Archive for April, 2011



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Waiting For The Train

Not much content this week. We’ve got company and that makes playing WoW tricky. Haven’t even seen the new instances yet!

While I did all the holidays on my mage, I realized recently that my paladin only has two titles: Patient and Jenkins. And really she needs something else. “The Noble” seemed about right, so I’m working on the holiday stuff. I’ll have a good bit to finish up this weekend but she’s made good progress so far.

She got the “dress up and kiss a bride” achievement with some help from a guildie who loaned her the clothes. She gave them back when she was done but neglected to put her own stuff back on. And of course she’s dual wielding the basket and flowers to get Noblegarden stuff done…

I’m not sure where she’s going but I think she’ll be popular when she gets there.

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Like a lot of raids we’ve been having issues with attendance lately. We have our core raiders: Reversion and Logarithm as tanks. Me and Kerick as heals. Cyla’s enhance shaman. Grom’s ret pally. Ado’s hunter, Falahla’s mage. It’s a really really solid core and I love it.

Problem is, Log has Army duty once a month or so and is a college student so occasionally he can’t make it. Everyone else has RL issues too, just not seemingly as frequently as Log. I’ve brought in a third healer twice now, tried to make them a permanent member of the heals team, only to have their schedules change. One’s hip-deep in wedding plans and trying to get a raid of her own going in a time that works better for her. The other is apparently taking a break from WoW. All understandable but when it comes on top of losing my original third healer to job issues a few months back, the healing team has just felt weak.

And when Log’s away, I have to find another tank. I can bring someone in but our guild is really lacking in tanks right now. Or I can have Grom go tank and bring in another dps – which works really well – but this Friday neither Grom nor Log could tank so that meant I asked Repgrind to bring in her DK Kalyon. So now I had to find TWO healers.

Fortunately this week both Jhudora and her sister could help heal, with the exceptions of Halfus and Magmaw. Jhudora offered an alt to help get past those two guys and since we can one tank Magmaw I made Rep switch back to Kerick, help down the boss, and then we brought Kalyon back in.

Side note – Jhudora’s sister Annaliese is a super pro disc priest. She’s rocking all blues and killing me and Kerick with raw HPS numbers. Her mana’s weak, sure, so I glyphed my Innervate and gave it away all night which worked well. But she inspired me to go back and look at my gear this Sunday and I reforged into a lot of haste; I really hadn’t reforged since upgrading most of my gear and I had a lot of useless crit and mastery to turn into yummy haste.

Still, I don’t like the situation we’re in. As a druid and a paladin pair, we can use almost any third healing class we get. But finding someone who can make our schedule is hard.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do. Saturday night neither Jhudora nor her sister could help out so I asked around in guild until I finally found someone who could heal. Brought him in and while he did fine, he didn’t know the fights and wasn’t picking up on them that well. We got a total of 7 bosses down this weekend, which was a disappointment.

Hopefully we can get some really solid attempts in the next few weeks. Although I may refuse to do Chimaeron. I totally hate that fight in every way.

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Analogue notes: Reversion wrote this companion piece to my post earlier in the week about the launching of my Death Knight’s career.

“Hey there.” A voice spoke from the nearby alley. “I hear you got a guild bank to unload.”

Interest looked up at the stranger and then looked up again. He was hunched over but he was still very tall…. And hairy. ‘Oh great,’ she thought, ‘one of those dog/humans.’ Still, she had always felt a pang of kinship toward the other outcasts and refugees that the Alliance had taken in. And she was DEAD, so she could hardly complain about their smell.

The rogue’s shoulder pads were almost as wide as he was tall. They looked like hand-me-downs and his pants looked as if they had been stolen, from a hobo…. A dead hobo… a re-killed undead hobo… that someone’s dog had slept in. That last part made sense.

“Look, I won’t ask how you got it but I can give you a good deal on it.” The rogue flashed a disarming grin. It failed because she had no weapon equipped. She frowned in annoyance at the implication.

“I will have you know I built this guild myself and everything in that bank is mine via honest business transactions.”

“Yeah, yeah, sure.” The worgen growled something under his breath. It might have been ‘they all say that’ but she was not certain. “That is your business. Mine is to keep things safe for people. I will sit on your guild until you are done leveling or whatever you are doing.”

Her frown deepened. “How did you… I mean what makes you think I am leveling? Who ARE you?”

“A little birdie told me that you need to lose your guild for a bit. I told her I could keep it safe for you.”

“A little birdie?” she asked.

“Well it might have been a druid. Who can tell?” The Rogue grinned again. She wished he would stop doing that. He had a bit of murloc in his teeth.

‘That must have been Analogue,’ she thought. ‘So nice of her to get everything arranged for me.’

“Thanks!” She smiled genuinely. If Analogue trusted him then he must be reliable. “I will let you know when I need it back.” She hummed to herself as she Ginvited him. “Now how do I transfer… Oh there it is.”

“How much…” The worgen’s eyes widened as the guild leadership transferred. “You don’t wan… Eh…”

“Thanks so much!” Interested said. “Now I am off to level.” She turned to leave and then remembered something. “Oh my, I almost forgot to get your name..”

The rogue was standing there with a surprised look. Slowly it transformed into another toothy grin. He did seem in rather good spirits. She supposed he was a nice guy despite his looks. After all, Analogue trusted him.

“Abscond. My name is Abscond. Nice doing business with you.”

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Bags of Gold

That icon you probably instantly recognize as a Netherweave bag. Most people have a few of these on their alts or alts’ banks. You main has no doubt been upgraded with bigger bags but it’s hard to beat the price on these guys. For anywhere between 6 and 20 gold you can get a 16 slot bag.

They’re also the foundation of my fortune. Oh, I’ve made some good money selling mats, or things we pick up while questing; top end gear, enchants, glyphs, etc. But Netherweave bags are the bonds of my online stock portfolio; not huge money makers, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to make some gold.

I’m not writing this post to convince you to invest in making Netherweave bags. In fact anyone on Winterhoof who is reading this should stay out of the market entirely, ok? 🙂 My point is that everyone who wants a little money should find a niche market that they really understand, and own it. Let’s look at the Netherweave example again.

A Netherweave bag has really simple mats; Netherweave cloth, and one vendor-purchased thread. The conversion between Netherweave cloth and Netherweave bags is easy. One stack of twenty Netherweave makes a single bag. That makes figuring out costs easy!

Netherweave drops from Burning Crusade mobs, and drops pretty well too. But if you want to make money on these bags, don’t farm the mats. It’s just not worth it. Buy the cloth from people who are farming it, or leveling through Outlands.

What I do is I have a ceiling for Netherweave cloth purchases, and both a ceiling and a floor for Netherweave bag sales. I’ll buy stacks of cloth for less than 5 gold. Any Netherweave out there cheaper than that, I buy, even if I’ve got a good stock. Netherweave tends to have nasty spikes and I don’t want to be out!

When the cloth arrives, I turn it all into bolts of Netherweave right away. That takes up a lot less bag space than all those stacks. Then I make just as many bags as I want to sell, for the same reason. Also making bags is slow. A dozen or so at a time is about all that’s reasonable.

I’ll sell my bags for between 8 and 12 gold.  If someone’s selling for less than 8, I’ll skip my listings and wait til his bags are gone, then put mine up. If the lowest priced bag on the AH is 15 gold, I still won’t list mine for more than 11g 99 s 99 c.

Why those numbers? I don’t have any real data to back me up. I don’t think the profit is worth my time for less than 8 gold. And after 12 the sales drop off. Who is buying these bags? Mostly people leveling alts. They’ll drop 40 gold on a set of four bags, no problem. Much more than that and they buy fewer, or grind rep with a city for the cheap 16 slot bag you can get that way.

I post lots of bags. The listing fees aren’t that much. I like to have at least 8 bags up at a time, more on weekends. Of course if you list a bunch you’re risking someone coming and undercutting you but the demand on the bag market is really steady and my bags will sell. It’s just a matter of time.

This week I’ve been using the Mobile AH app on the Armory to monitor my sales, to buy netherweave, and to repost auctions. It’s awesome and now that they’re adding Guild Chat I’m hooked. It’s just really handy to be able to do boring AH stuff remotely. Now there aren’t any helpful addons, so I only use it for markets I know really well – like Netherweave bags and cloth.

That was overnight. 17 bags sold at 12 gold each, means a minimum profit of just under 7 gold.  120 gold profit. Invariant isn’t my usual banker, so I just sent her enough money that she can buy the cloth auctions remotely. That way I don’t have to log into my banker to send the cloth first.

I don’t sell 17 bags a day; there are some days I don’t sell any. But I sell enough to provide a constant small gold influx. For something that takes me less effort than doing a few dailies, I’ve got my raiding repair bills covered. Yes, in a given week I make more from selling one Tol’vir keystone than all my bag sales; but the bag demand is constant and nothing else I sell is.

Again, the real key is NOT making Netherweave bags. It’s knowing other WoW players enough to identify a steady need. Raid consumables are a good one. Then analyze the components, decide if you can actually make money or not, and go to it. Even people who don’t play the Auction House can pick one or two commodities to provide, and make a nice little income. Give it a try. You don’t even have to read gold blogs!

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The Tiny Tank – Intro

Once upon a time there was a Death Knight named Interest. She was a gnome who had escaped the Lich King’s thrall and made her way to Ironforge, where she set herself up as a businesswoman. Her contacts used her as a go between, to sell off the spoils of their adventures.

Day after day she’d handle Infinite Dust, Pyrite Ore, and Netherweave bags by the dozen. Every now and then she’d send a big pile of gold off to one of her contacts. Day after day she made the circuit between the Auction House, the bank, and the mailbox, her noble Deathcharger reduced to running the fifteen steps she was too lazy to walk. It wasn’t the most thrilling life, but it was a life, so there you go.

One day, one of her best customers came to talk. Invariant was a gnome like her, but a mage, and level 85 while Interest was a mere 58. But there’d always been a kind of kinship between them. They even looked similar. Interest wondered whether they had been distantly related, back when she was alive.

“So I just dug up this thing,” Invariant said.  “I’m a mage, I don’t use two handed strength swords.”

Interest examined it. “If I could sell this, we could make a lot of money.”

“But we can’t,” Invariant pointed out. “And nobody else wants it…”

Interest thought about her other clients. Analogue couldn’t use a sword. Elucidate, another gnome friend, was a priest and this was useless to her. “What about Divergent?” She’d always admired that  big Paladin. Paladins were shiny and clean and got respect. Not like Death Knights. Nobody actually likes Death Knights.

“She hit 85 and went Holy/Prot.” Invariant shrugged. “Said no way in hell is she going Ret. She’ll dual spec Holy first.”

So what, you want me to stash this away? I’m running out of space.”

“Silly!” Invariant grinned at her. “I want you to use it.”

“I can’t even equip it, I’m not high enough.”

“Right. So you’re going to have to level up.” With that, Invariant teleported away, off to whatever adventures she had these days. (Based on what she sent Interest to sell, Interest was pretty sure she spent most of her time in the city making Netherweave Bags, and the rest digging up old Night Elf underwear. Interest wasn’t entirely sure that Invariant was… normal.)

Just then Analogue stopped by. “Hey, I got these back from Divergent now that she’s done with them, and a couple more.” She tossed Interest a bag. “I heard you’re thinking of leveling. Ditch the bank guild and we’ll hook you up with some real guild perks, too. Gotta run. Raid in five. I’m still short one healer. Too bad you’re not one.”

Interest opened the bag. Inside… well, she didn’t know how Analogue had managed to get a sword that long into the bag. It looked far too big for her, but when she pulled it out, it felt just right. The breastplate fit beautifully – odd, that, considering it still had Divergent’s name written on the tag at the collar. How exactly does a gnome fit into a Draenei’s hand me downs? The helmet and back were entirely new. Analogue must have just bought them – for me! Interest thought excitedly. Ok! I can do this!

It had been so long since anyone noticed her. So long since she was anything but another banker. She summoned her Deathcharger, Pinky, who whinnied at her in excitement. “Let’s go,” she whispered. “I’ve got to get my talents redone.” They leapt through a Deathgate.

“You must choose your path,” her trainer announced when she reached him. “You must choose….”

“I’m going to be a tank,” Interest said confidently. “I want to be the center of attention. A whirling gnome of death, bringing vengeance on my enemies while protecting my friends. Also, I hear leveling in dungeons is fast and fun and the queue’s a lot shorter for a tank.”

The trainer eyed her. “Even shorter than you,” he confirmed. “Very well then. Now, we’ve made some changes to the tank trees since you came through here…”

“I know,” Interest said, and pulled out a note. “I want…. this spec. I found it on the internet. I’ll figure out what it does later.”

“Very well. Don’t forget to read Elitist Jerks.”

Thanks for indulging me. I don’t do fanfiction (anymore) (never did any for WoW anyway) but that was a fun little bit to write. But stripped of the fiction flourishes, last weekend I did have basically this happen. Dug up the troll sword BOA epic, had nothing to do with it, decided this required me to level my bank alt. I handed the bank guild over to one of Reversion’s alts and joined Crits. Fixed her up as a tank and queued for Hellfire.

Since I blog I can’t ever do a project without thinking of the blog. I remember Pugging Pally – those were always a great read – so I decided I’ll level Interest in pugs, as a tank, and tell what stories may come.

I’m not leveling her on a set schedule, or anything, but stay tuned for her adventures!

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Edit – According to MMOChampion we aren’t getting 4.1 this week. maybe next week. But I still think the server flakiness is related. I think we’re close and anything you need to do pre-patch, do now. Don’t know what that would be. Read up on the changes, don’t invest heavily in ore, try to figure out a clever way to tell ZA and ZG apart.

Tonight, we’ve had Server restarts. Lag spikes. And just now I checked my iPad apps and the Blizzard armory app wanted to be updated. I did – and it starts talking about the guild chat feature that’s just been added. Rumored for a while, now it exists. It doesn’t work yet, at least not for my server ( the message said not enabled for my server) but it’s there.

I’d say there’s a greater than 90% chance that patch 4.1 drops tomorrow. If so…. Get ready for the usual patch day annoyances and then meet me in ZG. I’ve got trolls to kill.

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So yesterday I spent most of the afternoon running around on my shaman in the Badlands, leveling her, while waiting for the refrigerator to get delivered. Reversion was raiding that evening – the Sunday/Monday night people have the worst luck with tanks and he keeps getting pulled in there – and while I was tempted to play with my DK (more on her later this week), after dinner I looked at guild XP and realized we were at 75%. Of Level 24. The raid would get 5-6 bosses down, no question…. but that wouldn’t get us to 25 that night.

Well, ok, my holy pally needed some gearing runs. So I whispered Repgrind and asked if she was interested. She was. I started asking in guild…. then reached for my phone and called my brother to tank.

We got a full guild group, and drew Vortex Pinnacle. Usually I like how fast that place goes; this time all I could see was the number of bosses we needed to kill to reach max level. Reversion and I compared notes; the ten man raid seemed to be contributing about 2% guild xp per kill, while our 5 man was contributing 1%. That seemed about right.

I wiped us on the final boss in VP when I didn’t cleanse Log’s debuff and left him stuck out in the middle of the electrical attack. Oops. I swear I didn’t see him marked by a debuff…

We came back, killed the boss. I asked for a couple minutes and then another go. We swapped out one dps for another, but Chan stuck around for more on his paladin even though I was rolling against him on offspec gear (both of us are building tank offsets).

Karius swapped for her spriest, and this time we got Blackrock Caverns. We ventured off… cleared the first set of trash, pulled the first boss, and died after too many adds came out and didn’t get dpsed down. Our group was a lot lighter on dps this time, having essentially three undergeared dpsers and an undergeared healer. Log was really carrying most of that group. We went back, discussed, and killed the boss. We proceeded through the instance, carefully pulling trash and paying attention to boss mechanics. No problems on Corla or the forgemaster guy. I suggested very strongly that we skip Beauty, so it was straight on to the end.

Then we paused to discuss who would kite the adds. Initially we decided to let the ret pally try. We set up, pulled, and gave it a good try, but the boss didn’t die and I went OOM. Came back, Repgrind offered to try kiting in her holy spec and throw down Lightwell to help with the healing. I liked that plan, so we gave it a try, but she couldn’t hold aggro against the DK tossing around Blood Boil. We came back again, no luck. Came back the fourth time, asked everyone to be really careful not to AOE, and this time, the boss died.

And…. the guild was at 94% XP.

Time to queue one more time, even though we were tired and Log was supposed to be studying for a test. This time we got Deadmines. Rep had switched back to her mage and Chan swapped for his boomkin so we could blow through this place. Meanwhile the raid was making great time on bosses and there was another full guild group running. Yes!

Our guildmaster signed on, first time I’d seen him all weekend, and someone told him to look at guild XP. He cheered for us.

We downed the first two bosses in Deadmines and were working on the third as the raid group went to Four Winds for a quick Council kill. Then this happened.

So when we wiped, we called it, and I logged onto Analogue to join the lion buying fest.

There were half a dozen or so of us outside the guild vendor store, so we decided on a parade!

We had lots of curious bystanders looking at us, dive bombing us, trying to join the parade on their lesser mounts, etc.

We’re not the first guild to 25 on our server but there’s maybe three others. Might only be one Alliance side, we’re not sure. So these lions aren’t common yet.

After parading slowly all through SW, we went outside for pictures

(We had people trying to interfere with our screen shots, hence the bad angle)

Quite a few folk in guild were on but couldn’t join because none of their toons have the rep with the guild. Including out GM!  Ooops. And yes, 1300 for these mounts is a bit silly but they are pretty darn cool looking and for guild pride, you can’t beat lions.

We’ve been in Crits and Giggles for about 8 months now and I’m so glad we came over. It’s a blast, whether we’re raiding or just parading around SW.

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