Pre Cataclysm Goals

I mentioned in a recent post that it was important to have in-game goals.  As proof that I practice what I teach, I decided to give some insight into my Pre-Cataclysm goals with this post.  I challenge you to use this as an example and make your own list of things that you want to get done before Cataclysm.

With just under 2 months to go before Cataclysm hits, I sat down and penned out a rough list of the things that I want to try to accomplish in-game before Dec. 7th.  This is just my list for Sam, but rest assured, I’ve got plenty of goals for my other toons as well.  Before I get to that list, here’s a few things I took care of this past weekend. 

  • The Diplomat – Leveled both Sporeggar (revered) and Timbermaw (friendly) Rep to exalted.  If you’re grinding timbermaw, don’t turn in any feathers / beads until you hit revered.  Trust me.
  • Gaurdian of Cenarius – Leveled Cenarian Circle (Honored) and Cenarian Expedition (2.5k rep short) to exalted.  I soloed (and I mean full clear) Steamvault without dying for the Cenarian Expedition Rep; give that a try if you want a challenge managing cooldowns.
  • The Keymaster – Completed upon acquiring the keys to Blackrock Depths, Dire Maul, and Shattered Halls.  Completed the achievements for clearing BRD and DM while I was at it.  Kinda funny to have all the keys with the max lockpicking, but hey, it’s an achieve.
  • 75 Pets –  (Have 77 now) Got the engineering schematics for ‘Lil Smoky and Pet Bombling and crafted these pets on my Paladin.  I had a lucky drop from outland fishing quest for Chuck.  Purchased the rest from vendors that I hadn’t yet acquired.
  • Pest Control – Figured I’d kill the last 3 I needed while I was running around.
  • Classic Raider – Downed C’thun as my only remaining requirement.

And now, past the break is the lengthy list of things I’d like to attempt to get done before the world gets torn asunder.

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Deckswabber to Swashbuckler

In honor of Zug Gaming’s Help a Noob Day, I’m going to spend some time today discussing various things newer players who have recently reached or are nearing the level cap prepare for life after leveling.  We’ve still got some time left in this expansion before the next one hits, so a lot of this will be geared toward preparation for Cataclysm.

If you’re completely new to the game, and you want to level a Rogue, I’ve actually covered that before, so I would recommend you start here.  It’s an in-depth look at the basics of the class, and if you follow the links at the end of each post, you can find guides that will get you from 1-80.  Also, I do have an email set up specifically for answering questions, so hit that link on the sidebar if you need any help.

And now, it’s time to stop Swabbin’ the deck, and start Buckling the Swash.

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Where Did Sam Go?

As I was checking my email this morning I came across this one:

I am an avid reader of your blog, but notice a distinct lack of posts since the incident with the guildie and the train set.  Hopefully that is not the cause of the decline in posts and it is other pesky issues like work or real life.  If it is the cause well…suck it up princess, time to get back at it. (jk)  Just wanted to let you know you were missed and look forward to your return.

– Mike

Well Mike (and everyone else who is wondering), it’s completely unrelated to that incident.  Guild wise, things are going great, and any speculation toward some hardcore depression on my part are bogus.   Here’s what’s really going on:

  1. Remember that whole buying a new house thing?  Well all the work we had done on our new house got completed a few weeks back, but the actual move is on the way.  Since the house is about 3 miles from our current one, we’re doing most of the moving ourselves.  It’s crunch time for us to get some moving in before our Anniversary trip, and unfortunately, the Mrs. has Strep, so I’m pulling double duty at the moment.
  2. Since my last post, I’ve conducted 4 concerts, and finished up my school year.  The last 2 weeks of school are probably the busiest time of year for me, and it always gets a little crazy.
  3. We’re at the end of the expansion, so there’s not a whole lot going on to write about as far as Rogues are concerned.  I’ve seen some minor changes here or there, but they won’t take effect for quite a while, so there’s not really any point in any major discussion at this point.  I’m in the pool for the beta, and believe me, if I can get a beta key, I’ll be spending plenty of time playing the beta and best preparing those of the Roguely persuasion.

I’ve got a UI post that I’m working on, but it’s likely going to be at least a week before I can get any real work done on it.  I will do this though.  I’m setting a goal, that as of next week, I will make sure to post at least once a week if not more often.  That last sentence reminds me of this: ” I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

So no worries Mike, and any avid or casual readers out there, I’m not dead, depressed or otherwise incapacitated, I’m just super busy and without much to write about at the moment.  Things should improve soon.

– Sam

P.S. – Props to my raiders who took 8 alts into ICC 10 on Tuesday and one shot every boss we attempted.  Only Sindy and LK await….

Tips For Helping Your Players Improve

I read a comment on my site this week that made me sit back and think.  After my rant about the Lich King, a poster commented on how he planned to give up on raiding completely, as his group seemed to have reached the pinnacle of its progress about halfway through ICC.  While the thought of someone telling me that “I” had convinced them to give up on raiding saddened me a bit, the part of the comment that really stuck with me was this gem about why they were having so much trouble:

It’s always the same people and no one will coach them or explain why their playing or DPS just isn’t cutting it.

I think if this is accurate, he’s pretty much summed up the main issue with his raid group.  Especially at this level of raiding, it’s critical for the leaders of a group to be able analyze what’s going on in the fight, good and bad, and then give appropriate feedback to the group on both.  I’m not perfect, and I’ve had my fair share of trouble focusing on the good at times, but it’s equally important to know what you’re doing well as it is to diagnose problems.  The whole business of solving those issues depends entirely on the initial delivery of the problem, and I’ll get into that now.

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Leveling Inscription: Preparation

Edit: This information is out of date. Please visit my inscription leveling guide for updated information

Thanks to Siha at, we’ve got a tentative leveling guide for inscription.  I say tentative, as blizzard makes changes every beta that affect how people are leveling inscription.  If you’re interested in leveling inscription, I suggest you take a look at this guide.  

As of beta build 8982, you’ll need over 1000 Herbs to level inscription.  Here’s the list from Siha’s Guide:

  • 150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
  • 60x Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, or Swiftthistle
  • 150x Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, or Wild Steelbloom
  • 140x Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, or Wintersbite
  • 210x Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, or Sungrass
  • 350x Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • 360x Any Outland herbs

So, how do you prepare for inscription?  Well, you gather herbs, 1210!  1210 herbs take up at least 61 slots, but they can be stored on a low level alt.  However, if you want to drop a little over 100g, you can invest in some serious storage space, and make a personal guild for that alt, with 1 guild bank tab.  If you don’t have a bank alt with a guild bank, I suggest you get one.  Assuming that you don’t put any other money into the alt, you would have 142 slots (98 bank tab + 16 backpack + 28 bank)

Let’s see how close I am to being prepared.  As of 9/30/08, here are the contents of my Herb tab on my bank alt:

How close am I to being able to level?  Let’s compare what I have to what I need:

Need  150/Have 264– Earthroot (58) , Peacebloom (88), Silverleaf (128)

Need 60/Have 334– Briarthorn (100), Bruiseweed (80), Mageroyal (75), Stranglekelp (39), Swiftthistle (40)

Need  150/Have 240 – Grave Moss (20), Kingsblood (120), Liferoot (60), Wild Steelbloom (40)

Need  140/Have 209 – Fadeleaf (55), Goldthorn (68), Khadgar’s Whisker (73), Wintersbite (13)

Need  210/Have 264– Arthas’ Tears (7), Blindweed (20), Firebloom (70), Ghost Mushroom (0), Gromsblood (51), Purple Lotus (36), or Sungrass (80)

Need  350/Have 193– Dreamfoil (40), Golden Sansam (71), Icecap (14), Mountain Silversage (53), Plaguebloom (15)

Need  360/Have 167– Outland Herbs (167)

As you can see, I need more high level Azerothian herbs, as well as more Outland Herbs.  My warlock, soon to be an inscriber is in level 57, so she’s likely to farm the rest of the Azerothian Herbs leveing from now to Zangarmarsh.  In addition, my main, Samueltempus, is an herbalist and has an epic flyer,  so a few hours of farming here and there will fill in the gaps.  I also have many extra low level herbs, and I’ll use those to make some extra gold on the Auction House. 

If you’re planning to level inscription, and you want to farm the mats yourself, get to the farming.  It’s taken me about a month to get this far, and although I did it while leveling a toon, it still takes a considerable amount of time.  We should be expecting the 3.0.2 patch sometime soon, so your time to get ahead is coming to an end.

– Sam

Warlock Progress

Well, I didn’t quite make it to my goal; I still need 95% of a level to reach 58. I spent a good deal of time doing things that weren’t leveling my warlock, and some of the time I spent leveling wasn’t very efficient. As per my previous post, Sunken temple is a waste of time if you’ve passed level 50. I will say that having a guildie tag along on her mage yesterday helped me gain 2.25 levels yesterday without losing my mind questing around Jadenar in the Felwood. Seriously, you have to head into the Shadow Hold 4 separate times for different quests, and it will be a fifth when I’m working on my epic mount.

Did you realize the warlock quest to go into Sunken Temple is a level 55 quest? Without help from a friend, the earliest you should do this quest is level 51. As I’ve already said, experience wise, it’s faster to level skipping Sunken Temple if you can’t get it in before you reach level 51. I can’t see why anyone would justify the time for this quest, when you’ll be replacing any one of the three items you can get from doing this quest in Hellfire Peninsula.

Real life obligations will prevent me from reaching 58 today, but I will reach it tomorrow. Hellfire should be completed sometime this weekend, and I’ll start working on the beta. Be sure to check back here a lot next week for Beta updates, as I will be posting about them frequently.

– Sam

Weekend Warlock and Other Updates

On Friday my warlock was sitting at level 43, 0% experience earned.  As of this morning, she’s in level 48 with 70% already earned.  That’s 5.7 levels in about 2 days.  That might not sound too terribly impressive, but in that time, I also Main Tanked a Karazhan, downed the BRD Brewfest Boss at least 20 times (the kodo dropped one of those times, no we didn’t win it, or you would have already heard about it), and dropped my personal arena rating just enough to not be able to get my Brutal Gladiator’s Pants on my Rogue.  When you add in real life commitments, like celebrating my wife’s birthday, and the watching of some football, 5.7 levels sounds pretty good.

The warlock is sitting at just under 4 days played, and 15 days ago, I hit level 30.  Here’s some of the things that I was doing this weekend to level efficiently:

1.)  I ran Uldaman on level. 

The tank was my paladin friend, one of the dps was another altaholic friend on his elemental shaman.  The other two were forgettable pugs, a.k.a, the healer was shadow and wanted to dps, and the warrior was a tank with inferior gear to the paladin.  Anyway, we needed the priest to heal, and with the paladin tank holding 5-7 mobs at a time, we cleared the whole instance in about an hour and 15 minutes.  For those of you who don’t know Uldaman, that’s ridiculously fast for an on level group, for those of you who do, we cleared the final trogg room in 1 pull, and no one died.

2.)  I finished the high level quests in Badlands. 

These quests deal with the dragons and welps in the east side of the zone.  These quests give great experience, so even though they’re out of the way, they’re quite worth it.

3.)  I ran Zul’Farrak on level. 

See, even though I didn’t turn down that run through last week, I did in fact run it on level, just like I said I would.  This group was better than the Uldaman group, but due to the nature of the healers in the instance, the grab five mobs and AOE it down didn’t work as well.  This was probably good for me, as I had to actually play my toon the way I’ll need to later.  No notable gear, but boatloads of experience, and I finished all of the quests, even the ones that I had to go out of the way to get.

4.)  I finished all of the quests in Tanaris, and finished most of the quests in the Hinterlands. 

Why did I finish Tanaris first?  Because the questlines for Saving Sharpbeak, and The Ancient Egg, and Violet Tragan all start in Tanaris and continue in the Hinterlands.  After finishing the Hinterlands, I’ll head back to Tanaris, turn everything in and head to Un’Goro.

I’m currently preping for Sunken Temple, and I’m still on target to make it to Outland sometime this weekend.  Once I’m there, I’ll spend a little more time with the beta, and crank out my leveling specs for the rogue, paladin, and hunter.  Also, I’ve finished the draft for my 2nd enchanting post, look for that tomorrow…

– Sam