The War Within – Professions

If you’ve been reading my blog for virtually any amount of time, you know that I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure out of making gold. At one point, I was at like 7-8 million gold? Buying WoW tokens for myself (and my brother) can be expensive, though, so I found myself at something like 700k about 6 weeks ago. I am now approaching 1.1 million gold. And every single copper of that gold was hard-earned. With it being the dog days of the expansion, plus with MOP Remix active, it is damn hard to make any money. I’ve gotten my ~400k through quests, mostly the dragon racing world quests on numerous alts, and very little through the Auction House. And that makes me a #sadmoose.

So I am going into The War Within aiming to be super organized with my characters and my professions. How organized? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a public (view-only) spreadsheet of my toons and professions. That links to the spreadsheet, feel free to make a copy and tailor it (hah, get it? Tailor?!) to your own needs. And here’s an image.

A screenshot of my War Within Professions Spreadsheet

It’s not final yet. Like I don’t know that I need 4 herbalists and 3 miners, frankly, much less two scribes and three alchemists. Let’s break it down a bit.

Kurn is, as always, going to stick with skinning and leatherworking. The couple of times I dropped skinning for mining, I eventually picked up skinning again. I am not going to drop skinning again, even though you no longer have to go through allllllll the prior expansions again to get to max level.

We’ll come back to Madrana in a minute, because she’s pretty much the outlier.

My shammy (not the baby shammy, that’s a whole other shammy!), has generally been the farm character for Madrana’s alchemy and jewelcrafting since, uh, 2007? 2008? And, I think it was back in Cataclysm, when you were able to gain experience by herbing or mining, I was like this is the ideal way to level a character I don’t know anything about. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve grown accustomed to my shammy. I spent a lot of time being enhancement/resto and, in more recent years, elemental/resto. But I spend almost all my time on the character just farming herbs and ore. And, because of that, I get experience and I get to level and it’s grand.

Now, because of the experience one gets while gathering, I have decided that I want most of my characters to have at least one gathering profession that doesn’t require killing anything — so herbalism and mining. This explains my evoker (which I still don’t know how to play), my warrior (which I can kind of play but don’t like to play), and my warlock (no idea beyond incinerate and chaos bolt, tbh).

But I sort of know how to play a mage and I know how to play my “grandbaby” paladin (I’ll explain in a minute) and I know how to play my baby shammy and I don’t super know how to play a priest… but I know how to play Madrana.

So because I know how to play Madrana, she can just heal her way to 80 or whatever. I could theoretically do the same with the priest. I just go disc and bubble things, right? hahaha!

And I could do the same with my mage, but DPS queues are still a thing, so I thought, no, I’ll make him a miner, which is currently is. But I also wanted him to be a tailor. So that’s how I started Dragonflight with him.

As to the grandbaby paladin, this is my Dark Iron Dwarf paladin I rolled on Mists of Pandaria Remix. It’s not my “baby” paladin who is, I believe, still sitting on Skywall. I rolled the character with the goal for him to be a miner and a blacksmith, so I could drop blacksmithing on my warlock and pick up mining to feed his engineering. And I could absolutely heal on the grandbaby paladin… but honestly, am I going to? Probably not. So mining to level makes sense.

Then we come to the baby shammy. This is another character I rolled on MOP Remix. She is 65 presently and is destroying things on Timeless Isle (sidenote: DANG, that frog poison still sucks!!!). She is also…

… a goblin.

LET ME BE CLEAR, I STILL HATE THE HORDE. It makes me feel sick to turn in quests to Garrosh and to kill Alliance soldiers. I loathe the Horde with every fibre of my being.

So why did I roll a Horde toon?

I rolled a goblin for the racial. Goblins receive 20% off normal vendor prices when the vendor is associated with a rep. It’s the same discount you’d receive at exalted with the rep in question. And goblins get it as baseline. Note that it doesn’t mean you get exalted automatically or that you get access to exalted goods or other things behind a reputation barrier. It just means you get the 20% discount.

So I rolled a goblin (and would have done so if it was Alliance too) for this discount. Do you know how much a single Draconic Vial costs? FIVE GOLD! Ridiculous!!! A single Primal Flux? FIFTEEN GOLD. HIGHWAY ROBBERY!!! Is it the cost of doing “business”? Yes. But eff that noise. With Warbands coming in about a week (July 23), you will have the ability to share a Warband bank with your other toons — even cross-faction ones. So maybe my warlock needs like 100 Primal Flux. That’s 1500 gold. But with the goblin? 1200 gold. It’s not necessarily worth it for 5-10 reagents, but when you scale it up? Hell yes, it’s worth it. And if I can level a toon easily (and holy COW, is it easy!!!), why not do it? (If I feel like it, I may roll an Alliance druid as well. We’ll see.)

So my goblin will not be doing much apart from buying stuff for my Alliance toons, but if I want to, she’ll be able to level via something. I am not convinced I want her to do herbalism and alchemy, but is it ever bad to have a lot of herbs? Is it ever bad to have “too many” toons who can do transmutes? My thinking is no.

Still, I have beta access, so I’m going to check in on some of the things each profession can do before I finalize everything here. I may ditch inscription on the warrior and keep alchemy and get herbalism instead of the other way around. We’ll see!

And speaking of beta, have you seen my latest YouTube videos? Here’s a link to the playlist of my War Within Beta vids.

So, tell me, what are you planning to do with your professions and characters in TWW?

The War Within – I caved

Like, okay, I was 100% going to buy the expansion. I have bought all the expansions. I did not foresee myself springing for the top-tier pre-order deal, though…


The interesting thing is that I have some PTO planned for the week of launch (unintentionally coinciding, I swear), and so I saw the three days early access and I was like “well, shit” and coughed up the cash. This also included a 70 boost and access to the beta.

So, current state of All The Things for me:

  • Kurn, Madrana, shammy, dragon are all 70, plus now my warrior (who was 41) is 70 as well
  • Priest and mage are 60 and 61, while warlock is 64
  • Dark Iron Dwarf paladin is 70 in MOP Remix
    • I have achieved my original goal, but I don’t think I’m done with remix yet
  • I have created an 80 hunter skinner/lw on beta

As such, I’ve also played around with professions in beta, although just about an hour’s worth so far. The NPC crafting orders are a weeeeee bit fucked. I did report all these things, btw, but:

  • Lua errors when selecting NPC crafting orders (with 0 addons/etc)
  • A request for a rank 4 item … when the item only goes up to rank 3, so it’s literally unable to be completed
  • Issues with taking orders when I didn’t have the ability to add the reagent in that I could take the order and then had to cancel it

Hilariously, I already hate one of the NPCs. He gives me the shittiest mats (if he gives any mats at all!) and then expects a rank 3 (max rank) item! Like get fucked, my bud. hahaha.

Anyway, things I want to play around with on beta include other professions plus delves. I haven’t even left the old world yet, so some exploring would be nice. I’m not planning to do too much testing because when you then do it over and over again on live, it’s SO BORING. Like I am ALREADY not looking forward to dealing with the quest to open the warband thing. (I gave some feedback on the very low drop rates for the items, but it’s ultimately a short-ish quest chain and it’ll be fine even if they don’t buff the drops.)

So it bodes well for the expansion for me so far. I’m hoping to do up a proper spreadsheet this weekend and I’ll share it with you folks, so you can see just how stupidly organized I try to be when I take things seriously!

What are you all up to?

Mists of Pandaria Remix Thoughts

I wasn’t going to take part in the MOP Remix. I really wasn’t. I did not like the pandaland expansion. I think the thing I liked most about it was farming Zandalari Warbringers.

And yet, when I realized levelling characters would be trivially easy and those characters would end up on live after Remix ended… I was intrigued. You see, I have like seven toons. Kurn, Madrana, a shaman, a dracthyr evoker, a mage, a priest and a warlock. Do I know how to play the evoker, the warlock or even the priest properly? Absolutely not. In none of the specs. So why do I have them?

Kurn is a skinner/leatherworker.

Madrana is an alchemist (since her day 1) and a jewelcrafter (since Burning Crusade). (Here’s my second-ever blog post and it’s about jewelcrafting!) I had dropped herbalism to pick up jewelcrafting.

The shaman is a miner/herbalist and started out as a draenei and has always been my farm toon for Madrana. (She is now a male dwarf.)

I had to roll a dragon this expansion because, uh, dragons. My dragon is an herbalist/scribe.

My mage is a miner/tailor. I’ve had this mage since my brother convinced me to create one with him on a PVP server. Once I hit 30 and got WTFPWNED every single time I logged in at the Southshore inn, I transferred. Fog’s warrior transferred later. This mage started life as a human female and is now a dwarf male. I LOVE the dwarf male emotes, okay?

My priest is an alchemist/enchanter. She came to be because my brother “needed” a healer as he levelled his paladin. He tanked. I “healed”. (I literally put him on follow and threw out some heals and read or watched TV while we did this, much of the time.) The most exciting thing the priest has ever done was a full BRD run with my brother tanking after just the BRD prison popped. My brother was like “that’s IT?!” when the instance officially ended and asked if everyone wanted to keep going. We did, so we cleared the instance. And then I read someone’s blog that sounded SUSPICIOUSLY like our instance run! The blog is now offline, but it was sisters, I believe? Who were a shadow priest and resto druid? Hots’n’dots or Dots’n’hots or something like that.

My warlock is the result of having had a free upgrade to level 90. And I also decided to pick up Blacksmithing and Engineering. That was a heck of a weekend, let me tell you. hahaha.

But I hate the warlock. I really do. He’s presently level 64 and has only levelled via profession quests.

So I was like, okay, if I can level easily to 70 and that toon moves to live in a couple months, just before the War Within launches… then I can pick up mining/blacksmithing on the new toon and drop blacksmithing on the warlock and pick up mining and keep engineering.

For those of you keeping track, that means:

Kurn: Skinning/LW
Madrana: Alchemy/Jewelcrafter
Shammy: Mining/Herbalism
Dracthyr: Herbalism/Inscription
Priest: Alchemy/Enchanting (still needs levelling to 70)
Mage: Mining/Tailoring (still needs levelling to 70)
Warlock: Mining/Engineering (still needs levelling to 70)
New toon: Mining/Blacksmithing

So I rolled a male Dark Iron Dwarf paladin. (They have +5 to Blacksmithing.) I’m levelling him ret in the world and holy in instances. Here, have a look at me healing 3 MOP Remix dungeons!

MOP Remix is interesting. I don’t know that I like it for the experience, but another toon to 70 without too much trouble? Doesn’t sound bad, frankly.

So are you in Remix? What have you done? What should I not miss out on?

Oh, and, please note that I am no longer active on Twitter. I have moved to Blue Sky:

Come say hi.

Cataclysm Classic Holy Paladin Meta Gems

It is 4:28am. I have work in… not too many hours. But I came across a video on YouTube while I couldn’t sleep and they were talking about how holy paladins should use the burning meta gem in Cata Classic.

And I was like… that’s not right, is it?

So what did I do?

First, I scoured THIS VERY BLOG to see what I have to say about Cataclysm meta gems. Know what I found? One post. One. That’s it. And it doesn’t even mention the Burning Shadowspirit meta?

So I got out of bed and went to check what gems were in Madrana’s old helms — both original Madrana and baby paladin Madrana. Ember Shadowspirit Diamonds were in basically all of my old holy helms (different ones for tanking and the odd ret helm).

And I’m like how did I not mention a whole other meta gem? I was very, very confused.

Until I saw a comment at Wowhead. The Burning meta used to say 3% Increased Critical Damage until 4.3, whereupon it changed to 3% Increased Critical Effect.

Judging from Wowhead, Cata is going with 3% Increased Critical Effect for Classic. (And, it seems, the second iteration of Holy Radiance, but that’s for another post.)

So, questions:

1) Was I really unaware of this change at 4.3???

2) If I wasn’t unaware, why did I keep using the Ember?

3) Why have I been researching this and writing this for 20m in the middle of the night when I have work the next day?

I think I’ll do a bit more research this week and come up with a good video/post about Cata and holy pallies. In the meantime, yes, use the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond as your meta. And here’s what I still believe is a pretty decent max-level spec for a PVE holy paladin.

Okay, back to bed. The birds are chirping and the sun is coming up. I am not going to be a happy camper at work…

Follower Dungeon Thoughts

Folks, I am still gobsmacked at this whole “follower dungeon” thing. Gobsmacked.

Naturally, as I haven’t been playing regularly in a while (I was last tinkering in Season of Discovery with my brother and his eldest son), I had no idea that there even were follower dungeons.

I ended up running Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr as Kurn, just to check it out and I was impressed with the NPCs. I pulled, MDing to the tank… and everything was fine. I tried pulling without MDing to the tank. And still, everything was fine. I tried pulling aggro off the tank and I couldn’t. I tried pulling multiple groups to see if either the tank or the healer would get taxed. Nope.

Mind reeling, I then decided I had to do this as a healer on Madrana.

You should watch it. It’s pretty funny. I also confuse this big shiny yellow spinny effect on the ground for something a mage does. No, no, it’s something a trinket of mine does…

Anyway, the NPC tank was fucking amazing. Like, no shit, my hand to God, amazing. Tanks of the world (or, perhaps more accurately, wannabe tanks of the world) should take a page out of Captain Garrick’s book. She is GREAT. The one nitpick I had (I healed Neltharus) was that at one point, the tank was at the top of some steps, the hunter (Austin — I hate him, but the other characters are fine) was at the bottom, and I was in the middle, having a bit of trouble with line of sight for a minute. But aside from that, this tank was great. This tank cast Lay on Hands on the shammy. I would have 100% let that shammy die while I cast LOH on the mage (which I did) because a shammy can rez.

So now, I’m like… how did the tank know to LOH the shammy? Is there a piece of code in there that says that a real human behind a paladin healer would have saved the character who couldn’t self-rez and that’s why the LOH went to the shaman?

(PS: I have a battle-rez, now? What?! I mean, it’s on my bars, so I must have known about it at some point, BUT WHAT?!?!)

So yeah, I’m really interested in understanding how the NPCs are programmed. These are not the dumbasses who were in the proving grounds. These are much more sophisticated. Slow to pull (but considerate of the healer!!!) and the DPS is somewhat weak (but they’re normals), but still. They sort of play their classes well? (Austin has pulled extra mobs on me at least once, so he’s on my shit-list.)

What comes next, I wonder? Heroics? Mythics? LFR bots to come in when there aren’t enough tanks or healers?

Part of me kept thinking about these “fun” dungeon runs some of us had together in Burning Crusade. It was like a bunch of night owls. Me on Madrana, with Tia (warlock), Fodder (DPS warrior) and Cennathas (rogue). And sometimes Fodder would actually tank if we, you know, couldn’t find a tank at 2am. And Cenn would always be the one tasked with finding a rando DPS. So we’d all be on Vent or something except for the rando and I’d be stressing about mana and Tia would get lost in the instance and the rando must have always been like “who the fuck are these people and what are they even DOING???” It was vaguely stressful for me as a healer, but it was usually a good time.

And like… that wouldn’t necessarily have happened if we had had the ability to do follower dungeons.

Hell, if the gang of us had been able to find a tank back in the day, like the Vanilla days, we may never have done a 39m Baron run without a tank. It was me on Kurn, with my cat, Whisper, tanking, Crypt healing the crap out of Whisper, and Tia, Tan and Maj doing insane caster DPS while I pulled. (This was prior to MD, btw.)

Now, obviously, doing a dungeon without a tank is, in a word, stupid. But that’s sort of what we liked about it. We liked challenging ourselves to use all the abilities at our disposal. We liked learning things. We especially liked forcing Majik to drop enchanting and pick up engineering and power-levelling it all night so he could drop repair bots and try to rez Crypt with jumper cables, when Crypt’s darkmoon card wouldn’t proc (which was, you know, often).

I wonder if we would have still had the fun adventures we did if this technology had been available to us. My gut says no, because necessity is the mother of invention. And if we hadn’t needed to find ways around not having a tank, would we have? Probably not.

So while I do love this follower dungeon thing as it is, where you can do normal-level dungeons with 3 of your friends and a bot or by yourself with 4 bots or anything in between, I hope it doesn’t go further than this.

I do think it’s sort of a band-aid to the whole lack of tanks situation.

The way to get more tanks is to open them up to more specs and to make it more rewarding to be a tank (and I’m not talking a goodie bag out of LFG) and to require more hybrid role encounters in raids. In a 25-man raid, we needed like, 2.5 tanks in Cataclysm. Usually 2. Occasionally 1. Sometimes 4. (Heroic Halfus, anyone? God, kitties who could be bears were amazing.)

So yeah, still gobsmacked. Still very curious as to the how. And now curious about the why and the how far this will go.

What are your thoughts?

Hilarity at 4am

So I was hopping on and off my various alts, trying to get them all a few extra profession points courtesy of the Darkmoon Faire, and I was like… I kind of want to heal on the paladin. So I spent a good amount of time setting up Plexus and Clique and, at 4am, decided to go heal a random dungeon. This, I might add, without ever having done any of the Dragonflight dungeons before.

So how did it go?

Well, it was not my finest hour, as I outright panicked throughout it, basically. Why? Check it out for yourself.

After sleep and such, I figured out the issue was PlexusClickSets and Clique had to have been interfering with each other. I disabled Click Sets and walked into Stocks and back out and all my settings worked properly. But I tell you, this was an intense 20 minutes or so of, first, figuring out what the hell was happening, and then what buttons are bound to what keys and then, finally, how do I keep people alive??? Only a couple (3?) deaths overall, no full wipes. Just a lot of me flailing. Enjoy!