It’s been a little while since I wrote a real post. Since I don't have anything specific I am ready to post on, it is time for a new General Update.
Well, Anub'arak became available and everyone marched into the loot piñata that is ToC. Once again, the normal mode boss was pretty much a push over in my opinion. We got him down in two shots, and the first was a 2% enrage wipe. If we had been a little more comfortable with the fight mechanics it would have easily been a one shot.
Granted, one of our 10man groups did get in there on Tuesday and had a little bit of trouble. However, that was primarily due to a flawed strategy that they took from the PTR. Once they figured out it wouldn't work they downed him easily.
So with Anub'arak down, we moved onto Heroic ToC. I will admit my expectations were pretty low for the Heroic version of ToC. Given how easy normal was, I thought we would walk in there and down a couple of bosses. Boy was I wrong. Heroic ToC is pretty darn tough. We had a couple of issues with Group Composition given that some of our regular raiders weren't available, but we couldn't get out of phase 2 cleanly on the 25man version. My 10man group didn't even attempt it because we are trying to finish up the Ulduar Meta for a couple of people, but the other group did get in there and downed the first 3 bosses on heroic.
Heroic ToC is definitely doable, but it will take some practice. Unfortunately this poses another problem. We still have some fights left to finish up in Ulduar. We still want to get the meta achievement in there which means we need to pick up Firefighter, Vezax hard, and 1 light in the darkness. Since we have only a 9 hour schedule it will be a little difficult to work on both the ToC and Ulduar hard modes. Luckily they haven't announced the removal of the Drakes yet so we have at least 30 days to finish it up.
In some of my comments and emails, I've had a couple of questions about my BiS choices. I would like to address what I think are a couple of misunderstandings. First off, everyone needs to understand that a BiS list is just a Christmas wish list. Ninety nine percent of players in the game are unlikely to be able to get everything they want before a new tier becomes available. So, basing all of your gearing choices on a BiS list is pretty unrealistic.
Second, I never intended anyone to make loot choices based entirely off of my BiS list or the larger gear list. The list is a tool to help you see how things relate. It also organizes all of the options in one convenient place. What I expect players to do is to take a look at what is available and come up with a gear plan. What choices are best for you given the gear you already have and what is likely to be available.
For example, my back is pretty old. I picked up the [Shroud of Luminosity] from Naxx and have been rocking it for a long time. There haven't been a lot of good upgrades since then, and what there has been hasn't really dropped for us. [Jaina's Radiance] is BiS for me, but let’s be honest. I am nowhere close to being able to complete a ToC 25man tribute run. I can't hold how for that item. On top of that, most of the best items are from ToC tribute runs, so I need to realize that picking one up might take a while. On the flip side, [Shawl of the Refreshing Winds] is number 11 on my list, but it is an upgrade and drops off of Normal Beasts. The next time it drops I will probably invest a significant amount of DKP into it, despite it not being on my BiS list.
Tier 9 vs Tier 8:
I've commented on this before, but I want to take a look at it again, since I've heard some interesting new ideas, and continue to get questions about it.
- 4T8 vs 2T9: The 2 piece T9 set bonus is better. My math from several months ago showed that instant Starfires were worth about 2.5% DPS while critting Moonfires were worth about 4.0%. When you consider the additional stats from T9 the 2T9 set bonus is an easy winner.
- Which 2 pieces of T9: This really depends on what items you have and what you can pick up, but let’s assume you have full T8. If that is the case then I would pick up the T9 Chest and Helm. You're giving up 2 pieces of Spirit for two pieces without. Also, you wouldn't be making any big shifts regarding the hit cap by replacing your T8 gear in this way. Your T8 chest doesn't have hit on it and neither does the T9 chest. The T8 helm has hit on it and so does the T9. This makes for a very easy transition.
- 2T8 vs 4T9: Mathematically, 2T8 is a clear winner unless you’re able to build a full set of T9.258. However, I read an interesting point on the WoW forums recently. (Randomsmo posted his point on his new blog here.) The point was that while 2T8 is better than 4T9 mathematically, 4T9 is a lot more consistent. Every Starfire and Wrath you cast will benefit from 4T9, while you can get screwed by RNG with 2T8. When you combine that with the stat advances you get from the T9.245 gear you can make a good argument for the upgrade. I will have to plug it into the model to be sure but I don't think it is a big DPS sacrifice.
I haven't done much with the Lock or the Priest lately, because Grayvik my mage has been getting all of my alt attention. He is currently level 69 and I am trying to get him to Northrend as quickly as possible. (I know I could take him now, but I want him to be 70 first. It just makes it easier to use the guide that way.) He has been advancing pretty quickly for a couple of reasons. First, Outland is much more fun to level in than Azeroth is. The quest lines are easy to follow and you can do a lot of quests at once. Also, since I can fly, it's a lot easier to complete some of the quests. Second, I need a herber in Northrend. Since I dropped Herbalism on Graylo, I am at the mercy of the Auction House for my herbs. That's not a big deal if you plan ahead, but I don't like not being able to farm if the prices are unusually high.
Overall his levelling has gone well without issue. I did find one very surprising thing, however. The quests in Nagrand have been nerfed quite a bit. I think I remember seeing a note saying that the animal slaughter quests were nerfed, but it doesn't stop there. My guide lists what it thinks the quest requirements are and what the actual quest requirements are. For almost every quest where I had to "kill X number of this" or "collect X number of that," the number of items or kills needed had been reduced, by between 33 - 66%. That is huge. It has made the zone go a little quicker but to be honest I am a little disappointed. I was looking forward to skinning all of the beasts. Anyway, I am about half way through 69 and should ding 70 in the beginnings of Blades Edge Mountains.
One Quick note: Thank you Myraxa and Tigeris. I was doing the bird quest in Shattrath and couldn't seem to solo it. I was getting through the 3 add rushes with no problem, but the last bird did too much damage and had too much health for me to kill on my own. So I asked for help from the guild. Myraxa and Tigeris helped out, and wanted to be mentioned on the blog.
I am continuing with my AH activities. I've had my ups and downs, but overall I think it is going pretty well. A guildie of mine, Nosismyhero, walked me through Auctioneer and explained a little bit of the functionality that I didn't understand. It has made playing the AH a lot easier.
My bag business has been tough lately. The cost of mats has gone up quite a bit. I used to find a lot of the mats around 4 gold and below, but lately a lot of it has been above that. In addition to that, the price of bags has gone down quite a bit, with prices being between 7g and 7.5g. There is still money to be made but it's not a lot. The flask business seems to be on the rebound. The flask prices have gone back up, but the price of Frost Lotus has gone up as well.
Also, I have a lot more respect for people like Gevlon who have been able to make a lot of money from Inscription. Since picking up the profession, I have tried to make money from it a couple of times, but haven't been able to find the right glyphs yet. I may not have discovered the right glyphs yet, but most of what I make has sat on the AH with little profit. It's definitely not as simple as some of the other professions. With Alchemy and Tailoring there are really only a few things you can sell for a profit so it is easy to figure out. Since there are literally hundreds of glyphs it is much tougher to learn for Inscription.
The bright spot in my Goblinish Activity is that I think I've found a good market to play in. It is the Armor Vellum III market. The volume is high, and the competition seems relatively low on my server. I sold several hundred over the weekend for 100% - 150% profit. On top of that, there is no deposit cost for listing them, so the market has very little risk. If this past weekend is any indication I might be able to make 1k gold a week off of just this item.
If anyone reading this is experienced in the glyph market and has any suggestions, please pass them on.
(Edited by Flamedor)