Monday, September 29, 2008

Gotta get me some Mounts!

Its been a slow night. I was thinking about achievements and one of the achievements that I would really like to get is the 50 mount achivement. My understanding is that once you get 50 mounts, are awarded a special White Dragon Epic Flying Mount. I have not confirmed this yet, but I have heard it from several people who I trust. So I was thinking about how I could do this on my Paladins. Here is what I came up with:

Class Mounts:
2x Holy Horses

Total - 2

Standard Flying Mounts:

3x Flying Mounts
3x Epic Flying Mounts

Total - 6

Faction Mounts:
3x Sabers
3x Swift Sabers
3x Rams
3x Swift Rams
3x Mechano-Striders
3x Swift Mechano-Striders
3x Horses
3x Swift Horses
3x Elekks
3x Swift Elekks
3x Wolves
3x Swift Swift Wolves
3x Raptors
3x Swift Raptors
3x Undead Horses
3x Swift Undead Horses
3x Kodos
3x Swift Kodos
3x Hawkstriders
3x Swift Hawkstriders

Total - 60 (30 for each side)

Rep Mounts:
3x Sha'tari Nether Rays
3x Talbuks
1x Hippogryph
3x Netherwing Drakes
1x Wintersaber Trainers (Alliance only)

Total - 11

PvP Mounts:
5x PvP Mounts

Total - 5

Craftable Mounts:
2x Engineering Mounts
1x Tailoring Mount (not implemented yet)

Total - 3

Loot Mounts:
1x Baron Rivendare (good luck!)
1x Amani Warbear (better get this soon!)
1x Attumen the Huntsman's Mount
1x Zul'Garrub (sp?) Raptor
1x Sunstrider Phoenix
1x Magisters Terrace Hawkstrider
2x Brewfest Mounts (yes, sadly this is loot now)
1x Winterfestival Reindeer
1x Broomstick

Total - 10

Grand Total - 67

I laid it out on what I think is the easiest to the hardest mounts to get. I may also have forgetten a few or have the wrong number of available mounts. I will update this later, I just wanted to get my thoughts out real quick. But, that is 15 more mounts then the requirement that I can think of. Paladins, and I guess Warlocks, have it a bit easier since we get two class mounts. Unless of course they don't count, but I don't see why they wouldn't. This will take a lot of time, and a good chunk of gold. It definantly won't be easy to get the achievement, but I guess that is why it's an achievement. That White Dragon is gonna look nice with Dradis on top of it!
EDIT: As it turns out I am way off on this. If you see this warning, please not I have not corrected this post. And I may not correct it, cause I might forget about it.

Workin' it, Pally style!

So over the weekend I have been playing a LOT of WoW. This is where I am at on Dradis. I got up to honored with Lower City via ~500g in the AH for feathers and about 3 hours of grinding for the rest. Not a huge accomplisment hitting honored, and I could have done it much faster via a run through Slabs, which I have never done. But, no one wants a Ret pally in their group right now, and no one was really looking to group between 2am and 5am. This got me the blue PvP chest. I know, not exactly epic loot, but I want to get as much Ret gear as I can between now and the patch. That way I have a shot at getting into some heroics, and maybe even Kara before Wrath hits. At this point I am gearing to see content. I know I won't get real far, but I figure I can at least see all the 5-mans (which I haven't) and Kara. If I make it that far, then I will be happy. I may even find a guild in the process. Loot doesn't concern me too much since I will have plenty of opportunity to replace it in Notherend.

I have also been knocking out dailies for cash, and I have been playing the AH. To that end, I am trying a strategy that was developed by Kunzite and Bizzlewick where you are essentially disenchanting for fun and profits. I will get some links on the sidebar latter so you can see what I am talking about. I can't really link at work either, which is where I am writing this. It seemst to be working ok for both Dradis and Ryukyu. I have noticed that it is much easier to move mats on Runetotem Ally server then it is Ajzol-Nerub Horde server. Runetotem's economy is very robust it would seem. However, I am not seeing the profits I would like, but then again I have been spending money on both toons for training, enchants, gear, gems, etc, so that means I have less money to reinvest.

On the Horde side, I just dinged 49 on Ryukyu over the weekend. I have been using Jame's Horde leveling guide. It works great! In fact I am about 2 levels ahead of it, but I have also been doing some extra quests just for fun. For example, I wanted to get my cooking leveled up to 200 so I did the cooking quest, something I have never done before. That got me a little extra XP. And really, the reason I did that was so I could complete the quests from Captain Heckleberry Smotts in Booty Bay. I solo'd all three of the elite giants for that questline, which was a lot of fun. And really, isn't this game supposed to be about having fun? In any case, I am probably going to shelf Ryukyu until after the WotLK. Why? Well for one, I have a lot of content in BC I want to see. I am fooling myself if I think I have time to get Ryukyu up there to see it. I can more easily accomplish that goal with Dradis, so that is where I should spend the majority of my time. Also leveling will be much easier post Patch 3.0.2, so I should at least wait for that to drop.

How do I know this? Well I transferred Ryukyu to the PTR, and what a difference a patch can make! I transferred him at level 46. I walked from Gadgetzan to about the middle of the edge of Un'goro, where I died for the first time. I killed everything in my path. I gained 1 level. I never stopped to drink or eat or bandage. Orange mobs died like they were green. Red mobs died like they were yellow. The only reason I died in Un'Goro was because I got surrounded by three level 51 Raptors and then the stealth Devilsaur joined in. I lasted for a good while, blew all my cooldowns, and then I was dino food. It was crazy though. Compare that to live where I have to stop killing after every 5-8 mobs, and I am generally try to stay in the green mob range to make life easier on myself. So, Ryukyu will be businessman for few months, working the AH and disenchanting.

That leaves the question of my last two high level toons, Crushwolf the Orc Shaman, and Dakkar the Draenei Hunter. The hunter is easy. I will be shelving her for a while, who knows how long. If everything stays peaches and cream with Ret Paladins, I see little need for an additional DPS alt for a while, maybe even long into WotLK. Crushwolf is a different animal. I have mixed feelings. First of all, I am not way into the Shaman thing, although I will be the first to say that Enchancement, even in live, is badass. Things die and they die quick. Sustained DPS? For sure! Group buffs? You bet. Utility? Like a Swiss Army knife baby! But something just doesn't get me all excited about playing the Shaman. I don't get that warm and fuzzy that my two Paladins or my Hunter give me. Hell I am even more excited to log onto my 35 Warlock, mainly because I get to feel all evil for a little while.

However, there is this sense of duty I feel toward my brother to get her up 70 at the very least. He gave up 30 levels that he could have used for his Rogue. He really likes his Rogue too. He also spent a good bit of time leveling her to 30 so he could grant the other 30 levels. It just seems like I need to do it out of respect for what he has given up. At the same time, I can't see her being more then a farmer and a crafter. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but I think my bro would still be insulted seeing my run around with Ryukyu, putting the real time and attention into him. Its just a game, but there are some emotional attachments to things. So I might just make it a goal to level her to 70 if for nothing else then to keep everything kosher at home. Maybe 1 level a week, that should be doable and still allow more then enough time for me to work on Dradis and see some of the higher end content.

Wow, that is a lot of writing about nothing. I need to get back to work! Anyway, I will post soon about the realities of THE PATCH after it hits. Maybe I will be able to get groups and a guild afterwards. We will see.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Moving.... here

Well I have moved. Since I have more or less dropped the Hunter thing and have moved back to being a full time Pally, I see no need to maintain . Not like there is anyone reading that anyway, so no big loss. The cause for this switch is really related to Wrath. Paladins are getting seriously reworked. So much so, that Blizzard has actually made the class into what I had wanted it to be when I rolled it the first time. The Prot tree has been reworked to be even better, and the Holy tree is getting some love in the form of Beacon of Light. Although many Holy Paladins feel that the loss of downranking will destroy their efficiency, I think we will need to see how Wrath plays out before jumping to conclusions.

Ahhh, but Retribution is where the excitment really is, at least for me. On the PTR, my 70 Draenei Pally Dradis is rocking the house! I solo'd the whole of Stratholme with no problem. I can wreck face like never before on IQD. I have not run a real instance or done any PvP. Also, Dradis is wearing crappy, crappy gear. She looks like she just dinged 70. Mainly because when she dinged 70, I went Prot and then Shockadin and never looked back. I just was not that impressed with Retribution at the time. Sure, I could do damage, and better gear would get me better damage. But getting that gear required one of two things; lots of PvP or running instances. Getting groups in Ret spec was nearly impossible. I was usually met with "lolret!". Or "We don't need ret dps." So my options were Prot and Holy. I leveled up part of the way as Prot, and I knew it could be fun doing the AOE thing. The only problem was that I had virtually no gear for tanking. So off to Wowhead to search for the best tanking geart that questing could get me. I managed to hit 491 defense and I was almost uncrushable thanks to quest gear and a few items out of the AH. Ok so good to go right? Wrong. I was not be able to PvP very well, and I was finding that completing dailies was taking waaaaay too long. This required an almost daily respec to Ret. Which meant that after repairs and respecs I was spending almost all of the gold I was making off the IQD dailies. Which meant I had to take even more time to go do the Outland dailies. Time spent doing dailies was time not spent doing much more fun things like instances or PvP. At this point I was starting to wonder how any Ret or Prot Pally even got to where they were ready for Kara, or Arena in the case of Ret paladins.

Enter the Holy spec. I tried it on a whim. I had healed before on a low level Priest. I had healed as my Paladin in Ret spec. I had been saving the healing plate and such that I came across while leveling, so my gear was not to bad. I found that grouping was easier, I spent less time doing dailies, and I could PvP. But a pure Holy spec just wasn't doing it for me. So then I stumbled on the Shockadin spec. I could heal pretty much the same, however when I had to go on the offense for quests and PvP, I could dish out huge amounts of damage in a very short period of time. I was also fairly efficient while doing it. This was the closest I could find to what I wanted to play. But I still wanted to swing a big two hander and see huge numbers flying around. It just didn't seem like it was meant to be.

So I pressed on, eventually becoming bored and disillusioned with the Paladin class. Dradis became my farmer. I had no desire to look for groups, I had very little desire to PvP. My heart just was not in it. I couldn't stand the idea that getting myself geared to be a good damage dealer, I would have to sell my sell soul to the Naaru and heal for who knows how long. It was also saddening that my Shockadin setup could out DPS my Ret setup while also being able to throw strong heals and take more of a beating. That was the biggest kick in the face. Gear levels were equal. Same player. Same mobs. And the DPS spec was being out DPSed by a healer. So then I went on to a multitude of alts. I found that the Hunter was a lot fun, so I ran around on Dakkar the Draenei Hunter, doing DPS, flying through levels, and having fun again.

Enter WoTLK. I started hearing rumors that Blizzard was overhauling Paladins. They were going to make them better and more capable. Psssh. Patch 2.3 was supposed to do that. Yawn. And then the PTRs went online. Well I decided to give it a shot. After hours and hours of downloading, and then transferring Dradis, I logged in. Amid the bevy of other changes to the game, I found that, indeed the talent trees had been worked over quite a bit. I spend an hour or so getting reaqainted with the UI and setting up buttons and macros. Then I got on my horse, went to IF, changed into my Ret gear and specced 61 pts Ret. I then caught a flight from IF to IQD to do some intial testing.

OMFG! I murdered the entire island. Well not all of it, but the respawn rate in the areas I was present could not keep up with the rate that I was killing stuff. I didn't stop either. There was no need. Health and mana were full almost all the time. If my health was a little low, I usually popped an instant FoL from Art of War. Or I could enter combat, Divine Storm off the bat, and then instant FoL if DS landed a crit. Not to mention that FoL would crit for 2k+. The crits were not uncommon either. If I needed mana, I would just have to drop Judgement of Wisdom on the next few mobs, but that really didn't happen often since the mana returns from Judgements of the Wise was doing just fine keeping me topped off. I solo'd Strat in Ret spec. I even got through about half of Ramps before dying the first time. My love for the Paladin has been reignited.

I had a Belf Pally on Ajzol-Nerub that had been collecting dust. He was level 34, almost half way there. So I dusted him off and decided that this would be a good time to level him up and get myself ready for WoTLK. I have shot him up to level 47, and I have even been spending a lot time playing the auction house and doing some voluntary exploring and questing. If Blizzard decideds to leave Ret Paladins alone to revel in their newfound power, then I will only be playing a Paladin. Sorry my little army of alts :( Maybe they can be my banks :P

Blizzard, please don't nerf us into the ground again. I don't think I could take it.