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  • wylset

It takes one to know one.


It’s been a while, but hey, everyday blogging is for people like Redbeard and thank God for them!


I’ve been working on alts of course, from alliance to horde and back again. The pairing of warlock-priest, paladin-druid and shaman-warrior turned out quite well, have had a blast.

One hitch in the process was learning that using weakauras to tell your other toon to follow was against the TOS. Ouch, glad I didn’t catch a ban for using it prolifically. But, follow macros instead work, no biggie.


Recently I joined a guild whose advertisement went along the lines of 'Honestly, it's just a bunch of old farts stumbling our way through stuff, looking to get a group for Kara'. Perfect for me, a bunch of my alts haven't set foot in there and are ready for it. A couple weeks in, I didn't see much happening in terms of running even 5-mans, and was wondering if it was just a group that played together.


This weekend, the GM asked me to join in on a Crypts run with their 67-68's. I took my 64 Holy Priest and from the talk on Discord, it was a brand-new experience for some of them. The others had seen it, but only back in Original BC.


The GM was the Paladin tank, who was quick to tell me he has troubles with holding aggro on mobs. I walked the pally tank through every pull, marking, showing Line of Sight (LOS) spots, how to drop consecrate before you get to your spot so the mobs had to run through it, stuff that makes life easier.


I also watched the DPS jump on stuff as soon as the tank pulled. All rookie mistake stuff, seen it many times before. I talked to the group, explained how they can help the tank and themselves by waiting for the mobs to start beating on the paladin, then they could single target the marked skull. After skull was down, they could open on aoe as the tank would have decent aggro on the rest of the mobs.


Sure, it’s a ‘slower’ way to get through, and it’s not something they’d seen joining in PUGs. Yet by the middle of the run, the Tank was starting to relax and enjoy the run a lot more. The DPS were looking at their recount numbers, and the fact that they could do their jobs without being smacked all the time. Speed comes with experience. Experience comes from starting at the beginning. Soon enough the Paladin Tank will have confidence, use the methods and make them his own.


After that run, they wanted to try Setthek Halls. I’d hit 65 on my priest, a little low, but with patience we made it through. The pulls in Setthek were a lot more complicated than Crypts, but the Tank had a much better handle on using LOS and the DPS were patient in starting their attacks. A couple of leaked ranged mobs thought I’d make a nice easy snack, but I was ready most times for it and some fade/bubble/self-heals only had me dirt-napping once.


The next day two of them had reached 70, and they asked if I’d come DPS Shattered Halls. I hopped on my Warlock and headed to Hellfire Penninsula. On Discord I asked if they’d been in there yet, and found out this was going to be their first time. Shattered Halls is probably the trickiest of all the instances for Tanks, as there are some very different mechanics attached to the groups. From Legionnaires who continually call-in reinforcements to Snipers that scattershot (stun) the tank momentarily to run-and-gun pulls through entire hallways that is on fire or covered in slime.


It went quite well, a wipe in the sewer tunnels when the tank pulled too many globule groups, but a soulstone rez later we were back in action, and the second try went a lot better.

Unfortunately, a mob had bugged out and was un-targetable yet could still hit us. Tried different ways to get it to de-spawn, but some web research showed that it was a very new bug and reported it.


After the bug-shortened run, I asked if they’d like to get their key for Shattered Halls. Enthusiasm for it abounded and so it was off to Shadowmoon Valley to start the quest. Fortunately I’ve been saving a lot of materials from TBC, and the follow-up quests requiring Fel Iron Bars, Motes of Fire and Arcane Dust were sitting in alt’s banks. While we were searching for the Fel Reaver in order to dip our key molds in its still warm body, the GM piped up in Discord. He said that they had been talking after our runs and had decided to offer me an Officer position in the Guild. I said I was flattered, and appreciated them asking me, but asked why?


The GM responded that I was always helpful, had extensive knowledge, was always cheery, and they loved the fact that I took the time to teach them from the very first time we met. All the stuff I’ve always strived to do, it makes my day that much better. These people have been playing online games for as many years as I’ve played, going on 30 years I guess. They’ve seen EverQuest from the beginning, played Ultima Online. They understand that there ARE people who will go beyond ‘LRN2PLAY NOOB’.


It's a nice start :D


Wylset


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Monday Jan 24, 2022


Lower-level stuff can be good for your mental health, and your character’s wallet.






Once I ran out of rested XP on Nmbnutz and Quinnd, I figured I’d go on to another character and work on that while they gained some rested XP. The only other option I had for levelling someone was Slapnutz the Paladin, and lately I just don’t feel like tanking. He’s 66 and the choices of Mana Tombs (icky mana drains) and Auchenal Crypts (1st boss ewwww). OHB I’d happily tank but there’s another level in there before I’d be comfortable with the incoming damage. I could be wrong, could have a crackerjack healer, but I don’t want to put the onus on anyone but myself when taking on the responsibility of tanking.


So, I thought to myself I could fart around on my 70s, lord knows there’s enough of them to earn money and gain some gear, but I just didn’t feel like grooving on those guys. Being an altoholic, what to do, what to do….


The Birth

Of course I created more characters, this time I looked up a high population pve server, which had a definite Horde bias. Mankrik on US East fit the bill nicely. I had a plan in mind, using both of my accounts to simultaneously level 2 characters. I was having a very good time with Nmbnutz the Warlock and Quinnd the Priest that I decided to duplicate that winning combination. Gronrod and Quind. I like to stick to certain names, as you can see.


To launch a new server is to face what every new player face: lack of funds and bagspace. Bagspace you can solve quickly by making a tailor and at least getting 6-slot bags going, and since you’re questing on a lot of humanoids, cloth is a major drop for quite a bit. Eventually 8- and 10-slot bags are easily made. The only problem left is money.


I thought about it a bit. Usually one of my fun things in WoW is the progression of your professions. I get quite a bit of satisfaction being a self-contained unit by the time I have a server full of max level characters. This time, I thought about this question… I wonder how much money professions actually cost me? Not just in paying money out for recipes as you level up, but the difference between selling everything versus using the mats yourself. With that in mind, I decided to level tailoring enough to get some bags, and since I had two characters running together, make a miner/herber on one, and do tailoring/mining on the other.


My rationale for this combination was for a few reasons. In playing two accounts at the same time, and alt-tabbing back and forth, there’s always a leader and a follower. Keeping in mind that once I hit max level I would probably be switching to crafting professions on at least one of them, I started by having Gronrod the Warlock take up the tailoring and added mining. He’s almost always in the lead so I grabbed mining so he’d see the veins on the mini-map. Quind the Priest, who’s usually following Gronrod, took up both mining and herbing. While going through areas for questing, I’ll alt-tab back and forth between the two characters, with the searches set for mining on Gronrod and herbing on Quind. It’s worked out fairly well, as now they’re in their low 40s with their 60% mounts. If I’m travelling far on the mount to get to different quest areas, I’ll have Quinnd take the lead and with a search-swap macro, have him monitoring the area for both herbs and mines.


The Auction House for Profit and Fun

That decision made, I decided to sell everything, either on the AH or to vendors. Green weapons usually went to vendors, as the AH deposits on those aren’t usually worth it, and they don’t sell all that well. I created a new AH toon, the easiest race to get to the Auction House at level 1 appeared to be Blood Elves, and so Slappiness the Paladin was created and made her way easily down from the starting area and into Silvermoon City. Everything that Gronrod and Quinnd gathered in their travels would be funnelled to Slappiness, and she’d put everything up on the AH that she possibly could.


The results have been quite amazing, frankly. I’m a lucky recipient of the times I believe, where even low-level mats have a hefty price tag on them. A five stack of wool cloth was going for almost a gold. That’s just nuts. After I’d gotten to 10-slot silk bags on Gronrod’s tailoring, I checked out the price of mageweave on the AH, and also the price of 16-slot Netherweave bags. With mageweave going for about 70 silver per piece, and the 16-slot bags going for about 5 gold, it wouldn’t take me long to make up purchasing 8 bags for Quind and Gronrod. Within a day I’d made more than enough back for that purchase, and the gold keeps rolling in. It’s a nice mini-game that I have going. Every time I get near a mailbox after questing for a while, Quind trades his stuff to Gronrod who then mails it to Slappiness. Switching toons, empty Slappiness’ mailbox and put it up on the AH. Stuff sells quickly, and I have a nice steady stream of revenue.


So far I’ve been able to purchase the mount for Quind at 30 without even flinching, and any decent gear upgrades that make sense. I’ve not hit a single instance on either toon, I’ve decided that I won’t even bother until I really feel the need. I know I’m not going to run both toons at the same time through an instance and am having such a great time just levelling through questing. I’ve run the instances already a ton of times while levelling the alliance characters… I’m good.


Wylset

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Updated: Jan 24

Monday Jan 3, 2022


Alt-tab for the Win!




Christmas was quite a bit more solitary this year with Covid rearing its ugly head in a major way. My wife and I were happily ensconced in our abode. She had a lot of Netflix binging to get done, and that gave me ample time to get rocking on levelling Nmbnutz.


The combo has worked out spectacularly well, Nmbnutz dotting the crap out of everything in sight and Catamara ready with a couple of hots. Kill count quests are blasted into oblivion, with the ability to gather as many mobs as I can reach. Five to six at a time is the comfortable amount, it allows me to get the three dots up on each target (siphon life, corruption and curse of agony). By the time I’m on the last mob, Nmbnutz is about out of mana. A quick Alt-Tab to Catamara the Resto Druid for a rejuvenation and a renew, then back to Nmbnutz to let him life tap to full mana while everything dies around him.


This process allows me to be non-stop in pulling, even quickly using the alt-tab to Catamara to get her mounted up and following Nmbnutz. I’ve not died a single time, in the distance from level 25 to 52. It’s pretty much God-mode. Which… usually whenever I’ve gotten to this point in a game, where you make it ridiculously easy, it becomes not so fun anymore. Strangely though I’m not losing interest, not at all. As the levels tick by, and I get closer to catching up with my level 62 priest, it’s maintained a very high level of interest for me. The endorphins are cranking out at max level I suppose. I’d probably do really well at that gizmo they use for chimpanzees… light flashes, push the button, get a peanut. Maybe.


Tactical vs Strategic

I had to change tactics for Scarlet Monastery. I knew the mobs would hit too hard to be able to use Nmbnutz at level as the one pulling the mobs, so he took a backseat and watched as my other Warlock Gronraed did the heavy lifting. That worked quite well, especially being affliction spec’d with full T4 and using the Imp as a mana battery. 7 runs later and Nmbnutz has a few new levels plus a crapton of shards from disenchanting on the go. One nice thing I discovered (WoW is always full of surprises, no matter how many times you run something). I wanted to repair and sell some stuff on Gronraed, and on the way down to the Chillwind flight path, I saw some neutral NPCs at the Bulwark. Normally this was a horde bastion, to be avoided. However, those guys could repair/buy my stuff. Perfect!


Heading back to the Catamara / Nmbnutz questing bonanza, it continued to work very, very well. There’s always highlights of every levelling experience for me. A series of quests or a questing hub that just is enjoyable, without having long drawn-out quests for drops that drive you crazy. The Hinterlands is once such area, especially since the addition of the Draenei at Aerie Peaks with a set of quests that add to the kill count. Searing Gorge is another fantastic area that I was able to blast through pretty quickly. Even the Smithing Tuyere / Looking Glass quest items dropped within a few kills. The RNG gods were looking favourably upon my endeavour at that point.


The Christmas break without visiting relatives certainly added to the WoW time, and by New Year’s I had run Nmbnutz with Gronraed through both Zul Farrak and Sunken Temple, completing most of the quests those instances had. Number one priority was getting the Carrot On A Stick trinket. That and a set of mithril spurs added a nice 14% movement speed while mounted.


Quinnd, Get Out Of The Inn!

By level 57-58 Nmbnutz was in the home stretch, and I had in mind to switch out Catamara and bring in Quinnd, my level 62 holy/disc priest. Quinnd had been only healing Ramparts and Blood Furnace, did barely any questing in Outlands, and was sitting with a full 100% rested. With Catamara the 70 resto druid, I’d kept her out of party, to maximize the XP for Nmbnutz. With Quinnd however I put him into the group and was able to capitalize on things such as hour-long Fort buffs and Healbot, while gaining XP for both Warlock and Priest. I still set up some focus/follow/cast heal macros and we were off to the races.


In the midst of the Western Plaguelands quests Nmbnutz hit level 60 and was ready for his Epic Riding Mount. For a Warlock, there are special class mounts. At level 30, you receive the spell from your trainer at the cost of mere silver. At 60, however, it involves a long questline that requires hitting at least one instance (Dire Maul) and spending a few hundred gold. I was on a roll with questing and didn’t want to interrupt it, so I ended up just buying an epic horse mount from Elwynn Forest. Perhaps when I get some time and inclination, I’ll get him his proper class mount. Perhaps.


Before heading into Outlands, I remembered the new spellpower trinket available from the High Chief questline in Winterspring, so Nmbnutz and Quinnd headed over there and knocked out the back-and-forth quests pretty quickly. That trinket, along with some nice upgrades I had sitting in the mail, had Nmbnutz ready for Hellfire Penninsula with Quinnd in tow.


I had done a handful of quests with Quinnd in Hellfire, so I got Nmbnutz caught up until they were both on the same quests. I wondered how it would work when it came to collection quests. I considered skipping them, but quickly dumped that idea. I figured screw it, it’s going to take a bit of time, but certainly it would be faster and better for Quinnd as a healer than to solo them, either re-speccing to shadow or just keeping him as healing spec and banging my head against the wall. The grouping method has been working just fine, the time saved on kill count quests that count for both characters more than offset the time required to get double the drops for the gathering quests. Things like collecting stuff on the ground for quests actually worked quite well. Nmbnutz would aggro a bunch of mobs around the items, and I would flip over to Quinnd to run around and pick them up.

So far it has been a fantastic, fun and speedy progress. When Nmbnutz hit 60 I checked his /played time, and it was 4d 22h. That’s a heck of a lot shorter than my last 60, but that was a combination of Classic and then TBC Classic levelling. It felt very fast, that’s for sure. One thing I’m quite convinced about however, is that using an Affliction Spec Warlock has made this the exceptional experience. Dot the mob up, alt-tab to the heals, and alt-tab back. Any other class / spec would require dps downtime while switched to the healer. I do believe that it’s the perfect combination.


Wylset

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