Saturday, January 23, 2010

$4 Day Passes, please?!

As a part-timer, I've let my subscription lapse again. The productivity drops I see when I'm playing WoW are insane. Insane. Sometimes, I've been working hard enough during even my discretionary time that WoW for a week or two is the perfect break. It's certainly like a drug in that respect -- once I start playing, I can't help but relax. But I relax too much, and have to come back up for air by putting the game away.

Part of the issue is needing to be more disciplined about how I play. If I only raided two nights a week or, more realistically, capped play at two or three hours twice or thrice a week, things wouldn't be so bad. But I can't do it. I go in to run a few rep runs, and before I know it I've run Dalaran Dailies, two factions of rep, and normal and heroic random PUGs for emblems.

In any event, both to help me keep playing to manageable and to put a few bucks into Blizzard's pocket, I'd suggest day passes. I don't even play every other month now, so they're already getting less than $10/mth from me. Why not let me supplement the months where I break down completely with a $4 day pass every week or two? I don't think I'd play fewer full months, and I know that having a strict 24-hr window when I don't have the time to veg for weeks would help me out IRL as well. And seriously, $4x4 Saturdays is nearly a month's worth of income for Blizzard anyhow. What's the worst that could happen from their perspective? I play 24 hours and buy another? I break down and buy a full month?

Cash on the table, G. They're leaving cash on the table.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Ding": GS 3500+

Saturday I managed to run a normal & a Heroic LK instance, which put me over 50 EoT. I bagged the Malfurion's Cover of Conquest to get rid of my last green. The chestpiece at the same cost, iirc, was tempting, but I settled on the headpiece. My meta gem isn't proc'ing because right now it's the only gemmed piece I've got, but I filled it in with something awfully cheap anyway to get the +9 spellpower bonus. Coincidental that I bagged the Coil of Missing Gems shortly before. Also coincidental that Chromie would score me another green (from a quest, no less) that quickly made it into the rotation, pushing out a blue.

Other instance drop upgrades include the Sash of Blood Removal and Papa's New Bag, which, though only a 20 slotter, was an upgrade for one of my bag slots. I'd just planned to hit up the AH for a bag earlier in the day, and this saved me a gold or two.

My only complaint? Why does the Cover look so, um, dorky?

Most fun thing to happen over the weekend was a PUG to the Trial of Champions, which I usually dislike because of the unimaginative routine. Joust joust joust, DPS DPS, look away from light of radiance or whatever it is, DPS.

In this case, our healer DC'd after the jousting, and we started waiting for LFG to kick in. Healers, natch, are in some demand, and just as I sent in a, "It's been a while since I healed, but I'd be happy to give it a go," another group member said, "Jal, want to try and heal?" The tank was suspicious ("There's lots of healing in here," or some such), but we went through. I can't heal for spit -- mostly kept up lifebloom, rejuv, and the occasional regrowth when things got ugly (and HT when things got really ugly) -- but I wasn't even mana challenged four-manning into the black knight. We almost had him down when our LFG priest appeared. A few Wraths later, we were done. I'm not sure the priest knew what happened, but he did start healing the right folk as soon as he appeared, which was professional and impressive, and allowed me to shift into 'kin and cut loose.

I'm pretty sure I should've learned Nourish or whatever it is at some point, but the lesson remains that a good DPS can easily heal through normal Trial of Champions. And I mean easily.

I debated running heroics until I had enough EoT to buy another piece, but instead started going after Kirin Tor rep for the head enchant, after searching and finding out player enchanters can't make head enchants like they can't make ones shoulders (or at least not spellpower ones; no reason to waste good borean leather for 18 STA when the Kirin Tor have much better stuff). Was upset to see that daily dungeons are a thing of the past, eliminating one easy route to Kirin Tor rep. Now we have weekly raids. I'm not sure that at 3500 GS I'm ready for 10 man raids; I simply have no idea. I seem to be consistently bringing in the highest DPS on PUGs now, however, when I'm not boneheadedly throwing Wraths at guys who are immune (nexus? /sigh). I may have to add recount to the addon list now, though I try to keep addons out as a rule. I did buy a tabard from the Kirin Tor to "champion" them in a run through Hall of Lightening for rep, which I'll probably do with some regularity for a while, since I know that instance fairly well. Also kept running the cooking quests (which I'd been doing with some regularity just for fun) and did my first Dalaran fishing quest to make my way to revered with the Kirin Tor. Great whale statue.

Also got major (?) spellpower on the Blood Boil Lancet, expecting it to last longer than the last time I enchanted a weapon. Also caught a Phaelia's Vestments of the Sprouting Seed on the AH for just under 2k, which was just enough for me not to buy, even with the context. Resto4life was a very good blog (he said uncontroversially).

Which brings me to my last quandary: Do I spend my 4200g on fast flying finally, or put that into mats to leatherwork my way to more cash, or spend on gear to make runs a little easier and the GS a little higher? I believe the artisan flying will be the most good for the longest, but I'm hardly flying much now. I'd go with gear, but the chance of accidentally scoring a replacement in a run is so high, I could make myself go mad. The right answer might be that it takes money to make money, but I really don't want to have to waste the time finding out the most efficient way to score dough through LW. Decisions, decisions.

In other news, the new armory additions are interesting. I should see if I can get Jal's RSS feed to show up on the blog.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gray Matter to the rescue

I've been overwhelmed with emblems, obviously. Today's Googling popped up a post over at Gray Matter from about a week and a half ago, however, that nearly ends the trouble. It's a list of 'kin raiding gear, ranked by what Graylo thinks is the appropriate DPS for each piece.

Now I realize he says...

This list is a tool, not a blue print for how to gear. I’ve never intended these lists to be the definitive guide on how to gear a raiding moonkin.

... and I get it. But I just don't have the time to do this right. Let's cherry pick from the excellent research and posting Graylo and Cowtarus have done to see what direction a part-timer should go with their emblems.

So though he says not to, I'm going to pretend that Graylo's lists are hierarchical BiS lists (BiS, I've learned, meaning "Best in Slot") so that I can save some time.  I really don't have the energy to figure out how close to accurate he is.  He's done better than I could by miles and miles, and I'm happy enough as is.

I'm taking Graylo's list and only including items that fit one of these "part-timer accessible" categories.
  1. Bought with emblems that you can grab from 5-man dungeons.
  2. Craftables that aren't BoC (ie, items you could find in the AH)
  3. Fall from a 5-man instance, heroic or normal.
  4. Rep rewards (though I think the ICC (Icecrown Citadel) rep is beyond us).
  5. The Kirin Tor will sell it to you for enough gold to buy most of Shattrath.
EoT items are in bold.  I'll try to clean up the html at some point.


Leggings of Woven Death Crafting 399.2 399.2
Legwraps of Unleashed Nature Crafting 381.5 381.5
Lightweave Leggings Crafting 378.1 378.1
Sanctified Lasherweave Trousers 95 EoF + Conq Mark 533.7 351.6
Lasherweave Trousers 95 EoF 473.2 314.9

Malfurion's Trousers of Triumph 75 EoT + 1 ToC 429.6 251.5

Malfurion's Trousers of Conquest 50 EoT 384 225.7


Helm of Clouded Sight 75 EoT 430.8 430.8
Helm of Abundant Growth 75 EoT 417.5 417.5
Fallen Sentry's Hood Falric 5man 398.4 398.4
Hood of Fiery Aftermath 75 EoT 536.4 390
Malfurion's Cover of Conquest 50 EoT 519.1 376.6
Sightless Crown of Ulmaas Marwyn - H 5man 490.9 368.3
Tattered Glacial-Woven Hood Halls Chest 5man 363.6 363.6


Lasherweave Mantle 60 EoF 263.7 263.7
Shoulders of the Fateful Accord 45 EoT 231.6 231.6
Malfurion's Mantle of Conquest 30 EoT 207.4 207.4
Mantle of Tattered Feathers Trash 5man 173.6 173.6
Grim Lasher Shoulderguards Halls Chest 5man 167.2 167.2
Very Fashionable Shoulders Bronjahm - H 5man 284.2 161.5


Meteor Chaser's Raiment 95 EoF 399.2 399.2
Ermine Coronation Robes 95 EoF 388.2 388.2
Vestments of Spruce and Fir 95 EoF 363.9 363.9
Lasherweave Vestment 95 EoF 337 337
Malfurion's Vestments of Conquest 50 EoT 295.2 295.2
Mord'rethar Robes Devourer - H 259.8 259.8
Palebone Robes Tyrannus 247.2 247.2
Chestguard of Broken Branches Halls Chest - H 234.2 234.2
Ancient Polar Bear Hide Ick - H 347.5 226.8
Robes of the Cheating Heart Bronjahm 216 216


Gloves of False Gestures 60 EoF 299.6 299.6
Gloves of the Great Horned Owl 60 EoF 288.1 288.1
Gloves of Ambivalence 60 EoF 280.3 280.3
Malfurion's Gloves of Conquest 30 EoT 200.6 200.6
Suspiciously Soft Gloves Marwyn - H 5man 197.6 197.6
Marwyn's Macabre Fingertips Falric 5man 181.9 181.9
Essence of Desire Devourer - H 5man 181.5 181.5
Cold Sweat Grips Bronjahm 5man 250.2 157.2


Bejeweled Wizard's Bracers Pattern from 25man [mats includes 60 EoT; 3339g at AH today - Panzer]
182 182
Ghostly Wristwraps Trash - H 5man 148.2 148.2
Bracer of Worn Molars Falric - H 5man 217.6 132.5
Wristguards of Subterranean Moss Ick 5man 121.1 121.1

This is an interesting slot, as Graylo explains that if you can get this to drop, from the top of the list, that you, as a boomkin, shouldn't have too much competition for the piece.  Bad in that there's nothing on this list that's from EoT or EoF.  The Bejeweled Bracers look like about it, as I think you could swipe a crafted pair from the AH.
Bracers of Eternal Dreaming Valithria - 25 204.5 204.5

There's also limited evidence that you can bag the Bracers for playing Bejeweled, or at could at one point (man, that'd be nice, but I don't see it corroborated anywhere).  Note also that the mats for those gloves require 60 EoT themselves!  (15 EoT times four Crusader Orbs).


Belt of Petrified Ivy 60 EoF 303 303

Cord of the White Dawn [4586g on AH today - Panzer] Crafted H 207.9 207.9
Strip of Remorse Halls Chest - H 5man 206.9 206.9
Braid of Salt and Fire Ick - H 5man 182.7 182.7
Sash of Ancient Power Crafted H 263.1 178.1
Essence of Anger Devourer 5man 230.1 141


Sandals of Consecration [15k on AH today -Panzer] Crafting 280.3 280.3
Blessed Cenarion Boots Crafting 267.5 267.5
Deathfrost Boots [18k on AH today] Crafting 391.4 264.8
Boots of Wintery Endurance Crafted H 204.8 204.8
Savior's Slippers Crafted H 199.8 199.8
Spellslinger's Slippers Crafted H 195.6 195.6
Prelate's Snowshoes Tyrannus - H 5man 183.1 183.1
Barkhide Treads Eadric's Cache - H 231.4 164.1
Ice-Steeped Sandals Garfrost 5man 161.1 161.1


Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky 50 EoF 208.8 208.8


Arcane Loops of Anger Devourer - H 5man 155.2 155.2
Coil of Missing Gems Devourer 5man 193.1 117.9


Sundial of the Exiled 40 EoH 171 171

Nevermelting Ice Crystal Tyrannus - H 5man 156.4 156.4

Talisman of Resurgence 50 EoT 151.3 151.3
Maghia's Misguided Quill 60 EoF 420.7 120
Shard of the Crystal Heart 50 EoT 297.4 44.1

From Graylo:
Disclaimer: I urge you to view the trinkets with some level of skepticism. A lot of the trinkets have proc with unknown rates and cooldowns. Additionally, the trinkets that proc mobs to fight for you are hard to evaluate.


Ashen Band of Endless Destruction Ashen Verdict Exalted 319.8 218.9
Ashen Band of Unmatched Destruction Ashen Verdict Revered 294.3 195.4
Runed Signet of the Kirin Tor 10,750 Gold 184.5 184.5
Polished Dragonslayer's Signet Onyxia Head 163.7 163.7
Ashen Band of Greater Destruction Ashen Verdict Honored 259.3 160.4
Band of the Invoker 35 EoT 155.6 155.6
Ashen Band of Destruction Ashen Verdict Friendly 241.7 148.8


Shriveled Heart Halls Chest - H 5man 156.8 156.8
Ward of the Violet Citadel 25 EoH 166.7 91.6

Main hand

Hammer of Purified Flame 5man Quests 752.9 752.9
Chilled Heart of the Glacier Halls Chest 5man 608.5 553.1
Dagger of Lunar purity 25 Champion's Seals 451.9 451.9


Unspeakable Secret Garfrost 5man 673.2 673.2
Engraved Gargoyle Femur Tyrannus - H 5man 885.8 662.2
Blood Boil Lancet Devourer 5man 644.8 644.8

Fun to see that I've already got the Blood Boil Lancet.  I'm on the list!


From Graylo:
At this point you should only be thinking about two idols. The [Idol of Lunar Eclipse] is the best and it is purchasable with Emblems of Frost. However, you may be saving your Emblems for your Tier Set or another item. In such a case you should at least have the [Idol of Lunar Fury]. It is purchase able with Emblems of Triumph. Since it is incredibly easy to farm EoTs at the moment, using anything less then the Idol of Lunar Fury is pretty stupid.

Wow.  Graylo's list is wonderful.  And I'm also able to quit irrationally leaving out slots that I usually ignore, like rings and trinkets.  So now I'm not so interested in shoulders and gloves anymore -- those are the only things I could even get enough EoF to grab at the rate I'm going.  They're tabled.  Although the following back item:
Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky 50 EoF 208.8 208.8

... is probably the first thing to grab with Frost.  It's the only cloak on Graylo's list that fits part-timer accessible gear.

After some thinking, I'm down to a ring or a helm.  Here's the comparison.  The order shouldn't matter too much; it's the same number of emblems (duh) no matter what I buy first.  Since I already have 43, the question is if I'd rather have neither for three days, max, or the ring for those three extra days and the helm later.

Ring gives me 58 Int, 39 Sta, 50 Spi, 50 Haste (1.52%), and 56 Spell Power over what I have now for 35 emblems.
The helm gives me 92 Int, 56 Sta, 313 Armor, 13 Crit (0.28%), 72 Hit (2.2%), 31 Spell Power, and 1 Socket over what I have now for 50 EoTs.

I'm tempted to go helm.  92x15 mana is nice, and that's 34x15 more mana than the ring.  Extra hit, a little crit, and armor is also nice.  Downside is minus 15 spell power and a little haste.  Yeah, I think I go helm (though I should've given idols more thought).

What a waste of time. Sheesh. How can this possibly be fun?! ;^)

So much for more emblems primer

Well, I"ve run a few more runs, and am up to 43 Emblems of Triumph, with two more pretty easily within reach after a run today. It's pretty much time to buy.

Here's my only question: Without WoWHead, WoW Wiki, or Thottbot, how was I supposed to figure out all the different choices for the emblems? That is, where is the in-game primer on emblems and gear? Because boy, I missed with my first swipe. Now that everyone's getting emblems thrown at them for logging on, it might be useful to include some info on them.

First, there's not just one person selling gear for emblems, there are, count 'em, at least three, and at least two are selling completely different stuff.

Two are at the tournament grounds.
Magistrix Iruvia (horde only? Didn't think to look)
Aspirant Forudir

And one in Dalaran (the only one I'd found previously):
Arcanist Miluria

And then some of these are Horde folk, and some are Alliance. Some items require battleground ratings. Some don't. Some are part of T9 and others are more expensive (and more powerful, if you don't plan to hit tier bonuses).

In any event, the state of things for n00bs like me sux0rz. I really don't have the time to sort through all this crap, and my social guild doesn't have another boomkin to give me their quick recommendation. I mean, heck, after looking through last night, my best bet appears to be to bag a ring or two. My current ring gear stinks too. But then I'll never grab even a 2t9 bonus.

Lets just say that there are options for gear upgrades that are much cheaper than I thought before, and there's no place that I've stumbled over yet that clearly explains the druid options for those who are only planning to earn enough EoTs to grab one or two pieces. /sigh

Somebody likes me achieved

In other news, I've upgraded a few Cloth purples for Leather, got a Core Hound Pup in the mail, though I'm not sure why, ran Grundak (Heroic), and become Exalted with Sons of Hodir -- first exalted rep for Jal. Time to find another grind for my spare time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My intro to emblems (for boomkins)

I've been doing enough PUGging recently to be exposed to emblems. At my last post, about a week ago, I had a gear score of around 2970. A day later, it was about a hundred points more (actually, I can piece stuff from my panzer set with my boomkin and get to about 3300, but the hybrid set really isn't good for anything else; it's neither highest melee/dmg mit or highest dps). I haven't done much for my gear since then, but I have been banging out Emblems of Frost and, surprisingly to me, Emblems of Triumph with regularity. I thought once a new emblem came out, everything else was deprecated. Not true. Two emblems (Frost and Triumph, duh) are still active, giving you ins for T9 and T10 gear.

WowWiki has a pretty good graphic describing what's going on. Click the image below to see the original version, contributed by WowWiki user ShandrisForever.

The bottom line is that you can get two Emblems of Frost per day just by running a random heroic. I'm a little torn on ethics here, as I'm often the least geared schmoe in my xserver PUGs. Still, I'm putting out 1st or 2nd place dps per run, with just a little trouble from oom drinking between trash at times. That 1st or 2nd place is with the time outs for drinks, however, so I still don't feel horrible. If you're new to Heroics, don't feel bad. At a GS of 3000, I'm still contributing as a boomkin.

I'm up from 15 to 25 Emblems of Triumph somehow. You get them for running Onyxia, Ulduar bosses, Malygos, and LK heroic bosses, according to the guide linked above. It looks like I've run Drak'Tharon, Culling of Strath, Violet Hold, and Azjol-Nerub on Heroic now and a few more on standard. /shrug Running extra random heroics also bag Triumphs. (We kid because we love, Hasselhoff.)

So now that I know that my Emblems of Triumph aren't deprecated, and now that I know that I'm racking up Emblems of Triumph pretty danged quickly without really trying, I've tried to take into account what I'm currently wearing and figure out how to best upgrade to T9 and T10 pieces. There are two T10 pieces for 60 Emblems of Frost. If we want to pretend I'll eventually spend mine on anything, I have to target one of those, so I'm looking at shoulder or hands.

Let's also dismiss the mid and heroic levels of tiered gear. These mid and heroic levels of gear, btw, are where the Trophy of the Crusade (etc), a raid reward, comes into play. There seem to be three levels of each tier of gear -- base, mid, and heroic. That is, there are T9 low, T9 mid, and T9 heroic gear sets. Likewise, there are T10 low, T10 mid, and T10 heroic gear sets too. You might also see these called T9, T9.25, and T9.50 (or T10, T25.10, etc) because of their raid requirements. T10 means the lowest level, that require only emblems. T10.25 means you needed the Trophy From a 25 man raid. T10.50 means a heroic trophy is needed.

From WoW Wiki:

No matter which level of tier 9 is worn, all pieces count towards the same set bonuses, much like in earlier tiers of gear. Each faction has their own flavor of the items, they are functionally identical, but have different artwork and names.

Item level 232 pieces are bought with [Emblems of Triumph]. [that's T9 low -Panzer]

Item level 245 pieces require 1.5 time as much Emblems of Triumph as the Item level 232 pieces require and they also require, in addition to the emblems, a [Trophy of the Crusade]. [that's T9 mid -Panzer].

Item level 258 pieces are, however, "purchased" with the normal loot tokens. [that's T9 heroic. Emblems are no good there. Enjoy. -Panzer]

I'm going to have a hard enough time collecting emblems for the lowest level of tiered gear. At least if we go pro soon, the WoW Wiki quote, above, says that our lowest level tiered gear will still contribute to set bonuses. I also think that you can upgrade your pieces with trophies (etc) later on, meaning that you're not wasting any time buying them now, though I'm not absolutely sure I have that right. But come on, the next expansion will be out before we get too far into piecing together a set, and then quest rewards will overpower the tiers if they pull another BC (which most say they aren't, but allow me the vent here anyway)!

Bottom line is that if you're a part-timer, I'll pretend you're not planning for raid rewards yet either. So let's go back to looking at T9 and T10 (lowest level of each) shoulder and hand gear, and compare to my current gear.

Current gear:
Shoulders: [Mantle of Gnarled Overgrowth]
Hands: [Gloves of the Serpent]

My Emblem of Triumph Choices (50 emblems each):
Shoulders: [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders]
Hands: [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves]

My Emblem of Frost Choices (60 emblems (ha!) each):
Shoulders: [Lasherweave Mantle]
Hands: [Lasherweave Gloves]

So here's the comparison. (The danged table scrolls under my blogger template here, even when I use obnoxiously small fonts. Click the previous link to see the whole thing. I'm sure the html issue is some z-value deal in CSS or some such, but I'm not tracking it down now.)

Comparing [Mantle of Gnarled Overgrowth] with [Gloves of the Servant] with [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Spaulders] with [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves] with [Lasherweave Mantle] with [Lasherweave Gloves]


Level 200 174 232 232 251 251
Required level 80
80 80 80 80

Intellect 47 44 45 45 81 81
Stamina 58 58 102 102 81 81

51 39

Armor 423 166 447 373 477 398
Resilience rating

60 47

Critical strike rating 44

71 71
Haste rating

Hit rating 44

Spell Power 78 62 96 96 116 116


Number of sockets

1 1 1 1

Gains 3 Int
257 Armor
44 Crit (0.96%)
44 Hit (1.34%)
16 Spell Power
35 Haste (1.07%) 1 Int
44 Sta
51 Spi
281 Armor
60 Resilience (0.73%)
34 Spell Power
1 Sockets
1 Int
44 Sta
39 Spi
207 Armor
47 Resilience (0.57%)
34 Spell Power
1 Sockets
37 Int
23 Sta
311 Armor
71 Crit (1.55%)
63 Haste (1.92%)
54 Spell Power
1 Sockets
37 Int
23 Sta
232 Armor
71 Crit (1.55%)
63 Hit (1.92%)
54 Spell Power
1 Sockets


Let's not kid ourselves. I just wasted a ton of time. But let's try to gain from the time I wasted and share it amongst ourselves, right? If we're running cross-server pick up groups (xserver PUGs), we're going to get a ton of emblems. If we don't play WoW all that much, we're only going to be able to target a few pieces with those emblems we do collect. What I've somewhat randomly tried to do is select the lowest hanging fruit with respect to armor. For now, I'm ignoring idols, though this same work helps us decide what to do there, too.

The first lesson is that a single piece of T10 isn't that much better than T9. Bizarre. So throw out T10 for now, though don't spend the Emblems of Frost as Emblems of Triumph (but if you're so inclined, you can find out how to downgrade your Frost emblems for Emblems of Triumph here). Also, the shoulders and hands for T9 (and the two for T10) are about the same within the tiers. That is, it's not like the T9 shoulder stats have it all over the T9 gloves, or vice versa. This means I should check out what's worse with my current gear, the shoulders or hands, and replace situationally.

For me, my gloves should stink -- though, honestly, comparing like this there's isn't nearly the separation between my current blue gloves and current purple shoulders that I expected. Other than armor (and the gloves are cloth, after all), their stats are very close. The shoulders give hit and crit and give up only haste, though, so I'll pretend I know what I'm doing and keep those. So we'll start saving up 25 more Emblems of Triumph (50 total) for the [Furious Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves].

By the time I have 50 Emblems of Triumph, I suppose I'll have a few more Frosts. I'm not sure the [Idol of the Lunar Eclipse] at 30 Frosts is all that much better than 25 Triumphs for [Idol of the Lunar Fury], however. It might be worth planning to hang onto the Frosts indefinitely, with the possibility of getting more definite after I grab my first T9 set piece. Perhaps I'll start shooting for the Triumph Idol and add some T10 shoulders?


Anybody else get the feeling that this game is too difficult to figure out? Seriously, and this is going to be the topic of a future post, I could have easily made about $100 contracting (I do database admin and design) in the time it took to research this, much less the time it takes to gather the emblems, etc. It's amazing how much like programming WoW research and gear pursuit is at times.

Oh yeah. Happy New Year. ;^) As Gene says, our favorite holiday remains "Another Day Above Ground Day."