Archive for ellyza

How to Level to 80 Quickly in World of Warcraft

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Don’t do what I’m doing. Seriously. OK, I’ll admit it. The title was a cheap trick to see how much search engine traffic I could grab from people too lazy to download QuestHelper or Carbonite, which is technically lazy to begin with. By now, I’m sure most of those poor misled individuals have stopped reading, so back to my small group of dedicated readers.

Devv is only halfway through level 71. Predatore is still stuck at 58. And Arpeggio is up to level 10 now. Wait. Who? Yeah. I know. Of all the things I could have done to make best use of the forty bucks I dropped on Wrath, I’m leveling a new alt; a Dwarf Hunter, to be exact. Arpeggio has been stuck at level 5 ever since Kaddisfly prompted me to create a Hunter to level. I knocked out the quick quests to get from level 1 to 5, then let him sit in Coldridge Valley for several weeks.

The Hunter class is at its most boring from levels 5 to 10. Up to level 5, you almost level just from walking into a new zone. After level 10, you have a pet to keep you company and to do most of the grunt work for you. But the grind from 5 to 10 is unbearably slow and boring. For starters, you’re knee-deep in melee combat. Beyond level 10, a Hunter should never be getting involved in melee combat unless they’re getting themselves out of a bad situation. Oh sure, you can open with a Viper Sting, throw in an Arcane Shot and try to kite Auto-Shot until the mob drops. But the sad reality is that at some point, you’ll be face-to-face with any mob that’s within a level or two of your own. Even Raptor Strike seems to be more about Blizzard showcasing a cool little animation than the damage it actually deals. It’s not until you acquire Concussive Shot that you can finish an entire one-on-one fight ranged. But the key words here are “one-on-one” If you get adds, you’re still playing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with the cuddly critters and humanoids of *Insert Starting Zone Name Here*.

But I digress. Actually, this entire blog is a digression. Never mind the man behind the curtain. The point to be made here is that I’m really not getting my money’s worth out of the expansion. If I spent a lot of time with Devv out in Northrend, my investment would be justified. Death Knights can’t be created without purchasing the add-on. Leveling Predatore would make sense. What am I doing? Leveling a character who I could be playing even if I didn’t own Burning Crusade. That makes sense. So what started this whole mess? I decided that I was… wait! It seems like I should start a new paragraph.

Cool. I decided that I wanted to level Ellyza so I could get her Enchanting up to the point where I could disenchant the drops that Devv was picking up right before Northrend. Enchantress (bank alt #2) is sitting on full bank tab and two 16-slot bags full of goodies that require Enchanting level 275 to DE. When I logged into the old girl, she had 11 talent points free and a clean slate. I decided to ditch my Disc leveling idea and throw all of the points into Shadow. I took her out to Redridge Mountains to finish up the quests that she still had open before sending her off to Auberdine. It took me all of about five minutes for me to realize that leveling a Priest sucks. Sure, they can melt faces later on in life. And if you manage your health and mana accordingly, you can survive long fights. But at level 20, Priests just seem like underpowered Mages with the ability to Rez and Heal. I really hope I didn’t offend any Priests out there. It’s not that the class sucks. It’s that I suck at playing the class. I think I’m gonna need some advice from Pugnacious Priest on this one.

So, back to Arpeggio. I quickly got frustrated with Ellyza, had no interest in enduring low framerates in Northrend, and wanted nothing to do with jockeying for position for my turn to kill mobs in Eastern Plaguelands. So I logged out to the character select screen and noticed my old pal Arpeggio chillin’ at cinco. It took me just shy of two hours to get to level 10. After the pet taming questline, I decided to pick my first pet. I made the conscious decision to pick a pet that appealed to me personally. At the highest levels, pet selection can make a massive difference. In PvP, your pet can make or break you. But as a “just for fun” leveling alt, I decided to bypass the Petopia research and just go with something fun. With that in mind, I tamed a wolf just north of Kharanos. Sticking with the musical theme, I named him Allegro. OK, OK. Here’s the story. Shot rotation is half the fun of being a Hunter. The distinction between the different flavors of shots is much like an arpeggiated chord. Allegro, on the other hand, likes to go rushing in to whup some ace.

When I went to bed last night, Arpeggio and Allegro were nestled snugly in their beds in Ironforge. The former learned a little Mining and Engineering before calling it a night. His pet made it clear that he is notgonna eat bread before getting some shuteye himself. So, yet another distraction enters the fold. If I can stay focused enough to actually level Arpeggio beyond 20, I’m sure I’ll become even more addicted to reading Pike‘s thoughts than I already am. Even if you’re not a Hunter, her blog is one of the better ones out there. Do yourself a favor and check it out. As for me, I’ll get the Armory listings for Arpeggio and Predatore added when I get home later tonight. If anybody on my roster makes it to 80, it’s gonna be a frickin’ miracle!

Argent Dawn Goodies

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on November 4, 2008 by Mark Pannell

On the urging of WoW Insider, I decided that I needed to get my butt in gear and start grinding some Necrotic Runes. If PvP gear is considered to be welfare epics, then the purples that the Argent Dawn are offering up are like soup kitchen epics. At 15 Necrotic Runes a piece, any newly-minted level 70 with an hour or two of free time can upgrade their green and blue shoulders and gloves to purples. Granted, I would not recommend using these bad boys as general purpose armor pieces. This isn’t PvP gear and it’s certainly not raid quality. But it’s not bad stuff for dailies. At any rate, I racked up enough Necrotic Runes to get the shoulders, the gloves, the tabard, and two trinkets. The first trinket that I grabbed set me back 40 Runes. But with it came my very own Argent Crusader, complete with mount. He/she fights by your side for some arbitrary amount of time. At the end of that time, they bubble-hearth away. Freakin’… awesome! Honestly, if the price had been 200 Runes, I would have grinded it out. Granted, your defender is only level 60, but I can’t wait to take her out to farm Runecloth.

Along the way, I picked up another Feats of Strength achievement for grabbing the Argent Dawn tabard. And speaking of tabards, my guild tabard is yet again more colorful than blank gray. While I was grinding out said Runes, I partied up with a nearby Pally who, noticing my lack of guild, invited me to his. Since I had nothing to lose, I accepted the invitation and scoped out the roster. With about 15-20 level 70’s of varied classes on a 75-man roster, I definitely took a step up from my previous guild. But like Cool Kids, The Sunset Raiders generally don’t have a large percentage of their members online at any given time. They’re not a raiding guild. They’re not quite a leveling guild. Really, they appear to be 75 guys and girls wearing the same tabard and shooting the breeze in gchat. That’s not a bad place for me to be right now. Later on down the line, I’d like to get into a more serious raiding guild. But for now, it’s nice to grab party members for quests and world events in gchat rather than having to PUG everything

On a completely different note, I had to create a second bank alt this morning. Benjamins is pretty particular about only keeping cloth in his tabs. So, Enchantress was born and assigned the task of keeing an eye on all of the armor and weapons that Ellyza can’t disenchant yet. Devv is racking up pieces that require Enchanting level 275 to DE, but Ellyza is level-capped at 225. When she gets to 275, she’ll be dropping Arcane Dust and Lesser Planar Essence like it ain’t no thing. What cracks me up is that I actually spend time to choose the race, class, look, and name of my bank alts. I could just grab the first character that pops up and name them randomly for all it matters. But I careful crafted a female Human Priest with just the right hair and named her something ridiculously cliche before sending her into Ironforge to be neglected for the rest of her life. At least Benjamins has a tuxedo. Enchantress is in her starting zone clothes. I even stripped her of her mace so she didn’t poke an eye out. Jesus, this blog has gone downhill in a hurry. I’m just gonna stop while I’m only a little bit behind. Please go check out the newest post at Critical QQ if you feel dumber for having read my entry. It deals with the Arcane tree and it’s 100% less retarded than this post.

The Grind

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Since my last post, Ellyza did, indeed, ding 20. I bought her enough mats to get her enchanting to 225. Consequently, Devv is building up a stockpile of Arcane Dust. For the first time since the old girl hit Outlands, Netherweave Cloth is now the bottleneck for creating Bolts of Imbued Netherweave. With a few stacks of Arcane Dust in the bank, she’s making the bolts as quickly as she can farm the cloth. Also in the bank tab are three stacks of Netherweb Spider Silk. As I mentioned earlier, Devv’s rested XP this time around was reserved for grinding rep and profession drops.

When Ellyza made it to 20, Devv was sitting on just shy of enough rested XP to make it to 67. Her actual progress was only about 6% of the way into 66. The three things that I wanted to accomplish before dinging 70 were getting Honored with Lower City and The Scryers and gathering enough Netherweb Spider Silk to make all of my tailoring specialization patterns. The beautiful thing about Terokkar Forest is the proximity of grinding areas for Sunfury Signets, Arakkoa Feathers, and Netherweb Spider Silk.

While gathering the silk, I noticed that the Spirit Towers were about to become capturable. General chat started filling up with talk of capping them. I quickly grabbed the repeatable quest and headed out into the open, flagging myself for PvP on the way. I started whispering people to see if they wanted to group for the capture of the towers. Moments later, I was the group leader of five level 70’s who had all done it before. There were some pretty intense moments, but we took the five towers without ever encountering the Horde. We would get to four towers and they would cap one that we had all strayed from. In the end, we left guys at each of the towers and never wound up fighting anyone to keep them.

Hours later, when the towers were up for grabs again, I got my first taste of world PvP. I rode up to the East tower and found a level 65 Blood Elf Mage nestled into the rear doorway. She was wearing about the same gear that I had equipped, including the Lupine helm that completely conceals the face. Because of this, she did not respond to me in any way. I opened with Dragon’s Breath and a quick Fire Blast. She finally moved, but was slow to start casting. She opened with Arcane Missiles as I prepped a Fireball with the added punch of Combustion. As I dropped a Blast Wave, I failed to notice what my nemesis was casting. I glanced at our respective healths and saw that I was at about 75% while she was down to about 25%. When I glanced back at Devv, she was a sheep. The Blood Elf blinked away and I was sure that she would either make a run for it, grab some potions, or use a Mana Ruby. She appeared to be doing nothing. When the Polymorph wore off, I was back to full health and all of my cooldowns were up. Oddly, my suspicions were correct. She had done nothing. Sitting on about 28% health, she started casting a Frostbolt. My next Dragon’s Breath stunned her and interrupted the cast. The Fire Blast that followed also stunned her. This bought me enough time to get most of a Fireball cast, which proved to be the fatal blow. And with it came my first HK from world PvP. Seconds later, the tower was mine. And there was much rejoice.

A bit later, Kotasky from the guild popped online. As a newly-minted 60, she was working her way through the mountain of quests in Hellfire Penninsula. I wrapped up in Terokkar and flew out to meet her near Honor Hold. It had been 10 or 15 levels since we had last grouped. We knocked out a couple quests before Horgath popped online. He was all hyped up for an instance. We decided to hit Blood Furnace for some quick goodies. With two Mages and a Hunter, we’d have to be pretty selective about who filled the last two slots. We determined that to be effective, we’d have to hold out for a tank and a healer. Instead, we took another Hunter and a Warrior who had never tanked. Yeah. That will be the subject of my next post.

Two Down, Two to Go

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , on October 5, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Last night, Ellyza dinged 18. She now has points spread across all three trees. Something that occurred to me as I was distributing them last night is that Disc Priests get very little press. Shadow and Holy are the rock stars of the class. But I’ll be damned if Discipline doesn’t have some interesting talents. I may have to re-think my leveling spec for her.

Last night was kind of fun for me. Despite the fact that I hate Auberdine, I wound up enjoying my questing quite a bit. I quickly discovered that I wouldn’t have to do as many quests to get to 18 as I had originally planned. So I wound up getting pretty selective, abandoning any quest that I found to be cumbersome. I shot through the forests and hills of Auberdine, ending the misery of Rabid Thistle Bears and stalking Moonstalkers. I racked up some nice rep with Darnassus in the process. I’ll follow the same process as Devv, getting Exalted with Darnassus before I reach 60 so my first Epic will be a Stormsaber. Draenei just look so much cooler on those cats than dumpy Elekks.

As I wandered about Darnassus, I came across several Night Elves in their mid teens. With a ton of low level mats at my disposal, I offered to do some enchants on just about every toon I came near. Many were quite appreciative of my efforts, one even tipping me 1G. Now I know that doesn’t sound like much, but 1G is a nice chunk of change for a level 18 on a separate account from my main. It easily paid for all of her level 18 training and repairs with about 50S left to bank.

I wound up going to bed relatively early last night. I figured that if I could get Ellyza through two-and-a-half levels in an evening, I could easily get her to 20 tonight. Then the chills set in. A little while later, I felt some congestion building up and dripping into my throat. Booooo! So, I might not get Ellyza to her magic number this evening, but I’m sure it will be soon. The family is moving into a new house on Friday, so I need to kick this thing in the next five days. That said, my WoW time will probably give way to naps if this thing takes hold of me like the last cold did. If my next update is a few days off, you’ll know that the Zicam didn’t quite cut it.

Alt-Bouncing, Spending Quality Time with Devv

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Lately, when I play WoW, my time is spent bouncing between alts for various reasons. I have six toons who see regular action, another who sees occasional playing time, and an AH/bank mule. Five of the active toons are in my main’s guild. My fellow guildies make fun of me and say that I have multiple personality disorder.

Dantei, a level 215 Engineer, makes Crafted Heavy Shot for Kaddisfly. Ellyza disenchants low level greens, enchants my lowbie toons’ gear, then sells the excess mats at AH. Raulduke makes some rings and necklaces for my lowbies, but he’s about to give up Jewelcrafting for Skinning. Paired with Mining, he’ll be my workhorse out in the field, gathering mats for his brothers and sisters. Kaddisfly… well, he pretty much just takes without giving anything back. He needs his ammo from Dantei, his Rumsey’s Black Label Rum from his sugar momma, Devv, and his pots from his guildie, Airdrie. The only thing he does do for himself is fishing to feed Pignewton. Aside from that, his job is to pwn in BG’s, gathering marks and honor in anticipation of a possible ascension to level 29 to rule the 20-29 bracket.

When I am logged into my two accounts (Ellyza and Raulduke are a separate account), I bounce back and forth between five toons, sending each other mats and gold. If I did things intelligently, I would just create a guild for my alts and pool all of the mats and gold. But I really enjoy participating in guild chat while I’m crafting goodies and browsing the AH. Most of the time, the gang is all in IF, gaining mad quantities of rested XP. The upside is that when I do level them, I fly through each level. The downside is that they rarely get out of IF as I routinely need their skills and access to their respective bank tabs. But the biggest downside is that my main, Devv, has been kind of overlooked. She’s been stuck at level 62 for a couple weeks now. Her open quests are all in Zangarmarsh, but she hasn’t ventured farther than Brewfest from IF in a while. That is, until today.

Depending mostly on teleportation as a mode of transportation lately, I finally busted out the hearthstone and shot myself back into the thick of things. Zangarmarsh and the promise of gold and better gear became irresistable sometime before work this morning. I killed some Mire Hydras, collected some soil samples, turned in Unidentified Plant Parts for Cenarion Expedition rep, and got back to what I love about WoW: being a mage. Devv is about 90% through level 62 and I have every intention of dinging 63 tonight. After that, she’ll probably go back to camping out in IF for a while. I just can’t see leveling her right before a patch drops that reduces the XP required to level from 60 to 70. I know it’s probably laziness and a total noob move, but I’m not wasting any more time than necessary to get to 70. The quests are fun and all, but I’m more interested in PvP than end-game raiding.

Speaking of PvP, Kaddisfly will be entering WSG as a fully twinked level 19 for the first time tonight. Well, he’s not quite fully twinked. He stills needs Enchant 2H Weapon Agility on his Twisted Chanter’s Staff. And he needs the stamina enchant re-applied to his new bracers, but aside from that, he’s done. And working his way to 19 made me realize something. I want to level a Hunter. Yeah, yeah… I know. But they seem like a hell of a lot of fun. Screw it! I’m doing it!

A Little History

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by Mark Pannell

If you’ve discovered this site and you’re not me, I’m doing something right. And if that’s the case, I should probably give you a little something to chew on. As of this posting, I am a 33-year-old husband, father, and retail manager. I’m also a hopeless World of Warcraft addict. But this is a recent development. Read on, my friends.

The juggernaut MMORPG know as World of Warcraft has been making waves since 2004. For the better part of the four years since the game’s release, I’ve been a huge skeptic of an IP with 10 million people willingly ponying up fifteen snaps a month to wander around fantasyland. So, in early July, when one of the ever-growing population of my WoW-playing co-workers started pressuring me to play a ten day trial account, I balked at the idea. Persistent, he absolutely guaranteed me that I would be addicted within ten days. At this point, he had laid down the gauntlet. I took the trial code not out of interest but rather, to prove him wrong. At first, I stuck to my guns. I created a Troll Mage, leveled him to 5, then realized that all of my friends and co-workers on the realm were Alliance. Mother of Pearl!

After a little bit of tinkering, I decided that I wanted to be a Draenei. Of course, that meant buying the game and the expansion. As luck would have it, I had a gift card for Best Buy. What the hell, I figured. If it’s as good as everybody says, then at least I’ll have the character that I really want. If I wind up hating the game, I’m not out any “real” money. And thus, Devv, my Draenei Mage, was born. From 0-10, I wasn’t really impressed. It was repetitive, boring nonsense and I couldn’t really do any cool stuff. At level 10, I had a co-worker come get me and lead me from Exodar to Ironforge… on foot. He showed me the areas to level from 11-20, set me up at the Inn in IF, gave me 5G, then turned me loose. Somewhere between 10 and 15, my initial ten day trial expired. The addiction was starting to set in.

By the time I dinged 20, I was falling in love with the mechanics of the game. I had discovered curse.com and installed some very helpful add-ons. I might have even gone overboard at first. Aside from the aesthetics of the game, I was really starting to enjoy what a mage brought to the table. I had just learned Blink and spent about an hour Blinking into, out of, over, and past things. At the time, it was a party trick. I really didn’t “get” the game yet. I also got the gift of Teleportation. No more schlepping around on smelly boats and Hippogryphs. I joined a guild that was widely regarded as the “minor leagues” for one of the most respected guilds on the server. The members weren’t very active and those that were liked to solo. I was having fun, but I knew that there had to be more to the game.

Somewhere around level 25, the patch dropped that made mounts available at level 30. While everyone whined and moaned on Trade Chat, I silently celebrated. I really wasn’t looking forward to the grind from 25 to 40. Sometime in my early 30’s, my bank account showed over 1000G. My tailoring and mining had paid off. At 40, I started selling ports to further supplement my income. I was a gold machine! And then, Blizzard announced the Zhevra mount for Refer-A-Friend. I needed to get my hands on one of these bad boys. On a whim, I hopped in the car, ran down to Best Buy, and bought another copy of the WoW Battlechest and a 60 day game card. I came home, installed the monstrosity on my laptop, went through the necessary steps to link the accounts, and collected my Zhevra mount. I sat back with a grin on my face, admiring the icon that would become an actual mount at level 60. The smile faded as the realization set in. I was completely… and totally… addicted.

Nowadays, Devv is at level 62. I’m confident that I could have had her to 70 by now if I really wanted. But with the pre-WotLK patch coming, the XP needed to get from 60 to 70 is supposed to drop significantly. I can’t see grinding it out now when it’ll be so much easier in a month or so. Yes, I understand that statement probably makes me a noob, but guess what. I am a noob. I’ve been playing slightly less than three months. I think, by definition, a noob is exactly what I am. I’m OK with that. But I did pretty good for a noob. by the time I dinged 60, I was sitting on over 2000G. As of this writing, I’m down to just over 500G. Why? As it turns out, I’m a bit of an altaholic.

I have a level 20 Gnome Rogue named Dantei who has been camped out in IF for two months and changes professions based on the needs of my otheralts. He’s leveled five professions to 225 only to dump his skills when somebody needs something. I have a level 14 Draenei Priest named Ellyza and a level 14 Draenei Shaman named Raulduke. My fury with the Alliance’s inability to everwin BG’s in the 50-59 bracket prompted the creation of a Blood Elf Mage. Imbroglio was rolled specifically to be leveled to 59 and rack up honor and marks when the Allies just aren’t getting it done. He’s currently at level 21. Deciding to roll an eventual twink peaked my interest in the twinking process. Sitting on all that gold, I decided that I wasn’t patient enough to level a toon to 59 before I could own in BG’s. I needed that experience right now!

This is the part of the story where my bank account goes from 2000G to just over 500G. I wanted to get Devv’s tailoring to 375 before she dinged 70, so I bought an awful lot of Netherweave Cloth and Arcane Dust to facilitate this. That and my epic mount knocked me down quite a bit. But the meat and potatoes of the red ink belong to a long-haired hunter freak named Kaddisfly. He alone will be the subject of my first “official” post. Stay tuned, friends!

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