Monday, 28 May 2012

Jurassic Park

29th November 2011, was the last content patch for World of Warcraft. In the 6 months since it is fair to say that most people have readily consumed all the content  supplied with that patch. I am 6/8 in Dragon Soul after the two occasions when I could be bothered to raid with the guild. I have had my fill of the LFR system. Theoretically we could still be 6 months away from the new expansion. Numbers are dwindling, the summer approaches with the promise of cold beer to be drunk outside whilst gnawing on carbonised meat. The biggest WoW killer appears to be Blizzard itself both with lack of new content and Diablo III.

I recently confessed in a recent post, that I set myself stupid little short term goals. These goals however stupid must be attainable without requiring too much of a time sink. My last set of targets stated just 4 short days ago will be completed tonight. So it is time to set some new goals or risk logging in and staring absent mindedly at the Dwarven Quarter of Stormwind.

The biggest task I had in the last set of goals was levelling Archaeology on no less than 5 characters up to a minimum of 100. This was achieved entirely on the Eastern Kingdoms continent which mostly involves lots of Troll sites in Stranglethorn Vale. It was during these visits that I discovered than on at least 2 of the characters the mysterious Bwemba was hovering behind me and making those tombstone clicks a little bit harder. On the subject of the Bwemba quests, they appear to have been nerfed a little, in particular the once very annoying Voodoo Zombies, which required the rescuing of 10 Digsite Survivors. When first implemented the droprate was around 1 in 3 and is now a guaranteed droprate. If you have not done this chain it is well worth it and rewards are quite handsome and you get the lovely Panther Cub all for about 30 minutes of your time.

During my forays into Stranglethorn Vale, ethnically cleansing the area of Trolls armed only with a fishing rod, I was very surprised at this random drop. I had mistakenly assumed that this companion was still in the new 5 Man Heroic Zul'Gurub. The low droprate of around 0.01% is the reason for the AH price in excess of 4000G, but with the new changes in MoP this is pet will now be available for all of my characters.

This got me thinking about how little we know about the World of Warcraft, even the people who read incessantly on the subject only know what they want to know or have had personal experience of. The raid dances are drilled into every raider until they know exactly what to do instinctively, it takes practice and we all shortcut the process by watching videos and reading up on tactics.

In recent months I have discovered the quest chain Lawn of the Dead and the gem market for Epic WotLK gems especially the Cardinal Ruby. The Lawn of the Dead quest chain I discovered because I wanted the pet and went off and researched it. The Epic gem was a post from Foo which occurred at the same time that I had run out of things to do with Justice Points.

We read blogs, not just for entertainment but also to look at how other people are playing the same game as ourselves. Essentially we are all looking for a little nugget of information to extend our gaming pleasure.

Archaeology is not something I would include in a list of extending my gaming pleasure, but I wanted to share some recent discoveries about this most heinous of secondary professions.

Skilling up - this seems to take as long as fishing to level. Skillups are awarded for every relic up to level 50. You are awarded 1 point fro learning the basic skill, so the most efficient way to level is find 17 digsites and exhume all 3 relics. Word of warning that you can only keep a maximum of 200 fragments per race. At level 50 go to your trainer and try not to punch Harrison Jones, learn the skill up to 150 and then go outside preferably near a vendor and complete the fragments for 5 skillup points. This will normally put your skill somewhere between 90-100.

Addons - I tried several addons when Cata first came out and most of them are concerned with changing the default UI for completing the fragments. The Blizzard version is perfectly acceptable for the process. My number 1 tip was in the recording of the relic finds at the digsites. In the end I changed from using Gatherer to GatherMate2. When finding a fresh site, start the survey spell when you are at the site of a previous relic. The relics tend to appear in a set number of places and so it can dramatically reduce the number of surveys required.

Nerf - thankfully Blizzard felt our pain and increased the average number of fragments found per dig.

Mists of Pandaria is likely to bring some changes to the profession to reduce the RNG aspect but I doubt whether it will ever be a fun activity.

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