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.)
GathererDB (provides a comprehensive database of all nodes of Mining and Herbs on Wowhead. Very complete. Import this into Gatherer.)
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 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!
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.
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!