Thursday, August 28, 2008

Early Birthday, or "I Got My Netherwhelps!"

Last month, I told you about how I asked my mom for the Burning Crusade Collector's Edition for my birthday (which is in November) for an account-load of Netherwhelps.

I found the unused keycode only for $25 on Amazon and poked and prodded her to get it right away, because that was all I wanted.

The guy emailed it to her and she forwarded it to me. ^_^

So this is what you do:

You Have an Unused Collector's Edition Keycode
but you also have a non-collector's edition version of the game installed
  • Call Customer Support.
  • Wait 10-20 minutes listening to very loud hold music.
  • Talk to a very friendly support person and tell them "I have the collector's edition code but I already have the regular version. So I'd like to upgrade my keycode to the collector's edition version."
  • The support person says "Of course!" and asks for the following information:
    • Your name.
    • Your login (account) name.
    • The name that the account belongs to. (This must be your name.)
    • Your secret question answer.
  • Once that's all verified, you give the nice support person the new keycode and they repeat it back to you.
  • They make sure you know that your original keycode can't be reused, and as long as you still want to go ahead knowing that, they activate the new one on your account.
  • "Next time you log in, you should have your netherwhelps in the mail on all existing characters!"
I left out my general squealing and profuse gratitude, but the support lady was extremely nice and seemed genuinely excited for me. I ran to my computer after I hung up and logged onto Birdfall and found a Netherwhelp in her mail, and tried it on two other characters who also had them. Then I wondered if all my new characters would get one too, so I made a random blood elf guy and he had the same mail. Then I hopped on Dustfire to squee to my guild and take another screenshot. XD

So this is confirmed. It totally works.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DING!, or "Speed Level to 60 for Cheapzors?"

I love it and hate it. That any referred account gets a huge experience bonus, and so do you if you quest with the new account. It seems ridiculous to give huge perks to people who've never played the game before, and just plain cruel to overlook those of us who've hit the level cap and would like to level our alts to 70 before the expansion hits.


BUT here are the facts and the ways I and many others are using the system to speed-level characters that otherwise would just be moldering in our creation screens.

Linked accounts for bonus xp lasts 90 days.
  1. I send a friend invite to my husband. (You can also send one to yourself if you're in the mood to try multiboxing.)
  2. He creates a trial account and a character.
    • He is limited to races from the original game (must buy the Burning Crusade expansion in order to play Draenei or Blood Elves).
    • I create a character to play with him.
      • As long as our characters are in CLOSE proximity (there is a physical distance in the game that is too far) you share 300% experience bonus and thus level 3x faster.
      • All of his characters have the ability to level 3x faster if the invitER is with them.
    • At 23 I either continue the character I started with him or switch to Birdfall (level 23), and she will begin to share the 300% experience (it doesn't matter which character the invitER uses, it just has to be same server and faction). We can also summon each other to wherever we are once an hour -- like a special hearthstone set to that other player.
  3. Once we're both 60, we pay the $25 to transfer my husband's character from his new account to his regular account.
    • Restrictions for moving characters from one account to another.
      • The "subscriber" must be the same person on both accounts.
      • Trial accounts cannot transfer characters, they must be upgraded to a "paid" account.
    • I need to verify that this can be done without buying the full version of the original game, but it's what my brother and his wife are planning on (got my info from them).
Other perks:
  1. If the referred person signs for 1 month of subscription, you get a free month (so if it's your trial account, you break even that first month).
  2. If they sign for 2 months of subscription, you get a Zhevra mount.
  3. They can give any of your characters bonus levels, up to 30 levels. (Must verify specifics.)
Why You Might Be Interested
  • You save a ton of time and effort with the experience bonus.
  • You've wanted to try multiboxing but didn't want the level grind all over again.
  • You really want a new main for the expansion.
  • You really want every class for the expansion.
  • Your significant other or best friend wants a character leveled and you love leveling together.
To be honest, it just saves a lot of time and doesn't seem to cost that much.


Your friend gets the account:
  • They buy at least a month and you save $15 and benefit from the xp bonus on any character if you play together (their xp bonus is less if you're not with them, a good incentive to stay with you).
You are paying for the second account:
  • To get the full 90 days out of it, you pay $35 (3 months) more than normal.
    • First Month Subscription = $20
      • If you buy the game, it's $20 and the first month free.
      • If you upgrade to a subscription account online, it's $20 and the first month free.
    • Month Subscription x 2 = $30
    • Free Month for Getting a Referral to Buy 1 Month: -$15
  • Optional character transfer: $25 per character.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moon Guard Wiki, or "I Can Haz Character Post!"

The Moon Guard wiki is a place to post things related to role playing and is kind of insanely awesome. I posted about the Birdfall sisters and am very happy with how the pages came out. I especially love my photo of Birdfall holding a flask and looking all dramatic (I posted it here too).

Anyway, I really like the community feel of the place, and I think I'll want to read some of the posted stories and everything and maybe try my hand at one or two. I don't think I can include Dustfire stuff because she's not on the Moon Guard server, but I also prefer a less dramatic character for RP.

I tried to make Birdfall as ordinary as possible in a fantasy war-torn world. I also posted a sentence for her sister, Latoria (my sister-in-law). :) Yayzors!

Anyway, I wanted to jot down Birdfall's outfit and remind you that yes, it's kind of awesome to dig around for hand-held props for your characters.
If you're horde, there are quests to get the same model of that offhand, but Alliance just has an alliance-only quest in Darkshore with a reward item that is a different model but is also obviously a mana potion: Tear of Grief. It's what I'm using for now.

I'm a big fan of the swashbuckler's shirts for RP, but what I really want is a nice Flawless Diamond Solitaire for my engaged character, Windwhistler. Her fella is a jewelcrafter, so you might think she'd get The Rock, but she's not an extravagant girl and I don't think he'd want to weigh her down that much. >_> Anyway. You shush, this is perfectly reasonable stuff to spend my time worrying about.

Duels on Normal, or "You Can Refuse to Get Ganked"

I was in Un'goro today on my alliance mage, just hanging out, taking some lava readings for a guy, and gathering some soil for the ultra-rare herb Morrowgrain, when a ?? orc warrior rides up and grabs a thorium vein.

He was yellow, meaning I could attack him but he couldn't attack me. As I was 56 (thus can see horde levels up to 65) and he had arena Season 2 shoulders, I knew he was 70.

Then something odd happened.

He tried to duel me.

Coming from a PVP server as I do, where people can just go ahead and kill you, I didn't know horde and alliance could duel. But since I do know that duels mark you for PVP, I sighed at him and declined.

I'd rather avoid the corpse run, guy. Thanks for trying to gank me anyway.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pet Collection, or "Smelling It Up With Stinker"

I'm going to give you a quick guide on pet collection for the top Wrath achievement for pets, focusing on the easy pets.

You get the skunk pet Stinker for meeting the 50 pets achievement (changed from 75), and it's a good idea to start collecting now, before those rare and cross-faction pets really skyrocket in price. And if you're worried about your bag space, have a Pet-Holding alt to send the bind-on-use pets to until the new pets-as-spells feature is implemented. That's what I'm doing.

Quick Tips

Check news regularly to see if any new easy-to-snag pets have been added to the game. (Right now, there's a limited-time Spirit of Competition for winning battlegrounds.)

Keep track of your pet collection through WarcraftPets. This one's mine. (Note I excluded the cockroach. *shudder* I will never get that one, not even for a cute prize.)

More pets will come in Wrath, so don't worry if you don't have a lot of time for the hard-to-get ones. Just take advantage of the easy yearly events that include pet rewards, such as Children's Week.

Vendor Pets

Cross-faction pets can be found on the AH, particularly the neutral AH. You just have to wait for someone to post them.
Quest Pets
Unless I've missed something (tell me if I did) the rest of the pets are either drops, rep grinds, or part of a yearly event. Almost all yearly events now have a small pet available somewhere, so do a little digging when you see the pretty decorations. (I always list the small pets in my yearly event tutorials. ) Also, please note the rarest pet in the game that nobody ever notices. For God's sake, don't vendor the purple parrot. I'll hunt you down and throttle you if you do.

Pimp My Main, or "I Don't Read Theory and You Do"

My guild has a little forum thread called Pimp My Main. It's for people like me who could rattle off the names of 20 cosmetic items and how to most effectively grind for them, but who start getting vertigo when trying to figure out what spec to use, what gear to shoot for, and what move rotation is most effective.

We aren't number crunchers. I'm lucky because my husband loves reading theory and strategy and digging into the dark messy recesses of other classes, but not everyone has a brilliant snuggle-bear like I do. And not everyone has a theory crafter in their guild, much less their house.

So I was thinking. Why doesn't someone have a blog team or something for "pimping" characters of any level, a few a week? Not just for spec and gear but for things like roleplaying too -- I'd love someone to help me pimp Birdfall's backstory, give it detail and texture I don't have the knowledge to fill in.

Anyway, it's a thought.

Friday, August 8, 2008

WSG at 49, or "Who Let These Guys Off the Short Bus?"

I enter on my druid and start to buff. Now, my friend was supposed to come in with me but we had some crossed wires (did you know you can't group queue someone for the type of battleground they're in?). And it's a pain to pug WSG at any level. So I'm putting thorns on folks wondering why my friend didn't join me and this guy says: "Anyone an enchanter that can do Fiery?"

Ignoring the fact that Fiery is the hot but dimwitted sister of twink enchants, it's impossible to trade the materials to an enchanter even if one is present. He or she would have to be in the battleground by chance with the materials for Fiery and be willing to do the enchant without payment for his or her mats (since you can't trade anything but conjured items in a bg).

Then the game started and I said I was going to be on D (defense). I got this in reply: "I guess having 3 druids on offense would be too easy."

I said, "I think the 49s will have a better chance at running the flag." Since I'm 47. Also note that stealthers are extremely beneficial in protecting the flag room, and I've taken this into account from my many games on Dustfire.

So, after encountering both incompetence and insults at the very beginning, I focus on getting our flag back but discover that my team has chosen to stay in our base and mid-field instead of making any real effort on returning a flag with 5 people hanging around it (which I noticed before the humans Perceived me and I died).

So I told them where the flag was and said "Bye." Then I left.

Anyway, that was all in pursuit of the fun prizes we get while the Olympic games are happening (so, for about the next 3 weeks). If you win any battleground, you get a tabard and a really good chance at a Chinese dragon pet. Dusty got them first try. (I love AV as horde.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ambiguous, or "What Constitutes A Verbal Flip-Off?"

I was very confused. Is the stuck K button supposed to be cute, frustrated, or "I hate you but am too passive aggressive to say so"?

You decide.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WotLK Beta Stuff, or "What's With All the Death Knights?"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

World of Warcraft, the base game, came out and allowed players to level to 60 with a handful of horde and alliance races.

Burning Crusade expansion came out and added 10 levels (level 70), flying mounts, a profession (Jewelcrafting), and 2 races to the game (blood elf and draenei).

Wrath of the Lich King expansion is coming out Oct-Dec 2008, and will give us another 10 levels (level 80), a class (Death Knight), and a profession (Inscription).


As you'll see on all the reputable Warcraft news sites, the "Wrath of the Lich King" beta testing has been open and covered for a while. For those of you with no clue, beta means that we get a preview of everything that will be available when the expansion comes out.

I've been waiting restlessly for Blizzard to implement a few special things in beta, and not just because I want to find out how many herbs I need to stock for speed-leveling Inscription.

So here's my list of...

The Things I Think Are More Important, Awesome, and SUPERCUTE Than Death Knights

New Hair Options. Go to a barbershop in Undercity/Dalaran/Stormwind, and change your hair color or style to one of the new styles available!! Change anything about your character but skin color and face (my poor sister-in-law... all she hates about her mage is the face).

New Dances. Learn them in a dance studio. No longer are you stuck with your race and gender defining your personal groove. This is FANTASTIC for role players, whose gameplay relies heavily on customizing their character.

Acheivements Have "Cosmetic" Awards. This means cute pets, people. Maybe even (gasp!) dresses. I KNOW I'll be doing one heck of a lot of useless things to get the cuteness I crave. (And telling you aaaall about it, of course.)

New Mounts and Pets. Naturally, a big fat expansion will bring brand new snugglies to the table. I can't wait to start working for them! (Keep track of new pets here and mounts here.)

Polymorph Penguin. Inscription now allows you to tinker with polymorph spells. Instead of a sheep, a baby penguin! (Will look for confirmation that it works on pig and turtle as well.)

Glyph of the White Bear. Changes your druid's bear forms into polar bears! I'm dying to see if they'll add a version for lions, which I think are the ugliest things on the planet for horde and are the main reason I didn't want to play a horde druid at first.

Those last two are the reason I fully believe Inscription is the perfect profession for me. Sweet, sweet making cosmetic changes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

70 Budget, or "Where The Gold Goes"

One thing you realize when you hit the level cap is that there are a lot of nice things to buy. You're like a kid in a candy store.

Then you notice the price tags.

"Ooook. I need gold. A LOT of gold."


Dustfire's Budget

Current Balance

"To Buy" List
  • 1,000g Flying Skill Dustfire (acheived)
  • 5,000g Epic Flying Skill Dustfire (acheived)
  • 5,000g Epic Flying Skill Druid Alt (pending)
  • 1,200g "Gigantique" 22-Slot Bag (pending)
  • 8,000g WotLK Teleport Ring (pending)
  • 1,000g Shattered Sun Title (pending)
  • More Definitely to Be Added for "Wrath of the Lich King"
Total Pending Cost: 15,200g

Expenses List
  • Repairs (12-40g /week; cloth is much cheaper to repair than leather, mail, and plate)
  • Respecs (I don't respec; commonly 100-300g /week)
  • Rep Items on AH (?)
  • Enchant Mats for Raiding (0-300g /month)
  • Gemming for Raiding (0-100g /month)
  • Enchanting Mats for PVP (stopped doing pvp on Dusty, will pick it up with druid)
  • Gemming for PVP (stopped doing pvp on Dusty, will pick it up with druid)
  • Raid Consumables (10-25g /week; hardcore raiders will spend a lot more per raid)
  • Wrath: Training Skills
Approximate Income
  • 0-100g /week from tailoring
  • 10-500g /week from dailies (I have a lot of free time)
  • 25g /week from mining

I would like to save a few thousand gold over my current needs (7,200g more to just meet the items on my wishlist). If I work very very hard between now and December, I should be able to manage it.

This has been an overview of the finances of a level 70 who raids once a week, instances once a week, and can make her own job hours. There are MANY 70s who raid multiple times a week and spend most of their days at work/school and then have family obligations when they get home. These people are unable to grind gold every day and must scrimp and save every copper to be able to afford raiding at a high level.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Level 70 Money, or "No, You Don't Get A Cut"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

Warcraft has a monetary system. You can make money by killing things, questing, selling things, or doing daily quests -- the same set of quests available once a day that reward extra money. You can then buy in-game items with this money or pay another player for professional crafting services.

Copper - Like pennies.

Silver - Like larger change. 100 copper.

Gold - Like paper money, the largest currency. 100 silver.


I got to know a beggar fairly well. He's the little brother of a friend's friend, and I was nice to him a few times, so I got asked for things.

I don't think this phenomenon happens too often, but there are a few ideas I'd like to address.
  • It is never a 70's job to do things for lower levels. When a 70 does something for a lower level, it is a favor. I don't even ask my husband to help my 46 druid, and if you have the right to ask anyone to help your alt, it's your own spouse.
  • Yes, 70s can make 100g a day. Note "can." Many 70s do not have time to do dailies regularly.
  • No, being able to make 100g a day doesn't mean we're all sitting around with lots of gold or, if we are, that we should give ANY of it to people who ask. Dailies are *gasp* time consuming and we do them when we need to pay for something -- because believe it or not, things at 70 are massively expensive.
  • We do give loans to people we trust. But "40g plz" by Org bank does not inspire trust. Being in the same guild for a year or more, seeing how the other person makes and spends gold, etc, does.
From my association with the friend of a friend's brother, I think that beggars don't see other players as people but as game mechanics set to serve them. Until they break of this delusion, they'll continue to treat other players like things to be used but not befriended. They see 70s as resources that are done with the level grind and have nothing else to do and nothing else to spend their money on. They are often either ignorant of endgame or dismissive of it.

How to Ask for Gold
  • Never ask someone you don't know well.
  • Always give a valid reason.
  • Always offer to pay the person back.
I hope to do another post with example level 70 budgets: what it takes to get the money and what we're using it on.

More Names, or "We're Overdue"

I've been compiling pretty steadily, though guild business has kept me out of those silly lowbie zones with their Crotchkickers and assorted crimes against spelling.

So here's the best of the stuff I've collected. Have fun.

Things to Chuckle At