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

Please “bear” with me

This blog is going to go silent for a few days, maybe even up to a week as I clean up the new blog and put the final touches on it.  I’m taking the opportunity of the move to clean some things up and re-arrange a little.

January 28, 2008 Posted by | World of Warcraft | 5 Comments

Auctioneer and making money

Interested?  I’m assuming I’m not the only one out there who needs more money.

I’ve long since wanted to write a series on how to effectively use Auctioneer to make money; living the high life of buying low and selling high.  Trouble is, I never really felt like I had a good handle on how best to use Auctioneer effectively.   I just couldn’t get my furry little head wrapped around the ins and out of Auctioneer.  Maybe us bears get slapped in the head too often, or maybe we’re just not cut out to be accountants, but it just wasn’t sinking in.

Compounding the problem recently is the introduction of Auctioneer Advanced.  So now I have to learn two add-ons??? 

Well, I’ve found a nice little blog that solved my problem for me (and you).  I recently found Og’s Ledger, and there are some great Auctioneer resources on his site.  Not only does Og have an overview of Auctioneer Classic, and a two part overview of Auctioneer Advanced, he has ongoing threads around how to make money using the Auction House.  For those of you that would like to understand the ins and outs of Auction House trading, this is a blog you should have bookmarked. 

Og also has a category called “Rags to Riches” where he details his adventures on a daily basis trying to make money buying and selling on the Auction House.  It’s from the perspective of low level starting characters, but his detail in describing the process I think could help anyone.

Here’s a summarized list of links into Og’s Ledger for this topic:

Og’s Ledger has a lot of other good information.  Most of the posts are concerning with buying and selling and making money.  If this is something that relates to you, then add Og to your blog list.  I will be right after this post.

Forms Bar

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, World of Warcraft | 4 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

Alt progression in WotLK and after

Tobold poses an intriguing proposition: should all alts be able to start at a higher level when the new expansion comes out?

His reasoning goes that given the announcement that Death Knights will start at a “higher level”, generally reported to be somewhere in the range of 60 give-or-take, why should a player then have to level existing alts, or new alts, through 70 levels to also take part in the expansion.

I do think he has a point.  I’m currently leveling three alts, and while zones aren’t as desolated as I had expected at the lower levels, there aren’t exactly mobs of players out there either.  That being said, the few folks that I’ve seen have largely been willing to help.  I think anyone out there trying to level a toon these days understands the length the process takes and most seem to adopt a “we’re all in this together” attitude. 

I think the heart of the issue is simply the time it takes to go from 1-60, now 70, and soon to be 80 with a new character.  Is there some value in that process as you get to understand the mechanics of a new class you haven’t played before?  Absolutely.  Does that mean that players will continue to level characters through 80 levels to get a new class into endgame?  I think we are into diminishing returns on that one.  With the more expansions that come out, the probability that anyone will go through that grind go way down.

I expected the comments for Tobold’s post to be largely in support of faster leveling.  Indeed, the first commenter spoke of a system in DAoC, where once you had a character to level 50, then you could start alts at higher levels.  This got a lot of positive feedback.  Later on in the comments though, others started adding to the conversation in support of leaving the system the way it is.

Personally, I think this is an issue Blizzard will have to address.  If there intention is to not upgrade old zones, and 10 levels will be added with each expansion, the barriers to entry for both new players and existing players starting alts will simply get to be too much.  As I said I’ve been playing around with some alts until I get Amanna back into a guild.  I have three alts into their 20’s.  It started as just something to do to try out some different classes.  Now that they are in their 20’s, I’m a little bit more serious about leveling them.  The experience bonus is helping, but if WotLK came out tomorrow and I was now looking at getting to 80 versus getting them to 58 and being able to get them into Outland, I would probably stop playing them.

A system that allowed for long term players to start alts at higher levels, and new players to accelerate their development, is needed if patches and expansions will continue to be focused on new zones and areas. 

Tobold and his commenter’s have some great ideas and thoughts on this topic.  If you find this interesting at all, be sure to check out his post.

Forms Bar

January 16, 2008 Posted by | World of Warcraft | 3 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

‘Tis the season

I’ve noticed a couple “resolution lists” around the ole blogosphere, both WoW-related and not, so I figured I’d jump in.  I’m really not a big one for resolutions; I get the symbolism of a new year’s beginning just fine, but don’t feel one particular day of the year is necessary to make a decision to change.  That being said, I have been thinking about some WoW goals lately, and this is a good time to put them down on (virtual) paper.

Content goals – as in, “How did I get so far behind?”

  1. Earthwarden (need CE rep)
  2. 5,000 gold for epic flying skill
  3. Complete Epic Flight Form questline
  4. Full Kara run
  5. Full Gruul’s Lair run
  6. Venture into Serpentshrine Cavern
  7. Pay more attention to gear enchantments

WoW Goals

  1. Find a new, great guild
  2. Re-build my UI from the ground up and document it on the blog in an understandable series

Blogging Goals

  1. Move to self-hosting.  There are just too many things I want to do with the blog that I can’t on a free WP blog.  I’ll be sticking with WordPress (great software), but moving to my own hoster. 
  2. Provide relevant content to non-feral Druids.  I have a couple ideas here, but one hope is to integrate all the great gear suggestions out there into one, easy to use location. 
  3. Improve the look of the site.

Life Goals

  1. Finish play-testing on the card game I’ve designed.  (Yes, I plan on publishing it and Yes, you will ALL be buying it…  😉 )
  2. Plan a 10 year anniversary trip to Maine and Vermont (my wife has always wanted to go)
  3. Buy a new car

That’s it for me.  Tag – you’re it!!!

Forms Bar

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

A philosophical question

With apologies to the classic:

If a guild member /gquit’s and no one is there to see it, is it a stealth quit?

My WoW life has reached a new low here at the end of the year.  I’ve briefly written a couple times before that my guild was slowly dissolving after some key officers left to form a more hardcore raiding guild.  Numbers had been dwindling and even during core playtimes there were only 6 or 7 guildies on usually, with only 1 or 2 of them being 70s. 

So when I logged on a couple days ago and there was absolutely no one from the guild logged on, I just went ahead and quit.  I wasn’t trying to avoid confrontation or questions, it just felt like time.

I still enjoy this game a lot and may apply to the new guild I’ve found, but for now I’m having some fun with alts, enjoying some time off with my spouse and looking forward to a new year.

I’m looking forward to working out a play schedule with my spouse that works for both of us (she isn’t a player and doesn’t like computer games in general), and finding a new guild.  I have so much work to do – it’s amazing how quickly you can fall behind in this game. 

I hope you all  had a wonderful holiday, no matter how it is celebrated where you are or by your faith.  Here’s wishing all of you a happy and prosperous 2008!

Forms Bar

December 31, 2007 Posted by | World of Warcraft | 7 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

Glad it’s not just me…

I just read this article on WoW Insider.  In it, Matthew talks about the challenges of playing well into the night – where sleep deprived Priests fake disconnects, and instances that should be quick, clean walkthroughs become extended corpse runs.  While Matthew’s experience was surely frustrating, it came at just the right time for me.

As you can probably guess from reading my posts over the last few months, I haven’t been playing much.  Correct that – I haven’t been playing as much as I used to.  Most of my time online has been some solo work on Amanna, and playing around with some new alts (level 19 Warlock and level 17 Shaman).  Basically a lot of personal drama combined with the disintegration of my guild has contributed to little time online, and basically no time in instances or raids.

So, when I had a couple hours over the weekend to kill I logged in to see what kind of trouble I could get into.  Almost immediately, I got a /pst from one of the few remaining 70’s in our guild wondering if I was interested in a Steamvaults run.  Heck yea!  Not only had I not done any instancing for longer than I will admit, SV was perfect in that I still need to build CE rep for my Earthwarden.

I know, I know, you don’t have your Earthwarden yet???  Hey, sometimes that thing called “life” has to be attended to for a while…

Anyway, I got the invite and the group was a PUG.  If I remember right it was me, a Pally, a Warlock, a Hunter and a Rogue.  Everyone was from different guilds.

Well, you probably can guess the punchline – it was a horrible run.  Multiple wipes even before the first boss.  I was really thinking it was me; that I was too rusty or something.  And that probably did contribute a bit to the bad run, but you know what?  Sometimes, as pointed out in the WoWI article, you just have a bad run.  I’ve done Steamvaults plenty of times before and had flawless runs in less gear than I’ve got now.  Plus, it doesn’t help when you’re in a PUG where no one wants to mark, the rogue is sapping the right target but in the wrong mob group, and the Shaman keeps whining “I can’t heal you if you’re not in my line of sight.”  Well then MOVE, dammit! 

So, yea I’m probably a bit rusty.  But you gotta accept that you’re going to have a bad run here and there.  I guess my time was this past weekend.

One thing I did notice is that my my new custom UI was more of a hindrance than a help.  I actually miss the lower resolution a bit.  Text on the screen is really small and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.  Plus, maybe I was just too used to my old action bar setup, but I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new layout.  With the amount of addons in the package, my framerate really took a hit also.  Now, that’s not to say that the ADUI package didn’t open my eyes to some great addons that I wasn’t aware of, but I’ve found that I probably don’t need around half of the stuff that’s in the package.

So, one decision I made out of the run is to move away from the custom package and rebuild my UI from the ground up, getting back to something more like what I used to have, but integrating the addons I found out about by using the package.  In the tradition of BRK’s recent Omen overview (which was great – thanks Damh), I’m planning on documenting the rebuild and posting it here in case there are others out there looking to build or just revamp their UI and could use some help.  You all probably know more than I do, but hey – it sounds like a fun project.

Forms Bar

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Custom UI, Instances, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments