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Month: August 2015

[Guide] Engineering: 1-700 in under 6½ minutes

Yep, it’s really that quick. I used to be a levelling BS/miner, but had wanted to be an engineer on my hunter for a while now. The reason I hadn’t yet was because I was immensely put off by the thought of having to level it 1-600 via old world recipes.

However, what I didn’t realise was with WoD, learning Engineering has been ridiculously simplified (thankfully), and can now be done, from scratch as I did, from 1 to 700 in less time than it takes to walk to the corner shop and buy a pint of milk and back.

How? Well first, let’s sort out the materials you’re going to need for 1-630.

You’ll be producing Stealthman 54‘s all the way, and these each require:

  • 2 x Blackrock Ore
  • 2 x True Iron Ore
  • 2 x Nagrand Arrowbloom

These give a skill up of 4 each time you produce one up until you hit 625 skill. From 625-627 it will turn yellow and drop to 1 skill up per unit, then from 628-630 it will turn green. So for the last 5 skill points a slight element of RNG is introduced as to whether or not you get a skill up, but either way it won’t take much more than the production of 1 unit to give 1 skill up between 625 and 630.

In total for 1-630 you will need:

  • 322-326 x Blackrock Ore
  • 322-326 x True Iron Ore
  • 322-326 x Nagrand Arrowbloom

Once you have your mats, go pick up engineering from the trainer in Warspear/Stormshield.

Pick up Engineering
Pick up Engineering
Like so.
Like so.

Speak to the other guy in that vicinity to purchase Draenor Engineering for approx 100g:

Speak to this guy and purchase Draenor Engineering for 100g
Speak to this guy and purchase Draenor Engineering for 100g

Craft Stealthman 54‘s until you hit 630:

1-631 in 4:32
1-631 in 4:32

I headed back to my garrison and my engineering workshop, and learnt the next pattern from Pozzlow, but the same guy that sold you the Draenor Engineering 1-700 scroll will suffice.

The next stage, 630-700 is a lot more costly in terms of ore, but is equally quick and easy.

In terms of mats, you will need 15 Blackrock and True Iron Ore to produce 1 unit, however you won’t need any more herbs.

In total you will need 1050 of either ore type to complete 630-700 plus an extra 5 True Iron for this next bit: Produce 1 x Secret of Draenor Engineering with your daily cooldown using those 5 extra True Iron ore, and use it to purchase the schematic for Didi’s Delicate Assembly.

Learn this, and as it gives 1 skill up per unit crafted, you will need to produce 70 of them to get you from 630 all the way up to the max of 700:

632-700 in 1:51
632-700 in 1:51

So in summary:

1-630 = 322-326 Blackrock Ore, 322-326 True Iron Ore, 322-326 Nagrand Arrowbloom and 4½ minutes crafting 130+ x Stealthman 54 units.

630-700 = 1050 Blackrock Ore, 1055 True Iron Ore and just under 2 minutes producing 1 x Secret of Draenor Engineering and 70 x Didi’s Delicate Assembly Units.

I hope this has been useful for you, because learning this was a huge boost to my hunter’s utility not only solo, but when out in the world. My cloak-based Goblin Glider tinker has saved my life once already when I got dismounted mid-air for no reason in Pandaria chasing the pet battle tamers there, and it was a looooong way down 🙂

Enjoy your new profession! 


Snow: It’s always fking falling in Frostwall.

It’s the little things that annoy.

Like how it never stops feckin snowing in Frostwall. Like ever.

Still pretty annoyed that the Alliance get a bloody palatial Garrison with proper buildings with walls and all sorts of other luxuries, but Horde instead get a collection of glorified bus shelters.

Mind you, my level 90+ Alliance characters, all 2 of them fact fans (Druid & Hunter), are still in their mid to early 90’s. Mainly because there’s not an Alliance guild that’s worth a damn joining. It’s mainly all kiddy guilds, run by kiddies, that only exist to reap huge numbers of members because they seem to think that having a large number of uncommunicative members is somehow a good thing?

It’s almost like they were never told that Cash Flow was removed from the game at the start of Warlords…

However, the main thing that’s really been rubbing my rhubarb this past few summer holiday weeks, in amongst the thousands of other things, is raid scaling. Blizzard’s so-called Flex/Scaling tech that they brought in with Siege, and have really gone over the top with in Warlords – Time-walking and Mythic Dungeons say Hi!

Raid sizes, in theory, are now flexible. This means that, in an ideal world where Blizzard aren’t incompetent, all raid bosses would be as easy to kill with 10 bodies as they would with 30, and it would scale smoothly and fairly between those 2 extremes. However, Blizzard being Blizzard, it doesn’t really work like that at all.

Raids now need a specific sweet-spot of bodies in order to really work smoothly at all. Some bosses, like Gorefiend for example who we’re going to be starting work on in heroic next raid night, really screw groups over who have less or more than 15 bodies in the raid. Add numbers don’t scale down, add health doesn’t scale down, and it seems like with either 14 or 16 players, you get over-run with adds, whereas in that 15th player sweet-spot, you’re golden. So far we’ve found having 15/20/30 players is the ideal raid size nowadays, which is shit really.

Long gone are the days of intimate 10 man raids, where a solid core 10 players would rock their way through raid bosses like MLG pros. Not now. Now, debuffs, cleave mechanics, phasing mechanics etc all conspire to ensure that raid groups even attempting bosses with 10 players are going to get screwed over big time.

  • Assault: No problems, just needs a good comp of AoE dps players.
  • Reaver: Do-able, benefits from strong single target DPS like MM hunters.
  • Kormrok: Do-able, again AoE key here for grasping/dragging hand phases.
  • High Council: Generally ok, sometimes Blademaster adds can spawn on the high-ish side.
  • Kilrogg: lol, ffs don’t even try it. You will die. Reduced numbers outside when 30% of your raid (and 40% of your DPS) goes into the rune phasing means less outside to deal with adds: You are fucked.
  • Gorefiend: Again, fucked. Adds don’t scale in numbers or health, and it becomes very easy to be over-run, especially when 20-30% of your raid are in Gorefiend’s belly.
  • Socrethar: Do-able, but ghost numbers don’t reduce, but can be alleviated by a construct tank that knows wtf they’re at. Otherwise can be painful at low group sizes.
  • Velhari: Do-able, but Edict of Condemnation can get painful at times with low numbers in the raid.
  • Iskar: Do-able, DPS really need to be on the ball with add priority.
  • Xhul’horac: Should be a nightmare, what with adds aplenty, but we’ve one shot this the past few weeks without problems. Seems like the adds scale properly! The only fight that does, so I’m thinking fluke on Blizzard’s part, rather than intention.
  • Zakuun: Oddly this can be problematic some weeks, even though it is a pure tank and spank. Largely do-able though.
  • Mannoroth: Anything less than 3 ranged and you’re screwed. We one-shot him last night with 12 bodies but had 4 ranged. Tried it the week before with only 2 ranged, and we were fucked. Needs an absolute minimum of 3 ranged DPS, as melee would otherwise have to run around like headless chickens chasing add spawns, and of course melee can’t kill Infernals because of these mobs’ short-range AoE pulse damage.
  • Archimonde: LOL. Yeah right, like this is in any way do-able with 10 players. Yeah, good one Blizz…

So over a third of the raid, from the mid-point onwards is problematic to impossible with 10 players, and I hate it. I always loved 10 man raids, purely because they were actually more challenging than 25 man, where the majority of fights could be beaten by attrition due to the large number of bodies. 10 man however presented its own challenges, where individual responsibility was a key factor.

But Sar, isn’t that exactly the same situation now?

Nope, it ain’t. Take Gorefiend as a prime example. With 15/20/30 players, everything is grand. Add spawns are on the money and the boss goes down easily. However add in a 16th player? Suddenly things become a hell of a lot harder, as adds spawn with loads more health, way more frequently, and it becomes a real struggle.

Kilrogg is another example. With 10 players, half of whom are DPS, rune phases become very problematic. Not for the players going in, hell no, for the 3 left outside trying to deal with non-scaling numbers of adds. Especially if you’ve only got 2 ranged DPS (1 of which should be phased) and 3 melee, then you really are screwed.

Blizzard have done a lot to raiding this expansion, and not all of it has been for the best IMO. I still think Mythic was a huge mistake for the raiding community as a whole, especially given the massive 46% decline in subs numbers over the course of this last 8 months, which has a serious knock-on effect in number of available bodies to recruit for raiding, meaning for way too many guilds, Mythic is simply impossible to even attempt, because they don’t and can’t get the numbers to even step foot inside the instance. More server-merges realm connections will be implemented in Legion, mark my words…

Legion: The Setup & Features

So yesterday was the day we got to learn what comes next in World of Warcraft. Three of the developers, Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas and Alex Afrasiabi took to the stage of Gamescom in Cologne in Germany to reveal the new expansion: Legion



The game takes place back on Azeroth, and they have utilised what is perhaps the last bit of free real estate on the known planet: The Broken Isles.



These are the islands just off the north-western coast of the Eastern Kingdoms, right between Northrend and Tirisfal Glades:


The story carries on directly from the end of Warlords of Draenor, where Gul’dan was banished to the Twisting Nether by Archimonde’s dying actions.

It turns out that he was banished to present day Azeroth, whereupon he comes across the Vault of the Wardens, their prison for their captured prisoners. Guess whose corpse is there? Yep, Maiev Shadowsong brought Illidan’s lifeless corpse back to the prison and entombed it here, just for Gul’dan to find it 10 years later…

Anyhow, the game switches tack to the Tomb of Sargeras, which is located on the Broken Isles, and it’s from here that the largest ever Legion invasion of Azeroth, bigger even than the War of the Ancients, kicks off in earnest, and it’s up to us to stop it…

So with the setup out of the way, what features can we look forward to?

  • Level Cap is now 110
  • No weapons drops AT ALL. This is because players will be expected to focus entirely on their new Artifact Weapons!
  • New Class: Demon Hunter! Finally! However this class has only 2 specs, 1 a melee dps spec, Havok, the other takes away the dreams of warlocks everywhere: Metamorphosis Tank spec. The other cool thing about DH is it gets something I’ve been dying for in WoW since forever: double jumping! Plus, it’s another Hero Class, which means it starts off between level 95-100, it hasn’t been finalised just yet.
  • New continent as mentioned, The Broken Isles, with 6 new zones
    • The Broken Shore
    • Azsuna
    • Stormheim
    • Suramar
    • Val’sharah
    • Highmountain
  • New Raids & Dungeons (derp)
  • Revamped PvP system that completely separates PvE & PvP finally! 😀
  • Transmog Wardrobe! \o/ SO MUCH BAG SPACE!
  • Class specific Order Halls, location and style of which are specific to each class. Paladins get a hall underneath Light’s Hope Chapel, Warlocks get a Legion portal world etc
  • Another character boost,  this time to 100

So that’s what’s been revealed so far. And from the presentation yesterday, I get the strong impression that this is going to be another shorter expansion, similar to Warlords. How long yet Warlords has left before Legion releases, no-one knows just yet, but it can’t be left too long, as given my last post regarding subscription numbers, the longer it takes, the less people will be there or even come back to enjoy it…


Why Expac 6 can’t, won’t and shouldn’t wait…

OK, so a bit of tinfoil hat theory time, what with the new expansion due to be announced in (checks watch….) just under 8 hours time.

I posted this on Twitter this morning:


Now to me, that makes perfect sense. It’s how I believe Activision(?) are pumping out Call of Duty titles each and every year, and each game gets a full 2 years of development, which seems to be the minimum standard nowadays.

It would definitely explain how and why Warlords has been so unrelentingly shit, because essentially it was not actively being worked on 100% during its release cycle, other than the art team and raid team, both of whom did sterling work in Warlords, particularly the Art team. I’ve said all expansion that the art team have been carrying this expansion virtually on their own backs, and if it weren’t for their efforts, this expansion probably would have completely killed the game.

In fact it very nearly has done, what with subs figures presently sitting at 5.6m players, including the token subs. And don’t forget, we started WoD with nearly double that figure, at 10 million players. So a total drop of 4.4m players in 8 months.

Can you imagine how bad the figures would be if token numbers weren’t included?

In addition, how else, other than lack of active development would ANYONE explain “patch” 6.1?

This new expansion pack I feel is either make or break time for World of Warcraft. Either it’ll reinvigorate the game and alongside the movie regenerate the subs base similarly to how WoD did initially and brought 3m players back (still skeptical about that claim tbh), or we’re looking at one of the game’s final releases.

Obviously the game can’t sustain another 4.4m subs loss over the next 8 months, which is why I think we are going to see this new expansion very soon, a lot sooner than most are betting.

Beta within a month, pre-patch in 4 months, release in 5? Xmas launch at the latest?

If they’ve split the Dev team as I  mentioned on Twitter, it’s conceivable it’s nearly ready to go right now for beta and get it out and released before Blizzcon even.

The only problem is an early release possibly cutting T18 and HFC pretty short, the opposite problem that Siege suffered from at the end of MoP.

But after the unmitigated disaster that WoD, by any reasonable standard, has been, would anyone really care? After all, the race for Mythic world 1st is over, and that’s all anyone cares about.


Who knows, but I do know this:

This new expansion needs to be out soon and it needs to be fucking amazing if the game is to survive even another year.

Windows 10 gave me ideas…

Ok, so having had Windows 10 installed over the past 24 hours, I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it. Even though it’s sometimes buggy and the Start Menu had managed to crash on me completely yesterday necessitating a fix (see my twitter feed), it’s a really lovely OS.

The mix of the Start menus from Win 7 & 8.1 is something I’m really digging, and the aesthetic is really very lovely to look at. In fact it reminds me a hell of a lot of the Gnome interface in Linux, which I also love.

So with that inspiration in mind, I decided to tart up the front end of the website a bit. This is the default WP theme from 2014, albeit with a fair bit of customisation on top. Still want to sort out a proper background image, but I’ll sort that out later today.

Quite pleased with how it turned out all in all, and at least it looks different now from the Thunder website 😀