Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rep: Argent Dawn

With upcoming Patch 3.2 and its many new toys a rep many individuals will need to look at getting to exalted is that of the Argent Dawn. While some may actually first encounter it in a variety of places scattered throughout Azeroth it is centered in the plague lands in the Eastern Kingdoms with its head quarters being in the small chapel of Lights Hope.

Few things to keep in mind. First you need to be level 50 to get the Argent Dawn Commission. If you are an Alliance player that means you will want to head to Chillwind Camp in the Western Plaguelands at 50 and talk to Argent Officer Pureheart, or for the Horde, head to the Bulwark and speak with Argent Officer Garush and pick up your commission. I would however HIGHLY encourage you to upgrade it via the quest chain.

Now there are a BUNCH of quests you can do for the Argent Dawn to gain rep and if you are a level 50 or even a new Death Knight you may want to consider this. But if you are a level 80 looking to get this done quickly this is what I recommend: Gather your trinket and head over to Stratolme Undead side. Farm away until you hit Revered keeping all your Stones, Crypt Fiend Parts, and Bone Fragments until that point. You might even get a Mount out of the deal. Once you have managed that feat then head back over to Lights Hope and start turning them all in. If it doesn't get you to Exalted it should get you EXTREMELY close. Enough so that it won't take you long to just top it off.

The nice thing about this is it IS very fast. Just make certain you go in with empty bags before hand.
Happy Grinding!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rep: Timbermaw Hold (and Wintersaber)

Continuing in our Reputation series, if you quest in Kalimdor, around level 45 you will enter Felwood and encounter the Timbermaw for the first time. This faction is key because their home is a VERY important tunnel between Felwood, Winterspring and Moonglade. Unfortunately pretty much the ONLY way to gain rep with them is via the dreaded "grind". Thankfully it has gotten MUCH easier than it was pre-BC.

If you are a Leatherworker, or Enchanter these guys are a good rep to gather in order to pick up some nice Pre-BC recipes that even now are in demand by Twinks. If you are an ALLIANCE mount collector you will notice I added Wintersaber reputation at the top of this heading. The reason is if you are going to grind for your Wintersaber mount I would strongly encourage you to do Timbermaw at the same time. (Kill two birds with one stone as it were) and I will go into the details of that later.

Now the other nice thing about the Timbermaw Rep is it is actually a VERY PROFITABLE rep to grind. Why? They don't drop a lot of TRASH. By that I mean, they don't tend to drop a lot of small items that don't sell for much, rather for some reason they just seem to drop cloth, greens, blues and other HIGHER value items along with the items you need for your rep turn ins. Back pre-BC I remember making an average of 300g gold an HOUR while grinding this rep (at that time a VERY nice profit.)

So how do you go about grinding this Rep? It is actually VERY simple. Start in Felwood and grind until you hit "unfriendly" at that point you can head through the tunnel unmolested. Go ahead and turn in your feathers as you get them in stacks of 5. HOLD ON TO THEM but I would grind until you have an even stacks of 5. Once upon a time you could only grind rep until Revered and then at that point only earn rep via the turn ins. This is NO LONGER the case. You will CONTINUE to earn rep from killing mobs all the way up to exalted so don't worry about keeping those stockpiles any longer.

Once you get into Winterspring the mobs drop beads rather than feathers. Now individuals all have their personal favorite places to farm beads and good reasons as to why theirs is better than others but all that matters is that you can turn them in every stack of 5.

There are also several quests that you will be able to do based on rep as well. Two of them are drop quests you will easily pick up as you are grinding. Deadwood Ritual Totem and Winterfall Ritual Totem both can only be turn in at Neutral. Meilosh in Timbermaw will ask for 30 Runecloth at friendly rep and if you are a tailor 2 Mooncloth.

Now for those of you who LOVE to fill your Rep bars as well as have pets once you reach exalted there is an additional quest that opens up in Timbermaw called "The Root of All Evil". At level 60 this was a VERY difficult quest, but at 80 it is a breeze, finish it off and you will get sent to either Ogrimmar or Ironforge and get a nice little Trinket.

Now Wintersaber...
While these mounts ARE Alliance only take heart oh Horde player, vindication IS coming in patch 3.2 with the return of Trainer Mor'vek to Un'Goro, there he will offer to help Horde players to once again raise and train Venomhide Ravasaurs as a mount... "if they can survive the creature's deadly poison."

For the Alliance once you have traversed through the Timbermaw tunnels follow the road straight out and to Frostsaber Rock, Rivern Frostwind is located literally at the very TOP of the end of that rock you need to go to the back of the rock and then climb to the top. You need to be at least level 58 to begin the quest chain with him and it IS annoying in that you can't just stack the items and do a bunch of turn ins rather you must keep running back and forth for each.

When you first encounter him he will only have one quest for you Frostsaber Provisions. This is the only quest available until you reach 1500 rep. At that point it will open up a SECOND quest Winterfall Intrusion. (See why I say do Timbermaw at the same time?) A third quest becomes available at Honored Rampaging Giants. Now Pre-BC this use to be a group quest but now can be easily soloed.

Other profit tips: In Everlook there is a quest you can get from Witch Doctor Mau'ari called Cache of Mau'ari. This quest will give you a "lucky Charm" that as long as you have it in your bags allows you to gather different E'ko. These can then be turned in for Juju of Power. Now the buffs these all give are of course no longer useful HOWEVER they ALL vendor quite well (see where this is going?) If you are going to grind, my theory is get every last drop of profit out of it you can.

Happy Grinding!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Patch 3.2: First Responses

Ah, major content patches...don't you LOVE how people respond? The tempers run high and people start screaming about how it all is going to "ruin the game and I may as well (Insert desired response here of one of the following) *delete toon, re-roll, leave the game,* right now because Blizzard has COMPLETELY lost touch with their player base!

So what all are we potentially looking at that has people in an uproar? Really (outside of the usual class specific buffs and nerfs) it comes down to two major topics. Wintergrasp and the new token system.

So not to be left out (it is after all the major topic of WoW bloggers everywhere) I will add my two cents. All we have heard so far is what they are THINKING, NOTHING is set in stone so no matter what my initial reaction might be I am not going to starting getting all bent out of shape over it NOW. PTR is not even LIVE for this yet and we all know how some things are COMPLETELY reworked and even disappear when that happens.

On Wintergrasp.
While I am not real THRILLED with the whole "Que" system, it would solve a lot of the issues that we have been facing. Previous measures that Blizzard has tried (NONE of which were popular either) have worked. Lets face the facts. Wintergrasp is EXTREMELY popular. We all know what happens when you get a large group of players in one area, with a great deal of activity, at one time. (It isn't nicknamed Winterlag for nothing.) The Que system would (potentially) put an end to some common exploits we see on our particular server as well.
If it goes live as it is presently presented (which I highly doubt will happen, as there are certain to be tweaks in the coming weeks) the players can and will adjust. Could it potentially cause hardship for certain higher populated severs? I suppose. But for those who wish to just do the weekly quests, you have seven DAYS to make the que (one would hope you could manage that at LEAST once.) Those who like to FARM Wintergrasp for Herbs, Ore and Eternals will STILL be able to do that, just NOT during battle times in which they were doing nothing more than causing hardship for their faction ANYWAY by not participating.
So my conclusion on this one is: While I don't really LIKE it, I can LIVE with it because I can see why they are making this move.

On the New Token System.
This one has caused me to laugh outright because to be honest it really breaks things down into the "raiders" vs. "casuals" thing. Many of the Raiders have expressed that the new token system (as they did back at patch 2.4) is stealing their thunder and glory and rewarding individuals with "equal gear" with out "equal effort". The "Casuals" (or those who due to choice or life constraints can NOT make the commitment to raid but have JUST as much a desire to see their characters geared well enough to have success.) Cheer the move with open arms because it makes gear otherwise unobtainable on THEIR time tables within reach.

Now let me just state here I do NOT consider myself a raider. While I DO raid and raid A LOT, due to the limits of my life (4 small children do that to you) to set aside 4+ hours a night for a raid is just not something I can do. So when I raid it has to be done in "small bites" as it were. Two wings here, three wings there, etc. Raids like OS, VoA and EoE are nice because they are SHORT (if done correctly anyway).

Now I know "Raiders" on the other hand who will clear Nax, OS, EoE AND VoA all in one night thus leaving the rest of the week to work on either progression in Ulduar, farming, alts or whatever else they may want to. While I would LOVE to have the freedom to do that it just is NOT an option for me.

So what all does this have to do with the new Token system? Well this. For those "Raiders" since we don't yet KNOW what the gear will be I wouldn't panic just yet but from 2.4 I remember there was a CLEAR distinction made if an individual was decked out in "Raid Gear" vs. "Token Gear". YES some of that gear was REALLY nice but we all knew WHO the true raiders were. Even now, a person can only get CERTAIN pieces of tier gear via the badges and for individuals like me who share their badge tokens with 2/3 's of the raid it is NICE to have that option of not having to HOPE I can get the piece rather than one of the Death Knights, Druids, Mages or other Rogues.

What I am excited to see is: What is this change going to mean for five man dungeons? I don't know about you but when WotLK first came out I was usually pugging at least 2 or 3 5 mans a day. Now a days for those who are leveling alts or are just slow levelers it is VERY difficult to get a group together to do that outside of MAYBE the dailys. To be able to throw a group together, drag a under geared person through a heroic and have them walkout with badges and gear that could have them at a comparable level quicker and thus allow ME to progress further, I see this as a win. Besides that, I just LIKE 5 mans. It is a GREAT way to really interact with others in your guild or just on your server rather than when you are in a 25 man raid. You also get a better idea of the type of player that person is in the smaller setting.

Now I have heard the opinion expressed that "five mans are just boring because I am so over geared for them". That is where I like to throw in some achievements. Some of those can REALLY add a challenge to an otherwise "boring" fight. Especially if you attempt them without the "optimal" group make up.

So conclusion on this one is: Don't start panicking until we see the gear. I HIGHLY doubt Blizzard is going to be putting the "best in slot" with T9 as badge token gear. They have NEVER done that before. NICE gear yes, even comparable gear but Raiders, be still you Egos, you will still be able to get all the TRUE goodies "The HARD way". For the rest of us, we will have gear that won't make us ashamed when we end up grouped up with you in VoA.

Now on a personal note. The whole three LINES about rogues....I guess they like where we are at.

1. After much quiet contemplation, rogues now possess the ability to learn how to use one-handed axes.

My response? *yawn* While I am sure the Orcs will be happy with their racial for Axes now applying to FISTS (that is nice for them at least) I won't be running out to level my Ax skill to 400 any time soon. Not even sure I will bother to learn it.

2. Sword Specialization: This talent is now called Hack and Slash and applies to axes as well as swords.

My response? The name is catchy.

3. Shadow Dance: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute. Now lasts 6 seconds, down from 10 seconds.

My response? Never have played with it so can't say how this effect things one way or another.

One other thing of note for Rogues:

Glyph of Shadow Dance: Now increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 seconds, down from 4 seconds.

My response? See above comment on Shadow Dance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I love playing a Rogue

These are in no particular order just off the top of my head.

1. Every humanoid mob has two sets of goodies for me, the fun items I pick from their pockets (A Steamy Romance anyone?) And the items I take from their steaming corpses.

2. I seldom have to FIGHT my way to any target, saving me valuable time, just sneak in, take out the target and remove the evidence.

3. There is something just SO satisfying about having a warlock or shadow priest dot you all up with the expectation you will fall over dead, then removing all their hard work with just one move and proceeding to REMOVE them.

4. No one ever complains because I forget to buff them or give them a buff they don’t want.

5. Because butt cracks are SOOOO attractive why look at faces?

6. When a locked box falls I never have to wait to see what goodies may be contained inside I can experience IMMEDIATE gratification.

7. When referred to as red face paint I can happily ignore anything someone may be saying to me. I AM A ROGUE after all not rouge.

8. I never have to worry that I will be asked to do ANY other role but Melee Dps.

9. Black is SO slimming. (The occasional splash of Red to hide the blood stains works well too.)

10. In recent days I have discovered my class to be filled primarily with individuals who actually ENJOY the class rather than those who think they can face roll their way to the top of the damage meters.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rep: Gelkis and Magram Clans

Deep in Desolace around level 35 players will encounter two clans of Centaurs taking part in an eternal feud. The Gelkis and the Magram Clans.

The Gelkis Clan is considered the more "civilized" of the two in that they have a firm grasp on social structure and common trade speak. The Magram Clan's focus is on strength and power. You can only have positive reputation with ONE of these factions at a time (Pre patch 2.2.0 it WAS possible to have both.) But there is one MORE catch to these tricky Centaurs. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO FARM EITHER REP TO EXALTED. The HIGHEST you can get these reps is Revered and the way you have to do it is to grind all the way though Honored and THEN do the quest chains. Otherwise you will just cap out at Honored.

However if you want to just take a look at these two as possible quest fonder for your Loremaster Achievement or if you are leveling up a character and trying to decided which of the two factions it is better to go with, we can help out there too.

The Gelkis Clan has a longer quest chain and consequently gives an additional level appropriate gear reward but less experience points are gained. (15400 for Alliance and 11450 for the Horde) Their village is more compact making them much easier to farm for high level characters going back to farm achievements.

The Magram Clan on the other hand has a shorter quest chain but will give you MORE experience points for doing it. (16450 for Alliance and 12500 for the Horde) Their village is rather spread out making them much easier to farm for level appropriate characters.

So really it all comes down to personal preference. There is no "best one". It is possible to do BOTH quest chains, you just have to grind the rep back on the faction you were beating up the first time.

Since this is such a short post I wanted to take this time to mention a Rep faction that pre BC players also encountered around level 45 over in the Hinterlands. The Wildhammer Clan. These Gryphon flying cousins of the Iron Forge Dwarves USE to have a faction building quest in which you could turn in Troll Necklaces for bounty. There were a great many of us who ground this reputation to exalted because we knew that THEY were going to be the faction in charge of our flying mounts in Burning Crusade and we all were looking for that "rep discount". However when patch 2.0.3 hit this faction disappeared. They are indeed in charge of the mounts in Shadowmoon Valley for the Alliance but (my guess) since there was no comparable faction for the Horde Blizzard removed it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thirst for Improvement

You may have noticed that other than my "Achievement" series I haven't been blogging as much these past couple of weeks. The reason for this is two fold. One, as summer vacation has hit I have been trying adjust both myself and my children to the new schedule. Two, the plate wearer in the family is on call these weeks which throws our sleep schedule even MORE off than usual. Life WILL adjust I know but it takes time and WoW goes down on the priority list...WAY down.

But there is another thing I have been dealing with. A personal dissatisfaction with my own performance. I needed a chance to sit back and get a fresh perspective. The problem I am faced with is that I learn best from side by side comparison, visual and first hand experience. Since I am my guild's primary raid leader, to take a break and go out side the guild to do raids with ANOTHER group just causes all SORTS of other issues. (I have been basically told point blank DON'T YOU DARE!) So this makes things a little more difficult for me as I struggle to figure out changes to my class, tweaks I need to make to my rotation, gear, etc. not to mention various strats for bosses we have yet to do in our own guild.

I have gotten a couple of lucky breaks this week. Sand another rogue on our server happened to end up grouped with me while doing the Threat From Above daily today. Thankfully he was kind enough to stay grouped afterward and talk "shop" with me and give me some input. It was VERY helpful and encouraging. In addition to that Aldriana came out with his most recent spreadsheet. (Some of you may recall how long I had been waiting to get excel so that I could have access to these WONDERFUL tools and I personally like Aldriana's better than any of the others.) Granted it meant that yet AGAIN I am investing in gems and enchants but...well that is just what it takes sometimes.

What makes this all so funny is that I am constantly told what a "good" rogue I am while I personally see all that I LACK in my play abilities. I KNOW I am not a theory crafter...Algebra is NOT my forte so the fact that I play a class that is SO math driven makes my head spin...but love it I do. The guys over at EJ have my utmost respect and admiration, without them I CERTAINLY would not be doing as well as I am today. (Even if I don't understand half of what they are saying.) At this point all I can do is keep searching for more input and keep trying to do my best. Hopefully the solutions will come to me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rep: Darkmoon Faire

Being that this is the week of the Faire it seemed more than fitting that we cover this reputation grind. Darkmoon Faire is another reputation that players will encounter fairly early on in the game but unlike any other it is a mobile one. In addition to that this rep is one I would classify as an "Oh shoot me now" in the grinding department. While with the advent of Inscription it has gotten EASIER that by no means translates into EASY or CHEAP.

The first Friday of each month a barker will show up in Ironforge and Orgrimmar announcing in which of three possible locations the faire will be located: Elwynn Forest, Mulgore or Terokkar Forest. (At Level 6 he will also have a quest for you sending you to the faire.) There you will see it being set up by the Carnies but you can not really be able to interact with it until the following Monday. Once the Faire is in full swing there are a variety of level limited turn in quests you can do for Tickets which can then be turned in for a variety of prizes. This is ONE way to gain rep with them.

Level one Characters can even participate with such quests as Carnival boots, Course Wetstone, Copper Modulator, and Small Furry Paws. You can do any of these quests until you have gained 500 rep with Darkmoon faire, then you have to move on to the next batch.

At level 10 Heavy Grinding Stone, Torn Bear Pelts, Whirring Bronze Gizmo, open up, again you can do these until 1100 rep then you must move on to the next set of quests.

At level 20 Green Fireworks, Green Iron Bracers, and Soft Bushy Tails become available. 1700 rep cap then you must move on to the next set.

The next set of quests open up at level 30 require you to again bring in items to the faire Big Black Mace, Crocolisk Boy and the Bearded Murloc, Mechanical Repair Kits, The World's Largest Gnome and Vibrant Plumes. These you can do until you reach 2500 rep then you must move on.

At Level 40 you gain access to the last set of repeatable quests Armor Kits, Evil Bat Eyes, Glowing Scorpid Blood, Rituals of Strength and Thorium Widget these quests can be done all the way to exalted reputation.

Besides the repeatable quests there are also the famous Darkmoon Faire cards. Now Wrath and the introduction of inscription changed some things with these. Before the only way you could get cards was as drops in either the Old World or Outland. Now certain decks can be crafted by inscriptionists. In addition to this the trinket producing decks no longer become soul bound when turned from a deck into a trinket. (Patch 3.1.1) So anyone who gathers these decks can turn them in for the rep then put the TRINKET up on the AH.

Now...since we all know I am Cheap...(I mean thrifty) what is the most cost effective way to gain exalted with these guys? There are two thoughts on this, either farm Vibrant Plumes or if you are an inscriptionist to make 1680 rogues decks. (The advantage of the Rogues decks is they can be turned in at anytime not just when the Faire is in town.) Personally for the inscriptionists out there (or maybe even for those others with some cash to burn) my personal suggestion would be to pick up the lvl 80 decks when they are CHEAP turn them in for the trinkets then sell the TRINKETS when the faire is not in town as the DECKS give you the most rep of ANY other quest. This is NOT a rep grind for the faint hearted that is for certain only the TRULY dedicated go after this one...or the Insane.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rep: Steamwheedle Cartel Reputations

I debated long and hard about which factions I should cover next as I am trying to go in the order in which individuals begin to encounter and NOTICE they have these funny things called "reputation bars". For the Alliance things stay pretty quiet until you hit the level 30's on the reputation front but for the Horde, around level 20 they will first begin to interact with the Goblin factions at the seaport town of Ratchet.

Ratchet is just one of four members of the Steamwheedle Cartel, located just on the coast in the Eastern Barrens. It has the added benefit of running a regular boat transport across to Booty Bay, which is located in Stranglethorn Vale. Gadgetzan in Tanaris and Everlook in Winterspring make up the final two factions. While each of these towns has individual reps you can grind there is also an additional town called Mudsprocket in Dustwallow Marsh, added in Patch 2.3.0 its quests give rep for all four of the other factions. There are also a smattering of other quests scattered through out the world that do that same.

Of the four factions only Everlook does NOT have any type of mob that can be ground to help you gain rep so they are the most difficult of the four to get to exalted but it can be done.

If you want to grind all four reps at the same TIME it CAN be done via a few REPEATABLE quests.
In Feralas on the coast just next to the dock leading to Feathermoon Stronghold you will find Zorbin Fandazzle. Once you have completed the initial quests Fuel for Zapping and Zapped Giants you will then be able to do two repeatable ones Refuel for the Zapping and Again with the Zapped Giants. However these quests will only give you 25 rep per turn in.

The other set is located not far away in Dire Maul North. About half way in you will find Knot Thimblejack chained up. He has two quests you can do, both repeatable. The first is The Gordok Ogre Suit, (those who remember doing Tribute Runs in Dire Maul are familiar with this one). This quest will give 75 rep per turn in for each of the factions. The Second quest he has is Free Knot. Now this one is a drop quest. First you have to get a Gordok Shackle key (the problem is you can only have one on you at a time.) Then talk to him telling him you FOUND the key, this will open up the quest. Be careful to do the Ogre suit quest FIRST before you turn in Free Knot because once you do Thimblejack runs off. This quest gives the greatest rep reward of 350 rep for each completion. Also be sure to check out his Cache as it will easily keep you stocked up on Leather for the Ogre suit quest and occasionally with have another vial of Ogre Tannin for it as well.

Now if like me you happen to be working on the Insane in the Membrane achievement this means that you will be rebuilding all these reps from Hated due to farming your Bloodsail Buccaneer Rep. Depending on what you wish to do you CAN get your reputations up through friendly very easily by farming Wastewander and Southsea mobs. I chose this method and then went back to farming Dire Maul because it allowed me to use all the Goblin Ports and Flight paths. The reason I chose these over the other mobs is that they can be easily accessed via the portal to the Caverns of Time from Dalaran.
Now another mob that you may prefer to farm is the Venture Co. Evacuee in Grizzly Hills. These are located on the Middle Boat in Venture Bay. The nice thing is because they are higher level they do drop Northrend items but there are only about 10 of them so if anyone else is in the area it can make farming slow.

So there you have it. I have to say that I personally get a rather fiendish pleasure out of having exalted rep with the Goblins since we all KNOW how much they love their money and forcing them to have to give me discounts just makes me smile. Happy Hunting!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where have all the Rogue mains gone?

I may have mentioned it before but I LOVE Wintergrasp and it's Raid Vault of Archavon. The battles themselves are a great deal of fun (at least on our server I hear horror stories about other ones.) It is the chance to interact with such a LARGE section of our server that I truly enjoy.

Lets face it, we all tend to get very involved in our personal guilds (unless they are friendships of long standing) at the higher levels at least and really not interact to much with those outside of them. Wintergrasp has helped "mix things up" a little in that EVERYONE seems to enjoy participating. This has allowed me to have some interesting conversations with other rogues and what I am discovering disturbs me a little.

Rogues are a dying breed. At least as mains. The majority of rogues I talk to on my server are NOT mains but ALTS and are used primarily for PvPing not raiding. At first I thought I was just my imagination...I mean we ARE rather sneaky and all but then I checked out the Statistics and sure enough...The only ones doing WORSE than us population wise are Shammans and Warlocks. The biggest DIFFERENCE I have seen is that people actually WANT the Shammans and the Locks for the buffs and closets but Rogues...we are really rather reviled. Other than for the occasional picked lock you don't see people spamming trade looking for a ROGUE to go do anything with them. In pug groups we generally are the LAST picked and FIRST kicked for a class that will give buffs.

I am not sure how I feel about it. Even some of the other Rogue BLOGS I read seem to be struggling with it as (like I did in Burning Crusade) they find themselves playing their ALTS more than their mains. Some have even considered re-rolling ENTIRELY but it is only the fact that they have already put SO MUCH work in to their character that holds them back. Blizzard has stated that Rogues are "where they want them to be" Dps wise and that can be clearly seen in that for the past few patches they really haven't done MUCH to our class save a few MINOR tweaks. It does make me wonder though, how a class that is just SO MUCH FUN to play is slowly fading away.