Thursday, 25 December 2008

Sell your Christmas pets!

For Christmas, every higher level player gets a pet in Ironforge. There are one of four you can get, a Green Helper, Red Helper, Snowman and Reindeer. Last year I got the Red Helper and a friend who I can't remember gave me a Green one too. As a serial pet collector, I was disappointed not to get one of the other two this year (Green Helper for me this year).

These pets can be sold on the Auction House and in a few months will be very rare and expensive. I'm sure even now they will be worth a fair amount. One thing to note, they don't seem to be listed under pets at the auction house yet, so you may need to advertise. It's worth saving these pets on all your alts, especially if you have no interest in pets. With a new "Collect 100 Pets" Achievement incoming, pet prices are going to rise even further, which is a shame because I think the black tabby will be forever out of my reach now. Still one disappointment leads to riches, can't be all bad. Not that I would say no to any pet donations if you're reading from the Doomhammer EU realm. What you want puppy dog eyes too? I'm begging on my short gnome knees already!

Christmas farming

Christmas means Azeroth is not so busy, at least for things as mundane as farming mats. In 45 minutes of Mining and extracting clouds I got this in Scholazar.

132 Saronite Ore
5 Titanium Ore
72 Crystallized Fire
54 Crystallized Shadow
46 Crystallized Earth
23 Crystallized Water
5 Crystallized Air
1 Chalcedony
1 Huge Critine

I don't really do Christmas (beyond my television marathon) so it's been very nice to be able to get the materials for the Engineering motorbike and 3 epic Leatherworking pieces I want, with such ease. Personally I think Scholazar is the best place to farm for stuff like this because you can just go around in circles on auto-pilot and the mobs rarely bother you.

I forgot to mention I just hit level 80 a couple days back (nothing wrong with being a "Gz" whore!). I only completed Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord & Dragonblight, and was halfway through Grizzly Hills. Having so many zones left will help me get some cash for the 8000 gold Kirin'Tor ring. I'll definitely wait to get some better gear before stepping into the level 80 zones, as I'm still in mainly level 70 gear except the new epic engineering head and have struggled the few times I've visited Icecrown.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Keep your eye on Enchant prices

After the release of Wrath there was a big crash on the price of the Outland enchanting materials (Arcane Dust, Greater Planar Essence and Large Prismatic Shards). No one was interested in old enchants and there was a massive supply of them thanks to Death Knights.

Things seem to be heading in a completely opposite direction now. The materials are needed by enchanters leveling their profession and now is a very popular time for people to do this (Death Knights leveling up now or people taking on the profession because of its usefulness as raiding/arena starts in Wrath). Burning Crusade enchants are also popular at the moment because people do not want to waste money on expensive Northrend enchants while they are still gearing up in raids or arena, so they settle for the Outland ones.

On my realm Greater Planars have gone from 7g to about 17gold in the last few weeks. Arcane Dust has gone over the price they sold for during Burning Crusade. Large Prismatic shards are still worth very little because people still avoid the most expensive Outland enchants that required them.

If you do happen to have Outland gear you want to disenchant, here is a guide on if you should vendor or disenchant;

- Level 65-70 Blue quality or Level 70 Purple quality items; vendor these because you're more likely to get large prismatic shards that sell for a few gold on the auction house. Level 70 purples can vendor for more than 10 gold.

- Level 60-65 greens; These are more likely to disenchant to Arcane Dust so it depends on the vendor value. If they vendor for 2 gold, you're more likely to make a profit from the dust. If they vendor for 8g you might be better of just selling them.

- Level 65-70 greens; These are the opposite of the above. These have a higher chance of rewarding Planars, so unless they vendor for over 10g, you're better of disenchanting.

Of course there are add-ons that can help you determine this, but that's my tip of the day. This ignores listing the gear on the auction house. This should be avoided because there is very little demand and very high deposit costs. Most likely you'll waste a deposit for a week before selling, meaning it's hard to break even selling gear on the auction house.

Sell as Eternals or Crystals?

End of term work for University and Christmas has meant a slow down in posting, but I'm trying to get some more posts in around Christmas. Today I want to talk about selling Eternals on the Auction House.

In Burning Crusade you would need 10 Primals (Earth, Water, Fire, etc) to turn them into one Primal. They were found through multiple sources (mining, killing mobs, gas clouds, etc) and used for most crafting recipes. In Wrath we now have Crystals that can be turned into Eternals. Selling these on the Auction House is very lucrative and even casual players can make a few hundred gold off this weekly. Just like in the last expansion Fire, Air and Water tend to be more expensive due to their rarity and some of them can sell for as much as 50g each.

I've seen lots of posts online recently about the best way to sell them; should you sell the Crystals individually or wait until you have ten to sell as an Eternal?

In most cases selling them separately as crystals will net you more money, however there are some limitations to this. If you put ten on the market, it is unlikely they will all sell and a big chance you will be undercut due the the quantity you have put up. Often after a few hours of questing you can have enough crystals to make 2 or 3 eternals. Selling these as crystals could take days if not weeks because you have to limit yourself to only putting a handful on the market at once. On the other hand selling a few eternals will usually only take a few hours. Personally I think having a faster cash flow is far easier, instead of wasting time constantly trying to sell your crystals. If you rarely come into contact with them you're probably best of selling them as crystals but I don't think this applies to most people.

Many people are overly reliant on Auctioneer and it's exactly this type of item it will let you down with. The price of eternals are extremely volatile and it is better to use your own brain for a change. Most items fluctuate on price during busy times of the week by a reasonable amount; a stack of ore might be 40g on Friday night and 50g by Sunday, auctioneer will therefore give you a fair average price. Eternals work differently, and can change by as much as 50% in price during the week. It's really up to you to check the prices regularly for a week or two to find out what your ideal selling price is.

In Burning Crusade Primal Fire on my realm moved between 20 gold and as much as 60 gold. Most of the time they would be between 20g and 40g, so personally I would only list them on the auction house at times when the price was at least 30g. It definitely the type of item you should not settle for selling at a low price because the demand is always high.

When it comes to setting a price for them it's wise to be aware of other sellers. I'll run through a few models. You scan the auction house for the price of an eternal and find a decent supply of eternals on the auction house;

- You find that there are numerous auctions at 30g and one auction at 27g; in this scenario don't undercut the seller at 27g. Eternals are always high in demand and most people are usually buying more than one, so in this case list your item at just under 30g.

- You find that there are numerous auctions at the same price. In this case you should be looking to undercut because there are multiple sellers all at the same price.

- If you find there are only a few on the auction, you might want to risk putting it a much higher price.

Some people will ask if the prices are so volatile why don't you just sell them at the times of the week when prices are high? Well in my experience there is no set time of the week where the prices will be extremely high and it's too unpredictable. Enchanting mat prices are dependent largely on when instances are run and mining materials on when people are questing. Eternals on the other hand usually depend on other factors. Most servers have thousands of miners so there is a steady supply of metal but eternal prices can be dependent on just a handful of engineers on a realm and when they decide to go farming, meaning they can change the market price at their own discretion (with or without realising it). Due to this, I think it's best to find a price you are happy with and sell if you feel the average price is it a decent level.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Winter Veil tips

The Christmas holiday will be starting on Monday and it should be a good time. I enjoyed it last year and achievements will add too it hopefully. I decided to write a quick run down on some things you might want to have prepared before Monday to either save yourself money or even make some, for a more detailed guide check out this WoWInsider article.

A Frosty Shake and Scrooge require snowballs, which you can pick up in zones like Arathi Highlands. You will also be able to buy them off vendors now for just 10 copper. If you've been selling Snowballs on the AH, you probably want to get rid of them now because they won't be worth much anymore. Then again some people won't realise you can buy them from the vendor and maybe you'll still make some money.

The Winter Veil Gourmet is an interesting achievement for a few reasons. You'll need to cook all three of the Winter Veil recipes, so level your cooking to 325 if you are yet to get there. You can expect cooking materials to rise in price as people realise this. Two of the recipes also require Small Eggs. I've bought some very cheaply from the AH, and I'll resell the ones I don't need. You can probably make a tidy amount of money off this. There's also a way of making money off the vendors by making Hot Apple Cider. Check out the comments on WoWHead, an interesting discovery.

Let It Snow has potential to be a real pain, especially if your Alliance looking for a Orc Death Knight. I advice teaming up with a friend to create alts of the opposite faction although that will be limited to PvE realms. PvP players will have a bit more work to do, although I'm sure you can do it eventually hanging around Dalaran.

Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la doesn't require Preserved Holly but there will still be a market for them. Although it's likely you can sell them for more during the year.

Tis' The Season is one you should really start saving for now. You'll need three parts of the Christmas outfit. The hat is available from Outland instances although they may update that. The clothes are made by tailors and the boots by leatherworkers. It's worth buying Runecloth, Wool, Rugged Leather and copper bar now, because the prices of these will be rising. If you're a leatherworker or tailor, you might want to start selling these now if you have the recipes from before or saving the materials if you hope to make some money after buying the recipe from Monday. If you have those materials, it's also better if you start selling them on monday at an inflated price. The good thing is both these pieces are not soulbound, so you can share them with your guild.

I'm really looking forward to this holiday. Most of the achievements are easy to get and won't get you frustrated. Hope everyone has a nice Winter Veil!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

December's here!

I have a feeling that December will be a very busy month in Warcraft. Sure everyone might be busy with Christmas but it also brings a ton of free time for people who are usually working. Most people will be hitting level 80 and starting heroics & Naxx. There are also a few in-game events kicking off that will keep everyone busy. December 15th sees the start of Winter Veil which should be fun (Hallow's End left me a little jaded) and a day later the new PvP season will begin.

I'll probably still be battling away, trying to hit 77. I'm still double minded on if I'll get the Northrend flying skill, because I'm having a lot of fun exploring the continent from my mount. I'll probably only be on Dragonblight by then, I'm already level 74 and so far only done Howling Fjord. On the other hand I really want to start working on my engineering and it would certainly help if I could farm for metal whilst flying. Do you guys have any plans for the holiday period?

Also seeing as it's the start of a new month, I'll drop a reminder for Consortium Gems for old time's sake. I think I'll still head down to Nagrand because it's the first time I'll be revered with the Consortium.

Armory & Gold Stats Update

Last week Blizzard updated the Armory website so it now included achievements and statistics. This included the Gold statistics I previously mentioned. I admit curiosity got the better of me and it was interesting to see the gold the top raiders had. It's also interesting to note that Blizzard has reacted fast to the community's complaints over these statistics now being available to people who don't even play the game (let alone your realm), and removed them from the Armory. I think this is a sign that Blizzard let this slip through the cracks and that a future patch will hopefully see them removed in-game too.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Mining in Wrath

Most miners will need to use their metals to level up their other professions, however now would be the time to focus on selling; level later when the metal prices have normalised. Your first priority should be to level your skill, and frankly the easiest way to do this is to head back to Outland. The nodes in Northrend are harder to find (especially if you can't fly yet), over farmed and you're likely to get ninja'd too. I've managed to get my skill up to around 425 in Outland with relative ease. The zone's hardly have anyone in them except Death Knights (who can't fly) so you can fly around and you'll find an abundant supply of nodes. Fel Iron & Adamantite will give you some skill ups, but Rich Adamantite and Khorium will get you well into 420 skill. If you don't want to do this, it's still worth making a detour to Shattrath if you're heading off to your normal capital; The Barrier Hills. This small hub just on top of Aldor Rise is every miners secret farming spot. It usually spawns 2 or 3 nodes of Adamantite, Rich Adamantite and even Khorium. These days there is almost always a few nodes there because no one is using Shattrath. A very easy way to get cheap skill points before heading off to Stormwind or Orgrimmar. If you have the bank space, I'd save the Outland metals for a few months because they are worthless now, but are likely to shoot back up in price (just check the price of Iron, Mithril or Thorium). It's so easy to level in Northrend that you're likely to end up in zones where the nodes are too high for you to mine, this can help you stay ahead of the curve and not waste nodes.

This should put you in a fairly comfortable position to get your skill to 450. Most of the new metals are selling for crazy prices at the moment. If you want to make some real money, getting to 450 is vital because you can begin to smelt Titan Steel, which is going for 500g per bar on my realm, and this is the cheapest price. You can only smelt one every 20 hours, so supply is low and demand is high because they are required for all the best recipes in Wrath. Even if you don't have the materials to smelt a bar, advertise in Trade Channel to do it for other people. A huge number of people are after them and you can make some serious money off tips (make sure you agree a price before smelting). The good thing is the price of these bars is likely to remain fairly high because you need 12 of them to make the new Engineering Motorbike, not to mention countless other high level recipes. I would definitely recommend getting to around skill 420 in Outland, and then hopefully you can hit the rest of the points quickly in Northrend. If you have not maxed the skill by level 77, the first thing you do with your flying mount is to finish off leveling mining. Every 20 hours is money lost!

The Fishing Quest Bug

Most of the Outland Dailies are nerfed pretty bad once you upgrade to a Wrath account, they offer far less gold than they did before. The fishing daily quests seem to have been over looked though. They still offer about 7 gold, and usually more with the useless junk that drops with the bag. You can also get lucky and get some of the vanity gear that sells well on the Auction House. Also for pet collectors the Crocolisks in the City quest will still be a priory. The main reason you might want to keep this daily on your schedule is the fishing bug that has been around since at least patch 3.0.2, in which you catch the Quest Fish on the first catch. 10 seconds work for 7 gold is never bad. When I'm on my down time, I always drop by Shattrath to check if the Crocolisk quest is the daily. This bug will probably be fixed in the next patch, so enjoy it while you have an easy chance to get some pets and money.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Realm First! Cooking Grand Master

It's been an insane few days for me, but I did it!!!

I'm usually the type of player who likes to take his time in doing anything in the game...but every so often I will be taken over by something (usually a reputation grind) and dedicate every living hour to getting what I want. Usually it means I become a miserable, selfish git - sorry guildies! Last Thursday I found myself fishing in Ironforge in the afternoon and noticed I was well into my 400's. Maybe I had a chance to get the realm first Fishing Grand Master. I frantically fished those last 30 or 40 skills and was disappointed when I didn't get the achievement. Not because I didn't get it, but because I was looking forward to leveling fishing in Dalaran's fountain, and just wasted it for no reason. I felt it served me right for breaking my own rules about taking my time.

I didn't learn my lesson though. I was in Dalaran only a day after release, thanks to a mage who took me there for 20g. The first thing I did was the cooking daily quest, because I was after the "Chef" title. 15 minutes later the daily quests reset and I was able to do it again. I was one of only a handful of people in Dalaran by this point, and it got me thinking that maybe I had a chance of actually getting the realm first; to get the recipes you must get Dalaran Cooking Awards by completing the daily quests. By being one of the first people in Dalaran I had a big advantage. My main competition would be a mage who had got there before me, or someone who had got more Awards than me by lucky drops.

I made some terrible mistakes though. Firstly, I bought the wrong recipe to get me to 425; instead of buying one that needs the commonly dropped Chilled Meat, I had bought the one that needs Chunk O' Mammoth. This meant a huge amount of grinding. Secondly, for some odd reason I though Northern Spices were soulbound, so I wasted a huge amount of time when I could have bought them off other people. Surely someone with level 70 alts or deeper wallets would beat me easily. After I realised this second mistake I was sure I'd blown it. I felt really frustrated because I had spent over 2000g (which you'll remember I had spent the last few weeks grinding before the release of Wrath) for no reason. Also a number of people had really helped me out in my attempt and I felt like an idiot because I'd failed due to a rookie mistake. Skill point 424 was particularly painful, it took me over 300 meals to get the skill up and well over 1000g.

But my guild got me re-motivated after my downer, and I decided I would max out my cooking just to keep me satisfied the effort was for something. So I continued the endless grinding of innocent Mammoth Cubs in Borean Tundra, and the frustrating fishing of Deep Sea Monsterbelly in the Frozen Sea. I was half way through level 70 when I started killing the Mammoths and now I'm halfway through 71. One whole level seeing the same mobs, and to mix it up endlessly fishing in the same spot.

Skill 449 was getting as frustrating as 424 had. I completed the new daily quest a few minutes after it was given and decided to cook with the few northern spices I had won that day. I was changing the song on iTunes when suddenly the yellow achievement sign popped up. Then I see a "WTF" from my only guildie online (who didn't know about my attempt because he had just returned to the game after a fortnight away), followed by about 30 whispers of "Gz". It took me a few seconds to realise I had done it! I can't tell you how great it felt after having spent countless hours grinding, thousands of gold and finally giving up.

There are some people who I was to say a big thank you to for helping me out over the last few days. Everyone in my guild Looney Tunes, especially Winks and Mal, & also Dolbz and Sidi. People from my old guild The Village People, especially Josh, Tippy, Bakku and Gem. Finally my old guild master and friend Keyhunter. I got a lot of moral support, as well as materials they could have used for their own cooking. Thanks guys, couldn't have done it without you!

Here are some pictures


I'm in a great mood now, but I think I need a few days off to recover!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Some changes to the blog

(I wrote some of this blog a week or two back, so you may have noticed some of these changes already)

Hopefully you guys have noticed a steady increase in my blogging. I've decided to make some small and big changes to the blog. First off I realise that whilst some people do reply to my posts, most don't bother (I know this because I get far more emails than replies). Maybe having to log in does put some people off, so I've decided to let anyone post comments. I would still prefer to see your names so I can check out your blogs in turn, but I'd rather have more interaction, even if it is with anonymous users. I've also decided that I will moderate replies that are for posts older than two weeks. Hopefully this will cut down on gold seller spam, whilst not getting in the way of new posts. I added a little subtitle to the blog also and I'm probably going to drop the anonymity I've guarded so far. I'm not as money driven (or rich) as I used to be, so I don't mind if I do get a little grief. Also I'm not a guild leader anymore, so I have far more free time.

I googled "warcraft trade" and noticed I was number six on the results. Not bad for a blog I should put more effort into. The site description is a bit odd though, although I have no idea how that can be changed. I've been thinking about getting my own domain name, but the obvious ones are taken. Do you guys have any suggestions for domains? (Edit: I re-added the poll to the home-page now, sorry if you have to vote again)

Finally, the biggest change I'd like on the blog is having some guest bloggers. Whilst I do try to keep up to date with all the goings on in the WoW economy, I am limited to my own areas of expertise. I thought it would be nice if some of you who have experience in different areas were to write some posts to share with the community. The blogger would get full credit for his work, although I might edit certain things although that will be minimal (spelling corrections, breaking up paragraphs, keeping the posts concise, etc). If I like your stuff, I'd even be open to sharing the blog with other writers. Content wise I'm open to anything, although it's probably best to avoid writing about professions I'm already familiar with (Engineer, Skinning, Mining in particular). If anyone is interested, I would love to hear from you at wow.hustle@gmail.com

I've posted more this month than any before, so hopefully things can pick up. I've got some other ideas too, but all in good time. Thanks for the feedback as always.

Missing your first Ding!

I'm one of the slowest levelers you will ever meet, so I'm usually very aware of when I will be hitting my next level. I've usually spent days of play time waiting for it, so it's one of those great feelings. I was particularly looking forward to hearing my first Ding in close to a year, but I missed it!

I was grinding some Mammoth meat in Borean Tundra for cooking, when I accidentally over pulled and had about 4 Mammoths on me with 20% life left. Just as I hit the vanish button I notice I'm at full health and very confused. After 10 minutes of thinking about all the possible explanations I realised I was now level 71 after killing one of the Mammoths, I'd got my full life back. Shows how strange it is to be leveling again. My confusion meant I didn't even get the obligatory and forced "Gz" we all crave. /cry
I better not miss the next nine level ups, but alteast we have Achievement Gratz now.

Wrath of the Lich King Review

Reviewing a MMO is an impossible task. An early review can be skewed because you can only see a small percentage of the content. By the time you can give a fair review, is months down the line and no one actually cares what you have to say because they've seen it themselves. Wrath of the Lich King is so exciting I can't help but talk about it, especially because I know some of the readers of this blog have yet to jump aboard the ship or zeppelin to Northrend.

The Good:
I don't even know where to starts, I could go on for pages so I might just be adding to this section for the next few days.

- Since 3.0.2 we suffered lots of technical problems, but the launch was just fantastic. Most people simply logged into the game and were playing 5 minutes later. Makes the trouble of the last few weeks well worth it.

- The two start zones are just fantastic. Everyone will have their preference, but I liken it Lord of the Rings (Howling Fjord) and Jurassic Park (Borean Tundra), completely different films but both are great. I've wondered about some other zones too, and so far Storm Peaks blew me away. It just looks so huge and epic, added to the fact I have a huge soft spot for snowy zone (since I started playing the game in Dun Morogh and spent a lot of time in Winterspring grinding the mount). Actually most of the zones feel very epic.

- The music in the game is just fantastic. I've always liked some of the music in the game, but they have stepped it up a notch here. I've been torn between listening to the new Killers album or leaving the in-game music on whilst playing (usually Killers would win without a doubt). I briefly stepped into Lake Wintergrasp and the music there was so unusual, it had a bit of a Japanese influence which I loved. The quantity of music that has been created is hard to describe, it's no longer the same song remixed for every single zone. I can't wait to listen to the soundtrack I got with the collectors edition.

- The variety of quests they have is just staggering. The game is full of new ideas but even the popular old ones have been re-invented brilliantly. Tired of bombing runs? Well now you can hop on to a zeppelin (pretty exotic for an Alliance exclusive player) and throw bombs on pirates below. There's a fantastic quest chain where they use hunter and druid mechanics where not only do you own a bird pet but get to fly around as it later on. Which leads on to...

- The immersion into the world is just overwhelming. I remembering going to Outland for the first time and seeing a huge lava-fire zone (my worst type) and being told to kill 10 boars (I'm sure the Burning Legion was scared of that epic feat). Now you are explicitly told you're a hero of some renown within your faction. In Northrend everything seems to be built around the huge war that is taking place and there is a sense of urgency to all your actions. I really did not have a clue what the story about Outland was besides the usual vague details the quest givers gave. In Northrend it's hard to avoid the details and even if you don't read quest text, the Lich King might show up to make sure you do next time, spoiler (highlight to read;within 20 minut es of questing in Howling Fjord, I stumbled into the Lich King, and after telling me I was not ready to be his servent yet, he killed me. Even the kill 10 of "X" creature quests seem part of this massive effort, and usually have some other relates quests mixed in, so you barely notice them (although I am yet to visit the ass Hemet Nesingwary). The music, quests and zones really mesh together for a great experience. Even the world around you seems much more realistic. You'll see different types of mobs interacting with each other, not just ignoring each other like they usually do.

- Daily quests whilst leveling are also well made. Most are very easy, give great XP, good money and reputation to boot. In fact the entire world just seems very easy on XP, you can do 20 quests & one instance run, and be half way through your level. Most people will have a great deal of content to explore long after they hit 80.

- We may have had our flying mounts removed for a while, but the zones and quests really seem to get around that problem. The quests are well structured that you can do a large amount in a small area before being moved on to other areas. Traveling between these areas also seems to be made much easier. You'll get random rides (on planes for example) to random outposts with just a few quests. No more large rides to get flight paths like we did in TBC, the zones have many more.

- I've only had a 10 minute look at the Death Knight and so far I am loving it.

- Short instances? I love it. Blizzard tried to put forward the case that most Burning Crusade instances were 45 minutes, but I never bought it. I remember my first Shadow Labs taking two hours and Magister's Terrace four hours (both PuGs). You can genuinely PuG Utgarde Keep in half an hour and actually enjoy the experience. I've always been hesitant to go into instances not because I don't enjoy them, but because I hate bad PuGs, wiping continuously and realising an hour has passed and we just killed the second boss. I liked Post 3.0.2 Kara, and I like these new instances.

- I tried out the new BG, Strand of the Ancients, and it was confusing. But then what BG isn't the first time? Once I got my head around it, I think we may finally have a BG that's close to how great I feel Alterac Valley is.

- I should try to wrap this up, so I'll end by saying I love how even things like Reputations and Professions have been improved significantly.

- Dalaran; I feel this deserves its own final paragraph. The new Mage City is just amazing. It looks stunning and feels like a real city like the old Azeroth ones did (as opposed to Shattrath or Exodar). It doesn't capture the bustling medieval feel off Stormwind, the Elven tranquility of Darnassus, the might of the Dwarves in Ironforge, or the creepiness of Undercity. Instead it has its own unique character (unlike Shattrath which was just a portal to other places, oh and some Bird-men refugees you better avoid). Dalaran feels every bit as magical as you would expect a mage city to be, without overstating the fact (no Beauty & the Beast style living brooms like in the Blood Elf cities). Fountains where you can fish up wishing coins, toy shops where you can by train sets and vendors for everything you could want. But just like every great city, you have the under-classes (for mages that's every class that can't produce its own glass of Diet Coke with a spell) all residing in their own ghetto; in this case the sewer. I'll leave you to discover the place on your own, but I can see myself spending a lot of time here.


The Bad:
I had to think hard about these.

- I really don't understand Blizzards philosophy towards PvP gearing, because it goes against everything they're trying to push for in PvE. In case you don't know, all the PvP gear available at level 80 requires you to do Arena. Basically there will be 3 tiers; Blue quality gear which requires Arena points (no rating), normal Purple quality items that also require an Arena rating and finally the high end Purples that require a high level rating. Now for someone who enjoys BGs (mainly Alterac Valley) and has zero interest in Arena, we're basically forced into doing Arenas. It's the equivalent of telling people you can do 5 man instances but sorry you cant get any gear rewards till you step into a 10-man raid. Can you imagine the reaction? Blizz has really been pushing Arena and E-sports for a while, but I don't thinking forcing people is the way to go about it. I spent most of my level 70 end game (over 95%) in Battlegrounds, I think this will flip it the other way. I know the new Season does not start till December, so I'm still hoping they change their minds on this, but so far no one in the community seems to care. Maybe I'm missing something but at the moment I have no idea where I will be getting resist gear, so I won't be able to enjoy BGs even casually.

- I don't really know if this is actually the case, but it seems like Blizzard has really made professions overly difficult and expensive to level. There are plenty of money sinks in the game (even small items such as toys and year long drink kegs in Dalaran), and I feel this was an unnecessary move.

- Dalaran is the probably the greatest city that has ever been in the game, there is so much to do and see. I think there are some major design problems in how they made the city that just encourages lag. I've often heard of people complain about lag in Irongforge, Stormwind and especially Shattrath, but for me it's never been a problem. So for me to get 2 frames per second when the city is not even half as busy as Shattrath is worrying. I can only imagine it in a few weeks when more people make their way there. I've had reports from friends who find themselves disconnecting as soon as they enter the city. The problem will get worse because unlike Shattrath where people were quick to head off to their home capitals, the content of Dalaran only encourages you to stay longer. I really think making it slightly bigger and less cramped would have helped significantly. Luckily I've found the sewers don't suffer from this problem, so it's my hangout for the time being.

- Whilst the reputation shift from dungeons to quests is welcome, the structure of them is very confusing. Here's to some quick updates on WoWWiki.

/Silly:

- It's not all seruious, you'll still see plenty of Blizz humour all over the game.

- I want more non-combat pets! They have only added about four in the entire game, and only one that you can just buy without having to get reputation/achievements. Even that one was just a skull, which is a little bizzarre.

- Everyone should go to the sewers in Dalaran and look for some lootable bottles. They can turn you into a Tuskarr or one of the giant fireflies from Zangarmarsh. Good fun.

- The gnome female Death Knight voice is...weird. Just imagine your four year old cousin trying to do be Johnny Five from the Short Circuit films.

- Everyone needs to head to K3, the new Goblin Town. Some of the outfits the goblins are wearing are really funny, the flight master looks like a goblin-mummy. The wallpaper in one of the buildings is interesting too. Strange that the goblins never felt this cold in Winterspring.

- I think I might contact D.E.H.T.A. about the Tuskarrs' cruel treatment of sharks and giant turtles.

- I hear rumours of more poop quests. Win!

Overall:
I've given enough glowing praise by now, so I don't have to repeat how much I am loving Wrath so far.

As usual, the spellings and grammar for this post won't be checked for a while (if ever, its way too long).
I have had a few posts I've wanted to make on the blog, but didn't know where to start. Now that I have the review out the way, we can get down to some business minded stuff tomorrow. Would love to hear your thoughts on the game. Also if you have actually got to the end of this overly long post, 10 achievement points to you!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

London Midnight Wrath Launch: Epic Journey and Imba Loot!

What a tiring day it has been and with my Wrath 88% installed, I'm afraid it's only just begun. I was planning on arriving at the HMV shop in Central London at 9pm, but after previous experiences with queuing (damn you iPhone and Harry Potter!) I decided 8 would be a safer bet. I left home at 6pm but it was past 8pm when I arrived, thanks to a horrible McDonalds meal and some bad planning (they have 2 branches of HMV on the insanely busy Oxford Street, and I walked to the wrong one!). I was pleased to find no one in line, so I casually bought some music albums and the guy at the counter informed me that the line had in fact already started in the morning. I was directed to an alleyway to the side of the shop and frankly it's nice to know both real crack and e-crack can be purchased in the same location.

The line was already about 300 people deep and it was the start of a miserable four hours. I really was not in the mood to be there in the cold but my Collector's Edition copy was sent to my Scotland address and I really wanted it now. I have to admit it was worth it in the end because I managed to snag a few extras that made it a great night.

Here are some pictures I took, excuse the bad quality;

* We were let inside the shop just before midnight, and if you squint you'll notice a guy dressed in blue armour, apparently it's Arthas himself! Oh noes!


* At midnight, Blizzard COO Paul Sams and Associate Producer Lee Sparks lead the countdown. I could have got them to sign my game but I didn't feel it was worth a two hour wait, so I grabbed the game and rushed to the bus stop.

**Insert picture of Paul Sams and Lee Sparks that I never took**

* Here are a few pictures of the shop from the outside.




By massive coincidence I got chatting to a girl on the bus who had also just bought the game and lived in the same neighbourhood as me. I know millions of people play WoW, but for me it's still a strange experience to meet them in real life and know they live 100 yards away from my friend Leon! Anyway...

* After seemingly years of waiting I finally had my hands on...Mariah Carey The Ballads!


Personally I think "All I Want for Christmas is You" is the perfect track to enter Northrend with. (And to the guildie who asked me if I was gay, the answer is still no)

Some other extras I got

* A really high quality laminated double-sided poster of Arthas.


* A large card with a Fel Reaver and a Murloc HMV badge I got overly excited about (Murlocs have feelings too!). The badge is actually pretty funny if you know what the HMV logo usually looks like. I was happy I managed to grab another one for my sister who was unfortunately unable to make it. Would have been a lot more fun if she had come, if only so we could moan together, like only Londoners can.


They were actually giving out T-shirts and other posters to random people, but I was happy enough with what I did get. There were also film crews, and maybe you'll see me on the Blizzard website.

* This really made my night though; I got a loot card inside the box and it was one I really wanted. Papa Hummel's Old-Fashion Pet Biscuit, which makes your pets turn huge! I didn't realise they were giving these too and I can't wait to try them out. Too bad you only get a stack of 50.


In the picture you can see the art book, making-off DVD, Papa Hummel's Card, soundtrack, game DVD and mouse mat.

I've managed to log in, and the game was not too busy surprisingly. I guess people have school and work. I checked out the towns in both start zones, looks very pretty. Trained all 5 professions which cost several hundred gold including recipes. Tomorrow I plan on some serious dungeon running! Hope you guys have had a nice and smooth experience too. Now I'm off to bed, it's almost 4am and I'm exhausted. You'll have to forgive the spelling mistakes and typos, I'll fix them tomorrow.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The final weekend of The Burning Crusade

This time next week I'll probably be coming back from a midnight launch in London, ready to install Wrath of the Lich King. The coming weekend definitely marks the end of an Era then. Most likely in a year the people moaning about how they disliked TBC, will be moaning about how they dislike Wrath and can they have realms with only Azeroth and Outland. I'm not a huge fan of some of the zones in Outland, in particular Shadowmoon Valley and Netherstorm, far too bleak for my tastes. I still have about 70 odd quests left in the two zones, so I'm planning on some serious questing this weekend. Firstly, this is going to be your last opportunity to benefit from the XP-Gold conversion you get at level 70. Northrend will be offering plenty of gold, but the fact remains your enjoyment of the new content will increase if you can just power-level your professions with your gold reserves. Secondly, while I'm not a fan of these zones, the quests are still very entertaining and with the achievements incentive I am really looking forward to completing them. I think many people will forget the negative views they may have had with Outland and look back fondly in a few years. With that in my mind I plan to give the continent one last hurrah. Then again, I'm sure many of you will still be sick of it in a few weeks as your Death Knight hits Hellfire.

If you want some basic figures on why finishing off these zones might be useful, here's some very rough estimates of how much gold you can make. Last weekend I headed into SMV and Netherstorm, after a few hours I had complete about 40 or so quests. The few sessions in which I completed these quests rewarded me with about 900 gold, this includes quest money, quest rewards vendored, mob loot and any mining nodes & engineering motes I picked up. Even with the inflation of money with Wrath, that's an impressive amount of money. I fully expect to add another 2,000g this weekend which will no doubt be very useful.

Still not tempted? Well I had originally planned on making the new Motorcycle mount my primary object to save for, as I felt the other mounts were over priced. This video won me over:
20, 000g, 3 Person Mammoth Mount
The idea of having a portable vendor, repair man and poison/food seller just blew me away. Is it worth 20K? Probably not. Do I want one? Hell yeah!

Even if you feel you've totally completed The Burning Crusade, I think you should make an effort to enjoy the coming weekend. Go do some of the little things you never got round to doing. Have one last go with level 70 Battlegrounds. Go to an instance you got so bored with that you have not entered it in a year. Visit a spot you and your guild have fond memories of lazing around in. Outland is not going anywhere, but with so much new content to come it will be great to give it a fitting farewell.

Don't throw away your Vampiric Batlings away!

For the world event leading up to Wrath, Blizzard added a temporary boss to Kara, Prince Tenris Mirkblood. Everyone has probably heard the Guitar Hero inspired weapon he drops, he also drops a Vampiric Batling pet to every player who kills him. What I did not realise was that this pet can be vendored for 10 gold, which should cover repairs for the night's play. This is the third time my guild has killed him now, so most people should already have the pet anyway.

Speaking of Kara, I've managed to stack up a healthy amount of Badges of Justice in the last week or two. At this point I don't have an interest in gear upgrades, so I'm likely to spend it on stuff I can sell on the Auction House. Primal Nethers are already down to about 10g each, and I expect Gems to hold their value alot better. It's a shame I didn't start raiding Kara a little earlier, becoming Little Red Riding Hood is oddly satisfying.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Just a little warning

I noticed I got my fist Gold Seller spam reply, which I promptly deleted. I would advice everyone to not click on any of the outside links from suspicious posts, especially because the sites are likely to contain malicious code that could get your account hacked.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Achievements boosting the economy

I only came back to WoW a week or so before the Echoes of Doom patch, but I noticed the prices of most items had plunged, and I decided to hold off selling any of my stock because the prices were bound to rise once Outlands' items became a bit more rare. The patch has attracted back a huge number of players who have not been playing for a significant amount of time, so with more money in the economy and more demand, prices have seen a sudden rise again. The most interesting thing however is the price rise in items linked to achievements. Here's a brief selection of items that are now selling at hugely inflated prices;

- Recipes; the achievements systems encourages people to collect 100 cooking recipes, so naturally the Auction Houses are now flooded with usually worthless recipes. On my realm this Sunday, there were over 800 cooking recipes for sale, and none for under 20g. It's insane that some of these recipes are available to buy for a few copper not 30 yards away from the same Auction House. Quest recipes would usually be very difficult to sell, and I remember wasting time on re-listing them multiple times. These Alliance/Horde exclusives can now be sold on the neutral AH for excellent profit. I know there are a number of Horde recipes that I will be getting sent over by kind friends with Horde alts, no way am I paying 100g for a level 15 quest recipe.

I remember when I first went to Arathi Highlands, I would always make a brief trip to Stromgarde to buy the First Aid books, which would usually net me 5 or 6 gold because people didn't know where to purchase them. These books are now making 5 times as much profit.

It's not all positive though, remember the AH is flooded with hundreds of auctions so sometimes it can take days and multiple re-listings to sell your stuff; better watch out if the the items have high deposit prices. Also there has been a drop in the prices of some more unusual recipes. With more people running Azeroth dungeons for achievements, rare recipes like Goblin Jumper Cable XL from Blackrock Depths are now dropping in price. This recipe for example is usually worth 60-100g (I used to farm BRD regularly for Thorium Brotherhood reputation), but my economy now has about 5 of these floating around for about 30g. I will probably hold on to the two I have for a while longer.

- Pets; I don't think anyone has missed the dramatic increase in pet prices. I've regretted selling the Kitten I bought of Little Timmy for 20g a few months ago, it's now going for over 100g. Pet collecting was for the eccentrics on the realm, but these days everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Again the real profit is being made on the neutral AH selling your faction exclusives. If you do happen to stumble across a pet, it would be well worth checking how rare it is before selling it especially if you're not too familiar with the pet collecting scene. Engineer's should also be aware that their pets might finally be sellable, especially if you're lucky enough to have the mechanical toad recipe (also note the prices of these pet recipes has gone up too).

- Reputation items; I've been into getting exalted reputations for a while now, and so far I'm on 17 (and this is with solo play, without having any instance/raid reputations). My bank balance has certainly been hurt with the sudden rise in prices of reputation hand in items. Whilst the Outland items have not seen a huge increase in price (with the lack of interest in TBC so close to Wrath, they had already lowered in price) the original Azeroth items have been the main beneficiaries. If you're planning on farming some of these for a quick buck, here a couple you might be interested in (also check out the faction guides on WoWWiki for further info).

Cenarion Circle: Encrypted Twilight Texts are a very common drop in Silithus. Whereas before the patch I could pick up 100 of these for as little as 2g on the AH, they now go for 40g- and that's for just 10 of them. Certain mobs in Silithus drop 8-10 of these, so for one kill that a huge amount of money and much faster than any daily quest. The Twilight Cutlist set is also selling again on the Auction House, after about 18 months of no interest. I still had 20 of these left from when I was doing my own CC rep grind and sold them for 10g each. Check out the WoWWiki page if you want the full information on what you can sell. This reputation is very popular because many players already have the Cenarion Expedition at exalted, and having both grants a title. There has been a slight price increase of CE items, but not significant. If you are interested in getting your CE rep, you should be aware there is an item in Northrend that will make it much easier, so you might as well hold off and not make the same mistake as me (buying 15 000 reputation worth of Coilfangs was expensive!).

Thorium Brotherhood: Most of the items you need to sell are only available from Molten Core, and people have been running it for the achievement. If you do happen to end up in MC, keep an eye out for Blood of the Mountain, Lava Core, Fiery Core and Core Leather. On my realm they are selling for 50-100g, and selling well too. For those of you not running Molten Core, if you're in Burning Steppes during the Invasion Event, you might want to mine some Dark Iron nodes. Not only is Dark Iron Ore up in price again, but it has a chance to drop Blood of the Mountain. Obviously it's not worth farming for some of this stuff because it can be just as easy to do dailies, I'm just suggesting it's worth doing if you're in the area.

Argent Dawn: Although its pretty easy to get reputation with them at the moment, thanks to the Invasion event, I'm sure the prices of some of the items may have gone up but you'll have to check out your own realm for more detail. It's fairly easy to solo this faction, even though it is time consuming, so I doubt there is a huge increase in price as most of the item hand ins do not give much reputation. It is worth noting that the price of materials you need for Craftman's Writ quests has gone up, although I'm not sure it's linked to this. The items include leather and thorium bars.

Zandalar Tribe: The Bijous found in Zul'Gurub are selling very well, if you do happen to find yourself there.

Home Cities: Of course the most obvious price rise has been in Runecloth which is required as a hand in for your factions own cities. Most people are too lazy to quest for their reputation, and the title given for being exalted with all five of your own races is fairly easy to get. On my realm stacks are going for 10g, which is about a 70% price rise.

Sporeggar: This is the Outland faction that has seen the most obvious inflation. Not only is it tied into the Diplomat title reward, but its probably the easiest faction to get exalted with in the entire game so many players are after the items.

I'm sure there are countless other items that have seen a rise in price thanks to achievements and maybe you want to cash in. Personally I'm too lazy to do any of this, but are there any other items you've noticed go up in price mainly because of achievements? It would be interesting to find out.
I have an exam in a few hours and for some insane reason I'm writing this blog, so excuse me for any typos and wish me luck!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

November Consortium Gems!

Don't forget to head over to Nagrand. I'm 2 quests short of completing the Nagrand achievement "Nagrand Slam" and I'm praying this one counts, because I really have no clue about the last two quests.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Gold statistics need to be made private

Finding it hard to post these days, as I have mid-term exams in a week, but I thought I'd make a quick one. I did my first full run of Kara last night (despite having been level 70 for the better part of this year) and it turned out pretty good even though I lost my internet connection for 15 minutes. I got a couple drops and had a fun time with the guild I recently joined. I did think the chess event was a bit of a mess, but turning into little red riding hood was the highlight of my night. I also finally got to Exalted with the Thorium Brotherhood, and I would recommend you all avoid this faction like the plague, it set me back thousands.

I mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the achievements system, and anytime I'm doing something mundane in a city, I'll right click the person nearest to me to compare our achievements. I was trying to fish in Ironforge when stumbled accross something in the Statistics section of achievements; there is a vast amount of information you can find out about another persons finances within the game. A quick browse showed the following details;
Total gold Acquired
Average gold earned per day
Gold looted
Gold from quest rewards
Gold earned from auctions
Most expensive bid on auction
Most expensive auction sold
Gold from vendors
Gold spent on travel
Gold spent on barber shops
Most gold ever owned
Gold spent on talent respecs
Auctions Posted & Purchased

Personally I have a number of problems with this information being shared. The most basic one is, once the beggers notice this, they'll certainly crawl around cities targeting people they feel have the money. A minor inconvenice sure, but still annoying.
Also I've come to think of the WoW Economy as something based on real life, and in real life the social norm is that your finances are you own private business. It's usually frowned upon to enquire about someone else's income, and usually a bit boastful to just mention how much you earn.
Also the paranoid side of me thinks in-game scammers or even hackers will make use of this information. It's a bit of a stretch to think someone could hack into your account once they see your gold totals, but I'd rather not share this data with every WoW player who walks past me.

On the other hand, for my own use these statistics are great. I'm sure it will help alot of users "balance" their books, and make sure their daily outgoings atleast match their income. Maybe you could challenge yourself to an average daily income level?
I did find it funny that my bank alt was out doing my main in a number of categories. I was also happy to see that I've sold 600g worth of items to the vendor already since the patch. Most of these items were bought at lower than vendor prices at the auction house (I'll share this little nugget if you email me).

Have you guys made any use of these statistics yet? I know I previously used add-ons for this, but the data was less reliable and varied. I'd also be interested if to know if you think I'm being overly sensitive on this data being made public.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Where is the money in Inscription?

Since last week's patch, herbalists and inscribers have made a killing on the Auction House. In the long run, I find it it unlikely it will be an extremely lucrative market. Having had a week to look over inscription, I have to admit I've been very unsure about it. Initially I planned to teach my Death Knight Inscription and Herbalism, because I felt it would be as vital (or at least as profitable) as Jewelcrafting, but I find that to be optimistic at best. Most of the rogue glyphs have not really caught my imagination, although I did manage to pick up the the ones for Eviscerate and Sinister Strike (yes, I play my rogue just like I did at level 1) for a very reasonable 40g. At level 80, I have a chance to add one more major Glyph.

Most of you can probably already guess what the main problem is; once you've picked your 6 Glyphs, you have little motivation to switch over. Sure there will be upgrades as new patches are released, or factions introduced. However, the fact they are not directly linked to gear means players will not be seeking out a new Glyph every time they upgrade gear in an instance or raid. Currently, most regular players will see a steady stream of new gear from raiding, instancing, or playing in battlegrounds and arenas. For the vast majority of players, there is usually a better item around the corner which helps push the market for jewels, enchants and leatherworking armor. On the other hand, your glyphs simply scale with your character or gear, and there is no need for an upgrade until new ones are introduced into the game (which will be far more staggered than anything gear related).

So where does this leave players who have taken up the new profession? Of course there will always be some money to be made from any profession, and this one is no exception. So far I've heard from friends that many of the minor glyphs have a cooldown of 20 hours to learn, so even the most dedicated player will have to spend weeks if not months to learn all those available. Any sharp player will be very careful with the Glyphs he chooses to learn; common sense suggests picking the ones most likely to make money on the market.
This leads me to think that learning the glyphs for hybrid classes might be the way to go. A druid with healing glyphs will surely be forced into changing them if he decides to respec. So I would suggest learning Druid, Paladin and Shaman glyphs first, and in that order. My anecdotal evidence suggests that my druid friends are often most likely to switch spec. With the changes to Retribution, I also think many Paladin's with be chopping and changing between the talent trees, especially in the early days.

I admit I don't have much hands on experience with Inscription and all of these are assumptions I have made from the sources available to me. If the profession really is lackluster and fails to capture the player bases' attention (worst case scenario), Blizzard will be fast to make some positive changes; I don't see them giving up on a new profession as much as they have on engineering. Most likely it will be moderate success, with some profits to keep the inscribers happy, but not up to the levels of Jewelcrafting. Certainly the real winners here are herbalists, they've added another profession that depends on them, and have finally caught up with mining and skinning.

I'm not sure what professions I will give my Death Knight now. On the one hand, having inscription will make it easier to sell my enchants on the auction house, but my enchanter is on a different account I'm currently not paying for. Picking up herbalism will bring in some money and skinning could be a nice way to support my leatherworker (as well as make money). I think most people with only one level 70 will be facing a similar dilemma come November 13th; it's not everyday we get the luxury of being able to train two professions to a relatively high level.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

How was your Patch Day?

WoW! What a day. I though the Shattered Sun Offensive stuff was exciting, but I have to say I've never had more excitement in the game than I've had since Patch 3.0.2 came out. There has been so much to do, I've been playing almost 10 hours straight, and I'm not even close to doing half the things I've wanted to. Even Stormwind Harbour only got a brief view.

On the money front, I've had people telling me they've made 8000g from selling herbs today, and frankly I'm sure there are some who may have made double that. The economy has been irrational but it was to be expected. Personally I didn't bother with any of it, as I've only been back in the game a few days (although I'll probably regret it in a month or two). Hopefully some of you managed to make some money. I hope none of you have wasted your money on the ridiculously priced Glyphs so far, the new talents are overpowered enough making them largely unimportant for the time being. I'll be interested to see if you guys managed to make some money today, or if like me you decided to blow it all on vanity items!

I tried to collect the 50 vanity pets but got stuck at 46 (there's a bug that doesn't let you put pets on the AH, so my horde pets were stuck). I leisurely started collecting some mounts, and by the time I got to the mid 30's I realised I was in for a shot at having the 50 needed for the achievement. Several thousand G later, I had this sitting in my mailbox.



An Albino Drake! I didn't think I'd get it till Wrath, so I was overwhelmed. I've had some pretty rare mounts sitting in my bags since I started playing, but this was by far the best. I can't even describe how many tells I got, or even /cheers from the opposing faction. As someone who's never raided, it was a very surreal feeling to have something this rare and actually get attention for it. For me the achievement's system is a big win. If you want to get your hands on a similar mount, you'll get your chance soon enough, by completing all the Wrath heroic instances. Certainly quicker and cheaper than getting exalted with countless factions.

So how was patch day for you guys?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

I'm Back!

It's been a crazy few months for me in the real world, but one of the readers here 70TW emailed me 2 weeks ago, and it reminded me to come back here. Since about June, I've barely had time to step foot into WoW. I spent most of the time working and going out with friends. The last year I literally bummed around & spent the entire year in Azeroth. I decided to make a fresh start on an economics masters, and do it in Scotland (a pretty big move for a life long Londoner). I'm definitely trying to get more disciplined, and do everything in moderation (studying, playing WoW, watching films, or whatever else I'm into). Finally moving out of home has been an interesting experience!

Being out of work does mean I can start playing WoW again, and I'm definitely coming back to some big, exciting changes. In that spirit, I'm gonna be changing up the blog a little. I will still be focusing on the economy, but I'll probably go off topic a lot more as well and talk about other in-game interests of mine. Just before I stopped playing, my guild (which I had founded and was GM for a year) fell apart because most of us were quitting the game. I've always been a solo player, but my game has focused around chatting to my friends. Most of my brief play sessions during the summer were pretty lonely, so it was really nice to see some of my friends back when I started playing again this week.

The new achievements system is something that really satisfies the otherwise forgotten player; the solo player. Blizzard has done a lot to accommodate PvP'ers and Raiders, but for people who don't have time or interest in that aspect of the game, achievements are really a nice way to play. Like most solo players, most of my playtime was taken up by reputation grinding, collecting random stuff or just exploring; the new system will be able to track all of these things. On WoWInsider they already interviewed a new Achievements based guild, which is a nice change to the PvP or PvE guilds we usually see in the game. As a social guild we really struggled to keep members who wanted to move on to raiding. Most mentioned that they'd never had more fun in the game than whilst in our guild, just there was a lack of organised activity. The fact that a social guild can now organise events around a cohesive system adds significantly to the game for players like me.

I've already started working towards some of the achievements. I've always been a bit of a pet collector, and there is a new pet promised for anyone who manages to collect 50. So far I've managed to snag about 45 or so (I'm not sure which of them will be considered pets or not). The last few might be a bit challenging to get, or just very expensive. Having said that, I was sad enough to pay $60 for the Bananas monkey pet from the trading card game. I have a bit of an obsession with monkeys and have always wanted this pet.
I'm also going to try getting the Collect 50 Mounts achievement, which will reward you with a new mount. My main has 15 factions exalted, so I have access to a large variety already. It will be pretty tough to get to 50 though, especially because of the costs involved. I doubted anything would cost as much as the 8,000g I paid for my Amani war bear, but I'm hearing the 3 passenger Mammoth mount will set me back 20,000g. Certainly my previous inflation estimates were way off the mark, and for anyone who wants everything in Wrath of the Lich King, I'm thinking 50,000g is the minimum you'll need; 20K for the most expensive mount, 1k for Winter flying, 8K for Dalaran teleportation ring. The figures will soon add up to a huge total, and that's before considering the cost of rep items (I'd rather buy rep than grind it). Luckily daily quests will offer as much as 30g. I don't think getting 1000g a day will be that big a deal once you hit level 80.

Looks like us traders have a lot of work to do! I'm off to get my October consortium gems!

Friday, 1 August 2008

August Consortium Gems!

Sorry for the lack of updates, been very busy with work and family. Just a quick reminder that you can go get your free Consortium gems from Nagrand today, don't miss out on a chance to make some decent gold for free. Back this weekend, or early next week with some more articles.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Saving for the expansion

Been getting a lot of replies and emails from you guys over the last 2 days, I'm very overwhelmed and have to say thanks to all of you for helping me out so much. I'm trying to reply to each one, but apologies if it takes a little time.

I thought I'd have a nice light hearted post to follow some of the more serious ones. I'm interested to know what you guys are thinking in terms of the expansion, where you want to spend your money and what not. Do you want to have a base amount of money going in? Personally I've set my goal to have 13k gold going into the expansion, which I feel is a nice amount to get my main anything I want on release. This is an overly self indulgent amount, but I'd rather put in some work now and not have to think about money later; I just want to level in peace. I only have one level 70 to think about, so I'm lucky I don't have to worry too much about treating one character and leaving the others behind. I'll be able to level professions and buy rep items with relative ease. Overall I'm looking at my costs like this

- I want to get my engineering up to the cap as soon as I can. This will probably be a large money sink, but not too bad thanks to my mining. I'm guessing 1-3k gold.
- If I can buy reputation items from the auction house, I always will, because grinding them on my own is a bore. I'm guessing 2-4k gold on these items.
- Unrevealed gold sink; Burning Crusade had the 6k to spend on flying, and Wrath's most likely going to add passenger mounts & maybe even faster ones. One thing we do know is that there will not be a massive 5000g gold sink as previously, but smaller ones, so expect maybe four or five gold sinks costing 1-3k each. It's possible some of the siege weapons and vehicles for PvP might cost money.
- My level 36 druid who I primarily use as a disenchanter will have to level to 50 so she can step up her skills to disenchant level 71-80 items. I will probably spend a bit leveling the enchanting skill, but overall I have a huge stockpile of materials, so costs might be manageable.
- The Death Knight could end up costing a bit. I'll be training inscription and herbalism, and if I manage to level it up, a few mount training skills. This is more long term (6 months into the expansion) so I'm not too worried about these costs.

For most players I think 5000g will be a reasonable amount of money, as long as you're prioritising one of your characters. This is fairly easy to achieve and not taking into consideration the amount of money you will be making once you are actually playing in the new continent. One thing that will probably throw these estimates off track is that we're more than likely to see inflation. We all know a thousand gold today is worth less than it was before the Burning Crusade, and the same will happen here. I'm hoping auction house prices do not rise so much and the removal of daily quests at level 71 could help; educated guesses suggest current daily quests will reward more XP than gold, although I've yet to see evidence of this from the Beta (anyone playing it let us know!).

If you do focus on one main, now is a good time to make that final push for you epic flyer. It's never been easier to get, and once the expansion will come you can enjoy saving for fresh new things, instead of worrying about old world content you wish you had. We won't be able to fly until level 77 in Northrend, but the last 3 levels will be the easiest of your life with an epic flying mount. Don't worry about the cost of training falling, in a year 5000g might be as easy as making 1000g today!

Let me know what you're saving for, or if there's anything from the Beta thats already tempted you.