Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cataclysm PvE survivors guide

The Cataclysm expansion is upon us on December 7th, and I have been trying to figure out what will be going on when we are all rushing through the new content. I thought I would post it up here to help out any fellow confused players :)

New Zones
This map has all the details of where to go to level. Your starter zones are a choice between Vash'jir and Mount Hyjal. Then you have The Maelstrom and Deepholm, followed by Uldum and finally the Twilight Highlands. There should be feeder quests in the capital cities for all of these new zones.

Professions are all bumped up to level 525 at the maximum and will need training by a professions master to get access to the maximum level. Trainers in the capital cities should be able to oblige.

Archeology is the new secondary profession is only available with the Cataclysm expansion, but anyone and everyone can do it, cos it's a secondary profession see. The trainer is Belloc Brightblade in Orgrimmar, or our old friend Harrison Jones in Stormwind. Check out Kaliope's Crafting Blog for more information.

We can fly in Cataclysm, but first you must hand over 250 gold to Maztha in Orgrimmar or Bralla Cloudwing in Stormwind for a Flight Master's License.

Discovering Dungeons
In order to queue for an instance using the Dungeon Finder, you must first discover the entrances to the instances. Luckily Pwnwear has a post with the location of all the instance entrances. Alternatively, Project CWAL has a post with the locations.

The new enchanting materials in Cataclysm are Hypnotic Dust and Celestial Essence, disenchanted from uncommon weapons and armour. Heavenly Shard is disenchanted from rare items, and Maelstrom Crystals is from sharding epics. As usual there are a load of high level enchants you will be wanting for your gear, using all of the above.

Primals... Eternals... Volatiles
The new Eternals are Volatiles. Volatile Earth are mined from Cataclysm nodes and dead elementals, or they drop from some elementals as loots. Interestingly Blizzard seem to have done away with crystallized/motes and primals/eternals and we just have one sort of drop.
Volatile Earth can also be found inside a Strange Bloated Stomach which is skinned from various beasts. This can also contain Volatile Air, Fire and Water, thus giving skinners a chance at getting volatiles too.
Volatile Fire is also mined from Cata nodes, and drops from killing fire elemental mobs. It can also be fished up from lava in Twilight Highlands, see El's Extreme Anglin' for more information. Finally it can be inside a Bloated Stomach.
Volatile Life is gathered while herbalising plants and can be gathered from the corpses of some mobs. It does not appear inside Bloated Stomachs, thus tieing it entirely to herb gathering.
Volatile Air is also mined from Cataclysm nodes and dropped by air elementals, as well as being inside a Bloated Stomach. Engineers can make an Electrostatic Condenser which allows engineers to collect Air while mining, herbalising or skinning, but this means your engineer must have a gathering profession to use this, unlike the old mote extractor.
Volatile Water can be mined according to Wowhead, drops from water elementals and predictably can be fished in Deepholm and Twilight Highlands. It also drops in Bloated Stomachs.

The Embersilk Bag is a 22 slot bag, made with 15 Hypnotic Dust and 75 Embersilk Cloth. This is the basic bag I expect to snag 5 of as soon as I can.

Then for a bigger bag, there is the Illusionary Bag at 24 slots which is made with 8 Dreamcloth. Each Dreamcloth is transmuted by a Tailor using 40 Embercloth and 30 Volatile somethings, on a 1 week cooldown. Luckily a Tailor can do 5 transmutes a week, using 30 of Volatile Water, Earth, Life, Fire and Air, plus another transmute using 5 Chaos Orbs, the Frozen Orb equivalent. That is a total of 6 Dreamcloths a Tailor could make per week, still the cloths are likely to be expensive, so the Illusionary Bag is likely to be expensive.

The usual set of flasks are back for Cataclysm, increasing Spirit, Stamina, Strength, Agility or Intellect by 300 for 1 hour. All of the flasks in Cataclysm seem to use 6 Volatile Life along with other herbs to make, so there is no Frost Lotus equivalent in Cataclysm. Given that Volatile Life is only gathered while herb gathering at the moment, I suspect Volatile Life will be valuable.

Fish Feasts
Seafood Magnifique Feast is the new fish feast, giving 90 stamina and 90 of a "useful stat" for 1 hour. This only needs 12 fish, there doesn't seem to be a Northern Spices equivalent this time round. There are also buff food recipes for 90 something for one hour you can take personally.

We have Embersilk Bandage from First Aid level 425, then Heavy Embersilk Bandage at 475. Wowhead lists a spell for Dense Embersilk Bandage at First Aid 525, which handily uses the heavy bandages.

Much the same as in Wrath, there are gems and meta gems. Your meta gems are all cut from a Shadowspirit Diamond, but there is no other apparent meta gem, unlike in Wrath.
Inferno Ruby, Amberjewel and Ocean Sapphire are the red, yellow and blue gems, whereas your multi-coloured gems are Demonseye (purple), Dream Emerald (green) and Ember Topaz (orange).
The gems are prospected, and there are alchemy transmutes which turns 3 of the uncommon versions of the gem and 3 herbs into a single rare gem. Jewelcrafters can make a Fire Prism from a load of uncommon gems, which can contain some rare gems. Most are mined from nodes, but the Dream Emerald and Inferno Ruby are not listed on Wowhead as being mined from nodes, hopefully this is just an oversight.

What factions are available to grind for?Each faction vendor sells a variety of gear useful for gearing up for heroics or tier 11 raids. The Therazane are the new Sons of Ohdear, with a shoulder inscription. They are an improvement over Hodir, as you can champion them in Cataclysm heroics. Hurrah!

There are Heroics of course at level 85. Blizzard have said they tuned them for characters wearing an average of item level 333 items, as shown on the character sheet. This means some crafted items or drops from normal instances will be needed before trying heroics. Only heroics award championing reputation this time, so wearing a faction tabard in a normal level 80 instance will not get any rep.

Crafted Epics and Rares
There are the usual crafted epics and rare items from the various professions. This Wowhead filter lists crafted items above or equal to item level 333, usable by Shamans. Oddly there are no epic weapons listed this time, perhaps they are yet to be added or this time around its epic armour only.

So the names may be changing, but most concepts are being carried over into Cataclysm.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

How to make an expansion reputation rewards post

Last time in Wrath of the Lich King, I made Wrath reputation rewards post. However this time I shall get all meta on you and instead write a Post About Writing Reputations Post!

To write a reputations rewards post for your chosen class now, perform the following steps:

  • Navigate to the beta version of your favourite WoW database site, such as Cata.wowhead.com.
  • Select the link to show Factions for the new expansion, in the case of Wowhead Database -> Factions -> Cataclysm.
  • For each faction presented:

    • Write a link to the faction overview page, along with some introductory text.
      Hellscream's Reach
      The Horde faction fighting for control of Tol Barad.

    • Determine if it is a faction-specific faction, ie Horde or Alliance only. If so, describe your favourite faction (For The Horde!) and begrudgingly provide a link to the opposite faction.
      See Baradin's Wardens for Alliance sympathisers. For The Horde!

    • Find a list of items available from the faction. In the case of Wowhead, the Items tab provides this.
    • For each item in the list of items available from said faction:

      • If relevant to your class and perhaps spec, write a link to the item description, the item name and optionally some text describing your impressions of said item. Try not to drool too much over the obviously inflated stats said item has, compared to your currently equipped items. It is an expansion after all.

        Ravening Slicer
        . 2.6 speed axe, with agility, haste and mastery. 400 weapon dps too, are you kidding me? It is not unique either, I'll be having two tyvm.

      • Be sure to mention the faction level required!
        Umm, its available at Revered.

    • [Optional] Provide a list of daily quests and describe if the faction has a tabard. Describe if there are normal quests which award faction reputation as you are levelling to max level.
      In other words, provide a good idea of how one might rep up with said faction, and how painful it might be (Damn you Sons of Hodir!).
      So the Tol Barad factions, according to Wowhead, fight for control over the zone like Wintergrasp. Whoever controls the zone gets access to 12 daily quests, but they rotate in some way so you can only do 3 at once. When a quest is complete you get a 350 reputation. They do not have a championing tabard. In technical terms, grinding this one will be a right sod.

    • [Optional] Give an impression of what the maximum reputation level you would want to get is.
      Probably exalted for the trinket but I'd settle for revered for the axes.

    • [Optional] If the faction has to be unlocked in any way (Knights of the Ebon Blade), provide information as to how the reader can unlock the faction, starting quests, etc.
      Your faction would need control of Tol Barad, which might involve fighting for it and thus some PvP. Given how bad Horde on Aszune is at Wintergrasp, this could be... troublesome. I would recommend doing the dailies whenever you spot your faction has control.

There you have it. So what are you waiting for? :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Cataclysm reputation rewards video

Check out TotalBiscuit's video which shows all the reputation items in Cataclysm. You can also see a factions list on Wowhead and check out their individual rewards from there.

The good news is there are entry level dungeon items, heroic dungeon level items and entry level raid items available from the vendors for various slots. The bad news is there is also a Sons of Hodir style faction with your shoulder inscriptions, but they have a tabard so they can be championed. I am quite confident you can gear up using a combination of rep items, craftables and maybe some dungeon drops to be able to start on heroics. Hopefully the end-level zone quests will also reward some heroic dungeon level items, I've not checked those out yet.

Tol Barad seems to be the place where PvE weaponry can be obtained, so the dailies for them suddenly look a whole lot more attractive than just for earning gold.
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