Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kill 50,000 Rats

I once heard on a podcast, the specific one escapes me, that if there was a quest to throw a sack of kittens off a cliff players would gleefully do it if it rewarded a companion pet. Critter Kill Sqad, the guild achievement which awards the Armadillo is proof of just how true that is. I have never killed a critter for amusement before. . . I’m up to about 20,000 now. In the spirit of mercilessly slaughtering critters in the name of cuddly pets I’ve got a few great tips for you.

Cheesing It

The only thing that keeps this achievement within reach in a short amount of time is that if you are in a group with guildies and near each other each guildie will count towards the achievement. So if you have 5 guildies in a party within close proximity to each other 1 dead squirrel will count for 5 critters killed towards the achievement.

Instant Respawn=Win

The best place that I have found to kill critters is the Ironforge side of the Deeprun Tram. The respawn here is instant. For maximum rat pwnage positioning is important. In the above picture I am standing in the best spot that I have found. It is on the far platform of the tram, slightly to the right of center as you face the entrance and about one floor tile away from the wall. I found that this spot allows you to hit all 3 spawn points and almost never will cause you to be out of line of sight. If you recruit guildies into helping, as you should, you can have them on the other side or on the middle platform, or just afk if they are lazy, as every guildie present makes for more kills.

Macro-ing for Success

I’m useless with macros, but even I can make a macro for this. Before you make your macro you will need to consider what spell to use. The best spell to use is one that is instant cast, on no cooldown, not a DoT, and costs as little mana, if applicable, as possible. As a warlock I used Fel Flame. The reason a DoT is not ideal is that your macro won’t switch to a new target until the DoT actually ticks and kills your target, making it a bit slower. You can also just have your pet attack them, although this will be a bit slower as you have to wait until your pet can run to the target. My macro looks like this:

/tar Deeprun Rat

/cast Fel Flame

Just insert the name of the spell you will be using or /petattack if you are going that route. Wanding, throwing, or auto-shotting are also good choices for a spell if you are unfortunate enough not to be a warlock. If you are a mana user bring drinks, but once again this only applies to our non-warlock friends (lifetap ftw). The only thing left to do is guilt your guildies into coming and find a good TV show to watch as you spam your macro. Using this method, with me as the main rat killer and anywhere from 1 to 6 other guildies in the group at various times, we managed to earn 20,000 kills towards the achievement in an hour.

Other Places

I also tested two other locations suggested by wowhead commentors. The respawn rate is very good but both areas have a variety of kinds of critters, thus preventing a targeting macro, and require me to aoe, which ran me out of mana so fast that it wasn’t very efficient. However I suspect that these places might be very good for other classes, mages and priests in particular, who have an instant aoe that can be used on the move.

Zul Gurub – Coordinates 83, 35. No longer a raid, a variety of snakes here have instant respawn.

Eastern Plaguelands Cave – Coordinates 4,36. All sort of critters line this cave and the entire cave respawns within a couple minutes. Especially if you have a group of guildies this place could rack up the kills quite easily.

The best part of all of these places; the critters are gross creepy crawlies, not cute, fluffy bunnies so there is no guilt involved.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This is the crazy huge demi-god thingy-ma-bobber in Vashj'ir. I was inside it. Gross right?

This is a whale shark, and no, I did not go up and poke it, contrary to appearances I am not an idiot.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Final Checklist

Here is my final checklist for Cataclysm. I am not going for a server first, but I do want to do some efficient leveling. Your mileage may vary depending on class/spec, leveling goals, wealth, or just how much of a planner you are.


Do as many of the daily cooking quests on as many characters as possible to provide recipes and meat for my main cook.

Have Wrath materials for the first few skill ups. Park my characters next to profession trainers so that I don’t forget to train professions in my excitement.

Obtain relevant enchants. Gatherer Angler Leather Herbing Gloves

To Pack

These are merely suggestions and all items, depending on your class/spec , professions, or play style certainly will not apply to everyone.

*denotes items that will give a few skill ups. If you have this profession you might wish to have the materials on hand and wait to craft them.


Runic Mana Potions

Runic Health Potions

Situational Potions (I’ll be taking Wild Magic)

Heavy Frostweave Bandages

New food and water

Buff Food

Fish Feasts* (Great if you plan on doing dungeons, worth it even if you don’t to get a few cooking skill ups, even if you end up eating the feast yourself.)

Drums of Forgotten Kings*

Runescrolls of Fortitude*

Your fishing outfit plus lures if you plan on doing a bit of fishing for leveling or profit.

Any relevant reagents

Bots/mailboxes if you are an engineer

Herb/skin/ore bag if you will be gathering a lot.

Enchanting rod/skinning knife/mining pick/etc…it would be bad if you accidently forgot these things in your bank.


Final Bank/Bag clean out

Organize bank alt’s guild bank tabs

Post auctions the night before for levelers/rerollers

Clean out quest log

Clean out mailboxes

Finish any crafting of items you are planning on selling (I’m looking at you damn netherweave bags)

Complete 25 dailies if you are hardcore like that.

Respec/Reglyph – it might be advantageous to take a look at your spec and move a few points around to form a more leveling oriented build rather than a raiding build. Glyphs are also a great thing to change when going from raiding to leveling.

Put all of the consumables I’ve packed on my bars so that I don’t forget that I have them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Recipe Lottery

With the slew of new levelers, both now with new class and race combinations and next week with goblins and worgen, there will be a unique opportunity out there. I am talking about recipes, specifically recipes that are world drops. If you fanatically collect recipes for no particular reason, like I do, then you know how frustrating it can be to collect those low level green recipes that have a minuscule chance of dropping of any mob in Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, I’m looking at you Lesser Block and Star Belt. But with so many more people leveling, world drop recipes will actually start appearing on the Auction House. In fact I recently acquired the Shadow Hood pattern for 1 gold, I would have paid thousands.

For Collectors

Collectors like me should always be on the lookout. Check the Usable box and search the recipe section often. You might even want to advertise in trade that you will pay for any recipe you don’t have and link your tradeskill, although this may cause you to pay more because you have tipped them off that these are of some value, at least to you.

For Auctioneers

Familiarize yourself with what recipes are world drops. Either add them to you snatch list or take a look at Ackis Recipe List mentioned below. Most world drops you find will be posted for a pittance by people who don’t know what they are worth. You can flip this for a nice profit, although only to collectors so it might take a bit to find a buyer.

For Everyone

If you aren’t looking to collect yourself or profit off of others collective tendencies the one thing you should do is do your research. If you happen upon a recipe take a minute and look it up so that you know what you’ve got. I do a literal face palm when I think about all of the things I vendored when I was but a nub, don't make the mistake of throwing these potentially valuable recipes away.

Ackis Recipe List

I've raved about this addon before, but I'll mention it again. This great addon will give you a menu of all the recipes you don't know and where to get it. Even if you are not a collector you can use it to determine what recipes are world drops.