Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rogue project

I have a level 60 rogue that I leveled normally from 1-20 but used my Recruit a Friend gifted levels to take him to 60. In the past few weeks as a side project I leveled the weapon skills to about 300, and leveled skinning to 240. The other profession is mining but I might drop this for leather working. It would be nice to make some gear and leather items while I level.

Now I'm pretty much set, my friend made me some basic green 60 gear and I found a mace/dagger combo from the auction house. The only item I need next and it's not a big deal is a epic mount. After having an epic mount on my priest I really miss the speed on the slower regular mount. With my druid I'm farming about 100 gold per day so I should have the rogue ready by this weekend with his own epic mount.
61 - 65, Zangarmarsh

Last night I got to about 64 1/4 before I logged out. I'm almost halfway done with the quests in Zangarmarsh, still following the Jame's guide. I did find a possible error in the guide but most likely it's something I did wrong. While getting new quests in Swamprat Post, I hit my max of 25 quests, with 3 more I needed to pick up.

Another issue I'm having is my professions are too low to pick up anything in the areas. I have herbalism and mining but with the Death Knights leveling the professions as well, it's been hard to find nodes to pick up. Since I'm a caster I'm thinking of dropping mining on my priest and picking up alchmey for the mana pots, which I'm always in need of.

The only problem is to level herbalism high enough to start gathering in the Outlands will take a long time to gather the items in old world. I'm thinking I should just to take a break from the quest grinding and this will greatly boost my income. Since I'm 5 levels from 70, I think keeping the push will be easy, then at 70 I'll take a break and level the professions. If things are getting slow, I'll stop at 66, and level.

So far, after so many levels with the priest I'm enjoying the game. It's a good mix of damage and healing which keeps the playing exciting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

58-61, Outlands

This past Sunday I finally got both the priest and mage to 60. I did make a mistake of leveling the priest past 60, if I had only leveled to 59 and 80% to 60. I could have gifted one level and been at 60 with 80% to 61. But either way I'm done and happy with the results. Total time to 60 was 1 day and 12 hours played, almost 20 hours faster than my last run. I focused more on skipping quests that were collection and any quest that was overall difficult or took too long to complete.

Once I got this team up, I went back and gave my remaining toons enough gift levels to get them to 60, so now I have the following toons.

60 - Undead priest (now 61)
60 - Undead mage
60 - Undead rogue
60 - Blood elf paladin
60 - Blood elf priest
60 - Blood elf mage
20 - Orc shaman x 2
23 - Dranie shaman x 2

After this I'll have more than enough toons and doubt I'll ever need to start a new alt. :) The total time spent doing this project was small, since I was dual boxing, it was like playing one toon but leveling two. Now that I'm done, my main, the 61 undead priest I'll be focusing on.

Once I got to 60, I first trained for all of my spells at 60. Then I took two professions, herbalism and mining. The reason for the two collection professions is to make extra money and since I kept seeing the nodes everywhere but couldn't take any. I ventured out around the newbie areas and started to level both professions but found out that it was taking much longer than expected.

At the same time I also skilled up my weapons training which was very low since I only used the casting spells while power leveling. This was extremely fast, and in an about 1 hour I had wands, staff, mace, all leveled to about 300.

Once I was leveling the professions I stopped at 90 for both and headed to the Outlands. I figured the gold I could make out there was more than I could sell the materials I collected in the same time. In the Outlands within the first few quests I replaced 4 pieces of my old world gear and made about 20 gold. The xp was pretty good as I leveled to 61 in about 2 hours.

So far the shadow priest is fun to play but I'm going to need some more practice. I can take about 3 to 4 same level mobs at one time but it really burns through my mana pool. I'm thinking of taking up alchemy as a profession to make my own pots and to save money.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

52 to 58, soo close!

Tonight I got from 52 to 58, still have more quests to go and I haven't done Eastern Plague Lands yet. So far I seen a lot of Death Knights but they have not taken any of my mobs or caused issues. After some of my problems with the Internet I'm back on track to get to 60 by this weekend.

Friday, November 14, 2008

WoW add-on review Carbonite

While I love to get surprises and discover new zones, I also like to not waste time running to the wrong zone or fighting the wrong mob for a drop that I'll never get. About a few months ago I started to use a popular quest mod called Quest Helper. I mentioned this a few times here and it's in most cases a great help, in fact I would say that Quest Helper is one of my "must have" add-ons for WoW.

How help Quest Helper is I did noticed some problems. One issue was the "ant trails" paths that tell you were to go next. Usually this is helpful as it tells you a fast route to get your quests done then turn them in. Sometimes this can be a pain because the amount of ant trails starts to cover up your higher priority quests and adds to the confusion. You can adjust this in the configurations but it's a important note. Also many people have commented that Quest Helper takes up too much performance on the WoW client and your computer. Personally I haven't noticed a huge drop in performance but I only use Quest Helper and very few additional add-ons.

From reading forums I found another highly recommended add-on called Carbonite. Carbonite is actually similar to Quest Helper but has some nice features which I'll go into detail. First, Carbonite is not free, it's a add-on that has a subscription fee with will add additional features to Carbonite. It's important to know that Carbonite Quest is the free version, while I'm reviewing the subscription version Cabonite. The subscription fee is a reasonable $3 to $1 per month depending on the length of subscription.

The install process is very easy, you simply add this just like any any add-on, copy to the "add-on" folder and start WoW. You should also disable Quest Helper as this might cause problems for Carbonite. Once started I noticed that Carbonite changed my minimap from the default to a new larger square with added functions below. This was nice but I prefer to leave the map default, it's not a big deal. So I did a test to see how this compares to Quest Helper by running in the same zone I did with Quest Helper but this time with Carbonite.

One of the first things that I noticed was different is the more exact location of mobs and quest items. In Quest Helper the mobs locations are defined by a green fog, in Carbonite they are listed as more precise green or red blocks on the main map. Carbonite takes this a step further by showing the mob locations in detail on the minimap as well. I tested this by looking for mobs and crystals in Un'Goro Crater, surprised just how precise the map was to the loot items.

Tonight and this weekend I'll continue to quest further with Carbonite and also have Quest Helper running on the other account to see the difference.
50 to 52 and moving

Last night I install Wrath of the Lich King and logged in. For my PvE server there was a wait time so I went to the PvP server which had no queue. I ventured out to the new zone and got some of the quests. I like the design of the starting zone, it's pretty fun, there wasn't too many people in the area but you did have to be quick to get the quest items. Playing a warlock I have a few instant cast curses which I used to grab mobs faster than the other players. After two bubbles of xp I logged out and switched to my priest/mage team.

After I waited 15 minutes to log in I had a problem with the Keyclone software I use to dual box. So I logged out than back in again, luckily there was no waiting upon reentry. While questing I finished off a few quests in Tanaris then moved to Un'Goro Crater. After doing some of the easy quests I got to level 52 on both toons.

This weekend I think I should finish Un'Goro and then move to Eastern Plague Lands, closing with Western Plague Lands.

So far I'm at 52 with 10 hours played. Doing much faster than my last time to 60.

After I got to 60 I'm considering if I should still multibox or just play one account. I've been having Internet slowness and disconnection which makes it twice as hard since I got to set everything up so I might just level one at a time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

48 to 50 with some problems

Last night I got home feeling a bit tired from work but happy to finally have some game time to unwind. I got the priest and mage to level 50 but was dealing with very high lag issues. Normally I would see ping times of 100~250 but last night the ping times jumped to 1200 then 2400, playing meant a 2 second delay between key presses. At this point it was being harder and harder to dual box but I cut my losses and just logged out at the inn.

I was planning to hit 60 before the expansion came out but after some delays looks like I’ll be getting to 60 by this weekend. After thinking about it I think it will be better since I can missing the rush of Death Knights invading Hellfire.

Today I’m also picking up my copy of Wrath of the Lich King, I pre-ordered a copy from Game Stop but found a collectors edition at Best Buy. Since I have two accounts, I might as well get both.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Helpful World of Warcraft links and add-ons

I'm not a good WoW player so I have a few favorite web sites to help me out. Some of these are really basic but some of them have more advance information.

WoWWiki - I really like this website. It's not as indepth for item details like WoWHead but their articles about classes, instances and zones are done well. If you're just starting out, I recommend to read over this site including the excellent WoWWiki Newbie Guide.

WoWHead - There are a few database web sites but I really like WoWHead. If you need to look up any spell or some item you found, this is a great resource. They also have a handy talent calculator, which I highly recommend you use before doing it live. lol

Curse WoW Add-ons - Curse is a great site for WoW add-on's to customize your WoW client UI. While there are hundreds of add-ons you can install I only recommend a few to keep things simple.

Helpful add-ons

- This is a simple, X Y position add-on for WoW. When questing people will post the location in X Y format, such as 35,72 instead of "go near the big brown rock".

Quest Helper - Quest Helper is a favorite add-on of mine. This will keep track of your quests, then show where you should go, and add a helpful tooltip over mobs you need to kill. I don't recommend you use this if it's your first time playing WoW as you will spoil some of the quest surprises and fun of exploring. It's great if you just want to level ASAP.

Cartographer - This is another map mod but this will unhide the areas of the map hidden without exploring the area. It's handy for questing and leveling, also added more functionality into Quest Helper by adding a GPS style directional arrow.

- Just by choosing a gathering profession you can make some income by carefully selling the items on the auction house. The trick is pricing your items correctly which is what Auctioneer does for you. It's really nice but in the most recent version some of the functions have been changed. I'm not sure but things like automatic pricing is no longer by default (I can't find it) which is one of my favorite features.

X-Perl UnitFrames - This isn't something that's needed but I personally like having a smaller neater UI interface so this works well for me. Also it's very easy to customize.
Realm down and stuck at 48

Last night I got home to find the realm was still down from Tuesday patching, this was about 7:30pm PST. This wasn't one or two realms but all realms in general. So I ended up playing Left 4 Dead demo. The game is actually nicely done, good speed and still has a creepy feel to it. The zombies are a mix of really fast zombies with some slower zombies, including some exploding. The demo is short but still was a good 20 minutes of zombie shooting fun.

After the demo was completed my roommate and I played Rock Band 2 for a while then I came back to check on the realms. A few realms came up but for the most part, the main realm I was working on didn't come up till 11:30pm PST. Well I couldn't stay up late so I just ran the two toons to Tanaris to get the flight path and log out in the inn.

Tonight if everything works right I'll start the leveling from 48 in Un'Goro Crater. Last time I quested here I did pretty well with the xp because everything is easy to find. There's a few elite mobs you have to watch out for mostly it's not too hard. Hoping to hit at least 50 by tonight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

30 to 48, almost there

This past weekend I leveled from 30 to 45 by running SM and then Maraudon. From running SM so many times, I have more than enough silk for leveling first aid plus more to give for rep turn in. I’m taking the same steps as I did before but this time I’m really trying to keep the time I played to a minimum and keeping the leveling time the most efficient. At 45 I went to Maraudon twice to finish up the quests there and then to Ferals to complete some quick quests. To make things go faster I’m skipping most collection quests and since I done this same route before I have a idea which quests took too long.

Last night I’m wanted to get to 50 but ended up at 48. After some questing I’m hoping to hit my target of 60 end of this week. This should be easy since I’m getting about 3 levels per night.

Something I noticed when grinding dungeons from level 8 to 46, they loose efficiency as you gain levels with a level 70 character. The time spent gaining xp is slower and slower vs the time spent completing quests. Thinking about this I was wondering if dungeon grinding is really the best method to power level?

Each run I use the 70, I take about 15 gold in repairs, plus I pick up large amounts of cloth (depending upon mobs) plus lots of green and blue loot. Considering questing the normal method, I would also gain some greens here and there but also I could level my tradeskills as well. For example, I could gather a stack of Peacebloom herbs very easily while at level 10, this sells for a few gold on my realm. By keeping this pace of leveling collection tradeskills this would be a nice additional income.

Right now I’m running short of gold and without changing I will not have enough for an epic mount any time soon. Once I get to 60, I’m going to quickly level my gathering skills in the old world then head to the outlands.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Done with SFK and moving on

Last night got the priest and mage to level 24, 10 levels in about 10 runs plus two quest completed. I also helped level with my friend's rogue who got from 19 to 22 pretty quickly. My next task is going to SM and starting the long grind from 24 to near 40. This usually takes a few sessions, but hoping to get at least 30 by tonight.

Right now I'm really making this a fast run to 60 with little to no wasted time. Last time to 60 I did allot of collection quests and think I can skip all of these to save even more time.

But I need to remember that while I'm saving time leveling to 60, I'm not getting any of the important rep from factions. At least doing these over again at 70 or 80 will be much easier than at their correct levels.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Running from RFC to SFK

Tonight I did a short run but got the priest and mage leveled to 14, and parked them near SFK. From here, I'm going to run them to 20 pretty fast then SM, then Mara. Each dungeon should take about a session of playing, so I'm estimating to hit 50 on Sunday.

After Sunday, it's going to be regular questing from 50 to 59 but last time I did this it was pretty fast, maybe a few days.
Rolling Alliance

My first character in World of Warcraft was a night elf rogue. I had no idea about the classes and just picked him almost at random. In fact I still have him on the realm, play the rogue sometimes but I never really had much interest in the character. After that first character I lost interest in the Alliance side but always wanted to explore the quests and visit the cities that I couldn’t see as a Horde.

Since I'm still within my time limit for RAF, I created two dreaenei shamans on a role playing realm in the PST time zone. Before I choose a realm I did some searching and created a level 1 character to get an idea of the ping and also the general population. Some realms I checked were really full, and while this means more people to group with, it also means more people to battle for quest items with longer login queues. Also I usually run Auctioneer and scan the current auction house market prices to get an idea of the economy.

After running a scan I found the prices were close to my home realm and felt it was a good choice to create a new character. It seems funny but once you create a new character you will spend time on the realm leveling and dealing with the guilds there. If you choose a bad realm you can always transfer but at $25 per character transfer cost, it adds up quickly.

While leveling on the realm I found it’s not too bad. Usually you can get a feel of the realm after a few hours of play and visiting a major city. It was a few hours before I got an invite to a small guild. The people in the guild were friendly, and after checking the World of Warcraft official forums, I found there are many other guilds on the realm. The trade and general channels were not full of spam but good amounts of actual trade!

Leveling the two shamans with no 70 for help is somewhat harder than I expected. Normally while doing the grind and questing you can almost equal your income to pay for your skill ups. But I quickly ran out of money even by level 6. I then took up the professions to help make more money and choose mining/herblism for my main shaman, and skinning/leatherworking for the second shaman. My idea is that by having these collecting professions I can pick up any item I find and even skill most of the animals for extra loot.

I did this method while leveling up to 23, and also created a bank alt in Iron Forge who is only selling and scanning the auction house. By level 23, I had over 30 gold and still more items to put on the auction house. It does not sound like much but I spent very little time collecting any herbs or copper, just what I saw while questing. My plan is to make more trips in the newbie zones to at least max out my professions then they will be more useful later in leveling.

So far I think starting from scratch has been fun and a good experience how to level a low toon without any help from a higher toon. We’ll see how this goes, right now using the RAF bonus I can level faster than normal and this makes the trip more fun.

The only problem is it’s hard to get used to running into an Alliance city and I know I’ll run into a Horde town by accident. :)
59 and done with one team

I got the first blood elf mage and priest at 59 last week and with 2 days 20 hours played wasn't bad. So I had a rogue at level 20 I wanted to level to 60 with the gift levels, since the level 59 priest only had 29 levels to gift I figured I needed 10 more gift levels. I them created two shamans, and leveled them to 20, in 4 hours.

From my calculations I should have 39 levels to gift, just enough to level the rogue from 20 to 60. I started the level gifting and I ran out when the rogue reached 49. The problem I didn't know about is each toon can only gift 29 levels, even if more earned on lower toons you can't gift those.

Now I was a little upset because I could have leveled the rogue much easier from 20 to 30, then 50 to 60. I'm not disappointed since I still got the rogue to level 49. :)

Honestly it's not a big problem, I really wanted an undead priest and mage, so now it's just easier with a reason now. lol