Sunday, November 30, 2008

Level 41, On to the Badlands, Broken Alliances

The Badlands are somewhat like Stranglethorn in that there are lots of beasts to be skinned, but the terrain is a lot more wide open. The quests here have been mostly easy, but there was one that gave me a little trouble: Broken Alliances. This is where you have to kill the "Boss" who is surrounded by 5 other ogres.
I actually had to kill him twice, as I died on my first attempt, and my bags got bugged when I came back to loot him. Anyway, the strategy to kill him is simply enough in concept, but can be difficult to execute. First, the whole group spawns at around 63, 63 and they hang out there for a while. After a few minutes they move west to a patrol circuit. There is one "midget" ogre that lags behind the group, and he is easy to pick off without any adds. After he is gone, you need to wait until the group is nowhere near any beasts that can join the fight. Send the pet in on the boss, and fire away until he is dead. Try to freeze any mobs that attack you, but save your feign for when the boss is dead. Wait for the pet to die and for the mobs to move on. Rez your pet, loot the corpse and you are done.

Questing and Gold

For players who are hell-bent on leveling, it can sometimes be tough to make enough gold to do the things you want to do. Today as I reached Level 40, which was the old Mount requirement, I noticed that my bank alt (my only other toon on this server) had well over 100 gold, plus about another 100 gold worth of stuff in the Auction House. Plus my main had well over 30 gold.
Level 40 and over 130 gold in just two weeks, and I am not even counting the two Blue items I still have to sell, as those were just lucky drops.
Despite having gotten this far this fast I really don't play a lot of hours, as both my job and my blogging keep me pretty busy. I just make use of some of the guides I bought for fast leveling and making gold in order to save me a bunch of time. Sure, I lose out on the thrill of "discovery", but for me the Internet is a way to share information. Why should I reinvent the wheel when someone has already gone to the trouble?
I like achievement more than discovery when it comes to gaming. I know not everyone is like that, and they would prefer to figure it all out for themselves. Others want to use the Internet and look up information in sites and forums and such, and trust that the info they get is not out of date. I have done that, but I still go back to the guides as a means of saving time. After all, any time I save looking up what quests I ought to do next, or what items will get me the best stats, or which spec is best for my Hunter while leveling, is time that I can spend actually leveling.
Check out the links on the right if you want to see the guides I use.

Level 40 In Dustwallow

Finally I can wear mail, as I reached Level 40 this morning while questing in Dustwallow. I had another one of those quests that are supposedly "bugged" for Hunters; this one was called "The Grimtotem Weapon", and you plant the totem in the ground and attack crocolisks. The totem zaps the crocs, and you get credit for one test (you need ten). Again, I used my "shoot before sending the pet" method, and not only did I get credit every time I did this, sometimes I got two credits with one kill! I am not sure if this is a bug or not, but if it is then it is the sort of bug I would like to see more of!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Level 39 In Dustwallow Marsh

As the title suggests I have gotten Level 39 while questing in Dustwallow Marsh. The quests are pretty simple, but there is one quest that is supposedly "bugged" for both Hunters and Warlocks, and that is "What's Haunting Witch Hill". By killing the Undead just north of where you pick up the quest (Jarl's Cabin at 55, 25) you get "information", and you need 10 of these. It is supposed to be a 100% drop rate, but apparently Hunters and Warlocks were not getting drops all the time.
I checked a couple of sites and forums, and the common suggestion was that if the pet gets the killing blow then you won't get the drop. I tried playing with this, but I still did not get drops every time, and I thought it might have something to do with range distance.
Then I tried something based on a hunch, and I got my last three drops in three kills, and that was to make sure I got the first shot in, not the last. I was only able to test this on three before I finished the quest, so if anyone can confirm this, please leave a comment to that effect.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Level 36 In Stranglethorn

I'm not sure why people don't like Stranglethorn. I have always found it to be one of the most efficient areas for questing, especially as a Hunter. For instance, I was fighting Bloodscalps at the Tkashi Ruins near 33, 14, and I was actively working on at least 3 quests simultaneously: Bloodscalp Ears, Hunt for Yenniku, and Bloody Bone Necklaces. The last one requires 25 necklaces, so I did not finish that quest along with the others, but later on I did finish it along with Shrunken Heads at 19,12. And all this time I was collecting pages for the Pages quest from the Nesingwary Camp.
All of this was possible because I was working with Joana's Guide for Horde, which lays out the best order of quests to pick up, work on and turn in. It has saved me so much time that I have gotten to Level 36 in about ten days.
And I still love getting all those skins, so I am enjoying Stranglethorn!

Ozzy Plays Wow!

Blizzard has added to their list of celebrities who are advertising for them. I am not sure if Shatner or Mr T really play WoW or not, but somehow I can't imagine Ozzy being able to work the mouse without getting the shakes. Anyway, the ad is funny, and I couldn't resist posting it :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hand of Iruxos Quest

I used to have a tough time figuring out how to do the Hand of Iruxos quest, or the equivalent for the Alliance (its name eludes me right now). It is completed in the center of the first building at the entrance to the Thunder Axe Fortress in Desolace (around 55, 24).
Approaching the Fortress is no big deal; I used my Mana-efficient Aspect of the Viper method, which involves shooting to pull, backing up while the cat gets aggro, and then finishing off. As long as there is clear space behind you this method works well.
Once you get past the gates it is important to clear the whole area by the door to the building, because you need to be able to back up if the mobs inside the building come after you. After the outside area is clear, you need to watch for the single mob that circles the hallway. The building is round, and the hallway circles the central room. There are also stationary mobs in the hallway, but these need to wait until the patrolling mob is taken out.
After you get inside, you need to work fast, as these mobs respawn very quickly. I like to switch to quick-kill method, which involves sending the cat and setting Hunter's Mark at the same time while using Aspect of Hawk. For the first mob should be shot a little before the pet gets to him, as you want to pull the mob away from the other one behind him, to avoid doubling up. Once he is done, turn around and take care of the one behind you. Now you have room behind you regardless of which direction you decide to take. Working quickly, go around the hallway and clear out the mobs.
Getting into the room can be a bit tricky, and don't be surprised if you pull more than one mob. Set a freeze trap, and send the pet in and hope for the best. Be ready to feign, but do so out in the hallway. As long as none of the mobs have respawned you will be fine.
After the mobs in the center room are clear (Horde can ignore the Alliance NPC; it is there for an Alliance escort quest that you can be happy you are not doing), click on the red crystal in the center of the room, and be prepared for a tough fight. I prefer to stay back and work with Viper Aspect again, which lets me use lots of Mana for Arcane, Serpent Sting, pet mending, Concussive and Multi-Shot. Again, Feign Death can be useful here, but it may be resisted because of the level difference.
When you have finished the demon, loot it for the box, and get ready to fight your way out. Even if you did this at top speed they will be respawning already.
I did this as a Level 33, and Feigned twice due to my own mistakes, but did not die at all. At the same time I took care of the "Burning of the Spirits" quest (while I was outside, as it takes a little longer to kill the mobs while collecting the gems), and the "Sceptre of Light" quest at the top of the tower to the left of the gate once you get in.
Just try to pull one at a time, go through the mobs quickly, and all will be well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shimmering Flats Quests

There are 5 quests that I like to do together when I am in Shimmering Flats. I was Level 31 when I picked them up, and got my Level 32 when turning them in.
They can all be picked up at the race track in the center of Shimmering Flats from various NPCs. They are: Hardened Shells (get the shells from tortoises); Bump in the Road (Basilisks, Crystalhides and Gazers); Load Lightening (Vultures); Salt Flat Venom (Scorpids); and Rocket Car Parts. The first four require you to kill beasts, the last requires you to pick up items around the area (car parts, of course). Bump in the Road only requires you to kill a certain number of each, while the others need specific drops, but be aware that the drop rates does seem to be better than it used to be.
If you run directly east from the track, and start tracking beasts, and work your way around the outside of the track you should be finished or almost finished all the quests by the time you complete the circuit. There are a few things to watch for though. One is that some of the tortoises are level 35, as well as some of the Gazers. I was able to take them down without any trouble, including one time when I got attacked by a second Gazer while occupied with the first.
Each time I moved into a new area, I would clear out the aggressive mobs first (red dots on the mini map), then grab any rocket car parts, and then tortoises. My bags did get full, but when I got back to the track to sell some stuff I was pretty close to the last area that I needed to go to.
South of the track is where you will find most of the Gazers; but as I mentioned, be careful not to get attacked by too many mobs at once!
Lastly, there is a gun vendor at the track who also sells gun ammo. I did not remember to write down his name, but he is there...and I did not see any ammo vendors for bows.
I adjusted my attack method slightly, and it seems very quick and efficient. I do not add Hunter's Mark, but simply get to a maximum distance from the mob and hit it with an Arcane followed by a Serpent Sting. My cat attacks automatically and proceeds to get Aggro. If need be I start backing up until the mob attacks the cat, and I then stop and let Auto Shoot do the rest. If the mob starts running toward me again, I hit it with a Concussive Shot to slow it down, and usually the cat gets aggro again. If I had to use the Concussive Shot at the beginning, and it is not back up yet, I will do a Feign Death to lose aggro. If I needed to I would be able to do another Concussive, but it never happened. And if I get low on Mana I switch to Aspect of Viper for a bit until my Mana tops up again.
By using this method I required no food, drink or bandages. The only healing was for my cat, and that only costs a little Mana. No time lost for sitting!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stranglethorn Raptor Mastery

I like the Raptor Mastery quest, along with all the others from Hemet Nesingwary, mostly because all the mobs are in one spot, and they give nice hides every time! :)
Easy way to finish this quest is to run to coordinates 25, 15 and put your tracking on beasts. If you are capable of killing these raptors, then you can certainly handle the tigers and panthers in the area too, which makes the second part of those quests a natural combination if you are speed leveling.
And, oh...the hides! Plus all the hides from the Young Stranglethorn Tigers and Crocolisks on the way back to Nesingwary's wonder I was able to get my mount at Level 30!
My usual method of attacking is to set Hunter's Mark on the target and send the cat in. As soon as the cat has aggro, I do one Arcane Shot and let Auto Shoot take care of the rest. If the Raptor leaves the cat I hit it with a Concussive Shot and start backing up (watching for mobs behind me on the inset mini map), and let the cat damage it while it tries to get to me. Sometimes they do make it to me, but by then they are nearly dead. Other times the cat gets aggro back and the deal is done.
All in all, a fun and easy quest at 31.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Level 31

Once again, some fast progress, but mostly because it was a day off from work. already at level 31 on my Tauren!
I was worried that I would not be able to afford my mount; back before I took my break it was still level 40 before you could get a mount, but I always had enough money by that time. Now at 30 I was not sure, but it turns out that it costs under 45 gold. I was able to sell some silver bars and bronze bars, and 3 silk cloth stacks and I had more than enough. I made my way to Bloodhoof Village and got my brown kodo, and then I lost it! Or so I thought...
Again, Blizzard has changed things a bit...before my break you had to keep your mount summoner in your inventory, but now it is more like your spells or macros. Woohoo -- more bag space!
So now I am in Stranglethorn Vale working on the hunting quests for Nessingwary. I always make a ton of money there on skinning, and these quests seem to be made for Hunters. I just wish there was a mail box at the camp so I could free up my bag space! But there is even some good vendor trash there: Bristly Whiskers off the cats there sell for about 83 silver a stack, not bad for low 30's!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back After a Rest

Yes, I am back after a long rest away from the game. As I expected, the excitement of Wrath of the Lich King was enough to bring me back!
Due to the long queues on the server where my Main is, I decided to start a new toon on a different server. This time I decided to go with a Horde toon, as I have some friends on this server. My new toon is a Tauren Hunter, which I started a week ago. He is at Level 28 already, but not very wealthy yet (with no Main to bankroll him!)
I am not sure if it is because leveling for Horde is supposedly easier, or if there were changes that made leveling easier, but I am going through levels faster than I recall doing previously. I am using Joana's Guide for Horde to decide where to go and what quests to do, and I think this is the main reason I am leveling so fast. If I did not "waste" time on professions I expect I could have been about Level 35 by now, or maybe even higher. But I prefer to have some money in my pocket when I can get a mount, so I went with mining and skinning as usual. Skinning is super easy to level, but mining is a little tougher as you have to keep your eyes out for nodes.
Currently I am finishing off some quests in Ashenvale.