Monday, October 29, 2012

This Was An Email To a Friend

He's trying to get a Darkmoon trinket. Poor guy asked what DMF stands for.

DMF stands for Darkmoon Fair. The fair has to be going on for you to actually be able to get the trinket. Otherwise, you just have the deck. Prices can go up or down depending on whether or not the DMF is going, or how soon it will start/end.

Here’s the breakdown for how many herbs you need to make 8 cards. The thing with these decks is that when the scribe makes the card, you get a totally random one each time. The deck you’re after uses serpents cards, ace through eight. If you look at the AH, the deck is just called Serpents Deck, and the trinket you can get from the deck is called Relic of Yu’lon. Additionally, the individual cards can be found by searching for “of serpents.”

Anyway, the last time I milled herbs for 2 cards, I had exactly 400 herbs. When you mill a stack of herbs you get two different pigments. One is a common pigment (Ink of Dreams) and the other is uncommon (Starlight Ink.) You need 20 of the green pigments to make the 10 Starlight inks the card requires. The thing is you can trade 10 Ink of dreams for 1 Starlight Ink. A full deck worth of Darkmoon cards takes 80 Starlight Ink and 24 Ink of Dreams. Or just 824 Ink of dreams if you’re using the ink trader vendor.

You get *about* 10 Starlight Ink and 70-ish Ink of Dreams per 200 herbs.

Bento’s request for 1000 herbs is about right because that should make 85 Starlight Inks. Warning…math inc. From that 1000 you get roughly 350 Ink of Dreams and 50 Starlight Ink. Enough for 8.5 cards.

Skip to the bottom for the punch line.

These are actual prices from the Kael’Thas Alliance AH:

Starlight InkX10 (102g per)
Ink of DreamsX3 (8g per)
Per card= 10 SI+3 IoD= 102X10+8X3= 1044g per card just from ink.

Fool’s cap=90g per stack

The raw cost of making 8 cards, just buying stuff from the AH is as follows:
Only buying herbs:
-Potentially 4500g

Only buying inks:
-8352g (buying 80 SI/24IoD)
-7900 (buying 50 SI/350 IoD) This is the AH value of your 1000 fool’s cap, by the way.
-6592g (buying 824 IoD)

Relic of Yu’lon (67500g per)
Serpent Deck (45500g per)

Aw, you skipped my math.

SO, (LOL TOO MUCH INFO) you have a few options here. The most cost effective way of doing this is just farming your own herbs and having Bento mill them. It’s much more expensive to buy the inks from the AH, so don’t do it unless you have to. If you have the means, I would probably just buy 1000 herbs from the AH, assuming you can get them for around 90g/stack or less. If Bento says he can get you a complete deck for 1000 herbs, that’s a pretty damn good deal, considering how each time you make a card you have a 1 in 36 chance of getting what you want. Even though you’re spending 4500g for those herbs, you’re getting a trinket worth 10x that much. If you have the money, just buy the herbs as they come up. Don’t spend over 90g per 20 and you’ll stay within that figure.

Technically you could buy 1000 herbs, have somebody mill them and make them into inks, sell the inks on the AH, then buy ANOTHER 1000 herbs to make your cards and you’d (by the numbers above) only be out of pocket 1100g total for a 67500g trinket. This is heavily dependent on there being a LOT of fool’s cap on you AH, which there is not.

After November’s Darkmoon Fair, prices for individual cards and trinkets should come down. Your server is selling decks and completed trinkets for a lot more money than mine. Demand won’t sustain prices like that. Still, the cheapest way of getting the deck will be farming yourself. 1000 herbs represents hours of farming though, so if you have the money, just buy them.

It’s been a slow morning.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Turtles All the Way Down

Farming Ironpaw Tokens

I’m one of those players who actually enjoy repetitive farming. For some reason the simplicity and repetition appeals to me. I also enjoy the prospect of random drop chances. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours farming for turtle meat on my warlock, Illex. The spot I was in isn’t totally unknown. During the time I spent there I saw a few people try to come in and start farming themselves. I like to think my prodigious warlock multi-dotting skills scared some would-be farmers off. Anyway, here’s some info on the spot and what it’s good for.

The spot in question is at the north end of the Pools of Purity in the Valley of the Four Winds. I certainly wasn’t the first person to find this gem, but I think it’s worth sharing regardless. These pools are apparently a congregation point for level 86 turtles in the zone. They have pretty low health (around 110k) and don’t do anything particularly obnoxious. As a clothie, it’s important to stay out of melee range as (if you’re doing it right) it’s pretty easy to have your health drop when you get converged on by a crowd of turtles. When they’re out of melee range they have some kind of instant cast ranged ability that shoots water bubbles. Don’t concern yourself with this; it does minimal damage.

What’s the point of farming these mobs? Well, there are a couple of good ones. As a farmer, I like there to be multiple reasons for committing myself to something like this. First, my warlock started the process as a level 85, brand new to Pandaria. Illex has an average item level around 372, which any fresh 85 can get from the gear vendor at Halfhill. I wanted to get some XP out of the deal (one of the reasons I didn’t use my paladin,) and I got plenty. By the time I was done, I ended up about 38% into level 86. The main reason people farm this area is for motes of harmony. The mobs have a ridiculously high respawn rate and a pretty decent chance of dropping motes. Spirits of Harmony aren’t of any use to my lock right now, but the 56 motes I rounded up may come in handy at some point in the future. The primary reason I had for culling the turtle population was for their meat. Stacks of various Pandaria meats, fish, and veggies can be turned in at Halfhill in exchange for Ironpaw tokens. The sheer quantity of potential meat drops makes this a viable way of amassing tokens much faster than normal. Over the course of two days of fairly light farming, I got 40 tokens, enough for that flippable table I was after. I’m going to take a look at whether or not this will be an efficient way of power leveling different ways of cooking. 40 tokens could buy a lot of different types of cooking ingredients.

In summary, 2-3 hours at the pools of purity isn’t going to have a crazy gold per hour return unless you’re utilizing the Spirits of Harmony with a crafting profession. However, this spot is still extremely useful. My efforts got me 401 turtle meat, around 280g in gray trash drops (the turtles drop a 6g gray shell fragment,) 56 motes of harmony, two blue 410-425 ilevel items, about 90g in repair costs and 36(!) green items. Prior to moving my lock to Halfhill, I considered utilizing a potion of luck during my farming. Given the volume of stuff I got from normal drops, I don’t feel it would have been worth it to burn 3 potions (9 golden lotus, or more than half of the SoH I ended up with.) Having a dot class (affliction locks are beastly for this, trust me) makes this easy and fun. I could dot up and kite around as many as 12 level 86 mobs at a time. Classes without a couple of ranged instants can obviously do this, but it’ll be a little less fluid. All in all, this was a fantastic way for me to land a flippable table in a very short period of time. The Pools of Purity have multiple uses, so keep them in mind for your farming needs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Silence isn't Golden

It’s been some time since I’ve done a blog post. I have quite a few reasons for that, most of which end up sounding lame. This blog is something I enjoy doing. I don’t believe I ever had a huge reader base, but I certainly have some level of guilt for just falling off the face of the earth. Generally speaking, putting out blog posts is (obviously) fairly low on my list of real and virtual priorities.

I’d like to take a few moments to wrap up Cataclysm and to make a few statements about my impression of MoP so far. I’m posting this from work, so there won’t be any fun pictures at first. I’ll make a note and add some things later tonight when I’m home. Personifying my characters is fun and I feel that including image content is a vital component to the entertainment value of a blog. For now though you’re just going to have to enjoy what I’m writing.

Cataclysm was an enormously fun expansion for me. I won’t rehash my chronicle too much, so if you’re a new reader just go skim some of my other posts. The bulk of my Cata time was enjoyed under the banner of my current guild, Apotheosis. As a member of the guild’s 25 man (and woman) raid team, I had a blast. We went 8/8 in heroic Dragon Soul, got the raid meta-achievement mount, and did so with style.

As a player, Cataclysm brought me a lot of really cool “firsts.” I got my first heroic boss kill, my first piece of heroic loot, my first raid mount, and lots of other stuff. I was able to get a full best in slot ret set and turn it into a couple of rankings (H Morchok and H Spine.) I consider myself so fortunate to have been brought on with Apotheosis. Cataclysm was a fantastic time because of the great members and officers I get to play this game with.

Now that Mists of Pandaria has been out for a few weeks, I feel like I have a decent idea of what the expansion has to offer. A lot of fuss is being made about the quantity of “required” tasks raiding folks have at hand. I’ll get into that as well as my initial impressions on raiding, and even a little bit of gold making.

The snarky pseudonym “World of Dailycraft” has popped up numerous times throughout Twitter and the bloggersphere. Mists did indeed bring forth a bounty of reputation factions and corresponding dailies. I’ve voiced my opinion on this topic a few times via Twitter. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. To start with the main positive, I think it’s great that Blizzard has given players such a wealth of content to enjoy. Most people, however, probably feel that is beside the point. Due to the fact that several of the factions are the sources of valor point gear, raiders are up in arms about issues of time investment. I won’t lie; I’ve felt a lot of that same frustration. Upon hitting 90, I immediately went to work on Golden Lotus rep. That’s probably a good first step because the GL dailies are right at your front door if you’re hearth is set at Shrine in Vale. Other rep factions aren’t so close, but none are particularly far either. Distance isn’t the issue anyway.

When you’re looking at the big picture of what you could potentially do, every day, the volume of work is staggering. Assuming you cleared the appropriate zones, once you hit 90 you can immediately start working on Golden Lotus and Klaxxi rep. Between those two, depending on your rep level, there’s probably 5-15 dailies available per faction. That may be an underestimation because I’m not currently working on Klaxxi rep. I’m revered with Golden Lotus, so I feel I have a decent feel there. Upon hitting Revered with GL, you can then go work on Shado-Pan and August Celestials rep (which I haven’t touched yet.) I don’t really think I need to hash out the numbers here. It’s a lot of dailies. Add to that the fact that you can do daily quests for The Tillers and Anglers, and you might never have time for dungeons, pvp, farming, eating, sleeping, etc.

Now, it’s really easy to just look at all this stuff and throw your hands up in exasperation. Daily quest farming isn’t very fun. In an expansion with gorgeous vistas, new dungeon and raid content (that is actually fun and engaging,) pet battles, and a new PVP season, you really just have to prioritize. Unless you’re unemployed, you probably don’t have time to do everything, every day. I obviously can’t speak for everybody out there, but I think that’s a fair statement. If you’re a raider, you’re probably going to have some desire to acquire the valor point gear that’s available. One limiting factor that I think ZOMG DAILYCRAFT haters overlook is the fact that VP isn’t exactly growing on trees. You can cap out and gain only 1,000 valor points a week. Since items cost between 1250 and 2200 (right?) VP each, I don’t think it would be very reasonable to just rush to get these reps ALL maxed out immediately. Keep that in mind and just work on the ones you want. Hopefully the gating enforced by the VP cap can help people smooth out the race to rep acquisition. Hardcore progression raiders probably have a different opinion on this topic, but they’re limited by VP just like the rest of us.

So far I’ve done a few raids in MoP. As you know, there are two world bosses. I’ve done both the Sha of Anger and Galleon. I have mixed feelings about world bosses because of griefing. I just think it’s annoying that PVP flagged horde can (and do) show up to my raid to try to get hit by AOE. It’s obnoxious and it’s probably why Sha and Galleon aren’t currently scheduled official raids for my guild.

Elsewhere, in the relative safety of Mogu’shan Vaults, Apotheosis has been deftly chipping away at encounters. As a retribution paladin, I’ve enjoyed all of the fights immensely so far. I feel they’re engaging without being gimmicky. My favorite is probably Spirit Kings. I enjoy the pace of the fight as well as the variety of mechanics to contend with. Apoth is currently 4/6 and has a lot of momentum toward getting our first Elegon kill.

Ret DPS feels strong at this point in the expansion. I like the changes made to holy power generation a lot. Not having a lot of open GCD’s makes the spec feel a lot more entertaining. I’ve mostly gotten over how stacking haste makes me feel dirty. I love our level 90 talents (although I haven’t really used holy prism.) Both Execution Sentence and Light’s hammer have bad ass spell effects AND great damage. I think they’re fun talents that have the perfect amount of paladin flavor.

Finally, I just wanted to share some thoughts on gold making. I haven’t ever really been successful at making what I would consider “large” amounts of gold in Warcraft. Back in Wrath I remember I went through a phase where I successfully farmed and sold herbs. Unfortunately, that was somewhat short lived. I think I made around 10k when the market shifted and my stuff stopped selling. I had no income to speak of in Cataclysm. The only thing that really propelled me was a large sale I made to a guildie when I moved servers to raid with Apotheosis.

I’ve kind of gotten tired of this habit of acquiring gold and just sitting on it like I’m afraid of being broke. Mists has inspired an adventurous (sort of) spirit in me concerning gold making. So far I’ve had what I would consider a moderate level of success. I’m still sort of backward, from the point of view of *real* success, because I still farm most of my mats. However, there are always multiple ends for which it makes the means worth it. My adventure started when I decided to make myself a Darkmoon Card trinket. My scribe was on an alt I had been thinking about moving to Eldre’Thalas anyway, so I just went ahead and pulled the trigger. From there, I leveled from 525 to 600 (which Blizzard has made amazingly easy) with herbs farmed by another alt, my druid. Inspired by Team Brofist co-founder and ret paladin pal Ilumiqt, I decided to make a second scribe. My transferred alt had a bunch of low level inks that made the 1-600 process a breeze. In the end, I made myself a trinket and netted around 20k selling cards.

On top of that, during the process of farming herbs for my inscription, my druid leveled from 85 to almost 88. She also acquired an enormous amount of ghost iron, which my alchemist has had a grand time turning into trillium and living steel. Almost all of this stuff sells. One thing I learned along the way, with help from my friend/guildie/healer Serrinne is that persistence pays off. Posting, reposting, adjusting my approach, sitting on inventory, it doesn’t really matter what I do, as long as I’m doing something. Since MoP came out I’ve added about 50k to my coffers. I’ve set a personal goal of hitting 100k, which I should be able to do pretty soon. There’s something fun about the success of an auction. I’ve tried to flip a few things, which isn’t always successful, but that’s just part of the game. Since the market is so active right now, it’s a fun time to get involved. I don’t really have a plan for my 100k. I may just end up sitting on it, but who knows. I’d like to continue making gold so that I can enjoy stuff like that ridiculous yak or maybe even one of the engineering mounts. Who knows?

Anyway, thanks to those who came back to this blog. I’ll do my best to keep it updated from time to time. I think I will work on a new banner as well. Stay tuned for some updates, guides, and hopefully just some good fun reading.