Zul'Aman - tanking, looting, wiping

Monday, November 26, 2007

I said I'll visit Zul'Aman, and so I did. Although I'm not much into raiding, there's some nice items in there, pretty scenery, and I needed some reason to waste those consumables I've been gathering for months.

First of all, I got my Tattered Hexcloth Sack, and since then I'm thinking more and more about getting Primal Mooncloth Bags. 400g for one bag sounds pretty expensive, can't decide whether it's worth it or not.

Anyway, back on topic. The first night we managed to clean everything till Zul'Jin - since most of the people were there for the first time, including me, I think we did pretty good. Oh yeah, I should mention it was a PUG, not a guild run. Many of us didn't knew tactics, but after a couple of wipes we usually figured out what was wrong and successfully downed the boss.
Killing animal bosses (Nalorakk, Akil'zon, Jan'alai and Halazzi) was a cake, but Hex Lord Malacrass caused us some problems. We wiped about 5 times on him, but it was worth it!

We did a couple of tries on Zul'Jin, but we were missing another healer (he needs 4) so we had to call it off. The next day, we succesfully downed him, but it wasn't easy. I won't get into tactics too much, but the fight has 5 phases. He starts in Troll form, and every 20% of his health he switches to other form - Bear, Eagle, Lynx, and Dragonform. Eagle form is in my opinion the hardest - each time casters cast a spell, they get about 1,200 damage. In that phase, healers should use long cast heals (we said no Flash bubbledin!), while melee damage should get his hp to 40% as soon as possible. Also, a bunch of tornadoes spawn on his platform, which will follow you around and knock you away if you get close to it, so you will have to be moving a lot. If nobody dies in phase 3, it's pretty easy after that.

About other bosses' tactics, I'm not impressed. I could probably write an essay on rogue vs. warlock duel, but I can't think of anything that stands out. Sure, each boss has some trick (Halaazi for example one shotted our tank with Saber Lash - cleave-like spell which splits damage with offtank), but nothing spectacular.

I probably will go back there, but to be honest I'm not sure. There's not many items for feral druids there, except Staff of Primal Fury and a couple of other items.
But it's good to get away from daily quests and battlegrounds every once in awhile.

> Zul'Aman - tanking, looting, wiping

Posted by H at 9:15 AM

Making Gold: Netherweave Cloth

Thursday, November 22, 2007

One of my favorite auction house moments are those when I find items which can be vendored for more then it's buyout price. Jaggal Pearls are one of those items, and so is Netherweave Cloth.

A stack of Netherweave will sell for measly 1.6g to vendor, so don't try to make profit that way. On my realm, it usually sells for 3.5-4.5 gold, but like every other item, the prices tend to rise and fall frequently. I don't find it this cheap everyday, but at least once a week someone puts it for less than 3g and here's how we can use it to our own advantage.
I usually just buy this auctions and resell the cloth in a day or two when the prices are back to normal, but if you have First Aid, you can simply make Heavy Netherweave Bandages; 1 Heavy Netherweave Bandage sells to vendor for 30 silver - 20 Netherweave Cloth is 10 bandages, meaning you can vendor it for 3g.

It won't make you a fortune, but it does feel good to earn a few gold on fools.

> Making gold: Netherweave Cloth

Posted by H at 4:13 PM

Wowhead Goes Berserk!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well not really, there's nothing wrong with Wowhead. It's me gone berserk, because finally I can use item tooltips (example) without breaking my site's layout, or having to link to Thottbot.

The new Powered by Wowhead feature enables you to show item tooltips on mouseover on your site. Someone got more details on it, but it works really simple - just add a line of code to your site's source, and voila, if you ever linked to some item on Wowhead, the tooltips will be there. No need to change any previous posts or links, simple as that.

Bigbearbutt posted another method some time ago, but it refused to work well with my site, and frankly it was too much trouble for me to try and fix it. If you prefer Thottbot over Wowhead, you can check Mania's Arcania - it works pretty much the same way.

> Wowhead goes berserk!

Posted by H at 8:03 PM


Saturday, November 17, 2007

As you might have noticed, there's a whole lotta links to other blogs on my site. Before today, I had only a handful of them because I didn't want to clutter my site too much, but it's impossible to pick the ones I really really like over those I just like, so I just copied them all from my Google Reader and added it.

There's probably a lot of blogs I forgot to add, so if you know any just post a comment (or email) and I'll check it out! I'm not much of a blogger so I don't have high standards when it comes to other people's writing, but if you make quality posts you have nothing to worry about, I'll gladly link to you.

Also, if I linked to your site, please don't bother saying thanks. Really, there's no need. If you want to thank me, please link back from your site to mine (if you posted a link back, your blog will appear with bold text). That's all I ask. Maybe also add me to your Technorati favorites or Digg, or some other social bookmarking site.

If you have any questions or requests, please feel free to contact me!

> Links

Posted by H at 7:07 PM

Addons: Advanced Tradeskill Window

Advanced Trade Skill Window (ATSW) is a replacement for Blizzard's tradeskill window. It provides you with a much better overview of craftable items, and supports a number of useful features.

Although search is implemented in the standard interface now, ATSW has a much more advanced search functionality - you can filter items by level requirement, quality and more. It's much bigger than the standard interface so you can stop wasting time scrolling so much and trying to find a certain recipe.
It also supports production queues so you can go make yourself a cup of coffee or watch Lost. Furthermore, ATSW will show you all the reagents required to make an item, and whether you have them in your bank or on another character. It can even buy items from vendor as you produce them. The shopping list on Auction House does not work well with Auctioneer (at least not for me), but that's hardly an issue.

ATSW supports all professions, including secondary. It's just one of those addons I can't play without anymore. I highly recommend it to everyone!

Very good

Download: wowinterface.com or wowui.incgamers.com

Other addons:
Proximo 2,
Advanced Tradeskill Window,
Doublewide & Lightheaded,

Posted by H at 1:39 AM

2.3 Second Impressions

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I finally had some time to check out the new patch myself, so here's some things I noticed.

New cooking daily quest ain't that bad - I can finally get some Golden Fish Sticks without actually having fishing. You wouldn't believe but I actually had a hard time finding Monstrous Kaliri; usually they are the ones trying to find me.

Still didn't get my Tattered Hexcloth Sack nor have I seen Zul'Aman, but I'm getting close.

It seems Primal Nether can no longer be looted unless you have a profession that can use it.

I played a bit with the guild bank, and claimed the first slot for myself. It's great not having to relog now to get bandages or potions.

Battleground preparation time is great. Also, there's always a kind mage now who casts Ritual of Refreshment before the battle begins, so I can easily stack food for the whole day.

I don't think this was in the patch notes either - trinkets now show cooldown in spell description. A+

The number of Marks of Honor we get in mailbox is now also displayed without opening the mail first. Small change but hey, I noticed!

Daily quests for heroic instances have nice money rewards, but I'd rather get a bonus Badge of Justice instead of Ethereum Prison Key, especially since Mechanar is nerfed. My days of farming consortium reputation are long gone. Actually the quest in this image is for non-heroic instance, that's why you dont' get Badge of Justice.
Be careful with the chests in Hellfire Ramparts and Mechanar - supposedly you have to loot them first or you won't get Badge of Justice. Or something like that. Don't worry, it will be fixed in 2.4.

I hate it. I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it .....

Unfortunately, we don't get 4000 honor points, but 419 ain't such a bad bonus either, plus a bit of cash. Too bad it took me 2 and a half hours to win Arathi Basin. I guess alliance started winning more since noob classes like hunters and rogues got buffed (yes, flame me), and oh boy they got plenty of those.

Hehe's some other posts from the blogosphere which weren't published in time for my yesterday's 2.3 impressions.

  • Warlock Therapy needs some therapy. Seems two Azure Whelpings aren't enough so he had to farm more.
  • White Whisker has some tips for Zul'Aman Bear, Eagle and Lynx bosses.
  • Is Kaliope ever doing anything but farming?

Now post a comment on this post or I swear my next 10 posts will be rants and whining about hunters!

> 2.3 second impressions

Posted by H at 3:42 PM

2.3 Impressions

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

  • World of Raids reports about undocumented changes. I especially like the one about T6 Resto Shaman gear not having token cost.
> 2.3 impressions

Posted by H at 5:01 PM

Phat Loot Monday: Tattered Hexcloth Sack

Monday, November 12, 2007

I couldn't think of any decent post title, so I shamelessly stole Wowinsider's. Sorry folks, I promise not to do it too often. :)

Name: Tattered Hexcloth Sack
What is it: It's a 20 slot bag. Duh!
How to get it: You will get a quest as soon as you enter Zul'Aman, which requires you to get a map from the platform where the first boss is. I hear it's possible to get it without aggroing the boss, but you will have to clear some trash. Since this bag is a quest reward, you won't have to /roll. How cool is that!
Getting rid of it: Don't even think about it. But if you have to know, vendor will give you a measly 5g for it.

You probably already know I have serious problems when it comes to storage, and while this bag won't help much (it's only 2 slots more), it's a great step in the right direction. I only hope we will see more of these bags soon, or at least in Wrath of the Lich King.
I'm not much into raiding, but I'll be visiting Zul'Aman for this one!

> Phat Loot Monday: Tattered Hexcloth Sack

Posted by H at 3:18 AM

2.3 Auction House Changes

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There are some new categories added to the auction house interface, consumables and trade goods.

You will be able to search consumables for food & drink, flasks, potions, bandages, scrolls, elixirs, and other misc items like various drums made by leatherworkers.

For trade goods, the categories are elemental (essences, primals), cloth, leather, metal and stone (ore, bars and stones like Heavy Stone), enchanting reagents and rods, herbs, engineering reagents & devices, explosives, and meat.

It's an interesting and a welcome change, apart from all those nerfs&buffs we're hearing about all the time.

> 2.3 Auction House changes

Posted by H at 5:06 PM

Soloing Nagrand Group Quests, Lock Style

Friday, November 9, 2007

Although rarely used, Enslave Demon is one of the coolest spells warlocks got. There's many demons both in Azeroth and Outlands which you can enslave, but they are usually marginally useful. Other than Felguard Legionnaires, I can think of only two places I've found enslave to be useful - first, in Botanica on those satyr-like demons, and second in (heroic) Blood Furnace - those imps at the start have firebolts which hit for about 3k. Yeah baby! Anyway...

Felguard Legionnaire is a level 67-68 elite, which can be found in forge camps in Nagrand (both Fear and Hate). The mobs have around 31.000 hp and hit for about 800 damage. If you're having problems finding groups to do those Nesingwary or forge camp group quests, look no further! If you're not a warlock, I'd suggest finding one, which shouldn't be too hard. These menacing felguards will be a cake for any warlock to enslave!
Unfortunately, you won't be able to bring these guys to Elemental Plateau to gank alliance/horde, but that doesn't stop you from spreading panic in Halaa, does it.

> Soloing Nagrand group quests, lock style

Posted by H at 11:08 AM

PTR Changes: Mage & Hunter

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Additional Aimed Shot changes

In patch 2.3, aimed shot will not only reduces healing done to the target by 50% for a ten seconds, but we're also reducing the shot time by 0.5 seconds.

I predicted changes to Aimed Shot in one of my previous posts - it's not yet instant but 0.5 sec cast time reduction is a good start. And it will most likely be further reduced, judging by what Eyonix said.

Hypothermia back to 30 seconds, Ice Block trainable

It's a deliberate change. We initially felt like it was too quick at 30s and decided to test it out at 45s, but after playing with it for a while we felt like it opened mages to focus fire a little too much so we decided to keep it at 30s. It's worth pointing out that making changes like this and later un-doing them is not at all uncommon, it's just most of you generally don't see that process in action since it often happens before the patch even gets to the PTR.

Since I'm here, I'll also make a small pre-emptive strike against the incoming "what about other mage concerns!" replies I'm about to get and say the following.

Two things we'll be making improvements to in the near future (although these aren't likely to make it in on time for 2.3) are having iceblock be trainable (to make sure all mages have it as a tool for pve encounters and to open up other trees as being more viable options for pvp), and to-be-finalized improvements to mana issues in longer fights.
All the mage whiners out there can finally stop now! But seriously, Ice Block is one of the most important abilities that makes a mage what it is in PvP, so I guess the fire talent tree will be a bit more popular now. I rather not speculate what talent will replace Ice Block, but it will probably be nuke-the-hell-out-of-this-warlock type spell.
Can I now get Soul Siphon or Soul Link trainable? Or at least instant Corruption - I have yet to see a warlock without spending 5 talent points there.

> PTR changes: mage & hunter

Posted by H at 5:03 PM

WoW Population Demographics

Monday, November 5, 2007

Okoloth always fascinated me with his dedication of pulling interesting info from the WoW Armory.
This time, he analyzed 4.5 million characters, which is half of WoW's population a lot. You can check his site for more detailed statistics, but I was really surprised to see the class breakdown.

It seems the myth about druids being the least played class is finally over - only 7% of players choose shaman as their preferred class. If I had to guess, I'd say hunters are the most played class, but I would be wrong - warriors lead by 14% of total player base. Nerf mortal strike! Nah, just kidding. There's a lot of mages also, 2% more than there are rogues, warlocks and priests. Surprisingly, there aren't many paladins either.

Of course, this data does in no way tell us if a particular class is well balanced or not - the overpowerness (wut?) changes from patch to patch - I rather check www.geekboys.org/arena to see who dominates the endgame, which I plan to write about soon also.

> WoW population demographics

Posted by H at 7:05 PM

New PTR Build: Ain't getting better

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mad Alchemist's Potion
It seems this new potion has a 95% chance to proc an additional elixir effect, and it's class dependant - meaning you will get buffs depending on your class, so casters should get Elixir of Draenic Wisdom or similar, and melee classes should get Elixir of Mastery or Major Agility. Good news. But I wonder how will it work with different specs or roles - what exactly will my feral druid get?


  • Growl: The chance for this ability to land successfully on its target is now increased by hit rating.
  • Challenging Roar: The chance for this ability to land successfully on its targets is now increased by hit rating.

I believe spell hit rating was previously increasing the chance for these spells not to be resisted so this is good news. Tanking druids still lack serious hit rating though.

  • Unstable Affliction: The silence from this ability is now subject to diminishing returns.

What can I say... nerf to dual lock teams.

  • Challenging Shout: The chance for this ability to land successfully on its targets is now increased by hit rating.
  • Taunt: The chance for this ability to land successfully on its target is now increased by hit rating.
Same as for druids, a welcome and needed change. Intimidating Shout, Demoralizing Shout and Piercing Howl are not getting changed though.

Raids & Dungeons

  • The Mechanar: The Cache of the Legion can now only be looted by players who are present during some portion of a successful attempt of the Gatewatcher Gyro-Kill and Gatewatcher Iron-Hand encounters. In addition, on Heroic difficulty Gatewatcher Gyro-Kill and Gatewatcher Iron-Hand no longer drop Badges of Justice. Instead, the Cache of the Legion contains a Badge of Justice for each player present.

My favorite Badge of Justice farming instance is getting nerfed :((

You can read the full patch notes on worldofraids.com.

Also, I'd like to point out that Ming, considered a very good rogue (and a very nice blogger) thinks Rogues are finally the strongest class in TBC.

I got no idea how I missed this, but Wowinsider is here to point it out. Druids will be able to shift forms without exposing themselves to vulnerable human form, which is in my opinion overpowered (I got a druid, remember). While the change looks very cool and somewhat logical, I believe it is hard enough for any class to catch a druid as it is.
Also from latest patch notes:
  • PvP Trinkets: Insignia of the Alliance, Insignia of the Horde, Medallion of the Alliance, and Medallion of the Horde now clear the debuff from Judgement of Justice.
So long paladin, you shall not catch my druid anymore! Can this please be nerfed?

> New PTR build: Ain't getting better

Bags, keyrings and more bags

Friday, November 2, 2007

PvE gear, PvP gear, trinkets, food, quest items, resistance gear, mounts, battleground marks, reagents, soul shards, potions, gems, pets, fishing & cooking stuff, bandages, items from seasonal events, primals, shards, dusts and essences...
Bag space has always bugged me since the day one. I was buying my first bank slot on level 12 or so, and by the time I was 35 I had 6 bag slots in bank. Sure, I manage my items with the help of banker alts but still, I often find myself destroying items I might need in future, or items I simply want to have as a reminder or for some sentimental reasons.

But what about the things I can't vendor or store on alts, things I have to carry around with me because you never know, like quest items or potions.
Warlocks, druids and hunters (and paladins, thanks Nibuca) in my opinion have the biggest problems. Hunters with their ammo pouches, druids with 3 sets of gear (tank, heal, dps), and warlocks like me who can't imagine having less than 30 shards with me at all times. Besides gear, I always have consumables like food and potions, and more than often several types of elixirs. And Archmage Vargoth's staff of course.

I believe it was with the release of The Burning Crusade we got keyrings. Can you honestly say you could live without it? Imagine going back to the bank to get your heroic key and making your party wait for you. Sure, we got a lot of additional keys in TBC with the introduction of heroic instances so the keyring is much more needed than before, but still, Scholomance key, Scarlet key, BRD key - I'm sure there's a few more from the pre-TBC era.

I don't need 5 keyrings, one for consumables, one for gear, or whatever else. But why not add a Consumables bag, or Quest Item bag. Quest items are a bigger issue while leveling, but we carry our consumables all the time, even if we don't use them that often.
I suggest one of the following:

Consumables bag - keeps all your food, potions, elixirs, flasks

Quest bag - I don't mean quest rewards bag; this would be used to keep your boar's intestines, cat's fangs, bird's feathers and similar items required to complete your quests.

Reagent bag - used to keep the reagents required for spells, like Holy Candle or Wild Thornroot. Since reagents usually take 3-4 slots, it's not really necesarry, but I'd take just about anything.

Trinket bag - I'll give my druid as an example: 2 different trinkets for tanking, two for dps, two for healing and 1 for pvp (one dps and Insignia). That's 7 trinkets I have to carry all the time! God forbid I take engineering - all those cool little gadgets and no place to put them. And I got tons of trinkets just sitting in bank which could be excellent in certain situations, or simply fun (Six Demon Bag :> ).

Sure, we got soul shard bags, engineering toolboxes, herb bags and similar which can ease up the space with certain profession items, but still, I sure don't carry a herb bag with me all the time simply because I don't do herbalism 24 hours a day.
From all aforementioned, I'd love to have consumables bag and trinket bags. I believe no player would ever complain about it. I hope we will see some new rings in the expansion, because by then not even guild banks will be enough for me.

> Bags, keyrings and more bags

Posted by H at 3:44 PM

Addon Profiler: Posessions

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Posessions will keep track of your items and money on all your alts, including worn items, items in your inventory, items in your bank and even items in your mailbox (that you've seen).

So, if you want to see if you have any silk cloth anywhere... you can just do '/poss silk cloth', and Possessions will show, in its window, all items matching 'silk cloth'. Mouseover that, and you'll see, for example, that you have 10 silk cloth in your bank, 50 silk cloth in your mule's inventory, and 5 silk cloth in your mailbox.

With 2 level 70's, several lower level toons and 2 bankers, it's impossible to track where your items are, or even if you still have them. It saves you from a lot of relogging when searching where your primals are, or if you have enough mats for that new enchant. Simply type /poss, not matter what character you're on at that time, and a window will open (pic) where you can search and filter any items across all your toons.

When you first install Posessions, log in with all your characters and open all your bags and mailbox, and that's it - you can start using it. There are no additional scans or hard to remember commands you need to use.
It does it's task more than well, and it will use very little of your memory so you don't have to worry about that.

Very good

Download Posessions from Curse.com

Other addons:
Proximo 2,
Advanced Tradeskill Window,
Doublewide & Lightheaded,

Posted by H at 2:50 PM


While writing about Posessions, I was thinking about how I need some sort of score system to rate the addons.
I don't intend to write about bad addons, still there's often a big difference in a good & useful addon, and those who are just brilliant and you can't live without them.

I introduce to you the Shardscore!
It's basically a simple scale from 1 to 5 explained below, plus one special score for those who even fail at special olympics.

Shardscore: 5 - Perfect

Brilliant, amazing, flawless... Simply the best. This one is a winner.

Shardscore: 4 - Very good

Nobody is perfect, right? Well, almost nobody. This means it's just one step behind.

Shardscore: 3 - Useful

This could use a few tweaks and features.

Shardscore: 2 - Needs more work

The idea is good, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Shardscore: 1 - Even I could do better

While it still has its uses, this needs a lot of changes and work to perform better.

Shardscore: 0 - Terribad

This is awful. It's so terribly bad it doesn't even deserve a proper word!

> Shardscore

Posted by H at 2:45 PM