What’s goin on?

Posted in General, Uncategorized on February 21, 2009 by shawnmw

Sorry to everyone for not continuing the updates. Back last year I got interested in levelling via multi-boxing and the recruit a friend program. So in 30 days I ended up levelling 7 chars to around 55, plus two I already had, makes all ten classes at 55 or above.

Then WOTLK got in the way and I levelled my 70 lock and started raiding.

Now I’m back, but with WOTLK making significant changes to most classes, including Shammies, we probably need to start again.

But we won’t.

I’ll push on with the 26 alt I was using and keep going from there. Next post will be a big one.

Movin’ on up

Posted in Levelling on August 24, 2008 by shawnmw

Dancingdeath has hit to 26.

I might explain why it seems so long betwen posts. I’m actually levelling two Shaman.  One to work out the best quest sequence and the other to follow it.

That’s why if you’re looking to follow my Tourguide files you need to update them at each of my posts. I continually revise the sequence as I go.

I’ve been interested in how the rate of xp/hr has been going, so I produced this graph:

Levelling Chart

Levelling Chart

You can clearly see the drop off at level 11 for the Shaman quests. We seem to be improving the rate gradually, but it has hovered around the 10,000/hr mark most of the time so far.

It’s a harder slog than some other classes, but I’m getting used to it now. I’m only dropping the stoneskin totem usually. This keeps drinking down usually to every 3 or 4 kills.

I didn’t end up finding a PUG WC run, so I bought a Merciless Axe from the Merchant in Thunder Bluff.  Just park an alt there and keep checking in. It’s a limited supply item.

I also bought a new 16dps 1H mace from the AH at level 26.

Here’s a video of Dancing soloing Vorsha the Lasher at Grom’gar. Main thing is to drop stoneclaw at beginning and kill the caster and healer first. I used a shield and mace for the multi-mob waves.

My talent spec is here.

And as usual, proof of our levelling speed.

Level 26

Level 26

Ghost Wolf and Other 20 Goodness

Posted in Levelling, Uncategorized on August 17, 2008 by shawnmw

Well we’ve finally managed to get through the painful teens to hit 20. In a very respectable 15hrs, 55 mins too.

Ding 20 !

Ding 20 !

One great help with levelling is Ghost Wolf which we get at 20. +40% run speed through the Ashenvale and Thousand Needles, yee hah.

A reminder that each time I make a levelling post you need to update the Tourguide files from this site, if you want to track along. I’m making a lot of changes to the default guide as I go (including adding the class quests). This should be really useful in future for any other slow levelling alts (like pallis).

The other important reminder is that we’re still single pulling each time, unless unavoidable. The leather armour and somewhat lacklustre dps makes us too vulnerable.

It is my intention to make this guide entirely possible to complete without running any instances. However, I’ve found there are a couple of instance quests along the way which do provide some pretty hefty weapons upgrades which would speed up our kill rate.

The first of these is the Leaders of the Fang quest from Wailing Caverns. A 20dps staff at level 20 (or earlier) is the best dps 2h weapon obtainable outside of world and instance random drops, up to level 26!

However, so far we’ve been unable to get into a PUG to run it. We might be forced to buy a 2hander from the AH soon.

Like most people I’ve found the shammie pretty frustrating to run at these levels, and mana pool management seems to be one of the issues. Dropping only one totem (stoneskin) and pulling with rank 1 lightning bolt is what I’m doing to compensate, but it’s still really tedious. We’ll keep pushing through to 40 though, as that’s where they tell me we start to dominate.

No real tough quests to 20 though.

Show Me The Money

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 by shawnmw

It’s all well and good to speed level, spending as little time as possible not killing things, but we also need some cash to fund our new spells/abilities, buy mounts and it would be nice to occasionally buy some new weapons and maybe enchant them.

Well, can we do all this you ask? Of course……

Enter………. the Bank/Auction House Alt.

We’ve rolled a nice looking one called Blondbank. Now, what to do with her?

Blondbank

Blondbank

Apart from collecting and listing our mats and assorted greens on the AH, we can make much more money by..

Playing the AH

Two things are necessary to achieve an endless river of gold.

1. The add-on Auctioneer. I like to use the classic version, as it’s straightforward to use.

2. 5-10 minutes of game time (not on our main) per session.

Once we have Auctioneer and it’s two associated add-ons installed, we simply open up the AH window and click the scan button. You can leave this to run for 5-10 minutes while having a break, or when you first get home from work/school (like I do).

We need to do this 6 or 7 days in a row before the database is useful to us. So you can get going from level 1 of your main.

Once we have a decent bankroll going from the gear/mats provided by our main (like 1g) then we can start looking for bargains.

After we run a scan, we click the bottom tab marked search auctions, and then click the dropdown menu for buyouts, change minimum profit to 10s and then search.

We will get a list of all listed buyouts with a minimum of 10s profit, listed in % of profit order.

We’ll then buy the bargains, and re-list them to make some tidy profits. We keep doing this every day, using larger and larger buy prices, with bigger $ profits.

I’ve done this from scratch 5 times now, and never failed to have earned at least 30g in the first week.

The more times you run the scan and search, the better your chances of finding those huge bargains where newbs list great selling items for next to nothing because they don’t have this add-on.

The fastest selling items I find are potions and scrolls. The end game versions sell particularly well on common raid nights like Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Buff food falls into this category. I make a ton of cash selling food I catch and cook on my level 70 on the other server.

Certain recipes sell well, and have low listing prices.

Mats of all description are the staples. The trick here is to monitor which days and times (yes times) of the week are the best to list our mats to get quick sales at good (at or above median) prices. Quick turnover of mats is the key. Continual re-listing because of other’s undercutting eats into the profits.

I find that Sundays are usually crap for mats, because everyone has been farming them all weekend. Conversely mid-week is usually best, but you have to check the conditions for your server.

Weapons and armor are a bit trickier. Most guides will tell you to stay away from them because they have higher listing fees and don’t move as quick. You just need to know which ones are really popular at their appropriate level. Make sure your database has the items showing at least 10 times before trusting the median price. I always double check WoWhead as well, as this lists the average AH buyout price for every item. Some of my biggest profits have been on weapons and armor, especially twink ones. Know what these are (bit of research on the net) and keep your eyes peeled for bargains.

You can also disenchant crap greens for listing on the AH. The dust and shards will sell better and there’s no listing price! You’ll need the enchanting skill levelled up appropriately for this though, and this can be expensive in it’s own right. The perfect AH/Bank alt would be max enchanting and jewelcrafting though.

Once you get the hang of this, you need never grind for cash ever again (unless you want to).

The Barrens Grind Part 1

Posted in Levelling on August 5, 2008 by shawnmw

First we’ve got a few long runs for our Fire Totem quest. Then working our way through the TourGuide quests.

A couple of things to watch out for are;

The Disruption Ends – we take our time, pull from up on the hills, watching out for patrolling hunters.

Baron Longshore – pull two at a time with a lightning strike, running and dropping a Stoneclaw totem.

Kolkar Leaders – All mobs can be pulled away from Barak if we watch their pathing closely and are patient. Watch out for patrols. Better to be safe and make sure we’ve taken them out first.

Ignition and the Escape – Again, multi mob pulls are a no-no. We just don’t have the survivability of a mail wearer. Pull from the top of the hill at the ramp to the tower for Ignition. Don’t come out of the water, it’s too hard to see the mobs in the bushes plus they all run and pull others close by.

Miner’s Fortune – Same here, single pulls only. Park it on the hills. No need to go into the mine.

That bring’s me to an important subject. Our emergency escape plan. Basically this consists of swapping to shield and 1Hander (I use the add-on “Outfitter” for key binding this) and running like buggery, whilst dropping an Earthbind totem and then a Stoneclaw if necessary.

When we’re a long way from the only graveyard in the Barrens (goddamnit) it’s better to extend a cowardly escape than have a 3 minute corpse run. 2 mobs is pretty much our max. With those nasty running mobs, better just stick to 1.

Time for an update on spell/ability rotation:

We’re using our Cauldron Stirrer from the Apothecary Zamah quest, Lightning Bolt for pull, dropping a Stoneskin, having Lightning shield up all the time, and occasionally I’ll hit em with highest rank Earthshock if I’m getting low on health. You can also drop a Searing totem on occasion, but rank 1 really does bugger all for dps.  We can get through 4-5 mobs before having to stop to eat/drink with careful eye on mana use, plus a few seconds wait time between pulls.

I’ve tested the dps on this using a mod, and we’re running at 27-28 dps with this rotation at level 17-18. We can get a couple more DPS using shocks each time, but we’ll always be stopping for mana.

That brings me to another topic. Macros. I have a new page for these here. I’ll add to it as I go. The totem sequence one I’m finding really useful. The bandage and target nearest are my staples for all classes.

As we’re Orc (+5 to axe skill) I picked up the Zhovur Axe from Serena Bloodfeather quest and will run with this for a while (unless another Axe or staff drops). This kicks our dps along to 31-32.

As for talents, we’ve got the following at Level 18 here.

We hit level 14 at 7h10min, 16 at 9h51min and level 18 at 12h55min

Early steps

Posted in Levelling on August 1, 2008 by shawnmw

Level 7, time to head back down the coast to Sen’Jin village and Echo Isles. Nothing too difficult here follow the TourGuide and away we go. For Zalazane used my really sticky glue to pin him down whilst blasting away with Lightning Bolts. Interrupted his healing with Earth Shock and he’s easy. 

Then we’re following TourGuide again back towards Orgrimmar. Once we hit or very nearly hit 10, we pick up Need for a Cure then turn in The Admiral’s Orders, get our new spells/skills, check the AH for cheap 6 slot bags (must be below 4s50c) or buy some from bag vendor. If a good mace or 1h axe hasn’t dropped yet, we might want to look for a cheap Copper Mace on the AH.

Also, we want to improve our cash situation, so we sign up for apprentice skinning. Later we’ll get enchanting (for DC’ing) too.

We’ve just got our first talent point too. We’ll be running enhancement all the way to 70, so our choice is either Ancestral Knowledge or Shield Specialization. We’ll take the extra mana of Ancestral Knowledge, which is the standard choice. 

Then back out to do Finding the Antidote and have a go at getting the amulet from the crocs at the river for Lost but not Forgotten. We keep trying until there’s 15 minutes left on the quest timer and then go back to org for the antidote. Then back to the crocs for the amulet. It can take ages for the amulet to drop. Fortunately, this helps us level up our skinning. 

Then we’re on to Dark Storms. Dancingdeath did solo this at level 10. I thought I was frapsing it, but I hit the wrong key. I’ve re-done it on another shammie, here:

 

The strategy is to take out the roaming guy, plus the three adds on the front, left and back before engaging Fizzle and his imp. 2 lightning bolts for the imp first, then Earth Shock Fizzle’s Shadowbolt. Kill imp (if the lightning didn’t already do it) then finish off Fizzle with the Faintly Glowing Skull. You will probably need a health pot. If you’ve got it skilled up, use the staff you should have picked up from Securing the Lines as they are both spell casters, so the shield won’t do you much good anyway.

DON’T get too far to the right or the lock and his voidy will join in and you’re DEAD. Fizzle respawns quick, even when his corpse is still to be looted, so if you kill him but die in the process, expect him to be there when you rez. The adds shouldn’t be though. 

It’s a tough fight to solo at 10 for sure (you can get rolled by the RNG), but it’s required for the quest chain which rewards us with our upgraded mace. 

Once completed and turned in, you’re off to Skull Rock. The Warlock and Voidy combos are tough here. Lightning bolt on Lock, followed by Earth Shock interrupts till dead, then attack Voidy. Make sure your Stoneskin totem is up at all times (and hope that you get the lieutenant insignia to drop quik). No chance of soloing Gazz’uz at this level, but if there are others about group up and take him out. 

Then turn in Skull rock, get the new mace, and head back to Org. We train up skinning another level before leaving and fill any remaining bag slots. 

Shammie quest chain for fire totem is next, and it’s a pain in the arse with heaps of running long distances between mobs/turn-ins. Big disadvantage to us time wise, but unavoidable.  

We hit level 10 at 3hr 1min and 12 at 5hr 6min

Level 12

Level 12

Here we go

Posted in Levelling with tags on July 26, 2008 by shawnmw

OK fellow WOWsers, let’s kick this off.

The guide will be aimed at people who want to level up an alt, so I’ll be assuming a reasonable degree of prior knowledge of game mechanics and jargon, etc.

Before we roll our new Shaman, we’ll need some add-ons. I usually play with a whole stack of them so my UI resembles nothing of the original. For this project, I’ll be keeping it very lean and as simple as possible.

The complete list is I’m using is here. But you can obviously add or remove anything you like.

I’ll assume all of you know how to install add-ons. If not, there are instructions at www.curse-gaming.com.

The vital ones for the automated quest tracking are TourGuide and Tom Tom. I will be posting customised guide files for these add-ons here.

Check back regularly, as I will updating the default TourGuide files as I level through each area, and you will need to install these new files to follow my quest sequence exactly. This is necessary, as the default quest files are set for Hunter/Warlock type classes who can take on multiple high level mobs with ease.

A guide on how to change the TourGuide files to mine is here.

Now that we’re set up, let’s roll.

I’ve rolled on Aman’Thul, a PVE server, to take out the random delays from being ganked to get a truer picture of how fast we can level a Shammie. I won’t be resting in towns or inns, also in the interest of establishing a consistent baseline.

I won’t be twinking this alt with any gold gained from another toon, except from a banking alt, who will be selling into and playing the AH to obtain money for mounts, weapons and the occasional potion or scroll for soloing a hard quest. The bank alt is supplied solely by our new Shaman.

Our Hero, Dancingdeath

Our Hero, Dancingdeath


Our new Shaman is Dancingdeath. An Orc. I prefer the Orc starting area over Tauren and the looks and racial abilities of Orcs over Trolls.

So we kick off by immediately setting our preferred keybindings and setting up our add-ons. This will really only consist of Fubar (select top or bottom) and right clicking the TourGuide bar and then checking the Durotar guide.

Then it’s follow the instructions on the Tourguide bar and the Tom Tom arrow (which you should move to the top of the screen) and pick up your first quests.

We keep following TourGuide all the way through this area, selling our junk as we turn in quests. Make sure to chose the 1 handed mace when offered the quest reward. We are going mace+shield all the way through Durotar.

The only problem with TourGuide is that it only shows you one quest objective at a time. You need to kill the scorpions and the imps, and wake the sleeping orcs, and pick the apples all at the same time when TourGuide shows the Lazy Peons quest. Tourguide will still automatically check off quests as completed even if you do them out of it’s scheduled order.

You should be level 6 by the time you finish all the Valley of Trials quests, if you kill a few extra mobs on your way here and there. If not, make sure you hit 6 before Razor Hill.

Don’t get new skills/spells at level 6. This is because we need the money to buy a good shield from Wuark at Razor Hill. A round buckler for 2s60c. This is necessary for our next quest. The level 6 skills aren’t needed right now anyway.

OK, keep following TourGuide, pick up the new quests and the head off to do Vanquish the Betrayers. This can be soloed at level 6 provided you do the following:

1. eat one of your sta buff apples prior

2. pull the first two guards separately outside the room.

3. then enter room and focus on killing Benedict first

3. 2 lightning strikes followed by earth shocks every cooldown whilst hitting bloodrage.

4. down your health pot (from earlier quest reward) straight after you kill him and then kill the add.

Here’s a movie of me doing this (with 900ms server lag).

Otherwise you can wait around for a group, I find during peak hours there are always people coming though here. The quest is important for the XP in the chain it leads to.

OK we’ve got the key, opened the chest, and jumped off the wall (you don’t take much damage from the drop) and finished off the other mobs we need for the quest complete.

Now we can go back to Razor and get our new bag (quest reward) and skills. You should hit Level 7 when handing in quests or before. Good time to get first aid training and make a few bandages too.

OK, we hit Level 5 at 31min; 6 at 43min; and 7 at 1hour 10min. Approx Xp / hr is 9,000

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