Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tips for the Aspiring Loremaster

The picture above is where you collect the letter than begins the obscure yet touching quest line that anyone interested in either achieving Loremaster or The Seeker or just exploring the classic WoW before it goes the way of the dodo should do. As I've mentioned previously I recently have reinvigorated my quest to get the Loremaster and Seeker achievements before Cataclysm comes and I am having the most fun I've had in game in a long time along the way. If you're interested in completing these kinds of achievements or simply taking a farewell tour of Azeroth I have a few tips that might come in handy.

1. Wait for Inspiration - I would really encourage you not to just start plowing through quests because you feel that you have to. Instead let a moment of boredom, raiding burnout, or nostalgia give you the jump start you need to get started. While there will certainly be grindy and painful moments along the way the experience should be largely enjoyable. If you find you hate it, or dread the thought of working on it, don't. I know many people feel like they need to get this achievement before Cataclysm, but the fact is you don't need to do anything. Its a game, only pursue things you enjoy.

2. Choosing a Zone- There are two good options for where to go first. The first is to go to a starting area that you haven't done. While not the most exciting of areas, staring areas are great because the quests are quick and generally don't send you all over the continent. You can knock out a whole zone in one easy sitting and get the ball rolling. The second idea is to pick a zone that you haven't spent much or any time in while leveling any of your characters. It will give you a sense of adventure and discovery that the achievements are all about. Zones I found that I have barely touched in all my WoW time (alliance side) are; Feralas, The Badlands, The Burning Steppes, Blasted Lands, Searing Gorge, Eastern Plaguelands, Western Plaguelands, Desolace, Azshara, and Silithus.

3. Preparing - Before you set out for a session of questing be prepared. If you look up the zone you are going to on Wowwiki there will be a link to an article just about the quests you will find in that zone. In that article there is often a list of materials that you will need to complete certain quests as some quests require things that are not dropped by the mobs in the area. Its a good idea to hit the AH and pick those up before you go. Cleaning out your bags is another important step. Put extra gear sets, consumables, mats, etc in you bank and vendor any junk. One thing to keep in your bags is your fishing pole, more on that later. Remember to turn on 'track low level quest givers ' on your minimap. Finally make sure your quest log is mostly empty.

4. Questing - I'm sure you know how to quest efficiently. I'll just say two things. First, many old world quests send you all over the world. If you get a quest that requires you to go to some far off place its a good idea to just continue working on the quests you can complete in the zone and then journey to that far off place either at the end of your session or at the beginning of the next. Secondly, and most importantly, READ THE QUESTS! Yes, it will slow you down at bit, but the reward is worth it. These achievements are about learning about and exploring the world. You can't do that without reading the quests. Its fun, I promise, just try it.

5. Profiting - A great bonus of doing these achievements is that they can net you a nice amount of gold. In Outland and Northrend the quest reward gold alone will add up quickly. I heard somewhere that by just completing the Icecrown zone if you combine quest rewards and vendoring the items you receive you can make somewhere around 1,500 -2,000 gold! As far as old world goes the money comes from all of the various crap you will be collecting. If you take the time to loot all of your bodies you will collect a crap ton of old world cloth that you can either sell or save for your Cataclysm alts. If you have an enchanter old world enchanting mats go for quite a nice sum. If you are a skinner, herbalist, or miner prepare to hit the jackpot. Collect any nodes you see and you will find that many of these old world mats go for obscene prices. I sell rugged leather for 50g a stack. Pretty much if an item is of white quality or better check the price on the AH before you vendor it. Things like pearls or old world meat can sell for much more than you think. Additionally, check vendors for any recipes you might be able to sell and if you don't mind a little fishing, some old world fish are quite lucrative. I'd suggest that you have a bank alt set up so that you can mail all of your finds to that toon and continue questing uninterrupted.

6. Understanding the Difference Between Loremaster and The Seeker - Loremaster requires you to complete a certain number of quests in each area whereas The Seeker requires a flat 3000 quests completed. Although the number of quests needed for Loremaster is less than the number needed for the Seeker most people complete the Seeker first. This is because the quests that 'count' towards The Seeker don't always count towards Loremaster. The general rule is this, quests that take place in a dungeon, are a daily quest, or are a holiday quest count for The Seeker but do not count for Loremaster. Daily quests only count towards The Seeker the first time you complete them.

7. Tools - Many people use EveryQuest in combination with LightHeaded to make sure they are getting all of the quests in an area. Personally I haven't installed these yet, although I'm sure I will when it gets down to the nitty gritty of collecting those last few quests. If you like to be very organized and methodical though I'd suggest them. If you haven't already, search through the user interface options and turn on a feature that will put an exclamation point over an item in your bags that starts a quest. Also visiting the Wowhead comments or other like sites can provide great information and encouragement.

8. Being An Achievement Whore - If you are so inclined you can get a mountain of other achievements along the way. I'd encourage you not to get bogged down in this however unless you are really enjoying it. Do it if its convenient or fun, don't do it if its sucking the fun out of the experience for you. I'm not going to link every achievement that you can do along the way because it might make be burst into tears. Instead here are some suggestions for categories of achievements; Exploring Achievements, Fishing Achievements, Cooking Achievements, Reputation Achievements, Classic Dungeon Achievements, Pet Achievements, Loving/Killing Critters, The Key Achievement, The Well Read Achievement, and I'm sure there are more.

Finally remember to stop and smell the virtual roses while taking a screenshot or two before the world is torn asunder in Cataclysm.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Computer, New UI

I was forced into buying a new computer the other day when mine died an abrupt and tragic death. With a new computer comes hours of UI set up and I took advantage of the opportunity to tweak a few things. Here is my affliction warlock's UI as it is now.

First off you know you love my little gnome artwork. You might not think you do, but if you think about it you will come to the realization that it is indeed the best thing you have ever seen.

Visible Addons:

Sunn Viewport Art- allows the the panel at the bottom, providing a dedicated space for addons.

Sexy Map - My minimap is now movable and sexy!

Omen- duh

Recount- double duh

Dominos- easy to use bar addon. Things like professions and consumables are on bars that are faded out until I mouse over them, a feature I enjoy.

Class Timers- every warlock needs a Dot Timer. The little icons in middle of my screen count down the time left on my dots. You can have bars, but I like the way the icons take up so little space. This addon is extremely easy to use, works well, and works great for all classes.

Other Addons:

Arkinventory- I love this addon. I allows you to set custom categories for organizing your bags. It can be a pain to set up, but it is well worth it.

GupPet- my newest addon, it puts out a companion and summons a random mount. It also includes a nice feature for collectors that will list every mount or pet that you don't currently have.

Deadly Boss Mods- If you don't have it, get it, right now, I'll wait. Got it? Good.

I am no UI wizard, but I think I've achieved a very functional UI with a decent look with relatively few addons. Perhaps I'll post the tree's UI soon.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Look, A Screenshot!

I finally figured out how to take and post a screenshot, so this blog might be getting better looking soon. My first screenshot is my warlock with her new Sprite Darter Hatchling. This adorable new pet is the result of my new found drive to actually start working on the things I want to accomplish before Cataclysm. This week I found myself with the time and the desire to play, but as my druid now has all the gear she can from chaining heroics I didn't have much to actually do in game, or so I thought.

The inspiration to actually get stared on my Seeker title actually came from looking up videos about the creepy children of Goldshire. From there I somehow ended up looking up hidden places in Azeroth like the islands south of Tanaris, Old Ironforge, and the dancing troll village. One person on the forums suggested visiting the top of the Twin Colossus in Feralas. Feralas, I thought, I've never really been there. Oh, I went once, when my very first character was the appropriate level. I proceeded to try to run through the Horde outpost that sits on the road, and of course, was repeatedly owned until I gave up and never went back. Ah, the days of being a noob.

So, my ICC geared warlock set out to kick some Feralas butt. And you know what? It was awesome. I had so much fun discovering this little corner of Azeroth. I even read all of the quest texts, took time to fish in every pool I saw, and of course, tested out my new found screenshot skills. One of the quest chains netted me the awesome pet above. It was such a nice change of pace to get out of Dalaran. I really enjoy questing, but this late in the expansion, when my alts are leveled, my reputation up, and no real reason to do dailies anymore my playtime usually consists of trolling the action house and raiding. I would really encourage anyone who has even the faintest desire to either tour the old world before it goes the way of the Dodo in Cataclysm, or who wants the Loremaster or Seeker titles to pick a zone that you are not very familiar with and get started!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My 25 Favorite Virtual Possessions

Over at Blog Azeroth this week's Shared Topic is to create a top 25 list of some kind. So without further ado...

My 25 Favorite WoW Possessions

25. Fantasy Portrait - You can pick this up by completing the fishing daily. It's a Pandaren monk picture. Looks like Blizzard is telling you to keep dreaming about that playable Pandaren race.

24. Faded Photograph - Apparently this is some sort of reference to the Legend of Zelda, but I know nothing about that. I just love having a picture of gnomes in my virtual pocket.

23. Silver Covenant Hippogryph -This is one of the few Hippogryphs in the game and it is just plain gorgeous.

22. The Frostwolf Artichoke- Great for two reasons; 1) it actually gives the strategy for winning Alterac Valley (no, the answer is not zerg) and 2) provides tasty suggestions for consuming artichokes.
21.Arthas' Gold Coin - "Already, I've a kingdom in my prospects, a land to rule What to ask for? Perhaps a frozen scone..." Win!

20.Unusual Compass- because I like the unusual.

19. Firemane Leggings - The sluttiest pants in game, a must for every Night Elf bank alt.

18.Blue Drake- The only good thing I ever got from Oculus

17. Kel'Thuzad's Gold Coin- "Sometimes...I wish someone would come along and just give me a big, long hug." I loled irl.

16. Strand Crawler - My own personal Ghostcrawler. Isn't he cute!

15.For the Light! - A bit of lore for my very own.

14.Mirren's Drinking Hat - WoW's equivalent of a beer hat.

13. Core Hound Pup - I never actually take this pet out, but the authenticator that it represents is priceless.

12. Give to the Church and The Light Will Provide - Who doesn't enjoy a little shameless brainwashing?

11.Blue Qiraji Battle Tank - These things are so cool its a shame you can't ride them outside of AQ. As a side note, getting the various colors is a great way to knock out a few mounts for the mount achievements if you can get a few friends together. In my experience they drop quite frequently.

10.Romantic Picnic Basket - Great for setting the mood in outdoor raids.

9.Mr. Pinchy - One of my favorite pets simply because I enjoy bragging that I fished him up in less than 20 mins of trying (ya, I know, you hate me). Good luck to the rest of you!

8.Steamy Romance Novels - I paid obscene amounts of gold to get my hands on all of them. Don't judge me!

7.Exotic Cookbook- Great if you are thinking about getting into cannibalism.

6. Quel'Delar - my trusty sword, which I won with an epic roll of 42! Both the weapon and the quest chain to get it are epic.

5. Frosty Flying Carpet - I doubt my warlock will ever use another mount. You just can't get better than a gnome on a flying carpet.

4. Sea Turtle - Another great reason to hate me; I got this on the first day it was available and I wasn't even trying to get it.

3. Plump Turkey - My favorite thing to do while waiting for buffs in a raid is to pull this guy out, build a basic campfire, and watch as he throws himself into the fire, all for my enjoyment.

2. Familiar Kirin Tor - I love this little guy, he was a pain to get but not many people have him and I get quite a few questions about him. Plus, the fact that he is taller than my gnome self amuses me.

1. Deed to the Thandol Span - You know that broken bridge? Ya I own it. Best 1 gold I ever spent.