Money Grows on Trees

They call it Goldthorn because it’s made of gold!

Okay, it’s not really a secret…you can make lots of money selling herbs.  Stacks of Twilight Jasmine go for about 250 gold on our server–and let’s be honest, it doesn’t take that long to get a stack.  I relayed this information to the kid I mentor who has a level 66 mage, Monona, who does tailoring and herbalism.  And up until this past weekend was at about 95 herbalism and 150 tailoring.  Both pretty tragic scenes because he was more focuses on leveling at he time and not professions…that and I think she might have been a recruit-a-friend power level for part of her life. 

Anyways, the kid is majorly motivated by money, so I told him a good way to make money would be to level his herbalism and sell the herbs he finds.  So he’s going along, sells some stacks of mageroyal for 10 gold and eventually gets to goldthorn.  Goldthorn has always been valuable as far back as I can remember.  It’s limited availability helps keep ti valuable.  So he gets a stack.  Goes to the AH and sees they are only 4 listings of 2 herb stacks.  Three of them are selling for 3 gold each and one for 9.5 gold each.  He has a stack of 20.  I inform him this would be a good idea to buy up the 3 gold each stacks and post his goldthorn for say 8 gold to see if it will sell.  He does so, buys up, leaving just the 9.5 gold each stack of 2 herbs and posts his for 7 gold each.  It sells before we leave Stormwind.  140 gold coming his way.  He is jazzed about this!  It is quite possibly more gold than Monona has ever had without borrowing from the Bank of Elgar (FDIC).  He immediately is excited about herbalism seeing its potential and for the next 3 hours diligently farms up herbs of all types and posting them all in the auction house.  He seemed to be pretty good at figuring out a decent price to post things at…well, except for when he tried to post his red cluster rockets for 500 gold each.  He thinks someone might accidentally buy them…  /sigh.

He got Monona’s herbalism up over 300 and is busy picking outland herbs wich should also fetch a hefty price.  The kid is totally motivated by money, so look out Winterhoof, you have a crazed herbalist on the loose–but don’t worry, he doesn’t have epic flying yet.

I hate Druids.

Not all druids, just the druids that do herbalism…and also might be tauren.  With your picking things while in flight form and zipping off while I mount up my drake again.  Grr.  Sometimes priests need herbs too you know!!  But seriously, it’s getting a little old when you ninja me, laugh while I smite the aggro’d croc and fly off.

I loathe your herbalistic ways.  And they said Blizz favors warlocks.  Ha!  Tell me druids, can you mine in bird form too?  Don’t tell me actually, or soon I will hate you as much as I hate paladins crit healing for 11 million with a spell that cost 30 mana.


Herbalism vs. Alchemy

After getting lucky on my Canopic Jar and getting the Sandstone Drake thing, I realized that I needed to focus on my Alchemy.  Elgar had leveled up to 85 via his archaeology and had spent very little time in the new zones.  In fact, while visiting Northrend dig-sites he picked up the Icethorn and Lichbloom and gained skill ups from herbalism.  But his herbalism was low, less than 500.  So when it came time to start working on Alchemy, I needed more herbs.  I headed to Mt. Hyjal and Vashir to get the starter ones.  I picked lots of herbs since I had a LONG way to go on Alchemy.  I came back made 5 potions at a time and soon I didn’t need cinderbloom anymore, or stormvine.  Instead I needed heartblossom and whiptail.  Fine, I needed to go to Uldum to do some digging anyways, so I spent some time there picking herbs.  I made more potions.  And at 495 alchemy, I needed twilight jasmine.  So I recall digging in twilight highlands and landing next to twilight jasmine only to see I needed 525 herbalism to pick it.  So I’m sitting there scratching my head.

So I need to be 525 in herbalism in order to pass 495 in alchemy?  That’s bogus. 

I know it’s only 30 point difference, but when you have only 75 points between them that’s 40% of the leveling needs to be using max skill from the associated gathering profession.  I dunno, that seems….weird? 

Now granted, had I leveled traditionally, I might have had max herbalism before I needed the herbs for alchemy, but still, I would have reached this point again as I would have tried to level alchemy concurrently. 

So let me think about this a little more, there’s 75 levels of alchemy, I know they want those last like 5 or 10 levels to be a challenge, okay, fine, so 65 levels of alchemy.  There are 6 herbs in Cataclysm.  So 10 levels per herb?  But if you count that they start at 425, that actually means there are say 90 levels of alchemy (425 to 515).  So 90 divided by 6 herbs is 15 levels per herb (if they were divided evenly).  So MAYBE it makes sense that alchemy using the herbs when it does, but it seems to me that there’s a big difference between the herb collection level and the alchemy use level.  I notice that they seem to intend for you to get the later levels through transmutation leveling, which is “okay” but I dunno, it seems like I expected to at least break 500 before being expected to use twilight jasmine.  I know it’s not going to be a 1:1 leveling ratio between herbalism and alchemy, but I guess I thought it would be a little bit closer.

Okay, in summary, I’m not really sure what I am saying, ha!  I guess I was just a little surprised to see that I needed to have max herbalism so early into my alchemy.  I dunno, just…odd.

What’s a Patch?

Normally I’m all up ons with the patch notes.  This patch 4.0.6(??) has kinda snuck up on me as I can’t view the notes from work and I am not always spending time at home looking at the notes.  I better start doing it.  I am hoping that the patch rolls out tomorrow.  I have been catching tidbits of the notes as time goes on though.

I heard about the big buff to the absorption of PW:Shield, which is much needed.  Currently my shield breaks when fighting one normal quest mob, since they hit for ~3000 or so it seems like maybe the shield absorbs 12 to 15 thousand.  That doesn’t seem like much.  I would think that since I’m spec’d into shields it should be able to withstand damage from normal quest mobs much better.  Now granted, I don’t have any real numbers on this, all I know is that I used to be able to keep the shield up through all my smiting and now that is not the case.  They seem…weak.  So the big buff of 200+% more absorption is welcomed. 

But there are a few other patch things that I just found out that I wasn’t aware of, one of them is that archaeological completed finds will be bumped in price, so those things that sold for 5 silver will sell for 1 gold and things that sell for 10g currently may sell for as much as 350g coming up!  That’s awesome.  Sorta.  I wished I had read this sooner than this weekend so that I could have saved some of my junk.  Elgar is still currently sitting on about 500g of items from just the weekend, so that will be nice.  He’s still after he staff from the dwarves, but managed to finish up the dwarf and orc achievements as well as the staff (Seven Scepters) achievements for archaeology.  I sorta wish all those archaeology achievements were rolled into some meta achievement like they have for fishing or cooking, but no such thing.  Apparently there will also be archaeological crates that can be fished up from floating wreckage and will contain archaeological keystones (dwarven rune, highborne scrolls, etc.).  That’s pretty cool too!

The guild also completed the Critter Killer guild achievement for killing 50000 critters.  Apparently we’re just mean like that.  This unlocked the Armadillo Pup pet for us!  However, it’s currently only available at exalted with the guild.  The patch will reduce the requirement level to revered making it much more available to people.  We’re pretty excited about that opportunity!  I know I was killing critters all over the place, and even after we got the achievement I still felt myself using holy nova and hellfire to capture groups of them.  Poor things.

Another change will be that you don’t have to discover the instances anymore to get them on random dungeon finder.  This will make queueing up for a random more enticing to me.  Sure I know, just go find them, but bleh.  Getting to the ones in Uldum would require that starting questline and Rossini just hasn’t done it.  I’ve been too busy with other things.  I thought I would like the idea of finding the instances, but mostly I just find it annoying now.

Elgar also managed to find a pool of bloodsail wreckage in STV to complete the Scavenger achievement, putting him one step closer to “Salty” the big ones there will be winning the fishing tournament and fishing up all those annoying fountain coins.  That will be a project for much later.

The current projects for Elgar is to level alchemy.  He got the pattern for the drake mount from his canopic jar so now he needs to level that up.  So I’ll be working on collecting herbs with him because that mount will be caught after by friends and guildmates and even the auction house.

Perhaps the patch will be tomorrow and Elgar and empty his bags and bank of Archaeology crap.  If not, I might have to work on someone else until he has bag space for his hobbies.

The Accidental 85

I know I moaned and groaned about the push for me to hit 85 on the warlock.  The intention there was to get ready for raiding.  But I just couldn’t do it and nearly had a mental breakdown trying to encourage myself to even log in during that push.  Once I relieved myself of that pressure I started to really have fun with the game again! 

During my off-time during warlock leveling, I would appease my sanity by working on archaeology with Elgar for the sake of curiosity of this new profession.  I noticed that I was gaining quite a bit of experience for digging up artifacts.  I didn’t think anything of it at first, until I dinged level 81.  Then 82…etc.  And finally last night after completing level 525 last week and finally finishing up the raptor mount, I hit level 85.  But because I hit it my way, I was actually really excited! 

The crazy thing about it though is, I haven’t done any quests other than a few daily cooking and fishing quests, which actually rewarded about the XP that two digs would give me.  So… now my priest is level 85.  There are a few cool bonuses about this.  All my quests that I’ll eventually do for rep, will just give gold.  The bank of Elgar will easily recover from my training binges to get the characters all trained and flying.  There’s no pressure for Elgar to do any particular zones first.  Because he’s 85 I can head off to Twilight Highlands if I would like as my first questing area.  Though I think I might hit Uldum with him.  I haven’t seen it yet on any toons.  Then I’ll decide where to go from there. 

It’s pretty nuts, that I now have two level 85s, and I reached that point in two very different ways.  I’m more excited about the priest though, because I’m doing what I want, how I want.  So that felt much cooler to ding level 85 from basically just archaeology.  We’ll see where his adventures take him from here!  The warlock will still do his daily quests for reputation with Wildhammer, but for now, he’s just relaxing.

Archaeology Through Northrend

So on my priest, the fabulously moustached Elgar, I have been doing lots of archaeology. 

It’s kinda fun, and as someone else said, it’s much like treasure hunting!  Here are some observations so far:

1)  On Azeroth (levels 1 through 60) you will find fossil, dwarf, troll, and night elf artifacts.  Kalimdor has more night elf and troll and Eastern Kingdoms has more troll and dwarf.  Fossils are everywhere. 

2)  You gain skill each time you dig up something until around 80ish (though some say until 90 or 100).  After that, you only gain skill up from completing artifacts (5 skill points for each one).  I sorta wish I hadn’t completed any until after I was finished getting skill ups from collecting.  That’s a tip for future archaeologists!!

3)  It is tempting to use your bonus artifacts (the scrolls, runes, etc.) to help boost up a completion, but keep some handy as well because when you are completing rare items they often allow you to use more than one–so far one item was allowed to use as many as three which is worth 36 points towards your completion.  You don’t want to get a rare item that takes 145 artifacts to complete and have no bonus artifacts to use.

4)  Rare artifacts take a long time to complete, but are kinda cool!  A reminder to yourself for each of your common artifacts you complete is that eventually you may get mini-pets or mounts!

5)  Skilling up in Outlands is very fast because there are only two types of dig sites, Orc and Draenei.  This allows you to obtain the pieces you need must faster since you’re not spreading out your artifacts between 4 possibilities.  Also, I noticed that around level 350, I started to collect not just 3 artifacts each dig, but anywhere between 3 and 6 from each dig.  This can speed things up as well.

6)  Northrend will be slower again because now you have 4 dig site types again (possibly 5).  You get two new dig site types the nerubian and vrykul, but you’ll also start finding troll dig sites again and night elf dig sites.  I am not sure if there are dwarf dig sites as well, I haven’t come across any yet, but it seems likely. 

You also can gain quite a bit of experience from archaeology.  I have gained about 5 million experience from digging and am around level 400 for archaeology, I am certain that this experience will take me from level 80 to 83 without trouble.  It’s quite crazy!  I have not done any Cataclysm quests on Elgar in order to see just how much experience I can attain from getting to 450 archaeology.  At that point I will start leveling as the dig sites will be in the same locations as my quests.

Archaeology is NOT fast.  The actual digging and locating of artifacts doesn’t take very long, however, traveling between dig sites can be time-consuming as only certain digs will be active for you.  Fortunately, you do not have to compete with other players for these dig sites, which is very nice. 

I’ll post more updates and I discover new items or tricks and such about the secondary profession of Archaeology.  This skill doesn’t really provide a DPS bonus, so probably caters more towards pet and mount collectors and those who are interested in some fun quirky items.

Keep on Diggin’

This past weekend was filled with all sorts of activity:  I started questing on the warlock, I started a worgen warrior, and of course Elgar the priest kept digging up crap.

After what seemed like endless digging, I was approaching 300 archaeology skill and then finally, I got a rare dig!  So for those that don’t know, you actually know when you’ll find a rare item.  The item you are always working on is indicated in the tab of the type of artifact it is.  So in my fossil tab, I could see that I was working on Skeletal Raptor and it indicated that it was rare rather than all the others which were common.  This raptor was the baby Skeletal Raptor pet.  I had to dig up 85 fossil fragments to complete him.  I also got a rare item for my next Night Elf artifact and that was the Druid and Priest Statue Set.  That also required a large number of artifact pieces.  So here I was so excited to get to Outlands to dig, but I get two huge projects.  I all but abandoned any dwarf or troll dig sites at this time, pushing for 300 was the goal, but I wanted so badly to complete these rare items.  Finally I got them and added the pet to my collection and got my little special item (Statue Set) which basically puts a white and green beam from the sky down on me and then little green leaves fall around me…for about 10 seconds…every 15 minutes.  If you ask me, since it’s such a short duration, it should be a shorter cooldown, but whatever, it’s still a toy I’ll use to impress people.  😛

Outland digging went much quicker, Orc and Draenei dig sites there.  The fact that you go from 4 types of dig sites, to just two on a smaller map, has made the leveling from 300 to 375 much quicker.  Around 337, I again got the double rare.  The Orc rare item was the Headdress of the First Shaman (who by the way was apparently enhancement) which is a level 70 epic mail helm with agility, stam, hit, crit, and three gem sockets and is bound to account.  The Draenei one was something like the Arrival of the Naaru which apparently will summon a short re-enactment.  Again the rare items are great, but really slow down the leveling as both the items took about 130+ pieces to complete.  I did manage to complete the helm, but haven’t completed the other trinket as it was getting really late. 

Sadly, I won’t have a use for the helm, having all 10 character slots filled already and a level 80 hunter and shaman.  Some of the other Bound to Account items will be awesome and I can hopefully get some use out of them.  Of course there is always the skeletal raptor mount and the silithid bug mount too.  I have a feeling I’ll need to do lots of archaeology to get those, but it isn’t too bad.

The goal of course is to have my archaeology skill to a point where Elgar can dig while he’s leveling through Cataclysm stuff.  I should make it to Northrend digging tonight.  I fear traveling there will be slower than Outland as it is a bit bigger, but again there’s only Nerubian and Valkyr artifacts so it should go pretty quickly I hope. 

While it is a slow process, there are some neat rewards if you are willing to put in the time.  Also, the experience is quite awesome.  I am now level 82 with 50% complete.  Had I been rested, it would have been far more.  But it does mean that I have gained about 5 million experience just from leveling archaeology.  Elgar has yet to do a Cataclysm quest.

The Day After

So it’s the day after Cataclysm.  What did you do?  What did I do?!?

Okay, so I logged onto Troutwort first, he had lagged out in Dalaran the night before so I was hesitant about it, again.  Fortunately, no one was there.  And I turned in a few quests I hadn’t been able to before.  I then trained flying in Azeroth and actually headed up to the Argent Tourney.  I was at 20000/21000 rep with the Alliance Vanguard so I queued for a dungeon so that I could get my Winds of the North and such.  Meanwhile, since he’s technically the GM, I poked around at the new guild features, etc.  By the time I logged on after 7pm, the guild had maxxed out rep for the day.  Though there were reports of other guilds having reached level 2 though we were stuck at 42% of level 1.  In effort to figure this out, we did a Heroic Azjul-Nerub for which we earned a guild achievement, but no guild experience.  Confused, I looked in the help button and saw there was a topic from Blizzard about how guild achievements were accidentally awarding guild XP and that this was not intended and any additional XP would be corrected and guilds will experience a loss in XP and potentially guild level as a result.  They basically didn’t want XP to come from achievements since some smaller guilds would not have the opportunities to get certain achievements as a larger guild will.  This may be why we experienced a stop of our XP gains.  I agree with Blizzards decision on this.

The whole rest of the evening was spent leveling archeology.  It took a long time, and I finally got the hang of it, but I really started to like it.  It went faster since I could fly around, but still traveling between zones was time-consuming.  I still really got into it, especially when I started to get close to completing archeological finds!  Though I didn’t make anything cool yet, I know the potential to find things is pretty awesome, so I’m gonna keep trying.  I am not sure how much of this I would do on other characters though since it’s quite time-consuming, it’s slower than fishing initially, but I think will be equivalent later.  I am also curious to get to Outlands and start finding things there.  I did gain almost 25% of level 80 just by doing Archeology, which was kinda crazy!  I was surprised to be getting so much XP from it.  Which is kinda a blessing and a curse, because as a priest the extra XP is nice since leveling as a healer can be difficult, but at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on quests later.  I’m not too worried I guess.

Still lots that wasn’t explored, I’ll get to it eventually…I’m envisioning more archeology tonight though, hoping for more good digs!  I’ll let the others race to 85.