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Posts with tag grinding

Dungeon Finder reactions from players

The long-awaited Dungeon Finder is finally out on the servers, and people have had a few days with it now, so let's jump in and gauge some early reactions. Overall, it seems to be a big hit -- tanks and healers are jumping into groups right away, and while we've heard of longer waits for DPS, it doesn't seem bad at all. While of course the initial flood of people brought instance servers down (I'd expect to see the same thing happen during peak time this weekend), everything seems to be working well since then: disenchanters are correctly dropping items out, loot is getting distributed correctly, and groups are doing what they were always supposed to do: rake in the badges and rewards for players.

Hots and Dots actually has a long take on the Dungeon Finder, including "15 Things You Should Know," like that tanks and healers are still as important as ever (if you sign up for DPS and another role, you likely won't be doing DPS), and that we're finding out very quickly just how skilled or knowledgeable people really are ("the Party Leader will be forced to confess midway [through] that they actually know nothing about the instance").

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Leveling

High-Rated PvPers do the robot


We've gotten a bunch of tips recently that claim some very e-famous PvPers are botting in BGs. If you aren't familiar with the term "botting," Dictionary.com provides us with the following definitions of bot:

    1. Bot:
      –noun
      the larva of a botfly.
    2. Bot:
      –noun (Australian Slang)
      a person who cadges; scrounger.
    3. Bot:
      –noun
      a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention (often used in combination): intelligent infobots; shopping bots that help consumers find the best prices.

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Filed under: Cheats, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Rumors

Polling for Mr. Pinchy

Blizzard EU Community Blue Ancilorn has posted a poll over on the EU forums asking players about one of the more prickly pieces of loot in the game: Mr. Pinchy. Usually with loot, Blizzard has been pretty good lately: if there's a piece that you want, there are usually a few different ways to get it, one of which usually requires grinding (i.e. picking up tons of Badges) rather than just getting really, really lucky. But with vanity stuff, it seems like they feel free to just put us at the will of the dice roll, and almost no other pet is more random than Mr. Pinchy. Not only do you need to level fishing (which, admittedly, is much less random than it used to be), and not only do you need to fish up a random item, but then, you need to hit a random choice of five different options. It's a slim chance on a rare chance on a nearly impossible chance.

Which explains why even those who have been trying for him for so long (ahem, me -- as you've probably heard on our podcast) haven't picked him up yet. The biggest percentage in the poll (about 26% of respondents, as of this writing) says they've been trying a lot and haven't gotten him. But strangely enough, the lowest percentage says "an absolutely enormous amount" of effort went into getting him. Which suggests that the people who are getting him are underestimating the amount of time they're putting in -- just how much fishing is "a moderate amount"?

At any rate, it seems like Ancilorn is just asking to be asking. Mr. Pinchy is definitely as much of a vanity item as they come, and there should at least be some items in the game that are very, very rare. It does seem at times that every time I suggest Blizzard won't move on something, they do, but I'd say in this case Mr. Pinchy will stay as rare as he is.

Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Dealing with old currencies

Gaviedrummer has exactly the problem that I have, only mine is probably worse: he has about 50 Badges of Justice left over from the last expansion. True, I've only got about 30, but I've also got stacks of Apexis Shards, Spirit Shards, Halaa Tokens, Obsidian Warbeads, and pretty much every other old reputation and currency item from the Burning Crusade sitting around clogging up my bank. And while some of it is just me being lazy (I could turn the Warbeads in, and I think I could probably grind out a few more Halaa tokens to pick up something there), as gaviedrummer finds out, most of it is completely useless. Yes, we can still trade for level 70 items, but who needs those any more?

It would be nice, especially with the soulbound stuff (I presume I will someday have an alt coming up through Outland that might need some help), for Blizzard to give us an out. Even if it requires level 80 to do, and even if the exchange rate is terrible (something like one level 80 badge for five or ten level 70 badges), at least we'll be able to get rid of the old stuff. Obviously, they're worried that if they offer exchanges for new items, people will go back and grind the old instances for the old currency. But there has to be some middle ground or a level requirement or something, some rate that allows us to get something for the old junk, while keeping current level 80s from exploiting the system. Heck, even cloth has a reputation turn-in value, at the very minimum.

The Stone Keeper's Shards at least have a turn-in for honor, and at the bare minimum, that's what you'd want for any currency -- something cheap that you can just cash out of the system with all of your leftovers. Blizzard may say what's past is past (and like I said, I may just need to spend a weekend cleaning out the bank), but it would be nice to have an NPC in Shattrath that can say "Oh, you're level 80? Let me just take those old tokens off your hands at a discounted price!" And it would be an Ethereal, of course.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, NPCs, Making money

Please give me something to grind

I realized the other night that I have quite possibly the strangest complaint about Wrath of the Lich King possible: There is nothing that you can just go grind if you want to do something mindless. By grind, I mean endless killing of mobs for some minor gain. One of the biggest reasons I play WoW is for social purposes. I play WoW with a lot of my friends, and sometimes when I log on I just want to use the game as glorified IRC while I stab things.

This worked well in The Burning Crusade, because there were a lot of quests that required you to pay attention to what you're doing, but there were also a few reputation grinds that you could do just by murdering lots of mobs, which was great for those lazy days. Zaxxis Insignias, Warbeads, Marks of Sargeras, all of that stuff. If I didn't want to do anything complicated while I chatted away in guild chat, I could just round up a bunch of mobs and killify them, and I would still be making progress toward some game goal.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

A(nother) return to Azeroth, and all that grinding

Clive Thompson is probably my favorite technology writer -- I really enjoy everything he writes (lots of his stuff appears regularly in Wired), and he's got a real talent for not only tracking technological trends, but then explaining them in a way that's interesting and easy to understand. So I was pretty excited to see that he's back playing WoW, and just like a few of us here at WI, he enjoys the regular grind of it all.

I don't know whether it's a result of all the Wrath beta news coming out lately, but it seems to me that we're already experiencing a resurgence of players around the expansion. Burning Crusade brought a lot of players back to the game, and it seems like things have started early for the next expansion -- people are returning to level their alts, get their epic mount dailies done, level up their professions, and just generally get back into the mix of things.

And Thompson's piece is really about grinding -- like "obedient workers in a Soviet collective," he says, we return to mindlessly killing boars, or ravagers, or Ethereals, or whatever else it is we need to hit that next level of experience or reputation or profession. Why? Because we're rewarded for it. Increasingly, we live in a world where time invested doesn't always equal reward returned. But while grinding in a game like WoW, it always, always does, and that's why we love it so much.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

The joy of grinding

I couldn't agree more with Mystic Chicanery -- despite the fact that most players consider the "level grind" to be the most boring part of the game, a stodgy run towards the much more interesting endgame, I've found that I tend to invest myself more in my character while actually leveling up, strangely enough, and it seems to me that endgame is the much more boring part of the equation. While leveling, you get a constant meter (literally) of how much your character is progressing, but after 70, progression becomes much more nebulous, and you have to do a lot more poking around for things like enchants and gems.

Of course, the main complaint with the level grind isn't doing it the first time, it's doing it again and again, and thankfully, as Mystic notes, will bring us ten brand new levels to roll through. But maybe I have a bad memory, because even when I do hit 70 with a character, going back to the beginning with a new class or a new faction is a new experience. And Wrathgoing through the same content a second time makes it faster and more interesting to me -- I already know where the hard quest targets are, and I can catch up on lore or secrets that I may have missed.

Each to their own, of course -- maybe you've already leveled all nine classes to 70 and couldn't imagine going back and running through Stranglethorn Vale or Hellfire Peninsula one more time. But I've found that I almost prefer the leveling "grind" -- it seems more core to me, improving the character constantly with an XP meter, than the current method at endgame of raiding your way through the instances for gear upgrades.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask WoW Insider: Ding before Outland?



Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Houldlum writes in:

I'm wondering if it's possible to hit level 70 before ever heading out to Outland. I've been working through every zone trying to hit every quest, even if it's grey (they do give a bit of XP). So far I've only skipped the dungeon quests and any group quest I can't solo. My goal is to hit 70 before Outland so I can maximize the gold return from those quests... and to see if I can do it.

I have managed to get to 63 on my Alliance Rogue before I hit Outland, but I skipped several Zones.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Houldlum (Falsehould, Fatherhould)

It was a light week on questions, so I'm going to dig down and use this one. Short answer: I'm pretty sure you can't. Long answser: Why the heck would you want to? Even if you got xp from anything in the Azeroth, even Cartman would think that grind was nuts.

So, anything out there -- at all -- that will give him or her xp until 70.

Got questions? Don't wait! Send them to us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com and your query could be up in lights here next week.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ask WoW Insider, Leveling

"How I made 100,000 gold"

A player by the name of Kunzite recently submitted to us that he had released his gold-making guide, subtitled "How I Made 100,000 Gold." With a title like that, I had to check it out, and it has some very interesting tips in it. It is extremely long, which makes it all the more surprising that it's free. A lot of the tips are along the lines of playing the auction house, but there are also some helpful introductions to concepts like opportunity cost (a vital thing to wrap your head around in WoW), and detailed lists of what crafts you can turn a profit in (if only by disenchanting them), and so on.

I know I'll be coming back to this site – I haven't read it all yet, but it is a very nice resource, and who couldn't use a little more gold? I've already implemented one of his suggestions and found it to be quite lucrative: farming for Fel Armaments and Marks of Sargeras from warlocks at Legion Hold. My previous go-to gold-making strategy (fishing in Nagrand) was getting me 200-300g an hour typically; Legion Hold would be more like 400g if I sold everything, and I need the Aldor rep anyway (so I'm selling the Armaments and turning in the Marks). The best part about Legion Hold is that the mobs there are perma-spawned: there are always at least certain number alive at a time, so no matter how many people are farming there, you never have to wait for spawns.

Kunzite's guide, like Jame's killer leveling guides (Alliance, Horde), is astonishingly high-quality – and completely free! Go check it out if you have any interest in better ways to make gold. And to Kunzite, thank you for making this great resource available to the community.

Filed under: Guides, Making money

The future of Heroic attunements

Eloren over on WoW LJ wonders if Blizzard didn't go far enough when they reduced the required reputation for Heroics to Honored level. Personally, even though I'm much closer to the casual end of the spectrum, I never had a problem with Revered reputation -- with my normal questing to 70 and a few instance runs in each zone, I didn't really have a problem grabbing most of the Heroic reputation keys. But even with Honored, some people with different playstyles (solo players, for example, since lots of reputation comes from running instances) are still having trouble.

The good news is that Eloren is basically going to get her wish -- as we talked about last week on the podcast, Blizzard is planning to mix up the ways you can get attuned to a Heroic instance. Heroic Countenance is the first example -- to get attuned to Heroic Magisters', all you've got to do is run the regular once.

In fact, I would be surprised if they didn't play around a little bit with attunements -- for one instance, they might require reputation, for another, turn-in tokens, and for another, a good old-fashioned quest chain. Most of the attunements in Burning Crusade were based specifically on reputation, but there's no reason that has to be the same way in Wrath of the Lich King -- why not give players lots of different ways to reach the different Heroics in the endgame?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

Officers betting against the raid

After the 20th Supremus kill the game can get a tad boring. There's no doubt about it. Raiders know well that you have to spice things up to keep it fun. One way to do that is to have a lively bunch of people you raid with. With them things can get "interesting" at times. The fellow officers and I in my guild have decided to make things interesting by betting on the number of people that will die during Supremus.

For some reason Supremus always manages to kill a few too many people. Not too many that we can't one-shot him, but enough that it makes you scratch your head. No one dies on Illidan, Council, etc... but Supremus? Run for the hills!

So to keep the fight interesting someone picks a number, say nine. That number is "the line." Myself and a couple others will take under the line, and a couple others will take over. If less then nine people die, each of us gets 20g. If more than nine die the other folks get 20g each.

Is betting against the raid like this a good thing?

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Filed under: Guilds, Humor, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Have dailies replaced old fashioned grinding?

One of the stated goals of making daily quests so vast and varied in WoW is to help out those people who would rather quest for money than grind primals all day and night. A good goal, and definitely one that I support. Questing is usually a lot more entertaining than grinding out piles of motes.

However, to me it doesn't seem like dailies have replaced grinding as a way of making money. It works fine as an alternative, but it doesn't quite stand up to other ways of generating gold. Dailies make it easier to get money, but it doesn't seem to me like it's the best source of income, contrary to what most people say about daily quests. Dailies allow you to make one hundred gold in an hour, but farming the right primals can get you quite a bit more. Even Fishing in the right places, as Eliah pointed out to me, can double or triple what you could make in that time through daily quests. Let's not forget that the gold generated by daily quests has inflated the market on some items required in crafting, making it even more profitable to grind out the raw materials.

What are your thoughts on daily quests as a replacement for old fashioned farming and grinding? As an alternative? Have they done their job well as another option for generating gold, or have they just thrown the market off? Is it possible for anything to actually usurp grinding raw materials as the number one money maker?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Quests

Breakfast Topic: Daily chores

Some people really seem to enjoy repping up with various factions. I am not one of them. I've known people who complete the maximum amount of daily quests on multiple characters. It's fantastic that Blizzard has opened up opportunities for relatively easy gold and reputation, but I wish there was a little more variety in the experience.

Prior to Patch 2.4, when the limit was ten, I don't think that I ever completed more than four or five dailies per day. Now that we've been bombarded with Quel'Danas dailies and the limit is twenty-five, I do up to eight on rare occasions. I almost always complete the daily battleground quest, but that's about it most days. I know that they're an excellent source of gold, but they feel like such a chore to me. I find daily questing to be almost as much fun as washing dishes and doing laundry. If it means I never get epic flying mounts on my characters, so be it.

How many dailies do you do and what keeps you motivated to do them?

Filed under: Economy, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Guides, Making money

Totem Talk: Resto questing

Totem Talk's Matthew Rossi has had a small Horde renaissance this week, and decided to take his slightly dusty Resto shaman out for a spin, healing a heroic MgT run and then running about the IoQD doing the dailies. Turns out he learned a few things in the process. He wrote a little song about it, like to hear it? Here it goes.

Okay, I apologize, but there will be no singing. Tell you what, if enough people demand it, I'll belt one out on the next WoW Insider Show I'm on.

I've posted in the past about how to quest, grind and otherwise solo on a Restoration shaman, but I didn't go sufficiently into detail as the post ended up being about the odd things people think about shamans. So this week, we'll go more into detail. There are basically two ways you can go about doing this, thanks to the recent changes Blizzard made to healing gear: you can go out and quest in your regular healing set or you can also have a set of DPS gear. Unlike a priest and more like fellow hybrids like druids, you have a choice of what kind of DPS gear to wear. You could have a set of Enhancement mail and a big 2h weapon (since Resto shammies can't dual wield but can use 2h's now) and run around hitting stuff, or you could go for the spell damage gear and imagine that you're a powerful Elemental shaman.

My own personal preference (due to that fact that my shaman has a lot of Enhancement gear) is to go the whackity whackity route and Windfury up a 2h. But in the interests of experimentation I tried both spell damage gear and my normal healing setup, and I found that my personal preference is in fact the least effective of the three for the gear I happen to have. I'm sure no one is surprised.

At any rate, let's talk turkey. Isn't turkey delicious? Druids can turn into humanoid-turkey hybrids. None of this has anything to do with Shamans of any spec soloing anything, but I've always wondered about the phrase 'let's talk turkey' and how anyone could resist saying "yay, I love stuffing!" after it. I'll get a hold of myself now. Actual details of Shaman soloing behind the jump. Whee!

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, (Shaman) Totem Talk

WoW Rookie: Azeroth Reputations


WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

Grinding for reputation is a part of the game. Think of it as leveling up with different factions. Last week we looked at the levels of reputation. This week we'll examine some of the reputations that you encounter in Azeroth.

Each of the major cities represent factions reputations that you can grind up with by completing quests and donating cloth. Increasing your reputation with the cities of your faction gives you the opportunity to purchase their racial mounts and tabards, in addition to discounts from vendors. For example if you play a Human, you can rep up to exalted with Darnasus in order to get a Nightsaber mount. Be warned, though because of scaling restrictions some models may not have access to all racial mounts.

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Factions, NPCs, WoW Rookie

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