Thursday, June 28, 2007

A dagger lurking in the shadows

So there I was, in the middle of the forest south of an alliance outpost killing Fey Dragons to left and right. That damn fey powder wouldn't drop. Just as I pocketed the last dust my debuff bar lit up like a christmas tree. This usually only means one thing... a warlock. Before I had gotten my hand out of the bag I had at least 3 dots running and more coming. Before TBC that would have been the end of the grind and the beginning of a long corpse run. Not this time. Activate cloak of shadows and then boom VANISH.

The battle has been reset.

The scared gnome mounted up faster than you can say Gnomeregan and rode away.

When I get jumped and manage to escape or turn the battle I can't let it go. So I followed him in stealth. I could follow the trail of mobs returning to their positions as he rode past. It seemed he would elude me... but then just as I spotted another gnome (rogue) my the castbars lit up... SHADOWBOLT... I had found him.. or rather my mods spotted him for me. After that it was easy to stun him to death. With Will of the Forsaken and the PVP trinket Warlocks are now easy mode...

I just love stalking the prey as a rogue. I've heard that druids are even cooler with their Track Humanoid to make the task easier. Nah that is too easy =)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An economy going rampart?

The other day I asked a friend if he could craft the Felsteel Whisper knives (throwing weapons) as my rogue Warspike soon hits 70. He was very happy to make them for me but I had to supply the ingredients (and I would expect nothing else). A lot of materials are required for the knives - they are blue level 70 knives after all. When I browsed the AH for the materials I realized that the price for me to get all this stuff would be far more than the price of actually buying the knives themselves on AH. Just a week earlier I had seen them on AH for as little as 30-40 gold. The sum of the mats I would have to buy would on my server be 150-200 gold.

Which led us to a lengthy discussion that the economy in World of Warcraft is seriously wrong. The materials are more expensive than a finished product. Why is it that the common commodities are so expensive? One reason could be that everyone needs the same materials in this case a bit of felsteel (engineers, jewelcrafters and all the blacksmiths) but how many actually needs the throwing knives? And as a guild mate of mine pointed out... everyone and their mother are power-levelling up their crafting professions which makes a huge material demand. And it doesn't end there but many end-game players choose to have two crafting proffessions for those imba BoP's. Every rogue should have blacksmithing for the Drakefist Hammer and jewelcrafting for the Nightseye Panther ... or enchanting to play the AH market for even more gold to afford those pricey materials.

So what possible solutions are there? I see none within the current game mechanics of WOW. So I'll throw out a few ideas...

#1 Restrict the crafting skills to one craft per player

#2 Allow everyone to gather material - this will probably flood the market with mats and thus make sure that a finished product is worth more.

#3 Have mats gathered be BoP and redesign a new interface for the crafting where the crafting can be made into a group action. It can be as simple as a Warlock's summoning. Click on the forge .. add a few mats and BOOM a new item.

#4 Stop the gold buying... we all know that has one of the biggest impacts on the economy.

What are your suggestions?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Warspike's modified pvp combat build

Currently Warspike's build is combat fist but with a slight difference from the cookie-cutter build. I've put points into MoD for additional stealth - and when doing lots of BG that stealth is very welcome. I can easily say that rogues without MoD are very easy to spot... For me MoD has become a requirement.

Warspike's Combat Build

Assassination Talents - 15 points

The first tiers of the assassination tree is almost a requirements. I would recommend all rogues to go for 11 points here. Malice, Ruthlessness and Relentless strikes are god send.

# Improved Eviscerate - rank 3/3
# Malice - rank 5/5
# Ruthlessness - rank 3/3
# Relentless Strikes - rank 1/1
# Lethality - rank 3/5

Combat Talents - 41 points

Combat tree for sustained damage. If you do venture down the combat tree make sure you pick up the signature moves here - Riposte, Blade Flurry and Adrenaline Rush. When you combine BF and AR you are effectively in god mode. Add evasion and not much can withstand your fury. This goes for both PVP and PVE. Although make sure you have the target stunned before starting.

Personally I chose to go with Combat potency (for that extra energy) and all the way to Surprise Attacks (10% damage increase) and I love them both!

# Improved Gouge - rank 3/3
# Improved Sinister Strike - rank 2/2
# Deflection - rank 5/5
# Precision - rank 5/5
# Riposte - rank 1/1
# Improved Sprint - rank 2/2
# Improved Kick - rank 2/2
# Dual Wield Specialization - rank 4/5
# Blade Flurry - rank 1/1
# Fist Weapon Specialization - rank 5/5
# Aggression - rank 2/3
# Adrenaline Rush - rank 1/1
# Nerves of Steel - rank 2/2
# Combat Potency - rank 5/5
# Surprise Attacks - rank 1/1

Subtlety Talents - 5 points

The king of the rogue talents - if you are the stalking kind of guy that is... I cannot play wihtout it, I feel naked and I do even consider dropping a few points from assassination and put them into camoflage for increased speed as well.

# Master of Deception - rank 5/5

This works for me, although I used to play with maces before getting my Nexus-Claw and that was even more fun! With mace specialization you get a chance to stun and increased weapon skill. Very handy... and very annoying for your cloth targets.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Patch 2.1.2 is here - Arena Season 2

Right now the 2.1.2 patch is getting downloaded ... with lots of warnings on the downloader that "the download is not authorized"... sounds interesting. I guess I'll know about that in a few hours when the servers gets back up.

So lets just quickly look at what the new patch brings.

* Start of Arena Season 2...

The biggest thing with the patch is of course the start of the new Arena season. This also means new gear! I am at level 67 (almost 68) so for me the season could have waited a few more
weeks. I'll be getting into the season early on though. Just as everyone have upgraded their initial gear to season 2.

And the second biggest thing (IMHO):

* PvP Trinkets: Insignia of the Alliance, Insignia of the Horde, Medallion of the Alliance, and Medallion of the Horde have all been redesigned. The trinkets for all classes now have the same effect: Dispels all movement impairing effects and all effects that cause loss of control of your character.

This is huge - and will be very interesting to see how it will work. This will even out the playingfield between a few of the classes.

You can view the full patch notes here.

Update: It seems that a few people's anti-virus programs are detecting Trojans in the patch. According to Blizzard this is false alarm and you simply need to update your anti-virus program.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Finally - Cloak of Shadows

So finally Warspike has reached the esteemed level of 66 which means a trip to the rogue trainer for that lovely skill - Cloak of Shadows. The skill allows a rogue to remove all harmfull effects and then have 90% resist to everything nasty for the next 5 seconds. The number of PVP tricks that this skill alone allows is amazing. Needless to say CoS is an integral part of end-game PVP.

In addition I've made it to Nagrand now. A beautiful zone with lots of beasts to kill - and skin! It seems that every mob that goes down has something for a faction, a quest or just plain simply some good knothide leather. The landscape is very interesting - rolling hills with little ponds and other interesting landmarks. Even though it is pretty open it is hard to spot the opposing faction... very interesting.

I haven't taken part in the world PVP action in Nagrand yet. There is a neutral town smack in the middle and apparently either horde or alliance will have control over it - along with its questgivers and other NPCs.

Going from level 64 - 66 went amazingly fast and I guess the main reason is the ease of doing the quests in Terokkar forest.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reputation grinding in WOW

One of my biggest problems with WOW is the constant requirement to grind repetation for the various factions. Actually it is not the need for the grind but how the grind is supposed to be carried out that disturbs me.

Take Thrallmar for example. A high reputation for Thrallmar is required for a few crafting recepies but more importantly the key to the heroic instance in that zone. When a new player arrives at the Hellfire Penisula the most obvious thing to do is to do quests for Thrallmar - for reputation, experience and gear. But the most effective way to gain reputation is actually to avoid the Thrallmar quests and go for the ones out at Falcon Point (gives reputation for Silvermoon) and hit the ramparts and blood furnace over and over again until honored with Thrallmar. When finally honored with Thrallmar then should the quests should be completed (at this point the player is also probably over the minimum/recommended level for the quest making them a breeze). This saves multiple runs into Shattered Halls later on for that precious exhalted reputation.

While I understand the need to have reputation grinding as part of the current system, I would prefer it to be a little more similar to how Aldor/Scryer reputation is gained - using quests, and token turn ins. For example I have choosen Aldor for Warspike and it allows me to either go out and kill orcs for tokens or buy them on AH... buying them on AH allows me to grind other things I find more interesting and sell or trade tokens. It gives me freedom to play where I want to... I have yet to experience the new 2.1 content with the daily quests and all - I expect it to work out much better than that annoying Thrallmar reputation =)

It reminds me of the old days in Diablo II where most (end-game) players kept doing runs into Mephisto to get the good loot. It was the only way to really gain good end game gear.

Oh and Warspike turned 65 the other day! I have him decked out in the Thick Draenei leather set so far. I am not going to get overboard in gearing up until I hit 70.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

New patch 2.1.2 incoming

Seems like the big 2.1.0 patch spawned quite a few issue to be taken care of... mostly minor changes but for us rogue there is the revertion of Sword specialization:

The change to Sword Specialization making its extra attacks appear in yellow has been reverted. Extra attacks will appear in white and act like any auto-attack. They will no longer reset the swing time of your weapon. [2.1 changed Rogue Sword Spec to do yellow damage and not reset swing timers. This reverts the "yellow damage" part.]

I guess yellow damage and no swing reset was too powerful or conflicted with something else. It has been reverted for warriors as well. I never had any time to try it out as I have been busy with joy over mace specialization.

Check out the full patch notes at:

Also there seems to be new functionality over at the armory with an item database and more goodies. It is not implemented on the european site yet. Actually going to the armory at the european site crashes my firefox... over and over again.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ding 64!

Warspike is slowly sneaking towards level 70 and all the goodness that awaits! Recently he passed the 64 mark. I've also installed the mod auctioneer to see if I can get some help in making great money from the AH. I usually manage to do Ok but it can't hurt right?

It does take quite awhile to scan the AH for prices and the mod itself do have a heavy memory load. I'll see if I can manage to keep it around.

What is your experience with auctioneer?