Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Very Quick Update

Hi Guys.

I want to apologize for not having posted since the 6th of December. I am not quitting and it was not my plan to go so long without posting. However, a lot of things came together to make it really hard for me to post for the past few weeks. First the expansion came out and it has taken a lot of time to gear my character up. Second, a lot of things have been happening at work lately which as drawn more of my attention then is usual. Third, I went home for the holidays and spent more then a week there. I had hoped that I would be able to do a post from there, but that proved to be overly optimistic. There was just to much to do and to little time.

Again, I want to apologize for the lack of posts. I have some good ideas for stuff to come and will be updating the gear list. (Yes, the Tattooed Eyeball is wrong. It's based on the older Epic version. I will update it soon.)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Your Helpful Pre-Cataclysm Post

Cataclysm is almost here and I'm sure everyone is excited to get going and level up. A group of guildies and I plan to chain instances starting at 12am PST. I've already got my supplies to help me stay awake, and give me something to munch on. Game wise I have 25 quests completed to turn in right after the expansion turns over, I've also already discovered Blackrock Caverns and have my Hearth set to Ogrimmar for easy training.

A lot of you are probably not obsessing over this the way I am, but I thought it would be a good idea to give you some of my thoughts on how to level and some other good tips.

Leveling Talent Spec:

I plan to start with this talent spec. The first talent point I gain at level 81 will be spent on Master Shapeshifter. After that I will probably sink the final four into mana regen talents. I think most of the choices are fairly obvious but here are the highlights.

  • Mana Talents: I'm generally a fan of Mana talents while leveling. Fewer mana issues, means less down time, which means faster leveling. However, Man shouldn't be a big problem for the first few levels if you ICC gear. So I'm ignoring it first and making it a priority later.

  • Owlkin Frenzy: If you are questing your way up to 85 this is a great talent. I found that it procced quite a bit for me in beta.

  • Solar Beam: Having a ranged silence and interrupt can be a big help in 5mans and while questing.
Leveling Glyphs:

In general our glyphs are pretty bad for leveling. Five out of six of our prime glyphs depend on DoTs and the Sixth is based on a spell that hits random targets. Therefore none of them are all that helpful if you are questing to 85.

However, there are a couple of major glyphs you want to consider:

Glyph of Entangling Roots: This will be a big help in instances when you have to CC. Could also help you while questing if you have to deal with a runner.

Glyph of Thorns: This can be a big help getting you out of situations where you pull to many mobs. It will also help your tanks with threat in the instances you run.

Zone Impressions:

Mount Hyjal - Of the two starting zones I like Mount Hyjal better. It's more linier and less confusing. It has some very interesting quests along the way that aren't your standard bombing runs or vehicle quests. I don't think all of them worked, but I thought there was some nice variety in the zone.

Vashj'ir - I don't think this is a bad zone, but it's confusing. First, your questing in a 3D environment. That made it a lot tougher to find objectives. Plus it's an absolutely huge zone. Overall I just had a hard time finding stuff. To be fair though, there where a lot of bugs when I ran through it in Beta. That may cloud my judgement some.

Deepholm - Very nice zone, but it was tough. I've been told that it was nerfed after I ran through it, but don't be surprised if it's much tougher then Mount Hyjal or Vashj'ir were for you. Play it safe as you go. Try not to pull more then one mob.

Uldum - If you like Cutscenes then you are going to love Uldum. I swear every other quest had a cutscene at the end of the zone. A fairly nice zone. I thought it was a little spread out, but it had some interesting quests. Plus, if you hate gnomes you are going to love one of the Uldum quests.

General Tips:

These are some general tips I'm stealing from a guild of mine Listerine. He wrote a big long post on our forums regarding these and some others, but I will paraphrase them for you.

  1. Complete Every Instance - All of the instance quests are available as you walk into dungeon. Therefore, completing the dungeon with the quests will get you a lot of xp, and some decent items that may help you level.

  2. Equip Cloth and Feral Gear to increase your iLevel - Lets be clear, I'm not suggesting that you should use cloth or feral gear. Just equip it and take it off, if it's a higher ilevel then what you've equipped in the past.

    I know this sounds strange. The reason for this suggestion is to get access to the higher level dungeons quicker. The LFD tool will may bar your access to some instances if your gear doesn't meet a level requirement. However, when you use the LFD tool it doesn't look at the gear you have equipped. It only looks at the highest ilevel gear you have ever equipped in each slot. It doesn't matter if that item is currently equipped or not.

    To be completely honest I'm not sure if this is correct or not. I didn't test it, but it can't hurt to do it, and it may save you time later.

  3. Spend your JP Points - If you're like me you already have 4000 Justice Points. Make sure you spend them before you start doing high level dungeons. There are quite a few good items that are purchasable with Justice Points. They will help you to get into heroics quicker. Plus, once you start running the level 85 dungeons you will start to earn the Justice points again. If your justice points are already capped then you are just letting them rot.

Guide Updates:

Finally, I've posted updated versions of my Gear list and my Raiding guide. I'm sure there are issues with both because I've been rushing to get them out before the expansion. If you find problems, please feel free to send them in the comments of this post, or send them to me in an email.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cata Factions: A Moonkin Point of View

To be honest, I traditionally haven't paid a lot of attention to the different factions in WoW. This isn't to say that they didn't have value, but historically they haven't had a lot of impact on my play.

In The Burning Crusade I hit level 70 several months after most players and the early guilds I was in didn't stress min/maxing or getting the most out of your faction reps. Plus, there wasn't a whole lot of gear available to Moonkin in those days and I was irrationally stuck on leather. Not to mention it was difficult to find groups as a moonkin.

In Wrath of the Lich King, I paid a little more attention to the faction rewards. I tried to grind some of them out quickly but it quickly became apparent that wasn't really necessary. The T7 Raids were relatively easy. I was getting better gear from Naxx and Sarth before I could grind the rep needed to purchase other items. As a result my effort lost steam quickly.

If we believe Blizzards claims, Cataclysm is going to be different. I can tell you from experience that we won't be using a single piece of T10 raid gear when we start raiding in Cataclysm, and the quest greens we receive while leveling are unlikely to be good enough as well. Normal dungeons and Heroics are going to be our primary sources of gear when we try and make the leap to raids, but that is not the only source we should pay attention to. In this post I want to take a look at the different factions being added and what they provide us as moonkin interested in raiding.

(Please Note: Some of the items listed are faction specific. Most of the items have the same name for both factions, but there are a few exceptions. To make things a little easier on myself I am listing only the Horde version.)

Hellscream's Reach/Baradin's Wardens:

These are the Horde and Alliance factions related to Tol Barad, the Wintergrasp style PvP zone being added in Cataclysm. Even though these factions are PvP related the Rep Rewards they provide are not, and there are several good items that a raiding moonkin will want.

The primary way to get rep with these factions is through Daily Quests. According WoWhead there are 34 daily quests that grant rep with these factions, but If I remember correctly you only get access to them or some of them if your faction controls the zone.

The Good Stuff:
[Stump of Time] - In my opinion, this is probably the most important faction related gear option. I'm sure some of you think I'm crazy for being concerned about hit capping, but I like this item for a couple of reasons. First, I think Hit capping is going to be harder then a lot of people expect and picking up a nice big chunk of Hit from a Trinket can be a big help. Second, there are not a lot of good DPS trinket options, and those that drop from raids will be highly sought after by all caster DPS players.

[Hellscream's Reach Tabard] - I think some of you will roll your eyes at me for this one as well, and you might be right. However, I'm a big fan of the teleport feature. Call me crazy if you like, but given that the Cataclysm zones are all spread out I like being able to change continents in the blink of eye. I realize that there will be portals every were to make travel easier, but I also like the peace of mind knowing that I can pop this target or my Moonglade Port and catch a bird to where ever I want to go (except Deepholm).

The Other Stuff:
[Shimmering Morningstar]
[Insidious Staff]

Overall Impression:
I really like the hit trinket and think a lot of people will be using it for most of T11 content. At revered you are also able to pick up a couple of good weapons that could make the transition to raids easier. This faction also has a couple of mounts and pets that don't impact raid, but will be attractive to some people.


This is the Sons of Hodir for Cataclysm, but a little different. You start out as Hated with Therazane but you should be Honored by the time you unlock the daily quests while questing in Deepholm. Once you are Honored, you can gain rep by completing the daily quests or by using their tabard.

The Good Stuff:
[Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone] - The shoulder enchant will be required of all raiders, but it's only 20 Int and 5 Haste better then the blue version. If you are a scribe then you can get a better enchant from your profession.

The Other Stuff:
[Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone]
[Diamant's Ring of Temperance]

Overall Impression:
A necessary but lackluster faction if you as me. The shoulder enchants are the main draw, but the Greater Inscription isn't that much better then the Lesser version you should get just by questing through the zone. If I wasn't a scribe I would probably do the daily quests as much as possible, but save my Tabard rep for other factions.

Dragonmaw Clan/Wildhammer Clan:

These are the factions associated with the Twilight Highlands, one of the new Cataclysm zones. You will gain some rep with these factions by completing quests in the zone, but the primary way you will gain rep is by wearing their tabard in max level dungeons.

The Good Stuff:
[Yellow Smoke Pendant] - Not an ideal choice for a moonkin since it provides Crit and Mastery instead of Hit or Haste.

[Withered Dream Belt] - This is a great starter belt for a Moonkin. It provides all of the stats we will need heading into raids and has a gem socket.

The Other Stuff:
[Band of Lamentation]
[Spaulders of the Endless Plains]

Overall Impression:
Having two usable Epics makes this a great faction for a moonkin. The neck is a bit weak, but the belt will likely be a priority for a a lot of players. The two blue items are decent as short term solutions as we gear up for raids and heroics.

Guardians of Hyjal:

As you have probably guessed this faction is associated with Mount Hyjal, one of the new Cataclysm zones. There are a ton of quests in the zone that will provide you with this rep, but they also have a tabard to allow you to gain rep in dungeons.

The Good Stuff:
[Arcanum of Hyjal] - This is the caster head enchant that will be required of all raiders. It is bind on account so technically you only need to be revered on one toon, but if you Moonkin is your main then this item alone makes this faction important to you.

The Other Stuff:
[Aessina-Blessed Gloves]
[Cloak of the Dryads]

Overall Impression:
Guardians of Hyjal is a pretty mediocre faction for moonkins. If it wasn't for the head enchant I would tell you to ignore it completely. I didn't pay a lot of attention to factions in the beta, but my hope is that quests in the zone will get you most of the way to revered, then just few dungeons will finish it off. Once you hit revered I would switch tabards, because there is no practical reason to take this faction to exalted.

The Earthen Ring:

From a lore perspective The Earth Ring seems to be the primary faction in Cataclysm much like the Ardent Crusade was in WotLK. They are all over the place. They have a large presence in Vashj'ir, Deepholm, and the Twilight Highlands. Plus, they provide the portals in the capital cities. I wouldn't be surprised if they drove the lore behind most of the raid instances as well.

From a more practical perspective they are no different then any other faction. There are a lot of quests that provide Earthen Ring Rep, but none of them are dailies. Again, the primary source of rep will be with the tabard.

The Good Stuff:
Unfortunately the Earthen Ring doesn't have any usable epics for a Moonkin or any enchants that make it worth the effort.

The Other Stuff:
[Leggings of Clutching Roots]
[Cloak of Ancient Wisdom]
[Pendant of Elemental Balance]

Overall Impression:
It does have some decent blue items, but the reality is there are better factions to level. By the time you could get the Earthen Ring to Revered you should have better gear from heroics or raids. This faction should purely be an after thought.


This is Uldum's faction. There are a lot of quests in the zone that will provide Ramkahen rep, but once again the primary way you will need to level it up is with the tabard.

The Good Stuff:
No enchants. No epics. Not even a heroic level blue item.

The Other Stuff:
[Ammunae's Blessing]

Overall Impression:
And I thought that the Earthen Ring was bad. There are only two positive things I can say about this faction. First, if you have a Feral offspec then you will want to level it eventually because it does have the Agi head enchant. Second, if you are interested in riding a camel then you will want to level it because two of them are exalted rep rewards.


HR/BW - As a faction with several good items, I would make doing the Tol Barad daily quests a priority.

Therazane - Important for non scribes, but the Greater Enchants aren't good enough to make it the number one priority in my opinion.

DC/WC - With several good epics and superior items, these factions should be a high priority for any moonkin.

GoH - Because of the head enchant I will probably level this one first, but I will drop it in favor of DC/WC as soon as I get to revered.

TER - Nothing much of value for a moonkin. Skip it.

Ramkahen - Even worse the TER. Skip it.