Friday, September 28, 2012

World of Warcraft: Heroic Difficulty

Back when The Burning Crusade launched I can remember trying the new 'heroic' dungeon mode out. We went in with a couple people at less than max level and got absolutely butchered. Most of the trash had cleaves which hit our melee for more than half their max health. Byung and Tom died on pretty much every pull. We did manage to get one boss down before figuring we should actually get everyone to max level and get some gear before trying again. Some of the BC heroics were truly brutal and were very hard even with awesome gear.

Wrath of the Lich King heroics were locked so you need max level to even try them. They were easier than TBC heroics were at launch but they were still pretty tricky. We died some but I don't remember ever giving up on one of them. They were all doable at max level with reasonable gear.

Cataclysm went way back in the other direction. I can remember giving up on heroic stonecore in the early days of the expansion. The problem here was with healer mana. They'd gone to a new system and healers simply needed a higher gear level to succeed than in Wrath. I'd like to think our healers played quite well and we likely won more than an average group would have but in some cases it was flat out impossible at low gear levels.

Cataclysm may have been a tad too difficult but I actually liked it. Having a chance for failure makes things interesting. It would be better if the chance for failure was skill related but having the outcome be up in the air makes things a little more interesting. Yesterday Tom and I did some Mists of Pandaria heroics and there was no chance for failure. We did 6 heroics and I didn't die a single time. That's unheard of when compared to heroics from previous expansions. Even Wrath had some deaths! To make things even worse we actually pulled the final boss of one of the dungeons with our tank (Tom) dead. No problem. The hunter switched to his turtle pet and we 4-manned the final boss. Of a heroic dungeon. While we were still wearing a lot of leveling greens.

That just shouldn't happen! I want to die! On another boss I didn't understand the mechanics and actually just stood still while trying to read tooltips for most of the fight. Didn't matter. You can easily win down a DPSer.

Now, they did add a difficulty above heroic this time around so maybe they made heroics particularly easy with the thought that people like me who want to lose can go lose in challenge dungeons. Unfortunately i can't play in challenge dungeons right now because there is no 'looking for challenge mode' tool. Tom and I can't just play with random idiots. We need to co-ordinate with 3 other people like back in the old days. In a week or two when Brendan, Pounder, and Sky hit max level this will become an option but for now we're kinda stuck if we want something hard to do. Maybe it would be worth trolling trade chat/the realm forums to find 3 other people that way?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spirit of Harmony

Blizzard took out any semblance of elemental crafting materials in this expansion and replaced them all with a single bind on pickup item that drops from practically everything. The idea is to force crafters to go out and kill monsters instead of just buying all the materials for their stuff. Some people are pretty bitter about needing to actually play their alts but I don't much care. What I actually care about is what I can use these things for.

The reason I'm so curious now is I can craft a pretty significant upgrade weapon for 5 SoHs. I've only gather 6.5 total (and spend one getting realm first blacksmithing) so that's a pretty significant number. But if there's not really anything important to spend them on I might as well go for it, right?

The first thing you can do with an SoH is buy crafting materials. Ore, leather, cloth, herbs... All stuff I could spend money on if I needed it. Maybe if I end up with infinite SoH I'll use this to convert them into cash but if this is the best option I will absolutely craft a blue weapon out of them now.

I can buy more blacksmithing recipes. Recipes for PvP gear which might sell well? Again, though, this is converting SoH into cash and I have more than enough cash. On the other hand there are also some ilvl 450 blue recipes that make tanking gear. None of the pieces have hit or expertise which might be a problem. And will also certainly all be replaced in short order since we need ilvl 463 for challenge modes.

I can use it as a reagent for crafting a bunch of different blacksmithing things. Again, I could sell this stuff for money but I could also build it now before it would hit the market and become available otherwise. 2 make a low level weapon. 5 make a ilvl 463 weapon. 8 make ilvl 476 gloves/chests (but also take a large number of living steel, the new alchemy cooldown). 2 make ilvl 496 gloves/chests (but also take a large number of items only obtained by DEing a raid weapon).

Honestly, I look at this list and it really seems like all SoHs are really good for in the long term is making money. In the short term I can give a small boost to a few tanking slots, a medium boost to my weapon, or track down a ton of living steel for a medium boost to my gloves or chest. I think for now making a better weapon for questing just makes sense. Time to spend the rest of my SoHs I guess!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Realm First Cooking

During the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft the very first realm first earned was cooking. They'd implemented quests a month beforehand which allowed you to stockpile the materials needed to max out. So all it took was clicking a couple buttons once the servers came up and someone would get it. I got lucky (there were probably a dozen people trying for it on Alliance side alone) and pulled it off last time.

Cooking in Mists of Pandaria is significantly harder than it was in Cataclysm. The number of materials needed to max out was pretty extreme and there's pretty much no way to get them in a short period of time on one character. Someone who was really hardcore about it would level multiple characters to 86 or get friends to help out. On Vek'Nilash it didn't seem like anyone was really hardcore about it at all. It was approaching my bedtime and cooking was the only profession realm first that hadn't been claimed. So I figured I'd try to throw some money at the problem...

You see, all the materials could be purchased with tokens earned via Tiller quests. Anyone just randomly questing in the zone was likely to pick up a few tokens. Ideally they'd save them up to buy interesting items from one of the Tiller vendors but I hoped I could bribe some people to part with them for me. My first request was met with puzzlement. I probably hadn't worded it too well (I'd been up for a long time by this point) and no one was interested at 1k per token. I went fishing for a bit in another zone to earn a couple more tokens myself and then came back to try again. This time I spelled out precisely what I wanted by calling out one specific item I wanted to buy. (100 year soy sauce) I was about to give up when I got a taker. Woo! He sold me 5 which put me within striking distance. I'd have to catch a lot of fish but I could do it. He then asked if I was going for realm first with the soy sauce. I said yes and he opened a second trade and threw some random cooking materials at me. I didn't need any of them for the recipe I was planning on making but it did include 5 carrots which meant I could get 3 more tokens myself. That meant I was a mere 5 fish away! I quickly ran out, found two pools, and caught my fish. Back to town, spend my tokens on 250 pumpkins, and I was set. Victory!

First one done in one expansion. Last one done in the next. But both of them mine! Last time around I got 3 realm firsts. This time I have two, but there's still a couple to go. Pandaren ambassador and all gold challenge dungeons!

Monday, September 24, 2012

League of Legends: Taric Shatter

My support of choice in recent days has been Taric. Popular wisdom encourages leveling his shatter spell first and it has seemed to be working out pretty well but I wanted to look at it further to completely justify it to myself.

Taric has three spells to choose from when deciding what to level. His first three points are going to go into each skill since they're all very good. The question is what do they gain from extra points?

Q: Imbue, the healing spell. Heals for 60 base on two targets for 80 mana on a 20 second cooldown. (Always Taric and someone else.) Extra points increase the healing done by 40, increase the mana cost by 15, and knock 1 second off of the cooldown. So it gets more mana efficient on top of providing better throughput.

W: Shatter, the flexible spell. An aura which passively increases armour by 10. Provides double that amount to Taric. Also gives an AoE attack spell which hits everyone around Taric for 60 damage and lowers their armour by 10 for 4 seconds. Costs 50 mana and has a 10 second cooldown. While on cooldown Taric loses his doubled armour but the aura remains. Putting a point into it adds 10 to the mana cost, adds 5 to all the armour numbers, and ups the damage done by 45.

E: Dazzle, the stunning spell. Ranged spell which stuns an enemy for 1.5 seconds. Also does 40 damage. Costs 95 mana and has a 14 second cooldown. Putting a point in lowers the cooldown by 1 second and adds 30 to the damage done.

Right away, if you're looking to do more damage you'd rather put the point in W than anything else. 45 damage is more than 30 and way more than 0. This is before taking the armour reduction into account. I've never seen anyone recommend leveling dazzle first and it just seems wrong unless you _really_ want to stun every 13 seconds instead of every 14 seconds.

Now, what does the armour actually do? I took a look and it seems typical armour values at low levels will be around 50. We're already giving 10 so we want to see what the gain for our buddy is when we take him from 60 to 65. We also want to look at the extra damage done to the other team when we lower their armour from 40 to 35. Also I guess relative to the base of 50 so we know what's going on when we're playing not-Taric.

ArmourDamage Taken

Going from 50 to 40 (what happens when shatter is used with 1 point) is an increase in damage taken by 7.1%. Going from 40 to 35 is an increase of 3.7%.

Going from 50 to 60 (what happens when you stand near your friend with 1 point) is a reduction in damage taken of 6.3%. Going from 60 to 65 is a reduction of 3.0%. The healing spell heals your friend by another 40 damage. How much total incoming damage would they have to take for an extra 5 armour to prevent 40 damage? 2112 raw damage. That's not going to happen when you have maximum health in the 600 range. So if you just want to survive you definitely want to level the healing spell. Especially since it lowers the cooldown!

So it seems if you want to play defensively you want to level up your Q. If you're playing offensively you want to level up your W. What if you're somewhere in the middle? My feeling is that since the W does provide some defensive benefits and the Q provides no offensive upside at all that it remains correct to level W most of the time. Personally I want to play Taric offensively so there's no question in my mind what I should be doing. But now I know if we're falling behind in lane and we just want to turtle that the heal is actually better than the armour. Good to know!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mists Plans

I'm big on making plans for things and time is rapidly running out on making plans for the Mists of Pandaria launch. Where should I focus to start? What else do I need to do to get ready?

A couple days ago I was messaged by a former OGT shaman from back in the Burning Crusade days. It would seem he's going to start a monk and is shooting for realm first and heard I might be doing the same thing. He did his best to convince me to try for anything else. He thinks he's a lock to get it as long as I don't try but that I might be able to beat him. I still think I'm too easily distracted by other things and likely wouldn't be able to focus long enough to get to 90 first, but the recruit a friend thing is a pretty strong advantage. Especially if I didn't start a Pandaren and could therefore get boosted a lot earlier... Apparently gnomes can be monks! How awesome would that be? I would need Robb to actually get around to playing (or maybe stealing his account and two-boxxing all weekend) but I just might be able to get it done. I'd be giving up on any other realm first by doing it. If I was switching mains I'd be setting myself up for grinding all sorts of things up. 6 professions in particular but also all the mounts/pets and such. Really, I don't think I want to do this. So I won't!

I still like the idea of doing all the dailies and trying for Pandaren Ambassador even though I know I can't win if a human (like Sthenno) tries for it. I'll likely want exalted in those things anyway for mounts/pets/gear so I'm still going to go for it but it can't be my only focus or I'll come away with no realm firsts at all. I'm ok with getting none of them but I'm not ok with not even trying for one!

One thing I've already done is unlearned jewelcrafting and picked up mining on my death knight. It's how I leveled in both Wrath and Cata and it just feels right. Especially if I might ultimately end up an engineer for challenge dungeons. I want to at least consider defending my realm first blacksmithing title. The key to doing that is likely to just go out and do the quest lines in the expansion right at launch. I need to get together a Spirit of Harmony which you get by killing monsters. And find my way to the vendor in the vale of eternal blossoms. An advantage of being a miner is I can gather some of the mats I need along the way. Also I can buy either bars or ore and smelt it myself. Yeah. I like this plan. I definitely need to hit the mining cap by Tuesday.

I also have a minor desire to just jump off the boat and fish for a while. It would give a lot of fodder for cooking as well which is nice. Ultimately though while I'd like to go for many professions I think they're all going to be done so fast that trying for more than one is guaranteed to end in disaster. So I'm going to go for blacksmithing and keep an eye on inscription. If blacksmithing gets done before inscription (by me or someone else) then I might swap over to my rogue and buy up a ton of herbs and go for it. I want to get started making the new glyphs anyway, after all.

The last thing that needs consideration is sleep plans. The expansion launches at 3am and I am taking next week off work. Ideally I'd want to wake up around 2am Tuesday morning so I can eat and get ready for 3. This is not my norm so I have to adjust forward or backward. Backward might be easiest for many people but not really for me. Left to my own devices I tend to run on a 26-28 hour day. Trying to lose 6 hours is rough. Going for that plan I'd probably only get 2 or 3 hours sleep if any at all which would suck. The other option is to swing way forward. Stay up until something like 5am Saturday morning. Sleep until 6pm. Stay up until noon Sunday. Sleep until midnight. Stay up until 3pm Monday. Seems somewhat plausible! At the very least when it goes wrong I'm apt to be awake at 3am no matter what. Maybe I need to go to sleep a few hours later but I should be ready to go for long enough to see some realm firsts get claimed.

Seems like a plan! So tonight, a lot of League of Legends! Or maybe I'll give up on Robb hitting level 80 anytime soon and level my druid so I can eventually level enchanting/alchemy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

World of Pokemon

I've been doing some reading recently in an attempt to figure out what's going on with the new pet battle system launching in World of Warcraft on Tuesday. We can currently see all the possible pets along with their abilities. We can see our current pets and their stats. This has me wanting to know what those stats do! Which abilities are going to be the best? What are the crazy good combos? Do I need to spend money to get the unique pets? I will if I have to!

Check this out, for example... An ability only found on the baneling pet which requires buying the collector's edition of the StarCraft II expansion...

KABOOM! One of the other baneling abilities increases crit chance by 50%. Is that good? Does that mean the burst will hit for 80%? This sounds cool! KABOOM!

Unfortunately information on the subject appears to be pretty limited. I can find lists of pets and abilities but there's no context to what they mean. Some abilities talk about crit and accuracy. Others deal with the impact of weather on combat. But I can't find any baseline information. What is base crit chance? What does critting do? What is base accuracy? Weather? Really?

In the absence of real information to make a decision the first pet I play with is likely to be the Singing Sunflower pet. It has a power of 10 and a speed of 10. What do these numbers mean? As an elemental pet she'll ignore weather effects. This sounds bad on the surface. Maybe weather will be brutal and it will actually be good? Who knows!

Apparently pets are going to have a rarity stat which will impact the stats a pet will have at max level. This sounds fine for pets you catch through battles since you can just fight lots to get a rare one. How will it work for quest rewards like the Sunflower? It sounds like they're going to be uncommon but actual hard pets to get will be rare. So maybe I should plan on using Mr Pinchy instead? Rarity isn't currently listed in game so I can't tell for sure. And I still don't know what power and speed do so I don't know if higher stats even matters. Power supposedly increases damage done in some way. Speed either determines turn order in a given round or how often you go. So either it's mediocre (like agility in Final Fantasy I) or it's awesome (like speed in Final Fantasy V).

There are tons of achievements with the pet battle system. In particular there's an achievement for catching a pet of every single wild animal type in the game. Wow! That'll be 10 achievement points well earned.

Apparently there's going to be a queue you can enter to get matched with a random opponent for a 3v3 pet battle. But they want to minimize trash talk and bad feelings so you don't get to know who you're fighting against and the system will only count wins, not losses. This makes me a little sad but I guess I can understand that they're trying to make pet battles into a more casual friendly system. I have hopes that they'll eventually add in a ladder of some kind since I think pet battles will be easier to balance than actual PvP.

At any rate... I went looking for information but it doesn't exist. I will likely fool around a little with pet battles  after the early realm firsts get claimed and try to work some of these things out on my own I guess.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

World of Warcraft: Challenge Dungeon Details

Blizzard opened challenge dungeons on the beta for testing recently so a lot more information about them has been funneling out. They're not going to work quite as I expected but they still seem pretty awesome. Here are some interesting tidbits I've picked up that I think will be useful for other people to know...

- All mobs on challenge mode have one more level than the mobs on heroic mode. This brings them in line with raiding mobs. (In particular a heroic boss is level 92, a challenge boss is level 93.)
- Hit and expertise ratings on your gear will _not_ scale down. The reason for this is they didn't want to force raiders to maintain a set of raiding gear and a set of challenge gear. Typically getting to the hit and expertise caps is the best bang for your buck and they didn't want to force people to have to worry about just how much their hit cap would scale down.
- All your other ratings get scaled down more than they should to make up for the above point. Basically any hit or expertise rating that you should lose gets taken away from the other ones instead. Some people (dot/hot classes I think?) might care about a specific amount of haste and this will make their lives more complicated.
- Gear does _not_ scale up. I was under the impression initially that you'd be handed a set of gear when you zoned in that you were forced to use. Instead you just have anything higher than ilvl 463 scaled down. This means you do have to worry about hunting gear from other sources. It means you need to work out stat weights to pick the right gear.
- On the plus side it looks like ilvl 463 isn't raiding gear. 463 looks to be gear that drops from heroic 5-mans. Better stuff is fine (but will get scaled down). Worse stuff is likely crippling. So there's likely a lot of heroic 5-man running in our future.
- Set bonuses are turned off.
- It doesn't sound like they've actually decided how they're going to handle trinket procs/use effects. Will they get scaled down or will raiders get an advantage here?
- Pounder was worried that a stealth team of 2 rogues/3 druids would win by skipping everything but the bosses. Apparently they're adding in mechanisms to prevent skipping trash. I don't know details but it could be doors that don't open until all the trash is dead or true sight trash? Blizzard seems to want everyone to at least have a chance so I'm hoping the stealth group isn't feasible. But the second character I level to 90 will definitely be stealth capable just in case!
- Challenge dungeons don't drop gold or loot. Your gear also doesn't take damage. There are rewards for winning (valor points, and apparently a reasonable number of them?)
- You can reset the dungeon at any time and can run it as many times per day as you want.
- There is no dungeon finder for challenge modes. There is no free teleport to the dungeon. (Well, if you win in a gold medal time you get a spell to teleport there.) You have to have beaten the dungeon on heroic to zone in.
- No restrictions on consumables at all. So food/flasks/potions are going to be mandatory when trying for world records. Swiftness potions in particular are allowed as are engineering speed-boost tinkers. I can't help but worry that everyone's going to need to be an engineer...
- They're taking a lot of randomness out. Some dungeons have bosses that spawn with random abilities. On challenge mode the abilities are fixed. This is good since it means your time is based on how good you do and not if you got the fastest ability combination.
- The claim is they're about as hard as the harder Burning Crusade heroics. I have my doubts but I'll be happy if they are. We were able to eventually get through all of them pre-nerf (by days on Shattered Halls, I think, but we got it) and I'll be really happy if they're that hard.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Final Fantasy VI: Zozo!

Today on the bus I talked to all of the nice people in Zozo and managed to deduce the correct time. They were a great help and the reward was the chainsaw tool for Edgar. I'm never going to use it because it's terrible. I'm not even sure why I got it since it's just going to clog up my inventory and I hate collecting things. Oh well.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Final Fantasy VI: Character Preferences

While I was playing through Sabin's story arc near the start of the game I got to thinking about why I like some of the characters more than others. Sabin and Cyan both do two to three times as much damage as any other character I have at that point. I gave Locke my best weapon, the gauntlet accessory, and the vigor up accessory and he still does less than half the damage Cyan does. And yet I'd rather play with Locke than Cyan. Why? I think a big part of it is because I get to decide precisely what he does while Cyan attacks someone at random.

The party near the start of Sabin's arc is Shadow, Sabin, and Cyan. Sabin and Cyan killed any enemy in one special attack. Shadow took two attacks to kill something, but was fast so would generally go first. Running into a group of 3 enemies should result in each character killing one enemy. Shadow would take an extra round to get his but it should still work out to one kill each. Unfortunately Cyan would have a 33% chance to finish off Shadow's target. Then even if he didn't Sabin would have a 50% chance to kill it. It made me very sad.

It was a little better when I traded Shadow for Gau. At least then I couldn't control anyone at all! Just sit back and watch the enemies evaporate. Well, Gau pretty much did nothing because I don't know which rages aren't worthless but at least Sabin and Cyan weren't screwing up my carefully laid plans.

Sabin has the other problem that you can fail his attacks. It seems easier on the PSP than it was on the SNES to pull off the fireball move but I have missed a few times and it really sucks to take no action.

At any rate, I thought it would be interesting to rank the characters in preferential order and see if they follow the controlly pattern or not...

1) Setzer
2) Locke
3) Celes
4) Edgar
5) Terra
6) Shadow
7) Mog
8) Gau
9) Strago
10) Gogo
11) Relm
12) Umaro
13) Cyan
14) Sabin

Setzer's special ability can fail which is a little annoying but at least when it works it hits all enemies. And really, I don't use slots very often. It's all about throwing dice at people!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Final Fantasy VI: Suplex a Train

Today on the bus to and from work I finished up Sabin's story and am currently paused during the big group fight with Kefka in Narshe. Along the way I beat up the Phantom Train boss and I couldn't resist doing what may be the single most ludicrous move in the history of video games...

Not my game, obviously, since I haven't power leveled and have renamed the characters. Bung totally took the train down with a suplex though. Sabin's story is probably my least favourite part of the entire game as I don't really like any of the characters involved in it. (Well, except Kefka... Poisoning an entire population because they have the gall to defend themselves in a castle? Classic insane Kefka!) I'm happy to be done it, and at least it has the train suplex as a redeeming feature.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Realm First: Pandaren Ambassador Conclusions

When I first saw the realm first achievement for Pandaren Ambassador I was thinking that it would take a week or two to do. I thought it would likely not go to the person who was fastest at leveling or the person who was most dedicated to daily quests... I thought it would go to the person who was very good at both things. After looking at things a little more I'm no longer sure that is the case and I don't know that this is a path I really want to throw myself down. There are a few concerns that I have which I want to go over now to sort out some thoughts...

The first problem is the human racial, diplomacy. For some reason I didn't think it stacked with the guild perk mr popularity so I was assuming that pretty much everyone would get a 10% reputation buff. Unfortunately this is not true and they stack additively. So a human in a reasonable guild will get 20% more reputation while I can only get 10% more. This worked out to being about 3182 less rep needed with each faction assuming linear reputation gains. That's a reasonable different but if the grinds are getting done in a week or two it's probably only saving them a day. Pushing a little harder to level faster and making sure to log on at 5am on the final day could be enough to get over that hump.

Which leads us to the second problem. Not all of the grinds are linear. In particular the Golden Lotus faction unlocks more quests as you gain reputation with them. The faster you can get the initial rep with them the more rep you earn per day. The total amount of rep you can earn looks to be enough that on some realms humans will gain an entire day's worth of honoured dailies over non-humans. That's another 1000 rep they get for free. They certainly get revered at least a day earlier. Which is a problem because two more factions (Shado-Pan and August Celestials) only unlock dailies after you're revered with Golden Lotus. This means humans get an extra day of dailies with these guys as well.

Ok, one day isn't such a big deal though. Just level even faster! Sure, but the next problem is how few dailies exist for those factions. Shado-Pan in particular only has 750 rep available per day. Suddenly the ~5000 rep boost that humans have is a lot bigger than a single day. By my calculations a human will finish that grind 34 days after hitting level 90. A non-human will take 40 days. Humans have a 6 day buffer as a result and I simply can't level that much faster. A human that cares about this realm first will beat a non-human that cares about it and there's not a whole lot that can be done about it.

There may be one thing you can do but it may not even make it into the live game. For most of the beta there were rare spawns (same as every expansion) that would drop a boe blue item, a bag with cash/cloth/etc in it, and an interesting item. Shapeshifting items, things like that. One of those interesting items grants 1000 rep with every faction. It is consumed on use but you could use more than one of them if you got your hands on multiples. They aren't bound so they could be sold to other players. In the last beta patch every interesting item was taken out and rares only dropped the bag and the blue. Which raises some questions... Are they gone for good? Why were they in the beta at all? If it does exist how good is it and what should I be willing to pay for it?

Well, for how good it is we need to decide how early we're getting it. Due to the way Golden Lotus scales getting one or two early is actually worth a ton of time. A single pipe knocks 2 days off my total by virtue of knocking off two days of Shado-Pan dailies at the end. The second pipe is worth 1 day at the end or 2 days at the start. 25 pipes is enough to cap Shado-Pan in a day. Knocking 4 days off by starting with 2 pipes is actually a pretty big deal. That cuts the human advantage down to 2 days assuming they don't get any pipes themselves. 2 days I'd like to think I can overcome. I can get to 90 a day earlier and I can log in on the last day sooner. So if these pipes exist I have a shot...

But how much is it worth to buy pipes? The first two are awesome but each extra one is guaranteed to shave at least a day off and could get two days thanks to rounding. Perhaps most importantly I'd need to keep them out of my opponent's hands. Quite possibly the way to go would be to get a second account and write a bot to camp the rare spawn to make sure I get all the pipes! Ignoring that option pipes are probably worth at least 5 digits and maybe 6. If I could guarantee I get the first two pipes and can suppress the remainder of the pipes for a month I would gladly pay 250k. Without those guarantees I'd probably still be paying 30-40k each.

Those guarantees are actually a pretty critical point in their own right. We're talking about an achievement that's going to take more than 6 weeks to pick up and there's no way to track your progress relative to other players. When you're looking at leveling realm firsts it's pretty easy to check on the status of your competition. Maybe you need to swap over to a horde alt but you can easily look to see what level the top players are at. Crafting ones are trickier but tend to be short enough to not really matter. You go pedal to the metal until someone wins and then you move on. 6 weeks is an awfully long time to work at something without knowing if you're ahead, close, or already guaranteed to lose. I hate being guaranteed to lose. Maybe I want to abort if I'm guaranteed to lose but I can't know! Possibly I could look up specific other players in the armory every day to find out if they're keeping pace but I don't know how I'd know who to look up. All human characters that hit level 90? Maybe I could write a spider to search through all known guilds? Hmm...

When working on all the reps at once you're looking at doing 45 dailies each day plus farming 16 plots, hunting down 3 rare fish, and maybe even scooping up some eggs. I've been plowing out dailies in an attempt to level Ogg Gulnath Tago and have been doing maybe 33 dailies each day. It takes a couple hours. I'm stuck flying all over the places to get all these dailies (Stormwind, Ironforge, Mount Hyjal, Tol Barad, Sholazar Basin, Icecrown...) and I'd imagine Pandaria is actually smaller. Of course I'm full of epics and doing pretty old content so I'm mashing the quests now. Pandaria ones I expect will be harder. It's probably 3 or 4 hours worth of quests to stay on top of things. Some of the factions take less time than others so you can afford to skimp every now and then. (Just make sure you never skimp on hitting revered with Golden Lotus and never skip anything related to Shado-Pan or August Celestials.)

I'm not sure if a human who wasn't trying would be able to beat a non-human. 6 days is a big lead but they have over a month to lose those days. Each of the factions has particular rewards (mounts/pets/gear/crafting patterns) and it's entirely plausible that a questing human would start by focusing on a faction with a good reward instead of on the one that will take longest to do. Someone who didn't look ahead wouldn't realize which they have to focus on and the 6 day lead could really slip away.

I do like the idea of getting started on the longest ones first and using armory to keep tabs on potential threats. Especially since there actually isn't anything you can do early on which would be 'wasted' time. You need to hit level 90 fast before you can really do anything else and I'd be leveling to 90 pretty fast regardless. And I do want the exalted rewards... Whatever they are!

I feel like I'm guaranteed to lose to any humans that care. I'm just not sure any of those exist.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pandaren Ambassador Details

Ok, so I was pretty intrigued when I saw the realm first achievement for getting exalted with all the different Pandaren factions. Especially since they removed rep gains from running dungeons! If you want to get this achievement you need to be really into daily quests and maybe some other things too. I wanted to take a look at the different factions to see if I could work out what exactly was going to be needed. Dailies reset at 5am and the expansion launches at 3am so it could be possible to squeeze an extra day of dailies out if any dailies can be reached in less than 2 hours.

I'm operating under the assumption that all of these reps start at neutral and therefore require a total of 42000 rep to hit exalted. These numbers get modified by the human racial bonus diplomacy and the guild perk mr popularity. Rather than multiple the rep gains from each source by 1.1 or 1.2 I'm just going to reduce the rep needed to hit each rep level by the same factor, as follows:

Assuming you have one of the 10% reputation buff from either being human or being in a guild...

Rep for friendly - 2727
Cum rep for honoured - 8182
Cum rep for revered - 19091
Cum rep for exalted - 38182

Assuming you have both diplomacy and mr popularity...

Rep for friendly - 2500
Cum rep for honoured - 7500
Cum rep for revered - 17500
Cum rep for exalted - 35000

Being human cuts off 3182 rep. This is probably going to shave off at least a day towards getting the achievement I would think, but a non-human could theoretically make up that gap with 3 peace pipes if it actually makes it into the game? (A consumable item that drops from a rare monster that gives you 1000 rep with every Pandaren faction.)

After the break will be details for each of the 9 factions. There's some interesting stuff that I need to think through but I should have conclusions up tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Guild Experience Progress

Last week I talked a bit about outstanding guild perks. We had 20 days before MoP hit and we were 1500 quests away from getting 10% trade skill-up chance and another 850 quests away from getting 15% more stuff from gathering skills. I opined that I could probably get the 1500 quests on my own since that would only be 75 quests per day. 7 days in, how have things been going?

I've managed to get 420 quests done in 7 days. That's not quite 75 per day but it's close enough that I could probably ramp up if I had to. On the downside I've pounded out all the quests in Vash'jir and Uldum on my DK and picked up Loremaster of Cataclysm so I actually don't have many options left. I'm still doing dailies in various places but if they wouldn't be worth experience they aren't worth guild experience. Realistically my only option would be to start leveling an alt to get access to more quests.

Luckily it really doesn't look like that will be needed. I may have completed 420 quests but other people in the guild completed 872 quests. That's enough to make it pretty much guaranteed that we'll get the skill-up perk even if people slow down a fair bit. Heck, even if we quest at half the rate we did this week we'll even get the gathering perk. Maybe I'll have some spare time to play League of Legends...

Monday, September 10, 2012

PSP Hacks

This weekend I decided to try to find a solution to my squeaky sound effect problem with Final Fantasy VI on the PSP. I couldn't find anything with regards to patching the PSOne game itself but did find some information on hacking a PSP to run a SNES emulator. This sounds like the best of all worlds... Portable so I can play on the bus and original game! Sweet!

I have a newer PSP 3000 which apparently is 'unhackable'. You can't run unsigned programs on it which shut down prior hacks. It does turn out you can run a 'game' which tricks the PSP into running hacked firmware until you turn the system off. From there it's a simple matter of getting the emulator and a ROM. It turns out I have all the ROMs because of my SNES project so I was partway there!

It took some fiddling but I got everything installed on my PSP and tried it out. The emulator loaded up! Woo! Unfortunately it turns out SNES emulators for the PSP are not nearly as advanced as ones for the PC.  They only know how to handle 4 of the 8 graphics modes, for example, and Mode 7 isn't one of them. FFVI actually makes a fair amount of use of Mode 7 which is a bit of a problem. I can remember playing FFV on an emulator without Mode 7 support and it was rough. In some spots you just had a black screen and had to use a FAQ to tell you exactly where to walk. If this happened in FFVI it would sorta negate the whole portable advantage.

Eh, I gave it a try anyway. The first thing I noticed was the pacing was off. Biggs and Wedge seemed to be moving too slowly at times and way too fast at others. I got into a fight and the sound effects, while a little better, were still not SNES quality. I guess the PSP itself can't handle the way the SNES did some sounds?

Test complete I went to put the PSP to sleep and found I couldn't. I don't know if it's the emulator or the firmware hack but the sleep function just doesn't seem to exist. I can't pause/power down while I'm at work. Presumably I could save state, exit the emulator, shut off the PSP, and then go through the firmware hack on the way home... But this sounds a lot like I'm spending 20% of my FFVI time hacking a PSP. This is a deal breaker for me. Even if the graphics and sound worked properly I don't think I could handle losing sleep mode.

So I'm back to my old dilemna. I can play on the SNES (and probably not play much with Mists of Pandaria coming out in two weeks) or I can play on the PSP and suck up the bad sound effects. I played the PSP both to and from work today and think I can probably get over the bad sound. The music remains awesome. I've completed Locke's scenario near the start of the game and am currently escorting Banon through the mines of Narshe.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Final Fantasy VI

A few weeks ago my internet went out (in actuality my router was on the fritz) and I started up a game of FFVI. I didn't make it very far, just far enough to get to the tutorial house in Narshe. There I was surprised when I actually read about save points and rediscovered a feature I'd totally forgotten about... In FFVI when you die you restart at your last save point with most, but not all, of your progress lost. You lose all your treasure and story progression but you actually keep all of your experience and levels. This seems like such a fantastic idea. It forces someone who wants obscure treasure chests to actually survive their way down to them and back out again but it also lets someone who isn't high enough level to fight a boss test it out without cost. Gain a couple levels, fight the boss without running back to the save point. Win, great! Lose and you keep your levels which will make it more feasible to win the next time you get back to him.

It turned out with FFXI, League of Legends, and now World of Warcraft I actually didn't have time to get into FFVI. Yesterday on the bus back from work I finished reading my SQL book and needed something else to do. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and actually buy FFVI for my PSP so I could play it on the bus. (I had to fix my router to pull that off since apparently the PSP will only connect wirelessly.) I started playing this morning and ran into an issue that might keep me from playing after all... The sound effects are terrible on this version. The music seems good for the most part but the sounds are all squeaky/tinny. Including the sound made in combat when you move the cursor or make a selection. I know how good the game should sound so it's driving me crazy. I don't understand how it could have happened... It's like they put some co-op student in charge of porting the sound effect engine over and then didn't bother testing his shoddy work. I wonder if someone hacked the game to fix it? I am not above hacking the third version of a game when it has obvious flaws...

I once again got to the tutorial house in Narshe and the guy beside the save point made it very clear that you lose your experience and levels when you die. This confuses me. Why would they intentionally remove this feature? Gah!

There is one danger to playing FFVI on the bus... I was seriously marking out when Kefka showed up to torch Figaro Castle. Kefka may be too awesome for playing in public. Or maybe I just don't care...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Realm Firsts

It's time for me to ramble on for a while about the potential realm first achievements for the coming World of Warcraft expansion. I got a lot of my information this time around from an awesome blog I've just recently discovered: Kaliope's Crafting Blog. She's gone through all the professions on the beta and given rough ideas for what it will take to max them out quickly. I'm going to throw my own thoughts in there so you're probably better off just going to read her stuff. Now, I did get three realm firsts in Cataclysm (cooking, blacksmithing, inscription) so my thoughts hopefully aren't worthless but they should definitely be taken with a grain of salt since I have no hands on experience with the beta and haven't even really played the game at all in a year and a half. So... What do we have?

Level 90
- Uh... Play a lot more than anyone else?
- I believe Sky had 25 pre-completed quests before Cataclysm launch but I don't know how big of a boost it gave him. Maybe having one quest hub's worth of dailies would be a good idea? I doubt spending a lot of time flying around makes sense but you could cash in a bunch of Molten Front dailies, hearth to Stormwind, and take the airship to Pandaria?
- I thought storing up archaeology fragments would help but it sounds like the old stuff isn't worth any experience at 85. I did it before I looked that up so I'll try and see I guess?
- I guess it makes sense to stock up on things like flasks/food/enchanting scrolls/gems so you can buff up any upgrades you get as you go?
- My gut feeling is doing every dungeon once for the quest experience will help but that spending all your time in dungeons will hurt.
- Herbalism and mining nodes are worth 2/3rds of a monster kill. That's probably good enough to make it optimal to have those two tradeskills? I wouldn't go out of my way to mine or herb but if you run by a node while doing a quest it can only help to pick it up I would think.
- A lot of caffeine or a friend to tag in on your account are pretty much mandatory I think?

Level 90 Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
- All the same as the above except you might be on less of a clock. Maybe a nice consolation prize if you fail at first 90.

Level 90 Monk
- Has to start at level 1 so will take even longer.
- Recruit a friend works, so you can get triple experience until level 80.
- Thinking about it more... The recruitee can actually give free levels to the recruiter. So theoretically if Robb got two characters up to level 80 he could instantly level my monk up to level 80. I'd still have 10 levels to go, of course, but that's a lead that likely can't be beat. It probably takes 20ish hours to get those levels with triple experience and 60ish normally... That's a stupid lead.
- There isn't a level 80 or 85 version. Just the 90.

Challenge Conqueror: Gold
- Be the first person to beat the gold standard time in every challenge dungeon.
- Really not something you can plan on getting quickly since you'd need a group of 5 people to hit max level, get enough gear to do the challenge dungeons, and then practice enough to beat them all in really fast times.
- Since we're focusing on challenge dungeons I really want this (on maybe 5 people at once) but it won't require doing anything differently I don't think.

Pandaren Ambassador
- Get exalted with all 9 of the Panda factions.
- Rep gains from dungeons have been taken out for this expansion so you need to earn all this reputation through quests/daily quests/Farmville.
- I guess the key here is to do every single daily for all the factions every day? They removed the 25 daily quest per day cap so this seems feasible?
- There may or may not be an item (Hozen Peace Pipe) which gives 1000 rep with every faction. You may be able to buy these?
- When I saw this achievement and saw that they took dungeon rep out I immediately thought that this achievement is Sthenno's for the taking if he came back to play.

- Apparently alchemy is going to a random learning system. When you make something you might learn a new recipe. Some recipes are better than others for leveling... So you need to get lucky and randomly learn those ones?
- The last few points either need a bunch of mining bars or a couple SoH.
- You may be able to do this with only like 8 stacks of herbs total if you get the right recipes? And 5 stacks of ghost iron or 3 hours worth of SoH...

- Fishing can be done anywhere. Average 5.5 casts per level the whole way up. So fish for a couple hours and hope you're the luckiest!
- Can potentially store up a quest worth 2 fishing skill.
- Optimal speed is to fish right beside the trainer in a major city. Taking a few minutes to get to Pandaria will let you get some fish for cooking.

- All pre-MoP stuff is worth nothing in terms of leveling.
- As you gain skill the dig sites start spawning in harder zones.
- Rogues probably have an advantage because of vanish as a result?
- Feels like you should store up 200 of each token before you start making things in the hopes that you can spawn more things in low level zones?
- Apparently it only took 2.5 hours for Kaliope to get this done on the beta.

- Requires a SoH to get a recipe to finish it off.
- Can be done entirely with the base ore. 25 stacks of ore. And one Cata shield spike!
- Seems a _ton_ easier than in Cata where you had to hit level 84 to get it done thanks to phasing. Here you just need ore and to farm for a couple hours for a SoH.

- Wow, did cooking change a ton!
- There are 6 different cooking skills. Your main cooking skill is the highest of these ways.
- Recipes require a ton of ingredients. Especially vegetables. Which you can eventually grow on your farm but will be very tricky for realm first.
- To finish it off you need vendor spices that you get via cooking dailies. You can do one per way, apparently. The spices are not BoP. So whoever gets realm first here will almost certainly be borrowing spices from friends or buying them on the AH should people be selling them.
- Kaliope said it took 20 hours of solid farming to get this... Seems extreme and I bet it goes to someone with cash instead.

- You can convert dust and essences back and forth to streamline things a little.
- Rods are gone.
- It seems like you just need to gather a bunch of mats and then make things. Nothing tricky going on at all.
- Looks like you need a little more than 3 stacks each of dust and essences? I don't know how this compares to Cata but it sounds pretty cheap.

- Requires either 2 SoH or a couple rare gems.
- It sounds like engineers get lots of cool things but the leveling is a huge pain.
- Sounds like it needs close to 40 stacks of ore, so a lot more than blacksmithing.

- Just pick a bunch of flowers.
- Make sure you get a +10 skill item (like a gnomish army knife) so you can herb things ASAP.
- Probably involves trying to survive in a high level zone?

- Rare cuts are learned randomly this time, one per day, instead of needing 3 dailies to get one of your choice.
- Jewelcrafter only gems are found when prospecting which is a huge buff compared to needing to spend daily tokens on them!
- You probably need 10 of the same rare gem to hit max. So you need to either get lucky and buy some or prospect enough ore to get them. Maybe this takes 30 stacks of ore. Maybe it takes 50. Who knows!
- Certainly it sounds like you can get this in a short period of time if you buy enough ore.

- Like blacksmithing it'll take a SoH to buy the last recipe you use.
- Will take like 17 stacks of leather to go with that SoH. Presumably you can skin that up while farming the SoH?

- Make a lot of bandages.
- Sounds like the trainer teaches everything you need. So you just need your 6 stacks of cloth and a trainer. Sounds pretty easy.

- Mine a bunch of rocks.
- Same as herbalist. Just jump off the boat, run to a hopefully player-light area and mine a ton.

- Also runs on a discovery system. Hopefully the one glyph you learn is orange until near the cap!
- Inscription makes all of the shoulder enchants now (no more rep grind!) so presumably you can level up a bit making stuff that people will actually use.
- Of course, the new glyphs will probably be worth a fortune as well.
- Sounds like you need less than 3 stacks of ink to cap. Which is what, 15 stacks of herbs? So more than alchemy, but you don't need a SoH.

- Uh, kill some beasts. Skin them.

- Also needs a single SoH to buy a recipe.
- Sounds like it takes 22 stacks of cloth.
- Again has a daily cooldown that requires you to stand in a certain zone. I haven't done tailoring ever so I don't know how annoying that is, but at least it sounds like you don't need that cloth to max out.

There are also a few guild realm first's...

Grand Empress Shek'Zeer, Sha of Fear, Will of the Emperor
- Kill the end boss on heroic of a 10/25 man raid.
- Nothing to prepare for beforehand, really. Just be the best raiding guild on your server.

Guild Level 30
- Recruit every idiot you can find and convince them to do quests?

Working as a Better Team
- Get all the professions maxed out by people in the guild.
- The Cata version of this sucked because it took 3 weeks to get the reputation to get credit. That's gone now, so this should just be a race to who can get all the things first. I feel like we would have had the Cata one if the rep restriction wasn't there (we did get like 5 of the crafting realm firsts, after all).
- Someone is claiming any given character could only count once? So despite having blacksmithing and cooking on Recolada I would only satisfy one of those requirements? I don't know what to think about that.

Some of these sound interesting. I can probably stick with blacksmithing and jewelcrafting if I'm willing to buy 60 stacks of ore. How much is a stack of ore going to go for? I could realistically afford to spend almost 4k a stack, but if it's anywhere near that price I'd rather switch to mining like I did last time. But if we're talking 200g per stack? I'll just be a buyer. I don't remember the prices at Cata launch but I don't think it was much more than 100g?

That said, I do enjoy mining and with no jewelcrafting tokens to start farming immediately I don't know that I want to hold onto jewelcrafting either...

Fishing into cooking is always interesting.

Heck, it's tempting to just play my rogue for a few hours to get inscription up. Getting the daily discovery process started there could be big money! (Though I guess the same is true of jewelcrafting...)

I would like Working as a Better Team but I don't know that enough people are coming back to get that one. Especially if we need 15 distinct people to cover every profession.

And then the daily quest rep grind is intriguing as well... Options, options...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

World of Farmville

I used to play Farmville on Facebook back when it was a relatively new thing. It gets (justifiably) trashed by most gamers but I actually liked it while I was playing it. It didn't have a ton of depth or breadth in terms of strategy but there was a little bit in working out the optimal things to plant at what times (pretty much everything had different costs, rewards, and time to bloom) and I did like visiting other people's farms to see what they were doing. I also am not put off by repetitive tasks for irrelevant rewards... They don't call me 'the Insane' for nothing! I ended up quitting for a few reasons: the novelty wore off, they shifted even more heavily into a 'spam your friends' model, and they removed pigs as a gift option. I used to give everyone a pig every day and was very amused when I'd visit some people who didn't get many gifts... Their farm was full of pigs!

World of Warcraft is adding a farming minigame in Mists of Pandaria that has me pretty excited. Each player gets their own little instanced farm with a house so the demand for player housing has finally been at least partially met. You get to start off planting 4 seeds per day and can get up to planting 16 per day. There are tons of different seeds (19) and you can grow many types of vegetables for cooking along with any crafting materials. (cloth/leather/ore/herbs/motes of harmony) Each day a different thing grows best so there's the potential for planning out the 'right' seed to plant each day. Apparently you can grow trees to plant in the game world ala Glitch (though they only last 3 minutes instead of until killed). There are 10 different NPCs that deal with the farm and you get individual reputation bars with all of them. Including the generic 'Tillers' reputation that gives 11 different things to grind up on the farm! Each of the friends will upgrade your farm in some way when you reach max friendship with them. The only downside I see here is everyone will ultimately get the same upgrades. I think it would be better if individual farms were customized with furniture based on the player choices like in FFXI and I bet that comes down the pipe in a future patch.

It's hard to tell from beta stories but it sounds like farming might actually be a really good way of generating spirits of harmony which are the new BoP crafting item which is used in all sorts of ways and replaces the elemental ingredients from previous expansions. It also sounds like you need a stupidly large number of vegetables for cooking various things so just growing those might make sense too. The ore/herbs can apparently give you a fair number of the rare drops from those as well... I guess the prices of the different things is something to keep an eye on once it all goes live.

You need to be level 90 to really work the farm (Tillers rep only starts being earned from harvesting when you're level 90 for some reason) but you can get started with planting vegetables right at 85. I wonder if it would be worth running farms on alts? I'm guessing no but I guess that remains to be seen as well. I just worry that some of the tedium will creep into it if done on too many characters every day and I really want to max everything on my main (there are achievements!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

World of Warcraft: Guild Perks

When the guild leveling system was introduced in the last expansion it seemed pretty cool. You'd pick up random bonuses every now and then as the guild leveled up but the content would have all been balanced around no one having any of those bonuses because no one could have had them right away. They put restrictions on how fast a guild could level which meant they could be sure when specific bonuses would enter play and they could know most guilds would get them at around the same time.

Like with any other initially optional bonus I'd imagine they're now balancing everything around the fact that everyone has all of the guild bonuses. Even with only moderate play over the last two years you'd have hit the guild level cap a long time ago. Now these bonuses don't feel so much like bonuses as they do penalties if you don't happen to have them. My guild doesn't have them all. The guild as a whole pretty much withered and died a year and a half ago and the guild ended up at level 19 of 25. So we're missing out on...

- 10% honour points
- 25% flight path speed
- 10% trade skill-up chance
- 15% more stuff from mining/herbalism/skinning/disenchanting
- 10% discount from all vendors
- the mass resurrection spell

We're also far from the two new bonuses added in Mists...

- double speed rest accumulation
- 10% discount on transmog/void storage costs

Ok, the new bonuses seem pretty mediocre. Some of the existing stuff is pretty relevant (especially if one is trying for realm first achievements) but I guess not really the end of the world. Mass res seems pretty useful in dungeons but presumably we'd get up to it before hitting the challenge dungeons anyway, right?

Turns out, definitely. Blizzard made a couple significant changes to guild experience in the last patch. They completely removed the daily cap (which will let very active guilds catch up) and they changed it so low level characters earn the same amount of guild experience as a max level character. I can remember being pretty disappointed at how little guild experience/reputation our low level dungeon team was earning so I'm really in favour of this change. But how much of an impact will this have?

I finally tricked Robb into starting a character on the weekend and we played a little on Saturday and a lot on Monday. In maybe 12 hours of play his character is already up to the 22nd on the list of guild experience earned. He alone earned more in getting to level 51 than the old daily cap for an entire guild! As far as reputation goes we're already into revered where it used to take 3 weeks just to hit honoured. Between our two characters we got more than a third of a guild level. And we weren't getting any bonuses for doing things in a guild group... Makes me wonder how much the old low level dungeon group could be pulling in? My warlock in that group ended up at level 54 and pulled in a total of 620k guild experience. The warlock I'm leveling with Robb is level 52 with 7.74M guild experience. And was leveling at triple speed the whole time... That's quite the difference.

When it comes to perks for realm first achievements the skill-up chance is the big one. Getting more stuff from gathering skills will make it cheaper but shouldn't actually make it faster unless money ends up being a real limiting factor. How much experience will it take to get to those two? We're currently 90M away from the skill-ups and 141M away from the gathering stuff. At 60k guild experience from every quest completed that's only 1500 quests from the first one. With 20 days left that's only 75 quests per day... I might be able to do that on my own! (They removed the personal cap on daily quests per day as well so you can do more than 25 dailies if you want now.) And of course I'm not the only person playing right now. We actually had 5 people on for a good chunk on Monday. Looking at the numbers now it actually seems entirely reasonable to get at least the first bonus before the expansion launches. At least if I spend my time doing quests instead of flying around saving up archaeology fragments...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Archaeology Rare Items

It doesn't look like there's any max level gear to pick up via archaeology this time around which makes this list a little less useful than the Cataclysm list was, I would think. On the plus side with pet battles existing it could be really useful to know specifically which races you need to dig to pick up any pets you may be missing. Especially with the new Mists feature where you can cash in the new junk items to pick up fragments for old races. And who knows, maybe you really want to get some mediocre BoA gear for leveling an alt! Having it all listed in one place should still be useful. So here's all the rare/epic items broken down by type of item.

Clockwork Gnome Dwarf100
Fossilized Hatchling Fossil85
Pterrordax Hatchling *NEW*Fossil120
Crawling Claw Tol'Vir150
Voodoo Figurine *NEW*Troll100

Fossilized Raptor Fossil100
Scepter of Azj'Aqir Tol'Vir150
Canopic Jar Tol'Vir45

BoA Gear
Quillen Statuette *NEW*Mogu180
Queen Azshara's Dressing Gown Night Elf100
Headdress of the First Shaman Orc130
Spear of Xuen *NEW*Pandaren180
Umbrella of Chi-Ji *NEW*Pandaren180
Nifflevar Bearded Axe Vrykul130

85 Epic Gear
Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissian Dwarf150
Extinct Turtle Shell *NEW*Fossil150
Tyrande's Favorite Doll Night Elf150
Ring of the Boy Emperor Tol'Vir150
Scimitar of the Sirocco Tol'Vir150
Staff of Ammunae Tol'Vir150
Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds Troll150

Vanity Items
Arrival of the Naaru Draenei124
The Last Relic of Argus Draenei130
Chalice of the Mountain Kings Dwarf100
The Innkeeper's Daughter Dwarf150
Ancient Amber *NEW*Fossil100
Anatomical Dummy *NEW*Mogu180
Blessing of the Old God Nerubian140
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron Nerubian140
Bones of Transformation Night Elf150
Druid and Priest Statue Set Night Elf100
Highborne Soul Mirror Night Elf100
Kaldorei Wind Chimes Night Elf98
Wisp Amulet Night Elf150
Pendant of the Scarab Storm Tol'Vir150
Haunted Ward Drum *NEW*Troll100
Vrykyl Drinking Horn *NEW*Vrykul100