Saturday, January 31, 2009

PuGguy makes a comeback!

Last night, I went to Naxx25 with one of my old guilds - Blood for Blood.

It was a lot of fun to run with them again, and the raid was very smooth! It wasn't that we didn't have wipes or oh crap moments, but the manner in which they were handled was professional and businesslike. No yelling/screaming/crying...etc.

And I'm not saying that my current guild is that way; for the record, they aren't.

So, let me post the damage meter:

Numero dos. I can live with that.

Ok, let's get into the meat of things.

1. We cleared Spider and Plague wings and a bit of trash in the Military quarter, but no boss attempts.

2. Guess who stayed alive on the Heigan fight. He has well over 9 million hit points, and it was down to 6 of us at the 6 million mark. Doh! I did actually die around the 2 million mark but since I showed I could dance, I got a battle rez. This time, I didn't waste it!

3. I donned my +hit gear for most of the boss fights. I forgot to equip it for some of them (forgot which ones). I had around 20 misses again out of over 4700 shots; I still think that's acceptable. /ducks Kestrel and Deathrender's shoes. But, it's a moot point because:

4. I gots PHAT LEWTZ!!! I won the Strong-Handed Ring with a roll of 13. I couldn't believe that! And I got a pair of Footwraps of Vile Deceit with a decent roll of 76 or so. If you look at my armory, you'll see I took Deathrender's advice and slapped a 16 hit gem and Icewalker enchant on them. My hit is a comfy 149 now, and I'll be seeing how it stacks up.

That's all for now; cya later.

Friday, January 30, 2009


EDIT: Due to comments and thinking things through, I edited the "what I'd lose" part of this post.

As I've epeened here before, I'll do it again.
Last night's Naxx continuation: Loetheb, first two bosses in Spider wing, and two Patchwerk attempts.

I'm starting to notice a disturbing trend when it comes to our 10 man runs: I'm boosting.

On this meter, I pumped out 2.2 million more damage than my closest compeditor. 2 point 2 freakin' million! Add to that, three of my fellow dpsers are below the two tanks (#'s 3 & 4).

So, what's the deal? Am I that 1337?? I don't think so.

I took a look at some of their gear and things started to come into focus:
1. Some were still wearing level 70 Burning Crusade gear.
2. Some were missing enchants.
3. Some had empty sockets.

And, this is the same guild that replies with "crickets chirping" when someone tries to put together a Heroic. Have you seen this in your guilds? People who want to raid but do not want to gear themselves through Heroics or even pick up easily attainable crafted gear?

I really get the feeling that Teurion and I are dragging people through content that they just aren't prepared to see.

Case in point:
-Last Tuesday, at the 50% point, four people were left on the Heigan fight, and as I chronicled, we downed him.

-This Tuesday, three people survived past the 50% point, and we still downed him (I died at 50K left, and Teurion was able to kill him).

Alright, now let me add some more possible explanations for low DPS.
1. The warrior that is #6 missed one Loetheb attempt due to not being able to make it through the eye stalk room.
2. I was on eye stalk killing duty for the multiple attempts that we made in trying to rez said warrior.
3. The warrior that is #2 spent a good deal of time dead on the first Spider quarter boss as well as some time eating dirt on Patchwerk.
4. The druid that is #7 off-tanked Patchwerk for our second attempt. I mention this only in fairness to fully assess the situation; one fight at the end of the night is not going to affect the numbers radically.
5. The off tank death knight (#3) wore his DPS gear for the vast majority of the night.

Ok, so I didn't want to make this post about whining and complaining; what I did want to do is analyze the run and try to get a good assessment of the situation.

My conclusion? More Heroics for the people on our team. Of course, right now, our team is somewhat fluid, so it might be tricky getting the same people next week.

Now, my personal performance:
This is what Recount shows for the "rolling your face around the keyboard" shot rotation.

Some notable items:
1. Autoshot is king! Never ever ever discount the value of Autoshot.
2 I had a +hit rating of 98 (!!!) for this run with a Draenai in my party. I had 20 misses out of 4197 shots for a .476% miss rate.
3. I had around 5K attack power/37% crits raid buffed.

Ok, I'm not sure if the agi/crit/ap that I'd give up to get to 173 +hit rating is worth it. I would exchange a trinket with 148 ap on it for one with 55 +hit and exchange a +20 agi enchant on my gloves for a +20 hit.

With those two item swaps, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't miss at all. But is it worth it? Let me see if I can calculate what those 20 shots might have netted me verses what I got without the +hit.

I'm just going to do a general, aggragete calculation and ignore crits; I'll also assume that all shots are equal and that attack power is simply added to shots while realizing that they're not. I'm sure that I don't have the precise numbers for conversion, but I think I can get an idea which might be better. I'm looking for the order of magnitude...

With that in mind, I averaged 7208348 damage/4197 shots = 1717.5 dmg/shot.

So, with the "no miss" gear, I would gain 1717.5 - 168 = 1549.5 dmg/shot * 20 = 30990 damage

But I would lose 4197 * 168 = 705096 damage. <-Wrong!

EDIT: Since I'm a doofus and didn't think things, 168 ap is not added to each and every's a better analysis of what I'd lose:

1 AP ~ .071197 DPS
168 AP ~ 12 DPS
I spent 3172.4 seconds in combat.
3172.4 seconds * 12 DPS = 38068 Damage

Now, that doesn't take into account crits I'd lose. Contrarily, I should discount the Volleys because I don't volley on Bosses; I do, however Multi-shot on Bosses. Thanks to Kestrel and Deathrender for setting me straight!

By those calculations, it's pretty clear that the misses just don't matter in the long run.

REMEMBER!!! These calculations are not precise!!! They might be wrong in all their assumptions and may be wildly misleading!!! This ain't Elitest Jerks; it's just a Regular Jerk.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are WotLK raids too easy?

I know this topic has been beaten to death by other bloggers, but remember, I'm almost always behind the trend and late to the table.

The reason I as this is comparing BC raids to WotLK raids (25 mans):

Kara = Naxx10
SSC = Naxx25
Gruul's = OS
Mag's = VoA

Of course the last two might be in reverse order....I didn't do too many 25 man raids in BC.

Now, two months into BC were people PuGging Gruul's or Mag's? And I don't mean picking up a healer or dps for guild runs, I'm talking about 25 people from 20 different guilds - a true PuG.

I don't think so.

Yesterday, I PuGged both OS25 and VoA25 and had nary a problem in either. I placed third on the damage meter in each and didn't die in the fire.

Actually thinking back, I've never been in a guild run of either of those instances, 10 or 25 man versions. And I've never had a problem completing the instance with my fellow PuGgers.

Of course this leads me to two conclusions:
A. Players got better. ROFLOLCOPTER!!!!!!!
B. The raids are easier.

I'm not complaining here; I like easy epics just as much as the next guy. But, I'm left wondering just how much more content can be added to WoW to keep my interest.

Greedy Goblin actually came up with an idea that would be EPIC if Blizzard would implement it - namely, create Heroic versions of all the instances. Heroic Mauradon was his rallying cry, but I'd totally be there for Heroic Wailing Caverns or Sunken Temple! How about Heroic versions of past raids? Heroic MC or Heroic SSC? Let's do it!! If Blizzard wanted to repopulate Oldlands, as well as breathe life back into Outlands, this would be a great way to do it.

I don't know about you, but eventually, I'm going to get tired of running Heroic Violet Hold over and over. It'd be nice to have a plethora of familiar instances to choose from. Even if those instances only provided Emblems and copied the loot table from another Heroic. I'd go!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Achievements...I haz dem..

I like the new achievement system. Last week, I obtained "the Explorer" title for DV and thought that I'd hang with that for a while.

Wrong. This past weekend, a guildie was kind enough to help me gain the "Jenkins" title. Two hunters, two gorillas, 6 tries. Yeah, we were that uncoordinated.

And last night, I found the last Elder in Heroic Gundrak for the "Elder" title. Too bad I can't put combos of my titles up at once:

Elder Dwarfvader Jenkins the Explorer

Has a little ring to it, eh?

Another achievement that I've been working on and finally completed is the "To all the squirrels I've loved before". Of course I didn't realize there's a follow up, so I have more love to give, but the last critter I /love(d) for the first stage resulted in the emote: Dwarfvader loves Ewe.

Haha. Oh, and making a macro (/tar cat [or other critter name]) really simplifies the process. You can add another line (/love) for automating the entire process, but then you run around emoting, "Dwarfvader feels the love", and that gets annoying....

I have to share

Now, I've said before that I'm one of the ultra-conservative people living in the United States. With that reminder, I have to share something from Walter E. Williams' column today.

"A visual representation of the stimulus package is: Imagine you see a person at work taking buckets of water from the deep end of a swimming pool and dumping them into the shallow end in an attempt to make it deeper."

Is there any wonder why I have a serious man-crush on this guy? I say let's can the tax evading Timmy and make Mr. Williams Treasury secretary!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The pics

Ok, so my memory is a bit fuzzy...3600 DPS on the first pull. Unfortunately, I didn't screenshot the damage meter at the end....

I'll post pics later

I went to VoA25 yesterday on DV. Yeah, it was a

Alright, I follow the BRK philosophy when it comes to PuGs:
1. Make sure to be properly fed, elixered, enchanted, and aspected.
2. On the first pull, cast MisDirect on the Main Tank, pop Beastial Wrath and all trinkets, and BURN BABY BURN!!!
3. When the mobs die, savor your position on top of the Damage meter as you replenish your mana.
4. Repeat 1-3 as often as possible.

I like to set my personal DPS standard very high and do everything that I can to maintain it. Last night's VoA25 was a personal best as I started out with 3700 DPS on the first pull! I'm not sure how I got there, but being raid buffed at 5700 attack power sure contributed to it.

As the raid went on, I slowly dropped on the the amount of DPS, but stayed atop the meter. I ended the raid with just under 3K DPS for the instance and number one on the damage done meter. Not bad, if you ask me. Oh, and, yes, I'm still spec'd Beast Master.

And as for the pics, I tried to email them to myself so I could post them, but alas didn't get them sent before I had to leave for work. I'll try to remember to post them when I get home.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blown away

We had friends over from Illinois this weekend, so not much WoW time. I did, however, show my friend the YouTube videos of my songs.

Someone had taken the first one, Puggin' Kara, and filmed a video for it that matched the lyrics exactly! I was laughing my butt off! I'd link it, but here at work, I can't get access to it. Just search for "puggin Kara" in the search bar for YouTube, and you'll see the original with the crying baby picture and the video should show up as well. It's absolutely hilarious.

The second song, Aggro is Mine (The Tank Song), has over 42,000 views.




Holy smokes! I've really got to talk with my mom about hitting that refresh button so many times....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hit rating and Naxx

Last night we continued our Naxx raid by killing the mushroom guy in the Plague quarter and the first two bosses in the Arachnid quarter. I didn't capture a screenie of the damage meter, but I will tell you I was second to a Warlock.

My hit rating for the evening was 173; we had no Draenai toons; I didn't eat +hit food; I didn't miss once.

Based on that encouraging news, I plan on taking my hit rating down to 153. Currently I have two pairs of the epic mail Heroic gloves with different enchants - one with +20 hit and the other with +35 AP. I wore the +hit gloves last night and will swap them out for the +AP ones for the next raid. I might swap out the enchant on the AP ones for +agi.

In other news, I had an epiphany about being in a large guild - someone surely could craft the Giantmaim leggings for me! Sure enough, one of my new guildies was able to craft the epic as well as make the sweet armor kit from the mats that I provided.

After DV slapped on those legs, he dinged the acheivement "Superior". So yay on him! The next item I need to look into is the crafted cloak. Yeah, I should have been on this sooner, but I guess late is better than later...or something like that.

Oh, and I did get to see the token for my shoulders drop, but lost the roll to a warrior. /cry....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More thoughts on business

Business in WoW is just like business in real life - the basic action is to buy low and sell high.

If I can buy 10 Crystallized Fire (in the form of an Eternal) for 25 gold and sell the individual CF's for 5 gold or 50 gold for 10, I've just bought low and sold high.

If I can buy the Ardent Defender for 5 gold and sell it for 88 gold, I've just bought low and sold high.

If I can buy 4 Saronite bars, and 1 each of Eternal Water, Shadow, and Earth for approximately 40 gold and sell the Eternal Belt Buckle I make out of it for 60 gold, I've just bought low and sold high.

And finally, if I can buy 120 Borean leather for 48 gold and sell the 20 Heavy Borean leather in stacks of 4 @ 20 gold each, I've just bought low and sold high.

Now, you might say, but Rusty, you used your professions to transmute/manufacture/whatever the item to something of higher value. And I would agree with you for the latter two examples. But the first two are available to even my level one bank toon.

Ok, ok, the real focus of this entry is to emphasis the first part of the equation - buy low.

I'm doing pretty well in the Eternal Belt Buckle business, and I plan on working it long term. As such, I try to keep an eye out for cheap mats to keep my costs down. If I can get my costs down below 40 gold, more profit for me!

I am also trying to keep at least a stack of each of the mats in my bank so I can make the belt buckles whenever I need them. This allows me to ride out any spikes in the markets that come from patches, new PvP seasons, and the like.

So the previous two concepts put together means I look at the prices of all three Eternals as well as Saronite (bars and ore) on a daily basis. If mats below my preset cost for them and I don't already have my preset inventory level for them, I buy them for future belt buckles.

Of course, I'll have a bit of money tied up in inventory, but as I'm experiencing currently, you can't sell what you don't have the mats to make. For some reason, Eternal Waters on my server have shot up to unreasonable (read unprofitable) levels, so I had to wait for the price to drop before I could make more Eternal Belt Buckles because I didn't keep enough waters on hand.

Lesson learned.

Fresh Naxx

Last night DV went to Naxx with his new guild, Untold Darkness.

Huh? Oh, yeah, Teurion and I've been raiding with them for a while now (with Teurion leading the raid for them), and they have enough people that want to run our raid times (tue/thu 7-10 pm eastern) to make a static raid group.

The actual set raid times are 730-10 pm, but who wants to quibble over a half an hour? So, Teurion, VA, and DV all moved over to Untold Darkness; all my other toons remain in The Wolfpack, with the exception of my bank toon who gets to pass the time in his guild of one.

Alrighty, on to Naxx. I have a couple of pictures that might tell a story. We went to the Plague quarter, downed Noth, and had two attempts at Heigan. The first attempt was a wipe as we found out most of the people didn't understand the dance, and the safe spot has seemingly been removed.

The second attempt, we found out that four out of ten raiders could actually move through the dance. I'll post two pictures and see if you can figure out what happened...

21 minutes....

Two healers, Teurion, and DV four manned Heigan from around 50%! I forget how many times I had to rez poor PuddyTat, but towards the end of the fight, the healers started keeping him up, because they didn't have anyone else to heal...heh heh.

Amava asked about which Heroics would be memorable in Northrend; well, this wasn't a Heroic, but it definitely will be one of my more charished memories of survival!

And, almost as a tip of the hat, he decided to drop the Tunic of the Lost Pack! Yay on DV!

Some other notes on DV, I got the new Hunter staff from Heroic Violet Hold, equipped it, and while parousing the armory this morning, I found out that the Ebon Blade rep reward is better! Oh for cryin' out loud! A blue rep item is better than a Heroic purple drop. That's just not right!

On hit rating. I was at 181 hit rating for the raid (which contained no Draenai toons) and didn't miss once. With my new chestpiece, my hit rating has dropped to 173. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mish-mash, for lack of a better title

Quickies from the weekend.

Daxie hit 78 and has been PuGgin' her brains out! I'd much rather level through instances than quest on my healer, so even a PuG is better than soloing.

DV went to the Plague quarter in Naxx and cleared it. He spend a good deal of time dead, so his DPS suffered accordingly.

DV also started another rep grind...any guess from this pic?

I looked so ridiculous, that I had to snap a pic and share. That poor ram....

Friday, January 16, 2009

A ledger

I have been very undisciplined in my business dealings in that I have not ...really... written anything down. I became pretty lazy early on and need to get on the stick.

The problem is that my Crystallized fire is selling so well that I'm comfortable with where I'm at financially. No, I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination (I couldn't afford epic flying for one of my toons currently, but I can afford Cold Weather flying), but I have enough.

On other aspects, I've lost track of my armor markets and have stopped monitoring (to my loss) the Heavy Borean leather market. My excuse? I've been sick. Yeah, that one will do.

What the real reason is is this: I start quick, get amped up about a subject, make all sorts of plans, and then the initial excitement wears off and I drop it. I've seen this over and over again in my life and have the financial and relational scars to prove it. It seems that when the situation requires real work with no fun that it loses its appeal.

The real work is presenting itself now in this business. I need to keep a ledger or booking. I'm not talking about a Greedy Goblin type where I analyze my profit/time spent, but rather a more simple list of mats cost and item sales values. A spreadsheet would suffice.

And once the initial mat list is done, I won't have to redo it! I would leave the cost columns blank for penciling in the current market value of the item as well as leaving the sales value column blank for the same purpose.

I just have to make it up...(*looks around for real work around the shop to avoid goofing off on a WoW spreadsheet at work*)

Back from the dead

Yeah, I've climbed off my death bed and made it to work.

I've caught up a bit on comments, and I just have to thank Deathrender for helping me out with the Focused Aim deal and where to jack talent points from to make it happen. Bye bye Hawk Eye.

Of course, now with the 196 hit cap for raid bosses, I need to re-gem and re-enchant and look at some possible swaps to maximize my RAP and Crit while lowering my hit to a more appropriate level. And if 196 is the cap, is 190 good enough? 180? Do I hear 168? I'll let you know.

This particular issue highlights the fact that I'm a bottomline type person. I'm not a number cruncher, and I care very little for the details. It's not that numbers overwhelm me or confuse me - I'm perfectly capable of dealing with algebra, Trig, Calculus, and the like. It's just that I really don't want to put the effort into calculating out a game mechanic to the nth decimal point. Give me the bottomline, and I'm happy!

Now what I will do is take a firm number, like the 196 hit cap w/ Focused Aim, and see what a "good enough" hit rating is from that. No, I won't be hitting up the target dummies (not that interested), but I will take a spec/gearing into a raid, run Recount, and take a look at the results.

See, I'm not interested in squeezing every ounce of Pwnage out of my character. I'm looking for good enough. When my good enough isn't, then it's time to tweak again, but until that time, I'm perfectly happy with whatever I'm currently sporting. Definitely a casual approach.

I suppose if DV was my only focus (as opposed to being my mostly focus), I would have a different attitude in maxing out all of his potential with the proper rep grinds and questing I could do. But he's not. I prefer to alt around, work on professions, run my business (more on that in another post), and have what I consider to be "fun" at the time. If that "fun" includes smashing a Heroic or Raid, then DV gets the call, currently....but I may just bring another hunter when they finally catch up.

Anyways, I'll never be a hardcore raider. I don't have the desire, and I never want to get back in the situation at home like I was in a year ago. Softcore raiding all the way for me.

...that just sounds wrong, doesn't it....casual raiding? Leisure Raiding?

Slacker raiding?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Naxx10, another pwning

Last night was a fresh Naxx10. We cleared the Spider wing and took down Patchwerk in just shy of 2 hours.

Since the last run, I have upgraded my chest piece to the Argent Crusade one and bought the Emblem of Heroism neck and waist pieces. Unbuffed, I'm up to 3175 attack power, 23.47% crits, and 258 hit rating.

Let's look at the results:

Looks like a 330 DPS improvement over last Thursday. Not bad, if I do say so myself! I had one noob moment where I forgot to switch back to Aspect of the Dragonhawk from Viper on the first boss. Whoops.

My DPS on Patchwerk was over 2700; yay on me!

EDIT: I really shouldn't blog while sick. I meant to include the fact that my hit rating is 258, and I had zero misses. I'll be lowering my hit rating to add a bit more oomph. I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news, yesterday, I did my first Vault of A-something. I did both the 10 and 25 man versions, and we one shotted it. Oh, yeah, and the groups were pure PuGs. Easy peasy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why do I have to get sick on Tuesdays??

Around 5 pm last night I got a call to talk with Ralph on the big white telephone. Now, I've driven the porcelain bus before, and I know the intricacies of the Technicolor yawn, so it wasn't such a big deal.

I also figured I'd take today off to recover (and I've ended up sleeping for most of it). My whine is that I seem to get sick on the Tuesdays that have the 8 hour maintenance! Why can't I get sick on a Wednesday? Or on a Rolling Restart Tuesday??


I don't feel so good....

Monday, January 12, 2009

A level 1 bank toon cleans up

My bank toon is a level one pally, and as such, he has no professions, skills, etc that would allow him any sort of money making opportunities in the traditional game (outside of playing the AH).

One thing that my banker can do is create one Eternal whatever from 10 Crystallized whatevers; he can also make 10 Crystallized whatevers from one Eternal whatever. This is gold!

On my server, Crystallized Fire sells for around 40 gold/10 or about 4 gold each. An Eternal Fire sells for anywhere from 24 to 30ish each. All I have to do is buy an Eternal, break it into pieces, and relist it as individual Crystallized Fires. As with the Heavy Borean Leather, a number of crafters are looking for single Crystallized Fires and don't want to buy a whole Eternal.

And I help them out by doing that hard work of breaking those Eternals for them. Of course, they could do the same thing and sell the excess for a bit of a profit, but SSSHHHHHHH....don't tell them that!

And to everyone on Kael'thas, Alliance side, you are prohibited from doing this. Go, uh, farm them or something....

Thoughts on Business

One can argue that aside from selling things that we find (I include equipment, farming proceeds, and cloth in this category), we either gather materials to make something that exceeds the value of the base materials or we break something into pieces, which are more valuable than the item that we broke.

Most times the making/breaking action is one way. If I DE an item, I can't use the Enchanting mats to recreate the item. If I smelt ore into bars or make Borean leather into Heavy Borean leather, I can't reverse the process.

I have found a couple of these one way markets that are somewhat profitable (plate armor, titanium rods, armor kits). Most of my created items that are meant for equipping present a risk in that I depend on someone needing to equip or use the item.

But one of my better ideas for the one way markets is simply gathering up mats and making them into higher level mats and finally listing them in small groups. Specifically, I buy Borean Leather for around 8 gold a stack. It takes 6 stacks to make one stack of Heavy Borean leather(HBL). That represents about 48 gold invested. Now, one stack of HBL sells for around 90 gold on my server - 42 gold profit! Not bad.

But where I am able to really get all that Heavy Borean leather sold is my strategy to list them in groups of four instead of twenty. See, most people who want to buy HBL don't need 20, so by listing the stacks of 4 I provide them with what is closer to what they need.

I end up charging, if I listed them as a stack of 20, 100 gold for 20, but because I break up the stack, I'm not affected by people selling that same stack for 90 gold.

So, it turns out that some crafters would rather buy two of my stacks at a higher cost/HBL rather than one of the 20 stacks that has a lower cost/HBL. The crafter saves money, I make money, and we all smile, except those trying to sell full stacks of HBL....

Now, if the Leatherworkers were a bit more saavy, they'd just go grab the Borean Leather and make their own HBL for cheaper than I'm listing it. But thankfully, they don't...

Next post is on the other side of the make/break issue: The two way market - 10 Crystallized -> 1 Eternal and 1 Eternal -> 10 Crystallized.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An interesting situation

Hopefully I don't screw this up and make this the fifth post on one day (I'm shooting for Saturday).

For BC, I started playing WoW a month before BC came out and didn't really start paying attention until September or October of 2007. And then, through various alts, distractions, and Poxing, failed to advance on the End Game scene past Kara.

For WotLK, two months after the game came out, I'm at End Game. Whoa! Now that's a huge difference! Yeah, all the strategies for the raid bosses have been written, the game has been beat up to current content, and hunter nerfs are incoming, but still...I'm no longer one of the stragglers.

Instead, I'm solidly in the second wave of 80's and find myself in uncharted territory. If I may, a short list of accomplishments:

Raided Naxx10, seen 4 bosses, cleared Spider wing.
Raided Obsidium Sanctum 10, cleared.
Cleared a good amount of Heroics without even setting foot in a level 80 regular instance.
Have epics equipped in two slots, with mostly Heroic blues and a smattering of greens.

Compared to two months after BC hit (or even two months after I hit 70 for the first time), I'm like the rocket man progression wise. And, as such, I've found that I've finally caught up.

Caught up as in....
BRK or Amava's numbers are obtainable for me.
I might actually max out all the professions that the game has to offer.
I may even finish the current content before the new content patch comes out.

It really is a different and interesting situation that I find myself in...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Going for a record

Yeah, four posts in one day. Sorry.

I track this website with Google Analytics and recently had zero hits on a couple of days. Now, I'm no BRK, but I know that Mom checks this site on an hourly basis (NO MOM, NO MORE GRANDKIDS YET!! I GOT THE SNIP SNIP, AND IT DIDN'T GROW BACK TOGETHER!!!!!!).

So I figured that Mom was busy guttin' a moose or had struck it rich in my brother's halibut rod business and hadn't had time to tear herself away to see that I had not announced a new grandchild. But after several days of no hits (even when I popped on the website to see if I'd had a new kid), I began to suspect that the incoming president had something to do with it.

As it turns out, I changed my layout a week or so ago...and that deleted the Google Analytics snippet of code from the page source. Whoops.

So, I reentered it, saved the templete, and now...I'm trackin' you scumbags again!! Muhuhahahahahahahahaha.

This weekend and an observation

Teurion has AF Reserves this weekend, so I'll probably be alting around to get my crew up a level or two. I'd like to finish off Borean Tundra on Smoochie and Nitrodax and move them on to the next area. Poor Daxe is just rotting away back at the keep - at least Daxie gets to come out for her Jewelcrafting daily. Daxe just gets to drink.

Yesterday, I worked a bit on Alchemy and was pretty surprised how fast the levels went from 375 to 400. I gathered most of my mats, but I am looking at which recipes might be candidates for my business. I really need to get on making a list of mats with their median AH price, so I don't have to keep on looking up the prices.

As most of you all know, I tend to vacillate between working on a main and working on alts. I get a burr under my saddle to max out my current main, burn out, and then switch to whatevering on my alts for a couple of weeks, burn out, and the cycle repeats itself. We all love cycles.

So, my current mania is for DV, my defacto main, but I hate puggin' without Teurion and really don't want to quest on the dwarf while my professions are lagging. If Teurion was playing this weekend, I could easily see us doing a Heroic marathon, puggin' an Obsidium Sanctum, and attempting to finish up Naxx10, but he won't, like that nagging honey-do list, my professions call for me to level them. And to level them, I really need to level my alts. And there you go...

The observation: A couple of my more recent posts may have the appearance of being.....helpful.

First of all, I apologize to everyone who reads this blog with the expectation that you'll come away from it with at least a "What the Hell?" or maybe even a "shaking the head feeling sorry for me" type feeling. Or at the very least some nausea.

Secondly, while my percentage of helpful posts to unhealthy posts still remains less than 1%, I am renewing my committment to providing the most incoherent Warhammer ramblings that most of you are accustomed to.

Thirdly, just because the squirrel has a bushy tail AND can run across the street without getting smooshed, it doesn't mean that your sudden onslaught of water retention is caused by this blog. I'd start looking at my carpet, if I were you....

With apologies to Amava...

...Daddy's back!!

Last night, Teurion, DV, and Untold Darkness went to see the spiders in Naxx10. We were able to get the first two bosses down and got 3 attempts on the big spider.

The Good
Well...downed two bosses. I don't think we lost anyone on trash pulls. Got an upgrade...well, kinda, after I get some more +hit on my gear.

The Bad
We had to take two shots at the first boss, Teurion died on every single boss fight (he was Main Tank), and I had somewhat of a hard time DPSing the webbed raid members on the last boss.

The Ugly
The hunter that is 5th on the meter was AFK during the entire first attempt on the first boss, who survived our attempt with 50k health! /fail. He also seemed to go AFK without warning. It also seemed like most of the raid just wasn't on their game.

What I learned
I take responsibility for our wipes on Maexxna. I volunteered to DPS the webbed raid members, and for the most part, I was able to free them before they died. I noticed (too late) that where the DPS/Healer group was standing was too far from one of the spots on the wall where members were pinned. All of the ones that died were on the north end of the mini map, and we were positioned around the southwest side of the room.

I did make a macro last week, so I was able to target the web victum, but I had a hard time finding them sometimes as well as getting to them. I could see the usefulness of that extra 6 yards available in the SV tree....

My plan
I will volunteer again to DPS the webbed raid members, and I will try to implement a couple of changes.

1. I already look for the Deadly Boss Mods warning, but I need to turn my camera view around as I'm DPSing the boss. This will allow me to quickly turn as well as see the wall.

2. I believe that the members only get webbed to a portion of the wall. I have never had to run across the room to free a member, so I need to figure out the best place to stand in order to be in range of all the potential spots.

3. I need to watch for the warning about the cocoon and save my special shots for freeing the member. Arcane shot, Multi shot/Aimed shot, and maybe Kill shot fall into this realm. I need to remember that I'm functioning not as a regular DPS, so I need to forget about the meter!!

Hopefully, with those changes, we'll be able to squash that bug!

Staying Ahead and Sinking Some Gold

I am not a business person; I repair medical equipment for a living at a Veteran's Affairs hospital. So a lot of my "Aha!" moments in this business endeavor are pretty much common sense to a person who is familiar with selling stuff. Heck, I've never even held down a retail job, so I don't even have that kind of experience to draw on.

With that said, let me clue you in on a little discovery I've made in the learning process.

Keep some Inventory on hand.

It turns out that I can't sell what I don't have - who knew?!?! Anyways, in an attempt to broaden my item base, I started making the Savage Saronite gear. I made one of each of the helm, legs, and chest. Just one....of each....

Now, on the good side, I figured if the items didn't sell, I wouldn't be out a whole lot. But what I really didn't count on was the items actually selling! And quickly at that. Ok, well, it was only the chest piece, but dang it sold fast!

So, I'm going to start keeping an inventory of items that have a good history of selling. I've already done it for Titanium Rods and Tempered Saronite Bracers, and just have to build up my stock of the Savage stuff.

And speaking of the rods, the undercutters filtered out, and I was the only one left....and then there were none on the AH. So, I'm thinking that I'll continue to list mine for my predetermined set price and sell them occasionally. I'm making about 21 gold per sale, so it's not a huge amount, but helps out.

That previous paragraph also brings to mind another aspect of my business that is very helpful (IMA[rrogant]O): I'm in no hurry to sell stuff. I have enough money to get by - yes, it'd be nice to power level my other professions, but it's not absolutely necessary.

I think when people get in a hurry to sell their wares, of course, prices drop and the bottom falls out of the market. As my short experience in the Titanium Rod market has shown, the patient person can sometimes wait out the undercutters and get his asking price. Of course at other times, like in the Nerubian Leg Armor kit market, it seems that the market hadn't settled out when I jumped in, and I'll probably end up selling my kits for less than I originally thought.

And, finally, a last thought that I'm chewing over: Customers. I'm thinking about trying to put together a clientele list. The idea is to provide consumables at a discounted price to dedicated customers. This would involve quite a bit more work than I'm currently involved with, but also has the potential to create a nice steady income.

One of the downsides include having to be available to provide the service (and this may be what ultimately kills the idea). I can try to counter this by getting my customers to buy in bulk and providing them with the names of my alts. But I can just see the time when I'm in the middle of a Heroic, and one of my customers has an urgent need for whatever. I think I just talked myself out of

Of course, my customers would have to understand that I couldn't be available 24/7 and that I wouldn't be available even though I was online. I'll still muse on this and see what else floats to the top....(and we all know what floats!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More impressions of my business

It's looking like I caught the market in a bit of a lull when I jumped in. Several of my items are now the highest priced items available as the undercutters have swooped in.

So, I'm changing some tactics. I continue to list my items one at a time, but I'm looking for new markets and marketable items. In other words, I'm trying to stay ahead of the market and not get stuck on a few items.

For instance: Last night, I was looking at the other Tempered Saronite items to see how viable the markets were. Specifically, I was looking at the helm to determine the mats cost and what I could sell it for, when the only one on the AH (the one I was looking at) disappeared. Hmmmm...someone just bought it, and there were now a grand total of zero on the AH.

I quickly bought the mats for two, had Nitro make them, and listed one. It sold fairly quickly last night, and I listed the second one. So far, the undercutters haven't shown up, so we'll just have to see how long the market holds. I did list the helm for slightly higher than Auctioneer suggested due to it being the only one available.

A note on mats, specifically metals and leather: I always check the prices of both ore and bars when looking for metals. Sometimes, ore is cheaper than bars, other times, bars are cheaper than ore (and yes, I account for the 2 ore to make one bar).
It's really interesting when the one is significantly cheaper than the other since I don't remember getting any skill points from smelting Cobalt, Saronite, or Titanium.

I do the same for Heavy Borean leather and (regular) Borean leather. Most of the time buying the Borean leather and creating the Heavies is cheaper, significantly cheaper! As in, I buy a stack of regular leather for ~8, which makes 3 Heavy Borean leathers. Those same Heavy Borean leathers go for 5 gold each. I could double my money just by making regulars into Heavies!

Anyways, I was able to sell enough product to splurge on an Aviary Guardsman's Hauberk for 225 gold for DV. He's very happy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

24 hour impression of my business

Most of my impressions on my new endeavor come from last night and early this morning. I have not gotten home from work yet to see what the day brought, but since today is maintenance day, I don't expect a lot.

My tactic for keeping the prices up on my goods is to only list one item at a time. When that item sells, I list another one. Using this technique, I've sold a couple of Nerubian Leg Armor kits, a Titanium rod, and a pair of Tempered Saronite Bracers, although a caveat is due on that particular set of bracers as they were a flip (bought them for 22 gold, sold them for 75 gold).

I'm already seeing the market soften for my items as other sellers are starting to undercut my prices. I'm not sure if I happened to catch the market on a good day - before the regulars listed their goods, or if there was a surge in manufacturing to level skills, and I'm seeing the one time posting of surplus items.

I suppose time will tell. I'm starting to look into other items that may be profitable, namely Greater Planer Essence. One of these little sparklies sells for around 10 gold on my server, and if I can figure out a reliable item to disenchant to get it, I may start up making that item as well. I'm thinking that tailoring would be the easiest profession to make a go of this.

Teurion has also indicated that there are a couple of other Blacksmith items for which end game tanks are looking; I'll need to check out their markets as well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The beauty of professions

I've been reading a bit over at the Greedy Goblin, and I'm trying out some manufacturing businesses.

I'm trying to take a pure business approach to these endeavors, so I'm not farming the mats, but rather, I'm looking at buying the raw materials and creating the item. I'm not worried about getting skill points (although for a couple of the items, I will get them for a little bit), and I want to make sure I don't flood the market with my product. On the other hand, I will not be trying to monopolize my chosen markets either.

For the most part, I will be focusing on item enhancements and consumables, which should always be in demand. I have two items that may or may not be profitable due to the small markets for them and the one time purchase nature of the items.

So, what are my items? First, the one time purchase markets:

Titanium Rods.
Needed by Enchanters.
Mat cost ~24 gold
Sell for ~45 gold
Profit ~21 gold

Tempered Saronite Bracers.
Needed by Plate wearing Tanks.
Mat cost ~26 gold
Sell for ~75 gold
Profit ~49 gold

As I've said, these markets depend on people making a one time purchase, so I'll have to see how fast the items sell.

The other items are all enhancements.

Nerubian Leg Armor
Needed by cheap Attack Power DPSers not wanting to invest in the high end leg armor.
Mat Cost ~30 gold
Sell for ~60 gold
Profit ~30 gold

Eternal Belt Buckle
Needed by everyone for an additional gem socket.
Mat Cost ~40 gold
Sell for ~60 gold
Profit ~20 gold

Mammoth Cutter ammo x10
Needed by gun hunters
Mat Cost ~35 gold
Sell for ~80 gold
Profit ~45 gold

Saronite Razorheads arrows x10
Needed by bow hunters
Mat Cost ~30 gold
Sell for ~80 gold
Profit ~50 gold

Now, all of these prices are approximations (as designated by the "~"), and I will try to keep you updated on how the items sell. And, by the way, I am using my Engineer, Leatherworking, and Blacksmithing professions on my various toons to create all of these goodies!

The Tale of Two Raids, Part II

Friday night, I was invited to a mostly guild run by Untold Darkness of Naxx. Teurion, Dwarfvader, and a very well geared DK were the only pugged members of the raid.

We cleared the Spider wing and downed Patchwerk while I was part of the raid, and the raid continued after I bowed out to down two more bosses.

I was very happy with my performance.

- I was number 2 on the damage meter to the aforementioned DK
- I did not require a battle rez
- I was successful in freeing people from the web cocoon on the spider boss
- I moved when I needed to
- None of the wipes were due to my stupidity, inaction, or ineptitude

Yay on me.

There were several wipes in the beginning which were a result of being on Heroic Naxx instead of the 10 man version....DOH! I was pretty impressed that we actually did several trash pulls semi-successfully before we realized that the difficulty level was the wrong one.

Once we got the difficulty right, we had a pretty smooth run. There were still wipes due to some of us not knowing the fights, but all in all, we had a good pace, good play, and a good time. We didn't get into the blame game, and I think that everyone understood and learned from the wipes.

Now, I'm always one to blow my own horn, so don't be surprised that I take huge credit for our success on the big spider boss, Maexxna (or something like that). Let's see how far I can push my tongue into my cheek...

Once we wiped on the boss and figured out that the person in the cocoon had to be freed in short order, I volunteered to be in charge of that activity. We were having the off tank do it, and they did a good job, but they had to get to the person first before being able to free them.

Of course, as a ranged toon, I could stay where I was, target them (macro! /tar web), and pewpewpew. I'd make sure to watch the raid warnings for an indication of when it was going to happen and start spamming my macro button until my target changed. After that, if I was in range, I'd rotate until I started shooting. If I wasn't in range, I'd move toward them while spamming Arcane Shot to get things started.

The result was that people were freed much quicker than the first try, and Maexxna went down. The downside for me was my DPS suffered, to which I say "/shrug". I'll gladly sacrifice my place on the damage meter if it means we get a boss kill. Of course, it turned out that by the end of the evening, I was able to climb back into the number 2 slot, so it worked out in that area as well.

So, two raids, two different performances. I am glad that I realized what I did wrong in the first one and have a plan to rectify the situation when I go back. As long as I can glean something of use off a poor situation, I count it as a gain!

The Tale of Two Raids

I meant to write this up last week and didn't get it done.

On New Year's Day, DV got the call to pug 10 man Obsidium Sanctum. I was relatively well geared by that time and had a real hope that I wouldn't be a liability in the DPS department.

And I wasn't. As previously mentioned, I was number 4 on the meter behind three monster DKs. I had over 4K attack power and did a very respectable amount of DPS. In fact, I died on the last boss and got a battle rez because of my good DPS. And then died again.

So, what's the problem? My big problem with this raid, and the reason I might not get an invite to another by the members of this pug, is that I had a very hard time moving around.

Specifically, the flame wall that appears on the last boss has an opening that everyone has to stand in. The wall starts on one side of the fight area and moves through to the other side of the area. It has at least one opening in it and can move E->W, N->S, W->E, or S->N; I could not discern a pattern, and it may be random as to the start point.

If you happen to miss the opening and get caught by the firewall, then not only do you take damage, but also a fire elemental spawns. Bad news x2.

I could not for the life of me (literally) negotiate my way to the opening on a consistent basis. Some of the issue may be with my laptop and getting bogged down on frame rate. To counteract this, I need to modify my settings to decrease the detail and hopefully increase my frame rate.

The other part of the issue was a failure on my part to pan the camera around to find the wall and the opening in it AND start moving so I can make the opening on time. Getting to the opening > DPSing. I forgot the golden rule of DPS:

You can't DPS when you're dead.

So, after getting a battle rez, I still failed to stay alive and the raid downed the boss with my corpse watching on. I blew the second chance that the raid leader gave me. In my book, my performance was not acceptable even though I was 4th on the damage meter; if I can't stay alive during critical times, I'm less than worthless and take up raid resources (battle rez, healer's mana) that can be used for better purposes.

I have to go for now, so the second raid write up will have to wait. Preview: I did much better in Naxx...8~)

Friday, January 2, 2009

WotLK Hunter Heroic Drops





King Dred’s Helm

Drak’Tharon Keep


Necklace of Arcane Spheres

Violet Hold


Massive Spaulders of the Jormungar

Utgarde Pinnacle


Cloak of the Gushing Wound

Violet Hold


Hauberk of Arcane Wraith



Interwoven Scale Bracers



Handgrips of the Savage Emissary

Violet Hold


Sovereign’s Belt

Utgarde Pinnacle


Leggings of the Stone Halls

Halls of Stone


Twin Headed Boots

Violet Hold


Hemorrhaging Circle



Mobius Band

Culling of Stratholme

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'!

Dec 31st, ran 4 Heroics, got a number of nice items, and basically was the bottom of the DPS meter.

Jan 1st, pugged Obsidium Sanctum - hit number 4 on the DPS meter (~1500) behind three very well geared DKs.

Ran H. Violet Hold, topped the damage meter with 1660 DPS and finished the instance in 27 minutes.

It's nice to be back on top! I must say, however, from dinging 80 on Monday to the end of last night, I had a lot of luck in getting the right drops and dinging Revered with Argent Crusade at the right time.

On my list of Heroics, I've already gotten, from what I can tell, the best in slot items available (in Heroics) for my wrist and feet slots....lucky dog, lucky dog, I'm a lucky dog!

I'm still wrestling around with the two lists I want you all to have easy access to (as well as myself) and trying to figure out the best way to make them available. One list is the rep reward list that was in a post and the other is a best in slot list available as Heroic drops. I'm thinking that I'll just make the post, then create a new sidebar to put the links in, and finally make those links spawn a new window.

Right, we'll see if that happens....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

...and best wishes in all your endeavors!

Yesterday was a whirlwind of Heroics! DV went to 4 Heroics, gained 17 badges, and a crap load of new gear. After crafting his Engineering goggles this morning, he's up over 3k attack power with only Aspect of the Dragonhawk up. No other buffs!! Yikes, what a monster!

In other news, DV decided to let his starting PuddyTat run free. The thought of leveling up a pet from 75 to 80 was too much for him....and the kitties in Zul'Drak with the lazer beam eyes are just!! So he has a level 77 kitty, and he'll be grinding out the mobs to level it.

It's name? Well waddayathink! PuddyTat, of course!

Ok, I'm in SB, time to mine!