On The Pot: Quick-Read Raid Guides

So, we don’t usually link to our own guides during the day on the Pot (maybe we should). Then again, our guides don’t usually get more than 50 comments and several thousand views within a 24-hour period.

What’s causing this reaction? Our Quick-Read Cataclysm Raid Guides .

See, we’ve been in the following situation too many times: we’re in a PUG. We’re not on our mains. A boss is coming up and we need to know tactics. But the tank’s apparently on 15 cans of Red Bull and the two hunters’ only English vocabulary is “gogogogogo”.

I can speed-read, but still, getting the useful bits from a 3,000 word raid guide in the 35 seconds before someone Misdirect-pulls isn’t a fun experience.

So Johnnie and I went into a huddle and came up with the Quick-Read guides, because we figured we weren’t the only people who were having this kind of problem. They’re Cliff Notes for all Cata raids: 3-6 lines on each boss (except Heroic Rag), one page per raid, perfect for skim-reading between pulls or copy-pasting into chat.

We wrote ‘em. We stuck ‘em on Reddit to see what people think. An avalanche of traffic and a brief server crash later, we conclude that people kinda like them. And so, we present:

(Oh, there are quick-read dungeon tactics too)

Enjoy! If there are any problems in there, please do comment, and we’ll fix them. And if you find them useful, please do share them via Twitter, blog, Facebook or guild website – the guide market for WoW is kinda crowded, and no matter how enthusiastic people are about an idea, it’s hard to get it to them in the first place – every bit of help really, well, helps.

I hope they make your next PUG a less painful experience.

Read more →

World of Warcraft Enchanting: How It’s Changed Since You Last Played

WoW is much more of a part-time hobby for a lot of people these days – more and more, we at the Pot see people unsubscribing for six months, a year or more, then coming back when new content appeals to them.

But if you’re coming back to WoW, particularly after a good while off, or even if you’re just swapping back to a character you haven’t played in a while, it can be a damn confusing place. So, here’s the first of our quick guides to what’s changed in WoW since the Olden Days – starting off with the profession that has probably changed the most, Enchanting.

Here’s our quick-start guide to what you need to know, what has changed since TBC and even Wrath, and what’s just not that important.

Changes To Enchanting In Cataclysm

If you’ve not played in a while, there are some assumptions you might have about Enchanting that aren’t true any more.

  • You don’t need to carry a ton of rods around. These days, rather than all being separate, Enchanting rods are used to “upgrade” to the next level of rod. As a 525 Enchanter, you’ll just need a Runed Elementium Rod to do all your enchanting.
  • You can now sell enchants on the Auction House. Wrath of the Lich King introduced Enchanting Scrolls, which you can use to make your Enchants portable. That allows you to easily sell enchants without having to bark on Trade for ages, and also means that…
  • Enchanting now makes tons of money. It used to be that Disenchanting was the only easy way to make money, but that’s no longer true. Read our guide to popular Cataclysm enchants for tips on easy ways to make gold with Enchanting, if you’re so inclined.
  • Disenchanting isn’t as useful as it used to be. Blizzard introduced “auto-disenchant” in dungeons – if one of your party is an enchanter, everyone gets the option to disenchant loot. That means that the market for disenchanted materials is no longer as hot as it used to be – although you can still make good money.
  • Enchanting’s no longer the only way to augment your gear. Wheras in Vanilla it was Enchant or Nothing, in Cataclysm there’s a dizzying variety of upgrades for gear, from gems through Blacksmithing and Leatherworking items, to reputation-based upgrades. Just because you’re an enchanter doesn’t mean you won’t be hunting the AH for gear enhancements.

Stuff That Stayed The Same

Not everything’s changed – sadly, in some cases.

  • Enchanting’s still expensive to level. Very, very expensive. There are a number of ways to make it cheaper, but it’s still going to cost more than just about any other profession (Jewelcrafting might be worse) to level it to maximum. Your enchanting rods alone will cost thousands of gold, particularly if you buy all the materials from the AH.
  • Tactically, it’s probably better to let someone else be the guild enchanter. Enchanting gives you a couple of nice ring enchants, but isn’t going to have a huge impact on your utility in a raid or dungeon. Then again, neither’s any other profession, and you can make a bunch of gold from Enchanting.
  • Enchants are still vital. Whether you’re an enchanter or not, enchants are still the greatest improvement you can make to your gear, even considering new professions like Jewelcrafting. A single weapon enchant can make a noticable difference to your DPS, healing or survivability, and other enchants are, slot-for-slot, generally more powerful than the gems that can be put in their place.

So is it still worth taking?

Absolutely. As of Cataclysm, Enchanting is still one of the strongest professions – if you want to put the time and effort in, it’ll make you more gold than any other profession bar perhaps Jewelcrafting. Its personal buffs are decent, taking it helps out your guildies in several ways (Disenchant in dungeons and having a pet enchanter), and with the Scroll market, it’s no longer only a profession for people who really, really like talking in Trade.

Get out there and enchant something already!

Anything we’ve forgotten? Let us know below!

Read more →

Popular Cataclysm Enchants – and how they can make you lazy and rich

If you’re an enchanter, you may well have dipped your toe into the waters of selling enchants on the AH. It’s entirely possible that your toe subsequently got nipped by the Pirahnas of This Is Way More Complicated Than It Looks, too.

Fear not! There are rather easier ways to aquire cash in profusion using your enchanting. So, pick up your Runed Elementium Rod from where you threw it at the ground in despair, and let’s get to the money-making.

The principle

There are basically two approaches to selling enchants on the Auction House. The first is to sell everything you can, often using an addon like Trade Skill Master. By listing literally every enchant you can, you’ll sell the maximum number, but the cost in time and effort is high. Nonetheless, if you’re going for gold cap, this is the way to go.

However, if you’re a fair bit lazier, there’s an easier way. Rather than blanketing the AH with everything, simply target a few popular enchants, and keep them rolling out to keep the money rolling in. This is an application of the well-known “8020” rule – 80% of your profits on Enchanting will come from 20% of the items you list. You just need to know which ones.

This is absolutely not the best way to make maximum cash in WoW, by the way. If you regard the AH as a substantial part of the enjoyment of the game, or if you urgently need to make as much gold as possible, you’ll want to use the thorough route. However, it’s easily possible to make 100k or so using a less-thorough technique, and rather than spending an hour a day at it, you’ll spend 5 minutes.

The Enchants

So what are you looking for?

In short, we want enchants that do three things:

  • Sell regularly. This is vital. At the end of the day, what you’re almost certainly interested in is how much gold you make per week. An enchant that sells for 2k but only sells once a month will make you less money than one which sells for 99g, every day.
  • Have a high profit margin. Again, the amount an enchant sells for is not the important bit – what’s important is how much profit you make. It’s very easy to forget to track the cost of the materials, and end up busily selling something for 700g, then paying 750g for the materials to make another. (I have done this!)
  • Aren’t too competitive. Most of the really high-end enchants – Landslide, Windwalk, etc – are actually a bad bet to sell. They have very high prices, and so attract a lot of competition – and as a casual seller, you don’t want to be fighting intense competition.

Now, exactly which enchants fit those criteria will vary from server to server. YMMV, and it’s always worth researching through the Undermine Journal and selling on the AH yourself. However, all things being equal, we’d recommend starting with the following:

  • Enchant Bracer: SpeedNOT Greater Speed. Sells for 40-ish gold on many servers, for 2 Hypnotic Dust and one Lesser Celestial Essence.
  • Enchant Boots: Earthen Vitality – for only 2 Hypnotic Dust, this must-have enchant can sell very, very well. On many servers the price has crashed, but on some you can sell it for 30g or more.
  • Enchant Gloves: Greater Mastery – A go-to enchant for many classes, it’s fairly expensive to produce (2 Maelstrom Crystal, 12 Hypnotic Dust, 5 Greater Celestial), but sells for upward of 500g, and fast.
  • Enchant Cloak: Greater Intellect – Another must-have for all cloth classes, essentially. Not a “high-glamour” enchant, but with a good profit margin in many places – 350g or more for 9 Hypnotic Dust and 4 Greater Celestials.

Good luck!

Know any other must-have enchants to sell? Let us know below!

Read more →

When Team B met WoW

It seems to be the week for retrospectives. Today, Nils is looking at the history of WoW development from the “Team A” days (Vanilla, TBC, and if I recall correctly, up until Ulduar, although Nils says that WoTLK was Team B, and I’m sure he’s done more research!) through to the “Team B” days of WoTLK and Cataclysm.

For those who aren’t aware, WoW was originally developed by one team of developers, who subsequently moved on, prompting the major changes in accountability and style of WoTLK and onward. Nils is looking at what they got right and wrong:

Next to the phenomenal technical and artistic qualities, the central reason for WoW’s success was that all players could always advance their characters by experiencing interesting content. That means that the content the players experienced was at a reasonable challenge level and happened in a pleasant social environment.

Since players are differently motivated, invest different amounts of time and maybe even are differently skilled, the game was flexible.

A player who played less often would experience the content at his own pace. If finishing a raid tier took him a year, then it took him a year. If it took him a month, it took him a month. All he needed to do was to find a compatible raid group or re-join one when he came back. Since raid groups were hard pressed to come up with 40 players and there always was somebody who couldn’t make it that evening, random players would be invited. Part of the server community was built this way. It was how I got to raid the first few times.

Nils definitely has strong opinions on this subject – but it’s an interesting and persuasive analysis nonetheless. And the titbits he mentions from the history of Team B are fascinating all by themselves – for example, did you know that they originally planned to do a “7-chapter epic WotLK expansion”?

What do you think? Did Team B drop the ball? Or is something else going on?

_Quote taken from Nils’ original post.

Find Nils’ homepage at http://nilsmmoblog.blogspot.com/_

Read more →

Are Shamans Too Complex?

Personally, I miss a lot of the complexity that has been taken out of WoW. I miss having to carry flint and tinder and simple wood for a campfire. I miss the cooking and fishing quests at Artisan level. I even kinda miss the “argh nooo there are 5 paladins in this raid and 4 of them all want to cast Kings” complexity of pre-Cata buffing.

Having said that, though, in a post-Cataclysm world, it would feel wierd to be the one class which still had to micromanage its buffs and carry around a personal spreadsheet. Rhii of Oh My Kurenai agrees – and she should know, because she is that class – the poor, be-totemed Shaman:

Paladin auras and buffs used to be the big source of frustration, and now that those are simplified, that leaves Shamans as the only class that has to carry a checklist to raids to figure out how best to buff the group. I do mean literally, I carry a checklist.

… And now that buffs are simpler for every other class, nobody wants to give us time to figure out how we can best help the group with our buffs, so half the time I go into fights knowing I might as well not drop them, because I didn’t have time to fix my arrangement. Even in my own guild I feel like that forty second pause to arrange myself is often given grudgingly.

I’d not thought about it, but reading through her post makes the point very clearly – in a post-simplicity world, Shamans are stuck back with the Simple Wood and the trek to find Nat Pagle.

This is the kind of detailed analysis that Blizzard really ought to read, and I’m sure that shamans will get some Blizz love (sounds wrong) at some point. In the meantime, remember, raid leaders and impatient tanks – post-Cata, your class might play as smoothly and effortlessly as eating Haagen-Daas, but by comparison Blizz have given your friendly shammie a raw artichoke and told them to get on with it. Give them some slack.

Do you think Shamans have gotten the short end of the totem this expansion? Or would you actually welcome a bit more complexity than “cast Might, noob”?

_Quote taken directly from Rhii’s post at http://www.ohmykurenai.com/2011/03/the-essence-of-being-a-shaman/

You can find Oh My, Kurenai’s homepage here._

Read more →

Super-short, super-useful – What can Warlocks CC and what quests haven’t you done?

Good evening, afternoon, or morning as appropriate!

We’re starting off today with a couple of super-snippets – not huge great Tamarind-style epic blog posts, but tiny little hits of the Useful.

First up, Girls Don’t Play WoW has a guide to all forms of Warlock CC. Doesn’t sound that useful? “But I’m not a Warlock”? Think again, I’d say. It’s a quick blast of info that tells you a lot of capabilities you probably didn’t know your raid’s locks had.

Did you know that locks have 6, yes, 6, forms of more-than-2-sec CC? Did you know that with the right glyphs they’re nearly as good at CC as a Mage? I’m damn sure I didn’t.

Well, you do now. Awesome.

Second up, a quick recommendation for an addon that soothes away one of the biggest pains in Cataclysm: lost quests. You know that point where you just can’t find the next damn questgiver? They’re around somewhere, but you’re buggered if you know where?

Windsoar’s been there, and she’s got a recommendation. I’ve wanted an addon like that for years, and I’m very glad that API changes in WoW mean it’s now possible.

So there you go. Short, sweet, simple, and hopefully, handy as hell.

Whilst we’re on the subject – do you have any quick tips for Cata or otherwise you’d like to share with your fellow Melting Potters?

You can find Girls Don’t Play WoW at http://spellbound.nu/gdpw/, and Jaded Alt at http://www.jadedalt.com.

Read more →