Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eye of the Storm, or "Fun to Pug, Fun to Premade"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

Premade: When a group of people band together to enter a battleground as one strong, coordinated entity.


The Game

Eye of the Storm is a combination of Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, wherein you capture and hold as many points as possible while capturing the flag in the middle as many times as possible. Held points give steady resources while flag captures give bonus resources per capture. Goes to 2000 resources.

The Gameplay

15 players.

You start on north and south sides of the map and head to one of four bases. Standing on the base slowly captures it (if two teams are on the base, the base responds to whomever has more players standing on it, so it is always in your team's best interest to fight on the point rather than on the road).

The alliance usually capture and hold Mage Tower (MT) and Draenei Ruins (DR), and the horde usually capture and hold Fel Reaver (FR) and Blood Elf Tower (BE).

In a game where alliance and horde hold equal resources, it can become a battle over the flag in the center, wherein the one to get more flag captures (and therefore bonus points) will win.

The best way to keep the other team off the flag is to keep enough people attacking their bases that they have to defend and you can keep grabbing the flag.

Some very strong teams insist on four-capping (capturing all four bases) because there is bonus honor involved at the end of the game if you four-cap. This is usually only viable when working with a premade against a weaker team.


Coordination and communication are key in this game. Some people make strategy macros to organize everyone at the very beginning. This is an example strategy:

Group 1 - Fel Reaver, then Mage Tower
Group 2 - Blood Elf, then Draenei Ruins
Group 3 - Draenei Ruins, then flag captures

The most important detail, though, is to always fight on the point you're attacking. If you outnumber them, you'll capture the point just by being there.



It's the most important PvP stat at 70.

The Morons

One of my guildmates formed a premade for EotS, and this guy joined after we queued. In raid chat, he kept begging for someone to help get him into our game: "which 1 r u in?" ... "GUYS!" So I whispered him to tell him which one to queue for and the following horrifying conversation ensued:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Come Join Me, or "Free Transfers to Zuluhed"

If you're horde and on one of the following PvP servers (Arthas, Burning Blade, Mannoroth, Mug'thol, Warsong), you can transfer for free to Zuluhed and apply to my guild! Especially anyone who plays with close friends or family, because that's what we're all about. (Alliance can transfer but is more likely to be killed by my guild. >_> Sorry!)

I'm the guild recruitment officer (read: recruitment princess), but we're stricting-up our applications by the end of next week, adding a required member recommendation for each applicant (meaning forming a relationship with someone in the guild, which readers of this blog wouldn't have much trouble with, as that person could be me).

My Guild: In Vino Veritas

The thing about our guild is that it's family-based. We went to Zuluhed to play with college friends and their friends, and then we brought our friends and our family and their friends.

Lately, we've been actively recruiting 70s for raiding so we can get to 25-man content, but now we're about to get our goal, we want to rein it back so as not to lose the cozy family feeling (which becomes more diluted with more random recruits). After the changes take effect, even BFFs of current members will have to fill out a formal application.

See, what most guilds want in their members is "show up on time, play well, don't make a fuss, contribute." We add onto that "thrive in a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere." Heck, we even call everyone by their real first name. Hugely confusing for new members, but it's how we roll.

Anyone who might detract from that atmosphere will have a hard time getting in: even just someone who would play well in a team setting but who would care more about loot than someone else's day. We strive for major lootz, but it's not our end goal. Our end goal is to get those major lootz with the soul of the guild intact. It's a dual goal, one that's worth striving for. Because if you can't love and respect the people you play this game with... what's the point?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Foot Up Butt, or "I'll Put Mine Up Yours, You Ninny"

What to say when you want to... insult someone's marital integrity.

Not only does this punk encourage me to lie to my husband, he taunts me for saying I never have.

Is it so hard to believe that couples exist who have never lied to one another? Is it so hard to believe in marital integrity? I was raised a God-fearing (translated: God-respecting/honoring) girl and deceit has never been part of my personality. I mean, I have failings. Plenty of them. But is it so hard to consider that lying might not be one of them?

I deeply admire sincerity in others and work very hard at being sincere and honest with others. And it's troubling to have some punk mouth off and make fun of me just because I won't join his stupid Zul'Farrak group.

I want to call his mother on him. That's honestly what I want to do.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Foot in Mouth, or "What to Say When You Want To..."

Click on images to see full size.
... Stay Poor
("Void Sphere" is a gem, which you only really start to need at 70.)

... Get Rejected By a Guild
(That's "BOGGLE" in red. Didn't come out so well.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Enchanting, or "Gear Recycling 101"

Converted from Skill Up Guides enchanting guide (1-300) and Highlander (300-375).

Level numbers are the level of the item disenchanted.

Dust (DE Armor) and Essence (DE Weapons)

Level 01-10: A little strange dust/lesser magic essence.
Level 11-15: Much strange dust/greater magic essence.
Level 16-20: Much strange dust/lesser astral essence.
Level 21-25: Little soul dust/greater astral essence.
Level 26-30: Much soul dust/lesser mystic essence.
Level 31-35: Little vision dust/greater mystic essence.
Level 36-40: Much vision dust/lesser nether essence.
Level 41-45: Little dream dust/greater nether essence.
Level 46-50: Much dream dust/lesser eternal essence.
Level 51-55: Little illusion dust/greater eternal essence.
Level 56-60: Much illusion dust/greater eternal essence.

Shards (DE Blue/Purple Items)

Level 01-20: Small glimmering.
Level 21-25: Large glimmering.
Level 26-30: Small glowing.
Level 31-35: Large glowing.
Level 36-40: Small radiant.
Level 41-45: Large radiant.
Level 46-50: Small brilliant.
Level 51-60: Large brilliant.


Strange Dust: 180
Soul Dust:90
Vision Dust: 170
Dream Dust: 320
Illusion Dust: 90+56
Lesser Magic Essence: 15
Greater Magic Essence: 25
Lesser Astral Essence: 15
Greater Astral Essence: 2
Lesser Mystic Essence: 25
Greater Mystic Essence: 2
Lesser Nether Essence: 15
Greater Nether Essence: 25
Greater Eternal Essence: 8
Small Brilliant Shard: 4
Large Brilliant Shard: 8
Shadowgem: 1
Iridescent Pearl: 1
Black Pearl: 1
Golden Pearl: 1
Copper Rod: 1
Silver Rod: 1
Golden Rod: 1
Truesilver Rod: 1
Arcanite Rod: 1
Fel Iron Rod: 1
Runed Arcanite Rod: 1
Arcane Dust: 645
Greater Planar Essence: 96
Nightmare Vine: 10
Imbued Vial: 10
Adamantite Rod: 1
Large Prismatic Shards: 128
Primal Might: 1

Numbers are the enchanting skill number.

0-1 Runed Copper Rod
2-50 Enchant Bracer - Minor Health
51-75 Enchant Bracer - Minor Health
76-85 Enchant Bracer - Minor Deflection
86-100 Enchant Bracer - Minor Stamina
101 Runed Silver Rod
102-105 Enchant Bracer - Minor Stamina
106-120 Enchant Bracer - Minor Agility
121-130 Enchant Shield - Minor Stamina
131-150 Enchant Bracer - Lesser Stamina
151 Runed Golden Rod
152-160 Enchant Bracer - Lesser Stamina
161-165 Enchant Shield - Lesser Stamina
166-180 Enchant Bracer - Spirit
180-200 Enchant Bracer - Strength
201 Runed Truesilver Rod
202-205 Enchant Bracer - Strength
206-225 Enchant Cloak - Greater Defense
226-235 Enchant Gloves - Agility
236-245 Enchant Chest - Superior Health
246-265 Enchant Bracer - Greater Strength
266-290 Enchant Shield - Greater Stamina (Darnassus/Undercity)
291 Runed Arcanite Rod (Moonglade)
292-300 Enchant Cloak - Superior Defense (Moonglade)
301 Runed Fel Iron Rod
302-305 Enchant Cloak - Superior Defense (Moonglade)
306-315 Enchant Bracers - Assault or Brawn
316-325 [Enchant Cloak - Major Armour OR Enchant Gloves - Assault]
326-335 Enchant Chest - Major Spirit
336-340 Enchant Shield - Major Stamina
341-345 Superior Wizard Oil
346-350 Enchant Gloves - Major Strength
351 Runed Adamantite Rod
352-360 Enchant Gloves - Major Strength
361-370 [Enchant Gloves - Major Strength OR Enchant Ring - Striking (Consortium Revered)]
371-375 Enchant Ring - Healing Power (Sha'tar Revered)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Premade v. You, or "How Your Faction is Screwing You"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

are little mini-games in Warcraft where a certain number of horde go up against the same number of alliance and both try to kill, maim, and beat the others. Each battleground has a different strategy.

A premade is a group of people from the same server who band together with fantastic coordination to dominate a battleground.


It started happening more and more, and I couldn't figure out why. You enter a battleground just as it starts, you only have three people on your team, and you're facing a full premade that swamps you with players.

It's not your fault and, honestly, it's not the premade's fault. The situation you're stepping into is where two premades faced off and one left. And you are filling in for a 10-15 man team that suddenly vacated for another, more promising battleground.

It's rude. It's spineless. And it puts anyone hoping to grind a little honor into an impossible situation. There is no winning. None. Not when you start a game undermanned and confused.

Premades who jump battlegrounds should be shot because the only people they screw over are the people who take their place. Their own faction. People who have fought side by side with these same players time and again.


Avoidance, or "How Do YOU Deal with Unwanted Requests?"

So I asked someone in my alliance guild (very small guild, no one else is ever on) to help me get the Lunar Festival patterns, since you need to be 50+. (The guild is called "PrettyPrettyPrincess" -- guess why I joined? ^_^)

The first person I asked in the guild said no, which is frustrating considering that, being a mage who can port them to the different cities, the entire thing would only take 10-20 minutes. And I was willing to pay 10g a pattern and the entire thing was causing me severe emotional distress (trying to grind 7 levels instead of taking care of my household and work).

So I asked No if they knew a Yes. He said he knew a Maybe and sent me off towards another person.

I in-game mailed Maybe, whose reply was promising. "Tell me what I'd have to do and I'll see if I can help." And a smiley face.

Now, when you toss a smiley face someone's way, it's like a handshake. It's a "I'm a nice person and will go out of my way to a certain extent to help you and tell you asap if I can't."

So Maybe hasn't logged back on since that smiley face 10 days ago, Lunar Festival ends next Saturday, and Maybe is a very very lucky person that I'm almost 48 and will hit 50 with no trouble. Because I think he/she's avoiding me, which would make me much more upset if I didn't hit 50 in time.

But this kind of thing is something I'd consider /gquiting over -- not people not being able to help me, or saying No, but just the "Oh, a guildmate needs help, let me avoid them like the plague."

I joined this guild partially to be left alone while leveling, but I'd assumed they had some sense of guild pride and/or manners. I'm disappointed to find out I was wrong. (A little "Yes, I've bothered to log on in a timely manner and see if I can help you" is all I'm asking for. Even just a note saying "I'm too busy washing my hair, so sorry!" would free me up to ask someone else.)


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alliance Sucks, or "I Should Have Listened to My Horde Guild"

This doesn't mean I'm giving up on alliance or that I hate it. I just have a frustrating story:

I'm doing some Tanaris quests, getting pirate hats and some kills taken care of, with a pair of strangers also on the kill quest. Then this team of 3-4 horde show up and start attacking us because world pvp is soooo much fun when you're trying to quest. (Not.)

We kill them once, they come back in force and kill us.

The thing is, before they come back and kill us, we see this 70 alliance rogue riding around watching. We're thinking, "whew, safe. We can quest now." Because, typically, a high level will wreak havoc on hostiles.

Then the horde group kills us and the rogue stands by and does nothing.

One of our team whispers him. Apparently, he can't help us because he's friends with this group of horde. So instead of asking his friends to stop or helping us in any way, he sits on his hands like a loser watching his own faction get ganked by his buds.


VanaKOS Hatelist: "Impotent loser, anyone?"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love is in the Air 2008, or "Unbreak My Heart, Plz"

February 10-15, 2008

Pledge Boxes: Friendship & Adoration

Get Cologne, Perfume, and Love Tokens from any innkeeper in the world. Apply perfume to attract male guards and cologne for females. Give a love token to a guard and get a gift. Adoration gifts only available once the debuff wears off (debuff continues to run down even while logged out, so you can log onto another character for an hour and then go back and pick up another Adoration box).

Friendship: Guard Card & Pledge of Loyalty only.

Adoration: Only available once an hour. Otherwise you get Friendship boxes.
  • Lovely Black Dress: Rare drop at 3%, does not bind so you can find them on the AH. They'll be expensive.
  • Romantic Picnic Basket: Also rare, BoP. Have a cute romantic picnic with another character (don't need to be in a group). Very charming, no real utility. To give to someone else, trade them the gift box with the basket still inside it.
  • Love Rocket: Awesome firework that blasts pink heart-shaped clouds into the sky.
  • Love Fool: Like target dummy, forces mobs to attack it instead of you.
  • Silver Shafted Arrows: Hit someone and they'll have a creepy cupid follow them around for a while.
  • Bag of Candies: Pull one out per minute. Pointless but cute little heart candies w/ inscriptions like "Hot lips." or "I'll follow you all around Azeroth."
  • Handful of Rose Petals: Toss on someone and they'll be followed by a cascade of rose petals.
  • Box of Chocolates: Buff food.
  • Unbestowed Friendship Bracelet: Unbreak someone's heart.

How to Get the Pretty Clothes
Quest Chain Unraveled

Start in Stormwind or Undercity.

Talk to any innkeeper and buy from their seasonal fare: 1 Cologne, 1 Perfume, 1 stack Love Tokens. (Perhaps an extra cologne or perfume, as you need 1 of each to turn in.)

A: Talk to Lietenant Jocryn Heldric in the middle of Trade District and accept his quest "Dearest Colara."
H: Talk to Deathguard Tor outside UC (60, 59) and accept "Dearest Elenia."

A: Turn in at Colara Dean by the mailbox.
H: Elenia Haydon by the bank.

A: Get Dangerous Love from Aristan Mottar.
H: From Fenstad Argyle.

Get guard cards by applying perfume (for male guards) or cologne (for female guards). Talk to a guard with a heart above his or her head and select the option "let me give you a love token." They will give you a "gift" which you can open which has a good chance of containing a guard's card.

Every now and then, your heart will "break" and you can no longer give out love tokens to receive gifts. You must either wait 1 hour for it to fade or have another player use a Ring of Friendship on you to cure your broken heart. Be generous with your rings, as others get broken hearts too.

Turn your guard card into the quest giver.

A: Take 1 Cologne and 1 Perfume to Morgan Pestle in Pestle's Apothecary in the Trade District.
H: Take 1 Cologne and 1 Perfume to Apothecary Zinge in The Apothecarium.

Return to quest givers.

A: Speak with Innkeeper Allison in the inn right behind the mailbox.
H: Speak with Innkeeper Norman on the ring around the bank.

A: Speak with Evert Sorisam in Finest Thread (in the canals beside Cathedral, across from Park).
H: Speak with tailor Mara Rennick in Mage Quarter.

Both factions now seek out Apothecary Staffron Lerent. He's in Alterac Mountains (89, 75). The run here is long and hard if you're below 20, but remember that you can get from Stormwind to Ironforge through the Deeprun Tram, which will get you a little closer.

In Hillsbrad Foothills, head to 75, 24 and take the path leading up the mountain to the north. Follow to Ravenholt Manor (where the head rogue is) and head up another mountain ramp to your right (past the sparring ring) that looks like it's going to drop off at the end. Don't go down the mountain, turn left and follow another path back into the mountains, where you'll find the guy.

Click on his cauldron to get your pretty prize. Alas, you can only choose one, but at least nobody likes the pantsuits. They look like pajamas.


Alliance Gift Collection

Combine 5 Guard Cards into a Stack of Cards.
Combine 5 Pledges of Loyalty into a Pledge Collection.
Combine 5 Handmade Woodcrafts into a Box of Woodcrafts.

Combine those 3 collections into a Gift Collection for that city.

Do this for each of the 3 major cities until you have: Darnassus Gift Collection, Stormwind Gift Collection, and Ironforge Gift Collection. (H: Orgrimmar, Undercity, & Thunder Bluff)

Combine all 3 Gift Collections to produce Alliance Gift Collection.

Get lame prizes that you already get from Boxes of Adoration: Gift Giving.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jewelcrafting, or "Pretty Shiny Objects"

Converted from Highlander jewelcrafting guide.

Does not include jewelcrafting supplies that can be bought from vendor.

Copper Bar: 20
Rough Stone: 80
Tigerseye: 20
Bronze Bar: 50
Silver Bar: 60
Heavy Stone: 80
Moss Agate: 30
Mithril Bar: 80
Truesilver Bar: 60
Gold Bar: 20
Citrine: 15
Elemental Water: 20
Aquamarine: 45
Flask of Mojo: 60
Thorium Bar: 185
Star Ruby: 5
Heart of the Wild: 40
Large Opal: 20
Blue Sapphire: 40
Azerothian Diamond: 10
Huge Emerald: 20

Numbers are the jewelcrafting skill number.

1-20 Delicate Copper Wire
20-30 Rough Stone Statue
30-50 Tigerseye Band
50-75 Bronze Setting
75-80 Solid Bronze Ring
80-110 Ring of Silver Might
110-120 Heavy Stone Statue
120-150 Pendant of the Agate Shield (Innkeeper at Freewind Post, Neal Allen at Menethil Harbor)
150-180 Mithril Filigree
180-200 Engraved Truesilver Ring
200-210 Citrine Ring of Rapid Healing
210-225 Aquamarine Signet
225-250 Thorium Setting
250-255 Red Ring of Destruction
255-265 Truesilver Healing Ring
265-275 Simple Opal Ring
275-285 Sapphire Signet
285-290 Glowing Thorium Band
290-300 Emerald Lion Ring

The 300-375 guide kind of sucks, but it's all we have. Go here to see it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lunar Festival 2008, or "Patterns Are NOT Bind-On-Pickup"

Feel free to refer back to Lunar Festival 2007. The 2007 post focused on how to get pretty dresses for low-level characters on Alliance, particularly how to get to the easiest-to-reach Elders.


Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

As mentioned before, a Warcraft event is a temporary time-period in which the developers decorate Warcraft cities and towns for a particular real-world holiday, including special quests and goodies. Event durations can be viewed at the official site's event calendar.


Lunar Festival

Real Life Holiday: Chinese New Year
Time Period: February 5-23 2008

Overview: A time for glowing paper lanterns, lovely Chinese-inspired clothing, and TONS of fireworks.

Coins of Ancestry: Available from Elders placed in every town around the world. One per Elder. You do NOT have to do anything to qualify for coins, you can just go up to these guys at any time and get them. Every goody available in Moonglade requires 5 coins. Go here or here for a list of Elders and their locations.

Getting to Moonglade
(In 3 Simple Steps)

This is not necessary to do before you gather Coins of Ancestry, and is pointless to do without them.

Prequest: In 3 of your faction's capital cities, in the main thoroughfare, a single reveler will have a quest for you to go check out the festivities at the Greater Moonlight portal thing.

Go to the Greater Moonlight, which will be surrounded by Festival NPCs with quests. (One of these is an Elder with a coin for you.) The Greater Moonlight is in the following locations:

Ironforge: Mystic Ward
Stormwind: Park District
Darnassus: Cenarion Enclave
Undercity: Entrance
Thunder Bluff: Elder Rise
Orgrimar: Valley of Wisdom

The turn-in quest giver by the Greater Moonlight will offer you the follow-up quest "Lunar Fireworks."

Lunar Fireworks Quest: Buy 8 Fireworks and 2 Fireworks Clusters from a vendor who will be in the same area, by the Greater Moonlight. Use them by right-clicking near one of the launchers (also in the area by the Greater Moonlight). Quest finished. Turn in and get the next one, to see the guy in Moonglade.

You get an invitation to the Festival which you can use in the Greater Moonlight as a portal to Moonglade.

In Moonglade, run north to town and then straight east to the docks until you see the guy you're supposed to talk to (53, 35).

Available Goodies

Tailoring Patterns:
Festival Dress, Festival Suit

Engineering Schematics: Cluster Launcher, Firework Launcher, Cluster Rockets, Large Cluster Rockets, Large Rockets, Small Rockets

Pattern quests from Fariel Starsong in the Moonglade (54, 35). These quests are ONLY available to people level 50+ but are not bind-on-pickup (except for the rocket recipes, though the launchers are not) and are NOT only available to people of those professions (I checked with Dustfire, who is neither tailor nor engineer). This means you can get some for your friends or to sell on the Auction House (confirmed by grabbing one with Dustfire and trading it back and forth with a leatherworking friend). Each quest reward requires 5 Coins of Ancestry.

Dresses: Purple, Green, Pink

Pantsuits: Blue, Teal, Black

Food: Festival Dumplings

Shoot at Someone: Elune's Candle

These are available from Valadar Starsong (53, 35), whose daughter gives you the patterns. Any level character can get these items, but they ARE bind-on-pickup, so no sharing.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Blast from Past, or "Best Zuluhed Thread Ever"

The thread is here, on the official forums. It's a tale of pugging with a moron, much like my own rambling tales of buffoonery, and the screenshots are priceless.

If you head to post 55, page 3, I left a comment:
As an added note, Deathhand's skill at tanking is only outshone by his charm and wit with women:

Friday, February 1, 2008

Big Number Syndrome, or "Is Damage Output Just a Guy Thing?"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

A damage meter is an addon that scans the combat log and adds up everyone's damage, healing, etc, so that you can look at the totals of your group.

Threat and its consequences is what makes Warcraft different from many other games. The person with the most threat is the one that enemies will attack. Certain classes, specifically warrior, are designed to produce more threat than any other class so as to keep the enemies on themselves and off of the rest of the group. This is called tanking. The main role of healers is to keep the tank alive. Any well-balanced party has a tank and healer. However, damage classes can sometimes have more threat than the tank by doing too much damage.

When the enemies are focused on you, you have aggro. Having aggro is the tank's most important (one might say only) duty.


I've been sick with a bad cold and therefore unable to attend regularly scheduled instance runs, one of which my husband ran with our family and an extra guy (taking my place) who kept trying to top the damage meter.

The problem with trying to out-dps everyone else is that you aren't playing smart -- you're too busy throwing spells around to manage threat properly. Therefore, this friend kept pulling aggro from the tank and forcing the healer to concentrate on him. Luckily, the group was mainly geared in Karazhan epics and it was a regular instance, so there were no wipes. Unluckily, this probably reinforced the friend's sense that it was okay not to manage his own threat.

My husband said later, "I read something that I think is true most of the time: 'If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault. If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault. If the DPS dies, it's his own fault.'"

Our paladin friend called it Big Number Syndrome, where a person is too enamored with their numbers to realize that they're playing badly -- forcing the healers to take care of them instead of the tank.

Something similar happened when our paladin friend pugged an instance as the tank -- a hunter kept forcing his pet to take aggro, then would laugh and say, "How is a hunter going to tank like a Pally!" The healer whispered: "Poorly." Then the hunter got upset that his pet kept dying, as the single healer couldn't keep up three tanks at once.

Not managing threat properly gets you killed, but it can also a) kill your party and b) maim your raid.

I, personally, am struggling with managing my threat. Not because I want to out-dps anyone, but because I completely ignore the numbers. They confuse me. Someone posts a damage meter in raid chat and all of a sudden my vision starts swimming and I want to take an aspirin.

I just want to be able to sit back and zap things until they die. Unfortunately, you can't always do that. Certain enemies don't respond to warrior maneuvers like taunt, which means that the tank wouldn't be able to save you if you took aggro. Last night in Karazhan, someone wondered if these special anti-taunt mobs were put in to teach people how to manage threat.

I think so. I think threat is the controlling factor of dps classes -- and the mark of a good player is knowing when it's okay to top the dps charts . . . and when it's not.

For me, I need to care a little more about numbers. I have Pretty Dress Syndrome, which is the opposite of Big Number Syndrome and probably just as dangerous.

Try downloading Omen Threat Meter (which is compatible with the other popular threat meter, KLH) and practice keeping an eye your threat. It's like checking your mirrors while driving -- unnatural at first, but you get used to it.