Monday, March 31, 2008

Skyguard Dailies, or "Getting Shot Down By Birds, How to Rinse and Repeat"

Once you hit 70 and buy your 1,000g flying skill (trainers in Shadowmoon Valley), Yuula, the woman standing by the flight master in Shattrath suddenly has a quest for you. This 2-quest chain eventually sends you to Skettis, the Skyguard daily area.

Yuula's Quests
  1. Threat from Above: In the mountains to the north of Aldor rise, there are ogres. Fly up and kill 20.
  2. To Skettis!: Fly to Skettis (64,66 - the far southeast area of Terrokar) and give the guy the bombs.

There's a lake and trees and huts and birds. The birds will aggro and knock you out of the sky -- if you're lucky enough to fall into the water, the water elementals down there might aggro on you. So, rule number one, avoid the birds. They're a pain the first 5 times and every now and then after that, but they're less of a nuisance after you get used to their flight paths. (Mages with frost armor up can sometimes slow them enough to get away.)

Skettis Dailies

The guy you turned the bombs into will give you Fires Over Skettis and is the turn-in for the other daily. You can do both together.

You'll spend a little while flying around to three different locations (60,75 - 75,86 - 68,71), trying to find the escort. While you search, check the tops of tree stumps and huts for eggs (they sparkle at you). Bomb them with the bombs in your inventory.

The escort will show on your minimap with a blue exclamation point. He gives you Escape from Skettis and your job is to escort him down to the ground. Except for occasionally when all the mobs are up and on you, the biggest problems doing this solo are a) Getting him before someone else does and b) Getting ganked if you're on a PvP server. Grouping is easier and safer, and it's always polite to invite someone to your group if they look like they want the same quest, since they'll have to wait for you to finish for him to respawn.


There are other quests you can get in this area, but they aren't a huge deal and you don't have to do them. If you want a Nether Ray to ride (the biggest perk of Skyguard rep), doing these dailies until you have 5,000g for your flying skill should get you to Exalted, so don't worry too much about it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mount Listing, or "Hold Onto Your Raptors, It's Gonna Get Bumpy"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

The designers of Warcraft wanted to make the game a real "world," with lots of space and long runs to new destinations. Because the world is so big, one of the perks is being able to buy and ride a mount.

Mounts increase player speed and help them get to places faster -- plus, it's a nice feeling to be able to ride a cute horsie.

To ride a mount, you must first buy riding skill:
  1. At level 30 (recently changed from 40), you can buy a skill to let you ride regular, rare-quality mounts which increase your speed by 60%. The cost altogether is 45g (reduced from 100g).
  2. At level 60, you can buy the skill to let you ride epic-quality mounts which increase your movement speed by 100%. The cost for skill and mount together are 700g.
  3. At level 70, you can buy the skill to let you ride regular, rare-quality flying mounts, which increase your movement speed in the air by 60%. The cost for skill and mount together are 900g (reduced from 1,000).
  4. Finally, after buying the first flying skill, you may buy a final riding skill for mounts that increase your movement speed in the air by 280%. The cost for skill and mount together are 5,000g. This skill also works for rare super-flying-mounts that increase movement by 310%.

Level 40 & 60 Faction Mounts

Anyone can get their own race mount no matter the reputation. To get another race's mount (but only alliance for alliance and horde for horde), you must have Exalted reputation with that race/faction.
Level 60 PVP Mounts
  • Black versions of all the faction mounts. Mounts cannot cross horde/alliance barrier -- for example, a horde character cannot buy a Black War Tiger, and an alliance character cannot buy a Black War Wolf. Which really is a shame.
Level 60 Rare Mounts
  • Winterspring Frostsaber: Rep-grindable cat mount, white with pale purple stripes. Used to take 2-3 months to grind, but goes a little faster now that old-world rep has been buffed. You want this guy in Winterspring to start.
  • Razzashi Raptor: 1% drop rate off Bloodlord Mandokir in Zul'Gurub. Like the Deathcharger, it's easy for horde not to notice this one, as the only difference from regular epic raptors is the coloring: green head-feathers and red armor.
  • Swift Zulian Tiger: 0.6% drop rate off High Priest Thekal in Zul'Gurub.
  • Deathcharger: 0.01% drop rate off Baron Rivendare in Stratholme. One of the rarest items in the entire game. Possible solo farming at 70 if well-geared, needs ~4,600 tries. (Frankly, looks best on alliance characters because a lot of horde players will mistake it for the Undead faction mount, since the only difference is color. To make a splash with horde, I recommend the tiger instead.)
  • Brewfest Ram: Once a year during Brewfest, you can get the regular or epic version of this ram. Differentiated from normal dwarf rams by the Brewfest blanket on its back, the creamy tan coloring, and the fact that horde are riding it. Horde can no longer get this--they have a Brewfest kodo.
  • Reindeer: Around Christmas, there's a quest to get some Holly, a non-soulbound reagent to turn your mount into a Reindeer until you dismount.

Level 70 Faction Flying Mounts
Level 70 Rare Ground Mounts
  • Swift White Hawkstrider: Dropped from Kael'thas in the Heroic Mode of 5-man Magister's Terrace.
  • Amani War Bear: 100% drop rate from the fourth chest in Zul'Aman's timed event. Will no longer be available at 80. This one is cool because it's a druid -- therefore, riding one means you've enslaved an indigent people.
  • Reins of the Raven Lord: 0.8% drop rate in Heroic Sethekk when an epic flying druid is present to summon him. [Essence-Infused Moonstone] required.
  • Firey Warhorse: 0.6% drop rate from Attumen in Karazhan.

Level 70 Rare Flying Mounts
  • Ashes of Al'ar: 1.7% drop rate from Kael'thas Sunstrider in The Eye. Faster than other epic flying mounts by 30%.
  • Swift Nether Drake: The top 0.5% Arena teams are given the title Gladiator and one of these mounts. Faster than other epic flying mounts by 30%.

Level 70 Reputation Mounts

  • Talbuk [Ground]: "Riding" talbuks aren't armored, "War" talbuks are. That's the only difference. Both are 100% speed increase. Most difficult to get are the Dark talbuks -- they require grinding 300 Oshu'gun Crystal Powder and 100 Halaa Battle Tokens. The others are just 70-100 gold at Exalted (A-Kurenai or H-Mag'har). Colors are White, Tan, Silver (grey), Cobalt (blue), and Dark.
  • Nether Ray [Flying]: Skyguard rep. The Skettis dailies and several Ogri'la dailies give you this reputation. Just grinding gold with them for the epic flying skill should get you to Exalted. I find these the second least attractive flying mount (first being Horde faction mount). Colors are Blue, Green, Purple, Red, and Silver.
  • Cenarion War Hippogryph [Flying]: Cenarion Expedition Exalted. This is the exact same mount you use at flight points in Night Elf areas. A rather mottled dark blue-green, this mount is both prized and reviled for being expensive (price: 2,000g). Depending on who you ask, it's awesome or a waste of money, so getting one is a choice of taste, not status.
  • Netherwing Drake [Flying]: You cannot grind reputation for these until you have the 5,000g epic flying skill. Then, once you hit Exalted with the faction, they give you a free choice of one. Any further Drakes must be bought.

Level 80
(When WotLK comes out.)

-------------------- -- Your best resource for mounts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Message of the Day, or "Write to Your Guild in Color"

The guild message of the day pops up when you log on and can be read at the bottom of the Guild tab in your social panel. (The panel to the left in the image above.)

There's a code you can use to make the text different colors.

Step 1: Hit enter (it doesn't matter if you're in /g or /s or /w, the code will show only in the GMotD if you do it right) OR go into your macros and start a new one. I use a macro, as shown on the right in the image above, because I don't have to remember the color codes every time.

Step 2: Code. (You may copy-paste mine, if you like.)
/run GuildSetMOTD("\124Cff001EFFThe text you want to type for the guild message. ^_^\r\124CffFFF200More text with a different color and a line break.")

It'll come out like this:
Guild Message of the Day:The text you want to type for the guild message. ^_^
More text with a different color and a line break.
The line break is the \r. The color code is \124Cff______. Insert a color code into that blank and it'll turn out just dandy.


If you do it in a macro, you can just change the text every day. The only real drawback is that this code defaults back to whatever the guild message of the day was in the panel before you changed it when everyone in the guild logs off.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter, or "Gather Ye Eggs While Ye May"


Brightly Colored Eggs in the lvl 1-10 starting areas. Almost always nestled at the base of a tree. Respawn 3-10 minutes in the same close area. Low drop rate for pretty dress. This dress is the Holy Grail of dress collectors, as it's the most difficult to obtain. (Only available one day a year, and few people are willing to grind for it to sell, since dailies are faster and easier.)

Alliance: Teldrassil, Elwynn Forest, Dun Morough
Horde: Mulgore, Durotar, Tirisfal Glades

There are no actual quests on Easter, just the eggs which drop some rare clothing items.

My favorite alliance grinding spot is the lake in south-mid Teldrassil -- there are 5-6 eggs around it, so I just ride around, grab them, then get the ones in Starbreeze Village (look around the houses) and head back to the lake. It's also a lesser-traveled area. The only drawbacks are a) it's hard to see the eggs sometimes b/c of the shadows and b) it's easy to mistake rabbits for eggs. >_>

On horde side, I ground out all 87 eggs in Mulgore and it was painful even with an epic mount and +10% speed increase. It's a huge terrain with lots of nooks and crannies. They're harder to see in Tirisfal Glades, but the terrain is reputedly easier and you'll probably have less competition there. (To check your competition, open the social panel and click on the "who" button. Type the area name into the text field and search, and it will show you everyone in that area. Anyone over level 20 is likely egg-hunting.)

If anyone asks what you're doing, tell them you're looking for the Easter Bunny, a special boss rabbit that's hiding as a regular bunny but which drops a low-level twink epic when you kill it. If they check your facts, tell them it's new this year so most sites haven't gotten all the info yet. This will distract them with killing bunnies instead of stealing your eggs. >_>

The awesome thing about the Elegant Dress is that it doesn't bind, so you can wear it on any of your characters at any time or lend it to friends. So you only need to grind one per server/faction unless you want to get another one to sell.


Dustfire: 87 Eggs
1 Elegant Dress
32 Candy Bar
35 Lollipop
27 Chocolate Square

Kriemhilde: 56 Eggs
1 Elegant Dress
1 Tuxedo Shirt
19 Candy Bar
18 Lollipop
18 Chocolate Square

Your moment of zen:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

PVP v PVE Servers, or "Have PVP Servers Become Pointless Status Symbols?"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

Server (aka Realm): With the massive amount of players in Warcraft, the game splits everyone up by allowing them to choose from among many different servers, thus keeping the game running smoothly (so that, say, 1 million people don't log onto the same server and cause the game to run slowly). The servers, or realms, are identical in all of the essentials except for type: Player-v-Environment, Player-v-Player, and Role-Playing (PVE or PVP).


The real difference of PVP and PVE servers, according to my husband, is that on one server people will leave you alone while you quest and on the other you'll be constantly ganked by ?? opponents there to make your life a living hell.

Back in the day, the only PVP you could get was to go outside and skirmish. But now, with battlegrounds and arenas, anyone can try themselves against the opposing faction in a more-or-less fair fight. So what is the point of PVP servers any more? It seems that unless you like to take your 70 to level 30 areas and mercilessly torture the inhabitants, which I don't, there isn't much for you on a PVP server.

The reasons for rolling on a PVP server as I see them are:
  • You must learn your class more quickly and more thoroughly in order to survive.
  • You can transfer to PVE or PVP servers, not just to PVE servers. (PVE cannot transfer to PVP.) This has changed as of Sept 2008. You can now transfer regardless of realm type.
  • Status. Plenty of PVP players do not respect players on PVE servers because they have not leveled through grueling PVP conditions.
Personally, I started leveling my Draenei mage on Smoulderthorn, a big fat PVP server. And while it's nice to be on a large server, I'm not sure that PVP is right for a solitary character with no alliance friends. Trying to solo the level 70 dailies on Dustfire (Zuluhed) is hard enough -- she's constantly ganked. And Zuluhed is SMALL! I can't imagine how frustrating dailies would be on my mage, who doesn't have anyone to group with and just wants to take care of her PVE objectives unmolested.

So I made a decision -- I know how to pvp and how to learn my class properly. My main is on a PVP server and has an almost-complete season 3 set, so no one can accuse me of being a pansy for playing alliance on PVE. I'm very squeamish about killing horde because I am horde, and, most important, PVE servers are ideal for solitary players, those who don't have or even want a strong guild to belong to, and who aren't interested in wasting time on world PVP. Which fits my alliance characters to the last.

Plus, there are some fun PVP tricks to use on PVE servers, since PVE players don't always realize that they shouldn't attack someone who flags in Booty Bay.

The only problem? Which server do I transfer to?! >.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hyacinth Macaw, or "Rarest Pet"

Among pet collectors, Hyacinth Macaw (with a 1 in 5,000 drop rate) may be the Holy Grail, but to normal players who don't know the first thing about small pets, it's just another parrot. Therefore, you can sometimes find it for under 5g on the Auction House.

It is very pretty, however, so more worth the effort if you prefer looks to status.

Go to Stranglethorn Vale and kill Bloodsails. For hours. Or maybe days. Keep checking the neutral AH, also.

Whelplings, or "Rare Ugly Goldmines"

Whelplings, more than any other small pet, are a status symbol. The reason for this is their extreme rarity -- with a drop rate of 1 in 1000, whelplings are sold on the Auction House for several hundred gold each.

  • Crimson: Dropped by (lvl 23-27) Red Whelp (Wetlands), Crimson Whelp (Wetlands), Flamsnorting Whelp (Wetlands).
  • Emerald: Dropped by (lvl 35-36) Dreaming Whelp (Swamp of Sorrows).
  • Dark: Dropped by (lvl 39-43) Scalding Whelp (Badlands), Searing Whelp (Dustwallow Marsh).
  • Azure: Dropped by (lvl 50-54) Blue Dragonspawn (Azshara), Draconic Mageweaver (Azshara), Blue Scalebane (Azshara), Draconic Magelord (Azshara).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Engineering, or "The Gold Devourerer"

Converted from AlmostGaming engineering guide.

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

Rough Stone: 40
Copper Bar: 44
Weak Flux: 14
Wooden Stick: 1
Handful of Copper Bolts: 10
Copper Tube: 10
Coarse Stone: 20
Silver Bar: 10
Bronze Bar: 55
Weak Flux: 15
Wool Cloth: 5
Silver Contact: 15
Coarse Blasting Powder: 20
Heavy Stone: 50
Heavy Blasting Powder: 50
Heavy Leather: 25
Steel Bar: 4
Solid Stone: 110
Iron Bar: 15
Mithril Bar: 75
Mageweave Cloth: 20
Solid Blasting Powder: 65
Unstable Trigger: 10
Mithril Casing: 20
Dense Stone: 20
Runecloth: 30
Thorium Bar: 330
Fel Iron Bars: 255
Mote of Fire: 35
Mote of Earth: 35
Heavy Knothide Leather: 20
Khorium Bars: 70
Deep Peridot: 10
Small Prismatic Shards: 10
Hardened Adamantite Bars: 45
Dawnstones: 30
Netherweave Cloth: 25

Numbers are the engineering skill number.

0-40 Rough Blasting Powder
41-50 Handful of Copper Bolts
51 Arclight Spanner
52-65 Copper Tubes
66-75 Rough Boom Stick
76-95 Coarse Blasting Powder
96-105 Silver Contacts
106-120 Bronze Tubes
121-125 Small Bronze Bombs
126-145 Heavy Blasting Powder
146-150 Big Bronze Bombs
151-175 Fireworks
176 Gyromatic Micro-Adjuster
177-190 Solid Blasting Powder
191-195 Big Iron Bombs
196-205 Mithril Tubes
206-210 Unstable Triggers
211-225 Hi-Impact Mithril Slugs
226-235 Mithril Casings
236-245 Hi-Explosive Bombs
246-250 Mithril Gyro-Shot
251-260 Dense Blasting Powder
261-290 Thorium Widgets
291-300 Thorium Tubes
301-310 Fel Iron Casing (40), Handful of Fel Iron Bolts (60), and Elemental Blasting Powder (45)
310-320 Fel Iron Bomb
320-335 Fel Iron Musket
335-350 White Smoke Flare
350-355 Hardened Adamantite Tube
355-360 Ultra-Spectropic Detection Goggles
360-375 Khorium Scope (Rare Drop Recipe off Sunfury Bowmen in Netherstorm)