Friday, July 23, 2010

Crabs are nice, if you like that sort of thing

In a mad dash, before the early maintenance this week, Nevynoch flew out to Vengeance Landing to grab himself a Giant Tidecrawler.  I tried leveling with it for a while, but it really didn't end up being all that great.

Sure, having the crusty crustacean stomp and pin the enemy down was handy, but I really don't have my game play down to do alot of pet managing when it comes to multiple mobs.  So I've put the tidecrawler in the stable for the moment, and have gone back to using Saucy, my albino devilsaur from the Ungoro.

Shortly before bed, Nevynoch dinged 75 and switched his secondary spec over to Marksman and picked up the appropriate Glyphs.  I'll need to play with the rotation a bit, in Ironforge before signing myself up for a 5-man or two. 

Heirloom items are awesome, I must say.  Just hit 75, I've completed Borean Tundra, the intro quests at Moa'ki Harbor and I've got Gjalerbron and Fort Wildervar to go in Howling Fjord.  By rights, I should be done in Dragonblight by now, though I'm likely to start the Drakuru line after completing Howling Fjord so I can pick up the instance quests for Drak'Tharon Keep.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nevy Gets His Engineering Groove On

This week, Nevy spent alot of time in stasis, while Col did the hard yards of collecting ore and smelting so that Nevy could get his engineering groove on.  Yep, Nevy dropped herbalism, and picked up Engineering. 

That makes 2 toons with Engineering now, with Fidgette being the other.  Though Fidgette has Goblin engineering and Nevy has Gnomish engineering, but has yet to create some of the special Gnomish trinkets and tinkers that come with the profession.

One of the biggest grinds with Engineering is the epic flyer, and I cheated somewhat.  Col spent quite along time, flying around Nagrand and Terrokar Forest, looking for the very rare Khorium vein.  He did manage to pick up enough to make 4 of the 8 Khorium Power Cores required for the flyer, but I just couldn't grind it out any more.  I wanted Nevy back on the level, and flying in his epic fly throughout Northrend as soon as possible.  With a handful of individual Khorium Ores going for 20g each, I ended up putting a bid of 1670g for a 13 stack of Khorium Power Cores.  I figure I can sell the remainder, but do so maybe 2 at a time, and make a little money back.

The next big grind will be the 250 or so Saronite Bars required to level engineering to 449, so I can then make the goggles, hopefully hit 450, and then make the epic DPS gun!  I may even need to make a Wormhole generator as well, though I'd likely hand that off to Fidgette, since she's doesn't have one yet.  Oh, all those bars are needed to level, and will be used on Army Knives.

Nevy has also switched back to Beast Mastery for leveling, and will probably take up a Marksman spec for dungeons.  I'll probably have to do a little soloing as Marksman as well, just so I can get accustomed to the rotation.

My biggest complaint about Beast Mastery is the number of buttons.  I haven't done my proper research yet, but so far my soloing rotation includes (depending on availability, and can I be bothered):
  • Hunters Mark
  • Trinket
  • Rapid Fire
  • Serpent Sting, and reapply as needed
  • Multishot
  • Arcane Shot
  • Steady Shot
  • Killshot to finish off, if I remember or the pet doesn't do the job for me
There's also the pet abilities of Beastial Wrath, Kill Command and Intimidation to work in there as well, as well as juggle Dragonhawk and Viper auras for mana, and the tracking as well.

One of the things I haven't paid alot of attention to, and need to, is the Arcane Shot vs Steady Shot discussion.  Arcane is magic and Steady is physical, which means, for the most part, Arcane should be preferred, unless the mob has a magic immunity.  I've seen alot of arguments for Steady > Arcane, in that it does more damage.  However, that damage on the tooltip doesn't take into account armor mitigation, similar to Arcane Shot tooltip not taking magic resistances into account, either.  In PvP, Arcane is probably better against Mail and Plate wearers, while Steady is probably better against Cloth and Leather wearers.  Next time I'm shooting something, I'll take a look at those battle text numbers, and maybe even review Skada.  I'm likely to save ammo and mana by sticking to one shot or another for a single mob, and it may even improve my DPS.

I'll be very glad when Cataclysm launches, and I get a trap launcher, and perhaps a better default UI for auras, traps and tracking.

Oh, one thing I'm going to do with Cataclysm launches (and I may even be able to do it now), is to head to Vengeance Landing and tame one of those Giant Tidecrawlers.  50 stabled pets with 5 active in Cataclysm is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cataclysm Balance Druid Spec

Update: This post is old and no longer relevant to the current build of the 
Cataclysm Beta.  Now that I'm in the beta, if I come up with a Balance spec that I choose to share, I'll update this update with a link to the updated spec.  Update! (He totally said "date").

The closed Cataclysm Beta (that I'm not in, yet :() has had a new build delivered (Build 12479).

This drop is particularly exciting, because it contains the first pass of the new Talent Tree specialisations, in which you get 41 talent points at max level, have to put 31 talents in your first tree, and get 1 talent point and skill upgrades on alternating levels.

There's a note on the MMO Champion link above that primary skills are learned when you pick you main talent tree.  At first, I thought this might mean you actually get those skills at level 10, but now I'm thinking that you may automatically learn them when you get to the appropriate level.  It's hard to say, since I'm not in the Beta and it takes a while for external sources of info to be updated.

For example, Starsurge is listed as a Balance Druid primary skill.  However, according to, which seems to be partially updated for the new tree setup, has Starsurge listed as a tier 3 talent, which would mean it's not available until level 40 or so.

Just for shits and giggles, I've come up with a Balance build I be likely using at 85.  Though it might be tricky to work out which 3 points I'll drop while leveling.  In fact, I'll likely use a spec that includes Owlkin Frenzy while leveling, because I'm likely to have mobs get all up in my business while Wrathing to oblivion.

I've attached a screengrab of the build, for convenience, since it's likely to change.

As I mentioned, not all external sources have been updated yet, so keep that in mind when viewing the screenshot.  Currently, it does not reflect that on 41 points will be available, and that a talent point will be available every second level.

Hardcore vs Casual is one of the WoW News/Blog sites I follow on a daily basis.  Some articles I'm likely to read more than others (Know Your Lore definitely get read, anything that requires YouTube or sounds only podcasts, not so much).

And occasionally, I post replies to the comments.

Here's one such question (tyler)

what's the next lvl down as far as player-types? there's hardcore, casual....then what?
what's below casual? this is a player that only logs on once a day or so, and does some battlegrounds here and there, maybe a few dailies to work on some rep, a few quests on an alt, etc etc. would this be super-casual?
And my reply (Colerejuste)
I think the base terms of hardcore and casual are grossly misrepresented. There's raiders, and then there are non-raiders. There are people who just do 5 man instances, heroic or not, and then those that don't even do that, and just stick to questing, leveling professions and doing soloable achievements. There are theorycrafters, followers of Elistist Jerks, browsers of, people who spec from first principals and those that don't have a firm grip on the direction of their spec (which Cata will help with, somewhat). There are altoholics who love to level, or maintain as many 80s as they can, or those that have 1 main and bank alt. There are people that prevent the progress of their toons at level 19, 29, 39, 49 or 59, just so they can gear up that toon for BG dominance (they're called twinks in game, though you may wish to ask your parents about the real world term "twink"). Then there are world PvP, BG PvP and Arena PvP players. There are people that log 6 hours a week of game time or less, and they could fall into any of those categories. There are those that log 35+ hours a week, and they too, fall into any of those categories.

The player who logs 35+ hours a week, just leveling alts, gathering and leveling professions or running 5man heroics and doesn't do raids could be considered just as hardcore as the player who 9 hours a week to do 25ICC heroic only. Both players might have a very good understanding of their specs, talents and spells for the level of play that they are at.

And out of game, you've got bloggers, blog followers, ranters, forum trolls and care bears (though that can be in-game as well).

Yeah, narrowing down the field of WoW player definitions to hardcore and casual is like to describe colour in terms of black and white.

- Update 23/07/2010:  This post was featured on MMO Melting Pot. Awesome!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Who To Level First In Cataclysm?

Over at my higher selfs site, I've made a posting on how to use Prolog to discover facts and relationships, and help determine which characters might get leveled first when the Cataclysm hits.

In the end, I think the fun factor is going to win out for me.  In earlier days, it would have been possible to rotate through your rested bonus, and give each toon a bit of loving.  However, I noticed that in WotLK, running out of rested bonus was something that just never happened.  In Cataclysm, given that 81 to 85 is supposed to be as long as 61- 70 or 71-80, the only way to run out of rested bonus will be to hardly have any in the first place.  Rested bonus scales a little too well.

A tentative preference for leveling will be as follows:
  • The Worgen Druid, playing until his rested bonus disappears.  Though I'm likely to go through levels 1 to 20 in one sitting.
  • Anion, because I'm having alot of fun with Balance, and I can fall back to Resto to get quick instances if I want them.
  • Colerejuste, because Pallies are fun, too, and gems are handy, and ore is handy for Pathaks Blacksmithing.
  • Pathak, because Blacksmithing will be handy for Col.
  • Benzol or Bojsen.  Depends on what combos of cloth are needed to make the next big bag size, if there is one.  Otherwise it will probably be Bojsen, because enchanting is useful for all toons.
Some toons can just wait their toon, like Fidgette who mainly does my auctioneering, or Nevynoch, who negates my current boredom of running 5 mans with an over powered Moonkin.