Wednesday, October 29, 2008

55, now I can make a Death Knight

Last night I had a shorter session, first I needed gold so I used my 70 to run the Isle daily quests for some gold. Sent this to the guild bank and then got a few last quests done, to hit 56 on the mage and 55 on the priest. A big time was spent in Un'Goro just finishing up a collection quest, but the end result was a good boost to the mid 50's. I'm now in Undercity and after some gold from my 70, got both toons trained up. For the last few levels, I would train every 4~6 levels and the cost was very expensive, about 30g each time I visited the trainer. Overall, I haven't leveled my tradeskills for gathering but once I get to 60, I'm going to go back and do this really fast. As for gear, the only items I bought were wands for both characters and bags, since you're leveling so fast, buying expensive gear just gets outdated very quickly.

My goal is getting to 60 this week and looks like I'll make it, maybe by Friday. Since I now have a character at 55, I can also create a Death Knight when the new expansion is released but not really sure if I want to level one with the rush of people creating Death Knights. Also I'm still thinking of switching my main from a warlock to a priest, so I'll need to get her up to 70 first.

Since I'm close to 58, considering hitting the Outlands early but I'm not sure. Last time I stayed in the old world until I was 60 but now, I'm thinking of trying out the new world earlier since I'm dual boxing.

Another big upcoming cost is the epic riding mounts for two characters. I think this is 700 gold per each character, yikes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Buy Music Store

A somewhat quiet store opening was the Best Buy Music Store in selected Best Buy locations. My friend and I just visited the location here in Dublin, CA and have to say this is a full music store, not a isle filled with guitar starter kits. On the walls was a large selection of Fender, Gibson, Epiphone and other guitars from the $150 Squire to the $1000 American Strat. A good selection of amps and keyboards, plus a large area of guitar pedals to play with.

There is also a nice closed acoustic guitar room with Martins, Ovations, Yamahas, Fenders and Epiphones from 6 to 12 strings. Then another room for the large guitar amps, full stacks with Marshall, Line 6. There is also a smaller area with pro audio gear, dj lighting, digital workstation and software, plus the usual strings, picks behind the counter.

Overall, I think this is a great start. The prices are the same at the local Guitar Center but I'm not sure on their pricing policy. I know at local Guitar Centers you can somewhat bargain with the sales associates but I doubt you can get a guitar discounted at Best Buy. It's still a good place to take your lunch break or just check out the new gear.
54, and finishing up old world

It's been tough but I got to 54 last night (2 days played), after some casual playing while waiting for dinner and in between downloading songs for Rock Band 2. While running in a linked Recruit a Friend mode, you get huge amounts of XP bonus, a quest in Azshara I almost skipped gave me 30,000xp (with RAF bonus). Took just a minute to fly in, run to the npc, turn in and fly out.

Tonight my plan is to finish up the Un'Goro Crater zone, which I can do pretty fast as the quests are some completed. Then I'll fly over to UnderCity, and start on the Eastern Plague Lands. I skipped over Winterspring, a zone which I like since it's all snowy but with the XP increase I'm skipping zones as they are too low.

Honestly, it's not bad considering how casual I'm playing. I know people who can level to 70 with less time, but I really can't spent hours and hours in front of the computer. I'll take a break, play while watching a movie or clean up while flying to a new zone.

So I expect to hit 60 this Friday or Saturday depending upon how things go, and get to the Outlands. Now to be more precise, I'm only leveling the priest to 59, so I can use the granted levels to a new character. Then I'll start up a new team. Another team? Yes, and here's the reason why.

When multiboxing, the easiest classes are casters. Melee classes are a pain because if you want to level two melee classes you need to be within melee range, something that using the /follow command will not get close enough. So instead of trying to power level a melee class, you can power level two casters to about level 40, then play them from 40 to 60, and now you have another 29 levels to grant.

In the end, you'll have 4 level 60 characters and 59 levels to grant, which can be any class as you like.

It sounds a bit excessive but the total amount of work done is about the same amount of leveling one character to 60. So for the work you do, you get 5.

Now to be honest, the work isn't done. You still need to get from 60-70 and now 80 with the upcoming release but at least you have a good head start. I leveled normally from 1-70 on a warlock, then 1-40 on a druid, and 1-45 on a paladin. Honestly all three felt much much slower than this method. Also it just wasn't as fun as the challenge of running two characters at once. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Leveling 52 to 60

I got the mage and priest to level 52 on Sunday. It's coming to the long sprint to 60, which I'm going to first start in Un'Goro and maybe Winterspring, then the Plaguelands. I personally dislike the Plaguelands, but it's been over a year since I list visited. Just didn't like so many bugs and undead, plus the constant de-buffs from some of the mobs were annoying.

Really planning to get to 60 by this weekend, and then head to the outlands. So far I haven't spent much time playing but we'll really see once I get past 60 the recruit a friend bonus will run out. Will I make it to 70 then 80? Not sure, but so far it's been fun playing two toons at once. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

42 to higher

On my recruit a friend team, I'm now at level 42 with the mage and priest. Grinding in the dungeon Maraudon. I honestly didn't like this place much the first time but now I'm getting used to the map. The dungeon is very complex and hard time get through if it's your first time. This is not like Scarlet Monastery where the path to the boss is very short and clear.

So far at level 42, I'm still too low for all but one quest in Maraudon. Hopefully this weekend I will hit 50 and get near the limit for a 70 to solo an instance.

After this I'm not sure what else I want to do. I do have a 20 rogue that I would like to level higher but might make a warrior to team up for fun. If I do, I'm going to not do any questing and just push them up to the mid 50's as fast as possible.

Friday, October 17, 2008

WoW and 3.0.2

Recently there has been a big patch to the World of Warcraft game. Patch 3.0.2 has everyone prepared for the new expansion pack Wrath of the Lynch King due next month. While this is not the new game there is a large amount of new items and changes to the classes. Just playing on a druid I noticed that armor is down but total DPS is higher.

I haven't gotten a chance to play other classes as much but this weekend I'll login and continue spec out my talents for the warlock. Some classes I'm actually changing from what I played, for example the paladin, which is going from protection to retribution for more dps.

Will report shortly with my finding but I hope there's improvement on the paladin. just grinding with him is tough and takes so long to kill anything.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Powerleveling with World of Warcraft Recruit a Friend

For anyone that has done the trip to max level in a video game knows how difficult it can be, not to mention somewhat repeated feeling. With the recent release of World of Warcraft's Recruit a Friend bonus XP system, playing with two characters will level much faster than one. Also you get two toons, plus some extra free levels to hand out to another toon.

So, how much faster is this leveling compared to the solo method?

As an example, I leveled a two team mage and priest Blood Elf to level 11 within 1 hour. Then I leveled a Draenei mage to level 11 and took 4 hours. Now the zones are not the same but I think 4 times longer is a large increase of time. Basically you are getting a bonus XP for everything, from killing mobs to quest turn in's. During the low 20's, expect about 200xp per mob.

Now how does this compare at higher levels?

Well, I just got to level 24 on the mage and priest, but took about 13 hours of played time. They just finished the quests in the Blood Elf starting zones and I could have cut even more time by skipping most of the quests. As you level using the Request a Friend, you will notice quests going gray while you are doing them. On my other team, 51 druid and paladin, when I did quest turn in's they were usually 10,000xp to a 30,000xp for some dungeon quests.

Keep in mind that when I played the mage and priest, I still did the collection quests which many people say to drop since you need to collect 2x as many items (and take twice as long). I think I could have skipped these quests and gotten the leveling done even faster.

What's next?

Since the mage and priest are heading to Undercity, I'll pick up the SFK quest and grind that instance for a bit with a 70 to help out. I've been getting about 4~5 levels per night, playing maybe 2 hours per night.


Playing two toons, or multiboxing is not as hard as it sounds but does take some setup. Right now I'm just using a software called Keyclone which passes any key I press to both clients of WoW on my computer. Then I have some macro's to help out with the rest. It's best to choose two casters, as it's easier then trying to chase down mobs with a melee classes.

Here's my basic setup.

Main - Mage (frost spec)
Secondary - Priest (wands, shadow spec)

I mostly play from the Mage, so I need to match up the spells from the mage with similar cast time spells from the priest. This makes it hard since the casting times need to be close or else I'll have the mobs on me before both toons can finish casting.

So here's a walk through of how I attack a mob.

1)From the main, I right click the mob.
2)From the main, I press the "1" key, this passes a "/assist Main" to the secondary. Now both toons are targeting and ready to cast.
3)From the main, I press the "2" key, mage casts frost bolt, priest casts smite. The smite is slightly faster cast time.
4)From the main, I press the "3" key, mage casts fireball, priest casts smite. This time the cast times are the same.
5)From the main, I press the "5" key, mage and priest start to attack with wands. This saves mana for the mage. :)

Now, I casted two items but really hit the mob for 4 plus wands. Also this makes a mana heavy class like the mage last much longer in battle.

I also have extra macros for buffing each toon, one for the priest to heal the mage (which I use allot), and another for inviting the priest to the party.

This week I'll post a video of how I attack a mob. It sounds complicated but it's really simple, and I like things simple. :)

Next posting, I'll report how things are going from 24 to 30.

Friday, October 10, 2008

To level up on a PvP server

I took a long break from playing World of Warcraft, almost a few months then decided I was spending way too much on games and wanted something I could play casually. Started my old account and rolled a tauren druid on a PvP server. There's a large guild on this server I knew from the forums and figured it would be a nice change of pace.

For those who do not know what a PvP server means, it is a server where they allow Player vs Player combat in the open gaming world. This basically means you can attack any opposing faction character in most areas of the world. This also means that as a level 20 character you can be killed almost instantly from a roaming level 70 character, with no chance to fight back.

Normally I really don't like PvP servers. It's not that I don't like PvP action but I just don't like having to watch my back all of the time while playing. Usually I play very casually, maybe watching tv or talking to a friend on the phone while playing. I'm not out scanning every red icon, expecting to get ganked around every corner, I just want to run around and finish the quests.

Guess it's why I like the idea of PvP battle grounds. It's an area where I know I'll be in PvP combat but only for 20 minutes. It's fun and it's isolated, after I'm out of there I can get back to playing casually. There's nothing really more annoying that getting ganked over and over while trying to finish a quest.

That being said, while it's annoying, it's also somewhat balancing. You take little to no damage from PvP combat, also there's no reward for killing someone well below you're level. Still, it's a personal choice if you want to play on a PvP server. It's not easy, and there's sometimes players who simply want to give you a hard time. They might gank you over and over, kill a NPC who you need to talk with for a quest turn in.

Just personally, I like playing on a PvE more than a PvP but I do see the added realism. When I play on the PvP server, I feel like I'm a weak level 49 druid, hiding and dodging the Alliance. When I'm playing on a PvE server, it feels like I'm playing by myself, even if I see the Alliance, they don't matter since they can't do anything to me.
Some updates

I haven't been updating this blog in a while. Will start to post up some gaming videos I've been making.