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!!!

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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

Yet another Druid blog group hug

Long story short – Phaelia over at Resto4life has tracked down yet another batch of Druid blogs.  Check out her post describing what they’re all about.  I’m adding them to my blogroll today or tomorrow.

Forms Bar

January 17, 2008 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Emmerald’s list updated for 2.3

As reported by Of Teeth and Claws recently, Emmerald’s oft-quoted ranked list of feral druid gear has been updated for patch 2.3 gear.

Of Teeth and Claws, along with Big Bear Butt Blogger, have become my two favorite blogs as of late.  Both have a great mix of technical analysis, insightful comments and a dash of humor.  Just please Karthis, for the love of Elune and all that is holy, deliver us from the evil that is your current green on green color scheme.

Now back to our regularly scheduled show…

As I, and virtually every blogger I read linking to Emmerald’s list also does, please remember that deep red (yes, not grey) organ between your ears.  It has many functions, including critical analysis.  Emmerald’s list, while a wonderful, time-saving tool, is only a tool and should not dictate your gear choices to you.

Emmerald has updated his site, adding a front page to his lists.  He himself takes the time to point out that the rankings are based on mathematical formula, not actual gameplay or even simulations, and therefore should be used a quick reference.  Also to keep in mind is the rankings do not factor in playstyle or party members.   Make sure to read his comments on this front page, they are really helpful in understand what the rankings are all about and which is most appropriate to you.  For more information, he provides a link to a forum where the list is discussed.

Emmerald has also updated his approach to gems.  For each socket, he decides whether the socket is best fit with the matching color for the socket bonus, or a “best available” gem of another color.  If a gem of a color other than the socket is used, then the sockets and the socket bonus is overstricken, and the gems that are recommended are listed after the actual socket colors.

It took me a little bit to figure out how exactly this works.  The key is the “info” page for each category of gear.  On this page, Emmerald lists the gems, and their rankings, used for that gear category (e.g. Bear Mitigation).  So if the gem sockets are overstricken, just look at the end of the overstrike and you should see the colors that were used in the ranking calculation. 

For example, on the Bear Mitigation – Head page, you should see the Stag Horn of Malorne listed as the seventh best piece of gear.  The sockets for this item are a yellow and a meta; although you see they are struck through, as is the socket bonus of 4 agility. After the strikethrough is listed [MB].  This means Emmerald is recommending bypassing the socket bonus and using a meta and a blue gem instead.  The meta and the blue gem recommended, along with his other recommendations, are on the info page.  In this case, for Bear Mitigation, he recommends a Powerful Earthstorm Diamond for the meta slot and a Solid Star of Elune for the blue slot.

Note that Emmerald only uses rare gems for his calculations.  If you are lucky enough to have epic gems, then certainly use them if appropriate.

Forms Bar

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Druid Gear, Online resources, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Warcrafter.net – PWNED!

Okay – got one last response from Cerberus on saving a buffed character and it all came together.  In case you’re having issues too, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to the main warcrafter page and search for your toon.
  2. Go into Sandbox mode.
  3. Click the Save Character button.  This will generate and redirect you to a new page with your character “saved”.  You’ll notice a number in the URL.
  4. NOW, click the buffs header and apply buffs like Dire Bear or Cat, etc., etc.
  5. Click the Build Stats button.
  6. Go back into the buffs window and the URL will be updated to represent that unique build.  You’ll notice that the querystring data that represents buffs are appended to the end of the generated URL for the character you saved.

So, “saving” your character saves a gear setup, and buffs allow you to generate a URL with forms, buffs and consumables applied.  Sorry for all the posts on this, but it looks to be a great tool, but it wasn’t clear to me how to generate multiple, working URLs for the same toon.  So just in case you were having the same problem – I hope this helps.

Forms Bar

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Cerberus responds – Warcrafter sandbox mode fixed for IE

I checked the forums this morning and had the following reply from Cerberus:

“Amanna: thanks for stopping by :p. I loaded your profile and checked the buffs you mentioned (also saving your character for the first time will clear any buffs currently checked) and the mentioned new was working for me: either http://www.warcrafter.net/sandbox/10602?b=0i1M1R or http://eldrethalas-us.warcrafter.net/amanna?b=0i1M1R . It’s the querystring part that adds the buffs 🙂 I hope this makes sense :p
edit: oh I see, it’s just not working in Internet Explorer haha, thanks I’ll get it fixed. edit2: I think its fixed.”

I played around this morning a bit, and I’m still having some trouble with the Save Character button, but the URL string on the Buffs page works.  Here’s what you do:

  • Go into Sandbox Mode
  • Click the Buffs link
  • Check off the buffs you want to represent (this is where Bear and Cat form is)
  • X out to close the window
  • Click Build Stats
  • Click the Buffs link again
  • Copy the URL link at the top.  It has all the querystring info it needs to re-create this character

You can now use that link as a representation of your character.

I posted in the forum again to see if I’m using the Save Character button incorrectly, but I can’t get it to save a character, with buffs, and supply a link that works.

Enjoy!

Forms Bar

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 1 Comment

More Warcrafter stuff

Hopefully by now you’ve played around with Warcrafter.  It looks like my links got a lot of clicking!  That, along with BRK’s original article and the WoW Insider article – I’m guessing most of you have checked it out.  I was just poking around in it briefly this morning, and saw they had a shout-out to me, BRK and WOWI.  Thanks Warcrafter!

The one thing I can’t get to work is getting a URL that I can share to represent different gear sets.  I know Cerberus of Illidan has been very active in the forums posting update threads and responding to questions/comments.  So I just posted this question:

“Hey Cerberus,

Amanna here of Adventures in Azeroth.  Thanks for the shout-out on your site.  It’s a great site and you deserve all the gratz you’re getting.

I have a quick question.  I’m trying to get something working and I think it may be a feature that isn’t implemented yet, but I just want to check.

Let’s say I go into Sandbox mode and buff up with Dire Bear, LotP and MotW.  I then rebuild stats.  I’d like to share this build.  I’ve tried the “Save Character” option and the URL that’s shown in the Buffs window.  If I take either one over to a new tab in IE and navigate to that URL, they both simply return my basic screen as it first appears without the buffs.

I’d love to be able to use your site to represent two different builds/gear sets – say Bear and Cat.  Am I doing something wrong, or are those URL’s not intended to be permanent?

Thanks in advance – keep up the good work.
Amanna”

When Cerberus posts a reply, I’ll be sure to share it with you.  In the meantime, if any of you have a comment on this, please post it for the rest of us.

Forms Bar

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment

New, very cool, resource site

You guys may have seen this before, but until BRK mentioned it, I hadn’t heard about this.  The site is Warcrafter, and it is very cool.

Think The Armory (only very fast) + WoWhead’s talent calculator + CT Profiles.

Yea – it’s that cool.

I checked out this forum post for a little background.  Looks like the site is being put together by a Cerberus, an undead warlock (ew!) and his girlfriend (double ew – lol!!).  All kidding aside, this site is very well done.  Especially considering Cerberus says he considers the site to be only in beta.  While the site looks very nice, I think he means he can’t guarantee absolute accuracy on generated stats, etc.

I gave a run through the site and for beta, I was very impressed.  The first thing that strikes you is how fast it is.  I’m not sure if this is because it’s fairly new, or if it’s just programmed better than The Armory, but this thing rocks.  I hardly ever use The Armory for no other reason than how slow it is.  With Warcrafter, you just type in a character name and server from the home page, and in about 2 seconds you get a full page with stats, gear, talent spec, buffs, etc. 

The second thing that’s cool about this site is the Sandbox Mode.  In Sandbox Mode you can build a character from the ground up, specifying all relevant gear, buffs, etc.  This is where it gets interesting for me.  With the death of CT Profiles, I’ve been looking for a way to represent different gear sets.  The Armory only displays what you logged out of play with recently.  As Druids, we often have multiple gear setups.  I for one have full Bear and Cat sets, along with a hodge-podge of healing gear if needed.  With Warcrafter’s sandbox mode, you can build each gear set, hit the Save button, and then use that profile to send to guildies, friends and family for all to enjoy.

The site’s features are numerous even for being new and in beta.  What I like the best is the extensive tooltips.  Just about everything that’s on the page can be hovered over for more information.  Warcrafter breaks down everything so you can see exactly what is impacting a particular stat.  So not only is the site useful for representing different gear sets, but I can see using Sandbox Mode to compare different setups.  The only word of caution would be not to rely on it as “the gospel” until it seems stable and stats are being represented accurately. 

I haven’t read the entire forum post – there’s 23 pages of comments already.  Cerberus lists the following as key features in his original post:

  • ‘Sandbox mode’ both for existing and new characters, which lets you alter gear, talents, gems, enchants, buffs etc. and save it for reference and linking to friends/guildies.
  • Search through character database with more options then Armory (e.g. to view all 70 priests on your server, you’d search for e.g. “70 priest Blackrock”). Only characters that have been viewed at least once are searchable.
  • Made a start with guild progression, I haven’t all the bosses in the database yet so it’s not yet completely accurate.
  • Extensive tooltips for equipment: view rating conversion, socket stat stacking, how each stat affect other stats. http://www.warcrafter.net/images/b/warcrafter1.jpg.
  • Extensive tooltips for stats: see what each stat is composed of, taking into account gear, enchants, talents and buffs. http://www.warcrafter.net/images/b/warcrafter2.jpg.
  • Extensive tooltips for spells: see each spells’ dps(/hps), crit chance, damage-per-mana, tps, what it crits like, etc; taking into account your gear, talents, enchants and buffs. http://www.warcrafter.net/images/b/warcrafter3.jpg, http://www.warcrafter.net/images/b/warcrafter4.jpg.

Okay, I’ll shut up.  This site is cool.  Go to it.  NOW!

Forms Bar

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Pssst! Buddy. Wanna buy a toon?

Can of Worms<===  Opening

Let me just say right at the beginning of this post that I have no hard opinions on the topics of gold buying and account selling.  I’m sure everyone took the time to carefully read their End User License Agreement (commonly referred to as a EULA) and consulted with their personal lawyer as to the ends and outs of Blizzard’s wording and how it could impact them down the road.

(I just did a google search on “eula” with the first result being the wikipedia link and the second being the official WoW agreement page.  Second!)

No, if you were like me, by the time you got the game loaded and all the patches downloaded and installed, you spent approximately 1.2 microseconds clicking past the agreement screens.  I want to play dangit.  Obviously, agreements are in place for a reason and if every agreement, law and statute was ignored as we all saw fit, the world would be in sad shape.

Well, we’re not talking about arms dealing here – it’s just a computer game after all.  Near as I can tell, it breaks down this way:

  1. By accepting the agreement, Blizzard allows you to install and play the game (Section 1 – Grant of Limited Use License)
  2. All aspects of the game, including objects, characters and character names, are owned or licensed by Blizzard (Section 3A – Ownership).
  3. You may permanently transfer your rights to someone else by uninstalling the game client and giving them your media (Section 3B – Ownership).  I’m not a lawyer, but I take this to mean that it is not explicitly illegal to sell your character as long as you transfer ownership, which includes your game client.

Why are we talking about this?  I was recently contacted by the operator of an online account-selling website to get some exposure on this blog.  It’s kind of like eBay for MMO’s.  What’s it called?  Well, mmobay of course.

Full Disclosure:mmobay has paid Adventures in Azeroth for this post.

I checked out mmobay and it’s setup just like eBay.  Once you create an account, you can bid on auctions, or post a WoW account for sale.  At the time I checked there were 110 US server accounts for sale. 

The auctions function just like eBay in the sense they list user comments on what is being sold, the starting bid, current bid, number of bids, etc.  There is also a buyout feature for those of you that just can’t wait.  From my observation it looked like about 2/3 of the auctions had buyouts.

Seller’s “reputation” is listed in the auctions, and again it functions pretty much exactly like eBay.  However, given the newness of the site and I’m guessing the small amount of auctions each seller probably has, I’m not sure it tells you much.  However, most of the auctions I looked at had the seller’s E-Mail address in the details so you can at least contact them before you bid.  There is also a feature within the auction where you can ask the seller a question and they can respond. 

Most of the seller’s have a little ribbon next to their name indicating they are a “verified seller”.  I could only find a quick overview of what this meant in the site news, and it appears to be a required process to verify the seller’s E-mail address matches their Pay Pal address.

On the negative side, most of the auctions I looked at were pretty sparse on details.  I saw a lot of auctions that simply said something like “Great account for sale.  Lvl 70  with a couple epics.  Also 2 twinks.”  Obviously, I need a few more details before I fork over a few hundred for the account.  This isn’t mmobay’s issue; the poster needs to put more details up.  However, with the “ask a question” feature, and many of the auctions having the seller’s E-Mail address, you do have ways to get more information.

The site is not just for World of Warcraft accounts, but many other MMO games.  While fairly sparse on auctions once you leave WoW, they do have categories for City of Heroes, D&D, Guild Wars, LotR, and even Runescape accounts, among others.

Yes, they sell gold.  Yes, I’m sure I’ll get flamed for posting this.  No, I am not making a personal statement on whether this activity is “acceptable” or not.  It’s obvious to me the game-playing community is pretty split over the issue.  All I’m really trying to do is get the word out to those of you that might be interested in this kind of service.  So if you want to buy wow accounts, give mmobay a shot for your money.

Feel free to comment on this topic.  The discussion on the two WoW Insider posts I linked at the start of this article were pretty lively.  I’m sure mmobay will also be watching the comments, so if you have questions about the site or service, post them here and I would imagine they’ll respond.  Please just watch your language – there are players of all ages reading this blog.  I will be actively deleting any comment containing harsh language.

Forms Bar

November 29, 2007 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 9 Comments

New Enchantment by slot resource

Previously, I’ve written a couple posts on the various enchantments you should be considering for particular gear slots.  I intended this to be a series and starting with rings and head gear.

Well, this series has long been obsolete and I’ve just been tardy getting this post up.  In doing my research, I eventually came across the Enchantment by Slot page on WoWwiki.  As you know, WoWwiki is a tremendous resource and I should have figured the community there would not only have this page, but do a better job at documenting enchantments than me.  I’m adding this resource to my list of online resources and recommending it as your “one stop shop” if you are looking to research enchantments.

Just a couple quick caveats:

  1. All enchantments are documented, not just high level ones
  2. All enchantments are documented, not just those us Druids are interested in

On the plus side, “augments” like arcanums, guards and glyphs are included.

Forms Bar

November 27, 2007 Posted by | Druid Gear, Enchants, Online resources, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment

Update to Gem Research Center

I’ve updated Amanna’s Gem Research Center with filter for Heroic Instances and Raids.  Yea, you’ll probably never be looking to see what gems drop in a particular instance or raid, but if you ever want to, I’m here for you.

Forms Bar

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Druid Gear, Online resources, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment