Where I Play #WoWScreenshotaday Catch-Up

Yes, I’ve not been a very good lemming.  It’s been a busy time around the Amateur house and when my time was idle…well, blame that darn Hearthstone.  It requires a simpler kind of focus some times.  That said, it isn’t that I haven’t been working on the screenshots, I just never had a chance to post and then decided to just bundle them all together.

 

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Dark Phoenix. MINE!

Your pets serve a greater cause.
Your pets serve a greater cause…and it’s purple.

It shouldn’t have been that hard.  I was already more than halfway to Exalted with my Blade’s Edge guild.  So, more rep granting quests (such as Elders and dailies) and I would be there in no time.  When I got up this morning, I think I was actually about 75% of the way there.  So I figured I would knock off the Kalimdor Elders and see where that left me.  Turns out I missed a few.  It wasn’t a big deal, as there are plenty of ways to nab some quests.  I decided, for a change of pace, that I would head to the Isle of Quel’Danas and do those dailies.

I rounded them all up and handed them in…only to find those quests don’t actually grant any reputation outside of the Shattered Sun Offensive.  Hrmph.  So, off I went again.  This time I headed to the Darkmoon Faire and did the quests there.  When Saintvache was done there I was so close, yet so far.  So I circled and picked up a few more Elders and did some pet battle dailies along the way.

DMFDP
Must get rep. Must get rep.

At long last I was a single quest away and I had to head back and hand in a pet battle quest in Orgrimmar.  Huzzah!  Exalted.  Gimme my Dark Phoenix!…it’s not there.  Neither is the Scorpion.  Frustration begins to kick in and I inadvertently close the Guild Vendor window.  I whisper Repgrind for advice but she doesn’t know either.  Reopen the window and low and behold it’s there.  But I don’t have Artisan Riding, which is required.  Are you kidding me?  Off to the flying trainer I go…

ARDP
I have flying, but need better flying for a flying mount. Just take the damn gold already.

Alright.  So, I’m Exalted.  I have Artisan Riding.  I…no longer have the gold on this toon.  Oh come on already!  Look at TitanPanel to figure out where my gold is.  Wonder why the hell my level 40 Warrior has 2,000 gold and proceed to shuffle most of it, and some from my banker, back to Saintavche.

Guild Rep?  Check.  Artisan Riding?  Check.  Money?  Check.  Hand it over.

DPMINE
Damn right.

Stat Guy Likes Stats

Intrs

Yesterday Mrs. Amateur sent me this link providing a number of interesting stats on World of Warcraft, and I see now the link has become a bit more commonplace now.  Essentially, it takes statistics from the game and provides some quirky insight into them.  After reading everything over here are my thoughts on a number of them:

100 million WoW players in 10 years
If I’m in charge of maintaining the player base, I would want to take a look at that number.  I realize it counts trial accounts and even Recruit-A-Friend accounts, but let’s look at it close.  During Wrath, the game peaked at over 11 million players.  As of last May, that number was down to 8 million.  Let’s say for a second there was a 3-4 year window where the game had over ten million players.  That leaves six years where it didn’t, and thus you start to see a turnover of accounts.  The millions and millions who stopped, did so because…?  I’m not heckling Blizz, it’s just something that I (as a number cruncher) would be intrigued to look into further.

The playerbase is currently 5% in favour of the Alliance
I don’t know if I’m surprised by this or not.  As a new player I remember hearing the kids roll Alliance and the players roll Horde.  Now obviously that’s not accurate entirely.  Of the players I know, there’s probably a pretty close split though if you include alts I think the Alliance gets the edge.  Still, whenever I see current tier accomplishments they always seem to be Horde.  Or rather, they were before I stepped away.  I can’t say in this very moment whether or not that’s true.  But, I also attribute it to the fact the Alliance have four staple races of RPG’s: Human, Dwarf, (Night) Elf, and Gnome.  For some, it might be easier to gravitate to what they know.

Most popular title: The Patient
Jenkins is number two.  It’s surprising, and yet it’s not.  The only reason I have that title in my inventory is because I did the run to help others get the title.  Lucky me.  As for the Patient, that’s one I definitely use and I think anyone that uses the “Looking For” system almost has to.  The other popular one for me is “Elder.”

Rarest Mount: Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent
I know nothing about this mount, shy of doing the old Google shuffle.  A less than 1% drop rate from the Sha of Anger.  Huh.  Well, odds of me getting that are right up there with the Baron’s reigns. Still, that it isn’t the Swift Spectral Tiger at the top of this list really surprises me.

There are 504 unique mounts
Wait, what?  I haven’t even qualified for the Albino Drake and there’s a strong probability someone out there has over 500 mounts?  Wow.

Tiny Red Carp is the rare pet
Once again, I’m a bit surprised.  It definitely sounds like this is one of those fluke casts in fishing (much like how Lioux caught the one at the Darkmoon Faire), but still.  If the bloody Minfernal isn’t up there, the Ethereal Soul Trader should be.

71 Auctioneers in Azeroth
As someone who frequents said gold houses, I have to sit and come up with all of them.  I don’t think I realized there was nearly that many.

3.6 million Pet Battles per day
I wish to track down every person who said this was a stupid feature to include in World of Warcraft.  I also tend to believe that 2/3 of these are done while folks are waiting to do something else (such as an instance or PvP).  Either way, the mechanic became an incredibly successful time sink and achievement magnet.  It also creates a great alternative to leveling (such as I posted when Saintvache hit 90).

All in all it’s an interesting collection of information if you’re a numbers person such as myself.  I’d love to see it go even deeper, particularly into classes and races and male percentages and female percentages.  But then, I also realize I’m in the minority and a good many folk would walk the other way with disinterest.

90-2 (not 92)

Much DingYes, Saintvache finally capped this morning.  As you can see I picked up a sexy set of achievements in the process.  Better late than never.  Despite a higher survival rate than Tumunzahar, I definitely found the leveling process to take longer.  Perhaps because there was such a hiatus in the middle of Tum’s go that it didn’t seem so bad. I will say, quite obviously, it improved when I ended up in a new guild.  The XP boost was nice.  But even so, I found 89-90 was smoother than the rest of Pandaria.  I think because even when I couldn’t really hop on and bang out some bubbles of experience, I could still take about 10-15 minutes and do three little quests to get me close to a million xp per day.

CookI would start with the Cooking Daily.  On Horde side, my personal preference is Thunder Bluff.  They’re all pretty simple and if you land Mulgore Spice Bread, you’ve really got it easy.  I will say a Fishing Daily will help even more, but few of my toons have fishing (two come to mind).  After that I took the Blasted Lands portal, where I headed to Karazhan for the Pet Battle Daily, and then back to the Blasted Lands to go through the Dark Portal and do the Pet Battle there.  As I said, three quests, almost one million experience.

Pet Battles For what it’s worth, you need just over 18 million experience to go from 89 to 90.  If you did just this every day and used your time for other toons, you would ding in just under three weeks.  Sure, that still seems like a fairly long time, but not when you’re only popping on for 15 minutes at a time.  You’d be there before you know it (toss in the Darkmoon Faire around the same time for a couple of easy Profession Quests as well and you’re laughing).

So now what?  Well, I joined said Guild last Saturday or Sunday and thanks to the Lunar Elders and the rest of my ventures, I’m halfway to Exalted.  Since I helped them unlock the Dark Phoenix mount, I find myself beckoned to finish that rep and get said mount.  I’m sure part of that will come via the Timeless Isle.  Once again, it has more appeal as a class that can throw out some damage and survive, versus my Holy Dwarf.  Along with that, it’s probably time to start boosting the rest of the Amateur Army.  I know Liouxpold is on Pandaria, but I can go without the place for a little bit.

Faire-ly New Changes

The Darkmoon Faire ended for another month this past Saturday.  I managed to spend some time at the Faire last week…on Saturday.  It was just one of those weeks that included a brain fart the Faire was even going on.  Still, I made it with several toons and that’s what counts most.  In doing so, though, I noticed some changes.

Faire 01
I don’t remember creepy lady…

After the new welcome sign that genuinely feels like I’m violated just looking at it, it was off to the usual NPC’s.  I grabbed my profession quests and knocked them off and then headed straight to the Turtle Toss.  Let’s face it, it’s the only game at the Faire that is guaranteed to only take one token.  A moment later I was done, and…what’s this now?

Faire 02I get a present now?  No more tickets?  Upon opening the present it turns out you do still get a ticket.  Emphasis one.  So if you pump a whole pile of tickets into the cannon now (and the teleport back), you may waste that money on gaining a single ticket towards your heirloom, pet, or whatever it is you seek to buy at some point.  Now, the good news is that you can actually get a pet in these presents.  The chances, like everything else, are pretty slim.  Mine were actually worse than slim once I logged off Saintvache.  The two he got were two more than my other toons combined.

Faire 03I haven’t tried either one out just yet, though Mrs. Amateur says the Top Hat is fab-u-LOUS!  In the meantime I haven’t checked to see what else is possible from the presents but it’s definitely a big change to how things work.  Farming tickets just got a lot harder and will take a lot longer.  I’m not sure if it’s because pets and mounts are shared, and now heirlooms can be too, that they feel folks don’t need to be stockpiling the tickets as much.  If each toon focuses on something different to buy then you can still acquire things somewhat reasonably.  But for those that want things sooner than later, this will no doubt upset them.  I’m fortunate in that when I logged in, Saintvache had 89 tickets.  Once he picked up another ticket, I sauntered on over and got myself a monkey.  Named him Sallah (points if you get the reference).

Faire 04

Old Ladies And Gaudy Sweaters

The weekend that was ended up being a weekend of raiding -casually, of course.  The Mrs. and I were faffing about on the TImeless Isle (man is that place easier for a Priest when you have someone with you).  I managed to figure out the pillar Treasure Chest and get to it before a Troll Priest.  We also chased  Evermaw half way around the island…in the water, and to no avail.  But Tome came on and in striking up a conversation with her she wondered why I wasn’t there with them.  Well, I didn’t really know where “there” was and who “them” referred to.  Turns out it was Old Ladies’ raid night.  Moments later, the Amateurs were in Dragon Soul.

Old

OIASUDOIU

This was my first Laid Back Raid since I stopped doing Laid Back Raids when I stopped playing last winter.  More than anything, it was nice to see some old friends (many of which were there with new faces to play with).  We enjoyed ourselves collectively and got as far as Ultraxion before it was called off. I believe that to be the case as we weren’t in vent and the group disbanded rather suddenly.

Last night was Gaudy Sweater night and with many people prepping for New Year’s or still catching up with family over the holidays (or perhaps last night’s football game too), it ended up being a quiet run of myself, the Mrs; and Helke.  The latter had her Mage, Mrs. her Druid, and me my Hunter.  With three of us, that meant Karazhan was our destination and we tore through the place with the greatest of ease.  Tome, be happy to know Cat’s not the only Druid thinking “animal form means they won’t notice I have no sweater.”

Gaudy

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time you know Kara remains my favourite instances in the game.  It was great to go through it again (no mount) and remember why.  It’s also like the dungeon itself missed me.  I out-rolled the Mrs. and snagged the Fiendish Imp (it ended up being the lone pet to drop), and that was after The Curator finally dropped the Dragon-Quake Shoulderpads.  I farmed those for the longest time after Transmogrification was introduced as I had designed an outfit around them for Liouxpold.  Of course, I’ve long since moved on but will have to go back and put something together for him.

Between the two nights it was great to lean back with some friends and bounce through the two raids.  When you leave the game for any length of time and try other MMO’s the first thing you tend to notice is things are drastically different if you lose the social aspect of it.  Yes, there are thousands or millions of other players, but it can take you a millennium to build up a circle and odds are you’re not going to know them as well as your WoW “crew.”  Plus for some, randomly becoming buddy-buddy with people just isn’t going to happen.  Being gone I missed the folks I knew and this weekend was a lovely reminder about part of the reason for that.

A Grievance And A Gift

Roast and Christmas Cookies again?
Roast and Christmas Cookies again?
Yup.

Essentially Winter Veil is over for another year.  We have less than a week of Greench farming left and then that is it for another year…where we can expect the exact same thing.  For all that Blizzard does with World of Warcraft, they don’t do enough to keep old things fresh.  When they do, they call it an expansion.

It would be nice to have a living world in the sense that other games try to create, but I’m certainly not that demanding.  But they sure could go the extra mile and freshen up some of the holiday events and none more so than Winter Veil.  Log in, get the Greench quest if you’re high enough and farm him daily to get the single new item they’ve added to the loot table because even the level requirement hasn’t changed.  Then grab gifts on Christmas Day.

I honestly love the developers putting actual gifts under the Winter Veil tree.  I think it’s an incredibly nice gesture but it unfortunately holds zero value any more.  Heck, I know players who didn’t even bother opening their gifts this year because they would end up deleting them.  Can’t say as I necessarily blame them.  There’s only so far a stack of Roast can go again.

Now obviously there’s some merit to the Greench aspect, since it was packed every time I flew out there (yup, for the pet).  Many times, didn’t even need to fight him.  Just collect and move on.  So apparently the player base still has enough enjoyment in it I suppose.  Even the gift opening was absolute chaos but that was thanks to Ironforge being a CRZ.  Slow clap for that one.

Now I’m not going to sit and gripe without an idea of my own, no matter how unlikely it might be.  You see, I think one simple change to the gift process would make it interesting again.  First off, ditch said roast.  It’s a waste to use at low level and there’s better food at high level.  I know people like the Holly for the mount look.  Also, don’t add one thing just for an achievement.  Instead, keep the festive items at a reasonable drop rate (…wand included I suppose) and put in a slim chance that one gift is something else.  In much the same idea as the Timeless Isle, make it gear for that class (or even a weapon).  Whether it’s epic or not, and BoP, it’s something different.  Include pets and mounts that are less common/drops as well.  Just create that slim chance of a nice surprise showing up and I think it would make it exciting.  Of course, you would be disappointed if you didn’t get something and knew plenty of others that did.  To counter that, I was among those disappointed with what was under the tree this year.

Speaking of which, that brings me to the gift part.  As a result of this year’s “excitement,” I have a few Snowman Kits and Red And Green Helpers respectively.  I didn’t get a count of how many of each I now have, but I’m happy to give away my extras on a first come, first serve, basis.  Just leave a comment below with which pet you need.  I know many will have all three but I’m trying to do something with the extras I find myself with now.  Hopefully it’s you.  When you leave your comment, just give me a character name and server you’re on (US or Oceanic only) and I’ll make a character and mail it to you.