Ask The Amateur Some More

 Been a little while since we reached into the old mailbag to see what’s what. So, shall we?

With Mists of Pandaria coming I’m not sure who my main is anymore.  I love my Holy Priest and raid healing…but my Forsaken Warlock is a lot of fun now too!  What to do?

It depends on your approach with Mists.  Keep in mind, the raids require doing them in order to unlock the next and the first won’t be right away (if I understand correctly).  So getting your healer to 90 might not be as vital as you think.  Plus, if your Priest isn’t dual-spec’d into something that can hand out damage, it’s going to be tedious outside of dungeon healing.  If you want to explore the new land more than the new dungeons, I’d say the Warlock…and that’s coming from a guy who’s highest ‘Lock is 14.

With the Yak expected to be 120,000 gold I need to make some money fast, as it has become “my precious.”  Suggestions please!

This is where gathering professions are going to excel.  The first week people will be shooting for World First and server first.  Engineers, Alchemist, Scribes, and Blacksmiths who don’t have the proper gathering professions will be snatching the mats up left and right.  Jewelcrafters will be looking for Ore as well so they can max and work on new cuts.  As such, don’t even level when Mists launches.  Just go straight to farming and park a toon near an Auction House and mail the mats to them.  Also, Scribes can expect to rake in the gold in the early stages with all the new changes to Glyphs that are coming.  Druids alone have more fun Glyphs than you can count to.

I’m more of a solo player, but in an effort to improve on my gear I’ve tried to do a few random dungeons.  Needless to say, the experience was miserable.  You seem to have mixed results when you talk about dungeon groups, is there ANY way to make things more enjoyable?

Well, I’d ignore the idiots for starters.  One of the biggest positive moves I find is when I’m in a dungeon with a class/spec for the first time, I tell the group that right out of the gate.  Particularly as a tank or healer, and it’s rare that I have problems.  Having said that, the best groups you can possibly run with (and hey, I’m biased) are the Laid Back Raids that I organize one night a weekend, and Laid Back Dungeons that Shoryl puts together Wednesday nights.  It’s too casual for us to worry, and everyone is always more than happy to help.

I plan to roll a Troll Monk when the new expansion launches, as they’ve already got the Capoeira dance going.  I’m completely blank on a name though…help?

You mean besides Vudufu?  As cheesy as that one is, it popped into my head right away and I actually like it.  Put emphasis on the middle syllabel and it really could be a Troll name.  Even worse pun names could be Kigya and Bootadahead.  Those really bad ones aside, it depends what you’re looking for.  Obviously I wouldn’t recommend either on an RP server or if you’re playing a character rather than just a toon.  Spearfist is nickname-y and fits the Trolls, as might Frenzyfist.  Honestly, I like Vudufu.  Kick me 20g if you use it.

Posthumous started out really good but did you have to make him gay?

Alistair, is this you?  Last time I checked the calendar it was 2012, not 1912.  I didn’t “make” the character anything.  He loved someone.  It shouldn’t matter whether it was a man or a woman, the point was that he felt he found his soulmate.  I’m not about to explain the role of the Alistair character because I think part of it would be lost in this discussion.  If you choose to keep reading, so be it.  If the main character’s possible sexuality discerns you that much then I’m sorry for you.  I really am.

Quite the mixed bag this go around.  Positive or negative, I always appreciate you taking the time to write me.  If you’ve got a question, hit me up at arcanewordsmith@gmail.com.

Thursday Thought Patterns

Another musings post if you will permit me.

  • Mists of Pandaria launches July September 25th.  The average response seemed to be “finally” from those I spoke with last night.  The next eight weeks should be interesting.
  • Laid Back Raids is updated through most of August.  I managed to get a few requests in there.
  • I wonder what LBR’s success will be like after Mists launch?  I can’t imagine it too different from what it is now.  Some will pass, some will come.
  • Others might just want a break from whatever Mists content they’re on.
  • Some will just want to take their Panda into old content.
  • Or their Monk.
  • I’m ashamed to admit I’ve considered rolling a Gnome Monk named Junkshot.
  • The deadline for the Mogolympics is coming Tuesday.  Then the real fun begins…so to speak.
  • I wonder if the other judges will speak to me when this is all over?
  • I need to put a confirmed section on the Mogolympics information page this weekend.
  • Posthumous isn’t on hiatus or anything.  The next chapter is in the works, but my time to dedicate to it has been sparse.
  • Yes, I’m writing it as I go.  I have a few key points in my head, but the rest is more like que sera sera.
  • Tome got Anzu a little while back.  Mrs. Amateur the Baron’s Reigns to drop.  Ratters had double mount luck recently.  Me? (NSFW)
  • Glad most people seem to understand my “not buying Mists philosophy.”
  • Someone else told me last night they’re in the exact same frame of mind (minus Guild Wars 2).
  • I think Blizzard needs to come through on this one.
  • Cataclysm wasn’t terrible, but it turned (quite?) a few people off.  Two in a row wouldn’t be good.
  • I expect them to have that in mind, and deliver a better expansion.
  • I expect games like Guild Wars 2 and Secret World to force them to knock one out of the park over the next year.
  • Working on another Transmog outfit for Tum.
  • Got everything but the shoulders.  The two options I’ve chosen are from Molten Core and Naxx.
  • I think I should have considered this before scheduling LBR this week…
  • I still want my Red Proto.
  • Tum’s the closest on that, as I think he needs about a half dozen achievements yet.
  • Speaking of mounts, I’m in the process of determining what land mounts and flying mounts each (eligible) character wants.
  • No good can come of it, but account-wide mounts might just make it easier.
  • Siori’s Exalted with the Cenarion Expedition and Liouxpold’s already got the puppy dog eyes going…which looks really creepy on a space goat.
  • I wonder if everyone who’s geared up in the last month feels a sense of “why did I do that?”
  • Not saying they should, it’s just an observation.
  • Once again, greens will replace epics in the first two days.
  • Am I seriously the only one who sees a problem with that?
  • Linear stats is still the way to go, far as I’m concerned.
  • Hrm…work break’s over.

Days Go By

It was a long weekend here, and I was enjoying the weather and the family yesterday and even some WoW.  So things here were quiet, though I did stay on top of the Transmogolympics.  The contest was only announced a couple days ago and we’re already up to twenty participants.  In case you missed it, there is no limit on how many people take part.  However, if we manage to have more participants than factions, then some factions will merely have more than one representative; much like the real Olympic Games. Also, I wanted to take a moment to once again thank Tome of the Ancient for the logo.  I told her what I wanted and she delivered beautifully.  I’m also happy to have her, Matty, and Khizzara as fellow judges for the event.

We had another successful Laid Back Raids on Saturday night.  The only place scheduled this week was Trial of the Crusader, but that didn’t stop us from also kicking down the doors to Ruby Sanctum and Obsidian Sanctum. We had a solid turnout including, for the first time, both Repgrind and Ratters (and his daughter as well)!  It was great timing as Rep knew TotC and was able to provide some guidance, though we did zerg the sucker down pretty fast.  For the Sanctums, I filled out the group with my friend Valanyr and a couple of his buds.  Oh, and Tum even got himself a new set of wings.

In Azeroth over the weekend, there was a great deal of puttering about, or “faffing” as Godmother and Kamalia have come to tell me.  Fireflint is finally 75, and that means time to boost his Blacksmithing.  I’ll obviously have to gain a few levels before I can max him out on it, fortunately I’ll be able to hit the Darkmoon Faire before the week is out.  I also snagged a few levels for Carrera and Estheriot.  Plus, three new faces are showing up around here now.

I have no clue as to why internet demons have taken the Gnome’s face.  Fortunately she sent me a postcard of her hanging with faction leader of epic epicness,

Zero Zero One One One Zero One Zero!

She joined the ranks for a few reasons.  The first, is admittedly, I had a sudden fetish to have a character with the Very Light Sabre.  As I pointed out to Mrs. Amateur, it’s a coincidence I gave her the Leia hair buns.  Also, I rolled her on Fenris (US).  I’ve heard horror stories about the economy and thought I would check it out for myself.  I farmed up some quick Peacebloom and Silverleaf, and threw that on the Auction House.  Neither was a full stack and it resulted in about 10 gold in her pocket.  That allowed me to grab a couple of items off the Auction House to sell, as well as purchase some of the rabbits from Amberstill Ranch and see if I can get a few coin for those as well.  So, so far things don’t seem too strange.  Hopefully the Schematic: Mechanical Mithril Dragonling sold at the behest of my advice.  I managed to sell one with Tumunzahar yesterday on Runetotem for 85g.  I still think that’s absurd, but if folks aren’t going to go get it out in the Hinterlands I may as well.  It didn’t hurt I was getting a couple points in Archaeology at the time either.

In closing, let me just tell you how strange it is to see “Semblance” in Trade chat.  Even merely as a name, it seems to look out of place.  Funny that.

Preparing For Mists of Pandaria

A year and a half ago I wrote a two post guide to get ready for Cataclysm, one from a point of what to do for existing characters and another for new characters.  Catacylsm was a much different expansion than what Mists of Pandaria will be.  As such, this time around I’m keeping my suggestions to a single post.

1. Clean Up Your Bank
Prior to an expansion is the best time to clean up your bank and bags.  If you’re like me, you have at least one toon that has items in their bank that may you go “why is that there???”  Using myself as an example, Saintvache had half a dozen mail pieces from Northrend in his main bank storage.  I had hung on to it in order to disenchant when my skill was high enough, and then got so busy I forgot.  Better to do it now than when Mists launched, and Void Storage is a godsend we didn’t have heading into the current expansion.

2. Don’t Respec
You can respec now, but as the expansion comes…don’t waste your time or gold on it. The talent *ahem* tree is vastly overhauled come Mists. Your talents are going to be reset because half of them are going to be gone.

3. Server Transfers
Some people like Feats of Strength and more importantly “server firsts.” If that matters to you, I’d suggest transferring to a low-population one to increase your chances. From a different approach, if you happen to be on a server where queue times exist just think how much worse they’re going to be when the expansion hits. Amidst all of the chaos you can be assured character transfers won’t be as high of a priority for Blizzard at that time.

4. Achievements
Much like Catalcysm, you can expect dungeons and achievements to change and even be removed. If there is something you really, really want…you might be best served to do it now (Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery come to mind)

5. Cha-chinga
Gold. I’ll talk about the Black Market Auction House at a later time, but the fact is there’s a bonafide money sink coming. And technically there could be lots of them. Hard to say. Plus, you never know what you’re going to want to buy, so taking the time to get the money now isn’t a bad idea.

6. What Do You Plan To Do At Launch?
This is a no-brainer to some people, but not everyone. Are you going full tilt into the questing? Perhaps a new Panda or even just a new Monk is what you’ll be signing on for. Or, you recognize the awesome return you get on raw materials when a new expansion arrives and you want to just farm farm farm for profit. Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to think it through now.

7. Bookmark Your Name(s)
Whether you plan to make a Monk from the existing races, or you’ve got plans for a fuzzy new Panda, if you have a name in mind then roll a character now and bookmark said name. I always use my Worgen Warrior as an example. The day Cataclysm was announced, I rolled a Draenei named Horrux and hung on to it with all my life.

8. Server Space
We’re getting a whole extra character slot with Mists of Pandaria, which could be enough for some and not even close to helpful for others. Determine where you fit in all that and whether you need to delete that level 3 Forsaken Rogue that you’ve not logged into since Wrath so that you can have a Panda Warrior and a new Monk on your main server.

9. How Will Your Character React?
This is for the roleplayers, for the most part. New lands and a new race means new opportunity. It doesn’t hurt to ponder the possibilities now.

10. Stop And Smell The Roses
As with every expansion, take the time to experience all the new things you do in Mists of Pandaria. Far too often we burn through the race to get to the finish line that we turn around after and go “I missed all that?” Perhaps not the whole time, but here and there just take in everything rather than having it as just a backdrop to 90.

Not exactly ten things I hate about you, but a convenient list of ten things to keep in mind as the expansion approaches.  As I said heading into Cataclysm, a new expansion is like being the kid in a candy store and thinking about what might be the sweetest to try first isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

Were That I Were A Pokemaster

Catching `em's easier than naming 'em.

So there’s much delight as Blizzard has rolled out details of their version of Pokemon that will come with Mists of Pandaria.  They’ve also made it clear there will be 100 “wild” pets throughout Azeroth (I can only imagine the homage creature names they’ll use).  As it stands, World of Warcraft has 223 non-combat pets (ref.) and while most people I’ve seen are excited beyond words, there are some who are lamenting one aspect of the feature: naming.

It isn’t that they think it’s a bad idea, merely that they don’t know how they’ll come up with enough names.  Well, despite having no interest in the mini-game at all, the Amateur’s going to take today to help you with that problem.  Behold the Azerothemon Index: Continue reading

Easter Weekend Jibberish

The Blog Egg Hunt runs tomorrow and yours truly is among the bloggers that have enlisted this year.  In short, that means there’s an Easter Egg around here somewhere.  As Tum would say, “see if’n ya kin find `er.”  If you want the full details, visit Kamalia’s site.

All the entries came in for Round Three of Mog Madness.  Unfortunately, Guildmum was unable to participate any further and we completely understand.  As such, an invite was sent to the highest eliminated designer in the second round and that means Nightwill rejoins us!  It’s going to be another tight round for us judges, I don’t mind telling you.

Finally, it’s been over two weeks since my name game test.  It wasn’t until March 23rd that I receive a reply from a GM.  I was mildly concerned about the reply, because it said they had looked over my ticket but then suggested I simply “/ignore” the player.   So what was the end result?  Every single one of them is gone.  They’ll show up if you search for them, but clicking on the character brings it to the unavailable page.  Not only am I happy with this result, it gives me reason to continue with this approach.  I don’t mind offering some of my own time if it means improving an important issue.

Finally, a little bit of real life as Amateur Junior turns two years old today, so I thought I’d share a snapshot of a future gamer.

The Name Game – Test Subject

In light of my recent post about names in Azeroth, and taking Blizzard to task a bit on the lack of policing said names, I thought I’d do the right thing and instead of just waving my finger I would actually try to provide a solution.

Last night when I got home from work I looked up one of the names that had a slightly lower amount of characters.  I wanted to try to hook a little fish instead of a whale from the get-go, simply because of the amount of time the whale would take to bait.  Enough fishing references, I don’t fish…

Where was I?  Oh yes, the name.  I went with Rapingyou because it’s also one of the most offensive on the original list I presented.  So, there were five when I posted and eleven less than 12 hours later when I got home..  I immediately logged into WoW and proceeded to open a ticket where I reported the name and all the servers it was being used on.

I am going to wait seven days to see the results.  Most tickets I open in WoW (and a few of the names I’ve previously reported) are resolved before then, so I think that’s a fair amount of time to see results on something that if I’m opening said ticket as a GM…it should take mere minutes to address.  If I see the names are gone, then I will continue the process of reporting a name and those using it once a week.  If not, I will open a ticket and try to get an explanation as to why the concern isn’t being met.

I think this is probably the best way to approach things.  I’m being proactive, without (in my opinion) harassing the GM’s or dumping the entire pile of tripe in their lap and expecting overnight results.  Regardless of how it plays out, I will share the results of this test with you.