Screenshot Friday 9-8-11

September 9, 2011 at 2:38 am (Friday Screenshot, Leatherworking)

The Sentinel

The lonely sentinel blends into the trees and plants, watching for signs of evil in the forest.

For those who are asking, the gear is as follows:

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New Quality of Life in 4.1 – A Fantasy List

April 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm (Professions, Uncategorized)

The latest news off of the PTR is that Bind on Account gear may finally be bound “on Account” as opposed to “on Server, on Faction” as it currently exists.  If so, this good news will join the concept of giving players 7 weekly heroic dungeons, rather than a single daily heroic.  Now, starting a character on a new server won’t be quite so difficult, and you’ll be able to reap the rewards of having a character maxed out, and putting time into farming for enough points.  At least, your chest, shoulders, and weapons – I don’t see how guild reward heirlooms could be transferred at this time.  Of course, my mind almost immediately leapt to what other items could be changed to help those of us who are “alt-heavy.”  (I don’t go to Alts Anonymous, those people admit to having a problem.)  I’m well aware that some of these require quite a bit of work, but if you’re going to have a “fantasy list” you don’t waste a pick on a girl who rates a 4 … you go for the supermodel.

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Leatherworking: Mission Impossible

March 21, 2011 at 1:30 am (Leatherworking, Professions, QQ)

A little more than a month ago, I wrote how leatherworking is heavily affected by the new speed of leveling.  Apparently, I didn’t go far enough.  What I wasn’t aware of was that leveling from 180 to 200 would be near impossible for a hunter near or at level, or at least without a calderon of gold (a pot wouldn’t be big enough).  It seems, in Blizzard’s rush to put out an expansion that changed the entire nature of the game, they failed to check how various professions might be affected.  I suppose, that we’re all supposed to wait for the developers to take the time to get things right – but lets face it, if it’s a choice between class balance for high-end PvP arena (where cash is literally on the line) and the poor new character leveling up for the first time – well, don’t expect much to be done for the new night elf hunter.

The biggest problem with leatherworking is  the large number of mats required to construct each piece.  And, in the 180-200 range, nearly every trainable piece (or easily obtained recipie) requires heavy hides.  Prior to Cataclysm, the place to farm heavy hides was Swamp of Sorrows.  Now, the Green Wyrmkin (11% drop rate) and Scalebane Captain (10%) are no longer in the zone, and the Sawtooth Crocolisks are now level 52, and no longer skin for heavy leather/hides.  What about others, you ask?  Sparkleshell Snappers (8%) – drowned in Thousand Needles.  The Mountain Lions in Hillsbrad Foothills (6%) have disappeared.  The only reliable source still viable appears to be the Razorback Griffins, which drop heavy hide at 13% … but they’re friendly to Alliance characters, and therefore are available to the Horde only.  (Gratz on that decision Bliz!).  Outside of entering Uldman with a group (scorps drop at 6%), every other creature currently in-game is at 5% or less of a drop.  Given a best case scenario of needing only 20 heavy hides, that means killing and skinning in the neighborhood of 400 of the correct creatures.  I’ll bet that no alchemist has had to gather 400 nodes of flowers to level 20 points.  At the time of this writing, heavy hides are selling for an average of 35 gold EACH on the server I’m leveling a hunter on.  (Anyone know a character on a new server, level 40, with 700 gold?)

If you are hoping for other options, be prepared to see those hopes dashed.  While Dusky Leather Armor costs twice as much heavy leather, for an additional Shadow Oil, you can make a nice chest piece.  Oh, wait … sorry, it seems that the only NPC’s that sold the Shadow Oil recipie were killed by Deathwing.  So, if you didn’t have the potion learned already, you’re SOL.  So, it’s likely that even your guildmates won’t be able to help.  And, shadow oil is used in 5 other recipies as well, including one of the other options for leatherworking!

And don’t think that the 180-200 is the only skill area affected by these little oversights by Blizzard.  The Barbaric Bracers require both Raptor Hides and Large Fangs to complete.  The hides were primarily dropped by the raptors in the Wetlands … the same ones that have suddenly become fossils.  Funny thing about animated bones – they aren’t skinable.  And the Large Fangs?  Well they dropped best from creatures in, you guessed it, Swamp of Sorrows!

I have the distinct feeling that leatherworking isn’t the only profession suffering from this problem, but as this is the profession that I’m leveling up without the benefit of a large sum of cash, it’s one I can comment on.  I know for a fact that cooking suffers on the Alliance side as well – the quest for Turtle Bisque was removed, but  the turtles still drop meat that is no longer usable by new characters.

The problem smacks of a lack of checking.  In a huge effort to churn out new material, and revamp old material, there was a lot of playtesting of the new zones, and the leveling from 80-85.  I don’t know of anyone that had the time to not only level a character up, but engage in the professions as well.  The most reasonable way for the developers to have caught this was to do an audit on the creatures they were deleting – checking to see that what they dropped/sold/etc was available elsewhere, or that any crafted piece that used the particular item as a reagent was altered or deleted.  I’m kind of ticked that I bought, from a trainer no less,  a recipie that I can’t actually create with characters created post-cataclysm.

Any other examples out there?

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Leatherworking/Skinning Combo: Falling Victim to Current Content and Speed of Leveling

February 9, 2011 at 2:30 am (Leatherworking, Professions)

Over the weekend I was leveling up a hunter on a separate server than my main – one that some friends share.  What I discovered was, with the reduced XP requirements for leveling, along with guild bonuses, meant that I was out leveling my ability to skin and LW to make appropriate gear.  In fact, I was forced to go back and kill and skin beasts that were gray to me, just to get into the next level of leather.  For the purposes of this column, please assume that when I speak of a leatherworker, it is a skinning & leatherworking combination – those who skin for auction house purposes only need not apply, as it is easy to skin the roughly 5 beasts per level required.

I want to start by stating that this problem will affect all skill trades, but skinning and leatherworking may prove to be especially hard hit.  Of the primary trades, only skinning (leatherworking by association) and Read the rest of this entry »

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Shared Topic: Digging Archeology?

January 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm (Archeology, Professions, Shared Topic)

Cataclysm’s new secondary profession, archeology, has gone through a lot of changes since it was first announced — Path of the Titans, we hardly knew you! — but is incredibly popular with players. At least, a lot of them are doing it — there are also a lot of complaints. Still, go to any dig site and you’ll see tons of eager archeologists. What do you think of it? Did Blizzard release it half-baked? Are you happy with its current implementation? What else do you hope to have added to it in future patches?

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like a dwarf, at least the Disney version, then when archeology hit.  “We dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig from early morn till night.”  (Make it stop – please!)  But, in truth, I’m fairly happy with what the devs at Blizz have come up with.  Just a few comments, complaints, and ideas for the future.

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