Archive for October, 2006

Biting the BC Bullet

Posted by Stropp on October 20, 2006 I bit the bullet yesterday and dropped in to my local EB Games and preordered The Burning Crusade expansion. I did want to order the collectors edition but they didn't have it listed for preorder, even though they did have it in the system. I was boggled though when I was told the collectors edition would retail for around 120 Australian dollars. That's more than a new full game of something else! (Most PC games in Australia go between 90 and 110 Aussie dollars.) The guy at the counter was a bit surprised too, and thought that it might have been a mistake. The normal expansion pack is listed at around 60 dollars, and collectors editions are generally 10 dollars more. Or so I was told. The release date according to EBG is the first of December. I doubt that is anymore accurate than the other dates I've been hearing. :) So here's hoping the expansion comes out before 1/12/06, and that the collectors edition is around $70, not $120.

You know you are playing too much World of Warcraft when – part 2

Posted by Stropp on October 20, 2006 you wake up on your birthday and yell "Ding!"

My Sisters Boyfriends Cousins Friend

Posted by Stropp on October 19, 2006 Or has the Burning Crusade really been delayed? There are a few rumours floating around that the expansion has been delayed until early next year. I've seen some postings on a few blogs that are talking about this. Do I believe it? Nope. The story is that some guy has posted somewhere that he heard a rumour about a delay. I certainly hope this isn't true, and I doubt very much that it is. Blizzard have been very good about keeping us informed of the expansion changes lately, and they have announced delays previously. At this stage there is no cause for concern. We'll be exploring the Outlands before Christmas. I'll believe The Burning Crusade has been delayed when I see an announcement from Blizzard.

The Rise and Fall of Decursive

Posted by Stropp on October 13, 2006 I come to bury Decursive, not to praise him. Okay, okay, I'll give Decursive a bit of praise. It's been a real handy add-in that automagically removes curses from players in a group. It's made raiding a lot easier. And that's a problem... At least to Blizzard, so they have officially given notice of its demise. Upon the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, the User Interface Application Programming Interface (API) will be changed to no longer provide the abilities that add-ins like Ducursive require. According to Drysc,
The general run-down is that we don't want UI mods to be making combat decisions for a player, it should be in their hands and their responsibility to choose who and when to interact with the game. It borders on automation of gameplay, which is something we're obviously very opposed to. Aside from that moral separation it ends up defeating the purpose of the challenges we're implementing. With the release of the expansion and the game changing in some huge ways, it was the best opportunity to remove specific UI mod abilities.
I suppose that is fair enough. However it seems to have stirred up a storm on the official forums. (What doesn't?) The general consensus is that it is tedious to remove curses. I suppose if the game is changing in some huge ways we should wait and see what Blizz have in store for us.

Account Closures

Posted by Stropp on October 13, 2006 Blizzard have announced that they have closed more than 76,000 accounts and have removed an incredible 11,000,000 gold from the game. The accounts that have been closed have violated Blizzards terms of use by using third party programs to macro farm gold and items, and selling gold, items, and characters. It appears that many of the account closures happened due to players tipping off Blizzard after encountering suspicious activities in the game. Hooray! I say. While I am sometimes in two minds about people buying gold or items from outside the game, since it's not always easy for people with limited time to get the equipment they need to progress, it unfortunately supports an industry of farmers, bots, and ninjas. While these activities are enough to spoil fun for many players, there are more insidious effects of the gold selling industry. The rise of sweatshops in countries without the regulations and laws to protect their workers, means that unscrupulous 'employers' work their slaves for hours to earn a pittance, while they reap the rewards of sold gold. Organised criminals, and some disorganised ones as well, use illegal methods to break into players accounts and strip them bare. Selling anything soulbound, and transfering all the gold and other items to fences, leaving a devastated player in their wake. So again, I say hooray for Blizzard. I certainly hope this is more than just a speedbump for these scum.

Skilling up with Pets

Posted by Stropp on October 12, 2006 Recently, I've been on a few runs through BRD, Strat, and Scholo. During these runs some decent two hand axes have dropped. The problem is that since level 20, I've almost exclusively dual wielded 1h axes and didn't have any skill to use these very nice items. Here's a tip for how I leveled this skill up by 270 points in less than ninety minutes. I started in Stranglethorn Vale with my bear. Just outside of Grom Grol there is a nest of raptors. I selected a Raptor, had my bear run up and attack it, and immediately put the pet on passive. He stops fighting and comes back to me. I start attacking the raptor with my axe. Since I'm not hitting it, I generate no aggro and my skill goes up with each swing. Every now and again I use mend pet to heal the bear. It's not impossible to get a skill up from 1 to 120 on a single raptor, unless someone comes by and wants to 'help.' Once the raptors stop giving you skill ups, its time to go to a higher level mob. I usually go to the plaguelands, but anywhere with mobs in the mid to high 50's will generate skill ups. The mobs defence rating just has to be higher than your attack rating with that weapon. I haven't played a warlock, so I don't know how this method would work using a warlocks pets, but I think it should work. If any locks out there have any info regarding this, please let me know.


Posted by Stropp on October 12, 2006 Yesterday Stropp finally dinged 60. Yay! It's been a long time coming, or at the very least, it seems to have been a long time coming. I've played this character for a bit more than 19 continuous days. When you think about that, and the fact that I have a few alts that I've played as well, that's a big chunk of my life that I've spent playing the game. Has it been worth it? I'd say yes. I've had a lot of fun, met a bunch of great people. The guild I'm in (The Ministry of Offence) is a tremendous guild full of people who, while serious about the game, just want to have fun. There are too many people who have helped me get to 60, to list here, and I wouldn't want to leave any out. So let me just say thanks to the best guild on Khaz'goroth. MoO FTW! Hmmm. Think I'll go level my rogue. ;-)

Hunter Talents and Spells

Posted by Stropp on October 11, 2006 Blizzard has saved the best till last. The Hunter Talents and Spells are up on the website here and already the official forums are dancing to the tunes of whinging posts. It seems some from the rogue community don't appreciate the new Snake Trap spell we get since it does poison damage. There are also some changes to the core mechanics of how the hunter works. Hunters have always valued +agility items, but that is now changing. It used to be that we would get 2 Attack Points per point of Agility, that has been reduced to 1 AP per point of Agility. At first glance that seems to be quite a negative, especially to players who have spent considerable funds enchanting for agility. However, we now get more crit and more dodge per point of agility, and ranged weapons now do significantly more damage. Equipment is also being updated to have a better distribution between +Attack Power bonuses and Agility. This allows Blizz to offer a larger variety of items to hunters. It does appear that we hunters have received some good luv'n from Blizzard. Since this is all pretty new to me, I'll look at it and post what I think it really does mean to hunters at a later date.

New Realms

Posted by Stropp on October 8, 2006 Blizzard has announced in this post that they have opened up four new realms for players.
We would like to announce the opening of four new realms today, right now! As our population continues to grow, we feel more room is necessary for new and veteran players alike to start fresh adventures in Azeroth! For those of you with more particular considerations, these realms will be incorporated into Battlegroup 11. You can find Battlegroup listings here: Echo Isles PVE Blackwater Raiders RP Vashj PVP Darrowmere PVP
Since it's getting close to the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, and since it's pretty much a sure thing that the expansion will bring back a whole bunch of former players, my guess is that we will see more of these announcements in the next couple of months. At least I really hope they do, with another couple million subscribers the queues will be killers.

Three Tips for Saving Gold in World of Warcraft

Posted by Stropp on October 8, 2006 Benjamin Franklin once said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Nowhere is this more true than in World of Warcraft. WoW offers players many unique and varied ways to spend their hard earned gold. From paying for repairs after a hard night raiding, to buying a bank slot to store your extra gear, the expenditure really adds up. Not surprisingly, there are quite a lot of characters running around with very small bank balances. This guide will give you three tips for saving gold in WoW. 1. Don't take up a crafting profession Or at least don't take up a crafting profession until you really have to. The crafting professions are alchemy, blacksmithing, engineering, tailoring, cooking, and leatherworking. Jewelcrafting is a new profession that will appear with the Burning Crusade expansion. The crafting professions will cost you a lot of money to level all the way to 300. You will need to buy or farm raw materials, buy patterns and recipes, and buy vendor only materials in order craft the different items. You'll end up spending quite a large amount of gold to be able to make items that not many people will want to buy until you can craft the epic items. Even if you find a profitable item, it will be subject to the fluctuations of auction house prices, especially when player who are leveling their crafting skills dump their newly crafted items at the lowest possible prices. On the other hand, the gathering professions can be quite profitable. It's worth getting to 60 with two gathering skills, and then if necessary, dumping one or both and taking up a crafting profession. 2. Don't buy gear from the AH before level 60 When I earned my first 120 gold, I saw a Hammer of the Northern Wind on the AH. I thought it looked like a really great weapon so I bought it for 100 gold. I was level 50 at the time. Before Five levels had passed, I had been through several top level instances and I had won three much better weapons, and had the Hydralick Armor drop off a Furbolg. I put the hammer in the bank and used the better weapons. Does that sound like a good investment? One hundred gold for just five levels use? WoW will reward you for waiting. It doesn't mean all the bits and pieces you want will fall into your lap without you doing anything. But if you get into a good guild and manage to frequently get into instances, you will find that those really nice items will drop for you, and you won't have to spend all your gold for an item that will only last you a few levels. 3. Farm mats rather than buy them There are times that you are going to need mats. Often you can get cheaper enchants if you provide some or all of the materials that are needed. Some nice folks will even enchant for tips or free if you provide the mats. Rather than buy them on the AH, go out and gather them. This might mean running an instance several times, or using your gathering skills to collect the materials. Even if you don't have the ability to gather the items you need directly, you can farm non-related items, leather for example, and sell it on the auction house, and use that gold to buy what you need. When you get to 60 and start accumulating high end armor and weapons, your costs will go up. I had a couple of wipes over the last couple of days, and with only four pieces of the Beaststalkers gear my repair bill was over 3 gold. That's peanuts to what other members of my guild spend for repairs on their epic gear. Unless you are really good at making gold, and I have to confess that I'm not, the next best thing is to spend as little of it as possible. I hope this guide helps you to do that.