Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Daily Chronicles

I finally switched to another guild, time will tell, but for now I enjoy more company and some benefits I haven't experienced in the past.  For example, one of my guildies made me a Panther mount from my mats and I am looking forward to send him mats for the second one to complete the set of four.  I might even go for the uber-Panther.

I am still farming Warbringers, but this time I have a company, one of the guidies, a shaman, is looking for the Direhorn mounts, so he joins me and brings additional DPS.  Nice thing about this is that it takes less time to down the Warbringer this way and I can play it safer by spending more time on managing the pet's health and mobs.  The guy is humble enough to not ask for any loot, but I send him some windfall bars later anyway (have to smelt what he can use).  He already got one mount, so his efforts are not in vain.

On the AH front I started to use Auctioneer's Snatch search, instead of getting enormous list from Resale I focus on few things I know and feel like started to generate some gold from resales.  Bean Counter plugin for Auctioneer tells me I am losing money, but my balance grows over time, not sure how it counts profits, suspect it misses sales where gold was taken out of the mailbox using remote agent, so I stopped doing that remotely, but still I can't get a clear picture of what my income from trading is.  TSM add-in looks nice in reporting department, providing exact data in exact layout I expect it to be, but the trading setup in TSM does not fit me.  I am a gatherer, not a crafter, so all these setups with recipes and plans and rules don't really help me.  I want to know how much I can sell a thing for, nothing more.  So I went back to using Auctioneer.  Auctionator is another nice choice, especially when buying stuff, has few shortcomings too.

I started to do "floor sweeping" in AH - some people under-price items significantly and I pick them up for quick buck.  I don't know why they're doing this, but I can see two reasons, first, it's a random item they have no experience with value of and they just want to get rid of it.  Second, they might just try to skew the prices and grab whatever is posted below their benchmark.  In either case I can leverage those to get some extra gold.

I decided to tame one of the Spirit Porcupines, namely Hutia and after few unsuccessful tries cried out for help in the guild chat.  The guild master promptly got me someone who helped me to tame, although I'll probably won't allow her to do it again.  My problem was with the beast self-heal - I couldn't interrupt it with whatever default interrupt shot Beast Masters have right now.  One of the guides I found on the Net said you need to use Silencing Shot which I thought was retired, but looks like it can still  be used by MM hunters, but I didn't know.  The guy who came over to help me used Scatter Shot to interrupt and I feel that if I could get this hint I could've tamed the porcupine myself instead of relying on someone else.  So I didn't like the aftertaste.  Oh well, I am too lazy to abandon the pet and tame it again solo, I am keeping her.  I named her Dyxless, however I don't think anyone around gets the reference.

By the way I have few pets with special names:
My latest addition, Spirit Porcupine: Dyxless
Quilen: Bacbka
Panther: Mypka
Boar: XpIOH
Corehound: TEPbEP
Chimera: XuMepa
Water Strider: BODOMEPKA
Bear: TonoTyH

Friday, November 15, 2013

New mounts in collection

I keep killing Zandalari Warbringers occasionally and acquired the last Direhorn mount from them.  Unexpectedly ran into Huolon and it dropped me the Thundering Onyx Cloud Serpent mount.

Still can't get over the mistake I made: I had been collecting Tier 16 pieces from LFR and accidentally sold them to a vendor and didn't notice it until it was too late.  Could've had 4-piece bonus.  I am iLvl 539 with all the Timeless pieces, but Tier gear provides a significant DPS boost compared to Timeless.  Since my guild is not very active lately (only see 2-3 people online at any given time) I think my chances for running full-fledged raids are pretty slim for the foreseeable future.  Oh, well.  Nevetheless I consistently top LFR DPS meters this week, so it's not that bad.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Mounts

I had been grinding Zandalari Warbringers and received two of the Direhorn mounts, like this one: Slate Primordial Direhorn.  I think I have Slate and Amber and Jade is outstanding.  Along the way I have completed some achievements for Pandaria champions (killing rares), except for the Glorious!, where I have one guy outstanding - people are camping him in stacks and I just can't catch him alive.
Since my AH business is going ok I snapped Sky Golem mount from AH for cash.
I am also running Firelands for the Avengers of Hyjal reputation, but it's a slow process and I am still working through trash, don't feel like I can solo any bosses, especially given the fact that I never killed any bosses in FL before.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Transportation and Financials

I purchased two new mounts, one being Sunstone Panther, and another Panther, the red one, I also finally had Drake of the North Wind dropped in Vortex Pinnacle.  So my stable increased and finances plunged.
Since I am done with the grind I started to look into ways to make money.  My primary character is Herbalist/Skinner and the current alt does Mining, so I can get fair amount of raw materials.  Recently the prices have shot up on my server, could be because it was linked to another one (not sure if it has happened, I don't care if it did enough to check it).  So I made one panther cost back in a week and continue to replenish my currency reserves.  Mobile App with Remote AH is a huge help, I started to list auctions for the shortest duration possible (12 h), so the prices get corrected faster if items are not sold.

State of the Union

I finally reached Exalted status with Emperor Shaohao last week, while grinding reputation I looted few Burden of Eternity items and used valor points to upgrade resulting Timeless pieces, so overall my ilvl is 533 now.

Looking for additional challenge I went to hunt Zandalari Warbringer.  As it turned out I chose the toughest location (Jade Forest) and failed few times.  Went on to read how people kill it and finally brought one down in Towlong Steppes and then, eventually every other location.  Everyone says you need to kite Warbringer, which doesn't work for me, I got the glyph and tried to kite it, but it always switches to a pet.  Finally I gave up on whatever people say and did it my own way.  I pet tank warbringer with a regular turtle.  I switch off the Growl and switch pet into Passive stance, misdirect to pet and that's usually enough to keep warbringer on the pet at all times.  The only thing that can bring pet down is the Vengeful Spirit, so I have to make sure I use Distracting Shot as soon as it's up.  Most of the time spirit goes after me anyway, but it can kill the pet in two-three shots, so I don't want to risk it.  Spirit is very slow, I am able to kite it with no speed boosts, so I maintain my Hawk stance to maximize DPS and able to kill warbringer in about 8 minutes, give or take.  The other annoyances are passing mobs that engage with me or pet once in a while.  I have to make conscious effort not to redirect to pet and deal with them one on one.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Daily Chronicles

I  ran new LFR for 5.4 Patch Tuesday night and amazingly collected 4 pieces of gear.  Not sure if it is happening for everyone, but it is definitely the first time something like that happened to me.  I got Quarantine Shoulderguards shoulders, Puddle Punishers boots, Reality Ripper Ring ring, and an amazing trinket Assurance of Consequence which I upgraded right away.

I also bought the last Shado-Pan reputation item I needed and overall my iLvl is bumped up to 520 now.

My major pain at the moment is Emperor Shaohao reputation, I'll reach honored shortly, however it is irritatingly slow to solo the rep.  And I mostly play at ungodly odd hours when most of my guild mates and friends are not on.  I group with people, but random groups are not as good and people tend to just go all over the map or try to get a free ride on my back. And this is in the case I find anyone playing Horde.  Server is over flooded by Alliance players, everywhere I go there's Alliance in PvP mode just running into my AoE shots to get as easy 3 on 1 kill when I accidentally hit any of them.

On add-ins front, after playing with Skada and Recount I went back to TinyDPS.  I found out I don't need that much information and TinyDPS provides me what I am looking for without bogging down my laptop in instances.  I am still using ShestakUI, which fits my playing style perfectly.  I looked at the JSBH and WeakAuras to enhance my experience if not DPS and found out Shestak has all the functionality I need from those add-ins built-in.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Current Add-Ons

Since I got the new hardware, much more capable and my resolution is 1600x1200 now I revised the list of add-ons I am using.

Shestak UI - is here to stay, I tried Tukui and ElvUI and still can't get away from Shestak.  (By the way Shestak himself is credited for the Tukui contributions.)  "Everything you need, nothing you don't".  And I mean it.  Has threat meter, Titan Panel functionality, auto-repair, auto-sell for grey items, bulk mail collection button,  integrates multiple add-ons (Skada, Recout, BigWigs etc), and has uncluttered interface, scales beautifully, tons of settings and automation.

GTFO - Useful for raids

PetTracker - helps with Battle Pet achievements, even I don't really care for them, sometimes I just capture a pet I didn't have before here and there.

BigWigs_Bossmodes - cooldowns for raid bosses.

Skada - provides better information than TinyDPS, at least I like their numbers better, because bigger is better, right?  Seriously, my Skada numbers are much better than I used to see in TinyDPS and it provides better breakdown by abilities.  I need to play more with the settings, but it feels much better.

Auctioneer - still trying to master AH.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Officially Insane

I was working on the Insane achievement recently.
Bloodsail Bucaneers reputation is a tough one now, because Blizzard bumped all the guards at Booty Bay to level 90 and they are hard to kill.  So I used phased event mechanics to get to Honored and stopped at that since this is all that's required.  This eventually plunged all of the goblins' towns reputations to Hated and given mixed responses out there whether I need all the reputations to be leveled at the same time or not I decided to have them all done simultaneously.

So after that I went to level EverlookRatchetBooty Bay, and Gadgetzan reputation.  Goblin factions' reputation is just killing pirates at Ratchet and Tanaris over and over again.  I did it when I got bored or didn't have quality Internet connections i.e. airports, coffee shops etc.  Pirates drop some cloth that sells nicely, not that I made tons of money, but I looted corpses whenever I felt like it.

I accumulated Darkmoon reputation over time with no significant effort put to it, I got a bit impatient towards the end of it and purchased some cards to make decks, but easily could have done without it by doing dailies and turning in dungeon artifacts.

For Ravenholdt reputation I farmed rogues in Arathi Highlands until it capped at Honored and then started on Heavy Junkboxes.  I leveled a rogue to level 60, so she could fly, discovered fly hubs of New Kargath and Chiselgrip and set my main at Tarren Mill.  New Kargath is the closest Horde mailbox to Blackrock Stronghold, where I farmed junkboxes, it also provides a flight path from Tirisfal Glades, where zep from Org falls ashore to Burning Steppes zone.  So my rogue would farm boxes, hop to Chiselgrip, take public transportation to New Kargath and send mail to my main.  Main was stationed at Tarren Mill, short fly from Ravenholdt Manor, where boxes are dropped in exchange for the Ravenholdt reputation.  I tried Blackrock dungeons for farming and didn't like them  much - a hassle to get in and out, farming outdoors is much more convenient.  Full round of 4 mob groups and scattered singles got me between 9 and 22 boxes.

For farming I used the following macro found somewhere I don't recall where.  I tried half a dozen before found this one worked best for me.  It picks up a pocket of the mob under mouse and marks it with a star to indicate this one's done:
/cast [@mouseover] Pick Pocket
/script SetRaidTargetIcon("mouseover",1)
Overall not an exciting experience and requirement to have a rogue really annoyed me.  I know I could have just buy junkboxes from rogues, but I didn't have enough luck with the guildies and didn't want to go to trade channel.  I guess I am more of a DIY guy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

On hunter's pets in Patch 5.1

I did some research on what people are saying is the best hunter pet in Pandaria.  While I agree with those who say for raids you need something that provides buffs missing for the group, i.e. complimentary abilities; I feel majority of the commentators are wrong when they say either pet is good for leveling/soloing.  Others suggest Shale Spider as a slightly better pet because of 5% buff to the major hunter's stat - Agility.

Small note on a side: I do a lot of soloing and in Pandaria, except in extreme soloing cases, you'd do just fine with ferocity pet, no need for tenacity pet.  

So I decided to use Zehera's Hunter DPS Analyzer to check some numbers against these theories.  I loaded my build from the armory and calculated DPS with different pets.

Generic Ferocity Pet (no buffs):

Ferocity Cat:

Cats used to be hunter's favorites in Cataclysm, providing the highest DPS boost when soloing and decent buff for groups too.  Now, with mastery buff, they are not as good as, say, Shale Spiders.

Ferocity Shale Spider:

As expected Shale Spider's buff  of 5% Agility fetches slightly better DPS than a cat.  Note this option is only available to Beast Mastery hunters.

Ferocity Quilen:

Then I decided to check out Quilen as a pet.  Quilen "Bacbka" is my recent favorite for LFR because of its Eternal Guardian battle rez ability.  It also provides 5% crit buff which, to my surprise, turned out to be better option than 5% Agility provided by shale spider.

I understand simulation has its limitation and crunched numbers do not necessarily translate into real-world DPS increase.  However I did this exercise for two reasons.  First, I wanted to see what I am missing in raids in personal DPS when using Quilen as a pet compared to other options.  Second, I observed better DPS with Quilen in LFR and wanted to see if simulation agrees with that.  Turned out to be for my particular build and case Quilen is the best choice.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Legendary Weapon

While I was working on raising my reputation with Hydraxian Waterlords by soloing Molten Core I got two halves of the legendary sword as a windfall.  It also required 10xEnchanted Elementium Bar which on a good day runs about 1,000 gold each on AH, but as soon as I got my pieces jumped to 5,000 gold apiece.  I just went out and farmed some of materials for the bars and bought the rest of the mats on the Auction House and  one of my guild-mates smelted it for me, so my overall cost was about 4,000 total for the whole package.

The quest is confusing, you return mats and halves to the NPC and nothing happens.  Good thing someone was floating on a magic carpet right above me, I figured his target was a boss right behind me, so I turned and killed it, returned the drop to the NPC, got the sword back and received a guild achievement.  Amazingly, level 25 guild with 400+ members and I was the first to get it.  Now, I still didn't get the personal achievement until I actually equipped the Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, which I was able to do, even given the fact hunters are not allowed to equip melee weapons anymore.  Or are we?