Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

I’ve often referred to my project in self-sufficient crafting as an experiment.  Well, it’s time to start actually treating it like one.  I’ve kind of started feeling like I’ve put the cart before the horse in my excitement to get this going, and I haven’t thought it through well enough.  High School science classes – it’s time to use what I learned from you!  Every experiment needs three things – a theory behind it, defined parameters, and controls.  The only thing I’ve really got down concretely yet are the parameters, and those are conveniently provided by Blizzard.  Crafting in World of Warcraft is, for the most part, its own self-contained little beast with clearly defined boundaries.  While it’s applications are integrated greatly into many aspects of the game, you don’t craft by going to the pvp arenas.

Right now, controls are right out.  I don’t have any, really.  I’ll need to focus in the days to come on what my controls are going to be.  That will mean identifying every variable out there and figuring out ways to control them individually.  But before I can even start to identify the variables, I need to work on my theory.

My theory at this point is a little wide and vague.  Namely, that there is a single way to level all professions efficiently and profitably to a level of self-sufficiency.  There are three words in that sentence that need definition.  Efficiently, Profitably, and Self-sufficiency.  I know what those words mean according to a dictionary.  I know I have a general sense of what those words mean to me in this context.  I’m sure you have a general idea of what they mean to you in this context, too.  And I’d put money down that they don’t match exactly.

In the next few days, once I’ve had the chance to find out the words I want to use, I’ll go about defining them from my perspective so you’ll know where I’m coming from down the road. As well as I write (as some people tell me), finding the words to convey meaning like this isn’t easy for me.  Give me some time and let me know if I’ve failed to get the message across.


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Progress Report

Okay, so it doesn’t sound too impressive, but I’ve leveled Morvelaira up to level 10, and she’s nearly ready to bump her skill up all the way to 150.  The only thing I’m waiting on it to see how much of a buffer I can make of collected herbs before I take the plunge and look at the AH for the first time.  I’m not saying I’m going to buy anything necessarily – just look.  If I can get anything close to the prices I’m looking for  (minimum suggested bid) I’m going to go ahead and buy for now.  I’m not expecting to see those prices, though.

Also of note – I’ve decided to level all the skills up mostly at the same time.  I’m going to impose a forced stagger, though, much like Blizzard has done with Icecrown Citadel.  The stagger will mainly be dependent on when I have the time to reasearch a given profession.  I like to have my game plan laid out before I do too much.  I’m eyeballing a Rogue with Leatherworking/Skinning next.

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Where to Find Me

I’ve gotten at least one foot out of the planning stages and into action!  Slow, slow action!

If you’d like to follow my journey in person, you may find me Horde side on the Nordrassil server.  I’ll be starting off with a priest named – what else, Morvelaira.

Oh – yes, I said priest.  As if you people didn’t already understand that I’m a masochist.

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I’ve been reminded by the lovely and talented Mr. Morvy that most crafting recipes will continue to consistently give you skill points for the first five points after it turns yellow.  While I’ll agree it’s true dead on with old world, and even BC recipes, I’ve had mixed success with Northrend recipes.  I’ve decided to take the assumption and see where it leads me.  Here’s the newly crunched data.

One major note is I had to do a little fudging around 400 skill – I made the (quite possibly untrue) assumption that the first recipe you’d receive from Northrend Alchemy Research will be the Mad Alchemist’s Potion.  Since these numbers will be a bit shady, I didn’t think it would matter much.  Using recipes as soon as they’re available through the first five points of yellow, these seem to be the logical recipes to use: Minor Healing Potion, Swiftness Potion, Elixir of Wisdom, Strong Troll’s Blood Potion, Greater Healing Potion, Elixir of Fortitude, Catseye Elixir, Transmute: Iron to Gold, Elixir of Giants, Elixir of Superior Defense, Purification Potion, Elixir of Major Strength, Super Healing Potion, Elixir of Major Defense, Spellpower Elixir, Potion of Nightmares, Elixir of Mighty Fortitude, Northrend Alchemy Research, Crazy Alchemist’s Potion, Trasmute: Titanium, Flask of the North, Flask of Endless Rage.

Parsing out the materials we wind up with:

59 Peacebloom

59 Silverleaf

35 Swiftthistle

155 Briarthorn

30 Mageroyal

60 Bruiseweed

25 Liferoot

25 Kingsblood

20 Wild Steelbloom

45 Goldthorn

25 Fadeleaf

20 Iron Bar

40 Sungrass

20 Gromsblood

80 Stonescale Eel

40 Icecap

40 Plaguebloom

20 Mountain SIlversage

40 Felweed

40 Netherbloom

60 Ancient Lichen

20 Terocone

143 Goldclover

25 Tiger Lily

24 Talandra’s Rose

10 Adder’s Tounge

40 Saronite Bar

85 Frost Lotus

35 Lichbloom

124 Empty Vial

130 Leaded Vial

60 Crystal Vial

123 Imbued Vial

29 Enchanted Vial

Converted to silvers and coppers, that’s 80 gold, 57 silver for vials, and 251 gold 91 silver, and 81 copper for the remaining ingredients.  That’s a grand total of 332 gold, 48 silver and 81 copper.  That’s about an extra 30 gold than yesterday’s model, and this doesn’t even account for the times that will occur where you don’t get a point in the yellow phase.  I had thought that riding recipes out longer would lead to the greater use of less expensive materials, but it looks like that was wrong.  I’ll stick to the orange onlys.

Now that I have a path settled upon, it’s time to settle on a server.  I’ll report where I’ve wound up next time!

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Looking through the Alchemy recipe data, I’ve managed to compile a list of what would be needed in order to level Alchemy from 1 to 450.  This model uses only recipes that are orange, guaranteeing me a point each combine, and the order of the recipes was determined by going down the list and picking the first one that became available where the last one left off.  If there was a choice of which recipe I picked, I err’d towards recipes learned from a trainer first, then towards recipes that seemed less complicated to make.

The recipes are:  Minor Healing Potion, Lesser Healing Potion, Elixir of Wisdom, Lesser Mana Potion, Fire Oil, Free Action Potion, Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Greater Defense, Superior Healing Potion, Elixir of Detect Undead, Ghost Dye, Superior Mana Potion, Major Healing Potion, Greater Shadow Protection Potion, Elixir of Major Strength, Mad Alchemist’s Potion, Fel Strength Elixir, Major Dreamless Sleep Potion, Spellpower Elixir, Pygmy Oil, Potion of Nightmares, Elixir of Mighty Strength, Elixir of Mighty Fortitude, Indestructible Potion, Transmute: Titanium, Transmute: Earthsiege Diamond, Flask of Endless Rage.

The materials required to make all of this are:

54 Peacebloom

54 Silverleaf

95 Briarthorn

55 Mageroyal

50 Stranglekelp

10 Firefin Snapper

100 Oily Blackmouth

40 Wild Steelbloom

40 Goldthorn

45 Sungrass

15 Khadgar’s Whisker

15 Arthas’ Tears

30 Ghost Mushroom

30 Blindweed

30 Golden Sansam

30 Mountain Silversage

60 Fadeleaf

60 Grave Moss

15 Dreamfoil

15 Felweed

30 Ragveil

15 Terocone

45 Nightmare Vine

15 Dreaming Glory

90 Goldclover

20 Tiger Lily

5 Pygmy Suckerfish

10 Talandra’s Rose

40 Icethorn

80 Saronite Bar

10 Dark Jade

10 Huge Citrine

10 Eternal Fire

105 Lichbloom

15 Frost Lotus

110 Empty Vial

80 Leaded Vial

105 Crystal Vial

90 Imbued Vial

15 Enchanted Vial

15 Purple Dye

Wow, what a list!  All of the vendor-bought materials at the end there will run you a measly 57 gold, 55 silver and 15 copper.  I have a level 20 who routinely holds a purse of twice that just from selling herbs and bags.

Aside from the gems and Saronite Bars towards the end there, you should be able to gather everything else on that list making leveling Alchemy cost essentially as inexpensive as buying vials.  However, everyone will break at some point and buy an ingredient on the AH.  Since every server is different, it’s impossible for me to determine how much herbs will cost me when I haven’t even chosen a server to experiment on yet.  So I calculated what the costs would be going by the minimum suggested bid that the AH makes.  While this is an unlikely price to obtain, it’s theoretically the least expensive.  Using that assumption the remaining items on this list would cost 251 gold, 40 silver, 30 copper.  A surprisingly small amount, over half of which (150g) is for the Saronite Bars.  This of course is an unlikely price to get all the way through – but rather is the minimum you should be looking at.

Added together, the total price becomes 308 gold 95 silver and 46 copper.  Not too shabby when you can max a craft skill for just a bit more money than it takes to learn flying.  Less than a third of cold-weather flying to boot!  More analysis needs to be done of course, but this is a good start, yes?

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I’m rather excited about this project I’ve lined out for myself.  As such, I’ve been telling all my friends about it and getting their opinions on things.  While several worth considering and exploring have been raised, the one that I’ve been struggling with the most doesn’t actually involve the skilling up process at all.  Rather, it’s more aimed at preparation and groundwork for the grand project – once I actually get it going in game.

The suggestion is this:  Once my first character that I’ll be working with has been created, make a Death Knight, get through the starting quests, sell everything they’ve managed to collect (including initial equipment where possible) and sent it to the lowbie.  I won’t lie – I’ve done this before (sometimes in rapid succession) when I was really strapped for cash but low on time.  But what I’ve been struggling with is in a quest for self-sufficiency, is this cheating?  Technically it’s all my actions, but at the same time it’s an influx of money from a character that won’t be part of the final set.

I think I’ll lean towards ignoring this suggestion for my experiment.  Unless, of course, storage becomes a much larger issue much earlier than I anticipate it to.  Besides, after running the Death Knight starting area as many times as I have, I’m actually kind of getting sick of it.  It’s too linear to fit in with the rest of the game.  While that’s what made it great to start with, it’s also what makes it a jarring juxtaposition once the awe-value has been worn away.

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Where to Start.

So, the question has been raised: What is the most efficient and profitable way to become self-sufficient in World of Warcraft crafting?  (Self-sufficient, in this case, meaning having all professions maxed on one server.)  This is a question to which there is no surefire answer, and one that will have many short, sometimes overly simplistic answers hurled at it that may or may not be true.  Before I can go and answer this question for myself, I need to pick a point at which to begin.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, as the phrase goes.

Common wisdom holds that players should load any WoW main up with two gathering professions to start, in order to build up a cash cushion (paying for those pesky big budget flying expenses) and later convert to one or two production professions.  While this idea has merit, especially for the average player, it may hurt this effort in the long run.  Having a large pile of gold available to help you buy materials will power you through the skill points when you switch to a production profession, but leveling a skill only to drop it and spend a lot of cash on leveling a different skill is neither efficient nor profitable.

If I make the assumption that I’ll be starting these characters on a server where I have no other characters (because that’s what I plan to do), this rules out the opposite approach of starting with two production professions.  There will simply not be the captial available for that.  The only possible exception to this is a Tailoring and Enchanting combination – but let me assure you, having done this from scratch on at least three different servers, that this is slow going.  I may re-examine this idea later, but I’m going to table it as a first option for now.

That leaves me with the very typical gathering/production combo.  But which combination?  The gathering profession will logically be dictated by the production profession.  If I leave Tailoring and Enchanting out of the equation, that leaves me with the choice between Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, and Leatherworking.

Since this will be the first profession I level on a given server, it will need to be one that I can skill up easily while leveling, and one that turns an early profit in order to help fund some of the more difficult professions later on.  While Leatherworking certainly fits into the category of easy to skill up while leveling, (kill stuff, get xp and materials!) I’ve heard rumors that it’s not the most profitable thing in the world.  My gut instinct says that Alchemy may be what I am looking for.  Experience tells me that herb nodes are easy to find, and generally under less competition than mining nodes.  Also, my perspective tells me that Alchemists are under-represented on most servers, leading to a smaller supply of their products and, in turn, a higher profit.

I’m not quite settled yet on Alchemy/Herbalism.  To be honest, I personally dislike this profession.  I couldn’t tell you why.  But I’m going to investigate it to the best of my ability.  You’ll see my findings in my next post, no later than Monday.

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