Friday, August 31, 2007
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I'm not the n00b I was before?
And must my name, until I die be no more than a way to hide?
Must I hide?
How can I ever face myself again?
How can I face my fellow man?
The Armory has all my gear
My n00bish talents you'll see I fear
But now is time
I have some epics
to reveal myself to you.
Who am I.... who am I? I'm M E R V Y N
Is it sad that I did not need to look up the song to to be able to parody it? (For those of you who don't know, it's from Les Miserables.)
Is it also sad that I've been planning this post for awhile?
Thursday, August 30, 2007
RL Friend: Grats on hitting level 20. Hey what skills are you leveling?
Me: Well I was herb & skinning, but I dropped the herb for leatherworking.
RLF: That will be useful for your hunter.
Me: Yeah I thought so too, except I have all these recipes that I will never use for myself.
RLF: Well, you can make them and sell them on the Auction House.
Me: Auction House? What's that?
And then I am told all about the auction house and I learn to stop vendoring my light leather. w00t.
Nowadays, I feel that I am no longer an Auction House n00b. I believe I have graduated and I'm pretty good at playing the market and there are some essential tools that are needed to maximize profit and minimize your expenses when you need to buy materials or items.
Those tools are: Auctioneer, a wonderful add-on and allakhazam.com.
Now Auctioneer only works if you spend sometime scanning the AH. Basically, you have to have your character sit there and the program looks at every auction and looks at the price ( about 15 to 20 minutes). If you are just installing Auctioneer, you probably need to do this three times in the first week you install and once a week thereafter. The more you do this the more reliable your data is going to be. It is important to get as much info as possible for those weird things you pick up in your travels as well as keeping tabs on popular items.
Another important time to scan auctioneer is after a major upgrade. After 2.1 was implemented the prices of knothide leather and netherweave cloth plummeted, I was hoping it was a momentary blip because I made a lot of money off of these materials, but alas it was not. Keep in mind that there can be other unforseen changes to the economy after upgrades, so to make sure you get a handle on these quickly, scan often.
Auctioneer is also very useful in making sure you don't get taken for a ride. If you want to buy some felweed so someone can make pots for you and there are only a few on the AH and the price is way higher than Auctioneer says it should be, then you should probably wait on buying that item until there are more on the AH.
Now the best way to use Allakhazam is when you find a rare or weird item that you may only have one or no scans of the item.
Several weeks ago, while doing Netherwing Dallies, Formula: Enchant Chest - Major Resilience dropped. I did not have any info in my auctioneer on the item, but it was a green enchant, I probably would have put it up on the AH for 20g or something. However, since I had no info, I went to Allakhazam and it told me that this measly green sells for 475 gold on average and I gave it to my RL friend (yes, the very same one who hipped me to the AH) in hopes that he would get his epic flight form sooner, who sold it for 350g.
So, those are some good ideas.
Of mixed use is prospecting the AH (buying low and selling high). I will do it sometimes, but only with items, that if they don't sell I can actually use (with some exceptions -- like Primal Mana on the AH for 2g each.) I did it recently with Don Santos' Famous Hunting Rifle. I found it on the AH for 1,000 gold and tried to sell it for 2,000. I wound up selling it for about 1,400 -- still a tidy little profit, but it took several weeks. (Auctioneer has an add-on called Bottom Scanner, that will recommend you buy things that are very low in price -- if you decide you want to go that route.)
Here is a bad idea: Cornering the Market -- or attempting to. In this circumstance, you buy up everything on the AH of one kind of herb, leather or cloth and then resell it at an inflated price. This is a bad idea because you can never truly corner the market in this game. I have cloth and leather stored in my bank toon that I wait for just such a moment and then throw a bunch of it up on the AH at prices significantly lower than the other seller has set and yet still higher than the normal market price and I and others who do that same thing make a tidy profit off of other people's risk.
Of absolute stupidity is what someone on my realm tried to do a last week and that is make gold off of something you obviously have no clue about. This person bought all the epic recipes on the AH (selling for around 300 to 800 gold). Then they proceeded to mark them all up to 1,500 gold, what they did not discern in many of these recipes is that the item was Bind on Pickup (BOP) which meant that only the crafter could ever use it. No crafter is going to buy a recipe for 1,500 gold, then get the mats that will either take weeks to farm or hundreds more gold to buy, just for a single piece of gear. I would like to think that this person did not even realize that they were BOP items and thought that if the crafter was going to make money off of the recipe they would be willing to pay top coin for it. Sadly they were mistaken and wound up slowly dropping the price all week. It also didn't help that no one else putting these recipes up on the AH followed this person's lead -- they kept the old prices.
One final note: Inflation. As time goes on, Auctioneer will not keep up with inflation. You will start to notice that most popular items are being listed at 5 to 10% higher than your Auctioneer has them for. Since gold, copper and silver are created out of thin air, and once your epic flying mount is bought, you have no mortgage to save for, inflation is always going to be a problem -- just keep farming and doing quests to keep up with the Joneses. (This may also happen in reverse with high ticket items, which get farmed more as more people get better geared and do higher instances and get better drops.)
In the end, it's all fake money anyway, so if you lose money on the AH, its not as bad as having your entire IRA in Enron -- just like the rest of the game, it is something to have fun with.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"MMORPG.com has learned from a reliable source at Funcom that characters will be able to have sex and will receive a buff for the action. That is not to say, however, that there will be explicit sex in the game."So that got me thinking about what that buff could be and if I was programing it, how would I do it. (Note: this is only for straight sex, there would have to be a whole different system for gay sex.)
First off, I would make a different buff for both male and female characters, however, female characters would not automatically get the buff.
The chance that the female character would get the Female Sex Buff (FSB) would be based upon a complicated fomula. The formula would start out that the FSB procs 30% of the time after having sex. However, every time the FSB procs, that chance goes up by 2% to a maximum of 60%. The male character would also affect the FSB, they would start at 0% and go up .5% each time they have sex -- however that percentage can be increased if the male's partner gets the FSB three times in a row (i.e. the male cause the FSB to proc three times in a row with any partner) after that happened their percentage to cause a FSB would start going up by 2% an encounter to a max of 40% -- therefore a Male and a female character at max would always cause a FSB to proc.
The Buff for the male would be the following:
Testosterone Buff: Character must not do anything strenuous for 5 minutes, which would include running or fighting. If they rest for 5 minutes they get a 25% buff to all stats and vitality for 2 hours. If rest is interrupted by any strenuous work they lose 25% to all stats for 20 minutes.
The FSB would be:
The Glowing Buff: Character gets an immediate buff which includes a 15% haste rating increase and a 15% buff to all stats and vitality for 3 hours.
So the Age of Conan would be just like real life in the sense that after the sex the woman is ready for more and all the guy wants to do is go to sleep. Also, men will lie about how big their proc rate is just to get a women in bed with him!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Personally, as you can tell from my title, I have never felt quite secure enough to lead a Raid Instance and I have yet to be asked to join a position of authority amongst my guild. As a matter of fact, the one Hunter who did have a position of authority in our guild has retired their hunter and is now playing a priest.
On a side note, I found out today that I have been nominated as Assistant Class Leader -- but what kind of position of authority is Assistant Leader of the class that has no leaders? But I digress.
When I first started reading Big Red Kitty, I had assumed, since he wrote with such forcefulness and authority, that he must be the leader of his guild and he must run two or three groups through Karazhan a week. Then to my dismay, I learned that he did not lead his guild, he did not run the Kara instances... if BRK wasn't leading, what hope did the rest of us Hunters have?
Meanwhile, however, because I read people's blogs and keep track of trends, I seem to know a bit and offer a lot of insights to the entire raid -- so why don't I lead?
Honestly, I have always been happier being the man behind the throne, the man with the throne's ear than the one sitting upon it. I wonder if similar qualities draw hunters to be hunters, maybe we do not want to wield power, but we want to have a say in how that power is used.
Lets use the armory to see if I am right:
What Class leads what guilds?
- Eternal n00bies' Guild: Paladin
- Death & Taxes: (No Guild Leader) Rank 1: 3 warriors, Druid, Mage, shaman
- Nilium: Warrior
- Last Resort: Warrior
- Meet Your Maker: Warlock
- Curse: Rogue (Level 60?)
- Forte: Warrior
So I'm curious, whatever class you play, are you happy where you are at? Do you want more responsibility? Less? Why?
On a side note - another real life n00b moment: Some of my friends from college were so excited to see Joss Wheadon's movie "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" -- I happily went pretending all along that I knew who this Joss Wheadon was -- I figured I should know this film maker, they all knew him. I don't remember how much later, but it was years, when I realized the only reason why they knew Joss Wheadon was because they knew Joss Wheadon, he was a senior at my college when I was a freshman. End RL n00b moment.
So finally, I gave up on the heroic group and put my name into the LFG for Shadow Labyrinth. Why Shadow Lab? Because I was 1200 away from revered and I still wanted that damn Sonic Spear . So to my surprise, I get invited to a PUG rather quickly and to my even greater surprise, we have a very good tank and a good mage. After an Arms Warrior quit the group after being embarrassed by pulling a pat (weird, but he wasn't adding much in the way of DPS) we got a good warlock, and while the priest had a weird spec, he was damn good at keeping us all alive. And so I got a Pattern: Stylin' Purple Hat And then, thank Elune, when we get Mummur down, my baby drops, the Sonic Spear -- that and Auchenai Key made for a very nice night.
Now I have to decide whether to put +35 Agility or +70 Attack Power on that baby.
Monday, August 27, 2007
So, tell me, what is wrong with this picture? Please list the many why I am a n00b.
And remember there are no wrong answers, only dumb ones!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The jobs a big one and I just haven't had the time to focus on it yet, lucky for me Lassirra at The Hunter's Mark has already a lot of done it for me in two great posts.
These are close to what I was going to write anyway, so that made it pretty easy, now I have to tie all these up in a little bow and put them in a sidebar -- add a few sites of my own choosing and voila!
In the meantime, I would call these two articles required reading for all of us n00bs.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Everyone has guides for all the big stuff. Guides on how to pick talents or mob specific macros. Bosskillers is a whole site devoted to killing the big time bosses. There are guides to creating gold, to crafting, gathering, etc.
So, what about the little things? What little things in WoW did we have to learn all by ourselves? Number 1 right off the bat for me were the abbreviations, they are the worst, because there is nothing that says "n00b" more than asking what STV means, so I have provided a link to a guide from wowinsider in the column to your left. the other thing that had me flummoxed right away and took awhile for me to figure out were guilds.
Now if you are joining your real life friends on your server this is generally a no-brainer -- you and your friends either create a guild or join one together. But if you are alone and people keep whispering you to "Sign my charter" or "Join my guild" as a level 10 or 16 or 20 whatever, how do you know what guilds to avoid and what guilds to join?
At least if you join the wrong guild, you can always /gquit, its not like if you picked the wrong gender, class, race -- at least you're not stuck with it. (I would say hair style, but we'll get to change that eventually.)
Truly, the answer to these "tells" is either to ignore them or give them a polite no. I would not join a guild until you have run at least one instance with a PUG (Pick up Group) and if you get along with someone in that PUG, who is in a guild, ask them about it -- if you like what they tell you about it, ask how you join. (I did that with my first guild after a Deadmines Run and as soon as I asked how to join, I got an invite and then that person bought me a tabard and it was a great guild.)
There are also plenty of class specific things you wind up having to learn by yourself, for me one was how to learn new talents for your pet without going to the trainer.
But one thing I will say about these little things... when you do discover them all on your own, there is a sense of accomplishment. Sure you're not the first one to have figured it out, but you did figure it out -- without a guide, without a friend, without asking.
So take a lot of pride in those little things you figured out along the way-- those wonderful AHA moments -- one day, one of us n00bs is going to have an AHA moment that no one else has ever had before and then, well then, we won't be a n00b anymore and we will have graduated to n00b first class!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So, lets talk about Karazhan and Gruul's lair and all the great loot I got! Man, there were some great drops for hunters on both runs and if I had rolled poorly and someone else had won the loot that would have been ok. If I had passed on the stuff, because we need to keep the team even, let everyone get loot, that would be ok too. But no... I had all the stuff already. Tier 4 tokens of the fallen hero dropped off both High King & Curator -- I've got 'em all the other purple stuff that I could possible use? Dupes.
On the plus side, in Kara we got to the Curator again in under 2 and half hours and one-shot him in 6 minutes and 4 seconds. And we had no Warlock, so they told me to head back to the bank and get all my arcane gear -- because you're the soaker baby!
And so 154 arcane resist unbuffed later (and a loss of 250 RAP (Ranged Attack Power for us n00bs who don't get the abbreviations -- PS there's a link over to your left to help with that.)) and I soaked up those bolts like a pro!
High King Mulgore went down on the second shot last night, may have gone down on the first, but one of his lackeys went bugging and started evading us.
Got Gruul down to almost 20% (at 3.4 million HP, that means we did 2.7 million worth of damage to him!) And where was the n00b on the damage meters? Well, combined me and Kulkinski were at 7.9%, the highest? A mage at 8%.
On a side note, on one of our many wipes, Gruul critted me for 26,000+ damage.
All in all a fun, if not lucrative, two nights and now I have to take a few days off from the game to avoid some serious spouse aggro.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
What was BRK thinking when he linked to my blog? There were like eight people reading this beforehand and now... god I just checked my meter and well there's a lot more people now! I can't do this-- there's too many people watching, what if I screw up, what if I write something stupid, what if people don't like me?
Actually, I am ready. I can do this.
Welcome all -- since your all fans of BRK, you must be intelligent, thoughtful, insightful... ok, I'm laying it on too thick now.
Pressure situations -- thats what I want to talk about today. The higher the imaginary stakes the more you have on the line. Here are pretty much all of my highest pressure moments in WoW:
Grouping up with someone I didn't know for the first time (around level 3).
Grouping up for my first instance.
Raiding with my first guild for the first time. (We had one 60 and we went down to the crossroads, and got our butts kicked.)
Real raiding with my guild (ZG, I think).
Switching servers and finding new friends.
Submitting the application for my new guild.
My new guild interview.
Signing up for a Molten Core run while still not being attuned (and praying that I get attuned in the next two days).
The Molten Core run as a brand new member of the guild.
My first run of Karazhan (as a replacement of the Kara 2 team). For the full story of that read about it here.
My first run of Karazhan (as a replacement of the Kara 1 team).
My first run of Karazhan on my team.
Each of these circumstances dealt with working with new people, new situations and potentially the death of everyone involved, ok not potentially -- inevitably, but you don't want to be the one the Tank yells at that you are costing him gold.
The n00b inside me quaked at each of these moments and even including the stupid raid on the Crossroads (a nice guild bonding moment) they all turned out great! Sure, mistakes were made, but I wasn't the only one making them and if people were talking about me behind my back , I didn't hear it so I didn't care. When I needed to be nudged, someone would nudge me. When I did something well, someone would praise me.
So a little fear, a little pressure is a good thing. It made me read up like a madman on Molten Core and the bosses in Karazhan to look like I knew what I was doing. (It also made me re-read and re-write this entry three times.) I find that it's the braggarts that go into the instance without any preparation and think that their massive gear will show everyone and the MoBs who is boss. They are the ones that usually wind up wiping the group over and over again, while we insecure, overly prepared n00bs try to correct their errant course and set the raid aright with all our big book learning.
And everything turns out great!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I was a level 20 Night Elf who had just ventured off of Teldrassil for first time ever and kept taking the boat all around to explore this strange new world.
But I never took the time to analysis or even worry about rep until I got to Desolace and needed it for the whole Centaur thing, and even then I didn't really care about it until Argent Dawn and Timbermaw, when you could actually get some cool stuff by getting higher reps.
(Oh... I have a whole n00bish story about Argent Dawn Rep Rewards that I will tell sometime soon.. It was so stupid and it cost me a 1/3 of my gold!)
Anyway, you would think that by the time I got to Outland, I would know enough about Rep to not be stupid -- do things in the right order to maximize rep grinds. Well if you thought that, you'd be wrong. I barreled through Hellfire Peninsula and I'm still 3500 rep points away from being Revered with Honor Hold. (And they have some really nice rewards too!)
So, first and foremost, before you start a rep grind, do your research. wowwiki is the best for getting the nitty gritty on how to maximize your rep grinding points. (For example, it tells me that the first thing I should have done in Hellfire is kill Shattered Hands until I was Friendly, then I could start doing the quests, but I was anxious to get leveling so I did the quest for the experience right away, thats a n00b move.) There is also a Reputation Calculator that shows how to maximize your grind based on your armory profile, but its not working right now (40,000 hits crashed the free web service that was hosting it).
Now, I'm not saying abandon all fun or your playing style to maximize Rep, but if it is important you, look at the rewards and the best way to get the reputation and then go about doing it your own way.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've begun to start telling friends about this site, I put a link to it in my Guild's Forums (on the bottom of my signature) and I'm just hoping that people kinda of find their way here.
And yet, I still have that sinking feeling, that this just isn't good enough for the general public, and I think I know why: This blog doesn't know that it is. That it is a World of Warcraft blog is undeniable, but I meant this blog as a forum and guide for all of us with that sinking feeling that we just don't know well enough what we are doing. It was supposed to be filled little tips and tricks to make the reader feel like, well at least if they didn't know what they were doing, could at least fake it. Of course, up to now, it has only been about me and things that concern me. I hope to change that... in the future, as for today, I will share another one of those sinking feeling stories and maybe by example someone will learn something.
So getting ready for a Kara run yesterday, sitting in the main Vent chat room talking to two other people, when one says "Beast Mastery is stupid, any hunter who is a beast master is stupid." At first, my intention was to crawl into a hole, he had an opinion and I didn't want a fight. Then I thought, how could this person say that? That's when I remembered -- this person, playing a level 70 hunter, is not a level 70 hunter, they just inherited that character from someone who quit the game. So, I stood up for BM hunters everywhere "You have no idea what you are talking about, Beast Mastery is currently the highest DPS hunter tree in raids." "Well, but..." He starts to say, "Look," I retort, "I have played a hunter from level 1 to level 70, I have studied this class in depth and I know what I am talking about, Beast Master is a very good tree." That shut the other guy up for a while and the third hunter in the conversation went on to say that all the Hunter Trees are pretty good now, and it really depends upon your play style -- a very true statement.
So here what I hope the reader will take away from this:
When someone questions your deeply held beliefs or states an out and out fallacy as truth, tell them they are wrong-- forcefully-- having references to back you up also help, but don't just let them spout off their stupidness, people might start to believe them, and then where would we be?
Friday, August 17, 2007
Bulldazhor was kind enough to let us know that this latest update to the PTR has also included some changes to the scorpid skill Scorpid Poison:
- Scorpid Poison Rank 5 now does 55 damage over 10 seconds (instead of 44 damage over 8 seconds). This will make it easier to keep Scorpid Poison stacked when using Rank 5.
- However, fewer hunters will be interested in keeping Scorpid Poison stacked since its damage no longer seems to scale with hunter RAP to the same extent that it did before.
In other words, it looks like the days of using the Scorpid Poison stacking trick to inflict massive amounts of damage in a long fight are over … or will be when Patch 2.2 goes live, anyway.
So, my Pet Scorpid, Kulkinski (named after a notorious mafia hitman who used poison to kill his victims) will probably be abandoned in favor of a Ravager. The first time I pulled out Kulkinski, after I had trained him, was for a Kara run in which I was a replacement on our guilds Kara 1 team. It was their first attempt at Illhoof and they one-shotted him and Kulkinski did over 100,000 damage. I was hooked on that pet from then on... of course, he's ugly as sin and I only pull him out for instances, but he does a lot of damage.
Since I was the only Hunter in my Guild to train one of these bad boys, I suppose I will be losing something that I felt was uniquely me, even if it is butt ugly.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So it started out okay -- Purples were dropping and many were dupes, so people were taking them as backups. I did so myself, after the Moroes fight I grabbed:
A nice Dagger, I don't normally use daggers, but as a back up for when I need two weapons for some kind of double Mana Oil application or something like that, it could be useful.
The we get to The Curator... we get to him at 9:20PM with the raid scheulded to be over by 9:30PM, Curator down my 9:26PM.
What does he drop?
[Gloves of the Fallen Hero]
[Garona's Signet Ring]
Now, as a n00b, I don't feel like I deserve either, but no one wants the ring so I get it by default... and its a really nice upgrade for me, but then I roll for my very first item of Tier 4 Gear and my 71 holds up against four other rolls... and now I feel very guilty, with my [Demon Stalker Gauntlets] I think I should post in Guild chat that I will not be accepting any more purples until I can pass on at least one tier 4 gear or two epics... or should I just shut up and take what comes to me?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
I advocated my positions well, I explained that I had done a lot of research on these issues and I convinced my RL (for the moment), so where was I the n00b? Well, I must heave spelled Respeccing at least three different ways. How do you spell it?
In non-n00bish-ness news, we downed the Curator in one-shot again and as the Flare guy (N00b moment-- what is the guy who marks and grabs the flares' attention called?) on both of our one shots -- that's a title I'm pretty proud to where, whatever that title may be.
Actually, the curator fight is fun because I love watching my Warp-Stalker warp to each and every flare I select -- it's so lovely -- and my two macros work really well:
/Target Astral Flare
/Cast Hunter's Mark
/Cast Send Pet
/Cast Sequence Distracting Shot, Arcane Shat, Multi-Shot
And boom the Curator went down -- then i wiped the entire party on the next trash mob pull!
Yeah for N00bs!
I did not put a counter on this page, but I have a feeling that no one has come by, which is fine right now as there is very little to see. So, if I bulk up the page a bit, get three or four more entries into it maybe I'll invite some people to take a look at it.
But, back to the subject of this site... which is: Feeling like you don't know what you are doing. And while I have applied it to WoW, I may expand that and apply it to things in life as well.
For example, this weekend I was driving in Manhattan. There is a certain mind set and attitude that you need to have to drive there and with Maryland plates, no one takes you seriously -- so you have to drive like a total jerk, which I did, but I felt like I was faking it, because for the 3 and 1/2 hours it took me to get there, I did not drive that way, it was only when I emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel that there was any noticeable change in my driving temperament.
So, that is one example of "faking it" in real life. In fake life, (meaning World of Warcraft) things have not been quite so n00bish. My teams have down High King Maulgar in Gruul's Lair, Curator and Illhoof. I got some phat loot in the last weeks too, including:
[Maulgar's War Helm]
[Stalker's War Bands]
[Romulo's Poison Vial]
And now my profile in the Armory is beginning to look not too much like a n00b.
I'm still not ready to post on the forums in the posts where it asks you to rate the Hunter above you -- I don't think I'll ever want to do that, I mean if I want that kind of advice I would rather hear it from my friends and class leaders in the guild rather than some random person on the forums... probably Hoard too!