Mists of Pandaria Beta Tester FAQ

Just got into the Beta and not sure where to start or what to expect?  Check out the FAQ after the break.  It answers a lot of the common questions I see in Stormwind general chat.

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Catch-22 : The unanswered problems with the proposed LFR Loot System

Ghostcrawler just posted a Dev Watercooler Blog addressing the proposed LFR Loot system for Mists of Pandaria.  A system that was not clearly articulated in the press interviews when it was revealed during the MoP Press event and a subject that has caused much heated discussion in the official forums and other fansites.  While the article does clear up a few questions, in my opinon, the bigger and more troubling questions remain unanswered.

Perhaps Blizzard is not prepared to answer these questions as its still in the design stage and cannot be fulled answered but at the same time, they are answers that need to be answered before the end of beta.  Let’s look at the Loot system more closely after the break.

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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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Atropos – The Arbiter

Atropos lucked out big time last week picking up one of my ICC lust objects, Bryntoll, the Bone Arbiter from Lord Marrowgar in 25-man ICC.  It has a unique graphic shared only by the heroic version and the weapon model used by the said Boss; and it matches my armor!  I am a big fan of flavor gear and weapons so this was a real treat. It’s also among the BIS for Unholy DKs.  I love how a life draining weapon fits so well with the Death knight theme.  The stats are:

Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter
Binds when picked up
801 -Two-Hand Axe
Speed 3.4
1203 Damage
(294.7 damage per second)
+169 Strength
+161 Stamina
Red Socket
Blue Socket
Bonus: +6 Strength
Durability 120 / 120
Requires Level 80
Item Level 264Chance on hit: Steals 2138 to 2362 life from target enemy.

I am one of those players whose bank is stuffed with RP items like the various dresses from all the festivals and random RP items like elder moonstones and Halloween wands clutter up my bags.  I think as long as its not too much of a DPS lost, I would prefer to have a cool weapon with a proc/effect than one without.  Atropos started out life as a bank and has several nice items used just for role playing and looking good at the bank.  Examples of which are the Ruby Shades and the Robes of Insight for that sultry Princess Leia slave girl look!  Its one of those things I will probably never delete.

Antagonist – The Cycle of Waiting, aka Hope Springs Eternal

With Tier 10 being the last tier of gear for WOTLK, it is for most classes and specializations, itemized very well.  So much so that for classes like the Retribution Paladin (which Antagonist is) all 5 pieces are viable with none containing sub optimal stats.  With that in mind, and especially with how good the two-piece and four piece bonuses are, i have been working since patch 3.3.3 to get enough frost badges to buy all the pieces.  I got to the two piece bonus fairly quickly picking up a nice upgrade with the cheap emblem piece the shoulders and getting the Helm next as well.  My strategy was to hold out on swaping pieces until I could be the two-piece bonus at once so i would go from having the four piece T9 bonus to the two piece T10 and still retain the two piece T9 bonus.  Using RAWR, I simmed out my upgrades and found that it would only be a DPS upgrade to go from the two piece bonus of T9 and T10 to the four piece T10.  This means I should wait to get enough badges to get the last two T10 pieces before upgrading.  What I did (or didn’t) after the break.

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Turning a Profit – 8 Ways to Make Money w/o a Profession.

Turning a profit is a column focused on making gold in WoW, through farming materials, working professions and the Auction House.

Most gold making guides and tip will revolve around using professions.  The work put into crafting is the justification for the premium you pay over the raw materials.  In addition, the premium you pay for materials is the for the labor spent gathering them.  So while it is much easier to make money by using a profession its not impossible. Here are 8 ways to make money without using any professions.

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New Refer a Friend Reward Active – X-53 Mount

The new refer a friend mount the X-53 Touring Rocket was added on Tuesday and is now active.  Zarhym posted on the official forums to remind players of the change.  Its an exciting new mount as it is the first two-seater flying mount in the game, something Ghostcrawler had promised we would see when questioned a few months ago in a developer chat.  I just tried it out in-game from a passenger point of view, a brief FAQ after the break.

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The Blues – Cataclysm Badge and PvP Point Changes

The Blues is a column with personal commentary on the “blue” posts from the World of Warcraft official forums.

Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.  Blizzard follows up the post on raiding changes with an overview of badge and PVP point changes in Cataclysm.  They are finally simplifying the various tokens, reducing them to one for easier content, Hero points and Valor points, for harder content, comparable to Truimph and Frost badges in current 3.3.3.  the biggest change, and one that I am very happy about is the decision to limit the amount of the harder tokens obtainable weekly.  This will mean that items can be better balanced against the total number of tokens obtainable and at the same time, you don’t have to feel like you are grinding for tokens in heroics so you don’t waste any “token” opportunities.  For example, the maximium number of tokens could be set at, say 14 a week.  You could get them by doing the VOA equivalent (2 Valor pts) and also doing two of the smaller raids with 5 bosses where the last boss would give 3 instead of 2 badges for a total of 14 badges that week.  Or if your raid is unable to down the last two bosses, you could make up those badges by running three daily heroics.  Alternatively for a more casual player, he might choose to just run the daily heroics for the 14 badges.

This change will also address two of the current complaints in WOTLK.  Hardcore raiders will no longer have the need to run daily heroics to be competitive and heroics will be in a better place when the players running it actually want to experience the dungeon and get the loot from it.  its hard to get a full dungeon run in as a new player when the experienced players are just skipping as many bosses as possible for the daily frost badges.  Secondly, with alternative ways to get the weekly limit of badges, raiders will be more content to do progression content, rather than always going for the easy bosses first, to get the most badges.

More thoughts and the full post from the official forums, after the break.

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The Pony Promised

Celestial Steed

You have to be living under a rock to have not heard about the new Celestial Steed mount that has appeared in WoW.  This awesome looking mount was first reported by mmo-champion.com and was revealed on the 15th of Apr 2010 as a purchasable mount in the Blizzard store at the princely sum of $25 USD.  While this is not the first time in-game vanity items have been offered in the Blizzard store (the Pandaren Monk and Lil KT pets were first), it is the first time a mount has been offered and is the most pricey item.  The opinions of players is decidability split into the positive and negative camps with few moderate views.  Further analysis after the break.

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