5 Ups And 5 Downs In Wrath

It’s funny. Until you go back in time (no, not Warlords), you don’t realize just how much of the game has changed. But when you stop to think about it, Wrath ended 10 (!) years ago. With all the changes that have taken place, here are 5 things I like from Wrath and 5 things I’m glad changed.

Plus: Harder
Going back I’ve come to realize how much more difficult the game was, particularly at lower level. Yes, it was still the era where start zone mobs were yellow, but once you tag them, they can be hard to deal with. Even more so if they bring friends to the fight. My Mage has died a lot and it’s not from doing dumb things. Hunter could say the same pre-pet.

Minus: Mob Tagging
This was one of the things Blizzard got right, likely taking the lead from Guild Wars 2. There’s little more frustrating when you are doing a kill ‘`em quest and someone tags one of your mobs right before you do. And heaven forbid it’s a quest objective mob, otherwise you may as well get comfy for a couple of minutes.

Plus: Talent Trees
I might be in the minority on this one, but it was one of the things I always liked. The modern formula of choosing one of three abilities here and there was never the “better choices for the players” that the developers lauded when they brought it forward. Instead it became even more cookie cutter. Sure, the old trees still have their optimum build, but there is room to play around. And if the character isn’t raiding, the tree is your playground.

Minus: Profession Specialization
It’s a bit trivial, but having to choose between Weapons or Armor, for example, feels like you’re forced into a specific direction that by this time in the franchise certainly wasn’t necessary. For someone who also likes to have all craft options, it makes it a bit more difficult. But let’s be honest, if this is one of my gripes then things can’t be too bad.

Plus: Less Flight Paths
The abundance of flight paths post Cataclysm makes getting around significantly faster than it had been to that point. However, between that and being able to fly your mount, Azeroth got significantly smaller. But in the modern game if you are starting out then you’ve got 120 levels to get through. With only 80 back then, it wasn’t so bad. You could get Outland flying at 70 and Northrend flying at 80, the latter of which then unlocked the Cold Weather Flying option for any of your other characters and they just had to be high enough level to be in Northrend in the first place. But there’s something nostalgic about running from Loch Modan to Menethil Harbor, or Stormwind to Westfall, that while a short distance still seems to emphasize the “World” part of WoW.

Minus: Corpse Run
I like the world to feel bigger, just not when I’m dead. Having to run across a zone to get back to your body can be painful sometimes. Ok, almost always. And if you’re the only member of a group or raid, you feel even worse while everyone is waiting on you to return. The changes that made getting back to your body a minute or less ordeal was definitely a step forward.

Plus: Leveling
As I said in flight paths, the leveling had to change for the modern game. But the pre-Wrath zones that were changed in Cataclysm took things too far. We got quest hubs that we often outgrew before even finishing the story or getting the xp for the area becase it was no longer worth it. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case. You could do all the quests in a hub and sometimes it wouldn’t even be enough to level out of. You might head to another zone just to get topped up, and start a new trek. Combining that with the talent trees gave a feeling like every level after ten meant something.

Minus: Wailing Caverns 
I can honestly say I have almost no difficulty in any of the dungeons or raids from 3.3.5 and older. This one, though, is a whole mess of worms. Without the later introduced map tool for dungeons, getting lost is incredibly easy.  And then one wrong step or turn and you’re really running around in circles which isn’t the best in an already incredibly long dungeon.

Plus: Dungeons
No, I’m not contradicting myself. With this one, I’m removing WC from the discussion save for the fact it’s a good run if you want the Druid of the Fang armour. But that aside, I love the way things were. Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman aren’t 5-man’s. High Inquisitor Fairbanks is hiding behind the secret wall in Scarlet Monastery, Deadmines is back to the way it was meant to be (though Vanessa Van Cleef’s story was one of the better ones in Cataclysm).  The original dungeons had excellent stories, and you tended to farm them while leveling. Now the pre-80 stuff you might see two or three times if you’re lucky, again because leveling is so much faster.

Minus: Missing Race/Class Combos
Sure, this one is purely cosmetic (for the most part). But I miss a lot of the things we got in 4.0.3. For the most part they were changes that made sense. Human Hunters, Dwarf Warlocks, Tauren Paladins, Troll Druids, and so forth. There are a number of them I am quite fond of being able to create. That said, I do not miss the idea of a Gnome Hunter.

So there’s a handful of thoughts that have come about as a result of my time warp. I might be able to make the list a bit longer, and maybe even on both sides of the equation, but these are the ones that stand out the most. If you can think back that far, what changes are you happy for? Which ones do you wish had never changed?

Marching Into April


Hard to believe it’s already the end of March.  It really flew by.  At the start, of course, I put together a small list of things I wanted to try to accomplish.  For what it’s worth, after two weeks I looked like I was going to blow through things with the greatest of ease.  I had no problem getting Paramita to 45, or a Pandarian level for Liouxpold (he’s now 86).  Even Semblance.  I wanted to get her to 35 and ended up with a level 40 Warrior.  My successful attempt at cleaning up the Claws of Nature Guild Bank is also well documented.  Unfortunately, that’s where my accomplishments end.  Sure, I did get other things done unexpectedly, but not the other items on the list.

  • Junkshot only made it to level 15
  • Elcombe barely completed 1-2 Fishing Dailies, nevermind getting two levels.
  • Saintvache made it to 451 Herbalism.  Wow, I never realized how tedious that can be.  Never touched his Enchanting either.
  • I also didn’t make it to 2,500 daily quests.  I know I’m less than 100 quests from that goal though, so that one will come in April.

A couple of those I might’ve come closer to completing if not for coming down with something this past weekend.  All three of us in the Amateur household are suffering from it, though I think Mrs. Amateur has it the worst.  But the key is focusing on the things that did get done and moving forward and building upon.  So a quick to do list for April and then a little blogging exercise.

  • Junkshot (15) to 20
  • Liouxpold (86) to 87
  • Semblance (40) to 50
  • Boost my Engineers: Carrera (392), Semblance (185), Oddfodder (116), Vortmar (112)
  • Still get a friggin’ Alchemist started somewhere…
  • 2,500 daily quests should be easy to obtain at this point.
  • Saintvache to 600 Herbalism (again)
  • Maybe get my Albino Drake.
  • Get to level 20 in Hearthstone in April for the sexy Pandaren card backs.

We’ll see how things go this time around.  I already know a good chunk of the coming weekend is a write off, so I expect to be a touch behind the 8-ball.  Either way the important thing will be to once again focus on what I do manage to accomplish.

So now the blogging exercise.  I really don’t know where Mrs. Amateur found this, but it’s one I can definitely handle doing.  It’s another 30 days type of exercise, but the questions (to me) are pretty straight forward with good odds of being easy to answer.  How much elaboration comes with the answer is entirely up to the writer.  I know AmerPriest plans on doing it as well, and I would love to know if anyone else decides they’re up for it.

See you in April!


Cleanin’ Out The Closet

I realize it’s been a few days.  Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I qualified as a “missing person” for a little while so permit me while I get myself back together.  Hmm?  What was I doing?  Nothing too important, just one of the items on my March checklist.  Namely, cleaning out the guild bank.  The next time I say I want to do that you are well within your rights to have me strung up by a lamplight and thoroughly flogged.

It couldn’t have been that bad?  This is clearly from someone who has never done it, or takes meticulous care of their own vault (which I do admit I should be making more of an effort to do).  Of course, as I was away for nine months it isn’t as though I can start pointing figures.  I can wonder just the same about some of the things that were in there.  Four copies of the Giant Growth Alchemy recipe?  I know we have a lot of alts, but oh my.

Bank Gunk

I do not know how other folks/guilds do their thing, but several years ago myself and another officer made the effort to put the entire bank in order.  We did our six tabs by materials/contents/professions, so to speak.  Cloth and Leather was one, Elements and Enchant Materials was another.  The first tab was for bags and other goodies for new toons, as well as where members could donate goods (so as to allow us to filter out stuff that need not actually make it to the other tabs).  It was a great system that did the OCD of ourselves, and anyone else, quite proud.

Well flash forward these years and you know, it really hasn’t changed all that much.  Many of the items that were placed in there, remain there.  In a lovely way, some useful items were added to it, while a few things like Netherweave (bags) did disappear.  Nothing else moved really.  Plus, tab one was packed with stuff to the point nothing could be added.  On top of cleanup, it was time for a change as well.  I wasn’t sure what that change was going to be when I started out.  When I got going, it was just go through the first tab and see where that leads.  It quickly lead to trips to the Auction House and the nearest vendor.  After that, I realized what I wanted to do with the six tabs and that was sort them by Vanilla and subsequent expansions.  The first tab was incredibly easy to sort and fill.  Anything that didn’t fit went onto the Auction House.  If it’s been there that long, nobody’s missing it and it likely wasn’t going to be hard to get more.

Originally, Burning Crusade and Wrath were going to get individual tabs but quite frankly there wasn’t nearly enough materials to make it worthwhile.  Instead, I put them together and had a much nicer looking tab that is about two-thirds full.  Not that the next two are anything special in terms of vastness.  Sure, Pandaria has six columns just for various food ingredients (I’m kidding…somewhat) so it looks a little more filled, but it and Cataclysm don’t have a whole lot going for them.  I think in due time it will fill up some.  Mostly just crafting materials or a buff food, but everything has to start with something correct?

So that’s four of the six, what did I do with the last two?  For starters they both sit empty.  I mean not a single item in either one.  The first?  Set up for Warlords of Draenor.  It never hurts to be prepared.  That’s the old OCD planning ahead so that anything that shows up when we go back in time has a home.  The last one somehow got dubbed “Mystery Egg.”  It’s empty now, but will hold goodies that any of us come across that don’t quite fit into the Expansion tabs.  Pets, epics, mounts…just some really rare stuff that we can pass on to other guildmates.  Sure, at the moment,  there’s really only three active members but we’re ready for it!

Which brings me to the final thought on the matter and that is the big question of what do you (or your guild) do with your bank tabs?  Obviously bank alts have an entirely different setting all together (at least mine certainly d0) so it isn’t those settings that intrigue me most.  It’s more the guilds, whether you hardcore raid or are a group of alt lovers such as Claws is.  How do you keep your goodie bag sorted?

To The Skinners

StrangRecently I had a discussion with another player, after they were running around the Timeless Isle happily skinning away at whatever other players had left for dead.  “I’m getting leather hand over fist…what the hell?!?!  God damn it, loot your kills!”  It got me to thinking that the general skinner seems to have some sense of entitlement when it comes to gathering.  I’m not saying this applies to all (I certainly don’t feel that way when I’m out and about with Liouxpold), but it’s definitely there and the air needs to be cleared from the Amateur perspective.

If we are in an instance or, really, grouped together in any way and I know at least one of the other players is a skinner then I will certainly do my part to loot.  Heck, even if I don’t, said skinner can come along after and loot the corpse and then skin it.  The important thing is that I do feel I owe it to them to clean up my corpse so they can get their materials.  It’s a courtesy thing and one that in the confines of a group is quite warranted.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s where it ends.

When I’m out and about in a place like Stranglethorn Vale and Sholozar Basin, I am under no obligation to consider someone coming along and cleaning up after me.  If I am running around, for example, doing the Nesingwary kill quests I am not going to loot all the little patches of fur that are worth about two copper each, or any other worthless little thing, when I might be filling my bags with quest items, greens, and more.  I have a limited bag space the same as you do, and I’m not going to keep running back to the nearest vendor just so that I can make sure all my kills are ready to be skinned.  It’s time consuming and quite frankly a chore to do so just to make things easier for someone else.

I have a skinner.  I know that leveling it can be a bit daunting at times, especially if you’re in a leveling area that doesn’t have much in the way of furry trophies.  But the thing is, you (we) chose the profession.  You know how it works.  On occasion, you are going to have to go grind some kills just to get some leather.  If you are in an area where someone else is doing the killing, then consider it a blessing that you get to clean up their mess and land some leather (and in cases, skill points) in the process.  But at no point do you have a right to get upset if someone doesn’t completely loot their corpse and thus deprive you, because they aren’t.  You can be disappointed.  But instead of trying to feel wronged when the corpse isn’t looted, be thankful for the times that it is.



Over the weekend I finally dropped Semblance’s Herbalism for Engineering.  Truth be told, this was the plan all along but I wanted to use duo gathering to garner up some money.  If you’re not careful, Engineering can be one of the more expensive professions to level.  But, switch I did, and quickly knocked it up to 130.  I cheated to get there, as I used a leveling guide mostly.  It got methinking about how many people must use these guides on a regular basis to level their profession, especially when modern WoW has you leveling at a much higher clip than your professions.  If you’re a player who stops and levels the professions as you go, then this doesn’t apply.  But there are a tonne of folk who skyrocket to the level cap and then worry about their profs.  While it isn’t usually my cup of tea, I certainly don’t fault that logic.  Heck, there’s a good chance you, or someone you know, did it at least once.

There’s about to be a whole lot more.

People are so excited about the insta-90 boost that they’re overlooking something.  If you are someone who is concerned about not having much gold, you’re going to want to keep reading.  You see, the ridiculous influx of 90’s that Azeroth is going to see soon is going to be lacking something, and that’s professions.  Sure, some will have them, but they won’t be capped or even close.  The gatherers you can’t do a thing about.  There’s no way to help someone else suddenly have 40 more herbs in their bag.  But the crafters…those are the ones you want to begin to circle around, my dear buzzards.

There will be some crafters who boosted a character that was already traveling towards 90 and thus will have at least started to work on their professions.  If they don’t have something for gathering, they’re most definitely going to be hitting the Auction House for materials.  You should have some ready, willing, and waiting…and at a price where you still maintain your profit.  A few stacks of key items will sell quickly when someone’s trying to make a 10-15 point jump in said profession.  That’s if you want a quick fix or easy sale.  But if you want to land the big whales, why even bother with the Auction House?

Go look at a leveling guide for a crafting profession.  If you look closely, not only do they tell you everything you need but they tell you how much you need.  Congratulations, someone’s created a grocery list for you to look after while you’re at the store.  Most of the items will be obtainable, some will definitely be harder than others.  Occasionally you’ll have bad luck, but you’re not going to have any trouble getting most of it taken care.  Any items you can’t, you make note of…and also keep track of what everything costs you!  When you sell a kit, you need to ensure you profit.

Wrong kind of Kitt

JD, what’s a kit?  As I have eluded to, a kit is the complete package for leveling a profession.  You have, according to the guide of your choice (which you’ll want available for your buyer to reference), a complete package of all the materials someone needs to go from 1-X00 in a specific profession.  It is literal one-stop shopping for a player who wants to fast track their skills instead of the painstaking process of finding everything themselves.  Quite often, each item is cheaper than what you’re offering it at…but that’s also based on the assumption that the item is readily available and in the quantity they want.  Often times, the stars don’t align that well.

So what is the appropriate price?  As I always say when it comes to gold related topics, it varies by server.  It also varies by what it cost you to get in the first place.  When I did Jewelcrafting ones at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, I was charging 5-7k per kit and they were costing me less than 3k to put together.  This is why I say keep track of what you spend and what things usually go for on your server.  When in doubt, aim a little higher so that you can give your buyer some wiggle room to “haggle you down.”

Then there is the matter of finding a buyer.  As I said, in this approach you are most definitely cutting out the middle man (in this case the Auction House).  That means traversing a region many of us hate: Trade.  Yes, /2 will get you the most viewers and increase your chances of selling.  It’s also going to get you the usual hecklers but trust me, most of them have no idea what they’re talking about (after all, it’s Trade Chat).  Also remember to post it in Local, because many people in the city have no interest in having Trade even turned on.  Also be patient.  It’s rare you’ll sell a kit on the first go, or even the first few days.  But given what’s coming, subject to change could be very much applicable.

Warlords of Draenor will make for an influx of fresh 90’s ready to take on the world.  But that’s probably a concern right?  All the new 90’s will be wreaking havoc throughout the land they will all be too busy to worry about professions.  Except for one problem with that theory.  The first batch of 90’s really won’t have all that far to go.  Sure, they’ll get some gear (in most cases from an alt that’s been hopping around on the Timeless Isle in preparation), perhaps even do a little raiding or PvP to feel out the mechanics.  On to Draenor?  Nope.  By all reports, players will receive their insta-90 coupon when they pre-purchase digitally.   Folks such as yours truly will have a fresh 90 before the expansion actually goes live.  Those are the people you’re targeting most with your kit(s).  Some of them will definitely want to be capped and others will want to be mostly done so they can hit the ground running when Warlords of Draenor does go live.

It’s definitely something that takes some time and effort to pull off, but the money is there to be made if you have the time, money, and patience for it.  I wouldn’t recommend making as many as you can between now and digital purchasing, unless you’re incredibly confident in all of the above.  Just one or two is plenty.  Once you sell one, make another.  However you choose to do it, there has never been a better opportunity to make it work than the one that is approaching.

The Threshold Caravan

Talking a bit more about gold today and it’s something I should have hit on a week ago, or even earlier.  For many items right now, there is a threshold.  Basically your crafting materials and crafted goods.  Over about the next month or so, that threshold is going to change significantly.  But before I get into that, let’s determine just what the threshold is that I’m talking about.

Pandas and Monks.

What do I mean?  Two weeks ago, thousands of pandas and monks were created.  Recruit a Friend and Racial changes aside, about 90% were started at level one.  Many have a profession or two.  Let’s just say half for the sake of argument.  That still means thousands of toons are out there working on their professions.  Sure, some will wait…but there are plenty of new gatherers and disenchanters out there.  As such, the market is getting flooded.  Why? Because these characters are getting their points and dumping the excess (or possibly even just trying for a quick buck off them).  This is our threshold.  The median level of those new characters as it relates to their professions and what they can do with them.

No doubt on your server the price of Copper Ore and Strange Dust, for example, has been relatively cheap.  It’s probably starting to return to pre-Mists levels now or in the coming days.  If you caught it, you could have purchased a tonne and started to slowly put it back into the market for a reasonable profit.  I managed to do so, to a small degree.  It actually made me harken back to when I had three bank alt guilds.  I could have used the space again on my main server.  But the point to be made here, is as those low level materials have resumed their normal values, the next tier has dropped.  You can probably see where this is going.

The caravan is moving through the levels and materials.  As a seller, even as a buyer, you need to recognize where that caravan currently is on your Auction House.  If you catch it as it’s coming through, you’re going to get barrels of goods for an incredible price.  You don’t even have to remove it from your mailbox, it will sit there for 30 days (about the time it’ll be worth plenty more, coincidentally).  But if you do, hang on to it.  Whether you use some of it for your own skills or to profit elsewhere, or simply just hold the line, you will be rewarded.  You just need to show a little patience.

This also means, keep an eye out when you’re selling.  Items could be listed incredibly lower than usual, and you’re cutting yourself short if you list your goods at this time as well.  Take a look at other items in that range.  If Fel Iron Ore looks low, and Fel Iron Bars look low, check the price of some of the Outland Herbs.  You’ll get an idea of where things are at.  To get a better picture, check the current price on mats that come before and after that tier.  If they’re cheap as well it could just be a change in the market.  But if they’re normal, than you can tell what’s going on rather easily.

The market will fluctuate regularly, but not as diversely as it is now as a result of this leveling boom.  It’s in your financial interest to take advantage of it.