Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions For WoW

 Does anyone think about things like this? As the year of 2010 comes to an end I reflect and see if I have achieved all I wanted to accomplish this year. I feel like in most cases I did. My goal for the year was to get at least one server first. I thankfully got three. I think I succeeded.

Now that 2011 is almost on us, it's time for me to make a new goal. After thinking long and hard about a major goal I would like to strive for I finally thought of it. In 2011 I would like to get my guild to be successful again, in whatever way I can. Whether it be PvP, or PvE, or anything else I want it to be respectable. This is the most important thing to me right now. 

Now that I've said mine, what is your New Year's resolution for WoW? Can't think of one? I have provided some examples of goals you could try to achieve:
  •  Get your Mountain O' Mounts achievement.
  • Stop buying so many Fortune Cards (They're addicting I know.)
  • Finally level your cooking/fishing/first aid.
  • Get The Exalted title.
  • Get your Lil' Game Hunter achievement.
  • Make a successful guild!
  • Make more in game friends (Nothing wrong with e-friends, not at all!)
  • Try PvP
  • Try PvE
  • Start that WoW blog you've always been meaning to start!
  • Level an 85 of each class.
  • Buy a Vial of the Sands
  • Get your dream mount!
  • Achieve 9,000 achievement points!
  • Make that alt you've always been meaning to make.
  • Make a legendary item!
Whatever you choose, make sure you keep one important thing in mind: Don't forget to have fun! This is a game, after all. My biggest pet peeve is people in this game who don't play to have fun. They're too concerned with min/maxing everything and they never play this game to have fun. That's when this game becomes a job and that is when you get burnt out. Who cares if archaeology doesn't help your DPS, if you enjoy it, do it! Who cares if it doesn't make you make thousands of gold, go make that alt you've always wanted! I follow this advice and I am almost never burnt out of the game.
So I just gave you some great suggestions (if I do say so myself =P) so you have no choice after reading this to not have a goal for 2011. So what is your goal? Let me know in the comments!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Feast of Winterveil Gift Giving Guide

    It's that time of year again. The time when Great Father Winter brings us citizens of Azeroth gifts! But you don't have to have a beard to join in the gift giving fun! I usually always get my WoW friends gifts during this time and I highly suggest you guys do too! What's that? You don't have any ideas you say? Well then let me help you! For today I have organized a guide to help you with gift ideas for ANY kind of WoW player in your virtual life.


     Warning - Some of my suggestions are fairly obvious. This is to make a point. Gifts don't have to be one of a kind or crazy unique. It's the thought that counts, really! Sure some of my suggestions may be more creative then others, but seriously people will be thankful just to know you thought of them this holiday!

     Gifts for Races
    (These gift ideas are for those people who are huge fans of the race they play. These gifts are specific to lore of said races and primarily for role-players; or anyone really!)

    Blood Elf
    • Any large quantity of alcohol
    • More alcohol
    •  Orb of Deception (for obvious reasons)
    Night Elf
    • An axe. Like any, seriously. Even the casters will appreciate it.
    • Mushrooms
    • Bandages 

    • A new top hat.
    • Any of the new monocles.

    Gifts For Professions

    • Stacks of any of the new herbs (Azshara's Veil, Cinderbloom, Stormvine, Heartblossom, Whiptail, and Twilight Jasmine)
    • Obsidian Bars
    • Elementium Bars
    • Pyrium Bars
    • Volatile Elements
    • Any of the Cataclysm materials
    • Any disenchantable greens
    • Obsidian/Elementium Bars
    • Cataclysm Volatiles
    • Lifegiving seeds
    • Cataclysm Herbs
    • Blackfallow Ink
    • Obsidium Ore
    • Elementium Ore
    • Pyrite Ore
    • Any uncut gems
    • BoE recipes
    • Stacks of Cataclysm Leather
    • Stacks of Cataclysm Scales
    • A new pick axe?
    • A new knife?
      • Stacks of Embersilk
      • More stacks of Embersilk
      • Volatiles
        Gifts For Secondary Professions
          • Orc Blood Text
          • Tol'Vir Hieroglyphic
          • Troll Tablet
          • Vrykul Rune Stick
          • Dwarf Rune Stone
          • Highborne Scroll
          • Nerubian Obelisk
          • Draenei Tomb
          First Aid
          • Embersilk Cloth
          • New lures?
          • Any of the new Cataclysm meats
          • Any of the new Cataclysm fish
          Gifts For The Raiders 
          • Flasks relating to whatever their spec is
          • Food relating to whatever their spec is
          • Enchants on scrolls (For when they upgrade their gear. The new weapon enchants are awesome for this!) 
          • Dust of Disappearance  
          Gifts For The PvPers
          • Flasks relating to whatever their spec is (For regular BG farming)
          • Food relating to whatever their spec is (For regular BG farming)
          • Enchants on scrolls (For when they upgrade their gear. The new weapon enchants are awesome for this!) 
          • Dust of Disappearance 
          Gifts For Collectors
          • De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion
          • Enchanted Lantern
          • Magic Lamp
          • Personal World Destroyer
          • Elementium Geode
          • Hyacinth Macaw
             Gifts for Hardcore Asilventures Fans (all two of you)
            • Slimy Ring 
            • Gold for buying Noggenfogger (and for repairs!) 

            General Gifts
            So that's my list. Sure there are tons of other items you could give, but hopefully my ideas help you out this holiday season. And like I said before: It's not about what you get for your friends, it's the thought that really counts! You don't have to go crazy and spend thousands of gold, just be creative!

            So what presents are you getting your friends this Winterveil?

            Tuesday, December 14, 2010

            First Impressions: Archaeology (Telescopes? Why'd It Have To Be Telescopes!) Edition

            Today I wanted to talk about how I feel about the new secondary profession in the game: Archaeology. I feel like my opinion on this topic is a good one because I did in fact do it for twenty-two hours straight in order to get the "Realm First!" for it. I'll break this post up into various parts, starting with a quick guide on the general basics of this vanity profession.

            Archaeology Basics

            Once you train Archaeology you will start seeing shovels on your world map. These shovels represent dig sites. There are four dig sites available per continent. So that means there are always going to be four places you could dig on Kalimdor, The Eastern Kingdoms, Outlands, and Northrend. 

            When you click on a zone with a shovel the dig site in said zone is located in the gray or red circle on the map. When you enter this area you'll be able to use your new ability "survey". When you use it, it will drop a telescope looking thing that is attached to a light. If the light is red you are over one hundred yards away from the artifact. If the light is yellow you are between fifty to one hundred yards away. If the light is green you are less than fifty yards away.

            Also whenever you use "survey" your "telescope" will also point you in the right direction as well as tell you how close or far away you are. So always follow which direction the big end of the telescope is pointing (as shown in the picture below).

            There are three artifacts per dig site. Each artifact is zoned for you, so there is no competition, there is no race. Once you've gotten all three artifacts in a zone a new shovel will appear on your map marking another dig site that just opened up. 

            When you collect an artifact in a dig site you will be given two to six fragments. Higher archaeology yields higher amounts of fragments, but you start out at early levels only getting two. If you click on your archaeology profession icon you'll see various races. Clicking on a race option will then display how many more fragments you need before you can make an item. A lot of times you'll only be making "uncommon" items and they are pretty quick and easy to make. Sometimes you will have to make "rare" items. These rare items take a lot more fragments to make but yield a really cool vanity item/mount/pet/boa epic. Once you have enough fragments to make something you can hit solve and it will make your item. Keep in mind you cannot skip items and they appear in a random order. So if you have a rare to make in one race, you have to finish it before you can make any other items with that race's fragments.

            The items you make with archaeology will be random, however, you will not get any repeat items until you have already made every single item of that race's archaeology.

            Sometimes you'll loot items that are of green quality. These items (for example: Highborn Scrolls or Troll tablets) are called key stones and they can be used to speed up the process of making some items. If an item can use a keystone there will be a slot near the bottom of the archaeology interface that you can put them in. Each keystone counts for twelve shards. If there's not slow available on the item, then you can't use a keystone on it.

            That's pretty much all there is to the basics of Archaeology.

            Leveling Archaeology

            The way I would suggest leveling Archaeology would definitely be slowly. Maybe take it an hour or so at a time. Archaeology is repetitive and will bore you out if you try to do it too much. You get skill points for just finding artifacts from levels one to one hundred. After you are level one hundred you can only skill up by making items. Making items gives you five points regardless if it is rare. You still get five no matter if you make the skeleton mount or the gray vendor trash comb of a thousand hairs.

            The best way to level archaeology is to take it slow and casual. Only do it an hour or so at a time. Doing it anymore than that will bore you out quickly. And the expansion just came out, so getting burnt out of anything at this point would spell bad news for the rest of your year. Here are a few tips that will make your leveling quicker however.

            • Use keystones whenever you can.
            • Don't make any objects until you are skill one hundred.
            • When you reach archaeology level three hundred, unless you really want a change of scenery, I'd still suggest leveling in Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor (I prefer Eastern Kingdoms though). You still get five skill points an item regardless of your skill level or where you got the artifacts. I leveled pretty much only in the Eastern Kingdoms when I did it.
            • The reason you will want to stay on Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms is because the race's on these continents take less fragments to make objects. This in turn means you level up faster. 

            I think the main reason people will do archaeology is for the rare objects you can make. These rare objects can be one of many things.
            If you like pets this profession is for you. There are about three pets you can make so far from archaeology: The Clockwork Gnome, the Fossilized Hatchling, and the Crawling Hand.

            There are also two mounts you can get so far: An AQ battle tank you can ride anywhere, and a skeletal raptor.

            BoA items. These BoA items are epic and have a level requirement but you can still send them to alts! They're good too, they'll definitely get put to good use if you get the one you need. 

            There are so many cool things you can make with archaeology that I'm getting excited to go survey just typing this.

             Realm First!

            Now that I've gotten that out of the way I'll get to my opinion (finally). And first I'll start with Realm First! just to get it out of the way. Yes I did complete my goal of getting Realm First! Grand Master and Illustrious Archaeologist. It took me twenty-two hours of straight grinding archaeology to achieve it.
            If you've ever wondered what it's like to get a realm first, I have formulated a way anyone can experience it. To get the realm first treatment is simple. All you have to do is go to your local trade chat and say "Giving away 100g to the first five people who message me." The result will be very very similar to what happened to me.

            Oh, and I never want to see another telescope again.

            The Vanity Profession

            Archaeology to me is a vanity profession. There is only one benefit outside of vanity purposes to the profession (which I'll get to later). If you don't like mounts or cool little silly items you won't like this profession at all. I guess that was the intention, though. I love these items so I feel like this was tailored for the play style I have.
            Spawns Are Unforgiving

            Unless you are a mage, prepare for a lot of flight time. Because doing this profession is a pain. This is one low point for me regarding it. I don't know how they'd fix it, but there really is no quick way to do this. And maybe that was their intentions. It takes time to do and you have to go out of your way to do it. This was probably how they planned it so I doubt they'll change it.

            What Can I Do With Archaeology?

            I have an answer. There are two things I've done with the things I have gotten from archaeology.
            In every Cataclysm dungeon there is a daily quest inside that only archaeologists can see. When you open the quest it will give you the option to use a keystone. If you complete the quest with the keystone your group will be granted a buff that will last throughout the instance. This can be extremely helpful if you're doing some of the tougher heroics. Especially since the keystones are BoE.

            Another thing I do with archaeology is with some of the rare objects I macro them in with some of my cool-downs. Since the objects don't share global cool-downs this is possible. This can make for some fun RP macros. For example: A macro I use has it so whenever I use Gift of the Naaru I yell "The Naaru have not forgotten us." And at the same time use my Arrival of the Naaru rare object I got from archaeology. The ability to do this with my spells is awesome. I highly suggest it to anyone who likes cool stuff!

            Final Thoughts

            Archaeology is a great addition to the game. It provides us with something that is outside the norm to do when we get burnt out. It's supposed to be just a simple little "hot and cold" type activity to distract us from the normal WoW grind. If you take it slow and do it like an hour at a time, you will enjoy archaeology. As long as you can put up with the flight times, that is. It takes patience, just like real archaeology.

            As a huge lover of pets, mounts, and vanity items this profession is right up my metaphoric alley. I can't wait to see what Blizzard has in store for the future of this profession. If you haven't yet tried your hand at surveying I would strongly suggest you go try it. You might be surprised in how addictive it is; or by what you might find!

            So, what do you think about archaeology?

            Sunday, December 12, 2010

            Manataurs and You: A Discussion About Cut Scenes In Cataclysm

            Back in the day, when Magister's Terrace finally came out, it was a big deal. Not really because it was new, but mostly because once you killed the second boss something happened that we hadn't really experienced yet: an in game cut scene appeared. Nowadays if you've quested in Uldum, you'll notice very quickly this zone is littered with cut-scenes. Like I think there's like two or three cut scenes per quest you turn in. There are cut scenes within cut scenes. It is crazy.

            Now today I will ask you this question: is it a good addition to the game? Or is it an annoyance? What do you think?

            Personally, I enjoy it. I watch every cinematic that I can. I think it's fun that they use your character as well. My favourite thus far is the manataur movie at the beginning of Uldum; it actually made me laugh out loud. This is something not many things accomplish.

            On the other hand, I know my friends skip the cut scenes. Not because they don't care, it's just they see it as a hindrance to their leveling style. They don't read the quest text, they just want to get to max level. There's nothing wrong with this. I do however feel like these people miss out on awesome moments.

            So what do you think? Do you like the in game movies? Let me know! Tell me what you think in the comments!

            Thursday, December 9, 2010

            First Impressions: Throne of the Tides - "Asilwen Vs. Godzilla Vs. Giant Octopus" Edition

            Today I wanted to cover my first impressions on (as the title suggests) Throne of the Tides, the instance located in Vashj'ir. I guess it could be considered technically the second of the new dungeons. Keep in mind as you read this: I did not read up on anything in this dungeon (nor did my guild group I did this with). So we went into this dungeon in the cold. No information at all. What did we find? Well, do you like the ocean? Giant tentacles/jellyfish? Illogical architecture? Than this is the instance for you, I guess.

            As of writing this, I have not quested in Vashj'ir. So I do not know what's going on down in that ocean. My sea turtle carried me to the dungeon discovery. My lack of knowledge made me excited for the dungeon quest for this instance. So think of my disappointment when I zoned in to find no quest. That seemed to be the theme of this dungeon. There was almost no structure. There was no guide. Sure there was only one way to go, but once we killed the trash it took our jellyfish elevator about five minutes to start working. And when it finally went up, I missed it. Just my luck.

            The whole design of the instance is unique. After the first two bosses you must back track to finish the instance; interesting idea. Not sure if I like it. It kind of ruins the flow. Sure it's different and different is refreshing but that doesn't change the fact there is like no flow to this dungeon. No quest line to sum up what's going on. All of these elements added up to a confused Asil. "So we ride a giant jellyfish up to kill the first boss then another boss crashes through the ceiling? Than we have to kill random goblins who decided to join the party which lead to a mind controlling squid? Then we're gonna help generically named water guy purify water? This makes sense."

            Yes, I know, the quests in Vashj'ir probably explain what happens.
            The bosses in the instance are different to say the least. Okay well maybe some of them are unique. Lady Naz'jar (the first boss) has a cool geyser mechanic that we've seen before in different adaptations, but watching your friends fail at standing in the fire then plummet as a consequence never gets old. If you're a fan of this blog, you'll know already I'm a huge fan of any kind of plummeting. Ceiling boss aka Commander Ulthok (the second boss) is a simple "Don't stand in the bad stuff while tanking fight" or as I like to call it "Put Asil to sleep fight". Erunak Stonespeaker is technically the third boss and his fight is mildly interesting. Sure it might be at it's roots a standard 'turn and burn the MC'd person' fight, but that doesn't change the fact if you get MC'd you get a giant octopus on your face. Screenshot opportunities abound.

            The last boss/event gets it's own paragraph because of how hilarious it was the first time I ever did it (by hilarious I mean you probably had to have been there). Basically the event at the end of the instance (for those of you who haven't done it yet) has you protecting Neptulon as he attempts something my Brita filter has already accomplished: purifying water. The first two phases are fairly simple, just kill trash. It's the final phase that makes it a winner. See, apparently in World of Warcraft purified water makes you turn into a giant super powerful being. Once phase three hits you become incredibly powerful and start taking damage from the AoE that is on every part of the ground. There's two ways you could do this boss (Guess which way the first group I ran this with did it!):

            The correct way: Everyone turns and burns the giant octopus on the ceiling.

            The incorrect way: Everyone runs around like a fool going "zomg look we're hugeeee" as I struggle to keep everyone alive as the ground begins to kill us exponentially faster. Then it was decided that maybe we are supposed to die. It was only after I was the only person alive did we look up to see the octopus we were supposed to kill. Needless to say, if you're a healer, phase three can be solo'd. So feel free to neglect your group!

            In conclusion: It has some interesting ideas, but a lack of flow really makes me not a huge fan. It's not a terrible instance, but it's not something I look forward to doing. And I'm not just being biased because I hate water! Maybe I'm wrong though, what do you think?

            Tuesday, December 7, 2010

            You should be Cataclysming

            If you're reading this, you either:

            A: Didn't buy Cataclysm...

            B: Are on a flight path...

            C: Are at work...

            Whatever the case may be, thanks for tuning in. Sorry to disappoint with today's Tuesday Post. Today will be a short and sweet one because I am busy Cataclysming. Probably by the time this gets posted I will be a sleep deprived zombie grinding Archaeology because I hate myself I guess. Something like that.

            I just wanted to let you know my plans for blogging in Cataclysm today. Some blogs are taking a break. Some blogs are taking an indefinite leave of absence. I however, on the other hand, am not. This makes no sense to me. I enjoy World of Warcraft and I enjoy blogging. Now that there is so much new content to me, I will have seven hundred million thoughts in my head and this shall be my outlet. Prepare for good stuff. Sure the posts might be light the first week of it being out, but I won't stop. I'll be here for you, for those of you who crave updates.

            I still have big things planned. Now hopefully the next time I talk to you all I'll have server first Archaeologist under my belt. That would make me happy.

            So, what are you doing first in Cataclysm?

            Thursday, December 2, 2010

            Vendor Trash Lore: Topper McNabb and the Slimy Rings

            No one can argue with the fact that this game has a ton of lore. Sad thing is, it has a ton of lore about powerful things. Powerful weapons. Important people. And everyone focuses on this lore and forgets about how important some of the other stories are in this game. The untold stories that are often looked over. It is now my goal to tell these stories. Today I shall tell the story of Topper McNabb and the Slimy Rings.

            Long ago, long before any player set foot in Azeroth, Jerry Denman decided it was time he opened up a Jewelry shop of his own. He had been working as an apprentice in Ironforge and soon found he had become better than his teacher and felt he was holding him back. He was thankful, but Jerry had dreams of becoming a world famous jewelcrafter. So he thanked his mentor for his effort, than made his way to Stormwind to start up his business.

            Business was fantastic right from the start. Maybe even too good, because soon Jerry became overwhelmed with the amount of business he was getting. And the news that he was the most skilled jeweler in Azeroth spread like wildfire, thus insuring he would remain busy. He realized he needed to hire an assistant to help him out. Quickly.

            Mr. Denman spread flyers around Stormwind advertising the position and over one hundred citizens answered the call to craft. Jerry had to sort through all of these people. After hundreds of thousands of smashed gems, bent rings, and shattered necklaces he phased out almost all of his hopefuls. Only two people remained: Thomas Miller and (to every one's surprise) Topper McNabb.

            Thomas Miller was as skilled as any newcomer could be. He had the grace of a swan when he cut gems. The finesse of a rogue when he etched designs. The greatness of a- You get the point. Thomas Miller was a fantastic option for an assistant. His only flaw was his attitude. He was good, and he knew it. His ego was bigger than a certain dragon's chin, and that's saying something. Jerry hated this. There's nothing more he hated than a giant ego.

             Topper McNabb on the other hand was not skilled at anything. He crushed jewels, destroyed tiaras, and somehow set the building on fire seven times. The only reason he still remained a hopeful was Jerry loved his spirit. His sense of wanting to be the best, regardless of the fact he was a klutz. Mr. Denman saw promise.

            There's three things Jerry knew about Topper McNabb. He's clumsy. He's gullible. And he loves squirrels. Mr. Denman figured he could live with all three of these things, and offered Topper McNabb the job. This infuriated Thomas Miller.

            Business was booming as always (despite Toppers constant struggles) and soon the two of them became the richest people in Azeroth. Customers came from far away to get some of their jewelry. Life couldn't get better for either of them, especially Topper. Before he had this job he had nothing, and now he had everything. He was living large. If only he could stop dropping things, then his life would be perfect.

            Thomas Miller on the other hand (after being denied his dream job) was forced to find another means of living: becoming a bread vendor. As he endlessly walked around the middle of Stormwind he constantly swore he'd get revenge on Topper. Thomas kept making plans in his head on how he would do it too. None of them seemed effective, until one day the most brilliant plan of all got concocted and set into motion as soon as he finished with his bread rounds for the day.

            Back at the shop Jerry got mail regarding some rings that were made in Searing Gorge by the Thorium Brotherhood that they wanted to sell him. These rings weren't just any rings. These rings were the basis to Golden Rings of Power, Jerry's signature design. It was great timing too, because he desperately needed some. He was almost out of stock and people were getting restless. If he didn't get these rings soon it would be bad news. Seeing as Jerry had a bum leg, he couldn't make the journey himself, he needed Topper to go.

            Jerry was nervous at first to ask this of him. When the time came, Jerry sat Topper down and told him that he needed him to travel to the Searing Gorge and retrieve the sack of rings. Mr. Denman emphasized greatly on how important these rings are and how they will make or break his business. Topper, not wanting to let him down, promised he would be more careful on this trip and would get them no problem.

            A smile appeared on the eavesdropping Thomas Miller, it was time.

            After making the preparations needed for the trip Topper set off. It was a rather uneventful journey there, and after a couple days of walking he made it safely. He was greeted kindly by the Brotherhood and Topper gave them the money in exchange for the rings. Topper found it odd they put the rings in a giant bag instead of a safer alternative, but nonetheless he was happy he hadn't messed up yet.

            He thanked the Thorium Brotherhood for their hospitality and was off again back to Stormwind. After quickly realizing he forgot to set his hearthstone there, he sadly began his walk back. After (surprisingly) another uneventful journey Topper found himself proud as ever. There he was, staring at the gates of Stormwind with the bag of rings on his back. He did it! He didn't mess up.

            Topper pranced over to the squirrel gleefully. It didn't run away when he neared. Topper was in heaven... until he realized it wasn't a real squirrel. Topper than looked up just in time to see a shadowy figure shove him and his rings into the watery descent below. The last thing Topper remembered before hitting the water was a faint smell of bread.

            After swimming around the waters for some time trying to find the rings Topper gave up. Topper knew these waters were filled with Royal Monkfish, and those creatures love eating shiny things. Searching was futile since they probably had all gotten eaten. He headed back to Jerry's and hoped he was in a forgiving mood. He was wrong. This was the final straw for Jerry. Without hesitation he fired Topper. He didn't believe Topper's story. "A shadowy figure?" he said, "Right... I think you were just trying to balance on the side of the bridge and fell in." Soon after the firing of Topper the business went under and Jerry retired for good and decided to start a family instead of rebuilding his empire.

            No one knows for sure who pushed Topper into the water. Ever since that day though, Thomas Miller always does his rounds with a spring in his step, and a crooked smile whenever he sees Topper at his street-side corner begging for gold.