Working in Harmony – Contributing to the raid effort

Mists of Pandaria is almost upon us.  Perhaps you’ve already noticed more names reappearing in your friends list?  Or smiled at masses gathered around the training dummies in the capital cities.  It’s that wonderful time, right before an expansion.  Guilds are once again recruiting and everyone is reading up on the coming expansion.  When the gates to Pandaria open on the 25th, we’ll be leveling up with guild mates, looking to get new loot and ultimately get ready for a new tier of raiding.  Our guild crafters have the additional responsibility to level their crafting professions and get crafting new enchants, glyphs,  feasts and flasks for upcoming raids.

This expansion, non-crafters finally have an easy way to help contribute to guild supplies, in a time when materials will be scarce and expensive on the auction house.  Spirit of Harmony tokens, are gained from combining 10 Motes of Harmony, which are in turn gained from killing any mob in Pandaria.  You average 1 mote every 10 mobs and so 1 Spirit of Harmony from 100 mobs.  Spirit of Harmony tokens can be exchanged for trade goods likes Golden Lotuses (used for flasks), Ironpaw tokens (used in exchange for vendor only materials for feasts) and many other items.  By the time you have hit 90 and have access to the vendor in the Shrines in Vale of Eternal Blossoms, you will have a least 8 – 12 tokens.  Using these could help your guild get the materials needed to maximize stats for raiding, leading to quicker progression.

Ding! :Spending Valor in MoP

Having stayed a way from the Beta for the last few weeks, I finally patched up and finished leveling Nemain, my fury warrior up to 90.  While I had read about the changes to Justice and Valor point gear in various fansites, I was not prepared for the shock of not finding a Valor vendor in the Alliance shrine in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.  Valor points can be redeemed on reputation vendors for ilvl 489 epics, requiring Revered reputation to purchase.

The pieces that offered by faction are as follows:

Golden Lotus: Shoulder, Chest, Finger
Shado-Pan: Head, Back, Trinket
Klaxxi: Neck, Legs, Waist
The August Celestials: Wrist, Hands, Feet

What this means is that hitting 90 doesn’t mean switching from quests to dungeon grinding immediately.  Instead you will want to balance out dungeon runs with daily quests from the faction of your choice and also work on finishing any quest lines with those factions which give you rep.  For example, Completing the entire Kalaxxi quest line (which is basically the entire Dread Wastes zone) will take you well through honored and just a few days of dailies away from Revered.

Ding! – Quick Tips for leveling alts from 80 – 85

Ogre Ambush

Ogre Ambush

Ding! is a column focused on alt leveling tips.  Do it faster the second time around!

With more free time during the holidays, are you starting to level again?  Or perhaps you have leveled your first character through to 85 and want to relax and level a second alt.  Why level a second character?  If you read this blog, you probably already know.  Whether its about leveling a character for a different experience, to level a profession or to see how much faster you can do it a second time.  Whatever the reason, I am here to help you level up quicker the second time.  Lets take a look at some tips after the break…

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Ding! – Don’t Hoard Chef’s Award Tokens!

Ding! is a column focused on alt leveling tips.  Do it faster the second time around!

Cataclysm is almost here and what better time to revive this old column.  As new players get a rare opportunity to play a “new” MMO from the start and veterans reroll new class and race combinations, there has never been a better time to start leveling again.

Today’s column highlights one of the best new features of Cataclysm, secondary profession leveling.  One of the hardest things to keep leveled on alts had been cooking and fishing.  Cooking was made much easier since last year with the introduction of the Pilgrim’s Bounty cooking quests which made leveling from 1-350 cheap and easy.  Fishing however has not had any holiday help and remains one of the most tedious to re-level on alts.  Thankfully this has been remedied with the new cooking and fishing daily quests in Stormwind and Ogrimmar.  These quests which can be done with minimal skill award 1-2 skill points in addition to xp and gold; Ensuring that you will max out your secondary professions if you take a little time to do them each day.

But a huge warning for the cooking dailies.  The Chef Award tokens awarded by the quest only stack to 10. So don’t hoard them up, always check your currency tab before you turn in the quest.  I hope this is really an oversight on Blizzard’s part as it is a ridiculously low maximum for the stack.  It’s fine for cooks that are at 450 skill and can buy and use half of the recipes immediately but for cooks just starting out, they must buy and store recipes until they reach 450 skill.

Another note is as of writing this article, the recipe for Feathered Lure is not learnable so don’t bother buying it or sell it back to the vendor for a refund.

Ding! – Medic!

Ding! is a column focused on alt leveling tips.  Do it faster the second time around!

I’ve been doing a review of categories and columns and came across the old 1Up column that was focused on leveling alts.  The column name was a Super Mario Bros reference, but the more I thought about it, the less it made sense, getting a 1up mushroom was more about getting an extra life than leveling.  So that name is gone!  Henceforth, the column will be called Ding!  Its a classic MMO RPG reference back from when I was playing Dark Age of Camelot and leveling produced a Ding! sound.  There is a swooshy sound for WoW but I am certainly not calling the column that.

While of the subject of extra lives, (emm yeah smooth transition) today’s topic is about leveling first aid alongside leveling up.  A secondary profession, it takes almost no extra time to level.  Just hit the First Aid trainer whenever the recipes turn green/grey and it should keep pace with the cloth drops you are getting from humanoid type mobs.  I used to horde my bandages and ended up having to toss them when they became redundant.  However this time round I find myself using them often to avoid downtime.  The in-game regen is often quick enough at the lower levels. but by the time you start getting to the 50s, it won’t be quick enough to avoid downtime to eat or drink between groups.  Shave off downtime by using bandages often and keeping on trucking.

The tip for alt leveling is not to use the bandages you can make, but get your main to make the bandages for you.  For example you can train to use at 290 skill, but you can use them with only 225 skill.  This is important, especially if you are powering through the levels with heirloom items and First Aid just isn’t keeping pace.

Finally, remember that first aid is not just for non-healing classes.  For example, even though you could switch and heal yourself as a Shadow Priest, mana is precious when leveling and using it for heals would mean less damage and more downtime.   With the announced change to first aid in Cataclysm, this will be even more true as you don’t have to channel the bandage.  In Cataclysm, you’ll be able to cast a quick bandage and move off to the next mob as the HoT ticks away.

Until the next column happy leveling.

Ding! – Don’t Turn in that Quest!

Ding! is a column focused on alt leveling tips.  Do it faster the second time around!

Travel time makes up the bulk of your /played time when leveling a character which is why getting mounts and gold willing, epic mounts for your Alts makes it a much quicker leveling experience.  cold Weather flying is the best investment you can make for an Alt stepping into Northrend at 68.  However this another big time saver that starts paying off-big time once you hit level 76 and is still useful after you hit 80.  However you have to NOT, turn in that quest!  Details after the Break.

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