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

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.


- 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!

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.