Vacuuming

Before I get to today’s post: Stoic, over at Stoic But Not Silent, has teamed up with Equivalence guild mate Hargalaten to put together a really awesome set of FAQs (no spoilers) for Legion. I highly recommend it. Check it out here, and give them some feedback if it is useful to you.

Cleaning the house is never a fun task, unless you are an actor in a TV commercial getting all giddy over some dirt-busting product. But fun or not, sometimes you just have to buckle down and vacuum and dust and swab out those commodes. That is basically what I was doing this weekend in WoW, finally starting to get my game house in order for Legion. It was not glamorous or fun, I was not giggling and dancing like the TV actors, it was just put-your-head-down-and-get-it-done housekeeping. The two things I was focusing on were profession adjustments and gearing up my ret pally to a level that would permit a decent Legion experience (some months down the road, but still).

Specifically, I was trying to balance out my alt professions so that I maximized the number of them with one crafting and one gathering profession, and had as little duplication of crafting professions as possible. What this boiled down to for me was that I needed to drop blacksmithing  on my rogue and pick up herbalism to go with his inscription. My plan, following the advice of a couple of profession leveling sites, was:

  • Get the WoD herbalism manual so that I would not have to stop and find a trainer  periodically to allow me to continue to level to 700.
  • Break out my Sky Golem so that I would not have to dismount and remount every time I picked an herb.
  • Use my Gathermate2 addon.
  • Stay in Pandaria where the mobs are easy and the herbs are plentiful, until level 600, then switch to Draenor.

Using this plan, at least one site promised leveling from 1 to 600 would take, and I quote, “2-3 hours”. I am not going to link the site because THEY LIED. There is no way you can go from 1-600 in that amount of time. It is impossible. I spent 3 hours, no breaks, zooming about Pandaria (mainly a prescribed route in Jade Forest, as recommended), and I made it to level 431. And yes, I have the top level of flying speed on this alt.

This is something I have noticed about many guides and even just players giving advice. They tend to grossly overstate gold making potentials and grossly understate time requirements. Whether they do this because it is the only way they can sell their product (even if that product is for free), or because they have selective memory lapses, or because they simply must puff themselves up, I cannot say, but it happens a lot. I have started to apply a factor of two to these guides: double the time they say it will take, and cut the potential gold-earning at least in half. How many times have you had someone dismiss you as incompetent or lazy if you cannot earn at least 10-20k gold a day from your garrisons? Yeah, me too. My experience with 7 level 3 garrisons is that if I really am diligent about working them every day on every alt, I can earn maybe 5-10k gold every two days. But that assumes I don’t do anything else as game play when I log on, just grind out garrison chores.

Similarly, there are players who love to brag about how much gold they make from soloing old content. One such player on my server was running his mouth the other night about how he spends about 20 minutes each week clearing Firelands and easily makes 2-3k gold from it. Sorry, not possible. Even with a well geared max level hunter, I maintain you cannot clear Firelands in 20 minutes. And unless you are incredibly lucky selling that legacy gear on the AH, you are not going to get that much gold from it. Just not gonna happen.

My other focus for the weekend — gearing and prepping my pally — also took much MUCH longer than I had planned. I had leveled her to 60, then used my Legion boost on her. Honestly, I don’t know how much time the boost mechanism actually saves. True, you are spared the leveling pain of Hellfire Peninsula and the Cata zones as well as the boring-after-several-characters Pandaria and Draenor zones, but a boosted character is woefully incomplete. To wit:

  • If you do not already have a normally-leveled character with the same class and spec, you have virtually zero idea how to play it at level 100. This means you have to
    • Figure out a decent basic rotation and cooldown usage so that you can lay out your action bars and if necessary assign key binds to your spells.
    • Research the various interactions for your mastery and other secondary stats.
    • Select your talents and glyphs.
    • Figure out flasks, food, pots, and lay in a stock of them.
    • If you use addons, configure them — I use Weakauras, so that required figuring out what spells I wanted to keep close track of and then either finding appropriate auras for them or configuring my own.
    • Spending some time at the target dummies just to get an initial familiarity with level 100 play styles.
  • Boosted gear for a level 100 is green 640 stuff. This just will not work this late in WoD, especially when you have Baleful gear and probably a lot of profession cooldowns on your other alts to provide 3 pieces of crafted gear.
  • Even though the boosted character is provided with a level 3 garrison, it is a templated one that may or may not fill your needs. And you still have to do the quest line to be able to build a Salvage Hut. Also, the templated garrison has a lumber mill, but you cannot gather any lumber for it until you have completed the Tanaan quest line to build your shipyard and establish the Tanaan assault base.
  • You start out with almost zero garrison resources, so you will have to work for a while to be able to do much with your garrison. On the plus side, you are provided with a goodly number of followers at the get go.

I had saved close to 100 BoA Baleful plate items that I used to outfit my pally with a near-complete set of Merciless gear, and I had more than enough Apexis Crystals scattered around on my various alts to be able to upgrade all of the pieces to 695. I supplemented this with 3 pieces of 6/6 crafted gear: 2 trinkets and a weapon. This gave me epic for everything but one ring, which I filled with the Conquest ring. Even with no valor upgrades and no legendary ring, this gave me a 699 ilevel, which is not bad for a brand new character.

The other thing many players forget about is that, even with the bonus profession boosts to 700, your boosted character still has to train low level craft and first aid recipes and purchase/loot others that you may want. The profession training, when done all at once, is not cheap, it can easily run into at least a couple of thousand gold. Then there is the added time and in some cases mat expense to level cooking, fishing, and archaeology if you want these secondary professions, as they are not included in the bonus boosts.

So, after many hours this weekend, I now have a level 431 herbalist and a pally that is at least on paper well prepared to go to Broken Isles whenever I want her to go. (Of course, I will have to reconfigure her action bars, etc. once the new class/spec builds hit.) At least having my rogue with inscription/herbalism means that my mage is completely superfluous. I regret to say that she will be “sent to the happy farm” as soon as the pre-patch hits next week and her accumulated cloth gear becomes account-wide for transmog.

Not really a fun weekend, but a necessary one. I’ll finish off leveling my rogue’s herbalism in the next couple of days, and probably get my pally Tanaan access, clearing the way for all the transmog activities and class adjustments that will start next Tuesday. I am planning on that process taking 2-3 days at least a week.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

One Response to Vacuuming

  1. That FAQ was great work and thanks for the pointer.

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