Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Final Notice – We have moved!!!

This blog will be deleted soon.  We have moved to nedruid.com, transferring all old content.  Please update your bookmark.

If you are the admin of a board or guild website, please update your links.  The feral gear posts, Kara guide and Bartender overview are all on the new site, in addition to plans on upgrades to all those posts and more. 

See you there!!!

February 21, 2008 Posted by | 1, Attunements, Burning Crusade, Custom UI, Druid Blogs, Druid Gear, Enchants, Factions, Fun, Instances, Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, Online resources, Raiding, Site Meter, Strategy - Balance, Strategy - Feral, Strategy - General, Strategy - Resto, Way off topic, Wordpress, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Back in the Saddle

My nephew is coming to visit this weekend, so I won’t be playing at all.  I logged in last night hoping to fill an alternate spot for the guild’s Kara run, but everyone showed up.  So, I was left wondering what to do.

You’ve probably sensed a bit of lethargy lately – and you’re not wrong.  Part of it is summer chores and fun.  But the other part was just going through a bit of ennui.  Honestly, I think all this Badge of Tenacity grinding and obsessing was getting me down.  So last night I officially gave it up.  If I see it on the AH for a decent price (1500G last night, still too expensive), I’ll grab it, otherwise – time to move on.

So what to do?

I read this article a while back on WoW Insider that made me feel pretty good about running Kara.  They list target stats for Bear and Cat and I was right on the money, even a bit above, on most stats (fyi – also lists recommended stats for Balance and Resto and other classes).  The only real trouble spot was a lower than recommended attack power rating for cat.  Then, I went to our guild website to register for the Kara run and they are requiring Defense of at least 492 for Bear tanks.  I haven’t talked to an officer yet to see how set in stone that is, but I did a little research on how to raise my defense.

I may write up a Defense-oriented post early next week, but based on the little poking around I did it seemed the quickest thing I could do right away was get back to working on my Scryer’s rep to get the +defense shoulder enchant.  Most of the good Scryer stuff starts at Revered.  Well, I’m still languishing back at Friendly, but I only needed around 1500 rep to make Honored.  So I started grinding away at Firewing Point in Terokkar. 

It actually wasn’t that bad, and having a purpose and a plan made it better.  Plus, with most of the mobs around level 64 or so, I was cutting through them like butter in cat form.  Seriously, some of the casters went down so fast that even taking time to loot them, my Prowl cooldown wasn’t up yet!  Got a couple greens, nothing crazy.  In about 90 minutes I had 50 or so signets and called it a night.  So one more quick grinding session and I’ll be at Honored.  Here’s the faction rep guide at wowhead in case you’re insterested.  There was just one other grinder, a hordie, in the area and two Adamantitie nodes in the area, so I got some ore out of it also (one node just to the right of the entrance gate, and the other node was on the NW side of camp).

So a quick little session that was a lot of fun.  I’m looking forward to playing again, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next week to get into Kara.

On another side note – I’m working on a completely new section of the blog.  Since I’ve been doing some research on how to raise stats in other ways besides gear, I figured that maybe others might be interested also.  So I’m trying to pull it all together in a coherent way, while letting you get at the data from different perspectives.  If I get some time to work on it over the next week, it might be ready to go by end of next week. 

I probably won’t be posting for a while given visiting family, then the holiday.  Have fun and play safe!

Forms Bar

June 28, 2007 Posted by | Druid Gear, Factions, World of Warcraft | | 17 Comments

Wow – That was a fun weekend

Amanna is now just over halfway to 65.  With any luck she should hit it this week, leaving only 3 levels to go for flight form.  That’s my next big goal as from what I hear, the Druid Storm Crow form is a lot of fun.  Amanna had a little different weekend that most, with a variety of activities.  Normally, the weekend is spent solo questing like normal with maybe one instance thrown in due to extended play times.  While I did a fair share of questing, Amanna also did the following:

Dropped skinning and picked up Alchemy:  Yes, I did it.  If you read this blog, you remember my post from last week talking about the Alchemist’s Stone.  This bad boy, an upgrade for the Philosopher’s Stone, not only does transmutations, but can be equipped for +15 to all stats and +40% effects on healing and mana potions.  After much soul searching, I decided to drop skinning and go for Alchemy.  It was a hard choice.  If I had it to decide all over again, I would do it again but I would probably wait a couple more levels.  Skinning is such a good moneymaker, for virtually no effort.  Plus, I’m just venturing into Nagrand where the Clefthoof mobs are.  I’m guessing Clefthoof leather is going for a pretty penny on the Auction House.  My Alchemy is already up to 200 (only cost me around 40 gold or so), but now I’m running into more expensive herbs.  Plus, with most herbalists being higher level, the price is getting driven up for lower level herbs.  A stack of Goldthorn was going for around 15G on my server – I don’t remember it being that expensive.  So if you read my post and are considering making the switch to Alchemy also, consider waiting until later levels: more gold in the bank to fund the levelling process.  (The two most popular potions on the way to 200 and the only ones that got bought on the Auction House?  Swiftness Potion and Healing Potions.)

Tanked the Slave Pens:  An honest to goodness “you are our tank” instance run in bear form.  Saturday afternoon a call came out in guild chat if anyone was interested in a Slave Pens run and I said I was interested.  A whisper came back from a fairly senior guild member asking what spec I was.  I’m pretty used to this and usually when I say I’m feral, the response is “sorry, we’re looking for a healer”.  Hey, I’m still a healer you know.  Anyway, after replying that I’m feral, I get an immediate invite and the party leader announces that I’m main tank.  I hadn’t had a lot of experience tanking before and was definitely up for the opportunity.  Plus, being with fellow guild members took a little of the pressure off.  The run went great with no deaths.  We had two pallys for healers and they did a good job.  No great drops although this cloak off the final boss Quaggmirran was a small upgrade for me.  I did learn some things about tanking, and have been learning a lot about my other forms as well.  I plan to summarize everything on a post coming up soon.

Bought some new gear:  With the switch to Alchemy, I was looking for a big herb bag, assuming that I would be carrying around a lot more herbs now.  I thought I remembered one of the vendors in Cenarion Expidition selling them.  Well, they didn’t, but hitting the vendors reminded me that I had made Honored with CE and so had some new rewards open up to me.  I ended up making two purchases: Preserver’s Cudgel and Warden’s Hauberk.  The Hauberk I bought for my cat form.  Yea, it’s one more piece of gear taking up space in my bags, but I find my forms really starting to define themselves lately, and cat is definitely all about DPS.  39 Agility is a huge bump at this level and for the red sockets, I picked up 3 Bright Blood Garnets.  That’s +36 Attack Power extra making this a nice chestpiece for my cat form.  There are better red gems, but I thought I’d wait a bit to see how long this piece stays with me before investing in higher priced gems.  My thought process on the Cudgel was starting to build a healing outfit.  I’ve got some decent pluses to healing with just my main caster outfit, but this cudgel had good pluses to both healing and mp5 while leaving my off-hand open.  That off hand I promptly filled with Unearthed Orb, a quest reward for the escort quest out of The Shadow Tomb.  So using Outfitter, I created a Healing outfit and will look for an opportunity to brush up on my instance healing skills.

Ventured into Nagrand:  My quest log has been dwindling down and I finally got the “go here and talk to this guy” quest that Blizzard uses to tell you where to go next.  The “guy” was in Nagrand.  I had heard that Nagrand was a beautiful zone, and I can now wholeheartedly agree.  In case you haven’t been there yet, I’ll leave you with these few screenshots I took while making the journey to Telaar:

    Nagrand 1  Nagrand 2  Nagrand Telaar

February 19, 2007 Posted by | Druid Gear, Factions, World of Warcraft | | 10 Comments

Aldor? Scryer? Does it really matter???

Shattrath City

 *** Please Note: My site has moved to nedruid.com.***   While I will keep this site running for a while, eventually it will be turned off.  Please update your bookmarks to point to the new site.  If you are the admin for a forum, board or website that links to this site or article(s) on this site, please consider updating your link(s).  Simply removing “wordpress” from the domain name should do the trick; i.e. nedruid.wordpress.com/post_url would become nedruid.com/post_url. 

I’m almost to level 64 and have finished up a good number of the quests around Orebar Harborage.  I had  been looking for a change of scenery, so a couple nights back I ventured over to the Allerian Stronghold.  From there, it was a quick ride to Shattrath City.  And once inside Shattrath I quickly ran into what seems to be the question of the expansion: Aldor or Scryer?

Even before the end of beta, there were reports and articles far and wide discussing the issue.  I’ve long since had a post linking to the wowwiki comparison page.  It does nothing more than link to the wowwiki page, and it’s hits are slowly decreasing, probably as folks level up and make their faction decisions, but it still gets a fair number of hits.  To be honest, I took a quick look at the overview when I posted it, but didn’t really dig too deep as I knew it would be a while before I would need to make that choice.

So now that I had ventured into Shattrath City, I figured it was time for me to figure out which side my allegiance should lie.  I blocked out a couple hours on my calendar, made a fresh pot of coffee, put on some Ted Nugent (why does Cat Scratch Fever always pop into my head when I read or type Shattrath City?), and settled in for what I assumed would be some serious decision-making.

You know what I think?  I think it really doesn’t matter all that much which one you choose.

I know, I know – you stats junkies out there will scream about how the different factions offer bonuses to different attributes, and I should pay more attention.  By my own admission, I’m a somewhat casual player at a couple hours at night during the week and one extended session per weekend.  I don’t know the effects and nuances of every attribute off the top of my head.  Nor have I internalized all the formulas for computed attributes that are based on other attributes.  When I’m evaluating a piece of equipment, I rely on the Tankpoints and Healpoints calculators, fellow guild members, and a fair amount of gut instinct.  That being said, my goal isn’t to have the “perfect” configuration, it’s to have fun.  If you’re looking at two good pieces of gear, I really don’t think you can make a “wrong” decision – I think each piece of gear will help you in different ways.  Obviously, some gear is better or even required for certain encounters, but that is just common sense.

Also, I’m a pure gatherer – herbalism and skinning.  So crafting recipies don’t figure into my evaluation and maybe they do for you.

So I took another look.  I still don’t think it matters all that much. 

I see things like the Aldor healing inscription available at lvl 64 and Honored adding up to 29 healing to a shoulder slot and the comparable Scryer inscription adding 5 mana per 5.  Okay, I can see a difference there between straight healing per spell help good in the short term versus the mana regeneration good for longer combats.  But at level 70 and exalted, those differences start to fade with the Aldor inscription adding 33 healing and 5 mp5 and the Scryer adding 22 healing and 6 mp5.  That’s just not a whole lot for me to get excited about.

Bear form tank – Aldor offers dodge at honored and throws in some defense at Exalted.  Scryer offers defense at honored and throws in dodge at exalted. 

Cat form DPS – Aldor offers an increase of attack power at honored and adds a plus to critical strike at exalted.  Guess what?  Scryer offers critical strike at honored and adds attack power at exalted.  /yawn

UPDATE: In putting together the bear and cat gear list, one of the recommended rings for cat form, Overseer’s Signet, is only available to Aldors.

From my perspective, I really only see one decision point, and that is the two staves offered: 

  1. If your thing is healing and you’re looking for a huge +healing bump, then check out the Scryer Seer’s Cane.  With +228 to healing and 10 mana per 5 second, this could make the decision for you.
  2. If you’re a Moonkin or a Druid that likes to blast away at stuff, then the competing Aldor staff, the Auchenai Staff may be what you’re looking for.  Spell hit rating +19, spell critical strike +26 and increase to spell healing and damage effects of 121.  Noice!

Like I said, I’m not a crafter, but if I was I would also be taking the following into consideration:

  1. If I was an alchemist and absolutely had to have every recipie, then I would go Scryer.  They have the only recipie offered: Elixir of Major Firepower
  2. Each faction has one armor kit for the leatherworking profession.  These are quite different with the Aldor’s being a plus to defense and the Scryer’s a mana regeneration bonus.
  3.  Also be aware that all the other crafted items are bind on pickup, not bind on equip.

And that’s about it, at least for me.  Yea, “what about all the other stuff?  That’s it??!!??”.  Yes – that’s it.  For every attack power/critical strike/defense on one side there’s something roughly comparable on the other.   So unless you see something specific that you absolutely have to have, I again assert it doesn’t really matter too much.

I urge you all to check out the wowwiki.com article and make your own decision.  For once you make the decision, odds are you won’t be turning back as you’ll soon be Hated by the opposing faction (every quest turn-in that gives you a bump to the rep of your faction choice, also lowers your rep with the opposing faction).  I don’t know about you, but rep grinding is not on my list of “fun WoW things to do”.  At the top of the article is a nice table outlining some of the major difference from the wiki community’s perspective.

So, what did I decide?

As I said, I’m not a crafter – so the Alchemy and crafting recipies don’t sway me.  The inscriptions are so similar at Exalted that I’m not factoring them in either.  So that only leaves equipment for me.  Since most of the equipment in Outland seems to be such a higher level of quality so far, I’m looking for something that is head and shoulders above anything else.  Looking at my options, I have to say the Scryer’s Seer’s Cane looks like such a great staff for my general casting form.  I know as I start raiding again with my guild, I’ll start healing more.  And as if the +228 to healing isn’t enough, the +10 mp5 is awesome.  With all the great feral staves available other places in Outland, I don’t feel bad focusing on a healing staff here.  If I had any doubts from looking at other gear, I’m drawn to the Retainer’s Leggings for my cat form.  That +92 to attack power looks pretty sweet.

So there you have it.  I’m a Scryer-lover.  And it really wasn’t that hard to decide!  Let me know which way you go, and why in comments.  Maybe I missed something.

February 14, 2007 Posted by | Burning Crusade, Druid Gear, Factions, World of Warcraft | 18 Comments

Come quick – I need help!

So after I wrote the last post I kept playing around on Wowhead and was checking out the Cenarion Expedition faction rewards.  Anyone used one of these Expedition Flares?  What kind of “help” shows up???

January 24, 2007 Posted by | Burning Crusade, Factions, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment

Help with Factions

Based on how you all are finding my blog, it appears that information on factions and their rewards is a very popular topic.  There appears to be two over-riding questions:

  1. How do I improve my reputation with the faction, and
  2. What rewards do I get from the faction?

I hope to post some resources to answer #1 shortly, but I have a great resource for you to help with question #2.

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I’m really starting to like Wowhead.  They have a nice clean interface and lots of easy to understand search options.  Maybe it’s because not a lot of people haven’t found the site yet, but it doesn’t seem as cluttered as say Thotbott or Allakhazam.  So the other night as I was researching some factions,I thought I’d give Wowhead a try.

I really like how easy it is to get faction information quickly on Wowhead.  Right from the home page you can click the Browse icon to get a drop down of all the items within Wowhead you can look at.  You’ll notice that Factions are in the list.  If you click Factions, this is the page you get.  If you click on one of the factions, The Sporeggar’s for example, you get this page.  Scroll down just a tad and under “Related” you’ll see a bunch of tabs related to this faction.  “Items” is the first tab displayed so you can easily see what items are available from the faction.  You can either click on the item for a detailed page, or hover over the picture for the wow-like tooltip (which includes faction rep requirements).  Additional tabs for factions include NPCs, Quests, Comments and Screenshots.  Each tab has a similar simple list with much more information available to you if you click through.

You might not even notice one of the best features of Wowhead.  Right below the Items tab is a link that says “Create a filter’.  This link is on virtually all Wowhead pages that list multiple results (gems, armor, items, factions, etc.).  If you click the Create a filter link, you can filter your results in any number of ways.  There is a huge number of filters you can apply, from “requires a profession” to particular stats to spell characteristics to “has a tagline”.  You can also combine filters to narrow down what you are looking for.  It is a very powerful, yet easy to use filter engine.

One note: In researching this entry, I did come across a bug with Wowhead’s filters.  I selected the Sporeggar faction.  From the item list, I clicked “Create a filter”.  The existing filter of “Requires reputation with a faction” = “Sporeggar” was automatically created.  I then created a second filter of “Requires specialization in a profession” = “Alchemy”.  There are two alchemy recipies available as Sporeggar faction rep rewards, although they did not show up in the new list when both filters were applied.  I could be using the filters wrong, but this seems like a bug to me.  I’ve submitted a bug report to Wowhead and I’ll let you know what they say.

Verdict: Wowhead is a clean, simple resource for researching all kinds of World of Warcraft information.  There is a lot of interest in faction rep rewards out there and Wowhead’s display is the simplest to get at that I’ve seen.  I did find a bug while writing this article, but it isn’t one that would keep you from using Wowhead as your prime faction rep reward research tool, if not your research tool for all other issues.  I heartily recommend Wowhead and suggest you add it to your list of links.  Be sure to try out the filter option for yourself.

January 24, 2007 Posted by | Factions, World of Warcraft | 1 Comment

More Burning Crusade faction rep fun

More information on Aldor and Scryer faction rep rewards in Burning Crusade, this time from WoWWiki.  These are competing factions so you need to either decide which rewards you want, grind one side, get what you want, then grind up from hated on the other side.

EDIT (1/26/07) – If you’re looking for one site to research all factions, please click here to jump to my post covering my new favorite research site for everything.  It has some great information on all factions and is easy to use.

January 12, 2007 Posted by | Burning Crusade, Druid Gear, Factions, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

More faction rep details from Burning Crusade

Good post over on WoW Insider detailing some of the head, leg & shoulder enchants available in Burning Crusade. 

‘Nuff said – check it out.

January 11, 2007 Posted by | Burning Crusade, Factions, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment

Burning Crusade faction overview

World of Warcraft Vault has a pretty interesting piece on factions in the new Burning Crusade expansion.  I’m surprised this much content was allowed out by Blizzard, and I’m inclined to take it with a grain of salt, but it certainly seems official.  WoW Vault is an established site so I have to believe the content is approved – but I tend to be skeptical by nature.

Not only are faction overview outlined, but faction rewards as well.  If you’re a feral Druid, make sure to check out Earth Warden under Cenarion Expedition.

Why is it that almost everything you see from Burning Crusade takes level 70 to equip?

November 30, 2006 Posted by | Druid Gear, Factions, World of Warcraft | Comments Off on Burning Crusade faction overview