Saturday, December 28, 2013

Leveling My Pacifist: Levels 1-14 (Herbalism+Mining)

     If you've been following me on Twitter, you might have heard a while back that I started the ridiculously daunting task of rolling a purely Pacifist toon. I first heard about these from an article back in Cata, and it always sounded like something that was really the essence of the game; creating personal RP-related xp-grinding goals and achievements and seeing if you can follow through. Long story short, Pacifist toons level all the way from 1-90 without killing a single mob, so that's purely from mining, herbalism, exploration, delivery quests, and Oh yes Archaeology. On the gold making side of things, I currently have on toon with mining and another with herbalism, and logging back and forth when I could do both on the same toon is getting really old, so it's time to roll a full time gathering druid; might as well cross off somethin from my WoW bucket list while I'm at it, right?

500 gold to the first commenter who gets the joke.
      What really surprised me about this whole journey so far is that, even at level 14, this character has taken on a life of her own. While, yah, it has been very slow, mining your way to you might expect. But think about it, back on our first toons, before we knew how to play, leveling felt slow, and it took us (or at least me) a couple hours of playing just to level once. Now with full set of BoAs people can go from level 1-20 in thirty minutes if they really push it. THAT USED TO TAKE THREE DAYS! Thing is, now, people then complain about how easy this is to do. With this Pacifist character, and when you actually give in to the time commitment, it brings back "the good old days" of slow and steady leveling. I'm currently at 21 hours played (probably 5 of those spent tabbed out in Stormwind) and I feel connected to this druid in a way that I definitely do not to my powerleveled 41 mage.
     Alright, down to brass tacks. You wanna join in on the fun? Here's what I recommend. First off, commit to not killing anything. Take any abilities that have any chance of doing damage off your bars. My bars consist of Rejuv, Nourish, Shapeshift, Prowl, and Shadowmeld. I recommend having autoattack somewhere but just not keybound, so that if you're accidentally attacking something, you can click your autoattack off before you accidently kill something and ruin the whole experiment. But all that's the boring stuff, right? You wanna know how to level. Ok? Ok.

Levels 1-4: 
     Honestly, this bit was pretty simple, once I figured it out. I started out thinking "Alright, I got a Pacifist! I'm gonna Mine my way to 90! Wooo! Not gonna kill anything!" Went to go learn the profession of mining and the trainer said "18 copper, please." While that's a pitiful amount, I was doing this character independantly, and going full RP with it, otherwise what's the point? So I went to go do a quest. The quest said kill 5 spiders. No thank you. I went to do another. Collect a windchime from the Furblog chieftain's corpse. Dammit. So here's the deal, intro quests have you killing piddly stuff. However, there is a ton of land to explore that will grant you 15%-20% xp per section. So, go spend an hour running around all the different starting zones in (Alliance bias here) Elwynn Forest, Dun Morough,Teldrassil, and Azurmyst Isle. For bonus points, do the lvl 10+ zones like Bloodmyst Isle and Westfall. Pick up any quests that you can, and if they're not too far out of your way, go ahead and complete em. Use your judgement on this.

Ugh, let me take my "Ding" screenshot in peace, Mr Mrglglrl
Levels 4-10:
     For this section, I stayed in Elwynn Forest, did all the quests in and around Goldshire, and just mined and herbed my heart out. Honestly, I can't imagine doing this with any race other than a night elf because Shadowmeld is amazing. Also, being able to throw a heal on and run away is fantastic when that is on cooldown. With rested XP and it takes roughly 50 nodes to level (opting not to use BoAs for this toon) so it goes pretty quick and even gray nodes give the same XP, at least at these levels. If you like to keep the rested XP buff up, you can gather until rested falls off, hearth to stormwind, log off for the day, and let rested accumulate, and then continue the next day - slow and steady for this playstyle never hurts.
     What surprised me about this is that after a while, it wasn't just mining. The fact that I couldn't kill the mobs added an interesting element to the mix. It was similar to the horror games where you don't have a gun and only have a flashlight, so you have to start thinking and planning more ahead of time. I dunno, maybe other Pacifists can chime in here but it was more than just a mining route. You have to think about where you're gonna go and play a game of Splinter Cell with the mobs aggro radius. I reccomend it.

Levels 10-12:
     Did a little experimentation at level 10. Went over to Westfall to try and see if I got more XP from higher level nodes since I was capped out on my professions, and there would be higher XP quests over there. Turns out, the nodes give the same XP and the aggro radius from the mobs is so much larger that you waste a lot of time running back from the graveyard. Sure, there is a little bit of XP from a quest here and there, But I think the best course of action is not to move on to the next area until you outlevel it by 2-4 levels so that all of the quests in the zone are available and you can safely run around. Back to Elwynn forest.

The Singing Sunflower is optional. Actually, I'm about to kill it.
Levels 12-14:
     Ran back to Goldshire. Farmed up a bunch more. Yada yada. Also, it's worth noting that even though these are basic lvl 1 herbs and this toon is walking from node to node, this toon has earned over 1,000g so far and has 3,000g worth of goods on the AH.

Conclusion and Future Techniques
     If anything is ever too hard, or I stop gaining experience, I can just unlearn mining and herbalism and start over again. A really interesting thing about this character that I absolutely love is that, unlike my warrior or any other character that I play where it's "kill-kill-kill as fast as I can" there is this Buddhist, Zen-like quality where you sit back and accept the grind. It will take time, so you do it, and it ends up not actually taking as long as you think when you accept it. Then once you do, it actually starts to be more fun than the the alternative because it makes you think and strategize. Funny. Worthwhile mindset to carry over into goldmaking as well.

Thanks for reading my little WoW blog! You can find me on Twitter Here, and on YouTube Here. I strongly suggest you download the TradeSkillMaster addon and the TheUndermineJournal GE addon. My brief setup guide is here, feel free to email or tweet any questions. And remember that the key to making gold in WoW is just to

Search. Craft. Post.

Every Day.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Reflections from a Newb Huntard

     Recently Marcus Ty posted a thought provoking comment on Phat Lewts blog, "For players new to making gold and at a low level, a few minutes farming small eggs during the peak time of Winter Veil is a great strategy... Having accumulated several million gold over the years it's not something I do now, but for a level 10 player with little gold capital the strategy is still valid...As a blogger you sometimes have to think of new players starting out." This was in reference to a great post Phat Lewts did pointing out that the ever popular small egg farming strategy for Winter Veil only brings in an en estimated "1,801 gold per hour. Ouch." The whole conversation resonated with me though, because of a recent talk I had with an IRL friend, and rather than giving a long comment that was pretty tangential anyways, I thought I'd share a full length post with everyone.

     Ok, so, my buddy is a newb by all accounts and until last night at my going away party, I didn't know he even played WoW. I mentioned I was a blogger, and he told me that he has a lvl 63 hunter and a lvl 40 "Darni Paladin." Not sure I've ever /facepalmed that hard before.

Not at all how the conversation went, but dangit I love this video. #GetASporebat

 He's never been to Stormwind other than to learn how to ride faster or fly, and spends most of his time out in the world questing. As someone who visits a home city at least once or twice on each of his toons every day, this was both refreshing and eye opening. It's as if I've spent years dealing with LFR tanks who pull whole instances in greens, and LFR dps who are mind bogglingly miserable at their class, somehow doing only 1/3rd the dps I do when I autoattack, only to realize that a large portion of the WoW community doesn't even know what a raid is, let alone the LFR system. It forces you to take a step back and think about how great the game is when raiding, which we take so seriously, might actually be a minority of the population who plays. (BTW, if you're reading this buddy, don't worry, I'll get you leveled and geared! WOOOO!!!)

     Focusing on people like this, as Marcus Ty said, can be great. Despite how new my friend is to the game, he knows his class. He could recite his rotation from memory, taught me the difference between Call Pet can Revive Pet, AND all tanks will be glad to know that he knows how to turn off taunt.

And there was much rejoicing. Also, This list is awesome go check it out  

But back to the point, he's never had more than 500 gold on his account. If he read these blogs, went to Westfall and farmed eggs for 30 minutes, not even a full hour, he would have almost twice as much gold as he's ever had on his account since he's been playing. Sure, there are better ways to do it, but this is one very quick way to break his gold making paradigm. For anyone worried about, "What's the best way of making gold?" Stop. Take a breath, and just go through your professions. Make some flasks. Farm some ore. Run a dungeon. Put that stuff on the Auction House, and as that money comes in,  read a guide on how you could have done those things a smidge better.

     All in all, gold blogs and gold making would be pretty boring if we only paid attention to the maximum profit potential possible. There is a best Server-Profession-TimeofDay combination; Medium population enhancement professions on the first week a new raid is released are absolute cash cows, whereas gathering is also in high demand when a new expansion is released as everyone is leveling new professions. But if we all recommended the same thing, and that was to only play the game for one week out of the year, then that would be boring. Also, that's not why any of us play World of Warcraft. While we spend a lot of energy focusing on maximization, our driving force isn't REALLY to maximize gold per hour.

     We play because goldmaking is fun.

      So, today, I have a little holiday request for anyone reading. Go out and help a guildie. Don't give them gold, but teach them how to set up TradeSkillMaster. Or show them how to work the Auction House. Or run them through your favorite transmog dungeon. A little WoW charity for that one person in guild that is always complaining about never having enough money to buy that Sky Golem. Happy Holidays, everyone!

     Thanks for reading my little WoW blog! You can find me on Twitter Here, and on YouTube Here. I strongly suggest you download the TradeSkillMaster addon and the TheUndermineJournal GE addon. My brief setup guide is here, feel free to email or tweet any questions. And remember that the key to making gold in WoW is just to

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Make Gold With: Blackrock Caverns (6,500 gold per hour)

Blackrock Caverns Guide Make Gold

Introduction     If you haven't done dungeon farming for gold, get to it! This is a great resource for gold farming, and each dungeon has it's own unique resource, from transmog, to leveling greens, to craftable goods, to rare BoE twink weapons. If you HAVE been around the block and have read a few gold guides before, the reason I started this particular series is because I find it slightly unethical to tell people that they can make "X gold per hour" when the person writing the guide only tests the instance by running it once, twice, or even five times. With 0.5% drop rates on gear, and when the blogger/youtuber extrapolates from a lucky drop, you then go in thinking that lucky Gold per hour is the average, when it isn't. So, I'll be running each dungeon 15 times- 5 times each on 3 differently geared toons (tank, healer, and dps) to give the most accurate information possible. Also, rather than just the gold made I made, you'll also be getting pretty much everything you'll need to know about the dungeon to prepare yourself for your goldmaking journey. I hope you find it useful, that it raises the bar for gold bloggers out there, and that everyone reading this demands more from dungeon guides you read in the future. Enjoy!

Blackrock Caverns

     Oh, who doesn't love Raz (RAZ SMASH), the sweethart? BRC is one of the first dungeons you run in Cata and is a surprisingly good farm thanks to 1) lots of mobs being tightly grouped together, 2) ever-in-demand cata 77-79 BoE greens, 3) lots of humanoids for embersilk cloth, and finally 4) the ability to use the Potion of Treasure Finding get an extra 500-1,000 gold per hour. The dungeon is located in the interior eastern ring of Blackrock Mountain. To get to it, run into the the southern entrance of the mountain, once inside follow the right wall around until you get to a corridor, and then at the split take a right. The entrance is straight ahead.

The Stats

Run time: <11 minutes
Bag Slots Req'd/run: 25
Mailbox: Searing Gorge-Iron Summit(N)
Main Loot: 77-79 Greens
Vendor @ Instance: No

Boss Count: 5
Lootable Enemies: 97
Mob Level Range: 82-85
Run Back Req'd? No, portal@3rd boss
Dangers: Evolved Zealots,
     Shadow Prison debuff


     I like to start off pulling a the first big group together and killing all the mages and then the first boss. The first boss' Skullcracker isn't a problem anymore, so just burn him. Raz has a nice trick where as long as you DPS the other guys a little, he'll finish em off whenever he gets released (Raz hits harder than you do, but feel free to help him out...or loot, whatever). This saves a decent amount of time if you're going for speed, or if you're running on a low dps class. After you cross the bridge, you'll an fight Evolved Twilight Zealot (big monster guys). Kill these quick! They do an ability that knocks out 60% of your hp, so guess what two hits will do. :)
      Anyways, take a right after the zealot (away from Corla) for a couple extra mobs, kill another Evolved zealot down the ramp, burn Corla, then round up the huge pack of zealot humonoids by hiding behind a pillar and just AoE them all down. After you cross the next bridge (thanks Raz!) don't kill the boss immediately. Make a ring and a couple small stops along the perimeter looting the 19 mobs there; I got a Blue or Green from them almost every single run for some strange statistically deviant reason. To kill the Karsh Steelbender, hold him in the fire and single target him. Easy Peasy.
     These next packs can actually be pretty tricky if you aren't paying attention. Gathering up the 6 Twilight Obsidian Borers will give you 6 or more stacks of Shadow Prison that end up ticking for 24k damage per second each if you're moving. This hurts at 90. So even though you're in a hurry, stand still until the debuff falls off or is low. You can handle running around with a stack or two, but it's remarkable how quickly things can spiral with those guys so watch your debuffs after the forge. Also, I've found it much more efficient to skip Beauty and her pups entirely.
      Finally, for the run back there is a portal, although it is a little hidden. Just run to the forge room where you killed Karsh Steelbender, and it's located in the corner. It will take you all the way to the entrance. The run should take somewhere in the range of 7-11 minutes.


     For this test, AMAZING!  But first there are three things you can do to increase your gold take on this dungeon. First (and my only recommendation) is to use a Potion of Treasure Finding. I got an average of 2.8 chests per run from the 97 mobs with a minimum of 0 chest drops per run, and maximum of 7. The loot contained within averages out to a +850 gold gain per hour. Also, if you're not hurting on DPS, you can equip the Golden Fleece and the Golden Moss for an extra ~150g/hr and 300g/hr respectively, but since you actually have to click around and pick up all the gold piles, I dunno. I'm just too ADD for all that. I prefer speed.
     In this 15-run test we earned

"Cash" - 433g
     Gold - 312g
     Vendor Trash - 183g
     Repairs - (62g)
Loot - 16,494
     Greens - 12,673g (71 @ an average 172g/item)
     Blues - 3,821g (15 @ an average 253g/item)
     Embersilk Cloth - 2060g (497, 33/run)
Chests - 2,597g
     Embersilk Cloth - 218
     Volatile Life - 8
     Volatile Fire - 31
     Volatile Water - 7
     Volatile Earth - 15
     Volatile Air - 15
     Pyrite Ore - 16
     Elementium Ore - 10
     Greens - 4 @ 224g avg
Total: 19,524g


     This is a fantastic dungeon for making gold, especially if you have a decent-dps Tailor who can get some extra cloth off the mobs. Greens are almost always in high demand, and you can even sell them for more than the prices listed recommend by the undermine journal. Jim, over at PowerWord:Gold recommends selling them most at 245 or 395 a piece and has kept those price points since Cata. You'll make fewer sales, but will make more per sale, so it's your call (adjust your prices depending on how often you farm up gear). If there's anything you think I left out of this one that could have made it better or more thorough, feel free to leave me a comment.
      Thanks so much for reading! I'll see you next time [btw, sorry for not posting in a while; I'm getting married in a few weeks and have been moving, blah blah first world problems] You can follow me on Twitter here and YouTube here (Want to see a video of the most efficient way through the instance? Well lucky you!) Until next time remember that the key to making gold in WoW is just to

Search. Craft. Post.
Every Day.

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