loremaster on Nozekrusher.  Northrend and Outland are both complete, which, truthfully, isn't saying much - they're broken nicely into several zones that give you both a focus to work and a sense of accomplishment as you complete them.  I have the Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms to go and I figured I'd go with EK first.  I've made...decent... progress, I guess.  I'm down to needing around 80 quests to wrap it up, but I'm not entirely sure where I need to go to get them.  Yes, I have Questhelper and the /qh incomplete function has been invaluable.  But I'm running out of zones!  Anyway, I'm sure I'll get through it and then on to Kalimdor.  I'm not looking forward to that at all.  I have close to 150 quests to go there and, again, I'm not sure where I'll find them since this is where I did the vast majority of my leveling on Noze. 

Ah well, I'm sure I'll find out. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rest BRD Rest BRD

I haven't stopped playing Bigfncow, I'm just trying to get his rested level up a bit.  It's much more gratifying when you see those xp bars turn blue rather than wait and wait for them to turn purple.  (For me, rested XP is shown as blue on my bar, unrested is purple.  I'm not sure if that's universal).

That became abundantly clear as I was finishing up in Sunken Temple.  I did get my trinket from there and that's been it.  Of course that last run was the smoothest because I finally know what I'm doing there.  Ah, the irony.

I have been in Blackrock Depths three times so far.  For LFG purposes, it's broken into three sections.  I've only run the first (lowest) section but we've always gone on to do more content.  Like Mauradon, the first section of BRD is only for one boss - High Inquisator Gerstahn.  Unlike Maruadon, she's very easy to get to - simply take the second hallway on the right.  I think you can take the first hallway on the right as well - they may just loop back on one another, but I'm not 100% sure.

Anyway, after killing her, we've just wandered around killing and following any tidbits of information the group may have from past runs.  Lots of "I think that guy is this way" (he rarely was) or "the bar should just be around the corner" (it was always on the other side of the dungeon).

Anyway, I've gotten my key and while I haven't gotten to the Grim Guzzler yer, nor killed Emperor Thaurssian yet, I've had lots of fun.  Plus, there is simply tons of XP to be had here.  More mobs than I can count - gathered nicely in decent sized packs that are far enough apart that they don't all aggro.  You can spend as much time as you want in this place and just level up time and again.  One group I was in had everyone ding.

I've always liked BRD and I'm really enjoying my time there.  Now, if only I could get rested so I can move up faster!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Joy of Nethweave Bags

When I'm not leveling Bigfncow (who is soon to be the highest toon with that name in the GAME?!?  How is that possible?) I do have other interests.  I run randoms and raid with my main, Nozekrusher for fun and badges, of course.  But I also make gold.  Lots and lots of gold.  I'm not obsessive about it and I usually spend what I earn, but I never have less than 10k on my toons and I'm usually closer to 20k.  Right now, I'd say I'm right around 30k .  I have various methods for making my fortune - I buy cheap greens on the auction house, DE them, and sell the mats.  I buy saronite ore when it's cheap enough and prospect it and cut the resulting blue gems for profit and use the green gems to make trinkets to DE.  I buy raw epic gems (again, when they're cheap enough) then cut and resell them.  I even have an alt staked out in Booty Bay making a killing selling Horde pets on the neutral auction house.  (Seriously, I buy them for what, ~50s?  I sell em for 5g each.  And sell them consistently too.)

There are plenty of ways to make gold in this game, including professions.  Every profession has it's 'thing' though.  Each has it's moneymaker that it's professors can use to recoup the costs they spent leveling. For most professions, this payoff comes only after hitting the max level, or close to it.  Blacksmiths have their belt buckle, engineers their epic ammo for hunters, leatherworkers have their leg armors, etc.  But there are few items that crafters can create that can make them gold while they level.  Yes, yes, I know leatherworkers make armor kits from the start and enchanters obviously enchant.  But seriously, how many folks fully buff their toons while they level?  I mean, why shell out gold to enchant a weapon I'll just replace next LFG?

Well, tailors are the exception that proves the rule.  They have their high end spellthreads, but they also make the ideal must have for any leveling toon - bags.  Bags are the one thing that most any guide - regardless of focus - speed, gold, RP, etc. stress as must haves.  Bags save you time by reducing the number of times you need to find a vendor to sell your junk.  The less you do that, the more you kill/farm/roleplay.  And while bags do drop from mobs, they don't do it consistently.  So most folks look to the auction house for their bagging needs.  And one bag absolutely stands out from the rest.

The humble, sturdy, not quite pink, not quite purple, Netherweave Bag.

Wait, wha?  That's not the biggest bag or even the biggest crafted bag or even the biggest crafted bag not requiring tons of cooldowns to make.  All that is absolutely true.

But the Netherweave bag hits the trifecta of ease when it comes to, well, anything.  This bag is easy to calculate (one stack of netherweave cloth per bag) makes it incredibly simple for tailors to calculate their cost and thus determine what they'll charge to make a profit (or decide to use the cloth for something else).

Let's flashback to 3rd grade math word problems -

If a Netherweave Bag sells for 10g and you want to make a 4g profit, how much can you spend on a stack of netherweave cloth if a single stack can be turned into one bag?

Compare that to

If a frostweave bag sells for 60g and you want to make a 20g profit, how much can you spend on a stack of frostweave and a stack of infinite dust if it takes 3 stacks of frostweave and 12 dusts (plus 6g in thread) to make a single bag?

Next, the materials for the bag are easy to farm for.  Again, it's just the cloth and the thread.  Other than the small slot linen and woolen bags, you need to farm something other than cloth.  Big deal, you say?  Well, it is if you're trying to squeeze as much gold out of as little time as possible.  Even better, though, the cloth it needs is netherweave cloth.  That stuff seems to just fall from the sky.  If you sneeze?  An NPC seems gives you a couple of pieces just to blow your nose.  The price of most other cloths have gone up because folks just don't spend time in those zones anymore.  But Netherweave?  The price increase has been negligible (on my server) since Wrath came out because folks are gathering enough cloth to meet demand even when fewer folks are spending less time in Outland!  Stacks of cloth go for 5g or less (on my server).  Sometimes they're posted for more, but  I do not pay more than 5g a stack and I create a healthy supply of bags - selling 10-15 a day.  

So what's the third part of this easy trifecta?  This bag is easy to buy.  And by easy, I mean cheap.  On my server, I sell them for 10g each.  Compare that to the 55-65g per bag for the Frostweaves and you can see what I'm talking about.  If you're a level 80 decking out a new leveling alt with 10 bags (4 to carry around and 6 for the bank), 100g is much easier to fork over than 500.  Those extra 40 slots definitely aren't worth the extra gold outlay (in most situations).  These bags are the ideal combination of slots (16) and cost (10g) for bank alts, leveling alts, new guild members, and even random feel good giveaways.  So they sell like hotcakes. 

Why am I sharing this?  Well, for one thing, I like to share my gold making tips.  I know I'm no genius and I have no secret plan.  I have learned how to make gold from others, so I'm just paying it forward, so to speak.

But last night it happened...I ran out of netherweave bags.  I mean it, I sold the last of my inventory.  Yes, I'll be able to make more 5-6 a day maybe, depending on the auction house.

But let me tell ya, at one point, I had my bank alts bags (all netherweave, of course) FULL of netherweave bags!  I'm talking his bank and bank bags too.  And there is more.  I once had so many bags, I created a guild for my bank alt and bought two tabs for him - and nearly filled both with nethweave bags! (about a tab and a half).

I don't know what it was, but about 6 months ago, the cloth was just crazy cheap - 3g a stack or less.  This wasn't right when Wrath launched, but several months after.  After the first rush of DKs leveled through Outlands.  After the last of the latecomers have moved on to Northrend.  Maybe it was the folks who leveled to 80 first and then did DKs?  I dunno.  All I know was that for about 3 weeks, I was buying so much cloth that I stopped.


Yes, I stopped buying dirt cheap cloth.  I was afraid I was missing something in the economy.  I was looking at bag after bag filling up with bag after bag.  I wasn't sure if the bags would make up for the cost of buying the guild tabs (plus more if this madness went on).  I was tired of sitting there watching my tailor make 120 bags at a time - at 10 seconds a bag.  And not being able to really leave the screen and let it go automatically because I'd have to mail the bags to my bank alt or else the tailor's bags would get full and he'd stop making em.

Eventually things returned to normal the cost of cloth climbed back to around 5g and the supply wasn't as overwhelming.  As I sold off more and more bags, I began buying more cloth.  But I noticed that I was selling more bags than I was making.

And now?  I'm out.  I have four stacks of cloth on my tailor toon, but that doesn't really count.  I'm used to posting (and selling) 10-15 a day.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Thoughts

I've had several ideas/thoughts/observations that don't quite warrant their own blog post but I still want to get them out.  So I'll put them here in Random Thoughts - my potentially recurring themed article.  Let me know what you think!

I was running Maraudon and still getting used to the place.  The first few times I ran it, we continued on after our 'loot' boss (the one that gives us our sack of goodies) and each time, the group ran into a brick wall when we got to the hydras.  No big deal, they were red mobs to me and most of the rest of the group as well.  And when we wiped, getting back to the dungeon (and correct instance) proved too difficult so we called it.

I figured this time would be about the same.  But when I zoned in, our healer put up what must have been a pre-made statement.  I don't remember it verbatim, but it went something like this

'Hi and welcome to the run.  I have a few suggestions that will make everyone's experience more enjoyable.  First, let the tank get aggro.  He may be lower level than you or she may still be learning her role.  Please count to 5 before unleashing your big guns.  When the tank has aggro, things die more quickly and we have more fun!'

or something to that effect.

Since this came right on the heals of my usual 'howdy' it caught me off guard but I lol'd.  Since I was the tank, I appreciated the sentiment.  There wasn't much reaction otherwise.

Thinking back on it, I liked what he did.  I wouldn't duplicate it myself because I think if it was something that gained widespread use, it would lose its effect.  But seeing it just the one time made an impression.

Oh yea, and at the end of the run, he had another script thanking us for the smooth fight.  All in all, nicely done and just understated enough to be effective. 

Wow, I guess that could have been a blog entry. Oh well.

Other random thoughts?

Running Sunken Temple with melee trolls is hard.  I can't tell you how many times I accidentally targeted a party-mate in there.

Have you ever noticed that you only really learn the instance when you're done with it?  Well, except for Wailing Caverns, of course.  But I only ran that 2-3 times.  But when I think about it, the first time I ran each stage of Maraudon, I was completely lost and only got comfortable on the last run or two before I moved up to the next stage.  Same with Uldaman, and now Sunken Temple.  I've spent more time in BRD than these others, so I (kinda) know my way around.  But I'm sure I'll get blindfolded lost at first.

Looking ahead, I've heard that LFG puts us straight into Outland dungeons meaning we won't do Scholomance and Stratholme.  I think I'm gonna pick those two special.  I want a (very small) chance at the mount.  I want the experience of running it at level (the actual experience, not the XP), I want the achievements, and I want the key.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm 50 and Sunken Temple is as Bad as I Feared but I have a Guide!

I dinged 50 over weekend - WOOT!  I picked up Devastate so now my sunder armors actually do damage.  I'm looking forward to doing damage and still gaining rage (Cleave takes the place of a white attack, so you not only spend the rage from Cleave, but you also miss out on the rage you would have gained from the white attack - a double whammy).

On the Fury side, I skipped Rampage since I don't really intend to do many dungeons in this build and instead took Bloodsurge.

So now I'm taking a bit of a dungeon break and am working on my level 50 warrior quests so I can get my admittedly 'meh' trinket from Sunken Temple.  Which I've been running ad nauseum for the past week.  And while I won't say that the place grows on you, it does get less infuriating as you learn where you're going.  I still don't have it down cold yet, but I am getting better. 

In a nutshell, here are my tips on how to make Sunken Temple bearable -

Whichever method you use, you'll be taking the route that is straight/right hallway.  If you do the upper part, you'll stick with the main hallway. If you do the lower part, you 'll take a hard right after you enter the hallway and go down a few flights of stairs.

I highly recommend doing the lower section first (with all the maggots).  This is the statue part and it makes for a quicker run.  If you do the top section first, you'll be retracing your steps (I forget why, but it happened twice, so I believe it).  Anyway, as you enter the dungeon, you'll take the front/right hallway.  You'll kill a couple of mobs and then face a decision to go up a flight of stairs or take a hard right and go down a few flights.  Go down.  (Note, this turn if very easy to miss, so pay attention).  You'll know you're in the right area when you see bunches of maggots running around....well, crawling around....ok slithering?  In any event, the maggots are my key indicator that I'm in the right spot.

Now, clear this whole hallway along with the five statue rooms.  Once that is all done, the statues need to be activated in the proper order.  I will say that the order is

6 o'clock (south)
12 o'clock (north)
8 o'clock (SW)
5 o'clock (SE)
10 o'clock (NW)
2 o'clock (NE)

But I wouldn't blame you if you forgot (I still do, I had to look that up).  Instead, send each person to a statue, and you start at the southern one.  Click on your statue first and it will glow green.  Run to the empty statue (6 statues, 5 man group).  While you're running, have each person click on their statue. The one that lights up is 'set' and another person can try.  Do this until all statues are glowing green.

Jump down and kill the boss!

Once you have, you run out of this room and you'll make your way back to the entrance room of the dungeon.  Now take the same hallway as when you started, but this time go up the stairs.  As with the lower tier, you'll want to clear this hallway along with the side rooms.  The side rooms have a troll in each one but this part can be tricky - the rooms can be on either side - left or right (I think they alternate).  And again, the doorways are easy to miss.  From each troll balcony, you can see how many more you need to kill or if you've missed any, so that helps.

Once all the trolls are dead, jump down into the room below.  The tank should go first because you will land in combat.  Clear this room completely.  There are some bosses off this room.  Hakkar is purely optional and in fact can only be accessed if someone in your party has done a quest chain and gotten an egg of some sort.  I've only done it once.  It was fun, but long.

The two required bosses are the Prophet and Eranikus.  Prophet must die first because he 'unlocks' Eranikus.  It's a pretty straightforward fight.  The main tip is for the trash - pull them waaaay back because they do fear.  A lot.  Also, when some of the trash dies, they turn into slow-moving spectres that pack a wallop if they get close enough.  They cannot be killed, but will self destruct after 10-15 seconds or so.  Running away from them is the easiest option.

Eranikus has two 'guardian' dragons - the mini bosses Hazzas and Morphaz.  They aggro together and they tend to toss the tank around, so it's best to put your back up against a wall.  Other than that, they're not very hard, but they are lvl50 elites, so if you're in a lower leveled group, they'll prove a decent challenge.

And that's basically it.  It does take a long time - roughly an hour - regardless of how fast you go.  It's just a big instance with lots of trash to kill.  And there is an order you need to follow in order to unlock bosses to get to the end.

I hope I'm about to 'graduate' into BRD soon.  Although ST is easier now that I know it, it's still nowhere near my favorite.  I'll run it one more time to get my trinket and then that'll be it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pimp Mah Build 2

Just wanted to give an update on my build since I've grown to twice the level since my first post about it.  Lots of changes since level 23, let me tell ya.  Not the least of which is I broke down and bought dual spec and now have a second build to discuss.  Why I shell out the 1,000g?  Well, partly because I had it sitting around and I like to have the flexibility.  But also I can see myself wanting to experiment with warrior DPS.  Plus, the thought of a big (fn) cow walking around wielding two massive 2-H weapons is a happy thought indeed.

But first, we'll revisit my current Prot build. At the end of my first PMB, I was pondering where to go next and was leaning towards taking some damage boosting talents such as Incite and Improved Revenge instead of Toughness which I think I did for awhile.  I'm not sure how far along I got, though, before I realized I was a tank and my job was to take damage and live.  So I did Big's first respec and took Toughness and have concentrated on mitigation talents since.  Right now, my focus is to move down the tree as quickly as possible so that I can get Shockwave at 60.  To get there, I'll finish up with Vitality (stamina, strength expertise cha-cha-cha!) and One Handed Weapon Specialization (cuz while I'm not actively seeking DPS in my talents, I won't turn my nose up at it either and that is simply the best talent to get me to the next level.   And I get two very nice skills in that level - Devastate and Warbringer.  From what I understand, Devastate will be the focus of my tanking rotation and the flexibility and mobility that Warbringer will give me will be HUGE.  I'll take Focused Rage to round out that tier and from there it'll be a nice straight shot down to Shockwave. 

Now, let's take a look at my Fury build I don't plan on actively gearing this build for some time, but I have noticed that I have access to some decent items from the loot sacks I get each dungeon run so I confident I'll be able to maintain a decent set all the way up.  Plus, I can see myself wanting some time between dungeon runs to mine or pick flowers.  Insta-queue is great, don't get me wrong, but sometimes a tank just wants some time to hisself.  Anyway, my goal with this build is the same as with Prot - to get to my top talent ASAP.  I used Matthew Rossi's great guide Fury 101 to help me pick out the must have talents and I think I got it (mostly) right.  I haven't taken it out for a spin yet, but this weekend I'll do some farming and probably go and solo SFK, which I somehow managed to not do through the LFG.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ful Fur Luv

I've been doing the Love Is In the Air quests on Big this week.  Well, and the daily boss on Noze as well.  Why have I diverted from my dungeon life?  Truthfully, for the XP.  I'm not a big holiday guy in-game.  I have better things to do with my time than scurrying all over hell and creation for miscellaneoous quests that don't give rewards I need or want. 

Except for those that give XP.  Send me to each town to talk to some guy or put out some flame?  And give me hella XP to boot?  And it doesn't reduce my rested XP savings?  I'm in.  So Big has been doing the intro quest line and racked up great XP in the bargain.  He even farmed some mobs to get the lucky charms for the bracelets too.  Since, I don't get XP for the repeatable daily quests, so now that I've done them once, I'll be heading back to Mara and ZF.