Ending 2008 at Level 80 (Twice!)

 Last night (ok, technically this morning) at 12:30 a.m., Cassieann the Rogue hit level 80!  I had just finished Grizzly Hills (after doing ALL of Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Sholazar) and started in  Zul’Drak (just so I could ding).  I was doing the quest chain where you put a scourge disguise on and thought I was going to end up dinging as a scourge, but was 1% short (that would have been a cool pic).  But fFinally found a quest that would get me there.   Here’s the standard dinging shot:

rogue80.jpg

Then today around 3:15 p.m, my hunter also dinged level 80 and again had to work for the ding.  Finished all of Zul’Drak (since my hunter went to Northrend immediately at level 68).  Flew from Dalaran toward Storm Peaks (discovering all kinds of areas on the way).  Got to the K3 area in Storm Peaks and picked up some quests.  Did the one to pick up 10 pieces of scrap.  Came back to eagerly turn it in only to see this:

hunter100.jpg

Now if you can’t see from that picture, if you look at the top left bar, I am at 100.0% with NO DING!  Grrr, I was 120xp short.   Flew out of the area and killed one poor Brute Gnoll and finally:

hunter80.jpg

Yay!  My rogue is now wearing her Trollwoven Spaulders, Trollwoven Belt, and Ice Striker’s Cloak crafted by my hunter, along with a Titanium Impact Band made by BBB’s priest.  Eventually she’ll get some more gear from heroics and emblems, but finally she is not still all in Kara gear  🙂

Hunter still needs her Giantmaim Bracers, Giantmaim Legguards, and her own Ice Striker’s Cloak, but those will come in time.   For now, she is off to farm lots and lots of leather for a certain druid who wants all his epics ready when he dings 80.  🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Eve and start to 2009!

Cassie

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Professions, Gathering revisited, and idle rambling

This will be a long post, because we’re in the middle of two holiday seasons here in the States, and that generally means people are sitting at work, over lunch, bored off their ass and waiting to go to New Years parties.

So I have three sections. I talk about Professions some more, I talk about Gathering techniques, and then I ramble on about readers.

I hope this provides you with some measure of distraction and enjoyment.

Yesterday, I spoke a bit about Professions.

My opening point was that everything you really want for PvE can be purchased somewhere, so you are free to choose Professions that you enjoy, Professions that excite you.

I approach my Professions, personally, as a means to both have fun, and to make useful stuffs for me and my friends. It also used to be a way for me to get advantages in playing my class in raids, but these days not so much. So while I absolutely appreciate that some folks look at your Professions strictly as a way to make money in the game, and I totally respect that, it’s not what I do. So you’re never going to get those protips here. There are plenty of other websites that are devoted to ways to make $$$ fast, and this ain’t one of them. My focus, now and forever, is on having fun in the game, as I see it.

Now, I do mention things here once in a while concerning making gold, Professions and stuff, because I would rather have more time to have what I think of as fun, and less time spent grinding or farming. Even though doing daily quests is a good way to consistently make money, I don’t like doing them because it requires I spend time grinding dailies that I could be spending doing fun things.

I do like farming for Ore and Herbs, though… because I love flying around mindlessly jamming to tunes, swooping in for loot and flying off. I find it relaxing. It’s almost evil, how much I enjoy just flying around swooping down on an Ore node or Herb frond, listening to music, for hours on end. Especially as a Hunter, since my pet keeps the mobs off my ass while I harvest.

But aside from my weird love of fly-farming (as opposed to fly-fishing, which just annoys me), I would rather spend my gold on things that someone else has spent their playtime getting and putting on the AH. I do not begrudge spending gold on what someone else farmed. They took the time to gather it, playtime that is quite valuable to me. They chose to spend that time farming. I didn’t make them. And since what I want is right there, at a price I can afford, and it saves me the TIME of farming it myself… well, buy it now and move along, little doggie. If the prices for items I want on the AH rise high enough that I think it’s approaching theft, ’cause it doesn’t take THAT much time to farm the bloody thing, then I’ll go get it myself. But if the price seems to me to be worth spending so I don’t waste precious game time doing my own farming, and I have the gold, then I will.

Because to me it’s not about making more money than anyone else. It’s about having enough money to do the fun things I want to do. Period.

If I have everything I want already, I don’t farm gold. Because I don’t need it. I’d rather play.

I walked into Wrath darn near flat broke, because prior to Wrath I had everything I could have possibly wanted.

Now, there are lots of things in Wrath that I’d like, for myself and for Cassie. She has a Hunter and a Rogue that need lots of epics, I have a Hunter, a Druid and a Priest that need lots of epics, and so I am actually doing things to make money… only what money I feel I need, to get what I want.

I talked yesterday about enjoying Jewelcrafting and Inscription and Engineering, because I am delighting in being able to make things we can use, the Nesingwary guns, the Mammoth Cutter ammo, the scopes, the gem cuts, the epic rings, the scrolls, and the trinkets. And those things are not just for us, but my guildies, who do not take advantage of what we can craft, but what can you do?

As soon as I had made for myself and Cassie the epic Nesingwary guns, I started sending all my spare ore to my Jewelcrafter to prospect. I have something like 14 stacks of saronite ore in the bank now, and 20 titanium bars in the bank, because my JC has at least 10 of each kind of blue gem in the bag already, so I just don’t need any more right now to provide for future guildie needs… not that guildies ever ask for cuts.

I did not sell Dragon’s Eyes on the AH until well after I got what I felt were the most critical rare gem cuts for Rogues, Druids and Hunters. I only just got the Titanium Impact Band recipe, and made one for my Hunter, and I’ve got three Dragon’s Eyes in the bank towards one for Cassie’s Rogue. Once I have made a ring for her, I’ll save tokens to get the first of the two tanking ring recipes… and make the tanking rings too. I know a few JCs that have the recipes, but why not just get them myself? I don’t really need the gold right now, and I like being able to make the stuff myself, and for anyone in the guild that needs it.

I just don’t sell ore, I don’t sell gems, I don’t sell food. I don’t sell herbs, because what I don’t use in Inscription Cassie can use to make Flasks and Pots. We use it to make stuff, and if we don’t have to make stuff, I stockpile it against the day we DO need to make stuff, and if the stockpile is big enough? Generally, I stop farming it.

What I do, is make those things I don’t need that my Professions provide, that take only a little bit of time, and sell them. The Titansteel is made every single day. I farm the ore, I farm the Eternals, I store it in advance… and after 5 days I put a stack of 5 up for 1100g. That’s free money as far as I’m concerned. Once I’ve made some epic rings, I can assure you those Dragon’s Eyes are going right back up on the AH every day. Why not? Unless a guildie needs a ring, of course.

If a guildie said to me, “Could I use your Titansteel cooldown, I’m trying to save for a such and such…” I’d just send them the Titansteel itself. I tried to do that with Falromord, and he refused to take my bars.

The gold economy is a means to an end for me, I use it to fund having fun. It’s not the end in itself.

BUT! I darn well know there are some folks who LOVE the economy game, love playing the AH, love racking up insane levels of gold.

I have absolutely nothing against it. Not at all, I can totally see the fun in it. There is a joy to be had in manipulating market conditions, buying low and reposting to fair market value, or cornering a market and posting all at high levels and watching for those that lowball, grabbing theirs as well and posting high. Lurking to see if someone will catch on and try and bust your bankroll. On our server, Bankofzerg is famous for being the controlling force behind the Alliance AH economy. Has been for years. Is he a goldseller front? Is he a machiavellian overlord of gold? Who knows? But Bankofzerg is famous simply for the percentage of AH business traffic he controls. I hear his name dropped in random conversations all the time.

I just happen to see tons of other things that, for me, are even MORE fun in the game.

I know I do not do what is smartest to make the most gold. But I do try and make what gold I need to have fun, in the shortest amount of playtime, so I have time to do other stuff.

So when I talk about stuff like this, it’s not to brag about how much money I’m making. I figure everyone has the same capability no matter what Profession they happen to have at the moment, since everyone can choose to drop a Profession that ain’t working and take something else. Lord knows I have dumped so many maxed-out professions in my time for something else, that I wish there was an Achievement for having 5 or more maxed-level Professions on one character.

Windshadow alone has been a maxed Enchanter and a maxed Tailor in Burning Crusade, a maxed Engineer (twice), a maxed Miner (three times), a maxed Herbalist (once and holding), and now almost maxed in Inscription. Six maxed Professions for one toon, and that in Burning Crusade terms.

Windstar was a Engineer once, dropped it, and is one again.

Do you know, neither my Hunter nor my Druid can make the Mote Extractor, because once you drop Engineering, you can’t do the quest that gives you that recipe again?

Fortunately, Mote Extractors don’t bind, you can mail them around your toons. Whew!

Now, I know you may not enjoy your Profession for it’s own sake, you may have it for a money making enterprise. You may expect certain things from your Profession, and in the new game, you may feel disappointed that you’re just not getting what you want out of it.

But may I humbly suggest, and this is just me talking, but if you currently have a Profession or two that you hate, that you actively despise, a Profession that has you cursing Blizzard, that has made you bitter and whose rewards seem meager and vile, a Profession that does not meet your needs in the game…

CHANGE THE DAMN THING!!!

Okay, moving on.

A few thoughts on Gathering 

I mentioned yesterday that I have, amongst my two flying characters, Herbalism, Mining, and Engineering for mote farming.

I’ve talked about it before, a long time ago, but I think it bears a refresher course.

I find it convenient, when playing, to sometimes set aside time just to farm. Dedicated time spent cruising to tunes, following a routine, swoop in and grab dat Herbage, and move-move on-on.

To facilitate mindless farming, I use an entire suite of various addons, each providing me something the others cannot alone.

The litany of addons?

Cartographer (for the base map that I use, compatible with QuestHelper, Routes, and all addon marking.)
Fubar 3.5 (for easy access to my RoutesFu menu.)
Gatherer
GathererDB (provides a comprehensive database of all nodes of Mining and Herbs on Wowhead. Very complete. Import this into Gatherer.)
GatherMate
GatherMate_Sharing
GatherMate_Data (I use the GatherMate suite of addons, with all Mining and Herbs shut off, to provide me with my updatable Cloud nodes for Engineering farming.)
Routes
RoutesFu

Routes is a truly remarkable addon, and it still works great. It is completely compatible with Cartographer farming data, Gatherer and GatherMate. When you set up a new route in a zone, you can select exactly which data, from what addon source, you want included in the route… and then you can choose what color to make the route. You can shut some off so as not to clutter your screen or minimap, or you can make them all different colors so you can see what is what and leave them all up there. You can certainly mix and match, such as Mining and Steam Clouds for a Mining Engineer, for example.

I personally use Gatherer as my source for Mining and Herbalism node routes, because GathererDB is an incredibly complete source for nodes and I like the Gatherer interface, and GatherMate for mote Clouds since it grows it’s database and learns as you find gas clouds of your own.

I also go into each addon and turn off node marking, since the route lines themselves serve as markers for me. I have found that with so many addons, sometimes the node markers can actually obscure the golden dot of the node itself. Slows ya down, trying to figure out if that is really a node there or not on the map. Can’t be having with that!

routemap.jpg 

As you can see from the picture I’m using as an example, I have three routes setup in Sholozar. I have a green route for farming Adder’s Tongue, a red route for Steam and Fire Clouds, and a light blue route for Ore.

See? Isn’t that awesome? A nice route right there on your minimap that you can use to follow and look for nodes.

Now, you might ask yourself, “Isn’t he shooting himself in the foot by posting this? Isn’t he afraid of more competition?”

Well, no, I don’t think so.

And that brings us to talking about you, my readers. The few, the proud… the demented.

First, for one thing, ain’t that many folks read this blog. I mean, c’mon, it’s nice to think so, but there are a lot of servers, and the chances that more than 3 or 4 people on any one server read this blog are fairly remote, I’d think. You’re not gonna crush an economy by sharing gathering tips with 3 or 4 folks on a server.

For the other thing, I have noticed that I have two main groups of folks that seem to read my blog.

The majority of readers are incredibly nice, come from all walks of life, and mostly seem to have two common bonds; a love for and enthusiasm for the game, and an appreciation for the same weird sense of what passes for humor around here as I have.

Druid love is optional 🙂

Then there is the other group. The ones that come here to bitch about theorycrafting and jump on my and anyone else’s mistakes in comments, and stroke their own egos. I keep hoping they’ll leave us alone, to be honest. And with my not posting a ton of theorycrafting, with my leaving WoW Insider so as to stop drawing some of the immature fanbase they seem to cherish and nuture in their comments in the quest for greater pagehits, I think that group has begun to die out.

See, I think of those of you who have stuck with the blog as my friends, peers, fun folks to hang with and geek out together and generally feel free to be just as flaky as me. Not, as some people seem to think, as master and servant, teacher and student. No, you are fellow travelers along the road of geekdom. I ain’t here to educate, just to share and write and have fun.

Because that’s what we are, fellow travelers sharing our joy and enthusiasm for the game. I don’t write for ANYONE except you.

I try not to be judgmental on any aspect of the game we play. I’m judgmental on lots of stuff, but not on that. And there is a good reason for that.

Everyone’s got different interests, different backgrounds, different priorities, different ways of enjoying playing the game. I don’t see any of them as being inherently better than the others, or having more validity or being more important aspects of the game. Some undoubtedly take more effort, preparation or time commitments than others. But time is something that some folks don’t have available for such things. It does not mean that people who DO spend the time are better than those who do not, or vice versa. Not to me. They are both just playing the game as their lifestyle and interests permit them to. Period. Raiders, no, I do NOT think your playstyle is more special or important than roleplayers. Nor do I think that you are better players than those with a more casual playstyle. You may think so, but I do not share that opinion. Nor do I think that people who love PvP are less important or deserve less respect than people focused on PvE. Nor do I think people on PvP servers are more leet than those on PvE servers. It’s not better, it’s just a different emphasis on aspects of the same game.

And no, I do not think that those people who spend hours on theorycrafting the math behind why things work in the game are special or better than other folks, or smarter either. OMIGOD, not in the slightest. Because in truth, anyone can do so. There is nothing unique in the ability to manipulate numbers. It takes time to gather data, a definite investment in time and effort, and I appreciate those who make that effort to share some guidance on how things work, and choose to provide tips based on research to help folks that have not made that effort to better succeed in the game. I just don’t think doing it makes someone better or smarter than other players, thank you very much. The majority of people that play a video game for entertainment just choose not to spend hours gathering data and doing maths. That’s not part of the playstyle they enjoy. Some folks do; again, everyone enjoys different parts of the game.

I do laugh hilariously at folks that make calculated assumptions, known in professional circles as scientific wild ass guesses (or SWAGs), and then spend time deriving detailed mathematical models for how things will change based on those SWAGs… and then rant about it. It’s a subset of the genre that really amuses the living heck out of me. Yes, I am petty in this regard. It’s a weakness, a defect in character I choose not to work on.

But I don’t judge people based on what kind of game, what kind of playstyle they enjoy. Why the heck would I?

I just judge people based on how they treat other people, on how they act. I reserve the right to rant at those I personally perceive to be asshats all day long, but never on how you like to play the game.

When I had the pleasure to meet some readers last November, I asked what they enjoyed doing in the game the most… not to judge them, or to decide who to talk to. I wanted to know because I only play a narrow part of the game, and I love talking to people that play different parts of the game I never experience. It’s fun. It’s geeking out on enthusiasm for the game, and I love it.  

Those are the readers I love, the readers I try and encourage, the vast majority of kick-ass nice folks I wish I got more of a chance to chat with in the comments and via email.

You know, the folks who are probably only reading this blog while at work, over a lunch break in between webcomics, and comment from work, and when they get home are too busy actually doing stuff and having fun to post a comment.

God bless you, keep it up. 🙂

Anyway, I think we’re alone now. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. I think we’re alone now… the beating of my heart… Gah! Okay, hold on, gotta get that song out of my head…. /cry. Quick, someone cue up some Ramones, I wanna be sedated after that.

There. Sorry.

Now, with this blog being, essentially, as asshat-free a zone as I can possibly make it and still have a free flowing exchange of ideas…

You’re my friends. OF COURSE I want my friends to get the most benefit out of their farming time. Of course I do! What am I, Ebeneezer McDuck over here? Hoarding the Ore and Herbs? Mine! Mine, I tell you!

Nah, I want you to go out there and farm what you want to farm, as efficiently and quickly as possible, so you can get it done and move on to playing! And if the farming happens to be what you like best, well, you probably already use those addons and far, far more.

Just do me a favor, and don’t go broadcasting it to the heavens. See, the gold farmers undoubtedly already know all about it, but maybe that jerk that wants to fight you for each and every single Titanium node, whether you have already started mining it or not, doesn’t.

So instead, just share the addons with your friends, and make sure everyone you know that’s a friend of yours is getting the most out of their gathering professions, and do your bit to compete with the goldfarmers on a level playing field. And hope that the Titanium node jerkoff doesn’t know about that sweet mining spot in Icecrown where you always find that one overlooked node.

Have fun, and I’ll see you in game!

Professions revisited

As some of you may know, I’ve been biding my time on Professions, unsure where I wanted to land for Wrath long-term.

I finally made a decision.

In BC, there were a lot of Bind-on-Pickup rewards from each profession that were best in class for raid performance in one way or another… and it became a question of determining which raid reward best benefited your class. Hell, some folks wanted the Drums of Battle so bad for raids they took Leatherworking for that buff alone.

I believe most of us chose end-game Professions based on how it benefited us in raids first, and how profitable it was second. Sure, that’s totally not the case for everyone, but seriously; how many Cloth wearers did you know that didn’t have Tailoring for the BoP epics?

In some cases, sure, you’d pick a Profession early on, had it for years, and were too stubborn to let go. I can appreciate that, too.

But I know that quite a few folks were grateful when their raiding progression took them to a point where the rewards they got from drops FINALLY were better than the crafted epics they had from Tailoring, or Engineering, or Blacksmithing, or Leatherworking.

“Finally, I can drop Tailoring and take something FUN!!”

That’s just sad, isn’t it? Well, it sure ain’t that way now.

For one thing, the epics you can craft now that are useful for raiding or PvE are Bind on Equip… mostly.

One notable exception are the various epic Goggles from Engineering. But let’s talk in general terms for second.

Most Professions now, if they craft items, allow you to craft PvE epics as Bind on Equip… and it looks to me that the concept was to have each Profession provide rewards to prepare you for raiding, but not to replace raiding drops entirely. It looks to me that they are all supposed to be pre-Naxx in value, or at the most be comparable to Naxx drops or Emblem of Honor rewards, and the better the item you can craft, the harder it is to either learn the recipe, or more expensive it is to make it. Or both..

But it’s NOT universally true, as currently implemented.

We already know some equipment is going to be reduced in power in an upcoming patch. Things which were powerful enough to be obvious ‘must haves’.

Like the Savage Cobalt Slicers, crafted by Blacksmiths, or the quest reward Druids were enjoying, the Handwraps of Preserved History  from ‘A Culling of Stratholme’. Both are being reduced, sadly. And this sets a precedent, that Blizzard may decide to ‘rebalance’ items if they decide we’re getting some good stuff too easy to suit them. So what we can make may easily change in worth over time.

But other items which are very powerful, items on par with Naxx drops or other raid loot, are not as of yet being nerfed. Not yet.

It seems to me that the reasoning is, the more difficult or expensive an individual crafted Epic is to make, the more powerful the resulting item is allowed to be, by design.

And that makes the ‘Pick a Profession’ game an interesting one.

Right now, I have a shopping list for my Druid of tanking gear. It’s all the gear I want crafted and waiting for the second I ding 80, to be prepared to run Heroics. No Heroic rewards included, maybe a few quest rewards, a few Auction House blues to watch for, a drop or two in normals. Just a basic starter set.

Shall I show you?

Head: Eviscerator Facemask (BoE LW)

Shoulder: Trollwoven Spaulders (BoE LW)

Back: Durable Nerubhide Cape (BoE LW)

Chest: Polar Vest (BoE LW)

Wrist: Eviscerator Bindings (BoE LW)
Drake-Champions Bracers (BoE – AH World Drop)
Dragonfriend Bracer (Wyrmrest Exalted)

Hand: Eviscerator Guantlets (BoE LW)
Handwraps of Preserved History (Quest reward CoT:CoS)

Waist: Trollwoven Girdle (BoE LW)

Leggings: Chain Gang Legguards (BoE – AH World Drop)

Feet: Polar Boots (BoE LW)

Ring: Titanium Earthguard Ring (BoE JC)
Ring: Titanium Frostguard Ring (BoE JC)

Trinket: Darkmoon Card: Greatness (BoE Inscript)

Two Handed Weapon: Witch Doctors Wildstaff (Drop, normal Gundrak)
Look at that list, and think about how many items a Leatherworker (like Cassie’s hunter) can make, that are all worthy to craft for yourself or sell.

Almost all of them will be dumped in Heroic 5 mans or 10 man Naxx depending on drops, but it will certainly serve as an ‘intro to Heroics’ set.

Heck, some of those can be replaced doing level 80 regular 5 man instances, like Utgarde Pinnacle.

But, you have to start somewhere. And Professions can provide excellent gear to prepare yourself for harder content. To fill in gaps. To take you most of the way there. And then you do the harder stuff to progress.

Holy cats, it’s almost like they planned it that way!

The Trollwoven gear is very good, it will last for a while. The Polar stuff is questionable… the utter lack of Agility makes me squirm. But the chest piece will be replaced as soon as you have 80 Emblems of Heroism and can get your Heroic chestplate… or are doing 25 man raids and can afford better.

The Rings, the Darkmoon Card, those are going to last much longer than the rest… but they are far harder to make or obtain than any of the others, too.

Far harder to make, and thus much more expensive to have crafted.

It’s a very interesting balance. Leatherworkers can make tons of gear… but the mats are readily available, so the prices tend to be lower than you might think. But you sure as heck still want those pieces to start with, so they will turn over fast.

You can see the prices of things like JC crafted rings and neck pieces, or the Darkmoon cards, and think that they are unfairly high… but it takes much more of a time investment, or mats cost, to achieve those high results. So the items are that much more expensive.

Let’s take JC as an example.

The epic rings require 4 Dragon’s Eye to craft… and a Jewelcrafter can only get a Dragon’s Eye by buying one from a vendor.,.. using a Dalaran daily quest token, which is obtained at the rate of exactly one a day, max.

All good epic JC BoE recipes require from 4 to 6 of these tokens to purchase. The Dragon’s Eye can sell from 350g to 450g each on the AH, because they are a choke point in production. A JC with little patience will buy more to make their gear faster… and non-JCs that want to gather mats themselves, will be forced to buy off the AH.

You do the math. Jewelcrafters are faced with either saving up 6 tokens to learn the recipe for the Titanium Impact Ring to make one for themselves or their friends… or using those same 6 tokens to buy Dragon’s Eyes that will sell for from 2100g to 2700g, and maybe just gather the mats to have one made by someone else.

On my server, the ring itself sells on the AH for 2300g – 2500g buyout. On servers that are more populated and more serious about Progression, they may go for even more.

Each ring requires 4 of those Dragon’s Eyes to craft. Seeing as how you need Eternals and Titanium to craft these rings too, your return on investment can shrink quite a bit if the market for them is weak. Safer to simply buy Dragon’s Eyes and flip them on the AH.

So, yeah… if you know a Jewelcrafter that has decided to forego the 2100g of Dragon’s Eye sales to learn the recipe… and they are willing to craft it for you using your mats… hey. How about you tip them? They sacrificed a lot of gold revenue to get that pattern.

Moving on…

I personally have three characters high enough in level to have useful Professions.

My Hunter is a max level Engineer and Miner.
My Priest is almost max level in Jewelcrafting and is a Tailor (for now).
My Druid was, at Wrath start, undecided, and I had made her max level Mining / Herbalism.

The Hunter was going to be an Engineer simply because I love the Profession. I love the exploding rabbits I can make.

Yes, that’s right. Exploding bunnies. If you’ve never taken the Profession before, you may know that at low levels they can make exploding decoy sheep… well in Wrath, we got a new recipe to make exploding decoy pet bunnies. They are one of my favorite fun things in this game, I swear.

But being an Engineer has been extremely rewarding as a Hunter. Ridiculously so.

For most of my Wrath leveling, I had the BoP gun that was almost better than level 80 quest rewards. I got epic Goggles, I get to harvest Clouds for motes of Eternals, I can make my own kick-ass awesome Mammoth Cutter ammo, and eventually I’ll make a motorcycle. Oh, and as an Engineer/Miner, I can make Titansteel… but have no personal use for it. So I make Titansteel and sell it on the AH, thank you very much.

Jewelcrafting, as previously mentioned, can be an extremely stupid money maker, since for the cost of a 15 minute daily quest and foregoing EXTREMELY nice recipes, I can make 350g-450g each and every day. And there is currently zero cost to put them on the AH, same as Enchanting mats. So no risk to pricing high and getting undercut.

But more than that, Jewelcrafters can save those Dragon’s Eyes, and save those tokens, learn those epic ring (and neck) recipes, and craft them for themselves and their alts… and while the use of those mats for personal reasons does represent a ton of lost potential revenue… it is at the cost of very little REAL gold. You don’t actually have to save 2000g from other means to get that epic ring. You just have to be patient, and have a few Eternals and a couple bars of Titanium.

It’s not a bad deal, eh? And once you have them for yourself and your friends… why, you can go back to selling them, right?

The only question is, how far down will the value of the Dragon’s Eye get on the Auction House, as more and more people get their rings or raid past them, and the demand drops? Is it better to get your gold now and craft your own gear later when the bottom falls out?

Time will tell.

Tailoring… meh. I honestly would drop it for something else, if there were anything else I particularly wanted on my Priest. For some reason, it just does not excite me. Maybe when my Priest gets above level 71 (lol) I’ll feel different.

But then there is my Druid….

A Miner / Herbalist, right?

No. Not anymore.

Nope, over the weekend I decided to bite the bullet, drop Mining, and take a Profession that I have never done before, and that was synergistic with my Herbalism.

That’s right… I powerleveled Inscription on my Druid this weekend.

As of this time, I am level 411 Inscription, and I could certainly be well over 425 but once I hit 400 I stopped intentionally leveling.

Thanks to some stored low level herbs I had on an alt from before Wrath released, the contributions of herbs from our Guild Bank, and donations from Ishvi, Felsprite and Cassie, I only invested a little less than 600g in powerleveling to 400.

That includes buying many stacks of Adder’s Tongue from the Auction House.

My first item of business?

To craft a Northrend Darkmoon Card, using the Icy Pigments I had received while leveling the last stretch.

My result?

The Five of Nobles. Worth, on our AH, 1000g.

So, powerlevel a Profession, break even on the first crafted item. Not too bad. IF I were intending to sell, that is.

See, I had initially intended to level Windshadow in Inscription way back in the first place, as soon as the Profession was available.

I held off, mainly, because it seemed we had at least four other guildies that frantically powerleveled it overnight, the day it came out in Patch 3.0.

So, okay… plenty of folks have Glyphs available, so why bother?

Well, there are three reasons why I decided to bother as a Feral Druid. Hell, not bother… get EXCITED.

1) Shoulder enchants for self-only, that are very nice, and pretty cheap. Ones for tanking and for DPS. And for casting, too, of course.
2) Make your own level VIII Scrolls, DIRT CHEAP, for Agility, Stamina, Intellect and Wisdom. I’m seriously talking dirt cheap max level scrolls here. And that’s like having free stat food x4 for every fight, especially if you don’t have a Mage or a Priest giving their particular buffs.
3) Crafted Darkmoon Cards that sell insanely well, and can, in time, provide what is in my opinion the best damn tanking or DPS trinket in the game, the Darkmoon Card: Greatness.

Yeah, that last item? that’s the one that appeals most strongly to my inner collector geek.

See, you can make a random Northrend Darkmoon Card with Inscription at level 400. The mat cost is very, very high if you buy your Herbs off the AH. And when you do it, you craft one card at random from one of four possible decks. Of those decks, none of them are anywhere near in demand as the Nobles deck, which provides as a reward the choice of one of four Darkmoon Card: Greatness.

The Darkmoon Card: Greatness is what you choose when you turn it in. Options are +90 Strength, +90 Agility, +90 Intellect and +90 Spirit.

The kicker, of course, is that special ability. When you cast a spell or deal damage, you have a chance to proc +300 to your highest stat for 15 seconds, from among Strength, Agility, Intellect or Spirit.

It is, in effect, much like the Idol of Terror. But with effects that differ depending on class and gear choices.

But, because Stamina is so common on our tanking gear, and is NOT a choice among the stats affected, it almost guarentees that a Feral Tanking Druid, choosing the +90 Agility stat, will also get +300 Agility on a proc for 15 seconds. And god, if you’ve got enough Stamina already, proccing +300 Agility is sweet!

Ahem… OMIGOD.

And because it does boost your highest stat, and because you can choose which of the four types you want, the Nobles deck will be in high demand for a long time to come, from many classes.

It’s going to be a huge pain in the ass for non-Inscribers to get.

There is no cooldown for making the cards… if you want to blow 50,000g on herbs, and they are available to buy, knock yourself out.

But there are four decks. And 8 cards possible in each deck. And it’s pure random chance which card you happen to get when you make it. And yes, you absolutely can get doubles. And triples.

None of the other three decks are nearly as popular as the Nobles deck. Average prices for each Nobles card that I’ve seen is 1000g.

I personally decided that being able to enchant my tanking shoulders, make very cheap level VIII Agility scrolls for my raiding and Heroics, and be able to work towards my own Darkmoon Card: Greatness and satisfy my collector instincts was reason enough to drop Mining.

Too bad the epics you can craft as an Inscriptionist (Inscriptionist, Inscriber… I need to pick one) are for off-hands, and are pertty useless for Feral Druids. Ah well.

I was level 75 when I started leveling Inscrioption this weekend. I dinged 400, and made a card. I got a Nobles card, as I think I already mentioned.

I then played the game this weekend, had fun, and leveled to 77 by last night. I can now finally fly as a Druid, and farm my own bloody Northrend Herbs.

I made two more cards. I got a card from the Undeath deck, and another Nobles card.

That’s two out of eight of the Nobles deck… and now, all I have to do is farm Herbs, make cards, and develop a network of other card crafters to trade with when I get doubles… becasue I’d rather trade Noble cards with friends that are also building decks, than sell them on the AH for the cash to buy Herbs. It would be perfectly viable, but I think it would be more fun to play card trader.

So all my leather will be crafted by my darling wife, and there is a LOT of it… but the hard stuff… why, the hard stuff, the expensive stuff… that I’m making for myself.

Funny how things work out, sometimes, isn’t it? I didn’t plan on it, but the most expensive stuff to craft, I’m able to make on my own, using my own mats. It just takes time.

There are so many, many ways to make money in this game now. Mining and Herbing to sell your mats straight… farming Eternals with Engineering… making Pots and Elixirs and Flasks for raiders… Darkmoon Cards, and Titansteel, and Dragon’s Eyes, and Belt Buckles, and Enchant Scrolls, and Mammoth Cutter ammo, and Arctic Furs, and Epic Armor and Weapons, oh my. The list is just a mile long.

Anybody really feel their Profession got shafted at the AH? Because they all look very nice for making money to me.

A Big Bear ReBUTTal

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes. Thank you very much.

I have just a few things I’d like to say…

[unfolds a 6 page diatribe on getting old, and how young people suck]

[Cassie smacks Bear]

Wait, what?

Oh, fine… I’ll post that later.

Okay.

First, I got a present!

The most wonderful woman in the world gave me The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs for my birthday! Woot!

Isn’t she one to treasure, folks? Just like a dragon hoard!

No, no I didn’t compare my wife to a whore. I said hoard. HOARD. What? NO!  Not orcs and undead slimy things!  H. O. A. R. D., not Horde!

Idjits.

Second, two notes from the PTR, who knows whether they last.

A) Swipe has had it’s threat buff increased by 50% on the PTR right now.

B) Druids will be able to learn/train to use POLEARMS.

Hey, BRK?

That Black Ice?

Druid loot. 

Cryptfiends’s Bite?

Same thing.

Fo’shizzle, bitch!

The Bear Gets a Year Older

That’s right, our own BBB, is celebrating a birthday today!  I’m not permitted to tell you his exact age, but it’s pretty old (a milestone bday this year). 🙂

bearbday

Happy Birthday Dear! Love ya!

Cassie


PS – I’m setting this so that your comments go to BBB’s email instead of mine so he can read all your good wishes when he gets home (unfortunately that makes it look like he’s the post author, which is just silly since he’d hardly be telling you it’s his own birthday, but that’s the only way I can make it work) 🙂